Wednesday 30 December 2015

A Better Day

I am beyond pleased that I had a better day this day.  One can not possibly imagine, as I can barely myself, realize what it is like to have a better day. I almost feel rejuvenated.

I didn't get much done as the morning was spent going to my Doctor's then back again as I had forgotten a prescription.  Back and forth into town, then letting Aussies in and out between travelling times pretty much had taken up the whole of the morning.

This morning I had also took advantage of some sales they had on downtown at Rankin River Trading Co. with 40-60% off woman's wear, winter scarves and 50% off Christmas decor.  I bought a beautiful scarf for $12.00, a cool winter sign for my downstairs door, some paper plates for when the kids come, and a nice pair of pants for 40% off.  I had been pleased with my purchases.

After lunch my friend Sharon & I took ourselves for a walk.  It was a lot more pleasant walking today then in the drizzle we had had yesterday.

Back from my walk I did up a sink full of dishes, then wrapped so more gifts.  I am happy to say I am done wrapping (not my most favourite thing to do).  Quite a bunch of packages for our 7 arriving this Friday.

Portia & Leo have only been introduced through Portia's crate.  When Portia is out, Leo is in our bedroom.  We will give it another week before we let them out together to see what is what with that, in the meantime they can continue nose to nose through the crate.

Last night the Movie, Mama Mia starring Meryl Streep was on.  I had seen it before however enjoyed watching it again.  Hopefully there will be something on as equally as good tonight to watch.

I have to dig out our Scrabble game if I ever find it (the one we had had been borrowed), as Rob had mentioned that he enjoyed our game the other night.  Would be fun to play once the kids arrive too I am thinking.

Has everyone who participated in the 52 Week Money Challenge this week decided what they are doing with their savings?  I added some of my income tax return and my sealed pot money to mine ....

..... I have decided it will be used when my girlfriend of 40 years & I go down East this Summer.  Hoping it will be enough, or I will try to save a little more somehow in the meantime.  Would love to hear how everyone else is spending their 52 Week Money Challenge Money.

Once again, beginning next week, I will begin going backwards on the 52 Week Money Challenge for 2016.  Is anyone else in with me???? let me know, as the more the merrier !!!

Big fluffy flakes of snow are going on right now outside my windows.  I hope the weather stays good until our children arrive, then it can do whatever ......

On that note time to sign off for the day, Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard.

Monday 28 December 2015

Testing Testing Testing

This man, my husband Rob, is most wonderful and supportive.  He is my ROCK .... having some awful days the past few, he never wavered from my side for a moment.  When our PC broke down yesterday morning, he drove us over to Owen Sound to pick out a new one for us, then later that same day had a game of Scrabble with me.  The first time in over 20 years we ever had a game, and he did it for me, as most his daily actions are with me foremost in his mind. I am blessed to have such a wonderful husband, truly I am .... thanks Honey.

After lunch today, Rob got the new PC hooked up.  I then was able to get it up and running to begin a lengthy time to update and then install the new Windows operating "10" system.  It took about 4 hours in total, then Office needed installed, as well as invoicing for the Crabby Cabbie had to be all set up.  Very time consuming to get something new up and running properly.

 This morning I was able to do some "test" shots with my new camera, then get all the gifts out to be wrapped for our Christmas this upcoming weekend.  I will be busy wrapping tomorrow, as well as cleaning I hope.

I had been out and about this afternoon, so with my new camera in hand there had been more testing, testing, testing ......

I am pleased with the tests, and tickled "pink, blue & yellow" with my new camera.  Thanks once again, honey, for the thoughtful Christmas Gift.

I appreciate everyone's concern and best wishes while I struggle through the journey of getting and being well.  I wish I could "wave a wand" and be better, however unfortunately my brain isn't wired to do that, so I must take one day at a time, even down to minute by minute some days, until the day I find my "normal".  In the meantime all the support I receive could not be more appreciated and I can not express enough the gratitude for those of you who stand by me in my days of the roller coaster rides, my husband being Number One on that list. Thank YOU.

Also "special thanks" to my friend, Sharon, who tries to get out to walk with me everyday, and lends her kind ear for anything I might have to say.  Thanks for being my walking partner, Sharon.

The nice part also of long time, some 40 year, friendships, is being able to also pick up the phone if I am having a down day.  I am blessed to have so many friends, and wonderful family members.

Today?  I had a really good day, which certainly made up for the last 4 not so good days, Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard.

Sunday 27 December 2015

At A Loss

I have been at a loss of what to do, so what I do, is I eat.  The past couple of days have been tearful ones, more often then not.

Christmas Day my brother and I went up to Gateway Nursing Home, here in Wiarton, to go visit our Mother.  She had been happy to see us.  We had spent about an hour with her before we headed back to our respective homes.

When I had returned Rob had already left to do a couple of Taxi calls.  I had been alone but for the Aussies.  I spent quite a bit of this Christmas Day in tears.  Tears caused by depression and loneliness. Tears spent for being at a loss of anything better.

Yesterday was not too much better, and today, more tears, once again when I was alone.

I can sometimes be a a crowded room and still feel lonely.  I have always been like this, and now understand it to be part of the Bipolar 2, not that understanding makes it any easier.

Yesterday I must have slept most of the day away, or the night at least.  I am tired as I find I get drained very easily these days.

