When I was a teenager, like many teenagers, I always wanted something in the future. I couldn’t wait until I was 16, I couldn’t wait until I was a senior, I couldn’t wait until I was finally out of high school — as if a few months would magically cure whatever issues I was having. My stepmother used to caution me to quit wishing my life away.
In recent years, when I’ve been recovering from major surgery, I’d wish for “next week” when I’d be stronger and more healed.
After more than 60 days of 100+ heat, I was commenting to one of my coworkers how I wished it were December. Not only would the days be cooler, a major project would have crossed a significant milestone, and I could look forward to some time off around the holidays. I told her what my stepmother had said, but that right then, I’d be happy to trade both September and October in order to just get closer to December.
The same day, I got my new 2012 calendar. Being the anal-retentive, micro-managing control freak that I am, I really love these calendars. Each page is not only a calendar, it is a pocket folder. I use mine at home. When I pay a bill, I just stick it in the calendar pocket and at the end of the month, I have all my filing done and ready to stick in the file drawer. (You can find these at a lot of retail outlets and at calendar.com.)
There’s something exciting about a new calendar, a new year. I look at those blank pages and wonder what the year will bring. What new adventures, (new doctor appointments), and events I’ll record on those pages. 2012 truly is a blank page ready to be transformed.
And while I believe in making the most of today, I am very tired of 2011. It is a hot, worn-out year and I’m ready to tuck it into its place in history and start anew.
I hope whatever is on your calendar today brings a smile. Thanks for checking in.
I spent a few minutes going through RA Guy’s Super Hero Wall of Fame today. I was struck by the tremendous diversity of the people who have posted their profiles there — young, old, male, female, foreign and domestic.
I was also struck by how the people described themselves (and am often struck by the same impression when I read the “about” pages on blogs). It’s not like an AA meeting where everyone stands up and says, “Hi, I’m [insert name] and I am an alcoholic.” Rather most descriptions talk about people’s lives and then, oh yeah, I also have RA/Fibro/etc.
I think it’s a powerful thing that so many people use RA in the description of themselves, but do not see themselves as being defined by it. It’s never, “I am an RA sufferer who is also a mother/teacher/fireman/Indian chief.” It is always, “I am a mother/teacher/fireman/Indian Chief and I have RA.”
Life comes first, RA comes second.
I hope that happiness and health are in your description of your life today. Thanks for checking in.
Yesterday was my check up with my rheumatologist. I actually like going to see her because she takes time to talk to me and listens to my issues. Rather than try to explain to her how I was feeling with the addition of Arava (feeling better, but fatigue was kicking my butt) I drew a graph that showed how much I had improved and that the “swings” between Enbrel injections had gotten better. There was a second line that showed “fatigue” falling off the charts. So she’s added folic acid to my mix with the goal of helping the fatigue and other side effects from the Arava. I took folic acid when I was on MTX, so hopefully, this will be helpful this time as well.
But the big news is that (cross my fingers) I can say “bye, bye!” to the bursitis in my left hip that has been bothering me since last fall. On occasion, it would get better, but it would never quite resolve itself. Then recently I have also been having issues where the IT band connects to the knee, which can also be related to the bursitis in my hip. So at yesterday’s appointment, my rheumy gave me a steroid injection. I hate getting those things, but when they work, they work wonders and I’m pleased to report that this morning, for the first time in many long months, no hip or knee pain.
Let’s just hope it lasts.
I hope things are looking up in your world as they are in mine. Thanks for checking in.
I have to admit that I’m not a very nuturing person. I’m sure there are numerous reasons for this, none of which we’ll go into here. Suffice it to say that when I’m feeling really compassionate about someone who’s not feeling well, I’ll email them a picture of two aspirin and tell them to call me when they feel better.
Fortunately, not everyone is like me.
And for those of you who have taken the time to send me words of comfort and encouragement, I just want to say a very sincere “thank you.” It truly means a lot.
The last time I did any serious landscaping was a few years ago. I don’t remember the year, but I remember distinctly it was March. You know, March in Dallas? That beautiful time of year where the temperatures are reaching into the 70’s and we get our spring rains? Perfect for planting?
I have pictures of my new shrubbery covered in snow.
