Tuesday, February 28, 2006

It's That Time Again

Hello J-land!

Tracey from over at one*hip*mama wants me to let everyone know that she is away for a while with her new honey and is doing just fine. 

She also found this article looking for people interested in trying a new drug being tested for Lupus.  This drug, rituxan, has already been approved for Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Check out the article here: Research - Lupus Foundation of America, Inc.

Moving on to my crazy world, it is that time again! 

Time to go to NYC for my Orencia IV.  Yay!  I need it.  I can tell that it is time because for the last few days my hands have been more sore than they are during the rest of the month.

Things have been very hectic here!  This weekend I was host for my book club!  I did a brunch on Sunday, so hubby could take the kids out for breakfast and bowling.  I did muffins and bagels from Dunkin Donuts, regular and french vanilla coffee, and a mimosa punch with raspberries.  Oh yeah, and fruit salad.

I was so nervous, but everyone was very complimentary!  13 out of the 16 members showed.  Not bad!  I am lucky that my house has a nice sized living room that can fit lots of chairs for everyone. 

My mom helped me get the house really clean and together on Friday and I vacuumed and re-cleaned on Saturday evening and Sunday am.  I was really bushed afterward, but it turned out to be a really enjoyable afternoon.

Tomorrow, is NYC for my Orencia IV and a checkup with my rheumatologist.  Tomorrow night, my hubby and the boys are going to a NJ Devils Hockey game, sponsored bythe Boy Scouts!  They are very excited about it! 

The funny thing is that for Christmas, my gift to my hubby was a family hockey game outing that happens to be this Saturday with the NJ Devils.  LOL

Good thing the men really like going to hockey games! 

AND, I am still fighting the fatigue beast.  I just wish that it would resolve.  I am still very hopeful that it will.  I am probably struggling a bit because I am reducing my prednisone, too.  I am determined to be off it within the next few weeks, and as many of you out there know, once you are on it, your body rebels at trying to take it away.

I am determined though, and will do it, even though I will flare and suffer for while longer with the fatigue.  In the end, I will have done my body a huge favor.

Please keep me in your prayers.... I can always use them.

Be well,

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Wordplay for Val

I decided to jump in and do this weeks Wordplay with Val from valphish at Val's Thoughts

Val asked for your pet's names and how your pet got their names and to put in pictures if you could.  I have put these in before but not with the name stories I don't think.

This is Pumpkin, our oldest pet, and an all black tabby cat.  We named her Pumpkin because we adopted her the first week in October and we had several Halloween decorations hanging up and on display that had black cats in them.  She joined us in 1995 and will be 11 years old in August.

My oldest son, Hammer, was 3 years old at the time and his first choice for a name was 'Girl', so Pumpkin it was!  lol

Pumpkin is my special fur baby.  She sleeps with me every night, and my bed is her special place, and she doesn't like any of the other pets to come near it at all!  Pumpkin tolerates our other cat and despises the dog.  She was here first and lets them all know it all the time!

Next to join our family is Liberty.  Her nickname is Libby and we basically call her that all the time except when she is in trouble!  Her name was chosen by all three kids.  Libby was born 11/26/2001, and we adopted her in February 6, 2002, when she was just 8 weeks old.  The kids chose the name as a reminder of 9/11 and the fight for liberty and peace over terrorism, for all the world's people.  Very special kids I have... :-)

Libby is a yellow lab and has AKC registered parents and grandparents.  We knew we were having her spayed so we didn't register Libby with the AKC.  She is a light champagne color and has the brown nose and eye area, unlike many yellow labs that have black noses and eye area.  I like to say she is a 'true blonde' like me!

Libby is very gentle and loves kids.  All kids.  Even babies.  She is amazing with very small children and will let them pull at her, stick their hands in her mouth and eyes and just lay there and let them do whatever.  Of course, she gets to lick them and gets any food they drop, which is a lot when they are little.

She is a food-aholic and a real chewer.  She still hasn't figured out that pencils are not a good snack.  Such is the life with a lab.  Her quirks are few and her perks are many!  Libby follows me everywhere I go in the house, except to bed!  She is very spoiled in the fact that I am home and so is Hammer.  She hates being alone and gets sad and naughty when left that way for long!

Libby loves both the cats and the hamster.  Unfortunately, only one cat tolerates her.... see below!

