skunk

 

Just a few nibbles to tide you over, until I decide to write a real post.  Whenever that may be.

  • This weekend, I went into the danger zone.  A "stunk" got caught in the raccoon trap, causing all sorts of stinky mayhem.  Country girls can survive, that's all I'm say'in.  On a side note, skunks are a lot prettier up close than I thought they would be.  Also, they smell even worse than I ever imagined.
  • The She Reads Truth app has finally launched and it is great!  They have some free studies, some lightly priced ones, plus free scripture lock screens and more.  It's a great way to get your daily Bible reading in and learn along side a wonderful community of gals.
  • I am fascinated by Tsh's capsule wardrobe for their upcoming world-wide tour.  She and her family are hitting the road for one whole year of travel and she has her very limited wardrobe all ready to go. I don't know if I could pull that off!
  • I desperately need these sticky page flags!   I might need these as well.  And since we're add it, might as well throw these in too.
  • I wish I had never discovered this, because now I want to spread it on everything.
  • I just finished Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell.  Through the first couple pages I was thinking, "I don't know about this...".  Then I got sucked into the vortex and when it ended I was screaming, "Nooooooo!!!!!"  It's that good. (warning: it contains language and some dark (but real) subject matter; parents preview it before letting your teens read it.)
  • Every weekend I intend to rent a movie.  But then I start strolling through my Netflix queue, watch 5 documentaries and never get around to picking a movie!  I need some recommendations!

Seriously, I need your movie suggestions so next weekend I don't end up watching 15 Secrets of the Vatican.

 

*** This post may contain affiliate links, thanks for supporting accordingtocarey.com!

2 Comments

 

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Here are some left-overs from the past few weeks:

  • As you can see from the above photo, the raccoons are back.  Dirty little thieves.
  • I added a board to my Pinterest called Color Love.  A theme is becoming increasingly clear.... I might be mildly obsessed with shades of blue and green.
  • In the summer, all I want for breakfast, lunch and dinner is popsicles.  I think this one sounds dee-vine.
  • Everyone is talking about the tragic loss of Robin Williams.  Some kind words, some not-so-kind words.  Grace people, grace.  Also, we lost Lauren Bacall who is one of my all time favorites.  She was tough & elegant, sultry & smart.  One classy lady.  The world feels a little duller without them both.
  • My sister started a mobile spray tanning business this summer.  All organic, paraben free, etc.  The color is amazing and fades very nicely. You can see her FB page here.
  • Another sister, niece and I went to see the musical Brigadoon at the local round-about theater.  We had so much fun!  It always makes me laugh when people are standing 2 inches from each other's faces and belting out show-tunes.  Try doing that in real life.
  • Although I can only have dairy about once a week, I have a new favorite yogurt.  I'm not sure what "French style" means except yummy.
  • Mandi over at Vintage Revivals is over-hauling a little camper and I can't wait to see how it turns out.  She has added that blue/green penny tile that I love so much.
  • I've been burning through the books this summer!  I'm in the middle of The Rosie Project, but finished Where'd You Go Bernadette, Your Personal Paleo Code, Nom-Nom Paleo and Practical Paleo.   Yes, I am feeling a little better since switching to *mostly* Paleo.  You can find some of my other read and to-read lists over at Good Reads.
  • Can you guess which one I want?  Although, they are all darling.

That's it for this week, I hope you enjoy your weekend.  I'll be out trapping raccoons.

*** This post may contain affiliate links, thanks for supporting accordingtocarey.com!

 

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It's midyear, I just passed another birthday and it seems like as good a time as any to stop and take stock (inspiration from this site), reflect a little, give you a sneak peak into my day.  If you would like to join me you can share your list on the FB Page!

Making : Angel wings. No, that's not a metaphor for anything, it's part of an art course I'm re-taking this summer.  They are about 2 feet long, made of wood joining biscuits (I have no idea what they are really for).

Cooking : Pesto.  Although, I guess that doesn't technically count as "cooking" since it's just a matter of tossing all the ingredients in the food processor but I harvested my basil this week so pesto-making is on the list tonight.  As for real cooking, I plan to make some bone broth in the pressure cooker this weekend.  

