Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Language Letting Go

Found @ Lessons Learned in Life

Challenge Myself: Day #229 Is Quilting Your Favorite Hobby?

Today is Day #229 of the Just For Today Challenge. I am also integrating the Live Happy into my Challenge. The Live Happy Challenge for today says, host a quilting party

The book says,

Quilting is so much fun that many quilters have quilting parties to enjoy the camaraderie of friends and to finish their own quilts or to join with other quilters to sew a project for a charitable cause.
Many people equate quilt making with the Pennsylvania Dutch Amish or the Appalachian people. Amish quilts, especially the antique quilts, are of the highest-quality construction, but there are many other types of quilts that require less exacting and demanding skill to make.

For example, you can make a crazy quilt from pieces of leftover fabric, Or you can contribute a square to someone else's quilt (this is the way the AIDS quilt is constructed). Buy a quilting how-to book, take a class, or just dive in and do it. 

Then invite your friends who sew to a quilting party. It's never too late to work on quilts for holiday gift giving.

From the book: Live Happy

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Community Event: The Anonymous People


#PreventionPower: National Prevention Week

For those who are unaware, next week is the annual SAMHSA National Prevention Week is an annual health observance dedicated to increasing public awareness of, and action around, mental and/or substance use disorders.
According to SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health, adolescents and full-time college students most often use substances for the first time during June or July. The timing of National Prevention Week provides an opportunity for schools and organizations to host prevention-themed events before the school year ends, raising awareness about this important issue among students and their families.
Mark your calendars! SAMHSA’s next National Prevention Week will be from May 14 to 20, 2017. Each year around this observance, communities, and organizations across the country come together to raise awareness about the importance of substance use prevention and positive mental health. The theme for NPW 2017 is: Making Each Day Count.
Parents and leaders of youngsters and teen organizations this is an opportunity to get information and talk about it. Learn the facts. 
For more information, and for resources and topics of discussion please visit SAMHSA Website
pic from spreadshirt

After the April A-Z Blog Challenge

I was supposed to put this up on May 8th. I am a few days late in doing so. Well, it is here the month long blog challenge is over and many are left thinking, what next? Will you take a few ideas from some of your more popular posts and go with the ideas?

After the A-Z Blog Challenge, what is next?

For me, I will continue spreading the word here about the heroin epidemic and talk about those in the community bringing Hope.

This road has been longer than the April blog challenge. I will once again be blogging the daily 365 Ways to Live Happy Challenges.

The April Blogging Challenge provided an opportunity to speak out about the heroin epidemic and provided the means of clearing a few posts out of the drafts folder. There were still some which didn't make it. I want to blog those as well. 

If you missed any of the posts in April you may wish to visit the archives which is on the sidebar of this blog to catch up on the posts.

I thought it was a great month. Thank you to Arlee and all of the A-Z Moderators this year for another great challenge.

Challenge Myself: Day #228 Teach a Cooking Class

Today is Day #228 of the Just For Today Challenge. I am also integrating the Live Happy into my Challenge. The Live Happy Challenge for today says teach a cooking class in your kitchen.

The book says,

Perhaps you like to cook, have some culinary expertise, and some great recipes for dishes such as Jewish poppy seed Mandelbrot (biscotti), and Indian fish curry, a paella that even Spaniards love, a fried chicken made from a recipe that your Southern great-grandmother passed on, or some other tantalizing taste treat.

Start a cooking class in your kitchen. Alternatively, reserve another facility and step into the role of teacher. Make sure you have all the pieces of equipment and utensils that you'll need. Decide on a theme for your class- maybe quick easy desserts, Italian past dishes, Indian curries, or sandwiches and pastries for high tea.

Type your recipes for each student and make sure that you prepare and cook the long dishes at the beginning of the class and dishes that need less prep and cooking time at the end. Have fun teaching and sharing your passion for food with others.

Do you like to cook? Do you have a favorite recipe?

 From the book: Live Happy

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Challenge Myself: Day #227 Join a Hobby Association

Today is Day #227  of the Just For Today Challenge. I am also integrating the Live Happy into my Challenge. The Live Happy Challenge for today says to find an association devoted to your hobby.

The book says,

You know you love working on your hobby. Whatever your hobby is, there's undoubtedly a professional association representing it. To find yours, type the name of your hobby into your computer browser and see what it lists.

 Or, go to the website at Association for Creative Industries where you will discover the hottest new crafts and hobbies in the global marketplace. For example, scrap booking, quilting, and needle crafts, art and framing top the list today.

