The Friday Five

Yes, I know it’s not Friday, but I missed this post back then.  🙂

1. What is your least favorite part of Spring?
Random heat waves
2. What is your most favorite part of Spring?
Blossoms, longer days, lots of sunshine.
3. What is the latest good book you’ve read?
The Date by Louise Jensen  A page-turner for sure.
4. What are your plans for this weekend?
Same as every weekend.  Survive without overdosing on pain meds.
5. How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck would chuck wood?
Oh, a lot of wood, I think.  A lot of wood.

Gabapentin. Ah, Yes.

I mean NO!  What a disaster.  I took the last 200 mg Wednesday the 20th, and it wasn’t until Monday, the 25, that I was back to anywhere near usual pain levels.  I was in seriously debilitating pain for days.  I could barely move, could barely hobble to the bathroom with my cane to hold me up.  It was miserable.  My joints all felt swollen and painful, my hands felt like clown hands, you know fat fingers with no joints, and were very painful throughout.

I was losing my words, losing my place in space, my asthma went from barely there to using my proair two or three times a day and allergy pills every four hours.  It was not a good thing, so thank you again doctors, and stupid Jean for letting them convince me yet again to try something that I didn’t want to try.  I tell them every time: if there is a one in a million chance of side effects, I will be the one.  I took one pill that was meant to help me sleep and instead made me so hyper I could not be still or shut up.  That was fun.  I called the pharmacist that time (always ask the pharmacist, not the doctor.  They only know what the drug reps tell them, is my take) and she said I need to stop that particular pill immediately because it was doing the exact opposite of what it was meant to do.  Chronic illness is a blast, people.  One fun experience after another.  Modern medicine contributes a lot of that fun.  A lot.

I just want something that will ease the pain without killing me as a side effect.  How hard is that, modern medicine?

On a bright note, I bought the cutest little one mug percolater from Amazon.  I have made coffee with every kind of pot except this one:

Here’s my new one:

Gabapentin Update

Took 200 mg last night, per dr’s orders.  Did not get to sleep any earlier, but had a very hard time waking up and slept til noon.  However, over all, I am much better today.  Much.  Am going to take 100 in the am, and 100 at night and see how it goes that way.  I know someone who takes 900 mg per day, so 200 is still a very low dose.  Hoping for no side effects because of that.

A couple of things.

Trump was signing bibles.  Seriously, I get the man is an idiot and probably senile, but his followers?  What on earth is their excuse?  My country.  IDEK.

Brexit.  Why don’t they just say it was a horrible idea and drop the whole thing?  How hard is that?

Daylight Saving Time.  Same thing.  Just drop it.  No need to go to Atlantic time or whatever, just start work an hour later if you’re that worried.  Or is it an hour earlier?  I really hate DST.  The spring one is just untenable.  Takes for ever to adjust.

Do you realize how stupid our species really is?  The things we do, the rules we make, the horrors we inflict on one another and on other species?  Saw a thing about how earth would do without us, because there is a small island that has been uninhabited for 90 years, and the ocean around it is thriving, because no human detritus, pollution, or waste is affecting it.  We are really the parasites here, doing the damage and ruining life for all the other species.  Except maybe cockroaches.  They seem pretty resilient.  Ewwww.



Gabapentin not doing anything, so waiting to hear from doctor about upping dose.  Pain is not fun.  At all.

Read a post about mental health and praying to get better.  Apparently there’s a belief that there is something wrong with you if praying doesn’t cure your mental health issues.  Does that work for broken legs, and other things as well?  I am so glad I am not religious.

The other thing is intrusive thoughts.  I spent quite a long time in therapy, and the most important thing I learned is to say firmly to myself ‘STOP’ whenever an intrusive thought pops up.  It takes consistency, like anything, but eventually it becomes an automatic response.  It made all the difference to my life.

I have kind of given up on my laptops with win10, and am using the old desktop with win7.  Win7 is so much better and user-friendly than 10.  I forgot in the interim, but now I am amazed at the difference.  At least I skipped over 8, which I did not ever see one good thing about.  Newer is not always better, Microsoft.



