Tuesday, November 21, 2017

 


 
My happy happy grandboys, Bradley, Steven and Isaiah!  These three love each other so much and I feel so blessed that they can grow up together!
   Yesterday was a very good day health and energy wise and it scared me.  I actually felt good!  Yes, there was still pain, but it was just annoying and I could actually get things done. :)  I was very thankful for that but, as I said to my sweet hubby, when I feel this good (which is rare), it usually if followed by a crash.  

   I was very careful not to overdo it.  The last thing I wanted was to be out of commision for Thanksgiving.  I have things to do and people I love to spend time with! I really do believe that by spending time this past weekend with some of the people that I love most filled my "emotional happy tank" and really does give a positive boost to my immune system.

   Thanksgiving will be spent with Chris, Heather, the little boys and my cousin Jeremy.  If I am still doing fine after that, then we will head in to see Jaysn, Rachel, baby Steven and Rachel's mom and sister (who are coming up for Thanksgiving this year).  I truly do hope I am doing well because I love Rachel's family and do want to see them before they are back up here again for Christmas.  I am also thinking that we may, if energy allows, stop in at Walmart to pick up a few things at the Black Friday sale.  I am hoping to find matching pajamas for all the grandkids this year.

   Saturday we have a family game night planned since my hanai sister/other mother of my boys Roni and my hanai daughter Erica will be up here to celebrate her mom Char's birthday on Friday and also Thanksgiving.  This will be the first holiday since Mel passed away in September and it may be a difficult one for them so I wanted to do something fun for everyone.  Of course Char is invited too!  We usually do this around Christmas each year, but they are not sure if they will be back up then and I so wanted to continue this tradition, even if it is a month earlier than usual.  My boys and my hubby are so happy that we are doing this too!

   So very much to be thankful for and to be able to spend time with family is what makes me the happiest in life...so why am I scared?  Because there is always that fear that I will crash so badly that I will not be able to go and do these things.  I want to feel good and just soak it all in.  I need to be with my loved ones and not be stuck in bed.  I know that I run the huge risk of crashing big time trying to do too much.  I'm fine with it IF I crash say on Sunday after all the good times and getting together, but am fearful of crashing before then.  I have done everything possible to make sure that I am doing all I can to NOT over tax my body.  The holiday meals are potluck style, and so is the family game night.  My plan is to make wontons for that and my hubby will be helping me.  If I find that I cannot handle that, I do have a backup plan for food.  I have left myself a day between Thanksgiving and the game night to rest (which I know I need to do).

   There are other "outside forces" that affect me and my health that I do not have control over though.  Today it is raining and will be for the next 4 days.  I am feeling it big time.  I am very sensitive to different weather conditions and always have been.  I could feel this coming last night and started to ache everywhere.  It made sleeping very difficult and I am feeling it even more today.  My ears are itchy and feel like they are plugged up and my head feels like it is in vice.  Unfortunately, this is "normal" for me.  I am praying that my body will "adjust" to the rain by tomorrow...sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't.  My plans for today of doing some baking and housecleaning have been put on hold. That is life and I just have to go with the flow right?  No use beating myself up over something that I have no control over.  I can only do what I can do and give myself grace and have contingency plans. 😉

  

Monday, November 20, 2017

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 11/11-11/17 2017

   





Cute Kate Spade purse.


   Late again in posting this.  We had a busy but fun weekend and since I usually try to get this posted Saturday mornings...it just did not happen.  Onto the savings...


Three of the movies that we found at the new to us thrift store.  Not showing the brand new in wrapper ones that will be gifts just in case the recipient sees this. ;)



~On Saturday Jeff and I discovered a new thrift store and found some great deals there.  We picked up 2 English mugs, a Kenneth Cole Reaction shirt, a toy for Steven, and 6 dvds (3 of them were brand new in wrapper and will be Christmas gifts for family).
~We also went to Goodwill and found a really neat building set for the little boys, and a brand new North Face jacket for Jeff that was only $14.99.  I looked it up and it retailed for $190. We also found a pair of pants for me, a brand new blanket, a new in package queen sized sheet set for $5.99, some Christmas ornaments, a 3 hole punch and a bowling ball.


New sheet set for Jeff and my bed.

~Jeff and I watched the movie "Going in Style" that we borrowed from the library.  It was really good!
~Jeff reorganized the 2 big freezers so that it would easier for me to find what I needed.
~Monday we had to make another run into town to pick up a few things that we had forgotten the day before.  Jeff had mentioned that we needed mats or rugs by the front and back doors now that the weather is changing and we would be tracking in mud, water and snow.  I was able to find 2 mats at the Dollar Tree.  I figured at $1 each, I could afford to replace them as they got really dirty or destroyed by the cats.


Purse organizer and brand new small Vera Bradley wristlet wallet.

~We also stopped by my favorite thrift store so that I could look for boots for Bradley.  I found some there for him and also found some other amazing deals.  There was a pine garland that lit up, needed that to replace the one that Doofy ate ($2.99), a cute Kate Spade purse ($2.99), a Vera Bradley wristlet that was brand new (.49),  some cds that Jeff wanted ($1.50 each), a squeegee, a toy for Steven (.99), a purse organizer (.99) and a few other things.
~We did go out to lunch at a place that makes huge calzones.  I brought home half of mine for another meal.
~We found a cute little Vtech brand plane for Steven for Christmas at Walmart.


