52 Lists, 2016

This year I took on the 52 Lists project. For more than 8 months I wrote my lists almost every week, although occasionally I missed one and did it the following week. By the end of the year I had missed a LOT and had to play catch up. Here are my lists. They are not complete. I could probably add to them forever. But here’s my snapshot in time for 2016 in list form.

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100 Things update 1

Last month I posted my list of 100 Things to Do in 2016, and I’ve been crossing off items as I do them. But I want to keep track of what I’m doing too, not just the fact that they’ve been checked off. Every few weeks I plan on doing an update like this so I can elaborate a little bit.

1/100 – Thing 45 – Go on a walk with Mark, 1/2/16
We walked around the huge mall in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania for about an hour and a half. We had Charlotte with us in her stroller, and we didn’t stop in many stores. It was our last day, having gone out December 27 so he could have surgery on his neck at the Laser Spine Institute (an organization we HIGHLY recommend). His surgery was on December 30, and he was supposed to do some walking as part of his recovery.

2/100 – Thing 50 – Listen to a chakra meditation, 1/3/16
I like to listen to meditations as I’m winding down for bedtime. I listened to the free one I linked to in my previous post. It was okay, but I like Gina Rafkind’s Chakra Rainbows meditation better.

3/100 – Thing 54 – Take on the 52 Lists Project, 1/5/16
I decided that “take on” means to attempt/start and not to complete, so I checked this off my list once I had started making the list for Week 1. “List your goals and dreams for this year” was easy, after filling in my 2016 Shining Year workbook from Leonie Dawson.

4/100 – Thing 31 – Create a mandala, 1/5/16
I used Photoshop to create a mandala coloring page. I used a tutorial I found online to get the foundation, then had fun playing around. I worked on one section, which I then copied onto new layers and rotated to fill in the rest of the circle. If you haven’t seen it, check out my post about it and you can download it!

5/100 – Thing 64 – Create a sacred space in my home, 1/7/16
I have been collecting things for years, and I used to have a sacred space but at some point I took it down and never got around to redoing it. So I finally did a new sacred space on my desk. I threw out a stereo I had since college but hadn’t used in years because the CD player broke, and now I have my sacred space there. My favorite part of this space is that I have elemental guardians – gnome from Connemara Marble in Ireland (earth), butterfly fairy Strangeling (air), dragon from TY (fire), and a mermaid from a dollar store (water).

sacred space jan 2016

6/100 – Thing 87 – Get new sheets, 1/10/16
Since it says GET and not BUY, I’m counting it complete because Mark ordered sheets from Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

7/100 – Thing 16 – Do a jigsaw puzzle, 1/11/16
I have a puzzle that is an ice cream cone and part of the box had ripped, so I wasn’t sure if I had all the pieces… turns out I do. Of course, instead of counting 500 the true way to make sure all the pieces are there is to DO the puzzle.

In addition to these completed Things, I have a few I’m working on. Hopefully I’ll be posting another update by the end of the month.

Long day… update on hubby

We got up at 6 for a 9am appointment with a new doctor in New York City, because we had about a half hour drive to the train station, an hour on the train to Grand Central Station, plus a ten minute or cab ride to get the doctor’s office. We left ample time and got there close to 45 minutes early, figuring there might be paperwork to do. And we got there to find… this doctor doesn’t take our insurance!

I’ve had a long week with my husband. For those who don’t know from Twitter or Facebook, it has been rough. He slept a lot, and when he was awake he had confusion, lack of balance, slurred speech, and on and on with negative side effects of a medication he had been prescribed. After coming all this way, there was no way I could take him home without seeing this specialist at New York University Medical Center we were supposed to be seeing.

The receptionist was nice enough to call associates, and there was a doctor in the NYU Med Center hospital across the street who could see Mark right away. SO happy. We went over and did paperwork and waited a short time before being called in.

I will make this quick. I love this Dr K. We went over everything verbally, case history. Dr K did a physical exam. He looked at past MRIs and CT scans and x-rays of Mark’s back, which we brought in. He ordered a ton of blood tests to be done. He wants another MRI done. We had a lot more waiting after blood work was done (downstairs) before being called in again.

Dr K says Mark needs comprehensive pain management on an outpatient basis. He does not provide this, but he will call around and find us a place that does this AND takes our insurance. He ordered Mark off one med completely, and changed him off one and onto another similar one. He gave two prescriptions and a paper for the MRI to be done and sent to him, and said he will call the insurance company to get the approval for the MRI, and he’ll call us back with the approval number.

