Invisible Illness Humor: Because Laugh Lines Are Better Than Tears~Post 6 for IIAW



Final post for Invisible Illness Awareness Week~I hope to leave you laughing :D

Originally posted on Musings from a Mid-Century Modern Girl:

This is the final blog post of my week-long effort to support Invisible Illness Awareness Week.  And I thought I would try to leave you laughing.  My dad had a favorite saying: “A little laughter in life.” His own life was often not easy, and telling jokes and sharing funny stories was a way for him to lighten his load and brighten some of his pysche’s darker corners.

My daddy, Father's Day 2001, I believe, "setting a spell" outside Cracker Barrel. My daddy, Father’s Day 2001, I believe, “setting a spell” outside Cracker Barrel.

Another saying I heard growing up was “You gotta laugh sometimes just to keep from cryin,’ child.” Developing a sense of humor about everything you go through when you are battling a chronic invisible illness helps. It helps you retain your sanity, de-stress a little and  just simply feel better.  Here are some of my favorite memes and graphics that allow me to chuckle, giggle and simply laugh to keep from crying.  …

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Guilty, Guilty, Guilty. How an invisible illness can make you feel~Post 6 IIAW



Invisible illnesses can sure make you feel guilty. I know first hand! Blog post 6 in support of Invisible Illness Awareness Week.

Originally posted on Musings from a Mid-Century Modern Girl:

Yesterday, I said that the bad flare days–which can sometimes stretch into weeks, if not longer–can make it difficult for us to keep appointments, make long-term plans, keep up with our household chores, social/church/civic obligations and other things we used to do with relative ease.   There is life before the invisible illness and life after it—and yes, it is a game changer. I am quite sure it’s the reason why in most of my dreams, I am never older than my early 30s, reasonably strong and healthy and confident–the final years before my diagnosis of FMS/CFS.  I miss those days and I hate how guilty I feel that the “old” me isn’t around anymore. I know I am not alone in this.


When I was working full-time after my diagnosis, I always ended up using all my sick days and being forced to take additional days off without pay. Other times I worked but felt…

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Happy Guyday Friday! It’s Fur-Tastic!


“You’ve added to the family, I see. More orphans in need of–what do you call it?–a FUR-ever home, Ladywriter?” Sir Guy raised a single brow as he gave her a lopsided smile.

LW glanced over at the three kittens cuddled up next to her. “Benny saw them on his way to work the other day and asked me to go on a kitten rescue mission after work.” She shrugged and added sheepishly, “You know I’m a sucker for furry little baby animals.” Ladywriter’s mouth curved into a besotted smile as she looked at the threesome playing together. “And these babies are so—SWEET.”









The dark knight gave a chuckle. “Apparently that’s not what Scarlett thinks. I believe she said in Katteese they were ‘The Spawn of Satan.'”

LW sighed. “Yeah . . . jealousy and the whole territorial thing’s been rearing its ugly head since we brought off the deck and into the house yesterday.” She grinned up at Sir Guy, a mischievous gleam in her bespectacled eyes. “You big cats can be very territorial at times, you know.”

Sir Guy sniffed and shot her one of *those* sideways glances.  “If your heart wasn’t so divided amongst my CReAtor’s ChaRActers, both living and So Not Dead, perhaps we would have no need to have those feelings, my lady.”

“Sir Guy—you know perfectly well that you are THE number one ChaRActer for me, I just happen to have a big heart with lots of room for compelling  ChaRActers and cute little furry creatures, ” she replied in a chiding tone.  Ladywriter spun her laptop around so that her raven-haired visitor could see the screen and tapped its edge with her finger.

“Look–I even worked on some new edits of you last night!”

The flash of white teeth was dazzling as he gave a deep, rumbling laugh of approval.

“Well–wait until Soldier Boy and Chewy Man hear this!”

Chewy Man?! Oh, riiiight.

Happy Guyday Friday!






Post Four~Ways to help us in our battle~ Invisible Illness Awareness Week



The fourth post in my blogging for Invisible Illness Awareness Week. Ways you can show your support & things we want you to know about dealing with these conditions.

