Category Archives: Exciting Adventures of the Everyday

You KNOW Who I Am!

Sliced Open My  Finger

When you slice open your finger, and then your iPhone pretends like it doesn’t know you anymore.

New Kitchen Faucet

New Kitchen Faucet

It’s pretty much always the case that when I go to Home Depot, I find something *else* that I want/need for my house. I almost never walk out of there with only the items I originally intended on purchasing.

Nothing new with that yesterday. Plus, there’s just something about a sunny, 68 degree February day in Michigan that makes you start thinking about spring cleaning and home improvements.

I had several light bulbs which were out in the house and went to get those, as well as some drain opener for the tub (it *always* needs to be cleaned out).

I replaced all the burnt out specialty bulbs today. They had LED options, so I went with those. One chandelier kind for the front door fixture, and 5 small globe bulbs for the living room and the back door fixtures. The LED bulbs are a lot brighter than the traditional incandescents (I bought the 60W version), and I love the extra light!

While going to the back of the store for the drain opener, I passed by the faucet aisle and stopped to take a look. For a long time, the kitchen faucet was so leaky that when the water is turned off at the tap, there is a stream of water about half of the stream when it is on at full force! That’s not a “leak,” really. More like a flood. I suppose I could have attempted to repair the faucet, but figured this was severe enough to just go ahead and replace the faucet entirely.

I picked one with a removable aerator, so that I could still install the quick-connect valve for the countertop dishwasher. The instructions said that I only needed an adjustable wrench and a screwdriver. I picked up a small sized wrench in the hand tools section, as well as some clear silicone caulk.

I had left the house about 11 am, browsed for a while in Home Depot, then picked up lunch at Estia, a Greek food restaurant that is owned by Vanessa’s uncle Paul and his cousin, Jorge. (They have the best chicken lemon rice soup! I love it so much!)

After lunch, I changed the light bulbs in the living room and then started to work on the faucet. I cleared out the items from beneath the kitchen sink, got my tools out, brought over an old washcloth and towel, and used a muffin tin to catch any leaks.

I was stalled almost right away. At first, I tried to take off the faucet and it wouldn’t budge. So I watched a YouTube how-to video and saw that there were screws under the sink that I needed to remove, as well as the water lines. After looking at it, it didn’t seem to be too complicated. HOWEVER! The plastic nuts that screwed the water line onto the faucet bolts were very tight! I couldn’t budge them.

I called my dad and we determined that I really just needed to get the right tools. My adjustable wrench didn’t have a wide enough opening for the plastic nuts. It was about 4 pm, and I was due to be over at Jack and April’s new house for a Housewarming at 6 pm. I changed clothes, since I had been grubbing on the floor and was filthy, and headed over, grabbing a venti iced latte on the way.

Dad had started putting some hand tools in a box for me when I got there. We added some more items that I might find useful to have around the house. He looked at the instruction manual for the sink and showed me how to connect the spray attachment. Mom gave me some of the beef vegetable soup that they had made for dinner. I was still full from lunch, but can have it for lunch at work the next day (today). We talked for a while, then I headed over to Jack and April’s.

They had 9 people over, and I knew everyone! They are a great group of people. We talked for a while, had some dinner and dessert (Michelle, it was fantastic! Some kind of creamy thing with whipped cream and strawberries, and a golden Oreo base), played with Vivien, played games, and watched the guys wrestle. It was a very enjoyable night!

Jack and John Wrestling

As per my evil plan, I asked Jack if he would be willing to come over Sunday night, in the event that I was not strong enough, even with the channel-locks and larger adjustable wrench, to remove the water line nuts.

It was probably about 10:30 pm when I got home, and I had to be at work at 6:30 in the morning. However, I decided to try and see if I could get the sink installed. The sprayer’s hose sleeve was a little tricky, since it really needed to have someone hold it from above while I attempted to screw it tight to the sink. I managed to get it somewhat tight by deviating from the instructions and putting the sprayer and it’s hose down the hose sleeve. I then used the hose to pull the hose sleeve tight to the sink. It provided enough friction that I was able to screw the hose sleeve down. I’ll still want to have someone hold it while I tighten it up some, but since I don’t need to worry about its watertightness, it can wait a bit.

