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Grocery Trip Peek-a-Boo!!

Grocery Trip Peek-a-Boo!!

Hello and Happy Wednesday!!!  I have had a few readers comment that they enjoy seeing my grocery cart, so today I thought it would be a great day to do so. If you are a recent follower to my blog, you will notice that I like to share different topics from time to time, but it is my main goal in this blog to keep my focus related to mental health. I want us to all know that we can live for the moment and learn how to heal and manage our mental illnesses, every day.

And for this moment, let’s talk about groceries!

My grocery shopping definitely has shrunk over the years. From being a single mom of 4 little ones to now it is just 16 year old son and me.  I remember how it used to be hard for me to shop for fewer people, but now I think I have figured it out, though it will be quite strange when someday I shop for just myself.

Today was the first day that I had a little longer list and I didn’t use one of the store scooters. I am slowly but surely healing from  a couple of surgeries and it felt good to be able to get through the store on 2 feet! (Though I was really pooped and in a lot of pain by the time I got done!)

TeaI thought I would show you this pic first. I do enjoy drinking hot tea in the evening when it is cold outside, but I laughed when I got home and looked again at the two I picked. I was about midway through the store in the tea aisle and getting pretty sore…  it looks like I was feeling tired and a bit stressed!  But I really do love both flavors, especially the Honey Vanilla Chamomile; I put a bit of honey in the tea and it tastes so yummy!  Sometimes if I have a big cup of tea, I put one bag of each variety for a perfect combo of Celestial Seasonings.

I bought a pork roast (only $6.75 and 4 lbs) and I wouldl like to make posole. Have you ever cooked posole before or eaten it?  It is Pozole is a hearty Mexican stew traditionally made with pork, hominy and has either a red or green color depending on the chiles used for the soup base and is soooooo good. I found this recipe below that I am going to try. I’ll let you know how it goes. Recipe courtesy of BudgetBytes:

30 MINUTE POSOLE

This quick 30 Minute Posole has intense slow cooked flavor thanks to an enchilada sauce base and leftover pulled pork.

 Total Cost $6.55 recipe / $1.09 serving
 Prep Time 5 minutes
 Cook Time 25 minutes
 Total Time 30 minutes
 Servings  (1.33 cups each)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 small yellow onion $0.14
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil $0.04
  • 2 Tbsp flour $0.02
  • 2 Tbsp mild chili powder* $0.30
  • 3 oz. tomato paste $0.33
  • 1/2 tsp cumin $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional) $0.03
  • 3/4 tsp salt $0.03
  • 2 cups water $0.00
  • 3 cups chicken broth** $0.38
  • 4 oz. can chopped green chiles $0.87
  • 15 oz. can hominy $1.09
  • 1.5 cups shredded pork, chicken, or beef (pre-cooked) $2.04
  • 1 fresh lime $0.33
  • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro $0.85

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Finely dice the onion, then add it to a large soup pot along with the canola oil. Sauté the onion in the oil over medium heat for 3-5 minutes, or until it is tender and transparent. Add the flour and chili powder and continue to sauté for two minutes more. The mixture will be fairly dry, so stir continuously to prevent burning.
  2. Add 2 cups water, tomato paste, cumin, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and salt to the pot. Whisk the ingredients together until the tomato paste is dissolved. Allow the mixture to come to a simmer, at which point it will thicken.
  3. Finally, add the chicken broth, shredded meat, diced chiles, and hominy (drained). Stir to combine and then heat through (about 10 minutes).
  4. Cut the lime into wedges and roughly chop the cilantro. Top each bowl with chopped cilantro and a wedge of lime to squeeze over top.

IMG_2453My son loves these Jennie-O turkey burgers – cooks them right up and slaps them on the buns (I think the dogs got half of burger he couldn’t finish). Bananas are one of my go-to’s every morning and also if I need a bit of a snack. Those peppers looked so tasty at the store and $1.49/each I couldn’t pass up to slice up for snack (and maybe to add some to the posole along with the onions) The Coffeemate vanilla creamer I just can’t give up!!

