O Blogger, Where Art Thou?

Surprise!  It’s me:)

For anyone counting, it has been 144 days since my last post.  You’ve been on my mind, as has what would be my three-year blogoversary this month.  The time has come to say “hello” and update anyone who might still be following the errant life and Waisting Times of the former blogger known as Karen.  So, today I once again bring you my thumbs:)

Thumbs up:  Life is good.  Let’s just get that out of the way.  My disappearance from blogging doesn’t reflect anything negative in my life.  No weight gain (as is so often the case when a blogger of this genre goes missing).  No major stressful life incidents.  No emotional upheavals or crisis.  Just the continuation of whatever cosmic shift brought a sudden end to the words flowing from my fingers to this page.  I haven’t missed it.  Oh, I missed YOU!  And sometimes missed the creativity as I would find myself blogging snippets in my head.  And, no, since several of you have asked, I have most definitely NOT missed social media.  Thumbs up at how much more time I have now and how much less of it I spend online.

Thumbs down:  My health.  So the big news is that I’ve been recently diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease called Pemphigus Vulgaris.  Basically, my body is attacking my skin, specifically my mucous membranes, and for me, the symptoms were all in my mouth and throat.  I found it incredibly ironic that someone who has struggled with food and eating for so long should suddenly find herself in a position where her mouth becomes the focus of her life and every swallow hurts.  I could have blogged volumes about the mental aspect of suddenly truly appreciating true physical hunger and food as fuel and nutrition.  Thumbs up that from what I can tell, my diagnosis came much earlier than most.  Thumbs up that I have responded to medication amazingly fast and with minimal apparent negative side-effects to a heavy dose of Prednisone.  I will continue to take it for months to come, maybe indefinitely, along with a recently added antibiotic.  Thumbs up that I have never had as much willpower in my life to stick to a healthy eating plan, bound and determined to stave off what seems to be an almost inevitable weight gain from steroid use.

Thumbs up:  Getting smart.  A phone, that is.  After (four days short of) four years of faithful service, I retired my still-working dumb phone and copied my husband in his purchase of a Samsung Galaxy S iii.  I cannot say enough about how much I love my new phone.  Oh, the continual joy and convenience from this shiny, inanimate object.

Thumbs up:  Number one son.  My oldest seems to have settled easily into life in the real world.  He is established in his new state (halfway across the country from me, but, thumbs up, he has many friends near him).  He seems to enjoy his job as much as any recent college grad can enjoy any job that rudely interferes with what was so recently a life filled with free time and limited scheduling.  Thumbs down that he’s decided not to spend his vacation time at home this month.

Thumbs up:  Number two son.  Just turned 20, thus my inability to continue to refer to him here as “my teen.”  He is comfortably ensconced in his frat house and was recently elected to an executive position for the coming 12 months.  He has already been snowboarding this season and plans to spend part of his winter break in CA doing more.  Thumbs down that his major is still up in the air.  But he at least thinks he has a possible direction now.  Thumbs up that I am doing very well at “letting go” and not being a long-distance helicopter mom.

Thumbs down:  WordPress.  Really?!  It just logged me out in the middle of this post.  Thankfully it had been auto-saving as I typed along and I didn’t lose much.  That might have really put me over the edge of never blogging again!  And while I’m thinking about WordPress, I wonder if I can import all my content from this self-hosted (i.e. costing money) blog into my old  WordPress.com (i.e. free) blog.  Hmmm.  I can!  Done.  Someday when I shut down this blog, the old content will still be here.

Thumbs up:  Work.  Still enjoying it.  Have finally almost conquered the register!  (Amazingly, after nine months, I still sometimes encounter something new, like having to modify the tax rate for a return from another state.)  Have gotten past the constant backaches from standing.  My feet don’t even hurt unless I do a longer than typical shift.  (Remember – I get to wear my workout shoes to work!)  Thumbs up that I have exerted self-control and not spent every measly dime I earn on clothes.  Thumbs up that working makes me appreciate my time spent NOT working all that much more.

Thumbs up:  Yoga.  Still going.  Twice a week when my schedule allows.  I like it a lot.  For me it is about the flexibility (of which I have very, very, very little) and the strength of holding the poses.  Thumbs down that my mind still wanders and I probably should pay a lot more attention to my breathing.  I still think about being zen, now and again.  But not very often.

