Aug/Sept 2018 Book Reviews

29 Sep

Looking at July’s review, I realized that I ended up reading exactly what I had planned to on my to-read list! That doesn’t normally happen, so I’m a little pleased with myself. My list of books is rather short for two months but most of the novels I’ve been reading have been LONG. The Shadowfell series are about 400 pages each, and the Robert Jordan one I’m currently enjoying is about 700 pages. . . I like the extra story development that is allowed in these longer books though! I’m not sure I could ever write that in-depth though.

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Shadowfell series by Juliet Marillier – separate review coming in the next few weeks

Gifts of the Spirit by FFOZ – as of right now, I’m going to just direct you to First Fruits of Zion’s website that gives great info into this well-written and informative book about the gifts of the Spirit and different perspectives on them.

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson -Two princesses’ lives are thrown into turmoil. While both scramble to learn the ways of their new environments, political upheaval is on the horizon.

~The first time I read this, I wasn’t sure if I would read it again but I decided to give it another shot. (I’m a sucker for Sanderson apparently). The way he weaves together a story is just incredible. The political and personal struggles of the different characters is engrossing. You can read my original review here.

Unspoken by Dee Henderson – Almost twenty years later, Charlotte Graham still hasn’t spoken about her past. A past that includes her being the center of the most famous kidnapping in Chicago’s history. A past that includes such pain and fear that she’s never risked telling anyone. Can she finally take that risk?

~You might notice that another Henderson kick is beginning… This one is ‘connected’ with Full Disclosure and Taken. While there was a lot of detail about coins, I appreciated how much she researched it out – it didn’t take away from the novel for me. As usual, some of the faith struggles of the characters hit a bit too close to home for me – but that is one reason I appreciate Henderson’s books. She writes not only good fiction, she gives real-life faith struggles to her characters. I highly recommend this book!

 

Trouble in Store by Carol Cox – When her prime governess position is abruptly ended, Melanie Ross sees no other choice but to travel to Idaho to the mercantile her cousin left her in his will. But someone else feels he has the same rights to the store, and Caleb Nelson isn’t about to just step aside and give up his new life to her. He sees her as the newest obstacle to the new life he’s carving out for himself, and he’ll try just about anything to get rid of her.

~ I borrowed this book from a friend as it is by a new-to-me author that I just read a book of hers earlier this year – Truth be Told.  I like Cox’s easy-to-read style and how she actually made me dislike Melanie for a little bit! I was so put off by her actions at one point that I had to keep reading to see how Caleb dealt with her. Brilliant move on Cox’s part. Highly recommend as a relaxing, faith-focused novel.

Traces of Guilt – An Evie Blackwell Cold Case by Dee Henderson – Watch for a separate review of this series! (I know, I said that about the Shadowfell books too but bear with me, the wait will be worth it!) 

Currently Reading:

Dear Theo by Irving Stone

Constantine’s Sword by James Carroll

The Eye of the World  book 1 of the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan

Undetected by Dee Henderson

 

To Read:

The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan (book 2)

Traces of Suspicion by Dee Henderson

The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott

 

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.

~Laura

~What have you been reading lately? I’d absolutely love to hear about it and add them to my to-read list!

Writing Prompt: Hesitant Fate

20 Sep

Writing Prompt : Pick up the book closest to you. Turn to page 55. Use the second sentence on the page as your prompt for today

” The lower middle classes, and a substantial swath of the more prosperous, did not have the servants to permit them to lie in bed for weeks (or even days).” –This was my first quote option, from the book Inside the Victorian Home, but since I couldn’t come up with anything I grabbed another book for a different quote.

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Photo by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash

“She was curled up, drooping and asleep on a cushioned shelf built out from a curved window; and for a moment pity struck him and he hesitated.”

