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Monday, January 30, 2006

Some Must Read Posts

Here are some funny & touching blog entries that are worth re-posting. 1 is mine, the others are from blogs I visit. Trust me, they're all worth reading. Hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

Manica has posted a hilarious entry titled 25 Fun Things To Do At Your Psychiatrists. I like it so much I've printed 2 copies, 1 for my Therapist & 1 for my pdoc. (Hopefully I won't be committed, yet again, after they read it) :)

If you've ever found yourself green with envy towards magazine models, this is a must see! This will show you their reality. It's So You has put up a link about model touchups in magazines. After seeing this, it's no wonder models do so much damage to their bodies with plastic surgery, botox, etc. In this business, good is never good enough.

Have you ever blogged so long you got numb ass? I didn't coin that phrase, but Hell on Heels did! This is a hilarious post & when you read it please read Magg's reply in the comments.

Jil at Wild Abandon has a wild blog. Items 39 & 40 on her 100 Things About Me make me laugh so hard I snorted.

This is somewhat on the crude side, but let me just say, I wish they had Beano back in those days. I was an infant blogger when I wrote this, so if it offends you, please forgive me.

AriadneK tells the very sad story of Hippo Kritt. You don't have to read too much to realize this is about much more than a hippo: it's about life. It's a tale of hurtful people saying things just to be cruel & those who are caught in the crossfire. You'll be glad you read this.

Not only does Ananke
have a beautiful new blog design, she writes a hilarious blog. One of my favorite subjects to read about is The Red Barons. Click here to read the Red Baron story. The funniest part is, it's all true.

If you haven't visited 3T's blog on my upper right sidebar; please do. You'll definitely be glad you did.

posted by jane at 2:07 PM


Saturday, January 28, 2006

3T is a Charm!

Hey guess what? I gave into my addiction & rented my blog space again. This time it's someone I've known since my blogging birth. As a matter of fact, she may have been the midwife, but I was being born, so I wouldn't recognize her.
It wouldn't surprise me if she were a nurse as she possesses all of their qualities. She's nurturing, straight forward, very friendly, a good conversationalist and she's funny to boot. 3T is one unique woman. She's down to earth with a heart that's bigger than life.

She covers a lot of topics on her blog:
1. She writes about motherhood without candy coating it. Let me also mention, she shares the most touching moments of being a mom, too.
2. She & her hubby are madly in love, madly in like and madly in lust. Those are all very good things! But what comes across the strongest, is that they're soulmates who were destined to be together.
3. She writes about her childhood. She's daddy's little girl. I always wanted to be one because in a dad's eyes, you'll always remain his little girl. I love to read about this relationship.
5. As if that were enough reason to check out her blog, she's involved in causes. Domestic abuse is just 1 cause she dedicates a lot of her blog to in the month of October. She's involved in charities during February too & writes about that in her present post.

I have no doubt when you visit her blog, you'll be glad you did. Notice all the names on her blogroll. She's 1 of the few people I know who actually visits every single blog listed there on a regular basis.
At the moment, she's asking for ideas & opinions on what she should wear to a charity gala at the Wrigley Mansion. Now she has picked her gown & has a photo of it on her blog.

So, are you ready? See the pretty logo of a blog on my upper right sidebar? That's 3T's blog. Just click it & stop by for a visit. Please say hi to her, k?

ps...I wish it were possible to rent my blog to everyone who bid. That's the downside for me, telling 1 person yes, but telling 20 people no. Mix in some Catholic guilt that doesn't even go away after you've become a heathen & well, you get the picture.

Note: Thanks to Ananke I was able to figure out what the glitch was. My blog looked fine on Firefox, but on IE there was a glitch. I made some adjustments & have to still make 1 more, but I don't know how, lol. So, I've contacted my blog designer guru & hopefully it will be fixed shortly. Thanks Ananke!!

posted by jane at 9:12 PM


Friday, January 27, 2006

My Grandma

The Black Sea Germans were Germans who had moved to Russia with the persuasion of Tsarina Catherine II. Gradually, promises of land allotments, no military service, freedom of religion and freedom from taxes had diminished. Many left from Russia to re-settle in Germany and then onward to the United States. (1) At less than 2 years old, my Grandma had already lived in 3 countries.
Grandma & her family settled down in Bismarck, North Dakota. I remember stories she'd tell us about cows they'd lose during the winter. Come springtime, they'd find these dead cows standing up & still frozen. My Grandma was a very stern woman & now I realize that coming from such a large family, coming over a ship under only her mother's authority, all the children had to be extremely disciplined.
 Posted by Picasa (On the far left is my Grandma & some wicked looking women ~ 1918)

My Grandparents moved to Eugene, Oregon, where my dad was born. Grandpa owned an auto shop & also raced cars. Perhaps being 1 of 15 children formed Grandma's decision to have only 1 child. When my dad was a young boy they divorced & although he wanted to live with his dad, he said he wanted to live with his mom so he wouldn't hurt her feelings. She lived to be 101 years old, but I must admit, when she passed away I wasn't very sad. I loved her, but she was so intentionally cruel to my dad, still making this strong man cry at 72 years old with her demeaning words. He always longed for his mother's approval, but never got it. Since her death, I've often wondered what caused her to be so hateful.

