The pursuit of…


Picture above is a typical day’s drive to work.

It’s been a while since I last entry.  I thought this blog would be my regular vent.  The only outlet for me to vent (unconditionally and without judgment) is at my sister’s house.

Lots of events since the last entry-

I got Bell’s Palsy. Again. And then again. I got it in my left side, so there was a time where I had Bell’s Palsy affecting both sides of my face!  That was in July 2012, right after I started a new Librarian job.  What a nightmare!  Then about 2 weeks ago, I noticed my face on the right side (BP) was worse than before.  It turns out, that I got BP a third time!! SERIOUSLY! I’m determined that I will not get another round of this affliction.  My sheer will determine this plan.  I’m quite vain so the unevenness in my face is disconcerting and sometimes I’m able to forget about my face.  I have not seen any of my friends since my first round of BP in March 2012.  It’s a hindrance but don’t know why because my friends aren’t shallow and wouldn’t care that half of my face is paralyzed or that I dribble in front of them.  It comes back to me and my vanity.  Moving on to other things…

In other news, I barely got started with my new Librarian job (2 months in).  I don’t know much of the processes and protocol but I’m doing my best not to step (crunch) on people’s toes.  I do get frustrated sometimes and my impatience rears its ugliness.  I so want to do process improvement for any process that I find myself working with or in (which basically means every process I know now).  There is so much red tape, checks and balances on nearly everything (not necessary) but I guess overkill is better than having no process.  I have no ILS nor a catalog (card or electronic).  This makes for a very difficult way to do business.  How do I count library customers without a gate count?  How do I account for books without an ILS? How do I organize the collection without knowing what’s in the collection?  Wow.. I knew it was going to be a challenge but sometimes it’s only my sheer will (or pig-headedness) keeps me going to the end of the day. 

Two months after I started, I have a new desk (yay!), new computer and I had to clean out what had been accumulated over the past 10 years in the Library Office.  Internet at work (and public library computers) is HEAVILY filtered (code for no social network sites, no blogs, no streaming video).  The extreme filtering makes my job very difficult to do (answering reference questions or even asking colleagues – how do you guys do this?) I still have more cleaning (throwing away) stuff that doesn’t need to be collected or stored.  The Library Office was one giant storage room, not an office.  I was pretty harsh when it came to throwing things out.  If we haven’t used it in the past year, it needs to be recycled or disposed of (surplus or garbage).  It was necessary. 

Work is just work. I have an hour of commute each morning and another hour in the evening. It’s not very different from commuting to the University Library job.  There’s only a difference of about 15 minutes. Seriously!  It would take me about 43 minutes to get from home and into the UofA Library.  Now it takes me 57 minutes to get from home to work about 60 miles west of Tucson (Sells, AZ).  I’ve often advised others, if you’re not happy or passionate about what you do (or with your job), then it’s up to you to make a change to achieve the passion or happiness.  Currently, I don’t feel happy or passionate so I think my career journey will continue.

The hour commute allows for a lot of time for reflection but mostly, I listen to NPR.  I am very well informed of current events.  I usually watch the local news and Robin Meade in the morning before I leave for work (listen to the TV while I’m getting ready for work).  I cross the Border Check twice per day (yes, I still live and work in the U.S.).  I get asked once a day while I go through the Border Check, “Are you a U.S. Citizen?”  There are many issues/problems/concerns regarding illegal aliens (that sounds weird), people crossing the border illegally then crossing through the Reservation, in the news all the time.  I have to admit that I’ve only seen 1 person who fits that description once while driving back and forth between work and home. 

The commute stretch is fairly decent.  I drive through Desert Landscape (cacti, ocotillo, mesquite and palo verde trees) mostly and drive by a major mountain in Southern Arizona.  Moths and butterflies are quite abundant this fall, making the windshield and front grill striped.  I also see quite a few snakes (driven over by vehicles).  One morning, I saw a crow bent over something on the opposite side of the 2 lane roadway.  As I drove closer to the crow, I saw that it had been snacking on a dead snake (probably got run down by a vehicle).  As I passed the crow, it attempted to fly off with the snake but it was too heavy (it looked like a diamond back snake), so the snake was dropped back on the side of the road.  The dead snake in the road is a fairly frequent scene on the road. 

