A lupus survivor's cerebrations on living day to day...

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    No that's not a view through my window

    Unless you count Windows XP...its my holiday screen saver! This is all I need to take down before New Year's Day

    Luppie Brain Confession: Forgotten Gifts

    I took great care shopping around the internet to decide on these two well wrapped gifts. I ordered them custom wrapped in November well ahead of Christmas! But that was November 2007. I hid them from myself, neglecting to deliver them for Christmas 2007! Well undiscovered until Spring 2008, I decided to just wait for Christmas 2008. Hopefully they'll be just as appreciated this year, and that last years ommision has been forgiven and forgotten. I make my confession for the sake of fellow sufferers from luppie brain events!

    My Christmas: Eat, Drink, Sleep & Be Merry

    The best way to define the Christmas experience with my family is a time line of eating, drinking, and being merry. Sunday, December 21, Pop arrives at my house with a silver flask of Conquito just for me. He also brought some of thick slices of ham he baked himself ...with Dijon mustard. Monday, December 22, after shopping, Pop's insist I experience Sonic's Hazelnut Iced Coffee to go with our sandwiches. Tuesday, December 23, We make the two hour trip to my aunts. As soon as I arrive, I'm offered homemade egg nog which I put on hold to eat a light dinner first... green beans, macaroni and cheese and ham! Then she begins to reveal the contents of all the pretty Christmas tins decorating the counter and bar: *exquisite elegant dark chocolate covered Bourbon Balls she made herself *gold foiled wrapped Ferrero Rocher hazelnut candies *milk chocolate and white chocolate covered pretzels *sugar cookies Especially nice for me were all the treats reminiscent of my childhood: *pink, yellow, white and chocolate brown coconut hand-dipped Bon Bons *assorted old fashioned hard candies *peppermints *the classic assortment of nuts: pecans,walnuts,chestnuts, n!$$@ toes *oranges and apples While everyone else was out shopping til late, my aunt and I got comfortable in our PJs, enjoyed watching movie and talking while sipping her special recipe of tea flavored with orange cinniman, ginger and other spices with a touch dark Bacardi rum. I indulged in one Bourbon Ball before bed. Wednesday, December 24, Christmas Eve Morning, my aunt prepared the family for the day with Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, Toast and her homemade Strawberry Butter. I never had anything like it. My cousin brought Bailey's Carmel to top off our coffee. This led to the first of my much needed deep naps. When I awoke everyone was out on errands, so I passed the time on the internet, sampling the Christmas treats and staying warm with more spiced tea After everyone came home for the night we ordered Pepperoni Pizzas, my health conscious cousin made a great salad with a variety of greens, sprinkled with almonds, mango flavored pineapple chips, and French dressing...washed down with a glass of White Zinfandel supplied by Pops. The children were allowed to open one gift apiece at midnight. We played a couple of rounds of their new games then hit the sack. Thursday, December 25, Christmas Day! Of course the children were knocking on doors getting everyone up Christmas morning. After the final exchanging of gifts, my Aunt prepared a grand Christmas brunch with Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, Ham, Country Fried Potatoes, Fruit, and French Toast topped with Strawberries and Whipped Cream! The sheer number of calories ingested at once put me in a catatonic state. I fell asleep in the big chair while the kids tested out the Wii. I awoke from the nap induced by Christmas breakfast to the aroma of Christmas dinner. My cousin prepared the most tender juicy turkey I'd ever had. I believe the secret was a beer marinade. Of course this was accompanied by traditional cornbread dressing and giblet gravy and the marshmallow topped sweet potato casserole...and a glazed ham! There was lime gelatin salad...but I don't do green stuff. The highlight of my holiday feasting is my step dad's Hot Water Cornbread served with his turnips and greens. Recipes inherited from his mother. I like to wait by him at the stove to take mine straight out the popping hot grease of the skillet to my plate. This year I decided to be adventurous and try...'chitlins'. I put about a tablespoon on the corner of my plate with a whole lot of Louisiana hot sauce. I managed to chew and swallow the first bite but decided that the peculiar aftertaste that developed once the heat left was just not something I desired. I went back for more Hot Water Cornbread to sop up the pot liquor from the greens, then I found myself running out greens and turnips to go with the Hot Water Cornbread, so I'd get a little more of them. It was a never ending cycle into gluttony. I vaguely remember washing down the last plate with a glass of Beringers. I never made it to desert. No problem, my Aunt packed generous portions of Coconut Cake, Caramel Raisin Spice Cake, Butterscotch Cream Pie and Ambrosia to indulge once we got back home. Friday, December 26, In the morning before packing for trip home, we experienced a encore of Christmas Brunch. After another nap we headed down the interstate home. Suddenly, we're detouring down the highway and pulling up to a mom and pop store. My step dad wants us to try some of the Pork Pulled Meat Barbecue he was telling us about....and the Potato Salad! So that's my family's holiday story...eat, drink, sleep, eat some more and be merry!