Originally posted on Musings from a Mid-Century Modern Girl:

(The story broke while I was composing this post re the horrific shooting at the community college in Roseburg, Oregon. My thoughts and prayers are with those injured and with the friends and family of those killed in this senseless act. )

POST FOUR–Invisible Illness Awareness Week

First of all, let me say this: what we don’t want is your pity.

What we DO want is your acknowledgement our illnesses are real and legitimate.

Believe us when we say we are in pain, feel completely exhausted or find ourselves badly befuddled by a serious case of brain fogTry to “walk a mile in our shoes” so you can see why we get irritable, frustrated, depressed. Know that when we sometimes snap back at you, it’s not about you–it’s the invisible illness talking. Cut us a little slack, OK?

Understand when we have to cancel plans or can’t participate in…

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Post 3 & Change of Plans: Invisible Illness Awareness Week Continues



Post 3 for Invisible Illness Awareness Week–had change of plans after going on a mission of mercy. Read on!

Originally posted on Musings from a Mid-Century Modern Girl:

There’s a slight change of plans afoot, my friends. I was going to blog today about how friends and family can best support those of us battling invisible illnesses. And I will still cover that topic, but I need a chance to chance to rest and recoup a bit. It was a busy day!

This afternoon I went to Montgomery to see the neurologist about my worsening headaches and problems with taking tumbles. We are going to try two meds that should not give me suicidal thoughts and crying jags (as did the Topomax) and it seems I am also a candidate for Botox injections, which have a proven track record of efficacy for migraine sufferers. I will keep you posted!

In addition, Spouse and I went on a kitten rescue mission. We captured three of seven kittens abandoned on a road near us (I’ve dubbed them the “Crick” Bank Kitties), brought…

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Trading In Your Old Life: Post 2 for Invisible lllness Awareness Week



Day Two post in support of Chronic Invisible Illness Awareness Week. How I was diagnosed and ways to adapt to your “new normal.”

Originally posted on Musings from a Mid-Century Modern Girl:

In yesterday’s post, I mentioned I had been battling my invisible illnesses of Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for more than two decades now.

And I have to tell you it has been a life-changing experience, one that has required a lot of adjustment.

From Elation to Concern
I was first diagnosed by a physician’s assistant at the medical center at Maxwell Air Force Base. As it happened, he had been trained by a civilian physician who regularly treated FMS patients. After listening to me explain the types of symptoms I’d been dealing with for months, he nodded thoughtfully, then started pressing certain spots on my shoulders, my back, my hips . . . I almost jumped off the examination table.

Every spot he pressed stung and burned. You see, I was in a full-blown FMS flare, and the potential trigger points were all “fired up.”

big Trigger points for FMS front and…

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Invisible Illness Awareness Week: What you can’t see does hurt us



I’m blogging all week–Invisible Illness Awareness Week–on my personal blog, Musings of a Mid-Century Modern Girl. Check it out!

Originally posted on Musings from a Mid-Century Modern Girl:

Twenty-one years ago I had invasive surgery on a troublesome right knee (injured in a car accident in college). I had six months of intense PT before and another six months of PT after the procedure.
In spite of my best efforts, I found myself struggling to bounce back and it got really frustrating. At the time, I was just 34, still young(ish), yet I felt more like a senior citizen most days.
I remember a few months later talking with my department store co-workers as we left the store late one night.
“I don’t feel too great. In fact, I never feel really good anymore . . .”

I don’t think I’ve felt really good–well rested, fully alert and pain-free–in a very long time.
Look at me on the outside, and other than the excess weight I clearly carry, you’d probably think I’m pretty healthy.


Unfortunately, it is all an illusion. There are so…

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So, what kind of ‘tipsy’ is tipsy Armitage? I admit I’d like to know, wouldn’t you?


I found this little chart on Pinterest and saved it. For what it’s worth, I’m glad to see I am a happy drunk rather than a sad one.

Earlier I was filling out some of the gazillion forms required for my neurologist appointment Wednesday. Among the many other health-related questions, I was asked how much alcohol I consume on average–how many drinks and how many days a week.  I asked Benny, “Uhm–do you think drinking something alcoholic roughly once or twice every couple of years would be the equivalent of ‘never,’ kiddo?”  He agreed.

