Join Me in a Bipolar Mixed Episode

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It’s been a day of hard issues in my marriage. Please forgive my disjointed organization of thought. I’m taking you with me on a bout of Bipolar Mixed episode. I have depression paired with anxiety. I feel anger, rage actually. I want to die. Not to threaten it but to actually do the deed. I don’t because of my two kids and my mother. I love them too much to put them through a loss like that, so I’m stuck in this mental illness with no real way out. Meds work most of the time. Not tonight. I had wine with a Xanax. Supposedly a no-no but my body is so used to the Xanax that I only have a good buzz going. I feel lonely – like I am ultimately responsible for myself, and I hate that. I’ve always been a sheltered child and then woman. I can’t organized my thoughts to keep a job for longer than a year but also can’t receive government aid (for income). It’s a terrible cycle which causes me much anxiety and depression. My spouse and I have a couple of weak areas in our new marriage (of two years). This starts the bipolar/mania cycle. As I type, the words on the screen are blurry, and I make a lot of spelling errors. I long for the long seep. The end of all of these roller coaster of emotions. Meds can only do so much for me. I’ve dealt with this for 9 years. I’m TIRED of fighting with it. I hope i can sleep tonight. I hope when  wake, it’s a hopeful new day. But I don’t know. I hang in the abyss of a universe with stars blinking brightly, hurting my eyes. I float too closely to the planets. It’s sometimes hard to breathe in this dark vast space. Other times I get lungs full of fresh air. Hope is all I have. It stays somewhere deep in my core, a tiny flame that doesn’t seem to go out even when high winds or heavy rains cover it. I am inwardly thankful for that flame. It promises  another day that might be a good one. One with sunshine on my face and bird songs in my ears.

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How Clean is “Clean?”

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What tiny creatures lurk on your face? Even your cleanly washed face?

Demodex Mites!

According to Lucy Jones with BBC, “They are microscopic mites, eight-legged creatures rather like spiders. Almost every human being has them. They spend their entire lives on our faces, where they eat, mate and finally die.”

Want to see more pics? I thought you might. Here are the arthropods:

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Cute little guys, eh? (shiver!)

These mites live in your pores, hair follicles, and sebaceous glands. What’s even more exciting to learn is that they also may live in out genital areas and on our breasts. I’ll never feel clean again.

There are about two mites per eyelash on your lovely eyes. Want to see another pic? I knew you would.

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So, what do these crab-like critters actually “do?”

Ms. Jones suggests, “Some people think they eat the bacteria that are associated with the skin . . . Some think they eat the dead skin cells. Some think they’re eating the oil from the sebaceous gland.”

Nice, any one of these gives me the creeps but it’s nature. It’s our miraculous bodies.

How do the mites reproduce? We aren’t sure of that, either. Other types of mites even resort to cannibalism but it’s not been shown in the Demodex.

Lucy Jones also states, “They’ve never been known to eat one another,” says Thoemmes. “It appears that they come out at night to mate and then go back to their pores.”

Ugh.

The mites lay a few large eggs around the base of a pore – but these guys don’t “go to the bathroom.” They have no anuses. So, it’s thought that they save it all up in their bodies until they die or explode on our faces.

(Don’t you just love this blog?)

It has been stated that there is a link between Rosacea and the Demodex Mite. People with Rosacea have more mites per square centimeter than people without Rosacea. But rather than causing the skin condition, it’s thought that it’s not the Demodex who start the process but are merely present in skin that is of older adults or that has been exposed to extreme weather. Less oil means easier skin irritation.

See photo of a more severe case of Rosacea below:

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Demodex have also been shown to be more prevalent in people with compromised immune systems, as in AIDS or cancer patients.

Can you get rid of these mites? Would you want to? They actually may be eating bacteria and dead skin cells, which isn’t a negative. Even if you did rid your face of these, Jones says, “It looks as if there is something special on our faces that they need. Even if you kill them off, you’re going to get them again, because they’re everywhere and they want to be on your face.”

Our bodies are teeming with microorganisms. 90% of our cells are made up of them. So, Ms. Jones is accurate in saying, “There is a simple lesson here. You are not just you; you are a walking, talking community, an entire ecosystem held within one body.”

Now, how clean is “clean?”

Paradise – Haiku Sugar Mill – Maui, Hawaii

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Dave and I took off for Haiku, Hawaii today (on Maui). Owner, Sylvia Hamilton-Kerr, has completed a restoration of the old grounds. The once-thriving mill had sat crumbling and was a historical loss to all. However, it is now protected and able to be enjoyed by visitors. A tour is given to a limited number of guests a few times a week. You get a dose of entertaining history, amazing tropical horticulture, and breathtaking photo opportunities. Their fresh mango lemonade at tour’s end isn’t too shabby, either. Note the Breadfruit tree and its fruit. Its uses are many.