    An Appreciated Stocking Stuffer

    Besides home repairs, Pops got my broken bifocals fixed up for Christmas!

    New Improved Toilet Seat

    Pops finished installing this cushioned toilet seat that replaced the old hard wooden one. With no room for chair, also provides a soft comfortable place to sit instead of standing in front of the bathroom mirror to groom at the vanity after my shower. Its the little everyday comforts that really improve the quality of our lives.

    Time Wasted: A Precious Gift

    My holiday weekend began with very little cheer. My son barely made it through exams Thursday with a terrible cold that developed into bronchitis by Friday. For the week, I'd brought a pain spell on myself by forgetting a morpheme patch change. Then there was IBS & UTI to add misery. As if that wasn't enough, toilet tissue was scarce. I'd made myself content with having no funds for Christmas gifts. I was going to be happy with just 'love'. Friday I discovered some mail from the bank that had been overlooked in the junk mail. Anxiety came over me when I saw 3 identical extremely thin envelopes from the bank amidst a pile of unsorted junk mail. I didn't want to destroy the content feelings I'd managed to find by examining the contents of the envelopes, but I did. Yes, I was overdrawn! Now I'm not just broke, I'm over $100 in the negative and dropping by $5 daily Its the weekend, too late to call. Doesn't matter, I only have $30 in rebate checks plus $7 in my purse. Not enough. I cried over it a minute then decided I couldn't do anything about it now so I would put it out of my mind until Monday when I could talked to bank. In the meantime, I would continue in the contentment I'd found before this unexpected crisis. I had no control over my fate with the bank for the moment. So while waiting for Monday, I'll balance my feelings of helplessness by taking charge of what I can control, by doing something productive and proactive. I'll lessen some of my negative feelings of anger and sadness by surrounding myself with things that bring gladness and cheer. So for the body, I made myself glass of homemade cranberry juice and a fiber bar. For the spirit I lit my scented candle and tuned into a Christmas movie. For the mind, I began working on my website design. I was up all night, but not for worrying about finances. I was up successfully finalizing the style of my websites. For the first time I'd been able to maintain focus and control my ADHD brain long enough to decipher all the code for the designs I desired to implement. Saturday afternoon, I was still working when the doorbell rang. It was my step dad! I'd totally forgotten about the possibility of his arrival for the weekend. Calling my disconnected ATT phone, he'd been unable to reach me so he just came on. It was a pleasant surprise, but my house was in chaos. God bless him, for not making me feel worse for not being prepared. Remember...I'm out of toilet paper... I had to send him right back out to get it! But never mind my lack of cheer, he brought all the Christmas cheer with him, beginning with a silver flask of Coquito ..... That's like a Puerta Rican egg nog. He gave me the greatest gift I've received in years. TIME. Over the past few years, with diminished body and mind, my greatest loss has been the attention of others. Unable to drive or be mobile in many ways I've felt left out the social loop. My contacts have been just curbside service for trips to the grocery, doctors or church. No one crosses my threshold to actually visit anymore. My identity has become lost in my illness. People do for me but not with me. But when my step dad came Saturday, he came to visit ME! Well, I'm blessed to have a father who actually shares many of the same interests, ie computers and the internet. We're willing to listen to each others techie talk. He let me show off all the web development accomplishments I'd been up all night working on.