As a child, I wasn't aware of the interpersonal problems; afterall, I was just a kid. I just knew I didn't like her babysitting us when my parents went on vacation because she was so strict. As long as my parents were gone, so was the relaxed, undisciplined atmosphere that we were accustomed to. But despite my Grandma's faults, I remember games she taught us. Eye Spy My Little Eye and finding animals in clouds. She told us if we looked thru her bathroom window, we could see spaceships and we could! (When I grew up, I realized these were white lights from the passing traffic)
I can still taste the wonderful apple pies she made. I remember other foods she made that I've never seen anywhere else. Cabbage & banana salad sounds awful, but it was delicious! It's just cabbage, bananas & mayo & always tastes better the 2nd day. Another favorite was her spaghetti, it had bacon in it. It's ingredients were bacon, spaghetti, tomato sauce & onions. And, as my mother says, if you want it to taste good, you have to include the bacon grease. The last one & my absolute favorite was her fruit salad which we still serve at family get-togethers. This was a mixture of oranges, apples, pineapple, bananas, marshmallows, cherries, some cherry juice and mayo. I could eat this every single day of my life.
 Posted by Picasa (Male relatives at a family business of some sort)

I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. When I think that my very existence is partly because of the hardships my ancestors endured, it boggles my mind. On my paternal side, the Germans relocated because the Russians didn't honor their word. On my maternal side, my relatives were chased out of Mexico by Pancho Villa's gang. For both families, there had to be some place they could safely call home. Ironically, both families chose the same safe place in America. There are undoubtedly millions of us who have wonderful immigration stories to share. What's yours?

(1) Federation of Eastern European Family History Societies

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posted by jane at 7:07 PM


Thursday, January 26, 2006

Ellis Island

Have you been wondering you wish you knew more about your heritage? The purpose of this post is to inform others about EllisIsland.org and the benefits it provides. As you may know, over 20 million immigrants were processed at Ellis Island during 1892 - 1924. If you have family that came from across the Atlantic during that period, there's a chance that you can find their records. The site contains detailed graphs, the history and tips on researching your genealogy, just to name a few resources. Below is just some of the information I've discovered about my paternal Grandma's family via EllisIsland.org. If you decide to research your ancestry, I hope your experience will be as enlightening as mine has been.

In the fall of 1893, my Great-grandmother, and her 15 children, daughter in law & granddaughter, left Bremen, Germany in hopes of a better life in America. Among the siblings was my Grandma who was 1 1/2 at the time. They arrived via The Spree on January 11, 1894. Upon arrival they were processed through Ellis Island, as were millions of other immigrants. If you'd like to see the text version of the actual ship manifest, click here.
My Great-Grandfather, Johann Haas, left Germany in the summer of 1893 on The Darmstadt. If you click on the link, notice the misspelling of his last name. This made it extremely difficult for me to find his records. I speculate he came early to make sure the USA was a place that his family could have a farm & settle down. Here is a copy of the original ship manifest for The Darmstadt.

I can vividly remember my feelings the first time I saw my ancestor's names & on the ship manifest. To see a picture of the actual ship they travelled on sent chills down my body. I was dumbfounded that my Great-grandmother brought all of her children & extended family by herself. When I see the pictures of Ellis Island, the families that passed through; I can't help but visualize my Grandma's family. They must have been filled with anticipation and also a sense of being lost. I imagined how the older children must have watched over the younger ones; held their hands in the halls of Ellis Island. The long lines & hours they must have spent in them. I felt such a closeness with my relatives. This made me look further into this side of my family. What I found was they were but a small part of a group of immigrants known as The Black Sea Germans...

(to be continued)

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posted by jane at 6:55 PM


Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Obligatory Annual Meme

Oh Criminy! Both Helen & Jay have tagged me with the same meme, so I must do this one. Be it known throughout Blogistan that this is my obligatory annual participation in a meme. My next one shall be sometime in 2007. :)

The tagged victim (that would be me) lists 8 different points of their perfect partner & give the gender. In order to avoid the meme curse I must tag 8 victims (they would be listed at the bottom of this post) to join this game & leave a comment on a post (heehee check your posts people) letting them know they've been tagged.

My partner: male

8 qualities of my perfect partners:

1. He'd be a swinger! (branch to branch)
2. Know how to properly drag a woman by her hair.
3. Look hot in a loincloth.
4. Be willing to be the father to a daughter who's referred to as a pig.
5. Clobber pesky insects with his club.
6. Conquer wild beasts & bring them home for dinner.
7. Enjoy cave dwelling.
8. When I'm bad, spank me like the bad girl that I am!

I don't like being tagged, but I was. Therefore, I'm going to tag 8 others just out of spite. I tag, Bug, Ananke, ItAintOver, Dan, Hippy, eph2810, Barb, and the last victim is Ariadnek! And remember, don't hate!

posted by jane at 1:58 PM


Monday, January 23, 2006

When Good Things Happen

I consider myself a lifetime subscriber to Murphy's Law. You know, the one that says "If something can go wrong, it will." I like to say I see the glass as half full; but I don't. So it is with complete surprise that I must admit, GOOD THINGS ARE HAPPENING IN MY LIFE!

