Thank You Moonbeam!

Moonbeam McQueen was kind enough to have me as one of her guest posters this week while she was out having fun with her daughter who was visiting. Moonbeam, I hope you had a great week. My face is red over the kind things you said about me or possibly I’m having a hot flash. Either way I appreciate the kind words and I appreciate being one of your blogger pals. I enjoyed the whole week of guest blogging but I look forward to next week when you start entertaining us with your own words.

It is so freakin windy today. It is so windy that the wind blew the top open of our bird feeder so now the squirrel can just get right in it. Lucky him, the little rat bastard, as my wasband would call him.


I have to drive, alone, over the bridge today to my chiropractor. This will be my third time going alone. I just hope the bridge isn’t swaying in the wind. I don’t want to have to suddenly stop on it because I’m having a panic attack. Though the State Police barracks is right by the bridge. I’m sure they would come and save me. Wouldn’t they! Or would they just put me in a safe place to protect the public, like the lunatic house. I don’t know but we’ll find out because I’m going.

This is the new me. The one I’ve been working on improving for the last year. So because I like lists so much I thought I would make a list of the top ten things I have improved about myself in the past year. This also includes things that have happened to me that have helped to improve my life. They are in no particular order.

1. I now take drugs. That probably doesn’t sound like an improvement but it is. I take Zoloft which has made a huge difference in my life. My sister and daughter had finally convinced me to go to my doctor because they felt I was depressed. I didn’t know I was depressed. I went to the doctor with my sister (she insisted on coming with me because she knew I would try to weasel out of it). My doctor gave me the prescription which I didn’t fill for another month. I finally filled it and WOW after just a short period of time I was feeling so much better and that’s when I realized, yes, I was depressed and now I’m not.

2. I joined Weight Watcher’s. I have lost 65 pounds depending on what scale I’m on. Sometimes it’s a little more on my own scale. I like my scale the best. I’ve lost the most weight and lasted the longest at the meeting I go to. I get phone calls from members who are having problems losing.

3. I started seeing a therapist. She is wonderful. She has a great sense of humor so when I tell her about the crazy things that happen in my life she gets it.

4. My daughter and her husband moved in with me. I love having them around. My daughter is my greatest supporter besides my sister. She also gets me.

5. My ex-husband moved in too. I refer to him as my wasband. He brings a lot of laughter to the house. He has a great sense of humor and he gets me too. Not everyone does. We get along great as roommates. My daughter thinks we are just plain weird but I know she loves hearing the laughter upstairs.

6. I can drive over the bridge and get off Cape Cod by myself for the first time in 25 years. Could be the drugs, could be my resolve. I don’t care why. I can do it.

7. I have become disabled over the past few years because of severe arthritis in my knees (I need two new ones) and arthritis in my back. I can only stand for a few minutes. Now that in itself is not an improvement in my life. But I am finally trying to improve the problem by seeing a chiropractor, an orthopedist, and I start chair yoga next month and of course losing weight. I am no longer a couch potato.

8. I try to look at my disability in a positive way. I get to drive around the grocery store in a cripple cart. This can actually be fun. I make the thing go as fast as it can which is about as fast as an old lady can walk with a cane. I’m an expert driver and can do U-turns really quickly in tight aisles which usually freaks out anyone around me. Good looking men get stuff for me from the top shelves. Romi , somehow I just know you could use this method to meet that special one. You could have a miraculous recovery in the grocery aisle screaming “I can walk, I can walk!!” after the good looking guy hands you your curry.

9. I get to give out tickets to people who park illegally in handicapped parking places. That is very fun.

10. I am happy.

So that’s my list. I hope to keep adding to it as time flies by. The biggest thing I’ve learned in the past year is a positive attitude is the only attitude. It’s the only attitude that moves you forward, even when you can hardly move at all.


33 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Little Miss
    Mar 21, 2008 @ 12:25:42

    You are doing awesome, Joan! 65 pounds?? WOOHOOO. And I’m so impressed you are driving yourself to the chiro again. How inspiring you are. Love your lists – both here and on MB’s blog.

    Thanks for the compliments. It keeps me going. I couldn’t turn back now, especially with everyrone rooting for me.


