Hello! I bet you didn’t expect to hear from me again so soon, did you? It’s been a while since I did a “week in my life” sort of blog, so…I did. Let’s see, when I last wrote I believe I told you I had finally tested negative for Covid 🎉. I was still sick, though. I started some antibiotics for a bacterial sinus infection 5 days ago and am happy to report that I am doing much better. I still have a cough, but I’m hoping it will continue to dissipate with time (and another 5 days of antibiotics 😉).
Surprisingly, my MS hasn’t been too bad this week and I was able to putter around the house with reasonable rest breaks between activities. This has been a HUGE blessing to me ☺️!
Anywho, I’ve been sewing up a storm and enjoying myself thoroughly this week! As a matter of fact, in the pictures you’re about to see I think I’m wearing four different things I either finished up or made this week. (There’s more sewing stuff a bit further down too 🙂.)
Covid wore me out and I hadn’t cooked for over two weeks, we survived on freezer meals I had squirrelled away. I finally found the energy to get in the kitchen again on Tuesday. I made a huge pot of beef barley soup, enough to last us several days. I also decided to get out my Mom’s high school Home Ec. cookbook and made a couple loaves of our favorite bread. Mom’s book has seen better days, but it is very special to me and has some great recipes.
Oh, and I made some chocolate chip bars on Thursday from the King Arthur Flour Cookie Cookbook. 😋. I love lots of chocolate chips but Hubby only wants a few, and the itty-bitty ones. So, I compromised and put half the normal amount of my chips and some of his tiny chips into the batter and they actually managed to please both of us.
I hadn’t cleaned my sewing room for several weeks, it was really bad. I cleared the decks on Monday and gave it a good going over. I don’t know how I didn’t end up at urgent care with 23 pins stuck in my feet! YIKES 😬! I also gave both my sewing machine and my serger a good service and cleaning.
The next few photos are random.
Of course I watched the birds this week!
Lastly, I’ll share some of my favorite moments of the week with Pip and Laudy, my constant companions.
Thanks for joining me this week. May God be with you. ❤️, Amy
At the end of January I had a blood test to see if my immune system was rebuilding itself after stopping my MS treatments about a year ago (March 1st to be exact). The good news is yes, I have some nascent cells emerging. The bad news is I don’t have very many. I’m still immunocompromised, but the tide is slowly turning 🥳.
My MS has been all over the shop. Two weeks ago I had a string of good days and was able to cook and sew and putter around the house. Yesterday afternoon I couldn’t sit up or hold my head up and spent hour after hour in bed. Today, I’ve been able to sit up and ride around the house on my scooter, but my legs are like concrete and won’t work. Tomorrow? Your guess is as good as mine. The only predictable thing about MS is its unpredictability.
Thanks for staying tuned and stopping by. May God be with you! ❤️, Amy
Sometimes I’m really proud of myself for being able to keep the rhythm of breathing going, such is the joy of MS fatigue.
In my last post I said I would try to write something about my MS, so here it is. Whew, this summer has been a challenge! I have had a smattering of a few good days here and there and even a few strung together in sequence, but more often than not I’ve been under the thumb of pervasive, domineering MS lethargy. Nope, it’s not the kind of tired that needs a nap and sitting to rest for a spell doesn’t shift it at all. Like having a bone dry fuel tank, no matter how hard you try to go, you end up getting absolutely nowhere. The engine won’t start, the wheels won’t go anywhere, the brakes won’t compress, the electric windows won’t budge… technically it’s a car, but it’s good for nothing. I still look like Amy on the outside but there’s no juice to animate me. The electrical wires of my nerves are stripped and the signals my brain tries to send to make my body move either can’t or only partially get through. As a result, I don’t walk right, my hands don’t work the way they’re supposed to, my bladder doesn’t know if it’s holding or letting go, my thoughts struggle to be strung into words, and my balance is all over the place making me stagger around like I’m drunk. Normal things like showering, getting dressed, eating, and even sitting up use inordinate amounts of energy because my nervous system is having to work 1,000 times harder than yours just to get the signals through. Some days, for some inexplicable reason, I spontaneously recharge fairly quickly and I get to do things other than basic human functions – these are my good days. Other days, most days if I’m honest, time passes from my favorite chair or lying in bed. I read, listen to audiobooks, put puzzles together on an app, watch TV, and snuggle with our cats.
MS and heat don’t mix, it makes all symptoms worsen, so I haven’t been on the patio taking pictures much the past few weeks. However, the past couple of days have been milder allowing me to snap a few pics of my feathered friends.
It’s been a month of MS fatigue and quiet living. I’ve ridden my scooter a few times to the lake in our neighborhood and enjoyed the dragonflies and flowers always present. Here are a few of my favorites.
One of these days I’ll write more. God be with you! ❤️, Amy
Have you ever done something that you look back on a bit further down the road and wonder just how you could have been so oblivious? Well, I’m there. I shot straight up at 4:38 this morning and thought, “Copyright! I’ve broken copyright to Merrill C. Tenney’s The Genius of the Gospels“! I was going to post the notes I took on John today, but instead I took down my previous posts on the first three Gospels. Perhaps you were quicker on the uptake than I was. All I can say is I’m really sorry. It was such a good study, I got carried away and shared before thinking things through all the way.
So, back to the regularly scheduled programming…
My nephew came and stayed with us for a while last month. He made his Aunt very happy when he took my camera and, with his artistic eye, took pictures like a pro. Just look at his gallery!
Pretty impressive, eh?!
Here’s the young man himself.
The weather has been somewhat mild for our area this time of year so I’ve been able to get outside and take a few snaps. Heat and MS don’t mix so summer photo sessions are usually few and far between.
All my best to you and may God be with you! ❤️, Amy
It was 70*F this afternoon! I decided to lie on the grass and watch the clouds pass between the budding limbs of our river birch and the neighbor’s trees. The warm rays felt so good, I felt winter melting away!
The birds are getting used to me being outside again and have been coming closer. I wish I could describe the glorious yellow of the goldfinches sitting in the trees and visiting the feeders. I can’t stop taking photos of them. Their color reminds me of rich, farm fresh, creamy butter.
Not to be outdone, the cardinals have been showy and coming to the yard a lot. It’s incredible that one bird can have so many shades of red. Some of their breast feathers seem shimmery, as if tipped with frost when the sun hits them just right.
Since taking up photography two years ago, I have tried to get a good picture of a carolina chickadee. Somehow their glimmering black eyes always manage to get lost and blend in with the strip of black feathers on their heads. Well, today I found success! I’m right well pleased with this picture.
Trees, shrubs, and flowers are coming alive and it won’t be long until hubby can add a bit of landscaping to the backyard. I can’t wait to get some flowers planted that will attract not only birds but butterflies too.
Thanks for stopping by. May 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
This weekend, from the comfort of our own living room, I joined bird enthusiasts from around the world to count species and track their populations in a group effort sponsored by The Audubon Society and led by The Cornell Lab. The app “eBird” made it easy-peasy as I watched birds come to our backyard feeders. There was a cool global map that lit up in real time as people from around the world turned in their lists. The most flashes were in North America, Europe, and Asia during the times I looked, but I saw some from Australia and South America too. I kept data from Friday through today, Monday. I saw the most birds Sunday with 15 different varieties and a total count of 42 individuals in about 45 minutes. I imagine the freezing temps and constant snow made for a larger than normal number of birds at our feeders. You can see a bit of the progression of the storm in the pictures below.
I plan to continue to keep track of the birds that visit us using the eBird app, it was fun. And, you know I will be taking more bird pics soon! Thanks for stopping by! ❤️Amy