Sunday, January 22, 2012

New Website

Since Microsoft no longer supports FrontPage, I've chosen to re-build my website using Wordpress. It's a new learning curve!

Take a look and let me know what you think. It's still in the renovation process. Let me know what you'd like to see on those pages!

Weight Loss

We've all been told to lose weight, stop (fill in the blank), blahblahblah, and all will be well. Our health will improve vastly. Our pain will diminish. Weight seems to be the first one mentioned each time the subject is brought up.

In April 2010 I started to lose a few pounds. It was slow going. My aches didn't diminish and I didn't feel better, even 17 pounds into the plan.

In April 2011 I got serious about it. I also accepted a psition as a part-time courier with a major healthcare company. At the time, I wasn't sure I could even do the job. It involved getting into and out of a car repeatedly. And walking. And carrying. The first couple of days were horrible! The first couple of weeks were excrutiating. The first couple of months were downright rough.

Then it started getting easier. All of it.

To date, I've lost 54 pounds. I do feel better. Most of the time. Even though I only walk short distances at any given stop, it has helped with the chronic bursitis in these hips. My arthritic knees and lower back still ache, but it has gotten easier. However, I didn't notice much difference until I'd hit the 40 pounds lost point.

I also started taking kelp. Kelp is iodine. This supplement, along with the regular exercise, has given me more energy and has diffused some of the pain issues.

My weight loss goal is 81 pounds. That's 27 to go!

While I'm hopeful, I know that not all the pain will go away even when I hit goal. However, I remain hopeful and believe whatever exercise I've managed has helped.

Even if you can't walk a mile, if you can walk a few feet, do it. Do it every day! After a couple of months, you probably won't be taking those stairs two at a time, but you'll be walking farther--and feeling better about yourself.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Lifestyle Change, Stress, and the Move

For a variety of reasons, 2010 wasn’t kind to our family, as it wasn’t kind to millions of Americans, and citizens of other struggling economies. I’m happy it is past tense.

Hubby and I made some tough decisions in 2010. We sold our home in Ohio and have minimized our lifestyle. That doesn’t mean we’ve crawled into a hole or that we’re hiding out from the world. It means that we are living well, but in much smaller quarters.

Our newest adventure has been to consolidate down from a fully-furnished 2300 +/- square foot house with an oversized 2-car garage, a couple of storage sheds, and a small orchard and garden, all sited on 3.7 acres. We are now, officially, full-timers in our 36-foot travel trailer sited on a rented lot. (We still have a storage shed—on wheels—which I’ll explain later.)

Just to set the record straight; I’m not one to worship “Mother Earth” any more than I’m inclined to believe that “Nature” will run its course and all will be well with the world. I’m a firm believer in what is written in the one and only holy book, the Bible. I believe there is but one God. I trust that prophecy written 2000 years ago will prevail. I don’t believe that pumping CO2 into the ground will do anything to save our planet one bit more than bankrupting coal-burning electricity producers will.

We didn’t downsize to “save” the earth. We didn’t move into a Tiny House™ (although they’re real attractive!) to prove someone can live in 64 square feet—because Michael and I can not manage that. I can’t manage that. We did it to cut living expenses, to cut down on the hours required for housework and mowing/pruning/weeding, to free up whatever time we have left on Earth for what we consider more important—like spending time with grandkidlets, going fishing, creating art. We don’t miss the big mortgage, the insurance costs that had doubled in 4 ½ years, or the ever-increasing real estate taxes while the value of that real estate spiraled downward.

We are living in roughly 240 square feet which consists of living room, office/dining, kitchen, bath, and bedroom. The walls of the living room are turquoise. The cabinets are off-white and “trendy” (according to a well-heeled friend). We installed a full-size sink with a lovely faucet in the kitchen and the tub surround is one designed for a stick-built house. The fixtures in our (one and only) bathroom are cherry red and our bedroom walls are barn red and gold. We also have a 20 gallon hot water tank. This isn’t your typical travel trailer. This is a travel home. And it’s paid for.

Since we had to move anyway, we moved to Kentucky, just three miles away from five of our grandkids. Two more live about 25 miles east. (Those two spent last evening with us.)

Yes, we sometimes miss all that space. However, I may just have more time to commit to keeping my Freelance Commercial Writer's blog up to date. And this blog. I’ve also been invited to come back as a blogger at a well known health blog—a gig I’d given up because my time was so eaten up with chores—not to mention that pesky OA and FM thing.

Hubby is seeking full-time employment. He’s accepted the fact a career change is in order.

We have faith.

Life is good. I'm even managing to manage the effects of stress on my ever-present Fibromyalgia.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Jesus and Gravity

It's been awhile since I've been here. That's mostly because I attempt to live each day to the fullest--and I'm usually so exhausted that leaving my thoughts here is not as compelling as dropping into bed to read from the Good Book.

Why I've been afflicted with these two diseases I'll most likely never know, but I do know that I was put here for a purpose. Maybe, just writing about them is the reason. Maybe not. That message has not yet been given to me.

