Monthly Archives: February 2014

The Change

Over the years my fingers have gone through what I call “The Change.”

It would start with a stabbing pain, like a needle being repeatedly inserted into a specific joint. I’d be working and go to do something and the pain would make me suck in my breath and wince internally. I would not let on how much it hurt. I didn’t like letting others know of my pain (something I plan to write about later, my misplaced stoicism).

In those moments, I would squeeze the offending knuckle with my other hand to make the pain stop. The pain didn’t prevent me from doing what I had to do, accomplishing all the fine motor functions required of me. But it did make me angry that I had to deal with it.

And the worst thing was that I had to deal with it over and over again. One sad knuckle at a time.

I knew what it was before a doctor confirmed it. It was Father Time knocking. It was the life-clock ticking. It was Osteoarthritis setting in.

Once the change is complete, the knuckle looks swollen, has less mobility and it doesn’t hurt. But while the change is happening, the pain is oh, so exquisite. I don’t know why OA  picked my hands to strike first, but it did, it has. And still is.

This time it’s attacking my poor little pinkie. For the second time. Can’t remember when it got the first knuckle, but it now is engaged once more. photo (78)

The pinkie ring I used to wear can no longer traverse the length of the finger to settle where it once belonged.

The knuckle is tender all the time and filing my fingernail was a study in stoicism. But I will do my nails, dammit! RA or OA, or RA and OA, will not restrict what I want to do.


Coffee, Tea or . . .

My mother plied us with hot tea whenever we ailed from whatever. If tea didn’t work, it was doctor time. And even if we’d been carted off to the doctor after all, the tea still formed part of the care plan.

Stepping out the door of one little house we were assailed with the fragrance of mint, growing right beside the front steps in my mother’s herb garden. Later, in the back yard of a slightly larger house grew the tall orange tree from which my mother plucked young tender leaves. And of course there was always the mainstay, which my mother bought in bunches, Manzanilla (chamomile).

None of these brews were accompanied with the requisite teaspoon of sugar to help it go down. It was only the force of my mother’s love that made us swallow the bitterness. And though I completely understand that, nevertheless I was left with an aversion to hot tea of all kinds.

Coffee, I barely remember growing up. I know my dad had his cafecitos (with milk and sugar) and maybe my mother, too. But as an adult, though I found the aroma intoxicating, I couldn’t get with the program of drinking coffee on a regular basis.

I would only crave it when I felt bad, had a tummy ache or something else was awry. Then I would find a hot cup of coffee as soothing as a liquid emollient. A throwback to the hot teas perhaps? For though I could not tolerate the actual hot tea, I was still left wanting the emotional hug it had given me.

A few years ago, I began receiving coffee in bed. I felt like royalty, being catered to and allowed to lounge in bed half the morning. I knew I was being offered more than that cup of coffee and I accepted it, warily. A lot had happened prior to those mornings. Coffee, in a way,  was now being used as a cleansing solution. Perhaps even a bonding agent.

Whatever its use, whatever its purpose, it opened some doors and I became addicted to starting my mornings that way, filled with that ardent, flowing embrace. Now, on the mornings when it cannot be brought to me, I get up and fix it myself and then take it back to bed with me. It feels almost sinful, akin to a sensuous luxury, though not quite as sweet.

Today I came across this article posted in honor of Valentine’s Day, I suppose.  It lists several points on how to keep a relationship humming along. Number 5 made me almost choke on my java: “Know how she takes her coffee.”

Hmmm . . .

I’ve since learned that coffee is a healthy beverage, in moderation, and has some good attributes. But I never realized it could also be used as a wooing agent.

From hot tea to hot coffee. Who knew that love could be spelled in so many ways?


A Long Night’s Day

I’ve been awake since 0130. That would be 1:30 A.M.

Why, I don’t know.

Had a fun day yesterday. Dropped off this quilted tote at Tai Chi by noon. It was Chinese New Year’s again, the year of the Horse. The place was decorated so prettily for the dinner and raffle last night, I wish I’d taken a picture. Lots of red. I’d meant to stick to blues and greens for the tote, but then remembered we need red for Chinese New Year.

photo (55)photo (54)I wasn’t in the quilt-making mood so I decided a tote bag would have to do this time. The irony is that I did almost as much machine quilting, but at least it was on something different. And smaller!


Next we went to lunch, crab cakes, yum. Unfortunately, they were only offered fried, but oh, so good.

Then on to the movies to see The Wolf of Wall Street. My, oh my. We try to watch all the movies that are nominated for awards. This was the last one on our list, but definitely not the least. I love Leo.

Since we were full when we got to the theater I barely noticed the smell of popcorn, but when we returned to the lobby after the showing I could not resist. First time I buy popcorn on the way out of the theater.

From there we hit a place called Splitsville; it actually has a bowling alley. While we sat at the bar munching popcorn and drinking (Captain Morgan and Coke for me) the mellow sound of pins banging around floated over to us.

We passed the time chatting, with each other and with our electronics.  I’d worked on an article that was due today, and as the writer was still revising we continued our back and forth till we edited to a final sheen. Thank goodness for iPhones!

The red leather vinyl seats were so comfortable that we ended up sitting there long enough to satiate the munchies and have them return again. We ended the evening with sweet potato fries (scrumptious) and a tall glass of ice water (refreshing).

And it was an early evening. We were home by nine, but I was tired from working late the day before so I went straight to bed and crashed. For four hours.

By 1:30 I was wide awake. I spent the rest of the night reading in bed, thinking it would make me sleepy again. Not so. I spent today writing critiques for my writer’s group. Usually, staring at the computer screen for long periods will make me go cross-eyed and conk out after a while. Not today.

I kept busy all day and while putting away the fabrics I’d used on the tote, I discovered I had fabric with horses and lots of red. Doh!

photo (56)But I did sneak in some green dragon fabric, even though the year of the dragon was 2012. That is my signature. I am a dragon.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Albeit, a water dragon. Which means I douse my own fires.


Hopefully, I can douse my wakefulness. Or should I drown it?