Haiku Horizons, #45 Just

Just, Right, Fair, Peace, Trust

World upside down, bloody mess

No senseless killings.

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Measure, Love and Hope

Just in time, align with God

We give gratitude

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Sun, honey dripping

Vacation, just for me, you

Cleanse our inner souls.

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Haiku Horizons: Master

Sweat, poring, drenching

Sonny in the mine (12234)

gritty smell, hard-working men

Mastering their trade.

 

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Master-minded bitch

sword slashing blood, crazy eyes.

Crazy quilt collage, is this Cubism (Hockney a...

Sick colors of hell.

 

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Something Was Wrong, It Was Me

High Anxiety

High Anxiety (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It arrived every evening like a suspicious stranger, its presence like black fog slipping under the door. It was deceiving at first, mist, started slowly and then it changed in a split second and attacked me. I felt like I was being stabbed with an ice pick, repeatedly, the chill of cold anxiety running up and down my spine. The goal apparently was to shock me and knock me totally off-balance. It won, I didn’t stand a chance.  I don’t know why it came. I certainly didn’t invite it nor could I prevent it and its malicious presence only showed itself to me after dark.

I don’t know why it happened and I never completely understood it but the displeasure was here, every single night. I tried every trick I knew: deep breathing and meditation, but I did not stand a chance, it felt like I had been swept up by a tornado. Actually, I  lived in the eye of that tornado, I felt helpless, yes, out of control, out of control, out of control…

In past years during this same time period I felt sad, weepy. In the past eleven years I have known grief and a feeling of longing but not anxiety. Major life events happened, I felt loss , my dad was deceased but fear? This year without the regular Thanksgiving plans, control escaped me and anxiety with its octopus legs strapped me in and squeezed me so tight I could not breathe properly. Maybe Thanksgiving, without check lists and red lines crossed off made me feel undone. Would it be five people or nine? Last minute? I used to be so flexible, what happened to me? I missed feeling in charge, in control. I was alone in the world, it put me off-center, dizzy with fright.

I had trouble sleeping and eating and with my chronic pain disorder, Fibromyalgia, I questioned if this could have been a flare-up? Very possibly but I don’t know. The physical pain is the same but the IBS and the anxiety are on over drive.  Anxiety rolls in my stomach like one of those slippery aqua blue water park slides that I hate, wet,  flying down way too fast. I went on one of those once when my children were little and pleaded me to go on one of the rides with them. Trying to be a good mother and show them that fear should not stand in one’s way I relented, seeing their shiny little faces. Big mistake. I laid on my back and flew down the twisting spiral of hell screaming all the way down only to see them at the bottom, laughing. “Why did you lie on your back, Mom, didn’t you know that is the fastest way to go down?” OF COURSE NOT!!!

I felt like I have been on that water slide for at least two weeks except in my head and my body. I’m in my own zone of panic. Nothing worked, nothing helped, my last resort was to try to listen to music which has helped in the past. No luck. Maybe I’m just so excited that tomorrow I will be seeing my children, home for the holiday? Maybe I am feeling out of control not knowing if we will be five or nine people? Or maybe the last four, stressful weeks have finally caught up to me: my husband got laid off, I had to have painful uterine biopsies and on the way to my doctor’s appointment I had a flat tire. I found out my friend and her husband both needed surgery, I took on my friend’s problems too.

Maybe I’m anxious now because I couldn’t allow myself to be anxious before. The food lists are really not important, there will be plenty of food, no matter who comes. My friends will be fine. My husband will eventually find a job and we are not living out on the streets. My tests results came out perfectly. AAA apologized for dropping my call, twice and they paid for the private road side assistance. I’m taking a deep breath, it feels good. All of a sudden, I feel like listening to music and I’m getting a little tired. That’s got to be a good sign. I hope.

Mellow Yellow Monday: Pancakes

Banana Pancakes

Banana Pancakes (Photo credit: babe_kl)

Not just any yellow fluffy pancakes but BANANA PANCAKES!

For added ecstasy, carmelize a few of the bananas

(often carmelized bananas are dessert in our

family-some add chocolate syrup to them, others, vanilla ice cream.

I just go for the sweet, sticky bananas fried (Use Pam) in a frying pan, with low heat.

In fact, I go bananas for banana pancakes.

(similar to* “I go cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs!”)