Over a week ago, I was randomly selected to be part of a panel to review blogs that received the most nominations for 1 of the blog awards. In each of the categories, I submitted my favorite 5, as did over a hundred other people. I was really jazzed & took the task seriously. I was pretty sure my selections won't be in the mainstream, but I think that's 1 of the benefits of having so many people review them. Okay, so that was good thing #1.

Then I was notified by The Blog Tribune they were going to feature a write up on my blog, focusing on the bipolar aspect. Of course, this totally floored me! So, I answered a few of their questions & was paranoid that they might be taken out of context. I couldn't have been more mistaken! They actually took what I meant to say & clarified it beautifully. The Blog Tribune is a newer blog, so I hope you'll all pay them a visit. #2 on my good thing list.

As if this wasn't enough! I have found the most wonderful blog as a result of Carol leaving a comment that she wanted to link my blog on her Carnival of Compassion post. Along with my blog, Carol has linked about 4 other bipolar blogs. Carnival of Compassion explains, "The Carnival of Compassion brings patients in the blogosphere closer together. The Carnival of Compassion addresses issue pertaining to life, death, healing and disease. Each week a blog is selected to host the Carnival of Compassion. The hosting blogger links to different weblogs written by patients detailing their experiences with their illness or weblogs that discuss medical advances that directly affect patient care. The hosting blogger can choose to link to 2 to 3 blogs for any of the following categories." From what I've can tell, others can also sign up to host this wonderful blog event.
One more thing I want to add about Carol though: On Fridays she hosts "Friendly Fridays" with her Friends of the Friendless Marching Band. She finds blogs that don't have visitors & posts them on Fridays. As a result, the band visits them. Isn't that brilliant? I've never been in a band before, but I'm thinking of joining this one! Are you keeping track? Good thing #3.

As you can imagine, my cheeks hurt from smiling so much, but it didn't end! At the end of last week I received an email from Eph2810 informing me that I'd won a drawing for a book! The book is titled For Women Only & I can't wait until I get it so I can read it. Thanks Eph2810! For the count, that's good thing #4.

My friend, Hell on Heels, has started a much needed webring for those who are suffering from depression. The webring is called Chronic Blues and if you or a loved one suffer from depression & you'd like more info, just click here. Where were we? Oh yeah! That was good thing #5!

For now, I've abandoned my membership in the Murphy's Law crew. I'm not expecting something bad to happen. As a matter of fact, I'm actually enjoying this & basking in the possibility that just as I believe everything happens for a reason; maybe that includes good things too!

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posted by jane at 2:10 PM


Saturday, January 21, 2006

A Friend in Need

Tonight I read something that stopped me in my tracks. People have told me before they think I'm brave for talking openly about my struggles with mental illness. I never understood what they meant, until now. Coping with my problems wasn't brave; it was just coping. But I just read the blog of a friend who is having a very rough time right now. She hasn't prettied things up, but wrote the truth of her life at this time. You know what I think? I think she's BRAVE. She is a survivor & I admire her for being so damn honest.
What I admire most about her though is the fact that even though she isn't feeling any better, she came back to write more. What's so big about that? 2 things:
1) She's ALIVE!
2) She took the time to let those of us who care know that she's alive.

The nature of our illness says that approximately 20% of us will commit suicide. I don't want her to be a statistic. It would have been so easy for her to throw in the towel of life, but she hasn't. She's still fighting & I am glad she is.
Reading her words, I can feel her agony, yet at the same time I can see as an outsider too. I know how very much she means to me & how many lives would never be the same if she were successful in harming herself.
While blogging opens a new world to the mentally ill & gives us neighbors; there is also a difficult part of it. It's not like I can just go thru my computer monitor to visit her, to give her a hug, to sit up with her all night. There are limitations.
I hope & pray that this is one time where our spirits transcend space & she can literally feel me sitting there with her. Crying, hurting, agonizing with her over life. All I hope is that she knows she isn't alone. God, I want her to know she isn't alone.

If you've got a few minutes, maybe you can stop by & visit her blog. My intentions aren't to sale Jil's blog, but I do know firsthand how much it means when someone reaches out & lets you know they care; especially when you're down. To visit Wild Abandon, click here.

posted by jane at 10:22 PM


Friday, January 20, 2006

My Son

As most of you know, I've got 2 adult children. My daughter Carly* is 25 and my son, Levi* is 23. Levi is bipolar. He's not under a doctor's care and although he works fulltime, he doesn't have insurance.
As a parent, it's difficult for me to write about him because my feelings are often conflicted. It's also difficult for me to see what I've said in writing & to read what others say. As wrong as he may be, I'm his mom & while I do get angry as hell at him, part of me still wants to protect him. Because I try to protect my kid's privacy, I write about them only when it's necessary for myself and that's usually because something is wrong. So it seems the reader would have to be getting a warped view of Levi.

