Sunday, November 29, 2015

Trying To Go Straight

Working on my grandson's baby blanket in bed is proving to be a great way to stretch my impossibly stubborn and tight legs. With my mind distracted crocheting, they actually manage to stretch pretty far. I am taking pics to document for myself the progress I make (or lack of).

I have also noticed recently my spasms are concentrated more from my knees down, whereas they used to be in my hips and thighs more. Hmmmm. Are things progressing in a good direction? I certainly hope so.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Fun Homemade Fall Decor

Just another reason I love Fall! The decorations are so warm and welcoming, especially when you make them yourself.

This guy was easy peasy; all you need is any sized pumpkin, florist foam big enough to hold enough flowers to fill the size of your pumpkin, and of course flowers! Any flowers of your choice!

Cut a hole a little larger than the foam. Soak the foam in water. Insert it in the pumpkin and begin arranging!

So simple and so beautiful.

Holiday Season

The holidays are upon us, and it's my favorite time of year for so many reasons!  The colors of Fall, the smells, the food!

Being a woman who loves to cook, I spend most of the winter in the kitchen.  Sometimes I cook just to cook and then freeze what I make to be used later over Christmas or any other holiday in which I have guests and not enough time to make fun things like this Pumpkin Streusel Coffee Cake.  I made this yesterday and froze it for December when I will have family visiting, and my daughter is due to give birth to my first grandson.  I much rather spend time with family than cook and clean, so having things made ahead of time is do important to me.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Store Bought Pie Crust...Somethings

I got bored and needed comfort food so I dug through my fridge and found some store bought pie crust I had left over from Halloween (I used them to make these mini pumpkin pie things that I didn't really like). The thought of a crispy crust with something sweet sounded so good, but I didn't have any filling, nor did I feel like making scratch filling. So, I got creative and cut out pumpkin shapes with my cookie cutter (the only one I currently own - you could use any shape or even a biscuit cutter) and I spread butter on top and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar then baked at 375 until crispy.

A Few Thoughts

I was having some deep, deep thoughts yesterday.  Sort of poring over my life, looking at different situations and analyzing what went wrong (and right), and I came to some stunning conclusions. Without realizing it, I let myself be manipulated.  I know it's something that happens often, so I'm not being too hard on myself, but I am sad at the years lost being spent at the control of bad people.  

I am much too willing to let someone take over my life when I love them.  While I'm feeling like I'm sharing my life, too often has been the case the other person is simply using me.  Never has it been more clear to me than now how often this has happened.

The lessons I've learned, and continue to learn, are numerous.  Recently I began thinking about happiness.  When I spent my time around miserable people, if I was ever happy, I became a big joke.  I was made fun of and told I was an idiot or delusional.  In my naivety, I believed them.  I felt like an idiot for thinking there was more to life than misery.  I felt stupid.  Now, I realize this was simply a tactic on their parts to keep me at their level.  "Misery loves company" is the simplest, yet truest saying there ever was.  Negative and miserable people only want to see you miserable as well.  They can't stand the idea of someone they used to have control over moving on and being happy.  They will make you believe, in any way possible, that you're delusional if you think any other way but the way they do.  You must see the world exactly as they do or you will be shunned from the group and left on your own.  It took me until now to realize that would have been the best thing for me. 

People who are happy within themselves have a more positive way of thinking and will encourage and support, rather than berate and belittle.  Someone who genuinely cares for you will only support you and cheer you on, rather than spout hateful words and make you feel worthless and inferior.  A true friend lifts you up -- an abuser and a user only breaks you down.

The worst part of it all is these negative, hateful people seek out the weak and wounded.  Just as in the wild how a predator seeks its prey.  The weaker and lamer members of a herd are chosen for their weakness as it's much easier to hunt and kill them than the stronger, smarter ones.  I was that weak animal after I became ill, and I was pounced on by the most evil of the predators.  Luckily for me I managed to come to my senses.  It was a bit later than I would have liked, but it's never too late to remove yourself from a bad situation.

The moral of the story?  If you feel like you're in a bad situation, around negative or hurtful people, are unhappy or not fulfilling your true potential... do something about it, NOW!  The decisions I had to make over the last ten years were definitely difficult, and I struggled beyond what anyone could even imagine, but through all of that has come serious strength and growth and I wouldn't change it for anything.  It not only made me a better person, but therefore made my daughter a better person and her life much more rewarding and enjoyable, too.  To me, that's the best gift of all.  My daughter has always been my everything, but it's hard to focus on anyone, including yourself, when you're being held down by monsters so they can suck the life out of you.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Dogs Rule All

Animals can be so amazing.
Posted by 93.3 KOB-FM on Friday, March 28, 2014

Back To It

I've decided to get back to my blog.  It's been a very long time since I've posted anything worthwhile, but I had good reason.  I think.

