Use It All Up

I am blessed with many beautiful things in my life. Some are materialistic while the ones that matter most are loved ones, both human and canine or feline, friendships both near and far. There is one material item I cherish because it is luxurious, warm and given to me by my daughter, eight years ago for Christmas. It is a lovely soft, blue cashmere robe. I rarely go to the dry-cleaners and even with this lovely item, I hand washed it in mild soap. I always had great results except for the few wrinkles that hand washing left behind in spite of fabric softener. Recently, I asked my daughter what she does with her cashmere sweaters and she said she always gets them dry-cleaned. Since I had spilled egg yolk onto my beloved robe I thought it was time to visit the dry-cleaner. When I dropped off the robe at the cleaners, I pointed out the egg yolk and they assured me they would take care of it.

A week later when I returned to rescue my beautiful item from the bondage of the cleaners, I got it home to find a note pinned to it. It said, “We did the best we could.” Upon examining the lapel of my robe I found a hole the size of a half dollar where the threads were visible. They had rubbed it to death. I was heartsick. Beating myself up for not washing it by hand as I always had, I reached for the phone to get my daughter’s commiseration. When I told her I said, “Guess I’ll just put it away for now.” She responded with some indignation toward the cleaner then said, “Oh Mom, use it. Enjoy it. We can always get you another one.”

Well, you all know the way my mind works and I immediately could see a blog in that experience. The more I thought about it the more I realized we all could follow such sage advice as we wander through this life and learn to use it up. When you look around your home, I would guess you have items in your home you are reluctant to use like dusty candles, too pretty to burn; lovely dishes for special occasions that you’ve used only a few times in their life and yours, among many other things. If you’re as forgetful as I am, you can even forget to use that special tablecloth or that special three-piece tiered dish with the roses all over it. Another year passes by and the lovely things are left in the cupboard, where they cannot be seen, used or appreciated. We have clothes which actually gather dust hanging in the closet. Pans never used and on and on the list grows. As we change, our need for these things usually changes.

Then there are the items that have such great sentimental value they are taking up space in your home and contributing nothing to your life. You simply can’t bear to part with them. We have three cedar chests in our home that are filled with everyday items from my husband’s family. We are surrounded by “stuff.” One thing about that particular “stuff” is that is has already been used up by someone else or in some cases they passed away without using them up. When do we learn to say goodbye? Why is it so hard to do?

I have a friend who saved special items for her grandchildren, like a Shirley Temple doll and the grands, although they are girls, don’t like dolls. We can’t impose our taste, our memories or our wishes onto others. We often have our own pile of belongings and somehow it grows and grows. I’ve always been intrigued by the dealers in used items. When, for instance, does an item become worthy enough to go from the Goodwill store to the estate sale? Who makes the decision whether something is garage sale or rare and goes onto Ebay? Who determines what is valuable and what is not? Is it the age of the item, the number of them available or the sheer beauty of it? We have to remember the true adage that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, is it not?

I have another dear friend who lives by the philosophy, when it comes to her money at least, she is going to use it all up. She says, “The children are going to get the house but I’m spending my money and not saving it for them.” I know her children aren’t starving to death and her attitude is one I find commendable as she uses it all up. I should point out she has many health problems and goes everywhere in life, rarely slowing down, with a walker. I love her zest for living. She is one of my heroes.

I’m sure many of you have discovered as your health fails, you are diagnosed with a painful or chronic condition, your priorities have changed. Inevitably this change comes with age but for some, it is illness that brings about the change. You begin to see life through new eyes. “Getting somewhere” in life has suddenly become, “How do I get to the store today, feeling the way I do?” Other days it may even be as simple as, “How am I going to take a shower today or even get to and from the bathroom?”

Simplicity becomes the new rule. Ease of care for our homes, families and our own bodies takes center stage. Lives once lived for the job, a new or better car or adding to a savings account are now filled with the complexities of health insurance, the agonizing prices of medication and just surviving whatever current crisis our body is in.

I live in a very ordinary Victorian home, surrounded by antiques. I am a lover of materialistic things but I have found my preferences changing as some of these lovely things, or purely sentimental items simply become something I have to dust. I saw this occur with my Mom after my Dad died as she moved into smaller and smaller places to live, finally ending up in a nursing home for the last six years of her life, isolated from all she had once cherished, unhappy and isolated. Her words and attitude driving others away from her it was tragic to see.

It is not just the materialistic belongings in our lives that may need to be used up, given away, etc. I know you and I have relatives, friends and acquaintances we would like to know more intimately yet have not had time to enjoy. Life is busy when it is free of poor health, free of daily pain and anxiety. I have realized as I age and become more ill the importance of using those relationships. I don’t mean using as in taking advantage of, no, I mean it as not to ignore but to appreciate and use to give and to receive love, memories and experiences. We each learn as we live each day. If we are not learning, we are not growing. I have come to value the importance of growth, no matter what our circumstance.

I have another old friend who is always longing for what was and wanting to undo every decision she has made. As the famous author, Thomas Wolfe said, “You can’t go home again.” Life has a pulse, a growth pattern of constant change and we must change and adapt to stay alive. That doesn’t have to include complicated technology, perhaps, I know I will never be a computer genius. It does mean to have our eyes open and realize how we and others around us keep flowing on. Thomas Wolfe also said, “Make your mistakes, take your chances, look silly but keep on going. Don’t freeze up.”

I know a few individuals who have “frozen up.” They are no longer finding pleasure in either possessions, hobbies or family and friends. These individuals are isolated to the point of tragedy. Many of life’s events seem to threaten to do that to us such as a major change in health, the death of a spouse or often a change of setting. Don’t freeze up. Life won’t wait for you.

