Sunday, July 31, 2005

Sunday or Sundae?

Sunday it is!  I ate too much ice cream already this week and shouldn't have had any.  It's that stress thing...ya know?

My dad is doing well.  His stress test is on 8/10 and we will see if we need to do the open heart because of the blockage they couldn't stent.

Today we started a new medicine for my son, Hammer.  It is called Strattera, and it is a norenephrine specific SSRI.  It has been found to help with focus and impulse issues, which Hammer needs some help with. 

Being on the Autistic Spectrum there are often overlaps with ADHD symptomatically, but they don't respond as well to certain meds.  So, this is a trial and error kind of thing.

Previously, for 3 years, he was on Concerta, once a day in the morning and it lasted for about 10 hours.  It had problems for Hammer because it aggravated some tics he has and also had a crash period at the end.  The Strattera should not increase his tics because it is non-stimulant and is a 24 hour med so there is no drop off once you have modulated the dose.

It is tricky though, and that is something we will be working on this week. 

Other goings on include Fuzzy starting his first season of tackle football.  They only give the standard pads, so we "hadda go to Mo's" and got him the rest.  Rib vest, neck roll, forearms and 2 pairs of special gloves.  Oh yeah, and practice jerseys and "under armour"! 

I am so excited about this as I loooove football!  I watched my cousin, who is 10 years younger than me, play pee-wee's and right up to high school!  It was so great! 

Pumpkin Muffin finishes up her summer dance classes and then we will be focusing on her fall choices.   Never a dull moment around here!!!

Unfortunately, I am in pain today.  My left wrist is a mess.  Swollen and sore.  Bummer.

Be well,


Saturday, July 30, 2005

Some new journals to visit!!!

So, just what you all needed!  More journals to visit!  I don't know how I manage to add more each week, but somehow, I do! 

Here is my new journal for my original poetry and stuff!

Here is my friend Susan's 2 journals!!!  She is an Army wife and has Lupus!

She has a journal for her everyday bliss and one just for Journal Jar questions!  Cool, huh?

Please check them out!!  I don't think you will be sorry!

Be well,




Friday, July 29, 2005

A woman of Science and Faith

A quote:  

"What science finds to be nonexistent, a Buddhist must necessarily accept, but what science merely does not find is a completely different matter.  It is quite clear that there are many, many mysterious things."  The Dalai Lama  

This essay is in response to some email skeptics that have challenged my faith recently.  Rather than respond to any individual I chose to write this essay.  

If something is not yet discovered to be true, does that mean it does not exist?  

No one believed prior to discovering the Americas that there was a whole vast continent of land in between Europe and Asia if you traveled to the west.  Columbus may not have found what he wanted, but he found so much more.  A land thriving with indigenous people, flora and fauna.  The world as it was known then, was to never be the same.  

In 1915 a man named Alfred Wegener wrote a book outlining his theory that the earth's continents were not fixed but were drifting atop molten rock.  He was vilified by everyone in the scientific community of the day, and the book was called "Utter, damned rot".  The pre-eminent geologist of the day Thomas Chamberlain said, "Anyone who valued his reputation for scientific sanity would never dare support such a theory."  

Then, in early 1970's armed with facts from the advances in the abilities to measure the earth, the geologist Tuzo Wilson introduced us to continental drift and plate tectonics.  The way geologists study the earth was forever changed.  Wegener's theories were confirmed, and now his formerly ridiculous book is hailed as full of genius and foresight.   

The first sub-atomic particles smaller than electrons, protons and neutrons were first postulated in 1934 by Enrico Fermi.  They were not "proven" as inmeasured and seen, until the 1950's when the first particle accelerators were used to smash the atom for observational purposes.  So, was the neutrino and the quark non-existent then?  Were they any less real?  Were those who believed and had faith in their existence right to do so when there was no proof?   

Yes, the skeptic would say, because it has proven to be fact.  

Yes, in all these cases the wild, outlandish theories turned out to be irrefutable scientific fact.  Bless those dreamers, those far reaching men of genius who dared to think well out of normal confines of their comtemporaries.  

Do you, or I, or anyone know what the discoveries of the next century will be?   

One hundred years ago, in 1905, you would have been laughed out of the scientific community if you mentioned subatomic particles at a meeting of the Royal Society in London.   

I am not willing to even try to guess what amazing discoveries are in store for mankind in the future.  I think anyone who does is full of the kind of hubris that may drive humanity to extinction someday, or at least to the edge of it.  

Why not have the same openness for faith in God, or the belief in the ability to contact those who have crossed over?  Is it really so much more far fetched?  I do not think so. 

However, I am not a skeptic.  I choose to be open to all possibilities in the world. 

If something has been proven not to exist, as the Dalai Lama says above, then I will certainly concede to that fact.   

For as much as anything is fact, in this ever changing world.  

Albert Einstein has said, "As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; as far as they are not certain, they do not refer to reality."   

A great man, who understood intrinsically the limits of science and the problem of trying to define much of what is undefinable in this universe.

I am proud of my open mind, that I have been told is just naivete.  I am proud that to me the future can hold all kinds of magic and wonder.  And, I am proud that in that undefinable universe I see God.  

Be well...Dawn

<<this was not directed at Paul, Rebecca or Jodi, but to some unwanted emailers, and just to everyone as a good essay I think>>

Thursday, July 28, 2005

A Life Lesson...which my daughter is still fighting, kicking and screaming all the way.

The lesson for today is: Sometimes, you get what you want, but it isn't what you thought it would be! 

And, oh yeah, the second half of that lesson is: Sometimes, you have to stick with the your choices and make the best of them.

Pumpkin Muffin decided that tonight she must go to her brother, Fuzzy's football practice.  Everytime she has gone, she is bored out of her wits about 30 minutes into the 1 1/2 hour practice.  I have been there, I have seen it, it isn't pretty.

So, her grandmother, her grandfather, her father and her mom - ME, all told her, NO, you cannot go tonight.  The only person going was her dad and sometimes he helps to coach and she would be very bored.

This had falllen on Pumpkin Muffin's deaf ears. 

She kept following her dad begging him, "Please, please, I won't be bored, I promise." 

We all tried to reason with her.  Reminding her about the practice last week when she was crying and begging for someone to take her home.  Nope, she would not listen, "Tonight is different!  I won't be bored!"

