Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A poem for the Faire

Come with me
And Lady D
To see the wares
At the faire

To stroll the grounds
Hear the sounds
To feast and play
All the day

A trinket or two
Drink the fine brew
Dance to a tune
Walk the lagoon

Incense of air
Colorful wear
Braided hair
All at the faire

See the queen
A joust or two
A time for love
And magic too

So come with me
And Lady D
At the faire
We'll see you there

Back to the Faire!

For all of you renaissance festers, I recently attended the Ohio Renaissance Faire in Harveysburg, OH (located between Dayton and Cincinnati). A beautiful setting of rolling hills with magnificent fall colors. The fest had about 135 vendors with some specialties like stone cutting, blacksmiths and weavers that were not at the fests in WI or MO.

When I attended, it lightly rained, there was a strong wind and the temp was about 50 degrees. Although a little cold, the weather added to the visual effects giving the whole experience a realistic feeling of the time period. It was a great time, the shows were good (especially the drummers) the goods were fantastic and the turkey legs--excellent! Nothing like a good Ren Fest to improve your spirit and the Ohio Renaissance Faire is one that shouldn't be missed--Huzzah!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Word about Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is a trip! Simple movements like bending your knee, walking up a stair, or sitting down that were automatic are suddenly a chore and struggle. Physical therapy teaches you how to do them again through simple exercises. The good news is that you do improve, but it's a long process. At least your not alone, you'll see a lot of other people with the same or worse problems than you, neck, back, shoulders etc. which may make you feel that your problem isn't that bad and if nothing else, you can always strike up a conversation with your physical therapist to help get you through the mundane routines.
Small steps do lead to big improvements if you try hard enough.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Going Bionic

I am not the first person to ever get a total knee replacement and I am sure that some people have more horrific stories than mine, but I never thought that I would ever have to get a knee replacement at such a relatively young age (under 60). In my case, I didn't have too much of choice, my left knee shifted to the left, I was bone on bone, and everything rested on the tendon. To make matters worse, I have a foot problem, so when the knee shifted it caused me to step down on the outside edge of my foot placing pressure on the inside of the knee. I was always in pain, could barely walk at times and the pain doubled or tripled depending if it was a good or bad day. So having the operation was a no brainier, the next step was who I wanted to work on my body.

For anyone who needs to get an operation, here are some tips about doctors. First, anytime you need an operation, always get a second opinion. The reasons are vast, but it's good to have two different opinions they may give you more options.

Second, you need to be real comfortable about the doctor you choose, in that, he'll do the best job for you. So, if your not totally comfortable, look around until you are and if it means going to see two or ten doctors, so what, it's your body and you are the one who will have to cope with the results.

Finally, stay away from the idiot doctors, these are the doctors who have issues over things like being overweight, how you look, or a number of other things. Here's some guide lines, doctors are very "touchy feely" when it comes to injuries they want to see it and at some point they will have you move the injured part, then they'll poke it and bend/twist it. If the doctors never wants to touch it , then he doesn't want your problem. Next, is the battle of wills. These doctors are the ones who try to get a reaction from you and want you to believe that their opinion is your only hope. Usually, this is done by giving you only negative aspects of surgery and beyond. Look, there are always risks to any surgery determined by your age, weight, life style, what you eat, drink, or whatever, but there are also benefits which always out weigh the risk, so if the doctors can't show the benefits, then he/she is not the one for you.

Let's get back to the knee replacement. As I stated, there was no emotional roller coasters in my replacement, the knee was shot, it wouldn't get any better and anything would be an improvement to the way I was going. So I was set, a trip to the hospital, an hour and a half in surgery and it was done.

Now knee surgery is different from reconstructive foot surgery (which I had done on my right foot a year ago), with the foot, there was three months of non-weight bearing. With the knee, they have you up on the knee a couple hours after surgery. It was a weird feeling, the pain that I previously had was gone and replaced by a surgical pain and soreness, but it still was a good feeling that I had not experienced for a couple of years.

I spent three days in the hospital, went to four sessions of physical therapy and went home.

Medical technology is very amazing, knee replacements have been in practice since 1967, but there have been many other advances in what they can repair on the human body. We are lucky to have the opportunity to have such advantages in our life time, which can improve our quality of life over a crippling deformity. But there are some people who are afraid of such technology and rightly so, some people have problems with concept of replacing original parts. For those people, I suggest that they come to grip with the fear and reap the benefits which in the end will end their pain and suffering.