Who was he to change the fate of her life? What right did he have to do this thing to her? But what choice did he have? The fate of those he loved hung in the balance – and was there really any wondering who he would choose in this moment? This stranger or those whom his heart beat for? He hovered over her, taking in everything about her. He wanted to remember this last innocent moment, for they were few and far between these days. He knew that soon her dreams would be haunted, just as his were. He took a deep breath and pulled on his beard, decidedly putting away his doubts. He reached out and woke her. His heart ached at the sudden fear in her eyes.  “Don’t make a sound. Come with me.” Her breath caught in her throat as she took in his threatening appearance. Two sword hilts showing above his right shoulder. The dagger on his belt. The gauntlets covering his forearms. She nodded shakily and he silently thanked her for it. He had no stomach for forcefully threatening such an innocent. They stealthily made their way from room to room, his large hand clamped around her wrist.  Eventually they made it to the relative freedom of the courtyard and he paused in the shadows. Patrols were making their quarter-hour trek around the ground and he pulled the girl close, clamping his hand over her mouth. They stood in the shadows and waited while the oblivious men walked their way. After they had passed, he turned the girl and looked at her. Her eyes were big as she stared back at him, but she remained still. He raised an eyebrow, impressed despite himself. Somehow, he suddenly knew she wouldn’t risk the lives of the men simply to chance an escape. He moved his hand away, feeling oddly ashamed, and continued leading her out of the courtyard. Out of any hope of someone seeing them and rescuing her. Out of any chance of his plan failing. 

~Laura

 

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Health Update: Aug/Sept 2018

14 Sep

Happy Fall! (I know, I’m a bit early, but with the rainstorm we had yesterday and the leaves starting to fall, I feel like I can get away with it.) I am feeling like some of my brain fog is starting to lift a little bit again, so I’m going to aim to get this update written fully! Here we go: fightinglymemigraines

 

Overall Health:  Fatigue, fibromaylgia and back pain are my main struggles this past month odd. After getting my IV with glutathione mid-month in August, everything started calming back down. Which means I’m never going without it again if I have my way.  I have had an upset stomach frequently lately, even with being more strict on my diet.

July 31- a little less fatigue in the am and was able to rest early afternoon, able to get up again mid afternoon. Two clonidine. Upset stomach this evening, the same as a few evenings ago
Started stretching and doing light workouts on Aug 14th
Aug 15- brain fog and tiredness. Ran errands and did some cleaning though. Fibro kicked up in evening again
Aug 16- still decent fatigue but cleaned in am. No clonidine up till 11am
Aug 21 – IV day!
have noticed an increase in energy and some decrease in brain fog from the 24th to 28th. Fibromyalgia still flaring/cramping in feet especially. Jaw still very tender and frequent pain/throbbing/teeth aching. Migraines down some possibly. Trying to pay attention if fatigue increases when I take clonidine. Still some struggling with feelings of being overwhelmed, even at home.

Aug 28 – increased H2PLX to 4/day to see if it helps with fatigue

Aug 29- migraine in am, might be due to pain in neck since yesterday morning. More fatigue today, took 2+ hr nap. Feeling overwhelmed late afternoon. Did work on book a little though 

Sept 4- upset stomach this morning. Two clonidine. Fatigue some today but not awful. Teeth aching, jaw pain.

Sept 6 – started Andrographis

Sept 10- woke up tired but ok. Went to Rosh Hashanah service (almost 2 hrs). napped for 3 hrs. still tired and groggy. 

Sept 11- IV today. didn’t sleep well last night. Decently bad fatigue. did pushes of vitamins and glutathione

20180821_110158  Migraine: On a scale of 1 -10 (10  being debilitating/nuclear) these were an 8 daily, but lately I’ve been hanging out at a 6/7. They do still ratchet up to an 8 come the evenings but they’ve mostly been responding to clonidine and ice.  Speaking of ice…. I have been laying on ice packs/ having them draped over my head for the past 5 odd weeks – it has helped so much to help calm the pain some days.

Sleep:  As long as I’ve got an ice pack – or a heating pad- to lay on, either for my head or my back, I’ve been able to sleep. There have been a few times that I’ve had to move out to the couch. As well as a few times that I had to take melatonin but overall this has stayed good.

Memory/Brain Fog: All Hail Neuroflam!!! I love this product you guys – along with the glutathione, it helps so much in helping clear the fog away so I can think of something other than… well, trying to remember what I was doing or saying. Brain fog is the PITS.

Vision: I might have had one time of sparkles/black spots but I am not sure. And that’s amazing.

TMJ: While it still isn’t popping too much, I would say this has increased lately because it aches SO OFTEN and my teeth just hurt frequently.

