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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What, Exactly, Is Happiness?

Rice pudding bowl

Rice pudding bowl (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I thought the  rice pudding that my husband bought me from the diner would make me happy but it just made me feel momentarily content. Twice. Now, there’s only one small portion left from the giant trough that he brought home on Sunday night. One, huge, tub of home-made rice pudding, the Reddi Whip had already melted, making it look like a floating swan on water, peaceful, gliding, making no trouble at all. A sensory satisfaction of taste.

It appeared to be a raisin and cinnamon revolution. Rice pudding with no raisins and no cinnamon? I was briefly unnerved but it was so tasty, rich, sweet and creamy that I really couldn’t complain. Tonight, the last night, I added my own raisins and cinnamon. For my tasting pleasure, now it is gone.

I need strength to feel settled tonight. I’m scared, there are just too many potential problems for too many people going on in the next three months. I’m much better when the time is NOW than weeks ahead of time but inside I know I am freaking out. Trembling as my bones quiver from the inside out, shaking so that anyone who knows me can see.

Too many people I love are sick at the same time. I am feeling at an all time low, physically and emotionally. My shoulders ache, the pain in my back still digs into me, not letting go or it moves to surprise me, to the side. Poke, Stab, Poke. Winter, does not just weigh heavily on the branches of the naked tree limbs but also on my tightened shoulders that lock in place; it takes hours for the heating pad to barely loosen them. I’ve tried the steamy hot baths, bath salts…nothing helps.

Maybe, I should just give up on Winter. This year, I was promised that I  could go to someplace warm to soothe my aching bones and muscles, and again, another lay off. No one’s fault. It’s just the way the world works these days. Trust no one. You are not safe.

Protect Yourself.

What is happiness, anyway?

It’s elusive.

A distant memory, aging photographs, some distinct thoughts of the past. Maybe it’s age or money or just a state of mind. I can’t seem to see it at the moment….

If I don’t have it, it doesn’t mean I don’t want YOU to have it, it just makes me a little sad to see those with luck, get luckier and those who are down on their luck, stay there and go deeper under the icy cold, black abyss.

My real friends understand, I don’t need to tell them I am hurting, they know. Or, if I mumble a quick “fine” or “I’m good” they will look into my eyes, the pathway to my soul and understand. THEY don’t look away. They stick with me through all days.

True Friendship.

True Friendship=Happiness

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FWF: Kellie Elmore

Sad Little Girl

Sad Little Girl (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

everything i could never tell you

I’m sorry, baby girl, I was barely a teen then, I didn’t know there was a name for what your mama had. I just knew she closed herself in her bedroom, turned the lights off and had me babysit you every afternoon. She hid under the covers because she was really sad and all you could hear from her bedroom was her sobbing. I kept the television on to try to protect you from the sounds.

You know, back then, it didn’t even have a name, just crazy. Your mama was chronically depressed and it is like every other illness but years ago it was shameful. Thank God, now, people know more and there are medications and no shame involved.

When I would walk up one flight of dusty, gray stairs, your smile would brighten your entire face like sunshine and your cheeks would turn rosy pink as soon as you saw me. Your mama would scream sometimes, but she couldn’t control herself. Oh, I know you pity yourself but I’m sure it was not easy for her, she was very sad every minute of every day. Yes, it WAS hard for you but you are a grown-up now, can you now think about what it was like for her?

What I remember most, for some funny reason, is that she used to make two pale chicken legs in the toaster oven. Oil or butter turning into bubbles on those nasty looking legs. You must have eaten them after I left but I kept thinking “where was the rice and the salad?” Was there bread and butter to eat?  I could picture you and your mama eating one sickly yellow chicken leg each and you drinking your glass of milk.

Your mom never let you have candy so with my babysitting money I would hold your hand and take you into the candy store and let you pick out a chocolate bar and tell you it was our secret. I didn’t care about lying to your mom, she wouldn’t even have noticed. I just wanted you to have a little happiness in your life, I wanted you to be able to be a kid for a short time, anyway. Your eyes would glisten like stars on a dark night, with happiness and excitement, you were lit up like electricity in a lamp.

