A Doomed Fate

25 Apr

I’ve been trying to do some writing prompts but none of them are working you guys – oy to the VAY. So I decided instead to dust off a portion of a little story I’ve been working off and on the past year. Because, you know, sometimes shiny new ideas call to you and you absolutely have to run with them for a little bit.  Just keep in mind that this is still a very rough draft, all right?

doomedfate

 

 

Photo by Greg Panagiotoglou on Unsplash

Kalick raged.

He could feel the presence, but he couldn’t see it. And he couldn’t fight what he couldn’t see. He threw his cup across the room in frustration,

“It’s there, Tallo and it’s closer than it’s been these twenty years. I can feel it. It’s calling to me, urging me on for its own purpose. But how do I fight it?”

A spindly man dressed in a monk’s robes, Tallo sat beside Kalick and stared into his cup of mead. Finally, he spoke, as if still considering what he said, “Perhaps, you don’t have to fight it. You say it’s coming closer now than it’s been. You could use that to your advantage.”

“Welcome it, you mean? Shall I bloody invite it in for supper?” His lips twisted in mocking grimace; he swung his arm wide to showcase the room. Once it had been grand, fine enough even for royals to stay and dine. And they had, once. But now the shine had faded from the candlesticks, the rug had been nearly worn through and only a few had occasion to sit around the long table. Those few were hardly noteworthy characters, even in these, the worst of times. They were the few that were searching for a way to change the fate they had been left to. The rest of the people either staunchly denied that their protector had abandoned them or meekly accepted their fate. Certain that they’d brought it on themselves somehow. But Kalick had gathered together a handful of men who couldn’t sit idly by and watch their families die.  They would fight, to the last of them.

Kalick shifted his shoulder, unease trickling down his spine again. That presence had been with him like a mangy dog that won’t leave your heels. Ever present, never wanted. Never acknowledged outright either. Until tonight. As he thought about it, the trickle grew, filling his mind. A pull, a tug, came from his right, like a string joined at the other end to….what? Turning quickly, he followed it, ignoring his companion calling his name. He would learn just what this presence was. He would learn just who had been dogging his steps, interrupting his peace and thinking they could get away with trying to lead him around like a child. They didn’t know just who they were dealing with. But they would. Just as soon as he had his hands around their neck.

~~

Tallo sat down heavily, deciding he wasn’t in the mood to follow after the erratic man.  He’d known Kalick for years now, but he had. . . changed. But then, they both had, he supposed. Tallo knew he wasn’t the best man for the job he’d been given, but he had been the readiest, and the closest at hand. Counting up the lost at the end of each day took a stomach far stronger than his. He’d turned to spirits to diminish the pain of counting wee lasses and lads’ lifeless bodies; to forget the sight of his own sweet wife succumbing to…but no. Better to think on how to help Kalick now that it seemed he’d reached another low point. The man had the worst luck, it seemed. But outright saying that he felt a presence? An invisible presence? The man had clearly gone out of his depth. Tallo hadn’t meant to send the man running out of the room with his suggestion. He’d merely been placating, pretending he believed that. . .a low moan reached his ears.

“Dash it all!” Tallo swore, tossing his empty cup to the table. He’d never forgive himself if something happened to Kalick, not after sweating and shifting by his side these past miserable years. If he had to live through this, so did Kalick.

Tallo rushed through the room, paused to listen for another sound, rushed through more of the empty house. For long moments, he couldn’t hear anything. Panting, he leaned against a door jamb, wondering if he’d heard the death rattle in his memory, instead of in reality. Feeling his heartbeat slow, Tallo fingered the chain at his neck. Perhaps he…There it was again. A weeping, pleading sound from above him. Taking the stairs two at a time, he wondered who could have made their way past him and Kalick to reach these rooms.  And he hoped Kalick wasn’t releasing all his pent-up anger on them. The man had a way with his fists that could terrify the strongest man. But when Tallo reached the top, breathing heavily again, he couldn’t fathom what he saw.

Kalick lay curled on his side, fists to his eyes, weeping. Above him stood a man wider and taller than any Tallo had ever seen, his face hidden by a hood, his clothes stranger than the sight of Kalick on the floor. Neither seemed to notice Tallo’s entrance.