When Rob had arrived back home Christmas Day we did have ourselves a lovely Dinner of Prime Rib Roast.  It was very good.

We had exchanged gifts early Christmas morning.  He had gifted me an amazing Canon Rebel T5 camera with a 300 mm lens.  I will need a course on how to operate it !!!  He had gotten from me a sound bar for the TV, and a couple of movies from the Aussies.  It was all good.

Hopefully whenever I begin feeling better, and I pray daily that I do, I will have to get out to take some photos.

I am not only struggling with the depression, but the overeating that goes along with it.  I have gained over 50 lbs the past Year. That in itself depresses me.

I can never seem to get ahead.  I bought a new iPhone 6s yesterday on a Boxing Day deal, only to have my PC break down today. Mind you I have had it for years, and years, so it had served me well.  Today I sold my old iPhone 5s, but then had to take the money to go by a new PC.  It could have been worse, and I wouldn't have had the money from my phone to buy the PC.  Count my blessings.

I feel I am rambling, why? probably because I am at a loss for anything else, Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard.

Thursday 24 December 2015

One Down & .....

One down & ....... five more rooms to go.

Today I finally, along with Rob's helped managed to get our Livingroom finished with a few change ups.

We have all our older pine coffee, end and side table brought up from the basement, and our new wool area carpet put down after all the floors had been cleaned and washed.

I loved these tables when we had bought them 20 years ago, and still love them.  I am not sure why I had changed them up with my Mom's old tables a few years back.  I had also gotten coasters downtown at Rankin River Trading Co., to go under the metal legs before placing on the wool area carpet.  You can almost find anything at Rankin !  

If nothing else got done, and I mean nothing else as the remainder of our house is a disaster, I feel good this is all done for now.  The trick now is to keep it this way .....

I have company now every morning while I make the bed .... Leo loves his kitteh perch, and is quite the content boy.

I also got some nice shots of Bandit today.  This is my favourite ....

After making a big ....

..... pot of homemade stew in the Crock Pot.

We took it ....

.... easy and chilled out in the ambiance of our Caframo "Joi" light in front of the TV and Lap Top. (the Joi light burns only from a tea light for about 6 hours).

More about the Caframo "Joi" light can be found by *clicking* HERE.

Dinner was good, the dishes are done and we are just taking in some TV now for the rest of the evening. What are you doing this Christmas Evening?

We would like to wish a very Merry Christmas for a wonderful day tomorrow to all our Family & Friends, online and otherwise !!!!

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

Wednesday 23 December 2015

Christmas Peeking Around The Corner

This was the beginning of a "not too bad", but busy day.  Other then a few drizzles of rain here and there throughout the day, I must say it had pretty much been a stellar day for December 23rd, 2015.

My day went pretty smooth with a couple of bumps here and there.  The day is almost at its end, and I made it through those bumps "ok".

I find out now that I have been diagnosed with Bipolar, magnifying things "out of control" have been, and are part of it.  Also interesting enough, in speaking to another person who has bipolar 1, there is much truth in seeing the "one negative out of ten positive".  It gets all pretty cobwebby some days in my head, even though others can not see it .... frustrating also when something is in my head and comes out completely "off the wall", out of my mouth.  Very frustrating and at times embarrassing.

The only solace I have been getting out of all this, is knowing I have not been  "loosing it", and I have not been "imaging" it all now I know difference with the realization it has been the disorder all along.  Also I take a bit of comfort in knowing the medications I am now on will eventually begin working towards me feeling a bit more saner in my own head.  This I am counting on, and if not there had better be a "Plan "B"".

 "Normal" is only a setting on the washing machine, so my Niece told her Mother.  I strive to be that washing machine setting.  Once again, I cannot express how much I appreciate all the support I have been given. Thank you to all.

You know I believe I have begun to miss blogging somewhat.  This has to be a good sign, is it not?  I think so.

On a lighter note, can anyone believe Christmas is just peeking around the corner at us?  and the weather? a green Christmas will be the order this Year.

What is going on with myself and my Rob this Christmas? we will both be home with our Aussies and the new addition of our kitteh, Leo.

We acquired, or should I say, "adopted" Leo this past Monday.  He is quite the character. (Auntie do not be shaking your head at me, as I know you are xoxoxo).  I still think we should have gotten a female, as they are definite better mousers then a male.  True story.

Bandit has been busy "herding" Leo the past couple of days.  Portia has only yet met him through her crate, we will give her time to get used to him that way first before we let them go nose to nose.  Bandit had been brought up with kittens, so he is an old hand at it, and very happy to have a new job.

Back to Christmas .... our grandkids, at least 5 of them, along with Paul & Liz, will be coming up New Year's Day for the weekend.  Rob and I will be celebrating with some movies and a Prime Rib roast for our Christmas Dinner.  Oh Yum, maybe Yorkshire Puddings and gravy too?

I am happy to say I have been walking as often as my walking friend, Sharon, and I can manage to get out together.  Poor Sharon has a sore leg, and I have a sore left calf, which I think is resulting from some nerve testing I had last month.  We get by on at least 5000 steps per walk, which I think is pretty darn good.  Thanks Sharon, I have missed our walking the past couple of years when we had stopped.

Tomorrow? I hope I can get some housework done, so Christmas Day Rob and I can just lounge around all day.  Rob deserves a much needed day "off".