As for my ending, I am now in physical therapy--but you'll have to wait for my next blog.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Being Published

The ultimate goal of every writer/poet is to be published. It is great feeling to see your work in print and knowing that millions of people will read your words, your thoughts and will benefit from your work. I recently had a poem of mine--Invitation to the Faire--published in Renaissance Magazine, vol. 14 #3, issue #67, page 26 (for anyone interested in reading it).
I went out and bought 12 copies, distributed signed copies to friends and family and made copies to hand out to anyone I meet who shows interest.
Since I attend Renaissance Faires, I will take copies with me and may even request an audience with the Queen and her court for a reading. Why all of this? First, cause it's a great poem. Second, it's a great way to market your work and to spread your name around. Third, it's an exciting time and by doing all of this helps to keep your inspiration and creativity thriving to write more outstanding work.
Any poet knows that it's hard to get their poems published. In my case, I've had a couple poems published in anthologies, but this was my first poem published in a major, largely distributed magazine with a large readership, so you can understand my extreme excitement. Hopefully, my success with inspire other poets to keep writing and submitting, knowing that although the journey is long, there is a place somewhere for your work.

Monday, June 1, 2009

To the Faire!

Will you go milords and ladys to the faire on this fine day?

Renaissance Faires at very cool. For those who don't revel in the Middle Ages, I'll explain. Renaissance Faires are held through out the U.S. They are held in a replication of middle age villages complete with a royal court, knights, maidens, and merchants. Faires are in natural settings--woods, dirt paths and open markets/store fronts. Everyone associated with the faire are in their period costumes and speak in old English and anyone attending can also come in costume, so you will see wide array of characters, from knights to vikings, to pirates, to faeries and more. There's also period craftsmen, shows, musicians, jousts, beer, and food a plenty.

The best way to enjoy the faire is to accept the simplicity of the times. Ditch all of the modern grind and attitude, and relax in the tranquil setting, the smell of various foods, the sound of soothing music, the beauty of nature, and the colorful visual of characters in costume. It's a great time for all who wishes to partake.

Let's move on. I just came back from attending the Greater St. Louis Renaissance Faire in Wentzville, MO (45 minutes west of St.Louis). This was a medium size faire (90 booths) in a beautiful wooded hilly park. This faire was a French theme versus the more common English theme which meant a lot more french accents were used by the villagers. The merchants were friendly, although there was and issue with the pottery people (maybe a later blog), and some of the wares were different from the norm. I was a little disappointed about the jousts, more talk than action, and they could use a little wider variety of vendors, but still I was able to come away with some trinkets that suited my fancy. All in all, I would recommend this faire.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Dali Anyone

I am a devotee of Salvador Dali. His symbolism and his works are very cool. The epic center of his works can be found at the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersberg,FL. If you've never been, it's a must see and be sure you take the tour which is an excellent way to understand Dali and his paintings. The most awe inspiring paintings are Dali's life works, which are huge floor to ceiling paintings and should not be missed. Also, don't forget the gift shop for some cool surreal trinkets.
Surrealism is a very visual and creative art form, one can immerse themselves within the picture for hours contemplating it's meaning or the theme. Dali is the true master of surrealism, the depth, meaning, symbolism's, and obsessions all blended masterfully within his paintings. His life, work habits and obsessions adds the aura to the canvas of this great surreal master.
In 2011, the Salvador Dali Museum moves into a new building with more works and added features. I'll be there--will you?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Pet Vacation

We have two dogs, both medium size (40-50 lbs), both rescued, well behaved and a lot of fun.
So like many pet owners we thought it would be great to bring them on vacation. So we took a week and went to Treasure Island, FL. It was great, the weather was good, the shopping/ restaurants were good and the dogs liked us around and they enjoyed swimming in the gulf at Fort De Soto Dog Beach.
Unfortunately, the "dog resort" was more of the pits, but we made the best of it.
Pet friendly motels and hotels are a big thing these days as many pet owners want to take their best friends with on joyous holiday, but in some respects, you may not be doing your pet a favor. Pets work on routines and are very environment orientated, although adaptable, they still become overly stressed with new situations, especially with vacations since everything they are use to is totally changed. Just thought I'd mention that to anyone considering a pet vacation.
But back to the "dog resort." The concept was nice, an enclosed place were your dog can roam free, if behaved, and socialize with other dogs. Most dogs are sociable and are no problem, it's usually he owners who have all the issues, so our dogs got along well and so did we with the exception of one guy who thought he was Cesar Millan. Anyway, I found this "resort" on pet travel.com which is a good site and I wrote them of my experience at the Lorelei Resort Motel.
Here's the review I sent of my experience, I hope that all pet lovers will read this so they are aware of these types of places.