“You will do this, Kalick, son of Perta, son of Hown. I have been waiting entirely too long. You know the cost if you refuse.” The man’s voice was hard, deadly. Tallo knew in that instant, whatever he wanted from Kalick, was a terrible thing indeed. And that he, Tallo himself, a worn-out monk, would be right beside his friend. No matter what it was. For it was one thing to choose a fate. But far another to be doomed to it.

 

“Answer me, Kalick.” His voice was like a whip.

“Yes. Yes, I will- will do as you say.” Kalick’s words came haltingly from his lips. He tried to keep them back but they formed of their own will. The consequences were too great to refuse. But the actions themselves were just as vile. His choice having been made for him, Kalick lay where he was, hoping against hope that the stranger would leave without another demonstration of his strength.

 

 

 

 

Writing Prompt – Confession

17 Apr

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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

On This Page I Write My Last Confession. Read It Well.

I confess to wandering, when my place was by your side. My heart was happiest with you but little things, daily things, pulled me away and sought to take your place. To my ever-lasting shame, I let them. They seemed so important then, but truly they weren’t. What a life we could have lived, if I’d only stayed by your side.           

I admit that I lied, when it seemed like it didn’t matter. Little white lies, that hurt no one, I told myself. If I could make my path a little smoother, I easily let slip a lie. Relieved when I got away with it and angry when I got caught. Were those lies worth the worry of being caught, keeping them straight day after day? 

I confess to holding grudges over the years. I knew that I should let them go but instead I ignored them. Pretended that if I didn’t think about them, they weren’t affecting me.

I admit to begrudging others my time, my attention, my love. I was so focused on me and my wants and desires, that I rarely saw the truth. The beauty of helping and connecting and sharing. By rote, I carried out these things but they didn’t reach my heart.

I confess to getting caught up in comparisons and striving for more, always more. A bigger house, a better car, nicer clothes, fancier things. 

I confess to giving such an outward appearance of morality, faithfulness and charity, that I never stopped and looked inside myself. To see myself truly. 

But as I write this with shaking hand and certainty that my last days are coming, I regret that. My life was good and full of good, but in striving for more, I lost sight of that. The end does not justify the means, because in the end, so much of what I was aiming for, no longer matters. In the end, I find that it’s me with my thoughts. Me with my family. Me with failing body and struggling words. Too late I’ve learned the truth. Too late I’ve come to realize what I should have been focusing on. All I can say is, I confess it. And don’t make the same mistake.”

~I don’t do much editing at all with these writing prompts. The idea, for me, is to let the words come as they will and leave them be. Getting the creative juices flowing is the goal.

~Laura

*this was originally published in February 2019 but I decided that it could bear a bit of dusting off and sharing again.

Little Princes Book Review

8 Apr

Little Princes : One Man’s Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal by Conor Grennan, was a New York Times Bestseller. As well as
Dayton Literary Peace Prize Nominee for NonFiction (2011)
Goodreads Choice Award for Travel & Outdoors (2011)

I snagged this either at the library book sale corner or the thrift store… Either way, it was very inexpensive so I decided to give it a try. As you probably know by now, I’m very hesitant to pay full price on any book – much less on one that all I know about it is from the back cover.

But I’m so glad I grabbed this one. I’ve read a few other books in this genre of Autobiographical/travel/cultural. (it’s really amazing how many genres one book can cover!)

Here’s the synopsis from the back cover: In search of adventure, twenty-nine year old Conor Grennan embarked on a yearlong journey around the globe, beginning with a three-month stint volunteering at an orphanage in civil war-torn Nepal. But a shocking truth would forever change his life: these rambunctious, resilient children were not orphans at all but had been taken from their families by child traffickers who falsely promised to keep them safe from war before abandoning them in the teeming chaos of Kathmandu. For Conor, what started as a footloose ramble became a dangerous, dedicated mission to unite youngsters he had grown to love with the parents they had been stolen from – a breathtaking adventure, as Conor risked everything in the treacherous Nepalese mountains to bring the children home.

This story of Conor’s was engrossing pretty much from the first page and I found it hard to put down. I even stopped reading the other book I was in the middle of! Learning about the kids at the orphanage, you feel as if you truly know them and that of course, makes Conor’s efforts to get them home again even more of interest, as you’re suddenly heart-invested. The descriptions of the people and culture help you step into the world of these children. The chaotic mass of people, the beauty and danger of the mountains and the different way of looking at things all serve to better transport you.

Plus, isn’t there just something that calls to you about Nepal? I can’t explain it but, it’s there.