As I remind myself life flows on, I am also aware of much of life that never changes. This would include our memories, the fragrant breath of a newborn baby, the cawing of a crow with some mischief in mind, the amazing configuration of a newly fallen leaf as it glides to the earth to join its friends on the soft ground below. It would also include the constant presence of a loving God, the sparks in the eyes of a small child seeing fireworks for the first time, the magical music in the sound of laughter and the amazing sparkle of sunlight through soft rain.

Each of us must face, discover and decide what to use up, what to simply leave behind and where the truth lies in our own lives. Aging, chronic pain and sudden illness all force us into decision making, whether we are conscious of it or not. Let us each remember to observe, relate and appreciate. “I have to see a thing a thousand times before I see it once,” Thomas Wolfe circa. 1940.

That is still a beautiful thought, as true today as it was when he wrote it. Take the time and effort to look a thousand times. This reminds me of those things, relationships and experiences which, if we are wise, we will never use up. These categories would include dreams, plans, new ideas, beautiful thoughts and a renewed appreciation for almost any area of life.

“Look carefully my friend at the oak tree—for it is especially like unto you. You cannot, by taking thought, add one inch to your stature. But you can, by being true to the law of your own being, by giving yourself—even as the tree gives itself to the air and the sunshine—in perfect trust to the great Father who governs all things, both the lilies and you—draw unto yourself exactly the opportunities, the environment, the friends that you need—and your success will be measured only by the dreams and desire which are rooted within your own integrated, unified self,” Glenn Clark, Christian writer and teacher. He went on to say the man he was speaking to “…sat there and stared at the oak, until it became no longer a fancy or a dream, but a living fact—that the law which governed the oak also governed him, and that which was his could not ever escape him and that which was not his could never really belong to him. And days went on and a great quietness came into his soul. But as he passed the oak one day, he suddenly knew why it had come to him. For he knew that within the oak there was a power that was continually creating that which its inner nature craved from the silent elements without. And great calmness stayed with that man, a calmness that to others seemed colossal when those about him seemed lost in inconsequential things.”

Please, my friends, let us jointly use it up, burn the beautiful candles, use our best dishes and share the beauty, strength and joy of life with others because of our pain and illness—not in spite of it. Come along with me as we jointly search for the meaning that each of our lives was designed to fill. Let us use up our talents, use our dreams at whatever age we are and always believe we are part of a divine plan, specifically meant for us—to use up.

78 thoughts on “Use It All Up

  1. Dear Sue
    What a wonderful blog. So much to take in, yet so much I do and think everyday. I use my mothers silverware everyday, my good plates, glasses and real cloth napkins, because if not now ….when ? And if not me…who ? They are mine, use them now. I love old things, as we both have discussed before. My love of antiques equals yours. I just have less space haha !
    Using all of it, whether energy, food, old things, or recycling , is important to me. Actually was how I was raised, always use it all , and if you don’t, then put it back for later. We were talking about God given talents this morning. Singing, teaching, writing, preaching, even cleaning the church. Use it or lose it. Practice and do it better, but above all use it and try to use it all up
    Love
    Tonie

    • Tonie, Thanks for your kind remarks. You know, I never know how a blog will be accepted and “used” by others. Yes, we do share a love for old things. It is sometimes odd to live in a house older than I am and used things also older. I love the cozy feeling old things give off. You’re right..talent included in the use it all up. Love and thanks, Sue

  2. Touched me as usual Sue. I have so much “stuff” with value to me but unlikely to my sister’s children when I’m gone. I have been thinking about my father’s belongings and wondering what my sister and I will do with them. Many things have value to him and some to us but in reality the significance in the value is related to the memories they conjure when looked at. I have thousands of dollars invested in supplies for dogs of all sizes but I don’t have dogs to fit the equipment. My current canine residents fit tiny and huge….most of my stuff is for medium sized dogs. I have little to no storage space so the house looks even more cluttered. I’m going to have to hire someone to help sort and remove everything from clothes to dog supplies and Christmas decorations. I’ve removed dog cages, but that’s as far as I managed. Oh well no one but me to see the rubble anyway.

    • Bobsled, you look like the perfect candidate to call a friend and plan a garage sale for dog owners. We also have a few extra kennels but nothing as grand as you do. Yes, I believe it is the memories that cause us to hold onto things and as long as we live, why not enjoy those memories. So you have an abundance of Christmas decor, too. SO do we. Some of it is worn and some just too much to handle. We have a beautiful artificial tree, a nine footer that we’ve only used three seasons, pre-lit and all and don’t use it any longer. It’s just too much trouble. Our daughter and the grands always have a wonderful fresh tree so they don’t miss it. Should get rid of it but paid so much for it I hesitate. I guess that’s the other hesitation I didn’t talk about…losing some money with some things. Hope you’re doing as well as possible. Love, Sue