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Felt well enough a few weekends ago to go on a 3 mile hike!

Fatigue: As I said, this is still a big struggle for me. I can be feeling halfway decent and then it feels like I get hit by a truck. The other day, while walking in Costco, I got so tired that I could barely remember how to walk. My body just stopped – and forcing it to move was like walking through waist deep mud. Augh.

Fibromyalgia: (how has this not been a category?!)  This is the BIGGEST struggle I’ve been having. Cramping. Aching. Tingling. Joint pain. Driving me crazy, basically. It’s gotten bad enough that I wasn’t able to do anything fine motor-wise a few evenings. Ice helps a lot when it’s in my hip/lower back. My ankles have been popping more when it’s flaring. The best description I can come up with is two levels: 1) it’s a low throb like when your foot falls asleep (before the insanely painful needles) but it’s my whole body. 2) it’s trying to claw it’s way out of my bones. Descriptive enough? Yeah. Fun times.

Weight Loss: I cut starch and corn out of my diet a week and half ago and have been able to lose a smidge of weight. I started working out again earlier this month but fibro and fatigue hit and I couldn’t continue. I’m hoping to start up again soon.

Mood: This has been an issue again, just ask my OH (no, please don’t, actually. I don’t want to know what he says about it.) I did run out of Xiao Chai Hu Tang (warning about this link – I have gotten them before and have been fine, but my doctor said that you have to be careful about where you get chinese herbs from because they can be high in arsenic. So I buy them from my doctor’s office. I shared the link with you because that’s as close to the same ingredients as what I get from my doctor) okay, now that’s out of the way — XCHT is THE thing to take for me for my mood. I know it does a lot of other great things but for me , 4/day is all it takes for me to be my even-keeled self and that is wonderful.

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vitals from before my latest IV

WHEW! It’s been a very rough time lately (which is why it’s been so quiet here on SGL) but I am hoping and praying that I’m entering into a bit of a break, where all my symptoms chill out again.

If you want, follow me on Instagram and Facebook!

~Laura 

Book Review – Literary Yarns

24 Aug

You Guys. If you are crocheters you simply must check this book out! I got it from the library to see if it was something that I’d want in my (tiny yet growing) collection of crochet books and it IS. These patterns are easy to follow and turn out so cute. I’ll admit to only doing one of them so far but that’ll soon change!

 

She was a little nervous about coming on here today because she doesn’t have any flowers on her hat – or even a tiny ribbon! (the horrors). But I convinced her that you all would love her anyway.

The cork is purely for size reference – she’s learned her lesson about raspberry cordial. And she felt kind of silly showing the back of her dress and pinafore.

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The only thing that I did differently from the pattern was that I had to make the pinafore piece wider than it said to. I’m not sure if my little Anne is wider than she’s supposed to be (it’s all that reading and snacking), or what. The back of the pinafore straps are also supposed to cross over but mine weren’t long enough for that. All in all, I think she’s rather cute. I’d like thicker braids perhaps but she’s still cute.

Have you done any crochet amigurumi?

~Laura

July 2018 Book Reviews

10 Aug

It’s finally time for some book reviews! I have decided that I’m just going to share a few of the books I’ve read in the past three odd months (my last review post was April’s) If you want to see everything I’ve read since then, go check out my Goodreads page!

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Full Disclosure by Dee Henderson – Ann Silver, cop, passes off a case to Luke Falcon, FBI. She’s relieved to have it off her desk, as she’s also the Midwest Homicide Investigator. He’s just been handed vital information that ties to a case he’s been working for years. But soon their lives will collide, getting far more personal than either had anticipated.

~ Whooeeee. I’d read this book years before but didn’t remember much of it. I appreciated how different of a lead female character Anne was – her end goal wasn’t marriage and kids and the white picket fence. This book has so many layers to it that I was sucked in very quickly and stayed that way. It is an intense story, as you follow along on a John Doe case. Perhaps a bit too quick of a wrap-up at the end for me, but thankfully, it didn’t ruin the whole thing. (you know what I’m talking about). 

 

Taken by Dee Henderson – Shannon’s escape was planned to the last detail, as is her plan to capture the ones who kidnapped her -the Jacoby family. Her choosing Matthew Dane, private investigator, as the one who helps her gain her freedom, wasn’t an accident. But the task of finding all the evidence, and what happened to the ransom that was paid all those years ago, is going to be harder than she thought.

