My normal time to crawl out of the cave of sleep and get on with the day varies somewhat day to day, but anything before 9 am is unusual. I am usually getting up to attend an appointment [or another such important reason], still awake from the night before or on the very rarest of occasions I just happen to wake up and can’t get back to sleep for that couple extra hours. This morning I was awakened by Son heading off to work at 5:25 am and I really tried to get back to sleep [seriously, did not feel any need to start my day THIS early!], but it eluded me and I was stuck crawling out of bed at 6:15 after nearly and hour of trying.
First on the list of things to do, let the dog out, hit the loo, let the dog back in, feed her before she gets her tail in a knot. Then I hobble into the kitchen and wake up the coffee maker, get morning meds, grab fresh brewed coffee [blow lots to cool it down some so I can drink it without burning my mouth], park my butt in front of the computer and start reading blogs, news, facebook messages, email… First rounds of chores done.
Next round of things to do, pick a project I have on the go to spend some time on. This morning the first choice to finish plying off the singles for a friend’s custom yarn. The wheel starts sounding grumpy from the start, not good… Inspection reveals I have loose parts in tight spots, this means pulling things apart to reach them. Wrench, pliers, lube spray to loosen the main nut, glue to fix problems, determination and stubborn will take a little less than 3/4 of an hour to get the wheel fixed up and working again. A bit of spinning to test that all is back in place and I am ready to go again.
I toss a load of laundry in, it was meant to go in last night, but I was just too tired to fuss with it… Bed was calling and it won. Today it needs doing, all the extra towels got used up cleaning a spill over the weekend and I would like them back in the cupboard ASAP, the extra stuff to make up a load are bonus.
Back to the wheel, another round of plying… It is meditative until the treadle hinge starts squeaking, damn it, forgot to tend to that while doing that other maintenance stuff… BREAK TIME! Need another coffee to keep me going, maybe throw up a blog…. ZZZZZzzzzzz….
Murmble, groan, WHat?! Sorry, dozed off for a bit there, told you it was way too early for me. Time to go throw something together for lunch, finish up that load of laundry and go find something to do for the afternoon.
It has been a fair time since I have blogged, mostly because I have not been sure what to blog about. I am not one of those folks that feels I must advertise every moment of my day in some sort of social media and find it hard to think anyone really cares to hear about the little things I find thoughtful in my life, but endeavouring to find a tidbit to offer to the few that might care, I shall start with something that means a great deal to me today… Chronic Pain.
Have you or anyone you love had an episode in life in which you suffered a large amount of pain that you were glad to see gone once you had healed/recovered from whatever had caused it?
Were so you so thankful, glad, or giddy with joy to see the backside of that pain?
Just think for one small moment what life would be like if it had NOT taken itself off like the nasty troll it is.
What would your life be like today if it still clung to you every day…?
Chronic pain is a companion I would rather not have living with me day in and day out. It breaks, fractures and steals my sleep, hampers my ability to function cognitively and cheats me out of physical strength to actively engage in daily life on a regular basis. Pain is a troll in the arse and can piss off as far as I am concerned, unfortunately a rock listens better than the troll of pain does and it has planted itself as tenaciously as a burr on my nerves. Unfortunately this means, pain
kisses kicks me daily, some days more brutally than others. I fight back as much as I can, I am stubborn that way. Some days I get the upper hand, some days it beats me into the floor. Chronic pain is not a fun guest in anyone’s life… having it move in to live with you just vile.
After nearly 20 years of a slow spiral into higher and higher levels of pain that result in lesser and lesser levels of function & mobility, medications are a mandatory necessity in order to beat pain back enough to function and have any kind of life. Daily doses of two medications keep things ticking along, but once every 8 weeks, my dad [ArchonsDen] and I travel nearly an hour to a clinic that offers a more strategic pain treatment. The Dr. that oversees this clinic is one of very few that are willing to do this kind of work in our area as there has been a great deal of bad press about Dr’s that prescribe too much to people who are in real pain and accuse them of creating a world of addicts. There are strict rules for Dr’s that run any kind of pain clinics and what you can expect to receive, personally I am glad for what I do get and see my family Dr for anything else I may need.
