Tag Archives: dreaming

The Drama of Sleeping

The last time I had a good nights sleep was in the womb.

While I love to sleep, I would not get a Girl Scout badge for being able to get a Good Night’s Sleep.   My sleep is disturbed on a nightly basis.

Many of us encounter sleep hindrances at night.  Like the boogie man of our younger years.  It’s like dangling your feet over the edge of the bed and taunting the monster who lives underneath, “Come and get me.”  Who will it be tonight?

I’m not even going to discuss the ancient old night time sleep suckers of:

  • Over active brain: computing the answer to mathematical coupon codes and grocery balances only Mrs. Brady would be proud to solve.
  • Night sweats: so horrendous you think you just went through Niagara Falls.
  • Wiggly Leg Syndrome: where you too, can pretend to run the marathon.  Any marathon.
  • Snoring: Your partner’s participation in the “1912 Overture” inserting their snoring as the cannons.

We could go on and on. Eating too late, drinking coffee too late, put down the iPhone for crying out loud!  Uncomfortable bed, too many blankets, exercised too late…maybe your counting sheep are on strike. (told you to buy the second cut hay.)

However, I’m finding my sleep is being interrupted by absurdities.  The ironic thing?

I’m not willing to give them up.

Case one:

Take this morning for example.  Literally.  5:15AM.

I woke up to a “gobble gobble gobble.”

“Gobble gobble gobble.”

“Gobble gobble gobble.”

“Gobble.”

“Gobble gobble.”

Sounds lovely doesn’t it?  Right below my window.

Nature’s alarm clock.

Not one.  Not two.  Not three turkeys.

Try 20.

All chatting. Gobbling.  Talking over one another.

Obviously, about how well they slept.

Imagine a gaggle of elderly ladies all shouting about how wonderful their grandchildren are…or better yet a group of people standing in line at Starbucks waiting in line and the machines go down…”Where’s MY COFFEE?!”  “MINE FIRST!”

Case Two:

Next up are the party animals.

At first you don’t notice them.  Just a bit of loud casual conversations. Next, the group gets going into a roar and then it’s a howler and everyone is in on the whooping and yelping.  Good grief I always think.  There’s only a few of you…amazing the noise.

I don’t keep late hours.  So when this gang gets going somewhere between 9:00PM and 3:00AM…they’re killing me.

Seriously, I love my coyotes though.

I have to laugh, if they start early enough and I’m up and doing something in the living room…..often I think… “that’s a really odd emergency alarm.”  Nope.  It’s the coyotes out back.

I post their voices regularly on my FB page through video….it’s something else.

***

Speaking of sleep habits, last week I woke up in a panic and was immediately annoyed with myself.  I realized I had overslept.

I woke up my better half and told him, “Oh my god!  I overslept! I missed my dentist appointment.”

His response was, “When was your appointment?”

I tell him it was at 10:00AM and it’s NOW 10:30AM!  I overslept!  I missed my appointment!

By this time, I was out of the bed.  I’m completely baffled how this could have happened as I set my alarm.  He gets up at a ridiculously early time every day, before the worms and birds are even up.  He would have made sure I was up. HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN?

My better half says, “Your appointment was on Thursday?”

I say “Yes! At 10:00AM!”

He looks at me and then says, “It’s 10:30PM.  It’s NIGHT TIME.  Go back to bed.”

I look at him.

I look at how BRIGHT it is in our bedroom.

I don’t believe him.

All the clocks (three of them) say 10:30.

He tells me again, “It’s 10:30 at NIGHT.”

Doubting him still, I go out to the living room and look out the window.

Well hell.  He’s right. It’s night time.

You see, we recently purchased a Himalayan Salt Lamp for the bedroom as several people have told us how wonderful they are for helping with various issues such as migraine headaches. They’re also, when they don’t have a dimmer switch, VERY BRIGHT.

Damn Himalayan Salt Lamp. Case Three

Last night, again, I woke up in a panic.

