Wednesday, September 30, 2015

My October List Journal

October is here already - unbelievable! It feels like autumn where I live now - the temperatures have dropped 20 degrees, it has been raining for a couple of days, and the leaves are changing colors. One year, during the time I have lived here, the first snowfall came on October 2nd and the ground was never totally bare again until May. Mercifully, there is no snow in the forecast.

Digression: On September 24, the #listersgottalist challenge was "Best fall memories." While I was writing them down, it dawned on me that every single memory had the same co-conspirator - Patrick was my best friend for the first 22 years of my life, so it is not really a surprise. 

The October's ListersGottaList challenge list arrived yesterday, and the one for tomorrow is "Favorite October memories." While having snowfall on October 2nd is not a favorite memory, it will probably find its way on the list, anyway. 

I have used the same Washi tape to adhere each month's list, because it matches the pencil colors of the logo. I wrap the tape around the edge of the page making it easy to locate the monthly lists. 

Once again, I am using the Susan Branch monthly magnetic list pads as my paper. I do not really have any Halloween stickers or tapes, so I found some Washi and adhesive in black, pink, and orange - the pink is because there is pink in the word "October" on the paper. These are what I picked out.

The little tape dispensers are from a boxed assortment I bought at Target. Honestly, I am not happy with them, but they work okay if I remove the plastic casing and use scissors to cut the pieces with.

I did not use the peace signs (pink dispenser).

I selected black, orange, and rose pink Staedtler Triplus Fineliners for the journaling. I used the pink to write in the dates and the journal prompts, and I will alternate the black and orange from day-to-day.

I like the dachshunds - they look like they are in Halloween costumes. 

Usually, I tape all around the edges, but I really like the stars on this paper's edge. I used tape and not glue, because the glue would have taken longer than I wanted to wait to dry and cause the pages to wrinkle.

One of the reasons I like these challenges is that each person creates their own pages and chooses the way they want them to look. There are pre-printed page headings if desired, and there is a separate list and headings for young ones, too.

If you want to participate, go the website: to sign up and get October's list. 



#listersgottalist #listersgottalistOCT

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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Bullying is NOT Okay

(I realize certain posts are not read as widely as others - by a long shot. However, I think this particular topic is timely, with school in once again.)

When I was a girl, I wanted to take ballet lessons. These were the only dance classes taught in my hometown. The ballet room windows overlooked the arena ice, and I would watch them practice ballet as I practiced figure skating. 

I loved to dance, anyway, and was lucky enough to have one ballet class at age 17. My mother had made friends with a dance teacher in another state, and we were visiting on a class night. (Tooting my own horn, the teacher could not believe it was my first ballet class.) To this day, I love to dance and would love to take classes.

Due to my love of dance, I watch all the dancing shows on television, even "Dance Moms," although I thoroughly dislike Abby Lee Miller's treatment of people. My favorite cast member was Chloe Lukasiak, and I was very unhappy about the bullying she endured from Miss Miller who throws digs at Chloe even now that she has left the show. I now follow Chloe on Twitter and YouTube to watch her dance.

It was on Twitter that I learned that Chloe had to have surgery due to a medical issue that was starting to cause her face to become misshapen. It broke my heart to listen to Chloe talk about the surgery and how even adults had been quite rude about her face. 

Please follow the link to watch Chloe's video and see how much the rude comments hurt her feelings. 

Photo is from the video linked above.
I was the object of bullying as a girl. One third grader started to make my life miserable when I was in first grade. She said I was spreading stories about her, but I had no idea who she even was! She stopped, finally, when I was in fifth grade. I think she felt bad that my father had died; too bad her posse did not feel the same way. Until I graduated, I still dreaded physical education class, because of the locker room - some of the members of my class had joined the posse when we were in elementary school.

As a little figure skater, other older skaters locked me into my skating locker more than once. These are the half-size ones, so it was tight in there. Thankfully, someone would come looking for me and open my locker for me.

Those feelings never leave you. I did my best, as a Girl Scout leader with the Brownie age-level - first through third grade - to stop any bullying behavior I saw. I refused to move to the Junior age-level, though, because I could not tolerate the cliques that formed when the girls moved into third grade. So, I stayed with the little ones, and I led older girls, too - Cadettes, Seniors, and Studio 2-B. (If you have not heard of Studio 2-B, I am not surprised. It only existed for a couple of years.)