Hubby gave in as he was getting in the truck to leave.  He always crumbles and one of these days, he may actually LEARN, too, but I don't hold out a lot of hope for that.

Pumpkin Muffin walked in from the garage gave my mom, my dad and myself a triumphant grin and said, "Dad, said I can go."  She grabbed her bag of goodies, turned around and marched out of the room.  You could almost hear a Souza victory march playing as she slammed the door.

Fast forward 45 minutes to 6:30pm, the phone is ringing and it is hubby.  He says, "Talk to your daughter, I am coaching."

Pumpkin Muffin whines into the phone, "Mommy, I am bored, can you pick me up?" 

I said NO, which was immediately greeted with tears, sniffles and more of the earlier begging style that had gotten her to football practice in the first place.

Once she calmed down, I asked her, who said you should stay home?  She said that everyone did, especially me.  I asked her why did we say that?  She said, because she would be bored.  I asked her who was begging Daddy to go.  She said she was. 

Then I told her that she learned a pretty big lesson.  That sometimes the adults in her life know what is better for her. 

And, sometimes, you don't get what you want, as in, I would not be driving over there to get her.  She made her choice, in fact, she begged for it.  She got her way and now she had to make do with that decision, even though she realized she was wrong.

Color to pass the time, read a book again.  Play frisbee with one of the kids you don't know.  She is not happy about it, but I haven't gotten another call yet, so I guess she is handling it all somehow.

Maybe, maybe not, but I am sure I will get all the details in about 45 minutes!

Be well,


Ps.  My dad is doing well.  It was a good day having him home.  He read his book, played with the kids some, walked a bit outside, too.  The stress test will be Aug. 10th.  I will keep everyone posted.

Thanks again for all the kind thoughts and prayers.  It helped!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Dad again!

Dad is coming home!  Yay!

Everything is good.  Ekg was great, all his bloodwork and vitals are good.

He has three new meds to take and today he was actually upbeat and resigned to that fact as part of his new routine.  He really is hoping that the meds will be enough and his stress test in two weeks will show that the third blockage will behave.  He doesn't want to do the open heart, and neither do we, if it can be avoided.

So, today is a happy day, full of relief to get him back home and hope for a good future.

Thank you for all the prayers.

Everyone with RA and Lupus knows what stress, worry and the lack of sleep can do to you.  And, it is doing it.  I am wiped out.  My body is one big achy, breaky mess.  My eyes are swollen and red.  I have had a headache since Monday morning.  I feel like I am going to cry, laugh and fall asleep all at once.

I am hoping to get a nap this afternoon, but who knows.  If mom has to go to work after she gets home and gets my dad settled in, I won't nap.  So, it is all up in the air. 

My mom is realizing that I am starting to crack and she wants to help but her company has been in some turmoil and she doesn't want to have a problem there either.  Everything like this always happens at a bad time, lol, as if there is ever a good time.

Your prayers and good thoughts have been keeping me going.

Last week before this all happened, I wrote an essay for this journal which for friendly debate.

Here is the link, if you have time to visit:Point & Counterpoint

Be well,


Tuesday, July 26, 2005

My dad...mixed news...

Heading to bed now...but first a quick update.

My dad had three blockages in his heart.  2 were stented, but one was not able to be, due to difficult location at the very bottom turn of the right coronary artery and the fact that there were already 2 stents in that artery.

So, depending on his ekg and if he has pain he may be home tomorrow.

BUT, in two weeks he will have stress test given by his cardiac surgeon.  If he shows any signs of "problem/stress" then it will be off to open heart for bypass surgery.  IF, he makes it through the stress test with flying colors then he can just not do it, but the next time, and there probably will be a next time, he will HAVE to have the bypass/open heart surgery.

So, we shall see.  He will definitely now have to be on more meds than he has been, which he is not happy about, but he will deal with it.

Thanks for the prayers...keep them coming please.  I am exhausted physically and emotionally from the stress and worry.  I have been crying constantly since I got home at 8pm.

Be well - more tomorrow,


A Quick Update

Just have a minute before we head over to the hospital...

My dad is going to the cardiac cath lab this morning.  They are going to do the angiogram and then put in stents into any artery blockages they find, if they are able. 

Please pray that they can and that is all that will be needed.  Otherwise, we have to talk about open heart, and we are really hoping to avoid that.

The odds are good, my dad only has 2 stents right now, and the doc is optimistic that he can add a few more and avoid open heart this time as well. 

I am guessing that next time we won't be as lucky, but we will be happy with just this one.

To everyone who left me comments and prayers already - I feel them.  Thank you so very much.  You are all wonderful and I remembered each one of you as I drifted off to sleep last night, counting my blessings.

I will update more later.

Be well,


Sunday, July 24, 2005

My Dad, his Stubborness, and the Hospital

I need prayers, positive thoughts, and candles lit in J-land tonight.

My dad is had to go to the ER today for chest pain.  We have been down this road before in 1986 and in 1999.  He had cardiac episodes that lead to angioplasty those years and stents placed. 

Thankfully, he know the warning signs pretty good. 

Of course, it started Monday and wouldn't fess up until Thursday that it had happened at all. 

I knew it on Monday.  All the signs were there, including his big fat stubborn denial.  He lies bad.

Thursday he fessed up, but not until dinner time, after he had watched my kids all day because I had my infusion.  He didn't want his "heart thing" (his words) to mess up my infusion. 

@@ Duh.  Like you dropping dead here alone with the kids wouldn't have ruined anyone's day. 

My dad did go to his family doc on Friday afternoon, but not until afterwork, after all, they were 2 men short for vacations and he does work at a hospital, even if it isn't the hospital we go to.  @@ @@  (double eye roll)

Family doc scheduled a stress test for this week coming and told him to relax all weekend and if the pain comes back, call the ambulance and go to the ER.

Fast forward to today, the pain came back.  About 12:30 while he was out food shopping.  He took and aspirin, finished shopping and checked out.  Yes, he had a cell phone and my mom, my hubby and myself were all home and available.  No, he didn't call us, he didn't want to upset us.  @@ @@ @@

So, after about an hour of negotiating he let us call the family doc and ask if he could be driven to the ER.  A resounding "NO" emanated from the phone, and he FINALLY let us call the ambulance. 

