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Author Archives: Georgia's Pampering

A few goodbye quotes

And when you hurt because others’ words cut through you like arrows, just remember…

Life Since June 2020

I had to take a step away from most media and such while I dealt with some big life changes in this past year. If you’ve been following me for a while, then you know that I contracted Covid, survived despite the belief that my illness equaled no survival of contracted, and went through an intense few months of Home Health while recovering from Post Covid Syndrome (finally made official in some circles). I worked extremely hard to get part of my health back and ended Home Health better than I was pre-Covid due to the incredible Physical Therapists and intense independent PT. I became more functional than I had been in a couple of years, although I’m still disabled and face daily challenges, and continue some parts of my PT independently to this day.

While recovering I began to feel strongly that I had been given a second chance at life, especially since I was not supposed to survive and had actually improved to have a better quality of life. I had been preparing to die because it was inevitable that I would contract it, so I couldn’t continue letting life pass me by when I was given such a massive gift.

For many years I had been unhappy. It was a combination of things, but one part that we kept very private was that our marriage had hit hard times years prior and never recovered, although we tried. We honestly were better roommates and friends than as a couple, and he was a thoroughly amazing caregiver and provider. I have been accused of a lot of things over the past months, but I’ve always given him credit for helping me with my disability, being a much needed friend when things went badly with Kid’s adoption, and we were comfortable with one another. But we hadn’t been in love for a long time. I don’t feel that it’s appropriate to debate our thoughts and feelings from early on, prior to when things became a real struggle years ago, and I won’t go there, so I’ll give credit where it is due but be honest about the fact that the marriage failed a long time before I declared it. I honestly had waited for my illness to progress until I’d die and then Covid came along, so I waited for that to end my life and the marriage.

Instead, working so hard to recover gave me the strength to decide I was going to file for divorce and leave town, when it had just been something I had wanted to do for some time, but felt it was pointless because it seemed like my health was going to decline fast enough that marriage wasn’t a priority anymore. But I was lonely despite living in a house with my legal husband, aka roommate and friend, and I wasn’t going to ruin my second chance at a life by remaining unhappy.

During this time Fate intervened. A former fiancé from 19 years ago reached out to catch up and it was as if our friendship had picked right back up from the moment we parted (a sad miscommunication that I won’t get into). He was going through a divorce and we talked about my decision to file, and he explained all that he knew about the process, etc, and our friendship continued to strengthen. I could talk to someone that hadn’t been involved in my married life at all, had no stake in it, and could work through my thoughts and feelings without fear of judgement, while he also helped me change my way of looking at my disability as part of my life, but that it hadn’t changed ME. For the past several years I had felt like disability had to have changed me, because I didn’t feel like I was in a loving marriage anymore and felt that my health needs had ruined my chances of meeting my romantic and “life” needs. One of my best friends sent me the perfect pin one day that sums up my sudden realization when I was able to see myself in his description (of still being me, but just not in the right situation and having extra challenges in life).

It was time to fix my environment now that my mind and soul felt strong enough, even if it meant I’d have to go on Section 8 and get extra state assistance.

We had been texting and emailing throughout all of this, but decided that he would come from across the border to the house to game with me, since he wanted to see SL for himself and we had spent a lot of our relationship when we were young gaming, so it was the most perfect first hangout in person. During all of this I hadn’t gotten to the point that I was ready to tell my husband about everything, because I hadn’t figured out all of my plans yet and we had known for some time that things weren’t right, so it didn’t feel like I needed to bring that up. I was completely honest about rebuilding my friendship with J, we’ll call him, and I was upfront about the plans for Luke to drive down to come game with me (it is so much easier to learn the basics in person if you’re going to hang out with a seasoned SL user). There were no motives beyond having an awesome time reconnecting and gaming, and hanging out with someone that was willing to drive over an hour to come hang out in person, especially when L seldom felt like taking me to hang out with friends on my good days for years.

The moment that J parked, got out his laptop, and then started walking up the sidewalk, I had this sudden feeling unlike any other. It was this sudden knowledge that my life was about to change completely from this moment on. And when he looked up and we smiled, it was like I got hit by a lightning bolt at the same time that the sun came out after years of darkness. I didn’t pinpoint the other feeling until later, but it had hit me that I still loved him as much as the day he proposed. I just felt something slam into my chest and mind, and everything felt right in the world again, right in the middle of a pandemic.

It was a magical night of catching up on life events (he had 2 sons now!), our marriages, showing my scrapbooks, and gaming. Although we spent part of it catching up, it was as if we had just picked back up from where we ended. When L’s alarm to wake up and get ready for work went off I went and made his lunch, and was back to explaining SL while sitting beside J when L had finished getting ready and came out to get the last items before leaving for work. J stood and shook L’s hand when I introduced them, and L later told me that when he shook J’s hand he knew that this was the man who was going to marry his wife. I just thought it was an awkward moment, tried to make it as easy as possible on them both, and we went back to gaming when L waved that he would head out without needing me to see him off. So J and I continued to hang out until it got late enough that he really needed to start his drive home because he still had to work in the morning. And no, despite rumors, we did not have an affair.

