METALBABE's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=METALBABE METALBABE's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community SparkPeople.com http://assets2.sparkpeople.com/assets/nav/logo_spark.gif http://www.sparkpeople.com/ Day 62 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5263943 Well, it has been almost a full month. I feel like I have been sort of holding my breath all month, waiting for my surgery date. Now it is tomorrow, and here I am. <BR> <BR> Much has happened this month. I am grateful that my surgery is tomorrow, because my health has challenged me this month. I still have a hard time breathing, and my heart continues to be out of rhythm despite the beta blockers. The meds I am on make me feel lethargic, exhausted, and cause me serious GI upset. Can'... Mon, 25 Feb 2013 20:58:54 EST Day 61 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5233755 I took Bunsen to the vet today. He has gained weight inexplicably and his skin has been horribly itchy. He's also super-stiff. I feared something systemic and horrible. But the vet thinks he's just excited about food after having his abscess removed last year and his weight is hard on his joints. And his itchiness? Fleas!!!!! I never thought I would be grateful my cat has fleas, but I am. <BR> <BR> I'm also so grateful for my friends, especially Bev, Mel and Shirl. Without their support, I... Fri, 1 Feb 2013 21:07:31 EST Day 60 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5223682 Well, my next procedure is scheduled - February 26. I still have not had my consultation, but I asked to schedule it now so I could start getting subs for my classes, etc. My consultation will be next week. <BR> <BR> My brother is terrified (like, clinically phobic) about flying, but for about a year he had to fly at least three times a month for his job. During the height of this torture, I asked him if doing it so often was helping to lessen the effects of the phobia, like exposure ther... Fri, 25 Jan 2013 21:44:26 EST Day 59 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5220999 I am truly grateful to say I have gotten the job! Ok, I should say that the boss still wants me after my "full disclosure" email. I am grateful to be able to add to my income, but perhaps more importantly, I'm grateful to have the opportunity to work for an employer with such integrity, values and HUMANITY. I have become so jaded with my past few employment situations that I think I stopped believing such a thing even existed. I feel very fortunate! Thanks for cheer eading me on, gals. Thu, 24 Jan 2013 00:37:11 EST Day 58 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5217853 Well, another day spent in bed and I am still totally exhausted. Not at all ready to face a long week of teaching. I think it must be the effects of the beta blockers I am feeling. They depress the whole circulatory system - slowing the heart rate and lowering blood pressure - but really they just end up depressing ME. I feel lethargic and dizzy and totally not myself. I really, really hope i am not on these for long. The blood thinners also are throwing me for a bit of a loop. I bruis... Mon, 21 Jan 2013 23:15:24 EST Day 57 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5215030 The procedure went smoothly yesterday. After the IV blew out three of my veins, everything else was predictable and relatively easy. It was a huge relief to wake up from anesthesia in a regular heart rhythm. I could take a deep breath for the first time in days. It's funny how we take that for granted. <BR> <BR> I'm still pretty exhausted, but I drove, cooked and went back to work for half a day today. Also had a job interview today. More on that at a later date when I have more energy. Jus... Sun, 20 Jan 2013 00:53:00 EST Day 56 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5212380 Oh, boy, has it been a long day. I have been in atrial fibrillation since Tuesday - a crazy rhythm of 190bpm at rest. I saw the cardiologist in hospital today and after many tests learned that I need to have a TEE (trans esophageal echocardiogram)-guided cardioversion tomorrow morning to restore a normal rhythm. He put me on beta blockers and a blood thinner. I feel so totally exhausted. My heart has basically been running a marathon for two days straight. <BR> <BR> I'm not scared of the pr... Fri, 18 Jan 2013 00:46:25 EST Day 55 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5205966 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/2/l1286816807.