Happy Memorial Day! Or, Happy Memorial Day weekend! I hope you’re all having a lovely weekend. Mine has been kind of a blur when I stop to think about it. What did I do anyway? Yesterday I went with my parents to visit my grandparents who are buried at Fort Snelling National Cemetery, as well as my aunt at Lakewood Cemetery and my other grandparents at Crystal Lake Cemetery in Minneapolis. I don’t go to cemeteries that often but whenever I do, I’m always glad I went. I love how peaceful they are and how they give you a chance to stop and really remember those you love and the part they played in your life. It’s sad, but comforting as well, I think.

We don’t get out to Fort Snelling that often because it’s kind of out of the way, but I was really glad we went. I still miss all of my grandparents very much; I think I actually miss them more as time passes. I especially miss Nana and Papa, who we visited at Fort Snelling yesterday. My grandma, “Nana,” suffered terribly from rheumatoid arthritis herself until her death. She was such a strong woman though, in so many ways. She always wanted to do things and go places and keep learning in life despite being in so much pain and increasingly disabled from the RA. She also always encouraged me and the rest of her grandchildren to live the same way and to not take life for granted. “Get your education!” she always said. Even though she used to drive me crazy sometimes (she was an opinionated Italian from New Jersey), I admire her immensely. She was her own independent person and most importantly, she was a loving, caring woman who selflessly gave so much to those she loved. All of the work I do to support funding for arthritis research, arthritis advocacy, and arthritis awareness I do not only for myself and the friends I know who also have the disease, but I do it for my grandma. I grew up watching her suffer so much from RA, yet she didn’t let it drag her down. She deserved to have a pain-free life, as do so many others living with the disease today.

But what else did I do this weekend? Oh right, how could I forget? Friday night at midnight (technically Saturday morning) I hosted a show for the first time on KFAI radio! I filled in for the True Brit show, which was a lot of fun, although kind of hectic and nerve-wrecking. I enlisted the help of a few friends so I wouldn’t be doing it all by myself for the first time. We suffered through some technical problems, wrong songs played, and nonsensical rambling/talking over each other. But! We all had fun and after the first major slip-up with a Howard Jones song (ha), I managed to queue up and play the rest of the music just fine. I definitely need to practice more and work on my “radio personality” (I think I sounded half-dead/stoned/mentally absent). But yes, it was a really cool, fun experience and I hope I get asked back to do it again. And, if you want a good laugh, the archive of the show is up on the website and you can listen to me in all of my embarrassing glory.

Lots of things have happened since I last posted! Last weekend I was crazy busy with Art-A-Whirl, where I showed some of my photographs. Art-A-Whirl is held in Northeast Minneapolis each year and is the largest open-studio tour in the country. Pretty neat, eh? This was my third year doing it and it was a lot of fun, as usual. Although I didn’t sell any of my photos this year and I sunk kind of a lot of money into the exhibit. But, oh well! It was a great experience and a good way to show some of my work.

In AWESOME arthritis news – I have been completely OFF prednisone for a week now! I’m so happy about this, especially since I was on 20 mg for at least a couple months, which is the longest I’ve ever been on that high of a dose at one time. During that time I gained even more weight, which has been incredibly upsetting and frustrating. I’m now trying to get back on track with exercising (bike rides, swimming) and being really careful about what I’m eating. It’s hard when my energy level is low and my spirits are even lower, regarding my weight and how I feel and look physically. But I know I have to do it and I will feel so much better if I can become a healthier person. Oh, and I also bought a juicer recently! I haven’t figured out how to use it yet, but it’s on my list of things to do ASAP.

Well this is turning into quite the long-winded post, so I will stop for now. I’ll also try harder to stick to my once-a-week posting schedule!

Have a wonderful holiday weekend!


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