U is for Unmotivated

u embroiderSo I’ve been putting off doing most things lately, including writing blog posts. Why? Because I just couldn’t get myself to do anything. To the point of spending two days in bed. Yep, you read that right. Two. Days. In. Bed.

I’m not even sure why I’ve been so unmotivated or depressed or whatever you want to call it. I don’t actually feel bad. Most of the time. Most of the time I feel like an inarticulate word ending in “h”: eh, ich, blah. It’s only when I try to get myself to do things that the bad thoughts and feelings come up (they involve my own uselessness, death, and anything else negative you can imagine).

I read somewhere that if you just start something, anything, your motivation will show up and you’ll feel better. So I chose to start this blog post. Let’s see, dear readers, what happens.

 

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I came across this picture the other day and couldn’t help but stop and wonder. Who was Ms. Eliza M. Stillman? And why isn’t there a death date? Is she a vampire? An immortal of some kind? Based on the engraving of what I’m assuming are shamrocks, either she or her husband were Irish. Or admirers of Ireland. Or they really just liked shamrocks. Or those are supposed to be something else and the artist messed up.

Of course, there’s probably a simple explanation for everything I’m wondering. When she died her family probably couldn’t afford to have her death date engraved (we had a similar problem). But it’s more fun, don’t you think, to image that Ms. Eliza is off somewhere, baking cookies, and enjoying her 178th year of existence.

 

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Speaking of immortal, this picture jumped out at me too. Doesn’t she look creepy? I can’t help but wonder how those black streaks got there. Intentional or…?

 

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This is just pretty.

 

fat cat

As y’all know, I’m fat. Circus-fat-lady fat. And I love cats. Yep, I’m the cliché.

 

Image from mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/macro-photos-show-amazing-details-of-everyday-objects

Image from mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/macro-photos-show-amazing-details-of-everyday-objects

This falls under the title of “Isn’t science cool?” This is a single grain of sugar. Cool, right?

 

quote struggle

This picture might look familiar as I’ve used it in a previous post. But hey, I still like it and this is my blog. Love the tail.

 

Okay. So I wrote. I posted. I looked at pretty pictures. Do I feel any “better”? Not really. I just feel hungry.

 

Maybe I’ll go back to bed.

 

black white cat


 

Take care.

Bonnie

K is for Keeping

k purpleHello all. I noticed the other day that there were some letters that I had not yet used, K among them. I spent a bunch of time trying to think of something to write about and came up short which means that this post will be a bit random.

So what do I mean by “keeping”? I mean that I tend to hoard/keep a bunch of pictures, both digital and analog. Today, after a follow up from last week, I’m gonna share some of the pictures I’ve saved.

Before I get into that, I want to let you know that I’m gonna participate in WordPressNext Blogging U. Challenge starting June 1st. Basically I’ll be blogging daily (except for the weekends) for however long the challenge lasts. In other words I’m trying to get myself to post more.

A follow up from last week:

As I mentioned in my last post, I often have a hard time leaving my apartment when the people across the street are hanging out on their porch. It rained a lot this week, so it wasn’t much of a problem until yesterday. So how’d I get out of the apartment? I sang this song in my head:

Yep I like the Broadway version better than the movie version. As a former Theatre major and long time musical fan, I’ve got lots of opinions on why, none of which are relevant to why I was singing this song. (If you want me to write a post in the future about musicals, especially on the differences between the live and movie versions, please feel let me know by leaving a comment below or sending me an email above.)

So why did that work to get me out of the house? Cause I’m weird. The song is fun, especially the way Ann Reinking sings it. And then there’s the lyrics:

[ROXIE]

I’m gonna be a celebrity. That means somebody everyone knows. They’re gonna recognize my eyes, my hair, my teeth, my boobs, my nose.

From just some dumb mechanic’s wife, I’m gonna be Roxie. Who says that murders not an art?

And who in case she doesn’t hang can say she started with a bang? Foxy Roxie Hart!…

ROXIE (spoken)]

And I love the audience. And the audience loves me for loving them. And I love them for loving me. And we just love each other. That’s because none of us got any love in our childhood.

I mean how can you not want to defy your fears with that silliness? Score one for me!

