Tag Archive | arthritis

Dreams Dashed by Weather

palm-treeI always had this dream of living in a place where I had a palm tree growing in my front yard. The first time I saw a palm swaying in the gentle tropical breeze, I thought it was the most graceful and beautiful tree on earth. . . and the climate where it lived wasn’t bad either. Of course, I was visiting Florida in the dead of winter and the temperature was about 75 degrees.

Today, I’m using my woman’s prerogative to change my mind about moving to a tropical climate. As I’ve grown older, it seems I’ve taken after my mother’s side of the family and have developed arthritis. It’s the kind of arthritis which seems to turn on and off with weather changes and it really goes nuts when it’s humid.

If you live in Wisconsin, you know right now summer and fall are duking it out for a few days. Yesterday it was near 90 degrees with humidity in the 70% range. Today and Wednesday promise the same tropical weather, and then on Thursday there will be a big change. Winds will shift from the north, and the temperature will plummet to somewhere in the 60’s. This kind of yo-yo-ing drives my body crazy!  I knew I was in serious doo-doo when toward the end of my class last night, I had to sit and teach from a chair because standing was just too painful.

When I got home after two hours of teaching, I needed to haul out the heavy-duty pain meds, and even those didn’t knock me out enough to fall asleep. A restless night was in my path, so I enacted plan “B”.  For most of the night, I watched the Military Channel in hopes of falling asleep to a monotone narrator.

This experience has done two things for me. I realize I’m worthy of my social security check. (I will receive my first one at the end of this month.) And, it is likely I will never have a palm tree in my front yard–all because of the damn weather.

Have you had a dream dashed by weather? Let me know if you have, and we’ll create a new club.

Springing Into Action

iris 003I live in a part of Racine that dates back to the 1950s. All of the houses are different and most are well-kept. People in this area love their homes and their city lots and go to great lengths to take care of both. I am no exception. However, keeping a yard looking good on a small budget is more challenging than you might think.

On Saturday, I treated myself to exploring a new green house  about 30 minutes from my home. This place is in the middle of Nowheresville, but the flowers were amazing. I was in dangerous territory on a limited budget. I could do so much damage in there because when I’m around flowers, I’m like an alcoholic in a saloon. I had to restrain myself from filling up the entire back of my SUV with pretty plants, and I’m proud to announce I didn’t get drunk. . . only a little tipsy. With a few blooms in the back of my car, I turned up the oldies channel and sang with the radio all the way home.

Then yesterday was a perfect day. The temperature was in the mid 70s, with a light breeze, the sun was bright, and the sky was blue. If I ever find a genie in a bottle, I will instruct him to make everyday like yesterday. It was as close to San Diego weather as possible.

The first thing I did was purchased two cans of spray paint –one red and one sage green — for $3 each at Big Lots. Then I went home and started spraying. My old pots that had seen better days got to look like new with a fresh coat of the Rustoleum make-up. The rusty iron umbrella stand got a coat of the sage green (which matches the umbrella), and one of the old park benches got a new coat of pale yellow paint that I had in the basement. I felt like a little fairy going from one item to the next with my magic wand, spraying or slathering color where there was none. It was great! After things were dry, (and it didn’t take long on this warm, breezy day), Ken and I celebrated out patio with a glass of ice tea.

I was so happy with my accomplishments, that is, until I sat down in my chair to watch 60 Minutes and within a few minutes, I couldn’t move. The arthritis in my body let me know it wasn’t happy. Even my fingertips were screaming that I had made them work too hard. But tough. I was happy. I spent my day doing things I love to do, so I got out the Advil and let myself recover.

I love this time of year when I can watch things grow and colors fill my yard. It’s just too bad I’m getting older and have to pay for my efforts. I just have to learn to take small sips of spring excelsior.