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Showing posts from April, 2020

Introducing #Tools2Thrive & #GetReal

In the USA May is Mental Health Month their theme this year is #Tools2Thrive and I will be posting material from them on Friday's & Saturday's. #Tools2Thrive is a set of five readings & 5 worksheets to help you developed resiliency & thrive at any time. May 4-May 10 is Mental Health Week in Canada and during that week I'll be posting #GetReal which is the Canadian theme. #GetReal is about "social connection" and its importance to mental health Friday 8th & Saturday 9th you will see two posts from me, one for each theme.

Hairstyle Appreciation

I have been blessed or cursed depending on rather you are asking me or other people with hair that grows fast, (I'm talking six inches in a year), that is fine not coarse and that is very thick. If I let it grow too long it gets so heavy that I get headaches from the weight. Hair like that feels like a wool cap in the summer so June first is the day I go get my annual haircut. This year I do not know if I can get that done, if not I'm gonna get a pair of electric clippers & have my son-in-law give me a brush cut. Usually about this time of year I start looking into hair cuts so I'll have an idea of what to tell Kym, my hairdresser, when I get there. I'm bored, you are probably bored so take a look at these six hair cuts & tell me which one you like the best            

International Dance

This is supposed to be a day of coming together and watching a dance performance, with social distancing that is not possible so I thought I would look at it from a different point of view. I want to be able to dance like no one is watching but alas one stupid memory from my childhood keeps getting in the way. Fever dreams are not nice things especially at six years old, they stick with you your whole life. I guess I want to share it since I keep talking about it. It is possible you have heard this story before. I will do it in two parts first the fever dream and then the original memory. I had watched my first ever ballet on TV the night before, I think it was "Swan Lake". I was a bright and energetic six year old though I was well on my way to being a loner at that time. This was the incident that finished the job. So, it was late June and it was a bright day. I decided I wanted to dance as I had seen the ballet dancers do it and I began to dance with the shadows. I became

Covid-19 & Your Mental Health

If I were a Superhero

If I were a superhero I would want to be one you don't know exists. I would like to be one that can read minds & emotions and have the skills to help people to become healthier. I imagine my alter ego would be a psychiatrist or doctor. would not, could not cure the whole world but I would be able to help those most in need. I would be the defender of the abused, passing their pain and hopelessness to the abuser. Given that abused becomes abuser quite often I would make it my mission to stop as much as possible in this generation so the next generation could live happier lives. I would that I could be such a person! What kind of superhero would you want to be?

What's coming up in May

Next month I'm doing things a little differently because I feel that right now everyone needs to know this. I know what has been happening with my own mental health and I must assume I am not alone. I am especially concerned about children & adults caught in an abusive situation as their lives may be in danger. I need you to reach out to the ones who you know are in a dangerous place either by phone or video chat and give them what support you can. If you are able, remove them from the situation, if you are not at least let them know someone cares enough to keep in touch. I fear the deaths from domestic violence will be higher than the deaths from the pandemic. Do You Know Your Tools2Thrive? While 1 in 5 people will experience a mental illness during their lifetime, everyone faces challenges in life that can impact their mental health. The good news is there are practical tools that everyone can use to improve their mental health and increase resiliency - and there are ways tha


I am so tired, make that depressed what ever you want to call it that all I really want to do is sleep & read all day. I am trying to get a proper writing plan together for May and just can't get my thoughts around it. I plan to do my best to fill each day but I think this May will be a copy and paste month. As you go through, (if you go through) each of the weekly mental health entries for the month I will also be doing the reading and working on the exercises. They will be posted Friday (reading) and Saturday (practice). If you want to follow along just right click and save as. You can open them in Word as a picture or in Microsoft Photo or another photo app to read them as they are a bit too small to read on the blog page. Sunday to Thursday are where I'm having problems deciding what to publish but I will try to post every day still. It is the one thing that I can do besides reading & sleep.

Indoor Birding

So after the snows last week I got thinking of more ways to amuse myself indoors.  Today we celebrate the Audubon Society for all their hard work in teaching us about nature & nature conservation. One of the first books I ever saw was the Audubon Field Guide to North American Birds . I didn't know what it was but I liked all the pictures in it. Today they have field Guides to many types of Flora & Fauna. You can find many of them at Amazon in both paper & e-book form. One of the things I found while searching around for something to do with the Audobon Society is a site called Nature Canada that suggests Indoor bird watching . I remember my dad in his final years sitting in front of the kitchen window that overlooked our back yard & a wooded area with binoculars watching for birds to match in his Field Guide. In the last couple of years he was in the nursing home they put a bird feeder outside his room so that he could continue to watch his beloved birds.  Back to

