Wednesday, February 7, 2018

It's a Balancing Act

Happy February! Hope y'all had a great January.

I was sitting here this morning, feeling grumpy. It seemed to me that my life since Christmas had been pretty boring.

It didn't help that I had yet to have my first cup of coffee.

After about half of a steaming mugful I realized that as usual I was letting my bratty inner child unleash her crabby-pants attitude. As I sipped my coffee, I reflected on the past month. I had to grudgingly admit that BICJ did indeed have a few valid reasons for her crankiness: I had developed some vasculitis in my feet and legs, needed three weeks to recoup my energy after going whole hog for the holidays, and had to endure not one but TWO UTIs in the past six weeks. Then needed to have the bursa in both hips injected with steroids for a very very chronic battle with trochanteric bursitis.

I get these injections routinely and over the past year have developed a two day long post injection reaction that involves alternating between feeling hot and sweaty, and having chattering teeth chills. Dr. Young Guy has assured me that while these side effects may be uncomfortable, they aren't dangerous unless I spike a fever during these episodes. I get up to five months total relief of hip pain after the injections and so have decided that two days of sweat and shake episodes are worth enduring if I can count on being pain-free after.

After mulling this over, I decided that I needed another cup of coffee or I would lose my tenuous control over BICJ and the results wouldn't be pretty.

Properly reinforced by another large swig from my wonderful goat mug from Glacier National Park and after another recollection, it became clear that BICJ and I were focusing far too much on the negatives from the past month or so. Because those weeks were chock full of amazing positives as well:

A delightful weekend in the Cascades to celebrate Son's birthday.

Lulu got a new outfit for the occasion.

Then there's the fact that my kitchen project is all finished...

.......and the basement is well on its way to a transformation from one big storage pile to a brand spankin' new family/bath/storage area.

But best of all, I've seen a glimpse of spring!

See that one brave little camellia blossom?

I'm excited about my upcoming Mumsy/daughters weekend. I'm going to hop on a train and let my girlies ferry me around, one stop being the Swan Lake ballet.

Golly. Isn't life grand?

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Looking For a Great Rheumatologist

The Doctor by Luke Fildes found on Wikipedia

Over the last week or so, I have received three requests for the names of good rheumatologists in various cities.

Interesting. Typically I get one or two per year.

It is hard for me to address questions like this for lots of reasons. I do not share the name of my rheumatologist, Dr. Young Guy, because he asked me not to. I don't know any others in my area, either.

I sincerely wish that I could offer better answers because I understand how important it is to have really good care. The only thing that I can share that may be helpful at this point is the names of several Sjogren's centers around the US, which I shared in a previous post, Show Me The List. This post was written three years ago, so there may be other centers developed since. If you know of others, share and I will update the post.

Also, if you have an exemplary physician, and if you get permission to share her/his name on Reasonably Well, share in the comments section.

Any help would be much appreciated.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Tell the Tooth

tooth image courtesy Wikipedia, here. 

Hi all. Reader Shara wants to know: have you had dental implants? What was your experience with them and do you feel they were worth the hefty cost?

What great questions, especially for those of us who are saliva-challenged and have all the dental problems that brings.

I have had two implants, the most recent about two years ago. I am very happy with the results but had to deal with two issues before I found my dental happy place:

First, the healing process was lengthy and inconvenient. I healed without incident but this required a few appointments which required coordination between the dental surgeon and my dentist. Much confusion arose over the temporary tooth (required while permanent prosthetic tooth was being made) but it eventually was found and inserted.

Second: the cost. Even with our insurance covering part of the cost, I was still floored at the resulting bill.

I think it was all worth it. The implant teeth are even better than my original ones. They are truly permanent, wahoo.

So. Have you had a dental implant?

Monday, December 25, 2017

Happy Christmas

I know that I have used this video before on Christmas day, but I enjoy it so much that I may use it for several more.

I wish you all a blessed Christmas!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Merry Christmas!

Well. With four days to go, I am ready for Christmas.

