So yesterday I got up and looked at the thermometer.  -27.6 (or -26.7 : there's not a whole lot of difference).  But I had to see my rheumatologist, so I layered and layered and it was only -14 when I went out to the car, an improvement if it weren't for the damned wind.  And off I went to the big city.

First I should tell you that I wrote on Wednesday.  And yesterday the ideas were flowing (driving and swimming are the two best ways for me to brainstorm).  First I went to the outlets to buy clothes for my grandchildren (couldn't get there before Christmas and it's so much fun to shop for baby girls and little boys).  I then took a nasty fall outside Oshkosh, landing on my knees on the cement and jarring myself so badly my neck was killing me.  Lots of nice people wanted to help but I managed to crawl over to the side of the building and drag myself up before they could get there.  Went and did useful things like buy more of the quilt fabric I ran out of and the lace trim (ditto), again for babies.  Then found out from my doctor that it's not just rotator cuff -- my shoulder is completely frozen.  She kept wincing.  Apparently it's bad.

I seem to have a high pain threshold.  On Dr. Oz people said they had come out with a pain level of 7 (and the treatments brought it down to 5 or 4).  I can't walk when it's seven.  I've never had 10, not even with the hysterectomy.  I consider ten screaming in pain.  Right now I'm a solid 5 going on 6, and I wouldn't go out unless tempted.  But now I need PT, which I'll tie in with swimming, and somehow figure out how to add all that other crap.  Sigh.

So with the bad new I had the first drug screen of my life (part of the new laws concerning painkillers -- maybe that's why I'm only at a 5 or 6) which was exciting.  It'll probably show I have a bladder infection.  It'll certainly show that I take fewer pain meds than I'm prescribed -- they make me sleepy.  I gotta really be hurting to take them during the day.

And I remembered that I have to give a talk on Wednesday back in the big city.  It was too cold to load the car with stuff for Goodwill so I'll do that next week, and even end up getting money for the Disney fund (I love WDW, particularly now that I've got babies).

Somehow I'm going to manage to tie this all together, all these things I have to do as well as somehow talk my elder child through getting her first real job and moving to the midwest (she has a girlfriend in Madison, WI, which seems like an excellent town anyway).

Ah, the life of a writer.  Friends and I go through a ritual every year where we pick a word to define what we want to be, what we want to accomplish in the new year.  Last year my word was something like serenity, which relatively speaking I got (I could have been a lot more miserable, even if I'm just coming out of a major depression).

But this year my word is Phoenix.  Triumphant, rising from the ashes, trumpeting (do Phoenices trumpet?  Are more than one phoenix phoenices or phoenixes?  The world is full of interesting questions).  

The worst part of all this is that it means I can't make long drives while the arm is so bad, so no Crusie break for a little while, and I really need it.  However, it's a wee bit cold in her house and cold makes all the myriad owies that plague me worse.  So she'll get better heat and I'll get better shoulder and then I'm off.

Think of your own word for the year, and share it if you feel like it or write it down and keep it quietly to yourself.  It's like a mini-mantra.  

Speaking of which, time to write.