Tuesday, June 30, 2015

3 Concerns About The New CGRP Drugs For Migraine Prevention

As migraine awareness month winds down I wanted to touch on the recent news about the CGRP drugs that are presently being developed as a migraine preventative. Here is a link that includes a great interview done by Migraine Again with Dr. Peter J. Goadsby from the UCSF Medical Center Headache Center

Sounds pretty hopeful, doesn't it? Something like 1/2 the participants saw 50% reduction in frequency and severity of attacks, with some seeing even better results. No significant side effects. Should be available in 3 or 4 years. 

Yep, sounds fantastic. BUT I'm pretty sceptical as of yet. Here are my concerns:

1. Drug companies can't always be trusted to accurately report all the side effects. We've seen it before with other medications. Hearing that there are no real side effects makes me think either these studies have been too small to get a good picture and/or the side effects are being minimized or under-reported. Usually when something sounds too good to be true, it is.

2. I'm concerned that even if this drug ends up living up to the hype, the cost might mean access is limited. How much will it cost to have these injections? How frequently will it be needed? How will the insurance companies deal with that? Will we, as patients, be able to afford trying it? If it works, will we be able to afford staying on it?

3. Even if it lives up to the hype and is affordable, what if I'm not one of the 50% who is seeing a significant benefit? I don't mean to sound pessimistic here. I really want to try it and am pretty hopeful that I'll see some benefit. If it is as advertised, it's by far the best thing medicine has to offer us. No question about that. But still, a 50/50 chance feels like it's just as likely to not happen. 

I'm looking forward to seeing how this all plays out over the next several years as clinic trials continue and the FDA gets involved. Time will tell. 

Monday, June 29, 2015


The blog challenge prompt for today is: What is hope?

Hope is an active wish, a wanting, an optimistic view of the possible.

Hope can be trival - I hope my lunch will taste good. Or it can be essential - I hope hunger can be eradicated.

Hope can be something we think or feel in passing or it can be something we cling to that bouys our spirit or gives us strength.

Hope is personal, fragile and powerful.

The Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is organized by the American Headache and Migraine Association.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

30 Things About My Life With Chronic Migraines

You may have seen the 30 Things About My Life With Migraine meme that has been going around this month in honor of migraine awareness month. I set aside this day to participate. Here it goes:

My diagnosis is: Chronic Migraine

My migraine attack frequency is: 18 per month on average.

I was diagnosed with migraines in 1986 and chronic migraines in 2006

My comorbid conditions include: fibromyalgia

I take 2 medications/supplements each day for prevention and 2 medications/supplements to treat an acute attack. Currently.

My first migraine attack was: as an 8 year old girl.

My most disabling migraine symptoms are: the pain, the nausea, the fatigue and aphasia.

My strangest migraine symptoms are: my teeth will hurt and I can't seem to focus my eyes on anything.

My biggest migraine triggers are: strong odors or tobacco smoke, bright lights, lack of sleep and loud noise.

I know a migraine attack is coming on when: I get super cranky.

The most frustrating part about having a migraine attack is: how it takes over my entire body, forcing me to put everything else on hold and there is very little I can do about it.

During a migraine attack, I worry most about: the pain. I know it will eventually let up but I don't know if that will be a few hours, a few days, or a couple weeks. Still, part of me still worries that one day it will start and never end.

When I think about migraines between attacks, I think: I sure hope it doesn't happen today.

When I tell someone I have migraines, the response is usually: sympathetic.

When someone tells me they have migraines, I think: Yes, so then you know. Then I start wondering about the details: how frequent, triggers, do they have a good doc, how do they treat, etc.

When I see commercials about migraine treatments, I think: they make it sound much easier and more dependable than it actually is.

My best coping tools are: distractions and laughter.

I find comfort in: my hubby, my pets, my home, my loved ones, my fellow migraineurs.

I get angry when people say: you just need to (fill in the blank with crazy random suggestions).

I like it when people say: just let me know if you need anything.

Something kind someone can do for me during a migraine attack is: be patient as I struggle to speak and bring me food.

The best thing(s) a doctor has said to me about migraine is: well it was what was done, or not done - I've never had a doctor tell me there is nothing more they could do for me.

The hardest thing to accept about having migraines is: how much it has limited what I can do.

