If you are a regular subscriber, you probably already know this has been a super busy year for me, which has kept me from doing a weekly posting on Encharted Cook. However, I know there are quite a few readers of Encharted Cook who are not subscribers and have come to my blog and been disappointed that new content has not been posted regularly.
There are three reasons for my slowness... and I have been reticent to share them because "Excuses only Satisfy the Man who Makes Them". I feel strongly about that saying. It is true and I can thank my favorite teacher, Mrs. Heinzman for sharing this saying in her classes. I took it to heart at the age of 14 and still do.
Nonetheless, I think I should explain my absence.
Firstly... and happily, my husband and I have a new home... and I have a gorgeous new kitchen! If you follow my Instagram you have seen a few pictures, but not of the whole kitchen. So, here it is... a pic of my new white on white kitchen showing its enormous island, which I think is absolutely swoon-worthy!
...and here is another picture... of the spice drawer of my dreams!
We are still unpacking. It has been a slow process for both of us. My husband has his office to finish and so do I and we are still trying to keep only things that bring us joy... thank you Marie Kondo!
My Brother, Steve
Do you remember my brother, Steve? Kind, good natured, with a wicked sense of humor? For the last three years I've made frequent trips to visit him in California. He is a Viet-Nam era vet that has had health issues for years. After our mother passed away, I became his last, close, living family member and he became mine.
During the last few months he has been slipping, which has spurred more trips to see him and support his desire to remain in his home as long as possible. Just this last week I have returned from an unscheduled trip to get him some additional care in his home.
You see, he has dementia. After numerous appointments with the VA, I have been told to conserve his memory and give him the most happiness, he should remain in his home as long as possible. So, I just now have arranged to have home care for him.
Since, I live in Florida and he in California. This was my best option for all of us to be happy. His home care aid will help him with meals, cleaning, laundry, and just plain be a friend who comes and visits with him 3 times a week. <sigh>
I've known for a long time this day was coming. But it is hard to watch my truly brilliant brother in this condition now. You see, he was always the smartest person in the room. I'm not just saying that. Our parents had a few problems with him in elementary school and the school tested him. Turns out his IQ was 160. Seriously. 160. I found the papers and the Stanford-Binet results during a house cleaning several years ago. Sadly, the dementia has now robbed him of not just his memory, but also his brilliance. But, on the plus side, he does seem happy and especially happy to be in his home.
Lastly, there is my health. I try to deny it, ignore it, and push it from my mind continually. But, my body defies my efforts.
I have rheumatoid arthritis.
If you don't know about this disease, here is the quick skinny: Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic, progressive, inflammatory disease that affects the joints of the body... but also affects the skin, eyes, lungs, heart, and blood vessels.
The Mayo Clinic offers this description: "An autoimmune disorder, rheumatoid arthritis occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks your own body's tissues.
Unlike the wear-and-tear damage of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis affects the lining of your joints, causing a painful swelling that can eventually result in bone erosion and joint deformity.
The inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis is what can damage other parts of the body as well. While new types of medications have improved treatment options dramatically, severe rheumatoid arthritis can still cause physical disabilities."
At some point, I will post about my RA journey. But not now. That is more than I can share at this time, because I have just crossed the bridge from moderate-to-severe and am now classified as having severe disease. This means a new drug protocol is in my very near future. But it also means I will try harder to "not be sick".
So, in the words of a country song, "That's My Story and I'm Sticking to It". It's been a tough year so far with many ups and downs... and I am very happy to be in my new forever home with my wonderful husband and two cats.
Thanks for reading this... and now, as my Mom used to say...
Here's your hat, what's your hurry!?