Showing posts with label Facts of Life Friday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Facts of Life Friday. Show all posts

Friday, November 4, 2011

Facts of Life Friday



Here we are again. I think the combination of not working and the good old "lupus fog" has a tendency to melt all my weekdays together. As I look at my empty pill organizer, I am dumbfounded at how quickly a week passes. As I see my family out the door on Monday mornings, it seems like the week will never end. For those of you in the Monday through Friday work-a-day world....Happy Friday

This week has been a little rough on me. Still moving down on the prednisone dosage - thank goodness - but it sure does cause a bit of a ruckus with my immune system. Hair falling out, painful joints, relentless fatigue, infections, nose sores, mouth sores and plain old feeling like I have the flu are my complaints du jour. 

At first glance, it looked like I was taking a shower with a small squirrel this morning. I marveled at how quickly the shower filled up with water and contemplated the combined strength of hair. Kind of like spider silk, both are made primarily of protein. "Silks tensile strength is comparable to that of high-grade steel and about half as strong as aramid filaments, such as Twaron or Kevlar (3000 MPa)" according to Wikipedia. Maybe I should be saving the stuff. Nope, that's just gross.

To cut down on the accumulation of dust, pet dander and the like, we have decided to pull up all the carpeting upstairs and lay down wood flooring. Right now most of our upstairs is already wood, but this will finish the job off. My husband is wonderful at these sorts of jobs and I can hardly wait to slide across his finished work. But ohhhh....I am so not ready for the mess. I'm sure you'll here about it this next week... 

SO, on with the show!


Fact #1: Dave and I met in the year 2006. We both had been married previously for 22 years. I met him on eHarmony. A fact I always kind of kept to myself. But as time went on, the product proved itself so significantly in our lives that I would actually consider doing one of those sappy commercials. There are no words to describe my love for this man. THIS is the very first picture ever taken of the two of us together. Nice, huh? I could have picked a better one, but it would not have been the "first".


THIS is a more recent picture of Dave and I. It was taken in a studio in northeast Minneapolis during Art-A-Whirl. It's the one and only time that we have been in a show together, Dave with his photography and me with my paintings. It was a spur of the moment thing, neither of us had planned for it. In fact, most of my paintings were years old. But it was a dream come true and I look forward to the day when we can do it again.




Fact #2: I love quirky eclectic coffee shops. We have two that are our favorites. The one to the left is Nina's, in St. Paul, MN. It's hands down THE BEST we have ever been to. An added contributing factor...it's where we hung out together most of the first year we knew each other.

One of the great perks to having a photographer as a husband is that you have your own paparazzi. Dave loves catching me unaware. In this shot (taken the week we met), he had gone outside to take photos and snapped this one of me through the window. I remember the night like it was yesterday. A quiet weeknight, Sneaky Pete playing guitar and Nina's very own blend. These are the memories that fill my heart. 

Our second favorite is Amazing Grace in Duluth, MN. Known for it's AMAZING bread and AMAZING all organic menu, this place sits in the basement level of the historic Dewitt-Seits Marketplace in Canal Park. It's a excellent place to literally hang out all day in. Wonderful local art and a wide variety of musical talent can always be found within. Right outside is where Dave and I would finish Grandma's Marathon. SO many good memories!


Fact#3: This is a photo of my grandmother and I. She taught me everything a girl needs to know in order to manage a loving home and cook a good meal. I have never once heard her raise her voice or talk badly about anyone.
This picture was taken two summers ago during my parent's 50th wedding anniversary celebration. It was a wonderful week of family and fun. Yesterday my grandmother went into the hospital for congestive heart failure and complications from COPD. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. Her name is Ilene.





Fact#4: I love to laugh. I especially love to hear my husband laugh. No matter how tough things get, we can always find something to laugh about. We both have a rather unusual and dry sense of humor. The last time we stayed in Duluth to spend our days at Amazing Grace, we got a really good deal at a fancy hotel. The kind where there's so much complimentary stuff that you can basically leave everything at home. The kind where they have fancy folded toilet paper. Well, I always hate to use that first piece. I've been known to use the tissues provided just to savor the fanciness of it all for a while. So, on this visit, I decided to create my own toilet paper art. Of course, just getting the idea while sitting there doing my job was enough to send me into a fit of suppressed giggles..."Honey, you okay in there?" "YES....fine dear...teeheheheheheh!" So, the next time my husband went in to "do his job, these are what he found. Don't ask...some of them simply fall under the category of "impressionistic modern toilet paper art".



