Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday Happy Hour

From Mental Floss: "Every Friday, I post a series of unrelated questions meant to spark conversation in the comments. Answer one, answer all, respond to someone else's reply, whatever you want. On to this week's topics of discussion..."

(Now that I actually have followers of my blog, I’d love to see your responses in the comments here. Tell me what you think, friends!)

What was your favorite magazine as a kid?

~ I *loved* Cricket magazine. Thanks to my grandparents, I had a subscription for many years. I can remember at one point having a stack of issues in my closet about three feet tall! In high school, I read Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and Games. Today, I subscribe to Redbook, Glamour, Everyday with Rachael Ray, O: the Oprah Magazine, Smithsonian, and Discover. What can I say? I love magazines!

Do you have a (true) story about scattering a person’s ashes somewhere special?

~ No, but I intend to be cremated and to have my ashes scattered in a very special place. Where that very special place is, I haven’t decided yet.

What historical pairings would you like to read more about?

~ I wish I knew more about Socrates and Plato, and about Plato and Aristotle.

What’s the silliest thing that scares your pet?

~ Oh, my sweet Monkey is scared of *everything.* Let’s see…plastic grocery sacks, people, his kitty sisters, dry cleaning bags, paper sacks, newspapers…I think I’ll stop there, lest I embarrass the boy.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Shake, Shake, Shake...

Daily tasks can be really annoying when you're having hand tremors.

Let me back up. I've been doing extremely well on my treatment for depression since May 2011; I was stable on 225 mg of Effexor. But over the last month or so, I've noticed mood swings. A couple of weeks ago I came home to find that John had made cookies - the same cookies I'd been promising to make him for several weeks. I instantly burst into tears, and by the next morning, I realized it was time to add a mood stabilizer. My doctor had mentioned that I might need to add one when I started the Effexor, since I'd had to take one before to maintain level emotions, but we decided to wait until I needed it.

Because I've taken Abilify before, the doctor started me on 10 mg and we made an appointment to follow up one week later. My appointment was on January 30. At the appointment, I told him that I was already starting to feel better, so we kept the Abilify as-is. Since I really want to quit smoking, he also started me on 150 mg of Wellbutrin. (I know, I'm a walking crazy-pill pharmacy.) I've taken Wellbutrin before, and stopped because it gave me hand tremors, but since that was almost 10 years ago, I decided to try again.

Yeah...I have tremors. They're not debilitating, but they're irritating the hell out of me! I need steady hands for lots of things I do, more than I realized. Some of these things:

~ Putting in and taking out contact lenses

~ Painting my toenails - this is already not my best skill, but hand tremors make it so much worse. I just get my toenails covered and clean up the mess around them after they're dry.

~ Writing in my journal - I *just* started writing in a journal again, and now it's difficult to do that. My handwriting is already atrocious; that's why I wanted to keep a hand-written journal. But I'm not giving up; I'm going to keep writing and hope it gets better.

~ Typing - proofreading is even more important to me now, since I make about a gazillion errors in every paragraph I type. I don't necessarily think this one is the fault of the tremors, though. There seems to be a short somewhere between my brain and my hands, causing my hands to type incorrect letters. Occasionally I forget how to spell a word. On Friday I was trying to type the word "doubt," but I typed "dought." I knew it was wrong, but it took me a few seconds to remember WHY it was wrong, and how to spell it correctly.

I am still taking the Wellbutrin, and don't intend to stop, at least for now. I'm hopeful that these side effects will pass, but if they don't, I think they'll be manageable. I should only have to be on the Wellbutrin for three to six months, as long as I can stay off the cigarettes. We'll see how it goes.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Girl Crush

I have a huge girl-crush on Kelle Hampton. She writes a blog called Enjoying the Small Things, and I wait anxiously for each new post. She's obviously very different from me: she's a SAHM with two daughters. She lives in Florida (a state I've never set foot in). But the way she thinks, and writes, and the kind of mom she is to her girls - that's what I aspire to (or would, if I intended to have kids). I want to meet her. I want to be her friend.

Kelle's photographs are amazing, and it always surprises me how seeing photos of her girls can make me happy. I'm not a kid person, but Nella's huge, cheeseball smiles never fail to make me smile. And Kelle has a way of saying things that makes me think, "Yes! That's the feeling I've been trying to put into words!!!"

Yesterday, she did it better than ever. Here's a quote: "...Because if there's one thing I have a problem with, it's joy-suckers. Don't suck my joy. Don't suck someone else's joy. You think I don't know what's ahead?"

The only way to do justice is to share Kelle's post with you. Please, enjoy Joan of Arc on Enjoying the Small Things.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

January 2012 Book List

Everyone knows I’m a voracious reader, and I’m often asked for recommendations. I decided that on or around the first of each month, I’ll post a list of the books I read the month before. I give each book a numeric rating, from 1 to 5, with 5 being excellent. I do not generally rate non-fiction works; those will be shown with a rating of N/A.

The Murder Room: The Heirs of Sherlock Holmes Gather to Solve the World's Most Perplexing Cold Cases by Michael Capuzzo - Rating: N/A

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde - Rating: 5

World Without End by Ken Follett – Rating: 4.5