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Women, Hormones and ADHD – ADDitude.com

Ok yet another not a Pennsylvania specific post but it does offer some info that I found to be fascinating about women and girls with


Image via WikipediaChemical structure of epinephrine (adrenaline)

ADHD and the effect their hormones can have on their ADHD symptoms …. I wasn’t diagnosed until my mid to late 30’s, but as I read this article I was like “That was me!”  more amazed that the emotional rollercoaster I’ve been on isn’t just because I have a mental illness it might actually be getting fed in part by my hormones.

Here’s the link to the article on ADDitude.com ….




WordPress Tags: Women,Hormones,ADHD,ADDitude,symptoms


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Money Monday: Shopping Tips

I’ve been discovering a lot of cool things that really do save me money here’s a few I’ve started using when I go grocery shopping and have seen some noteable results in saving money ….

  • Take a calculator – I never use to carry one with me, but I tried it the last couple times I went shopping and I was amazed at what I learned about the price of items.  I found that those deals were you buy 4 boxes of spaghetti noodles for $5.00 might not necesarily be the best price.  I compared several items and discovered that buying a store brand that wasn’t on sale was actually a few cents less per item then it cost per item for the 4/$5.00 sale item was.  Grocery stores more or less play head games with us they have discovered that if they bundle several items for a single price that people will be drawn to the bundle of items because in their mind it looks like the best deal, but in reality if you do the math, it may not be the best price.
  • Before deciding on an item to purchase that is at eye level, take a lookat the shelves above your head and below your waist to be sure there isn’t a compareable item above or below eye level, because stores take advantage of human nature to pay attention to what is directly in front of our faces and to not pay as much attention to the things above our heads or below our waists …. they strategically place items that tend to be more expensive at eye level knowing most people will be oblivious to what is above or below they’re eye level.  I found that store brands or other less expensive but compareable brands are placed out of the eye level range and will be placed above my head or below my waist where they aren’t as convenient to spot.
  • When buying frozen vegetables, it is often more cost effective to buy a bag of vegetables instead of a box of vegetables because in most cases the bag will hold slightly more food then the box will and will often times be about the same price as the box.  With a bag you can easily close the bag up with a twist tie also if you don’t use the whole bag at one time where a box of frozen veggies you are almost forced to use the entire package at one time because unless you have a plastic freezer bag to put the remaining portion from the box in, you don’t have a really good way of resealing the box and by needing a freezer bag to store remaining portions from a box in you are actually spending more money then you would for the twist tie to seal the partial bag of frozen veggies.
  • This is an ongoing thing for me that I need to work really hard on, but I’m finding that if I make meals from scratch, it is not only healthier, but costs about the same as what it would cost me to buy a box of processed food.  Processed food contains a ton of salt in most cases which over time isn’t overly healthy for us.  I find I need to find simple recipes for the things I would normally buy in boxed processed meals, and then I not only learn to cook something a different way, but it has that home cooked taste that processed food doesn’t have and often times the things I make from scratch that are compareable to the processed foods I tend to buy, seem to be more filling and the flavor is more appealing so I’m not eating that entire box of mac-n-cheese in a single sitting which means that I’m helping to improve my waistline in addition to learning something new.

I’ve started making saving money when I go shopping into a sort of personal challenge.  I make a lot of the same purchases every month, but each time I go shopping, I try to see if I can get the same amount of food as I normally buy, but pay less for it then what I did the last time I was shopping.

How do I know if I’m paying more or less for something then I did on a previous trip to the store?  Simple I carry a small notebook where I write down the following information about each item I purchase ….

  • The store I found the item
  • the band that was the best price (figured out using my calculator)
  • if it was on sale or not the last time I bought it

I carry this price diary with me every time I go shopping, so if I go to Store A and find that an item is $1.39 for the best priced item store A offers …. then when I go into Store B I can look in my notebook to find out if Store B has a price that is the same or better then what Store A offer a similar item for.

It’s kind of like taking comparison shopping from one level to the next I use to think that comparison shopping meant comparing the prices of each brand of an item offered in a single store and deciding which one was the best deal.  What I found out though is that by using the price diary, it’s possible to figure out which stores have the best prices for each item you regularly buy.

Watching sale flyers and using coupons can further help you save money because Store A might usually have the best price on the box of mac-n-cheese, but this week Store B has Mac-n- cheese on sale and it is a couple cents less then Store A’s price.  for granted a couple cents isn’t much but with each item that you save a few cents on, those few cents adds up.

Last month I bought $105 worth of food at the beginning of the month without comparing prices.  This month I used my calculator compared prices and used coupons when possible and got slightly more food, but only spent $85 at the beginning of the month which meant that I would have some extra money left over incase my spontaneous and impulsive Brother calls and says he’s having a family get together tomorrow and asks if I can bring a dish to share I’ve got the money I can run to the store and get something last minute without having to borrow money from my friends so I can humor my Brother.

Also, the two golden rules I have for myself when it comes to shopping for food are ….

