Five Simple Things (July 31)

 Hello.

I was able to get out of the house again this week, and got my stitches removed from my surgery, finally. It hurt a lot more than I expected it to, because of one of the stitches growing into my incisions, so that was super uncomfortable and it bled a lot. My surgeon said everything is healing well, just slowly, so still take it easy. I can't push, pull, or lift anything heavier than five pounds, and I can't shower facing the water, but can actually shower if I am gentle with everything. I was able to go to the grocery store, too, with Jeff and Skylar. It's crazy seeing how many people wearing masks. I've spent most of this year in the bed, in a room with white curtains, and barely getting out of the house. So, it's weird seeing people like that. The world looks odd. I made a list of things that we can do during this time. And, you are more than welcome to save and print thing out for your own family, as well. Here are five things this week.

2020 Coronavirus Procedures:

1. Once every 10 days for supplies (if needed)
2. Plan meals for the week ahead of time
3. Make a supplies and grocery list each week as foods are eaten
4. Practice social distancing at stores
5. Stick to the list only and avoid impulse buys
6. Go to the store early in the morning, or late at night (less people)
7. Stock up on canned goods while shopping and add them to the stock
8. Use delivery when we can
9. Wear masks and gloves when out in public places (stores, gas stations, etc.)
10. Wash every items with warm, soapy water and rinse in cold water before bringing inside. (sprays work, too)
11. Stock up on water containers while out shopping. (we get five gallon containers filled at a local co-op, so we stock up when they are empty)
12. Have a staging area when you bring things into your home. (we use the garage here, but it could be a hallway, a closet, an entryway, back porch, etc.)
13. Wipe down your cart and basket at the grocery stores even if they've been sanitized by the store
14. Use hand sanitizer when entering the store, or building, and always use it when leaving. And it wouldn't hurt to sanitize your car steering wheel, handles, keys, door frames you may have touched, and seats once a week, too
15. Once home, wash your hands with soap and water for at least two minutes. Take your clothing off, and shower, if you can. Place your clothing, masks, and anything else you wore into the washing machine asap

Some of these are a bit drastic, but given our current situation with recovering from a major surgery, we've done all of these, and I was able to help out this week for some of it. Here's hoping things get a bit better before the end of summer comes. Here are five things this week. 

1. This Necklace.


This necklace has been a lifesaver for me lately. Leaving the house and seeing everything right now has given me a lot of anxiety and panic issues. This necklace is by Komuso and helped me focus on my breathing over what's actually going on in my mind and heart. It helps me by focusing on my breath and trying to calm my heartrate when anxiety gets too high for me. It's happened a lot more since my surgery and especially leaving the house lately. It's a great necklace and looks like a whistle, but when exhaling through it doesn't make a whistle tone. It is just you exhaling through a small opening and exhaling slowly helps with calming your mind. The more I use it the more it helps a lot. This was a Mother's Day gift from Skylar and Jeff and the one I have is sterling silver, but it comes in other metals and also other chain lengths and materials. 
-How to breathe better with the Shift Necklace:
Can you spare 2 minutes?
Do something for 30 days, and you’ll likely have a new habit. But 30 days is a long time.
What about just 2 minutes a day?


If you can carve out 2…
surely you can carve out 15?

The 3-6-5 coherent breathing technique comes with so many benefits, it’s hard to list them all in an email.

Most importantly, it increases energy and focus.
Biggest surprise as we learned about this technique: it better connects the two sides of your brain.

3 times a day
6 breaths per minute (5 sec inhale, 5 sec exhale)
5 minutes
15 minutes total.

2. This Soup.

I gave an attempt at potato soup this week and it was actually pretty easy to make. It was a spur of the moment cooking thing and we ate on it for three days. I'll post the recipe I created at a later time. I want to make it at least one more time before sharing it.

3. This Box.

Amazon has impressed me lately and their shipping boxes having cutouts on them impresses me even more. I love this concept and even left feedback to Amazon on Twitter about it. Skylar and cut them out and placed them on the homeschool classroom desk. 

4. This Purchase.

Like I stated in previous posts, I've been trying to control my panic attacks with more CBD and THC products. This brand is one of my favorites, so far. beaucoup offers low dose THC products that are helpful in panic-inducing situations. I'd much rather be taking a plant into my body than the anxiety medications. The long term affects of those medications are worrisome. I still use the anxiety medication when situations get too much to handle, but these edibles have been helping a great deal.

5. This Sunset.


I will say, before moving to Oregon I never paid much attention to the sunsets, or even sun rises. I think moving here, along the edge of the west coast, gave me a new appreciation for the sunsets, for sure. The are some of the pretties I've ever seen. On our drive home this week, it really was a nice view all the way home. 

Positive affirmations this week: "What are some basic guidelines to keep you focused on yourself."
I don't really have any guidelines as I do six things I keep reminding myself every day. Those six things are:

  • Eat Plants. 
  • Study Hard.
  • Spend Smart.
  • Workout.
  • Don't Compare.
  • Be Happy.
I realize not every day is going to be as easy, but the main focus on life if just basic things. With having anxiety issues and PTSD, some days are harder than others. But, the overall goal is still the same, so reminding myself on the six basic things I need to do, it helps get me back on track after a bad mental health day.

Have a nice weekend.

Burn to Learn (Jeff)

This past weekend (July 25) Jeff participated in a Burn to Learn with the fire department. We were able to sit and watch how the fire department handles ground and grass fires and how they are able to promptly put them out with equipment and other means. It was interesting to watch how they combat the fire from all angles and are able to quickly tackle it before it spreads.


