Ghost Town

Ooooooo! Eerie! Spooky! Almost creepy, even. I am traveling to New York to pick up our good ol’ pup client, Tucker. I have my phone with me and get all my emails directly, and I keep my eyes peeled for new posts as we cruise along the highway. No, I am not driving, just riding along enjoying the scenery and the sunshine.

I am shocked at how very few new posts have hit my inbox. I am not complaining or criticizing in any way, but it is very unusual. I am guessing that between the nice weather and Mother’s day this weekend, all are out and about and enjoying life.

Good for you! But, please don’t be gone long. Selfish, I know, but I will miss you otherwise.

Happy Mother’s Day and have a Happy Weekend!

My 100th WordPress Follower

Kathryn Johnston @ 4am Writer

As you may know, those who follow my blog, reading my posts and commenting, are very important to me. It is all of you who keep me motivated to write more and confident enough to write at all. I, of course, appreciate each and every one of you, however, one blogger has come to follow me that I want to acknowledge in a different way. She is my 100th WordPress followerand this is for me, a sort of milestone.Kathryn Johnston, author of 4amWriter, among other published works, is my 100th follower and an amazingly talented writer. Not only is she really gifted in what she does, but she shares many “how-to” tidbits on becoming better writer’s ourselves. Her blog is rich with a vast amount of good, easy to follow, and effective information and is just an overall pleasure to read.

I feel a deep sense of honor when I learn that published authors follow my blog, and Kathryn is no exception. Thank you so much for your interest in my writing. I welcome any criticism that you may have to offer. I, too, dream of someday being published and will not give up no matter how many doors close. If there is one thing my life has taught me is that for every door that closes, there are two or more opening. It is up to me to be patient and believe that my hard work will pay off, as long as I keep my eyes and my mind open to the many possibilities.

Please, anyone reading this post, take a moment and visit 4amWriter! I guarantee that you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by doing so. By the way, the picture posted is one I obtained from 4amWriter’s Facebook page, because for security reasons, I was unable to load her Gravatar pic from WordPress. So, you can check her out on Facebook too! How cool, huh?

Awesome Blog Content Number Three

I have been nominated for the ABC Award for the third time! The ABC stands for Awesome Blog Content. And this glorious nomination was passed on to me by Dr. Angela of A Kiss of Bliss. Thank you, Angi, so much for this awesome award, for reading my blog, and finding me worthy of this humbling recognition. I am truly grateful, as well as honored!

Here are the rules for this award:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you
  2. There is no limit to how many fellow bloggers you can nominate so go wild. He-he.
  3. Share some things about you but alphabetically just a word or two about you starting with each alphabet. (Or alternatively, just write the first word you think of.)

My Awesome Blog Content Award Nominees:

kissingthecockroach

joeandjulieskitchen

Five Reflections

Assia’s Kaleidoscope

♡ The Tale Of My Heart ♡

Baker Bettie

semiswede

DivingǀArchaeology

Foodimentary

Lea & Jay

My A to Zzzz’s:

A—ARTICHOKE HEARTS

B—BANANA PUDDING

C—CAULIFLOWER

D—DEVILED EGGS

E—EGGPLANT PARMESAN

F—FRIED

G—GARLIC

H—HOMEMADE BISCUITS

I—ICED TEA

J—JAMBALAYA

K—KIELBASA

L—LEMON MERINGUE PIE

M—MUSHROOMS

N—NUTTERBUTTER COOKIES

O—OKRA

P—PARSLEY

Q—QUESADILLA

R—RISOTTO

S—SPINACH LASAGNA

T—TIRAMISU

U—UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE

V—VANILLA ICE CREAM

W—WAFFLES

X—XAVIER SOUPPE

Y—YOGURT

Z—ZITI

These ten bloggers do have some awesome things posted on their blogs! In following my food theme, some of them have great recipes, but some of them are great for other reasons. Can you guess which is which? If not, the answer lies within a simple click!

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Just Me, #9

Hello Friends and Fans,

A lot going on in my life right now, as you may have read in some of my previous posts, that is once again preventing me the time to respond to comments, post 4 more awards (since the last I have posted), return emails, read my wonderful blogger friend’s posts, and of course, write all that I have building up in my head that will, eventually, fill pages. I am still looking for a job while keeping up, barely, with my school work, and lately, my anxiety level has been at an acutely diabolical height that is unusual, even for me.

