Monday, August 28, 2023

August 28, 2023 Monday--3am


Another week has flown by.  First, I have to say that I have no clue why Blogger jumps back and forth on the size of my fonts when I post.  I even preview before I post and all the font is the same size.  I am not shouting at you--honest!  Oh Blogger, how you do enjoy vexing me.

My shower curtain for this week.  Darkest one I bought, but still colorful and dramatic.  

Keanna came on Tuesday to clean.  I worked in the studio off and on all week.  Actually began packing up things I could part with for several months. 
Started working on reorganizing the wider set of drawers under the die cutting table.  I knew I had the bottom three drawers I could pack, but was surprised I emptied four of them.  Decided to pack away the Chinese Brush Painting supplies, too.
Slowly adding boxes to the bedroom.
The top two drawers were a they needed to be sorted.  Thought it would be a good idea to keep most all of the coloring type of supplies in this chest of drawers.
So what I would do is work for a while until my body complained enough, take a break for a good while, and repeat off and on every day.  

I have to tell you about this coincidence that just blew my mind.  Makes me chuckle every time I think of it.

Okay--since I started tearing things apart over here I had been trying to find my T-ball jotter pen I bought in high school.  I would never throw it out.  Couldn't imagine where it could be as I had scoured all the pen places, right?  (I had a red one and a blue one--lent one out that never got returned but couldn't remember which one.)  Anyways, I had found a zip lock bag with a bunch of pens labeled "refill" from months ago, so I knew I needed to reorganize the bottom two drawers in the smaller, taller drawer unit by the door where my pen supplies ended up.  I planned to do that after I got done with the "color" drawers.  I knew I had a lot of sorting through my refill stash ahead of me.

I needed to go on a break.  Was watching the Goulet Pens Pencast on YouTube.  (I am one of the select few who can listen to two old friends chat about pens for a couple of hours every week--ROFL!)  They are always funny...Brian is the owner and Drew works for him--was his first employee.  They've known each other since grade school, I believe.  Anyways, they were talking about how some follower had heard them on the pencast trying to answer a question about which was the ugliest pen.  Later they had gone to a pen show and this guy came up to Brian and gave him what he believed was the ugliest pen.  Neither he nor Drew had ever heard of this pen or seen one up and my surprise it was a Rotring Core fountain pen!

Well, I had one of those wild, weird pens back in the 80s or 90s.  So awkward to hold.  Gave it away.  I haven't thought about the Core for decades.  They don't make them anymore.  I haven't seen one or heard about one--even in the pen world.  Even Brian and Drew had never heard of it or seen one.  Anyways, I decided to take a break from the Pencast--yes, they do usually chat for a couple of hours each week, so I watch it a piece at a time.  It was time to start dragging things out of the top two shelves in the bookcase by the window.  Lots of colors--paint pens, colored pencils, etc, that needing sorting.
  I opened up one of the containers--was so shocked I didn't even get a picture of the mess inside--and what did I see??  My Core!  I never did part with it--LOL!  That huge, top-heavy, orange and grey pen to the left in front is a Rotring Core fountain pen!  What are the odds!!!  I find it right after listening to them talk about it and show it in all its glorious weirdness.  Still can't believe it.  
AND--center front--a red and a blue T-ball jotter!!!  (I had found a couple of refills--above right--that were so old they were dried up--lol!)  The four center top pens were very old broken pens, the box left top was a favorite cheap pen when I was going to college early 2000s, the four pens next to the Core were empty gel pens, the red and green ones and the other three--all bottom right--were all clean and empty fountain pens.  There were also a whole bunch of Pilot G2s--also a real favorite of mine in college, but haven't used really since.  

So, I hadn't seen this container (if it was glanced at in a move I don't remember at all) since I left college in 2004!  Because--it accidentally got mixed in with art supplies and somehow drifted away from the pen supplies.  Oh--and I also found my Mickey Mouse ball point pen with my name engraved on it!  I forgot to get a picture because I moved to a special spot to wait for me to order a refill.  That had been a gift so long ago I don't even remember--could be more like 40-50 years ago!  Just a second--I'll get a picture.
So cute!  Even though I never write with ball points anymore...I am going to order refills for this one!  It had a Cross refill inside, but I don't know if that is who made it because it just says Disney on the gold band.

