Hi, there. Thanks for visiting. I'm starting this blog as an advocate for mental and physical health. I'm a freelance writer and also own a home based medical transcription business. I was diagnosed in 1978 with paranoid schizophrenia and started to become acutely ill three years prior to that, unmedicated, frightened, confused, and in trouble with the law. I graduated from university with distinction the year I became ill. I've never regretted learning how to think at university. I struggled with my illness for 35 years and have reached the top of the mountain now, I think, or the other side, where the grass is greener and the path easier. There's hope for all of us, the whole human race, and never think there isn't hope or joy no matter your circumstances. I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences with mental illness in all its forms: depression, brain injury, autism, schizophrenia, bipolar, anxiety disorders, etc. and your positive experiences as well as those lies and half truths society and even therapists would have us believe about ourselves.

We are different folks, and we are beautiful. The whole human race is beautiful. Let's celebrate life.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Gentle on my mind

This is for Big Tex, who makes me happy. I met a rugged man. He's been a friend for four years and now he puts a spring in my step. You just never know. It might last a day, it might last a week or a year, or we might be friends for a lifetime. But it's fun anyhow. Thanks for putting that twinkle back in my eye, Tex.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Treatment is a Yellow Rose

My psych basically just keeps an eye on me. I'm going to call tomorrow and see if I can get some ongoing treatment. I'm very happy with how my life is progressing, though. I'm running through some fields of asphodel with new sandals.

My father always loved the color yellow and yellow roses in particular. I've read that they mean jealousy and that "don't trust a yellow rose". I'd never heard that before and used it myself to mean friendship or love. I hope it wasn't misunderstood. Perhaps pink would be better, which apparently means friendship or appreciation. I do appreciate all that has been done for me.

I have an idea from someone else's blog. I'm going to start taking photographs and posting them with little vignettes about them underneath. This blog started out as a means to promote mental health but there doesn't seem to be a lot of response. Perhaps I should do something different as well as promoting mental health. Well, beautiful images promote mental health. Are there any others out there who want to make beautiful photographs and post them? I must learn how and would appreciate more tips. HP offers courses on-line and I downloaded some digital photography tips, including something I didn't know that the "landscape" setting on my camera means the background and foreground are given equal emphasis, and the "portrait" means the background is muted. Also, in this blog I'm speaking of the photographer suggests taking a picture of the same object day after day, in different lights and from different angles, to learn something of the art. And I suppose it's a science, too. I've included a link under the blogs I follow.

Back to treatment, I must arrange to treat myself as who knows me better than myself? Well, many others, perhaps. I read that somewhere. Others often know one better. This rose I have, this real rose, this tall and grey bearded rose, may be a yellow rose, but he is handsome and I will dally awhile in his garden.

The treatment reminds me of a garden from which I may pluck what pleases me and what is best for me, also it is compulsory but I was looking for guidance. And that's very true. I was asking in my way for help and I was aware I needed guidance. I don't think I'll take photographs of flowers. I'll take photographs of dry twigs against a blue sky. Of snow melting into brown earth. Spring in Edmonton.

I'm home.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

One Set of Footprints

When I read Catcher in the Rye all those years ago I remember Holden Caulfield saying near the end of the book that he always fantasized himself as standing in a field of tall rye while people ran through it, and when they stumbled and fell he caught them. I may remember wrongly but that stuck with me through the years, and also explains the title. I haven't read about that particular aspect of the book but I think it's the crux of the book. "He's not heavy, he's my brother" or "when you saw only one set of footprints, that is when I carried you..." "Like a bridge over troubled water" someone has been that to me for many years, and now it's my turn.

The long war I waged since 1974 is over, I think. My friend may stoop to conquer; I don't know. But I do follow the Light and the Truth and if reality is really the essence of a rose I may have grasped it already. I want a real rose, no fantasy gardens for me. I can play, though, can't I?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

It's been fun, folks

I'm excited about seeing my psych tomorrow morning. I think I've been having fun all this time and didn't know it. I hope my friends and acquaintances had some fun, too, with my journey through the past 35 years. Although sometimes harrowing, risky, and tragic, much of the time I may have entertained my dearer friends who wished me the best. I'm sure they were also frustrated at my lack of insight and slow progress. But a very interesting issue has been put to rest or perhaps resurrected this past month, that of a significant relationship and fantasy through poetry and music versus the real thing. I'm very cautious but there's a big world out there and in the past I've protected myself carefully from involvement. It takes some thought but there may be progress here.

Welcome, grey haired, bearded, handsome rose. I think I've found a playground which in the past was neglected.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Hello, is anybody home in my skull?

It may seem I'm counting on love and roses and a preordained future without failure or disappointments. Non, mon friends, I'm mature and seasoned in life now that I've been dealt a few slings and arrows - I know better than to count the eggs in my Easter basket, beautiful and colorful though they may. To do otherwise would simply mean to slide back into my Fantasy world.


I want the real grass under my feet. I want the excitement of real conversation. And I will have it.

It's fun to quote poetry and songs but this is not where it's at; I know that. Too many years have rolled under my feet in that fashion. Too many wasted and evil years. I say evil and that may be an exaggeration. But what else would we call the span of time since 1975 when the pattern of hurt, confusion, and anger continued? When I insisted on asking for paper roses?

It was a choice, you see.
Rein me back, my friends, if I threaten to once again land on Fantasy Island.Or revisit Wonderland.

I will have my tall and majestic deep blackred roses, my hands will meet and touch Home. But I'm not alone. I was never the Lone Ranger as I thought I was.