Migraines have taught me: to be more aware of what my body is telling me.

The quotation, motto, mantra or scripture that gets me through an attack is: breathe, breathe, breathe.

If I could get back to the early days of my diagnosis, I would tell myself: to find a migraine specialist NOW.

The people who support me most are: my hubby and my mom.

The thing I wish most people understood about migraine is: that they are extremely complex AND chronic migraine is different than episodic migraine.

Migraine and Headache Awareness Month is important to me because: many people assume they know about migraines because it is so common. But there is a lot of misinformation out there along with a general lack of understanding of the complexity and severity of the disease. Knowledge is power.

One thing I'd like to say about life with migraine is: that it's doable. It's horrible but it's doable.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

3 Simple Things I Hope For On My Journey With Chronic Migraines

The blog challenge prompt for today is: What do you hope for most in your journey with migraines?

I hope for 3 simple things in my journey with chronic migraines.

1. The inner strength to cope with the constant onslaught on my body and mind. 

2. Compassion and patience from family, friends and doctors.

3. To get better at managing my symptoms every year. Basically, I just want to keep improving my quality of life.

The Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is organized by the American Headache and Migraine Association.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Life Made Me A Fighter, Migraines Made Me A Better Fighter #MHAMBC

The blog challenge prompt for today is: Watch the Christina Aguilera video below and listen to the song lyrics. How have your migraines made you a fighter?

My life has made me a fighter. I've always had some adversity challenging me. I'm mildly dyslexic, I've always been a terrible speller, I've never been good at sports, I was awkward and a little strange as a kid, I struggled with shyness off and on, etc. I guess I just always assumed life would be a series of challenges that I would have to fight to overcome. Although I certainly never could have imagined a challenge as big as chronic pain.

When my migraines, which I had been fighting through since elementary school, went chronic I fought. Initially I fought to press on. Then I fought hard to figure out what went wrong so I could fix it. Then I fought hard to get them under control with the help of my doctors. Now I'm fighting hard to manage my symptoms so I can live the best life I can despite my chronic pain. I'm fighting to cope, to rediscover myself amid this disease.

Fighting chronic migraines has been the toughest fight of my life so far. The challenges have been profound and relentless. Now, more than 9 years in, I am a better fighter because of it. I'm now a more educated and prepared patient. I'm standing up for myself more and taking charge of my treatment. I'm learning how to handle the loss and the fear and the stress. I still have a lot of room for improvement but looks like I'll have plenty of time to hone my skills.

When it comes down to it, life is worth fighting for.

The Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is organized by the American Headache and Migraine Association.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Hope For A Cure - Or Something #MHAMBC

The blog challenge prompt for today is: Do you have hope that a cure will be found for your headache disorder? Tell us about your hope.

I guess the simple answer is yes, I do hope that a cure will be found. BUT I don't really believe it will happen in my lifetime.

Doubt exists within me for 4 main reasons:
1. Because migraines are incredibly complex and we still don't entirely understand what causes it.
2. Because there still seems to be so little will and interest within the medical professions to seriously tackle the problem. For example: there are woefully few headache specialists, very few research dollars, few medicines developed, etc.
3. Because many doctors don't even bother staying current on what is known.
4. Because there are NOT many diseases that have ever been cured. The medical professions have done an amazing job of helping people treat infections, replace organs, and prevent many horrible things that used to kill people. BUT we still don't have a cure for cancer, heart disease, diabetes or AIDS and we have collectively spent a great deal of effort, dollars and will aimed at those cures.

Sure, I hope all of that changes, even if it doesn't happen for another hundred years. I hope eventually political, financial and medical will all converge resulting in a cure. I hope millions of future migraineurs won't ever have to experience the long-term chronic pain and the subsequent wide spread life alterations and suffering that so many of us deal with today.

I hope for it in the same way I hope our political system will be fixed or that corporations will start doing the right thing. I would love to see it happen but can't seem to find it on the horizon. In the meantime I tend to aim most of my hope at improvement instead of cure. I'm full of hope that one day my migraines won't be this bad.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Friendship is Powerfully Hopeful

The blog challenge prompt for today is: please tell us how the power of friendship helps you maintain hope.

Friendship is wonderful on so many levels. Friends are the people we choose to love and share our lives with. People who know us and love us anyway.

