Saturday, July 2, 2016

Happy July

Happy July!

Florida is gorgeous in July and we are 8 miles from one of the prettiest beaches I have ever seen inside the United States. Anna Maria Island is a jewel and I would highly recommend visiting if you love old beach towns with a family feel.

This past week my husband had a "staycation". We had blocked off 9 days last year in hopes of traveling. That didn't pan out but we had a nice time getting to the beach three times.

We go to a beach with a very short walk from the van to the water which is perfect for me. He sets me up and then goes for a walk. I get to enjoy the peacefulness of the water. And two days I saw dolphins lazily swimming. What a blessing! Our favorite beach is creating new piers and I love seeing the heavy equipment. It is like watching my favorite TV episode of "How It's Made" but in real life. On a beach.

You can see the gulf is different from one day to the next. Some days it is flat & clear, othersit is choppy & darker. But on that choppy day the water was SO warm. Bath water.
We love this bath water Gulf.

Physically I'm about the same. The CRPS is still making my nerves feel like their is gasoline running through them. My hips won't allow me to sit at any angle for more than a few minutes but I have a lot of options at the house for keeping them straight.

Percocet is helping and although I know the long term side effects are pretty bad I'm overwhelmed with thankfulness when it "kicks in" and my body starts to feel like my body again. My muscles have been a good kind of sore from water therapy and inversion yoga. Our community has a pool which is heated and the water is perfect for me. So warm! We ordered this "trapeze" on Amazon and it is now hung in the living room. They didn't make it in blue (sigh) so purple it is! I've also been to a very kind chiropractor 6 times so far and he is trying acupressure as well as adjustments. I haven't seen any improvement from that yet but I love him and his support.

Yesterday I went to see a psychologist. The ketamine treatment back in January flipped a switch in my brain and now I'm struggling mentally. I never use to have to remind myself to breathe. To feel like the pressure in my chest was going to explode. But that is a new reality for me and I'm learning to accept that and not fight it. Some days are better than others. For those of you with anxiousness and panic attacks: I am so very sorry. I had no idea. Please forgive me if I have ever judged someone who has a mental illness. I now know my mind is capable of horrible things that no one would ever want. I have gotten good at finding my "triggers" and distracting as many of my senses as I can. Days seem better than nights and my husband has again been amazing.

A few nights my husband has moved my bed into his bedroom. Yes, we sleep separately. Yes, that usually works best for us. Our villa has two bedrooms and we both snore. And he moves around. And I wake up at 1am, 2am, 3am in pain. You get the idea. If I feel what I'm calling "anxious" at night, it helps to have him close.

Now other happier happenings.

My husband finished the laundry room which was an easier project than most of our rooms have been. Just some paint and hanging a peg board for our cleaning tools.

Yes, he painted blue. We love blue and we had like 4 gallons left. I couldn't see spending money on paint when we had so much leftover blue. We had mixed a bunch of colors to get this blue and so it is a "custom" color. We made about 10 gallons since we didn't want to run out and that is why we have so much left.

Only "my" bathroom (the 2nd bathroom) remains to be painted & updated. I'm in no hurry though since it is primed white and the bath & surround are in excellent shape.

And some free items! I haven't been up to going around the neighborhood looking for free stuff but we do try to stop if I'm out anyway.

A free Crate & Barrel sisal rug which looks new.
This thing would have been $400 new. Our blue striped rug moved
to the lanai under my husband's weight bench. This was a Craigslist free item.

Free shells! Yes, I'm counting these as free. I don't even go looking for them. These were all found by being in the same spot in one day. They go into care packages for children.
Free plate! This is a terrible photo but the sign above the plate was a charity donation purchase on Instagram. It says: "Let me walk upon the waters, wherever you may call." The plate matches so well and reminds me to get out of the boat. This is a Bible reference where Jesus tells Peter to get out of the boat and walk on the water.
Free cleaners! Not all of these were free but a lot were. We have some renters in our area that try to clean up before they leave. You can usually spot their garbage by the several mops & buckets by the side of the road. We don't take those but almost full cleaners are a score! I purchased stuff to make my own natural cleaners weeks ago and that hasn't happened yet. There is no need when we keep getting these free.
This is a stair riser that was pulled out of the gulf after a storm. It is about 3 feet long and super interesting (to me). It would make an unique piece of wall art. It will probably be given away but is currently on OfferUp.  I'd love to see a 3 letter word painted on it. Maybe SEA?

My free glass & brass re-purposed wall hangings are up! We found these last year and they are ceiling light covers from the 1960s. I loved the shape and wanted to hang them. The hubby make it a reality. Don't mind the clutter on the floor. We also found a free oar and free oval mirror. The oar will hopefully be turned into a curtain rod and the mirror will be mounted in the closet.

