Tag Archives: SAD

My Winter Gratitudes

So I’m trying to remember to be grateful for the ‘little’ things instead of the dramatic things.  As I ate breakfast this morning and then did my monthly bed strip and scrub, I realized I needed to be grateful for some of the things that help me survive the winter.  Because I have two big issues that are front and foremost when the winter season and cold hits.

One is circulatory issues.  The simplest way to describe it is to say that I am chronically hypothermic.  My system can shut down at 80 degrees if I’m sweaty, it’s breezy and I’m sitting in the shade.  Blue lips, anyone?  Cold sucks.

My second issue is light.  I have SAD (seasonal affective disorder).  Talk about the blucks and blahs.  I also have a tendency to not recognize what’s happening until I’m really dragging and moving at the speed of sludge.  I need to remember to put a note on the October page of my calendar so I can get out in front of this so I don’t have to be miserable at length.

SO!  I am grateful…

This is my box, turned off, ready to go at breakfast.  See how much light is shining through the windows?

…for my light box.  It starts my day with loads of light and wakes me right up.  I can’t explain the complete and total difference this makes in my ability to function.  This is my box, turned off, ready to go at breakfast. See how much light is shining through the windows?

Now I've turned it on and it is so bright, even standing back, it makes it look like night to the camera.

Now I’ve turned it on and it is so bright, even standing back, it makes it look like night to the camera.

As I made my bed, I gave thanks to my heating blanket.  Yes, I’m super-duper grateful for a working furnace.  But it’s just not enough by itself.

My electric blanket that I use to heat the bed up before I get into it.

My electric blanket ready to warm my bed so I can sleep instead of shivering and shaking for an hour waiting for my spot on the bed to heat up.

Even though I keep the house at 74 degrees all winter, I am still cold.  My feet and hands suffer the most.  So…

My wonderful, soft and warm alpaca socks.  I buy myself a new pair every fall.

I give thanks for discovering wonderful, soft and warm alpaca socks. (Regular wool itches and scratches and is awful to my skin.) I buy myself a new pair every fall so I have a small collection now to see me through the winter.  (And they’re totally worth the weekly hand wash and line dry routine.)

And the perfect slippers.  I have two pair, one red and one grey. (Luuuuve post Christmas sales!)

And what do you need to go with perfect socks? The perfect slippers. Dearfoams! I have two pair, one red and one grey. (Luuuuve post-Christmas sales!)

Do you have special needs that you can be grateful are met?

Back From “The Pit”

Random Thoughts

So the past two months are a blur.  I just couldn’t get motivated, had more than usual trouble with sleeping, and was just doing enough to get by.  I even got behind on reading my favorite blogs several times because I couldn’t muster up the interest.

It started with finding out my dog had cancer. (More down in the pet section.)  That really upset me.  He’s only 8 years old and we’ve never had health issues with him.  It is so not fair.  My last dog got cancer, but she was 15 at the time.  I tried to snap out of it, this isn’t the first animal I’ve lost.  But it just got worse until I was just dragging myself through the days.  Then one day I was lying in bed grousing because the sun was shining in the window and all I wanted to do was pull the blankets up over my head and sleep.  Yes, you read correctly.  Robin the lizard, the sun worshipper, bitched at the sun for shining.

As I was snuggling in the covers I realized what I had just done.  I woke up some more thinking about it.  Me not wanting sun?  That’s kinda like saying I don’t need air to breathe.  So I sat up in bed thinking about that and my glance fell on my dresser.  And sitting there among the junk was my light box.  Well, shit.  AARGH!!  The mental lights came on and I realized SAD had snuck up on me two months early this year. (Seasonal Affective Disorder, for those of you who don’t know.*)  The constant cloudiness on top of being depressed about my dog just whammied me.  It didn’t help that I was trying to ignore how I felt and just keep plodding on.  Dumb, dumb, dumb.  All by itself the fact that I wasn’t reading for fun should have been a major red flag.  Depression sucks.

The only way out of this is through it.  There will be regular light sessions and noise (music, TV) to help keep me focused.  I’m still not back 100%, but bringing my daughter home for Thanksgiving and all the busyness and having to get up early most days helped quite a bit.  I’m caught up with my computer reading and have been rereading some books and I’m working wee bits on the house for the holidays.  Now it’s time to get back to blogging.  And I’m also going to make a list of things that need done in real life so that it pokes at me to scratch them off.  I am beyond behind on caring for all my critters.  (I took a gallon ice cream bucket of Java Moss out of one fish tank and there are mushrooms growing in my crab tank.  Ugh.)  Onward, Ho!

*(For the tags I first typed in Seasonal Defective Disorder! 🙂 )


In that vein, I would like to thank all my lurkers who stuck around and checked in when I wasn’t writing.  I would occasionally check in to clear out spam* and there were always a few people checking the blog.  It helped cheer me up to know that there were people still looking even though I hadn’t written anything in so long.  Also some guilt, but more cheer.  Thanks.

*Oh, spam.  You wouldn’t believe all the costume companies posting to tell me things like how ‘timely and accurate’ my blog was.  Seriously?