With all the rich foods I have been eating lately, I needed a salad one night.

~Tuesday I made 2 more loaves of bread for sandwiches for the week for my hubby to take to work with him and for his toast.
~I hot tubbed on Tuesday night to help ease my sore muscles.
~I continue to do more research on CFS and Fibromyalgia and how to manage these diseases.
~Our son Jaysn turned us onto the fact that the Red Green show is on YouTube.  I am so excited because Jeff and I love this show and do not get it on our PBS channels anymore.
~Our library has some new books and dvds that looked interesting, so I put in requests for them.


CD my hubby found for me.  I love my Hawaiian music.



~Wednesday I found 2 rotisserie chickens marked down at half price in the deli section at Walmart.  I bought one for us and one for Jaysn and Rachel.  Rachel has been sick with a cold and this will make dinner easy for her and she can use the rest of the chicken to make some nice homemade chicken noodle soup.
~Wednesday I took care of Steven in the afternoon and evening while Jaysn, Rachel and my Jeff went out car shopping.  Jaysn's car died and he wanted his dad's help in finding a good used car that would work well for their family.  Jeff was able to steer them away from bad cars and they found one that needed a few repairs (which the dealership is doing for free when Rachel told them that they would be sticking to their budget, paying in cash and would just walk away from getting the car if the repairs were not taken care of at the dealership's cost.)
~Thursday was a bad crash day for me so I did nothing.
~Friday I struggled but finally got the Garlic Sesame breadsticks done for the family Ladies Brunch on Saturday.




   It seems like I have been hit by the SPAM monster again in some of the replies to my posts.  I do want to apologize for that and I am deleting them as I find them.  Be blessed all!




Friday, November 17, 2017

Fibro Fog and Cooking Fail




   My Fitbit lied.  It said I got a little over 8 hours of sleep last night and that I was in the deep sleep cycle for a little over an hour.  It also says I feel asleep and went into the deep sleep cycle at 10:35 last night.  I did learn however that petting a cat that is cuddled up on your lap brings down your heart rate and calms you because that is what was going on at that time of night.  I then took a shower and crawled into bed to watch a movie since I could not sleep.  I do know that it was after 3:30 a.m. when I finally fell asleep.  After subtracting that information from my fitbit official sleep report, I know know that I only got about 30 minutes of deep sleep and 4 hour total sleep last night.  Also given the fact that I have not slept well at all this week, the Fibro Fog is thick today and I should have known better. 😒

   I am going to a potluck Ladies Brunch tomorrow and I decided to make some Garlic Sesame Straws for it.  This is a new recipe for me but it looked easy enough...imagine foreboding music playing at this point. 😩 

   I read the recipe multiple times over the past week and thought I had everything I needed for it.  I got the head of garlic all prepped and ready to put in the oven to roast only to discover that the recipe called for 2 heads of garlic.  Apparently that information did not register in my brain when I went to buy garlic specifically for this recipe.  I really do need to write everything down and not think I can remember something as simple as how much garlic to buy.  I figured that since I had a large head of garlic, I should be ok...it just would not be as garlicky.

   When the garlic was finished roasting in the oven, I went to get it prepped and then read to let it cool first.  Ok, that made sense, so I did.  An hour later I again read the recipe...um it called for thawed Puff Pastry sheets.  Oh Lordy...I forgot to get the Puff Pastry out to thaw earlier.  In my mixed up mind I somehow thought I used it frozen...I know that makes absolutely no sense, but that is how cloudy my thinking and reasoning is today. 

   The Puff Pastry is now out on the counter thawing and the head of garlic is cooled.  A recipe that should have only taken me about 2 hours total, and most of that was baking time, is on hold until the pastry thaws.  I am also entering into my typical low energy time of the day where even on my good days, I tend to doze off.  That is why I tried to get things done this morning.  I'm thinking at this point that I should just be thankful that I still have all my fingers after having to make 7 different cuts on the head of garlic earlier to expose all the cloves for baking.  It remains to be seen if I ever get these things done and IF they turn out well.  If they don't I am just going to make a tray of crackers and some jarred artichoke tapenade (that I bought at a specialty shop when I was visiting my parents) and call it good.  Yet another reason to have some specialty items that you can use for entertainment in your pantry.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Some Christmas Gift Ideas

   Christmas will be here sooner than we know.  I was thinking today of some gift ideas that I would both love to give and in some cases receive because these are things that save time and in some cases, also lots of money.  Since my energy is limited (and I love convenience), I decided to do some armchair shopping to put this list together.  This post does contain affiliate links to Amazon and I receive some compensation if you purchase these products or go through my links and purchase other products also (thank you in advance if you do this), but you can also find these items in many brick and mortar stores like Walmart, etc..  This is the time of year to also be on the lookout for those Black Friday sale prices, many of which are starting to come out even earlier this year.