Drinking : Coffee, decaf. With a tiny bit of creamer.  I really need to stop using creamer (nothing but chemicals) but its a tough habit to break.
Reading:  Oh boy, this is a tough one to answer because I'm always in the middle of about 7 books at a time.  Today I will finish The Happiness Project, which was a great read!
Wanting: To start working out again, for reals.  Not just physical therapy.  Sigh...
Looking: At the mess of half-finished art projects on my desk.  Focus, Carey, focus!
Playing: 2048 app.  So simple, so addictive.
Wasting: 2 serrano peppers in the crisper.  Let's face it, there's only so many things you can do with hot peppers.
Sewing: Nada. I only sew when I absolutely must.
Wishing: The next season of Nashville was on. I binge-watched the first 2 seasons and now I'm impatiently waiting.
Enjoying: Summer.  Even when it's "too hot", I'm at my best in the summer months.
Waiting: Ina's got a new book coming out this fall!
Liking: Stitcher.  I also use Instacast to listen to podcasts, but Stitcher has some great features as well.
Wondering: Why in the heck I can't get those first two paragraphs single spaced! These are the things that drive me crazy.
Loving: My new, red, 20 oz Klean Kanteen.  Klean Kanteens are the best! #kleankanteen

Hoping:
 This next 6 months brings some clarity as to why my body keeps shutting down.
Marveling: At how much food I have grown over the past year.  It has it's ups and downs but overall, my garden rocks!
Needing: To remember to take all my supplements.  I always forget something!
Smelling:  The coffee I'm drinking.
Wearing: Skinny jeans, black peasant-ish top, black flats. Pretty standard uniform for me during the week.
Following: Wellness Mama, Chris Kresser & Liz Wolfe.
Noticing: I need to give my fingernails some attention this weekend. Maybe a coat or two of bright blue polish?
Knowing: It will all work out somehow.
Thinking: How I won the Family & Friends Lottery.  They really are the best.
Feeling: I haven't felt well all year.  My body needs a serious reset.
Bookmarking: A bunch of Paleo recipes.  I'm not really a 'Paleo" zealot, but I need to avoid the high-inflammatory foods for a while and since there are so many great recipes floating around these days that just happened to also be Paleo, it will make meals easier.
Opening: My order from Sephora came in! I ran out of concealer weeks ago but I waited to re-order so I could cash in on my birthday month freebies.
Giggling:  I'm not much of a giggler.

3 Comments

skeleton2

I have dealt with chronic illness for about 15 years now and after all this time, I have come to understand this truth...

The problem with chronic illness is that you get sick.

Profound, right? Ok, let me narrow it down a little more:

  • symptoms you thought you conquered ten years ago suddenly come back with a vengeance.
  • just when you think you have experienced every symptom in the book, a new one pops up.
  • one day you feel great, the next day you wake up feeling like you were run over by a rice harvester.  For you city-folk, a rice harvester looks like this:
  • even "fun" events can trigger illness.
  • your previous diagnosis suddenly doesn't fit anymore.
  • your best laid plans are pointless because you have no idea how your body is going to feel next Tuesday.
  • medicines or treatments that used to work suddenly do not work any more.
  • you want to go out and do fun things with fun people BUT INSTEAD your body will only allow you enough energy to drive home from work, plop down on the couch and cry.
  • your. brain. is. dead.

Last fall I was feeling better than I had felt in a long time.  Not perfect, but much better.  Then right in the middle of my 31 Day series, it all slammed back at me again.  I knew this might happen, after all, pushing myself physically or mentally wears me out and always makes me "flare up."  But this was more than a few days of tired.  It was a complete resurgence of every bad symptom that started 15 years ago.

I thought I could just take a few weeks and rest then things would settle down.  They didn't.  So more tests, more meds, more protocols.  More research, lots more reading.  Lots more rest.  And I re-read my own advice from the 31 Days.  It was such a great reminder of what I needed to do, or not do, to survive the storm.

