Depression looms

I struggle with depression. Back many years ago, I didn’t struggle with it, I just gave in to it. That’s never a good thing. Thankfully at the time I had some wonderful friends who spotted what was going on with me and encouraged me to get help. It was because of that experience that I can usually sense when depression is threatening to take over again. And thankfully I’m not afraid to be open about it with my loved ones, and I know how to ask for help.

For the past month or so I’ve been sort of dipping my toes into the pool of depression again. It’s not a game I like to play. I can drive myself crazy analyzing the potential causes, searching for solutions. It’s all a bit futile, if you ask me. There are so many factors that make me a potential victim. Family history, multiple sclerosis, recent trauma… oh, and can’t leave out living in Michigan where there is a severe lack of sunshine. I need my sunshine.

I’ve been sleeping a lot, and it concerns me that I could let that go too far. I do feel rested when I sleep, so I’m trying to listen to my body’s cues and determine when it really needs rest or when it’s just the depression killing my motivation. I made a list today of some coping mechanisms. This is based off of what I learned from my housekeeping hero, The FlyLady, a long time ago: you can do anything for 15 minutes. So I have a list of the things I can do for 15 minutes, so that when I’m lacking motivation, I don’t have to think about what I can do. I just have to pick from the list. These are all things that tend to make me feel better or motivated to stay up and out of bed, like crocheting, washing dishes, journaling, showering, paying bills (no kidding lol), and blogging. On the really bad days when I can’t muster enough oomph to do even those simple things, my short list of motivators is to wash my face, get dressed, take my medicine, and/or drink a glass of water.

Depression is real, man. A dragon that is so unbelievably difficult to slay. But one day at a time, I’ll be fighting it. And if I can’t kill it, at least I’ll leave it seriously wounded, while I move on with my life.


Happy birthday to us

Today is my 40th birthday, and many of my friends and family know I’m pretty excited about it. A lot of people dread this milestone, but not me. I’m excited to join the 40s “club” and put my 30s behind me. They were quite a roller coaster. I had some babies, I went back to school and FINISHED, praise the Lord… but I was also diagnosed with MS and then later lost my hearing and vision. So, lots of ups and downs. I know I can’t count on the next decade being all ups, but I can look each day in the face and hope for the best. And I feel like I’m learning how to do that as I get older. The maturing that happens with aging is such a blessing. And that is why I’m happy to be 40.

But I also came on here to talk about my husband. It is also his birthday today, only he is one year older. It’s a neat little tidbit about us that people find just fascinating. People ask, “man, what are the odds?” Well, the answer to that is 1 in 365. Because days in a year, folks. There are only so many. And while I know mathematically that’s a correct answer, I still want to say the odds that we would fall in love and still be crazy about each other all these years later are much, much higher. It sure shoots holes in those astrology theories, that’s for sure.

Earlier I was thinking back to the day we discovered we shared a birthday. We weren’t dating, we were just out to dinner at Denny’s and were in the “getting to know you” phase. We were asking each other basic questions until he asked me when my birthday was. Here’s about how it went:

Mike: So, when’s your birthday?
Me: March 3rd.
Mike:  No, really, when’s your birthday?
Me: March 3rd. Why would I lie about that?
Mike: Seriously? Let me see your license.

I think he asked to see my ID, that part I’m fuzzy on. I know he didn’t believe me, that’s for sure. He thought I had peeked in his wallet and was playing a joke on him.

That was more than 20 years ago, and here we are, old people lol We joke that 40 is old but it’s just that, a joke. Because you’re only as old as you feel and old is such a subjective term. My prayer is just that we’ll always remember to embrace life, be present with our loved ones, and in everything look to Jesus for guidance.  Happy birthday to us! Today I’m praising God for life.



One Day More!!

I know I should be listening to my Les Mis soundtrack because I’m going to the show tomorrow!! I’m so freaking excited I can’t even say it without exclamation points!!

I was listening to it, until my daughter came home. I had to take a chill out break and pull out my old Billie Holiday CDs, because she came home yesterday and was so excited to tell me they had learned about good old Lady Day.

I hadn’t listened to these in probably a decade so it’s interesting to hear how they sound with mechanical, bionic ears. It’s not pleasant, but it’s not terrible either. I’ve had to lower my expectations with music. The melody, the jazz, is quite soothing. I could get used to this, I think.

Anyway, back to Les Miserables!! We’re going tomorrow!! Though it’s the first day of March, so of course it’s supposed to snow. Typical Michigan. In like a lion. Bleh.

I’m not a food photographer

I like taking pictures of my food but sometimes I am so excited to eat, I forget. So here is the aftermath of my lunch today, roasted asparagus with a garlic vegan cream sauce. Made all by myself and it was delicious!! I don’t even like asparagus, really, but you throw on a the right topping and I’m good to go. I found the recipe for the sauce on Pinterest and it looked easy enough to manage so I gave it a shot. I’m so glad it turned out I’ll probably make it again tomorrow.

