Thursday, April 29, 2010

What I've been up to

The last month and a half has been incredibly difficult.  I'm glad it's over.

Let's see.  Where should I start?

I started walking.  Every day.  I was up to 4 miles a day and I felt great.  Then I injured my groin.  And it hurt.  A lot.  The walking was sidelined.  I was bummed.

Shortly after that I got a head cold.

Followed by a kidney infection.  Ouch.

Started walking again.  

The head cold got better.  Or so I thought.  A week later became very ill.  Had the flu.  Was more sick than I have ever been.  Felt weak and crummy for 5 days straight.

Went to the doctor because the cough from the flu wouldn't go away.

Was diagnosed with pneumonia.  Fabulous.

Joe got the flu.  We were both sick.  Had no one to cook for me :)

Started to feel slightly better from the pneumonia.

Went to the dentist to finish the root canal that was started over a month ago.  Couldn't eat solid food(again) for four days.

The feeling better from the pneumonia went away and I started feeling worse. 

Caught some sort of stomach bug.  That combined with the pneumonia made me feel the most miserable I have ever felt in my entire life.

Spent literally three full weekends in bed.  Felt useless.

In between all of the sicknesses, some very stressful stuff happened.  Became completely panicked. Hit a low point.  Felt awful, emotionally and physically.  Started feeling all "woe is me"  and gloomy again.  Retreated to my bedroom every hour I wasn't at work.  Joe got worried.

Began feeling healthy enough to start walking again.  Started walking again.  Had a hard time getting into the groove.  Walking helped with the  gloom.

Some of the stressful stuff got worked out. Not all of it.  But some of it.  Began to feel slightly less panicked.  Still trying to dig out of the mess that the stressful stuff left behind.

Oh yeah, somewhere in all of that I got a hair cut.  Hated it for the first week, but then got used to it and actually started to like it.

Between the walking, the flu diet, the pneumonia, and  root canal diet,  I lost 15 pounds.

I'm not complaining.  I certainly had 15 pounds to lose, but that's a lot of weight to lose in such a short period of time and most of it was due to being sick so I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.  Also, now my pants don't fit and I can't afford to buy new ones so I guess I'll be buying a few belts to help keep them on.

Hooked up with a childhood friend on FB that I haven't seen in 25 years.  We met for lunch yesterday.  We talked, and talked(and talked) for four and a half hours.   It was like no time had passed at all.  I can't wait to meet up with her again and hopefully rekindle our friendship.

I finally feel like the sicknesses and stress are behind me and I'm  ready for the month ahead.

Oh, I also signed up to do something that is wayyyyyy outside of my comfort zone and I'm a little scared but mostly excited.  I'm not ready to share yet but I will soon.

So yeah, that's what I've been up to.  How about you?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Things We Leave Behind

Sometimes I have a tendency to get all dark and twisty and  think about my mortality.

This month I have been contemplating it more because we recently went to a funeral.  Funerals tend to do that to me.

As I looked around at the hundreds of people who came to say their goodbyes to a wonderful man, I thought about what I might want my own funeral to be like.  Of course I do realize that I won't know one way or another.  But I think about it sometimes.  Where I would want it to be, what kind of music I would want played, who I  hope would would attend.

And then I think to myself "Man, this is kind of dark" and I think about something else.  :)

Today is my Mom's birthday.  She has been gone 13 years.  She would have been 76.

When I reminisce about my Mom, I remember some of the the things she left behind.

She left people behind.  Me.  My sister.   My brother.   My Dad.  Sister and Brother in laws and nieces.

She left behind photographs. Although not that many.  I'm not sure I even have a photograph of my Mom before the age of 16 or 17.  I think that's why I scrapbook.  I wanted to leave behind something for my kids.

She left behind things that she made.  Crafty things. Crocheted blankets.  Needlepoint.

Most importantly I think about  what she she left behind in me.

She left me her creativity and the joy of making things with my hands.  She left behind her love of all things Christmas, and the desire to celebrate it to its fullest.   She left behind the desire to do things for others, to bring happiness to other people in some small(or sometimes large) ways.  She left behind her love of children. She wanted nothing more than to have grandchildren.  I wish I could have given that to her.

I have to admit that I no longer think about my Mom or miss her every single day.  Time does that to you.

The sadness and grief eventually fade, until all you are left with are fond memories.

Special days will bring my Mom to the forefront of my mind for a period of time.

Mother's Day.


The day she died.

Today.  Her birthday.

The other day I was walking at the local park and I came across this bench.

As I got closer, I saw this plaque on it

This is the view from that bench.
I would like something like this after I die.  A place for people(any people-not just loved ones), to come and sit and be at peace.

