Sunday, March 31, 2019

Affordable Storage with StorQuest


Hello, Delivered Ones!
Today, my son and I will finish clearing out the storage unit which has been the bane of our existence. U-Haul took over the place where we had been renting a 10 x 20 unit (about the size of a garage) and jacked the prices up to $312 a month. While we eventually want to eliminate the need for a storage unit entirely, at this point it is still a necessity.
Enter StorQuest
A 10 x 20 unit at StorQuest costs $158 per month. 
StorQuest's facilities are clean, secure, and many of them are climate controlled.
There is an onsite manager at each building and you can also contact StorQuest through their website.
If you find yourself in need of extra storage space, check out what StorQuest has to offer. Please give them my name, Cara Hartley, when asked who referred you. Many thanks!

~Cie~

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Reefer Madness: Not Reality

Devil's Harvest premium Marijuana Cigarettes are only available in The Netherworld. They get two thumbs up from the Netherworld Ambulance Crew

There are plenty of people out there clinging desperately to the opinion that marijuana is a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad plant with no redeeming value which, if legalized, will create a society of hardened criminals, that is, if they can ever pull their slacker hands out of their Doritos for long enough to go and commit a crime. The anti-marijuana crowd has no few conflicting opinions on this matter.
Being a resident of Colorado, where marijuana has been legal for several years, I sometimes forget that not all the states have been as sensible. I was reminded of this when I came across this statement:
"I would hate to see society in a few years if marijuana is legalized."
Here is my response:
Marijuana has been legal in Colorado for several years. Many people use it for medicinal purposes. Those who use it recreationally are no more a menace to society than someone who drinks alcohol. Dispensaries are very similar to liquor stores in that regard. Rather than being sold on the street, marijuana is now safely regulated and the police can move on to more important issues than busting someone for possession of marijuana.

Living in a place where marijuana has been legal for some time, I can tell you that, if anything, legalizing it has changed things for the better. For those who immediately leap to the assumption that I am a huge hop-head who is just trying to ensure that I remain able to toke up on the hour every hour, the fact is, I do not toke up. 
I do use marijuana, but I do not smoke it and I don't use it multiple times in a day. I use an edible with the lowest dose available of THC and CBD. I eat it before I'm going to bed, and it acts as a mild sedative to help me sleep better. As an added bonus, it helps bring down my optic nerve pressure, which is great given the fact that I have glaucoma.
My little edible is safer and has far fewer side effects than prescription medications such as Ambien or Lunesta. I have never sleepwalked to my car and woke to find myself crouched down peeing on the tire after taking a marijuana edible. I did do this while taking Ambien.
When I wake up after having used an edible to help me sleep, my cognition is clear. This was not the case when I tried Valium to help me sleep. Valium left me fuzzy and thick as a brick.
More importantly than me not sleepwalking and peeing on my car tires, I have seen first-hand a patient with a rare genetic disorder who once slept constantly because of all the anti-seizure medications he was on. When his mother started giving him CBD oil, he was able to wean off most of these medications and became much more alert. His mother had moved to Colorado in order to be able to give her son CBD oil legally, and it greatly improved his life.
I would protest vehemently against making marijuana illegal again, as should anyone with good, common sense. One does not have to use marijuana oneself to see the benefits of legalizing it. Colorado is a great case study and a fine example of the legalization of marijuana being a positive rather than a negative.
"Reefer Madness" may be funny to watch, but it is not even close to being true. 
I am not saying that there are never any negative consequences of marijuana use. I am only saying that marijuana is not the "demon weed" that anti-drug PSA's love to make it out to be.
Marijuana is not a "gateway drug" to harder drugs. Most people who use marijuana recreationally never go on to use harder drugs any more than people who use alcohol recreationally go on to use harder drugs. 
Yes, some people who use marijuana become addicted to it. Some people who drink alcohol become addicted to that too. 
Yes, some people who use marijuana go on to use harder drugs. Some people who use alcohol go on to use harder drugs as well.
Marijuana is also far from the "useless drug" that the anti-pot crowd wants to make it out to be. It is beneficial for a myriad of medical conditions. This article lists some of them. They include:

Asthma: acts as a natural bronchodilator
Cancer. Marijuana shrinks certain types of tumors including oat cell carcinomas. It also works to reduce nausea in patients receiving chemotherapy or radiation treatments, which helps them take in adequate nutrition.
Chronic pain: Reduces dependency on narcotics, which are far more dangerous and addictive than marijuana.
Glaucoma: reduces optic nerve pressure
Seizures and muscle spasms: Marijuana is a natural antispasmodic which has many fewer side effects than most prescription seizure medications

If you want a better society, legalize marijuana. Decrease crime, and increase your state's revenue. Have a happier and healthier population. Even those who don't use it at all will benefit from legalization.
Don't believe the "reefer madness" rhetoric. It has been proven false time and time again.

