My Favorite Things (Today)

I could hardly believe it when I checked Mama Kat’s writing prompts this week and found a topic I’d already entered as a title during a sleepless night mind-mapping section. So here are my current favorite things, in no particular order. I have affiliate links with a couple of them, but certainly not all. Take this one, for instance:


Non-slip tape. This is awesome! I bought the two-inch-wide clear tape, and my husband put it on the stairs down from the pantry to the back door. Our chocolate lab is thirteen and, um. . . more full-figured than she should be at her age. So the stairs were becoming a problem. After a few days of getting used to the tape she now hops up and down the steps like a pup! Thankfully, we had some left over. It came in handy when I slipped on our old bathmat and tumbled out of the shower. A wet, naked fifty-year-old woman wrapped like a burrito in a shower curtain is not pretty. Thankfully, my husband was home to unwrap me and help me get dried and into bed, where I stayed for forty-eight hours icing my hip and lower back. Now there’s tape on the bottom of the tub, too.


Tiffany Reisz books. She’s been writing like crazy lately, which makes me incredibly happy. The Red is her latest, and it was simply perfect. It’s a book from within her books – a book her main character in the Original Sinners series wrote. So the whole thing is like an inside joke. Her newest, Michael’s Wings, comes out today! I can’t wait for my local bookstore to order it for me, so I’ll download it on Kindle and order it from Carmichael’s so I’ll have a copy for her to sign 🙂 She’ll be in Kentucky later this month, and I hope to get a chance to see her!


Accupressure Pillow. The points on this thing are serious sharp to the touch, but I’ve slept more than one night with it under my neck or lower back and felt much less stiff than usual in the morning. And yes, they do make them in other colors. But when I have the option I always choose purple. I just noticed these are out of stock now on Zulily, but similar items are available on Amazon as well as most yoga supply shops. If there’s a locally-owned yoga shop near you this would be a great item to buy from a local business. I always #shopsmall when I can!


Kiss imPRESS Nails. I swear I wouldn’t have even looked at this ad except for Christian Siriano. Yes, the youngest winner of Project Runway, the man who made the term “fierce” popular, and my second-favorite Project Runway competitor. My FAVE is Chris March, who was in the finals competing with Christian. He was snubbed because of his use of human hair in his collection on skirts and lapels. Seriously, it was gorgeous, and there wasn’t a celebrity there who didn’t have human hair extensions glued, clipped, or sewn into their scalp. Completely hypocritical. Anyway, the nails don’t require glue, and can be removed easily. In other words, even someone with a tremor like mine can have a nice manicure for about five bucks without apologizing to the nail tech fifty times. I haven’t bought them yet, but it will be happening soon!


Sombra warming pain relief cream. Sorry to add yet another pain-relief item to this list, but you’d be surprised how many people on your Christmas gift list this year can use them. People who are doing hard physical work don’t have the time or energy to search out anything past Advil and a heating pad. It’s the people like me who pushed too hard for too long that have the answers. This is great because it doesn’t go on greasy, it smells like oranges, and it works for HOURS.

Numbering, So As Not To Ramble

— 1 —

I admit it. I tend to ramble in blog posts. Also when speaking in public – except church. I always liked being a lector, but haven’t done it for years since both the Cross and the Book are too heavy for me to carry, and I can never predict what days I will actually be able to get out of bed, let alone showered and dressed. Hair and makeup are out of the question. Have you ever seen someone with a significant tremor try to put on mascara, blush, and lipstick? Just visualize the clown in “It”. I scare fewer kids if I go out with no makeup. Sad, but true! And my hair’s always in a bun or a clip.

— 2 —

I’m writing this Sunday night, because this weekend felt like a whole week. Maybe two. It’s Kentucky, so there was a frost, then a heatwave. I’m writing this in front of an open window, hoping for a breeze! A storm just blew through, so my neck is killing me. I was accepted into some sort of “chronic pain trial” and was told I’d be receiving a non-narcotic pain relief medication from the physician who’d reviewed my history. Yeah, right. Here’s what they sent me.

I’m giving it a try, just as I did the cervical spine sit-up machine at physical therapy they had to wipe my tears from every session (turned out my vertebrae had never fused from my second surgery, so each rep was pushing bone against my spinal cord), the muscle relaxer that made my tremor so severe I couldn’t feed myself, and ALL the others. I’m using it on my back and neck twice a day. But it’s Lidocaine. Great for a sunburn, mosquito bites, and toothaches. But I’m trying!

