Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thinking Of Halloween

Yes, Halloween! The holiday that is near and dear to my heart and never seems to leave my mind.

That is why I've been thinking. . .a lot of people, like to celebrate Christmas in July as a nice pick-me-up, marking the midpoint in the year, resurrecting fond memories of happy times.

So why not do the same for Halloween?  Sadly, I don't have time this year for a big celebration, but I'm contemplating doing a casual stroll through blogland throughout the month of May, searching for Halloween.  Each day I'm going to try and find a blog that either celebrates or focuses on the fun, the artsy, or the spooky sides of the October holiday, and put the link here.

I'm also going to attempt to find a different blog to feature on my own Halloween blog! Do you think that I can find 62 different blogs featuring or celebrating Halloween?  I'm hoping! I already feature some on my blog watch lists, and I will be stopping by those too, but I also hope to discover some new delights as well!  I'm looking forward to the search!

So if you'd like to decorate your blog for Halloween, and join me in the May Midyear Happy Halloween Blog Crawl, drop me a note here, then I'll make sure to give you a shout out! Fun projects, and recipes, spooky stories or poems, and giveaways are always fun, so give it a thought!

Wishing everyone a beautiful day!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wishcast Wednesday

I'm determined to get my Wishcast in while it is still Wednesday!

I'm getting over a rather nasty drug reaction to a new prescription, which has slowed me down, and I also was forced to do a lot of surprise yard work to do today, so I've had a lot of time to contemplate about what Jamie asked us this morning.

And I'm still going with what came to me in the darkness right before the dawn, when the birds were warming up the brisk air with their first songs to greet the sun. My favorite time of day.

This morning, I read, "Large or small, financial or otherwise, what do you wish to invest in?"  I have to admit, my long time reactionary wall started to go up, with me thinking of a dozen things at once, and immediately dismissing them for one reason or another, with the end result that I had more things to think about already. I didn't need one more.

Then the light bulb went on, and I knew immediately what I wished to invest in.  Some quality time for myself. Finding some has been a lifelong battle on many fronts and it is getting worse, instead of better. So yes, I definitely need to invest in some time.

I grew up in a home with an artist father who had a brilliant and creative mind, and a work oriented mother.  My Mom thought that art and music were wonderful, but she could listen to her radio and sing along while doing her household chores.  To paint, draw, or otherwise be creative was reserved for after everything else was done. As a reward. The creative process itself was not worthy of being a priority.

She couldn't completely rule my Dad, but she made a good effort, so he usually stayed up all night to work on his art. He also held down a full time job, working second shift if possible, so that he could sleep in the morning.

But with me, her only child, she could and did dictate what I did, and when I did it.  I loved watching my Dad create magic, but of course, I couldn't stay up all night, nor can I do so now. I am, and always have been a morning person. As I said, it is my favorite time of day. So my Dad's rhythm wouldn't work for me.

My personal childhood forays into the art world were restricted to times after all of my other responsibilities were caught up, or completed, AND if there was still time, before bed, or other activities, AND I was still in the inspirational mood. It was hard to have all of the stars aligned just right.

My Dad left when I was in my early teens, leaving me to struggle under my Mom's influence.  And while I know that I'm a failure in her eyes, for many reasons, not the least of which is that a continually spotless house is not high on my list of accomplishments, I've also had to fight that lifelong mantra that everything else comes before creating art, so that when I do sit down, my mind is thinking of everything else that I "should" be doing instead, so I'm not getting the full benefit of peacefulness and enjoyment that I am seeking.

Combine that with  the added immediate needs of my darling Hubs, and yes, my aging Mom (86 yrs. old), and I'm more strapped for Freedom Time. I'm finding that once again, like I've done nearly my whole life, my creative side is shutting down. I'm closing that door. I don't want to, but it is too painful and frustrating, which I don't need.  And now, my body is physically suffering for it. My Doctors are telling me what I've known for a long time. That I need to find ways to decompress, to de-stress, to exercise, and to find time for myself, to do what I love to do, for myself. Ooookaaaayyy!! I'll get right on it! However, they fail to tell me how to add some more hours into my awake and ALERT time!

So yes, I wish to invest in some guilt free, quality time, to be used for creating art.

What are you wishing for today?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

Wishing our precious planet a Happy Day! Let's all celebrate by giving her a gift of some sort. Plant a tree, plant a bush, plant some seeds. Hug a tree while you're at it. Hugs feel wonderful!

Sending out hugs to all of you, too!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Which Ribbon Should I Wear Today, Or What Do I Wish To Dare/Wishcast Wednesday

I've often read and supported other's wishes that they cast on Wednesday's, following Jamie's lead, but never felt comfortable sharing that much of my inner self with the world.  Or perhaps I didn't have the time to dig within myself to find the answers. It was easier to use my blog time as an escape from everything that is going on around me.  I honestly think that it has been a combination of the two. The second one was a legitimate and easy reason for not putting myself out there to feel so vulnerable.

But the time for that has ended. I laughed to myself when I read Jamie's Wishcast for today. "What Do I Wish To Dare". . oooooh, that is SO tempting. There are so many things that I could fill in there, from the relatively benign, to the grand challenging of the Fates. Do I really want to go there? Sometimes, I feel SO angry, I do. But then reason reigns me in, to be thankful for what I do have. That is the problem. I am SO thankful, I don't want to lose it.  And I'm forever wishing, all of the time, that everything will be better. It is that hope that inspires me, and the basic premise that I am needed, that keeps me going.