After having such an incredible time and a lot of deep conversation with J, I knew I needed to end the marriage despite not having my next living arrangement established yet. On the way home from a dr’s appointment in July, after a very disagreeable time together, I told L that I was filing for divorce. He actually guessed it when I said we needed to talk. We spent a long time talking, which was seriously overdo, and he had avoided, but actively participated in finally. Although he hoped things could be saved, he since acknowledged that I had tried for years to get his help to save things and I just couldn’t anymore. A person gives up hope after trying for a long time and once they realize there is still life to be lived, but that it doesn’t include that marriage, I don’t think anything can save that marriage. Definitely not our marriage.

I needed a break from it all, so I left for a few days to hang out with J and old friends that I had lost due to everything, and it was amazing. I suddenly saw an opportunity to live somewhere where I wouldn’t be watched or ostracized; where I had access to public transportation and Uber instead of always relying on others, and could get something as basic as a meal delivered when I didn’t feel up to cooking. And I had friends around me ready and happy to have game night, or hang out, and happily went out of their way to spend time with me without making me feel like my it was a hardship to be my friend or come hang out. Plus I was in an environment where I could go hang out or go shopping at the Dollar Tree or Hobby Lobby without having to make it a planned affair or dependent on if someone else felt up to it on one of my good days. I had lived in a small town for so long I had forgotten that cities actually provide a lot of opportunities for a disabled person and allowed for a lot of independence, which I desperately needed. So I decided that I needed to move to a city, whether it be the city J lived in or another, but not another small town.

During this eye opening and magical time the bond between J and I snapped firmly into place, and I finally fully realized that I was still in love with him after all these years. My love of going to Branson to see the Christmas lights… J had proposed at the Christmas tree. Even he kept lights up on his apartment balcony, and had sought the joy and comfort of lights throughout all the years without realizing why. I could fill a blog post alone of things we had independently pursued or enjoyed over the years without realizing that it was based on something from our time together. We had literally spent our time apart doing things that connected us, even during the better times during each of our marriages. And sometime during this time away to hang out with my formerly lost friends and figuring out emotionally what I was going to do (which is a massively different step than the practical part where you tell someone you’re leaving and start researching the best options for the different life), J and I became bonded fully. We had obviously formed a deeper bond than realized, in light of all the coincidences of things we both did while apart that connected us, but it was as if we found HOME by being together and without really having some profound moment, we just knew that we had kept loving one another throughout marriages to another and would spend the rest of our lives still loving each other. There wasn’t much of a decision to make…we would be living together.

The first few months after the decision to live together had rocky moments. We developed a week on/off visitation routine around his week of split custody of his sons and I packed to move in with the three of them once the time was right. During this L and I finally talked about pretty much every subject and re-established that we are best as friends while there’s no way the marriage can be saved. Thankfully the divorce is very amicable and straight forward, although Covid caused our hearing to be canceled for the foreseeable future. I tried to make sure that he had a support system to be there for him with me leaving, which caused some situations that hurt me deeply but I truly want the best for him, even if it requires my sitting there quietly while false accusations are slung at me. I’m a very honest person though, so I can’t handle the lies very well and avoid those that believe them without even asking me about my feelings, while instead they focus on their religious beliefs or what they think happened or how they feel it should be handled.

Although Covid has the legal aspect of the divorce at a standstill, we are legally separated in the eyes of the state of KS. I officially moved last month, although I spent most of October living in MO with J anyway, and we’re preparing for our second, first Christmas together, but this time as a family, while we wait for the legal system to catch up and grant us each a divorce, so that we can someday get married to one another. One of those little glitches that ends up meaning a lot, because we look forward to even having the option to plan getting married.

It’s a big adjustment. I work nearly daily on my PT in some way, I work on establishing a relationship with each young man including helping with online based school, and we are learning how to mesh our lives together. The apartment is starting to become organized again, now that I’m almost done unpacking and sorting my part of the assets L and I agreed up (and wrote into our divorce agreement for the judge). We even recently got back from a small trip to Christmas in Branson; the first time I felt fulfilled because I was sharing it with the person that made Christmas so magical for me. And although we have challenges ahead and a lot of legal stuff to still go through, everyone says they’ve never heard me sound or look happier or more content. Our love languages and love needs compliment one another’s too, so we naturally nurture one another.

I don’t talk about religion often, but we (and those close to us) truly believe that we were Fated to come back together and that nineteen years ago wasn’t the right time for this stage of life – but it was the stage that created a bond that has remained and grows. We got back together when we needed one another and were ready for the intense bond that we have. I’d usually be super skeptical and rolling my eyes if I read or wrote this at any other point in life, but for the first time I have absolutely no doubts or questions (beyond when can we progress legally so that we can continue to progress naturally). I remember asking my mom after accepting L’s proposal “how do you know that this is really it and the right one?”. We just somehow know it’s right and we are meant to be, as corny or cliche as that sounds. I didn’t know that it could feel so natural.

