Posted by: eaubeauhorn | December 12, 2012

The year in brief

Before I debrief the year, a short but sweet experience in the car a few days ago. I was sitting at a stop light, window down as usual, looking around, and to my left was a pickup truck with a fellow about my age driving, sitting there in his cowboy hat. On the passenger side was a dog, doing what I was doing, sort of hanging out the window and looking around. I saw his consciousness….don’t know how to say it; I’d say I saw / felt his “personhood” except it was “doghood.” He felt me feeling him and turned to look at me. It was cool. I want more and more to spend time with animals and hope I find a way to do that. I’m not usually a “dog person” but more of a cat person, but the occasional dog, the laid back ones who aren’t being nuts all the time, I like a lot. It’s fairly rare I run into one, but when I do, it’s a great contact.

Ok, back to the year. We have prediction of actual rain a couple days from now, significant rain, windy, etc, our version of a winter storm. We don’t have blizzards here but we do get some rain storms in the winter. A year ago I was unknowingly approaching the end of my stay in the prison camp (I call it that because the people who have lived there perceive it that way.) Prison camp in that we are technically free to leave the horrid conditions we are living under, but prisoners because we would have already left had we been able to find a different place to live that did not make us sick.

While I was living there I developed sciatica that was so bad that when I tried to stand up in the morning I would start to pass out, feel like I was going to throw up, and my bowels would try to move “now.” Some days it took me half an hour to be able to stand up. Once up, I couldn’t sit down; trying to use the toilet was nearly impossible. Over a period of several weeks I managed to “walk it out” and gradually return to being able to stand up and walk again.

We had the first of two significant, wind-driven-rain storms; I love storms, even don’t really mind being out in them. Then we had a second storm, and shortly after that I started getting symptoms of mold exposure again. I went after all treatment I could find while I was looking for the source, but treatment never keeps up with exposure, only slightly mitigating the effects at a cost of hundreds of dollars per week. Then I found the source….the door on the windward side was not sealed well, water had come in around it and soaked the interior of the wall, and the wood baseboard was growing mold on the inside.

The response of my jailer, known henceforth as Devil Woman, or DW, was to first come in and rip out by hand the baseboard, thereby scattering mold spores everywhere, and then to come to a halt realizing she should not have done that. She “kindly” offered to let me sleep in the back of her pickup truck, with temperatures in the 20’s, until she decided what to do. She did not want to pay for professional remediation, and so she spent a couple of weeks doing nothing. Finally she agreed to professionally remediate if I paid for it. I’m not sure how many weeks I spent sleeping in the bed of the pickup truck but it might have been three or four. I still didn’t have access to a bathroom during the night but I was accustomed to that from living there the last several months. You learn to not drink water for several hours before you go to bed, and you learn to hold your bowels until the DW wakes up.

So I paid $2000 and the remediation was done but I was still unable to live in that building. So much for that.

Now it is January, the start of 2012. I ask people who are known to be mold sensitive, and who live in a conventional house, to help me find a house to buy that doesn’t have mold. Not only do they agree to do that, after a couple of meetings and some discussion, but they offer to let me live at their house while I am looking. They have experience with DW and regularly try to rescue people who have been trapped by her. So I move to a temporary location on their back porch, while I and my belongings are being decontaminated well enough to move into the house. In a few days, I do move in, with my own room (!) and bathroom (!!!!!) After the second night I sleep in the room, though, I don’t feel so good and decide I’d better move back out onto the porch.

There were good things about the porch; it was on the east side of the house, right next to a wildlife corridor. I’d wake up when the raven family started talking to each other just before dawn; there were raven-waking-up-noises that I heard, followed shortly by the sound of wings cutting air as, one by one, the four of them flew north up the corridor to wherever they spent the day. I also saw a bobcat, a great horned owl, and had a flock of little talkative birds that congregated in a nearby bush during the day. I heard coyotes but not as much as I would have expected; the main thing I remember hearing is the ravens. The air smelled good and I got used to the large temperature change during the night, something you never think about if you are used to living in a building with heating and cooling.

I looked at houses, I tested houses for mold, no house was suitable for the two months I looked. Nothing. Even the newer ones had high mold counts and I concluded that the building materials must have been moldy. They were about to kick me off their porch when I bought an all-aluminum camping trailer; my brothers brought it down to my property in March and we set it up.

