My Good Thing, 02/20/2014

Dunno if I’ve shared this or not, but after my Ex moved out, our kids and I moved in with my Mom, Dad and college student sister.

They made a home for us within their home, a recurring theme in my life, as I come to realize that I really like having a lot of heartbeats under my roof. The more equal, the better the flow. The more respect and privacy, you level up.

Trying to keep the boys focused on the positive, my Mom instituted “My good thing that happened to me today was __________.” You had to have at least one, even if pre-teen or surly or on restriction, or on a diet (me, eternally) but you could name as many as you want.

After reading a comment on a post Chooch made in Facebook today, all I can think of is, “Well. I know what my good thing is today.” Makes more sense when you know that this is, since that ritual ended long ago when our baby birds left the nest or remain in another, how I state that something bubbly-making has touched my heart.

Earlier, Chooch posted this photo:

Chooch's Tattoo on his right arm.
With this original post:
It only took 42 years, but I finally got my first tattoo! — with Vivid Muse.

So, my good thing that happened to me today? Chooch’s explanation on the 4 heart containers with only 2 filled, matching tattoos we just got.

“…you start the game with 3 hearts, so we added a fourth as a 10 year anniversary level up. Since Vivid Muse and I have them matching on opposite arms, when we hold hands all the hearts fill up so we’re ready to take on the next danger together!”

I initially had a different idea in mind altogether, but when he explained why he liked this design?

Done. Let’s go.

(whispers to myself): Thank you for loving me the way you do.

I’ll follow him anywhere.


Valentine’s Day, 2014

In a moment of long-planned and delayed and finally spontaneously, we blew our dinner, movie, sinful dessert and prezzie money and efforts at the last minute on Valentine’s Day matching tattoos, and then ended the day like most others, snuggled up, talking or watching TV, laughing and being goofy, like we do. Not letting a single giggle escape ungiggled. Our big and sinful dessert? Cherry pop-tarts, because we were too broke and tired to do anything else.

We had no plan going into the weekend, just plans with friends on Saturday that fizzled out and a visit to our Eldest son a few hours south on Sunday and an unexpectedly serendipitous visit with friends, the whole weekend was exceedingly awesome. As has happened frequently, we’ve found that sometimes, just when we need a spiritual boost,  the Fates or the Flying Spaghetti Monster or God or whatever you believe in make things just work out sometimes. This was proven COUNTLESS times over the weekend, as plans went silent and others sprang up, although I do wish I could have visited my sis while nearby. Greedy me.

I dunno if it was a different storm or the tail end of the insane snowstorm, dubbed Pax, but we got at least a foot of snow, which gave hubby the option to telework on Friday, VDay. As trashed as our street is after the combination of well over a foot of snow, melting and icing, and the cruelty of the snowplowing execution by those magical forces that make them hazardous to even check the mail. We got to at least spend the day in the same house, albeit in separate rooms. Close enough to sneak a smooch during a conference call, anyways.

At likely the last feasible moment, the scale was decided, the appointments made and we found ourselves excitedly slamming in a quick, standing-in-the-kitchen dinner and went out for our Valentine’s gift exchange at Inksanity in Leesburg, Virginia. We originally hoped to get them on our 10th Anniversary this past November 1st. We then hoped to get them while in Hawai’i. We kept having stuff come up and delaying it, but I have no complaints.

Chooch surprised me with romance in our ears in the car as he drove us there. He played music by Metric, “Breathing Underwater” (see previous post) first as we chatted and planned and chatted. Sadly, when we arrived at the nearby tattoo shop, the artists we selected were in different areas, so we were only very briefly together, me at the beginning of his, him at the end of mine.

We got heart containers from the Zelda games, same number of hearts, empty and filled. It’s not a clear shot of them, but you get the idea. He explains the specifics better than I. *swoon* Soul mate!

Blood, Ink and Bad Assery

The tattoo artists worked diligently to ensure ours matched, with an apprentice seemingly floating between us doing visual checks. It was sweet how they strove for perfection and it was a great first experience for Chooch as well as for me. (Yes, it still hurts on the third tattoo, especially on the first red heart fill on, because of placement.)

We held hands and giggled on our way back through all the snow to the car, like a couple of newlywed idiots. We were so happy. It was heaven.

Then on the way home he surprised my spinning and migraine-y self (physical stress triggers my neurological symptoms, which I anticipated) with songs from our wedding CD’s. It was part of a 4-disc set of about a three hour span of music that we jointly and painstakingly made to play at our wedding reception. Each and every song was debated and ranked, it was serious stuff! And we also took our very fave 12 songs as a separate playlist as wedding favors. (I’ll never forget how adorable my stepmother-in-law was as she explained her immediate love of one of the songs, the only time I remember that anyone actually saying they’d listened. Yays!)  I haven’t loaded either playlist onto my new player yet, and now I am reminded that I really, really need to manage that mischief.

