Things that make think hmmm...

It's eleven minutes after the hour.  I am noting that because I just finished watching an interesting YouTube video.  I can't recall the name, but it was an interview, ADHD coach Jeff Copper talking to neuropsychologist David Nowell, PhD  about collecting data for time management.

I thought it was great and wanted to make a comment saying so but I couldn't figure out how to do that.  Really.  I couldn't just write, "That was great, Jeff!  I can really relate..." NO. I couldn't figure out how to post a comment.ADHDumb

Plus, I wanted to talk about the woman who was 45 minutes late and my experience in situations described (http://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=g-user-u&v=G0gEY_n9yuk

I, like others with ADHD have a hard time getting to the point;  have difficulty editing.  In what seems like a split second, as I recall the events leading up to arriving late to an appointment, I  also realize there are  too many variables to share; and just as I start thinking, I should NOT say anything,  I hear me broadcasting  the tail end of the story. ADHD

When the emotion of embarrassment floods my midbrain, I am temporarily unable to recall anything beyond what immediately proceeded my arrival.  Even though I know the elevator to the second floor might not have made me 45 minutes late, I am truly, temporarily without any other explanation.  ADHappensD

I  struggle with these kinds of blips;  but I choose to accept them.   I accept them, the blips, because they are the type of snag that grows if  not tended to ...If I resist, it persists.  I don't want to add to my list of woes.

So, I wanted to write a comment. ADHAhaha.

I really thought I could write a comment but then I saw there was no picture of me on my YouTube account.  Let me just fix that. How do you do that, I wondered?  I went to the dashboard of my own blog, AND came across a post about my ADHD experience with time.  I should ask Jeff, my imaginary new BFF, to read it.    

It's 51 minutes after the hour.  I am noting that it took my 50 minutes to ramble.  I am not editing. Just now I decided that in addition to being an exercise in collecting data about my use of time, it also served some other purpose that I can't recall.  ADHDuh.

Where does the time go? Collect the data.

Nine minutes later, just a tweak or too.  Didn't edit  the wordiness.  ADHDone! 

NB just took 14 more minutes for clever...looks like  a blog post takes more than an hour for me.  


Yam come back now. Here.

Earlier this year I threw some of the stalest sunflower seeds I had ever tasted out on our balcony for the birds to eat them. Maybe the birds thought the seeds were stale too and instead of eating them, just let them drop into the dirt filled planters below.

It wasn't long before an army of sprouts appeared; popped out of the dirt, the opened seed pods looked like little helmets. It was such a hot summer, and even more so with the sweaty neck brace I had to wear. But because I was stuck at home, the plants were watered daily; it turned out to be a good sunflower summer.

One Saturday in July, Ken took me to a new Korean market. The discovery of several varieties of yams and sweet potatoes was the inspiration of a great idea - oven baked sweet potato chips!

Oblivious to the fact that our air-conditioning was working non-stop to keep us comfortable I bought home 6 yams to slice and bake in a 400* oven. Luckily, the oven wasn't preheating because it would have only made me feel more cross. I had to ditch the great idea when it became clear I was not able to bend my neck enough to see the knife on the cutting board. Forgotten in the "potato basket" kept in a dark, not so  well air-conditioned space, the yams sprouted. And in a very short time!

The sprouts were long enough that they poked out of the sides of the basket and even looked like little plants. I cut them off of the potatoes, along with a small amount of the tuber then stuck them yam sprouts in my planters. Turns out, they also liked daily watering and I had some pretty luscious sweet potato vines for months.
Yesterday was the last day for those babies..
look what was buried under the frost


NB. sweet potato photo from honkeydonley.wordpress.com


Uncle Buddy

My mother’s older brother lives in Cleveland. He is a Catholic priest, a missionary, a recovering alcoholic, an athlete, an audiophile, and friend. Growing up, his family called him Buddy. He is 84 now, people call him as Fr. Bolan, or Fr. John, or John I still call him Uncle Buddy.

