Thursday, December 12, 2013

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Friday, December 06, 2013

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Monday, March 25, 2013

Follow Up to Medicated Mothers/Parents

I just wanted to post a few links from mothers who responded to this controversy in a more gracious manner than I.
Please see the following posts and stick around their blogs for the rest of their great writing and information:
 

Friday, March 15, 2013

What the hell does that mean?!?

So... I am not necessarily a believer of paranormal phenomenon, but I don't NOT believe. I'm quite skeptical, but I lean towards believing, let's put it that way.
For a period of a few months, I was finding dimes EVERYwhere, some in quite odd places, especially in my house. (Some examples: the middle of the windowsill in my bedroom, on top of the coffeemaker, between the sheets at the foot of my side of the bed.) I finally mentioned it to my mother, who looked it up and told me it's supposedly a sign from deceased loved ones that you're in a time of transition and that things will work out for the best. I was in a time of transition and this had been the house of my great-grandparents, whom I loved very much. Then the dimes stopped. And now I am finding pennies everywhere, and in odd places, especially in my house. (The latest was the couch cushion I had my head on, which was empty when I left the room, but had a penny on the middle of it when I returned. The dogs were out in the kitchen with me, the cats were upstairs, and nobody else was in the house.) But I can't find anything on the internet of what it might be a "sign" other than "pennies from heaven"--well, what does that mean?? It could mean anything from "I'm thinking of you" to "Stop being such a cheapskate." If you have ever heard what the specific meaning of the penny might be, feel free to leave me a comment.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Mental Health

Just a quick note because I haven't posted in forever.
I saw this post on Anderson Live's Facebook page. The post and the ignorant comments enrage and sadden me. I responded (see below) and directed people to my site if they have questions about ECT. So I wanted tot put the links at the top to make it easier to find than scrolling through all of my tags.
  • Find all of my ECT-related posts here
  • ...and all of my posts tagged "mental health" here.
My response was as follows:
I read every comment in this thread and I have so much I want to say as a mother of two beautiful, intelligent teenagers and as someone who also has BIOLOGICALLY based mental and physical health issues. Essential oils, the Bible, cellular salts, homeopathy, Scientology, parenting classes, being a vegan, eating cleaner, sucking it up, tucking it away, praying/asking for prayers (did God not give us the ability to diagnose and treat mental illness?? It's like ignoring the life raft and helicopter because "God will save you"), blahblahblah are bullshit and worthless when you have a literal chemical imbalance in your brain which does not allow the correct chemicals to be processed correctly.
I've also been in therapy for around 20 years, and guess what? My meds and ECT have helped me more than any therapist because the day to day stresses I talk to them about (with which they DO help me) are NOT the reason for my mental health issues, my faulty body is. The same as it responsible for the chronic physical illness for which I takes meds. Said meds are what have helped me stay alive and active when the illness I have kills people like me EVERY DAY. Just as mental illness does. (See the connection there??) Should I stop taking these meds and succumb to the symptoms and stay in bed until I die, immobile?? Then why should I stop taking my Effexor, Lamictal and Klonopin?
The hateful and IGNORANT comments and the way the question was phrased by ACLive staff are so offensive as to make me wonder if these people realize what UTTER DAMAGE they are causing by increasing stigma for real and DIAGNOSED mental health issues.
Step one should be DECREASING THE STIGMA! I find it truly hard to believe AC himself chose to tell this story this way when his brother committed suicide while his mother watched and they both spend time working for honesty and openness about mental illness. His staff should be ASHAMED...
Here's my step towards decreasing stigma by being open and honest and speaking truth to the ignorance displayed here: I have MENTAL ILLNESS. I live with it EVERY day and if it were not for medication and two rounds of ECT, I would be dead. My children would be orphans. I know that every one of the ignorant peole commenting has a person in their life with mental illness because 40% of people do. One can only hope if one of these ignorant people is asked for help that they wise the fuck up and learn in what ways they are seriously wrong and delusional about their beliefs because they will have it on their conscious if the friend/family member asks them for help and then dies because the ignorant person remains ignorant and tells the ill person to "suck it up, exercise, and rub some lavender on it."
I could still go on, but most of you probably already got to "tl/dr" but if you need a hand or have questions, please message me. You can also read about ECT from an honest POV at my blog. Tag: ECT at kulma dot blogspot dot com. Not linking bc I don't wanna spam here and if you want to read it, you can type it out yourself. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Chainchainchaaaaain

