Saturday, November 29, 2008

Amber in Oil, 9x12

And it only took me 5 months, lol! To see how it started way back in June check out this post.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Pleasures to Fill Up the Four Day Weekend

Don't worry, no one will be receiving a purple/orange/black/white pot holder from me for Christmas, I'm just using it to brush up on my technique ;P (Thanks Mama!)

Picked these up at our new favorite store, Half Priced Books. The top three are mine :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What Thanksgiving Sounds Like When My Hips Hurt

November has been rough. My FMS, which thrives in colder weather, has been stalking my days, turning simple tasks into massive challenges. At the end each day I find myself puzzling over how I could achieve so little and yet feel so depleted. Day after day of this can take a toll on one’s morale. It’s the “chronic” and not the “pain” part of a chronic pain disorder that is the real kicker.

Wait a minute, wait a minute. This is the time of year we stop to give thanks, not to whine about stuff! I am thankful to God for the fact that I never have to worry that my FMS will cause irreparable tissue damage, or give me dementia, or make my hair fall out, or destroy any of my organs. I am fundamentally healthy and that is no small blessing!

I am also so thankful that Ross and I are in a position where I don’t have to go out and get a job! In my experience, flexibility and autonomy are great weapons to have in the fight against chronic pain. (If I was making a list, hot baths would also be near the top! ) There have been times in my life that I didn’t have those things (the first two, not the hot baths), and there will probably be times in my future when I won't, but this season of life has been a wonderful gift!

Truly, this fibromyalgia flare-up reminds me that there is so much to be grateful for. Now that I have six years of this behind me I can look back and see God’s faithfulness through it all. I had so many fears when I first got that diagnosis. I was afraid that I would be financially ruined and forced to live in poverty. Didn’t happen. I was afraid my friends would get so annoyed with my constantly backing out of plans that they would abandon me. Didn’t happen. I was afraid that I would never meet a wonderful man who would want to marry me and my only companions through the years would be my cats. Didn’t happen. I was afraid I could never have a satisfying life, a life I could be proud of. I was so wrong!

The lessons FMS has to teach are ones I have been slow to learn, but I am learning this - the fears we hear in our heads are usually lies, and our God is always, always good!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Our First Christmas Tree

I'm one of those sentimental people who is head-over-heels for Christmas. I sing carols to myself all year round and I cry every time I see It's a Wonderful Life. So naturally, one of the first things that occurred to me when we bought a house was "we're gonna have a full-sized Christmas tree this year!" For years I've been toting around my three footer - cramming it full of as many ornaments as its little branches could hold and perching it on book shelves to try to give it the majestic height a Christmas tree should have - but it always looked a little sad. It was, very clearly, a single person's Christmas tree. Well, my friends, those days are over! Ross and I have combined our Christmas powers and we now have a 7.5 foot tree and it looks exactly like a Christmas tree is supposed to look.

Getting to this point was a bit of an adventure. We compared prices at three stores, we nearly ripped the door hinges off of the Gallant trying to fit it in the backseat, and we had to rearrange the furniture layout in not one, but two rooms just to accommodate it's girth! After some tense negotiations over where the dining room table should go, some whispered prayers that the lights would actually reach the top of the tree, and some strategizing on how to keep the more delicate ornaments out of cat's reach, Ross lit the star on top and we stood basking in the glow of our first family Christmas tree.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

New Plants

I discovered this summer when I bought some flowers and hostas to dress up the yard and then got too attached to them to actually plant them that I like plants. They are nice to have around. Interesting, yet predictable. Beautiful, but not proud. They let you know what they need and they respond when you do something nice for them.

That first round of plants I bought has to stay out on the porch because they have bugs, but now I have two new plants that can stay inside with me, at least until I accidentally kill them. I got a poinsetta ('tis the season) and some sort of Madagascar Dragon something-or-other. (I have no idea what it is but it was a lot of plant for the money and it doesn't need a lot of light.) If things go well with these guys I'm hoping I can get some more!

Monday, November 17, 2008

First snow!!!

We had a dusting of snow out here in Lombard last night. So pretty! I'm not a winter person, but if it has to get cold out then bring on the snow!

Sunday, November 16, 2008


At the moment I have a bowl full of Juniper clippings on the floor in the dining room. I'm holding onto them in the hopes that I will at some point be possessed by the spirit Martha Stewart and craft them into a gorgeous holiday garland to amaze family and friends. I have a suspicion, however, that the will sit in the bowl until they turn brown and I toss 'em. So, family and friends, behold the Juniper.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Where I'm At

Ahhh, the weekend is here! The plan this morning was to sleep in, but Piper was on one of her puking sprees. After I was awoken the third time by the sound of kitty heaves coming from somewhere near my feet, I scrapped the sleeping thing! So, after a bagel and a cup of coffee, I’m back where I spend a disgusting amount of time these days - in front of the computer.

What on earth keeps me attached to this machine so many hours a week? Let’s see - there’s Ghost Hunters on You Tube, there is Spider Solitaire (which is even better when played during Ghost Hunters, since very little actually happens on that show), there is Facebook, there is the blog world, there is Google news, and, I’ll admit it, there are the many websites designed to give hope (realistically and not-so realistically) to women who find themselves consumed by the desire to become a mom.

Most of the women on these sites face the double stigmas of being both childless and objects of the degrading stereotypes about women and their "biological clocks". I’ve always felt kinda sorry for them, in the tepid way you feel sorry for someone you don’t really relate to and can congratulate yourself for bearing little resemblance to. I even managed to get pregnant without ever having to join in on one of the indelicate discussions that goes on in these TTC forums.

But that was before. I’m no longer pregnant, and every month there is an escalating urgency to getting pregnant, which I am having a hard time talking myself down from. If you are thinking right now, “poor Ross,” you are right! But it’s like this mysterious mandate (and please, nobody say biological clock or I’ll kick you!) and I feel overwhelmed by it. One of the things about these sites is that you see a picture of where you could end up - superstitions and crazy diets and unsavory mail order products - and it scares me.

Oh well. This is life. Suddenly we look around and find that, without a lot of forethought or intention, we’ve started off on a new path. I accept that this is my journey right now, and, as embarrassing as it may be, it includes eager attention to minute bodily change, fistfuls of home pregnancy tests, and pathetic Google searches like “negative pregnancy test but still pregnant?”

Friday, November 14, 2008


Pardon me, but I do believe it is time for my daily can of wet food.

Thursday, November 06, 2008


Piper and I spent a good chunk of the day out in the leaves and the sunshine yesterday. She took turns rolling around on different surfaces (first the driveway, then the lawn, then a pile of leaves, etc.) while I pruned bushes and raked leaves. Pruning was a challenge because those Junipers in the front yard are so big and tall! Even with a ladder I couldn't reach all the places I wanted to. After about an hour my arms went numb from holding the heavy electric pruner out as far as I could, so that is probably all the pruning the bushes will get for awhile. Hopefully I made a good dent in them and I won't find myself next year with two story Junipers! I also did some raking, but it was one of those days where as soon as you scoop up an armful of leaves a gust of wind blows in more from the neighbor's yard. After filling up two bags I decided to just leave it in the hopes that eventually ALL the leaves will get blown down Washington Blvd. and become someone else's problem ;P

Monday, November 03, 2008

Check it Out


This weekend Ross and I became card-carrying members of the warehouse wholesaler Costco. I’ve never been more psyched to be a consumer. Even Ross, who usually displays a casual indifference to the joys of shopping, got into it. My favorite purchases; a giant bag of individually wrapped Salmon fillets, two tickets to AMC theaters, and a 365 day pictorial cat calendar.