I love crafting and art. I haven't been able to do these lately but here are a few from a month or two ago. We have a walk way up to our front door in our "secret garden" (i.e. the small front yard that our realtor called a secret garden). This is probably one of the hardest things I do since it takes sitting/laying on the ground and a lot of wrist action. Haha. I really hope to get back out there soon.

Now some of my favorite things from the last few months.

This soap. I have SUPER oily skin and this soap has been drying it out nicely. My husband has very dry skin to the point it flakes off. He has also been using it and he loves it too. We are trying to go more natural (despite the free cleaning products) and this soap is a keeper for us.
This "magic" button on our fridge. We set it up so when it is pressed, Amazon orders toilet paper for us. If you accidentally press it you do have so long to cancel the order. I wish every thing had a button like this. Like a banana button would be helpful.
Black olives are my favorite food right now.

We have a pantry in our kitchen which I love. My space is on the bottom and this photo were taken before we went to the store. Our Publix (our local grocery store) haul included cherries, peaches, strawberries, raw spinach, grapes and bananas. And 4 cans of olives. Hehe. Add some rice, a bit of grilled chicken and cashews and that is my diet right now. I hope to eat more when my mouth feels better but that is a many month process.

My husband always makes the top of the list of my favorites. I had no idea a human could support and love another human in the way he loves.

This was Fred, our dog for a week in 2014. We've been talking about trying another small dog. There is a foster program in place here and we could request a small dog. We are really considering it. I know animals can help with emotional and mental stress. Thinking, thinking, thinking.

To those who have read this blog: thanks. I feel like I've been given an amazing gift with CRPS. I would have never chosen it for myself. I would never want to "gift" this to another person. My perspective on life has changed. I still have a ways to go. But I can see God using these things and I am trying to be appreciative. And I can absolutely say this: Physical pain is preferred over mental pain. So please do what you need to do to survive. Some days it takes getting through the next minute. Take medication if your doctor is prescribing it. Distract yourself through the hard time if you need to. Some days you will want to die but hopefully you also get to appreciate the little things in life and encourage others. Because getting to be kind and support others in this life is the real blessing.


  1. Glad to see your update, I always check in and worry when I haven't seen one for a while, strange thing the internet, when you worry about people you don't even know :)
    I totally recommend a small dog. My dad passed away last year and then our big dog passed away, very sad time and lots of tears. We then got a small dog - a maltese/shitzu cross, best thing we ever did, the daily tears stopped and dogs have so much love to give. And being small they can sit on your lap or next to you. Love reading about your piece of the world, you truly live in a beautiful place. Take care and will be thinking of you.

    1. Thank you for your suggestion tyty! I'm sorry about your father passing away. I couldn't even imagine. And your dog passing too - that is so sad! Can I ask if the pain of losing your dog was worth it? I know I would love to have a dog but I also know that I would feel absolutely terrible when/if the dog was hurt and then passed away. It is making me feel like perhaps it isn't worth it. My husband & I are checking into fostering small dogs to see how that would go. Plus, they pay for all the vet visits which appeals to me. It seems like a good way to see if I'm ready (emotionally) for a dog.

      Thanks again for your lovely comment & thinking about me! I hope you have a cheery day!

    2. Hard question!! :) I love having my dog, I work from home and he is my little companion, but I know the day that something does happen to him will be devastating. When we lost our first dog last year, it was the first time that we had lost a pet and I didn't expect to feel the loss so deeply, just all the little things you take for granted, like the sounds of their paws on the tiles, the house seemed very empty. Maybe fostering would be a good starting point. Emotions are a strange thing! :)

  2. Love your blog. I've been reading it for ages. You are very inspiring.

  3. Mellissa, God brings people into our lives for a reason! I enjoyed reading your blog, and I am sorry to read some of what you go through with CRPS. We have so much in common. Am I to assume you also crochet as well? I hope to keep in touch :)

    1. Hi Sherri! Thank you for your more than generous compliment. I actually don't crochet! I did try many years ago but couldn't do more than crochet a small "eye patch" shape! The aqua & cream blanket you see in the photos was made by a friend and is a prayer shawl.

  4. Replies
    1. Thank you Donna! I appreciate that :)

  5. I'm checking in - love your blog. I've been reading since your ebay days. I'm glad to see you are making the best of your days. I can't imagine the pain you are in but you still manage to keep such a positive outlook. And bless your hubby - what a sensitive thoughtful supportive soul! Thank you for sharing your journey with us - we care about you out here in blog land. Your blog keeps me grounded - as much as you are going through, as much pain that you endure, you still have enough love in your heart to encourage other people and feel blessed yourself. To me, that is amazing.

    1. You are so sweet Ree Cee! Thank you for continuing to read. I'm thankful to be able to continue to post when I can. And yes, my hubby is awesome.

      I hope you have a fantastic day!


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