• Categories

Appreciating what you have

In light of my trip to Pittsburgh recently to see the traveling Willard suitcase exhibit, I’ve started to realize something that I had sadly taken for granted prior to the trip.  Where I live it’s kind of a freak thing to not have some kind of yard availible to you where you live, or a park nearby or for that matter lots and lots of tree.  I didn’t realize how much I took the ability to simply go out in my yard for granted until I went to Pitsburgh, and the area I was in had so little grass that it was a challenge to find someplace that Tippy would go potty at.  Like me, Tippy is use to having grass, though we have our own reasons for liking grass,  It never really dawned on me how lucky I am to live in a place where there is an abundance of grassy and forest type areas.  Things are much quieter where I live, and the pace of life even feels different then what I felt in Pittsburgh.  Things seem slower and in general more relaxed here.  This isn’t to say I don’t like Pittsburgh, but just that it reminded me about how simple things like grass can be missed when  visiting someplace where grass is scarce.  I was impressed by Schenly park though, not just because it gave me the ability to visit some grass, but because it gave me a taste of how folks living in the city spend time in the park.  The day I was there, there were people laying in the sun using backpacks as pillows, others were sitting on benches reading books or eating.  I thought it was neat that there was public internet access available in the park, which made me think of something I do here at home when the weather is nice but I have blogging to do.  I will sit on my porch with my netbook and enjoy the nice weather while still getting things done I need to finish.  I guess that in some ways, Schenly Park is to folks in that part of Pittsburgh, what my porch is to me, a place to kick back and relax, enjoy the weather, and experience some time in a grassy setting.

All of this isn’t to say I hated Pittsburgh, in fact just the opposite is true, I hope to go back and visit again sometime, and hopefully get to broaden my understanding about how folks live in different places.  I have lived in a rural area where I can go from seeing a shopping center to within 5 minutes be at a farmer’s market that is surrounded by farm fields.  So for me Pittsburgh felt like a whole new world that in some was was rather strange from what I have known the majority of my life.  I do look forward to the day when I can return to visit Pittsburgh though because despite it’s lack of grass and trees, it does offer a huge assortment of things to do that just don’t exist in my area.

Enhanced by Zemanta

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.  🙂

Social Security going green


The above link will take you to an article that was in the Washington Post on April 22, 2010.  It is something the folks receiving Social Security should be aware of.  While the article indicates primarily new recipients will be receiving their benefits electronically, it is something that I suspect that everyone will be effected by eventually.

“The Treasury Department is making a big push to go green — and save a lot of green — by switching millions of people who receive Social Security and other federal benefits from paper checks to electronic payments.” – Washington Post April 22, 2010

“Dangerous, Crazy, Disabled”

“Dangerous, Crazy, Disabled” that is the title of a blog entry that just brought tears to my eyes as I read it.  Not because it was hurtful, but because I felt like there was one more person in the world who is trying to understand folks with mental illnesses.  The writer of the blog entry I read talks about who judgemental and often harsh they had been in their views of folks with mental illnesses, but that because of being diagnosed with a mental illness themself and pretty much being put in a position where they had no choice but to be exposed to others with mental illnesses, they discovered that many of their views were wrong.

I loved this post and I’m not usually one that could be considered to be a “touchy feely” kind of person, but this is one blogger I would like to offer a hug to, not just because they changed their thinking, but also to let them know thattheir honesty and openness was not only gutsy in many ways, but much appreciated.

I hope they continue on their journey through recovery and that others who might hold similar judgemental views as what this blogger once had might read their post and realize that they do have a choice in how they view those with mental illnesses and that by choosing to be judgmental, they could be risking their life or the life of a loved one as was pointed out by the blogger who brought tears to my eyes.

If you want to read the blog entry that inspired this post, please go to ….


Poll: Choices we make ….

This really doesn’t have to do with anything in particular it’s just one of those random things I thought might help others think about how they approach choices/decisions…

The grass may be greener but is it a good choice?

Those of you who have read the page called “About” on here may know that among other things, I also happen to have Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder.   I recently went through a phase where I pretty much felt sorry for myself and wanted to move elsewhere because the grass looked greener there then it does here.  As someone I bounced the idea of relocating off of pointed out, that something I really don’t want to go into detail about but to put it mildly it was a horrendous and life threatening situatuion that occurred someplace in the area I was considering moving to.  Because of having DID, much of my past is fragmented and often there are huge gaps in what I know about myself and what I don’t have a clue about in regards to my past.  The event that I mentioned above is one of those things that was in one such gap.  If it hadn’t been for one of my other personalities showing me what they had experienced, but had been keeping from me, I would have dove head first into the idea of moving to that location.  You see having DID is much like a alancing act, I have to balance not only my neeeds, but the needs of the other personalities and to be honest everything got out of kilter and I had started to neglect the needs of the other personalities.  So while the grass seemed like it was much greener for a lot of reasons that my sounding board agreed were valid reasons, I decided that looks can be deceiving and just because the grass looks greener doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for me to make.  So, for now I am going to stay put and work on finding ways to improve my situation without moving to the place I had thought would be idea but in reality may not be.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Workers World: “SSI cuts target state’s poor”

The following article talks about a march held in protest of what I’ve been refering to as “Pennsylvania’s Cost of living decrease for those on SSI”



SSI cuts target state’s poor

By Betsey Piette

Published Feb 12, 2010 8:16 PM

Nearly 200 demonstrators, many in wheelchairs, gathered at the Broad Street Ministry on Feb. 3 to march to City Hall in protest of $22 million in cuts to Supplemental Security Income. The cuts took effect in Pennsylvania on Feb. 1.

Many participants in this “funeral procession for justice” wore black or carried mock coffins and tombstone-shaped placards, underscoring the deadly aspect this devastating blow will have for 340,000 of the state’s most vulnerable residents, 67,000 of whom are children.

The state has tried to downplay the monthly SSI decrease of $5 for individuals and $10 for families as insignificant. The official announcement about the cuts was not even made until two weeks before they were scheduled to take effect, even though the state’s budget was approved in September.

For people with disabilities, seniors and children on SSI already struggling to survive on $600 a month or less, these reductions could mean the inability to afford the co-payment on an important medicine or to buy tokens to get to school. For people with incomes already just 77.7 percent of the federal poverty level, the loss of even $5 can be devastating.

Many elderly and disabled in the state rely on paratransit services, which can cost $20 for just one round trip. For families with children, $10 less a month — the cost of a box of cereal and a gallon of milk — might mean skipping yet another meal.

Nearly one-third of the state’s SSI recipients live in Philadelphia, where very few supermarkets are easily accessible without a car. For the 30,000 others living in the surrounding suburbs, grocery options are often limited to higher-priced stores like Whole Foods.

Speakers at the rally noted that as Pennsylvania state legislators and Gov. Ed Rendell are taking money from the poorest in the state, plans were dropped to tax corporations that are rapidly expanding drilling for natural gas. These companies are using the environmentally hazardous process of hydraulic fracturing.

Rally organizers handed out hundreds of fliers to people along the march route urging them to call Gov. Rendell and area state legislators to reverse the cuts.

Articles copyright 1995-2010 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

Workers World, 55 W. 17 St., NY, NY 10011
Email: ww@workers.org
Subscribe wwnews-subscribe@workersworld.net
Support independent news DONATE

%d bloggers like this: