A Witch in the Forest Primeval

At Christmas, my daughters got me tickets to go out to visit my EldestDaughter & her family in Washington State.

The trip was this last weekend.

I was gone Friday through Monday, and it was…amazing.

This was my first view from the plane… Yeah, it was a wing seat, so?

Ironically, the last time I flew, I was pregnant with EldestDaughter… And this time, 28 years later, I was going to see her.

(And her husband, and my grandkids, yes. My other daughter & her boyfriend were going too, I met up with them in MSP/St.Paul!)

The trip was a whirlwind of sightseeing & visiting with the kids. I don’t know that I got to do a whole lot of sitting unless it was in the car, or in a chair to game with my grandson, Schnicklefritz. (We play Fallout 3 more or less together… I’m teaching a 7-yr. old the skills he needs to survive the Wasteland, don’t hate)

(Lots of “road” pictures, I miss tree variety…)

Skagit Valley Overlook. In the last picture, to the right, next to the trees, you can see the oyster farms, as the tide was out.

Schnicklefritz & MiniMoose (in the background) We went to a Mexican restaurant Saturday night for dinner. The food was excellent, had a meander through town with Youngerdaughter & her beau afterwards, then MOAR GAMING, saith the Schnicklefritz…

Sunday was a trip up towards the “pointy mountains”, as EldestDaughter called them, but they were pretty well hidden in the clouds. We did see Deception Pass. I was able to walk across the first walking bridge…but not the second one…

Ugh.

Even the first one made me nauseated.

No lie.

I just can’t do heights anymore.

As a kid, I used to climb like a monkey up & down the cliff behind our house in Iowa, using saplings like a ladder. I was fearless.

I’m not that kid, anymore.

But, being in Washington…was like stepping into a forest primeval.

Everything was so…lush…

The trees were coated in moss from roots to branches, the ground littered with huge ferns that trailed and meandered everywhere.

And everything seemed to be in bloom.

I wish I’d gotten more pictures, but my head was on a constant swivel, and things seemed to rush by so quickly. I just couldn’t take it all in.

The trip was over far too soon.

And now, I have a huge Schnicklefritz-sized hole in my heart again.

*sniffle*

Save me some sunflowers, Lil dude.

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Have You Tried The Bread?

I made some cinnamon streusel bread today, needing a little pick-me-up after the last few days of feeling like trash, between being sick and being in a depression.

I actually got a couple of household chores done today, as well, surprisingly, which means my energy is starting to come back, so this is a good thing.

I’ve kind of bottomed out now, though, which is not a shock. I know I need more rest to get well, I just hate this worn-out feeling. I really do.

Anyway, tonight, as I was getting ready to put the loaf of bread in a big ziploc… I suddenly heard in my head –

“Have you tried the bread? It’s good bread…”

In a voice I haven’t heard in years.

Ahhh, the voice of Ren. That infamous Asthma-hound chihuahua.

But, it was his voice as interpreted by one of my beloved Chosen Family. A “little brother” from my past, who loved Ren and Stimpy as much as I did.

And a pang went through my heart.

Because I don’t get to hear his voice anymore. He died a few years ago, taken by an inoperable cancerous brain tumor. He was smart, funny, fiercely protective of those he loved, and he was my friend, Shane.

And I fucking miss him.

And yes, Shane, I tried the bread.

It is good bread, dammit.

Snake Bite!

It’s funny what the cessation of pain can do for your perspective.

And for your attitude.

It’s hard to realize just how much your attitude is affected by pain, until the pain stops.

Now, I’m not normally someone who goes around recommending products for anyone.

I might try new things for myself, say they “work for me” or don’t, or whatever, but I don’t try to tell anyone else whether they should use something or not.

But – I’m breaking that “rule” today.

I’ve also never come right out and publicly endorsed a product on my blog.

I’m doing that today, too.

Any of you who’ve been reading my blog for very long, know that I have rheumatoid arthritis in my hands.

I’ve been seeing a Rheumatologist for a few years now, and get steroid shots in my hands about every 6 months, just to keep the pain at bay. I also take daily anti-inflammatories to keep the swelling down. (My fingers get like little German sausages without them, and sometimes even with taking them – it’s yet another cause of discomfort, pain)

There is also a prescription gel that I have that’s supposed to help with pain. It does…a very little bit, but not to the extent I need anymore. It’s just not strong enough.

Well, I’ve been putting off going to see my Rheumatologist, because it’s kind of expensive, even with insurance, and I’ve been in a lot of pain. My thumbs, mostly.

Most people don’t realize just how much they rely on their thumbs for everything their hands do.

Pick up a stack of files?

Pressure on your thumb.

Lift a pitcher of juice out of the fridge?

TONS of pressure on your thumb.

Typing, which I do all day for my job, and typing on cell phones. Yes, different motions, but both rely on thumbs.

Getting dressed??? Try it with your thumb taped to the rest of your hand once, just to see what I’m talking about.

Luckily, the worst pain is in my left thumb, and I’m right handed, so at least I can “wipe” myself without pain. Geez.

Ok, so we’ve reviewed why I need pain relief.