Long story, short, he is resting comfortably on nitroglycerin paste and blood thinners and his cardiac doc will be in first thing in the am to talk about scheduling the angiogram. 

And, oh yeah, he listens great to everyone in the hospital.  They all yelled at him for giving my mom and myself a hard time.  We told them this was "good" for him.  Last time in 1999 he ignored it for three weeks and then was dragged out of the house flat on his back by ambulance and was difficult to stabilize.  So this time was actually "cooperative" by comparison.  @@

Hopefully, it will be in arteries they can stent again, otherwise, my dad may have to open heart bypass surgery.

Please keep your fingers crossed for my dad and us all.

Be well,



The Homing Device

I have a lesson for all the males out there in J-land and the world over.

My J-land friend Michael over at Confessions of a Madman has a recent journal entry that is hilarious about losing things.  You should all pop over and give it a read because it is very funny, and as always with Michael, well written.

I could have saved Michael some stress, though.

In order to find his keys he needed a uterus. 

Now, of course, I don't expect Michael, a man, to have his own, so that is where his wife would have come in handy!

My hubby has learned this lesson well, finally, now that we have been together for just more than 15 years.

It doesn't matter what he has lost, it doesn't even matter if I never saw the lost item in the first place.  He comes to me first, and early in the search. 

He knows that the uterus will prevail.

Why?  Because we know our "men" better than they know themselves.  And, since they are from Mars - they lose things.  Women are from Venus - and we find things.  I know this is not proven scientific fact, but that is my story and I am sticking to it! <grin>

One recent weekend my dearest hubby lost his keys, his cell phone, and our daughter.

The keys were in the couch in the family room where he insisted he looked and had not even been sitting, the cell phone was left outside on the patio table, and our daughter had just wandered upstairs to her grandparents.  Easy finds, yet without my help...who knows!!!  lol

Unfortunately, my sons are showing signs of this "losing things" male phenomenon.  The funniest part is they will enlist the help of their little sister to find stuff.  My little uterus in training!  However, she has not fully matured into her role as a homing device yet.  Most often, Pumpkin just gets annoyed with her brothers and sends them on their way to me.

Hammer is the biggest "loser of stuff" between the boys.  His Asperger's Syndrome certainly contibutes to that - think Absent Minded Professor, without the glasses.  He is forever misplacing his books, video games, drink cups, clothing, etc.  And they are almost always within several feet of him or in the room he forgot he just exited 5 minutes ago. 

Fuzzy is better.  He doesn't lose as many things or as often as Hammer, however, once he does lose something he could walk past it 10 times, not see it.  It is genetic, I am convinced.

So, all the males in J-land save yourself some time and energy and enlist your female companions help early in the search for your lost things.  It will make everyone happier and less grumpy. 

Women in J-land, accept your role with grace and the least amount of eye rolling you can muster!!!

Be well,


Saturday, July 23, 2005

New Friends...New Journals to visit!!!

Hello and Happy Saturday to everyone!

Just a moment for a quick hello and to "pimp" some journals!

Since becoming Guest Journals Editor, I have met lots of new J-land friends and it has been great!  Two of those new friends didn't have journals, but now they do!

Please visit them to give them some encouragement in their new found, I mean endeavor!  LOL

First, is my friend new friend, Deb, at Frosty Thoughts !

 Please check her out!  She is a resident of Colorado and going through quite a heat wave! 

Second, please visit, Cheri at my blog!  As a single mom with MS and three kids we really hit it off!!

Thanks everyone!!!

Be well,




Friday, July 22, 2005

The Magical Moon

The other night, Monday I think, I was driving home from the store with my dear son who is 10. (ds10)  His nickname is Fuzzy, so for this little ditty I will refer to him as such.

I pointed out the moon to Fuzzy. 

Moon gazing is something I have always loved.  The moon is always there, like the sun, but just by virtue of it "shining" in the dark makes it more magical to me, more wondrous.

I believe I have passed this love onto my kids. 

Fuzzy answered me after I pointed out the moon, " I really love the moon, Mommy."

I asked why, and he replied, "Well, because it is always there at night when you need it, and it seems to follow you wherever you go."

I agreed, these are attributes that make the moon special.

Fuzzy asked why I liked the moon so much.  I told him it was all the reasons he said and one more special reason.  "When your Gee-Gee (great grandma) was still alive and she first moved out to Minnesota, I was 14.  She told me that when I looked at the moon I should remember she was looking at the same moon, and even though we were far apart, we were sharing something special together, a gift from the moon."

Fuzzy was quiet for a moment and uttered a soft "wow" under his breath.

Then he said, "Mommy, when I go away to college someday, will you do the same with me?  So we can both look at the same moon together?"

It took me a moment to choke back the lump in my throat before I answered, "Yes, Fuzzy, we will definitely do that too when you go away to college someday."

Thanks Magical have given me yet another special gift.


Infusion, Sugar and Me!

My Remicade infusion went well.  For those who have asked, an infusion is when the medicine is given to you intravenously, in an IV bag.  I go every 4 weeks, sometimes I have to wait to the 5th week because of scheduling.

No problems getting my blood or getting the IV in which is always nice!  :-D

I had my rheumatologist appointment afterward and my lab work was already done!  My sugar was only 87!  YAY!

Here is the funny thing, my MD forgot she even yelled at me!  @@ But, she is happy she did and that I am watching my sugars and carbs and that I am losing weight. 

My liver enzymes were good and my white blood cells, too.  So, all in all, I am apparently perfect!  ha-ha!  I am very happy though, and aside from some normal aches and pains with the RA, I haven't flared in a while so this is good.

I am going to try to lower my Methotrexate dosage a bit over the next two months.  I will see my doc again in the end of September.

The big news from yesterday is that there were more bombs in London!  My heart goes out to all those injured and to all Londoners.  This is not easy to deal with.  It also scares the heck out of me that some psycho is going to start doing this over here in NYC.

Well, that is my quick update for this morning...  I will have another entry later, I think!  I tried to put this on last nite but AOL was acting kooky!

Be well,



Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Remicade Day Tomorrow/Feeling Blue

Tomorrow I go to the NYC for my Remicade infusion.

