Sunday, January 20, 2013

Notorious 4 Letter Words ;-)

It’s fun to joke about the audacity of speaking certain 4 letter words.
My parents took us on vacation quite often, which meant camping under the stars. They are some of my best memories, but I digress.

On every trip, you could bet money my dad would adamantly remind us that we were not to mention certain 4 letter words. This usually occurred after somebody asked what time it was. Time and work were the two words he was most offended by if used while we were taking a holiday. And there is a lot of sense to that. However, being unable to work in a traditional setting, I find my attitude is changing about how the word, work, is referenced. I fully understand and can still relate to certain irritations from my previous career as a pre-school teacher, especially, having to clock in at a certain time. Time is still a very bad word for me. LOL!

On a serious note, I think, in general, when we complain about work, we’re actually complaining about something more specific than that. Work is in human nature. And, if you aren't working, you suddenly become aware of how important it is to your own personal self esteem, much less work’s importance to society. It is nearly impossible to be social at a gathering without somebody asking you what it is that you do for a living. It has been one of the hardest things for me to deal with and why my new shop Craftego has so much personal value. Plus, my Lupus Cloud blog and Lupus Cloud Facebook Page provide me with a way to reach out and be there for other people who are experiencing similar challenges. It is important for us all to be where people appreciate and respect us for who we are, and what we work on, no matter if we get paid for it or not. Caring for your health is one of the most difficult things, and expensive, and nobody wants to be a part of “the system,” if they can in any way avoid it. It is natural to want to be self sufficient.

So I made this poster to remind us that, work, is to be valued. Never treat somebody like they are lucky if they are unable to work due to disability, and maybe even show some sensitivity since it is usually not easy for the person to accept or discuss socially. And please do not doubt the pain you cannot see of others. This poster is how most of us feel about what we gain when we’re able to complete the job we set out to do.(And what we feel like we lose when we can no longer do it).


Go ahead and dread the time and the boss if you must, but, remember the silver lining and be grateful you are needed to do you work. We all need to be needed.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The best thing about being broke for Christmas. No horrendous crowds and a family who is happy just celebrating the season.

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.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Yes, you can get mad at yourself for doing something stupid

Yes, you can get mad at yourself for doing something stupid. 

But then you have to give 

yourself credit for even 

recognizing that you did 

something stupid.

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 (, 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, 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


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,  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. 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 -

GET LOUD ABOUT LUPUS via Shannon Boxx -

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 -