    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MFEBQH1/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B01MFEBQH1&linkCode=as2&tag=thenextchap01-20&linkId=4ac7aca8929c9b9525ccc67f97bef89f

The Instant Pot is something that I have on my own wish list.  I love that it can be a pressure cooker, rice maker, steamer, slow cooker, saute and warmer all in one.  I could see this replacing so many of my other appliances.






https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LXJA5JD/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B01LXJA5JD&linkCode=as2&tag=thenextchap01-20&linkId=e56ff35fabfc8473d0ec9f8ed404a0d1

This is the Roku that we have and we love it because it can be used on older style television sets as well as the new ones.  We got rid of cable tv and just use our Roku.  There are many free channels that you can get through Roku as well as stream YouTube.  For a small fee, you can have channels such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Sling, Vudu, Hulu, etc. streamed through this also.  We have Netflix as part of a family plan through Jaysn and Rachel.


Product Details
https://www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&node=10825010011&ref_=assoc_tag_ph_1497395633412&_encoding=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=pf4&tag=thenextchap01-20&linkId=63520ae7649df33851f75ccce9c55536

Are you looking to upgrade you or your loved one's Kindle?  Right now Amazon has a deal where they will give you a $35 trade in on a new Kindle.  This is a limited time offer.  Here are the terms and conditions...
  • This is a limited time promotion. Amazon reserves the right to modify or cancel this offer at any time.
  • Qualifying trade-ins must be completed on Amazon.com by 11:59 PM. (Pacific Time) December 31, 2017 and sent to us within 7 days from trade-in submission.
  • Trade-in Kindle devices will be reviewed in accordance with the Amazon Trade-In Program Terms and Conditions and any applicable Condition Criteria. You will be eligible for an Amazon.com Gift Card and the bonus savings only if your trade-in item is accepted.
  • Once your Kindle trade-in is accepted, you can place a Kindle, Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Voyage, Kindle Oasis, or Kindle for Kids Bundle in your cart and the bonus $20 savings will be automatically applied at checkout. The bonus $20 savings will expire at 11:59 p.m. (Pacific Time) on February 28, 2018.
  • The bonus $20 savings can be used only toward the purchase of qualifying Kindle e-readers that are shipped and sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC and does not apply to digital products, used products, or products sold by sellers other than Amazon Digital Services LLC.
  • The bonus savings may be used only once and may not be combined with other offers. The bonus savings can be combined with an Amazon.com Gift Card value, including any Amazon.com Gift Card value you receive from your trade-in.
  • Offer is limited to five trade-ins per customer and account.
  • Shipping charges may apply to discounted promotional items.
  • If any of the products related to this offer are returned, your refund will equal the amount you paid for the product, subject to applicable refund policies.
  • Trade-In restrictions apply. See Trade-In Terms and Conditions.
  • Gift Card restrictions apply. See Amazon.com Gift Card Terms and Conditions.
  • If you violate any of these Terms and Conditions, the offer will be invalid.


https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01GEW27DA?ref_=assoc_tag_ph_1495028306219&_encoding=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=pf4&tag=thenextchap01-20&linkId=9b1d8a1bee19c17bb9e858facf311b54

Here is another great promotion going on at Amazon.  They have their all new Fire Tablets on sale starting at $49.99 right now.  Again, this is a limited time promotion.  Start Date: May 17 , 2017
End Date: Dec 31 , 2017

I am a big believer in buying good books for children.  This is one of my favorites!  Every year my grandchildren receive books for Christmas that reflect their current interests and are age appropriate.  My own grandmother did this for me as a child and I still have some of those treasure gifts.




https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ILYI2YS/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00ILYI2YS&linkCode=as2&tag=thenextchap01-20&linkId=a5e11bc06383b4378f4693385eb5ffad

Oh my goodness, if I had a granddaughter I would so buy this for her.  My grandboys love to dress up as superheros and characters from different movies and shows and costumes are always a huge hit with them.



https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00Y53V80E/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00Y53V80E&linkCode=as2&tag=thenextchap01-20&linkId=435349935b0555fc2b1fc0761fa5ba5e

My older grandboys loved their Vtech toys and I am now getting them for our youngest grandboy, baby Steven, who just turned 6 months old.  



Those are just a few of the ideas that I have for Christmas while I sit here doing some armchair shopping today.  I am still in shock at how fast this year has gone.  Didn't we just celebrate Christmas a few months ago?






Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Normal is just a Setting on the Dryer

   



   The other day I was lamenting to my husband that I just wanted a "normal" life.  I shared this with a friend who also said she wanted a "normal" life too.  Hmmm...so I shared it with another friend and she also wanted a "normal" life.  All of us, whom I shared this with, have gone through some really tough situations throughout our lives so wanting a "normal" life should not be a surprise right?  Then it hit me... there is no such thing as a normal life because everyone has their own challenges, triumphs, good times and bad.  Everyone and every life is unique therefore there is no "normal".  Normal is just a setting on the dryer.

   I have friends that seemed to have idyllic childhoods.  Oh how I envied them at the time.  Their families got along, they took nice vacations, did well in school, etc.  From the outside, I'm sure people assumed the same about me.  Only a few people had even a clue as to the tip of the iceberg about what I was actually dealing with.  As for my friends, I only knew the tip of the iceberg as to what some of them were actually dealing with also.  Years and years later things are coming out about knock down drag out fights within their homes, substance abuse, being beaten and abused, being told that if they did not conform to what their parents expected of them that they would be disowned, etc..  Some of my friends no longer have contact with their families for the above reasons.  I am blessed that I never experienced the things that they did and that I now have a healthy relationship with my parents.

