Tag Archives: Monday

This Tree

“I read the news today, oh boy” (McCartney/Lennon)

Every morning while we sit drinking our coffee, W and I trade interesting or funny or unbelievable crap we read about on our different news feeds.  Sometimes it’s really entertaining tuning in to the next instalment of the current gong show going on in our neighbouring country.  Sometimes it’s downright frightening.  I’m afraid that all the attention, no matter how negative, simply feeds the beast.  I’m afraid we all might soon be buried alive in alternative facts (a new and improved name for bullshit). I’m afraid there might be some devious method to their madness, piling it on so high and so deep that we lose the will to claw our way out from underneath it.

So in the interests of not feeding the beast (while at the same time not turning my back on him either) here is a slide show of our wintry ice-foggy  backyard.

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I snuck in a couple of shots of my bad hair day to show you how I am becoming one with nature.  By resembling a half dead tree.  Or something way more poetic than that.  This awesome big old tree is the same one in which my sisters grandson discovered an alligator nest last fall.  We had no idea it was harbouring such an amazing thing. Around Christmas time this same grandson explained to his grandma how he could recognize Frosty from the other snowmen by the brown hammer in his mouth. For sure this boy is going places.

I hope gazing at this tree with its magnificent icy alligator nest sheltering branches towering above the other frozen things in our yard on this cold grey January Monday gives you a brief respite from whatever doom and gloom crap is taking up valuable space in your brain.

If not, here’s something completely different.  Not all news is bad.

Family of boy in Justin Trudeau town hall photo to name baby after prime minister

My Blood Just Might Be Slightly More Interesting Than Yours

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Vast knowledge makes you strong.  A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.  My dad used to say that last bit.  And it follows that if you believe something, it is very real in its consequences.  So if I believe my left foot is possessed by satan I might be inclined to cut it off.  Even though my original notion was probably wrong, I still end up hopping about on one foot.

I’m sure there’s a miraculous point in there somewhere, although it could be simply a tangent my brain took off on when I remembered my great love of medical dictionaries and encyclopedias in my youth.  Those books have been replaced by Google.  I had a mothers medical book when my kids were small and was able to diagnose them with every childhood affliction going.  Now there are millions of new conditions so I have great empathy for todays parents and their boggled minds.

I still research diseases and random symptoms and come to wild conclusions.  Then I go to a real doctor to be assured that I am not in immediate danger of dropping dead.  So far they have all been very accommodating.

The condensed version of my medical history is just as likely to lull you in to a coma as the detailed one, so I will skip over both of them and jump right to the diagnosis.  IgG4.

Yes, of course, I could not have something mundane and ordinary.  IgG4 is a rare systemic fibro-inflammatory disorder.  Here is what I know about it, even though I have googled these facts and realize you are not supposed to blindly believe everything you google.  Hasn’t stopped me yet.

Immunoglobulin G is an antibody found in blood and extracellular fluid which controls infection of body tissues.

By binding many kinds of pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, and fungi, IgG protects the body from infection, neutralizes toxins and helps maintain food tolerance by the immune system.

Inflammation is a result of infection.  

Okay.  The original specialist I saw no doubt said all this to me because he wrote it all in a report which I didn’t see until very recently.  Two years later.  All I heard was NOT CANCER blah blah blah.  He said he didn’t know the cause of the infection or the inflammation, gave me heavy-duty antibiotics and then a course of prednisone, and since neither made any difference suggested we forget about it.

The inflammation never went away so my doctor and I thought a follow-up visit in a little over a year would be a good idea.  Same clinic, different doctor, and it’s like he never read my file and started over again with all the same tests.  Eventually he didn’t know what to do with me next and referred me to a lung specialist.  I learned more in that one visit to them than I figured out from him in six months.  They are the ones who showed me the original doctors report.  They sent me for blood tests and then referred me to a hematologist.  I saw her on the 3rd of August and she was wonderful, even though she sent me to a lab to have seven more vials of blood taken so they can analyze the hell out of it.

