"What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us." – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Showing posts with label mental health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mental health. Show all posts

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Family Origins

In the past I would never have thought that I would ever be a person that would be as transparent on my blog as I feel I am about to embark upon. I realize there are many bloggers who "put it all out there" and that has never been a problem to me. In fact, on occasion I have felt that I have gained some insight into a particular situation that may be applicable to my own life. However, if this candidness is a problem for you please just return on another day.


Growing up in the 1950's it was not uncommon to see magazine covers depicting life as interpreted by the famous artist, Norman Rockwell.


No matter your age, most everyone is familiar with this popular family Thanksgiving dinner interpretation. Unfortunately, as a people we are getting close to not recognizing this picture to be anything other than "just another picture".

The following images by Norman Rockwell have significance for me as I reflect on my early life.






But first, I think it will be helpful to briefly discuss a little about who was my family.

Father - French decent - born into a Catholic home in Minnesota on a farm in 1902. Left home and school at age 14. I do not know how many siblings but at least eight and two died at birth. On a brief occasion I met 1 Sister (that would be my Aunt) and on several brief occasions I met 1 Brother (that would be my Uncle). That's about it for my experience with my father's family.

Mother - German decent - born into a Lutheran home in Minnesota on a farm in 1902. She was one of 13 children (6 boys and 7 girls) in what was portrayed as a close supportive family. Her birth order was 11 of the 13. And, the 12th child died at birth. I think I met all of my Aunts and Uncles during a brief visit to Minnesota when I was 10 years of age.


My parents married in Minnesota in the year 1928.  Father age 26. Mother age 26. She had earned her teaching credential and had been teaching in a One Room School House with a wood burning stove. I do not know any information about my father during his young adulthood.

One very significant fact that has vastly effected my life is that following my parents marriage they left Minnesota for a six week journey in a Model T Ford to make their home in Los Angeles, California.

Do you see the picture that is developing?         NEVER did I meet any grandparents nor did I have any relationships with Aunts, Uncles and Cousins.

That's it for today. There will be more coming in the future.

Please have the Best Weekend possible and - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Mary

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

I Have Lost My Joy

And, I must do something to change this. I have been terribly sad for many weeks - months! This past year has been another very difficult year for me, mostly in regards to my relationship with (or lack of) with my son and daughter who were born in the early 1960's. The majority of my life has been a life of striving to be the best I can be with what I know and what I can learn. And, that has included many years of professional therapy and self help activities. The word FAMILY has never been a word that brought thoughts of warmth, love and good for me other than about eight years during marriage when my children were born. I can't remember very much time during my life that I have NOT felt VERY ALONE, especially during childhood - even though I am a twin !

I am just now starting to formulate some plans to change my state of mind and to develop some sort of support system that is consistent with availability of help from others. It has always been difficult for me to ask for help because as a child and thereafter I experienced endless rejection and criticism. So many (all) of my "circle of friends" have left this earth and I miss them terribly. And, the loss of my precious Lily (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel) continues to be very heartbreaking.

If there is a way for me to find my JOY again - - - I WILL .


This is not the first time that I have been challenged by the facts of life. And, I know there are many ways to turn this around. But, it sure takes a lot of work and motivation!


Putting "pencil to paper" is the first step for me in finding the resources needed for me to FIND JOY. 

I wish you all a VERY HAPPY START TO A GREAT NEW YEAR.

My blogging will be most likely, very sporadic.

Mary

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Thunderstorms, Weeds And Monarch Butterflies

It seems that every few days we have heavy rains, lightning and thunderstorms. Sometimes it is just for a few hours and then sometimes it is longer.
Last Friday the rain came down so hard it was like sheets of water coming off the roof. And, then there was so much hail that it almost looked like snow because the ground was so white. That storm was just before my tall white iris were just beginning to open. The elements were so heavy that the spires of white flowers were leaning over. Thankfully, they were not broken and I was able to tie them back up.

Even though the many fresh blooming flowers take a bit of a beating with the rains it is so wonderful to have the water. And, the garden is flourishing and quite lovely like I have not seen in years.






Lady Bank's Climbing Rose

And then, even without the rain my garden has more weeds than anytime in the past. I only have "so much energy and ability" to do what I do. It's been a very long time since I have used a Weed Trimmer. But, that is what is going to happen soon. I found that I still have a trimmer in my garden shed and it works but needed new replacement plastic cord. I ordered new cord and as soon as I can, I will be trimming.
I can hardly believe how tall the weeds have grown!
My ever faithful blooming Perennial Wallflower Erysimum 'Bowles' Mauve always shows up for the party regardless of who is in attendance! Remember, A weed is in fact merely a plant growing where we do not want it. ~ E.J. Salisbury, The Living Garden, 1935.