When I was a child, Uncle Buddy would visit for a week in the summer and at Christmas time. Every time he would leave, we would hug and kiss him goodbye; then he would bless my siblings and me. He held his left hand over his heart and with his right hand, fingers pointing to heaven he would make the sign of the cross. It started with him softly saying ‘in the name of the father’ –hand moved up ‘and of the son’ –hand back down ‘and of the holy’ –hand left ‘spirit’ –hand quick right and center for ’Amen’ and then to the top of our heads. Now we were safe until the next visit.
In addition to his semi-annual blessings, he also officiated at many religious services. He baptized my siblings, my children, and me; he married my mother and father and he married my first husband and me. Thirty years ago, he stopped drinking and left his role as a parish to become a Chaplin for the VA. Informed by his own experience he led hundreds of addicted veterans to sobriety through spirituality.
He is also an athlete and we had lots of fun riding waves on Long Beach Island. He was a member of the National Ski Patrol. He brought me to Great Gorge when I was 15 and taught me to snow ski. Later, he taught me how to play golf.

Up until recently, he played golf weekly, but he was asked to leave the league because he couldn’t keep up, He is still sharp, still loves life, and always loved God. He has a cat named Shelly and many friends. He loves listening to music and watching Netflix movies.
I visited him last year and we talked about what would be next for him. Where does he want to be and how he feels about dying. He told me then that he likes living alone because he likes his sound system, he likes it loud, and he doesn’t want to turn the music down. He is not afraid to die.
He seems to have declined over past few months; he has been in the hospital twice. He gets Meals on Wheels now. He had to stop driving his car and, as I mentioned, he no longer swings his golf clubs.

Last Wednesday my brother was in Ohio and he visited Uncle Buddy and took him to lunch. Afterwards, he reported to me that the Uncle Buddy didn’t seem to keeping up with laundry but the litter box was clean. He also mentioned that the rest of the family thought I might be the one to inform the superior of his religious order. I thought, ‘How about, I check this out with Uncle Buddy’.
On Saturday night, I called my good friend, Uncle Buddy. He told me that even though his laundry is “no one’s business” and, “Sometimes men just don’t make their beds” he was open to the idea of getting some help at home. I asked him if he thought he was ready for home hospice. He said, “I am on hospice, I have been on Hospice for two weeks.”

I am really proud of Uncle Buddy and I am really proud of myself, too. Putting my need to be needed aside, I respect his decision - his choice- to live his end of life the way he wants to in his own home where he is comfortable.
I love you, Uncle Buddy. I am not able to be there now, but its okay.

Then I think, "If only I could fly"....


Pop popped fizz fizzed

Ken had to fast from ten o'clock the night before his twelve noon  doctor appointment on Saturday.  He thought my suggestion of packing a lunch was a great idea but never mentioned he put a can of soda in the freezer for a quick chill.  I him made a sandwich, wrapped it up, then packed it and a can of cold soda (from the fridge) with one of those blue reusable freezer packs. I never even saw the can of soda he put in the freezer. 

After his appointment, on his way to pick me up from home, Ken enjoyed his lunch and because it was so hot he especially enjoyed the  cold soda.  Not realizing that there had been any soda in the fridge, he concluded the freezer pack had made and kept he soda cold.  

As we were on our way to see a movie, he made a point to complimented me for thinking of using the freezer pack- 
these little appreciations makes me so happy. 

We went to the movies, had dinner at Gail's where we met her three month old granddaughter, Mary.

On the ride home we agreed we had a great day and to resist the tempation to get ice cream just because it was over ninety degress at nine o'clock at night.  
Ken took the now warm ice pack with him and went into the house first. At first I wondered why he would leave the freezer door open when he put the icepack back. Then I saw the top of a soda can sitting in a sticky puddle on the floor. 

I am not sure when the can exploded in the freezer but it was long enough for most of the food in the freezer to thaw. 


Listen with you heart

Last week, I interviewed a paranoid schizophrenic. He is young man who was diagnosed a few years ago. He is not currently taking his prescribed medications, but he knows what they are and knows that they work. He is not resistant to treatment; he is simply non-compliant because he doesn’t have the cognitive or financial resources to get his meds in a traditional way.

Eventually he can get his treatment; all he has to do is talk and make someone uncomfortable, they call the police. The process is unwittingly his health insurance as it exacerbates his paranoia and he becomes increasingly symptomatic.