Her diagnosis, unless she finds anything new, IgG4.  Treatment for now – none.  Steroids could cause more problems than they solve so no point in going that route yet.

The inflammation hasn’t spread much except to a lymph node behind my esophagus and a couple in my lungs.  Any organ in the body could be affected.  It seems to be a little unpredictable.  Fibrosis is a possibility.  Not a lot of studies have been done on this yet and there are differing opinions. But really, I am done losing sleep over it.  Skin rashes and thyroid problems and type 2 diabetes are all related and I remember saying once I thought whatever was going on was a systemic thing and holy crap, I was right.  Maybe everything is systemic, I don’t care, I still think I’m smart.

On Wednesday I’m going to see a dermatologist on the hematologists recommendation.  Then I would like to do what the original specialist suggested and forget about it.

How’s that for a plan.

 

Art du Jour 30

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I wonder why I can’t see the things that are wrong with a drawing until I take a photograph of it.  By that point I usually don’t care enough to go back and fix it up.  Some of my fix ups have been disastrous, so I’m trying to learn to just leave well enough alone and try harder next time.

This one is all about the smirk.  Or sucking on ice cubes,  I can’t decide.

It’s still cold here.  But it’s still January, isn’t it?  The daylight is increasing in little leaps but no bounds yet.  Soon the lack of sufficient lengths of it will no longer be a valid excuse for whatever you’re trying to get yourself out of, or merely put off, which in my case is painting something on a canvas.  That’s two very awkward sentences in a row!  Fix them up for me, would you?

It’s getting dark and I’m hungry.  This has been the worst Art commentary ever.  I’ll try harder next time.

December It Is

Well look at me. I was going to take a well-earned day off from posting, but then I remembered that every day is a day off for me and do I really need to spend any of these days doing ABSOLUTELY nothing? Or could I just put that off until tomorrow or some other day.

And then as I was wasting time on Facebook looking at pages that I’ve liked in the past but which never ever come up on my news feed, I came across the following interesting thought-provoking stuff.

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Plus W mixed me a spiced rum and orange juice.  So I’m not completely responsible.

Back to the drawing board tomorrow.

Art du Jour 13

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It’s more challenging to attempt some kind of expression than to draw a simply placid, pleasant, symmetrical face.

This could be the concentration it takes to whistle, or to pucker up on New Years Eve, but the fact that her eyebrow is raised and the other side of her face is frowning suggests skepticism to me.  (Really?  You seriously think I’m buying this?  Nooooo……)

Our tv guy is here. The sun is shining.  I’m off to see my ENT doctor this afternoon to give him this look if he still doesn’t know what’s up with my immune system.  Just another manic Monday.

By the way, I do have the peculiar talent of being able to raise my left eyebrow independently of the right.  The right eyebrow though won’t do anything on its own.

Have a write- happy day.

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Art du Jour 2

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I have a deep respect for anyone who can look at a face and draw it and end up with it looking like the face they’re looking at. My results always resemble distant relatives. If not complete strangers.  So I’ve learned to like surprises.

This morning the ground is covered in snow and it’s still falling in big fat white flakes.  A man with a black umbrella walks his little dog on the slushy sidewalk.  Our neighbour returns from his daily trip to Tim Hortons but he won’t be sipping his morning coffee on the deck today.  Kids on their way to school saunter by with snow on their backpacks and their hatless heads.  Tough northern teens too hardy and cool to care about frozen fingers and frost-bitten ears.  Who would not be caught dead with an umbrella.

Big plans for the day – fill up the bird feeders for the blue jays, finally go through my ancient paints and discard the ones that are old and dried up and useless.  Make a list of what needs to be replaced.  Pay some bills. Try not to die from all the excitement.  Stay warm.

Hello First Monday in October

Ha! Just showing you I figured out what day it is.

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Watercolor inspired by a Pinterest pin, so not exactly original. Okay, not original at all, but it is my painting and my photo. Let’s just call it “bird with killer eyelashes” and file it under P for practice.

