Q3 – The Quotation Challenge

I don’t usually do challenges, mainly because I know so many amazing bloggers I can never decide who to pass the challenge on to, but when Kim, from I Tripped Over a Stone, nominated me, I thought, “Quotes?  Hey, that’s up my alley!”  So I couldn’t say no.  Kim is an amazing woman.  She’s witty, smart, busy, and just happens to have fibromyalgia.  She is full of knowledge that she readily shares on her blog and in a Facebook group she helps run.  Follow the link above and check out her incredible blog! Thank you Kim for selecting me to participate in this challenge.  So, today we’ll take a little break from Mindfulness Monday and do these quotes instead.

Here’s how this thing works:

1. Thank the person that nominated you.

2. Write one quote each day for three consecutive days (3 quotes total)

3. Explain why the quote is meaningful for you.

4. Nominate three bloggers each day to participate in the challenge

Kim changed the challenge up a bit and did all three of her quotes in one day, I think I’ll follow suit and do the same.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes.

I believe in you

“I believe in you.” ~Christeen Calloway (my mother)

This is my favorite quote of all time because everyone needs someone who believes in them, and I always knew my mother believed in me. I specifically remember her telling me this when I was in college.  I was struggling putting myself through school, working many part-time jobs and taking a full load of classes so I didn’t waste any tuition money.  (You had to take at least 9 (or was it 12?) credit hours a semester to get full time tuition.  Over that minimum requirement you could take more classes for the same price. So I normally took 15 – 18 credit hours per semester – that’s 5 – 6 classes.)  At one point I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to finish.  I was working so hard, and I had the grades to prove it, but I was getting worn down.  (at one point I had 5 part-time jobs)  My mother was always my champion.  I called her one day just to chat and mentioned how hard things were at that moment and how I just didn’t know if I could carry on with that pace.  I also mentioned how much I missed her banana pudding.  That afternoon when I got back to my dorm, my mother was there waiting on me, with a big bowl of banana pudding.  We had dinner together and talked and talked, like we often did.  She told me how much she believed in me.  She knew how hard I was working and she also knew I could handle it.  It was her belief in me that pushed me forward, and the next semester I was awarded a scholarship for outstanding academics and art.  I was also given a work study opportunity, so I didn’t have to have all those part-time jobs.  If it had not been for my mother’s belief in me, I don’t think I would have been able to follow through and graduate with honors.

Anne-Frank-Quotes-4

“No one has ever become poor by giving.” ~Anne Frank

I hear it all the time, “I can’t afford to give….”  This simply isn’t true.  “No one has ever become poor by giving.”  How very true.  We must remember that even the poorest of us can give without causing ourselves more hardship.  We can give of our time, there are so many lonely people in this world, all you’d need to do is spend a little time with someone who needs the company, this doesn’t even have to be in person, you can reach out to someone online, you may even make a new friend.  We can give a service, can you cook, sew, garden, babysit?….there are so many ways we can give simply by doing what we know, we don’t have to buy anything.  We can give a smile and a compliment, has there ever been a time when a stranger smiled at you and complimented you out of the blue?  How did it make you feel?  A kind word can mean the world to someone, you never know, they may be going through a really rough time and your kindness helps just a little.  Don’t believe that you can’t make a difference simply because you can’t give monetarily, there are many ways to give that don’t cost a penny.

mindfulness-sunset-palm-springs

“Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).”  ~James Baraz

How could I list my favorite quotes without including my favorite quote on mindfulness?  This is one of the first quotes on mindfulness I read, and it spoke volumes to me.  It was hard to imagine facing every day without wishing it were different.  I admit I’m still not at that point, but I strive to be, and some days I succeed.  However, I still wish things were different when I’m having bad symptoms, but I try hard to be as okay with it as I can; and I take solace in knowing that the unpleasant will not always be with me.  I’m also learning how to enjoy the good times without trying to hold on too tightly.  Sometimes I’m better at that than others.  For example, my sister came for a visit this past week and I had so much fun I didn’t want that feeling to end.  One night I made a roast chicken and we made a wish with the wishbone.  My wish was that every day could be as good as that day.  umm, I think I was trying to hold on to that day a little, don’t you?  Luckily I wasn’t trying to hold on so tightly that it caused me pain when it was over.  I am so grateful we were able to have such a good visit, and I was mostly symptom free.  I must admit, I would have held on to those days if I could, but I’m grateful for today, even though I had a cluster headache earlier and I don’t feel like lifting my head now.  I’m still happy.  Hubby just came home, and it’s time to make brownies.  😉

 

If they would like to participate, I would love to read some quotes that inspire or excite or have meaning for:

Oh there are just so many in my blogging family that I’d love to see do this challenge, if you’d like to do it, please let me know in the comments so I won’t miss it!!

