Posted in Inspirational

More to Consider – October 2018

October 2018,

I have reached 100 blog posts this month.

My advocate job finally played itself out to nothing. However, I have been busy taking classes for a Masters Degree and doing quite well at it.  The ministry Loving Embrace has really started to get busy. Creating original art and sentiment can be time-consuming but well worth it to those who receive a card from me.  I’m not boasting. There are hurting people and they deserve to be acknowledged in a time of illness and grief that they are not all alone, someone cares about them.  God receives the harvest of souls seeking him out.

I am trying to make a go of writing as a career path- wish me luck!  I know in my heart that I can become an effective writer given an opportunity to shine. I am learning the craft every day that I write for school or this blog. I am creating a portfolio of works that I have written, so your feedback is very important to me.

Look for my writing… Publications: Literary pen names: Kat Challis, Kathy Ann Challis, and Kathryn Aubrey.
1. “The Dreamer’s Soul,” Kathryn Aubrey, Vol.1, Kathryn Aubrey Publishing. 2003, ISBN# 0-9747822-0-3. It is a book of poetry and short stories about people as teachers, hero’s, and friends.
2. “Teenager’s,” American Poetry Anthology, Vol. X, No.2, Kathy Ann Challis, Robert Nelson Publishing 1990 ISBN: 0-88147-100-3. Pg.231.
3. “Poetry,” Kathy Challis,  Poetic Voices of America, Fall 1990, Sparrow-grass Poetry Forum, Inc. 1990 ISBN: 0-923242-08-2, p.162.
4. Poetry’s Elite The Best Poets of 2000, ISBN: 1-58235-901-6, International Library of Poetry Publisher, work “Unleashed Into the Sky” Kat Challis, Hardcover
5. Nature’s Echoes ISBN: 1-58235-564-9 coauthor Bob Challis, work Soul Mates
6. The Sound of Poetry, 2002, “The Squirrel Watcher”
7. Class Planting Seed for Businesses, Amy David, The Daily Oklahoman II- Oklahoma City Times, Community, Nov. 8,1996, p.1
8. International Library of Poetry
• Famous Poets Award of Recognition for 1995
• Editor’s Choice Award – June 2001
• Poet of Merit Awards – 2000-2003
• Merit Silver Award Bowl –2002
• Merit Bronze Metal 2001
• Honorable Mention – several 1996-2003
9. Tarrant County Texas Poetry Association memberships 2005
10. Writers Blog: https://katchallis.com  (100 + posts)

I hope that Y’all have a safe and happy children’s fun day on October 31st. In the USA it is known as Halloween. It is not a religious holiday or Satanic- I don’t give him a chance for credit.  Children dress up in costumes, example: mind-craft creeper, stampy long-nose, a fire truck are costumes my grandchildren are wearing.  They are quite creative in their personalities and costume choices.  We dress up our car in a “trunk or treat” for the Homeowners Association Fall Festival and the churches’ Halloween Fun Night.  We wear costumes, too. I am a pirates mate this year, my husband is a futuristic pirate captain.

 

 

Posted in Inspirational

It’s Mid-term Scholarship Time, again!

Thousands of hopeful students apply for the same scholarship every semester but only one is chosen as the winner. Am I a winner, will it be you, or someone else that is celebrating free money to help pay for college?   Below is a sampling of a question asked on scholarship applications.  I copy the question in Word, then answer it… moving text around to make it sound more purpose driven.  These questions can also jump-start you on writing your entrance essay for college. The scholarship website I go to is reviewed at https://fastweb.com or https://www.fastweb.com/login.

Q: When you feel stuck on a topic or assignment, what helps you get unstuck and truly understand what you are learning?
A: I read the question then I start by breaking the assignment down into manageable parts. Write down 1, 2, 3, etc. on your paper(screen) and put what is asked for first, then second, and so forth. An Example problem: Andrea went to the city zoo. She wants to know how many people like birds and which one is their favorite among Flamingo’s, Ducks, and Sparrows Make a chart, take a survey of your class topic favorite bird and tally the responses. Do these steps: #1. Create a 3 heading Chart #2. Create a class survey. #3. Tally the results. By making the word problem manageable you will have success every time.

Q: Tell us about the best class you have ever taken. What made it so great?
A: The Foundation of the Legal Aspects and Special Education. The class was purposeful and meaningful. Online law classes can be a dry subject to follow but my professor made it very interesting. Dr. Casey used the online discussion board for peer-to-peer instruction and dialogue which brought the law to life as students debated their point of view of a scenario. She gave frequent open book tests with automatic correct answers at the end time of the test and kept a running tally of your grades available at any time day or night. Dr. Casey provided a grading rubric of what she was expecting from us for minimal and maximum points that we could score which equates into a letter and grade point average. Dr. Casey provided instant feedback on all the assignments regardless of the grade scored. She allowed us to choose among the topics for our final research paper which gave us the opportunity to develop a rationale on the court cases we were comparing so that we would have ownership of what we learned. I would take additional classes from Dr. Casey when offered in the future.

