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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Happy Thursday: Things and Stuff

Happy Thursday to one and all! How is your week going? Are you surviving this blazing, humid heat here in the States? And what about the allergies? This hasn't been my own personal worst allergy year, but I know others locally who are having a whale of a time with their allergies. I pray each of you be cool and comfy, and allergy-free - SOON!

I am so grateful for air conditioning. We never had it in our home when I was growing up until I became ill with CFS/CFIDS/ME in 1980. CFS wigs out the body's thermostat, and heat is bad for me - very, very, very bad. Bad for me and other CFSers in more ways than one. 

If you are one of my fellow CFS patients and fibromyalgia patients from the northern hemisphere who visit the blog: please be extra good to yourself this summer. Cool down, rest, and do something that re-energizes you, such as reading an easy to read fiction book or pretty magazine, and especially partaking of what you all know what I mean by "Vitamin L" (laughter). And don't forget to listen to encouraging music. My MP3 player is loaded with everything Third Day, Rich Mullins, and Mitch McVicker have recorded. Which musicians/recording artists bring you the most joy and encouragement? 

Classical music is not something I'm enjoying this summer. Perhaps I OD'd on it over the winter and spring, though every once in awhile I break out the Strauss waltzes CDs and the Mozart operas. 

I have been especially depressed the past couple of weeks. It's par for the course for me each summer. It's just my body being exhausted from summer stressors (heat, allergies, and extra migraines due to the heat and allergies). I know better than to wish away life. Even the hardest days are precious gifts from God. It's in the desert that our faith strengthens (even though we do not FEEL that to be the case) and we grow in holiness by the grace of God and His tender care. 

It's also in the midst of being in the furnace of affliction that God hears our prayers for others in an even more powerful and abundant way. Don't waste your pain! Intercede for others, for the protection of the unborn and also of older people in danger of euthanasia, for marriages and families to thrive and be protected, for people to give their hearts to Jesus, for people to repent and to BELIEVE THE GOOD NEWS of the GOSPEL of JESUS. Pray for your country. If you are ill with something, pray for doctors. Especially, if you are ill with CFS/CFIDS/ME, pray for the doctors to grow in understanding despite some of them being extremely hard hearted.

Corrie ten Boom was the quintessential intercessor. One thing she noticed over time was that when she was interceding for others, her afflictions would become more bearable. While we should want to pray for others out of a selfless and generous love for them, it is okay that we feel better when we pray for them. Though I'm warning you all: there are such things as intercessory "travails", and our tears may multiply and our sufferings worsen for a time in the travail.

Pope John Paul II said that "prayer is the first and GREATEST charity we can give to others". Meaning, if "all" you can do is pray - even those feeble prayers we all pray when we're tired and ill - you are doing the most important thing on earth: praying. It's your prayers that help doctors, teachers, parents, pastors, et al, do their jobs. We are all interdependent in the economy of things.

WELL, I guess this is enough out of me for tonight! I had logged in anticipating the the thought of extolling the wonders of Raspberry Sherbet and other great and wonderful things. Some other time. I have just imbibed some very strong chocolate milk (my version of Prozac! lol!), and am headed for some Andy Griffith Show, Season Four.

May the dear Lord bless and keep, heal, comfort, and strengthen each dear and precious one of you. I assure you that I continue to pray for each and every person who has ever read my blogs, and who are now reading the blogs.

Much love in Jesus, our glory and the lifter of our heads,

- Chris
Counting It All Joy!


This is the Keeper of the Catgrass, which I grow for my kitty, Maggie

Friday, July 12, 2013

So Long Xanga, and Hello Blogspot!

The other day, I closed all of my Xanga accounts. It felt so very good! I like fresh beginnings. There was stuff I blogged about there in the past eight years that no one needs to read, and that I don't want to be reminded of, such as the Summer of my Midlife Crisis (2007), though to my credit, I did not get my hair dyed blonde or take off on a snowmobile with a tall, Italian man ("tall" and "Italian" are not necessarily mutually exclusive terms... most often they are, but not always! :P).

I digress. With Back-to-School sales beginning/soon to start, I feel like a happy school child getting ready for a new year in this adventure we call "LIFE". (And I look forward to shopping for some school supply-type goodies for myself in the next few weeks!)

