Although the pictures were an epic fail, I enjoyed riding around with my hubby that afternoon. Oh, and about an hour after we got home both of my eyelids and the bottom of my eyes turned red and swelled up to be about 1/2 an inch thick. They stayed that way for the next 24 hours! Ragweed, was that you??
Yes, I know, I lead a very exciting life 😉. I hope you have had a good week. See you next time! God be with you. ❤️, Amy
WARNING: The following is an extremely exaggerated, fanciful description of a much less exciting story. No one was injured in the actual exploit. Names are not used to protect the identity of those involved.
She opened the top drawer of her cabinet and paused thoughtfully. She ran her fingers over the neatly aligned collection of scissors of various sizes, thicknesses, brands, and purposes. Nothing there seemed quite right. Suddenly, I saw the flash of inspiration turn her usually dull, milky-garnet eyes into lustrous gems. She quickly closed the drawer, bent down, reached under the cabinet, and pulled out a large plastic case. I heard the release of two clasps as she opened it on the ground directly behind me. Strangely, I noticed a faint whiff of gasoline mix with the scent of hairspray, botanical shampoos, and foamy mousses.
With absolutely no warning and the simultaneous feeling of fight or flight that only true terror can create, the whine of a two-stroke, single engine weed eater filled the retail space. The din reverberated off the mirrors, tiled floor, and rows of adjustable metal chairs. A deafening “thunk-tunk, thunk-tunk, thunk-tunk” whirred into life and ramped up into a high pitched scream just over my right shoulder. It swiftly came closer until I felt the very hair on my neck begin to move. I could tell the length of trimmer string was too long and was flicking past the protective case, like the tongue of a cobra tasting the air. Instinctively, I pulled away from the droning sound and was nearly out of the chair when I heard the stylist’s voice filtering somewhere through the bedlam. “Don’t worry, I know what I’m doing. I’ve done this hundreds of times and you’re going to love it!”.
Was she like a chainsaw artist and could sculpt ordinary hair into a beautiful pixie cut with this outrageously deadly tool? After all, I’d shown her a picture of what I wanted. Wasn’t that her license hanging right in front of me on the mirror saying she knew what she was doing?
It’s strange how much faith we put in a little slip of paper with an embossed seal. It gave me the courage to sit back down. As I felt the first chunk of hair whacked off, I squeezed my eyes as tightly as I could and hoped for the best. Thirty minutes passed and I was still alive when she told me she was done.
Because it was a really tired MS day and I didn’t want to be out any longer than absolutely necessary, I got a wet cut without having her blow out my hair and style it. I don’t know if she was trying to cover up the mess, but she showed the back of my hair to me through a small hand mirror. The little bit I saw looked pretty short but okay.
When I was about 10 years old I remember my Mom telling the stylist to cut my uber thick, long, blonde hair into something more manageable. Somehow the lady translated that into a female mullet. I cried uncontrollably until Mom took me back an hour later and had the stylist rid all traces of Liza Minnelli from my head. I haven’t felt like crying about my hair for 40 years. I tell that story because this is what I saw when I got a closer, fuller view in the mirror at home…
Obviously, I couldn’t leave it like that and I certainly wasn’t going to go back and let her take another whack at it (😜😂). Though I’ve trimmed up my own hair before, this was way beyond my skills. Besides, it’s hard to see what you’re doing through misty eyes. So, I ended up going to my Hubby’s barber. Though I had to wait my turn for two hours, he was able to get me in on the same day as the disast-hair and, well, see for yourself…
Ahh, much better! Hey, local friends, do you have any recommendations for a good stylist who can handle short hair?
Photos from the last few weeks.
We have had some beautiful birds at the feeders this week. These are a few of my favorites.
I had a moderate amount of energy on Monday so I decided to squander it by going to the lake near our house. (And I do mean squander. I’m still recovering 😒.) Though it was still a bit cold, the sun was shining and it felt good to sit in it by the edge of the water. The lake was still frozen over but the ducks and geese didn’t seem to care.
I’ve been practicing using portrait mode with my camera this week. It’s impossible to take a bad picture of these two beauties 😻!
I get the next dose of Ocrevus for my MS on Monday of this coming week. I have to wait three months after I get the infusion, but then I will FINALLY be able to get a Covid vaccine, Lord willing. I wish you health and happiness! ❤️, Amy
The shortest day and the longest night are behind us and that is very encouraging, particularly in 2020. Although I love winter, there is joy in knowing each day will bring a bit more sunshine than the last.
I’ve been busy with this, that, and a little bit of something else these past couple of weeks. I’ll let the pictures do the talking 😉.