  • Eat soon before you go into the grocery store otherwise you’ll be hungry and everything will look like its something you need when in reality you may not really even use some of what you pick up … the packaging was screaming at your stomach convincing it that it had to have the item which meant your stomach over ruled your common sense and you end up with what is called an impulse purchase
  • The other golden rule I have for myself is that I NEVER go into the grocery store without a written list.  I found I’m dangerous if I go in with the list in my head and not on paper because while I’m wandering around trying to remember what I went there to buy, everything else seems to scream “Buy me! Buy me! I’m exactly what you need right now!”  so what happens is that loaf of bread and gallon of milk I went in for becomes $30 worth of stuff I really don’t need and once I’m home I feel like I really didn’t want the items I bought but I was overcome by colorful packaging with scrumptious looking pictures of food and prices that look like they are at must have range … for me having ADHD and being somewhat impulsive by nature, I’m basically signing a blank check and handing it to the store if I don’t have a written list with a rule that I’m only allowed to buy what is on the list but if I spot a good price on something I will definitely use like toilet paper or something important like that I’m allowed to buy one item that isn’t on the list but it has to be something that is marked ridiculously lowere then it would normally be and that I would definitely use and need …. those cookies that I’m trying to avoid because I want to lose weight don’t meet my one item not on the list rule because yes I would use them but I don’t really need them where toilet paper well it’s one of those things that I either buy or I will find myself running around in the woods with a plant ideentification book gathering leaves to use in place of toilet paper so toilet paper would definitely qualify as the one item I could buy that isnt on the list.

I don’t have kids, but from listening to my Mom over the years and hearing other parents, it seems that when possible leaving the kids at home or with a sitter while you shop can also be a money saving tip.  Though I saw something on a tv show where a mother of several kids who were nightmares to shop with discovered that giving each child a part of the grocery list to be responsible for during the shopping trip can not only allow Mom or Dad to think a little more clearly, but can also make shopping more interesting for the kids so they feel like they are actively participating rather then feeling like they are being dragged up and down aisles constantly being told no they can’t get something.  For granted I suspect that there would still be room for outbursts or begging for some item that has captured the young shopper’s attention, but it seems like the concept might be a way to engage the kids in the shopping experience and offering an opportunity to teach them how to be better shoppers by having them learn hands on.  I know my Mom use to tell my brother sister and I each an item and she would send us to go get the item which she told us the brand to get.  If we got a different item we had to take it back and get the item she asked for or if we got a different brand then what she sent us after we would have to tell her what the price of the brand we got was and if it was higher or lower then what she sent us for.  To us it seemed like a kind of game, but it helped me start to learn about comparison shopping and that just because a brand name is cool with the in crowd, it might not neccesarily be the best price.  Some times she would give us each a list of 3 or 4 items and enough money to pay for them and we had to make sure that we got the items that were priced low enough to give change back to Mom so there are a lot of things you can do to teach kids how to shop and help them feel like they are part of the trip instead of feeling like extra baggage.

DVC Meeting reminder (10-13-09) and info about call-in on 8-26-09)

Sorry about the timing of this, I got the email today and didn’t realize it was there until several hours after it arrived.  This includes a reminder about the date change for the statewide meeting and also a notice about a call-in tomorow (Thursday 8-26-09).

Hello Disability Voting Coalition Members!

 I realize that this is a last minute notice but I was out on vacation. I need to let you know two things in this email: 

  1. Statewide Disability Voting Coalition meeting rescheduled to Tuesday, October 13, 2009 in Harrisburg. Some of you may have heard that we were planning a statewide DVC meeting for August 27.Budget concerns made us change the date to October 13. You’ll be hearing more about this meeting in a future email.

     2. Our monthly organizer call will be Wednesday, August 26, 2009 from 10:30 am – 12:00 pm 

The toll-free call-in number is 1-866-352-3799.  The participant code is *3493497* (yes, that is “star” before and after 3493497 — don’t forget the stars).

We will continue our discussion on ways to get more people registered to vote using the National Voter Registration Act. Everyone is welcome! Please pass this information on to anyone who may be interested.

We hold our call on the FOURTH Wednesday of the month, from 10:30 AM – 12 noon

Please plan to join us – we need lots of help from all parts of PA if we are to change things for the better!

Feel free to call me at the number below if you have questions or comments

Thanks to all of you for your support of the Disability Voting Coalition.

Rachel Freund
DVC Project Coordinator

Effect of the state budget on social services

This is a link to an article found on Philly.com that discusses the effect of the state budget on social services here in Pennsylvania ….

The article is dated … Friday, August 21, 2009


Facts about healthcare reform

  First off I know this is more of a national issue then it is a Pennsylvania specific issue, but it is something that once all is said and done and whatever the final plan is that is put into action, it is something that will effect each and every person in the country in one way or another how exactly that effect will occur I can’t say, but I can say that I’m really to a point where I want to hear facts and not hear about the latest town hall meeting that went haywire.  To me that isn’t news worth focusing on yes eveyone is entitled to their views, but can it be presented by the media in a way that is more like a healthy debate instead of focusing on what ammounts to people making fools of themselves on national TV by yelling and screaming and interrupting the person trying to present information rather then simply listening to what the person(s) have to say before flying off the handle and in some cases becoming physically aggressive towards the speaker?