Finally, the moment of truth. I used the channel-locks and it took a minute to two to get the right angle. I was able to disconnect the water lines pretty quickly, and only a little water spilled on the right (cold water) side. Installing the faucet was pretty easy, also, although I had to deviate from the instructions again. They wanted me to put the faucet on the counter, then connect the hose for the sprayer. However, since the faucet was not tight to the sink yet, it started to tip over and fall when I started to push up on the quick connect valve to connect it to the center post on the faucet. So, I went out of order and tightened the faucet to the sink first, then installed the quick connect valve. (It took me two tries to get the sprayer hose right. The hose was very curly from being packaged, and the first time, I didn’t realize that it had wrapped around the drain pipe. I disconnected it and fixed it. I didn’t want to be pulling my drain pipe out trying to use the sprayer!)

After that, I just had to connect the water valves and tighten up the new plastic nuts with the channel-locks. The hot water line connected super easy. I had a weird angle on the cold water line, so it took me a couple tries and then laying down inside the other side of the cabinet in order to attach it securely.

Done!

I opened the valves for the water line and made sure there were no leaks. Then, I took off the aerator and ran both water lines for a little while to get out any debris. I reconnected the aerator and decided that it was a good time to do some dishes and let the water run for a while — just to be extra sure that it was not leaking anywhere. Everything looks good! So excited to have a pretty new, non-leaking faucet! I guess that means that I’m old now, that household things make me happy. I’m pretty proud that I was able to install it myself, too!

Faith Life at Work

Every Tuesday at our church (St. Anastasia), we have a Mass at 7 pm. Every First Tuesday of the month after Mass, we have Young Adult Night. We gather in Meeting Room B and typically have pizza, a talk, and some trivia (or other game).

Since Fr. Jim had forgotten to ask the Catholic Trivia guy to come out this evening, he devised a quick game of Modified Family Feud, using answers from Family Feud episodes from, like, the 70s or something. (Who replaces a TOASTER if it is not broken?)

Anywhoo, after our quick game where we never really heard who won, we heard a talk by Denis Veneziano, our resident Italian architect and part-time language instructor. His topic was “Holiness in Your Daily Work.”

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Disclaimer: This is the cover of a book I have sitting on my desk at work. I’ve been meaning to read it for a couple years now. There is no review of this book in this post because lazy and haven’t read yet.

I jotted down a few notes, then a few more, then decided that I had enough fodder to create a blog post and share with y’all, so here you go! 🙂 In bullet points, because my coffee is not working yet.

  • Genesis 2:15 states, “ The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.”  This tells us that work is not supposed to be seen as “a necessary evil,” but something which adds to the dignity of man as being in God’s plan for our lives.  Denis continues to point out that even Jesus worked for most of His life, and He is our example of what it should look like to live a perfected human life.
  • Because of this, we should ask ourselves:  What pride to we take in our work?  Do we see the work that we do in a supernatural light?  As promoting, or capable of promoting, the Kingdom of God and sanctifying ourselves and those around us?
  • Beware of “professionalism” — where your work becomes the end purpose of your life.  It can be important, but it is a means.  Your work is just one part of your life.  You certainly shouldn’t give it inordinate preference over other aspects of your life.  But don’t go to the opposite extreme either and not give it its due importance.
  • How can I use my time at work to sanctify myself and others?
    • I can pray before I start my work — dedicating my work day to God and asking His help.
    • I can dedicate individual hours during the workday for a specific person or intention.  This can make the entire day into something of a prayer.
    • I should show interest in my coworkers and try to help them as much as possible.  Before being a worker, I (and they) am a person.

What are ways in which you bring God into your workplace?

What struggles do you have in showing God’s love to your coworkers?

One final thought:

A holy person is

NOT

a perfect person,

but is one who gets up

one more time

than they fall.

Greektown!

After work, I caught Mass at Christ the King in Ann Arbor, then headed to Detroit to meet up with Allie in Greektown. We snuck into Old St. Mary’s, piggybacking in the building as others were exiting for about 10 seconds of Adoration.