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I am grateful to have survived my first week of teaching despite somehow STILL being sick. This sore throat just will not quit. My voice is mostly back, but if I use it too much, I go hoarse right away again. And still so tired. But hanging in there! It could be worse! <BR> <BR> I am grateful that I got to be there with Jillian for her first viewing of Star Wars. I know I am a total geek, but seeing this mo... Mon, 14 Jan 2013 00:24:42 EST Day 54 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5196155 Still slogging through this nasty illness. I am grateful to have survived this first day teaching. I hope I can do tomorrow with two classes in a row until 10pm. I'm grateful that my partner doesn't seem to have this bug. <BR> <BR> That's about all I can muster tonight. Trying to get an early night's sleep. Thanks for all the well wishes. Tue, 8 Jan 2013 00:17:22 EST Day 53 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5193781 I am grateful today to have a bit more of my voice back, since i start teaching early tomorrow morning. I wish I felt better though. I actually feel WORSE since my voice started coming back. Headaches and exhaustion. Hope that leaves soon too. <BR> <BR> I am grateful to be back teaching. As nice as the break was, breaks mean no income, which is not ok. I hate being this hand-to-mouth with income. Hopefully something loosens up soon. <BR> <BR> I am grateful that I only have one class ... Sun, 6 Jan 2013 20:32:24 EST Day 52 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5191680 Oh, dear, I have really fallen off the wagon with posting. I have been spending so much time on the computer looking for jobs and working on a new budget in Excel that my eyes are bleary by the end of the night. That and I have made the mistake of waiting until the end of the night to do my gratitudes. While it's a nice time to be able to reflect on the whole day, it's difficult to muster the energy to do anything after the rest of the day is through. <BR> <BR> My voice is coming back, ... Sat, 5 Jan 2013 13:56:00 EST Day 51 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5185237 Ugh. So sick. Lost my voice last night, and not from New Year's Eve reveling. I'm feeling disappointed and scared about too many things to be feeling much gratitude unfortunately. Trying to be positive for the new year ahead, but feeling a bit discouraged right now. <BR> <BR> I had to miss the friends and family day at Nia today because I am sick. Jillian, Jan and Shirl were all going to come with me. But it wasn't in the cards. When I woke up Jillian and told her, she said, "That's alright... Wed, 2 Jan 2013 00:56:39 EST Day 50 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5179662 Totally sick. Passed out last night before writing. I think I have an ear infection, and maybe strep? Guess I have to wait the weekend until my doctors' office is open again. I really need to find a new doctor. The PA in my current office seems to just act like I'm bothering them when I call because I'm having a problem. I'm following up on a mass they found on my liver back in May right now, and I swear I can practically hear the eye-rolling over the phone... Not cool. <BR> <BR> I think ... Sat, 29 Dec 2012 10:02:14 EST Day 50 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5179661 Totally sick. Passed out last night before writing. I think I have an ear infection, and maybe strep? Guess I have to wait the weekend until my doctors' office is open again. I really need to find a new doctor. The PA in my current office seems to just act like I'm bothering them when I call because I'm having a problem. I'm following up on a mass they found on my liver back in May right now, and I swear I can practically hear the eye-rolling over the phone... Not cool. <BR> <BR> I think ... Sat, 29 Dec 2012 10:02:14 EST Day 49 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5178321 I woke up very early this morning with a very sore thrit and it's been downhill since then. Now I'm feverish and headachy, and my sore throat now includes an earache as well. I was sad not to be able to really enjoy our last morning of our mini-vacation, but at this point, I am just glad to be home. <BR> <BR> I am glad that the sickness didn't hit me until after a very nice day of vacation. <BR> <BR> I am grateful to be home. <BR> <BR> I am grateful to be going to couples' counseling w... Fri, 28 Dec 2012 00:42:51 EST Day 48 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5177289 Wonderful day today. I got to go snowshoeing for the first time ever, had a great meal and a bath in a tub deep enough for tall people, all with no fighting with my partner! Bliss. <BR> <BR> I'm grateful for the sun on my face for a bit today. In Portland it's been raining nonstop for about a month and a half. This was such a relief from those doldrums. <BR> <BR> I'm grateful that I was able to keep up with the snowshoeing group relatively well without embarrassing myself too badly. It r... Thu, 27 Dec 2012 02:16:02 EST Day 47 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5176273 <BR> <BR> Merry Christmas! Tonight I'm writing snuggled up in a big comfy bed in a quiet cabin surrounded by snow. The morning