Sorrow, A Poem of Mystery that will leave you wanting more…

Sorrow

Skipping stone bouncing across your surface
A tearing pain no one can see
You scream out toward the distance
Stretching out from between your knees

Why can’t anyone hear the baby crying?
Standing red-faced, hands over rail
Knuckles gone white from gripping
One long, steep unending wail

She wasn’t there the night before
Out tramping through the woods alone
She can’t hear the baby anymore
Out searching for stepping stones.

One last argument bent her backwards
One last tearing apart of her nails
One last long sorrow will be hers
When the baby falls over the rail.

I hope you have enjoyed this, my newest poem “Sorrow,” which I wrote while the bath water was running…because sometimes, you just have to POEM. 🙂 Weird too, because I rarely rhyme in my poetry. Well, the poem tells me, I don’t tell it how to be. One thing I love about writing is that I never know where it is leading me. I am along for the journey and I love that.

If you enjoyed this….you may also like:
https://fiddleheadsnfloss.com/2019/02/15/gone-a-poem/
https://fiddleheadsnfloss.com/2019/02/22/desperately-seeking-oblivion/
https://fiddleheadsnfloss.com/2019/02/13/dust/


Chickens are A Great Way to Celebrate Morning, a Poem about mine…

If you’ve never gotten up in the morning to feed the chickens, it is quite an experience. This time of the year (very early spring) I check every morning for a fluffed hen who’s claimed a pile of eggs and has decided to be a mommy. Last Spring we welcomed Junebug, a sweet bantam cochin baby who followed me everywhere and took a liking to raiding the cat food bowl. We usually don’t keep too many of the babies, but Junebug stole my heart. Here is Junebug as a baby last spring:

Junebug, a blue bantam cochin.

This morning I went to feed the chickens and the wind in my face overwhelmed me with a deep wish to see the ocean. Sometimes that little bit of breeze on your face and you can almost smell the salty air of the coast. I wrote a quick poem about feeding the chickens this morning, and a deep longing for a visit with the sea. Here is Hen Song.

Hen Song

Blue Tupperware pitcher scoops up grainy feed.
I open the door; the wind steals my breath.
Stepping onto the deck I am stunned
By the sudden impulse to close my eyes
Suck in the wind and hear…
I hear the ocean.
I can almost see gulls, ring-billed, Bonaparte’s
Lifting, gliding, tucking, diving
Snatching up a silver flapping gift
From the sea.

I crunch through leaves, dried
Desperate for Spring
Buttercups plunging toward sky
Open, thirsty mouths of yellow and white.
The chickens march, two-footed and beak
pacing the fence
Craning their feathered necks
to see what I have brought.

I scatter and pour,
Check waterers, collect eggs
Silkies pecking at the polish on my toes.
Hello Miracle and Junebug!
Freedom and Merlin, Icy and Sprinkle!
Good morning! Good morning!
Squawk and song applaud a hen’s efforts
As I retreat, scraping my flip flops in grass.
I close my eyes and think of echinoderms
Suspended in the sand.
A conch shouts my name.

Starting a New Medication – A Lyrica Warning!

Before starting any new medication, you need to read this.

After the first pills, the pain vanished. My hands, my arms, my back. I felt magnificent. I recall sitting on the bed and watching the muscles leaping and twitching in my arm. The involuntary movements were entertaining, at first. My fingers twitched and leaped. My arm jerked. My shoulder twitched as the electric pulsing ran down my arm. It didn’t hurt. In fact, nothing hurt. The nerve pain in my hands and arms, gone. The nerve pain in my feet, gone. My back pain, neck pain, leg pain, sciatica…GONE!

I felt energized. Creative. I started a bullet journal. Over the course of 3 days I completed over 30 pages of charted notes, lists, extensive drawings and paper collages. I created spreads that I shared all over my social media. All hours of the night, I had paper, scissors, stickers, and containers of markers, ink pens, gel pens, colored pencils. I went through several glue sticks and rolls of tape and needed more.

I felt funny walking. Light-footed, wobbly, like the world was leaning and I was trying to make my feet cling to it. I wasn’t sure I was walking straight. I bumped into things. It was kind of funny, I thought.

Things were appearing in my hands. People appearing in front of me, waiting for my response. Had I been talking?