~Cie~

Friday, March 29, 2019

Save with Qapital



Qapital 
I'm using Qapital to meet my money goals, and I think you should give it a try too. Sign up and we'll both get $20! Just use my link:  https://get.qapital.com/W23YLZixsV
Qapital is a smartphone app available in the Google Play or iTunes store. It helps save money towards retirement, paying off bills, or investing for the future. Qapital is highly rated and trustworthy. Check it out by clicking the link above.

~Cie~

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Save with Ebates

Hello, Delivered Ones! Ebates is one of those "no brainer" sites which makes my muddled brain happy. If you use Google Chrome, there is a browser extension which will present you with a pop-up whenever you are on a site that works with Ebates. Click and get cash back. I just saved 5% on my recent Walmart.com purchase.
Click this link to try Ebates. It's free to sign up and you will never be charged any sort of fee for using the service.

~Cie~

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Prime Time Healthcare Seeking Travel LPNs

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

Hello, Delivered Ones! Prime Time Healthcare is seeking travel nurses. They are based in Nebraska, but I do not believe you have to live in Nebraska to be employed by them. Their contact information follows. If you decide to pursue this position, please give them my name, Cara Hartley, when asked who referred you. Thank you!

Alyson Lowe - Lead Specialist
Prime Time Healthcare
15380 Weir Street
Omaha, NE. 68137
402-315-4616 - Direct
402-933-6700 - Ext 397
888-269-9261 - Toll Free
402-933-6710 - Fax

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Real Cie Reviews: Stephanie

Shree Crooks as the title character in the 2017 film Stephanie

Rating: 2 of 5 stars

Young Shree Crooks gives a spellbinding performance in this otherwise forgettable film which can't seem to decide what it wants to be when it grows up. Is it a possession story, alien invasion flick, poltergeist tale, or an evil telekinetic kid thriller? Without giving away the plot for those who want to watch it, this film has some elements of all of these tropes, plus jump-scares to spare.
The film echoes elements of Arthur C. Clarke's chilling classic science fiction novel "Childhood's End"--badly. The producers should have studied the 1960 British film Village of the Damned, which did an excellent job in the presentation of its creepy, super-powerful children. While Stephanie has a few strikingly disturbing scenes, such as the moments that the character spends with her dead brother, Paul, the film is too disjointed to be salvaged by these moments.
Stephanie isn't the worst film that I've seen. I wish I could say something better about it than that.

~Cie~

Monday, March 25, 2019

Inspire Me Monday #220: If I Could Change the World

Image by John Hain from Pixabay

I have spent my life being angry with and beating up on myself for having a brain that works differently from the way "normal" people's brains work. I have been chided for being disorganized, scatterbrained, a daydreamer, distractible, on one hand unable to continue on a given train of thought for long periods of time, on the other hand, obsessive to a fault with certain issues. I have never been good at sleeping during the hours when "normal" people who work "normal" jobs sleep. 
I can be extremely productive and I can follow directions, but I hate being told what to do and I hate punching time clocks. (Unless I can punch them with my fist and break them. Then I'm okay with punching time clocks.) I much prefer soft deadlines to hard and fast ones. I'm good at filing because I enjoy words, including names. I tend to do well with online classes, not so good with classes where I have to show up in person because I have a tendency to run a few minutes late.
On one hand, in spite of being painfully shy by nature, I love to act and have very little in the way of stage fright. However, if you ask me to do anything which involves public speaking, I would prefer that a sinkhole open under me and swallow me. My voice shakes so badly that no-one can understand a word that I'm saying. Public speaking sucks for me.
I don't like doing customer service jobs because of my social anxiety, but I've often ended up pigeonholed into customer service jobs. I'm okay making small talk. My current job is "customer service lite." I see the customer for a minute or two, smile, hand them their food, and wish them a good evening. Then I get back on the road and cuss out the terrible traffic and sometimes the other drivers and the fools who insist on jaywalking across busy streets. None of them ever hear me, but it's happening.
There are plenty of remote phone answering jobs. It's hard to find WAH jobs that don't involve answering the phone. I'm hoping to finish my Bachelor's in English writing because having a degree will open up a few more possibilities for working remotely.
This world is not made for people with brains like mine, and the "advice" (translate: scolding) I have received over the years has always been the same.

YOU JUST need to change.
YOU JUST need to go to sleep at a "reasonable hour."
YOU JUST need to stop that stinkin' thinkin'.
YOU JUST need to give up on this silly writing nonsense and get a nice normal job in an office like nice normal people do.
YOU JUST need to stay awake and not fall asleep during class or meetings.
YOU JUST need to smile and pretend things are okay regardless of how you really feel. Lots of people have it harder than you do. 
YOU'RE JUST being selfish.
YOU JUST need to stop being such a crybaby.
YOU JUST need to toughen up, to exercise more, to just push through it no matter how tired you think you feel. How can you be that tired? 
YOU JUST need to stop being lazy.
YOU JUST need to be more like normal people
YOU JUST need to stop being this way.
YOU JUST need to not be you anymore.

