Mentally Interesting Monday

Interesting article from PsychCentral I thought I would share. Laughter has been said many times over to be the best medicine, and too many times we forget or are unable to accomplish a simple chuckle. So, let’s try to laugh it up today!

 

Curing the Blue Monday’s With Mental Health Humor | Mental Health Humor.

Hack of a Valentine

The saga continues, and I can barely wait for this week to end. I’m not generally one for wishing my life away; however, too many adventurous happenings at one time could prove to be a health problem.

Short and Sweet

Hacked? Really, you’re serious? Awoke this morning to find out that our desktop computer has a virus from hell in it, and while I may be used to coping with the blue screen of death this one is white! This one I don’t know how to fix! With a little chat here and there it turns out our computer was not the only one affected. Not replacing the family computer is not an option. So, that leaves costly repairs or a new CPU.

Why Ask Why

If I were a somewhat average person I might have spent my day sitting around asking why are all these things happening all at once. I’m not a stranger to problems and drama, but I do need and like a break from time to time. Don’t we all?

The real reason for not asking why is that you will never get a satisfactory answer that will give you the warm and fuzzies; making everything all better—unless you’re a fictional character!

Kitchen Dilemma

Yesterday, which was day 3 of the kitchen renovation, the contractor became ill, losing his lunch and all those symptoms. The day ended with a sick contractor. In my defense, I gave fair warning to all workers that people living in the home were sick before they ever entered the premises.

Happy Valentine’s Day

Nice concept, but not feeling it this year. Simply for this reason I always suggest you keep the romance alive year round so you aren’t dependent on 1 day out of 365.

For all those with romantic plans with their sweethearts – I hope you have a wonderful time. For all those who are single and going out have a blast and dance like no one’s watching.

Stomach Bug with Money

Have you ever met a bug walking down the street with money sticking out of a suitcase? I haven’t, but wish I could. If only some things really did exist! I’m quite

Money - Black and White Money

Black and White Money (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

certain many people wish there were things such as money trees and walking philanthropic bugs or maybe true leprechauns with pots of gold for the taking!

Salmonella with Rusty Nails was yesterday’s blog post. The what, why, how, and accidents and absentminded things that occurred in day 1 of the kitchen reconstruction can be found there. Today is all about day 2.

 

Stomach Bug

This particular bug is not a money carrying bug; it’s an invasive, irritant to the stomach it enters. This type of bug has clearly been to the Monty Python arguing clinic. I’m pretty sure it has a great employment history with them too since it has mastered the art of arguing. Arguing isn’t its only specialty either. This bug likes to make fun of the stomach, annoy it, and berate it, until the stomach purges all of the contents consumed. The body reacts with anger as well and provides fever and chills.

Now, the upside is that it does its work so fast that it is capable of jumping from one person to another within a matter of mere hours. Unfortunately, this bug is what disrupted day 2. It has not affected the workers; it affected my children! The upside for the children is that once the stomach has been pissed off enough it purges, and then only sleep is needed to recover. Some people refer to things as this as 24 hour bugs or 3 day bugs, but as I have been timing each reaction I’m calling this one a 12-hour bug— 6 hours to feel bad, purge, and then 6 six hours to recover.

 

Stomach Bug with Money

Well, the stomach bug didn’t bring any money, didn’t cost any money, but did make everything worse for the household. The money part comes in when the contractor asks you to look at something. When they ask you that it generally means whatever it is will cost more money. Even experienced contractors don’t know what they are getting into until they remove layer after layer, and of course that is what happened. There are two upsides to this and they are – 1) The material at the moment is cheap due to the fact not many people are remodeling. 2) This project will be done correctly, and we will not need to worry about replacing anything in the kitchen for hopefully years to come!

 

So far:

  • Salmonellosis: I’ve almost cleared the 72 hour mark!
  • Tetanus: I did not develop lock jaw and my foot is healing nicely. (Getting an appointment for a tetanus shot to be on the safe side.)
  • Stomach Bug: So far, I’m in the clear. Two children have already recovered and 1 is 3 hours into the recovery process.

 

I hope everyone is having a good week. Good things today are – It’s hump day! Most individuals enjoy the middle of the work week. Also, apparently some places are having special savings in honor of “Break-up Day”.