My stepmom who recently passed away was an avid quilter. She had nearly finished hand sewing this English Paper Piecing quilt but it still lacked it’s blue border. My stepsister asked me if I would add the border so it could be quilted. I’ve handsewn a couple of quilts in the past but nothing prepared me for the sore fingers, slow going, and incredible amount of time it has taken to sew the teeny-tiny speck of hems together that border the thick paper stuffed inside each hexagon. As you can see in the second picture, you take the paper out after a couple of rows have been sewn together, the paper is basted into each hexagon to stabilize the fabric as it’s put together. This wasn’t the first paper piecing quilt my stepmom did. For her, the harder the project the better the challenge and she had the chops for it! She must have poured hours into this project. It’s good to be contributing to something I know she would be happy to see finished.
We have been enjoying the gas fireplace in our new house this winter. Our cats camp out in front of it any time we have it on and melt into the cutest kitty puddles you ever did see! Last week I made them a cute cat bed to lie on instead of the cold floor. Laudanum (“Laudy”) is our 10 year old blue Cornish Rex and Pip is our 3 year old chocolate Cornish Rex.
As I was sitting outside a week or two ago, I happened to look up and saw this plane and contrails passing. I took a picture just for fun but didn’t look at it for a few days. When I did, I could make out that it was Qantas, the Australian airline. I looked up their flight paths and saw that they only fly in and out of LAX, DFW, and JFK in the States. Therefore, I don’t think it is a common thing to see many Qantas planes flying overhead. I thought it was cool. I remember being on a flight once and the pilot coming over the intercom to announce that the airspace over Springfield, MO is one of the busiest in the States. I’ve often thought of that little tidbit of knowledge since then and believe it must be true. Nearly every time I look up there are several planes and/or contrails streaking the sky.
This was also taken on the Winter Solstice. It’s the best shot I could manage of the “Christmas Star” or conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter. It was pretty nifty to see since it only happens every 20ish years.
We are looking forward to a small gathering for Christmas with both sides of our family over the long holiday weekend.
I wish each one of you the very best, safest, healthiest, merriest, and love-filled Christmas blessings. God be with you. ❤️ Amy
I’ve got a case of The Blahs, not to be confused with The Blues – which I don’t have.
MS has been busy fatiguing me of late without allowing me to pursue much sewing or exploring around to enjoy photo taking. The weather has turned cooler so most of my bird watching has been through the windows instead of on the back patio. I did get a few snaps with my phone of the cats doing cute things. Well, they’re cute to me, anyway.
After a long 35 year battle with breast cancer, my stepmother passed away a couple of weeks ago. She had suffered so much that it was a blessing to know her pain was over and she had gone to her heavenly reward. Of course, my sister and her family came up from Texas for a few days in two consecutive weeks. They got to say “goodbye” the first week and were here for the funeral later the following week.
I’ve been putting a lot of puzzles together while listening to Charles Dickens novels. So far, Bleak House and A Tale of Two Cities (both of which made me cry) have been my favorites. I just finished Great Expectations and am only three hours (out of 23) into The Old Curiosity Shop. I have A Christmas Carol, Nicholas Nickleby, and The Pickwick Papers waiting in the wings. I’ve read some of these before but am enjoying how they sound as audiobooks with wonderful readers speaking life into the characters as they do all the different voices.
(American) Thanksgiving will be a much smaller affair than usual but we’re looking forward to seeing my Dad and my step-sister’s family. In the true spirit of the holiday, they are each bring a couple of dishes while hubby and I do the rest. Despite all the troubles in the world around us, we have so many blessings for which to give thanks. I hope you find many blessings to be thankful for too.
We did a few days of dog sitting for family over Labor Day weekend. I discovered I like dogs better than I thought I did but, WOW, they are a lot more work than cats.
This little beauty had a ton of energy and needed to go on walks as well as run around the backyard. I dug deep to find the energy to walk her around the neighborhood a couple times per day for three days in a row. I can see why people with MS might want a dog. Their basic needs trump even the emptiest of MS energy tanks because when they gotta go they gotta go 😁.
Hubby loves dogs and they always seem to gravitate to him. It’s a good thing we kept poochie over a weekend and we could tag team watching her since we had to keep her on a leash when not in her crate. We wanted the cats to still feel like it was their home and they were safe from well-intentioned but unwelcome bouncy-flouncy invitations to “play” chase.
After the doggy went home, it took a few days of solid rest to recover. I didn’t do much of anything but enjoy these beautiful, freshly fallen leaves from our River Birches.
