Archive for March, 2013

It’s A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood

March 31, 2013

How lovely to have some pretty sunny days with a cool north breeze – what a treat!  I had an interesting week, seems as if everything needed to be done for others right now this minute.  I was able to have an adjustment with my chiropractor, go to breakfast club, (I am now President Elect – in 6 months I will be President), have a lovely massage and enjoy yesterday with Eddie.  Along the way I have been noticing the flowers and trees blooming.  Our next door neighbors are back from Hawaii – they had great weather while it rained and was cloudy and sulking here.  Strangely enough, no new mole mounds in our yard but Sheila, on their other side, has 2 or 3 fresh ones.

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This is what I see out the front windows

The mountains are gorgeous, snow on them and quite far down too.  Haven’t seen the big snow cone much, too many clouds over that way.  Yesterday it was sunny and the mountains were clear – except by the foothills – the fog was sitting there like a collar of whipped cream.  Usually the fog drifts over here and then we can’t see anything for a while.  Funny, that dissipated before it was halfway across the Sound.

I need to go out and take some pictures of the camellias, daffodils and Delores’s flowering quince – it is just coming out.  I have enjoyed seeing some azaleas blooming as well.  I wanted to add some pictures to this post – I will use some pictures from both my sisters – thanks Ellen and Candy.

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Thank You Ellen for the Easter Daffodils and the earlier crocus

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Thank You Candy for the apple blossoms

I noticed our Cherry trees are showing three or four clusters of blossoms – I doubt we will be getting any cherries from either of the trees before the birds.  I actually though the cherry tree was dead, so it is a surprise to see buds.  The red pear tree has an amazing number of buds, let’s hope the wind doesn’t blow the blossoms off before the pears are set.

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I took these last year, those pears are delicious.

Now that I think of it, I do have a picture of the Big Snow Cone.

sn-ranierNow that is a mountain!

It has snow all year round and when you go up to Paradise in the spring, there are the most gorgeous wildflowers all around – with the mountain right there.  And up at Tipsu Lake, you see the lake with the mountain behind it and wildflowers too – what more could one ask?  Having the Olympics outside my front window, across Puget Sound, it is a wonderful place to be.

However, people have to remember, it rains a lot here and there are many cloudy days where it just sulks or else can’t make up its mind what to do.  I love rain, so it is not a big deal to me, but people who like hot weather in the summer and snow in the winter can be very disappointed.  A good friend of mine is a Yooper, born and brought up for most of her childhood on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan – she hates the constant rain, having hardly any snow and the mountains.  She feels closed in; whereas I love to see them in all seasons.  Some people even say there are no seasons here.  You have to be a little odd to like living here.

I have shown you a bit of where I live and what I see, I’ve lived in the Midwest, South and Northeast – this is the only reasonable place for me.

Glitches Handled Well

March 27, 2013

I enjoyed last week a lot, I felt a feeling of well-being and energy – something I haven’t felt for a long time.  Yesterday I went to see my rheumatologist before I went to have my second infusion.  I did the first one two weeks ago so she wanted to know if I had noticed anything.  When I said a feeling of well-being, she said that is often what people first notice.  After seeing her, I went up stairs for my infusion – I asked for the corner suite, but it was occupied.  When I was there two weeks ago, I had it and it was quite enjoyable to look out to the west and the south – didn’t see much of the harbor because of all the tall buildings in front.  Looking to the south I could see the freeway and there weren’t buildings  blocking it.  Unfortunately, both times it wasn’t sunny, just cloudy and sulking.

However, all of the IV nurses at the Infusion Center were really nice, gentle when putting in the needle.  It takes about 45 minutes to do the infusion, plus they get it started by doing a saline solution at the same time.  They also offer drinks, soup, not sure what else.  The first time I was really tired, so I had the chair reclined and I dozed during the treatment.   I moved my elbow and that set off the alarm.  This time she put it in very well and it was fine if I moved.  I had forgotten my book the last time, so I remembered this time.  It made the time go by quickly, plus I was really into the book and its story.  I had apple juice, it tasted cool and really refreshing.

