St’ehcation (Staycation…..)

No opportunity for a vacation in the near future, perhaps a one day ‘stay’cation is in order. Seeing as it’s the Canada Day holiday here in Canuck land, and 150th no less, perhaps it would best be called a ‘St’eh’cation. This is obviously my inept attempt at some Canadian humour.

Madden, Mason, and Ivy - hooked on electronicsAs our childcare responsibilities have been frequent it seems that the ‘me’ time or ‘our’ time has been somewhat restricted. We have had the g-kids almost every day and in fact we filled in for the closed daycare on both Thur. and Friday. On Friday we even hung out with our g-nephew Mason, he likes
(more here http://wp.me/p8mDx0-t1)

Here we go again

I think “Here We Go Again” is a title of an old song, can’t be sure though and it really doesn’t matter. In this sense it only means here I go, putting up another very late post.

I see it’s not been since January of this year that I visited here to write. I’m surprised! My my, where does the time go?

I’ve been active and there are many things that have happened around me. Perhaps no more than to the average bear but they were, of course, significant to me. Mostly it’s just life stuff.

One thing of note was that since my last post I’ve gone back on the ‘juice’. Now before you get all confused or concerned you must realize the ‘juice’ in this context is an anti-depression medication, in this case Citalopram. Last year I was on Mirtazapine but in my wisdom I chose to get off the meds and see how things turned out. Not too well evidently.

After stopping the Mirts I did not become suicidal or anything close to that self destructive, it was more a case of low moods and and a frequent sadness I couldn’t seem to avoid. In fact, as I told my doctor, I would often get very teary and emotional during commercials on tv. I short I was very often low. This didn’t happen immediately but became more pronounced over time. In a nutshell I was not better, more help was needed, but I persevered.

In January we went to Okotoks to our niece’s. That’s where we had gone to visit during our annual get-away and where I last posted  Typically we go somewhere away from our city to just be away, to regroup and recharge. January is the month our son died so since then, Jan. of 2000, we either take a week in our time-share or perhaps we go to visit kin. In this case the kin won. It was a nice visit, a good escape. I had no overt depression or anxiety but my sadness lingered.

During that same month my Mother moved out of our basement suite where she had lived for a 7 or so years. She and my step-Father had moved in when they found the challenges of living alone, away from town, a challenge. My step-Father Larry unfortunately passed away a few years ago just after his 80th birthday but my Mom stayed with us. Now, through a series of outside circumstance, she felt moving to Langley was the best choice for her and her siblings so she took on the challenge of moving and went to the big city. I supported her move and still do. It is her call and I think I can appreciate her reasons.

Since her move we have spent time refurbishing the suite in hopes of attracting another good tenant. I won’t belabour the point but all went quite well and in the end we gained my (ex) brother-in-law Jake as a new ‘person under the stairs’. I could likely write volumes about the dynamics of him and his wife (and her family) but I won’t. I would like cause you some disbelief and wonderment about how these kinds of relationships could even take place. Maybe not though, I guess they are on reality tv all the time.

But I digress. After our foray away and my Mom’s move I just reached the point where I knew a change was needed. Don’t misunderstand, my situation was neither caused nor exacerbated by either our trip, the timing, nor my Mom’s leaving. They were only pointers in time, the inevitable return to medication was evident by that point.

After our return home a visit to my doctor supported my diagnosis, he determined I was depressed and had a higher degree of anxiety than ‘normal’. A regime of anti-depressants were again prescribed. In consult with the doctor we decided to try the Citalopram as I felt the Mirtazapine did not hold up it’s end of the bargain and let me down after some time. This became more evident as I re-read my paper journal and saw a decline in my moods over time. Another reason I had chosen to stop the Mirts. The Citalopram would also apparently help with any anxiety.

At any rate here we are. After being on the Cital since Jan. 28th I feel better once again. Not so much something you may be able to see but more an even-ess and stability of mood. I have more motivation and am getting some things done. I do hope it continues. My sleep has improved and although I dream crazy dreams now it is more restful. A drawback to the Citalopram is a tiredness during mid morning but I may change when I take my dose to dinnertime and the drowsiness may abate.

So in that sense I hope the tagline “Here we go again” is a positive one and I don’t find myself regressing over time. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Wow! MIA again

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder but I’m pretty sure that only applies to a few situations. Perhaps that only pertains to loving relationships, not errant bloggers. Lately I feel like one of those bloggers. I’m MIA, “missing in action”.

Certainly it does not apply to those who profess to love the art of expression though blogging, and yet in their absence from the ‘net show a position which could be construed as indifferent at best. I hope that’s not me.

