ILLNESS & Physical Complaints

I haven’t been doing much in the line of writing and especially scrapbooking lately; for quite a while actually. I have Lupus or SLE. That and my husband’s illnesses seem to have been taking up quite a bit of space in my life. 

When Spring arrived this year, all I wanted to do was get some yard work done and make it look like a place where there wasn’t a crazy cat lady. We have 2 medium to large dogs, requiring a beware of dogs sign, but there’s not much I can do about that. They just don’t make signs that say, Please don’t let our dogs out” or “Their bark is much worse than their bite.” 

With the irony that seems to be so much a part of my life, all of that being out of doors began to make my Lupus flare up. I became ill and have had pretty bad rashes most of the Spring and Summer. I had to start hiring out part of the work outdoors to get it accomplished. And the coveted shady spot/patio I wanted around on the side yard, hasn’t gotten much use. Every time I get outside, I have another flare up. Que Sera Sera.

One thing I have learned is what family and friends truly are. The word for all others is pseudo. 

As of late, I am feeling compelled to write again, and since I have a terrible rash and have also recently started back on Lupus medications, I thought I would include some quotes about illness in this post.

“Others imply that they know what it is like to be depressed because they have gone through a divorce, lost a job, or broken up with someone. But these experiences carry with them feelings. Depression, instead, is flat, hollow, and unendurable. It is also tiresome. People cannot abide being around you when you are depressed. They might think that they ought to, and they might even try, but you know and they know that you are tedious beyond belief: you are irritable and paranoid and humorless and lifeless and critical and demanding and no reassurance is ever enough. You’re frightened, and you’re frightening, and you’re “not at all like yourself but will be soon,” but you know you won’t.”
― Kay Redfield JamisonAn Unquiet Mind

 

“The lotus is the most beautiful flower, whose petals open one by one. But it will only grow in the mud. In order to grow and gain wisdom, first you must have the mud — the obstacles of life and its suffering. … The mud speaks of the common ground that humans share, no matter what our stations in life. … Whether we have it all or we have nothing, we are all faced with the same obstacles: sadness, loss, illness, dying and death. If we are to strive as human beings to gain more wisdom, more kindness and more compassion, we must have the intention to grow as a lotus and open each petal one by one. ”
― Goldie Hawn

“Whatever condition we are in, we must always do what we want to do, and if we want to go on a journey, then we must do so and not worry about our condition, even if it’s the worst possible condition, because, if it is, we’re finished anyway, whether we go on the journey or not, and it’s better to die having made the journey we’re been longing for than to be stifled by our longing.”
― Thomas BernhardConcrete

A lot of people don’t realize that depression is an illness. I don’t wish it on anyone, but if they would know how it feels, I swear they would think twice before they just shrug it.

Jonathan Davis

Even if you have a terminal disease, you don’t have to sit down and mope. Enjoy life and challenge the illness that you have.

Nelson Mandela

This one cracks me up every time I read it. I’m pretty sure that everyone I know is a little off.

The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four Americans is suffering from some form of mental illness. Think of your three best friends. If they’re okay, then it’s you.

Rita Mae Brown
Realize that illness and other temporal setbacks often come to us from the hand of God our Lord, and are sent to help us know ourselves better, to free ourselves of the love of created things, and to reflect on the brevity of this life and, thus, to prepare ourselves for the life which is without end.
Saint Ignatius
Scientists have demonstrated that dramatic, positive changes can occur in our lives as a direct result of facing an extreme challenge – whether it’s coping with a serious illness, daring to quit smoking, or dealing with depression. Researchers call this ‘post-traumatic growth.’

Jane McGonigal

I believe I am going through Post Traumatic Growth. I just didn’t have a name for it.

My illness has taught me something about the nature of humanity, love, brotherhood and relationships that I never understood, and probably never would have. So, from that standpoint, there is some truth and good in everything.

Lee Atwater

Some days, 24 hours is too much to stay put in, so I take the day hour by hour, moment by moment. I break the task, the challenge, the fear into small, bite-size pieces. I can handle a piece of fear, depression, anger, pain, sadness, loneliness, illness. I actually put my hands up to my face, one next to each eye, like blinders on a horse.