Q: Describe a time collaboration played an important role in helping you grow. What did you learn and what were you able to achieve?
A:  Taking Master level classes increases the pressure placed upon the student. The school wants what you think about a topic rather than just regurgitating facts on the topic as you did in undergraduate school. I was assigned two random partners on a 100 point multitiered assignment. My partners were online students as well as me and we had to connect through a campus discussion board. We broke the assignment into three sections plus an abstract of the whole paper. It was hard to achieve because changes being made to the paper by others which necessitated re-writes on other parts. Then there was the editing of writing mechanics to get through. One partner wanted an entirely different look to the paper than the other two, and she re-edited it her way, so we were stuck with her changes, at least we all earned an ‘A’. Collaborations can work even through virtual media, it takes extra time, forethought and planning but it is worth it in the end results.

Q: Why do you want to do an internship for ABCXYZ Publishing Company?

A: It is my understanding that getting employed in publishing requires a lot of experience, the experience of which I do not currently possess.  It is my hope that my intern application at ABCXYZ Company will be accepted.  I am a diligent and hard worker, paying attention to details, I think creatively and out-of-the-box and have strong work ethics.  Selecting me for your intern position will save your company money through free labor, and build on your assets of getting necessary tasks completed. In exchange, you will have my loyalty and an opportunity to teach me new skills and perhaps get outside the box solutions to some work issues.

Posted in Blog or Stories, Inspirational, Medical

False Memories & PTSD

Post Traumatic Stress Syndrom can attack a person’s mind without warning. High-stress jobs, childhood trauma, or traumatic injury can all lead to PTSD.  I want to talk a little about false memories.  I suffered from PTSD as a  high functioning schizophrenic and bipolar disorders person in my early 30’s. I also had dissociative identity disorder.  As part of my delusions, I had moments where I had thought something was true and could logically explain it or justify my stinking thinking with almost scientific clarity.

On one particular occasion, I had convinced myself that my father had actually murdered someone and disposed of the body in the quicksand bogs of an area river/lake backwater area in Oklahoma.  It took a lot of counseling to convince me that it was a false memory projected by my fathers’ behavior towards my mother.  You see, my father took me to an area where quicksand was available, only I didn’t know it. We were walking a trail over the river banks and I took a misstep and was in quicksand.  It wasn’t very wide of a section on the surface. I couldn’t lift myself out and got to my knee/thigh area before my father finally gave the gun butt of the rifle to pull me out of it.  I was justifiably scared for a few moments. A while later my father took me back to the same location where I had stepped off and there was a deep chasm in the ground that was hollowed out and a deer skeleton was in the bottom. He told me that if I didn’t tow the line that could be my mom there instead. True story.

False memories usually have a small basis in fact. As recently, evidenced in the political arena of Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh.  I have no dought that Dr. Ford experienced some type of trauma at some point in her life. She is suffering from PTSD in my opinion and perhaps false memories.  Some things occurred and her mind tried to make sense of it.  It put two and two together and it made sense to her, and she kept remembering more and more details that were available in her subconsciousness until she felt she figured it out.  The only problem with false memories is they can’t hold up under intense scrutiny.  (I am not a political person, I am using them as an example of what can occur not as a factor or supposition of events).

Another incident from my mind was about my son-in-law Wayne (he’s dead now). But when he married my daughter at her age of 19 yrs and he was 59 yrs old.  I had an awful dream about him. And I recalled it and kept re-dreaming the scenario. I then began thinking about it during waking moments, and pieces started falling into place in my mind. Within a few weeks, my behavior changed towards him, I was suspicious of his motives and convinced her was mistreating my daughter.  It took a lot of talk-therapy to convince me that it was false dreams based upon my anxiety of my daughters’ marriage. I felt out-of-control.  I took real memories and twisted them in my mind like a sinister plot.  If anyone had taken me seriously I would have destroyed his teaching career and possibly life. Luckily, I was in deep psychiatric almost daily couseling with a trained therapist who recognized what was happening.  I could be quiet persuasive in my mindset of righteous indignation. I don’t remember if I told my daughter about my suspicions and theories, but I do remember getting to the truth and being set free of the stinking thinking towards him. My fears and false memories could not stand up to empirical evidence.  All I’m saying is that false-memories are real to the person experiencing them.  They could pass a polygraph test because in their mind the incidents make sense and therefore are true.