As I mentioned in my last blog, I had my third Ocrevus infusion in late August. I self-isolated at home for a couple of weeks both before and after the treatment for a bit of extra assurance that I didn’t get sick. I’m pretty used to staying home a lot but I am certainly glad that is over. During my confinement I practiced various lessons from Dorling Kindersley’s Digital Photography Complete Course: Learn Everything You Need to Know in 20 Weeks. Naturally, I used my two favorite muses 🐈🐈. The photos below were taken as I practiced shooting from various angles.
The big, orange bouncing ball that is MS has been all over the place: up, down, out of bounds, in play, and even deflated. Some days I’ve been able to enjoy a walk, sewing projects, baking, and even a little gardening. Other days I’ve barely been able to step out of bed, take a shower, feed myself, or muster the energy to sit in a chair. It is so bizarre, I can’t describe it. It feels like I am disconnected from myself and am living someone else’s life because it doesn’t feel like me.
I treasure the good days or hours of the day, and sometimes just the minutes of the day, when I am motoring along and feel like I have sovereignty over my body to do the things I want to do. I know God has given me every blessing in Christ so that whether it is a good MS day or not, I can give thanks to Him and live a contented life.
We’ve seen the perfect blend of summery sun and rain here in Southwest Missouri this past week. We’re usually roasting in nearly 100*F/38*C by this time in August, but we’ve had gorgeous 77-80*F/21-27*C days. Thanks to the recent weather, nature is lush and bursting with color all over the place around us! The forecast says it will only last another day or two, but it has been a delicious treat while it lasts and a balm for these many months during Covid-19.
A large forested area lies both north and south of our neighborhood with a good sized river about a mile down the road. It has both a well-maintained river access spot and, a little further down the road, an old, reallocated bridge that serves as the entrance for a greenways trail that winds through and circles our city. Additionally, our neighborhood has a little landscaped lake with a walking path, bridge, water feature, bird houses, and a bench along the shore. On Wednesday of this last week MS kindly lent me a decent enough day that I drove to the river in the morning and spent some time soaking in the views from the bridge at the trail’s head. After lunch, I headed off for a lovely, cane-assisted stroll around the lake. There were butterflies everywhere in both places! They somehow managed to lift my spirits on their tiny little wings and carry them about as they soared around and flitted and fluttered here and there. Similarly, as I rested a couple of times on my way around the lake in the afternoon, I found myself smiling as I tried to follow the dizzying courses of dozens of dragonflies going nowhere and everywhere at once. What funny little creatures! Oh, and don’t worry, there are plenty of bird and cat photos below too😻!
This past Friday was an exciting day when…my new camera arrived!!! As you peruse the photos below, see if you can guess which ones I took with my point-and-shoot and which ones were with my new DSLR. The new camera inspired me to branch out and find a new photo editing app to play around with. It’s pretty safe to say I have a lot to learn. As an example, I hadn’t been messing around with the camera for more than five minutes before I realized I needed to invest in a more versatile lens. Some lessons are pricey 😉! No worries though, I am having fun and can’t wait to learn and grow my skills (and lens collection!). It was time for the upgrade because I needed another sit-down hobby to add to my arsenal of things to do when the MS monster has me lashed to the couch.
Speaking of MS, my next Ocrevus infusion is at the end of this month. Let’s see, this will be my second full dose which means I’ve been on it for 18 months. For the first time since starting it I think I’m experiencing the “crap gap” I’ve heard other MSers describe just before their next dose. My already ridiculous fatigue intermixed with poor balance, endurance, gait, bladder issues, clumsiness, sluggish word finding, and occasional cog-fog have all ratcheted up to the next level over the last few days. I hope topping the tank with more O-juice knocks my symptoms back down to the previous notch.
Part I: Riparian and Lakeside Entertainment
Here we are at the end of another blog. I looked back and realized I have been posting weekly lately. I didn’t mean to, or not mean to, it just happened. Will there be another blog next week? Maybe, I guess we will both have to wait and see😁. Either way, I’m glad you stopped by for a look-see. May God be with you! Amy
At lunchtime I bought a huge orange — The size of it made us all laugh. I peeled it and shared it with Robert and Dave — They got quarters and I had a half.
And that orange, it made me so happy, As ordinary things often do Just lately. The shopping. A walk in the park. This is peace and contentment. It’s new.
The rest of the day was quite easy. I did all the jobs on my list And enjoyed them and had some time over. I love you. I’m glad I exist.
Oranges are my favorite food. Orange is the color for MS Awareness. I love poetry and Wendy Cope writes good stuff. Titles for my blogs are always kind of hard to settle on, but this one was easy. And so, it occurred to me that it must be time for a post.
