In a Digital World~

 

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It’s good to be back here at my WordPress post.  It’s been a couple of months since I’ve written anything here. Not since I’ve written anything  , PERIOD, as I can’t go a day without somehow sharing my thoughts to paper. Hubs was on vacay this last week, and we had a really awesome time together. We didn’t really go do a ton of stuff, in large part because he works so hard the rest of the time, that when he does get a week off, he just wants to rest!

While we were out riding around ( something people do for kicks here) , we saw a gorgeous rainbow. I mean,  a – Technicolor-you couldn’t have computer-generated-it – bright, rainbow. We have had a lot of rain here , with flooding , and so on, and that particular evening it drizzled while the sun was shining, in just the right way to produce that dazzling show.  I saw where some people had seen the rainbow , and taken pictures of course, and posted them to FaceBook. Which is awesome. I have nothing against FaceBook or taking pictures and posting them there, for sure.  But a funny thought occurred to me. These days it almost seems as if people feel compelled to think “If I don’t get a picture of that on FaceBook, folks will never believe it happened!!”  Well, I DIDN’T get a photograph , and I promise you, it really DID happen.  Hubs and I went out to eat a few times while the kids were gone to camp, and it just blew my mind how so many people have their phones out at the tables , just a ‘textin’ away, or doing whatever one does on those mini-computers that they tote.  It seems as if they are permanently attached to everyone’s hands these days.  No one even looks anyone else in the eye while they are eating, it’s “Shovel, shovel, thumbs ‘a’flyin’ , talking to the digital person when there’s a GENUINE , in the flesh person at the dinner table with them.  I am really NOT that old, (36) and I can remember when  you ate and made CONVERSATION. ( shock and horror, I know!)   :)    And people made memories all the time . No one had an iPhone to capture them. So does that mean they didn’t really happen?  Of course not.  All this digital stuff is great , to a point.  But it’s just floating around in the ether somewhere.  We need to remember that the things that really matter are the PEOPLE, the memories themselves.  Something you will have long after that crazy , ball -and-chain-phone is a memory all its own.  :)

Where Ya’ll From ?

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I just got reminded of something recently . Haven’t thought about it in a while , but some things that got said on the wild and wacky world of FaceBook made me recall it.  Apparently, I have an accent. A Southern one. HA! :) The conversation had started over one of those quizzes that people take on FB. You know the ones I mean; Which color are you?  Can we guess your home state? What magical creature are you? and on it goes.  Well, they had this quiz on there , “Can you translate these southern sayings?” .  So. I’m just going to come right out and say it. I don’t know what people they were talking to but it was NOT anybody from anywhere near the South. I seriously had NEVER heard any of the things they had listed , and don’t know of anyone who has. So in the interest of telling it like it is, let me share with you some true deep South sayin’s.

1. More nervous than a long-tailed cat in a room full of rockin’ chairs.

(You’re pretty nervous.)

2. That fence\house\wall is cattywhomped.

(It’s crooked. )

3. Those two just do not geehaw with one another.

(When a team of animals are taught to pull gee is the command to go left and haw the command to go right, they have to work together to accomplish their task, so this saying means ”They don’t get along.”)

4. Ugly as homemade soap.

(You’re in a bad way ugly)

Somebody whooped you with an ugly stick. ( Same thing)

5. I’m feelin’ so poorly, I’d have to get better to die.

(You’re pretty sick.)

6. His bread’s in the oven , but the gas ain’t on.

Dumber than a bag of hammers.

(Both ways of saying of saying someone is very dumb.)

7. Drunker than Cooter Brown.

(Although I have heard this expression from lots of people I never have learned who Cooter was or why he was so drunk.)

8. Don’t mollycoddle that kid.

(You’re spoiling them, and letting them get away with way too much.)

9, The Good Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise.

(Meaning , if it’s supposed to happen it will.)

10. You’re payin’ for your raisin’.

( Your child is just like you, and now you are regretting being such a brat to your parents. )

And so on it goes.  So there’s a taste of something real.  I mean , after all , real Southern accents are made by sweet tea sippin’ , front porch sittin’, magnolia bloomin’, swingin’ slow, muggy hot summers.  I suppose maybe those quiz people were just doing the best they could , “Bless their little ole hearts. ”    :D