It is starchy and sugary when ripe and can be baked, roasted, fried, or boiled. I’ve had it as potato chips and as a thickener in a Hawaiian preparation of an octopus dish. Both were tasty. Interestingly, the sap from the Breadfruit tree (see the white drip above) may be used as a latex in caulking waterproof boating vessels, homes, and in chewing gum. That was new information to me.

Ms. Hamilton-Kerr has made a garden of Eden under a mango tree that is approximately 150 years old. Cool breezes blew through my hair as I soaked up the ambiance and beauty of it all. Vintage French ironwork and woodwork adorn walls, decorates walkways, and even hangs from the tree. My senses were overwhelmed in this area of the mill tour. Bird songs in the background and sweet scents from nearby blossoms were a treat for everyone present.

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The actual old mill structure is only 1/3 present but in what a presentation it is offered! Old World Europe meets Island Tropics. Sylvia married these elements into a unique and delightful piece of Maui that seems a million miles from the “real world.”

As a side note, Haiku Mill is a perfect wedding venue. I have seen many settings, as I am a registered wedding officiant, but none so much a paradise as this.

Vines and other lush vegetation cling to the old mill’s stone facade. The inside of the entry wall is as beautiful as the outside.

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Our tour group of eight lingered after the presentation was shared. We took photos, chatted, and drank our mango lemonade. We were excited to be offered for purchase a fresh star fruit and a jar of homemade mango jam. This gem of Maui should not be missed. Escape the tourist areas, and enter a world steeped in island history and a place of peace and tranquility ~

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A Funny Maui, Hawaii Volcano Day

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Aloha hoa! Our part of Maui (Kihei on the Wailea border) is as lovely as ever. Look at the color variations on this plant. Beautiful.

We headed toward Mt Haleakala yesterday. It’s the larger of two dormant volcanoes here on the island. It’s summit is about 10,000 feet above sea level. Pretty darn high in the clouds and vog. What is vog? It’s volcanic “fog” or smog that drifts to Maui from the big island of Hawaii. It consists of volcanic dust and gases. Thank you for the residual dry, intermittent cough, Mt Kilauea (the active volcano on the main island that IS always active – but is very approachable). Back to our Mt Haleakala trip . . . the vog hung atop and around the midsection the volcano. Here are a few pics of the vog, and it doesn’t move slowly like fog but very quickly.

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As we ascended the mountain, Dave’s ears popped, and I popped two Dramamine and two Ibuprofen for sinus pressure! After seeing one guy puking from his Jeep, I decided better safe than sorry. The roads were quite curvy. That combined with altitude changes from 2500′ to 10,000′ then back down again, it’s a recipe for feeling like poop if one is not careful. Add the fact that the temp at bottom was 81 degrees and was 57 and windy at the summit. Glad we took jackets with hoods.

I did see pretty trees on the excursion. Turns out, they aren’t native to the island and change soil chemistry. I speak of the Mexican Weeping Pine. It’s gorgeous, though.

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These pines are highly invasive and displace endemic and endangered species’ of other plants.

One funny sign we encountered (and believed) was this one:

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We passed it quickly as we turned a curve. I couldn’t believe my eyes. What WERE these Hookers? Native birds? Or was that what hitch hikers were called here? hitcher, hooker? I told Dave I was going to ask the park ranger when we reached the top. Thank goodness there was no ranger in sight for me to gab with. I can only imagine how THAT conversation might have played out.

“What are these Hookers I’ve heard about? Birds?”

“Excuse me, ma’am?”

“I saw a sign a ways back that hookers could be picked up in 800 feet. What’s a Hooker?”

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Okay, laugh if you must.

 

There were also NeNe geese here and there. They are the State Bird of Hawaii and make a soft sound like “Nay Nay,” so, were aptly named.

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It was a fun afternoon, and neither of us got motion sickness or a headache or fell down the side of the crater we were so close to.

Love ya!

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Maui, Hawaii Snorkeling – Ahihi Bay

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Aloha, readers! Dave and I have been snorkeling in this (Ahihi) rocky bay the last two times, and we love it. If I can stop grazing against jagged lava rock while I swim, I’d come away amazed AND unharmed. 😉 It’s in the area of the large Lava Fields. We are in Kihei, so just go South to find the bay.