   When I moved all the way across the ocean from my family to go to college at the tender age of 18, my past experiences haunted me and caused me to act out in ways that I wish I could change.  On one hand, I was a very caring and compassionate person who was there for my friends because I am extremely loyal to those I love.  On the other hand, I was one messed up and angry young woman who felt like no decent man would ever accept and love me because of my past.  I put myself in situations at times where my self loathing could have gotten me killed.  It took me a long time to realize that I did deserve to be happy and to be cherished by someone and that I could allow myself to be vulnerable and let my guard down with a man.  It was a bumpy and painful road getting to that point though.  Thank you God for sending me my Jeff.  His unconditional love, kindness, compassion and understanding have helped me to continue to heal (and yes, it is still an ongoing process and I am still "triggered" at times by sounds and the  memories of past childhood sexual abuse).  I am now finding out that many of my friends have also experienced similar things and my heart breaks for them.

   When I married my Jeff, I had no idea all the struggles that we would go through over the years.  I don't think anyone does.  You think that life is going to be a bed of roses when you marry the person that you love with all your heart.  In my mind I thought that the joining of both our sides of our families would lead to one big happy family where everyone got along and was supportive of one another.  Ha, I was so naive. While there were some blips with my parents as we all adjusted to our new roles, we worked them through because we have that mutual love and understanding and can honestly agree to disagree on things.  Plus, we all wanted to get along.  It was important to ALL of us.  I have to say, my parents, along with my brothers, and my sweet SIL Christie, are amazing, loving and so supportive of us and us of them.  No matter what is going on, we are there for one another through thick and thin.  My sister and I are also close and supportive of each other even though it has been 35 years since we have actually been in the same place together due to her living in Tahiti and me living here in Washington state and some legal matters because of her VISA mess up (she is a citizen of French Polynesia).  I could have never imagined that there would be people on my husband's side of the family that would set out to destroy our marriage, our children's relationships with us, us as individuals and others within his side of the family.  For years I thought all the family drama was pretty unique to us...nope.  Again, finding out more and more that many people I know have also experienced similar situations.  This does not bring me comfort because I know the pain all too well that they are also going through.

   As I struggled with my health and tried to find answers, I felt frustrated and alone at times.  It took 4 years of appointments, different medications that did not work, tears, feeling rotten, and having it affect every single area of my life including my marriage and my relationship with my children because I no longer was the person that I used to be and could not do things with them as much.  I finally got a diagnoses of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, just to be told there was nothing that my doctors could do to help me. 😪  It took years of research on my own to find supplements that would help me cope with this and have less "bad days".  Meanwhile, some of my symptoms got worse over time and God brought another doctor into our lives who recognized that all the symptoms and diagnoses from my years of illnesses, test results and my ongoing and worsening pain and symptoms  pointed to a diagnoses of having Fibromyalgia also, something that was not well known about within my local medical community.  As I shared about my struggles and diagnoses, I have found that more and more people have these diseases and that we can be supportive of one another and share information about what does and does not help each of us.  These diseases are truly unique to each individual with the same core symptoms but many other varying symptoms as well and what treatment may work for one individual does nothing or may make things worse for another.  I have made friends, both in person and online that have these and other autoimmune diseases and we all long to be "normal" again.  I have come to realize that in this case "normal" is defined as healthy and free from these debilitating diseases in our minds. 

   After all these years, it has finally occurred to me that there is no such thing as a normal life.  Everyone is unique and we each face our own challenges.  We all have and continue to deal with things in our lives that have molded us into who we are today.  There are so many variables in life, heck in each day.  All we can do is to make choices to live the best life that we can.  We can choose to surround ourselves with positive people and walk away from many of the negative people.  We can choose to take better care of ourselves by eating healthier, resting when we need to and to give ourselves grace and not be consumed by guilt, shame, etc..  We can choose to do more things that lift us up and bring us joy.  So I can finally let go of the illusion of having a normal life... there is no such thing, each is unique.

 


 


Friday, November 10, 2017

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 11/4-11/10 2017

Grammie's Superheros in their 75% off costumes that their very smart and loving mommy bought them.

   This has not been a week where I was able to do many frugal tasks other than stay home and out of the stores for the most part once Monday hit.  It has been a bad week for me health wise so I have found myself housebound for the majority of the week.  I did venture out to go to the library once and just that 10 minutes was all I could manage to do around people other than my family.  It takes so much energy to act "normal" and not let people see how much pain I may be in right then.    I will say that once again I am very thankful for a well a stocked pantry, full freezers, and a well stocked refrigerator along with a hubby who is willing to pick things up at the grocery store when needed when I cannot manage to make the trip in myself.  It has come to the point where the majority of the time, he comes with me to the store when I go anyway.  I love that man and he takes such good care of me!  Now, onto what I was able to do to save money this week.

