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And the Adventure Begins!

Today we start the next twist of our Celtic Knot of life. 😊 In 12 hours we will be cleaning up and heading back out. What a crazy thought!

We started things off right…

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes as big as my head and
The savory yummies to balance it out

Now for the car ride to Kansas…

The obligatory candid with us in our “work” clothes to get the shelter ready for the event

In about an hour and a half we will be unloading today’s last minute items, and then the guys will take off to go get the rest of the items all packed and left at his mom’s near the shelter. Let the adventure begin!! 😁

The Journey in Memes

Just like Link and Zelda, it’s what Twin Flames do.

Once in a Lifetime

Things have been downright crazy while preparing for the upcoming ceremony, and I had a moment this morning to sit and try to figure out how it could seem like there is so much more to this than my first wedding. And then it dawned on me. In just 3 days we will be hosting a once in a lifetime event, at least for almost all attending or watching. In America we don’t often see Celtic traditional ceremonies and activities. St. Patrick’s Day here is very different and definitely nothing akin to traditional. I’m not putting that down, so don’t get me wrong please. It’s kind of awesome that we put our own spin (or flavor, as Little Man says sometimes) to things. With our common ancestry and interests, having my dream celebration of a traditional Handfasting is nearly mind blowing. 😁 With this being so different than anything that is usually done around here, it’s a lot more complicated, and that’s before you consider the kids, transportation logistics, etc. *laugh* I mean, we literally practiced and wrote out detailed instructions of how to do the cord binding during the ceremony, to provide to the officiant. This may be a celebration and not a legal event, but we all know me…I’ve researched all that I can, pulled out the parts that work for us and adapted as needed, and have every last detail in a list (or 4, depending on which type of list – to do on specific days, responsibilities, foods, overall checklist, yeah…I know, I have a problem. Lol

Thank goodness for The Knot and their app. Although I had to tweak things to all get out because this isn’t a wedding, it has reminded me of so many details I might have forgotten and keeps me on track when I overlook one of my written lists, plus it has a running guest list along with tracking gifts and thank yous sent. (Dude, how handy is that, especially if you kind of suck at writing and mailing those usually?!)

Anyway, we finished up a lot of the big things that can be done ahead of time and it’s now a waiting game to be able to do specific things on specific days, like buying perishables, picking up items from the bakery, etc. While texting tips and discussing the binding with my mom and our officiant, it really sank in that we will never be a part of or see something like this again in our lifetimes. That’s kind of awesome, IMO. Cord binding during a Handfasting, personal vows spoken (or slaughtered, if the person knows Irish Gaelig *laugh* – trying super hard to say the words correctly though, I promise!), and then decor that is completely about us. Absolutely none of your usual decorations. There are Phantom of the Opera, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Grinch, Harry Potter, and the list goes on…along with framed printouts of traditional phrases and how to say them, details about Celtic traditions, and then the fact that our ancestors trace back to the same spot in Ireland (and a few others in Europe, although at different times). It’s truly become a celebration of us.

I think it’s really easy to get caught up in what is popular or “normal”, and put the guests’ possible opinions ahead of our own when planning things. I nearly fell down that rabbit hole, but that’s where our personalities help balance each other out. That and he chills me out when I get all detail psycho and worked up. *laugh* I’m thankful that we entered this part of our journey sideways, so to speak, which made sure that we will have a super unique and individualized event. Certain individuals are unable to attend and their absence is felt keenly, but I’m thankful that I get to share everything leading up to it and then highlights of the day, thanks to the latest technology. We live in a remarkable time that allows us to really embrace life’s journey and share it with those we love. (And now mask free!)