If you don’t want to do the challenge but have a quote that is meaningful to you, I’d love to hear it!!

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To Post or Not to Post…

To Blog or Not to Blog….that is the question that has been running through my mind for days.

When I am down I don’t like to unburden myself on others.  Should I post about my feelings, doubts, questions, depression….?  Or should I just keep quiet.  Write in my journal, talk to my hubby…but basically, just keep it to myself?

Guess you know what I picked.  Finally.

I decided to spill it, at least to you guys.  I have to admit this is hard.  Once when I posted something on facebook about how I was feeling, someone asked if I was having a pity party that day.  Well, yeah, maybe, but can’t I have one now and then?  So what!  By the way, what I said wasn’t that pitiful, it was just an observation.  Something like: I wonder if I lived alone, and died, how long would it take someone to notice?  I had been closed up in my house for a long time, and the only person who I’d been in contact with was my husband.  OK, so maybe it was a bit of a pity party.

Today, you are formally invited to a pity party, in honor of ME!

As everyone knows I haven’t been having the best of times for a little while now.  I had CSF patches again, 13 days ago.  I don’t feel like I’m making that much progress.  I’m happy to say I’m not spinning.  (although I have come close a couple of times)

My back still hurts.  I’m having headaches….a lot of headaches, that don’t seem to be touched with meds.  The tinnitus is going up and down, it’s very confusing.  I had one day where I could hear out of my left ear.  Not perfect of course, but almost back to the way it was a couple of months ago.  Just one day…why?  When I wake up in the mornings the tinnitus is so much worse…why?  After I’m up for a while, I start to get a headache, but the tinnitus gets better….why?  It just doesn’t make sense.  The tinnitus being worse in the morning after I’ve been lying down all night should mean high pressure, but the headaches after I’ve been up for a while should mean low pressure.  I’m so dang confused!  And why is my back still hurting?  Just on one side, mainly in one place.  A place where it really hurt when they were patching.  And it itches!  One little spot on my back, and I can’t reach it!  Thank goodness for getting a back scratcher for my birthday!

Why am I still surprised by how little people reach out?  Why does it still hurt when my father doesn’t remember my birthday?  It’s not very smart, the same circumstances, the same people, yet I expect a different outcome…yeah, don’t think it’s going to happen.  Need to just get over it, and move on.  (so why does it still hurt?)

Need to whine a little bit more.  My hip is not cooperating lately.  I thought it was getting better…(does that seem to be a theme here?  thought I was getting better?? hmmm).  Now often when I stand it hurts so bad I can’t put my weight on that leg.  It aches at night, so it’s even harder to sleep.  Of course, the hip is on the back burner right now.  When Meniere’s is in the forefront then everything else takes a back seat.  Darn it.

Went to the dentist on Monday.  I almost barfed when they kept moving that darn chair.  I had to take my meds so I could take it.  Now I have a temporary crown, I’ll be getting the permanent crown in two weeks.  Thank goodness I had some birthday money.  I feel bad enough about all the doctor bills I have, but this…ugh.

Now to make you smile.  This is not the best picture of me, but, it does show a bit of the orange.  (Note, this is after my hair has been washed a few times.  It is not as orange as it was.)

Ok, so you can barely see it in this photo.  But in real life, my streak was pretty orange.  Luckily, it’s starting to look a bit more like strawberry blond.  Not too sure that’s a good thing on me…but it’s better than Bozo Orange.  : )

So, to sum up:  I feel like I really shouldn’t be complaining.  I’m not spinning.  I remember when I said I would give anything for that, it was all I wanted.  Now, I’m being selfish I want more.  I want to not have headaches.  I want for the tinnitus to be at a bearable level.  I want my hip to work right.  Am I asking for too much?  Possibly.  If so, I’ll learn to live with it.  As long as the vertigo is gone, I think I can manage.  I’ll just have to re-evaluate live, and adjust.

Oh, thought you might like to see a little project that I did.  A dear friend of mine’s little girl was celebrating her 10th birthday, and she loves Penguins…so I sent her this card:

Happy Birthday card for Ayla!

 

Not a Smooth, or Quiet, Ride

The recovery period this time is not going as smoothly as I remember it going before.

