Daily Archives: January 10, 2017

Project Smile Meets Murphy’s Law

“Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” When I last reported on Project Smile (the long journey to fixing all my tooth problems), I had a tooth that was falling apart and exposing the nerve repaired. The last thing … Continue reading

I Am Out of Ideas

On days like these I don’t know what to do.  Noise is too much.  I mean the lowest setting on the ceiling fan in the next room is too much.  The light is too much. I mean the alarm clock in the farthest corner of the room is too much.  I am sooo cold. But my head. My mind is burning up. I put my cold hands to my forehead over and over for relief. But none comes. I close all the shades. Put on noise cancelling headphones. Sit. Breathe in and out to a count of five.  But I can’t sit. I can’t breathe.

So I pace.  But I’m so tired. Yet, so agitated and restless. I send a desperate text as the tears  begin to fall.  I don’t know what to do.  Terrible discomfort. I want to fall into bed.  Escape with sleep.  Rest.  But I cannot. Neither my body nor my mind can fend off this intense desire to jump out of my skin or through a window.

I bounce around the room from couch, to kitchen stool, to the floor and back round again. Massage my neck.  Put on loose clothing. Wrap myself in a blanket.  I tried the ice in a bowl.  Taking notice of my senses.  Drinking hot tea.  I am out of ideas.

Cuddling is a Cost Effective, Drug-Free Solution To Treating Opioid Dependent Babies


Good Day So Far

Today has been a good day.  It could easily have gone the other way.  I woke up with reflux this morning at 3:15 a.m. and did not really go back  to sleep the rest of the night.  I got up at 6:30 and got dressed to go work out and did that, then helped my cleaning ladies out getting ready, then went to see my the rapist.

We had a good talk about Christmas and how well it had gone and how I was responding to the New Year with exercise and looking forward to school starting. We talked about making sure my upswing stayed healthy and did not slide into mania.  Different things to watch out for like obsessions and other key notes to keep a lookout on.  SO it was a good session.

Then I went to see Mary Jane for lunch for her birthday and that was fun.  We talked about a lot of stuff–what we were reading and what was going on in our lives.  We really had a good talk as well.  She said she didn’t like getting old, and I told her as far as I was concerned she wasn’t.  So I hope I picked up her spirits some.

Now I need to get going on an assignment I  got from Delta Magazine and see where I can go with it.  I’m looking forward to it!


A Year of Run

What an interesting year 2016 was.  So many changes in my life.  So many tough things, some of which got better, others which got worse.

But a very important thing happened in 2016.  Something I never expected.  Something that kind of sneaked up on me.  Something that's changed me for the rest of my life.

In 2016, I became a runner.

In a nutshell, I'd been unhealthy for years.  All kinds of medical struggles.  They weren't dangerous, just life-inhibiting.  In 2014 some things changed in my life which improved my physical and mental health.  More changes happened in 2015, which enabled me to begin walking.  Really walking.  For miles and miles and miles.  With zero intention of running.  Zero desire to run.

Until my third 5k.  I'd done my first one entirely walking, except those last 20 yards; gotta push across the finish line, right?  My second one, I added just a little running here and there.  Basically just enough to beat my time from my first one.  By the time I got to my third one, I knew I'd have to run a significant amount to improve my time.  This was all in the summer and fall of 2015.

I think I ran about a third of that last one - run until you can't breathe, walk until your heart stops pounding to the point you think it will explode, repeat.  It was incredibly difficult.  I couldn't walk the few blocks home, because I'd injured myself by pushing so hard.  And I remember thinking in that moment, "I want to run!"

It took several months of resting a little, going back to it too soon, injuring myself again before I really took healing myself seriously.

At the end of 2015, a year of HEALing, it was time to choose a new word.  I don't do New Year's resolutions.  I choose one word.  One word to guide my year.  Sometimes it's a lot of work to choose my word.  I have so many ideas run through my head.  Several of them would fit.  God and I have to talk it over for a while before I settle on one.

Last year wasn't like that.  I immediately knew what I wanted.  I wanted RUN.  I wanted to run!  But I fought it.  It seemed like such a narrow focus.  How could it possibly govern my year?  How could it affect my spiritual life?  How could I use it to govern my relationships?  How shallow a word was that to choose?!

