Thursday, December 27, 2012

The best thing about being broke for Christmas


The best thing about being broke for Christmas. No 

horrendous crowds and a family who is happy just 

celebrating the season. 


We are blessed!



We didn't put one present under either of the two mini trees 

we have, yet, this year I had one of the best Christmas Days 

ever with my family.


It has been very freeing.

I think we may have started a new tradition.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Do you take the Good with the Bad, or the Bad with the Good?

Do you take the Good with the Bad, or the Bad with the Good?

I like the latter.

It hasn't been good... my health, my husband's lay-off... my health.

But because of that I began, another blog (www.lupuscloud.blogspot.com), not that I will stop blogging here. This is my place to share positive thinking. I will find a way to keep it going :-)

So something bad (mainly my health), turns into something good (a blog). This blog is another tool to teach medical professionals, friends and family what it is like to live with a chronic illness like lupus. Plus my shop, at www.craftego.etsy.com, is getting more action. These are things that may start to help me generate an income. Which would be an excellent thing. I could go on and on with the positives even though I have some real concerns about my family's physical well being. And yes. Some of my positive attitude comes from having faith... in many things, especially the me the God created. Share my gifts, in any way possible.

And smile.

That's what I'm trying to do here. :-)


Have you seen this Optimist Creed floating around the internet? It's a good one.




Friday, October 19, 2012

A NEW BEGINNING


I could ramble on about the unfairness of my husband’s recent lay-off.  I could spend a lot of my time explaining how it seemed like a personal attack aimed directly at him. However, that wouldn't help me prove it. The only thing it would serve to do is either put you to sleep, or make you really angry. Both feelings are the opposite of what my goal is here. My goal is to point out the good side of things. To do this effectively, I also must be able to laugh at the ironic things life has to offer.    
To tell you the truth, I haven’t had the chance to react badly to this life change. We have been blessed with good timing, for now anyway. First, a real good friend had a week from his time share exchange plan he could not use due to his work schedule, so he offered it to us. We agreed as long as it was close enough to travel by vehicle (as paying for plane tickets was out of the question). And sure enough, this awesome friend was able to make arrangements for us to stay at Riverpoint Resort in Napa, California. The pictures here explain how we spent most of our time. Rough huh? Yeah, I know, I would have a lot of guts to complain about this. Don’t you think?


However, the next trip I had planned did not work out so smoothly. After we came home, we left a week later to go to Reno where I had gotten a deal (109$ for the whole week in a 1 bedroom). I had scheduled it to be a workation; a word I made up recently meaning: a get-away to focus on work. Anybody trying to work from home understands how ideal that would have been. And fun as I love the work I do, which is making beautiful beaded jewelry. I am eager to better stock my online store, www.craftego.etsy.com.  My plan stayed the same with the slight adjustment of maybe a little evening fun since my husband traveled with me.
Unfortunately, I was so sick by the end of the week, that I couldn't even travel the short distance to Tahoe where we had a true vacation scheduled at our personal time share. The silver lining here was that my husband was there to take care of me.
The much needed ice bucket! And blender!
One of my favorite sit-coms and bed.

This illness was from my lupus* and the side effects of my many medications, not from partying. My partying days have come and gone. But whatever, after 4 days, lots of dry heaves, a couple of enemas, a ton of ice chips, and some Jell-O, I finally felt good enough to drive the 1hr drive to our time share in lovely Lake Tahoe. And guess what? I did the driving and gave my husband a much deserved break. That man deserves better too. But again, whatever! LOL
So I hope you can be truly happy for as I share how much we truly were able to enjoy ourselves when we finally made it to Lake Tahoe and our time share at Tahoe Sands Resort. We did not do much more than rest and relax. The important thing here is how grateful we are for all of our gifts because we know they may not last forever. We have both been in situations way worse than this, and considering we didn't have each other, this time it seems easy.

 Each day is a gift and all that good stuff.

 It is when a person works hard that other people want to help them. Sometimes I fear we are all guilty of not recognizing how hard somebody works just because they aren't in a field we were taught to respect. When in reality, most of us are in the same boat. It may seem quite comfortable, but it could sink at any moment. You have to work on maintaining its integrity or it won’t carry you through. The one thing I know for absolute certain is my family’s boat is super strong. We never put our heads in the sand, but sometimes our toes. ;)Please enjoy the following photos! 











*Lupus: The following definition was copied directly from the Lupus Foundation of America's website. http://www.lupus.org/webmodules/webarticlesnet/templates/new_learnunderstanding.aspx?articleid=2232&zoneid=523 What is Lupus
Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body (skin, joints, and/or organs inside the body). Chronic means that the signs and symptoms tend to last longer than six weeks and often for many years. In lupus, something goes wrong with your immune system, which is the part of the body that fights off viruses, bacteria, and germs ("foreign invaders," like the flu). Normally our immune system produces proteins called antibodies that protect the body from these invaders. Autoimmune means your immune system cannot tell the difference between these foreign invaders and your body’s healthy tissues ("auto" means "self") and creates autoantibodies that attack and destroy healthy tissue. These autoantibodies cause inflammation, pain, and damage in various parts of the body.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Dear Daddy

