A Day to honor ALL Service members and their Families.

Image result for veterans day quotes
 Every November 11, patriotic Americans set aside time to honor military veterans, both alive and passed, and thank and remember them for their service. Today we call this special day Veterans Day. But it wasn’t always called that. In fact, it wasn’t even a national holiday for a long time.
Originally called Armistice Day, the holiday commemorated the end of World War I on November 11, 1918, when fighting ceased in what was at the time shortsightedly called The War to End All Wars. (Nobody knew that 20 years later the world would fight again.) Seven months after the cease-fire armistice was signed, the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, officially ending the war between Germany and the Allied and Associated Powers.
Immediately after the war ended, grateful citizens and veteran groups started lobbying for official recognition of the war’s end with a national holiday. By 1938, 27 states had made November 11 a legal holiday in commemoration, so on May 13, Congress made it a federal holiday by passing legislation that declared November 11 “dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be hereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day.’”
By the time World War II ended, over 16 million veterans had served, and by the end of the Korean War, 5.7 million more were added to the rolls. After extensive lobbying by veteran groups and service organizations, Congress amended the law in 1954 to remove “Armistice” and replace it with the broader-reaching term “Veterans” to honor all who had served.
But then it got confusing. In 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Bill, which moved four federal holidays – Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day – to Mondays instead of a certain date. The new law took effect January 1, 1971 and made the first Veterans Day under the new law fall on October 25. When President Gerald Ford, a Navy veteran, took office in 1973, he recognized the significance November 11 held in American history and urged Congress to reverse the Uniform Monday Holiday Bill, which it did in 1975.
Today, thanks to United States Senate Resolution 143, which passed on August 4, 2001, Veterans Day is the beginning of National Veterans Awareness Week, which run November 11-17 for the purpose of educating elementary and secondary school children on the sacrifices and contributions of veterans.
As we celebrate Veterans Day this November 11, let us remember the sacrifices of those who currently serve and those who have served in the past. Thank one of the over 21 million veterans currently living in the United States. Shake a hand. Tell them how grateful you are. Most of all, remember what they have done to protect and preserve this country.

LET US NOT FORGET THOSE RETURNING HOME!

Too often we forget about our Veterans when they return home.  Some become homeless and many business' won't hire vets because they are afraid of the implications and problems that might come with the vet...e.g PTSD episodes, flashbacks, health problems, and many others.
There are programs to help vets but a lot of them fall through the cracks and are told there is nothing that can be done.
Others don't want to socialize, after what they've been through I'm sure it's hard to even trust a human being again.
And let us talk about the VA:

 But I would like to provide some links that might help.

The link below will tell you how to apply for healthcare benefits.
 https://www.va.gov/health-care/how-to-apply/  

BELOW IS A LINK TO HELP HOMELESS VETERANS

 https://www.va.gov/HOMELESS/for_homeless_veterans.asp
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is the only federal agency that provides substantial hands-on assistance directly to homeless people. Last year, VA provided health care services to more than 100,000 homeless veterans and provided services to 70,000 veterans in its specialized homeless programs. 

https://www.military.com/benefits/veteran-benefits/homeless-veterans-programs.html

I also have a website with a RESOURCE page for veterans www.loris-song.com 

 RESOURCE LINKS:
Below are some resource links for PTSD 


Veterans Guide to a Peaceful Home Atmosphere

Trauma & PTSD in TEENS-Signs, Symptoms, Treatment

Recognizing TRIGGERS in PTSD


PTSD in the Workplace

12 Surprising Remedies for PTSD

Resources for Veterans- Housing, Education, Healthcare, Financing Options, Compensation you
might not 
know about

Mentally Fit- A blog where people can share, learn and educate one another in a safe setting

Bipolar: The role of Sleep in mental health.

I suffer from Bipolar. I was diagnosed in 2006, but probably suffered from it most of my life. But when I grew up Bipolar was not a word that was used or understood. So when I had a manic or depressive stage, I would just hear my family say..”that’s just Lori being Lori”. Had I been treated way back then I’m sure my life would have turned out differently. Then again I’m not really sure I would have wanted it to , because then I wouldn’t have met the wonderful, perfect man that I have now and have for 14 years. (anniversary September 24th).