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Allie had already eaten, as I was delayed in getting there, but she graciously had First Dessert while I had some delicious Pastitsio at New Parthenon.

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Next, we went about 2 doors down the street and salivated at all of the desserts and pastries at Astoria’s. Finally, we made our selections (each of us chose a macaroon and one other item) and sat down for more conversation. We ate our French dessert in the middle of Greektown with NO shame. 🙂 We talked for hours and I laughed until my abs hurt.

It was a perfect night: warm, but not hot; no humidity; a slight breeze. There were street musicians and a ton of people walking around. The city was beautiful. I left with my key lime cheesecake as a souvenir to be enjoyed at a later date. (Allie may or may not have had an entire day’s worth of leftovers to take home, including an eclair from Second Dessert.) Allie may be making Old St. Mary’s her home parish, and I definitely think I’ll be returning soon to check out more of what Greektown has to offer.

A Pretty Day at Work

It’s hard, sometimes, working in a building that has (almost) no windows.  I never know what the weather is like outside.  Usually, we can hear the rain (like a thousand cats on a hot tin roof), but whether it is overcast or sunny, hot or cold, is rather a mystery.

The smokers among us escape every so often and go outside, and there are a couple of people who take daily walks at lunchtime.  I tend to eat at my desk and work through lunch and take no breaks.

But today, I decided to order Jimmy John’s.  It was so pretty out, that I went back upstairs to grab my phone to take a couple pictures of the building.  (That and the Jimmy John’s guy was stuck at the gate and I had to call him.)

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My Black Friday

Friday morning. One of those which is so blackly frustrating that you are certain you are getting a foretaste of Hell itself. I have been having increased pain in my arm and it took a lot of crying and tossing and turning to fall asleep. Then, an amber alert went off at 2am, waking me again. No surprise, I woke up later than I wanted.

Getting dressed in new clothes always takes a little longer, due to the tags and whatnot. Getting dressed in new clothes with a messed up arm and hand is even worse. DELAY.

Blood glucose, which was low at the time of the amber alert, is now high. Decide it’s best to take insulin now, rather than in an hour when you get to work. DELAY.

Frustration after frustration happened in the short time I was getting ready to go to work. The final straw was when I could not find my glasses and spent 10 minutes looking for them. I wanted to do violence to something, but I couldn’t think of a proper target. Just one of those frustrations where you want to scream and hit something and fall into a puddle and sob until it gets better.

But I’m still running late.

And I have to scrape snow and ice off the car. With my painful, messed up arm.

WHY am I in Hell? What did I DO to deserve this?

The drive in to work was probably mostly fine. The normal morning rush and all that, but I was in a black mood (and knew it). I wasn’t driving with road rage, because I don’t do that. But there was plenty of profanity in my head for all. My apologies, fellow drivers.

I arrived in Ann Arbor with some time to spare, so I decided to stop at Starbucks to get some coffee and breakfast, as I had taken insulin before I left. While there wasn’t a lot of people in line at the drive-thru, this is the slowest Starbucks ever. DELAY.

I make it to work and to my desk with 2 minutes to spare, but I was already done with Friday.

THANKFULLY, I love my job and my coworkers, and I had a project to work on, so things improved greatly from there. I got to have breakfast, work on my project, take some calls, and prep for a professional certification exam I was taking in the afternoon.

I had sent a message to my Neurologist’s office yesterday about the increased pain and numbness and received a message back, adjusting my medications. I looked up the gabapentin online to look at dosing and saw that it peaks in effectiveness about 3 hours after you take it, and can make you sleepy. I was told to increase my dose to about three times what I was currently on. My boss noted that everyone will have to keep an eye on me, as I adjust to the new meds, and make sure I’m good with the changes before I tackle my long commutes. He asked when I was starting the new meds. As soon as I got home, I replied, as I had counted out my medication for the week and only had the old dose on me (which was fine). The suggestion was made that I start the new dose at home, where I can evaluate how it affects me. Which was my plan all along.

HA HA HA.