Anyway, I just felt a desire to share my awe with you. Life seems so ordinary, and downright difficult sometimes, that it’s so beautiful that we, and our guests and incredible helpers, will get to be a part of such a once in a lifetime event. All the way down to dancing The Wobble, which was requested, because I’m all ready a “weeble wobble” due to my illness, so I don’t plan to dance ever again to something that challenges that. *cracking up* The generosity of spirit shown, the understanding of trying to build a new home from two divided ones, and having such a strong support system develop through this has made it all the more amazing. And I must say, there is nothing as “oh, I got something in my eye” inducing as a ten year old saying they can’t wait for the ceremony that bonds you as a family, and that special shy smile when they hear that you made sure that the song that’s an inside joke for just the two of you will be played even though it doesn’t really fit as a dance-type of song. It’s been 9 months of “firsts” and I’m blessed that I get to be part of such a unique event that keeps those firsts coming, when I used to think that my disability was a death sentence. 😊 God bless the Celtic Knot of life’s journey. 😉

Tips for Covid on my Third Round

Of course this is just a silly blog entry, so talk to your doctor if you suspect you have Covid, you have Covid and need assistance, and all that good, legal stuff. I don’t assume responsibility or any of that stuff. By reading I hope you might learn something interesting, smile several times, and have a good day.

With that out of the way, now that I’m able to sit up in bed this morning and am actually awake during “normal” hours, I thought blogging is the number one course of action, of course. 😉 First up, don’t expect it to be easier or the same as previous cases of Covid you survived. I’ll wait here while you facepalm yourself. You survived the big and bad before, so of course you’re stronger this time and it’s just going to knock you a few pegs. Nope. You ~might~ get lucky enough to have a light case if you get Covid more than once, but plan on feeling like you’re knocking at Death’s door.

Second, unless your shortness of breath is height of the Pandemic kind of bad, expect to be pretty invisible at the hospital. Pack a go bag. Include a drink, extra layer of clothing in case you’re cold, phone charger, and throat drops. Other than procedures, my nurse checked on me absolutely no times. And they put my bag on the other side of the bed with the rail up, I didn’t have my cane and was too weak to walk around, and they hid the pillow and bedding. I had the loosely fitted sheet to the bed and the gown they gave me for my X-ray, plus those extra clothes that I still had before they moved my stuff. Staff did tag team care on me with long intervals of nothing but time to myself. It hurt to breathe, but the X-ray was good, so don’t expect a breathing treatment, pain relief, or such until near discharge. Just keep your mask on and behave. Bonus points if you’re not disabled and can get around the bed to get your things.

If you’re a Spoonie, prepare for the dreaded Fibro eye roll when giving your list. Yeah, still in this day of age and with so many “long haulers”, which got added to my diagnosis list too. Feel like your skin is being filleted off because it hurts when you cough? Med seeker. Your usual pain meds aren’t touching this feeling like your chest has been torn apart? Aren’t you used to chronic pain?

They literally want to handle your financial info on the phone, with masks on, on other sides of the glass door, and expect things to go smoothly. If the Sam’s Club door greeter can’t understand me with a mask on, I don’t think this little concept is going to be beneficial to either party. And if I’m told “I don’t understand you” one more time, you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll find a way to the door, open it, and lick you. Forget droplet protocol. Do you have “she just full on licked me like a psycho with a billion Covid positive germs” protocol? *grin*

Sure, you’re miserable, but this is a special time to spend by yourself contemplating how miserable you are. No masked up company. Even if your SO was positive and is being treated, you get this time to to yourself to reflect on that delightful feeling of your skin peeling off, your lungs being squeezed in a vise, and seriously debating what could they really do if you pull back the drape to announce to the nursing station that you’re checking yourself out because after five hours you may die of thirst with all of this coughing.

And if you’re a Spoonie, do NOT stop your regular treatment protocol without also talking to your doctor and pharmacist, and obtaining precise instructions. Thank goodness my SO’s best friend is a pharmacist! My pharmacy left it clear as mud, there are few trustworthy sites to cross reference once you get deep into treatments like we need, and that mixed up time of treatment was pretty close to worse than when I went to the hospital than before. Honestly. I’m truly hard pressed to decide which was worse. I still feel like I’ve been getting mule-kicked in my lower back, but it’s bearable now.

You may have escaped without losing taste or smell other times, but don’t brag. It’ll come back and bite you. Then you’re left with them prescribing something to help you eat because all food tastes horrific and it just doesn’t sink through your mind that you need the nourishment even if cat food might be less offensive smelling to you. I felt like I couldn’t brush my teeth and tongue enough, even though it triggered coughing spells. Thankfully you may get some flavors back and it might not take a really long time (cue the “Hallelujah”).