was hectic with a stressful drop off of my stepdaughter with her mother on the way out of town. Three hours of white-knuckle slippery blizzard driving later, we are here, safe and sound. I am SO GRATEFUL that we were able to get here safely despite the road conditions. It's been a while since I drove in snow and never in this car. Thank god for manual transmissio... Wed, 26 Dec 2012 02:29:20 EST Day 46 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5175097 Yes, I skipped a day yesterday, but I was so tapped out by the end of the open house and a long night with my stepdaughter that I just didn't have anything left. <BR> <BR> The party went well, though I realized that I am actually a totally antisocial person. I ended up in the kitchen and running around the whole time, making sure everyone had beverages, cleaning up after kids, etc. part of that was me being a good host, but I realize much of it is the fact that when I am not "serving," I d... Mon, 24 Dec 2012 10:52:15 EST Day 45 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5173408 Tonight, as I prepare to sink into unconsciousness, I am grateful for the relative bounty that I am able to share with those I love. I was able to afford to buy the ingredients needed to bake hundreds of cookies which we'll be distributing at the open house on Sunday. I know they're not extravagant gifts, but I hope their recipients will recognize that they're from the heart. <BR> <BR> Sweet dreams, everyone. Sugarplums, and all that... Sat, 22 Dec 2012 02:48:20 EST Day 44 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5172527 Just checking in before an early bedtime. I'm exhausted. I'm grateful that tonight's class seemed to have been successful for Paul and Mel. I'm grateful that Keith and I had a peaceful (as in no fighting) night. That's pretty much it. I sleep now.... Fri, 21 Dec 2012 00:35:59 EST Day 43 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5171656 Just wanted to slip a blog entry in under the wire before I pass out today. I had another crazy but productive day today, starting with a follow-up ultrasound to look at the masses on my liver. The tech of course couldn't/wouldn't tell me anything about what he saw, but he did call in the doctor on shift to come take a look as something he had been measuring. Guess I will have to wait to hear what my doctor has to say after she receives the results. I am grateful that the test is over. <B... Thu, 20 Dec 2012 02:55:52 EST Day 42 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5170693 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/7/l1739670546.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Today has been a hectic day again. I feel like I say that too much. But lots to be grateful for. <BR> <BR> I am grateful for my partner's help tonight with the continued baking marathon. It actually was really healing for me to have him in the kitchen baking with me, rather than in the office on his computer. i know he had no real interest, and it was a sacrifice for him. It meant a lot. <BR> <BR> I met wit... Wed, 19 Dec 2012 02:17:51 EST Day 41 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5169737 Today, I feel deep gratitude for two things related to family. First, I am grateful to have siblings. I know I have mentioned my brother specifically before, but I also have a sister for whom I am grateful (most of the time). I spoke with her today, and the genuine affection she expressed was really great. Having people around your age who have known you all of your life and shared many of your experiences is incredibly valuable. I will miss being with them very much this Christmas. <BR... Tue, 18 Dec 2012 02:34:22 EST Day 40 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5168684 Today, I am so grateful to be feeling more like myself. It took until the afternoon before I could actually say that, but it seems to be holding now, and that's great. I ate some simple foods and nothing seems to be immediately exploding out either end. Life is good. <BR> <BR> I am grateful for the other best Christmas present ever, which I got last year from my BFF. She gave me her kitchenaid mixer because she never used it. I use it ALL THE TIME and think of her every time. We literally m... Mon, 17 Dec 2012 01:24:06 EST Day 39 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5167652 Just read Mel's blog and it sounds like Ellie and I are still in the same boat. My stepdaughter is on her way here, and I am sort of bracing for impact. I'm not good at disengaging myself from her/them, and she always wants to hang all over me. As I've said in the past, I am happy she likes me, but I'm just not up to it tonight, so we'll have to see. We were supposed to go look at Christmas lights tonight, but now it will have to wait till next week. Sigh. <BR> <BR> I am stupendously grat... Sat, 15 Dec 2012 21:55:46 EST Day 38 