Back to college at 57!

Well, I finally launched! It has been 25 years since I graduated from Southern Nazarene University as a Teacher. And thirteen years since I graced a classroom in that capacity.  My daughters earned their Masters degree at the University of Texas of the Premium Basin in Odessa, through the internet.  I thought why not keep it in the family. This August I began my degree plan to become a Diagnostician for Special Education.  There was a lot of backlash from my daughters and mentor– they don’t feel that is a good fit for me. My mentor wants me to teach again, my daughters do not. My mom doesn’t understand why I want more education. My husband is supportive of anything I do.  So, I am in limbo.

I thought about switching to get a Certified Public Accountant degree in accounting because I am good at bookkeeping. But, what I would really like to do, in my heart of hearts and dreams of dreams is to become an effective writer. To support my husband and me in the future I would love to write. Textbooks, Poetry, Gift Cards, Publicity Media, Technical Manuals, you name it I may want to write about it.  I even have a rough draft of a novel sitting on my computer banks.  Currently, I have been writing the welcome cards to visitors at our church and started the Loving Embrace Ministry, which is a card ministry. I have created handmade cards for grief and get well sentiments enclosed with a prayer request card and bookmark.

The trick to this higher education is finding a market niche then pursuing the additional training.  I would like to find myself in a dream career while earning a Ph.D.  I would feel more accomplished than I already do. I changed the tide in my family circle. I was the first to get a General  Education Diploma. The first to go to college and earn a Bachelors Degree. The first to bring child abuse in my family to the forefront and get it stopped.  The first to talk about mental illness and its effect on our family members. But, I am not the last in getting an education.

On my sister’s side of the family. My great-nephew and great-nieces are in college pursuing their dreams. Two are wanting to become Teachers, one is in Video/Electronics for Movies area- he has been co-shooting and co-editing football games for his local college team that is aired weekly. Another great-niece is taking general studies until she decides what career track she wants to take; which is smart of her. On my brother’s side of the family. I have one niece that has pursued her Associates Degree in Childcare Development. She now operates a daycare from her home. I am proud of her because she stepped out of her comfort zone (no schooling) to pursue a dream career, that takes guts and tenacity.

 

 

 

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The Homeless- Hope on the Horizon

This wonderful lady named Tammy at Eagles View Church in Fort Worth, Texas has taken to hand the task of creating Christmas Care Gift Boxes for Fort Worth’s surrounding areas homeless population. We have tent city areas in the more remote regions of Tarrant County. These people live off the grid and do not partake in the use of sanctuary shelters. Tammy’s mission is to work with another group of individuals who serve these people already but are understaffed and have very limited funds, to reach their goals.  Tammy said, “God has put it on my heart to do something to help our areas homeless population. I have resisted for three years, but am now obedient to his call.”

We are filling about 100-150 gift-wrapped boxes with toiletries, socks, scarves, gloves, and hat sets. Some candy and cookies will be included for a festive touch along with a Christmas card I am designing.  It is an ambitious undertaking for about a dozen women in our small group. We are trusting the Lord for donations and our pocketbooks to be full so we can make generous donations of time, talent, and the monies required.

Eventually, I would like to make these care boxes a four-season event. We are not enabling them to stay homeless, but while they are homeless they can be given some of the basic human would-be-nice items that we would feel are just necessities for civilized people; like soap and water, toilet tissue, dental aides, basic first aid supplies,  and towels, etc.  If you want to donate items or money contact me at my email address and I will give you the church’s address that you can send stuff to.  If you don’t want to participate that’s alright, too. I hadn’t planned on making this a donation page- but I thought someone else might like the opportunity to bless a stranger and make their day a little brighter.

 

 

One’s Faith the substance of belief

Faith, you can’t see it, touch it, taste it, or feel it with ordinary senses; bit you know it exists and that it is real. The holy bible tells us in Deuteronomy 7:9, “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is a faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands.”