*Cocoa Puffs, a product of General Mills

Worried Sick: One Big Crazy-Ass Blog Post

Emotion: Fear

Emotion: Fear (Photo credit: Cayusa)

I. Am. A. Robot. I have no affect. (Great psychology word, so expressive for non-expression) I lie on my bed with my computer lounging on my bulging stomach, my legs are crossed at my ankles. I still have a French manicure on my toes. I have no extreme emotions, neither sadness or happiness. No smile on my face, no frown. This is not me. I have felt like this for about a week; what has happened to me and why? The last few weeks have been busy and exciting, my daughter graduated from high school, she went to her prom, we went to her pre-prom party; all that was wonderful. I had feelings then, why not now? Here I am, not loving my new dog, not hating her, just coexisting. I don’t feel any emotion in any extreme way. “It’s a phase” I say to myself, “It will pass…you are tired.”

I try to analyze myself: am I hiding emotions, protecting myself, WAIT, I did feel something the other day that felt like strong responses. I felt RAGE and I felt IMPATIENT. But, now I’ve forgotten why–oh no, forgetting things again!! That IS indeed scary. I’ve also been worried lately about my health: I think I have Multiple Sclerosis, (which is now considered an autoimmune disease like my Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis? really?) Ovarian Cancer, Stomach Cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease (both for me and my husband) and various other horrible illnesses. All life threatening. I feel scared of the unknown, yes, it is known as ” anticipatory anxiety,” I am fearful. Should I just take a xanax (anti-anxiety medication) and shut up? I’m thinking maybe it’s time….I bet my pal, Jenny Lawson, Bloggess, extraordinaire, would urge me to take one…okay, maybe two. I should take medication “as needed” the trouble with anxiety is that while you are going through it you think you are sane…..when you are REALLY NOT thinking clearly (little crazy voice in your head says “but maybe you are….”) at all.

Am I just having a full-fledged anxiety attack? (sounds like it) Probably (now on paper too!!) You know, ever since I made that damn appointment with that neurologist it’s been hounding me like a dog with it’s smelly barbecue flavored chew toy. I should know, I have a dog, and let me tell you she does not let go of her bones, she grips it with all her meaty strength. She will bite me or anyone who gets in her way of food. I can understand the love of food but those bite marks hurt.  They make us all look like heroin addicts with her baby teeth bite marks. Where was I? Oh yes, neurologist: my internist suggested I go a few months ago for tingling under my feet and in my hand. I don’t think I even have those symptoms anymore but it’s one of those things I can’t cancel…..(because it’s bad luck) because I should check it out. In my mind, I see Ellis Grey from Grey’s Anatomy one of my favorite television shows and that scares me. neurology, neurologist, even going for an appointment scares me to death.  I may indeed have a diagnosis; I believe it’s called FEAR.

I don’t feel anything yet I worry, not a good life to be living. My own post is scaring me. I’ve been there before, I will get out of it again. Maybe I just need more sleep. Or take Albuterol since climbing up all those flights of stairs today at my daughter’s orientation at college made me wheeze and it won’t go away. (I have no medication for asthma). I just need to slow it down, in my body and in my mind. I have a solution: a nap; that would do me a lot of good and some herbal raspberry tea. It will put all my FEARS to rest and give me the sleep I’m lacking. I can never sleep well, the first night someplace new anyway. Maybe they have a term for that, I can add to my list of phobias.

p.s. the photo scares me too.

Daytime Dreaming, Hell Yes, It’s Weird

Scones with butter, jam and clotted cream.

Scones with butter, jam and clotted cream. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m supposed to write about oranges, sliced oranges in circles, thick peels attached and I’m not sure why. Also, sunshine hiding somewhere behind the thunderous rain clouds that have attacked us for days on end. You can’t see the sun, you don’t hear about it on the long-range, extended forecast but you have to believe it’s going to come back sometime. I don’t know when, I’ve stopped counting the days, the weeks, it will show up one day, probably when I stop waiting for it.

I see old-fashioned carriages, black with wide-spoked wheels driving crookedly on cobble stoned streets; maybe I lived here in a past life. This could be France. I see a friend, Delia, beside me laughing; I don’t know her but I guess we are experiencing the same thing together.  With Delia by my side I feel happy, we have always had adventures like this one, we have moved on and now we are in England. (in real life I think Delia is my friend Denise-before she got married.) I’m the one, of course, who is looking for a place for afternoon tea and scones with Devonshire cream. You can’t forget that creamy, sweet, delicious taste in any time period.