Not been spending much time outside lately, as have been out of commission with a fibromyalgia flare. Have been in too much pain to do much of anything except being , which is, contrary to American beliefs, an essential life skill. God created us as human beings, not as human doings. It doesn't come easily to me to sit back and "be" and not "do" during certain seasons. Some kind of weird thing with me trying to justify my existence, I suppose. 

Joined a new Incredimail stationery group at Yahoo! groups and soon found out that a lot of us ladies with fibromyalgia do Paint Shop Pro and create Incredimail stats and such. Made some acquaintances. I am only a novice at PSP and at IM stats. I don't have much incentive to create much because none of my real life friends use Incredimail any more. It's just as well that I back off from that, as my next new computer is drawing nearer and I'm going to go with Windows 7, which likely won't cooperate with Incredimail. Sigh. I should just get my cameras out and take pictures of the real world, and then do some creative graphics editing. Maybe the fall colors will be splashy and exceptionally bright this autumn! Yessssss!

Christianaudio.com has another wonderful free audio book download for July, a Wendell Berry book called Jayber Crow. I am working on finishing up Berry's Hannah Coulter . I warmly encourage folks to visit christianaudio.com and check out the free downloads every month. These are premium audio books, professionally narrated, and they are good!

Here at Chez Miss Chris, we are having Christmas in July once again! The tree is up and lit - sometimes even during thunderstorms! Have been making sure that all of my Christmas music is uploaded to my Amazon Cloud Player. Have not been crocheting any snowflakes, etc. just yet. The Fibromyalgia Fairy has seen to it that I've not been up to that yet. Boo hiss. Maybe I should start with crocheting angels? That would be something different!

Ooh! Ooh! OOH! Thinking of digging out my crafting patterns makes me want to go thrifting at St. Vinny's book department and look for craft books, mags, and patterns! Oh! Oh! Oh! I simply MUST go there this week before it gets hot and muggy again next week!

Speaking of magazines: Last year and the year before were, for me, the Years of the Calendar, during which I purchased and was gifted by others with really, really nice wall calendars. Well! This year has turned out to be the Year of the Magazine. My mom started it with giving me a subscription to Martha Stewart Living. Then I got signed up for Recyclebank.com and earned so many rewards points that I choose various (clean!) magazine subscriptions for my rewards. Then, with my Kindle Fire, I on occasion get Tea Time, Victoria, Taste of Home, Reminisce, Birds and Blooms,and Cottage Journal. When life gives us pain and the subsequent pain meds or just pain-related mental denseness, we do well to "read" things with pretty pictures and not too many words.

Anyway, I am tired and had a kinda rough day, need to pamper my feet and paint my toenails a pretty shade of pink, make my bed, fluff my pile of pillows, and watch some (clean!) British comedy (Masterpiece Theatre's season three of Jeeves & Wooster for some serious laughter. 

I don't like summer anymore. The week after Independence Day marks when the allergens kick my butt the hardest, to the point of exhausting me and making me really very depressed. I have a desk calendar which I'm turning into a "time eater" to count how many days until our usual first frost. I like fall and winter ever so much better than this stuff! Those of you who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder in the winter: how you feel in the winter is how *I feel in the summer. Yuck.

So much for the bright and cheery post I was going to write! lol Tomorrow I will post a picture of my cat Maggie playing with the new cat toy my dad surprised her with yesterday. She played so very hard and is now all zonked out on a red blankie on the sofa in her summertime bachelorette pad (the living room), where she gets up at intervals to watch the raccoons and goodness knows what other night critters out there... and to be awake bright and early to watch the squirrels cavorting around the yard.

Have a Happy Friday! As always, everyone who has ever stopped by the old blog, and who visits this blog are remembered in my daily prayers. For all my jabbering about pain and magazines and such, I am faithful to prayer to the best of my ability. It's truly a blessed joy to be able to intercede for people from all over the world. Please say a little prayer for me, too! Thanks so very much!

Ta Ta For Now, 

- Miss Chris






Wednesday, July 03, 2013

A Pleasant Change of Pace

A warm "hello" to whomever is stopping by to my new/old blog, whether you are a long time reader from my old Xanga blog, or whether you are new! I'm so happy you dropped by! 

