It’s Time to Post about Awards

It’s time I answered those who nominated me for an award. the crafty lady in combat boots  nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award and  Martie of Is That A Hair In My Biscuit nominated me for the Liebster Award.

While I  am flattered beyond belief, I feel I must turn the awards down and become an Award-Free Zone. I am sure there are many new bloggers who are much more deserving. I have not been blogging very long and am not even sure I have the hang of it yet! My blog is kind of wysiwyg.(what you see is what you get) I don’t have an organized structure of what I write and when I write it like most others. I am too “free spirited” and moody for that kind of organization. In fact, I never know what I will blog about until right before I write. I know that sounds crazy and it probably is, but I just love to write and this is practice for me. I want to keep my flow going and not become stagnant.

Now, I have read that it means death to your blog if you don’t accept the awards you are nominated for. I hope not. I’d like to have more followers and more likes and more comments. Isn’t that what each writer lives for? I’m no different and I hope that is not the case. If it is, I’ll just have to live with that.

Thank you Martie and Lady in Combat Boots. I am truly flattered and hope neither of you are offended.  For me, it was a great honor to just be nominated.

I will comply with some little known (on the web) facts about me. I’ll do 11 to  be exact.

*my eyes are hazel and turn very green when I am angry, or jealous

* i’m only 5’1. Everyone in the world is taller than me- well, it feels like it anyway

* I love my husband madly, but more, I admire him .

*My children and grandchildren are my heart and soul. I love them all.

*My animals are my next love. Family first, then animals

* I am a Christian, have been since I was 10 and I am humbled by that.

*Fall and Spring are my favorite times of the year.

* Although I love being social, I equally love my time alone .

* I love my quirkiness.

* I sometimes laugh and laugh because I crack my own self up.

and

* i love wearing two different color socks!

I saved the best for last.

Once again, I hope no one is offended by my decision to keep my blog award-free. That is not my intent.

With that, I say thank you,  thank you, thank you! I am humbled and flattered.

I must attend to the animals now.

Thank you so much, but I must remain award-free
Thank you so much, but I must remain award-free

Not Just Any Veteran

It’s Veteran’s Day and I want to thank all the Veterans for their service to our country, protecting our freedom- the privileges we have that other countries do not. But, today, I want to talk about one veteran- my dad.

Daniel Paul Walker, Jr.
Daniel Paul Walker, Jr.

My dad- Daniel Paul Walker, Jr. enlisted in the Navy when World War II broke out.  He wanted to be able to choose his branch of service rather than being drafted into one. Daddy was a Yeoman,1st Class. He never talked about the war and I never knew why until I was in my twenties. I can’t blame him. Whenever I asked him what a Yeoman did, he would say, “Book keeping, inventory, things like that.” The part he never told was that he was the one who had to identify the many bodies on the ship , toe tag them and arrange to have the families told. How horrible it must have been for him.

“Your daddy was never the same when he came back from the war, ” my aunt Aline told me once. She didn’t go into detail and since Daddy didn’t talk about it and neither did my mother, I had no idea what happened during the war. Oh, you know, I read about it in history- read The Diary of Ann Frank , watched movies and such. But, the reality of identifying bodies and having his best friend blown up beside him- well, that never crossed my mind. I just didn’t know.

When my dad came back from the war, he had, by today’s standards- Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). But, in 1945, there was no such thing as PTSD. He thought he was being spied on, thought the Nazi’s were out to get him, was still in a wartime mentality. He was diagnosed paranoid -schizophrenic. I  understand why now.

I remember when I was in private first grade (I was too young to go to regular school ), my dad went to “the hospital”. He was there six weeks. He made my sister and I a leather purse- a coin purse of sorts in his crafts class. Like art therapy, I guess. It was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen- and he made it with his own hands. It was a favorite thing of mine and i used it until it was threadbare.  I missed him terribly while he was gone. Being only 5, I just didn’t understand why he was there.

Mother, Daddy, Martha and Paula
Mother, Daddy, Martha and Paula

I was told much later- about when I was 21 that he had been put on medication, but the meds didn’t really work , so he was given shock treatments. He was given sodium pentathol (truth serum) to put him to sleep and then monstrously shocked until he convulsed and his brain had enough electricity to handle the atrocities of war. His once sharp memory for phone numbers and names began to dissipate and he couldn’t remember anymore.

I knew he went to the doctor every six weeks, but I didn’t know why. Every six weeks he had to endure this until, bedridden with emphysema, he was allowed to stop. He died three years later.

So, for my dad-he didn’t die in World War II- but he gave his life. Thank you Daddy. I love you

Today is Veterans Day in the United States of America.

I never knew there were specific meanings for each fold. I would like to share this so that you , too , can learn what the folds mean. Thank you,Crafty Lady for the lesson and for your and your husband’s service to our country.

the crafty lady in combat boots

wpid-psx_20141109_203922.jpg

Today is Veterans Day in the United States of America.

It’s a day to give respect to the brave men and women who sacrificed to keep our country and freedoms safe. A day to honor those serving our nation today. It a time for reflection. For perspective.

My husband and I were both Honor Guards (a privilege I will always treasure) and even to this day the sound of taps and seeing a flag folded always makes me cry. It is a proud moment, but gut wrenching at the same time.

Have you ever noticed at military funerals how the honor guard pays meticulous attention to correctly folding the American flag 13 times?

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When Daylight Savings Time Ends

Daylight Savings Time began when I was little. One could never imagine how we kids felt the first time it went Daylight Savings Time and we could play outside til about 9 p.m. What freedom! What a life! To be able to play til the street lights came on was something unimaginable in 1966. I mean, how cool was that? I have loved Daylight Savings Time ever since. There is so much one can get done in the long summer days -full of hope to finish any and all projects started. Even when they weren’t finished, no  matter- one had all kinds of time the next day. Or at least, it seemed that way.