— 3 —

My baby boy’s nineteenth birthday is coming soon. It’s been YEARS since I actually selected my sons’ Birthday or major Christmas gifts. They just send me Amazon links, for which I am very thankful. I always get them little surprises, too, usually geeky little things 😀 But this year marks not only his nineteenth birthday, but the first anniversary of his close friend’s suicide. #StayStrange was the message they all wore on rubber bracelets the rest of the year. Or rather, until their next friend ended her life shortly before graduation. Then everything fell apart. It’s a miracle the remaining thirty-one kids graduated from their respective schools.

— 4 —

Michael and I did get to spend a longer time with John this weekend than we have since he moved into the dorm. It was awesome to spend time with him, but it’s also great to know he’s got good friends he doesn’t hesitate to bring by the house even though he’s the first to admit I’m not the “average mom” – LOL! AND that he’s working hard, enjoying his classes, and planning for the future. He got Michael hooked on Stranger Things last time he came by, so Michael returned the favor by hooking him on Bloodline, which I’ve watched over and over. I think The Crown next. I loved it, and History just doesn’t interest me. But Helena Bonham Carter? She’s had me since she was Ophelia to Mel Gibson’s Hamlet.

— 5 —

Winnie the Yorkie has been hanging with us this week, and she’s been particularly sweet. Her hair is a little long and I SO want to use a bit of mousse and put it up in a bow! Perhaps right before her Mom and Dad pick her up. Or perhaps some food coloring for devil horns!

— 6 —

Oh, John’s moving to a new dorm. With a room to himself but a common bathroom. He’ll be right next to two of his best friends, and it will be wonderful! He and his current roommate are on opposite schedules and the room is TINY so it’s been hard for either of them to rest well. But of course the Parental Units are not allowed to actually SEE his dorm room, so he just borrowed Michael’s dolly to move his stuff. I’m curious to see how it goes, since he didn’t move a single box on Freshman move-in day. THIS time he’ll have to move it all down from the fourth floor (no elevator) TO whichever dorm it is, and then up to another fourth floor room (no elevator). I wore flip-flops on move-in day, and KNEW I has no business doing stairs. So I just sighed heavily and moved interesting things from box to box until a half-dozen UofL football players (or drummers – they had short hair and muscles) offered to help me take John’s stuff up to his room and set it outside since John had not seen fit to leave me his key. They were MOST interested in the chicken-head mask from a former Halloween costume.

So when Michael and John FINALLY arrived after parking the cars all the boxes were moved and there was a group of students (and fellow parents who joined in when I fell UP the stairs) chanting “Chicken Head Man!” They all high-fived him and moved on, while John gave me his patented, “WTF, Ma?!” look. I’ll update you on that solo move. I may not be banned from campus after all 😉

Carving Away Pieces to Reveil Yourself

I’ve learned over the years that you lose friends. Sometimes you gain them back, and it’s a wonderful surprise! But sometimes you don’t. Perhaps. . . no, sometimes there’s nothing more you can do. I’ve been unable to work since 2011. I’ve been in constant pain since 2009, and I will always remember those who heated up rice packs for me, who didn’t disturb me when I was lying in cervical tension in my teeny office, and who didn’t call me out on my multiple mistakes while I tried every therapy, treatment, and medication known until it was discovered my original surgeon had botched my second surgery and I had screws floating around my spinal cord and two vertebrae that weren’t even in the same zip code!

I lost a lot of friends early. It was a MASS EXODUS. But I’ve covered all that before. I had four left from “before”. Four friends whose numbers my phone knew and I would pick up no matter what was going on. Today it’s down to three and I really HATE that since it’s only ten days until my disability hearing. Right now I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, everything hurts all the time. I managed, with tears rolling down my face, to apologize to her family members for being honest. I do, sincerely, hope it helps her. She, her husband, and her kids are like family to me. But clearly she feels this is the time to move on. At this point I’m just going to be myself and everyone can take it or leave it. I am honest. I am authentic. I am Angie.

I am so incredibly thankful for those of you who have hung in there with me. If not in person, then online, via FB, via Twitter, via Nerium. My latest Nerium read has helped me keep a positive outlook throughout all this! I’ll share a review when I’ve finished it 🙂

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Anything worth doing can be done in jammies!