Yesterday, hours before the onset of my panic attack, I had a very productive day. Yes, you know me, there is always a bright side, and here is one facet of this chaotic time in my life’s bright side. I completed and caught up a lot of my homework, and then Mary took me to the bowling alley for more research on my English class ethnological, subculture study. I took a lot of great pictures, found someone not only willing, but eager to talk to me and I learned a huge amount of information from this gentleman including being introduced to several people who will be willing to give me an interview. Having turned in my Literature Review, the interviews will be the last leg of my study, before I will piece it altogether into one final report. Not only that, but I had a really nice time hanging out with Mary.

My Panic Attack post that I wrote very early this morning, I did from my WordPress app on my Blackberry, so I know how that works now. This is a very good thing, because it will allow me to post when I cannot be near my computer and can utilize time when I am also away from my school work. I will, of course, edit that post to include category (Poetic Detours), tags, and a picture of some sort. I have also been taking pictures, other than at the bowling alley, with my Nikon CoolPix digital camera, and when time permits, I will figure out how to upload the photos to my computer so that I can post the best of the bunch here on my blog. There you go, something for you to look forward to!

A quick note in regards to my panic attack—first I want to say thank you to all of you who posted comments and for the words of encouragement and support. I am, once again, very touched by how much you care about me and am very grateful for you! One common thing that was mentioned was how well I worked through the attack. I want to give recognition to three women who have made it possible for me to do this. The first is my treatment counselor, Kathy Ward, in 2005/2006 who encouraged me to seek a doctor in regards to severe depression when I first started experiencing panic attacks, roughly four months after I got clean. In taking her advice, I did seek a doctor and that led me to getting into therapy, along with a medication that helps balance both my anxiety and depression. I was dead-set against it at first, not wanting to replace one drug with another, but the attacks were becoming debilitating and I finally conceded. It was also explained to me, by Kathy, that I had done a lot of deceitful manipulation to my brain and the normal functions of the chemicals therein, so the medication will help repair and replenish those chemicals to the level they are intended to be at. Between the medication and the therapy, and staying clean and healthy, I felt much better and could function again. And the panic attacks subsided considerably!

The second woman was my second to last therapist (the last was her replacement, but her style was so basic it did not work for me), Dr. Kerri in 2008/2009. Being a therapist, she gave me different exercises to do. We would first do them together in her office and then I would take them home, work on them during the week, and then share with her how well or how little it worked. We would either add it to my “tool box” or discard it and try something new. There are two that I use regularly for panic attacks. One is deep breathing. The technique that I use is to count to eight while slowly inhaling. Not only am I counting to eight, but I am visualizing clean, positive light and energy coming in through my breath. I then hold it for two seconds, and then exhale through pursed lips, slowly but deliberately, again counting to eight, while visualizing dark, negative, energy leaving my body. This works really well. Aside from the physiological aspects that accompany deep breathing, I am also disengaging my brain from not only focusing on the thoughts that may have kicked the panic into motion, but also from focusing on the attack itself.

The second is another exercise of visualization. I close my eyes, see a bright blue sky, and see my every thought written into a balloon and drifting away from me, releasing my focus on those thoughts. This one takes a little more effort, but it does work. I generally go with the breathing, but depending on the intensity of the attack or how quickly it hits, I latch onto the first technique that enters my mind. In having made it a habit to do these exercises as soon as I think of them, I have learned to get through them without potential self-harm, which is how they were when they first started occurring in 2005.

And last, but most certainly not least, my very wise and intelligent best friend, Cherie. Through the course of our friendship, which began in 2009, I have developed a trust in her that is unbelievable to me, even now. I have opened up and shared so much of what goes on in my head, and what I have endured throughout my lifetime, that along with her support, insights, and deep understanding, has allowed things that have been broken inside of me for years, to come to light and to begin to heal. This healing and growth has resulted in my panic attacks to be very far and few between. The do occur, but on the rarest of occasions and I am able to pinpoint exactly what set them off, whereas before, I could never be sure. In opening up to her, I have opened myself up to me. Please believe me when I say, that is a rare and lovely gift!