The one thing that I would hope for after I'm gone is to be remembered. To know that I had an impact on at least one person's life and that they think of me fondly from time to time.

We remember you Mom.

Happy Birthday.

Today is also my sweet friend Kayce's birthday, along with her beautiful daughter.  Happy Birthday Kayce and Cricket!  I wish I could have been there to celebrate with you!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

There is no education like adversity. -- Disraeli

If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment.
                        -- Henry David Thoreau

I hope this is true. 

I need to take a break. I don't want to. But I need to.  It's a shame because I felt like I was just getting back into the blogging groove. 

I am still feeling thankful every day.  I am.  I wake up every morning feeling thankful for a new day.

But every time I think that nothing else could possibly go wrong, it does.  I'm at the breaking point here and I just need some time to process. 

I will be back.  

With everything in my life that has been uncertain, I have always had this place to vent, to share, and receive support from wonderful people who I consider my friends, even though most of you I have never met.

Thank you for that.

I have one post scheduled for my Mom's birthday on Monday, but after that I need to take a step back and assess some things and figure out the best course of action for us.

I'm not sure how long that will take. I hope not long.

Thankful things:

Between the walking and what I'm calling "The Flu Diet", I have lost 10 pounds.  I am fitting into jeans I haven't been able to wear in a year and a half.  What's not to be thankful for about that?

I am thankful that Joe and I have each other.  If nothing else, we have that, and I know we will persevere. Together.

When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.
                        -- Ralph Waldo Emerson


Sunday, April 11, 2010

About Last Night

So yeah, I mentioned that I was feeling better today.  What I didn't mention is how rough last night was.

Around 9:00 I started having chills and a severe headache.  Like the worst headache I have had, ever. I took some Advil.  I know, I'm not supposed to take Advil but desperate times call for desperate measures, right?  So I took 2 Advil.  No relief.  So I took one more.  At this point I was feeling so poorly that I decided to go to bed.  I was having chills so bad I was shaking.  I piled as many blankets as I could find on me and attempted to go to sleep.  No luck.  Too much coughing to sleep.  Got up and took some Robitussin.  Took my temperature.  It was 101.  This after I had taken 3 Advil.

At this point I remembered what the nurse had told me. If I got worse I should consider going to the hospital, at the very least to be given I.V. fluids.  Contemplated it for a moment but honestly I was feeling so ill the thought of getting up and driving over to the hospital made me want to cry.  I decided to wait and see how I felt in the morning.

Tried to go back to sleep.  I was *freezing* cold.   Literally shaking.  Finally managed to doze of into a fitful sleep.

Woke up at 2:30 to use the bathroom.  While in there I started to feel dizzy and extremely nauseous. Started vomiting.  Felt the most miserable I have ever felt in my entire life.  Thankfully the vomiting didn't last long.  Stumbled back to bed.  Managed to doze off again.

An hour later woke up feeling like the sheets were wet.  Turned on the light to find it was in fact me that was soaking wet, along with the sheets and pillows I was sleeping on.  I'm guessing that meant the fever had broken.

Finally fell into a deep sleep and stayed that way until the morning.  Woke up this morning feeling almost normal(aside from the cough and body aches).

It's looking now like I most certainly had(have) the flu.  I can understand why the nurse thought it might only be a cold, as some of the flu like symptoms didn't come on until after I spoke with him, but deep down I suspected it was the flu.  I need to listen to my intuition more.  I'm not sure how it would have changed things, because I was dead set against going to the hospital(even though I probably should have).  But I should not be so stubborn and I need to take care of myself better. 

I hope I didn't infect too many people.  I'm sure Joe will come down with it, but I'm hoping my co-workers will be spared, as well as the children I work with on Mondays and Wednesdays.  Especially the babies.  I'm always kissing on them.

O.K. I'm done talking about how sick I have been.  I do realize how boring it is.

Thankful Things

It's times like this when things aren't going exactly the way I wish they would that I need to remember to be thankful.

I'm thankful for movies.  I haven't been able to leave the house all weekend. We've been watching some movies to try and keep us entertained.  So far we have watched "Fatal Attraction" (I will not be ignored, Dan), "Marley and Me" (can you believe I've never seen this?  Totally bawling at the end of this one), "The Day the Earth Stood Still"(Meh.  Joe chose this one).  Today we are going to watch 500 days of Summer".  I heard it was good.

I'm thankful to be feeling a little better today.  The fever and chills are gone.  The hacking cough and the achy muscles remain.  I feel like I've been hit with a baseball bat.

I'm thankful for books.  I go through phases where I either read a lot or not at all.  The last month I have been reading a lot.

I finished the thankful book I talked about in this post.

