Tag Archives: personal growth

Day 41

365 Days of My

Today Little Miss did not want to go to school because she was tired and her legs hurt.  Remember I love my Mondays, but I was in no mood for a fight this morning… So I caved. But there was one rule..

Rule: If she was tired,  then she needed to rest on the couch. It wasn’t playtime or jump around time. It was rest time.

The leg thing honestly baffled me, until lunchtime.  Where she ate everything, no picking at all… cleaned the plate and even went after mine too!! Then I fully understood. It’s another growth spurt, and a big one. Later she told me it hurt to always sit cross-legged like they do at school. So after she went to sleep, I sent a quick e-mail off to the teachers asking that she gets to spread her legs out a bit more when they hurt.  Problem solved…

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And after a long day of helping me out with the laundry. She asked, I’d be nuts to say no. It was time for a snuggle before bed. Now she is snoring loud enough I can hear her downstairs.

365 Days of Truth, Confessions of a Mad Woman

Last Mother’s Day.  I was blue and cried when I read  on Facebook how my other Mother friends had breakfast in bed, spa days and pampering. For me it was just another day… I was jealous and feeling left out.

But then I thought about it, and the way I look at it. I might not get manicures, massages and breakfast in bed one day a year, but… I don’t have to share my hugs. I get all the kisses and she tells me she loves  me a million times a day. Those are gifts enough for me.

365 Days of Healthy Living

20 Uses for Coconut Oil

1.  Cook with it, it is a good butter replacement.
2.  Stir a bit into your tea to flavour it.
3.  Warm some up to liquify it and make a yummy salad dressing.
4. Use it instead of shaving cream.
5. Use it as a hair treatment. Work 3-5T into your hair. Comb through and  leave it overnight. Rinse. Enjoy soft manageable hair.
6.  Use it as a diaper rash cream.
7. Extra Strength Moisturizer.
8. Use as an all natural daily moisturizer for face, body and lips.
9. Combine baking soda and coconut oil to make an all natural toothpaste.
10. All natural sexual lubricant.
11. Breastfeeding mothers can use this as a safe all natural nipple cream.
12. It can be used to removed gum out of hair.
13. Use it as a natural deodorant.
14. Use it to help heal small cuts and burns.
15. Use it as a massage oil.
16. Use it to remove your make up.
17. Use it to oil squeaky doors or toy wheels.
18. Apparently you can clean bronze with it.
19. They say if you mix coconut oil and peppermint oil it works as an insect repellent.
20.  Can be used in mild to moderate cases of head lice.

And now for a bedtime laugh…

redbull in my coffee

Until Tomorrow!!

 

 

Day 40

Today I want to build one of these…

Or these…

Either will do…

I am overwhelmed, over tired and over stimulated and so close to starting a Kickstarter to afford the ‘Wanderlust’ project.  Anyone want to come?

The Wanderlust Project:
Packing up the cats, kid and lizard. Sell everything and drive til we can’t drive any more.  Learn to love life and all the experiences that come with it. Just be free…

Great dream huh? Well that is escapism for you. Sounds great, but a most unrealistic way of dealing with stress and depression. Today has been a challenging day and I just need to remember that tomorrow things will feel differently.

Time to go pull out those proverbial big girl panties and get’er done.  I will not be controlled by my stress and blues. Grr…

Until Tomorrow, when I promise I will get back to the normal!!!

Day 35

365 Day of My

Little Miss told me a story today…
“Once upon a time, there were many many metal warriors.
Their job was to protect the magical golden arrow.
Many bad guys came to steal the arrow, but the warriors beat them.
Then one day a bad bad man came, and he killed the warriors. Then they went over the bridge to the hall where Odin was waiting.
That’s it! ”

Then she shot me with an toy arrow and smiled!

Yup, she is defiantly on the mend from the flu.  Which is good, because on top of my dual ear infection. I think I may be coming down with her flu.

365 Days of Truth, Confessions of a Mad Woman

I am a COMPLETE Control Freak.

I am completely disorganized and lose everything.

I do not like change at all.

I suck at any money management skills.

I am a master procrastinator.

Five things that need to be changed.

Please refer to point three. *head desk*

 

365 Days of Healthy Living

According to some sources smiles and looking at baby animals can help add time to your life. So I’d like to give you some life back…

Baby Bacon

This little chap seems so happy!

I can FLY!

…and just to add the last bit of mana. Please  enjoy this video from he Toronto Zoo of a baby Polar Bear going in the snow for the first time.

http://grist.org/list/watch-a-baby-polar-bear-have-his-first-experience-with-snow/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=update&utm_campaign=socialflow

And now for some bedtime laughter…

Until Tomorrow!!

Day 34

365 Days of My

My daughter shared her dream with me…

Little Miss: ” I dreamed that I was walking in the woods. Then I finded a puppy. The puppy and I played and walked in the woods. We got losted though and we got scared. Then we finded a magical doorway so we weren’t losted anymore. The door led to the ‘pink room’ (my office/crafting room) so we were happy we were home. I showed you the puppy and you said he was super cute. So I asked you to keep him…”Me: “And what did I say?”
Little Miss: “Yes. So we need a puppy…”

She wants a Great Pyrenees… Like her Auntie M’s  ZooZoo.

I on the  other hand would love one of these handsome pups.

What we will probably end up with, and it will be just as loved if not more.

Yes,  I knowingly walked into conversation, but the puppy talk is not new. So I assured her that when she was older and we had a larger home, also we could get a puppy or a dog but we had to rescue them.

If you’re considering a new member to your family, please consider a rescue dog. Here are some links to rescue shelters in Ontario, consider an adoption or maybe just a donation.

