52 Week Blog Challenge ~ Week 5 ~ My Favorite Holiday 

I’d have to say that my favorite holiday is Halloween or Samhain.

That’s probably because my favorite season is fall and I love practically everything about fall, including its major holiday.

I’ve loved Halloween for as long as I can remember. The cooler temps, the colors, decorations, the smells… everything.

I remember in my childhood, going to the church beside my house at Halloween.  They did a party for the kids from the church and neighborhood every year.  They had games like bean-bag-toss and bobbing for apples.  It always smelled like cinnamon and apples in there from the hot cider they served alongside the hot chocolate.

I also always enjoyed the idea that for one day out of the year, it was ok to be whatever you wanted to be.  A ghost, a hobo, a cartoon character…even a witch.

As an adult, the holiday has come to have a deeper meaning to me as well, including the thinning of the veil and honoring our ancestors, but I’ll never forget crunching through the dry leaves and smelling apple cider simmering.

Beltane Blessings

I won’t lie and say that I have a huge Beltane post ready for you today, I don’t.  It’s actually kind of snuck up on me this year with all the other things I’ve had going on and I find myself unprepared.

I did manage to get out and do a bit of gardening yesterday, but that’s about it.

The kids were supposed to come over today and get some yard work done and I’d thought we might have a little bonfire to honor the season tonight but I woke up to rainy, dreary skies and a wet ground this morning, so I guess it’ll be more of a personal day with everyone working.

I did realize yesterday, with more than a little dismay, that all of my gardening tools have disappeared over the last two years.  At least, I couldn’t find them anyway.

Even so, I managed to get my green onions transplanted into the dirt and out of the kitchen window.

 

2015_1493569542187
Green onions

 

 

I spent some time out on the porch both alone and sitting with Chicklet.  After waking up to my soggy world this morning, I’m glad I took the time yesterday.

Dinner was kind of a throw-together event that mostly featured my harvested green onions.

 

2009_1493569527739
Marinating steak bites

 

 

 

 

These are marinated steak bites.  A very throw-together kind of main dish, but they were very good.

I’m not sure what it is, but I’m finding a special kind of joy in eating things we grow ourselves and I’m thinking I want a garden again, even if it’s a container garden on the front porch with a herb garden over the sink.

Right now, the apple tree just finished blooming and I’m excitedly watching to see the process of the apples starting to come out since this is the first time I’ve owned an apple tree.

We also have some wild cherry growing out there, too.

Mini-Me and The Pain found several places when we were cleaning up the yard for Easter/Ostara, where blackberry vines are coming up in the yard and I’m more than a little excited about that.

Every time I open my door, I get hit with the sweet smells of honeysuckle and I have found where it’s growing all around the edges of the yard.

I want to look for ways to use honeysuckle before they fade away.

I also think I may have found some wild lettuce growing near my steps. It’s said to be nature’s morphine and one of the strongest natural pain-killers available.  If I find out for sure that it is wild lettuce, I’m going to be harvesting it and finding out how to use it as a natural pain alternative.

Here’s an article I found over on Ask A Prepper about wild lettuce.

Something about foraging my own property is appealing to me, just like intentionally growing my own food.

There’s something that I don’t think I’ve mentioned on this blog before, and today’s post seems like the right place to bring it up.  Paul and I used to have our own little homestead.

 

13895024_1740579029530122_6874929764942479979_n
The view from the pallet porch at the camper after we moved it to Chicklet’s yard.  This was taken after the accident.  A cookout with extended family last summer.

 

 

We used to live in a camper in a “friend’s” yard.  We shared a communal garden with them and there was talk of chickens, but then the accident happened and my entire life got put on hold.  It’s taken two years (it’ll officially be two years on June 13th) for me to even consider picking up the pieces of our old life.

While I’m fully aware that my physical limitations will prevent me from doing a lot of the things I was doing two years ago, I see no reason why I can’t do at least some of those things, just from a more modern-homestead approach.

The few years we spent building our homestead was when I fell in love with making my own things like butter, cool whip, bacon bits, laundry detergent and skincare products.

It was the time when I also learned a lot about using what you have and reusing and repurposing things.

Life has changed a lot in the last two years and there are some things that will probably never be the same, but since Beltane this year is going to be a solo day, I think I’ll spend the day looking back on what life used to be like and making some plans for what’s to come!

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.

 

SOC Sunday ~ Coping With Losing Someone That Used to Be Family

So, what is SOC Sunday?  Some of you may have seen a SOC post on other blogs.  There are a few of them out there, not all of them on Sunday, but for those who don’t know, let me explain.