  3. OH SUE YOU TOUCHED MY HEART WITH THIS BLOG. I ALSO LOVE OLD STUFF. I LIVE IN A HOUSE THAT IS MUCH OLDER THAN ME ALSO. MY HOUSE WAS BUILT IN 1875. I HAVE LOTS OF OLD FURNITURE THAT COMES FROM MY GRANDMOTHER AND DH’S SIDE OF THE FAMILY. EVEN MY BEST FRIEND GAVE ME ITEMS FROM HER GRANDPARENTS. LOVE THEM ALL. I KEEP TELLING MY CHILDREN WHAT IS WORTH MONEY BUT ALSO REALIZE THAT MY TASTE IS NOT THE SAME AS MY CHILDREN. MY GRANDDAUGHTER SEEMS MORE INTERESTED THAN MY CHILDREN. I KNOW AS MY BODY SEEMS TO BE FALLING APART I NEED TO START THINKING ABOUT ALL THESE THINGS. I FIND IT DIFFICULT TO START GOING THROUGH MY PRECIOUS STUFF CAUSE I DO NOT HAVE THE ENERGY TO DO IT ANYMORE. WILL NEED MY DAUGHTER AND GRANDDAUGHTER TO HELP ME WITH THE LITTLE THINGS THAT I HAVE TO DUST ALL THE TIME OR LEAVE EVERYTHING AS IT IS AND PRETEND I Am GETTING READY FOR HALLOWEEN. LOL. I HAVE BEEN USING UP MY BEAUTIFUL CANDLES, MY MOM’S TEACUPS……. I STILL HAVE TO GET USE TO USING MY GOOD DISHES CAUSE THE ONES I AM USING ARE SO MUCH LIGHTER FOR MY HANDS. THANK YOU AGAIN SUE FOR SUCH A GREAT BLOG. LOTS TO THINK ABOUT. LOVE YOU MY DEAR FRIEND. BLESSINGS UPON YOU.
    XXX

    • Suzanne, interesting that you also live in an ancient house. They’re always needing to be painted or fixed in some way…much like us as we age. I actually think the house has held up better than I have. It’s good to have a sentimental daughter or grand isn’t it? I think the getting ready for Halloween is a great idea. SOme folks even spray their cobwebs white. Not a bad idea, and basically free. Glad you liked the blog. Sue

      • YES IT IS INTERESTING THAT WE BOTH LIVE IN AN ANCIENT HOUSE. OURS USED TO BE A SCHOOL HOUSE. WE STILL HAVE THE ORIGINAL FLOORS IN OUR DINING ROOM LIVING ROOM. I WISH THOSE FLOORS COULD TALK. WHAT INTERESTING CONVERSATIONS WE WOULD HEAR.
        NEVER HEARD OF SPRAYING THE COBWEBS WHITE, BUT WHAT A GREAT IDEA. LOL. I WOULD NOT HAVE THE ENERGY TO DO THAT. REALLY WOULD LIKE THEM TO JUST DISAPPEAR. OH WELL THAT IS MY LIFE NOW. I DID TAKE YOUR ADVICE ON TAKING A CLOTH AND CLEAN THE FLOORS WITH MY FOOT. THANK YOU FOR THAT SUE. MAKES MY LIFE EASY, UNTIL I Can REALLY WASH THEM. LOVE YOU MY FRIEND. THINK AND PRAY FOR YOU EVERYDAY. GOD BLESS YOU. XXX

  4. Hi
    I just wrote a post and it wouldn’t go on and I’ve lost it now
    I’ll be back tomorrow had a busy day bammbooing!
    And tired now. But a wonderful blog sue just fitted for me with moving
    And I’ll come back with what I said before on the other post
    Chris

  5. Sue, this one will hit home with so many of us. Many of us enjoy old “things” and have or are developing a healthy respect for “using it up.” From childhood there are family items and heirlooms I have loved and coveted. Some my daughter will likely want, others neither may want. I’ll enjoy them while I have them. I’ve also been well known to “use up” valuable “non-things”, like energy on things and activities that are much loved by myself or that are meaningful to beloved family and friends. Again, I am not alone in this regard. Indeed, yourself and so many others here share examples often. Let’s all enjoy using it up, living life to it’s fullest!
    Signing off before I start rambling. 🙂 I don’t know about you, but time to save up a little of that precious energy so I can use it up for something special later this week.
    Take care, all!

    • Lyn, I hope the concert you and DD are giving on Friday will be a wonderful success and a blessing to all who hear your lovely voices. It’s a wonderful way to use up your talent and to share with others. I do know how much you like old things from the furniture you have fixed up or re-purposed last year. It’s so lovely to see older things appreciated and not left to decay. Reminds me it is time to oil a few old pieces of mine. I’m pleased you liked the blog and know you use up many things in your life. Love, Sue

  6. Hi
    Well I’m awake early so
    Great blog sue..for me particularly with moving..what to keep.things I have kept and not used had deteriorated so much and had to be thrown away..things like cards I’d kept
    So they can’t be used only looked at so that was upsetting .but l did throw so much away of my own kept stuff that I decided my DD wasn’t going to be in that position.so I’ve narrowed it down to sealed plastic boxes in order in the attic . I felt good about that. I hope my dads citation with his medals and all his paperwork keeps ok
    Clothes I’m gonna wear now on…my DD has always said today is best and has always worn everything……do you remember Sunday best?
    Yea Lyn the energy Is a good one..very thought provoking blog

    Donna
    Good to hear from you..glaucoma too….you have so much to contend with.its good the pressures have gone down
    I’m glad your DD is getting care now for her kidney stones and that they pass ok now
    Well gonna get up and put heating on
    Chris

    • Chris dear, I sure do remember Sunday best. It has fallen away much as special Easter outfits for church or whatever other activity one had planned. I agree with Tonie that your idea of plastic safe keeping for your daughter is wise. Indeed, you have just been through all of this. There’s nothing quite like moving to get one to throw away extra or over the hill items. I’m spending time now going through medical stuff and shredding much of it. My writings from many years past to the present are next. Many of them are on the computer anyway and some aren’t good enough to keep. Several Christmases ago my daughter fixed an album with all of my newspaper articles from when I had a column in the newspaper when we lived in CA. So much time went into it, I know and it was so appreciated. I’ll be keeping that for her. Interesting how we categorize so much that’s in our life both material and not. Always good to hear from you, Love, Sue