If you’re a Spoonie with Costo, check remaining self esteem and self consciousness at the door for the remainder of the breathing issues. I seriously discovered the most relief when I had a coughing jag was for him to hold me around my ribs while I coughed, wheezed, and hacked away. If you can handle it, get one or two shots of inhaler. That went out the window for me unfortunately. We found that a cough drop, coughing, being held, and try to softly sing was the best combo for mine. Seriously. Jacked up, I know, but nursery rhymes, favorite songs, whatever. I suspect some was mentally soothing and gave me something to focus on beyond the fear of not breathing. I think there is some merit to the belief that it helps get some rhythmic, light breathing working through lungs. Any which way, “She’ll be coming around the mountain”, “Ring of Fire”, and “Upon a Dream” had the best cycles for getting me through episodes. Vaporizer, humidifier, wet cloth, crawling instead of walking, PrimaMist, Albuterol, cold meds, bandaging down my chest and ribs…try the combo if you find yourself in need. Don’t know how we landed on it, but game changer.

You will become “The Princess and the Pea”. Your comfy haven of snuggles will become a torture device. You will suddenly develop rocks in your hips and bum. It hurts no matter what way you lay, especially after two weeks of laying up at an angle with most weight in weird spots. Sitting on a doubled over blanket may help for awhile. Don’t sleep on it unless you want it to also need dried because you cried on it in your sleep from the pain in your hips. I lost weight a rapid and horrible way, but smuggled in small boulders for a tush instead, and the first outing to the living room to sit on a couch while being around others (“A Whole New World” totally played in my mind as I made my way down the hall” helped, but a memory cushion topper arrives today in hopes that it helps with these last few weeks.

Follow the white rabbit. Drink the bottle of potion. Let the pretty lights overtake you. You deserve something interesting from this hell hole of illness, so if you’re having feverish hallucinations, enjoy them. *laugh* I couldn’t tell you much about most of mine, but lots of bright lights, a super mellow vibe, and the least amount of worries I’ve ever experienced made those difficult days more bearable. It might say a lot about me to my psychiatrist that I’d recommend the hallucinations, but I don’t care, I’ll sign a petition that it should be a legitimate part of Covid care. *grin*

Try to have a lot to look forward to as you start swimming up out of the swamp of Covid symptoms. It’s still scary and you worry every time you try to slowly walk to the restroom by yourself or look at the scar where the nurse blew your vein open during your hospital (stay? Time killer? Irritation to them? Pick what works for you lol). I have a super protective ESA cat, ceremony invites to be addressed and mailed out, my gaming blog (in my second pixelated month!), binge watched most of the shows I’ve been curious about, and had a list of details for the ceremony to make decisions about. It’s amazing how little truly matters when you’re planning an event and then get struck by Covid. The decorative stuff that had been in my head all went away and it came down to how to make what’s really important happen, and then let’s celebrate. Formal engagement pictures, a lit arbor, setting the scene a certain way…meh. What matters is that those who care are there to witness us “tie the knot”, we will have fun taking pictures and enjoying relationships, and we will celebrate life and love.

Finally, cheer! Punch the air! Watch Mamma Mia and put fake nails on so you feel super feminine. (Or whatever the equivalent is – listen to power tools and play Top Gear – I’m not going to pigeon hole or judge *grin* Just float your boat!) You have some weird “one up” items when talking to others who have been sick, you discovered who and what really matters to you, you learned that true love can survive unwashed hair and unshaved legs along with the weirdest noises your body can produce, and hopefully you’ve learned to be nicer to yourself. Maybe you learned that a ten year old being excited that you’re well enough to come sit on the couch and snuggle is one of the best feelings you’ve ever felt. Maybe you learned that your love language, especially when life is boiled down to being sick, is that you can order and provide the flavors of jello that the teenager wants, and it fulfills part of that “not your mom, but I will always try to help” feeling you have. And maybe you wake one while your SO is asleep, notice how their eyelashes rest so gently on their cheeks, how peaceful they look, and are thankful that the shit show you just survived isn’t colored by how messy the room is, how you haven’t vacuumed, or aren’t Superwoman. (Of course you now really want to take care of that disaster that’s built up, but be nice and take your time…) People love you because you make their life special. The whole illness sucks, but I hope you remember that important lesson. You may feel like you French-kissed a light socket, but they love how quirky and unpredictable you are. They love that you care about others more than yourself or that you want them in your lifeboat. Whatever. Covid sucks, but you don’t always get reminders that you’re worth being loved.

