Friday, July 31, 2015

New beginnings...

are stressful.  I am excited about going back to school.  Lots of changes that are positive and I am strung out unable to sleep, focus on what I need to do, or relax.  I had a lovely massage and the more she tried to get my body to relax the tenser I became.  (Note to self: No massages the week starting back to school.)  I also flunked my blood pressure test.  Tomorrow, I get blood tests and I suspect I will flunk some of those too.  What was I thinking to have the tests done during a high stress week?  Stress does all sorts of nasty stuff to the body insomnia, higher cholesterol, sending up blood pressure to name a few.  I don't know how not to worry about being ready when I watch the teachers wander off to all their meetings and I am trying to get the rooms ready.  Regular class rooms involve making sure bulletin boards are current, papers ready for first week, and general other activities for planning.  Not so with career classes.  Fashion is getting all the sewing machines, ironing boards, new fabric and other stuff ready for students.  Change of furniture means rearranging and shifting cupboards....custodians don't help so teachers do it.  (Custodians are not hired to help teachers therefore, we are on our own.)  Early childhood education is even more stuff.  To prove to people at the district that we need stuff there is a 15 page print out of items required for hands-on-lets-do-stuff  preschool.  The space we need to cram everything into is about half of what we need.  I believe science teachers can sympathize.  District big wigs want dynamic learning but are clueless what it requires to do everything.  Then there is all the yearly paperwork, forms, and required meetings.  I was thrilled to be allowed to miss one of them.  (Have I ever mentioned that I fall asleep in meetings?  Not cool.  I wish I could fall asleep at night as easily as I fall asleep during those meetings. Maybe I can add visualizing being in a meeting as part of my night time routine.)  Deep breath.  Blow it out.  Monday will come and so will the students and if there is a mess in the room it is not the end of the world. 

Marching forward

Monday, July 27, 2015

Busy weekend

I looked at the dates on my blog and realized I was so busy this weekend I didn't post anything.  I am focused on trying to get ready for school tomorrow.  First day is teachers meetings.  Then it is get the room ready for students and making sure everything is where we can find it.  This year we didn't move the room around so I should be able to find most of my stuff. 

With the beginning of school, Facebook memes are reminding people to reach out to those that are usually left out.  An attitude of inclusion helps students feel like they belong.  At our school, students come from other high schools so they don't know each other.  My challenge is to learn names of the students.  Unfortunately, the pictures of students are several years old and they can change quite a bit. 

Don't Quit

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won if he'd stuck it out.
Don't give up, though the pace seems slow -
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man;
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor's cup,
And he learned too late, when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out -
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are -
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit -
It's when things seem worst that you mustn't quit.
- by Author Unknown

Friday, July 24, 2015

Reverse thought

I occasionally find something so awesome I want to share it both here on my PTSD web page.  I first saw this poem years ago when emails were the way to spread good stuff.  Now, I find it on Facebook.  I am posting the information I have.  I hope the right person is getting the credit. 

Check out this poem…it's not what you think at first glance!
It was written by an 11th grader in Brooklyn, NY named Chanie Gorkin.
She posted it at & somehow, it found its way to a bar in North London, where a man took a picture of it & posted it to Twitter. Now it's going viral!
Read it top to bottom - then bottom to top & you'll see what I mean. Share it with someone who needs it. It may be just the sentiment you, or a friend, needs to see today.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Use it or Lose it

Skimmed the book Brain Fitness.  I was impressed by how much of this information was already familiar to me.  I already knew about use it or lose it.  The key to anti aging, learn something new.  Now there are hundreds of books and web sites for training the brain.  I used one for awhile and then they wanted me to buy in.  Instead I flipped to the free math games that keep my mind bouncing.  I expanded to working on games using words.  My daughter taught me a way to play Scrabble that made it fun, nine tiles instead of 7 and no keeping score.  I am also learning to cook now that my kids are raised.  This is the beauty of thriving.  Instead of all my attention on how to get up, drag myself through the day, then crash to sleep, I have energy and excitement to learn something new.  This is a great feeling.  Now I'm trying to cram a bunch of stuff into the few days before heading back to the school I work at.  I'm excited about that too.  Ten years of counseling is paying off.  I feel happy and blessed to be alive.  Thriving is worth the investment in counseling and the struggle through the crazy maze to find the reward, thriving. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Great visit