Regina Brett

I saw this one on Pinterest. It pretty much sums me up.

 

Yes, I pray that God removes my pain one day…But even more than that, I pray for the strength
to endure it, the grace to benefit from it, and the willingness to let God use it however
He sees fit in order to bring Glory to His perfect kingdom.

Don’t let what you can’t do interfere with what you can do. –Anonymous
“Don’t pray for an easy life. Pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.”–Bruce Lee
When nobody else celebrates you, learn to celebrate yourself. When nobody else compliments
you, then compliment yourself. It’s not up to other people to keep you encouraged. It’s up
to you. Encouragement should come from the inside. –Joel Osteen
I have very little trouble with that , due in part to being a very introspective and introverted person. It’s also due in part to my father telling me, that nobody was better than me, they all put their pants on one leg at a time. And teaching me that God has a plan and a purpose for each of us before we are even born.
“The more serious the illness, the more important it is for you to fight back, mobilizing all your resources-spiritual, emotional, intellectual, physical.”
–Norman Cousins“Sickness shows us what we are”–Latin Proverb“A wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings, and learn how by his own thought to derive benefit from his illnesses.”
–Hippocrates
“The question is not how to survive, but how to thrive with passion, compassion, humor and style.” ~ Maya Angelou”Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.” ~ Lord Byron”Pain is inevitable, but misery is optional. We cannot avoid pain, but we can avoid joy.” ~ Tim Hansel

“The strongest people are not those who show strength in front of us but those who win battles we know nothing about.”

“Every time you find some humor in a difficult situation, you win.”

The day I lose my sense of humor, pick out my coffin.

“So this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.” ~ “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”

“Everyday courage has few witnesses. But yours is no less noble because no drum beats for you and no crowds shout your name. ” ~ Robert Louis Stevenson (who himself suffered with poor health)

“I made it! …out of bed today.” ;)

 

WordPress seems to be causing some formatting issues with the spacing between these quotes, but I’m just going to roll with it.

Music In My Life

Recently, I have been listening to A LOT of music on the internet. If I am on my laptop, I have
headphones on.

Music has always been a huge part of my life. When I was little, I learned to sing
with my family. We would sing gospel hymns. I had a couple of great aunts on my Dad’s
side of the family, who would come over to my grandparents house and all of my grandfather’s brothers
and sisters played instruments and sang. So, some of my earliest memories are of singing with at
least my grandpa and usually my first cousin.

Sometimes, when I visited my maternal grandparents we would sing too. And my parents had an
extensive collection of gospel and country music albums. Dad had them on cassette tapes
that we listened to in the car, and usually sang along.

I grew up in the 70’s and listened to Donny Osmond, The Partridge Family, and The Jackson
Five when I was little. But I had older friends who listened to more advanced forms of Rock.
I was listening to Aerosmith by the time I was seven or so.

By the time I was in Junior High, I had advanced almost exclusively to Rock and preferably
Hard Rock. But I also had a Disco phase. We had a local disco that had a night every week
that was for under 18. That didn’t last long after they had a serial rapist grabbing girls
in the parking lot.

When my children were born, I spent a great deal of time singing to them. Both my son and daughter
seemed to have inherited my love for music and I never attempted to censor what they listened to.
We did have a great many discussions about the particular views and attitudes that artists gave
voice to in their songs.

When my grandson was born, I sang to him too. I was as apt to sing along to Audioslave or Godsmack
when I was rocking him as I was to sing You Are My Sunshine to him.

Now, I am sliding down the backside of 40, well on my way to 50 and I still prefer Hard Rock
and Alternative Music. Most of my kids friends find that remarkable, but it seems pretty
normal to me. I am not too old to like Nine Inch Nails, and Alice in Chains.

I have playlists with names like, Pissed Off, and Sad Stuff. Because it depends on what kind of mood
I am in, what I listen to. I listen to angry music when I am angry, because rather than making
me more angry, it seems to help me get it out of my system.

I thought I would post some of my favorite quotes about music. I hope you find some of them
inspiring.