I was sitting in the bathtub. I don’t remember getting in the bathtub. The water was cold. My head felt foggy as I tried very hard to force memory. What day was it?

I woke up with my face on the stove. I was boiling water. I don’t know why I was boiling water. My family members were staring at me.

I was outside. The rooster was missing in the woods. I was amazed that I was walking on all the sticks and rocks and it didn’t hurt my feet at all! How amazing! I stared at my bare feet with fascination as I tromped through the field, across the gravel driveway, and through the woods. I was crying, very hard, but I wasn’t sure why. I was laughing that I was crying. (I later remember we hadn’t had that rooster for several years, as he had been killed by a predator, while fighting honorably to protect his hens.)

I woke up and I was sitting on the couch writing a letter. The scribbles on the paper were unintelligible for the most part. Other words were terrifying and rambling. One letter was enveloped and stamped and hanging on the “outgoing mail” clip by the door. Inside of the envelope, more ramblings I didn’t remember writing. Was I sleepwalking? I remember talking to someone.

My boyfriend was mad at me. This was very unusual. I didn’t know why. I sobbed on the couch to my 14-year-old daughter that he didn’t love me even though I was having a stroke. She consoled me. What was happening to me? I sobbed on, not knowing why or how I could allow myself to be pouring out myself in such horrible manner to my child, my CHILD!

I became increasingly belligerent. I made a lot of phone calls.

I don’t feel right, I kept telling people. I told the pharmacist, again. I don’t know how many times I called Joe the pharmacist, but the last time I called he called me by name as soon as he got on the phone. The “hold” song from the doctor’s office phone was playing on a loop in my head. How many times had I called them?

Something was wrong, very wrong. I hadn’t slept for days. What day was it?

When I finally reached my doctor on Monday morning, sobbing, feeling excited, creative, fantastic, terrible, and terrified, all at the same time. My arm still jerking, my fingers having a mind of their own.

You are having an allergic reaction ma’am. Don’t take any more of the Lyrica pills.

When I stopped taking the medication, the first day was like a fog lifting out of me, a sobering up, a making amends to the people I had tormented while I was in a medicated stupor. A great sigh of relief, and the return of pain. My feet had cuts all over them. My heels were deeply cracked and painful.

It took nearly 6 months after my 3-day experience with an allergic reaction to Lyrica, a medication my doctor prescribed to me to try to treat my chronic pain, for my arm to stop twitching. My fingers twitched, sometimes uncontrollably, for nearly a year. I still have cracks in my heels. The fear of the experience will never leave me. My family did not know what was happening as a lot of what I was experiencing while taking the medication, was not expressed to them, at least not in any way that made sense. I must say honestly, that it ranks high as one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. I wanted to share my experience as a reminder to check all new medications for side effects before you start the taking it, so that you can watch out for those symptoms. Have a trusted loved one know this information as well. If my family had known what to look for, they may have intervened on my behalf. Medications can affect your mental health in terribly destructive ways, and you need to be informed. While this medication is a life-saver to many, it is now on my list of “do not take” medications with my doctor, even listed as a medication allergy.

Lyrica (pregabalin) is an anti-epileptic drug medication used to treat neuropathic pain associated with peripheral neuropathy or postherpetic neuralgia, for treating partial onset seizures in adults, and fibromyalgia. Common side effects include:

Dizziness
Drowsiness
loss of balance or coordination
Dry Mouth
Constipation
Edema
Breast swelling
Tremors
Blurred vision
Weight gain
Problems with memory or concentration

Medications can change your life but be very careful HOW you administer a new medication, and be informed, very informed, about the risks. I hope that sharing this experience with you will be a reminder of this, and to pay attention, as well, to family members under your care when they start a new medication. If you or someone you love are experiencing unusual symptoms or behavior while taking a new medication, or at any time you are on a course of medication, please call your doctor to discuss your concerns.

Celebrate with Me! I’m Too EXCITED to Sleep!!

Woman Jumping Wearing Green Backpack

Today, in stands RIGHT NOW, is a newspaper, with an article WRITTEN BY ME. It is the first of what will be a standing column of opinion pieces. I am told by the editor that my poetry “will also go over well with readers.”

I hope to use the platform to develop a few new skills, get some print experience, and of course — it’s great exposure!