After the infusion, I had to go to Radiology to have hand and foot x-rays so there is a baseline to measure if there are changes as a result of Orencia.  After I finished there, I went to see my Mom.  I decided to stop and have something to eat and read for a bit.  When I got there, I found her sitting in her chair sleeping.  It really hit me, who was this old woman sitting in my Mom’s chair?  She didn’t look like my Mom – I didn’t expect that.  Then I found she is now using a walker – she has fluid buildup in her legs and it is really bothering her knees.  She won’t keep her feet above her head to help reduce the fluid so she is more comfortable.  Sucker punch two.  When I saw her last Friday, she was sleepy, so I didn’t stay very long.  She is doing well, but she mumbles a lot and I am not sure what she is saying.  She is pleased to see me and glad I come to visit, though I don’t know how much she remembers.  I  thought I had come to terms with what is happening – NEWS FLASH – looks as though I haven’t.  Now we are getting to the really hard part.

It has been that kind of week since I came home from the seminar.  I came home and found Eddie had trouble with his computer – after a while I kept thinking things don’t quite add up.  I ended up Monday morning doing a system restore – I had it written down from the last time because I wasn’t sure I would remember.  I was able to restore it and it is fine, though it cost Eddie $300 and a lot of worry – it was a stupid virus scam.  I figured a system restore should do it, though there was a part of me that was worried I would screw it up.  So the worst that could happen was I screw it up royally and then call Larry to fix it.  What a relief to have it restored and Eddie didn’t lose his Round Up and have to do it all over again.  Hooray for me!

I went to see my chiropractor after that and as always enjoyed my adjustment – plus my neck and shoulder were much more comfortable.  I was really looking forward to my afternoon nap to rest up from the weekend.  I ended up spending an hour in bumper to bumper traffic on 167 – would have been better off going on I-5.  Some days are like that.  When I got home, there was a message on my voicemail – a small financial crisis that showed me just how little I can do on some of Mom’s affairs.  Well, if nothing, it was informative.  So I had to go to her bank and later out to the Post Office to take care of it.  At times it felt as if things were falling around me, but when I was done, I felt I handled it competently – I also knew to ask for help from the Universe as well as people at the bank.  I had a feeling of accomplishment, though those three hours felt rather tense at times.

The only thing that made my heart go pity pat was that when I checked Mom’s checking account, she had too much money.  So I have to spend some to make sure she is below $2000 or she could be disqualified for Medicaid.  We had to buy some things for ourselves at Bartell’s, so I bought some things she needs – still have more to spend.  This is crazy, I have to make sure it isn’t over their limit when they check one minute after midnight on the first of the month.

I have a massage tomorrow morning and I am so looking forward to that!

More Than Just Coffee

March 24, 2013

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Monday I met Jon for coffee, I hadn’t seen him since he put together Direct TC, internet phone and my cell phone contract.  I kind of had a feeling he had something he wanted something, so I decided to see what transpired.  He is now doing a program that give free seminars on all kinds of financial ways to keep more of your own money.  He said he would let me come and show my promotional marketing things and 2 -3 minutes to talk about what I do as well as my logo on the screen.  Once again I found myself automatically thinking “Oh no, I can’t do that in such a short time”.  But I caught myself and thought “Why not?”.  I am working on coming from a place of yes, changing my whole childhood training.  So I said I would.  it was Saturday afternoon, not a time Eddie wants me somewhere else, but he encouraged me and I decided to do it.

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That definitely had my mind thinking faster than usual.  I decided I would order chocolate bars from my supplier here in Washington.  I called and they took care of it and I had them here by Friday.  I just put a small label on the back – Presto, a self promo.  I also decided to give it all to the Universe – what to say, what to do, what to take, how to set up the table – and ask for the words, attitude, physical actions, etc. and thanked the Universe for having already created the solutions.

What surprised me all week was how calm and relaxed I was about the whole thing.  I wasn’t worrying about what to take, what if I forgot something, take the wrong things – blah, blah, blah.  I had a handout I had written quite awhile, so I made some changes and printed them.  I made notes, thought about what to take and went through my samples.  I had my massage on Wednesday morning so I had all of Thursday to put things together.  I had a really good day on Thursday, I felt relaxed and found I had a lot of energy.