I met you for lunch once when we were both adults, I didn’t know you anymore. You hated your parents,  you hated everything, nothing but hate and coldness inside you. This was way before your older sister became sick too and I adored her as well. I know you were wonderful to her, you did everything for her and everyone knew that, there was the goodness in you.That sweet little girl came back to be her sister’s angel, but when she died, it died too.

We didn’t know about the funeral, no one told us. As soon as we found out we raced to your mom’s apartment where your cold, icy, blue eyes looked through us. I wanted to hug you, but you didn’t let anyone close enough to even say we were sorry. Why? You were blaming us for something we had no control over but you were the queen of control, right?

You built a wall around you of law books and court rooms and tennis-playing friends. I hope you are happy now. But, I wanted to say something that I never could say before: I missed my sweet baby for a long time. The little girl you were, the innocent, happy child that would race to sit on my lap.What happened to her? My one question is “do you even remember her, that sweet sunny child, you were?” Because if not, that would be a damn shame. A damn shame.

Yellow Magic Madness # 42

It has been a very crazy week, as you may imagine, from this week’s selection:

Not bad, not good, no judgment. Just crazy weird. And that’s okay.

US cover

US cover (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Flare-Up Friday

Cluster headache

Cluster headache (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

DEDICATED TO ALL MY FIBRO FRIENDS

My world is gray and I feel like a dull-looking ice-cube. Last night, I knew something was going on in my body, things were changing. After all these years you would think I would know immediately the signs of a flare-up but I look for excuses. Basically, I lie to myself. I’ve had small headaches for a week, usually at night, all of a sudden that changed to a more serious headache. My balance which is not good became much worse. I needed the pink cane to be able to walk without falling. Anyone looking at me from behind would have sworn I was drunk. I wasn’t.

My husband said I “didn’t look right” I’m not sure what that means exactly but apparently I didn’t look “good.” For two days before this I had (note past tense) been feeling great (as great as one can feel when you have Fibromyalgia.) I had showered, dressed, out the door for two days in a row, fairly early, running errands, taking photographs, shopping, meeting a friend. It’s not like I was doing a triathlon, just regular things that most people don’t even think about. But for us Fibro warriors we, unfortunately, need to think about everything.

I was proud, feeling strong. Then, I crashed. My back was aching ridiculously, of course I blamed the uncomfortable chair at the restaurant. My appetite certainly didn’t suffer, If I’m hungry I must be fine. Two trips to the women’s room, a little unusual but nothing to even think about even though I knew deep inside it was IBS. I blamed my muscle aches and bone pain on the weather. My general feeling of discomfort, I was sure was from not drinking enough water during the day and not eating enough.

Yes, you got it, I was trying to pull a fast one on myself. I was trying to fake what I really knew was starting: a Fibro Flare-Up.  “Nooooo: I groaned to myself. I had done so well, I was outside a lot, with nature, trying to keep a positive attitude, all the things I am “supposed” to do. I was eating well,  healthy things like salads, drinking cranberry juice, no soda or diet soda, and eating fruit, veggies with yummy desserts but essentially all good things. I hadn’t gained or lost weight, my blood tests had all come back normal.

Even my green eyes felt heavy, tired and looked dull. I flunked the “eye-ball virus negative test*” known only to a few but it is a definite indicator of sickness vs. health. I knew my color was certainly not rosy thought it never really is but it had that “look” the one moms (and some dads) see on their children’s faces in one second begging the immediate question: “are you feeling okay?”

I was cold, so I went to bed early piled under a massive amount of blankets, (6) and tried to get warm. That was a hard one, I was still cold. Took two aspirin for my head (not allowed to take Advil per my doctor which I now long for like a junkie) and tried to go to sleep. When I woke up this morning, the headache was still there, I was still freezing and I couldn’t get out of bed.

