Category Archives: friendship

Goodbye 2010

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What will the new year bring us?  Last year was pretty busy.    In no particular order, I

1.  Bought a new car.  Good times.

2.  Lost my job.  Bad times.

3.  Moved to a new city, Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

 

 

 

4.  Started a small (yet modestly successful) business designing and making jewelry.

5.  Reconnected with a great friend from high school.  Hi Maria!

6.  Traveled to North Carolina for a family birthday celebration along the Laurel River.   Sublime!

 

 

 

7.  Traveled to Wisconsin and celebrated Halloween with my son and daughter-in-law.  We also went to a rock shop, and visited the Audubon Society nature preserve where he works.

8.  Read 8 books.

9.  Accomplished a lot of virtual farming in FarmVille.  Belted cows are a very good thing.

10. Lost 38 pounds.

11.  Took a class in wire wrapping.  Used one of the rocks I bought in Wisconsin.

 

 

 

 

12.  Nursed a very sick cat back to health.  Charlie used one of his 9 lives.

13.  Made 15 trips to the hospital for immunoglobulin infusions.  Yeah St. Louis University Hospital!

14.  Photographed orchids, children, trees, animals, jewelry, and heaven knows what else.

 

 

 

15.  Applied for social security disability and was approved on the first try.

16.  Successfully avoided unhealthy exposure to the sun and UV light.

17.  Witnessed first hand the damage and devastation of a F3 tornado.  This one was on New Year’s Eve.  A 50 ft. white pine tree uprooted and crashed through my ex’s home.  Nobody was injured.

 

 

 

18.    Adjusted to life out of the fast lane of full-time employment.  That was a challenge.

19.  Celebrated my sister’s retirement.  Actually, we’re still celebrating.

20. Learned not to feel guilty about getting 8-10 hours of sleep every night.

All in all, after a rocky start and a scary ending with a tornado, 2010 wasn’t too bad.  This year I’m looking forward to a less stressful life, managing my health and living with lupus in the slow lane.    Despite everything I remain optimistic and determined to live in the present.  Stay tuned.

Boxes, Bins and Flowers

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One week from today I’ll be living in another city.  I’m up to the task of moving and the adventure that comes along with it.

The Moving Tower of St Louis

The Moving Tower of St. Louis

This week I had a semi-surprise goodbye party hosted by The Ten-Thirty Singers, a church music group I’ve been singing with for over 25 years.  Today I enjoyed a goodbye lunch with some great gal-pals … the PMS Girls (which stands for Peggy, Pam, Mary Anne and Sue).  Nothing like a 3 hour lunch on a Saturday to motivate you to take an afternoon nap.  I’ve been toasted, gifted, regaled with flowers and hugged to the max!

Next week I am hosting several packing parties at my place.  Amazing the things some people will do for a free lunch.

Boxes and bins are my new best friends.  I’ve acquired quite the selection of plastic bins with locking handles.  I even went so far as to delegate colors for certain rooms.  The pink ones are storage, blue for my bedroom, green handles for dining room, and purple handles for linens.  They stack and won’t fall apart.  They will never end up in a landfill because I like them too much, so in a way, I’m “going green” … or pink or blue.  I never thought I’d be one of those people who color coded anything.  I used to laugh at them.  Now I’ve become one of them.

At first I was strolling down memory lane while sorting all my worldly goods.   I was getting nothing accomplished.  Now I am ruthless about what stays or goes.  Goodwill has been happy to see me recently.  What I don’t keep is going to charity.  I have no patience for selling stuff on Craig’s List.

Surviving a move when you have lupus or any chronic illness is a tricky little game to master.  So to keep sane I work in small increments of time, sandwiched with a bit of  rest, like writing this post.    I try not to do more than 5 hours of work a day.  Hopefully, my joints will not protest and my vascular problems will remain quiet.   You won’t seem me outside much on Moving Day.  It will be hotter than hell and I will have the assistance of my son and a couple of his strong high school buddies doing all the lifting and shoving.  Having physical limitations can come with some benefits, such as help from others and I have no problems letting people move heavy stuff.

I did have a bit of a situation while cleaning last week.  I kept smelling something yucky in the living room.  At first I thought it was food or cat barf but the smell wasn’t constant.  Then I thought that maybe it was ME, as I was sweating up a storm and was possibly stinking up the house.  Finally, I decided to move the furniture around to look for the source of the by now, rancid smell.  So under the couch I found the source of the problem.  A dead bird.