For most of my life, my own inner dialogue has echoed what people have told me. I'm bad, I'm wrong, I'm selfish, I'm weak, I'm lazy, I'm stupid, I'm worthless. And I don't want to be me anymore.
My son has a different brain too. His differences aren't exactly the same as mine, although there are some common experiences. He is on the autism spectrum. He has ADHD, although his presents in ways that are more typical for girls than boys. He finds it impossible to learn from textbooks, although he has no problem reading. He reads classic science fiction and fantasy novels regularly. He has social anxiety with a degree of agoraphobia, and he has unipolar depression. He has never responded well to medications. 
When my son was young, I tried to push him to do things that he didn't really want to do so he wouldn't end up being a "loser" like me. Once he was in his teens, I backed off, in part because I had finally received a diagnosis of bipolar 2, which meant that I was able to deal with some of my own issues. I saw that my behavior was driving a wedge between me and the most important person in my life, so I stopped forcing him to participate in activities which he, in fact, found stressful, such as being on the youth soccer team.
In spite of now understanding my emotional ups and downs better, I never dealt with my need to always be proving to others that I was a "good person" and not a "loser." When I could work physically difficult jobs such as nursing, I was able to find work on the night shift. I hated having to work specific hours, but I much preferred nights to days. 
I still didn't sleep well, but it was easier to make myself go to a night shift job and most of the time I ended up physically sick rather than clinically depressed. I worked even when I was sick unless it was completely impossible to do so, and my employers praised me for being so diligent, even though the truth was, I was putting the people I was caring for in danger by working when I was sick.
I am no longer able to do rigorous physical work, and my wages have placed me below the poverty level ever since I lost my nursing job in 2017. I've spent a lot of time being ashamed of myself and berating myself. I never would have been as cruel to anyone else as I have been to myself. 
I have decided to stop doing this. It does nothing except for sending me on a ride to Depressionville. I am currently in a euthymic mindset, possibly boarding a rocket to Hypomania Town, which is both good and bad. It's good because I tend to get things done when I'm hypomanic. It's bad, because of the crash that inevitably follows the hypomania. I rapid cycle, which actually does not make things any easier. However, I have learned to try and be productive during the euthymic and hypomanic phases, and I am going to use this time to call county social services and inquire as to exactly why they have never given me SNAP despite my wages putting me below the poverty level. (Yes, I have applied for SNAP. I got Medicaid, but not SNAP.)
I do not want to be dependent on anyone else for my well-being or my living arrangements. I still hope that one day the work I've been doing with my blogging and other online activities will eke out at least a small income for me. 
The way our society is set up currently, we miss out on the skills and talents of a lot of people who might be very diligent workers in their own right but cannot conform to a rigid 9 to 5 type schedule and who might be very productive for a time but then end up fighting depression for a while and not be very productive. For someone like my son, his circadian rhythms are a bit whacky and so he can't commit to a set schedule because sometimes he sleeps "normal" hours, and sometimes he isn't able to fall asleep until the wee hours of the morning. 
I do not believe that drugs are the answer to issues such as this.
We live in a technologically advanced society. I believe that the 9 to 5 schedule and commuting to a job are archaic ideas in many cases. There are studies which have shown that people are much happier and healthier working a six-hour day rather than an eight to twelve hour day. 
Certainly, there are jobs which require people to be physically present, including police, fire, and medical jobs. However, there are many jobs still requiring people to show up to work at a given location which could now be done remotely. Making certain clerical jobs remote rather than on-location could drastically reduce traffic problems as well.
I know that to some my thoughts may seem like so much pie in the sky. Personally, I believe society would change for the better were we to implement these changes. People who were formerly unable to work would now be able to contribute to society. With less stress and more time for their families, people would be happier as a whole.
If I could change the world, this is what I'd do.

~Cie~



Sunday, March 24, 2019

Quick and Easy Iced Tea


We live in epic times for tea drinkers! There are so many wonderful flavors to choose from, and if you love iced tea like I love iced tea, it's easy to have a bottle on hand at all times without spending an arm and a leg on the pre-brewed stuff and without boiling water and waiting for the tea to steep.
I just use an empty liter bottle from a past pre-brewed tea purchase, but you can buy a nice bottle or pitcher for the purpose. I add two of the big cold brew tea bags or four to six of the smaller ones depending on how strong the tea is. I fill to the top with water, put the bottle in the fridge, and, voila, iced tea!
The pre-brewed teas I like cost anywhere from $2 per gallon to $2 per liter. Using the cold brew tea bags costs pennies per serving. 
A little tip:
You don't really need cold-brew specific tea bags. I've found that popping any tea bag into cold water and allowing it to steep will yield the same results. But the cold-brew specific bags that appear at the end of this post have excellent flavor, and you can't go wrong with them.
Tea is tasty, healthy, and doesn't need to be expensive. Drink up!