During the time I was testing, I tested their house. It also tested with a high mold count even though it did not make *them* sick. It turns out that it had the same species of mold in it that my own home has, the kind that made me so incredibly ill, and that explains why I am a basket case even living on their porch and spending less than an hour a day inside the house using the bathroom and the kitchen.

In March I spent a great deal of money being “treated” by a shaman who has “cured” a couple people of MCS (I have mold illness.) The MCS person I talked to who had been cured, strongly encouraged me to see this guy. I saw him, I paid him $1500, he did nothing but force me to inhale sage smoke until I had lung damage, and then told me it was my own fault for not being cured because I did not believe enough. MCS is an illness with a strong psychological component, in that it has a feedback loop going on with the amygdala. Mold illness is different, and people with MCS typically do not understand what mold illness is and think it is a form of MCS, which it is not. I also spent another $1500 spending a week with a Yaqui medicine man who made great promises, ignored me the entire time I was there, and told me that my illness is my own fault for having a bad personality.

Once again I developed sciatica; I was underweight at 89 pounds, and now instead of just one leg I had it in both legs, but it was different in each leg. The left leg was “muscular” sciatica, in which a muscle in my butt has clamped down on the sciatic nerve and is continually squeezing it. I was back to not being able to stand up, and one morning after trying for an hour, I crawled inside the house (literally) and asked them to go buy me a vibrator so I could see if I could get the muscle to let go enough to allow me to get upright. It helped but I had to get up every two hours around the clock and walk a half mile to be able to stand up in the morning. I was out walking in all temperatures and all weathers, every two hours, for weeks. My right leg had the other kind of sciatica, the bone-on-nerve type, because I was so underweight that I didn’t have enough fat to protect the nerve. The left leg would improve with standing and walking, but the right leg would get worse with standing and walking, so that my right foot went painfully numb and I had so much pain in the lower half of my leg, with numbness and pinched nerve tingles, that I couldn’t walk very far. So the fix for one made the other worse.

I found an acupuncturist who said he could fix the sciatica, and over a few weeks he did manage to alleviate the left leg sciatica, but he was unable to fix the right leg. I gave up being able to walk farther than 100 feet.  I tried two chiropractors for the right leg; one did no harm and the other made it worse. The acupuncturist told me that my constitution was such that I needed non-gentle treatment, and his treatment was painful. He said I would not respond to painless treatment. For each of these 40 minute treatments, I had to wear my respirator and lie face-down on the table. I would put my arms under my face to try to keep the pressure off, and my arm would be asleep by the time we were done, and the bottom of the respirator would have dug into my larynx, making it difficult to breathe. Later, during the summer, I found a different acupuncturist who was more effective and whose treatments were painless.

——————

I went and bought all new stuff to put in the trailer, because the only things that can be salvaged with security are made of metal, glass, and ceramic. Wood is out, plastic is very suspect, and everything else is suspect. The consequences of being exposed to even minute quantities of mold spores or mycotoxins are so severe that the expenditure for new things is mandatory. It is not the first time I have bought new clothing, and will not be the last. I’ve given up on anything nice and just buy in the kids section at the box stores.

I spent a day in the trailer, and come out with raised body temperature and severe headache. It has a lot of “composite” material inside it that was off-gassing and making me ill. It could take many months to off gas, and I was stuck again still on the porch. I was not happy and they were not happy. None of us wanted me still there but I had nowhere to go. I considered going back to live at DW’s location and decided that I will literally commit suicide before I will go back there and be subject to her again.

As the weather started to warm up I didn’t know what to do; I don’t do well in the heat, and it is going to be very hot very soon. If you have not lived in the southern desert southwest, you have no idea of the heat here. Think Death Valley and subtract just a little.

But the porch people came through, again. I will be forever grateful to them, and I will pay it forward as much as I am able. They came over to my house and built a custom garden shed for me to live in. It was only 6 X 10 but it was MINE, on MY property, and no one was bossing me around. I could go into the trailer to use the kitchen and bathroom, which I did, even in temperatures that must have reached 140 degrees in the summer. I had a portable air conditioner in the shed, and although it was completely dark inside, I survived through June with its incredible 110 degree temperatures, and on into July when the monsoon started. I had a TV and a computer, and a piece of foam rubber on the floor. That was it….I spent my days flat on my back watching TV, or semi-sitting contacting the world through the internet. I was still incredibly isolated but I was better off than I had been in quite a while.