What surprised me the most was finding myself putting my samples in the boxes I had bought to organize them in a more logical way.  I have been frustrated a lot because I didn’t know where particular items are, so this will help at other times.  That still leaves the tote bags filled downstairs, they need it as well.  I also said I would bring something to eat – I knew I wanted to bring little brownies but not sure what else.  Friday after I saw Mom, I picked up the brownies and a ring cake.

Thursday was a really good day and I enjoyed it, Friday wasn’t quite as energetic but still was a really good day.  I will admit to feeling a nervous Saturday morning as I put everything together and loaded the car.  Today is not very energetic, but that’s perfectly fine.  I did the seminar without stressing myself out or worrying and I prefer to do it that way.  I must be trusting the Universe a lot more than I have in the past.

Saturday turned out to be sunny, a real bonus for us lately.  Mostly it is bits of sun between large bouts of rain, snow and hail.  Friday was quite an interesting day – Eddie called early in the morning to say he has 3″ of snow at the Future of Flight.  Down here we had a hail storm and we keep getting showers of hard rain.  This is Spring?  Even so, the flowers are blooming, even the camellias.

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There wasn’t a big crowd, probably about 20 to 25.  I felt the time crunch on my 2 – 3 minutes and I don’t know if I really said things that gave them a clue to what I do.  What was interesting was toward the end, they saw the USB drives and loved the one that is shaped like a credit card.  So this was definitely a learning experience, if I do it again, I will probably talk about business cards and how to stand out from just pasteboard cards.  I met several people who were really interested in the business card USB and one guy said he was interested in the chocolate.  I don’t have his business card, so I don’t know if he will contact me.  Or he might not have liked the chocolate bar.  We’ll see.

I spent a lot of time listening to what the four experts had to say about investing in silver, in real estate, having a 508 non-profit and how to leverage your assets to make money.  The 508 non-profit interested me, I’s like to know more about that.  The others I couldn’t quite grasp how it all worked – I couldn’t picture it for that “I know that I know” understanding.  A lot of material in 2 to 3 hours.  I noticed the seminar went mostly non-stop, so people who had to us the facilities or take some thing to eat just got up and did it.  I really wasn’t the distraction it usually is, I liked that.  It started at 1:30 and they had an hour or so afterwards for people to talk to the presenters and also something to eat.  It was nearly 7 when I got home – Eddie had done the laundry and read in the afternoon.

I will call or email the people I met and gave me business cards and see what happens.

Phooey To The Calendar, It’s Spring!

March 17, 2013

We have had some sunshine every once in a while, sometimes for the whole day.  Plus the temperatures have been mild, up into the 50’s a lot.  I noticed the first flowers started blooming around the first of March – they decided to start blooming even though the official start of Spring isn’t until March 20th.  I have seen camellias, rhodos, even an azalea yesterday all in bloom.  The cherry trees with lacy flowers and even some of the puffy cherry trees are blooming.  I was going home from visiting Mom on Friday and a whole line of cherry trees were starting to bloom.

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The daffodils are starting to bloom in the yard and also next door.  I think it depends on how protected from the cold wind plants are as to how far along they are.  The forsythia is usually the first to come out, they are now slowly emerging.  I enjoy Spring as each plant begins to grow leaves and then blossom while others put out blossoms first, then leaves.  I am wondering how many bulbs are left after the big clean up.

I remember a quote somewhere that really makes my heart glow – The Earth laughs in flowers.

Oh dear, Eddie can’t find Bunny now that he has made the bed, I need to find her.

How she wandered into the office I don’t know, the last time I saw her was on my pillow.  I have been sleeping with her a lot, so very comforting and sweet.  I think her name is actually  Sweet Pea since I find myself calling her that without realizing it.  all is well now.

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Mom’s is in blue and blue feathered hat – you get the idea.

I went to see Mom on Friday, she had had a visitor the day before – it was Luzma bearing gifts.  She brought her a beautiful bear dressed in a lovely gown and a hat with feathers.  It is on Mom’s dresser.  She also brought flowers – little dark pink roses – small box of chocolates and a packet of cookies.  Apparently she spent quite a lot of time with her, though Mom doesn’t remember it.  I have to remind myself not ask about things that happened before the present moment, her short-term memory is gone.  Then she thinks she missed out on something.