If you are suffering. There is help available without stigma. Just reach out to your local health department or  2-1-1 operator and tell them you need to see a psychiatrist and/or psychologist. Counseling can be very expensive if you don’t have medical insurance or sometimes even with it, but there are places that offer cash discounts or sliding-scale fees. I do not have a list but you could check with religious affiliates like Catholic Charities for assistance. If you are enduring PTSD and False Memories, remember it is not your fault. You didn’t ask for this to happen to you- it just did. But you have to take responsibility for getting well and asking for help, you can’t do it alone.

If your reading this blog and feel hopeless, helpless, unworthy of help, or any negative feelings of diminished capacity then reach out to someone, even if it is going voluntarily to a psych ward of the hospital (go through Emergency Room) for a few days or calling 9-1-1 to get help, don’t suffer in silence or kill yourself.  Depression and PTSD often go hand-in-hand and are untreated or undertreated a professional can help you.

END

The following can be viewed at https://www.psychguides.com/guides/ptsd-post-traumatic-stress-disorder/

PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)
Estimates suggest that up to 70 percent of American adults have experienced at least one significant trauma during their lifetimes. Many of those people may subsequently have suffered from an emotional reaction known as posttraumatic stress disorder or PTSD. Further estimates suggest that 5 percent of the population currently lives with PTSD.

What Is PTSD?
Posttraumatic stress disorder occurs in some cases when people are exposed to a very stressful event, which is known as an extreme stress trigger. To be diagnosed with PTSD, they must continue to experience symptoms of PTSD for at least one month after exposure to this trigger.

Who Experiences PTSD?
Although women are twice as likely as men to develop PTSD, anyone who experiences an extremely traumatic event may develop a post-traumatic stress disorder. Examples of extreme stress triggers include:

Criminal assault or rape
Natural disasters
Serious accidents
Combat exposure
Child physical or sexual abuse or severe neglect
Witnessing traumatic events
Imprisonment/hostage/displacement as refugees
Torture
The sudden unexpected death of loved ones
Although other types of stress may be severe and can be quite upsetting, they typically do not result in PTSD. Such events might include the death of an elderly parent, divorce, or job loss.

What Are the Symptoms of PTSD?
People living with PTSD typically experience three main types of symptoms. First, they may re-experience the traumatic event that led to developing PTSD. This can include:

Flashbacks in which they feel that the triggering event is recurring even while they are awake
Distressing recollections of the traumatic event
Nightmares of the event
Exaggerated physical and emotional reactions to triggers that remind them of the event
The second type of symptom involves emotional numbing or even avoidance. It may include the following symptoms or behaviors:

Avoidance of places, thoughts, activities, conversations, and feelings related to the event or trauma
Feelings of detachment
Loss of interest
Restricted emotions
The third symptom type relates to increased arousal related to the event and may be indicated by:

Outbursts of anger
Irritability
Difficulty sleeping
Hypervigilance
Difficulty concentrating
Exaggerated startle responses

Posted in Inspirational

Back to college at 57!

Well, I finally launched! It has been 25 years since I graduated from Southern Nazarene University as a Teacher. And thirteen years since I graced a classroom in that capacity.  My daughters earned their Masters degree at the University of Texas of the Premium Basin in Odessa, through the internet.  I thought why not keep it in the family. This August I began my degree plan to become a Diagnostician for Special Education.  There was a lot of backlash from my daughters and mentor– they don’t feel that is a good fit for me. My mentor wants me to teach again, my daughters do not. My mom doesn’t understand why I want more education. My husband is supportive of anything I do.  So, I am in limbo.

I thought about switching to get a Certified Public Accountant degree in accounting because I am good at bookkeeping. But, what I would really like to do, in my heart of hearts and dreams of dreams is to become an effective writer. To support my husband and me in the future I would love to write. Textbooks, Poetry, Gift Cards, Publicity Media, Technical Manuals, you name it I may want to write about it.  I even have a rough draft of a novel sitting on my computer banks.  Currently, I have been writing the welcome cards to visitors at our church and started the Loving Embrace Ministry, which is a card ministry. I have created handmade cards for grief and get well sentiments enclosed with a prayer request card and bookmark.

The trick to this higher education is finding a market niche then pursuing the additional training.  I would like to find myself in a dream career while earning a Ph.D.  I would feel more accomplished than I already do. I changed the tide in my family circle. I was the first to get a General  Education Diploma. The first to go to college and earn a Bachelors Degree. The first to bring child abuse in my family to the forefront and get it stopped.  The first to talk about mental illness and its effect on our family members. But, I am not the last in getting an education.

On my sister’s side of the family. My great-nephew and great-nieces are in college pursuing their dreams. Two are wanting to become Teachers, one is in Video/Electronics for Movies area- he has been co-shooting and co-editing football games for his local college team that is aired weekly. Another great-niece is taking general studies until she decides what career track she wants to take; which is smart of her. On my brother’s side of the family. I have one niece that has pursued her Associates Degree in Childcare Development. She now operates a daycare from her home. I am proud of her because she stepped out of her comfort zone (no schooling) to pursue a dream career, that takes guts and tenacity.