  7. Beautiful thoughts Sue. Actually my body is feeling a little “used up” the last couple weeks as I’m working extra days in my boss’s absence. She had a series of strokes and will be out from work for 4-6 weeks as she recovers. But I’m using up some of my yarn stash (odds and ends from various projects) to make a “sensory blanket” for one of my little patients. It’s a patchwork of different colors and textures of yarn, crocheted squares with various buttons, ribbons, and beads worked in for her to fiddle with while she has to be in her chair for tube feedings. I’ve been working on it while I sit with her during her feedings. Makes the time pass faster, as I don’t sit still much better than she does. 😜

    Finally got the new carpet installed in my apt Saturday (replacing what was damaged when it flooded.) I’m anxious to get my little nest back in order- the chaos is driving me crazy, and I can’t get into my sewing room. Had to have furniture moved out (which included packing up dishes and linens in the buffet, electronics, books, etc) and everything off the walls before the installation. My church group moved the furniture for me and put it back after but I still need to unpack boxes and re-hang pictures etc. Then I can start on Isabel’s Christmas outfit. Was going to sew her Halloween costume as well but had to give up that project – not enough time to complete it with everything else that’s been going on.

    Hope everyone is doing well. Love to al, Princess Crabby Pants 👑

    • Annie, I love the idea behind the sensory blankets. How kind of you to make one for a child. I have only seen them used with the elderly and dementia patients. Fine idea for kids, too. Sounds like you’ve really been through so much due to that darned leak in the ceiling. It will be so good to have new carpet. Be sure you vacuum thoroughly. Straight from the manufacturer carpet can have tiny particles to get right into the nose. What color is it? You have so many good church friends..so glad for you. Maybe you’ll put things in different places and it will feel like you’ve moved to a new place, although it hasn’t been that long since you did, I know. How is your boss feeling? How awful for her and her family. Hope improvement is evident. Hang in there. All will be settled for you one day soon. Love, Sue

      • My boss went home from the hospital today. Doing amazingly well for having had 5 strokes. Walking, slowly but steadily, speech is normal and it seems her mind is all intact. Can see slight drooping of one eyelid. Said she hopes to be back to work in a week or two (probably unrealistic for someone who was “saying her goodbyes to her family” a week ago) but her tenacity is one of the things I love about her! 😉 (I think her doc said more like 4-6 weeks) We shall see.

  8. Morning all
    Cold morning here in Va. in the low 40’s. Ugh ! Not ready for this yet. Still I must get one last mowing on the yard today, take the trash off as I go to swim, and a long list of other things I will pick and choose from. This weather change has hit me hard this year. I would much rather curl up somewhere under a blanket, but must get moving. Good to hear from all of you this morning.
    Chris, Suzanne, Lyn, Annie, BSL. A few of us have the option of doing it all ourselves which at times is very hard. Annie, so good your church could help you put your home to rights. BSL, I know of which you speak. I have so much stuff to go through and sort out still. Chris, your solution is a wonderful one for your daughter. I started doling out things to the kids a few years ago. Things to get out of the way that we’re packed away. Better to let them enjoy them now. My son is very selective in what he will take, my daughter is just like me and loves all things old. My granddaughters love my jewelry box (armoire) and al, its treasures. I have always loved jewelry and have some from many years ago. Not much is valueable, but sentimental to me. So much was stolen when my house was robbed years ago. Could not be replaced.
    Well, I must be going, swim, trash, and get water from the spring. Love that water, so sweet and pure.
    Have a wonderful day all
    Tonie

  9. Tonie, Again I wonder what makes something valuable. Who determines these things? I know some who see antiques as junk. My late MIL thought that. I think if you grew up with something you either love it and are attached to it or you swing the other way and think it is just old stuff. Having moved a few years ago I was intrigued that you still have so much. We’re entirely guilty of that. We have a basement and every closet that is overflowing. We’ve given away so much yet here much of it is still here.
    Girl, I get sore and tired just thinking about all you have to do around your place. DO be good to your back. I know…the forever asked question about how much to do and still survive and/ or sleep at night. It is so hard when you have no one else to do certain things. I wonder if that is worse than asking a spouse who still doesn’t do what you ask? There’s always a possibility with a spouse but for you without your FM there, it’s all yours. Be safe. Sounds like winter has landed with a thud. Love you, Sue

    • Sue, most of the things to clear out are still pieces of glassware, dishes, and such that I have in bins. Plus two bins that are full of stuff from the home office I had in my house. I have two craft bins ( the kind with sliding drawers) and two big bins with drawers full of materials and such. Most of my Christmas things I let go off at the past Christmas. Gave it to my daughter. The tree ornaments I had saved for the kids, lights and things for the tree.
      Got my swim in, a lot off my list done and now is sleep time. Hope you had a good day
      Love
      Tonie

      • Tonie, SOunds like you cleared out some of the Christmas stuff by sharing the joy of it with the kids. They will appreciate it. Yes, Had a good day with the grands after school. Back bad tonight. Glad you got your swim. Did you get the lawn mowed. DOn’t know if I hope you did or didn’t. Want you to sleep well. Love, Sue

  10. Thank you Sue and Tonie for the blog. I thought I had gotten rid of a lot of stuff after my husband passed, but then I had to move so a lot more went. But still have boxes of stuff. All things I want to keep, but I don’t think anyone else cares. Sentimental value only.

