Thursday, December 22, 2011

Metta Sutta....a Blessing for 2012


Blessing for 2012

May everyone be happy and safe, and may their
hearts be filled with Joy.

May all living beings live in Security and in Peace –
beings who are frail or strong, tall or short, big or small,
visible or not visible, near or far away,
already born or yet to be born.
May all of them dwell in perfect tranquility.

Let no one do harm to anyone. Let no one put the
life of anyone in danger. Let no one, out of anger or ill will,
wish anyone any harm.
                                                ~ Metta Sutta (Suttanipata)
                                                          Translated by Thich Nhat Hahn


Before things get too busy around here, I wanted to take a moment to send out a blessing to all of us. Although it seems quite appropriate with the fast approaching New Year, it is a blessing for all the days we share on this beautiful planet.

It does not seem to matter how much wealth we have…or even how much health we have…if there resides no peace within us - then even the greatest of treasures fall short. May you find, in the quiet moments of this day, a place of perfect tranquility.

Peace,

Theresa

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Taking A Shower


video


I think of you often
Every other day, mostly. These are shower days - cleansing rituals
I think of you
Mothers, daughters, grandmothers
Women
Stepping into the steam with me
I wonder
About your
Stories
Are you tired?
I never imagined so many things 
So many things 
At 40 I imagined 45 to look so different.  I had just found the love of my life
The love of my second chance at life. I imagined so many new and wonderful things
Running the back roads of Wisconsin, canoeing the endless water ways that make up the BWCA
Coffee shops, art, travel
Making love
I never imagined getting sick. No one does, really. We give it patronage like a Hallmark greeting card
Understanding it on a poetic level. Giving gratuitous sentiments like we’ve walked even one mile  
But
We don’t know. We don’t imagine, really
I didn’t
Imagine
Something as simple as taking a shower. Rationing out the days. This is what I do. As if it all stops if I just don’t think about it
Or maybe it really is just too hard. It takes too long
Taking a shower
When you’re losing your hair
I just never
Imagined
Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities
All is vanity
Why can’t I be bigger than this?
This thing that insists on
Taking
Taking
Taking
I stand face up
Hot water flowing down my body
I watch the drain
As if this baptism
Slides down my shins and slips between my toes
Down
And
Away
Soap alludes
Some sort of
Cleansing
A ritual of sorts.  Lather makes things slippery. I brush my fingers through my hair. The first few strokes are the worst
Hair winds around my palms, wraps around my fingers like spun wool on spindles
Pull
I tell myself
Pull
Not yet
Pull
As the hair falls freely. Letting go of me.  I hold my hands up to the water, fingers down
And
Watch
As the fragrant spume
Carries dresses and patent leather shoes, pony tails and sparkly earrings, lipstick and sexy lingerie
Down
And
Away
Breathe in the steam. I calm myself, let the water pour over my face
Breathe
Even though each breath feels as though ten thousand were gasping to get out 
Breathe as I turn and spin and maneuver
Shifting here and there so that the water can wash the hair off my shoulders
And arms
And back
And belly
And buttocks
And thighs
And calves
Stopping to tangle around ankles and toes as if to say
I have lingered not long enough, not long enough to
Prorogue the pain of letting go, to delay this grief
It’s sticky business, picking and pulling
Shifting and rinsing, it never ends
Not until I pile what’s left atop my head inside my white cotton turban
Do I feel the satisfaction of
Moving on
Can I say
Enough
Can I feel as though this soap
Somehow makes me
Clean
Can I step out onto this rug
And dry what’s left of
Me
This disease doesn’t take anything from me that 90 years does not take from you  
I've watched you grow old gracefully. I’ve admired your gray hair and your soft wrinkled skin 
And I’ve been empowered by your inner beauty.  Your radiance. The soft wisdom that passes your lips and finger tips 
It comforts me
It makes a path in the deepest forest of my being. A place of gentle knowing. A field for rest  
A settling
I never imagined getting sick
I never imagined
Pain
I never imagined
Letting go
And yet
I never imagined
You
In all your
Grace and loveliness
I think of you
Now
You mothers, daughters, grandmothers
Women
Who have come to the last chapters of your story
By age
By disease
By death
But
By letting not what lacks define you
Not by any letting go
But 
By accepting
What is already
Gone





Thursday, December 8, 2011

New Diagnosis...A Matter of Perspective

Life's A Comic Strip

You know, sometimes that's just the way it is! We've all been there. I remember when I totaled the very first new car I had ever owned. Long story, but in the midst of a July move, I inadvertently left a deep freezer worth of poultry and beef in the back seat of my new Saturn...for a week. Needless to say, there was nothing that could be done. The insurance company said, and I quote, "We have to handle this just like a dead body." Gross.
But what I remember most is how many people said to me, gosh, you got another new car out of the deal! Yes, I guess I did. But in the end it added about $5000 onto my loan since the previous car depreciated the minute I drove it off the lot. Not really what I had originally  intended! I would have much rather kept my old new car.