Natural born killers?  Not so much.

Natural born killers? Not so much.

I immediately grabbed some paper towels, threw it out, and fumigated my house. Then I started wondering just where in the hell did it come from?  I mean really, how did it get inside my house?  Did the cats kill it?  If they did, why didn’t they eat the damn thing?  That’s what cats are supposed to do.

My only concern with the cats at this point is the 2 hour drive to another city.  They are not fans of cat carriers and car rides.  I’m expecting them to howl and shed all the way to Cape.  Who knows what will happen when we arrive at our new home.  Stay tuned.

I’ve moved a total of nine times in my life, most of them as a single mom.  By my standards, that’s a lot of moving, but I know people who have moved a lot more than that.  Moving sucks, but on the other hand, if I lived in one place all these years I would have accumulated too much stuff.  At least moving forces me to clean up and throw out. And by now, I’ve learned a thing or two.

One, get yourself some bins and forget the boxes.

Two, if you must use boxes, go for the paper boxes with lids. 

Three, don’t pack everything too soon, or you’ll be digging through your kitchen stuff to make dinner, like I’m doing tonight. 

Four, hang on to wrapping paper … my friend MaryAnne gave me 5 enormous bags of white paper left over from her move a couple years ago.  What a lifesaver! 

Five, and this is the most important, let people help you.

When the dust settles, I’ll start blogging again and fill you in on the details of my great adventure.

Perpetuate the Happy

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The other day I received this nice award from S. Le at I Feel Unusual.  Many thanks, sweetie for the award and your great blog that is so much fun to read!

So, in order to perpetuate the happy, I’m following the rules attached to receiving this award.  The rules are …

1.     List 5 things that make you happy.

2.    Try to do at least one thing on the list today.

3.    List 5 bloggers who brighten your day.  Pass it on to five friends.  (Let them know they received the award by a comment or email.)

4.    Those of you to whom I give this award are to link back to my blog and perpetuate the happy with your own list and recipients and whatnot.

Okey dokey?

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Five things that make me happy:

1.    Singing when my voice cooperates

2.    Gardening

3.    Charlie and Tigger, my  BFFs  (best furry friends)

4.    Family and friends dear to my heart

5.    Photography.  Most of the photos on this blog are pics I’ve taken

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Five blogs I really enjoy that perhaps other people haven’t discovered yet … in no particular order:

1.    The Letter T

2.    Functional Shmunctional

3.    On The Curb

4.    The Singing Patient

5.   Smoke and Mirrors

Thanks to all who take the time to read and write!

Julian Lennon’s “Lucy” and lupus

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Julian Lennon's "Lucy in the sky with diamonds"

Julian Lennon and Lucy Vodden were childhood friends.  Contrary to the myth that John Lennon’s song, Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds, was all about drugs and LSD, it was actually based on a watercolor painting by his young son.  Julian had given the painting to his father, and told him it was a picture of his friend Lucy, who was in the sky with diamonds.

On December 15, Julian Lennon will release a single inspired by Lucy Vodden, his childhood friend, who recently passed away after a long battle with lupus.  He had reconnected with her about two years ago and this song pays tribute to her life and their friendship.  Proceeds from purchases of the single entitled “Lucy” will be available at iTunes from December 15 to January 1, and equally shared by the St. Thomas’ Lupus Trust and the Lupus Foundation of America.

Julian was 4 years old when he made the now famous picture for his father.  He recently remarked that Lucy will “always be a diamond in my sky.”  Lucy always said that the least important thing about her was the connection to the Beatles song but never missed the opportunity to use it if she thought could gain publicity for this fantastic charity which supported her.

Well done, Julian.  Thank you for your artistry, your insight and your generosity.

The December Rush

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I hate Christmas shopping. Don’t get me wrong. I honestly like the Christmas season and look forward to spending time with family and friends. However, being in a crowded store with maniac shoppers is enough to throw me into a crazy lupus flare. And yet, somehow I found myself in one of the big box stores the day after Thanksgiving, with my son, looking at flat screen televisions. And the stupid thing about that was knowing he wasn’t going to buy anything. However, the other nine million people in the store were going nuts with their credit cards. I hope their retail therapy experience made them happy, bless their hearts.

Nothing is worth standing in line outside, in the dark.