Here’s some of the pics I’ve kept:

abby

Image from cbs.com

That’s Abby Scuito from NCIS. I really want to be her; she’s fearless, loving, and totally open (despite the goth look).

becoming self quote

I love this quote on two levels: first because it speaks to the fact that we can change. Second because it comes from Cary Grant, a man who may have been bisexual (more on him here).

cat dont care

Hey, it’s a cat. As you all know I’m a sucker for a cat. And it’s a caption that you just know is true.

belief quote

I struggle with this a lot.

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Something I wish both a cat and a human would do for me.

letters

Whenever I’m having trouble with my writing, I try to remember this (and it goes with my blog title :).)

This is what would happen in real life to Cinderella. Cinderella was my favorite fairy tale as a child. Obviously real life is NOT a fairy tale.

nami persistence

When I went back to school, I was told by one of the clerical people in my advising office that I “had a reputation for persistence.” Something that I keep reminding myself of whenever I’m down.

tornado

A tornado. Or my life. Depending on your perspective.

strong help quote

Yet more stuff I have to remind myself of when I’m blue.

wedding

What can I say, I’m a romantic. Despite the fact that I may never get married.

writing quote

Because it just makes me smile. It’s so true! I’ve spent the last 40 years trying to not write a book.

That’s just some of what I keep pic-wise. I also collect craft ideas, decorating tips and inspirations, and lists of books to read. What can I say, I’m a hoarder at heart.


 

Blessings to all of you.

Be well.

W is for Websites (and Blogs)

letters-alphabet-cursive-wSo, I’ve been doing a lot of sleeping—translation, avoiding—lately. This is mostly because I’ve been overwhelmed with loneliness and worry (I’m unemployed, sick, etc). That said, I’m tired of thinking about myself. So I thought I’d take time to highlight my favorite websites, most of which I’ve linked to on this blog.

Cat Sites: I’m a big fan of cats. And, probably because I can’t have one in my current apartment, I’m obsessed with pictures of them. On Facebook, I like seven different pages that are cat or pet related (most of which I’ll won’t mention in this post). Here’s an overview of the sites I love:

  • The Itty Bitty Kitty Committee: This is a blog written by a cat foster family in Seattle. Originally written as a way to help get
    Wylla - image courtesy of theittybittykittycommittee.com

    Wylla – image courtesy of theittybittykittycommittee.com

    their kittens fostered, it is currently focused on one of their adopted kittens, Wylla, who has special needs. I love this site because the star is just too cute. This site is usually updated once a day, during the week.

  • Cats. Where they do not belongThis is a tumblr.com blog that features, as you’d expect, cats where they aren’t supposed to be. Enough said. The site is usually updated once a day, less often on the weekend.
  • William of Mass Destruction: This is a blog supposedly written by a black cat; mostly the cat complains about his siblings or makes sarcastic comments. The humor appeals to me, but mostly it’s a way to see pretty pictures of gorgeous cats.  Usually updated once a day, weekdays, but sometimes less often.
  • The PsychoKitty Speaks Out: Another blog supposedly written by a sarcastic cat and I like it for the same reason I like William of Mass Destruction, just not updated as often. However, this blog is special in that the writer makes up some cleaver “cat-speak”: “doods” for “dudes” and so forth. For some reason this makes me laugh.
  • Daisy the Curly Cat: Another blog written by a cat, this one a cutie with curly fur. This blog has daily themes: Mondays are comics featuring Daisy and her siblings, Tuesdays and Thursdays are general picture days, and Wednesdays are “wordless” (apparently there is some sort of agreement with many of the cat blogs to post some sort of uncaptioned picture then linking to other blogs). Only posts Monday through Thursday.
  • Housecat Confidential: Another cat written blog, this one written with the cats referring to each day as if the day itself was a reader. Posts daily (weekdays).
  • Love Meow: This is a website that finds cute cat stories and videos and posts them all to their site for your reading convenience. The stories usually focus on cat rescues but the videos are priceless.
  • Army Kitty: Similar to Love Meow, this site lists cat stories (but rarely videos). I actually like this site a bit better than Love Meow because the layout is clearer. However, the videos alone on Love Meow are worth checking it out. Both Love Meow and Army Kitty are updated daily, sometimes on the weekend as well.
  • Freekibble Kat: This is a charity website that allows you to donate food to animal shelters with or without a monetary donation. You can donate without emptying your wallet by answering a daily (all 7 days) trivia question. Regardless if you answer the question right or not, 10 pieces of kibble are donated to the shelters on their beneficiary list. This site is an off-shoot of Freekibble which does the same thing, but for dogs. There is a link for the dog site as well as a weekly email reminder. You can only “free” donate once per day per device.
  • The Animal Rescue Site: This is another charity website that allows you to donate with or without money. Instead of answering trivia questions, you just click on a button and the site’s advertisers donate. There are also links on the site to its sister sites where you can click to donate to a general charity (GreaterGood), for hunger, breast cancer, autism, veterans, diabetes, literacy and the rainforest. If you’ve got a few extra bucks, you can also give by shopping. You can click once per day, for the “free” donation, (all 7 days) per device.