We put a small refrigerator on the back porch, insulated with two-inch styrofoam glued to it to help its insulation level. It managed to keep things frozen during the worst part of the summer, for which I was grateful.

Partner H put in an incredible amount of time putting the two inch styrofoam on the shed and the refrigerator, and doing anything I ask in the way of help.

Two weeks into the monsoon, my body temperature went up again and I started having very strange nightmares. Something was “toxinating” me again. I had to get out of the shed. Fortunately the trailer was off-gassed enough that I could sleep in it, but the air conditioner was of no use. First, I was afraid to use it because if it molded up, which it was likely to do, I would have nowhere to go except literally in the yard. Second, it couldn’t keep up even with ambient temperature due to the trailer’s being broadside to the western sun. So I had a place to sleep, cook, and shower, but nowhere to spend the heat of the day. The heat of the day started about 9 a.m. when the temperature inside the trailer was 95 or so and continued well past dark.

So if it wasn’t raining I drove up the mountain to higher altitude and spent most of the day there, with a lawn chair, a packed lunch, and a book or two. I waited until dark to drive down, but the temperature was often still 100 degrees. And easily still 100 degrees inside the trailer when I went to bed. I used a fan and slept on an air mattress, on my tiny bench-bed that is five feet long and 22 inches wide. I had just a couple of hours in the morning to do any cooking I needed to do, empty the black water tank, do laundry using my Wonderwash hand-crank capsule, before I had to clear out and drive up the mountain.

On days when it rained, I couldn’t go on the mountain because I can’t be in the car with the windows up due to its also having mold in the air conditioner. So I had to go to the mall; the mall was iffy but do-able. I didn’t feel particularly well but didn’t crash. I’d take a book and either sit in the food court or on the couches out in the mall. Being sleepy was tough; I wasn’t sleeping well because of the heat but had to force myself to stay awake at the mall or get kicked out. The vendors and the guards all thought I was a homeless person, and I guess I was. One with a car and money, but homeless nevertheless.

As the daily highs dropped to around 90 degrees, I started staying home and setting up my lounge chair on the south, shady side, of my garage, next to the little piece of raw desert where the quail hang out. I read a lot of books and drank a lot of cold water.

Meanwhile, during these last months, I was trying to find a piece of land to buy so I could build a specialized house, one that would not develop mold and would be safe for me to live in. I looked all over the east side of town, where I now live and would much prefer to stay, but could not find anything suitable, even at more than I was willing to pay. Finally I looked in other areas, and found a parcel on the west side, that I bought. It felt like both the end and the beginning of a long trip. The end because finally I was in mentally competent enough shape, due to having finally gotten away from mold, that I could think straight enough to actually do something to help myself, and the beginning because this would be the next big thing I would try to do to live safely not outdoors.

Since the weather has cooled off enough to be inside the trailer all day long, I am spending much more time there; on MWF I go to a place where I receive Johrei, and I do some shopping if needed. I try to stay away for at least a few hours, because when I get back I have to take off my “outside” clothing, which is contaminated by definition, take a complete shower and wash my hair, and put on “inside” clean clothes.  On TThSat I go to the tennis court and watch friends play doubles. A few weeks ago I started visiting the bang board with my own racquet and trying to get a modicum of exercise. This has all occurred because I found a supplement that has made a huge difference; a friend recommended I try pycnogenol for hypoperfusion because calf cramps in the morning are a standard part of mold illness; in just one day the pycnogenol made it possible for me to point my toes and stretch, something I have not been able to do for a couple of years. It also seems to have taken care of the muscular sciatica. Since I have been able to cook for the last few months, I finally managed to put enough weight on (95 pounds now, up from 89) that the right leg sciatica went away just a few weeks ago. I didn’t think I’d ever be able to walk normally again, much less hit a tennis ball against a wall.

I even got to play an outdoor concert with a band I played with before I stopped being able to do anything inside buildings. I played my euph, sight reading the 2nd tbone part, and thoroughly enjoyed the scramble. I saw old friends and was happy to be doing something I used to take for granted.

