Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Seem to be busy these days!!

The three things I seem to be doing this Fall are: working at the Drop-In Center, taking a class in knitting and k-nitting my heart out, and scheduling 'In Our Own Voice' presentations.

I also cook dinners a lot since we seem always out of money and eating out is a big no-no.

Oh, and controlling the Jungle when they are hungry like right now and the Pugs want to go after the poor Siamese kitty.

Speaking of kitty, he had lost 2 pounds in a year which the vet said was the equivalent of a person losing 30 to 40 pounds in a year for no reason. They wanted to do more blood work on him, which I said okay to and it came up with nothing wrong with him. Then they said the next thing is an x-ray or sonogram.

He is a happy purry, active kitty. I absolutely do not have the money for x-rays and sonograms and didn't really have the money for the blood test. I have to fight against the feeling that I am a 'bad Mommy' for fighting the 'authority' of the vet, but at the same time if Reese is dying he sure is the 'happiest dying cat I've ever seen.' So I have resigned myself to loving and feeding my cat as much as he can stand of the wet food and leaving it at that. He is 'lording' over my laptop and now on my lap as we speak, purring away and I hope for the best for him. I hope you all don't judge me.

I'm still hanging on mood-wise. I often expect the other shoe to drop in the Fall time as this seems to be the difficult time for me. And I have had some days of depression that I could not pin-point the reason and I chalk it up to the bipolar. But I do hang in there when it counts (like scheduling presentations or trying to be 'present' at my job or meeting new people at a night class) and I'm still at the point where I am enjoying my hobbies, which is a sign that I'm still in some other stage than the full-blown depression (where I can't handle much and hobbies are out of the question).

Okay, the Pugs are REALLY going at it ~ I guess they need a feeding and I need to work on my sock! (Just started my very first one last night. Knitting socks has been a dream of mine for a very long time - Joy!). When I first looked at the needle set-up and the pattern I thought, 'No way!' but my teacher assures me that I can do it!!

I wish good good thoughts and luvs to my blog friends and hope that you are all doing okay.:)
Most sincerely,
The 'Tart

Monday, October 4, 2010

We are on Retreat!

I gave my presentation today for my co-workers on 'Refuting Irrational Thoughts' and it went splendidly. I was organized, with hand-outs, and as the cherry on the sundae, I made little 'Affirmation' cards for each person and I think several people really liked them.

The best part about this experience so far has been the hot tub. I've been in it each night we are here. It rained All Day today, including this evening, but 5 of us were determined to get in the hot tub tonight regardless of being pelted with showers. And we stayed in it even though it's temperature had cooled down so much.

Tonight six of us went to a seafood restaurant buffet and tore it up. One guy was amazing, with several plates of seafood, a plate of salad, and a plate of fruit > 5 PLATES o' food! How we amuse each other.:) Glorious!

I am very tired right now, as I have taken my medicine and it is kicking in. Talk...soon...later.
:) Tart

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Controlling emotions - a video from

I will be going on a retreat for work and each of the staff is doing a section on 'Stress Relief.' My section is 'Refuting Irrational Ideas.' I have been doing some research and I found this video on called the 'Beginner's Guide on Controlling Your Emotions.' Enjoy.

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Heck of a Week.

I see my last post a little differently. What an angry little title that one seems to have! (or at least a bit of a passive-aggressive one:) Well, it's been a few days and after discussion with my therapist and my boss/good friend, I've come to the conclusion that our last audience was, most simply put, immature, and I am just letting it go. On to bigger and more important things.

Even before I had my In Our Own Voice presentation on Monday, which was huge on my mind, I had something else on my mind.

Before I even wrote that last post I had found out that someone that affected my life and the life of others in our mental health community had died. In a violent way, which was disturbing. And so sad, because this person was a beautiful person inside and out and it was so sad.

So I went to her funeral today. And I was actually uplifted by it, and 'glad' that I went, as opposed to not having gone. We were encouraged to think of the good things, the positive memories, the ray of sunshine that she was, instead of the way and fact she died. Which I am trying to focus on.

Then, as an irony, our work had our Anniversary party. Which went on, it was not cancelled. We worked hard to make it nice for everybody, and had a lot of consumers come to it today. But it was so hot out today (apparently it reached 99 degrees) annnd I roasted a bit. I received a certificate of appreciation, as all the staff did, and that made me feel really good. I am monstrously blessed that I have beautiful meaningful work and wonderful bosses and friends.