Today I'm a little better than I was over the winter.  I think the warmer weather and longer days help. I'm also figuring out which foods cause which symptoms so I've been playing with my diet a lot (If you were wondering what happened to the Friday Recipes, I'm not doing much cooking right now).  Although I'm still not able to work out much, I have a new physical therapist and saw significant improvements in my knee from the very first week.

basil pots

And my garden... my beloved garden.  The garden is so therapeutic for me, perhaps because my mother and I spent a lot of time in it, but I do so much love puttering around out there, watching things grow. BTW: you can catch the play-by-play garden fun over on Instagram.

I did manage to get the 31 Day guide edited (mostly) and set up a whole page just for Wellness resources.  You can download the guide for free or scroll through the ever growing resource list here.

Happy weekend everyone, do something that makes you happy!

molasses crinkles

 

I'm sharing a family recipe over at my friend Becky's blog "The Last Jar"!  Don't miss out on this recipe, it is one of my favorites, especially around the holidays.

molasses crinkles

This recipe comes together quickly and has a small list of ingredients that pack a spicy punch.

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I hope you'll hop on over to The Last Jar and grab this recipe and take a look around at the other terrific recipes on Becky's site.

cookies on porch for p

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 I guess I forgot to tell you... I'm on a short sabbatical.  Just for a little bit, I needed a rest.

You realize, of course, that when you decide to write a 31 day survival guide on surviving chronic illness your own body is going to revolt.  At the very beginning of the series my hormones went south, which made writing for 31 days straight a lot harder than it should have been; then my back started acting up which lead to last weekend's total dependence on Vicodin.  It's all a blur.

So the past couple weeks and for the next few days I am in the middle of editing the 31 Day series and formatting it into a PDF so everyone will be able to download it, print it, share it, add it to their favorite e-reader, etc.  I'm also designing a special page on the site just for Chronic Illness.  I want you to be able to find the resources, whenever you need them.

I'm also writing a guest post for one of my foodie-friends that will be posted later this month.  I'll let you know when that happens.  Oooh, and another friend is releasing his e-book any day and yours-truly contributed a couple sentences to that.

So while it may seem there's not much going on here, there's a lot going on behind the scenes.  Check back soon, we're just getting started!

6 Comments

surviving chronic illness

 

We made it.  31 Days of traveling together down the road of chronic illness, sharing advise and hope. It was my greatest wish to give you content that would be helpful, no matter where you are at in your journey.  So where do we go from here?

We keep moving forward.  If you are still looking for a diagnosis, keep knocking on doors until you find someone who can help you.  If you have a diagnosis and are trying to find the strength to live through another day of sickness, I hope you will take the time to practice some body & soul comfort. If you are in a spot in your journey where you are having more good days than bad ones, I encourage you to find someone else who is suffering and lend them a hand.

This 31 day series is over but my compassion for you is still going strong.  I will continue to periodically post articles on health, wellness, faith & hope.  In the coming weeks I will be transcribing all these posts into one document that will be available for download, free of charge, so you can remind yourself of the content or share with others.  Of course, the individual posts will stay available here as well and I will put a special tab or button on the home page to help you find them.

Thank you dear readers, thank you contributors, thank you for those who were praying for me during this mission of mine.  I thank God for all of you.

Day One- 31 Days Of Surviving Chronic Illness

Day Two- An Introduction

Day Three- A Diagnosis

Day Four- The Good, The Bad & The Indifferent

Day Five- Think Outside Of The Box Part 1

Day Six- Think Outside Of The Box Part 2

Day Seven- Guest Post: Advocacy

Day Eight- Snags To Watch For

Day Nine- Feed Your Body

Day Ten- Listen Up!

Day Eleven- Stop Eating Chemicals

Day Twelve- Eat Your Colors

Day Thirteen- Easy Veggies

Day Fourteen- A Little Is Better Than None

Day Fifteen- Rest

Day Sixteen- A Little Comfort Is What You Need

Day Seventeen- Alternatives In Nutrition

Day Eighteen- Recognize The Patterns

Day Nineteen- Allergies/Intolerances

Day Twenty- Food For Thought

Day Twenty-One- Guest Post, You Are Enough

Day Twenty-Two- Don't Pretend

Day Twenty-Three- Restore

Day Twenty- Four- Find Your Tribe

Day Twenty-Five- Find Some Sunshine

Day Twenty-Six- Real Or Not Real?