I highly recommend this book, especially if you’re looking for something inspirational.

Here are the books of the same type that I’ve reviewed: Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis and The Promise of a Pencil by Adam Braun.

~Laura

Health Update March 2020

3 Apr

As I sat here, trying to decide just what to write next for SGL, it dawned on me that I’m due to share a health update with you. I know that with the Covid19 pandemic occuring right now, this probably isn’t the thing you want to read about – more health news, really?! But, in a way, life goes on. Especially when you’re chronically ill. You’ve still got to take your protocol, increasing it every 3 or 4 days and watching for any side effects – good or bad- of what you’re now taking.

Overall Health: Short attention span, mental fatigue/brain fog but more energy and overall less severe pain than normal. Mood struggles and fairly regular leg/foot twitches.

Feb 19th – IV , very tired,  hard to concentrate/ short attention span. 
Feb 20 to 24 had more energy than I have in months.  Still fibropain and some migraines, as well as fatigue.  But the fatigue was minor comparative to normal.  Attention span is still shot though and motivation to do any writing/blogging isn’t there. 
Feb 23rd – started biofilm
(1st phase of new protocol) Feb 25- cycle started,  crazy fatigue and bad migraine.  Scintillating scotoma in late afternoon
Feb 26- felt surprisingly better today.  Fibropain flaring in hands especially. Attention span still very short.
Feb 27 – increased thyroid meds to 1 1/2 pills a day to help with energy. Funny vision stuff going on
Feb 28- minimal motivation all day,  very tired,  couldn’t nap really.  Fibro flaring in left calf late evening. 
3-4 started g.i. detox
Tired, lacking motivation and short attention span (i.e. brain fog ) the 4th and 5th. Some emotional struggles as well.
3-6 overwhelming fatigue and brain fog all day.  Couldn’t nap. 
28th- hard to keep migraine pain down all day. Tired. Basic addition was difficult in evening when playing a board game
29th bad fatigue all day. Fibro flared bad in evening.  Kept me up it was so bad in legs. 
30th worse fatigue than yesterday.  Described it as having taken a sleeping pill but not necessarily being able to sleep.  Awful.  Migraine flaring off and on all day.  2 short, fitful naps. 
31st- fatigue isn’t quite as bad as has been.  Migraine kicked up in afternoon and evening.  Brain fog

Migraine: While the severity is mostly still calmer, they’ve been kicking up ever more frequently lately. And I’m in the midst of one that’s been going on for almost a week now that I just can’t get rid of completely.

Sleep:  I’m getting about 7 hours each night, with the normal 2 or 3 wakings. I do frequently take involuntary naps however. And I’ll add that I never feel rested after sleeping.

Memory/Brain Fog:  This has improved some, but when the brain fog hits – it hits hard and doesn’t want to lift for quite a while.

Vision: I have been still dealing with times where my eyes just don’t want to focus. Thankfully the scintillating scotomas haven’t occured as often as they were.

TMJ:  My jaw has been tight/tense more lately and has been popping every so often. So this has increased although it’s not where it used to be.

Fatigue: I was doing so much better in this area for a few weeks at least and now I’m stuck back in the cave of fatigue. My body just drags and aches.

Fibromyalgia:  This is a persistent, constant pain. Especially in my knee, elbow, ankle joints. Frequently it rears in my hip as well. I have noticed the random twitches that I get have been increasing over the months. – this is the same as january’s update, sadly

Weight Loss: Not at all. It’s been more of a weight gain issue. Very frustrating.

Mood: This was very rough for a few weeks but it’s leveled out again, thankfully!

Digestion:   This has been good for me – which means, still not where it should ideally be, but for me, it’s okay.

So, as you can see, I’m in the midst of another flare up, just trying to get through day by day.

I have a disability hearing coming up next month – assuming nothing changes what with everything that’s going on in the world right now.

~Laura

Flowers in the Rain

21 Mar

I’m sharing a quick writing prompt with you all today! I know I’ve been so absent on SGL for the past month. Here’s to hoping I can start getting back into a regular posting schedule. I hope you enjoy this.

With a quick glance at the gray sky as I pulled the door shut behind me, I decided that I just might have enough time before the storm hit. I’d not been able to make it the past week and it gnawed at me. Chancing getting caught in the rain far outweighed the knowledge that I’d not sleep well tonight if I missed this opportunity to sneak away.

