Fated

According to at least one expert I have a water hand. This is distressing to me because I’m not a water baby. The expert who assessed my hands informed me in a most dismissive way that I had water hands, deformed, but water hands all the same.

I’m not sure if I’m more distressed by them being water hands or if it’s that she said they were deformed water hands. Perhaps it is most distressing because my hands do not match up with my zodiac sign which is why my hands are deformed and I’m distressed. Who knows.

Of course, this same expert also told me that I lived happily with three children, a wonderful husband and was into all things natural. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that there are no children, nor is there a wonderful husband and I tend to have a black thumb, brown at the best.

Instead I allowed myself to be distressed by it, on a very light level mind you and left her and her expert opinion in the booth where I found her. Well okay a mildly light level because after all no one wants to hear that they have deformed hands of any sort.

It did get me to thinking though, if signs in your palms do not match your zodiac sign and neither of those matches up with other readings, does that mean that you are fated to a crazy life? If so, I’m well on my way apparently.

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Clear As

While researching software for work, I came across one company’s explanation for why they had made changes to the way the software interacted with Windows. The company explained it as follows: our goal has always been to provide a functional tool that allows our customers to be effective and efficient in…” Within the next paragraph the documentation moves on to say that “feedback from some of our customers has been that the software, while allowing people to be effective has not been all that usable so to this end we have moved to creating usable software…”

This got me to thinking, if you paid big money (this isn’t a small or unknown company) for a product and have now been told that while it’s functional it isn’t usable what would your reaction be? I would be seeking a refund, and a different solution to my needs. There were also several typos in the documentation which did not reassure me that they cared all that much about this document. And naturally if they don’t really care about this document, what else don’t they care about?

A quick online chat with the company showed that they did not think, nor did their customers think, that the software was not usable in the past. They meant it wasn’t as intuitive as it could be. They made changes to the interface to make it more user-friendly. That is completely different from saying something isn’t usable, yet functional.

According to “Jill” I was the first person to question the documentation so either I have a comprehension issue, or people simply didn’t read it. At any rate, even after the lovely explanation, I opted not to go with that line of software because “Jill” did not seem to think it was a big issue. And if clarity isn’t a big issue, what really is? Yes I want something that allows me to be productive, effective and efficient and sure I want it to be functional and easy to use. But I also want the company to be responsive and show passion for their product. I guess I’m weird that way.

How I Know

There are poinsettias on the mantle.  A Christmas fern peeking out here or there.  A tiny holly plant in a bursting out of a snow mans’ stop hat and a Christmas cactus just ready to bloom on the table.

Soon there will be touches of Crimson on the tables,  and swatches of green here and there.  Eventually tiny white lights will be added to a tiny tree with silver balls and crystal ornaments.   And if he gets his way, somewhere in a door way Beloved will hang  some silly piece of greenery to meet the tradition of mistletoe.

Birdseed will be sprinkled outdoors, and branches will be smushed lower into the ground because that’s something he has always done.  Puddings and cookies will be planned and cooked. Presents will be wrapped, stockings stuffed and drinks mulled.

And I, well I shall not get too caught up in any of it.  I never do.  Some cookies I will bake.  Decorating I will leave for him.  I haven’t wrapped a present in years and won’t begin now.  (Gift bags are a blessing for those with joint damage!)  Instead I shall watch as the smile that starts to fill his face grows a little bigger with each task until he simply cannot contain it anymore.  That’s when I shall out presents under the tree and watch his glee turn him back into a small child if only for a few moments.  That’s when I know Christmas is here.

Nailed

I’m not the type of girl to cry over a broken nail normally.  Except today.  When my nail broke down deep while visiting with my favorite vampires, also known as a blood draw.  The poor woman getting set up to draw my blood bumped my hand and my nail broke down deep.  It started to bleed and hurt like heck.  So I cried out in pain and surprise.