As usual, I am up on a soap box. Please, parents, try to teach your child/ren to be kind to each other. Help them to understand that diversity is what makes the world work. I love this piece of dialogue from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991).

I suppose some bullies never grow up, but parents can teach their children from a young age how to treat people. It reminds me of this poem:

Image Source: FineArtAmerica
School is in.



Saturday, September 26, 2015

Creating a Customized Magazine Book and a Vision Journal

Magazines take up space - sometimes, a lot of it. But, do we need to keep the entire magazine? I was thinking about this as I was looking through two organizing magazines. Ironic, huh? I wanted to keep a number of the pages or pieces of pages, but I did not need the entire magazines. The pictures in this post are a mixture from both magazines.

Enter the humble composition book that I paid 25 for at  Wal-Mart last week. Right now, I am not sure I will keep the lime green pattern or cover it with scrapbook paper.

Gather a glue stick, Washi tape, adhesive tape, and a magazine; and it is time to begin. First, I had to decide what parts and pieces I wanted to keep. (I apologize for the light glare on some of the photos.)

First, I pick words from the front cover, including the title. Then, I go through and tear out pages or cut out pieces, collecting them in a clear, plastic zip binder envelope. 

Sometimes, I liked only one hint, so I cut just that hint out.

Or, I will like a page, but the description is on the facing page, so I cut the description out and glue it onto the photo.

Several of the hints I wanted to keep were in text boxes, so these were cut out and trimmed.

When I completed the prep work, I began to tape and/or glue them into the composition book. I started by gluing in the masthead of the magazine and snippets of words without photographs.

I affixed the clippings first by magazine, and then by room. Below is a bathroom on one page and laundry room on the next, followed by a picture of a page with the cut-out description glued onto it, then attached to the book.

The magazine pages are bigger than the composition book, so they have to be trimmed to fit if a whole page is used. For the most part, I cut the pictures out, but for others, I could only cut the edges off. This required me to fold them to fit into the book.

The first picture, I wanted to keep the top of the page, but I was able to cut off some of the bottom. I glued the bottom of the page to the composition book and folded the top over for when the book is closed.

The next couple of magazine pages were a continuation of the same article; I wanted both sides of the page. Therefore, I could not glue the page to the paper. I used Washi tape on both sides to create a hinge so the page could be flipped over.  

It was necessary to keep the page right-side up, because I was keeping more of the page than with the pictures above. Since the bottom of the page above hangs below the bottom of the composition book page, I needed to fold the magazine page up. It was important to stop the Washi before the bottom of the page. 

The next two photographs show how I folded the page up and into the composition book.

Some have clear adhesive tape to make the hinges, because I did not like the way the Washi tape looked.

In one instance, the spread was the left side of the first page, both sides of the next, then the right hand page of a third page. I wanted to keep the pages together, so I glued the third page to the second sheet of paper after hinging the two-sided page. The next picture shows how it looked when finished.

On one page, I really like the colors of the kitchen, but did not keep the blurb pertaining to the page. Since I wanted it for the idea, I decided to put it into my vision/inspiration book. I dated the picture and wrote a note to myself about why it was included in the book. 

It is fun to look back over the last 20 years’ pages to see if and how my tastes have changed over time. 

I also put inspirational quotes into my book.

This final picture shows the difference in size between the composition book and the vision book – an oversized sketch book.

Do you have similar books? Have my ideas inspired you to create books of your own? Please let me know in the comments below.


Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Guilt of Chronic Illness

I just finished reading a blog post written by Chronic Mom entitled, "Chronic illness and feeling body shame." It struck such a chord with me, because I gained 90 pounds over the course of two years (-ish) thanks to a medication I was taking. That medication has been changed and I have lost 10 pounds over the last few months, but it is slow going.

I was overweight while my children were growing up, something I have felt guilty about since the gain started. I felt like I could not be the mother I wanted to be, because the weight held me back. It was worse when I finally reached my goal weight, but the kids had all left home by then. 