And why would I need to give up my creamer, you ask? Well, I am trying really hard to take dairy out of my diet (for the moment, anyway). I have read that dairy is a big contributor to inflammation. I have osteoarthritis along with some kind of severe piriformis muscle I can’t get rid of, so I am trying to reduce my dairy intake. I tried removing dairy and gluten a couple of years ago, but I just couldn’t stick with it.

IMG_2451Here is the rest of my shopping. For my dairy free options I have really been enjoying almond milk in my coffee and cereal. As you can see I have a Silk dairy free yogurt that I am going to try. My biggest issue is ice cream. Ohhhh I love ice cream!!!  I have tried almond milk ice cream which is pretty good, but it’s really expensive (hmmm I guess the ice cream already made it into the freezer!! Mint chocolate chip, my favorite.). Cheese is a tough one, so I am just trying to keep it out of the house except what my son uses on his sandwiches. My daughter makes “overnight oatmeal,” for her and her husband, so I will give it a go with the oats, frozen berries and peanut butter powder and yogurt. I love the Private Selection brand from Kroger – their coffee pods (on the right) were $4.00 off this week!!! I think I got a box of 12 for $1.79. It looks like some posole ingredients in the pic and vanilla wafers for my son.  All in all, a good shopping trip.

I hope you enjoy taking a peek into my grocery bags. I think I have mentioned before that it’s interesting how I like to watch vlogs about people’s shopping “hauls,” so I decided to write about mine.  If you have any questions about the products or if you have any thoughts on the whole anti-inflammatory diet, please please let me know.

And again, for those of you that have just started following my blog and this one is a bit different, I guess I want to show that those of us with mental illness can lead very normal days and it feels good when we can see the positives of daily living because we know hard difficult the difficult days can be.

Take Care

Jenny

Featured image: unsplash-logoBrooke Cagle

Ohhh these medications!!!!!

Ohhh these medications!!!!!

There are times in our lives when something that is good for us can piss us off. Well, I tend to go through periods of times when I am just angry that I have to take all of these pills. Can some of you relate with that? I suppose this feeling can happen to people with all kinds of ailments, but for me, it is because of mental illness that I take pills and there are days or weeks when it just irritates me that I have to take them.

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I have been taking medication for mental illness for over 25 years. In the beginning it was  “simple” antidepressant and anti anxiety meds. I didn’t like it then but I knew it helped. Just as I know what I take at this moment in my life helps now. But at times, I resent it…why do I have to take all of this to be “normal?” But I won’t quit taking them, I know better than that….I know that is not the path to take.

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If you have walked down a similar road as I have with Bipolar and Borderline Personality Disorder, you know that psychiatric med are almost a must. And it is hard to get the perfect pill or combination of pills to feel ok. Finding that combination can be challenging. Trying this med or that med, suffering the side effects, waiting the 6 weeks to see if it works, it is quite a journey, but eventually it does work. If you are newly diagnosed and reading this, please try  not to feel discouraged. Medication and mental health is a process and my advice is to have a physician that you trust and for you to RESEARCH the medications you are attempting so you can feel more empowered with knowledge of what is going into your body. You will figure it out, it just may take time.

So why am I resentful?  I guess it is just the feeling of being irritated that I am not normal without them. I hear the comment of “it’s like having diabetes – people need to take their medication to stay healthy just like you.” If you haven’t heard that comment before, you most likely will. Well, I don’t have diabetes! I don’t have other conditions that I have to take meds for and I AM thankful for that. But I think it’s because it’s my BRAIN and feeling like who I am is surrounded by a handful of pills everyday.

Does that make sense at all?

I suppose I am just wanting to get this off my chest for today, for this moment. I HIGHLY ENCOURAGE you to stay on the medications you are prescribed. I know I do even when I am feeling a bit perturbed by taking them. I know that stopping my meds could mean real disaster and most likely another trip to the psychiatric hospital. I don’t need that in my life. I am pleased to say that it has been at least 5 years since my last hospitalization. Hmmmmmm, I think these pills are doing the trick!!

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Do any you ever feel like I do? Does your frustration with your meds take front and center?  Again, if you are newly diagnosed PLEASE know that you will probably go through similar feelings about what you are taking, but also know HOW IMPORTANT it is for you, for your well-being to take the right medication for your medical condition.

I would love to hear your comments on this medication topic.

Take Care

Jenny

 

unsplash-logopina messina -featured image

unsplash-logoAndre Hunter – frustrated box photo

all other content pictures courtesy of http://www.pexels.com

These are on Amazon (affiliate) for only $5.99!!! click below if you are interested!!

Anxiety, Panic and Vertigo

Anxiety, Panic and Vertigo

Hello! Thanks for stopping by. I want to say right off how much I appreciate my followers and readers. I enjoy writing my blogs, and it really means a lot to me that you continue to read. And to new readers, WELCOME! Enjoy today’s topic and check out some of my previous blogs.

It’s funny how my topics seem to just pop into my mind at times. Today, I was watching the news (oh dear, should I really do that?!?!), and was watching 3 people stand at a podium, 1 in the middle and 2 on either side. I immediately thought, “How can those people stand up there without anything to hold on to? Don’t they feel like they are going to topple over because they are dizzy?  I know I would!” I am always a bit envious of people who can stand up in front of people to speak, or literally, just to stand!

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Approximately 28 years ago (I am now 51), I was living as a single young woman, working as a secretary in a healthcare consortium and life was good, I lived on my own with my cats and all in all couldn’t complain about life. One day I was sitting at my desk when a HUGE bout of dizziness (vertigo) just bowled me over in my seat. I didn’t know what was happening and I felt terrible!! My coworkers had me lay down, got me some water and after about a half hour I felt fine. Little did I know this was the first noticeable onset symptom of mental illness. I had my brain scanned, visited various sorts of doctors with no luck. These episodes of vertigo would just hit me without notice and I couldn’t determine a pattern and it was very upsetting living with the unknown. It wasn’t until TWO years later that my brother’s girlfriend witnessed what was happening and she said it was a panic attack. WHAT? NO, that’s not me, I’m just dizzy!

Well, she was right!!

It took a couple of years trying to get better on my own (25 years ago you just didn’t talk about mental illness like you can now…We still live in stigma, but it’s getting better). Long story short I went to see a psychiatrist. Wow, I felt REALLY crazy!!! I didn’t like him at all but he prescribed me an antidepressant and anti-anxiety medication. Thankfully, it helped and the horrid feelings of vertigo and loss of self became a bit easier to live with.

My life and my mental illness have traveled quite the journey over these past 25 years. If you have lived with mental illness for a long period of time, you know that it can be a challenging journey. If you are newly diagnosed, you will learn your own journey and with the right kind of help, you WILL be able to manage.

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So, despite all of this, guess what? I STILL HAVE VERTIGO!!! I will not stand in front of a group of people, nor do I like even standing in say a small group of people. My mind gets a bit stressed and I feel like I could just teeter-totter with vertigo and fall on the ground.  I imagine this is a long term effect of my anxiety. I rarely have full-blown panic attacks anymore, but anxiety seems to live with me and reminds me from time to time that he can cause me real problems (anxiety has to be a “he” in my mind!!).

How does anxiety or panic manifest within you?  I would love to have you share some tips on you manage  your anxiety.

Take Care

Jenny

Indira Active

To “Friend” or not to “Friend”

To “Friend” or not to “Friend”

Yes, that is the question!  I must say I really do enjoy social media. But I don’t think the appeal for me has ever quite been for the “social” part. Years ago I joined Facebook to see pics of my children and their schoolmates and to feel a little closer to their world. There was a very sad point in my life when my younger daughter moved in with her dad when she was 16 and she never spoke to me – goodness for almost a year and a half. I was able to have social media to catch a glimpse of her and know she was ok. I am soooo very thrilled to stay that 4 years later she has given me a beautiful granddaughter, and my daughter and I are closer now than we have ever been. Anyway, I would see my kids pics but I found that I enjoyed Facebook for “liking” news sites, entertainments sites, hobby sites and so on. I could view interesting articles that pertained to my liking all in one place. I still do that with Facebook and Instagram and others. I  do waste more time than I should scrolling through these pages, but honestly, I am ok with it.