Hopeful Hearts:
http://www.hopefulhearts.ca/
Friendly Giants Dog Rescue: http://www.friendlygiantsdogrescue.com/
PAWS – United:
http://paws-united.webs.com/
Ontario Rescue Organizations in Ontario:
http://www.canadasguidetodogs.com/rescue/onrescue.ht
Poet’s Vision Aussie Rescue:
http://www.poetsvisionaussierescue.org/

**Please feel free to add any Dog, Cat, Animal rescues that may be in your neck of the woods in the comments below.

365 Days of Truth, Confessions of a Mad Woman

By the time half of my grade nine year was complete, I was a mess and being expelled from one of the worst high schools in all the city. It was time to look into the private boarding school route.  My mother encouraged me to be part of the decision for which school I would be going to. We looked at many schools and eventually settled on the one that seemed to be the best and although it was a Christian school, we were assure that religion was not enforced in the school and it was the students choice to participate in the services and worship.

Within the first few days, I knew almost everything we had been told was a lie.  My first Sunday, I was under the assumption that I did not need to go to services if I did not want to. I was quickly laughed at, told I was a liar and trying to cause problems, and given two choices: Church or I could be Disciplined.  I went to church. I was forced to speak the prayers, sing the hymns and take communion or again I could be disciplined.

Basic Explaination of ‘D’ : When a student at the school broke a rule one of the punishments was called Discipline. The student was removed from general student population for a period of 1 day up to 1 month… even longer sometimes.  The student was not allowed to wear their uniform, instead they wore ‘Normal’ clothing. The student was not allowed to speak to anyone, unless directly asked a question by their Prefect/Leader keeper or a member of the staff.  The student was made to ‘clean’ the school instead of attending classes, but still expected without learning the subjects to complete all homework and tests.

I was at this school from 1989-1992, but that was long enough for me to lose what little faith in God I had gained in my short life.  Here is a basic list of examples of why…

1. I was taught that it was the woman’s fault if they were raped. 2. I was forced to participate in extra prayers to help save my soul.
3. The headmaster many times used my breasts or other personal body parts to move me out of the way. Even if I was the only one in the hall or room.
4. I was nearly put on D because I said I believed in evolution.
5. By grade 12, I was cutting again, I was held in a room in the basement of the girls dorm, prayed over and told it was a demon. I was not permitted treatment or to call my mother.
6. I was suspended for not telling on another student.
7. I was mocked for my weight by the girls Physical Education teacher, she even encouraged other students to join in.
8.  One time while on D I was refused food for a day and a half as a lesson… For eating a half eaten cookie because i was starving.
9. I was lectured on being a ‘slut’ because I had accidentally sat to close to a boy… breaking the 6inch rule.
10.  I once forgot that I had a sci-fi book in my bag. When I realized, I left it in my suitcase to just take back home next break.  It was found and destroyed. Instead I was given a bible and made to sit in silence reading it through study hall, unable to complete my homework for the next day… which also had punishments.

These are only 10 of the things that happened at that school, the others vary in degrees of good to bad.

For many years I held a hatred for God, Jesus and anyone that followed them. As I grew older though, I began to understand that this had been happening to a lot of students, Christian and Non. That it was the fault of the people running the school and the Christian community that backed them. It had nothing to do with God, Jesus or even Christians World-wide.

I am now part of a long on-going class action lawsuit, the leaders must be held responsible for their actions or in some cases their non-actions towards the horrible things that happened to some of us there.  As well I’ve made my peace with God and Jesus… but I will never again have faith for him.

The Courtcase: http://www.kmlaw.ca/Case-Central/Overview/Status-Of-Case/?rid=155
CTV News: http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/appeal-filed-in-ontario-school-abuse-case-1.929519
More Information: http://digitaljournal.com/article/223036

365 Days of Healthy Living

Healthy Skin Tip!!
Use cheaper Coconut oil as hand creme. Completely natural and non-allergenic and works like charm!!! Since cooking with coconut oil I have noticed that my skin and hair is softer and more luminous. Suggested by my mothers roofing contractor.

Urban Gardening

I am a huge supporter of growing your own foods. There is something so tasty about eating fresh produce that was grown by your own hand. I used to have a nice big garden, and grew everything. Peanuts, corn, tomatoes, beans, peas, pumpkins, potatoes, sweet and hot peppers, broccoli, spinach, kale, grapes, raspberries, and so much more as well as all my own herbs and spices.  It was so lovely to have all this food coming from my small backyard.  This past year I had to cut down my choices to Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Figs, Beans and a handful of herbs,  as sadly all I have now is a balcony.  But it was done!! So before you think that you don’t have room to grow anything, take a look at the following links for some great Urban Garden ideas that help grown optimum food within minimum space.

Use any available space:
http://www.skinnymom.com/2013/04/21/urban-farming-growing-a-garden-in-small-spaces/?_szp=336154

A few pictures to give ideas. I have tried the shoe organizer idea to grow herbs. Make sure you puncture the pocket to allow good drainage though or the roots will rot.
Your Urban Space Saving Garden

Do you Rent? Check out this blog and think POTS! http://www.greenyourdecor.com/8699/ideas-growing-food-renter/

How about Recycling or Reusing old household items?

Vertical garden using recycled plastic soda bottles.

Recycle old pop bottles or milk jugs.

Re-purposing a vintage tackle box for a mini urban garden.

Old drawers used to conserve water and money!

Reuse old household items giving them new life outside the local dump.

Like Potatoes? This one is simple and can yield a years worth of tasty tatters.

Grow potatoes yourself

Or check out more…In a garbage bag: http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/how-to-grow-potatoes-in-a-trash-bag/index.html
In a bucket: http://www.sproutingoff.com/planting-potatoes-in-buckets/

How about a Laundry Basket…Growing potatoes ina laundry basket

Everything now a days can be grown at home or in an Urban setting.  Check it all out!! See if your community is willing to start their own farmers markets where produce produced with in your apartment, condos, co-op or neighborhood can be traded and bartered for. Defiantly food for thought…

And now for a lunchtime giggle…

 

Until later tonight!!