The most difficult times are when someone is counting on him, he's a no-show & we don't hear for him for 12-72 hours. The other night I was awaken from my sleep; my heart pounding out of my chest. I turned on my computer & wrote down my thoughts.
The following is what I wrote:
"Thoughts of death, dread, horror, cluttered thoughts. It's Friday night & for some reason, I worry more about my kids on Friday-Sunday nights. Even though I know Carly isn't out. But I think of their home & all those crackheads in the vicinity & she's alone there 'cuz Levi is out. I imagine him dead somewhere. Shot. Worse though, I imagine him so badly beaten & left on the side of the road, in an alley, the street, something like that. He's so careless with life; he'll be exceptionally lucky if he makes it to his sanity someday. Rays of hope can be so deceptive."

Thanks to another blogger, I've come to some realizations about my son & in an odd sense, it's a relief. On Jon's blog he writes about his son, who is also bipolar. When I read it the other day a light went on in my head & I realized he'd just described Levi to a Tee. This brought me to the realization that until Levi stops drinking & gambling (addictions) and gets on medication, this will be his life. As a result, this is our family's reality, too.

This awareness has given the following insights:
1) I now understand that the rays of hope we see in Levi are very sincere.
2) His love for our family is also genuine.
3) While I can't let him use his illness as an excuse, so long as he doesn't seek help, I must realize his illness is indeed a factor in his behavior & decisions he makes. In all fairness to Levi, I must say here, he never uses the fact that he's bipolar as an excuse. I think it's something he'd rather forget about.

One of the biggest obstacles with mental illness (after getting properly diagnosed) is following your doctor's advice, getting on & staying on your medicine. Remember, this is an illness of the mind. I remember one time I was doing so well, I'd convinced myself I could do it without medicine. What a mistake that was!
Levi & I connect on a certain level because we're bipolar & understand each other in areas others cannot. On the other hand, we're so much alike, sometimes we both want to strangle each other. Our temperament is very much the same, we joke to a fault ~ not knowing when to stop and we say things without first thinking. Whenever I talk to either of my kids sometimes the in between part isn't so pleasant, but we always end by saying, "I love you." And I do.

*names have been changed to protect the innocent ;)

If anybody would like to read more, on my right sidebar is approx. 40+ blogs written by bipolar bloggers and/or their loved ones.

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posted by jane at 8:56 PM


Thursday, January 19, 2006

Cheeta's Dilemma

A few weeks ago I mentioned that we may be looking for a new home for Cheeta. Weirsdo asked about this, but at the time I couldn't bear to answer. For anyone who doesn't know, Cheeta is our pot bellied pig. She will be 4 years old on July 5th & October will be 4 years that we've had her. We were told she'd weigh, at the most 70 lbs., she now weighs about 120 lbs. She's in exceptional physical condition & eats a healthy diet. The people who sold her to us blatantly lied.
When we originally got her it was to help with my depression. At the time, I'd get depressed for months on end, so it was suggested I get a pet. Tarzan is allergic to both cats & dogs. Being that I've had a pot bellied pig before, I started looking into it. The main concern was zoning laws & I found out that unlike most places, it was okay to have a pot bellied pig here. We live in a condominium which is just about 700 sq. feet, but the complex grounds are probably over 45 acres, so there's plenty of space for her walks we take 4 times a week.
Cheeta is doing exceptionally well right now, she's happy as can be and had me in stitches the other day as she was being such a clown. She barks and runs through the house likes it's an obstacle course. Then, she'll slide into the pillows as though she were sliding into a base & she's got so much momentum, she rolls onto her other side. When she's in this funny mood, she'll also sit, like a dog, and if we so much as slightly push her, she'll just fall over onto her side. Kind of like what I've heard about tipping cows. It's really hilarious & my other pig didn't do these types of things.
The problem is pigs need mud. They need to graze too. Contrary to popular belief, they also like to run; at least ours does. Cheeta has become aggressive at times, in the sense that she's extremely grouchy & will snap at us. When she's out in the open space on her walks, she has a different disposition completely. (This is a very condensed explanation)
Over the past few years, my condition has improved. So, I think it might be time for me to give back to her.
This is the plan:
A customer of Tarzan's has 1 pot bellied pig and a 1 acre yard. They want an indoor pig that is friendlier & knows some tricks. Cheeta knows some tricks & would especially be exceptionally friendly with her own space.
We're planning on taking Cheeta over to visit for an hour or so. If things go well & she likes it, we'll take her back to visit for a few days. If all goes well then, we'd let them adopt her. This all depends on if Cheeta is happy there or here and that will be very easy to tell. Pigs speak volumes with their noises & body language; a wagging tail is 1 example of a happy pig.
1 of my concerns is that she have an area outside where she could be separated from the other pig, Marge. She'd need access to her own pen when she's outside. Another requirement would be that when she's in their house, she have a place where she could go & not be disturbed.
We'll only let her be adopted if the perfect situation presents itself & she'd be happier. If she is adopted & ever isn't happy, we'd bring her back home instantly.
Both Tarzan and I feel we should still look into this other option even though things are going well. If we ever do have to give her up, it's best that it be under good conditions. And we can't forget, this is for her well being now.
I haven't processed what it might be like without her; I'm not at that point yet. She is a huge part of my life & while I do spoil her, there are no words for what she's done for me. She must have been a wonderful something in her previous life, because in this one, she's a primadonna pig.

