Wednesday, June 20, 2018

My Home is my Refuge



Today is another bad pain and energy day for me.  Everything hurts and I have very little gumpton left.  I am glad that Jeff and I were able to get some things done out in the garden yesterday because there is no way I could have done them today.

   Despite the pain, or maybe, just maybe, because of it, I have found myself loving my home even more.  It is my place of refuge, rest, and an escape from the demands of the outside world.  Here I am safe.

   My hubby works hard outside and around our home to make this all possible for me.  He knows that there are times when I just can't do anything and need to rest.  He encourages me to do so and takes over the areas where I usually am in control of.

   I used to be a social butterfly and really enjoyed being around people.  Now I can only do people in limited doses because it gets too overwhelming for me.  It has to be a low pain day for me to be out  and away from my home.  If it is a high pain day, like today, just going down to the library and post office can take every bit of energy I can muster and I don't stop to chat with people, but come straight back home, take off my bra (on days like this it hurts to wear one) and collapse into my recliner.

   My home is filled with comfy furniture, soft throws, and multiple beds where I can retreat to and take a nap if needed.  Our swamp cooler keeps things cool during the Summer and the pellet stove keeps it nice and warm during the cold months.  We have a walk in shower along with a deep soaking tub.  Our hot tub, with the enclosure around it to give us privacy and allow us to use it in any kind of weather, is a place where Jeff and I can both relax and our grandkids enjoy playing in it too.
The back screened in porch is used 3 seasons of the year.  We have meals out there, family parties, morning coffee and I blog and read there also.  We also have an extensive video and book collection here so there is always something to watch or read.

   Our gardens provide fresh produce, not only for us, but for our family and friends as well.  We also try to preserve some of it for use during the non gardening months.  The flowers blooming bring me great joy.  I love seeing the hummingbirds flitting from one bloom to another gathering nectar.  Wandering around my gardens is calming and healing in and of itself for me.

   The most important things about my home though is that it is filled with love and is still a gathering place for our family and friends.  It is a place where everyone is accepted, embraced and encouraged.  My grandchildren and children, along with our friends all feel very much at home here and that is as it should be.  It is a refuge for them as well as for Jeff and I.  There is always good food to eat, cats to cuddle with and our big love bug of a dog Caesar who looks after all the grandbabies.  The grandkids have their toy box, personal library, outdoor toys and bikes here.  They even consider the back guest bedroom their room and did I mention that I even have toothbrushes here for them also?

    With all the craziness and downright hateful attitudes going on in the world around us, I am blessed to have such a special place to retreat to.  I can shut out the outside world if need be to get a break from it all.  I do not need to let anyone into my world here either in person or even in cyberspace who will disrupt the peace that I need.  Yes, there will always be things going on and yes, the outside world does creep in sometimes, but isn't it great to know you can shut it out most of the time?

   I am blessed to have the home and supportive family and friends that I do.  I am blessed that our home is a place of refuge for me, my husband and our family and friends.  I am blessed to have the fur babies that we do and the great joy they bring into our lives.  I am just blessed. :)

Monday, June 18, 2018

Fibromyalgia Sucks!



   I have Fibromyalgia and it sucks!  I hate being limited and not knowing from minute to minute how I am going to be feeling.  I hate knowing that just being around friends and family and celebrating life is going to take a huge toll on my health and energy levels.  I hate having to miss important events because the pain is so great and has me in bed and in tears.  I hate not being able to run around with my grandkids.  I hate feeling like I am a burden to my family because there is so much that I cannot do now and they have to step in and help me so much.  I hate watching my hubby have to work so hard at his job and then come home and do so much around here when he is also in's not fair to him. 😭 I hate the cost of supplements and medications that I need just to function and the toll it takes on our budget.  I hate knowing that at any moment my digestive tract can rebel big time and that I am going to be miserable and housebound.  I hate never getting a restful and restorative night's sleep and always feeling exhausted.  I hate struggling to find the words or for my thoughts to go out the window mid sentence and looking like a complete idiot in the process. I hate the anxiety and depression and weight gain that come with this.   I hate that there are people who don't think this disease/syndrome are real and think those of us who have it are "faking it".  I hate that I am unable to work outside the home now and cannot contribute financially to our family.  I hate being in pain 24/7 and knowing that it can and does get so much worse during a flare.  I hate knowing that this is how I am going to have to live for the rest of my life unless there is a cure found for it. 