I sighed, I knew what it was all along. I just pretended that it was allergies or my imagination. Do you do that too? Well, it didn’t work. So now, it’s Saturday, I’m under six blankets, still shivering in my bed with my headache, my husband brought me coffee in bed and I’m under the Fibromyalgia House Arrest. There are no colors in this room and basically it hurts to move. If you need me I’ll be here but for now, I think I’ll take a nap. I’m too tired from just waking up to do anything but sleep.

*eyeball virus negative test: a diagnosis based on a game about rapid movement from your eyes, going left to right and back etc.

Plinky Prompt: When was the first time you felt like a grown up?

Yes, they do cry during sessions!

Yes, they do cry during sessions! (Photo credit: photosavvy)

  • When was the first time you really felt like a grown up (if ever)? See all answers
  • All grown up?
  • We had just had our first baby and after two and a half years of infertility treatments this little boy was our miracle. He was born at the end of October and we were so careful not to expose him to germs. We did not allow anyone near him if they were sick or if they thought they were going to be sick.
    Nevertheless, at six weeks old, he seemed to have trouble breathing and was congested. We immediately called our pediatrician. I tried to feed him a bottle but he couldn’t drink. The doctor said bring him in right away.
    As my husband started the car and I cradled the baby in my arms underneath a pile of soft blue blankets. I realized for the first time, that I was responsible for this little boy’s life. No one was taking care of me, it was my job now to take care of him. At that moment, even though I felt a moment of  incredible fear run up and down my body, I became a grown up.

Yellow Magic Madness #6

I was so hoping to post a photo of yellow flowers or budding trees but I have to be honest, they are not out yet and I am being true to my self (even though I feel like screaming and pounding my fists this winter feels so LONG!). The cold winds are still blowing right through me and sometimes I find comfort in a cup of apple spice tea or plain tea with milk and touch of honey. Sit on a comfy chair, put your head back, throw a multi-colored quilt around you, join me in a cup of tea from my yellow teapot and slowly sip. Spring is coming, very, very soon. I promise.

English: A yellow ceramic teapot against a sto...

English: A yellow ceramic teapot against a stone floor, taken by CGS. Public domain. Commons:Category:Yellow Commons:Category:Teapots (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

February, Freezing

Weber Grill

Weber Grill (Photo credit: Moomettes)

Charles River, 3 February 2010: Thicker ice ag...

Charles River, 3 February 2010: Thicker ice again, and snow-covered under cloudy grey skies (Photo credit: Chris Devers)

It is gray, gloomy, my mood matches what I see, another storm approaching wet, wintry, cold ice, it pushes my hopeful thoughts of Spring and red tulips further back in my exhausted brain. I long to paint my toes pink, to wear flip-flops that go clickety-clack on the street, even imagining that sound in my head makes me grin. Foolishly, I’m dreaming about back yard barbeques, the smell of food grilling, earning its succulent stripes, that charcoal smell, chicken, corn, cheese burgers, hot dogs. We always have way too much food when we have friends and family over for a BBQ: potato salad, coleslaw, fresh, crispy bread, four different kinds of cheese, at room temperature, salsa and bread, mozzarella and tomato salad with a drizzle of olive oil and fresh, fragrant basil. Hummus and pita triangles and fresh vegetables and dip for our own vegetarians. Potato chips, pretzels to tide us over, pasta salad too with veggies chopped up so fine you can barely see them. We’re always too full for dessert but that passes quickly. The dessert table includes: chocolate mousse cake for the chocolate lovers, vanilla and coconut cake freshly baked brownies, my home-made banana bread with chocolate chips and raisins, fruit salad, a cherry and apple pie. Marshmallows are a given; I like mine burnt completely on the outside, charred, the inside still gooey, runny and soft. Ice cream is in the freezer just waiting to jump out and join us.

