Understanding Depression by Cartoon


©solar-citrus from tumblr

“You would be surprised with how many people in your life could be going through depression at this very moment.  People hide it like a paper bag over their heads out of fear of being judged, made fun of, seen as weak, or just not taken seriously.  Depression should not be taken lightly, it holds us down from our purpose and potential in life.  Those who tell you that it doesn’t exist have never experienced depression in their life, therefore not understanding the symptoms and how it’s something that cannot be fixed in a day!  So if you think you are depressed or if you think you know someone else who is, please talk to a friend, a family member, or anyone else in your life that you trust – never overlook the possibility of seeing a doctor for more professional help!!  Your feelings are real, your feelings are shared upon millions.  Don’t hide it, talk to someone about it.  With the right help, you can rediscover your confidence and begin life anew with our undying love and support!

We are right here!!”*

For the entire cartoon see solar-citrus.tumblr.com*  HERE.

Understanding Introverts by Cartoon


©Roman Jones from Huffington Post article, How to Understand an Introvert by Chart

The Huffington Post published an article by Lindsay Holmes about introverts and how to understand them better with illustrations by Roman Jones.

“What do you picture when you think of an introvert?

Many people associate the personality type with being shy or aloof, when really they just tend to reflect inwardly. In fact, introverts can just easily be social butterflies like their extroverted counterparts, they just approach it differently. But that’s not all that makes up an introvert: They also are extremely detail oriented, tend to be old souls and make the most of downtime….”

For the full article with cartoon read HERE.

Following sixth sense

Do you believe you have sixth sense or intuition?
Intuition comes from the Latin word intuitio meaning consider, or contemplate. That implies that thoughts are processed in order to reach a decision. These thoughts may be made in a micro second from knowledge already acquired. Yet there may be no thought at all. Others perceive apparent lack of thought and verbalise their concerns and suggest better thought should go into a decision. They know best after all.

What is one of your best decisions you have made so far in your life? Did you take a leap of faith? Did you enter into the unknown on a whim? Did your friends think you were crazy, but were secretly wishing they were doing it too? Does following our sixth sense or our intuition make one feel more alive?
Or just irrational?

Do we perceive ourselves as being more rational than we really are? Despite all the facts being in front of us do we sometimes jump the way we weren’t supposed to or expected to? Can we explain all our decisions that we make? Should we question ourselves? Does it really matter what we decide to do? Are we really making our own decisions? Should we be more reasonable?

Do we make better decisions when we analyse what our options are?  Or do we get tangled in the process and become tied up in knots and unable to make a decision. When we have too many choices that can cause us to make no decision at all. Think the wine aisle at the supermarket. Yet with only several choices to make we are able to decide. Egg section at the supermarket. The Paradox of Choice, by Barry Schwartz, delves into this more is less with choice making.

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

Robert Frost (18741963) from the poem The Road Not Taken

Crime against Autism Update

Remember that ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Prank against an Autistic Boy in Ohio that happened early September 2014.

“Three of the teens will be charged with delinquency, assault and disorderly conduct, the prosecutor’s office said, while two others face a single count of disorderly conduct. Their names were not released because they are juveniles.”*

More on the details here at NBC.

I have been monitoring this case since it happened hoping that the incident wouldn’t just disappear without punishment. The justice wheels move slowly but they are moving. For more on the incident see my earlier post, Crime against Autism.

A Round Toit



A round toit is not a common species of bird. Nor is it rare species. A round toit is a person who continually puts things off and is often heard to say, “I’ll get around to it.”

I printed off a label today, a label that said “PRESS.” It was not a difficult essay nor a challenging wording, just “press.” If that was the case then why did it take so long to get around to it? I then proceeded to unscrew the plate next to the button, and insert the cut label. In all, the task would have taken, 10 minutes, lets say 15 minutes to be generous as I needed to find the Allen keys.  And allowing for selecting the right size key too. Why are they called Allen keys instead of Veronika keys?

I have walked passed the plate with no label for over a year. It annoyed me each time and yet I did nothing. Why has it taken me so long to do this? I feel immensely happy that I have done this task.

Tomorrow will be another Round Toit job.

The Bye and Bye

Art therapy, a saving grace





I was surfing the internet and came across an article on CNN here about the  extraordinary art of an autistic “5 year old Monet.”
Iris Grace is her name and her mother set up a website for her artwork and journey, all can be found here.
Art therapy is a saving grace. What is Art Therapy?

