"This illness is to fatigue,
what a match is to a nuclear bomb.
It's an absurd mischaracterization!"
~Laura Hillenbrand

December 27, 2008

And the Show Goes On!!

"Winter Sunset"
(c) M Pruitt 2008

Hurray! There is still a ton of snow, and because they plowed our street we can't get the car in and out of the driveway without also shoveling. But the freeways are clear and Nutcracker is ON this weekend!!! Bill and I volunteered to help out on Tech crew because they are short quite a few people and many newbies are working tech.

It was a slippery ride down the side street to the theater yesterday, but we made it and had a long fun filled day.

I filled in for a missing dancer during the morning dress rehearsal for the Party scene. What fun to be on stage again. But after that, along with the rest of ACT I tech work in the wings, I felt like I'd gone to the gym twice! Thankfully, everyone could tell, and they moved me to the lightboard, where I can sit in a nice comfy chair and even put my feet up if needed. (pictures of me at the light board and headset coming tomorrow)

I spent several hours laying on the floor with my ipod, but I made it through the day and the first performance went very well, with one particular dancer looking absolutely awesome! (pictures coming tomorrow)

The biggest problem for me is this, uncontrollable, exercise intolerance. The new injections I've been doing the past two months have given me a little more energy and stamina, but my cells still don't seem to be able to handle physical exercise.

I'm going to do some research so I can write a knowledgeable blog on this concept of exercise intolerance, because I know that hardly any of you reading this can understand it. I even had a friend today - who has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - say to me, "Well of course, in time, you will feel better after exercising."

That is sweet encouragement, but in my case, just not true. Unless we figure out the cause and treat the cause, I am never going to feel better after physical exercise. It's a very different thing than being "out of shape". That's why it's called "intolerance". Not everyone who has ME/CFS also has exercise intolerance, but there is some excellent research proving how the body reacts differently to exercise in a subset of ME/CFS compared to normal people who are out of shape. I obviously fall into this subset.

Thankfully, we were able to come home early today and I am about to put on a horse movie I got for Christmas and just relax. (Hopefully I can stay awake until bedtime... we picked up hamburgers on the way home and I fell asleep in the car waiting for Bill to bring them back out to the car!)

With all this snow, I keep painting snow scenes... go figure! The painting up above is an ACEO that is currently for sale in my Etsy store (click here)
I hope you'll come by tomorrow and check out some of the pictures I have to share from Nutcracker!

Many blessings to you all at the during this last week of 2008!

December 21, 2008

My Frist EVER White Christmas!

The beginning of our Snow

Many tears were shed last weekend, as we received our first bit of snow and Vancouver School District decided to close their buildings and would not allow the Dance Company to hold their Nutcracker Ballet in the Art School Theater that they rent.

For all of you who were planning on coming, it is scheduled for this next weekend (26th -28th) same schedule - though there may be some casting changes... that's still being figured out!

But, to our amazement, it was a good decision on the school district's part. Our typical little snow storm had turned to ice and several inches of snow by Sunday.

Snowing at Dusk

Notice the path lights and the fountain... compare to the next pictures!

Even more amazing - we now have 2 ft or more and it's STILL snowing!!!! This is going to be my first ever, truly "White Christmas"!!!

Notice the path lights... this was first thing this morning and since then we've had 2-3" more.

This is just amazing... we weren't done with our shopping.... Ellen is scheduled to open Starbucks - which thankfully has changed her arrival now from 4:00AM to 6:00AM due to the conditions.

Ellen and Bill digging out the cars so Bill could skid to work... skid back to get a shovel and skid back to work and dig out the parking lot so he could park!!!

**notice the fountain?***

But Friday, Dec 26th, Ellen must be in Vancouver, at the Theater all day. The exciting part is that we ALL may be at the theatre! I might get to be Mother Ginger, or a Party Mom, or run the sound or oversee the props.... we've all volunteered to help out with tech crew and empty spots.