    Saw My new ortho guy today to go over my MRI. As he puts it my back is a mess. If I was 25 years younger he would do some major surgery. Do to my age though we are just going with some shots to try to cut down on the pain. Appt not set up yet, but could use some positive thoughts and prayers. Love to all, Janet

    • Janet
      Dear one, just hang in there, prayers for you and the upcoming appointment . The injections are not really painful, just a little uncomfortable . We will say positively you are gonna get help, and believe it !
      Love ya

    • Janet, You have our love, thoughts and prayers. Hopefully the shots will help. I know about constant back pain as do many of the others on here. We truly do understand. You must have some things you can’t part with and that is understandable. COmfort comes in many packages. Much affection, Sue

  11. Hi all
    Going away for a couple of nites.just going to spoil ourselves in a hotel on the coast. It’s rite on the coast with sea views,in a small market town down further south than we usually go. In fact it’s jens old stamping ground…do you have that saying ?…taking the iPad so mite get wifi there
    Getting colder trees turning colour….weather looks ok so hope all goes well .its a pebbly beach so should be ok for my eyes….but anyway I’ll leave the beach walking to sh and ill do the shops! They have some nice book shops and art galleries and quirky shops….I like quirky!
    Gonna try to get to sleep..leave early if up..stop halfway there for a break ,somewhere nice. Maybe Cambridge I used to live and go to school there.there is a tv series, a just after the wardetective series about Grantchester.you mite have it..well there is a tea shop in an orchard there we could stop at .
    Ok try to sleep back when I can
    Chris

    • CHris, Oh my but it all sounds so pastoral, British and tranquil Have a wonderful time and do buy something quirkey. I love quirky, also. Out house is full of it. The area sounds so lovely. Enjoy, stay safe, eat well and hope you find a comfy bed. Much Love, Sue

    • Chris
      Enjoy your break away. Sounds wonderful. Take pics, as I know your dh will. Yes, we have that saying , only wensay stomping grounds.
      See you soon
      Tonie

  12. Well arrived here and sitting here while Dh gone for walk
    Quick note…yea we say stomping got letters mixed blimmin iPad changes stuff
    Chris

  13. Hya
    Only intermittent wifi out in the wilds here….
    Enjoying ourselves ..ate tooooo much
    Will post now when back
    Got a nice sweater from a wacky shop and a long medallion thingy..looking now for Xmas stuff……oh dear!
    Hope all ok.taking lots of pics
    Oh went to a village where a whole village was lost in the 1200s by tide.and it lays sunken under the sea.with Remains of a monastery on the edge of the cliff….quite creepy
    In bed …it’s 10’pm here ,,looking at sea coming nearly up to the hotel. Big waves as it’s windy .its nice looking at it .but imagining that village then..
    Ok trying to get to sleep with sound of waves..beds comfy own pillow
    Chris

    • Chris, How interesting, especially for someone who loves history as much as you two do. I love it when you can sleep to the sounds of the surf. Being that close after that sad, tragic story of the village that was lost? Yes, a bit creepy but still fascinating. Your shopping spree sounds like fun and the food must be excellent. Hope you are feeling well, and of course, that CHristmas shopping time is rolling around. So pleased you’re having so much fun. Pics I hope, later. Love ya, Sue

  14. Chris
    Have fun dear. That village sounds incredible. What is the name of it, I would like to read about it. Enjoy your shopping. It is indeed time for Christmas getting. I am almost done, a few more things and that is it. I have made a lot of things, and I am attempting to make a mermaid tail blanket for my granddaughter, if it goes well, I will make another for the little one.
    Sue, I told my RA Dr about my ears, which hurt all the time now. I just got a message back saying it didn’t have anything to do with RA and to discuss it with my PCP. I sent her one back and educated her on RP. And according to what I was reading last night, it does involve RA. She is so quick to dismiss anything if it doesn’t have RA written all over it. I keep telling myself I am going to change DRs but, if she doesn’t look into this, I am. It concerns me cause I know it is not right for them to hurt like this. Anyway, waiting on another response to see if she takes it seriously.
    It is Thursday, I am tired and really not feeling well. That works on the emotions. Take care all and have a good day
    Love
    Tonie

    • Tonie
      It’s called..dunwich ..it’s in Suffolk .
      I bet the mermaid tail blanket will be well loved.never heard of one sounds good
      You do sound none too good tonie..I hate it when Drs do this they do it with sjogrens and I’m left in the dark trying to find out..then read all manner of things ..it’s the pits
      I hope you can rest for a while ,you’ve been so busy and with FM away and all
      Chin up girl
      X

    • Tonie, I am sorry to hear your ears are still hurting. It was my understanding that it is the outer ear, right? Do they change shape at all or it still the redness and swelling? Do they itch? You should try the over the counter cortisone cream with aloe they sell online or at stores. It really helps when my ears get like that. I often wake up with them like that and have to change positions. For me it is often after a day in the sun but not always. Sweet friend, I had these problems for 13 years, saw 6 rheumatologist before I got a diagnosis and it took him about 15 mins. It happened the day I was there I had my right ear, swollen and red, which caught his attention. The ears and the cartilage around my SI joints were the first symptoms. Most RA docs know very little about relapsing polychondritis because the cases are so few and far between. Some have never seen one with the states of four in a million. I KNOW there are more sad patients walking around out there with it and will never have it diagnosed. They say it does not run in families but as you know, my sister had it and I have a cousin with it. I know you won’t give up. There is a female RA doc in Seattle who is considered one of the world’s best expert in RP. See if you can find her online. I’ll check too. I knew her name many years ago. You know I’m here if you have any questions and it is definitely one of the rheumatoid diseases that number over 100! Love ya, oh yes, the mermaid blankets sounds wonderful for the kids. Sue