Over 15 years ago, a few years after my father passed away, I wrote this poem to him, “Dear Daddy.”  I still read it and it makes me smile to remember how blessed I am to have had a daddy like him in my life. Even if the time went by too fast, he left a huge impression on who I am and why I try to be better. I still want to make my daddy proud. I believe he is smiling down on me.
I am sharing this poem with you because I think many people will relate to the message.
Dear Daddy
I forgive you for making the choice that you did
I forgive you for leaving when I was a kid
I forgive you for making me deal with the guilt
I forgive you for not seeing the life that I’ve built
I forgive you for not knowing what a stranger could see
I forgive you for these years of not laughing with me
I thank you for believing in me like you did
I thank you for teaching me respect as a kid
And I thank you for your hugs and honesty
But I’ll always love you for being a true Daddy to me
By, Christina Sieren Derickson
RIP J.R.S. Daddy
My father passed from cirrhosis of the liver. He was a kind, strong but gentle soul. I miss him and love him forever. If you’ve lost someone close to you and relate to this poem and need to talk. Send me a line. That’s why I’m here.

Monday, August 27, 2012

GET LOUD ABOUT LUPUS via Shannon Boxx - POLITICO.com

GET LOUD ABOUT LUPUS via Shannon Boxx - POLITICO.com

Thing are looking up for those of us who have lupus. A true more than "half full perspective." Here is the good news! Please read and spread the word.

"Lupus does not share the high profile of other diseases that affect women, like breast cancer, and as a result lupus research has not been funded at a level where it can keep pace with other diseases. But the impact of lupus can be harsh. Lupus is unpredictable but typically strikes women in the prime of their lives - ages 15 to 44 years. It devastates families, careers, and even claims lives." Shannon Boxx


Opinion: Congress can help beat lupus - Shannon Boxx - POLITICO.com

Monday, August 6, 2012

Really, it is ok to Stop! And Smell the Roses

I know I’m not alone when I feel like I am always overwhelmed and overworked. The crazy part about it for me is that I don’t actually have a “paying” job. Which just goes to show, it doesn’t matter what we do, we will try to do too much. This creates unnecessary stress. We all need to recognize when it’s time to slow down, take a break, and allow ourselves time to regroup. Really, it is ok to stop and smell the roses. In reality, we should schedule that time into our routines.
Sometimes, we don’t even realize the damage we do to ourselves if we don’t take our breaks. For example, periodically I beat myself up because of the way my lupus symptoms can slow me down, or even bring me to a full-fledged stop.  A few nights ago I was doing just that as I lay in bed too tired to do anything. I was achy, extremely weak, and sick to my stomach. Yet, I felt I should have completed so much more on my to-do list. Then I began panicking as I worried when I would feel good enough to get back to work and fun. The week prior, I knew I was pushing myself. I topped off the week with a 15 inning ball game with my sister and husband. We rooted for the home team and the home team finally won the game.  So as I began reflecting on how I ended up in that bed I realized, I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. I thought to myself, I’m only going to live once so I better continue making the best of it. I should enjoy this rest time and appreciate that I have a bed under me and roof over me. How dare I feel sorry for myself and how silly was such an idea. I then started to laugh and allowed myself that freedom; without guilt.
One of my favorite sayings is “slow and steady wins the race.” Not that I care about winning any race. It just reminds me that when we slow down and put caring for ourselves at the top of our priority list, we will in turn, produce a more quality self. This gives us more to share with the people we encounter.
I believe practicing a way of thinking that values and benefits our entire selves will help to reduce unwanted stress. I took the time to rest that evening and I was able to produce better products, fix a necklace I thought was ruined, and care for my husband and son, instead of them caring for me. I also felt better in general. I knew, if I was needed, I could offer a friend an ear that was truly listening. So, I’m glad I remembered to take it slow. I even took a walk and enjoyed the beautiful gardens. And yes, I stopped and smelled the roses.
Enjoy today!
Below are two links that will support the topic of the blog post you just read, “Really, it is ok, Stop! And Smell the Roses.” The first one is a video suggestion about stress and humans, which you can also find on Netflix if you have it; the second is a fun link to a treasury list I made at my shop, containing a variety of cool items adorned with colorful roses.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Air Matters

When a glass is perceived as being half full rather than half empty, the common view of such an outlook is considered to be a positive one. This also helps me explain why I chose "The Half Full Perspective" as my blog title. I want my blog to be thought of as something that brings out those positive feelings for the reader. My husband and close friends agree one of my talents is being able to find a silver lining in everyday challenges. For example, while discussing this subject with my husband we came to realize that I not only can see the glass as half full I also see the importance of the ‘empty’ space. You see, the glass is indeed always full. As that so called ‘empty’ space is actually full of air. And does anything matter more than air? Water, food, and love may take an equal stand but nothing matters more than air, except for the person breathing it. So don’t forget to take a deep breath and relax for a moment. You deserve a break. You matter, too.
Thank you for reading my blog today; this was my very first post. Assuming you are feeling a bit happier now than before you began reading this post I am asking that you follow "The Half Full Perspective."  I plan on keeping things simple with a wide variety of topics. Most importantly, ending each post on a high note.