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My Parkinson's Journey

In which Terri shares a humorous look at her journey with Parkinson's disease and Dystonia:

For me, illness and health are not opposites but exist together. Everyone has something that is challenging to them. Mine just simply has a recognizable name. My life will take a different path because of this but that's okay. Everyone has changes in their lives that create their path.  I'm learning how to enjoy whatever path I'm on.

Filtering by Tag: Mo the Fairy

No Resolutions for Me?

Terri Reinhart

How can it be New Year's again? I swear, I didn't have time to follow my New Year's resolutions last year because the year just went by too quickly. Oddly enough, I seem to have had enough time to forget what they were. This year, I'm not even going to try. Nope. No resolutions for me. I'm just going to keep on as I've been keeping on all this year. Why make all sorts of plans and promises I can't keep? 


That's not going to work, you know.

I looked up from the floor, hands over my ears. There, sitting calmly on my computer as if nothing had happened, was Mo, the slightly obnoxious opinion fairy who occasionally drops in to tell me what I'm doing wrong. Just what I needed. Life has been complicated enough without a blasted meddling fairy bossing me around. 

Mo: Obnoxious? Meddling fairy? MEDDLING FAIRY? I've come all this way, just to see you and THIS is how you welcome me? Do you know how far I've come? Do you know how dangerous it is to travel by bird in the middle of winter? Do you? It would have been nice to get a "Hi Mo, it's good to see you" or even "How about a cup of tea?" No, all I get is MEDDLING FAIRY." 

Me: Sorry Mo. It's been a hard week, but c'mon, you know how my body reacts to loud noises? What was that, a ...gong? (Mo held up a tiny gong, not more than a half inch in diameter) THAT’S what made all that noise? C’mon, Mo, you know how my body reacts to sudden noises. If I’d known you were coming, you would have gotten a better greeting… maybe. Put the gong away and I’ll get up and get some tea.

I slowly pushed myself up on to my hands and knees as several muscle groups simultaneously decided to lodge a complaint. Groaning, I stood up and went in to put the kettle on for tea. When I brought it out, Mo was standing by the computer screen, reading what I had written. I handed her a small teacup.

Me: So why are you here, anyway? I thought you had moved to Chicago.

Mo: I wanted to check in with my favorite client.. and it's a good thing I did, too. What's all this about not making resolutions?

Me: Every year I make resolutions, break them by the end of January, and by February I've forgotten what they were. Why make the effort?

Mo: Let's see... I'll just go back to a few other New Year postings.. for several years you've had the goal of decluttering. You've also resolved to continue laughing and learning and trying to see the best in people...and... to forgive yourself as easily as you forgive others. You've resolved to learn how to balance your time and energies. And one of your goals has always been to exercise more... and dance. Are you doing all this?

Me: Well, sort of. I've done a lot of decluttering and, well, for the rest of it, I keep trying. 

Mo: So, the New Year is when you consciously THINK about how you're doing with these goals and remind yourself to keep trying. Which is why you need New Year's resolutions. Really. It's a good thing I came back. I don't know how you've managed this long without me.

Me: I've done just fine. But I'm glad you're back. I missed you. Why did you come back to Colorado... really.

Mo: I enjoyed Chicago, but when you're best friends are a ghost and an old snapping turtle, and your landlord is a scruffy sparrow who thinks he can boss you around, you get a little lonely for the good old days of sitting around with a friend, drinking tea and eating chocolates.

Me: Ah ha! You've come back for the truffles! Okay. You deserve one or two. I'm sorry I was so grumpy when you first came. It is a long ways to come and it's cold out there. It must have been freezing flying by bird. How long did it take?

Mo: Ah... um... about 3 hours. The bird was an airplane.

Me: And all that talk was just to make me feel guilty? Thanks a lot. By the way, what are your resolutions for the New Year?

Mo: To make sure you remember yours... and to eat more chocolate.

Me: Okay by me, you just have to promise one thing. 