The drive home took TWO HOURS. It was grey and cold and rainy and SLOW. I had to keep turning the heat/defrost on, then back off as I got too warm. I was getting really tired, bored by the slow traffic and lack of distraction (my phone battery had died), and was feeling slightly nauseated from all the stop-and-go. And, of course, this was just about three hours from when I took my noon dose of medication. Never mind that it had never affected me like this before, but NOW I was being crushed with fatigue.

I made it home without incident, but I was crazy tired. I mean, like I was drugged (hahaha). I stumbled to and from the mailbox and brought packages in, took my dinnertime medications, and immediately fell into bed. I was asleep probably within 5 minutes of being home. I slept from 6 pm until 4:30 am, when my alarm went off.

AND THUS FRIDAY ENDED. Hallelujah!

(Sorry, everyone. I don’t have any pictures from Friday.)

Making It Happen for 2016

Make It Happen
A friend recommended a book to me, “Making It Happen” by Lara Casey.  As I was looking into the book, I found that it was part of a larger program to help you live more intentionally and realize your goals.  The more I read, the more I wanted to try her whole program, so I ordered the Powersheets bundle with her book.  Not being patient enough to wait for the order to come in, I also got the Audible version and listened to this in the car during my commutes to and from work.

I absolutely loved it!  She does an amazing job of weaving together advice and personal testimony while keeping your primary focus on what God wants for your life.

I identified strongly with Lara herself, and a lot of her personality traits are my own, so her advice based on her experience was immediately relatable to my own life.

There are 7 initial steps to get ready to Make It Happen.

Step 1: Evaluate Where You Are

The very first thing you do in your Powersheets is to fill out a page about yourself.  After your name, it says, “I am a (thing beyond a job title here) ___.”  I filled in that blank with “joyful mess!”  I guess that’s the best descriptor I have for myself at the moment.  Things to tend to be pretty messy and haphazard in my world (which hopefully will be helped this year), but I do tend to be optimistic and joyful, no matter what happens.

After this, I wrote, “In the past, I have ignored, neglected, and put off many things I needed to do but now, I’m ready to make a plan, evaluate what’s important, and MAKE IT HAPPEN!  The things I value most are the people I love, God, and my faith.”

Three words that describe me:  fun-loving, extroverted, and enthusiastic.

My home/personal space is usually lived in, chaotic, and a MESS!  (Probably my mom’s fault…  After all, she used to call me Mess Anne growing up….)

Favorite colors:  yellow, green, aqua

Favorite foods:  chips + salsa, Taco Bell, alfredo sauce, grilled cheese

If I could have someone else’s job for a day, I would be a travel photographer.

My favorite song right now is Justin Bieber’s “Sorry.”  But check back in a couple days and it’ll likely be something else.

Person I would most like to meet:  Right now, I’d most like to meet Lara Casey.  I think we would become friends.  🙂

I get most fired up when someone encourages me or I’m challenged or pushed to soar.  I’m fairly extroverted, so it makes sense to me that I find strength and motivation from other people.

I get along best with people who – yeah, I checked off every option there.  I love people!

My best memories involve spending time with friends and family, experiencing something new, and doing an activity that I love.

I accomplish things best when:  (1) I have a cheerleader rooting me on, (2) someone else depends on me, or (3) I give myself a deadline.  The only one I didn’t check was the one that says, “I have quiet time and space to think,” because I am awful about sitting still.  I never do it.  I am horrible at meditation and listening to God.  But I know that I need to grow in this area.  Still, it’s important to know how I’m best motivated, especially as I try to stick to the plans which I’m making now.

Things I love to do:

  • Be with other people
  • Dance + listen to music
  • Watch movies
  • Read books
  • Take photographs
  • Travel
  • Give random gifts
  • Make others happy

I am most grateful for (in no particular order):

  • The people God has brought into my life
  • My cheerful disposition
  • God’s faithfulness and love
  • My job and boss
  • My best friend
  • My goddaughter
  • Fr. John
  • My faith

It is good to take these steps, these minutes, to reflect upon who I am, what I love, and what motivates me. It’s part of the process to determine what is really important in my life. I only have so much time and energy. If I waste it on something that I don’t really value, then what was the point? I’d be much better off to allocate my resources to things and people that are important to me.

