Cha-cha-changes…

Mini-Me got married Friday night in spite of what seemed like one problem after

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Mini-Me’s Wedding 6-9-17

another.  Nearly everything that could go wrong did, and yet we still managed to pull off a wonderful wedding for her somehow.

 

I even ended up getting ordained again so that I could officiate their wedding.  I had to let Chicklet perform the actual ceremony though because I could not stop crying.

They spent their honeymoon at Lake Keowee State Park.  A beautiful place and their campsite had a lovely view.

We spent some of our Sunday there after having the grandbaby all weekend so that Mini-Me and The Pain could have some alone-time.  When we got there, they told us they had rented the site for an extra night and offered it to us.

We weren’t able to stay overnight due to the fact that the air mattress they’d taken sprung a leak Friday night and wouldn’t stay inflated and we didn’t have 19059601_1882819108639446_5566190478237499836_ntime before dark Sunday to see if we could find the leak.  We stayed until late, a few hours after the kids all left, and it was soothing to both of us after all of the stress we’ve been under lately.

We sat in the pitch black dark by a dying fire with the sounds of the water lapping at the shore and talked about things we’ve been needing to say for a long time and contemplated how easy it is for two people who love each other more than their next breaths, to lose sight of each other in the stress and hustle and bustle of adulting.  We reconnected in a way that I’d become uncertain that we ever would again and it was amazing.  Rediscovering each other was almost as wonder as when we first found each other nearly 21 years ago.

The hard reality is, we’ve been in trouble for a while.  Somewhere along the way, we lost19059081_1881714075416616_866955883426286232_n each other and forgot exactly what it was that brought us together.  The “D” word has even been mentioned, although no one took any steps in that direction and I honestly didn’t want either of us to.  Neither did he, but we’d also both reached a point where it was starting to look kind of hopeless.  It seemed like the harder we tried to fix it, the worse things got.

A lot of things can be said in the dark that can’t be said in the light, I suppose, and I’ve had some of my most profound conversations in the dark, I just never thought we’d one day need the dark to be able to communicate with each other.  Adulting is hard, ya’ll.

Monday was kind of an easy and playful day.  We both knew that since we’d finally broken through the communication barrier, that there were other things we needed to talk over, but neither of us wanted to then.  Instead, we waited until Tuesday and spent the day talking while we did things around the house to recover from the wedding/weekend with a grandbaby/day at the lake.

I also spent a fair amount of time Tuesday working on organization and overhauling my budget, calendar, routines, etc.  With all of the stuff that’s been going on the last few months as we tried to start pulling everything together for Mini-Me’s wedding, everything got out of whack.  The bills, my ability to feel like I was getting any of my “regular” stuff done and even my ability to find time to eat and rest properly.

I’ve barely eaten or slept more than three hours at a time in what feels like months and it was really starting to take its toll on my mental and emotional state, which was taking its toll on every other part of my life.

I’m a creature of habit.  Routines are good for me and always have been.  Getting too far away from them causes total chaos in my life.  That’s one of the reasons the FlyLady system fit me so perfectly.

So, it’s been crazy.  Really crazy.  I’m going to try to find time to start writing again regularly.  I’ve had people tell me for years that I needed to write some of my memories and experiences down and I’ve been thinking about that very thing lately.  I’ve especially been thinking about writing down mine and Draco’s story the last few days as I’ve fought to get my life back under control.

At any rate, I’ll leave you with a pic of me and my girls from Friday, right before we all went out for the wedding…

 

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Left to right:  Chicklet, Lizzy, Me and Mini-Me

 

 

 

 

52-Week Blog Challenge ~ Week 3

Meet My Family

I’m not sure if I’m supposed to include myself here or not, but I figured, what the hell?  Right?  So, here is a peek at my family!

Me (1)
Dawn (Kena), The Hearth Witch

 

I am 42 years old, as of March 2017.

I’m a wife, mother, and grandmother (GiGi).

I’m also a Hearth Witch (Domestic Pagan, Domestic Diva), blogger and avid gamer.

I like to make homemade things like cleaners and beauty products, and I support Green Living and Sustainability.

I like to grow things.

I love to cook.

I struggle with Mental Illness.

I am an Animal Rights advocate.

I support the LGTBQ movement.

I drink lots and lots of coffee.

My family, or The Tribe, are my world.  They mean everything to me.

Paul Fav
Paul (Drako)

I met this guy in December of 1995.  He’s my soulmate, Twin Flame and the love of my life.

We met while I was having a nervous breakdown in 1995 (another story for another time) and he loved me anyway and helped me through it.

In 1997, we married and he became part of mine and Mini-Me’s life and he helped me raise her.  He’s been her Daddy since she was three years old.