Salmonella with Rusty Nails

These two things exist with us in our universe and I’ve never been bothered by them until yesterday. With more than a handful of other items occupying an overflowing river of rot, salmonella and rusty nails just had to creep their nasty way into mix.

Which one came first the rusty nail or the concern over salmonella? It’s an interesting question for the simple fact that there is a great possibility that there wouldn’t have been a concern regarding the salmonella if the rust covered nail situation didn’t exist, yet sadly it does.

An extremely shortened version of yesterday’s two incidents—

Prior to moving in:

  • Previous tenant supposedly upgraded the kitchen floor to ceramic tile.
  • Said person hired an individual with apparent lack of experience.

Moving in:

  • Moved in October before last, noticed a few cracks in the tile and knew it would need replacing.

Red Flag:

  • Making a simple cup of tea last week, crunch, crack and dip went a piece of tile.
  • Pulled back the rug for a close inspection and found the corner piece completely broken off.
  • Trying to understand the descent I felt in the floor I removed the broken piece to investigate.
  • To my dismay I was looking at rotting subfloor.

 

If you understand at least a little of how tile works you know there should be rock board or what others call cement board installed beneath the tile. Our kitchen had none! (Of course when switching to tile it all depends on the type of flooring you currently have installed.)

While we are a family that enjoys DIY projects we know our limitations. Installing new tile is definitely one of them.

First Rusty Nail:

  • Rotting floors need immediate attention so therefore we called our trusted contractor for an estimate.
  • While showing my findings to the contractor I cut my finger on the nail previously mentioned that was bare of wood; obviously hence the rot.
  • Got a great estimate, scheduled the work to begin yesterday, and it did.

Now, knowing that we are going to be restricted from the kitchen for approximately a week, over the weekend we set up a make shift one in our mudroom. Before cleaning the kitchen completely out we prepped all our meats and some vegetables to store in the refrigerator so that our meals were easier to cook with our moveable appliances.

Contractor arrives as scheduled yesterday. Removal of old tiles begin, which leads to the finding of more rotten subfloor. I simply stood out of the way looking at the majority of rotten wood thanking anyone and everyone all our appliances had not fallen through the floor. Dutifully shaking my head with concerns over extra cost I went to check on my students (my kids – homeschool) and to get dinner cooking.

Enter Salmonella:

  • Sunday afternoon we prepared garlic chicken to marinade overnight.
  • Monday’s dinner – Garlic chicken
  • While explaining and quizzing state-of-being verbs, predicate pronouns, predicate nouns, fielding new questions from the contractor while my cell beeped with texts and the home phone rang I forgot myself for 2 seconds in the pungent, mouthwatering aroma of garlic and ran my finger down the container for a taste. (Possibly a few times I did that.) A few minutes passed before remembering it had just been home to the marinating chicken. Okay, I didn’t panic. I did not ingest enough for there to be a justifiable concern; at least that is what I told myself.

Second Rusty Nail:

  • Lunch time was quickly around the corner, and in our house that means coffee time with my husband on his lunch break; only I had forgotten the coffee filters and coffee in the cabinet of our kitchen with the now completely demolished floor. In a hurry, since lunch break isn’t long, I rushed into the kitchen to retrieve said items. There was one lonely rusty nail. One! It was precisely angled where we store these items and without looking down I ran straight to the cabinet. Then there was a yell containing an expletive as I felt the searing pain. I removed my foot quickly without thinking, items in hand, I headed back to the mudroom now full with people looking at me and in unison announcing RUSTY NAIL!
  • High pain tolerance is a wonderful thing – sometimes. I wasn’t experiencing any of the pain or throbbing that some or most people do after firmly planting their foot on a rusty nail and that was fine by me. Then around 3 when I sat down for a small reprieve from teaching, supervising, cooking, cleaning and all the wonderful things that keep us busy; the pain came. Without warning and without a warm up the initial pain was sharp and shot upward through my foot. The sort of pain that makes a stomach lurch and causes bile to raise in the throat so hot you can breathe fire with all good dragons. A burning sensation followed this pain; consuming my foot, and making me wish I had an ice cold mountain stream to shove it in. Lastly, a hard throbbing beat between the top and bottom of my foot, as if it were keeping rhythm to a tribe whose line long ago deceased.  So, this was the pain everyone questioned me about!  I could’ve screamed hey everyone the pain finally arrived, however, when there was finally someone for me to tell, it had subsided.