So... we'll see if it clears enough to get to Vancouver on Friday. If it doesn't... another round of tears is bound to burst out all over the Vancouver area as dancers have been rehearsing since Sept for this very professional production.

But as for Christmas? What fun it is to have all my children home... the gorgeous snow outside and plenty to keep us busy... our computers (LOL), games, movies etc. (I'm being summoned to a game right now!)

I'm keeping warm, and I now understand my friends in the Midwest and East who get really tired of snow!!! I wouldn't want this all winter long.

Praying you all to be warm inside and out!

December 17, 2008

I am deeply honored!!!

Today, a fellow member of VAST (Visual Arts Street Team) - one of my online art groups, featured me on her blog titled "What Shoes I Wear".

It's a wonderful blog and I always enjoy reading her posts and interviews. With an artists creativity, she interviews other artists and features a few of their art pieces, a picture of the shoes that represent them and a full length interview!

Please come read and comment on this blog that has just featured an interview with me!


And thank you Janyce!

December 15, 2008

Zazzle - my newest adventure

My newest pastime, when I'm not painting or jewelry making - is creating fun items printed with my original artwork on Zazzle! I really prefer it to CafePress and have even created a 2009 Calendar! Come check out my shop there... rate a few items... leave me a message!

And I'm just getting started... adding new items every day. Have a request??? Let me know!

create & buy custom products at Zazzle

December 13, 2008

Ups and Downs and Motorcyles go 'round

I used to love teeter-totters - especially this really huge one we'd play on when we went camping in the redwoods!! (if you fell off when you were at the top... you were in serious trouble!) I loved the feeling of flying high!!!! And when I hit the ground - it just about knocked my teeth out, but with all my might I'd push and fly high again!

Have you ever heard the quote from Anne of Green Gables?

"I can't help but fly up on the wings of anticipation. It's as glorious as soaring through the sunset. Almost pays for the thud."

Well... that is the perfect description of my past week! I've flown high - like on the teeter-totter... I've also thudded down to reality - but it's all worth it!

On Friday - flying high - I did a workout on some weight machines at the gym AND I walked through three stores Christmas shopping with Bill! Wow!

Then I hit the ground... but with all my might, I pushed and I soared again. On Sunday, I actually drove myself to Ellen's dance studio and spent the day with her. AND... I even took about 20 min of ballet warm-up class with the company! Wow again! (this is Ellen stretching at warm-up class)

The next day, however, I hit the ground and just couldn't find any strength to push myself up. My exercise intolerance got in the way, plus whatever else throws me low and I had several days of not feeling very well.

Slowly, I'm regaining some strength and again worked out on the weight machines yesterday. Wow do I hurt!!!

And with all my strength - I'm going to push hard to fly again and spend some time at the studio, watching Ellen and her friends in their final weekend of studio rehearsal (in costume) before they head to the theater on Monday.

Now... with all this up and down.... I'm afraid I brought up a topic to Bill at the wrong time. I decided I'd ask if I could get a little motorcycle to ride around town - so I could have some freedom on those days I feel so much better!

He laughed!! My kids laughed! Everyone has laughed and Bill has given me a definite NO WAY!

Ok... so he has a point... motorcycles are pretty dangerous - but there's no way we can afford a second car. I wouldn't have the energy for a bike and I don't want a motorized wheelchair!

He asked me what happened to wanting a convertible Miata. "I'll take it!" I told him! I looked up Miata's on Craigslist... HA... right... that's not even worth putting on the wings of anticipation for! (said laughing)

So... hitting bottom at all the teasing and laughing... I pushed with all my might to fly up on the wings of anticipation... and I changed my request. How about just a scooter (yuk - looks like an old person) or a moped??? Way easier to ride and I'd only be riding in town!!!!

Someone who has never been chronically ill for a long period of time has no idea how wearing it gets to always have to rely on others to get you places, do things for you, etc. And it's been almost more than I can bear being stuck at home in those moments when I do feel well enough to run to the post office, or the library, or to Starbucks! I can't even go by and visit Bill at work (just a mile from here).