Rules:
1. Each person must post 11 things about themselves on the blog.
2. Answer the questions the tagger has set for you, as well as, creating your own eleven for the people you will tag.
3. Choose eleven people and link them in your blog.
4. Go to their page and tell them.
5. No tags back.
6. You legitimately have to tag.



1.) What content makes up most of your blog?
I almost exclusively blog about my life unless it is election season, then there are very opinionated and--shall we say--left-leaning posts.

2.) Why did you start blogging?
I just like to write and journaling is a pain because I sometimes don't have my journal on me and I end up forgetting what I want to say. I don't have anything to hide, really, and sometimes it might help others if they stumble across my posts. My highest viewed pages are about my physical and mental health issues, so it makes me feel good if even one of those hundreds of readers get something out of what I have to say.

3.) Where's the most comfortable place to think of blog posts?
I dunno. Stuff just comes to me randomly. I'll either note it on my phone or in a little Moleskine notebook if I don't have my laptop with me.

4.) When do you most often blog? Why?
I post a lot when I'm very relaxed and enjoying life or when my health problems are being, um, problems, lol.

5.) What word do you use the most?
While blogging? Probably "really." In real life? "What?" (Bad hearing and general lack of comprehension.)

6.) Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Working on Doctoral thesis. Probably in Women's Studies, American Studies, or Folklore.

7.) Favorite midnight snack?
A warm cup of cocoa made by my hubby before he goes to bed. With real milk. And real cocoa.

8.) What is one physical object you couldn't live without?
My iPhone. Or a hair tie/barrette/whatever to hold my hair back.

9.) Where is your favorite place to visit?
Definitely Paris. Three times and counting!!

10.) How many people truly know everything about you?
One person, other than me, knows everything about me that *I* know about me. And probably a bit more because of their own observations.

11.) What's one thing you would do if there were no such thing as consequences?
Somehow obtain enough money to give everyone I know what they need to be able to concentrate on the important parts of life. (Rob a bank? Embezzle? Blackmail? something along those lines...)

Hmmmm.... Eleven questions for those I tag, huh?
  1. If you could take over--as editor or main author--any blog, which would it be?
  2. Do you find yourself trying to portray yourself in a too-positive way on your own blog?
  3. If you use tags, which has the most posts on your blog? If you don't: what do you think your most mentioned subject is?
  4. If you could get any celebrity to promote your blog because they really love reading it, who would it be?
  5. If you could only eat variations of only one recipe for the rest of your life--with no physical consequences--what would it be?
  6. Do you consider yourself a good writer, a good storyteller, both or neither?
  7. What would you name your band and what genre would it play?
  8. With which living celebrity do you think you could be besties?
  9. What is the VERY first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
  10. What household chore/nuisance/pest/etc is your least favorite thing of not being a child whose every need is taken care of anymore?
  11. What is the title of the book closest to you? No cheating!
I don't know 11 people to tag, do I?
  1. Vicki
  2. Ethan
  3. Dina S.
  4. Soupie
  5. Abi
  6. Angella
  7. Brianna

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Senses on a Suburban Spring Evening

What I see:
  1. at least a dozen kinds of trees growing both fresh and new, and strong and tall among the over two dozen trees surrounding us
  2. a little dog's forest worth of ferns
  3. a few plucky birds out almost past their bedtimes
  4. lightning bugs
  5. lots of lightning bugs
  6. around an acre of freshly shorn, fresh, green grass
  7. hot pink roses
  8. clematis
  9. vines and more vines!!!
  10. flowersflowersFLOWERS!!!!
  11. plants soon-to-flower and those which will not but are beautiful in their own right because of their million shades of green
  12. the swooping bats which I always refer to as "my bats"
  13. a freshly filled hot tub
  14. a riding mower
  15. the tranquility of the cemetery behind my house
  16. the neighbor's child's child's play-set
  17. ...and a few pink, plastic flamingos