      • Sue
        Yes, it is the outer ear, and the lobes as well. She told me to take a pic of them in case it wasn’t acting up when I go for my apt. I had to force her to acknowledge it was RA related, but she finally did. And said treatment for RP would be max, which I was already on. Doesn’t mean I couldn’t be having a flare up of some kind . There is also (according to Mayo Clinic) chondritis that can affect the ear from RA. Don’t know they are just so touchy and have burned and ached all day.
        Thanks dear. I was wondering if you were okay. Was the storm bad today ? Hope all is well with you. I am on the couch in rest mode now, talk to you soon
        Love
        Tonie

  15. Chris
    I remember that town now, I think there was a horror novel written “The Dunwich Horror” a monster and they destroyed the town because of it, yeah, I just got a response from the DR, telling me different things. I told her it was a heads up to our appointment, all my research led back to RA. There is a condition that is not affiliated with Relapsing Polychondritis, but it is to do with RA. So… we will see
    The blanket is made like the tail of a mermaid and you pulll it on. Just started it and it seems easy enough, so we will see.
    Yeah, rest tonight for sure.
    Enjoy your day
    Tonie

    • Tonie, just grabbed the closest reply spot to answer you. The storm is bad. Wind is supposed to start up tonight, 40MPH to start. Waves at beach supposed to get up to 30 FT. Rained continuously all day. SUre glad we cancelled our trip to Dr. in Portland today.
      As far as lines between the different types of chondritis…it’s hard to define and depends on the doc you see and their experience or lack of it. Yes, the treatment didn’t change for me…prednisone, NSAID’s, methotrexate stayed the same but it felt good to have a name for it. Labs negative with the exception of an occasional high sed rate. Try cool cloths or ice on the ears along with the cream I recommended, okay? If you don’t have it and have pure aloe vera, that works good, too, just messier.
      We have to grands all day tomorrow. Some sort of school teachers work day off and DD is in CA for the next couple of days. Maybe we’ll brave the storm and take them out to a nearby town to a little diner we like. GS wants to try their huge strawberry waffle I had last time. Strawberries were cooked and it had whipped cream, literally, all over the top. Rain expected here for the next week…this storm and another behind it. Still not sure about the new pain patch. It’s reacted with my usual SJogren’s dryness and I’m SOOOO dry. Throat, nose and gut so constipated more. However, I am getting more accomplished, am off of muscle relaxers and to sleep just taking a melatonin. Love ya, Sue

      • Sue
        Thanks for the help. I do have the cream, I will go try some. The pillow is hurting them now. I really like the beach in a storm, so beautiful and makes me feel peaceful, crazy huh ? I don’t blame gas, I would like one of those waffles as well. I love going out for breakfast, anytime of day.
        Well, not sure if this Dr will find a diagnosis for me or not. Took them over 15 years to diagnose RA. But I shall endeavor on. Maybe ask my orthopod about my back, if he thinks it could be something there. Go there next Friday.
        Chris, hope you enjoyed your tea and can get to sleep. I watched the newest X Men movie, love the Comic book movies. Had a cup of lemon ginger tea.
        Okay, now tomget the cream and see if I can sleep
        Love
        Tonie

  16. I think that book took place in USA
    i do hope this gets sorted out . Do any of the meds you have affect it….is it like an earache…or below .could it be grinding teeth in the nite..I suppose you done that one
    Does a wheat bag around the neck help
    Il send some photos when I got them on iPad
    Chris

    • Chris, sounds like you are having a wonderful trip. Are you still there? What a fascinating story of a village being swallowed up by the sea. Wow. If anybody ever deserved some time away for a holiday, that’s you. Love, Sue

      • Yep still here.going home tomorrow ,not straight there but via another place
        Won’t leave till late morning..looking forward to getting back..my joints aren’t good at all. Living out of a suitcase doesn’t help
        But it was good to get away and talk to different people with different lives. I love starting up conversations or even listening in to one! People always seem ready to chat
        I’m awake it’s 1.45 am here..gonna make a cup of tea and just listen to the sea..it’s soothing
        Oh ,Tonie Have you tried listening to those sounds you can download them as I’m sure you know …it must feel so uncomfortable getting to sleep with sore ears
        Ok that’s it cup it tea and a biscuit coming
        Chris

  17. This, you may be right, been years since I read it, but I think the movie had it set in England. Been a while either way. No new mess, and nothing I know of would cause it. No it is the outer part of my ear, and the lobe. I have never used a wheat bag, you mean buckwheat ?
    I did some shoppping after work, and stopped and got me supper to bring home. I hate eating out alone, especially when I feel bad. Anyhow, felt some better after I ate, took a shower. Now ready to relax the rest of the evening.
    Do take care. Looking forward to the pics
    Tonie

    • Tonie, RP is called relapsing for a reason. It comes and goes. I’m not saying you have it but it comes in spells then leaves. Mine stays around longer now that I have more permanent damage in many of my joints but the sun reactions, rashes that just appear whenever they want to and the swollen ears and sometimes the nose, comes and goes. I’m not diagnosing you; it isn’t my place but I know it won’t hurt to know all you can about it. Love, Sue