What can I say that I haven’t said before, life gets in the way. Didn’t a wise man once say that?

Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.
John Lennon

Enough of that, it’s been said here too much before.

I’ve been a nomad of late, travelling here and there, mostly back and forth to Kelowna where my daughter and family live/work. Let’s face it, that’s where my grandson Madden is too.

20131018-120625.jpg

At any rate I’m frequently mobile, not lots of time at home. And when my needs for grandson attention call you can bet I’ll respond.

He’s a big one for electronics as you can see from the photo above. I think that’s a genetic thing as both his mother and father, and me of course, are addicted to e-devices of one sort or another. Not something to be proud of necessarily, just an observation. I for one can’t seem to shake ‘the beast’. They are addictive, so even if I’m not around, if I’m MIA, I can still likely be found on my device

Moving Forward

Forward, what does it mean? Moving forward? Paying it forward? Likely there are many more forward ‘adverbs’. ( I think it’s an adverb. While english is my mother tongue ‘English’ is not always my strong suit). In fact ‘Forward’ is this weeks Weekly Photo Challenge topic.

I’ve been thinking alot lately about what Forward means for me, and to me.

I’ve felt somewhat stuck in a slump the last few days and whether it’s the weather or just my cyclical moods I cannot say. I do know I’ve been reducing my meds and of course that’s the first thing I think of when my mood changes.  As well I sometimes think the doldrums are contributed to by feeling housebound, but after all whose fault is that? It’s not like I’m tied to my chair, get off yur arse and git outside, like my Dad used to say (not really, but sounded cute).

I’ve found it more challenging to write lately too, whether it’s in my journal or on one of my blogs, and that’s not good. I kick started things off today though by reading some blogs written by others and that gave me enough inspiration to do some journaling. That in turn led to finishing off the Weekly Photo Challenge post, and that led me here…..

Part of the moving forward concept was where to go with this blog. The original purpose of this blog was to write about how I felt while I was dealing with this illness called Depression, and generally speaking I feel much better now. In fact there’s some question in my mind whether the diagnosis was completely correct. Should I continue to write? I do have other blogs, perhaps I should just let this one die a natural death and move to one of the others? So many questions.

Those that follow this blog will have seen that the theme of this blog has changed, that’s one way to move forward. In fact this change was more an ‘oops’ that a conscious move to mix things up. I’m not sure whether I’ll put it back or pick another theme. But I digress.

Perhaps the best way to begin moving forward is to get off my butt and get some fresh air. Somehow the great outdoors always invigorates me. So here’s me…..moving forward….moving…..forward.

Til next time..

7 Reasons My Underwear Feels Too Tight

blogging, blog, journal, writing

Ever have one of those days where you seem to be just a little out of phase with the rest of humanity, where the best laid plans seem to go astray?  A day where after breakfast you put the milk in the cupboard and the cereal in the fridge. I’m experiencing that today. It’s seems as if everything I touch, anything I do, falls just short of being ‘right’.

morning pages, journal, journaling, writing
Morning pages

Today is a Dad’s day, a day where I take him out and we go to the doctor, optometrist, or in this case to the lab for blood work, and then we go out for lunch. I had planned to leave home a little early so that before I picked him up I could go to Walmart or one of the many electronics type stores to look for a phone case for my new iPhone 5 (and that’s a whole ‘nuther story).

Prior to leaving I was doing my morning pages, you know, that’s ‘writing’ in a book with paper pages and using a pen or pencil. These days I’m not sure how many people still do that…, but I was and before I completed one of my sentences part way through the exercise I became distracted. Well, not distracted at that time really, I put the journal down to check on something I was writing about and that’s when I got distracted. My wife had a question about her ‘new’ iPhone 4s (my hand-me down). There I went, off task, and so far today I’ve not made it back to the journal.

Well that put me behind schedule, not only did I not get to finish the sentence or entry in my journal I never made it away in time to go look at iPhone covers before picking Dad up.

So off on my way I went. I picked up Dad on time (amazingly) and we went to the lab. Fortunately the handicapped parking right in front of the lab was available so we slipped right in, and interestingly enough the lab wasn’t too busy so we waited no more than 5 – 10 minutes to get called. Seems like my day wasn’t a right-off after all, so far things were going well. Lunch was next .

Now that I’m recounting the days events it’s seems like maybe things weren’t so bad after all, lunch went well and Dad paid so life is good and things were looking up. We had a nice visit, he was feeling pretty good and I got him back to his home without further ado. It didn’t stay that way however, or didn’t feel like it anyway.

