Category Archives: Christmas

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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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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

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.

Santa Hustle… Cedar Point… T – 26 hours and counting

Okay… so today we drive up to packet pick-up.  I’m hoping for long socks and arm warmers; I’m REALLY hoping for arm warmers (they are really neat).  They have a store, go figure.

Last night I finally tried on the pants I’m wearing to race.  They fit perfectly.  I’m going to hunt up my tights for under them because 40 isn’t warm and they aren’t probably heavy enough for me to be overly happy even racing.  But they fit and they are cute.  I get my dry fit stuff in my packet today, so I will see what other cute crap I can wear with them.

My fanny pack is almost packed.  I have to toss in my iPod and my phone and my camera and I’m good.  I have my glovies (electronic compatible ones, naturally) and hand warmers and my own candy canes.  Not that I’m terrified of having to face the same lessons that I learned at Run For The Water last year, but… yeah.  I pray I don’t have to worry about watching them empty the last two water stations all over the ground as I approach.  I hope I get a cookie or two.  I hope I get a candy cane… or two.  I hope I’m not swept.  Even DFL beats DNF.  I really really want to finish.

I’m mortified to announce that I actually did start taking my prednisone.  Yesterday I took 3 because for two days my left wrist (NOT my problem child) was KILLING me.  Right around the Carpal Tunnel place it burned and ached and was horrible.  My middle three fingers started to stiffen and ache and I knew it was going to get very not pretty very fast.  I hate taking them.  I refuse to take them if I have any other options.  With the race tomorrow and so much I still have to get done to get ready for Christmas and my project kicking back into high gear… I probably didn’t think as long as I might have done otherwise.  But… my Rheumy did give me a script back in the spring when my finger (same hand oddly enough) went totally bat shit crazy on me and gave me a refill.  I kept it because I’m scared and it’s a good thing to have on hand.  So… I am treating myself and will catch up with my rheumy on Wednesday.

So here I am, up and at em, ready to go to packet pickup.  I’m HOPING to spend a few minutes along the lake today taking pictures and enjoying the cold.  Eh a girl can dream, can’t she?

Fighting To Retain the Christmas Spirt

***** Warning… rant in progress… *** Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

I love Christmas.  I love winter… almost as much as I love fall.  And here I am… sitting at my window, trying very hard to retain the Christmas spirit.

This morning my fingers are not happy.  I’ve used my Tiger Balm and my Voltaren gel, and they are still not happy.  I’m going to have to resort to Napproxin shortly.  This is not a huge big deal.  THAT at least is something I have come to expect at random times.

I’ve been sitting here absolutely depressed, however, over my work schedule for the rest of the year.  I’m not supposed to be on call at all this weekend.  AT ALL.  Yesterday I got a rather testy phone call asking me why I wasn’t on line because it was go live (WHO knew) for a project that I wasn’t aware I was even still responsible for.  4 hours working on THAT project on my day off (another hour or so today… yay me) PLUS I got another rather not happy call from MY project team asking me if I could log on and work for an hour or so because the person who WAS on call was TWO HOURS away from his computer.

It’s not bad when I expect it.  It’s not nearly as bad when I can plan around it.  Finding out that my daughter is liable to get fired for being late because no one bothered to tell me that I had to work on my weekend off… really?  Thanks guys… Uber Specialness.

Starting on the 18th (The ENTIRE holiday, ironically starting the SECOND I am allowed to carry more than 10 pounds) I’m on call for all but three days through the end of the year.  I’ve already been warned it’s going to be very busy and there are going to be a lot of things that have to be done. Merry Christmas.  Yay me.  Christmas eve and Christmas day, New Years Eve and New Years day, the entire weekend for two consecutive weekends.  There are going to be two of us NOT on vacation on the Friday after Christmas.  Because when people committed to what they were going to take (back in September) as vacation… they forgot what they said.

Good thing we got the Christmas lights out of the way over Thanksgiving.  I’m trying so hard to keep looking forward to the rest of the Christmas season.  I’m NOT working next Sunday.  I don’t care if someone has to drag my cold dead body across the finish line at the Santa Hustle… I’m holding on to at least that remnant of my holiday.