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

Friday 18 December 2015

Moving Forward

Moving forward into a new day, one day at a time, brought me to a better day this day.  Still with not much sleep I managed to keep abreast of my emotions, only having one small breakdown today.

I kept myself fairly busy this morning, then had to take our personal van over to the garage in Sauble Beach for an oil change.  By the time I did a couple of more errands I arrived back home to find Rob had not only picked up our new couch, he had also had a friend help him put it in our living room.

This afternoon was spent cleaning and de-cluttering our living room.  It got about half done.

Furniture moved about, floors vacuumed and washed, then the new couch put into place.  Rob had gone to the Black Friday sale at Leons last month at 5:30 am to line up for a couch priced at $199.00.  They only had 5 and we were one of the lucky recipients.  They did not have the couch advertised and upgraded it with one valued at over $800.00 .... we were not displeased about this one iota.

What did I possibly breakdown a bit about today? memories long gone by ....

I got a little emotional looking back on some old photos of days gone by.  This was me in the late 90's .... I would say about 1998, as Rob and I had already been married in 1996.

There was even one with Rob and I dancing ... DANCING??? mind you I can barely recall the last time we did that together.  I LOVED dancing with a passion.

I had such a good day I even managed to cook dinner for us too !!!

Turkey Loaf ... I screwed up the recipe but it turned out very yummy !  a definite remake.

Interested in trying your hand at this Turkey Loaf (the right way)? for the Turkey Cheeseburger Meatloaf recipe just *click* HERE.

How did I screw up the recipe? I forgot the cheddar cheese, and mixed what should have been the topping into the actual loaf.  Still yummy, and I still made dinner *smile*.  I can honestly say I was somewhat otherwise distracted with the new couch being in our living room.

While waiting for dinner to cook this evening I had a nice telephone chat with my sister-in-law, Delores.  Another support person should I ever need someone to speak to.  I am blessed truly.

I am feeling good just in the fact that I had a good day.  One day out of seven is a good start, Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard.

Thursday 17 December 2015

Doom & Gloom

I would love to be able to blog the way I used to when I was flying high but these lows will not let me as the cobwebs are too dark in my head at present ..... I hope I will blog once again with as much flourish as I had once as this space was, and still is, for me and me alone.

I did accomplish one thing yesterday.  I managed to clean the foyer coming into the house.  Now only to hope the remainder of the house does not fall down around us in all its clutter.

I continue to seek counselling on a weekly basis.  I do not qualify YET for the trauma counselling as I need to get myself "in check" to be able to deal with that.  This will be the one goal I try to focus on each week as I attempt to move forward.

These past few days have been most difficult.  I am grateful I have an amazing support team such as my sister, a couple of fantastic friends, family and a husband that could never be replaced in a million years to be there for me when I am at my most fragile moments.  I worry that I will wear them down before I get better.  I hope this does not happen as I desperately need them.

I am also very fortunate to have a so very compassionate doctor, who I love dearly.  Yesterday at my appointment he made me feel at ease and is so rooting for me to try only to concentrate on myself getting better, trying not to allow the mess around me bother me so much.  We are working on getting me better together, as he suspects between Bipolar and childhood traumas I have been ill most of my 56 years.

Interesting enough I had stated to my Doctor that I wished I was back on that "high" were everything was getting done around me, where I would still strive for more, he retorted that being like that was not healthy, resulting in me being now in the state I am once I "crashed and burned".  Rob also said he didn't want me back in that state again ..... funny I never seen myself it being a problem, other then I was going on no sleep and tired most of the time, but then again I am now still tired without the energy of the high. I am told there is a healthy balance within the midst somewhere in the recesses of my being.

I used to be able to shake the depressive states in a couple of months, however finding this time around it has been lasting a couple of years, almost like I have been drowning in depression.  I have to believe I will get better, and I strive daily to believe this as tears come easily down my cheeks onto my lap.  My Doctor tells me it is more difficult to shake the bipolar depressive states as I get older, and experiencing menopause on top of it all makes it an even worse state.

I don't want to have all my blog posts be gloom and doom, however I don't know where else I can be in my Life right now then in it the way it is ....

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

Friday 11 December 2015

Another Stellar Morning

The sunrises this week have been anything but AMAZING !!!

Another stellar morning here Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard.

This shot was taken shortly after over at Speedway Road by Sauble Beach.  The clouds are billowy with shots of sunshine coming through.

Last night I had called my oldest sister, Jeanne, and her husband, Cecil.

The friend they are presently living with, Brenda, shared these photos on her facebook page for me.  Cecil had been actually speaking to me on the phone when she took the photo.

Jeanne & Cecil had moved back to Ontario for a Year, however late this Spring moved back down to Newfoundland, Cecil's home Province.  Maybe in the Spring they will move back to Ontario; time will tell.  As long as they are happy wherever they are is all that counts.

My sister Donna's husband has been in the hospital for the past week with a "weak" heart, and water on his lungs,  He had an angiogram today to check for any blockages, however it proved there were not any.  Good news, however he will have to remain on heart medications the remainder of his Life, more then likely having to give up long haul truck driving.

It has been a tough year for both my sisters.  Donna was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer this February, finishing up some heavy duty Chemo and Radiation just over a month ago now.  Cancer runs on my Mother's side of the family with herself having a breast removed at 80 years of age, and her own sister having both breasts removed in her 50's.