The weather this year was quite rainy so I got to experience a GREEN desert, teaming with various blooms and vegetation.  It made me feel good to see the rain on fairly frequent basis.  It soothes the soul to see the Earth not be so parched but green and teaming with life.

And Finally

I spend time with my kids (nieces and nephews) everyday.  I’m so thankful for that.  Sometimes we drive each other crazy but I’m accessible and I can help make a difference .  The parents can call on me for reinforcement or when they need to bring out the big guns.  On that note, I need to head out so I leave off here. 

I hope you all find your happiness on this day.  If it doesn’t come to you, you should seek it.  Be well, my friends and family.  I’ll see you soon.  God willing.

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Clueless, among other things

Yesterday when I got out of work and walked out of the Library, it smelled like wet cactus/creosote/greasewood and maybe some wet dirt.  It was a heavenly scent.  You know that Desert Perfume, after it rains?  It revitalizes and energizes you.  It gives you hope and promise of something that will complete your mind and soul.  Although it didn’t rain (or it did rain but it was too hot so the rain just evaporated back into the atmosphere), there was enough humidity in the air to produce that Wet Desert Scent.

Other week-end updates-

I turned on the TV yesterday and there was a Judy Garland movie on.  I have never watched a Judy Garland movie in its entirety.  I’ve seen bits and pieces of The Wizard of Oz.  I know people get crazy over Judy Garland.  There’s one library customer who is a HUGE Judy Garland fan. Of course, she’s a huge Mandy Patinkin and Patti Lupone fan also (really, anything to do with the Theatre).  I never understood the big deal about Judy Garland.  I decided I would keep watching the Judy Garland movie while I’m getting ready for work, to see if I can understand what the big deal is about Judy, nee Frances Ethel Gumm.  She sang a couple of songs.  It just didn’t have any effect on me. I thought it had some nice singing and average acting.

I thought about it on the way to work- maybe I’m missing something else about Judy.  I decided that I would read some basic information on her (I was also completely bored since I only had one reference question during the entire four hours I was at work). I knew NOTHING about Judy and decided to read all about her, including the Wikipedia entry on how she’s a gay icon.  I had heard that reference (in CLUELESS) when Donald Faison’s Murray rattles off the gay references, including “Friend of Dorothy.”  In the end, I had to conclude that I just didn’t “get” it but it was okay because I didn’t need to get it.  I learned something – or mostly about Judy Garland that I didn’t know before.

Other observations-

I work 6 hours per day (minimum) at the Reference Desk.  There’s a copy machine located just to the left of the Reference Desk.  Said Copy machine also accepts dollar bills, for those customers who prefer to pay with cash. The curious thing about this machine- how many people who walk past the machine and check the coin return slot for any change left behind.  The community users’ computer area is behind the Reference Desk so many community users walk past that copy machine.  I think I will take some observational data of how many and who checks for any coins left behind on this machine.  Why?  Because I’m completely bored!  I’ll need some help on developing some hypotheses and what I’m trying to prove (because I’m just messing around right now).  It’s good practice to keep honing my assessment skills.

I’ve been having too much fun on Pinterest, pinning and posting.  I love to fit things into categories and organize.  It’s probably appealing to my librarian nature.  Have you given it a go?  Of course, you might be busier than I am.  Have a wonderful and productive week, my friends and family.

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Letting it go

I spent much of the week-end with my sister and her family. My younger sister is becoming self-aware of her life and working through the process of becoming a thinking individual.  Just because you become a parent doesn’t mean you instantly evolve into a mature thinking person.  There are plenty of people who don’t experience this evolution until later in life, and some who just don’t experience this at all.  She’s working through the ‘negativity’ issues now.  What does that look like?  Just pause every time you think a negative thought or express negativity (criticism or just in general), then turn that negative thought into a positive expression.  So my sis was pausing several times a day, to turn that negativity into a positive thought.  I thought I would join her in her efforts (unspoken).

As for me, several years ago, I was fortunate I had someone who loved me very much, to tell me that my negativity was toxic and it made him not want to be around me because of that.  Yeah, of course, it’s crushing to hear this but I was also completely oblivious to the fact that much of what came out of my mouth (and mind) was negative.  Examples: thinking about people, comparing myself to other people (self-esteem issues and just a waste of time/energy) or just when talking to friends and family.

