RSS Feed

Category Archives: Adventures

Publishing and Consignment

I am not sure if I have lost my readership.  I first took a very long hiatus, then had to go into treatment when I went off my medication again.

Since then, I’ve published my poetry book, and the owner of a new bookstore in Old Town Salinas has told me she’ll put my poetry books and children’s books in her store on consignment.  She said also that she might like if I do a poetry reading on her grand opening.



Wordpress, Technorati, GBC stickers

Wordpress, Technorati, GBC stickers (Photo credit: Titanas)

I always wonder what other people think of WordPress statistics like the ones I’ve posted below.  It’s amazing to think someone from Macedonia might see my random ramblings about my personal life struggles.  In a way, I hope some of what I write here can be universally relevant.  We all have families in some respect, whether we are merely the product of our own (probably dysfunctional but lovable) ones or trying to be managers of our own little special, beautiful messes.

I hope you all can relate to what’s being said, anyone who is reading this.  I always wonder what people feel in regards to my stories, how much it resonates, how much it makes you think about your own life or experience someone else’s through vicarious satisfaction.

I would invite anyone to share bits about their own kids, but I know that’s a sensitive subject.  I’d love to learn others’ experience.

Anyway, these stats about countries…. interesting, no?  I wonder what a person from Lithuania or India or the Czech Republic thinks about my life?  I just wonder, that’s all.  I wonder how much they can relate or does it matter what country you’re from?  Just curious is all I am; curious.

Top Views by Country for all days ending 2012-03-26 (Summarized)

All Time

Country Views
United States FlagUnited States 222
Canada FlagCanada 13
Netherlands FlagNetherlands 8
Czech Republic FlagCzech Republic 6
Israel FlagIsrael 4
Italy FlagItaly 4
Lithuania FlagLithuania 4
Mexico FlagMexico 3
Brazil FlagBrazil 3
Guatemala FlagGuatemala 3
Singapore FlagSingapore 2
Austria FlagAustria 2
United Kingdom FlagUnited Kingdom 2
Thailand FlagThailand 2
Australia FlagAustralia 2
Moldova, Republic of FlagMoldova 1
India FlagIndia 1
Sweden FlagSweden 1
Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of FlagMacedonia 1
Poland FlagPoland 1
Norway FlagNorway 1
Argentina FlagArgentina 1

Two Pluses and One minus Equals One Plus, Which Puts Me Ahead of My Game

Rainbow over Monterey

Rainbow over Monterey (Photo credit: JamesMoberg)

English: The Monterey Institute of Internation...

Image via Wikipedia

Seal of the Monterey Institute of Internationa...

Image via Wikipedia - Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS)

I don’t really like that title, but I could think of none better.

Sometimes the old adage goes, “One step forward and two steps back.”  Sometimes not.

Last Friday, I lost my personal items on the bus.  I may have posted about this or I may not.  Either way, I lost the following in my purse which was beautiful and had a nice rainbow glitter design on the front with a zipper and was the kind that could be worn cross body style because it had a nice long strap.  It was dark blue, and I think I bought it while I was in my undergraduate years.  I lost the following:  One pink small-size eco-friendly moleskin (certain type of journal/writing book) made with 100% post-consumer materials — this said it would be recoverable only I didn’t have the foresight to actually register it at the website like they suggested, one wallet with two debit/credit cards (credit union and major bank), two or three checkbooks, a bunch of receipts, some cash, my set of keys (with apartment keys & mailbox keys), random lip balms, maybe some lotion, and I’m sure other stuff I’m not thinking about.

This week has been partially about backtracking.  My credit union knows me even though I only just started with them this year.  They were kind enough to allow me to withdraw cash although I do not have my ID (oh, yes, that must be one of the things I forgot to list!).  I had to get back to spare key I had given my husband to get in on his own.  He no longer can do so.  I’m waiting for my friend who works with the management of my apartment complex to call today so that I can get into my mailbox and get my mail to include my beginning-of-the-month check that I receive from a certain fund.  I will go over and remind her gently after lunch.  I may just hang out with her in the office for a while.  I’ve called the post office at both the distribution center and the regular post office where I would receive the keys.  I left a message, but I will have to call again after lunch as well.  I’ll hope I can go on Monday.  I’ve been so busy lately running around to other parts of town to visit my son on Tuesday, before that visit my husband, also go to see an Episcopal-Lutheran priest yesterday with him (although I am of neither denomination; I am Unitarian Universalist).  I haven’t even had time to go and volunteer this week.