The association(s) for your hobby might host annual competitions, produce a magazine, or provide grants or scholarships so that deserving individuals can learn more about their favorite hobby.

From the book: Live Happy

Friday, May 5, 2017

United States: A Look at the History of Addiction Treatment

Today's post is a look at Addiction Treatment in the United States. In searching the Internet for the information, this Infograph came up with interesting information beginning in the 1700's and 1800's up until 2012.

For instance, the first Sober House came to be known in the 1800's. Today is about the history of addiction treatment in the United States. Most of the information is outdated and proved does not work. You cannot use 19th Century methods in the millennium. It has already proved a failure.

America’s Fight Against Addiction | Drug Treatment Timeline | drug rehab www.lakeviewhealth.com

I believe it's time to rethink rehabilitation in this country which is now a billion dollar industry. It is time to revamp and upgrade to the millennium to treat this disease.

It's time for the pharma companies and physicians to work together and not repeat the past. Doctors look at pain as a symptom of an injury or illness when addiction has proven the opposite. The reason for the addiction is a symptom of the medication. This epidemic we have today goes above their heads and the reality of the failure is that they have no clue how to treat it.

The first is to start treating those suffering addiction problems like humans instead of second rate citizens.

It's time to start the road to treatment instead of handcuffs for addiction problems, simple possession of an addict since addiction is not against the law. Neither is overdose and I can't believe the numbers who were incarcerated for overdose. Help instead of Handcuffs.

Not every user who started using heroin had a mental illness, but my guess is by the time the user finds treatment they will be battling some form of mental illness.


Infograph from drug-rehab.org
© 2017 Gossip Girl



Challenge Myself: Day #226 Learn Pottery

Today is Day #226 of the Just For Today Challenge. I am also integrating the Live Happy into my Challenge. The Live Happy Challenge for today says learn to make pottery

The book says,

Maybe you, like a lot of other people, made mud pies as a child. Discover what the ancients knew about the warm, fuzzy feelings you get working with your hands to a piece of pottery.

Spend some happy hours pinching off a ball of clay, centering it on a potters wheel, shaping it, firing out the impurities, glazing it, and then firing it again to affix the glaze.

You will need access to clay, the wheel, and a kiln that can heat at high temperatures (for example, around 1700 degrees F).

A pottery class can provide all those essential items along with instruction and coaching. Or, you could purchase the type of clay that can be fired in your own oven at lower temperatures and make some nifty beads to string. See www.howtomakepottery.com

From the book: Live Happy

Thursday, May 4, 2017

BC Health Department Harm Reduction


Bikers Against Heroin Poker Run Event


Challenge Myself: Day #225 Learn to do Beading

Today is Day #225  of the Just For Today Challenge. I am also integrating the Live Happy into my Challenge. The Live Happy Challenge for today is to create jewelry with beads.

The book says,

Beading has increased in popularity in recent years and is considered by many to be not only a high art form but also a way to earn some extra bucks. Already, there are several magazines devoted to beading and columns about beading in others.

Whether you want to create beaded jewelry or works of art, you'll soon discover that time seems to fly as you discover beads in assorted styles, shapes, colors, and textures; decide on the optimum way to use them; and then create beautiful earrings, chokers, bracelets, pins, and necklaces.

To find beads, visit a bead shop, department stores, and art and craft outlets. Have fun making your distinctive pieces as gifts for birthdays and other celebratory occasions, showing them in galleries, or selling them in stores or online.

Beading supplies can be found at Michaels, A.C. Moore Stores, as well as Walmart, has a small selection of beads and supplies. I found a couple links that may help get you started if beading jewelry is a hobby you think you would like to pursue.

Links of Interest:
Beginner Beading
Learn to Bead Jewelry, Pinterest

pic from Pinterest
From the book: Live Happy

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Challenge Myself: Day #224 Learn Stained Glass

 Today is Day #224 of the Just For Today Challenge. I am also integrating the Live Happy into my Challenge. The Live Happy Challenge for today is to take a stained glass class.

The book says,

Learn the art and craft of creating a beautiful piece of a stained glass by signing up for a hands-on class. A class can provide you with an in-depth exploration of the types of glass productions, materials needed for a project, the design work of a window or panel, and other ingredients necessary to produce a stained glass project.

While your instructor will be able to teach you the basics, it is often through hands-on work that you gain a comprehensive understanding of the art form. You'll meet new people in your stained glass class and, who knows, one or more of them might become friends with whom you can spend happy hours creating works of art. In time, you might even choose to organize a show, establish an art collective, or sell your creations through word of mouth.

