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WILLIE AND BAILEY
WILLIE AND BAILEY

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Category: Chronic Illness

JEALOUS OF THE ME, I USED TO BE

JEALOUS OF THE ME, I USED TO BE

 

Jealous of the Me, I used to Be
The green-eyed monster had a hold on me.

I had some downtime the other day and I was doing some self-reflection.  I like to take some time every couple of weeks and catch up with anything that might be bugging me, or something that I need to adjust in my thinking or doing.  

Making sure that I am always as kind as I can be to everyone I meet either online or in person.  If I had bad thoughts why did I have them and were they a fair assessment of the situation at the time?

You know, just reflecting on the past two weeks to make sure I wasn’t taking advantage of anyone’s generosity or compassion.  I never ever want to take those things for granted.

So, as I sat there pondering the previous two weeks, I suddenly found myself getting angry and when I ran down the cause of it; it turned out to be I was angry at how little I resembled the Me before Fibro.

I continued to poke at this thought and realized that it stemmed from having caught a glimpse of myself in a window when I went out to lunch with a friend.  I realized that the person reflected in the window didn’t sync with how I thought of myself.

 

JEALOUS OF THE YOUNGER VERSION

 

Most importantly, I realized that I was jealous of the She I used to be:

 

  • She was 100 lbs lighter (give or take)
  • She kept her house clean
  • She ran around with her kids
  • She could drive
  • She could go wherever she wanted, whenever she wanted.
  • She and my husband used to go to the beach with the kids and the dog and walk and run with them both.
  • She worked outside the home
  • She could pretty much do anything she wanted, there were no restrictions on her actions.
  • She had a personality that drew people in
  • She laughed freely and with confidence
  • She did not live with constant pain
  • She did not fall down the stairs
  • She did not groan trying to get into bed at night or struggle to get out in the morning
  • She didn’t have to wait for a couple of hours every day before she could get up and get going
  • She didn’t worry that she was holding anyone back
  • She didn’t feel guilty

 

I also realized that I resented her tremendously, she had so much that she didn’t appreciate at the time, and it made me angry.  It made me so angry that I hadn’t taken the time back then to realize just how wonderful I had it. 

HOW DO I LET GO OF THE JEALOUSY AND RESENTMENT

I sat and wondered how I could get past the feeling of anger towards my younger self; I had a feeling if I didn’t clear up the jealousy, resentment, and anger that it would start to fester and turn me into someone I wouldn’t like very much.

Of course, I started out by telling myself that my younger self could not have known what was coming, but that didn’t seem to help much.  I know this sounds crazy but I decided I would have a conversation with the younger me and try to get her to realize just how well off she was.

It struck me then, that trying to talk to her wasn’t going to work either because I couldn’t change the past.  The only thing I could change was the way I felt about the past.

If I could get myself today to realize just how good I had had it back then; and let those around me know how much I had appreciated those times, that I could still look back at them and feel how very happy they were.  

I reasoned that if I let myself off the hook by simply letting my husband and kids know how much I loved them, and how much those earlier times had meant to me, that I would feel less angry once I had done that.

GETTING RID OF THE JEALOUSY AND ANGER

I was just about to sit down and write each of them a handwritten note when it suddenly struck me; I didn’t have to apologize to them, I had to forgive myself, for not being that person anymore, I had to stop taking responsibility for something that was not my fault.

All this time I thought that I had now adapted to the changes that chronic illness had brought to my life, I was lying to myself, I still resented it each and every day and I probably would until my days’ end.

So, what did that mean for my anger and my jealousy of my younger self, it meant that I was normal, who wouldn’t resent that person who could run and jump and play, who didn’t fall down the stairs, and live each day with the pain?

It was OK to be jealous and resentful of her, she wasn’t me anymore.  I could feel both those things and it was normal, even my anger was somewhat normal.  I thought that I had gone through all of the stages of grief and had come to an acceptance of myself with a chronic illness.

BUT, I WAS WRONG.

The grief for the person I used to be would always be there, just like the grief you feel when someone you love passes away.  You love them still no matter how long it’s been since they passed.  You still feel the grief just not as strong as it was at first.

It was perfectly OK for me to be still grieving over the past and it always would be and as I realized that, the anger drained away.  There was no reason for me to be angry anymore.

 

Jealous of the Me, I used to Be 2
How to get from Jealous to Relief.

 

IN THE END

My guess is that we all go through this over and over again in our lives and that the only reason that I hadn’t realized it before was that it didn’t come at a time of self-reflection; and now that it had, I could accept it for what it is  NORMAL.

 

 

 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome.

Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.”

                                                                                   – BRENE` BROWN                             

I chose this one this week because I am feeling kind of vulnerable; I opened my new business yesterday and I must admit I’m scared to death.  Guess it is only natural but we will see.  If you would like to take a look at The Invisible Illness Listening Post, please go to https://barbsturrock.com

Or, you can click on the button on the side that says ‘Work With Me’ and it will take you to the page.  And, if you do go and have a look, please leave me a comment on what you think. I would love to hear if you think this is a viable idea.

Not going to do a Family Life, Recipe, or Things I love this week; since I did not have time to do the research or take pictures like I usually do because I was working on the new business.  I promise it will be back whole and entertaining next week.

 

For now, I just want to say thank you for stopping by, and  Leave me a comment and let me know what you think of the blog or the new business.

Have a wonderful week.

FEELING ALONE AND LONELY WITH A CHRONIC ILLNESS

FEELING ALONE AND LONELY WITH A CHRONIC ILLNESS

Chronic Illness is the great Separator, it separates those of us who suffer from one or more of the many different types of Chronic Illness from those who don’t.

Being alone and feeling alone are part and parcel of having a Chronic Illness.  Anyone who suffers is going to feel isolated from the rest of the world at some point.

Feeling Alone and Lonely with a Chronic Illness
Feeling Alone and Lonely with a Chronic Illness

WHY DO WE FEEL ALONE

If you break a bone or have surgery you will be laid up for a few weeks or months, but you and all your friends and family know that it will get better.

Chronic Illness sufferers, however, know that this is a lifetime of dealing with people who have no idea what it is like. They know that at some point someone is going to say to them:  “Maybe if you exercised more” or “You just need to get out and spend more time with people” or “Come on, it can’t be that bad, everyone gets tired and everyone has pain at times”.

The vast majority of the people who a Chronic Illness sufferer comes into contact with cannot and will not understand; no matter how hard you try to explain to them what you are going through will never get any better.

I think part of it is that the ‘normal’ people don’t want to believe that it is possible to have something from which you can never recover, I think they are afraid that at some point they may become like us.  They refuse to see the invisible illness as something that can affect them, so they will not believe that it can affect you.

FEELING ALONE AFFECTS THOSE YOU CARE ABOUT

FEELING ALONE AND LONELY WITH A CHRONIC ILLNESS 2
FEELING ALONE AND LONELY WITH A CHRONIC ILLNESS 2

As time goes by those who cannot believe will fade away and people you thought were your friends and that you trusted will back out of your life.  But, then there are also people that will stand with you saying “I know I don’t understand but I want to be here for you in any way I can.”

Even family members can become part of the unbelievers’ side of things, and they too can sort of back away and leave you feeling alone and lonely.  The worst feeling in the world is to be surrounded by your family at some get-together but still feel alone in the crowd.

OTHER REASONS FOR FEELING ALONE

There are so many reasons why we feel alone, it is not just that people who don’t suffer from a Chronic Illness can’t understand.  It is so hard to try to explain how you are feeling, pain is not something that can really be shared by someone else, it is essentially something that only you alone can know intimately.

What we as sufferers of the Chronic illness go through is so far away from anything that the ‘normal’ people have to deal with that it is not surprising that they don’t or won’t get it.  They cannot understand the physical limitations, but even more, they cannot understand the fatigue, the brain fog, the fact that sometimes we have to cancel plans, it just does not penetrate their minds, and why should it, they are not suffering from it?

Even family cannot truly understand, yes, they see what we go through, they see our struggles with movement, and cognitive ability, they hear our cries of pain, but they cannot truly know because they don’t suffer from it.

ALONE AND LONELY, THE GUILT

Anxiety and Depression play a large role in our lives too, we begin to retreat from the world, we start to feel the distance that is between the healthy and us.  We turn inwards because we know that we need to protect ourselves from the additional pain of those we care about not understanding, trying but not really knowing.

It is impossible for them to understand the guilt of not being who we used to be, of having to rely on others, or that we feel like a burden on them.  We cannot keep our houses to the standards that we used to, we cannot go out dancing or having a long walk on the beach.

We have restrictions placed on us by the illnesses that make standing, sitting, walking or any other kind of movement severely limited.  We are easily overwhelmed in crowded spaces and by light and noise, we tire so easily, and we suffer cognitive issues.  Guilt is something that eats at us every single day.

I think the worst part for all of us is that for some reason we all try to hide how we are feeling, we smile through our days so as not to inflict our suffering onto others.  We laugh when all we want to do is scream, we smile even though the pain is so bad that functioning is becoming an almost impossible task.  A trip to the store, the mall, the doctor, or anywhere really, can leave us barely able to get out of bed for days afterwards.

I walk my dogs and then crumble into a chair for two hours before I feel like I can even stand up for a minute.

Is it any wonder that we feel alone, isolated like we live in a dark hole?

FEELING ALONE AND LONELY 3
FEELING ALONE AND LONELY WITH A CHRONIC ILLNESS 3

WE DON’T HAVE TO FEEL ALONE

It really does come down to this, if you have a Chronic Illness then at some point you are going to feel alone and lonely, but, there is really so much out there for us if we just take the steps to get it.  With the Internet you can reach out to anyone, there are facebook groups, and other groups on different platforms and blogs and people out there who get it, they understand, because they live it just like you do.  Find a forum that works for you, maybe you need face to face time, so try finding a local support group but, do not feel like you have to go through this alone; that you have no one to talk to or help you see that this is not life ending.

We are out here, we are available to talk or to commiserate, or to just sit quietly while you get everything out of your system. We are here if you need to rant and rave, if you need a shoulder to cry on, or if you just want to sit quietly knowing that someone is there if you need to speak or if you just want silence.

There is never a time when you need to feel as if you are not being heard, because the rest of us who feel exactly as you do, are out here on the web waiting and hoping that we will find someone who feels just like us, ALONE & LONELY.

 

THINGS I LOVE, USE, OR MAKE

Today I have for you two recipes for homemade bath and beauty products.  I know that I have mentioned before that I love to make a lot of the things at home that you would usually buy, because it is so much cheaper, and you get exactly what you want.

These two recipes I got off Pinterest a long time ago and I have been using them ever since.