Mental Health Sites: If you need a reminder, I have been diagnosed with Reoccurring Major Depressive Disorder (with suicidal ideation) and I have a bachelor’s degree in psychology. So I try to keep myself educated on the trends in the industry, both for my own health and in case I ever decide to start a career in the industry.

  • Therese J. Borchard: This site/blog is written, obviously, by Therese J. Borchard, a prominent mental health blogger. Ms.
    image from HealthyPlace.com

    image from HealthyPlace.com

    Borchard has bipolar disorder and I find her writing style easy to read and comforting. I highly recommend her articles for both those with and those without a mental health issue. She’s not ashamed to say when she’s been having difficulty with her disease and she’s done a lot of research into the physical aspects of depression. Lots of great advice on how to handle symptoms and what it’s really like to have the disease. I also recommend her books.

  • Celebrity Psychings and PsychCentral: Celebrity Psychings is a blog, hosted by PsychCentral, that focuses on those in the entertainment industry who have spoken out about or who have some sort of mental health issue. The blog is occasionally superficial but I like it because it appeals to the tabloid part of me. There are other blogs on PsychCentral that are good as well.
  • Psychology Today: This is the website for the magazine of the same name. Lots of easily understood information on various mental health topics. I use this website when I need a reminder of some of the basics of psychology.
  • Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA): This is an organization dedicated to providing support and information for those with depression and bipolar and their families. I also “like” them on Facebook. The site can get you information and connect you to support. On Facebook they keep you updated on news and events.
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): Like the DBSA, this is an organization that’ll provide you with information and support. But what it does a lot more of is advocate. The NAMI focuses on trying to eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness. Again, I “like” them on Facebook, where they keep you up to date on their efforts.
  • HealthyPlace: This site advertises itself as America’s Mental Health Channel and has lots of information, forums and blogs. I find their Facebook posts especially helpful; they ask good questions and link to great blog posts. If you had to choose only one of the above sites to “like” on Facebook, I’d pick this one. It’s helpful with the day to day of living with a mental illness.

Writing Sites: Something I don’t talk much about on this blog is my desire to become a novelist. It’s something I’ve dreamed about ever since I was in 3rd grade. The following sites are places I don’t go every day, usually because I can’t focus (due to my depression. The inability to focus is extremely frustrating) but they’re good sites nonetheless.

  • Writer’s Digest Magazine and The Writer Magazine: These are two of the prominent writing magazines in the United
    National Novel Writing Month - image courtesy of nanowrimo.org/

    National Novel Writing Month – image courtesy of nanowrimo.org

    States. Writer’s Digest leans a bit towards those who are first starting out while The Writer leans towards the veterans. Both are worthy of reading regardless of where you are in your writing journey. Another prominent writing magazine is Poets & Writers; it leans towards more academic writing but is still worth reading occasionally.