Day 33

365 Days of My

Well after a long, long day at CHEO (Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario) we are back home.  Little Miss has one of the many strains of flu that are floating about. Although they did test for other possibilities, results available in a couple of days.  Until then it’s Tylenol, Advil, Ventalin (Blue Inhaler) and Flovent (Orange Inhaler) and to Little Misses displeasure, no school.

(Parents Note)
1. I didn’t know this, you can give your child both Children’s Advil and Children’s Tylenol together. **–> Although contact your doctor first to ask about timing and dosages. <–**
2. Unless your child has a fever of over 100oF, it’s not considered a fever. 100-102oF is considered a moderate fever and 103-104oF is when you need to worry.
3. Do not be concerned if your little one doesn’t want to eat.. Be concerned about not drinking and becoming dehydrated.
4. An ear thermometer is one of the least reliable temperature taking methods.  Under the tongue or in the bum are the most reliable forms of taking your child’s temperature.

The writing of this blog was just put on hold by Little Misses fever spiking to 103.9oF. Took me almost an hour, but it is back down to a more manageable 100.1oF and tears have once again been replaced by smiles. We’re curled on the couch together, she is watching Ninjago and I am typing … and secretly hoping this is the beginning of the end to this ‘ick’ that has made my little light so miserable.

So again she has asked to not have her picture put up for everyone to see. Instead she has chosen for us to highlight my other ‘Children’.  So I am pleased to introduce…

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Toothless, our Mali Uromastyx.’

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‘George D. Fancypants and Mr. Flakes’

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‘Endora ‘Dorrie’ Doodles’

365 Days of Truth, Confessions of a Mad Woman

I once tried to cheat on a high school math exam. I wrote out some of the mathematical formulas that gave me the hardest time. I still failed…

1. Don’t cheat, just study. If you still do not understand something, ask someone to try and explain it again.
2. If you are going to write something on a body part… make sure your pen of choice is waterproof!!
3. If you have a breakdown about your pen smearing on your skin due to sweat… Do it after the exam, and not when guilt of your actions cause you to blubber a confession to the moderator.

I was not punished as I had not been able to complete the cheat and came clean without being asked. I was however allowed to retake the exam again. I still failed. Math is just not for me…

Funny thing is, that years later when I became a teacher overseas. I was known for how strict I ran my class room and my great disapproval of cheating.  I tried it only that once and learned I was only doing myself harm by cheating. It is better to honestly try and fail, then to cheat and get false success.

365 Healthy Living

Breakfast, it’s apparently the most important meal of the day.  Here are a few yummy recipe ideas to help kick start your day!

Prosciutto Bowlshttp://accidentalchefm.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/prosciutto-bowls.html

Sweet Potato Cinnamon-Hashieshttp://www.wholefamilystrong.com/2012/01/24/whole-family-sweet-potato-cinnamon-hashies/

Chai Pumpkin Bread http://paleomg.com/chai-pumpkin-bread/

So go enjoy your breakfast!!

The Sunday Soapbox

R*dskins logo and name needs to be changed… Like yesterday.
Watch this. It was very well done. The people who made it did not have the money to have it aired during Superbowl Sunday. So instead I made it my mission today to make it go viral… and share it everywhere I could.
http://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/heres-an-ad-about-rskins-that-its-makers-dont-have-the-money-to-show-during-sundays-superbowl/#.Uu3NunszvP0.facebook

The Milky Way Project needs your help!!
Do you have a love of Science and Astronomy? Then the Milky Way Project is definitely for you. Go and check them out!

‘The Milky Way Galaxy is massive!

There’s no way we could do this on our own. We need the help of the public to classify the thousands of images we have on file. If all 900,000 of our members classified a few images, we’d be done in no time!’
http://www.milkywayproject.org/

I am PRO-VACCINATION and Autistic!
No, I do not believe that my parents making the right choice in vaccinating me led to me having Autism.  Actually when I hear people saying things like that it angers me A LOT!  So why is Autism on the rise? Maybe it’s not, maybe it is because awareness has made it easier to diagnose with in people? So maybe with more freedom to information and awareness, it’s just more commonly found now.  I am not sure,  it is something that interests me though.
As for vaccinating, I am a Vaxer and proud. I have seen the damage Polio did to my Aunt, who still suffers daily with Post-Polio Syndrome. I have seen children get sick and die in third world countries from diseases that I had been vaccinated for.  I have also see a friend in agony because his parents did not vaccinate him… and then he contracted Rubella while teaching English in Asia.  If you think for any reason that you or your children are safe from the dangerous diseases out there… Watch and Think again.

http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/one-map-sums-damage-caused-anti-vaccination-movement

and this..

And now for some laughter before bed. Today I dedicate these to Chris Hadfield for inspiring my daughter to want to learn about Space and all the mysteries it holds…

And…

Until Tomorrow!!

Welcome to February, Day 32

365 Days of My

Little Miss did not feel like having her picture today and I can understand and respect that.  The poor wee thing has been very sick now since last Monday night. She seemed to have been getting better over the past few days, but then today again her fever shot up past 100oF.  I  got her cooled off and medicine into her, and she is resting now. Tomorrow though it’s off to the doctors office or Children’s Hospital, whoever can see us.  With both of us sick and out of commission, we need solutions and we need them now.  So instead of a picture today, she chose three of her favorite pictures from her past.

rainbowgirl

“Rainbow Girl. Age: 3”

jumper

“Rainy Day Puddle Jumper, Age 2”

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“Rainbow Dash Cos-Play, Age: 4”

365 Days of Truth, Confessions of a Mad Woman

I was once approached by CSIS to feed them information about certain white supremacist people and organizations around Ontario.