Sharing Two of My Favorite Things

After yesterday’s post I thought I’d share two of my Tinkerbell “Happy Thoughts” that would definitely make me fly. 😊 For our Handfasting Ceremony it meant a lot to me to get our “cord” just right. We recently got the completed Handfasting cord (we chose out of ribbons with Celtic charms instead of actual cording) all the way from an awesome crafter in the UK. I swear that you can almost feel the joy and intention vibrating from it. 😁 It’s our three favorite colors from our ancestral tartans, although one is also from the old tartan from the clan for the spot of land I have in Scotland (the modern just doesn’t suit me lol). So I’m including a picture of the cord. *happy dance* We even found a tartan scarf (it was the affordable version of tartan *grin*) for Donegal, where his ancestors first conquered and settled the area, and later my ancestors moved there. *happy sigh*

We will literally “tie the knot” with this beauty!
Donegal!

It’s hard to believe I’m actually going to get to do a Handfasting and that it’s just a few months away! Admittedly I stopped my Irish Gaeilge lessons recently, but with a few months under my belt, I think I’ll manage to successfully slaughter speaking part of my vows in it. *grin*

Credit for Handfasting cord: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheToadstoolgarden?ref=simple-shop-header-name&listing_id=738209549

Credit for Donegal Scarf: https://www.etsy.com/listing/663962688/usa-kilts-irish-county-donegal-tartan?ref=user_curated_list-12&frs=1

Round 3

Covid came to visit again and unlike round two, it really kicked my hiney. I suspect it’s because of a stronger exposure, since it made its way through our little family, but with so much unknown about the ability to contract this multiple times, who knows.

Although my KS doctors are still working with the vaccine roll out, MO isn’t, so when I have an online appointment with my fibro doctor on the 1st I’m hoping his staff can get me scheduled for the shot up here at St. Luke’s. It seems like I’m recovering, which is when my doctors most worry that I’m most likely to have a sudden, severe decline that requires hospitalization. Being the practical person that I am, I appreciate the honesty. Being scared that with my problems if I get hospitalized for anything I’m not coming back out…well, I kind of like the voice in my mind that fibs and says we’re getting through this just fine. Lol

The great part is during this I am literally in a fight with KS Medicare about them still believing I’m disabled and wanting an evaluation done in person in Topeka in a couple of weeks. I’ve talked to national, KS, and an assistant to the case worker for my KS DDS. All said it’d be cancelled and to wait for MO to contact me, since they’ll probably want to do their own investigation beyond the huge “paperwork reduction act” packet I filled out months back. On the 18th, two solid weeks later, I received a second notice of a new evaluation scheduled at the same place in Topeka. 🤦🏻‍♀️ One, if the paperwork has said “no expectation for significant improvement and will never work again” for over a decade, I think the government is wasting money on paying some doctor to evaluate me, then a committee to review, etc. Not to mention the cost behind all this paperwork! Two, KS hasn’t been paying for my disability for 6 months. A little late to be deciding if you’ll continue to pay me, IMO. Lol Politicians get gold toilet seats and the government pays people to harass permanently disabled people. I don’t usually get very political, but dude, why do we have room in the budget for this?! And a bit ironic to me that MO hasn’t had a problem other than when they would move my monthly payment to a different bank than I used for years. As the youngest would say…”Kind of sus to me.” Lol

