The Flare Up Blues

So, I’ve been absent–but I’ve always been spotty about blogging. Seriously, I’m the worst blogger ever. And I own it. 

But it’s been different lately, and not in a good way. For a while I was happy, in a good mood, not in too much pain, I even went back to work! But I’ve been having this month long flare and it just keeps getting worse. I don’t sleep, I can’t eat, I can’t even game. I’ve been at work sitting in pain or at home lying in pain. 

I’m not one to complain but I’m scared and confused. First off, I don’t know when I should call a doctor, I don’t even know which doctor to go to! Internist? Rheumatologist? Physical Therapist? Neurologist? I have so many and I don’t even know if they can help me.  I’ve been dying to go back on infusions but I don’t wanna be dependent on them. I’ve been exircising, walking, stretching, going to pool therapy and water aerobics (in moderation of course) but it’s not getting any better. We even doubled all my meds and nothing. If anything it’s worse. 

I’m still in a good mood of course, that’s in my nature when I’m around friends and family but I’m tired.

I’m well aware this is common and a million Spoonie’s every where deal with this… but it’s fucking hard! I’ve put a hold on everything for now because I just can’t do it. I still have to work so it’s gonna be a long couple of weeks. Plus with the hurricane bringing rain in I doubt I’ll have any relief. Had to have help getting dressed this morning. It’s a big kick in the but when you have trouble doing even the littlest things. 

I’ll be ok. I’m always ok. I always have a smile and I’ll never give up. Just promise me you’ll never give up, ok? Well fight for us together. (That was totally a Skillet quote.) 

I love you all 

OXOXO 

Kat 

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When Did I Grow Up? 

My youngest sister prank called me today. And it wasn’t anything major she just kept saying “I love you!” 

But she didn’t sound the same on the phone and I was at work so I kept asking for a name. When she finally told me who she was I told her prank calls weren’t cool. 

How lame could I be? 

It wasn’t that long ago that I was in HS and making prank calls with C at 11 at night. We had one lady going for hours about how we were two British sisters in the states for school but we were trying to phone home for our Aunt Petunia. To this day I will never know if she caught on and played along or if we really had convinced her. 

It didn’t take me long to figure out who was calling me and why–but I still asked her if she needed anything because I am that lame. I could have played along–I used to when I was in college. People would prank call me and I’d put on an accent and run circles around them. 

Now I’m asking myself: when the hell did I become an adult? 

I’m not an adult. I suck at adulting. I’m really just this lucky 23 year old who’s running around the states bumping into people, making friends and getting herself into precarious and sometimes amazing situations. I can’t even remember how old I am sometimes. Seriously, someone asked me my age last week and I literally had to do the math…on my phone… Also, I forget that I can go into the liquor store and buy my own liquor. I’m constantly trying to con my older friends to buy me stuff and they’re always like “Kat, your 23. Go buy it yourself!” And when I do, I still feel like I’m breaking the law or something. 

I’m pretty hopeless as an adult. I just tell myself I know what I’m doing. But I don’t. Anita and I have a plan, and so far it’s working but there’s still plenty of time for the Dallas ship to capsize and leave us in the dusty East Texas waters. 

But seriously. Where do you draw the line between bumbling college kid to responsible adult? Now that I think about it, even with all this chronic illness crap I’m still pretty independent. But I’ve always been that way so I don’t think that makes me anymore or less an adult than I was in high school. 

Just yesterday I was talking with a girl I went to HS with and it’s been over five years since we graduated! Where the frack did the time go!?  I ran into her while I was taking care of adultish things in my home town. I look so different now I’m surprised she even recognised me. I’ve seen loads of people I knew in HS and they never recognise me untill I tell them my name. Now some of these people were ugly as all get out to me in those days. But Ash wasn’t like that. And towards the end of senior year I’m pretty sure I was the borderline bully as I was so fed up with how those people treated me. 

But it’s all water under the bridge now. I probably won’t go to my reunion, or maybe I will, but I still can’t believe how time flies.  

Maybe there’s isn’t a definite point in your life that you cross that defines you as an adult. 

I can be a fully functioning adult who plays a lot of video games, cosplays and has cool toys right? Ok. Well it’s what I’m telling myself.

Have a good weekend my loves 

OXOXO 

Kat 

In a Cookie Cutter World, I’d be a Macaroon…

So. Queenie and I attempted to make macaroons…again. This time it actually worked out (if you over look the fact our macaroons weren’t the color they were supposed to be).

Ever since I spent time in London I have been dying to learn to make macaroons for myself because I live in the middle of no-where and trying to find good non-frozen macaroons in East Texas is like trying to find a rock star at a rodeo. It’s possible, but highly unlikely. I love, love, love macaroons. They’re not just a cookie; their colorful pieces of art–not just a cookie being extra. Each macaroon seems to have it’s own personality and flavor! I tried so many in London, I’m pretty sure I had macaroons almost every day I was there!

Living in Phoenix, I could order them from the bakery down the road from my villa, but out here, most people don’t even know what a macaroon is. And I say most because the bakers in my area know what they are but don’t know how to bake them. And even if they did, they still wouldn’t because no one around here eats them. But in Dallas I hear there’s a bakery that makes them from scratch, by hand everyday and the left overs get taken to the shelters and food kitchens. It may be just a rumor, but I intend to investigate every tea room and bakery I can find regardless.

As for baking them myself….

Our first attempt at French Macaroons ended with a kitchen covered in almond flower, a batch of hopeless crumbling cookie feet and two very sad small town, rookie bakers. This time, however we did our research, bought better ingredients and learned from our mistakes.