Tomorrow I am due for my treatment, an IVI [intravenous infusion] that will effectively numb my nerves and make all my muscles get all sleepy and dozy for a day or two so that my pain levels sort of reset themselves at a lower level. It is like the shots of freezing you get with dental work or when you get stitches. It is the same medication actually, just in a slightly different format and dosage; as an IV rather than shots that treats the whole body, not just one area. It puts a body in sort of a twilight state [not THAT twilight, no vampires are involved in this treatment!] and blocks the neurons’ ability to transmit pain signals. This brief period of nerve blockage numbs the pain, reduces inflammation caused by nerve irritation and reduces the amount of pain that is registered by the nerves. It by no means removes the ability to feel pain, but brings a level of relief to the all day, every day growl of the pain troll.
Patients are only allowed this treatment 6 times per 12 months by the governmental bean counters and that averages out to every 8 weeks that I get one. This 8 week cycle means that for the last 1-3 weeks it is “Crash Time” and it can be long & slow or short and hard. This round was a short and hard one, so the pain troll has been a nasty bugger this past week. Despite the massive pain spikes, I have managed to do many things and keep at some of the smaller chores, but have paid the price in requiring additional pain meds and sleep to deal with roaring pain and/or exhaustion, so all is not without the checks and balances.
No matter how cruel the troll is, it does not steal my positive mindset or my stubborn nature and I am rallying on until tomorrow, making plans and tottering about the little things I can manage until then….
Here’s a chuckle I came across while reading blogs and cruising Youtube… Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers singing the Atheist’s Hymnal
I finally joined the ranks of Keurig machine owners last week. My wonderful and loving son got his tax refund in and offered me a portion larger than I had requested as my fee for doing his taxes for him, it was just enough to buy the machine I had been lusting after for a year now. (A Cuisinart with all the bells and whistles I’d been hankering for)
I know, I know…. I could have used it for some more practical purpose, but since I drink one kind of coffee (Fantastic Ecuadorian organic right from a friend of mine who has her own plantain down there. Very fair trade and supports the Co-op that helps the other farmers too) & Son and his girl drink Starbucks or tea, I thought this was a very practical idea for our household.
The machine I bought came with the brew-your-own filter thing, so brewing our own coffee was one of the first thing I tried. Yummy, fantastic, in just that quick a hot cuppa coffee when you want one and no faffing with trying to drink the rest of a pot in a decent amount of time. Travel mug to go, no problem… cuppa tea or two at night, easy peasy… clean the reusable filter each time, kind of a pain…. but in the end, I was prepared for the fuss and muss for the sake of the rest of the convenience the machine provided.
Then while I was browsing the internet in search of a decent paper filter insert solution for that little basket, I stumbled on an idea that would allow me to use regular #2 coffee filters to make my own little filter inserts. Easy peasy removal of used grounds, quicker transition from one type of coffee to another, easier clean-up in general and all it takes is a little work on my part to cut the filters and do a bit of folding.
So I grabbed a pack of #2 filters we had on hand for Girl’s little coffee brewer and did a bit of trim and fold, popped the first attempt into the little filter cup, added coffee and brewed. Wonderfully easy, coffee brewed just fine and it was simple to grab the edge of the paper and slip it out into the compost collection pail. The coffee grounds do spill over the top edge of the filter an little, but the rinse needed to clean that up is much quicker and uses far less water. You really only need to rinse it if you are switching coffee or switching to doing tea and since I picked up that pack of filters (40 in each) for $1 at a local dollar store, that means 80 filters for a measly $1… SCORE !!!!!
Way cheaper than what I can buy online, no shipping costs, better availability and makes my life just a little easier for the sake of a bit of fiddling about doing kindergarten level arts & crafts – LOL
Here is how I did it….
So there you are… a quick, easy and CHEAP way to create paper filter inserts for your Keurig coffee machine!!
It started out great and then fell into a foggy, painful, frakkin’ mess you feel like when you get sick…
Last Tuesday was magic day for me… What is magic day? That fantastic day every 8 weeks that I get my IV to keep my pain levels under control and allows me to live a somewhat normal-like life for at least the first 6 weeks until the treatment starts wearing off. So a week back, I travelled the highway to the clinic in Ingersoll and had my treatment and came home to rest and enjoy the relief it brought.