I’m supposed to make a list of activities that I will be doing with the peer center in Monterey called Our Voices.  It’s another center run by peers mainly in Interim, Inc.  The link to that organization is provided, of course.  I haven’t done this yet, but I will today.

The other thing I did (bigger) is that I contacted Monterey Institute of International Studies online this morning and requested information about their program where a person can get a Bachelor of Arts in International Policy and a Master of Arts in another field within three years total (for both programs).  I decided I would find out about various language programs.  I’m interested probably in the Translation and Interpretation program although I started out looking into the programs where one would teach a foreign language or maybe English as a Second Language.  The admissions person said they would have a particular person talk to me about that all next week, someone who advises based on all the language-oriented programs.  This venture is really exciting to me because up until now, I was looking and looking and never had found a calling.  I’m approaching a resolution to the search that I’ve been having for about two years.  I will be proud to be on a road.

My husband and I talk of moving to Monterey or Marina, which is closer to the Peninsula where I live.  I’m in a more landlocked part of our area.  It’s somewhat safer on the peninsula and more pleasant overall.  The atmosphere is different, and it could be much more comfortable.

We’re going to be attending this Episcopal-Lutheran church every other week.  Christopher did not like the idea of every week.  I guess he feels he needs some Sundays to stay at home or relax.  I recommended that we could still be in touch with the reverend regardless.

I would love to live in the part of Monterey near the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS).  It’s the downtown area where there is close access to all kinds of shops, activities, some friends who live near there, and there is Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods both close by.  Plus, this would be closer to both of our respective mothers.  It would make life much simpler and more peaceful, I believe.

Christopher has started to volunteer with a non-profit organization called Loaves, Fishes, and Computers.  Their mission primarily is to sell refurbished computer systems at a very low cost to create a greater access to these resources.  It’s great experience, and I’m impressed with him for doing this because he has never really volunteered before.  He has always wanted to get into a job with computers (currently is a landscaper for Interim, but he wants to expand away from this to his greater interest in computers and technology).  He does not have formal training but is very knowledgeable with figuring things out and is very personable when he is relaxed.  When he’s experiencing anxiety, he can be contentious, but more of the time he is fine.

I see if we take things easy, allow the time of transition to pass and look forward to the days when, as the priest says, our son can make a choice about having a relationship with us in future years, focus on the present without looking backward to create depression or too much into the future to create anxiety…. If this all can be achieved, then we will be on a healing and wonderful path.  This is my goal, my prayer, and it is my wish.

Applied Behavior Analysis, Open Adoption, Newsletter Editing, Ideas for New Writing Projects

For the sake of order (a quality which I often lack),  I will provide a list of topics at the beginning of this entry.  It may not be necessary, but at least, you will know which will interest you the most and it may even help to assist you in deciphering the information as you read.

  • Applied Behavior Analysis – A field in psychology in which behavior is understood as resulting from various causes and will always have an effect, similar to the laws of physics having predictable outcomes (although most people do not regard human behavior quite this precisely, there are noticeable patterns which may be observed and measured)
  • Open Adoption – The result of the hearing was termination of parental rights with a recommendation for continued contact between our son and ourselves.
  • Newsletter Editing – I am coagulating the information that has been submitted to me by members of our mental health community in my county.  It is a big job as I am finding out.
  • Ideas for New Writing Projects – I have various ideas for other children’s books: one is about turtles, another is a longer nonfiction account of my experiences.  I am playing with ideas.  The children’s book is more tangible of an idea for me.  I am also just slowly beginning to market my book.  I need to email someone at a local art gallery/used book shop.

That’s pretty much it.  My husband is over for the weekend.  I’m trying to learn to be a better cook.  I went to see the adoption social worker.  I need to get in touch with a program called Kinship Center (link is on the front page, sorry for not linking here, lazy).  They have a support group for people who have given up a child to be adopted.  It would help me probably to talk to others.  I don’t want to get overly involved since there’s a lot I’m actually doing right now.

The Applied Behavior Analysis is something I’ve considered in the past.  Someone mentioned it to me by way of a college recruiter.  I don’t know if I messed up by asking them to call another time or send an email.  I hope that is not too much of a problem.  I think it would be a good fit since that is what I do much of the time anyway.

Open adoption; I will not mess that up.  The family is very kind.  I hope I can support my husband to become more comfortable with them.  I don’t know how to do so in an effective and gentle way.

About the newsletter, I’m just in the assembling process.  It’s my first time working with Microsoft Publisher very much.  I may have used it for other projects, but maybe it was a long while ago.  I don’t know.

My writing ideas…. I have to get them down.  Maybe I will post my story that I told aloud to my husband today while at the bus stop.  It involved a turtle and he sees a rock.  The rock is not what it appears to be.  It’s a story for children, but I feel adults would enjoy it too.

I get to see my son along with my mother on the 27th.  I’m going to try to see what I can do about what’s happening with my husband and his contact with David, but I don’t know if it’s my problem.  I do feel it’s in David’s best interest to know his birth father.  I don’t want him to completely shun him.  So far, he seems to be distancing himself.

At Least I’ve Got Some Wisdom? …. And maybe that’s enough to see me through

That’s what my mother told me when I told her I had to get my right upper wisdom tooth out.  It turns out that it’s going to be the one on the left as well.  I’ve already had both lower ones out when I was 18, so that’s bye bye to the wisdom teeth.  After that, the oral surgeon will check that the one next to the right wisdom tooth did not have its root surface eroded by the pushing of the wisdom tooth.

My husband and I have been discussing the pros and cons of moving back together, or rather, him moving in with me.

We are now coming to the conclusion that it is true what Katherine Hepburn said about men and women living next door (see quote below for details).  You think I’m joking?  Really, I’m serious.  If you visit Wikipedia, it will tell you that in the U.K. around 10% of couples and in Australia, Canada, and the U.S. up to 9% of couples participate in a non-traditional relationship arrangement sometimes deemed Living Apart Together (L.A.T.).  The wiki article was not specific, but it seemed this arrangement could take a number of forms including married couples, although that was not explicitly discussed.

There are specific pros to this that others may not anticipate.  Christopher could get Section 8 housing (in the same complex as me), be  able to spend time with me when we both have time to spend, we could have our homes the way we like them while still being able to be in the same space a lot of the time, we could share meals together without doing so every time.  Christopher could have me cook for him if he likes or eat the meals he likes to eat on his own.  He could have his mother over without me there.

Naturally, I am not comparing myself to Katherine Hepburn.  I am only relating to the quotation, of course.  In this instance, it seems to fit as a concept nicely.  I’ve always been resistant to unusual circumstances, but you know, that still doesn’t ever have seemed to have stopped them from catching up with me.

Sometimes I wonder if men and women really suit each other.  Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then.  ~Katherine Hepburn

On education, employment, and following through

“Focus, fusion, and following through are the keys to fitting in” according to an old television show, Clarissa Explains it All, an old TV show about a teenage girl who in this episode gets a lecture on “fitting in” because the guidance counselor is telling her the importance of being “normal”.  I’ve never been normal, never hope to be, and never expect to be so.  Still, I hope to succeed in life.  In my opinion, “normal” can mean one of two things or both: statistical average or denial.  No one is normal in my book, and that is a good thing.  If we were all the same, how would people have different jobs in life?  How would new ideas emerge?  Creative people do not produce normalcy, they produce other things: Music, art, film, inventions, books, blogs, companies, whatever.  Or they simply hold onto their ideas for themselves.  Either way, normalcy is not an important element of the equation.

In my Ideas page of this blog, you’ll see some ideas, mostly about work and school.  They are not things that are in stone.  They are not even altogether focused.  They are just meant to be ideas to get them out.  I can do only do this so much, though.  I need to focus, as my husband and another good friend say, on something, finish it and decide if that is something that I like.  I need to act more than to think.

I have an orientation scheduled tomorrow at 11:00 am at Department of Rehabilitation in Salinas.  It’s in the Social Security building but upstairs.  I’m not applying for SSI or SSDI, though.  I am applying for services with Department of Rehabilitation to find out what education and employment opportunities are available, whether they would recommend working or going to school (or if it’s up to me).  I would like to take at least one class.  I want to know if I would be wasting my time at a community college if I took classes.  I want advisement on pursuing a graduate degree in psychology or what to do about the credential in Special Education that I did not finish.

I would work with a counselor, I guess.  I would let them know about my situation, any information they need.  I hope it is more helpful than the last time I worked with this agency in Monterey.  The reasons it didn’t work before may have been due to my state of mind at the time or other issues.  That really does not matter.  The real point is to move forward and not go backward in time mentally.

As an aside, my husband is employed but wants to eventually move onto something less physically strenuous and maybe something more enjoyable.  He doesn’t mind his current work as a landscaper, but he knows he is capable of more.  He attends Peer-to-Peer through National Alliance on Mental Illness.  He is much better at being focused and keeping things simple than me.  I tend to get wild ideas, and now he’s able to ground me mentally and bring me back to where I need to put my energy.  This is very valuable.  I have a hard time with grounding in particular.  Perhaps I should focus on that in some meditation/mindfulness exercises sometime.

