Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

The last day of April and the showers are having a laugh as they are more like downpours.  Hubby has gone into the abyss this morning – or rather the Year 5 activity week in Kent where he has mud, zip wires, mud, archery, more mud, climbing, yet more mud and fun!  All with approximately 60 nine and ten year olds…eeekkkk!  There will even be a disco one night, so I hope he remembered to pack his sparkles.

MM 30th April

 

The main event of the week in our house has been the student engineer turning 22, although at times I wonder if it was 5.  His mood swings are off the scale at the moment and the lovely girl and I are counting down the days until his final exams are over – he is always a complete nightmare to live with during exam season!  But I don’t know where the time has gone but my little boy has grown into a young man about to enter the work force (hopefully with a top notch degree in Electronic Engineering) and a world where he speaks a different language to his parents (tech!!).

The lovely girl took her final art exam and passed with full marks.  Her work will have to be moderated, but unless the moderator looks at it with completely different ideas to her art teachers, she will have an A*.  She is so modest that she will hate me for even writing about it – I wish I could say she inherits her talent from her mother, but I’d be lying.  No, not from her father either before you ask!

 

Yours truly  has been fitting in a couple of book reviews and a trip to see the wonderful film Journey’s End around an ongoing migraine – you know the type that you think has gone and than a flicker of sunlight and bam, there it is again.  Several days on now and it has gone, but my head is still stuffed full of cottonwool and my tongue has been secretly pumped with fillers!  The film, adapted from the play by R.C.Sheriff an old boy of my school, is something that I would like to review as a separate piece for you, so watch this space!

Finally, May is Ehlers Danlos Syndrome Awareness month so I give you fair warning now that there will be a constant supply of zebra stripes on this blog.  Meanwhile I hope that you will find my selection of posts this week both enjoyable and useful.  There are pieces about tick bites and Lyme disease,  how to relax doing art, and getting a dog.  For ladies of a certain age Tasheenga brings us “That Bitch Big M” – seriously funny!!  There are also a couple of very inspirational posts from within the wonderful spoonie community!

So grab a coffee, turn off your phone and sit back to enjoy some great blog posts.

http://supermomhacks.com/stuff-i-love/protect-your-kids-from-tick-bites/

http://www.youcanalwaysstartnow.com/2018/04/23/painting-dot-mandalas/

https://tasheengawriteshere.wordpress.com/2018/04/16/that-bitch-big-m/

https://mydailyjournalonline.com/theres-lot-thankful-world/

https://www.unboundroots.com/earth-day-lesson/

https://imsickandsoareyou.com/2018/04/29/when-a-cat-person-gets-a-dog/

https://pseudomonaz.wordpress.com/2018/04/28/to-be-continued/

https://mashaellman.com/2018/04/27/take-time-to/

https://www.sicklessons.com/depressive-sleep-gift/

https://www.ajourneythroughthefog.co.uk/2018/04/be-proud-of-every-step-you-take/

As ever please share some love for these bloggers on your social media sites.

Have a great week,

Claire x

Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

It is time to share some more blog posts with you after a beautiful weekend here in the SE of the UK.  Hubby would probably moan as of course with a little bit of sunshine the garden begins to grow and he has had to mow the lawn…again!! The younger members of the PainPals house have been enjoying the sun and the Queen’s 92nd birthday in different ways.

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Monday Magic Inspiring Blogs for You! 23 April

The student engineer is edging closer and closer to the finishing line of his course, and one major piece to complete is the final year group project.  From the cursing coming from his room, I think that I can safely say that the quadcopter they have been re programming has not performed or given them the data that they hoped for.  Whilst our student engineer is happy to write up a detailed report (how detailed – remember his middle name is lastminute.com!) explaining why the flying machine failed to perform, the other student engineers keep appearing on our doorstep from London wanting to try something new.  He is not impressed – but the beautiful park that is on our doorstep played host to these young engineers playing in the sun on Saturday – time that could have been spent revising for final exams, I am told!!