This has me worried.

It's never happened before. Typically, at this point I am rushing around for last minute gifts, frantically turning out sugar cookies and fruitcake and anything else I can think of that heavily involves sugar and butter and flour.

But this year, I have workmen in my kitchen. For the past three days and for another two, I am having work done in my kitchen. Currently the backsplash is being installed which basically makes the kitchen a "NO JULIA " zone.

I've had mixed feelings about that. I want to be in there obsessing about Christmas food; but on the other hand, I have already made my fudge and my neighbors have been sharing an abundance of Christmas cookies and candy with us all week. Which means that we already have more treats than we can possibly eat. So I don't need to be in the kitchen right now, actually.

Hm. A new kitchen AND I don't have to bake another thing before Christmas. Nice.

I have all the presents purchased and John, bless his heart!, has wrapped them all. They are all under the tree looking all festive and pretty. The house is reasonably clean except for a last minute tour of the bathrooms with toilet cleaner and windex in hand.

I've forgotten something, I just know it.

Lulu and Frodo tell me to relax. As long as there is doggie treats in their stocking.

I'm trying to kick back and just enjoy the holiday. I hope y'all are too. And I want to wish you the merriest Christmas ever.

Monday, December 11, 2017

BEST Christmas gift ever

My grand-doggie Frodo shared some amazing, fantastic, wonderful beyond belief news.

I cropped a few details out of the pic. Privacy, dontcha know.


Can y'all tell how happy I am? 

Thursday, November 30, 2017


The culprit. 

Hello, my friends! I have missed you all for the past couple of months. And even though I have thought about y'all frequently, I have to say that I've been in a blue funk ever since October; which translates into very few blog posts.

I am not hiding under my bedcovers with a kleenex box dabbing away tears; this doesn't feel like that. I have lots of joyful days. Like when we have gatherings, like our awesome massive Thanksgiving weekend, I enjoy every moment thoroughly. But after everyone had gone, I could feel the funk creeping back.

I have thought long and hard about my blue cloud following me around, and I've come up with a few reasons why it's there.

First, I have had significant problems with getting restful sleep at night. Everyone knows what a measure of sleep deprivation will do to a person; like alter moods, and cause someone like me to do very stupid things.

An example, you say? Well. At Thanksgiving, I had one or two bottles of sparkling mineral water at each table and several bottles were left over. I love the stuff so have been filling my insulated mug with ice and mineral water routinely. I went shopping the other day, and thought I would bring some of the bubbly with me. Instead of my trusty insulated mug, I chose to pour the stuff into my auto seal sports bottle, tossed it into my purse, and fired up Sadie. We cruised into a nearby shopping center. After a few laps around the store, my mouth was bone dry. I stuck my lips around the sports bottle's opening and clicked the button to release the seal. I can't even begin to describe the resulting sound that came out of that bottle......and ME. I had been sloshing the bottle around my bag, which caused the carbonation to get extra fizzy, so when the seal was opened, air rushed into my mouth AND OUT MY NOSE. It sounded I have ever heard before. Oh my gosh.

And of course, it happened while I was surrounded by other shoppers. Yeah.

But back to my main point -- I was so sleep deprived and brain fogged that it never occurred to me that it wouldn't be a good idea to put a highly carbonated drink into a sealed container. I'm happy to report that things have definitely improved lately in the sleep department. Here's hoping that it continues.

Secondly: This will be the first round of major holidays for me without Mom. Every time I grab my recipe box or one of her cookbooks and see her distinctive handwriting on recipes that she shared with me, I am reminded of her and the fact that she is no longer here. As I unpack Christmas tree ornaments, and hang all those that she made and gave me, my heart strings are pulled. And don't even get me started on the subject of baking Christmas cookies. Zowie.

I think the loss of Mom is the major reason for my on again, off again experience with the blues. I'm hoping that after we make one cycle of the calendar and all of it's holidays, that it will be a little easier to hang her handmade ornaments on the tree come next Christmas.