I have been.  The cymbalta messed up my sleep cycle, and the pain has been getting worse by the day, even though I haven’t taken it in a couple of weeks.  Maybe it’s NOT the cymbalta?  Anyway, doctor convinced me to try gabapentin, the lowest possible dose.  Took it last night, and less pain today.  Not a lot less, but less anyway.  Still have an overwhelming need to lie down after being up for two hours.  And that’s the other thing.  DST.  I hate DST with a passion, especially the spring change.  My normal wake up time of 10am is now 11 am, thank you for nothing.

just read a book

There has been a lot to rant about recently, but I have been in too much pain, and my computers have been such annoyances, I haven’t.

Here’s one thing.  Not really a rant, though.  A book.  Wouldn’t it be great if that was the problem, and it suddenly got fixed?  The level of stupidity humanity seems to have fallen to is frankly terrifying.  And now, I really need to go lie down.  🙂

Brain Wave
By Poul Anderson
From a Hugo and Nebula Award–winning author: When Earth finally escapes a magnetic field that has been suppressing intelligence on the planet for ages, humans and animals alike become smarter than ever before — changing the fabric of society.




Just saw some flying over head.  Such a great sight.  Something about a flock of geese, large or small, that just calls to me.  Probably because way back when there was a song about it.  ‘My heart goes where the wild goose goes, and I must go where the wild goose goes…..’  Music is like smells, I think.  It spurs memories that you may have completely forgotten about.  Do you ever hear a song and you’re immediately back when you first heard it?  Like that.

My sleep schedule is totally screwed again, thank you Cymbalta.  I slept so much recently that I was awake all night, and then slept most of today.  I hate this.  I was doing pretty well, too, with getting to sleep at 1 or 2 am and then waking up at 9 or 10.  Now I have to start all over again. At least I’m not feeling vertigo-ish and slightly confused, as I have been for the past few days. I really do not love having this illness.  Not even a little bit.  But you play the hand you’re dealt, right, and make the best of it that you can.  Never give up, never surrender.  Or so I keep telling myself.  🙂

I Need To Rant

Dell.  My old laptop is slowly dying away, so I bought a new one.  It developed an issue about a month later.  I chatted, they had me send it back for repairs.  They then said it would be a while as they didn’t have the part.  Okay.  Was supposed to finally get it on the fourth.  That day, someone from Dell called to tell me the part would not be available till weeks from now, but I could do an exchange.  Fine.  If I buy something that is broken, or falls apart soon thereafter, I take it back and they give me a new one instead.  Right?  Wrong.  The laptop came today and has a big sticker saying ‘refurbished’.  Wait, I paid almost 600 dollars for a new laptop, it has an issue that was NOT caused by me, and I get a used laptop in return.  I just spent an hour on the phone with Dell,  three different people in two different divisions, only to wind up with, ‘Tough luck.  A year warranty only means it’s a year for things that don’t break.  Things that do break are only covered for thirty days.’  Well, words to that effect.  Let me tell you, I did some yelling, because frustration does not even describe how I was feeling after being told over and over that it’s thirty days and this one will work fine so what’s your problem, Jean?  Loud screaming going on here.  I actually finally hung up on the third guy.  Apparently, in Dell’s world, exchange and replacement are not the same thing, but nobody bothers to mention that.  This is my fourth and last Dell.  Just so you know.

On the Cymbalta front, after taking it for three days, I pretty much slept or was in lala land the next three days.  It did help with the pain, though, I think.  So I skipped a few days and took it this morning.  So far I am still awake.




Cymbalta Update

I seem to be feeling better.  Like something has lifted.  Not sure how to describe it.  Still pain, and tired, but different.  That deep overall ache is gone.  Hopeful Jean is hopeful.