After dropping Dad off I hit the stores to look for my case, and if I learned anything during that exercise it’s that nothing is cheap, particularly quality iPhone cases. To get the case I wanted, an Otter Commuter, was going to cost between $44 – $50 bucks depending on the store. That’s in addition to any screen protector I bought. My stress was in a holding pattern. A quick look at Amazon (on my phone of course) made me realize that online is where I’ll get them, way cheaper.

As I think about that experience it dawns on me perhaps one of the reasons I feel so stressed and out of sorts is that I am so worried about dropping my phone, and have been ever since I picked it up. Perhaps that is the underlying cause, the reason for my ‘out of sorts’. Whatever the cause….. I feel how I feel and it continued through the day, that ‘skin don’t fit’ kinda feeling.

After arriving back at my home I had to turn around and go back out to run a couple more errands, one of which was to pick up quilt batting for my wife at the local fabric store. I’m afraid I scared the lady in the store, I feel like I went in there with a chip on my shoulder and although I don’t think it’s true I felt like I was surly and abrupt. Damn underwear starting to crawl again.

Next stop was an auto parts store to try and replace one of my malfunctioning wiper blades, that I paid $40 bucks for no less. I went in through the door and must’ve looked like I was ready for bear as the attendant approached my apprehensively and quickly passed me off the reps at the service counter. I suspect he wanted nothing to do with me, if he could see how I felt he was probably wise to defer me. The counterman listened somewhat sympathetically to my plight. I explained the driver’s side wiper leaves a streak in front of my eyes and when I just paid $40 bucks for 1 blade I had hoped it would last longer than 3 months. He murmured back “Well, I guess I could replace it”. Well, thank you very much. Perhaps he could see I was itching for a fight too.

So that sounds like another win doesn’t it? Hang on, not so soon.

Unfortunately when I went outside to swap the bad blade for the good I must’ve touched the fender of the car with my jacket. As I pulled back after installing the blade I noticed a nice brown smudge of dirt/mud on my nice clean black jacket. Argggh, %$”*”&#*, use your imagination to translate. Now I’m fussed and I’m dirty, and if you know me you know I don’t like to get dirty. Especially on tight underwear day.

All I can do is wipe the mud off my jacket and try to wipe my mood clean at the same time. I was relatively successful, nothing damaged and nobody hurt in the process, and proceeded to the next stop. Fill up with gas.

Things went relatively smoothly after that, although getting out of the car prior to filling I noticed yet another blotch of mud, this time on my pant leg. Will it never end I thought (how about wash the car dummy). I exited the car and holding it together somehow inserted my credit card into the gas pump. Perhaps I was too fast, perhaps too forceful, the pump would not accept my card. Another ARGGGH.

Take a deep breath, try again, success this time. The gassing up exercise completed with few casualties, only my spirit.

Two Slurpees in a car cupholder.
Two Slurpees in a car cupholder. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Home I went. But wait, I had to get my wife a Slurpee (Slushy). I don’t understand her penchant for ice cold ice based drinks on a cold winter day but hey, who am I to argue with the light of my life. She wants a Slurpee, a Slurpee she shall have.

Knowing that this stop would be part of my day I came prepared, I had her refillable Slurpee cup at hand. The Slurpee machine operated flawlessly and I proceeded to check out. It was when I went to pay that I was met with a surprise.

Now it’s not like I’ve never used the plastic refillable cup before but when I paid and found the tab higher than expected I gasped.

“Are you sure”, I asked? “How can it be that a Slurpy with a re-usable cup can be more expensive than if I’d used one of the disposable cups?”

“Well”, she said. You never told me it was YOU’RE cup”.

I guess she had me there. And mentioning to her that I ‘assumed’ she knew it was my cup did NOT help the situation. She only replied “when you assume you make an ass out of you and an ass out of me.” She sighed heavily, refunded my money and then charged me a more appropriate, smaller, amount. Personally I think her underwear didn’t fit either, or maybe it’s the moon.

With my chores pretty much completed I forged home, stewing all the while about how I was out of phase, how my skin didn’t fit, how my knickers were too tight, and in my mind plotting what I would write here. It’s a good thing an animal didn’t bolt or a car pull out in front of me, my attention was not all there. I was too busy thinking of what I’d say here.

I did arrive at my home safely though, I don’t think I maimed anyone in transit, at least as far as I know.

After backing into my driveway I did notice a couple beer cans laying on the snowbank in front of my hedge (not mine, I have enough decency to toss mine in the neighbours yard). Here I go again, I feel that familiar tugging sensation near my private parts.