Anyway, I had a lot to do and go through before I could honestly blog again, and figured that this was the right time to finally set the story straight. If Covid hadn’t interfered, my divorce would have been finalized a couple of weeks ago, so now I feel like I’m just waiting for the legal part to catch up and feel like we all ready went through the divorce when we separated our assets, talked so much, did the divorce paperwork, and officially live separately and are working on trying to retain the friendship we have had since we met when I was just 18. we have been friends my entire adult life and although we didn’t work in marriage, I hope that we can remain friends throughout everything, and hope that I helped him become the man he needs to be for the next female in his life. I never would have expected to have gone through so much in less than a year (and surprise, surprise, actually survived Covid and Post Covid twice despite my immune system!) and would never have believed I’d have J back in my life again, let alone have a family now (interesting side note – it can be split custody, but you love the children as fiercely as if they’re with you full time! And not surprisingly I still can love them just as strongly, just as quickly, as if they were my own or I had adopted them!). Plus, I can finally admit that the male alt I created in SL a few years back was based on J (although disguised physically), but I never admitted even to myself until after we had reconnected. My mind and heart kept showing me and I just didn’t catch on. He literally dressed up as Phantom for Halloween when he was young. You’d think my obsession with Phantom would have clued me in. Lol Buh me on so many counts. *grin*

And just to put it out in the universe and set things straight. I’m not able to teleport or do anything magical. It was literally impossible for me to have had an affair for a year. I barely had the chance to even leave the house and Hogwarts certainly hasn’t sought me out, nor do I have a Tardis or self driving anything to take me elsewhere. And in a small town with eyes always watching, there was no way I could have had an affair with someone coming over without that being heard about. So seriously, if you are one of the people that questions things, it’s a hard no-possible-way. We did not pursue a relationship until after I had all ready announced my intentions. And this is the last time I will ever clarify or explain this again. Accept me, my choices, and my new life, knowing that I made what I feel are the best choices for me, without judging or questioning me, please.

Anyway, I had to work through a lot before I could write about things, since I wanted to wait until the divorce was finalized. Now that I’m just waiting on the court to reschedule the hearing to complete the legal part, I felt it was okay to break my silence. I hope that the past months have treated you readers well, despite a crazy pandemic, and that you’ve been able to carve out a way to be happy throughout all of the craziness. And I can officially write “happy pampering” again, as I got to teach “Little Man” how to make some Star Wars soaps and I made soaps myself for the first time in almost two years. I hope you’ll stick around and welcome back “the real me” as I begin to blog again. 😁 Happy pampering! 😉

A Harvest Meal

Harvest Chili with Cheddar Apple Quick Bread

This meal looked so amazing to me that I asked Leah to blog it, because I think a lot of us are in the mood for Fall dishes. 🙂 – GC

First is the amazing Harvest Chili recipe. It’s actually from Better Homes & Gardens here. I’ll copy and paste for your convenience too, but they get all the credit except for the amazing, mouth-watering, picture of it that Leah took and all her work! 🙂

Harvest Chili

Chicken-apple sausage pairs with tangy-sweet cooked apples instead of that chili regular–tomatoes.

Serve this chili over hot cooked polenta.

Prep:30 mins; Cook:30 mins; Servings:8

Harvest Chili

Andy Lyons

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ pounds cooked chicken-apple sausage links, cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 2 large red onions, chopped (3 cups)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut in 3/4-inch chunks (about 6 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut in 3/4-inch slices (**Leah notes that she chunks the apples instead of slicing, and she’s an amazing cook, so I’d definitely follow her example!**)
  • 1 15 ounce can pinto beans, rinsed, drained, and slightly mashed
  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh sage or tiny sage leaves
  • Golden Delicious or other apple, sliced in rings

Directions

  • Step 1 In a large Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage; cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until browned, stirring occasionally. Remove sausage with a slotted spoon.
  • Step 2. In the same pan, cook onion and garlic for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until nearly tender. Add the squash; cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the chili powder, salt, and cayenne; cook for 1 minute. Return the sausage to pan. Add broth; bring to boiling, then reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 8 minutes.
  • Step 3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat. Cook apple slices in hot oil for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until light brown. Transfer apples along with beans to chili. Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, until apples are tender. Top servings of chili with sage and apple rings.

Nutrition Facts 

Per Serving:356 calories; total fat 11g; saturated fat 3g; polyunsaturated fat 1g; monounsaturated fat 3g; cholesterol 60mg; sodium 944mg; potassium 699mg; carbohydrates 48g; fiber 8g; sugar 23g; protein 20g; trans fatty acidg; vitamin a 111IU; vitamin c 30mg; thiaminmg; riboflavinmg; niacin equivalents 2mg; vitamin b6mg; folate 44mcg; vitamin b12mcg; calcium 91mg; iron 3mg.© Copyright 2020 bhg.com. All rights reserved. Printed from https://www.bhg.com 09/16/2020

Cheddar Apple Quick Bread (source not available)

And I’m going to do something unusual here. I’m actually going to post a pic of the recipe she was using, because of her hand-written notes where she adapted the recipe and it’s written up nicer than I can do using the new block editor on the blog without paying for an upgraded blog that allows for a recipe widget. I personally like that I can print the pic to have the recipe, instead of highlighting too, but I’m weird like that. Lol

I hope you enjoy the recipes and are staying safe during such incredibly turbulent times in the world! Hopefully a comforting Fall themed meal brings a little joy to your day, like it did mine. – GC