So between Covid, planning the Handfasting (under 70 days!), court, and settling into our family rhythm, I know I’ve been quiet and wanted to post a bit of a heads up. However, I’ll end with a few cooler things though than the blah. 😁 One, the eldest got Captain of the Rugby Team! Sadly he only got to play once before we all crashed with the bug, but in a few weeks, we’re back to Saturday matches of young men beating the holy tarnation out of each other. 😂 Two, which was worrisome at the time but funny now, my fever got warm enough while sick that my Shamrock and glitter decorated fake nails began dropping off because I warmed the glue with my fever! We still haven’t found one rogue nail, which is disturbing lol, but they started popping like popcorn, even into the cat food when I scooped a bowl! 🤣 Lastly, although we’re having to make some modifications due to Covid cutting events out of our time frame, the Handfasting plans are coming along nicely. I think, in a way, the adaptations that are coming about are even better. It’s definitely not the original three mental images that we had, but it’s more cohesive and “us”. We had to cancel our engagement photo shoot and have had some issues with my dress, but being sick, and honestly a bit scared about it causing complications, has really helped to hone in on the things that really matter to us. And that’s how I want to close this little catch up post.

Life is hectic and the world feels like it’s in turmoil. Just don’t forget to take stock of the things that really matter to you. Celebrate any milestone you can, hug a loved one if you can and hold on long enough that it becomes a memory seared into your heart. Rejoice in having family/friend game night again and cherish the laughter. No matter how crazy it is and how much you’re struggling right now, you are loved. As someone who has fought suicidal ideation a lot before, I know it may be hard for some to believe and trust in it, but you are loved. And if you’re lucky enough to be in love, learn their love languages and wrap yourself in those beautiful moments to help during the bumpy moments. Don’t forget to pamper yourself in whatever way that suits you, either! A bubble bath, 5 minutes on the back deck without kids, crafting, or even gaming. You’ve had a rough year. Show yourself some love. 😊

Bre’s Adventures Blog

Just a quick heads up for those that follow both blogs or if you come to this blog looking for why nothing is being published on Bre’s Adventures anymore…I have lost the site. I have to wait a month to see if they will release the domain so that I can purchase it again, so if I have any stellar posts, I’ll be subjecting my non-gaming followers to them too. Sorry! *smile* I had to change phone numbers, for some reason my password was suddenly no longer recognized, the backup codes were lost in the move, and I am officially locked out of my other blog due to two-factor identification because I didn’t think about checking that my log ins all worked before I changed my number. 🤦🏻‍♀️ So, I’ve updated two-factor on this site and scanned the backup codes in my notes app (btw, if you didn’t know, you can actually scan pictures as PDFs in the basic iPhone Notes app!), and am playing a waiting game to see how this company handles websites when they go defunct. My old hosting company kept my domain unavailable for an extra year, hence the name and hosting change, so I’ll give a month to see if WP releases the domain back out into the wild for purchase and I can restart the blog, otherwise I’ll be posting a link to a new blog near the end of March. I’m not sure if I want to copy and repost my old ones onto the new blog or just start with this next chapter of adventures (I’m honestly leaning toward having a copy saved to my computer just for the memories and smiles, but starting the blog with this next chapter). Any votes over which you’d prefer, if you follow both or have a preference even? 😉😁 Anyway, just wanted to give some warning of SL possibly hitting this blog again a few times and the probability of a new site getting posted. Have a wonderful weekend, regardless if it’s all about the snow, chocolate, or the Hallmark moments. 😊

What Did I Want From My Divorce?

Even a year ago I wouldn’t have believed I’d now be a divorced woman. Back then I didn’t even realize that part of what I thought of as my identity was wrapped up in being a wife. I honestly didn’t realize that until my lawyer asked me what I wanted out of my divorce after the judge rejected the first filing (sorry, I share a lot but some details need to stay private).

I actually paused for a few and had to sit down after the lawyer asked me that question. What does a person want from their (childless) divorce? I mean, we divided assets, divided pets and pictures, and left behind bits of one another and our pasts. We were all ready divided in person and just waiting for the legal world to be able to work during a pandemic to make it official. What else is there?

My therapist says I’ve made years of progress in a few months because of how much I’ve assessed and realized since July. I made another leap that day when I realized that I wanted “me” back. I wasn’t the person who was “the other half”. Nor was I the person I saw in his eyes or the person described in the rumors running through town. I don’t know why at some point I decided that I was supposed to be a reflection of the person I thought he wanted me to be. Or why I allowed myself to live on autopilot. I can’t even pinpoint when “me” wasn’t someone others from my past saw or heard anymore.