Thumbs down:  My body.  I have seemingly entered the “my body is falling apart” years.  Thumbs up that my calf injury from last year has finally mostly healed although it was close to nine months and some starts and stops before I really got back to doing consistent cardio again.  Thumbs up for cardio!  Thumbs down that I woke up one day in July with an apparent pinched nerve somewhere between my neck and upper arm.  That brought me months of discomfort, finally leading me to see a chiropractor for the first time in my life.  Thumbs up that said nerve is much better now, although not totally resolved, thanks, I think, to time, since the chiropractor, to her surprise, wasn’t able to improve things over the course of a month.  Thumbs down that the two therapeutic massages I tried didn’t improve things either; I’d have loved an excuse to pamper myself.

Thumbs ironic:  Blog offers.  In the months I’ve been missing, I’ve gotten a slew of offers related to my blog.  Crazy, that.  Some have even been ones for products I’d have tried if I’d been posting.  Oh well.

Thumbs up:  I loved LA.  (Sing it with me now.)  Hubby and I went out to visit our son for Parent’s Weekend at his university.  This trip we stayed at a condo instead of a hotel, complete with a view from the balcony of the Hollywood sign.  We saw our son briefly each day (dinner out, parent’s tailgate at the frat, Costco run, Lakers’s pre-season game) but spent most of our time playing tourists.  Fun.  Thumbs up for frequent flier miles.  We’ll make the long drive out to visit our other son in PA some time this spring.

Thumbs up:  Vacations.  I’ve got two great ones coming up.  I had not intended to leave you with a cliffhanger in my last post about next summer’s big trip.  We are going to Alaska.  With my brother and SIL.  Small cruise ship on the inner passage, then a day in Anchorage before we head to Denali National Park.  Thumbs up that I got my first pair of hiking boots (after spending an hour and a half in the REI store in LA) and am very slowly breaking them in.  Thumbs up for my return to Canyon Ranch Spa (thanks again to my mom) in February.

Thumbs up:  Purple.  Long my favorite color.  I wear it often.  I even have incorporated it into decor in my home.  (Okay, let’s call that eggplant or, hmm, aubergine.)  And now, a new purple love – sweet potatoes.  YUM.  My SIL, an amazing gardener, brought me a sampling of sweet potatoes when she and my brother recently visited.  Some were purple skinned but light fleshed; one was dark purple through and through.  They were so delicious that I’m almost inspired to take up gardening for myself.  Almost.  Maybe I’ll finally try purple cauliflower:)

Thumbs undecided:  Blogging.  In the back of my mind I am still considering starting a new blog.  I have no idea what I would write.  But the words for this post, once I finally sat down and started typing, came so fast and felt so good flowing out, just this little bit of creativity again.  If I do return to blogging, I think it will be a new home with no connections to this blog.  If you would like to know my new URL, if it happens, please tell me in the comments below or via email (since I do not intend to link or publicize my new location here).  And I’ll be in touch when/if I start anew.

Thumbs thankful, joyful, peaceful, wishful:  Life is good.  My boys were both home for the Thanksgiving.  I was actually so much more aware of being thankful on the holiday this year.  Funny how having something bad happen can make you so much more appreciative of all that is good.  Thank you for being here.  I wish you all a happy, healthy holiday season and the best of everything in the new year.




Filed under thumbs

55 responses to “O Blogger, Where Art Thou?

  1. So good to hear from you. I would see your name at the bottom of my blog list (it’s only at the bottom because you were not blogging) and wonder how you were doing.

    I can relate to the “my body is falling apart” syndrome. I seem to have a new ache or pain weekly but, except for my eyes, I’m doing exceptionally well for a lady who will turn 65 next month.

    Have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  2. MO

    Great to hear from you. So many Thumbs Ups, even in the Thumbs Down aspect of your life!!! Keep smiling and wishing you the best this Christmas Season!! (lovin’ this post today)


  3. Munchberry

    Well, well, well… I am feeling a little puffed up in that I received a prepost update. Or rather I badgered it out of you. Snicker.

    I get wanting to do another blog but not the same sort. You for creative reasons, me for bitchy grousy reasons. I have been living a very odd life since not blogging – sorta like when you quit work and go on strange adventures.

    So glad your fellas are doing well. #2 will pick his major when he is forced to. LOL

    No update on hubs keeping his veg diet? Was it vegan? I want to remember it as vegan. I forgot to ask when I was peppering you with questions.

    • And oddly, I never used to think of myself as creative! I am such a linear, organized thinker. Odd, that.

      #2 has a major in mind. Business with a video game minor, so as not to waste all the classes he took for his original major. But at his school, you have to take pre-reqs, then apply to the business school and be accepted. He’s working on it:)

      Hubs… oh… okay. Vegan only lasted briefly but he is indeed still eating vegetarian. Makes it a bit of a challenge to find meals I can make that will meet both our “diets.” This week I tried a fabulous farro and mushroom dish. He is, however, debating adding fish for our trip to Alaska next summer.