I’m trying… I really am…

I’m not sure if it is the full moon making it worse, or just realizing that commitments don’t mean shit to people when there are good times to be had… but whatever it is, I have to find a way to shake off the tears and get the holiday spirit back.

Finally Feeling Human!!!

So, here I sit.  Disney Christmas Music playing on YouTube and the smell of a gas station hot dog eminating from my coworker’s desk making me feel like I want to vomit.  I finished my third glass of water (this one with FIZZ grapefruit electrolyte replacement in it).  I think now is a great time to pull together my “holy crap it’s getting to be nearly time to worry” post for the Disney Half Marathon.

For starters, I’ve been preaching at Amandya to work on HER blog about her volunteer teaching in South Africa helping work through things in her mind and through planning and passing the time.  I guess practicing what I preach is probably a good idea.

I signed up, today, at work to join our company partially funded Gold’s Gym Membership.  It’s probably still more expensive than I should be really doing all things considered, but it is close to work (and frankly close to everywhere) so I can run over at lunch, even when I’m on pager patrol, and get in some workout time.

It won’t be all of the training that I need, but it will certainly help.  I know having that helped before and I know it can’t hurt.  It’s horribly warm out when I can be out walking at lunch and I don’t want to make myself sick.

This trip was kind of stressing me out a little before.  When I signed up, I thought I wouldn’t care so much that I was going to have to deal with the adventure on my own.  I was wrong.  I was stressing.  Being ALONE with a half marathon half a country away from anything resembling people or places of home… not the best feeling in the world.  And the advice to try to get people who were from around here to admit to running Disney was an even bigger joke.

Now, though, it looks like this is going to be an incredibly wonderful trip.  We are not only all going, as a family, we are making it an extended family adventure and taking grandkids and all kinds of stuff along with us.  It’s going to be a truly magical adventure.

I’m actually feeling like I’m going to be up for this challenge because I’m looking forward to it so much.  I’m determined to make this a magical adventure for the kids (big and smallish) and bringing really lasting memories to everyone.

On Holidays

DSC02869Here I sit, listening to the Weather Channel predict a foot of snow by tonight with 45 mile an hour winds.  It looks like the plans we had for tomorrow will likely not happen until Friday.  We are still going to probably go, just not as soon.

It is what it is.

It is Boxing Day.  Yesterday was Christmas.  And it was a Christmas to remember.

I started the day out by stopping by the house where I grew up.  Intellectually I understand that nothing stays the same… time passes… things change… This was THE hardest thing I  have done in a long long time.

The house is still there.  There are things growing from the gutters (downward growing grass is what it looked like).  The siding is disintegrating.  The lights lent an air of warm coziness that really wasn’t there.

The dogwood tree is dead.  The pear tree is dead.  The corn crib, the wagon shed, the barn and Sonny’s shanty have all fallen down.  The wishing well (the one thing I actually went to take a picture of) has no roof and the stones have fallen away.  Ironically I found out what was inside the wishing well.  The stones were cemented around a washing machine tub.  We recycled before recycling was cool.

I took pictures.  I even took pictures of the spring house where watermelons stayed freezy freezy cold and alligators guarded them.

I took a couple of rocks.

I took the heavy heart that the pictures in my mind don’t/can’t/won’t match the pictures I took.  I have a feeling I’m going to be putting all of this into a story somewhere…

It was a chemo brain day REALLY bad, so the two sentences that I managed to get written were lonely and difficult.  I hurt my son’s feeling because I was trying to think over the confusion about a conversation I was trying to have and he was being his wonderful self.  I love him dearly and it bothers me still that I hurt his feelings.

Presents were exchanged.  Tears were shed.

The most epic Pink Fluffy Stuff War of 2012 was amazing.

It’s been an interesting Christmas.

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Traditions

So… Tis the season where I think more and more about the traditions that we have… The traditions that we make… This morning I was standing with my 18 year old baby girl in the line that wraps around JCPenny’s … Continue reading

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Christmas Stockings…

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Okay… first, let me thank Kaitlin of Kaitlin’s Cauze for pushing me gently down this road.  I am actively chasing a purple hoody that is the prize for her ongoing trivia contest.  Her blog is here… Mostly she is all … Continue reading