 Life At Our House

Roughly a month ago (?) during a brief couple of warmish days, I managed to get the bed out on the laundry lines for one last line dry.



The real fun this week was when I went to the Laundromat.  My washing machine has multiple problems (more on that in another post), one of which is it will not let hot water in.  So really dirty things must be taken to where there is warm water.  While I was talking to the lady who works there, I noticed something on the ceiling.  Suddenly I realized what it was and said, “That looks like a bat.”  The lady looked up, shrieked, jumped up from her chair so hard it fell over, and ran.  She started OMGing and saying she had to call someone.  I told her not to bother; I would catch it for her.  “Are you sure?  Are you sure?,” she kept asking.  She couldn’t believe I wasn’t afraid.  I found the right size small trash can and some cardboard to cover it.  As I was dragging a chair over to the bat, a large man came in with laundry.  Upon finding out I was going to grab a bat, he decided to head back out the front door.  Yes, I did find all this fuss over a wee bat not even as long as my finger humorous.

I caught the bat, which was not happy about being woken up in broad daylight, and took it outside to let it go.  I walked to the edge of the parking lot and shook the bat out between the building and the house below.  I figured it would fly out of the space into the trees behind the building.  Um, no.  It fluttered to the ground, still not awake enough to fly.  The house below had two cats I didn’t see until they ran to the edge of the porch to look down at the bat. Well, crap.  The street runs along a hill at this point.  The building where I was, was built up to the road.  The house next to it was not and sits down off the street with a long series of steps down to it.  I ran out to the road and around the poles to the steps and in my clogs I cloppity clopped down the stairs.  The cats decided I was scarier than the bat was interesting and bailed.  I went through the yard to scoop up one seriously pissed off bat who was now awake enough to screech at me and show me allll his teeth.  And let me tell you, they have a lot of teeth.

I went back up to the Laundromat and said I would take the bat to my house and I’d be back with the trash can.  The large man was back and when he realized I had the bat he scooted backwards about ten feet shaking his head, “Those things give me the creeps.”  The lady proclaimed me her savior.  I took the bat home and put him on my huge burn pile where I felt he would be safe from the neighbor’s cats.  It was only then that I thought of the camera and by the time I got back he had moved and folded his wings up.  So you only get to see him smooshed together.  By the time I got back from returning the trash can to the Laundromat, he was gone.



When I got back to the Laundromat, the lady gave me a card.  On it was written, “Bat Lady, $2.00 off your next load.”  🙂

 Fur Babies and Other Friends

Our dog Jake has bladder cancer.  It started out as blood in his urine.  We went the antibiotic route and the blood went away for a while.  Then it came back.  More antibiotics.  It went away and came back faster.  We played around with it for a while and then started running tests.  Lab work on his urine said maybe stones.  But it wasn’t really conclusive.  Our vet sent us to another vet who has an ultrasound and that was how we found the tumor.  Transitional Cell Carcinoma.  There is no cure for it.  Just treatments to extend life.

My vet isn’t real big on going to extremes just to keep an animal alive longer.  I like that about him.  It’s not that he won’t if that’s what you want to do; it’s just that he prefers quality of life over buying the animal a few miserable extra months.  So I asked him what he would do if the dog was his.  So on October 8, Jake underwent exploratory surgery to see if there was enough good bladder so the vet could take out the tumor and make him a small bladder and buy him some extra time.  He took a look and closed him up.  The tumor was too high up the neck of the bladder, too many nerves would be damaged, and the bladder was too involved.

Jake came home miserable as all get out.  He had trouble walking and we would have to lift his back-end up to get him back in the house.  He would lie down and not move, so when we made him get up to go out he would be so stiff he could barely stand.  It was awful.  It took him a couple of weeks to get ‘normal’ again.

And normal is what is making this so hard to deal with.  Other than pee problems, he doesn’t look or act sick.  It has really been hard to wrap my head around the fact that we are going to lose him.  He is currently on a human arthritis medication which they found blocks the enzymes the tumor needs to keep growing.  Some dogs my vet has treated with this have lived as long as 2 years after they were diagnosed.  In the articles I was reading a small percentage of dogs actually went into remission.  I took him in for a recheck and the vet says the tumor hasn’t grown anymore and is softer which is good.  So now we just take care of him and deal with things as they come.  I really hope he makes it to Christmas.  He loves all the tearing of the packages because he gets the wrapping paper to destroy.


Home Caring

My kitchen table got lost again.


Here it is after the clean up.  Yes, that’s Thanksgiving stuff.  There were no Thanksgiving decorations put up because I didn’t do it.  And I had some surviving gourds that hadn’t rotted away waiting to be put out.  So I grabbed some squash and a pie pumpkin and made my usual table decoration.  I’ll enjoy it for a couple of days and then I’ll swap it out for the Christmas stuff.


Of course I had to spoil it somewhat by putting stuff I’m working on and the computer back on the table.


 Mug of the Day



Another thing I need to do is get to bed earlier!  It’s now 1:21 am and I still need to proof and post!  🙂  Night all…