Reblog: To Be Like Trees

A Journey with You

I read this article a couple of days ago  and it led my husband and me to have a conversation about Americans and spirituality.

The trees have social networks. The trees take care of a sick neighbor by feeding them sugar water and can keep them alive for decades.

If the trees are social beings and care for one another, it seems like these things would be at the core of our being, too. I think greed and selfishness are the difference, though. People put money before human beings – profits before people. We also see human beings ask questions like, “What is in it for me?” Of course, there are also people who deliberately injure or kill other people.

How is it that the trees are more loving and noble than many people?

The other day my husband and I went to see a retirement planner and she was…

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Men can now compete internationally with synchronized swimming and can now compete in the Netherlands

Today I read an article in the newspaper about a duo who were going to compete nationally in the category: mixed duo’s of synchronized swimming. If you’re not very familiar with synchronized swimming, you might think this is not a big deal. People do national contests, right? However, this is the first time men are allowed to compete nationally in this sport, here in the Netherlands. They also said that this category will now exist during international competitions.

The woman of the duo tried very hard to make this possible. For a very long time this sport was a women’s sport. Men weren’t even allowed. I found this video about men not being allowed at the Olympics in 2012 (apparently they were allowed to do other competitions in GB, which is good, however I think it’s time for this to have official recognition).
I knew about this issue, because I’ve done this sport (for a short while). I thought it was silly that men weren’t allowed and it’s great that men can now do this too. Just because someone thinks it doesn’t fit your gender role and is ‘girly’, doesn’t mean you should actually listen to that silly person!

The synchronized swimming bond felt like they had to defend why they hadn’t allowed it for a long time. They said that men had more trouble floating, so it was much harder for them to do. Well, they already compensated that by making special categories (if you feel like that is necessary) and I think every person can decide for themselves if they are ‘up’ for it.

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[Photo made under water in a swimming pool. A group of girls are upside down performing a trick with their legs on top of the water]

This duo already knows they’re going to win the nationals, since they’re the only mixed duo competing. However, that doesn’t take away their fun and they still practice a lot, because they still want to perform their best. Not just because the man is a judge of this sport and will be judged by his colleagues 😉 I hope more men will join. I think it’s good to let go of these gender roles. Although I personally would prefer not to have these seperate categories, since I always hated that when I was (for example) fencing. I always had to fence against boys (since there were no women at my club) and suddenly at the nationals (or higher) it’s only female vs female and male vs male. Didn’t really understand that, because there isn’t that much difference between men and women in this sport, such as with gymnastics, weight-lifting and apparently synchronized swimming. Oh well, this is a good step towards more equality 🙂

Photo source

Wheelchair stories: my quest for ice cream

I had to buy some yoghurt ice cream in the supermarket. Had to? Yes sort of, I was in the supermarket with someone and that person told me to get the ice cream and she would go get some other things. I wanted to try this yoghurt ice cream, hoping I would be able to eat it, because it’s less fatty.

Well, doing groceries is always an adventure in a wheelchair, or when you’re walking with crutches or probably with any disability actually. I always have to take someone with me, otherwise I can’t even get to the store. But also when you’re inside, you really need some assistance. Mainly, because you can’t reach things (too high, or you can’t use your hands because you’re walking on crutches for example) and sometimes hallways are too narrow (or people or objects are standing in the way). I see more and more adapted supermarkets and that makes me happy. With adapted, they usually have a special wheelchair cash desk, so you can get trough the gates to pay as well. Of course, they have to staff that desk too and my local big supermarket keeps forgetting that. I do get weird looks from the staff when I stand ‘in line’ for the wheelchair cash desk, since it obviously is closed. Which makes me think that it’s obvious that I’m in a wheelchair and need to get the wheelchair cash desk opened. They never did that ,and luckily my wheelchair is small (for a wheelchair), so I figured out I could squish myself through the hallway of the normal cash desk anyway. I still find it a bit stupid though and couldn’t resist writing about it. What do you think about this?

Back to the quest for ice cream. First I need to get it, before I get the quest for paying, which I described above. So, imagine that I’m already at the location where the ice cream is. We skipped all the other obstacles and manouvres and I’m already across the supermarket (I wish it would always go this easy 😉 ). I’m in my manual wheelchair and I have a basked on top of me with stuff (a lot of it, usually). This ice cream was in these vertical standing coolers, which you often see for drinks. All I had to do was open the cooler, grab the right ice cream, close the cooler and done. Easy, right? Uhm.. For ‘normal’ people maybe, lol. My first problem was opening this cooler. To reach the handle, I had to put my wheelchair against the glass, but this also meant that my wheelchair would be in the way if I could get it open. Then the next issue was the weight of the door. I don’t know if you ever realized this, but those doors are really heavy. Because of the rheumatism I always have trouble with them. I could only get it open for a tiny bit and then I quickly had to stick my wheelchair in between, so I could push it further open. There I encountered another issue. These doors close immediately, if you don’t hold them well enough. And I didn’t have the power or could stand at the right spot, so the door would keep pushing me away and close. I’m pretty sure it looked kinda funny and stupid. A lot of people were watching, some of them even got annoyed because I was taking so long and was standing in the way etc. They could have helped me but didn’t and because of all the grim faces and pointy fingers, I didn’t dare to ask for help. I would just wait till my partner in crime got back.