    • Tonie
      After reading the posts the wheatbag doesn’t sound as if it will help at all
      We call it that here…and put it in the micro for two mins…..however I make my own with dried white rice in a sock some you can buy have purfume in
      You have been doing too much I think esp with the elderly man to cater for. .i can hear you don’t feel well in your words.
      It sounds so uncomfortable….would ice bags help..I’m sure you would have tried if you thought it would have
      Hope you feel easier after another sleep

      • Chris dear, I hear you on the travel bit. I’m a home body…love my heating pad, love my mattress, etc. and of course, Jim and dear little Georgie. Lazy day here, only a bit of laundry and housework. Rain, rain, rain. Have a fun trip home. Yes, I understand. I’m a chatter, too. I never met a stranger. Love, Sue

  18. Hi folks
    Am home.got home last nite
    Good to be back
    I think the salt in the air has affected the sjogrens either that or I’ve got a cold
    Having a coffee before I start chores
    Hope tonie you are a bit better
    Chris

    • Hi Chris, glad you’re home and snuggled in. I can only imagine your nose will recover. I know that salty air can really hurt with SJogren’s. We’re in the midst of a fierce storm coming in off the Pacific. I know you’re not on FB where I’ve already talked about this. Apparently the whole west coast of the states is getting the leftovers from a tropical typhoon. We had heavy winds and lots of rain all day yesterday and it’s expected to get worse today and tomorrow. WInds of 80 MPH are predicted and buckets of rain and snow in the higher levels. I hate it when the wind shakes the house. SO many trees are always going down. Pray for us, please. Love, Sue

  19. Tonie, sure hope you are feeling better today. Good to talk to you yesterday and hope some of the ideas we shared are making you feel better today. The storm here is beginning to shake the house this early afternoon. Here we go…Please post and let me know how you’re doing. Hope our internet stays on…Love, Sue

    • Oh my goodness sue I hadn’t heard at all of this…do keep safe.
      It sounds dreadful….prayers For it to be ok .
      Tonie hope you feel better today…
      Chris

      • Chris, so far not too bad. High winds tonight are expected to be worse…between 65 and 80 MPH. I sure hope we don’t get a tornado here in our lovely little town. 30 ft waves from ocean all along the Oregon coast. I confess I get a bit worried with only a couple of other houses in our neighborhood having generators. We will stick out like a sore thumb. I am reassured to remember after our huge hurricane episode in 2007 with winds up to 145 MPH we had no incidents of looting in the whole area. All the stores downtown for about six blocks had their front windows blown out. I asked Jim when he got home how many they arrested and he shocked me by saying none. That year is why we bought the generator. Power out for 6 days that time. I saw on the news all the portable generators are selling out at the stores. We loaded up on milk, bread, etc.They are calling it our storm of the Century. Some of that rhetoric just scares people. Just pray for us dear friend, okay? Love, sue

    • Thanks Chris. Hope it isn’t as bad as it sounds and the winds pass. We’ve grown used to them as long as they don’t take out a tree or the roof. Prayers appreciated. Love, Sue

    • Jennie, wonderful to hear from you. Are you getting there in all your arranging and planning? Think of you so often. Our big storm, supposed to be the storm of the century, passed us by to head E. and N. to Wa state. We got winds of about 30-40 MPH instead of 80. The wind at the light house point across the river from us got 72 MPH winds. We’re still getting rain and thunder but doing just fine.
      I know you must be so looking forward to the time you are settled and the move is completed. Much love, Sue

  20. Sue
    So sorry, was on early yesterday, then no more, didn’t see your post until now. I am still not feeling great, but making myself do things to feel better. Yesterday I did a few things outside, but not til late afternoon. It was such a beautiful day. Today my sister, niece and another lady went out to lunch at out favorite Chinese place. They have the most wonderful food and on Sunday they have a buffet with a lot of their good things. Then home to rest. Been using the cream with Aloe on my ears which seems to calm them some. Friday I go see the orthopod and I will question him as to the pains in my sitting bones and where it is coming from, as well as see if he can drain this cyst on my finger.
    So glad your winds were not as high as expected.Prayer works wonders doesn’t it ? As we spoke , no worries. This week here it is to be in the 80’s. So I will make good use of it, get a few more things done before the cold.
    Hope everyone has a great day tomorrow, much love to all
    Tonie

  21. Good morning. All
    Looks like everyone has been busy over the weekend. It was lovely here and still is. yesterday was a beautiful day with highs in the low 80’s. I got quite a bit accomplished after my swim. Today is Ms Alice day, and her shower day as well……ugh. But, life goes on and I am thankful for the job. Hope you are all doing well.
    I made my first cactus jelly on Saturday, for my brother, he loves it. I always bought it,, but a man in town has a prickly pear that was so full of fruit, so I picked them and got two pints of jelly. His Christmas present.
    Well, off to get ready for work. Sue I hope you are rested from having the kids and all is well. Chris, guess you are rested from your trip to rest. Haha ! Jennie it was so good to see you post, we miss you.
    Love to all
    Tonie

    • Tonie, Been thinking about you and Baby each day. I know you both are hurting and pray you were able to give her beloved horse some peace from the suffering. I think each of us understand how painful an experience this is for you, as well. Hugs and prayers dear lady.Happy you’ve had so much warm weather and your swim sounds great. Cactus jelly from prickly pear? I didn’t know that. Know he will love it. Such a thoughtful gift.
      Sorry I’ve been a bit silent this last few days. Have just been through an awful bout of IBS. Cramps, pain and fatigue. Feeling a bit better today. So relieved the threatening winds bypassed our area but the rain continues. We did see the sun for awhile yesterday. I promise all to get a bit more chatty as soon as this bout passes…ho, ho. Love ya, Sue

  22. Sue
    My Baby is gone over the bridge. It was hard, but had to be done. She had apples, some yard grass before hand. And she was looking in my eyes when she went to sleep. Now I hope Red will be okay without her. Thank your for the prayers and thoughts I need them tonight and for a while as I look for her in the pasture.
    Love
    Tonie

    • Tonie, been looking for this notice all day because I knew it was imminent. My heart aches for you. I was just looking at her picture on FB and commenting to Jim how Baby grew and put on weight during the time you had her. You did so much for her and you got to share so much love with her. Prayers for comfort. Love ya, Sue

    • So sorry for your loss Tonie. I know it has to be hard.I will keep you in my prayers. At least we know she isn’t suffering. I will pray for Red also. I am sure he will be looking for her. I believe Baby is in Heaven running in the most beautiful grass she has ever seen. Some people don’t think our animals go to Heaven but I myself believe with all my heart they do go to heaven. God created them and I know He loves them. Love you my friend! Love, Donna

  23. Hi all
    Tonie
    This was sudden news for me..I didn’t know this was happening..what a loss for you..it’s so so sad
    But you gave her such a warm and loving home . Thinking of you there and wish your FM was there
    Did you get to see the dr about the ears and rash?

    Sue
    Hope you are better…it all comes at once when it comes
    I’ve not been too good ..joints bad..I think it was living out of a suitcase when away and different movements
    Eye and headaches still with me after 3 mths it eases sometimes then builds up
    DH bp too high he has to take the extra meds and side effects are hitting him
    Anyway I’ll try to get back to sleep
    Chris

    • Chris dear, so good to hear from you. I am sorry you still have the eye trouble and the headaches. Sometimes I think my headaches may be sinus dryness as with the eyes, just because of the Sjogren’s. DO you ever think that? I am so sorry your DH continues to struggle with his meds and the side effects. I sometimes believe all medication is just legalized poison. Hope your joints improve with rest and home.
      As for me the new pain patches are making me so dry it has caused many problems but I am going to try to make them work…it is good to have less pain. Oh my, the choices we have to make.Love you much, Sue

  24. That was timely sue
    I had been wondering if it was a sinus thing
    So I looked up sjogrens and dry sinus and yep it’s there…..so I started steam bowls again!
    I wonder if that’s been causing my eye pressures to increase..I don’t like to trawl the internet but that comment you made made me and that was helpful..good on ya Sue
    Yep the choices we gotta make
    My skin on my head is so sore and to Lay down at night yikes..it’s the neuropathy..but meds for it dry me up too
    Why are some so healthy and enjoying life without problems to struggle with
    Tonie
    You ok there
    Donna
    How are you
    Chris

    • Chris, I am hanging in there. I have had some kind of virus or cold for 2 weeks now. So stopped up and with the oxygen use, everything is dry. Dr. said to use the netti pot to keep my nose cavity washed out so I won’t be so dried out and dry. Feeling a little better!
      Hope you are feeling better and hope your DH’S BP is better! Talk later. Love and Hugs, Donna

      • Donna dear, so sorry to hear you’ve been so ill. DO you have a humidifier? I do hope this virus will pass quickly and you are checking to be sure the secondary problems don’t develop. Dryness if such a pain, I know. Do take care of yourself and know you have our prayers.

  25. Morning all
    Chris, I am ok. Still a bit off kilter, but will get there. My other horse, Red, is not sure what is going on. I have him in Judy’s pasture to get the grass eaten, and to keep him calm. He came to the gate yesterday wanting to go back to his pasture. He is going to really miss Baby.
    Well, gotta get ready to go to the orthopod. Early morning appointment. Very tired, not sure about a swim today…..later will tell.
    Hope you are all feeling better. Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers. Hard time
    Love
    Tonie

    • Tonie, you sound a bit better. I think it’s a good idea to distract Red with a new lunch field. I would like to venture a guess that you went for that swim after all as you got moving for your day. Interested to hear how your doctor visit went. Love ya gal, SUe

  26. Sue
    Nope, I didn’t make it to the swim. I didn’t get back from the Dr until after 2. I was so tired, had to pass on it. Thought I would go today, but ended up sleeping until 11. I was up and would go back to sleep, several times, put up the plastic sheeting around 3/4 of the porch to cut the wind. Moved Red back up to the big pasture. And he was so sad, running all over calling for her.
    I did get a lot done today. Laundry, changed the bed, the floors, and bathed the dogs.
    It is right cold here today. Lots of wind and it is cold
    Love
    Tonie

    • Tonie, wow, you got a lot accomplished considering especially how badly you feel today. I’m sorry about Red being so lonely. Poor guy.
      Sorry you felt to badly for your swim. I know how that often makes you feel better.Sounds like you badly needed the sleep today. I hope it helped but sounds like you did a lot. I know that feeling of achievement is great if only the body didn’t suffer…decisions all the time as we know life must go on. Sleep well tonight, okay? Much love, Sue

  27. Tonie
    Was it the ortho dr you saw ..what he say?
    It must be awful for you to see red looking for the other one

    Well nice sunny day but very cold..went for a walk and to the local pub for a roast Sunday lunch.it was nice sat by a log fire to eat it
    I was good and had no apple crumble!!
    Now ironed the bedding washed and stripped two single beds today..so been busy
    Hope all doing well
    Chris

    • Chris, your lunch sounds so cozy…no dessert huh? Stay warm and be sure to catch the new blog.Think you’ll like it because you have the condition I talk about. Love ya, Sue

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