Thank you!

2016-08-26-ThankYouHello, friends! ❤ This week’s auction ended earlier tonight, and just about everyone’s paid up. Huge thanks to everyone who placed bids, purchased items or services donated by the amazing folks who have contributed their time and wares, and/or helped to spread the word!

I was able to borrow from our grocery fund in order to restock while we were out with friends on Tuesday, and I am now set for meds until the end of next week. The latest auction purchases even paid back the grocery fund for that loan, so that we’ll have that need taken care of tomorrow. Now I just need to work on scraping up the funds for the next MMJ restock — any contribution to my GoFundMe campaign means that you’ll be included in near-daily group distance Reiki in the near future, unless you choose to opt out.

I am of course working on some ways that I hope will help us to become more self-sufficient over time, and a big part of that is figuring out how we are going to move ourselves to Oregon, where we’ll be able to grow our own medicine in a state run by people who have more compassion and empathy for patients on limited incomes who need this medicine — and they also have a separate MMJ system that survived the legalization of recreational marijuana. We were just blindsided by how much this expense increased literally overnight when WA closed down all dispensaries, and we need some help while we figure things out.

Thanks again, everyone! Whatever form your support has taken, we appreciate it and we appreciate you. 🙂

Much love and many blessings,
Bri

PS: You can still use the code RAIDHSE50 to take 50% off jewelry through Sunday, or RAIDHSE25 for 25% off everything else in my shop!

Auction, Prayers & Gratitude

This week’s auction has less than 19 hours remaining! There are 10 pieces of jewelry and one custom clay creation being auctioned off, with just 5 bids between them — as well as several items donated by other artists and vendors with BIN prices. I am a hardworking chronic pain patient, and every bid/purchase helps to make sure that I don’t have to go without the medicine that helps me to function.

Huge thanks to everyone spreading the word, donating items, getting their bid on and praying for relief and abundance on my behalf.

You can bid on current items here, or join for easy access when new items are listed. ❤ And of course, if you’d rather just make a donation to help me pay for my medicine, you’re welcome to do so via my GoFundMe page. My hubby and I will soon be sending near-daily group distance Reiki to everyone who contributes any amount, unless they choose to opt out.

As always, much love and bright blessings to you, friends! ❤

Catching up: auction pieces & The Healer’s Touch

Amethyst Meditating Goddess Prayer Bead Necklace

First off, this beauty is still up for auction, ending in less than 24 hours. As I type, the high bid is $40. The various amethyst beads and Beadfreaky pendant have such lovely energy and combine so well… Whoever ends up winning this piece will be very happy with it, I believe.

There are also oodles of other pieces that I’ve already posted still available, from Feeling a Little Crochety, Pulp Street Creations and myself. Click here to visit the main fundraiser page.

I’ve recently received and listed a bunch of items from Tracey over at The Healer’s Touch. First, here is the newest auction item, a gorgeous necklace and earring set. (I didn’t realize that it was slightly crooked until after the fact — but seriously, there are other photos in the listing and none of them came close to doing this beauty any justice.)

"Dark Angel" Intricate Goldstone Necklace & Earring Set by The Healer's Touch

And here are the rest of the recently added goodies.

I’ve been busy and a bit under the weather recently, and I keep forgetting to figure out a new deal for February. Until I do, the code “HELLO2016” will take 25% off all regularly-priced ready to ship jewelry in my shop. And there are even gifts!

Free gift with all purchases!

Free Sleepytime Lip Balm & Selenite for Orders of $30 or More!

As always, I’d like to thank everyone who has donated items for this fundraiser, made donations for the gorgeous pieces that have been available, helped spread the word about the event or done anything else to support us in any way. You are all amazing, and we are so lucky to have you as part of the Baubles & Blessings family!

Much love and many blessings,
❤ Bri

It’s official.

It’s been just over fourteen years since the car accidents that first kicked off my chronic pain. I was barely 21 at the time. For the first, I was a passenger in a car stopped at a red light. We were rear-ended by someone who never even noticed the red light. A week or two later, I was crossing the street and was hit on foot. It happened so quickly that, though I flew up onto her windshield and caused the whole thing to become one giant spiderweb of safety glass, I thought that the car just hit me and I fell down. When I saw a chiropractor shortly after, the X-rays showed that the S curve in my neck was completely backwards.

I’ve had chronic pain ever since. Once the bumps and bruises healed, it was mostly in my lower back and hips. I’ve had so many invasive procedures and taken so many medications to try to help with the pain. Over the years, more and more soft tissue and nerve issues popped up. Some have been transitory, coming and going, while others have tended to take up semi-permanent residency, along with insomnia and terrible fatigue.

I’ve used a cane to help support my back — and sometimes joint injuries — for about seven years now. I don’t always need it and often skip using it around the apartment, but I can’t leave the house without it.

Over the past six months, I’ve been getting more nerve and joint pain in the mix. No one has quite been able to explain this, though the rheumatologist with whom I had my first appointment today is recommending that my PCP have more imaging and a few blood tests done when she returns from maternity leave in the spring. In the meantime, I finally have an official diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Part of the reason that I was referred to the rheumatologist in the first place was testing positive for ANA and Sjogren’s antibodies, but he said that the positives were so low that I shouldn’t worry about it, with so few of the main symptoms.