 

HOMEMADE BATH SALTS 

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of Sea salt or Kosher salt
  • 5 cups of Epsom salt
  • 1 cup of Baking soda
  • food colouring
  • Essential oils (I use Lavender and Grapefruit, depending on whether I am trying to wake up or I am trying to relax)

Instructions

  1. Combine Sea salt or Kosher salt, Epsom Salt, and Baking soda.
  2. Add the desired amount of Essential oils.
  3. To colour Bath Salts, combine food colouring with few drops of water and whisk until combined.
  4. Spread coloured Bath Salts out in a single layer and let air dry before storing.
  5. Sprinkle the desired amount of Bath Salts into a tub filling with hot water and enjoy!

HOMEMADE LIP BALM 

Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons shea butter or olive oil ( I guess you could use coconut oil, but I’m allergic so I don’t use it)
  • 3 tablespoons beeswax
  • 12 drops Essential oil ( I use Sweet Orange and Grapefruit, or just plain Lavender, or Spearmint Oil)  (I don’t use Peppermint because it is too strong for me on my lips)

Instructions

  1. Melt shea butter and beeswax in a pourable glass measuring cup in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds.
  2. Add essential oil and pour into your choice of container (old lip balm tubes or those little pots that you can find at Dollar stores)  

ENJOY!

 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

 :

As usual, this one comes from Pinterest.  I thought it particularly appropriate because I am hoping to launch my new business  ‘THE INVISIBLE ILLNESS LISTENING POST’ at the end of June and I am scared stiff.  So I will tip toe into it and see how it goes.

FAMILY LIFE

This has been a weird week, I fell three times this past week, all of them down the stairs.  I swear someone is watching over me, otherwise, I think I would have broken something by now with how many times I have wound up at the bottom of the stairs quicker than I intended.  Needless to say, I was not in good shape for most of the week.

The weather had been so good, but then it went from 29’C (79’F) on the one day to 14’C (55’F) the next with pouring rain.  My body can’t keep up with these changes in the temp so fast, first my legs stopped working, then my eye, then my ear, and finally my hands, off and on all day they were working then not working, it was one of the oddest feeling days I’ve had in a while.

The dogs were not very happy either, they spent the one day lying in the sun and soaking it up and the next standing at the door watching it rain (neither one of them will go out in the rain).

My son’s fiance came up from Oregon last Thursday and she stayed until Sunday, and although it didn’t rain, not much sun showed up.  I feel so bad for her, she has never been here when we have had some full on summer sunshine, it is always cloudy or raining, or just barely warm.  I hope one day to show her just how beautiful it is here when the warm sunshine is making our mountains glow like jewels.

It just seemed to be one of those weeks where everything is off, just that little bit.  You can’t put your finger on it but something is just not quite right.  I still don’t know where the feeling came from, or what caused it but the whole week was just off.

 

RECIPE OF THE WEEK.

 HUSBAND’S DELIGHT CASSEROLE

https://barbsoutlook.com/?post_type=recipe&p=7440&preview=true

HOW TO FIND THE PERFECT PET WHEN YOU ARE CHRONICALLY ILL

HOW TO FIND THE PERFECT PET WHEN YOU ARE CHRONICALLY ILL

How To Find The Perfect Pet When You Are Chronically Ill

 

HOW TO FIND THE PERFECT PET WHEN YOU ARE CHRONICALLY ILL
HOW TO FIND THE PERFECT PET WHEN YOU ARE CHRONICALLY ILL

 

I want to tell you today about a wonderful gift that was given to me.   It gave me unconditional love and support, made me laugh, and made sure that I got out and moving every day.

It was, of course, my little Willie, a Dachshund pup that I have had since he was eight weeks old.

When we first brought him home, I fell instantly in love.  His soft eyes and warm little nose, not to mention the awkward way he ran kind of sideways, captured me immediately.  He seemed to understand that he was to be my companion right from the start as he had snuggled right into me as soon as we met, which the breeder had said was not usual for him.

Those first days were a new beginning for me, we played and I laughed, something I had not done for quite a while.  I freely admit here, that I believe that Willie saved my sanity.

 

MY DOG STORY

I had become more or less housebound, all my friends worked (I should mention that slowly they dropped away over time), my family worked, what was the point of going outside, no one else was?  I pretty much curled up in a ball and watched DAYTIME TV (as bad as it is) until someone came home and I had somebody to talk to.

During that time, it was hurry up and wait for the next test and then the next one and so on.  I couldn’t work because I couldn’t sit, stand, walk, talk, or anything else for very long before I would just collapse with the pain.

Then finally the tests were done and they showed nothing.  They could not find why I was in so much pain, why my arms and hands would let things fall without me sending the signal to let things go, why the sight in my left eye and the hearing in my left ear came and went with no warning.  Why all of a sudden it was like one or the other of my legs had ceased to exist and I would fall, constantly.  They couldn’t pin it all to the Fibromyalgia which had been getting worse and worse every year, so they decided it must be in my head and sent me to a psychiatrist.

 

HOW I WOUND UP WITH A DOG

The interview with the psychiatrist was sort of just a conversation, I thought she would ask me questions and I would answer them but no, it was just like a conversation.  At the end, she had Hawkeye and I sit down and she explained that she thought I had Conversion Disorder, a condition that not only interrupted the signals between my decision centre and my action centre but also threw my pain centre into overdrive.

Her advice was to get outside more, she suggested getting a dog for company and for the fact that it would mean having to go out with it every day. She believed that my being in the house all the time was not helping me and she wanted me to get out into nature.

 

THE HUNT FOR A DOG

Over the next few days Hawkeye and I discussed it at length, we had decided after our last dog and cat had passed away that we were not going to get any more pets.  We talked and talked and eventually what it came down to was that having a dog was a recommendation from a doctor, so we should do it to see if it would help.

My daughter, on hearing what the doctor said, immediately got on the computer and started looking for animals that we could bring home.  She started looking for Labrador Retrievers, and German Shepherds, and all fairly substantial dogs.  I pointed out to her that I would not be able to handle a big dog because my balance was so bad they could have taken my feet out from under me in no time.

We decided we would look for a Dachshund, they were small enough that I should be able to handle it, and besides, we had always loved them.

That’s when we found Willie.

This little bundle of fur and fun brought me back to life, he reminded me what joy was, and he gave me back my positive outlook.

HOW TO FIND THE PERFECT PET WHEN YOU ARE CHRONICALLY ILL 2
HOW TO FIND THE PERFECT PET WHEN YOU ARE CHRONICALLY ILL 2

HOW TO FIND YOUR PERFECT PET AND WHY YOU SHOULD

In doing research for this post, I came across so many listings about how a dog or a cat or a lizard is the perfect pet for someone with a Chronic Illness.

I can’t say that I agree with everything they said (for instance, neither a lizard or some kind of rat was going to be welcome in my home), however every single thing I read said that one of the best things for someone with chronic illness was getting a pet.

HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR PET

So, how do you choose what kind of animal would be best for you?  You really sit down and think about what you are capable of handling.

 

  • How active are you?
  • Do you have allergies?
  • Do you live in an apartment or in a house with a backyard?
  • What is your tolerance for starting with a youngster, remember having a baby animal is like having a baby, you have to watch over them constantly, clean up their messes, watch what they eat and be willing to train them?
  • Would an older animal suit you better?
  • Do you want something that has to be taken out every day, or do you want something that can basically fend for itself as long as everything they need is there?
  • How much time are you willing to put into playing, teaching, caring for them?
  • Don’t forget there will be vet visits, shots, medications, can you accept and afford all that?  
  • Dogs require more effort on your part, cats not as much.
  • How big or small do you want the animal to be?
  • What does your chronic illness let you be capable of?
  • Lizards and Birds require particular habitats, special attention and upkeep and can become a health risk if not handled properly
  • Guinea pigs and Bunnies (not my idea of a pet) need special habitats like the birds and lizards
HOW TO FIND THE PERFECT PET WHEN YOU ARE CHRONICALLY ILL 3
HOW TO FIND THE PERFECT PET WHEN YOU ARE CHRONICALLY ILL 3

THE RESEARCH ON WHAT A PET CAN DO FOR YOU

I will paraphrase what the experts had to say about having a pet when you have a chronic illness because most of the experts were very long-winded, LOL, and I could be writing a 10,000-word post before you know it.

Maggie Buckley a former member of the  American Pain Foundation had this to say. “This little creature needed me — she needed me to take care of her.” What she found was that her dog ‘Q’ gave her a new way of making friends and a new reason for getting up and getting going in the morning.  While walking Q she would meet people at a dog park and strike up conversations and make new contacts and friends.

The research tells us that having a pet can help ease depression, anxiety, loneliness.  A pet makes you feel less isolated, less of you against the world, less of being alone.

Buckley says in an interview she gave with everydayhealth.com that “A pet is more powerful than any medication when it comes to comforting, soothing, and distracting you when you are experiencing pain.”  

 

WHAT OTHERS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT HAVING A PET

In a post on The Mighty.com, a woman explains that dogs can be a special help with what ails you.  They always love you whether you are healthy or sick, you can tell by the reception you get when you get home after being out for a while.  Their wagging tails and excited demeanour shows you just how much you were missed.

The old saying that “Laughter is the best medicine” really is true.  Our animals make us laugh and as we laugh the pain reduces for a while, you can be curled up in your bed dealing with a bad day look over and see your pet just being themselves and it will make you smile. Or, if you are curled up in your bed, they will lay there with you, just giving you comfort by being there.

You never have to explain yourself to a pet, they don’t care if you’re sick they just want love and companionship the same as you.  Sometimes it can be so hard having to deal with people who don’t get it, from family members to coworkers, to friends, it can be hard for them to understand why you don’t do the same things you did before you got sick; but your pet just accepts the way things are, and that can be very comforting.

HOW TO FIND THE PERFECT PET WHEN YOU ARE CHRONICALLY ILL 4
HOW TO FIND THE PERFECT PET WHEN YOU ARE CHRONICALLY ILL 4

 

WRAPPING UP THE PET QUESTION

Only you can know whether a pet is something that you want to deal with, so, I won’t try to push you any further.  I just wanted you to know how much an animal can help you to deal with pain, to get your body moving even when it hurts, to help you just deal with the day-to-day of being ill.

I prefer my dogs (I have two now as you know) they are like a drug, they make me laugh so hard as they play together, they seek me out just to reconnect, and they look to me to take care of them; which gives me a purpose to get up and get going everyday.  I might always be in a flare, and every single step I take feels like hot coals all over my body, but knowing that they are waiting for me to take them out is the best motivator there is.

 

 

THINGS I LOVE, USE, OR MAKE

I love Hydrogen Peroxide.  There are so many uses for this, I use it all over my home and it really does the job whatever the job may be.