On Saturday I went "Out and About" to the Calaveras Master Gardeners' Open Garden Day to hear a presentation on "Saving The Monarchs".
Not long after I moved to the country I took the course in 1995 to become a Master Gardener. I think it is an excellent Program and it taught me so much to help me in my love of gardening.
The program on Saturday was very informative. The Master Gardeners have a very large and beautiful Demonstration Garden that the volunteers have developed in the last few years. In addition, they sell plants once a month and the highest priced plant is $3.50 ~ starting at 50 cents each.
The Monarch Butterflies have declined 90 percent in the last 20 years and it is very important to rebuild their population. Some of the reasons for the decline may be loss of milkweed plant which is needed for the monarch caterpillars to grow,  drought conditions, insecticide and herbicide use, adverse land management and illegal logging. Dragonflies, native bees, and many other beneficial insects are also facing serious challenges. Plant pollination and pest control provided by butterflies is a very important aspect of our Ecosystem.



The garden has a lovely wrought iron entrance but I did not get a photo. When I arrived there were some people that I knew from years ago and I got side-tracked.
 The two black spots on each side of the body are identifying marks of the Monarch Butterfly.
After the program I found a little restaurant called Country Bagel where I had lunch in a very nice setting. I did not take my camera in and I wish I had so I could show you what a cute place it was.

I am so happy to say that I have been feeling better than I have for a long time even with all the pain issues. So much of pain management is in the head. And, the sun has been shinning most days which sure helps me.

Wishing you Beautiful Spring Days.

Mary

Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Sky Is Falling

WELL, Not quite - but that may be next. For the last few weeks, no make that months, numerous things around my house have decided that they have fulfilled their duties and have simply refused to work any longer. (I would like to try that - Yes, I'll have some lemonade, please!) Anyway, this phenomenon started rather slowly but with rather large expensive characters.  I tried to explain that my budget has strict perimeters and everyone must behave. But, that was to no avail!

It must be over six months ago - yes, that long ago, that the over-the-stove microwave started talking back at me. Well, that was short lived and it simply quit. Gee, thanks! Shortly thereafter the garbage disposal presented me with lots of water running on my shoes at the front of the sink. Oh, that's just great. Well, really, it had served me well and the bottom was totally rusted out. OK, these are two pretty big items to hassle with. But, in my typical fashion I proceeded to start researching models and price in preparation to purchase. The items arrived quickly but installation is almost a bigger problem for me than finding a way to purchase.  I had a handyman's name but by the time I got in the mode to call him, he had moved.


My life has changed so drastically in the recent past that I feel like I am living my life with Training Wheels. So many people that I knew are no longer around and I have not attended church in a very long time.  In my opinion the church experience has changed dramatically in all respects and no longer brings me the comfort of the past. Lovingly, the pastor is always available for me. Tears are my constant companion always perched so close to rolling downward. And, I terribly miss My Special Man and especially my Precious Lily and also some very close Gal Friends. And, the topic of family MAY be a post some day soon. It "ain't pretty".  

Alright now, I have learned to be a champion of my own little abode fixing things as the need arises by reading, asking questions and using Google. However, as my physical health (oh, probably, mental too) has deteriorated I really, really, really really, really want to have the luxury of calling a professional. I would sure like to try a life where all I would have to do is delegate! 


About six weeks ago, the dishwasher that has never given me a second of trouble started to leave the dishes unclean and I started to think, oh NOT that too. After some research I learned that the garbage disposal may be the issue associated with the plumbing network under the sink and interfering with the performance of the dishwasher.  Soooooo, after some more research I decided that I would (Yes, ME) install the garbage disposal myself! The new one is the same brand and model, so I thought that should make the job a little easier. Well, I am proud to say that I now have a nice functioning garbage disposal - and - dishwasher. Boy oh boy, I must be more tenacious than I realized. That was one of the hardest (they are heavy) and complicated (under the sink) repairs/installations that I have ever done. I will spare you the details.

That was just the beginning! Let me make a little list for you of the "annoyances" I have to address.
  • The oven is not working (as I have posted previously) but I have removed the temperature sensor and have a new one on order. Yes, I have learned how to use my multimeter!!!!
  • The battery died in the smoke alarm.
  • My sonicare toothbrush died. $$$
  • My car is sitting in the driveway with a dead battery. After 3 visits from AAA I have an appointment Monday for new battery installation. $$$
  • Last (I hope) but not least, The pilot light on the propane stove/heater in the living room went out suddenly and will need professional maintenance. $$$ I know when it is time to call in the "big guns".
I really MUST find a helper. The roof is full of leaves and pine needles and I "no longer belong on the roof"! Do I? After all, I am closer to 80 than 70 these days. How did that happen?

