Man-They Really Weren’t Kidding About That Whole, “Be Careful What You Wish For Thing”

2014 December 9
by Jenny

Because one day you might walk into your kitchen feeling cranky about cooking, and when your husband asks you what you want to make for dinner, declare, “I want the food fairy to bring us something to eat”, to which your husband might callously reply that, “there is no such thing as a food fairy”, and then unsuspectingly turn on the burner of your stove that is occasionally taken over by the gods of fire and destruction, causing an extremely ominous POOF! to echo throughout the kitchen and leaving an unresponsive appliance in its wake, at which point you look at each other and and ask, “Chinese?”, so that in an odd way the food fairy does save you from having to cook that evening, but with the consequence that Santa has to spend part of his dedicated Christmas budget on a new oven.

So let this be a lesson to you. Be careful what you say: the food fairy works in mysterious ways.

Featured Friday

2014 December 5
by Jenny

I just have a quick links to pass along today, as fibro has risen up to smite me for all the energy I expended over the holiday, because it TOTALLY SUCKS like that.

It’s an episode of the podcast, “Explore Your Enthusiasm” by Tara Swiger called “How to survive the holidays as an introvert”. But the things she talks about apply equally as well for someone suffering from chronic pain and illness. She gives a lot of practical ideas for how to navigate stressful situations gracefully while taking good care of yourself, as well as ideas for how to help yourself recover.

Extra Bonus Links:

OK, I lied. I just remembered 2 funny Thanksgiving-related items I wanted to pass along.

1. As a (self) certified Crazy Cat Lady, I love these “17 Cat Reations For Every Thanksgiving Situation“.

2. For the second Thanksgiving in a row, the website Buzzfeed asked the employees in its London office to correctly label a map of all 50 United States (confession: I’m not sure I could actually do that). Make sure you’re not drinking anything near whatever electronic device you’re reading this on.

Have a great weekend!


Thanksgiving Roundup

2014 December 4
by Jenny

So we’ve all made it through Thanksgiving and into the beginning of the Yuletide season, and for that I think we should all give ourselves a huge round of applause. Or raise our face off of the carpet and moan softly, depending on how much last week took out of us.

I’ve decided that I can sum up my Thanksgiving in the following way:

75% fun
15% such awful migraines and fibro pain that it felt as though the right side of my face was
attempting to secede from the rest of my body
10% wanting to stab people in the face

So, I’m declaring the weekend a success.

As I mentioned before, there are a lot of parts of my personality that get triggered by traveling and holidays. For example, I’m really a homebody, plus I have my environment all set up to support me in taking care of myself, so I get anxious and fussy when I’m not at home, surrounded by all my

Or there’s the fact that I spend so much time in my head. So I’ve usually built up a lot of mental
and creative energy around a couple of projects, and it’s hard for me to transition from an internal focus to an external one.

And then there’s my Hermit. Until my husband gets home from work I spend all my days alone, in
blessed silence. My Hermit needs the time alone, and my nervous system needs the quiet. Since part
of fibromyalgia is extreme sensitivity to sensory input, it’s extremely difficult for me to be
around other people for an extended period of time without ending up in pain.

Fortunately I am old enough and skilled enough now to recognize when I’m getting cranky and out of whack, so I was able to take responsibility for myself and my behavior and take a
timeout whenever I needed one.

We did have a lot of fun last weekend, so to give you a glimpse of our particular brand of holiday spirit, I’ve selected some of the best snippets of conversation to share here with you.

-When discussing a friend who has a tendency to make things up embellish her stories stray from the facts:

“It’s not that she makes things up; I just can’t always verify the data.”

-To justify the fact that my husband and I had just trashed my brother and sister-in-law’s bedroom while playing hide and go seek with their 3-year old daughter:

“When you see how it looks, just remember that every moment we spent destroying things was a moment that you got to sit, talk with grownups, and rest.”

-After my husband turned on his iPod to provide us with music for the trip home:

Me: “What IS that?”

My husband: “Korn.”

Me: “It sounds like hate set to music.”

If You’re Looking For A Chance To Be An Angel

2014 December 1
by Jenny

Two years ago, my brother and sister-in-law were expecting their second child. Apparently he couldn’t wait to get here though, because he was born at 27 weeks,  weighing only 1 lb. 14 oz.

It was touch and go for a long time, but he is feisty and tenacious, and after 2 months in the NICU he was able to come home 2 days after Christmas.

Last month our micro-preemie turned 2 years old, and if you look at him today you would never guess that he’s ever been anything but a completely healthy little boy.

To thank and honor all the health care professionals who helped keep my little nephew alive, and to pay forward all the love and support they received during those 2 months, this holiday season my sister-in-law is raising money to buy 100 teddy bears to donate to local pediatric units.

The campaign only needs $180 more to be fully funded, so I decided to post about it here, in case anyone else has been touched by experiences with preemies and/or the NICU.

If you’d to learn more about the campaign, you can go here for more information or to donate.

Many blessings as we begin this holiday season together.

Like A a Well-Oiled Machine

2014 November 28
by Jenny

My sister-in-law’s birthday always falls during the week of Thanksgiving, so once we’ve finished with Turkey Day we shift gears into birthday celebration mode.

We’re honoring her with a special dinner tonight, and various family have been assigned different tasks to assist with its preparation.

My husband and father-in-law were dispatched to purchase salad ingredients, but the latter was concerned that the birthday girl would not be involved in any of the decisions.

“Shouldn’t she be choosing what she wants?”, he asked?