I was thinking about words last night.  My homemaker is from Portugal, and  her English is so not there.  It’s really hard, I think, because words are so weird.  We have reed, read, read, red.  Base, bass, bass.  Bow, bow, bow, bow.  Draught and draft.  I’m confused.  So many words only make sense in context.  I think we eventually just know, from experience.  How many of you know the difference in all the bows, for example?  But for a new learner, it has to be hard.  Not as hard as Welsh, or the Asian languages, but still hard.

This got me thinking about area codes.  I know, I am weird.  Anyway, spoken, it is six, oh, three.  Written, it is six, zero, three.  How confusing is that?  Oh is a letter, zero is a number, and yet we use them interchangeably.  The mind boggles.  Well, mine does, anyway.

It is 9 degrees, and fortunately not as windy as yesterday.  Yesterday we had snow squalls blowing straight across from left to right as I look out the window. And it all just blew away.  None on the ground.


Saw an article about robocalls a few minutes ago, and low and behold is my phone not ringing with one as I type?  I get at least three a day.  Caller ID is so worth it, and my landline has a ringer feature so I can tell if it’s someone I know calling without having to get up and check the phone.

I can tell I am better today, because my brain seems to be working again.  Yay, brain. That’s all.  🙂

Fake Videos and Ramblings

CNN article about fake (doctored) videos.  They did this on Star Trek TOS.  You think you’re seeing someone, but it’s not real.  Like those hideous commercials where they inserted dead celebrities alongside current actors.  How are you to know if what you are seeing is real or not?  The world is getting harder and harder to navigate, that’s for sure.

Ramblings.  About fibro, what else.  Spoke to pharmacist, decided to give the cymbalta a try.  It’s not as hard to get off of as prednisone if it doesn’t help or makes things worse.  Prednisone has been five (six?) years of hell after they first took me off it too soon and I wound up with withdrawal. Fun times.  Nope.  The thing is, it is really hard to function lately, with so much pain and serious fatigue, worse than usual.  I want to be able to do things, so cymbalta it is.  I’ll keep you posted how it goes.

What I Accomplished in 2018

I just saw a post where the person said they’ve seen a lot of posts like that.  I haven’t seen any myself, thank goodness, but here’s what I accomplished in 2018.  I survived.  Yep.  That’s it.  I made it through 365 days of pain and fatigue and frustration and not being able to do what I want when I want.  And every one of those days I found something to smile about.  Something to laugh about.  Every day was a good day, however bad I may have felt physically.  Well, the hot and sticky days weren’t really all that great, even with central air, but otherwise, fine.  It was all fine.  So far I’ve lived through every challenge, every bad thing that’s happened in my life.  I’ve survived them all.  Yay, me.  It’s a good thing. Oh, this says it better:



The Friday Five


Haven’t done this in awhile.
1. What are your feelings about winter?—-I love winter.  It’s autumn, winter, spring, and summer, in that order.  Summer is hot and sticky.  No.

2. What is your go-to drink in the winter? (alcoholic or non-alcoholic)—-Viking Thaw.  Good hot chocolate, Gosling’s Bermuda Black Rum, and whipped cream.  Also, hot coffee, but that’s a year-round thing.

3. What are your favorite things about the winter?—-Snow, followed by snow.  After that, I like a little snow.

4. How do you deal with the wintry blues?—-Lights.  Lots of lights.  I have tiny little grain-of-rice lights surrounding my windows, too, which make me smile every time I turn them on.

5. What are your least favorite things about the winter?—Day after day of gray without any snow to show for it.

This is them at night, and that’s ice glittering in the trees across the street. From January 20th, when we were in the deep freeze.

2019-01-20 22.03.23

This is today, in daylight.
2019-01-25 14.26.14

What a world, what a world

sad and disappointed

Here’s a headline for you:

Losing Faith?

Here’s another one:

Check out this smug American face

Here’s a quote relating to this last one:

“The students’ display of blatant hate, disrespect, and  intolerance is a signal of how common decency has decayed under this administration.” Representative Deb Haaland, Native American Congresswoman.

