Thursday, 1 November 2018

Things Do Happen In Threes

The past few months my mind has been twirling about what I wanted to blog about, however of course as the time passed those thoughts have been long gone from my mind.  However should they resurface I will be putting them in writing when they do (or should I say printing maybe).

There were once three little pigs that went wee wee wee all the way home …. well let me tell you Tuesday I was wee wee weeing all the way home.  I had been shopping at a couple of stores in Owen Sound.  After leaving the last store I got in my car, shrugged off my coat (as when you are a woman who is menopausal you learn to layer clothing quite well), and noticed I had LOST MY ENGAGEMENT RING !!!  I called Rob, and yes I had begun to cry.  Yes I have called both stores giving them the information and my phone number, just in case it is found.  I am still feeling ill about it, however after losing the weight I have I should have gotten my rings resized, so what does one do? nothing but learn by the experience.  As the old saying goes, "don't cry over spilt milk" even though I had spilled a few tears.

This same day began with waking up to Bentley's crate full of poop …. our boy had gotten what Mazda & Buddy had earlier in the month for 24 hours, the runs & throwing up.  Not only did that have to be cleaned up (darn it all it was 6 am so I had myself a coffee before I tackled the dirty chore ahead of me).  I also had to give our poor boy a bath.  I gave Bentley 3 tblsp. of pumpkin which takes care of the diarrhea quite nicely making me one happy girl.

One thing I learned after bathing Bentley is the Burt's Bees Puppy Shampoo is awesome.... so awesome it is when I had my shower afterwards I, not realizing until I had done it, I had used the same shampoo to wash my own hair with.  Moral of this story?  Burt's Bee Puppy shampoo makes your hair smooth, soft, & even silky.  I would highly recommend it *smile*.

Now that was two things wasn't it, and we all know things do happen in three's.  I will keep everyone updated when number three comes along, and hopefully it is not one that will make me "wee wee wee all the way home" once again.  After I get that over with I will begin looking forward to three good things to happen !

November 1st has rolled around today, along with the Time of Use Hydro rates changing to their Winter Rate Schedule.  I am very mindful of keeping our Hydro costs down the best I can be.  For those who need to refresh their knowledge of the Winter rates here is the schedule:


This afternoon I am off to a Healthy Weight presentation downtown at the Green House.  The Green House is a local drop-in for persons with a Mental Illness(es).  Last week I went to a Creative Writing event which I really enjoyed.  These are the first two I have attended, and I will be checking their monthly calendar for any future events I might enjoy.  Something relaxing and not too demanding is what I experienced attending the Creative Writing.  Interested in learning more about the Green House, just *click* on their highlighted name here GREEN HOUSE.

I am certain I could go on and on, however I don't want to make myself feel pressured to spend too much time on blogging just yet.  Now I have restarted I am thinking it won't be too long before I will be back at it as I had been before Mental Illness had the most control over my life then I did at the time.

For today? this is all she wrote, Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard.

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Twenty-Two Months Later

Yes it has been 22 months since I did my last blog post, after 5 Years of daily blogging.

I have been missing my time blogging, with it on my mind for some time now.  What happened to me? my Mental Illness got the best of me leaving daily coping seemingly impossible for me... no let me rephrase that, daily coping was impossible for me all this time.

I am hoping I can get back on this blogging post, as the old cliché goes, just like getting back in the "saddle" (I hope I have that right as my brain is a bit on the fuzzy side today).

I have had so much on my mind lately, so much I have wanted to say for so long, I am struggling to where I should begin?

Should I go on about my struggle with my Mental Illnesses ? should I go on about how busy my Life has been since last Spring? should I go on about how I have been feeling about Life in general the past to years ?  So it goes I will just begin with today, and if the Spirit moves me I will go back to where I have been in future posts.

Today I am exhausted with no sleep last evening, nor the evening before.  The first evening was up with our new Aussie boy, Bentley, who we got last November, as we had to put down our beloved Bandit a Year ago this past Thanksgiving.  The past 2 weeks Mazda (another new addition which you will be sure to hear about in future posts) had a bout of illness with the runs & throwing up.  It lasted 24 hours (thank goodness).  The following week it was Buddy (everyone who has followed me should know who our Buddy is) who had the very same "bug", again for 24 hours.  The night before we were awoke with poor Bentley with the runs at midnight …. needless to say it was a very long night and day ahead.  This morning the throwing up began with him, hopefully the 24 hours will be the end of it for him as well.  Regardless of no disturbance from the Aussies, or anything else, my insomnia hit me, denying me of Mr. Sandman.