Next, April 2003 came Tina.  She was adopted from a PetSmart store locally and was 5 months old when we got her, and already spayed.  She was feral, but she has adapted pretty well, although, not a snuggly kitty at all, she has her moments and her people. 

Tina was the name the adoption people gave her and my eldest, Hammer, insisted we leave it the same.  She had been through enough.

Tina loves my husband.  Who barely tolerates cats.  She is sleeping in his jeans above.  She begs him to pet her and about once a week, he does.  The rest of the time she finds discarded clothing of his, and rubs all over them like she is in heat and then, goes to sleep on them. 

Tina also loves Libby.  And, Libby loves Tina.  They sleep together, all curled up, it is so cute.  Tina will even let Libby give her a tongue bath.  Very cute. 

Last, but not least, is Lightning, the Panda Bear Hamster.  He is very sweet and was named by my middle son, Fuzzy, because he goes like lightning on his wheel.  We also call him 'Tweak', after the South Park character addicted to coffee.  My kids don't watch SP, but hubby and I have in the past, so it is basically, just our nickname for him.

Lightning is very entertaining for us at night while we are watching tv, the later the better!  His antics climbing around his cage and running in his wheel are very funny!  And, watching Libby trying to lick him through the cage is amusing. too.

So, that is our menagerie and all about their names!

Thanks, Val!

Be well,









A cute questionaire that I saw over at The Hadonfield Myers Experience


1.  A memorable dream that you'd like to have every night: 

I have a dream where I am sitting in Paris at a cafe sipping a latte with my hubby, after having seen all the Masters' paintings at the Louvre...  

2.  A pet from your past (no longer living) to keep you company:  

My cat Tiger.  She was almost 20 lbs, had huge paws and protected me fiercely!  She also came like a dog....

3.  A bedtime snack you'd like available to you at 3 am every night: 

Godiva Chocolates.... 

4.  Somebody you had a crush on in highschool, (you may make them disappear at will):  

 One of my English teachers...

5.  A stuffed animal that you slept with as a kid.

My Teddy Bear... still have him!  I made him dresses and he even had surgery to remove a sound box after it broke.

I tag everyone!  

Be well,

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Land of Bickering

Why won't they stop when I tell them to stop?

How many times do you have to poke your brother before you end up in a brawl?

How many times do you have to repeat each word your sister says in a falsetto before she clobbers you?

How many times does your mother have to yell at you all to stop it before you end up in separate rooms for time outs?

Hold on, kids home sick and they are just about to find out the answer to the last question....

I'll be back later....

Be well,

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Part Deux - Might as well Get Over It

My hubby, maybe only recently, knew how much it meant for me to go to Lee's.  Not the food, so much as what it represented.

Unfortunately, it took my Valentine journal entry to 'get it' and now, here we were and it was the proverbial 'too little, too late'.

Needless to say, since it did appear the closing was fairly recent, and I had been pestering hubby to go there for a long time, including all of 2003 and 2004 when my blood was being drawn 2 buildings away from it, hubby was quietly contrite.

On the otherhand, I was somewhat undone emotionally and cried a bit while we drove in silence. 

We went to dinner at a new place a few friends had raved about and it was okay, not great. 

I must say that hubby showed amazing restraint in just being quiet and letting it be until I had pulled myself together and was ready to go on with the night.  That was a relief.  I really didn't want to hear he was sorry or anything for a while.  I needed to mourn the loss of the opportunity, if you can relate to that. 

Many of the 'old hangouts' so to speak, from our dating days are gone.  The restaurant of our first date.  Re-done and renamed about 10 times since then.  The restaurant of our second date, which was the night I came home and told my mom "I am going to marry him", is redone and renamed also.

Even the restaurant where he asked me to marry him burnt down and was rebuilt as another restaurant.  We have never been.

So, it was tough for me, but I did let it go and we had a nice dinner and the rest of the night was nice, too.

We went to a craft store and my hubby very patiently helped me get supplies for a new craft that I have wanted to try for a long time and just never learned enough about.  Earlier in the week, I bought a magazine on making bead jewelry, and was ready to give it a try. 

I was glad to have hubby there with me as I bought my first set of beads and pliers and what-not, he was a big help.

I am excited about trying the beading and hopeful that it will not be too hard, but that it will provide my hands some good exercise, which is important with the Rheumatoid Arthritis.

So, that was my Friday.  On Saturday, my sweet angel of a nephew turned 3 years old and we went to my best friend/sister's house to celebrate!  It was a really nice visit and my heart actually breaks afterward because I miss her so very much! 