As usual, my steps were heavy even though they were quick and long. My only thought was to get there. My path wasn’t the shortest route though. First I needed to stop and get some flowers. It was only right, to take flowers with me as an offering. Before long, I spied the small house that sat on the corner lot. It was of no particular interest, being a bit shabby and bleak. But the owner faithfully tended a garden and that was what I was aiming for. I casually glanced around me, but the neighborhood was empty.

Just like it always was.

Hopping over the low fence, I  stooped to pick a small handful of lilies, asters and roses. Really, I didn’t care what they were, the point was something beautiful and bright. I adjusted the flowers in my hand, deciding I needed a few more and bent low again.

“You might as well take those last few lilies.”

I shot up at the sound of the raspy voice mere feet from me. I stared at the stooped man who looked as if he’d eaten something sour. His lips turned up on one side and his eyes were slits.

“I’m sorry. I – ” I faded out as I realized that I couldn’t tell him what I was doing.

“You’re stealing my best beauties, just as you always do. Why don’t you go to a florist shop, instead of destroying my garden? Hmm?”

I hung my head, eyeing the flowers in my hand. A raindrop hit the petal of one, trailing down to land on my thumb. I looked up at the sky and noticed the old man doing the same. “I’m sorry. I -” I tried again, but the words got stuck and my hand clenched around the stems.

He squinted at me, and then muttering , reached inside his front door. I took a step back, thinking of making a run for it when he pulled an umbrella out. “Let’s go deliver those before it’s a deluge out here.” His words stopped my feet.

Was he really saying what I thought he was? “But you can’t come with me.”

“Son, you’ve been stealing my flowers for nigh on the whole summer, so I suppose I deserve to see this pretty girl that has warranted such flower theft.”

I followed his shuffling gait out of the small yard and accepted the umbrella he held out for the both of us. We walked with no other noises but his occasional grunts and the click of his cane on the sidewalk. As we drew closer to my destination, I tried to come up with how to tell him just where we were going. I kept my eyes low, but I knew the instant he figured it out. The tapping of his cane stopped and eventually so did he. I paused just ahead of him, looking back. I begged him silently not to say any of the trite things people feel the need to say at a time like this. I begged him to understand.

And he did. The sorrow in his eyes told me.

He started walking again, but he remained silent, merely joining me under the umbrella again, his cane tapping out a rhythm.

He stayed with me until I stopped before a stone laid flat in the green grass, the patter of raindrops on the umbrella sounding out the beat of my heart. I handed him the handle, then knelt to replace the dead flowers with the new. I hung my head, not caring that I was getting soaked from kneeling on the wet ground. A gentle hand cupped my shoulder,

“The grief never leaves, son. The grief never leaves.”

Here’s the prompt that I started this from: “Sometimes I steal flowers from your garden on my way to the cemetery, but today you’ve caught me and have demanded to come with me to make sure the ‘girl is pretty enough to warrant flower theft’ and I’m trying to figure out how to break it to you that we’re on our way to a graveyard”

Thanks for stopping by SGL. If you want to check it out, I’m on Instagram fairly regularly.

~Laura

February 2020 Book Reviews

11 Mar

It’s a bit late for a Monthly Book Review but I’m going to give you guys a quick one! I’m going to be talking about the books that I shared in My Library Book Haul.

I’ve already shared my thoughts about The Bridge to Belle Island. Trust me, you want to click over and have a read.

The Lost Girl of Astor Street by Stephanie Morrill – When Piper Sail’s best friend, Lydia, goes missing, the only thing she knows is that she can’t just sit around waiting for the police to find her. Especially when it seems that they are looking in all the wrong places. She sets out on her own investigation, with the aid of a young detective, into the underbelly of Chicago in 1924. She’s determined to find Lydia, no matter what. But she soon has to decide exactly what that means as the truth just might upset her privileged life. ~This book immediately made it to my Favorite Reads of the year list. I’ve not read anything else by Morrill but she wove an incredible story of family, intrigue and 1920s Chicago. It was also very clean, with only subtle mentions of women of a certain profession and innocent romances. If you’ve followed SGL for a while, you’ll know that for this to be on my Faves list, it HAS to be clean! I adored Piper’s spirit, her brother (even when he was being a jerk), and of course, the detective who decides to help her.