~you might be noticing a theme here…. I was really on a Henderson kick! I do recommend that you read Full Disclosure before Taken though. You don’t have to, but you get background on several of the supporting characters in Taken that is helpful. I started Taken, but kept wondering why I felt like I should already know some of the characters..so I got Full Disclosure from the library! That aside, I did enjoy this book. It is intense and a bit slow moving but it’s theme was different than I’d read before – taking place AFTER the kidnapping. I liked the faith of Shannon and her coming to terms with the events of her life. The romance was a little odd but it grew on me. 

 

How To Be a Friend To a Friend Who’s Sick by Letty Cottin Pogrebin – Everybody knows someone who is suffering. But how to act is often so confusing and stressful. Pogrebin shares, partly from her own experiences, what to do, what not to do and that sometimes, just being present is all that is needed.

~THANK YOU Letty, for writing such a great book on this subject. I admit that while I was excited to read this, I was a bit nervous as to what her take would be on this. But I learned so much from it, as someone who’s Sick and just as a friend of someone who’s Sick. I recommend this for sure, although, if my memory serves (I read it back in May), there were a few sections in her personal story that were a little off-color to me. (? I’m not sure how to word that properly…)

 

California Passage Series by Elaine Schulte – Follow the adventures of the Talbot family in the 1800’s as they travel to California via the different routes – covered wagon, around the Horn, through Panama.

~I have grown up reading this series of four books. I believe they were my great-aunt’s at one time. The journeys they go through are interesting to read about, especially in this modern age of convenient travel. This is definitely a christian romance series – faith is a strong theme throughout each of them. A fun historical romance read.

 

Wildwood (Wildwood Chronicles #1) by Colin Meloy  – When twelve- year old Prue’s baby brother is kidnapped by crows, she’ll stop at nothing to rescue him. Even entering the Impassable Wilderness.

~I picked this up at a used bookstore because one of my friends’ loves it – but I was still hesitant about whether I would like it. It took me a few months to finally pick it up but I’m glad I did! Her statement of “It’s weird, but I love it” is a perfect review for it. It is a middle-grade fantasy series

 

Uncommon Heroes Series by Dee Henderson – you can find my review here and here. I probably hadn’t read them since 2014, so it was fun to fall in love with this series again. Highly recommend.

 

The Finding of Jasper Holt by Grace Livingston Hill – Jean Grayson and Jasper Holt’s lives were intertwined the night of the train crash. She knows that her heart will never belong to anyone else. He knows that her family will forbid them to be together, so he makes her a promise that he will prove his virtue to all who keep them apart.

~I received this book from my aunt (along with a few other Hill books) and absolutely loved it. I read it in two days- and that’s because I made myself put it down and accomplish life things. Like eating. And sleeping. It was a sweet, heartfelt western romance with great imagery and life lessons. Does that sound cheesy? It wasn’t.  I never was sure what year it was set in but I quickly decided to quit trying to figure it out and just enjoy it. Lovely book. Highly recommend.

 

Currently Reading:

Dear Theo by Vincent Van Gogh

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

Gifts of the Spirit by Fruits of the Zion

 

To Read:

Constantine’s Sword by James Carroll

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan (new author for me!)

The Shadowfell Trilogy by Juliet Marrillier

 

~Laura

Health Update: May/June/July 2018

31 Jul

I am going to admit something to you right away – I’m starting this but have no idea when it’ll get finished and posted! With my OH’s graduation and party on Sunday, my parents coming into town today and donation boxes/a dog park run to do before they get here, I’m just not sure how much of this I’ll actually get written today. But, “Well begun is half done”.

**Update: It’s now July 30th and I am just now getting back to this post! The party has been thrown (along with a second one beginning of this month) the parents have come and gone, along with another couple of guests, many dog park runs have occurred and I’m woefully behind on so much that I’ve intended to do. But, this is step one in getting back on track!

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Overall Health: I have been a bit better this month. Fatigue has still been a major problem. My back seized up early one morning and it took almost two weeks before it stopped hurting. I’ve seen some improvement in my every-few-weeks flaring, which has been such a relief.