And I'm not talking about acquaintances, or facebook "friends" or fair-weather friends who disappear the minute your life gets complicated and messy. I'm talking about true friends. What a blessing.

Spending time with my friends always leaves me feeling refreshed, loved, seen, understood and normal. They still see me as me. They don't see a sick person. They don't see a woman with no career. They don't see a trivial housewife. They know I am more and it shows. My chronic pain isn't a barrier to our interaction, it's not something to overcome. My friends are amazing people and I'm so glad to call them friends.

When we get together we laugh and carry on as though no time had passed and nothing was different. It doesn't take long for me to start seeing myself through their eyes and seeing past the changes all these years of chronic pain has forced on me.

I only wish I could see them more often. Since we live so far apart we only get together once every year or two. Thanks to social media and texting we are able to stay in touch between but I miss having more regular face-to-face time.

My best friend is my hubby. I consider myself incredibly lucky to have found such a wonderful man to spend my life with. He is supportive and loving. He brightens my days with playful banter and a great sense of humor. He has stood by me and loved me through the development of my chronic migraines and fibromyalgia. His encouragement, love and friendship helps me cope with it all. I don't know what I would do without him - truly.

To say that friendship is powerful and supports hope in my life is a huge understatement.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Hope is More of a Roller Coaster For Me #MHAMBC

The blog challenge prompt for today is: Put yourself in the place of the phoenix and describe your rise from the ashes.

I don't really experience hope in that way. I see the phoenix rising from the ashes as a rebirth of sorts. A coming through the tough stuff stronger and better than before. Even after more than 9 years of living with chronic migraines I still have really tough times when I'm barely hanging onto my sanity. Times when hope is nothing more than a wish for some relief from the relentless, punishing symptoms.

Yes, for me, hope is more of a roller coaster. It waxes and wanes. It ebbs and flows. It comes and goes.

It's easy to feel hopeful when my pain level is low and I'm able to manage my symptoms with lifestyle stuff. It's harder when I'm taken down by the pain, brain fog, nausea and other symptoms. It seems impossible when I'm more than 10 days into a migraine that just won't let up or when people around me are being intolerant.

I certainly feel like chronic migraines have shattered some of my dreams and I hope one day I'll be more at peace with that. I don't know that I'll ever feel like the phoenix rising from the ashes unless my migraines cease. But who knows what the future holds.

The Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is organized by the American Headache and Migraine Association.

Monday, June 15, 2015

I Find The Complexity of Nature Hopeful #MHAMBC

I've missed the past few days of the blog challenge because hubby and I were painting over the weekend. I wanted to back up and respond to the prompt from the 13th - What in nature gives you hope?

For me it's the complexity of nature that I find so hopeful. Nature is an endless series of incredibly complex and intermingled systems.

Let's just put aside the how our sun fuels almost all life on our planet and how all creatures exist within a food chain, etc., etc., etc. Instead think about how incredibly complex our bodies are. The heart pumping blood, the lungs oxygenating it, the series of valves that control the flow, the intestines processing our food, sweat cooling us down, eyes seeing, nerve endings gathering information and sending it all the way up to the brain. The brain, my word, the wonderful brain that allows us to think and move with intention all while taking care of a whole list of critical yet involuntary things behind the scenes.

There are millions of opportunities for things to go horribly wrong with our bodies each and every day; many being catastrophic to our very existence. Things do go wrong. Obviously, there are several things that have gone wrong with my body seeing as how I live with chronic migraines and fibromyalgia. At times I sit and ponder all the other things that could go wrong. So where the hope is in all of this?

Well, the thing is, every moment I am alive it's because the number of things going right far out numbers the number of things going wrong AND, to date, all the critical things are going right. I find all kinds of hope in the overwhelming success of my body.

Most of the time it's hard to see past the things that have gone terribly wrong. I guess that's why I'm so thankful for the moments when I can see all that is going right.

The Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is organized by the American Headache and Migraine Association.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Helping Others Find Hope #MHAMBC

The blog challenge prompt for today is: What do you do or say to help others have hope?