If this is a hobby that interests you, check on Pinterest. There are tons of ideas on that site. The pic above is the Tree of Life that I found on Pinterest. Also, don't forget to check out Etsy. That is also a site for crafts and hobbies.

Links of Interest:
Beginner Stained Glass Kits
Stained Glass for Dummies
Free Stained Glass Patterns for Hobbyist
Hobby Lobby 

pic from Pinterest
From the book: Live Happy

Live Happy: Spend Happy Hours on a Hobby

The Challenge of Live Happy Healthy came to an to an end on March 31st. I stopped blogging the Live Happy Challenges for the month of April so that I could participate in the April A-Z Blogging Challenge.

I have had a couple emails over the past month asking about the challenges which I promised to restart after April. I found a few useful tips. I hope you found something useful.

The next section of challenges is about spending happy hours on a hobby. I have several hobbies.  One is reading. A few summers ago I read 96 books from June 1st until mid-August. One hobby I recently connected back to is painting. I haven't painted in many years. A few months ago I grabbed some acrylics and a canvas and started painting again. I am trying to keep watch on the Paint Nite events in my town in the hopes of being able to go.

Another hobby is for a little time I made a few jewelry pieces- mainly for myself. I have made several pieces that are my favorites that I made using crystals. There are so many things I like to do and used to do often- crocheting is another hobby. I haven't crocheted in about five years now. I need to reconnect with my hobbies.

If you think about it, enjoying time with your hobbies can bring us happiness and just a little peace into our lives. Especially when we finish our projects. Pinterest is a very good place to start.

Do you have any hobbies? If so, what are yours? Hopefully, there will be something for everyone in this next set of challenges.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the continuance of the Live Happy Challenge and Happy May Day to those who celebrate!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Get Plenty of ZZZZ's

Today is the last day for the April Blog Challenge and the day for the letter Z. This month has been a real ride, hasn't it?

First I want to thank all of those who guest posted this month. They were:

Dee and The Bikers Against Heroin

Lori from Swadley Studios and her story in photos, The Fifty Two Addicts Project

Tina, Lisa, and Tara of The Hope Dealer Project

Kevin Bowman from The Lazarus House

Officer Andrew Garcia of MPD and Martinsburg Renew, and

Dr. John Aldis who helped answer a few questions I have and offered information about Medical Marijuana post on April 20th.

Justin a blog reader who gave his personal story in Voice of Recovery.

Jackie Cortez, of The Prevention Coalition who has often offered suggestions and links to awareness of the dangers of heroin. 

Thank you to all of you who stopped by this month to read. Many thanks to those who left comments and to those who continue to send email, thank you. Also, I would like to thank Mr. Arlee Bird for the opportunity to blog in the April Challenge as well as all of the moderators this year.

This definitely is a challenge like none other. First was coming up with ideas of posts for each letter and keeping to the theme of Addiction, Recovery, Hope, and Healing. The challenge in some cases was writing those posts out. I work full time and was amazed that I was able to keep up although I did get a little behind on the commenting. Be patient I am still catching up.

My Internet went on the fritz this past week. Wouldn't you know it? I was into the last stretch and it goes bonkers, but it does that every year during this challenge for some reason. I was able to post each day, but afterward, the Internet was crawling at snail pace and made it challenging to get to others links.

The comment link list while I understand the need for it, it was a challenge every day. I found out the hard way that if I didn't post my link that sometime during the afternoon it would not allow the link to be left say after work at 5 PM.

Now it is time to rest and get some ZZZZ's even if only for a few cat naps. I have posts that didn't make the A-Z Cut which I'll be posting over the next few weeks. I hope if you've liked the posts this month that you will bookmark and return to read more information.

The road along this addiction pathway has been a long rocky road. There are still more challenges ahead as we face tomorrow. I wish not one other person ever had to go through loving someone who loves heroin more.

Now, as promised... The results of the poll from April 1st, the first day of the challenge and my post, Addiction Is...

According to the stats page, 142 people read the post and fourteen participated in the poll. Here are the results of that poll.
Do you think that addiction is a disease?
SelectionVotes 
Yes it is 93%13 
No it is not 7%
Maybe I need more proof 0%
I'm still trying to decide 0%
No Opinion 0%
This doesn't affect me or my family 0%
14 total 

I will also once again be posting the daily Live Happy Challenges starting tomorrow for those who were reading them.

Post credits
poll results
Letter pic Blogging A-Z

© 2017 Gossip Girl

Saturday, April 29, 2017

You Are Worth It


Tomorrow is the last day of the April Blogging Challenge and the day for the letter Y. 