Mo: Which is?

Me: Some day, tell me about your adventures in Chicago.

Mo: You got it! Cheers! 

Happy New Year!


Christmas Pudding - A Holiday Adventure

Terri Reinhart

Cornelius, let's arrange a signal for you to give me.

If it's really an adventure, give me a signal. Say a word.

Say, like 'Pudding'.

All right, Barnaby. For adventure, 'Pudding'.”

(from the Matchmaker by Thornton Wilder)


“So, what are you making?”

I was caught by surprise and didn't even look around. I didn't have to. It had been some time since Mo, aka Marshmallow the Opinion Fairy, had come to visit, but I would have known her voice anywhere, anytime. I wasn't going to answer, but she had startled me and I'd almost dropped the pot of rice.

“Horchata. Don't talk for a minute, okay?!”

I heard a small hrrumph sort of sound and miraculously, it was quiet. I made Mo sit while I buzzed the rice mixture up in the blender then poured it through the sieve. Only when it was done, did I turn around and greet my old friend.

Mo: Old friend? Come on, I'm not so old.

Me: Don't get huffy, you know what I mean.

Mo: So, what's up with the horchata? It's not your usual Christmas treat.

Me: I know, but it sounded really good this year and I wanted to try making it.

Mo: Meaning, you've never made it before? What time is everyone coming over?

Me: Not till 4. You're welcome to stay.

It was nice to see her again, even though I knew she'd be challenging me at every turn. Already she was questioning my horchata. Really.

Mo: Thank you. I think I will stay. What else is for dinner? It smells good.

Me: Vegetable soup, chili, salad, squash and apples, carrots and green beans.

Mo: Sounds awfully healthy.

Me: Well, there's pumpkin pie, too. I made it with coconut milk and gluten free cookie crumbs in the crust.

Mo: What about your truffles? You always make truffles for Christmas.

Me: Not this year.

Mo: What? Why?

Me: We've been busy. Emma and I have been to Chicago twice in the last five weeks, we had lots of parties to attend, and then everyone got stomach flu. Besides, I'm trying to keep to a healthy diet.

Mo: And making your family and friends suffer along with you.

Me: I doubt they'd want truffles right now. Anyway, I'm kind of on my own here. Everyone else is still recouperating. Got to keep it simple.

Mo: Which means making horchata?

Me: I want something special and a nice cup of hot, spicy horchata sounds really good.

Mo: Hot? I thought it was served over ice.

Me: I know. All the recipes I've found say to serve it cold, but I've only had it hot. It can't be too difficult, can it? All I have to do is heat it up. I'm going to put it in the crock pot and keep it warm.

Now, if you wouldn't mind stirring the soup, I'll pour this into the crock pot, then start getting the dishes out.

We worked together for awhile. I was grateful for the help and the company. To be fair, my family had helped with a lot of the preparation earlier in the day, cutting up vegetables and such, but for the last hour or so, I had been working alone. Now, with Mo's help, everything was coming together. She even dusted the living room furniture.

After another hour had passed, we decided to give the horchata a taste test. I lifted the lid of the crock pot and dipped the ladle into the creamy hot mixture. The ladle came up out of the depths with a “gloooop” sound and what was inside looked like congealed oatmeal. I almost cried.

Mo: Uh, oh. What happened?

Me: I don't know, but I certainly can't serve this up to anyone.

Mo: Which is too bad, considering you've got about 3 gallons of it.

Me: There's got to be something we can do. Any inspirations?

Mo: Sorry. Wrong fairy. The Inspiration Fairy is my 3rd cousin. If you want my opinion...

Me: I'll ask for it. Until then, unless you have something nice to say or can work a miracle, don't.. say... anything.

Mo: !

No, she didn't start swearing. Something started to escape, but she clapped her hand over her mouth just in time. I was pleased. I still have an effective teacher look.