When the tide is a bit high, the water in this area is perfect for snorkeling. We go at 7 am and don’t have to fight anyone else for the perfect spots. People are encouraged to only step on sand and not the coral growing underfoot. It’s a lovely spot to see needle fish (I call them that because they’re long and thin and shaped like an icicle), angelfish, eels, and any others I haven’t researched names for yet.

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This bay is clear, blue, and invites you to stay a while . . . and we DID. Take another peek or two at Ahihi Bay!

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Isn’t it delightful? We’re going back tomorrow morning. Today, it’s off to an old mill in the town of Haiku. I’ll blog on it later, too! Have a wonderful day, and subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already. There are many more fun little experiences in Maui to come. Love y’all!

 

 

 

Maui Fun

Aloha from Maui! Yesterday, we did a bit of touristy things. We ate shaved ice with mango and pineapple flavorings (was gooood). In fact, if you see below, I didn’t take time to photograph the icy deliciousness BEFORE we ate them. 😉

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After the sweet treats, we shopped at one of my favorite local spots. I call it “my bracelet store.” I don’t even know the actual name of the place. Last year when we were here, I bought several cute hemp bracelets with peace signs on them (hence, my bracelet store). Here are pics from that cute spot. And yes, I bought more bracelets, and Dave purchased a locally carved turtle and 3 handmade soaps.

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After shopping, we drove the entire road around the North Maui coastline (on the smaller section of the island). That is an entire blog post in its self. Today? We are hitting the beach. Not sure which one. Will let you know after we have our fun in the sun and salty water day. I forgot sunscreen yesterday and ended up with a pink nose. MUST remember it today!

Love you guys, and thanks for subscribing. Lots more to come. . . so stay tuned! If you aren’t a subscriber, please become one, and you’ll get the posts in your email. ((hugs))

Life in Maui, Hawaii!

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Greetings, subscribers and visitors! We landed in Maui (finally) yesterday noon Maui time. Our Central time zone is five hours later than Hawaii time. Of course, our sleep habits are a bit off. Do you like the Nene Bird sign? The Nene was endangered years ago, so Hawaii put it on a protected list. Now there are many, and they’re everywhere. They make the cutest sounds – whether you’re eating a shrimp taco, al fresco, or walking into a grocery store, you hear the Nenes. Wild birds (sparrows, small colorful pigeons, and others I haven’t identified yet) are also everywhere there are diners, and we eat outdoors often. It’s fun to share my lunch with a tiny, iridescent-blue-headed pigeon!

The plants here are also amazing. Yellow hibiscus, Hawaii’s state flower, lines the edges of shopping centers and restaurants (not the Oriental Hibiscus that has many more ruffle edges than the Hawaii hibiscus).

We’re off to Target in the small town next to ours. Need a small fan for the kitchen. We’re in a mother-in-law cottage in a lovely neighborhood. Our first night was restful, and this morning we’re ready to hit Turtle Beach for some snorkeling!

Stay tuned, friends, for more photos, videos, and info on how we’re living in Maui for a MONTH! And Please subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already. Love you guys!

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Quinoa – Do We Really Know What We’re Eating?

Thank you to Julie R Thomson of Huffington Post for a fantastic yet simple article. See below. I will past it here in case the link becomes inactive. Have fun reading. I did!

 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/19/what-is-quinoa_n_7612836.html

Bolivia Quinoa Dispute

Second only to maybe kale, quinoa is the health food star of our time. The Food and Agriculture Organization named 2013 the International Year of Quinoa, after all. This tiny grain-like food is full of good-for-you nutrition and tastes great in just about anything: salads, omelettes and even cakes.

We’re willing to bet you’ve eaten a good deal of the stuff, but do you know what it really is? It’s okay if you don’t, because not many of us do. Today’s the day we change that with a few fun facts and photos that tell us about where quinoa comes from.

Here are 8 important things everyone should know about quinoa:

1. First, it’s pronounced KEEN-wah. Let’s just all get that straight.

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2. The part of the quinoa plant that we eat is the seed — it’s not a grain. It grows from a plant in the goosefoot family, which also produces edibles such as chard and spinach. So although we treat it like a grain, it is not in fact a grain.

A quinoa field in Cotimbora, Oruro, Boli

3. It’s a complete protein — meaning it contains all nine of the essential amino acidswhich cannot be made by the body and therefore must come from food. Quinoa is also naturally gluten-free, so it’s perfect for healthy eaters. Bonus: This is great news for vegetarians looking to up their protein intake.

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4. Cooked quinoa looks like it has a little curly “string” coming out of it. This is not something that should gross you out — it’s just the seed’s germ.