What I smell:
see numbers 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 13 above
and
a grill in some nearby yard cooling down from the busy day
warm concrete

What I hear:
see numbers 3 and 12 above
and
children playing in a yard (catching lightning bugs?)
a nearby screen door--the old-fashioned kind-- opening and closing regularly with a "whoooosh," then a "smack!"
some creatures scurrying in the brush and plants around the house
very light Sunday night traffic on "my" two busy streets

What I feel:
warm concrete beneath my dirty feet and under my ample ass
a mosquito and some gnats lighting repeatedly on my skin

What I know:
my oldest baby boy graduated from high school today
I have the whole summer ahead of me with my boys, my dogs, my friends, and--for a week--the ocean
my boys are safe and having fun with friends tonight
I'm about to eat a tub of mashed potatoes and gravy and a few biscuits with honey for a late supper

What I taste:
joy

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Greening the Last Frontiers

I've been trying to replace many of my remaining day-to-day bad eco-habits with good eco-habits and I'm down to a few remaining vices. The last to go are tampons, pantyliners, cotton pads for toner, the impossible little bits of the various handmade soaps I love so dearly, occasional paper towels, tissues, toilet paper and what we, in this house, call "butt-wipes."

So, here is the most recent run down:

Menstrual Products
I have always used Natracare tampons which are 100% cotton and not bleached with dioxins as opposed to rayon combined with conventionally grown cotton, which in the United States mean genetically modified and laden with pesticides before they bleach them with dioxins, a known carcinogen. I still feel wasteful, especially since I use the kind in the cardboard applicator. In the world of reusable menstrual products, there are many options:
  • CupsJuJu, Lunette, The Keeper & the Moon Cup, Fleurcup, LadyCup, Yuuki Cup, DivaCup, MeLuna & MeLuna Soft, CupLee, Femmecup, Mpower, SheCup, Alicia Cup, IrisCup, Miss Cup (this site is not in English), MiaCup, MCUK, Natucup  I decided to try the DivaCup, a silicone cup available widely in the United States. The original cup, the Keeper, is rubber latex and, due to my immune system, I was worried I might develop a latex allergy. Some people do not like the idea of silicone, but I believe one or more of the above cups may be made of something else. There is a learning curve with a menstrual cup, but it is quite brief and I was fine by the end of my first period with the DivaCup. Most brands have videos and/or instructive illustrations to help you navigate the new experience, but if you need additional help you can check various forums or YouTube. Because you can leave them in for so long (8-12 hours depending on your flow) you will probably not have to deal with emptying and cleaning them in public. If you do, carry a small wipe in your pouch, dampen it before entering a stall, remove and empty the cup, wiping it with tp if necessary, and then clean with the damp wipe. I use Wyspi Wipes which are tablets that expand when wet and are strong enough to be rinsed and reused several times. There are many ways to keep the cups clean; follow the instructions on the site you buy from, especially pay attention to the Keeper's instructions as they are different for rubber than for silicon. A few companies make washes for between emptyings: Lunette and DivaCup are the two I've found and I use the latter. You could stick a small cloth wipe or washcloth in your bag as well. The bag they send you is kind of dorky and a bit too small, in my opinion. I went to Etsy and found many cute choices for a personalized bag. This is the one I bought.


