Category Archives: Holiday

Grateful

It’s Thanksgiving again.

I’m sitting at the kitchen table, Hallmark Yule Log is on… Christmas music, dogs, pigs, cats and ducks are enjoying a toasty fire. It’s still way early. I’ve got a cup of hot coffee and four dogs by my side. It’s quiet… at least until they decide to start horseplaying with each other.

One of us is far away this year. He is being very missed.

Sunday was “Thanksgiving” in my house. We had 22 people around the table all enjoying each other’s company. Today will be ham and yams and stuffing and potatoes. Has to be early because squirrel girl works retail and has to be at work for 12 hours starting at 4 pm. Once upon a time it was a day to spend with family. Now it’s a day to spend.

There have been times over the past year when I have been terrified that we would not all make it to this time this year. There will be many more times that I am terrified that we won’t all make it to next year at this time.

It’s been an enlightening year.

I’ve discovered just how broken everyone is and just how each person’s brokenness can complete everyone else’s. I’ve learned that I’m not the only one who has been feeling so much less than adequate and I’ve been learning that it’s okay to open up even when you are terrified. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that people are just people.

I’ve discovered how much I can miss a soul that was a nearly constant companion for well over a decade. Peanut was such a precious little girl and I miss her scratching at the side of the bed when it was time to go outside. I miss her snuffling. I miss her so gentle nature. I get that she is no longer in pain and she can eat all of the nummy white bits that she wants at the other side of the rainbow bridge, but she still is missed and I still talk to her daily.

I’ve discovered how much I can love the cast offs, the misfits, the other beautiful souls that other people have discarded. Pain changes people. I think pain changes animals, too.

I have learned that depression and stress can have a hugely horrible effect on how much you care about what you do to yourself and how much care you take of yourself. I’ve learned that I need to find the time and the place in my day… in my whatever… to take care of myself because sometimes it is easy to forget that your why has to be bigger than your but.

I’ve found treasure in simple things. I guess maybe not entirely simple, but simpler. Pictures… coffee cups given just because… a hat that warms not only the head but the heart… surprise cards that come and bring happy tears… a set of dishes that came from their own adventures… a box of buttons…

I’m so grateful for today.

I’m grateful for all of the todays.

I’m scared of the tomorrows and what tomorrow may bring.

But for now, I have today. I have coffee. I have the wind and the heat and the music. I have love.

Love and Light
AprilJoy
11/28/2019

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Stress… change… parties… doctors… and taking a deep breath

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O-Dark-Thirty… listening to iHeart radio on the Echo Dot my boss got me for Christmas. I was kind of looking for a gift card, but I’ve decided I really like this option better. I don’t have to use my phone … Continue reading

On Christmas 2016

christmas-joy

Good Christmas fair reader.  I hope that this morning finds everyone filled with love and peace and as reasonably pain free as possible, regardless of what ills may befall.

It’s been a busy few days in our house, what with surgery and healing, a brand shiny new Sleep Number bed that seems to be really good for the most part but IS taking some getting used to, preparations for Christmas and just basically getting by.

This morning, much to Peanut’s dismay, I slept in thirty minutes and woke to the normal morning ritual.  I found myself with a little extra time because everyone else is doing the needful (sleeping, organizing, what have you) around the house and the turkey doesn’t go in for another couple hours (again on the pellet grill).  So here I am, taking the time to sit and relax with coffee and “conversation”.

I read a blog post (which I can totally not find how and I am kicking myself for not saving it to Evernote like I save nearly everything else) about someone who was going through her long hand journals and writings and converting to digital.  I thought it was a smashing idea, so decided to make even MORE use of my Evernote account and transcribe poems and other writings I’ve done over the past thirty three years.  I deeply regret the loss of some of the work I did in high school, because, while it was really rather juvenile in retrospect, I  really liked some of what I did.  I regret not having the red hard bound book that Sister Sue gave me as a gift.  And I know that all of the words that poured from my tortured teenage soul are so much rat nest linings, wet and warped and beyond ever repair.

I’ve run across Christmas memories in my writing and it has me thinking of my past and how things in life have changed.  I’ve realized that I’m more than just the sum of my parts.  I am more than where I came from and who I was, more than even just the experiences that have gone into cramming my mind full of thoughts that scream at each other for attention.

I am unique in so many ways.

I’ve embraced my incredible weirdness and I have chosen to give way less of a shit what anyone thinks about that.  I enjoy having an open mind and an open heart and I enjoy knowing that the lives I’ve touched recognize my weirdness for what it is.  Like me or not, my spirit will not accept less than it is.

So, on this chilly (and if I look REALLY hard I can still see some snow) white Northern Ohio Christmas morning I wish you Joyous Kwanzaa,  Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas , Season’s Greetings, Happy Sunday or whatever today brings to you and yours.

Love and Light
April
12/25/16

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Thanksgiving Again

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Isn’t it interesting how it keeps rolling around, year after year and how every year it feels like it comes quicker and quicker? Here I am, sitting in my office surrounded by medicine bottles and memories, coffee cups and music. … Continue reading

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Looking into 2016

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So, it is January 2, 2016. Happy New Year everyone. This morning I’m sitting with IHeart Family playing on my phone to drown out the world.  Frozen just came on.  It’s kind of working.  Kind of. Tomorrow my oldest turns … Continue reading

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Santa Hustle 2015… T Minus 1 days

What does “T” stand for, anyway? I’m starting to freak out.  I keep remembering last year.  Last year was my first DNF race. Bear says he won’t be DFL, he would rather DNF than to be DFL.  I know that, … Continue reading

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Thankful…

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So, I’m sitting here with WWSW playing Christmas Carols on my computer (IHeart is awesome… it has been a favorite radio station for years… especially this time of year), candles dancing, dog and cat happily chewing on each other.  Thanksgiving … Continue reading

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Happy 4th of July

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It’s one of those days (weeks… months… YEARS) when you wake up one day and realize that the year is more than half over and you have no idea where the time went (I will be quantifying THAT little piece … Continue reading

On Turning 50

birthday cake
So, the big day is over and I lived!!!