So when I landscaped this year — replacing my dead grass with new sod and ivy and planting new bushes — I waited a bit later. Now of course, we’re about to reach 20 straight days of >100 degree weather with no rain in sight.
(I have this same sense of timing with the stock market and real estate …)
With new sod, I’m having to water my yard every day. (Actually, I run the sprinklers at night so the water doesn’t just turn to steam before it hits the grass.) And the yard guys haven’t mowed yet because they want to make sure the sod is well established before they do that. So while I’m surrounded by a neighborhood of withering lawns, I have this verdant carpet of grass about 4 inches high.
There is a real plus to all this — my yard is starting to look like Noah’s Ark. We’ve always had a lot of birds and other critters around our yard, partly I think because we don’t have dogs or cats that chase them away. But now that I’m pouring my life savings into watering my lawn, the animal population has exploded, being drawn to the cool, moist area. Mockingbirds and blue jays and robins (oh, my!) and flickers and grackles and white wing doves. I have squirrels skittering through my hedges and this morning I nearly tripped over a bunny on my way out to pick up the paper. At night there are possums and raccoons. (Those are all okay — it’s the snakes and skunks that I hope stay away.)
If we ever do get any rain, be sure and tell Noah where all his animals are …
Hoping your day is filled with sunshine (and not too much heat). Thanks for checking in.
I almost missed it! Today is my three-year blogaversary (274 posts later).
Thanks to all of you who have contributed, supported, read, commented, and made the journey to this point a wonderful experience. I couldn’t have made it this long without you.
A few years ago I held a communications position at one of the country’s largest clothing manufacturers. It was May and the company was ramped up getting orders ready to ship to retailers for the Father’s Day sales. As is often the case in May in Dallas, a tremendous storm came up. The thunderstorm dumped baseball-sized hail and enough rain to drown the city’s storm water system. There was enough rain that the weight of the water collapsed the roof of the company’s headquarters and distribution center — a building about the size of a football field. There were extra people and extra shifts working when it happened. Two people were killed and 12 others were sent to the hospital.
It was a tremendous blow to the company and the communications challenges were enormous.
But the hardest communications piece I wrote was for the CEO to give at the memorial service for the two workers who were killed. They were temporary workers who worked on the line during the night shift. He didn’t know them and felt a bit hypocritical giving a eulogy. But the words I wrote for him talked about people coming together to work toward common goals and how that binds people into a community, into a family. When one of us celebrates, we all share the happiness. When one of us dies, we are all diminished.
I had this same feeling of loss when I heard that RA Superbitch had died.
I didn’t know her. I’ve never met her. But I admired her spunk and her no-holds-barred approach to life. And now that she is gone, I feel diminished by her loss. That edgy, searing element that she added to our orchestra that is the RA blogging community is now forever quiet.
Rest in peace.
First of all, let me state that I am a big fan of Kashi foods and I truly believe that Kashi is sincerely committed to providing food that is good for you, free of synthetic products, and delicious.
Let me also state that I have made it a personal mission to support Chablis producers, so it’s safe to say that I don’t have an issue with [reasonable] alcohol consumption.
I was surprised, however, to see Chablis listed on one of my favorite Kashi frozen dishes. (See post here.)It’s not that I mind, but a lot of people do. And since wheat, peanuts, and other allergens are listed, I wondered why Kashi wouldn’t also list something like “contains trace amounts of wine.” Regardless of whether the alcohol evaporates during the cooking process, there are people with religious or health reasons who would prefer NOT to have any alcohol in the preparation.
So I wrote to Kashi, and I’m delighted to say that I got a wonderful response by email:
Thank you for emailing us about the Chablis used in Kashi® All Natural Frozen Entree Chicken Florentine.
We very much appreciate your concern over this ingredient, and will review your suggestion with our marketing and nutrition labeling team.
Any alcohol from the wine is evaporated during the cooking process, leaving no alcohol in the finished product. -
We have read your blog and shared it with our nutrition labeling team and our marketing team who will take your concerns into consideration.
We appreciate your interest in our company and products.
Best of health,
Now I have no idea whether or not they’ll change their labeling or maybe change their recipe to use broth instead of wine. However, I am impressed that they listened and that they responded. So many companies (who don’t care about their customers like Kashi does) would have either ignored my email or politely told me to go pound sand.
So, Kashi, thanks for listening!