A few minutes later, she crept quietly up and tapped my arm. The next thing I knew, she had flown through the air backwards and had landed on top of the dog. I turned my teacher look on the dog and Mo escaped with only an affectionate lick. I helped her up.

Mo: What did you do that for? I didn't even say anything.

Me: I'm sorry, Mo. My meds are wearing off. It's not safe to surprise me right now. I never know what my arms will do when that happens.

Mo: Okay, okay. Give me a towel. Is it okay if I suggest something?

I handed her a washcloth and nodded. It was the least I could do.

Mo: Make rice pudding. It's congealing anyway, and it smells really good.

Me: Brilliant.

So, together we looked up a recipe for baked rice pudding. My mixture was congealed to the point where it wouldn't pour into the baking dish. I added a little bit of almond milk and a couple of beaten eggs. This was going to work!

We were ready. Dinner was done, the house was clean, the buffet table was set up, and the pudding was in the oven. Time to rest a little. I poured some Bailey's into a thimble sized cup for Mo and we sat back and chatted for awhile. When everyone came, I turned to introduce Mo, but she had vanished. Maybe she was afraid of my grandchildren.

Mo: I am NOT afraid of your grandchildren, I'm just not feeling very social right now.

Her voice had come from the direction of the Christmas tree. I looked over, but couldn't see where she was hiding. Once everyone arrived and was served, I put some dinner out for Mo on the fork of one of the branches. We had a wonderful evening. The little ones played and opened presents, and the rest of us talked together.

All too soon it was time for our evening to end. We said Merry Christmas and hugged and watched everyone as they went out into the cold night. When the door was locked and my family had drifted off to their various corners of the house, Mo came out from the tree.

Mo: How was the pudding?

Me: Pudding?

Mo: You know, the stuff you put in the oven to bake?


After startling, Mo began to laugh and laugh. I went in, turned off the oven and opened the door, fully expecting to find a rice loaf, a rice brick, or just simply rice hardened onto the baking dish. I took it out and did what the recipe told me to do. I checked for doneness with a knife. For some reason, Mo collapsed in giggles again. To my surprise, the knife didn't bounce off, but it didn't come out clean, either. I dipped a spoon in the pudding and it came out with a glooop noise and the stuff inside the spoon was the consistency of congealed cream of wheat.

We were making progress.

Not deterred, I spooned some into dishes for Mo and me. Then I added a little Bailey's. I think we just invented something new. It's not bad.

Just don't ask me how to make it.


Of Goals and Resolutions

Terri Reinhart

I opened one eye, not that I had a choice. My eyelid was being pulled open by Mo, my Life Coach and Opinion Fairy, who had taken the job of motivating me to exercise and meditate my way to better health in 2012. As irritating as it was to have a small someone attempting to wake me up in this way, something that hadn't happened since my children were young, I had to admire her. Motivating me was not going to be an easy job. Over the Christmas holidays, I had gotten used to sleeping in and being just a little bit lazy. It wasn't the safest job, either, considering I had almost swatted her away a moment ago.

Mo: “Actually, you missed me by several inches, and just a little bit lazy? You haven't gotten up before 7 since the holidays started.”

Me: “Which is why, dear Mo, they are the holidays. It's the proper time to relax.”

I opened my eyes at this point and saw that Mo was dressed in sweats and wearing a tiny whistle around her neck. It didn't look right so I blinked a couple of times to make sure I was really awake. When I looked at her again, she was still in the same outfit.

Me: “What's going on with the sweats? Are you my life coach or my personal fitness trainer?”

Mo: “Both, dearie. Today we're going to talk about New Year's Resolutions.”

Me: “We already did, remember?”

Mo: “Yeah, I know. They're nice resolutions but a little too touchy-feely. Now you need to balance those out with some practical goals. That's it. We'll call them your goals for the New Year instead of more resolutions. Your first goal is to get up earlier.”

Me, yawning: “So you're deciding for me? What time is it, anyway?”

Mo: “5:30.”