Knowing it’d be futile to pick up the beer cans and carry all my acquisitions (quilt batting, Slurpy) and Dads’ medical history file (that I try to take every time I see him), along with my camera bag and sweater etc., I choose the smart avenue. Pick up the cans, drop them in the recycle, and make not 1 but 2 trips back and forth to the car for the rest of the stuff. That way I can be sure not to f*** up and either drop half the stuff or wipe my clothes OR the new quilt batting on the side of the muddy car. Mission accomplished, all goods arrived in the house unscathed.

Once inside I dropped everything (not literally) and quickly logged on to my WordPress account to quickly disgorge my thoughts into a post, to try and enlighten you to my day and what made it ‘special’. I hope I didn’t bore you too badly and you arrived, like I did at the end of my afternoon, with underclothes that fit. I know the constricting feelings were all just fleeting experiences, tomorrow will be another day and hopefully one where I am in alignment with the universe. Until that time, if your underwear doesn’t fit go without.

Cheers

I Came Here to Write

reading, books, SEO, search engine optimization

I have some time, I’m making time, I am waiting for my wife.

We escaped our small town today and ran away to the big city to shop, relax, eat, try and relax, eat, shop.  Something tells me the relaxing part may not come to fruition but likely the others will.

Once we arrived in Spokane our first stop was one of the largest malls in town, good planning or what. I knew it would be a good place to begin, the wife can limp around (another story) perusing all the sales etc. and I can scoot over to Barnes & Noble to look at books, and perhaps do some research.  My current ‘interest’ you see is SEO, otherwise known as Search Engine Optimization.

This interest in SEO maybe a fixation, will likely fade over time.  Heck, it may be gone by the time I leave the store, but it is with me now and with me strong. Seemed the least I could do was write about it.

It began when I read a post written by Lesley Carter at Bucket List Publications called “7 Great Ways to Improve Your Alexa Ratings”. I guess it really didn’t start there, but it was re-inspired when I read her numerous posts on ways to improve hits on your site and increasing your readers and followers. I don’t personally subscribe to that particular SEO service but I have taken part in Google’s Analytics and another service called HubSpot, a web marketing service.

I don’t proclaim to know if one site is better than the next, you’ll have to do the research and find that out for yourself, but the concept is sound I think. If you can improve your site by making small changes, by increasing links or putting the name of your site out there on other sites it can only help. I am just touching on the very basics here and there is certainly much more to it than that.

seo, books, bookstore, learning
All you wanted to know about SEO

So this bring me full circle. Here I am in Barnes & Noble, waiting for my wife and spending time searching the shelves for an appropriate book(s) on SEO.

Unfortunately I quickly become overwhelmed. The sheer number of books (and the cost) takes the wind out of my sails and I rapidly decide I will endeavour to learn most of what I need to know by getting library books and reading free articles on-line. That’s not to say the books aren’t beneficial, only that for me, right now, they are too much and too soon.

So, as the saying goes, if you can’t do something, you can write about it. Here I am, I came to write.

Away, But Not Gone

upside down, sewing, change

I am here, but not. Wanting but not having. Feeling but not saying. Alone but not lonely.
– me

I feel upside down sometimes, need change
I feel upside down sometimes, need change

It’s been some time since my last post. This sounds suspiciously like the preamble to a confession, where I enter the confessional and spill my sordid deeds to the priest. Tisn’t though.  First off I’m not Catholic and don’t really believe confessing my sins to another man carries any weight. My sins are between me and my God, or whatever Deity you may choose to believe in. But that’s just me, you have your beliefs and I have mine.

No, it’s only my ‘confession’ to you, my loyal readers.  Those that chose to follow my ramblings, to see where this lunatic would take you, and perhaps get the odd chuckle or maybe a thought provoking idea.  I love you for that, I truly do.  My confession today is about my blogging.

I know I’ve been remiss.  Many times I grabbed my laptop, or my iPhone, and thought “you know, I should post something”.  The rubber never hit the road, as they say, I never followed through with the thought.  Hope was not a plan.

I am ok though, I haven’t had a fall nor fallen ill.  I’ve just been busy, and where I realize you should never be too busy to write I guess the drive to do that, to write, just carried less weight than the other things going on in my life.  In actuality I’ve been feeling pretty good.  I’m still on a reduced dosage of my meds and looking to get off completely in a month or so (whenever I run out of pills). No, I’ve been busy with ‘life’.

We just got back from Hawaii, my wife and I, along with our daughter and her family.  We were enjoying the sun and surf, sightseeing, bonding (maybe too much bonding), and just generally trying to relax.  I took just over 650 photos, most of my grandson Madden, and have all those to deal with yet. What a problem to have.