So I said I wanted to find a quick resolution that the judge would agree to that would be as close to the original agreement my ex and I made when we hashed out the nasty details of divorce. I had all ready transformed a lot since I had decided to leave, but knew that deep down I needed that page from court to make “The End” to our book together, because I was in another book and still needed to finish finding the real me that was hidden in all the corners of my habits, perceived flaws, and transformations.

I’ve learned that I’m still into gaming and can have a lot of fun beating the tar out of guys on Super Smash Brothers. I finally made peace with my miscarriages and abuse when my future stepson put the memorial ornament next to the “our first Christmas” ornament on the tree last December, “…because they are part of our family, too”. Nothing like youthful innocence to make you see the truth or wonder why you were ever ashamed in the past, or to realize just how blessed you are to have such beautiful souls in your life.

I was surprised to learn that I’m not a Misfit Toy, either. I’ve spent years feeling like one. I just wasn’t around others like me that enjoyed and celebrated the truest parts of me, most of the time. I’m blessed to have one man and two young men that are patiently helping me get reacquainted with myself. I’m nerdy and encouraged to continue pursuing a variety of educational and creative endeavors without the slightest feeling of anything but pride. I learned that I’m not just a people pleaser because I have self esteem issues. It’s also one of my main love languages. I don’t dress to impress and often wear what my fibro tells my body feels okay today without feeling like a slob or like a town may judge me; my stepson loves to wear different colored socks on each foot every single day because “why not?”. *grin* And I don’t lose myself in a pixel world because I’m escaping life. I do it because I have fun and it’s another creative outlet for me, plus I have the bonus of getting to interact with others and even make special moments with my family and friends in them. If I feel like dressing like wearing a vampire killing kit tee with leggings; or a hi-lo sweater with lace cami, skinny jeans, and boots; no judgment. Being a spiritual mutt who is still finding my way is super okay too, along with my obsession with some fandoms and my love of putting labels on everything/everywhere.

I can’t pinpoint when I put on the mask and started to cover up that I wasn’t happy or all right anymore. I’ve been sick and that’s what everyone thought was what was wrong when my mask slipped. I wasn’t going to just wait to die, because although I’m sick and disabled, I have a lot of living left to do, no matter how many days I have ahead of me! I don’t want to just have an avatar that has adventures I admire or does the things I wish I could. Sure, I can’t do a lot of what she can, but I can sure fill the rest of my life book with adventures and happy memories, instead of wishes. And I literally have mini adventures written down for us to do every single month of the rest of this year. It’s not just a trip a year to look forward to and keep me going.

This is the real me. The one that is planning for big family trips, day trips, and sporting events; Just Dance and Ticket to Ride competitions, gaming nights once a month with friends, or saving spoons all week so I can help teach my stepson to make soaps, do a chemistry experiment, or art project. I researched and made a shadow box of stones to help keep the nightmares away, with the properties of every stone written out for him to read and find comfort from. I learned how to lure the teenager out of his bedroom for a little bit every so often and actually get him to linger.

As one of my best friend’s most helpful quotes said, “When a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower”. (Alexander Den Heijer) I am blossoming because I’m finally in the right place, at the right time in my life. I AM the silver lining in some situations, I matter every single moment, I am loved, and most importantly, I’m honest with myself and the world. I may love POTO, but I don’t have to live behind a mask. I actually like “me”. I guess that’s what I really wanted out of divorce. I wanted to like myself again.

I Can’t Focus LOL

A Quick Reminder

I thought this short video on YT was an incredible reminder, especially when the holiday season is often hard on people and this has been an especially difficult year for a lot of people. So I wanted to share Fire Department Chronicles’ video. Please consider taking a few minutes out of your day for it and even share it if you can. Maybe we can help a few people this year if we raise awareness and compassion. Thank you! (Not sponsored or anything – just something that I think is really important to share.)

https://youtu.be/vQWDRHw-cXc

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