Me: “Five-thirty? Are you nuts? I have it on good authority that not even God gets up at 5:30 am.”

Mo: “Your authority being a 5 year old kindergartener.”

Me: “A very wise 5 year old.”

Mo: “Okay, we'll negotiate that later. What goals have you set for this year?”

Me: “Can't this wait till I'm more awake?”

At this, Mo flew over to my left ear and blew her whistle loudly. She has good reflexes. I didn't mean for my arms to fly up and bat at her; they did it on their own. It's called “involuntary muscle movements”, a part of Parkinson's disease with which, as my husband will testify, I have a lot of experience. I was awake. I turned to look at my husband, who was still sleeping soundly. He didn't seem the least bit disturbed by our conversation.

Mo: “That's because he can't hear us, of course. Don't ask me to explain. It's a fairy thing.”

Me: “Okay, okay. I'm awake now. Goals. We're talking about something with goals.”

Mo stamped her foot. She was getting impatient. “Your goals! My goal is to get you to make YOUR goals and stick to them. Do I have to blow my whistle again?”

Me: “I'm getting up.”

Mo: “That's better. Now, into the living room for some yoga.”

I slowly made my way into the living room, after a brief stop in the bathroom. I'm not stupid enough to attempt yoga with a full bladder. I sat on the edge of the chair and closed my eyes. I started by paying attention to my breathing and sitting with my spine straight. After a moment or so, I heard soft music in the background. It was peaceful and I relaxed. I went into some leg stretches and torso twists. Getting down on the floor, I rocked back and forth with dolphin pose and then did a few cat and cow poses. Standing again, I did a few arm raises and forward bends, then proceeded to a warrior pose. I ended with a few more leg stretches from the chair again and then sat in my chair for a few minutes in quiet. It wasn't exactly Savasana, but it would do.

I opened my eyes. There was Mo, playing a tiny flute.

Mo, quietly: “Now, isn't that a nice way to start the day?”

Me: “Yeah! Thanks for the music. It was really lovely.”

Mo: “Now, we have a few more minutes till I'm off duty. How about those goals? Have you thought about them at all?”

I had thought about them. My daughter has challenged me to go off of refined sugar for the next month. We're doing this one together, starting tomorrow. I made sure to have an extra chocolate truffle tonight to tide me over. Our cleaning and clearing out job is nearly finished. I'm proud of that! When it's done, there will be no more clutter and no piles of papers or anything else, anywhere. My husband has helped with that one. All the old papers went into the fire pit and he spent a nice crisp day burning our old documents. I think we burned out the motor in our shredder.

Mo: “Sounds good. Anything more?”

Me: “Now I need to figure out how to balance my time. How to get in those daily naps, enough exercise, my volunteer work, my craft work, and still have time to spend with my friends.” 

Mo: “It's a good thing we've got all year to work on it. I'll earn my pay, which, by the way, could be some of those sweets that you're giving up. I'll expect a truffle or two tonight.”

She flew up in the air suddenly and said something very unfairy-like. It seems my arms had taken off on their own again. It was just another involuntary muscle movement. I swear it was.

Mo will get two truffles tonight.  She's earned them.


Cleaning up and Clearing out - Happy New Year!

Terri Reinhart

“What's this?” asked Mo, somewhat sarcastically. She was helping me to go through my stacks of old papers and decide which were to be kept, which would go to the recycling bin, and which would go to the shredder.

Me: “It's a bill from Children's Hospital. I'm never sure how long I'm supposed to keep those things.”

Mo: “It's dated 1994. I think you can throw it out now. Can you tell me again why we are doing this?”

Me: “Sure. It's my New Year's Resolution. A cluttered house is a cluttered mind, you know. I'm getting rid of all those things that have been cluttering up our house. I'm sweeping out the spider webs. Clean 'em up, clear 'em out!

Mo: “Something you haven't done since 1994, it seems. I hate to think how cluttered YOUR mind is.”

Me: “You're supposed to be encouraging me not insulting me.”