Yeah, let's all stand in line outside and wait for the store to open!

The December Rush is upon us.

Black Friday.

Cyber Monday.

Panic shopping at the last minute for gifts we weren’t going to buy but now feel we must.

Some of us (not me) are compelled to bake enough cookies to feed a small country.

Are you suffering from the symptoms of The December Rush? If so keep reading, because during this time of the year, I’m all about slapping some common sense into your head in BEFORE you get carried away.

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#1 Do you really want to stand in line to buy stuff? Of course you don’t! Standing in line only makes you more tired. Pay somebody 5 bucks to shop for you. It’s worth it. Better yet, shop on line.

#2 Does old Aunt Myrtle really need your homemade peanut brittle? Not if she wants to keep her teeth. Buy her something soft … like warm, fuzzy socks … from the drug store, where the checkout lines are short.

#3 Don’t be afraid to give people The Gift of Disappointment. It’s free and they will get over it.

#4 You know what else is free? Driving around and looking at Christmas lights. It’s fun and you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that YOUR electric bill won’t be as high as the guy whose house looks like it’s on fire.

#5 Wash your hands. Sleep 8 hours a night. Drink plenty of water. It’s easy to get sick when you’re stressed out and heaven knows you don’t have time to be sick in December.

#6 Try to not get sucked into the vortex of buying a Lexus with a big bow on it. Or a puppy with a big bow on it. Who does that? Really?

#7 Wine is a good thing. Not to be confused with whine, which is terribly overrated.

#8 Sing Christmas songs. And if you can’t sing well, sing anyway. Singing lowers your blood pressure.

#9 Remember that you are not perfect, the world is not perfect, your family and friends are not perfect, and there is no such thing as a perfect Christmas.

10. If you think you’re going to lose your mind over the holiday pressure, go right ahead. Everybody is entitled to a meltdown now and then.

#11 December lasts only 31 days. Eventually spring will come, which is what I really look forward to enjoying.

happy birthday to me

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LupusRanting Turns 1 This Month

LupusRanting Turns 1 This Month

A year ago this month LupusRanting was born into the blogosphere.  It’s been a wonderful first year.

Like many people who have blogs, I love to write.  Next to singing, it’s one of my top passions in life.  I was completely flabergasted when folks began to stop by and comment on my posts.  Thank you for taking the time to read and write me.  You make my day!   For those of you who have added me to your blogroll … it has been an honor!

If I knew how to make badges, I’d present them to a number of my fellow bloggers who have always taken the time to be supportive and write words of encouragement and just crazy nice stuff.  Here’s to (in no particular order) Teeni, Pamajama, Speedcat, TGFTG, Joan,  Allison and Trisha … just to name a few. You never fail to make me laugh!

To all the spammers who never get through Askimet, just give it up.  You are so locked out!

To my family and friends … notably Lisa and Judy … you are the peanut butter to my jelly.  Thanks for always being there, in the real world and in my blog world too!

For all of my fellow lupies who stop by and visit this site, know that your stories and courage inspire me to keep writing about how to cope and live well with autoimmune disease.  Stay strong and keep fighting!

Enough said.
Where’s the cake???

The Little Big Things

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As a good friend told me this evening, I manage tough situations by “visiting” them from time to time; I don’t stick around for long stretches of despair.  I never thought of it that way, but she’s right.  I don’t like to wallow.

Life’s been a little harder than usual lately.  My heart is tethered to people I love but can’t seem to help.  I’m frustrated about personal situations  I cannot seem to change.  And of course there’s health-related challenges.  Lupus crap is always just below the surface of everything, waiting to get worse.

But today I’m giving thanks for the little things in life.

Sometimes the little big things are enough to keep me going.

Such as …….

A perfect day at the beach

A perfect day at the beach

*   Fresh 600-count sheets on my bed.

*   New socks.

*   YouTube crazy cat videos.

*   Silly phone messages from my son.

*   Tickets to see James Taylor next month.

*   Taking stuff to the recycling center.

*   Reading a great book.

*   Somebody else cooking dinner.

*   A new shower head that feels like a spa experience.

*   Putting all the groceries away, the laundry folded, and a clean house.

*   Getting a hug from a favorite three-year-old, who just said “I love you.”

*   A new bar of shea butter soap.

*   Eight hours of sleep.

spring poppies

spring poppies

What are the little big things in your life?