My two packets of cookies were anticlimactic, I found some sugar-free chocolate chunk for Jan and also brought sugar cookies with green frosting and shaped sprinkles on top for St. Patrick’s day.  They all enjoyed them and I was glad.  I’m learning not to bring something for the house all the time or they will expect it, once a month is better.  This came from Kathy who is more knowledgeable than I am.  I appreciate her advice and am so glad she came with me to find a home for Mom.

The two new residents are Everett, he is about 86 and in a wheelchair.  He doesn’t seem to be chatty, maybe when I know him better – he certainly scarfed up the cookies in a hurry.  Mom gave him hers, so I gave her another one and said it is for her to eat, not give away.  I don’t remember the woman’s name, she too is in a wheelchair and is about to turn 102 – looks as though Mom isn’t the oldest any more.

Mom still asks about her mother, her grandmother, even Aunt Clara.  I just tell her they are watching over her and preparing a place for her on the other side.  Also that when the time comes, there will be guides to help her through the transition, she won’t have to do it herself.  Sometimes she says she is glad I told her that.  This time she said she feels safe when she is sitting with Jan, but when she is alone she is scared.  I asked her what scares her and she is scared what to do if something happens. I tried to reassure her that everyone in the house is there for her and I am only a phone call away.  She doesn’t think she knows how to use the phone, so I said just ask some in the house – I will be there in 20 minutes.  I hope that reassured her, even for 5 minutes.  That’s a first.

Thursday was a fun day, I had my massage in the morning with Debye and then went to lunch with Kathie Brodie at Queen Mary Tea Room.  We haven’t seen each other for quite a while, she is starting a new business and I have already written many words about I have been doing.  We have so much in common and it turns out it is a two-way street for us – I learn so much from her and she learns a lot from me.  She was talking about finally understanding one of her life lessons, though still hasn’t quite learned because it keeps coming in different ways so she doesn’t see it coming.  Light bulb moment for me!  How amazing that over the years we have both been learning a lot of the same things – talking to her helps put into words what I am thinking and feeling.

We had a lovely lunch and of course a pot of tea.  We both tried different ones, though I love their Creamy Earl Grey.  They gave us a taste of Queen’s Afternoon Tea – I loved it!  Kathie is a big tea drinker and enjoys trying new one.  there is a tea shop in Edmonds she goes to try different teas.  I had an email from her yesterday – she enjoyed the outing with me but forgot it was caffeine and she finally figured out why she couldn’t get to sleep the night before.

It’s been a delightful week.

The Little Ballerina Wannabe

March 13, 2013

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 Degas Dancer

She always enjoyed watching the ballerinas in their gathered tulle skirts and elegant toe shoes – they always looked so graceful, supple and had wonderful flexibility.  She wanted to be one of them but always felt she couldn’t because she was an overweight child and her parents didn’t have the money for lessons.  It was that way when she watched the ice skaters, they too were graceful, elegant and could bend into amazing poses.  It has always been that same feeling of wondering what might have been all her life.

Then, when she was in her 60’s, a lifetime away from being able to fulfill her wish, she had cause to re-examine her longing to be a ballerina.  Did she really want to do it, have a love and passion for it? She would have to lose weight to qualify and be able to do all the poses and positions required – not an easy accomplishment.  Was she willing to do the hard work of lessons, practice, extra classes and tryouts for parts? Would she have been willing to dedicate her life to working hard, foregoing many of life’s pleasures to maintain her strength, endurance and flexibility?

The more she thought about it, she realized it was the grace, elegance and flexibility the ballerinas had, everything she felt she didn’t have.  The idea of a slender, supple body was appealing as well as being able to do the lifts and jumps in ballets like “Swan Lake” and “Coppelia”.  But over the years she had seen what dancing had done to a ballerina’s feet, put into positions the human foot was never meant to hold.

It was as if she was looking down at her feet, clad in beautiful ballet slippers and a long full tulle skirt – what did she see in her mind’s eye?  She realized how confining a ballerina’s life is, everything is geared to her dancing, always taking such care to ensure she can dance as long as possible.  And what would she do after she could no longer dance?  Would she be relegated to teaching the new and budding ballerinas, wishing she was still able to be the lead dancer and feeling her life was over?

