Life is Grace

I am changing my blog’s name to fit the direction I want to take it, and my writing. There will still be plenty of photography, and if anyone should be interested in making a purchase, just click on “Gingerfancy Photography” above the blog header. To read more about why I am changing the name, and how it fits with the past history of the blog, please keep reading. Also refer to the pinned post at the top of the blog, the quote by Frederich Buechner.

Welcome! I’m Barbara and one thing I want to make clear straight away is that I am determined to live a full, generous, and creative life, one filled with love and laughter, despite chronic pain and disability. This is a good time to plug in one of my favorite quotes, by Joseph Campbell:

We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.

Continue reading “Life is Grace”

Winter Wednesday

It’s cold. And changing my antidepressant from Cymbalta (which was helping my fibromyalgia but had quit helping my depression) to Fetzima (vice versa) isn’t helping my grumpy mood any. I have developed strange food cravings (carbs, sugar, and more carbs) and I am frighteningly grateful for cable TV and Law & Order reruns.

Continue reading “Winter Wednesday”

Be Soft

My parents have been dead a long time. Or not so long. It depends on my mood, how long it seems. My mom died in April 2007, my dad in January 1993. I often wonder what advice they would give me now, about being childless, being disabled and in chronic pain and often frustrated and depressed. Then, by chance, today I came across a quote that spells out what I know in my heart they would both say to me so perfectly, it gave me chills. In fact, I can hear my mom’s voice…

Continue reading “Be Soft”

Why Does Everything Sound Better in French? 

Even having a migraine, with all of its painful and ugly connotations, sounds romantic in French. According to one of my favorite books, Words in a French Life: Lessons in Love and Language From the South of France, by Kristin Espinasse (an American married to a Frenchman and living in Provence), to have a migraine in French is avoir la tête comme une citrouille. Literally translated into English, this means “to have a pumpkin head,” which is amusingly descriptive of a migraine. If, that is, someone is pounding violently upon the pumpkin that is one’s head.

However, I did discover another tip in the same chapter. The chapter is called is Citrouille and is about Espinasse’s rather hilarious attempt to celebrate Halloween American-style with her bewildered French neighbors. Next time vous avez la tête comme une citrouille, simply scream at your pumpkin head “Allez-vous-en!” (get out of here!) Scream as loud as you can with someone whacking at your pumpkin head with a hammer, anyway.

I apologize for my lousy French grammar, by the way. Should mon la tête comme une citrouille ever va-t-en laisse-moi tranquille (go away and leave me alone), I hope to brush up on my college French.

N.B. As always, I use textures from 2 Lil’Owls on my photos, this one included. I highly recommend their entire line of presets, textures, digital papers, and workshops. If interested in purchasing, my affiliate link is https://2lilowls.com/ref/9

Summer’s End

The end of summer is always bittersweet, but this year more than usual. I had all kinds of things I was hoping to do this summer, from lunch with friends to trips to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum to take photos, and did nothing, almost, thanks to my ever-present chronic migraines. I even missed the annual Resch Family Reunion–something I look forward to all year–for the second year in a row.

The highlights? I saw my beautiful and sweet niece Kathryn get married in May. (Late May counts as summer, right?) I made it to a family party at my Aunt Sheila’s and got to see my cousin Elissa who was home visiting from Florida in July. My darling niece Laura and her husband John took us out to dinner. And in August George’s sister and her husband invited us to stay with them for a long weekend in Cornucopia, a village not far from Bayfield, Wisconsin, on the South Shore of Lake Superior. It was heavenly. Lake Superior is my favorite place in the entire world. The weather was lovely. And the company was, of course, superb!

All of these activities, it should be noted, took place with pharmaceutical help. Sigh. But I did get some pretty pictures. And hope is on the horizon…It turns out my insurance covers migraine Botox after all, so hopefully this fall will not be so excruciating!

The summer began with peonies…

img_9850gfancy_peonies_2_flatlay-1

Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food, and medicine for the soul.

Luther Burbank

And continued with more flowers, at home and in Cornucopia…

gfancy_corny_pastel_hydrangeagfancy_corny_fuschia_fairy1btl_corny_rose_oldmasster15gfancy_whiterose_bokeh_fairy3gfancy_daylily_xtube_b.light12_chalky25urban_orange.bokehimg_9955gfancy_daylily_xtube_fairy7img_0002gfancy_corny_goldenrod_fairy2gfancy_corny_pink.hydrangea_dreamylts

The family party…

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Summer is the annual permission to slip to be lazy. To do nothing and have it count for something. To lie in the grass and count the stars. To sit on a branch and study the clouds.

Regina Brett

Corny days and nights…

gfancy_corny_paddleboarding_fairy1gfancy_corny_hat.flowers_fairy1gfancy_corny_sunsetSOOCgfancy_corny_dunesgfancy_corny_bellagrace-2gfancy_corny_beachgrassSOOCimg_9978img_9975gfancy_corny_nasturtiumsimg_9976

If the sight of blue skies fills you with joy; if a blade of grass springing in the fields has the power to move you; if the simple things in nature have a message you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive.

Eleanora Duse

And if you have a husband who brings you flowers just because he knows they will cheer you up; nieces and cousins and friends who send you sweet messages on social media; friends who stand by you no matter how many times you cancel plans; family who take you out to dinner and invite you over and have you come to stay with them; be grateful, for this is God telling you that you are loved beyond measure.

N.B. Photographer friends, FYI all presets and textures were from 2lilowls.com. I highly recommend their products! If you choose to purchase something, I’m an affiliate and I’d love it if you used my link to do so: https://2lilowls.com/ref/9  (This way I get a small portions of the profits so I can indulge my growing texture addiction!)

 

A Moment of Zen

Is anyone else developing an eye twitch? Grinding their teeth? Having trouble sleeping? 

I think we can all use a moment of zen…so here you go, friends, from the South Shore of Lake Superior:

(Edit) N.B. Credit for this lovely video goes to my wildly talented photojournalist husband, George Marincel. Easy to see why he’s won eight or nine Emmy’s, isn’t it? 

Wordless Wednesday

My chronic migraines are giving me a rough time the last year especially, which is why I am doing less writing and more posts with primarily photographs. It’s hard to concentrate on writing when there is an entire percussion section going mad inside my skull…but hopefully soon I will have some decent writing days. I hope. 

In the meantime, on a happier note, here are some peonies! 


What is “Acceptance”?

This is the post about fibromyalgia and chronic pain (and depression and PTSD) that I wish I had written! It’s a marvelous description of the tricky balancing act we spoonies go through as we struggle with acceptance of our condition(s) and refusing to let said condition(s) rule our lives and define who we are. A fantabulous read!

Pain(t)h.D.

“Fibromyalgia is kind of like my logical nature, there’s no point wishing I was different regarding either!” So went my thoughts one day, that landed me in a long reverie about what it meant to me that I had absorbed my diagnosis like so. I had written before about what acceptance meant to me on a practical level. But now I wondered, what does acceptance, as a philosophy, mean to those of us with a chronic illness?

Featured painting: Guided by the Lights (8X10, oil on canvas)

I think of acceptanceas lying on a continuum between denial and resignation:

acceptance_0Denial:

In a nutshell: The chronic illness does not tell me who I am or what I can do!
Keynote:Defiance

On one end, there is extreme denialthat a chronic illness even exists. Often, this results in massive overexertion, leading to increased pain and fatigue…

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Wordless Wednesday: Lilac Love

Fresh flowers are definitely at the top of the list in my Fibromyalgia Toolkit–especially when they smell as heavenly as lilacs!

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