  2. betme
    Mar 21, 2008 @ 13:25:47

    Big hugs and happy thoughts as you cross the bridge. A friend once told me to turn the A/C to blast-off and point the vents at my face when I feel a panic attack coming on. It really works! At home I just put my head in the deep freezer. (And at Wal-mart I stick my head in the bagged ice bin) πŸ™‚

    Thankfully, my panic attacks ended when my son returned from Iraq.

    You have listed many fantastic improvements in your life. WTG!!!

    I’ll remember your suggestions about panic attacks. I can just picture you with your head in the bagged ice bin at WalMart. Now I have something fun to look forward too. That ought to freak out the shoppers at Wal-mart, especially doing it from the cripple cart. LOL

    I didn’t know you had a son in Iraq. No wonder you had panic attacks. How long was he there for? Does he ever have to go back? I don’t know how you stood it. My son is only 7 hours away and I worry about him and he’s only in Buffalo.You must be so happy to have him home.


  3. Peter Parkour
    Mar 21, 2008 @ 14:19:21

    Just in from MoonBeamMcQueen’s place. Liked your list, and MoonBeam’s description of you and your blog. She painted a pretty good picture that turned out to be quite accurate. I enjoyed this list as well.

    I too recently started on the road to a better/healthier me. You are very inspiring in that department. Thanks.

    #8 had me LOL literally, because I’m familiar with Romi’s blog, and could just imagine her giving that one a whirl. Cracks me up! Very funny. Thanks again.

    I am happy you enjoyed reading my lists. #8 just might work for Romi.


  4. kaylee
    Mar 21, 2008 @ 19:11:47

    Glad you have lost that much wait and did yo goet over the bridge ok?

    Yes, I made it over the bridge and back home without a panic attack. That’s my third trip. I still have a lot more weight to lose but I have a really positive attitude and I know I will succeed. How are you feeling?


  5. thegirlfromtheghetto
    Mar 21, 2008 @ 20:01:34

    Congrats on that weight loss! Good posting today on MM’s blog, by the way …

    Thanks. I think it was a great idea of Moonbeam’s to have guest posters. It was fun doing it too.


  6. Wendy
    Mar 21, 2008 @ 22:25:01

    I agree with Peter Parkour, your advice for Romi was fantastic. I’d love to hear about her standing up from the cart and calling out, “I can walk! It’s a miracle!”

    You’re awesome, Joan. 65 pounds is just fabulous. And I was thrilled to read on MB’s blog that you can fit into Landsend clothes. Not that you’d want to, but just knowing you can is so liberating. Keep up the awesome excellent fantastic work!

    Can’t you just picture Romi? I hope she tries it. I actually might order one Lands End summer shirt just so I can say I own something other than Fat Lady store shirts. I have weight watcher’s tomorrow. I’m hoping I lost something.


  7. joanharvest
    Mar 22, 2008 @ 00:36:09

    I’m still trying David’s method of leaving comments separately after each comment. I still can’t decide what I like best. That’s always been one of my problems- not being able to make decisions. I was just thinking I should make a list of my problems or negative things. But who wants to hear about my problems. I know I don’t. I think I’ll skip that list.


  8. moonbeammcqueen
    Mar 22, 2008 @ 02:05:03

    Awwww…Joan, I’m the one who should be thanking you! In fact I will.

    Thank you Joan, for your wonderful guest list, and for this one. You really are kind, inspirational, and funny as hell.

    I wish someone would video you in your cart at the grocery store, popping wheelies and doing U-turns. It could be Romi’s training film.

    That could be my next job and I can do it from a cripple cart – training films on “How to Meet a Man at the Grocery Store or Walmart” It can only be those stores because they are the only one with cripple carts.

    To tell you the truth, I was honored to be one of the “chosen” for your guest poster. It was a great idea, I mean to have guest posters not necessarily to choose me.


  9. kaylee2
    Mar 22, 2008 @ 18:07:13

    joan i am feeling very good πŸ™‚

    WOW, That is so good to hear. I am leaving in a few minutes to go with my daughter and her husband to a concert in Boston. I will be a passenger but I’m not used to going that far away from home. Hopefully I won’t have one of my panic attacks. The singer is a friend of their’s. So hopefully we will have fun. My wasband and his new girlfriend are going so I will get to meet her. She sounds really nice. I have talked to her on the phone. The name of the group is Tom Thumb.

    Well you are the best news I have heard today. My son relapsed with cocaine this week. So it has been a tough week but hearing that you are feeling so good makes me feel good. I’ll let you know how the concert was tomorrow.


