Double Whammy

I’m in the midst of what feels like of a double whammy – both my Sjorgern’s and Fibro are raging right now  – and of course I’m behind in EVERYTHING to begin with and getting further behind each minute. So I really haven’t felt up to posting.

A little girl in a sun bonnet circa 1973

When life was simple, the world was good and a kiss could make things all better.

I also haven’t been posting because frankly, I’m hurt and I’m angry and I’m sad and feeling completely worthless and defeated, and I really don’t feel it’s fair to subject you to that right now. I can’t even begin to put into words just how bad things are. I’m not just talking physically, I’m just talking all the way around. Frankly, it doesn’t even seem like it’s all real because this kind of stuff doesn’t happen in real life. Things are supposed to get better when you have faith and you have people who love you. Only I guess they don’t.

Any way. That’s why I’ve been posting pictures. Trying to put something happy where I should be. So today I offer-up something to the Throw Back Thursday Gods…going way back to the early 70’s…When things were simple, and a kiss could make things better.


2013 in Review Or 2013 You Sucked!

Normally I’m a pretty nostalgic person. I get a little sad at the end of the year over all the good times that had passed, the loved ones we may have lost, and the blessings we were granted. Not this year. Nope. I will be grateful when the clock strikes midnight and 2014 has finally arrived and the Year from Hell as breathed its last.

2013 graphic

Don’t let the door hit ‘ya 2013!
Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong /

Last year as 2013 started my hubby and I toasted to the new year with our girls over sparkling cider with the hope that our family would be back home in Pennsylvania. Well we are, but it didn’t go down the way we hoped…

Who would have guessed just over two months later I would lose my job, and with it the sole source of income for the family. Unemployment in the state we were living in topped out at less than $400 a week, and I had been making more than that…much much more. Needless to say things went from bad to worse pretty fast. We moved to our home state to be closer to family and where there is a lower cost of living. A good idea but it took my kids away from the schools and friends they knew and forced them to start over in a location we weren’t (and still aren’t 100%) comfortable with.

Fortunately my husband found a job in the industry he worked in before we moved away. Unfortunately he makes about a fifth of what I had been making. I applied for jobs every week and went on interviews, but got nowhere.

Mean while my health, which had everything to do with me losing my job, just got worse and worse. It wasn’t long before the brain fog I was feeling everyday was seeping into the interviews and I couldn’t really hide it any more. I get up and get the kids to school and have every intention of getting lots of things done, but most of the time I end up laying down and going back to sleep. I had my first appointment with one of the best rheumatologists in the city, who happens to be highly respected for her work across the country, and it was awful – I’m not looking forward to a second appointment in a few weeks (that’s another post for another time),

Then there was the violent meeting between my husband and a large deer while he was on the way home from work one night that totaled our car. We couldn’t get a loan to get a decent car and bought a car older and worth less than the one that was totaled. My husband seems fairly confident in this decision. I wish I was. In the less than two months we’ve had it, it spent almost two weeks back at the place we bought trying to figure out what was wrong with it and we owe them another $200. My in-laws felt bad because they found and convinced us to buy it so they paid to have some of the other stuff wrong with it fixed. (Yes, we bought a car we knew had problems because that’s all we could afford.)

I know it sounds like it, but it wasn’t all bad. I’ve been spending more time with my daughters. I’ve been cooking more, which means more things “from scratch” and less from a box like my husband does. My girls seem to like and it. I’m getting to cook with the girls and teach them a few things, which they seem to enjoy – but it can be hard to tell sometimes with a 15 year old.

Let’s not forget I wrote my first novel. It still seems strange to type. I’ll be working on editing that and writing the next one in January. I don’t know where it’ll take me. Hopefully someone will read what I write, and I’ve got some ideas on how to get it out there, but at the moment telling some stories and getting them out of my head and on the page is the important part. I mean it doesn’t make much sense to plan on publishing and marketing when you don’t have a finished story yet. So I’m focusing on one step at a time.

It’s so hard to look back and realize that in less than a year we went from giving to Toys for Tots and food pantries to receiving from them. I know it’s just a bump in the road. I know we’ll get through this. We’re together and that’s the most important part. Our family and friends are being really supportive and that’s huge.

Despite everything that happened in this year we’re still hopeful. Things will get better. It doesn’t change the fact that 2013 sucked.

Here’s hoping 2014 is better. Happy New Year All!

Looking for Christmas Magic

This has been a really rough year for us. Between loosing my job, and my health getting worse, and the car getting totaled, and now loosing my unemployment benefits and my freelance work suddenly getting put on hold, it feels like we’ve been kicked while we’re down over and over and over. It’s hard to find things to get excited about when all you can really think about is trying to find enough money for food and rent. I know things could be worse. I’m grateful we have a roof over heads (for now at least) and we are still managing to keep the kids fed, but it’s a constant struggle and hanging over our heads.

Christmas tree lit with white lights

Looking for Christmas Magic

We have our tree up and a few decorations. We’ve done our little bit of meager Christmas shopping. But with all of the stress and the worry and drama and the trauma of the last 10 months, it just doesn’t feel like Christmas to me.

My favorite part of the holidays is the magic. The feeling that anything is possible. The ideas of rebirth, renewal and goodwill. The belief that miracles really can and do happen. And maybe, just maybe, if we wish hard enough, a little of the magic in the twinkling lights and Santa’s sleigh and the stillness of Christmas Eve will rub off on us and at least for a few moments the world will be a better place.

I’m just not seeing it this year. The lights are just lights. The bells are making my tinnitus go overtime. The preparation is making me even more exhausted. And my daughters’ excitement for the big day is making me anxious. There’s no big hope for a better tomorrow, I’m just hoping to make it through today.

I want the magic. I want to feel like there’s something special in the air. I want to believe that miracles can happen, but after everything I’ve seen and been through over the years and looking at the choices I’m facing, I’m sorry to say I have my doubts right now. I guess I still believe miracles happen, I just don’t believe they’re meant for me. I really want to believe they could, I just don’t know how any more.

But Christmas is the time for miracles and rebirth. Maybe I can find the magic I’m looking for. Maybe we’ll get the miracle we need and things will start to turn around (I’m not expecting to hit the lottery – that ship already sailed, but maybe a job or better pay for my husband or a bonus that will actually cover our bills would be nice).

Heaven knows I’m trying to believe. I really need to believe because if I can’t find a way to believe in the magic of Christmas, I’m not sure what I’m going to find to believe in the rest of the year.

Thank You Veterans

I’m blessed to come from a family filled with military service for the United States dating back to the Revolutionary War. I also met some amazing members of the military while working as a government contractor. I’ve been lucky enough to call more than a few former and active duty personnel friends. I am in awe of each one of these individuals. Their sacrifice and willingness fight for our country means more than I can put into words. Thank you for all that you do and all that you have done.

Retired elderly soldier salutes active duty soldiers carrying the US flag in a parade.

Ret. Army 1st Sgt. William Staude salutes soldiers as they march past him during the Veterans Day parade in downtown Pittsburgh, Pa., Nov. 11, 2011. The soldiers are assigned to the 316th Expeditionary Sustainment Command. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Michel Sauret

Because I’ve known so many members of the military I’ve known a lot people who waited anxiously for their loved ones to come home. Your tears don’t go unnoticed. Thank you for your sacrifice and for all that you do to keep your loved ones going.

Thank you to the Gold Star Families. Those who have lost a loved one in the line of duty. No words can ease your pain. Know you are not forgotten, you are and will forever remain in our hearts and in our prayers.

We owe so much to those who have served, and those who kept the home fires burning. Whether you served in a time of peace or war. Whether you were drafted or volunteered for service. Your bravery and sacrifice will never be forgotten. Thank you for serving.


*This post is shared with another blog I post on, the sentiment is heartfelt so I thought I would post it both places.*

A Dark Place

I’ve started 2 or 3 different posts in the last 24 hours. I thought all of them sounded a little dark and saved them and sat them aside to go back to later to see what I was trying to say and what was bothering me. There was something I didn’t really consider until just a little while ago. I am in a really dark place right now.

There are a lot of reasons. Well deserved ones…everything from long-term unemployment and the related financial disaster it brings to totaled cars that can’t be replaced because there’s no money. When coupled with chronic illness and the related pain my new Dr won’t treat it is a recipe for disaster.

I know this. I understand this. The logical part of my brain is trying to hold everything in perspective. But with every set-back (and in all honesty with only one exception every piece of news we’ve gotten in the last 4-6 weeks has been bad news or a set-back and the good news wasn’t all that great) I just seem to slip a little deeper into this dark place.

You may have read a few weeks ago where I talked about feeling bad for a little bit, allowing myself to feel the feelings so that I could move on and feel better. Only as I each of these moments comes up I’ve had a harder time moving on and feeling better.

I know this will pass, I just need to hang on. It would be easier if I saw any chance of things getting better for us, but I don’t see how they will. At least not any time soon. We aren’t just operating in crisis mode any more, we’re in last-resort-no-other-choice-or starve mode. In the past the miracle we’ve been praying for would come along, not to save us necessarily, but to put us on a better path. Our miracle is at least a month overdue and I’m beginning to think we’ve reached our allotted number for this lifetime.

But I won’t give up, I can’t. As dark as the place I’m in is, and as much as I want to, I can’t. I need to find a way to make things better for my girls. I want to feel better, I do. I’m just feeling overwhelmed and stuck in a dark place. I’m praying I find my way out soon.

In the mean time, I hope that you’ll bare with me.

Something to Say Thank You

Something to Say Thank You

I really only started to post regularly here just over a month ago and I can’t believe the number of followers I’ve gotten and the number of visitor who will hopefully be followers soon. I realize that these aren’t record breaking numbers, but the fact that anyone wants to listen to what I have to say means more than you’ll ever know. So thanks for stopping by. Thanks for following. And, if you’re not following you should…this blog has been proven to regrow hair****.

****This blog cannot guarantee hair growth. Results may vary. Consult a doctor before beginning any hair growth regiment.****