05 April 2015

Easter 2015

We've been to a 9:00am Easter Service, eaten brunch at Papa G's, and are babysitting these Fun Kids for a couple of days. (Easter egg hunt was yesterday.)
They were maybe over-promised "fun" with their grandparents; or, at least we've under-delivered.
It's a gorgeous afternoon and they've played a bit in the nearby woods, but this afternoon's most cherished activity was counting down the time until the the promised Lego Batman movie viewing, 5:45pm.



04 April 2015

Facebook is ridiculous. Life is rich.


Some app or other required me to have a Facebook account, so I set up an innocuous "dummy" account. Facebook could not leave well enough alone--working hard to glean information from my other web activities. They always got it all wrong.

Often I would view my older sister's Facebook account to see family updates. I quit that. I found even navigating Facebook pages with an iPhone or iPad cumbersome and time wasting. And, there was just too much junk to wade through to get to anything even tangentially relevant. If my family wants me to have photos and updates, they can call or email me.

I know what's going on in the lives of my friends and any close family members, because they keep in touch with me. And, I pray for them.

I regularly chat by phone and FaceTime with those who care about me and my husband, kids, and grandkids. I'm an emotionally generous person and I make sure to keep reciprocal, loving relationships current.

This Auto-immune drama of the past 8 months is exhausting and complex. Even good, competent doctors have differing opinions. I've found that the insincere people in my life don't acknowledge the debilitating and exhausting symptoms I'm enduring. They don't bother to keep in touch or offer encouragement and support; check on my well-being. Life is too short to chase down fair-weather friends and family members.

I'm doing well, emotionally and physically--after 3 months of a very bad flare, highly exacerbated by over 3 months of a prescription that caused accute insomnia. I still have a ways to go, but sifting through the pain and inconveniences of this disorder with doctors and my loved ones has been both productive and enlightening. Being proactive here has migrated into other important areas of my life.

I'm done talking behind peoples' backs. A life-time, family-of-origin communication style. I forsake that sin, and with God's help I will speak direct truth to those I love.

I'm done with people who have sinned against me and cannot find the conviction to confess, repair our relationship, and move forward in God's grace. If you cannot ask for forgiveness--not only from God, but from those you've sinned against--you're only limiting how God's grace will expand in your own life. If I've sinned against you and you tell everyone except me about it, how can I seek your forgiveness? How will I recognize my sin?

I'm done giving advice and time, and emotions to those who choose to wallow in life's hurts and dramas. (Lately, I've been reading about "secondary benefits." Allowing the rehashing of one's past pain to attract sympathy and attention in the present.) No one can control anyone other than themselves, and any one person's influence on another is minimal. Everyone has a story. It's what you do after that counts.

I will continue to give help and support, and pray for those in need. I can very effectively do that without the continual re-hashing of the details, dramas, pain, and history behind the prayer request. I no longer have the stamina required to enter into someone else's turmoil. And, God isn't asking me to.

Beware of anyone claiming to have "discernment." That's like having to tell everyone that you're pretty or smart. If you have "the gift of discernment" it'll be easily apparent to all.

So, if you haven't heard from me lately it might be that you owe me a call. Maybe you owe me an apology.

And, if you are in the midst of pain and/or drama you can be assured I'm praying for you. I don't need all the details bogging down my spirit; I still pray.

God is in control. I'm working hard to not impede his actions or process. He's sufficient. After all those years of me thinking he needed my wisdom, words, emotions, intervention. He's sufficient.


25 March 2015

Still More Questions than Answers

Salzburg, 2009. Beautiful memories.


A frustrating, yet productive doctor appointment. Don't think my GP can be consistently committed to this auto-immune journey I'm on. Sometimes he seems to be all-in and other visits he seems somewhat dismissive.

We have a plan... I gradually discontinue the Cymbalta I've been on since December 1st, for nerve pain. Already cut the dosage in half 3 weeks ago; now it goes away gradually over the next 7-10 days. It has to, since two documented side-effects are my most troubling current symptoms--fatigue and insomnia. So, I am set-up for a grab bag of consequences. A relief from the side effects? A return of the original nerve pain? A total absence of a SSRI, which I've had in one form or another for almost 20 years. Continuing and renewed auto-immune issues.

Best scenario: no anxiety, no nerve pain, lessening fatigue, better sleep, weight loss.

Time will tell.


And, I'm to see a Rheumatologist at the end of April.


Oh, and then those nasty abscesses... A maintenance antibiotic cream to minimize the chance of infection, and "wait-and-see."


21 March 2015

Hunting and Gathering

In the midst of sourcing the elements required for our Master Bathroom renovation...


Mirror from nordstrom.com.

2-light sconce from lightingdirect.com

Mirror we already own
and can repurpose.


Anytime I'm out-and-about or online my search migrates into other projects, real and imagined, i.e., the mirror I found on Pinterest (nordstroms.com) for our Powder Room which necessitated a new sconce from lightingdirect.com. The sconce is lovely, but too small for the mirror. Luckily, we have a spare, smaller mirror in a guest room that works with the sconce for the Powder Room. Now, I'm thinking I'll move the Edward Hopper print from our Morning Room up to the sofa wall in our loft, and hang the Nordstrom mirror here.


Move Hopper print to Loft.

Hang instead of Hopper Print?


And then, there are the (3) gold-framed French architectural drawings (still unwrapped) I purchased second-hand at The New Interiors Anew, locally, for the Powder Room(!). CA looked around at the gold-framed photos and prints (French) on the Powder Room walls and said, "So, you don't like these any more?" MEN!!!

Existing prints and photos in Powder Room. The wall color just doesn't photo well.


Painted sideboard. Chair is turned from normal placement.



