My thoughts about Mental Health, Virginia Pillars

Mother’s Day 2018

_I'm glad that I'm her mom!Tomorrow is Mother’s day. I’ve celebrated this day for the past forty-two years. My first-born arrived the day after Mother’s Day that year, but I wore flowers that morning to church in anticipation of the upcoming event. That year, hubby had finished planting corn on Mother’s Day afternoon. As we visited his mom that evening, I announced that I planned to have the baby that night before he had a chance to start planting beans on Monday. I hadn’t started labor, I just made a flippant remark. Little did I know that labor would begin in a few hours – ten days before my due date. I held our newborn son the following afternoon after twenty-four hours of intense preparation.

Over the next six years, two more brothers and a sister joined in our yearly celebration of Mother’s Day.  I am quite biased, but I think all four of them are amazing people. I’m proud of each of them for their compassion and caring attitudes for others and the goals they’ve each worked hard to achieve in their adult lives.

Last year, I wrote about my feelings about my journey with my daughter as she battles mental health issues. I still say, “Happy Mother’s Day to me! I am so grateful for my four children.”

I felt honored when The Mighty chose to post it for Mother’s Day.

 

 

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My thoughts about Mental Health, Virginia Pillars

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month

IntoMH-MHM-Twitter-HeaderDuring May, in honor of National Mental Health Awareness Month, I hope to inspire, inform, and get others involved in a topic that affects us all. I want to link to websites with the latest information about research, along with previously released webinar links.

I plan to post reviews or links to other blogs that discuss books, both fiction and nonfiction on the subject of mental illness.

I also hope to link to blogs that review my own story of my journey through mental illness with my daughter, Broken Brain, Fortified .

I hope to accomplish this twice a week.

I hope you’ll join me as I work to bring awareness to a subject that I think is the elephant in every room. You know, the one everyone knows about but no ones wants to mention.

Let’s talk. Come join me. Bring your friends.

For more information on mental illness visit:

NAMI National Alliance on Mental Illness

Brain & Behavior Research Foundation

 

 

 

My thoughts about Mental Health, Virginia Pillars

Mother’s Day 2018

_I'm glad that I'm her mom!Tomorrow is Mother’s day. I’ve celebrated this day for the past forty-two years. My first-born arrived the day after Mother’s Day that year, but I wore flowers that morning to church in anticipation of the upcoming event. That year, hubby had finished planting corn on Mother’s Day afternoon. As we visited his mom that evening, I announced that I planned to have the baby that night before he had a chance to start planting beans on Monday. I hadn’t started labor, I just made a flippant remark. Little did I know that labor would begin in a few hours – ten days before my due date. I held our newborn son the following afternoon after twenty-four hours of intense preparation.

Over the next six years, two more brothers and a sister joined in our yearly celebration of Mother’s Day.  I am quite biased, but I think all four of them are amazing people. I’m proud of each of them for their compassion and caring attitudes for others and the goals they’ve each worked hard to achieve in their adult lives.

Last year, I wrote about my feelings about my journey with my daughter as she battles mental health issues. I still say, “Happy Mother’s Day to me! I am so grateful for my four children.”

I felt honored when The Mighty chose to post it for Mother’s Day.

 

 

Virginia Pillars, Virginia's Reviews

Book Review: Before We Were Yours

Before We Were Yours_ A Novel - Lisa Wingate

Before We Were Yours

by Lisa Wingate

I wish I could give this book a plus after the five stars. This is the third book that I’ve read by Lisa Wingate. It’s by far my favorite one. The story pulled me in from page one. I couldn’t stop listening to it (via my audible account.) I loved listening to the two points of view that she used – past and present. Even though my heart broke throughout the story, I finished the story filled with hope in the courage and resiliency of the human spirit.  Rill had a tenacity and strength that illustrated to me the love of family. A wonderful story based on a true atrocity in our nation’s history. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a well-written novel that blends modern-day experience with historical fiction.  Brilliant writing. I love the fact that she told a wonderful, compelling story without bad language or scenes that would make my grandmother blush. I plan to read more books by Lisa Wingate.