It is a matter of perspective, I guess. In the end, everything is. How I choose to look at something, the story I choose to tell myself, is exactly that. A story.

The week of Thanksgiving I finally met up with my rheumatologist. It's been a tough couple of months and I was pretty eager to find out what was/IS going on with my crazy overactive immune system. I managed to get down to about 2mg on the prednisone taper regimen when all autoimmune hell broke loose. Basically, what that means for me is this. Think about when you get sick. Your body has a response to that illness - be it virus or bacteria. It is that response that actually makes you feel sick. For example, if the membranes of your nose or throat become inflamed by toxins, your immune response is to sneeze. If  your lungs become infected, there is a stimulation of sensory nerves in the lining of the respiratory passages that create the reflex to cough, thereby expelling and clearing the lungs of those toxins. When viruses or bacteria find there way into your body, your body may respond by initiating a fever. This complex process (which can be quite painful and dangerous if out of control) raises your bodies temperature in order to create an environment in which the virus or bacteria cannot survive. Without the fever, the body would not be able to overcome these toxins. And the same is true for vomiting and diarrhea. Both responses eventually rid either the upper or lower GI tract of toxins that have taken up unwanted residence there. The immune system is an amazingly elaborate and complicated system, recognizing invaders, putting up barriers to prevent those invaders from attacking  vital organs and eventually destroying the ones that do manage to "get through"! It's wonderful...when it works.

In autoimmunity, the immune system's ability to recognize what's foreign and what's part of your own body breaks down in some way. Thinking that cells or tissues or organs are foreign invaders, the immune system moves into action to be rid the body of these invaders. So in a very small nutshell, what this means is that the body of someone with autoimmune disease is constantly in response to what it thinks is toxic. For someone like me, with multiple autoimmune diseases, my body is attacking multiple systems and organs thinking that they are foreign. That's why, quite often my response to the question, "How do you feel?" is answered with, "I feel like I have the flu...all the time." My body is in constant attack mode. If left unchecked (this is where all those nasty drugs come in) then eventually my body would succeed at wiping out things like my pancreas, my liver, my kidneys, my nervous system, my skin, my hair.... the list goes on.  Up until two weeks ago, my primary diagnosis were Lupus, Sjogren's and RA. I have now added Ankylosing Spondylitis to my list, which accounts for the increased pain and stiffness in my spine.

So, why tell you all of this? A couple of reasons. One, the more sick I am, the more people want to know what exactly is wrong with me. It's a hard question to answer sometimes. Quite often I just don't have the energy to explain. Or, as is sometimes the case, people don't really want to know the answer. Not because of a lack of care or concern, but more just because the simple asking is out of politeness and not so much out of a want to know...at least right then and there. I get that. And seriously, I have no problem with it. In most situations, the lack of really wanting to know pretty much matches my lack of wanting to explain! (I hope that makes sense). I'm totally cool with being polite!

Two, I want you to know how I'm managing with this new diagnosis. And this is it...
I'm good.
I really am good.

This is the deal. Am I sick of being sick sometimes? You bet!! But That's where the story stops. This illness, this disease is not me. I do not wonder what evil force is out there working desperately against me. I do not wonder what causes pain and suffering in this body or in this world, nor do I sit and wonder why things happen to me or if I  will eventually find the end of my coping rope! It just is what it is. Period. Attaching "good" or "bad" to a situation is my doing, and has nothing to do with the actual situation. I thought having to pay $5000 for a second new car was a "bad" situation. But what if that first new car had a malfunctioning wire that would have eventually led to it spontaneously exploding while I was driving. Would I then tell myself, "Wow, good thing I had to get rid of that car!" Well, was it a good thing or a bad thing? Neither!