 

 

 

Posted in Inspirational

The Homeless- Hope on the Horizon

This wonderful lady named Tammy at Eagles View Church in Fort Worth, Texas has taken to hand the task of creating Christmas Care Gift Boxes for Fort Worth’s surrounding areas homeless population. We have tent city areas in the more remote regions of Tarrant County. These people live off the grid and do not partake in the use of sanctuary shelters. Tammy’s mission is to work with another group of individuals who serve these people already but are understaffed and have very limited funds, to reach their goals.  Tammy said, “God has put it on my heart to do something to help our areas homeless population. I have resisted for three years, but am now obedient to his call.”

We are filling about 100-150 gift-wrapped boxes with toiletries, socks, scarves, gloves, and hat sets. Some candy and cookies will be included for a festive touch along with a Christmas card I am designing.  It is an ambitious undertaking for about a dozen women in our small group. We are trusting the Lord for donations and our pocketbooks to be full so we can make generous donations of time, talent, and the monies required.

Eventually, I would like to make these care boxes a four-season event. We are not enabling them to stay homeless, but while they are homeless they can be given some of the basic human would-be-nice items that we would feel are just necessities for civilized people; like soap and water, toilet tissue, dental aides, basic first aid supplies,  and towels, etc.  If you want to donate items or money contact me at my email address and I will give you the church’s address that you can send stuff to.  If you don’t want to participate that’s alright, too. I hadn’t planned on making this a donation page- but I thought someone else might like the opportunity to bless a stranger and make their day a little brighter.

 

 

Posted in Inspirational

One’s Faith the substance of belief

Faith, you can’t see it, touch it, taste it, or feel it with ordinary senses; bit you know it exists and that it is real. The holy bible tells us in Deuteronomy 7:9, “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is a faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands.”

I’ve been asked recently to trust and have faith in God for the healing of my mind and body. What would that look like to me? It would have to be supernatural for someone to create a cure for the schizo-affective disorder, major depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. Medications today can control the wild up and downward swings in mood. A cure would be the next logical step. The scientist has tried for years to come up with a cure or the cure for these and other conditions to no avail. That doesn’t mean their not close.
But, for those who endure and even suffer in their mental illness maladies each day is laden with a dependence on medication, meditation, and determination to be an overcomer through Christ who is in them. The other cure would be God’s direct touch of healing; a miraculous event that is personal and intentional. I don’t doubt that GOD has cured the multitudes in biblical days and today. I, however, do not feel worthy of his time and talent. I do not noteworthy in anyone’s eyes but Gods’. I believe my illnesses to be insignificant to other peoples illnesses that are on waiting list for donors, or hovering between life and death. It’s not that God can’t handle more than a few at a time for he can, and he probably does it just a matter of faith and acceptance of the healings. There are people of faith that die not having their needs heard or met. Illness is not discriminatory it is an equal opportunity chance we all live.
“you receive not, because you ask not,” is a familiar quotation that comes to mind. Faith is the belief in something not seen yet but, is accepted as it exists. Putting God to the test of faith and being disappointed that you are answered in a manner that is unexpected is powerful thinking. I am sure Abraham felt powerless when he was told to sacrifice his son’s life, yet the story came out right as God provided a different sacrifice in place of Issac. Abraham had faith that God would provide, and he was not disappointed.
Posted in Inspirational, Medical

The crucifix of our body

Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him, all things hold together. 1 Colossians 1:15-17.

When we look at the vast universe, ever expanding with galaxies, stars, asteroids, comets, planets, and other heavenly bodies we are amazed at Gods creations.  Are we no less amazed at the creations on earth?  Have you ever wondered what the glue was that held our skin on our bodies, muscles and ligaments, nerves and cells together? I found out today in church that the glue is a protein molecule named Laminin. What is unique about this protein is the shape it takes on itself.  It is a crucifix, a symbol of the cross of biblical days of capital punishment. It is also in the heavens known as the Crux Constellation.  God gave us this symbol hidden in our bodies to the naked eye (invisible) yet providing an essential function within our bodies, notwithstanding, if we did not have this miracle protein we would not exist as human beings.

Since God created mankind we have yet to fully understand all the molecular and electrical fields of our brains and consciousness though we have made great strides in both areas of study.  Why did God create the Laminin in the shape of a cross? I think it is so that we humans can be amazed by science and prompted to theologize the significance of finding something so small to be of great worth.  Just like discovering the Crux Constellation is a reminder of the crucifix- a symbol that God created the heavens and the earth.

 

Image result for laminin

Laminin – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laminin
Laminins are high-molecular-weight (~400 to ~900 kDa) proteins of the extracellular matrix. They are a major component of the basal lamina (one of the layers of the basement membrane), a protein network foundation for most cells and organs.