Dr K said Mark does NOT need inpatient care! 🙂 And he doesn’t want Mark on narcotics anymore! 🙂 🙂 And he is doing the “legwork” of calling around that no other doctors has done for us, which is shocking and appalling because I’ve always thought that is part of the deal when you’re a doctor… but this doctor did it!

It’s a long story to tell all the details, but this is the important stuff. Oh, and if you ever go to NYC and especially to Grand Central Station, go to Zaro’s – it’s a bakery that has a location in GCS ( and we always stop in for a snack on the way to catch our train home. Today we got cupcakes, black and white cookies (an NYC classic), a french baguette, and Mark also got an egg and cheese pastry thingy. Yum!

Coming down off the narcotic, Mark is probably going to go through some bad withdrawal symptoms, so he still can’t be alone. (I say still because after I came home Tuesday to find him asleep and the oven on and empty, and a stove top burner on and empty, I called my parents and had my dad come down to spend the night and stay with Mark all day Wednesday while I was at work.) He is at my parents’ house for a week or two, to get through the withdrawal, and I have the apartment to myself so I can focus on work, and TAW, and getting in some much-needed rest after a really difficult week.


Jan 8

Okay, another little update.

This morning Dr. K called regarding the blood tests. Not all had come back yet, but a lot of them had. Some of the numbers are higher than they “should” be, and he is concerned that this can indicate an infection. He faxed the results to my father (who sent me a copy) and asked that Mark be taken to the hospital where he had disc replacement surgery in his spine in February 2010, to have more blood work done and another MRI. Dad compared the numbers to blood tests done in November 2009 and the same things were higher back then. So maybe this is a key to finding the answer to Mark’s problems? Will post again when I know more.

Keep praying and stuff. It means so much to me and I know it’s helping!


Later Jan 8

Ugh, blood work today is moving towards normal and MRI is fine. I know I should be happy they are not showing anything, but I feel like we’re back at square one to some extent. :-


*originally posted in Goddess Circle*

This entry was posted on January 7, 2011, in Mark.

What am I thankful for in 2010?

Inspired by Cerise at rainbowspiritgoddess

1. I am thankful for my husband making it through the year in one piece. We’ve had some big ups and downs as far as his physical health goes, including three surgeries on his back, a concussion, and a fall down a flight of stairs. So if we can finish out the next two weeks without any major incident, I will be thrilled. (Today he posted on Facebook that he’s feeling the best he has felt all year, so that’s a good sign.)

2. I am thankful that we were able to be at my parents’ house for Thanksgiving, and that we were able to go out to dinner with my family for my birthday and my mother’s, and that we’re going to dinner for my dad’s birthday Tuesday. We may not have been able to enjoy every special day this year, like our first wedding anniversary in August, but we’ve had a lot of bright spots too.

3. I am thankful for my wonderful family, friends, and coworkers who have lifted my spirits, and have let me vent. We have shared the ups and the downs… and Lord knows we have had both! I call this my Rollercoaster Year, and I hope 2011 is a bit more calm. And, yes, I would go so far as to say boring.

4. I am thankful for Goddess Leonie and her beautiful soul. Her meditations and e-courses and her blog have been such a wonderful refuge from the trials of the past year. I am eager to print and start filling out her 2011 Goddess Year workbook.

5. I am utterfly thankful for Goddess Leonie’s Goddess Circle! It was the support of my goddess sisters here that encouraged me to not only begin my mermaid painting, but to see it through to completion. The Circle is a haven where I can be vulnerable and get the healing I need, where I can extend my own healing wishes to others. I can practice creativity, and learn more and get feedback. I can see the images and read the words of other women, a global circle of women of many different ages and generations. In my favorite book, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi, Zachariah tells Charlotte, “We are not so different, you and I.” I am learning that every day in this circle. Women around the world… we are not so different.

6. I am thankful for my job. I have used up all my time off for the year, personal days and sick days. But it took until December to do that. With all the time Mark has been in the hospital this year, I’m amazed that I lasted this long before I had a day off with no pay, and even then I still had a half sick day so I’m only taking no pay for half the day. That’s pretty sweet! And the benefits package is really good. Our health insurance has covered well over $100,000 in medical costs this year. If I didn’t have this job with these benefits, our finances could have been even more destroyed than they already are. (That’s an exaggeration, they are not destroyed. We just have a lot of debt and very very little savings left.)

