Shopping My Closet

January 28, 2014 at 4:14 pm (Jewelry, Musings..., Shoes)

What does one do when one has trigeminal neuralgia and the wind chill temperatures are -10 to -25??  One keeps her tushy parked in her warm home.

Now, I could have done a lot of things today, like, say, cleaned my art room, but I had to wash my hair and I decided to do something fun. I’d “shop” my closet.  I have clothes from size 6 to 10.  Right now I am an 8.  I like to wear black… and more black.  But, I thought I’d look through my closets and put some outfits together.

Since I am being honest… {{big gulp}} this is a “before shot.” In my defense, my face has moisturizer slathered all over it — one of my habits to keep my skin looking young.  You can see the wrinkles and circles under my eyes but I’ve earned all of them in my 54 years of living!!

Yikes!!!  Warts and all :-)

Yikes!!! Warts and all 🙂

Thirty minutes later…

It takes a village, people!!!

It takes a village, people!!!

The jeans I am wearing in most of these pictures are Michael Kors black straight jeans that I got at TJ Maxx.  I really love the way they fit.

Outfit #1:  Blouse-Iman (HSN), Jeans-Michael Kors, Pumps-Nine West,  Belt-Amazon. I made the jewelry

Outfit #1

Outfit #1

Outfit #2 — I untucked the blouse and added a Gap jacket (given to me) and my Big Buddha purse I got for $15 at TJ’s. I also added a longer necklace I made.

Outfit #2

Outfit #2

Outfit #3:  Sweater-Denim & Co (QVC), Belt-Amazon, Necklace-vintage

Outfit #3

Outfit #3

Outfit #4  Shawl Sweater-gift from Amanda,  Belt-TJ Maxx. Shoes-Sole Society, Necklace-gift from my sister, Heather, Earrings-made by me 🙂

Outfit #4

Outfit #4

Outfit #5:  Blouse-Ann Taylor (Goodwill for $4.99), Shoes-Big Buddha

Outfit #5

Outfit #5

Outfit #6:  Dress-Loft, Shoes-Franco Sarto, Belt-Amazon

I just added my vintage curly mink coat for fun

I just added my vintage curly mink coat for fun

Outfit #6

Outfit #6

 Jacket-made by me, Scarf-Isaac Mizrahi(QVC), Shoes-Jessica Simpson — Outfit #7

Outfit #7

Outfit #7

THIS is how I usually dress — all in black – Danskin tights, Gap jacket (given to me) and a black cami, my UGGs,  with a beanie,  sunglasses and no make-up but lipstick 😀


I LOVE MY BOOTS — UGGs — a gift from my darling DannyO.  He gets an “A.”

Well, the next time I go out, I will have a few outfits already put together.  Not a bad project for a cold Tuesday afternoon!!


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A Snowy Saturday Afternoon Contemplation

January 18, 2014 at 3:06 pm (Multiple Sclerosis, Social Anxiety)

I am sitting on the couch, bundled in a blanket, just reading, studying and contemplating…  I seem to be doing a lot of contemplating.  As my MS and TN progress, I am constantly adjusting to a “new normal.”  What worked a month ago sometimes is completely unfathomable today.

My little snack... an orange and three Hershey's kisses :-)

My little snack… an orange and three Hershey’s kisses 🙂

I had a good week.  I exercised three times using my Pilates Power Gym.  That sort of exercise seems to bother my vertigo the least.  I think it is because my head is either completely still or completely supported in 95% of the exercises…

I also went to a concert at the Central Cambria High School, which was a victory for me overcoming my social anxiety issues.  It was held on Thursday.  On Monday I started to plan, what I would wear, what time I would leave, etc.  On Wednesday, I announced that I was “going” on the event’s Facebook page.  I dressed up. I wore my contacts and my new pink bracelet.  I snatched up the last handicapped parking space (there was a person who was going to pull into it right after me… normally I would acquiesce, but I really needed it on Thursday!!)  I walked in, grabbed a program and proceeded to the center section, right side.  I sat in an aisle seat and, as people were filling up the seats around me, promptly started panicking.  I grabbed my purse and coat and went to the far left section, close to the front.  {{Sigh}}  I could feel the stress leave my body!!  I thoroughly enjoyed hearing Mariah, Josh and AJ and Devon sing and play.  I helped these kids along their musical journey when I worked as an accompanist at the high school.  I call them kids, but they are college seniors!!!  They spotted me because I am a very active listener… I can’t sit perfectly still when I listen to music.

My view from the couch...

My view from the couch…

Little victories… they may seem unimportant, but they can add up to real progress!!

Amanda shared a verse with me last night.  I promptly forgot the exact reference (thank you MS and menopause brain fog!) so I emailed her requesting the specific reference.

“(Abraham) grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able to perform.”  Romans 4:20b, 21.  In Matthew 9:8, after Jesus healed a man of his paralysis, this was the crowd’s reaction. “But when the crowds saw this, they were AWESTRUCK, and glorified God.”

