Camping Menu

I made this spreadsheet with a grocery list last year for our camping trip. We’re using the same thing again this year because it’s ready and it works!

4 Day Camping Menu

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Anyone Terrified After Chester Bennington’s Suicide

Chester Bennington, Linkin Park’s lead singer died from his ongoing battle with depression on Thursday, July 20. His best friend Chris Cornell’s birthday. Chris Cornell died from his own battles earlier this year, and I guess the world just got to be too much for him. Songs like Heavy, Numb, and many others illustrate how hard he fought, and have helped me in my own battles.

As with any loss of someone who seemed to have it all together, have found peace, and I find out that they were just wearing their mask well, I’m shaken. Not as much as Robin Williams, or even Chris Cornell. I suppose I’ve become numb.

I first heard their music from a boyfriend who would chat with me on yahoo messenger. I immediately bought their first cd, and quickly followed with the next. I’d admittedly lost track of them but I haven’t keen listening to any music. That’s what happens when I’m in my own dark place. I drive in silence which is the only place I’d hear new music. I look at poles, trees, and avoid them. I’m not here right now, I’m driving with music again. Even singing along.

Chester dealt with a lot of heavy stuff, and now he can find peace. As someone who is and has battled, we all die some how and some time. It’s always sudden. RIP Chester.

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Damn It!

Today should have been a very exciting and happy day. Stress free, fun, great even. It wasn’t. You know why? Bipolar depression is why. It f-ing robbed me of another great day and I’m pissed. I have felt exhausted, short tempered, and wanting to be isolated for a few days again, and today was supposed to be great.

Today, hubby and I picked up or brand new cars! My much anticipated, for the last 5 years needed, minivan. It has full stow-n-go! It has Bluetooth hands free! It’s all I wanted and has a trailer hitch to go camping! I’m thrilled! But I don’t look it, and I just feel like crap for it. F you bipolar depression.

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Chris Cornell, RIP

Chris Cornell died this week. Another icon of my formative years gone. He died of depression. The very beast that has held me captive on and off my entire life. I was first taken to a therapist at 7. I felt unloved, and like I didn’t matter. That I could disappear and no one would care. This was only self-proven when I’d hide for hours and no one would come looking. No one knows I did this, and it will break my mom’s heart to read, but it was an ongoing theme in my mind even if it wasn’t true in hers.

When ever I hear another big and famous has lost their battle, it hits deep because they could get the best help available. But it didn’t matter. Robin Williams hit me hardest, and most recently, the founder of the semicolon movement, Amy Bleuel.

I’m in a pretty good place right now with the sun coming back, and a new job at a supportive work place. This helps me to see him as sick, and not sink in to the ‘if he can’t beat it why do I think I can?!’

Read this article. It speaks volumes.

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My Tattoos

When I was 18 I got my first tattoo. I designed it with lots of symbolism.

  • the pentacle: penta=5 sided star, cle=circle so five sided star in a circle. This is not a symbol of evil, but instead a symbol of the elements. Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Spirit, and the circle uniting them is the God and Goddess.
  • the horns: the God’s horns
  • the moons with the circle: the Goddess
  • the rune algiz is a protection rune
  • algiz together with the horns, and circle of the pentacle, makes the symbol for Mercury, my birth planet
  • the algiz and the circle also make the symbol for Venus but with arms up like an arrow because I’m a demiboy (previously tomboy)
  • the wings are the wings of Athena’s owl, also protecting, but giving wisdom
  • the spirals going widdershins (counter clockwise) banish negative energy around me
  • the spirals going deocil (clockwise) bring positive energy around me
  • the black also banishes, and the blank space to be white also draws

Then there’s my Pink Ink Day tattoo of a butterfly with a pink ribbon for breast cancer awareness. I got this in October 9, and within a month my Uncle passed.