[Disclosure statement: I am not an employee nor do I in any way represent Kashi products nor have I received any compensation for this post.]
Thanks for checking in.
What a great birthday trip to Las Vegas.
Let’s see. First the bad news. (1) We were running really late for our plane going out, got halfway to the airport and my husband realized that he’d left his cell phone at home. Had to turn around and go back. (2) There was a problem with our room that we dealt with most of the afternoon and the hotel finally moved us. (3) We got stuck in an elevator for about 20 minutes. (4) I have blisters on top of my feet from wearing my new spangly Skechers flip-flops; (5) There was a mechanical issue with our plane on the return trip and we spent an extra three (uncomfortable) hours in the airport; (6) One the drive home from the airport, my bottle of water leaked in my tote drenching my laptop, my Kindle, my cell phone, and my leather wallet.
Like I said, we had a great time.
The upgrade gods worked their magic and we got our first-class upgrades on both flights.
The hotel was wonderful — we stayed at the new Cosmopolitan resort which is just beautiful. They’ve got inventive, amazing art sprinkled throughout the hotel which only complements and enhances the amazing interiors. The problem we had with our room was an issue with the safe that they couldn’t get solved so they moved us from our gorgeous “standard” room to an incredible suite that overlooked the Bellagio lake/water show. It had two full baths, a full kitchen with refrigerator, oven, stove, and a washer-dryer. I’ve lived in apartments smaller than that room. The staff at the hotel is the most polite, courteous, and helpful I’ve experienced in a long time, anywhere.
The spa was nice. We switched our massage appointments from Friday afternoon to Thursday afternoon and when we did, the person booked a couples massage instead of two singles. But we managed to straighten it out without t0o much of a problem. The spa was beautifully appointed with sandstone walls and a water feature. If I were picking nits, their lounge area was small and the only refreshments they offered were water and hot herbal tea. Usually in the nicer Las Vegas spas, they offer bottled water, juices, fruits, etc. Also the treatment rooms were upstairs from the wet areas, and climbing a flight of stairs is not (in my opinion) a great way to start a relaxing massage.
The food was incredible. I’m not much of one for buffets, but we decided to eat at the Cosmopolitan’s version — The Wicked Spoon — for brunch on Thursday. It was so great we went back again on Saturday. We also ate at two of José Andrés restaurants — Jaleo and China Poblano. Jaleo is a tapas restaurant and we had quite an array of tasty dishes, the only disappointment was the paella. What we were served was the equivalent of rice and lobster that no self-respecting Spaniard worth his saffron would call a paella. The real high point, though, was Scott Conant’s Scarpetta. I’ve seen Chef Conant on a number of Food Network shows and the word that comes to mind when I think of him is arrogant — even for a celebrity chef. However, his food spoke wonders. Amazing heirloom tomato salads, incredible pasta dish, and I had Branzini (Italian sea bass) and my husband had proscuitto-wrapped pork loin. The service, with the exception of the maitre d’, was professional, helpful, courteous, and attentive. The maitre d’ took arrogance lessons from Chef Conant.
We didn’t do a whole lot except explore the new hotel and get some daily walking in for our “wellness program.” I’m sorry to report that knees, hips, and ankles weren’t the most cooperative so our walking was sprinkled with frequent rest stops, which is not bad, but something that I need to correct.
Probably the most entertaining was getting stuck in an elevator. We met some very nice people from Michigan and California along with some very nervous security guys. The elevator was outdoors and only three stories high — from the sidewalk outside one side of City Center to the pedestrian walkway leading to the Mandarin Oriental. It had glass in the doors so we could see outside and we were only stuck half a floor up, so even if the elevator fell, it wouldn’t have been more than a few bumps and bruises. The weather was (thankfully) unusually cool, so it wasn’t even that warm in the elevator. The security guys got really nervous when I jokingly told them that one of the passengers was a lawyer. (Yes, I really did.) What was really fun was before the security guys showed up, several people pushed the elevator button and were startled that we were stuck. At any rate, we eventually convinced the security guys to see if they could pry the doors open for some ventilation and when they did, that reset whatever was stuck and up we went.
So now it’s back home and back to work. Busy week ahead with looming deadlines and long hours, but a great vacation to start it off.
I hope whatever adventures you’ve had in your life lately were happy ones.
Thanks for checking in.