I was with my sister and her family for most of the week-end so it was easier, during the first few days of trying this, to support each other.  We caught each fairly often (negativity look out) and I really started to feel better by end of the 2nd day.  Even though my life still isn’t where I want it to be – still don’t have a librarian job, decent pay (enough to pay bills & have a little left over), better health (no BP signs), etc., I was and felt happier.  The rain and fantastic weather (on Saturday afternoon/evening) probably had something to do with it.  I was in such despair and felt completely helpless for the past few weeks.  My employment/financial/health situations haven’t changed any.  I just needed to let the negativity go.  It was so easy to think that all the negative responses and non-responses are about me.  Much of my self-esteem and self-worth was tied to my job performance and ability.

I needed to re-affirm and remind myself: I do make a difference to my loved ones (family and friends).  If I don’t hear from you, you don’t respond to my emails or text messages or other communication attempts, then I have to be okay with that.  Your non-response doesn’t mean that I failed as a family member or friend.  I’m letting it go and you can respond when or if you want.  And if you can’t be in my life or you feel you can no longer be in my life, it’s okay.  I will be okay and you will be okay.  Really.

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Mornings in a Navajo household

A (cornerstone) canon of the Navajo Way of Life is to rise early everyday (before the Sun comes up).  The Sun is a person, capable of emotions, etc. And can be jealous of us humans.  The Sun must not catch you sleeping – do not let the sunlight touch you while you’re sleeping.  This has been drilled into my head.

The Egyptians (well, Akenaten, aka the weird Pharaoh) had a clue.  The sun rays depict hands while he makes an offering in this image (Yes, that diaphanous feminine figure is Akenaten aka Tutankhamun‘s father):

Now as someone who doesn’t need much sleep (about 6 hours average per night), I’m usually up by 6am and go to bed by Midnight.  It’s a little difficult for me to make sure I’m up before sunrise during the summer.  As a nudge (or it could be that my Mum’s passive-aggressive nature), Mum started her day quite early by weaving her Navajo Sash Belt this morning.  I learned how to weave a sash belt as a kid.  You have to be quite forceful in pushing down each strand (see video below, starting at 3:30).

I guess I wanted to sleep more and I just incorporated the weaving sounds into my dreams.  I don’t remember the dream content now but the alarm (phone) finally got me up this morning.

Back to this particular Navajo Principle.  Getting up early is still a valuable habit.  It teaches you discipline, to get up, even if you’re still sleepy.  You can overcome any (most) adversity if you have discipline.  Mind over matter.  That’s what I’m teaching my kids.  Of course I still teach that the Sun is a person, to be revered, respected which you can also talk to (just like a person).

So the lesson-  Even though I wanted more sleep this morning, I got up when the alarm went off.  I hardly ever nap during the day.  I conditioned myself to not need/require so much sleep.  My body knows when I need more sleep and I will usually go to sleep around 10:30p or 11:00p, if that’s the case.  Discipline, religion and my beliefs have carried me this far in life.  I fall down quite a bit (often literally), but I know I will triumph in the end.  May the new day bless all of you , my friends, in knowing that my friends and family will be included in my morning prayers.

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Life and what not…

Very few people surprise me anymore.  It’s probably because I’m old and hardly anything surprises me anymore (‘cept for the occasional “BOO!” from a crazy brother in a darkened kitchen when I’m walking down the hall – but that’s a different story).

I was very pleasantly surprised the other day by a male colleague.  He noticed that I have an “idiosyncrasy” of placing my Windows Taskbar/Menu bar on top, instead of on the bottom of the monitor where most people (I don’t have any stats to insert here) have their taskbar.  I’m not really sure where I picked this up.  It makes more sense to have your eye drift to the top instead of the bottom of the monitor for a taskbar.  We do read from top to bottom.  And we continued our conversation about our preferences when we’re working on the reference desk.  Then he admitted that he needed reading glasses but refused to get some, and will adjust the screen monitor resolution instead of getting reading glasses.  I was just curious and continued to press him, and he concluded instantly that it’s vanity that stops him from getting reading glasses.  And he cracks a comment, “I’m too young to get reading glasses!”

Earlier this year, when my health was deteriorating fast, I noticed my vision was quite blurry.  And I was also certain that I needed bi-focal glasses.  Today, my vision is fine and I can see quite well.  Thank God for the little things.