It has helped me so much.  I wake up everyday thankful for something.  Sometimes it's just that I woke up at all.  I express gratitude to people as much as I can.  The other day I made someone important to me cry because she was so touched by my outpouring of gratitude to her.  It feels good to let other people know how they are impacting your life.  It also helps me put the focus back on the things I have instead of the things I don't.  I'm not saying every day is sunshiny and I never feel negative.  I do.  But I try very hard to steer my negative thinking back to reasons I am lucky.

I also just finished this book and I loved it so much. You know how some books are so good you never want them to end?  That's how this book was for me.

It's called "Eternal on the Water" by Joseph Monninger.  I have never read his books before.  I'm hoping to find some more of his stuff at the library.
P.S. I plan on donating this one to the library so if there is anyone that wants it, drop me an e-mail.  scrappermg(at)

I have also been re-reading "The Lovely Bones".  This is one of my favorite books. I read it while I was on the plane(and bus, train and taxi) in China.  I'm sad that I lost that copy of it because I had written some things in the back of it about my experiences there.

I have been going to bed a half hour early so I can get some good reading in.  That's kind of significant for me because on the nights I don't work I am in bed between 9:15 and 9:45.  That means some nights I am in bed before 9:00!

We have nothing going on today, aside from trying to feel better.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Sickness. Blargh.

Well yesterday's "cold" has turned into something a lot worse.  I haven't been this sick in a very long time. We thought I might have the flu.

This scared us. Because I have a compromised immune system(due to the kidney disease), the flu can be dangerous for me.

We were contemplating a trip to the E.R.  I really (really) didn't want to go to the E.R.  I called the 24 hour nurse line today and they said I should wait and see how I felt in the morning.

They don't think it's the flu.  Just an upper respiratory infection.  Or a very bad cold.

Thank goodness.

I still feel perfectly rotten.  I hope I feel better tomorrow.

First the leg injury, now this. It truly is always something with me.


Friday, April 09, 2010

Forced Thankfulness

Can I be perfectly honest?

I'm not feeling thankful today.  At all.

The head cold I had last week turned into Bronchitis.  My chest hurts and I am wheezing and I don't feel good.

My leg still hurts.  I went on a very easy, slow walk last night(I even took Joe with me to make sure I didn't overdo it) but my leg hurts a lot today.  It was probably too soon.

I miss the way the walking made me feel.  I'm not sure when I will be able to start up again and that puts me in a bad mood.

My back is hurting again like it did when I had the kidney infection.  I'm not sure why, as I just finished the antiobiotics from the last one.

The issue we were having at the beginning of the week has not resolved itself and I can feel myself slipping into panic mode.

Ummmmmm.................whine much?  Sheesh.

At least today is Friday.  So there you go.

I am thankful it is Friday.  That's about all I got today.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Thankful Thursday

--I know I say this all the time, but I am thankful for my husband.  Today during our walk he said something I found to be so funny that I laughed until I cried.  I love that we still have that much fun after all these years.

--I am thankful my leg is starting to feel better. It's not %100 yet, and we took a very slow walk tonight and I am quite sore now but it is slowly healing.  I'm hoping it feels better this weekend.  I am having serious withdrawals here!  As an added bonus, I have started to see a more significant weight loss from the exercise.

--I am thankful for the beautiful weather we have been having.  It was in the low 80's today.  We're supposed to have rain again early next week again, so I am sucking as much joy out of this weather as I can.

--Tomorrow is Friday.  Woo Hoo!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010


You know what I hate?

When things seem to be going along smoothly and you get into a groove and it feels good and then something happens and everything gets off track.

My exercising has been sidelined for now by an injury.  Yesterday I was walking around the lake near my work before I went to my second job.

I made it two miles around when I felt like I was getting a cramp at the top of my thigh.  I stopped for a second then tried to walk it off.  The pain was too great and I had to stop.  Joe was watching me from the car and could see that I was struggling so he came and helped me get to the car.  At this point I knew it was more than a cramp, most likely a muscle strain.

Long story short, I pulled a muscle in my groin.  It is very painful.  It's hard to hobble.  Forget about walking for exercise.

To be honest, I don't even care about the pain.

I'm sad and disappointed that I'm not able to keep some goals I set for myself because now I have to rest a couple of days(at the least).

On top of that I miss the release that I was getting from the exercising so now I'm grouchy too.


Something else has gone off track and it is taking all of me not to go into complete panic mode about it.  I can't get into it here, but it has to do with something we had a huge problem with at the beginning of Joe's unemployment, then everything was o.k. for awhile and now problems have popped up again which have brought it to a standstill yet again.

It is causing some rather serious complications for us.

I'm not going to succumb to the panic though.  Nope.  I will not panic over something I cannot control. (I just keep reciting this mantra to myself over and over and over).