Step 2: Plant the Seeds

I’ve made 12 categories of things that I’d like to work on in the next year:
Make It Happen

  • Blogging
  • Exercise
  • Faith Life
  • Finances
  • Food/Blood Sugar
  • Household
  • Personal Relationships
  • Photography
  • Reading Challenge
  • Thesis
  • Twidget Enterprises
  • Work/Professional Life

Step 3: Clear the Clutter

This section tells you to write down everything that is distracting you or holding you back from realizing your goals. In addition to knowing what’s important to you, what motivates you, and what you want to accomplish, it is good to know what obstacles are in your way. If you are aware of them, you can plan for them (to an extent).

For me, some of my pitfalls are if I am not feeling well or if I let myself become distracted or sidetracked. Plus, I also have a tendency to allow one “mess-up” to completely derail me. Right now, I don’t feel prepared for the next year and the challenges I’ve set for myself. But that’s okay. I don’t have to have the entire year figured out by tomorrow. I *can* figure it out as I go.

I want to change my thinking from “chasing perfection” to “chasing progress.”

Step 4: Meet Your Fears

I don’t have a ton of fears. The couple that I came up with are that I’m afraid that I’ll burn out or compromise my health, as I have a tendency to take on too much, work too hard, and not leave any time for myself to rest and recharge. I’m also afraid that I won’t follow through and that I’ll be in exactly the same place in all of these areas this time next year.

Step 5: Watch the Powersheets Video

There’s SO MUCH great information on her site, LaraCasey.com. Some of the things that stayed with me as I watched was that it’s okay to make a mess. She was talking of working in your Powersheets, but I take it to mean anywhere along this process. The Powersheets, my planners… All of these things are just tools, things that help me. I shouldn’t be concerned about keeping my tools pretty. I just want to make my life beautiful — for myself, and so that I can me a mirror of God’s grace and love to others. At the end of the day (or year), who cares what my planner looks like, or if my handwriting was bad? These things are not ultimately important. If I end the year having grown in faith and love and as a person, then my year will have been a success.

In doing her Powersheets, Lara got on her knees and read Scripture. I need this kind of inspiration. To have God be such a central part of my life. She recalled a passage in the Bible, right before Jesus selected the Twelve. In order to make good decisions, Jesus first spent the entire evening in prayer to the Father. Grounding yourself in prayer and the Word is so important.

In one of her Periscope videos, she talks of the song, Oceans:

While I was waiting for Oceans to load on YouTube, I had to watch an advertisement. It was for Zootopia, and during the ad there was the quote, “No matter what type of animal you are, change starts with you.” Which is SO appropriate for today and for this project!

Step 6: Decide You Can

This is a very long section in the Powersheets. Basically, you write out what has been working and what hasn’t, what you would like to prune from your life, and what you would like to cultivate. Then, you decide on goals (which I’ve written above). Remind yourself of what you want to achieve and why.

Step 7: Set Purposeful Goals

This is where you break down your goals into actionable baby steps, so that you have something concrete to work on and a way to measure progress on your goal. I am really glad that Lara has you revisit and tweak these goals every 3 months. It will help me re-commit to them (or refine/delete/replace them if that’s appropriate) and also see where I am, like a report card.

I’m so excited for this year and hope that you are as well!

God Bless and Happy New Year!

Make It Happen

What is “Busy”?

Hi! My name is Jenn, and my life exists somewhere between hyper-organized and utter chaos. I don’t mean any sort of happy, balanced medium, but more like a madly swinging pendulum that leaves me exhausted and out-of-sorts. Any of you have the same problem?

I have so many ideas for what my “ideal state” would look like, but rarely have the time (or money) to implement or follow through on them. But slowly, some things are falling into place.

Late summer last year, I got my first Erin Condren planner. I went with a paper planner because Google Calendar just wasn’t working. Any time I really needed to see my schedule, either my phone battery was dead, or it was on an itty bitty square on my screen that said +22 items for the day. It was nearly impossible for me to make plans while away from my computer (meaning my work computer, since my home computer was having issues). Also, with a dead battery most of the time, people would tell me dates, but I’d forget to add them to my calendar by time I got home. And 99% of the time, my phone’s ringer was off, so the “alarm” feature didn’t help me a bit.