So it’s sitting there at the news stand. Patiently waiting for readers. I doubt I will be able to wait until after 3 pm when mine will come in the mail.

I think I will go buy 10. I mean, it’s my first article!!

And I am too excited to sleep. So I thought I’d share my good news with YOU GUYS. My readers.

Thank you for being a reader 🙂 If you enjoy reading my blog, will you please share it? Or reblog one of your favorites? Help my little baby-blog grow?

Christina Ward
Staff Writer at Observer News Enterprise (!!!)

Broken, A Poem for The Broken-Hearted

Oh, we have all been there. That place where brokenness, a roadblock, lies firmly between us and the we that we know we will eventually be, if it weren’t for the mess that we are. We stare into the mirror, not recognizing the tear-streaked skin, the dark circles under our eyes, the fact that breathing seems, well to be impossibly continuing…

I am talking about heartbreak. We have all experienced it. And, as we know. It DOES GET BETTER. We find a way to breathe again. To eat again. To make it through a night of sleep, rather peacefully, though it takes time. I’ve experienced my fair share of brokenness and sometimes, I write. It’s usually not my best work, but I earned it. So, with that, I share…

Broken

The seasons of several are
crashing down around me,
a hard steady rain I did not expect.

The mirror is splintered
tiny silver fragments scattering,
my thoughts scatter with them.

I looked into your face and knew…
you have the power
to destroy me.

I don’t need you to do it for me.

The seasons of several
crashing down around me,
a hard steady pain I did not expect.

If you are going through something truly terrible right now…know that after the night, always comes a bright, burning sunrise, and with it, promises anew.

Outrage at Actresses Indicted in College Admissions Scandal

Image result for Felicity Huffman Lori Loughlin

Actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin Indicted, With 44 Others in College Admissions Scheme

You have probably seen the news of two well-known actresses, Felicity Huffman (best known for her role in ABC’s dramedy Desperate Housewives) and Lori Loughlin (best known for her role in the ABC sitcom Full House) being indicted for their part in an elaborate college admissions scheme. Huffman and Loughlin took part in a scheme involving faked athletic participation and achievements, and faked test scores, along with other parents, who were willing and able to pay substantial amounts of money to get their kids into some of the most elite colleges in the country.

A California business man, operating under the guise of a non-profit, took money from parents to get their kids into the college of their choice, and then funneled that money to various athletic coaches and college exam SAT and ACT administrators. Coaches arranged fake profiles, took fake athletic pictures of students who were not even playing the sport, and exam administrators hired proctors to take exams for students…are you disgusted yet?

The two actresses have been the brunt of a Twitter-expolosion of jokes and memes since the news broke. Parents are outraged. We all should be.

Let me set a scenario for you, one probably you may find relatable. Picture a single mom, 2 young boys, waking up in the early morning hours with ice on the roads. This mom was me. I was in my early 30’s at the time, and school was closed for my boys that day- on the day I had to take my college state final for Chemistry, likely the most difficult test I would have to take in my college education.

I fed my boys, bundled us all up, and my car door was frozen shut. Running late, driving on the icy roads, and bringing my two children with me I showed up at the classroom door, in tears. My professor was kind. Understanding. He set me up in the hallway at a desk we drug out the door, in front of the other staring students, and I took that terribly difficult test while my kids played Legos on the floor next to me.

I did not have the
“PRIVILEGE” of having a proctor. Nor the money to pretend I was present. I showed up. I rested on the laurels that the few midnight hours of study I’d managed would be enough…

SHAME on these scheming people for manipulating our college system and allowing money to take the place of their moral compass. Students all over this country are working, studying, showing up in tears for exams they’ve lost sleep over. It is a terrible thing to teach our young people – that money can get you whatever you want.

I chose to teach my boys a different lesson – that hard work, dedication, and being fearless will get you a well-earned B on the hardest exam. It will get you self-respect.

Christina Ward, Staff writer at O.N.E newspaper
@fnfwriter on Twitter
Fiddleheads &Floss
https://fiddleheadsnfloss.com/

Perfect Bra Size Fit – Tips and Tricks You Need to Know Now!!

Need a little help finding the perfect bra fit? You are not alone.