Day Twenty-Seven- Guest Post By Amy Sandvos

Day Twenty-Eight- Let Them Go

Day Twenty-Nine- Let Your Weakness Make You Strong

Day Thirty- Resources

Day Thirty-One- In Conclusion

 

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During this 31 Day Series on Chronic Illness I have briefly mentioned some health/wellness resources but as promised here is a list of books, websites, podcasts and other information that might be helpful for your journey through chronic illness.

Some of them are very general, meaning they will apply to anyone.  Others are more disease specific. This list is ever-growing, I just jotted down the ones that came to memory but I will be adding more and more resources to it as time goes by and this list will be readily available from my home page.

If you have any resources to share feel free to comment here or email them to me, we're all in this together!

BOOKS/MAGAZINES/ARTICLES

WEBSITES/BLOGS
FILMS/DOCUMENTARIES
 
 
PODCASTS
 
 
MUSIC
      

2 Comments

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This month we have been privileged to hear from 3 guest writers: Beckie Miller, Chris Morris, Amy Sandvos.  Each writer shared from their experience, they've been there.  They have experienced struggles and they have seen victories.  One more thing they all have in common: they still suffer from chronic illness, disease or pain. Beckie's husband still has Parkinson's disease, Chris and his daughter still suffer from seizures, Amy's son will likely deal with the effects of chemotherapy his entire life.

They, and I, still have bad days.  In fact, for the first 3 weeks of this series I suffered a relapse, I was barely able to get through each day. So despite my great improvement from 13 years ago, my body is still broken.   I was preaching to myself this month.  But time and experience has helped me gain some wisdom, some perspective, some tools to get through the bad days and that's what I hoped to pass on to you during this 31 day series.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon is known as one of the most famous preachers in England during the late 1800's.  He was known for preaching to crowds numbering in the tens of thousands and has the nickname "Prince Of Preachers." What many people do not realize is that Spurgeon was no stranger to chronic illness.  He himself suffered from gout, kidney disease, "rheumatism", and depression.  His wife was also frequently ill.  Here is what Spurgeon has to say about his affliction with depression:

One Sabbath morning, I preached from the text, “My God, My God, why has Thou forsaken Me?” and though I did not say so, yet I preached my own experience. I heard my own chains clank while I tried to preach to my fellow-prisoners in the dark; but I could not tell why I was brought into such an awful horror of darkness, for which I condemned myself.
On the following Monday evening, a man came to see me who bore all the marks of despair upon his countenance. His hair seemed to stand up right, and his eyes were ready to start from their sockets. He said to me, after a little parleying, “I never before, in my life, heard any man speak who seemed to know my heart. Mine is a terrible case; but on Sunday morning you painted me to the life, and preached as if you had been inside my soul.”
By God’s grace I saved that man from suicide, and led him into gospel light and liberty; but I know I could not have done it if I had not myself been confined in the dungeon in which he lay.
I tell you the story, brethren, because you sometimes may not understand your own experience, and the perfect people may condemn you for having it; but what know they of God’s servants? You and I have to suffer much for the sake of the people of our charge. . . .
 You may be in Egyptian darkness, and you may wonder why such a horror chills your marrow; but you may be altogether in the pursuit of your calling, and be led of the Spirit to a position of sympathy with desponding minds. (An All Round Ministry, 221–222)

My question for you is this: What do you have to share?  What have you learned on your journey back to wellness? Who can you encourage today?  Who can you empathize with? Who can you be an advocate for?

Despair and self-pity have a way of creeping in when we become too focused on our own pain to realize that there are hurting people all around us. Those co-sufferers need to hear your story.  They need to hear your wisdom. They need to know that they are not alone.

