About Me

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I'm a mom, a wife, a best friend. Sick with CFIDS/ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia since 1975 as a result of a nasty flu while still in grad school, it wasn't until the late '80's that I received a diagnosis. Until that flu I'd never really been ill before. With each year I get progressively worse and add to the bucket load of symptoms I'm living with. I've been blessed with an incredible family and best friend who've stayed with me through my struggles as we continue to find a way out of this monstrous illness and its complications. We've tried seemingly every approach to find my way back to health. Often I think our best weapon in this undesirable and unasked-for adventure has been laughter.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

A "Picturesque" Thank You & Look Back

And always, always, thanks to my wonderful hubby of 37 years...

And we're here!  It's been a year since I started in on this little "adventure" of mine!  There were certainly many, many days when I didn't think I'd be able to keep up with a blog, but somehow, taking it one day at a time - often just one hour at a time - and here I am!  Am I allowed to now call myself a "blogger" after a year? What really ARE the qualifications?  

At any rate, it's been an incredible year. I started out completely uncertain about how I'd be able to do a blog because of my health and my incapability to work anything technical. I was completely intimidated by my PC. Oh, the dreaded computer and I are still not very good friends.  Actually, I'm not sure my iPads are very pleased with me either.  However, my PC and I have, at least, come a long way in our relationship.  I don't yell at it quite as much as I did in the past.  In turn, it cooperates a little bit better than it used to.  But it's still a bit of a "frenemies" sort of relationship.  And to think I never really understood the concept of "frenemy."  I do now!

My posts were all too long and STILL are way too long, I know.  I have been working on that, I promise.  In fact, I promise to work harder in the upcoming year on keeping the posts shorter: MUCH harder and MUCH shorter! (I've been too long-winded of late, after doing so much better for about a month - or less!)

In the meantime, I've SORT of conquered the photo part of getting my precious moments into the posts.  Why I ever started down THAT road I'm not sure since some days finding a picture has been more difficult than finding a topic.  I have a picture in my head but then I have to find it in the files and it isn't there.  Too often the picture I'm thinking of is with my mother, many states away.  If it's not lost for all time, that is.  But usually it's because I don't understand my files...

Actually we started with the picture which I'd somehow gotten up on my original Facebook page (it's still not changed), the picture which greets you every time you come to this blog.  It's a combination of my daughter and myself at about the same ages, though decades apart, of course!

The second post was a challenge because I didn't know how to post a picture, didn't know how to put up an avatar (is that the right word?) but finally figured the photo thing out - after about 12 hours of screaming and crying.  The post was about the Oscars and our family's love of movies and that special night.  Our religion is, practically, Oscar night.  And so it was only appropriate to talk about them.

And so it's only appropriate to go back to some of those pictures and memories on this day of the Oscars and my blog's first birthday.  I hope you enjoy!

The second "real" post picture of my motley threesome in a pub in England...

This was two of the crew from a previous year when they didn't want to go to England because they were afraid of missing the Oscars!  What?  Ruin my chances of going?  Were they nuts?  But they decided it was OK once they called around and found out that England broadcasts the Oscars as well. What 7 and 8 year olds think of these things?  (Picture link to another post, about my sudden inability to read...)

I explained to you about my history with anything like watches and computers: I even apologized for having broken Big Ben on our honeymoon on August 5, 1976.  But this is a picture of another trip, with my BFF of over 40 years.   I don't talk about her too often, trying to maintain her privacy to SOME degree.  As soon as I get her permission you'll hear more about her! 
Spring came around and I realized I could take pictures myself!  You heard  about my  love of gardening, which was something that fibro and CFIDS/ME/CFS took away from me...though the post was about the on/off phenomenon of the DD.
Rather early on you learned about my love of family and our love of laughter....
And rather early on I got into skincare - seemingly an odd direction to go into but evidently readers loved it: those are always highly read posts.  We can't always be our illness and it does tie in with our funky skin...
Soon you learned about my Russian/Ukrainian background, especially when "my" Easter rolled around - at the "wrong" time...