Repost About Chiggers

Physical Therapy has been going really well and one of their goal is to get me to be able to be outside for a bit. So I tried that for a bit yesterday. Unfortunately, the bug killer on the gravel driveway had faded away without me knowing and I now have 13 chigger bites. I slept most of yesterday via the glory of Benadryl and decided that today might be a good day to repost about the nasty little buggers since it’s been a few years. So here’s an informational post for all of us that get to suffer from these literal suckers. 🙂

To kick it off I want to introduce you to the exciting excruciating life of a chigger. For those that haven’t been to the Midwest or Southern areas of the beautiful USA I’m going to give you the heebie-jeebies, so settle in. You’ve been warned. *evil grin* A chigger is simply a mite that is virtually invisible to the naked eye. They love to live in the grass, but especially longer vegetation, although apparently they can infest vehicles and homes even. (It gets better, or worse, depending how you look at it.) I’m not going to go into the scientific stuff with you, so I’m going to give it to you Midwest style. *teasing smile* Basically, when the chigger is in the larval stage they eat skin cells. It was originally believed that the chigger burrowed under the skin, causing a “bite”. However, due to the amazing nerds in lab coats (you rock!), we now know that they actually inject an enzyme into the host (you or I in this instance) which starts to break down the tissue and they feed on that lovely goo of decomp. The really fun part is that they prefer warm and damp areas (think about that for a second), so elbows, knees, where your socks are cinched around your ankle, armpits, skin folds (*ahem* lol), and the groin are prime feeding spots. After they’ve attached and inject that enzyme into you, the spot becomes a nice little feeding tube for the larva. They fall off when they’re done and become nymphs, which later develop into adult chiggers. Thankfully it’s only the larva that cause such a problem, otherwise I’d be screaming to set the whole area on fire and that the land can’t be inhabited. *grin* The Brooksville Garden Club (no longer an active link) very kindly put some informative pictures on their site, so I’m sharing two of their pics so you can get a mental image. To top it off I added a nice little close up rendering of them feeding that I found on Wikipedia.

The chigger life cycle

The chigger life cycle

The larval chigger working some magic

The larval chigger working some magic

Chigger larva "biting" host

Chigger larva “biting” host

This little feeding area becomes extremely irritated, as in one of the most intense itches you will ever have in your life.  There are tons of products on the market to supposedly heal thy chigger bite, but lots are just a placebo effect.   We’ll look into prevention first and then some treatments to try.

Well, you could always use lawn treatment that is indicated for chiggers, but what if you have a nice safe lawn and step out into your driveway, not noticing that some weeds or grass has pushed up through the gravel (remember my mentioning I was in the gravel driveway?)? You might consider a secondary treatment. Now this is tried and true, but doesn’t come with a 100% guarantee. Take a shower as quickly as possible and wash with the original or orange (antibacterial, which is the preferred choice) versions of Dawn Dish Soap (works wonderfully for getting poison ivy’s oils off of your skin, too!). If you can, follow up the soap with some exfoliation, although some vigorous towel rubbing seems to work just as well, but you’ll miss out on a chance to linger in that soothing lukewarm to cool cascade of water. If it’s just not possible to take that shower, after all you might not be THAT close to your friend that you can say you’re going to go jump in their shower, then a “spit wash” usually works just as well if you don’t need to do a large portion of the body. If you’ve just been walking, then usually washing your legs off is adequate enough, so suds up a washcloth or paper towel, scrub well, and then do a “rinsing” towel afterward. Anyone that is a super supporter of all natural stuff please close your eyes and scroll down a few lines riiiiight now. If you know you’re headed outside use a good repellent with Deet, but make sure it lists that it works against chiggers, since not all Deet ones do. Plan to look like an über weirdo and tuck your pant legs into your socks for even more protection. The evil little buggers can’t climb up your leg then, usually. I’m a big fan of Off Deep Woods combined with the dish soap scrub. (Always follow product instructions and medical advice, yada yada.) I seldom ever do the pant tucking because when it’s chigger weather in the Midwest it’s usually pretty toasty and humid, so you won’t catch me in full length pants usually. lol

Say company stopped by and you ended up spontaneously having a chat in that slightly overgrown and untreated driveway. You didn’t really have a chance to take any preventative measures, didn’t realize that the bug stuff wasn’t treating the ground anymore, and a couple of days (or hours if you’re extra unlucky) later you’re suddenly itching in spots that would most likely embarrass your mother to see you scratching. Skip all of the items that claim they help chigger bites. (You’ll still want to do a healthy rub to make sure that the larva is no longer on the skin before you apply treatments.) Instead, try a little of the good ole Vicks VapoRub. (Side note: who do I talk to at Vicks to get them to become my sponsor since I give a lot of marketing for off label uses of their products? *grin*) VapoRub has healthy concentrations of menthol and camphor, which are the main ingredients that clear your sinuses out when you rub it on your chest. (And also can help with some muscle pain, since those two ingredients are topical analgesics, but make sure you cover with something that you don’t mind getting stained up, since it’ll totally mess up cloth.) Dab some of the Rub over the horrendous lump you’ve developed and you may just find some relief.