Also just prior to our departure on Nov.29th I purchased a domain name and began setting up a website.  Since our return I’ve been fixated on getting that to a point where I feel ok with it, and then I began setting up an online gallery for all my photos.  This required more software acquisition, installation, and set up.  I’ve also become reacquainted with some family members and have had my interest in genealogy rekindled.  So many things to do, so little time.

So the long and short of it is that my focus has been oriented toward ‘other’ of my many interests.  Somehow in this cornucopia of things I like to do I still need to find that balance, a moderation of all things enjoyable.  Til then I deal with my passions in the only way I know how, to try and do them all.

Cheers

I’m Struggling, Grasping for a String

forward, future, distance

Today is another challenge, I want to write, to post something meaningful.  My mind is blank, the ideas aren’t coming, I’m struggling.  I’m looking for a string, a concept to grasp and write about.

I just finished reading a post by another blogger, a specialist in blogging and creating blog and web traffic.  His name is Daniel Scocco and his topic was “A Quick Strategy to Increase Your Traffic.  You can read the post here.  It was very informative and suggested a number of ways we could increase the number of page views, the traffic, on our blogs.  Good ideas all.

It’s an interesting post, one which would undoubtedly help any of us, certainly me.  The caveat in my case seems to be finding the time.  I realize if the task is important enough you WILL find the time, you’ll MAKE the time.  I suspect at this time in my life it just isn’t that important.  I also believe there will be a time when it will.  There are certainly aspects of his suggestions I WILL employ, good ideas.

I started to write this blog to supplement my paper journal, to create a diary if you will of my ’emotional state’, a record of my mood and journey (to use an over-used word in my mind) out of depression.  If for no one but myself it has been a beneficial exercise.  Along the way I have attracted a few followers and created some interest, and that has been …… mentally supportive.  I search for the right word but it doesn’t come, needless to say it feels good.  I don’t feel as burdened by the yoke of depression as I once did.

I’ve seen this site morph into a venue where I frequently bitched, still do on occasion, to one where I’ve developed additional interests.  Maybe re-developed is a better term.  I’m thinking specifically of photography, the art of taking pictures and seeing beauty in the people and things around us..  Blogging is not only a means to not only talk about myself but to strut my stuff (light-hearted humor attempted!)

rail, tracks, railway, perspective
Tracks to the future

Whatever the reason the outcome is the same as it is for so many of use.  Blogging gives an opportunity to speak and be heard.  A means to dialogue with those of similar interests.  Somewhere we can feel connected.  A path or road on our journey through life.

Mine sometimes feels like this photo, I’m taking a path but I can’t see my destination, I can’t see much beyond the next 1/4 mile what life holds.  It’s an interesting trip though.  I’m glad to be on it.

Re-Inventing “About Me” – Rev. 1.1

upside down, sewing, change

Don’t reinvent the wheel, just realign it.
– Anthony J. D’Angelo

People who cannot invent and reinvent themselves must be content with borrowed postures, secondhand ideas, fitting in instead of standing out.
– Warren G. Bennis

The only thing new is you finding out about something. Like nothing’s really new, but you reinvent it for yourself and find your inner voice.
– Mike Watt

We must reinvent a future free of blinders so that we can choose from real options.
– David Suzuki

I feel upside down sometimes, need change

For awhile now I’ve been unhappy with my “About Me” page.  It’s not that it said anything inaccurate, it just didn’t say what I wanted it to say, or how I wished to say it.  I created it when I was at a different place in my life.  I wanted to re-invent it I guess.

Does that make any sense?

I also updated the title, I left the “SkiDaddy” (for now) but removed the “Examining Myself – Through Depression”.  I may play with different tag-lines, and perhaps a new theme.

Partly these changes are due to the old “first impression” concept, when people come to your post/blog they will get a first impression from whatever they see or read first.  If they like it they may come back, if not …… then likely they won’t.  I’m hoping for the first choice.

I could say it doesn’t really matter because I only write this for myself, and that would be largely true, however I wouldn’t be really honest if I said that was all.  I believe on some level many of us also write for others.

So ‘nuf said, if interested you can save a step by going here.

First One Word, then Another, One Step, and Again

I have heard that when struggling for words, when laboring for a topic, it can be helpful to first put down one word on the page.  After that initial beginning place a second word, then another, and again until your first sentence is complete. Follow the same pattern to compose your second sentence, then move onto your third, and before you know it the words will spring from the page and your post or writings will take shape.  Seems like sage advice.

Continue reading First One Word, then Another, One Step, and Again