I thought our bedroom was on fire.

Nope, just the damn lamp.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Relax – Can’t Do It!

Here’s the thing.  I know it’s Easter and this post should probably, if I were politically correct, to be about Jesus’ rising from the dead.

It’s not.

Rather, it’s about my massage.

A few weeks ago, I set up a make shift standing desk at work, to help eliminate some of my back pain as I can’t sit all day long.  Complete with empty boxes, reams of copier paper and old ship awards….it dawned on me.  I need a massage.

My back had been driving me crazy.  Like a third arm was trying to make it’s way out of the right side of my lower back.  It’s that damn spinal erector set muscle. Of course, if I grew an arm out of my back…literally having an arm behind your back, might be beneficial.  I don’t know of anyone who does, but it’s hard to say.  It would be good for back scratching I suppose.  And washing the back.  And maybe a back rub.  I’d rather have eyes behind my head.

The usual practice for me was to use a gadget from Brookstone called the iNeed pillow.  Four little balls go round and round.  I lean into that thing like a buffalo during a dust storm on the high plains.   Complete with the knot in my back passing over the balls like a buffalo stomping his foot to maintain an upright position.

Thump……thump…….thump……..thump…….thump.

Ahhhhh relief.  Sweet creator of the iNeed, I have relief.  Lord have mercy.

Thump……thump…….thump……..thump…….thump.

The problem doesn’t show up until the next morning when I get out of bed, stretch and think….WHAT THE HELL!  WHY IS MY BACK BRUISED? Ouch.  Ouch.  What did I do?  Then it dawns on me….I over did the iNeed.

But I really NEEDED it and NEEDED it.

Damn.

So I take a couple of weeks off from the iNeed and think to myself, I’ll go for a massage now that I can sanely touch my back without wincing from the over enthusiastic relief received from the iNeed.

One of the guys at work was talking about the massage plan at a local place and it sounded pretty good.  So I made an appointment and signed up for a massage on Saturday – let’s see what they’ve got.

My therapist was…..let’s go with Julie.  We talk about my pain, yatta, yatta and she explains how she has all these certifications and licenses in different areas and her focus is to  “work the connective tissues.”  I am keeping my fingers crossed this isn’t going to be a Rolfing session, which I’ve experienced and the Rolfing series nearly killed me.

She tells me to lay face up as she starts with reflexology first.  THAT sends me over the moon, as I love having my feet rubbed.  This is going to be great I think.  I can’t wait to fall asleep on the table.

I quickly undressed and climb under the covers where the heating pad was already warming up the bed.  She comes back in and we begin.

Rubbing my calve.  Rubbing my shin.  Rubbing my calve.  Rubbing my shin. Digging into my calve, along the shin bone.  Digging in around my ankles.  Focusing on the ankles.  Rubbing the calve.  Digging into the left side of the calve.  Digging into the right side.  This goes on for a good 7 minutes.  I’m mentally sending into the Universe; “Foot please.  Massage the foot.  Foot.  Foot.  Foot.  Foot.”  Suddenly she thumps the bottom of my foot and proceeds to the other leg.

Same routine.

I’m laying there thinking, “when does reflexology mean shins and calves?  It’s feet.”

It didn’t matter cause it still felt really good and I fell asleep for a minute.  I drifted off and started to dream about our cat Monkey.  Imagine my surprise when I jerked awake and for a brief second couldn’t remember where the hell I was.

Dark room with amber colored light and asian music playing.  WTF?

Of course, the other thing I’ve come to realize about going for a massage is, they need to make these rooms bigger.  You’re there to relax, destress, get your connective tissue back in line – and being jostled by the therapist moving the stool around doesn’t work.

You’re in the zen zone and then bump, shake, shake, scuffle, screech.  Don’t worry, just the therapist moving the stool around to work on your head.  Awesome.