“Without music, life would be a mistake.”–Friedrich Nietzsche

“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.”–Bob Marley

“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent.”–Victor Hugo

“After silence, that which comes the nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”–Aldous Huxley

This one is why I don’t like country music, and why I never encouraged my kids to listen to it. Well that, and because I didn’t want them to think men were supposed to get drunk and then go down to the barn and have sex with their best friend’s wife.

“People worry about kids playing with guns, and teenagers watching violent videos; we are scared that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands – literally thousands – of songs about broken hearts and rejection and pain and misery and loss.”
― Nick Hornby, High Fidelity

“If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:
THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
WAS MUSIC”
― Kurt Vonnegut

“To stop the flow of music would be like the stopping of time itself, incredible and inconceivable.”
― Aaron Copland

“Who hears music, feels his solitude
Peopled at once.”
― Robert Browning, The complete poetical works of Browning

“A painter paints pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence.”
― Leopold Stokowski

“He who sings scares away his woes.” ~Cervantes

There’s music in the sighing of a reed;
There’s music in the gushing of a rill;
There’s music in all things, if men had ears:
Their earth is but an echo of the spheres.
~Lord Byron

This one reminds me of singing with my family, as a child.

“There is nothing in the world so much like prayer as music is.” ~William P. Merrill

I have heard so many times in my life that this or that music was from the devlil
and would make you corrupt and go to hell because you listened to it. Evidentally Thoreau
did not believe that people learned all that much from music.

“Men profess to be lovers of music, but for the most part they give no evidence in their opinions and lives that they have heard it.” ~Henry David Thoreau

“[An intellectual] is someone who can listen to the “William Tell Overture” without thinking of the Lone Ranger.” ~John Chesson

“Music has been my playmate, my lover, and my crying towel.” ~Buffy Sainte-Marie

“Music is what life sounds like.” ~Eric Olson

“Some guy said to me: Don’t you think you’re too old to sing rock n’ roll?

I said: You’d better check with Mick Jagger.”
― Cher

“The lions of hard rock, guys like Robert Plant, Roger Daltrey, Brian Johnson, Rob Halford, these monsters feel completely timeless, iconic, eternal. They simply shall not, will not, do not die. It’s almost impossible to imagine a musical world without Robert Plant. No metal fan of any stripe can imagine a day when, say, Iron Maiden shuts it all down because Bruce Dickinson turned 85 and suddenly can’t remember the lyrics to “Hallowed Be Thy Name.” Metal revels in the raw energy and unchecked phantasmagorical ridiculousness of youth. It is all fire and testosterone and rebellious fantasy. It doesn’t go well with reality.

So it is for hard rock and a guy like Dio, an elfin titan with an undying love for lasers and sorcery, dragons and kings. The man wrote some terribly corny metal songs, but he sang every one with a ferocity and love and total honesty. He also wrote some of the finest hard rock melodies of all time, sang them with a precision and love unmatched by any hard rock singer since. It’s a rare thing to give metal some heartfelt props. It is time. Raise your devil horns and salute.”
― Mark Morford

“Girls have got balls. They’re just a little higher up, that’s all.”
― Joan Jett

“My my, hey hey, Rock and Roll is here to stay.”–Neil Young

“They’d say “if ya play the record backwards, you can hear evil tings like grrrr!” and I would think, “Jeez, I didn’t know the devil sounded like that. I thought he was coherent, like the rest of us.”–Brian Johnson of ACDC – 2001

“Just because I cut the heads off dolls doesn’t mean I hate babies, I just hate dolls.”–Alice Cooper – 2003

“Some girl asked me for an autograph and I asked her why, she said because she admires me. I said she should see a shrink. Then she started crying and I started laughing.”–Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue’s – 2007

“We’ve all got out self-destructive bad habits, the trick is to find four or five you personally like the best and just do those all the time.”–David Lee Roth of Van Halen – 1980

“I love you all; I love you more than life itself, but you’re all fucking mad.”–Ozzy Osbourne to his family – 2002

“Life sucks, but in a beautiful kind of way.” –Axl Rose of Guns ‘N’ Roses – 1998

Traditional Irish Food, Soda Bread and Corned Beef Alternative

In case anyone is interested in having some traditional Irish food on Saturday, here are a couple of recipes.