It used to be gold engraved.  Just looks a dark gray now.  I had to prop it against another pen to keep Mickey from rolling over on to his gloved arm--hehe!
Old treasures...BUT!  I did not know that plastic pens can kind of disintegrate over time.  At least the Pilot G2s were all no good anymore!  They were all sticky and weird.  I tried to wash it off but to no avail.  They ended up in the trash--with the refills that were also too dried up to work anymore.  The liquid ink cartridges for fountain pens will eventually dry out, too--need to go through those, too.

Okay--back to the Rotring Core.  The "ugliest pen", I guess--lol!  It has a huge cap.  Weird wavy designs, four orange ink windows on the barrel...
...and look at the shape of the grip section!!  Reminds me of an old swayback horse.
Well, I had to find a standard ink cartridge to ink this puppy up.  Had to see if it was as weird in the hand as I remembered.  Nope.  Shock!  Not really.  I don't know if it is because I was such an inconsistent FP user up until I ran across Goulet Pens (when they were starting out their company in his garage) and I am better at it or what?  To my amazement--it felt and worked just fine.  (Makes me wonder if I should have given away a Tombow FP to another student in college because I couldn't find the right angle to write with that one--oh well--lol!)  

Of course, I had to write a comment on their Pencast about this find--lol!

That led to me going through the bottom drawers with all the refills and getting them organized and seeing what I needed to order.  (And--confession--I have now grown nostalgic for Pilot G2s and I have none--lol!)
Got those drawers organized, at least.
Continued on with the shelves in that bookcase.
Meanwhile, I finally put out some seed for the birds this week as it is getting chillier at night and fall is in the air...occasionally.  I hadn't put out anything but water all summer, right?  Within half an hour...
...a flock of grackles arrived for a party--to the delight of Miss Allie!!  :)
I've made a lot of progress on the color drawers this week.  From top down...
Watercolors, watercolor pencils, and other colors that need a brush and/or water.
Colored pencils and crayons.
Pastels in different forms, graphites, and a Brusho set that needs to be transferred into tiny salt shakers (maybe this winter?).
All kinds of markers and drawing pens.
Paint pens, pencils, and charcoal drawing stuff--so far.  Not sure if this will all stay in the last two drawers I showed you, but this is as far as I got.
One more empty drawer to fill.  :)
McFamily came home from their fabulous week away in Minneapolis on Saturday.  On Sunday a gentleman and I assume his well-mannered son came to look at the oak barrister bookcase before deciding to buy.  One look and he left to get the money.  The bookcase is gone.  It went to a good home.

Leah brought back the other new folding table the boys borrowed for their lemonade stand.  Looks pretty bare back there now.  Used to be a desk, two barristers, and an open bookcase on that wall.
Leah and I brought out a load of donations to the garage.  We looked around--her BIL wants part of the ValleyCon furniture that is stored on the one side of my garage.  He is talking about coming to pick it up in a couple of weeks.  Leah got pictures of everything that I want to sell that was on top of the old oak table out there in the middle of the garage.  Once we get that table cleared off we can get pictures of it and put that up for sale, too.  I have two bins and a box full of fabric that I want to go through first to see if there's anything I want to save.  Once the table is cleared off can pile all that fabric on the table and check through it--take pics--and sell it in a big batch or maybe two.  

I have the rug from my studio here that we took out so I could get the plastic chair mats to work.  Leah asked me if I might want it for the new is all rolled up but I remember it being very colorful and wanted to hang on to it.

Then Sunday night I was going through old pictures (everything before 2019 was lost because of an old laptop) to try to find a picture of my bed so people can see what it looked like together and normal--lol!  I did find one!  I also found pictures of the studio rug!  Now wouldn't this be perfect in a room with orange walls!?
My studio has changed since 2019--lol!  This was right before I got my IKEA dressers and die cutting table.  Looks better--albeit messier--now.

Allie would say hi but she's snoozing.
I have a bunch of pictures from Leah...and these are only from Sunday and Monday--visiting with her sister and going to the Children's Museum.