Speaking of the old Xanga blog lifeisapolka.com, even if Xanga survives beyond July 15th, I will be deleting my accounts there. I have, however, downloaded my Xanga archives and, Lord willing, will put them up here at Blogspot, but at a different URL than the blog you are currently reading.

Okay! Blog "business" is done with! It's time to thank whoever prayed for me to be relieved of an absolutely hellacious and depressing migraine marathon which lasted the past 2 plus weeks. Wave upon wave of three day migraines. This is par for the course for me at this time of the year. Late June/July/August - but especially July - are a serious test of my mettle and of my faith and trust in God. But always, always, *always* He rescues me just in time and gives me the relief, healing, and respite I need. I mean ALWAYS, Jesus rescues me. Please, whomever is reading and is suffering, please! Never, ever, ever give up hope! Jesus will rescue you. Hang on tight and when you can't even do that, just point your poor, suffering, agonized heart toward Him - even just a glance in His direction. He accepts that graciously and gratefully as a prayer of great, immense, wonderful wealth from you. 

Jesus will rescue you! JESUS will rescue you! Jesus WILL rescue you! Jesus will RESCUE you! Jesus will rescue YOU!!! I'm here to tell you that in 33 years of a disabling, debilitating, badly misunderstood illness during which I have experienced numerous temptations to despair, God has always tenderly, graciously, generously, lovingly, abundantly, lavishly rescued me, and He will do the same for you, too. Just point your heart toward Jesus. Offer your tears to Him. Offer the struggle and the temptations to Jesus.

***
Due to being relieved of my trip to the Migraine Zone, and due to the glorious weather (75 degrees F. and sunny, blue skies, low humidity), I was able to spend a number of hours outside in the yard enjoying my flowers and our lovely yard yesterday. So beautiful and - being redundant and repetitive - the weather was absolutely *glorious*. Soaking it all in as best I could, I felt like the famous St. Francis de Sales quotation about when one day, he saw a beautiful rose, and he told God, "Stop shouting at me!". Meaning, the beauty - the glory - of the rose spoke such loud, mega-decibel volumes of God's love for him, that he simply had to cover his ears and exclaim "Stop shouting at me!". I had that kind of day yesterday. All I could do was sit there and BE and to say to the Lord over and over and over again, "Thank You, Jesus!" It was like the beauty of the day was God's gift to me personally, as if I were the only person in the universe. In the Indiana-esque parlance of Rich Mullins: "do you know what I mean is?" 

***
My pumpkin and squash plants are really producing a huge number of flowers. I saw some bees on the patio, but none out in the garden pollinating the flowers. :( Sigh. I would be so massively tickled a bright and vivid color of pink if some of those pumpkin and squash flowers would actually produce pumpkins and squash. We've had such wet and cool weather most of the time. My Wave petunias are thriving fantastically, but the impatiens (of which there are many...) are in decline. I feed some of them "Bloom Buster" yesterday, and I know that will indeed help them.

***
Am trying to divvy up my flower gardening into three parts, for watering (which hasn't been necessary since planting, because we've been rained on a good deal), for feeding, and for grooming. My lower back has been giving me grief, and anyway, just should finally get the message into my sometimes Very Dense Miss Chris noggin that I am a disabled person with pain and low levels of energy, and that after 33 years of CFS/CFIDS/ME/Fibromyalgia, I should FINALLY learn to not do the unforgivable CFS "sin", which is called "PUSH and CRASH".

***
The last time I had a really good, kind of pain free/moderately higher level of energy was just over two and a half weeks ago. I spent the day outside, got too much sun, worked to hard, and there was CFS and Migraine Zone hell to pay until Monday this week. That was over two weeks of being mostly hunkered down in a dark and verrrrrrrrrrrry quiet room, and that was not fun. There are a number of my fellow migraineurs who read the "old" blog, and I know that they know what I mean. My prayers are with each of you.