The other part of my personality is I’m not a touchy feel person.  Never have been and don’t anticipate I ever will be.  Nothing against anyone.  I’m not a toucher.   Even public transportation is difficult for me due to limited personal space.  It’s just me.

I like wearing an imaginary hula-hoop.  Please stay outside that hoop unless I invite you into the trusted ring of space.  Very few people get an invitation.  Those of you that have, know who you are and don’t press their luck with the personal space thing.  I thank you for that.

Julie begins to work on my neck and shoulders, while I’m still face up.  Deep breath in….and OOOOOOUUUUUUUUUTTTTTT.  Okay.  Then she is breathing with me.  OUUUUT.  Breathing on me.  On my face.  OUUUT.

Oh lord.  This doesn’t work for me.

OOUUTT.

Going to my happy place.  Small fuzzy animals.  Snuggly little critters.  Happy.  Happy. Happy.

OOOUUUUT.

Well, at least she had minty breath.  Could have been worse.

Next it’s time to flip over to my stomach.  Safe zone!  Thank you!

Fine.  Here we go with the back.  Finally.

Then what’s that sound?  Rumble, rumble.  Rattle.  It continues.  It’s metal and something moving around.  Not a laundry machine.  No a cart going down the hallway.

Rumble.  Slide.  Shake.

Sounds like the air duct.  It’s just the air duct vent.  I’m sure of it.  I forget about it for a while.  Then it’s back.

Sounds now like something scraping against metal.  Whirling against metal.  Scampering against metal.

Dear heavens above, so help me if an animal comes shooting out of the air duct like some act on America’s Got Talent where they’re shot out of a cannon.  Now, as Julie massages the connective tissue in my back, with her elbow….all I can imagine is what the hell that noise is that is actually competing with the gentle spa music.

Could be an animal in the duct.

Could be workers upstairs.

Could be Mission Impossible Agent taking photos of Julie cause she’s wanted by the CIA.

Could be the air vent.

Could be someone in the hall doing something with a metal bookcase – like dancing with it.

Could be an animal in the duct.

Could be an artist studio upstairs and they’re working with a buzz saw.

Could be an animal in the duct….pretending to be a Mission Impossible Agent.

.

.

.

.

I don’t ask and I don’t want to know.  Julie doesn’t seem concerned, so neither am I, except I am pretty sure there could be an animal trapped up there in the duct.

FLASH BACK:  Years ago, when I lived in Seattle, I knew a bird managed to fall into our bathroom vent.  You know, the one you turn on when taking a shower, so it makes noise like it’s removing steam…but it doesn’t really?

Nobody believed me.  Finally.  I had to get maintenance to come in and look – as I was certain.  Yep.  There was a bird.  Told you it smelled like chicken

RETURN:

By the end of the massage the Secret Agent Critter in the air duct has gone away and I’m unable to ask about the noise.   Darn it.  However,  I did sign up for the massage plan.   I’ll see her again in two weeks….reflexology here I come….cue the Mission Impossible music.

 

 

 

 

 

Just a Quick Merp.

I love sleep.

It doesn’t always love me.

Which is disappointing, cause I’m pretty sure given the proper coaching, I could become a World Champion Sleeper.  Seriously.  The downside is I’d have to wear earplugs cause I’m a light sleeper.  If the cat farts, I wake up.

Besides sleeping for your health, I love to sleep because my dreams are usually AWESOME.  Yes, I dream in color.  I dream a lot about animals.  Bears are the most frequent animal in my dreams.  All kinds.  My dreams are usually crazy and involve lots of running and searching for things.

I love my dreams.

When I get a cold I can’t wait to go to bed just so I can take NyQuil.  OMG if you think my dreams are good normally…..NyQuil send them to the tenth power.  Amazing.  The colors, the details….phenomenal.  Which makes me think if I would ever try pot…..I can only imagine what my reaction would be…..probably a blubbering mess….which we don’t need to experience.  Thank you.