But before they left-- pics of the two shower curtains the boys have borrowed so far!  The rainbow one...
...and the Jackson Pollack one--lol!  I'm glad they are enjoying Gramma's...shall we say quirkiness?
Here's the boys with their younger cousin, Leo.
On their way to the Children's Museum.  Looks like the capitol in Saint Paul off in the distance.
Saint Paul also has walkways like Minneapolis.  Can you see it above the street about in the center of the picture there across the way?  They are the bomb!  Nothing better in a Minnesota winter than a covered, heated walkway over the street!  :)
All the boys outside.
Ian and Liam using magic powers to open the doors--lol!
Very interactive place!  I will just let you observe as I have. :)

Leo is wearing a mask as Ariel got Covid and had it really bad for over six months.  Just trying to be extra cautious...for sure!

This was odd--ghostly figures of Ian, Liam, and some other little boy inside a fish tank?
Aha!  Green screen!  What a hoot!

Ian made his name in lights on this contraption.
It really looks like they had a total blast at the Children's Museum.  I never went with Dagan there--just to the science museum--somebody let us come with them.  

Just asked Google--no wonder--they opened in 1981.  I probably had not heard, had just learned to drive (at 30), was going through a divorce, had zero extra money, and would have been terrified to drive by myself to Saint Paul!  Dagan and I had made trips into downtown Minneapolis on the buses since he was a baby, though. ;)

There will be more pictures of their adventures next week.  I am looking forward to seeing the Rainforest Cafe where I used to take Dagan every time we went to the MegaMall.  Was our favorite restaurant.  At least I hope they made it there.  I forgot to ask her when she was here.  We were quite busy doing things--not really any just chat time.  

My hours have been flipped and all over the place now for such a long time.  Leah reminded me that I haven't been taking melatonin or my CBD oil for a long time.  True.  I forgot all about it.  I hadn't needed it anymore for quite a long time.  Well, possibly I needed it now but just plain forgot about it--lol!  After she left I went and found them and will start taking them both again and see if that helps the situation.  Hope so.  That would be nice!  Meanwhile--as you can tell, I am still awake in the middle of the night.

Been eating and no fasting--have seen some improvement with my throne issues--lol!  So the fasting longer may have been the problem making me go backwards.  I've never had a problem with my fasting before appointments, but I guess fasting for several days doesn't agree with my body still.  

Good lord--I feel like I have a different body these days.  Not the same disabled one I had adapted to for 20 years.  Now it is a new much touchier and more unpredictable unit.  A real drama queen of a body!  Overreacting like crazy to such ordinary things--like a head bump on the kitchen cabinet door.  Making a huge deal over two chemo treatments--wouldn't let me eat or drink basically until I ended up in the hospital--plus giving me neuropathy from waist to toes that lasted almost a year.  Talk about drama and overreactions!  Even immunotherapy ended up with terrible, watery, no-warning diarrhea so I couldn't leave my apartment to even get my mail--for six weeks.  Come on!  Settle down!  Yes, my body has turned into a real drama queen of the highest order.  Clinging to shingles, diarrhea, and mucositis just for peevishness and giggles.  Let it go.  Let it go.  LOL!

In the oddest way it reminds me of being pregnant.  That feeling like it isn't really your body anymore--like you have no control over what your body is doing all on its own.  The loss of control, I guess.  The alien-body sensation.  I already had to deal with this subject--with fibro, ending up housebound, and the whole shebang.  But this new version is a whole 'nother animal.  A whole 'nother level of lack of control.  Since it may stay like this--well, I just have to laugh and adapt, right?

Eventually I laugh and find the humor.  It is always not a good thing if I am not laughing enough, you know?  Well, I am laughing again.  Quite freely.  Life is funny.  Life is sometimes utterly ridiculous.  Life is a crap shoot.  But life is sooo good.  So very good.

Keep laughing.  See you next week. :) :)

Monday, August 21, 2023

August 21, 2023 Monday--3am

Good morning!

Dagan's dresser sold on Monday.  This piece of furniture has a story.  Dagan was eight years old (1982) and we had just moved into a one-bedroom basement apartment in Anoka (due to a divorce) which was crammed full of plants--most of which I had inherited from my mom when they retired and moved to Florida.  I gave Dagan the bedroom and I slept on the Livingroom floor.  My sister was having cabinets made for her kitchen at the time.  I can't even remember how it all came about but I was hoping to find a small dresser that would fit in the bathroom...and Renee's carpenter said he could make one for me.  All he needed was the measurements--which he came by to get them himself so he could make the largest dresser that would fit (and I think to chat with Dagan, to be honest).  He even delivered it later, too.