May 14 saw bodywork Dr. Worked on whole left side. 
May 15 saw main Dr. Going to start neuroflam. Also went major grocery shopping today. Was worn out in afternoon, dehydrated, some brain fog. Took detox bath in evening, wiped me out.
May 16- woke up with severe fatigue. Slept again until noon. Joints achy and a 7 migraine. Fatigue isn’t so severe this afternoon.
May 18- a better day. Was able to do some light cleaning, cooking, etc. Migraine didn’t hit till later afternoon and then harder in evening. First evening in at least a week that my hip hasn’t hurt and my calf hurts half as bad.  Fatigue isn’t near as bad but still underlying.
May 20- monthly started. Hungrier than normal. Not much fatigue. Went to the beach for the morning. Severe migraine early afternoon partly from lack of food. Some cramping/tingling in feet, calves and hands
May 23- took Abby to the park, went to get my hair cut and to two stores.. Worn out and a migraine trying to come in evening. Hip didn’t hurt though! 
May 24- woke up early with bad migraine and very hungry. Had a snack and slept again. Migraine was still bad when I woke up, but early afternoon it has eased some. Strong fatigue today. 
May 25- woke up feeling better enough that I drove to Eugene in the afternoon. Hit with 8 migraine in the evening, and Soo hungry but ice, clonidine and food kept it from increasing. Took a short nap around 8pm. 
May 30 – fibropain flaring all week. In hands especially tonight, maybe because I worked in yard this am. Migraine flaring up to an 8 but then stopping. Fatigue hit hard yesterday, easing off today. 
–have been ‘seeing’ things in the corner of my eye. A bit of heart pounding. Fingers hurting/have to focus to straighten all the way. 
June 3- severe migraine out of the blue in evening. Vision gone in left eye.  Debilitating. Day 15. 
June 4- recovery day and keeping the pain down. 
June 5 – fighting migraine down. Hit hard in evening. To a level 9. IV today, glutathione push.
June 6- pretty good today. Upset stomach in late am and late evening. Clonidine keeping migraine down. Some fibropain. 
June 11-fatigue hit hard all day. Migraine tried to flare throughout the day. Took 2 naps. June 13- decent fatigue but was able to get up and putter around the house as well. Took a long nap. detox bath in the evening.

Have been struggling with bad fatigue for a week and a half. One vision loss migraine. 
June 26th iron and nutrient IV. 
June 29- best I’ve felt in a long while. Energy, mental clarity, 
July 1- day 15, fatigue and some mood issues. Needed a nap in the afternoon. Fibropain pretty strong in joints in late evening. But such an improvement from this time last month
July 19- back feeling a little better in am. Took Abby to the park. Afternoon, fatigue hit hard. Fibro flared in evening. Slept on ice pack all night
July 20- back still hurting (a week and a half now) mainly on left side. Possible kidney moved down again?

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* I’ve been on the DIM Detox  since the end of May and I have slowly but steadily seen an improvement in my mid-month flaring like we were hoping! I did have to cut back to 1/day after increasing to 2/day and having a flare but it’s helping!!!

Migraine: These have slowly decreased from May to end of July. I haven’t had a ‘nuclear migraine’ (aka, vision loss/debilitating) since beginning of June. They are still daily, of course – finish?

Sleep: This hasn’t changed much other than, with the fatigue, I’m needing more naps. Not every day, thankfully, but a lot of times when I do nap, it’s a few hours before I wake up. Which then makes it hard to get to bed before midnight… I am glad that I still don’t need melatonin to get to sleep like I did for so long!

Memory/Brain Fog:  This was a big enough of a struggle that I started taking Neuroflam  (thankfully I can get it for about $30 cheaper than this amazon price). To experiment, I have been off of it for a few weeks…and I think it really was helping. OY. I was hoping to save that money but anything that helps with mental clarity is worth it. I’ve been so foggy that sitting down and writing (either on here or on my book) has been such a trial that I just haven’t done it. Sadly.

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It took at least half an hour to get the needle in to a good vein this time. Second try with the Iron push. Verdict? Doesn’t kick the fatigue.

Vision: Since the beginning of June, I haven’t had full vision loss but I have had some minor sparkles, spots or blurriness. I have been able to attribute them to exhaustion or hunger. When they have been tied to the oncoming of a severe migraine, I’ve been able to halt it from fully forming.

