I Have Made The Best Soup Ever

In spite of getting up at 11am, needing to lie back down for some time after showering, eating, feeding the cat, etc., I eventually got enough energy to cook some things that I needed to before they went off.  Bacon, because I am going to make bacon apple cheese patties (she said confidently), and then I used the same iron skillet (you cannot go wrong cooking in an iron skillet) to cook a pkg of ground Jones Sausage for the soup.  Thought I would have to frig it for tomorrow, because major pain and exhaustion.  But I just needed to throw in some chopped onions, which were in the freezer thank you Marie, and then I just needed to chunk some fresh mushers and let it cook a bit.  Good. Several short sit-downs during that and now a longer sit down while they cooked a bit.  Might as well add the can of pumpkin.  Okay, may as well throw in the quart of chicken broth. More sitting while it simmered.  Let it cool, put it in a bowl for the frig.  Barely fit in the biggest clean bowl I have.. Whew.  Someone needs to unload the dishwasher so I can load all the dishes that are piling up because I am cooking.  I can load it, but unloading takes more wherewithal than I usually have available.  I an cook, but I can’t normally clean up on the same day, anyway.  Decided to try soup. You’re supposed to add heavy cream and sour cream, but I just scooped out a bowl and added a bit of each to it.  OMG.  This is the best soup ever. I forget where I found the recipe, but it’s 12 oz Jones sausage, 1 chp onion, 1 minced garlic clove (I was in too much pain to mince a garlic clove.  This is my life, people)  1 pkg button mushers, I just kind of chunked them up.  Cook a bit.  Add a can of pumpkin and a quart of chicken broth.  Simmer on low 30 min.  If serving it now to several people, add 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup of sour cream after  it’s off the heat.  It is SO good.  yay, meI am very pleased with myself for not just giving in to the pain and exhaustion and actually getting something done.  I also today found my Command Strips that I’ve been looking for, and my grated cheese, which had somehow got shoved to the back of the freezer.  So it was a good, if painful and exhausted day.  Yay, me.

Yay me. I think.

This is Peabody, Mass., from the first winter we were here in Massachusetts. It snowed for three days straight. More snow in one fell swoop than I’d seen in my entire life put together. (I was 24) It was gorgeous. One of my fondest memories, standing on our second floor porch, watching huge flakes fall by the light of the streetlights. Lived 20 miles or so south of Peabody, and I think we got more snow than they did. it was fantastic.

feb 27 1969 peabody ma

Today I am cooking.  I cooked yesterday, too.  Well, I made oatmeal cookies, which took probably two hours, not including baking.  Stuff in bowl, sit, add egg, sit and stir, rest, mix dry, sit, add dry, sit some more.  Pain and fatigue.  It is so fun.  Two weeks ago, before they made me decrease the Prednisone, my pain was about a 3, and I didn’t even need pain meds every day.  Now, my pain has been a 7 for several days, and tylenol in the morning, ibuprofen at night, and sit, sit, sit.  Or lie on the couch.  But I did get some stuff done yesterday, mostly sitting down stuff.  Today I got even more done, but my homemaker was here and did a lot herself.  Mainly I rearranged some small things, and the cooking.  I baked the cookies, I am making apple crisp (Marie peeled and chopped the apples.  Thank you, Marie.)  And I baked Gorton’s crab cakes, which are something I had not seen before.  I like their fillets.  And I microwaved some green beans with almonds.  Green Giant.  You know, the Jolly one.  Ho Ho Ho.  They’re from his valley, apparently.  So now there are dirty dishes all over, and unless I have a burst of energy later, they will still be there tomorrow.  Marie did not have time to unload the dishwasher, and I am too tired.  This is the life with chronic, debilitating illness.  I am determined not to give into it until it gets too bad not to.  I must decrease the prednisone again Sunday, from 9mg to 8, but one week on 9 is not nearly long enough to adjust.I would prefer a couple of months, but as it is I am defying my doctor by doing this extra week.  By the way, the crab cakes are not bad, but need a sauce or something.  The green beans are just ewwww.  Oh, well.


It was a gorgeous bright sunny day, even if pretty darn cold.  Spring is springing, once we get out of the deep freeze we’ve been in all month.