The Venerable Ajan Chah says this,
If your house is flooded or burnt to the ground, whatever the threat to it, let it concern only the house. If there's a flood, don't let it flood your mind. If there's a fire, don't let it burn your heart. Let it be merely the house, that which is outside of you, that is flooded or burned. Now is the time to allow the mind to let go of attachments.
So when you ask me, "How are you?", if I don't tell you I feel like I have the flu, most likely you will hear me say something like this, "I'm good!" I'm good despite my diseases, not because of them. I'm good because when I look out my window I see the most beautiful row of pine trees covered in new fallen snow. I'm good because when I sit out on my deck I feel the healing warmth of the winter sun on my face. I'm good because I am surrounded by a loving family, an amazing husband and the caring hands and hearts of so many friends. I'm good because every single thing I need, I have within me, this very moment. And no fire, no flood, no disease can ever take that away.

I have so much to be thankful for.

Peace,








Friday, December 2, 2011

From This Place


This picture hangs above our fireplace right now. I say "right now" because when your husband is a photographer, things like this change from time to time. For the most part, I am pleased with the transitions. But this one, the one he calls Snowy Oak, is different. I may just keep this one up for a very long time.

BWCA 2007
Nature heals me. More specifically...the woods. I am never so close to the divine as I am when I am laying stretched out on some huge stone or back side up with my head to the clouds, capturing pieces of sky beyond tree tops and quivering leaves or laying face down in the moist mossy earth.

I remember feeling this way as a child in the arms of my father. Safe, warm, connected to something so much bigger than me. I can smell his fresh t-shirt as I pressed my cheek to his chest. I can hear his heart beating as if it somehow were my own, carrying me within the gentle cadence of his strength.  


I don't get out into the woods much any more. Conditions have to be just right - for me and for the woods. But I try not to grieve any longer for what I don't have. It's a pretty useless way to expend energy. What I do try to do, is to draw from within, those many experiences I HAVE had. That's what Snowy Oak does for me. I can stand in front of our fireplace and become completely lost in the twisted, gnarled, snow covered branches that fill my wall. My breathing slows as I am drawn into the motion of each flake, to the wrenched rhythm of each brittle twig. I can smell the frozen air. I can feel the cragged meandering bark as I run my bare hand down her trunk. Wrinkled crows-feet worn like the badges of an old women. If I were a fortune teller of oak...Oh, the stories I could tell!

This is most holy.

When I sat down to write to you today, I was filled with a sort of melancholy. I'm not really "feeling" the whole Christmas thing this year - at least, not in the traditional sense of things. Which, I am finding, is actually a good thing. At first the temptation was to wonder what's wrong with me. But as I look inward, what I am realizing is that I am filled with a deep sense of longing. Longing not for the brightly covered busy-ness of the perfectly decorated Fraser Fir or Scotch Pine. Longing not for the hubbub of city streets or the thrill of finding just the right deal or even the display of  holiday lights. What I'm longing for this holiday season is this...

Quiet.

This kind of Quiet...


It is from this place, from the quiet dead of winter, that I want to venture out from.

It is from this place, from the barren fields of snow, that I want to adorn my home for the gatherings.
.
It is from this place, from the lifeless empty branches, that I want to give the gifts of my heart.

It is from this place, from seemingly endless nights of December, that I want to discover my joy.

It is from this place, this quiet, very still place, that I find home.


May we all come home for the holidays.


Peace,












Tuesday, November 22, 2011

An Oasis Cafe Thanksgiving


These are my hands, gently cradling a warm coffee cup as I sit across the booth from my husband at the Oasis Cafe. A wonderful little spot tucked in the side of a hill of limestone on the outskirts of downtown Stillwater, Minnesota. Stepping into the Oasis is like stepping back in time...or stepping into your grandmother's kitchen. Old booths, old kitchen, glass pie cupboards, swivel stools occupied by old farmers and spinning two year old's - it's comforting, like a warm blanket or a friend's hug. It always smells like Sunday dinner or Sunday breakfast or just Sunday anything.

I don't bring much into the Oasis Cafe. No laptops, no books, no emotional baggage or heady to-do lists. And I never go there if I don't have time. For some reason, when I settle myself into that green Naugahyde booth the world gets softer. Breath comes easier.

I could go on and on about the food, but I think you get the picture. Everything's home made. Daily specials scratched onto an old black board bring lottery ticket anticipation - $3.95 plus pie! Everyone's a winner.