7. I am thankful for the “Ninja” blender we got at Sam’s Club a couple months ago. The past two weeks I’ve been loading up the fridge with berries and making smoothies almost every day. Yum! I didn’t realize how bad my body felt eating junk until I made the conscious choice to try to eat better. I am not 100% healthy, but I’m trying to make more things “from scratch” instead of from a package. My husband likes to cook, but mostly frozen pre-made stuff and often using lots of olive oil. Last night I made pork chops with green beans (canned, but better than not having any vegetable), and bacon cheddar baked potatoes… but instead of a box of frozen baked potatoes, I made them myself. So they didn’t have a lot of toxic preservative junk. They actually turned out pretty good.

8. Oh! I am thankful for the post I saw online when I was looking at the website for the then-new U by Kotex feminine hygeine products, which mentioned the DivaCup. If you told me as a teen that one day I would swear off pads and tampons, switching instead to a menstrual cup and cloth pantiliners (I love my Lunapads!) I would never have believed you in a million years. But I will never go back. After that…

9. I am thankful for the book Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry, which opened my eyes to the horrors of the personal care product industry. This led me to dumping almost all of my products in a cold-turkey switch to nontoxic, namely those made by companies who have signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics. This was not as hard as I thought it would be, and actually forced me to throw away a ton of expired products that I should have gotten rid of long ago anyway.

10. I am thankful for my Kindle, because it makes it so easy to read. I am stuck in that middle school/teenager mindset of, “I don’t want to read that book, it’s too long!” But with the Kindle I am reading longer books and loving them. I would have missed out on my new favorite author, Lauren Oliver, if I had looked at Before I Fall in the store – it clocks in at a whopping 480 pages! Delirium is 448. Even The Mermaid’s Mirror by L. K. Madigan is 320, and that was another great book. I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover (or page length), but subconsciously I do it anyway. With the Kindle, it takes the book’s weight out of the equation, which means I read faster, and more.

I am doing 10 things for 2010 because I am a dork. So there. 😛 Done.

Inspired by Samantha’s blog post “I was happier when I was shallow…”

I was happier too in the past… My personal situation is dealing with a husband who has been in and out of the hospital for about a year now (mostly a bad back, but other little things too like flu/pneumonia, and a concussion). We were married not even three months when this all started, and it seems like he’s been in the hospital more often than he’s been at home.

Right now (most days) I would give anything to go back to the days before every day was a struggle, and a question of how bad he feels today, and when will he be in the hospital again?

But then on the other side, I have grown a lot in this past year. I have found in myself courage, positivity, strength, determination, love… all at levels I didn’t know I could reach. I know life sucks a lot for us right now, but knowing what I have been through makes me sure that I can get through any smaller obstacle that comes my way in the future. If and when my husband is “all better” and we can start a family, pregnancy and labor will be a walk in the park compared to what I’ve been through.

I’m not the only one who has seen the change in me… or maybe not change, maybe this was all in me the whole time, and this is just what it took to draw it out and show everyone what I’m made of. Anyway, I posted something on Facebook a couple — weeks ago? months ago? I’ve lost my sense of time — about the situation, Mark being in the hospital again or something, and my dad replied by saying “A stronger woman the world has never known.” Others have remarked, “I don’t know how you can stay so positive all the time,” and “You act like this isn’t bothering you too much, but I know you’re feeling it on the inside.”

Last night Mark drove himself to the ER at 3:30am because he was concerned that he was coughing up blood (it wasn’t a lot, and I was not worried… I didn’t go because I needed to try to sleep so I could be at work today). He was there about 3 hours and got back home about 7am just as I was waking up. And then when I asked what happened, he said he didn’t want to talk about it. I am reeling a bit. I have been there for him every step of the way, and now he doesn’t want to tell me about what happened?

I don’t even know how to react. I left early and got to work about 40 minutes early this morning just so I wouldn’t be at home with him not speaking to me. Hoping he just needs time to get over ((whatever happened)) and that by the time I get home he will talk to me about it. If not, I think I’m gonna go spend the weekend at my parents’ house.

Yes, I was definitely happier before all this mess started, and I want it to be over soon.


Added three years later:

This post was written a long time ago, and back then I set the post to private. Now I am making it public. Maybe it will help someone else some day to see that even when you are strong through bad times, you can get through moments like this. We are still happily married, and what we had been though at the time I wrote this is nothing compared with what we have been through since.

This entry was posted on October 16, 2010, in Mark.