The Absence Of Color


I always thought I hated Winter with such a passion just because of the harsh, brutal temperatures, the raw wind and the mountains of snow and the biggest evil, ice. For someone with no balance looking down at a sheet of ice and having nothing to hold to grip, is pure terror. Those reasons alone are enough to hate Winter but I figured out recently there was something else that I hadn’t put into words before.

 

English: A digital photo that used to be in co...

 

Winter is gray, black and white, while the other seasons are filled with vivid colors in various things. I miss the bright bunch of wildflowers popping up in the meadow, multi-colored and alive, the rich crimson of roses trailing down a newly painted white trellis. The bright green of a neighbor’s lawn, glossy and spiked like army soldiers standing at attention.

 

Nate, our neighbor, spends hours on his lawn, every Spring, Summer and Fall to make sure that each blade of grass is equal. I know that in the Winter he is just longing to be outside, as much as I am. I have dubbed him “The Mayor,” the unofficial mayor of our little neighborhood.

 

It’s a very long Winter here, the snow will start falling any day now and it will last, at least, until late April. I don’t like it but I have no choice so this year I am accepting it, not fighting with it. Moaning and groaning about it hasn’t helped before and it only makes ME feel worse so why bother? I will keep myself happy doing something else, I will learn to bake or cook new things. Maybe, I will write a book.

I guess after the long Winter I appreciate the Spring even more. Oh, when the first bud of a purple crocus  pops up, sometimes even through the snow we know the end of Winter is near. Soon the budding yellow leaves of a forsythia bush in our backyard will slowly begin to show themselves and I cut some stalks to bring inside the house. I put them in a tall, dark blue vase, the only one I will use, loving the contrast of dark blue and yellow. They stand proudly waiting to burst, happiness from the outside proud to bring us joy inside our home.

In the Spring and Summer the sun is out shining brightly against a baby blue sky. Colorful birds sing to each other, we listen to their songs, we watch their beautiful, petite bodies flash in front of our eyes with different colors. I will try hard to let the absence of color in the outside world not strip the color of my world as well. I’m sure I can do it, it will be fine. I’m looking at Winter with a different attitude. I’ll find color inside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Kellie Elmore, FWF

Clear Lake

Clear Lake (Photo credit: DBerry2006)

'Crashing Waves' - Porth Swtan, Anglesey

‘Crashing Waves’ – Porth Swtan, Anglesey (Photo credit: Adrian Kingsley-Hughes)

I’ve been calm all my life, I have kept things inside me, perhaps there was turmoil that I never knew about but just felt it in an eery way. Some say it came out in different ways that were unconscious, maybe it was always there, life is not a perfect place to be but I had to be it.  I was smooth, calming, dependable because that was my role. Nobody said anything; they didn’t have to, I understood with a blink of an eye or a shadow cast by the sun or the moon. I was stripped down to nothing, you could see through me on calm days, right down to my little toe pebbles where you would daintly swim.

As I got older, I tried hard to separate from all of you, it took time and strength. Yes, strength to cut those ties that were strangling my neck. I pushed and shoved and every time you pushed back I was getting stronger and stronger to not allow you to bully me. I pushed back with my self-confidence, with blustery forces, with big white foamed currents, rolling waves and when I felt like it I would knock your ass to the rough,sharp, uneven ocean floor. If you had been really mean to me as soon as you got up, I pushed you down again making you gasp with uneven breaths. I could do that now, no longer was I a calm little secret, holder of all things peaceful and gracious.

I was confident filled with self-worth, I was in charge now, chuckling at your ineptitude. I was right, not you. My importance and intuition was unbelievably sound. Yes, you were wrong, battling your head against me again and again. But, I stayed sturdy, hitting you back over and over until I had punished you all day and a little of the night when the sun had set and I could relax in the joy of my last accomplishment of the day. Finally, you understood, that tomorrow and every day afterwards, I would never back down and be your puppet again. I knew me, and I knew all of you and you could burn in hell as far as I cared. It was harder for you to say you were wrong, all along, wasn’t it? I know, but I no longer care. Because I do KNOW the truth I always have, you pitiful, self-involved, selfish beings, the scum, green, slippery left-over seaweed that we all avoid.

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Catherine Zeta Jones And Me (Pop Cop)

Catherine Zeta Jones at the Hasty Pudding Woma...

