Burning To The Ground

Beloved attended a series of talks about the ecology, climate and end of times.  He said it was all rather depressing, full of scare monger techniques and lacking in facts.  Not that he felt that way about all of the talks, but he found most to be a rehash of the same information with very little new substance or theory to add.

There was one talk that stood out for him though, it was presented by a woman who unlike he fellow speakers did not have PhDs or work in the sciences.  This woman as, of all things, into self-sustaining farming and fishing.  She felt that with all the increased fire activity world-wide the past five years it was time for people to realize the world was burning to the ground.

Her talk was one of climate change in terms of wild fires and hard to put out fires.  She talked about the lack of water to not only fight fires but also quench the parched earth.  She talked about an uneven movement in land manageme t  one that went from no such thing to being too well-managed and back to too much nature.  She talked about ever since humans have been on earth they have done nothing except speed up the burn rate.  She had very little data, just some loose examples she tried to weave together.  She also refused to take any questions, insisting instead that she was here to spread the message of woe.

The only glimmer of hope she offered was for people to get back into a self-sustaining lifestyle which forced one to become in tune with the earth’s issues.  Beloved told me that no matter what he did to try and attract her attention she ignored him during the talk.  Afterward, when she was no longer the sage on the stage, he was able to catch up with her and she was open to a few questions.  Not many mind you.  But she did believe we had it within us to get the streams and rivers back to a healthy state so we could fish out of them again.  The ocean however she felt was too far gone to be healed.  As for self-sustaining farming, she believes in planting seeds that will provide a crop that was hardly and had decent yield without requiring a lot of water.  The crop, she told Beloved, would have to be nutrient rich and attract bees etc.  Her idea of self-sustaining farming was one where she farmed from crops and hunted and fished to supplement the diet.  She wouldn’t share specifics with Beloved, claiming that the scorched earth or burning to the ground deal was a test, a case of survival of the fittest.  She planned on surviving and needed to know that the others who served would bring other important items to the table.

Beloved told me that of the world is burning to the ground, he can’t see much sense in trying to live through all the heat and scorching.  He also suggested that the ideal thing to do would have a nice bbq type party letting the heat of the burning earth cook the food. Hopefully after a nice relaxing meal we’d just fall asleep and never wake up to a crispy earth, one which required us to figure out how to fish and farm in what was left of the ground.

He also wondered how she had gotten onto the panel to do some of the talks, but when it comes to burning topics, it takes all kinds to show the different view

You Might Well Think Beloved Got Lost

With a sigh, perhaps one of satisfaction or perhaps one born of the realization that with the book done he’d have to get up, Beloved closed the book he had been savouring.  He loves to read the classics, this time he had just finished Frankenstein again.

As he ambled by me to get a fresh tea and consider what book to read next he offered up his theory that modern medicine was an awful lot like Frankenstein.  When he returned t the room I was in, he carried on with his idea that they can use both animal and mechanical bits to keep people alive so in a way monsters have been created, at least in some sense n his mind they have been.

Id never considered it much before, but sure we had the Bionic Man and woman.  You might think it is just a marvel of modern medicine.  You might think it’s just the way things are these days.  And maybe you don’t give it much thought at all, which is also fine.

I guess to some people we are playing a bit of a god-like role in deciding who lives because of modern medicine.  I guess some people might think that is a bit of monstrosity.  The fact is, I haven’t given it much thought, it is simply something that is there.  I know countless people with knee replacements, others with artificial limbs and I’ve met a man who could see after being blind.

Marvels of modern medicine indeed or the continual quest to understand how things work.  The fact is I don’t give any of it all that much thought, I simply move along with the flow until there is some sort of opening that I push through.  If it means i ignore the Frankenstein in my very presence, or worse can’t see it when it gazes back at me in the mirror, well I’m sure I’m not alone.

I have a feeling that soon we will be discussing how it can be the best of times while it is the worst of times because the book Beloved brought back to read is A Tale Of Two Cities.  I can already hear the clicking of those knitting needles…

Sitting On A Baby or Yes We Made It Out Alive

I was asked to babysit for a friend.  This isn’t something people normally ask me to do, probably because my immediate response is something like “ew why would I want to sit on a baby?  Wouldn’t they be all warm and squishy?”  Yep I’m pretty sure that’s why I’m not normally asked for this kind of stuff, granted most of my friend who have children have older children so that may be part of it.  At any rate, me getting this request let me know my friend was in rather dire straights.

So I agreed to mind the small child.  After all a child of 6 mins old surely can’t get into that much trouble can they?  (See this is where parents laugh at us childless ones, you know the people who come and go as we please?  Yeah this is your moment of payback.)

since I’m able to write about this experience I have clearly survived it,  barely, but I made it.  And yes said child is still alive as well.  Next time I agree to mind a small child I’m going to demand the following things:  hearing protection (said infant was a bit under the weather so he decided to screech for what seemed like ever), bio hazmat suit (who knew little boys could achieve that type of trajectory and get such amazing coverage),  danger pay (seriously how many times can you sing the same little song to a child without harming yourself), full medical coverage (I know you think your darling child is nothing but sweetness and joy, but I have been exposed to serious biological waste from both ends of your little bundle and Heaven knows what I may have caught as a result) and a new house (at some point you realize deep cleaning can get every particle of particulate so you have to burn the house to the ground).