  10. David
    Mar 22, 2008 @ 22:42:18

    I liked this post a LOT joanharvest! It sounds like you’re really doing great. Thanks for sharing your life with us πŸ˜€ Your guest post @MMQ was great too. Fact #10. Wow. But all that moving around as a kid taught you much about yourself and others, didn’t it? And the way your family has sort of reconstituted itself in your house is inspiring.

    Glad you’re trying the “integrated” comment response. I wonder if you’ll end up liking it better. I have a hard time making my mind up about things too. Meyers-Briggs INFP am I.

    People tell me I’m indecisivie. But I don’t know …

    LOL #8 I can SO picture Romi and her creepy-long hands all Frankenstein like “I CAN WALK!”. Of course, that line really belongs to Peter Sellers as Dr. Strangelove, but Romi can use it.

    I’m going to try your slow cooker pork roast recipe tomorrow. I’ll have to increase quantities a bit, it’s a 5 pounder. I like your suggestion of cutting the roast in half. Then you get 4 of the yummy “end pieces” not just 2.

    That IS great news from Kaylee! πŸ˜€

    I went over to Wiki to read about INFPs. I can’t tell you how every paragraph describes me. From now on if people want to get to know me I’ll just send them to that page because it really is me. I went to Boston for the first time in 8 years. Cape Cod, as you know, is not that far from Boston but I don’t usually like to leave my comfort zone. We went to a little place in Cambridge to see a friend of the kid’s sing. His music is very 60’s folk music. He writes his own lyrics. We went with my wasband and his new girlfriend and some friends of my daughter’s. We also stopped at the bar next door called “The Druid”. The name drew me right to it. We stopped there before and after the concert. and didn’t get home until 4AM. This is a quote from that Wiki page about INFPs, “When they want to be social they can be outgoing, charming and funny, making them a pleasure to have around. Because they say things (possibilities) they don’t necessarily believe, it is crucial to verify with them if some of their statements are truly decisions or judgements.” That’s me last night. But I did have a great time.

    I never thought of the Dr. Strangelove connection when I wrote that about Romi but I did have some movie in my head, I just couldn’t remember what it was.

    I hope you like the pork roast.

    And Yes, it is wonderful news about Kaylee.


  11. David
    Mar 22, 2008 @ 22:44:08

    Words of Wisdom:

    The biggest thing I’ve learned in the past year is a positive attitude is the only attitude. It’s the only attitude that moves you forward, even when you can hardly move at all.

    When I wrote that I was thinking of myself and also my son. He’s having a bad time right now. I hope he reads it. I don’t know if they are “Words of Wisdom” but they are very true for me right now. It just made me think of that Paul McCartney song “Let it Be”. I can hear it in my head. I love the words to that song.


  12. kaylee2
    Mar 22, 2008 @ 22:53:13

    ok πŸ™‚ i am sorry to hear that about your son hope yiou had fun?

    My son is a big boy now. He’s 26 years old. He will make it, I know he will. And yes, I had a lot of fun last night. The concert was great. There were ten of us that went. We went to the bar next door afterwards. It was called “The Druid”. I loved the way it was decorated. I wanted to take all the decorations home with me. It was a little ‘Harry Potter” like. We didn’t get home until 4AM. That’s late even for me. How are things going for you today?? I hope they are going well. We are going to a restaurant for an Easter Brunch where there will be lots of food I can’t eat. We are going with 26 people. We are going to take up half the place, It’s the same restaurant where I attend my weight watcher meetings. Maybe that will help me to keep away from the bad food like bacon and cheese and all the desserts. I’ll just pretend it’s a weight watcher’s meeting.


  13. joanharvest
    Mar 23, 2008 @ 10:48:57

    I left comments on everyone’s comments. That sounds funny. We will be photographing our Easter baskets and our Easter brunch today. I will post photos tomorrow or very late tonight. I will also write about my trip to the big city last night.


  14. kaylee2
    Mar 23, 2008 @ 17:05:43

    i am glad and I have so much fu n today no pain yet!


  15. Care
    Mar 23, 2008 @ 17:14:32

    Oops, I’m late to this party and I need to type this before I go and read all your comments + the commentors comments…

    Ahem, I love this list and I’m so happy FOR you. Of course, #8 was TOO FUNNY! and #10 is the BEST.