But my favorite thing about the Oasis is not the coffee or the booths or the meatloaf. My favorite part of being at the Oasis is being there with my husband. Just being there. He always looks so handsome. I think maybe, he too, lets go of the world while he's there. Leaving project management and home repair behind, his brow un-furrows as he holds my hand across the speckled Formica table top. Talk is slow, quiet and sometimes not at all.

As I sit here writing this to you, today is the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. By this time I am usually in panic mode, but that was PS (Post Sick) and things are different now. They have to be. Panic is an energy sucking emotion I just cannot afford to have. Some of my ability to avoid this negative mental state is due to changes I have made in my perception of this life. Some comes from learning how to let go. And some comes from just being prepared. Originally, I had decided that we would not be entertaining this Thanksgiving at all. A decision that came difficult, but was necessary due to the aforementioned (previous post) health issues. But thanks to a most dear friend, Thanksgiving will be served in our home, although I will not be the one preparing it - she will. Yes, my lovely readers, there are angels among us.

So, what do the Oasis Cafe and Thanksgiving have to do with each other?  A lot...I hope.
When I think of what I most want this Thanksgiving, when I peel back the layers of hostess pomp and circumstance, when I think of all that matters most to me - it is this... I want an Oasis Cafe Thanksgiving. I want to leave the lap tops, books, emotional baggage and worries of this world outside my front door. I want to really smell the aroma of home cooked food, being mindful of all the hands that planted it, raised it, harvested it and prepared it. I want to feel my connection to this earth - taste the sun and soil from which it came in each and every bite.

I want to look across the table at my family and friends - really look - and breathe in the beauty of their spirit. Being mindful of all that they are, of the miles they have traversed, the sacrifices they have made to sit with me in my kitchen. I want them to know how very thankful I am that they are with me. I want them to know how handsome they are, how precious their lives are and how their very being fills me with joy. I want to sit with them, talking slow, laughing hard and loving much. I have missed far too many moments in my life exhausted, stressed, preoccupied with matters such as clean floors, quickly washed dishes and perfect desserts.

This time around...I'm going to have an Oasis Cafe Thanksgiving.         I hope you'll join me. 


"For each of us food is the source of sustenance, 
the basis of life; 
and when we offer this gift to one another, 
we are not only nourishing each other’s bodies, 
we are feeding one another’s spirits. 
So receive – and give – the food of your life as the powerful gift that it is.”

                                                                                                                          ~ Daphne Rose Kingma


  

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Perfectly Sick



Do not wish to be anything but what you are, and try to be that perfectly.


-St. Francis de Sales



How are you perfectly sick? Honestly, I ask myself that question on days like today, weeks like this week, months like this month. I believe St. Francis with all of my heart, but it's not quite the perspective I like. I don't believe that if you read further on in his prayer you would come to something like..."unless what you are is not pleasing, then pray with all your might for something else." Not really sure that was what he was going for. 
The truth is, these are difficult days. Tapering off the prednisone has been challenging. I feel as though I am to a point now where I have to continually and very carefully weigh out the benefits and risks to both getting off this medication as well as staying on. There is a point at which suffering is indication of something worse going on, not just adapting to a higher level of tolerance.Which, for a past marathon runner, can be a dangerous level to judge by. I have appointments next week that hopefully will help me with these decisions. 

For now...it's a rough road. It's interesting to me, I posted the picture on the right to Facebook this past week and got all sorts of really wonderful comments. (thank you!!) I was extremely fortunate to be able to attend my oldest daughter's first baby shower (where the picture was taken). The very first grandchild! I wanted nothing more than to just be there with her, and as the day would have it, I managed through the entire event. It was the only time I left our home all week. Getting outside is becoming progressively more difficult. And let me tell you, I was beyond exhausted and on the verge of "giving up" all day. I see that in my face, but I'm not so sure anyone else does. That's what I hope for at least. 
You can't tell, yet, that I am losing my hair. I spent my entire life wishing for less hair, especially when I was a teenager. The few times I dared to get a perm, it ended up costing me hundreds of dollars, literally! That's how it goes when they have to open five boxes to get the job done. Two hair dressers still could not cut down on the time...or the tip! Today I am thankful for that overabundance. It's giving me a few more days. I've resorted to washing it only every other day, and have to do so in a laundry tub with a garbage can next to me. I pull handfuls out at a time. I'm no longer able to wear it down as it ends up everywhere. This loss is especially tough. I guess they all are.