I’ve been asked recently to trust and have faith in God for the healing of my mind and body. What would that look like to me? It would have to be supernatural for someone to create a cure for the schizo-affective disorder, major depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. Medications today can control the wild up and downward swings in mood. A cure would be the next logical step. The scientist has tried for years to come up with a cure or the cure for these and other conditions to no avail. That doesn’t mean their not close.
But, for those who endure and even suffer in their mental illness maladies each day is laden with a dependence on medication, meditation, and determination to be an overcomer through Christ who is in them. The other cure would be God’s direct touch of healing; a miraculous event that is personal and intentional. I don’t doubt that GOD has cured the multitudes in biblical days and today. I, however, do not feel worthy of his time and talent. I do not noteworthy in anyone’s eyes but Gods’. I believe my illnesses to be insignificant to other peoples illnesses that are on waiting list for donors, or hovering between life and death. It’s not that God can’t handle more than a few at a time for he can, and he probably does it just a matter of faith and acceptance of the healings. There are people of faith that die not having their needs heard or met. Illness is not discriminatory it is an equal opportunity chance we all live.
“you receive not, because you ask not,” is a familiar quotation that comes to mind. Faith is the belief in something not seen yet but, is accepted as it exists. Putting God to the test of faith and being disappointed that you are answered in a manner that is unexpected is powerful thinking. I am sure Abraham felt powerless when he was told to sacrifice his son’s life, yet the story came out right as God provided a different sacrifice in place of Issac. Abraham had faith that God would provide, and he was not disappointed.

The crucifix of our body

Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him, all things hold together. 1 Colossians 1:15-17.

When we look at the vast universe, ever expanding with galaxies, stars, asteroids, comets, planets, and other heavenly bodies we are amazed at Gods creations.  Are we no less amazed at the creations on earth?  Have you ever wondered what the glue was that held our skin on our bodies, muscles and ligaments, nerves and cells together? I found out today in church that the glue is a protein molecule named Laminin. What is unique about this protein is the shape it takes on itself.  It is a crucifix, a symbol of the cross of biblical days of capital punishment. It is also in the heavens known as the Crux Constellation.  God gave us this symbol hidden in our bodies to the naked eye (invisible) yet providing an essential function within our bodies, notwithstanding, if we did not have this miracle protein we would not exist as human beings.

Since God created mankind we have yet to fully understand all the molecular and electrical fields of our brains and consciousness though we have made great strides in both areas of study.  Why did God create the Laminin in the shape of a cross? I think it is so that we humans can be amazed by science and prompted to theologize the significance of finding something so small to be of great worth.  Just like discovering the Crux Constellation is a reminder of the crucifix- a symbol that God created the heavens and the earth.

 

Image result for laminin

Laminin – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laminin
Laminins are high-molecular-weight (~400 to ~900 kDa) proteins of the extracellular matrix. They are a major component of the basal lamina (one of the layers of the basement membrane), a protein network foundation for most cells and organs.

InterPro: IPR009254   Symbol: Laminin_I
Pfam: PF06008
Function · Pathology · Use in cell culture · Laminin domains

The Crux Constellation

Image result for crux constellation origin

 

 

 

 

The Sound of Silence: Simon & Garfunkel

The Sound of Silence
Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence
In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
‘Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence
And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
No one dared
Disturb the sound of silence
“Fools” said I, “You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you”
But my words like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells of silence
And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said, “The words of the prophets
Are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls”
And whispered in the sounds of silence
Songwriters: Paul Simon
The Sound of Silence lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Loving Embrace Ministry

We have four church services on Sunday at Eagles View Church in the far north Ft Worth/Saginaw area of Texas.  The church is rapidly filling to capacity at each service and yet has a hometown feel to it.  The people are friendly and caring and the messages are bible based and Christ-centered labors of love.   I have begun a card ministry as a branch of the Visitors Card service.

In the days of mass production and 0.50 cent Dollar Tree cards, it is easy and convenient to buy and drop a quick card in the mail; but mostly impersonal. I have proposed that we send out handmade Get Well cards to our patrons.  I am currently making one-card-at-a-time unique in both design and verse with a healing bible scripture enclosed.  I plan on having a 100 cards made by Nov. 01, 2018 launch date. The ones I have made and sent have been well received, so far. One of my cards hit the mark and the receiver said it made her day to know that the church really cared about her.