    Hugs and congrats all around and over and across that damn bridge. Smiles, C

    Well, I crossed the bridge by myself again today. Now I want to go a little further. The next time we visit my wasband’s father who is in a nursing home in Attleboro, I am going to drive. I will have either my daughter or my wasband with me just in case. But we’ll see how I do. Yea, I can just picture Romi in the cripple cart and having a miraculous recovery.


  16. joanharvest
    Mar 23, 2008 @ 17:48:11

    @ Kaylee

    I’m happy you had fun today. And it’s wonderful you’re not in pain. I did good at the Easter brunch. I ate just salad, vegetables, and one scrambled egg and one tiny piece of fish.


  17. kaylee2
    Mar 23, 2008 @ 18:04:34

    good for you πŸ™‚


  18. thebeadden
    Mar 24, 2008 @ 19:57:56

    Thank you for posting this Joan! I was feeling pretty down in the dumps today. I’m usually always upbeat, but I’ve had a few things happen this past six months that just brought me down. I’m not comfortable talking about stuff on-line (even in person actually) so when I see you opening up it’s like, I know that feeling. I’ve had to take a bit more time off work lately because of a health issue. I have a job that requires physical labor. And this health problem is really getting in the way.

    I’ll probably be looking at more time off than on. So today it really sunk in. Then I come here and see your post and think if you can keep such a positive attitude, why can’t I? I’m already feeling better! I change the circumstance I’m in, but I can ghange how I am going to let it affect me.

    I am so glad I found your site (through Moonbeam, of course!)

    I’m really happy things are going well for you! See there’s hope after all πŸ™‚

    Thank you for reading my post. I am so happy that writing it could possibly make a difference in even just one person’s life. I still have my problems, I just look at them differently. My son relapsed this week on cocaine but it didn’t send me off the deep end like it would have a year ago. He’s fine now. It was a one time thing (I hope). Last week he lost his job, his license plates were stolen, and a couple of days ago in the middle of the night three men tried to steal his catalytic converter from underneath his car. He happened to wake up. He called the police who showed up immediately and they caught the guys. But on the good side he got a new job already. His problems used to be my problems but I let them go through Alanon. The way I figure it I am 58 years old and this is my time and nothing, not my son, my disability, the pain I feel daily is going to get in my way. I’m sick of being that person who sits on the couch and watches life go by. I want to take part in it. Believe it or not, blogging has helped me a lot. I AM a very open book with my feelings. Writing “Whatever I Think” has helped me a lot to get to know myself through the perception of others.

    I am happy I was able to make you feel a little better.


  19. kaylee2
    Mar 24, 2008 @ 23:08:41

    where are the pictures you been promising?

    I am writing the blog right now. But I am only halfway through and it’s midnight and my eyes are starting to close. I don’t have much to do tomorrow. Today I was busy. I had to drive over the bridge again to go to my chiropractor and then go grocery shopping. My daughter cooked supper tonight which was nice. We had a Salmon salad. Really good. But after supper I had to do the dishes then make her pumpkin muffins that she has every morning with a yogurt and make her a wrap with lots of veggies and chicken for lunch. Then I had to check my Facebook page and my Myspace page. Moonbeam McQueen is now on Facebook so I became one of her friends. I think she just started on it today. I will finish my blog tomorrow, pictures and all. Talk to you tomorrow.


  20. teeni
    Mar 24, 2008 @ 23:40:17

    Wow! Hi Joan – I love your site as well and am adding you to my reader! I love that you have such a positive attitude about things – “This is the new me” sums it up and you are making it such a wonderful you! We can all try to continue learning to better ourselves no matter what age we are. I loved your list. I will be back also.

    Actually, I already added you to my blogroll so I could find you fast when I drink a cup of tea. Thanks for adding me to yours.


  21. joanharvest
    Mar 25, 2008 @ 00:08:38

    I’m still using David’s method of commenting. But I am thinking that if people don’t see my avatar at the top of the page under recent comments they won’t know that I’ve commented.


  22. Lucky
    Mar 26, 2008 @ 12:33:14

    This is wonderful. I am so glad to see how happy you are and you know the changes you made in your life guided you this way. It is cool to see all the things you are doing. I think it’s great! (I also like the suggestion you gave Romi! haha!) Being happy makes life so much easier. I am learning this the hard way… I went through panic attacks and depression but drugs didn’t help me. I had to change a few things in my life to cure my problem. I am still working on it, but I am doing much better than I was a couple of years ago. Thank you for posting this…it reminds of what I need to and should be doing!