Previous posts about Cheeta:
May 29, 2005 ~ My Cheetah
July 15, 2005 ~ When pigs fly
July 15, 2005 ~ And this little piggy got BIG

1.The funniest pig names I've heard of:
Ally McSqueal and Swinefeld
2. Lil Orphan Hammies is the best pig rescue I've ever seen & you can actually take a virtual tour by clicking on Lucky's Tour. To get there, click here.

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posted by jane at 8:51 PM


Wednesday, January 18, 2006

This 'n That

Are you Coulrophobic? It's not all that uncommon, you know. Coulrophobia is the fear of clowns & some experts believe that 1 in 7 suffer from this. Symptoms include: shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, sweating, nausea and feelings of dread. Ihateclowns.com is a website dedicated to this phobia. Warning: If you're a clown, DON'T go there and I'm not clowning around!

It's Girl Scout cookies time! That's right, those yummy cookies that I can't eat anymore, are now sale for advance orders. From Feb. 24 - Mar. 12 they'll be selling them at various locations. To find the location in your area, click here. Eat some for me, would ya?

Grammar ` So, I'm reading this website on grammar and lo and behold, something confusing appears! Are you ready?
"In the United States, periods and commas go inside the quotation marks regardless of logic. In the United Kingdom, Canada and Islands under the influence of British education, punctuation around quotation marks is more apt to follow logic."
United States example: My favorite poem is Robert Frost's "Design".
UK, Canada, Etc's example: My favorite poem is Robert Frost's "Design".

Got COPD? If you don't, you surely don't want to get it! The American Lung Association is putting on an educational campaign with 20 people telling their stories on www.lungusa.org. COPD is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease & if you or someone you love is a smoker, please research it. After 30 years of smoking, I quit on Dec. 3, 2003. Tarzan quit on Jan. 1, 2004. If we can do it, so can you. Please consider quitting.

Are you having a multi-racial wedding? If so, you may just have found your wedding cake topper! For the first time, brides and grooms are offered in 4 ethnicities and are interchangeable. They're offered in Hispanic, Asian, white and black. In 2003, over 2 million marriages were interracial ones and in Hawaii, 85% of marriages are interracial.

Champion socks have come out with a new sock: Advanced Performance. If you're athletic & have stinky feet, they may be just the fit for you! The socks are made to pull moisture away from the foot, balance foot temperature and prevent bacterial growth. They sell for about $9 each pair & come in an array of styles.

Cleaning votive holders - To clean a votive holder, let it chill for a few hours in the freezer. The wax will shrink & pop right out! (I tried this & it really works)

The word: polka dots gets it's origin from the popularity of polka dancing in the 19th century; it really has nothing to do with the dots themselves. Retailers capitalized on the craze by tacking the word polka to unrelated products.

If you haven't yet, please click on Ninja Poodles! logo located on my RIGHT sidebar. After you visit her site, please come back and click here to vote for her blog to win Best New Blog at The Best of Blogs Awards 2006. You can vote once each day!

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posted by jane at 3:20 AM


Monday, January 16, 2006

Part II

The responses to my questionnaire provided a wealth of information. My sincere thanks to each & every one of you who took the time to answer. I'd like to answer a few of the questions that were asked & also ask a few more myself. If you'll be so gracious to read the questions & answer; I'll be extremely grateful. I'll be more than happy to make another post with more questions & answers if it would benefit anyone.
As before, the anonymous comments feature has been allowed for your privacy. Please remember, I'm no authority on this & some answers are my personal experiences. If anybody has a correction, please feel free to do so.

For Bipolar people:
1) Which anti-depressants are you now taking?
2) Have you tried any that have had adverse effects? If so, which ones?

Abstaining from medications:
3) Has your condition benefited from diet and/or vitamins? If so, specifically what?
4) What has been the most helpful to find balance?
5) Do you self-medicate?

For non-bipolar people:
6) Have you ever been seriously depressed for more than a week? By depressed, I don't mean due to any specific reason, but that you're depressed about life in general. (that's usually how I can tell it's depression; its just everything.
7) Have you ever been so depressed that you contemplated suicide?

Q & A:
Fuzzbox asks: My question is what other causes are there and is the term manic depressive now considered offensive and that is why it is termed bipolar now or is there some other reason.
Dear Fuzzbox, (that just sounds weird) This link gives info about causes. Personally, I prefer manic depressive, but bipolar is shorter & more widely used.
This is what I found in reference to why 1 term is used over the other: "Although lay people will ordinarily use the term "manic-depressive illness', psychiatric professionals are increasingly using the term "bipolar mood disorder" as is demanded by current diagnostic manuals. Bipolar refers to the "two poles" of the continuum of mood or "spirits" with depression or feeling down at one end and mania or feeling high at the other end." (MentalHealth.com)

Gry asks: Is there something specific you would like non-manic depressives to know about your condition?
Dear Gry, For me personally, No. Were it not for the few episodes of mania, I'd be diagnosed only with depression.

CT asks: Was Kurt Cobain bipolar?
Dear CT, My initial response was 'No.' That is, until I Google'd it & according to this link & a few others like it; they say a resounding YES.