Catherine Zeta Jones at the Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year Parade, Cambridge, MA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I kicked myself in the butt and pushed myself out of bed today, I CAN’T let the icy cold temperatures keep me locked up inside my warm bed everyday. It’s definitely not good for my Fibromyalgia and as I have learned it is definitely not good for my head. I need to have at least one or two things to do a day to get me outside, walking. That was one of the problems over this Thanksgiving weekend, I was inside too much  (all the time) without going outside ONCE. Big mistake but as people with Fibro know it’s a hard rut to get out of, I’m trying to remind myself of how I felt these last few days. Hint: not good.

Today I went to T.J. Maxx to casually look around and while I didn’t find anything to buy I did catch sight of the beautiful Catherine Zeta Jones who truly is gorgeous and incredibly elegant. She seemed very pleasant, just shopping like everyone else and then politely asked a clerk to hold her things while she went to use the lady’s room. Catherine Zeta Jones actually used the bathroom at T. J. Maxx, probably the very same toilet I have peed in. For some reason, that she used the bathroom there really impressed me!

While I am not the type of person to fawn over celebrities it was lovely to see someone so unimpressed with herself. I didn’t see her sticking her tongue out, screaming, wearing skimpy outfits or causing a scene; this woman is beautiful and has what so many others lack: grace, class and elegance. Brava!

Obviously I left her alone and I didn’t even see anyone approach her for an autograph which was so nice to see, people were respectful of her privacy and trust me, there were no papparazzi around. I could imagine all the people in the store surrounding and protecting her, making a circle with Catherine sitting in the middle, to get any papparazzi to leave her alone. She just seems like the type of person you want to protect.

I’m no angel, believe me, if it was Miley Cyrus or some other young person with attitude I would have opened the door for the photographers myself. I get enough attitude from my own teenagers, I don’t need it from “self-made celebrities.” When I came back from my little outing I posted who I had seen on the” Town Moms Board’ that we have and truly people were thrilled. There have been sightings of Catherine Zeta Jones recently and not one person has said she was unfriendly or mean. Not one. She has always been nice, pleasant, not “shmoozy” that could be a made-up word coming from the Yiddish word: to shmooze (talk ) but cordial and polite.

To Catherine, Happy Holidays from hibernationnow and all of us who think you are simply lovely.

PS  It’s nice that Michael Douglas allegedly has come over to make you and the kids pancakes every morning (I read that at the supermarket when I was standing on-line) but only eat them if you WANT THEM. I know you understand. Be strong, go shopping, be happy.

I’m Stepping Back, Alicia (Fiction)

Deutsch: Ein Straßenverkehrsunfall in Kopenhag...

Dear Alicia,

Oh no, not again, you did not just pull that smirk on your face again. I told you Alicia, I would not put up with it anymore and I mean it. I have brought you up like one of my own and you have just crossed the line. I will give you your space, I will not smother you with kisses or even try to gently hug you when I feel the winds of icy coldness come wafting from you. I know better. Am I disappointed? Sometimes. Heck, yes.  Apparently, that has to be my problem, not yours. I can deal with that but I am not going to be hurt any longer. If anyone has to toughen up, it’s me. You’re too tough. Sometimes I wonder what your dearly departed parents would think? I know I did my best.

You have enough armor up around you that you won’t let any emotions get to you; you are going to miss a great deal of life, girl. I mean that sincerely, with my heart. You are young but growing up will be hard for you if you don’t open yourself up to learn from the lessons in life, learn to give, to feel, to be sensitive to others. You need to feel for other people and not just for yourself. I hope you will able to learn that one day. I tried to teach it to you and failed, Life will have to teach you the hard way. I just hope it’s not too late for you to learn and I fear it may be.

I took you in as an infant after your mom and dad were killed in the car crash; you never knew them. To us, you were like our own little girl growing up in our family just as your mom and dad wanted. Of course we told you the truth and we kept your mom, my sister, and my brother in-law alive to show you what good people they were. It was an accident, Alicia, it wasn’t our fault.

Be the person you want to be, I will not hold you back.  I will accept you and love you but I will no longer be treated with disrespect and utter annoyance. I am still the mother that raised you and there is a certain amount of decorum that needs to be maintained. I am trying not to care as much, it isn’t hard to do if I can stay on top of things and not take things too personally.

We are opposites, I know. One person brimming over with emotion, the other barricaded inside. It doesn’t mean that there is no love between us because there is a lot of love. Hopefully you will see that clearly, maybe one day you will act nicer to me, to your dad and brothers and sisters too.