Besides, daily and ordinary things are important. Tethers feel good when life is pitching up the sea all around you. Maybe your ordinary day looks different than it did at the beginning of the year (cough– Covid), but I hope you have found some level, familiar ground upon which to walk. Everything is pretty much the same as before for me thanks to my parasitic sidekick MS. It’s been doggone hard to walk the past couple of days, so I’m especially grateful for the little things that help me get through the endless hours of sitting.
Cue a few of the pictures I’ve taken this week.
Part I. Light
Part II. Birds
Part III. Cats
Part IV. MS
Part V. The Orange
I hope you have a “huge orange” kind of day. God be with you! ~Amy
There I was having a perfectly good day last Saturday riding around with my hubby as he ran into a couple of stores for our weekly shopping, when all of a sudden I felt a familiar pain in my lower tummy. Within just a few minutes I felt the next stage of an all too familiar urge hit and I knew before we made it home I had a UTI.
Fun Fact: One of the most common symptoms of MS is bladder control problems. The bladder has spasms and won’t empty completely causing frequency and urgency. Because the bladder won’t empty completely, MSers get a UTI very easily.
Anyway, my suspicion was validated at urgent care that same Saturday afternoon and I came home with the usual round of antibiotics and some Azo to ease the pain. I typically feel better within 24 hours, but when things felt worse by Sunday evening I knew we needed to go back to see what was going on.
A kidney infection was what was going on. I got a different script for a stronger antibiotic for the next seven days and then a thigh-full of another one. They warned me it would hurt as they added Lidocaine to the concoction and said it would take about 30-40 seconds to give because it was “thick”. I made it through the shot, but then nearly passed out 🥴. My blood pressure dropped too low very suddenly, I got all sweaty, and felt myself going. No big deal, I recovered and they let me go within another 30 minutes. Passing out was nothing compared to the pain throbbing through my thigh! With hubby dragging me by one arm and my cane propping me up to stay vertical with the other, I limped and whimpered my way to the car and thought, “That shot better be worth it!”
I’ve had lots of UTIs, but this was my first kidney infection; I wasn’t quite ready for how hard it kept hitting and how long it took to feel better. By Wednesday I knew I was going to live and felt back to my normal self on Thursday.
During the time it took to recover, I didn’t do much. I filled the lethargic days by hanging out with and generally loving around on the cats, reading an Inspector Morse mystery, listening to Dickens’ Bleak House, putting some puzzles together on my favorite puzzles app, and sleeping a lot. Finally, on Thursday and Friday, I ventured back out on the patio for short bits in the mornings and evenings – to avoid the heat, another no-no when you have MS – and even managed to muster the energy to sew a cute little tunic with an adorable cat print for myself!
There is a river just a mile and a half down the road from our house with a lovely bridge and trail from which to admire nature. Hubby humoured me and took me for a while around noon on Friday. Though I can’t walk the trail anymore, we traversed the bridge and took in all the special delights that fill the senses when around running water. Birds chirping, breezes blowing, water rippling, the faint whiff of fish in the air, the sight and smell of earth and dirt eroding, tree roots erupting on trails down to the river banks, and the beauty of wildflowers clustered along the banks and in the undergrowth, or definitely blooming in solitary confidence and glory.
It feels so good to feel better! It was a good reminder to appreciate my general health, despite the MS. I’d take a lot of crummy MS days over going through that again any time soon. I hope you enjoy the pictures below and are able to get a sense of their feel and place for the ones not captioned.
I hope you have a wonderful week ahead. God be with you! ❤️
I like looking at YouTube videos and other blogs that chronicle the everyday activities of someone else’s life. It’s both reassuring and fun to see that we all basically have the same rhythm to our lives that encompasses everything from humdrum chores, to work, to family ties and responsibilities, and an innate need for some kind of leisure activity or down time. This sameness, no matter where we are from or what we look like, reminds us we are all created in the image of God and that He has bound us to need each other as humans.
So, with that in mind, let me take you through some of the things I’ve been up to lately. Along the way you will find some cats, a brief snapshot of the music I’ve been listening to, a little sewing project, and a few meals. Of course, there will be a fair few birds, too.
I think I’ve learned some important lessons while photographing wild birds that have resonated with me as pretty good general advice for life, especially at this time. 1. Be patient, nature works on its own schedule and at its own pace. 2. Always be ready, opportunity only lasts a few seconds . 3. Only about 10% of the media (in my case, photos I take) is worth keeping, the other 90% is missing the picture and destined for the trash can. 4. Remember that everything you see on your screen is only what you can see through the lens, you have to look up to get the whole picture. Conversely, not everything in the big picture is worth focusing in on. 5. Keep a sharp eye out for the things that are beautiful and zoom in on them.
(Yep, I like Monty Python. If you have to ask what I mean, don’t bother.)