Faith is important to me., Virginia Pillars

Sole business or soul business?

Today is Holy Thursday. The day I dwell on the Last Supper. The day Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. Feet. I get why it was important for that time in history but in today’s world?

I don’t like people to touch my feet. I never have. For years I didn’t wear sandals or flip-flops in public. I had ugly feet, or so I thought. The bunions on both sides of both feet had convinced me to keep them hidden. Since I shuddered if someone touched my feet,  I couldn’t stand to touch the feet of anyone else, either.

Four years ago this all changed, as well as my attitude. You might say, I defeated those troublesome feelings when I took over the personal care of my mom.  In her late eighties then, she needed assistance for her shower. I lived close and it made sense for me to offer to do that for her. After all, how many times had she bathed me when I was an infant? So, I gave it a go. We set up a schedule – Monday and Thursday mornings.

Honestly, at first, it made me ridiculously uncomfortable. It didn’t bother me to help her in and out of the walk-in-shower, to help her towel off, to rub lotion on her back, arms, legs, etc. But her feet – I cringed each time I rubbed the lotion into her calloused, dry, feet – complete with bunions. But, I reminded myself of the many times she had to do things she found unpleasant as a mother of eleven children on a farm. And so I powered through with all the pleasantness I could muster.

The first Holy Thursday I massaged the lotion into her feet, I dwelled on the significance of the day. I had planned to attend Mass that night as our parish remembered The Last Supper when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. The scripture passage came to life for me, especially:  I have given you a model to follow so that as I have done for you, you should also do.    John 13:15

I placed myself in the role of my mom’s servant that day as I dwelt on this passage. Something so personal – a time when she is the most exposed and vulnerable. It had to humble her to admit she couldn’t do this on her own anymore. How would I feel if this happened to me?  A motto of Saint Mother Teresa’s came to mind: Do small things with great love.  I began to view it as a privilege – to take part in the most intimate part of her life.

As I rubbed lotion into her tired, worn feet, I came to the realization that this foot wash/lotion routine helped my “soul” as I softened her soles. The awkwardness disappeared as I found joy in the routine of her foot massage.

It’s Thursday – time to go see Mom. She needs a shower and a foot massage.

One final thought – How can I go into the world as a servant? How can you?

Happy Holy Thursday.

 

Gotta Eat, Virginia Pillars

Not your usual pie

This past week, many people celebrated March 14  (3.14) as National Pi day. I’m not a math nerd, but I like a reason to celebrate, and so, Pi Day fits the bill.

In the past, I’ve made pies: pumpkin (hubby’s favorite,) blueberry (our granddaughter who happens to stay with us most years on this day loves this kind,) and apple (my favorite.)

Last Wednesday, Pi Day, I went to the cupboard, but the cupboard was bare. No pumpkin on hand – what was I thinking? I can’t make pies without making at least one pumpkin. Then, I remembered a silly poem:

Roses are red, violets are blue. Poetry is hard. Bacon.

I had bacon in the refrigerator. So, no dessert for us that day. Instead, we enjoyed…

Bacon Cheeseburger Pie – serves 4 – 6 people (at our house – it’s 4)

  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound frozen southern style hash browns or 1 1/4 pounds fresh potatoes, shredded (I use fresh)
  • 1/8 teaspoon  black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed oregano
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 large egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 pound ground beef (I use ground round)
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder or 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1 Tablespoon flour (I use whole wheat)
  • 1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • dash of black pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4-6 sliced bacon, fried, drained, and broken into pieces

Preheat oven to 400 degree. Melt butter in large skillet. Add olive oil and potatoes. Cook until the bottom is browned and the potatoes cooked. Cook til second side is browned. Remove from heat. Stir in salt, oregano, 1/8 tsp pepper, and 1/3 c. shredded cheese. Cool about 3 minutes. Add beaten egg. Press into greased pie plate and bake 15 minutes or until golden brown.