Enter my ECLP where I can use brightly colored pens, markers, and stickers! Even though it seems a little silly at times, it makes me happy and I USE THIS THING! I can honestly say that it makes a huge difference, and therefore is worth the time and money that I put into it.

Back to the busyness of my life…

In May, I started grad school again after a 3 year hiatus. This fall, I will be taking 6 credit hours, as well as working full time plus. (The plus is because I’ll also be working as much overtime as I can because grad school is expensive and I have to take at least two classes per semester). And let’s not forget my mitochondrial disease, because at any time, it can wipe everything off my calendar. 😦

Here is the plan:

I use my Erin Condren for my main schedule, including blocking out chunks of time for events, meetings, etc. The vertical layout works perfectly for me, as I tend to think about my days chronologically and prefer to plan in weekly increments. The monthly view in my ECLP is where I keep track of birthdays and bills.

Since I get sick a lot, and since my plans need to be flexible, I don’t do a lot of pre-planning, since I don’t like to have a lot of “Canceled” or “Rescheduled” stickers in my planner. So, I tend to use sticky notes as placeholders for things I plan on attending. Outside of using mini sticky notes for pre-planning bigger events, I was also using larger sticky notes to write down everything that I did in the day, so that I could record the highlights of my day in my EC later. I like being able to look back at the things I have *done* as well as what I’m looking forward to.

But then, I started having the problem of losing my large sticky notes. I’d have to try and remember what I did on a given day, and that was HARD! But I finally have a solution for that! Back in May, I received my first Emily Ley Daily Simplified Planner. It didn’t start until August, so I had to wait to use it. But now, I use this to record all of the messy details of my day instead of using sticky notes!

I made an agreement with myself that I wouldn’t use stickers in my Emily Ley. I wanted this to be strictly functional, and I wanted to be able to put all kinds of personal details like addresses and phone numbers where necessary in it, without worrying about what I was going to post online later. And I’m sticking to that… mostly….

Emily Ley! Watch for my latest blog post today at Cadyly.wordpress.com to see how I'll juggle work, grad school, and illness this semester!

Between my weekly overview (ECLP) and my detailed view (EL), I pretty much will have things nailed down. BUT! I have one more planner! I got an Erin Condren horizontal layout planner that I will be using to track things in my faith life. Church, Scripture reading, prayer, reflection, etc. This also, is mostly going to be a personal planner/journal and won’t get as much IG or blog “face time” as my main ECLP, but don’t think that it won’t be used just as much! 🙂

So, now you know the planning tools that I will use to manage my work schedule, doctor appointments, class and homework schedule, and faith life. I will go more into depth on the actual planning of things in future posts (since this one is fairly long already!). I can’t wait to see what you are using to manage the busyness of your days!

Of Exhaustion and Productivity

All week, I have been feeling worse than usual: pain, utter exhaustion, and nausea. I have several different medical conditions and sometimes it’s difficult to juggle the needs of each one. And when one starts causing problems, my whole house of cards tends to go down. When I get sick, I get *really* sick. Then again, sometimes I feel bad without any catalyst whatsoever. It’s like a fun game of What’s Today Going to Bring?

I think this week’s downward spiral began on Monday evening, when I decided to do 2% of the running that my friend Brian did. He did 6.15 miles, so this translated into 0.1234 miles for me to do, which was a numerically satisfying distance. 🙂 Well, for someone with a mitochondrial disorder, this isn’t as easy as one might think. About a third of the way into it, I ran out of stored energy and began having breathing issues and pain. And I slowed down, quite a bit. I was utterly tapped out by time I made it back to my driveway and was gasping for air. I was wheezing, since my lungs tend to react to these things like I have asthma or something, so I went inside and used my inhaler. Not that that seems to do very much good. Besides irritating my arrhythmia.

Thus began my week of pain, exhaustion, and nausea. For good measure, and perhaps due to the inflammatory aspects of my disease, my blood sugar also shot up, which meant that I had to stop eating for a while and drink a lot more water than normal. I’m thinking that I really have to see about getting some fast-acting insulin to use in addition to the Lantus — this isn’t really cutting it anymore.