Mo: “I'm just giving my opinion. I am an Opinion Fairy, you know.”

Me: “Okay, okay, I got it. Oh, and since you're ready to give your opinion, would you take a look at my other New Year's Resolutions and see what you think?”

Mo: “Sure, hand it over.”

I handed her my paper. She looked at it, then at me, with a slightly bewildered expression.

Mo: “There's nothing on here but a long list of names and another list of words. From this look of this, you have a whole lot more decluttering to do.

Me: “Don't you see? This year, my resolutions aren't things I want to do, they are how I want to be. These are the qualities that I want to work on next year. Those names I've written down are people who show those qualities in such a way that they remind me to work on them myself. Here, look at the first name. Lindy has been my best friend for over 30 years. No matter what is happening in her life, she sits on her front porch every day and recalls everything in her life for which she thankful. That's one of the qualities I want to work on next year, being grateful.”

Mo: “I get it. Lindy helps you to remember to be grateful for all the good things in your life and to see the blessings in your challenges, Marie helps you to remember to be generous and thoughtful, Dave - to be honest and laugh at yourself, Mike – to live in the moment, Andrea – to love without judgement, Eric – to remember those who are less fortunate that you are, Daemon – to keep working on making yourself a better person, John and Coco – to live simply and beautifully... and so on. The list is long.”

Me: “Yeah, it is, isn't it? I'm awfully lucky, aren't I? If we went through the whole list, it would take a week.”

Mo: “I can see why you want to declutter if you are going to have room for all this in your life. Declutter the house, declutter the mind. You know that if you accomplish all this, your New Year's resolution is to become a saint.”

Me: “Nah, see that towards the bottom?”

Mo: “It's your name?”

Me: “Yup. I see that and remember how easy it is to fall down and how to pick myself back up again. I know myself well enough to know that I'm not headed toward sainthood, just humanhood!”

Mo: “And what's this at the very bottom of the list?”

Me: “Oh dear, sorry about the bad handwriting. My meds must have been wearing off when I wrote it. That's Chris, my husband you know. I saved the best for last.”

Mo: “I can't make out what it says. Gotta help me here.”

Me: “It says beautiful. Chris reminds me that I'm beautiful. Can't get better than that.”

Mo: “If you want my opinion, it sounds like 2012 is going to be a good year!”

Me: “Damn right.”

I poured a tiny bit of eggnog in a thimble and added just a couple of drops of Bailey's. We hadn't gotten all the papers organized, but we'd made a good start. I handed the thimble to Mo just as the clock struck midnight.





Life Coach

Terri Reinhart

She was back. Sitting on my computer in a lotus position, arms gently outstretched, palms turned upward on her knees, the Opinion Fairy looked to be meditating. Her eyes were closed. I don't think she knew I was there until I started typing. She opened up one eye briefly, pretending not to notice me. For the next few minutes I left her alone and went on with my work. After that, I'm afraid I succumbed to temptation.

Me: “Hey, Opinion Fairy, you want to get your shoulders down a little. Don't shrug them. And don't over arch your back, either.” I put my fingertips on her shoulders and gave a little push downward. She glared at me.

O. F.: “I'm here to teach you how to meditate, not get pointers on my yoga positions,” she said grumpily. “I read your last article. It sounded like you could use some help.”

Me: “Yeah, well, I'm doing okay now. I even had an appointment with a therapist. One session and I'm cured.”

O.F.: “From what I heard, your therapist was pregnant and went into labor early and had to cancel all her appointments.”

Me: “Uh huh, and I feel oh, so much better because I didn't have to see her.”

O.F.: “So, what's the plan from here? Did you reschedule?”

Me: “No, I didn't reschedule. You know Kaiser. The next available appointment would probably be sometime in 2020. I've got plans, though. I'm planning on doing at least some yoga everyday, taking long walks with my husband, slowing down a little, and finding every way I can to keep my balance, physically and emotionally, without any more medication.”