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[Photo of six silver trophies with fake, plastic ice creams in it, making it look like the trophy is the cone].

Side note: If I could keep the door open, the next problem was that the ice cream was unreachable for me. It was on the floor (which I can’t reach because of the wheelchair and the basket, which I can’t lift from my lap) and it was all the way to the back. Never realized how deep those coolers actually are! Oh and the last problem is that I can’t touch cold stuff, because that really hurts. So no freezers or frozen stuff for my hands 😉

Luckily, I got my shopping partner in crime and eventually she could easily get it. When walking to the cash desk she wondered why nobody helped. Well, because that usually happens, I guess? Even if I do ask. However, I’m not sharing this story to grouch about other people’s manners. I thought this would give some insight in how something simple as getting ice cream in the supermarket, can acutally be very difficult. When you’re disabled, you need to keep planning and thinking about every little aspect. Tiring, but it helps when you’ve tried something once. Then you can prepare well the next times (such as taking someone with you to help and don’t let that person leave you 🙂 ).

Photo source

Reblog: Writing Contest and Publishing Company Reveal!

I know there are some great fiction-writers out here. Maybe this contest is something for you?

adoptingjames

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 6.48.43 AMIt’s been a long time coming—Adopting James is hosting its very first writing contest and you’re invited to enter!

The purpose of this contest is to help fund my publishing company to get it off and running. Don’t worry, the winner will be rewarded handsomely—$150 plus perks.

Read on.

When I asked for people to apply to be my partner for my publishing endeavor, I planned on only having one partner, but, like the company, I had to adapt to the unexpected. There were two people I just HAD to have on my team.

Meet the members of my team who are going to help me judge the writing contest and assist me in building Endever Publishing Studios from the ground up!

Lynn Bio PicLynn Galloway, co-founder/owner of Endever Publishing Studios (Louisville, Colorado)

Lynn makes the best mac & cheese ever, which is where her culinary genius stops. Her strengths fall more…

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Why I’m proud to be stubborn (most of the time)

Stubborness is a trait which (I think) is often described or associated negatively. But is stubborness really a negative trait? Do you always have to change stubborness? And does that mean that you always have to do what another person says/wants?

First of all, what is stubborness really? A dictionary gave me the description ‘not wanting or willing to let go of your opinion quickly’. How many times do you hear that you’re stubborn and at which situations? Often, other people will describe you as stubborn, if you don’t want to do what they say (you don’t want to listen to them). Although this doesn’t have to mean that you didn’t take their opinion into consideration! People often feel like you didn’t, if you disagree. This is most likely negative for them. BUT this doesn’t have to be negative for you. Not everyone wants the thing that is best for YOU, other people aren’t always right (just like us). Being ‘stubborn’ can help you with outlining your borders and sticking to them (whether they are physical or mental) and can help preventing going over the line, with possible negative consequences. So I’m glad that I have some stubborness in me.

i-m-not-stubborn-i-m-right
[Image with the text: I’m not stubborn, I’m right.]

Of course, it depends on the situation whether your stubborness is ‘bad’ or ‘good’. This is personal as well, as some people tend to say no right away, even though it might be good or fun for them. Some other people tend to go along all the time, even though it really isn’t good for them. In my case, I can really see that I could use some more stubborness in a lot of cases. With some assertivity to bring it nicely and stick to what’s best for me 😉

But I also know that when I’m ‘angry’, I can become really rigid. And this can lead to a disadvantage for me, because my goal gets totally out of my sight and all I want is to get the person out of here. Then I might turn down things that could have made the situation less worse/awful for me. But I notice it and I’m working on it.

I think there’s a balance in it. You can’t be stubborn all the time, but you also can’t be not-stubborn all the time. I also think the optimum of this balance is personal. I, for example, can do a lot less (in general) physically. So, things that other people think of as ‘normal’ and ‘easy’ can be hard or impossible for me. This doesn’t mean that I don’t want to, but people often do perceive it that way. And they often describe me as stubborn, because I keep saying I can’t cut my own fruit (they forget that this is really because of physical issues). Personal note: I do am working all the time on improving myself, so I can hopefully do more or feel better while doing the same. I know that I’m not the kind of person who just won’t do it, without trying or have tried it. Or who won’t do it without thinking about it carefully and trying to find solutions so you can still do it in some way.

What I want to say with this post is that a negative trait, doesn’t have to be all that negative as it is perceived in general. It’s possible we in general, call someone stubborn too quickly nowadays. And as always: it’s not good when you over-do one thing or the other. It depends on how you use it, on the situation and on you as a person, whether it can be helpful or need to be ‘watched out for’.