K and family also recently adopted 2 kittens who are brothers and were absolutely adorable!  My nephew loves to try to boss his new little siblings around like he does with Libby, our Lab!  He is learning the hard way that kitties don't listen like dogs! lol

Today was a quiet day.  I helped Fuzzy with his monthly school report on Canada.  This month he had to write about two landmarks and he chose the Canadian Rockies and Niagara Falls.

Tomorrow everyone is home and off work, except my poor dad.  He works at a local hospital and this is not one of the holidays they take for the regular staff.  Poor dad. :-(

Fuzzy has a two-hour baseball pitching class at a local baseball training school that hubby is taking him to in the morning.

 Baseball season is just around the corner!!!  Oh boy, oh boy!!!

Be well,

You can't always go back...

Hubby tried to take me out for Valentine's Day on Friday night.

Unfortunately, the restaurant that I longed to go to was closed up and being turned into a dry cleaners. 

Sometimes...you can't go back, the opportunity is gone.  I am sad about that...

More later...

Be well,

Monday, February 13, 2006

To My Funny Valentine

Valentine.... my funny valentine.....

Funny, how things change over the years.

Valentine's Day used to be full of roses, candy and gifts, the more the better, and don't forget dinner, too.

Now, it's the little things that mean so much more to me.

Like when you make me a snack, or get me a refill on my water, letting me sleep in while you drive the kids, or maybe picking me up a coffee from Dunkin Donuts.  

These are now the things that make me happy!

Dinner out would be nice, too, but it isn't always something we can arrange, and I know that.

I keep thinking about Lee's.  I have wanted to go there again for a while.  It never seems to be the right time.  I have been ribbing you about it, but I know it isn't all your fault.

We used to go there when dating and engaged and very early in our marriage.  I can't remember the last time we ate there.

It isn't that I miss the Pan Fried Wontons with their particular Black Oyster Sauce, as much as I miss the simplicity of our past represented by popping in there for a quick meal. 

The simplicity of not having to be anywhere else! 

Not having the time constraints we do now.  Not having to juggle our schedules, kids schedules, and getting home for a babysitter or to let my parents off the hook.

Back then, dinner could be for an hour or three.  Didn't matter.

That is what I miss the most.  That essence of timelessness. 

I guess someday, when our nest is empty we will have that back again, to a degree.  Yet, I know it is never thesame. 

I see that with my parents. 

Yes, once I was grown they could go out and do what they wanted and come home late, but is your child ever really far from your mind?  Or your house or your pets?

No, it is never like in your youth, in the fresh beginning of those magical years, before the responsibility really hits. 

So, that is what I really want.  To go to Lee's.  To eat Pan Fried Wontons and to revisit for an hour or so that simpler time.

'Time in a Bottle', we hit the nail on the head with that as our wedding song, didn't we, babe?

Happy Valentine's Day, Honey.



Sunday, February 12, 2006

I am BACK!!!!

I am back from our vacation in the Poconos! 

It was nice to be away, but the vacation didn't go exactly as any of us hoped. :-(  

Sunday we went shopping and vegged out watching the SuperBowl and eating junk.  I was disgusted by the referee's bad calls, and am very sad about the way the game ended up because of it.   It isn't that I don't like the Steelers, it is just that I hate to see any team losing a game do to bad referees.  

The good news is my mom won $400 in a football pool!  Yay Mom!  lol   

Monday the kids decided that they wanted to go to the recreation center and just hang out and swim.  There are scheduled activities all day long, so we played bingo, family kickball, air hockey, foosball etc.  

Then Fuzzy twisted his ankle!  So, that threw a real wrench into everything.  No snowboarding for him.  We iced it a lot and wrapped it for the week.  

Tuesday was Pumpkin's 9th birthday, and we went to face painting!  She got balloons on one side and a ladybug on the other and then it said 'I'm 9' across her forehead!  Very cute.  We swam and did more family games, and then went out to a nice dinner. 

We also played Bingo that night and Hammer won $30, which he split $10 each with his siblings.  

Wednesday we went to the mountain.  Pumpkin skied and Hammer snowboarded.  Fuzzy, Hubby and I watched.  Hammer only made it through 45 minutes of the hour lesson, but he tried real hard and we were proud of him.  Pumpkin was a whiz as always, it was a group class but no one but her, so we paid for group but got a private lesson.  Her instructor said she is a natural.  She had fun, but was very tired.   