And one more:

‘I know, let’s chop down these ancient protected trees, because we can.’

And still one more.  So glad I got up today.

Let them starve. I’ve got mine, so who gives a crap.

I’m not anti-catholic in particular, I just think religion in general is the bane of humanity’s existence.  Spanish Inquisition, Crusades, Jihad, anyone?  But if this is what Catholics are learning in their schools, something is wrong somewhere.  Pedophilia, condoning hierarchies, horrible young people who clearly do not understand Jesus’s teachings at all, well something is seriously wrong somewhere.

Chopping down ancient trees to make room for your atvs to play is not specifically  a religious matter, it’s a ‘what kind of person are you, seriously?’ issue.

I have a chronic, debilitating illness and yet my slightly more than 1200 dollar a month income means I am too rich to qualify for food stamps.  But no matter.  If I was rich, I would certainly not want my tax dollars, assuming I didn’t find enough loopholes to avoid paying taxes altogether, I would not want my dollars to assist those less fortunate than myself, because that is the Christian way.  Wasn’t it Jesus who taught, ‘ I’ve got mine, and if you were too stupid to be born into wealth, or have too much integrity to get rich off of other people’s work, and health, and survival in general, well what has that got to do with me and my hard-won, I mean stolen and/or inherited wealth?’  I need to go back and check those ten commandments, cause I think I got them wrong somewhere.

Angry Jean is so very angry at the world, and the parasitic species called humanity that infests it.  And god, yes, I am one of them.  Help.




has a new ad.

Gillette Ad

Here’s part of a comment:  “@Gillette has made it clear they do not want the business of masculine men. ”

So this ‘masculine man’ apparently thinks the bullying, harassing women, and other equally disgusting behaviors is what makes a man ‘masculine’?  I pity his wife (if any woman was unlucky enough to have married him) and family.  Being an asshole is not what makes a man masculine.  Sorry to have to tell you this, sir, but you are a dickhead.


Rambling (Ranting?)

No food inspections due to orange moron acting like the five-year old he is.  Here’s a bit from a Tumblr post on keeping safe.

“Buy hard, solid veggies and fruits (apples, melons) or ones with rinds (bananas are probably fine). Scrub the peel/rind thoroughly with soap and water before consumption.

The more solid and dense the meat, the less likely it is for contamination to spread very far. Buy your meat in solid cuts, NOT GROUND. Especially not ground chicken rn, salmonella bad.

Cook things thoroughly. Follow guidelines for the internal temperatures meat is supposed to reach and stick to those guidelines. Use a meat thermometer. Make your steaks well done for a while.

I’d stay away from shellfish as a whole if I were you. The diseases you can get from it are some of the nastier ones. No sushi for a while, too. If you have fish, make sure it was frozen following anti-parasitic guidelines and cook thoroughly.”

Saw a recipe for healthy chocolate truffles.  Chocolate truffles are candy.  Candy, by it’s very definition, is not healthy.  It is a treat.  Healthy candy is an oxymoron.

Housing inspected today.  FAIL, because the vent is filthy, because the central air filters have not been changed since last February, and had not been changed for three or four years before that.  Should be done every three months, and used to be done every six, but this landlord does the superficial things to make the building look good, but doing the important things for the tenants is apparently not on his list.  I am not cleaning the vent, because it needs to be shown how crap this is.

Friends are coming today to finish up the work they are doing for me.  Then it will be dinner at the Chieftain, an Irish pub type restaurant that has the best Guinness Stew you could imagine.  Oh, yum.  It is run by an actual Irish family, from actual Ireland.  🙂 Guinness is good stuff, people.

Watching a lot of non-American shows on the subscriptions, you can really see how much and why the rest of the planet do not particularly love America.  I’m not too big on it lately, either, especially since our pres has made hatred, racism, misogyny, and everyother crap things humans are capable of, acceptable again.  For shame, Trump and his Republican cronies. The worst of humanity is running my country.