I dare you to be ‘stubborn’ this week/month, for example when you really feel that your body or mind needs some rest and not even more appointments. Good luck 🙂

stubborn_somecard

[Image with a drawn smiling woman with a hat and an iPhone in her hand, with the te following text next to her: Yes I’m stubborn, strong willed and can be pain in the rear sometimes! But I have a heart of GOLD!]

Photo source 1

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“Validated by science”

Very important in the medical field is scientific research. It seem to be simple: you formulate a question you can research, you form an expectation and the way you thought of doing your research. You do these tests, don’t forget the control group, and here’s your conclusion. It can lead to a new diagnosis or a cure. Of course scientific research is incredibly complicated and usually takes many years. With my studies I can experience a tiny bit how this works. I find it both interesting and dull at the same time.

Despite all the regulations, which include double tests under the same circumstances (but one for the control group) and that the research should be able to be done again etc. There still go things wrong. I think scientific research is important, but I’m worried about the current view of most people.

proof

[Image of a magnifying glass over the word proof]

Scientific proof doesn’t have to mean that it is THE truth. There are a lot of researches that contradict each other. More importantly, that it doesn’t have scientific proof yet (for example because there hasn’t been a lot of testing done about this subject), doesn’t mean that it isn’t true.

And that is what I often miss in the medical world. There are so many illnesses that haven’t been ‘declared’ yet. Sure, we have come a long way, but we still have an incredibly long way to go. I think it is a never-ending thing. Illnesses will keep developing and we will keep trying to find cures. I don’t think that us keep trying is a bad thing, but sometimes I’m afraid that people will stop trying. This usually happens nowadays, because a lot of money can be earned with illnesses. Finding (another) cure or medication that will slow it down or make the symptoms less worse, can ‘cost’ a lot of money (of course scientific research and developing treatments also actually cost a lot of money). For example the pharmaceutical industry has a lot of say in this. I can’t remember the source, but I remember that my chemistry teacher said they already figured out a cure for some chronic and disabling diseases, I’m not sure which ones it were exactly. But the pharmaceutical companies wouldn’t invest money, because they could earn a lot by this chronic disease, right now. The cure would earn them less money, so less profit. That’s why it wasn’t ‘curable’ yet. I was outraged. I think life is more important than money. If you can make someone’s disease disappear, or “disappear” as long as they keep taking the medication, I think we are obliged to do that. Life is hard enough as it is and as a “disabled”, well, I think This post puts it well: the world isn’t made for you.

Same for certain diseases that some (or many) doctors think are purely psychological. They earn so much money from the ‘revalidation projects’, that they are denying scientific proof that shows that it does affect the body, that it is visible in the body. For example the Netherlands does that. And that’s why for certain diseases you should go to Germany or the US, because here it’s not an official disease and doesn’t have a cure. And often other countries do have it.
This also means that we should improve sharing scientific data. A lot of tests are done, at almost the same time, in many different places around the world. A lot of them didn’t have to be done. This saves money and also reduces animal testing for example.

There’s a lot that could improve in the medical world. That’s good, it keeps everyone sharp. We need to keep striving for better, because we’re talking about people’s lifes that depend on it. And I’m really happy when “I’m validated by science”. That my symptoms aren’t “made up”, but it actually is something. However, I wish there was more between that. I believe there isn’t just “scientifically proven” and “not true”, also in the medical field. If more doctors would practise this, I think a lot of people could get better treatment. Or at least accept their health issues more and live happier lifes, also because they can get help they need. Just because they aren’t sure yet about how it works, doesn’t mean you can’t be “crippled” because of the symptoms. And it doesn’t mean you can never do anything about it to make life easier.

I just thought of this name “validated by science” recently. It is how I feel about it. Other people mark me as “liar” if they don’t have a lot of scientific proof. Even though I’m not a liar. Hopefully, things like these will be “validated” in the future. With eventually a cure, but first better treatment to make the symptoms less awful or the disease less progressive.

Photo source

Reblog: Reviewers Wanted!

I know there are a lot of book bloggers and lovers out here.

Little Lord Oscar Dandelion Books

oscar_chester_160116_01

Norfolk (not Dandelion Hall), England.

Brrrr! It’s quite cold here as we – Chester, Oscar, and I – sit at the computer, cuddled under the coveted purple blanket (I used to have another blanket but the dogs entirely took that one over and now they’re making me share mine…).

I wanted to write a New Year post but I had been very poorly with a severe migraine, so this is the first post of 2016. I wish a healthy happy year to you all.

We – of Under The Coveted Purple Blanket – think it’d be great if we had some book reviews on Amazon forLittle Lord Oscar Dandelion (International Jewel – and Sandwich Filling – Thief). For honest reviews we are happy to, for a limited time, offer a FREE copy of the Kindle book.

Please get in touch if interested!

oscardandelion@doglovers.co.uk

Faith McCord

Important, please…

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