It Was In the Air~

It’s been one of those days . Where everything has sucked. It has sucked from start to finish and I am not afraid to say it.  I have a good friend , she swears I know when something bad is going to happen, a kind of sixth sense if you will. First off let me say , I had to go to the rheumatologist, which is NEVER the way I want my day to begin , or a good start ,  so I know I was expecting that, but it all went down hill from there. I went, the  doctor didn’t listen to a THING I said. She wanted to put me on medication I didn’t need. She wanted to send me to a doctor I don’t have to have. She overrode my every decision. She talked over me. She treated me like a moron. THEN they screwed up my medications. I had to go back. They said they fixed it. They didn’t . I went back again. They FINALLY fixed it.  We went to get something to eat . They screwed my order up. I told my mother , “There is something seriously wrong with this day. IT’s IN THE AIR.” I’d been on edge all day. I hadn’t been home 10 minutes when I got the call from my mom that my uncle (one whom I had been very close to) had passed away. It wasn’t necessarily a surprise, he’s been ill a really long time. But it still is painful. He was the only other person who called me Pea, like his Dad, my Poppaw Capps. We gardened together, and just generally what we say here in the South, “Gave each other a bad time.” which is shorthand for “We loved each other.” When I was little he would call the house , and say, “Hey Pea. ” and I would immediately know who it was, and he would talk to me for a bit before he would talk to Momma.  We would sit on the back of the old Falcon and eat a cheeseburger from Ms. Jo Couch’s grocery , with me swingin’ my bare feet off the tailgate. He of course would be drinking beer, and smoking, two things he made me PROMISE I would never do , because, “Pea, it’s real bad for you, and you don’t never need to take that up.”  I promised, and I never have. I remembered.

My family is partly Native American and my uncle was very dark with very black hair , and when he moved to California he worked in a factory . Of course there are a lot of Hispanics and Latinos there and they just assumed that’s what my  uncle was. He was the oldest man working , so they called him Papi or the ‘old man’ and really respected him.

He came back home , ( well, I say home, MY home, anyhow) in 2000 when PopPaw died . Between his health , and mine , we never got a chance to see each other in person again, although we talked.

I know he’s alright now, so I’ll be alright too. But it’s still a sucky day, you know?

Go rest high, Uncle George. I ‘ll see ya’ later. ~ Pea

Beautiful~

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My husband took me out for a drive up around the lake that’s about 7 miles from where we live yesterday. They call Arkansas the Natural State for good reason. If you live here, there is pretty much a lake, stream , river, pond, or body of water of some sort near driving distance from where you live. People hunt here, they fish, there are more critters of the furry , scaled, flying, and feathered variety than you could shake a stick at. We have huge loblolly pines, cedars, oaks, practically any kind of tree you could imagine. I love it here.

During my childhood I spent more time outdoors than I EVER spent in. I was a wildling. I hated bathing, combing my hair only when made to, did not wear shoes, rode a horse everywhere , went without a shirt  , dressed as a boy; people thought my Dad had three daughters and ONE son, and he most of the time did not bother to correct them.  Two of my favorite things , other than riding, were to climb the tallest tree I could find, and the other, were to go up what we called ‘ the dirt road’  and lay in Mr. Plant’s pasture for hours and just watch the clouds go by overhead. There is something so amazing about just feeling the grass under your back, and smelling the trees, and not having to worry about a single thing.

Then I lost all that. Some crazy illness from the pit of wherever these things come from stole that from me. The very sunshine itself made me sick. I couldn’t even get out in it. It were as if I became a vampire. A pale shadow of myself. Smelling the grass made me break out into hives. Pine trees made me come down with infections so severe I ‘d need antibiotics.  Heck. I couldn’t even climb a tree without becoming so winded I ‘d feel like passing out. The fatigue was unbelievable.

Fast forward 15 plus years to yesterday and the ride round the lake I was telling you about. I have lupus and assorted other things . We know that now. I deal. The thing is,  I have bad spells . I get really sick, so I hadn’t been out , not really ,in so very long, because the problem I’ve been dealing with lately is what they call syncope. That’s a fancy word for passing out. Kissing the carpet.  Not fun. No drives. Heh. Shoot. No sitting up for very long without feeling light headed. But I’ve felt better the last couple of weeks so up to the lake we went.  It was spectacular. Everything was greener than I have ever seen it. Suddenly a tear leaked out of the corner of my eye. The minute it does my husband starts to pull the car over thinking I’m getting sick. ” What’s wrong? Are you okay?!?” he asked nervously.  “Yeah. Yes. Yes. It’s  just so beautiful.”

EverGreen~

Fairy fantasy Digital art by Anto Machado
Fairy fantasy Digital art by Anto Machado

Take me out to where it’s evergreen,

let me lay amongst the trees.

To touch  the giant standing stones,

and hear the melody of bees.

To see the honeysuckle vine,

grown tall through summer’s days.

Where faeries flit about the air,

of the secret woodland glade.