This is a tough question. I never know the right thing to say to people who are struggling. Our culture is full of phrases designed to help others hang onto hope. Phrases like:
- God never gives us more than we can handle.
- She's in a better place now.
- Everything will turn out as it should.
- Things always work themselves out.
- It could always be worse.
- Don't give up
- Stay strong
Phrases like these have sort of become platitudes and can feel more dismissive than helpful. In the right context, from the right mouth, at just the right time I bet these phrases can still be helpful but that's pretty rare.

Unfortunately, that leaves me right back where I started. I never know the right thing to say. What I usually end up saying is specific to the situation and person I'm speaking with. Though I don't know that it is ever terribly helpful.

So what do I do to help others have hope? Well, I sure want this blog to be something that helps others have hope. Connecting with the chronic pain community over the years has inspired me and given me hope. I sure want my journey to do the same thing for others. To that end, I have always been very open and honest on my blog.

I guess the long and the short of it is, I don't think I'm doing much to help others find hope.

Then I tried thinking about this question from a different perspective. How do others impact my hope? Then it became more clear. People who are nasty or impatient with me negatively impact my sense of hope. But every kindness, every person who really looks at me and recognizes my humanity positively impacts my ability to hope.

Now feeling hopeful takes more than nice people, it's just more complicated than that. But people can help create the right environment within my spirit for growing hope. When it comes down to it, hope is a pretty fragile and personal thing. As hopeful as I may feel today, I may feel completely overwhelmed and lost tomorrow.

Perhaps the best any of us can do to help others is to see them and be kind to them.

The Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is organized by the American Headache and Migraine Association.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

5 Strategies For Finding Hope #MHAMBC

The blog challenge prompt for today is: How do you find hope on a dark day?

I wrote about this very thing back on March 24th of this year in a post titled, 5 Strategies to Prevent Chronic Pain From Keeping You Down. I would say the same strategies apply in finding hope, as it is the hope that buoys the spirit.

Here is that post:

5 Strategies To Prevent Chronic Pain From Keeping You Down

We've all been there - pinned underneath relentless pain, frustration and sadness. We start thinking all-or-nothing thoughts like "nothing is going right", which quickly spirals into a vicious cycle of making us feel worse, thinking more negative thoughts, making us feel worse still, etc. This is an easy hurdle to stumble on when you are living with chronic pain.

Over the years I've learned some strategies to prevent chronic pain from keeping me down.

Strategy #1: Get rid of the toxic people in your life. These are the people who bring you down. They can take on many different forms. We all have them in our lives. Maybe they are super negative and always disagreeable. Maybe they think you are faking or exaggerating your pain. Maybe they are bullies. Maybe they just suck the energy right out of you. Whatever they are doing, they are not good for you.

We have enough to overcome without toxic people raising our hurdles even higher.

-A good place to start is by unfriending or blocking people on facebook (depending on the nature of your relationship with them. For example, I unfriend the super negative friends on facebook but I block posts from family members. It's a personal preference. I just refuse to allow facebook to become a stressful place because I love how it allows me to connect with all my far away friends and family. It does take some effort but it's totally worth it.
-You may need to break-up with a friend who you feel has become toxic in your life. Again, the nature of the relationship will help guide you to the approach. With a more casual acquaintance you may be able to just stop making plans. With a closer friendship you may need to have the super uncomfortable break-up conversation. Kindness and honesty should lead such conversations. A toxic person may never see it that way, but you can only do what you can do.
-When the toxic person is a close family member you may not want to rid your life of them. But that doesn't mean you have to allow their toxicity to poison you. In such cases setting some clear boundaries and communicating that with the toxic family member can help. You may want to have a therapist assist you with planning and preparing for an endeavor so fraught.

Strategy #2: Add in positive people. With limited energy, I find that spending it on people who are positive actually extends my energy and encourages my own efforts to lighten up. These people are the opposite of the toxic people. They are accepting and supportive. They don't pressure you to do things you can't do or aren't comfortable doing. They can see you as more than your limitations. Hold on. Invest in them.

Strategy #3: Still do things you love doing. Finding the time to just have fun can be hard when you feel like you don't even have the energy to keep up with basic household tasks. Over the years I've learned the benefit of having fun to my mental and emotional well being is great enough that it needs to be a priority when my pain is at a reasonable level. Having fun improves my mood and lifts my spirits, which in turn helps me to cope with the times when the pain and other symptoms are more intense. We need to have fun. We need to have moments that allow us to forget about our pain and problems.

