Denise Dances: A Return to Perfect Health - Body, Mind & Spirit!

Friday, June 26, 2009

"Alive & Kickin'!"

DX: Alive & Kickin'! (Remember, the theme song to "The Breakfast Club," I think...) Friday, the morning of June 26th, is it? It has been about one year since I last paid a visit to my primary care physician, new as of December 2006. The office is serene, relaxing in a quiet part of town. On the waterfront, but that area never seems terribly busy. Except at lunch probably -- got two "plants" down the road. The two largest employers in Southeastern Connecticut at one time. Anyway, this last minute appointment met with the best news any doctor or patient could hear...that is, if they both want their health back! I haven't weighed myself in as much time either. I LOST 30 POUNDS! How did you do it? he said. And listened well as I said: (Here's to you, Ron, at:) Pequot Cafe, where I've enjoyed frequent meals, and (thanx to all the friendly staff at:) Stop & Shop in Groton as well, for making me want to return to you for my weekly grocery shopping! Subway is also a good fresh alternative. I rarely go out to eat in restaurants. I don't eat fried food. I gave up soda. I take an outdoor walk, almost every day, either on the Ocean Beach boardwalk, or the Poquonnock Riverwalk in Groton. Indoors, I do a Pilates Yoga Balance Ball workout to a DVD. The doctor said that if I keep my weight down, the Diabetes could actually go away!!...does it come as no surprise to you...by now...that I am fast approaching the day...when I can say...that I consider my return to perfect health payment enough?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

One of the Last Great Places: Rodman's Hollow

coming soon...ONE OF THE LAST GREAT PLACES: RODMAN'S HOLLOW on Block Island, Rhode Island...and photos, too. Photos of my trip in 1995 and 96. Would ask now, Do I still look young and cute? but afraid to get an honest answer...:)! Article excerpts from the Block Island Summer Times, June 2009: Rodman's Hollow is a preserved parcel of land, a glacial outwash basin, and now a wildlife preserve...Forever Wild...doesn't that sound so romantic?

Unusual Animals: Manisses Farm

UNUSUAL ANIMALS, Manisses Farm, Block Island, RI: June 11, 2009. Ring-Tailed Lemurs: Lemur Catta. Madagascar Island, AFRICA. 26 black and white rings on tail. Females dominate. Live 16-19 years in the Wild. Live 30 years in captivity. (prosimians - pre-monkeys>) Fainting Goats: "myotonia congentia"-- J'know what that is? Nova Scotia. Sicilian Donkeys: 4000 BC. Live up to 40 years. Scottish Highland Steer: Scotland. Mr. McDuff. Has lived on Block Island since 1990. He's the one I drew. Red Kangaroo: Australia. Live up to 18 years in captivity. Coati Mundi: "Nasua navica" Arizona. Central and South America. Related to the raccoon. Active during day. 7-8 years in the Wild. 15 years in captivity. Muscovy Ducks: Brazil. Yak: Himalayas. (bovine) "Jacob's 4-Horned Sheep" from the Middle East. Llama: native of South America. Camel family. Lives 20-25 years. Emu: Australia. Ostrich family. Males hatch the eggs. Emu lives 10 years in the wild. Chickens: Red Jungle Fowl of Southeast Asia. India - 3200 BC. China, Egypt - 1400 BC. "Zedonk:" hybrid of Zebra stallion and donkey mare. Really cute! Photos to come. More animals remain to be described -- on my next trip!! Photos to come! Artwork from the photos. Can't sketch 'em from life -- always moving! Take care, Denise...Denise Dances...2009.

THE TRIP OUT: Reunion!