The politics student disappeared up to London on Friday and told me he was off to Hyde Park.  Naive mum here didn’t realise that there was a big gathering including lots of students in Hyde Park called 420 Day – Support for Cannabis  – “but you talk about use of medical marijuana for chronic pain & MS, Mum!!”.  I am told that his friends were playing football and sunbathing, and that “there were loads of people and no trouble”. He has returned to uni today with a slightly pinker neck and lots of reminders about what might happen if he mixes his migraine and anxiety drugs with other substances, including alcohol!!

Finally the lovely girl is busy preparing for her art exam tomorrow – panic has set in over the weekend and she is working on her final sketchbook, the glue gun is working in overdrive and various household items are being smashed to add to her final piece!  A trip to the local part also helped with some more photographs to add to the Fragments theme, which she is has interpreted as mould and decay…..hmmm, attractive.  Actually the trial pieces she has prepared look pretty good….but I will be happy to get my lounge back!

Yours truly actually managed a night out, having had a light induced migraine since Friday.  I went with my mum to see the wonderful “Remembering Fred” starring Jeanette Manrara and Aljaz Skorjanec from the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing.  Lovely night which I will write about again – but I actually felt like me!  I put on clothes that due to drug induced weight gain I hadn’t worn for a while, I put on some slap, looked in the mirror…and there I was! The person that I remember, not the pasty worn out trout I have become used to seeing.  Eldest son commented after I had used the lovely girl’s concealer under my eyes that I did look different – “I’m used to seeing you look really tired!” – not you look nice, Mum!  But with a bit of concealer and a slash of red lippie, you would never have known just how anaemic I am or that the weight loss probably hasn’t been for particularly healthy reasons (gastroparesis & gut problems).

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Girls’ Night Out!

On to the matter in hand and sharing some fab blog posts that I have read this week.  From a yoga class with a resilience theme to a beautiful poem to some useful blogging lessons, there is a huge variety.  I must issue a mascara warning with both Sheryl from A Chronic Voice’s post and Brutal Honesty Blogger’s post about remembering family.  Time to make that cuppa, put the phone on silent, sit back and enjoy!

https://clockworkclouds.wordpress.com/2018/04/16/appreciating-uncertainty/

https://bysarahwhiley.wordpress.com/2018/04/19/nothin-but-tracks/

http://www.healthyeatingexperts.com/i-tried-a-3-day-detox-for-the-first-time-heres-what-happened/

https://kellyontherun.com/2018/04/20/helpful-hints-for-the-newly-diagnosed/

https://www.chronicmom.com/2018/04/people-in-pain-want-alternatives-to-opioids.html/

https://www.beecontentyoga.com/february-class-theme-resilience/

https://whoamumma.com.au/2018/04/19/a-day-in-the-life-of-a-chronic-pain-sufferer/

https://www.achronicvoice.com/2018/04/15/death-broken-heart/

https://blondewritemore.com/2018/04/22/what-my-blogging-break-taught-me-sundayblogshare-bloggers-blogs/

https://brutalhonestyblogger.wordpress.com/2018/04/23/remembering-family-23-4-18/

Please share posts, leave comments and show some appreciation for great bloggers!

Have a great week,

Claire x

Review of “We All Send Cards” website by Mum’s The Boss – and using my girl’s art for Zebra Girl Cards #EhlersDanlosSyndrome

Zebra Girl fb cover

I have written before in my best proud mum style about the beautiful girl’s art, and not so long ago a friend suggested that we look at getting her work some exposure.  This new website was suggested, where we could show her drawings and paintings, but also create some lovely unique greetings cards for the public to purchase.

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Cards by Zebra Girl (2)

 

Hubby and I talked about Unique Selling Points, the lovely girl just felt embarrassed and didn’t want her name on anything, so using the emblem for our genetic condition, Zebra Girl was born.  We are really hoping that alongside creating art, we might be able to fundraise for The Ehlers Danlos Support UK through selling some greetings cards.  I have just created a facebook page and would appreciate some likes and shares to get the word out there! Art by Zebra Girl facebook page

I know I am a hopeless salesperson and even worse at marketing, so that is why I am sharing a review from Debbie of Mum’s The Boss Blog.  She reviewed the We All Send Cards site, looking at it from an artist’s, business builder and customer perspective.  I hope you enjoy the review and take a look at the site by going direct to Zebra Girl or to the WASC site, – both links will help fundraise for EDSUK.