I loved visiting in Ohio.  I learned a few things.  I did not know that mushrooms will burst like cactus when they get too much rain.  Breathing in 90% humidity is a bit like breathing under water.  The song about the "skies are not cloudy all day" took on new meaning but I didn't go there for the weather.  In fact, I am slightly jealous of their spectacular thunderstorms.  Visiting my daughter and her family was joyful.  We played, worked and played some more.  I enjoyed the visit but now have only a few days left to summer.  The letter announcing the first week of school schedule was waiting for me.  I am excited about this year's adventure.

Brief update on my other daughter and her progress after brain surgery to remove a benign tumor.  She is writing a blog sharing her experience and her path to recovery.  This event permanently changed her life.  I keep her in my prayers daily.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Endings and Beginnings

I am coming to a beautiful ending of a great summer.  There were challenges that I met.  Bad things happened.  I learned that bad things are not the end of my world it is just the beginning to another challenge.  I am sad to see the end of summer; in another week I begin another school year.  Every year I worked there I had major changes in my work assignment.  Instead of fearing this new beginning I am looking forward to another challenge.  I lived in fear most of my life.  Afraid to let go of one event fearful of the next.  Now, I feel sad that something is ending but I anticipate a new beginning.  An opportunity to do something new.  A chance to push my ability past where I was before.  A beginning is a way for me to evaluate where I am and use this as a pivotal point to perhaps change old worn out ways of thinking.  I learned whenever I have an ending, I also have a beginning of something else. 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Two meetings One message

Today I attended church with my daughter then she attended church with me.  The two meetings were quite different from each other.  However, both of them I came away with the same message, God loves me and wants me to be happy by changing my life.  Repentance is a very churchy word.  I like the perspective that God gave us repentance as a chance to make our lives better by turning away from those things that harm us or our relationships.  I changed a lot through the years because I was dissatisfied where I was.  Now, I continue to change because I love where I am going. 

Have a beautiful and blessed day. 

Saturday, July 18, 2015


I wouldn't have done it without daughter loves adventures and invited me along.  We ended up driving half way across Kentucky through some of the greenest country I have ever seen.  However, I am thankful for air conditioning in the car.  The amazing thing for me, I had fun. 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Online quizzes

Follow links from a book I am reading Brain Fitness.  I checked it out from the library.  I am curious. When the book shared a link to some quizzes I could take on line about personality I wanted to try them out.  Unfortunately, the link didn't work.  However, I knew that university pages will update without bothering to reconnect all the links that are lost.  A search gave me the new link:
I didn't do all the test.  I didn't touch the one that wanted to mess with my emails.  Yup, I am fully aware that I am being contradictory when I know that every email I write is saved by the government somewhere.  (I think that is why I keep a bazzilan  emails, keep them confused as to which ones are important.)  The page reminds you that you must be over 18 to play and it is only for entertainment.  I learned a few things about myself but most of it confirmed what I already knew.  One suggested that I get counseling.  No kidding.  In searching for information on this book I found a lot more information online than I realized was out there on healing, optimizing, and training my brain.  I treat these with caution because I know that not everyone is trustworthy.  I realize as I am reading that I am familiar with many of the ideas that I read so far.  I'll be interested to see where it goes as I explore more.  My doctor said it was all in my head and my brain is all in my head. 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Relationship with Food

Sucks.  I struggle with anything to do with controlling my eating.  Sadly my mother's constant stream of obsessive dieting, talking about dieting, and telling me I need to diet is not helpful.  But I am responsible for what I put in my mouth.  Someone on Facebook recommended an interesting page that with 12 questions gives suggestions as to how you can eat better.  I came up with 63% constant craver.  Meaning, I believe that I am hungry all the time even when I just ate.  I am also an emotional eater.  If I feel out of sorts, I'll eat.  If I worked hard on a project, I reward myself with food.  I kind of knew most of this.  It does have a link to some interesting menus.   I get frustrated when they recommend soy products since they are so high in natural estrogen I can't eat them because it puts me at higher risk for breast cancer again.  However many of the other menus looked very yummy.

