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“Winter Blahs Got You Down? ‘Crowboarding’ Video Can Help”

Link

Just something that made me smile this morning, I found this on the NPR website and it includes a video of a crow with what I think is either a plastic lid or Frisbee

 

Logo used during 1970s

Logo used during 1970s (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

doing something cool 🙂

 

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“Mental health care: How do you begin helping a loved one with severe mental illness?”

Article Link

This January 25, 2013 article on the Patriot-News website offers tips for family members who may be concerned about the possibility that someone in the family may have a serious mental illness.  It offers ideas on how to approach the issue, who should approach the person, and suggestions on where family members can turn for guidance.

 

“Man’s Best Friend Lives Up to the Name”

English: A Psychiatric Service Dog In Training

English: A Psychiatric Service Dog In Training (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Article Link

This article doesn’t have a date on it, but I received  link to it in an email directly from NAMI on Wednesday, July 11, 2012.  The article was neat for me to read, because I have a Psychiatric Service Dog, and I love hearing about others being able to benefit from these awesome dogs.  prior to getting Tippy, I was in he hospital at least once per year for mental health reasons, but I’ve had Tippy for about 6 years now, and only had to be hospitalized once in that time frame.  The reason for the hospitalization was the result of eating too much grapefruit which interacted with my medications negatively and caused me to have a serotonin overload, which I later found out was more serious than I realized at the time.  At any rate though, I’m finding that Tippy helps motivate me to get out of bed on those days when depression is trying to creep in, she helps me remember to take my medications on time, and my panic attacks have decreased significantly since I got her as well.  I now find that going out in public while still challenging, is much more tolerable then it had been before I got her.

One thing I would like to remind folks of though, is that despite Guide Dogs for the visually impaired being the type of service dog that people think of first, it is important for folks to realize that not all disabled people are visually impaired.  Service dogs have been trained for all sorts of disabilities, including but not limited to, hearing, seizure alerts, diabetic alerts, mobility, psychiatric, and other types of disabilities that have a huge impact on the individual’s ability to function in everyday life.  Not all disabilities are visible to the naked eye, so if you see someone who is accompanied by a service dog, don’t assume the handler is visually impaired, or that the dog is in training both could be wrong assumptions, and for me personally, I get frustrated with it when people make such assumptions about me, because it comes across as rude on some level and like people view me as a diagnosis and not as a person.  Treat folks who are accompanied by a service animal the way you would want a stranger to treat you if you were seen in public, it’s ok to be friendly, and say hi to me, or commenting on the weather or whatever other small talk you might encounter while shopping, but please respect the fact that disabled people are not required by any law or regulation to discuss their disability in detail with anyone, and that despite out disability, we are people first 🙂

My hopes for 2012

Recipes

Image by pirate johnny via Flickr

Like many people I have things I would like to accomplish this year, most of mine are simple, and maybe even a little cookie cutter in nature when compared to what others make new year resolutions about.

Here is my list of what I want to aim for this year…..

  • Continue working on losing weight, I’ve made a little progress over the past year, but still have a way to go before I reach my goal of about 130 pounds.  For the record, I weighed myself this morning and I’m at 237.2 pounds.
  • Find and prepare at least one new recipe each month that meets the calorie restriction my doctor wants me to aim for.  The recipe can be anything as long as its healthy and preferably easy to make without costing an arm and a leg to buy the ingredients.  Then to help add a layer of accountability, I’ll post something here on this blog about the recipe I chose, and how it turned out,  tentatively my plan is to find the recipe during the last week of the month, then the following week, buy the ingredients, and then prepare the recipe during the week after I get the ingredients with a blog entry to follow around the time I’m eating said recipe.  it will be a test of my organizational skills or maybe time management then again maybe both.
  • Get better at exercising daily, my doctor wants me to aim for at least 1 hour of exercise a day, and I’m struggling with it, some days I struggle to meet the minimum, while other days I’m like a powerhouse and exceed the minimum, while yet other days I skip it completely.  So, my goal for exercise is basically to be more consistent and less sporadic about how much and how often I do it.
  • I also want to work on being more consistent with regards to blogging.  My goal is to post a minimum of 3 posts per week every week, and if I feel inspired to do so I can do more than that, but the minimum target is 3 posts per week.
  • Time management and organization skills …. yes I’m still struggling with this one, but not as bad as I was this time last year.  I’ve learned some skills over the past year that have been helpful, and basically want to continue to build on those skills and see if I can improve on not getting so hyper-focused on things that other stuff ends up suffering.  Organizational skills have improved, but I feel like there is still lots of room for improvement though I have to admit that I’ve handled clutter better than ever before over the past year and have gotten into a bit of a routine with controlling the clutter around my home, but there is still room for improvement since the clutter factor is something that still bothers me and feeds my anxiety, it is something that goes beyond simply being able to know where my keys are, but reaches into the realm of peace of mind as well.  My also blog about tips or ideas I come up with that are helpful, since I’m sure I’m not the only one who struggles with time management and organization, but I’m not sure how often these will be since I like to test ideas out before I share them.
  • My last goal for this year, is to aim to spend at least one or two days per month at either the Historical society or local library to work on my ongoing research project about Warren State Hospital.  This goal is not just to keep my research moving ahead, but also because I struggle with going out and doing things in the world beyond my apartment.  Since I love doing research for fun, I figure that it is something that I could use as a built-in reward for going out and doing something that puts me in a place where I might get to meet new people and get some face to face interaction with others even if it is just to ask for help from the librarian or historical society volunteer with finding something to look through that day, I figure it’s a starting point.  I won’t blog about my research much here, but hope to not only regularly add information to my personal site ( http://jennerlynn.com ) but also more consistently post on another blog I have that is more of a general purpose kind of blog then this one is  ( http://jennerlynn.wordpress.com/ )

So that is my list of things I hope to work on and make some degree of progress on in the coming year.  Most of the things on my list are things I’m already working on, but want to build on what I’ve done so far, while the cooking one is brand new.  All the things on my list are things that give me a sense of purpose, and in many cases are things that help me feel good about myself.  Personal Medicine is something I’ve learned about and have embraced as a tool to help me remain stable mentally and to aid me in reaching beyond where I’m at now.  personal medicine, for those not familiar with the term, is something positive an individual does that they enjoy, and offers some sort of personal benefit.  Examples of personal medicine could be walking, writing, playing a video game, knitting, reading, spending time with a friend, pet or family member, volunteering, or just about anything of that nature.  It is meant to work along side of prescription medication, but unlike pills that you take, personal medicine is something you do …. or in short a positive healthy action with a positive result for the person doing it.  Pat Deegan is a huge promoter of personal medicine as a tool to help in recovery to get an idea of what she does, you could visit her site …. http://patdeegan.com  or if you would like to check out videos of her speaking or doing presentations, go to http://youtube.com and search for “Pat Deegan” and you’ll find lots of videos either by her or of her.  She’s a fascinating woman.

Renewing and old interest

Back in 2001 I bought a metal detector, which I used maybe 4 or 5 times tops right off the back and then it found it’s way into my closet.  I recently dug my metal detector out of the closet mainly because of an event being held in my area, it was described as being “day camp for adults”.   get you minds out of the gutter, it’s good clean fun with various things to try out, some I picked include, geocaching, kayaking, archery, metal detecting and a few others.  It boiled down to 4 first choices and 4 alternate choices.  I got to thinking that since I selected metal detecting as one of my choices, maybe I could take my own detector and get some pointers on using it.  At any rate my detector is out of the closet, and I found myself thinking about places I might be able to use it.  Home is out of the question, but I thought maybe the local park might be worth trying.  First thing I had to do was figure out what kind of batteries it needed which I discovered it took 2- 9 volt batteries.  I was relieved that it didn’t require “C” size batteries since those are tough to find, but since it was the little rectangle shaped 9 volt batteries I knew it wasn’t going to be tough to find them.  I got the batteries popped them into the detector and pressed the “On” button the display lit up I heard some beeps and then it settled down, I was in business.  I had good batteries in a seemingly working detector …. good start to say the least.

Well, I had other things to do, so I set the detector next to the front door where I walked past it every time I took my dog out so she could go potty.  Afetr a couple days I thought ok I have ideas of where to use it, maybe it would be good to play around with it and see what I find.  So I ended up going out on a rather cool windy day, it had rained the night before so the ground was soft which made digging easy.  Within about an hour or so, I had found $0.56 some pop tabs, a handfull of candy/gum wrappers, and a fork.  I think it was a bit of beginner’s luck, but I had a blast.  Yeah it was boring at times when the detector I was swinging back and forth was silent, but then it would come to life and beep as I homed in on something.  My detector gives a hint as to what I’m looking for, but there is still an element of surprise since I don’t know if the coin my detector sensed is a penny or a quarter or something entirely different.  So I guess you could say that there is a bit of a thrill of the hunt involved in this.  I’m really enjoying it overall, I can take my dog so we can spend time playing in the park.

So how does this relate to this blog, well I guess it’s one of those things that I found I had an interest in that by renewing it, not only do I get to do something fun, but it is something that gets me out of the house, depending on the weather I might get to enjoy the sunshine, and being as my weight is an issue, it is an activity that gets me moving around which is always a good thing when trying to lose some pounds.  I just have a low end detector, but it’s one of those things I wasn’t sure if I would like it or not when I bought it so I didn’t want to spend a lot for it.  I think in the last 3 times I’ve been out, I probably found just over $1 in spare change, and I have a warm fuzzy feeling because I found a couple really sharp scraps of metal in a sandbox that kids play in that I was able to remove and make things a little safer for the kids.  I also decided to keep the pop tabs I find and once I get a bunch of them, I’m going to take them to McDonalds and turn them in for them to use to help fund the Ronald McDonald House.   I guess you could say that this is a hobby that while it is boring at times, it does have potential to help not only myself, but others as well.

An estimate of what I paid for equipment to do this ….

Detector was between $80 and $100

hand trowel cost between $1 and $3

Carabeaner type key clips x2 $2 to $4

Plastic grocery bag  – Free?

The way I carry my stuff is that I use on clip through the handle of the trowel so I can clip it to my belt loop or backpack.  The second clip is used the same as the first but for carrying my plastic bag. The bag is used to carry the items I find in until I get home and can clean them up to check them out closer.

I would like to get a detector that has a headphonejack because my current one has a speaker with no volume control which means it has one setting in terms of loudness and that is something that I think if I wasn’t the one swinging the detector, I would probably be annoyed by the sounds.   So I try to pick times when the park is quieter to go use my detector, and if it starts getting more populated I usually head home.

In general though I find my mood has been better and I’m sleeping better as well since I started playing with my detector.  So it’s one of my nerdy hobbies, but it does offer some mental health benefits which is why I opted to share it with folks here.  It’s a hobby that can be done by just about anyone ant any age, and for folks like me who aren’t big on crowds, it’s a great way to get out of the house without having to go into crowded places.  Once in awhile someone will ask me what I’m doing and when I tell them I’m just seeing what kinds of metal objects I can find they generally shrug and walk away.  If I happen to have found something I’ll show them what I have found just so they know I’m really doing something.  So there is a bit of socialization involved, but for the most part it’s an solo kind of hobby.

Will I get rich doing this?  Doubtful, but I think the benefits of walking around outside for a couple hours or more will pay off in it’s own way even if it isn’t in gold and silver.  🙂

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