Category Archives: our zoo

Quiet in a Very Noisy Time

I was sorta, half-way, mostly in my head, working on an end-of-the-year review but the insanity of the last couple of weeks (both in the world and just in my little corner of it) has pushed me into my stoic, quiet, updateless place.

2018 was the first year since I have been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor that I was stable enough that I actually did not spend any time in giant, noisy medical machines. No MRSA, no trips down the stairs, no major choking incidents. I’m not convinced I’m seizure free, and I forget things like it’s my job, but I am stable enough that I was able to convince my neuro to let me ask pain management about shots in my neck again.

one_more_mri_and_ill_stick_to_the_fridge_t_shirt-r393e56788db34794a1ec5128ba7b0f52_jyr6t_307

2019 starts with me mostly stable brain-wise, in the middle of a couple of trips to the dentist, somewhat overwhelmed by life right now, and contemplating going to the Women’s March in DC on the 19th. So I am doing what I do and retreating into my head and my writing. I present my latest efforts from my journals…

The Night After Christmas

‘Twas the night after Christmas
and all through the house
not a critter was stirring
Not even Daisy with a new mouse.

The stockings were rehung
by the fireplace with care
Empty now of the treats and goodies
St Nick had shared.

The kids were all snuggled in
tight in their beds
with visions of such a wonderful day
bouncing through their heads.

And Dad in his pajama pants
and I wearing a messing bun like a cap
were heading upstairs
dreaming of a nice, long Winter’s nap.

When all of a sudden I heard
a bang! and such clatter
I tumbled out of bed
to go see what was the matter.

I hurried down the stairs
as I followed the noise
When what to my surprised eyes did I find
but a battle of toys!

Wow Daisy! Oh Phoebe!
And Honey-Girl too?!
There’s boxes and bows everywhere.
What did you do?!

As I stood and surveyed
the mess in my living room
I took a deep breath and wondered
“should I go get the broom?”

Just then a wondrous sight
caught the corner of my eye
I looked across the room, through the back window
and gazed at the Northeast night sky.

The snow had just started
to float down from the clouds
Clean, fresh, white sparkling snowflakes were floating down
coating our little town without a sound.

Soundlessly I turned
and gazed upon the messy room
Among those boxes and bows
I saw the joy that disappears all too soon.

Our family had been gifted
with such a wonderful day
and so our kitties had taken
their chance to play!

All those boxes and bows
and scattered tissue paper
would be remnants of cherished memories
to call upon later.

Seeing my furry little predators
attack all the boxes and bows
just added to my joyous memories
as they peeked out from the piles
with their tiny nose!

With a flick of a tail
as they dashed out of sight
I chuckled to myself and whispered
“Merry Christmas, girls! I love you. Good night!”

~ Xun, 2019

I hope you had joy in this last holiday season and I send hope and light and love for health and happiness in the New Year!

❤ ~ X

I Have A LOT of Holly Jolly

It seems like I get pretty quiet when I mostly stable and this has been a really busy year in my household. And, inspired by all the Christmas music I have been listening to, I thought I’d sent out an update. I am much better at posting more often on the Facebook page, and if you’re interested in more of Xun’s life, I keep an active Instagram.

  1. I may or may not be moving the blog to a new site unless WP gets their ish together before August. Long story, capitalist ish, unnecessary pixels.
  2. Healthwise: I am mostly stable. Labs were good this year, neuro felt I was stable enough to skip my yearly MRI this last summer, and aside from dropping things like I get paid to do it and having days when the only thing I remember is how to get home, I’m doing pretty good. I even managed to get my neurologist to sign off on me asking my pain specialists if they can finally do some shots in C6 after 3 years. (Post tumor diagnonsense, Georgetown didn’t want them messing near the epidural space.)
  3. My son came home after 6 years so I have all 3 of my kids in the state again and between them, they keep me busy. (Although my youngest gets the honor of keeping me the most busy and angling for me to be one of the “alpha theatre moms” (her words, not mine) by next September…..ish.)

My son just got a job at a new Starbucks opening near us, my oldest daughter will be graduating from college in May as a Radiographer!!, and youngest keeps me busy because she’s a sophomore in chorus AND theatre and we just started spacers and appliances to get braces on in about 3 months. And she just got her permit.
(send vodka)

So…..Christmas is just 8 days away….

20171217_174054

 

…and my youngest has embraced this Holiday season to be HOLLY and JOLLY, not stressy and depressy. Good advice kid. For the first time in my life I have THREE (yes, 3!) Christmas trees in my house. We dug the first one out…

IMG_20181217_150140

 

…but that wasn’t the new one we got last year. (I told you I forget things. And yes, I have fake trees. I have cats.  😉)

So we moved it to the spot by the back door, because why not?! And got the new one out of the basement and put that one up in the living room.

IMG_20181217_145016-1

THEN the kid really wanted a tiny Christmas tree in her room because she’s 16 and usually she has Halloween decor in her room, and Maaaaoooooommmmm-I-really-need-it-pleeeeeaaassseee!!

IMG_20181217_150242

Side note: We have a rule in this house not to put up any Christmas decorations before December 2nd because we have three birthdays and Thanksgiving just before the holiday season hits. I was born 2 days before Thanksgiving and my husband was born on December 3rd, so we know what it’s like to get lost in the Christmas Crap (Xun info: that’s what I routinely refer to Holiday decorations as 😉 ) and my youngest’s birthday is December 1st, so anything Christmas goes up after her birthday.

This year we had tech week, the weekend of the Fall play, 2 birthdays, the Christmas Chorus Concert, the kid’s party, The Army/Navy game, and rounded it out with the Winter Cabaret fundraiser.

This year she turned 16 so it was a big deal! She had friends over and they listened to music, played games, watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and had all kinds of her favorite foods, followed by an ice cream sundae bar.

IMG_20181207_184404

Tech week is the last week before a show, dress rehearsals, last minute pushes and updates so the parents provide dinners. The three days of the Fall Play always seems to land on the same weekend as the youngest’s birthday, so we pushed her party to the following weekend.

In the middle of it all was my husband’s birthday, followed by the chorus concert ,then the kid’s party, then by the Army/Navy game (yes, that’s important!….. even if the offense didn’t bother to show up this year), then the Winter Cabaret.

All caught up? I’m relatively sure I have failed in clarifying or explaining something, and I’m even more sure I’ve forgotten something, but here we go.

So what kinds of resolutions do you have for the new year?

tumblr_lul27uYOWv1qzfqgco1_500

I’m less about “resolutions” and more for aspirations or focus points. But I am seriously considering showing up to the DC Women’s March in January in my T-Rex costume!

Happy Holidays everybody!

 

 

 

I’m Still Here

Holy timelines!! Has it really been a month since I last posted?! I knew I haven’t been writing much, but I didn’t realize it had been close to 5 weeks. Sorry, I’m alive. If you follow my Instagram or my blog’s Facebook page, you know I’m still posting. I just haven’t been writing lately. Anything really. I’m barely even journaling much right now…

PhotoGrid_1538073189512.jpg

Since my last post, I’ve made one of our annual pilgrimages to our state’s RennFest. Opening weekend usually falls on or about my oldest daughter’s birthday and my family is a bunch of nerds so we go every year for her birthday.

Yes, that’s me in full garb. It’s taken me 5 or 6 years (and I have a couple of outfits) but yep, we show up in head to toe 16th century clothing. We usually go at least twice. Once for opening weekend (for K’s birthday) and once in October, the first weekend if we can swing it, for our anniversary because we got married October 2nd.

My youngest child has started her sophomore year in high school. And my son came home after 3+ years. And my husband is currently working on possibly changing jobs if everything lines up well. It’s been a busy month!

I also saw my neurologist and pain docs. Neurologically I’m stable and she pushed my annual check-the-brain-tumor MRI in July, but I’ll probably have a scan in November or December because I’m mostly stable (and I haven’t choked in quite a while, knock-on-wood, #dysphasiaisabitch ) but if I get overwhelmed my ability to remember anything or put a sentence together goes out the window.

I saw my pain docs and talked to them about the pain in my right hand (inspired by Wendy’s info) and they agree it’s probably De Quervain’s tenosynovitis. She chose to treat it first with a brace and Flector patches (diclofenac, an NSAID). I am really, really dominantly right handed so I sleep with the brace on. But when I slept with the patches on my right wrist, I woke up feeling like I was having a hard time breathing. Turns out there are associated cardiac risks with Flector (and I’m allergic to aspirin) so that was axed. I tried Lidocaine patches too, but they actually seemed to make it worse. Fortunately the brace seems to be helping and my pain doc has decided to wait on injections or referrals. It feels like a slow process to treat something they can actually fix, but one thing at a time, right?