The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl (The Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club #3) by Theodora Goss – When the girls of the Athena Club return home only to find that their friend, Alice has been kidnapped along with Mary’s employer, Sherlock Holmes, they rush to find them. But along the way they realize that the kidnappings are only a small part of a sinister plot that threatens not only the Queen, but all of England. Can Mary, Justine, Diana, Catherine and Beatrice stop the plans already in motion and save, not only their friends, but their country as well? ~As I shared in the Library Haul, I’ve not read book one. These were both on the ‘new arrivals’ shelf of my local library and they intrigued me. This series is very different from what I’m used to – seeing as how each of the girls are victims of an evil scientists’ experiments on them (one’s poisonous, one’s a vampire, one’s part cheetah etc). I’d almost say that I’d enjoy these stories more if those elements were taken away. But, I’m certain that those very parts are what makes this series stand out. I did end up enjoying this one- to a degree. The chase and revealing of the sinister plot were clever and intriguing – and were what kept me reading. The other stuff relating to the… vampire and such, were a bit much for me. Just like in the first book, honestly. But it seemed to be more present in this one. I don’t think I’ll read either of these again but they were well written with a fun, unique plot. If you want to see my review for the first book, click here.

Inheritance by Christopher Paolini – I want to do a review of the full series, so for now – know that I enjoyed this conclusion to The Inheritance Cycle

Bing Crosby: A Pocketful of Dreams – The Early Years 1903-1940 by Gary Giddins – This covered Bing’s childhood and on up to his rise in fame til the 1940s. I did enjoy what I got read of it. But, well… it took me several weeks to get a quarter of the way through it. And that was with skipping ahead to a section that was of more interest to me. Giddins wrote it well, and he did extensive research on Bing’s ancestors and life. While I fully appreciate that, it was a bit more than I was wanting. I finally just wanted my (huge) stack of library books gone, so I returned it without finishing it. Perhaps one day I’ll get back to it. But, even if I don’t, I still learned some cool (and sad) information on Bing. And found some songs of his that I’d never heard before!

Prince Caspian (Chronicles of Narnia #2) by C.S. Lewis – When Susan’s horn is blown, the Pevensie children are called back to Narnia to help Prince Caspain reclaim his rightful throne. The false king is ruthless and will stop at nothing to kill the old Narnians and maintain his rule. ~I’m reading this series as part of a reading group on Instagram. It’s been fun to re-read these again as I feel it’s been a while! Prince Caspian is, I think, one of my favorites of the series as we see some of the growing up the Pevensie’s have to go through and of course, we meet Caspian and see Aslan again.

Jennifer: an O’Malley Love Story by Dee Henderson- I have read the O’Malley Series, for years and I still enjoy them immensely. This is a short story with one of the siblings as the main character. It was so nice to get to read more about Jennifer as a doctor and see as she falls in love. The heartache though! Agh. Even knowing what is coming (thanks to reading the O’Malley series beforehand), it was still a good, quick read. If you love the O’Malley’s, check this one out.

Thrive by J.J. Eden – A small book of poetry and micro-fiction that focus on the highs and lows of life. On keeping the will to thrive strong in our hearts. ~I got this book free for my honest review. And while I haven’t read any poetry in several years, I enjoyed this a lot. So many of her words resonated with me and some of the micro-fiction I was wishing was a full length story!

Currently Reading:

Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson

None Like Him by Jen Wilkin

Tate (Montana Marshalls #2) by Susan May Warren (ebook) – this one is so good but with it being an ebook, I’m just not reading it much.

Zorro by Isabel Allende

To Read:

Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Chronicles of Narnia) by C.S. Lewis

The Bridge to Belle Island Book Review

3 Mar

Synopsis:

Lawyer Benjamin Booker has just been publicly humiliated by a beautiful woman. Vowing never to be taken in by a pretty face again, he is relieved to turn his attention to another case. One involving the murder of the law offices senior partners old friend. Both unsatisfied by the progress by Bow Street, Benjamin agrees to start his own investigation, which takes him from London to Belle Island. While he’s glad to be free of London for a while, he finds that the island – isolated on the Thames and veiled in mystery – is home to the beautiful Isabelle.

Isabelle claims to have never left the island in ten years. She’s created a full and productive life in her small world, one that she’s proud of, even if she is ashamed of her fear keeping her trapped. When the handsome lawyer shows up on her doorstep to tell her of her uncle’s death, she’s shocked. But when evidence points to her, Isabelle isn’t sure what to do. Can she trust her own mind? Can she trust the friends surrounding her, or should she trust the handsome Benjamin?