~Cie~


Thursday, March 21, 2019

Blogger Functionality Tips: Adwords Display

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

If you are having issues with Blogger or any other Google product, let's be honest, it isn't always easy to find a solution.
For instance, I went for close to a month unable to rectify the problem of ads not appearing at the bottom of my posts after I pasted a simple piece of meta text between the < head > and < / head > HTML tags as requested by Pinterest's advertising division.
I finally stumbled on the answer.
I went to the layout section of the dashboard for this blog. I then clicked the Edit command on the Blog Posts gadget. There was a checkbox which says: "show ads between posts." I clicked this box, which opened the Configure Inline Ads options. In this area, I was able to choose the options for ads to display after my posts.
I'm not sure what happened to cause the ads to disappear from the posts initially, and I discovered this solution on my own. If you have encountered similar problems, this fix should work for you.

~Cie~

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Real Cie Reviews; Surviving the Forest by Adiva Geffen


Rating: Five of Five Stars

I recently watched Downfall, a movie which depicts the last days of Hitler and his comrades while confined to a bunker as Berlin falls around them. I remarked to my son that watching this movie was like watching a video filmed in the bunker itself. It was that realistic.
This book has a similar feel.
From the idyllic days of Shurka's childhood to the troubled times which come to her small village to the horrifying devastation when the Nazis bring their efforts to exterminate the Jews to Shurka's home, I felt as if I was right there with Shurka and her family.
While reading of the atrocities committed by one human being on another, part of me wants to believe that the Holocaust was a nightmare, a work of fiction, anything but reality. However, one cannot allow oneself to turn a blind eye. Nationalism is a dangerous mindset. One must always be critical of one's government and officials and never become entrapped in any sort of extremist ideology.
I wept openly while reading this book. It is a tremendously powerful work. The writing style is easy to read while not being overly simplistic. There are a few minor grammatical and punctuation issues, but no flaws in the storytelling itself.
I feel that this book could be an excellent addition to a course on the history of World War II. Seeing the events of the time through the eyes of a sympathetic character would encourage students to develop empathy for those who lived through the horrors of the Holocaust rather than simply memorizing dates and military data.
The events of the Holocaust must never be forgotten. This is is a very important story. I recommend it wholeheartedly.

~Cie~


Monday, March 18, 2019

Inspire Me Monday #219: Easy Seasoning with Corned Beef Spice


The picture comes from a home-cured corned beef recipe on the Simply Recipes site. Go there to give it a try if you wish!

It was Saint Patrick's Day yesterday, and I tried my hand at making corned beef. I bought the corned beef brisket, which came with a little spice packet, from my local King Soopers. 
It wasn't exactly a roaring success. My son deemed it "okay but a little tough" on the night it was cooked and served. He didn't have any of it the next day. I tried frying it up with an egg and some cheese toast for my lunch, and it was inedible.
As I am recovering from a psychological downslide last week, I'm being kind to myself and not beating myself up for the failed corned beef. Here is what I learned from the experience.
Corned beef is expensive. We're on a tight budget. The Kroger pre-seasoned pork loins are a much better deal, and sometimes they have decent specials on tilapia. There is a tilapia farm in Southern Colorado, and I don't know why the grocery stores import their tilapia rather than buying it from U.S. fish farms, but that is a subject for another time.
The spice packet that comes with the brisket? 
Those are pickling spices, and they are not expensive.
While my brisket was a failure, the vegetables I cooked with it were fantastic! 
I cooked everything at 300 degrees for one hour per pound on the meat. The brisket was 2.5 pounds, so I cooked it for 2.5 hours. 
If I am cooking the vegetables by themselves I will add vegetable stock to replace the meat juice and add pickling spices to the vegetable stock. Roasting them low and slow works nicely, or I can boost the temperature and cook them alongside the pork loin. 
The pork loins generally cook at 350 for 45 minutes. I find that I need about 15 extra minutes for cut potatoes to be cooked properly, so I put them in first and then put the pork loin in after 15 minutes.
Using Reynolds Wrap to make a tent for the vegetables helps seal in the steam to cook them evenly. Line the bottom of the pan with Reynolds Wrap as well for easier cleanup. I like to make extra potatoes to use for home fries the next day. They go great with a sandwich or bacon and eggs.
I'm going to experiment a bit with using pickling spices and stock with cheap cuts of meat and vegetables for hearty stews in the slow cooker. There is no need for my broke self to spend an arm and a leg on an expensive corned beef brisket when it's the spices that make it special.
Another great thing about pickling spices?
I can use them to make fresh homemade pickles too!