Ok now that I’ve vented a little I will include a link I received from the whitehouse specifically the president’s office/staff this explains facts about what the President is trying to convery and some of the misinterpretations that are out there …. I hope to add more links as I find more that aren’t glorifying town hal brawls but this is a starting point …..


Keep in mind that just because I post something from the president or any other politician does not mean I agree 100% with what the person, party or office is saying it simply means I’m offering it as something I found to be more productive then the nightly News’  coverage of townhall brawls.

If you have a problem with information that is contained in any of the links, please respectfully contact the person, party … etc. represented by the site you don’t agree with.  As the saying goes you can catch more flies with honey then with vinegar.  Keep in mind that while politician do hold positions of power, they are there because we the American people gave them that power and that we are partially responsible for the political nature of our communitees, states and country because of our choices we make when we choose to vote or not vote for someone.

For folks with any type of disability check out … the Disability Voting Coalition of Pennsylvania for a starting point with regards to disabled folks who want to excercise their right to vote …..


They’ll get you started with where to register if you haven’t registered already and will guide you through the first steps towards having a stronger voice in our political system.

A Tribute to Eunice Shriver, Founder of the Special Olympics

A Tribute to Eunice Shriver, Founder of the Special Olympics

Shared via AddThis

DVC of PA postpones statewide meeting until October

This is an email I received indicating that the Disability Voting Coalition of PA (DVC) has changed the date of their statewide meeting.  Those planning on attending it should note the change of date.

Friends – We’ve changed the date of our statewide meeting for the Disability Voting Coalition of PA (DVC) to Tuesday, October 13, 2009 from 10 am – 3 pm!


The DVC is a statewide, cross-disability coalition. We are focused on building participation of people with disabilities in the voting process. DVC is a free membership organization and is a collaborative effort of a hundreds of organizational and individual members.


Please join us at the Disability Voting Coalition of PA (DVC) statewide “We Count!” meeting, on Tuesday, October 13, 2009 from 10 am – 3 pm at the PA Department of Education, 333 Market Street in Harrisburg.


At the statewide “We Count” meeting we will

  • Connect  advocates and organizers from all over Pennsylvania and from all parts of the disability community to share ideas and strategies
  • Hear from policy makers who affect the voting and voter registration process
  • Work together on action steps to implement the “We Count” Campaign across PA
    • The “We Count” Campaign will increase the number of voters with disabilities and raise awareness among providers about their role in the voter registration process, in keeping with the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA)


We can help with travel expenses – contact Rachel Freund to find out more!


To RSVP or for more information call Rachel Freund, DVC Project Coordinator, at 412-391-3820 or 1-877-391-3820 or at rfreund@mhaac.net When calling, please let us know if you need any accommodations for the meeting.

 Please pass the word along to your networks – thanks!


Restore Mental Health Funding – Lives Depend on It
Click on the link above to learn more about how YOU can impact the PA State Budget Cuts!

An apollogy to my readers

I would like to say I’m sorry for neglecting the blog, I know that in reality it has been several months since I did any serious work on it most of the new content you’ve seen has been items I had actually written up several months ago and then set up to be automatically posted on the date they showed up on the blog.  The only exception to the automated updates was a kind of recent post about the July 22, 2009 call-in sponsored by the Pennsylvania Dsability Voting Coalition (DVC) that was one I wrote up and posted the same day I wrote it.

At any rate the personal issues I was having that were interfering with my ability to properly maintain this blog seem to have settled down and things are getting to a place where I feel I can work on it more regularly.  I have started digging for information, and will be posting items I find as I go along, but in all honesty I have in a sense been out of the loop in terms of knowing what is currently going on in the Pennsylvania Mental Health system because of the personal issues I was experiencing, so I simply ask that you bear with me and continue to be patient as I get caught back up to speed so to speak in terms of Mental Health issues here in Pennsylvania.

I truely appreciate the apparent dedication of at least a portion of my readers, because looking at the stats it looks as though many of you have continued to return despite my inabillity to do live updates.  I would like to thank those dedicated readers for their patience and also take a moment to welcome any new readers I may have acquired during this downtime in terms of updates to the blog.

I hadn’t even really started looking over the blog in the past couple months but to see that I have roughly 20 to 30 visitors a day on average despite my irresponsibility really is helpful to me in terms of helping me to once more begin to do what I set out to do with this blog which is to help keep not only myself informed on current issues so I can be more effective in my understanding of how things are working in the mental health system, but more importantly to share that passion with others so maybe folks who may or may not be up to speed on what is happening here in Pennsylvania in terms of the mental health system can hopefully have a starting point in terms of information resources.

I am hopeing that over the next couple of weeks I will begin to get back into a rhythem again and you will once again start seeing updates that are less canned and more live in nature.

Thank you again for your patience and I truely am sorry for not keeping up with things here I hope that folks will continue to return and that maybe over time I will begin to once again see that I’m getting closer to 100 visitors a day like I was before I began neglecting the blog.  I know in comparison to other blogs that 100 visits isn’t much, but to me it’s enough to keep me ecouraged and motivated to keep going with this project.


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