Currently, I am using my scrapbooking supplies, embellishments, fabric, and other do-dads to make each care one of a kind. I will be asking for volunteers to bring in small stuff that can be used to decorate the cards with. I think I will call it the Loving Embrace Ministry because that is what we are doing, we are giving a piece of our heart to someone in trouble with an illness or trauma to help them feel better and have hope.  I will need to purchase card stock and color laser ink in bulk, with my lack of resources this will be the difficult part. At least, I have some pretty scripture ink blocks to decorate with and my imagination is flying off the walls. So my friends, pray for me that the ideas will never run dry and the uniqueness will always remain fresh.

 

Blessed beyond measure

The first six months post-retirement has been full of financial duress and prayers to overcome them. Happily, I am able to say that GODs timing has allowed our needs to be met and/or exceeded upon.  Our savings lasted thru June 2018 and God provided for us in July. August is upon us and I know our needs will be met someway that is unknown to me.  I have faith in God’s plan and timing.

On the home front, Robert has developed relationships with fellow churchgoers. It is amazing how he has opened himself up to new people- broadening his spiritual horizons.  I find myself swept along the tide, trying to grab ahold of anything stationary. I have joined the church, participated in Vacation Bible School services, created a stationary ‘Get Well’ and assisted in the ‘Visitor Welcome’ Ministries. We are joining a life group which is a bible study at night that meets bi-weekly.  I am uncertain where my path will lead- I know I must take care of myself to prevent burn out.

Robert’s health continues to decline daily as the ankylosing spondylitis disease progresses. There are limited results with medications– prayer is the only viable solution.  I have discovered through x-ray’s that I have a bone spur and am gliding bone-to-bone in my right shoulder. The repair solution is a total shoulder replacement. Without medical insurance, there is little hope of getting the surgery.  My job if you can call four-hours a week working, doesn’t have major medical coverage only AFLAC, dental and vision plans and I don’t make enough to even dream of taking them out.  Enough sadness!  Things will work themselves out through prayer and effort.

 

 

 

Peanut butter Log- candy

2 pounds confectionary sugar

1 small potato (Irish preferred)

1/2 cup peanut butter

Boil potato until done (soft) and drain well

mashup potato and start adding the sugar – a liquid paste will form

keep adding sugar until a soft dough is achieved

on a sugared board roll out potato dough 1/4″ thick

spread peanut butter onto dough

roll dough adding sugar as needed to form a “log” shape and cut 1/2″ slices

optional: chocolate, diced nuts, candy sprinkles

History:  This is a sharecroppers candy from the potato, peanut and sugarcane fields of the southeast USA. It is hundreds of years old, passed down through the generations.  My family Alabama & Georgia regions made this for all occasions as a dessert.

 

 

 

Lazy or Dispassionate

All it takes is one person failing to do their job and the company will get a bad rap. When I was in a rehabilitation hospital in October 2017 from knee replacement surgery I received poor care from the nurses. They would make me wait on receiving pain medications, and going to the bathroom- I went unaided (fall risk) many times because they failed to answer my call. One morning around one-o’clock I was strapped to an exercise machine that gently moved my knee up and down. I was in pain, I used the bedside button to call the nurse. An hour went by, and the pain intensified and I started verbally calling out for the nurse, another hour went by. I started crying from the pain and calling out for the nurse, and praying out loud,  more minutes passed and finally, he came. He smirked that he had heard me calling him. He removed the exerciser and eventually brought me a pain pill it was 3:28 a.m. I reported the insensitive and lazy nurse to the doctors that morning. The doctor told me to rip out the call button line from the wall if necessary to get the attention of staff; if that ever happened again, as I couldn’t reach my phone to call 9-1-1 for help. Of course, I didn’t rip it out although I still went unaided to the restroom afterward, the nurses just didn’t seem to want to help me.

When I had my second knee replaced in December 2017, I chose not to go to rehab. The therapist was top notch good, but the nursing was terrible.  So when the survey arrived at my home, I filled it out along with a letter for discussing comments to them. I only hope that they would reprimand, monitor, or even dismiss the male nurse that treated me that awful night.

A message for nurses:  I know you are overworked most of the time and some patients can be demanding or whiners which make you not want to be around them. However, the patients are at your mercy totally. They most likely don’t want to be there in the hospital and only want to feel better quickly.  Withholding medication is poor form, and not assisting your fall risk patient to the restroom is disgraceful. You chose to be a servant to the ill or infirmed out of compassion at one time. You may have become jaded or just burnt out by the burdens placed upon a nurse, if so please quit. Allow someone who still has the heart to take your place.  If you are still working and see yourself in this blog, then get help for yourself. Ignoring your basic needs and lack of self-care causes job burn-out.