Is my list unreasonable?  Probably, but then why do parents do a cut and run job leaving me sitting on their baby?

Actually it wasn’t that bad, I’m sure my hearing will come back at some point and I really didn’t like that shirt anyway.  Some day we will look back at this and laugh right?

Score: Me One, Lupus Zero

Today the four-footed one and I went for a small walk before the day got too long and I ran out of energy.  Rest assured this was a very small walk because my energy levels were very small.  Thankfully the four-footed one was fine with a small walk, frankly she enjoyed the slow pace which afforded her more time to sniff around.  She even managed to pounce on several unsuspecting moths.

Why do I tell you about today’s walk when nothing overly eventful happened?  Because dear friends the walk happened to be something I had planned to do.  I planned it the night before, well okay maybe not the whole pouncing on moth part, but the small walk early in the morning part was all my planning.

Now I realize to some of you, to most people in fact, this isn’t anything to brag about.  I realize some of you plan things much larger than a small walk.  Some of you plan careers, long vacations and all sorts of wonderful things.  Not only do you folks plan these things, you execute the plans.  So yes dear friends, I get this isn’t that big of a thing to you.  But I ask you, dear readers, how many of you have lupus?

Ah see, there’s the rub, I have lupus and that makes executing plans a bit of a juggling act.  I often make plans only to discover I lack the energy or ability to execute the plans so whenever things go as I planned I celebrate.  Even if it is a celebration because the four-footed one and I went for a small walk early in the morning, exactly as I had planned.  Score one for me and zero for lupus this time!

Runaway Lupus Runaway

Once, after a particularly horrible argument with my mother when I was all of seven, I packed up the important things in my life and headed out the door. I was running away from silly rules and expectations and running towards freedom and adventure. My mother offered me an apple for the road, just in case I got hungry, as I headed out the door, my announcement ringing loudly in my ears about how I was no longer living in that house. My mother did not stop me, I think in fact after offering me the apple, she held the door open for me. I suspect she watched me walk down the sidewalk and run across the street without looking for cars because let’s face it when you are running away from home rules are made to be broken.

She probably watched me walk down about half a block before she couldn’t see me from the house anymore. She told me, much later on in life, that she was certain after I had walked a block I would have come back home. But I didn’t. I kept going although I wouldn’t so much call it running away as I would call it walking away from one thing and into the arms of another. At some point this steady determination of mine brought me far enough away from the house and my mother to where I felt safe enough to sit down and rest. I pulled out one of my important treasures, a book, and read for a little bit because I no longer had to clean my room. I didn’t have to do much of anything to be honest and was getting right comfortable with my place in the tree when my mother appeared down below me. She couldn’t see me, but I could see her. I could see the redness in her eyes and the urgency in her voice as she called for me.

Being who I was back then and probably still am today, I didn’t answer her right away. After all she had not wanted to hear why cleaning my room should not be done right away or ever, so she could wait. I finished a page and realized she had moved away from where I was. I could still see her, but if I jumped down I wouldn’t be able to land on her any more. I was debating my options when a man pointed me out to my mother. I came down shortly after my mother came back to my tree and went back to the house with her. Days later I reluctantly cleaned my room and I think we both realized that I had a tendency to leave things when the going didn’t go my way.

Today I’d like to run away again. Not because I have to clean my room, and not because I need to climb a tree. I just want to run away from my life for a little while. The problem is, what I really want to run away from, lupus, will run right along with me. No matter how far I go, no matter how high or low I hide, lupus always, but always finds me. Lupus finds me in the dark as if it were brilliant daylight. Lupus keeps step with me when I move forwards away from her clutches. She is a stealthy hunter though and she knows me well, after all we have been playing this game for so long. She lets me get ahead now and then, lets me think that maybe, just maybe this time will be different. And then suddenly she is right there, under my tree. Unlike my mother, lupus can climb trees with ease. Unlike my mother, lupus doesn’t worry about talking me into coming back home or explaining things to me. Lupus simply takes over, joining me on the branch, insisting I share my adventures with her. She doesn’t mind that I run away because she loves a good chase. She also knows that no matter how far I run, no matter how hard I try, she will always end up sharing with me.

Rough Play

I’ve had to set up a triage system in my house to ensure those in the worst shape get attended to first.  I cannot say it has ever been a dream, wish or desire of mine to set up a triage of any sort in my house, because up until today the idea of an in-house triage never crossed my mind.

Unfortunately one, at least this one, cannot ignore the wounded in the house.  I challenge you to ignore the elephant who’s tusk is hanging by a thread, wiggling around like a loose baby tooth.  Perhaps you are cold enough to turn a blind eye to the meerkat with a badly tattered ear.  And only someone with no heart at all could look beyond the teddy bear with the hole in his tummy.