Christmas themed Scentsy Burner I found at Goodwill for $5.99



~Saturday we went to a Rummage Sale put on by a local Boy Scout Troop and I was able to find lots of great things there.  I found dvds, clothing, a cosmetic pouch and a felted wool tote bag.  Here is a link to that post if you have not already seen it http://debbie-thenextchapterinmylife.blogspot.com/2017/11/all-this-for-8-rummage-sale-scores.html
~I found another Scentsy Wax burner in a Christmas theme at Goodwill for $5.99
~At another thrift store I found a pair of swim trunks for the little boys and a brand new Christmas themed fuzzy throw blanket.
~We brought the little boys home with us on Saturday to watch a movie and hot tub.  It was so much fun!  Sadly I did not get pictures because we were just enjoying being together.
~Sunday Jeff and I were in "Slug Mode" so we stayed home, watched some shows on TV, napped and had leftovers for dinner.
~Monday I froze a some of the leftover Zuppa Toscana and some rice for future meals.

Venison and macaroni casserole with cheese on top.

~I trimmed my bangs and feel human again. 😉
~Jeff took my car in to have the transmission flushed and new fluid put in it.  It apparently was way beyond needing it to be done.
~Jeff stopped on his way home from our mechanic and picked up some things at the grocery store for me.  Since we got snow and the roads are a bit slick, I did not want to be out driving on them so I stayed home.
~With the cold weather I have found myself sitting closer to our pellet stove seeking it's warmth and listening to different Hawaiian music playlists on Youtube.  I even got up and danced some hula to some of the songs that I know the hula dances to for exercise and because I love them so!  Yes, I took hula lessons as a young child and again as a teenager.
~I've been working my points programs.
~Our shower stall in the master bedroom bathroom decided to come apart so Jeff got in there and fixed and chalked it again.  We are taking our showers in the guest bathroom for a few days while the chalk cures.

Movies borrowed from the library.

~I planned our menu for this week around what needed to be used up in our freezer after I spent some time rearranging it to make sure that the oldest things were moved to the front of the upright freezer and the newer things we placed behind them.
~I ordered a free 2018 Calendar from Joyce Meyer's Ministry http://specialoffer.joycemeyer.org/2018-calendar/
~Thank goodness for leftovers!  I had a major fibro flare on Tuesday and just walking took a huge effort.
~We used the hot tub on Tuesday evening to help ease my aching and stiff muscles.  I do think it helped a bit.

Scrapple and fried apples for dinner.

~Wednesday I made Scrapple and fried apples for dinner.  There were some apples that we starting to go a bit soft so I needed a way to use some of them. We had leftover Scrapple so that will be there for another easy meal.
~Jeff borrowed our son Chris' truck so he could bring home a ton of wood pellets on Thursday morning.
~I sent home several bags of chicken fried steak with Chris...he loves them!
~The library had 3 movies in for me.
~I watched some videos on Youtube and learned how to make homemade chicken bullion from scratch.
~My sweet hubby picked up 2 10 pound bags of potatoes for me at .97 each from Safeway when he was in town on Thursday night for his bowling league.
~I'm back to using our thermal carafe to put the freshly brewed coffee in to keep it hot since I am now having a second cup later in the morning.

Pizza and a salad made for a quick and easy dinner on Friday.

~I got all my fuzzy slippers and cozy robes out and washed so that they are ready for me to use each day.  If I am having a flare/crash or it's just a rainy and cold day and I'm not going anywhere, I tend to just stay in jammies all day long.  It is just more comfortable for me and does not hurt as much as other clothing can be on me.
~Friday night's dinner was a frozen pizza that I got for $1.99 and popped in the oven along with a salad.  Cheap and good!
~On the nights that I have not been able to sleep, I find myself listening to praise and worship music.  YouTube has some good playlists.  One of my favorites in one by Hillsongs.

I love listening to praise music and find lots of playlists on YouTube.



   I'm praying that this weekend and coming week will be a better one health wise and my pain levels will go back down to the 5-6 range on the pain scale.  That I can handle and is my "normal".  Jeff has a long weekend and is off Monday so we are hoping to be able to do a few fun things this weekend and/or Monday if I feel up to it.  I'm thinking maybe going to see a movie.  I can sit, relax and enjoy!  Be blessed and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Frenetic Fibromyalgia Moments

 


   I thought that I would share today about how it feels to have those "Frenetic Fibro"  moments that usually come after a crash where you feel like you have to get everything done that you were not able to do when you were crashing and could not do much at all.  The reason I am sharing this today is that I am in the middle of one of those Frenetic Fibro days.  Now I want to say that this is a term that I have coined to explain how I am feeling.

   Yesterday was a bad crash day for me.  Walking down the hall was even difficult.  It HURT!  I did everything I could think of to try and ease the pain.  By the evening, it finally eased up enough that I was able to get in and out of the hot tub without help.  Some days, even though the hot tub helps with the muscle pain, I can't even manage to get in or out of it on my own and there are days when it is way to painful to even life my legs over the edge of it and ease myself it.  It feels like I have lead weights for arms and legs.


   Be right back...phone is ringing.