He was the sweetest man!  He made it out of Formica scraps so that the little man wouldn't get in trouble if he splashed a bit on the dresser when he was taking a bath.  The drawers were shallow, so he put these hunks of wood inside you could turn down as bumpers so the drawers wouldn't fall out and hurt little man.  He seemed to adore Dagan and loved talking to him--he was a grandpa himself.  And Dagan, who was normally shy with strangers, chatted away with him.  He knew I didn't have much money--made it for "little man" for $50.  I still don't believe he had that many scraps.  He even asked me what color I liked. ;)  Dagan and I were so excited about it.  It was just perfect!!  He was one of those people whose kindness, loving nature, and joy in life just flows from them so brightly you are deeply warmed by it.  When you meet one in your life--even briefly--you never forget them. 

Anyways, I have always felt this dresser was made with so much love and care.  Over 40 years old now.  That's just dust on the bottom drawer.  It still looks brand new because of the Formica--lol!  And it is heavy-heavy!!  A bit of nostalgia.  Neither McFamily nor I had any place for it.  I hope whoever bought it will feel the love.  I believe it is embedded with positive energy! :)


I didn't have the best week health-wise the week before--or this past week, either.  To the point it felt like I was going backwards.  I have to confess that has gotten me down.  It takes a lot to get me down.  But my improvements seemed to plateau several months ago...and then having the terrible diarrhea rear its head the past couple weeks and my hours are completely flipped again...felt like I was going backwards and getting worse...well, that really got me down.

I think what the issue is...well, I know what it is...expectations.  Having the expectation of feeling better and better...of thinking I will get back to my normal pre-cancer chronic pain, diarrhea, and exhaustion--LOL!  But then I feel guilty for being impatient or maybe expecting too much.  It's been since mid-December of last year that I had my last treatment--after which I went through 6 weeks of the really terrible diarrhea.  I saw gradual improvement for around 3 months.  But since then...I've been about the same.  

I kept pushing through to get things done (do--collapse--do--collapse--lol!) thinking I'd gradually find it easier because I'd be getting better and better, right?  Nope.  In fact, pushing through was getting harder and harder.  Doing extra stuff--well, I was getting back to where just doing the essentials was feeling overwhelming again.  Was probably wearing myself out, I suppose.

Trying the fasting 3 days a week (which I did for three weeks) was wanting to try something else--anything else--to try to help with the inflammation from head to toe I still have.  But the fasting may possibly have even contributed to the terrible diarrhea clue, really?  *sigh*  Regardless, I was going backwards.  


I had honestly expected to feel better than I do by now.  I had at least expected to gradually continue to see very slow improvement.  The going backwards...that was the straw.  

The straw.

Kind of broke my heart.

So, I decided I have to change my perspective.  Being an optimist is one thing, but I have always said I'm a realistic optimist.  This might just be about it for me.  This might be my new new level of health and functioning.  Of course, it's possible I may continue to very slowly improve still over time, but it might take a long, long time...if I ever do get much better than this.  I can't count on that, though.  I can't even get rid of shingles pain or a bump on the head.  And my sleep has gone haywire for months now.  This may be the new way of my life.  

It's the expectations of it being different that got me down.  

You hear you are cancer free--you don't have treatments anymore--well, you expect you will gradually get back to feeling more your old self--your pre-cancer self, you know?  


Complaining about still having mucositis, headaches, diarrhea, aching all over worse than before cancer, being unable to sleep or crashing for way long...that is so ungrateful of me.  I feel guilty, you know?

Because I am grateful I have no cancer.  I am grateful to be alive.  I am grateful Dagan and Leah and the boys want me to come and live with them.  I am excited about the new apartment.  I am grateful that when I am dealing with all of these health issues that I am here by myself and am old--so I don't have to worry about a job or a family to take care of.  I am grateful Leah and Dagan help me out when I need it.  I am grateful for Allie to keep me company.  I do know how truly lucky and blessed I am.

I also know I have already had over 20 years of living with chronic pain and all the rest.  I can adjust to living with worse health than I had before.  I am living with it right now.  I am grateful to be here feeling like crap--LOL!  I really truly am.  I just have to stop thinking about and waiting to feel better.  Focus on right now.  Forget about my expectations for improvement.  Forget about my pre-cancer days.  Be kinder to myself right now.  Take it slower.  (Kind of have to--my body is the boss of me.)  What was my word for the year?  Relaxation.  