THE TRIP OUT: Reunion! Notes on a napkin: The trip out -- boring RI...Ferry - seeing Ellis Tech teachers & kids...("Ellis Tech" on T-shirts)...The rain, wind & fog...And now, The Trip Out. Got everything I'm taking squeezed into a bright red Land's End backpack. One bottle of white wine to sip in my room after dinner, or out on the front porch -- as ordering drinks in a restaurant these days is way expensive. Way! Except for my last night where I allowed myself one glass of Sauvignon Blanc, crisp, dry and just a little fruity -- at the Mohegan Cafe. You already heard how long and boring my drive to Pt. Judith in Galilee, RI was. Aboard the small, traditional ferry, the few passengers were calm. Until some young people got on board. The tell-tale T-shirts read: "Ellis Tech." Harvard H. Ellis Regional Vocational Technical School. In "Daniel-sen," CT!! My first and only full-time classroom teaching job, Fall of 1999! Although it WAS only a one-year assignment, (full-time, salary, Anthem BC/BS); I only lasted four months. A long time, considering that others who had filled my position before me would leave their keys on the desk after two weeks time. I moved out of my parents' house after eight years to take my first and only full-time classroom teaching job. All I want to say to the Class of 2000 (and 2001, 2002, and 2003) -- I WISH YOU WELL! I hope the time of this writing finds all of you in good health, married to "the right person" or happily single; and doing what you went to school for (as I am now!!) To all of you who had my English class after lunch -- sorry about the smell of fresh salad -- onions, black olives, dressing, etc. "Something stinks!" I no longer eat a salad as a main meal, but with a 20-minute lunch, there was no time! Hot fudge sundae at 3:00 every day at that 4-G Restaurant down the road. That's how I cope. Didn't gain weight -- lost weight! (So much stress!!) To the one in the cafeteria, "R," who used to say, "I love you, Miss Hickey! Give me some sugar!" Back at you! (Yeah. I remember.) And you would do that little dance. And...I did it for Miss Hickey! All to get a sticky! Give it a little lickey! Put it on my paper! (That's right. I remember.) I thought I could appease them with stickers. And I laugh to this day. I think it was my sense of humor that got me through my first half-year of teaching. "Yeah. I remember you," the carpentry teacher on the Block Island ferry said. The gym teacher -- Miss -- Miss W. I remembered her face. Still looked the same. Oh, how I used to moan and groan to her at the end of each day, lugging my book bag home. (But, oh, how she loved HER job.) When I smiled on the rain-sodden ship that day and re-introduced myself...tears came to her eyes...ever so slightly detectable...I get that reaction sometimes..."What are you doing now?" she said. "I'm on vacation!" I said, through the pouring rain. "I have a Blog. It's about my health. I'm going to do some artwork, some drawing on the island. Try to sell it." Heartfelt encouragement. (Validation -- although I no longer seek it.) Oh, and the spitballs. I only turned my back to that class once. The next day, I turned on the overhead projector, without saying a word. ANYONE CAUGHT BLOWING SPITBALLS IN MY HAIR WILL GET A DETENTION. Silence. It worked. (I worked.) I wonder where all of you are now. What you're doing. Hope everything turned out all right. Still "too nice," Miss Hickey (Denise...Denise Dances...2009...10 years later!)

THE TRIP OUT: I'm Back!