InterPro: IPR009254   Symbol: Laminin_I
Pfam: PF06008
Function · Pathology · Use in cell culture · Laminin domains

The Crux Constellation

Image result for crux constellation origin

 

 

 

 

Posted in Inspirational

The Sound of Silence: Simon & Garfunkel

The Sound of Silence
Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence
In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
‘Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence
And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
No one dared
Disturb the sound of silence
“Fools” said I, “You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you”
But my words like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells of silence
And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said, “The words of the prophets
Are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls”
And whispered in the sounds of silence
Songwriters: Paul Simon
The Sound of Silence lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group
Posted in Inspirational

Loving Embrace Ministry

We have four church services on Sunday at Eagles View Church in the far north Ft Worth/Saginaw area of Texas.  The church is rapidly filling to capacity at each service and yet has a hometown feel to it.  The people are friendly and caring and the messages are bible based and Christ-centered labors of love.   I have begun a card ministry as a branch of the Visitors Card service.

In the days of mass production and 0.50 cent Dollar Tree cards, it is easy and convenient to buy and drop a quick card in the mail; but mostly impersonal. I have proposed that we send out handmade Get Well cards to our patrons.  I am currently making one-card-at-a-time unique in both design and verse with a healing bible scripture enclosed.  I plan on having a 100 cards made by Nov. 01, 2018 launch date. The ones I have made and sent have been well received, so far. One of my cards hit the mark and the receiver said it made her day to know that the church really cared about her.

Currently, I am using my scrapbooking supplies, embellishments, fabric, and other do-dads to make each care one of a kind. I will be asking for volunteers to bring in small stuff that can be used to decorate the cards with. I think I will call it the Loving Embrace Ministry because that is what we are doing, we are giving a piece of our heart to someone in trouble with an illness or trauma to help them feel better and have hope.  I will need to purchase card stock and color laser ink in bulk, with my lack of resources this will be the difficult part. At least, I have some pretty scripture ink blocks to decorate with and my imagination is flying off the walls. So my friends, pray for me that the ideas will never run dry and the uniqueness will always remain fresh.

 

Posted in Inspirational

Blessed beyond measure

The first six months post-retirement has been full of financial duress and prayers to overcome them. Happily, I am able to say that GODs timing has allowed our needs to be met and/or exceeded upon.  Our savings lasted thru June 2018 and God provided for us in July. August is upon us and I know our needs will be met someway that is unknown to me.  I have faith in God’s plan and timing.

On the home front, Robert has developed relationships with fellow churchgoers. It is amazing how he has opened himself up to new people- broadening his spiritual horizons.  I find myself swept along the tide, trying to grab ahold of anything stationary. I have joined the church, participated in Vacation Bible School services, created a stationary ‘Get Well’ and assisted in the ‘Visitor Welcome’ Ministries. We are joining a life group which is a bible study at night that meets bi-weekly.  I am uncertain where my path will lead- I know I must take care of myself to prevent burn out.

Robert’s health continues to decline daily as the ankylosing spondylitis disease progresses. There are limited results with medications– prayer is the only viable solution.  I have discovered through x-ray’s that I have a bone spur and am gliding bone-to-bone in my right shoulder. The repair solution is a total shoulder replacement. Without medical insurance, there is little hope of getting the surgery.  My job if you can call four-hours a week working, doesn’t have major medical coverage only AFLAC, dental and vision plans and I don’t make enough to even dream of taking them out.  Enough sadness!  Things will work themselves out through prayer and effort.

 

 

 

Posted in Recipes

Peanut butter Log- candy

2 pounds confectionary sugar

1 small potato (Irish preferred)

1/2 cup peanut butter

Boil potato until done (soft) and drain well

mashup potato and start adding the sugar – a liquid paste will form

keep adding sugar until a soft dough is achieved

on a sugared board roll out potato dough 1/4″ thick

spread peanut butter onto dough

roll dough adding sugar as needed to form a “log” shape and cut 1/2″ slices

optional: chocolate, diced nuts, candy sprinkles

History:  This is a sharecroppers candy from the potato, peanut and sugarcane fields of the southeast USA. It is hundreds of years old, passed down through the generations.  My family Alabama & Georgia regions made this for all occasions as a dessert.