Playing with Puppets

Hey! Thank you for checking this out! I am a big crafter as you know and I got thinking about what can parents do with bored kids? I don't know how many of you are parents but that's OK, adults can use puppets too. Video it and sent it to you-tube to give people a laugh! Puppets have been around a long time, I'm sure some of you have heard of Punch & Judy. Puppetry goes back nearly as far as storytellers. Puppets written about as early as the 5th century BCE. For more history check out the Wikipedia page: Puppetry   There is a couple of Videos on You-tube by Watcher  called Puppet History  where they use puppets to teach history. If you are bored check it out. I figure about now some of you are saying I'd love to do that with my kids but I can't sew how can I make some?   Here are a couple of ideas:  Via  How we learn ,  Photo Finger Puppets ; they use craft foam but you can use cardboard and crayons to make the body, cut out circles if you don't have the ab

New Kids On The Block

What the hey! Time for a musical day! New Kids is one of my daughters favourite bands so this day is dedicated to her. Today we celebrate the boy band New Kids on the Block, one of the most successful groups of the late 1980s. They set the template for future boy bands, such as the Backstreet Boys,  NSYNC , and One Direction. The day was declared by Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis on  April 24, 1989 . Maurice Starr, who had previously helped the R&B group New Edition achieve success, started a talent search in Boston with hopes of forming another group. He brought together Donnie Wahlberg, brothers Jordan and Jon Knight, Danny Wood, and Joey McIntyre. After originally being called Nynuk, they became New Kids on the Block. Starr held many roles with the group, being their manager and producer, as well as choreographer and chief songwriter. In 1986, New Kids on the Block's self-titled debut album was released on Columbia Records. It didn't achieve much notice, but its

World Book Day - literacy for all

From the U.N:   Books: A Window into the World During COVID-19 Now more than ever, at a time when globally  most schools are closed  and people are having to limit time spent out of their homes, the power of books can be leveraged to combat isolation, to reinforce ties between people, and to expand our horizons, while stimulating our minds and creativity.    During the month of April and all year round, it is critical to take the time to read on your own or with your children. It is a time to celebrate the importance of reading, foster children's growth as readers, and promote a lifelong love of literature and integration into the world of work.  I know, I know you do not read, you probably haven't read a book since you left school. I do not understand that my whole world has been books since I discovered what they are but to each their own. However, being stuck indoors can be pretty boring and that is where we are right now, rediscovering reading is so simple and easy and h

Intnl Earth Day

The first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970. Prior to this, there was virtually no environmental movement. Factories pumped toxins into the air, recycling was almost non-existent, and gas guzzling vehicles were the norm. The seeds of the modern movement had been planted, however, with the publishing of Rachel Carson's  Silent Spring  in 1962. This book raised the public's awareness of pollution and its effect on health. In 1969, water pollution and chemical waste disposal came to the attention of the public, after the  Cuyahoga River in Cleveland caught fire . Democratic Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin was deeply concerned about environmental issues. After witnessing the  Santa Barbara oil spill  in 1969, he began planning for the first Earth Day. This was during the time of Vietnam War protests and teach-ins, and Nelson thought he could bring the problems of pollution into the public consciousness by organizing similar types of teach-ins. He hoped that by shining a spot

Virtual Tea Party

Find out more at the Facebook Meeting place

Suicide is a choice!

I woke up this morning with an incident with one of my younger nephews when he was about 13. I was very angry with him for some reason probably because he had said the "s" word in front of me as an answer to his angst. There are very few words that can set me off but that is one of them. I have tried to take my own life a couple of times once I even tried to take my son with me but always in the back of my mind I knew I wasn't really ready to die, I just wanted people to see me. To know and acknowledge to me that I existed and I mattered to someone. Someone who attempts suicide is a coward and here is why! 1) Every suicide attempt is a cry for help from someone who will not ask for it. Pride prevents them from going to someone and saying I'm feeling like I don't matter. 2) Every suicide is hoping for rescue. Someone who cares enough about them to check on them before their life is gone or to jump in and save them. Some of them knowingly put distance between themse

Look Alikes

Oh Boy! It's Look Alike Day. Time to look like somebody else.....copycat. Its a dress-up day and maybe that is just what we need. I don't know about you but I am experiencing a bit of the blues at the moment and I really need something to cheer me up. Today's a day to find someone you really look up to, and try to look like them. Start with the hair. Cut and style your hair, as needed,  to look like the person you've selected to look like. Then, select items from your wardrobe (or buy some new clothes!) that your lookalike wears. Along the way, make sure to practice and copy their walk, their talk, and their facial expressions. In other words. try to be as identical to that person as possible. Who should you look like? Anyone you want. It is as simple as that. Pick an actor or actress, a singer, a politician, family member or friend. Look alike contests and parties are a great idea for today. Since we can't meet up for a party dress-up as someone, take a photo and p