  • Sponges: There don't seem to be many commercial brands, and for sanitary reasons, I am loath to try to make my own. There are Sea Pearls, Luna Sponge, Levant Sponge and Jam Sponge. If you want to make your own there are many sources for sea sponges online and directions for sterilizing them are here, although I would boil them a bit longer than recommended. Just make sure they are natural sea sponges and you follow the instructions to the letter to keep them clean. If you make your own, it is generally cheaper to buy a larger one and cut them into the sizes and number you need.
  • Pads: There are so many companies and home businesses which make and sell cloth menstrual pads that I shouldn't even begin to list them here, but a few good sources are GladRags, Lunapads.com, Party in My Pants, Comfy Cloth Pads, Sorella Luna, New Moon Pads, Sckoon and Amazon. If you'd like to support work at home parents, good sources are Etsy, Ebay, Cloth Pad Shop, Cloth Menstrual Pad Database and Hyena Cart. You can also find many sources to make your own pads, just make sure you use the correct materials and find a shape you really like before you make a bunch; try sewing one or two of a few patterns and seeing which one works well for you. I suggest you do the same when buying from any source. Don't go whole hog and buy a whole supply if you're not sure what will be your favorite. I only use pantyliners occasionally and bought one from Lunapads.com with which I am not in love, so I'm looking at several options on Etsy right now to try. In any case, you will need a wet bag for travel and one for home. (I bought a double pocketed one so that I can carry dry liners in one side and wet in the other.) If you you don't want to stain treat, rinse and soak and do frequent washings, you might want to look into a soaking jar, bucket (bucket 2, bucket 3) or bag. You'll still need to change the water frequently, but you should be able to make it through the week without too much hassle. Either way, follow the washing instructions for your specific pads. These are my travel wet bag and home zippered wet bag which I am using for two other reusable items, as well. (More on that below.) The seller, Sam of MyBeautifulgirl, is a SAHM/WAHM. I also bought a reusable travel trash bag, as my old, vinyl Hello Kitty one was shot after 7 or 8 years of heavy duty use. My new one is super cute and matches my car well. Then, as a free gift/sample, Sam also sent me one of her gorgeous, super-soft wipe/small washcloth made of organic bamboo velour on one side and sherpa on the other, like the nursing pads she is currently selling.


Cotton Cosmetic Pads and Soap Savers 
I use one, sometimes two, organic, unbleached cotton pads for my face per day. Then I throw them in the trash. I searched for a cloth version for a while, but I only could find pads or cloths which were too expensive, too smooth, too rough and/or much too large. I also found that many people crocheting face "scrubbies" of Etsy were using non-organic and/or bleached or dyed yarn. I finally found a seller (amieq of Stitches N' Stones) who was crocheting  "cotton ball" sized cotton pads (appx. 2" diameter before washing, smaller than the regular  "scrubbies" which are appx. 3" diameter before washing). I "convo'ed" her and asked is she could make me 40 of the small size pads in unbleached cotton yarn and I also asked if she could make two of her soap savers in the same yarn. She not only promptly agreed to make the order, but did not charge me extra for custom yarn and I had the items in my house within six days. Now, as my soap gets to the point where it usually melts away in the dish, I can put the bits in my soap savers to exfoliate and clean myself. (I bought an extra for when the first is in the wash.) My entire order with shipping was less than $20.00 which is about what I spend on cotton pads per year and the soap savings are a little bonus! She even included two of her regular sized scrubbies in the same yarn at no extra cost as a sample/thank you gift. I'll be putting used cotton balls in the wet bag pictured above with pantyliners during that time of the month.