 

 

 

Posted in Inspirational

Lazy or Dispassionate

All it takes is one person failing to do their job and the company will get a bad rap. When I was in a rehabilitation hospital in October 2017 from knee replacement surgery I received poor care from the nurses. They would make me wait on receiving pain medications, and going to the bathroom- I went unaided (fall risk) many times because they failed to answer my call. One morning around one-o’clock I was strapped to an exercise machine that gently moved my knee up and down. I was in pain, I used the bedside button to call the nurse. An hour went by, and the pain intensified and I started verbally calling out for the nurse, another hour went by. I started crying from the pain and calling out for the nurse, and praying out loud,  more minutes passed and finally, he came. He smirked that he had heard me calling him. He removed the exerciser and eventually brought me a pain pill it was 3:28 a.m. I reported the insensitive and lazy nurse to the doctors that morning. The doctor told me to rip out the call button line from the wall if necessary to get the attention of staff; if that ever happened again, as I couldn’t reach my phone to call 9-1-1 for help. Of course, I didn’t rip it out although I still went unaided to the restroom afterward, the nurses just didn’t seem to want to help me.

When I had my second knee replaced in December 2017, I chose not to go to rehab. The therapist was top notch good, but the nursing was terrible.  So when the survey arrived at my home, I filled it out along with a letter for discussing comments to them. I only hope that they would reprimand, monitor, or even dismiss the male nurse that treated me that awful night.

A message for nurses:  I know you are overworked most of the time and some patients can be demanding or whiners which make you not want to be around them. However, the patients are at your mercy totally. They most likely don’t want to be there in the hospital and only want to feel better quickly.  Withholding medication is poor form, and not assisting your fall risk patient to the restroom is disgraceful. You chose to be a servant to the ill or infirmed out of compassion at one time. You may have become jaded or just burnt out by the burdens placed upon a nurse, if so please quit. Allow someone who still has the heart to take your place.  If you are still working and see yourself in this blog, then get help for yourself. Ignoring your basic needs and lack of self-care causes job burn-out.

Self-care can come in the forms of exercise, proper nutrition, meditation, talking to someone about your day while it is happening, joking, or just acknowledge that room 19 patient is a pain in the patoot.  I know when I was in rehab I wanted to get better quickly and worked hard doing what the therapist instructed for the 12 days of confinement.  I only wish I could recommend the rehab hospital to other potential patients.

Posted in Inspirational

Sewing Girl Blues…

I finished my scrapbook project and have moved onto sewing. Sewing involves excellent organizational skills. Does one sort by colors/patterns, seasons, material types, or length of cloths. Does one sort the scrap material bin for material under a 1/2 yard?  I have enough materials stacked to make a half-a-dozen quilts, shorts, and pants w/matching shirts for all five grandchildren.  My daughter has some blouse materials picked out for Fall season.

Then the patterns have to be sorted by gender, size, subject matter. I have over 100 new unused patterns to choose from. From infant to doll clothes, dog costumes, boys/ men, girl/woman sizes, holiday, and miscellaneous household sewing projects.

Next comes sorting all the notions, scissors, thread, bobbins, buttons, fasteners, zippers, bias tape, ribbon, lace, and velcro. I have enough Velcro to stick together all the pattern pieces from lightweight to heavy duty.  I filled up two  10-drawer rolling carts with this stuff and still had a separate sewing box for the Velcro.

I have three electric sewing machines; one for simple sewing and two computerized; one of which does embroidery.  Why all the stuff you are wondering?  Well, my husband gets behind me in whatever project I take on and when he see’s something he thinks I might use he buys,  buys, and buys.

After spending seven hours today accumulating my organized chaos I am too worn out to sew.  I’ve got the sewing girl blues.

 

Posted in Blog or Stories

Are you Aquaphobic? Me, too!

Aquaphobia, the fear of deep water or turbidity waters.  My aquaphobia is related to Oceans, Lakes & Waterslide parks which covers just about every nature scene to be had. My phobia is debilitating or should I say needed accommodations are in order.  Recently, I took my mom and sister to Galveston Bay, Texas. I was extremely terrified of the choppy bay/ocean water.

My mom and sister enjoyed a 2 miles hike down the sand by the water’s edge while I stayed safely on the west seawall parameter, well above sea-level and about 50′ from the edge of the water.   I would have loved to have gone with them, but my aquaphobia was in full swing.  Since then I have been told that I should have listened to music or meditated or gone to the waters surge line. I’ve also been told that I should buck up and face my fear head-on — what are people thinking?

It is embarrassing to admit to a phobia- an irrational fear of something or sense of dread.  Why go to the ocean if you’re not planning on going in you may ask? My mom has been close to Galveston, TX but never there and she wanted to experience it first hand. I figured I could suck it up for three days and have fun– and I did at what I thought was a safe distance.  I have been on the shores of Padre Island and was perfectly safe until Hurrican Hugo sent us packing our tent and hastily leaving the island in the middle of the night.  By the time the park ranger came to tell us to go water was surging and covering the roadway to the mainland. Result in fear of the ocean.

When I was a small child, I was at a red dirt bottom lake that had turbid water. I tried to get out to where my mom was at and fell into a depression that was over my head and swallowed lots of water and coughing the resulting in fear of Lakes.