   Rachel just called and asked if I would like to come and cuddle baby Steven, who is teething, today while she gets some housework done.  Normally I would jump at any chance to spend time with the two of them, but I just can't today.  I explained to her what was going on with me and she, bless her amazingly loving heart, understood that although I wanted to come, I just can't today.  My nerves are pretty much shot and I feel like I am on the edge of a panic attack...not what baby Steven needs or Grammie needs.  I think with his fussiness and my anxiety, neither one of us would be helping each other and would just make each of us even worse. 😩

   So here is a peek into the way my mind and body are working today (and this is pretty common for me).  I woke up knowing that I was behind on things around the house.  I had a list of things that needed to be done today...like crucially needed to be done.  I then had another list of things that I wanted to get done because they were driving me nuts sitting there on my "to do" list and causing anxiety for me.  First off was getting going on the laundry.  I have a total of four loads to get done today.  Now I know that one of those loads could wait until tomorrow, but the OCD has kicked in big time by now and in my mind IT MUST BE DONE TODAY!  I tried to convince myself otherwise but that led to more frenetic energy and ramped me up big time.  I got busy making bread dough and got that rising and then started on the Scrapple that we are having for dinner tonight.  Once I had that done, I discovered that something had leaked in the refrigerator, so of course I had to clean that up right away.  The risen loaves of bread then went into the oven to bake and I got busy on getting the old leftover bread loaf cut up and seasoned to make croutons with.  While I am running around doing all this, I am still working on getting loads of laundry in and out of the washer and dryer, folding them and letting the fur babies in and out of the house onto the back porch more times than I want to count.  

  I notice that my body is aching more and more with each task I do, but I keep pushing myself knowing that I will be paying for it later.  Instead of thinking like a rational person, I push myself further and further.  The bread comes out of the oven and the croutons go into the oven and I fold another load of laundry.  The croutons come out of the oven and more laundry needs to be folded and another load transferred from the washer to the dryer.  By this time my muscles are burning and screaming at me...do I stop?  Nope!  I still need to take a shower and get myself ready for the day, run down to the post office and library (I have things due today and some things to pick up and the library will be closed by the time Jeff wakes up).  Chris is coming over later to drop off the truck for us to use to get pellets for our pellet stove and I have to gather some things up here for him to take back home with him.  I notice that the floors need to be vacuumed and once again the OCD kicks in.  I cannot do that until Jeff wakes up and it is driving me absolutely bonkers.  Only 2 more loads of laundry to deal with!  Yay!!!!

   Some days I can honestly pace myself and rest when I need to.  Days like today are ones where as much as I KNOW I need to do that, the frenetic energy, anxiety it produces and OCD have me so ramped up that even trying to rest makes it even worse.  I know it sounds crazy and counterproductive and it is.  It is that whole "flight or fright" response that many of us with Fibromyalgia find triggered up big time.  Our central nervous system is always on high alert, even on good days, and we can't help that.  It is part if this disease.  But days like this take it to a whole other level.  It becomes a compulsion that many of us cannot control, even if we wanted to.  I know that so many of you have shared with me how you are amazed at how much I can get done, even with this disease coupled with my CFS.  This is the reality of how it happens.  I push myself to the limits and beyond some days because I know that there is always another crash and flare around the corner and that produces anxiety for me.  My pattern has become push one day and crash the next when I get this ramped up.  Sometimes I am able to pace myself and do one thing and then rest, do another and then rest and honestly, that is the best way for me to manage my life.  Today is not one of those days.

   I know I sound like a crazy person but honestly there is some science behind this.  Studies have shown that most of us with Fibromyalgia are type A people who have had some severe trauma in our childhoods when our central nervous system was developing.  Some of us came from abusive homes, some of us came from homes where we were expected to be perfect at all times, some of us were forced to step into the role of being a parent and help raise our siblings and were held accountable for their behavior also.  Some of us were sexually abused as children by family or others (for the record, I was not sexually abused by a family member) and to add to that trauma, were either not believed or told to keep quiet about it and were never given the help that we needed to deal with it.  We all learned to be hyper vigilant at all times and it has taken a huge toll on our health. We are sometimes able to find ways to cope in our early 20's and 30's, but by the time we hit our 40's and beyond, our bodies become "stress overloaded" and our symptoms get so much worse.  It's like the dam has reached it's breaking point and develops some cracks at first, so some of the water starts to escape, but the pressure continues to build on those spots too making the cracks bigger and bigger and then it bursts wide open.  Does that make sense?  It's like our central nervous system is now programmed, due to our past, to be on high alert at all times.  This increases our perception to pain and causes our muscles to tense up big time, which causes even more pain.  Stress causes us to have more anxiety, which then causes us to feel even more stress because we feel guilty and are in severe pain, which then causes even more stress, anxiety and pain...it is a vicious circle.

   Here is my "saving grace" in all of this.  On days like this (and every day for that matter), my family and my close friends understand and do what they can to try to help me.  Rachel was wonderful when she called and fully understood that I just could not help her today, even though I wanted to be able to with all my heart.  She was very loving, compassionate and cared about me.  Yesterday, when I was crashing/in a flare, Josh called me instead of us just communicating back and forth through facebook messenger because he knew that typing was difficult for me right then.  If my husband sees me pushing myself, he will literally step right in and take over on certain tasks for me and we will work together to get through my list.  He will also make me go and rest and sometimes I am able to for a little while at least before I get back up and tackle another project and continue to do so before my body just won't let me anymore.  He has taken over certain chores, like cleaning the kitchen, which tends to overwhelm me and causes me to hurt like crazy.  My friend Shannon, on a recent shopping trip to Costco, took one look at me and knew I was having trouble understanding what she was saying about how to load up her car with our groceries to make it all fit (it was a bad fibro fog day) and had me take care of her adorable puppy and she loaded the car.  She then also realized that I could not deal with any more "stimulation" of having lots of people around me, so we grabbed lunch to eat in the car on the way home instead of going back into Costco to grab some lunch there.  My family knows that I am limited in energy and that there are days when I just cannot cope with anything more.  Without their help, love and support, I know I would sink into a deep depression (which is very common for people with CFS and/or Fibromyalgia).  It is because of them that I am able to focus on the good things in life most days and know that there are brighter days ahead, even when I am at my lowest and breaking point.