We learn about some of this as doctoral candidates. You are not quite sure what you are learning until you see it clinically. Word salad is a like that. You only need to see it once to get it and then it's an "a ha" moment.

Word salad is more complex than complicated. Finely sliced, diced, and minced words that are not supposed to go together are tossed in a dressing of schizophrenic yearning. They -the words-absorb properties of each other. Nouns, verbs, all parts of speech at once cling to each other in all possible ways.

Some schizophrenics are able to rearrange language into such melodious poetry it takes a while to realize they are tossing a word salad. Nuances often start subtly but end with a big impact, a big finish.

Appreciating the complexities of this use of language is analogous to understanding wine. Both take practice and a willingness to be a relationship with your own senses. What happens to a few words in seconds or bunches of grapes over years only matters if you allow yourself to take these things in and experience.

When I allow my heart to go beyond the clinical pathology to listen in a different way, the message is not crazy, but true. Like this one, "America is in dis-a-may."
I think he's right.

Part Two

Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
Dr Seuss

Yesterday I received a forwarded an email with instructions how to boycott a Muslim stamp. I wanted to scream, partly because I was afraid to disagree.
I felt dis-a-mayed.

I felt like asking: "Should I boycott African American History stamps because I don't like gangs?"

Or how about boycotting a Christmas stamp because the Oklahoma City bomber was Christian?

Today I got another forwarded email. Instead of grouping all Muslims into a group of terrorists, this one was directed at shaming the country Denmark because a group of Danish men practice a barbaric ritual. Does this mean Danes can no longer be great?

Terrible things happen in the world. Many times when there seems like there nothing we can do, I feel terrible and helpless and very sad. What happened with the emails is different. I can do something. Right now, all I have to do is have the courage to speak. As long as I am not silent I am not contributing to the spread of bias and prejudice.

It's a start.

Who hears me?


Here's why I said what I did...

I haven't blogged in a while. Yesterday, after helping my friend, Ruth, build her her first blog I felt like getting back into the game; I posted something I wrote a while ago.

The name of Ruth's blog is called "Second Helpings" which is also the name of her new business and in the spirit of the day I named my post Second Helpings. Really, that was more like leftovers than a second helping.

Anyway, while we were laughing and working I mentioned how much I liked inspiring others into their greatness and said I was going to start a group, Ladies who Launch. Today, Ruth sent me the link for that group, someone else thought of that first. Oh well. I will use another idea: Out to Launch.

Out to Launch is the name of my new blog dedicated to inspiring people into their futures.


Repost: Ask Beth

One of my first posts...
My daughter Pam is an amazing young woman.

The other day, we were emailing back and forth and I got into one of my mother modes. Mother mode is when I brainstorm with myself to "solve" all of my daughters' problems. All solutions end up sounding the same and include: "are you drinking enough water?" and "you should think about having a small business, how about selling Longeberger baskets?”

Pam pointed out that when she wants to share something with me- something she is trying to figure out- I don't listen to her. Instead, I end up offering unsolicited advice. She's right. When I do that, I am not treating her like an adult. Offering solutions to choose from is “pre kindergarten”; like when she was 4 years old and I let her choose what clothes she would wear that for that day…from clothes I had selected for her pick from. I get it now, she can pick from her own choices.

Pam doesn't say my ideas are not good; she just needs to come to certain things on her own, in her own time and in her own way. In the meantime, she managed her mother's blather with, "Sometimes when you say stuff...I feel like you are telling these things to yourself too. Have you ever considered taking a side job as at a magazine, as like an ask Beth column? ... I think you would be good at it..."

She's brilliant isn’t she?

God is a metaphor for that which transcends all levels of intellectual thought. It's as simple as that.
Joseph Campbell



I have had very nice feed back from my women. No one, well, except, you, Ken, even says how wordy I am. Or comments on my over use of commas for that matter. The thing about a blog is, you really don't think anyone is really reading it. Then, without ever referring it, someone, a colleague, for example, asks you something that is so coincidental to your last blog, it makes you wonder: "Do you read my blog?" And whether they read it or not, you are grateful to be understood.