 

 

“Today I’m taking a look at WeAllSendCards  a new UK website for sending personalised printed cards, which also offers a fantastic business opportunity. There is also a giveaway at the end of the page so please read on…

How many cards do you send in a year? Even excluding the Christmas card marathon, how many do you send?

If you are anything like me, you probably don’t send as many as you would like to.  I’d love to send more birthday cards, thank you cards, and cards to celebrate all kinds of things. I love receiving cards and I think it is lovely to send them too. But the occasions creep up on me and I find I don’t have the right card at the right time and I can’t be bothered to go out and buy a stamp and post them…..does this sound familiar?

I sent myself a Thank you card  just to test out the concept – it was lovely to receive.  This would be great if you were in business – you could put company relevant images inside the card and thank your customers and suppliers. you could also put a coupon or QR code in there if you wanted to. But it’s also nice for your personal occasions.

You have two options for delivery with these cards.  Firstly you can have them totally printed and just send them directly to your recipient. Alternatively (and this is great), you can part-personalise them and then have them sent to you in cellophane – you can then hand write a bit on the card and send them on.  They tend to arrive at the first destination about 4-6 business days after you order them (more if you are posting abroad) but as long as you leave yourself a week or more of notice then this is a great service…….continued”

 

 

Debbie goes on to explain that as an artist or designer there are both business and creator opportunities at We All Send Cards.  For Debbie’s complete article please visit  Mum’s The Boss.

 

 

 

 

The-MondayMotivation

Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

8Welcome to another Monday Magic and some great blog posts to entertain and inspire.  The last week has seen both Halloween and Bonfire night – I think that we gave out goodies to about 50 little witches and monsters (I know, this is small fry compared to some of my pals in the USA), and the fireworks seem to have been almost nightly.

 

I have to give a shout out to all our pets for having to put up with this human fascination with loud explosions, deafening whistles and a sky full of bright lights.  Our old boy Samson spends much of the evening barking or trying to hide – at approx 15 he is getting on in dog years and periods of doggy dementia do kick in, particularly with fireworks.  The beautiful Chester, our surrogate dog who we look after for friends and love as our own, was also very chilled on Saturday night unlike his best buddy Freddy (a neighbours’ pooch) who also spent the night barking.  The things we put them through!

Our house has been transformed into an artist’s studio again this week, as the lovely girl has been putting together her sketch books for an interview at school tomorrow.  Having 2 weeks half term holiday has given her even more time to spread her wares from room to room to room……I know I’m biased but she has come up with some great concepts for the project title “I. Me, Mine”.  Meanwhile hubby, otherwise known as Mr Intimate Audio, has also been creating as he looks at new and exciting finishes for the hifi horn speakers that he designs and builds.  I think that we need a studio…..IMG_3541

I, meanwhile, have found you a mixture of posts this week starting with “November Prompts” from my friend Sheryl at A Chronic Voice – this is a lovely link up, that I will try to put my own prompts to this month.  I have found an interesting post about modern racism, some wonderful poetry on Thoughts from Jasmine, a post about social anxiety in children (very applicable for my lot even if they are tweens!) along with a mix of chronic illness posts.  Need I say more – grab a cuppa, turn off your phone and enjoy some great reads!

https://www.achronicvoice.com/2017/11/02/november-prompts/

https://www.anempoweredspirit.com/seasons/

https://jadealicexxo.wixsite.com/jadealicexxo

https://www.judyedwinamartin.com/sugar-and-spice-being-woman-is-nice/

https://thoughtsfromjasmine.wordpress.com/2017/11/02/growing-up-with-modern-racism/

https://talesofaneglectedwomanchild.wordpress.com/2017/11/03/deep-water/

http://coffeeandcarpool.com/how-help-your-child-when-they-worry-about-social-situations/

https://noonegetsflowersforchronicpain.com/2016/01/30/i-fell-apart-it-was-beautiful/

https://dazzlingzebra.wordpress.com/2017/08/21/dazzling-zebra/

http://www.ayni-books.com/books/acts-kindness-from-your-armchair

Please, please make someone’s day and like, follow, comment on their post if you enjoy it.