To those of you who haven't made it here to this please know that all the tears that have fallen and all the love from a mother's heart will never be enough to keep someone you love from a powerful drug like heroin.

If you love someone struggling with drug addiction I want you to know you are not alone. Don't try to do this all on your own. Reach out for help. Go to some meetings to get some information. Read the postings from the April A-Z Blog Challenge as I have posted a lot of information this month relating to drug abuse and those in our community who are dedicated to fighting against this heroin epidemic and to those helping. Ask for help. Reach out to them.

In the past year together we have all made a difference here. Just look at where we were last year and where we are today. We have taken some leaps and bounds. 

I hope you have enjoyed reading my posts this month for the blog challenge. 


To those in recovery from drug addiction and to those in current active use
YOU ARE WORTH IT!!!!! YOUR LIFE MATTERS

It doesn't matter if you've been clean for five minutes, five days, five months or five years 
Be proud of where you are in your sobriety. No milestone is too small to be insignificant! 
You Can Do IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Letter pic Blogging A-Z

Friday, April 28, 2017

eXpressing Emotions

We are in the last few days of the A-Z Blog Challenge. It doesn't seem possible that April went by so quickly. Today is the day for the letter X, a rather tricky letter, isn't it? Especially when trying to apply it to the theme of Addiction, Recovery, Hope, and Healing. I found it, however. Today is about eXpressing Emotions. I sometimes have a problem with that.

I have gotten a little better. It is better to concentrate the negative emotions into I HATE HEROIN.

I don't hate my son but I hate what this drug has done to my son. I hate what this drug has turned him into. I hate what this drug has done to my family unit.

Last year, it seems all I did was cry a lot. This year I have turned the anger and the pain into telling others about heroin, what this drug will do to someone you love,

I get asked a lot, oh my God, what do you do after?


Well, honestly, after you've been through this for all of these years you eventually stop keeping it all inside and you write. Well, I write it all out anyway. Then of course sometimes you just get a blog page and start blogging it all out.

I am the type of person I have a habit of keeping everything inside and then one day something happens or something is said and it all just explodes without warning.

Many of the personal stories and posts are written from the many emotions associated with loving a son addicted to this powerful drug. At times this is all my emotions at the same time

YES- I am mad!
YES- I am angry!
YES- Sometimes I vent and rant!
YES- Sometimes I am happy!

AND

YES- Sometimes I am all of the above at the same time.

All of which are natural responses by the way when you love someone addicted to heroin and other drugs!

If I want to be mad, angry, vent and rant at that... so be it! I am allowed all of those emotions!

I wish not one other person would ever get addicted. I know that is far from reality.
I wish not one other parent or loved one ever had to go through this with someone they love. I know that too is far from reality right now.
I wish not one other family had to go through losing a loved one to this addiction.

Sadly, I don't see the light at the end of that tunnel so I'll keep blogging along the road that I am in the hopes that others will read the information and my stories and find Hope and Healing.

Credits for this post
pic from: Keep Calm and Carry On
Letter pic Blogging A-Z

© 2017 Gossip Girl

Thursday, April 27, 2017

What Is Heroin Anyway?

Today we are just days away until the end of the April Blogging Challenge. Today is the letter W and I'd like to talk about the problem in my town as well as all over the country, heroin. What is heroin anyway? 

I get asked that question a lot. Of course, when I typed it in search it brought up the trusty Wikipedia definition of it, Heroin. Then, of course, there are the bands and songs named after it.

When I Googled that question it came up with, heroin is a highly addictive analgesic drug derived from morphine often used illicitly as a narcotic producing euphoria.

To put it in words everyone can understand, heroin is a highly addictive and illegal drug. Many

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A Voice of Recovery

Today is the day for the letter V for the April Blogging Challenge. I am excited to be hosting a special guest posting, Jay Rosen who is a voice of recovery. 

Jay is but one of the many voices of those who have suffered from a drug addiction and also found the way to recovery. Those who read this blog love to hear stories of success. On March 27, 2017, Jay was one year free and clean from his addiction. 

Congratulations! Jay reached out to me last month wanting to tell his story. 

Here is Jay's Story: A Personal Story of Addiction & Recovery:

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Under the Influence: Life In Martinsburg, WV

This is the last week of the April A-Z Blogging Challenge. Today my post is about Living under the Influence of a powerful drug like heroin. I have posted a lot of information this month relating to this epidemic, how this has affected a small town in West Virginia as well as my family and the groups here locally who are helping those find recovery offering a better life without heroin and addiction. Groups helping those suffering find, hope, and healing.

Life for many hasn't been great along this stretch of the heroin