Strategy #4: Spend time each day focusing on your blessings. This is easier once you get rid of the toxic people in your life. I've found that if I dedicate a time each day to recognize and feel gratitude for the many wonderful things in my life that my overall attitude is better. The better my attitude, the better my experiences are throughout the day.

Strategy #5: Allow yourself to experience the inevitable negative emotions but don't allow yourself to dwell in it. This is a big one for me. I don't believe we should ever devalue, ignore or suppress the negative emotions that we experience. Feeling sad, frustrated, angry, disappointed, etc. is a very natural human reaction to the shit we have to go through. It's okay to feel them. In doing so I believe I am honoring my experience and my reaction to it. If I allow myself to feel and process what I'm feeling then I can set it aside and move forward into a more positive space.

I need to be in this positive space to cope with my chronic migraines and fibromyalgia.

The Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is organized by the American Headache and Migraine Association.

Monday, June 8, 2015

My Pets Bring Me Joy and Hope

The blog challenge prompt for today is: If you have pets that help you keep hoping, tell us about them.

I've made no secret of my love our sweet little fur babies.

Gypsy is our chihuahua mix that we rescued 3 years ago. She is my little shadow, snuggled up by my side all the time. Her unconditional love and admiration is a real boost. She is affectionate, loving and good natured. Plus, she is absolutely adorable. Just look at that face.

I bet you are either saying or thinking "awww" right now.

And we also have a mini-rex rabbit named Rupert. Now, Rupert isn't a snuggler but he is a very social guy who loves being pet on the back. Not to mention, he couldn't be any cuter. He is super fluffy, unbelievably soft and he has those giant bunny ears. Cute, cute cute! The pictures don't do him justice.

Look at that little bunny mouth - those bunny lips just crack me up!
Just when you think he can't get any cuter he starts running around and jumping up in the air, doing what is called bunny binky. I don't have any video of Rupert doing this but I found this youtube clip to show you what it looks like:

Gypsy and Rupert are not exactly friends but I think that is mostly a communication problem. Gypsy will make playful overtures that Rupert interprets as threatening gestures and they walk away mad at each other. Then Rupert will reach out by presenting his head for grooming (it's a bunny thing) and Gypsy will completely ignore him, which Rupert will interpret as an insult (another bunny thing). The good news is that Gypsy has no prey drive so outside of hurt feelings Rupert is safe.

These two sweet hearts are endlessly entertaining. They bring me joy and they reduce my stress. I can't imagine being without them.

The Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is organized by the American Headache and Migraine Association.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

4 Activities That Build Hope In My Life

The blog challenge prompt for today is: What activities or hobbies do you participate in that help build hope for you?

I tend to believe that having hobbies and meaningful activities is important to all people. But I think it becomes critical when facing any sort of life altering chronic health issue. It has certainly been critical to my sense of hope and mental well being over the years, which has positively impacted my physical well being.

I often refer to my hobbies and activities as my projects. I love having projects to do. It engages my mind as I plan and problem solve. It engages my body as I physically carry out the project. It distracts me from my symptoms. It gives me a sense of accomplishment to not only be completing projects but having overcome the obstacles in the process. It helps me to feel like a productive human being. Plus, it gives me stuff to focus on outside of myself.

Here are some of my activities and hobbies:

1. This blog: I love the writing. I love sharing my life and getting to know others in the chronic pain community. It has been a consistent form of therapy and camaraderie.

2. Making our house a home: We moved into a blank slate about a year and a half ago. After unpacking, the task of settling in immediately started to occupy my mind. These projects have been well documented on this blog: covering the windows, my first wall collage, true blackout window coverings, summer round-up, fall round up, and my winter round up. I'm not even half done with with house projects so this will continue on for another 2 years I'm sure. The process is slow but I really love it.

3. Housework: Okay let's get this straight right away - I AM NOT SAYING HOUSEWORK IS A HOBBY OF MINE. But, if I'm honest I do often find the regular activity of cooking, cleaning and such to be satisfying. There is an element of immediate gratification to clean piles of freshly laundered clothes or dust free shelves or clean countertops. It was dirty and now it's clean. And boy does a clean, tidy space make me feel good. I don't function well in a messy or dirty space. It clutters my mind and suppresses my motivation. Plus, housework is always present - it's routine and I find great comfort in routine.