I’m hurting…much more than I think I did after my last patches.  I even read back over my posts from that time, and I barely mention back pain at all.  Day before yesterday I felt that the pain was almost gone, then yesterday the pain came back with a vengeance.  Today, the pain is still there.  My back feels stiff, sore, and like I have been beaten up.  I already hate taking pain pills, and I don’t feel like they are doing much good.  (at least they help me sleep)

Last night we were watch a movie and I started hearing this very loud roaring sound.  It sounded like some kind of machinery, or perhaps a helicopter flying right over our house.  I asked Stuart what that sound was…actually I think I may have screamed it, trying to get over the noise.  He said there was no noise.  I kind of freaked.  How could he not hear that?  It’s so loud!!  He tried to calm me, telling me that it was just a new kind of tinnitus…but I was so upset.  I decided to take half of a Diamox, to see if it would help.  If my pressure was getting too high it should.  It didn’t.  I calmed down, and watched the rest of the movie.  Thank goodness for subtitles.  One of the first Agatha Christie mysteries where the first person I thought was the killer, really was.  Of course, I doubted myself a number of times during the show, but still…first instincts count.

I finally got to sleep, even with all the racket in my head.  After a while it sounds like very loud white noise.  I woke up this morning and it wasn’t that loud.  But within an hour after getting up, it got just as loud as it was last night.

Dr. Gray just called.  She said the pain can ebb and flow like this.  (well, I don’t like it!)

She also asked if I would take a whole Diamox to see if it helps with the loud roaring.  If it helps then we know it’s high pressure; if it doesn’t, or if things get worse, we will know that my pressure is low.

A few hours later:  I took the Diamox about 1pm, about 20 – 30 minutes after taking it the roaring got even louder, and I started feeling light-headed.  But then 3pm , the roaring got better.  Still loud, but not so loud that I feel like my head is going to explode.  Now it’s about 4:30pm, and it’s getting very loud again.  So what did we learn?  I have no frigging idea.  We’ll ask Dr. Gray and see what she says, I have a feeling she’ll say, “Interesting”.  And suggest something else.

The pain is better than it was yesterday.  Stuart just asked me how many pain pills I’ve taken.  I don’t think I’ve taken any today, I may have taken one right after I got up, but none since then.  He said I seemed drunk.  Hummm.  That’s kind of disconcerting.

I may not be feeling the greatest right now, but my herb and flower garden look great.  (the vegetable garden has been a learning experience, mainly learning what not to do.)  I thought I’d share a photo of my Echinacea plant being visited by a little butterfly (unfortunately his wings are closed).

In the background to the left is my Oregano, it is impressive!   To the right is the Lavender, it’s growing, not as fast as some of the other herbs, but since this photo was taken it has gotten bigger, and it’s starting to flower.  In the far back is the green from the wild flowers.  I think I planted way too many seeds.  They are starting to bloom, I’ll share more photos of them soon.

I’ve started the Artist’s Way workshop.  Didn’t get all of my Morning Pages done last week…I wonder why? (every day I’m supposed to write 3 pages of just stream of consciousness writing, first thing when I get up…I often do them in the evening though, I like how it unburdens the day, and lifts those thoughts away so I can sleep better.) But I did get my Artist’s Date in.  (every week I’m to make a date with myself spending at least one hour doing something to nurture my artist within.)  Since I was laid up for a lot of this past week, I spent my Artist’s Date reading about Art and Artists.  I found some nice free books for my Kindle, and I’ve been enriching my knowledge of art.

I’m also participating in the Day Zero Project.  You make a list of 101 goals you want to complete in 1001 days.  You can see my list here: Wendy’s 101 Goals.  A neighbor of mine talked about working on this project on Facebook, and it inspired me.  Want to join me?  If you do, you will be helping me complete #11 on my list!

Hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the summer.  I’m sure I’ll be back on my feet soon, and thinking this was no big deal.  Just ready to get it over, and move on!

Broke my Crown, Orange Hair, and CSF Patches.

This week has been full of strangeness.

On Tuesday I was eating a piece of pizza and all of a sudden my crown shattered.  I looked and looked and found nothing in the pizza that could have caused it, I guess it just wore out.  Of course, I can’t get into the see the dentist until the 18th.  So glad it doesn’t hurt!  This is the only tooth I’ve ever had a cavity in.  *sigh*  This crown is 12 years old, guess it’s just time for a new one.  Glad it waited until I got my birthday present from my father-in-law!  When I got my crown the first time it was around $600.  Anyone know how much they run now?  Ugh!