But when I took it to God, He said it was perfect!  I still didn't know how it would play out, but I trusted it would.

It did.

I ran.

I am a runner.

Let me say that again - I AM A RUNNER!

I don't run fast or far, but I run.  And I love it!  I never, ever thought about running before.  In fact, I mocked my friends who ran.  Why would I torture myself like that?  But then I did it.

Running makes me feel powerful.  Running makes me feel cleansed.  Running makes me feel free.  Running makes me feel alive!  Running is and does so many things.

In years past, when I've reviewed my year through the eyes of that One Word, I've looked at the ways it had an impact on all those individual areas of my life.  When I chose RUN as my word, I expected to look back and see how I let it inspire me to RUN to Jesus or RUN to or from this or that.  But it didn't.  And I've learned something.

I've learned that God doesn't compartmentalize.  I do.  I'm the one who sees my physical health, emotional health, financial health, relational health, mental health, spiritual health, etc. separately.  God sees me.

I've learned that any progress in a positive direction is spiritual progress.  Because everything is spiritual.  I am a spiritual being, so my entire life experience is spiritual.

Progress in a positive direction makes me more whole.  Running makes me more whole.  God knew that.  And He knew that it was good.

Whine & Cheese

This is a vent post, so if you don’t want to read further, I’ll understand. I didn’t really want to write it either. But there’s some stuff I need to get off my chest, and it’s far better for me to do it here than take it out on the people I love, who are innocent of any wrongdoing. It’s just me.

First complaint: Wonky sleep. This is NEVER a good thing. I’m having trouble falling asleep again, and I’m waking up during the night as well. The hours between seven and 10 AM provide the best sleep of the night, and I often end up not emerging from my room till after 11 because I’m so reluctant to leave the comfort of my warm blankets. (Well, and I use my light for 30 minutes every morning so I have to include that time in the equation.)

This makes me appear lazy, and to some extent I am. What nobody really knows is how late I’m up at night…most of the time, I’m not ready for sleep till two or three in the morning. I take my meds at the same time every night, but they don’t kick in for hours. Maybe I need to take Klonopin for a little while to help kick the insomnia; it’s right handy at making me sleep. I just hate the idea of getting back into the habit (if only for a short time) because it took some doing to get off of it, and I’m proud of myself for that.

Second complaint: I’m irritable and bitchy. Ordinary sounds bother me; more intense noises, such as video games, make me crazy; and neither TV nor music drowns them out. I don’t mean to be such a grouch, but almost everything bugs me these days and I am apt to go off. I even started an argument with my sister-in-law over something totally stupid, like a magazine I wasn’t done with that she’d accidentally tossed in the recycle bin. I’ve been really uptight lately about my things being moved around, and I sort of lost my shit. (No screaming fits though.)

It’s OK now, we kissed and made up so to speak, but I wish I’d kept my freaking mouth shut. It’s all I can do not to scream when there’s two or three teenagers going in and out, in and out, all day and half the night, but one of them lives here and has the right to have friends over. Again, nothing against anyone else, it’s just me.

Gripe number three: my weight is in freefall, and so is my hair. I won’t shed any tears about the 60+ pounds I’ve dropped since Will passed away, but it seems to go hand-in-glove with the hair loss. Even my son-in-law Clark is officially worried, because the stuff is coming out by the fistful to the point that we both wonder how it is that I am not bald. I can’t blame it on thyroid problems; my recent test showed normal function. Nor is it due to malnutrition—my labs came back fine in that department as well. That leaves only stress as a potential cause, and unfortunately it makes sense. Stress? What stress? I’m only a widow of six months who’s lost her mate and a good portion of her independence. I don’t even have my own car anymore, thanks to the wreck I had in November. Not that I go many places by myself…I just wish I had the option.

So that’s my little pity party. I have to admit I feel a little better after whining for a bit. Now if I can only get a couple of nights’ decent sleep, who knows, the irritability might go away and all will be well. And by the way: if you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading!