Now in the middle of December (it’s 12/12/12 today!) the nights are chilly. We’ve had two nights that were at or below freezing, and I emptied the water from the trailer pipes. If I break a pipe I’ll be back in very deep doo doo; I decided not to try to run the water all night to keep it from freezing. Since I live with the windows open, I use a double sleeping bag, still on my five foot long, 22 inch wide bench-bed, next to the open window. I’ve grown so accustomed to fresh air now that I don’t think I want to live without it again. When I get up in the morning, I turn on my Presto Heat Dish for an hour or two and warm myself up. I have it on tonight while I’m writing this, because otherwise my feet will be so cold I’ll take two hours to get to sleep while they warm up. You do what you have to, even if it includes heating the great outdoors.

I guess I’ll halt this post now; not that anyone will read it. I needed a chronicle of the worst year of my life, hoping that I never have to live through anything like this again. I have new found compassion for the homeless and helpless, and new found gratitude for having people who were willing to help when I was unable to help myself. I hope I get the chance to pay it forward. This from a 63 year old engineer who, two years ago, was in full charge of Operations Planning at a utility, making a six figure salary. As the old TV show used to say, “THIS could happen to YOU” if you are living with mold.

Posted by: eaubeauhorn | December 7, 2012

Trailer cook! and other updates

I always admired my friend James because he could produce masterpieces from the kitchen of his Airstream. Well, I have not exactly joined with him on that level, but I did manage to make one of my old standby Indian dishes today, split mung dal soup. I had to get a new cookbook because the old one had water damage, and I had to get a whole new supply of spices, and a new spice grinder. I have two burners and three pans and almost zilch counter space. But I managed, and it tasted just like it used to. And I have three more servings in the freezer for other days. Woo hoo! Next will come the green bean subji, and maybe some other dals. I’d love to do the carrot subji but grating that amount of carrots by hand is out of my league.

Other updates: the bang board at the tennis court is getting better at sending the ball back to me instead of sending it every which way. And I also managed to stay at it long enough to get an endorphin release.

Tomorrow I’m sitting in on an outdoor Christmas concert with a band I used to play with. At least I think I am….have to bring our own chairs and stands and lights, and I can’t put the euph in the case because the case is contaminated. So carrying all that stuff, with the euph not in a case, is a bit of a challenge in terms of protecting the euph. Dress is “semi-formal” by contract with the mall where the band is playing, but the only black pants I now have are fleece….and no black shoes either. I’ll just try to stay out of sight.

Our brass quartet Christmas caroling went by the wayside. The tuba and horn players finked out. This is something I hate about Southwestern culture…..people don’t think twice about backing out of a commitment. It never occurs to them that you may have put time, effort, and money into the thing they committed to, so they make these commitments without ever really meaning it in the first place. In this one sense, I much prefer Eastern culture, where you don’t back out of a commitment unless you get run over by a bus.

Posted by: eaubeauhorn | November 20, 2012

Milestone

A milestone this morning. Just a few weeks ago I was able to start being able to walk without my right foot going painfully numb. This was caused by, in my own diagnosis, a lack of fat around the sciatic nerve sheath between it and the sacrum. Over the last six months I have managed, through constant stuffing myself and making sure I ate a lot of healthy oils, to put on six pounds, rising from 89 to 95. All the hollows I had developed have not disappeared but they are much less deep. People have commented that I am looking much better than I was, and I definitely feel better too.
So a week or two ago I dug out my tennis racquet, washed it off thoroughly, and put a new over grip on it, hoping that it (the racquet) wouldn’t have enough mold spores still sticking to it to cause me problems. This morning, before I went over to the courts to watch the guys play, I put on my tennis shoes. The racquet and a couple of only half-dead balls were in the car. I had gotten permission last week to use a racquetball court as a bangboard, so I sort of meandered over to there and started gently whacking the ball against the far wall. I had to go back to a standard grip because the Western was just not working, but forehand and backhand weren’t any worse that I would expect from not seeing a racquet for a few years. I still don’t bend my knees enough and still tend to not get in position well, no surprise in that.