Weeks prior to this encounter, I had had the every living tar beaten out of me… for being nothing more then against racism. So, I agreed to get them as much as I could… one time only, for vengeance sake. Then I wanted nothing more to do with it. I wasn’t willing to risk my life.

So I went back to the house, wrote down all the addresses and phone numbers from my roommates phone book. I collected all of the Heritage Front propaganda, meeting times and places and literature. I wrote down names of those I knew affiliated… and then I called up the agents, met them for coffee and gave it all over.  So for a brief moment I can say I was a informant to a spy.

365 Days of Healthy Living

I am so tired now that I have fallen asleep three times already. So I will leave you with one of my favorite TED talks.

Jane McGonigal: The game that can give you 10 extra years of life: http://youtu.be/lfBpsV1Hwqs

And now for a good laugh before bed…

fun32

 

Until Tomorrow!!

 

Day 30

365 Days of My

I was going to talk about stress and stress management tricks for a parent. But, then this happened…

d30

‘ Well in this in this house, They say… A geek mothers heart swelled three sizes this day.’

We have been gifted by the fates a Ps3 and Little Miss had been nagging at me all day to set it up. When I finally set it up and her Uncle P. was here. It was time to play, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes. Uncle P. was Ironman, and Little Miss chose her favourite, The Hulk. The game was on… She was a natural and listened as her Uncle P. and I gave her instructions.  My ‘Mommy Pride’ swelled and tears glistened in my eyes, as I watched her help defeat the boss at the end of the level.

Let me explain, I am a geek mom. I love to play video games, always have always will. Since becoming a single parent though, aside from Candy Crush Saga… there has been no gaming for me. By the time my daughter goes to bed and actually falls asleep; I do some clean up, write my 365, and then I am done in. Now though, my daughter and I can play a bit a few times a week. Selfish? Maybe or maybe it’s something better…

Level Complete: Achievement Unlocked
New Bonding Experience with Little Miss

I do believe that video games are alright for children, even young ones. It helps with hand-eye coordination, shape and pattern recognition, direction and works as a great team work (ie. co-operation, sharing)  experience.  There are plenty of age appropriate games on the market today, it is the parents choice as to what is appropriate for their own child.

For example: My daughter loves the LEGO movies, so I thought I would start there for video games. Yes, there is LEGO violence and little LEGO monsters get their ‘block butts kicked’. But she knows it is not good to hurt others physically in real life, she knows it hurts and it’s just not nice. So I really  don’t worry to much about that and concentrate on having fun.

365 Days of Truth, Confessions of a Mad Woman.

Depending on the day it can take me anywhere from 15 minutes to over an hour to choose an outfit to wear outside the house. Even if it is just to pick up my daughter from school. Even on a good day this adventure causes tears, frustration and body issues.

I have no mirrors that show my lower half in my home. Up until two years ago, the only mirror I had was one that showed my head and shoulders. It has been  only just in the past few months that I have been able to look at my tummy and not feel loathing. Since beginning to lose weight, I see change and not stagnation, much easier to cope with.

When I put on make up I usually end up washing it all off, because I feel I’ve put to much on. At least three times…   Most times ‘wearing makeup’ for me is  clear mascara, a dusting of skin tone or light gold eyeshadow and lip gloss. I also have waist length hair, which I always keep it tightly pulled back. My daughter wants me to dye it like Rainbow Dash from My Little Pony…. I accept the challenge. Mostly because it will shake up my perceptions of myself. It will draw attention and I need to accept that getting attention is actually okay.

It’s time to come out from the shadows and learn to live in the light.

365 Days of Healthy Living

Jacqueline’s Top Five Stress Relieving Tips

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If something is overwhelming you, reach out and ask someone for help. This is great advice not only for emotional tasks, but physical ones as well.
  2. Make freezer meals for the bad days, because sometimes on bad days, even making dinner is a monumental feat.
  3. Turn up the music and do something physical. Personally, I clean or re-organize the furniture in my house. It occupies my thoughts and time. After less then an hour I find my stress has lessened and I feel in control again.
  4. Take at least 10 minutes each day to yourself. Focus, center, meditate, breathe, fold laundry, chat with a friend, hide in the bathroom… However you have to do it. Take 10 minutes for you.
  5. Try and remember it is not the end of the world…

If all else fails, make these…

20121220-213238.jpg

Found at:  http://thepaleobelle.wordpress.com/paleo-recipes/

Now time for a healthy laugh before bed…

Until Tomorrow…

Day 29

365 Days of My

Well Little Miss stayed home today, her tonsils are still swollen but her fever broke in the night.  I’m keeping her home tomorrow as well.. there’s more Ninjago to watch and popsicles to eat!

d29

Snuggled under her new found blankie watching Ninjago. Normally she would be high kicking along side the television. This is how I know the Missus is sick.

365 Days of Truth, Confessions of a Mad Woman

When I was fourteen I started grade nine. I was hoping for a fresh start, something new and exciting from the Hel of primary school. I should have known better, it took one day for all the same bullpoop to start again. I was constantly bullied about my clothing, my lazy eye, being in the learning disability Unit, being plump… I remember by my second week at high school I wanted to dropout.

Instead… I fell in with the wrong crowd. River Phoenix posters were replaced with Sid Vicious. I began to withdraw and become very angry. My clothing went to dark colours and thrown together with little care. I stopped showering and caring for my body. I began smoking cigarettes. I began smoking pot. I took acid. I got in fights…

And after only three weeks in High school, I began cutting.

