Four homemade soups you can make in an hour or less (two vegetarian)

Growing up in Czech Republic, my husband ate soup almost every day. Though I didn’t eat it that often in my family (in the USA), when I had it, it was a wonderful treat. My mom was very good at making soups, and made a wide variety, always from scratch. Some were to warm us up in the winter (like the ones below), others were to use summer produce. Continue reading

When inheritance breaks up a family (or at least causes rifts)

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I saw the word “inheritance” was today’s WordPress daily prompt and thought “Oh, my goodness! That can be a sad word to write about!”

Surprised I write “sad”? Well, the word inheritance almost always has some negatives attached to it. Even if you’re the only niece or nephew of a childless elderly aunt who wills their entire estate to you, you at least usually grieve their loss to some degree, hopefully. The money and/or real estate might be welcome to help add to your retirement nest egg or give you the chance to travel or spend on things you normally wouldn’t have been able to. That’s nice, but this scenario is an ideal one. Way too often there ARE other “want to be inheritors” in the picture. Continue reading

Opportunities for elegance

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One of the advantages of me being at home during the days is that I have the luxury of wearing my favorite comfy ensemble. For most like me, it can be a favorite pair of jeans (or shorts), a comfy cotton shirt, and slip-on house shoes. Others may even go so far as to keep on their pajamas until well into the day, when outside errands necessitate day wear. I know that even many who work in an office often wear comfy slacks with matching blouse or shirt, nowadays. Fewer and fewer seem to dress to impress, unless perhaps they are promoted to upper management…maybe. It seems like my country, the USA, has become a casual nation, but there are still some opportunities for elegance. Continue reading

Writing and/or Talking A Lot! Hypergraphia or Pressured Speech?

One day, when I was maybe seven years old, my friend’s father was driving my friend and I to some place. I was clearly having a good time talking when her father said to me “Cindy, you certainly are a very gabby girl.” That shut me up momentarily, but then I went about my happy chatter. When I got home and saw my mother, I told her what my friend’s dad said, and asked her what the word “gabby” meant. She told me it meant that I like to talk a lot. I asked her if she thought I was gabby, and she said “Yes”. Continue reading

Two different kinds of prejudice and my inability to speak up one time

mental illness stigmaToday I read a story written by a compassionate and courageous woman on a bipolar support forum. I really admired how she, a non-psych nurse, treated a manic teen in a general hospital. The manic teen’s behavior to an outsider would have seemed shocking, but she knew that it was not his fault, but that he was ill and needed help and understanding. After encountering ignorance and prejudice against the mentally ill boy by other staff, she spoke up to defend him and challenge stigma. That reminded me of an occasion when I, on tenterhooks, didn’t speak up about two kinds of prejudice.   Continue reading

The Christmas Tag

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Season’s Greetings, Friends!

On December 1st, Discovering Your Happiness surprised me with this lovely Christmas tag created by Little DIY Projects. It was just what I needed to get me into the Christmas spirit, and also remind me to put up my Advent calendar 🙂 . Continue reading

Mental Health Advocacy – This is what I sent today (w/bonus requests)

Dear Senator Booker, 

I’m writing to you as both a concerned New Jerseyan and American. I chose to write to you because you have inspired and touched me. When you spoke at this past Democratic Convention I was brought to tears. You seem to have a combination of admirable passion, caring, respectability, and effectiveness. I believe you make a great difference for New Jerseyans and all Americans, and can make an even bigger one in the future.  Continue reading

Bird Flight – Soaring again (Overcoming mental health challenges)

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Bird Flight

Yesterday I woke up refreshed from a trip to the sunny south, kind of like a much needed winter migration vacation. The light and warmth seemed to recharge my energy and soul. For the first time in ages I got into the car and drove. I stopped here and there, and it seemed like everywhere on a special new found mission. Even though I eventually returned home, I didn’t feel like I drove “back” to any place. Instead, it was like a one-way ride heading forward for a change.  My front door was like the entrance to a new house and inside I didn’t head to any old safe nook. I explored new rooms, walked around different corners. Saw things I never before recalled seeing.  Continue reading

Another type of bravery worthy of recognition (surviving hardships)

Bravery

When I was a young girl, and then a young woman, nothing could stop me. I felt there was nothing to fear. As a child, I rode my bike alone throughout the town. As a young woman, I traveled alone in countries across the globe. I knew that things would always work out fine, even if I ran into trouble. 

Was it just the way I was raised that made me, a female, so confident and unintimidated? Or did a bit of my bipolar disorder contribute to that, too? After all, bipolar mania can make you feel on top of the world, indestructible, and all powerful. It can also make you more apt to taking risks because of an impulsivity that a stable mind would resist because of common sense, or general caution.  Continue reading