Wednesday was General Meeting here at our co-op. This was one of the reason’s I rested the day before, as President of the board of directors, I had do my best to be there. 2 hours from start to finish with a 10 minute break, far better that we expected. Everything approved and passed with only minor opposition to anything proposed, Huzzah! & Hallelujah! The only downside to this meeting as far as I was concerned was the fact that 2/3 of the people who came to the meeting were smokers and half went out the back door, the others out the front and the wind swirled around dragging in their second hand cloud from not only the doors, but the windows as well. I was well and truly surrounded and knew I was going to suffer for it.
Wednesday night I took allergy & pain medication, my inhaler and went to bed early hoping to kill the allergy attack before it became a major problem… Apparently my body didn’t get the brain’s memo about not getting sick, I woke up Thursday morning feeling like I had a major hangover with a sinus blockade to boot – Yuck!
Some folks in the general population will tell you they get allergy colds, but like stomach flu, there is no such beast. You either have allergies or a cold, or even both, but allergies do not create a cold. They CAN create cold-like symptoms though and that is what gets these folks so confused. I started out with what I was certain was a severe allergy attack. I mean if you combine the spring allergens starting early due to warm temperatures plus that 10 minute cigarette fogging I got on Wednesday night, I figured it was a given. Well it seems that I may have graduated to having both over the weekend as the allergy medication I was taking was no longer gaining me any substantial relief, my coughing and hacking attacks had progressed to the point I was nearly popping ribs, my wheezing was getting no relief from my inhalers and then yesterday I started with the 2 symptoms that separate a severe allergy attack from a cold – fever & body aches -
I called in the reinforcements, or more accurately my folks. My brother works the midnight shift and I was hoping to beg a loan of some of OTC medication and get it dropped off on his way past my place as he headed for work. They didn’t have much themselves and what they had, they needed, so I was prepared to suffer another night when muffled conversation at the other end resulted in being told my dad was driving out right away to hit the store before it closed to get me some.
Well colour me stunned and more grateful than you can say!
This morning I woke up for the first time in days NOT feeling less like death warmed over… after a sound beating with garden hoses and bongo drums pounding inside my head. I am still coughing, hacking and generally aching all over from the abuse my body was/is taking, but I have some relief and hopefully this will work it’s way gone in another week and I can get on making the most of my good days and this early spring.
We all have our little quirks, the little things and rituals that make things “right” with our world. Your bacon fried crispy in the morning, your eggs sunny side up, your chaotic purse, your well organized work station, I could go on, but I imagine you have my drift.
One of my little quirks is my keys. I have kept my keys on a large ring with a bolt clip like you see in the picture for nearly 20 years now. Each key is sorted on the ring and placed based on its usage and importance.
Over the years extra things get added and removed, again based on need and importance. It seems so trivial to some the small addition of a little tag for some store, an extra key for a lock at work. For me, every extra ounce/gram I have to carry around can be a hurdle, especially on a bad day, so I try and keep my purse and keys as minimal as I can.
For the first time since I started as a member & as president of the board of directors for my co-op, I am responsible for more then a random couple of keys. In fact, my job description lays out the types of keys I should have in my possession in case of emergencies and day-to-day needs.
What does this mean for me? Five – count them –  new keys I have to keep with me. Two of them could technically get left on a separate ring at home, but three of them have to stay with me when I leave the house in case of an emergency. So in the last 3-5 weeks, a bunch of locks got changed/upgraded and I ended up with these 5 new keys. I dutifully added them to my key ring, but as the number of bits on my ring increased, the careful balance seemed to be off. I had to search for my important keys more often and things just generally felt off. Call it bad key chain feng shui or whatever you want, but the whole thing was driving me mad.
Today I decided that something needed to be done about the key thing. Yes, yes, I can hear the snickers over there, who else goes all feng shui on their keys?!?! Any way, after a bit of fussing around and much taking off and putting back on of all the bits and bobs that make up my key ring, I finally found its balance with the added keys and have harmony with them once again. Call me crazy [it is not like that would be the first or last time], but it’s hard to explain the feeling of being able to flip the keys in such a way that the key I want will fall into place, the right way up, so that I am not fumbling and struggling in the dark for a key I need.
It just made me feel good, like it was the first step in starting the whole spring cleaning thing.
Yikes, I may be in for some real trouble later on…
I have a few disaster zones I have been neglecting around the house…
Take these tiny little things in the picture, they are silicone nose pads. For those that don’t wear glasses, they are the things that keep the frames from rubbing your nose raw if you get a pair that don’t have them ready made in the frame itself.