O.F.: “Wow. That's impressive. Do you think you can do it? After all, your typical way of keeping your balance seems to be to swing from one extreme to another.”

Me: “Yeah, well, part of that was the medications. That's exactly why I want to go a more wholistic route this time.”

O.F.: “I'll tell you what. You could use a coach and I could use a job. I could keep you on task and teach you how to relax, live in the present, that sort of thing.”

Me: “Hmm, I'll think about that. How would I pay you? And what happened to your other gig?”

O.F.: “Some people don't appreciate other opinions, that's all. As for my pay, for an old kindergarten teacher, you don't remember your fairy stories very well, do you. Leave some food out for me. I'm partial to sweets. Don't give me clothes, though, or I'm out of a job.”

Me: “Sweets. I think I can handle that. You're hired. Oh, and, if we're to be working together, I need to know your name. I don't want to have to call you Opinion Fairy or O.F. all the time.”

O.F.: “You can call me Mo.”

Me: “Mo? That's a funny name for a fairy. Is it short for something?”

The fairy mumbled something that I couldn't hear. I looked at her and raised my eyebrows. I haven't mastered the art of raising just one eyebrow yet, but I'm working on it.

O.F. (or Mo as I must now call her): “It's short for Marshmallow, okay? A 4-year-old named me. A little girl who was eating marshmallows with sticky fingers saw me wake up. She picked me up before I knew what was happening. She named me Marshmallow and it stuck.”

Me: “The name or the marshmallow?”

Mo: “Very funny. Uh.. both actually. It took weeks to get it all off. I am glad you're going to hire me because I've found some sweets you've been stashing away and decided to take my first paycheck in advance.”

She reached into a small bag and pulled out a candy.

Me: “Uh, Mo, I think you'd better be a little careful about those candies. They're not just ordinary sweets, you know. That's my medical marijuana candy. They aren't very strong, but then, you're not very big. Take it in tiny, tiny amounts and then wait. Otherwise you can get too much without knowing it.”

Mo: “What do you mean? They taste okay.”

Me: “How much have you had? You know, I hadn't noticed it before, but your wings are starting to droop.”

Mo: “Really?”

She stood up and quickly turned her head over her shoulder to look at her wings. Immediately she turned a particular shade of moss green and put her hands up to hold her head still.

Mo: “Ooh, I feel a little dizzy. I think I'd better lie down before I fly home.”

Me: "You'll stay here tonight, Mo.  Friends don't let friends fly when they're stoned."

I got out a shoebox and folded up one of my soft wool sweaters into a sleeping bag. Carefully, I lifted the little fairy into the box and covered her up snugly. I carried the box into the living room and put it next to our houseplants. I wanted Mo to feel at home. I went back to the kitchen and found a few dried cranberries, a date, and some sunflower seeds. I put them in a dish beside the box. I whispered “goodnight” to her but she was already asleep.

Mo will be fine. She'll sleep well tonight and wake up in the morning feeling refreshed and hungry. I'm looking forward to her help. Who knows? She might even learn a few things from me.



Terri Reinhart

(With apologies to the late Gene Amole, former columnist for the Rocky Mt. News, and his Idea Fairy.)


The jitters were still affecting me last night after having that cup of coffee at 9:00 am. I know, at 7:30 pm, it should have worn off long ago, but it hadn't, which was why I was still enthusiastic and excited, and why I was looking through business papers and paying bills, planning my next step for the business, and writing with long run-on sentences with lots of commas, regardless of whether they are needed, or not. The only problem was that it was hard to focus; which is why it took me awhile to notice the fairy that was sitting on top of my computer screen, looking down onto my work. I decided to be polite.

Me: Who the hell are you and where did you come from?

Fairy: I'm the Opinion Fairy. I've been watching you for awhile and thought I'd come and tell you what I think of your work.

Me: Isn't that supposed to be Idea Fairy?