   So there you have it.  A look into what my Frenetic Fibromyalgia Moments look like.  I do hope that it helps you understand what it is like to have this disease.  We do have these really strange bursts of adrenalin that cause us to get like this.  It's like riding a wave of extreme high frenetic energy and then crashing again.  This is part of this disease.  That is why we will work like crazy and wear ourselves out one moment and not be able to move the next.  We are not "faking" our illnesses or looking for sympathy, we just want people to understand that this is a real disease, just like CFS is or Lupus, or Rheumatoid Arthritis (which sometimes are illnesses that people with Fibromyalgia also have).  For me personally, I have both CFS and Fibromyalgia, along with Arthritis, IBS (which they now are saying is actually part of Fibromyalgia) and Hypothyroidism.  Yes folks, I am a medical mess here. ;)  But my illnesses are not fatal and for that I am extremely thankful!

   

   

Monday, November 6, 2017

All This for $8 Rummage Sale Scores

A quilted cosmetic pouch with a Honu (Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle) applique on it.  Honu's have special meaning to me.
A brand new with tags (Midgey is trying to eat the tag) long sleeved shirt.
A long sleeved shirt from Coldwater Creek and a soft pink sleeveless shirt from Chico's
Four dvds of movies that we wanted and a Winter Jam dvd of the bands we saw at Winter Jam several years ago.
Two long sleeved shirts and two brand new short sleeved shirts.
A pretty and very soft flowing shirt.





A beautiful brand new felted wool tote bag with lots of inside pockets.


I also got a shirt for the little boys that they took home with them before I could get a picture of it.




Friday, November 3, 2017

Frugal Friday 10/29-11/3 2017


Snow on Friday night


    As I sit here tonight getting this post ready, I took a quick peek outside to see if it was still snowing...it seems to have stopped for the moment.  What is out there now should stick around since it is getting really cold tonight and we are expecting more snow tomorrow also.  I worry more about icy roads since Jeff has to work overnight.  He left a bit early this evening  (Friday) since he knew he was going to have a slower drive tonight.  I have to share a huge "self control" victory...I did not buy the discounted candy after Halloween this year.  I had to be honest with myself that having it in the house, it would get eaten way before Christmas, so it just could not even make an appearance in my cart or in my home.  I already have lots of candy here on hand that is sorely tempting me.  😉  While going through my photos to include in this post, I realized that most of the photos are of the food we ate this week.  I did an earlier post on our picnic with the grandboys last weekend already and used many of the pictures I took in that one.  Onto the savings...


Poha

~Saturday we had Bradley and Isaiah with us.  We went to the Farmer's Market and bought some fresh mini doughnuts, Poha and grapes.
~We met Jaysn, Rachel and baby Steven at the park for a picnic.  Jaysn and Jeff played soccer with the little boys, Rachel played hide and go seek with them and both Jaysn and Rachel played on the climbing toys with them.  The little boys and I also gathered up some beautiful leaves that I am pressing and then sending to a friend of mine in Hawaii to share with her second grade students.
~I got lots of cuddle time with Steven who also thought that the Fall leaves looked good enough to eat and tried to do so many times. 😁



~We took Bradley and Isaiah to two pets stores.  At the second one, one of the nice guys that works there got Gladys (a rather large Asian turtle) and a smaller turtle out for them to play with.  The guy was so patient and even let Bradley and Isaiah hold Gladys to see how heavy she was.  She was allowed to wander around the store and then was fed a goldfish as a treat for being so patient with not only our two boys, but with another family as well.  The kids were all thrilled!
~Heather and Chris had us over that evening to join them for dinner when we brought the boys home.  We had some of the Steelhead trout that Isaiah caught.  It was so good!
~A sweet friend had a birthday on Sunday so I went to my greeting card box and found her a beautiful card and then went to my gift closet and found her a vanilla/coconut scented candle.  She loves to burn candles and was delighted with the one I picked out for her.
~I harvested more green onions from the garden.


Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup and Garlic Butter Bites

~I had thawed some steaks out for dinner on Sunday night, but they did not smell right so I tossed them out and got some chicken out of the freezer, quickly thawed that and then fried it up for dinner.
~Sunday we stayed home and worked in the yard.  That night we watched the movie "Miss Congeniality 2" on Netflix.
~Monday we sold a garage door opener kit that did not fit our garage door. It is for an RV sized garage door.  We were given it so it did not cost us anything.  The money from that will be going to pay for a radiator flush for my car. God provides.
~Lunch Monday was homemade chicken noodle soup that I had made last month and frozen.  I also made garlic butter bread bites to go with it.