Donna will be going for genetic testing February 2016, which will give myself and her 2 daughters some future insight.  We will wait and see.

Jeanne's husband has problems with circulation in his legs, as well as problems with his heart.  He just recently had his driver's license revoked, and Jeanne had hers taken when she had her stroke.  It is difficult when one has health issues that takes away independence, is it not?

Us girls have had quite the Year, with prayers 2016 will be better for all of us.

My day was full,  Too full, however I had a totally relaxing 1 hour of light therapy, zoned out completely.  What got done at home? dishes and the bed made, not a thing more.  That is okay, as there is tomorrow behind hopefully behind another stellar morning, Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard.

Wednesday 9 December 2015

Cock A Doodle Doooooo !

This is the view outside my patio doors this morning.  I grabbed my camera and got a shot in before it disappeared.  I had posted this photo on Facebook with my sister-in-law, Delores, asking if I had been woken up by him.  No I believe I must have woken him up.

Delores had also wrote on my Facebook page last night:

Every day I say a prayer for you and Rob asking God to give you both wisdom and strength and patience as you step into each new day.Too often we underestimate the power of a touch,a smile,a kind word,a listening ear,or an honest compliment. The smallest act of caring can have the potential to turn your day around. I will always try to be here for you. Love & Hugs

I have had a rough morning three mornings in a row.  Really down in the dumps with puddles over puddles of tears.  When I had arrived back home from my morning appointment in Owen Sound I had noticed my girlfriend, Brenda, had posted the following to my facebook page ....

My appointment in Owen Sound was to see if I would be a good fit for a Cognitive Therapy Group.  After meeting with the lady who runs the group, it had been determined by her it would not be a good fit for me at this time.  I am being referred to a Trauma team to deal with some underlying problems of years long gone past that keep reoccurring and playing back in my mind.  They are almost at times haunting with myself finding at a loss to crowd them out forever.  

Once I get strong enough I will be re-evaluated for the CTG once again maybe in the Spring/Fall 2016.  It has been an overwhelming past few months for me.

There was an app on Facebook this afternoon which picked out one's best photos.  The following are what were chosen for me ..... oh to be that thin again !!!!  someday I hope again to be., and someday those smiles will come easy again for me.

I have been feeling pretty down the past few days, and looking to hopefully some "up" days soon.  I know I have all the support in the World, however that does not convince my head that it will be "all better"j anytime soon, as much as I wish it to be so.  I cry a lot.  

I need to remember to hold my hand over my Heart more often ... 

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

Monday 7 December 2015

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly Today

The Ugly:

Me having a terrible episode today that I thought would have me end up in the Hospital. Not certain if I am adjusting to the increase in medication, or what.  I was unreasonable, irritable and ready to sign myself into a padded white room.  The way I was biting Rob's head off it doesn't surprise me he never signed me in himself.  I never usually speak of these as they are embarrassing to me I find, but maybe doing so in writing will somehow make it better for me???? time will tell.

The Bad:

How awful I feel when I have one of these episodes, as there is no lack of puddles of tears.  Having a bad day every second day it seems is exhausting in itself.

The Good:

That I have a pretty patient husband, I have wonderful friends as a fantastic support system as backup, and Aussie dogs who love me unconditionally when I am in a "mood".

A friend who was able to walk with me today to get the benefit of those "good" dopamines, and for my friend who suggested for me to go for a walk.

More good? I helped a young girl catch her run away dog this afternoon.  This made me feel really good.

I was happy I not only made my bed and do the dishes this weekend, I also managed to dust and vacuum the livingroom and do 2 loads of laundry.  YAY me !!!

I feel like I loose most of my day(s) when I have an off mood or episode as I refer to them as, which gets me down.  I have to stop to try and take out what part of the day that was good and concentrate on those things if I can to the best of my ability.  I get very frustrated with myself, and extremely SAD sometimes.

I am sure there are many others who feel lonely at times.  I usually feel lonely most of the time, even though I know I have fantastic family and friends rallying for me.  I can feel lonely in a whole room of people wherein nobody would suspect what I am feeling.

I have learned at a very early age to hide my feelings.  What has gotten more difficult for me as I have aged is to be able to hide them as well as I used to.  Bipolar depression has many faces to hide behind, and I am loosing my masterfulness of this art, or so it seems lately.  I hope I can get stablized before I find I lose myself more and more.  I get scared.

I am grateful I have good parts in most of my bad days, that is the rollercoaster of the Bipolar ride so it seems.  Now I have been diagnosed, I am learning more and more about myself, my moods and my actions, not all good.  I am hoping once I begin Cognative Therapy Group I will gather tools to help me cope with my actions and reactions, so I will be able to stop beating myself up all the time.

Yes having a Mental Disability is exhausting.  It being Bipolar II is exhausting.  More on Bipolar Disorder can be found by *clicking* HERE.

Again, more good ...... is having kind understanding people rooting for me and standing at my side no matter what.  Thank you to all YOU people.

Tomorrow? I pray for a better day, Today? is looking up from where it began, Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard.

Sunday 6 December 2015

Christmas Parade Wiarton 2015

The Sunrise I was blessed to view this morning.  I will call this "Raspberries & Cream".