On the other hand, and have you noticed there is always an other hand, it’s a cold but brightly sunny winter day.  The day length seems to be increasing dramatically.  The farther North you are, the more obvious it is.  DD is in Texas for her job, and the other night when she called, it was 70 degrees and broad daylight there while it was 32 and pitch dark here.  Still no snow, but I’m still hopeful.  It’s only the first half of January.  Still time.




So yes, after the walk and the next day shopping, by Friday I was in so much pain.  My friends came and we got a lot done, but they did the work and I mostly just tried to hobble around where needed.  I have been in major pain ever since, just slightly getting better now.  Slightly.  Mind you, this has been a month. Had to cancel my PT appointments, because even getting dressed and combing my hair was more than I could manage most days.  Not fun.  I don’t understand how they say exercise helps fibro, because whenever I’ve done anything, the pain just gets worse.

On the other hand, the place is in much better shape now.  Got rid of a lot of things I don’t need or use anymore.  My friends replaced the oh-so-wornout couch cushions, put shelves in hall closet and a new hanger bar in the big closet.  Those plastic-covered metal shelf-bar things are horrid.  So hard to hang clothes, because there is so little room between the bar and the shelf. This is not my closet, btw.

closet shelf

I want to do some rearranging, as my friend John took my table and fixed it.  It was literally falling apart, and so very wobbly.  It’s old and decrepit, but I fell in love with it in the junk shop and brought it home tied to the top of my car.  Many years ago.  I think what I really love are the chairs.
I’d like to move it from in front of the windows, but then I have to move the desk and some other things, and I just cannot do this by myself.  So waiting for them to come back and help.  I have good friends.  I am very fortunate.

Need to go eat something, so I can take a fistful of pain meds in hopes that I will be semi-functional later on today.  Not holding my breath, however.  Feeling very down and seem to be very whiny lately, but constant debilitating pain will do that, it seems.  I hate when I’m whiny, but sometimes it just happens.

My friend Tess is going to take ukulele lessons.  She already plays piano.  There’s a Tiny Tim joke in there, but she wasn’t over pleased with it.  LOL  Wish I could play an instrument.  Making your own music.  How cool is that? Done for now.  Hope you all are having a great start to the new year, and did NOT make resolutions.  Resolutions are a deliberate choice to set yourself up for failure, is my view of them.  So I don’t.

Too Little, Too Late

Which is the story of my life  Anyway, there’s a book on Bookbub today, “The Social Anxiety Workbook for Work, Public & Social Life”, which would possible have been a great help to me years ago, but it’s kind of unnecessary now, not because I am better at things, because I’m not, but because I’m rarely in any kind of social situation where I have to interact with anyone.  Oh, well. I still have a minor freak-out every time, though.  What did I say that I shouldn’t have said, what did I do that I shouldn’t have done?  That kind of thing, then I stress about it for awhile.  I usually never find out if I said/did anything I shoudn’t because I never see most people again.  My friends have known me for a long time, some for a very long time, so they are used to me.  Both my homemakers are pretty new, and I try not to talk to much when they’re here, just in case.  Life is fun.

Not sure how I feel yet today, after the walking yesterday, a bit achy is all so far, but I’m always a bit achy. Usually the serious pain comes a couple days after whatever I did.  Delayed Pain Syndrome, another lovely benefit of Fibro.  Friends are coming tomorrow (Hooray) to help with some things, I forgot my homemaker comes tomorrow as well, and I have pt.  Hope I am not a mass of pain and can function for all of this.

Hoping to go out somewhere with Tess this afternoon.  Would like to go to stores and see Christmas and pretend I am part of it.  If you don’t get out much, and except for pt I haven’t been out for a few weeks, you kind of miss the whole Christmas shopping experience.

Oh, put up my little Christmas tree Tuesday.  Homemaker got it down for me and put down the branches.  I hate that job and it’s so easy.  Strange Jean is strange, I guess.  Anyway, it’s quite cheery at night with the little fiber-optic bulbs changing colors.  Here’s a pic from a few years ago, before they butchered the trees across the street.