Self-care can come in the forms of exercise, proper nutrition, meditation, talking to someone about your day while it is happening, joking, or just acknowledge that room 19 patient is a pain in the patoot.  I know when I was in rehab I wanted to get better quickly and worked hard doing what the therapist instructed for the 12 days of confinement.  I only wish I could recommend the rehab hospital to other potential patients.

Sewing Girl Blues…

I finished my scrapbook project and have moved onto sewing. Sewing involves excellent organizational skills. Does one sort by colors/patterns, seasons, material types, or length of cloths. Does one sort the scrap material bin for material under a 1/2 yard?  I have enough materials stacked to make a half-a-dozen quilts, shorts, and pants w/matching shirts for all five grandchildren.  My daughter has some blouse materials picked out for Fall season.

Then the patterns have to be sorted by gender, size, subject matter. I have over 100 new unused patterns to choose from. From infant to doll clothes, dog costumes, boys/ men, girl/woman sizes, holiday, and miscellaneous household sewing projects.

Next comes sorting all the notions, scissors, thread, bobbins, buttons, fasteners, zippers, bias tape, ribbon, lace, and velcro. I have enough Velcro to stick together all the pattern pieces from lightweight to heavy duty.  I filled up two  10-drawer rolling carts with this stuff and still had a separate sewing box for the Velcro.

I have three electric sewing machines; one for simple sewing and two computerized; one of which does embroidery.  Why all the stuff you are wondering?  Well, my husband gets behind me in whatever project I take on and when he see’s something he thinks I might use he buys,  buys, and buys.

After spending seven hours today accumulating my organized chaos I am too worn out to sew.  I’ve got the sewing girl blues.

 

Are you Aquaphobic? Me, too!

Aquaphobia, the fear of deep water or turbidity waters.  My aquaphobia is related to Oceans, Lakes & Waterslide parks which covers just about every nature scene to be had. My phobia is debilitating or should I say needed accommodations are in order.  Recently, I took my mom and sister to Galveston Bay, Texas. I was extremely terrified of the choppy bay/ocean water.

My mom and sister enjoyed a 2 miles hike down the sand by the water’s edge while I stayed safely on the west seawall parameter, well above sea-level and about 50′ from the edge of the water.   I would have loved to have gone with them, but my aquaphobia was in full swing.  Since then I have been told that I should have listened to music or meditated or gone to the waters surge line. I’ve also been told that I should buck up and face my fear head-on — what are people thinking?

It is embarrassing to admit to a phobia- an irrational fear of something or sense of dread.  Why go to the ocean if you’re not planning on going in you may ask? My mom has been close to Galveston, TX but never there and she wanted to experience it first hand. I figured I could suck it up for three days and have fun– and I did at what I thought was a safe distance.  I have been on the shores of Padre Island and was perfectly safe until Hurrican Hugo sent us packing our tent and hastily leaving the island in the middle of the night.  By the time the park ranger came to tell us to go water was surging and covering the roadway to the mainland. Result in fear of the ocean.

When I was a small child, I was at a red dirt bottom lake that had turbid water. I tried to get out to where my mom was at and fell into a depression that was over my head and swallowed lots of water and coughing the resulting in fear of Lakes.

Fear of waterslides is a new phobia garnered by too many people in the waterpark using the slides at one time, thus bumping into or dragging one beneath the water level.  This being dragged under also happened as a child. Swimming pools also fall into this category although you can see the bottom if it is over 4 feet I won’t go in the deep end, and I won’t go in without a family or friend tagging alongside me.  I took Beginning Swimming two semesters in a row at college; the first semester I was on anxiety medications and in talk therapy about my fear of deep water.

Taking showers, getting into the hot-tub/jacuzzi or bathtub is no problem for me even though I have had slips in them, too.

While on Galveston Bay Island we did activities that did not require me to face my fear head-on every day. I enjoyed looking at the ocean water from my distant perch, seeing the fish soar through the air as they sailed into the waves, and wonder why the seagulls didn’t have them for dinner when they were apparently seeking food.