That is all I can do for now, folks. I have an exam to prepare for and several assignments due this weekend, so, though I will try, I may not be back for a few days. I am sorry I keep getting behind, but such is life. {sigh}

Happy Spring,

-Cindy

My Top Recent Commenter Award

The Top Recent Commenters Award

What goes around, comes around! This cliché’ couldn’t be truer than this, my first Top Recent Commenter Award! Kellie Seeis one of my own top commenters and I am one of hers as well! How cool is that? Thank you, Kellie, for passing this back to me. I am very excited to answer the questions I set forth for this award! If you go see Kellie’s blog, you will immediately understand why I often comment on her work! She really inspires the artist in me!The Top Recent Commenter’s Award! This award is a little different from the norm. Instead of awarding others for their own blogs, you will be giving recognition to those who visit your own blog regularly, take the time to really read your posts, and provide you with feedback via their comments. The nominations are the easiest part. You should nominate the six bloggers who comment most frequently on your blog. How do you know who does this most often? Good question!

You will find your Top Recent Commenters on your site stats page on the bottom, right corner. If you do not see this, click on the Screen Options in the top, right corner and be sure that “Comments” is checked. If you are good about responding to every comment, then you will be the first one in the list. It is the next six commenters on the list that you will nominate and pass this award to. But wait! You may nominate one more person. This person can either be a brand new commenter on your blog, the very last comment you have received (most recent), or the one who has posted your most favorite comments. This seventh nomination is your choice, but please do tell us why you have chosen them as your seventh.

The rules are relatively similar to most other awards, but the questions will be a bit more personal so that we may get to know YOU a little better. The rules include thanking the one who passed the award to you and linking them back to your post; nominating your six top recent commenters and one more blogger of your choice, and notifying them of your appreciation and their award, and then answering the questions that follow:

      1. Tell us about one of your most cherished childhood memories.

My most favorite childhood memories were hanging out with my Aunt Bunny, who called me “Ladybug,” listening to her hum, and letting her pamper me by doing my hair and nails.

      1. Tell us about one of your most cherished memories with your child(ren). If you do not have children, then share one of your pet(s). If you do not have pets either, then one with niece(s), nephew(s), or any combination thereof.

Since I have covered a few of these about my youngest son, Zachary, in my post My Little Boy, I will share a couple of my best memories of my oldest son, Jeremiah. One such memory is that when he was little, about the age when he was moving from his crib to his first big boy bed, he would get scared when I turned out the light. He would say, “Mommy, please turn on the light. I can’t see my eyes!” I would turn on a night light and ask him, “Can you see your eyes now?” He would then say, “Yes, Mommy. That is much better. I can see them now.” Another memory I have with Jeremiah is when he would bring rocks to me, present them to me as if they were the rarest and most precious gem, and the pure joy on his face when I agreed that it was the best one yet. If only you could see his little face!

      1. Tell us one thing you have learned from one or both of your parents that has stuck with you throughout the years.

This is an easy one. My mother always told me, “There is a bright side to everything. Sometimes you can’t see it, so you may have to look for it, but it is there, and it always will be.” I have thought of that many, many times over the years, and in fact, it was the one thing, when nothing else could, that kept me going and hanging on during my darkest days loaded and living on the streets. And it has always been true for me. There were times that I could not see it for days, and sometimes weeks, but because I believed it was true, I didn’t give up before it came to me, giving me hope. Thank you, Mom!

      1. Tell us one thing that you have taught (or intend to teach) your child(ren) that you are hopeful will stick with them throughout their lifetime.

Honesty! Absolutely at the top of the list. I have told them that lying always hurts more than the truth. I have taught them that if they are honest with me, no matter what the situation, then we would discuss it, that I may be disappointed, and that I will be a lot more mindful of their actions, but if they lie to me, then they will receive a double punishment (by that I mean no TV or no friends over for two weekends in a row); one for the bad behavior and one for lying about it. My youngest son would come to me and say, “Mom, you’re going to be mad, but you said I could always be honest with you…” Whenever it was possible (meaning if he hadn’t broken the law or hurt someone or potentially put himself in danger) I would stick to my word, have a conversation, listen to his take on it, tell him how I felt, and then let it go, because he came to me and was honest! However, they knew that did not mean they could “get away” with anything. The pain I have suffered throughout my lifetime due solely to being lied to by someone I loved and trusted is why this was the most important things I could teach my boys.