   What brought on this tirade?  I've been in a horrible flare all weekend and had to miss one of my hanai daughter's wedding on Saturday because I could not function and had to be in bed most of the time.  I was in tears and not even Hydrocodone was doing much to help with the pain levels.  We had a bit of a family crisis and baby Steven came up Sunday morning for awhile so Rachel could take care of things.  He toddled back and forth between the living room and our bedroom looking for me and saying "Hi!" all the way down the hall.  Jeff took charge of taking care of him since I could not.  Bradley came and spent Sunday night with us since Isaiah had dental surgery this Monday morning.  He is an amazing kid and knew I was not doing well so he was very gentle and calm with me.  I was able to have dinner with him and Jeff, rested while they hot tubbed and watched a movie with them before he headed to bed.  He was so good about picking up his toys and taking care of a lot of things for himself.  I did feel horrible though that I was not able to cuddle with him while we watched the movie (I was hurting too badly) but he did cuddle up with Jeff and I could see that Jeff really enjoyed that.

  Today I was able to do a load of laundry and that was it.  That alone wore me out and I had to stay in my recliner for most of the day switching to one of the guest beds to rest for 2 hours in the afternoon.  Jeff took Bradley back to meet his daddy and then ran all the errands that I was not able to on Friday since I ran out of steam before getting everything done and had to retreat home and to my recliner and bed.  

   We were making plans for me to go and stay with my parents in July for a week and then ride the train back home so that I could visit with one of my aunts and uncles while they were there also.  Knowing now that I am still not fully recovered from the family reunion and then having a busy week last week on top of it, led to this horrible and over the top flare.  I am thinking with the hotter weather coming that always makes me flare worse, this could be a disaster waiting to happen health wise.  It is killing me knowing that with my uncle's failing health, it might be my last time to see him and I have never met his wife in person before.  Family means everything to me and again, this disease is robbing me of my ability to be able to go and see and spend time with so many of them.  Yes, being with them fills my "love tank", but I am finding that I am paying a heavy price health wise to do so.

   Some hard decisions are going to have to be made here quickly.  I know that I am coming into the hot weather that makes me flare pretty badly.  I also know that I have been pushing myself far too much so that I can spend as much time as possible with those I love.  I'm taking this week to take care of me, rest and hopefully recuperate a bit.  I'm going to do the absolute minimum needed to keep our home running.  I plan on resting, reading the pile of books I have here from the library, watching movies and sleeping in as much as my body will allow me to.  It is a good week to do so since the weather is not going to be great and will be raining a good amount of the time.  I already let Heather know that I will not be making Bradley's t-ball game this week.  He has 2 more next week and I will try to make one of those.  Luckily, she understands and so does Bradley.

   This next weekend Jeff and I have carved out the entire time for ourselves.  Our plan is to go up to the lake near us, go out to Olive Garden (we have gift cards for there) for a late Father's Day lunch and then, weather permitting, go to the beach and the park there and listen to the free Summer concerts that are usually held there on Sundays.  I need to get rested up for that because the last thing I want to do is let my sweet hubby down.  He works so hard and deserves a weekend just for him.

   So yes, Fibromyalgia sucks and I hate that it not only takes a toll on me, but also on my family.  I would not wish this on my worst enemy because NO ONE should have to live this way with no relief or end in sight.  I try to make the best of it and focus on all the good in my life, but there are times, like this weekend, where it all just gets to be too much and overwhelms me.  Sometimes I just need to get it all out of my system so that I can them take a deep breath and start again with a better attitude again.

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 6/9-6/15 2018


One of our meals this week.  Meatloaf made with Yoshida's sauce, rice with Furikake and Napa cabbage.

   Late again with my Frugal Friday Wrap Up post.  I had the best of intentions to get it up Saturday morning but woke up that morning in one of the worst Fibro flares I have had in a long time.  It was way up there on the pain scale and made me nauseous.  Even Hydrocodone could not get rid of the pain but it did take it down about 1 degree on the pain scale.  We had a wedding to go to that day and I was in tears because there was no way I was going to be able to go.  I spend both Saturday and Sunday alternating between my bed, my recliner and the couch.  It's now Monday and I just got one of the guest beds stripped down and am again wiped out.  Thank God for leftovers and a wonderful hubby who takes such good care of me because today is going to be another day of rest for me.  Onto the frugal doings...

Penne with vodka sauce and fresh basil from the garden.

