Sunday

Home Made All Purpose Household Cleaner

Homemade All Purpose Household Cleaner:
1 Cup distiller water
1 tbls castille soap. I use Dr. Bronners Liquid. Flavored or clear.
10+ drops protective blend essential oilMix in spray bottle and clean away! If using larger spray bottle, adjust recipe accordingly.
Let me know how you like it!


Saturday

Sleep, Walk MS, Community, Healthy Eating

Sleep. An amazing gift we so often reject. But alas. This week has been heaven. Probably for a variety of reasons.
1. I am physically tired. Been pushing myself ever so gently with more regular and longer strolls. Keeping up with community commitments. Here I am at local La Canada Flintridge Tournament of Roses friend raising happy hour event, hanging with local politician, Anthony Portantino.
2. Started a new journal to keep track of my MS Reboot Program.

You can follow it here: Caroline's Reboot Journal
3. I have been Walking! Just joined an MS Society Walk in local Pasadena.
Join me! april 6 in Pasadena. Can't make it? We could use the funds! Donate or Join Here
4. Good Food! All of this topped off by some darn healthy eating. Been craving healthy proteins and vitamins and have been listening to my body! Made this juice the other day:
5. Diffusing for sleep.
I am attached to my diffuser. I'm using the protective blend blend to purify the air. Amazing tool To help me sleep! It's sort of big but it produces these lovely fine particles. Today I'm smelling the sweet orange and clove from the protective blend.

Amazing what some good sleep, activity and friends can do for a person with MS. Getting antsy so off to for a stroll. The distance or speed doesn't matter. Cane, chair or feet, it doesn't matter. What matters is that it's beautiful outside and I am inside. On this ipad. We can change this and will.
Have a great day! Keep me posted on your progress and activities. Love to hear from y'all!

Thursday

Whiskey lullaby, MS, Tingling and ...

I found a start of an old post from 2009. How life has changed!  So grateful that I kept so many journals and diaries during my battle with Multiple sclerosis. I surely couldn't remember all of this.

"Maybe not the best song to start off the night - whiskey lullaby, Brad Paisley, Alison Krauss.  But early morning duties will keep put this bird to bed appropriately tonight.  MS was acting up in annoying ways today.  The tingling, numbness, cramping.  I lost use of my right hand during a meeting tonight.  I haven't even been doing that much lately.

I've been eating mucho healthy, lots of cooked greens, light protein, no caffeine, no wine except for tonight.  Hmmm.  The weather has been cool.  My yoga session yesterday was rewarding as well as today. but yesterday was strong and focused.  Riding has been good.  I cried during one ride today, just trotted and cried. My friend lost her father the other day.  I'm a bit over emotional.  Hmmm.  The MS is up.  Emotions on a rise.  Must be that moon soon..."

Just thought it was interesting.  I was more active back in 09 but my MS feels better managed today.

Now to combine an increase in activities with my balanced life to go from a 6 to a 10 this April. Have you started your April reboot?   It's time!

Click here to learn more about the April Reboot Program. It's time for positive change. And it's FREE!

Monday

Family and Friends, Nothing else much matters...

Been managing my multiple sclerosis Better this trip than others! Family and friends make a big difference. Pacing myself. Good food. Good fun. I made it up all night for rodeo, concert and after parties. That was a big night for me. Had a blast! And felt ok the next day. Weather was perfect, not too warm. Makes the MS easier.

What an amazing time with family and friends this week in Texas. Seeing my friend from 40 years ago and family. Never enough time.

When in Texas, do it up big and do it Western! No problems with that for this girl with MS. Found plenty at Cavenders.
Exploring Katy, the Rice Co-Op, Veterans a memorial museum and more. Lots to see in this little town! Then we played with my friends horse, Chica.

Looking for swamp things in Texas.

Playing with my friends AR15 at the shooting range. Boy am I rusty! Need more practice.

Texas is just a fun state...a state of mind!

Spent time in Katy, exploring and having a great time. Houston rodeo, Jason Aldean, networking events, food, fun, we did it all! Even hit a Buc-ees in Waller, Texas. These stores are over the top and a must stop if you haven't seen one yet.

Hitting the road to Austin...

And then to Spicewood for family lunch!

All about friends and family...

Yep, life is short but family is forever.

Let's do this! #takethatMS

 

Friday

Buck the Film as reviewed by Girl with MS

A review of mine from a couple of years ago written for The Equestrian News. It was an amazing trip, my fourth time to Sundance film festival. This time we cross country skied to friends cabin at Alta. Here I am on my way to the cabin for a picnic. With cross country skies you have four legs...makes MS balance issues easier!