  23. betme
    Mar 26, 2008 @ 13:46:39

    Joan ~ I missed your response. My son was in Iraq for 29 of the last 48 months. I was a basket case for the first 15 months and then went kind of numb as to what was going on. It was my way of coping. I will have to look for a funny story about a panic attack. Well, it is funny now that it is over.

    Hugs to you. I love your posts.


  24. joanharvest
    Mar 26, 2008 @ 16:01:53

    @ Lucky

    It takes a lot of hard work to be sane and happy. It shouldn’t have to be that way but we live in such strange times. But I’m going to be happy if it kills me LOL.


    I can’t imagine how you survived with your son over there for that period of time. I would have been a basket case. Like I said, I worry about my son and he’s just in Buffalo.


  25. romi41
    Mar 30, 2008 @ 13:03:45

    I love your list, and I’m so happy for how far you’ve come; don’t stop now, keep soaring! πŸ™‚

    And holy crap, I’m so sorry it took me so long to get here; I concurr with everyone: #8 is a GREAT idea…my miracle would DEFINITELY happen in the curry aisle, and if you sent me some practice-training-videos, it would greatly increase my chances of success!

    and @ David: my creepy-long-hands all-Frankenstein like?!?!??!? All I can do is laugh because you’re SO on the money with that one πŸ˜‰


  26. joanharvest
    Mar 30, 2008 @ 19:47:57

    @ Romi

    I love your new photo. But it’s so small and my eyes are so bad I can only see your LONG hands. Notice I didn’t say creepy-long.

    I think I’ll have my daughter come shopping with me and she can video one of my shopping trips.

    And don’t worry, nothing can stop me now !!!!! πŸ™‚


  27. Lumpy
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 01:39:16

    Awesome list Joan! Way to go on the weight loss! I’m really happy that you are feeling better these days – mentally and physically – fantastic! We are all works in progress, eh? Love your sentiments here.


  28. joanharvest
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 12:20:40

    @ Lumpy

    Thank You. I have to lose weight now. I’ve told too many people.


  29. Christine Poe
    Jun 08, 2008 @ 21:09:39

    I have to confess, I was looking up the meaning of “squirrel totem” for a friend of mine, and came across your notes. You sound fascinating, and very funny – you should right a book! I was mesmerized. I wanted to say hello!


  30. Christine Poe
    Jun 08, 2008 @ 21:24:46

    I should have said, you should WRITE a book!! I even showed this to my husband. We both loved your notes! I’ve never entered a blog before..didn’t even know what they were until my huband (Brett) told me.
    Your positive attitude is inspiring – even to me, and I always try to stay positive!

    Cape Cod is my mom’s favorite place to visit. We live in Burlington, Ontario.


  31. joanharvest
    Jun 08, 2008 @ 21:28:00

    @ Christine Poe
    I’m so glad you stopped by. I really hope you visit again. I love meeting new people. I’m happy you said hello! I don’t know how mesmerizing I am though my three cats think I am. They stare at me all the time. Sometimes it gets really weird. Thanks for stopping by and I appreciate the compliments.


  32. joanharvest
    Jun 08, 2008 @ 22:40:06

    I always have to go back and correct my mistakes. I’m surprised people even have a clue as to what I am talking about.

    I am French Canadian. My mother’s family was from Trois Rivieres, Quebec,. I was born in Woonsocket, RI, a French Canadian Mill town. I am a Kenuck.

    Cape Cod is the most wonderful place to live. I honestly can’t imagine living anywhere else.


  33. duskydi
    Sep 03, 2008 @ 02:14:07

    hehe!! Your words : ~~~ I’m suprised that people even know what I’m talking about ~~~~

    Do you really know how load and clear you speak my darling. Oh Yer ! People get you let me tell ya. I love the way you write and tell us your little storys. so honet with yourself and us. Thank you for that Joan.

    I to have leant about positive energy this year and how far we can go once we get out of our own painful heads and let go.

    Just let go…To practice letting go is always the hardest. Leeting go Urmm !! Easier said than done.

    Let go
    Let life
    Let God
    Let live
    Let Love
    Let friends




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