Pink Ink Tattoo (I reacted to the pink and the bright fuschia all came out)

I got three tattoos this past year from Korrine. My arrow tattoo again has lots of symbolism. The arrow point is a point I dug up on my dig when I was studying archaeology in university. The broken string represents breaking free from what’s holding me back, and the 5 leaves are me and my immediate family members. 5 is also my lucky number. It is also to remind me that “An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. So when life is drawing you back with difficulties, it means it’s going to launch you into something great. So just focus and keep aiming.” ~ Green Arrow

Arrow Tattoo (L forearm)

My second tattoo that day was a circular Gallifreyan tattoo with my kids names. I’m a huge fan of Doctor Who, and it seemed right to have their names in this way.

Circular Gallifreyan tattoo (R bicep, Korbin top R, Amberle top L, Kahlen bottom)

My third tattoo that year was my semicolon tattoo. I’m sure you’ve heard of the semicolon tattoo movement, and also that it’s founder recently lost her life to suicide. I have so far not lost this battle, and on November 11, I went and got my water colour semicolon poppy tattoo. I’m still here.

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My Piercings

img_0365I started getting pierced when I was 7. I had been begging my mom to get my ears pierced, so off we went for my 7th birthday to the local hair shop to get my ears pierced with the typical 16ga ear studs and piercing gun. It hurt, and I begged not to have the other one done, but yeah, I got it done!

At 10, I got my second holes again with a gun, 12 third, 16 first helix, 17 second helix because I didn’t like the first placement, and then reopened and connected with a circular barbell. When I was 18 I got my tragus. All done with the piercing gun. All cartridge on my right ear. For my tragus I knew better, I just didn’t care.

At 16 I got my belly button done after piercing it myself several times. I also pierced my left hand webbing several times myself before having it done professionally at 18. I had my labret done the first time at 17, and again at 18. The second time is the one I still have. Yes, there’s a scar from the first time. These were done at Tattoo Art and More, as was my first tattoo summer of my 18th birthday.

At 18, I also got my nipples pierced with a couple friends. That is to this day my most painful piercing! Yes, even including my vertical hood piercing that I got when I was 19. When I was 18 I also got my tongue webbing pierced, because everyone else had the tongue proper, and I don’t like being the same. These were done at Tora Tattoo.

I started stretching my ears when I was 17. I initially went to a 12, then as my 12 gauge plastic UV captive bead rings broke, I’d slide the piece into my bottom hole. This got me to 6mm, and then I bought a taper to go to a 0 gauge/8mm. Stretching is also interesting for me, because I had always stuck extra earrings in my holes because I liked the look. I remember doing this first when I was likely about 10, and being fascinated with the stretched lobes in National Geographic.

I shrunk my lobes back down for my wedding because I waited too long to order plugs. They said they were custom and would take 6 months, and I only had 4 left, so yeah. They shrunk from about 14mm down to a 4/6ga depending on the ear.

This concludes my piercings until I had my nose done for Valentine’s Day 2013, when I decided to get my L nostril pierced. This took a long time to decide, because like I said, I don’t like being the same. Everyone and their mother has a nose ring, but I didn’t like wearing my lip ring at work teaching, so I’d let it shrink down to unwearable, and at least I could get away with a nose ring. I chose a sparkly one. I tore it out with my bracelet in my sleep a week later and had to go back to True Love to get it put back in. After that it was smooth sailing.

As my previous post stated, I had my conch pierced finally February of last year at Perfect Image, London. I always do lots of research before getting pierced, because it’s who I am. I initally wanted a 10 gauge, but it’s not recommended to go above a 14 gauge in cartilage without doing a dermal punch. A needle slices the cartilage and then it’s moved aside to fit the jewelry. A dermal punch cuts a hole for better healing and less pressure. 12 was pushing it, but I didn’t want a bitty 14. Honestly, this could be part of why it bled so long (at 8 weeks I’d still be dripping blood randomly at work) and it’s still collecting lymph at 15 months. Conch piercings can take 12-18 months to fully heal though. Perfect Image was chosen by a classmate, and just so happened to be the same shop my Tattoo Artist Korrine works at, so they got a lot of my business that month!