And then November came along , An abrupt end to my beloved Daylight Savings Time. Light in the morning was all right and all fine  but I’d rather have the sun come up as I get up or maybe a few minutes after and have all the light for the whole day and evening. I felt as  if  I could get more accomplished, I felt better- more sun always equals a better mood. In short- I felt alive. When November comes, however, it begins to get dark at 4:45 pm. Really? There is still so much time, but it doesn’t seem like it. It feels like the day ends when it gets dark. All that is left is to eat dinner and go to bed. Curl up with a  fire and a  good book, maybe. I just always want to sleep when it’s dark. I must be getting old or something. I don’t feel as happy in the winter because of the darkness. hi ho.

Some of my friends simply despise Daylight Savings Time and holler ” Leave the time the way God made it.” What? No, I’d rather have more sunshine and blue skies. Call me a Pollyanna if you must. (does that still apply in this day and age?) If it came to a vote today to keep the daylight hours longer, you can bet I’d vote for it! it’s weird isn’t it? They say appearances are not what they seem. They sure are, though when it comes to light and dark. And of that, you can be sure.

springing forward is just my style
springing forward is just my style
falling back- not so much
falling back- not so much

Over and Done- For Now

The crash is finally over. I began to feel better when I woke up this morning and feel even better now. It begins when a smile finds itself creeping upon my face. Maybe my eyes squint when I feel the smile on my lips. It’s a feeling of wellness felt deep down -a feeling that hell has left my body, my soul and I can breathe a little bit.

Crashing from a manic phase is – well, it is almost indescribable- except to say I feel no joy, no hope, nothing. Not flat- just lower than low.  When it is finished and I’m back to my old self – well, there is nothing more amazing.

If you wonder why I carry on so about bipolar, what it’s like, how it feels, – well, it’s to educate anyone and everyone. Back when I was diagnosed, every time there was a shooting in Dallas, it was a person with “bipolar.” Well, I’m here to let everyone know we are not all violent offenders. We are regular people trying to deal with a somewhat devastating condition not only for us, but for our families. Bipolar affects tens of millions of people and some very famous people such as Vincent Van Gogh, Vivien Leigh , of Gone with the Wind fame, newslady Jane Pauley, Carrie Fischer  and the list goes on and on. These people struggled to keep their lives going despite the peaks and valleys. If they can, I know I can and so can you.

Vivien Leigh
Vivien Leigh
Artistic genius Van Gogh
Artistic genius Van Gogh
Jane Pauley
Jane Pauley

A Chance of Rain

Morose. That’s how I would describe today. It began, not sunny, as it usually is in the morning, but dark, dreary, humid and stormy looking. I ran to the feed store as soon as it opened to get the feed for all the animals and some hay to feed the horses and donkeys in the barns. While distributing the feed – first to the barn, then the house, then the front patio, I could feel a slight mist. I didn’t want it to start raining until I finished my chores, but it did. Not bad at first, but I could feel at least a 20 degree drop in temperature since the rain started. Good. I was in the mood to just hang around the house and lay around. Sadly, my mood had not changed from yesterday when I crashed from manic phase Sunday. I hate it when that happens.

The horses were transferred to their newly remodeled barn and I was a bit nervous knowing that Houdini, the miniature horse makes Licorice, the Tennessee Walking Horse, quite anxious. She does not like it when Houdini walks behind her and will walk to the other side while he eats her hay.

I went into the house, wet from the rain, changed my shirt, crawled in bed and slept- and slept. I woke up and quickly went to check the horses. I was relieved to see they were fine. The dogs had kinda dug under their part of the barn to see who or what was on the other side.

All in  all, nothing to write home about- but something to blog about.

Just Like the Theater Masks

theater masksFor some, bipolar disorder is entertaining. It is for me everytime I have a manic phase. Manic phases are like being hyperactive. It’s fun, exciting and everyone laughs. Then, the crash. Lower than low, tears flowing, keeping to yourself and isolation – not so entertaining It’s kind of like the theater masks you see from time to time. One minute laughing , one minute later- crying. It’s confusing not only to the family- but to the one afflicted with the disease.

Yesterday, I was as happy as a lark- having more fun than a barrel of monkeys. Today- not so much. It is rather curious to me how one’s brain can do that. How weird is it that one day, a person can be fine and the next- wake up lower than the digs of a snake?

I am fortunate in that it doesn’t happen as often as it used to. Oh my. Literally, my mood would change from minute to minute- hour to hour. No one knew what to expect. I would imagine it was very frightening to my family. Just when they thought they could kid around with me–I’d blow up or cry or scream. It’s a bit like watching the movie, Sybil. The lady who had so many different personalities and was finally integrated into one. The mind can play amazing games and tricks. But , it can protect one from the most hurtful and harmful things by wiping them from your memory. I am not clear on all or even some of the things that occurred while trying to find out I had bipolar disorder. My family will ask sometimes-“Do you remember when we did this or that?” And I cannot remember . It’s my brain’s way of protecting me from remembering the bad times or the times that hurt me the most.

One of those times, in particular , was my dad’s funeral. I know I was there. I don’t remember any of it. I couldn’t tell you anything about the funeral except they sang “How Great Thou Art.” I cried every time  I heard that song thereafter. I’m okay wih it now.

Anyway, should you know anyone who has bipolar, please know it is as hard on them as it is on you. Pray for them and for me. We need it!