Since becoming sick, my world has become pretty narrow. I'm okay with that. I actually have adapted to it well and have found a certain comfort in it. It's a balance I've gotten fairly good at. Some of the ways in which I find that balance are in my ability to read, meditate and write. Things I really struggled to find time to do when I was healthy are now the cherished moments that make up my days. When I get sick like I am right now, cognitive difficulties have a significant impact on my ability to do all three of these things. Combine that with extreme fatigue, pain, nausea, diarrhea and headaches and quite often these things are not possible at all. Even writing this post today I find it difficult to spell, put sentences together and comprehend things I have already written. 

So where does that leave me? How, dear Francis, am I to be perfectly sick? First of all, just admitting it to you, the reader,  is a start. Sitting in front of this computer screen for hours on end, trying to make the best of things, trying to come up with some really great message, trying to be something other than what I currently am, is not going to do either of us any good. Step one, be honest. 

Step two, be kind. I'm making a promise to you to be kind to myself. Which means letting go of some of my unrealistic expectations. The ones that might have been possible two months ago, but now are just making me more sick. Part of that will mean letting go of the idea I have in my head of meeting Theresa's blog post quota for the week. Another part will mean giving more responsibility to my family and friends. I've decided that instead of comparing myself to the past me or attempting to meet some expectation of the future me, I will give today what  is today's. If that means rest, then it's time to rest. Period. 

And lastly, just be. I told a friend the other day that I actually do better (I was speaking in regards to my emotional and spiritual health) the more sick I am. That's actually one of the gifts of having lupus for me. Illness has a way of reminding us that we are not the ones in control and in doing so, has a way of honing life down to the most important. When I am on the upward swing - well, that's when the old me kicks in and I start taking things for granted, moving too fast, missing out on the present. So for now, it's time to just be. And if that is sick, then may I do it perfectly. 

Some good news! The Maple Floor Project is complete!! I have my living room back and the bedroom, closet and hallway are all put back in order. What a labor of love, thank you dear husband of mine! We are already breathing easier and sleeping better. Here are a few pictures of the finished product...



(After Thanksgiving this Pergo laminate ("fake wood") will be moved down to Emma's bedroom and Dave will be putting maple in the living room as well!!)














I am thank-FULL!!
    



Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Weekend Update...gosh, is it really Wednesday?!?


As promised, an update from the weekend! With Jake warming my toes, we bring to you snapshots of the

   Maple Floor Project!


 My husband calls this "project food". Bought at Menards, they are the diabetic handy-man's staple. Since working hard often means low blood sugar...these are a must have!


 Below is the current "belivingroom". I actually like having the bedroom in the center of the house. It's kind of growing on me. Fireplace, big windows, easy access to the kitchen...


 ...all of our creature comforts in one nice little area!


 This is me...not feeling so well, but very, very happy. Still suffering from a prednisone taper flare, along with nasty post-infusion yuck, I am enjoying my comfortable space. And so are the pets!


 This is the official "before" shot of our bedroom.


This is the official "before" shot of the hallway. 


This is my husband Dave, pulling out billions...okay, maybe not billions...but LOTS of staples.


Dave calls these "devil strips". I'm learning the lingo!


Sawing off door frames in order to make way for the new wood!


See how slick a piece of the new wood slides under. What a genius!


This is the bad boy of hard wood floor nailers! It does a wonderful job, but let me tell you...is it LOUD OR WHAT!?!?! Holy Moly Rocky!


Below is Jake...staying as far away from the power tools as possible. The pets are NOT impressed!


The garage/wood working shop! Old carpet pads covering areas to prevent saw dust on everything. Nice recycling Dave! 
Watch out for those fingers!!


This is the bedroom as of yesterday...


...and last night progressed into the closet! Yes!


So, here is the project as of this morning! I would guess that by tonight Dave will be working his way out into the hall. I can already feel and SMELL the difference. Getting that almost 12 year old carpeting out was one of the best decisions ever!  


One of the downsides to having the house in disarray is that the office/computer "stuff" is not where it should be and I am currently suffering from "intermittent connectivity issues". Which means a sufficient amount of frustration. That being said...this update will be brief. Hopefully I'll have FINISHED project pictures posted soon...and maybe even some good news on the health front! Now wouldn't that be grand!!
Until then...
I hope your day is filled with Joy
and you are filled
with
Peace.