Today, my grandson wanted to swim in the lake. I let my husband take him while I stayed safely ashore and revel in his success at swimming across the small lake.  I didn’t tell my grandson that I was afraid because I don’t want him to become fearful of lakes, too.

My plan of action is to take small steps in acclimating to water features. We have a 1′ to 4′ deep community pool, and I am pleased to say I am now comfortable to be in it.  I played with the kids in the shallow end and worked my way deeper till I was able to swim in the four feet center of the pool. I have found being distracted by talking about anything other than swimming has made this accommodation possible.  Visualizing me being safe in the water and meditation has undoubtedly helped and listening to music doesn’t hurt.

Do you have a phobia, write about it in comments?

 

 

 

 

Are you a right or a left brain personality

One is right brained, left brained, or mixed brain. Right dominated brain individuals are artists or musicians. They try to create using their five senses. Left dominated brain individuals are scientist or mathematicians. They try to see patterns in art that makes sense to them. Mixed brain doesn’t really exist except in theory that the brain is equal in both art and science; it’s along the lines of humans using the full potential of their brain.

The reason this is important is it’s a failsafe to know how our brains interpret influences from our surroundings, other people, and internal reasoning. Right-brain people can be analytical and left-brain people can be creative as a learned process. But, the default response to stimuli will be determined by being right or left brain. How one interprets emotion is geared by the brain process.

It is helpful to know which dominate side of the brain that you internalize as it affects your  behaviors, attitudes, beliefs, and emotions. Employers use checklist of emotional words for potential employees to self-identify as a means of determing whether they are right or left brained and overall how they would fit in with the company’s business goals.

 

Love, respect, and approval are our basic needs, too.

You are unique. Even identical children have their own independent fingerprints. God created us; mankind, in his image. God gave us rights to love and acceptance, respect, forgiveness, and approval.

You are capable. A newborn comes into the world, and its whole life is changed. The source of nourishment, diapering needs, warmth or coolness of body. It makes it mind up if it can trust it’s caretakers to fulfill the basics of needs. Love is a learned behavior.

You survived!  And not only did you survive you flourished. You are a capable, independent person of attributes. You possess a gamut of emotions from happiness to sadness, a disappointment to acceptance, love to despise.  You seek approval from others, from GOD, and from yourself at the most basic level of needs.

You are respected. At some point in life, you have earned respect from yourself and others. Respect is a sense of well-being in your world. Respect is innate that God created you to be perfected through Christ and it is good.

Your self-image is positive or negative, rarely neutral. A positive outlook tells itself that it is liked, loved, respected, appreciated, forgiven. An adverse or negative outlook tells itself that it is unlovable, disrespected, demoralized, or not worthy of forgiveness.  A healthy person will fluctuate in our self-image based upon external factors that we internalize as to be a positive or a negative condition. How we view ourselves influences our success or failures as individuals.

Kat Challis 06/20/18

Consistency, persistence, and consequences are key factors in parenting skills

Consistency, persistence, and consequences are key factors in parenting skills.

Consistency is doing the same task repeatedly the same way with predictable outcomes.  For example Task- morning chores; making the bed, putting away night clothes in laundry basket, washing up and eat breakfast. Consistency says that these three things must occur everyday. The reward is knowing that your bedroom looks nice, your laundry will get done, and you will eat a good meal. The consequences of not doing them will be a messy room and a delay in getting your laundry done, you will still get to eat breakfast.

Persistence is doing the same task repeatedly until the task becomes a routine.   For example: Knowing that a Task- morning chores; making the bed, putting away night clothes in laundry basket, washing up and eat breakfast will occur takes pressure off a person mentally. Persistence says that with practice perfection will come and the reward will be forthcoming as intrinsic such as knowing you accomplished your task or externally like praise for doing such a good job.

Consequences are a result or effect of an action or condition. Consequences are emotionless but can appeal to our emotional condition. For example Task- morning chores; making the bed, putting away night clothes in laundry basket, washing up and eat breakfast.  The consequence should follow the task at hand. Making the bed proactive is external praise and internal satisfaction. Putting away night clothes proactive is external in getting laundry done and internal of having more choices of clean clothes to choose from.  Eating breakfast proactive is having our basic need met and internal of satiety.

