Tag Archives: Fibromyalgia

When You Least Expect It, God Moves


IMG_1950Last year I wrote about finding the perfect place for a shop/studio but it was WAY out of my price range and as the year progressed and my energy level waxed and waned and Scott was so incredibly busy with his new businesses, I pretty much gave up the dream.  After all, if “someday” hasn’t come by the time you are 62, maybe you just better forget the dream and face reality.

But I had forgotten the “God Factor”.  You see,  I have been praying for years about having my own little shop/studio where I and others could make stuff and sell it.  I love the making of things just not the keeping of things!  I had thought about EBay and Etsy, and even put some stuff up for sale but my heart really wanted to teach what I know how to do and to have a place where my friends could come and craft with me anytime they wanted (and I would not have to clean my house or make food!).  But until I got my “old age” money, I had no income to really rent a place nor did I want to have the stress of “having” to sell stuff to make my rent.  So I put the dream on the back burner….

Last summer, Scott started the Lake Superior Furniture Company in addition to his toboggans, children’s old fashioned sleds, and snowshoe company and we tried to make a website ourselves but got hung up on the shipping costs of our products.  They are astronomical (at least for common folk) and so it sat, generating no business but costing us money every month.  The wonderful older couple that sold us the Arrowhead Wood Products business and property also have an old building that they used for their offices and businesses and they said we could rent the front of the building so we could have a “Showroom” for all of Scott’s products and I could make stuff to put in there, too.  So we redid the space 75%, and then it sat and sat and sat, waiting for me to get in there and get things going.  I even went as far as moving a bunch of my craft stuff into a side room where I could work without being seen by the public, yet be within earshot of the showroom.  But I just could not find the ambition to go there and work.  Until……

I was corresponding with a young woman who also has Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and she has a blog with thousands of followers and she even started a petition and got 40,000 people to sign it to get more funding for research into these “orphan” illnesses and she took it to Washington and met with people who might help get the funding.  Anyway, I was telling her how impressed I was with her spirit and fight and how I had finally given up my dream and it was a bittersweet decision.  Well, she wrote a lengthy reply back and said that I should not give up, that each one of us must make the most of the life we have and how we must encourage one another to try to make our dreams still happen.  Long story…short….she really inspired me to rethink my decision.

A few days later, I had some neighbor gals in and we were catching up and I mentioned the showroom to them and it was like I lit a firecracker under them!  They were SO excited and wanted to be a part of it and said they would come and help me get it finished and craft with me and maybe even put their things in the shop on consignment.  So in this past week, we moved everything that was being stored in there to a different room so we had a “blank canvass” to work with.  Scott had already put in a new floor, had the ceilings painted and put up the rusty, old, tin roofing he had bought for me for the top half of the walls.  So most of the work had already been done.

I started a new blog for the studio/shop so if you want to read more about it and see the before and during photos please go to: thelumberjackandthegypsy.wordpress.com

The name is obviously, “The Lumberjack & The Gypsy” and I already bought business cards, address labels, a banner to put outside and some other things from Vista Print.

I am so excited to begin this new chapter of my life.  It has been a hard three years for me since I quit working….I felt I had no “purpose” in life.  No reason to get out of bed every morning.  But God was faithful and His timing was PERFECT and I KNOW that His hand is in this venture.  Money is not the object here, it is fellowship with other crafters and hopefully, teaching folks how to find their artistic voice.

Please feel free to share the website with anyone who (whom? I do not know the rule for this and it drives me crazy) may be interested.  I will be putting photos up there as the shop/studio blossoms into my dream so please stop by the blog to see how we are doing and what we will have to offer for sale and what classes will be taught in the near future.

We are located a half-mile from Black Bear Casino on Old Hwy 61.  Super easy to get to and there is a super good restaurant in Carlton called “The Streetcar” so you can shop and eat!!   I hope to be open sometime in August and it will be 10-4 on Fridays and Saturdays to start with.  Classes will be during the week or on Saturdays (I have the classroom part partitioned off if need be!)