Backfire flares being shot into the dry grass to simulate a grass fire.

I couldn't decide on these pictures. I just love how Skylar is looking up at Jeff. He admires his dad and I see it in little moments like this and it just makes my heart beam.

Poor grasshoppers were trying to get away as the grass was lit on fire. I felt sorry for them, but unfortunately for them, it saves lives learning how to contain fires, even the lives of little critters like them.

Five Simple Things (July 24)

 Hello.

Had a pretty bad panic attack this week and ended up calling the paramedics. I used to have them a lot more, but they were less as intense. Now I have them less frequently, which is a good thing, but they are intense when they hit me. My anxiety is bad right now because of everything that's been happening within our own city, and even the state. The world if a wreck right now and I've stopped completely watching the news, or reading anything negative online. It's starting to affect me on a much worse level, so I figured a break from all of that for awhile will be a good thing for me. Nine more people died this week in our state, bringing the toll here to 282, as of today. It is such a shame that people think this is fake and refuse to help others right now. I mainly wear a mask to protect myself. A lot of people say they wear a mask for other people, but given that I had major surgery at the beginning of the year, I wear a mask for myself. Also, seeing people not wearing one, even more so to say I am wearing the mask for me. People protested here calling everyone wearing a mask "sheep." I just thought, you do you, and I'll do me. I wouldn't mind wearing a mask for the rest of my life, to be honest. I like it when people don't recognize who I am.☺ Here are five things this week.

1. This Picture.

I really like this picture of Skylar and me. It was taken awhile ago, but I always like looking at it. I don't really frame pictures and hang them on my wall, but if I did, this one would be the one the add to the collection. It was a good day.

2. These Tomatoes.

Didn't have the energy this year for a full garden, but we did grow these tomato plants from seeds, as well as some sunflowers. So, we are hoping for the best with them. They've been inside since we planted them and this week I let them sit in the sunshine for awhile.

3. These Fortunes. 

Chinese takeout gave us new thoughts on our long term goals. Fortunes only work if you believe in them and we do.

4. This Project.


We did some projects from Kiwi Crate and Mel Science recently. You can see all of the projects we've done at our homeschool classroom website here.

5. This Car.

Being a horror fan, this car is definitely my kind of car.

Positive affirmations this week: "How do you make peace with your past."
Just because you did something wrong in the past doesn't mean you can't advocate against it now. It doesn't make you a hypocrite, you grew. Don't let people use your past to invalidate your current mindset. Growth is a concept, so embrace it, and don't let others try to tell you otherwise. 

Have a nice weekend.

Protests in Portland, Oregon

After the death of George Floyd, protests and at times riots broke out here in Oregon. Most of the destruction took place in Portland, but even a lot happened in Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Newport, and smaller cities saw some damage, too. BLM (Black Lives Matter), and federal agencies brought in by President Trump clashed during the day, and clashed a lot at night. Tear gas, spray paint, broken windows, looting, arrests, and police brutality continued through the months of May, June, and into July. A lot of people, that don't even live in these areas, much less the state of Oregon, were claiming that Oregon looked like Afghanistan. Skylar and I decided to go and have a look for ourselves. Besides the plywood blocking off a lot of windows to keep them from getting broken, and spray paint in and around the city, it didn't at all look like a warzone. This post is about our experiences with the protests and riots, and my take on what was going on in Portland, Oregon, on July 24. Side note: I am not a political person, and this post is in no way taking a "side" to anything other than standing up for what is right and showing what is actually happening here over rumors and hearsay. 

(These pictures and videos will be from the time we arrived in Portland and found a parking spot, to when we left. Under some pictures/videos I will also add a small comment, if needed.)

**This post is very picture and video heavy







 




Where the iconic elk statue and fountain used to be before someone set fire to it.

What it looked like before it was burned and removed on July 17, 2020. (Source)



We asked a photographer with OPB take our picture in front of the federal building and in front of the encampment where the protestors were camped. Skylar (when he was on Facebook) posted about it in the middle picture.




Homeland Security vehicles were constantly circling in and around the protestors and taking pictures. It was a bizarre situation. Mostly because, no one was doing anything illegal, other than gathering in large groups.











Random tents set up for different things. Lots of food, art, first aid, clothing, and all of it was free.


 
The man yelling is Lorenzo and he is an original Black Panther. He started Riot Ribs on July 4 and continued to BBQ in the middle of the protests until he was pepper sprayed. They pepper sprayed him, his food, and his volunteers. Since then, donations and other volunteers started showing up in support of his efforts to feed the community during the chaos. I got to speak to him and in the following videos you can hear his views on the matter. I will say, it was an absolute pleasure to speak to an original member of the Black Panthers. In his words: "The government doesn't like mutual aid."










We left Lorenzo, wished him luck, and headed towards the far end of the protest line to hear Mayor Ted Wheeler give a speech on how he plans to handle the federal agents pepper spraying innocent people, the cleanup efforts for the city, and his take on the murder of George Floyd.













Lots of signage and graffiti in random places. A lot of the signage that we saw was for other groups meeting up in other areas different than the Portland area. It was interesting to see so many different groups standing up for what they think is right.





"White supremacy is terrorism"                                           "Black Lives Matter"


Other pictures from around the web. Not sure the source of these pictures, but if you own one of the ones listed, please let me know and I will give appropriate credit.





Edited to add pictures after the election results. Christmas controversy, and social media issues: