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Showing posts from 2015

Loving the Life God Gave Us

Godliness with contentment is great gain. (I Timothy 6:6)In other words, the highest, most honorable gain, in this life time, is found in the pursuit of being content with being God-like.Do that and you are a success in God's eyes.Sadly, the messages of contemporary culture, both Christian and secular, are often anything but spiritual.Being successful is defined by all the trappings that come with material pursuits, how fat your bank account is, and who calls you friend.All these things have become synonymous with success and the pursuit of them is tantamount to everything else.Popular cultures often confuses and intertwines these two, but they dare not be joined.The challenge is to live in today's culture without being sucked into this mindset.This has been doubly challenging for Glen and me.It's much easier said than done with mental illness on board and here's why.
Society values performance and perfection over principle, and charisma over character.I know why!Happy …

The Unwelcomed Visitor

He came without an invitation.He had been lurking in the shadows for days.I'd get a glimpse of his face now and then, and wonder why he was hanging around.Often he would retreated to the shadows, I'd breathe a momentary sigh of relief, still wondering when he would make his presence fully known. Today, he finally came and entered without hesitation or warning.I had tried to bolt the door shut, but he managed to push past me.His dreary presence was uncomfortable, his disposition gloomy.He sidled next to me and whispered his intent.My soul shuddered!Not again, "I whispered!"It made no difference.He was here and I had to abide his stay no matter how long the visit.

It wasn't a choice I made that beckoned him to come.I had not invited him, nor was I desirous of his visitation.He just came like he always does.He sneaks up on us, often finally making an entrance when least expected.I pondered why and contemplated his persistence.He is relentless.How long would he stay th…

Being Alive is Enough

It has to beacceptable that I'm alive.  Is that not reason to celebrate?  No accomplishments need be attached to it.  One can see the similarities between a salvation which needs not one singular prop and the essence of existing, not striving to substantiate your being alive, you just are.

People move in and out of ages as a routine of living.  Some milestones are achieved and reached with a yawn or pedestrian agenda.  This is not to project a stereotype on humanity.  A simple turning of the head while stepping into the world, reminds us that most do not live surrounded by beds of roses.  There are those who claw and scrape their way through the desert of survival; not one day, not for a season, but for their entire existence.  The honest yet brutal recognition inundates them with the need for endless energy reserves and emotional tanks which presumably never run dry....but they do.  The older you become, the more daunting the journey.  The energy and time you devoted in the beginn…

Nothing Surprises God

Nothing which touches my life is a surprise to God!God does not get blindsided.

God never becomes overwhelmed!Yet he empathizes with those who do. He doesn't judge or add pressure- He is simply God - always available.
God never becomes depressed, yet he holds the hand of the soul who clings to hope like grains of sand slipping through their fingers.
God never becomes psychotic or hears voices, yet He's waiting as the creator spirit hovers over those troubled souls.The compassionate Savior receives the returning one from the gray fog of a mental trance.
God never becomes anxious, yet He is there pacing back and forth as sweaty hands wring themselves together.....silently pleading for an end to this frenetic feeling.
God never is dyslexic, yet He understands the embarrassment which accompanies confusing moments and dis-organization.
God never becomes Suicidal, yet He sheds unmeasured hot tears for those who grapple with P.T.S.D.
God never becomes calloused or indifferent toward…

Kayaking and the Mental Health Survivor

Thoughts of life are careening around inside my head like calving ice bergs with one piece breaking off and plummeting into the already floating mass.The laborious task of moving with the ebb and flow of life's current is wearisome.In the agonizing seasons, the will to survive grudgingly gives passage to thriving as more energy is invested to maintain that middle ground in order to not fall into depression.This hand to hand combat, within the mind, is as exhausting as flailing against a #10 whitewater with its roiling river current of foamy white power.The most experienced kayaker may lose thebattle with this watery jaw of death.You can picture the desperate scenario of the kayaker lying onthe river stones, chest and lungs heaving as the next breath is sucked in.In a moment like this, it is doubtful the kayaker is thinking about the next river challenge.No, rather a resolve to complete this challenge..... gather emotions and harness physical energy to move forward.In so many ways…

The Power of A Silent Response

I believe I may have discovered the power of silence.  The art of keeping quiet is not something I'd say I have mastered...not at all!  In fact, I often believe that I say too much.  Our family has long been outspoken regarding mental illness.  We have spoken when the message was unpopular, but we kept speaking.  Often times, we spoke a message that fell on deaf ears.  So, what is the power of speaking if those you wish to educate are not listening?  Well, it means that something you may have said has the potential to stick and stay with them.  Words have a power all their own, when you voice is long gone, words can echo in the heart, soul and mind forever. 
But sometimes speaking drowns out the power of your own voice.  I know it sounds like a paradox, but I really believe it is in part a true statement.  In a world that is full of in-your-face messages and advertising, we are accustomed to messages.  How often do they really make a difference.  I can't answer that.  I know…

Repurposed Vintage Ladders

I have always loved old vintage ladders.  I grew up on a farm and old ladders were everywhere.  It's something about the imperfections, I think, that makes them so endearing. I've passed my love for old things on to my daughters.  They are in the midst of an apartment makeover and here is a pic of a great vintage ladder redo they are using in their living room.  Isn't it spectacular?  I love the old cameras, books, typewriter, records and suitcase.  It speaks to me.  Kind of gives me a warm fuzzy feeling!  Tell me what you think. I'd really like to hear from my viewers.  Share your ideas with me. I love hearing what others are up to!

I added this old ladder to my studio bathroom.  I really like the versatility of this piece.  I haven't added extra shelving yet to the bottom, but I might do that one day.  Who knows.  In the mean time, I love him just the way he is!  

So, there you have it.  Two pics of really great uses for those old vintage ladders!  Get out there an…

Silence Kills!

The Easy Response

We could debate forever about how to respond to persons with mental illness.  Honestly, the excuse that "people fear what they don't understand" is a paper thin excuse.  It is no longer valid.  Yet, here I am writing about the injustice shown toward those with mental illness...better or more appropriately understood as a brain chemistry illness. Oh how weary it gets...saying the same things over and over, only to be met with the same response or perhaps no response. 
In a recent facebook post, I stated how grievous this lonely road is.  I dared to pour my heart out looking for a kind word and sadly, I was met with less than a thimble full of comments.  One person said they were sorry.  And a second said "how sad for you...people fear what they don't understand."  And I got angry!  Yes, I am sick and tired of ignorance.  Really, you don't understand mental illness?!  Well, join the club.  Neither do I (like I need to, wish to or should) …

Re-purposing Vintage Hifi cabinets

These are three vintage stereo cabinet makeovers that my husband and I have repurposed.  They make great storage units, not to mention they are colorful and beautiful.  The coral one is my absolute favorite.  The addition of the waverly fabric is a perfect finishing touch.  

Below left: this cabinet had a complete front face which we removed and then added the three spindles back into the middle for support.  I have since moved this to my studio for stowing away my jewelry cases after each show.  The smaller turquoise cabinet houses files and extra printer paper.

DIY Glass Fishing Floats

DIY  Fishing Floats

These were super fun to create, but a little messy, I must confess.  I had some left over glass Christmas ornaments and I knew these were the perfect size and shape for this project.  I used Vitrail turquoise glass paint thinned with a little bit of acetone.  I removed the hooks, poured a small amount of acetone in a bulb, then poured in a small amount of the glass paint.  Swirl it around to completely coat the bulb.  I placed a napkin over the end and shook to make sure I had full coverage on the inside.  Then flip upside down to drain the excess and let dry over night.

Making the rope netting covers was no small task.  After a few pinterest searches, I found the best tutorials and gave it a shot.  I love the end result.  These make my heart sing!!!!  

A Family of Choice

It's unfair that many families refuse to accept their loved one's mental illness.  It's cruel!  It's painful and it is certainly anything but comforting.  Abandonment happens.  Glen and I have experienced this stinging loss.  Glen more than me.  His family does not get it.  It was all pretence and shallow.  It times of deep loss, we were often neglected and ignored.  We have often been sorely misrepresented and misunderstood.  No one cared that their abandonment has scorched deep burning scars into our souls. These seering scars; we will carry forever.  We will never be the same.  It would be unfair to ask that of us. 
We have repeatedly stumbled over this loss.  We have groveled, griped and complained.  We have whined and cried and begged for it to be different, but to no avail. We were certain they should love and accept him/us.  But we are learning that sometimes you don't get to choose the family you are born with.  If you are lucky, some families will get it a…

Accustomed to Noise, Chaos and Drama

On a recent episode of Dr. Oakley Yukon Vet, her family was sharing lunch time in the busy city of Anchorage, Alaska.  The Oakley family lives in the remote and rugged area of Canada's Yukon Territory.  While the woman were eating, car horns began blowing and the whir of traffic could be heard and seen close by.  I was drawn in even more than usual when suddenly one of Dr. Oakley's daughters began yelling at the vehicles blowing and creating the perceived commotion.  She intentionally spoke to the bothersome "noise" encountered in this big city.  This seemingly pedestrian moment, caused her discomfort to the point where she reprimanded the noise again and then encouraged the others to leave with her.  I remember looking at my wife and saying "she can't cope with this drama.  It was obvious she didn't live surrounded by the pressure cooker of constant noise, perpetual movement and chaos big cities bring. 
I thought to myself, how rare of an individual she…

Organization Stations

My hubby's Grandfather used to say "A place for everything and everything in it's place!"  Create a smart place for something and you will always know where it is when you need it.
So, I've been using this in my life.  I've created a desk station, a make up station, a coffee station and one...well, it's for looks!  But I think I'm entitled to create a station I just admire, right?!  Here's some pics.  I hope you enjoy them.

Coffee Station - Roadside Rescue Dresser with white chalk paint, baskets, an old burlap coffee bean sack, and a metal tray to hold my coffee and espresso maker

My Mental Illness Survival Kit

(My survival kit for enduring a manic/depressive episode)

I enjoy war movies, stories of rescues or survival documentaries.  At the point of concern, whether it be a prisoner of war taken captive, a lost hiker or a coordinated yet unpredictable survival trip, a plan is crucial.  The preservation and sustainability of life is the focus for persons found in these circumstances...and so much more for the person diagnosed with a serious mental illness, such as bipolar disorder.  The land mine or craggy cliff we must navigate to survive, is what doctors describe as cycling or rapid cycling through a manic or depressive episode.  I am sure it is common for persons encountering a lost situation to not know how lost they are. This does not preclude the reality for the need to access their survival kit. 
For the person entering the heinous world of a mood episode, the severity may not be as easy to ascertain.  The confusing gauges, like a compass not calibrated for true north, don't always d…