~Saturday we made a run into town to make a donation to Goodwill and pick up my free 8x10 photo from Walgreen's.
~We got a 20% off one item coupon from Goodwill for making a donation.  Jeff found a nice brand new leather belt that he used the coupon on.  We also found a shirt and some workout type capris for me, and 3 books.
~We grabbed a huge submarine sandwich from the deli for $3.98 and shared that for dinner.
~Hot tubbing was on the agenda for Saturday night also.
~Sunday we cleaned and sorted like crazy people!  We have a tote full of Josh's sports cards, jeans in the next size down for me that I hope to be able to get back into, a bag full of things to take of the consignment store, things for our yard sale next month and both the guest bedrooms are clean now with freshly made beds ready for my parents' visit on Thursday.
~We brought in one of the dressers that we got for free when the college students left and organized all our crafting, office and school type supplies.
~Jeff watched a movie he borrowed from Jaysn.
~Since we were both exhausted, we threw a frozen pizza in the oven and had that for dinner.
~Monday I planted the bottom root ends of some green onions in the garden.
~Two more loaves of bread were made to get us through the week.
~I ran down to the library to pick up a few items that were on hold for me.

Books and movies from the library.

~The leftover coffee grounds that I have been collecting from our daily pot of coffee were spread around the blueberry bushes.
~I made a pot of decaf coffee in the afternoon since it was a bit chilly outside and I wanted something hot to drink.  We have lots and lots of good Starbucks decaf coffee that was given to us so I used some of that.  I felt like I was getting a really nice treat!
~I wanted some chicken salad for lunch and rummaged through the pantry and found some canned chicken.  I added some mayo, 2 stalks of chopped celery, a little celery salt and mix it all together with the drained chicken.  I added some sliced up grapes to my sandwich because I love that combination and Jeff had his on some of my freshly made and toasted bread.
~I pulled some Cotto Salami out of the freezer for Jeff to use for sandwiches that he takes to work this week.  I had found it on sale for .99 awhile back and bought 2 packages of it for him.
~Dinner was whole wheat penne (from the pantry $1), with vodka sauce (.79 after both store and manufacturer's coupons) topped with fresh basil from our garden.
~Tuesday I noticed that something is eating my zucchini plants and I suspect it is slugs.  I put crushed eggshells around all the squash, beans and cucumber plants because I have read that the crushed shells will keep the slugs away since it cuts and kills them.
~I put banana peels around the rose bushes.
~Laundry was dried on the laundry line.
~ I had to run in to town to pick up my prescription.  We decided to just pick up a few grocery items there so that I could do a fruit tray for my cousin and his wife's visit, along with my parents visit.  I'm so glad we did.  As I walked through the door at home, the phone rang and it was my cousin calling to ask if it would be alright for them to come on Wednesday instead of Thursday.  :)
~We also stopped at the Dollar Tree to pick up a few things there.  They had their Basil pesto back in stock so I grabbed some of those along with crackers, Secret antiperspirant, and a few other items.
~Wednesday was a rough day health wise.  I did not sleep well due to being in a Fibro flare and lots of pain.  Luckily I had everything I needed on hand for my cousin and his wife's visit.  I did a fruit tray minus the cantaloupe and then did cheese, crackers and Summer sausage.  It was really good and easy to throw together.  I got it done in the morning so that I would not have to fuss with it later in the day.
~Rachel and Steven came up to visit while my cousin Tim and his beautiful wife Sonya were here.  We all had a wonderful time and it was such fun to be together.  I had not seen Tim since I was 17 years old but it seemed like no time had passed at all. :)  Sonya is a total sweetheart and we instantly bonded. Once Steven warmed up to them, he became a total flirt. 😉
~Rachel "shopped" our pantry and freezer (we have been begging the kids to all do this) while she was working doing their laundry here.  We feel so blessed that we can all help each other out.
~I am friends with our librarian and she dropped off my books and movies that I had on request here with me on her way home since I was not able to make it down during the short open hours today.
~Leftovers were for dinner since I did not have the energy to cook anything.
~Thursday I woke up still flaring and just exhausted.  I spent the morning taking care of me and resting and had leftovers for lunch.  My parents arrived later in the afternoon for an overnight visit which was such a wonderful thing.  I love spending time with both of them.

I found a desk organizer at Goodwill for $2.99 that I am using in the living room to corral the remotes, keep my fitbit charger in the bottom drawer, have notepads and pens handy and a few other things also.