 

Then there are the so-called social media friends. People that you may have met, once, people you work with, and other random folks. Our sites all of a sudden can have hundreds of “friends” that we hardly know. We see little snippets of their lives scroll through our news feeds as they see snippets of our lives as well. Why? What are either one of us getting out of this? We don’t really know one other!!

I have cleared out my Facebook acquaintances over the years. I am usually around 100 people on my list. Even that number seems high. I am a naturally more introverted person, so my social circle is pretty darn small. Looking at those 100 names made me think, “hmmm.”

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I came to a realization about a week ago that maybe it was time to go through my friends list and update it. As an aside, I think I may be feeling a wee bit sorry for myself right now since I have had such a rough go with this hip replacement. Anyway, the day before my surgery I made a post and there were the usual, “I’ll pray for you,” “good luck,” ” let me know if you need anything,” etc. Don’t get me wrong, the sentiments were nice. But what surprised me is basically not a single “friend” asked how I was doing (except a few workmates). It rather surprised me and made me a bit sad. My oldest daughter reminded me how that is a problem with social media…. people really don’t interact with others like you think they might or you hope they would.

So, I have done a bit of clearing out on my Facebook account (my other social media doesn’t have this “friend” problem). I of course have kept all of my family, I still have coworkers on the list,  and a few random folks. I feel strange hitting that “unfriend” button with so many, but truly, I don’t know them or if I do we have no contact on social media.  I don’t want them to take offense or get mad at me removing them from my page. Is that silly? See what Social Media is doing to our brains?

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My list is down to 64 people and that seems ok with me….for the moment. I still feel worried that I have upset the people I got rid of. I feel unsure about how they will now feel about me. But, I KNOW this is the part of me that talks when my brain wants to be goofy. It’s that part of my self-esteem, or rather lack up that haunts me. It’s part of managing my Bipolar and BPD that is so crucial in positive mental health.

I will be OK.

And so will YOU!!!

Jenny

 

When PAIN gets us down..what to do?

When PAIN gets us down..what to do?

I am stepping away from the blog challenge. While some of the topics are interesting to me, some are not and I would rather write about topics that provide both myself and you some knowledge, laughter, hints, whatever the case may me. I am still trying to define what my niche may be in writing this blog. Mental Illness and managing a mental illness is near and dear to my heart. Having diagnoses of Bipolar and Borderline Personality Disorder keep me having to always stay on top of my health, mental and otherwise. I hope I can share with you what has worked for me over the years.  It’s can be a struggle, I know.

Have you ever dealt with long-term pain? If so, you know how incredibly hard it can be to “keep your chin up.” Chronic pain can drain every bit of our being, both physically and mentally. We want to be positive, but it’s hard. We appreciate everyone’s concern, but it can be hard to either not complain, or else just let it all out and talk about every single painful twitch. We sleep like crap almost every night and we are sick and tired of feeling totally immobile. Have we been there? YES!

My chronic pain with my hip has been going on for at least 4 years. I had surgery last year and then a hip replacement this year that had serious complications. I am now sitting here wondering if I will be using a walker the rest of my life, I am 51!

So what do we do? I am hopeful, but not convinced that this long-term pain will resolve. I can only imagine how those of you living in chronic pain LIVE at times?  Let’s look at a few ideas.

I found this great slide show article from WebMD that give some advice on easing your pain STRESS:

https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/ss/slideshow-pain-tips

I laughed when the first slide was Excercise!!!! We sure don’t want to exercise when we hurt!! But, I KNOW it helps. It may not help the pain at hand, but it keeps us strong. And for those of us who are not particularly mobile, get some handweights (or ankle weights if your shoulders hurt); do some stretches…just a little is better than nothing. I have an alarm set on my phone at 11:00am and 5:00pm everyday to do my exercises. That keeps me on track.