Fear of waterslides is a new phobia garnered by too many people in the waterpark using the slides at one time, thus bumping into or dragging one beneath the water level.  This being dragged under also happened as a child. Swimming pools also fall into this category although you can see the bottom if it is over 4 feet I won’t go in the deep end, and I won’t go in without a family or friend tagging alongside me.  I took Beginning Swimming two semesters in a row at college; the first semester I was on anxiety medications and in talk therapy about my fear of deep water.

Taking showers, getting into the hot-tub/jacuzzi or bathtub is no problem for me even though I have had slips in them, too.

While on Galveston Bay Island we did activities that did not require me to face my fear head-on every day. I enjoyed looking at the ocean water from my distant perch, seeing the fish soar through the air as they sailed into the waves, and wonder why the seagulls didn’t have them for dinner when they were apparently seeking food.

Today, my grandson wanted to swim in the lake. I let my husband take him while I stayed safely ashore and revel in his success at swimming across the small lake.  I didn’t tell my grandson that I was afraid because I don’t want him to become fearful of lakes, too.

My plan of action is to take small steps in acclimating to water features. We have a 1′ to 4′ deep community pool, and I am pleased to say I am now comfortable to be in it.  I played with the kids in the shallow end and worked my way deeper till I was able to swim in the four feet center of the pool. I have found being distracted by talking about anything other than swimming has made this accommodation possible.  Visualizing me being safe in the water and meditation has undoubtedly helped and listening to music doesn’t hurt.

Do you have a phobia, write about it in comments?

 

 

 

 

Posted in Inspirational

Are you a right or a left brain personality

One is right brained, left brained, or mixed brain. Right dominated brain individuals are artists or musicians. They try to create using their five senses. Left dominated brain individuals are scientist or mathematicians. They try to see patterns in art that makes sense to them. Mixed brain doesn’t really exist except in theory that the brain is equal in both art and science; it’s along the lines of humans using the full potential of their brain.

The reason this is important is it’s a failsafe to know how our brains interpret influences from our surroundings, other people, and internal reasoning. Right-brain people can be analytical and left-brain people can be creative as a learned process. But, the default response to stimuli will be determined by being right or left brain. How one interprets emotion is geared by the brain process.

It is helpful to know which dominate side of the brain that you internalize as it affects your  behaviors, attitudes, beliefs, and emotions. Employers use checklist of emotional words for potential employees to self-identify as a means of determing whether they are right or left brained and overall how they would fit in with the company’s business goals.

 

Posted in Inspirational

Love, respect, and approval are our basic needs, too.

You are unique. Even identical children have their own independent fingerprints. God created us; mankind, in his image. God gave us rights to love and acceptance, respect, forgiveness, and approval.

You are capable. A newborn comes into the world, and its whole life is changed. The source of nourishment, diapering needs, warmth or coolness of body. It makes it mind up if it can trust it’s caretakers to fulfill the basics of needs. Love is a learned behavior.

You survived!  And not only did you survive you flourished. You are a capable, independent person of attributes. You possess a gamut of emotions from happiness to sadness, a disappointment to acceptance, love to despise.  You seek approval from others, from GOD, and from yourself at the most basic level of needs.

You are respected. At some point in life, you have earned respect from yourself and others. Respect is a sense of well-being in your world. Respect is innate that God created you to be perfected through Christ and it is good.

Your self-image is positive or negative, rarely neutral. A positive outlook tells itself that it is liked, loved, respected, appreciated, forgiven. An adverse or negative outlook tells itself that it is unlovable, disrespected, demoralized, or not worthy of forgiveness.  A healthy person will fluctuate in our self-image based upon external factors that we internalize as to be a positive or a negative condition. How we view ourselves influences our success or failures as individuals.

Kat Challis 06/20/18

Posted in Inspirational

Consistency, persistence, and consequences are key factors in parenting skills

Consistency, persistence, and consequences are key factors in parenting skills.

Consistency is doing the same task repeatedly the same way with predictable outcomes.  For example Task- morning chores; making the bed, putting away night clothes in laundry basket, washing up and eat breakfast. Consistency says that these three things must occur everyday. The reward is knowing that your bedroom looks nice, your laundry will get done, and you will eat a good meal. The consequences of not doing them will be a messy room and a delay in getting your laundry done, you will still get to eat breakfast.

Persistence is doing the same task repeatedly until the task becomes a routine.   For example: Knowing that a Task- morning chores; making the bed, putting away night clothes in laundry basket, washing up and eat breakfast will occur takes pressure off a person mentally. Persistence says that with practice perfection will come and the reward will be forthcoming as intrinsic such as knowing you accomplished your task or externally like praise for doing such a good job.

