What Did You Say to Me? (Trigger Warning)



“I wish I had time for DIY stuff. If only I had the time to do what I WANT like you do. It must be nice.”



Really…?

Yep, this came at me again! Sheer stupidity or fundamental lack of understanding? I honestly do not know. I’m trying not to let it piss me off. I’m losing! Here comes a rant…


TRIGGER WARNING; RANT. STOP HERE.


So, yes, person(s). I have time to make shit and write shit. You don’t? Then maybe you need to excel at your job and not worry about what I get to do. That’s right. You do you, I’ll do me.

I was terminated (fired!) from my job for medical reasons. I did not decide to ‘just quit.’ I have a damn college degree! I had a career! I was a passenger in a stupid car accident that created this fibromyalgia, chronic pain, PTSD world I now live in. I didn’t seek it out, I didn’t ask for it. I can’t just think it away, or I would have…

I get disability ‘income.’ You think your taxes pay for my disability income? I paid into this system, too! Since I was fifteen years old, I have paid into the Social Security system. In fact, I’m still drawing FROM the real income I personally have paid into Social Security. I don’t answer to you. So I make shit and write shit.

Just for you, here is some added information you may want to consider. When you are in chronic pain, your brain is very busy with the task of pain management. It begins to act like a one-trick pony, forgetting it needs to manage more things than just pain. I write because it is mind work. I make things because it is mind work. I have to exercise my brain. I have to channel my mind away from pain… there is no cure for chronic pain.

Would you like to see my medical bills?

Would you like to read my diagnosis?

Would you like to pay for my medical expenses for one lousy month?

Be sure to let me know. I have it all! All the documentation your little heart desires. Yet, I still find the time to make shit and write shit! (I too, wish you “had time…”)

I hope you never have to experience what I have had to experience. I hope you never have time to make shit and write shit. Honestly, I do not wish even a moment of pain for you. My only hope is that you would get educated and watch your tongue until you are.

Finally… I want you to know I will never, EVER, even think of you again.

RANT over.

 

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1963

In 1963, Martin Luther King delivered the following speech…

I hope you take the time to really read this iconic peace of literature in its entirety.

We remember you, Martin Luther King Jr.

~Kim

The ‘Impact’ of Parking (The Rolling Stone)

We own a Keystone Impact 359. This is a 5th Wheel Toy Hauler named the Rolling Stone. It is 39′ long, approximately 13,000 pounds at dry weight. We pull the Rolling Stone with a Chevy Silverado 3500 diesel. It is a lot to handle!

Driving down the road with this massive 5th Wheel hitched to the back of our truck was (at first) a bit unnerving! You are literally pulling your home behind you! But this just didn’t compare to the first time we were backing this beast into an RV camping spot. I thought I was going to lose my damned mind!

We left Minnesota on Friday, October 26th, around nine PM. We drove, stopping at a couple of rest stops along the way to sleep until we arrived 800 miles south in Branson, Missouri, around seven PM on Monday, October 28th. 

Recommendation for new RVer: Do not travel more than six hours a day. This would be the sum of about 400 miles and two, reasonable rest stops per day. It is very stressful starting out! You are towing a monster. Take it slow. If you rush, there will be accidents. This isn’t a race!

The hubby and I have experience with bigger rigs. He drove a truck, I drove a school bus. Both of us have first-hand knowledge of towing a trailer behind your vehicle. We know when backing up a trailer if you want it to go left, turn your wheels to the right. When backing up into the left, turn the wheels to the right. It doesn’t seem that difficult! But oh man, it is!!! Two Type-A personalities trying to back into a 42′ spot with a 39′ camper in the dark. Why did I think that would go smoothly?

We eventually got it parked, decided we would not be divorcing and vowed to never repeat THAT behavior!

There is a thing about directions too, what I hear and my hubby thinks I hear are entirely two different things. When we arrived in South Texas about 950 miles from our last stop in Branson, I am happy to report the backing in is going much more smoothly! I called for park directions to our site, the hubby looked at the site map… I should have put my phone on speaker… not cool to argue about camping sites.

Recommendation for RVers: When getting directions to your site over the phone, put the phone on speaker, so you and your co-piolet hear the same instructions!

I think the bottom line is to relax! The Rolling Stone is big. We are newbies. Everything is a new experience! We have to continue to talk with each other and not at each other. We are working on this… after all, it’s him and me against the world right now. When we forget that, nothing goes well.

(3-minute slideshow)

 

Live your best life!

IMG_7612~Kim

Lite ‘Em Up!

Lite ’em up!