Ruby  Jeanette Woods

2015

All rights reserved

The BITE~

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Okay,  I’ll just get right down to the brass tacks people.  At the beginning of this month , I had kind of made a goal with myself and my page here that I would write every day about lupus, because this is lupus awareness month.  But , let’s be perfectly honest here, I suck at daily goals.  In large part , BECAUSE of lupus, and in large part because I JUST don’t WANT to write about lupus every day. I mean , seriously. LUPUS sucks huge quantities of big , hairy things. It bites. It blows. I want to write about fun things. Like roller coasters. Okay, so maybe not about roller coasters, I don’t particularly find those fun. But , KITTENS! Or orange sherbet , or ginormous glasses of ice cold coca cola consumed at mind blowing speed! YES! THOSE kinds of things! Not IV infusions , or toe -nail puking nausea, or rashes that make your skin fall off. Or being in the hospital for so long that you’ve moved your entire wardrobe there, and know ALL the nurses and doctors by name, and you’re only 22 years old. I want to write about traveling! To places with names like Zanzibar, and Montenegro, where they serve you things that you can’t pronounce, and maybe you don’t even want to.  I want to write about things like kissing my husband on top of a mountain so high you have to sleep on top of it for the night before you can climb back down again. I don’t want to have to write about things like telling my sons , “No . There will be no more babies in Mommy’s belly. The lupus took those parts away.” And I was only 24.  I don’t ever want to write again , ever again , about chemotherapy, to kill the lupus , which it does , VERY effectively , but also makes me so sick I wish I COULD die before it does.  I would only write about the good things! The things like , my husband holding my hand in the hospital , while I was breathing so few breaths the nurses thought that I was going to go, but I still knew my family was there. I would write that, in spite of all that I have seen , felt and done, every single day of my 36 years has been worth it, I would write that the love I feel for my children surpasses any pain I have ever known, and I would write to those of you in the midst of this fight , that yes, lupus sucks large quantities of big, hairy things.  It blows. It bites. But WE  bite harder. And I will find and write the GOOD much more than the bad.

Do You Have Enough~

Enough.   That’s quite an interesting word isn’t it?  Makes a whole lot of the world go ’round . Or people think it does.  Enough of a house , enough of a car, enough things, enough clothes, enough popularity, enough money, enough friends, enough of the newest gadget.  They spin their wheels , and use up their bodies tryin’ to get ENOUGH of all the “stuff” I just listed , because they’re so sure that it will keep them up with the Jones’ or the Smiths’ or whoever is at the top of the leaderboard these days. Their children pick up on this greedy attitude , and so they become unhappy with the things they have and begin to holler for more of what they already have . It is never Enough.  But I have learned a secret , and many others have learned it too, not one bit of it will be “enough” when you do not have your health, or you have lost your loved one.  The largest house, the most expensive car, the best tailored clothes, the biggest group of friends, that newest iPhone. It is a harsh truth , it is not ENOUGH. Your hands can be full, and empty at the same time.  The storms that passed through our little community took a terrible toll .  Look around your life and realize that you probably have enough. And let’s all think before we ever complain again.  My prayers go with those who are hurting.  ~ Ruby Jeanette

Shot Glass Lips and other Weird Tips ~ or IT Happened in 2015

I fairly ever write a “RANT” blog.  I mean, I just don’t believe in it. The world is negative enough, so why add to it right?  But I saw something today , that I just COULDN’T LET GO.  I tried.  I really, really tried.  I tried to think about it only in my head, I tried to only have a mini-discussion with my hubs, but I JUST. COULDN’T . LET. IT. GO.

The world is full of crazy things, I know. And apparently the Jenners\Kardashians are a big part of it.  Bruce Jenner with his transformation into,  ( as my Grandpa Capps would say ),  he\she\whatever the heck he is , the Kylie Jenner challenge , cause apparently today’s kids aren’t smart enough to know that if you suck your lips into a shot glass they’ll swell up to the size of a road lizard, and stay that way for a week. ‘Cause check this out  we all want our kids lips to look like  this

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And now, these ignernt , that’s right, I said ignernt young’uns want to “trademark ” their own names , so that anybody that comes after  ’em can’t call themselves Kylie or Kendall , too.  Not that at the rate of THEIR stupidity we’d WANT to .  ‘Cause Lord knows we’re ALLLLLL lined up waitin’ to name our kids after this batch of kids.  When what we really  all want to do is sing that song from the Disney musical letitsnow

Can we please just get back to NORMAL , CHILDHOOD???

Fortune Favors the Prepared~

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In searching for inspiration for writing this series on lupus awareness month, I’ve thought back to many of the things that I have experienced, and many of the things I have learned that have helped me cope.  I suppose that is really one of the things that I have to be most grateful for, lupus has taught me more in my 36 short years , than some people would ever learn in a lifetime!  