Cleaning/Disinfecting Uses

Hydrogen Peroxide is a food-safe cleaner.

  • I use it when I am cleaning out the fridge, to make sure I get everything cleaned properly.
  • I use it to wash my veggies when I bring them home from the store.  For this, I fill the sink with cool water and add about 3 Tbsp to the water.
  • I use it to clean the inside of my dishwasher
  • I use it to clean the sponges in the kitchen; for this, you will want to use an equal amount of hot water and the hydrogen peroxide, soak them for about 15 minutes and then rinse out. (And don’t forget you can throw them on the top shelf of your dishwasher to clean them too.  Or, you can put them in lemon water and stick in the microwave for a minute, be sure to let cool before you try to wring it out)
  • I use it in a spray bottle to spray down the shower after having a shower, cheaper and easier than the stuff you buy for that.

Other Uses 

  • For a teeth whitener, use a Tbsp of the Hydrogen Peroxide and enough baking soda to make a paste and clean your teeth twice a week with the mixture until you get your desired whiteness.  Then use every couple of weeks to keep them that way.
  • I also use it when I am taking a bath, I use half a cup of the hydrogen peroxide and a half a cup of Epsom salts and relax away, the Epsom salts will leave your skin feeling soft and the hydrogen peroxide will ensure that you are clean.
  • I add a cup to the laundry when I am doing towels or sheets to make sure that they come out smelling fresh and clean.
  • I use it also for when I do the kitchen linens laundry, it helps take away the smell and any dinginess that they start to get.  Oh, I should mention that I also usually add a cup of vinegar and a half cup of baking soda as well, but I do that for every load of laundry.

 

I checked out One Good Thing by Jillee to see if she had any additional uses and she does.  Check out her post at

http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/30-uses-for-hydrogen-peroxide-youll-want-to-know-about

I told you I love her blog, I go there every time I think of something and see if she has more info on it.  She usually does.

Fairy Garden Update:  I have been extremely busy with other things, so I haven’t had the time to spend on it that I would have liked.  I will keep you updated though as soon as I can get back to it.

 

 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Once again Pinterest has some of the best quotes, this one had me saying “So True”

Top Ten Quotes Of The Day:

 

A Happy Belated Mother’s Day to all the Mothers out there.  I was an exceptionally lucky Mum, both of my kids have grown up to be truly worthwhile adults.  They never got into drugs or any of the other stuff that can bring such grief to a Mum’s heart.  They are not perfect but then who is?  I am extremely proud to be able to call them my children.

 

 

FAMILY LIFE 

Mother’s day has come and gone and as usual, my kids spoiled me.  It was the last one I will probably ever have with my son still living at home.  I am having a lot of lasts this year because once he is married and living in Oregon we will not see as much of him as I would like.

I will still have my daughter at home so, I will not be an empty nester yet, but I am both happy and sad that my son will be leaving our home this year.  Happy because I truly believe he has found the person he is meant to be with, and sad because my baby will be far away from me now.  I know, he is 24 years old and 6’4″ so nothing less like a baby could be even imagined, but he is my baby.

When they are young we worry if we are teaching them the right things, we worry when they stay out too late at night, we worry when the phone doesn’t ring when he is late for dinner, or we worry when the phone rings at 2 am that he has been hurt in some way.

I wonder if we ever stop worrying, I know I will still be worried about him when he has a wife and a new home, but I guess that is what motherhood is for.  Not just to teach our children how to be responsible, caring, upstanding human beings, but to teach us to let go so they can be the people they were meant to be, trusting that what you taught them will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives and that they will pass on to their children the values and habits that we instilled in them.

So, Happy Mother’s Day to all of you Mothers who are just beginning your journey and to those of us whose journey to bring them to adulthood has already passed.  But, further, I would like to wish all the Grandmothers, Great Aunts, and Great Grandmothers a Happy Mother’s day as well for they are the ones that gave us our values and habits to pass along.

 

 

RECIPE OF THE WEEK

BACON MUSHROOM MAC AND CHEESE 

https://barbsoutlook.com/?post_type=recipe&p=7323&preview=true

 

BACON MUSHROOM MACARONI AND CHEESE
BACON MUSHROOM MACARONI AND CHEESE

 

 

SOMETHING NEW RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER OF YOUR LIFE

SOMETHING NEW RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER OF YOUR LIFE

SOMETHING NEW RIGHT AROUND

THE CORNER OF YOUR LIFE

 

Something New is Right Around the Corner f Your Life 2
Every Day is a New Chance to Start A New Life

 

Every morning when we wake up there is the possibility of something new. A new opportunity, a new friend, a new magical experience, a new interest, a new life.

I know that some days just getting out of bed becomes a new adventure; am I going to be able to stand or am I going to end up on my butt again, will I break something this time when I fall or will I just bounce like usual? Being overweight is good for something. LoL

 

NEW IS THE OPERATIVE WORD 

New adventures, new ideas, a new way of looking at things; this is what every day holds for us. To be able to change our perspective; to be able to get a new take on something that previously had not filled us with hope. There is no way to know from day-to-day what may be possible for us, what may be a new opportunity for us. Sometimes, when all we can see is the darkness the new day comes and with it the chance for light to show us a new path. Can I be different, can I think different, Can I make my life different?

Every morning when I wake up I lie in bed and wonder whether or not my arms or my legs, my eyes or my ear, or my body at all, is going to work. But, every day holds the possibility of laughter and community, friendship and love. So, those are my new challenges, to look for the laughter, the ability to be part of a community, to seek out friendship and love. Do you know how hard that is for an introvert (shaking my head)?

 

POSITIVITY AND SEEKING THE NEW 

Now, I am mostly a positive person so it would be hard for me to not look for and hope for the bright side but I have been in the dark when only grey clouds and fog surround us. When you can’t see at all, or when there is only Gray and Black. But then there’s the next day, and the possibility again exists for light to come shining through the grey and the black and maybe they get pushed back a little. And even if we can only see a glimmer of the light; we can believe that it is something new that is right around the corner bringing the light back to our hearts.

My way of viewing the world will always have a positive slant because I am always surrounded by love and caring, and people I can count on. My life is filled always with the knowledge that I have people on my side.

People have asked me many times “How do I stay so positive?”, let’s be honest, nobody is positive all the time. Do I have days where I let a little bit of self-pity slip in when I let poor me syndrome take hold? Yes, of course, I do, but it never lasts very long anymore because I am always looking for the new, what new thing can I learn today, about myself, about my work, about the world?

When I say that there is something new around the corner I mean that you have to look for it; that you have to make the challenge to yourself to see the small things that can make a difference in your life. To see the beauty that surrounds every day, all the different greens of the trees, all the clouds in the sky because they’re different colours this time of year, the especially bright and cheerful flowers of Spring. We can see the newness all around us, we just have to try to grab some for ourselves.

Something New is Right Around the Corner of Your Life
The newness of the flowers in Spring

CREATING NEWNESS

If I was to say that finding a way to be creative could help bring the light back into your life whether you color in a coloring book, or do crossword puzzles, or sing and dance; being creative will bring you the light, would you look for it, would you try a new road to see if it works for you? Even if you can only be creative in your mind, design a space that is just yours; make it up to be what you want it to be, your place of peace. Last week, I spoke about Daydreams, use that power, to make something new in your mind.

Only you can decide what will make that little piece of light or that little glimmer of light shine for you, don’t leave yourself in the dark, hunt for the glimmer!

 

Around the corner find something new
Search for that Glimmer of Light

 

THINGS I LOVE, USE, OR MAKE 

I have several websites that are my go to’s when I need to find something to lift me up.  The first is one I check every morning, to see what’s going on, what’s she making, what’s she cooking up;

ONE GOOD THING BY JILLEE 

https://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/

I keep all her emails, everything she sends out to me is kept in a folder, she has posts about using essential oils, which I love, about cooking, cleaning, and just about everything else you can do around a house.  When I need an answer to a question about how to clean this or that, she is where I go.  I have no affiliation with her or her site, I just love the blog.  She has little mini videos on how to do this or that running on the side of her site, I love it.

 

The next one is for me because I love to write, and any pointers I can get I jump right on:

THE WRITE LIFE

https://thewritelife.com/

This site is mostly for freelancers but it has good advice just for everyday writers or bloggers.  It has tips to make your writing better, it has tips on how and where to find work (for freelancers), it has a little bit about a lot of things and like above, I keep every single email.

 

The last and final site I’m going to share with you today is;

THE MIRACLE MORNING

https://www.miraclemorning.com/

If you have not heard of this site or have not read the book, please check this out.  It will lift you up, it will make your mornings a joy (once you are up and moving of course).  Little things that you can do very day to make your life a little bit better, a little bit more positive.

The man who wrote the books is Hal Elrod, this past year he was diagnosed with cancer and has gone through some horrendous treatments, but through it all, he kept putting out YouTube videos to let you know how he was doing.  Although the times were tough for him, you could see the positivity and courage in his eyes, he is very inspiring.

So, if you need to be lifted up, get to the blog, or the podcast, or buy the book and see it shining through everything he writes and says. (I should mention, that right now, his partner is doing the podcasts, but it is still uplifting and inspiring.)

Oh, and I am not affiliated with any these sites guys, I just love them.

FAIRY GARDEN Update:  I am sorry that I have not done more, this past week has been one for the books you might say, so I will keep trying to get back to it and as it comes together I will share it with you.

 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK 

you are doing an amazing job at life!!:

Courtesy of Pinterest as always.

 

This week, remember to love yourself, you’re worth it.

 

 

FAMILY LIFE

Have I ever mentioned that Dachshunds are stubborn, they do what you want them to do only when they want to do it.  I have been potty training Bailey since we got her, she seemed to be doing really well at the pee part of it, she goes on the pad when I ask her, or outside if we are outside; but, poop is not as easy.  Bailey can’t seem to get the idea that she can poop on the pads also.

By the way, I should mention here that she and Willie do not like the rain; hence the pee pads; we live in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, we have two seasons Rain and Not Rain ( I know, I know, I’m being sarcastic, but this year this is really the case, and we are likely to have both seasons in one day).

Willie was a stubborn little git, and it took me almost a year to train him, Bailey is only just over three months, I thought that if I started the intense training right away she would get it, but that does not seem to be the case.

Luckily, we have mostly laminate flooring throughout the house, so it is easy to clean up after her, but I don’t know how to teach her the proper place for it.  If you have any ideas, other than rubbing her nose in it, because that I won’t do, could you leave me a comment, the comment button is at the top of the post?  I’d really appreciate any help I can get.  Thank you.