Please let me know what you think of this new adventure for me.

With love from your Queen who now has Purpose






imageI may have come to the end of my entertaining days.  I just cannot keep my house up enough to not feel bad about the dog-hair-tumbleweeds that seem to accumulate in hidden spots until they hear I am having company and then they scurry out like little mice to take up residence under my furniture and along my walls.  I have no carpet anywhere so they can roam freely and sometimes they hook up with spiders and leave dog-hair-tumbleweed-webs (which from an artist’s stand point they are pretty cool!).

Because I am a chronic procrastinator, I leave everything to the last minute and then I exhaust myself trying to get it all done in a matter of hours while having to take multiple naps.

Today I have taken five naps, cleaned the bathroom (in the most broad terms), made a huge chicken salad, washed three loads of dishes by hand and dried two of them, made myself somewhat presentable (no make-up, no fancy clothing, no jewelry), and now I am waiting for my three or four friends to arrive (one friend is bringing a friend who has never been here before so I will hope she doesn’t have on black pants and socks or she is in for a rude awakening as Madd Maxx’s hair is white with little barbs on the tips so it cannot be removed (Have I mentioned I hate that dog?).

I am one hormone away from crying….I love having people over.  But each time I do, it gets harder and harder on me physically and emotionally (because, damn it, everybody else can keep their house up, why in the hell can’t I?).

I don’t know if I would cut myself some slack no matter what illness I had.  If I was chronically ill with cancer would I hate myself this bad for not keeping my house company clean?  Probably.   This kind of life is getting old.  I am getting old.

I go in Monday for a test to see if perhaps I have endometrial cancer cells.  Half of me hopes so….to just get it over with.  To be done.  To have run my race and to look forward to the finish line.  To finally be at peace with myself.

And if it turns out that it isn’t, then I will start badgering my husband to move to a tiny house with a big garage!  I do not need much space to entertain and that is what makes me happiest…to have friends, family and an ocassional stranger over for conversation and laughter.  If we have to be squished, so be it. At least I could still entertain and not have much to clean except the tiny bathroom!

So we will see what the future brings….I am ready for anything but this life I have now.

With much love and dog-hair-tumbleweed-cobwebs,

The Queen



I have been waiting YEARS to take a bath.  Yes, I said YEARS.

I grew up having a claw foot tub. Most of the places I lived in had claw foot tubs.   A few years after only having a shower when we moved into our country house, we put in an old three foot claw tub. (The tub was three feet long, not sitting on just three feet!)  I loved that tub.  I named him “Brad” (LOL).  I could sit for hours in that tub with my back against the cool porcelain and my feet just touching the other end of the tub.  It was heaven.  image

Not so for my 6’2″ husband.  When he was in the tub his knees were up by his ears.

So finally I gave in and we bought a new shower/tub unit.  I hated it.  It was long and skinny and I kept slipping under the water when I would try to lay back on the crappy acrylic back.  My elbows would bang against the sides of the tub when I would try to read and since it had no “lips” to grab on to, I had to roll over on to my hands and knees to get out of it.  So for years, I would only use the shower.

Two years ago or so, we completely redid the bathroom and my husband went out and found an old claw foot tub but it needed refinishing.  Long story short, we finally got it done and it took him months to get it hooked up and the feet to stay on (the feet that came with the tub were NOT the feet that the tub originally had and so he had to find a way to make them stay on and I insisted that he put wood blocks under the tub just in case the feet gave way while I was splish-splashing.). Last week he finally finished it and other than needing to paint the outside, it was ready!imageSince it had been years since I had taken “a tub”, I was a bit nervous if I should attempt it only when Scott was home.  But waiting until way after bedtime or getting up early to make sure he was here just wasn’t working out.