Friday, November 4, 2011

Facts of Life Friday



Here we are again. I think the combination of not working and the good old "lupus fog" has a tendency to melt all my weekdays together. As I look at my empty pill organizer, I am dumbfounded at how quickly a week passes. As I see my family out the door on Monday mornings, it seems like the week will never end. For those of you in the Monday through Friday work-a-day world....Happy Friday

This week has been a little rough on me. Still moving down on the prednisone dosage - thank goodness - but it sure does cause a bit of a ruckus with my immune system. Hair falling out, painful joints, relentless fatigue, infections, nose sores, mouth sores and plain old feeling like I have the flu are my complaints du jour. 

At first glance, it looked like I was taking a shower with a small squirrel this morning. I marveled at how quickly the shower filled up with water and contemplated the combined strength of hair. Kind of like spider silk, both are made primarily of protein. "Silks tensile strength is comparable to that of high-grade steel and about half as strong as aramid filaments, such as Twaron or Kevlar (3000 MPa)" according to Wikipedia. Maybe I should be saving the stuff. Nope, that's just gross.

To cut down on the accumulation of dust, pet dander and the like, we have decided to pull up all the carpeting upstairs and lay down wood flooring. Right now most of our upstairs is already wood, but this will finish the job off. My husband is wonderful at these sorts of jobs and I can hardly wait to slide across his finished work. But ohhhh....I am so not ready for the mess. I'm sure you'll here about it this next week... 

SO, on with the show!


Fact #1: Dave and I met in the year 2006. We both had been married previously for 22 years. I met him on eHarmony. A fact I always kind of kept to myself. But as time went on, the product proved itself so significantly in our lives that I would actually consider doing one of those sappy commercials. There are no words to describe my love for this man. THIS is the very first picture ever taken of the two of us together. Nice, huh? I could have picked a better one, but it would not have been the "first".


THIS is a more recent picture of Dave and I. It was taken in a studio in northeast Minneapolis during Art-A-Whirl. It's the one and only time that we have been in a show together, Dave with his photography and me with my paintings. It was a spur of the moment thing, neither of us had planned for it. In fact, most of my paintings were years old. But it was a dream come true and I look forward to the day when we can do it again.




Fact #2: I love quirky eclectic coffee shops. We have two that are our favorites. The one to the left is Nina's, in St. Paul, MN. It's hands down THE BEST we have ever been to. An added contributing factor...it's where we hung out together most of the first year we knew each other.

One of the great perks to having a photographer as a husband is that you have your own paparazzi. Dave loves catching me unaware. In this shot (taken the week we met), he had gone outside to take photos and snapped this one of me through the window. I remember the night like it was yesterday. A quiet weeknight, Sneaky Pete playing guitar and Nina's very own blend. These are the memories that fill my heart. 

Our second favorite is Amazing Grace in Duluth, MN. Known for it's AMAZING bread and AMAZING all organic menu, this place sits in the basement level of the historic Dewitt-Seits Marketplace in Canal Park. It's a excellent place to literally hang out all day in. Wonderful local art and a wide variety of musical talent can always be found within. Right outside is where Dave and I would finish Grandma's Marathon. SO many good memories!


Fact#3: This is a photo of my grandmother and I. She taught me everything a girl needs to know in order to manage a loving home and cook a good meal. I have never once heard her raise her voice or talk badly about anyone.
This picture was taken two summers ago during my parent's 50th wedding anniversary celebration. It was a wonderful week of family and fun. Yesterday my grandmother went into the hospital for congestive heart failure and complications from COPD. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. Her name is Ilene.





Fact#4: I love to laugh. I especially love to hear my husband laugh. No matter how tough things get, we can always find something to laugh about. We both have a rather unusual and dry sense of humor. The last time we stayed in Duluth to spend our days at Amazing Grace, we got a really good deal at a fancy hotel. The kind where there's so much complimentary stuff that you can basically leave everything at home. The kind where they have fancy folded toilet paper. Well, I always hate to use that first piece. I've been known to use the tissues provided just to savor the fanciness of it all for a while. So, on this visit, I decided to create my own toilet paper art. Of course, just getting the idea while sitting there doing my job was enough to send me into a fit of suppressed giggles..."Honey, you okay in there?" "YES....fine dear...teeheheheheheh!" So, the next time my husband went in to "do his job, these are what he found. Don't ask...some of them simply fall under the category of "impressionistic modern toilet paper art".



Well, there you have it! Four things you probably did not know about me ten minutes ago! I sure hope you have a good weekend. Be thankful for all you have, smile at someone who really needs it and find the beauty in all that surrounds you. We have only one moment...one life...THIS is most surely a fact!





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