  • Absolute Write, Writer Unboxed, Live to Write – Write to Live, Novel Rocket, WOW! Women on Writing, Writing.com, and Funds for Writers: These are all sites for support, forums, advice and so forth for writers. There are plenty of other sites as well, but these are the ones I visit when I need some advice, to read a blog about writing, or just to lurk in the forums.
  • National Novel Writing Month (nanowrimo): This is a fun site where you are challenged to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. There are many spinoffs of this concept (write a novel in a day, a week, a year; edit a novel in a day, week, year; etc), but this is the original. A great challenge if you can do it and many schools use the concept/website to promote writing. The forums are especially lively. I encourage everyone who is interested in writing to give it a try. It is especially helpful for those who have a problem with perfectionism in their writing since the focus is on getting words on the page, not on the quality of those words.

Other sites: Since no one is just about three things (in my case cats, depression and writing), I also look at other things online. Here’s a selection of them:

  • The Happy Logophile: A blog written by a mom and writer. She doesn’t post very often, but when she does,
    image courtesy of bbc.co.uk

    image courtesy of bbc.co.uk

    it’s invariably lovely and insightful.

  • , A writer who designs & a designer who writes: A blog mostly about design. Posts are added as she comes across things but they’re always really pretty and distinctly cool.
  • Whatever: This is the blog of science fiction writer John Scalzi, who usually posts daily (all 7 days). He has a regular post called “The Big Idea” where guest writers talk about their work, but almost all of his other posts are written by Mr. Scalzi himself. He writes about just about anything, from political issues to writing issues to the sunset behind his house. The tone of his posts is generally humorous and the comments for his posts can run in the thousands. Pure entertainment.
  • Catholic Cravings: This is a blog from an Australian writer and is currently under transition. I started reading this blog because of its catholic bent (I’m a convert) and it’s interesting to see her views on feminism, etc, from that angle. Right now she’s transitioning the blog into a self-hosted arena so it’ll be interesting to see what she does in the future.
  • Not a Punk Rocker: A blog from a mom with mental health issues and who has a kid with mental health issues. Her tone is generally funny and her posts can range from a musing about eating disorders or her kid’s problems to descriptions of her workplace to pictures (and descriptions) of her latest manicure. She generally posts once or twice a week. Often good for a laugh.
  • Relevant Radio: This is the website for a catholic talk radio station I used to listen to on my way to work, when I used to have a job. You can stream directly from the site or download recordings of their shows. Very informative for anyone who wants to know more about being catholic or who wants to keep in touch with their faith. It was instrumental in my conversion.
  • All About Romance: I’m a big reader of romance novels and hope to eventually write one. This site offers reviews of romance, chick-lit, LBGT lit, and women’s lit as well as recommendations and forums. I use it as a way to find new things to read as well as to see what others are saying about the kind of writing I hope to break into.

There are, of course, other websites I like. Sites where I check on the news, shop and so forth.

Are there any websites I haven’t mentioned that you’d like my opinion on? I’d love to hear your opinion on the sites I mentioned above. Please comment!

H is for the Humane Society

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Jasper

I went to my local humane society the other day and almost left with a car full of furry roommates. Seriously, could you refuse this guy?

I often will stop by the humane society just to pet the kitties and doggies. One day I’d like to volunteer but for right now, visiting is a reward I give myself when I do particularly well, motivation-wise. I used to go when I needed a hug, but for some reason I always felt worse after visiting then before. Maybe because the animals needed hugs more than I did or maybe because it just reminded me of what I didn’t (or couldn’t, my depression would tell me) have.

But this time, not one but six animals gave me that take-me-home-I-won’t-tell-your-landlord-you-have-me look. The first one was the puppy above. That’s Jasper, a three month old Chihuahua mix. Normally I don’t go for Chihuahuas. I think they’re too high strung and yippy. But he looked so sad, sitting all by himself in a puppy cage.

As I may have mentioned, I’m a cat lady. But I visit the doggies too. In fact, I’ve been thinking of getting a service animal. Yep, they’ve got them for mental illnesses. Usually they’re dogs, so I thought “what the heck, I like dogs too. As long as they’re not too slobbery or yippy.” This visit I came across the perfect dog for service work, a lab/retriever mix named Bennett.

Bennett

Bennett

The guy’s only seven months old but already was too big for a puppy cage. How could I resist a dog named after an Austen character? But I did, of course. I’m no push over. At least in the dog area.