Claire x

 

Monday Magic 6 Nov

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Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

Another week has flown by, there have been yet more storms – why did ours in the UK get the name Brian? – more Brexit and the increasing #MeToo campaign.  In our house we saw the end of the German exchange as our lovely girl and her friends’ student partners returned home.  Absolutely exhausted!  The girls are now coming down off a high and the start of half term is a bit of an anticlimax, particularly with mock exams looming.

Our girl is studying art – you probably know already as this proud mum has posted pictures, much to the disgust of my girl – and has a portfolio to work on and also a sketchbook for an interview.  The house is destined to filled with paints, charcoals, paper and panic!  I am doing something this week that I don’t normally, but I’d like to shamelessly introduce you to some other talented youngsters – the triplet daughters of an old school friend.

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Art By Three

They have  been featured on Sky Landscape Artist of the Year, and are currently working with the UK’s National Trust on the Scotney Old Castle campaign. Whilst not strictly a blog post, I have included both their website and the campaign site as I strongly believe we should support and nurture young talent – I am not asking you to donate but to take a peek, maybe follow them on Facebook and Instagram…..

The other posts are all fantastic and range from an article that fits with the #MeToo campaign but stems from a personal story of surviving from Illness to Wellness, to acupuncture at My Migraine Life to social well being from a new blog to me Little Adventures NZ.  There are a couple here that are particularly great reads for you ladies – I love the look at Envy on Wendy Fairy Art – and all you mums and dads must read “My Husband Doesn’t Help” from the Coffee Mom.  It is not what you think it is!!!  Add in some OCD at The Thyroid Damsel and what more diversity could you want?!

So it is that time to grab a cuppa, turn your mobile to silent and spoil yourself with some great reads.  Please comment, share and follow some of these lovely people if you enjoy their work.

https://www.jumblebee.co.uk/scotneyoldcastle1010campaignwithartbythree

http://www.artbythree.co.uk/

https://littleadventuresnz.com/puzzle-piece-series-social-well-being/

https://wendyfairyart.com/fairieartblog/sistership-wound-called-envy-deal/

 

https://www.thecoffeemom.net/2017/10/20/husband-doesnt-help/

http://notebooksandglasses.com/sitting-disability/

http://coffeeandcarpool.com/be-less-stressed-as-a-special-needs-mom/

http://thethyroiddamsel.com/?p=310

https://mymigrainelife.wordpress.com/2017/10/22/does-acupuncture-work-for-migraine/

https://illness-to-wellness.com/2017/04/07/showing-up-for-sexual-assault-survivors/

https://thepainfreelife.com/life-interrupted/the-death-of-a-marriage-the-year-that-changed-everything-part-1/

Have a great week,

Claire x

Monday Magic - Inspiring Blogs for You! 23 Oct

 

 

 

 

SHE….being invincible in pain

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My lovely girl drew this image for me of our pain, different for us both but with the same underlying genetic cause, and these words by poet Ariana Dancu seemed to fit perfectly in rising above the flames of pain.

It has been a tricky week as the family visited my husband’s parents,  but I was too unwell, sporting a chronic dislocation & increased pain, to make the long car journey.  Instead I remained at home where I was able to relax, stay in my PJs and binge watch Netflix, but had to rely on my parents to look after me.  Talk about feeling like a teenager again……

Lucy’s picture really depicts how my different pains have been all consuming this week….and yes, I am still sporting a snazzy velcro sling!  Hopefully there will be a real post tomorrow!

Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

Welcome back, pain pals, for another week and that means another Monday of inspiring blog posts that I have found for you.Monday Magic

I’m not going to write about the ups and downs of life in the Pain Pals house here this week – I still need to write a proper post about genetics, my lovely girl and i can now include our new family handbook….more of this later, I promise!