NYE 2017 – Pugsley’s Adventure

It was supposed to be a nineties party.  I was looking forward to dancing to NSync, rocking my scrunchie and body glitter, and using a beanie baby as a socially acceptable accessory. It didn’t quite turn out how I anticipated.

Andy and I were visiting friends in Detroit for New Year’s Eve.  They suggested this party at a local social hall.  I didn’t even know social halls were still a thing, and I was picturing the 1950’s dance halls where people are all, “May I have this dance?” and then they sock hop and drink fizzies.  Except it was a nineties party, so I amended my view to replace Elvis with Britney and replaced the poodle skirts with polyester windbreakers.

My friends and I got pretty dressed up for this.  I had a high pony tail on top of my head, denim like whoa, and a dog beanie baby peeking out of my wallet.  Andy wore a windbreaker jacket and a backwards baseball cap.  We were ready to party like it was 1999.

WELL.  When we walked in, I saw men in tuxedos and realized, “Okay, this is not what I was expecting.”  We’d already paid the cover to get in, so it wasn’t like we were going to leave.  We couldn’t go, but we looked ridiculous staying.  Lots of the guys were super dressed up, and many of the girls were…not wearing much.  Honestly.  I’ve been in Victoria’s Secret dressing rooms where people had more on.  Lest you think I’m simply a girl who’s never been to a real party, let’s please take a moment to remember that I LIVED IN LAS VEGAS.  I have seen my fair share of sexy.  At one point I saw a girl, turned to my friend, and said, “I literally don’t understand the physics of that top.  How are her boobs staying in the fabric?”  It was low cut, wide cut, all the cut.  I have to believe her boobs made a break for freedom by the end of the night, but if they did then I missed it.

Let’s review: I was wearing “denim like whoa,” a sky high ponytail, and my husband was in a windbreaker and a baseball cap.  Our friends were dressed like us.  The four of us stuck out like the Fresh Prince when he got to Bel Air.  I guess it wasn’t a dress-up party.

Also, there was no dancing.  NONE.  We stood there awkwardly for a minute before my friend said, “Oh my gosh you guys, I am so sorry…should we leave?  We look ridiculous.”  The thing is that I am very cheap, so I didn’t want to leave when we’d already paid.  I said, “No way!  This is cool. We’ll rock these outfits and…um…find something to do.”

The star of the night was Pugsley the beanie baby, who gave us lots of photo ops and took us on an adventure.  Now I get to share that adventure with you.  Happy New Year, y’all.


This is how it all started.  I put Pugsley on a railing and said, “Look, Pugsley’s having a great time.  He hasn’t been out in decades.”  Then we decided to let him really live it up.


This is Pugsley waiting outside of a bathroom.  Despite the writing on the wall behind him, he got no action.  Bummer.


This is Pugsley being the ref for our table hockey game.  For the record, Andy and I won.  We did have the ref (literally) in our back pocket, so that might have helped.


This is Pugsley keeping guard in a creepy stairwell so that we didn’t run into any rapists or serial killers.  That would have been a sucky way to start the new year.


In this bathroom, I said to the girl on the right, “Oh my word, I love your top.  Is it a bra or a shirt?”  Because I honestly could not tell.  Her jacket is covering it up in this picture.  The funniest part was when she responded, “I have no idea…it could really be either one.  I just thought, ‘this is cute!  I’m wearing it!'”  Pugsley had to get a picture with them.  The girls are now major Pugsley fans.


We decided to head downtown to watch the ball drop.  Pugsley hailed us a cab.


It was almost midnight, so we had to hurry up.


Pugsley finally found something from the nineties! Time to party like we’re installing this storm drain…


Downtown, Pugsley fell in with a rough crowd and picked up a bad habit…  Don’t worry, he swears 2017 will be the year he quits.


He found his way back to us and perched on Andy’s shoulder to watch the ball drop.  Happy New Year!


When we got back to the apartment, Pugsley told his friends all about his adventure (the friends were going to go with my friends but got left behind).  The dog was clearly appalled – look at his face! – but I think the sheep has been around the block once or twice.  He looks bored.  I guess maybe he’ll show us how to party next year.