I spent the last 5 years or so grieving yet another loss.  I moved from Florida back to my hometown in Minnesota, and in the process went through a ton of trials and tribulations -- to put it mildly.  I had no money, no car, a shitty basement apartment.  But, I had a roof over my head and food to eat (barely).  I've spent these years working my hardest to get back on my feet, and so far, so good.  I am slowly getting back on my feet figuratively as well as literally, although I've suffered a few setbacks to the literal aspect.

Thanks to a person I will no longer refer to as having any relation to me, I have a nice car.  I live in a great apartment on the top floor in downtown.  It's fully handicapped accessible all the way through to the bedroom closet, and the rent is cheap.  And, I've been back to work and doing well.  The biggest drawback I've had recently has been my health, once again.  I am dealing with tons of pain, tightness, and loss of range of motion and flexibility.

Although, I do believe it's because my legs are coming back.  After nearly 18 years, I truly believe something has healed and I am fortunate enough to be gaining full use of my legs again.  After 18 years, anything that comes back to life is going to be mad and not feel very good.  I see the doubt on my doctor's faces when I mention that idea, but I don't care what they think or what they think they know.  People in comas have come out of their coma after 20 years by some "miracle", so why can't my legs do the same?  They can.

The tightness I've been feeling, at first, I thought was spasticity, but now I am convinced it's tone returning.  They are extremely sensitive to touch and jump and spasm when touched, and that just makes me think well "duhhhh!"  I can feel more than I could before and those nerves that were dormant for 18 years are now alive and awake.  I'd jump and flinch if I hadn't moved in 18 years, too!

I am reminded every day of my favorite doctor, Dr. James Burnett, and how after asking me how I was doing and I would say "my back hurts, but other than that I'm good", he would say "well, at least you can feel it!"  That's exactly what I say to myself every time the pain in my legs gets so bad I don't think I can handle it.  I just shut my eyes and remember him and say "at least you can feel it".

This all started in my hips at the beginning of this year, and has since progressed down to my thighs and knees.  This tells me it's moving down, which is what it should do if there is a nerve that is healing.  This is great news.  I am interested to see where I will be in another couple of months!  I'm very scared, but I'm very, very, very hopeful and happy that my gut keeps telling me I'm getting my legs back.  I always listen to my gut, it's never wrong.

Grama Shannon

Been taking belly selfies with my daughter since she first found out she was pregnant.  Can't wait to put them together in a slide.  This one was a month or so ago, she's even bigger now.  32 weeks this Sunday, but Kaleb (my grandson) is measuring at 35 weeks!  She's scared he's going to be big like I was when I was born!  (10 lbs 1.5 oz. and 23 1/2" long)  I was the size of a 3 month old baby ;)

The Struggle Is Definitely Real: 80 Steps At A Time

"The Struggle Is Definitely Real: 80 Steps At A Time: Some people train to run marathons, I'll settle for walking 100ft on my own power. It has been 12 years since I have walked unassisted ..."

Getting back to my blog is a real eye-opener for me today.  The comment I made in this post "feeling pain is good, right?" has me laughing hysterically at my thinking that was painful.  The pain I've been feeling lately is SO much worse!  Oy.

Although I think the pain I've been feeling and the tightness I've been dealing with in my legs are all good things, I still have days when I wonder why anything good could feel so bad.

What gets me through these trying times is trying to remember the wise old sayings like, "nothing worthwhile comes easy" and "it has to hurt if it's to heal".  I am putting those to the test.

I went from walking with a walker to back in a wheelchair, again.  It's not because of the pain, it's because my legs are too tight and refuse to go straight enough to stand.  No matter what I try and how much I stretch, standing has just not been something I have been able to do for months now.  It really worries me and makes me stressed, but I just try to do the best I can and stretch every day and just keep trying every day.  Some days are better than others.

So, for now I will just keep doing what I can do to try to get back to standing and walking, no matter how much it hurts.

The Struggle Is Definitely Real: It's My Blog and I'll Cry If I Want To

I came to my blog today after a looooong time away and one of the most read posts was this one.  I found strength in my own words written over 5 years ago.  Go, me.

Never Give Up: It's My Blog and I'll Cry If I Want To: Sometimes it's hard to be sunny and cheery, especially when outside forces insist on ruining what was starting off as a perfectly good d...