Recently, I have been opened to the idea of 'affirmations' in my life. I will talk more about this and share more of this especially on the 'Good Stuff' blog, I think, because it is becoming enormously helpful in my life, and I can see it changing my life for the better.

So I didn't 'mean' to sound like a crank with that last post (title) but I was quite concerned about it for a while until I had those conversations I mentioned and recovered.

I wish all well in the blog world.'Tart:)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Can you teach compassion??

There is much going on here in the Jungle. Most importantly, my animals (and family) are fine and doing well.
I did an 'In Our Own Voice' presentation for a large psychology student crowd (90 people) yesterday. I have mixed feelings about it.
One: I know we did a good job and we presented well. We answered questions to the best of our ability. And I am proud of myself and my co-presenter. And that is what matters most.
Two: There was some compassion in the crowd and some kind and sincere comments/questions.
But, Three: some of the questions/comments showed a bit scary ignorance among a population that you would hope would know more. I know that was the reason that the professor asked us to come and speak and he was thrilled with the presentation and said that it was better than any lecture he could have ever given. Which does hearten the 'Tart as well.
As my wonderful boss and friend said to me, this was the first time we gave a presentation in front people that are not truly in the mental health field, they were not 'Our people.'
The professor wants us to do the presentation once a semester for his classes.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

It's my birthday!!

Raine was concerned if I was still alive and kickin' and I just wanted to let her know, and anyone who is interested, that I am very okay and having a great day today!:)

I have been busy and that is why I didn't write. Just in general, with work, resting from work, and doing NAMI's 'In Our Own Voice.'

I went to my in-laws for my birthday and went to an outdoor craft show today. Ugh! It is so hot and sweaty out there and that was not so much how I would spend my birthday. But it is fun to see all the crafts out there and the crafters.

I didn't have a panic attack outright, but there were moments where there was no wind to speak of, bright sun beating down, I'm sweating, and there were all these people around me. Not a good combination. I was like, I need to get out of here NOW! I even rested on some stairs, and I made it back okay, all said and done.

Then, onto TGIFriday's for drinks and appetizer annnnd getting embarassed by the waitress staff. She 'sensed' it was my birthday after Hubby let it slip that it was my special day. Ah, the mirth and fun - they asked me to stand and be sung to, which was fun, actually. There weren't a lot of patrons in the house anyway.

My MIL is cooking surf and turf for us for dinner! I know I am very lucky to have these things in my life. Hopefully so lucky that I win the lottery as I bought a ticket today - ha haaa!!

I have the same birthday as Shania Twain and Leanne Rimes. So wherever you are ladies, I raise my birthday glass to you!:)

I hope all are well in blogland.:)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

That is an egret, I think, taken with my ancient little digital camera. I am lobbying for a new camera and even picked it out. Just waiting to have money to get it, ha!
Anyway, this was taken on one of our trips on the boat.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Writing Friday

I had a very wonderful Friday, in the sense that I wrote and wrote and wrote ~ tons today. In my notebook. Long-hand. 15 pages. It makes me feel good to do it.

I'm thinking of taking the time to type out all that I wrote and timing myself to see how long it takes. I also wrote a three-page letter to someone that I know cannot read my writing so that will definitely have to be typed as well.

It's ragingly hot here. My desktop says it felt like 100 degrees outside today. It is just too much. If you have A/C, stay inside. If you don't, go to the library and sit in the A/C, go somewhere that has it.

Thank you, Raine for encouraging me to keep writing on the blog.

I learned about Advanced Directives on Thursday, how to write them and it's about encouraging people to write them.

Advanced directives are about writing what you want, in terms of a psychiatric advanced directive what you want or don't want done in the case of a psychiatric emergency. If you want or don't want certain medications, who you would like or not like to visit you, etc. - it's about making decisions while you are well for those times that you may be unwell and unable to express what you want. Our state seems to be getting more and more interested in helping the mentally ill help themselves, and this is a big one in the advance in that direction.

I may be helping people with them at the Drop-In Center, but I am definitely not an expert so it may be a long time before that happens.

I've got an 'In Our Own Voice' presentation on Monday for our local Clubhouse staff.

Went fishing last Sunday. I used small minnows for bait and for the first time in my life I actually caught three little small-mouth bass. It was a thrill. That little boat and this new discovery has been the best investment. Summer = fishing.

I am also working on an easy slipper pattern in knitting. And I bought some pea green yarn to do a baby blanket. The mom-to-be chose that color in her nursery so I know she likes it. I picked a free baby blanket pattern knit it in.