He’s a Taurus, the strong and silent type.  He was in the Army when I met him and that period of his life helped to shape the man he became.

Because we were so young when we met (I was 20 and he was 22), we practically grew up together.  We’ve both changed a lot, and trust me when I say that we have been through a lot, but my love for him has never changed.

Me n Heidi on P's 44th
Me and my Mini-Me

The product of my very short-lived first marriage (again, another story for another time).

This girl is what my world has rotated around since I was 17 (almost 18) and first heard the words, “You’re pregnant”.

She has made me the woman I am today and although my first marriage didn’t make it, I consider her a gift and a blessing every day.

She’s gifted in ways that I never was.  Very artistic, has the voice of an angel, can make just about anything.

She loves to bake, sew, sing and make things.

Bell & Wayne
The Pain

This guy will officially be our son-in-law in June 2017.  He and Mini-Me have been together for four years now and are the proud parents of Squishy.

At first, Paul and I were upset about the age difference between Mini-Me and The Pain, but he makes her happy and they love each other.

He’s good to our family and is always there if I need him for anything.

He’s very protective of The Tribe.

He loves to hunt and fish and is almost always covered in camo.

Belly
Squishy

This little girl has stolen my heart, just like her Mommy did.

If you had told me when I had Mini-Me that there was any love that compared to the love you feel for your own child, I would have told you that it wasn’t possible.  No way could you feel love as intense as what you do for your child.

I was wrong.

At the tender age of three, she has each of us wrapped around her chubby little finger, me especially.

She already shows signs of artistic abilities and loves music and Scooby Doo.

Trista
Chicklet

Sometimes, adopted family can mean just as much to you as your actual family.  That’s certainly the case with Chicklet.

About 10 years ago, Mini-Me found her locked out of our next door neighbor’s house trying to get in to get to her dog, Smooches, who has now gone on over the Rainbow Bridge.  Mini-Me came and got me and we got her furbaby for her.

Somehow, she ended up sleeping on our couch a few weeks later and she never really left.

Since then, she’s become like a daughter to us and has been there for our family through thick and thin.

She loves our family and is fiercely protective of us.

She enjoys performing arts, music, reading and is very active in politics.

Daddy
My Daddy

This guy right here is super-special!

He wasn’t always my daddy, but he’s always been a father-figure.

When I was born, he was my mom’s best friend and he and his first wife were asked to be my godparents.  I called him “Uncle” until I was 10 when he and my mom finally decided to get married.

Since then, he has been Daddy.

He’s smart beyond reason and I’ve called him a “walking encyclopedia” most of my life.

He loves me and my little family and there’s not much he wouldn’t do for us.

He’s intelligent, artistic, loves to read and I have had some of the best conversations of my life with him.

He instilled in me a love and respect for nature and taught me nearly everything I know about everything.


So, now you’ve met the core family.  There are other people, like TimberLeaves and Sweetpea, that I do consider part of our family, but this is my Tribe.

What’s a FlyBaby and why I follow this system?

Just a note:  I am not affiliated with FlyLady or her website in any way.  I do not get paid for anything to do with her or her system.  All thoughts and opinions are my own and are not associated with any type of monetary gain, I just think she’s awesome!  🙂 


So, what’s a FlyBaby?  A FlyBaby is a term coined by The Original FlyLady, Marla Cilley, to describe the people who follow the FlyLady system.  It’s a term of endearment she uses when speaking to her “FlyBabies”.

I first found The FlyLady about 10 years ago thanks to my sister-of-the-heart, TimberLeaves.  I was a young mother, Mini-Me was about 13 years old and had just come to live with me full-time.  My entire life was in an uproar, but my house was in C.H.A.O.S., or Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrom.  (This is also a term coined by The FlyLady which basically means that my house was a mess and I was embarrassed for anyone to come over beyond one friend who’s house was in worse shape than mine.)

I was just over 30 and that was one of those milestone ages for me.  I was so stressed over my weight, my home, my life, my marriage, everything.  I was helping one of my best friends, SweetPea, raise her three special-needs teens as well.  Then my teenage daughter who had lived with my first husband for 10 years suddenly decided she wanted to live with us.  To say my life was a literal madhouse would be an understatement.

Although I’d been raised by a woman who I distinctly recall on her hands and knees in six-inch heels and a dress, cleaning the corners of the kitchen floor with a toothbrush when I was very young (my mother was very OCD and a clean-freak), it seemed that I had not gotten that gene, a fact that greatly disturbed my mother and caused us many problems throughout my life.

Dust coated everything in my house.  Clutter was everywhere.  Mt. Washmore was climbing the walls.  Paul had a very bad habit of sticking dirty dishes in the oven and not telling me they were there and I was too unorganized to remember to check myself.  My refrigerator was a science project unto itself.