Or would it be a relief to give those tired, abused feet a chance to rest and have a “normal” life of ease and fun?  Would she be able to relax and enjoy the things in life she had had to forego to continue dancing?  Would she find she was out-of-place because she wasn’t part of the dance world, that she would have to start a whole new chapter for her future?  Then dancing could be for her own pleasure when she decided.

How strange to see this childhood wish in an entirely different light.  As she looked back on her life, she realized she had had adventures, interesting experiences, uncomfortable times and experienced so many new things – all of which didn’t necessary require suppleness, flexibility and strength.

Yes, the events and challenges in her life gave her flexibility, but of an emotional and mental kind, to be able to roll with the punches and deal with what can be a very limiting chronic illness.  Her strength had become continuing to work with what she was able to do, learn patience and conserve her energy while not allowing the illness to rule her life.  The suppleness came as acceptance, seeing the positives in the situation and being of help and support to others.

Although she doesn’t feel physically graceful yet, she handles it with grace and humor rather than with anger and feeling an innocent victim. Now it is more a matter of being grateful for what she has gained instead of wishing for something that’s not physically possible.

She has all the qualities she admires in a ballerina, they just show up in a different way and context.  Sometimes what one wants doesn’t always have to be a certain form, it’s important to ask for what you want but not to be inflexible by insisting it only be one way.  Ask for what you want, but also be open to whatever works, what ever comes for your highest good.  You would be amazed at what happens – many times it comes in ways you could not dream up yourself.

Highlights From This Week

March 10, 2013

It is now the beginning of a new week and as I look back on last week, my first thought was that nothing earthshaking happened.  I have been spending my time lately not doing a whole lot, I just want to sleep and work out this fatigue until I finally reach the last layer.  However, as I was in the shower this morning, I started thinking about a couple of things that happened.

Friday was an eventful day, I went to pick up Mom at 9:15 so both of us could have haircuts.  I know it was a bit early for her, but she was having breakfast when I arrived.  Apparently Judy didn’t tell she was going to have a haircut, that must have been why she said Mom aaas moody.  Mom couldn’t understand why she had to get up early, but the day actually worked out fine.  We had a lovely sunny day, it was such a treat to see and feel the sun again.

We went to see Michelle and I had the first haircut.  I asked Michelle to cut mine a little shorter on the top – so it is shorter than it has ever been.   I also wanted Michelle to cut Mom’s hair shorter in the back because last time she wanted it longer – it is harder to fix for Judy and to be honest, she has had that neglected look.  She is definitely not neglected.   Her silver hair was beautiful and she agreed it felt good to have it cut.

As I was writing the check, my cell rang – it was Kathy, she was at Fred Meyer and wondered what I was doing.  I told I had Mom with me and she suggested meeting us there to say Hello.  I told Mom but she didn’t really know who I meant – I knew she would recognize her when she saw Kathy.  Kathy took care of Mom a lot before she went into the Elderplace program, they developed quite a bond.  Mom was delighted to see her for a few minutes.

I took her back to the house, this she wasn’t disappointed it wasn’t here.  I had promised her a cheeseburger for lunch; I left to pick up Whopper Jrs and some fries – I decided to get her slice of apple pie because it is her favorite.  We ate lunch together and then I left to relax for the afternoon.

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Later in the afternoon I had a call from my rheumologist’s office, Jennifer said she checked my insurance and they will cover Orencia.  She says I have amazing coverage for my Medicare supplement – so glad I went with Vickie and State Farm!  I have an appointment to start it at 1 on Tuesday – I’ll visit Mom in the morning.  It is an infusion for about 45 minutes – I figure it may take a little longer to get things set up the first time.  Then I have an appointment with my rheumatologist at 10, then go up to the Infusion Room after for the next one.  It will be another 2 weeks for the 3rd one and then it will be every 4 weeks.  At the moment I am not scared nervous or apprehensive, more curious than anything else.  I figure to take it as it comes and see what happens.  I am also not excited and having high expectations either – working on keeping neutral and no emotion.