We spent more time on picking songs than anything else for our wedding, as music is an intense and shared passion of ours. And we wanted our family and friends to be surrounded by the music that symbolizes so much of who we were then, separately and together.  A little bubble of silly calm floating down the Potomac River with views of all the beauty on the moonlit night of our wedding. It was a total break from the chaos of those days. I was told by several folks that ours was the favorite wedding attended because it didn’t feel like a wedding, more like a relaxed gathering with the ceremony at the very beginning of it. Pure magic.

Listening to it on the way home from the tattoo shop, I could reflect back on how I felt on our first Valentine’s Day together, while dating, and kind of compare it to this one. We get snowed in back then, just like this year. I better appreciate how well he knows and appreciates me.  Better than anyone, yet still loves my eternally flawed self. He didn’t turn and walk away when things got tough at various points over the years.  He can even keep me calm in times of great chaos, whether it’s ours or someone else’s, using only four words. See? Magic.

Chooch is an infinitely deeper, inquisitive, creative, sexy, thoughtful and more generous dude than I previously believed possible. Like I told him the other night, I can’t even get good and pissed at him, because I know that very soon he’ll do something that will make me forget it and then I’ll feel petty for it when I’m trying to catch my breath from laughing, loving or whatever the fun entails.

I am so grateful that our unintended celebration of  lurrrrrrve evolved this way, it’s always an adventure!

Hope yours rocked, too. Love, man. Love.

Cool Links / Clicky Linky Hauntings Music

Breathing Underwater by Metric

Another soul-touching song from Metric with the links and lyrics for their song, “Breathing Underwater.”  This specific song is one of the reasons I fell so hard for Metric years ago when we first started seeking their other tunes. It speaks to me and brings me great peace and sanity. ‘Nuff said, other than I’m adding the Amazon link to allow for listening and possible purchase.

Hear and/or Buy it at Amazon

See the official Metric video, live footage


“Breathing Underwater”
by Metric 

I’m the blade
You’re the knife
I’m the weight
You’re the kite
They were right when they said
We were breathing underwater
Out of place all the time
In a world that wasn’t mine to takeI’ll wait
Is this my life?
Am I breathing underwater?
Is this my life?
Am I breathing underwater?I’m the blade
You’re the knife
I’m the weight
You’re the kite
They were right when they said we should never meet our heroes
When they bowed at their feet, in the end it wasn’t me

Is this my life?
Am I breathing underwater?
Is this my life?
Am I breathing underwater?

Nights are days
We’ll beat a path through the mirrored maze
I can see the end
But it hasn’t happened yet
I can see the end
But it hasn’t happened yet

Is this my life?
Am I breathing underwater?
Is this my life?
Am I breathing underwater?

Am I breathing underwater? [x2]

(Writer(s): Emily Haines, James Shaw

Copyright: Chrysalis Music Ltd.)

Health Mental Too Long For Twitter

Doc: Avoiding Isolation Via the Internet? Me: Check.


Going through yet another cycle of appointments (quarterly, unless something new happens), most for pain management since there is no cure for my fun bag of Health Blahs, I am was reminded how off-handedly I answer the most recent time I was asked that question, for the second time in two months:

Her: “Have you been staying social to avoid isolation and depression?”
Me: “I have that covered with social media and podcasting, when I’m able to do it. For years now.”

I’m eternally grateful that Chooch took a biz trip when he did to Abq and met up with old friends that introduced him to City of Heroes (MMORPG). We both (and two sons, for a bit) started playing and eventually started podcasting about. Around the same time, we started our family life podcast, or journal of what we enjoyed and disliked and in general, our lives were like up until 2011. Due to other creative projects, they have slid down the list of priorities, but we’ve been talking about doing them regularly again for awhile now. (Mostly me, as Chooch has other interests of creative expression.)

But for those things, City of Heroes and Podcasting, I wouldn’t have, what, 80% of the people in my life, many for at least six years. Relationships have ebbed and flowed, but I can’t imagine having gone through all these health problems and um, let’s say challenges, without the social network I already had in place in the local (and distant!) podcast community. I have friendships that have changed my life, utterly, and while some drew more blood than comfort, I still treasure them. I’ve learned a lot about humanity.