    Monday he accompanied me to the bank to discuss my error with the manager and get me out the red. Afterward, he spent the remainder of the day and all night on some much needed home repairs. All year I've been trying to find someone to do these simple repairs and assemble my bathroom spacesaver shelf, I purchased it for myself last Christmas, but my son was unsuccessful at assembly. I thought for lack of proper tools and experience. Turns out it was poorly fitted flimsy parts, yet my stepdad worked all night trying to make the best out them before deciding it was better to return the wobbly result. My point is not the shelf, but the patience, the time that my step dad gave in his efforts to give me my desire. That was the real gift. I will forever remember how we stayed up all night in the floor frustrated by that 'dat blamed' shelf. I will forever appreciate my step dad's willingness to waste his time...for ME.

    Santa "St. Nick" Claus and the 3 Magi: Why We Give

    Fortunately, I discovered the real Santa Claus as a young child. Prior to kindergarten I read my Childcraft Encyclopedia. My favorite volume, was dedicated to explaining holiday culture around the world. Even then my favorite holiday was Christmas. I learned about many different customs different from my own. Most important, I learned about St. Nick the real Santa Claus. Santa Claus is the variation of Saint Nicholas. "Nick-Claus" He was a real live Christian whose generosity was so great he was venerated as a saint. Legend has it that he delivered gifts to children that were "good" passing by those guilty of misbehavior. Some of the motivation to stay off "naughty list" has remained in contemporary Santa.
    Canon JIM ROSENTHAL ( Founder, UK/USA St. Nicholas Society ) says...
    St. Nicholas was a real person — not a fairy, not someone who's flying through the sky with reindeer, but an actual person who lived and worked and died and had a full life. He had a Christian life because he was actually a bishop, a pastor.
    Jim Rosenthal visits churches to help spread the Saint Nicholas message. READ MORE »
    Most Americans, Christian or not are also familiar with the costars of every Nativity scene,The Three Wise Men or Magi who arrived at Jesus birth one silent night led by a star to a Bethlehem manger.
    11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Matthew 2:11 (Today's New International Version)

    Somehow the biblical story of the wise men's gift giving to celebrate the birth of The Messiah and the legends of the "gift giving saint" led to our Christmas gift giving custom. Children still enjoy the magic of Christmas through decorations and gifts, but where's the lessons from the original stories. The motivation to be good year round. The reverence for Christ and the principles He brought us. Like Jim Rosenthal I worry the original messages of altruism and devotion will disappear. Believe it or not the current secular mythology of Santa Claus was introduced by a minister in the famous poem "Twas the Night Before Christmas".
    He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot, And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot; A bundle of toys he had flung on his back, And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack. His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry! His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow; The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath; He had a broad face and a little round belly, That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly. He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf. . . .

    Coca Cola forever defined the jolly fat black belted,gold buckled, red suited, white bearded Santa Claus we know today through his commercialization in their advertisements. The current American Christmas has been sabotaged by the religion of capitalism. Buying and selling has become the most important ceremony of the holiday. Our retail industry is completely dependent on the Christmas shopping season to turn a profit and get out of the red every year. ( hence Black Friday after Thanksgiving ) There's no crime in holiday shopping. I just hope that we don't lose the original stories celebrating Christianity which inspired the tradition of giving gifts. Merry Christmas!