Exhaustion doesn’t even really describe what I experience. There’s not a good word for it. Soul-crushing, mind-numbing exhaustion that makes you feel a little bit panicky and like you want to cry inside because you cannot sleep that. very. minute. It’s very different from being tired, but I’m not really good at explaining it.

I’ve also been prone to a lot of muscle cramping and spasms this week. On Wednesday (I think it was Wednesday), I was having pretty significant muscle weakness in my left arm. If you’ve ever spent time lifting weights, remember when you are at the end of a set and you are at your limit and your muscles start shaking? You know that feeling your muscles have when you finally put down the weight? It kind of felt like that all day. Like I just might drop a pencil if I tried to pick it up, because it was just too much. Previously, I’ve had times where my muscles have run so completely out of energy that they just stop working. Literally, I would have to use my right arm to make my left arm move. That didn’t happen, but it was a close thing. As the day wore on, I began having muscle spasms in that arm. Not pleasant, and they lasted for hours. For a couple days, at night, I’d have large muscle groups (like my entire abdominal wall, or every muscle in my left leg) contract into a big charley horse-type cramp. I love screaming in pain, really. At least I wasn’t in public when this happened. How embarrassing.

On Thursday evening, I had two meetings to attend after work. I was so exhausted driving home that I was nearly in tears as I exited I-696 to I-75. There was a lot of traffic and I just couldn’t go on any further. Except I had to. I arrived at church 45 minutes before my first meeting and spent that time napping in the car, setting my phone’s alarm app to make sure I woke up. I felt a little better and made it through my meetings.

Friday was a little bit better than Thursday, although I was still significantly nauseated and exhausted. At least my left arm was doing better. I was about at my limit at 2 or 2:30, but stuck it out until the end of my shift at 3:30 pm. I hate how my disease affects me. I like being able to help my co-workers, but sometimes, when I’m not feeling well, I think, “Please, please don’t make me get up and walk to your cube.” But that’s just the pain and exhaustion talking. And I don’t like them to dictate my behavior. So, dear co-workers, I love you. Please be patient with me. I’m doing my best, even though I feel like I’m failing you.

At the end of the work day, as per usual, I walk around the office to say goodbye to everyone. It is odd working this earlier shift; now, most people are still working when I leave. It feels weird to be leaving before everyone else. Like I’m some weird sort of slacker, taking time off while everyone else continues to work. Anyways. I stop to say good night to my boss and he stops me to talk about how I’m doing (because I tend to share things — or really, because it’s nice to have someone with whom I *can* share things, and I don’t tend to share much, except with a select few, and then it’s usually an abbreviated version of what’s actually going on). He’s concerned, and I think, would prefer that I take some time to slow down, rest, and recuperate. Except. If I rested every time I felt bad, I would not do anything at all. I’m at the point that I get tired brushing my hair. For real. That and resting doesn’t really make me feel better. Sure, sometimes I’m so exhausted that I forfeit an entire day, but I don’t feel *rested* or *better* after that; I’m just able to continue functioning instead of shutting down. I’m not sure how best to describe it. So instead of trying to fix what I cannot fix, I try to focus on living as much as I can. Doing and seeing and serving and loving as much as I can. I would rather burn brightly for a short period of time than to have more time on earth, but spend most of it in bed. Not that I think time in bed will significantly prolong my life or anything. So.

After promising to get at least 4 hours of sleep this weekend (per night, just so we are clear), I head home. Or well, not really home, since I’m exhausted. I head over to OLGC, intending to rest there for a bit before finishing the drive home. I get there and spend the next 45 minutes on their couch by the mosaic of Our Lady of Good Counsel.

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I don’t really get to sleep (perhaps for 5-10 minutes), but spend most of my time praying. They have a Fish Fry every Friday in Lent, starting at 5:30 pm. About that time, a bunch of people start coming into church, so I get up and head downstairs for dinner.