Little edit.  I forgot, until I just had a teeny taste, that I had grabbed the cayenne pepper instead of the cinnamon.  My apple crisp has a bit of zing.  It’s not a bad thing.  🙂


Illness Ramble

Being frustrated with everything, I decided to look for other illness-related blogs.  Came across a few interesting ones.  Seems I’m not the only one frustrated with doctors and medicine.  Anyway, one person was talking about how meds work a bit, then don’t, and how reading about them, she found that they don’t know how certain meds even work.  Or why.  Got me thinking, and I replied this, which I thought I’d just put here as well.

no idea

“BTW, reading your About page, my first rheumatologist agreed with you that they are the same illness.  He said if you have more pain, they call it fibro, if you have more fatigue, they call it CFS.  Sometimes I think that after they’ve tested you for everything else and couldn’t find anything, which is what happened with me, they call it fibro/cfs instead of ‘we don’t have a clue what’s wrong with you, but if we give it a name we can prescribe meds.’  You know, the ones that don’t work, or work a month, as was said here.  🙂  They don’t know what’s wrong with you, they don’t know why the meds work when they randomly do, they don’t really know anything and we are just guinea pigs.   I take Prednisone, which I got on for a completely unrelated reason, and when the dose is right, I am 80% better.  They keep telling me Prednisone does not work for fibro.  Then why does it work?  Do I not have fibro after all?  Do you actually have a clue about anything related to this whatever it is illness?  Yes, I am currently very frustrated with my rheumatologist, who seems to have devolved into a ‘Do what I say, I don’t care how it affects you.  I am the doctor here, not you.’ mentality.”
you will listen

Going to call a new doctor today to see if she’s taking patients.  I just read, too, that you live longer if you have a female doctor, which my primary care is but not the rheumatologist.  Definitely time for a change.

Today I Woke Up To

this, another butchery of the once lovely trees outside my windows:

After the last butchery, two years ago:

And how they looked before the highway department started in on them:


The other thing I woke up to, after decreasing my Predisone 1 mg, Saturday or Sunday, I forget, is all-over pain.  I am so over pain.  I do not understand why I cannot make my rheumatologist understand what he keeps condemning me to.  I lose hope.



So Gertrude is now on 10 mg of Pepcid.  The people medicine.  From the drugstore.  Yes, here in America, we have stores that sell drugs.  Never the good ones, though.  Drat.  She has upchucked on two different nights now.  Several times each night.  I’m hoping she will stabilize on this dose, without the dog motion sickness med she was also on for one week, when she was not sick at all.  Poor Gertrude.  I just want her to be well and not suffering.

Speaking of which, I am now down to 9mg of Prednisone.  They want me to do one week of this, then down to eight.  They also only gave me enough 5 mg pills for a month.  I don’t know what they’re playing at, but I fully expect to be back in hell after one week on nine, then no time to stabilize before cutting back another whole mg to 8.  I think they just hate me.

I was awake all night for no known reason, it just happens, slept most of the day, and will now be awake all night again.  I had this brilliant idea to make a pot of perked coffee.  I have a lovely little stainless steel stove-top percolater, so I made a pot.  Oh, goooood coffee.  I seem to rotate through all the different methods of coffee-making.  Perked for awhile, pressed for awhile, vacuum-brewed for awhile.  I not longer have an electric coffee maker, or I’d be cycling through that as well.  I have no idea why I do this.  But I did make some excellent coffee tonight.  Already had two cups.  I never have two cups of coffee, just the one, but since I’m going to be up all night anyway, who cares, right?  How do you make perked coffee?  My pot makes about four mugs worth, so I fill it about an inch below the spout hole, 4 scoops of ground coffee, coarse is better, bring it to a perk on high, which takes about 13 minutes, turn it down to med low and perk slowly for five minutes.  Done.  I think a scoop is 2 tablespoons of ground coffee.  Right now I’m using Pete’s Major Dickason’s Blend.  Very nice.  I like Pete’s Coffee.  It’s a good brand.

After summer weather, it has gotten very cold again.  Right now it’s 24 degrees.  Weather app said possible snow, but didn’t happen.  I miss snow.  It is very windy still, though.


I missed getting to go out this week, but my lovely homemaker picked up my two on-hold books from the library for me.  The Sixth Extinction, by Elizabeth Kolbert, which is very interesting, explaining the different mass extinctions and how they were discovered, and how people were flummoxed by the finding of massive bones and teeth and how that led to figuring out extinction and evolution.  I love science.  It is always fascinating. ‘Flummoxed.’  Now there’s a word.  LOL

The second book is The Wood for the Trees, by Richard Fortey, which has pictures?  Yay, pictures.  Haven’t started it yet.  The author bought a parcel of land in England and the book is about his discoveries on it over the course on one year.  My kind of book.

Read some fiction and some non-fiction on my Kindle recently, too.  I don’t know if I could survive without having something to read.  My brain craves it. It’s fun having actual hard-copy books to read again.  Holding books can make my hands cramp and hurt, so I tend to read on the Kindle if possible, but I just felt the need for real books now.  I love that I can go online and order them, my library will get them from whichever library in the system has a copy, and hold them til I can get there to pick them up.  Or send someone.  I’m hoping to be able to walk there and back on my own at some point, but I have been inactive for so long due to the pain and fatigue, and anticipating having that hell back again, that the prospect of walking that few blocks is daunting.  What if I manage to get there and then don’t have the wherewithal to walk back?  I’ve been sort of stuck in places before, and believe me, it is a scary experience when you are already exhausted and in pain to not be able to think how you are going to get back home.

Back to scrolling Tumblr.  🙂