Well, there you have it! Four things you probably did not know about me ten minutes ago! I sure hope you have a good weekend. Be thankful for all you have, smile at someone who really needs it and find the beauty in all that surrounds you. We have only one moment...one life...THIS is most surely a fact!





Friday, October 21, 2011

Facts of Life Friday


On this most frigid fall Friday morning (a whopping 27°F), four fun Friday facts...

This is a day I will forever be thankful for. We were living in Dubuque, IA at the time. My oldest daughter Aleela was less than two years old. She had been playing outside in front of our house on a beautiful Fall afternoon. The yard fenced in, I let her sit out and play by herself quite often. She was playing so sweetly that I decided to snap some pictures of her through the window of our living room. I remember the moment like it was yesterday (now some 23 years later). I was overcome with the feeling that she was unsafe. I set the camera down, walked through the house to the back door, walked along side our home to the front yard and quickly picked her up. Just as I turned around to walk back, a pickup truck smashed into the front of our home. You can see by the post in the second picture, compared to the post in the third picture, the truck landed exactly where she had been sitting. The man driving had suffered a seizure and missed his turn, driving straight through our fence and into our yard. How life could have changed in that instant. How thankful I am that it did not.

This is a picture of Leer Lutheran Church. One of four that my ex-husband and I served in over the 22 years that we were married. It's a chapter of my life that is filled with bitter-sweet memories, but that is a conversation for another day!  Leer Lutheran Church was the first of the four congregations that we served in together, and it will forever hold a very special place in my heart. Some of the most loving people I have ever known fill its pews each Sunday. And although my spirituality has grown in a much different direction, I will carry their example with me for all of my days. Like how to take a two inch slice of homemade bread, top it with butter and freshly canned jelly and cover it with fresh cream....oh yeah. Life at Leer was simple and good.


This is a picture of Emma and Sara, our twins, taken in 1996, less than a week after they were born. They were the last of five daughters, and I have since been blessed with two beautiful step-daughters. (And a granddaughter on the way!) There has been no lack for hormones in our home. This picture is clearly indicative of the personality of each of these girls. Sara, my Type A, borderline OCD child, spends most of her day organizing our days (thank goodness) and fretting over life in general. Emma...well, Emma is just Emma. Much to her sister's chagrin, Emma can cruise through just about anything. They are each other's best friends, and they bring nothing but pure joy into our lives. Those of you old enough to remember The Odd Couple, Sara is most definitely Felix.


This little bugger is the root of all evil...well, maybe not the root of all evil. But it sure feels that way sometimes. In my world, they call it the drug you love to hate. Prednisone is a miracle medication, relieving inflammation, reducing pain, supplying energy to extremely fatigued muscles and bringing back a sense of well being. It heals painful sores, shrinks knuckles and knees back to their normal size and basically makes me feel human again. It also keeps you awake for days on end, makes you think you are starving all the time (hence, unwanted weight gain), increases sweating, creates drastic mood changes, weakens tissues in the body as well as the immune system and causes osteoporosis...to just name a few. It's never a good thing to be on prednisone too long if one can help it. Two years is too long, and so I have once again begun my journey to taper off. I've tried it before, unsuccessfully so, becoming too ill to continue. It takes a long time to get off this medication - months or even years sometimes. I've made my way down from 60mg to 5mg, at which I am now loosing my hair. Keeping my hair is one of the benefits of prednisone for me. Definitely one I am willing to give up so my bones don't break!


So, there you have it!

Keep warm and have a wonderful weekend!!