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5166917 I don't know how it's possible, but somehow I seem to have caught Ellie's stomach bug! I woke up a bit nauseated and now am in full-blown grossness. It's stressing me out not just because I feel so bad, but because I don't have time to be down right now. Ah we'll, not much I can do. <BR> <BR> I am grateful that I was home when this hit. <BR> <BR> I am grateful that my stepdaughter won't be here until 6pm tomorrow. <BR> <BR> I am grateful to have been contacted by another old friend fro... Fri, 14 Dec 2012 23:41:21 EST Day 37 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5165766 Today was my last day of teaching for the fall term. I am grateful to have open time, now, to put my full attention into the studio and then to holiday planning. <BR> <BR> I'm not going to force myself to identify three specific things or events for which I am grateful every day. I want to really FEEL gratitude for the things I write, not just check the task of finding three things I am grateful for off my list. So I may have one on some days, or maybe even nothing for which I am particu... Thu, 13 Dec 2012 19:09:01 EST Day 36 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5164706 I've been having some sort of PTSD from the miscarriage for the past week. It was almost exactly a year ago that I was pregnant, and it's hard to believe that I have been arguing with my partner for a year to try to do it again, this time on purpose. It's hard not to think of what life would be like if we had had that baby. I wish I could have known that experience. A year of fertility when you are 40 is very, very precious... <BR> <BR> I am grateful that I was able to conceive, even tho... Wed, 12 Dec 2012 19:29:39 EST Day 35 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5163880 Today, I'm grateful for: <BR> <BR> The relatively low death toll after a man let off many rounds from a machine gun in a local mall. It's still a tragedy, of course, and I'm sure the families of the people who died don't see any blessing in it, but the story is that the gun jammed at some point and put a premature end on his spree. Tragic, but sounds like it could have been even worse. I am also grateful that my loved ones were nowhere near the mall when it happened. <BR> <BR> The oppor... Wed, 12 Dec 2012 01:13:27 EST Day 34 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5162577 I'm at the arts center getting ready for class, but don't want to miss my gratitudes for the day, so I'll keep 'em short. <BR> <BR> I'm grateful for a retail sale of a pair of earrings from my Facebook page. When I sell from a gallery I only get 50% of the price, so retail sales make a huge difference. It also makes me realize that I really need to get an Etsy site up and running, and to redo my web site, which is frozen in 2001 when I finished my thesis. While it's awfully nice to have a... Mon, 10 Dec 2012 20:57:47 EST Day 33 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5161616 Today was an emotional day for me. I spent the whole day with my stepdaughter and her dad (my partner), doing lots of holiday activities and projects that I had planned out, playing games, etc. I make a lot of effort to make her time with us fun, and especially lately to pass on holiday traditions and instill a sense of magic in this time of year for her. So, when she said, "I am going to miss you when I leave, Dad," when the three of us were sitting doing one of these projects, it's hard ... Sun, 9 Dec 2012 23:24:36 EST Day 32 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5160704 Today was a long exhausting day so I'm going to keep this short. <BR> <BR> I'm grateful that I got to take a short nap today. Dealing with my stepdaughter always completely wears me out. <BR> <BR> I'm grateful that my finger doesn't seem to be infected where my cat bit me yesterday. It was a bad puncture wound and I was worried because it ached deeply at first, but I think it's healing. <BR> <BR> I'm grateful that our friend was not only willing to lend us his gas hedge trimmer, but he ... Sun, 9 Dec 2012 00:52:39 EST Day 31 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5159602 Well, it's been a month of doing this exercise. I don't know that I have noticed a huge difference in terms of me retraining my brain to scan for the positive first in a situation, but maybe there is some change. In my group last night we talked a lot about gratitude, and how, when we "have to" write three things daily maybe we end up stretching to find things that aren't really DEEPLY FELT, just to meet the quota. I brought up the fact that it's sort of like when you were a kid and you wo... Fri, 7 Dec 2012 19:58:15 EST Day 30 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5158795 Aaaaah. So happy to finally be home after a looooooong day of running around. Out from 8AM to 9PM. Writing