~Cie~


Cie Suggests:

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Papa Murphy's Large Thin Crust $3.14 on 3/14


Papa Murphy's is having a special on March 14th. Get any large thin crust one topping pizza for 3.14 with the purchase of cookie dough or cheesy bread. This special can't be ordered online, you will need to call or walk into the store. 
I apologize for being late publishing this. I have been having a difficult week.

~Cie~

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

From Nurse to Nothing: How I Lost My Profession


Once upon a time before my own disabilities worsened to the point where I could no longer do the work, I was a home care nurse who cared for kids like Brooke.
Back when I was caring for kids with genetic disorders, I served a function which classified me as a "worthwhile" member of society, and I was proud of what I did.
I generally worked a minimum of 48 hours a week, and it was not unheard of for me to work 60-hour weeks. I was a productive member of society. I made around $40,000 per year doing this work. 
I wasn't one of the favored class of home care nurses because I have never been good at working day shifts. I don't sleep well at night, and my broken brain causes me to become severely clinically depressed when I work early shifts regularly. However, night shift workers are a necessity in the medical field, so I got plenty of work.
When I was 49 years old, a flaw in my DNA caused me to develop diabetes. I wasn't exactly surprised, considering that my endocrine system is, overall, a trash fire. My thyroid immolated itself when I was 15 years old. I had polycystic ovarian syndrome, and when I was in my thirties, I developed Cushing's syndrome. 
I have a puffy "endocrine face" and a large body type. Given my endocrine problems, it is highly unlikely that I will ever be thin unless I become critically ill as my great-grandmother did. She developed acute myelogenous leukemia, dropped from 300 pounds to 95 pounds within the space of a year, and died. But, hey, at least she cut a svelte figure in her casket, amirite?
Fuck diet culture. Fuck fat shaming and thin praising. Fuck all of that shit. I spent more than 30 years of my life trying to hate myself thin. It's all a pack of lies benefiting no-one but the multi-billion dollar diet industry. Homey don't play that shit no more. I have too many real problems to care what some petty asswipe thinks of my physical appearance.
The chickens came home to roost one night. I'd been pushing myself really hard for more than a year, working 48 to 60 hour weeks. I told myself it was what I needed to do to prove that I was a productive member of society.


Meanwhile, my diabetes was getting worse. I needed to start using insulin, but I was in denial. I had this screed embedded in my brain chiding me that to use insulin was to be a failure. This is an incredibly stupid thing to believe, either consciously or subconsciously. Needing insulin is not a personal failure, it is a failure of the pancreas. Nobody should be taught to hate themselves because they have a zombie organ taking up space in their body. Zombie organs are the result of a fault in a person's DNA, not in the person themselves.


I was extremely sick on the night that my career and my earning potential both were shot down in flames and went up in smoke. I had a severe respiratory infection. My coordinator told me that I should continue working with my main patient because I had contracted the respiratory infection from that patient and therefore couldn't infect him. He told me that the family really needed me there.
I wanted to be cooperative. I wanted to be seen as a team player. I wanted to help the family. In the past, the coordinator had told me that they were going to replace the full-time nurse on the case with me because she had lupus and tended to call in quite a bit because of it. I felt that I couldn't mention that my diabetes was getting worse. So, against my better judgment, I went to work.
I fell into a deep, dark sleep at around two in the morning. I remember nothing about falling asleep. There were no dreams. There was just darkness. I remember sitting there watching the patient, and the next minute I blinked and saw the patient's father sitting at the end of the bed glaring at me with hate in his eyes. I apologized profusely, gathered my belongings, and left quickly. I knew I would be fired for what had happened. My life as I knew it ended at that moment.
In reality, I had been asleep for about twenty minutes. I had no concept of that time passing. I had a small stroke, which I would learn also altered certain facets of my cognitive abilities as well as increasing overall muscle weakness and causing me to become fatigued even more easily than I had before.
I tried to go back to work in long-term care. When I was doing my long-term care internship in nursing school, I got high marks for my medication passes. I was organized. I quickly memorized which patient needed what medication when. I was fast and I was competent. I didn't really want to work in long-term care, but I told myself it's what I had to do.
I quickly learned that the skills that made me such a stellar med pass nurse had been wiped out by the stroke. I knew that patient X needed medication Y at Hour Z, but I couldn't make my brain understand what I was supposed to do with the information. I understood each component, but I couldn't make them work together.
I was utterly lost, and it didn't help that there was never any time to stop for a break so I could eat a little something. My blood sugar tanked. I almost left mid-shift. As soon as I got home, I emailed my resignation. I knew there was no way I would ever be able to work as a nurse again. I had failed like I always do.