I urge anyone who might read this and question themselves on this disorder to go see a mental health professional and get evaluated. If you have any questions at all I have a list of resources on my website: www.loris-song.com just click the resource button.

I welcome all of your comments, all I ask is do not solicit anything on this site, don’t be rude, or intimidating or you will be banned!

Bipolar Disorder and Sleep

Everyone has good days and bad days, and it’s natural to experience a range of emotional ups and downs. In bipolar disorder, though, moods exceed this normal range as people have periods of extreme highs (mania) and lows (depression). In the past, bipolar disorder was called manic-depressive disorder as a way of referring to a person’s moving between these two states.

Bipolar disorder is estimated to affect about 4.4% of people over the course of their lives, and this condition has significant effects on a person’s well-being. Previous research has indicated that 82% of people with bipolar disorder described having serious impairment within the past year.

Sleep has a well-established connection with bipolar disorder. During manic periods, people tend to sleep much less than normal, and during depressive periods, they tend to sleep much more. In each state, these sleep changes can amplify the symptoms of the condition.

Studies have increasingly found that sleep problems can be a predictor of bipolar episodes. Improving sleep for people with this condition may help manage symptoms and reduce the frequency of mania or depression.

In this comprehensive guide to bipolar disorder and sleep, we’ll review the basics about bipolar disorder including its types, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment. The guide investigates the complex connection between bipolar disorder and sleep and identifies ways that people with this condition can improve sleep, and in so doing, improve their mental health as well.

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a type of mental health condition known as a mood disorder. Mood disorders include several conditions in which a person has identifiable emotional disturbances. What distinguishes bipolar disorder from other types of mood disorders is that patients experience both extreme highs and lows.

People with bipolar disorder are not always either manic or depressed. There are times when the condition is in remission, during which a person is mostly or completely free of symptoms.

Bipolar disorder is equally common among men and women and is most often diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 30. It is rarely diagnosed among young children or the elderly.

What Are the Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder?

The symptoms of bipolar disorder are different depending on whether a person is in a manic or in a depressed state.

bipolar disorder symptoms

What Are the Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder During Manic Episodes?

During manic periods, people may feel extremely energetic, enthusiastic, and happy. They may have racing thoughts, quickened speech, and high levels of activity. People feel less need for sleep during episodes of mania, and they can be easily distracted. Even though they may feel elation, they can be irritable and impatient with others.

Mania brings an elevated risk of engaging in high-risk behaviors, especially because people experiencing mania usually do not realize that they are in this mental state. This lack of recognition can also lead to conflict with others and problems in social relationships.

The diagnostic definition of mania involves a person having symptoms for one week or longer. According to these criteria, mania includes elevated or irritable mood, increased energy, and three or more of the other types of symptoms described above.

Hypomania

Hypomania is a state that falls short of full-fledged mania. In a hypomanic episode, a person’s symptoms are less severe and often do not last for as long — a minimum of four days as opposed to one week for mania.

Hypomania includes feelings of energy, happiness, and creativity. In fact, many people find a hypomanic period to be enjoyable, productive, and with little impact on overall functioning. That said, they can still be easily distracted and irritable in ways that can create interpersonal conflict.

Manic Psychosis

Manic psychosis is an especially intense episode of mania. It can involve hallucinations, delusions of grandeur, paranoid delusions, and extreme increases in activity levels. Manic psychosis can resemble schizophrenia. This state can devolve to delirious mania in which a person’s speech and actions are highly unpredictable and irrational. Hospitalization is usually required during manic psychosis.

What Are the Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder During Depressed Episodes?

Depressed episodes stand in stark contrast to manic ones. Depression in bipolar disorder has symptoms that are similar to unipolar depression (depression in people who do not experience mania).

These symptoms include reduced energy, worsened mood, sadness, lack of interest in activities that normally bring pleasure, feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness, appetite changes (including both eating more or eating less), sleep changes (including sleeping too much or too too little), social isolation, difficulty concentrating, excess guilt, indecisiveness, and thoughts of suicide.

Psychosis, in which a person loses touch with reality, including with possible hallucinations or delusions, can occur during a state of depression. This is more common in patients with bipolar disorder than in people with unipolar depression.

depressive episode is formally diagnosed as such when a person has five or more of these symptoms, one of which must be depressed mood or loss of interest, during a two-week period.