That's a whole lot of stuff and money, don't you think? One very good thing is that I have been enjoying my garden that is bringing forth lush new green growth along with a fig tree that is already loaded with small figs and lots of color bursting out everywhere. Oh, and along with lots of weeds. However, I am not letting them get me down and I continue to enjoy the garden areas that I have been able to work on. I will leave you with a little mosaic photo of a little of the garden that I took about ten days ago. As you can imagine, it changes vastly every single day! Enjoy!
Wishing you a joyous weekend. I will blog when I can but it probably will be closer to weekly, so my energy and time can be outside in the sunshine and garden!

Mary

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Spring Is Popping

It is not a walk in the park, but close. Sunday afternoon I walked outside to feel the warm sunshine on my back and was so happy to see my garden waking up some more. What a joy it was. So, I went back into the house to get my camera to do a little and quick "point and shoot". No staging for photos, just walking along and oohing and awing! 
The white flowers at the top are what I am finding out to be quite remarkable. They are called 'Narcissus Thalia' and it is a pure white daffodil with two or three heads, each with slightly re-curved outer petals. The impressive aspect of these flowers is that they really last a long time. The blooms may look fragile but they can withstand a lot of wind as well as rain.
Aren't they magnificent? These have been rained on two or three times and still looking great. I think I picked them up at Walmart last November and did not get them planted for a week or more. And, look at them now. Can you hear my excitement?
The chives are bursting like I have not seen for a long time. It is hard to believe that my garden has done much of anything the last few years with the horrible drought. But, this year, my oh my, It is fabulous what I am starting to see. Behind the chives is a small White Hydrangea that I planted at the end of season last year. And, toward the right is a new little English Thyme herb that I just planted.
And, what a delight when I walked to the other side of the house. The sun was shining so lovely and you probably know how much I love the sun! The Purple Phlox is really bursting with color.
The seasonal creek runs along the right side, kind of parallel with the little pathway that you can see. On both sides of the path I see Daylilies starting to grow. And, on the far left side I can see some Alstroemeria which is really spreading nicely. I think I remember the color to be a shaded pink. Alstroemeria is the flower that you frequently see in the super market during spring and summer.
And, this year my Purple Gazing Ball is really "showing off" with all the Purple Phlox blooming nearby. The ball has been there since I received it as a gift shortly after I moved here over twenty years ago. I am so grateful that it hasn't been broken by the many tree branches and limbs that have fallen through the years. Oh, by the way, I "planted" it on top of a tomato cage!

I hope you enjoyed your little walk with me.

As you may know, March has been an extremely difficult and challenging month for me, more so than any. I am looking forward to renewed life just as my garden.

Happy Days to You.

Mary

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Small Break

Just for a little time. Life is really difficult for me at this time. I'll be back.

Mary

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Fresh Start

It is such a good feeling! So many have commented on their blogs that they are so happy to close the book of 2015. I think this past year was filled with more trauma in a multitude of areas of our lives than any year I can remember. A lot of the upheaval has been outside of our immediate families. Our society has been changing rapidly into a culture that feels so unfamiliar. And, there has been a huge feeling of helplessness. The uncertainties have stressed the family unit in new and unknown ways.

Personally, my year was filled with a wide spectrum of emotions ranging from distress to "pure and simple" happiness. Learning (really learning) that happiness is a choice takes a lot of work. And, I am so thankful that I have been given the necessary strength and wisdom.
I am in total favor of turning to a fresh page. How about January? That sounds good to me. And, this photo comes from one of my favorite books. Actually, there are three that I think of as similar in their presentation. I have had them for many years. This particular book has lovely poems, many for each month of the year. The gentleness of the artists rendition of the subjects is pleasing to my eye.
At the present, we are experiencing ElNino with a heavy rain storm and not far "up the hill" it is snowing. With the wet and cold (for California) weather I tend to stay in and not attend to the necessary (like groceries) errands - not good, Mary! If I don't get my act together I may have to look for the squirrels winter stash.

There isn't a day that goes by that I don't feel compassion for the many people, especially those of the Butte forest fire that have been left homeless. Reading in the newspaper about the conditions by which they are living on their land without sanitation as well as many other necessities is appalling and heart breaking. It is so close to me and just isn't right. Many local people are able to help out but the magnitude of those in need is astounding. And, when you consider that many of the people are senior citizens it feels even worse. Pray for help.