4. Going out: Any successful trip out into the world is great. In fact it is cumulative. The more successful interactions I have with friends of family outside of my home the more confident and hopeful I feel about future ones. Everything from grabbing a meal with a friend to a gathering with some family; having lunch out with hubby to running errands can build hope in me.

The Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is organized by the American Headache and Migraine Association - See more at:

Saturday, June 6, 2015

A Song of Hope #MHAMBC

The blog challenge prompt for today is: What song give you hope to hold, despite your migraines and how?

The full answer is an extremely long list but I don't want to bog you down with a lengthy list. Plus, many of the songs that make me feel hopeful are not hopeful on the surface. But there is one that is, so that is the one I am going to share with you now.

Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles:

I've always loved this song. It makes me feel warm and brings a smile to my face. It reminds me of simple pleasures and makes me feel solid. Sounds kinda strange to describe a song that way but it's true.

The Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is organized by the American Headache and Migraine Association. - See more at:

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Feeling Like Me Makes Me Hopeful #MHAMBC

The migraine awareness blog challenge prompt for today is: What large thing gives you hope for living with migraines?

Anything that stirs my soul makes me feel hopeful. Things like incredible music, a beautiful painting, deep conversation, sharing a hearty laugh, a great play, movie or poem that somehow speaks to me, just to name a few.

Often I feel like the core of who I am is hidden beneath the substantial weight of my chronic migraines and fibromyalgia. My symptoms sort of take over and dictate much of my life. Over time it starts to feel like the chronic pain is defining me.

Then I hear a song (or whatever) that stirs me. The real me. The me I am outisde of being a wife, a sister, a daughter, a migraineur, or any external label. Suddenly, I feel like my authentic self and remember that I'm more.

Talk about hope.

The Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is organized by the American Headache and Migraine Association. - See more at:

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Small Thing of Hope #MHAMBC

The prompt for today is: What small thing gives you hope for living with migraines?

Simply put - my past. I've been living with migraines since I was about 7 or 8 and living with chronic migraines for the past 9 years. All evidence indicates that I can do this.

I may not be living the way I imagined or even the way I could have if I didn't have chronic migraines, but I am living. I've gained a sense of purpose over the years. I'm still setting goals and accomplishing things. I still have wonderful family and friends. I still laugh.

As much as I hope my chronic migraines turn episodic again, I know I can cope if they don't. I guess in some ways it's a small thing but I don't know that you can say anything is small that gives a person hope. As hope a big thing when facing such a difficult beast.

"The Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is organized by the American Headache and Migraine Association." - See more at:

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

My Favorite Hope Quote #MHAMBC

The start of June is also the start of Headache and Migraine Awareness Month. 
Despite doing my spring round-up yesterday, I am participating in the American Headache and Migraine Association's annual blog challenge starting today. I wanted to back up a bit and follow yesterday's topic: Favorite Hope Quote. Here it is.

"He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skills. Our antagonist is our helper." By Edmund Burke

I sort of view my chronic migraines as an antagonist in my life. I'm constantly doing battle with it. I want to do things but I can't because of my migraines. I want to go places but I can't because of my migraines. I want to have a conversation without stumbling over myself because of my migraines. You get the idea.

My life is severely complicated by chronic migraines. Instead of just focusing on all I can't do and all the losses (past, present and future), I like to think that there is some benefit to this struggle. For me, this feels hopeful. 

For example, I never would have started this blog if not for my chronic migraines. I never would have connected with all of you. 

I don't know what is coming in the future but this quote infuses me with a sense of hope that the struggles of today are strengthening me in preparation for my future. 

The Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is organized by the American Headache and Migraine Association." - See more at:


Monday, June 1, 2015

Spring Round-Up

I love spring with all the plants coming alive and reasonable temperatures. The arrival of June around here generally mean the crazy heat and humidity of summer is settling in for the season. But before that happens I wanted to take a look back at the beautiful spring we just enjoyed.

Spring Favorites 

I don't generally wear much make up and never wear any foundation. However, as I get older the more uneven my skin tone becomes. This got me thinking that it would be nice to have a foundation that I can wear for special occasions, just to look a little more put together. I finally went in search of the perfect foundation for me, something light, easy to apply and fool proof as I am not skilled in this area. Thankfully I found it.