So what is the surprise?  I was surprised that someone was willing to just tell me straight out – yeah, it’s because I’m vain!  I loved the honesty, especially when we don’t know each other well.

In other news, there have been a rash of events (“once in a lifetime event”) happening lately:

  • The Queen’s Jubilee
  • Venus crossing in front of the Sun
  • Solar Eclipse (not so much in the same category but it’s celestial event)

What does it mean to this Navajo?

Queen’s Jubilee- I watched it on the Morning News, delivered by Robin Meade.  Meh, nothing for the Queen and nothing against her, so it was part of the News.  I can’t say that I’ll be sharing the “Event” with my kids or talking about it in the future.

Venus crossing in front the Sun- Navajos not equipped with filtered special glasses would have never known about this event.  Mum talked about it but in the end, decided with my brother that it’s not significant event (like a solar eclipse, which translates to the “Sun dying” in Navajo).  So we just went about our business, just like a regular day.

Solar Eclipse- Now this one was a big deal. I had to observe all the rules (I posted an article on fb about the implications on that day). This is the only major celestial event that I probably will remember or share with the kids because there are many lessons attached to this event.  What 2012 events will you be sharing with your kids or loved ones?

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Spring is in the air (for the next 4 days only)

As I was driving home the other day, I noticed the rich yellow blossoms and pollen of the Palo Verde trees.  Kinney Road is lined with these trees.  It was breezy enough to create an effect of snowing yellow blossoms and pollen.  I could appreciate this effect from the coolness and comfort of my air-conditioned car (temperature was in the mid-90s).  Then I started to notice the blossoms of the Ocotillo, as well as how thick they were with leaves.  The Prickly Pears in my front yard are continuing to bloom.  I finally stopped long enough to appreciate the smell and sight of Spring.  There’s a specific scent of intense heat and I could smell in the air yesterday as I got out of the car.  It’s supposed to hit 100 degrees on Sunday – Mother’s Day.  Once it hits 100, Spring is officially over.  In actuality, I don’t think there’s much of a difference between mid-90s and 100 degrees.  I start to notice a difference when it’s closer to 110 degrees.

True Desert people have a connection with rain – how it smells and feels, how close or far away that moisture is.  My sister took me to the Eye Doc in Sells last week.  There was  road construction on Hwy 86 near the new site for TOCCADOT was putting down some hay and wetting it down on the shoulder.  I couldn’t really smell anything but my sister took a deep inhale and sighed, “Mmmmm, wet dirt.” It smelled like rain.  It’s not quite Arrakis but when it rains, it changes everything, and most of all, it changes people.  They’re happier, excited and anticipate a happy event.

Last week, I was walking across the street to the Library and the Street Cleaner truck was making its rounds through campus.  I stepped off the curb and the scent of wet dirt and asphalt hit me.  Instantly, I was taken back to when I first arrived on this campus, at 16 years old.  That combination smell of wet dirt, asphalt and hint of grass will forever be associated with promise, hope and my youth.  Rain is forecasted for tomorrow.

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TV viewing habits of Navajo Women

It’s been interesting to see which TV shows my Mum and Auntie watch.  Sadly, they got sucked into watching the Kardashians, though probably to watch it with disdain for the Kardashian Clan.  To understand why I’m noticing my Mum and her sister’s viewing habits, I need to explain that the two sisters were raised traditional Navajo women and raised us with those traditional values.  They’re traditional Navajo women but realize they often need to adjust to the rapidly changing world.  When warranted, I have to tell my mother that her views are wrong and that she should probably rethink her views.  I usually have to preface that by saying, “I don’t know a lot [which is true] but I think…”  Although there’s only one generation difference between the two sisters and their kids, they are worlds apart.  There are many cultural challenges in bridging the two generations.

I love to watch most shows on the Food Network.  Then I usually check out what’s showing on FX, then check out the News on CNN or HLN.  I love the Science Channel and I usually end up there.   Before I moved away to Kansas, I didn’t see my Mum watching any TV.  When I returned, I saw that she was watching more TV than I remembered.  I was a little surprised because my Mum has always expressed that TV and Movies were a big waste of time and for us to find something more constructive to do with our time.  “Watching TV show or movies will give you nothing, won’t get stuff done for you.”  So here’s what I think is happening: My Auntie is watching TV with my brother (or being influenced by my brother’s TV watching habits).  Then my Auntie is influencing my Mum, by watching more TV and specific shows.  The two sisters watch TV together often (by together I mean, my Mum in one room and my Auntie in another room but they’re watching the same show).   Sometimes life lesson examples given by these two sisters to their kids, are from the Kardashians (usually it’s something like, “don’t be a ___ Kardashian”).

