There’s nothing quite like the cessation of constant pain to make you feel grateful for everything else in your life.

Now I’m only taking regular Tylenol for the pain from the incision in my mouth. And Gabapentin to keep trigeminal neuralgia at bay until this episode is behind me.

In other good news, Charlie hasn’t been coughing as much. When I picked him up from his acupuncture appointment yesterday,

I mentioned this to the vet. Not the vet who told me that she’s surprised he’s made it this long. She’s actually the owner of the clinic.

Charlie’s Acupuncture Treatments:

But he typically gets his acupuncture treatments on the day that the second vet comes in from Bartlesville.

She told me she was hoping for this to happen. That she’d been applying some different techniques in the hopes that he would feel better. I thanked her. Because she cares so much.

And if she isn’t getting the results she wants, she will study and research the problem until she finds something else to try.

Just when I get the pain in the right side of my face to calm down, yesterday I reached down to plug in the fireplace and hit my left cheekbone on the corner of it.

Bruise On My Face:

So once again I kind of look like something the cat dragged in.

I don’t know if I want to go out today because someone will think I’ve been in a fight. The brownish bruise and swelling are on the tip-top of my cheekbone, so it really shows.

Thank goodness it wasn’t on the right side of my face or I’d probably be fighting the trigeminal neuralgia even more when it’s just starting to calm down.

I might have to not unplug the fireplace every time because it is a tight spot and I don’t want to keep bruising my face trying to get it plugged back in. But it says to unplug it when not in use.

Bad Apartment Management Is Typical Here:

I imagine the apartment residents were really mad last week when the office wasn’t open. Because those who use the laundry facilities have to go into the office and put money in a machine in exchange for tokens.

I try to be as self-reliant as I can. This is why I have my own washer. The dryer isn’t all that important because it uses a lot of electricity and reduces the life of your clothing.

I have the fireplace if my heat goes out. So I’m not as dependent on this crazy place as many of the others are who live here.

Symptoms Of Asperger’s Syndrome:

My worst nightmare has always been that I’d have to go out every weekday to work to make money. For years I worried that it would come to that. Because I’m way out of my element being around people.

People with Asperger’s Syndrome have the most difficulty in social situations. To be stuck somewhere all day without the option of going home would terrify me.

I can take being out for a few hours at a time. I can handle a few stores if it isn’t crowded. But I can’t make a day of it or I’d be tearing my hair out by the roots.

I take medication to make it easier or I’d probably be a recluse. The world is just so much louder than it used to be.

Being Grateful:

I am grateful every single day that I can make a living while being home with my pet babies. I know how fortunate I am.

For the past week, I’ve been trying to decide what I want to do about Christmas. Do I want to put up a tree or just decorate in vignettes? I’ve still not decided.

Are you going all out decorating your home for the holidays? Or are you going the minimal route?


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  1. I have trigeminal neuralgia and it’s is the worst pain ever. I also am on gabapentin. Nothing even knocks the pain downwhen it flares. I just have to ride it out. I can certainly understand why it’s called the suicide pain. Good luck to you.

  2. I’m glad you and Charlie are feeling better. I was going to vote yes on the Christmas tree, and I see you made that choice. The tree lights are so pretty at night (the long, long dark nights at this time of year). I also really enjoy it in the morning while I’m having coffee before work. With the new fireplace, your room will be so inviting. I’ve also been using more recyclable decorations, i.e., pines cones I pick up from a nearby office park and a few greens.

  3. Grateful. Yes. When I read the title I thought about how grateful I am that you produce this blog. I am recovering from a difficult marriage. I need to figure out how I want to live now. You are showing me how to live. Hugs.

  4. You have a beautiful home. It is beautiful. You have such good taste a a flair for decorating.

  5. Brenda, Why don’t you have a “Give-Away” and let people enter for a chance to win one of your homemade or past favorite ornaments. What fun. So glad you are feeling better and I look forward to seeing your Christmas decorations. They are always so beautiful. Snuggles to Charlie and Ivy. Sandra

    1. The ornaments I made were of scrapbook paper and are bent over time in storage and I wouldn’t want anyone I know to have them!

  6. When I put up a tree , and every year is different for me , I hang jingle bells around the bottom, they are not ornaments to me the are alarms ! LOL ! I have 2 small dogs and a cat . I’m very blessed I’ve never had a cat climb my tree . I’m sorry to hear about your pain , sending prayers .