Fancy Kites


World Heritage

International Day for Monuments and Sites, often known as World Heritage Day, is a "day to celebrate and promote  cultural heritage , and an opportunity to raise awareness about its diversity, its relevance, how vulnerable it can be and what the needs and benefits of its conservation are." On April 18, 1982, at a symposium in Tunisia that was organized by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), a suggestion was proposed by ICOMOS that a global "International Day for Monuments and Sites" should be held to celebrate the diversity of heritage around the world. The ICOMOS Executive Committee approved the day, and they gave suggestions to the  National Committees  on how to organize it. Following this, the UNESCO General Conference passed a resolution in November 1983 at its 22nd session, which recommended that Member States look into the possibility of declaring an "International Monuments and Sites Day" on April 18 each year. Each year, ICO

Nothing Like a Dame

Nothing is likely to inject a little sunshine and gaudiness into someone’s day more effectively than  Nothing Like a Dame Day . This celebration of big, brash, smiling-through-the-pain ladies of the theatre, gives even those of a straight-laced nature the opportunity to grab a boa, glue on some spidery lashes, and sashay like Carol Channing, Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand, or Ethel Merman. Those people who aren’t the dressing up type might mark Nothing Like a Dame Day in a more private way, by digging out Rogers and Hammerstein’s brashest work and having a singalong to those big numbers from South Pacific, which gave us the unsubtle joys of There Is Nothing a Dame. In Great Britain, where there is less of a theatre tradition of brassy, ballsy dames, Nothing Like Dame Day is more likely to celebrate their pantomime dame. These men, dressed very unconvincingly as women, are a comical staple of their family shows at Christmas time. Link to video on TVO: Nothing Like A Dame Nothin' lik

Dealing with Anxiety

Anxiety is real and in these times I'm thinking it is on the rise. Both my daughter, GS#2 & GD#3 suffer from a form of it. That is the real issue with anxiety it has so many ways it manifests. My daughter is what they call a "helicopter mom", GS#2 is very sensitive and given to easy tears & whining, GD#3 is afraid all the time & worries about doing something wrong constantly. And that is only the three I know. It is stressful on the person who is afflicted and stressful on their families, not a good recipe when everyone is in each others' pockets as we are now. Thankfully Help Guide has posted an article that will help with the COVID-19 anxiety  for those in need of help with it. Medical News Today has 10 natural ways to help with anxiety . There are the usual things like exercise and meditation but they also suggest aromatherapy & herbal teas just to name a few ideas. Hey, the family that meditates together are better able to deal with everything ca


But what is anime? According to  Encyclopedia Britannica , anime is a style of animation popular in Japanese films and intended primarily for the Japanese market. It employs many cultural references unique to Japan, such as the large eyes of anime characters which are commonly perceived in as multifaceted "windows to the soul." Source Why am I talking about Anime today aside from it being a Checkiday special day? Well as it happens The Professor and GD#1 are big fans of them and while I know what they are mainly I'm "meh" about them. A little while ago while the Professor was visiting he & GD#1 got into this big discussion about which anime's they liked and why. I was lost after the first sentence or two and I don't like that feeling. When I saw this on the calendar I thought this is my chance so today I'm going to look into some anime. I am pretty sure the Professor has all the ones Newsweek suggests on his Emby, (its a shared cloud library), s

LOOK up at the Sky

Look Up at the Sky Day is a fun day to check out what's up there.  'Ya never know what might be going on up there.  An asteroid or meteor may be on it's way.  A solar eclipse could be on display.  A flock of geese or birds may be over head (you may need to duck for cover).  Or, the clouds may be forming into interesting characters and patterns. Take a few minutes out from your busy day to look up at the sky today.  If nothing else, the break from the routine will be relaxing. Important Note:  If you look up at the sky too long, people are going to think you have nothing better to do. And, maybe you don't! Deep Thought for Today:   Why does someone believe you when you say  there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet? Okay so getting outside to look at the sky might be a little difficult right now Though as long as you maintain distance and wear gloves you can. The sky at this time of year is just beginning to lean towards that pretty blu


I can't seem to get out of my head for some reason. It began around March 23, since the 25th is/was my mother's birthday I was halfway expecting it but being aware does not mean I can control it. Mostly it saps my energy and pulls me into a grey space much like today. That is the other side of it you see, lack of sun also saps my energy so the ain't days, compound the problem, Given that the 23rd was the day I accepted my families assistance that I go into self-quarantine. I am vulnerable to this virus which just added another layer to my spirit and pulled me deeper into that grey space. Yes, I am aware that I am not the only one suffering this way but that doesn't mean I have to stay silent about the pain. Oh yeah, surprise, surprise around the first of the month my fibro decided it was due for a flare-up. I am very good at hiding my mental & physical state from those around me but sometimes it just doesn't matter, I can't/refuse to respond to life. Does th