As you might remember, I was thinking of covering up some of my gray.  On Wednesday night I decided to put henna on my hair.  It was for dark brown hair, it was supposed to give my hair a nice sheen, and make the gray a light brown/blond.  Like highlights.  Instead, I now look like a punk rocker with orange streaks.  (it might be cool if they were purple)  Perhaps I’ll get a photo soon, but I look too dreadful to have a photo taken now.

Yesterday I had Lumbar Puncture #4, and it read almost exactly the same as the LP Dr. Gray did before my last patches.  So they re-patched all the old spots and a couple of more.  8 all together.

I was really hoping my hearing in my left ear would improve, fast, but not yet.  However, my headaches are much better.  When I close my eyes I don’t see shadows rotating.  I don’t know about every day disequilibrium, I’ve just been lying around for the past few days.  Taking it easy, keeping my back flat.  I was pretty sore at first, but it’s better.  Taken just one pain pill so far today.  : )   Since Thursday, I’ve just been lying around recuperating, and sleeping.

Luckily, my good friend Kym sent me the coolest “recycled” gift for my birthday.  (We always try to give each other either a recycled gift, or something we made ourselves.)  This year she gave me a Kindle!  It wasn’t even opened.  Evidently someone gave her one and she already has one.  (I know she has an iPad, perhaps she doesn’t need the Kindle?)  Either way, I’ve been loving it!  It’s light, and the screen isn’t like a computer screen, I feel like I’m looking at a printed page.  I’m having a ball exploring all the free things I can get.

Anyone else out there have one?  Any tips?

Ramblings on my Birthday….feeling better.

I’m writing right now because I can’t sleep.  So I may ramble a bit.  There will probably be some interesting information here…but some of it will probably just me running off at the mouth…or at the keyboard really…..

Of course, I make an appointment with Dr. Gray to have another lumbar puncture, and I start feeling better.  (Isn’t that always the way?)

My hearing is still way down in my left ear, but I don’t feel as dizzy, as off-balance, and no mini spins for the past couple of days.  *shrug*

As you probably know, today was my birthday.  (well, seeing what time it is, perhaps I should say, yesterday was my birthday.)

I had a very nice day.  I normally, really like my birthday, and want to do something special.  Something exciting, with friends….the whole sha-bang!  This year, I was feeling pretty low-key.  I don’t really feel like it was by birthday.  But it was a very nice day!

The hubby and I went to the mall and I did some shopping!  I haven’t shopped at all this year.  We’ve been trying not to buy anything new.  So everything I’ve been buying has been second-hand.  But today, I decided to do a little shopping.  I needed a new bra.  No, I was not going to buy a used one!  Ew.  I’ve gained weight since I bought the last ones, and they have stretched out….well you get the picture.  I’ve noticed when most women gain weight they get bigger boobs.  I don’t.  My band size gets bigger, but my bust size is the same.  For example, I’ve worn a 32DD, 34D, and a 36C.  So as you see, my boobs stay the same.  (If you are a man reading this you will not understand, but I think most of the women will.)  Bra sizing is so weird.  The way you are supposed to measure it is just strange to me.  I measured a 38B today, and the first bra I tried on that size, fit.  But I wasn’t crazy about it.  The next one, the band was too big…so I ended up with a 36C.

I also got a lovely dress!  We were shopping at Macy’s, both of the items I got were on sale, and I had a $20 off coupon if you spend $50 or more, so my total came to about $34!  hehehe!

We also went by the game store, and picked up a couple of used Wii games.  I love the fact that if you buy pre-owned games you can try them out for a week…or is it two?  Then if you don’t like it you can take it back!  I will never buy a new game.  We’ve been having a ball lately playing games.  I used to hate playing any type of video game, but I really like the ones that make you move.  I told Stuart last night that it was the first time I played a video game where I didn’t feel completely inadequate.  I was keeping up with him!  That is saying a lot!

I’ve been working on losing weight.  I think I mentioned I’ve lost 6 pounds.  I stepped on the scale a couple of day ago, and it was down a few more pounds.  But for the past couple of days, I…well, I’m going to be blunt here…I’m so constipated.  I do not get this way.  I’m so uncomfortable.  I broke down and took something tonight to try to help it along…I hope it works.  I didn’t cut down on my veggie intake.  No I haven’t upped it, because of the fructose intolerance.  I haven’t been eating any grains though, and I’m thinking that’s what is going on.  But if I add any back in, I stop losing weight.  *sigh*  Guess, I’ll have to start taking fiber.  (I must confess, today I completely went off my diet!  I had some Gluten Free carrot cake, and some ice cream….Hey, it was my birthday!!)