When I cut myself, I felt my stress and sadness bleed out.  In the beginning it was just a few nicks here and there. By the end, I was cutting from my knuckles to my shoulder blades.  Lines, circles, band names, you name it and I cut it into my skin.

I really can not tell you why I started. I had never seen anyone else do it, I hadn’t seen it on television. It really was one day my razor split and I pulled out a blade. I looked at it and I had an urge to cut. So I did. My cutting lasted for a few months, then I just stopped as suddenly as I started.  I cut myself many time after this first episode, but I can thankfully say I have been cut free now for 15 years.

Information on Cutting can be found at:
http://kidshealth.org/teen/your_mind/mental_health/cutting.html
http://www.helpguide.org/mental/self_injury.htm
http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/features/cutting-self-harm-signs-treatment
http://www.cmha.ca/mental_health/youth-and-self-injury/#.UunMRjeUT1A
‘One study of Canadian youth found that almost 2 out of every 10 youth aged 14-21 had hurt themselves on purpose at one time or another. Self-injury behaviours usually start between 13 and 15 years of age, and happen most often in teenagers and young adults. Self-harm behaviours are twice as common in girls and young women, compared to males.’
Found on the CHEO – Self Harm website: http://www.cheo.on.ca/en/self-harm

365 Days of Healthy Living

Yummy Noodle Alternatives: Taking all grains out of your life can be hard especially if your of a lower income bracket like myself. Removing gluten and grains removes pasta and rice, which are both cheap quick meals.  Although as I found in my quest to yet again enjoy spaghetti there are plenty of noodle replacement ideas.

I have tried many vegetable replacements. The ones my daughter has been most receptive to is: Spaghetti Squash and zucchini.  Spaghetti Squash can easily be turned into it’s namesake and is rather yummy!! Zucchini depending on how you cut it can be turned into lasagna noodles, fettuccine noodle and with some finesse ravioli pockets. Although the last one needs cheese to hold it together but is super yummy!! Although lately I have been looking for something that is more of a pasta texture and so I have turned to nut flours.

Here are some of my finds:
38 Suggestions on Using Vegetables as Noodles. http://paleogrubs.com/pasta-recipes
Non-Gluten/Grain Pasta Recipe: http://www.paleocupboard.com/paleo-pasta.html
And now for some bedtime humor…

Until Tomorrow!

Days 1 Thru Day 26, Before Blog

365 Days of Truth, Confessions of a Mad Woman

Day 1. I am terrified of confrontation and speaking up for myself or in defense of my opinions. I find I get used and walked on because, I will not speak out when something bothers me. I really hate this about myself.
Day 2. I am not as shy as I let on…. I’m just to scared of how people will think of me. Which causes me stress and anxiety, which causes my quirks to kick into full effect, which causes me to not always make sense or act in a normal socially accepted way. So instead of allowing myself to get out there and meet folk. I clam up, hide and play shy.

Challenge to myself: Try and make 5 new friends not introduced to me by my inner core of people. *gulps*

Day 3. Let’s be light-hearted today. When attending the last ever Madstock in London, England. I was injured and managed to use my wilds and charm to get backstage. That day I met Madness.
Day 4. I am very outspoken and passionate… but I take things personally way to often. I am working on this.
Day 5. My daughter saved my life. If she wasn’t here, I don’t think I would be either.
Day 6. I envy larger women who are comfortable and accepting of their bodies. I hate my body on the best of days. I have battled eating disorders, starving myself for weeks, fad diets… have no mirrors that show my lower half at all.

I accept that I will never be able to accept ‘big is beautiful’ for myself. Instead I am now working to healthily shrink the skin I am in.

Telling big people to love or accept themselves for who they are… Does not help. If someone is unhappy in their body, they won’t be happy with it until they are able to change it.

Day 7. One reason, I don’t have my drivers license or give instructions is I don’t know my left from right… unless I make my thumbs and index fingers into L shapes.
Day 8. I wasn’t sure what to say for today’s secret, until D asked me one simple question. “Who was your favourite character when you were a kid?” I honestly had to think about it, and the answer is not one I liked. “I didn’t have one.”

As a child on the Autistic Spectrum, I did not play. I never played make believe. I never got attached to a favoured toy. Nothing. I was a dissector and musically stimulated.

Now though 34 years on I’m learning to play. It’s a challenge, but I have a great teacher.

Day 9. I am hypersensitive to touch. I wear baggy clothing, because tighter clothing is painful as it rubs my skin. I limit my touch contact to close friends only as they will understand if I cringe or pull away quickly.

I am not afraid of needles as most think. Getting a needle is hell. For blood work not only is the needle going in a tummy turning sensation, I can then feel it pulsing in the vein. It’s not a sensation easily described.

On flare up days though, there is only one person I save my ‘spoons’ for and that is D.

Day 10. After my father had passed suddenly, my mother planned a trip to Toronto for my brother, myself and her. Go have some fun and try and make happy moments at a sad time. We were set to go, but the morning of I started to beg my mother that we just stay at home instead. Telling her I had had a dream that she was going to be hurt and my brother and I would be left alone. Now like most people would, my mother took this to be the fears of a five year old who just lost a parent… We were hit by another car on the drive. My mother was put into an ambulance hurt. Leaving my brother and I standing alone (with the police) in a store parking lot.

This was the first ‘dream’ I remember. They never stopped.

Day 11. I am are perfectionist. Due to this I have left a long string of unfinished projects behind me.

This is why Little Trees has been so helpful and exciting an experience for me.

I’m not perfect or a superhero. I am what I believe I can be, with no other unreasonable expectations.

Day 12. When I explode, I do it with no graces, manners or maturity. Although if you give me a few days to allow calmer heads to prevail. I will usually apologize for my behaviour and have a good discussion about what the root problems are.

If however you continue to show the behaviours that angered me in the first place… then all bets are off. I will end friendships, even if I would have tried to salvage them previously.