On some random, indoor, faded pink carpet there are small spots of dog poop stains (stains only, no poop.) Listen, I haven’t taken any drugs or smoked anything or am having any flashbacks or swallowed ANY alcoholic beverages. This is what is coming out of my weird, psychedelic mind. I don’t even know a Delia.

What does it mean? I have no idea. I just know that I’m supposed to write this gibberish down and I am doing that. Call it crazy, though the word scares me now, call it quirky, silliness, call it free-form writing. Call it what it is, commercials of junk in my mind, or artistic ramblings of a very tired woman. You never know, this could end up in a novel one day or a biography, in a junk pile, or a shredder. Who is to say?

I’m Done, I’m Stuck, Help Me

Help, I'm Stuck

Image by Martin Cathrae via Flickr

Help I'm Trapped In Here

Image by duncan via Flickr

snowing

Image by jam343 via Flickr

I’ve had it. I have said it jokingly before but now I mean it. I’m disgusted with everything and every person. There are a few exceptions like my kids (especially the one away at college) and my dog. My dog is exempt ALL of the time, my husband? Not so much. Today, he could not make a rational, DECISIVE decision and he flip-flopped like a newly caught fish. He changed his mind twelve times in under two minutes, a record. Sometimes a girl/woman/wife/mother/person just has to say “what the eff?” Here’s to you, my hero, Ferris Bueller.

I’m also feeling the teeny tiniest bit of crazy and it’s all coming out on paper, now. After the anger came out I felt scared and stuck, trapped and hopeless, also hungry. This has been going on way too long, three months too long.

Today did not start with a resounding, positive spin. We woke up to snow, yes SNOW. Heavy, dreadful, snow that started in the morning and will continue until the wee hours of tomorrow morning. It’s OCTOBER people, October. You know, the time of year where we gasp from the brilliant artistry of the naturally changing leaves, bright streaks of red, amber, different shades of green, all colors holding hands, clasping each other, on one fiery tree. It’s beautiful, well, it was beginning to get beautiful… In past years it was a slow and steady sign of seasons changing, temperatures starting to decline not a nor’easter punching us in the face coming out of nowhere.

To those who say I shouldn’t be cranky, I say “Tough.” I am cranky, I deserve to be cranky and I have every right to feel cranky.”  I know there are worse things in the world and indeed I am incredibly grateful that we are not suffering from life threatening illnesses but I swear, my mind is going, going, soon to be gone. Yes, maybe tomorrow I will breathe as deeply as I possibly can and I will repeat the mantra of safety but today, I am not doing it. I don’t WANT to be calm today. I’m sorry what? Yes, I said it: No interest in being calm today.” THE FRIGGIN SNOW OF OCTOBER 29th 2011 put an end to that.

I have lasted an entire paragraph without mentioning my old, destructive and defective house but trust me I’m so there now. The little house from hell with termites, carpenter ants, rotten and decayed wood, that had electrical problems now has heating problems too. So, my genius husband (sorry hubby, it’s been a really bad day) decides (without consulting me, of course) that he would leave two portable heaters on over night, plugged in, “on low,” when nobody was home. That is all kinds of wrong; I just couldn’t take it. Thank goodness for my sister who rightfully said: “this is from the man who insists that I, as a grown woman, put on my seat belt when I sit in the back of the car?” Yes, Sis, the same person. I asked him to ask a neighbor, one of several we could ask to please unplug the fire hazards but no, he didn’t want to do that. So, now he is on his way back in the snow to turn them off himself. What IS IT about men and asking favors? I don’t get it.  Smokey the Bear, on behalf of my husband, I apologize. Deeply.

Peeps, you don’t need to bother to read this post if you don’t want to because I am VENTING and sometimes venting is useful because my chest has become less painful and I am breathing evenly. Sometimes it is more than okay to say “I’m furious” instead of meditating your anger away. I’m CRANKY, I’ve lived with this stress, tension and emotional and financial ruin for three months now, cramped in one tiny hotel room. I have every right to vent and I am glad I did. So there.