Opinion Fairy: That's my cousin. She's nice. Now, are you going to tell me? What are you so excited about?

Me: I made it through the meeting with my vocational/rehab counselor and it went well, in fact, it went even better than I expected, especially as he started by telling me what I hadn't done that I was supposed to be doing, and which papers I hadn't turned in.

O.F.: You're doing it again.

Me: What?

O.F.: Speaking in long run-on sentences.

Me: But I'm excited! Just listen. I blew him away with my promo video and how clear I was with what I wanted to do with my business and how much I had sold already and my connections with wholesalers and authors, and how practical I am.

O.F.: You don't sound practical now. You sound manic. What's going on?

Me: I had a cup of coffee this morning. I said that already.

O.F.: This morning? Come on. I drink coffee every morning and it doesn't do that to me.

Me: But I don't drink coffee.

O.F.: You just said you did.

Me: I was invited over to have coffee with someone this morning and it was, like, coffee. Usually when I go out for coffee, I have tea.

O.F.: It'll take me awhile to work that one out. So, you had coffee this time.

Me: Yeah. She poured a cup of coffee and handed it to me. I thought, “I'm an adult. Adults drink coffee. I can do this.”

O.F.: You've never had coffee before this morning?

Me: Of course I've had coffee! Thirty-two years ago, we went on a road trip through the midwest, in August, and we left at night so we wouldn't have to drive through the heat. I drank a half cup of coffee with lots of milk and sugar in it, just so I could stay awake.

O.F.: Meaning, of course, that there must have been a whole tablespoon of actual Java in there?

Me: Yeah. Something like that. I have weird reactions to things. My family still gives me a hard time for getting tipsy from drinking an O'Doul's. Don't worry about me. I'm okay now. It's starting to wear off. I'm calm. I'm calm.

O.F.: Calm!? You're like a chipmonk that's just gotten off a roller coaster, a hummingbird on speed, a person with Parkinson' disease who's forgotten her medication.

Me: Okay, now that's getting personal. I'll have you know I've taken all my meds today.

O.F.: If this is calm, what were you like earlier?

Me: Well, when I got home from my visit, my husband had to take me for a walk.

O.F.: A walk is good.

Me: Yeah, except I was walking backwards...

O.F.: Backwards...?

Me: ...and sideways.

The Opinion Fairy raised one eyebrow. She wasn't going to comment on that one. I was impressed. I've always wanted to be able to raise just one eyebrow.

O.F.: I'm glad you made it through. Now, can we get on with your writing? It's just that, I've got another gig tonight and I shouldn't be late.

Me: Someone more important than me, I suppose.

O.F.: That's classified information; and don't feel sorry for yourself. Now, I see you've got several ideas for articles written down there.

Me: Leave it to me to get an Opinion Fairy. Okay, I've narrowed it down to three – “choosing the right kind of pillow”, “the benefits of an afternoon nap”, or “sleep-a-thon raises money for Parkinson's research”.

O.F.: Sounds like you need another cup of coffee. I'll tell you what. There's another idea here that's worth exploring. “The benefits of low dose medical marijuana for Parkinson's patients”. I'm sure a lot of people would be interested in that.

Me: That's a good idea. Of course, that means I'll be coming out of the closet and admitting that I use it. There's still a stigma to that, you know, even if you just use it now and then. People don't realize that you don't have to get high or stoned. If used as a medicine, it's a medicine.

O.F.: Yeah, and it controls your startle reflex, takes the edge off your dystonia, and can knock out a migraine. People just need to be educated about it, you know that. It even has fewer side effects of any other drug you take for your Parkinson's.

Me: Including coffee. You have been watching me, haven't you?! I suppose you'll want to get credit for the idea?

O.F.: No, no. You'd better leave me out of it.

Me: Why? You don't trust my writing?

O.F.: Well, it's just that, if you tell people that a fairy helped you to write an article about medical marijuana, they might not take you seriously. At least, that's my opinion.

I sighed and admitted that she was probably right.