This is the link to the test:
Heads up to those in the United States you need to change your weight to Stones or KG. 

Another helpful link that taught me proportions:

I am also reading a text book from the culinary class.  The first half of the book is on nutrition and health.  What I did find very interesting and I didn't know was that when people are looking forward to eating their body kicks in the digestive juices and saliva.  The process of digestion starts in the mouth.  If your mouth is watering for the food you are about to eat, you get more nutrition from the food you eat.  From the mindfulness camp, they suggest eating slowly and savoring every bite.  Slowing down eating, paying attention to what I eat, and savoring my food certainly improves meal time for me.  But too many cookies and chocolate between meals is a pain.  I refuse to diet so I am making life changes.  I am learning to cook healthy instead of Fast-Cheap-and- Easy. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Through the eyes of a child

My daughter shared an amazing link.  It gives you an opportunity to see what living with challenges can be.

I tried the 12 grade attention issues.  I also tried the information on time management and organization. This would be a page to explore to help understand how others function.  Growing up I complained that I was different from other kids.  My parents kept saying I was like everybody else.  I wasn't.  I was in my 40's before I sought counseling and was blessed with a counselor that understood how I saw the world in fragments.  I believe this web page will give many an opportunity to view there child or someone they know differently.  Feel free to share the web page so others can learn more about how learning challenges affect kids. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


Facebook link to:
We all make mistakes. We all fail and fall short. We must focus not on our insufficiency or areas of lack, but on God's sufficiency and His promises to help. When we listen to His voice above all others and believe His truth's, then we know that we can do all things, through Him. We are more than conquerors, through Him. Where we have weakness, His grace abounds. We know we are imperfect, but He is doing a work in us and He is faithful to complete it. We only fail, when we don't get up after falling, or when we become so paralyzed by fear and doubt, that we choose to not try at all.

 I need this reminder. Hope For the Broken Hearted shares many inspirational posts on Facebook.  I feel encouraged and renewed after reading her posts.  She encourages readers to share her words.  I appreciate the time she takes to spread inspirational encouragement. 

Monday, July 13, 2015


From Facebook....if it is posted there I figure it is meant to be shared.

An aging master grew tired of his apprentice’s complaints. One morning, he sent him to get some salt. When the apprentice returned, the master told him to mix a handful of salt in a glass of water and then drink it.
“How does it taste?” the master asked.
“Bitter,” said the apprentice.
The master chuckled and then asked the young man to take the same handful of salt and put it in the lake. The two walked in silence to the nearby lake and once the apprentice swirled his handful of salt in the water, the old man said, “Now drink from the lake.”
As the water dripped down the young man’s chin, the master asked, “How does it taste?”
“Fresh,” remarked the apprentice.
“Do you taste the salt?” asked the master.
“No,” said the young man. At this the master sat beside this serious young man, and explained softly,
“The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains exactly the same. However, the amount of bitterness we taste depends on the container we put the pain in. So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of things. Stop being a glass. Become a lake.”

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Remember the Titans

I attended church with my daughter today.  The preacher shared the theme of "Remember the Titans" movie.  I enjoyed the movie and watched it several times so I knew the story segregating a high school football team.  Sharing parts of the story he talked about racial difference.  He asked a question that really got me thinking, "Do you remember the first time you became aware of the race of another person?"  He then recounted his own experience at 5 years old.  The only black student at school.  He stood out.  He talked about Bible writings that declared that everyone was of the Kingdom of Christ, all one church.  He shared the idea that racial reconciliation wasn't just possible, it is inevitable.  He spoke about racial reconciliation wasn't a challenge to be taken but a gift from God to receive.  He suggested that Christ invited us to become one in His church.  An invitation to us to join in racial reconciliation.