Today, I was up at 5am and when Scott got up a couple of hours later, I told him that today was the day I was going to test the tub.  I had no bubble bath or anything fun to put in it but I was dirty and hairy so I just pretty much wanted to de-filthify myself and would save my “true” 1st time for a night where I had candles, a good scary book, some adult grape juice, tons of bubbles  and no deforesting to do.

But like most days, after eating breakfast I got super tired so I laid down for my afternoon nap (only it was 9:45am).  I slept for a couple of hours and when I got up I noticed Scott had texted me and tried to call me numerous times.  He was so very worried that something had happened to me.  I texted him back asking what was his problem and he said he was worried that something had happened to me while I was in the tub.  Like what?, I asked.  He texts back, LIKE THE TUB FLIPPED OVER.

imageOk , so now I’m thinking why on earth would the tub FLIP OVER if he had put the legs on right and secured them and there are blocks of wood under the tub, right?  Tipping over in the tub was never really on my radar…..I was more afraid of me and the tub crashing through the floor as I am not sure how sturdy our floor is!imageAfter reassuring me that the tub really was in no danger of tipping over, I decided, “What the heck?”

I filled that gorgeous tub as full as I could and I got my stuff all ready and made the discovery that I had no where handy to put anything.  So I had to just drop the soap, washcloth and razor into the tub…no reading today, I guess.  As I was getting into the tub, I was surprised at how tall this tub was and getting my abundant leg over the side was proving more difficult than I remembered.  Once I had both legs in, I knew that lowering myself in gracefully was not going to be happening and so I set off a tsunami as my zaftig body dropped straight in from about three feet.imageBut, I have to admit, the tub never moved and felt super sturdy.

Like I mentioned before, it has literally been years since I have been in a tub and I have aged and gotten bigger and have not had many occasions to lift my legs in such a manner that one needs to to shave said legs.  Thank the Lord that my bathing suit really does have leggings down to my ankles as only the fronts of my legs are going to get shaved in this tub.

I also noticed that sitting on a hard surface is really painful on my Fibro pressure points and that the tub water doesn’t flow to the back of me very well since my ample hips seem to make dams on both sides of the tub.  And worst of all, I no longer can manage to maneuver myself so I can get my bum very clean…I know…TMI….but if you know me, you know I keep it real!!!

imageFinally, I decide that I have had enough “fun” for one day and I better get out before my energy drains as fast as my tub is.

I knew somewhere in the forgotten recesses of my mind that getting out of this or any other normal tub was going to be a bit of a challenge.  OH MY GOSH…..it took me more than 10 minutes to figure out a way to get out of that damn tub.  I tried just lifting myself up like I used to back when I was still young and weighed a whole heck of a lot less and had good knees and back.  Yeah, right, I could get my arse up half way but I had no leverage to heave ho myself.  I tried turning over but I couldn’t do it.  I even grabbed my back brush and used it to drag my grands little stepstool over to see if I could get it into the tub and get myself on it and the whole time I am hearing my husband’s voice warning me to not use anything in the tub that might scratch it and the stool is vintage and has metal legs and it was hitting the inside of the tub as I wrestled it in behind me.  Still couldn’t hoist my fat a$$ onto that little stool.  So now what?

I contemplated calling my husband (I was smart enough to put the phone on the toilet so if I had to use it, I could reach it) but he would not be happy to have to come home from work to get his fat, old wife out of the tub.  And I would not have been happy to have him have that image burnt into his memory forever.  I thought about just sitting there until he came home but by now I am feeling pretty beaten up from all my banging around trying to turn over and I can feel my back starting to stiffen up and it would be at least five hours before he got home and by then, I would need to be cut out with the jaws of life.

So I did what any other woman would do in my situation, I cried.

Then I got ticked and tried one more time to get as close to the front of the tub as I could and I used every ounce of strength I had (which honey, ain’t much) and I pulled and pulled and grunted just like I was giving birth and damn, I got myself up!!!!