Now, I haven’t always been such a Sober Sallie. In my long-ago college days, when the legal drinking age was 19 instead of 21, I did imbibe (albeit in the safety of our on-campus apartment and not out roaming the streets). And purportedly, I was very entertaining when I got tipsy. Silly and giggly and quite a lot of fun.


I think my widow was definitely a sad drunk. Probably a Pisces, since she drank like a fish.

A couple of years ago, I played a rich widow in a mystery dinner theater production. This lady liked her liquor a little too much and started making a lot of accusatory remarks about certain acquaintances before she ended up dead in the library. Afterwards, I was told I made a very believable drunk and I suspect from the sly glances they gave me that some people thought I did indulge . . . but as I told them, “Really, it’s all a matter of observation–and distant memory.”                                                            

So all of this got me to thinking, “What’s Richard Armitage like when he’s had a little too much to drink?” Is he giggly, jokey, playful? Somehow I can’t see him as the mean and moody type . . .

He’s told us a couple of drinks at a club turn him into “an animal on the dance floor.” Mmmmm, I’d like to see that. Richard taking off his jacket, loosening his tie, and with a slightly wicked grin, stepping onto the dance floor . . . and extending a hand to you to join him.




Remember these moves from his 2003 promo shoot for “Cold Feet?” Somehow I suspect that genial dorkiness just might show itself in a tipsy Armitage tripping the light fantastic.  Or how about some sexy snake hips tango, purportedly his favorite? Mmmmmmmmmm . . .


If you’ll dance with me, Mr. A, I’m there with you!



He’d apparently been indulging a bit at the Saturn Awards before receiving his trophy for his performance as Thorin and it certainly looked like he was having fun that night.  One could fantasize about having a right old Bacchanalia with this chap  . . .


Or a little dirty dancing, maybe? *wibble*



And just look at RA and his cast mates on the final day of Hobbit filming (July 23, 2013). Oh yes, there’s been some partying. An RA looks as if he’s full of mischief! Mischievous Armitage, I like.



Tipsy Armitage. It is such an appealing idea to me . . .

Happy Ending for Hoot! Lost Georgia Kitty Reunited with Mom Jocelyn. Social media rocks!



What can I say? I am on a blogging roll tonight! Here’s a story with a real happy ending that emphasizes the positive side of social media. <3

Originally posted on Butler County Humane Society:

I really love a story with a happy ending, don’t you? And this is a story where the positive impact of social media really does shine.

Remember Hoot, the shy young striped tabby who escaped from his mom’s car when she stopped near Greenville on her way to Texas from Georgia this summer? Jocelyn McPherson was one sad young lady when she called and called but never could get Hoot to come back to her. Well, imagine how you’d feel in the same circumstances.


Jocelyn stayed overnight in Greenville and keep looking and calling at the rest area where he’d disappeared, but to no avail.  As much as she hated to leave him behind, she had to continue her trip.  Jocelyn contacted me via the BCHS page on FB. I, in turn, put the word out on my personal page and the BCHS page that there was a missing kitty and a worried mama.

Over and…

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Comparison is the thief of joy; or, accepting who I am where I am right now



Thoughts on the pit of comparison and envy via my personal blog, Musings of a Mid-Century Modern Girl . . .

Originally posted on Musings from a Mid-Century Modern Girl:

the_sin_of_envy_by_sorabelle The Sin of Envy by Sorabelle

We’ve all heard that old saying about the grass always being greener on the other side (personally, I love the title of the late, great Erma Bombeck’s book, “The Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank”).


I like to think that I am not a particularly envious or jealous person; when someone I know has something wonderful happen in his or her life, I am truly happy for them.

But I have to be honest.