Weirsdo asks: I seem to be seeing this term a lot lately. Are more people afflicted now than previously, or are more being diagnosed, or is it just that I happen to encounter more people with the disorder than I used to?
Dear Weirsdo, It sure does seem like more & more people have it. When I looked this up, some sites say the disorder is actually under-diagnosed! Bipolar disorder is the 3rd leading cause of suicide for young adults between 18-24 & it's the 6th leading cause of disability. I've read varying suicide rates from anywhere between 15-20% of those diagnosed. (Really scary)

Los brought up the Bipolar I and Bipolar II and since I just read about it, I can't explain the difference any better than what I read. So, without adding confusion, Pendulum.org is a good source for answers.
I've been on Lexapro almost for 2 weeks & everything is mellowing out. The laughter I was afraid was gone forever, has returned. Joy in life's little pleasures are back as well. It seems this maybe very well be the correct anti-depressant for me. I'm very grateful to those who offered encouragement & prayers.
For readers who are interested: We do have a bipolar webring for those who have Bipolar Disorder and/or have loved ones who do. For more information on the webring, just click here. If you are in either category, you're more than welcome to join.
Please also remember to click on over & visit my tenant of the week, Ninja Poodles!, who is one of 10 finalists for Best New Blog at The Best of Blog Awards 2006.
She's presently in the lead but still needs more votes.

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posted by jane at 4:37 PM


Saturday, January 14, 2006

Click It! or Comment (please)

I've written a questionnaire regarding Manic Depression (Bipolar Disorder) with questions for both bipolar people and non-bipolar people. I've asked just 3 questions of non-bipolar readers. PLEASE take just a few minutes to read & answer the few questions. If anybody feels uncomfortable, I've allowed the anonymous feature for comments. If you don't want to read any further, please remember to click on Belinda's blog located on top of my right sidebar. Thanks for participating!

For NON-Bipolar people:

1) Are you aware that Bipolar Disorder and Manic Depressive are one in the same?
2) Would it make a difference to you if someone said they were Manic Depressive rather than Bipolar?
3) Are there any questions you'd like to ask about Bipolar Disorder?

For Bipolar people:

Mood Stabilizers
4) What mood stabilizers have you taken?
5) Which have worked best & were there any side effects when you started them?
6) Have any mood stabilizers had adverse effects for you? If so, which & how?

7) Have you been on Lithium? If so, is it a mood stabilizer, anti-depressant or both?
8) Has anyone whose taken Lithium had thyroid damage?
9) Has anyone stopped taken Lithium for some other reasons (other than it just didn't work).
10) If yes to either of the 2 above, what medication did you replace it with?
11) Is anyone undergoing thyroid treatment, i.e. Synthroid? If so, have you noticed any change in the Bipolar symptoms?

I'll do another questionnaire about anti-depressants soon. Feel free to leave any other comments pertinent to this topic.
Did you remember to click it? Please visit Ninja Poodles! (located on top of my RIGHT sidebar) & vote for her in The Best New Blog category at The Best of Blogs 2006.

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posted by jane at 11:56 AM


Thursday, January 12, 2006

You know you wanna CLICK IT!

Belinda at Ninja Poodles! is 1 of 10 finalists in the Best New Blog category at Best of Blogs Award for 2006. Only 10 blogs in all of Blogistan make it to this esteemed stage. She also happens to be my tenant this week, so if you want to know what all the hoopla is about, click on her blog located at the top of my RIGHT sidebar.

Then you can come back to my blog and click here & vote for her at the Best New Blog category at Best of the Blogs 2006! (Thanks to all who have voted, Ninja Poodles! is presently in the lead, but needs more votes to win)

Click it! Click it!

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posted by jane at 6:26 PM


Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Some People Laugh Thru Their Noses *snort*

The week of not posting anything came at a good time. I was taken off Wellbutrin XL last week & put on 10 mg. Lexapro...Let the games begin! No, not football. LIFE!
Wednesday or Thursday night I got 4 hours sleep, the next 2 or 3 days I was awake, but felt like my skin was crawling, not to mention the headaches, nausea, ringing in my ear & odd sensation on my tongue. I don't know of any fancy words to explain what it's been like, but I'll say this: It's been comparable to heroin withdrawals. I don't know if it's been because I'm on a new medicine or because I'm off an old medicine. Gradually, the days have gotten better.
I still find myself not laughing, not crying, not doing anything really except for playing Sudoku. As with everything else; I've become addicted. The timing of finding this game has been a godsend. I haven't wanted to talk to people, can't read books, haven't been reading blogs...human contact, in general, isn't appealing right now. So, I've been playing this game; it's all numbers.
While I've never been a math or English whiz, I much prefer math. In English there are so many variables, prepositions, exceptions, all the crap that creates this huge gray area. In math, things are black & white. There is a concrete answer.
Another reason I like this game is because of a study I read about Alzheimers. It said one of the best jobs to avoid Alzheimers was a taxi driver. They always have different routes to drive, have to calculate time, mileage, change, etc. Basically this study said to avoid things that are a constant repeat. Sudoku is anything but. With all the medications I'm on, I need to do all the brain stimulation I can.
So while I said I'd be reading blogs to pass this last week; I did the best I could. I was emerged in a game that made the waiting game go faster and helped the edginess to start to diminish. I've been a real bitch to be around & I don't consider being a bitch a good thing.
It bothers me that I can't laugh. I can't imagine myself stuck like this & I'm hoping & praying it's just a temporary thing. I find myself feeling nothing. When I do feel something it's irritation, anger, impatience.
It's just been a little over a week & the agitation has decreased significantly, so my therapist said to give it 2-3 weeks. I imagine I won't be depressed, but God I so want to just laugh my ass off! You know, the kind of laugh did do on Mary Poppins where they float up to the ceiling & can't get down cuz they can't stop laughing. By the way, that is 1 of my all time favorite scenes in a movie. I should rent* Mary Poppins & watch that scene. Ohhh....you know what? That's what I'm gonna do!! And tomorrow, I am going to laugh my beautiful flat ass off!

