2012 in Review

WordPress very helpfully sent me a report on my top posts in 2012, so I thought I’d share:

The Emotional Lifecycle of Deployment was a very popular post this year and it prompted my busiest day back in April. Unfortunately, I’ve been spending some time revisiting the content of this handy little infographic because I’m in need of it once again. If you’ve found the Emotional Lifecycle of Deployment infographic helpful, I’d love to know.

Emotional Life Cycle of Deployment

Even though the majority of these posts were written prior to 2012, here were the top posts this year:

A lot of these 2012 posts were really fun to create. Here are some of my favorites from the year:

1.  The Wounded Warriors of Christmas Toys (December 2012)

Wally and Leroy, my Wounded Warriors of Christmas Toys

The Wounded Warriors of Christmas Toys

2.  Your Tights Would Look Good on a Pumpkin (October 2012)

the halloween response poem

Your Tights Would Look Good on a Pumpkin

3.  Drawing a Spider on the Wall (May 2012)

Drawing a Spider on the Wall

Drawing a Spider on the Wall

4.  Mardi Gras in Portraits (February 2012)

Mardi Gras in Portraits

Mardi Gras in Portraits

5.  No Fear of Needles Here (January 2012)

No Fear of Needles Here

Face needles for my cold! (Local sinus points)

Did you have a favorite post?

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog in 2012, and I hope to bring you more good stuff in 2013. Happy New Year!

You Can’t See My Bandaid.

When I took apart a giant frame and left the glass against the shelf because I didn’t have time to put it back together, I just knew it wasn’t going to end well. (Why, when we have that kind of thought, do we do nothing about it?!) Two days later, I’m grabbing something from the closet next to that shelf, and WHAM. I ran my arm right alongside the corner of that frame and got a nice, big cut.

I’m pretty darn squeamish (that’s why I chose to stay as far away from the medical field as possible) but this time I somehow remained relatively calm. I think it’s because this happened merely months ago with a nice slice to my finger. That time, oh yes, I panicked. Big time. When Keith tried to take off my makeshift paper towel bandage, I tried to kick him away. He is a good nurse so he persisted and my finger is still in one piece. But that is neither here nor there.

So, back to this incident. This cut is right in the middle of my arm. It’s definitely not the prettiest thing, so I’ve been putting a bandaid on it not only to keep it protected but also to hide the gore. After a couple of days of the really large, flesh-colored bandages, I needed something new. I graduated to the regular-sized bandages, so that was a good step. But, with the locale of this cut, the regular color of bandaids were driving me insane. No matter the intention, these guys just aren’t blending in. They are completely obvious and no fun at all. I was ready to fix that.

I marched over to the Commissary to see what I could find in the way of non-regular colored bandaids. Did I want princesses? No. SpongeBob? Nope. I’m a little old for all that. Smiley-faces? Eh. Then I saw them: camouflage bandaids. Genius! Thank you, Curad, for the camo adhesive bandages.

my camouflage bandage

my camouflage bandage

I’m now rolling around base with a nice little camo bandage on my arm to hide my ugly little cut. Surely no one has even noticed this green and brown sticker smack dab in the middle of my right arm because it is camouflage. Phew.

I may be out of regs (regulation: it’s desert camo now, not woodlands as I am currently wearing), but I don’t care. And they probably can’t even see it anyway.

Nope, No Fear of Needles Here.

Just so you know, I have no fear of needles. Actually, I quite like them. Well, at least I like them/don’t fear them when they aren’t really needle-y. See, that is a misconception with acupuncture, that it is really a “needle” as we normally think of it. Acupuncture needles aren’t like the needles used to give shots or draw blood.

acupuncture needle

acupuncture needle (probably not supposed to bend it!)

See? More like a little tiny wire. Nothing to be afraid of.

And no, in my experience, they really don’t hurt. They actually feel good. No kidding.

Acupuncture is probably the most relaxing activity I do  – more relaxing than massages, long baths, walks on the beach … you know the drill. It may seem counterintuitive that having needles stuck in various parts of my body would be relaxing, but that is exactly what acupuncture accomplishes.

After a bike wreck resulting in a sprained shoulder, I found a guy that specialized in what he called sports-acupuncture. As he “needled” my shoulder I literally could feel the tension leaving, and when I left I was able to raise my arm for the first time in weeks.

Then when I moved, I needed to find a new acupuncturist and came across the name of Alison Larmee Borne of Cape Fear Acupuncture. I adore Alison, plain and simple. She is so knowledgeable about not only acupuncture, but of the many types of traditional medicine (have you heard of moxibustion, or cupping?) and the integration of traditional with western medicine too.

Anyway, I’ve been telling her that I really, really want to write a blog post about acupuncture. I really, really do. But here’s the problem I kept running into: I love acupuncture so much but understand it so little, so what can I really say?

1) It doesn’t hurt.
2) It feels really good actually.
3) I’d do it every week if I could.
4) Did I mention that it is super-relaxing?
5) It can help with a long list of ailments.
(See a partial list on Cape Fear Acupuncture’s FAQ page.)
6) I don’t really understand how it works, but I know that it does.

And since I realize that I might never have the level of understanding to fully describe acupuncture, I decided that I can show it:

Face needles for my cold! (Local sinus points)

Face needles for my cold! (Local sinus points)

I swear, these do not hurt.

See? Not scary! Kind of cool, don’t you think? Trust me, the needles don’t hurt. I’m a baby when it comes to pain. If it hurt, I wouldn’t be excited to go each time.

And a few more …

The ones in my belly aid digestion.

Back Needles

According to Alison: Back Shu points, or “Back Transforming points” which connect and help to tonify or strengthen the organs (and related functions) of the heart, liver, blood (not an organ but a “vital essence”), spleen, kidneys and large intestine.

Third Eye Point

Third Eye Point in Yintang, which calms the Shen, or spirit.

Lemme know if you have questions.