Ladies, I know your struggle. Finding the perfect bra size is frustrating and challenging, but it is NOT impossible. I have been professionally trained to measure for bra size by a major high end retail store and what I learned through this experience, I will pass along to you. You will be able to measure for your perfect bra size and also you will know what size to choose if you go up or down a band size for the comfort you want! I will also show you the biggest mistakes most women make when choosing a bra, and how you can avoid these common pitfalls. So, get a NON-PADDED bra (or take yours off,) a pen and paper and one of those handy dandy tape measures…and meet me back here!!

Men …this is an article about boobs. Proceed with care 😉

Are you ready? Measuring for the perfect bra is not hard and you can do this!

We are going to take 2 measurements. I will walk you through this, but I will also tell you the things that will make your bra size make more sense to you, and help you understand what bra is best for you! (And no, I don’t sell bras, I just want to help other women be happy, confident, and empowered!) Ok, let’s DO this.

STEP ONE: Measuring for your band size

  • Using your soft tape measure, wrap the tape horizontally (parallel with the floor) around your torso, right where your bra band will be, just underneath your breasts. The tape should be level with the floor, not angled. use a mirror to make sure you are getting an accurate measurement. The tape should also be snug, no more than one finger should fit underneath. Ok now read your number and round UP to the next inch. WRITE THIS NUMBER DOWN.
  • Now, take the number you just wrote down: if it is an ODD number (31, 35 etc.) add 5 to your number and write this down.
  • If your first number was an EVEN number, add 4 and write this down.
  • Ok you should now have 2 numbers written down, your torso measurement and the second number, which is your BAND MEASUREMENT.
  • *** A little trick I learned from the bra-fitting experts I worked with and trained with…and I don’t see this information posted in other bra-fitting sites…if your torso measurement is 40 or up, don’t add the standard 4 or 5, add 2 or 3! If you do this and when in the store you find this doesn’t help and it feels too tight, then go with the standard of adding 4 or 5. SOMETIMES I have found this to allow for a better fit.

More on band size later, let’s get to CUP SIZE…

STEP TWO: Now, let’s measure for cup size…

YOUR CUP SIZE IS MERELY A LETTER … NOT THE SIZE OF YOUR BREASTS

But first. We need to talk about cup size for a moment. Before you take your measurement, and we figure out your perfect cup size…FORGET EVERYTHING YOU KNOW ABOUT CUP SIZE. Little known fact: CUP SIZE IS NOT THE SIZE OF YOUR BOOBS. Letting that sink in? There is NO standard cup size of A or cup size of D…each cup size combined with the band size makes for a size to fit the breasts. This cup size thing needs to NOT be attached to a stigma of whether or not your breasts are “big enough” or “small enough.” More on cup size later but if you promise to take your measurements without attaching them to your self-esteem…we can continue. LET’S DO THIS LADIES.

Measuring for cup size

  • There are two ways to take your bust measurement; standing, or bent over. I will walk you through both.
  • Standing method. Take another measurement like you did for the torso measurement, with the measuring tape parallel to the floor, at the widest measurement of your breasts (usually right across the nipple area.) You want the tape to be an accurate true measurement so do not pull too tight or have it loose either. It should be resting against your skin all the way across your back and sides and softly across the bust area. You will want to round UP to the nearest whole inch number. Write this number down.
  • Bending method. Bend in half at the waist, until your back is parallel with the floor, and let your breasts hang to take the same measurement. (I often take the standing measurement with a non-padded bra and then take the bending-method measurement with NO bra on and compare the numbers. Try to make sure to round up to the nearest number for both and you should have the same bust measurement. it is ok to take both measurements several times and feel confident in this measurement. Write down your number (remember to round up to the nearest whole inch number.)
  • FIGURING YOUR CUP SIZE: Take the very first number you wrote down, the torso measurement and subtract the bust measurement and write this down. This number will determine your cup size.