I will always love you and I will always be here for you. You know that. Please remember dear girl, that I lost my sister, my best friend and I miss her dearly. You should know that all your mom and I wanted for you is your happiness. Parents are human beings, we all have flaws,we are not perfect. Parenting doesn’t come with an instruction manual, we do the best we can, we don’t have all the answers but we try our hardest.

I love you, Alicia but I need to love myself too.

I will always be here if you need me.

Love, Aunt, Janis

In a Former Life

Woof, Woof

oh happy dog…

There’s no doubt about it. Woof. I would have been a dog. I will be a dog again. Not only do I like attention but I like giving attention and making humans happy. I’m very loyal and I DON’T have attitude ( like those cats do.) Nope, dogs love people to pieces, we will follow you, lick you, give you kisses and stare at you for food. Just one thing, do not ever betray us. Do not ever hit us, or be mean to us…we don’t like that and it is not in the Dog Code Of Honor. We like those in the “Dog Lover’s Unite” program. I would like to come back as a happy dog with a loving, indulgent family preferably with kids. I want them to get me as a puppy, if possible, and I want to grow up with them and I want them to grow up with me. I will protect them, love them and keep them in my heart forever. That’s what dogs do, it’s what we love to do. Really.

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Yes, There Is HOPE For Fibromyalgia

Wildflower

I have made a lot of friends on some of the Fibromyalgia support groups on-line. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia about five years ago. Five years that have crawled at a snail’s pace, going backwards and forwards, up and down, down, down. I wanted to write this blog post for all my fellow Fibromyalgia sufferers and tell you that while there may not be a cure, I have improved.

I never thought I would be able to get out of my bed and get to the bathroom without all the serious, horrendous, stiff, and chronic pain I have had for many years. I never expected perfect, I don’t now, but I do know improvement and I have improved. I almost want to cross my fingers while typing this so I don’t “Jinx” myself, I’m sure all of you can relate to what I am talking about.

I will always have good days and bad days, that is a realization I have accepted. I have taken, in the past, probably about thirty different medications in different combinations and this is the fourth Rheumatologist I have seen (and will continue to see.) While your Doctor does NOT have to be your best friend, you should feel that he/she believes in you AND in Fibromyalgia as a chronic pain disease. That’s very important. The Rheumatologist I went to before this called Fibromyalgia a “lazy diagnosis” and attempted to treat my pain with dangerous immunosuppresant drugs that made me sick as a dog for months at a time. He did this because combined with Fibromyalgia, I also have an auto-immune disease called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. I didn’t know better so I followed his advice and took seriously harmful drugs at a dosage that should never have been prescribed. This old Doctor was a genius, but not in Fibromyalgia and not in being pleasant and understanding. As my present Doctor put it referring to my old doctor “it’s his way or the highway.” Don’t accept that.

I am now on a combination of drugs that not only treat my symptoms but also have treated my energy levels. I am NOT running any marathons, believe me and I have flare-ups that still can make me cry, but overall, at least on some days I am better. Please, do not give up hope, do whatever you have to do to find a good Rheumatologist and only a Rhematologist that believes in you and the disease. One where you feel that he/she really wants you to get better and that they truly do care. Don’t settle for less.

We all deserve better and I just wanted to say to all my on-line friends (Hi Graceful Agony Ladies, Chronic Babes, ohmyachesandpains, etc.) please don’t give up and thank you for always being there for me; I love you all.  To friends that are new or newly diagnosed I NEVER  thought I would feel any better and now I do. How long will it last? I have no idea. I have accepted my limitations, I accept that I will have bad days as well as good but I can say for sure, that compared to how I felt five years ago, I am better. My attitude is better too.

If anyone is interested in which drugs work for ME, I would be happy to tell you. Don’t give up, I almost did. If you are new to this and don’t know how you are feeling or if you are feeling mad and angry and sorry for yourself; go ahead, you deserve it. Been there, done that and try to stay in the present, not the past or the future. As my dad used to say to me “Be in Neutral.” It’s a life lesson from my dad that has stayed with me, try it, it might help you too.

Swedish Fish Are Mood Elevators

2.28.09

Image by absenthero via Flickr

Sometimes all we need is a change of attitude. Or a good night’s sleep or the morning light that makes evening’s horrific problems seem not so bad after all. It’s hard to wake up grumpy after nine hours of sleep. My back is a little better so that’s an improvement and I  hear the cardinals tweet their beautiful songs right outside my window. It’s raining but the light gray skies look hopeful, almost as if they were encouraging the sun to come out and play.