So now, reflecting back as I am on the perch of attempting reboot when my neurological issues may result in failure in ability to host again, rather than co-host, I am just very VERY grateful for the adventures, memories and giggles in my life. So whether I’m successful or not, it’s something that I want to do, whether or not I’m ever physically reliable enough to guest at conventions again or not. This isn’t branding, I’m not selling anything (can’t think of anything, lol!), this is just me, so I don’t have to worry at all, beyond the parental concerns.

And I have some very sweet friends that encourage me to do Girls Rules specifically, and I always have ideas hopping for that one.

Chooch Family Firsts Too Long For Twitter

Happy Love Day

First of all, first post from new (to me) hotness! Chooch refurbished a laptop for me that is the perfect balance of keyboard + larger screen for big font (I tell ya, meds these days…) and is waaaaay more light weight than last. But this also means that I no longer have The Penguin, which saddens me, but this really does serve more of the function I need faster. It also frees Chooch up from constantly helping me fine tune with cross-over programs for Linux.

My review of the Linux machine? Raving five stars of awesome. It only crashed twice, and that was surely due to overheating, a frequent problem with that laptop.  At one point, while working the photo archive, I thought I lost over 1k (or something equally horrifying) of photos from our recent trip to Hawai’i when the machine froze. Normally, I would have had an instant panic attack, but I remember the change to Linux and I immediately decided to put the laptop down and trust in The Penguin.

When I came back an hour or so later, it had finished processing and the photos were safe. If it had done as it had been running before the Linux change, the pix would have been lost after a blue screen of death and we’d have had to start prayers that Crashplan had indeed backed the batch up for retrieval. I loved it, but felt pretty useless with it. I was afraid to muck around and make it stop being reliable.

Hubby surprised me with the refurb, when I hadn’t even asked to switch back and I’m guiltily grateful. If I need a program or Chrome extension, I know I can find it for Windows. And with my memory issues, shortened attention span and brief computing time available before a migraine sends me off, these are tremendous benefits for the woman I find myself to be these days. But I do love supporting the “under dog” or “working class” over the hugely corporate The Man or his politically correct off-shoot. The first thing I do if I can reclaim some brainpower is to rock Linux. The second is likely yarn bombing the world.


Now, on to the mushy stuff! Happy Valentine’s Day!

Today is also my beautiful Li’l Sis’ 10th wedding anniversary! While we all still would have been excited, the health problems my baby (9 years younger) sister has had since last summer have me EXTRA SUPER HAPPY TERRIFIC that she is here with us as she and her amazing husband celebrate their love. I’m so proud and grateful that she’s doing the necessaries to live a healthier and longer life.

Our weddings are only 3.5 months apart and I’ve always felt a special bond with them as we were both at the marital starting gate at (nearly) the same time and I love sharing this with her.

As for my own valentine, Chooch, here’s our wedding day selfie, 10 years before it was called a selfie. New hubby and I snuck off to the front of the boat for a private snuggle and already traditional self-shot together.

Chooch said I should have the purple princess dress (I’d planned on plain and low-key, since it was 2nd marriage for both but fell in love with a bridesmaid dress while shopping with my Li’l Sis and Mom for LS’s wedding dress.).
Mom said I had to have the tiara to go with it and bought it on the spot.
I’m still so honored that they thought of me as royalty on that nearly perfect day. If only J (and even more family) could have attended, too. #StillVeryBlessed

Chooch, my love,
We spun just as much chaos back then and it was GLORIOUS then, too.
It was the happiest of days with you, and we’ve had so many since then and an infinite number still lie ahead.
Please, remember how much I love you when I’m kicking your ass during our gaming date tonight.

Health Too Long For Twitter Whining

I Never Did Get the Hang of Thursdays, aka Health Update

I went to write a brief message in Facebook, and it turned in to something I’d rather not force in our kids’ faces. They likely know where I blog, so if they want to, they’ll see this. They don’t need me to trigger their worry and if they want to know more, here I am. ‘Sides, my stuff isn’t terminal or life threatening, it’s just pain.

So, Thursrday was ridiculous. I had an appointment with my neurologist about 50 miles away. I woke in a ton of pain, but I only take my daily meds when going to a pain specialist (neuro). I want them to see me at my base level, with no pain breakers. I forgot how hard that was, as physical or psychological stressors wonk my body/brain out, and I ended up tossing my cookies on 95 south. Luckily, commuting to DC during two pregnancies long ago perfected my technique, and a short while on the shoulder later, we were back en route.

The nausea I’ve been sporting since the new pain relief the rheumatologist patched on me has been pretty hefty. I underestimated the amount the nausea was masked by the other medications. Because we spend a LOT of time in the car, I had the necessaries for cleaning myself up and off we went. Due to our delay, there was a gnarly bit of drama at the doctor’s office danced on my exhausted last nerve, but there is a ray of hope there, although not in regards to my treatment.