Also, there are two new people at Mom’s house – John with the cat left and Jennifer went to hospital and then to a nursing home close to her sister.  I have seen Mr. Byrd but not spoken to him because he is usually asleep in his chair.  The new woman is in a wheel chair and  although I smiled and waved to her, she didn’t really respond.  She too is in a wheel chair.  As time goes by it will be interesting to get to know them.

I have been asked to join the neighborhood bridge group as a permanent member.  I said I would and we are playing on Monday at Claire’s.  That means one of these days I will have it here – I’d like to have the new kitchen and possibly the upstairs painted, plus our own furniture.

We have been slowly cleaning out, though if you saw the house right now, it doesn’t look that way.  I have the office to clean out and organize as well as going through papers and things of Mom’s.  I have been putting it off because it feels awkward and if she knew she would be upset.  Mostly it has been a bit here, a bit there, mostly in the kitchen and a little in the desk.  It has been strange going through some things and deciding what to keep and what isn’t necessary any more.  I have that pack rat mentality that I might need it some day.

I definitely did things for myself – I saw Dr. Cheryl my chiropractor on Monday morning and had my massage with Debye on Thursday.  A lot of the time I didn’t feel like doing anything, so I just took it easy and relaxed.  Little by little there are  small bits of energy and look forward to bursts and a lot of energy again.

I am interested in what you have to say,  I definitely want to know.

What Have I Gained From RA

March 7, 2013

How strange to find myself posing a very different question from when I was first diagnosed.  In the beginning it was “Why do I have it?”, “What did I do to deserve this?” and any number of victim type questions.  Because as I have said before, I felt as if I was an innocent bystander suddenly sideswiped by RA for no reason.  For a long time it felt only negative, that there was nothing positive in it, just pain, deformity and frustration along with many bouts of crying.

The first time I felt something positive coming from RA was when I was Speaker’s Bureau Coordinator and also a Self Help Course instructor as well as training new instructors for the Connecticut Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation.  The people in the Self Help classes were great and they often told me how much they were helped by the class and the information.  It was also gratifying when they said I had helped them too.  I would tell them I was just like them, the only difference was I had been  trained to run the class.  They also helped me and were a bright spot in the week.  I remember one particular day when I wasn’t feeling well and really didn’t want to go.  By the end of the class I was feeling better and was very glad I went.

As the Speaker’s Bureau Coordinator, I learned how to speak to groups and be fairly comfortable.  Often people would ask questions, plus say how much it meant to hear from someone who had a form of arthritis.  Speaking in front of people has always been an agony for me, but after I spoke a few times, I really loved doing it.  I injected humor and my own stories to keep it from being just straight facts – though if time was short, my stories were jettisoned because they came to hear the basic facts.

I realize I  personalize whatever I write; that made it difficult to write for business.  I decided at one point that I was going to have fun with my business because all that “Life is real, Life is earnest” stuff was stressing me out.  When I started writing this blog, I found such freedom to say whatever I wanted in the way I wanted.  I still have to check out my business websites and rewrite them so they sound like me.  Maybe it is just that I have found my voice.

Just as in my Mom’s dementia, I swear there is a funny side to RA – if I don’t laugh I will go nuts.  Sometimes it sound like sick humor to those who don’t have a chronic illness, but those who deal with one 24 hour a day understand.  What I have noticed as I look back at all the stuff I have dealt with is the odd bits that pop into my head – especially in hospital as well as outpatient tests.  Thank goodness I wrote them down when I was writing a journal, because for the life of me I can’t remember any of them.  Looks as if I will have to check through them and see if I was as clever as it seemed at the time.  (Another set of posts!)

I have acquired medical knowledge, though only as it pertains to me.  I am an expert about my experience and symptoms, not anyone else.  There are similarities but I would not presume to tell anyone else what they should do.  I have more knowledge than I ever wanted to know – so it has contributed to my education.

I learned how to conserve energy – mine.  I have also learned patience, not easy and there are lessons cropping up when I least expect them.  I am a late bloomer, though I didn’t realize some of the knowledge would take this long to make sense.  I can’t say I am always patience, I get antsy about things at times and wonder why I don’t “get it”.  I keep remembering that when I am ready, it will make sense to me and the less I agonized over it, the better.