I turned 50.  I spend a lot of time yesterday thinking about the last half century.  I got some text messages that made me roll my eyes, I got some that made me smile.  I got wished Happy Birthday on Facebook from many people.  I got to touch base with people who have made me smile for years.  It was a good day.

I think one of the best things that I heard, yesterday, was that people where I work now actually were trying to plan on trashing my cube.  I’ve never been one of the popular kids, and that meant a lot.  It meant that I have found a group of people that I fit in with.

The snow was maybe a little overkill.  Everyone was getting used to Spring weather and it was a small dose of reality that it’s still reasonably early spring and we can still get snow.  We can still get accumulation.  I’m thinking (given that it is in the 20s this morning) I might need a heavier jacket today… or I might just tough it out on my morning walk and wear my lighter jacket since it is going to be almost 50 by the time I can (maybe) come home from work. Getting closer to go live, working from home is harder and harder. Too freaking many meetings.

Taking stock… my Ra is… eh.  This morning my fingers are a little achey.  My knees have been a little on the bitchy side.  But my infusions are still working.  And even when I am late, even when I am very late, to get my orencia, it still works and works reasonably well.  I’m not thrilled that I had to push my infusion by a week to go to Brazil again and that my next two infusions are going to mean 5 weeks instead of 4 weeks, each.  But I have a taper pack of prednisone that should see me through a flare if it happens.

And this weekend, I’m planning on a long training walk (if I accidentally don’t have to work) to get ready for the race in June.

I’ve seen a lot in 50 years.  I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned that too many 60 hour weeks in a row are exhausting.  I’ve learned that there are a lot of people like me.   I’ve learned that people are people and some people aren’t very nice but the not very nice doesn’t have anything to do with where they are from or who they love.  It has everything to do with the fact that they are not very nice.

I’ve learned that my dog is a pig, my cat is an attention whore, and coffee at 4 am can solve many of life’s lesser issues.  Ice Cream Cake can solve just one or two more.

Now… for the next 50 years… what kind of trouble can I get in to???

Updated by April Wells
Update Date April 24, 2015

Twas the Day After Christmas

Sitting here in the livingroom smelling the remnants of yesterday’s fire, Christmas tree for company and Mythbusters on TV. Pumpkin pie and coffee…  I started my work day early today trying to get ahead of any curve that might be coming my way when “normal” people come in.  Something tells me it’s going to be a long day.

The flu brought on a flare.  My fingers are not happy and my knee/ankle/foot combination are very very not happy.  I’m thinking that working from the couch with my feet propped up on the coffee table might be my very best bet for the day.  Yesterday my knee/ankle was very bad by the end of the day.  Bear barely bumped my knee and I winced in pain.  I sat on the floor watching the turkey for the last half hour of the turkey cooking time… watching to see if  I could see the timer pop up.

The turkey was very very greasy.  The skin wasn’t the yummy crispiness that Thanksgiving’s was.  But it was a good turkey.  The ham was ham.  Dinner was really good, though.

Today, I’m thinking back over the last year, trying to psych myself up for the rest of the day and trying to be gentle with myself.  Tiger Balm fills the air.  I have checked the weather report fifty times.  It’s not going to get cold.  I’m almost as disappointed as my son that the weather refuses to turn seasonal.  It’s going to be 47 degrees today.  It’s going to top 50 again tomorrow.  I really really want to see the cold and the snow.  Logic dictates that there is lots of time for the season to turn cold but Christmas is Christmas and it was far from white.

The holidays are not over yet.  There are still hours and hours of potential stress and festivities.  Whatever you do, remember to be gentle with yourself.  Be gentle with your body and take time for absolutely nothing… it can certainly pay off.

What did I learn from having the flu?

— be very VERY careful in a race situation.  You come into contact with the germs of thousands of people and, an already compromised immune system, germs are germs.
— no matter what anyone thinks, the doctors, the CDC and the vaccine manufacturers all agree… the flu shot is reasonably effective in lowering your chances of the strains of flu that are included in the vaccine, not the ones that aren’t.  It will not prevent the flu and anyone who comes up with the snarky remarks about you should have gotten the flu shot and you wouldn’t have gotten the flu if you would have just been smart and gotten yours is full of… um… themselves.  BUT this is assuming that the CDC and the Doctors are a little more edumacateded up than Lucy Lou and Skippy down the street are.
— the flu sucks.  All kidding aside, I don’t ever know if I have hurt in that really horrible all over hurt worse than the day I actually came down with the flu.
— when they tell you it takes a week or more to feel better, they aren’t kidding.  It takes a week.  And with RA tossed into the equation, the absolute exhaustion and continued run down feeling hangs on even longer.

If you have a compromised immune system… get the flu shot.  The more variables you can take out of your health equation, the better your chances are of getting through the season without coming down with something that could land your butt in the hospital (or worse).

And… it’s time to get on with my day.  I hope I’m wrong about what is going to hit the fan today with everyone out of the office… but… for now, I’m going to try to get done what I can while I can.

I hope you all had the Merriest of Christmases.