The Jungle is doing well. Little Blossom Pug has a tooth issue that can wait till February so at least I can save up money for that. Both Emma Pug and Blossom will have to have Bordatella and dog virus shots for when they are boarded for this Christmas (it's a Wisconsin year!).

Reese, my beautiful Siamese on the other hand lost 3 pounds in one year and that really concerns the vet. They did tests and he does Not have kidney issues or Thyroid issues, common ailments for older cats (beautiful or no, that's a joke) thank God. So they dared to suggest Cancer. I said no, maybe I haven't given him wet food in a while. Maybe his teeth are bad and he does not like dry food. They said feed him all you want for 2 weeks and then re-check him for weight gain. So I feed him wet food three times a day in the hopes to fatten him up. He LOVES it. Eats it right up. Nothing wrong with his appetite. :)

He loves to be up on the table where my laptop is. My desktop died a few months ago and Husband set me up with a laptop (never underestimate his computer powers - he puts these laptops together himself, he's a computer geek for a living!!)

So now you know what I've been up to lately. I hope everyone is well, and doing the best they can in blogland. :)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy day after the 4th of July!

It is very hot here, some of the hottest days of summer.

I haven't blogged here in a while. I really apologize that I have not kept up with my blog friends.

We got back the boat that we had a couple of summers ago and have been having a great time going out on that and fishing. Today we each caught a couple of little bitty fishies, which was fun.

I have been working part-time at the local Drop-In Center and doing 'In Our Own Voice' presentations. I have one coming up in a few weeks.

Happy Holiday to every one in blog land.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Time for another post, you think!

If I were to document how I am feeling these days, I am feeling overwhelmed but determined to make it through. I am glad it is Sunday and that business happenings stop on such days as I already have a list of things to do, when Monday arrives.

I am slowly getting involved with Facebook, mostly just to play games, but I am finding truly positive people on there (because I know them in real life and they are truly positive people) and that is really nice.

Time for the 'Spring Fling' party at work. I am bringing meatballs again and my crock pot. We are gearing up by coloring and taping springtime pictures on the walls.

Well, there is always more, but I will leave it at that. I hope things are finding you well in blogland.:)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Wow! So much to talk about!

I am feeling better these days. Actually, I still have

quite a bit, since I tend to be a depressive. My husband noted the other day that I don't seem to have manias. Maybe he is talking about those big manias that send me to the moon (I've had a few in this lifetime, but not recently).

Yesterday in fact, I had an AWful morning, where I was overwhelmed, unable to get it together, feeling quite low, worthless, sad, yes even suic*dal (can I hide that with no disclaimer?). I reached out to a friend, who wasn't available at that moment (but who did call me back later, which cheered me up immeasurably).

I began to write, for myself, not here to be shared, but opened a Word document and began to rant. Oh it was sweet relief, and instantly focused me. The power of expression and the written word!

I was invited by friends to spend the day, and after some Easter shopping at Walmart, I did so and it was like night and day for me. I'm telling you how I got through.

I have been working, working, working at the Drop-In Center, and have therefore not been here to tell you about it. I have two, count 'em, two In Our Own Voice presentations scheduled this month. We have only done one so far, in January. That one I told you about in February got canceled due to snow. I have been busy and it's exciting stuff!

I have discovered the greatest little EASY pattern for knitting slippers and work on it when I can. It's hard to get anything done when I am either tired and/or the Pugs want to jump all over me. I admit frustration when their tiny hairs overwhelm me too. I think about finding Pugless places to knit so I can set up shop and go at it! It's a fact of life to have either Pug hair or Siamese kitty hair on me.

We have been moving one of my best friends into his new digs this weekend. I am so proud of him. Tomorrow, Easter Sunday, I am presenting my husband and two friends (who are like family) with Easter baskets. I am excited! I can't wait to see if they love everything that I have put together. We are all going out to eat together too. I am blessed that I have made a few more good friends in this past year.
Truly blessed.
I hope that you celebrate Easter as you wish, feel God's love on this special day, and know that the 'Tart wishes you well!:)

Happy Easter!!

Easter Angels and Religious Vintage Postcards 23


(From an email)

I love this time of year!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thank you! (And the Luck o' the Irish to you, a day late!)

Hello Campers! Feeling a bit better now. Thank you for the kind comments on my last post.:) I really appreciate it.

I have been very busy with work. I work a part-time job at the Drop-In Center.

This week I worked more than usual, doing a St. Patrick's Day Party yesterday. Happy St. Paddy's Day, a little late!!