Hubby takes me and we usually like to make a day of it.  (except last month when we had the kickball game in the evening, lol)  We leave the house about 8:15am for the 10am appointment.  Traffic going into the city has made the ride time range from 25 minutes to 2 1/2 hours.  The latter was a real bad accident on the GW Bridge that really mucked up the whole commute! (fingers crossed for tomorrow!)

Lately, the traffic has been pretty good, averaging about 40 minutes.  We use the extra time to have breakfast together in the hospital cafe. 

During the infusion, I usually read a magazine and talk to hubby.  He usually fields cell phone calls from work and chats back. 

The RN's are fabulous.  They pamper you like you are at a spa, not in a large hospital room with 5 recliners for 5 patients having varying infusions for varying types of auto-immune disease.  They have become friends and somehow remember all their patients and the info we chat about, tidbits about kids and life.  The RN's will serve me lunch while I am hooked up to the IV.  I will have the tuna salad sandwich on wheat, it is one of the best I have ever had!  LOL  I round it off with a bottled water and sometimes a banana.

I have an appointment with my rheumatologist after my infusion.  Things are going well, I suppose the big discussion will be about my blood sugar.  I intend on her being pleasantly surprised by how low it will be when the results come in on Friday am.

Hubby will then take me home and I will head into bed for a nice long nap until dinner! 

Thankfully, the Remicade seems to be effecting me less.

The kids are so wonderful.  They all worry about when it is infusion day and try to be helpful.  They will be with my dad for the day which is nice for all of them.  They understand I need to rest afterward and try to be quiet and will let me sleep later the day after.  The kids also told me today that they can tell the Remicade is making me less tired and that they are happy.

It is such a strange thing.  I am so happy that they are considerate, yet, I worry, is it ok for them to have to worry about these things? 

As it is, their world is different since 9/11.  They all know the kids whose dad did not come home.  They know how scary  it is to "almost" have had your dad in the building.  They know dad's good friend did not come home and that their kids didn't get to hug their dad again.  They know that there are really bad people out there who do really bad things and how to do a "lock down" drill in school.  Things I never had to worry about.

And they worry about their mom being sick.  Another thing I never had to worry about. 

I was 19, almost 20, when my dad had a mild heart attack.  They did this "ultra new" balloon angioplasty, (not new anymore) and it seemed so surreal and I was so worried during his two week hospital stay.  He recovered beautifully, and is still going strong at 65.

But, I remember turning to my friend late that night after the heart attack, before we had a treatment plan, and saying "I am 19, I am too young for this to be happening!  I figured my parents wouldn't have problems like this until I was in my 40's!"   How naive, huh?

Now, here my kids have had to deal with me being sick for about 3 years.  Of course, actually longer, I was so sick for six months before my official diagnosis, almost bedridden with fatigue and awful joint pain.  I don't know if my daughter, my youngest, remembers me any other way.

There is no choice for them or me.  You play with the cards you are dealt with in life.  Sometimes you come up aces, sometimes, two's and three's. 

I have been blessed.  I have an ace of a husband, aces for kids, aces for parents, aces for support in my Loopies, aces for friends. 

That's a lot of aces for one person's deck.  I guess it was inevitable to end up with bad cards somewhere, I will take them with my health.

I hope I give them all back aces in the ways that I can.  I do love them all fiercely.

I have learned so much more about love and life and appreciation since being diagnosed than I would have had it not happened. 

It isn't that it doesn't suck having RA and Lupus - because it does, big time!  But, there are always unexpected rewards in something that at first seems bad.

I needed those two's and three's for my full house I guess.

I think it will be the same for my kids, too.

Be well,



Tuesday, July 19, 2005

My hubby is back to (relative) normal!

Remember how I wrote about my "over-stressed" hubby?

Believe me, he has plenty to be stressed about, a strike at work, labor negotiations to end it, not enough workers, upset customers, and he is in the middle of it.

After a bit more than three weeks of him being quite beastly at home, the kids and I are just done with it.  Avoidance has been our new plan for survival.  That and praying for a timely end!

Well, hubby has finally decided to "Snap out of it"! 

At first I was not sure what exactly worked, the kids ignoring him, me ignoring him, my mother telling him that he has been nasty lately and needed to get over it, or maybe the fact that he hadn't gotten lucky in as many weeks as his bad mood finally registered.

Yeah, that's the one!

How do I know this, you ask?  Wouldn't the shunning of his own children upset this usually wonderful dad into getting over his work related stress? 

NO.  It was the lack of nookie.  I know it for a fact.

Here is how. 

Yesterday, he started to be nice.  Real nice.

As a matter of fact, he just couldn't offer to do enough for me!  That is the first hint.

Then, as he was changing into shorts and a tee shirt to take ds10 to flag football, he stroked his bare chest and asked me, "Could you handle some of this?" with a goofy smile!  All you gals, you know the smile I mean.

I "humphed" and left the room. 

He then followed me and asked how I was feeling and could I use a "massage" later.  Quotes are there for a reason - no "massage" is just that in this house.

I looked him dead in the eye and told him just because he finally decided to join the human race again today did not mean that I was so overjoyed by it that I had forgotten his three weeks of rotten, self-centered, overblown behavior which I know was his big hope.

Sheepish grin followed, and he stragically retreated.

A few hours later, as I went to join ds10 who had lumbered into our bed after a bathroom trip, hubby invited me to meet him in the spare bedroom any time during the night if I got "too cold or lonely".  I replied that how could I be either of those since I had ds10 with me, turned on my heel and left.

Hubby is wearing me down though.  He is still being very nice.  He apologized today for his awful behavior during the last few weeks, which definitely earned him some points.

And, he has stepped up his campaign to bed me as well.

Some of you have kids and maybe have heard of Crash Bandicoot, a cartoon bandicoot that races cars?

I am sure no one has my version, though.

Hubby just jumped out naked from behind a towel and yelled, "Hey, look at me, I am Flash Bandicoot!"


Yup, he is wearing me down.  ;-D

Be well,



Did you all miss me?

Did you miss me?

I missed all of you!

Friday night was supposed to be the really fun Harry Potter party, right?  Wrong.  Murphy's Law latched onto us...the location that we were going to go to cancelled on Friday morning due to some stupid town ordinance.