I also talked to my pain clinic about the possibility of medicinal cannabis or even just CBD oil. Because of the meds I’m already on (and even though my state is finally getting on board with cannabis options) I would only be “allowed” topical CBD oil with prior notice. Anything else would fall under a “transference of care” and I would not be allowed to continue my current meds and be transferred to a doctor in this state that issues licenses for cannabis. So….yes, we’re making progress. No, it’s not easy. No, it’s not really a good option for me right now. I wish they’d allow me more time to work with stepping down off some meds and onto others, but I didn’t get the impression that was an option yet.

Tomorrow is one of the annual Navy events we try to go to, so I get to get all dolled up and go to a (semi)formal event tomorrow night. Next week is my 19th wedding anniversary. My youngest is up to her eyeballs in chorus and theatre (which means I’m sort of up to my eyeballs in stuff, but the school musical isn’t until Spring so I’m not quite up to tech week insanity. (If you know what that means, you get it.)

So, yes I’m still here. Juggling monkeys and handling stuff. Gentle hugs and hope you guys are good!
~ Xun

 

 

7 Photos, 7 Days; Day 7!

Merry Samhain! Happy Halloween! And a good boo! to you all!

Today is my last day of my Photos From My Life series. Did you guys like anything in particular? I always think it’s interesting to see photos from someone else’s life. Where are they? What do they tend to take pictures of?

Some people take pictures of places, or things, moments, or other people so they can hide behind the lens instead of being in front of it. Some take pictures of places and people they love to remember.

As I was looking through my social media today, I counted how many of the past years I have thrown on scrubs and dressed up on Halloween as my alter ego: Meredith Grey. Since I created my personal Facebook page in 2008, I have dressed in scrubs 6 out of the last 9 years, with 2 other years as Alice (one was Evil Alice, inspired by Warehouse 13), and one year I was Sarah Sanderson. (and if you don’t know who that is, get your booootay over to Amazon and order Hocus Pocus stat!!)

This year I am dressing up as an Arkham inspired Steampunk Harley Quinn. (I’ll post pix tomorrow! The girl child is doing my make up!)

So, onward to the final Black & White Photo for my series!

10563156_10203042867005149_6131407646250165205_n

Merry Samhain! ❤ ~ Xun

Critters, part 2

Okay, so when I wrote about the furry critters a week and a half ago I honestly meant to post a second blog about the crabbies a few days later….but, well, life happened.

Hubs left the country, and I (on schedule) started coughing green shit up again and spent 4 days pretty sure I actually had an invisible ice pick in the back of my neck. The ghosts that stabbed me with an ice pick around C6 (and if you get that, I’m sorry….but yay for you! for knowing what the hell I’m talking about half the time!) seemed to have pulled it out, and despite the fact that I seem to cycle around 3-5 weeks between coughing green crap up (but there’s nothing wrong and I don’t need a bronchoscopy) and it cycling back back to me being able to breathe without my inhaler, I’m surviving 2016. Sort of.

Anyway….the crabbies….

20160716_201259

The crabby enclosure. They have it pretty good.

Because we have the 3 cats, we seem to acquired hermit crabs too. Because that makes sense.

First we have Speedy. We’ve had him the longest. (I think it’s a him….do hermit crabs have genders??) Speedy and another crabby (who has since died) that my oldest won for my youngest at the county fair 2 1/2 years ago started this whole thing.

20160716_200003

Speedy

Next up is Stimpy. Kid asked for a name, I graduated in ’91…do the math =)

20160716_193505

Stimpy, despite his namesake, isn’t as social.

We also have Harry. Because it turns out that hermit crabs do better in colonies of at least 3, and the kid is a Harry Potter geek =)

20160716_200156

The pink shell was actually George’s, but he grew, so Harry’s apartment hunting.

Finally, we have George, who is huge! We all agree he must be a different sub-species of hermit crab or something, but he got BIG over about a year.

20160716_200035

George

So, there you have it. Three cats, and four hermit crabs.

We’ve always had animals, and lots of different kinds. I had peach canaries a few years ago, we’ve had hamsters, parakeets, … a ferret named Mokie who was in love with my Border Collie Dera. Seriously, it was like a Pepe le Pew cartoon. Mokie has a new home with 4 other ferrets after we moved several years ago, and we lost Dera 2 years ago. Her ashes are on my mantle. My kids have grown up around all kinds of critters to love and raise. The circle of life and all that.

Now we have rescue cats and some hermit crabs.