2013-12-24 17.51.07 (3)

Fun Times With Dial-A-Ride

Had PT at 12:30. D-a-R gets me there at noon. Call for pickup at 1:30. Wait in lobby, leaning on a brick half-wall, for half an hour. Call. On the way. Wait. Lovely, lovely man from Bedard Realty whose door is right there, comes out and asks me if I want to come in and wait because it’s warmer. Okay. Brings me a chair. Brings me a pizzelle, brings me a bottle of water. Call again, on the way. Go out to wait, cause I’m restless. Wait. Give up, decide to walk home, which would be fine, except no hat or gloves, and pain. But get over halfway home when d-a-r calls. Where am I? Walking home, screw you. (Did not say that.) Couple minutes later, D-a-r pulls up and lovely, lovely man from Bedard Realty gets off and encourages me to let the van take me the rest of the way home. Then he walks back to his work and d-a-r gets me home at 2:30. Seriously. They have forgotten me completely before, when I didn’t have a cell phone to call, either, and I was left standing in the cold and snow for a couple of hours until a driver who had already passed me three times and didn’t realize I was trying to wave him down, stopped and asked why I’m still there. Called in, no one had sent a pick up ride. Did not get home til 3 hours after my appt ended. Quit going out after that til I met Tess, who drives me most places, thank you Tess. On the bright side, I think if I fill up on pain meds, (took six pills today) and am not having to horrible a day, I could walk myself to PT and back. Maybe. If I’m not to exhausted.  And I met a lovely man and had a pizzelle.  I love pizzelles. So turned out a good day after all.   🙂  BTW, they are to the right of the arched doorway.  PT is on the third floor.  This used to be a manufacturing building, and my husband worked there making compacts for Revlon for a few years after we moved to New England.  Just so  you know.  LOL




Some good environmental news for a change: Good News

Read an article about food allergies becoming more common.  Why?, they ask.  Could it be genetic modification, artificial fertilizers, pesticides, over-processing?  Food is no longer food as it once was.  Our bodies did not evolve for this.  Duh!

The whole Tumblr thing is disturbing.  Censorship because they are too lazy or incompetent to actually deal with the problems of porn-bots, and cretins posting child-pornography.  Put some effort into it, Tumblr.  Or Verizon, who own Tumblr now.  Have you ever noticed that once big corps buy some nice little site or business or app, it suddenly becomes something completely different.  Kashi is one example.  Look it up.

Spoke to PT person about added pain.  She thinks it will get better with time, it’s just that I haven’t really been using those muscles/joints that much because of the pain already there. We’ll see.  I quite like PT, and it nothing seems to hurt while I’m doing it, just a couple of days later, thank you fibromyalgia.

Guess that’s enough for now.  🙂



Someone asked on Twitter how do you get through winter that doesn’t involve wine.  I said full-spectrum lights.  Some guy in Chicago was all over my reply. Guess Chicago is pretty bleak in winter.  Actually, now that I think about it, I changed trains there once and almost froze my nose off.

Anyway, I have a compact fluorescent bulb in an overhead light in the main room, and I call it ‘turning on the sun’.  I turn it on when I get up, and off sometime in the afternoon.  It is amazing the difference it makes in how I feel.  If you don’t know, SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is not just getting a bit down because it is cold and snowy.  It is a form of depression which can be pretty debilitating. Before I discovered the lights, I had a very hard time in winter.  I love winter, though.  Fireplace, blanket, curled up on the couch with tea or a Viking Thaw.  Beautiful snow falling. I hope. We’ve had rain instead lately.  It’s WINTER Mother Nature.  Get with the program.  Yes, climate change is real and is happening as we speak.  But winter.  What’s not to love?

Viking Thaw is hot chocolate with booze of your choice (I prefer Goslings Bermuda Black Rum, my friend Tess prefers Amaretto) and whipped cream.  Oh, yum. Here’s to happy winters.