 

RECIPE OF THE WEEK 

MANGO CHUTNEY CHICKEN SLIDERS 

https://barbsoutlook.com/?post_type=recipe&p=7306&preview=true

 

HOW TO COPE WITH THE CRAP IN EVERYDAY LIFE, DAYDREAM!

HOW TO COPE WITH THE CRAP IN EVERYDAY LIFE, DAYDREAM!

 DAYDREAMS

 

We all have them; they are like mini vacations for our brains when they are overloaded.  They can also be useful for working sh*t out; we use them when we worry, when we tire; when we are bored, or scared or inattentive.

Did you know, I didn’t, but I think it’s interesting, that you have less and less of them as you get older, and the reason for that appears to be because as we get older, the way to deal with unpleasant things is something that we have a strategy for?  Young people are more likely to daydream about worrying situations, us old guys (sorry), we use daydreams to take us out of a situation when we need a little time away from everyday life.

MY DAYDREAMS 

For myself, I deliberately use them to help with the pain, as you know I am always in flare, so every day I take a little time away in my head, it helps me cope.  Sometimes it’s a couple of minutes; sometimes it’s up to half an hour.  I go to an imaginary place in my mind where it is always summer, and I am sitting on the dock of a cabin beside a lake, I can hear the birds singing, the leaves rustling in the wind, even boats going by on the other side of the lake.  It’s peaceful, and there is no pain there.

I often wonder if others with chronic illness do the same thing, do you get away from your body for a little bit every day?

DAYDREAMS HELP PREPARE FOR SCARY THINGS 

At my age now, there is not much that worries me, my husband having prostate cancer, my son getting married, those are the kind of things that pick at my brain.  

I remember the very first time I was going to have to get up in front of people and make a short speech; I went over it and over it in my mind; deliberately imagining the worst that could happen.  For example, you stand up to speak, and nothing but gibberish comes out of your mouth, and everyone is looking at you with their heads’ cocked like a dog’s wondering what the hell I am saying; or I stand up open my mouth, and nothing comes out. 

I tried very hard to imagine every possibility except the one that actually happened.  I stood up and went completely blank, I had no idea why I was there, what I as talking about, absolutely blank; then I started laughing and told everyone what had happened, they all laughed along with me, not at me, and then the whole thing came flooding back, and we carried on.

INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT DAYDREAMING 

  • You are neither asleep nor awake when you daydream, you are in a place where you are not aware of things around you, but if you had to come to attention quickly you could.
  • Sigmund Freud used to deliberately dream about a naked Greta Garbo riding on a horse.  I wonder if he ever psychoanalysed himself.  Hmmmmm.
  • Daydreaming is a right brain thing, according to neuroscientists what happens is that you are using your left brain for some kind of work that is not stimulating, so your right brain takes over and gives you a vision of something more entertaining to focus on.
  • Athletes, Musicians, and Business leaders deliberately use it to envision positive outcomes for their efforts.  We have all heard of the system of visualising what you want, see it happening, and voila` it happens, turns out that this is a form of daydreaming but used deliberately, kind of like my lakeside getaway.
  • Those few moments that you are somewhere else can relieve stress, improve mindset, foster creativity and refreshes the body, mind, and spirit.
  • Daydreaming may give you access to areas of your brain that retain information, so that when you ‘wake’ you may have come up with some magical insight into a problem or creatively come up with a way of solving a problem.
  • The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as a “pleasant visionary, usually wishful creation of the imagination”.  By that definition, it appears that daydreaming is proving to be a lot like the mini vacation I mentioned at the outset.
  • Dr Muireann Irish, Neuroscientist, said “DAYDREAMING IS HARD WORK AND SERVES SOME VERY IMPORTANT FUNCTIONS. THE CAPACITY TO REMEMBER THE PAST AND IMAGINE THE FUTURE  IS A VERY COMPLEX FORM OF THINKING”
  • It’s noted that daydreaming improves performance and productivity, and is thought to be a sign of an active and healthy brain.  It seems to be a good indication of the brain’s ability to retain and recall information in the face of distractions, or as they say ‘working memory.’

 

DAYDREAMING AND CHRONIC ILLNESS

I searched and searched for anything that there might be on using daydreaming to; or if daydreaming helps with coping with the pain and other symptoms of chronic illness.  There was no literature that I could find on the benefits of it, but there were articles on how it can be bad for you.  

They call it Maladaptive Daydreaming, it is where you get so into the daydreaming you can’t, or somehow you forget to, or you choose not to return to real life.  This becomes a disorder all its own, let’s not do that.

I use it when my left eye goes blind, when all of a sudden my arms aren’t working, or when the fibro fog gets so bad that just thinking becomes impossible.

 

HOW TO DAYDREAM DELIBERATELY

If you have never done it deliberately, let me give you a couple of pointers.  The first time or the second time you try it may not work, but keep at it day after day and eventually, you will be at the lakeside cabin or a beach in the Caribbean, or a chalet in the Swiss Alps, whatever peace is for you.

Build it slowly in your mind, make sure you include everything that would make you feel calm and worry free.  If you are on the beach, hear the waves falling on the beach, the seabirds crying about the fish that got away.  Or, if the Swiss Chalet is your idea of peace, smell the wood from the fire, hear the wind blowing the snow against the windows. Every day add a little bit more until it is the perfect place for you.  

Even if you can only get there a couple of times a week, it seems to help with getting through the tough days.  Those days when you are curled up in a ball because the pain is so bad, go to your peaceful place, and the pain doesn’t follow, it may only be a brief respite, but at least it’s something.

Daydream deliberately, it is the only way that I know of to get away from the pain; and I know that some days nothing will help, but give it a try.  Just don’t forget to come back.

 

 

THINGS I LOVE, USE, MAKE 

Today’s little nugget of goodness is an online shopping site called Zulily.  I love and use it at least a couple of times a week, who am I kidding, I go there every day to see what’s new.  You sign up, and then every morning they send you an email with what’s new on the site.

At this time of year, they always seem to have sales on things that I admired back in the fall as well as things for spring and summer.  Yesterday, I picked up three tops, one for $6.99 and the other two for $9.99, now these were tops that went for over $50.00 each back in the fall, so I just indicated I liked them by highlighting the little heart; and every time they come back around I get a notification that something I liked will be on tomorrow’s New Today list.

Now, you have to be careful, because they only have so many in each of the sizes and they are only there for a set amount of time, but if you pay attention to the prices when you see them originally, and they bring them back around at sale time you can get a pretty good deal.  These items are all discounted anyway, and then they go on sale.

You can get things like Michael Kors purses, or Kate Spade.  Ray Bans that are still ridiculously expensive even with a discount, but there are knock-offs that are very similar.  Coach stuff, and Jessica Simpson clothing and accessories, there are shoes and stuff for kids and babies. Some of it is just crazy expensive, but others are a really good deal.

My latest purchases, were sheet sets, 700 thread count and I got them for 29.99 for a queen set, I bought three, then I saw a comforter set that was lovely, and I got it for less than $30.  Believe me; they have everything from things for your pets, to curtains for the windows, home decor and storage, to bathing suits and jewellery and every now and then they have stuff for the office or planners.  Honestly, you could go crazy on this site.

I just went on the site a few minutes ago to see if I could find any particular deals, and what I found was a high-end clothing line for kids clothes that are on up to 75% off.  The page that I looked at they had a little boys outfit, probably for between 1 -2 years old, regularly $91.00 for $16.99, and a little girl’s really pretty party dress that was regularly $102.00 for $19.99

So, go and have a look at Zulily.com, you might be surprised at what you find. And no, I have no affiliation with them, I just love the site.

 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

 

Whether you’re experiencing an episode of depression in this season or it has been an ongoing battle, here are 11 quotes to encourage your spirit.

 

I love Pinterest; they always have something that touches me in some way.  I thought this one went along well with the Daydreams post.  As usual, though, there is no mention of the author, so I will just say that I am grateful that someone put pen to paper for this one.

Be proud of who you are and what you can offer the world because don’t forget even if like me you don’t get out much; you still have a voice that can be heard if you want it to be.

Fairy Garden update, had no time at all on the project this week.  I’m taking too many courses right now, and they are all taking up my time.  But, in the end, it will be worth it, I hope because I will be able to talk to you much easier and give you so much more than I have until now.

 

FAMILY LIFE or THE WILLIE AND BAILEY PART OF THE BLOG.

Do you ever wonder if there’s someone in your house that you don’t know about, and he, she, or it spends an awful lot of time screwing around with things?   Like your favourite coffee mug is not in the cupboard, it is now located in the pot drawer, or the sweater you were planning on wearing and that should have been in your closet is somehow in the basement with a dog lying on it; weird things that happen and there is no reason for it.

No, I’m not talking about a ghost, I’m talking about Mr I Don’t Know.  My kids are adults now but Mr I Don’t Know still shows up almost every day.   He plays with our minds and tricks us into believing we are losing ours because you know as well as I do if I ask ‘who dunnit’ (had to, lol) then the answer will always be I don’t know.

Mr I Don’t Know has lived in my house since my kids learned to speak, funny how that happened.  I always assumed (and yes we know what that means) that he would move to somebody else’s house when the kids got old enough.  I’m just not sure now, what’s old enough.

Willie and Bailey have been their usual selves, running around the house, sounding like elephants on the stairs (how is that possible for two such small dogs) and ripping apart anything that has even the slightest stuffing.  I use to hope that when Bailey came, she would be a good influence on Willie and things wouldn’t be unstuffed anymore, I should have known better.

Well here are some new pictures of the little darlings:

Daydreams - Bailey on the run
Bailey on the Run

 

Daydreams - Willie and Bailey in the sun
Willie and Bailey enjoying the sunny day

 

Daydreams - Willie & Bailey with Mummy's Cane
They never look at you at the same time, no matter how hard I try

 

 

 

RECIPE OF THE WEEK

 

CARAMEL APPLES WITH PORK STEAKS,

STEAMED BROCCOLI & FLUFFY RICE 

Caramel Apples with Pork Steaks

 

Daydreams - Recipe - Caramel Apples with Pork Steaks
Ready to Eat – Caramel Apples with Pork Steaks, Steamed Broccoli, and Rice. Oh, can’t forget the Caramel Sauce!

 

YUMMMM!

 

OK, that about does it for this week.  Just a reminder to take care of you, have fun, laugh alot, and take time to be grateful for the life you have even if it isn’t the one you wanted.

By the way,  for those of you who signed up last week, I’m so sorry, I have screwed up, I didn’t link everything together properly, so you did not get your download, if you send me an email to Barb@barbsoutlook.com, I’ll make sure that the copy gets sent through.

If you didn’t sign up, then why not do so now and get “HOW TO CREATE A CLEANING SCHEDULE THAT WORKS FOR YOU”  free.