Craven on way to cabin at Alta
Craven with Buck Brannaman at Dolly's Bookstore, Park City, Utah

Review: Buck

By March 24, 2011
Poster for the film Buck is a stark black and white image of Buck Brannaman in a fedora.

Poster for Buck, opening June 24 through Sundance Selects.

Dressage horses working cattle. Blindfolded trick riders not old enough for kindergarten. A man attacked, face ripped open by a predator horse. Horses are a reflection of our human selves. A mirror. A tool in life coaching whether we want it or not.

I had previously felt little empathy for Buck Brannaman as he humbly denied his ability to fill Ray Hunt’s shoes. Until my attempt at writing about the world premiere of the filmBuck at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, Jan. 20–30 in Park City, Utah.

The word on the street was that this was the film to see, whether you were a horse person or not. Perfect. I am a horse person, the friend who attended with me is not.

Emotions stirred raw during my exploration of Buck. Tears flowed for reasons I still haven’t entirely grasped. Essentially, first-time filmmaker Cindy Meehls and her entourage of women capture the essence of the horse—an essence that is at once subtle and mysterious (and therefore extremely difficult to portray) yet so powerful it can save lives. It saved mine and it seemed to have saved Buck Brannaman’s.

Buck Brannaman is joined onstage at the Sundance Film Festival by his wife, Mary, and daughter Reata.

Buck Brannaman is joined onstage at the Sundance Film Festival by his wife, Mary, and daughter Reata. (Photo by Caroline Craven)

“Life is about making smart choices,” says Brannaman during our chat at Dolly’s Bookstore in Park City after his signing for his books The Faraway Horses andBelieve, as well as his DVD series Roping and the Ranch Horse. “This is something we can control.”

At first glance, Buck is a documentary about Brannaman, from his raw and gritty childhood in Montana to a successful career as a horse clinician. That illusion quickly melts away as the film seems to draw forth the viewers’ own personal life battles and organically weave them into the narrative unfolding from the screen.

Intertwined with bits and pieces from Robert Redford’s film, The Horse Whisperer, which was based in part on Brannaman, Buck made it easy to recall one’s painful life experiences and the choices we made to get through them. Standing ovations say a lot. Personal experience says more.

Buck Brannaman signs copies of his books and DVDs for fans at a bookstore in Sundance, Utah.

Buck Brannaman signs for fans at a bookstore in Sundance, Utah. (Photo by Caroline Craven)

The film was two years in the making, a year of editing and more than 300 hours of video. And that was just the beginning. With nationwide distribution purchased by IFC/Sundance Channel, and the winner of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award for documentary, we can expect to see a lot more of Buck on tour.

When told that the film was produced by a group of women, there was no surprise. Life on the road for nine months at a stretch is a hard way to survive. Brannaman managed to endure it with support from his wife, Mary, and daughter, Reata, not to mention the important role played by his mother, Carol Alberta Brannaman, and stepmother, Betsy Shirley.

The author visits with Brannaman.

(Photo of Caroline Craven)

The remarkable team of female filmmakers captured the magic between the human spirit and that of the horse. The magic that leads young girls and aspiring cowpokes to dream, if not act, on their desire to ride and experience the magic that can make seemingly intolerable circumstances just disappear.

As an equine enthusiast, I don’t need a good film to show me that Buck Brannaman is a remarkable horseman. I do need a good film to remind me of the humbleness one ought to feel at times. To remind me of the beauty and love that exists in this oft-bitter world. To remind me of the powers of the human spirit, the horse spirit and the importance of making smart choices.

For more information, go to http://www.buckthefilm.com/ andwww.brannaman.com.

Short URL: http://theequestriannews.com/?p=296

 

 

Wednesday

Residency on Amtrak

Even before driving with my multiple sclerosis was near impossible, I've always appreciated public transit. Passively sitting and watching life unfold. Though I'm not sure how passive I am. I write. Take photos. Work on projects. But when I want to quiet my mind I just look out the window. I appreciate this all so much more since getting ill with multiple sclerosis.

Preparing to leave Paso Robles

Currently I am on one of my favorite Amtrak routes: Paso Robles, CA to Glendale, CA via Santa Barbara. The first half of the trip is on a thruway bus then we transfer to the Surfliner train in Santa Barbara. If the train from Paso Robles, the Coast Starlight, is available, I recommend that too as you will see places along the coast and California countryside that you can't see by car. For my commute I end up usually taking the Surfliner train which covers Central California to San Diego. The bus is often used to connect to the train. It is a real nice coach with a restroom, a very important fact for those with MS. This one looks brand new. I settle in, get comfy and start writing away.