Last night I was having trouble sleeping as my mind was too busy talking to itself about work and life and Florida and art and the books I’m reading and work and the new Despicable Me movie coming out and work and so on.  After about 30 minutes I got up and took an OTC sleeping pill.  Actually, I take 1/4 of a pill because if I do any more I can’t get up in the morning.  This is literally the generic pill from Costco and it kicks my ass.  If I take 1/2 to a whole one I can’t function at all the next day.  Period.  This must be what bears take to hibernate all winter…..

At some point in the middle of the night I hear my child, Liggy….chattering.  The best way for me to describe Liggy chattering is to say:  Imagine a cat with Tourettes.  Short little bursts of Me.  Yeo.  Me. Ow.  Mur.  Ph.  Ye.  Ye. Wer.  Me.

A visual of the Liggy.  She’s is a dog trapped in a cat’s body.  She weighs 18 pounds and has an enormous body and a tiny little head.  Her tail is a giant feather boa of a thing.  She thinks she’s a Marilyn Monroe the way she whips that thing around sometimes.

So she’s chattering at the “whip it stick.”  Which is one of those cat toys that has the long stick with a feather on a string at the end.  Apparently, she and the stick have a love / hate relationship that can only be discussed in the middle of the night.

The routine always goes:

Eventually she chatters enough at the stick that she wakes me up.

I listen to her conversation to verify it’s a Whip It chat and nothing more.

I call out to her and tell her it’s okay, come to bed.

She gives the stick one last, MURP.

Then she comes running into the bedroom and jumps on the bed.

Sometimes she gets under the covers and sometimes not.  (Guess it depends on her conversation with the stick.)

So the other night she was howling at the stick.  Really giving it the what for.  Damn that stick.  The nerve!  Apparently, as I saw in the morning, she was trying to get it into the bedroom and it got caught up and therefore couldn’t be dragged into the dark cave with the rest of us.  Liggy read that stick the riot act.  Up one side and down the other.    Good job, you tell that stick.

Good grief.

Damn stick.

So going back to last night……

I have my 1/4 of a OTC sleeping pill and am off to happy dream land.

Mew.

Mrp.  Ye.  Yew.  Me.  Ow.  Meow.  Merp.

I wake up and realize it’s the whip it stick again.  I tell Liggy that it’s okay to come to bed. I try the tsk-tsk-tsk sound.  Nothing.  I reassure her it’s okay to come to bed.  Nothing.  Just a few little Merp Merps.

Then all hell breaks loose.

I can hear her pitching a full on fit about something.  Really telling something off.  Then I hear her running.  The whole time she’s yelling at something.

At this point I know one of three things have happened, I leap up out of bed and start calling her:

“Liggy, come here.  It’s okay.  What’s wrong?  You’re okay.  Come here.”

I can hear her running at me while Merping and Yewling.

Something is wrong and I’m thinking great…..either……she’s chasing a roach, which the thought leaves me lightheaded, she’s being chased by a lizard, which makes me throw up a little or she’s got something stuck to her butt.

Since she’s a big girl with long hair, it happens.  Sometimes the hiney-monster comes and visits.  Once a year tends to be the visit cycle.  The first time it happened I nearly peed myself laughing so hard.  She had swallowed some string and when she went to poop a clump got stuck and all the string didn’t come out so she tore through the house with this piece of poop attached to the string, flying from side to side hitting her.  OMG.  It was hysterical for the humans.  Liggy, however, ended up in therapy for the next two years.

Poor thing.

So you can imagine my anxiety when she’s carrying on about something, running at me and I’m trying to get to the light.

Finally I throw the bedroom light on and she’s standing at the foot of the bed looking at me.

Blink.  Blink.  Merp.  Blink.  Erp.

I ask her what the hell is going on.  I pat her down like she’s a felon and she’s fine.  I don’t see anything chasing her or being chased (thank you God) and then I turn my head to the bedroom door.

Seriously Liggy?

She was so proud of herself.