Now, here’s the WHAT.

*I’m not getting paid to endorse this, wasn’t asked to endorse it, and the makers have no idea I’m writing this blog post. (I’m sure they have zero clue who I am, so, why would they know what I’m writing?)*

This is CobraZol.

And I’ll tell you right now, I’ve tried at least 4 other “arthritis pain relief” things that did- Zip. Nada. Zilch.

2 different types of daily supplements that were supposed to “boost your immune system, slow degeneration of joints & lessen pain, as well as 2 completely different type of creams. None of them worked – At. All. Binned- all of them.

But, the first time I rolled this stuff on my hands?

THE. FIRST. TIME.

Within 5-10 minutes, I had fucking relief from the pain.

The shoulders-falling, breath-blowing, muscles un-knotting, instant-smile kind of relief.

I found it on Amazon, & decided to give it a shot, after the last stuff I’d tried failed to live up to its hype. (I tried a hemp-derived cbd cream, no joy, & a strong smell, it went in the bin).

The CobraZol wasn’t expensive, just a little under $20 for a 2oz. roll-on bottle, so I figured, if it didn’t work, it wasn’t a big loss, right?

Well, I’ve been using this now since Wednesday night, so – approximately 3&1/2 days, & haven’t had to use my gel once, which is normally used 4 times a day. My hands have felt amazing, just some lingering muscle soreness (which could honestly be the beginnings of carpal tunnel, too, as I’ve been noticing some tingling & numbness in my fingers for about a week or so).

Ok, so, for those who noticed the name of the product. YES, it does mention COBRA.

The list of ingredients are on Amazon, as well as on the bottles, but, here are the main active ones:

Arnica

Capsicum

Rattlesnake venom

Bushmaster venom

Indian Cobra venom

Yes. 3 different types of venom. You read that correctly.

No, I don’t want to hear negative comments.

You see, I’ve done some research on this (I am a Google research nerd, don’t doubt).

I know the benefits of arnica and capsicum, so didn’t have to research those. (Witch, remember? I’ve read up on herbs, tinctures, & homeopathy)

Snake venom being used and useful for pain relief, however, I wasn’t familiar with, so I fucking looked it up. I don’t just buy things because some yahoo on the internet says so.

(Sorry, my mother had some things to say about this, or rather, we had a passive aggressive non-discussion about this, so I’m still a little tender around the mouth)

If you go look, and no, I’m not putting links in here, go look it up yourself if you want to read about the benefits of cobra venom in pain relief, you’ll find that there are many studies being done into how cobra venom, and even black mamba venom, have a better analgesic value than morphine, with fewer side effects.

A BETTER ANALGESIC VALUE THAN MORPHINE WITH FEWER SIDE EFFECTS.

Big pharma’s going to haaaaate that.

But, anywho.

Even if I couldn’t convince my mom that this was worth trying, I did convince many of the women in my office. I even got one of the others to try it, & she was convinced after about 20 minutes, when the pain she’d been having in her back for about a week was seriously reduced, & she had a better range if motion again.

She got on her Amazon account right away & ordered some for herself.

If that’s not a convincing endorsement, then I don’t know what is.

All I know right now, is that CobraZol works for me. The pain is so much less, which makes me feel better, & brings my mood up.

And lately? Anything that can bring my mood up is pretty much gold.

If that means snake venom?

Then…bite me.

Time Travel happens when you’re not looking, so wear sensible shoes

I lost my damned wifi password today.

And, of course, I never bothered to write it down for myself, because it was stored in my phone, so why bother, it was right there.

I wrote it down once for OnlySon, but, like all good tragedies, his room was struck by a cyclone before I could get to the Post-it note, and he’s not here to find the grumble-fucking thing for me.

ANY WHO…..

During my rip-tear-toss of a search around the house, I decided to try my rusty, trusty… (Drumroll please ****)

ADDRESS BOOK!!

YES, this is a thousand years old, the binding is cracked & in desperate need of some form of bonding agent, but!

It’s also a vehicle of time travel.

Honestly, I think I picked this book up at Ben Franklin in the little town I used to hang out in, my senior year of high school… It. Is. That. Old.

My Mom always told me to write addresses into these books in pencil. (wicked, morbid woman).

Because you know what pencil means…right??

TEMPORARY.

It makes my heart hurt & my brain ache, just thinking about all the names my mom would’ve had me erase from this book if I’d kept following her stricture.

But…I’m an ink-pen kinda girl.

Yeah, some of the names in my address book are written in pencil, but I’ve still never erased One.Damn.Name.

Not. One.

Ohhhh, I’ve scribbled out a few, hooo boy, yah I have.

But erased?

Nope.

My Grandma’s name, last home address and phone number are still written in this book, and she’s been gone a couple of years now.

My friend, Shane, he’s still in the book…and he passed away quite a few years ago from a cancerous brain tumor.

A great aunt & uncle, both passed, many years ago… Still in the book.

Friends I haven’t talked to in years, but if I saw them on the street tomorrow, I’d hug the crap out of them?

Still in the book.

Multiple addresses for my male sibling… Some crossed off, some not, none current. All still there.