The surprise was that my serve seems to have fixed itself in my absence. In all the hours of watching people play over the last few months, there was one guy whose serve I found particularly nice to watch; his knees are so bad now that he only hobbles around the court, but his serve is still intact. He has a motion with no hitches, and he starts his swing slowly and speeds it up “as necessary” to hit the ball properly. I had decided to try that, and….. suddenly I had a serve, not a herky-jerky motion that I could never time to the toss. Just like that! There were a couple that really whacked against the wall with what felt like no effort on my part, a far cry from the “strain and have it go gently over the net” serve I had before. Now, I’m under no illusion that 95 pound me is going to have a 100 mph serve, but it’s fun to hear the whack.

I see so many people, usually women, who have a hitch in that they put the racquet down their back and then wait for the toss; a hitch in their get-a-long as the old Westerners used to say. I say….this is due to poor teaching. I too was told to drop the racquet down my back and then hit the ball. It was only after two years of struggling with the serve that someone FINALLY told me that the service motion is the same as throwing a ball. Why I was not told that in the plethora of lessons I took, I don’t know, but by the time I was told that (I throw a ball very well,) my service motion was so screwed up that there was no going backwards. But the several years off seems to have allowed it to fix itself in my absence. Hooray!
Now if I could just learn to make good oboe reeds in my absence, THAT would be an accomplishment.

Posted by: eaubeauhorn | November 12, 2012

Watta view!

Here is the view from my new “suburban ranch” property west of town; I haven’t seen it at night yet but have been told that the city lights are spectacular.

I didn’t buy it for the views but have no objection to them 🙂

Hopefully before the heat sets in again next summer, I’ll have a house to live in. An unconventional house to be sure, but not a camping trailer that is 130 degrees inside in the summer (not an exaggeration) and whose pipes have to be emptied every time the temperature is going to go below freezing in the winter. I’ll have a bed that is wider than 22 inches and longer than five feet.  I’ll have a real kitchen and a real bathroom! Wowza!

Posted by: eaubeauhorn | November 4, 2012

I dream of Mary

Two nights in a row now I have dreamt of Mary; since for me dreams are actual journeys into the other side, I consider this as contact. Unfortunately I do not remember the content of either of my dreams’ conversations, just that they occurred. Hopefully at some point I’ll be able to remember content, or even go lucid, which would be the best.

Posted by: eaubeauhorn | October 3, 2012

House Dream

I was in a house that I used to live in and that I still owned. I went in it searching for something I needed. I went in a door and saw that the alarm system was completely gone, then realized it was on a different door; however when I rushed over to that door to shut off the alarm system, it did not go off. As I wandered through the house I saw there was much less there, in the way of furniture, and then I remembered that I was a landlord now and someone else lived there. Although they apparently were not home, I started calling out “Hello!” and then came across two women in the bedroom. I started apologizing profusely for having come in without informing them ahead of time, and then tried to remember what I had come there for. They weren’t upset with me and we got into some conversations. I recognized a book case that was from my family when I was growing up, that I had left for them to use. No particular attachment, just recognition. In the end I couldn’t remember what I had gone there for and went outside. But my car wasn’t there, and I figured it had been stolen. I noted that at least my purse had not been in the car. I just stood there a while and then the women came out and I noticed I was on a different street, that I had gone through someone’s back yard and out to their street instead of mine. I was heading back to where my car was parked when I woke up. Cars, for me, generally represent my body when I am in the dream state or out of body.

For me, houses generally represent states of consciousness. In this house, basically I had left it behind but a few things of mine were still there even though someone else was living there. The house was clean and had much less stuff in it than when I had lived there. And the people were nice despite my intrusion.

In real life, I’ve had to abandon my house because of water damage that resulted in microbial growth that made me extremely ill before I got a diagnosis. The house itself cannot be fixed so that it will be safe for me to live in, because after the years-long exposure my system is so sensitized to the mold that is there, that I cannot even go inside that house, and also react to “any” building at this point, forcing me to live essentially outside. I just, finally, reached a point where I’m angry at the house (as opposed to mourning it tearfully) for doing to me what it did. This will allow me to move on emotionally. I also am trying to buy some acreage to build a new, safe-from-water-damage, house. The response to my counter-offer was due last evening by 8 PM but I did not hear from my agent yet, so “new house stuff” is on my mind.
I’m particularly wondering what the alarm system is a symbol of; just after entering the house I see a blank wall where I think the alarm system is; then I realize I’ve gone in a different door and the key pad is on a nearby door; I see that the system is armed, and the light blinks when I walk in front of the sensor to get to the key pad, but the alarm does not go off. I also realize that there is at least one other un-alarmed door to the house. It seems that entry to my house is much less protected than it used to be. My real life house, the one I am angry at, has an alarm system and is extremely well protected. Despite all my efforts at being safe in the house, I was not, in fact, I was the opposite since the house caused me severe permanent damage.