CUP SIZE CHART

BRA SIZE CHART – If you do not fall in this chart, I would recommend a professional who works with special sizing. Larger and smaller cups sizes are often not available and will need to be specially ordered.
So now, you have your band and cup size! Here are a few other things you need to know BEFORE you go bra shopping:
  • An estimated 80% of women are wearing the WRONG bra size! Once you have measured correctly, I would advise that you re-measure anytime you have changed weight by 10 pounds or so to be sure your size has not changed. It is also a good idea to re-measure each year.
  • if you have “side boob” or that unattractive boob roll at the top of your bra, your bra cup size is TOO SMALL!
  • If you have gaping at the top of your bra, your cup size is TOO BIG, or this could be a sign that you have what is called “shallow” breasts, meaning there is less fullness in the top area of your breasts. This is a good indication that a bra with under-padding would be good for you.
  • If you lack the cleavage you desire, opt for this padding to be more toward the outer area of the cup. It is possible your breasts are more wide set (and since you’ve probably been wearing a cup size too small, you’ve been hiking your boob over and into the bra–very annoying to have to keep doing this!) and going up to the correct size could correct this for you.
  • Know your breasts are NOT the same shape as everyone’s. Breast tissue can be dense and round or slack at the top, or sprawly…everyone is unique and choosing the best bra style that best fits you is also important. While you may LOVE that delicate style, you may need more support for a fuller breast tissue. Wide set breasts need more support at the sides. Hanging breasts may need more lift. There are also minimizing bra styles for breasts that protrude more than you want them to. Once you have your correct sizing, try on several styles and see what looks best on you. Don’t try to be like everyone else – do what works for YOU.

ONE MORE THING ABOUT YOUR BRA SIZE THAT IS VERY IMPORTANT

THIS ONE IS BIG…PAY ATTENTION: If your band is just TOO TIGHT and you want to go up to the next band size for the sake of your preference and comfort, DROP DOWN A CUP SIZE. Also if the bra you like runs loose, and you drop down a band size, GO UP A CUP SIZE. It is a good idea to know the next size up and down so you can shop different brands and styles easily. For example:

You wear a 36 C. Therefore your “sister sizes” would be a 38B or a 36D. Some brands run small (Calvin Klein for example) so you may want to try the 38 B (or C if it is still too small in the cup area). Or that bra you really want is not available in 36 C but maybe they DO have a 36D. Try on that one! Each brand, whether your favorite is Bali, or Maidenform, or Victoria Secret, all run differently, just like jeans or any other apparel. So take this into consideration.

So …are you ready to toss out all those floppy bras that are every size BUT the right one? Are YOU wearing the wrong size? Ready to go shopping? When you do, be patient with yourself and KIND to yourself. We are all built differently, and everyone deserves to feel confident and content with exactly who they are.

Thanks for reading. If you found this article helpful, so may others! Use the buttons below to share or reblog.

Please leave any thoughts or comments below and have a wonderful day!


Exciting News! Guinness Project Makes Front Page of the Newspaper!!

In a time of terrible divisiveness in our country, it is nice to see a diverse group of people coming together for this project. It is important for people to find the things we have in common, and focus on what unites us.

Christina Ward

Calling all “George” cheerleaders…celebrate with me a small recognition. Our giant undertaking is making waves in my small community.

I made the FRONT PAGE of the local newspaper !! Check out the coverage “George” is receiving in my small town:                         

The George Washington Project is making News

Some of you have been following along with the George Washington Project. If you are unfamiliar with this, I welcome you aboard as a cheerleader and invite you to check out these posts to catch up: https://fiddleheadsnfloss.com/2014/02/26/stitching-george-washington-crossing-the-delaware/

https://fiddleheadsnfloss.com/2019/02/22/the-george-washington-project-one-year-anniversary/

https://fiddleheadsnfloss.com/2019/02/19/flosstube-video-1-two-handed-cross-stitching-and-parking-method/

We all have talents. I think it is fundamentally important, that no matter what our talents and passions are…to do something BIG with them.

Christina Ward

Making it happen…

We recently had a one year anniversary of this project and after writing an extensive blog article on it, I sent the information to my local town, who then directed me to contact 2 local newspapers, and gave me contact email addresses. I did. One of the newspapers contacted me and collected the information to write the article.

and there’s more…

What is even more exciting for me: they love my blog articles and asked me for sample articles. They are interested in hiring me as a writer/contibuter for the newspaper. Pretty cool huh?

Chronic Pain: Just DEAL With It??? 10 Ways HOW

 

A friend of mine recently said to me while we were discussing my experiences in living with chronic pain and how difficult it can be for others to understand, “well, it is a “thing.” Yes, chronic pain is a “thing,” and it is something many of us live with daily. Maybe you power through and keep on working, or you find yourself parked on the couch day after day, feeling like life is simply passing you by.