Since everyone is different, something else might work for you. If that’s the case, try some anbesol/Orajel if you have it on hand. These often help people overcome that intense itch and also works great for mosquito bites, so I take a tiny tube with me when camping. Ivarest, an expensive yet awesome little tube of treatment for poison ivy, may help you too and rubs right into the skin.

You can also try a soothing bath with some Epsom Salts. Remember a long time ago when I mentioned a lot of awesome benefits to Epsom or maybe that tips and handy info tab on my website that talks about the believed benefits of it? Anyway, the Epsom will usually help heal some of that inflammation from the lovely tube of rotting muck stuck in you and may even help to shrink that little puppy up. Next you can stay in the same line and apply a little skin benefiting oil (like sweet almond) to the spot and pat some plain table salt over the badge of summer honor. This will not only help to dry it up, but it may also keep air from the spot. The problem with this is that you have to lay or sit around while letting the salt dry, and once it’s dry it will start to fall off as you are active, which can get weird and uncomfortable. Although I’d say you have a high tolerance for the uncomfortable if you’re able to lay in a compromising position naked with salt and oil drying on you, anyway, since most are in those areas that must not be mentioned. lol Still in the same concept you can also apply a simple baking soda paste to the spots, much like you can for other topical allergens.

Lastly, you might stick with the original old wives’ tale of covering the spot in clear nail polish. We know that we’re not suffocating the evil little cell suckers, but the polish seals the area off from the air, which is usually part of what is making you itch, scientists believe. However, most scientists also think this is totally bunk, so whatever floats your boat and works for you.

I’ve read varying reports about the ability for these little guys to fall off of you when they’re done feeding and carry out their life cycle right there in your home or vehicle. If you have more than one (and seriously, who usually ever gets just one?! They’re like freaking potato chips!), and you didn’t get them off, then you never know. You might just get them inside. (Yet again, I’ve read contradictory research on this, so don’t quote me. lol) Why not just try to make sure it’s not a possibility no matter what?

Oh, and in case you haven’t seen what a “bite” can look like, it can vary widely depending on how a person’s immune system responds.  We have small red spots, angry welts, or even nasty blisters in response to these feeding tubes.  MedlinePlus has a nice pic of the blistering version:

Chigger bite blisters MedlinePlus

Chigger bite blisters
MedlinePlus

The Mayo Clinic has a picture of a typical collection of “bites” on their slideshow:

Scabbed chigger bites Mayo Clinic

Scabbed chigger bites
Mayo Clinic

If you have immune system issues they often become huge welts that are about three to four times as big as the scabbed ones in the Mayo Clinic picture, plus they develop a nice dark ring around the affected area as the blood decides to come to the surface. I’m not showing you pictures of my summer “war” wounds. I was wearing a dress, so no polite ankle bites to show. Meh.

All of the doctors agree that you shouldn’t scratch chigger bites due to the risk of infection.  I don’t know a single person that’s ever managed to avoid doing it at least a few times, especially in their sleep.  You might decide to cover the area with a bandage or even plastic wrap (no weirder than a spa treatment) after you’ve found the treatment that works for you.  For me I have to live a little dangerously.  I rub or scratch lightly around the raised center to make sure the larval vamp is detached, take some antihistamines, and use an analgesic.  With my condition I have an issue with hyper responses and stimulations, so what should be the size of a period on a piece of paper will rapidly swell to match a quarter.  Due to this I have to combat the inflammation from both sides (which is contraindicated usually, so do all of the legal stuff to keep yourself safe, because I am often noncompliant since my body never acts “normally”) and work on the inflammatory response.

Hopefully if you’re suffering from chiggers right now and that jar of Chigarid or Chiggerex Plus isn’t doing much good, you’ll give one or more of these home treatments a whirl and see if something unconventional will work for you, too. I hope you find some relief. If you’re now terrified to ever enter these areas of the States that have chiggers, at least now you know about them, how to prevent them, and some treatment options if they decide that your cell buffet is the best in town. They’re just a nuisance, so don’t let them discourage you from exploring. If you have found other home remedies that work for you or others that you know, please feel free to include them in the comments. You might just save someone else some misery!

3 Celebrity Crushes

Who is your celebrity crush? While still looking through writing prompts I saw “write about three celebrity crushes” and I was amused. I thought this would be a fun one that fits with a bit of escapism from everything going on, so here goes. I would also LOVE to receive some comments about yours!

First, I will admit that if they have a UK accent, most likely I appreciate their voice and sense of humor. They might be good looking too, but it’s their interviews or fan interaction that show their inner attractiveness that gets them on my totally objectifying “Eye Candy” board. *grin*

First, Gerry Butler is my ultimate Hall Pass, not that it’d happen in a million years, but if there’s going to be a celebrity hall pass list, he’s going to be first. Sings, such a sarcastic and inappropriate sense of humor, self deprecating, bearded (almost always prefer at least some facial hair *sigh*), and smart enough to have been a lawyer. I know that his singing isn’t up to snuff for some, especially the Michael Crawford crowd, but “Music of the Night” makes me melt enough to have originally based my half sleeve tattoo concept around a line of the song because I memorized it after listening to him sing it so many times. *laugh* I’ve also gotten to that point in life that I like that he has a “dad bod” between movies and will never get back to the abs from 300. I totally appreciate a man who spends time living life instead of in the gym or counting calories; just one of my things.