I was raised in Arizona.  As a child, old enough to read the sign that said, "No dogs or Mexicans allowed."  I also saw other signs prohibiting Indians from entering.  I was 5 years old when Martin Luther King gave his "I have a Dream" speech. I have watched part of this dream become a reality.  I also watch on the nightly news where part of his speech is still unheard in the USA.  I watch as leaders stir up racial contention rather than searching for ways to reconcile.  At times, I feel discouraged.  Will Martin Luther King's Dream ever be realized?  Or will manipulators use race as a way to divide people and this country or will one group be replaced by another to ridicule and marginalize, reduced to second class citizens in their own country?

I know how easy it is to be marginalized.  My cousin was telling Pollack jokes.  My mother warned him that he better not let anyone from Poland hear his jokes.  He was shocked, "Do you mean Pollacks are real people?"  Recently, I watched a kids show that part of the story line the kids taunted their mother that she was ugly and fat.  This insidious  cruel propaganda was supposed to be funny.  I felt sick to my stomach. I no longer watch that show, ever.  I hope that people everywhere would take up this challenge to reconcile differences in all places for all reasons.  But I know I probably will not see that day of peace in my life time.  Too many unscrupulous people use differences to blame and isolate.  Unfortunately the propaganda of war churns out the lie, "If it weren't for _________________________ (fill in the blank of any group of people) all would be well so we will drive them out or kill them."  Read or listen to the news it is happening now.  I feel deep sadness that so much hate persists. I plan to work towards treating with respect every person I meet.  I want to accept the gift of reconciliation where ever possible.  Sadly, it isn't always possible because it takes two to reconcile. 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Sharing Freaks

Tonight I was feeling a bit lost as to what I needed to write.  Everything seemed either bragging or blah.  So I read other blogs for inspiration.  I decided at the end of reading Scott Williams' Freaks to share the link.  Enjoy.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Brain Fitness

I went to the library with my daughter.  There they had some fascinating books and videos.  I picked up a book called Brain Fitness and a video on how the brain functions.  One of the things I learned working on fixing computers is I can get so caught up in what is wrong, I miss important information on what works right.  I decided to look up reviews on the Brain Fitness book and instead found reviews of several different Brain Fitness web pages.  The basic theme Use it or Lose it.  The research I am reading in the Brain Fitness book is losing brain power with age is not mandatory.  Some people do retain their sharpness and clarity of thought well into their 90's.  What do they recommend?

Healthy diet
Learn something new (Teach the old dog new tricks to keep them healthy.)
Challenge yourself with different ideas

On the learn something new they recommended that it is the area of Art especially music.  So I'm going to go turn the music up and dance.

Have a great day.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Obsession pays off

I flew to see my daughter.  I feel a lot, I mean A LOT, of anxiety.  Because I am so nervous I keep checking schedules and making sure I have my boarding past multiple times.  Well the gate I was waiting at didn't list the time for my flight.  So for the third time I checked the reader board.  There it was.  The airlines changed the flight to the other side of the airport.  Thank goodness for moving sidewalks I went charging in a new direction and arrived just 15 minutes before they started boarding.  I realized as I thought about it.  I am not OCD for checking over and over, I grew up in an environment where the rules would change without being told and then I was held accountable for not doing things right when I didn't know about the change.  I am partially deaf so all airport announcements sound like Charlie Brown adults.  "Waaa Waaa Waaa WWAaaaa."  Useless.  It paid off constantly checking, it had changed, and I was able to get where I needed to be on time.  Going back to check if I locked the door.  I have forgotten to lock the door so it pays off for me to check.  Double checking where I put my phone, it pays off, I put the phone down to do something else and had to retrieve it.  I am learning that some of my PTSD symptoms persist because they are reinforced by saving me again and again.  Checking once, checking twice I try to limit but at the airport the third time I check is the one that alerted me to the changed gate.  Then people wonder why I keep checking things over and over.  In my experience, things do change. 