People’s names, addresses, and/or phone numbers that I haven’t thought about or used in years, they’re probably no good anymore…

But when I look at their name in that old handwriting, I’m suddenly transported back to whatever time of my life that was, & remember that person.

And…in the back of the book…carefully scribbled

Anniversaries

Birthdays

Important numbers belonging to people I cannot forget – my children, my parents.

For a book small enough to easily fit in the back pocket of my jeans…

There’s a whole lot of living time crammed into those pages.

Step lively, step lightly, but step forward.

…….

…………

No, I never found the damned wifi password. I’ll call the cable co. tomorrow. Dammit.

Where have I been, Where am I going, Who am I now?

I used to write a lot of funny posts on my blog.

Mostly about my kids, but some about just – life, my past, growing up, my teenage years, shit I did when I was young, you know, normal funny things you remember.

Like the time I made my ElderDaughter a costume for Halloween that was a slice of pumpkin pie, just as she wanted. It was fun, and everyone adored it. It goes into the “Best memories” box.

And getting a foal to fall asleep in my lap. Also, going into that same box. I was a horse whisperer up until my 20s, when I stopped having contact with them, because my parents didn’t have any anymore, & I moved away after having ElderDaughter.

I used to write about all these things.

Until I stopped.

And I don’t know when that happened.

I don’t know when the depression started to take over, when it started to color everything in gray, including my writing.

I know it’s fucking depressing to read this shit all the time.

It’s depressing to write.

But if I don’t get it out of my head, and down onto the virtual “paper”, it continues to burn me up from the inside. It gnaws, and grinds at me, knotting my stomach, making me physically ill until I find myself back here, releasing the poison.

And no, simply writing it isn’t enough. I have to actually push the “publish” button to start feeling better.

Does that make me a masochist?

That I need the outside validation for my feelings to be read?

I wish I could just jump back into being that person I used to be. The one who had people to take care of. She was happy, taking care of her little nestlings, after kicking out the grown cuckoo of an ex.

I want to be happy again, I truly do. I’m so tired of this constant dragging feeling. I’m so drained all the time, as though something outside of me is sucking the energy from my soul.

I don’t know how to climb out of this.

I don’t know how to shift the balance from depression to happiness again.

It’s so difficult to do this when you’re working at it alone, but I won’t burden anyone else with it, so – there you go.

I think I’m going to start, by telling the people I care about how I truly feel about them.

It’ll probably scare some, because most people don’t do this unless they know they’re dying.

I am, in fact, dying, we all are, and who knows when it will happen?

I’m not guaranteed tomorrow.

I’ve lost too many friends over the years – I’ve learned that lesson well.

So, I’m going to start telling people how I feel.

No obligation for response, none necessary, none required or expected. No response even really wanted, to be truthful, because I’d probably end up either horribly embarrassed or hurt.

Either way, not a pretty color.

So, where have I been? I used to be happy… Naively, I thought it would last forever.

Where am I going? Not a fucking clue. Not yet, at least. I am, however, going to work on digging my way out of this hole, even if I have to rip my fingernails to do it. And I will be continuing to journal here. I have to. This is my sanity. Whether anyone reads it or not.

Who am I now? I am a 48-year old woman, desperately seeking a way foward, toward the sunshine.

I’m tired of the rain.

So Many Things

Life has been busy since the last post. At least, busy for me.

*I got a new-to-me car. I knew my little pickup wouldn’t make it through another winter without some extensive garage time, & I didn’t have the wherewithal for that, plus, it was just going to keep nickel & diming me to the poorhouse. So –

I got some financing for Rosmerta – Roz, for short.

Rosmerta is a Goddess of luck and prosperity, so here’s to bringing this into my life. She’s a dream I’ve had since I was 6 years old. Having a Jeep, that is.

My mom’s cousin, Julie, came to live with us for a while when I was about that age. She was attending community college in the town next door, & had a boyfriend named Randy.

Randy – had a Jeep.

It was one of those soft-sided Jeeps that you could zip the windows up and down, or take it off completely, and to me, it was the coolest thing – EVER.

Of course, that was partly because Randy was a great guy. He was nice, truly nice, & liked little kids.

The summer I remember them dating, Julie & Randy took me to Valley Fair, in Shakopee, just outside the Twin Cities of Minneapolis & St. Paul, MN.

I remember getting a giant tissue-paper flower on a stick (so fricking cool, I had that thing for YEARS), riding the ferris wheel, and sitting on the chair of the Jolly Green Giant with Little Green, while someone took my picture. I remember thinking that this was the best day ever, & that it just didn’t get any better than that.

So, because of one happy childhood memory, a really good day, yes, but just one day, nonetheless, Jeeps have become a part of my secret wishlist in life.

And now, I have one.

Which, also, kind of scares me, to be honest.

I have people telling me all the time that I deserve to have something good in my life. That after all the shitty things that have happened, and after how hard I’ve worked over the last few years to overcome a lot of it, I deserve to have something, at least ONE thing, good.

But, I’ve never had anything last.

So, this new, good thing, scares me…

I don’t want it to go away, too.

So many things have happened, I just – I just want one good thing to last.