  4. I love the purple ones too. And the variety is called “Purple”. Not very inspired is it? The purple with the white flesh is “Korean Purple”. Interestingly enough I got both of them from a fellow blogger. Bloggers are always so generous.

  5. Good to hear from you. I’d love to be connected if you come up with a new blog, BTW.

    Glad to hear that most things are good with you. Family, job, healthy eating. I’m so sorry to hear of your struggles with you AID. I’m hoping that it can be turned away never to bother you again. Good that the medicines aren’t throwing a monkey wrench into things.


    • Thanks, Tish. The hope is that I can get to remission and stay there. From what I’ve researched, the fact that mine didn’t take many months to diagnose and has so far responded fast is a very good sign. But some people just never can manage it without some level of steroids. Time will tell.

  6. Yay… lovely to hear from you!

    Sorry to hear about the autoimmune disease, but great you are responding to treatment.

    It’s great you’re still enjoying your job and I like the comment that working makes you appreciate ‘not-working’. That I can definitely relate to.

    If you move your blog, I’m keen to hear where cos rest assured, I’ll follow!


  7. Wow, what a surprise to see you in my reader today!

    Definitely, let me know if you do start another blog!

  8. What a wonderful surprise to find this post waiting! Great to hear from you. Sorry to hear about the skin condition…would you believe that a friend from work told me this week that her son was just diagnosed with PV. I’d never heard of it, now twice in a week. If anyone can withstand the rigors of steroid side effects, it’s you, Karen.

    Love hearing about your boys, your life, your enviable upcoming vacations, and just reading your writing. I also would like to be alerted if your start another blog. I’ll be following you if you’re writing – for sure. You’ve been a faithful virtual pal to me over time, and I’ve missed the connection.

    • Small world! And another blog friend, who had emailed me to just touch base, know someone with it too.

      Thanks for all the support, Leslie. You are one who I remember connecting with in my very earliest days here:) And it never ceased to amaze me how much we had in common despite having so little in common.

  9. I’m glad you are doing well overall. A trip to Alaska sounds fantastic! I’ve been eyeing one of the summer cruises for the longest time! I’ve only transferred planes in Anchorage LOL!

    I hope your injuries subside and you feel 100%!

    Happy Holidays and good luck with everything :))

    • Alaska was always one of those “places I want to go someday.” It actually might have stayed that way if not for some weird coincidences that led us to travel with my brother and SIL. I hope this is only the first of many adventures.

  10. So good to hear from you and to have a post chock full of mostly good news 🙂 I can relate to the “body falling apart” (aka stiff/achy) years but I have come to the truth: moving my body more often than not really and truly helps.

    Wishing you the happiest of holidays and a HEALTHY New Year!

    • I’ve actually been thinking about you with this disease thing, Karen. At some point I might actually try some sort of naturopath and that always makes me think of you:) Some theory says that while it is a gene that is at the root of an auto-immune disease, it is often something environmental that triggers it. Makes me wonder what I should be exploring that is outside the realm of conventional “treat the symptoms into remission” medicine.

  11. Good to know all is mostly well in Thumbsville! Your travel adventures sound exciting. I know several people who’ve done one of the Alaskan cruises, and all had an excellent time!

  12. Karen,
    I missed you and I’m glad that mostly good stuff has kept you busy and away from us. If you do start a new blog, please count me in. I love reading about your life and take a lot of comfort in knowing you are maintaining your goal weight.

    • Well, I wish I could say it has been easy. Unfortunately I have come to accept that for me, maintaining will probably always be something I have to consciously work at. Sigh.

  13. Yes, please let me know if you start a new blog.

    Sorry to hear about the PV …

  14. Hi Karen,

    It’s great to read an update.

    I’m sorry about your new diagnosis. Painful swallowing does put things into a different perspective. I’m glad to hear that your calf is for the most part healed, but that must have been incredibly painful dealing with a pinched nerve.

    I’m glad that you have mastered the cash register and that you had a fab trip to LA and a couple of fantastic trips in the new year! I hear Alaska is beautiful!

    If you decide to start a new blog, I’d love to check it out!

    Have a great holiday and a healthy, happy 2013!


  15. Oh, Karen – how I have missed you 🙂 And SO glad to know snippets of what’s been going on in your life, lately.
    I’m so sorry to hear about your diagnosis – I’ve never heard of that before. But am grateful that you are responding to medication. It’s amazing how certain curve balls can put a new perspective on our lives.
    I would most definitely want to be included in reading along if you ever decide to begin blogging again. Please keep me in mind 🙂
    Happy holidays to you and your family, and do keep in touch!

