Kiss5Tigers

The 5 Tigers represent the big things in life. This blog is about facing them.


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So You Wanna Help

As we approach the end of Hurricane Florence, we are going to have to deal with the aftermath.  That means damaged houses, lost jobs, community clean up, and displaced individuals, among other issues.  People will want to help.  Here are a few thoughts about that.

Don’t give used stuff.  People don’t want your old clothes, and someone has to wash, bleach, iron, sort and transport that stuff.  It’s not free by the time it’s all done.  And it’s not uncommon for bugs to become an issue while it’s being stored.  Give money instead.  That way agencies can buy things that are needed based on demand.

Don’t donate canned goods.  They also have to be sorted, packed, shipped, unpacked and distributed.  I’m told a 69 cent can of beans can end up costing $3.00 by the time all that is done.  Plus it takes manpower that might be better spent on other tasks, like debris removal.  If you want to run a can drive, please give the bounty to a local food pantry where it can do the most good.

Do give money.  First of all it allows agencies to buy what they really need.  The American Red Cross might supply beds to displaced survivors but they need cots and blankets to do that, which wear out over time and need to be replaced.  Second, many agencies give out gift cards or pay utility bills, which are obviously much easier to do with cash.

Do give blood.  Not only is there likely to be an increased need, but blood drives in the affected areas have been cancelled so supplies may be down throughout the region.  If you can’t afford a cash donation, giving blood is a good move.

Now maybe you’ve decided to give up this morning’s latte to help disaster victims, but what can you do with that $5.00?  You’ve heard all the stories about charitable organizations where 90% of the money goes to internal expenses like executive salaries.  If you decided to help, no doubt you want the most of your money to go to the disaster.  A good site to check out agencies is National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster .  Their landing page is all about helping Florence victims.  Another good list of options is this one from Fast Company.  Notice the emphasis on giving money or time.

All of which is to say, please give but be smart about it.  Give what people need and choose responsible organizations.  Be wise and be kind.  Your heart will be happier.


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What I’ve Been Doing

I was sitting here drinking the coffee that my roommate L has made for me and I realized that you don’t know what I actually do with my time while I’m demobilized.  I’ve done a fair amount of complaining about things and I’ve certainly shared my (mis)adventures, but really life is pretty good and I want to share some of that.

I sleep most days until 9 or 10 in the morning.  I usually wake up with my cats cuddled up to me, which makes me happy.  If you have pets, you understand this.  Or children, I suppose, though as a mother I dislike comparing pets and children.

I get up and check facebook and email and other online things I’m working on.  I take my morning meds and eat some peanut butter toast.  I like the way the hot toast melts the peanut butter.  Usually by then L is up so there is coffee.  Now you may ask why I don’t make my own coffee since I certainly know how.  The truth is, we use a French press and the thing is just a pain to clean.  I am lazy.  That’s my big secret.  If L makes the coffee, she cleans it up.  Yup, that’s it, silly as it is.

Most days I go to a support group.  I use a peer run support group cluster that is available through a local mental health facility.  It’s free.  Mondays is DBSA, the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance and we are working out of a book about managing life while struggling with a behavioral health concern.  Tuesday is Recovery International which has a very formal method.  It does however teach you to deal with daily life, something I don’t always do very well.  Wednesday is the PTSD group.  I don’t have PTSD but nobody is without trauma.  Thursday is a depression support group.  Friday is ATTA, which stands for Achievement Through the Arts.  It’s for artists with brain differences, so there is a mix of people with issues ranging from schizophrenia to injury.  Most of these groups meet for 2 hours, so that gives me a whole lotta free time.

I have been writing letters.  I have an extensive mailing list that I am trying to send everybody something and see who writes back.  Then I’ll keep up with the respondents.  I like getting mail and to get mail, one must send mail.

I also have been working on the 100 Hats project.  I want to sell them but I suspect most of them will wind up donated.  And that’s fine, for me the joy is in the making.  Speaking of making, I am working on some art pieces as well.  One of them is based on my friend K’s living room.

I stay up with my roommates until around 1 in the morning, then I lay in bed on the phone until 2 then I sleep.  So 10 am is really 8 hours of sleep, which is good for me.

I do see friends and go out to eat and run errands.  It makes for a pretty full life, but I would like to be deployed again.  Not that I wish for bad things to happen, but when a disaster hits, I am ready.


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On Being Slightly Manic

It happens from time to time.  I think I’m okay and then, well, I’m not.

It 2:10 am and I just ate my third meal of the day.  I have eaten toast, a McDouble, and now 2 servings of pasta salad with no protein component.  I think if it had meat in it, I might have had only 1 serving.  The problem with eating so late is that it means I have been up long enough to get hungry again.  Now I will have some increase in energy and feel even less like sleeping.

Sleep has been off for me the last few days.  I’ve been up late at night, though I still sleep only 8 or so hours.  I just would rather sleep until say 7:30 not 12:30 in the afternoon.  I am a slow waker so I don’t want to get up late since it will take an hour or so to start my day.  And if it’s too late in the day, I might get nothing done at all.

But I am up now.  Up and typing and wondering if there’s anybody else awake who’d like to interact.  Probably not.  Or at least, if they are, they are looking for someone to talk dirty and I’m not down for that.

Up and a little ADD right now.  I am typing, watching TV, monitoring both email and facebook, eating, trying to pet the cat (the cat is not cooperating) and planning some art projects.  It’s really too much and I should be overwhelmed or distracted but I’m not.

I’m talking a little too much today I think.  I feel like I took over group today, even though I really didn’t.  I feel pushy and a little controlling.  I think I don’t act that way, but I feel it.

If I had money, I would do some shopping.  At this time of night it would be online shopping, which is fun twice.  Once when I do the shopping itself and again when the stuff arrives.  I don’t need anything so shopping is frivolous.

My computer is going to die shortly, the battery has almost run out.  I will put the computer to charge then get out my knitting, watch TV and knit.  Or maybe I’ll plug in the computer out here and watch some anime and knit.

I should sleep, sleeping would be the smart thing, but I’m not tired yet.  Maybe I’ll stay up tonight and try to sleep at a normal time tomorrow.

 

If this man can overcome his issues, I can overcome mine

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This is Arthur. He was doing the right thing, and it basically kicked his ass. So he got his determination together and kicked life right back. I cried for him, and I’m not a weepy person. Watch to the end, and look how happy he has become!