Have a great week and a terrific weekend, Happy Mother’s Day to all of you, whether it is fur babies or real ones.

Bye for now.

10 THINGS THAT SURPRISED ME ABOUT FIBROMYALGIA

10 THINGS THAT SURPRISED ME ABOUT FIBROMYALGIA

 

The 10 Surprising things I learned about Fibromyalgia
10 Things that Surprised me About Fibromyalgia – It’s not all bad.

Hi Everyone,

I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia almost 15 years ago now, and as soon as I was diagnosed I went online to research everything I could find.  What I found was not a lot of information.  Unlike now; then, there really wasn’t much on this disease at all.

Every morning I put on my face and didn’t let anybody know how bad it was. There were days I was so tired I honestly do not know how I coped. Every day I laughed with my coworkers, giggled with my kids, kept up with my friends, and was a good partner to my husband.

The literature that I found on the disease really did not give me an outlook on what the future would be like. There was nothing in anything that I read to let me know that gradually over time it would get worse and worse, that every day would become a struggle, that my house would be a mess on a constant basis, and that there were some days I barely made it out of bed.

And, the literature never told me a lot of the things that I’m going to tell you about now. The following 10 things that probably surprised me the most. Little did I know, that within 11 years of being diagnosed I would no longer be working as a result of Conversion Disorder which super-sized my Fibro; that falling up or downstairs would become normal, that every morning I would need an hour and a half just to be able to push the pain back enough that I would be able to function for the day.

2 years later, I would have to give up driving as Fibro was affecting my eyesight more and more. My life completely changed 4 years ago, I became what they call chronically ill, as the Conversion Disorder tripped me into a permanent Fibro flare. Things that at one time had seemed so easy were now things that I struggled to manage every day. I need a cane to keep my balance, and a walker now and again when I get really bad. That a wheelchair would be needed if I was travelling or doing something as simple as going to the mall

So here we go, here is my list of the 10 things that surprised me because they either weren’t in the literature of the time, or they were considered to be rare symptoms of Fibromyalgia.  A couple of good things are mixed in as well, nothing could be ALL bad.

FATIGUE 

I did not know that it was possible to be so tired, that even when you woke up in the morning you would be exhausted just going to the bathroom. I didn’t know that trying to do my housework or even getting dressed would tire me out so badly that my legs would literally give out. How is it that you can be so tired that even breathing feels like a chore.  Then when it’s time to sleep, you can’t, you might be able to for 45 minutes or so but then you have to get up move around because the pain is so bad.  Broken nights contribute heavily to the fatigue, but even on rare occasions when I do sleep through the night, I wake up exhausted.  I would never have believed that taking a shower could become a major undertaking and that I would be so tired afterwards that it could take up to two hours for me to be able to get up and function.

FIBRO FOG 

44 Memes That Nail What It’s Like to Have Fibromyalgia:

 

Although the things that I read told me about fibro fog, it is not really understandable until you’re going through it; that you would forget what you were speaking about in the middle of a sentence, that you would forget the name of your husband or child, that words that should come easily to you, don’t, and that stuttering would become a way of life as you struggle to find the words.

Of all the things associated with Fibromyalgia, this is the one that I find hardest to deal with. How embarrassing to forget your best friend’s name or where she lives or her phone number; how embarrassing to be talking to your husband of 26 years and not be able to recall his name; how devastating to be speaking to your child and not able to recall their name. On those days when it is really bad, it hurts me so much to know that at some point I will hurt somebody’s feelings by not being able to remember what they are called.

JOURNALING

This one actually surprised me a lot, who knew that journaling every day would be able to give me a look back at how I have progressed to this time. My tip to anyone who is suffering from chronic illness of any kind, keep a journal it will give you the opportunity to remember the good days, the great days, and the wonderful days.

It will give you the opportunity to look back on those very black days when depression and anxiety had you so down that you actually believed it would be better if you weren’t here. It will make you remember the reasons that it’s better that you are here.

In my journal, I write down quotes that I find inspiring, things that I really want to remember, and who I talked to each day. I write down project ideas, recipe ideas, think of ways to make my housekeeping easier, for heaven’s sake it takes me 45 minutes just to make the bed. The journal is like my memory for those days when it isn’t very good.

LONELINESS

This one I guess I should have expected, that one by one the friends would all drop away; when I would have to cancel on them at the last-minute or just flat-out say no. It seems so funny to me I have friends all over the world online that I speak to at least a couple of times a week but that those that were closest to me are no longer there. I have made some very strong friendships online but all of my friends that live close by I never see any more.

THE ITCH

In all of the literature that I read on Fibromyalgia, they mentioned the possibility of being itchy but that it was a mild symptom and not everyone has it. They lied. Sometimes the itching is so bad that I literally cut myself with my nails from scratching. It does not matter how much cream I use or any of the other itching remedies that everyone recommends, the itch is unrelenting. There is not a time when some part or other is not itching. I have learned to be careful with just how much I scratch.

PEOPLE

I am surprised all the time by the bad manners of people and then I am pleasantly surprised at the kindness of others. The number of times that I have been walking towards the door and instead of maybe helping me out by holding it for me the person just lets it go even though they have seen me coming. On the other hand, there are wonderful people who not only see me coming that then hold the door for me or offer to help me in some way but say something to give me a laugh or to make me smile.

For instance, I was at the nail salon yesterday to get my pedicure (I can no longer reach my toes without losing my balance and getting dizzy even when sitting down), there were the most wonderful lady and her husband also having a pedicure. She was about to turn 80 and he was getting very close to 90 she literally had me in hysterics the whole time we were there. I once wrote a post about kindness and how it was becoming a lost virtue; I can tell you with absolute certainty that not all the kindness is gone, it’s just something that the older generation is more inclined towards than the younger.

The other thing about people is they all think they have the answer or the cure for my problem.  The fact that I tell them that their cures and suggestions are all things I’ve already tried doesn’t seem to faze them, they are convinced that there must be something that I can do that will stop the disease in its tracks, or they plain just don’t believe you could have something that can’t be fixed.

fibromyalgia meme: normal person's pain scale. spoonie's/chronically ill person's pain scale.:

 

BODY TEMP

Reading up on Fibromyalgia, I discovered that I was going to have problems with my body temp; since I was already going through menopause this was not good news. I had already gone through the night sweats and the hot flashes were still running me down, but then along comes Fibromyalgia and as it progressed the temperature swings became worse. When I was cold, I was freezing and when I was hot it was hard to breathe. I would be literally dripping from the ends of my hair during the hot flashes amplified by Fibromyalgia; and 3 or 4 blankets plus a couple of sweaters could not get me warm, because being cold was also amplified by Fibromyalgia. I am mostly past the hot flashes now I only get them now and again. For me, it is mostly the cold that takes over and that I have to deal with, but every now and again I’ll be lying in bed and the furnace goes on and it’s not a night sweat and it’s not a hot flash, it feels entirely different, the heat is at times unbearable almost like you are in one of those places with super high humidity and heat.

TRADING OFF 

It has become a game of trade-off; if I do this today how little am I going to get done tomorrow. Should I do the dusting knowing that tomorrow the only thing I might be able to do is shower, or should I leave the dusting for today and hopefully be able to put a meal on the table and play with the dogs and who knows maybe just maybe I might be able to do a load of laundry as well. See what I mean, the trade-off every day; what can I do today that won’t incapacitate me for tomorrow. It is a constant balancing act.

ONLINE FRIENDS 

I think one of the biggest surprises for me was just how many people with chronic illness I would meet online. How meeting them made me feel not quite so alone. Talking to others and discovering how they spent their days, the compromises that they made; helped me to figure out my own system for getting things done. I have talked to so many that are much worse off than I am and yet our spirits are still high and each and every one of us still hopes that in the end, the medical establishment will eventually find a way to help and maybe even cure us.

THE GUILT

Nobody understands just how guilty you feel not being able to do the things that you used to. For instance, it has become normal for my house to be a mess, my bad days far outweigh my good days. I know that my floor needs to be washed but if I do that then I am literally going to be laid up for two or three days to recover from it.

The same holds true if I attempt the dusting, the vacuuming, the bathrooms, the laundry, just about any household chore. I have a cleaning schedule that I made up that allows for latitude and how much gets done in a day. Some days I have to stay almost motionless so I can make dinner that night.

As one might expect, the guilt of sitting down on my rear end all day and not getting done even a third or a quarter of what you had planned for that day is so weighty that you feel like you have an elephant or gorilla sitting on your shoulder.

A good wife and Mum is supposed to keep the house clean (and yes, I know how old-fashioned that sounds but it was the way that I was brought up), is supposed to cook the meal every night, is supposed to be the one being leaned on when it is needed, not the other way around. Thank God for my husband, he is now and has always been the tower of strength I need when the guilt and pain overwhelm me, and he steps in and takes up whatever the challenge is.  But, that also makes me feel guilty after he has worked all day and then has to come home sometimes to a wife that really cannot do anything some days.

WRAPPING IT UP

If there was one thing that I could say to people who do not suffer from a chronic illness; it would be to tell them that this disease is real. We are not faking, we are not being lazy, we are not just trying to get out of working, we have real and in some cases horrible, horrible pain.  You would be amazed how many people think and say that to our faces.

I would also like you to know that I am not ignoring you when you tell me that all I need is to get a little more exercise or get out of the house more or be more sociable. I am simply not willing to listen to people who have no idea what it’s like; so have no concept of how many times we have heard these same things over and over, even from family members at times.

I think it would surprise you to know just how much we force ourselves into appearing normal so that people don’t know how much pain we are in. We put a smile on every morning hoping that we truly can hide just how badly we feel, but that smile is wiped from our face the moment we step in our door. We do not want your sympathy or your pity, we are warriors and we push ourselves every day to be the best wives, mothers, coworkers, and friends that we can be. We are stronger than you could possibly imagine because every day we have to struggle to get through the day knowing that somebody somewhere thinks we are a fraud.

10 Things about Fibromyalgia that Surprised Me
The 10 most Surprising Things about Fibromyalgia – It’s not all bad news

 

 

Thank God for Pinterest and their memes, at times they are the only thing that keeps me from crying like a baby.

 

 

THINGS I LOVE, USE, OR  MAKE

Today I would like to tell you a little bit about why I am building a Fairy Garden.  I have seen them on Pinterest over the past few years and I have fallen in love with the idea.  From the time I was little, I have always been fascinated by stories of elves, fairies, gnomes and pretty much anything that has to do with fantasy characters.  As I grew up I still loved them or at least the idea of them.  I almost wrote a book once about a wonderful fairyland that had all of the above in it as well as unicorns, mastodons, and saber-tooth tigers, all friendly of course.  I was 10.