Fibromyalgia: Ahhh, joint aches. Self-cramping. Sporadic tingling. Pain that is trying to claw its way out of my body.  This has increased over the months and I’m thinking that it’s due to the fact that I’ve been having cane sugar occasionally. As well as starch. I am okay with never feeling the need to move just because the pain is so bad.

TMJ: This is one thing that has eased off and stayed down, mostly. My teeth will still ache and my jaw is almost always tender to the touch. It doesn’t pop too often.

Fatigue: This has been a doozy for a while now. My last two IV’s, we’ve gone without the glutathione and done Iron and nutrients but it’s not kicking the fatigue like the glutathione. OY.

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Weight Loss: I was doing good on this for about a month and then…I stopped working out and more lax on what I would eat. I’ve started working out again though so I’m hopeful I can start losing some again!

Mood: Overall, this has been good- even- calm. A few times a month (?) it goes more wacky than it normally would.

Bladder: since May, I haven’t had any other …strange behaviors in this quarter.

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I follow Aubrey on Instagram and just had to share this bit of humor.

If you want more frequent updates on my health journey – as well as Abby adventures, crochet projects and whatnot – follow me on Instagram!

*Disclaimer: I will say though, that I tend to share more…. real-life photos there than I do here. I only share a portion of them here on SGL. I have gotten some comments on my ‘death/zombie’ photos and such – if you don’t want to see pictures of someone in chronic, debilitating pain, I suggest you don’t follow me on IG. or Facebook, heh. I know it can be hard to see and read about, but this is my life and the life that so very many people are living. We didn’t ask for this. If you don’t like it, and there’s nothing wrong with that, please don’t make critical comments about our hard days – even if you mean them in jest. They still wound us. I appreciate each one of you that follows my blog, IG or Facebook. 

I caught Abby being a goof the other morning, here it is, just to make you smile,

24 Jul

I’m sharing this post – a Letter to Lyme Disease – that is especially fitting for me lately. I hope you’ll take the time to click over and read it as it speaks to what those of us with chronic pain go through emotionally as well as physically.

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“I’m getting very tired of having to lay on an ice pack all the time. It’s the main thing that has been keeping my migraine down these past weeks. But. It would be nice to not have to be switching them out all the time. I miss the softness of my pillows.”

~Laura

 

May Recap and June Goals 2018

1 Jun

I feel like I did pretty good on my goals this month considering how many days I spent stuck on the couch.  I do have several goals for this coming month,  but as a few of them are super easy/quick I’m hoping that I’ll be able to get most of them done!

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           (Abby’s first adventure to the beach! More pictures are on Instagram!)

Recap of Monthly Goals:

Watch/Read a documentary/biography : I watched some of Gordon Buchanan’s Elephant Family and Me

Try a new recipe: I am still cooking a lot from  Against All Grain cookbooks. I did make these Stuffed Sweet Potatoes .

Write one letter a month

Read theology/marriage/bible study book: I’ve started reading Gifts of the Spirit put out by First Fruits of Zion.

Edit ‘Amelia’ : I finally picked up a tri-fold cardboard thing and have started putting together a plot board. I can tell already that it’s going to make such a difference.

Eat healthier/lose weight : I haven’t lost any weight, while being decently strict on eating…mostly

Post Regularly

Psalm 103:8

May’s Goals:

Go through/declutter stuff in attic – every week I want to…

Crochet appliques for my aunt-  I’m having some difficulties with this project

Finishing touches on crochet Camper

Character changes/development

Finish reading/reviewing Nick’s book – I’m getting so close to the end, it’s so good!