The consequence is often associated with discipline for not performing or not following through on an idea or task. These are usually negative reinforcers.  For example Task- morning chores; making the bed, putting away night clothes in laundry basket, washing up and eat breakfast.  The possible outcome is being verbally reminded of the task or being verbally chastised or losing a privilege for a certain amount of time and having to still do the task stated.  The follow up is just as important as the assigned task. Being persistent and consistent with followup sets a precedent for what will happen next.  For external positive reinforcers for performing or following through on the tasks, you could have extra time to continue a privilege and/or receive verbal praises for doing what was expected. Internal reinforcers include pride in accomplishing a task.

 

 

 

Maw-paw’s House

1970, the house was old and withered with metal can ring covering the knotted pine boards, and the rain would beat down in an angry cadence upon the rusted tin roof.  An outhouse long unused sat off to the side a haven for snakes, spiders and other wildlife that ventured within.   The mountain protected and cursed the back side of the house with land mud slides every decade or so that passed it by. Cedar trees were centurions guarding the entrance and leading a meandering path always downward to the churning water. The front of the house had a three-foot stoop that one climbed upon a massive log to enter and praying that the jostling river would stay its banks yet again.

The night was so dark that unaided by the moon, one couldn’t see to the end of one’s nose, but looking straight up one saw a cacophony of stars and universes never beginning and without end- truly spectacular.

The tired big house held five rooms with unpainted sheetrock walls and ceilings and coal oiled coated floor timbers; my bare feet soles were always black. A chamber pot sat in every bedroom and was unceremoniously dumped out of doors. An old piano that held its tune wafted music that echoed in the night air.  Three small bodies to a cotton tick bed, weighted with quilts to ward from the mountain nights chill. Aunts and Uncles would gather with steel guitar, acoustic guitar, a tambourine and voices signing the children into slumber.

Sometime in the night, the rain stops its drumming to a gentle pattering on the roof reigns in that morning has come. The sun comes up, the bears and night cats take to their dens… it is a glorious new day. The meat and smokehouse beckoned paw-paw to bring in the slaughtered pig bacon while maw-maw makes the biscuits and fries the gathered brown eggs, milk, strong black coffee, and juice complete the meal.  The older female children draw from the nearby well water and wash up the dishes while the women clean the kitchen. The boys and youngens are sent out to play.  All in all its, not a bad start to my day.

 

 

 

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Recent Events May 2018

I started a new career path today, branching off my teaching career. It will be an interesting job helping children 5-18 years old learn new coping skills for behavior management and consequently teaching their parent(s) how to recognize and respond appropriately to triggers.  I will be doing a lot of homework until I have a clearer understanding of negative behavior causes and ways to implement positive changes.

Galveston Bay, Texas waving bye-bye to an awesome tourist town.  Alabama, Oklahoma, and Texan all come together as my Sister, Mom, and I spent three glorious days walking surf side, going on a historical tour, and maxing out on the fun at Buster’s Old Tyme Photo Studio. The studio is a must-do for any tourist. You get to pick genres of time periods then dress up in that era. We chose the Victorian era and the Pirate era. Courtney was our photographer and guide highlighting the spirit of the time with teacups, books, fans, flowers, and hoop skirts the Ladies of Leisure emerge on a cool Victorian day enjoying high tea. Then hang onto your cap matie as the pirates try to steal the valuable treasure from the scallawag first shipmate.  Or in real 1920’s regalia with Tommy guns and stolen loot or dancing the night away, you’ll be a classy dame. Don’t miss the horse/buggy ride and ice cream parlor around the corner.

Note: shellfish allergy sufferers Beeno’s Fish restaurant does not separate their oils. They cooked my fish in with someone else’s shellfish and I was seeking emergency medical care not a fun cavetto my vacation. At any seafood restaurant ask the cook before placing your order how the food is prepared so you have a choice as of where to eat.  The food was fresh and good at Beeno’s and is not a tourist trap; lots of locals eat there and the staff is friendly, my companions and I enjoyed themselves until my allergy enacted.

 

Black Bird

Black Bird! Black Bird!

what'cha doing sitting on the ground

eating hamburgers, hotdogs, and potato rounds?
Black Bird! Black Bird!

what'cha doing sitting on the ground

Drinking raspberry-iced-tea and cola
Black Bird! Black Bird!

what'cha doing sitting on the ground

You have become a Fast-food Junkie!