I have been watching my amaryllis bulb daily checking for the crimson red color to start peaking out of the bud. The stems (two) are very tall. With the darkness of the outdoor weather it is difficult to provide enough daylight but something is starting to happen. Indoor photography is challenging but I gave it my best try.
It  looks like there is going to be a lot of flowering goin' on in the near future. I really look forward to my amaryllis each and every year and mine always seem to open after Christmas. Maybe I should buy them earlier in the season. However, it is great to have the lovely colors of amaryllis to enjoy at this time of the year.

Lily Update - She is "holding her own" which has thrilled me and at the same time she has surprised me. I really did not think she was going to make it through 2015. We have become more connected emotionally than any other pet I have had. Crazy - but I think she knows what I am thinking - and - I know FOR SURE what she is thinking! She can still be tenacious when she thinks it is necessary but for the most part she is really easy to tend to. She always wants to please me. It is such a lovely feeling.

At church on Sunday, I said to a close friend that I think Lily may outlive me. And, he said GOOD. When he realized what he said we had a great laugh. It is important to laugh, right?
Wishing you a Warm and Cozy Day.

Mary

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Self Explanatory

Will my home and garden ever be organized again? I need some of that energy that I had when I was Young At Fifty when I could go from early morning to late night most of the time! I had no idea that "things" would be this difficult at this stage of life and it will only get worse.

OK now, let's all think happy thoughts about all of our blessings. You know the complaint list could go on forever if we don't "nip it in the bud".

Have a Fabulous Day. We had a nice gentle rainfall last night. We are so Blessed.

Mary

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Near Perfection

The roses in my little garden continue to bloom much to my surprise. It is wonderful!
 I imagine the additional care I have been giving them is making a difference. Also, the warm weather may be contributing to the longevity of this year's blooming season.

This is a hybrid tea rose called Signature that I ordered from Jackson & Perkins several years ago. At the beginning of this blooming season I was concerned about the health of my roses. A little TLC goes a long way!

The coloring of this rose is absolutely gorgeous. As the blossom matures the color changes to beautiful cream center with florescent pink tinged pointed petals.

Oh, how I enjoy my flowers! If I did not have them, I sure would miss them!

My state of mind as of late has been all over the place. It is like a roller coaster. It seems like I have lost my "mojo", not just a little but maybe all of it. Yes, I acknowledge that it has been a rough year for me as well as a lot of people.

Someone commented that they felt "lopsided" since the disastrous wildfires. There is such a feeling of unsettledness that permeates our well being. It seems as though the only place I feel happy is when I am outside in the sunshine - and puttering in the garden. I can not even imagine what it is like to only have a pile of ashes and no home to go to. Five hundred homes decimated to ashes! My heart aches for so very many people. It will take years to recover if there is such a thing.


I feel somewhat guilty for not feeling happier in my current life but it is what it is and I am trying my very best.

There is so much to be grateful for!

Mary

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Girl That Said "With This Much Shit There Must Be A Pony Here Somewhere"


And, that girl was me! Sweet little Mary said those words while in a hospital sitting in a Psychiatrist office many years ago. A time when no unsavory words would ever pass through my lips! I perfected that word and added a few more! Every morning when the Psychiatrist visited me in my room the only words that promptly came out of my mouth were "Shit, I want to die". I was not in a very good space those days. I had experienced three very traumatic events very close together that pushed me over the hill. One of them being a divorce. Even though I had living relatives at that time I did not receive any help. Two brothers came one evening after I was home with their wives and went to dinner without even suggesting that they could bring some food back for us. I was too fragile and weak to go out. I weighed less than 100 pounds. Painful days! I was basically ignored by my mother. Her theory was founded on her spiritual belief that if I lived my life differently I would not have my serious troubles. I thought I was living a pretty honorable life raising two children and working night shift as a registered nurse! It was my employer and co-workers that stepped right up and helped me with meals on a regular basis and lots of loving encouragement.

My medical care, one month inpatient and after care was outstanding. They saved my life! Of course it was very hard work on my part. It took me about five years to feel like I had returned to what I thought was normal for me. I returned to work part time after six months and continued my recovery for many long years. It was a serious mental crash! And, I continually approach life with a new set of tools and knowledge on how to take care of myself when life sends me another thunderstorm!

The road to HERE has not been an easy one. There have been many difficult challenges. But, I continue to forge on and when I fall I try to quickly dust myself off and - "giddy up".

Shit, I feel good. And, it is Sunday.       HA HA. Did I really say that WORD?

Mary

I Think I Got Bumped To The Bottom

I Think I Got Bumped To The Bottom
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While You Weren't Looking
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