Posted by: eaubeauhorn | October 1, 2012

The musical voice

My quintet met last night for the first time in a very long time; the 1st trumpet has Parkinson’s and his medication was recently changed, bringing him back to a place where he can play a little. I had not played in about a year and a half, except for two “excursions” of about ten minutes each about six months apart.

Music is my soul’s voice; I don’t know any other way of saying it. My “voice voice,” the one that came with my body, doesn’t express my soul. I can only do that through music. I suppose if I were a singer my physical voice might come closer to expressing my soul, but I think I can’t express my soul with words. Poets can, I guess, but I’m not a poet.

I badgered two of the players to work out their schedules so we could meet, saying it would mean a lot to me. One of them thanked me after we were done last night for the badgering, meaning he was very glad we met. We’re a group that has played together enough that we learned to meld, form a group mind so to speak. Not the easiest or strongest group mind I’ve participated in, but we get there.

I found myself having to bite my tongue when we went too long between pieces; my hunger for playing the music was such that I wanted to play until I dropped, with no gaps. We kept going for about an hour, playing mostly old favorites; my chops lasted amazingly well considering how long it has been since I did any regular playing. After we stopped, the trumpet player with Parkinson’s said he’d like to do it again soon and we all agreed.

But this is about soul, my soul, and its need to express itself in music. It’s like I really do have no other means of not only expressing myself but also of being myself; I just don’t know how to explain it. This morning I turned on the radio while I was lying in bed and Tchaikowski’s Variations on a Rococo Theme came on, a live performance by Rostropovitch.  For the first time in a long time, the voice of the cello grabbed me and wouldn’t let go; the A string has a different voice than the D string on the same note; I was hearing these voices as he used the different strings to express different things through the voice of the cello.  I wonder sometimes how much difference it makes that I know what note is being played; do I hear the voice of the composer “more” than I would if I didn’t know what notes were being played? Sometimes I think so, because the pitches are like individual words in a language that can’t be expressed otherwise.

So I got in touch, last night and this morning, with my soul again. It was sorely needed.

Posted by: eaubeauhorn | September 27, 2012

Balanced Embouchure and Farkas embouchure

I have a horn mouthpiece that I diddle around with sometimes because I’m still interested despite the dystonia. Maybe one of these days I’ll find a reliable work-around and be able to play again.

One thing that had seemed promising was using the Balanced Embouchure concepts to arrive at a different place with my chops, so that the brain fart of dystonia did not kick in. I have been able to play euphonium and tuba, reasonably well, with the dystonia, but not horn, which is my first love and always will be.

I’d say the major concepts I got from BE  were that lip position changes predictably over range; more rolled in for high and more rolled out for low; and that the use of pressure prevents this lip motion, limiting range. As a rolled-out player, I always had difficulty playing high and had to start increasing the pressure of the horn against my face in order to get higher notes. Since high notes were only achieved with pressure, I had zero high-note endurance and could only hit the highest notes occasionally, which caused me to end up being a low player. Fortunately I like playing both middle (2nd) and low (4th) parts so it wasn’t all bad. But I remained frustrated, and I believe I developed the dystonia because I kept trying to force my face to play high by over-tensing a low-range embouchure.

BE suggests that the Farkas embouchure, with its flat chin and ring of tense muscles, is not the easiest way to play high, and that rolling the lips in and loosening the corners will allow high playing without pressure. I have found this to be true but also have had great difficulty getting much of a sound playing that way; I can get individual notes but to play a two-octave gliss (or even a few-notes gliss) has been frustrating. If I had started this way it wouldn’t have made any difference but being competent at one system and then trying to start an entirely new one requires much patience.