This morning I left the house at 6:45, not returning home until 12 noon.  Is my brain in low gear, you darn tooting it is.  This afternoon I am going to try and rest, as today I have decided it is the day I am going to begin walking again.  I have made plans with a friend to begin at 6 pm this evening, so yes a rest is imperative to not only my Mental Health, but my body as well.

Did you know yesterday was National Cat Day?  I didn't either until a friend had posted it on her Facebook page along with a very amusing photo of her kitty.  Of course that was that, I also had to share our two kitty furbabies ….

Our sweet Calico girl, Paisley, along with our newly acquired rescue, Davidson, (who we rescued last November 2017).  Davidson is an Alpha Cat, believe it or not even over the Aussies.  Lots of amusement goes on with this two, more so with Davidson as Paisley became more subdued with his arrival on the scene.

Oh man I am finding myself quite rusty at this blogging gig again, certain it is going to take me awhile to get myself back in that "saddle".

Tomorrow is one of my most favourite times of the Year, as you well know Bess, as do most of my family members.

I do not want to overdue myself with my first, in a very long time, post, so I think I will call this a wrap.  In the meantime should you want to know a bit about where my "head" has been for a very long time in a Guest Post I had done a Year ago for my Girlfriend, Lynn's Blog, check out her Blog as well by *clicking* on her blog name as it is delightful with so much goodness you will see when you go there, Turnips2Tangerines, excuse the spelling/grammar errors as yes there are a couple)

To go there you may *click* on the following link:

That is all she wrote, "Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard"

Post Script:  I can not express enough & thank the people in my Life who supported me through my darkest moments, and still do today, with my daily struggle & learning to live with Mental Illness.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

What I Wish Family & Friends Knew About Bi-Polar

I subscribe to an online BP (Bi-Polar) Magazine.  For those who are also interested in this Magazine may find it by *clicking* HERE to subscribe to it, or just check it out.

I receive their newsletters via my email.  On particular article which was really "on spot" with me was the following:

What I Wish Family & Friends Knew About Bipolar

Unless you have walked a mile in my shoes, there’s no way you will ever be able to understand what it’s like to have bipolar.

By Jess Melancholia

I don’t know a single person with bipolar disorder who doesn’t have that one friend or family member who just doesn’t get it. They either have no idea about mental illnesses in general or believe they are something you can “fix.”
For me, it’s more than frustrating; it’s downright cruel. You would think your family and friends would be there to support you. Unfortunately, you get the usual confusion and apathy. Or you get the anger.
Here are three basic premises that I wish they knew:

You can’t understand my bipolar and you never will.

I’m sorry this sounds harsh, but it’s 100 percent true. Unless you have walked a mile in my shoes, there is no way you will ever be able to understand. My depressions are so dark and morbid that they drain me of all my energy. The thought of taking a shower or even just getting out of bed is overwhelming. Depending on how low I get, I honestly contemplate suicide because I can’t bear to go on like this. My manias are so wild and unpredictable that irritability and insomnia cause major health issues. Sure, it’s nice to have more energy—but not when I can’t control my actions. Overspending and grandiosity can get me into major trouble in my financial and social life.
Bipolar depression and mania are far more extreme levels of emotions than you have ever experienced or can even conceive of. Trust me when I say you don’t—you can’t—understand. So don’t even try. Just be there.

When I’m manic or depressed, that’s not the real me.

Everything is amplified when I’m in the middle of an episode, so it’s much easier for me to say or do things that I wouldn’t if I were well. This doesn’t by any means excuse anything—bipolar is an explanation but not an excuse. A lot of outside stimuli are attacking my senses, and it’s hard for me to hold back the things I feel compelled to say and do. The fact is, my bipolar affects my ability to react “normally” to the world around me.
The last thing I need is anger and criticism while I’m trying to deal with my symptoms the best way I know how. My personal catchphrase is, “Don’t be ashamed of your actions; learn from them and grow.”

Your coping skills won’t “fix” me.