So here we are with the kids all ready to party and find out we can't get the book until 7am Saturday morning.

The worst part for me was that I drank a ton of caffeined ice tea at dinner and was now totally cranked up!!!  I finally fell asleep somewhere around 3am and got up at 6:30am.

Only one child would come with me, Fuzzy, or ds10.  His family nickname is Fuzzy because he likes to have his head buzzed.

We got the book.  I began to read immediately although I should have went to bed since we had my cousin coming, her grandmother (other side), her hubby, 2 kids and her third newborn baby girl all coming for lunch and a visit at 1pm.

YIKES!  Then my hubby wanted to go out for dinner since we only did cold cuts and veggies and fruit for lunch.  After a nice dinner, I came home and finished Harry Potter, shortly after ds12. 

Harry Potter did not disappoint!  It was amazing.  Full of surprises and twists and I cannot wait to read the next!!  LOL

Sunday, I slept late and then we went to the Cub Scout/Weebelo Family Picnic!  It was nice but it was so very hot and humid.  They hold a rain gutter regatta and my ds10 came in third and got a medal.  He was thrilled.

They had a sack race, a 3-legged race, a sponge relay, watermelon spitting and a water balloon toss just to mention a few of the fun activities.  There was food and snacks too.

I collapsed somewhere around 7pm because I was just so tired.

Yesterday, we went to my best friend's house about 40 minutes away to swim in the pool and visit with her 2 year old son, my godson.  It was really fun but also tiring.  The heat was really something.

Last night I started through the 120 emails I had and today I am trying to catch up on journals!  You missed me - I know you did! 

Sorry this is so boring and mundane...just wanted to get it out!

Be well,


Monday, July 18, 2005

A shout out to CarnivAOL

This is a shout out about CarnivAOL. 

What is this you ask? 

It is a chance to showcase one of your journal entries that you think you want a lot more people to read.  Whether you think it is funny, important information, or really great writing, you can have it showcased here!

Click this link to learn more: CarnivAOL 

And, oh yeah, the first link that you will find to a really great entry is one of mine!  LOL  But not just me, lots of my friends are there from journal land and lots of great new friends, too!

I do hope you like it!

Paul who is running CarnivAOL will be asking for more submissions starting on 7/26 for a new issue of the CarnivAOL to be released on 8/2.

To get a submission to Paul email him a link from your journal to

Be well,



Friday, July 15, 2005

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Tonite is the night!


Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince will be released! 

My hubby, the kids and myself, are all going to Barnes and Noble for a party from 9pm- Midnight!  There is going to be food, games, music, all Harry Potter related!

I can't wait.  I may actually be more excited than the kids.

HP is the most wonderful series of books.  And, fyi - any one who says they are anti-Christian has not read them or had a big fat agenda. ( like the man who read it for the Pope)

The stories are a classic battle of good vs. evil.  Voldemort, the villian, is actually evil incarnate.  It is very clear that he has lost his soul to the "devil", if you so wish to name it.  And like all true evil doers/devils his followers are legion.

Harry is the only one to stop him.  Marked as a baby by Voldemort himself.  Harry has the help of many good people  in his world.  Thank goodness.  Also, Harry being the good soul that he is, is also concerned for the muggles or non-magical people, because he knows Voldemort will harm them as well.

The fact that the book has a magical setting makes amazing things possible.  Both good and bad.  I really enjoy the fantasy world that it is set within.

But strip that away, and it is a very classic tale. 

I anxiously await this next installment to see how good will thwart evil again.  I know there will be casualties in this war, just as there are in our daily lives today.

Author Rowling gives us something very special in each book, though.  Something that in these books as in life, we cannot live without.


Be well...



Thursday, July 14, 2005

"And now the end is near, and so I face the final curtain..."

Hello again!

My time as AOL Journal Guest Editor is coming to a close, sometime tomorrow.

And so as I make my final bow...

I am hopeful.

I hope you all will keep coming back to visit my journal again and again.

I hope that I touched the life of at least one person also suffering with a chronic disease.

I hope that I have helped as many "healthy" people as possible understand a little bit better what it is like coping with a chronic disease.

I hope that the next time you see an apparently healthy looking middle aged woman park in a handicapped parking space you don't scoff and think "but she doesn't look sick" because she might be me or one of my RA or Lupie buddies, and she may be very "sick".

I hope when you see me and I am looking good you don't think I am cured, or exaggerating most of the time, but realize I probably rested up a lot, or I am having a wonderful, blessed day without many or any symptoms.

I hope that you appreciate your good health, and that you don't have to take many pills and a hospital infusion once a month, like me, just to somewhere near "normal".

I hope you appreciate your "Spoons", and don't take them for granted.  Mine are very precious and I cherish each one.

Most I spend on my family, since they are the heartbeat of my life, my purpose, my catalysts for being.

Click here to understand "Spoons"

I hope you know that I use some of my "Spoons" to reach out to you in my journal and appreciate that, too.

Come back often and soon.



Weekend Assignment #68

Weekend Assignment #68: Take a moment to appreciate something French. Tell us about that French thing you most appreciate.

 Ca'cre blu!  Scalzi stole my first thought, the Statue of Liberty!

C'est bon - I have many more! 

My hearts biggest desire, a completely selfish one, is to travel to Paris to visit the Louvre.  I want to see the Mona Lisa.  I want to see many of the Great Masters art that they have showcased in that Renaissance palace.

I would love to say I want to see it "all", which I do, but I understand that would take many visits.

I also loooove French, the language.  It is quite beautiful sounding.  And even saying "up yours" has a lovely ring to will have to trust me on that!  LOL

Be well,



Wednesday, July 13, 2005

A little Latin for Dennis Menaces

Dennis is here...menacing my joints.  Well, he wasn't unexpected and the kids let me sleep in later than usual, to almost 10:30am, which was very nice.

I thought I would share the poem from Latin that Carpe Diem, Sieze the Day - is taken from.

By Odes, Book I, Ode II, lines 6-8

Be wise, strain your wine, and in this brief space

Cut back long hopes.

Even as we speak, envious time flees:

Seize the day, trust little in tomorrow.

It is so beautiful and so true. 

Time does flee, and way too fast. 