As I was wandering through Pinterest about a month ago, I was amazed at how much effort had been put into building some of these wonderful little things, I asked several of the pictures owners if I could include them in a post I was planning on (this one) and out of the 9 I asked two got back to me right away and approved my use of their pictures provided I also placed a link to the site and the post that I was taking the pictures from.

So, first, I would like to thank Red Shed Vintage and The Burgh Baby for permission to use their fairy garden pictures.  They returned an answer to my request within a few hours and I was delighted to have their permission and the use of their pictures. I checked out each of their blogs and they are now on my list of visit every week.

The first is from Red Shed Vintage and the Fairy Garden is built in a wheelbarrow.

Fairy Garden in a Wheelbarrow
Look how much effort was put into making this look so marvellous

 

A different angle

Alternate angle on the Fairy Garden in the Wheelbarrow
A different angle on the Fairy Garden, just have a look at some of the things in the garden.

 

Please go and take a look at the original post on this magical setting from the Red Shed Vintage blog.  Click the link below:

http://redshedvintage.blogspot.com/2012/05/miniature-primitive-garden.html

 

The second blog that allowed me to use their picture is The Burgh Baby and again, check out how much work goes into making up these lovely gardens.

Washtub Fairy Garden
Look at all the little bits and pieces that go into making one of these incredible miniatures

 

This piece took my breath away when I saw it.

 

Wishing well and Fairy House
Breakfast Nook and Wishing well, so much detail goes into even the smallest piece.

 

Again, please go and check on the original post from The Burgh Baby blog.  Click the link below:

https://www.theburghbaby.com/burghbaby/there-are-fairies-living-in-the-garden.html

These two wonderful mini gardens, as well as several others, were the reason that I decided on this project.  How could I not be able to say “I have fairies living in my garden.”

Please check out these two blogs and everything else on them, I am sure you will not be disappointed.

 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“STRENGTH DOESN’T COME FROM WHAT YOU CAN DO, IT COMES FROM OVERCOMING THE THINGS YOU ONCE THOUGHT YOU COULDN’T”

RIKKI  ROGERS

This quote resonated with me because I have found myself out doing even what I thought I was capable of when it comes to these blog posts.  The EBA course that I am taking right now, has as part of the course an assignment to write several what they call pillar posts.  Pillar posts are like foundation posts for your blog and I have been doing that.  In fact, I have surprised myself at just how much of myself I have been putting into each of these posts, which is why you will find little things along the way that take a moment to breathe or laugh, it’s kind of a release of tension for me and hopefully the source of a giggle or two for you.

 

Since this post is so long, I’m going to pass on the Family Life portion this week and just bring you some pictures of the dogs.

WILLIE ON THE DAY WE PICKED UP BAILLEY
MY BOY WILLIE ON THE DAY WE WENT TO PICK UP BAILEY. BOY, WHAT A SURPRISE FOR HIM, HIS WHOLE LIFE WAS ABOUT TO CHANGE.

 

 

 

BAILEY'S GETTING BIGGER
BAILEY AND THE SHOE. CAN YOU BELIEVE SHE WAS SMALLER THAN THAT SHOE THREE WEEKS AGO?

 

 

RECIPE OF THE WEEK 

 

QUESADILLAS 

Although most of you will have had these before and most likely could do them in your sleep.  I thought that if quick and easy is what you need, just in case, I would leave you with the recipe.

Mexican Grilled Cheese
This picture is not of the Quesadillas we made, for some reason my camera messed up the picture, so this picture came from Pixabay

 

Click on this link to get the recipe we used:  https://barbsoutlook.com/?post_type=recipe&p=7214&preview=true

 

 

FEAR, ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION – STANDING AT THE EDGE AND LOOKING DOWN

FEAR, ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION – STANDING AT THE EDGE AND LOOKING DOWN

FIGHTING FEAR
STANDING AT THE EDGE AND LOOKING DOWN

 

When you are diagnosed with a chronic illness there will come a time when Fear, Anxiety and Depression become part of your life.   

WHAT IS ANXIETY?

 

When it’s Anxiety that’s part of your every day you get anxious when you are dealing with a new situation but it doesn’t stop you in your tracks.   You might feel anxious before a test at school or starting a new job, or just trying a new experience, but you can still go on and do those things.

Let me give you a brief description of what Anxiety is.  Occasional anxiety is a normal part of life everybody gets it you feel anxious when faced with a problem at work or in an email or you are about to buy your first house and you’re worried about whether or not you can really do that. That’s normal anxiety.

For those with a Generalised Anxiety Disorder, fear does not fade away in time like it does with normal anxiety. There comes a point where you have to retreat or you will literally shut down or run screaming away from the cause of your anxiety.  

Panic attacks or Panic Disorder is another type of anxiety, you can absolutely feel like you are going to die, your breathing increases and you can get so dizzy and scared that you pass out or have to be taken to a hospital to have your anxiety level reduced with medical assistance.

Another of the anxiety family members is Social Anxiety Disorder.  You are scared of meeting new people or being around other people at all.  It can be so severe that again you have to be hospitalised to relieve the level of anxiety.

I know that each day I become a little less inclined to deal with the world outside my home, my fear and anxiety are that I know that if I am away from home too long that for the next few days my pain will be increased and doing anything at all becomes almost impossible.  I am forcing myself to be part of our community because I do not want to wind up being afraid to leave the house at all.

FEAR – NATURE’S FIGHT OR FLIGHT TOOL

 

Define fear:   a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.

Dictionary.com provided the above definition.  The part that seems to hit home with me is that whether the threat is real or imagined doesn’t matter, the fear is still real.

How many of us have not had some imagined fear or other, we fear failure, we fear losing, we fear winning, we fear going forward, we fear going back, we even fear God at times?  Fear is a natural part of life, it was ingrained in our ancestors.  Fear is the fight or flight response.

How we deal with fear of everyday things says a lot about our personalities and our upbringing.  If we are taught that fear is something to be overcome, then we most likely take chances in our lives.  If we are taught (and I don’t mean actually taught, but how we perceive our parents dealing with it when we were kids) that we should step back, hesitate, and be sure before making that step, then we are less likely to take chances.

Everybody has them, and everybody deals with fear in different ways, below is how I do it.

HOW I DEAL WITH FEARS

If I am at home and I get that feeling, I will make myself a cup of tea and head to my bedroom.  I have this wonderful picture of my kids when they were small that helps me get back into my more optimistic self.  I just stare at it and drink my tea and the feeling rolls back and away and I am able to get up and carry on.

If I am not at home, I head for the restroom or the outdoors, in either case, I find a place to sit and just draw in deep breaths letting them out very slowly and pictures of my imaginary happy place run through my mind until I have control.

If possible, I face my fears, whatever they may be at that time.  If it is fear of the people around me, I go and introduce myself to a stranger and just let them know that I was having a problem and that they are helping me and they are always kind.

If it was the situation, I force myself to really think about what could happen.  Will I have a Panic attack or a Heart attack, or am I going to DIE?  The more that I concentrate on what might happen, the less likely I am to focus on the fear.

I should mention here, that there are some fears of mine that I will not face, no way, no how.  I refuse to go and introduce myself to a spider, if they are inside they are my husband’s problem and if they are outside, I head in another direction.

Sorry, I just wanted to release some of the tension that I was feeling. LOL

Another way to fight back is to tell myself to stop trying to be perfect, no one else is, why should I be.  If they don’t like the clothes I am wearing or if they don’t like my hair it’s not my problem.  I like them, so stuff it.

The next strategy that I have, I mentioned before, I visualise my happy place, it is a lovely golden field beside a small lake, deer are wandering around and believe it or not Winnie the Pooh is sitting beside me.  I know, how ridiculous, but it makes me feel better.

I am not very good at talking about what scares me, so talking my fears out isn’t something that I am comfortable with, so although I have read lots of research on the fact that talking them out with your partner or a good friend is good for you, not happening. But, if you feel that expressing yourself to your mate or friend will help, by all means, go for it.

I do, however, talk to my psychiatrist, I have not talked particularly about my fears but somehow they have eased over the time that I have been seeing her.

I read the other day that you should reward yourself for making it through the situation that made you anxious.  I’m not sure that I agree with this one, my reward would always be either chocolate or wine, and I have enough weight to get rid of. Haha.

Please don’t think that I am making light of either anxiety or fear, I’m not, I am trying to get through something that is difficult for me to speak about, and my go to will always be humour.  It is what gets me through anything, if I can see a funny side then I will not be so scared.

I can deal with Anxiety, but I never again want to go back to the dark place that makes me feel like anything would be better than feeling.

HOW FEAR AND ANXIETY FEEL

When you feel frightened or seriously anxious, your body has some very scary responses, and your mind sends signals that make it worse.  The following are some of the symptoms you would feel whether you were fearful or suffering from anxiety:

  1. Your heart will beat very fast and maybe even feel as though it is missing beats
  2. Your breathing will increase until you feel yourself gasping
  3. You will feel weak and as if you were going to pass out
  4.  Your stomach feels very upset and your bowels will feel loose
  5.  You break out in the sweats
  6.  Your mind will not let you concentrate on anything
  7.  You can’t eat
  8.   Your muscles will get very tight
  9.   You may feel dizzy
  10.   Your mouth will probably feel very dry
  11.   You may feel like you cannot move
  12.  You probably will have trouble sleeping

One of the ways that can help with both fear and anxiety, is to keep a record of when you feel either of them and what caused it.  Then you can go over it and see if your fear had no foundation or if your anxiety was an overreaction to something.

 

DEPRESSION
WHEN DARKNESS IS ALL YOU SEE – Depression, fear, and anxiety

 

DEPRESSION – IT’S SO DARK AND YOU FEEL SO ALONE

 

Depression, on the other hand, is a serious mood disorder, it causes very severe symptoms that affect how you feel, how you think, sleep, eat, work, and just generally get along during the day.    

I have some experience with depression, mine is not even close to severe most of the time.   For me, it’s just like a grey cloud kind of hanging over my head. It gets very dark sometimes, I did have one episode where I was in a very dark place. What I can tell you is that the belief that you’re not worth anything or that you have no reason to be here is probably one of the worst feelings in the world.

Luckily for me, I found a way out, but the fear and anxiety I have over the possibility of going there again is very real. I managed to shake myself loose which is good for me, but when you are down to the point that you are questioning your existence you need professional help.

So many people who suffer from Depression have no intention of getting help, they think of it as weakness or embarrassing, most of the time it requires someone who is close to them to recommend they seek help.  If they don’t get help the darkness can spiral them down and down until things have gone beyond the point where they can handle anything.  They take matters into their own hands and hurt themselves, or we lose them.