Chronic fatigue and widespread pain are my constant companions. Getting up each morning is akin to attempting to break the high jump record at the Summer Olympics. Sometimes pushing my arthritic joints to carry me to the bathroom in time and before my hips lock up is akin to a march through the desert. That's probably information no one needs.

I'm thankful for what abilities and talents have been afforded me. Writing and painting bring joy to my life. Sharing my art leaves satisfaction abundant in my soul.

This video of Dolly Parton confirms my reason for being on this earth today:

Sunday, November 15, 2009

An Update After the G'Kidlet Run

It's been awhile since I posted here. Seems that when I have the time, I don't have the energy. Or there are too many other projects sucking up what time and energy I do have.

My wonderful son-in-law had knee surgery again last week--third time on the same knee. He probably should have had the torn rotator cuff in his shoulder fixed first--before having to use crutches for a couple of months while his knee is out of commission. That will be next.

What does that have to do with my issues with fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis? Well, daughter and son-in-law have four kidlets still at home, ages 3 to almost 15. These are my grandkidlets. Daughter works full time. Which means that I get to go play with the g'kidlets while SIL is recuperating. That's the really fun part.

It IS really fun. They have such huge imaginations, dreams, ideas, wants, plans, and immortal ideals. They also have never-ending energy...

After three and a half days with them, plus the 9 hours of driving to go to and from, I'm exhausted. Every muscle hurts. Every joint hurts. My flank is one burning mess of tangled nerve endings. I could sleep for a couple of days if the grass didn't STILL need to be mowed for, hopefully, the LAST time of the season, and other projects didn't need to be finished before having the whole crew here for Thanksgiving weekend.

How do I do that, you ask? We have a riding mower that I can manage to herd around the yard for an hour at a time. The projects are each broken down into sub-steps. I rest in between. And, I take a lot of pain meds--and, thankfully, I don't have to think much because when taking the meds, I can't think.

As for Thanksgiving--everyone pitches in, including invited guests. Otherwise, I simply couldn't manage to do it. Even then, I'm doing much of the prep work well ahead of time.

Speaking of projects... Back to it if there is to be any hope of staying ahead of the game. Deep breathing through the pain cycles. Naps.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Social Security and Disability

Met with my attorney yesterday in hopes of moving along my Social Security disability claim. 'Twasn't pretty. We're now at two and a half years since I filed my claim.

Fibromyalgia isn't deemed a worthy disease for inclusion on the approved disabling "list" because there is no clear cut cause, a specialist can't point to a part of the body and say "this is where the pain comes from and this is what causes it", and it is a "vague" diagnosis. Doesn't matter about having Osteoarthritis WITH Fibro. Doesn't matter how much pain one suffers. Unless there is a clear-cut source, it's an uphill battle at best.

We'll send out another round of information requests to doctors and specialists to update my file for the day I finally get to appear before a hearing judge. Even if he says I'm disabled, the determination immediately goes before an appeals judge or hearing or forum - and they have the right to throw out an affirmative determination. I'll bet they don't throw out a negative finding.

It reviles me that we can continue to pay women to have X number of children while on the public dole, but we who have paid into the social security fund since our teens are treated as though we're trying to steal from the crying babies.

I'll bet OctoMom didn't have to wait three years to get our money! We'll be paying to support her 14 kids for the rest of their lives. Who, in Uncle Sam's name, allowed this travesty? Whatever happened to being responsible for ones' own actions?

Shameful. Discriminatory. Biased. Bigoted.

And while I'm on a rant, let's impeach Diane Feinstein for her not-so-cleverly-disguised conflict of interest that will net her husband, Richard Blum, millions at taxpayer expense.

Let's vote out all the attorneys currently in the House and Senate and start over! Perhaps we could then revamp the Social Security system?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Household Chores, Offshored Idiots, and Pain

A very busy and stressful time recently.

I'm sore. Probably because of the scrubbing given to the kitchen, dining room and back entry floors yesterday (which hubby refers to as our "front door"). I was taught that proper scrubbing could only be accomplished with a sponge, and bucket of disinfectant and hot water, while on one's hands and knees. All other cleaning of a non-carpeted floor was always referred to as "damp mopping" and was considered a quick cleanup. Last evening was rough. Today is rougher as my muscles join in the rampaging choir with my aching joints.

Creating more oil paintings was put on hold while I spent a week in Louisville with daughter's clan. The week before that was spent ensuring that middle grandson could spend at least one more week per year being the "only child" while staying with us. He's going to Washington D.C. with his school group this week. I'm sure that will be more fun than anything we could have come up with here, although we did do a few art projects.

Not much could be more stressful than attempting to get compromised credit and debit cards straightened out, or fixing a software error, while speaking with "Haysoos in Hindu". Every American company that offshores customer service should be taxed TRIPLE with huge fees levied for each person employed in the offshored office. Speaking understandable ENGLISH should also be a requirement. After going through their scripts of possible fixes for the offending issue, the bottom seems to read, "I'm sorry but it is your problem and not one we can fix here". The writers of said scripts should be sent to winter camps in Siberia - or hell-hot Atlanta in August - until they learn to fix the problems the companies they represent have created.

Enough ranting for the moment. I'm off to a hot soak in the tub to ease my aches and pains.

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