The driver is real nice. I offered to lift my bag because it is awkwardly heavy for this trip. But he would have nothing to do with that! A gentleman as he helped me and a young man with some learning disabilities. I don't look like I have MS but this nice man treated me very kindly. Steve. I believe his name is Steve. I see a reflection from his coat pocket. How rude of me not to ask. I often do. Also, is it ok to tip a driver? Not sure. I often try with Amtrak. I use business class and they always take good care of me. Sometimes when my MS is acting up I'll ask for special attention. They always seem to oblige. But just incase, there's always an emergency exit!

Ok, one thing with train and bus travel at this point is that it goes too quickly! We are already south of Cuesta grade. The brownish hills, a hint of green from the rains a couple of weeks ago and the rhythm of the oaks. It disappears too quickly.

On a separate note, I am hungry! Brought a cheese sandwich and some tangerines but don't think we're supposed to eat on the bus. I can wait for the train. I am also looking forward to some hot tea on the train. And will probably grab some processed trigger food at the SLO station, like Doritos with horrible fake orange cheese on them. Not sure why but they sounded good.

We should be exiting the freeway soon. We've made San Luis Obispo and here we go, right at Madonna Inn then off to train station at top of Santa Rosa. I went to university here, at California Polytechnic State U, San Luis Obispo. I lived on Santa Rosa road one year. Got my toes painted pink at The Madonna Inn. Lots of great memories from years ago.
 

Feeling very greatful that I've lived such a full life but I want so much more. To live another 40 years and drink lemonade on the porch with good friends.

I'm returning via Amtrak because I don't drive distances with my multiple sclerosis. I came up with a friend on Friday and was schedule to give a workshop at the Wellness Kitchen in Templeton. Due to a miscommunication we had a small, intimate group turned soul circle. Just what my friend and I needed. Time for a blessing.

Ahhh. Never enough time in SLO! Quaint station built in 1940. The restroom has a code needed to get in. It's 1492. Appropriate for us Americans. Tim the driver has another project so driver Jeff is taking over. There was no Steve. It was a reflection of their logo which says Silhouette. Name tags would be nice.

Jeff got on the radio. We can eat and drink. Non alcoholic of course. Gave us a nice introduction and off to Santa Barbara for the next hour and forty five minutes. Hot tea does sound good...

As I take MSontheRoad out to the country and build awareness for MS, I would like to do much travel via the train. I find it soothing and cathartic. Which is what I need to manage my MS. Life activities that are soothing and cathartic. I'm great at revving my adrenal glands. My yang is thriving! Now to gentle it all down so a fuse is not blown.

The rhythm of the oaks. A soul soother for years. When younger, a university student, I would hop in the car and drive to points country. Away from the city. Along the paved and dirt roads that pattern San Luis Obispo county. I've fished all the local lakes, hiked many of the local trails. That was another life ago. A life I admired and miss but remember with fondness as new chapters in my life unfold. And wow are they unfolding!

Unfolding rapidly in slow motion is how my life is feeling right now. While a bit flustered with not giving my program last night as scheduled, I know it was all meant to be. A swarm of opportunities keep presenting. Seeing the Pacific Ocean as we enter Pismo Beach soothes my soul even more. Seeing the place where I struggled through my last and final foot race is inspiring. And I struggled! But we did it. Three years ago. We've got to remember the little things.

It's easy to think of the little things while on the train. Looking into neighborhoods, into the cities, into people's lives. Seemingly getting to know an area by sight and assumptions. Or making up stories about an old abandoned house or the need for six refrigerators on the porch. Lots to see and lots to miss.

California got some much needed rain this weekend. Everything is a bit more green from the rains back in February but we are dry here. Another storm is expected this coming weekend. I'm not sure what help it did for the snow pack and reservoir levels but we could use every bit we can get. Some areas in Southern California faced some flooding mess but here, along the central coast, the vineyards are wet. The cattle have already been moved out due to lack of food. Sad for the farmers and ranchers.

We need to be especially careful about buying and supporting from our local farmers. We do not need food from Mexico! This is California! One of the best agricultural states around. It would be nice to see Amtrak promote local farmers and vineyards, especially on these routes that travel right through the farms. Especially as we tool our way through Santa Maria, strawberry capital of California.

I'm quite tired but can't fall asleep. I don't want to miss a single thing. The greenish hills. The lack of homes. The cloudy, artistic sky. And the possibilities of what we could see. Wildlife, telephone lines leading to pockets of potential homes. Of stories we will not know.

