Wednesday, April 25, 2012

It's changed!

Wow! Leave off posting for a month and come back to find Blogger has changed its publishing platform and I'm soooooo confused. I'll get there. I can learn something new. One example is that pictures load opposite of the prior version. So - I'm going to write my post backwards! It will work. I'm too lazy to take the time to delete and reload. I'm just glad to be sitting and writing!

I will start with the "little man" as he is often called. The girls really enjoy having Eiger around and he is still my shadow. He continues to behave like a toddler and eat and eliminate things he should not be! This makes life interesting and we are getting really good at keeping floors and the garage cleaned up.

Here he is in what was supposed to be in my little reading corner in the bedroom. A nice little bookcase, lamp and our oversized chair w/ ottoman. Now? He turns it into his own little party pad by dragging all his stuff onto the chair/ottoman. Since it's the ONLY piece of furniture he's allowed on, he's taken full claim to it:
I spend many a day taking Eiger out walking. He is like a naughty and smart toddler - best handled when tired out a bit. Daily exercise is important for him and turns out, for me too.   The view from up the road is really nice.  We are in a valley near the base of a local Mountain.  Not a Swiss mountain but it is a coastal mountain. 
One thing I always love in the foothills of CA is the lupine in Spring. It grows wild along with the poppies and is just naturally beautiful. I'm waiting for seed pods on these to mature so I can throw some into the field on the other side of our fence.
There are a lot of Heritage Oaks in the hills here.  Not much grows under them and they are a provider of shade to the cows, deer and turkeys as well as a roost for the hawks, jays, magpies and crows.  This one is pretty old and will soon look like........
this one.  The kids all call this the Spooky Tree.  It does look pretty cool though. Those hills should be green, green - it will be a dry summer.
My shadow.  Can you see the stick he's carrying?  Going straight out to the left.  He loves to pick up sticks to carry on our walks.  Or pinecones.  He has to play with the pinecones first.
So how has he helped me?  A short and sweet on the "back" story which I've mentioned before.  Prior to leaving Switzerland and on our arrival, the pain in my mid-back became a constant companion.  I've done massage therapy for years as well as Chiropractic care when living in the States and kept things fairly reasonable.  I resumed seeing a Chiro in August and after several months with the muscles continuing to freeze up (along with nausea and hunching over) on recommendation via the Dr. during Physical.  Was prescribed muscle relaxers - didn't really do anything.  Had X-rays, MRI and then recommended to a Spinal Orthopedic.  I do have a healed vertebra compression fracture from a horse fall 25 yrs ago and they found a couple hemangiomas (enlarged blood vessel tissue but benign and commonly found) but none of these explained the pain and muscle seizures.

A non-narcotic pain medication and high dosage anti-inflammatory do help but due to long-term side effects, I use them as needed.  And then we got the dog.  And I went to see the physical therapist guru from Sweden.  He said the problem I've been having is caused by one of  two things:  direct muscle trauma or stress.  "So Mrs. Olson, what is going on with your life?"  Me? Stressed?  To which I had to confess my back tension had decreased dramatically since we got the puppy (who stresses me out but for different reasons).  He concurred and proceeded to observe that I held my breath when I was speaking and that I needed to take time to relax and get "present" with where I am and not where I was.  OH - and that if I believed so strongly in God that I needed to let Him take care of things and not worry about doing it all myself.  I'm also making sure I do regular deep breathing exercises.  I didn't tell him I felt like I was holding my breath most of the time.  It was hard at first to admit he was right!  I decided this Swede was as direct as a Swiss in their observation and approach - no punches held back. 

Sigh......  So the back is definitely improving as is my outlook.  Just last night I made "Spargelcreme Suppe" (asparagus creme soup) as part of dinner since we have wonderful fresh asparagus available and I know that it is on every Swiss 'Fruhling Menu' right now.  I remember my first Spring in Switzerland and looking at the wilty asparagus and seeing that it was from CA (early season before Euro stock was available)!  Well, it's not wilty when you get it fresh..... :)

This stand of olive trees at the entrance of our little part of the world reminds me of Italy or Southern Portugal.  Nice memories in a new place.


Makila said...

Welcome back! Good to hear from you. I hope your back continues to get better! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi, Susie, I love the bush lupine too. I had a lot out in front at the cabin.
It's nice to see your blog again.

Susan said...

So happy to see you in my Google Reader. I love the photos, seeing your environment -- and getting better acquainted with your doggy! I'm so thankful he is helping you with the relaxation and breathing. God bless you Susan, every day. Love you and miss you, praying too.

Hi! It's me, Julie! said...

Hi Susan! I need this advice to BREATH! Many hugs and more hugs. I think it is so important to make the soup and remember the trees and do the things that connect your then with your new now. So important. It gave me such glee to read that North Carolina is the 2nd biggest pork producer next to Iowa...maybe we'll find some big ol' pork chops somewhere! (Won't be as good, but the reminder will still be sweet!)

Katherine said...

I love your lupine & your view, and that Eiger is helping you breathe more. In & out...reminds me of a new song I heard today,

"Standing on this mountaintop
Looking just how far we’ve come
Knowing that for every step
You were with us...

You are faithful, God, You are faithful"

(Never Once, by Matt Redman, )

Sarah said...

Many hugs to you, friend! Love it when a post from you shows up in my reader. Praying for your back to continue healing.