In trying to keep up with the positive attitude, here are my thankful things for today:

--I am thankful for the circle of support we have built around ourselves to help us cope as a couple in difficult situations.  How lucky we are to not have to deal with these things on our own.

--I am thankful for the books I got at the library the other day.  I need something to escape our reality right now.

--O.K. this is stretching it because I'm having a hard time with these today but I'm thankful for Dancing with the Stars, because I love that show and we are about to watch it right now(I'm always a day behind on my shows because I can't watch t.v. on Mon. or Wed. nights). 

Well that was kind of a pathetic attempt at being positive.  Tomorrow I will be better.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Earthquakes and Easter Eggs

That pretty much sums up our Easter.

Joe and I had no plans for Easter this year.  Easter sometimes feels like one of those "kid holidays"(like Christmas and Halloween), You dress your kids up in pretty clothes, buy them an Easter basket, take pictures with the Easter bunny and take them on Easter egg hunts.

Obviously we can't do any of that.

Joe and I went to Easter services on Saturday night, and planned on just hanging around the house today. We did buy some eggs and dye so we could dye some Easter eggs in the afternoon.

I had just taken the eggs out of the ice water bath and was peeling them at the sink when our apartment  started swaying.

And I mean swaying.  

Like a tree in a strong wind.  

Joe had just walked down the stairs to get in the car to go to the store and I ran out on our entryway and started screaming like a banshee  "Do you feel that, do you feel that?  EARTHQUAKE!!!"

There may have been another word uttered that would be inappropriate to write here.

Hey, I never said I was good under pressure.

I stood in the doorway waiting for it to end.  But it didn't.  The building kept on swaying.  And swaying.  And swaying.

I was so scared I ran down the stairs to be closer to Joe.

You what's not a good idea?  Running down the stairs during an earthquake.  See above statement about not being good under pressure.

And did I mention that when I ran downstairs I left my dog in our apartment to fend for herself?  Nice.  Maybe it's a good thing we don't have children.

We stood on the grass outside and just kept on swaying.

It was scary.

Turns out is was a 7.2 earthquake in Baja, CA(a couple hundred miles south of us).

It lasted about 45 seconds, which is a long time for an earthquake, and felt like much longer.

I was really shaken up.  Ha!

After  my nerves calmed I continued with the dying of the easter eggs and making deviled eggs.  Yum!

Here are some pictures.

Eggs ready to boil
Finished product

Scooped out yolks

Ready to fill.

Deviled eggs.  Yum!

Aside from the swaying, we had a pretty good Easter.  

How about you?

Happy Easter

Saturday, April 03, 2010


I found a present that my husband made me for our anniversary one year under our bed when I was looking for my Bible( I know.  But at least it's not under there anymore)

He made me a notebook with stories and poems he had written for me over the years, along with 101 reasons why he loved me.  It had been a long time since I read it.

I was stunned with the beauty of his writing.  I was stunned as well with his outpouring of love for me.

I asked him if I could share some of his writings.  He begrudgingly agreed. 

Here is one of the poems that was in the notebook:

You are my winter sunrise, my April shower, my slow lazy summer evening,
You are my gusty autumn red mapleleaf pinwheeling down the street
You are my frigid January beach, my laughter in the canyons,
You are my icicle at midday--the momentary diamond
You are my grey garden stone--ten thousand years and patient yet
You are my old iron oak tree, swaying in the rain, 
You are my young brook skipping over round river stones,
You are my winter sunrise, my falling star, my blue moonlight on an empty sea
You are my high forest meadow, loud with butterfly wings,
You are my muddy jungle track, dripping with fresh rain,
You are my everything.

How did I get so lucky?  What did I do to deserve this?

I  think it goes without saying what I am thankful for today.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Thankful Things

I’m thankful to be attending Good Friday services tonight, and I’m thankful that Joe has agreed to go with me. I’ll be attending the old church I used to go to, because my new church doesn’t have Good Friday services. Tomorrow night I will attend the Easter service at the church I went to last week. I know it’s not the same as going to church on Easter but I can’t handle the crowds.

I am thankful that we have found so many cool places to go hiking. Yesterday we hiked a four mile trail and half of it was uphill. It was hard! But I did it. I can’t believe how much better shape I am in since I started walking just three weeks ago. There is no way I would been able to hike that trail then.

I am thankful that Joe has embraced my newfound fitness goals so completely. After he drops me off at work he has been scoping out new trails for us to hike on his way home. It might not be what he necessarily wants to be doing every day in the evenings but because it is important to me, it is important to him.

Happy Easter, or Happy Weekend for my friends who don’t celebrate Easter.