Now that my body is in constant pain, that has only increased the guilt - I "do" guilt very well. I wish I had stayed in shape when the kids came, because I cannot do the things now that I could do, or could have done, then, before the pain set in.

I feel betrayed by my body. I was in my mid-40s when it started falling apart and 52 when the multiple diagnoses started. It seems like it has been one thing after another. First, was the fibromyalgia, then the PTSD, next I blew out my knee in 2010 and it has not stopped hurting since. Osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, adult onset scoliosis, a lifetime of major depressive disorder became worse. It has been about three years since I was declared disabled.

I deal with people telling me to get a job. If my disabilities showed themselves with a wheelchair or walker, I doubt they would say the same thing. I finished my education just before the diagnoses began. Do they not think or realize that I would much rather be working than living in chronic pain?

It might sound weird to someone else, but one of the things that bothers me is that I may live the rest of my life alone. Who would want someone with all my problems? I have been single for almost nine years now. I discussed this with my therapist the other day, and she said in the years to come, the men are going to start falling apart, too. It made me smile. 

Companionship. That is what I miss the most. I hope my therapist is right.

If your body is working well, do what you can to keep it doing so before it is too late. If you have a life companion, cherish them. If your children are still at home, give them an extra hug and spend five more minutes playing outside with them.



Thursday, September 17, 2015

Come "Along" With Me

For the past few months, I have been participating in various crochet-alongs (CAL). Crochet-alongs and knit-alongs are activities where a pattern is released a portion at a time to a group of participants. They/we crochet or knit the portion (hopefully) during the week until the next portion is released. 

I want to make you aware of some of these, plus some charity projects, in case you might like to participate. There are also several posts (linked below) from the Sophie's Universe CAL.

The headings are the links to the websites. There are also links to Facebook groups.

Made Of Change CAL - Facebook Group

I Want That Bag CAL - Official CCS Social Group - Starts October 1

Photo from Just a Girl and a Hook - Designer

Facebook Site

“Around-The-Bases” Crochet Along (CAL)

I hope you choose to participate in one or more of these.



Links to Sophie's Universe CAL posts:

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Sleeping with Chronic Pain

Insomnia - "habitual sleeplessness; inability to sleep" (Google dictionary)
Hypersomnia - "characterized by recurrent episodes of excessive daytime sleepiness or prolonged nighttime sleep" (National Institutes of Health)

Most people with fibromyalgia/chronic pain deal with sleep pattern problems, particularly sleep that is disrupted by pain and waking up still tired. This poor sleep leaves one feeling sleepy/exhausted during the day. 

It is hard to function throughout the day without enough sleep at night. This is especially tough if one is able to, or has to, work. Without restorative sleep, the body feels more sore and the brain is foggier. 

Source: Fibromyalgia Wellness Center
Driving can be dangerous, especially for those whose job is a distance away, because reaction times are slower and the lull of the road makes staying awake hard. I am acutely aware of this myself, because my father died as a result of falling asleep while driving.

In a prior post, I have mentioned my insomnia, primarily due to a noisy upstairs neighbor. I am happy to say, he no longer lives there, and it is now quiet at night. Getting my body to realize I can sleep at night is another story.

I also need to learn how to sleep in my bed again. Since I was awake all night, and most of the day, the sleep I did get was in my (very comfortable) recliner. The bed seems very hard/rigid in comparison, and it is impossible to sleep on either of my sides because of the hip trigger points.

I have heard that catching up on sleep does not happen. I really want to find out, though, that this is not true. In the last week, I slept eight hours in my bed one night, tried to sleep in my bed another night, and spent a few nights wide awake. I also slept 8.5 hours one night, 4 hours the next night, and 8 hours last night, all in the recliner. 

Despite the eight hours last night, I am fighting sleep now, and have been for several hours. I am trying hard to stay awake so I get to sleep at a reasonable hour and stay asleep all night. 

Given the amount of back pain I have had today, I will probably sleep in the chair again, as I have not figured out how to be comfortable in my bed. If you have any ideas for making a bed more comfortable, I would love it if you would post them in the comments.

I wish you restful sleep and pain-free days.



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