The cat in the photo is Thula, a therapy cat.


British Association of Art Therapists
American Art Therapy Association

Cat doors, telescopes and cell phone towers


©Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management

We had a power cut for two and a half days. We survived. The food in our freezer and fridge didn’t. The cause was a fire at a power station. My emergency mode kicked in and I found torches, candles, the portable gas burner and canisters, and the emergency radio. We found batteries and matches. We got wood in to heat the house with the fireplace. We got sorted. We realised that the back up generator was luckily in the front entrance. We had planned on putting it in the garage out of the way but we never got around to it. The garage door is electric so we couldn’t have gotten inside. It wasn’t life threatening for us. From the luxury of a 1st world country we experienced what people in some 3rd world countries experience on a daily basis. It gave us time to stop and think.

Emergency Survival Kit
How did we do?

  • Torch with spare batteries or a self-charging torch
  • Radio with spare batteries
  • Wind and waterproof clothing, sun hats, and strong outdoor shoes.
  • First aid kit and essential medicines
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • Pet supplies (if applicable)
  • Toilet paper and large rubbish bags for your emergency toilet
  • Face and dust masks
  • Basic phone (suggested)

I can say that we had all of these items however I must point out that we took some time to get our hands on them. The only things we actually used were the torches, phone, radio and batteries. Candles are not recommended in an earthquake for the danger of fire but we used them in the black out at night. Candle light dinners are quite lovely even in a blackout.

If you need medical help dial 111 in New Zealand.

Power out? Traffic lights don’t work, chaos on the roads, especially at night.
If you have electric gates or garage doors you won’t be able to go far anyway.

In an emergency the radio will broadcast the situation and suggestions of what to do. The following radio stations below broadcast for the Civil Defense in emergencies in Auckland:

RADIO frequencies:
Radio New Zealand: 101.4FM or 756AM
Newstalk ZB: 1080AM 89.4FM
Classic Hits: 97.4FM
More FM: 91.8FM
Radio Live: 100.6 FM or 702 AM

Know where to turn off gas, water and power if necessary.
Check your neighbours and see if they are okay.

Notes to Self:
Emergency items shouldn’t be stored in the garage.
Inverter generators need both oil and fuel. This needs to be prepared BEFORE a disaster. Only use OUTSIDE. They are noisy so keep usage to daylight hours.
Keep the freezer and fridge doors closed to keep the temperatures as low as possible in a power cut. You can add ice to the fridge if there is space.
Fill the bath up with cold water just in case there is a problem with the water supply. Chilled Savingnon Blanc? Drinking, washing, dishes.
Have two forms of heating for your house.
Stock up on firewood a season ahead of time so you guarantee dry wood.
Have surge protectors on electronic goods ie. computers, TV, stereo,…
Unplug as much as you can so that when the power comes on there won’t be a surge.
Portable gas stoves with gas canisters or a gas BBQ are useful in an emergency.
Candles need to be lit before it gets dark. Torches/electric lamps are safer. Candles more primal or intimate.
Basic phones are needed if there is a phone connection is working, cordless phones don’t work in an emergency.
Cell phone towers also have power cuts and so cell phone reception may not work in an emergency.

RESULTS: For 2+ days we managed okay but if it was for longer we would not be so comfortable.

Store emergency goods in an easy to reach place. Make sure everyone in the house knows where they are.
Have plenty of batteries for torches and radios, phone charging.
Prepare torches before it gets dark. Prepare dinner before it gets dark. Prepare and do as much as you can before it gets dark.
Solar power devices are handy for charging small devices.
Have enough water for 3 days, drinking, washing, cooking. Fill the bath with cold water.
Have enough canned foods to be self sufficient for TWO weeks. Remember the can opener.
If you have a burglar alarm or magnetic gates the back up batteries will need replacing.
Create good habits in daily life so that when an emergency strikes you will be prepared.

Cat doors are useful with generators for running electrical cords from the generator to inside the house.
Cell phone towers lose power too so cell phones don’t always work. Don’t expect to be able to communicate via cellphone.
Emergency radios are brilliant! Ours has a wind up handle in case the batteries run out.
Use a telescope at night to see the stars without the light pollution during a blackout. Next time!
I do not panic in an emergency.

