“Good Things” Thursday

One of the great things about having a child has been getting to read so many children’s books. Old favorites and new authors have all been enjoyable. One of my new favs is Cynthia Rylant. I love all her series but especially ‘Henry and Mudge’ and ‘Mr. Putter and Tabby’. (I say new but we started reading her books 8 years ago, so by new I mean not of my childhood.)

In the past I have tried both gratitude lists and joy lists but neither quite defined what I was trying to capture. And then I read “Mr. Putter and Tabby Write the Book” and I had my epiphany. Not to spoil the plot but Mr. Putter is having a hard time writing a book and instead writes a list of “Good Things”.

I am stealing this idea because I love it. So thank you to Ms. Rylant and Mr. Putter ūüėä.

Good Things ‚ėė

  • chamomile flowers from Trader Joe’s ūüĆľ
  • working in my sketchbook (see pics below)
  • the sound of an owl hooting in the distance ( I also like it when I hear trains or church bells) ūüöā
  • learning how to add emoji’s ūüĆĶ
  • signing up for an on-line photography class that starts in April ūüďł
  • reading “Match Making for Beginners” by Maddie Dawson and having a great line stuck in my head: “Whatever happens, love that.” ūüďė
  • chocolate covered strawberry ice cream from Tillamook ūüć®
  • cloud shadows on mountains (makes me smile every time!) ‚ėĀÔłŹ
  • lace curtains moving in the breeze
A few years ago I gave my friend a sketchbook and one to myself. We spent about 2 years drawing pictures for the other and then swapped books. Now we are supposed to use the drawings as inspiration to draw a sort of campanion piece. I am finally getting started. My drawing is on the left and his is on the right. I got the idea from Anne at My Giant Strawberry.


Again I am on the left, my friend on the right.

I am thinking this will become a semi-regular feature, like Photo Friday. We’ll see.

Sending good thoughts your way!

Flash Fiction (Mice)

This week’s challenge from Carrot Ranch gave me the shivers!

*There may or may not have been an incident in a sandy location where a certain briefer may or may not have sat in the office with her feet up on a chair because she saw mice running around. Just sayin’.

 

‚ÄúGuys listen up. This is the pre-mission briefing for flight 7044.‚ÄĚ 

She went quickly but thoroughly over the slides. Tanker crews liked fast and funny.  No jokes today though, this was a new mission and she needed to keep their focus. 

To the great surprise of the pilots she suddenly stopped in mid-sentence and jumped onto a chair.  The entire room silently watched a mouse scamper across the floor and under the canvas wall.

The Lieutenant climbed down and resumed briefing the astonished pilots, picking right back up in the middle of her sentence. She had their full attention.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

You probably don’t want to read this post. It is full of frustration and indecision and fear. I don’t want to ruin anyone’s day or good mood so seriously, you don’t have to read this. But I have to write this. I have to get all this out of my head and throw it into the universe. I am secretly hoping by doing this that I will magically be shown the path I should take. So here goes.

I had my doctor’s appointment on Friday and I got what I wanted, hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Only now I am afraid to take it. Let me start with the doctor. I have seen her a few times but I don’t really feel comfortable with her. I can’t be positive but she looks like she has had plastic surgery (face lift kind) and something that plumps lips. And she has blonde hair that looks dyed. I feel like I am looking at a Barbie doll. I am not questioning her competency or intelligence but it made me uneasy looking at her.

Secondly the office was really crowded and she was running rather late (I thought) for a 10:00am appointment. Things felt rather rushed I realized later. She asked me about getting tested for the breast cancer gene, how I wanted the therapy delivered and we talked the cost of bio-identicals. Bam, Bam Bam.

When I climbed into bed Friday night I realized I had made a pretty big decision in a rushed and ill-informed manner. I panicked and then told myself it wasn’t set in stone.

We were very busy Saturday, lots of errands and by the time we got home I was exhausted. I laid down on the bed and started crying. The fact that I am in a lose-lose situation hit home. I suppose an important fact I should add here is that my mother died of breast cancer at the age of 33. There can be no doubt that colors how I think.

And now it is Sunday morning. Spouse and small child went up to Phoenix for the Nascar race so I have the whole day to myself. I am still in my jammies, still in bed with my name on a homemade blueberry muffin. (Just waiting to digest my thyroid meds, about 1 hour.)

So let’s run through some scenarios:

SCENARIO ONE: I get tested for the breast cancer gene, find I have it and decline HRT. Now I get to continue to feel miserable and hear the ticking time bomb ALL THE TIME.

SCENARIO TWO: I get tested, don’t have it and take HRT. I feel better but still worry because frankly it seems like nothing conclusive has been discovered about HRT and cancer without the gene.

SCENARIO THREE: I don’t get tested and take the HRT. Will I still feel better? Or will all the worry about probably triggering cancer cells (if I have them) cancel that out?

SCENARIO FOUR: I don’t get tested and I don’t take HRT leaving me right where I am now. All I can do is hope that once menopause kicks in I feel better. Let’s say that takes another 2 1/2 years at most. (I’ll be 55 then, surely I will be in menopause?!) I have already survived 2 1/2 years of this craziness. My biggest fear is that the mood swings and irregular periods and hot flashes are going to get so much worse before subsiding. That is what triggered looking for help in the first place. I am afraid I am going to get worse and have the summer from hell. Life is too short to lose a whole summer if you don’t have to.