    Santa, Ashes and Reynolds Wrap Metallic Silver Christmas Trees

    Like most American kids I was given the sleigh driving version of Santa Claus to believe in. The legend in my rural southern small town included the usual expectation of toys under the tree. There were caveats however to the magic. One eve, I vividly remember laying stiff under tucked covers giddy with anticipation over arrival of Santa, but most important I remember the fear and anxiety of trying to keep my eyes tightly shut. With my excitement, I'd given up all efforts to actually fall asleep, but I was told that children had to go to sleep Christmas night or Santa wouldn't come. That night as I gave in to peeking there was a magical reddish glow cast from the embers through the cracks of the hot black stove. I panicked at the thought of the mound of ashes growing at the bottom. Visiting older children had warned that if I was caught peeking Christmas Eve night, I would face the sure punishment of ashes in my eyes. This was the southern rural Negro take on mainstream 'coal in your stocking' tradition. Well our humble homes didn't have fireplaces nor cold bins of Victorian nostalgia. We kept warm by cast iron stoves fueled by kindling wood. I strained to hear the sounds beyond the walls. I was perplexed by my imaginations for Santa's sleigh navigation. We rarely had snow. Actually at this preschool age, I had only once witnessed snowflakes from a skimpy flurry dusting the ground with no accumulation. Our chimney was a pipe connected to a hole in the wall from the iron stove I was watching. Yet I heard activity. My grandma usually said prayers and went to bed with me. But this night I was sent alone. Was Mama out there assisting Santa? Perhaps this was a requirement for folks without the big fireplaces or grand roof tops I'd seen in my story book and on television.

    I had witnessed the real live Santa Claus at the parade that circled the court house in town. He waived at me from a sleigh that was pulled by a tractor. Then I met him in person when we made that long car ride down the highway to the big city to Christmas shop at the fancy stores with elevators. I was led from a line to get on his lap and tell him what I wanted for Christmas. I didn't want to miss the opportunity to give him a list but I didn't care to sit in his lap. In fact I just didn't care for him at all. I did what I was told. They even took a picture that we took home in a pretty Christmas tree shaped card. Eventually, I fell sound asleep then awoke before dawn's light. The open door and smell of brewing coffee gave me permission to go see what Santa brought. Still dark outside, I stepped from the threshold of the bedroom to the "front room" of our little house. Bright red, green, yellow and blue beams of light were rotating across the walls bouncing off our low ceiling. Instead of one of the many green cedar trees cut down from our land, there was a fantastic adorned tree with shining silver needles like shredded Reynolds wrap. Each revolution of the colored light made the tree turn a different color. Underneath lay an assortment of unwrapped toys and clothes. I knew they were all mine. Santa Claus had landed his sled! Never found out how. Maybe Grandma simply let him through the front door.

    So what , im cray, i cost no one

    I told myself that if my peculiar activities w re crazy, then that's okay. Nothing I do cost anyone else, or does anyone harm; in fact, my fastidiousness, compulsions, obsession have led to providing roof over...sheltering too many parasites.
    The only complaints come from the parasites and slackers that have taken advantage of ,my fastidiousness...

    My delusions of grandeur have been selfless belief that I could "love mine enemies" by giving to them unmerited favor..a true christian
    Hence my foolish fervent dedication to assisting my estranged sister.

    So I allowed myself my convuluted steps, idiosyncratic logic to fit the surreal parallel universe interpreted or maybe misinterpreted by my brain. It doesn't matter if its psychological, emotional, neurological, or physiological. Its the reality im forced to live in. So I try to stop feeling guilty for indulging in my OCD schemes. I give in occasionally to relieving my compulsions. For they harm no one.

    My latest epiphany...harness my manias into something productive. Translate my compulsions and obsessions into a craft, maybe even a career. My mind constantly races with ideas. I feel constant compulsion to document my every thought. I am obsessed with keeping notes and lists. Im also obsessed with facts...a maniacal thirst for knowledge. The discovery of wikipedia and invention of google has ...nourished my addiction. But whom im I really hurting. Should I be embarrassed if you happen to have to listen to my detailed ramblings on historical minuteua, scientific facts or movie trivia. (Im not discussing aliens or the fbi dental implants.) the anwer...blogging. The avenue to park my thoughts. The familiar electronic format , database structures are perfect interface for overcoming my neuropsychiatric deficits to not only record thoughts but sort them. Categories tagged/time stamped. Furthermore they provide opportunity to create legitimate content for web development..no one but me seems to remember my thousands invested in web development courses. I began privately blogging as a personal release for my own thoughts and obsessions...movies/politics. The blog also lend itself to collecting useful information, i transferred my lupus information to blogspot. Simultaneously, I began taking advantage of online support with participation on a few social networking sites. It wasn't long before I began analyzing the technical structure of the blogging and networking sites. Initially simpy enjoying the ability to customized the available templates. I began to explore the source code for more advanced customizations. Now im even studying developer tools and open source code. I decided to get involved in lupus/ii awareness by getting myspace/facebook friends...my adhd/ocd...actually led me to current projects, developing blog widgets...creating my own awareness forum based on the ardent cerebrations concept. Now I have something i m avid about to hold my attention for implimenting web development skills as well as creating my own support system...now I making my manic processes purposeful. Collecting content for my blogs... I can put information from roaming for hours to use as content for...a release for my pedantic tendencies can be appreciated or ignored by online readers.