So I was dinking around with the mouthpiece the other day, and was working on moving my lips inside the cup, rolling in and out to change range. In particular I seemed to be able to move my upper lip, since I set in to the lower lip just a little bit usually. I had some success and was managing to gliss through various octaves, including up to high C from third-space C, and it was pretty smooth and sounded pretty good. I was just concentrating on moving that upper lip in and out and not much else.

Then I noticed that my corners were really tired, and then I noticed I was using my old, flat-chin Farkas embouchure but had incorporated near-zero pressure on my upper lip, which was allowing it to roll in and out inside the cup instead of being pinned.

So I guess the concepts really can mix; and I also understand that the people who are competent with the Farkas embouchure and who preach not to use a lot of pressure, may be doing this, rolling the lip inside the cup. But in their teaching they leave out the fact that they are changing their lip position inside the cup. Perhaps they are simply unaware that they do it.
BTW, if you want to see a high player using a rolled-in embouchure, watch the 1st horn in this video from Youtube. He is the first player to be shown.

(Vienna horns Jurassic Park video)

Posted by: eaubeauhorn | September 25, 2012

A path in?

The dream started with a feeling of going OBE, which is sort of a rising up, flying sort of feeling. However everything was black, as a very dark night. Not scary dark, just dark. I was happy to be “out.”

I don’t remember all of it, but I was interacting with someones, still in the quite dark, and a U-shaped metal thing was put over my head, not touching, it was bigger than that, but with the ends more or less next to my ears. Then it was turned on and I was being “zapped.” There wasn’t any particular sensation but I wondered if my consciousness was being raised somehow.

There was a little more in the dream, but not that much that I remember.

I woke up feeling like I’d had a nightmare but not terrified like after a nightmare. It was fairly easy to calm myself back down using my Heartmath breathing technique.

Then, after I’d been awake a while, I was still sort of drifting and I got a vision of my back yard, which has a wall around it with a gate. The gate was gone, leaving just a hole in the wall, and there wasn’t really anything I could do to plug the hole. I had a couple more dream snippets in which I was wandering around inside my house, of similar things. (Aside: I live in a camping trailer in my yard; I cannot go inside my house because it has toxic mold.)

Well, I don’t know if my interpretation is right nor not, but here goes: Something seems to have happened in the OBE part of the dream where my consciousness was changed a little, opened up, by the U-shaped metal device. Since my house is generally the symbol of my state of consciousness (as opposed to my car, which is the symbol of my body) the later snippets seem to support that a path “in” to my consciousness has been opened. It’s not a big path, being the gate through the wall at the back of the property, but it’s there. I also have thought of that gap as a “hole.”

All still in the dark. I don’t know what the dark signifies, other than possibly my lack of ability to see over to the Afterlife.

————
PS: I had a conversation with someone yesterday in which I said that I think my conscious access to the other side is being blocked because if I had good access, I’d go there and not come back, like right away.

Posted by: eaubeauhorn | September 18, 2012

A day in the life, Tu-Th-Sa

Usual wake up at about 3 a.m., take my mid-night magnesium and taurine. Wake up again about 5:45, take the cholestyramine, which must be surrounded by an empty stomach. Get up 6:30 or so. I put a cup of water with a mint tea bag in the microwave; only the last week or so has it been cool enough in the morning to even contemplate something like a hot cup of tea.

I got on the computer and read my email, as usual lost track of time and suddenly it was almost 8 a.m. Yesterday at the grocery I got this wild idea that I sure would like some pancakes, all the gluten free mixes either have potato starch in them or taste horrible, so I thought….I bet almond flour and coconut flour would make a nice tasting pancake and it wouldn’t even need syrup. So I bought both those flours, neither of them cheap. So I made my 20 yard walk to the fridge on the back porch, got out the flours, an egg, and the baking powder. I used a half cup of each flour, a couple tablespoons full of coconut oil, the egg, and enough water to make what seemed like a pancake consistency batter. But when I went to cook it, it didn’t make a pancake; it made mush, like corn meal mush. I am SO not a cook. It also tasted too much like egg. Most of it went in the garbage, as is usual with my cooking inventions. Now I have to figure out what to do with the rest of those very expensive flours.

After that, I had laundry that had to be done. I had a pair of long pants that had been “out and about,” and any article of clothing that has been out and about must be washed. I don’t sit on the bed or the bench wearing clothing that has been out and about. When I get home from whatever I did that day, the clothing comes off, goes into the capsule of the Wonderwash, and I go into the shower for body and hair wash.