The other show they love to watch is Sex and The City. Seriously!  They know when the show comes on, and they’ve watched both movies.  I think they’re fascinated and repelled at the same time, by female characters who can be both strong individuals and are sexual beings.  Navajo women never talk about sex.  If necessary, if they must talk about sex, it’s a very general subject so I’m guessing that it’s fascinating for the two sisters to see that women do talk about sex, other than in general terms.  The tradition of not talking about sex, is a tradition that my generation continues.  I don’t talk about sex with my sisters.  I’ll talk about sex with my friends but not with my sisters (two of which I consider my best friends).  I often wonder what my Mum and her sister are thinking when they’re watching these shows.  The two sisters are the epitome of Judgy McJudge.  My sisters and I sometimes catch each other, consciously tell each other or ourselves, to stop being so judgy.  It has been tough to unlearn this behavior.

I love to watch Sex and The City also so we can watch this show together.  However, I refuse to watch the Kardashians.  Another show we love to watch is Frasier, which we usually watch with my brother JR (his fav show).

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Ick and more ick.

I’m working the Reference Desk today. Not many reference questions, mostly people asking to reserve study rooms.  I’m an overpaid admin assistant. Oh well.  I have 2 annoyances this afternoon. My eye and boys who walk up to the Reference Desk and cannot refrain from touching themselves while I’m trying to help them.

A week ago, I scratched my eye, while trying to put in eye drops (my BP affected side eye was too dry).  Then over the course of the week, some germs got into my scratched eye.  So by Friday, I was completely miserable.  My sister Wy had to drive me to Sells (emergency room – which btw, is not really an emergency room).  Apparently, all IHS staff have a weekly staff meeting on Friday mornings (seriously – for 4 hours!???).   Clearly they could benefit from some process improvement or facilitation skills if they need 4 hours per week for staff meeting!

My eye was so sensitive to light that I experienced stabbing pain in my eye.  I felt like I was going to pass out or throw up, sometimes both.  I had to wear my sunglasses and put my hoodie over my face.  My sister had to lead me around while walking outside.  It was ridiculous. ER Doc referred me to the Ophthalmologist since he clearly didn’t have any clue on how to treat me.  Eye Doc numbed & diliated my eye. Ohhhh that felt good – the 1st time in a week that my eye felt okay (because it was NUMB!).  My sis wasn’t very impressed with the Eye Doc.  She said he was Judgy McJudge.  He only asked me the usual questions about diabetes, drugs, alcohol, abuse, etc.   It was evident that I was completely desensitized by these questions because it offended my sister.

Evidently, I scratched my cornea so now that exposed part was infected.  I was given 3 different eye meds: 1 for infection, 1 for pain and 1 for infection (overnight).  They all hurt like a bitch (except the overnight bc it’s an ointment cream).  Bottom line is I have blurry vision because the scratched eye is my good eye.  I’m legally blind in my left eye so I only have 1 good eye (which is now blurry).  That should explain why the monitor resolution is set to 800X600.  It just feels like something is stuck in my eye – except I can’t get the debris out.  It’s very frustrating and I feel like I’m constantly being tested – like how much more can I handle.  It just drains you when having to deal with eye issues.

The other annoyance – boys coming up to the desk.  There is one guy in particular who came up to the desk last week, asking to reserve a room.  He was standing a step behind next to another person I was helping at the desk.  He started to scratch himself, quite rigorously!  I had to stop talking to just stared at him, like – Seriously???! You’re going to stand there ignoring my blatant stare down while your hand is down the front of your shorts, and scratching!???  He left and came back a little later.  I helped him reserve a room, and had to ask for his student ID.  He took it out and put it on the counter.  I glanced at his ID without touching it.  Eww!

Then he came to the desk again today, with another person from his group.  And this other person from his group, did the same thing (but didn’t reach into his shorts – thankfully).  Then he proceeded to pull up his shirt and scratch his chest!!!  I’m curious as to what other information/service providers do or say when their customers exhibit this type of behavior.