Often just the time of year would give me a topic to write about....
You saw some of my childhood pictures but there were lots of things that haven't been discussed on that front!  (Believe it or not!)
I've not had a chance to talk about some of my family and what I discovered about  relatives when my mom and I went to Ukraine and Russia after the Soviet Union fell apart...but there's still so much more to go into with fibro and CFIDS on that front...intrigue!
As I became more sure of myself I ranted about the NIH, the CDC, the American College of Rheumatology and the fact that into my fourth decade with this wretched illness, things have not improved much... For SHAME!!!!
We talked about fibro and CFIDS/ME/CFS symptoms, especially sleep, though there's still so much more to say and places to go with that alone.  I tried a few book reviews but my health was such that for the first time, as far as I could remember, I wasn't able to read....
I've not touched too much on our family's love of travel, here on a school trip to Spain, with two of my children and the teacher in charge.
Although you did learn of how my second child went from this....
...to this...
...to my flying through 12 time zones to Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia for my son's wedding....

There has been so much more.  For example, I made friends with a few followers.  A few helped me with my own problems and I'll be indebted to them for ages.  I joined twitter.  Although I'm still trying to figure my way around on that front, I was rewarded with a new family made up of friends who have been full of encouragement, not to mention laughter.  

Because of social networking, I've connected with old friends, near and far.  I've made new friends, near and far.  I've gotten encouragement from camp friends from my past, such an unlikely source.  I've gotten encouragement from high school friends, from places that I never expected or with circumstances which are too complicated to explain or believe - and I'm so thankful for each and everyone of those friends.  

I've had surgeries, more complications - thanks to this dreaded fibromyalgia and CFIDS/ME/CFS - but I've learned from every person I've been in any sort of contact with over the past year and am indebted to them for that alone.   

So a huge thank you to everyone.  I can never express how thankful I am to you all.  I know that when I see those thanks written sometimes in other places, I too often think, "how much can they mean it?"  

I now know that they really DO mean it -I just hope it's a fraction of how much *I* mean it, however!

So, as always, I wish everyone the best of health.  I hope that those not ill stay that way and that those who ARE ill feel their very best, only better.  Thanks you so much for being here FOR me and WITH me. Tonight when I watch the acceptance speeches at the Oscars I will understand how hard it is to truly thank everyone. We've come full-circle on this little blog.  I only hope I can keep up with it another year because it's given me so very much.  

In the meantime: ciao and paka!  And a huge THANK YOU


  1. Happy Blogoversary Irene! Sorry I don't get to comment here much at the moment. I've only known you a few months and it's been quite a ride. Love the family photos and the reminder of how far you have come in your writing journey. Keep up the good work! You are touching people more than you know. God bless :)xx

    1. Hi Joy! Thank you ever so much for the kind wishes and even more kind words. They mean more to me than you can begin to imagine! And thanks so much for being part of this blog! xx

  2. Congratulations on your one-year anniversary! Your blog posts touch me and make me think about my life, my relationships, and I thank you for that!

    1. What a marvelous thing to say, Martha! You've been a blessing, in so many ways and for that I thank you! LOL! We seem to be a mutual admiration society! ;) xx

  3. Congratulations on "OUR" one year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OUR, because WE are excited each and every time reading and laughing and crying and learning -all at the same time!

    1. Mariula, these are such kind words and thoughts. Truly. Thank you so much. I think that when I'm down in the dumps, I'll need to just look at this comment section. xx

  4. Huge congratulations on your one-year blog anniversary. You do this so beautifully, and you've come so far. Every blog touches me in some way. You enrich my life, and I know you enrich the lives of many others. I treasure our friendship, admire you so much, and truly love your sense of humor in spite of it all. Sharon

    1. Oh, Sharon, I think y'all are trying to make me cry! And you are succeeding! Thanks so much for enriching my life and all your encouragement from day 1! xx