My longtime interest is in the general area of psychology as well as education.  That is the most likely general range of education and career goals.  I also would like to market my children’s book, maybe take creative writing classes, at least one, even if I didn’t actually major in that.  I would like a multifaceted life while still having a steady job.  By multifaceted, I mean doing a little writing/art/crafts/other hobbies on on the side while having a main occupation.  That would be how I see myself in my ideal life.  Eventually, I would like to be able to have a job and steady income that allows me to own a house, have the freedom to invest some of my money without worrying about losing some, and I would like to be able to leave a good amount of that to my son as well as any children he may have later in life.

There may be a question of dividing things into steps.  I don’t know how to think about that yet.  In my weight loss website, they say to make short range goals if your ultimate goal is long term.  I still need to do that in my weight loss efforts.  I will probably need to do that in education and employment as well.

Stepping stones, maybe?  My mother used to go to to a cognitive-behavioral therapist who called her method “Stepping Stones”.  I never understood what it all meant, but maybe it’s about making gradual steps toward improving your life.  It could also mean success by approximation.  There is probably a psychology term that I forgot somewhere that talks about that.

Geez, I miss my psychology classes.  Maybe that is a sign I should maintain my original educational goal?  I love studying psychology.  It’s not just with the goal of helping people; I truly find it fascinating.  My father was more of the clinical psychologist.  I’m more interested in humanism.  I’ve looked closely into a program at Naropa University in Colorado,  a private university named after a Tibetan Buddhist monk.  It is non-sectarian, but many of the programs involve meditation and other practices related to Buddhism.  I really like it.  I was interested in two programs there:  Creative Writing and Transpersonal Psychology with Ecopsychology Emphasis.  The psychology classes look much more interesting to me.  I’m not wedded to the idea of traditional counseling.  I’m not sure I even believe in that as productive.  There are so many more ways to heal than to follow the advice of a “doctor” or a “counselor.”

There is one program that includes counseling, though.  It’s not online, but it’s in Washington State — Bastyr University.  It’s a Master of Arts in Nutrition and Clinical Health Psychology.  This looks really interesting.  I also like the sound of the university and the idea of living in Washington (for at least a while).  Chris might not be up to moving until he has a job.  He seems to question this.  I should probably have at least one more option to consider.  There’s always the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto (doesn’t have great reviews), and there’s one other that someone I know from high school mentioned.  I would have to ask.  The main focus in psychology, I think.  Maybe it could just be humanistic in general.  Never can tell.

Maybe I have an opportunity around the corner.  Maybe I should be prepared to have my home ready for inspection when it enters.  I do want to make a good first impression after all.

Progress on my book, editing for Our Voices, and more Volunteering

I think I’ve almost if not completely finished the illustrations for my children’s book entitled The Bears of the Wood. I will not, of course, know for certain until I get a chance to upload everything, whether or not I will need a few more pictures or not. I’m not precise enough to know exactly how many I will need. This is my first time doing this, and I will say, I don’t really have a precise process. It’s just me doing it in a way that makes sense to me. I have no idea of the standard or the traditional way things are done. I’m just mostly doing this for David, my husband’s family (whether or not they ever really care) and my own feelings. If I sell books (which of course would be nice), that would be lovely.

I also went over to the peer center Our Voices today. I’ve been volunteering at Omni Center in Salinas since September. The administrator at Omni made me aware of an opportunity to edit for the newsletter at Our Voices as well. I went over and discussed this with the appropriate person at Our Voices. I got the formatting done for the first page. I feel like my next step is to get the word out at Omni, Shelter Cove/Sandy Shores, Our Voices and behavioral health (places that mental health consumers frequent) and let them know that we need people to write articles. As soon as I get a few articles, I can start adding them to the newsletter. I’m also going to have a section on the holidays from February until the next newsletter comes out. Another thing is to get out a community events calendar and create my own little calendar of events most likely at the back of the newsletter. It will all come together in time.

Meanwhile, I’ve been volunteering whenever I can at Omni. I will go in tomorrow. I could also figure out if I should go on Friday. I probably should go. The more time volunteering the better in my book. Even if they don’t need someone volunteering at the particular time, it’s always a help. Also, this Friday is the last Friday of the month, and they have the clothes closet open. Last month, when that happened, it was pretty busy. They will probably need help, so I should probably go.