Stream of Consciousness is supposed to be where you just write whatever is in your heart or on your mind as it comes to you.  No specific topic, at least not to start with (I usually find that my mind picks it’s on main topic while I write).  It’s a mind-dump.  No editing, beyond fixing typos.


 

So, it’s been a week.  A hard one.  Especially where my pain levels are concerned.  For those that don’t know, I’m disabled due to an accident the hubby and I was in nearly 2 years ago.  We were on a moped and were hit from behind by a truck doing 55 mph.  It split my pelvis in half, broke both hips, shattered the left side of my pelvis, messed up my back, nicked my femoral artery on the right side and I nearly died.  There was a scattering of broken bones as well, but my back and left hip are the worst of it now, nearly 2 years later.

The pain this week has been hard to bear.  I’ve even had to use the cane a good bit this week.  I hate using the cane.  You have no idea how much I hate it.

I guess I should be thankful, I mean, I almost died, right?  After a weekend spent in CCU fighting for my life (they couldn’t get my vitals to stabilize because of nearly bleeding to death and crashing multiple times) and a surgery that lasted most of a day trying to put me back together, they said that they didn’t think I’d walk again at all.  I can walk, although not always well, but the point is that I’m alive and I can walk.  I should be thankful for that.

I always feel like I’m not being grateful for the fact that I’m here and that my legs work as well as they do when I complain about hurting.  It makes me feel like I’m not thankful enough for what I do have, even though I know that’s not really true.

Honestly, even though the doctors (as well as hubby and the kids) told me repeatedly that I’d probably be in pain for the rest of my life, I honestly didn’t think it would be this bad.

Of course, it’s worse than it usually is right now because of getting hurt and being stressed this week.

In other news, my ex-mother-in-law passed earlier in the week.  She was Mini-Me’s last living grandmother.  Most of my week has been wrapped up in trying to get her through that.  It’s been hard for her.

The viewing and service were last night.  I was supposed to go, but my ex-husband told Mini-Me the wrong time.  By the time they called and asked where she was, it was almost over.  She didn’t get to see her grandmother one last time like she needed to, and she’s been struggling because of that.  They ended up sending her great-aunt to pick them up, they dropped off Squishy with us and her and The Pain went on without me.  Getting ready for anything in a hurry is not my strong suit anymore.

I spent most of this week worried about Mini-Me, but also stressing because I thought I was going to have to deal with my ex and his family yesterday.  The ex and I have not gotten along well in the almost 22 years since we divorced, and since Mini-Me has turned 18, I think we’ve seen and spoken to each other once.

Surprisingly, when I took Mini-Me over there the day she passed, my ex asked her why I didn’t come in.  Honestly, I didn’t think I’d be welcome.  He told her that I was and personally invited me to come to the funeral home for the viewing and service and said for me not to worry, that he’d see to it that no one said anything to me.  Big, strong protector, huh?

Well, he was always protective of me…with everyone but himself, anyway, but that’s another post.

But, because of the time mix-up, I didn’t go.  Is it just me, or does it seem somehow almost worse when you’ve stressed over something for days and then it ends up being a non-event?

Of course, my anxiety had gotten involved.  The depression was expected, I mean, there was a time when I was close to my ex-mother-in-law.  She was like a mom to me when I was married to my ex and I loved her, although I’m not sure she really knew that I did.  I didn’t expect all the added anxiety over the idea of going to the viewing and service.

When Mini-Me lived with my ex, I even gave up some of my own time on my weekends to her when her and my ex had fallings out.  Mini-Me loved her and wanted to see her and I felt like he used that against his mom sometimes.  She was never that kind to me, of course, after the divorce, but that didn’t matter.  I did what I felt was right in my heart.

I miss her.  More than I thought I would.  Funny how that happens.  I’d known the woman for nearly 25 years, so I guess it’s understandable that I’d feel a loss of my own over it, although I’ve tried to hide my own pain from everyone as much as I could this week, especially Mini-Me.  I cried myself to sleep alone in my bed the night after we found out she was gone.

I did spend some time with my ex-father-in-law yesterday.  He brought Mini-Me and The Pain to my house after everything was done and I took them home.  We sat outside and talked for nearly an hour.  When my ex-sister-in-law called to see if he was coming back to her house, he told her straight up, “I was talking to Dawn a little bit”.  It made me feel kind of good that he made no explanations or excuses for why.  He may have later, but it meant a lot to me that he didn’t do it then, anyway.

So, that’s my SOC post for the week.  Kind of a “this is what my week has been like” post, I guess.

If you decide to do a SOC post, be sure to leave me a link in the comments and I’ll come check it out!