Consequences are a result or effect of an action or condition. Consequences are emotionless but can appeal to our emotional condition. For example Task- morning chores; making the bed, putting away night clothes in laundry basket, washing up and eat breakfast.  The consequence should follow the task at hand. Making the bed proactive is external praise and internal satisfaction. Putting away night clothes proactive is external in getting laundry done and internal of having more choices of clean clothes to choose from.  Eating breakfast proactive is having our basic need met and internal of satiety.

The consequence is often associated with discipline for not performing or not following through on an idea or task. These are usually negative reinforcers.  For example Task- morning chores; making the bed, putting away night clothes in laundry basket, washing up and eat breakfast.  The possible outcome is being verbally reminded of the task or being verbally chastised or losing a privilege for a certain amount of time and having to still do the task stated.  The follow up is just as important as the assigned task. Being persistent and consistent with followup sets a precedent for what will happen next.  For external positive reinforcers for performing or following through on the tasks, you could have extra time to continue a privilege and/or receive verbal praises for doing what was expected. Internal reinforcers include pride in accomplishing a task.

 

 

 

Posted in Inspirational

Maw-paw’s House

1970, the house was old and withered with metal can ring covering the knotted pine boards, and the rain would beat down in an angry cadence upon the rusted tin roof.  An outhouse long unused sat off to the side a haven for snakes, spiders and other wildlife that ventured within.   The mountain protected and cursed the back side of the house with land mud slides every decade or so that passed it by. Cedar trees were centurions guarding the entrance and leading a meandering path always downward to the churning water. The front of the house had a three-foot stoop that one climbed upon a massive log to enter and praying that the jostling river would stay its banks yet again.

The night was so dark that unaided by the moon, one couldn’t see to the end of one’s nose, but looking straight up one saw a cacophony of stars and universes never beginning and without end- truly spectacular.

The tired big house held five rooms with unpainted sheetrock walls and ceilings and coal oiled coated floor timbers; my bare feet soles were always black. A chamber pot sat in every bedroom and was unceremoniously dumped out of doors. An old piano that held its tune wafted music that echoed in the night air.  Three small bodies to a cotton tick bed, weighted with quilts to ward from the mountain nights chill. Aunts and Uncles would gather with steel guitar, acoustic guitar, a tambourine and voices signing the children into slumber.

Sometime in the night, the rain stops its drumming to a gentle pattering on the roof reigns in that morning has come. The sun comes up, the bears and night cats take to their dens… it is a glorious new day. The meat and smokehouse beckoned paw-paw to bring in the slaughtered pig bacon while maw-maw makes the biscuits and fries the gathered brown eggs, milk, strong black coffee, and juice complete the meal.  The older female children draw from the nearby well water and wash up the dishes while the women clean the kitchen. The boys and youngens are sent out to play.  All in all its, not a bad start to my day.

 

 

 

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Posted in Blog or Stories

Recent Events May 2018

I started a new career path today, branching off my teaching career. It will be an interesting job helping children 5-18 years old learn new coping skills for behavior management and consequently teaching their parent(s) how to recognize and respond appropriately to triggers.  I will be doing a lot of homework until I have a clearer understanding of negative behavior causes and ways to implement positive changes.

Galveston Bay, Texas waving bye-bye to an awesome tourist town.  Alabama, Oklahoma, and Texan all come together as my Sister, Mom, and I spent three glorious days walking surf side, going on a historical tour, and maxing out on the fun at Buster’s Old Tyme Photo Studio. The studio is a must-do for any tourist. You get to pick genres of time periods then dress up in that era. We chose the Victorian era and the Pirate era. Courtney was our photographer and guide highlighting the spirit of the time with teacups, books, fans, flowers, and hoop skirts the Ladies of Leisure emerge on a cool Victorian day enjoying high tea. Then hang onto your cap matie as the pirates try to steal the valuable treasure from the scallawag first shipmate.  Or in real 1920’s regalia with Tommy guns and stolen loot or dancing the night away, you’ll be a classy dame. Don’t miss the horse/buggy ride and ice cream parlor around the corner.

Note: shellfish allergy sufferers Beeno’s Fish restaurant does not separate their oils. They cooked my fish in with someone else’s shellfish and I was seeking emergency medical care not a fun cavetto my vacation. At any seafood restaurant ask the cook before placing your order how the food is prepared so you have a choice as of where to eat.  The food was fresh and good at Beeno’s and is not a tourist trap; lots of locals eat there and the staff is friendly, my companions and I enjoyed themselves until my allergy enacted.

 

Posted in Inspirational

Black Bird

Black Bird! Black Bird!

what'cha doing sitting on the ground

eating hamburgers, hotdogs, and potato rounds?
Black Bird! Black Bird!

what'cha doing sitting on the ground

Drinking raspberry-iced-tea and cola
Black Bird! Black Bird!

what'cha doing sitting on the ground

You have become a Fast-food Junkie!

 

Kat Challis ©2007