~We had a lovely picnic dinner with pizza in a local park with the whole family.  My parents treated us all to the pizza and we brought home the leftovers.
~We were thoroughly entertained watching Bradley's T-ball game that night.  I am so glad my parents were able to see him play. 😊
~My dad was up early Friday morning so I got up at 4:30 a.m. and joined him.  We had coffee and a nice talk.  I loved having that one on one time with him and realize just how precious that is.
~My parents left around 7:30 a.m. to head to Moses Lake.  I relaxed for awhile and then got myself together and ran all the errands and did the shopping in one huge and tiring trip.
~I found lobster tails (2 tails per pack) drastically marked down to just under $4 a package.  I picked one up as a treat for me since Jeff does not like them.  I later made a nice dinner for myself with the lobster tails, a steamed red potato and fresh fruit along with a nice glass of wine.  It was delicious!
~I also picked up some treats for Jeff and he was really happy about that.
~I used coupons for a free jar of ranch dip, $3 off a huge bag of dog food, and shopped the marked downs in the deli.  I also found Tillamook 2 pound loaves of cheese on sale for $4.99 each and bought 3 of them. 
~The cheese, along with the 2 large Summer sausages, should get us through T-Ball season since I bring snacks, much to the delight of my grandsons, hubby and my grandsons' other cousins. :)
~I donated some things at Goodwill today and found a dress, a new pedicure kit, a letter organizer and some seasons of "Everybody Love Raymond" for half price.  I realized when I got home that I already had one of the seasons, but the sweet ladies at the Goodwill had already told me I could bring any back for store credit if I got home and found I already had that season.
~Chris surprised us by stopping by on his way to the Sprint Boat races.  He volunteers as an EMT at them every year.  We are praying that they don't have to cancel them since we are expecting thunderstorms tomorrow when they run that actual race.

A quiet way to start the in one of my favorite thrifted mugs and reading a book from the library.

   I do hope that everyone has a good week ahead.  We were supposed to have higher than normal temperatures this week but it looks like all that has changed.  I'm fine with that.  Be blessed!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Family Visit and a Fibro Flare

Jeff, Steven, myself, Sonya and my cousin Tim

    Last night, as I was heading to bed, I knew I was in trouble health wise.  I ached everywhere and cursed the Fibromyalgia that was making me feel this way.  I took a sleeping pill hoping it would help get me to sleep, but it did nothing to help me. I lay there for hours, tossing and turning, trying to find a comfortable position and praying for sleep.

   This morning, when I woke up, I felt even worse than last night.  The pain levels had me feeling nauseous.  The only thing I can compare it to is having a bad case of the flu where everything aches and you just want to sleep to escape it.  I knew though that my cousin Tim and his wife Sonya were coming in the early afternoon so I got up, showered, and then got a cheese plate, Summer sausage, crackers, and a fruit tray made.  I then collapsed into my recliner.

   My cousin and his wife pulled up and I got myself together.  I had not seen Tim since I was 17 years old.  I had lived with his family for 2 months between my junior and senior year of high school.  It honestly felt like no time had passed and we were able to pick right back up where we left off.  Sonya, his wife, is a total sweetheart and we bonded very quickly.  Rachel and Steven came up and joined in the mini family reunion and that made it even more fun.  It took all my energy but oh it was so worth it. 😊  My love tank is filled to overflowing once again.

   I'm still flaring and am praying that I feel better tomorrow since my parents will be arriving to stay with us for the night and we have a family dinner at a park and then our oldest grandson Bradley's T-ball game tomorrow night.  My parents understand that I struggle with my health at times and are great about pitching in with whatever is needed.  I really am looking forward to seeing them tomorrow.  I feel so very blessed at the moment.  I may struggle with my health, but my family is so supportive and being with them brings me great joy! 


Monday, June 11, 2018

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 6/2-6/8 2018


   Late again posting.  Jeff and I have been frantically trying to get some huge projects tackled around here and it has taken most of our time and energy.  Lots of sorting of things to keep, save for our yard sale, throw away or take to the consignment store.  I'm still dealing with some ongoing repercussions of eating way too many sugary things while at the family reunion....UGH!  Today is another day where both Jeff and I are pushing ourselves (he has a bad cold) to get things done.  I'm just sitting down for a moment while the bread dough rises and I am in between loads of laundry.  So here we go!

~Saturday Rachel gave us a ride into Pullman so we could pick up my car from the Les Swab (over $500 later to get the brake work done) OUCH!
~We found a deal on a pressure cooker for Rachel that was half the regular price.  We put it in our cart and waited for her at the store since she was also in town and there were only 2 left.
~I made a pork chop and rice casserole with things that we had on hand here at home.  It wa so good.
~Sunday we had a salad dinner with Jaysn, Rachel and Steven since we were both planning on making salad for dinner and our house was a lot cooler inside than their's was.
~Rachel made some pineapple mint tea from some of the mint in my yard and brought me some.  It is really good!
~I pulled some oregano out of the strawberry patch and hung it up to dry.
~I made 2 loaves of bread.
~Monday I borrowed a bunch of books from the library.
~I finally got all my flowers potted up in planters, and got the flat leaf parsley and basil potted up also.