The dislocations have been fast, furious and very regular over the last week and severe gut pains after every meal have both left me fatigued and sofa bound……but the good news is that I have spent time finding and reading some great new blogs.  I have picked some posts here and they range from chronic illness depicted as sweets, to body image, to a review, to some delicious looking frozen treats – perfect for the summer holidays (if only the sun would come back!!).  If you are a mum of a daughter, or indeed an adolescent daughter, you must read Dear Little Girl With the Smart Mouth – it made me laugh and cry….and read it to my teen girl!

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Image from jthreeNMe blog

So….grab a cuppa, sit down and unwind with these great, inspiring blog posts.  Please, please make someone’s day with a like, a follow, a share or even better a comment!

http://www.healinghugsandhope.com/2017/07/my-chronic-illnesses-as-candy-bars.html

https://www.itsnottoocomplicated.com/home/2017/7/10/a-day-out-with-a-disabled-toddler

http://www.blessingmanifesting.com/2017/07/stop-verbally-abusing-your-body.html/

http://www.sublimemercies.com/2017/07/ableism-beaten-down-and-fighting-back.html

https://readbetweenthelyme.com/2017/07/22/celebrating-3-years-here-at-read-between-the-lyme

https://www.jthreenme.com/dear-little-girl-smart-mouth/

https://brokendownbody.wordpress.com/2017/06/30/but-one-of-my-best-friends-is-black/

http://www.smilesandsundays.com/imak-compression-gloves-review/

http://achysmile.com/index.php/2017/06/12/abdominal-migraine/

http://myfruitfulhome.com/2017/06/29/16-yummy-healthy-frozen-treats/

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Image from My Fruitful Home website

 

Claire x

 

 


 

Monday Magic – Inspiring blogs for You!

Good morning, it is a beautiful day here in South London and the beginning of the summer holidays.  The A level student – will have to change his name now – has been dog and house sitting for the last week, and the lovely girl is currently in her PJs painting…..she may be great at art, but she is so messy!!  There are paints, pencils and pencil shavings everywhere – the beginning of my lounge turning into an art studio for 8 weeks.

She is currently working a matching picture of her grandparents’ other bull terrier (she didn’t like the first one that she started – pictured!!), has been asked to paint some canvases for the library in her old primary school (I think Harry Potter will figure!) and has a viking picture on the go for an instagram pal.  Oh, not forgetting the self portrait for her course work and the scrap book entitled “Blood, Flesh & Bones”.  She is taking some hideous pictures of family members hands, feet, elbows…..my dad told her she can’t afford his fee to strip off!!

Lucy self portrait

The start of a huge self portrait

As for me, well it has been a tricky week as you will have seen in my post about my benefits review, and I hate to complain about the lovely weather but it does send my circulation/POTS problems crazy.  I did manage a night out in London with Duncan though!  He told me we were going to a jazz concert in the Crypt of St Martins in the Field, Trafalgar Square – but when I saw some news feed that morning I had a sneaky feeling that I was actually being taken to the Formula One Live event in Trafalgar Square!  I wasn’t, but it did mean that the whole area was extremely busy and this was my first time in the wheelchair in a very crowded place which was quite intimidating.  The concert, with the wonderful Zena James, was fab though – a mixture of traditional and modern music jazzed up.  You should hear Zena’s version of Rag & Bone Man’s “Human”!!

Monday Magic

This week I have some posts on blogs that are all new to me and I have really enjoyed finding them.  I hope that you all enjoy exploring some new reads too…..so sit back with your cuppa and take some R&R with a new blog post!