There are times when I look at others who do not seem to have the health challenges or the financial struggles that I continue to experience and–hey, presto!- there go those unpleasant twinges inside. I see people who are able to do things I cannot physically or financially accomplish, and I sense myself turning a certain shade of green that really isn’t a good look on me (or anyone else).

photo edit by ravenxcorps Eye of Envy photo…

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New GoFundMe Campaign targets life-saving heartworm treatment



I ain’t too proud to beg when it comes to animal welfare. Found out our humane society owes a BIG vet bill-if you can help, click the link! Thank you. <3

Originally posted on Butler County Humane Society:

Here at the BCHS, it is all about the animals–and that includes providing life-saving medical treatments that will allow these pets to find their fur-ever homes.

Heartworms are a serious problem among canines in our part of the US. Many homeless animals taken in at the Greenville Animal Shelter test positive for this disease. While rescue groups around the country are happy to take many of our wonderful dogs, they must test heartworm negative before it can happen.

The BCHS is racking up quite a large vet bill with Clay Hill Animal Clinic as a result of providing heartworm treatment for these homeless dogs. Even with the discount Dr. Gardner and his staff give us on the treatment, we need the help of animal lovers here and elsewhere to pay this considerable bill.  Open your heart and wallet and help us cover the costs of necessary treatments for these wonderful animals who all deserve those…

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Debriefing the #cRAftingForCharity Auctions [Results!!!]


Cheeky, Silly Armitage is good for what ails you.

Cheeky, Silly Armitage is good for what ails you.

I love cheeky, silly Richard. Whether he’s telling one of his jokes, reacting with mirth to someone else’s comment, making sly double entendres and naughty sideways glances, tossing fish into a cast mate’s barrel–it all makes me smile.  I want to hug him, have those long, strong arms wrapped around me and actually feel one of those huge belly laughs of his reverberate through me.  I think that would be absolutely marvelous.












speaks onstage at the "Hannibal" Savor the Hunt panel during Comic-Con International 2015 at the San Diego Convention Center on July 11, 2015 in San Diego, California.


Edit courtesy of Fernanda Matias

Yep, I am always ready for some Mirthful Armitage. For all the sturm and drang exhibited by many of his characters, in real life he does seem to be a man who loves to laugh and refuses to take himself too seriously.

Looking at and listening to him is a very nice distraction, indeed, and I am in need of distractions right now.

I have had two bad falls in less than the space of a week, yielding some magnificent bruises and a pretty fair amount of pain. Vertigo hit me after the first fall and my balance (which is never good) has been off more than usual. I’ve been plagued by worsening headaches. My doctor prescribed some medication for the headaches a few weeks ago. The headaches lessened, but the meds also led to morbid thoughts and horrible anxiety spells. I also cried every time I turned around, it seemed.

I decided the headaches were easier to tolerate and I’d be easier to live with so I stopped taking those meds.

I now have an appointment with a neurologist next week and I hope he can provide some insight (too bad he’s not Dr. Track, but I hear he’s quite a good doctor).

In the meantime, I will close my eyes and imagine a sweet smile and big bear hug from Mr. A, along with a  “Feel better soon, Angie.”



Why, yes, doctor–I do believe I am!



I like RA just a little shaggy and grungy around the edges . . .


Every time Richard Armitage’s hair begins to grow out a tad I have a little celebration. It’s not that he isn’t still very attractive with the cropped head, because he is. He could shave his head and tattoo it and no doubt I’d still fancy him. It’s just that for me, Richard is even more attractive when those tempting nape curls begin to sprout in back and that endearing cowlick starts to kick up a fuss on top. When there’s enough of that soft-looking hair to imagine running one’s fingers through the waves and playfully messing it up. When there’s a stray lock of hair that begs to be pushed back . . . 654c9c1752e6bab9c8df1d082a4ab725


I certainly didn’t find Francis Dolarhyde’s scar from cleft palate surgery off-putting in terms of his physical appearance, and the musculature RA honed for the character was, erm, inspiring, to say the least. But I think of how Reba said Dolarhyde’s co-workers described him as “clean.” And he was certainly that: clean-shaven, very short hair, clothing crisp and perfectly laundered, ironed and buttoned up to the last button. Not a hair nor thread out-of-place. That quality I DID find off-putting.  A little disarray can be appealing, you know?