Friday, September 30, 2011

Facts of Life



I've been doing some thinking about why I blog lately. It's funny, I read a lot of blogs and it seems that it's inevitable that at some point in time, usually every so often, my fellow bloggers seem to revisit this same question. Maybe the answer to this question is easier for some. For example, if I blogged about technology, my direction is pretty clear cut. To talk about what I had for supper last night might loose me a few followers. And gross you out. For some reason - mostly the ones I create inside my head - when I answer that question it gets quite complicated. I originally started blogging on the Friends of Theresa web site so that I could keep friends and family updated in regards to my health. I soon figured out that separating my health from my spiritual life was impossible. So spirituality became a subject. Then I actually started having followers other than my amazing circle of supporters and disease information, common experience and support became topics of interest and reasons to write. Mixed in with all of this is the emotional/psychological benefit of just writing. So quite often I sit here in front of my computer, longing to just write, but somehow wanting to satisfy all of these desires that tug at my heart. If I write about spirituality...well then, I might loose those who have opinions other than mine. This can be a tough one. It's easy to say, "Well...who cares?" Stand up for what you believe in. Well..I care. Not so much what you think of my views, but I care about you. And having an impact, making a difference, somehow making your life just a little bit better for one moment in time means a great deal to me. In the end... like Mother says, you can't always make everyone happy. Believe me, as the mother five daughters and the step-mother of two...I completely understand this concept! Nevertheless, it still causes time for pause - which is exactly what lead me to today.

I have decided that on Fridays I am going to dedicate the blog to divulging interesting little facts about my life. They'll be very random. This give me freedom to break some of my self made constraints. I'll try to mix it up a bit. Some health stuff, some family stuff, some "wow-I-can't-believe-you-just-told-us-that" stuff. Then, if you feel like it, the next part is yours...

I'm gearing up for winter here. It's hard enough, when the weather is good, for me to get out of the house. Winter typically brings with it a bit more "unhealthiness" as well as logistical problems. Actually getting out is just plain painful and difficult. So at the end of Friday Facts of Life, you will have the opportunity to tell me something interesting about YOU! This give me something to do! As well as fill my brain with new and wonderful ideas to write about. See...you have a purpose!!

I'm fully expecting that this idea is going to take some time to catch on. No worry. Whether I hear from you or not, you're still going to hear from me. Because, as mentioned early, it does me good to just write. It's a win/win no matter what!

So...here goes...



 I don’t have a belly button.  Yep, you read that one right! If we were sitting in a room together I would let this one ride for a while before I told you why. I’ve done it before and it’s just too much fun to hear people try to figure out how that happens. I have been known to convince small children that I am an alien, but I’m guessing you are all too smart for that one. The simple answer – after too many abdominal surgeries reconstruction gets a little tricky. There comes a time when you just have to say good-bye. Which I did, after the twins were born. That was in 1996. I’d show you a picture, but…well…maybe not.




I have one brother, no sisters. (I do have six sister-in-laws and two brother-in-laws) He lives in Louisiana, outside of New Orleans, with his wife and three young children. He has three adult children that live in Minnesota - near me - where I can love on them all I want! He’s better than a brother, better than a best friend, and grows dearer to me with each passing second of my life. At almost seven feet tall, he’s my larger than life hero.




One of the issues I deal with because of my autoimmune diseases is peripheral neuropathy. The first indication I had of this was numbness in my hands and feet.  Limited to this, it’s no big deal. But most people don’t realize that these are also the same nerves that control muscles and major body organs. People with this type of nerve damage – like me – can have trouble digesting food, heart problems, bladder problems and issues with sweating.  This is the main reason why I get IVIg infusions every two weeks.



When I was a kid, I used to get a wig every year for Christmas.  Believe me, going back through old pictures is nothing short of hilarious...and a little bit embarrassing. But seriously, look at the examples I had to look up to. I was a bouffant in training. The year after this I was a blond.


I’m a painter. I used to paint mostly botanical stuff. Very fine, detailed watercolor.  Since getting sick, I have ventured into the world of acrylic. Big, messy, bold and beautiful. I love it. I’m still learning. This is a picture of my daughter Anna. She is far from black and white, but the picture was fun to do since she has AMAZING eyes.


So, there you have it. Now...it's your turn!

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Theresa