Yesterday our son, Paul, arrived for a short visit with his youngest son, Connor.  We had a nice visit and some lunch before they had to head back home.  On their way out my Cousin Peggy pulled in, so we took in a Christmas Bazaar at the Wiarton Legion, then had a cuppa tea at Luscious Bakery & Deli.  It was a full day which continued on into the evening as it had been the Wiarton Santa Claus Parade last night.

Rob helped me get the Santa Candy downtown, and my friend, Wenda, was on the committee with me, along with friend, Paul Deacon.  

Santa had been a busy guy last night, even posing with Wiarton Willie who had made an appearance from his burrow.

And to close for this evening.........

.... our sweet not so innocent or sweet, Portia.  Good thing she is "cute" as that has saved her many times.

That is all she wrote this day, Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard.

Friday 4 December 2015

Merry Christmas Mary Carmen

The week is almost over ... and what have I accomplished? not too much other then running around for others then myself, except for a couple of things today.  I am hoping that will change up some after next week.

Today I picked up a friend to have coffee at Tim Hortons this morning.  This afternoon I went for light therapy then went to get a prescription at the Drug Store.

I was at my Doctor's this past Thursday.  He increased my new medications by 20mg as advised in 2 weeks time by Dr. Lucas, the phychiatrist.  I explained to Dr. Diodati that I have been having a real problem with the pads of my feet the past few months, making walking very difficult and painful.  He concluded it was the Metatarsals in my feet, which was causing metatarsalgia.

Common symptoms of metatarsalgia:
  • A burning pain
  • Sharp aching
  • Pain in the ball of the foot, this is the metatarsal region, which is just behind the toes
  • Pain that can occur near the toes
  • Pain that increases when walking in bare feet, and even more so when walking on a hard surface
  • Pain that worsens when standing or moving around but decreases when the weight is taken off the feet.
  • Shooting pain in the toes
  • Tingling sensation in the toes
These symptoms usually develop slowly, however they may sometimes develop abruptly. Especially if there is an increase in exercise that may put strain on the feet, such as running or jumping.
Just what I needed, more pain ... but better pain in the foot then another pain in the a$$ .... *smile*.  Actually it is very painful, and I can barely walk first thing in the morning.  The Doctor suggested I pick up Metatarsal gel pillows to where to give me relief, which I picked up today as well at the Pharmacy.  We will see if they give me any relief
More on this by *clicking* HERE.
Tomorrow is the Wiarton Santa Claus Parade.  This was the 2nd year I was on the Santa Claus Parade committee.  The weather is suppose to be a stellar +9*C tomorrow, so that hopefully will be a good indication of a good turnout.  This year's theme is Christmas Songs.  I am looking forward to it, as well as assisting with Santa Claus handing out bags of Christmas candies.

This week I also assisted Mel Rinehart, previously of Sun Life Financial in Wiarton, now of Rankin River Trading Co., setting up a Go Fund project him and his wife, Margaret, are supporting.  The Fund Raiser is "Merry Christmas Mary Carmen" (love that tag line by the way).  30% of all sales from Rankin River Trading Co., every Wednesday until Christmas, will go towards the fund with a goal of $5,000 US dollars.
Should someone not be able to make it into the store, they still have an opportunity to contribute to the Merry Christmas Mary Carmen fund at the Go Fund.  
If anyone would be interested in contributing head on into Rankin River Trading Co. to make some purchases on Wednesday, December 9, 16, or 23rd, or contribute at the Go Fund link HERE.  To check out the Rankin River Trading Co.'s Facebook page, please *click* HERE.  
Thank you for any who are moved to contribute, and I know Mel and Marg would also be appreciative.
Well my husband is out working and my Aussies are needing my attention so this is going to be a wrap for today, Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard.

Wednesday 2 December 2015

" F " Is For FRIENDS

I had been going through my photos when I came across this one I had taken down at Colpoy's Bay from Bluewater Park.  I can't believe I hadn't shared it the day I took it on the 4th of November. Maybe I did not blog that day, I will have to look back.  

 I love the rich colours in this photo, never mind the reflection.

Today I was met my girlfriend, Abby of Miners' Maple Products, who is as sweet as the product they make.  We hadn't seen each other FOREVER it seems like, and we had really been way long overdue.

Abby & I had lunch at the Green Door Cafe where we both had enjoyed their Chicken Florentine on a bed of spinach with a side of veggies and a salad.  It was DELISH !  Our visit went way way too fast, but we did manage to get a quick shop in at Rankin River Trading Co..

After our visit, Abby headed home while I headed further South down to the New Leaf Health Centre in Hepworth to have "light" therapy.  I actually did a whole hour with almost total relaxation and no agitation this time.  So much so I could hear myself starting to "snore" .... oh my goodness !!!! hahaha

This afternoon I did a load of laundry and a wee bit of vaccuming (it is a start, however small I have to start concentrating on what I am getting done, not what needs to be done, so I don't loose myself by being too overwhelmed).  Baby steps as the mess didn't compile overnight.

I met my Niece, Joanne, downtown at Tim Hortons.  We took in a couple of shops downtown then walked down to Gateway Haven as this evening was the Christmas Get Together for family and residents.

One of the girls was kind enough to take a photo of Joanne, Mom and myself. We had a nice visit and enjoyed the entertainment.