I looked at her, shook my head, turned off the light and climbed back into bed.

Liggy, enough, it’s bed time.  You did a good job, time for bed.

What was all the commotion about?   She was over the moon delighted with herself because she finally managed to get the damn whip it stick into the bedroom.

OMG Liggy it’s 1:20AM.  Step away from the whip it stick.

Sleepless in the Serengeti

I love to sleep.
Curled up under soft, fluffy blankets.
Toasty warm and drifting off into a blissful wonderland of dreams.
There’s one problem – I’m not very good at it.
I’m like a cat with a sleep disorder.

Sure, I may be tired when I get into bed but as soon as my head hits the pillow, my brain lights up like Times Square. Thoughts pop into my head on jumbo-trons. I’ve got stupid stuff running through my brain like the NYSE ticker and it’s 99% pointless gibberish.

“Don’t forget to call the office to check messages….maybe I should do that now…..I have to look up that eggnog french toast recipe….I could do that now…..Should we have mimosas on Christmas morning? I like mimosas. That would be good. Do we have champagne? We’ll have to get champagne. Well I need wrapping paper. Maybe I should get that at Costco…..and I could get the champagne too. Did I shut the garage door? I should go look. I’m sure I shut it. Damn, is he sleeping already? How does he do that? Annoying. What gifts do I have left to get for Christmas? My iTouch is right here, let me just see if I can Google that eggnog french toast recipe. I need to send out the holiday cards. Well, I really need to organize my files. Should I use the computer labels or the Brother labels for the manila files? The Brother labels would be easier but the computer ones are nicer. I need to get another banker box. I could stop at the office supply store on the way to Costco. I don’t think I need to get the wrapping paper at Costco, that’ll be enough for three years. Wonder where the cats are at? I could be a cat. If I could sleep. Maybe in my next life I could be a cat. A well taken care of cat. With a fluffy coat. And diamond collar. And weekly manicures. In a house with lots of sunshine. Is he snoring? Seriously. Shut it. You’re already sleeping – now you’re just rubbing it in. Oh, here’s the cats. One cat, two cat. Yeah, everyone is in bed. Tater, giant dog we’re watching for friends, is on the floor. This is nice. I could read my book. Glad I bought the Nook – I can read in the dark. But reading would defeat the sleeping agenda. I don’t want to miss the sleep window. Maybe I could try deep breathing. (after 6 breaths) This is stupid. That lady at the grocery looked stupid in that outfit today. Should’ve snapped a photo. Mental note: put phone in pocket for quicker access. Why do people think pajama pants are acceptable outside wear? In winter? With a fake fur coat? And rain boots? With ducks on them? Ahhh, the small cat is happily purring away….she’s so sweet. I love her. I love her purr. She’s so snugly soft. She’s sleeping. She’s so cute. What the hell was that? Sounded like a lion. We don’t have lions in Alaska. Oh, the dog. He’s snoring. I swear I felt the bed rumble. Maybe that was my better half farting. If I didn’t know the dog was in the bedroom I’d swear there was another man in here. Oh big cat is sleeping now. That’s nice. She must be dreaming. Sounds like a duck quaking. Or maybe a small dog toy that squeaks when you press it. That’s what she sounds like. I should write that down. The squeaker. Seriously, better half, could you hold down the snoring? Damn. Yes, I know you’re sleeping. As soon as your head hits the pillow you’re sleeping. What’s that like? Stop. Snoring. Now. Shut It. Quiet. Shhhhh! You’re very loud. Seriously. Shut up! Where are my ear plugs?”

Before putting in my ear plugs I listen to the sounds of the bedroom:
One small cat purring contentedly.
One large cat dreaming of being a duck in another lifetime.
One homo sapien snoring like elephant with a sinus issue.
One giant dog who sounds suspiciously like a lion.
One sleepless chick whose brain activity sounds like a freight train.

Blink. Blink. Blink.
Sleepless in the Serengeti.