To be honest the lady who bumped me with her cart resulting in the broken nail had more tears than I did.  She kept apologizing and saying it was the worst time of year to have this happen, so close to all the parties as such.  There aren’t really any fancy parties this year for me, not with my new medication routine and side effects.

The truth is, I’m breathing a small sigh of relief at not having to go to all the parties.  Of not having to be all made up, hair done and nails just so.  Let’s not even talk about the shoes and clothing that need donning.  And all the energy into getting ready and then faking that I feel cheerful and healthy.

So I did  cry out over a broken nail because of the pain and not because of the hardship it might bring.  And truly if a broken nail brings hardship, life cannot be that bad.

All In The Hands

As he looked at my bluish fingers he shook his head and sighed. My specialist had called me in for a “meeting” after my last wee visit to the hospital. I am loath to go to the hospital and get a sinking feeling every time they tell me I get to “sleep over” because I’m just not that into hospitals. Except I am because I have a chronic illness that doesn’t want to behave.

After my last stay, a follow-up message was sent to my specialist indicating that I had some vascular issues in my hands. Lupus is one of those gifts that just keeps giving and one of the gifts it always provides me with is something known among my friends as corpse hands. To the medical community it is known as Raynaud’s. To me it’s just cold hands for the most part, occasionally brilliant red and sore fingers, but mostly purplish blue and cold fingers.

The doctor who wrote the follow-up message thought that perhaps if my specialist addressed my Raynaud’s (I guess we will move on to using formal words for proper addressing of said entities), I would not have been in the hospital as long while they tried to resolve my cold hands even though I told them that’s just the way things are.

When he looked up my specialist said, “sometimes you pick your battles and other times the battle picks you”. The cold hands aren’t in my head, there is a medical condition for this and there are things that can be done and are being done to try to keep it in check. However, not everything gets tidied up nice and neat at the end of the day. Lupus doesn’t play well with others and so we have to balance all things for the best outcome. Which for me may mean cold hands most of the time.

Motivational Coughing

Apparently even my cough candies are in on the act of motivational quotes and speeches. Obviously, the universe is trying to tell me something, but honestly I’m not sure what to make of messages such as “Don’t try harder. Do harder” or “You’ve survived tougher” or even “you can do it and you know it.” I mean when did they put pep talks on wrappers of cough candies?

On top of asking when they did this, the other question is why. Why do we need to be surrounded with pep talks, motivational quotes and what have you? Are we not capable of motivating ourselves? And isn’t okay to be unmotivated once and a while, until you get your second wind or is this all passé now?

For the record, when I’m feeling under the weather the last thing I want is a motivational speech. I will gather up my strength and go out and “win one for the gipper” when I am darn good and ready, if I am so inclined. If I’m not inclined I simply will not do it and no amount of rah rah or motivational quotes will change my mind or give me energy to do something I’m not interested in.

Do motivational quotes work for you? Is it just a mind game or is there something to it?

Sickness Galore

I’m not good at being sick, which is funny considering I am chronically ill and have sickness issues on a fairly regular basis. Still, no matter how much practice I get at being sick, I am still no good at it. To be honest I’d be fine without ever getting any more practice at this. And I am totally okay with not being sick either.

I suspect that this comes as a surprise to some people and to others it’s just a case of my stubbornness. If I could find the person who said I need more sickness in my life, I would probably have words with that person. But alas I cannot find one single person. And it’s that time of year when there are hordes of sick people to found anywhere and everywhere. Heck they will find you even if you don’t want to be fine. Trust me, I’ve tried to hide from them.

Beloved half laughs when I demand a sealed bunker, but when you have a crazy immune system and take chemotherapy to try and control it, well those sniffles suddenly become rather threatening. Your wee sore throat gives me the heejeebeejees. Your minor cold makes me shudder in fear. I’m terrified of getting sick enough to have to head to the hospital. Hospitals are full of sick people and we know how I feel about them!

So please, if you see me avoiding you like the plague, or holding a can of Lysol to spritz you down with prior to getting near you, do not take offense. I just don’t do sick well.