"F" is for friends, and I am so ever grateful for all the Friends I have in my Life.  Thank you to each and every one of you ..... I have shared before and sure I will share again, and again.

Vitamin F

I loved this and want to share it with you...

Why do I have a variety of friends who are all so different in character? How can I get along with them all? I think that each one helps to bring out a "different" part of me.

With one of them I am polite.
I joke with another friend.
I sit down and talk about serious matters with one.
With another I laugh a lot.
I may have a drink (Coke, or Pepsi of course,) with one.
I listen to one friend's problems.
Then I listen to another one's advice for me.

My friends are all like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.  When completed, they form a treasure box.  A treasure of friends!

They are my friends who understand me better than myself, who support me through good days and bad days.  We all pray together and for each other.

Doctors tell us that friends are good for our health. 

Dr. Oz calls them Vitamins F (for Friends) and counts the benefits of friends as essential to our well being.

Research shows that people in strong social circles have less risk of depression and terminal strokes.

If you enjoy Vitamins F constantly you can be up to 30 years younger than your real age.

The warmth of friendship stops stress and even in your most intense moments it decreases the chance of a cardiac arrest or stroke by 50%.

I'm so happy that I have a stock of Vitamins F!

In summary, we should value our friends and keep in touch with them.  We should try to see the funny side of things and laugh together, 
and pray for each other in the tough moments.

Thank you for being one of my Vitamins!

That is all she wrote this day, Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard.

Monday 30 November 2015

It Has Been Going...

Yes day by day it has been going .... up, down & around, as time most certainly isn't going to wait for us now is it, so you best jump on board and stay on board regardless.

And regardless of how tired I might be feeling, I still go, go, go, even though most days it is in circles.

Believe it, or not, more so Rob can't believe it, I have actually been cooking a little more then I had been for months.  The other night I had made a leftover turkey casserole, and tonight a smoked ham dinner.

This Leftover Turkey Casserole was very YUMMY !  and of course, very easy peasy to make.

What have I been doing the past few days?

I updated Rob's android phone for him; I admired the fern in our flower bed which is flourishing; I have been also admiring the Coloured Pencil Set I had bought the other day to use with my "adult" colouring book for stress relief (have been a bit too stressed to try it out yet).

What have I not been doing? cleaning my house and getting organized.  I had been too busy last week with one night packaging Santa Claus Candy bags, the next night attending a Chamber Sub-committee meeting, the next night attending an Open House at the Chamber office, and then Thursday evening attending an Open House at one of the downtown Wiarton Businesses, The Berford St. Artisan Co., which was catered to by the Berford Street Pizza (yummy).

Friday night I had the night off, and Saturday I passed out some bags for the Yellow Pages Shop the Neighbourhood downtown Wiarton.  Rankin River Trading Co. had a 50% off on all Winter Coats and Boots, where I got a beautiful Chillax weather proof jacket .... LOVE IT ! and LOVED the price of it too !

Sunday we spent a good part of the day getting Rob a new work phone & trying to get it set up with the new PAYD which will allow us to take debit & credit card payments from his Crabby Cabbie customers.

Today I had some Banking and Christmas Parade running to do, however still managed to get in a walk, if nothing else, with my friend Lynn this afternoon.

Now???  The "Voice" is on TV ... I am off and running to watch it, Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard.

Thursday 26 November 2015

Full Moon, Full Day

This morning at 8:45 am, Bandit and I headed South down through my Hometown of Southampton, then over to Port Elgin as Bandit had a SPA appointment at The Big Hound Playground.

I had made arrangements to meet my Auntie Gladys, as we were going to go to the Southampton Olive Oil Co. for her to pickup a gift for her friend, and check a couple of clothing shops.  Afterwards we stopped in for coffee and muffin at Tim Hortons, where we ran into my Niece, Joanne.  

Auntie had made a turn around down at the Cenotaph where I took these photos of the Lighthouse out on Chantry Island.  I was a little lopsided taking photos today.

Bandit was to be picked up around 11:30 so Auntie dropped me back off to pickup a "very happy to see me" Bandit !

Thanks to Allsion of The Big Hound Playground for booking Bandit in for his SPA morning, and Jaime who gave him his bath, nails trim and fluff !  he is very very "fluffy" now.

More on The Big Ground Playground?  just a *click* away by going HERE.

Once I had collected the very happy Bandit, I headed back to Southampton to drop off some Rutabagas to my girlfriend, Brenda.  A quick cup of tea and chat there before I then headed over to the Village at the First Nations Indian Reserve.

Why you might ask I was headed into the Village today, other then to get filled up at the Gas Bar? well I had an appointment with a Healer, thanks to my friend Wendy for recommending me.

My appointment with the Healer lasted just over 3 hours. How did it go? it was very enlightening and to be "in tune" with my Spirit was alsovery enlightening.  How did I come away from it all? even more so relaxed and feeling "in tune".  Will I go back? yes I believe I most certainly will.

I returned home, being there for about an hour before heading downtown Wiarton for a Chamber Business After Hours at the Berford Street Artisan Co., owned by Paul & Joan Deacon.  What a lovely time that was ... both Rob and I enjoyed dropping in for a casual visit with all others who had dropped around.

Rob and I both even walked away with 2 lovely Prizes from the draw that took place.

The Gift Basket I received was from Luscious Bakery & Deli, and Rob a Stocking Holder from Paul Deacon of the Cooperators.