 

Kat Challis ©2007

 

Battling psychological warfare- you need a weapon to fight your battles

When you are battling psychological warfare you need weapons to fight your battles.

I can not express firmly enough that faith in Jesus Christ and God the Father is essential. Because the battle is not only a physical manifistation of feelings but a spiritual endurance of faith and trust in GOD. If you are agnoststic or atheist then just ignor this section because you can not change my mind in this area.  There is a spirit of evil in our world, you only need to listen to the daily news to verify this. We need to gather spiritual gifts from GOD to help us not succumb to intrusive thoughts or stinking thinking as I like to call it; thoughts that say bad things to me; condem me, guilt me, or cause unjustified worry.  We are not only of the body but also of spirit says the LORD.  It is in this we place our faith that our spirits will be reunited with Christ when he comes to claim us. Its more than being a good person or doing the correct things even a non-believer can do good things, it is an absolute certainity that we are spiriual beings in a corpoal body and eventually the bosy will cease to exist but the spirit will never end.

Before you get into a psychological crisis you can create a tool box of items to redirect your feeling and thoughts. In my toolbox, I have paints and canvas, paper and pen & computer, simple sewing projects, scriptures I can read of affrimations of who God says I am, markers and coloring books, or my scrapbook kit.  Some people prefer taking walks or other exercise- I commend them for that;  I can’t shut my mind off when I exercise I need a creative outlet. Some people put music or movies in their kits. Phone numbers of safe people to talk to. You get the idea- it’s to give you a safe physical derailment of the  stinking thinking when it occurs.

An example of when to use your tool box.

Try to stay out of bed if you are Depressed. Don’t go shopping if you are in a Manic state. If you are OCD- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, you need routine but try derailing it with one item from your toolkit for a specified time limit. whether it is physically cleaning your hands, home or stemming (physical manifiestations like wring hands, rubbing face swinging legs or arms). If you have ODD or ADHD or some other form of mental illness then put things that will help you derail a moment whether its procrastination or over-productivity (somewhere in between is good)  or intrusive thoughts.

Harming yourself is NOT an OPTION. Use your contacts or call 911 or your doctor. Even if you feel as though you are at the maximum of theraputic dosages on your medications- call your doctor and let them know what is going on. Find a support group in your community or a hospital setting or go into talk theraphy with a licensed therapist. You don’t have to go it alone. You are a strong, capable person because you are still on the sunnyside up of the grave.  Its hard dealing with mental illness- its not for wimps. I have been in the suicidal aspect of life and let me tell you this, you feel very alone like GOD and Satan are leaving you alone to make the decision to end your life or to live. Clarity is in the fore front of your mind for the first time in perhaps ages you see things as they really are and not how you want them to be. All the pettiness, jealousy, grief, mourning is unfolded before you and you have a choice to make. Do I live or Do I die? Some people get stuck or stinking thinking emerges like “I’ll show them (someone) what they made me do, etc. ”  This is a falsehood- only you are accountable and responsible for the chioces you make in life. And You can not control how others will view the choices that you make.  Remember, Suicide is a permante solution to a temporary situation. So if you are at that place already stop now and get help for yourself. Life does get better, there are seasons of disquiet and seaasons of harmony, but the important thing is that you live those seasons. 

I AM NOT A PSYCHAITRIST OR THERAPIST the above renderings is what I have found that has helped me out in the past, I hope it benefits you. Stay on your medications, see your therapist or support group, and stay in contact with your doctor, and above all pray.

 

 

 

 

What does the term “clinical depression” mean? Answers from Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, M.D. Part Two: What is it like to live with Clinical Depression. by Kat Challis

What does the term “clinical depression” mean?

Answers from Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, M.D.

Depression ranges in seriousness from mild, temporary episodes of sadness to severe, persistent depression. Clinical depression is the more-severe form of depression, also known as major depression or major depressive disorder. It isn’t the same as depression caused by a loss, such as the death of a loved one, or a medical condition, such as a thyroid disorder.

To diagnose clinical depression, many doctors use the symptom criteria for major depressive disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association.