This morning I looked at my calendar, located Monday, and marvelled that it was already the 8th of October.  Except that it’s not.  Time stands still when you neglect to flip your calendar.  Yep, STILL stuck on September.

So that’s been rectified.  Yay me.  We’ve had guests this past week, including this lovely lady.  october 004She’s not that spooky in real life.

On the weekend we removed a very old hide-a-bed from our spare room and replaced it with a queen Ikea bed.  It was either that or risk inflicting back problems and insomnia on everyone concerned.  I suppose we could have opted for something more expensive and comfortable (although even a straw mattress on the floor would probably have been an improvement) but this way no one will be tempted to over stay their welcome, right?   Come to think of it, my cooking might have that problem covered already.

Also this morning, on the 6th, not the 8th, I donned my  long neglected running shoes (which I had to rummage around in the closet to find) and went for a walk.  No one is more surprised by this than me.  It’s a gorgeous fall day!  Sunny and windy and warm.

october 019october 008I saw a lot of trees.  But not one of those painted birds.  A chickadee flew right past my head into a spruce tree and refused to come out and strike a pose for me.  Nevertheless,  the wind and the sun and the fresh air and sunshine blew the cobwebs out of my blogging brain and this mish-mash of a post is the result.

It includes everything but the kitchen sink and a recipe.  I’ll fix the recipe part of that by giving you a list of smoothie ingredients:

  • blueberries
  • fennel
  • cucumber
  • spinach
  • kale
  • apple
  • lemon
  • banana
  • avocado
  • cinnamon
  • ginger
  • turmeric
  • coconut water

Yes, I drank that, and yes, I am still alive.  It tasted great, even with the cucumber, which normally I find remarkably yech and try to avoid,  but mixed up with all the other stuff it’s barely discernible.  The only good cucumber is a pickled one.  (Pickles in a smoothie??  Huh.  Maybe not.)

And on that note, adieu for today.  Tomorrow I might be more focused, but I’m not making any promises.

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I call this “Dead Grass and New Growth in the Autumn Sunshine Along a White Picket Fence”. Anything can be art as long as you give it a long enough name.

 

Rainy Days and Mondays

011This picture was taken a couple of days ago when the sun was shining, the sky was a beautiful blue filled with fluffy clouds, and I thought W would like to see what the neighbors new fence looks like.  For which we owe him half of whatever it cost.  W is off to his island again for most of the summer, sending me texts and drinking rum.  And fishing.  Let’s not forget all that fishing.

Today the sun is shining somewhere else.  The sky is a thick grey blanket.  It’s spitting rain.  It’s Monday.  I have to go to work.  Talk about your double-double whammy.  For now I don’t have Mondays off anymore.  My schedule has always been at the whim of circumstance and a boss who schedules our lives like it’s some kind of random crap shoot.  Sundays, Thursdays and Fridays are now my days off.  Now that I’ve put that in writing it’s likely to change completely before the month is over.

Do you ever feel like the only reason you can live through something is because you know it will eventually end?  That it won’t last forever? Must be the gloomy day talking.  I have about a hundred and thirteen days to go before retirement.  Give or take ninety if I decide to work until my license expires on December 31st.  I am old and tired and would like to have EVERY day of the week off.  I read three posts the other day by three different bloggers who all used the tag ‘aging’.  It’s nice to know I’m not alone in my feelings about this process.  I don’t like knowing there are things I just can’t do anymore.  I thought I would age gracefully but often I’m just cranky and sad about it all.

So it’s time to bring Jazzy back and live vicariously through her eternal optimism and snark.  Maybe some of it will rub off on me.  Yes, I’m being completely weird because she can’t say anything if I don’t make her say it.  Poor thing.  I love this thing going around Facebook where people do 100 days of Happiness and write some happy thing every day.  What a great way to be grateful and recognize the good things in your life.

Stay tuned for “Jazzy Does Happiness” from whenever I start until the day I kiss work goodbye.  It’s looking like the end of September.  I can stay happy until then or die trying.  God, I hope I don’t die trying.