~Cie~

Here is the last diet book you'll ever need. You're welcome.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Product Wars: Amazon Solimo Maximum Long Pads vs. Walmart Overnight Incontinence Pads

The Winner

The Also-Ran

Adult incontinence: it's a subject that no-one likes to address. And yet, it exists, and it does need to be addressed.
Incontinence can occur for a number of reasons, some physiological, some neurological, and sometimes there are several factors causing the issue.
Adult incontinence is not a normal aspect of aging. 
Adult incontinence is not a "lack of personal control" and it isn't funny for the person it is happening to. It can curtail a person's ability to enjoy life.
Cutesy ads have made "light bladder leakage" in middle-aged women acceptable. But there are a lot of people who live with more than just "light bladder leakage."
"Light bladder leakage" is caused by stress incontinence.
There are four main types of incontinence.
Urge incontinence due to an overactive bladder
Stress incontinence due to poor closure of the bladder
Overflow incontinence due to either poor bladder contraction or blockage of the urethra
Functional incontinence due to medications or health problems making it difficult to reach the bathroom
Stress incontinence occurs most commonly in women due to pelvic floor insufficiency, and overflow incontinence occurs most commonly in men due to prostate issues.
The products I compared for this post are tailored for women. 
When one experiences more than the teeny dribbles associated with the "light bladder leakage" spoken of in dulcet tones during adorable advertisements, one needs more than the teeny panty liners showcased in said advertisements. For those who have spinal cord injuries and can't feel when they have passed urine or for those who have sudden large surges of urine overflow, something more absorbent than a thin liner is necessary.
I began dealing with severe urge/overflow incontinence when I was in my late thirties, and there was no way a teeny panty liner was going to cut the mustard. Over the years I have tried various pads for dealing with the issue. None of them have been perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but some work better than others.
Incontinence pads are hella expensive, which is why I thought I'd give the Amazon Solimo brand a try. 
I ordered the Amazon Solimo maximum long pads. This is the product review that I am going to leave for Amazon.
I give this item three out of five stars. It isn't the worst I've found, but it isn't adequate for heavy surges. If this item is "long," I would hate to see the "regular" version. The absorbency is closer to moderate than maximum. It offers no protection for side leaks and has a tendency to bunch in the middle. The pad is comfortable enough, but will not do the job for heavy urine loss.
I happened to be in Walmart to buy printer cartridges and decided to give the Equate Overnight pads another try. These pads aren't perfect (none of them are) but they provide better coverage than the Solimo pads. Tena Overnight provides better side coverage, but the Equate pads are longer and provide better coverage towards the back of the pad. The Equate pads are $8.99 for 28 pads, making them an affordable option.
I would rather not have to use incontinence pads. I have never heard of anybody wanting to use incontinence pads. But if you have to use them, you want something that's going to do the job right.
Every body is different, and you may find that the Solimo pads work fine for your incontinence issues. They are an affordable option, which is why I am providing a search box in this post. The Solimo brand also offers menstrual pads.
Incontinence is an issue that no-one wants to have. However, I believe that it should not be taboo to discuss such issues. Adult urinary incontinence is an inconvenient reality for many people. It should not be something that people need to feel ashamed of.

~Cie~



Thursday, March 7, 2019

Living Disabled: Fibromyalgia and Spiders on Drugs

Image by Baerenfein on Pixabay

I've had it suggested to me more than once that I should "just" take my clerical skills and get a nice, normal, forty-hour-a-week, nine-to-five job, and that the only reason I'm "just sitting home pretending to be a writer" is that I'm "just lazy."
Well...
I've talked about my mental health issues and many of my physical health issues. Let me talk about a certain component of my physical issues. That component is fibromyalgia.
Here is the Wikipedia entry describing fibromyalgia.
Here is my reply to that post.
I don't really mind when someone jokingly calls me crazy for not wearing more than a light jacket in cold weather. I do mind when people imply that I should "just get over" the issues I live with. Say, that's a great idea! Wish I'd thought of it!
I didn't know that fibromyalgia can cause temperature dysregulation. I've said before that I don't know if I have "true" fibromyalgia or if I simply have similar symptoms because of my endocrine problems. I've been diagnosed with fibromyalgia twice, but there are a few differences between what I experience and what a lot of fibromyalgia sufferers seem to experience. For one thing, I have never experienced extreme pain. I experience chronic low-grade widespread pain and have since I hit puberty. Also, when I do something which causes muscle fatigue, what takes a normal person a day or two to get over takes me about a week to recover from, and I feel like I've been beaten with a baseball bat the entire time.
As far as the temperature dysregulation, I overheat easily. This is why I don't wear long-sleeved shirts or turtlenecks or more than a light jacket even when it's extremely cold.
I've also always been scolded for being "spacey" and seeming disinterested when I have to sit in one place for long periods of time without doing anything, such as in class or a meeting. I had problems with falling asleep in such settings and was admonished that I needed to "just get more sleep" and that I would be fired/kicked out of school if such things happened again. Nobody bothered to try and find out if I had any sort of medical problem which might be causing my fatigue and tendency to fall asleep.
I also have trouble sleeping at night, which cuts out the possibility of doing most jobs traditionally done during daytime hours. I was always admonished to "just switch your sleep schedule around," but have never been able to do it. I literally become depressed to the point of non-functional working your traditional 40 hours a week day job. I can't work more than four days a week or I'm worthless (as far as society is concerned) within a couple of weeks. When I become depressed to that degree, it's hard to bounce back.
So, here I sit deluding myself that I have writing talent. Except I really am not telling myself that I am particularly talented. I know that I have certain abilities when it comes to working with words. I always tested higher than my grade level when it came to skills such as writing and reading comprehension. I was in the top tier with my SAT scores in English back in 1983. In other words, I may not be a genius, but I do have abilities in this area.


