Don’t Want To So I Won’t … Or Maybe Not

We all have to do things we don’t want to do.  We all have to do things we don’t like to do.  These were things my parents told me when I was younger.  I assume it was a means of answering a child’s moaning answer of I don’t want to do this.  I also assume, at first, my parents thought this would be the ideal answer and said child would simply get on with doing whatever the request was.

Sadly my parents were given me as a child.  Perhaps the universe has a sense of Humor as I never really accepted answers such as the ones provided. I’ve been told my response was somewhat along the lines of I’m not doing it and stomping my foot.  What my parents failed to do, probably from shock or anger, is that we can avoid doing things we don’t want,  but there are always a consequence to this.  Fortunately for me as a headstrong and somewhat willful child, my parents never really went down that avenue when I was younger.  That changed when I got older though.

As I watch some of my friends deal with this very issue now with their children I notice that unlike my parents, my friends have decided to find a way to help their children avoid doing what they dislike.  One friend went so far as to explain to teachers that her child should never be made to do anything.  This changed recently when her son decided to skip his chemistry and physics classes.

He told her he didn’t want to do any more stuff in either class because it wasn’t fun.  He’d sooner go home and be on his computer.  Because, as he patiently told her, he is going into computer sciences when he goes to university and it would be better for him to just focus on that.

Now if that had been me, I’m pretty sure my parents would have left me on my own to figure out university and such.  My friend however has not done this.  Instead she told him he will be going to those classes and applying himself, because she said so.  We shall see how this plays out!

In keeping with her son’s logic, I don’t want to pay taxes or go to work.  But old like to still get paid as if I did go to work.  And I’d like all the benefits that taxes provide.  Because I said so.  I will keep you posted on how is works if I actually chose to not do it.

It’s Gift Time…Getting Into Practice

Over the course of my life, I’ve received numerous presents.  Some have been exactly what I’ve wanted, others were what I wanted however I didn’t know that at the time.  Some have been gifts of the heart and others have been ones of obligation.  There have been expected presents and surprise gifts.

Some gifts are the kind you don’t even realize until something happens.  Such as the passing of a loved one.  That’s when you learn things like the gift of unconditional love.  Or the gift of what it feels like to be cherished, valued or adored.

And then there have been real stinkers.  Like the dead animals the four-footed companions have dropped off for me.  Or the rotten vegetation that seems to find a way into my house no matter what I do.  I mean those a real stinkers that sure are a surprise, just not of the wanted variety so to speak.  But they are gifts all the same, it is just a matter of how you look at it.  I know, I keep telling myself this each time I step on something unexpected and squishy in the middle of the night.  Because a gift is a gift after all.

A Taste Of Something Extra

When I was younger I used to sneaky cookie dough.  To eat raw.  My mother was agasht by this behavior because a) raw eggs and b) did I wash my hands first?  I always washed my hands before sneaking cookie dough because if I got sick, I’d know it was from the raw eggs.  But I never got sick from it.

As I got older I discovered is wonderful dish a pasta dish with this lovely name of carbonara. Very very delicious.  And apparently there is a concern again about how well the egg is cooked in the sauce.   Some people say it is cooked through the heat of the Other ingredients and others say it is just warmed, but still rather raw.  Again, I’ve never gotten sick consuming this delight dish.

I also discovered sushi and sashimi.  And yes I enjoy it as well.  Yes I know, raw seafood. And yes I know there are concerns around that as well.  I have always been careful with raw seafood, and have never gotten sick.

Sadly all now raw eggs and seafood are al official on the list of items I cannot have any longer.  My new medication combination is partially to blame for this.  As is a sudden form of paranoid worry from Beloved.  He has become a believer of the whole you can get sick if you eat these things raw theory.  He has found recipes for eggless cookie dough and eggless pasta carbonara and used smoked fish for sushi rolls.

The cookie dough isn’t too bad  it it’s missing the something extra that comes from sneaking it when you clearly aren’t supposed to have it.  The taste of that which is forbidden seems more robust.  The pasta carbonara was okay, as were the sushi rolls. But again the taste of slightly risky is a bit more pleasing to the tastebuds.  And for the record, yes he has found a Cesar salad dressing without raw egg.  He just hasn’t made it yet.

Is it just me or does the risk and  se of something being forbidden add a little something to the taste of food?

When Abnormal Is Normal And It Shouldn’t Be

A touch of this, a dash of that.  A careful swipe followed by a swirl until it’s all blended together.  A lesson in decorating a cake?  Hardly.  Just another sad attempt on my part to disguise the red patches across my cheeks.  Oh and highlighter or brightened to hide the dark marks below my eyes.

Some women wear makeup to enhance their looks.  Others as a form of battle paint so to speak.  Me?  I use it as camouflage, as part of my quest to look normal.  I mean who wants to see flaming red cheeks, dark circles under the eyes and exhaustion walking around among the healthy? So I try to blend in.