Why didn't you check?   I did 3 times. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Rocketing through life

Summer time is a time to relax and be lazy, I wish.  Such a silly fantasy that does not happen.  I am currently playing on Facebook trying to keep myself from thinking about the bazzilion things I need to have done. 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Declaring my Independence

Changed my world.  I started counseling with the naive thinking that 3 months of marriage counseling and all would be well.  I was so clueless.  Six months to understand the extent of my damage.  Nothing more humbling to go to marriage counseling and finding out I was the problem.  PTSD with dissociation at an extreme level had me prisoner of my own mind.

Prisoner of my own mind

My counselor helped me declare my independence.  Declaring my independence from my past, from my fears, from years of conditioning, from repeating the same failing habits, declaring my intention of becoming who I was meant to be.  However, declaring independence is the beginning and not the end.  The fight was on.  I struggled, worked, changed, reviewed, and changed some more.  Learning my past was carved in stone but today is yet to be written. Learning the gift of fear instead of the chains of fear.  Learning to recognize the conditioning by recognize the unhealthy teaching that shaped me.  Learning that if I always do what I always did then I will always get what I always got.  I was at the beginning of 10 years of counseling and an up hill battle.  I needed to face my truth, own my past, and realistic view my behavior.  At first, my reality check bounced.  I dodged, weaved, and struggle with trying to keep things the same but wanting different results.  I was taught about my rights as a human being.  Boggled that I was raised in the land of the free with no personal understanding what that meant.  I was treated like a third class citizen in my own home.  I celebrated the 4th of July, United States declaring independence with no understanding of what that meant.  I had seen the liberty jail, I walked through Arlington Cemetery, I visited the forts where battles raged to bring the USA into being.  But for myself, I had no idea what it meant.  Today I review where my life is.  I have come along way towards freedom and independence.  In the same time, I have seen freedoms erode in this country at an alarming rate.  People trading freedoms for comfort and a wished for guaranteed happiness.  The Constitution doesn't guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it.  The early founders had a keen understanding of that difference.  July 4th is more than fireworks, which I enjoy immensely.  July 4th is a time to ponder and review what I can do to maintain that freedom that so many fought hard to obtain. 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

1 2 buckle my shoe

July 2.  Half way through summer.  Half way through the year.  How am I doing on my plans for this year? 

Pictures....went wild in Yellowstone....over 2000 pictures. 
Blogs.....maintaining 3
Sewing.......added crocheting to my schedule.  This is a bonus.  I hadn't planned on it.  Helped with a service project and realized smaller projects are very enjoyable for me.
Karate.....preparing for Orange belt. and on.  Doing much better this summer.  I was able to average 5 miles a day walking in Yellowstone to get all those pictures.
Eating.....still challenged by desserts but I am doing better....I am maintaining weight without having to record every bite I eat. 
Sleep.....insomnia wins.....trying a new relaxation in the evening.  Maybe just maybe I'll sleep. 
Counseling.....decided that I learned enough to go without.  Especially since the counselor kept asking, "How can I help you?  You are doing great."

Mammoth Spring, Yellowstone National Park.  

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

June slipped away

I start to believe I'm doing really well then another month slips away with most of my goals unmet.  I sometimes feel like a snail is making more progress then I review what I actually did.  I was sick.  I traveled 4400 miles.  Took thousands of pictures.  Sewed. Wait.....I did do a bunch of stuff.  Maybe I need to have goals that match what I am interested in doing.  Hmmmm.....Think about it.  This month more traveling.  Summer is half over.  Time is slipping away so quickly.  I don't remember time passing this quickly.  Visited with a friend that I knew since Junior High.  A lot has changed in over 45 years.