I had to write you about my bad experience at the Lorelei Resort Motel in Treasure Island, FL.
I am from Chicago,IL and have two dogs (approx. 40 lbs each). We stayed there for a week at the beginning of May.
First, the rooms don't look like the pictures on their website. Our room was very small with the bed consisting of an old box spring and worn out mattress on the floor (no frame). The window air conditioner was ancient and did not go below 60 degrees, so it did not adequately cool off the room from the 90 degree weather. In fact, our dogs had a case of heat stroke because of these conditions.
Second, the owner and office staff (if there is any) was never in the office, you had to call a cell number on the door and they would call you back whenever they wished.
Third, the room was never sprayed for insects. We killed a couple of Palmetto bugs (cockroaches) climbing up the wall, luckily it was almost our last night and prompted us to leave the next day.
There are many other problems so here is a list to help other pet travelers:

*The hot tub/Jacuzzi was broken and filthy, you could tell it was out of commission for a long time.
*No maid service, although their informational material states that the service is available.
*No phones in the rooms.
*Minimal provisions of towels and toilet paper.
*No complimentary soap or shampoo.
*No garbage bags or paper towels.
*No additional fans available or access to any irons, hair dyers,mops and buckets.
*No information available on restaurants, attractions, tours or shops.
*Not handicap accessible.
*Dock unlit with no safeguards.
*No security.

As for the dogs--
*No dog amenities or any fun dog functions.
*No listing of emergency vet facilities or phone numbers.
*No information on dog beaches that are in the area.

To say the least, the accommodations were very disappointing and probably worse for our dogs. I hope you will post this on your site for other pet owners to see. In conclusion, I like your site and will use it again, it is a great place for pet owners.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day

Today is Earth Day. A time to appreciate Mother Earth and respect all that she gives to us. We need to reflect about all we have, the air, water, earth, forests and animals that surrounds us, gives us joy and helps us to survive. We need to better understand our place within the big picture, we tend to forget just how small we are within the grand scope of life and what our surroundings can teach us. Animals are a good example, we could learn much from animals, caring, loyalty, forgiveness, and harmony. Instead we tend to exterminate species and conduct overt acts of cruelty. We need to live in harmony with nature and not slaughter it, we need to show compassion not deceit to these creatures that have lived here a lot longer than us.
Let's start today, feel the earth, smell the flowers, breathe the air, drink the water, and watch the wildlife. Take it all in and experience the wonder and beauty of Mother Earth.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Looking at the Rain

Gentle thoughts on gentle rain,
Droplets fill the window pane
Each drop lamenting sweet refrains
Of dreams that have remained

Patterns dance upon the glass,
Stirring thoughts of now and past,
Of love and life’s enduring times—
All the thoughts entwine

Patterns change, a sweeping rain,
Bring memories yet explained,
Cleansing all the doubts and fears—
The rhythm is all you’ll hear

Droplets smeared across the pane,
Faded patterns to none remain
Clouds part, the sun appears—
Thoughts and dreams still linger here.


Today is cold, windy and raining, a mix of a faded winter and approaching summer, but rain in itself is very creative, symbolized as a cleansing, a renewal and associated with fertility.
I always think of rain as Mother Earth trying to cleanse the abuses we enact on the earth and nature, a depiction of sorrow and a mirror of reflection on the past, present and future.
Rain comes in many forms, hard, soft , gentle, sweeping, etc. , all invoking many emotions, visions and dreams. Stirring memories and soft tones (gentle rain) that allow insight into our spirit from different perspectives. It sometimes makes us dwell on the inhumanities and sorrows of the many tragedies that occur in our complex world. Nonetheless, rain reflects our triumphs, our failures and creates a portal to create our future.
Look closely at the rain, feel its sorrow, its creativity and reflect within its raindrops.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Passing

Today our dog Moonie(aka Mr. Sunshine) passed away of old age. He was a male westie of 19 years of age. We got him through a westie rescue and he had an excellent life with us for 10 years. He will be deeply missed and greatly remembered. I buried him like the ancient kings--with his dog bed, a blanket, and a biscuit for the journey.
Like my other dogs that have passed before Moonie, saying goodbye is bittersweet, glad that he won't suffer, but would rather have him here. It's tough to accept their passing, their personality, unconditional love, loyalty, forgiveness, and companionship on a daily basis will be forever lost. However, although the body is gone the bond with the spirit is strong. Forever our spirits are entwined and will never be broken, and in joyous reflection I smile, knowing that he's with his brothers and sisters in the grass of the hereafter, rolling, running, playing, and barking waiting for the day I join them.

Monday, March 30, 2009


Spring is a time of preparation, when Mother Earth starts to awaken from her winter sleep shedding the blanket of Father Winter, heralded by the robin. It's a start of new beginnings in the cycle--a birth of new plants and animals.
Dominated by the East (wind, sunrise, beginnings, and change) it takes our spirit to new beginnings and our thoughts to new creative directions. Spring brings us a sense of rejuvenation among rebirth of flora and fauna. It's a great experience to behold if we only stop and look.


Welcome to my blog. Please feel free to comment on any of my topics. Questions are always welcomed and options/feedback are always good as long as they're constructive.
I am glad you came along for the journey.