Let’s face it, I get positive feedback from people – I have had 2 or 3 women tell me I am their hero and inspiration – rather heady stuff.  Often people say they admire me, they don’t know I do all that I have done.  Another comment is how positive I am while dealing with RA.  My first thought is they haven’t seen me in my oh-poor-me-osis days or my hurt-like-hell days and I am a whimpering mess.  What I feel is that I am of help and use to them in different ways – that feels so good.  I have also learned that I may never know when I have been of help as I am going about my life – I don’t have to have each one of those people tell me.  A little feedback once in a while is great.

Looks as if this is going to be Part 1 because there are a lot more things to write about that I have gained.  It just hit me that I am doing this blog because of RA.  It has been a great release for me and I so appreciate the people who comment, like and follow my blog and let me know they enjoyed what I wrote.  I didn’t expect to write it;  I had this urge pushing and pushing me until I started the blog and I have enjoyed it for the past 2 1/2 years.

Tell me what you think, I would really like to know.

The Middle Child

March 5, 2013

I was having a shower this morning and for some reason I started thinking about my birth order – I am the middle of three girls.  My Dad used to call us #1, #2 and #3 – suddenly ego was there telling me “You are second best” very calmly.  I told ego “Thanks for sharing, I choose something else”.  I usually go on about my business but this morning I found myself almost yelling “I am NOT 2nd best!”   “I am NOT 2nd best!”   “I am NOT 2nd best!”.

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It hit me that may that’s how I have been seeing myself all my life.  Scary!  I remember Debye telling me if something feels heavy, it isn’t true.  When it feels light, it is true.  I have also been reading Martha Beck – she is such a cool lady! – she calls it “shackles on” ” shackles off”.    This feels heavy “shackles on”.  Since then I have been thinking – not always a smart idea – and wonder if that is true.  Unfortunately those were the days of always comparing myself and finding myself coming up short.  This time I felt grateful to ego and told her “Thank you for sharing”.  This will not be a field day for my inner critic or for me to beat myself up; rather a time to see objectively how much truth there really is in it.

Not too long ago I was listening to Alternative Talk radio and one of the guests posed a question: What do you believe about yourself?  That was a head scratcher because I am not always sure what I believe about myself.  I know beliefs are chapped by parents, siblings, friends, peers, etc.; I look back and wonder if I believed the feedback from those who called me names because I was a chubby, somewhat plain child with glasses since the 3rd grade, was true.  I know it hurt and I didn’t like it, but I didn’t think of any way to fight back.

I went to school a year earlier than I was supposed to – Mom and Dad say I made such a fuss when Ellen got on the bus because I want to see where she went.  There was in Southern California a rule you had to be 5 by the first of March, so I qualified.  My grades were not great, mostly C’s, a few B’s and  an A in art one year.  My sister Ellen was just the right age and she did really well in school; as a result of me and my early start, they kept my sister Candy from going to school until she was almost 6.  She had really good grades.  Both sisters seemed adventurous to me, I was always scared to step out and do things.

I really noticed a difference in my relationship with Ellen.  When lived in California we used to play a lot together, the 4 year difference didn’t seem to be a problem.  When I was 7, we moved to Seattle and lived in a rented house for a year and a half.  It was as if Ellen and I were strangers, she was on her way to junior high and my sister Candy was only 18 months.  When we moved to the present house, I was starting 4th grade and Ellen was in junior high.  What a gap there seemed to be – 4 years was a lot more than it used to be.  There was a 3 year gap in school, so as she left junior high, I started it.  When she graduated from high school, I began.  Unfortunately some of the teachers remembered her – did they have expectations I would do as well?

Ellen is a wonderful artist, plus she plays most of the stringed instruments.  My sister Candy is a musician and song writer as well as writing books.  Where was my talent, my gifts?  I didn’t really know.  I have said I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.  There wasn’t a whole lot that really inspired me or captured my interest, I seem to have drifted along all my life.  I had no idea I would meet an Armenian and go to Australia to marry him, then come back to the States 18 months later.  I had always wanted to travel, so I was able to do that because of his jobs; I lived in parts of the U.S. I have always been curious about and certainly his travel has made me more independent.