…Because That’s Why They Have Xanax

Nanny McPhee and the big bang - Emma Thompson

Image by WorthingTheatres via Flickr

It’s all Jonathan’s fault.  No seriously. This dude (NOT my nephew Jonathan) called my Aunt at 10:35 last night pretending he has searched for her because he has always loved her. Romantic? Not so much. He knew her name and of course, instead of just hanging up on him, she engaged him. (‘Auntie Joan, its not the 60’s anymore.’) Afterwards, she freaked out  and kept the phone in her bed and ever since then weird things have happened in MY home. Lights are buzzing mysteriously, the oven is playing drums while it is baking Ghiradelli chocolate brownies and my daughter’s confident voice sounds timid like a sleepy mouse with slippers.  Something is going on and I am not sure what it is. I admit it, the brownies are frightening me and the washing machine is terribly noisy with a beat like swish-swish, a-swish, yes, you heard me, swish-swish, a-swish. It’s as if the dirty laundry is sneezing it’s resentment straight through the walls and into my agitated shell-like ear drums.

I am trying to breathe deeply but it is not working. I look for toothpicks and come up with a cow bell; I am trying to act like a grown-up but I am spooked.  Sure, I could reach for the anti-anxiety pills but this is too disturbing for even that. I’m too anxious to take an anti-anxiety pill.  Do I sound vaguely like Charlie Sheen?  I feel sorry for him in one way because I really do think he needs help although he could just be a friggin’ genius putting us all to shame and running to the bank with buckets of dough. Neither option is good. “Charlie, get some help and don’t even think of doing a reality tv show.”

I watched   “Nanny McPhee” today and I do think they need a warning label for adults. First, did they not realize that it is a plain rip off from both “Mary Poppins” and “The Sound of Music” intertwined with LSD or perhaps some crack cocaine? That movie, for scary pups like me, should not be watched alone. (Do you hear that Tammy Lou?!)

Thank goodness the Ghiradelli brownies are done so I can escape the scary kitchen and go upstairs to hide. The FedEx guy just appeared like a shadow until my dog started barking furiously as if there was an imminent threat. Am I watching too much TV? I’m not talking comedy shows like the impeccable “Modern Family” or the lovely, realistic show “Parenthood” not even “The Celebrity Apprentice.” (Wait, did I hear something about Donald Trump wanting to run for President or was it another victim of my overworked and anxious mind?) I did see a flash of the news today, the real news and even watching it for two minutes made it leech into my brain and stay there giving “fear” company for “anxiety.”

I should practice the art of meditation. Do I really need to learn how to meditate? I mean do I actually need to pay money (at this point I think there’s no denying it) to teach me to cross my legs and breathe deeply, in and out, in and out, exuding calmness and harmony? Shouldn’t breathing be a natural process? I can make up my own “mantra.” Thank you.

I am trying to calm down, I shouldn’t watch those “scary” movies all alone at my ripe old age of 54. Next time I want to be scared silly, I will order “Nanny McPhee Returns” ( I actually can’t wait) from Netflix and take half a Xanax beforehand. We live in an insane world, how could we possibly feel sane all the time? It doesn’t work; I’m the example. Tonight I will eat calming foods, such as: the meatloaf I made yesterday drowned in ketchup, rice with butter and salt, and mango peach applesauce. I’ll be fine after that, I hope.

Mint Chip Ice Cream Does So Taste Like Toothpaste…..( A Crazy Foodie Blog)

Crest MultiCare Whitening toothpaste

Image via Wikipedia

Tonight I had left-over pizza for dinner. It was dry, it had that too- long- in -the- refrigerator smell and the fresh tomato, mozzarella and basil disappeared. I warmed it up but nothing changed. I had to make it taste better, we were out of food so I did what I have done since college (yes, I have witnesses) I put jam on my pizza. We only had Dominoes pizza way back then ( don’t worry, Dominoes, I’m sure your pizza is better now.) I was out of luck,I did not have Welchs’ grape jelly at home. I knew there MUST be something to help me out.  Two minutes later, I saw it gleaming and sitting on the side of the refrigerator door practically winking with a come-hither look.  A jar of peach preserves sat unopened. It gave the pizza the texture it needed and if I closed my eyes it was like eating French bread with jam. Thank you for saving my dinner.

There are questions that are just unanswerable: For example: why is it that I love peanut butter but hate peanuts? I don’t like chick peas but I do like hummus.  Could texture be an issue? Keep me far away from raw oysters, mussels or raw tuna. Tuna from a can mixed with celery and mayo does not count since it was YEARS before I associated the canned tuna with  real fish.