    Will I get to work from home!

    Desperate for money, I surf an applied for jobs online all November. I was discouraged by the lack of any immediate feedback from any of the home-based or virtual jobs. I get daily junk jobs or sales rep from Career Builder. Other than 3 quarters of education, I don't have any experiance in my new path toward Web Development career. Today, Good News in my inbox.


    The LiveOps Community Sourcing Team has reviewed your work history, skill set, and quiz results and determined that your business is well qualified to certify to provide services to LiveOps for Outbound calls.

    i did their online test in nov, got positive answer for this outsourcing co. its work as independent contractor, totally paperless online system....sort of a state of the art version of what i did for carl, and plan to do w my home based business. the link gives a good presentation. i already have a jack for dedicated phone line. i think my IBM T40 will pass. oh yea heres a blog @ working for liveops http://icanworkfromhometo.blogspot.com/2007/10/liveops-taking-calls-for-informercials.html

    most severe case of balloon head I've had for weeks

    I'm having a bit of a panic attack. Today, I've had the most severe case of balloon head that I've had for weeks. That's what I call the weird sensations I get in head, because I feel like helium has been injected in my brain. It feels like its floating upwards. At same time I feel like a ball and chains is pulling from the base of my skull. I'm lightheaded and heavy simultaneously. I haven't been feeling particularly stressed. I was feeling psychologically uplifted by my step aunt's invitation to visit her for Xmas. Yet since rising I've been unable to focus at all. I awoke with a lot of FM pain, I thought I'd improve mentally after ridding pain. I haven't left room or bed. I keep ping ponging from one thought to next. Fortunately, no negative most of them. Its first time in while I haven't been able to coordinate make cup of coffee. I've been stuck propped up on pillows, occasionally hitting remote controls. Unable to focus on movies, unable to stand noise on other channels. I know music would help but each time I lean over to laptop to attempt, I get lost trying to. I keep opening tabs and windows. Having new ideas, distract me from the last. I've tried to give into it, not worry about not accomplishing any tasks id planned. Trying to talk past my tendency to become panicky and obsessed with doing all the stuff running through my mind at once. I'm very spastic, having difficulty coordinating simple movements. Freeze spells, like petit mals, keep me blanking out for minutes at a time. Or I fight my eyes going shut, and suddenly feelings of overwhelming drowsiness, like narcolepsy. In past id often give in to the compulsion to perform whatever I'm obsessed over. While I'm in altered state, I'm most likely to do or say something regretful. With feelings of being lost and confused, I begin worrying that I might be forget something important. If I remember an important task,like paying a bill, then i'd feel I had to get everything done right then because I might forget altogether later.this train of thought has led to many disasters. I'm improved because I'm m more familiar with these events. I don't get so anxious. I realize I can't let crazy mind dictate any of my actions. Its been an all day struggle, back and forth dialogue in my mind. I've got queasy stomach pangs. I wished I had someone to call, hold my hand, like a hot line for neurologically/psychologically challenged. I've had conversations in my mind all day, with people I couldn't call. II thought it be good to journalize the event, then decide to address my thoughts to you. Sorry about appointment mixups;insurance changes messed up my medical transport arrangements. I thought I was kicked off tncare, but got letter saying previous letter mistake. Still, I have new provider that didn't cover MataPlus. Good news, Americare allow me to call one time for recurring appointments. Bad news, receptionist says I need to request BlueCare for West Clinic.


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