Do I go back to Interiors Anew today for that lovely Thomasville small console table that might fit in the Entry Foyer? Or, in the Great Room, necessitating moving the current painted sideboard into the Study-Dining Room--replacing the shabby-chic half-table already in-place?

And, while I love the current American Primative bench and small chest currently in the Foyer, where else can it fit? I wouldn't mind using the Thomasville console in the Great Room, but I don't want the shabby-chic half-table front-and-center.


And, have I EVER used this many en-dashes in a post previously?! Sheesh! It's like they're exclamation points or something. Bah-hah on whoever said one should only ever use (4) exclamation points in one's life!!!! (Or, is it "whomever"?)(And, where does the end punctuation go in a sentence that ends with quote marks not indicating spoken word?!)

**I digress.**

Yes, the painted sideboard can go in the Study-Dining Room. It belongs there. It's filled with dishes and has no business in the Great Room. It was a space filler and never the right color. Light yellow in a room with shades of blond and tan (café au lait).

If I don't buy the small Thomasville console, I'd really love a French writing desk here.

This chair turned "out" is really bugging me.


What vexes me about the Thomasville console is that I think they doubled the price since I first saw it. Yes, that's a vague suspicion, but there's recent precedence. A week or so ago, I saw a sewing rocker at a local thrift shop, and behold! there it was (I think) at Interiors Anew, doubled in price. No hard feelings if I'm right; people have to make money. And then, with my current Autoimmune flare and all that confusion added to all the freaking details and moving parts on the bathroom reno... I am probably all wrong.

The best news is that, for now, I have all the products required for the Master Bathroom reno in-house. After much purchasing-exchanging-returning-Internet commerce-big box store wandering. That is, I have all the products except the tile, which I just found out is back-ordered to mid to late-June. Ugh!

I revisited Century Tile yesterday to look for replacement tile, but after 10 minutes I told them we'll just wait.

All that, and I still have issues with these pieces:


In Powder Room for convenience. Not working.
This is just hanging around our loft doing nothing.


I'd like this bucket bench out of the Foyer.
Not sure where it'll fit.





15 March 2015

Sibling Weekend: Chicago

Me-Nancy-Patty-Judy-Gloria; brother Paul and his wife,
Tracie in white. At Le Pain Quotidien.

Oldest sister, Judy, turned 70 years in January, so her daughter LG and son TL put together and hosted this rare sibling get-together. We DO get together, but mainly in very large groups. There's the occasional lunch, but we're scattered over 3 states (including Washington State), so having all 6 of us together for a weekend is very special.



Lou Malnati's pizza at LG's condo, and then The Million Dollar Quartet at the Apollo Theater. We loved the musical about Elvis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis. I overnighted at Hotel Lincoln (due to some nagging auto-immune issues), but EVERYONE else stayed with LG's family in their 3-bedroom condo.



LG and her husband had to work; the effervescent Sophie (9-1/2) and the indomitable Rhys (4-1/2) had school. But, LG left us homemade granola (excellent!), Greek yogurt, and fruit. And, did I mention coffee?!!

We hung around some; a few went for a walk in a nearby small enclave of very large and beautiful Chicago-style homes.

Buena Park-Lakeview neighborhoods. Specifically,
Cullom and Hutchinson Streets' lovely homes.


I did the research for a luncheon location and happened on a listing for Le Pain Quotidien. Success! Perfect menu, as there was an early dinner planned by LG for 5:30pm.

Everyone totally enjoyed Le Pain Quotidien. Some had pot pies, salads or soup. We shared a charcuterie board. JL and I had eaten in one LPQ twice in NYC a number of years ago: CA and I have eaten in the LPQ closeby the Place Vendôme in Paris; and, I've eaten in one in another European city--possibly London.??

We spent the afternoon at the shops on North Avenue, and then drove to West Randolph Street for dinner at Little Goat Diner. Excellent!

The big surprise was that JL's son flew in from Austin, TX and surprised her at Little Goat Diner. We were all surprised she was surprised as there were multiple verbal slip-ups. The end result is that TL was with us for dinner and the remainder of the weekend. His happiness was magnified when his friend managed to procur for him a last minute ticket to the Michigan State playoff game at the United Center. (They won!)


Little Goat Diner, Chicago.

LG and EG shared this monster.


My excellent gluten-free option. Moco Loco Burger
on Jasmine rice with vegetables; topped with a
Fried Egg. Havarti Cheese added.

Just a normal cheeseburger.

TL's shocking Mahi entree.


After dinner we did cake and presents at LG's condo, and talked (a lot) until late. I drove home, arriving @1:00am, not realizing I'd forgotten to tell CA that I was coming. (I'd originally reserved 2 nights at the Lincoln Hotel). Scared him when the garage door opened and woke him up.



By 8:30am I was in my car headed back to Chicago for brunch at LG's condo. After lots more talking and laughing, some took walks, some headed to Bar on Buena to watch the broadcast of the Michigan State game (they won!). My Seattle sister and I walked a long way down Broadway to Pastoral to buy some Vermont Creamery cheeses. We each had a small bite in the cafe and a refreshing beverage, then opting for a short cab ride north to the condo.

The Peoria, IL group of 4 left a bit after 4:00pm, and the after some quiet moments we talked over dinner plans. EG secured an 8:00pm reservation at one of my favorites--Mixteco Grill, on the corner of Ashland and Montrose. Wonderful Mexican food! Great guacamole, with chips, Jicama, and cucumber sluces.

Pork chops.

Pulled pork.

Rack of baby lamb in mole.


Another late night for me--arrived home just after midnight. No worries.


We had a memorable weekend, JL was well celebrated, and we got a chance to spend time with our new sister-in-law. Lovely.