I found a diner that serves carrot cake by the slice but ever since I saw it I haven’t been back to buy it. Just knowing its available is good enough, well, until tomorrow when I go back, hand them my cash and run.

Writing about my narrow angled glaucoma last night made me feel relieved. It had never occurred to me to write about it before and I find that strange. I can post about Fibromyalgia but this horror, this reality, had subconsciously become my scary secret.  It’s as if before I had avoided a part of my own reality: I’m scared to death of going blind and the procedures themselves are excruciating. Help me. Please.

Tonight I will break apart the multi-grain French loaf that I bought at the store yesterday, warm it up and eat it with olive oil or butter and a chunk of sharp white cheddar cheese, and honey and that will be my dinner. I will drink diet vanilla Coke out of  a wine glass and celebrate being alive, celebrate yesterday being over.

My headache throbs incessantly and will not go away. Weather? Stress? Fibromyalgia? Life? These days I’m a single mother of two active and self-involved teenagers that dance around me. There is no real communication or help, because they are only concerned about themselves and their private worlds of friends.  I lost it today, saying I was not “their maid” and they need to help out. At 16 and a half and almost 18 and a half they should really know better but they don’t. Age appropriate? Probably. Annoying? Definitely.

I am looking forward to watching Modern Family tonight on television while eating Swedish Fish. Yesterday was the first time I ever had a Swedish fish, I took a few out of the bags I had bought my children and tried them. I now know why they love them. The texture is smooth, slimy, sugary sweet and strawberry? I eat them gingerly not wanting to tempt the pain of TMJ. Even so, Swedish Fish (and no, they are not paying me) truly are a delicacy, because other than ginger-lemon cookies, they are all I’ve got.  Sugar therapy. Works for me.

Starbucks: Tutti, Frutti, Venti, Schmenti –Repost

Starbucks Supports Linux

Image by EgoAnt via Flickr

When I want a special treat that involves energy- inspiring caffeine,  I go to Starbucks for a small, skim latte.   I go rarely but once every 4-6 months I treat myself. However, I refuse to go in there talking the Starbucks talk. I ask for a small or medium, on purpose. I get great pleasure out of it.  I don’t know if I am doing this to annoy them or If do it to make a personal statement; probably a combination.  The self-imposed lesson to communicate: “Hey, you have really good coffee, but the silly  names of the sizes? Too pretentious. So, I order a small, or a medium and nobody cares, except me, and they hand me my coffee and I am happy.

I was banning Starbucks altogether until my friend Sarah, introduced me to the skinny vanilla latte. It’s so good and the calories are (supposedly) low and that it’s a guilt-less treat.   I hate to admit it but this is the product that brought me back to Starbucks. However, when I see how much it is, I cringe and feel guilty at the waste of money; I believe it is near three and a half dollars. That’s insanity and logically I know that. Until I take that first taste of that frothy sweet piece of heaven. Now, when I go, I don’t hesitate, I know what I am ordering; I am ordering the vanilla dream, that light, skinny, sweet taste of comfort.

It’s a dilemma. I’m paying an enormous amount of money for basically three sips of a beverage. I know I am not paying for just the flavor, I am paying for the Starbucks brand and hype.  I am paying for the product recognition of that white and green cup and the cute, cardboard brown wrapper to protect my hands from getting too hot.  I am buying someone elses skill to make the coffee and clean up the coffee grounds so I can sip it and feel like a million bucks. Something about that is just not right; but it works. That is why Starbucks is so successful, they know what they are doing and people just keep on sipping, and slurping.

Putting my lips against the white plastic cup is enjoyable. My lips and tongue search and linger to find the right, exact  angle to take a sip from the alloted slot.  I take it to-go and walk outside, my taste buds lingering on every sweet sip. It’s basically coffee for sugar lovers (or sugar-free facsimile).  It’s a brand that works and even though I boycott, even though I try to save money, even though I make fun of the names of the sizes, unfortunately I am hooked. There lies the contradiction, of course it’s pretentious, and part of me likes that and part of me doesn’t. I don’t like the names but I like the cute cups and logo?

The smell of the coffee shop, the people sitting at the round wooden tables with their books or computers or friends. You feel like you are part of something when you go to Starbucks and you are. Yes, it is undeniably over-priced and pretentious, but it’s also good, strong, coffee with attitude, to go.