Leaving Scotland and heading to London is Tom Hiddleston. He has such an awesome personality in every interview, sings beautifully anyway but man oh man he did an amazing job on “I Saw the Light” (as Hank Williams), and has such an adorable smile. He’s an awesome actor, of course, but I watch his interviews even more often than his movies. And I’m not sure which poem the quote of him saying “I will be the first man to kiss you, to bed you…” *blushes and looks for a fan* I would be happy to hear him read the yellow pages, but seductive poetry? 😳

This would be more of a character type than celebrity, actually. Ryan Eggold is a good example. Intelligent, down to Earth, an adorable smile, and a quirky personality (especially a nerdy one) will always land them on my “hot tamale train”, as Mary Murphy calls it. Add tidy facial hair or glasses and I’ll blush while I obsessively binge watch the show. *laugh* Every so often someone who plays a naughty character, like Colin O’Donoghue as Hook on OUAT or Johnny Depp as a scrape in Cry Baby (some guys can pull off guy liner better than most women pull off eyeliner, IMO), sneaks in and makes me smile. Cheeky buggers.

Now, I may be heterosexual, but I can’t make this list without including women. Although it’s not so much a “get the motor running” kind of thing for me *saucy grin*, it’s often “your confidence or personality is sexy as h-”.

Melanie Moore isn’t really a celebrity unless you’re really into dance. She won So You Think You Can Dance and went on to be one of their all stars, as well as making some awesome performances on Broadway (which are very hard to find videos people snuck for the poor people like me that will never get the chance to watch a Broadway performance in person *grin*). She’s always super supportive of her dance partners and seems to be an awesome mentor for the amateur dancers. I still watch her performance to “Total Eclipse of the Heart” with Neil Haskell from like eight years ago and feel the longing of her character (Mandy Moore is such an amazing choreographer) every single time. (The storyline of the choreography is that he has decided to leave and she is trying to convince him to stay. I couldn’t find any videos that include the explanation from Mandy Moore prior to the dance after all these years, unfortunately. Here’s the link to the dance performance if you’d like to watch.)

Ruby Rose is a strong contender for first place. Excuse the word, but she is the ultimate badass to me. I even tried to get her Pitch Perfect 3 haircut although it didn’t turn out right on me. She loves tattoos and even did some boxing (remember my two goals I want to get back to from Pre-Covid?). She’s learned to be comfortable in who she is and that difficult to obtain confidence is amazing.

Melissa McCarthy is probably the one nobody expected to be on the list. She is an awesome actress, funny as h-, and is actually happy with her body despite it not being what society deems pretty. One quote that I seriously love is “[harsh review from a critic focusing on her weight] I felt really bad for someone who is swimming in so much hate. I just thought, that’s someone who’s in a really bad spot, and I am in such a happy spot. I laugh my head off every day with my husband and my kids who are mooning me and singing me songs.” She is truly a role model. “There’s an epidemic in our country of girls and women feeling bad about themselves based on what 0.5% of the human race looks like.” There would be a lot less bullying and self harm if this quote went viral, IMO.

I hope you have fun thinking about your own list and figuring out why they’re your celebrity crushes, hopefully beyond being eye candy. *grin* Like I wrote in the beginning, I’d love to read your own! It’s kind of fascinating what all goes into a crush and also sometimes helps your listener/reader/friend see that person from a new POV. I hope you are all being safe during such a turbulent and medically scary time, and hope you are enjoying the few minutes of escape from regular life these odd posts may bring. 🙂

Stereotype (Random)

Unique Tidbits You May Not Know About Me

My awesome friend got me a book of writing prompts since I’ve had writer’s block for what feels like forever and I decided to adapt one prompt to make a blog post. It’s about time to have something fun and totally not about health, politics, or anything serious on here. 😊

If you’re a frequent reader, you know that I’m considered a “death positive” person (check out Ask a Mortician if you’d like info about that). What you might not know is that I can totally make one of my best friends sick to his stomach just by mentioning some of the YouTube/Patreon channels I follow. *grin* Spaulding Decon are absolute heroes in my opinion, but decomp and hoarding cleanup is something most people can’t stomach thinking about. These amazing people compassionately take care of biohazards and emphasize that you can’t judge a situation or person because you don’t know how life was for them. They are amazing about raising awareness for suicide prevention (kind of goes hand in hand with some decomps, but they go above and beyond to share their stories and encourage those with suicidal ideation to seek help with even providing the Prevention hotline each time).