*Note: When I went & returned some movies, lo and behold they had Mary Poppins for sale. So, guess who will (hopefully) be floating up to the ceiling in laughter tomorrow? Uh huh....you guessed it!

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posted by jane at 3:19 PM


Thursday, January 05, 2006

Jane Loves The Longhorns!!!!

Hello my loyal readers,
Jane here, I just wanted to tell everyone that since USC lost against the Texas Longhorns I haven't been the same... After seeing the awesome force of the Texas Longhorns I have switched teams!!! I now bleed burnt orange!!! I know most of you are thinking that I might be jumping the band wagon, but this isn't the case, deep down inside I honestly knew the Longhorns would pull it off and kick the crap out of the pansy trojans.... I mean heck did you see the way Leinart was crying over the loss, he acted like a 5 year old girl after her barbies head got torn off by a big bad ol longhorn... Now after seeing this how could I stick with a team that is a bunch of sore losers... I mean come on, only 1 team can win right? And I finally realized that the Longhorns are the better, wait, best team in the world!!!! Maybe I should move to Austin, do you readers think Tarzan would go for that?

HAHA Fooled you!!!
LOL... Hello everyone in Jane land.... For those of you who don't know who I am (except Dan),
I'm Craig from the ACTION!!!! blog... I have created this post because, as most of you know, your sweet and lovely Jane has lost a bet... Yes everyone, she backed the wrong team...

This game was very close, but the trojans couldn't stop Vince Young... I bet the people who gave Reggie Bush the Heisman trophy are kicking themselves in the bum right now... I bet their wives are making them sleep on the couch for that huge mistake... Well at least we all now know what team is better!!! I think Leinart just might transfer to UT next year for grad school, because he doesn't want to be a loser anymore... As for Reggie Bush, it looks like he will go pro as a Houston Texan... Coincidence? I don't think so...
Look at me and my mean Longhorn face.... With fans like me and Goose USC never had a chance... LOL...Wait, did The longhorns stop USC's 34 win streak? Yes they did, too bad they will never see 35... LOL...

That's right people the Texas Longhorns are #1!!!!!!!! Did you ever have a doubt? Even with 2 Heisman trophy winners the trojans couldn't win... LOL.. Young said."Do whatever it takes," and that's what they did.... This was the Ultimate revenge for Vince Young...

I leave you with this!!!

"It's so beautiful," Young said as he received the MVP crystal. "Don't you think that's beautiful? It's coming home all the way to Austin, Texas."

I want to say thanks to Jane for being such a good sport, and great friend...

Ok now, everyone in Jane land lets sing along THE LONGHORNS ARE THE CHAMPIONS.... my friend... and we'll keep on fighting till the end!!!! Keep singing everyone!!!!

P.S. All of Janes new posts will be below this post until 1-12-06, and remember Hook'em horns...

posted by jane at 11:15 PM


Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Congratulations, Hornsboy!

posted by jane at 9:52 PM


I'll post again on Thursday, January 12, 2006

Did you know it's time to submit your nominations at The 6th Annual Weblog Awards. There are tons of categories, so get on over there & vote for your favorite blogs! To get there, click here.

Craig won our Rose Bowl bet, so later today my blog will host HIS post for 1 week. I'll also have his team's logo on my left sidebar for 4 weeks. Congrats, Hornsboy!

If you haven't visited BloggoChicago yet, please click on her blog log on my right sidebar.