 

Today:

I’m grateful that for whatever people want to call it, whether it’s high pain tolerance, good fortune, in my sketchbook of current events I didn’t need to include a self-portrait in a hospital bed with IVs of antibiotics, fluids and pain medications.

Today is only day 2 of the kitchen renovation, and I have been staying clear of the area with the exception of a peek here and there through the doorways.

An aside:

  • Salmonellosis can develop between 8 to 72 hours after consumption. (So far; so well)
  • Tetanus shots should be kept current. (Mine was last received more than 20 years ago…I am overdue!)

Hope everyone else had a better start to their week than I did.

Why Bother?

Yes, I found my way back, and for all the visits that have come and gone there have only been a few posts made; four to be accurate. So many blog posts I’ve written and just let them simply lie around collecting dust until they make it to the bin. Who wants to read another political post on the president, economy, 2nd Amendment Rights, healthcare and their subtopics? If you do there are plenty of individuals writing, posting, tweeting and tumbling about these subjects.  Although, I have wanted to blog, the above is what has occupied my brain cells over the months, and I have thoughtfully chosen not to publish my personal opinions on the previously mentioned topics. With that said, I was pretty much left thinking the question that titles this entry, and then would close the screen and walk away.

Why Bother Now?

I could debate this question with myself from dawn to dusk and days more; however, I’ve chosen not to over analyze everything I’ve thrown into the BS pile, and just blog. I’m not here blogging for a specific person, I’m not trying to grow my readership, I blog because I enjoy writing. I enjoy the community here at Word Press and it all boils down to my amusement. If anyone likes what they read then I’m happy they enjoyed it, and if they don’t I’m not hurt by less followers. It goes like this—some days I have a cuppa and some days I have a cup, some days I wax philosophical and some days I pretend I’m a duck.  Whatever the day may happen to bring or I cause to happen through some thought out conscious stream; the bottom line is – it is what it is.

Thank you!

For everyone that still drops in from time to time and all the new visitors too—a humble thank you. I’m glad that people still find the positive affirmation pages and blog entries that focused on mental health to be of interest. I do admit that when I’ve visited my own blog the stats have never ceased to amaze me.

Why Do You Bother?

There are writers with themed blogs dedicated to certain topics such as art, food, travel logs, and the list goes on. There are also authors that have a mixed topic blogs and personal ones too. Why do you blog? What spurs the writer in you to post on a daily, weekly, monthly basis?

Odd Apocalypse: Book Review

OddapocalypseThis book review is being written under the assumption; you the reader have at least read Odd Thomas by: Dean Koontz; which is the first book in the series.

After waiting approximately 4 years since the release of Odd Hours for Koontz to produce another book in this series; I was extremely pleased at the publication of Odd Apocalypse.  I’m not by any means a huge fan of Dean Koontz; however, you can’t prove that by our family library.

My thoughts on Odd Apocalypse:

Odd, just Odd, the fry cook from the obscure little town of Pico Mundo seemed an evolved version of himself in this latest book. It is generally expressed through the series that Odd, even with his extraordinary gift to communicate with the dead is still a simple man, and while this may stay true through to Odd Apocalypse I personally found an intellect and academic seeming change in the character. Honestly, I thought I must have missed the book where he actually had time to attend college majoring in great works of literature and minoring in sciences.*

One thing holds true throughout the series, and that is Odd with his uncanny ability is forever drawn to and caught up in curious situations where his services are needed in order to help the living and the dead. Odd Apocalypse is in reality not a deviation of Odd’s ongoing mission, actually this may be one of his most complex and intriguing travels. In this particular book you will find Odd out on the West Coast with a side-kick of sorts. Her name is Annamaria, and while it might strike the reader as an off sort of paring it becomes quickly understandable why they were gravitated together by chance or fate. The entire book is set at a mansion known as Roseland. Roseland was built during the Roaring 20’s and holds more secrets than a monk vowed to silence. There is a pretense and lure about the estate of safety until Odd with his supernatural ability begins to see things and meets his first ghost. When Odd finally determines the majority of Roseland’s puzzle he is ready to move on, but he finds that he is bound by his chivalrous nature to stay until justice or at least a piece of it can be acquired.

It is written in true Koontz style; which for the Odd Series I’ve personal declared it action packed with a side of dry humor with a sprinkling of the obvious. Regardless of the scrapes, mishaps, ghostly miscommunication and gunfire Koontz has taken thrills, action, and danger, near death experiences and inserted his own style of comedy; although it may sometimes turn tragic.