After having read some reviews that were all over the place on how good this book was, I was unsure if I would enjoy it as much as I’ve enjoyed her other books that I’ve read. (for links to those that I’ve reviewed here, they’re at the bottom of this post!).

My review on Goodreads right after I finished it :
Klassen did it again. This murder mystery was so engaging and kept me guessing right up til the end. I liked Benjamin Booker – just out to do the right thing and not get misled again by a pretty face. And while I didn’t understand the given reasons by some of the characters (Isabelle included) held back information about the night in question, it did add to the suspense of it. I admit – I found myself wishing I could live on Belle Island.

This made it on to my FAVORITE Reads of 2020 book list! So even though there were bits that I was scratching my head on, I liked the differences of Klassen’s story line for this murder mystery. I would recommend this for pretty much anyone – although I’d suggest pre-reading it before handing it to a younger teen reader.

Here are links to the other books by Klassen that I’ve reviewed here on SGL!

The Painter’s Daughter

The Secret of Pembrooke Park

Book Review – The Silent Governess

While covering different genres, I do not read anything that has blatant sexual content. I will tell you if there is any sort of such (typically very mild and delicately put) in them and if I don’t think they’d be appropriate for young/teenage readers.

Thanks for stopping by SGL! If you’d like to see what I’m up to on a -slightly – more regular basis, check out my Instagram page.

~Laura

Health Update January 2020

30 Jan

Hello again friends, thanks for coming back to SGL. It has been several months since I’ve done a health update and I honestly debated about continuing them. But, as I decided the beginning of last year, I need this monthly posts to help me keep an idea of just how I’ve been. It’s so very easy to get lost in the day to day haze of pain and brain fog that I can’t recollect the better days – or the worse ones.

The other thing I wanted to do was to change up the format for them but I couldn’t figure out a way to do that, that would still provide the information that I need (and that I want to share). If you have any suggestions, or a blog to recommend that does regular health updates, I am definitely open to hearing them.

fightinglymemigraines

As a look at Overall Health, it’s harder to peg this one down since it’s been so many months. I have had good stretches alongside ones that I barely dragged through each day. I do feel like I’m in the middle of a better stretch – this would mean that my fatigue isn’t so overwhelming, migraines are calmer/respond to treatment, brain fog tends to be a little less, etc. And let me tell you, I’m so thankful for this pause in extreme pain.

Let’s move on to the rest of the update, shall we?

Here are the notes that I kept on my phone:

Nov 30 – exhausted and headachy all day.  Took 2 short naps.  Cycle due any day. Hungrier than normal past few days. 
Dec 2 -mega fatigue all day.  Took 2 naps.  Migraine kicked up bad , hard to get the pain to ease.  Tylenol, Bayer, ice pack and a nap finally did.
11th – woke up with fatigue and migraine, pretty severe till @2pm. Felt better but still both present all day. A bit moody in evening
12th – woke up pretty good, pain hit @2pm, finally eased @4. Left calf and foot hurting and painful cramps. Poor circulation in legs recently . A bit moody in evening again.
14- woke up exhausted.  Fatigue staying all day so far.  Some head pain as well
Dec 29- very busy day in bend.  drove home in evening.  No major migraine/fatigue/crash whole time we were there. Did really well
Dec 30 – woke up very tired but ok. Took nap early afternoon.  Ran errand. Felt really good early evening.  Aches and migraine kicked up in evening. Soaked feet and took tylenol,  eased it. 
Dec 31 cycle started.  Felt pretty well all day,  tired but not terribly.
JAN 1ST- cycle aches all day.  Lazy day with minimal activity.  Joint pain increased in evening.  Went to bed with ice pack on knees.  It’s been weeks since I needed that

Jan 14 – introduced bananas back into my diet. Felt good in am, very tired by noon. Pretty short attention span all day. About an hr nap after lunch.  Exhausted and achy pain suddenly in evening.  Was able to calm it down decently with ice and tylenol.

Migraine: the severity has decreased most of the time. Sometimes, I get sideswiped by a particularly nasty one however. I’m still taking 4.5 mg of the Low Dose Naltrexone every night and I believe these have helped a lot.

Sleep:  I’m getting about 7 hours each night, with the normal 2 or 3 wakings. I am also putting this to the LDN’s. I do frequently take involuntary naps however.

