My Bucket List (so far)

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Ok, I am going to try to make my own bucket list of things I want to do before I die… any suggestions here would be appreciated… Oh, and I would like to say that I only put 25 so far. I will add to this list as I think of new ones. Gee, from the list, I get the idea that I want to travel….

Let’s see, ok here I go… not necessarily in the order of importance I would like to:

1. go to Philippines to meet my granddaughter

2. see all my children happy and healthy

3. see my grandchildren graduate from high school

4. visit Ireland

5. visit Alaska

6. visit Australia

7. meet fellow lupies

8. find a cure in my lifetime for lupus

9. help those in need

10. preach the good news and help others to gain everlasting life

11. go southwest for the winter

12. travel to Equador (friends of mine are from there and it is beautiful)

13. plastic surgery?

14. meet one of my fav authors, Lisa Bearnson

15. finish my scrapbooks (are they ever done?)

16. audit some college courses

17. volunteer at a nursing home (probably while I am a resident, lol)

18. live in the mountains of kentucky and explore the land of my forefathers

19. take a train trip in Switzerland

20. teach my grandchildren to serve God

21. have an open heart

22. try to always be happy

23. never give up chocolate

24. show my grandchildren by example, not words how to live a Godly life

25. buy a motorhome and travel

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It’s official, I have sold out…

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10.01.2010

Campground in trailer

Hello fellow lupies and friends! I am writing this from the campground, in my warm bedroom. I am enjoying a nice night in the campground, relaxing and doing a whole bunch of nothing. My home away from home, my happy place.

When I was younger, I was a tent camper only. I told my kids that I would never sell out and own a trailer with running water, comfy beds and air conditioning/heating. Those people were not really camping, I said in my bravado.

Ah, the ignorance of youthful declarations. I now own a 29 foot travel trailer that has all the modern conveniences, including those listed earlier. Did I sell out? I prefer to think that I grew up. When you get to be my age (50), you find sleeping on the ground to be an uncomfortable experience.

You see, our bones creak now, the ground has grown harder (I swear it has), I cannot get up from the ground without help most times, and going to the bathroom several times a night are not conducive to a relaxing experience for me anymore. Add the waking up to find your miniscule air mattress has deflated and you have to wake up the entire campground refilling it and then you add the pain all day from not being warm and also the lack of sleep, you are now not enjoying the experience anymore.

Let’s face it, I sold out for comfort. My kids are now grown with kids of their own and they all tent camp. They take great delight in reminding me how I asserted never to own a trailer. Ah, the foolishness of their age. When they are my age, I see them in travel trailers too. When their bones ache, they will appreciate the comfort of a queen size bed. When they are cold, they will appreciate the central heating. On those hot summer nights, they will enjoy the feel of the cool, crisp sheets on their beds and the rush of cool air from the a/c. Do not even mention the full bathroom with shower and hot water. Ah, the comforts we enjoy now.

So, I am writing this in the comfort of my trailer, with the furnace on since it is in the 40’s tonight. In the morning, I will brew hot coffee and enjoy a hot breakfast cooked on my stovetop. I an wash my dishes in hot water in the sink and drain it afterwards (not lugging a heavy plastic tub to dump somewhere). I can then sprawl about sipping coffee and reading a good book. I think comfort is much more relaxing than tenting. Yes, it is official, I have sold out, but oh, it was so worth it!

Ah, Rain

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Today we are finally getting the one thing we have not had a lot of lately, rain. Rain is a welcome visitor because it has been so dry that most of the lawns are brown and crunchy and actually hurt to walk on barefoot. Yes, we needed this rain for sure.

Rain is also a painful experience for those who suffer from diseases that affect the joints. Most of us will tell you how we can “feel” the rain coming. Our joints will inevitably ache and throb anywhere from a day to a few hours ahead of rain. Science will have you think this is not a real phenomenom but all in our heads, and yet, for generations this has happened to those with joint issues. It cannot be proven by science but it doesn’t make it any less painful or stop it from happening to those who do experience it.

My own grandfather used to predict rain because of his aching joints. Most of the time, he was right! As a child, I remember laughing at him because he could “feel it is his bones”. I am no longer laughing. I have become like my grandfather. I do not watch the news much, and since I don’t, I usually do not know the weather forecast. My body, however, can tell it for me. I have been aching for a couple of days now in my hands and feet.

Sometimes, the old ways are good ways. Many old wives tales have some basis in facts. Otherwise, they would have ceased being said years ago.  The reason for the continuation of this is that, before we had tv meteorologists, we had the signs of the woods, the trees, the land and of course, our bones. These were the telltale signals that something of import was about to occur. People “listened” and watched for the signs of changes. They were more in tune with nature.

This is one that I am sure many others can attest to. This bone deep achiness before the weather changes. Rain, or cold fronts, it doesn’t matter. It is felt by more of us than most know. 

In this way, we have become human barometers. Now, if only I could predict other things…. ah well, I can’t so I will stick with this one thing I seem to be good at.

 

Animals and People with chronic diseases

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I am repeating this post because, believe it or not, while I was at the doctor’s office today, the Arthritis Today magazine had an article about pets and arthritis. Ironic, but I figured it made for a re-posting of this older post. Enjoy!

 

I have a cat. Her name is Shelby. She was a foundling who adopted me. She is also so much more than just a feline friend.

Shelby has an intuitive nature that allows her to see when I am ill and respond to me. When I am in bed, like now, she is laying next to me. When I am asleep, she lays either next to me or above my head. Some days, she is not around and that is usually when I am feeling good. She goes about her business as she normally would do.

When my lupus is acting up, though, she is right by my side, purring and rubbing on me and trying to help me feel better. It is uncanny, (or should I say, uncatty) how she knows without me saying a word, that I feel awful. She is not overly in my face, but she is on the periphery should she be needed.

While my cat is unique, she is not the only one who is intuitive. I read a story a few years back about a nursing home that had “adopted” a stray cat. The cat was allowed to roam the halls and “visit” with the residents. This cat had an intuitve nature too. It was discovered that the cat would go to a particular resident who was imminently ready to pass away. When a resident was at this point, the cat could not be coerced to leave the room of the resident. It would stay until the person passed away. It became noticible to the staff and they would know by the cats behavior, whether there was an impending death or not. They felt that the cat didn’t want the person to be alone, so it would stay on the bed with the person until after they passed.

I also saw a story about cats and patients with AIDS. The story said that those patients who had cats, tended to live longer than those who did not have a pet cat. Cats were the pet of choice because they did not require as much work as dogs and chronically ill people may not be able to give a dog the exercise they need.  Who knew?

So, my Shelby has this same empathy, but for me. She has been a true and loyal friend in my down times and always helps me with her presence. She is not a “talker” type of cat, but she is always here, by my side, when I need her most. She does not judge me, or make me feel I am worthless when I cannot do things. She is just here, faithfully, making me fell loved.

Funny that a cat can do that and so many humans can’t. We should take a lesson from the animals on this one!