Relaxation (find at least one or two positions where we can be comfortable), avoid alcohol and cigarettes, give ourselves some down time, journal (or blog), and most important, ASK FOR HELP if we are feeling that dark cloud surround us a little more than normal.

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Pain is NO FUN! It’s hard to deal with and when we are in an extended period of pain it can be even more troubling to handle than “normal”  short term pain.  Remember, we are not alone in our pain, and we are not alone in our healing. It’s ok if we don’t want to talk, but starting to completely withdraw can make our mental health suffer.

Share with me how you live with your pain, chronic or otherwise. Please share any hints you may have. Thanks and take care of YOU!

Jenny

Love to Binge (watch)!

Love to Binge (watch)!

Hello and Happy New Year!! I hope today finds you healthy and filled with Peace. It was a quiet New Year’s for me, though I did hear firecrackers go off around the neighborhood. I am thankful that my dogs don’t suffer from the panic of fireworks. I always feel so sad thinking about dogs that are in this state of fear and they just can’t do anything about it. Even us humans can have a very hard time dealing with certain fears. It takes a lot of mindful thinking to be able to get through moments that we just think are unbearable. And those that have panic attacks….they are horrid. I suffered from them for years and years;  they just happen upon you  when you are least expecting it and you don’t know why. It takes hard work, but you can learn to understand what is going on when you are in such a state of panic and start to calm yourself. So back, to the poor dogs, I wish they could calm themselves in those times of fear.

Here is my Cooper when he was baby…so darn cute I just had to share.

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I rather digressed from my topic at hand. Today I am asked about TV viewing. Do I binge watch shows? Yes, not all of the time, but yes. I grew up in the days of just plain tv – no Netflix or Hulu or Amazon. Besides being able to watch episodes one after another, the absolute best invention in TV history is that pause button!  To be able to pause live TV!! I was astounded when that feature came to pass – AMAZING!! I can pause to talk to someone, I can pause and skip commercials, I can even rewind from my pause to watch something again!!  When I was recently in the hospital the tv didn’t have a pause button. I realized how much I use it and how awesome it really is.

So what am I watching these days?

1.Grey’s Anatomy – my oldest daughter got me on this show a few years ago. She convinced me to give it a try, and I was hooked!! I spent a whole summer binge watching the seasons – gosh were there 11 at the time?  And she and I were both so excited when it came back to television with new seasons that are just as good.  I am (im)patiently waiting for the next season

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2. Downton Abbey – I never could watch it because it was not on live streaming, or so I thought. I just found it last week on Amazon Prime Video for free! I am so happy because being laid up, I really needed a good long show to watch and this is great! I love the show and the costumes are just beautiful as well as the scenery.

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3. MSNBC – this is my go-to news channel to watch when I am not watching local news. I like most of the reporters, but UGH! Can these news channels talk about anything besides politics?  It get’s so very tiring. At least watching my local news and then ABC Nightly News can bring a bit of diversity to the news.  I do enjoy watching Meet The Press with Chuck Todd. Great guests? Great Topics? Interesting Interviews?  Yes that is true, but I mostly watch it because Chuck Todd is so damn cute!!!! Hahahaha, it’s true!

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4. San Francisco 49ers – they have been my team for probably 40 years!!! Oh goodness I feel old!  But I love watching them. A few weeks ago, my Dish programming didn’t have them on (see my blog.Who me? Frustrated?. I guess I wasn’t the only person upset because their games are back on my channels. Oh and is it ok to mention cute again? Our new quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo makes our losing season a bit more bearable to watch.

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So that’s about all that I have on my TV these days. Do I like to binge watch?  Yes, it has its positives. What about you?  What shows do you enjoy? Do you have certain genres of shows that you like depending on your mood?  Let me know!

Jenny

Pet Peeves…..UGH!!!!

Pet Peeves…..UGH!!!!

Oh my goodness, pet peeves!!!  I think some days my irritations are much more than others. I don’t know if that is because of the weather, my sleep the night before, my illness. I would say all of those combined.  Anyway, pet peeves truly are annoyingly frustrating!!