Memory/Brain Fog:  This has improved some, but when the brain fog hits – it hits hard and doesn’t want to lift. Sometimes I won’t notice how bad it is until I leave the house/try holding a conversation with someone

Vision: I have had several scintillating scotomas, and do occasionally have times where my eyes just don’t want to focus.

TMJ:  My jaw doesn’t pop very often at all anymore and mostly, this pain has diminished. It’s never gone completely, but many days it’s not so severe that I am distracted by it.

Fatigue:  I am able to push myself more than I have in years, probably. But, of course, I do have days where I just am relegated to the couch because I am so fatigued. Or that I just need to space out what I plan, to give my body the rest it needs. – this hasn’t changed much from my last update back in August

Fibromyalgia:  This is a persistent, constant pain. Especially in my knee, elbow, ankle joints. Frequently it rears in my hip as well. I have noticed the random twitches that I get have been increasing over the months.

Weight Loss: Not at all. It’s been more of a weight gain issue. Very frustrating.

Mood: This has been very back and forth lately.

Digestion:   This has been good for me – which means, still not where it should ideally be, but for me, it’s okay.

Screenshot_20200129-133731_Instagram

Dec 14, 2019

Earlier this month, I did some blood tests and am waiting to talk with my doctor about the results. I am, of course, hoping that they will reveal just what is going on inside me and will give us a path on which to base the new protocol that I’m going to start.

Over the month of December, I cut out ALL sugars – even natural – in the hopes that it would ease some of the inflammation in my body. But it didn’t seem to do anything, so I’ve been able to add bananas and honey back in. I’ve been adding them back in very slowly, trying to keep track of how I react. I am looking forward to adding strawberries back into my diet soon!

I hope the pictures (that I grabbed from my Instagram account) give you maybe a better idea of the ups and downs these past months. Due to a lot of negative comments, I’ve really cut back on the ‘pain’ photos that I feel tend to capture the level of pain that I’m in, so it makes it a bit harder to really get the point across. Because of that, I’ve noticed that I don’t share quite as much on IG as I used to. But since it’s still the biggest part of my life – this fighting for my health – I’m going to try and share more of both the dark days and the better days. I’d like to also increase how much I talk about chronic illness here on SGL. If there’s any topic you’d be interested in reading about, please ask!
If you’ve made it all the way to the end of this post, THANKS! I appreciate you giving me some of your precious time,
Blessings,
Laura 

My Library Book Haul

24 Jan

I decided that it might be fun to share with you the stack of books that I picked up from the library earlier this week.

 

librarybookhaul

Due to a large stack of TBR’s that I already own, I hadn’t planned on going to the library for quite some time. But, since I’m in the middle of The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini and of course I had to get the next (and last!) book of the series. Which meant going onto the library website. Which meant that I requested several more books than just that one.

I tried, really I did, to just get Inheritance.

Fast forward to when I actually went to the library… and ended up in the little book sale corner and found this book that is the origin story of Diego De La Vega  aka Zorro, by Isabel Allende . *I don’t know anything more about this book other than what it says on the back cover, so if you have read it, I would definitely love to hear what you thought about it!* I couldn’t resist it, or the three Disney VHS tapes that were 25 cents each.

Anyhow, I’ll give you a quick rundown as to what made me pick these particular books – and indeed, I’ve already read a few of them.  Click on the titles to go to Goodreads and read what they’re about.

Jennifer: an O’Malley Love Story by Dee Henderson- I have read the O’Malley Series, for years and I still enjoy them immensely. This book, Jennifer, is a short story with one of the siblings as the main character. If I remember correctly, Henderson wrote it due to her fans begging for it.

The Witness by Dee Henderson – I’m telling you, I’m feeling another Henderson reading spree coming on. I can’t believe that I’d never read this before. It was another good suspense story with characters that I would absolutely love to see in more books – although I can’t find any evidence that it’s part of a series.

The Bridge to Belle Islandby Julie Klassen – I have recently fallen in love with several of Klassen’s novels and wanted to try another one. The reviews on Goodreads for this weren’t the most positive but I decided it would be worth a try

The Lost Girl of Astor Street by Stephanie Morrill – a friend recently recommended this to me and come on, it’s set in the 1920s in Chicago. How can I not give it a chance?

The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girlby Theodora Goss – Now, you might remember my review of European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewomanwhich is book 2 of this series…that makes this one the 3rd book and I’ve never read the first one. I know, I’m terrible. Once again, this was a random pick-up, and I’m kinda curious to see how the story continues.