The good news is that after taking the time to try to understand my mood and what could be the contributing factors to my blue funk, to really mull things over, to look at it objectively, I feel better. I really do. And rather than blocking my memories of Mom, I am embracing them and focusing on the joy that they bring. This is hard, but I think it is a good strategy for me.

With better sleep behind me, and a strategy for dealing with my grief, it has been easier for me to click on the "COMPOSE" button for Reasonably Well and begin to type. I am grateful for the resulting uptick in my mood. For whatever reason.

I am also grateful that mineral water didn't squirt out my nose after the carbonation made my cheeks flap and my nose vibrate. In the store. In front of everyone there.That would have been super bad.

I hope that everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving, and are looking forward to all of the December holidays.

Guys. We need to have another online Christmas party again this year! Someone will have to be responsible for keeping Terese out of the chocolate fondue this time, though. Hm. Any volunteers?

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Chukka Time

I'm into chukka boots lately. Like my suede version?

I like them because they're kind of like a cross between a sneaker and a boot. I spent a great deal of the summer running around in canvas and mesh sneakers. But when the winter rains truly descend upon us here in the Pacific Northwest, it is time to switch out the barefoot inside sneakers experience for warm socks and substantial shoes. So I'm ready. Bring it, winter.

Oh, right. I was supposed to be damp mopping................

What's your favorite winter shoe?

Monday, October 23, 2017

Happy Fall Y'all!

Beautiful picture and graphics by Kristi Marie Howell at 

Hello, my friends. It seems that I always have abundant reasons for not posting as frequently as I have in the past, and I have another to the list. I have tremors that frequently are so severe that I can type on my laptop only by the two finger hunt and peck method. Oh brother. I thought previously it was related to my thyroid medication management, but the frustrating shakes are back with a vengeance. It has been a problem for a long time and I am guessing that the solution to the problem will be a long time coming as well.

Ah, but we keep on trying....

I have to say, in spite of shaking like a leaf, I do feel better overall than I have for awhile. I suspect that the fact that I have finally lost a significant amount of weight may factor in heavily towards my slow increase in energy and increased mobility.

Can you tell that this cropped photo (sorry about taking out half your head, John honey) is from a church directory session? Like the Squiggy hairdo? 

Oh, yeah Squiggy. (David Lander). You rocked that haircut, big guy. Me? Not so much. Image found here.

So I really don't want to debate the merits of various diets and weight loss programs here, but I have to say that my internal medicine doctor and programs offered through the clinic were instrumental for my success.

So far.

I guess all programs boil down to this: eat less and move more, and the easy part of weight loss is losing the weight. The hard part is keeping it off. So they say......but I can vouch for the accuracy of that. Y'all KNOW ME. My mango margarita obsession will be problematic here, as well as the upcoming pumpkin pie and fudge season creeping up on us. But I will soldier on and keep up the good fight, as I am sure that all of us have experienced in the war on obesity.

(But, but.........pecan pie!...............)  Begone, Bratty Inner Child Julia! BICJ has not been happy about the change in my eating habits. Too bad, so sad, girl. So there.

So what's new with y'all? Share your happy and not so happy experiences this summer with me in the comments below.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Don't worry Goldie: I won't love her more than you.

Guys. I am sorry to report that my beloved Goldie the Prius, now ten years and 150,000 miles old, is moving on to a different garage.

*dabs tears*

Ah, but she is staying in the family. She's heading north to my daughter and son-in-law who promise to take good care of the old girl, failing water pump and all.

Which brings me to the point of this post: to introduce Goldie's successor, Sadie. Isn't she a beaut?

Yup. I was beyond excited.

She's named Sadie because she's a Mercedes-Benz. She only has 22,000 miles on her, which makes her just a babe. Oh, Sadie honey, we are going to have us some really great adventures!

Lulu approves, since this is her car just as much as it is mine. Oh my. With Sadie's turbocharged engine, we can get into a whole world of trouble!

I hope.

I'll keep you posted.