Day 13: I have an severe phobia of Moths.
Day 14. Some days secrets should stay just that. Secret. Especially when you’re in a not so great mood to start with.
Day 15. One of my most prized ‘Things’ from all my years, is a note on a scrap of paper. (I am a recovering packrat)

I was in a cafe in Toronto, sitting in the hidden smoking section having way to much coffee while reconnecting with an old friend. When Jackie Burroughs came in and sat at the table next to us. I am a HUGE L.M. Montgomery fan, and here was Aunt Hetty sitting next to me!! It took me an hour to build up the courage to ask for an autograph. She apologized, but she didn’t give out autographs.

Gutted… totally gutted, but I smiled and said thank you for letting me interrupt. Then she asked my name, I responded it was the same as hers, Jackie. She laughed and asked me if I liked it, I said “not really and you?”
She shook her head and said no too. There I was over the moon to be laughing and joking with an icon of Canadian theater/television/movies for ten minutes!! At this point I didn’t care about the autograph anymore. As I was saying goodbye and thank you for letting a fan girl interrupt her coffee, she pulled out a pen and paper and wrote me a note and signed it. She handed it to me with a smile and said good bye.

As I got back to my table, I unfolded the note. I read my personal message and looked at the signature.. I made her smile and we shared the same name that is why she signed the note for me. It’s framed, a valued treasure indeed.

Day 16: When it comes to men I am a loser. Seriously… I was single for almost a decade before I married. I think maybe that is why I settled for the first guy who actually wanted to be with ME, not just my breasts. (Please refer back to loser in love)

The only encounters I did have were basically ‘Lonely sex’ or for most of the guys ‘ You’re not my type but I have needs so you will do’. There were even a few that I really wished it was different, as my feelings were a bit stronger then their needs.

This is why I have come to a conclusion that I am probably destined to be lonely and single the rest of my life. You know what though… I am okay with that. I would rather be lonely then have D learn that having partners who just treat you as a walking breasts and vagina are okay to be with.

It’s all about being strong enough to love yourself, and know that no one else has to love you to be happy.

Day 17: Honestly I feel horrible. Pretty sure it’s the flu? Either way I am to cotton headed to be deep and insightful. So something light… I collect cookbooks. I currently have around 100 cookbooks spanning globally from the 1800’s to present day.
Day 18 (late): When I was younger I wanted to become a marine biologist and run off to join Greenpeace.

My dream was stopped dead in it’s tracks by school standard testing. I was told I would never have the math grades required. To just give up and do something I’d be able to do.

So disheartened I did just that. I put away all my books on marine life and Greenpeace and gave up. Thinking, no convinced I was not good enough.

Encourage do not discourage a persons dreams. You never know when you might make the next genius feel useless about themselves and they just give up.

Day 19. Sometimes, not all the time though. I let D have ice cream for breakfast, and feel no guilt about it. Because usually there are giggles and wiggles, as memories are made.
Day 20. `Bullying’. Yup tonight is going to be a deep one, with a happy ending I promise.

Grade Two: We had a substitute teacher, she was the mother of a fellow student. I needed to pee. I had raised my hand, been scolded when I dared say ‘Excuse me’ to get her attentions. You see she was helping her daughter with a difficult problem. Well at the point of almost no return I got up and started for the door. It was that or have an accident. She yelled at me to get back into my seat, and that I was being disruptive. No matter how much I tried to plead with her… I was ignored. Forced to return to my seat, where yes, I wet myself. The teacher then purposefully shamed me and humiliated me, while my class mates laughed. I was told to clean up my mess, and not allowed to go clean myself up or call my mother to get me. I was made to sit in my pee soaked dress all day, and all the way home on the school bus.

Grade 4-8: I was awkward, I was in the LDU, I had already tried to kill myself and been hospitalized, I was shy, I didn’t wear Roots, I hated gym, I had armpit hair. Those are some reasons… I had two friends S. and B. When new kids would come, they were warned I was a weirdo and to not be my friend. But… At the end of grade 8 something pretty cool happened. A boy by the name of R.R-T Anyways he was sent to the LDU to help him with I think it was math. One day he mentioned to another student that his father had a boat at the Britannia Yacht Club. I shyly mentioned that is where my family had had our boat. He asked where it was then, I told him my father had died in an accident at the club and we didn’t have the boat anymore. Suddenly by their reactions I had grown a third eye and was a weirdo to be ignored again. The next day… He came up to me and said he was sorry. I told him honestly I was confused, sorry for what? He told me he asked his dad about what I had said. His dad told him about that day, he was there. He told Randy we had been there too, just before it happened. He promised not to call me strange again and began to say hi everyday. Slowly more and more kids I had been in school with for 4-5 years with were saying hi. The bullying never really stopped, but for a while I had friends and felt included.

I could continue, but I think you get the point. I was bullied from grade one all the way through into my 30’s. For a long time I was effected by their words and actions against me. BUT… It dawned on me about a month ago, that I was still allowing peoples actions towards me to control me 30 years on. They were no longer my bullies… I was now bullying and shaming myself. I was holding onto these memories, no one else was forcing them on me. It was time to let them go, to be free of the memories of embarrassment, tears, fears, hurt and humiliation.

Now I dance in the streets with D singing at the top of our lungs. I don’t care if my clothes aren’t fashionable, I like them. I am not comfortable in my skin, but I am happy with what I am doing to change it. Basically, I don’t care what others think because I AM HAPPY WITH WHO I AM. That is all that matters.