Some days I’m a little better at it than others, but of course it’s never fully successful. I mean you can’t hide the pain and exhaustion lupus brings.  You can’t hide the limping from sore joints and sometimes thinning hair cannot be artfully arranged enough to hide the thinner spots.

Make up never hides the turning down of invitations at the last-minute.  The apologies over and over again about how I just can’t do x right now.  Make up and clothes can’t hide the last-minute cancellations or having to leave early.

But still I try.  Because it’s important to feel normal, to be normal.  Although why I’m not sure.  Because normal varies from person to person.  Because lupus is not, nor will it ever be, normal.  Nor should lupus ever be normal…healthy should be normal.  The same can be said about cancer, chronic illnesses of all kinds.

Marks To The Past

I walked into a door today. Not through an open door. I just walked right into the door. I ended up with a lovely bruise to show for my troubles too. Because it isn’t enough for the people who were near by to witness my inability to read and follow the instructions to open the door. That would be too simple. So I have a lovely bruise that has generated a lot of questions from people.

Some very concerned people asked me if I had been hit or abused. Which I understand as we are more “aware” of violence now. Well perhaps that’s not the right wording, I doubt we were ever unaware of violence, but rather that socially it isn’t tolerated and therefore people are more likely to think in those terms these days. At any rate when I said I walked into a door, for some people, it meant I was hit. I wasn’t. I walked into a door. This time.

I do appreciate the concern and am grateful, truly grateful that we can speak about violence, abuse and such now. Except we can’t always do that. Because as much as we’ve brought this issue into focus, we still haven’t really been able to understand abuse and why people stay in those situations.

As someone who was in an abusive relationship at one point in her life, I have used excuses in the past to hide bruising. Although I don’t think I ever said that I walked into a door. But I can see how someone might see that as an excuse. I had a lot of items stored on higher shelves that would fall on me when I tried to reach them while standing on my tiptoes. At least that’s what I told everyone. It isn’t just because my abuser told me no one would believe me if I said I was being abused.

The thing about abuse is that it becomes how things are. It isn’t so easy to just walk away from someone who you are emotionally invested in. You have hope that this time the person will change, that things will be different this time. Sometimes you believe that you deserve to feel the impact of fists on your flesh, the sharpness of kicks in your ribs reminds you just how much you need to try harder. After all you aren’t’ perfect and this person is really just trying to help you. Until one day something happens.

In my case the something was realizing that I was tired of hiding by wearing long sleeves even in summer. Or pants. Or makeup. I even artfully arranged my hair to hide bruises and cuts at times. And then one day I just stopped. Well I ran away, but I stopped hiding. Because I was afraid if I didn’t get away I’d be dead. The funny thing was I was more scared of how my death wouldn’t be noticed as a murder so to speak, as I’d be dead because I was clumsy after all.

And while I’ve run from that part of my life, and I’ve dealt with it, you never really leave it all behind. So when I saw the bruise form on my face I wondered how I’d hide it, if I even could hide it. And when people noticed I watched them give me that look when I told them how it happened.

Sometimes a bruise is just a part of something bigger, and sometimes, it’s just a bruise.

Following Naturally

Who knew that dead leaves could be so much…fun or hassle depending upon how you look at it.  If you are my four-footed companion leaves are clearly a fun thing.  You can roll in them, slide in them, toss them about or eat them.  And if you are very sneaky you can bring them into the house,  much to your two-footed companions chagrin.

If you are more like me those leaves are, well, a hassle.  I know, it’s more a case of humans imposing our will on nature, which tends to be more carefree and organic.  Nature sees no reason to catch every dead leaf that’s on an overly green and well maintained lawn.  Not that I’m that picky.  I just can’t get to the point with the dead leaves in my house.

Part of me enjoys the pleasure my small friend gets from the leaves while another part of me cringes and wonders how many leaf crumbles will be in my house or have to be picked out of her coat.  It becomes a question of which nature do you give into…the one that says life is too short to aim for such rigid rules or the one that says outside things stay outside.  In case you are wondering, I discovered that dried leaves are like Velcro on my area rug.  Sadly my vacuum wasn’t able to pick them all up, but that might because the four-footed one not only brought the leaves in, but she rolled them around in the house.  She was enjoying herself and I must confess her antics made me laugh so I guess picky the leaves out of the house is a small price to pay.

We Are Getting….Older?

Time marches on, you just don’t realize it when you are young.  I think the first time I realized that time waits for no one was when I was dealing with a tragedy.  It felt as if my life stood still and time for me was like swimming through thick pudding.  But the outside world carried on in normal time.  For the record, I’ve never gone swimming in any type of pudding.

The strange thing about time marching on is that at some point time has you father forward than you thought you’d be.  Beloved and one of his friends were out the other night and towards the end of their evening they encountered a few people in their early twenties.  At some point one of the younger people made a comment that it was cool to see old guys hanging out and enjoying the place.

Beloved and his friend both automatically started to look for the old guys while their younger companions asked them what had brought them to the club in the  first place.  Beloved said that was when it hit him…he had become the old guy.