I was thrilled that I got Just Dance, for the Wii.  I got it a little early, so I’ve been playing it for about a week now.  It’s so much fun!  And what a work out!!  My husband also got me exactly what I asked for, a back scratcher.  There are just too many times I have an itch I can’t scratch!

My birthday was a good one.  I spent the day with my hubby.  I received 56 Happy Birthday wishes on Facebook, and still counting….(funny though, nothing from my father or my sister…hummm.  What a supportive family I have.)  Stuart and I played games on the Wii for hours…..it was a nice day.

Now, for tomorrow…I need to go to the grocery store, do some chores around the house, and I’m getting a massage!  Yeah, it’ll be a good day.

Some day soon, I’ll be getting my darling husband to take me out to dinner…we didn’t do that today…and I can wear my new dress!

Birthday musings, and getting creative

How many of us start to look at our lives and come up lacking in some way, especially around our birthday, or the beginning of the year.  We make goals, or resolutions….sometimes we actually keep them.

This year is no exception for me.  I knew I was getting close to my birthday because I started looking in the mirror with a more critical eye…humm, not as young as I used to be.  Heck, I don’t even think I look as young as I did last year at this time.  Gained a few pounds, more gray hair, a few more wrinkles, and these little dark patches on my face…could they be *gasp* age spots?  {shudder}  Yes, my illnesses over the past couple of years have worn me out.

a look in the mirror

I’m already trying to lose weight, 6 pounds so far!  Now if I can just keep it up.  I’m also trying to get some more exercise, that hasn’t been going as well as I’d like, I get dizzy every time I exercise.  Hopefully, that won’t be the case much longer!

I thought about coloring my hair, but do I really want to put those chemicals on my hair.  I finally got to the point where I think all of my hair is naturally my color.  Yes, some of it is gray…but it’s me.  I’ve always liked my cool gray streak on the left side, right in the front, but now it’s on the right side too.  I don’t think I’m looking cool any more, just old.  I’m thinking of putting a natural rinse on it to make it a little shinier, a little browner, and possibly make the gray look more like highlights.  It should just wash out.  If I decide to go this route, I promise I’ll post pictures.

For the wrinkles and dark spots (I will NOT call them AGE SPOTS!), I’ll use a bit more moisturizer, and perhaps some lemon juice and hydrogen peroxide applied to the spots will help lighten them.  We’ll see.  The hubby pointed out that there was a Groupon for a Chemical Peel.  Ewww.  I told him I was not vain enough to hurt for it!  (I don’t really think he understands what a chemical peel is.)  I can’t tell you why, but I got so tickled when I told him I wasn’t vain enough to hurt for it, I mean I just laughed and laughed.  Stuart thinks it’s very amusing how I crack myself up sometimes.

I’m thinking I will go out and buy me a new outfit.  Something that fits better, that makes me look more put together.  In other words, not the over sized T-shirts and shorts I’ve been wearing.

The Artist's Way by Julie Cameron photo courtesy of http://www.theartistsway.com

I’ve also decided on joining a group on another blog Ton-Fifty-ONE is going to be having a workshop covering the book The Artist’s Way, by Julie Cameron.  The workshop is 12 weeks long, and will start on July 4th.  Just 2 days after my birthday, how fitting.  I’ve owned this book for years, and I’ve tried to go through the process more than once, but I guess I’m either not good at following through something like this without a little push, or perhaps it was made me confront too many issues?  I don’t know, but I’m willing to try it again, and I’m sure that with the push that a group will give me, I can do it this time.  Just 12 weeks…3 months…to “discovering and recovering my creative self”.  If anyone wants to join me on this journey please come along.  I know I can use all the motivation I can get!

My creativity got bogged down by my chronic illnesses.  My biggest goal this year is to use my creativity to help me with my illnesses.  Help express myself…  The words are failing me, I can’t seem to get out what I want to say.  I guess I’m trying to say, I believe in art therapy….and so much more.

I FORGOT!

A photo of my mother in her 50's probably. Looking to her right, was cropped from a photo with other people.

My Mom. Not the best picture, but it's the only one I have on my computer.

How, how could I forget?  3 days ago was the anniversary of my mother’s death.  It has been 18 years.  I miss her every day.

So tell me.

HOW COULD I FORGET?

Christeen M. Calloway, Jan. 1, 1929 - June 23, 1993 photo from findagrave.com

I know I have had a lot going on lately, but I still feel just so distraught about this.

Normally, I make a point of celebrating my mother’s life on the anniversary of her death.  Yes, I do that many days, but on that day it’s special.  I talk about memories, we eat her favorite foods….

How, oh how could I have forgotten?