I am so happy and…oh wait, I forgot. It’s still February and ice is hitting the windows like little rocks of torture. Reality is difficult. The gusts of wind are my enemy. Let me keep dreaming, please but I know I can’t. I don’t want to leave the house in this cold weather with my bones and muscles stiff. The tender points all over my body from Fibromyalgia are raw with pain, even if I brush against someone’s sleeve. Shoulders lifted, up high, stuck in tension, held in place like soldiers in the military, standing in front of their Sergeant, First Class, saying ‘Yes, Sir, No Sir.” On demand,  feeling unnaturally stiff, not able to make a move, praying they won’t have to sneeze or cough. There is no room for error.

I am staying up late tonight, I smile because it’s my favorite time, 11:11pm.; what a gift to see that on my clock. Somehow, 11:11 AM just doesn’t do it for me. I miss sleeping deeply, the way I was able to do, now I sleep lightly and it is not restful. I don’t know if it’s aging or a medication or a phase but I don’t like it. Maybe if I stay up really late, my sleep will be deeper, my dreams fanciful and memorable, in shades of purple and pink and yellow. Of course, yellow.

It’s been a long winter already, and it continues, I know it’s just February but it seems like it’s been February forever. The weeks seem to go by fairly quickly but the months drag as if they are ground in cement. They drag on like a tired tortoise in heavy, deep, wet sand, barely moving a centimeter every few hours. I know the lesson, I do, we have no choice but to accept it even if we feel angry or impatient, Mother Nature wins. I need to slow down, my impatience will not do me any good. I will try another approach, perhaps I will make lentil soup or pea, start to read another book, listen to music and be grateful I can stay inside today, in a warm house, cooking, cleaning and stroking my red dog’s fur.

Spring will surprise us when it’s ready, not when we are, that we know for sure.

Cough, Sneeze, Cough 1-13-2013

Sorry, but if I have to feel it you have to read about it. Oh come on, it’s not that bad. And it’s not like you are being exposed to germs. I mean I can’t send them over the computer even if I wanted to. Which of course I don’t. Except to a few people who have been mean to me in the past, but I won’t mention their names because that would be juvenile. As if I wasn’t. My head hurts, it’s throbbing like a jack hammer inside the front of my brain, I hate it when doctors ask, does it hurt here or here? It friggin hurts in my head, I don’t know which quadrant. You’re the doctor, figure it out.

My throat is sore and I’ve been pretending it’s been allergies for weeks now. I gave up the fight tonight when our son told us he was sure he was getting sick. I surrendered. What else could I do? I happen to have an auto-immune disease (Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis) as well as the old stand by Fibromyalgia so I’m pretty much f—–ed in catching whatever is going around. Those of us with compromised immune systems are…..umm, what’s a nice way to put this…..concerned?

Whatever is going around, here in the USA, is the FLU. Oh, not the flu I got the flu shot for, nope not that one. Apparently the CDC was wrong:

sick

sick (Photo credit: Jaysun) I guess it was a very different flu this year, sorry, my bad. People are lined up 3 x3 to an emergency room to get seen by a doctor. Fevers of 104 degrees are being reported in ADULTS. I’m no doctor, but that is not good. I worry about my elderly loved ones. I worry, period. Got something against that? I suggest you don’t bring it up. Because any minute now my mood could snap from quietly feeling sorry for myself to wide eyed bitch on attack. We all have those days, now don’t we?

I don’t want to get sick and I don’t want others to get sick, oh and die. People are dying from the flu. DYING. What the heck? Stay home, stay in bed, if you have to go out, I suggest you wear a mask, even if you look like a tool, people will think you are a god or goddess, truly. You will be helping others, perhaps even nominating you for sainthood (I’m really not sure at all how that works). Do unto others…and all that. Most importantly, wash your hands constantly like someone with OCD and keep Purell handy. Also, when you open a door in one of those medical facilities, don’t let them fool you, use a paper towel. We are not amateurs here, we are chronic sick professionals. Listen to know. Having a chronic pain disease is not fun but we do know the moves. Ask us anything. We are here for you. We know.

p.s. Still waiting for the sickness to hit me. This time I’m ready, I made chicken soup, all my son had was a cold.