Last summer I started restretching my earlobes too. I missed them still 13 years later, so I opened them back up. This time nice an slow, and took about 6 months to go from 6mm to 12mm. I am feeling more like me. I’m positive that the writers for Moana wrote the song I’m So Shiny for me!

My industrial I had done closer to home. When I was pierced in Kitchener, I lived 45 min from there. When I was pierced in Waterloo, I was at University in Waterloo, and very much coveting a tattoo from Jamie Izumi. His wait list is why I only got one tattoo (and not from him, found him after) as a young adult!

Anyway, I had my industrial pierced by Chris Knight at Black Sheep in Windsor. You can follow that journey here. I have now been living down in Windsor for 7 years, and while I drive to London for tattoos, I wanted to find someone closer to home for my needle therapy. Highly recommend the shop and Chris. He was very professional, and talked through every step to let the customer know sterility, why he was doing certain things, and so on. A+

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My Industrial Piercing

This is going to be an updated post over the course of healing. I have wanted this piercing for years, and it is a reward to myself for losing the first 10lbs after gaining 40lbs on Cipralex.

I have also been on a mission this year to find myself. As a teen I wanted to be a tattoo artist and piercer, and collected many piercings, but just the one tattoo. When Kanga was 2, I got my second tattoo, a pink ink day tattoo of a butterfly ribbon. I’ll post my collection later.

This past year in February I got my conch pierced at 2mm/12ga, an arrow on my forearm, and circular galifreyan tattoo of the kids names on my inner bicep. In November I got a poppy semicolon. I’ve put my lip ring back in, taken it out, put it back in (and gotten a proper taper to do it with). I also opened my lobes back up to 12mm/1/2″. I’d let them shrink down for my wedding, and 13 years later still missed them.

Current ear piercings:


May 7, 2017: cleaning sucked last night, but I managed to not bump it once last night while sleeping. This morning a salt water soak, and a qtip gunk removal after my shower. Still tender, but swelling is minimal and less overall ouch.

Piercing itself was done slowly so that he could get it perfect the first time. I felt every bit of the needle going through the skin, cartilage pop, and then out the other side, skin pop. That was different from my other piercings as the piercer would line up and then pop it through. Like I said though, he lined it up perfectly, so worth it. Out of 10, maybe a 5 with conch being a 3.

He was very relaxing and yoga instructor like while doing his work, hence my ‘yoga with needles remark!’

Note on bar: Chris Knight of Black Sheep put in the proper length to avoid it getting caught, because ears flex. He also doesn’t do two bars because piercings settle and they may not fit the single bar again after healing. I had choice of jewelry, and asked what the material of the green one was and he said titanium. As I prefer titanium, here it is!

#industrialpiercing #scaffoldpiercing #industrial


1d: (mild swelling and redness, still very sore, exp forward helix)

6d: helix is fine, barely sore at all. Forward helix, yeah no. You can see that flaming red sore mess. Not hot, but extremely sensitive.

1w: pain in forward helix worse yet. Redness still worse. I shaved the area around the forward helix because IDGAF and it won’t get caught. I also sterilized my glasses arm, and am not wearing my glasses tomorrow.

1w+1d: goo is releasing. Doesn’t look infected, just lymph, but pain is better, and no glasses seems to have helped. I also got some Bactine yesterday which has lidocaine in it as well as an antiseptic, so I’ve been spraying that on it a couple times a day in addition to the sea salt soaks.

Some cleaning regimen photos:

Morning Sea Salt Soak (1 cup boiled water, as hot as you can tolerate and 1/4tsp non-iodized sea salt for 5 min)

The nice ring I get from soaking, but note how much less redness I have already since I started using the Bactine on Saturday! (1w+2d)

Note on jewelry:

Most of my jewelry comes from Buying jewelry online is not optimal, because you only exacerbate the problem of not being able to buy quality jewelry at local shops. To get your shop to carry more selection, you have to support the shop. You should also be looking to get one of three main metals.