While there are plenty of good tips out there for living a well-balanced life, like doing yoga or eating healthy, they do very little if anything to help when you are deep in the throes of depression or mania. Logic and reason go out the window. I fully believe in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) as useful tools to help manage bipolar disorder, but these will not cure it. They just won’t. So for someone to tell you that you just need to do this one thing (practice the Tree pose, boost your omega-3s) and you won’t be depressed or manic anymore is absurd and irresponsible. It perpetuates the stigma that this is “all in your head” and you should be able to “just get over it.”
Here’s the bottom line: My brain doesn’t function the same as everyone else’s, regardless of public opinion. But that doesn’t mean I am weak. In fact, it means I am much stronger than you think. It takes monumental courage and strength to live life battling bipolar. Every moment I continue breathing, I am winning this fight.
And I will never stop fighting. Having my friends and family stick by my side gives me hope that I can manage whatever happens. Through their strength, I know I have a reason to keep on going.
If they only knew how much their support means to me.

Printed as “What I wish family and friends knew about bipolar”, Winter 2017

Has 12 Articles

​Jess Melancholia​Jess Melancholia is a bipolar blogger who resides in San Diego, California with her husband and cat. All throughout college, she struggled with depression and anxiety. She found it extremely difficult to balance school, work, and singing in her university gospel choir. This pattern continued after graduation for years with short intervals of hypomania scattered in between. Only when her father, a Navy veteran, was diagnosed with PTSD and Major Depression did she look into her own mental health. In May of 2014, she was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder 2. She experienced her first major manic episode in January 2015. For 9 months, her mania kept increasing and was left unnoticed and untreated. During this time, she struggled with hypersexuality. When her mania subsided, she crashed into a severe depression and became suicidal. It was after this that she did intensive outpatient therapy and started to blog about her struggles with bipolar disorder. Since coming to terms with her illness, she has found the strength to take charge of her health and be more proactive in managing her triggers. Nowadays, through medication and a strong support system, she works tirelessly to live a “normal” life and keep her manic and depressive episodes under control. Her hobbies include playing horror video games and wine tasting. Her daytime profession is a molecular biologist at a biotechnology company. She writes for The Huffington Post and The International Bipolar Foundation. She also writes about her personal journey on her blog The Bipolar Compass at
Lots of great articles at the above link for those who would benefit, or just for those who also have a family member with a Bi-polar disorder who could also benefit from learning more about the disorder itself.  I am hoping I will also soon be able to blog about my experiences living with Bi-Polar 1.  Heavy on the "hoping", since I have to FEEL it not just blog about it.

On another note, Rob and I had tore apart our kitchen the other day so Rob could paint it a really nice "light" colour from the dark "mustard" colour it had been.  We choose Seasame Street's "Cookies & Milk".  Hopefully I will find the time and energy tomorrow to blog about it, or maybe the next day.

This is all she wrote, "Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard"

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Happy New Year 2017 !

By embracing pain, fear, and challenges with gratitude, I discover the real value and meaning of my Life...... I am so grateful to be Alive.

This is all she wrote, Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard.

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Soars to Your Beautiful ~ Alessia Cara

"Scars To Your Beautiful"
She just wants to be beautiful
She goes unnoticed, she knows no limits,
She craves attention, she praises an image,
She prays to be sculpted by the sculptor
Oh she don't see the light that's shining
Deeper than the eyes can find it
Maybe we have made her blind
So she tries to cover up her pain, and cut her woes away
'Cause covergirls don't cry after their face is made

But there's a hope that's waiting for you in the dark
You should know you're beautiful just the way you are
And you don't have to change a thing
The world could change its heart
No scars to your beautiful, we're stars and we're beautiful
Oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh
And you don't have to change a thing
The world could change its heart
No scars to your beautiful, we're stars and we're beautiful

She has dreams to be an envy, so she's starving
You know, "Covergirls eat nothing."
She says, "Beauty is pain and there's beauty in everything."
"What's a little bit of hunger?"
"I could go a little while longer," she fades away
She don't see her perfect, she don't understand she's worth it
Or that beauty goes deeper than the surface
Ah oh, ah ah oh,
So to all the girls that's hurting
Let me be your mirror, help you see a little bit clearer
The light that shines within

There's a hope that's waiting for you in the dark
You should know you're beautiful just the way you are
And you don't have to change a thing
The world could change its heart
No scars to your beautiful, we're stars and we're beautiful
Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh
And you don't have to change a thing
The world could change its heart
No scars to your beautiful, we're stars and we're beautiful

No better you than the you that you are
(no better you than the you that you are)
No better life than the life we're living
(no better life than the life we're living)
No better time for your shine, you're a star
(no better time for your shine, you're a star)
Oh, you're beautiful, oh, you're beautiful

There's a hope that's waiting for you in the dark
You should know you're beautiful just the way you are
And you don't have to change a thing
The world could change its heart
No scars to your beautiful, we're stars and we're beautiful
Whoa-oh-oh-oh, whoa-oh-oh-oh, whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh
And you don't have to change a thing
The world could change its heart
No scars to your beautiful, we're stars and we're beautiful

This is all she wrote, Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard.