If my brain were a spider, it would be a spider on LSD or peyote. Just talking to me, I pass for normal. However, my thoughts do not process normally. Every story I write or collaborate on inevitably develops myriads of subplots, some of which end up branching off in entirely new directions.
I've noticed that most WAH bloggers are nice, normal people. I'm not normal. I'm a big, scary, tattooed lady with a spider-on-drugs brain and a shedful of psych issues. So, right away I'm on the outside looking in. 
I've tried all my life to do things the way the nice, normal, perfect and pretty people do them, and it's never worked. The only thing that I can do is to be true to myself and to tell my tale. Maybe I'll inspire a few people to open their minds and view society's rejects through more compassionate eyes. That would be a worthwhile accomplishment. I only wish it paid a little better.
The late David Bowie once inquired: "so where were the spiders?"
They're right here in my brain, dear David. Weaving webs.

~Cie~






Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Real Cie Reviews: The Wayne Dyer Material

Dr. Wayne Dyer
10 May 1940 - 29 August 2015

My dear writing sister Blooming Psycho was up early this morning, and she sent me links to videos of lectures by the late Dr. Wayne Dyer, a psychologist and motivational speaker. Dr. Dyer's works encouraged positive focus and meditation to clear the mind of negative fixations.
Although Dr. Dyer's work addresses Buddhist concepts, it is not necessary to be a Buddhist to benefit from his teachings. His later work had a more spiritual focus than his earlier books. Even if one rejects the spiritual aspects of his books, one can still benefit from the ideas of positive focus.
I'm glad that Bloomy reminded me of Dr. Dyer's work. I invite you to listen to the videos she shared with me and decide for yourself if his approach resonates with you.

Best Wishes,
Cie

Participating In:
Show-Off Tuesday
Spread the Kindness



Monday, March 4, 2019

Inspire Me Monday #217: Shout-Outs: Hair Hacks Video + Thoughts on Entrepreneurship and Supporting Each Other