My friend and I brought meatballs in and he brought the packets to make swedish meatball sauce and we put that into the crockpots that we had brung, let it cook for a couple of hours, and Voila! Swedish meatballs - and they were so good!!

We had peanuts, pretzels and green (lime) koolaid mixed with 7-Up and a little icecream. Someone made colcannon (total sp, I realize:) a classic Irish dish.

Also, people who come to the Drop-In Center brought things in like Popeye's chicken and homemade potato salad and a cheese and sausage platter. We played Irish music and some of us danced a jig.;)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Yes, I'm still here!

I don't know what to say other than that. I just wanted to let everyone know that I am still here. I am having a hard time, mentally and emotionally. I am really starting to feel low and am having a hard time fighting it.

Maybe I can come back and explain more. Today I will watch a movie and knit to make myself feel better.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Must bring attention to: The Snuggles Project

If you love animals and making things (crochet, knit, quilt or sew) then you will probably be interested in The Snuggles Project. It's making and donating blankets for animals that are in shelters, where the floor can be cement or other harsh, cold environments. Check it out!,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/

Monday, February 15, 2010

Life is better without sickness!!

It feels Sooo Good to not be as sick as I was! I have energy I feel so good!:) Can we have a halleluah!!!! Say: You know it, Girl!!!

I have gotten a few things done today.

Tomorrow is an 'In Our Own Voice' presentation, weather permitting.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day from Jungletart!

Panda with baby, Webshots
Buddy system, King Penguins, Falkland Islands, Webshots
Chocolate hearts, Art Life Images, Webshots

Happy Valentine's Day from the Jungletart!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Went to the doctor/a sea of red hearts!

My cold is subsiding. No rattling in the lungs. I am done with antibiotics - yay!! Now we can talk about other things, as I am not as consumed with being sick.:)

Tomorrow, work is throwing a Valentine Party. I have been somewhat consumed with that. I went to the 'Dollar Store' and got a ton of decorations. We also made our own, cutting out red valentines and putting white crepe paper on them to hang them on the ceiling. It is a sea of red hearts flowing from the ceiling at work!:)

Also, our second 'In Our Own Voice' Presentation is coming up on Tuesday. The weather is a little 'iffy' so we'll see what happens. I need to go over my presentation again and mentally prepare myself. After the party tomorrow.:)

I am thinking of picking up my knitting needles again and working on my first slipper ever. It makes me happy.:)
I hope others are doing well in the midst of the snow and the wintertime. I send my sincere prayers out on the blogosphere.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Snow in the Jungle!

Here in the land of this JungleTart we are experiencing Massive Snow. Two feet is on the ground already and 10 to 20 more inches expected in the next day or so.

Please let that sink in.

This is a place that just doesn't experience things like this. This is not Wisconsin. As a matter of fact, my husband's 91-year-young Grandma has been calling us to gloat and frankly laugh at us!

We are exceptionally lucky and blessed as a large evergreen tree went down in our backyard and went in the best possible direction - away from the shed, all other trees and best of all - away from from our house. We also have our power, knock on wood that it continues, our electricity has not gone out at this time.

How have I handled the snowstorm and impending snowstorm as a bipolar? Well, to be honest I was kind of looking forward to it this weekend. It was the Laura Ingalls Wilder in me - have you read those books? I ate them up as a child and still imagine a day where I could farm, albeit I want to farm Alpacas, and live the simple life. I imagined being cozy in the house, maybe with some cocoa, covered in Pugs and knitting a slipper, all concepts that very well could have come true except for one thing I believe.


I officially have bronchitis, I was diagnosed last week, and have been taking my antibiotic as prescribed since then. I'm telling you it dilutes my psychotropics (medications for my bipolar). I'm telling you this not to say it's true for anyone else, as I would never want to presume for anyone else. But for me it feels that this is the second time that this has occurred. And because of it, it feels to me like I am less medicated and frankly this weekend was H*ll.

I couldn't sit still. I NEEDED to sit still and sleep and recover and Stop feeling Revved up. No doing. I was not fun to live with, I understand, since my husband pretty much ahem told me so.

I have a prn pill (that's a take as needed pill) that I take as a last resort to stop the madness. It pretty much knocks me out. I had to take it once a day, each day of the weekend. I hate to do that, but there was no peace without it. Without it were crying jags, practically running around the house (I was stuck in it, there was no going anywhere) one way or the other, feeling like I had to get a million things done yet a sense of complete ineffectiveness and a general sense of massive anxiety. Perhaps non-bipolars do not relate, I do not know. Maybe plenty of people do relate, I still don't know. But it was awful.