  • Stainless Steel meaning 316 LVM F-138 or Permanent Implant Grade
  • Titanium meaning Grade 2 Commercially Pure / 6AL4V ELI F-136 or Permanent Implant Grade (this can be anodized, or coloured to any sheen seen on an oil slick)
  • Niobium which is completely hypoallergenic, but has some downfalls as well. Look up Pangea Piercing for lots more on quality jewelry and why it matters.

Photos to be placed and annotated:

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    The Mental Disorders of Winnie-the-Pooh Characters

    My son and I are into conspiracies. Check out this Winnie the Pooh one!

    Knowledge Guild

    Winnie the Pooh: An article by the Canadian Medical Association diagnosed and identified him with three disorders based on the following behaviours:

    • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It is likely that he suffers from the inattentive subtype where a patient exhibits careless and indifferent behaviour towards his peers without exhibiting narcissism.
    • Impulsivity with obsessive fixations. He is obsessed with honey. He grabs it everywhere he can and is even prepared to take risks in order to acquire it. This fixation has also contributed to his obesity.
    • Obsessive-compulsive disorder: He is exhibits repetitive counting. On top of that, because he suffers from OCD in combination with ADHD which could eventually contribute to Tourette syndrome in later life.

    Piglet: Generalized Anxiety Disorder. He may have suffered a significant self-esteem injury in the past which is causing him great stress, anxiety and general nervousness. He also suffers from a distinct…

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    We started a family tradition when Dude turned 7: make it a night to remember! We took him to Medieval Times, spoiled him rotten with a knighting ceremony, big cheering flag, tshirt, sword, and shield. He loved it and talks about it still at 12.

    Well, Princess turned 7 this year and with moving, a new job, and all of that mayhem, it took a couple months to get there. Wednesday was the night though! She took a while to warm up to what was going on, but then she had a blast!

     She made her dress with me, got her high heels, and smiled from ear to ear.  This is her with her “handsome knight.”

    And finally her ladyship ceremony.  

    She got her big cheering flag, name announced during the tournament, and a dragon dagger as part of her ladyship ceremony.

    We also found a Zelda sword and shield that we had to get for Dude. 😉 He and Pirate stayed with Hubby’s sister who spoiled them. 😀 Everyone had a blast, and Hubby’s bro came too!

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    Up, Down, Turn Around

    I haven’t written in months. Sorry. I know that sucks for followers who want a daily update. As much as I admire journaling (Vampire Diaries anyone?) I have many, many, as in shelves of incomplete diaries. This blog will just have to be among the gaps.

    So far this summer we’ve moved: I love the new house, the neighborhood is fantastic, great park, great people, great walks. Yet I’ve adjusted my meds because I kept getting off track. First couple months things were looking up. Next couple worse and worse. Not the depression side, the hypomania side. The overwhelmed, about to explode, can’t control my emotions and spending impulsivity side. Not good. With this comes the ‘how do I stop it?’ wanna wanna wanna… Don’t wanna admit what I wanna.

    Work is great. I was working a lot while people were on vacation, and now that everyone is back I’ve slowed down. I need to work more. I miss the dogs and the routine otherwise. Childcare has sorted itself out, and we’re doing great!

    Dude passed his babysitter course last weekend, so soon he’ll be ready for the three hour gap between my eve and hubby’s night shifts. Perfect!

    Yet, while I know I should be happy, I just don’t feel it, and that makes me feel guilty.

    Summer is almost over, we’ve had 3 pool parties, and that was great! Showing family and friends the new place, hanging out, high times! Then the exhaustion and insomnia hits. When you can’t sleep you can’t recharge, and 2-3 hours sleep a night makes for an even more difficult ride, but that’s all part of the hypomania. It sucks.

    But, hey, life is great! Everything is going well. If I could just get my head sorted out that would be great.

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