Credit: Alessia Cara ~ Soars to Your Beautiful

Sunday, 11 December 2016

For A New Beginning ~ John O'Donohue

In out of the way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.

For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.

It watched you play with the seduction of safety,
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.

Then the delight when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.

Though your destination is not yet clear,
You can trust the promise of this opening,
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is one with your life's desire.

Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythem,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.

I am heading towards a much needed recovery wherein it has regained hope within myself....

Cindy @North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

A Little Behind

I have been a little behind on blog posts lately, okay you got me, I have been a lot behind !  Good reasons though as I have had a Family Reunion, my daughter-in-law, grandchildren, and a best friend all visit us last week, and I feel I have been just darn busy.

I had a one month follow-up appointment with my Doctor yesterday.  I have lost 20 pounds since February (oh it is soooooo slow coming off).  He is very happy with the progress I am making, and have made, telling me I am a *star* patient (now that makes one feel pretty good, even at the best of times).

I feel after years of being on a roller coaster ride, I have been given my life back, and most days it feels really damn good.  I still experience small bouts of anxiety, however have not had a "full blown" anxiety attack since I have been on the new medication of mood stabilizer, Lamotrigine.  I could resent the fact I was not diagnosed until this late in life, but why do that when we can only move forward, and this I believe I am now doing in a better frame of mind.  I still have "bad" days, but everyone does so I would never expect to be an exception to the rule, even though I am sure I would kinda like not have any "bad" days ... *smile*.

I barely got any photos at this year's Masterson Reunion, however I had no problem getting my Uncle Reg to pose for me.

Here you go Uncle Reg, your honorary mention ! xo

From left to right, Briar, Chloe, Liz, Aiden & Connor.  They had a great time staying with us and got to spend two glorious weather days at Sauble Beach.  The Tuesday evening Poppa & I took them all to see Ice Age at the Drive-in movie in Owen Sound.  Precious memories in the making it was.

For the past month I have been walking early in the mornings, trying to be out of the house before six a.m., as it is cooler and I love trying to "catch" the sunrises.  My girlfriend, Shannon, went one morning with me, since I was not to take her photo, I have shared a photo of the view I am blessed with each morning I walk.

That was pretty much my last week in a nutshell, or should I say the "highlights" of it, as there was lots more then just this going on I am sure ... you know, the usual housework, meetings, Aussies, etc...

Speaking of Aussies, here are a couple of "fun" photos of two our our Aussies:

Bandit is pictured here with our rescue kitty, Paisley, who we acquired at the end of June.  His look is one of "really, you are going to leave me alone with "it" again!".  Never a dull moment with a kitten in the household.  Rob and I have never had a kitten before, as in the past we have adopted older cats, our one living until she was 15 years old.

This is a very rare photo of Portia in Paisley's bed, and Bandit is his, as Paisley usually monopolizes the "big" bed all to herself.

The other day I captured a great video of Paisley and Portia playing together, which can be viewed on The Checkerboard Aussies' Facebook page, by *clicking* HERE, and scrolling a bit down in the newsfeed.  Like I said, never a dull moment usually at our house.

Tomorrow afternoon I head into the Owen Sound Hospital for the "dreaded" mammogram.  Unfortunately it is a very necessary thing to have done, and because of my Mother, her sister, and both my sisters having had cancer, it is really important for me to go to my yearly appointments.  After the experience with my Mom having one at 80 years old to find she had aggressive breast cancer.  Yes you are never too old to have a mammogram !

After my appointment I am heading down to New Hamburg to my son & daughter-in-laws.  We have a friend getting married Saturday.  Rob has to stay behind to "hold down the fort" so to speak, and look after the Aussies and kitteh.  I have offered to take photos at the wedding, should they not have anyone else.  This offer was readily accepted so I hope I can manage to take a few nice photos for them.

Well I think I have managed to catch up with myself, so this is all she wrote this day, Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard.
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