In other news, it’s my favorite time of the year – spring.  It feels like I haven’t been able to enjoy it.  I’ve been experiencing health issues and it keeps jumping from one issue to the next.  I hope you’re doing better than I have been doing.  There is a bright spot from this week.  I applied and was interviewed for a Library Director position at Central Arizona College in Coolidge (about 54 minute drive from Tucson).  My former team leader called me to let me know that she received a call from the selection committee, doing a reference check on me.  Apparently I’m on a very short list for this position.  I’m cautiously excited!!!  A Librarian job! Yay!

I hope I won’t be full of woes the next time I blog.  I wish you good health and happiness my friends.

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The road to recovery

So much has happened since my last entry a month ago.  One Sunday, on 03/18/12, a year after my Grandma left us, I came home for dinner. Nothing special. Just dinner with my family after 4 hours of reference desk hours.  I wasn’t able to taste and I attributed it to the fact that I had an unbearable toothache for a few days. Last year, I lost my taste buds and sense of smell, during the same time period so I didn’t think it was anything alarming. I also had a terrible pain behind my ear and I kept adjusting the temple of glasses. My right eye had been twitching sporadically for a couple of days.  My tongue was swollen, making it difficult to talk.

Next day, I spent the day with the same symptoms, increasing at the end of the day. Tuesday morning, I tried to get an appointment with the Dentist but there weren’t any open spots for the day. I got to work, and started my day. I got settled in at the reference desk. I started to explore some of the symptoms I was experiencing, hoping that I didn’t have any real problems with my teeth. Turns out I should have been hoping for no real problems, period. Upon closing my eyes, one eye was slower to close than the other, I pretty much self-diagnosed that I have Bell’s Palsy. Two sisters, brother, mother, 2 aunts, sister-in-law and brother-in-law all had Bell’s Palsy so I was aware of what happens.

I left work, and went to Sells Indian Hospital (an hour’s drive west of Tucson) on the Tohono O’odham Nation. One last guarantee my ancestors got before they basically gave up everything else, was free healthcare (I use the term loosely) for their people. What does that mean? I have access to healthcare, free of charge, as a registered member of a federally recognized tribe in the U.S. Who provides that healthcare? It’s under the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Public Health Services, Indian Health Service. Nothing is ever free. I signed away my rights so all my vital statistics were entered into a database, helping to shape a story about Native Americans in 2012. [End of lesson]

I filled out basic forms since I had never been seen at this hospital. For 18 years, I’ve had insurance, affording me the best healthcare money can buy- numerous specialists, ER visits, etc. Then I find myself being triaged by someone completely desensitized by asking the same questions, taking the same vital stats from sick people, asking questions about what’s ailing them. Lucky for me (and him), I already knew what was wrong with me, even knew which drugs needed to be prescribed to me. It was such a foreign world: industrial size glucometer, extra wide (and probably reinforced) chairs, industrial weigh scale and a tinge of metallic whiff (of blood). It was straight out of a Sherman Alexie novel. I had to fight down the hysterical laughter.

I was referred to the Urgent Care Division and I was called promptly into the doctor’s office.  I was further evaluated by a nurse who took my blood pressure. I took off my jacket to reveal 2 burn marks on my right arm. I had burned my arm (twice) on my sister’s stupid pan, baking some pigs-in-a-blanket because the oven pan had high handles, the week-end before. So now I was thoroughly interrogated on how I got these injuries to my arms. Then I had to go through another round of questions, if there was domestic violence within my household. (sigh) Finally, about 1.5 hours after I got to the hospital, I was seen by a doctor. She was very personable, and was able to ascertain that I had medium intelligence (I knew the symptoms, self-diagnosed myself, knew which drugs I needed). I waited for my prescriptions and came home. The steroids did a number on my stomach. The paralysis of the right side of my face continued to worsen over the course of the next few days. I could barely eat/drink without dribbling. I had to tape my eye shut overnight because it would dry out or I could damage it overnight.