I want you to know I am pretty proud of myself for being able to do that.  And when you visit me in the hospital for pulling muscles in my back, thighs, arms and jaw and in full body traction, I want you to “fake high-five me” as my arms will be hanging from some pulley connected to the ceiling.   I am not kidding.  I will not be able to move tomorrow.  Already my back is killing me and it is just early afternoon.

So, how do I tell my husband that this tub I have been pestering him for for YEARS, is not going to work for me.  That to use it, I will either need a winch chair to lower me in and out of it or I will need some kind of pulley system that it can lift me out by my arms! Or he will have to invest in this tub…

imageI like this idea.  You roll into the tub.  Take your bath. Empty the tub. Roll back out.  I could do this!!!!  And it is PADDED.   Dang, why didn’t I see this before we bought another business as I am sure it costs as much as a car!

I guess for now, I will use my tub more as a storage space imageKeeping it real in Culver,

Your clean and semi-shaved Queen




“The road to hell is paved with good intentions”

(I am not going to get into a theological debate over the above statement as I will someday write a post on my belief of hell but this is not the time!)

If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, I must have a whole mile or more that have my name on the bricks.

I have such good intentions….whenever I make a plan or a date to meet someone or do something, I really, really intend ( have a course of action as one’s purpose or objective) to follow through on it.  BUT often my “spirit is willing but my flesh is weak”.

I cannot count the times I have not been able to act on my intentions.  I doubt that anyone who knows me actually “counts” on me to show up or to follow through with the plan.

Even my own “dream” intentions never get to fruition.

I have beaten myself up countless times over this huge deficit in my character.  I have pleaded with my God to reveal to me if I am really just lazy and slothful and self-centered.  I HATE this part of my person…HATE it.

Many of you know I have Fibromyalgia and have had it for decades and a huge part of this illness is extreme fatigue.  I read all the time about folks who no longer can hold a job or take care of their children or tend to their homes and their spouses or who can no longer get out of bed each day and I am so grateful for the things I CAN still do and then I give myself a little bit of slack….just a little…until the next time I can not muster the energy to go out or get something done….then I am back on the “lazy and slothful” train of thought.  It is a vicious circle of guilt, depression, anger and then resignation.

My “intent” in writing this is not to justify my self but to try to make those of you whom I have let down understand that I am so totally aware of my behavior and I feel awful about disappointing you but at this point in my life THIS IS MY LIFE.  And I swear to you, my dear friends, that it has NOTHING at all with how I feel about you or our friendship.  I am BLESSED with friends who seem to understand and still want to invite me to things and to a chance making plans with me….I do make some of the things I am invited to and I have a ball.  So please keep inviting me….please keep me in “the loop” as it would be so easy for me to just become home-bound and unsocial from the guilt and fear of not being able to follow through with our plans.

My husband always asks me what my goals are.  I have no goals.  If I can get up before 9am and stay up all day and go to bed before midnight and actually fall asleep in an hour or so and not wake up a dozen times and then wake up before 9am, that is a VICTORY day for me!  Anything else accomplished in that day is icing on my cake of life.

I am too hard on myself my sister says.  AM I?  I guess I don’t see my victories….only my failures.  Are you like that?  Do you hang your “dirty laundry” out for everyone to see but hide your “freshly washed and all white” laundry in a trunk for no one to admire?  Is it a Catholic school lesson that is burned into our unconscious minds that any kind of “pridefulness” is verboten?   (Oooooo, I think I know what my “P” rant shall be!)

Today I intend to vacuum my whole house, do some painting-by-number, and eat healthier.  We will see if I can get that done…oh and not to take a nap!  That’s a biggie for me since I sleep like crap and a bucket of tiredness falls on me in the afternoons and then I give in and sleep for a couple of hours and wake up feeling crappy and then stay up until 3 or 4am….blah, blah, blah…..am I harping???

So enjoy this sunshine (sunshine I like, heat/humidity I hate)

Your humble and flawed Queen