And so I set up a triage in the house to deal with this t all. Oh there are other walking wounded who need tended to as well, but all in good time.  At this rate all of the animals in this house will be stitched, patched or what have you thanks to their encounters with the four-footed one.  Well perhaps not all of the animals, the dinosaur, dragon and alligator seem to be of tougher stuff.  They may just survive the blitz of teeth and violent shaking that is known as play in the four-footed one’s world.  And now for a squeaker-dectomy for the chipmunk…

Best Gifts

Beloved’s elderly aunt decided that both he and I needed gifts, a little something to boost our spirits as she put it in her daily emails to us.  Experience has taught me not to decline her generosity as she becomes very offended by this.

She does this every once-and-a-while, randomly out of the clear blue she will announce we need our spirits boosted, even if nothing out of the ordinary is going on for us.  The first time she made this declaration we were the recipients of a gourmet meal at a very fine restaurant.  It was a place we would have otherwise never tried and shared our experience with her after in an email.

Naturally we wanted to surprise her and searched for something different to send her way.  She was delighted that we would send her anything, I get the feeling Beloved’s siblings just accept the gifts with heartfelt thanks and carry on with life.  Granted they can visit her a little more easily than I can.

This time she insisted on sending Beloved a special wine tasting trip.  He was tickled pink by the gift.  She insisted on supplying me with several manicures so that regardless of how awful I may feel, I have something special for my “lovely” nails.  (She admires my natural nails and laughed when I told her it was a sign that I don’t do manual labor.)

When I feel a little better I will go and get my nails done and then I shall take a picture to show her.  But first I want to find something extra special for her, something that is whimsical and will tickle her pink.  Her joy, delight and genuine pleasure is really the best gift I could ever receive!

Spiders, Ladybugs And Dogs Oh My

The four-footed one has tamed a dragon (well dragonfly) and turned a dinosaur into a pet (okay a stuffed one if you must be precise), yet she is terrified of a small little bug, a ladybug or ladybird to be exact.

I suspect they don’t taste good, perhaps even emit a noxious substance or maybe they bite.  I have no other explanation for why the four-footed one is terrified of these things. She tends to explore her world through paws and mouth.  I know she’s batted these insects around as I’ve watched her do it against my warnings.  And I know she had one in her mouth because I saw her spit it out, much to my revolution.  And fear not for this little bug’s life, for the hardy shell kept it safe in her mouth.

And from this one encounter, too close for her comfort, she now gives all ladybugs/ladybirds a wide space. She sees one in her space and she gets up and moves out of its way.  It isn’t s big deal it just is unusual for her.  I mean she could sit on one of these bugs and kill them and yet she is the one who gives them space.

One of nature’s mysteries I guess is her relationship with these insects.  Another mystery of nature is her insistence in licking spiders.  Normally I’d try to solve the mystery, but I think some things are better left alone.  And spider licking may be one of those things!


The dishwasher decided to go kaput.  I can’t blame it, I mean it has a never-ending job that seems to be taken for granted.  Maybe it’s staging a strike, perhaps it just wants to be appreciated and then again maybe it’s broken from regular use.

It isn’t the end of the world, but with limited energy and I use the dishwasher.  Oh I don’t run it every day or all the time, and never run it with only a small amount in it.  I mean to say that while it may not be the greenest of choices, it’s a choice that allows me a little more quality of life.  And now it is no longer functioning.

My dishwasher, it seems, is a bit like me, damaged and unable to work as it had previously.  It doesn’t mean it is something to be cast aside, it simply needs some help.  Beloved pointed out that early cultures would allow domesticated dogs to lick their dishware clean.  I’m not sure how clean that would get things, but maybe it was better than nothing.  Other cultures scoured the dishware with salt or sand, which then would get into their teeth and wear them down as well.

So no sand or salt and despite what the four-footed one thinks she will not be licking the plates clean.  Washing by hand is in order until the machine is fixed.  And once it is fixed, I promise you I will not take it for granted not for one wash cycle.

Tired, Really Tired

I’m so tired, so very, very tired.  Actually I’m exhausted, extremely exhausted and no amount of rest seems to help erase any of this tiredness.  I could rest for a year and I fear I would still be tired.

This is part of my life with lupus, I know this.  Just as I know resting is exceedingly important with lupus.  The thing is, time is limited, there are only 24 hours in a day and what feels like a million things to do.  Now I know, logically, not everything needs to get done, but emotionally I feel guilty if I don’t get everything done.  I feel as if I am not pulling my own weight and leaving too much for others to do.

So I compensate, by cutting back on my resting until I can simply no longer ignore the need to rest.  And the problem with this that I end up resting an entire weekend away just to be able to drag myself through my week-day obligations.  You know what my weekends should consist of?  Time with friends and family, not my pillow and sheets.

None of this is obviously new to me, and I’ve written about it before.  But having just woken up from a nap (not something I normally do) I am reminded again that lupus, like many chronic illnesses has exhaustion as part of the issue in addition to being exhausted just dealing with the chronic illness.  Please excuse me, but I’m so very tired and am going to settle down with a book and the four-footed one!