 

 SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION

The symptoms of depression are:

  • Finding it hard to make decisions, or remembering things, being unable to focus
  • Being Tired and Listless
  • Feeling hopeless, or worthless
  • Believing there is nothing good left in your life
  • Being awake earlier than usual, or excessive sleeping
  • Being cranky, or not able to settle down
  • Has lost any interest in things that used to be fun for them
  • Overeating, or not eating
  • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or tummy problems that don’t go away
  • Feeling sad and/or empty
  • Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts

WARNING SIGNS OF SUICIDE WITH DEPRESSION

These are signs to watch for:

  • Suddenly the person seems really calm or happy
  • Being fascinated with death
  • The depression seems to get worse even if they are receiving treatment
  • All of a sudden doing things that could potentially hurt them or kill them
  • Telling you how worthless and helpless they feel
  • A sudden bout of getting things in order, or changing their will
  • Hearing them talk about how it would be better if they weren’t here, or they are fed up and want out
  • Talking about killing themselves, or a lot about suicide
  • Suddenly wanting to reach out and talk to loved ones

If you know someone with one or more of these symptoms, please encourage them to go the hospital immediately.

In most cases, Depression can be helped with therapy and medication.  With constant care and attention they can find their way out of the darkness and back into the light, and I know that seems overly dramatic, but trust me, when you step back into the light, there are no words to tell you how that feels.  Believe me, it is a blessing beyond description.

WHAT I LOVE, USE OR MAKE 

I have begun work on the Fairy Garden, getting all the little bits and pieces ready is a pure joy.  It takes you away almost like meditation does.  You can completely relax and just work with your hands.  I managed to pick up two Fairies and a Gnome this week from Amazon, they are so cute.

I have begun putting the stones on the Fairy house and I have painted some of the little pots.  Have a look at what I’ve been up to.

applying the stones to the Fairy House
The beginning

 

The rocks are on
I am making a start on the Fairy House. The back now has stones Mod Podged onto it
One side Done
All the space in between will have sand or moss to give the right impression

I’ll keep bringing you a little bit about this each week until it is done.

 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

 

“YOU NEVER REALISE HOW STRONG YOU ARE

  UNTIL BEING STRONG IS THE ONLY CHOICE YOU HAVE.”

 

This quote just seemed appropriate after falling down the stairs twice, up the stairs once, and with my balance issues, bumping and banging into walls and furniture, and I still managed to cook dinner every night.  I’m kind of proud of myself actually, the pain was really bad but I still came through when I had to.

 

FAMILY LIFE

 

We have had the wettest weather here in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.  The experts say we had the wettest March on record since 1951.  I know the old saying about April Showers bring May Flowers but does it have to shower so heavy.

It’s not just the wet, the winds have been bad too.  Making it much colder than usual here.  We are all hoping that the sun will show up in time for Easter on Sunday but if not, then I guess we’ll just have to chill inside.

The thing that I notice the most is that my tendency to fall increases with the bad weather.  This past week I fell twice down the stairs and once up the stairs.  There were a couple of days when my legs didn’t want to work at all, so as usual Hawkeye steps up and is taking care of the things I can’t.

The dogs are now the best of buddies and play continuously throughout the day.  The bad part is when they decide at quarter to 3 in the morning that it is time to play, waking both myself and Hawkeye up half an hour before the alarm goes off.  Can someone say, ANGRY HUBBY?  The funny thing is that as soon as he leaves for work they come back to bed and settle right down again and don’t wake up until my alarm goes off at 6.

Everyone in our household is fine finally.  I don’t know about your household but ours has been a round robin of who has the bug this week?  Since November, one or the other of us has had that stupid flu that just won’t go away, you think you’re over it, and BAM it comes back three days later and hits you again.  However, we seem to be past it finally.

Hawkeye and I will celebrate our 26th wedding anniversary this month, sometimes I can’t believe how quickly the time has flown.  Luckily for us, we are still as much in love now as we were on the day we got married.  We are each other’s best friend and I know how corny it sounds, but my heart still skips a beat when I see him for the first time each day, and his face is still my favourite view in the world.

We had one of our laughing fights this past week, this is when one or the other of the four comes out with something so ridiculous that the rest of us have to call them on it.  When it’s me at the short end, it is usually because of the way I say something.

Having been brought up in a British household (my parents and I were born in Scotland, although I have been here since I was 5 months old,) I pronounce some words differently than they do, so the laughter and the fight are on.  We all wind up being doubled-over with laughter and unable to speak, so ends the fight.

This time the dogs decided to be part of it as well and we wound up laughing more at their antics than our own.  In the end, my son was flopped down in the couch, my daughter was flopped down in the love seat, Hawkeye was sitting on the stairs and I was in the big chair, all of us laughing like lunatics and dogs barking furiously at all of us.

I am very lucky, our family really enjoys being together.

 

RECIPE OF THE WEEK

 

CHICKEN WITH POTATOES AND ASPARAGUS
SPRING MEALS

 

GRILLED SEASONED CHICKEN WITH DILL AND LEMON,

WITH BOILED POTATOES AND STEAMED ASPARAGUS

 

Click this link to get the recipe https://wp.me/p8bPwH-1RL

 

That’s it for this week, I hope your week and weekend are full of sunshine.  Happy Easter to Everyone.

Take care of yourselves and don’t forget to laugh, live and have fun.

By the way, take a moment and sign up for my list, and grab the free HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN CLEANING SCHEDULE pdf.

Talk to you next week.

5 WAYS TO MAKE YOURSELF FEEL BETTER

5 WAYS TO MAKE YOURSELF FEEL BETTER

 

Feel Better with these 5 Ways
Bowing Bubbles

 

I had a really bad day a couple of days ago.  I couldn’t seem to do or say anything right the whole day.  I was in a great deal of pain and I just wanted life to hurry up and go somewhere else for a while.  Then I decided to use one of the ways that I like to use to feel better, I have 5 Ways to make myself feel better; yes, I have more ways than this but these are sort of my first go to’s when I need to escape for a little while.

These 5 Ways are inexpensive and can be done at any time.  They let you forget about everything but what you are doing right now.

The first Way is:     Helping Others 

There is nothing guaranteed to take your mind off your troubles better than helping someone else with theirs.  You can give your time, your physical abilities,  maybe just give someone a little hope, or let them cry on your shoulder without making them feel that they have imposed on you.

When you are focused on someone else’s pain, your pain seems to step back just a little bit.  I am not saying that you should sign up to volunteer at the food bank 3 times a week, that would most likely put you and I in bed for a week.

No, I’m just saying to find a way to give of yourself to someone or something else for a while.  It is truly worth the pain you will feel the next day for using that much energy.  Don’t let your pain or grief or day-to-day strain take away your ability to feel for someone else.

There is no better feeling when you are doing up your grateful journal for the day, to be able to put down that you are grateful for having helped someone else today.

 

The second way is:   Paint, Draw, just be Creative

Drawing, Painting, Baking
Getting all your feelings onto Canvas.

 

Did you know that when you are really focused on doing something creative, it has the same calming effect on the body as meditation does.

Perhaps, you don’t want to paint or draw, maybe you like colouring in a colouring book or crocheting doilies, whatever hobby you can really get focused on and that keeps your mind completely on what you are doing is going to help the pain back off for a little while.

For me, I love to paint and I love to bake, so, on those days when I feel myself slipping into self-pity mode; I get out my art supplies or my baking ingredients and I go to town.

Whether getting all of that darkness out of my body and onto canvas or beating some dough with a rolling-pin, when I am finished I am always feeling more positive, not to mention, that if I’m baking, chances are there is something good to snack on as well.

 

The third way is:    Blowing Bubbles

 I don’t think I even have to explain this one, blowing bubbles is just fun.  You get yourself some bubble blowers and some solution (recipe below) and have at it.  I do it with my dog because he loves to run and chase them.  I wind up laughing every time, and that makes me feel better.  How about you?

 

The fourth way is:   Write a Letter to Yourself

This one is a little bit more serious than the last, but you can turn it into fun if you want.

You can decide to write to a younger you or to who you currently are.  Make sure you get out how you are feeling, I mean it, don’t we all just want whatever we are going through to dry up and blow away some days.

At some point, you are going to find yourself giving advice to yourself, and that can help you release most of those bad feelings.

I’ll tell you what I do, every time something funny happens, or I went out and had a good time doing something, I write it down in a letter to myself.  I keep all those letters in a file folder, as well as anything else I find that makes me laugh, or in some cases makes me cry (happy tears), and when I am having a particularly hard time, or if I can hardly stand the pain, I pull out the folder and read what I wrote to myself, or something I kept a clip of and it makes me feel a little better with each one I read or laugh at.

 

Finally, the 5th and last Way is:   Plant Something

Plant Something
Plant something, get your hands dirty and feel better almost at once.

 

 

Have you always thought you would like a little herb garden on your windowsill, or dream of having spring flowers all around, or you love houseplants and you just want to fill your home with green.  Plant something.

Getting your hands into some soil (yes, they get dirty), or feeling Mother Earth breathing her way through the seasons or looking at and thinking about the impossibly long lives of giant trees in your backyard, there is something so soothing and relaxing in letting your hands get dirty in this way.

Once you have planted, you then get to take care of your plant, nurturing it until those first shoots break through the soil.

It will take you right back to when you were a kid in Grade 2 and the teacher made all of us try to grow bean sprouts.  Do you remember what it was like to see those first little heads popping out of the soil and lifting their faces to the sun?  How you watched to see how big it would grow and by the end of the year, the teacher had to install small trellises to hold them up.

Even if it only takes you back to that time for a few precious moments, your soul will feel better.

 

Well, there you have it, the 5 ways that I try to make myself feel better.  These might not work for you, but I say why not give them a try, you never know what will make a difference in the way you feel.  And, come on, everyone likes blowing bubbles.

 

 

WHAT I LOVE, USE, OR MAKE 

I said you could have the recipe for the solution that you can make up yourself for blowing bubbles.

And here it is:

The Bubble Solution

  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1/8 Cup Sugar
  • 1/8 Cup Dish Soap (Dawn Original is best, but, anyone will do (I would suggest, though, don’t go with one you got from a dollar store, they have too much water in them)
  1. Dissolve the sugar in the water completely.
  2. Then stir in the dish soap, very gently, you don’t want to cause any foam or bubbles as that will weaken the solution.
  3. For best results, if you can leave this to sit overnight, it will cause stronger bubbles.
  4. If you are making this up for a kid’s party, I would at least triple the recipe, and don’t be surprised if you need to make more.

 

 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK.

You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

                                             Christopher Robin in Winnie the Pooh

I was having a lot of self-doubt this past week, so this one seems appropriate to me.

 

FAMILY LIFE

I can’t call it Willie and I anymore because we have an addition to the family, can I have a warm welcome for Bailey, the prettiest little girl you ever did see.