It was a Pizza night for us this evening.

Not only had it been a Full Moon last night, it had also been a Full Day for me this day.

That is all she wrote this day, Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard.

Wednesday 25 November 2015

What My Husband Is Made Of

What my husband is made of? and I will guarantee you it is far from "sugar & spice" .... but what he is made of is:

1)  Being my best friend;
2)  Always doing his very best of what he is capable of;
3)  Trying to Fix how I am feeling;
4)  Trying to Fix all that needs to be fixed;
5)  Out working 7 days a week to support us;
6)  Always thinking about others, or most of the time;
7)  Loving our Aussies as much as I do, though sometimes they;
8)  Pmsing some days the same time I am, and trust me this in not always a good scene;
9)  Loving our kids, even though that gets frustrating sometimes, as kids will be kids, as we were   once.
10) Being grumpy, but really not meaning to be;
11) Doing things, not always because he wants to, to make me happy;
12) Being a very good son-in-law when my Mom lived 5 years with us;
13) Being a very good brother-in-law to my siblings;
14) Helping others when there is a need;
15) A best friend to his friends;
16) A great cook, not counting the times he has helped me do preserving;
17) Wonderful helper in the gardens
18) Stopping for me to take photos, even if he is in a hurry;
19) Doing stuff for me that he thinks is stupid;
20) Looking after our Aussies so I can go away for a day, weekend, or a week,inbetween working.
21) On occasion has been known to make the bed, and/or do dishes.

I could go on and on and on, but I was really happy the other day when he ....

.... took off my old nail polish before I went to get a pedicure.  However he wasn't his usual thrilled self that I took his photo doing so !  LOVE YOU HONEY *smile*.

After I had gotten the diagnosis of the Bipolar 2 I had headed down to the Wiarton Library within a day or two thereafter, where I had found a couple of books on it.

This one was the one out of the two I liked.  I googled it and actually found a copy on I purchased for .01, plus $6.49 shipping & handling, so I could read it at my leisure and mark pages as I would like.  My friend, Geraldine, who owns the New Leaf Health Centre, not only recommended the Light Therapy for me, she also recommended Desiccated Liver which I am taking daily.

Should anyone be interested in seeing where I ordered the book, please *click* HERE.   For more information on Desiccated Liver, please *click* HERE.

The Book I read parts which explained some of my behaviour(s) which have made me miserable and answered questions to some of my actions.  One was interrupting people in conversation at times... I could see myself doing it, however felt uncontrollable powerless to stop myself from doing it at times.  It is like my brain races so fast I have to get my thoughts out immediately ... then realizing what I was doing I would die a million deaths for doing so.  I just found myself very hyper at a meeting I had attended last evening doing the same thing ... I beat myself up about it all night.  That is just one example of what I found out about the disorder I have from this book.  I can't wait until my own copy comes so I can go through it more thoroughly and hopefully understand more about what I have been experiencing all these years.

This morning a really great friend of mine came to visit me.  The 2 1/2 hour visit FLEW by in no time.

This is my friend, Reenie, who also made these adorable snowmen she gifted Rob & I.  They are made out of socks, which she had googled when looking for Christmas gifts to make.  Are they not adorable????

I have had a busy meeting with a Chamber meeting Monday & Tuesday nights, an Open House tonight after the Wiarton White Wednesday at the Chamber office, tomorrow night a Business After Hours at the Berford Street Artisan Co., and hopefully rest Friday.

I had also dropped into one of my favourite Wiarton shops tonight, The Cluttered Cupboard.  Photos to follow tomorrow I hope as my neck and arms are paining too much to type anymore tonight.

I am overwhelmed at all the support and messages I have received the past couple of days.  Once again, I can not thank everyone who is here now and in the future for me as I continue my journey in this Life.  Should I be able to help someone by sharing my life experiences, or someone with me, then it it all worth it.  Helping each other should be what it is all about, yes?  Thank you.

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

Monday 23 November 2015


Don't you just love Nat King Cole .... and this song?  I do is for certain as it is so melancholy, is it not?

Many heartfelt thanks for everyone who has rallied their support to me now and the days ahead, This  in itself means more to me then words could every say ....... 

This day was gone before I could blink? where did it go to I have no idea; what did I accomplish, I think not much of anything.  However 4 pm came along with me heading downtown to get a pedicure, as a friend had a cancellation last week and booked me in.  Not only did she have a cancellation she fit me in on her very very booked calendar for every 2nd month in the New Year ! something I, and my feet will look forward to.

Straight from the pedicure I headed down to the Wiarton Chamber office as this evening us elves were busy getting Santa's Candy Bags ready for the Wiarton Santa Claus Parade on the 5th of December at 7 pm.

Myself, Wenda & Cathy of The Painted Turtle & Balloon Headquarters, Sue Givens, fellow Chamber Director, and Paul Deacon, Chamber President.  We had fun, and the candy bags were done much faster then when just Paul, Wenda and I did them last Year.  Helping extra hands go a long way in getting a job done.

I could not resist taking a photo of the Train Station in its nightly luminous state.

Home now with The "Voice" on the TV, with bedtime to follow thereafter, Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard.