-The husband’s war cry heard only by me!

Can you believe it is December? You all know what that means! The reason for the season! The haze of frenzied holiday shopping…

Or does the holiday not exist for you? Too many shenanigans to even deal with? Well, I have news! You still get to deal with the frazzled nerves of retail clerks and rude people. In the real world, they are everywhere!

What happens when you need to purchase some groceries, and your clerk is in a dark mood? What about the guy in line who just can’t be bothered to acknowledge you? How about the lady with the cart who stops right in front of you and parks it?

My hubby is an even-keeled individual. He rarely lets anything upset him! However, it bugs him when someone is just a crab ass, and out to ruin everyone else’s day! He wants everyone to simply be good citizens and perform their duties as they should! If you are in the service business, you provide service with a smile! If you are in a public place, you have manners and be a pleasant person to be around. Period. (Bless his heart!)

I am not even-tempered. I like to play the invisible game… I just pretend rude people do not exist. I can ignore screaming triplets with ease. No problem. If I come across you and you are crabby… have a rotten day! But I’m gonna have a good day!

However, my husband has requested that I use my powers for good! So I engage…

My husband will shop with me. We make trips to the store together. Partly because he now can, and I don’t have to go solo anymore. There are times when he is just scared, I may be having a bad symptom day. Even on decent days, I may not make it through a shopping trip unscathed… I’m a bit of a gravity checker. Don’t dwell on that. I don’t!

As we go about our business, my husband will approach me from time to time and say, “Lite ’em up!” I will approach the offending individual, size them up and… well… say something.

Here is an example:

WalMart. A recent trip…

Checking out our groceries was a slight of a man, not in a very decent mood at all. Just so unnecessary. I got the signal, “Lite ’em up!” I tore myself away from the tabloid magazines and walked up to the clerk with a roll of Mentos in my hand. (Mentos, best mints ever!) The clerk asked if I was with him? (The hubby was ahead of me bagging groceries.) I pointed at my hubby and said, “Him? No… but I’m sure he won’t mind paying for these… if he gets mad, I’ll just let him keep my Mentos.” The clerk stopped completely and looked at my husband and back at me. I whispered, “It’ll be fine, he doesn’t look that big.” (Everyone was silent.) My husband started to laugh, then I did too. The clerk began laughing so hard he teared up.

We saw this guy a few days later, he remembered us and greeted us like old friends! What did it cost us to be kind? Nothing.

We do this! All. The. Time. Never the same script. You just watch the person and figure out what will work. Easy!

When someone is having a difficult day, why not make it better? A compliment. A kind inquiry. Just say please and thank you! It isn’t that hard. I just read my friend Billy Mac’s post called “My Best Work.” It is about simply being aware of the people around you and being kind. Have a quick read! GO! Together we can make this world a better, kinder place to live.

Live your best life!

IMG_7612~Kim

In Transition

I’ll be back In November. Be kind to each other! Sunday Quick Questions will be back in November as well! We are transitioning into our RV. I want to focus on this exciting time. I will have many stories to share with you! ~Kim

A Destination Starts at the Beginning

On January 1st, after a year of driving Uber and Lyft while finishing his trading courses, my husband became a full-time day trader. He (Jeff) had been a maintenance technician for almost 20 years, this was a significant career risk! He was hanging up his tool belt for an unknown future. Let me put the emphasis on trader, this means getting in and out of stock options as quickly as possible, making some money, and repeating this process all day long. He is not an investor. An investor puts money into a stock and waits for a long term financial gain. Nope. The hubby just looks for the quick buck. Jeff does not give anyone financial advise, other than to say, do your homework, and there’s a lot of it!

Why the change? Maintenance is a stable gig. After 20 years of hands-on experience, a boiler license, a pool license, including his technician’s license… why in the world would you want to change? Freedom. Freedom from a 24 hour a day emergency cell phone. Freedom from working day in and day out with a messed up back since high school football. Freedom to spend more quality time with an ailing wife who can’t guarantee her health will be at a maintainable level on any given day. Freedom to work in an arena that he only dreamt possible… (that’s the most important one I think.)

Has trading gone well for us? Hell no!!! But my husband is a survivor. He will fight for every nickel, dime, and dollar. He has and does! Day trading is a damn rollercoaster ride. You better be strapped in and ready for the drop, or you will not make it. You will literally be thrown from your seat off that ride! We have experienced the drop, several drops to be truthful, but we were both buckled in! We will continue on this ride.

So, my husband now needs only an internet connection to work. He is completely mobile. I am a blogger. All I need is an internet connection.