I haven't posted here for a while, and I think that it is time to explain why because it may be more sporadic in the future too.  I'm hoping that things will level out, but one can never really determine these things, can they?

I've also been hunting around for a nice "100 followers" give-away, and in the interim, have lost 2, so I no longer have that milestone.  I don't blame them for leaving. It has gotten rather boring here, but as soon as I get my things together, I'm still going to have that drawing for those that are patient enough to hang around. .and look at it this way. .the more that leave, the greater chance you have of winning!

Now for a little history. The dancing around is over. My darling Hubs has been fighting advanced prostate cancer for 12 years now. We travel back and forth to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN every 3 months for his treatment. He will be on drug therapy for the rest of his life. And each time that the cancer has spread, they have had a new treatment ready to use, to put it back in its place. He is one of what they are calling a new breed of cancer patients, that are living a relatively normal life with cancer. We have learned to accept this way of close monitoring and treatment as our way of life. Most certainly not what we envisioned, but we, like most people would, have adapted.

So last summer, when I finally convinced Hubs to have a sleep apnea test, because he would quit breathing several times a night, I never dreamed as to where that would lead.  After staying overnight in their sleep clinic, so they could monitor not only his breathing, but oxygen levels in his blood, brain activity, etc. they sent him home with a CPAP machine. He wears a mask every night that forces moist air into his airway, keeping it open, allowing him to inhale and exhale normally.

His apnea was so extreme that they also made appointments for him to see a neurologist, who then scheduled a number of scans and tests, including a 4 hour long memory test.  They also interviewed me a few times, and then we got the news that Hubs has a form of dementia. Not Alzheimer's they assured us, but Lewy Body. I've been reading up on it, and have to say, that I'm reserving judgement on that diagnosis. Unless they saw something that they aren't telling me now, most of the symptoms that set it apart from other dementia's simply aren't there. Yet. But we will see what develops. I'm not sticking my head in the sand. He does have both short and long term memory problems that at times are worse than others, and he is getting more confused.  The mind is a beautiful, but strange instrument. It is heart breaking for me to see him sitting discussing the intricacies of astrophysics with the doctor, but then stammer and stumble when trying to search for a simple word to describe how a food tastes, or when he can't remember 5 words that they gave him to remember not even 5 minutes prior.

I think that this diagnosis is more difficult to determine too, by the fact that my Hubs has Adult Aspergers too. Fortunately, he is rated on the high end of the Highly Functional scale, but took years of dealing with the emotional highs and lows before he was diagnosed and it was brought under better control. We are very fortunate for that. But his social skills still suffer, I think that sometimes that is misinterpreted.  I have to laugh though. I've acted as a buffer for so many years for Hubs, stepping in and clairifying, or going through the social nicities to cover up for his faux pas which could hurt someone's feelings (and he would be equally hurt to find that out later), but wouldn't recognize it at the time, that I have to work hard not to answer things for him when they are testing him. LOL

When he was through with the testing, someone came to ask us if we would consider taking part in a long term study they are doing evaluating a lot of different people with normal memories, all the way, including Alzheimer's patients, and everyone inbetween.  He said that if it would help someone else, then he would glady take part. It made me so proud of him. But I had to agree too. Not only will he have to retake each test every year, but they also interview me.  And this will be beneficial for him, because not only is his neurologist taking part in evaluating the study, but he will have instant access to any changes that may occur.  

Now. .as if that weren't enough, I'm an only child, and therefore, the sole caregiver of my 86 year old Mom, who lives alone, and has some serious life-long emotional problems that are getting worse as she gets older.  And recently, her hypochondria may have caught up with her because her GP saw something abnormal and has sent her to a specialist for further evaluation. So I will be taking her for that appointment as well as others, and we will see where we are headed on that path.

But wait! There's more!!  I got a notice from our insurance carrier that they would no longer pay for the one and only med that I have taken for years. So I had to go to my Dr. to get a new one.  In talking with him, we were talking about my arthritis that I've had off and on since I was in my teens, and one thing led to another, with me telling him how my pain was different.

He did some testing, and set me up with a rheumatologist for this Friday, to confirm or find out what I may have besides Fibromyalgia.   Well, it would be nice to know, and would explain the way that I've been feeling. .the extreme tiredness and fighting depression. .I thought it was just due to the pain, but no.  And get this. .flares can be brought on by stress!! Imagine that!! LOL

I'm not asking for sympathy. Good Energy and Prayers are always welcome and appreciated more than you know, but I simply wanted to let anyone who was wondering, why I haven't been here a lot, and I thought too that if anyone else is going through anything similar, then they wouldn't feel like there were all alone. I've learned through the years that we truly are here to comfort and support one another. I've gotten some wonderful messages from some who already know what we're dealing with. They mean the world to me.

Wow!  I dared to wish that I would be brave enough to write all of this out. To share some personal issues in my life, and I've done it!  Now all I have to do is click on the "publish post" button, then the quivering will commence! I feel like I've been stripped naked, and believe me, it isn't a pretty picture. Someone hand me a robe, please.

Wishing everyone a beautiful day!