 

Family Life - my new baby
Willie and Bailie –  their first pic together

 

A whole bunch of people have asked why are we getting a second dog, and I tell them because Willie has attachment issues with me.  If I am out of his sight for longer than a few minutes he gets anxious and starts a kind of whining bark, but there is no doubt he is crying out at me not being there.

I asked my son the other day to take me to the dollar store, we brought Willie along so my son could take him for a walk while I went into the dollar store.  We arrived, my son came around and took Willie from me (he always rides in my arms because he hates being in a vehicle of any kind), and I went inside the dollar store.  As soon as the door closed behind me, I could hear Willie right through the glass, in fact, everyone at the registers turned to look.

All I could hear was Willie, “Oh, the poor dear.” and a whole bunch of “Awws.”  I quickly got what I came for and got back to the car, only to find my son inside with Willie.  I just looked at my son (you know the one) and he said “he wouldn’t move, I could have dragged him along, but he wasn’t going anywhere without you.”

Those of you who wondered, that’s why.  I am hoping that it won’t be so hard on him if he has someone to play with.

 

 

RECIPE OF THE WEEK

 

CREAMY TUSCAN GARLIC CHICKEN
This meal can be ready in about 45 minutes and it is so good it will become one of those go-to recipes that we all have. I believe the original recipe called for chicken breasts cut into thin slices, but my family doesn’t like white meat, so I use boneless chicken thighs. This is one of our favourites.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 Minutes
Cook Time 15 Minutes
Servings
Servings
INGREDIENTS
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. If your chicken needs deboning, do that first, and then cut them in half
  2. In a large frying pan, add the olive oil and cook the chicken skin side down first on medium-high heat for about 5-7 minutes or until golden brown. Then flip them over and give about 5 minutes on the other side. Make sure that they are cooked through and then remove them from the pan.
  3. While the chicken is cooking combine the chicken broth, the garlic, the Italian Seasoning, and the Parmesan Cheese. When you have pulled the chicken out, pour the mixture into the pan and whisk until it starts to thicken.
  4. Add the spinach (I had Kale, so I added that also) and the sun-dried tomatoes, let simmer on medium-low until the greens have wilted down.
  5. Add the chicken back to the pan and let them reheat in the sauce.
  6. Serve over rice.
RECIPE NOTES
Chicken in a Creamy Tuscan Garlic Sauce
I know this is a large portion but it was all mine.  Creamy Tuscan Garlic Chicken

I think your family will love this as much as mine does.

 

That’s it for this week, let me know what you think about the recipe, and if you have some wise words to help me make the two dogs get along better, I am all ears.

Don’t forget to sign up so you don’t miss a post.  Hey, and let me know if you would like to have a newsletter once a month that will keep you updated on what I’ve done and what is coming.  I’m sure there will be a few surprises along the way.

Have a great week, and stay safe.

 

 

 

SELF CARE – WHAT IS IT? & HOW TO DO IT.

SELF CARE – WHAT IS IT? & HOW TO DO IT.

SELF-CARE;  WHAT IS IT?  &  HOW TO DO IT.

Sitting in the Sun
Relaxing in the Sun

 

The term Self Care has been around for a couple of years and seems to mean something different to everyone.  

I have heard Self Care described as  Taking your Medicine, Going to the Spa, Taking a Load Off, and Going on Vacation.

I am going to give you my definition, and it will include all of the above but so much more as well.

 

WHAT IS SELF CARE?

I define Self Care as taking care of you, making sure that your life is in balance.  I believe there are 5 Categories to Self-Care and they are:

Physical Self-Care

  • Eating Well – keeping to the healthiest diet you can (and I don’t mean A Diet that you are trying to lose weight on)
  • Sleeping  – I know it is difficult for most of us, but we have to try and get as much as we can.
  • Water Intake –  This is so important, the more dehydrated you are, the more pain you will feel, from headaches to joint pain.
  • Taking your Medication on time and every day as prescribed.
  • Exercise –  I know, again this can be very difficult for some of us, but just moving is exercise, walk across the floor a couple of times, or go downstairs and back upstairs.  It’s all movement.

Spiritual Self-Care

 

  • Prayer
  • Meditation
  • Forgiveness
  • Finding Your Purpose
  • Finding the Meaning in your Life

Emotional Self-Care

  • Positive Self Talk –  DO NOT RUN YOURSELF DOWN
  • Positivity in all things – DO NOT RUN OTHERS DOWN EITHER
  • Feeling Your Feelings – I’m still working on this one.
  • Journaling
  • Create a Book of Photos and Notes – showing you having a Good time/Positive things only.  When you feel yourself getting down, look at this.
  • Working with a Psychotherapist or Psychiatrist
  • Letting go of the Negative – feeling it but letting it go.

Support

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Psychiatrist/Therapist
  • Support Group – Look online there are many people going through what you are, get their help.  You will be amazed at the friendships you find.

How you Live your Life

  • Routines – I believe in these so much.
  • What do you do for Fun?
  • Getting Outside – even if you are just sitting on the Patio
  • Working – doing something to keep yourself occupied and your mind off your troubles.  It can be putting together that book I mentioned before, or if you are still working, setting up your to-do list for the day, etc.
  • Setting goals, sort of –  I don’t really set goals or at least not long term goals.  I’ve tried, but I always seem to fail at them very shortly after I have decided them. Something comes up, or you are down for the count for a couple of weeks.  I find it is much more rewarding to set up;   Three things I Want to do Today (first thing in the morning), if it’s a bad day, they may be Sleep, Read, Drink Water.  I also do this for each week, The Three Things I want to do this Week.  You will be amazed at how much better you feel if you can mark off one or all of the things that you have set for yourself, and if you don’t manage to get them all done, it doesn’t matter.  CELEBRATE YOUR SMALL WINS!

THINGS TO DO FOR SELF CARE

I am setting up a page (you’ll find it on my menu) on what kind of things you can do as self-care.  I could write them all down in this post but wouldn’t it be nice to go to the Self Care page and be able to pick and choose what you wanted to do any time you wanted to?  I thought it might be easier than trying to run through all my posts to find what you were looking for.

So, head on over and take a look, I bet you have tried at least most of them, but who knows, maybe you will find something new, and I pray that you find at least one that helps you feel better.

 

Things I Love, Use, Make

I Love Meal Planning.  I do it every Saturday Morning.  I plan out what we are having for dinner all week.  I don’t bother with breakfast and lunches, because none of my family seems to eat breakfast except me, and for lunches, it’s always leftovers from last night.

I start out by checking the flyers this week to see what is on sale.  Once I have an idea of what I have available to me at decent prices I start looking for recipes (I have an extensive library of cookbooks, and I have six recipe folders here on my computer.  I divide them up into different types of recipes, like this:   Ground Beef Recipes, Chicken Recipes, Beef Recipes, Pork Recipes, Vegetarian Recipes (we do meatless Monday) and the final one is Miscellaneous (that’s where I keep things like Bread, Soup, Salads, Desserts, etc.)

If I don’t find anything in my folders that I feel like, well, we have the whole internet to look for something else.

Once the recipes are found, I decide which days are going to be what, and then I put a Grocery List together.

I list the ingredients out for the recipes (and let me just put a little aside in here;  I never leave a recipe alone, I always add some touch of my own, I don’t know why, but it always happens, Always.)

If there are things that are required for the recipes that I already have then I don’t write them down; but, I don’t always know if I’ve got basil left or not, so what I am not sure of I add to the list.

I then leave the list on the counter for the rest of Saturday and all of Sunday, my husband will go through the cupboards and anything we have, he scratches it off.  Anything that we are getting low on he adds to the list, then the kids have a go and add the things that they want or need (within reason).

Then on Monday usually, my husband goes and does the grocery shopping.  I can’t make it all the way around the store anymore, so he does it for me.

My husband loves having a list so he can just go and get exactly what we need, rather than puttering around the store deciding as he goes.  Mind you, when he sees a good deal, he jumps on it, like last week Chicken was on sale, for more than half off, he picked up more than $100.00 worth, but that will save us a bunch of money over time, so no complaints.

When he gets back, I set out into the fridge anything I need for Monday and Tuesday night and put everything else away either in the freezer or in the fridge and cupboards.

We don’t always go in the order that I have decided on, we rearrange at will, some nights my husband won’t feel like pasta, so, we’ll have the tacos we were going to have on Friday, and I just switch them around.

It’s so great to know that you have done something for the family, even if I had to make out the plan and list from my bed.

I Love Meal Planning.

 

Quote of the Week

 

I don’t know who said this, but I must have heard it a thousand times, this week it struck a chord with me, I don’t know why because I always look for the Good.

 

“Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day.”

 

Always look for the good, the more you practice looking for it, the more you will see.

 

LIFE WITH WILLIE 

Willie and I did not get out much this week.  I fell three times this week, once down the stairs, and the other two just walking, so I was not in good shape to do much of anything.

The little lump on Willie’s back is getting larger; I guess we will be back to the Vet again.

Next week, Gosh, I’m so excited, we are bringing home our new little girl, a female Dachshund pup that we have already named Bailey.  I will make sure that you get pictures as soon as I can.  Also, I will start adding Bailey’s pictures to Willie’s page as soon as possible too.

Life around here has been pretty quiet, we had two more snowfalls this week, and when it wasn’t snowing, mostly it was raining.  Hawkeye did manage to get Willie out for walks in between rain and snow as I was laid up.

 

RECIPE OF THE WEEK

 

ZUPPA TOSCANA SOUP RECIPE

 

Print Recipe
ZUPPA TOSCANA SOUP RECIPE
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Cut sausage meat into chunks, or roll into meatballs.
  2. Start prepping the Vegetables and while doing that fry off the bacon.
  3. Put the stock and water into a Dutch Oven
  4. Add the Sausage, Potatoes, Onion and Garlic.
  5. Cook on medium high until the potatoes are done.
  6. Then add the kale
  7. When the kale has wilted down, add the bacon and sundried tomatoes.
  8. Let them warm through for a couple of minutes
  9. Then take off the heat and add the heavy cream
  10. Stir together and serve in large bowls with Garlic Bread
Recipe Notes

This is so good you'll wonder why you haven't done it before.  It's so easy.

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INGREDIENTS

 

 

 

Well, that’s everything I have for you this week.  Oh by the way, if you are looking for the rest of my Cleaning Routine.  I decided to do it up as a page on its own also.  You can find it on the Menu at the top.

 

Have a great week, be safe, and take care.

BTW:  I am going to be posting on Tuesday from now on.

PS:  I’m thinking about doing up a newsletter once a month, please comment and let me know what you think.  Also don’t forget to sign up, that way you will never miss a post.