We have been going to home building shows for years, one day wanting to retire from the city to a log cabin possibly by one of the Great Lakes. Which one? When? How do we go about deciding where to live? Jeff is the outdoors type. Not the hunting/fishing guy but the camping/hiking kind of guy. He can fix anything, drive anything, and make a damn good breakfast over a open fire! Remember, I have some skills, I was a camp counselor and drove a big school bus. Why not continue ‘camping’ until we decide?

What in THE hell…?

It made sense. The RV lifestyle. We began our research even before Jeff decided to make a career change. The hubby and I are not impulsive people. Heck, he knew me since birth … it only took him 37 years to propose! To be fair, it took me 37 years to accept.

RV trade shows replaced our home shows. YouTube became an invaluable source of connecting with this lifestyle. Real pros and cons were listed, discussed, and re-categorized. We told no one. They’d believe we were daft. Would we be able to achieve what had now become this feverish goal? There would be many discussions, eventually revealing to extended family our plans. Some were good with it, others not so much.

We began to make the changes to get us mobile and into this elusive RV lifestyle destination! We just had to start at the beginning.

Now, this Fibro Warrior begins to find freedom by learning to become a rolling stone!

~Kim

Grace Kelly and Me

Grace Kelly. Never have I seen a woman who so personified her name. Grace Kelly was indeed a woman of grace. I wonder if Grace Kelly and I would have gotten along? Would she have liked me? I want to be a woman of grace. I do not want to be Grace Kelly-like, I want to be me but be a person who is associated with grace. I want to be that person who personifies grace. To me, this is a courteous person, has a manner of behaving that is attractive, and promotes goodwill. Grace.

I learned some precious lessons when I recently suffered a blow to my self-esteem. Just when I was so very sure of myself, feeling understood and respected, a few comments in passing shook me to my core. I had no idea why I felt so destroyed by these comments? Although these comments were directed at me, they were really not about me. But I was nowhere near reason when I first received these comments. My first reaction was anger, and boy did I react! Then, I just felt hurt, and that turned into fear. Fear that I was somehow a complete, incompetent failure.

I really believe you must be true to yourself! You are the only one you have to live with, day by day, minute by minute. If you are angry, hurting, and/or fearful all the time, what are you like to live with? Does your partner want to come home after work? Do they avoid you when you are home? Do you avoid them? What would it be like to walk into your house and see yourself waiting for you… would you be excited to spend time with your own self?

I learned two compelling lessons from my brush with low self-esteem. The first is, to thine own self be true. If you know there was no malice meant by your words or deeds, then you are not to blame. But if you feel a responsibility to explain or apologize for a misunderstanding, do it. Secondly, handle yourself with grace at all times. Be the person who is thoughtful and promotes goodwill. Be the person your partner, spouse, children, want to come home to, and your friends want to visit.

Self-esteem is a tricky little monster, but it is your little monster.  I am a person that tends to have low self-esteem, I also am a person with fibromyalgia, but I am doing my best to manage both. Life shut down my freeway, so I had to take a detour. Life is a constant construction zone, so you find the detour and get through it. Hopefully, with grace.

And yes, I do think Grace Kelly would have liked me.

img_1129~Kim

Moody Monday (Visitors)

Visitors

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Leaves were falling

the air crisp,

pain palpable

Anger pushed forward.

.

Winter brought snow

one tear fell,

another broke free.

The sadness of it all.

.

Its name is Grief

it asked to stay.

I agreed,

but only for a little while.

.

Cardinals sang in the spring

I met Surrender,

Grief bid me farewell.

Only Surrender and I remain.

~k.Lynel

A Lost Battle (Magic Memory)

Every ten years, since my dad turned 60, we put together a scrapbook for him. We’ve done three. He is 89 and soon will be due for his next book…

I have been spending more time with my parents in the past few months to assist my siblings in their care. Age waits for no one. I was looking at his scrapbooks and a page that I had done jumped out at me. I could literally taste salt. I remembered this taste on my lips after I kissed my brother’s forehead when he passed away on August 18th, 2003 at the Brook Army Medical Center. It felt like some sort of surreal recall. I want to share the scrapbook page.

I will write out the memory that’s on this page so it’s easier to read but I wanted you to see the page. I’m not a gifted scrapbooker, but this is no ordinary memory… this is what I wrote about my brother’s final two days of life.

To Dad:

It was August 17th, 2003.

You and Keith were getting ready to fly out of San Antonio, Texas.

I was getting ready to return to Kory at the hospital.

You turned to me and said, “Your Dad’s gonna stay here with you.”