But... though soaring on anticipation is glorious.... alas... Bill wouldn't even let me go look at a scooter I found for sale on Craigslist. I wasn't ready to buy... but I just wanted to look at it to see if it was something I really thought I could ride!

So are you all laughing too??? Well... I suppose I don't blame you! It does sound a bit silly... a 47 year old woman - who's been sick for 7 years - riding a scooter around town.

Ah... but the freedom it would bring!!!

Up.... down.... Up..... down..... sigh.

**I've put a poll on the right side of my blog... tell me what you think of my scooter idea! Be honest! :-) **

December 2, 2008

Back to Questions - Favorite Holiday

I'm finally getting back to those questions I said anyone could ask about me! That was way back in September and I only answered one out of the three that were posted! (BTW- you can still ask questions about me and I'll do my best to answer!)

I'm going to jump to question 3 from Linda - because it's that time of year.

Question: "What's your favorite Holiday and Why"

My favorite Holiday runs for a whole month! It begins on Thanksgiving Day when we spend the day as a family, eating chex mix, watching Miracle on 34th street and making a meal that lasts for a week!

At the Thanksgiving table, we not only give thanks to God for the many things from the past year, but we also begin Christmas. We always play a Kenny G Christmas CD during dinner and the kids each get a new Christmas ornament for their collections. I put them, wrapped up, on their plate. A few years back, I discovered a wrapped gift on my plate! And the past few years, they've chipped in and bought me an ornament too! (since they are beginning to leave and take their ornaments with them) :-)

Usually the day after Thanksgiving we go out looking for that perfect Christmas tree to cut down. Though, with young adults who have to work, the past two years we've had to do it on Sunday afternoon instead.

We decorate the tree together and we must have fudge and a special CD of music that I grew up with - but my kids now love - The New Christy Minstrels!

Then, the month holds those special times when we gather to watch our favorite TV specials, eat goodies, play games and.... for the past 12 years, the month of December also included The Nutcracker Ballet.

One of my friends recently asked me about Ellen and I am thrilled to report that the Nutcracker is still a part of our Holiday month! She's dancing in the Company this year, as well as working at the new Starbucks in town. She's dancing Demi-solo roles in both Snow and Waltz and she has her own Solo that is a brand new dance which is being added this year! She's also dancing my old role, Mrs. Walbridge - Clara's mother - so her Saturday's are very busy.

This year, we will try to be around the theater as much as possible - watching and helping. On the last day of performances, Bill's Dad flies in and he will join us for the last performance and spend the week with us. We'll talk, nap, take drives to see Christmas lights, eat and enjoy the week. We'll also have another special friend joining us again this year on Christmas Day.

So... why do I love Christmas so much??? Because it's family. To me, it's what family is all about, love and acceptance, playing and relaxing in each other's love. To me, it's the perfect representation of God's family and the great gift we have received as we have become a part of His family.

I have always loved this time of year. My heart has always been touched by the story of the Nativity, the lights, the music, the sounds and smells. But most of all, I love the family times!!! And the memories. The memories will last forever!!!

So there you are... my favorite Holiday!

And this year, I am feeling the best I have in over a year. I even skipped and jumped through the Christmas tree farm this year. And yesterday I went swimming! My body still has "Exercise Intolerance" (a proven fact for Chronic Fatigue patients -it's not tired from exercise - the body actually, physically reacts in litteral, negative ways to exercise.) But I don't care. I'm able to exercise again and that's the important thing. And if all goes as I plan it (hee hee) I'll be taking the first 10-15 min of ballet class on the stage during Nutcracker week!

I hope and pray that each of you are able to find this family joy that I experience every year. This feeling of acceptance for who you are, the joy of being with others, and the comfort and stability that comes from tradition. If you don't - I hope I can be the connection to help you find the fulfillment found in God's love and invitation he offers to become a part of His family.

Peace to all,