I want to encourage you to take a look around your circumstances and see who you can be a messenger of hope to.  They're out there, waiting to hear what you have to say.

tumblr_mve3gcenob1st5lhmo1_1280 "You find out who your friends are, somebody's gonna drop everything.  Run out and crank up their car, hit the gas, get there fast, never stop and think 'what's in it for me,' or 'it's way too far.' They just show on up, with their big ole heart.  You find out who your friends are."    - country song by Tracy Lawrence

Whenever the above song comes on the radio I get a little choked up.  Happy tears, actually.  I have the world's best support team behind me and I have no idea how I could have made it to this point without them; from being unable to walk down to the mailbox to writing a 31 day series on how to survive chronic illness.

Some of you are very hurt right now.  Not just physically but emotionally. Because the very people you thought you would be able to count on, the people you thought would walk every road with you, left you behind.  And you just can't understand how they can be that insensitive, that uncaring.  Didn't your friendship mean anything to them?

Let them go.

And I don't mean that in a "What-eh-ver, you don't like me? Fine, I don't like you!" kind of way. We want to believe that our current set of friends are the same friends we will have for the rest of our life.  But the truth is, friends come and go.  And sometimes they come back again.  Each person enters your life for a season, to share life's joys and teach you something about the world and yourself.  Embrace those people in your life today.  Savor every smile, every laugh, every tear.  But when that season is over and it's time for them to leave you...

...let them go.

When you're suffering through chronic illness or pain, there are a few reasons why "friends" may disappear:

  • They don't realize how sick you are.  In the early days I was unwilling to admit even to myself how sick I was, I wasn't about to admit it to my friends. All this did was delay their understanding, leaving them confused. Have you explained to your friends exactly what is going on with you physically?  Have you shared a list of symptoms with them?
  • They don't know how to help. After one of my many surgeries, Bree wanted to help but she didn't know what to do. Besides laying in bed and resting there wasn't much I needed however, there was one thing I wanted: mashed potatoes & gravy from KFC. Crazy right? But I couldn't yet tolerate heavy foods and it sounded comforting.  I let Bree know that's what I wanted and guess who showed up at my front door with mashed potatoes & gravy?  It made me feel good because it was what my body was craving that day and it helped her feel like she was being helpful.  Have you asked your friends for their help or or you waiting for them to just show up and magically know what you need.
  • They are walking through struggles of their own. Just because you are in crisis doesn't mean everyone else's lives go on cruise control.  Maybe they are new parents or on the brink of divorce or dealing with their own illness. When you are suffering from pain or illness there may not be much you can do for your friends but there is one thing you can do: cut them some slack.
  • They can't relate.  If they have never suffered any serious illness they are going to have no idea of what you're going through. One of my other close buddies suffered a miscarriage and had a tough time recovering.  Over the course of her recovery she experienced the hormone crash that follows miscarriage and she called me crying, "I'm so sorry that you feel like this every day!" It wasn't until that experience that she began to understand what I was going through. She was able to empathize and offer a new kind of support.
  • They need a break.  Being the care-giver can be tiring; physically, mentally, emotionally.  This is why it is important to have a whole team of people helping you.  Give your friends a break when they need it.
  • They just don't care.  Ugh.  This is the hardest one to reconcile in our hearts.  It is gut-wrenching to have a "friend" walk away while you are in your greatest time of need for no other reason than your illness has become inconvenient to their desire to have a good time.  It isn't mature, it isn't right. But sometimes is true.

I think most of the time friends disappear it is a unique combination of the above but no matter their reason for being absent or for walking away you have a choice to make. You can lash out, call them out on it and verbally attack them for your perception of their behavior.  Or you can sit and stew about it, allowing the bitterness and resentment to fester and ferment which will only prolong your emotional and physical suffering.

Or you can let them go.

Be grateful for the time you spent together as friends.  Remember the fun times without any hint of resentment for the present situation. In your heart, thank them for their friendship then release them to live their own life, their own journey.  Understand that they may need to leave in order to allow space for someone else in to your life that can better aid you along your road to wellness.  And if their path should bring them back to you someday, welcome them with gratitude, no resentment or revenge.

Then let them go.  Let the hurt go.  Let healing in.