I was disorganized and overwhelmed, something that it seemed like I always was.  It seemed like the only good habits I’d developed as an adult were meal planning, frugal shopping and keeping the pantry organized.

Truth be told, when I first found FlyLady, all I did was “flutter”, another term used by The FlyLady to describe FlyBabies who tried to follow the system but couldn’t quite stick with it.  It helped, but I was still prone to Emergency Cleaning whenever my mother would call to say she was coming over and I was still in a constant state of stress 99% of the time.

I kept going back though.  Her system seemed like it should be so simple, yet I was having the hardest time with it and I couldn’t understand why.

Truth be told, it took me years to understand what I was doing wrong and a few more years to start to break the habits that were keeping me chained to my stress.  Looking back now, I realize part of the problem was that I was still young myself, but the biggest problem that was holding me back was perfectionism from being raised by an OCD mother that rarely did anything but clean and who constantly made me feel that my efforts at cleaning were not good enough.

When I would start back on FlyLady’s system, I was forgetting some of the principals her system is founded on.  No whining allowed. You can’t clean clutter.  You’re not behind, just jump in where you are.  And my favorite, Cleaning done imperfectly still blesses your family.

I was like my mom in that I was a housekeeping martyr.  When I did clean, I did Emergency Cleaning to the point that while I was happier with how the house looked, I was completely exhausted mentally and emotionally, then I guilt-tripped my family for all that I had done, and their part in letting it get that way, and was too tired, stressed and overwhelmed to keep up with it.

Before the accident, I felt that I had finally figured out the system and how to keep myself on track with it.  My house was reasonably clean at all times, I didn’t mind if someone stopped by unexpectedly, and I’d finally stopped stressing and obsessing over all the little details.  I stayed busy, but not so much so that I couldn’t get up and do it again the next day.

Then we had the accident.  We couldn’t go home for nearly 6 months because of my wheelchair and then my walker.  When we finally did go home, I was still in incredible pain, barely able to walk and unable to stand for more than a few minutes at a time.  Paul tried to help, bless his heart, but he’s no housewife, lol.

Eventually, I sent him back to work and then he didn’t have time to help.  I was improving my physical abilities, but it was still so hard.  I fell back into the old habits of guilt-tripping myself for all I wasn’t doing.

We moved in with Chicklet a few months ago, and I was overwhelmed by the state of her house, too.  An ex-girlfriend and some family that had lived with her had not done anything to help around the house and it had fallen into pretty bad shape while she worked insane hours and tried to have some kind of a social life.  Again with the bad habits, I busted my ass trying to do everything at once and burned myself out again physically, mentally and emotionally.

I was keeping up with the day-to-day stuff, but just barely and I realized I was entering that martyr mindset again.

Then this morning, I got up to dishes everywhere, clean laundry climbing out of a laundry basket, boxes all over my living room from trying to go through things that had just been shoved here and there when we moved, and the thing that sent me over the edge, Paul had to go into work and didn’t have clean work pants.

I had to shuffle clean clothes from basket to basket to get an empty basket to gather up the dirty clothes that were piled up on my bedroom floor.  I saw my unmade bed and realized that although I’d washed our sheets over a week ago, I never got them back on the bed.  I very nearly sat down and cried.

Instead, I put the clothes in the washer, made a cup of coffee and sat to down to evaluate what was happening and what I needed to do about it, a new habit I’ve been working on to try to manage my stress and anxiety.

I realized that while I thought I was following the FlyLady system, I really wasn’t.  I was missing the main principals again and was about to run head-first into a crisis cleaning that was only going to make me hurt again.

You’re not behind, just jump in where you are, right?  And while you’re at it, No Whining!

So far, I’ve gotten the dirty clothes washed, all the clean clothes folded, hung and put away including what I washed this morning.  I got dressed and fixed my hair.  I swished and swiped the bathroom and gathered all the dirty towels and rags to be changed out and started gathering trash from the small trash cans around the house.

In between when I sit down to rest, I’ve been writing this blog post and feel like I’m finally overcoming that weird kind of writer’s block I mentioned in my post about not sleeping and suffering from mild exhaustion.

It also helps that I have managed to sleep better the last two nights than I was for nine days straight.

It’s not even quite noon yet and already I feel like I’ve got a game plan, a healthy attitude and have made progress on the house.

Now, I’m off into the rest of my day.  Time to think about what’s for dinner and get something laid out and wash the dishes so I can shine my sink.  🙂


If you’re not familiar with The FlyLady, hop over to her website and check her out.  I also found a wonderful lady on YouTube named FlyLady Kat that follows the FlyLady system and she helps break things down and explains some of the steps in her videos!