No warning, no training or easing into this new position in life.  Hours earlier Beloved had no clue of what soon awaited him.  He said he after he realized he was the old guy he felt like someone should have provided him with a hat, a smoking pipe and other such items.  Just to ensure everyone recognizes that he is now an old guy.

How had time marched him to this point in his life without preparing him?  Father Time, Beloved has decided, has a sick sense of humour.  And it isn’t even funny.  Just ask the old guy! 😉


A friend has moved in with Beloved temporarily. The friend’s  house has become infested.  And no he isn’t referring for to the four sick children that are his own.  They too will need to be relocated for a while.  Because the house is infested with squirrels.

Now I’ve always joked about wanting a pet hippo, raccoon, monkey, alligator, sloth, owl and a bat.  Okay fine, you are right dear reader, this is just a tiny portion of my list.  But you get the picture. I’m not sure about if I ever really wanted a pet squirrel.

I’m all for having a nice comfortable nest, erm bed, and a warm safe place to call home.  I’m just not sure that I want a squirrel chewing up my furniture for a nest.  Running through my walls to create special squirrel highways.  Leaving squirrel poop here and there.

I can’t imagine having to remove most of my belongings to see if they can be saved or if they must be thrown out.  I can’t imagine the feeling of seeing people walking into my house in special coveralls and breathing equipment to clean up the mess.  The same house where I’ve been sweeping the floors and breathing the air without any specialized equipment.

And I can’t imagine how one little squirrel can create so many issues.  Of course the squirrel may doesn’t want to be lonely.  So the squirrel does what any other squirrel would do, he brings back his girlfriend, they have baby squirrels.  The house becomes the house for all the other nearby squirrels to hang out at.

And I can’t imagine having all these animals in my house without me knowing it.  That’s sort of creepy.  And after hearing about the issues our friend and his family will have to deal with, well maybe I won’t be so quick to get a wild animal for a pet.  Other than a sloth or a hippo! 😉

Blanketing Time To Stand Still

I was marvelling at a beautiful had stitched quilt today.  It was truly a work of art.  It reminded me of lovely stained glass windows with interact stitching and amazing color combinations.  It was truly a sight to behold, both in terms of the visual display and sewing skills.

I’ve always had a soft spot for quilts.  To me they speak of comfort and a sense of home.  And warmth and love.  I know that not all quilts are handmade, but to me, every stitch in a handmade quilt is a stitch of love.

So I stood there, recklessly eyeballing this amazing work of art and time stood still.  Well it didn’t really, but it seemed to stand still while I took in all the details.  I asked the staff in the store if the quilt I had seen in their display was for sale and was told that they would have to speak with the person who made it.  They took down my number so someone could get back to me.

A few hours later I learned that sadly the quilt was not for sale.  But I had been able to view this work of art for free.  And I had been able to let things slow down a little, and trick myself into thinking time stood still while I gazed upon it.  You can’t really out a price on either of those things.

Of course if I had purchased the quilt I could gaze upon it or snuggle under it whenever I wanted.  But it would be in its own small way he same as putting a beautiful bird in a cage and hiding it away from most people.  For a thug of beauty, for a piece of art perhaps it doesn’t belong to anyone while it is there to impact many people.  Perhaps it doesn’t even belong to the person who created it in the end.  Maybe it is meant to blanket all of us in its own way.  Each of us having our own Favorite part of this kaleidoscope.

Able To Hug From The Inside, It’s Chicken Noodle Soup…The Unsung Hero

Chicken noodles soup, according to some, is healing.  When you are sick it soothes and nourishes you.  When you feel out of sorts, it comforts you.  Sometimes it’s all you can mange to eat.  If your blessed with friends and family who can cook and you are ill, you may get a lovely bowl or two made just for you.

Every person and every culture has its own variant of chicken noodle soup.  Or at least chicken soup or noodle soup.  And all are healing and comforting.  Scientists have begun to do a great deal of research into the why of the healing powers of chicken noodle soup. The women who have been making their versions of chicken noodle soup for years and years I not need science to prove what they already know…when you feel under the weather chicken noodle soup helps.

Chicken noodle soup, according to a lifelong friend of mine, is a hug that happens from the inside.  The soup wraps you up in a loving embrace that comes down from all the generations and slight alterations of the family recipe.  She as s bit agast to here that a mutual friend had only ever had store-bought chicken noodle soup from a can.

Of course she couldn’t let this be.  She immediately made a huge batch of chicken noodle soup to remedy the situation.  As she put it, no one should go through life without knowing the loving embrace of homemade chicken noodle soup.

And ad someone who has been on the receiving end of her homemade chicken noodle soup more times than I’d care to admit, I just agree that to miss out n something so wonderful would be a huge shame.  And I’m not just saying that because I too received a huge vat of chicken noodle soup.

My friend insisted gat the soup could help my lupus or at least help me feel better with this lupus flare.  And to be honest, having no energy to cook for myself more often than not results in me not eating.  Which doesn’t help with a lupus flare.

So in my estimation, chicken noodle soup and those marvellous people who make it and share it all deserve capes.  Superhero capes!