Not a dumpster fire…

but very nearly a lamp fire.

Art is not always the seamless and graceful creation of something beautiful out of random other things. Often it is the messy and curse-laden creation of crap out of other crap.

Today I was attempting to make another lamp as a gift for my son for Christmas. My idea was to make an octopus with XBOX consoles for tentacles and LED light strips running in and around the thing.

After hours of diligent work the base was finished, the lights were in, and I had three tentacles, having already decided it was going to be more of a tri-pus than an octopus.

After hours of hard work and preparation it was time to shape and cover the thing.

Which is when my friend asked me if I smelled any burning.

I live in an old house. She’s nearly 120 years old, so my first thought was wiring or the heater I was using on the porch. It wasn’t until I had given up on finding the smell and settled back down thinking it was a passing car that I smelled it again.

In the fucking lamp.

All those lovely LED lights were heating up just enough to cause burning chemical smells to emanate from my creation.

I swore some and began ripping the lighting out of the three tentacled monstrosity.

Which is how I ended up painting my son an image from Super Mario Bros. (Which I will not be sharing here until after Christmas in case he reads my blog.)

Goblin Mode – not just OED’s word of the year.

It’s the holiday season and I want to crawl into a cave and hide from everyone I know.

It’s not you, it’s me.

I’m serious. You’ve done nothing wrong. It really is me. My inner goblin has been greedily grasping at everyone solitary moment I’ve been able to muster for the past month.

Her hunger is becoming insatiable. She wants to wander around a vacant room in no bra, loose workout clothes that are so soft with age they are practically see through, and soft socks so thick I’d have to buy shoes a size up to wear them out of the house.

She wants to binge-watch shows for days at a time or listen to whole books on tape without stopping for a single conversation.

She wants to go entire days without uttering a single word aloud.

As the days tick by to the greediest, gift-givingest day of them all my inner goblin is taking me over and urging me to run and hide and become one with my sheets and blankets. She turns my eyes from the sunlight peering through the window in the morning and pushes the phone away from me when a text comes through.

She is drooling for a chance to disappear.



There I was, managing my life with small nerve fiber neuropathy when BLAMMO suddenly one evening my hands and fingers felt like I was playing with slivers of broken glass anytime I touched anything.

This was not some gradual slide over time either. I work with my hands all the time. I use yarn, paper, glue, fabric, rocks, paints, cardboard, you name it. Usually I am fine.

Not this time. This time I’m folding my laundry and putting it away and then my socks are razor blades.

It – to understate it – sucked.

I took half an Ativan under the theory that it’s designed to send nerves into a coma and went to bed.

The next day I was a bit better though am definitely still more sensitive than I would like, all over really. I messaged my Doc and he asked “Have you been under more stress lately?”

Well duh, yeah, but knowing why I’m in a flare up doesn’t help me. You try to avoid stress when you are the disabled mother of a high school and college student, wife of a cop, and daughter/caretaker of two aging parents. It’s not like I get to just not be in stressful situations. In fact, trying to avoid them is like trying to keep cats out of a room, the harder you work to keep them out the more they want to get in.

So now that we’ve acknowledged that being a vibrating ball of stress is kind of my daily life can we move on to management please?

Managing life with chronic illness requires savvy spoons