Only later, as Francis succumbed more and more to his own special brand of “Dragon sickness,” did we see him trade his buttoned-down look for sexy black leather (reminiscent, apparently, of a look Hannibal had sported, but for long-time RA fans, it was Lucas North he was channeling) and–ooh, look!–heavy stubble.  This version of Francis scared the ever-loving sh*t out of me, but I can’t deny I thought he also looked very good doing it.  If he’d had nape curls, too—*wibble*


source: Candida Brady


Of course, it was Sir Guy of Gisborne who first introduced me to RA as an actor, and Sir Guy’s raven locks were part and parcel of his persona.  Richard had to wear “baby” hair extensions in the back until he could grow his own “medieval mullet” for the first two seasons.  And then, for RH’s final season–we were rewarded with Guy’s Glorious Mane (and one excellent set of long hair extensions. My compliments to the set hairdresser).

In the beginning, that mane was a wild, dirty tangle worn by a drunken, vengeful man half-mad with grief and self-loathing AND OHMYGOD WAS I SMITTEN.  And introduced to the great art of hair acting via Richard Armitage.



We had two Guyless episodes (during which RA was shooting some additional scenes for Spooks) but oh, how it was worth it when Glamour Guy (fresh from Prince John’s Red Door Spa, it seemed) reappeared before our eyes.  Still, Guy being Guy, he wasn’t completely tamed (even if his lustrous locks were). And we wouldn’t want him any other way.  He was like a gorgeous black stallion . . .  proud and defiant.  And the way he could toss that mane with arrogance, anger and frustration!

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I loved how Richard incorporated his long S3 locks into Guy’s character arc. And how he equally “rocked the locks” when it came to Thorin’s beautiful long tresses in The Hobbit trilogy. Hard to imagine that character without the long, wavy dark mane shot through with silver and those fetching braids . . .


Of course, like Guy, Thorin was also magnificent when he wasn’t in the midst of a fray. Behold, Glamour Dwarf!

Richard kept his real hair quite short during the period of shooting TH (not surprising with that dome he had to wear atop his head plus that voluminous wig) and it was short for “Into the Storm” and close-cropped for his role in “The Crucible” on stage in London last year.  It will also be short in “Sleepwalker” and “Pilgrimage.”

For the role of Chop in “Urban and the Shed Crew,” we get Richard with long hair as he dons extensions once more.  Chop is definitely not a character that looks as if he just stepped out of a band box and I doubt “clean” is the first adjective that would pop into people’s minds when describing him. He’s shaggy-haired, doesn’t appear to shave too often, and mostly likes to dress down in fatigue jackets, plaid shirts with rolled up sleeves and faded jeans.  And I think Chop’s rather beautiful even when he’s a bit bloodied up and in need of some first aid. 213b91d0fc677a0e3e58cf34ccb07aaf (1)



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And OK, it looks like it would be fun to get up close and personal with Chop . . . as Anna Friel’s character does here. ;)


Richard and his ChaRActers clean up nicely, no doubt about it.  But there’s something about the man of many faces when he’s more casual, shall we say–the “blue jeans and t-shirt or plaid shirt” RA–that is really appealing to me. Perhaps because I can more easily relate to that image rather than the gobsmackingly stunning man in a designer tuxedo . . . perhaps he seems more approachable, more like someone I might know in real life?  Someone I might sit down and share a snack with and shoot the breeze?



Maybe it’s the plaid shirts with the rolled-up sleeves . . . the hairy forearms . . . and the floppy hair.  And stubble.  *sigh*

Whatever, he’s got it.

(Yeah, baby, he’s got it!!)

And I like *it*with a little extra hair on top. ;)


The Big Charity Auction is Underway with Bounty of cRAfty Booty to Bid Upon!


Just a few of the RA-licious goodies up for auction right now . . .











Guylty has organized an online auction featuring wonderful RA-related items hand-crafted and donated by RA fans around the world. The very worthy cause is a fund aiding the youngest of the Syrian refugees via Save the Children. I have links to all of the auctions below. If you don’t wish to bid on an item, you can also contact Guylty about making a donation through some other channel. So browse the offerings and make your bid(s)!