my gratitudes and going to bed! <BR> <BR> 1. I am grateful for the loving energy of my Spark pal SassiSpring. I know we don't really know each other, but I feel like we do, and I really appreciate her constant support and wise counsel. Her generosity despite all that she is going through is inspiring. <BR> <BR> 2. I am grateful to have been invited to take part in a meditation/m... Fri, 7 Dec 2012 00:10:38 EST Day 29 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5157532 Well, yesterday was hectic, but at least it ended in a much more peaceful night. When I finally got home, we both just sort of agreed not to talk about anything serious. We were both exhausted and there was nothing going to be accomplished by rehashing anything that late at night. He is not moving out before the holidays, and told me he is not trying to build a plan to bail as soon as January 1 rolls around. I can't tell if he is just in shut-down-survival-mode, or if he is really willing... Wed, 5 Dec 2012 21:05:29 EST Day 28 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5156264 Worst. Fight. Ever. No kidding, last night K and I had the most intense and painful fight we have ever had. The part of it that was the worst (for me) was that I had absolutely NO IDEA where it came from or that it was coming. I came home from teaching late and told him I was feeling low and needed some tenderness. He kept playing his computer games. I set to work putting things away, and eventually went back in there to make my request again. He came out then and sat next to me, but ... Tue, 4 Dec 2012 18:39:38 EST Day 27 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5156196 ACK! I just noticed I never hit "post" after writing this entry for yesterday. But I did DO it yesterday, so it still counts! Here is yesterday's post: <BR> <BR> Oh, MAN - why am I constantly so EXHAUSTED?! Something weird is going on in my body and I don't know how to figure out what it is. Tomorrow I can start Nia again, which I am looking forward to (though I know it will be hard to drag my ass down there anyway!). <BR> <BR> Gratitudes: <BR> 1. I am grateful to have at least one n... Tue, 4 Dec 2012 17:03:44 EST Day 26 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5153999 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/0/l2022818821.jpg"> <BR> Oh my goodness, I am soooooo tired! My stepdaughter has been handed back off to her mother after an activity-packed day. <BR> <BR> I am grateful for a fun (though exhausting) dinner with friends last night. I was really proud of how well J got along with their now one-year-old. She was acting like a really great role model and babysitter. Not bad for a five and a half year old. It's hard to tell when she is just g... Sun, 2 Dec 2012 21:12:04 EST Day 25 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5152917 Oooooh, I am BEAT. Just got back from a six hour class that I lecture for about four hours of. I am feeling pretty out of words and out of energy. My partner will be home soon with his daughter, so I am trying to prepare (emotionally and dinner) for that. We are actually going to be bringing corn bread and salad to a friend's house tonight, where they will provide the chili. I would so much rather just be calm and quiet tonight (and hope my throat stops hurting from talking all day), but... Sat, 1 Dec 2012 19:30:02 EST Day 24 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5152070 Today has been a challenge for me emotionally. Another rough night of sleeping. <BR> <BR> I am grateful for Ambien (TM), without which I would be without sleep more often than I would like to admit. I recognize that I probably lean on it a little too much because it's just so much easier than doing a body scan or some other exercise to calm my monkey mind. But when it's 3AM and you're staring at the ceiling (or your eyes are bleeding from looking at Pinterest for three hours), sometimes y... Fri, 30 Nov 2012 21:52:44 EST Day 23 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5151103 What a crazy day! It was bookended by mindfulness classes, though, so at least there was some centeredness and peace involved in the melee. <BR> <BR> Gratitudes: <BR> 1. I am grateful to have the opportunity to work with three very committed and serious mindfulness students in Canada. It is a challenge for me to put my energy out there with the (miraculous!) technological barrier, but I think it's good for me to stretch a bit. I also get the sense that they will ask hard questions (of ... Thu, 29 Nov 2012 22:44:37 EST Day 22 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5149908 Today has been ok, despite a horrible night's sleep last night. Not sure what caused it exactly. I haven't been feeling well - my guts have been messed up for a couple of weeks. My partner was also making lots of noise and getting up in the middle of the night, which didn't