Salad, Cheddar Bratwurst and Twice Baked Potatoes

~I borrowed a book from the library on Fibromyalgia.  Upon reading it, I realized that I had already tried what they said to do to heal from it and it did not work for me.  I figured if it did not work for the 2 years I was doing it, then it just was not something that worked with my particular body chemistry.
~I took advantage of the temperatures being in the low 50's and blue skies to wash all the curtains from our bedroom in the bathtub and then hang them out to dry.  I also dusted our bedroom, the kitchen, laundry room, dining room and living room.
~I'm working on getting all of our winter gear washed and ready for the cold weather.
~Dinner Monday night was Cheddar Bratwurst and twice baked potatoes along with a salad.
~The mail brought all kinds of magazines this week.
~I found some coupon inserts in the recycling bins.
~Tuesday was a day at home for me.  I thought I was going to have baby Steven here the next day so I tried hard to not push myself.  I did manage to get a walk in with Caesar though and made some Salisbury Steak out of venison with a homemade sauce and served that over rice for dinner.  It was so good!


Salisbury Steak and Rice

~I finished watching the series "Land Girls" on Netflix and was sad to come to the end of it.
~Wednesday I ended up not having Steven here (Rachel's employer cancelled on her) so I worked on laundry, making 2 loaves of sandwich bread and making croutons with the leftover bread from the last time I baked.
~Thursday was a cold day where we were having a weather transition day so I made some cheese tortellini with a garlic oil and fresh tomato sauce.  Have you noticed that my life seems to revolve around food and family?  😋
~I did more research on Fibromyalgia and CFS.  I don't think I learned anything new.  Dang it!
~One of the things that I am trying to do for my health is get into a more regular sleep pattern and I have so far been a colossal failure at it so I have decided to just give myself grace and not put pressure on myself.  Luckily, with the nights getting longer, the sun is not coming up as early so the fur babies are letting me sleep later into the mornings and that seems to be helping.


Cheese Tortellini with a homemade Olive Oil, Garlic and Fresh Tomato Sauce

~Friday I cooked up a big pot of Zuppa Toscana soup using kale from our garden, some free potatoes, sale priced (and previously frozen) pork sausage, free onions and some milk.  It was perfect for a cold and rainy day.  I had enough to fill two large containers.  Hubby and I both are really enjoying it.  I do want to freeze some of it for later also.
~Josh, Jeff and I were able to spend some time on SKYPE getting caught up with each other.  I miss him!


Homemade Zuppa Toscana on a snowy night

~I was in need of some "comfort" on Friday night after reading a few very hateful political posts on facebook so I logged off there and pulled up a Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar playlist on YouTube to listen too.  I grew up listening to this beautiful music and it takes me back to a place mentally of being at the beach at night with the tradewinds blowing and the tiki torches burning.  It's like a little vacation for me in my mind.
~Jeff was able to pick up 2 side jobs for $20 each.
~I made sure to load up my coupons for Safeway on my customer card so I could get discounts.  I also found a mistake on my receipt from there and got a refund.  I stocked up on crackers, seltzer water, eggs, tangerines, and Captain Crunch Cereal (they .99 each).  I noticed that there were coupons inside the boxes for $1 off 2 so I had Jeff cut them out and pick up 4 more boxes the next night at .99 each also while they still had some.
~Jeff and I did eat out on Wednesday night when we were running errands.  We went to Pizza Hut where we ordered their box meal that included bread sticks, pizza and cinna sticks all for $10.  There was way too much food for us so we brought the leftovers home and had them for lunch on Thursday.




  With more snow coming and cold temperatures, we have decided to have the little boys come back to the house with us tomorrow after we pick them up at the craft fair.  The plan is to do hot tubbing, have pizza, watch a movie and play games.  Chris or Heather will come and pick them up from us later.  I'm really looking forward to having them here tomorrow and also getting to see Rachel and Baby Steven too since Rachel will be helping Heather at the craft fair in the morning.  Be blessed and have a wonderful weekend!

 




Prayer Requests

  As I'm sure most of you know who read my blog and the comments, Laura at http://harvestlanecottage.blogspot.com/  has been undergoing treatment for cancer.  She is a homeschooling mom and such a sweet spirited lady.  Please continue to keep her in your prayers for complete healing and recovery from all of this.  The cancer is now gone but she still is recovering from surgery.  God has been so good and so faithful to her and her family throughout all of this.  

   Another sweet lady who comments here, Jane Allan, is desperately in need of our prayers too.  She found her husband, Bluey, unconscious and things are looking pretty serious.  She is with him at the hospital.  That is all the information I have right now.  Please lift them both up in your prayers.  *Update:  Bluey is in a medically induced coma while they try to figure out what caused all of this, be it infection or a blockage.  They will start to slowly bring him out of it on Monday.  Jane has to travel an hour and a half back and forth to the hospital from home also.  Please pray for healing, provision and strength for them.

   I believe in the power of prayer and in the community that we have here in blogland to lift each other up, encourage and to be there for one another.  I know that so many of you, including Laura and Jane, have been there for me time and time again.  Let's all be there for these sweet ladies and their families too.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Soaking in Fall 2017

 






 I know I have not been giving this blog much attention for the past 5 days.  You see, we knew bad weather was coming and it arrived today.  It is currently dark, dreary and raining outside, with snow to follow within the next few days.  Before this weather system came in, my husband and I were busy getting things done outside in the yard to prepare for the bad weather.  It was not all work though.  Walks were taken and time spent with the grandboys and our kids were made a top priority.  Here is just a glimpse of what we have been up to...












   Happy Fall!