  7. For the past several years I have stated to anyone who would listen that I was just not going to be decorating as much as I had previously. Then it’s Thanksgiving. I see the decorations in the garage and I pick up a few. I figure a few will do. But a few will never do, not for me! So, little by little, I find I’m living in a winter wonderland. And I like it 🙂


  8. Brenda,I am glad you and Charlie are feeling better. Sorry you bumped your cheek. I love the way you decorate your home. I have a small pre lit tree in a snowman tin bucket that I have used for a few years now. I mostly decorate my kitchen which is open to the cozy family room. I am scaling back decorating and decorate for the season instead of a holiday. I am working on a vertical swag for my front door. This week I switched my half view storm door to a full view. The dog loves it and it really opens up the space inside and out. The past few years I have really leaned towards a nature theme. Lots of faux evergreens and snowflakes, (pips and birds all year.) I am with you and others on enjoying our quiet, comfortable home and keeping things simple.

    1. I will have red and white and silver and gold ornaments. It was the theme I finally decided on after scanning Pinterest for weeks. I just really wanted a tall tree to decorate this year. Don’t know what Ivy will do, but at least the ornaments are shatterproof.

  9. I’m decorating all out, same stuff every year, until I’m not physically able anymore. That could be within the next 10 years who knows, so I’m going to give it my all until I am forced to slow down. It gives me such happiness for the season.

    1. This morning I cleaned out my Christmas bin. I plan to donate ornaments I made or no longer want to Goodwill around the corner. I have it all in a big bag that I will probably take tomorrow. It will be the first time in years I’ve had a tall tree. It is a slender tree and I look forward to getting my place clean and getting it up and decorated so I can enjoy the lights.

  10. My daughters don’t unplug their electric fireplaces and they haven’t had any problems. glad you are feeling better. I am trying to decide how much I want to put out for Christmas this year, but until my knee and now back are feeling better I am going to try and not do too much. xo Laura

  11. You are so right…it IS louder today…and we even have somewhat diminished hearing!! In Red Robin yesterday (hubs thinks he has to have one of their hamburgers every so often)…they looked at me like I was from Mars when I asked for the quietest place to eat…in the bar they said. I guess so…we did. It is so much ruder today too!! So much…I well remember before we had women’s lib…and when men would actually open a door, even for a little girl…as well as ladies. That is a rare sight now.
    Used to go all out decorating for xmas…but nope, no more. Hubby hated that anyway…tis easier to just not worry about it…if we do a thing, it might be to hang a few small lights. Not sure…no plan yet.
    So glad to hear the little doggie is better!! He is cute!! And even moreso that your pain is better. So sorry you hit your cheek too…guess it is how we do as we age, Brenda…have even chipped teeth bending over things!! Argh!

  12. I’m so happy you and Charlie are both doing much better. I hope you’ll be able to get some better sleep now. I downsized slightly this year from a 6.5′ tree to 5.5′ tree. But to show it off in the picture window I will put it on a foot-tall stand and cover it. The taller tree was more than 10 years old and showing its age, including more and more burned out pre-wired lights New tree is somewhat lighter and will be easier to move up and down basement stairs from/to storage after the holidays. I still decorate a lot inside my home and flank my front door with two 4 foot tall trees dressed in colored lights on a timer; this is the one holiday I really love to decorate around me with lots of sparkle, glow and twinkling lights. It helps fight off the dismals from the seemingly endless gloomy days that SE Wisconsin brings, the cold, and getting dark outside between 4 and 4:30 p.m. I have nightly fires in the fireplace and light up the house with the Christmas tree lights. I also have a mini-tree on my dining table (when not in use) – it’s 2 feet tall and decorated with cardinals, my favorite bird. I can’t imagine not having at least some kind of small tree up to decorate for Christmas! It just wouldn’t be any fun. There’s something very comforting in keeping up my traditions from year to year.

  13. We’ve had our big electric fireplace for years and years, and we always leave it plugged in! Never a problem that I know of and if I would have thought of it or it said to unplug it, I would have put it on an outdoor heavy duty extension cord that I could get to easily, to unplug it. But I never do unplug it. Just an FYI. Glad you are feeling better. Marlyn

  14. First of all I am glad to hear that you are feeling better. I hope it continues. You have had a rough time lately. I also put up just a small tree that will sit on a shelf in our family room where we spend all of our time. I big tree just got to be too much work. I also put out some smaller winter decor. During the winter when we spend so much time indoors it’s nice to have these cute items.