While this bakes, prepare filling. If using chopped onion, add 1 T. olive oil and saute onion until soft. Add ground beef and brown. If using onion powder, brown ground beef and then add onion powder. Drain and return to skillet. Mix flour with water; add to meat with tomato sauce, seasoned salt, and dash of pepper to taste. Cook and stir until thickened. When potato shell is browned, remove from oven. Fill hot potato shell with meat mixture. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese. Return to oven until cheese is melted – about 3 minutes. Remove from oven. Sprinkle with bacon pieces. Let sit 3 minutes before cutting into wedges.

I’ve adapted this recipe over the years. Feel free to adapt it to your taste. Enjoy!

Virginia

 

Virginia Pillars, Virginia's Reviews

But I don’t want to invite him…

Even though this newly-released book by Jeanie Egolf was written for children, it sends a message to all of us. If we are honest, we can all identify with the thought process illustrated in the fictional character, Molly McBride.

She doesn’t like an individual and the idea of inviting him to her birthday party makes her cringe. She “conveniently” loses his invitation.

Jeanie Egolf writes the story in a way that a young child can identify with Molly’s feelings. Loving adults in her life help her understand the reasons to include the undesirable with an invitation. It’s explained in such a way that leaves Molly with a resolve to do the right thing.

Molly wants to grow up to be a nun, so her role models in this story are religious – a priest and a sister. It puts both vocations in a favorable light for the young reader. They are portrayed as people who can help guide, not someone scary.

The illustrations that accompany this story are well done and engaging.

Jeanie did a wonderful job of presenting virtue in a sweet story in a way a child can understand, plus help the adult who reads it with them to reexamine their own attitude.

Share this book with a child in your life.

Find Molly McBride and the Party Invitation on  Amazon.

 

Uncategorized

I celebrate the gift of life

I turned sixty-three this month and I’m celebrating. I have so many reasons to be happy.

  • I’ve lived for sixty-three years. Not everyone gets to do that. I attended a classmates funeral when I was ten years old. That’s something I’ll never forget. Nor will I forget the following year.  I was in 5th grade when my baby sister lived only one day.
  • When I was an infant, I almost didn’t see my 1st birthday. I had Whooping Cough at the age of three months that almost took my life. So yes, I’m celebrating my age.
  • I have a husband who loves me, four successful, adult children, three successful daughter-in-laws, three motivated and active grandchildren, and one grandchild home in heaven. I love my family, and they love me.
  • At sixty-three, the remaining ten siblings I have are all still alive, plus I have a great relationship with them. I know lots of people who can’t say that.  As far as I know, I get along with the in-laws, as well as the many people in my hubby’s family.
  • I live in a comfortable home. I have everything I need, plus a few extras.
  • My mother and mother-in-law will both turn 92 this year. I’ve been blessed with two wonderful women who serve as role models for me. Both hubby and I got to spend time with our fathers as they passed from this life to the next.
  • I have six besties (girlfriends) that I can call whenever I need support, laughter, or share a cup of coffee. I treasure their friendship.
  • I get to practice my faith within a wonderful community. They even let me sing in the choir, even though I couldn’t get in the choir in high school after I auditioned. (Smile)
  • I look in the mirror and see that my once, dark brown hair has turned to a salt and pepper blend, with the emphasis on the salt. I like the freedom to allow it change color and be comfortable with my decision.
  • I have good health. No, I can’t do the things that I did in my younger years, but I’m grateful to be as mobile as I am. I can go for a walk, climb stairs, accomplish a full days work, and slide under my covers at night. I know lots of people my age who can’t.
  • I had a piece of carrot cake for my birthday lunch. Yes, I made it myself. But, it’s my favorite and I wanted to make sure I had some. Since I spent my birthday on a retreat, I shared it with those around me. They enjoyed it, too.
  • I like coffee, and I get coffee. Enough said.
  • I love my age. At sixty-three, I’ve had so many amazing adventures. Among them, is a trip to the country of Zimbabwe where I met local people and lots of animals.
  • At sixty-three, I can slow down in my day job, and I have! Through the day job that I love, I’ve met hundreds of wonderful people. Some of them became friends. Woot! Woot!

In conclusion – I’m happy with my age. I’m happy with my life.

Happy Birthday to me.