I was hoping for another script of the expired, Final Tier of pain relief, Soma. That’s the one that lets me sleep, immediately, regardless of the pain level AND wake woozy, but feeling rested. It’s the last resort/emergency chute in my pain relief options, because being unable to sleep because it hurts too much is crazy-making. Immensely crazy-making. No go, as he’s concerned about them with the muscle relaxer in my medical bag.

I’m grateful to not risk overdosing, but not knowing if the impossible pain may happen on the patch is scary. I’m sure I’ve mentioned that I carefully rotate the medications, and only when in Hawai’i did I allow myself to take the max allowable. I fear addiction and/or accidental overdose, but without any safety net? Crazy-making.

The treatment option he was pushing most was injecting Botox into my head, and the gesturing he did seemed awful and my neuro ship sailed. That pretty much describes the sensation I feel when something bumps up against my neuro triggers, it’s like a boat launching, a slow but lifting, lurch. I have to proactively halt the trigger or I’ll be flailing. For similar reasons, needles are a problem for me, and fainting has occurred (Have I mentioned how much I hate being swoon-y? Well, I fucking do. Being fragile blows.)

Doc was getting more and more a boner about a place in Reston that does the botox treatments, and I finally had to stop him because I was getting worried about the fainting sensation coming on. By that point, I’d been up six hours, after almost the same amount of sleep and almost all of those were involved in some sort of panic attack.

I was exhausted.

I finally told him that the thought of those needles filled with botox scared the shit out of me. He did nothing to reassure me and launched into the risks, and the whole thing leaves me confused. I have to man up and overcome the fainting issue (if I can) before I can take on acupuncture, let alone dry needling (different from acupuncture? more research once needle issues wrangled.) OR stabbing botulism into multiple locations in my head every three months until ???. AND a second opinion, as the risks are not insignificant.

But the neuro’s final prognosis seemed to be to be that we (my rheumatologist and me) need to make the Fibromyalgia pain stop so I can stop taking all the medications that cause migraines, so he (neurologist) can treat the migraines themselves. I had to remind him that I was sitting there because of the migraines that were occurring before the Fibro flared up and the pain meds for it started. My husband and I went to talk migraines pain management and function restoration, and he kept routing back around to the Fibro meds.

Kinda pissed me off, to be honest with you. I don’t want to be on ANY of these pills. They are toxic and result in my having to have frequent liver check-ups. They make me sleepy and no matter which ailment I’m treating, they worsen the other side of the coin of my symptoms.

If I were going to get a magic wand waved, I’d also make the migraines begone, genius!

All those hours in the car took their toll, and while I’m grateful for the relief I know I got, I’m thinking twice about the patch long term. I don’t like not being able to take on the pain to be clear-minded enough to drive myself to get a prescription, or milk, or whatevs. I can’t just snatch it off and on, like I can skip pain meds to be clear minded in the hopes of driving. It doesn’t always work, but it makes me less nuts. Independence is my fight against isolation, dammit. But I’m learning about the balance of pain and clarity in winter and the lesson is? Kaua’i is much kinder to my body in winter than Northern Virginia is, but this is where I live. Make it work. Make it so.

Another lousy thing is that my olfactory senses are apparently off the hook, so all I smelled all day was the odor of the morning’s roadside purge. It soured my mood for sure and kept the nausea close by all day. But…

Silver linings: My Viking. A golden blaze of awesome glory in the driver’s seat, Chooch. The talking, hand-holding, the positive but stern looks necessary to strengthen me, sharing media, our fussing, and our planning our way through a myriad of complications and giggles. There are always giggles.

Life would be mighty dark without the golden light he radiates. Even when we disagree, I know he has my back. And he knows I have his.

While we were in the area, we got to see our Eldest son. He has a place with his best friends, and we drove over to say hi before he had to go to work, started managing some collegiate stuff, deliver some new linens (hush, I’m his mom) and finally got to meet their new kitty, Mowgli. I love the name, since Eldest loved Jungle Book so much when he was wee. Sweet, cuddly kitty that likes to play rough suits the house to a “T” (tee? Meh. You know what I mean, right?). No pix, as I forgot my phone in the car. (Derp!) But I swear it happened! <3

I didn’t make the eye appointment, but did manage to see a friend who’s on a rough road. You know me, I’ll happily keep squinting to share a hug.

Virtual hugs, prayers and/or kind thoughts for all those that have muttered,”Fuck cancer.”