Thursday we swam and played some more and then we heard about the storm.  At least a foot in the Poconos, and forecast said between 6-12 inches at home, maybe more, depending which way it slides.   

We decided to leave Friday am, because Pumpkin needed to be home to go to a Grandparents Tea and Concert at her school and Fuzzy needed to go to the pediatric orthopedist.  

As it turned out, we have 22 inches of snow and it is just starting to stop!  WHOA!  

I was very relieved that we left early.  The week was awful for me.  I pushed myself the entire time and was waffling between tears of laughter and pain.   

The bed was awful, and threw my back and hips into a bad state.  There was 32 steps to get up the hill to our condo.  There was 12 steps up to the bathrooms and bedroom in the condo.  It was not good.  I am still a mess.  I was so happy to be home and to sleep in my own bed Friday night and last night, but I am still a crooked mess.  

Thank God for vicodin.  

What are you going to do?  This is the life of a person with a chronic disease.  Things don't go the way we plan.  

Hubby was great all week, and did everything that needed to be done.  He had coffee ready for me every morning, fed the kids, washed the clothes (I couldn't reach the dryer anyway...lol), the kids, everything.  He is a bit annoyed that we are home early but knows it was best.  Disappointed more than annoyed, I suppose.  

It is hard for me... Hubby needed this vacation badly.  Work has been ugly and stressful for him lately.  He really wanted to ski and never got to do so.  :-(  

Fuzzy's ankle is fine. The ortho said we did a great job, and he can snowboard now.  He and Glenn almost drove back up Saturday am, but decided not to do so, in case the snow started earlier there.  

Any Olympic fans out there?  We watched the opening ceremonies Friday night until midnight!  Pumpkin fell asleep at 11pm, but the boys made it!  lol   

I love the winter games especially, we will probably watch it as a family each night for a while.  Hubby and I love the skating, luge, bobsled, skiing and hockey.  The boys are totally psyched for the snowboarding events!  

Oh well, that is it for me.  I wish the week went different, and I am feeling a bit overwhelmed and melancholy about it all.  :-(

C'est la vie.  

I know that it is part and parcel of having to deal with the Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus.  I know that there will be other vacations that will go better, like our cruise last year, which had wonderful beds and I felt fabulous the whole week. 

But, still, I can't help but feel a little blue about it all.  

Hope everyone out there in J-land is happy, healthy and well, and enjoys the snow, if you had some!  

Be well,

Friday, February 3, 2006

A Quick Howdy Ho!

I am happily listening to the kids playing in the gorgeous unseasonal weather.  It is 60 degrees today, February 3rd.  It should be about 35 or 40 degrees.  No wonder everyone we know is fighting being sick every other day!

Well, the kids are happy.  They are outside playing football and basketball without jackets!  UGH!!!

We leave this weekend for our ski vacation in the Poconos.  The weather man keeps reassuring us that colder temps are on the way, and I sure HOPE SO! 

After all, what is a ski vacation with no snow?  And, the artificial snow will melt too, if this keeps up.  Double ugh!

The laundry has begun.  I am so lucky that my mom has been doing the hard part... leaving me with the folding mostly.  I will pack right from where I folded! 

Otherwise, things are well, just wanted to drop in and visit for a few!

Be well,


Wednesday, February 1, 2006

A Gift from a J-Land Friend

My j-land friend, Sandi, wrote this little poem wishing me well with my infusion!  I had to share it with all of you!   

You can visit Sandi here: Life Is Full Of Surprises     


 Comment Added
A comment has been posted to the Journal:
Touch of Empathy
Comment from: sdoscher458
"Dawn - a little poem for you too:

Let God's love on you shine down
As you go through another round
Know in your heart that people
really care.
For you are a gentle soul unique
loving even with what you bear.

Be healed my friend......Sandi"

Thank you, Sandi,  You are very sweet.  I am so glad that we found each other, here, in J-land.  I appreciate the prayers and wishes for healing.  

The good news is that my infusion went well, and I am hopeful for even more relief!  I have to say that after looking at the paperwork from my first evaluation, it is easy to see that I am doing MUCH better.  

I had 24 of 40 swollen, painful, and red, joints at that time.  

Now, I have one!  Just my dang left elbow!  

The fatigue is always last torespond, but I am optimistic that it will start to ease up even more!  

 Be well,