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Mental Health

The Morning After

"There's got to be a morning after 
If we can hold on through the night 
We have a chance to find the sunshine 
Let's keep on looking for the light"  Maureen McGovern 

I remember my college days in the fraternity when I was a lost soul seeking the solace of alcohol every day of the week. I would spend the nights intoxicating my brain, self medicating myself struggling to endure through the intense pain of life. But thank...
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Mentoring Book Reviews

Making Nice With E-Books

My paper-loving parrot, Pearl, in the process of "customizing" a copy of my (his) latest book, "Love & Feathers."

I spend all day long typing away on my laptop. It is a nice shiny new MacBook Pro and I love it, but after several hours spent together, enough is enough.

As a lifelong reader turned writer (of books and various other nonfiction-related things), the last thing I want to do when my work day...
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Emotions

Rain PTSD (and other hurricane related things)

What my childhood home (my parents' current home) looks like at the moment, after hurricane Harvey's visit this past August.

It's been approximately two and a half months since hurricane Harvey hit my home city of Houston, TX (along with lots of other cities that were on its ad hoc southern tour schedule).

Yet still, every time the sky opens up and doesn't stop right away - like, immediately, NOW - I am on the...
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addiction

Why Families Are Still the Front Line of Defense in Opioid Addiction


In recent weeks the government has taken positive actions to combat the opioid epidemic. The President announced steps to prevent opioid addiction and also to appropriately treat the million Americans who already have opiate addiction. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new opioid prescribing guidelines based on studies showing opioid painkillers work best for relieving cancer-related pain and acute pain during the first few days after an...
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Relationships

When Your Parents Get Older (and you still feel the same age)

We take a break from cleanup efforts to watch from the front door of my parents' flooded home as neighbors paddle by in kayaks.

Aging parents. This is what is on my mind of late.

It is on my mind quite a lot, too. Like all the time. Like whether I am awake or asleep, working or exercising, running errands or cleaning turtle poop off the carpet (yet again).

The other day I told my boyfriend...
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Animal Mentors

Saying No With Confidence

My parrot, Pearl, picks up the green thing and drops it into the clear "no" in any language!

"No" is not my favorite word. This includes when I am hearing "no" and also when I am saying "no."

Sometimes this results in me saying "yes" when I should be saying "no."

It's such a small word - only one syllable and two letters - and yet apparently size doesn't matter when it comes to the...
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Animal Mentors

How to Make Friends With the Unknown

Malti, mere moments after I discovered her hiding under a flowering bush just TWO BLOCKS from our casa! She didn't go far, but boy did she have an adventure into the "great unknown!"

To be honest, I can't believe I'm writing a post with this particular title.

This is because I've never been friends with the unknown.

To me, the unknown has always been like that so-called "good friend" who never wants to actually get...
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Animal Mentors

What Animals Have Taught Me About My Childhood

Pearl, my parrot, investigates Dr. Verdolin's new book, "Raised by Animals."

I learn a lot from animals every single day - this mostly on account of how I live with three of them, a parrot, a turtle and a tortoise and am auntie to a fourth, a dachshund puppy.

For instance, animals have helped me better understand my instincts and habits and where they might have originated from, especially the ancient fight-or-flight...
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Relationships

Seeing Me With Kinder Eyes

That bright burst of sunlight right near the top of this picture is what I looked like when I viewed myself through my mentor's kinder eyes.

Most of the time when I'm going about my days I forget all about how old I am.

But then sometimes, it hits 'm 46 years old.

Like, how did that happen? And so quickly, too!

Never mind that I always assumed by the time I reached this ripe old age...
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Relationships

Black, White, Tall, Short, Round, Thin, Young, Old – Does It Matter?

With all that has been occurring in my city lately, especially in the wake of hurricane Harvey, on any given day I may feel more like the small, quick but fragile lizard or the big, solid, heavy rock. I'm not sure if one is in any way preferable to the other. Ideally, in a kind and cooperative world, the rock could provide protection for the lizard, and the lizard could return the favor...
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Relationships

Misplaced Creativity (and how to send it back where it belongs)

My creative kitchen, full of wonderful inventive items I love dearly.

It would seem I can't resist developing a relationship with everything in my life.

From the coffeemaker (most wonderful BFF EVER!) to the dustpan and broom to the small cute stuffed sheep that sits on my bedside table, these aren't just "things" in my life.

They are mirrors. They are parts of I am a part of each of them.

Part of why I feel so...
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