My cousin just had her third baby on July 3rd.  Mom and baby are doing well, and I get to see her and her sweet newborn baby girl on this coming Saturday.  I can't wait to hold the baby.

Thinking about that has brought back memories of my three angels when they were newborn babes.  I can't believe the time of babies is over for me.

I really cannot believe that my oldest is going to be 13 next month!  A teenager!!  Am I ready to be a mom to a teenager?  Well, it's coming so, tough crap, I had better be ready! 

Our situation is unique, though.  Since ds12 is homeschooled and has Asperger's, our intro into the teen years will be gentle. 

Ds10 will be the one that will bring us screaming to our knees as a teen, I am sure.  Interestingly enough, he was the sweetest baby with the easiest disposition.  The ideal Gerber baby!  He slept well, and never cried or fussed! 

My eldest was very good, never cried - but never slept either.  My youngest, the girl, had colic for 10 weeks.  Those days are a blur with her!

Time has gone too fast and I know, it waits for no one.  So, I am trying to embrace, no, seize each day, each new turning point.

I think all this rain has made me mushy and sentimental today!

Be well, Dawn

PS... I took the picture of the seagull in the "All about me" section when we were in St. Thomas, USVI.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Blood sugar and Blockhead Hubby

My blood sugar, must be down.  I have been really good, eliminating the sweets and white breads, and staying low carb over all.

I think it is working because I put on a pair of capri pants today that are loose!  I am excited about that.  I do not own a scale because they are possessed by the devil (joke), but will be weighed at the rheumatologist on my visit next week, whether I want to or not.  LOL

Anyhow, it has not been easy.  In fact, it sucks, but I am really determined to do it.

So, my dear hubby goes to the drug store on Thursday night with dd8.  I can't remember why, but he came home with snacks.

Ok fine, I can dig that.

He buys something especially for me and presents it to me much like our cat presenting her freshly killed mouse. 

"Here!  I got these for you.  I know you like them."

I, much like the same reaction to the mouse with entrails exposed, plaster a smile on my face and say, "Thanks".  Then take said "treat" and put it away in the snack closet after he leaves the room to preen himself some more.

The "treat" you ask?  An entire box of After Eight Mints.

Yes, I like them.  How sweet of him to remember, right?


I wanted to scream but didn't.  In fact, I said nothing until last night.  Amazing restraint, I might add, but I will get to that later.

I mean, does he not remember the letter from my rheumatologist a week before about sugar?  Ok, maybe he forgot about that, but how could he forget the fact that at dinner I was discussing the different choices I was making since I was watching my sugar!  I mean, it was a whole conversation, with him andmy parents.  Even about the choices at dinner, so that was not it.

Work has been bad for him lately and he has been a beast.  He thinks he handles his stress, but he doesn't - it handles him. 

In fact, dd8 informed him on Friday that she hadn't seen him smiling lately and she was not happy about that.  He thought she was insane and looked at me to correct her, I just "harumphed" and turned back to the Yankee game. 

Again, displaying amazing restraint, I think.  I gave the kids some of the After Eight mints during the game.

I had decided that Saturday was going to be my cheat day and I had dessert while we were out to dinner.  We were at the Macaroni Grill. To offset the cheating I had eggplant parmesan to avoid pasta.  See, restraint.

At home, while watching tv, the kids polished off most of the After Eight mints and then I had a few.  (ok, not so restrained, but it was my cheat day and the bloodwork is a week off)

Last night, I informed hubby that buying someone (read: wife) candy when they are trying to watch their sugar is really not the best thing to do.  It would have shown more support and less stupidity to have bought something sugar-free. 

I barely got a response.  I know I have his over-stressed state to thank for that. 

I think I am still showing amazing restraint because all the while I want to scream at him to snap out of his annoying "poor me" funk and scream how stupid and insensitive it was to buy me candy.  And, hittting him with a 2x4 to punctuate my comments has also crossed my mind, but I have not screamed nor hit him with the wood. 


How long can this new found restraint last?  I really don't know...but I am really trying!!!

Be well,


ps...this was written to let off some steam, and get you all to chuckle along with me at the irony of life.  

 thanks. ;-D


Sunday, July 10, 2005

Weekend Assignment #67

Love a movie that you know is really really really bad? Then have I got a Weekend Assignment for you:

Weekend Assignment #67: Bad Movie Marathon! Share your favorite bad film of all time. Tell us why you love it so.

Extra Credit: Your favorite quote from the aforementioned film.

Oh Scalzi, you had to do it.  I love movies.  I am almost as nuts about movies as I am about books and that is pretty nuts!

This is so hard to just pick one movie.  And what equates "bad"?  Not a box office hit?  Hmmmm...

Okay, mine is actually a series of what may qualify as bad movies, but I love them.

Let me preface this that I love movies based on comic book heroes.  I am a huge Batman fan, and as a family we Tivo Justice League and Teen Titans and watch them all together!

 I have always loved comic book heroes, since I was a little girl.   It was an extension of fairy tales for me, the super hero is the knight in shining armour and all that.  Okay, I know, I probably need some serious therapy.

My movie choices are Blade, Blade II and Blade Trinity. 

I love them.  Love Wesley Snipes, love Kris Kristofferson.  Blade was a spin-off from Spiderman, for those who don't know his comic book history.  He is sexy, ultra-cool and half-vampire and half-human!!  He considers ridding the world  of vampires his lifes mission, since he is the only half-breed that exists.  He is feared by all vampires and called "Daywalker", because his human half allows him to be in the world of sunlight, unlike them. 

Kris is his gadget guy named Whistler.  He makes all these really super cool weapons that shoot, daylight and garlic.  Think Q for James Bond.  (I love those, too.)

My favorite quote from Blade the original is this:

Blade: There are worse things out there than vampires.

Dr. Karen Jenson: Like what?

Blade: Like me.

So smooth.

I could go on to quote the sequels too, but I will spare you all. 

I just love these movies!

Definitely a guilty pleasure!  And probably shocking from a middle aged mom of three!  LOL

(My kids have never seen them and will probably have to see them in college sometime, as they are very bloody and kind of scary!)

Be well,



Saturday, July 9, 2005

London: Sending condolences and prayers

I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the family, and friends of those who died and were injured in the London Bombings on Thursday. 