So I’m relieved. I’ve basically known that I had fibro for about ten years now. My last doctor always referred to me as having fibro but never diagnosed me or referred me to someone who might diagnose me. So I’ve just been in this limbo, treating symptoms but not being positive what’s going on with my body. And a lot of nasty people have called me a faker or tried to make me feel like everything was in my head and I’d be able-bodied if I just tried harder. This diagnosis is validating for me in a huge way, and it’s definitely the least scary option considering all of the symptoms I’ve been dealing with for over a decade, in increasing frequency and severity.

To everyone who’s ever tried to make me feel like I was making it up, I hope that your life has evolved beyond bullying sick people who are down on their luck. To everyone who has believed in me and given me friendship, understanding and love during this journey, you have my undying gratitude.

Much love and the brightest of blessings to you!


Bri

Auction Wrap-up & Donations

2015-11-22-GoFundMe-ShaunaSo, first off, I posted on the event page but never posted here about the donation from last month’s auction. While trying to decide where to send our $75 donation, AJ and I came across a friend in dire need of help with some dental issues. She’s in Tennessee, where we have firsthand experience with how impossible it is to get help with emergency dental issues if you can’t pay through the nose. So we went ahead and sent the funds her way. She had the first part of her surgery this week!

For this month’s auction, we decided in advance that we would be donating to Nar Nar’s Voyages. Annara is a sweet little girl battling leukemia, and both of her parents are out of work at the moment while her mother is on leave to care for her. Knowing how difficult cancer can be on the patient’s entire family and support system after AJ’s mom fought and lost a brief but nasty battle with anaplastic thyroid cancer, we wanted to do what we could to help.

The auction brought in $704. PayPal fees totaled $27.31, but my awesome auction winners chipped in $16 to offset the fees, so we ended up with a total of $692.69 and rounded the donation up to $70. I sent the funds to the PayPal account specified by Annara’s mom this morning. I hope that this helps ease things just a bit for them, with everything this family is going through.

2015-11-23-Donation-NarNarsVoyages

Thank you all so very much for your support! Not only does it help this disabled artist couple keep up with basic needs, but you also help us do our part to help others in need. Paying it forward means so much to both of us, and we truly thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the opportunity.

I also want to give special thanks to the three people who made contributions totaling $35 to our savings to help us forge stability in our new home. It’s been so hard to save anything with how unpredictable income has been this year, and your donations mean so much to us.

As always, much love and many bright blessings to you.

♥ Bri

Thanks so much for your support!

2015-07-21-Testosterone-3Thank you all so much for your support!

A few days ago, AJ (Bri’s hubby, for anyone new here) got his first testosterone prescription in 3.5 years. He officially restarted T today.

Because he had trouble with his body burning through the testosterone so quickly when he was doing injections, he decided to try the gel this time — and because of his prior experience, it was covered by insurance.

We are so grateful to be in Washington, where we qualify for Medicaid and trans healthcare is covered. We are also incredibly grateful to the Baubles & Blessings family, for all of your moral support, signal boosts and purchases. We could not have made this wild cross-country leap of faith happen if not for your help. We want to share our successes and baby steps toward greater health, happiness and stability as they happen.

Bless each and every one of you!

❤ Bri & AJ

A brief story, and a challenge…

A few hours ago, I went to get a handful of things at the more expensive but WAY more convenient grocery store, which is just a 10 minute walk away. On the way back, I ran into an inebriated young man who asked to use my phone. I thought about it for a second and didn’t feel like he was any kind of threat, so I let him use my phone to call his mother for a ride.

I didn’t feel right just walking away and wanted to make sure that he got home safely, especially when I noticed that he had a Livestrong bracelet, recently shaved head, and that he was super thin. So I went into the gas station and got him a Gatorade, and hung out with him while he waited for his ride. After half an hour, I called his mother back to make sure she knew where to find him. It turned out that someone had come by, didn’t see him — he was sitting down next to the ice machine out front — and had then left. So I told her exactly where he was, and his sister came to get him shortly thereafter.

My new friend told me that he’d been attacked by three men earlier tonight. He was running around in socks without any shoes, and he had dried blood on his face. Regardless of anything else, the poor guy had clearly had one hell of a bad night. I’ve had my fair share of those, thankfully mostly in the distant past at this point. He really needed to find his way home and sleep it off, safe and surrounded by people who care about him.

He kept thanking me and telling me that I was the only person who would even talk to him. It sounded like he’d been out there, inebriated and looking for help, for a while. I’m really glad that I went to the store when I did, and that I could tell he was harmless.

I think that perhaps one of the Ladies (my shorthand for Brighid, Morrighan and the other female spirits who I consider family) gave me a little shove when I was unsure of what to do for a moment, and I am grateful. I was that drunk kid, self-medicating and accidentally getting too messed up, plenty of times when I was younger. I know that more people probably presumed that I was harmless and talked to me because I was female, but there were plenty of strangers who helped me in some way when I was that messed-up teenager and young adult. I’m glad that I had the chance to pay it forward a tiny bit.

With that said, friends, I wish to issue you a challenge. You never know what someone’s circumstances are when you cross paths with a stranger on the street. I don’t want you to put yourself in harm’s way, but I do want you to not automatically speed up or look the other way the next time someone asks you for help. Take a moment to assess the situation, trust your gut, and see whether you can help if your gut gives you the go-ahead. There are so many people in this world who are hurting, with varying reasons, and sometimes it just takes a bit of time and compassion to make a difference.

Lots of love and many blessings to you!
❤ Bri

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