Pain Management

I have felt like I needed to write all day, but because of my pain levels, it seems all that is rumbling around in my head right now is about pain, so let’s talk about it.

As I’ve mentioned before, I have been permanently disabled for 2 years this June.  I was injured when the moped my husband and I were riding was struck from behind by a truck doing approximately 55 mph.

The accident broke multiple bones, both hips, split my pelvis in half and shattered the left side, separated my pelvis from my spine and I took a pretty bad hit on the head when I hit the road (yes, I know, not wearing a helmet was a very immature and a very bad decision and one I would never make again if I could ever ride anything smaller than a car again, which I can’t).  It also nicked my femoral artery on the right side and I very nearly bled to death.

The accident launched me up into the air and I landed in the road flat on my back from some distance up.

I spent an entire weekend in ICU, paralyzed all but my arms and head and most of it knocked out with the medications they were giving me to keep me sedated so I didn’t move too much.  They could not even attempt to put me back together over the weekend because my vitals kept crashing and would not stabilize.

I had surgery on Monday, with my vitals still not reacting well, and came out with almost the entire left side of my pelvis wired together with metal plates and pins.

I have extensive nerve damage on the left side as well as sciatica.  To say that pain is an everyday occurrence is an understatement.

Some days are worse than others, though.

What I experience is considered chronic pain, meaning that it never really stops, it’s more a matter of degrees of pain.

Lately, it’s been worse than usual, which is saying something because my average pain level is pretty high to start with.

I have been hurting pretty bad all day today, which is why I was putting off writing to start with, but then I fell.

Let me say here that I have always been clumsy by nature.  Never very stable on my feet to start with, always tripping and running into things and falling for no apparent reason.

After getting pregnant with Mini-Me, dizzy spells also became a common occurrence.

The head injury I sustained during the accident has made the dizzy spells more common as well.

Tonight didn’t really have anything to do with being dizzy, although clumsy and unsteady on my feet due to the damage on the left side played a part.

I was home alone, which I am most evenings because of DH and Chicklet both working nights, and we have six dogs that spend most of their time inside.  It was time to let them outside to use the bathroom and we kind of bottle-necked at the threshold between the living room and kitchen and I got tangled up with them and lost my balance.  I sat down hard, something that left hip and my lower back no longer deal with well.

I finally managed to get up on my own with the help of a nearby chair and let DH know I’d fallen.  He, of course, came home to check on me and found that my left hip was no longer seated properly in the joint, the bone in the very bottom of the back of my pelvis that broke when my pelvis shattered is a bone that will never heal (along with the break to the bone in the front of my pelvis that split in half) according to the doctors and from time to time, especially if I fall, that bone shifts somehow as well.

He, of course, came home to check on me and found that my left hip was no longer seated properly in the joint, the bone in the very bottom of the back of my pelvis that broke when my pelvis shattered is a bone that will never heal, (along with the break to the bone in the front of my pelvis that split in half) according to the doctors, and from time to time, especially if I fall, that bone shifts somehow as well.

He got my hip and that bone re-seated but I still had severe pain in my back and leg. Apparently, I had a nerve pinching in there somewhere as well.

Now, before I hear cries of emergency rooms and doctor’s appointments, let me say that I have already been told that there is little, if anything, that can be done for me at the hospital or doctor that the physical therapists and nurses didn’t teach my husband how to deal with at home.  All they can really do unless something breaks is give me medication and a hefty bill, which we can’t afford, so we deal with most things at home.


It’s been 2 days since I started this post, and while my pain levels have decreased from what they were when I started this post, they are still running higher than normal.  Yay me.  NOT.

Chronic Pain is often a day to day coping experience.  I never know when I go to bed at night what the next morning will bring.  Sometimes it’s better, sometimes it’s not.

I have barely slept since I fell.  The pain keeps waking me up.  I’m getting around and doing what has to be done, but it’s almost like performing a feat of strength and endurance to do it.  I’ve taken the last 2 days off from cooking and most of the cleaning beyond washing the dishes and keeping picked up.

I’ve taken the last 2 days off from cooking and most of the cleaning beyond washing the dishes and keeping picked up.  That’s about all I’ve managed.

I’ve also been dealing with high levels of anxiety and feel like I’m fighting off one of my depressive periods, which I hate.  The combination of them tends to make me non-functional in my life, which is what I’ve been dealing with the last few days.  I’ve been forcing myself to get up and do the things I have to do, that’s the only reason things are getting done.

Hopefully, my next post will be a little more upbeat, but I’ve promised myself that this blog will be nothing if not honest.  Coping with chronic pain and mental illness isn’t easy. Trying to stay functional through it is even harder.