~I took one of the hanging baskets of flowers that I potted up over to my neighbor who is going through a rough time and just needed a little reminder of how much she is loved.  All of the hanging baskets were either recycled from previous years or found when the college students left for home at the end if this school year.
~The towels were all dried on the laundry line.
~I made a tuna pasta salad for lunch.  It is one of our favorites.  I saved the bottoms of the green onions and put them in a glass of water.  The will grow longer roots in a few day and then I will plant them out in the garden.  My other green onions out there have all gone to seed at the moment so this .49 bunch of onions should keep me going for the rest of the summer at least.
~Jeff weeded out the blackberry patch so the bees can get to the blossoms.  Hopefully we will get some blackberries this year.
~Rachel gave us a bunch of their elk and venison steaks since she does not like steak.  I told her to come up and get some ground venison from our freezer since we have a lot of that.
~I made sure to set a timer when I am watering so I don't forget to turn the water off or over water the gardens.
~Dinner was leftovers since I needed to clean out the fridge anyway. 😉

~Tuesday we went to our oldest grandson Bradley's first T-ball game.  I took a variety of cheese, crackers, summer sausage and fruit, along with some water, to snack on.  My grandson Isaiah and his cousin Jobie really loved snacking on everything and I promised I would bring more snacks next week. ;)
~Dinner was leftovers.
~Wednesday I placed an order with Vitacost using a coupon code and taking advantage of their buy 1 get 1 half off off to place a minimal order.  I also got free shipping and went through Swagbucks to get 2 points for each dollar spent.
~I took advantage of a free offer for a "Country Living" magazine subscription.
~Jeff has a cold that is really getting to him so we decided to just spend the afternoon and evening relaxing before he had to go to work.  I popped some popcorn and we watched a movie that I got for $1 at the Dollar Tree.
~Thursday morning Jeff stopped by one of the local grocery stores to buy bananas that were on a two day only sale for .39 a pound.  We got through lots of bananas here at our house.
~Rachel and I worked in the side garden and got a lot of the weeding done.
~Dinner was venison steaks (free from our son Chris), yellow saffron rice ($1 from the Dollar Tree) and salad.
~Friday was another day at home for me.  I got Jeff's laundry done and hung up outside to dry.
~Steven hung our here with us while his parents went on a much needed date.  I got out a huge bowl and filled it with water.  He happily played and splashed for about half an hour.  We then got out our stroller and went for a walk with my hubby and our dog Caesar.  He also got lots of outside play time in our yard in the shady part. He fell asleep in my hubby's arms while watching bowling on TV with him about 6 p.m. 😀
~My basil was not doing too well so I looked up it's care and found out I was over watering it. I moved it away from the garden to a drier spot.
~Leftovers again for dinner since Steven was here and that was what was easiest.
~I took advantage of the free 8x10 photo print from Walgreens deal that is going on.  Through June 17th, you can order a free 8x10 photo online at Walgreen's photo center using the code PRINTDAD. 


Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Bradley Starts T-Ball

   Our oldest grandson, Bradley, had his first T-Ball game last night.  He and his cousin Jake both play on the same team so we had a large family cheering section for both boys with 3 sets of grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles and cousins there to cheer them on.  I brought snacks which were a huge hit with both Isaiah and his cousin Jobie.  Apparently Bradley was not happy that he did not get any of my snacks since he was playing ball while we ate them, but he did get a cupcake from the "snack mom" who brought them for the team. 😉

   Bradley and Jake both did great in their first game and we were so proud of them.  We had to laugh at Bradley though who took the whole spitting on the field thing, kicking dirt and making faces like the professional baseball players do to a whole new level.  If nothing else, he is very entertaining to if he would only pay more attention to the ball when he is out in the field. Being 6 years old, the attention span is not quite there yet.  😁

   Last night, on the way home from the game it hit me that we are entering yet another chapter in our lives.  It is one that will be filled with going to different sporting events to see our grandkids play just like we did with our own boys.  We are committed to going to one game a week since we have a half an hour drive to get there and it leaves little time once we get home for Jeff to relax before he has to get ready for work later in the evening.  It means a lot to Bradley to have us there and he was so surprised to not only see us, but also his Uncle Jaysn, Auntie Rachel and cousin Steven show up for his first game last night.  Next week he will also have his great grandparents (my parents) there to cheer him on also and I can't wait!

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