Can Someone Have Mania and Depression at the Same Time?

Yes, and this type of episode is referred to as having mixed features. If a person has mania or hypomania along with three or more symptoms of depression, it can be categorized as a mixed episode. For example, a person may feel sad but also highly energized. Mixed episodes can be especially dangerous because the risk of suicide is elevated during these periods.

Most of the time, though, patients do not have mixed episodes. Instead, they may move between periods of mania and depression. The frequency of these episodes varies based on the person and can range from multiple episodes in a year to multiple episodes during a person’s entire life. If a person has four or more episodes within a year, it is called rapid cycling.

What Are the Health Consequences of Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder can have significant health consequences. During depressed episodes, patients suffer from major disturbances in mood and quality of life that can reduce functioning in all aspects of life. In manic episodes, risky behaviors can cause severe negative repercussions, and irritability may harm relationships with friends and family.

People with bipolar disorder are at a much higher risk of attempting or committing suicide. Studies estimate that the incidence of suicide is 15 times higher in people with bipolar disorder than in the general public.

Rates of substance abuse are higher in people with bipolar disorder. Other mental health conditions, like anxiety and ADHD, frequently occur alongside bipolar disorder. People with bipolar disorder are also at a higher risk of cardiovascular problems.

For all of these reasons, bipolar disorder is considered to be one of the top 10 leading causes of disability worldwide.

What Are the Types of Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is classified into different types based on how a patient experiences the symptoms of the condition.

Bipolar I Disorder involves significant manic episodes that usually require hospitalization. Extended depressive episodes are also frequent, and some patients may have mixed episodes.

Bipolar II Disorder involves depression and hypomania but without more severe periods of mania.

Cyclothymic Disorder occurs over an extended period of time — two years or more — and includes various symptoms of depression and hypomania. While a patient with Cyclothymic Disorder has symptoms reflective of bipolar disorder, they do not meet the condition’s formal diagnostic criteria.

There is also a category, known as Other Specified and Unspecified Bipolar and Related Disorders, that is used to group together the remaining types of bipolar disorder that do not fit the definitions of Bipolar I, Bipolar II, or Cyclothymic Disorder.

The type of bipolar disorder that a person has can affect their treatment as well as their overall prognosis.

How is Bipolar Disorder Diagnosed?

A doctor or psychiatrist diagnoses bipolar disorder based on specific criteria that have to do with the type and severity of symptoms. There is no laboratory test that can diagnose bipolar disorder.

Diagnosis usually involves two steps. The first step involves an evaluation of the patient’s condition and history including a discussion of any symptoms they may have experienced. A patient’s friends and family may be involved in this process, especially for answering questions about possible manic episodes.

If this first step indicates that a patient likely has bipolar disorder, then the second step is to make sure that the symptoms are not being caused by any other condition. This can include a review of a patient’s prescription medications as well as blood tests, urinalysis, and checking thyroid function.

How is Bipolar Disorder Different From Depression?

Both bipolar disorder and depression are mood disorders. People with bipolar disorder experience symptoms of depression, but they also have episodes of mania or hypomania. People with unipolar depression do not have manic episodes.

Part of the diagnostic process is intended to determine if a patient has had symptoms of mania so that bipolar disorder can be differentiated from unipolar depression.

What Are the Causes of Bipolar Disorder?

There is no known cause of bipolar disorder. Many researchers believe it is related to brain chemistry, but there is no established scientific finding that identifies the exact elements of brain function that give rise to bipolar disorder.

There are some indications that genetics play a role in bipolar disorder, but the disease is not considered to be determined strictly by genes. A family history, such as having a parent or sibling with the condition, increases a person’s risk, but most people with a family history never develop bipolar disorder.

Similarly, there is no exact cause for what triggers manic or depressive episodes in people who have already been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Studies indicate that the risk of mania in people with bipolar disorder is heightened after childbirth (in women), when a person has insomnia, or when a person is using certain types of recreational or prescription drugs.

What are the Treatments for Bipolar Disorder?

Treatment for bipolar disorder usually includes medications to manage symptoms and often involves psychotherapy. Electroconvulsive therapy, also known as ECT or shock therapy, can be used when other treatments do not help. The exact therapy provided depends in large part on the type and severity of a patient’s symptoms.