Life does not have to just pass you by.

We all do our best to “just deal with it,” a phrase we hear more often than comfortable. And in the throes of a nationwide opiod epidemic, some of us do so without medications that would have been a standard treatment. Other medications, not necessarily pain medications, are often prescribed, counseling or physical therapy recommended, or occasional steroid treatments.

 

The source of chronic pain often goes undiagnosed, which can lead to anxiety and unease. “What is wrong with me?” becomes a dominating thought.

There is hope.

But managing chronic pain is more than doctors, pills and therapy. It is developing a support system and a lifestyle that allows you to continue living your life to the fullest that you are able and having people around you that love you in spite of your limits. Here are a few tips to managing the pain and living life off the couch of despair.

 

 

Managing Your Pain

 

  • Yes, see your doctors and follow their advice. It is not a final solution to what you are going through, but they can offer medications, therapy, physical therapy, chiropractic, or possibly surgical options. Do not carry a shame or guilt about pursuing these options. You are taking care of your health the same as you would any other disease or condition. Understand that they may not be able to cure you of your condition.

 

  • Be honest with your family and friends. Let them know you are struggling with pain and that it is affecting how you go about your daily activities, how you participate in social engagements, and how you feel from day to day. Try to understand that they cannot feel what you are going through and some skepticism is understandable. Be careful not to burden them with complaints, but he honest. If there are people in your life who criticize you, berate you, or abuse you for what you are going through, perhaps it is time to distance yourself or burn a bridge with those people. You need a supportive community, not one that makes you feel less of a person for what you are going through.

 

  • Develop healthy coping skills. This is not the time to abuse alcohol, pain killers, or other unhealthy means of dealing with your pain. Self-abusive activities will only worsen what your body is already trying to manage. Find things that alleviate your pain and listen to your body. Understand that our approach may have to be alleviating or tolerating your pain, not ending it. Chronic pain is just that, chronic. If walking helps the pain in your hips, then make the time to do it. If Epsom salt baths or using your TENS unit bring you relief, then make the time to do it Taking care of yourself is crucial to living a more comfortable life.

 

  • Don’t beat yourself up over your limitations. Pain changes people. You realize you have limits, but this does NOT mean that you do not have purpose, value, and deserve to live proudly. While your pain may limit you, it does not define you. Try to focus on what you CAN do, not on what you can’t.

 

  • Ask for help. This may seem wimple, but some people try to do everything they used to do and make living with the pain much harder than it could be. Let some things go if need be and ask others to pitch in a little more and lighten the load where it is most cumbersome.

 

  • Find joy wherever you can. Joy, smiling, laughter, even in small doses can help you to feel alive, content, and change your perspective on having a bad day. Embrace these moments and cling to them!

 

  • Try to accept that there will be good days and bad days. Maximize on your good days and be patient with yourself on the difficult ones. You didn’t ask to be in this position, and you may have no control over the circumstances, but you do have control over how you respond to it, how much mental attention you give it, and how you can stay positive.

 

  • Listen to your body and respond to it with kindness. Sometimes pain signals are for us to slow down, stop using that are of our body and let it rest and heal, or the signals are simply misfirings that will fade on it’s own. Do not ruminate or inflate problems that may be temporary. Focus on something else the best you can until it passes.

 

  • Say NO. There are times you just, cannot. It is ok to be present when you can, but you know that you can’t always be at that meeting, or that party, or get-together. It is ok to be absent, without guilt. If you were sick, you’d have to bow out and this is no different. Sometimes you just can’t be there…and this is OK.

 

  • Finally, if someone tells you to “just deal with it,” tell them: I AM.

 

It’s Time to Take Back Your Life
Life can be difficult, but it does not mean it is impossible.

 

Living with chronic pain can be difficult, isolating, embarrassing, and debilitating. If you know someone experiencing this, try not to judge or be unkind, or worse, to gossip about them to others. We ALL have our burdens to bear and we handle them in vastly different ways, the best that we can. And again, to those of you living with this condition: Stay positive, you have VALUE, and your pain does not define who you are.

AND YOU ARE NOT ALONE.