I felt relief wash through me, I needed you to stay and you did.

.

It was August 17th, 2003.

I recited the bedtime prayer I knew by heart.

Now I lay me down to sleep… Kory seemed to quiet.

When I finished, you looked at me and said, “You are a good sister to Kory.”

I kissed Kory goodbye.

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It was August 18th, 2003.

I left the hospital, you called me.

A mere half hour had passed.

“Kory is gone, you better come back here.”

I returned to the hospital.

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It was August 18th, 2003.

You looked up at me and said, “What do we do now?”

In that moment, you needed me and I was there.

In that moment, I truly saw you, a father who had lost his son.

I loved you more and am forever changed and humbled.

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Together we brought him home…




To better times. Have a safe and happy 4th of July!

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Going Dark?

I’ve thought about putting my blog on hold… again… for a little while, and going dark. My house is going officially on the market on August 1st, I’d be lying if I said I was ready. In fact, last year at this time, we were prepping to sell our house, and I was able to sell a few of our more significant items. Then I got pneumonia in both lungs, and had the flu after that! It took me about six months to recover. We pushed the selling of our home into the next year, where we are NOW.

If there is one thing people with fibromyalgia get good at, it is handling change! Emotional change that is. One minute we feel fine, the next is anyone’s guess! Eventually, we stop reacting and start preparing for what we know is uncertainty in our days and unforgiving nights that are full of restlessness.

One thing people with fibromyalgia are not good at is physically changing locations. It can take a fibro warrior an entire day to plan and execute one trip to the drug store, grocery store, OR hardware store. It can take one whole day to go to the doctor’s office; travel time, wait time, and examination time. A straightforward day trip can throw us into a flare for days, sometimes weeks.

With all of the above mentioned, what do you think I’m planning to do once my house sells? The hubby and I will be living in an RV fulltime, moving every two weeks from site to site … yassss! (What the hell am I smoking!?!?)

Jeff and I have researched many areas we have considered relocating to. The weather in Minnesota is not kind to a person with chronic pain. There is a saying in Minnesota, “If you don’t like the weather wait 10 minutes or drive 10 miles.” That is our weather in this state, everchanging. Instead of picking a place to move to, we are going to try it out first. (In an RV.) We are going to travel this big, beautiful United States of America and see where we will fit!

We will be purchasing this model; a 39′ Fuzion 5th Wheel Toyhauler, similar to this floorplan below. The garage will make the perfect office! We will enjoy the patio as well.

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I follow quite a few blogs of fulltime RVers. Some I follow, have fibromyalgia. All RVers have said it is the best thing they’ve ever done (there are a few exceptions) and many with fibromyalgia say they’ve never felt better. I’m betting on it!

My brother asked me, “How much time have you ever spent living in an RV?”

Me, “None.”

“Then how do you know you’ll like it? That this is what you want to do?”

“I don’t know if I will like it.”

“Well?”

“Well, I have been researching this. The hubby is all for RV living and is finally mobile with his day trading. I checked with my doctor, and she is on board, she thinks this will really benefit my health. Speaking of health, I am not going to ever get better. I have a chronic condition. I will only get worse with age, so I want to go now. I want to travel while I am mobile enough to enjoy this type of experience.”

“Sounds like you’ll be RVing then.”

So, back to going dark and shutting down my blog for a few months, no way. I need my tribe! I want to take you all with me on this experience. I want to tell you the truth, what this is really like! I’m not going to go on YouTube and tell you everything is wonderful when it is not. AND. I wouldn’t tell you anything on YouTube because there is no way I’d do my own YouTube channel! (I’m glad others have already done this, don’t get me wrong, and there are some very good ones that I follow!)

So, the good, the bad, and the ugly… it’s all coming out on I Tripped Over a Stone! I’m going to tell you like it is. I will ask you for ideas when I feel lost and look to you all for support. I will post some short slide shows from time to time on my blog. I promise to always show you the reality of living fulltime in an RV and living life on the road with fibromyalgia.  Come with me! I definitely need my tribe.

I will also be needing a clever new tagline once we are on the road! I’m open to suggestions… any ideas???

Live your best life!

img_1036-3~Kim

A Message in a Song. (Breath Me)

Sometimes all we need is a friend, we just need a little help…~k.

“Be my friend.”

Sia ~Breath Me (lyrics)

 

 

A Message in a Song (Soon We’ll Be Found)

When you feel lost, hold on, sometimes words don’t fix things. Rest and return happy! ~k.

“…so come along, it won’t be long ’til we return happy…”

Sia ~ Soon We’ll Be Found (lyrics)