I knew the basics, like what it meant to have egg whites hold a peak and what the feet needed to look like. But I didn’t know what to do when the feet stuck to the wax paper, or that you’re supposed to drop the cookie sheet so the air bubbles move to the top. There’s all of these baking secrets that no one tells you so when your faced with the traumatizing issue of your beautiful double chocolate macaroon feet sticking to the wax paper you frantically toss them in the freezer hoping they’ll magically pop off like their supposed to.

Reality check: I have never gotten anything to not stick to the cookie sheet, wax paper or glass dish. Fortunately, this is the 21st century and we have google.

I’ll link the recipe we followed down below with the pictures I took of our adventure.

This time we opted for Italian Macaroons and not French Macaroons because the recipe was said to be fool proof. I read so many cooking/baking blogs that said it took them years to perfect the French Method. Well, I don’t have years. Anita and I move in less than a month and I need to have the macaroon recipe perfected for our Sunday Brunch/High tea dates out on the balcony.

We have it all planned out, I even picked out a bistro table!

Any ways, tip for making macaroons: pay attention to what side of the wax paper you put them on, buy a rubber template, and invest in gel food coloring if your not using the natural color. We wanted our vanilla macaroons to be purple so we mixed red and blue… some of the batches turned out to be an ugly grey color and we were sad. Also, if you’re a spoonie like me–get a mixer. All the hand beating and folding brought me to tears and Queenie had to take over because my hands were hurting so bad.

Also, even with all of our preparing, the feet still stuck to the wax paper. Here’s what we did:

We took the wax sheet with the feet on top and placed the sheet in warm water. We used a separate cookie sheet with warm water covering the bottom of the pan.

And for god sake whatever you do, DO NOT LET THE MACAROONS GET WET.

It’s not that hard to set the wax sheet ON TOP of the water, or at least it shouldn’t be. We however had tried to pry a few off with a spatula, so there were holes in the wax paper.*le sigh*

Once the paper sat there for a few minuets the feet popped off like they were supposed to! It was like magic! Only it wasn’t… it was an accumulation of college ingenuity and a lot of frantic googling.

We will be experimenting with flavors now that we have the basic recipe down. We made vanilla macaroons with a chocolate ganache (google that if you don’t know what it is) and they were AMAZING. Enjoy the pictures below of our Macaroon adventure part 2.

The Recipe: http://sugarywinzy.com/basic-macarons-italian-meringue-method-with-raspberry-curd-filling/

Have a wonderful week WildeKats!

OXOXO

Kat

Courage, Water Aerobics and Victory Treats 

So, it’s been a minute. But I’ve had a lot on my mind and a lot to do so blogging hasn’t been something I could focus on lately. I’ve been apartment hunting with Anita, working, and trying out some new pain management routines. 

I’ve sort of hit rock bottom when it comes to RA. I’m not on any pain meds for RA or fibro and my entire body is just so exhausted and in pain no matter what I do. I’ve been trying to walk, stretch, do yoga at home and just be active but my legs and hips are just like… nope. My back has always been a problem so I’m used to it but when everything hurts all at once it just flat out sucks. 

I had a very exciting week though. Anita and I may have found an apartment, I house sat my friends kitties, went to a conference for work and then journied to see Queenie so that we could attempt Macaroons once more. It is my goal to have tea parties with Anita on Sundays and Macaroons are a MUST for tea parties. They didn’t turn out quite like we had hoped but they’re way better than our first attempt. 

I’ll be posting a blog post about that next week. 

But today I just wanted to brag on myself a little. I finally got up and out to the Life Center and signed up for the water aerobics classes! It’s only 5 dollars a class and I don’t have to pay for the gym membership! I’m super happy about that.

 I’ve been having some anxiety because my pain levels have sky rocketed in the last few weeks and I can’t commit to a gym membership because I can’t work out every week. Even if I could, using gym machines is painful. I’ve tried. Yoga is hard enough. My doctor says water aerobics is a good alternative and it’s soothing for joints and muscles. So hopefully this will be a good step for me. I’m also looking into massage therapy for my back and shoulders. 

I also have anxiety about going into new places because I always get lost and don’t know anyone or where anything is. So this being a gym plus a new place really freaked me out. But I managed and I’m very proud of myself! I’m not ashamed of my anxiety because when I pluck up the courage to do something that makes me anxious I always feel very…powerful afterwords. Overcoming a fear or anxiety no matter how small is a big thing for anyone. 

It’s important to recognise even the smallest of triumphs especially when living with a chronic illness. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been called lazy or been given a weird look when I get excited about getting out of bed on time, wearing a bra for a full eight hour work day, or not passing out in the shower(or on a walk). But these are big things for spoonies, so I always smile and pat myself on the back when I accomplish anything. It’s all part of my self care routine. Sometimes I have to bribe myself, but I try extra hard to not push myself or be to hard on myself. This morning I told myself I could have one of my Almond Milk protein boxes as a treat if I got up and filled out the paper work at the Life Center. Last week I bough powdered donuts because I successfully cleaned my whole apartment instead of playing video games. Spoonies gotta do what a Spoonie’s gotta do. Bribery works, sometimes…. 

As Anita and I move I’ll have to find new doctors and facilities, but knowing that I’ve overcome the fear once helps me overcome it again. I actually have to break the news to my rheumatologist in two weeks–that will definitely be blog post worthy. 

Enjoy your weekend WileKats! Be spontaneous, be safe and most of all be Wild! 

OXOXO 

Kat