*Warning this episode contains scenes with Unverified Personal Gnosis. Read at your own risk, but understand these are MY thoughts and feelings before you poop on them. I am not asking anyone to share my thinking or think it’s even more than horse manure. I am asking you to have an open mind to my spirituality*

Day 21: Okay… *Deep Breath In*… *Exhale and Type*
I have a foggy memory of being small, it is night time and there is a huge thunder storm. I remember being so scared, but my father was there. He was telling me stories of a God of Thunder who was bowling with his hammer. Each time the thunder rumbled he was throwing it, and when the lightening crashed it’s because he hit the pins making them crash to the ground. It made me giggle and I was no longer afraid, of the storms because I knew it was just the Gods having fun.

As the years went on the story faded to a brief memory. I had found a new God and his son, and forgot about the old ones. I tried hard to understand about the scriptures and the commandments. It just never felt right… and then at a very dark time in my life, I felt ultimately betrayed by God. How could he allow what happened to so many of us in ‘that place’? How could he allow those people to do these things in ‘Gods Name’? At 16, I turned my back on God and Jesus. The wounds still hurt, and the secrets from there are still to painful to share for myself and many on my Facebook friends list. (Quick Note: Please understand these are MY feelings and that you do not have all the information. I am sorry about that. Until the court case has settled though it is better to just stay quiet)

For a while I believed in nothing, then I returned to the old Gods. I began by learning about the ‘Celtic’ Gods for a few years, it felt better but still not right. It was at a festival, 17 years ago. I camped on top of a large rock outcropping, to my left was the way to Men’s Ritual site and to the right was the way to the river. It was a night of storming, and there was water coming into my tent. I donned my tarp and headed out to try and stop the drips. As I stepped out lightening began to flash all around, striking the river and the ritual site. I have to admit I was panicking at this point, but then I had my ‘Spiritual re-awakening’ moment. The next flash of lightening, I saw a man with a hammer on top of the rock outcropping, and suddenly the memory of my fathers voice and story came back… and like a nutter I began to laugh and felt safe.

I remained in the shadows in our community, for many reasons. Occasionally asking very cryptic questions of Asatru friends. I collected whatever books I could. As the dawning of the ‘Time of Internet Knowledge’ came, I sifted through piles of articles, papers and personal opinions. I did this for 15 years. Then I went to a brand new festival with a friend R. Who would turn out to be my guide out of my seclusion. It was the second night, it had rained all day but had cleared up around dinner time. I was sitting at the table reading as D had passed out cold, when R. walked up to our site. She handed me a necklace, on it hung a Mjolnir and said ” I bought this for me, but I think you need to put it on instead.” I took it, I stared at it for a while, and then put it on. Suddenly, thunder and lightening began to sound all around us again for a good minute and a half. Again, I laughed and said “Alright, I get the point”. Since that day I have rarely gone with out proudly wearing my Mjolnir.

I am a proud Heathen and I do believe in things you can not see or explain. I do believe in personal spiritual moments and experiences. I also believe in a healthy dose of research and verified proof, but sometimes books and things in the ground are not enough explanation and you just have to go with your gut. I no longer feel the need to hide this or feel shame about it. This is who I am, and I am happy.

(For some reason this one is causing me more fear to post then most)
*Deep Breath in*… *Post and Exhale*

Day 22: For a picky textural eater I have tried or eaten many ‘exotic’ to western palate foods. Some of my favorite foods, are foods that would usually turn a tummy or two at the thought.

Some foods tried or eaten unknowingly, never again!
Rat, dog, cat, spider, cows brain, pigs testicle with penis attached, I think it was goat testicles, maybe sheep? Sucking the brains out of raw shrimp, fish eyeballs, various insects. So many but the one I just could never do was the Thousand Year Old Egg. I had to draw the line somewhere. I mean I tried prahoak… Once. I only had so many lives left.

Some of my favorite odd foods,
A good strong Stilton, my uncles blood pudding, BBQ cows heart, Kitfo, Sashimi (Only way I will eat fish is raw). Bring on any white rind cheese, the creamier the better. Who am I kidding… just give me cheese! Sugar ants. I think that is what they were. I was visiting a home of a friend and his family served the meal. There were these rather large ants in my dish, i was sure they had just gotten in some how and was trying to remove them. The other westerner with me leaned over and asked if I had ants in my soup. i nodded… It was then we realized we were eating ant soup. So being good sports we tried, and we liked it. They crunch but only for a moment like a bean, then there is a delicious woody sweet taste. We actually asked for seconds. Lastly to throw in a fruit durian.

I am willing to try things but prefer to stay with in my comfort zones. Although with my pension for wanderlust, I do like tasting the local treats and delicacies.

Day 23: When I was little I was carefree and wild. When I was a bit older I began to have interests. I loved dinosaurs. What kid doesn’t? I wanted to be a paleontologist. Then when I was older, I loved whales and sharks and Jacque-Yves Cousteau. I wanted to be a Marine Biologist. Then when I was older still I was given a book by M.C. Escher. I wanted to be an artist. Then I was given a camera. I used to walk just aimlessly along the Ottawa River taking roll after roll of driftwood, washed up shoes, geese, ducks. I wanted to be a photographer.

Well I can proudly say, that although I never got to be everything I wanted to be. I have been a successful photographer. I am an artist. I was a teacher. I am currently also working on being an author. I’m a mother. Now though a spark that was lit a year ago has burned into an inferno of I want to do this… I want to get a university degree. There are many reasons behind my decision.

As I said, a year ago I was talking to a friend about books on Viking and Norse traditions. Offhandedly they happened to mention a Masters Degree in Iceland that got my heart racing. So I began to think, and re-think, and over-think… and then think everything through again. So once I have all the documents and papers filled out, I am applying at Ottawa University in their Medieval and Renaissance Studies program. The future is looking a lot brighter now. I enjoy finally feeling like I have a sense of direction. I haven’t felt this way in a long long time.