Sunday 22 November 2015

I'm Fine, Just Tired

Where does one begin? of course at the beginning.  The above? this is me and has been me for many, many years, since I was in my late teens or earlier I suspect if I could remember.  Either tired, or on a "high" with feeling somewhat normal episodes in-between.  It was never addressed then, and probably back then not a common thing even thought of, never mind discussed.

What is it? it is Bipolar 2, and after all these years I finally know what it is, but that fact in itself is not helping me deal with it in my now depressed state any better.

This past September, after the 5th antidepressant this past year prescribed for the Fibromyalgia not working, my Doctor asked me how my moods were.  We concluded I am Bipolar, with him being sorry he had not suspected for so long as we had been trying to deal with managing my pain.

Next step? being put on Lithium which is used to treat Bipolar.  After a month on this medication was there an improvement? no, I was slipping faster and faster into depression, with my Doctor referring me to a Physiatrist, Dr. John Lucas in Owen Sound.  This was a week ago this past Friday.

My meeting with Dr. Lucas was eventful by confirming Dr. Diodati's diagnosis, however as Dr. Lucas explained Lithium would be great to help with the manic part of bipolar, but not with the depression end of it.  A fairly new med was then prescribed, Latuda, which I began taking this past Thursday evening.  Dr. Lucas is a sincerely empathic kind man, and I found the 1 1/2 hours I had spent with him most comfortable, even sharing most some most uncomfortable times in my past with him.  There was no judging or criticism, only caring and compassion.  My tears flowed uncontrollably, however he never made me feel embarrassed once, nor silly while going on in my blubbering garble.

My past in "manic" states? I have lost 2 jobs, acted inappropriately many times making me slide into depressed states cause surely by being upset with my own actions.  A terrible place of not understanding what was going on within my head, sometimes thinking I would never escape its grip.

All the antidepressants I had been on since last year had been making the Bipolar Depression worse, as they were not "Mood" inhibitors (if that even is the proper way to describe it).  Hopefully the Latuda will help stabilize me, as this is the longest I have ever been depressed with no sign of it lifting, and it has been terrifying.

Why terrifying? because I always worry about people judging me, and not understanding.  Why would I feel this way? as my life has slid downhill, and I really mean downhill with my house, once organized, being a shambles with no organization at all.  I am lucky to make the bed and do up a few dishes daily, never mind those other things which keep a home managed and tidy.  Yes it has been a roller coaster ride, and most days not a very fun one.  I have seemingly, once again in my Life, lost control of it.

I am very fortunate to have understanding friends and family. I can not imagine how people manage without, however suspect more end up committing suicide then not.  A question might come to mind, have I attempted suicide? yes, twice, almost being successful both times, but by the Grace of God, and my brother coming to my rescue by getting me to a hospital a hair short of my life, here I am.

Roller Coaster you might wonder? well today my Auntie called me, and I answered hoping I sounded fine.  Not even an hour later I was a puddle of anxiety and tears, calling my sister who was not home, then next my girlfriend, Vicki, who distracted me enough until I came around a bit better.  This state was not caused by my Auntie's phone call, just the way I am any given time throughout a day.

This diagnosis has explained many of my actions, or lack there of, in past Year.  Now? we will wait and see if I don't eat myself into oblivion beforehand, or worry myself beyond repair.  No it is not fun, and many days I am grateful, not for the death of Robin Williams, but for the knowledge of Bipolar disorder being brought into the light, more so because of his death, and hopefully for more and better understanding of the disorder.

Mental illness, like Fibromyalgia, is a disease you are unable to see, however not seeing something should not mean someone should not be empathetic, should it?  I believe not.

My salvation? having a loving husband, as Rob is to me, and for standing by each other these past 21 years, and still now, regardless of how bad our ups and downs have been.

Those who know me personally, or those who have been following my daily journal here, have more then likely noticed a change the past Year as I never bake any more, I rarely cook, and gardening? a thing of the past for me, and now my daily journal has been lacking as well.  All my interests have gone to the wayside as I  no longer have any energy or desire, along with other things in my life.  I would be mortified right now should someone come to my door and want entry, I could not bare this with the state of my once organization having now been lost.  I am very *sad*, and hope there will be a road of recovery ahead in the very near future.

The Latuda website has some very good information on Bipolar, it may be found by *clicking* HERE., which outlines some information such as follows:

More Signs & Symptoms to Watch For

The signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder are different depending on the type of episode (i.e., manic or depressive). Each episode marks a drastic change from the way a person usually acts and their typical mood.
The Lows
Symptoms of a depressive episode (bipolar depression) may include:
  • No interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Loss of energy
  • Difficulty sleeping—either sleeping too much or not at all
  • Changes in appetite—eating too much or too little
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
The Highs
Symptoms of a manic episode may include:
  • Feelings of euphoria, abnormal excitement, or elevated mood
  • Talking very rapidly or excessively
  • Needing less sleep than normal, yet still having plenty of energy
  • Feeling agitated, irritable, hyper, or easily distracted
  • Engaging in risky behavior such as lavish spending, impulsive sexual encounters, or ill-advised business decisions
Mental Illness still has a stigma attached to it in today day and age, and moreso when I was growing up, when it was never spoke about, or in hushed tones if it had been.  It took me a lot of thought before I could share this today, however I believe it will help me, and hopefully others by doing so.

Thank you for not rejecting me.  Sympathy, I do not need, Empathy? yes please.

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

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