https://needlintobenormal.com/2017/07/06/you-cant-go-back/

https://asecondlifeweb.blog/2017/04/11/idiocy/

https://headachehelper.wordpress.com/2017/07/16/the-what-not-to-do-if-you-have-chronic-pain-series-1-beat-yourself-up/

https://thelessonsoflyme.wordpress.com/2017/07/14/lizards-and-bunnies-and-cats-oh-my/

https://kathleenburkinshaw.wordpress.com/2017/05/03/why-did-i-choose-the-last-cherry-blossom-for-my-title/

http://www.bbhwithms.com/multiple-sclerosis-information-overload/

http://www.multipleexperiences.org/2017/07/15/what-i-would-have-done-differently-with-my-ms-diagnosis/

https://fromroopalismind.wordpress.com/2017/06/08/it-is-easier/

http://www.spinepainwarrior.co.uk/post/162956718101/coping-buying-equipment

http://www.lifeunplannedblog.com/how-to-be-less-of-a-hot-mess-and-rock-your-to-do-list/

Please like and post comments if you enjoy these posts – and for any C.I. bloggers who haven’t already, please check out The Chronic Illness Bloggers community, we are a very supportive bunch!

Claire x

 

 

 

 

Paint away the Pain #arttherapy #ThrowbackThursday

I’m sitting here recharging – yes literally as the scs running a bit low on juice – watching the Olympics and downing Pimms.  The divers and then the gymnasts, wow they are fit and so many of them have overcome injuries to be at the top of their game.

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Art Therapy

This got me thinking about a lady whose work we admired in an art gallery recently and her story.  She was an ordinary young housewife who had her family and set about bringing up her children and supporting her husband as a stay at home mum.  Life felt pretty dark at times, although it should have been great, and now that wonderful thing hindsight has shown her and her husband that she probably had post natal depression for many years.  During these difficult days she developed a painful nerve condition of the face called trigeminal neuralgia – all the same awful nerve pain that is experienced with sciatica down the leg or nerve pain down the arm, but running through the side of the face.  I know that I have written at length over the last year about nerve pain and just how hard it is to treat, but it really is the hardest thing to control and the trigeminal nerve is probably the hardest to symptom control.  This would have led to a continuous cycle of pain and depression.

She had never painted beforebut with encouragement started to put brush to paper and found a fantastic outlet for her pain and depression.  Ov61f4zqdeCAL._AC_US160_er a period of years she developed her own very distinctive style – the gallery described it as Marmite, as people either love her work or hate it – and her work started to be noticed by art critics.  Today she has exhibited in a top London gallery, her art sells for thousands and she is a leading figure in the Royal Institute of watercolour painters.  Just think, this all started with what was effectively art therapy!

http://www.adrianhillfineart.com/ – link for the gallery in Holt for more information
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Therapies that complement traditional medicine have long been recognised for their beneficial qualities in mental health, palliative care and cancer care.  The use of art and specifically colouring is now becoming a regular therapy for symptom control.  Adult colouring books are quite the rage!  I have found that when the pain is not settling, sitting quietly with a picture to colour in really changes my mindset and thus my response to the pain.  There is something about the different way in which you have to concentrate that slows down the mind and is calming.  My girl, who does more than just colour, says that she finds painting and drawing relaxing.  With art, it is possible to express thoughts and feelings that can’t be voiced.  In the paintings of the artist described, it really is possible to see her battle with depression and pain in the dark outer edges of every painting – and yet the details of the actual pictures are bright and vibrant, depicting people living life to the full.  Maybe some these actually picture activities that she would have liked to have done or places to have visited – even the slightly more risque elements to some of her work could be expressing a side to life never experienced.  I wonder how many of us bloggers (not just those with an illness) use writing as a similar therapy – whether it is as a distraction from illness, a means to express ourselves in a way that we are unable to voice in everyday life or merely a way to escape from the stresses & strains of modern day life for a few minutes.

So to return to my original thoughts, it is possible to work and strive to overcome physical & emotional difficulties in order to produce a work of art, be that a physical painting, a novel or a perfectly executed high bars programme. images (2) But we mustn’t feel or be made to feel the lesser for failing to overcome our situations or to
produce wonderful artwork.  We can take inspiration from others though and each find our own outlet.

 

 

So, I’ve finished charging, my battery is showing full, the Pimms is long gone……nearly forgot, we came away from that art gallery truly inspired, but also with a slightly lighter purse and a girl grinning from ear to ear as she carried oil paints home!  I think I know how she plans to express herself over the remainder of the holidays!