***

I fell asleep after dinner yesterday evening, for about two hours, and woke up feeling kinda, well, snarky... but I got over it (thank you, Jesus!). So, I noticed that my knitting of a blue prayer shawl was sitting neglected right next to my bed (my bedroom looks like a federal disaster area after two weeks of being out of commission). I picked up my needles and commenced knitting again. It felt good to do that. There are a lot of times, if my hands will coordinate with what my poor, addled brain is telling them to do (not possible during severe migraines), that I get a major adrenaline rush or mild sense of a calm, peaceful, yet enlivening "high". I know that I inherited my love of needle work from my Italian Nani. She had arthritis in her hands (rheumatoid and osteo) but she kept on knitting and especially crocheting, right up to the very end of her life. That says to me that I should keep up with it even when my hands hurt from my own osteoarthritis (I joined the "club" the past few years, but I am doing well).

***

My dad had a busy day doing beginning of the month grocery shopping. After he went to bed last night, I sliced and bagged the most luscious, ripe, red watermelon, and cleaned, cut up, and sugared strawberries, started whole wheat bread in the bread machine, hard cooked eggs, and made some rice (just converted rice; I am having difficulty getting my dad to eat brown rice. He is a meat and potatoes or pasta guy).

Then I made my nightly two pots of tea: Earl Grey, which I can drink night as well as day, and Tension Tamer, which calms me down better than a Xanax sometimes during PMS.

I did NOT bake brownies overnight. I just know I'm going to regret that later today.

***

For once, for the first time in a whole, long time, I got my three baskets of laundry (my clothes - mostly pajamas, undies, socks, and nightgowns) folded right after they came out of the clothes dryer (I don't dry on the clothesline; it makes my allergies worse to dry clothes outside. I'd love to be "green" and also to save money on the "electricical" bill (any others of you out there who are fans of the old American TV situation comedy Green Acres and who speak jestingly in "Lisa Douglas-ese"???? I digress. I'd love to be green and to save on the electric bill, but that just doesn't work for me.

***
Little Maggie McGee, my sweet gray and white Siamese-Tiger princess kitty, was sooooo very glad to have me come back indoors today. She's accustomed to my being at home and in the house most of the time.

Speaking of Maggie: She is a great doctor! She instinctively knows when I'm in need of her to quietly keep me company when I am in the Migraine Zone. I call her "Dr. Babylove Kitty". Her brother, may he rest in kitty peace, was like that as well, and I called him "Dr. Fuzzylove". Anyway, I swear Maggie the kitty not only has great bedside manner and amazingly faithfulness, but she also "cat prays" for me, meaning, she "lays paws" on me and purrs. Ya'll remember from the old blog that I joke that if St. Augustine said that "he who sings prays twice", then there should also be a saying that goes, "she who purrs prays thrice".

I need to take some more pictures of Maglet soon.

***
Am being tremendously blessed by listening to all of my Andrea Bocelli albums on my MP3 player tonight. It's July. I don't know why, but July always finds my heart longing for Italy, for learning new Italian words, for reading books by Italians about Italians (am thinking tonight primarily of Adriana Trigiani), for reading books about Italy (by Frances Mayes in particular), for listening to Italian opera and Italian songs by Andrea Bocelli and Josh Groban, and egads, PLEASE Heaven spare me: this time of year finds me even more susceptible to the charms of Italian men. But I'm older and wiser now. I don't frequent Catholic Match any longer. I am happy now being single but there is always, always, ALWAYS something so... intoxicating about Italian men. I'm 48 and a half. I'm getting "old" and I am very, very, very set in my ways. NO MORE CATHOLIC MATCH!!!!

***

Well, it's time to settle down with a book... an audio book. During the last trip to Planet Migraine, I could not even bear to listen to an audio book even very, very, very quietly. Right now, I'm up to it. Mebbe something by Frances Mayes.

***
Thank you for reading my "epistle". If you made it all the way through this blog entry, you'll see that I will pray my morning Rosary for my blog readers. God knows who you are even if I don't, and He loves you so very much. I commend each of you to His tender care each day. I consecrate this blog to the Blessed Mother of Jesus, asking that she will pray for purification of whatever I have written that is faulty and in error, and asking that she will ask Jesus to bless what little good I am able to say. Just please, please, PLEASE remember that Jesus is on your side. He WILL rescue you. As Brennan Manning, may he rest in peace, used to say, "God is insanely enamored of you!".

May the Lord bless you this week!

Much, much, much love to you in Jesus - whether my readers be one or more! 

- Miss Chris