posted by jane at 4:28 PM


Monday, January 02, 2006

Bloggo Chicago

I've got a new tenant & I think she's a genius. (A real genius) Her name is Barb & her blog is Bloggo Chicago. If you like Star Wars, omgosh, THIS is the blog for you! I'm not a Trekkie, but I've heard about 'em. (aren't they all geniuses?) (thanks, Ananke!) She has a collection of Star Wars stuff & sometimes does Star Wars trivia. So, if you're smart, GO THERE! Anyways, she also like Neopets, cats and Legos.
What I've described so far is very entertaining, but there's also a very serious side of Barb.
On her right sidebar she has a list of "Categories" which has a myriad of subjects: The Neighborhood, My kind of town, Chicago Living Tips, Bipolar Health/Fitness and a lot more. Barb is exceptionally knowledgeable, probably about everything, but when it comes to bipolar disorder, she's been a huge help to me. She speaks very candidly and that makes me at ease discussing things with her.
Now, on to the serious stuff. Barb & I have a bet on today's Fiesta Bowl; I picked Notre Dame, Barb chose Ohio State. Whoever's team wins gets to put a post on the other person's blog for 1 day, OR we can have the person write a post about OUR team. So far though, I have nothing written. (It's just as well, they lost & not in a pretty way) So, if anybody likes Notre Dame & wants to write a post for me because I KNOW they're going to WIN, please email me. :) :(
After all that I've said about Barb, I have to mention, she's also got a new blog design which I LOVE cuz it reminds me of chocolate! You will know what I mean when you see it. I hope you'll click on her blog up there on the right sidebar, if for no other reason, just to tell her Notre Dame is going to kick ASS!!!! as if!
Okay, well, if you The Fiesta Bowl, you know my team lost & Barb's won. But Barb said I didn't have to put a post of hers up here & I think at least something should go up. So, here is my something: Ohio State played one hell of a game. AJ Hawk kicked ASS! And he just so happens to be the fiance of Brady Quinn's sister. In case you don't know, Brady Quinn is the q.b. for Notre Dame. Hawk sacked him at least twice, if not more.
In all fairness, Ohio State went out there today to win a Bowl game. I don't know what the Irish were thinking...it didn't seem to be about football. They'll still be one of my favorite teams, some teams you just like no matter what. Congratulations to Barb & her Ohio State Buckeyes!!!
ps....speaking of kicking ass, 'Bama did just that today! Jil of Wild Abandon is the proud sister of Bama's #95 long snapper, who was involved in the miraculous field goal in the final 5 seconds to win the game! Jil isn't at home right now, but it'd be great for her to come home to a bunch of 'congratulations' comments on her blog. If you want, please stop by & give her a cheer!

(Now I'm going to study a website on grammar so I'll quit doing these damn run-on sentences!)

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posted by jane at 12:05 PM


Sunday, January 01, 2006

Don't rain on my parade!

At 8 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 2, 2006, the 117th Annual Rose Parade will be in millions of homes around the world. For the 1st time since 1955, 2-4 inches of rain is expected. Let's hope the rain isn't too bad & that the show will go on! Have you ever wondered about all of the work that goes into one float? Or any of the behind-the-scenes details? With the help of Tournament of Roses website, I hope to answer a few of those questions for you.

It all started in 1890 when Californians who had moved from the East or Midwest, were so pleased to be blessed with blooming flowers instead of snow storms, they wanted to parade them around. Soon afterwards, marching bands, motorized floats and a number of other attractions were added. In 1902, the first ever post-season football game between Stanford & Michigan was played. Stanford lost 49-0, literally giving up in the 3rd quarter. As a result, they opted to try Roman-style chariot races. However, in 1916 football returned and this time it was for good.

This year's theme for the Rose Bowl Parade is, "It's Magical." The Grand Marshall will be Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. High School Senior, Camille Clark, will reign as this year's Rose Queen; she'll be wearing a crown valued at $100,000. When New Year's Day falls on a Sunday, the parade is moved to Monday, in staying with old tradition which states, "Never on a Sunday."
This year, look for 12 year old Karie Guirguis riding atop the Ronald McDonald House float. Karie has undergone 6 operations for brain cancer and has been selected to ride the float appropriately titled, "Dreaming of the Future." I hope Karie has a magical 2006.
More than 80,000 human hours go into each year's parade, with 935 volunteers members of the Tournament of Roses Association. Approximately 50 marching bands apply for the 16 openings; they're chosen around 14 months in advance. Each year, 300 equestrians & riders also participate in the parade. There are also 3 vehicles in the parade. To view the list of this year's participants, click here.

Of the 48 participating floats, 24 will win an official award. The highest honor is The Sweepstake's Trophy & is awarded for the most beautiful entry. Last year's winner was "Playful pandemonium" sponsored by RainBird. The Tournament of Roses Judging Committee appoints a 3 member judging panel, consisting of civic and floral industry leaders. The floats are usually accepted more than a year prior to parade day and each float will consist of more floral material than a florist would use in 5 years.
The process of float-building begins shortly after the previous year's parade ends. The core of the float includes a specialty made chassis, chicken wire, steel and then sprayed with polyvinyl material that matches the colors of the flowers that will cover the float. Every inch of the float must be covered with flowers or natural material, ie: bark, leaves, etc. Some flowers are so delicate they're set in
a vial of water & added one by one. It is any wonder they call the Rose Bowl Parade "The Granddaddy of Them All"?
The parade, which lasts 2 1/2 hours long and stretches 5 1/2 miles long, will have approximately 800,000 viewers in attendance. While I did go one year as a teenager, we slept somewhere on the sidewalk (with thousands of others); I've graciously declined to watch another in person. The view is much, much better from my recliner.

I hope you all have a healthy & prosperous 2006!

If you'd like to view all the Rose Bowl game scores, click here.
Here's a list of the Rose Bowl Hall of Famers.
To take a look at the photo gallery, just click here.

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posted by jane at 2:10 PM