Signs and symptoms of clinical depression may include:

  • Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness
  • Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as sex, hobbies or sports
  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Tiredness and lack of energy, so even small tasks take extra effort
  • Reduced appetite and weight loss or increased cravings for food and weight gain
  • Anxiety, agitation or restlessness
  • Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or self-blame
  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
  • Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide
  • Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches

Symptoms are usually severe enough to cause noticeable problems in relationships with others or in day-to-day activities, such as work, school or social activities.

Clinical depression can affect people of any age, including children. However, clinical depression symptoms, even if severe, usually improve with psychological counseling, antidepressant medications or a combination of the two.

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And What is it like to Live with Clinincal Depression and MDD

BY: Kat Challis

(MDD) major depressive disorder has had a life altering effect on my social relationships. Uninformed people tell me to ‘snap out of it’ or ‘fake-it ’till you make it’  in happiness. Often people will put conditions on their friendships when you are experiencing a MDD episode. They will threaten or choose to end the friendship if you don’t stop being so depressed.  Medication and talk theraphy, journaling all provide self-care activities for the patient of MDD. Family members are often perplexed, they may be experiencing the same stressors as the MDD patient but they don’t react like an MDD patient, and that causes additional stress upon them.  MDD patients are often seen as lacking courage or being weak minded- but that is a falliacy. There are clinical biological reasons that cause this disorder— having a strong will is meaningless when you are in the throes of a MDD episode. You can still have episodes of MDD while on medication for the treatment, based upon your other health issues there may be a limit to the amount of antidepressants that the doctors can prescribe at any given time.

There is hope at the end of the tunnel, doctors have researched areas of the brain that are effected by MDD on MRI studies and are trying different combinations of medications on animal and human test subjects. People with MDD can have a “tool-box” of coping strategies; talking about your feelings with signicandt others or therapist, journing or writing poetry, stories, or novels can help channel some of the mood into a creative outlet, so can other arts like painting, pottery, crochet,or sewing. One with MDD doesn’t have to stay stuck in a cycle, they can de-rail it with proper medication and treatment. I however, do not endorse shock treatment. I have found from experience that it is not beneficial and loss of memory can be permante. Speak with your doctors if in doubt. Don’t give up! You the patient are still accountable and responsible for the choices you make- some choices last a life time.

Are You Happy?

Are you happy, truly happy? Not the giddy, silly, I’m on top of the mountain type of happiness that is event centered. I am talking about the day in and day out kind of happiness that makes you want to get out of bed and do something that day.

Are you happy that you have employment! Happy in that you like your job. You feel that you are contributing to the company’s success.  You value your co-workers as individuals and as a part of the team. When you look at spending 1/3 of your life working for yourself or someone else, does it give you pleasure that you have a purpose- a feeling that something is happening because of your efforts? Even mundane, repetitive jobs have a goal such as; shopping or maintaining your home or transportation.

Are you happy that you have a family to call your own?  Having dynamic relationships with people that share a common bond- parentage or adoption into a family through blood or the legal system. It’s not easy to have a family; there are disagreements, feelings get hurt, apologies are not always forthcoming, so you have to forgive for self-preservation. One must love unconditionally those in their family unit, even those who are unlovable by having an ornery or evil spirit. Unconditional love is grace- God’s grace, it not that anyone has earned it or is deserving of it- grace exists. While your exercising grace is it a joy to be with your family members individually or as a group? Do you feel enriched and loved by other people, so they give you cause for happiness? Or are you missing the happiness boat?

Are you happy that you have developed friendships with otherwise strangers? Some of these friendships are close to family feelings of importance. They have a value that can come for a small season or a lifelong season. Sometimes we disappoint most of the time were in sync with the other persons thought processes and personality that’s what endears them to us.

God can be our source of great happiness. A belief in a spiritual power so high that it shames our perception of happiness/ but gives us a benchmark to strive to attain. We are made up of a spirit/soul, physical being, and a thought process. One can not be separated from the other.

Whether its work, family, or friends we need happiness for our physical well being, spiritual, and mental health. When you are unhappy, you have a physical reaction like frowning, being anxious, being tired, have aches and pains, depression and taken to the extreme suicidal thoughts. You may even waiver in your faith in God. or not want to be with anyone else. It takes more energy to be unhappy than that of being happy. Happiness is a conscious choice that effects our subconscious actions. So choose happiness or “fake it ’till you make it’ happen.”