Okay.  Enough said. :) 


You can see the winner in the voting was left align the paragraphs.  (Well, actually the most votes went to not caring one way or the other--LOL!)  I will do the left align, but my photos will continue to be centered, though.  I do know how to manually shift every photo over to the left, but they automatically show up centered and I am going to leave it at that.  Don't feel like manually dealing with each photo and blogger won't let me try to add them all to the left and write in-between them, even.  I tried that.  So centered photos it is. :)

I did do the Inchies Challenge until I got to #11.  Let's just say #11 was a bit TOO challenging--lol!

6. Knot

7. Touching
8. Box
9. Fern
10. River
Then #11 comes along and I am like--what?!
  "art - poem" ??  
That was so off track from the rest of them...I passed.  I might still do #12--Moon.  Who knows?  I kept getting behind a day on the ten--lol!  Oh well.  It was fun!  [Yes, I did have fun the past two weeks and chuckle at Allie and laughed and had very pleasant days.  Optimists do not give up easily. ;)]

Friday Leah picked me up (boys were with daddy) and I got my stitches out.  Really nice lady who was quite funny, too.  We were cracking each other up. :)  I had asked her if she could try to clean me up because I couldn't see up there.  I thought I could see bloody scabs, but I had washed my hair twice before I came and still couldn't get them out.  Well, turns out they weren't even attached to my scalp anymore.  They were embedded in the stitches and my hair.  

As she was cutting the stitches out, she was saying she'd try hard not to pull any hairs out because I didn't have a lot to spare--ROFL!  True--true!, I said, while she was carefully running chunks of scab down my thin hairs to release them.  I asked her, why do they have all these tall, thin, sexy Swedish women in the movies with long thick blonde hair?  In my family the Swedish women are round and short with thin straight hair and glasses!  Well, they're not even Swedes, she says.  They're actors with dyed blonde hair--LOL!

She cleaned my head up well--and I don't think she even pulled out any hairs--lol!  Was a fun time getting stitches out. :) :)

Leah came in afterwards briefly.  I asked her if she could water the patio planters for me.  (That's how bad a week I was having.)  I did admit to her how down I have been feeling the past couple weeks with my body going backwards.  Not going to do the fasting anymore.  (Well, except for my usual 24 hours or more before appointments.)  At least for now.  Just trying to focus on a different mindset and being content with what is.  So thankful she could water for me.  Just feeling worn out.  

We had extra hugs at the door. :) 

Sunday--McFamily drove down to Minneapolis for their week's vacation!  (And Dagan's heart and pacemaker checkups.)  The boys are going to have so much fun--they all are.  Leah said the boys haven't been for about four years--since before covid.  Liam doesn't remember since he was only 2.  Ian was 5 but doesn't remember a lot.  They're going to have a blast going to a bunch of places.  Then next time they have to go down for just an overnight they'll be able to ask the boys which was their favorite place to go and they can go to that one place for a treat.  Good plan!  I hope she has lots of pictures to share next week. :)

Well, that's about it.  I didn't even take many pictures.  This is how Allie and I spent a lot of the week--hanging out on my big comfy chair. 
Was a somber, contemplative week, I guess.  If I am ever down I have to dig down and figure out why.  Just me.  Sorry to dump it on you, but that's life.  Sometimes it just weighs you down.  Pain by itself can weigh you down.  It's been a long...well, last few years.  

At least I have previously lived through a lot in my lifetime and know this will pass.  I will be okay.  I'll figure it out--how to live the best way I can with whatever life hands me.  You know me.  It's not what happens to you in your life, it is how you live through it.  Truly.

I do feel guilty for even bringing it anyone.  I know I sound ungrateful, but I'm not.  People can feel opposite things at the same time.  Truth is just truth.  That's how I've been feeling recently.  Grateful and yet kind of beaten down.  

I always bounce back.  Life is too short...and there are too many wondrous things about being here to dwell on the negative stuff, right?
So, till next week, my friends.  Thanks for listening.  Keep smiling!  Be grateful.  Things could always be worse, as my Swedish relatives used to say.  ROFL!  ;)