THE TRIP OUT: "I'm Back!" Block Island, Rhode Island/ Wednesday, June 10, 2009...Hi! It is close to the eve of the two-year anniversary of my best friend Paula's "untimely" passing. But is anything truly untimely? Or is it all part of God's plan or, if you prefer, the Higher Purpose? Rounding her one-year anniversary last year, divers symptoms of panic brought me to the ER -- on three separate occasions. (1) OPENING DAY: Ocean Beach; May 25, 2008..."Anxiety:" In the wee hours, my new neighbor surprised me in the laundry room. "How much are you paying?" I didn't wish to divulge. "Are you home much?" "How old are you? I have three daughters about your age." Grocery shopping. Father in a nursing home. Family fighting. Landlord says I should take a job. Serious physical health problems due to Diabetes which I know now caused Depression which is causing Chronic Fatigue. Hunger. Rising prices. Rising appetite. Escalating panic. Are you looking for work? When are you going back to work?This is a hospital emergency room. You don't have a support system. If you like Groton, you should come to Groton. Dx: Depression.ER Visit #2: Early June (10?), 2008: Heat Wave. Worse than July. The sky felt close to the ground (see RENASCENCE...) The air. Heavy. Oppressive. Pressure. Crowds flocked to Fred's Shanty. Ocean Beach. Blasted a/c in both rooms. Pressure. Panic. Can't breathe. Drove to the ER, preferred Groton. Felt faint. Clutching my head in my hands. Nurse had me lie down. Soft but firm. White fluffy pillows, mattress. To my left, a painting on the wall. Serene. Blue sea. A promenande. Soothing. Comfort. Dx: Anxiety. Are you seeing a psychiatrist? Did ya get the memo?? ER Visit #3: Late June 2009 (the day after Julia's graduation celebration barbecue -- from preschool.) Sunday. Braved the neighborhood pool. Stalked and watched by the Barracudas. First plunge of the season. Cold water. Tingling sensation of skin. Hives. Didn't go away. Shower, shower, shower. Itch, itch, itch. Magnified. Growing worse. Cold water of the shower of the bathhouse. Towel, towel, towel. Red welts enveloped skin. All over arms, legs. Everywhere. Scrubbing, scrubbing, scrubbing. White towel. Rubbing, rubbing, rubbing. Red welts. Erupting all over skin."I can't go to the pool! I can't get my mail downstairs! I had to get a Post Office box! I can't go out to dinner! I can't walk down the hall! to do my laundry!" One thing at a time. Dx: Urticaria. Rx: Benadryl. As soon as the hives start. For the rest of the summer, I avoided the outdoor pool where I lived. (Thus, the Barracudas.) Went to Ocean Beach. But the hives followed me there. Ocean water one evening. Jellyfish. Hives so bad I had trouble walking to my car. Incessant itching. Rubbing, scrubbing with white towel. The Invasion of the Jellyfish, Summer 2008. Avoided the ocean. Avoided the sand on the beach. Sat under the pavilion in the shade. Swam in the Olympic size pool. Refreshing. Pop music. Things will be different this year. Denise...Denise Dances...2009

Monday, June 22, 2009

"Swingin'!"...everything in moderation...

SWINGIN'! ("...everything in moderation...") ...I've got to go to the Swing Dance. I wanna go; I really wanna go! Are we going? We're going, aren't we? If we don't go, I'm going to be mad!!!... * * * :) ... P.S. We're going!! Saturday, June 20, 2009...Shoreline Swing...String of Pearls Big Band...Free lesson 7:30-8:30...Dancing 8:30-11...Refreshments...for more info, go to: http://www.ShorelineSwingCT.org. Couples and singles welcome. All ages. No alcohol. Everyone goes home with whom they came with! There's nothing bad. Ballroom Alumni: Where are they now? ...She's pregnant...doesn't know who the father is...has no job...he became addicted to prescription drugs...under pressure and overworked...ended up in rehab...she hasn't had it easy with him...he's back with her...opened up a new studio out of town...he was with her, but now he's with THAT studio...Um, everything in moderation? as for me, well, you know the story by now...car accident, Summer of 1994...got into T'ai Chi that fall...mountain biking on Block Island, Summer 1995...back to school for intensive work-study program for M.S. in Education, 1995-96...ballroom dance lessons at The Studio, the Fall of 1997 to Winter 2002 -- groups, parties, and competitions...fell down the stairs in Newport and sprained my ankle, ended up on crutches for a while...followed by psychiatry and prescription drugs, Winter 1999 until...surgery for fibroids in Spring 2000 (covered by insurance from one-time classroom teaching job)...onset of increasing physical health problems, Fall 2004 until September 2006...did you check your blood sugar? did ya get the memo? does it come as no surprise to you...by now...that I would say...that I would consider my return to perfect health payment enough???...* * * :)