Today I'll buy a new blouse, one with flowers on it like the fashion magazines suggest. Today I'll dress and go to the shops. It will be bright, orange perhaps or yellow, and electric blue. Today I'll finally take out an exercise DVD and limber up my aches and pains. I never had aches and pains before. I kept fit. And for at least two months I haven't lifted weights. I haven't stretched. This is the contemplation phase which I've been through before. My fast from overnight feels good as there's hunger and that's familiar from when I was a younger woman and slimmer.

Today I'll meet a friend and visit. I'll strike out in a new direction somehow, somewhere, some way. There'll be a new direction to my life today. I won't wait for Monday or Tuesday.
The bird is on the wing.

Hello, Ohio. Hello, Michigan. Hello, tall handsome grey haired dudes out there.

Time and fortune wait for no woman. The ancient Roman statues of their Caesars and orators gazed out over the heads of the citizenry, blank eyes staring into a limitless and empty sky. I'm an elder but was a foolish woman. Today is already slipping away although it's early in the morning, and tomorrow is a mirage.

Did you see The Sting? One must be alert.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


The Eagle

by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ring’d with the azure world, he stands.

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.

God bless America.

 The good old hockey game. Canadians rock!!!


I've had the illusion of control most of my life. It was necessary, I thought, for survival. I apologize to the beautiful gardens of song I orchestrated with my little diaphanous webs of discord. No, I don't want to control your life nor do I wish to control the world of your choosing. You who would attempt to control ME were mistaken. To your chagrin you discovered this, but perhaps with excitement, too, as we investigated our mutual hearts.

It's more fun if you just let the wind carry you. Somewhere over the rainbow there's a magic land of reality missed by all but the very few.

God bless all the saints in this world. You know who you are. And the devils who made me laugh, because as Voltaire said, "Lord, make my enemies ridiculous. And He did."

The Autumn Rose, A White Leather Rose of Odd Design

Yes, autumn may be the season of discovery, my favorite season for many years because to me it meant new beginnings after the ennui of summer. I think it was connected with school and later with the start of my new University term in 1971, when the campus was still beautiful back then with big old trees and a quadrangle, red and gold and brown leaves covering the ground. That first day rained and I lost my favorite rain hat, a white leatherette chapeau with a wide brim. To this day I like hats. And I like a lot of different things and people. I must say a rose remains for me the emblem of love but I'm thinking perhaps a single perfect leaf or leaves swirling to the ground like Japanese calligraphy set aflight by a wanton wind. It seems odd to think of autumn when spring isn't here yet here in Edmonton, and snow forecast for tomorrow. Last October I celebrated a birthday. I was 66 on October 23rd and someone else was 70 in that month. My Japanese friend and I had tea together that day.

It was a special day because for the first time since 1974 I knew the value of that day and the arc of the Zodiac that blesses the balance of the seasons. I've always thought "fair" was a reasonable request to ask of the universe and I think the universe and God have been fair to me.

I won't settle for a white leather rose, it must be the real thing, tall and strong and deep velvet, blooming and living so I may sit by its fragrance. It blooms in my heart but that's not enough for me anymore.

The end of something is the beginning of something new. There is a spring sprite in my heart which was born in the autumn mists and matured in winter silver drifts. But my heart is not big enough to hold this gorgeous spirit of joy. I demand what I have always demanded, a chance to do it myself. I will fight to the end for freedom and happiness. Isn't that what our countries are about? No less the country of my heart.

It draws to a close. I did it my way. Don't lose control in the dark, my friend. We will also do it your way.

And to the men who love me, I have always thought you are like Odysseus searching for his home after long years at sea. A generous, dependable and protective male Hermes rather like a sprite yourselves. In other words, part of the balance of the world, and necessary but of course incomplete without us as we are without you. There's an ancient Greek myth to explain that. There's a Greek myth to explain everything. And never forget that Aeschylus wrote of joy. Aeschylus was a man of course. And the infamous poetess Sappho seems to have reached too high for the apple at the top of the branch. It was a delectable piece of fruit overlooked with good reason.

Will the world end in 2012? It may but I don't think so. A new age may begin. It will if we all want it badly enough. Or if it is ordained. The concept of free will continues. I'll fight to the end to defend my free will, and yours. Because that's where it all began, so many years ago, with rebellion against control; with disobedience.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Velvet Caring Rose

Ah, the second half of life for which the first was made. Or something.

I've been married twice and have had my share of paper roses. Perhaps a field of daffodils or daisies now? Daisies white with the sun for a center, and in a field of asphodel.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Paper Rose

A paper rose is no substitute for a real rose. And I'm not living on Fantasy Island anymore. I will live for the moment finally.

If that doesn't happen then something just as exciting will happen to me because I'm a woman of action. As the CNIB will tell you, they with whom I no longer volunteer. I see my elderly blind friend about once a month now, and continue to help her write her memoirs. She's a delight and a strong and intelligent woman. I'm glad I volunteered with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind for the three or four years I did as I met this delightful friend.

There are some people who would judge me without hearing or knowing the real story. There are people who put other people in boxes and don't allow them to be free. There are people who put themselves in boxes and aren't free. That's the story of most of my life, what I've fought against for the past 40 years, people who would put me in a box and not let me be free. I couldn't see beyond the box myself. A female friend of one of my brothers put me in a box and harangued me for my delusional illness last fall. She was a clinical psychologist before she went on disability insurance. Enough said.

There are paper roses in the world with no scent, paper roses that crumble and fail in the rain. Sodden pieces of scrap.

I want a real rose. And I will have one. A strong and handsome deep velvet burgundy rose who loves the Celts and Robbie Burns -- "my luve is like a red red rose..."

And June is coming for the first summer of my life for a long long time. Autumn may well be the season of discovery.