SCENARIO FIVE: I accept the crazy situation and move to a one room cabin (two with the bathroom) up in the mountains on a lake. I walk around the lake and do a photography project where I take a picture of the same tree everyday and document the changes until I am done with this phase of life. There are no inconveniences and keeping warm with just a woodstove is a piece of cake. I eat healthy by default only shopping at farmer’s markets and local places. I sleep when I am tired and hardly ever have to clean as it is just me. Okay, this isn’t a viable scenario but it is in my head so I am putting it out there.

And then there is the as yet unknown scenario. I think about how the anti-depressant made me so sick and wonder if I should try St. John’s Wort? Studies appear somewhat inconclusive but it is used a lot more in Europe. And yet I find myself hesitating. Has anyone out there used it? Can you share if it worked or not?

My biggest fear is what happens if I run out of hope? If have nothing left to try? I like to think I will be okay just soldiering on. If I continue the yoga and meditation and 10k steps I will survive one day at a time. And one day I will wake up and it will be like magic, my energy and enthusiasm and patience will be back.

For now I am holding tightly to that hope, it seems that is all I can do.

As for today, I will survive. Later I will get dressed and go to the library and pick up the copy of “Enchanted April” that I requested. A trip to Italy this afternoon seems to be just the thing. I have lots of happier posts to work on too and I figured out my next sketchbook idea which I am excited about. I will enjoy the peace and quiet and not having to cook. I’ll take a nap if I feel like it.

And now I wait patiently for the universe to send me my answer. Thank you for listening.

Flash Fiction (Back Up)

The 28 February 99 word flash fiction prompt from Carrot Ranch was back up or backup.

The Wrong Path

She could not believe she was watching yet another lame Christmas movie about time travel.  Just once she wished the woman would choose the glamorous life she gave up for marriage and kids.  No one in their right mind picked a lazy husband and bratty children over a successful career and spotless apartment.

If she could back up her life she knew the exact time she would return to.  Where she had made that first critical mistake that led down the wrong path to her current life.

She looked out the immaculate window of her high-rise condo and sighed.

Two Months In

Honestly I am not sure where to start. At the end of January things were not going well, and not for lack of effort. I had to go to the doctor anyway (to renew my thyroid medication) so I talked about all my peri-menopausal symptoms and said (out loud) “I am ready for some drugs”. I was thinking hormone therapy, progesterone specifically, but my primary care doctor is against it. She recommended a mild-antidepressant shown to work on hot flashes and mood swings.

The idea of an anti-depressant left me, well, depressed. I have been thinking I just needed something to help until I get into full blown menopause. I know anti-depressants have been used in my circumstances but I was feeling pretty uneasy about this. And since I was overdue for my pap smear anyway I got a current referral for the GYN I used for my IUD and made an appointment. (For any male readers I know you have no idea what I just said, that is okay, just keep reading.) I was curious to see what she had to say because frankly she seems to have a completely different take on menopause than my primary care doc.

Unfortunately I couldn’t get a GYN appointment before the first week of March. In the meantime the antidepressants arrived in the mail and after doing a bit more research I decided to start taking them. The plan was to see how they made me feel and still get a second opinion from the GYN.

I took the pills for four days and thought I caught a stomach bug. I was nauseous and exhausted. I slept two hours Friday afternoon, eleven hours Friday night, another two hours Saturday afternoon. I wasn’t eating much, mostly crackers and ginger ale and when I did eat a scrambled egg and a piece of toast I felt sick again. I checked the side effects on the pills and stopped taking them.

Three days later I felt better physically but was still feeling quite unmotivated concerning life in general. Mid-February I got my period, another bad one. Crampy and heavy and not helpful in getting anything done. But it only lasted seven days which was nice for a change.

And then I had a good week where at least I was sleeping well and getting something of one sort or another done everyday. I loved the snow and was happy to get out in it. Focus was still a problem though.

And here it is the end of February and I feel like a yo-yo. The last few nights have been broken sleep but yesterday I got a nice amount of pesky tasks done and that made me feel good. And today I feel….okay? But sort of ready for a nap. And my breasts hurt.

One more week until my doctor’s appointment. Every few days I find myself googling “what symptoms progesterone relieves” and every time I find myself nodding my head and reminding myself to ask for the bio-identicals. My thought is if it is something my body used to produce then there shouldn’t be any yucky side effects. And I don’t care if that thinking is wrong, I am going with it. Do not even think about trying to set me straight!

Why yes I am feeling a little prickly these days.

So now you get to wait along with me to see what happens next in the journey to menopause saga. I am pretty sure we are due for a happy upturn in the plot. Stay tuned.

Snow at Sabino Canyon (Photo Friday)

I promised pictures of desert snow and I have some. Because it was snowing so much I took my little point and shoot camera. Sadly I had battery issues so the video I took didn’t save. But I did get some pictures. (And yes, I ordered a new battery this week.)

Is it just me or do these cacti seem to be trying to huddle together?
The mountains were hidden all day.
Poor shivery cactus!

Sabino Canyon looked so wonderfully different in the snow.
It was like walking in a snowglobe when we headed out.  Big, wet flakes.

I have to confess I was really surprised at how much snow we got and how long it lasted. And it was wonderful. (Of course it is easy for me to say that since it is now in the 70’s!)

Keep your focus!