      1. Tell us about your favorite job, whether it is one you hold now or one from the past, and why you enjoy(ed) it.

I had a job at a company that made and repaired eyeglasses. In the beginning, I had my own cubicle, made decisions on the orders that came in, and then was singled out to help in the office just two weeks after I got there. I had the most fun on that job and it is still my favorite. Unfortunately, it was during a time when I was actively using drugs and I lost the job two months after I was hired.

      1. Tell us what you are doing in pursuit of achieving an attainable goal.

I am, as patiently as I can, waiting for my hair to grow longer. It is about four inches shy of my goal. I am keeping this blog which keeps me writing and helps to improve my writing. This is towards my goal to write a fiction novel that will get published. I am attending classes fulltime to work toward becoming a Psychologist. And I have just applied for four jobs. Thit last is a biggie, because I have not worked since I returned to school in 2007. The money I earn will help reduce the stress of my own bills, allow me to send money to help my boys out, and also, I will finally be able to contribute to some of the household bills where I live. So far, I have been living here rent free and I eat like a monster!

      1. Tell us about one person who had the best influence on you in your life (teacher, neighbor, friend, etc.).

Just one? Oh, yeah, I created this award and decided on just one, didn’t I? That’s ok. I may get this award again in the future, so I will pick one this time and save the four or so for another time. Dr. Kerri Perisich was my therapist for one year, 2008/2009. I had tried therapy several times before, but this time it was my choice. I had decided and told her in the first session, that I would “keep it real” and be honest without omitting or exaggerating anything I told her, and if ever I did, I would no longer come to therapy. I told her that I had realized that if I cannot be completely honest with her, I wasn’t being honest with myself, and I would be wasting both of our time. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired, so I stuck to my word and was 110% honest with her in every session. I did a lot of the talking, as you can imagine, but when she was aware that she would be leaving and going back to school to get her PhD, finish writing her book, and open a non-profit mental health facility, she began to share with me how astonished she was at my progress. She said I had no trouble articulating what was troubling me, but that I also continued with speaking out loud a variety of solutions and then systematically narrowing things down to the right solution for me. She was also very proud that I not only came up with my own solution, but I followed through with it and could see the results. She told me that she counts me as a success and believes I had great potential of being a therapist myself. She is the one who inspired me to believe in myself and is she is why I am on this journey to becoming a Psychologist. Thank you, Dr. Kerri!

My Nominees:

Because I have recently sent this award out, those I previously nominated are still among some of my top commenters, so instead, I will nominate those who have been commenting more regularly on my blog. Thank you all so much for your comments. They really mean a lot to me, and I promise, I will get back to reading blogs daily and I will comment as well. I have gotten a little behind, so I may likely begin reading current posts and, if time permits, I will go back and read the many I have missed over the past week or so. Nominees for this award are:

if i die before i sleep

atwlifethoughtsandfitness

iamnotshe

Louise Behiel

RMACTSC

Dreamwalker’s Sanctuary

I Am Not Lost, Just Weird

Keep writing, keep reading, keep following, keep liking, keep rating, and keep commenting. The blogosphere is rich with energy! Don’t miss out!

 

ABC-Deuce Award

I have been nominated for the ABC Award for the second time! The ABC stands for Awesome Blog Content. And this very kind and generous nomination was passed on to me by a, Certainly not lost down under. Thank you, Steph, so much for this wonderful award, for reading my blog, and finding me worthy of this amazing recognition. I am sincerely honored!

Here are the rules for this award:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you
  2. There is no limit to how many fellow bloggers you can nominate so go wild. He-he.
  3. Share some things about you but alphabetically just a word or two about you starting with each alphabet. (Or alternatively, just write the first word you think of.)

My Awesome Blog Content Award Nominees:

Words Fall From My Eyes

The Dissemination of Thought

Heifer 12X12

Ordinary to Extraordinary

Limebird Writers

Reveg of the Nerd

the doodle house

My A to Zzzz’s:

A—ADAPTABLE

B—BENEVOLENT

C—CURIOUS

D—DEDICATED

E—EBULLIENT

F—FLATULENT (yes, you read that right!)