I had sincerely hoped it would be a good experience. I get excited about snow. It is utterly beautiful when it is coming down, especially if you don't have to go anywhere.

I survived this last one and I will survive.

If snow is in your life or in your forecast, I wish you all the beauty of it. I hope all are well. Sincerely.:)

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Have a cold ~ still.

I am still sick with a cold that has a cough. I am thinking of seeing the doctor tomorrow and finding out if this is bronchitis or what.

I found some good stuff to go on the other blog the other day. I will be busy putting that up.

I hope all is well with you in blog land.:)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Good stuff, good stuff, good stuff!!:)

The NAMI presentation 'In Our Own Voice' went great, fantastico, wonderful!! We knocked their socks off!

You are presently reading the blog of the new In Our Own Voice Coordinator for our County!! Yes, I agreed to be the Coordinator for our County, which is a volunteer position, but will be helpful to our program.:):):)

I also was able to get the Red Cross to come to our workplace to teach our staff CPR and First Aid, which impressed my boss because apparently they had been trying for some time to get that to happen, and I got it done!

Also, I organized a crochet class for work. I am in charge of getting supplies and I have checked all the ads for LYS (Local Yarn Stores) in my area, found who has the most inexpensive prices for yarns, printed all my coupons and I will be ready to go tomorrow hitting three stores to use my 40 and 50% off coupons. I'm a happy little shopper.

I've also been finding my instruction booklets for crochet that I find the most helpful and I think will help others, and I am going to find the section on the site that has instructions for crocheting in the round, because you can make flowers, doilies and hats with that technique. is a great resource for over 3,000 free patterns for knitting and crocheting and even has videos, a newsletter, etc. I love it.

On a more personal note, I STILL have the cold, going on two weeks now, the coughs at night sound horrible but for some reason during the day I just sound hoarse. Thank you all for your good thoughts and prayers during some of these recently stressful times. I wish the best for all of you.:)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Supposed to do a NAMI In Our Own Voice Presentation on Tuesday.

Despite feeling sick, and despite being asked just days ago to present in front of our local NAMI board, we have agreed to speak and do our presentation on Tuesday, January 19th.

I need time to work on what I am going to say and to recover from this cold and whatever is bothering me so much and have just two days to do it.

I have been feeling cryey, the whole bit. I'm so glad we scheduled to teach a crochet class today at the drop-in center today because that gave me a chance to just crochet and be for an hour or so. Nevermind all the things that bother me about work in general today, I don't have time to worry about all that.

I feel like I should be excited and at least a little more happy about this, and I need that energy frankly to get into it and do a good job. Instead, I find myself sucking down orange juice, Nyquil and hoping I get some good juju flowing through me.

I wish others well, and sincerely hope for peacefulness and good things in your life.

Still have a cold.

and am quite miserable.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Thinking thoughts about Haiti. The devastation is all over the news and television. I feel that I should say something about it. I hope that the unrest and terribleness settles and they can rebuild their lives again.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Our speaking in front of the state legislature went well. It was both nerve wracking (Hello - public speaking!) and empowering. Regardless of what they decide, we did our part and feel better for it.

When we were leaving the auditorium, our Senator, no less, was leaving as well and he turned around to myself and another person from Trillium that had spoke and said, "You did a good job."


Then when we left the auditorium, I was walking with a different person from Trillium and a woman came up to us and asked a question about someone that she was concerned about and felt may have mental illness.

We answered as best we could, but the thing that impressed me was that she had respect for us, thought that we might be able to answer her question, and that we were having a dialogue with a complete stranger about someone concerning this subject.

I am sick with a cold. I am still obsessing about little things that happened at work yesterday. I am upset that my husband has to go to work all the time even on the weekends although I am grateful that we have a house over our heads, food, etc., I am in short, cranky.

I will still wish a 'Happy Sunday' for all, though. May God bless you and get you through.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Mental Health Matters

I am going to speak in front of my state legislature budget committee on Friday, specifically to address the enormous budget cuts my state is eyeing in terms of mental health (they are slashing everything and mental health services are one of the things on the chopping block).

I must get up super early in the morning to meet everyone at 7:30 a.m. to drive to the meeting, sign up at 9 a.m. and speaking starts at 10 a.m. We get three minutes each. I am still figuring out what I will say, to write on 3x5 cards.

Wish me luck!:)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year!!
Best wishes during this winter-time, too!