I’ve been doing more of this, taking risks with food, trying new things, and it’s been kind of fun. I still wouldn’t say I enjoy cooking as a whole, but I’ve discovered one thing I do love making: Soup! With soup you can throw things in and it doesn’t matter how it looks. Timing isn’t super important so there’s no rushing involved. It’s very relaxing, and when you’re done, you have a warm and comforting meal to either share with loved ones (if they’ll touch it) or to supply your lunches for the next week!

Now to find some dessert…

She sniffed out our hiding spot, apparently

I have the box with the extra squeaky Kongs hiding in our bedroom closet. The only access to the closet is through our bathroom, so Piper doesn’t ever go in there because she’s afraid of our bathroom scale (watch the video, you’ll see what I mean). It’s good logic, right? Well, somehow she got a whiff of the Kong scent because she won’t stop whining at the bathroom door.

I decided to let her in (i.e. remove the scale) and sure enough she walked straight up to where the box was. Of course it’s on a shelf so she can’t reach it. And yes, I’m sort of torturing her, but it’s really for her own good. If I give her another ball, she stops eating and sleeping.

I’m the boss around here

So, I was doing the dishes today and as I leaned over to put another clean dish in the drying rack I see that there is a full cup of coffee sitting in my Keurig. I stare at it for a second or two, trying to recall brewing a cup of coffee. No one else in this house drinks coffee, so it must have been me. Yet I can’t recall. The cup is cold to the touch, so it’s been there for some time. This worries me.

I wish I could say this is a rare occurrence for me. I wish I could say it happens every now and then if I’m rushed or exhausted or whatever. Because I know it happens to lots of people. My girl friends joke about it, reassuring me that it’s just a normal part of aging. But I don’t think that’s true. I think it happens more frequently to me than it ought to, and I have to be honest: That scares the S**T out of me.

I have multiple sclerosis, and anyone with multiple sclerosis understands that every teeny tiny symptom could be a start of a relapse, or it could be nothing. Fellow MSers understand that hovering cloud of doom, threatening to take over your body once and for all. I have the relapsing kind, for now, so if I do have a relapse I can hold on to the hope that it may not be permanent. I’ve had lots of symptoms that have popped up for a couple months and then gone away, never to reappear. But on the other hand, the damage to my nerves is always permanent and will always leave the potential for problems down the road. Take my vision for example. We’re calling that episode a relapse, but it left permanent damage that will affect me the rest of my life. I will always be visually impaired this side of heaven. I don’t struggle as much with it as I did in the beginning, because by God’s grace I’ve grown and adapted, but it’s always here as a reminder.

But memory loss? I don’t know, that one seems so much scarier to me. I mean, I can deal with losing physical functions. But losing my MIND?? I don’t know. I just don’t know. It just scares me, y’all, and that’s all I wanted to share really. That though I’ve been in the best physical shape of my life lately, feeling good and having no issues, at the end of the day I still have MS. It will always be a part of me. I just have to make sure that it knows who’s the boss around here.

The Squeaky Kong

I feel like ‘obsessed’ isn’t enough of a word to cover the intensity with which Piper goes after the squeaky Kong. If you’re not familiar, Kong is a brand of dog toy. We have found that Piper is so skilled at chewing things up, that buying just any old dog toy is a waste. Though I’ll admit, even with some of the Kongs, she’s able to destroy them within a day or so, if we let her.

Last year for Christmas my mom bought a giant Kong shaped like a football and sent it to us. Wrapped in plastic. In a USPS box. We never even opened the box because we were trying to wait until Christmas but she knew better. She could SMELL the Kong. And she obsessed over that box, she sniffed around it, sat and stared at it. She wouldn’t leave it alone. We ended up opening it and let her go crazy, because after all she’s just a dog and there’s no sense trying to teach her a lesson about waiting until Christmas.

When we buy new Kongs, we have to be stealthy about bringing them into the house. We ordered a pack of four this week from Amazon and I made sure to open the box behind closed doors so she wouldn’t know they were there. We figured it wouldn’t hurt to have extras on hand, because she does eventually destroy them. In fact, we gave her the first ball from that pack of four yesterday, and by today she had already managed to remove the squeaker.

On a normal day, sans Kong, Piper settles down in the evening, and is always eager to go to bed by 11 or so, when one of us goes. Not with a squeaky Kong around! If the ball is there, that’s all she cares about. She’s not trying to go to bed. If she has access to the ball, she’s bouncing it around and chewing on it. When we lock the ball up in another room (as we quickly found to be necessary if anyone wanted rest in this house), she’s sitting at the door, glancing back at us in anticipation. When one of us gets up in the middle of the night, she’s up and eagerly waiting for us to give her the ball. She’s ready at all hours to play with that Kong.

This obsession of hers is a running joke in our house now, and we get quite a lot of laughs out of it. Yeah, it’s annoying because the dang thing squeaks, but we know she’s happy, and that’s all that really matters.