G—GRANDDAUGHTER

H—HELPFUL

I–IMPATIENT

J—JOURNALISTIC

K—KNOWLEDGE-SEEKER

L—LESBIAN

M—MOTHER

N—NIGHT-OWL

O—OPEN-MINDED

P—PAINTER

Q—QUIRKY

R—RASCAL

S—SUNFLOWER

T—THOROUGH

U—UPLIFTING

V—VICTORIOUS

W—WARM-HEARTED

X—X-RAY TRANSPARENT

Y—YEARNING

Z—ZZZZZZZ (getting sleepy)

These seven blogs do have some awesome things posted on their blogs and it would be really wise of you to see for yourself. Well worth the time to click and look; such a loss for you if you don’t!

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My Inspiring Blog Award

Seasons Change, and Change, and Change is the name of the blog who has honored me with this award. Thank you so much, Carla! I am stunned and surprised that anyone would think of my blog as inspiring. I feel very humbled…and very motivated to keep doing what I am doing. What a thrill to be given this particular award.

The Infamous Rules:

Pick seven bloggers who have blogs that inspire you and then tell us how and why you are inspired.

Once you have done that, all you have to do is tell your readers 7 things about yourself that probably would not come up in one of your Blog entries.

7 Inspiring Blogs, in no particular order:

This first blog, The Musings of a Jewish Stay-At-Home Father, inspires me because it is not often you find a father who is so dedicated to his children. Since the father of my children is very much the opposite, reading the many things that father shares and adores about his children gives me hope.

The following blogs all inspire me for much the same reason. All of these bloggers write about their experiences with their struggles in life, whether it be mental illness or addiction, or victims of a loved one’s addiction. I, too, suffer from addiction and mental illness and I learn so many things from these blogs and gain strength and hope from what they go through, have gone through, and what it is that keeps them going. Thank you all so much!

News of My Bipolar Brain

Passive Aggressive Abuse

Raw Recovery

Rockdweller’s Blog

It’s Just One Aspect

Step On A Crack…Or Break Your Mother’s Back

7 Unknown Facts About Me:

  1. Whenever I take a glass down from the cupboard, I blow in it, subconsciously removing any dust that may have settled into it since it was placed there. I vaguely remember doing this at my aunt’s house when I was in my very early teens and babysitting my cousins. This makes no sense, as her house was always spotless!
  2. When I go to bed at night, my shirt must be pulled down over the waistband of my pajama bottoms, or I will toss and turn is discomfort until I fix it.
  3. I have one biological sister and three African-American sisters whom my father adopted from his second marriage. All four of them are younger than I am.
  4. I am obsessed with my hair. Last summer, I died it turquoise (should I post a picture?) and this summer it will be purple. Prior to that I always kept the natural color of my hair, which turns really blond in the summer, and has more of a deep butterscotch color throughout the winter. And it is long, but not nearly as long as I want it. For me, longer hair makes me look thinner.
  5. When I first signed up with AT&T over four years ago, I began with  Blackberry Pearl, upgraded to a Curve, and now a Bold. Between the Curve and the Bold, I tried a different brand of phone because it was a Windows phone that I thought would be useful for classes, but I could not operate some of the most basic functions that I use many times a day and returned it for the Bold within 4 days. It is almost time to get a new phone and I am afraid I will not be happy with anything other than a Blackberry.
  6. I have a fascination with time and when I first started thinking of dissertation ideas, I had considered the many different perceptions of time and what was at work in the brain to shape those perceptions. For example, why does it “seem” to take forever when we are anticipating a vacation, and then once we get there, it “seems’ like we blink and it is over? Time is constant, so why does it feel so different from one circumstance to the another?
  7. Ok, now for my biggest secret of all time! As many of you know, I am a recovering drug addict. However, prior to finding recovery, my drug use did a number on my teeth. (Eeek! This is what I should have written for my TMI Award!) So, at the age of 38, four years after I got clean, I had to have all—yes, every single one, a total of 27—teeth pulled and replaced with these awful false ones. Why so awful? Let me just say that it is much harder for me to eat with these than with my real teeth.

Congratulations to the blogs I have nominated and for those of you reading this post, and want to be inspired, you not only have the seven nominees to check out, but don’t forget the one who nominated me—also very inspiring!

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