So the capsule was pretty full today; I actually turned on the hot water heater for a few minutes so I could do laundry in lukewarm water instead of cold. I fill the capsule halfway with water, put in a quarter cup or so of ammonia, and crank it 60 times, which is about two minutes. Since this is Tuesday, it’s not a black water tank empty day, so the washing water rinse fills didn’t have to alternate with the black water tank rinse fills. One wash and two rinses, accomplished in the shower using the shower head, sitting on the toilet lid, holding the capsule down with my right foot and left hand while I crank with my right hand. It still walks all over the shower but we make do with what we have.

Then, when the clothes are rinsed enough so they don’t smell like ammonia, I take them out one by one and wring them as best I can and stack them on the one square foot of counter top that I have next to the sink. When all are in a pile, I pick up the pile and my three quart saucepan and head back the 20 yards to where the fridge is, which is also where the spinner is. I load the spinner and run it with a few items in succession to get the water out. I usually get about two quarts of water out in the spinner, and the clothes dry a whole lot faster on the line if they have been spun. It’s nice now that the mosquitoes are gone and I don’t have to march in place to keep from having ten bites in the few minutes it takes to spin the clothes. then I hang the clothes on the line, dump the water out of the saucepan I used to catch it, and head back to the trailer.

Rinse and put the pan away and go back the 20 yards to the fridge to gather up what I’ll eat for breakfast. You already heard the story about the pancakes that weren’t. Wash the breakfast pans and dishes in the one-cubic-foot sink with the faucet that splashes all over everything, wipe it all down.

Now it’s late enough that I can put on my out and about clothes and head to the tennis court. On Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday mornings I go watch old farts play tennis. There is nice shade to sit in, sometimes people to talk to, and I enjoy watching tennis even if it is at an amateur level by guys who used to be able to play a lot better when they still had functioning knees. Today they stop at 11, earlier than some days, and I take off to do some shopping.

At the grocery I pick up a few items and then go to a different grocery to pick up a few more items. Today I get the urge to make my own egg salad and tuna salad and make sandwiches; I’ve been buying them at the health food store but they put something hot in the egg salad (bleah) and the tuna has black olives in it (also bleah.) My egg salad and tuna salad are much better. I also buy a loaf of bread even though none of the available brands has ingredients that don’t offend me. I also buy some turkey for sandwiches, and some mayo.

I come home and immediately make and eat a turkey sandwich and eat an apple. Damn that turkey sandwich is good; I hope I don’t pay too bad a price tonight for that.

Wash the dishes and then grab a bottle of water out of the fridge (20 yards away again) and get in the car and go to the mall, because it is already over 100 degrees in the trailer. At the mall I manage to park in the covered parking; it’s actually hotter than not under it but the sun isn’t on the car so long run it’s better. I grab a library book out of the floor of the back seat and take my water bottle and cell phone with me.

Inside the mall, I find one of the usual couches I sit on empty and settle in with my book. Every hour or so I get up and walk around and go to the bathroom. Today, the female guard who told me I couldn’t sleep there (I had my eyes closed) smiles and waves. Large victory! People who work at the mall are getting to recognize me, and instead of being written off as crazy or whatever I seem to be acting normal enough that I’m not a threat. No one has asked why I’m there, but various people talk to me and it’s actually kind of fun sometimes.

At five I go get an order of fries (once again, hope I don’t pay too bad a price for that) and after that my book is done and I take a walk through Macy’s. Someone tries to sell me pots and pans but I have her notice that I don’t have my purse with me and cannot spend any money. Then at 6:15 I head for home and the thermometer inside the car says 100 degrees. It drops to the high 90s as I drive home. It’s hot inside the trailer. I take off my “out and about” clothes and get in the shower. The water is pretty cold to start with but I get used to it.  Most of the summer I have not used the hot water heater. Once body and hair are washed I put on my inside clothes.

I turn on the TV and the computer. I’m not really hungry yet, but in the 20-yards-away fridge I have frozen veggies and salmon I cooked a couple days ago. That will be dinner. I’ll get sleepy by 9 PM and nod off.

Then tomorrow it starts over again, with my MWF schedule.

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

Categories