Next came this gal:

Catrina

Catrina

At our humane society, the cats live communally in glass walled rooms and you can go into the rooms to visit and play. (If you’re serious about adopting a pet, volunteers will take you to private rooms where you can get especially acquainted with an animal.) Catrina, seven years old, stared out the window at me from the moment I came into view (I later watched her do the same thing to a group of kids, so I wasn’t too flattered). She came at me as soon as I walked into her room and did pant leg circles. I offered her a hand and she graciously allowed me a pet then jumped up on a cat tree to watch me greet all the other cats in the room. As I left, she jumped back down and walked me to the door, allowed me another pet, then watched me walk down the hallway. I don’t think she blinked once the entire time I was in her room. If she were mine, I’d have to rename her Vigilance.

Hope

Hope

The next room was the largest, and several black kittens started to play with me, but found each other much more interesting. A couple of grown-up kitties deigned to allow a pet, as long as I didn’t interrupt too much of nap time. But it was Hope, a four month old, who wouldn’t let me go. She kept head-butting me and had no problem whatsoever with being held. If I stopped petting for even a second, she pushed her little head under my hand, purred, and gave me one of those “love me” looks that only cats can give. She never said anything though, just purred like she was home. I spent a good ten minutes just giving her a cuddling. Best ten minutes ever.

Jacque

Jacque

The last room of kitties was for special cases. The kitties in these rooms like it quieter and calmer.

Sasha

Sasha

Sometimes because they were older, sometimes because they were scared, sometimes because they had behavioral problems, and sometimes because they were just that way. Jacque, four months old, was another vigilant kitty. But he wasn’t content to just watch me like Catrina. Nope, he walked right up to me and demanded to be picked up. And cuddled. And scratched. And loved. When I picked up Sasha, ten years old, and set her on my lap, Jacque insisted on joining us. Sasha must have had kitty buddies at her last home because she was just fine with that. Even when he walked on her head.

I’ve never had two cats want to be with me at once. Perhaps my vibe was different this time; I was there for them, not myself. Or perhaps the cats themselves were different. I’ve no idea. But I do know that I’m gonna have to go back. Soon. With maybe a large jacket to sneak one up to my apartment in.

All images courtesy of Tails Humane Society.

C is for Cat

 

 

c is for catOkay, I promised a positive post. Here it is…

I love cats. No, I don’t love them…I adore them…I practically worship them. I know it’s stereotypical, the fat spinster with a ton of cats. Frankly, I’d love to be that crazy-cat-lady stereotype, but I don’t actually own a cat. I haven’t owned one in over a decade. Why not? Mostly because I haven’t had the financial ability to take care of a cat or I lived in an apartment that didn’t allow them.

So, what did I do to get my kitty fix? I visited my brother, he had a beautiful mostly purebred Charteaux (more about the breed here: http://www.cfa.org/Breeds/BreedsCJ/Chartreux.aspx) named Snicklefritz. 

SnicklefritzSnicklefritz is German for troublemaker. My sister-in-law, an army brat who spent the majority of her childhood in Germany, named him. He was a great cat, devoted to my brother and tolerant of me. But he died about a year ago. Since then, the only cat fix I get is when I visit the local humane society.

Why do I love cats? Maybe it’s because they’re beautiful. Look at this pic: 

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How much more beautiful can it get? Or this one: 

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But it’s not just because they’re pretty, or soft, or cuddleable. It’s not even that my genes have programmed me to love anything baby-like. Honestly, I think it’s because cats are exactly what I wish I were: beautiful, graceful, enigmatic, dignified, and supremely indifferent to what everyone else is thinking (or at least they act that way).

 If reincarnation is real, I want to come back as a pampered house cat. 

 More beautiful cat pictures:

1.1     3     7     7.2     995951_10201910769873574_394336770_n     62361_10152459463990417_1673430173_n     72508_10151283845497054_1170918509_n     225216_10153069315275417_456734519_n

P.S. I don’t remember where I got some of the above pics (with the exception of my brother’s cat. I got that one from my sister-in-law). If you know who should be credited with a pic and it’s not showing, please let me know and I’ll update this post. Thanks!