I realize I’m quite shallow but perhaps didn’t realize how vain I was. Or I am. I became depressed as the paralysis progressed to my mouth. My eye wasn’t so evident but when the right side of my mouth was paralyzed, it really affected me. I didn’t want to talk to people – and their trivialities. Yes, I knew the paralysis was temporary (pray, hope, and pray some more). I had a few days to get used to my paralyzed face before I went back to work. I figured the sooner I got back to doing normal daily routine, my recovery would be quicker. As usual, I should know by now, I’m not normal. It was very distressing having to answer/assist people with their reference needs when half of my face won’t work, making conversation difficult. After the 7 days of steroids were done, my face began twitching and the pain. The pain came back with a vengeance – in the jaw, teeth, behind the ear, all radiating to the back of the head.

Last week-end, I went with my Mum and my Auntie to go get a ceremony. My attitude and outlook was getting bleak and worse.  The result was that I was becoming a bigger ass/jerk/jackass than usual. So we took a trip to the Rez for a ceremony. Drove 8 hours, arrived in the middle night to a cold house (this is a usual routine when you travel home). As I was drifting off to sleep, looking through the window at a million stars in the Milky Way, I remembered childhood dreams of what I wanted to do, the places I wanted to see, people I wanted to meet and who I wanted to be. I drifted to sleep, in pain, for a few hours.

We woke up a few hours later to leave for the Medicine Man’s house. The ceremony was something I had never seen before, including the song and prayers (it could have been in Chinese for I couldn’t understand the songs and prayers), and I’m fluent in Navajo. Navajo language for prayers and songs has its own dialect. I felt better for a few days but eventually the pain became unbearable again. In the middle of this past week, I went back to Sells where I was given more drugs (more steroids, vicodin and other drugs). The pain became more manageable after I started the 2nd round of steroids.

Today, I feel twinges of pain but definitely it’s better than the past 2 weeks. It will be 3 weeks tomorrow since the craziness started. There is minimal progress to my paralyzed side of my face, my lower lip, closing my eye, barely lifting my eyebrow. I feel more optimistic that I really am recovering now. I just need patience. I can’t imagine how I would have managed if I were still in Kansas, and this had happened while I was there. I go back to work on Monday, in better frame of mind. I hope good health and thoughts find you on this day, my friends.

Thank you to my sisters Aimee and Wy, for taking care of me on the days I needed the most care. So appreciative of my family and their patience.

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There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home…

My days are brimming – usually of nieces’ and nephews’ stories.  I get such a kick out of these kids.  I’m watching them grow up, right in front of me.  It’s pretty awesome.  My 9 year old nephew Kyle is reading THE HUNGER GAMES, after I suggested him to read the book.  I take him and Willis Jr. to school in the mornings.  It’s usually a very animated start to my day.  We discuss the book, ideas and philosophy while driving to school.  This 9 year old is incredibly smart.  He needs to read more and as a Librarian, I need to do my part to encourage him to become a bibliophile. heh.  This morning, I gave a quick 15 min session on who/what on the following: Jesus, lent, Mardi Gras, Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and Easter.

And it’s so awesome to be here for the unplanned moments.  All my siblings were in town this week-end.  We took group photos of all the grandkids with the Grandma. Visited with all my brothers and sisters.  I cooked for them and we basically celebrated just being together.  I don’t get to see my niece Nicole as often as I would like, but she’s very busy with a heavy school load.  The other day, I heard my brother sing a random song (ceremony song) and it just lift my spirits that I was able to hear that.  I got a little bit choked up because I guess I was really missing that.  It’s comforting to see, hear and smell the daily offerings for (morning) prayers.

The other part of my life- a job.  That search continues but it’s not going well.  It’s taking longer than I thought it would so I think I need to be more patient (not my strong suit).  It felt so strange to be working at the Reference Desk, at first.  I wasn’t as confident answering reference questions but I got into the groove.  The only drawback is the long grueling hours – continuous hours at the reference desk.  After the 3rd hour, I’m a little bit numb.  It’s non-stop questions (for now) so the hours fly by so quickly.  Everyone on the team is so busy so it’s hard to ask for a break when we’re getting slammed at the desk.  I really need a regular librarian job.  And soon.  I’ve applied to a Library Director position at a local junior college so we’ll see what happens.

Most of my family members are heading up to rez for a ceremony this week-end.  I have to work on Sunday so I’ll be staying behind with my 2 sisters.  We’ll have a good time.   I have to start on the Reference Desk at 9am so I’ll post this and get my day started.  I hope you are all doing well, my friends.  Much love and happiness to each one of you.

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