    • I’d never heard of it either. It is rather surreal, to have something that no on has heard of and where I outwardly looks so “normal” yet on the inside there is just all sorts of stuff going on.

  16. Thumbs UP to hearing from you, Karen! Thanks for the update; glad life is mostly going well for you (sorry about the PV diagnosis – that sounds painful). I do hope you continue blogging.

    • Thanks, Shelley. It is all about our perspective, I guess. Oddly I have never been an optimist but I’m pretty much just cruising along with life right now. Hmmm.

  17. I was so delighted to see a new post from you Karen. I have missed you since you have left the blog world. I am so sorry about your medical condition. I love your attitude and how positive you are staying!

    Prayers, hugs and good wishes as you keep moving forward. Please let me know if you start up a new blog!

  18. Miz

    Ive missed you missed you missed you.

  19. Husband and two daughters were in Alaska in 2008. Husband kept telling me (via phone) there was more wildlife in our yard than what they were seeing. Finally saw otter (cruise) and a bear (on way to airport to return home, it was going thru garbage). But they still had a lovely time.

    Please let me know your new address when you move.


    • We went whale watching several years ago in Maine and it was sooooo boring. But other guests staying at the same bed and breakfast took the same trip the next day and saw great things! Sigh.

  20. Hi Karen!! So glad to see you back!

  21. Thumbs up that you checked in with us. Glad to see things are going well your way. Enjoy the season!

  22. Thumbs Up: Happy Holidays!

    Thumbs down: Holiday digesting

  23. YES to invite to follow new blog… love your creative writing… on any subject that appeals to you.

    Love your thumbs up and down report…great way to fill us in since previous post.

    Hate that you have to be on prednisone and the reason for it, but good that you’re not letting the steroid use ruin your food plan.

    Thanks for your recent visit to my blog. Made me feel good, happy! Wishing you all the best for 2013, Karen… xoxo PB

  24. This came thru while I was in Hawaii & got lost in the shuffle of backlogs! Happy Holidays & new year!!! So much going on for you!!! I don’t even know where to start except to say that I am glad you have control of that auotimmune disease & the other issues plaguing you! I do know about the age & things starting to not work so good! 😉

    I cannot believe it has been 9 months with your job! HOLY COW!!!!! Still at it & glad you are still liking it. It obviously allows you the freedom to take time off which is great!

    When you come this way, email & maybe we can finally meet!!!!

    Of course I want to read your new blog if you start a new one! 🙂

    I will still be blogging in 2013 & see where life takes me…. nothing is set in stone for sure!

    HUGS! Hope you are well!!!!

  25. I am saddened by your illness, but I am also very happy to see that you have a lot of thumbs up!

  26. Vickie

    I’d like to be in the loop if/when you start a new blog 🙂

  27. Glad to see you and glad things are going well for you 🙂 I’m sorry about the AI issue, my husband’s MS is also an AI disease (I hate that word) and IMO diet is VERY important for that. Haha purple is ALSO his favorite color 🙂

    I love my smart phone- I can’t imagine ever going back to a “regular” phone though we are going to change to cricket once our plans up this year. $110 a month for two phones its a lot cheaper than the $150 we are paying now.

  28. slendern10

    Sorry to hear about the health issues. Love to continue reading your blog.

  29. (Not that)Joan

    I no sooner found your blog than you were “outed” and stopped writing. I would love to follow you over to your next adventure, I just hope I’m not too late!

  30. This post never showed up on my reader in December! So great to see a post from you again. Sorry to hear about the health issues, but glad to hear that you had so many “Thumbs Ups.” I’d love to read your new blog when it’s up 😀

  31. Hey kiddo! I miss you! Sorry to hear about the auto-immune thing; that truly sucks. Glad pretty much everything else is ok, though. I have a brand spankin new blog, in case you ever get really really bored. LOL

  32. I guess i need one of those reader things so I can be aware when you are putting up one of your informative posts!

    Hope things have continued to improve in the last month with your health. Having gone through 3 months of eating difficulties I can certainly relate to how it can take over your life in ways you could never imagine from dieting!

    Also glad to hear you like your job – it can make such a great addition to your life if you like it and sucks sooo much if you don’t!!

    Wish your son was in Nor Cal so we could meet up one of these trips. Consider a trip to SF and we will do lunch in the city.

    If you decide to start a new blog so let me know. I have missed hearing about your busy life.

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