I've only used it twice but I just love it.

Spring Successes 

Spring started with me beginning the massive task of painting our main living space. First I painted a front hallway and the rabbit's nook as these are both spaces I could manage on my own because the ceilings are low.

This is not a hallway that photographs well but you get the idea.
The rabbit nook is full of angles and shadows  but it's actually the same color as the front hallway. 
I then moved onto the spare bathroom. I had a really tough time picking out the color. In the end it came down to a burnt orange and a deep green. Hubby voted for the green so that's what I went with. I'm not certain it was the right decision but it turned out pretty good. In addition to painting the space I installed a curved shower curtain rod, floating shelves, towel holders and relocated the toilet paper holder. I wanted the space to have a global feel and, while it isn't entirely finished, it's pretty close.

I haven't really had a chance to style the shelves yet.

Just a couple weeks ago hubby and I started working on vaulted walls and ceiling. So far the ceiling has been painted.

Along with the front entryway. This area was a good introduction to painting on the ladder as it doesn't reach the full height. Let me just say, I'm not a fan of being high on the ladder and trying to carefully paint along the ceiling. Not looking forward to going higher in the weeks and months ahead.

We've also done a few big projects outside. This was important to get done because neither of us function well in summer weather. First, we discovered the ground under our front steps had sunk leaving all the cement floating. We attempted to fill in as much of the empty space as possible but it was nearly impossible to shore it up properly. We've accepted that it will probably fall apart one day and we'll need to replace it.

Then we created a row of plantings along the side of our garage.  We planted Knock Out Rose bushes and some fun twisty ornamental grass.

I keep saying ":we" but really hubby did all of the heavy lifting and there was a lot of heavy lifting to be done. Obviously, I have no business digging large holes and ripping up grass. I was sort of the project manager, doing all the planning, organizing and helping out with easier tasks like spreading dirt and mulch. With hubby working full time and taking online classes he doesn't have the time to think about such things. This way he just has to show up, do some work and move on. We're a good team.

I also put together some container plantings. I did some veggies and marigolds out back.

Marigolds are supposed to be good companion plants with herbs and veggies as it keeps bugs and critters away.
So far so good.

The lemongrass also does the same thing as marigolds.

Spring Failures 

Ufda, it has been one busy spring for this migrainista! I've blogged about it a few times already. Even with hubby doing the heavy lifting, the high volume of projects have taken up a great deal of time and energy. I've been deeply, thoroughly exhausted for more than a month now. My brain is mush, my whole body hurts, I'm not sleeping well. Of course, none of this is new but it has been more pronounced as of late because of this extra activity.

As a result, I haven't been able to blog as frequently as usual and that has been a real bummer. I've actually been looking forward to slowing down this summer. Hubby and I will still need to work on the painting but that will be the only project I have going and it will be done in slowly over time in small sections with lots of help.


The real highlight of this spring has been the fire pits. With plenty of nice cool evenings to choose from, hubby and I managed to have 4 or 5 fires. I absolutely love escaping to our back patio, relaxing and talking with hubby in front of the fire. It's so quiet, so peaceful, so fun. I can actually feel the tension melting away as soon as I sit down.


For me the real lowlight has been coming full circle with our ceiling problems. The drywall guys did a really poor job of installing the ceilings. Basically we could see every seam. This problem was most prominent along the vault and in the kitchen. We actually put a straight edge on the ceiling and it would rock back and forth because the seam protruded that much. It created shadows and just wasn't right. This was all supposed to be guaranteed so the drywall guys came back to fix the problem. They admitted they were unsure what had caused this problem but said putting a layer of mud over the seams would fix it.

They spent 2 days here last fall mudding and sanding the ceiling. Then we were left to paint. Since it was just before the holidays we decided to wait until the spring to paint. Now that it has all been painted, it's pretty obvious that the mud not only didn't fix the problem (I didn't think it would) but it actually made the problem a little worse. All the time, hassle and money, all wasted.

I'm frustrated about the whole thing. I HATE OUR BUILDER!

What I'm Reading 

I'm not. After finishing my last book I decided to wait until things calmed down a bit before trying to start something new.