His promises to me should overwhelm me, because of his faithfulness to me.  These promises aren’t the “prosperity” claims but promises that the Lord’s Grace and Strength are sufficient for me no matter what I am facing, and His Mercies are new each morning.

A Snowy Saturday Afternoon-5

I had an epiphany this afternoon as I was sitting looking at some painting and sewing books.  I always wait until summertime to sew something summery and paint something summery.  In the same manner, I wait until Fall to sew something for winter or paint something with a Christmas theme. Inevitably, I run out of steam and neglect to finish the project in time for the season. I have decided to turn over a new leaf!!!  I am going to sew two summer garments through February and paint two “summer themed” pictures.  I think I want to do one study with a David Jansen DVD in the Peter Ompir style.  The other piece will probably be a Millie piece. Then, in the summer, I will sew a few winter garments and paint a few Christmas pieces!!  See, this old brain still works sometimes!!

I am enjoying my iPod music as I write this blog.  I have such a variety of music playing.  In the time it has taken me to write this, I’ve heard songs by “Judith Hill,” “Little Big Town,” “Guns ‘N Roses,” “Rachelle Ferrell,” “Earth, Wind and Fire,” “Israel Houghton,” and “Florence and The Machine.”  My Dad would be proud of my song list.  He encouraged us to listen to a variety of music styles (no bad words, though).

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A Blog About Simple Blessings

January 12, 2014 at 4:21 pm (Multiple Sclerosis, Musings..., Trigeminal Neuralgia)

I am sitting here with darling DannyO.  It is 12:48 on a Sunday afternoon. There are two football playoff games on today.  Yesterday I  “undecorated” our Christmas tree.  It took all day – as long as it took to decorate it!!  I knew I would pay for the long day, and I am paying… in spades!!  My trigeminal neuralgia has paid a visit and my back is spasming.  This is not a blog about my aches and pains, but a blog about blessing.

Our tree -- in the day and at night

Our tree — in the day and at night

Our tree... in the day and at night

Our tree… in the day and at night

My "undecorated" living room -- It feels decluttered!!

My “undecorated” living room — It feels decluttered!!

I read some fabulous blogs – their authors seem to have boundless energy and creativity. These women seem to have tapped into a force I am not aware of, because how else could they create such perfection in an imperfect world without magic!!!  My days are mostly filled with figuring out how to make supper, do laundry, sweep the floor without falling flat on my face, either from vertigo or uncooperative legs.  My brain is filled with so many ideas, but my body betrays me.

One way I keep going is by reminding myself of Scripture… I always seem to recall the perfect verse for my situation (thanks to many years of Bible School, SMM, church camp, at which verse memorization was emphasized).  One of my new friends on a Facebook page for fierce women who battle MS, Debbie, wrote this wonderful reminder.

A Blog About Simple Blessings-6

The part of these verses that truly are the reason I get out of bed every day is the part of this Scripture that promises, “They are NEW every morning.” His compassions are new every morning.  HE knows the number of hairs on my head.  He is interested in me.  “Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.” 1 Peter 5:7.  I memorized it as a child in the King James Version and I like it best this way.

This morning I read a Facebook post from a man who is a missionary to the Central African Republic.  He said, “SAD SAD news…..The Boulata Grace Brethren Church in Bangui is burning as I write this. There are between 1000 and 1500 members in this church. There have been a number of Mosques burned in the past weeks and now there is revenge being applied. Dear God please protect your people, we pray this in Jesus Name.”

I am safe in my house today.  I am blessed.

The bank called at 9:00 a.m., stating that one of our bank accounts had a transaction that they were questioning – giving us the opportunity to double-check it.  We are blessed.

I was able to make a wonderful pot of coffee and ate exactly what I wanted for breakfast.  I am blessed.

Our house is warm thanks to the efforts of my darling DannyO. Wood makes the warmest heat.  We are blessed.

I am able to focus my eyes and move my fingers to write this blog.  I am blessed.

I have a heated rice bag lying on the right side of my face, helping me to fight the TN pain.  I am blessed.

I was able to afford the pain medicine (the big guns as I like to call them) that I need to help fight my TN pain.  I am blessed.

The water in my glass is cold (thanks to electricity) and sweet tasting (thanks to a Brita water filter).  I am blessed.

The man who has loved me for 34 years is sitting beside me.  We have laughed and cried this morning (we watched the movie Marley And Me). I am blessed.

I made the prettiest pink bracelet yesterday — Swarovski crystals and pink and everything!!  I am blessed.

A Blog About Simple Blessings-4

It’s the simple blessings in life that makes life really worth living.

I AM INDEED BLESSED.  How about you???

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Six Realistic Goals for 2014

January 5, 2014 at 3:15 pm (Musings...)

I have already explained in many blog posts that I do not make New Year’s resolutions.  Doing so creates such stress in my crazy brain.  Besides, who really actually completes resolutions??