I’m s little fussy with my food, I admit it.  I also have the nose of a foxhound and if milk is even contemplating spoiling I sniff it out immediately and throw it away . “Dear Grocery Store Stocker, don’t think you’ll ever fool because I know not to take the product in the front and I check the expiration dates. I am on alert at all times, always saying  out loud “Did you think you could fool me? Amateur!!!!”  So what if I get a couple of weird looks?

I love eggs in any form but if I detect the tiniest bit of egg-shell in my food, crunching in my mouth it takes enormous self-control not to vomit, especially if I am in a restaurant.  IF I have been brave enough to swish it away in my mouth with juice or soda, ( can’t do it with plain water) there is no way that I would eat anymore. Also, if the egg white is not cooked through I can’t eat it (see texture issue). It’s almost as bad as  finding a hair in my food (again, think restaurant) which I think is also appalling. That is why, I sniff and explore my food before my first bite.  I think of myself as having certain food requirements: no egg-shell, spoiled stuff, hair in food, oh, and dead insects.

The last time I had a Greek salad in my favorite tiny Greek restaurant it was served with a dead bee lying right on top. Is it too much to ask that people look at the food before they serve it? I haven’t been back to that restaurant in two years now. I know about the chances of having it happen again but still….This is why when I go to a restaurant I face away from the kitchen. As you can tell,  I did read Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain and it both saved my life and ruined my life at the same time. Blame him.

We Didn’t Ask For This (FIBROMYALGIA)

27/365: fractured reality/grace under pain

As a Fibromyalgia patient I need to explain a few things that the general public doesn’t understand. Actually, there are things that WE don’t understand but we are clear on one thing. This is NOT in our heads. Whatever crack pot thought that one up was clearly not a pain sufferer. We didn’t ask for this disease that makes us  live in a state of chronic pain.  Believe me, no person would want this every single day of their lives, no person would choose this.  We live our lives on the edge of our seats for two reasons: 1) because sitting one place for more than three minutes will hurt and 2) we can’t make plans ahead of time because we don’t know how we will feel on any given day.  People ask me to do things and I always use the same line: “Let me see how I feel.” Of course I have said it over and over again but people who are not patients tend to forget.

Which reminds me: forgetting things, we start to speak and stop, we go upstairs to get something and then not remember what we are looking for.  No, we are not feeble-minded, nor are we crazy, old, senile or menopausal. (Ok, we could be a mixture of things) There is something called FIBRO FOG which makes us forget, makes us as cloudy as fog rolling in to San Francisco. It is not our fault. Do you think I like looking like an absolute fool? Don’t you think it stings when my children say “I just told you that”or “Mom, I’ve told you that story 100 times.” I’m sure you did but “Fibro-Haze” got to me once again. I honestly don’t remember the last time I had a totally lucid conversation. I seem to drift half-way through. My husband recommended that I take stimulants, the pills given to people with ADHD. Thanks, but I’m on a lot of medications (that don’t help) as it is. Please don’t play doctor, you can’t imagine how many people do that to us. We know you mean well, it just doesn’t help.

If patients, had wanted this stubborn illness our homes would be filled with Fibro-Friendly items. We would all have an in-house masseuse. The refrigerator would be filled with our favorite soft foods,  soup, pasta, cheesecake with an apricot glaze, soft and chewy brownies that won’t activate our TMJ. We would all have extra-king size beds so we don’t have to bump into our partners in the middle of the night. Hair stylists would fluff out our thinning hair to make us feel better about ourselves. Our bedrooms would be equipped with huge 3D, High Definition television sets, the exact height that is comfortable for us so we don’t strain our already tense and knotted necks and shoulders. All houses would come with nurses and aides, to drive us, do the laundry, cook dinner and attend to our every need.  Our medicine cabinets would be filled with newly invented “Miracle-Meds”, an innovative medication that actually helps and relieves all of the pain. Not cocktails of useless pills that don’t do anything except make our stomachs, and IBS,  feel all sorts of crazy weird.

Chronic pain, with no relief is horrible. Please don’t talk to us like we are  psychologically challenged. There is nothing wrong with us except that we hurt. We hurt constantly with no relief. We have pain that is relentless, pain that is constant, pain that we have no choice but to accept it in our daily lives. We also don’t want your sympathy, but we would love your understanding.