Get another load of firewood.
Put together an Emergency Get Away Kit for if we need to evacuate the house in a hurry.
Find a place for the Get Away Kit.
Request an annual burglar alarm check.

Civil Defence New Zealand
Get Ready Get Thru
Auckland Civil Defence

The Temptations – Get Ready


How do you enjoy music?

If you don’t know the words to a song can you still say that you like the music? Of course. Most of the music I listen to I don’t really listen to the words. I like the tune or the arrangement. Some singers no matter how hard you listen to them you can’t make out the words anyway. You need the lyrics in front of you to work it out. If I don’t know the words to a song it doesn’t bother me that I don’t know all the words. It may be just the chorus that I manage. It doesn’t seem so important. If the notes are put together well you just enjoy the music. By now you’re thinking I don’t sing along to music. Well I do sometimes and the words might be different. My best friend listens to music and checks the lyrics and knows the meanings behind the songs and will quite happily play the same song over and over again.

Listening styles vary from person to person. Some listen to music by themselves and close their eyes and float off into the song. Others play music as background while they do something like cooking, housework, writing or working. Others listen to music as a social activity and invite people over and share the moment in the form of a party. Some go to live concerts. Some play music to drown out the sound of parents or neighbours arguing. Some prefer headphones to shut out the outside sounds or the commuter traffic. Then again it depends on the moment. We listen to music in different ways. It’s a way to relax or change our mood, a time to not think, but to enjoy.

Discovering new music is exciting and I tend to associate music with places or times. When you hear a song or the radio you can instantly be transported back to the moment when you heard the song the first time or at some memorable time in your life. Some music I listen to now I wonder why on earth I liked a particular singer or band.  Some are just cheesy. Tastes change and we grow and morph our likes with our growth. Others still enjoy the same music they listened to in their earlier days and reminisce about the good old times. If you are lucky the bands of your youth are still together for most they just fade away into obscurity. That’s life.

I like a wild variety of music and some I need to be in the mood to listen to it, other times the music puts me into a better mood. Music is universal, it can be enjoyed regardless of whether you understand the secrets of the lyrics or not, or whether you understand the language or not. If it makes you happy, or mellow isn’t that enough?

I said earlier that I don’t really listen to the words. But is that really true? Is that because I have listened to the song so many times that I know what the words are and don’t hear them themselves but instead hear the essence of the song? I don’t know. Or am I a lazy listener? There is no right or wrong way to listen. I’m just glad that people keep bringing out new music. It is quite incredible the millions of way we can tell the world about love, sadness or heartbreak. And then there are the new versions of old songs. The original is not always the best. But again each to their own. Luckily. Otherwise we the choice would be limited.

Music touches you without you really knowing how. It brings joy or tears. I don’t really want to unravel the mystery of music. I want the magic to remain. I want to thrilled and surprised. That is why I love Shazam, the music capture app that allows you to find new music at the touch of a button. I have used this in taxis, in shops and restaurants. It’s like a music jotter pad. When you get home you can check out the music and download it at your leisure. Of course you can do all that from the back of a taxi too. One song I heard on a  Thai Airlines flight and asked the flight attendants and luckily someone knew. It was the music they played in between film selections. It’s a Thai song and it is really catchy and is just a happy song. Again no idea what the lyrics are. I don’t even know how to pronounce the title but still love the bubbly song.

Got any songs you want to share?

MUSIC BOX SELECTIONS in no particular order
Evanescence – My Immortal

Stromae – Papaoutai

Deep Forest – Sweet Lullaby

25 hours – โลกใบใหม่ (1st song on the Colours in White album)

Jeremy Redmore – Bad Philosophy

Nina Pastori Cuando Nadie Me Ve

Buika Jodida Pero Contenta

Goyte – Somebody That I Used To Know (featuring Kimbra)

Miguel Bose with Paulina Rubio – Nena

Niraj Chag – The Lost Souls

Elis Regina – Aguas de Marco

Oceania – The Trumpet/Pukaea

Sa Dingding – Alive

Something is amiss

Something is amiss. Someone keeps putting my husband’s belongings in odd places.  I didn’t used to believe in elves, faeries or goblins. Trolls and pixies, yes, but not the others. (I was a Pixie when I was a Brownie.) How else can you explain it? I wonder if we need to consult a wizard?