Heading south it's lovely to see the unaltered lands of the cattle ranchers. While the vineyards have helped with property values, there are just so many of them! Not that there are any cattle due to lack of feed and water. But the soothing hills and oaks, well, they do it for me.

If I was driving I would be tempted to stop in Los Olivos for some nibbles. If friends were with me we may wine taste. Can't really do that on the bus or train. But I will be indulging in my cheese sandwich on the train. And some hot tea.

I slept pretty well last night but didn't feel rested when I woke. Felt wiped out. The emotional and physical drain to get everything ready for last night then to not do it was deflating. This week will be a good time for tea and detoxing. Coffee, as much as I love the flavor is not necessarily the best for me. What is good for me is spending time in the country. And that's what this trip was about. Opening some doors that were not there before. Eventually I want a place to stay in the country, a life that involves more country and less city. I have about two more years in La Canada then a change is near. Maybe before but have a few commitments and it will take me that long to rebuild.

My presence in the country will be my 50 yr gift to me if not sooner. That I will do.

And then, on the train, a story evolves. An older car, maybe broken down, side of the road at a locked gate to a driveway. Two shirtless men removing some Large obtuse object from the roof. Another man sitting at the fence. Flowing plaid flannel shirt unbuttoned. Another man near him. Something didn't look right. Strung out after a hard week of partying? I'll never know but my mind is wandering like a Nick Hornby novel.

Just saw a sign for grass fed beef. But there's no grass. This last storm will produce some for sure but these cattle are being fed. Alfalfa or grass hay I assume. Not sure.

Inspiration. Being chauffeured around by Jeff is a wonderful way to explore the country and brainstorm. To get inspired. To watch a wildlife trail with anticipation. Will I catch a glimpse of some movement? An animal of sorts? And then here comes the Pacific Ocean once again! Oil tankers and the Channel Islands. Still beautiful! Maybe we will see a whale or dolphin. Off to look.

Beautiful but did not see whale or dolphins yet. The rolling oaks disappear and the presence of Monterey cypress and bougainvillea alerts you that Santa Barbara is coming up. There are many ranches over here and many surfers. Ronald Reagan had his ranch near here. There are quite a bit of Avocados, citrus and other crops along the coast.

Quite a few campgrounds along the way for both campers and RVers. I would enjoy that too. Traveling around with a friend, camera, and camp around the US. There are many placed I've been but so many I haven't been to!

I'm wanderlusting a bit. Springtime and I want want want. Want what? Newness. A life more than what I've got. I'm selfish and my ego wants petting. I have so much but yet at times I am not content.

Seems like I'm always searching. For that balance. For the energetic life I lived. To feel fulfilled.

I'm going to take a moment at the fig tree at Santa Barbara train station. Its huge. One of the largest Morton bay fig trees. Massive and impressive. Its grooves and limbs intertwine as the chapters and stories in my life. It's all I got, my stories. I won't be having children. I have nephews, bless them, but what I've got are stories. Interesting, the lives we choose to live.

Time to leave Santa Barbara. Via train. My bag is heavy this trip but hauled it up stairs to the second floor. The server cam by with a snack and drink request. Few minutes later the nice conductor lady came by and scanned my eticket. Amtraks using eticket and QR codes to operate more efficiently. Gotta love this.

The conductor said she hadn't seen wildlife this trip yet in the ocean but we both commented on whales, dolphins and otters seen in the past. This year is supposed to be good for whales. Will have to plan an MSontheRoad whale watching trip!

Cruising the coastline. Surfers. Water. Pelicans in formation. Can't write. Want to watch. I turned my head for a few and missed a great photo of strawberry pickers. And there they are! Dolphins! Two of them. My day is made!

And good thing because we are now heading inland a bit. We will go through some major agricultural areas and then back to Los Angeles or Glendale to be exact. Still stuff to watch but the ocean...she is a gone...

Agriculture succumbs to housing. Development expands. Signs of times past and times to come. Tooling through Moorpark. Wouldn't mind coming back and exploring all of these stops more. I remember Moorpark from horse eventing years ago. The facility is no longer there but the memories have not faded.

Entering Santa Susanna pass with a layering of rocks that make Wile E Coyote and the Road Runner wanting to appear around every bend.

My mind races. The scenery has worked its magic and calmed things down. But my entrepreneurial mind is having a blast with all my options. Why was I feeling so blue earlier? There are lots of doors opening. Time to walk through them.

Self portrait on Amtrak

This might be an issue. Allowing me to ramble on endlessly as I hope for an Amtrak Residency to happen. But how cool for this GirlwithMS? My dream. Cross country. Camera. Writing. MS awareness. The USA.

Let's do this!

#takethatms