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After dinner, I head home. I make it there okay, but by the time I get to my house I’m exhausted again. I put some dishes in the dishwasher and head to bed. It’s about 8 pm. Although I’m exhausted, it takes me a while to actually fall asleep. I wake up at 3 am, after approximately 6 hours of sleep. I put away the dishes in the dishwasher and start another load. I stay busy for a couple hours, then go back down to sleep.

I get up again about 8 am. So, maybe 9 hours total? Surely, way over what I had promised to do. Saturday morning. I feel worse than Friday. So, so exhausted, and I’ve just gotten up (again). At least my blood sugar’s decent this morning (for me, anyway). I was awake a little later than I had wanted to be. I have been overdue in getting my oil changed on my car and wanted to be at the dealership when they opened, instead I arrived 45 minutes later, at 8:45 am. They had a couple of people in front of me, and it ended up taking about 2 hours, which was fine. I just sat there and caught up on my blog reading. 🙂 The receptionist/clerk/greeter (Jordan) let me know that he proposed to his girlfriend and is now engaged and due to be wed in September. So, please pray with me for his upcoming nuptials and marriage. They also ordered a part which “crumbled” while they were doing the oil change and tire rotation. It was only $15 and they’ll have it in on Tuesday, so likely sometime during Holy Week (next week!!) it will be repaired. The skid plate still needs to be replaced, but I’m still waiting on a quote for that.

Next, I headed to Home Depot. Several months ago, the lever inside my toilet tank had rusted and finally broken off. So, I’d been flushing the toilet by opening the tank and opening the flapper valve myself. Yay. I picked up a new lever and handle (since they went together, although sold separately — it was just easier than try to guess what would match my existing set up). While I was there, I picked up another hammer (since mine has been MIA for a while) so I could install my holy water font, some light bulbs which I have been needing for a while, and some all-purpose cleaner. Oh, and some paint samples, so I can finally get my bedroom re-painted. As you can see, I have a lot of things which need to be done around the house! While there, I was looking at windows, since it looks like I’ll have to replace the window in my shower, and they had a guy who can come out later today and give me a quote on it.

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Being awake only a few hours, I was already about at the limit of my exhaustion. Yet. I was right by a Kroger and needed to pick up some things there. It’s amazing how I can walk through nearly the entire store and *still* forget something. I made it out with ingredients for dinner, protein drinks, dishwasher soap, but forgot the milk. Oh well.

Feeling like I was dying, I went to the drive-thru Starbucks on the way back home. Sadly, there was a long line, but eventually, I received my life-saving iced venti no-ice mocha.

At home, I replaced the lever and handle on the toilet. I was momentarily thwarted when the adjustable wrench I have proved to be too small to get the bolt apart, but I was able to twist the handle (since the lever had already broken off) and loosen it that way. Yay! Problem solved and all is now well!

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After cleaning the bathroom, I set out to make dinner. I was going to make a “real meal,” but still being super-tired, I just made soup instead. I threw some bamboo, cut-up chicken breast, carrots, garlic, and spinach in some homemade broth and called it good. I sat down, it now being about 3 pm, and had my late lunch/early dinner while watching a movie. (No, I won’t tell you what it was; you’ll laugh at my choice!)

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Chicken Garlic Spinach Bamboo Carrot Soup

I think I mentioned that I’ve been completely exhausted since waking, right? So, since I have a couple hours before the window guy comes, I thought I’d take a quick nap. (See? I’m doing so well on this rest-thing that John suggested!) However, I wasn’t able to fall asleep, as exhaustion does not necessarily mean being tired. So. I decided to write this.

And here we are… all caught up to real time. Be sure to check for Part Two, to see how the rest of the evening/weekend goes!

God bless!

Jennie Giraffe!

Happy Tuesday! Hope everyone is feeling well today!

Does anyone remember those giraffe toys? Where you push up on the bottom and they collapse?

Colorful Giraffe Push Up Toys

Well, I’ve taken them to represent me when I’m sick.

Jennie-Giraffe!

In looking for stickers and such for my EC planner, I found these adorable giraffe stickers, and figured that I can use them to mark when I’m feeling particularly bad. That way, when I look at my planner, I don’t see a bunch of depressing pages, but a whole herd of cuteness!

Colorful Giraffe Stickers