Toilet Paper
Toilet paper is a no go. I am much too germ- and fecal-phobic to convert the family to cloth "family wipes," which, when dampened, could also replace "butt wipes." [NOTE: At least two products included in that search are not for your bottom, so read carefully. If you use these types of wipes and have sensitive skin, please be aware that Pampers Kandoo makes the only fragrance free wipe available to the general public. There are wipes which are meant for home health care which are much more expensive, so unless you have a "thing" against Pampers, I'd skip the others.] Yes, we did use cloth diapers and cloth wipes, yet, somehow, although the concept is exactly the same, I cannot do it. Sorry, Gaia... My family--and guests, I'm sure--thank me for this. If you are so inclined, I suggest you ask the Etsy seller you choose if they can custom make wipes from organic, unbleached bamboo, which is super soft and sustainable. There are plenty of places to be found to answer any questions you might have about the logistics of "family wipes." Like I said, the logistics are the same as cloth baby wipes. Keep a container of clean, dry wipes by the toilet (along with a bottle of water with a touch of Dr. Bronner's, witch hazel, fragrance free pH balanced body wash or whatever you like diluted in it if you'd like to have moist wipes) and a bucket (such as a kitty litter bucket) or a diaper pail with an airtight lid next to the toilet as well. Depending on your preference and fabric used, you may choose to soak or not, with additives like OxiClean Baby, hydrogen peroxide, vinegar or whatever you are advised by the maker of the wipes. You can buy wipes from Wallypop, Family Cloth Wipes, Etsy (link 2, link 3) and Ebay.

Tissues & Paper Towels
We use many fewer paper towels than most households. We have a full cabinet of rags made of old towels, washcloths and old, cotton clothes and sheets. We also have dozens of cloth napkins (fancy and plain, new and antique). We probably won't be getting rid of paper towels altogether anytime soon, but maybe in the next big push I can at least try to wean myself off of them.
Tissues? Well, we're a house full of people with allergies. I have dozens of beautiful hankies and sturdy white, men's handkerchiefs which I use for drippy noses and really runny noses, but the day-to-day blowing which takes places will be into disposable facial tissues for the unforeseeable future.

Every few years, we add a few more green habits to our repertoire and I think we're doing pretty well right about now.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

One Track Mind Tracks

When I have something on my mind, I mean really stuck in my brain, everything is about that thing. Songs and movies send me messages, the universe is collaborating and laughing at me because, even if I try, I will not get that thing, whatever it is, out of my brain. I'm not a paranoid schizophrenic; I don't really think the universe is conspiring, but it is easier to think that than to think my brain is stuck on something. (Although, the "shuffle" function of my iPod might be able to read my mood and create theme music for it... But I have heard other people say the same thing, so I do feel a bit less crazy for thinking it. Plus, you know, it is Apple... Isn't Steve Jobs kind of god-like? Omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent and whatnot. Maybe they figured out how to capture that in the shuffle function.)
The worst part of my brain's tenaciousness is when I am trying to figure out a person. Every thing they do--the way they move, what they eat, the set of their mouth, the color of their shoes, the music they listen to at the gym--isn't just a clue to me, but also a clue for me. Just for me. As if they know I am trying to decipher them and they decide to play along. I'm sure this obsessing is part of the reason why I find it difficult to make friends. I assume so much from the clues and I am so negative in general that these clues either add up to, "I do not like you, Kayly," or "I'm such a jerk, Kayly." Although, a few times in my youth, they added up to, "I'm a really great guy. You should totally try to date me." And the clues were so, so veddy, veddy wrong.
I've been in counseling a million times and know all about "negative thought patterns" and "dysfunctional behavior," blah blah blah. Cognitive behavioral therapy does not float my boat, though, and this behavior is so deeply rooted in who I am that I'm not sure I can change it or get rid of it, anyway.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Fuck that shit!

Every year our insurance company has us take a health assessment so we can get a discount on our coverage.
I just completed mine.
I realize I am overweight. Obese, even. But the assessment just told me I need to lose sixty to NINETY pounds to be in the "healthy" range.
I haven't weighed NINETY pounds less than I do now since middle school. I was shorter, had much smaller breasts, had not given birth, was 27 years younger and people thought I was too skinny!
If I lost NINETY pounds at this point in my life, people would most definitely think I was terminally ill.
I wouldn't mind losing some weight; this is true. Due to certain health circumstances this would be difficult for me even if I was motivated and not moderately lazy and not in love with food (I don't eat a lot of food or much junk food at all, but I do eat what I like); but there is no way in HELL that I want to look like I would look if I lost NINETY pounds.
So...
Like the title says:
FUCK THAT SHIT!

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