Make Lunch Count

Most of us skip breakfast thus putting a small fast into each day but when it comes to lunchtime we are so hungry we eat all the wrong stuff. Lunch does not need to be complicated. Mine usually consists of a premixed salad, yoghurt and an orange. If I am still hungry I'll eat some baby carrots with ranch dressing. Notice none of these need to be cooked and I have all the food groups covered except perhaps for the grains. To get that around two I'll make myself a bowl of quaker oats, still no cooking just hot water. You will also notice that none of those things are really expensive. That's important when you are on a fixed income. Here are some other ideas for quick, healthy lunches: 1) Greatist has a list of  Healthy Meals in 12 minutes or less . It's all three meals but no one says you can't have Breakfast for Lunch. My favourite are the lettuce wraps, you can put anything on them and they are glutin free. 2) Cooking Light has a slideshow for 51 Healthy Lunch Reci

Wear a Star

Created by The [R] Project, a Christian non-profit group that helps give hope to parents and families that have experienced the loss of a child, "Wear a Star" Day memorializes the "'little stars' in heaven." These "little stars" are children who died at a young age, as well as stillborn children and children of miscarriages. Stars are worn today in order to spread hope. It doesn't matter whether people wear them on shirts, necklaces, stickers, or buttons, or in some other way, as long as they are wearing them so that people will notice them and ask why they are being worn. When people ask what the star means, wearers are to answer that "it's in honor of a 'little star.'" Why did I choose this topic today? I mean it's Easter Sunday shouldn't we be celebrating instead. Perhaps but today I needed to talk about Matthew a grandson I only saw once. He would have been the oldest of my grandchildren at 24. But his life was

Barbershop Quartets

Salvation Army

The Salvation Army is a Protestant Christian church and an international charitable organisation. The organisation reports a worldwide membership of over 1.7 million, consisting of soldiers, officers and adherents collectively known as Salvationists.   Wikipedia My mind remembers many times that The Salvation Army has helped me out. The reason I am thinking about them today is simple, today is the Salvation Army Founders Day. Because I read about that at Checkiday I decided to go check them out to see what they are doing during this pandemic. Turns out they have members on the front lines as usual. Starting with the main reason I appreciate them. They are and always have been my first choice when I needed to feed myself and my kids and didn't have any money to buy groceries. Their food banks are still helping people out. In some places they are actually bringing the food to the people who need it using food trucks as a delivery system. They provide shelters for the homeless w

The Tale Of Chicken Little

As with most fables there is a moral here. With what is going on I thought it might be a good thing to remember that fear is OK but fear-mongering is not. Step back and really look at the messages we are receiving and check the statistics for yourself . To date far more people have recovered than have died and if we continue to take precautions we will be able to get back outside soon.  Chicken Little is a folk tale about a chick who thinks the world is coming to an end because something, usually a nut such as an acorn, fell on its head. Throughout the story it exclaims, "The sky is falling!" and mistakenly thinks disaster is imminent. Chicken Little decides to tell the king that the sky is falling, and tells other animals of the falling sky too, who join the chick along its quest. In most versions of the story, the animals have rhyming names such as Goosey Loosey, Ducky Lucky, and Cocky Locky. There are multiple versions of the ending of the story: The main one says that a

Draw A Bird

What is Draw A Bird Day? In 1943, Dorie Cooper was a 7 year old living in England. Her mother took her to a hospital in to visit her uncle who was wounded in the war. While they were there, Dorie's uncle was very distraught, having lost his right leg to a land mine. In an attempt to cheer him up, she asked him "Draw a bird for me, please" Even though he was unwell, he decided to do as Dorie asked. He looked out his window and drew a picture of a robin. After seeing her uncle's bird picture, Dorie laughed out loud and proclaimed that he was not a very good artist, but that she would hang the picture in her room nonetheless. Her uncle's spirits were lifted by his niece's complete honesty and acceptance. Several other wounded soldiers also had their day brightened by the event and every time Dorie came to visit thereafter, they held drawing contests to see who could produce the best bird pictures. Within several months, the entire ward's walls were decorated

Sexual Assault Awareness Day of Action

SAAM Day of Action, or Sexual Assault Awareness Month Day of Action, is part of  Sexual Assault Awareness Month , a month that raises awareness about sexual assault and educates communities and individuals on the prevention of sexual violence. On SAAM Day of Action, everyone can take action to prevent sexual violence. Wearing teal, the color of sexual assault and prevention is done on the day. Besides teal clothing, accessories can be worn. Ribbons, ties, makeup, jewelry, and nails are often turned teal for the day. The goal is that the color will be a conversation starter for issues like consent, respect, and the support of survivors. The most common way the day is marked is by wearing teal. You could wear clothing or other accessories that are teal. It's best to wear as much of the color as possible, so that people will stop you and ask you why you are wearing it, and that conversations about consent, respect, and the support of survivors are started. Taking a selfie while wearin