It is so sad that we, as humans, can do such horrific things to each other in the name of God.  The fact that any person could ever believe that God, Allah, Buddha, The Supreme Oneness, whatever your name or concept for the Creator, would ever desire one human, to cause harm or kill another human, in His or Her name, just boggles my mind. 

No Creator could possibly ever want that, and to believe otherwise is just a man-made delusion that certain misguided individuals have chosen to believe.

The impact here in the NY/NJ Metropolitan area was instantaneous.  The city immediately went back to Orange Alert and there are police with machine guns all over Port Authority and the subway and train stations.  The military presence is much more obvious, too.

My hubby happened to travel by car Thursday and Friday and I was so glad.

September 11th is still something we deal with every day.  My kids and I still fear something horrible happening in the city and coming close to losing Daddy again.  We don't let it cripple us, we don't avoid the city completely.  I go every month for my Remicade infusions for my RA.  We go as a family to the museums and shows and sometimes shopping and to eat.  If we stopped doing the things we loved before in NYC, well, then the terrorists would have won.

They will not win.

I may worry more, since my hubby usually travels mass transit every day in NYC.  I may have to help my kids cope with that worry, too.  BUT, I will not allow them, the terrorists, to take away NYC or any part of my life, my freedom.

My kids and hubby and I always stop and thank the police officers and military men we see on duty, and living here, we see them a lot.

I ask you to do the same. 

If a bomb does go off, they will be running toward it.  They will shielding you with their body.  You need to say thank you, NOW, when you see them, because they may not be here to thank after terror strikes.

Because that is their job.  


Thursday, July 7, 2005

Picked as Guest Journals Editor! Standing in Light!

I ended my pity party early last night because I got an email from Joe, the Journals Editor, that I am to be this weeks Guest Journal Editor!  

Yay!  ::: jumping around doing happy dance (think Snoopy) :::  

I am quite honored.  I assume this has less to do with my writing ability and more to do with my oft written subject, dealing with a chronic illness while being a mom and wife.   

Hey, that is okay, I will take it any way I can get it!   I am very happy to be able to shed light on my plight, and the plight of so many others with what we like to call "Invisible Disablities".   

I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus (SLE).  They are both auto-immune diseases which means that the body mistakes itself as an enemy and attacks itself causing inflammation.  

With the Rheumatoid Arthritis or RA, it attacks joints, specifically and most often, the hands and feet, and for many, the hardest.  However, it also can attack, connective tissues, and organs, such as the lungs and heart.  

The Lupus tends to attack organs primarily, especially the kidneys.  Lupus patients also tend to have cognitive function issues as well.  I am simplifying the disease descriptions, just to provide a general understanding.  

Both diseases pack a walloping dose of fatigue - which I can assure you first hand is NOT just being tired.  It is like moving through a world where the air is pea soup for you, instead of the clear broth everyone else gets.  

These are my favorite journals to visit.  These journalers all have either RA or Lupus, or both, and some, even more chronic illness to cope with in their lives.  


 Luanne's journal is a favorite of mine because somehow she is fighting her diseases every day with a smile, and is a mom to teenagers, which gives me a lot of hope!   

Karyl's Glimpses of Eternity--  Lupus and Life  

Karyl always has some inspiration for me in her pages, sometimes through her faith and sometimes through hers and her family's experiences.  

Foxy's RA Journal  

Foxy is twenty years old and just recently diagnosed with RA.  She is struggling to find her way with this disease as a young woman and she is very brave!  


Tracey is the hippest mom I have ever come across with Lupus and possibly without!!!  She is a single mom in her thirties, with teenagers, and fighting to get out of the nursing home this wretched disease has recently confined her into.  Yet, she is funny, happy and full of life and shares that with us in J-land each day!  

Mariann On Lupus and Life  

Mariann always makes me laugh.  A recent journal entry of hers was about laughter being the best medicine, which she followed with some wonderful jokes!   

Life with Lupus  

Loretta is sweet and honest and funny.  Reading her journal is like sitting down and having a cup of tea with a friend.  Enjoy!  

However, my life is not just coping with my illness, even though sometimes, it feels that way!  I am a mom to three fabulous, funny, smart kids, a wife to a big huggy bear of a hubby and a daughter and friend to others! 

I love to write essays, poems and fiction.  I love to read and devour many fiction books weekly and usually a couple of non-fiction too.  I love to learn.  Recent endeavors of mine have been to learn latin, french, art history and begin piano lessons!   

Here are some wonderful journals that I read that with those pusuits in mind:  

Confessions of a Madman: Insights into Living and Coping With ADHD  

Michael is the most fabulous writer!  I feel like I am with him as he tells me stories of his childhood and daily life.  I am proud to call him a new friend, as well.  

Life in the blue Victorian house...  

This is a very cool journal, Friendly Freakdom as the owner has nicknamed it.  I love it!  

I am a Jersey Girl too, how could I not love this journal!  The Jersey Girl is a fabulous photographer and her pictures of the Jersey Shore and her hubby commercial fishing make this a one of a kind.  

Seriously Severus  

I am a huge Harry Potter fan.  Yes, I have read the books several times, visit at least once a day and I am counting down to the big party next Friday night at my local bookstore when the long awaited book 6 will be sold at midnight!  How could I not love this journal?  The daily spells are personally, my favorite part!  

My family here and abroad  

This journaling mom is a wonderful haiku writer and a history buff!  Her journal is full of great history information mingled with her family's story.  You'll be hooked!!!  

 Book Lover's Journal  

This is a fun journal for me because I read many of the same types of fiction that this journal reviews!  Unfortunately, you cannot leave comments, because I would say "I love it"!  

Mom's Laughing Garden  

Pat is a mom from NJ with three kids - hey sounds like me!!  Her kids are grown though, unlike mine, yet we both do write poetry too.  I love her journal because she always makes me smile!  

I hope you enjoy my picks and would love to hear from any and all of you!  This has been so much fun, and I would like to thank Joe, the Journals Editor, once again for this great opportunity!  

 Be well, Dawn

Wednesday, July 6, 2005

Rain Rain go away... and take my Rheumatoid Arthritis with you...

So, it is raining, yet again. 

I should not complain since we had a glorious weekend, no rain and low humidity.  It was probably the mildest 4th of July weekend (as far as blazing heat goes) in at least 20 years of recent Northern NJ history.

The humidity, so thick you can chew the air, returned yesterday afternoon and with that comes the rain.  It rained all night.  It rained this morning.  It drizzled at 4pm and then began the all out deluge at 5:30 pm.

All last night and all day today my hands and feet have been screaming.  I went to bed early hoping to stave off some of the agony.  No go.  I napped this afternoon, also hoping for some relief.  No go.

UGH.         This rain is wreaking havoc on my joints.

Yesterday, one of my RA email loop friends reached out via email about how fed up and tired she was of being tired.

I responded with this following email:

"I think our only choice is to psyche ourselves up mentally when we wake up, that we are excited, that we are happy to greet the new day with a bounce in our step.  I haven't felt that way in a long time.  I know you haven't either.  I doubt many of us have at all.   

Mentally, or emotionally, I can get myself revved up about something (like the cruise) and then I can push the nagging swelling and pain to the back burner.  It is still there, I just deny it and chose to ignore. 

I have come to believe that this is in fact, the best I can do.

And it sucks....and some days on the roller coaster of dealing with this stupid disease I am cruising up the hill on a high, pushing the shit to the background and able to ignore. 

Other days, I am crashing down the hill and hitting rock bottom, fed up, tired of being tired, and pissed off to hell that it has to be this way.   We all ride this coaster, but at least we have eachothers hands to hold.  

Thanks for reaching out and grabbing mine...let's try to climb back together!!!!"

Damn, I write a good "chin up" speech don't I? 

Too bad today I am not doing very well at taking my own advice.

Today, I, too, am tired of being tired,  sore of being sore.

I know I should probably reach out to my email loop for some of the same medicine a good dose of optimism via email, however, I am too cranky to even do that.

Instead, I am going to eat some sugar-free Peppermint Patties (thanks to RA/prednisone - I am watching the sugar thing) and play an online game like Phlinx.

Be well everyone,



Tuesday, July 5, 2005

Now, to things RA related

Hello again!

I decided to break this up into two journal entries...

So, yesterday I had to take my methotrexate and in general, my body was just wiped out from the busy weekend.  I needed some rest.  I started watching the Yankees game with hubby and kids and then I went to lay down.

I had a nice long nap.  My feet and hands had been swollen and sore and they felt better afterward.  We all (with my parents too) went to dinner at Houlihan's and it was nice to be waited on!

I am doing ok today, still feeling tired.  I had a good night sleep, and the kids and I slept late.  I guess after such a busy few days my body is fighting back.  I just feel wrung out...if that makes any sense. 

So, I will lay low today and try my best to rejuvenate both body and soul!!!!

Be well!


The Tiki Party and other goings on


I am so very sorry that I have been gone for so long!

Thanks for all the positive comments on my haiku!  First time for everything, as they say!

The Twilight Tiki Buffet was a blast!  Everyone loved the wings, the salad, the shrimp cocktail, the heroes etc.  The kids made the Smore's over the fire pit at about 11pm.  It was fun!  The kids played, the adults yakked and drank!  lol  The wiffle ball game was fun too!  The kids lost to the dads 5-3!  Very close!  We even had some fireworks!  The party finally broke up at about 12:30am.  All our friends have since said that it was so much fun they can't wait to do it again! 

Maybe we will do a Pre-School Twilight Buffet on Labor Day Weekend...we will see!

Sunday my cousin came up to visit for the afternoon before taking her son home.  She came with her other son who is 8 years old, so the five kids ran around and played all day and then we all had a nice barbecue dinner of hot dogs and hamburgers before they headed out!  My nephew had a great visit over the weekend and wants to do it again!  I think I will wait a while on that one, though.  lol

My hubby was great and took care of all the clean-up on Sunday while I visited with my cousin and dealt with the kids.  I was tired from the late night and probably a bit too much Margarita.  I was naughty and drank.  Not good for my blood sugar, I know, but I didn't eat dessert.  In my mind it was a fair trade!

Yesterday, the 4th, was parade time!  The morning came early for everyone but we all shuffled out to the parade on time!  Ds10 and hubby walked with the Cub Scouts and dd8 walked with her grandpa with the school float.  They were celebrating 50 years this year.  After the parade we went to the firehouse for a sprinkler wet down for the kids and free hot dogs and beer and soda.  I ran into lots of friends and lots of old friends and neighbors I had not seen in a while which was very nice!

So that was that...



Saturday, July 2, 2005

Crazy Busy!


I am so busy, busy!  My cousin's son, my nephew (as I refer to him) has been visiting since Thursday evening!  He will go home tomorrow.  An extra kid definitely amplifies the noise!

Tonite we are having our First Annual Twilight Tiki Buffet!  We have 8 adults and 10 kids should be fun!  My hubby and I bought lots of colorful decorations and margarita glasses and plates and bowls!  We also got one of those metal fire pits and we are going to do marshmellows later tonite!  The men and kids are going to have a big wiffle ball game, too.

We ordered in all the food, so no work for hubby or me!  I don't know if all of you have heard of Hooter's, but they have fabulous buffalo wings, so we are getting 2 big trays of wings.  Also a big tray of cut up italian hero and a salad.  Oh yeah, and we are going to order 2 pizzas for the kids too.

I also bought fruit salad and veggies with dip to put out, and I bought the kind already cut up so I won't aggravate my RA in my hands at all.

Short cuts like that can make all the difference sometimes!  There have been many parties and occasions that I have put so much into the prep work that I did not enjoy them really.

This one I will have fun! 

Gotta go...we are all busy getting ready!  ;-D

Be well, Dawn

Friday, July 1, 2005

Weekend Assignment #66 - Holiday Haiku

Weekend Assignment #66: July 4 Haiku! A 17-syllable holiday poem, please!

Fireworks in the sky

Loudly flashing up above,

Kissing with my love.


Time passes quickly

children running 'round our feet,

laughter our life's beat.


July 4th cook outs

kids challenging baseball fun,

Have the parents won?


We are so lucky

Hearts bursting, a girl, two boys,

Unimagined, joys.


Well, there ya go John!  Four haikus as a little story, I hope you enjoy.


Be well