365 Challenge – Day Feb #3- Bedside


Confession:  I cheated on this one. I knew that I had already taken a photo (with my Droid) that means more to me than any new one I could possibly take. It is one I had taken last year for no particular reason on January 12, 2012 .  This is the lamp next to my bed.  It is “adorned”, if you will, with all of these necklaces, which were all given to me by one friend or another at some time during my 12 year RSD journey. They all mean something to me and they are usually the last thing I see before turning out my light at night and the first thing I see when I open my eyes in the morning. Each are a symbol to me that I do not fight this battle alone. They give me strength, and they encourage me. Though I know they would be better preserved tucked away in my jewelry box, I will always leave these particular necklaces hang on my lamp, by my BEDSIDE, so that I know that no matter how hard it gets, I am never alone!

Day Feb #3- BEDSIDE.


Whiskers on Kittens

Here are a few of *my favorite things* !  Well, favorite old cell phone photos, that is.

Today I got to get out and take a few new pictures of things. These, however, are NOT those shots. 🙂

These are simply a few of my favorite cell phone pictures that I found in my phone gallery. I have an Android HTC  6.0 (the 7th new / refurbished one so far this year, remember?)

Anyway, don’t ask me what sort of camera it has, because all I know is it works.


(There are no photos of whiskers on kittens, though. My apologizes to the feline frenzied.)


*LESS THAN 2 WEEKS TIL MY PHILLY FREEDOM! Next Treatment is 11 days away! *

The Shady Maple-d Sort of Hope

**16 Days til my Philadelphia Freedom!

Today marks one of my favorite days. It’s how the James Girls kick of the holiday season. Dawn breaks and Dad throws us all in the car. We then head to the place where cholesterol parties and desserts dance, otherwise known as The Shady Maple Smorgasbord.

Dad is the only male allowed and girls may only join provided they are of the James lineage and only under the stipulation that they have reached high school age, as it is often times a rated PG-13 ( at best) function. {*refer to an earlier blog entry about my obsession with balls. This obsession seems to just flourish around the holidays as balls are found around every corner and my sisters really feed into my obsession.} This year we welcomed my Natalia into the sisterhood.

The ride to Shady Maple is beautiful. It’s all country views. Cows, farms, green fields. Endless blue skies today.

Veteran’s Day was observed today for some schools today so it was a bit more crowded than our normal breakfasting/ shopping excursion. Mom seemed a bit disturbed by it but dad didn’t seem to mind. 

Little Sister Rachel>-> who will not be pleased that I posted this with Mom who shocked us all with this outlandish behavior. Mom is ever the lady.>–>

^Holly , the big sister with Dad. Holly is a poser. Dad, The Marine and proud Veteran, never stops eating long enough to partake of such shenanigans. Eating is serious business for a Marine. Many a time he has regaled us with the tales of having to eat maggots out of his helmet along with his food and therefore he is always just grateful for food in general. Daddy is delightful at dinner. 😀

During breakfast Holive entertained us all ( as usual) in the way that only Holly can. Which won’t be funny to anyone else so I won’t attempt to try to relive it. Suffice it to say,   Holly is fascinated by the most mundane little things and can make just about anything funny. Today it was a collapsible brush. Who knew such a cheap thing could provide such entertainment?

After we got our feed on, we headed to the gift shops to spend what my dad calls “all of our egg money” , which is dad speak for all the money we saved all year for this very day.

^ HOPE is the thing with feathers. ( Emily Dickinson fans ? )

Holly found a HOPE ornament with a ball in the O.  SCORE.  Posed in front of some fuzzy white and red balls for me, too!

.. and the winner of the strangest thing I saw all all day goes to this piece of blown glass poo… I mean slug. (Apologies to slugs everywhere).

We laugh, we eat, we shop.We laugh some more.  This close to my next treatment, it’s going to take me at least 3 days to recover from our excursion, but I don’t mind. Today not only signifies the beginning of the holiday season for me, it also reminds me how lucky I am. I’ve got sisters. Great, beautiful, kind sisters and I still have both my parents. Sadly, I don’t spend enough time with either of my sisters or my mom and dad, which is really quite a shame. But the time I do spend with them is always filled with laughter and love. And for that I truly grateful.

My fav jam from the ride! You gals “made my day”.  ❤

The ‘Once Bitten’ Sort of Hope

“Take me from this earth
an endless night-
this, the end of life.
From the dark I feel your lips
and taste your bloody kiss.”
― Anne Rice


~ for those who asked, I love to edit. Almost more than I love to take pictures! (almost)

~ last year’s Halloween Edit ( and a bunch of other self portraits/ edits)  can be found : http://allsortsofhope.com/2012/09/03/mood-of-the-moment/

The Sort of Half of Hope


I hope you took the time to watch that. I’m sure most of you didn’t.

Sometimes I feel like my disease leaves me with only half of my former self. Only half of what I used to be able to do. Half of the mom I should be, the wife I should be, the friend I should be,even half of the human I should be. Then I read a post from a fellow RSD’er that reminded me that our disease holds one of the highest rates of suicide that there is among chronic illnesses and I am just thankful that I never felt quite that desperate, that alone or felt quite so mad at my condition. Sure, I get sad. Sure I get mad. {I get mad a lot!} Got mad at myself yesterday when I did something really stupid because of my disease (it hurt!).  I get mad when I lose my balance easily or drop things because I can’t hold them. I get mad because I can’t go to my kids things if it gets too cold or even too windy or too hot or if it’s going to be too noisy. I get really mad when I have to cancel dates with my friends.  And I get even madder that this disease has cost my family our life savings. “Stupid disease!” I get sad when I can’t eat the things that I used to love or wear the things that I used to treasure all because of this thing that has changed my nervous system and how my body functions until the day that a cure is found.  I’m sad because *that* half of me is gone. But if this new half is all I’ve got left to give, I’m going to fight to make damn sure it’s the best half I’ve got to offer. Fortunately for me, I get to do it surrounded by some of the best family and friends any single  person was ever blessed with, people who certainly don’t seem to mind the half that is left and usually they are enough to  make me feel pretty whole again.

RSD can be very isolating so sometimes I just need to remind myself of one of my favorite quotes. It never fails to make me get off my bum and get moving. Half or not.

A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.
–William Shedd

The Super Sort of Hope

Some days you have to call on your inner Superwoman and just send your inner goddess out for coffee or something. Especially if your inner goddess doesn’t do laundry, which obviously mine doesn’t. (nor does anyone else in this house, apparently!)


{YES, that’s really all laundry, some is actually already in the dryer!}

My go to song for when I need a reminder.