    I don’t go shopping much anymore. I do like looking at Michael’s and Hobby Lobby sometimes but there are so many places online that offer the same things at a good price that I don’t feel like I am missing anything.

    I hope you continue feeling a little better each day.

  15. We are retired and Christmas is now spent at our daughters. I still put up a very small tree for us to enjoy, small enough to sit on top of our bar. You are so talented with decorating, I know whatever you decide to do will be pretty.

    1. I just made my decision. I found the tree I wanted online, then went to Michael’s to get it half price. Then I bought 100 shatterproof ornaments (half price) hoping that will make things easier with Ivy. It is 7 feet tall. I will tie my ornaments on with jute as I always do.

      1. Half price? Amazing! How resourceful you are and it gets delivered,too! Brenda I notice that you often discuss Aspergers as a reason for isolation. My husband has Aspergers. He had a successful 21 year Navy career as a submariner, got his Masters on the GI bill, currently works developing curriculum for the Coast Guard, and teaches alternative energy and marine systems at a local college in the evenings. i think you are terribly hard on yourself. You most certainly could work every day if you had to or at home for a customer service entity. Because you isolate yourself from various situations, you’ve never developed better coping skills. I remember years ago taking typing and thinking I’d never get it down or getting my learner’s permit. Now I type and drive without thinking about it. Not at the same time. You would improve if you didn’t avoid every situation that makes you uncomfortable. Everyone gets uncomfortable. Everyone feels weird from time to time. I’m sure you never thought you could support yourself when you very wisely left your husband. Look at you now, Ms. Self Supporter. Being married to someone who put you down constantly hasn’t helped either. You are an amazing, creative, capable, intelligent, and resourceful woman. Brenda, Aspergers or not, don’t isolate yourself. Remember, you may not LIKE being in crowds or around people, but you CAN do anything you need to, Aspergers or not. No one runs a marathon without flexing and exercising their muscles a little at a time. Your coping muscles in dealing with people are a little tight or unused. Remember, the more often you do previously avoided things, the more comfortable you will feel. Thanks for all you share here.

  16. I can’t agree more about how people are so loud today. My husband and I use to enjoy a nice quiet dinner out, but try to find a restaurant today that the noise /music doesn’t blast you out of your chair….crazy.
    Happy to hear you are on the mend and that Charlie is doing better.
    I love decorating for Christmas and always put out lots of stuff. Our son will be here this year, so that motivates me to get it done.
    Take care

  17. Peg said what I was thinking as well…that would be a lot easier for you! I wonder if Ivy would climb up a Christmas tree if you put one up….my sweetie never puts up a tree because his Lucy kitty climbed it the first year he had her….so he doesn’t bother. I put up enough trees for both of us anyway – he gets his holiday fix when he comes to my house!

  18. Brenda, can you plug a power strip into the outlet where you plug in the electric fireplace? And then place the power strip where it’s out of the way but still easy for you to use for the fireplace? A friend taught me this trick a few years ago, and I still feel silly that I never thought of it myself.

    1. The instruction manual says: Always plug heaters directly into a wall outlet. Never use with an extension cord or relocatable power strip because of the risk of overheating the cord and risk of fire.

    2. Also, power strips tend to have a slot on the back where You can put a nail in “somewhere” and slip the powerstrip onto nail. That will bring it up to, maybe even, not stooping to turn on Your fireplace. If I had more time or maybe didn’t waste so much time doing other things (like locking my keys in the truck after shopping at FL) then I would go back and read older posts on Your blog. However, for now, what is the wood carved “table” that has the “coffee table” book sitting on it – It looks wonderful! I love the quilts hanging up – Did You make them all (Motherinlaw was a great quilter and we have a few of her creations!)? You are certainly “the Decorator” and it shows throughout Your Home (from photos/pics I have seen thus far). I certainly enjoy reading You each time and Hello to Charlie and IvyKitty! 🙂 barb PS I stay at home a lot – I love Home – Now, I have to start cleaning Home. 🙂

      1. Yes I made most of the quilts you see. All of the ones I had on the living room wall, and one of the two on the wall on either side of my bed. I got the little boho table at Homegoods. I believe it was $59.99. I love it. Perfect size and I don’t trip over it. I really need to clean my apartment, but first I felt sick after my second shingles vaccine. Then the cyst removal and the onset of trigeminal neuralgia. I take my little hand vacuum and clean what I can. Hoping tomorrow I can clean the rest.

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