Day 24: I was just freshly 17, it was New Years eve, and we had gone to Hull to celebrate. DJ Leslie was blasting out some great music of the times, Skinny Puppy, Front 242, O Fortuna… It was a good night.

I kept bumping into this pretty cute guy, in the line at the bar, line to the washrooms, watching our friends coats as they were on the dance floor. He had been wearing a Dead Kennedy’s shirt, one of my favourite bands. So we had started talking about the punk and industrial music scenes, then about ourselves. He was from Poland, only here to visit family, loved punk more then the industrial, and was also in the bar illegally. Well as Midnight moved closer, we could no longer hear what each other was saying, so he went to find his family and I went to join my friends on the dance floor.

Just as Midnight was about to strike, I went over to get I think my cigarettes from my purse. Then the countdown started, 5… I got a crazy idea. 4… I downed the last of my beer for courage. 3… Breath check. 2… Nerves, backing out. 1… No time like the present. At 12am, I kissed this boy whose name I didn’t even know… at 12:03am he finished kissing me. It was one of the most passionate kisses I have ever experienced, I was weak in the knees. We both just looked at each other for a moment. Smiled and went our separate ways. We never even knew each others names. We didn’t see each other again, I assume he went back to Poland and settled… But to me he will always be the boy I shared a passionate moment with on my 17th birthday.

(Note I have never had the testicles to do that again.)

Day 25 late: I have suffered from depression for 30+ years. I have talked to all manner of professionals, I have been hospitalized, if there is a ‘new treatment’ I’ve tried or looked into it and I have been medicated for most of it. Not now as I made the decision to be able to live my life and not just zombie through it.

You know what really upsets me though. People who presume to know my moods or what I am thinking. People who presume that they know all about depression and need to hand out advice or critic how you lead your life. You know what… right now there is only one person allowed to do that… my Mother. Because she has had to go through this horrible crap with me too.

Depression varies in forms and intensity. Unsolicited advice does not help. So before you give it… make sure it is wanted.

Day 26: It’s a silly one. Even after all these years. I still cry when I read Flint Fireforge’s death scene in the 3rd book of the Dragonlance Chronicles.

Day 28

365 Days of My

When I went to pick up Little Miss from her school bus this afternoon, she was all bright and cheerful. Laughing about how she and some other kids were playing … ‘Fat’ earlier at school.

The Game of Fat… Do exactly what you normally do, but turn your backpacks around on your tummy so you look like you have a belly.

I knelt down and started to tell her the same lines.. “Sweetie making fun of people because of their size…” She cut me off mid-sentence, normally this would have something said about interrupting, but her words were perfectly said. ” We weren’t making fun of fat people. we don’t have tummy’s and we wanted to have one. That’s not bad, right?” Yup, schooled by my on four year old. Why could she not want to have a belly?  I needed to remember at that moment, that although I do not like my body the way it is… I could not let that affect my daughters perceptions of herself. So I laughed “You are right, you weren’t making fun of anyone. Do you think we can find another word to use though instead of Fat?”  We have both now started to say Plump, because it made us giggle to say over and over.

Although my bright eyed girl dulled when we got home. She just lay on the couch and did not move… This was a sign that she was getting under the weather. When she complained of being cold, I knew it was time to take her temperature. 101.9oC!?! She was fine not five minutes before!

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Tylenol has been given, many a Popsicle have been consumed for her throat and now she is sleeping with only a fever of 99.1oC.  The schools already been called that she won’t be there, and I am planning an in bed video watching day, after we get back from the doctors.

365 Days of Truth – Confessions of a Mad Woman

Before I start I want to share a few links…

Canada – http://www.partnersformh.ca/resources/find-help/crisis-centres-across-canada/

United States – http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/mental-health-helpline

United Kingdom – http://www.depressionalliance.org/community/useful-contacts.php

and lastly…

http://letstalk.bell.ca/en/

Now on to my confession:  I woke up this morning and looked on my Facebook. My newsfeed was covered in Bell ‘Let’s Talk’. Now,  I think Bell ‘Let’s Talk’ is a great idea!! I love that they are helping speak up on a topic that many are still ignorant or turn a blind eye towards. Mental Health and Depression.  I love that the charity raises a lot of money towards helping mental health initiatives and helping people all across Canada.  Here’s what I don’t like though and never have

Why is it, that it takes rock-stars, TV stars, Olympians and hockey players talking about their own experiences with depression and mental health issues publicly before a larger audience will listen? Even then the ‘mass effect’ still only lasts for a few days, and for a few days out of every year it’s alright for people to talk about their depression or mental health issues.

Then the ‘cool’ fades and everyone goes silent again…

Crickets chirruping and tumble weeds rolling by quiet…

Depression and mental health does not just magically come and go for those three days. If it did, I really don’t think Depression and Mental Health would be the issue. No, sadly it’s there for the full 365 days of each and every year.

We need that same kind of motivation for advocating Mental Health issues 365 Days a year and not just one day. We need to let people know it’s okay to talk about the darker places with out fear of dismissal or ridicule.  It needs to be okay to ask for help, before it is to late.  Things need to change and that takes more then just one celebrity filled day.

Mental Health Statistic in Canada
‘In 2012, approximately 2.8 million people, or 10.1% of Canadians aged 15 and older, reported symptoms consistent with at least one of six mental or substance use disorders in the past 12 months.’                     http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/130918/dq130918a-eng.htm

Okay so this was more of a personal rant then confession, but at least I admitted that I disliked something… Yes I am reaching at straws.

Please Note 365 Days of Healthy Living will be postponed til tomorrow when you will get a double dose. It is not easy to be a single mum taking care of a sick mini-me and sometimes you need to cut things out of the plan. Thank you for being understanding!!

Just remember the wisdom the Rex…

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Until tomorrow…