Inheritance by Christopher Paolini – as I said above, this is the 4th (and final) in the Inheritance Cycle. This thing is a beast, I tell you, a beast. I’m a couple hundred pages in and it’s just as good as I expected. I’m learning that J.R.R. Tolkien’s words are quite true :

“It simply isn’t an adventure worth telling if there aren’t any dragons.”

 

And just for fun, I’ll tell you what I’m currently reading:

Inheritance by Christopher Paolini

Bing Crosby: A Pocketful of Dreams – The Early Years 1903-1940 by Gary Giddins

Tate (Montana Marshalls #2) by Susan May Warren (ebook)

None Like Him by Jen Wilkin

 

To Read:

Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis

The books by Goss, Klassen or Morrill

 

Well, I hope you enjoyed this quick post on what I picked up on at the library! It’s a bit different from usual but, that’s what makes it fun! (hopefully anyway!)

Watch for a health update coming up next week!

~Laura

 

The FlyLady Cleaning System- 7 Months Later

18 Jan

Back in June of 2019, I wrote a post all about how I tried the FlyLady Cleaning System for a Month. I wanted to share with you (well, those who are interested anyway!) how I’ve been keeping up with it and if I love it and if I recommend it still.

flyldycleaningsystem

 

 

Photo by Curology on Unsplash

First off, I’ll share what the Flylady system is, from Wikipedia –

“FlyLady is a support and self-help group that offers advice to help people with housekeeping, founded by “The FlyLady”, Marla Cilley. … FlyLady’s messages cover topics include clutter, the value of routines, weekly and monthly cleaning, increased self-esteem, and letting go of perfectionism.”

The FlyLady has you separate your home into five zones that you work through one each week. It’s a nice system that keeps you getting through your entire home every five weeks which, if you’re like most people, is more a more faithful timeline than otherwise you’d be doing those guest room closets or vacuuming under the furniture. Here’s what my home looks like, put into zones:

20200117_082939

 

You might notice that the dining room somehow didn’t get put into a zone. I’m not sure how that happened! But I’ve been seeing which zone it fits into the best (i.e. which one I’m more likely to get to it) before absolutely sticking it into one.

Since my original post, I have updated my lists – they are still handwritten although I do want to type them up one of these months.

 

I know, you can’t really read it that well what with it being handwritten and handwritten by me. (I’m telling you, my script hasn’t changed since I was about 10 years old. It’s terrible.) But hopefully, it’ll give you an idea of what I’m talking about with zones and such. I have written the lists so that the cleaning goes from top to bottom and I do try to stick with that although sometimes I just clean what I feel like that day. I have also changed/added to some of the lists as I realize that some things aren’t getting done (for example: cleaning the dishwasher and mopping the bedrooms).  The FlyLady is big on encouraging you to make it work for you.

Since I am human as well as having a chronic illness, my dedication to this cleaning system has waned at times but I am always glad when I come back to it. I took some (much needed) weeks off around the holidays and am still feeling like I’m trying to catch up, but that’s okay, I’m not pushing myself.  A little at a time is still progress.

All in all, I would still recommend this to you to try! I was greatly relieved when I was able to get off the FlyLady’s email list as there were several coming in each day, and all I needed was the daily/or weekly, cleaning list. So, once I had those all written down, I unsubscribed. If she pared down (significantly) what she sent out each day, I would still be getting them most likely, as it’s good encouragement and reminders. But, as frustrating as the deluge can be, it’s worth it to deal with them for the month-odd in order to really get a feel for the system.

I will add that I’m doing a very pared down version of her cleaning system. There’s also a focus for each day – paying bills, cleaning out your car, anti-procrastination, etc. that are very helpful! There are also missions for each day that are lickety-split cleaning focuses (like tossing the empty soap bottles in your bathroom) that I’m contemplating adding to my routine. Check out the website for more info.

I can’t finish this post without doing a shout out for the lady who got me turned onto the FlyLady system and that’s The Secret Slob. She’s so much fun to watch and she really breaks down the system into an easily understandable thing. Check out this video to see her one-year into FlyLady.

If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed with the state of your house, I suggest you give this a try. Even if you don’t end up using the system, it might spur you on to looking at cleaning as less of a beast – and feeling motivated to just do one small area of your house and feeling accomplished for having done it.

~Laura

 

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