Visit Collett end of month 

1 thing that I didn’t think I could do: I really, truly did drive to and from Eugene this past weekend! I also sanded my Adirondack chair last week

~~~

June Goals:

Go through/declutter stuff in attic

Crochet appliques for my aunt

Finish reading/reviewing Nick’s book

Transfer plant to Copper pot

Finish Adirondack Chair

Fix/Finish rag rug

Donate box of stuff

Plan Mike’s Graduation parties

 

~Laura

 

What are your goals for June?

Writing Prompts: Character Development (Harrison)

23 May

It’s been ages since I did one of these but I’m having to partially re-work one of my side characters. The time period is late 1890’s, set in the East Coast where Society is still rigid (more lax than it would have been in Europe but stricter than out West).

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Photo by Angelina Litvin on Unsplash

Harrison James – American – Name means ‘Power’ – 19 years old at the beginning of the book – single child – brown hair, brown eyes, 5 foot 9 inches (taller than Amelia, shorter than Ian), trim

Standing in Society – In one of the Prominent families

Type of Childhood- pampered – High Society (raised by nannies?)

First Memory – a nanny getting fired for refusing him something?

Religion – in name/title only

Finances – wealthy and set to inherit the estate

Bad Habits – gambler, drinks, smokes

Hobbies – card playing/gambling, betting on horse races (does he start racing horses too?)

How does he spend a rainy/sunny day? –  at parties, club or the races

PERSONALITY:

Greatest Source of Strength – ????

Greatest Source of Weakness – gambling

Soft Spot – Amelia

Is this soft spot obvious to others? Maybe before he realizes it himself

If not, how does he try to hide it? – Tries to treat her the same as everyone else (but how does it ACTUALLY come off? is he harsher with her or is he simply not able to?)

Biggest Vulnerability – ??

ATTITUDE

Most at Ease when – he’s the center of attention/when he’s working hard at the paper

Ill at Ease when – he’s idle – in Society and after

Priorities – MONEY

Philosophy – ?

If Granted one wish, what would it be? – ?

INTERRELATION WITH OTHERS

How does he relate to others? – on his terms – there are a few that he doesn’t act as arrogant around but not many

How is he perceived by the Heroine? –  Originally she is infatuated with him. She sees only the good. Time goes on and their relationship changes and she starts to see him in a professional light – someone to give her a chance.

How does he view heroine? – Until 1/2 way through the book (?) he sees her as a young girl with impossible dreams. But realizes she’s grown up – wants to help her gain independence/backbone – and snub Society. Is drawn to her.

First Impression and Why? – Depends on his mood – could be very good/charming or could be terrible. he decides in an instant if he likes you or not and bases it off that

What do family/friends like most about him? – He’s entertaining – when in the right mood. He can charm an entire crowd when he wants to

What do family/friends like least about him?- he’s cocky. Arrogant.

GOALS

Immediate Goals – none. Are you kidding? Life’s about having FUN

Long range goals – once tragedy strikes (in whatever form that happens..) to create his own fortune by growing a newspaper empire

How does he plan to accomplish this? – growing a struggling paper and then buy out others as he can

How will other characters be affected? – Amelia will be helped. Georgia will be helped/hurt in the 2nd book. What about his parents?

 

There are 2 more pages of questions but that’s it for now! You’ll notice there are several question marks still – and I didn’t even write all of the blank questions down, just the ones that I feel really need answered.

I recently heard advice for developing a character – take who you want them to be at the end of the story and flip it – that’s who the character is in the beginning. I am trying to follow that with Harrison. But let me tell you, it’s going to be a long road to get him where he should be.

~Laura

~Also, these are the ladies that I’m loving following for all things writing related lately – lara ferrari and Amara Luciano .

 

 

 

Health Update April/May 2018

8 May

Once again, I am so glad I do these updates! It helps so much in keeping track of where I’ve been – and where I am. While I have been frustrated lately on just how expensive all my treatment is – how come insurance just won’t cover lyme treatments?! – I have to admit that it is all worth it. Out of curiosity, I brought up last year’s update  and the difference is striking. I don’t take melatonin or theanine to sleep anymore – ever! While my fibromyalgia is still painful, I can crochet pretty much as long as I want and it doesn’t get to the point of making me cry/scream. I no longer have disassociation. I am able to keep up with housework better overall. The things that I started taking/increased are all some of my favorites now – St. John’s Wort, Butterbur/Petadolex, iron supplement, etc. I have decreased the ceanothus to once a week though because I react to it so strongly.

 