Along a similar trail, I dress up a fake skull. Yep, all year round. LOL Skelly gets a change or new mask every few months, and shows off right on top of the entertainment center speaker in the living room. *grin* Instead of the usual decorated dominoes I get, this time I indulged in an elaborate Venetian masquerade mask with a gorgeous, handmade, laser-cut, scrolling lace work butterfly wing that stands at least 6 inches above the right eye. Until now she frequently rocked the glittery hot pink and black domino mask from my adoption motherhood party. If you’re going to do something unique, you should definitely go all out. *grin*

I wasn’t just the “mad scientist” behind Georgia’s Pampering/Bath & Body Products. I know just enough about chemistry, coupled with too much interest in what I may create without thinking ahead to verify the safety of things, that I’ve been dangerous a few times. The worst is probably when I accidentally made mustard gas. 🤦🏻‍♀️ LOL

My specialist is convinced I buy pot and am afraid to tell him, since it’s not legal here yet (although I admittedly support and donate to the Medicinal Marijuana lobbying program *laugh*). It’s well known that it’s very effective, in certain strains, to help Fibromyalgia. I think the tally is now up to six times he’s tried to get me to admit it. I admitted to making a synthetic version, since it’s not exactly rocket science to look at the chemical formula and then use Marinol (generic synthetic prescription cannabis) combined with OTC oral CBD (I totally recommend Koi if you’re looking for a good oil). Take the pill and for a more pleasant experience, put some drops of flavoring under your tongue first, before you put the drops of CBD, and let them get absorbed. Right now Black Series Apple Pie is my favorite and totally prevents that grassy taste that some CBDs have. I totally am not advocating that you do it, please talk to your doctor first if you’re on Marinol in a non-medicinal state and want to try this, and all the other jazz that removes any liability. I just find it really amusing to have my doctor picturing fun-sized me in some alley in the city buying a bit so I can go roll some at home. It was even more amusing when he turned and said “out of all of my patients, of course you’d be the one to figure out how to make a synthetic version”. *grin* Probably ties into the mad scientist part of my personality.

I actually won three Presidential awards before I turned 18. One was for Education (eh, we all know I fly my nerd flag high), while the other two were for “Literary Excellence”, which is just a fancy way of saying “Way to go on writing some good poetry”. *laugh* I have a variety of smaller writing awards, along with an unfulfilled song writing contract and a novel I have never finished, and even got to include a poem about domestic abuse awareness on “The World’s Largest Peace Poem”, which has writing from a ton of people, but I love that there are pieces by The Dalai Lama on it. I competed at two poetry conventions, but the ability to be included on there still makes me smile, especially since it wasn’t just your average world peace. It’s about the violence hidden behind closed doors and whispered about, but seldom acknowledged. When I feel like I haven’t accomplished much in life due to becoming a Spoonie, that moment in life gets me all choked up.

I can be very bold and vulnerable when I write, but I’m incredibly shy when I talk to people or I am around others. A massive introvert in person, although “a bossy bit of goods” if we become close. *grin* I can write about the grittiest details of my life, yet I turn beet red and talk softer and softer when I try to get the story out verbally. An INTJ personality all the way (although I seriously DO try to be respectful of other opinions and traditions, plus I somehow developed a lot of empathy despite my personality). I run a Risk Analysis about pretty much everything except when I make things. *laugh*

I love to line dance. Granted, I can’t really go and do it anymore, but on my rare good days, neighbors get a weird silhouette of me doing the Electric Slide or 20 Step in my kitchen while I make a sandwich. If I have any alcohol at all, even a shot, I want to dance. *laugh* And I can make a lot of songs work as a two step. The stereotypical “white girl club dance” of the ‘00s isn’t as limber or seductive as it used to be, but I can’t stay still if “Ice Ice Baby” or “Cradle of Love” comes on. *laugh*

I had a lot of unique or once-in-a-lifetime experiences before I even turned 21. I got to ride in a tank that was retrofitted to drive on paved roads, sat on a cannon, and hugged decommissioned bombs with one almost as tall as the gazebo. I got to explore (very limited, meh) a submarine being decommissioned. I was actually on a volunteer fire department and studying during my HS senior year to be trained in EMS. I did hula (poorly lol) and the rare version of martial arts, Bok Fu Do. A tiny little girl (I’m talking like 6 YO or something) being trained by these world-renown men; how cool is that?! I was recruited in HS to be a journalist for The Army (although I couldn’t pass the physical). I studied and fed trapdoor spiders with my dad as a kid.

And I think I’ll close this list out with my very diverse music collection (or called weird if you want to hurt my feelings; lol). My Top Favs Playlist ranges from musicals (from the sexy Gerry Butler all the way to the amusing King Cry-Baby), to country (give me Johnny Cash, Johnny Horton, Blake Shelton, or Toby Keith and I’m equally happy), to Eminem and Halsey for a jam session, Celtic Thunder, ballads from Joe Cocker to Skylar Grey, to Oldies ranging from The Beatles to The Beach Boys and Elvis Presley. You never know what genre my random setting will play next. *grin* Even Echo is unsure what to pick when I ask her to play something I would like. *laugh* I have three different Christmas playlists from Classic, Contemporary, to Classical, but I DO keep them separate, so I defiantly say that it’s diverse and not weird. *grin*

Anyway, during such a time of upheaval, anger, and fear, I hope this wildly odd post gives you a little escapism and a smile. According to some *mutters under my breath* I’m odd enough to make a couple blog posts like this, but this is probably enough. *laugh* Did I mention that I love to box, but I’m also a sucker for anything with glitter? That might be kind of a unique combo. *grin* Stay safe. 🙂

Just an amusing meme

Day 2 of 3, Week 2

I know Home Health is supposed to help, but it may be what breaks me for the month. Lol Yesterday the meeting was 7 hours later than originally set, after a night of insomnia. No call yet to say when to expect today’s, so yoga pants and oversized tee are on in case it’s a 5 minute warning. I start PT officially today. I’m ready with my mat, XXL heating pad, TENS unit, and coffee. Bedrest exercises and falling prevention. Sounds fun, right? Anyone want to share in an exhausted pity party this morning? Lol

Sparkles are definitely required. I earned them. 😉

A Surprising and Huge Update

I am gobsmacked. Straight up, holy Scooby Snacks, you name it, shocked! It turns out that everything that happened in March, which caused this “massive progression”, was completely different than originally thought.