Now that I have gotten this far in the post, it suddenly hits me that being diagnosed with RA has contributed to my possible feeling I am not as able or capable as most people.  Oh dear, there is that comparing stuff again.  Well, this one will have to sit on the back burner for a bit to see what else comes.  RA is a subject all in itself.

A Bright Spot In The Week

March 3, 2013

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We are having a lovely sunny day after yesterday when the sun fought valiantly to come out of the clouds – unfortunately it lost and it began to rain.  But today is gorgeous and clear – though at some point this afternoon the clouds will be back.  So I am enjoying the times when the sun comes out for however long and I am grateful for it.

A couple of days ago I saw a small clump of primroses out and the first crocus – it may only be the beginning of march but they have decided it is spring.  Suddenly we have a bed with purple, lavender and white with purple stripes coming up and blooming.  The pictures I took I can’t get off my phone, so I need to figure out how to do it.  So I check Google and found some that are close to what mine are.  It has been a mild winter for us – some very nippy days and nights and even a dusting of snow 2 days in a row.  Last year spring didn’t cone until Junuary because it was so cold and rainy for so long.

Let’s just say it has not been a stellar or comfortable week.  I woke up on Monday morning with the most painful shoulder and neck – I don’t know if I slept wrong or something happened I wasn’t aware of at the time or afterwards.  At that moment, the cause was not on the top of my agenda, the knives and ice picks were clamoring for attention.  Thank goodness I had an appointment that morning with Dr. Cheryl, my chiropractor.  She helped some and then had me rest a bit while she adjusted another client.  Then she came back to me and did a bit more work.  I really appreciated the extra time.

She suggested I rest and eat lightly, tea and/or broth, and just relax.  So I did.  It was still uncomfortable but a little better, at least I could turn my neck again.  I had a lie down and probably rested, maybe slept for about 50 minutes.  Then the phone rang.  I got up and answered it – it was Mom’s doc at the Center.

She had seen Mom at the Center that day and noticed the lump in her breast had gotten bigger since her first exam in August.  She wanted my permission to schedule a mammogram to make sure  exactly what’s going on.  I have had fluid filled cysts several times myself, so I wonder if it is that or something else.  I could have said No since she is 94, but it is better to find out what is happening.  They will let me know in about 2 weeks when the appointment will be.  The part I am concerned about is the mammogram, I don’t think Mom has ever had one and at this point I am not sure how she will perceive it.  The doc wanted to know if I would be there and I said “Absolutely”!

I am glad to report I was feeling a lot better on Tuesday morning, though there were still knives and ice picks.  I went to see Mom in the afternoon and took her the baby doll I had arranged for in September for her birthday.  At the time she didn’t quite know what to make of it.  This time she was very pleased with the baby girl in pink.  My friend Charlotte gave me one of her Lee Middleton dolls, I was overwhelmed.  As I watch  Mom hold the baby, she smiled and was delighted.  She wanted to show her off to everyone.

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The baby on the left looks like Mom’s, she has blonde hair and blue eyes.  She is in a pink bunting of thin pink and white strips and a lovely lace edging.  She also has a pink fleece sleeper like the one on the right, but with the same lace edging around it.

I bought a small oval basket as a bed for the baby and it fit in the open shelf of her nightstand.  As I was leaving, she kept asking “where’s my baby?”, “where’s my baby?”, “where’s my baby?”.    Friday she didn’t mention her baby, so I think it is like most things now – they come and go.  We’ll see how this works out before adding anything else.

Things at the house have changed, John moved out with his cat and now there is another man in his room. I am not sure how old he is, probably looks older with the long grey mustache and beard.  I saw him on Friday but since he was fast asleep in his chair, I didn’t say hello.  Also Jennifer left, she is now in a nursing home right near her sister.  The new person for her room was due to move in Friday night or Saturday morning.  I may see her when I go on Tuesday.

Funny, I feel as if I have spent  a lot of time at home resting, yet it feels as if I have ben tooing and froing when I write about my week.  I a working on another post but have gotten stymied, not sure where it will go.  It took quite a while to finish “Woo Woo, Goofballs and Hocus Pocus Water”; one of these days this one will tell me where to take it.  The fun of writing a blog.


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