My lovely writing sister Helena shared this video with me. The advice given in the video is for the care of black hair. I really like the lady who made the video. She has a fun, casual demeanor. She had brain surgery, and in some of the videos on her channel, she discusses this.
This lady created her own line of hair care products. Unfortunately, the project doesn't seem to have worked out, as she has not posted to either her YouTube channel or her Facebook page for a couple of years.
Being an entrepreneur is hard, People. Being an independent blogger is difficult. It takes a long time to attract an audience, longer still to start seeing a profit of any kind from your efforts. It's even more difficult if you are not a naturally outgoing personality. (I'm not.) However, having a sparkling, extroverted personality is not a guarantee of overnight success either. 
This is why I despise those programs which claim you will be earning 10,000 dollars this month and all you have to do is pay them 666,666 Quatloos to get access to their top seekrit information. Just like the multi-billion dollar diet industry's lies, it is probably true that there are statistical unicorns who will succeed at becoming ultra-wealthy using the Top Seekrit Formula For Big Success while losing half their body weight in a month, not ending up in the hospital for dehydration and malnutrition, keeping the weight off forever, and never developing one single wrinkle because they used the Extra Special Youthifying Cream made from the seeds of the rare Skunkmelon which only grows in Lost Lemuria.
Oddly enough, this is not what happens for most people. Never mind the lies of the beauty and diet industry, let us focus on the lies of those who prey on the desperation of people who want to escape their lousy job and want to provide a good life for themselves and their family.
I guarantee that you will not be lining your pockets by buying into these programs, no matter how much "proof" from "my real bank account" they offer. I know because back in the early 2000s, I bought into several of them. The results were always the same. I lost money, and I really didn't know anything more than I did before.
The real road to success tends to be long and arduous. Sometimes allegorical rock slides and trees will block your way. You may be beset upon by flying monkeys and brigands. The money is not going to just leap into your bank account. You may sometimes wonder why you bother doing the things you do when it's so hard to get buyers for your products, let alone any kind of audience at all. It takes money to make money (i.e. buying advertising). So, how in the world do you make money when you're already in the hole?
Joining in on blog hops such as this one allow you to introduce yourself and your blog to the world, and it doesn't cost anything to do so. You may not see an immediate increase in traffic, but over time you will notice that you are getting more hits. Independent bloggers can also help each other by giving shout-outs, which is something I try to do fairly often. It isn't all about how much I can get for myself, it's about how we can all make things better for as many people as possible.
Joining the Amazon affiliate platform is free, but if you don't bring in enough revenue within the space of three months, they cancel your account. All you have to do is join again, but it's a pain in the butt, and, as far as I'm concerned, they don't have any justifiable reason for doing things this way. 
I sometimes feel like I'm selling my soul by being an Amazon affiliate, given my negative feelings about the company's treatment of their employees and my outright loathing for Jeff Bezos and his non-taxpaying ways and multiple bathrooms in his mansion while his employees are forced to pee in bottles and trash cans because there aren't enough bathrooms in the warehouses. The fact that I ended up paying $450 in taxes this year when I made less than $10,000 income and am on Medicaid while billionaire Jeff Bezos paid no taxes makes me feel downright stabby. Despite this, I feel that signing up as an affiliate for Amazon can be a positive revenue source for independent bloggers.
Follow the bloggers who have been around a while and who are making a living at it. Learn from their mistakes as well as their triumphs. 
Above all, don't fall into the trap of believing you are a failure because you haven't become successful in a short period of time. Overnight success is a fluke. For most people, success takes longer. Tweak your plan if necessary, but don't give up. Learn from your mistakes rather than allowing them to destroy you.
Let us work together to find success!

~Cie~



Pretty much every infomercial ever (and about as believable)

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Easy Recipes: Sloppy Joe Potatoes

Manwich to the Rescue

Hello, Delivered Ones! Between taxes and car repairs, editing and book reviews, I didn't get a lot done with paid surveys this week, but I did play around with the oven a bit. So, instead of the usual Sunday wrap-up, this week I'm sharing with you a simple and tasty recipe.
Many of us love sloppy Joes. But what if you have a family member who doesn't care for buns or bread? If they like potatoes, it's simple!
You will need one potato per person and one pound of ground meat per two to three people. I tend to use ground turkey because it's less greasy than ground beef, but any kind of ground meat will work in this recipe.
Put the ground meat in your slow cooker with one can of Manwich per pound of ground meat and set the slow cooker to High.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash one large potato per person and wrap each potato in a foil jacket.
Every oven is different, but I find that about an hour and 20 minutes is necessary to properly bake a large potato.
While the potatoes bake, the Manwich mixture is cooking in the slow cooker. On the High setting, the Manwich should be done at the same time as the potatoes.
When the potatoes are done, simply cut them in half and top with the Manwich mixture. Serve with a salad or a cup of soup, a corn cobette, or just as is.
If you prefer a vegetarian option, stir some favorite vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, or baby corn into the Manwich sauce. You might also consider Tofu or Seitan. 
The restaurant I deliver for used to have a pulled Jackfruit sandwich. I found the Jackfruit to be a good substitute for pulled pork, but we didn't sell enough of the sandwiches and they were taken off the menu. I have never cooked Jackfruit myself, but if you have experience with this option, you might want to give it a try.
Bon Appetit!

~Cie~


Saturday, March 2, 2019

Easy Recipe: Grands Ham and Biscuit Strata


See the recipe on the Pillsbury website.

This one got mixed reviews at my house. I thought it was pretty good, but I'm admissibly a bit of a gourmand. My son said that he would have preferred that the biscuits be left on the side and that I should substitute vegetables for the ham. I will keep his preferences in mind for next time!
I do agree with one of the commenters on the Pillsbury website. What are these "leftover biscuits" they speak of? Biscuits tend to get eaten pretty quickly in my house!

~Cie~

Ingredients

2
already baked Pillsbury™ Grands!™ biscuits
2
eggs
1/2
cup milk SAVE $
1/8
teaspoon pepper
1/2
cup diced cooked ham SAVE $
1/2
cup shredded Cheddar cheese (2 oz)

Steps

  • 1
    Heat oven to 350°F.
  • 2
    Cut each biscuit into 1-inch pieces. In medium bowl, beat eggs, milk and pepper with whisk until blended. Stir in ham, cheese and biscuit pieces. Let stand 5 minutes. Spoon mixture into greased or sprayed 8x4- or 9x5-inch (1 1/2-quart) glass loaf dish.
  • 3
    Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until edges are light golden brown and center is set. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.