Back in early March it was believed that I contracted H1N1 with a very nasty and acute sinus infection following, which triggered a huge progression in my Fibromyalgia. Nope!

My awesome doctor started me on Tamiflu as a preventative the day I was exposed to H1. Yet I still presented with difficult flu symptoms, so it got chalked up to my immune system laughing at attempting preventative care. Since the week on Tamiflu, as of June 9th I finished my last pill in my fourth course of heavy duty antibiotics and still have the same weird symptoms that are like a sinus infection mixed with something weird. It turns out that the Tamiflu worked. While at the hospital, just days before the announcement of Covid, I actually contracted it. The presentation of symptoms were of a medium case of Covid that didn’t require hospitalization (I know, I’m amazed by this too!). Following this was the start of what has been anecdotally called “post Covid syndrome”.

It threw my health into a bigger tailspin than anyone could figure out and made my Fibro absolutely unrecognizable after my getting to the point of knowing every warning sign of what was about to happen, from having it for so long. And without my realizing it my symptoms got so bad that I believed I had progressed so rapidly that I was actually dying.

My amazing concierge doctor noticed the change in me and immediately ordered Home Health, since I had absolutely no quality of life anymore and was on bedrest almost around the clock. I had so many falls that one went so bad that I fell and hit my disability handle and hurt myself pretty badly. I had a body and symptoms that I couldn’t recognize or identify.

Home Health (HH from here on out) stepped up FAST. Within just a couple days I had both my nurse and PT Evaluators here to establish symptoms, goals, and all that good stuff. During the PT Eval he looked at me and said that he’s treated Fibro for many years and this wasn’t the presentation of a Fibro progression that he’s ever seen. It sounded more like the after affects of Covid than H1 or Fibro. Say what?!

That night, once the Fibro brain fog lifted as it usually does if it’s nighttime, I went down the research rabbit hole. I went to all my trusted sites from when I worked in Neurology first. They led to this, which led to that, and then to several epidemiologists, and finally to one epidemiologist who also focuses on ME/CFS (Fibro’s official initials nowadays). He started a list of post Covid symptoms that general population has been reporting, plus the extremely weird symptoms and changes that ME patients have been reporting, along with their “recovery” stories. Their Fibro had undergone dramatic changes that made it unpredictable to them too. And I had almost, if not all (it’s daytime, so happy brain fog time), of the post Covid symptoms.

This explained why super heavy hitting antibiotics couldn’t kick my symptoms for the first time. It explained how I could suddenly get bouts of difficulty breathing and get the barking cough back, and it suddenly disappear as fast as it came on. The increased falls, even more acute fatigue, unpredictable new symptoms that were attributed to Fibro, pain that my usual pain regiment can’t even take the edge off of, and even the massive swing of depression despite having finally gotten stable with the right antidepressants. We threw the proverbial kitchen sink at this and I couldn’t get better, so of course I thought this was it. So I just waited for someone to accidentally expose me to Covid and finish it off. No one expected that I’d survive it.

I survived. I have Fibromyalgia with a laundry list of other Invisible Disease comorbidities and I had a case that didn’t even get diagnosed as Covid until I was in the negative testing phase. And everything I have been suffering since St. Patrick’s Day fits absolutely perfectly with this syndrome of after effects.

HH is still a Godsend and although tiring, has all ready improved my life (not just with this whole revelation), and I’ll continue to learn how to manage, but from a massively different perspective and now with hope. We actually have long-term goals again. We’re celebrating. We’re learning how to adapt, especially since I may not get back to my cruddy pre-March “normal”. And we have to be super careful that I don’t get exposed again, since there is absolutely no idea if I can be reinfected or develop something else from exposure. We don’t even know at what point I technically stopped being contagious, but thank goodness I was all ready under quarantine for H1N1!

But a sickly gal with Invisible Diseases is a survivor. I’m so damn thankful and proud of that. My body pulled through on its own for the very first time. And who knows, maybe having Fibro helped fight it? “This is my territory to terrorize, so back off!” I know, absurd, but it makes me smile to think of my Fibro smack talking a pandemic trying to take me down. *grin*

So to the other Spoonies, have hope. I know very well how that seems impossible, but I’m proof that we can do this. And I’m here if you need to talk, have questions, or want to see if maybe your weird new symptoms match. And guess what? The government is finally starting to notice us and see that they need to help us. This pandemic is expected to slam a lot of people with Fibro and other post-viral Invisible Diseases. That makes us an even bigger portion of the population and they have to see us after this. We CAN survive and they WILL have to research how to help us. I’ve always believed that with every bad thing there’s at least a tiny silver lining. This horrible situation will finally bring us hope. Suicide and progression aren’t all that we face anymore. HOPE.

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