Last week I lost one of the pads on my glasses. It had to have been sometime on Thursday I lost it, but I didn’t notice it was missing until Friday morning when I put my glasses on first thing in the morning and things didn’t feel right.
I took them back off to see what is amiss and there was the problem, one missing pad, leaving me with a little metal stump to press into the side of my nose and put an incredible amount of pressure on one tiny spot on my nose. It was quite painful, like someone pressing a sharp pencil tip into the side of my nose. A little eye glass shop was going to charge $5 to replace just one… My Optometrist’s office would replace it for free if I could wait until Monday.
Monday afternoon I was finally able to swing past the Eye Dr.’s office and get that little silicone piece replaced, can you say “what a difference a tiny little thing like that can make”?
It made me think about all the tiny little things that make life tootle along in our day-to-day life. We can rant about how tiny things bug us, irritate us, anger us, frustrate us, but I would like you all to think about the little things that make our lives easier, different, better, more comfortable, cleaner.
Like the little nose pads on glasses, clicker buttons on pens, all the little seals in our cars/plumbing/etc, the safety pin in the bottom of your purse [or desk drawer], a sewing needle, a penny, a hearing aid no bigger that the tip of your little finger…
I could keep going, but the point I want to make is I stopped to take a look at one tiny thing that made such a difference in my life and wanted to share the idea that tiny things can make a big difference in all our lives, perhaps we can all take a moment to be grateful for at least one every day.
I am an artsy-fartsy type of person… really. Even in the midst of bouts of pain, fatigue and other health issues, my sanity is maintained by the joy of being able to create lovely pieces of wearable art, handy household goods, hand-spun yarns, jewelled trinkets of various sorts, etc.
GranmaLadybug [she's my mom] will entertain you with the story of the years I whinged that I couldn’t anything special like she did. I didn’t get the hang of crochet until in my early 20′s, but by my mid 20′s I was designing patterns for crochet. Late 20′s was the cross stitch years, when any fabric was a potential canvass. Early 30′s was when the spinning wheel arrived in my live and now suddenly I was spinning my own yarn from wool, mohair, alpaca, llama, silk, cat & dog fur even… I was suddenly this crafty little maven & my mom was often heard chortling in glee over this turn of events, both in teasing me and in being quite proud of the skills I had been able gain and become accomplished at.
So I went from feeling like such a failure to suddenly creating stuff like these:
So you can see that I went from nothing to something pretty decent in a matter of a decade. In leaping stages I went from whiny adolescent to accomplished woman, meh to mighty, clueless to crafty…. well you get my drift.
If you follow this link to my WEBSHOTS album, you can see more of the stuff I’ve done [a few things are done by friends and are posted in the interest of making sales]. You will also find beeswax tea light candles in that album GranmaLadybug makes those and they are YUMMY!
Used to do a local farmer’s market, but when they got a blast of ego that they could compete with the fellow market in the next city and cranked the rents, I stopped that. Now I do online, little monthly markets and a few shows a year, but that doesn’t stop me from using my craftiness as therapy and continuing to create lovely things. Shawls are my original ‘signature item’ when I started to sell my stuff and over the years I branched out, a bit of this, a bit of that, a bit of razzle-dazzle too… Last year I decided to trim down the list of things since I don’t do the big market and don’t need such a big variety of stock to make the sales. Shawls are once again my signature item on the knitting/crochet column of my inventory and it feels good.
So if anyone out there is all interested, now you know a little bit more about me and the kind of things that turn my wheel…
I tried the quiz on this site and this is the kind of cupcake that best represents me.
Kind of cool… feel free to try it for yourself if you haven’t already.
I was doing my morning routine and I realized it could be summed up like this:
A – Alarm goes off
B – Bathroom dance with critters
C – Coffee started & cats fed
D – Dog out, back in & fed
E – Excavate through the litter
F – Finally get to sit down to relax with my coffee and a bite to eat
1 – scoop of food for the dog
2 – scoops of food for the cats
3 – scoops of coffee beans, fresh ground and into the machine
4 – liters* of water to fill glasses, water bowls & make the coffee
5 – cats getting treats
6 – pills & vitamins to swallow
It just struck me as funny that everything fit into this intriguing little list & thought I would share…
I mean it just goes to show just where my brain is at in the first 30-45 minutes of my day.