help. Wish I weren't such a bad sleeper... <BR> <BR> Gratitudes today: <BR> Today is my partner's dad's birthday. His dad has always been really kind and loving towards me, and I am grateful to have him in my life. ... Wed, 28 Nov 2012 20:56:27 EST Day 21 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5148662 Today is a busy one, so I will keep it short and sweet. <BR> <BR> I am grateful that one of my best friends took my Tuesday book arts class this term, which allowed us to have a regular weekly lunch date together, just the two of us. She lives about 45 minutes away, so I don't see her as regularly as I would like unless we have something like this to look forward to. It was so wonderful to have her all to myself, face-to-face, for that time. <BR> <BR> I am grateful that, now that the clas... Tue, 27 Nov 2012 18:07:57 EST Day 20 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5147509 Another rough couple's counseling session. I don't particularly like our counselor. Actually, it's not a "like" thing, it's more of a respect thing. I don't think I respect her insight or experience enough to trust her to lead me in this process. I don't want to question my guide during this vulnerable work. Ah well, I guess we get out as much as we put in, so I keep trying. I seem to leave each session pretty shut down though. <BR> <BR> Today, I am grateful for some sunshine - not ju... Mon, 26 Nov 2012 19:10:04 EST Day 18 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5146251 Today has been a rough one. Hard to explain why, because from the outside it probably looked like a laid-back day. Holiday busy-ness, money stress and the pressure of knowing that a long weekend is at an end are all probably playing a role. Add into that the pain of trying to help support my friend who is going through the breakup that is so like our own relationship. We also are trying to "batten down the hatches" for future burglary attempts. So all in all, a busy day. I just wanted t... Sun, 25 Nov 2012 18:22:12 EST Day 17 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5145449 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/9/l297911382.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Christmas threw up on our house. I have literally never in my life been one of those people who put up their holiday decorations right after Thanksgiving, but today that is exactly what we did. We went out to breakfast early and when we realized it had stopped raining for the first time in weeks, decided to take a little drive up to the tree farm to cut a little tree. Then we came home and, after almost nine hou... Sat, 24 Nov 2012 21:43:55 EST Day 16 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5144734 Today, a friend of mine who was in a similar step mothering relationship came for a visit - really an escape from her home which she is currently sharing with her soon-to-be ex and his kids. He's moving out this weekend. Their relationship is coming to an end. She is in so much pain, but also so resolved that this is the best move for her self-care and sanity. It's difficult to hear her describe in such clear detail some of the exact same conflicts and challenges that my partner and I have... Sat, 24 Nov 2012 01:50:28 EST Day 15 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5143885 What better day to reflect on gratitude than Thanksgiving day? Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. <BR> <BR> I have much to be grateful for in my life. Being surrounded by loving people, including my dear brother, today was very meaningful to me. I really value my close relationship with my brother. He's three years older than I, and we have always had a closer connection than anyone else in my family. He chose to celebrate with us, even though it meant that he couldn't be with his girlfriend... Fri, 23 Nov 2012 01:28:08 EST Day 14 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5142804 “Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” &#8213; Ralph Waldo Emerson <BR> <BR> I continue to try to see everything in my life, including the challenges, through the lens of gratitude. For example, my partner pushes my buttons like no one else, but that friction allows me to grow (if I can recognize it as an oppor... Wed, 21 Nov 2012 18:41:33 EST Day 13 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5141790 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/9/7/l975684662.jpg"> <BR> <BR> More gratitudes: <BR> 1. I am grateful that I have somewhere to go for Thanksgiving where I will be surrounded by warm and loving people (not to mention crazy amounts of FOOD). Even though it seems that no holiday is without its stresses, it's a luxury to know that I will spend the day in safety and abundance. <BR> <BR> 2. I am grateful for the generosity of my blacksmith/bladesmith friend who is repairing/shar... Tue, 20 Nov 2012 18:37:05 EST