Are you sound sensitive? If you are you know exactly where I am coming from. There are sounds during the day that drive me cuckoo!  At work if someone is quietly tapping their foot it aggravates the hell out of me. If a clock is ticking I want to take the batteries out. Commotion noise is awful as well. Hahahaha just thinking about it is not a good thing!!

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There is another noise out in this world that is awful. I won’t describe it but suffice it to say I get immediate flashbacks to my abuse as young girl. 40 years later I cannot “undo” this sound-memory from my life. It is actually a PTSD type reaction. Anger and sickness is what I usually feel from this. Maybe someday I will be able trash this sound as a pet peeve.

Ok chalk – yes CHALK. I CAN’T HANDLE IT!!  How it looks, how it sounds, its smell, on and on and on!  I really don’t know how I got this weirdness about chalk but it sure is strong. Even thinking about I get the shivers!!!! Let’s not think about it.

Did you know there are lists for pet peeves?  Huffington Post has a list of 76!! I decided not to look at it because I didn’t want to add to my own personal list!!

I’m sure I have more pet peeves, but I don’t really want to think about them. This is part of managing my mental health that I need aware of: understand that I have pet peeves and irritations, but not necessarily get wrapped up in how they affect me.

Share with me some of your irritations – if you dare!!!

Jenny

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Don’t Hold Me To It!!

Don’t Hold Me To It!!

me polaroid So it seems that many people who start blogs use a 30 day blog challenge to get them into the writing habit. I have looked at a bunch of these challenge lists and I don’t really like all of the questions. Hmmmm, Jenny, you could make your own list?! Grand idea, but I think I will stick with the one I have.

I will start this challenge telling you that there is high likelihood that I will end up on different topics or just not doing the complete challenge all together, but who knows, I may surprise myself!

Day one of this challenge says to introduce myself and use a current photo. So this is me. I am 51 years old and I think I mentioned in another blog that I recently decided to embrace my age (well, that may be an overstatement), and let my hair go gray. Funny how this picture  may hair isn’t particularly gray. Hahaha, I think I need to find some new shampoo to brighten my silver. Any ideas? Anyway, I have 4 wonderful children, 2 girls, 2 boys (23, 20, 18 and 16). I have been truly blessed with 3 grandchildren and am able to see them quite often. Being a mother has been the one “job” in my life that I have loved more than anything. It is what defined me for so many years and for that I am so happy. Now being a grandmother, I have a whole new gift to love.

I am single and have been for over 12 years (wow, more years than I was married!). I have my ups and downs with being single as I suppose many of us do at this point in our lives. There are times when I so wish I could have a close romantic and personal relationship and other times where my life feels fine without having to seek out a relationship such as that. That’s where I am right now in my life and I am content.

My career life has run the gamut from owning a restaurant, working as a special needs aide, managing a garden center and now a grants manager for a non profit. I don’t think I have ever really truly found my “spot” in the work world. I suppose there is still time. For now I have a decent job in an organization that helps others so that is good.

For the physical/mental part of who I am there have been a lot of challenges. My body feels well beyond it’s 51 years which is rather depressing, but I am trying to heal from recent surgeries and become more physically fit. My mental life has been quite tumultuous. Years and years of dealing with a panic disorder and some depression which as I aged popped into over a decade of learning to live a diagnosis of Bipolar and Borderline Personality Disorder. Multiple hospitalizations and years of therapy and psychiatric care and a lot of work within me has brought me to a place where I am healthier in my mental Self than I have been in years. I have the correct “cocktail” of meds and my self help skills and work in Dialectical Behavior Therapy have been my saving grace.

So there you have it – a little bit about me and Day One on the challenge. Share your blog with me, I would love to read others’ words who are on this challenge.

Jenny

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Me, again…

Hello! Today is the day and the moment is now! Through a whim of helping my daughter start a blog, I decided to start one as well – again. I so wish I had the old blog I wrote. There were some treasured words in those pages, but I neglected my WordPress account and the blog is gone.

I really don’t know if I will write often, or never again. But for now, for this moment, I am writing and it feels good.

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