IRISH SODA BREAD

4 Cups of all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
3 TBS. sugar
4 TBS cold butter
1 3/4 cups of buttermilk
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly grease and flour a round cake pan. Or use nostick.

Combine all dry ingredients in pan.Using a mixer, a pastry fork or blender, or your fingers, cut in the butter until it’s evenly distributed and no large chunks remain. Whisk together egg and buttermilk in separate bowl.

Make a well in center of dry ingredients and add buttermilk and egg mixture. Stir to form sticky dough. If it’s too crumbly to form together, add another tablespoon or two of buttermilk at a time. Place on floured surface and lightly knead a few times.

Shape into a round ball and then flatten the ball and cut  a cross in the top of dough with a knife. The closest a person can come to the traditional pan, is to put another cake pan over the top as a lid.

Bake 30 minutes. Remove the top pan and bake another 15 minutes.

Cover the bread with a damp cloth to keep it from drying out. Or if it gets eaten as fast as it does at our house. Spread some butter on the top of it.

Traditional Irish Soda Bread does not have eggs, or sugar in it, and if youadd currants or raisins to this, it is basically scones.

If you can’t find a corned beef, and you don’t have 3 weeks to do it yourself, here is a recipe for an alternative.

BRINED BEEF

1 gallon of water
1 cup of kosher salt (1/2 cup table salt)
1 cup of brown sugar or molasses

Take the large stockpot and place the beef inside. If there is not at least an inch of water covering the meat, mix up another half a gallon of water, with the salt and sugar measurements at half and pour over meat until it is an inch above the meat. Heat the brine water until boiling point is reached or until all of the salt is dissolved. Remove the brine water from the heat and allow to cool.

Once cooled and if the beef is not completely covered, add further cold water until it is completely submerged. Place a cover over the container and place it in the refrigerator. Allow the beef to tenderize for up to 12 hours. After the 12 hours, remove the beef from the container and thoroughly rinse.

Discard the brining solution; this will not be suitable for use. The total preparation time of the brining recipe is 1 hour. Proceed to cook as you normally would a roast.

This works for other meats, like turkey. And meat that has been marinated this way is excellent on the grill. You can also add herbs and spices like Bay leaves, Pickling spices, cloves, garlic, thyme, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, paprika, Onion, Chilies, Peppercorns. Poultry seasoning is good for turkey.

The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas covered planet going around a nuclear fireball 90 million miles away and think this to be normal is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be.
– Douglas Adams, 1952 – 2001

Why do some insist upon doubting the existence of our Creator?

The fact that we live at …

March Weather and Rain

Yesterday was such an unexpectedly warm day for March. Spring appears to be
coming a little early this year. The temperatures were actually much more
like summer, near 80 degrees.

Today, the difference is dramatic. Rain, rain and more rain. I received these
quotes concerning rain in me inbox. They had a rather profound effect on me.

At once I felt, both uplifted and dejected after reading them; particularly after
reading the one by W.Somerset Maugham.

However you feel about rain, read these and then go to your window, watch the
rain and see if your perspective is changed.

Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
– Susan Ertz., 1894 – 1985

The rain fell alike upon the just and upon the unjust, and for nothing was there a why and a wherefore.
– W. Somerset Maugham, 1874 – 1965

Methought it lessened my esteem of a king, that he should not be able to command the rain.
– Samuel Pepys, 1633 – 1703

It’s raining again and once again I have had to put the studies I started to one side…. I am witnessing a complete transformation taking place in Nature, and my courage is failing as a result.
– Claude Monet, 1840 – 1926

If I were running the world I would have it rain only between 2 and 5 a.m. Anyone who was out then ought to get wet.
– William Lyon Phelps, 1865 – 1943

I see no wisdom in saving up indignation for a rainy day
– Heywood Hale Broun, 1918 – 2001

Journaling Inspiration?

I sometimes have so much bottled up inside of me and so many simultaneous trains of thoughts that I have no idea where to begin when I want to journal.

I recently found a good website for inspiration. There are good suggestions here whether you journal in the traditional manner, or you journal for scrapbooking.  http://debbiehodge.com/2012/03/keep-a-5-year-journal-progress-to-date-and-prompts-for-april/

There are suggestions here for 365 days of the year.