However, I was (once again) inspired by my young friend, Tab, as she blogged about her goals for 2014.  I decided to make some resolutions goals for 2014.  They are very realistic and, with just a little effort, I will successfully complete these goals.  Here is my list (explanations to follow).

  1.  Incorporate three hours of exercise into each week and continue my nearly vegetarian diet.
  2. Work through The One Year Book of Hope by Nancy Guthrie.
  3. De-clutter our home.
  4. Complete one piece each month… one sewn piece, one jewelry piece and one painting
  5. Continue to work through my social anxiety…
  6. Have coffee with Tab one time in 2014  🙂

The first goal is physical:  Incorporate three hours of exercise into each week and continue my nearly vegetarian diet.  Notice I didn’t say “lose 10-12 pounds!” I used to exercise, lift weights, walk, water aerobics, cross-country ski, yoga, something, anything, at least three times a week.  I had a routine and was in great shape as I continued to battle MS.  But I was derailed when I developed trigeminal neuralgia.  Any type of hard exercise began to trigger TN pain.  Since 2009 it has been nearly impossible to exercise because I know that pain will follow.  I just stopped doing it.  Fast forward to January 2014; I am in the worse shape of my life.  I know how to exercise.  I have an elliptical, a Pilate’s band system, free weights, and yoga DVDs.  What I must do is consistently put one foot in front of the other and just do it, no matter how I feel.  I can work around my physical limitations, but I must power through the pain – the most difficult thing to do!!!  Three hours seems reasonable – it can be 30 minutes 6 times or one hour three times each week… but I must or I will soon lose all of my muscle tone (it’s almost gone right now!!!).

I will also continue to eat nearly a vegetarian diet.  I must admit that through Thanksgiving to Christmas I fell off the wagon and pretty much ate everything in sight – my body responded by gaining five pounds!!  I will also incorporate smoothies with flax seed as one meal for each day.  Again, I know what to do.  It is just a matter of doing it!!

six realistic goals for 2014

The second goal is spiritual:  Work through The One Year Book of Hope by Nancy Guthrie.  I am consistent when it comes to Bible reading and prayer.  I pray constantly through the day (called Practicing the Presence of God) and have devotions most every day of the week.  However, this book was recommended to me and I started it but never finished it.  My spirit needs renewed and since I am still not attending church on a regular basis, I need to have a “series” of sermons.  I will share with you as the Lord speaks to me this year.

One of my favorite pair of shoes :-D

One of my favorite pair of shoes 😀

The third goal is environmental:  De-clutter our home (again). In 2000, when Amanda went to college, I de-cluttered our home.  It took almost six months, mostly because there was 20 years of accumulated “stuff.”  We have never really moved as we lived in a trailer on our property until we built our home… we moved 30 yards!!!  Now, 14 years later, I am starting to feel “brain clutter” because of all the accumulated “stuff.”  I don’t have a plan for this because much depends on how I feel, but I plan to take one room, one closet, one drawer at a time.  I will be brutal until I am surrounded by only things that make me happy… except for my shoes!!!  I can’t get rid of my shoes!!!

A jacket I made several years ago.

A jacket I made several years ago.

The fourth goal is creative:  Complete one piece each month… one sewn piece, one jewelry piece and one painting.  I need to create!! I also need a plan (the OCD in me).  I have lots of fabric, lots of patterns and a wonderful sewing machine and an overlock machine.  I am going to teach myself how to use the overlock machine and sew one article of clothing or accessory each month.

SABIKA Jewelry

SABIKA Jewelry

I have been admiring the jewelry by Sabika.  However, it is cost prohibitive and I know I can make it myself.  Perhaps if I get good at it, I will sell some pieces.

"Bonnie's Necklace"  I created this for a lady, using her grandmother's, mother's and aunt's jewelry.

“Bonnie’s Necklace” I created this for a lady, using her grandmother’s, mother’s and aunt’s jewelry.

I also want to develop “Millie” some more.  I’ve got lots of  ideas!  My daughter gave me a gift subscription to “Cloth-Paper-Scissors” magazine (admittedly I gave her the very strong hint), a mixed media magazine, which has so many cutting edge ideas.

"Psalm 139"

“Psalm 139”

A table I painted several years ago.

A table I painted several years ago.

I also want to paint some traditional pieces – I have some pieces prepped, all ready to go!!

Six realistic goals for 2014-3

The fifth goal is self-care:  Continue to work through my social anxiety.  I won’t go into detail on this one. Suffice it to say, I need to get back to church and I need to be less afraid as I journey to see my children and accomplish the ordinary tasks of each day. The ordinary becomes nearly impossible when I am having a panic attack.

Six realistic goals for 2014-4

The sixth goal is social, even though it is a teeny tiny goal… Have coffee with Tab one time in 2014.  She inspires me with her fearlessness and I just want to sit and laugh with her.

There you have it… six resolutions goals that I have memorialized on my blog.  Yikes!!!  I’d better get moving!!!

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