“No”, replied my husband. “She’s outsourced the decisions to me, and the funding to you.”

Sometimes Produce Is Tricky

2014 November 26
by Jenny

My Husband (upon discussion of this week’s grocery list): “The next time you put avocados on the list, I’m going to buy one and then light a dollar bill on fire. Because that’s the same as buying two.”

Just In Case You Are Sort Of Dreading The Holidays Too

2014 November 25
by Jenny

I confess: when it comes to the holidays, I’m much more Grinch than Wonderful Life. My Hermit gets cranky exchanging solitude for socializing. My Hedonist is fussy about leaving my cozy nest and my familiar routines. And my Storyteller has a hard time leaving the fascinating (to me, anyway) landscape of my inner world. And that’s before I even add chronic illness into the mix.

When it comes to dealing with all my inner selves, my strategies are by definition pretty particular to me and my situation. But when it comes to facing holidays as someone suffering from chronic illness, I’ve found a few good articles lately that I wanted to pass along. They’re all written by Toni Bernhard, author of the book How To Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers.

1. Surviving the Holidays when You’re Chronically Ill. Strategies for creating a plan ahead of time.

2. How to Ease the Pain of Isolation During the Holidays. Even while being around others, chronic illness is still an isolating experience.

3. Reduce Holiday Stress by Educating Others About Your Health. Sometimes frustrating, always necessary.

Here are a few resources I’ve found to help with this:

-The Spoon Theory, by Christine Miserandino

-The video, “What It Feels Like To Live With Fibro” by Haullie Free-Volker

-”Letter to People without Chronic Pain“, from the blog Life in Pain

-The blog post, What It’s Really Like To Be Chronically Ill by Lauren Anne

May we all find ways to create the holiday experience we want and need.

Love and blessings on our journey.




The Mistress

2014 November 24
by Jenny

Yesterday Mr. Cranky Fibro Girl and I went to see our massage therapist, a woman we love and adore who’s been working on us for about a decade. On the weekends she works out of her home, which is fun because she is also an animal lover, so there’s always a collection of felines around for us to play with.

However, she also has a bird. A large, vocal, cage-rattling bird who kind of undoes a lot of the benefits of my massage because, in addition to the myriad other things I fear in this world, I am really afraid of birds.

My husband though, loves to visit with the bird, because the bird loves men. L-o-v-e-s them. (Women, not so much) So when I go in to get my massage, not only does he chat with the bird and give her treats, he opens the cage and lets her out so they can play together. I often walk back to the treatment room to the accompaniment of conversations like this:

My husband (whispering sweet nothings to the bird): “Don’t worry baby. As soon as that lady leaves I’ll let you out, and then we can be together.”

But that’s nothing compared to what I see after my massage is done. And let me just tell you, there is nothing that mars your sweet Massage Afterglow quite like walking into a room to see your husband being hand-humped by a huge bird shrieking in ecstasy, while shooting you a smug look that says,

“Suck it bitch. This man is all mine.”

Trey and Bird

Featured Friday

2014 November 21
by Jenny

A collection of small treasures I’ve found while out and about.

Featured On The Blog:

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Fun Finds:

Last month I turned 42, which I’ve been told is the answer to everything. I haven’t found that to be quite the case, but it’s early days yet-I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

It does seem that every time I turn around I find another article about Generation X-ers and how we are embarking upon middle age, so I’m including a few of my favorites here.

-I know I’m late on this, but I love this comparison between Halloween for Kids in the ’70s vs. Halloween Today.

-Generation X’s journey from jaded to sated discusses how we’re coming to terms with this next stage of life:

Boomers cry “More, more, more!” and Millennials whine “Me, me, me!” But Gen Xers know when to say “Meh

“Because of this, we’ve learned not to get too attached. And because of this, we’re content.

Does that mean we’re above reproach? Of course not. We Xers can be aloof and arrogant. We tend to name our dogs after people (“Meet my pug: Zachary Jones.”) and our kids after dogs (“This is my oldest: Howl.”). We get misty over the smell of Aqua Net. And if acid wash jeans come back, we’ll be the first to have them on, no matter our age, particularly if they are ripped at the knee to reveal thermal underwear.

But all of us aged 36-ish to 51-ish should be pretty proud of learning how to “let go and let life.” It’s been a hard-fought battle, and we’ve got the untouched scars to prove it. We don’t need an award—we’ve never even owned a trophy case—so please hold your applause. We’ll just celebrate it quietly, right here, in our hammock of “just fine”, murmuring our “Meh, meh, mehs” while we DVR another generation’s biting reality.”

-What you learn in your 40s and 40 Things I Can Do at 40 That I Couldn’t Do When I Was 20 celebrate wisdom gained from our 4 decades of life.

-And 40 Effed Up Things About Being 40 highlights the other side of the coin.


This week, in honor of all those who take care of us, here’s A Not-To-Do List For Caregivers of the Chronically Ill.


Trying to exercise around cats. Mwa ha ha ha ha.





Your Huddled Masses Yearning For…Rejuvenation?

2014 November 20
by Jenny

The other day my family was gathered in the kitchen watching their regular morning show, which that day featured the results of a new scientific study. Apparently they’ve been performing experiments which involve removing cells from young mice and replanting them into elderly ones, with the result that the older generation becomes significant reinvigorated and renewed.

“Man,” sighed my 92-year old grandfather wistfully, “it’s great to be a mouse here in the United States Of America.”

Ah yes, the Holy Trifecta Of The American Dream: mice, mitts full of baseballs, and mom’s apple pie.