fightinglymemigraines

Overall Health:  It’s a bit tricky to know how to summarize… The fatigue, fibro and migraines just seemed to hit and not want to ease for several weeks. Going to IV and bodywork didn’t help as much as they normally do. But the last few (?) weeks, I have noticed a bit of an improvement. Often, I see it in individual days rather than an increase over several days…

Mar 22- fatigue and migraine today. Crashing in evening with fibropain and migraine. Two or three clonidine. 
Seem to flare on days 15 and 22
Mar 24 – fuzzy brain and fatigue. Migraine hard to calm down throughout the day. 
April 4th – IV (push, not drip) yesterday. Woke up with a headache. Took 2 clonidine during the day to keep it down from a bad migraine. Felt pretty good otherwise. Had energy and ability to focus. Left calf tensed up quite a bit this evening – migraine flaring
April 5th – severe fatigue today. Migraine off and on. Hard time focusing. Left calf tight and foot tingling late evening. Three clonidine today
April 8th- a little fuzzy brained all weekend. Fatigue too. Some cramping. 
April 9- took one drop clonidine am. Mega fatigue hit late morning. Bad migraine early afternoon and most of rest of day. Started SAT.
April 13- increased SAT to 2/day. Some fatigue and migraine
April 16- bodywork Dr. 
April 17- calves cramping. Some fatigue. Nightmares
April 18- foggy brain and fatigue. Calves still cramping. Increased SAT to 3/day
Have mostly forgotten to take daily liver the past week. Haven’t noticed any difference? Fatigue has eased although it is still present. Brain fog is the same. Was busier this past week odd than have been in a while and have not CRASHED like I thought I would. Sensitive to smells and loud noises.
April 23rd- started Mineral complex again. Migraine off and on all day. Energy even though I’ve been tired and took two naps. Was a productive day.
April 24- was tired but not overwhelming. Took one nap, maybe two. Fibropain flaring in late evening, hip hurting too, going to bed a little early, hoping to sleep it away
April 26- fatigue hit today, even more so in the evening. Was hard to even eat dinner. Taking iron supplement didn’t help, like it normally does. Was also hungrier than normal. Front of neck has hurt a lot the past few days. Increase Mineral Complex to 2/day
April 28 – woke up feeling pretty good, fatigue eased. Front of neck still hurt but eased as day progressed. Took Abby to the park with start of migraine but eased by evening. Went to movie, took 3 clonidine before and during. Didn’t crash like I expected to afterward. 
April 29- woke up feeling even better today, still with some fatigue. No clonidine so far. April 30 – increase Complete Mineral Complex to 3/day.                                                           May 4th – start Molybdenum

Migraines: While I haven’t had any level 10’s (and just a few times of a hint of my vision going), these have been bad. And have often not responded to anything I do to get them down. And then other days, one clonidine is all I need. Very back and forth.

20180329_124624

Sleep: I am able to sleep longer than normal – up to 8 hours some nights! It’s been so nice. But. I have been waking up more often to use the bathroom.

Memory/Brain Fog: this has increased, frustratingly. Quite often, I won’t realize how bad it is until I leave the house.

Vision: Like I mentioned above, I had a few times of vision loss. But it was very minimal – the sparklers in my left eye that is the precursor to it, and then nothing else.

Fibromyalgia: This is just bad enough to be obnoxious but not debilitating. My left calf is always tense/hurting. My joints ache frequently and have had some random stabbing pain in my palms or base of feet.

TMJ: The front of my neck has HURT so much these past weeks. Even going to the bodywork doctor didn’t help it like it normally does. My jaw isn’t popping quite as much but my teeth still ache frequently.

IMG_20180409_135219_779

Fatigue: This has eased….most days, thank goodness. I do think the H2PLX has helped a lot. I tried going off my iron supplement and while I didn’t think at first there was any difference, there was. (it got to the point that I’d fall asleep mid-project…or almost fall asleep in the checkout line at the grocery store.) I now am taking it most every day again.

Weight Loss: I have been able to lose a tiny bit!

Mood: This has calmed back down again and I am so very thankful for that.

Bladder: Ahhhh, this one. This one has me a bit baffled. All of a sudden last week, I was needing to use the bathroom about every 10 minutes. And I’d wake up about 5 times a night. GAH. I don’t know why either. Thankfully it’s calmed down but it’s still more…active than it should be.

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~ Check out It’s the Lyme Life – may 2017 and Encouragement for living with Chronic Illness (the start of a 4- part series) for more!

 

 

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