  Today’s tip has to do with hospital trips.  As lupies, we unfortunately have more than our share of doctor and hospital visits. Since I was young I’ve been hospitalized every year , at least once. Most years , many more times. A lot of the time it would be a rush job, and we would leave the house  snatching this, socks, toothbrushes, extra underwear,  items flying through the air in hopes that they would reach the suitcase as we ran for the van , and out the door.  Finally , after lots of visits where we ended up with no pajamas, or shampoo, we decided we’d start packing me a “just-in-case-bag” . You know , (Just in case I have to hurry to the hospital!) .   :D  

  Now everyone’s just-in-case bag will be different, depending on what YOU need when you go, but here is a typical list of the things I pack:

Things to Pack Just in Case 

1. One extra set of clothes for each day you plan to be gone , five is good ( if you’re like me , you DON’T want to live in the heinie -showing hospital gowns)

2. In gallon zip-loc bags ,roll  your underclothes and socks for each day( I like fuzzy character socks!)

3. A toiletries bag with your favorite shampoo and bar soap ( cause let’s face it, hospital brand soaps SUUUUUCK!)

4.  One word  – DEODORANT – ‘ NUFF SAID.

5.  A really, really, really, REALLY comfortable nightgown.  This is in addition to the clothes outlined in line 1. 

THIS is for sleeping.  The I’ve had-thirty-different-kinds-of-blood-tests-sleeping.  

6.  Breath mints, gum, jolly ranchers, blow-pops, ANYTHING to keep your mouth from feeling like the Sahara. 

7. HAIR STUFF–  Yes, I said, “stuff”.  A hair brush, gel, a comb, bobby pins, an elastic band, hairspray, whatever you need to tame your hair into some semblance of normal and NOT the Creature from the Black Lagoon, trust me, you will be GLAD you did this.

8. Chap-Stick-  or Blistex or Carmex or whatever you use to slather on your lips, heed me when I say……..”BRIIIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNG IIIIIIIT”   your lips will be eternally grateful, I promise. 

9.  Art paper,  pencils   or   a   book to read,   and yeeeees, I know, people have tablets now  (don’t get ahead of me!) for that kind of thing,  but there is just something soothing about the feel of REAL paper!

and last but not least……

10.  Your tablet.   For messaging, checking your e mail,  instant messaging,  and yes even keeping thousands of books on your Kindle app, it’s hard to beat Amazon.  

So I hopefully this will give you some ideas to pack up your bag , BEFORE your next rush-job hospital visit! Love you guys!

  So there ya’ go, my go – to list   of    must-have   things  for hospital visits .   I hope you guys find it helpful.  But hopefully , NOT  in the near future, ya’ know…………………lol       :D         

The Wolf Walks Where It Will~

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Today is May the 1st, and kicks off #LupusAwarenessMonth  Now for those of you who don’t know lupus is a serious autoimmune disease which causes the bodies immune system to become confused and attack its own vital organs as if they were they were foreign objects.  As in your immune system sees your liver and says “AAiaiAIaeeeeee!  Intruder! Intruder! Kill it!!!”  So into a flare you go.  A flare is basically your entire body under attack from within. The lupus cells basically telling all the others, “Suck it up, cause we’re in charge now!!”  These flares can wreak havoc with ANY part of your body , at ANY time. Lupus stole my firstborn child from me  , at 3 and 1\2 months pregnant, it’s stolen my heart health, as I now have only 35 % function of my heart muscle. It’s stolen years from my life, added up , in doctor’s visits, and lengthy hospital stays.  It’s  stolen  my nervous system health , because the inflammation has irreversibly damaged my function controls .  It tried to kill my oldest son in utero , damaging his cardiac nerve beyond repair ,causing him to need a pacemaker at just 9 months.  It’s stolen my uterus, my appendix , my gallbladder.  If that weren’t enough , the medications I’ve had to take to maintain any semblance of normality of health have side effects you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. They’ve leached the calcium out of my bones ,disintegrating my jaw, loosening my teeth and  leaving me with the skeleton of an 80 year old lady.  I have cataracts, and I’m slowly losing my hearing.  The chemo causes my hair to fall out, and my stomach to wish it had never , ever so much as even heard the word food. It has stolen relationships with family members who don’t understand.  Who think I am somehow “putting on”, that I WISH to be this way, that I fawn for this attention. When all I could ever really wish for is to disappear down a deep dark hole where I would never have to hear the word lupus again.  Yes, lupus IS the great thief.  In bits and pieces , it steals until you have no more coin with which to bargain, and so are left the champion. At the cost of all you are, but the champion, none the less.  And so , we live to fight another day.