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5. There are hundreds of varieties of quinoa out there. The white, red and black are the most widely cultivated.

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6. While we’re just getting hip to this healthy seed, quinoa has long been a staple ingredient, dating back to pre-Columbian civilizations in the Andes of Peru and Bolivia.

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7. Quinoa is one of the few crops that not only survives but thrives in harsh, unpredictable climates. After all, it originated in the Bolivian Altiplano, known to have over 200 frost days and severe droughts. While many countries are jumping on the quinoa train trying to ramp up production — including the U.S. and Canada — results have yet to be as good as Bolivia or Peru’s quinoa.

8. Bolivia and Peru are at odds about quinoa farming practices. Bolivia used to dominate quinoa exports, but recently Peru has been climbing the scales. Bolivian farmers are unhappy about the way Peruvian farmers are ramping up production, using factory farming practices and heavy amounts of pesticides while driving down the price of the crop.

Enjoy! Now Google some yummy quinoa recipes! 😉

 

 

Bipolar Disorder, Be Patient, Dears

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Ever feel like you have a Jekyl and Hyde thing going on? I did but didn’t notice it as a problem until years after it began, and then finding the correct meds and behavioral therapy was like pulling teeth.

I’ve finally found the “cocktail” that works for me. Guess how long it took? TEN YEARS! No kidding. I was first diagnosed with depression, then Major Depressive Disorder, then Bipolar, then back to depression with ADHD. Finally, my new doctor said she wanted to treat me for Bipolar 2. I began Abilify (generic) and have been smooth sailing from that point on. Thanks goodness for perserverence. I just KNEW something had to work at some point.

These days, I am happy (but not too much) LOL. I’m not thinking that suicide is the best answer for me as I did for many years. I’ve also got energy again! Blessed be! It’s been gone for so long. Feels good to want to “do” things again.

The Take Away from this blog post is this: NEVER ever give up on finding what might make you feel like yourself again. It’s trial and error. It’s changing doctors multiple times. It’s being patient enough to keep your head up and your courage up even more.

If you or a loved one might have the following symptoms, please see your doctor and start feeling better! ((hugs to you)). See the Mayo Clinic’s information on Bipolar Disorder here:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bipolar-disorder/symptoms-causes/dxc-20307970

The “Highs” (mania). Symptoms of a manic episode may include –

  • Feelings of euphoria, abnormal excitement, or elevated mood

  • Talking very rapidly or excessively

  • Needing less sleep than normal, yet still having plenty of energy

  • Feeling agitated, irritable, hyper, anxious, or easily distracted

  • Engaging in risky behavior such as lavish spending, impulsive sexual encounters, or ill-advised business decisions

The “Lows” (depression). Symptoms of a depressive episode (bipolar depression) may include –

  • No interest in activities you once enjoyed

  • Loss of energy and feeling apathetic

  • Difficulty sleeping—either sleeping too much or not at all

  • Thoughts of suicide, if depression is severe enough

Vacations are Approaching!

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Hello, blog friends! It’s about time to hit Hawaii for a month. September will find Dave and I in Maui for the month. Thanks, T, for house sitting, and eat all of the chips/cola/popcorn/and ice cream you like. 😉

I’ve got my earbuds in and am listening to a live webcam of the ocean rolling in on a Maui beach. It is sublime! I cannot wait to get there and LIVE there for 32 days. We found lesser expensive lodging, so we can stay for about the same price as our 5-day trip there last October. Yay for a month of eating tropical fruit, fresh fish, snorkeling, boating, hiking, ATV-ing, zip-lining, and writing on my laptop from quaint Hawaiian coffee shops nearby. Don’t miss my blogs coming up. I’ll blog or vlog on YouTube daily while there AND while traveling there. You’ll go along with us!

I saw two large green turtles from the webcam a bit ago. Made me miss that place so much. Just the sounds of the Pacific waves rolling in and crashing lightly on the shore make me long to sit beside it all. We will take our Go-pro video camera, my Sony video camera, my fancy Canon camera with macro lens, our iPads, and my laptop. Think that’ll be enough to capture some of Hawaii for you guys? Leave me specifics of what you’d like to see, and I’ll try to accommodate. Example, coffee plantation. 🙂

First things first, though. We’re headed to Vegas July 9-12. I’ll also document that trip via blog and vlog on YouTube. Looks pretty, doesn’t it? We’ll be arriving at night, so I should capture some great shots from the plane.

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Hope you guys will give me ideas on where to visit and what to do while in Vegas, on this, my first time to visit! Love y’all!