My little pet peeve and the reason I gave this particular book a 3 star review—I was deterred and disheartened by the fact I was able to deduce the plots unfolding and correctly predict the ending so quickly. Yes, as avid readers we are capable of figuring these things out as a story unfolds in any given book. It felt all too easy with Odd Apocalypse for me to give it anything higher than a 3 and I struggled not to give it a 2.

Now, the good part of the series is very simple. They are easy, intriguing reads for those days you don’t want to submerse yourself into deep thought provoking works.

♦♦♦

*What has Odd been up to during the lapse of time between books?

During the lapse between Odd Hours and Odd Apocalypse, excluding graphic novels there is the 3-part e-book series; which is apparently meant to catch you up on Odd’s adventures. Some of these may still be available. I haven’t had any luck myself.

Odd Interlude #1

Odd Interlude #2

Odd Interlude #3

 

Review requested by: cheisserer

The What You Say?

Yes, we are supposed to rid ourselves of the idea of starting our sentences with the word the as much as possible. It really is just a filler word, right? Titling today is a bit of a free association game my mind is playing whether or not I want to! When I have used the expression above it has been spoken as, the shit you say?, however, that didn’t seem appropriate for a title, then again, for me it probably would.

I did some browsing before popping in over here and found out there are a lot of individuals that write Monday topics, such as, Monday Madness (sales for the thriftier you), Motivational Monday (to help you kick off your week in the right direction), Monday Morning (don’t get it; not trying to explain it) and then we have here. Here is generally Mentally Interesting Monday. Perhaps it should be shortened to Mental Monday.

After all that typing I still have yet to get to the main point! Would it surprise you to know that I can really sit for hours on end upon endings in quite solitude, lost in imagination and then crave time to write everything down? Of course it wouldn’t!

Today’s topic is PTSD. PTSD is the acronym for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. I refer to it vilely as Past Times Still Deliver. When defined in my form it fits nicely in writing, journaling and otherwise cathartic purposing (at least for me). Regardless, of how we want to view trauma or traumatic things from our past it doesn’t change what PTSD really is and how it affects our lives.

The National Institute for Mental Health defines it this way:

PTSD is an anxiety disorder that some people get after seeing or living through a dangerous event.

When in danger, it’s natural to feel afraid. This fear triggers many split-second changes in the body to prepare to defend against the danger or to avoid it. This “fight-or-flight” response is a healthy reaction meant to protect a person from harm. But in PTSD, this reaction is changed or damaged. People who have PTSD may feel stressed or frightened even when they’re no longer in danger.

Regions of the brain affected by PTSD and stress.

Regions of the brain affected by PTSD and stress. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While this may seem like a generalized blanket definition (because it is) the basics are there and it is a very real and overwhelming disorder. Yes, bad things happen to good people. These good people go on to live what is presumably normal and happy lives never knowing when PTSD will pop out like the monster under the bed. There are those that like to believe that PTSD is over after a year or two. I call those people idiots. There are some that believe it doesn’t even last that long; which is a definite indicator to me…they don’t suffer with freaking out and not knowing the why!

I’m not going to leave off with this sounding all doom and gloom, although the thought has crossed my mind. Numerable people live with this on a daily basis, and it does affect who they are as a person whether or not they want to admit the hold is there. I would love to say that with therapy and the right combination of medication to help harness anxiety an individual can live happily through their days and nights. That is not the full truth. What works for some, doesn’t necessarily work for all! Sometimes even with the coupling of therapy and medication an individual still experiences flashbacks, night terrors and anxiety out of a normal routine day they can’t explain away.

What is the positive side for those of us that do suffer? You woke up this morning, hopefully you have family and friends that love you, that understand, that support you, and your life is made richer by having these people and thoughts rather than the parts that scare and tear away at the insides. Those are things and ideas that must be clung to in the split second we want to fight or run. No, it is not easy. Yes, it can be done. The mind is such a powerful tool that sometimes we forget that we can learn to harness what we need for when we need it. I’ve been asked before how I manage, and if it were a clear cut answer that I could write I would. We all have to find the strength within in ourselves. We have to find what works for us and then practice it ritualistically.

There is no need to be a slave to fear…even the past fears that awaken inside us can be silenced.