If a person is in a more extreme state, including psychosis associated with mania or depression, they may be hospitalized in order to reduce the risk of harming themselves or others.

Most patients with bipolar disorder take medications as part of their treatment. The most common classes of drugs that are used include mood stabilizers, antidepressants, and antipsychotics. Doctors work to tailor pharmacotherapy to fit a patient’s state and symptoms. It is important for patients to take medications as prescribed and not to stop taking them without consulting with a doctor as this can cause a rebound in symptoms.

For patients with extreme depression that does not get better with medications, or if a patient cannot tolerate the side effects of medications, ECT can be an effective treatment. During ECT, a patient receives anesthesia and then has an electric current applied to the brain. ECT often brings rapid relief to potentially life-threatening depression. While most often used for episodes of depression, it may also be useful in treating mania.

Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, can be another useful component of treatment for bipolar disorder. It is often employed as a type of maintenance therapy once a patient’s more significant symptoms have been reduced or resolved. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) works to confront negative thinking and often helps patients with bipolar disorder. Other types of talk therapy include Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy (IPSRT), which works to regulate daily routines, psychoeducation, which helps patients understand, monitor, and manage their mental health, and family or group counseling.

What is the Relationship Between Bipolar Disorder and Sleep?

woman stressed

Bipolar disorder and sleep have a multifaceted relationship. Changes to sleep patterns are extremely common for people with bipolar disorder and can include both insomnia and hypersomnia. In addition, mounting evidence points to sleep disturbances as being a contributing factor that can worsen symptoms of bipolar disorder or cause it to recur after a period of remission.

The following sections explain in further detail the way that bipolar disorder impacts sleep and how sleep problems influence the condition’s development.

How Does Bipolar Disorder Impact Sleep?

Disturbed or altered sleep is common in patients with bipolar disorder. Changes to sleep patterns can occur during both manic and depressed episodes.

During manic episodes, people with bipolar disorder feel a dramatic reduction in the need to sleep. With enhanced energy and mood, somewhere between 69% and 99% of patients in manic episodes indicate that they feel a decreased need for sleep.

When depressed, patients with bipolar disorder frequently sleep too much (hypersomnia). This can relate to a lack of energy and decreased interest in normally enjoyable activities, both of which are common depression symptoms. Hypersomnia is estimated to affect 38% to 78% of bipolar patients. Insomnia can also happen during episodes of depression, and in general, sleep can become disordered and inconsistent.

Even during periods of remission, when a person is not in a manic or depressed condition, sleep disturbances are common. One study found that 70% of people with bipolar disorder still have significant sleep disturbances during this period.

Sleeping problems are not just limited to too much or too little sleep. People with bipolar disorder frequently have low-quality sleep, inconsistency in their sleep from one night to the next, and problems getting to sleep. The nature of a person’s sleeping difficulties can shift significantly with time, the patient’s mood, and their response to medications.

possible underlying cause for sleep disruptions in people with bipolar disorder is a disordered circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is part of the body’s natural system for managing and balancing wakefulness and sleep. In most people, that rhythm is closely aligned with external cues, most specifically the day-night cycle in their local area. However, when the circadian rhythm gets thrown off, it can create a range of sleep disorders. Studies have found circadian rhythm irregularities in people with bipolar disorder, and these may be contributing to the diversity of sleeping problems that these patients can experience.

Another cause of sleep disruption is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a condition in which a person’s breathing stops temporarily at different points through the night. One study has found that nearly 25% of people with bipolar disorder have OSA, which can cause marked reductions in sleep quantity and quality. OSA has been linked to a host of other health problems as well, including depression and cardiovascular problems.

How Does Sleep Impact Bipolar Disorder?

Quality sleep is known to play a role in regulating mood, and that effect appears to be heightened in mood disorders. In multiple ways, poor sleep can lead to a worsening of bipolar disorder.

Numerous studies have found that sleeping problems, especially insomnia, play a role in bipolar disorder. This research has demonstrated that lack of sleep can exacerbate symptoms of both mania and depression. The impact has been found in studies examining patient reports over periods of seven days, eight weeks, and 12 months, indicating that sleep affects mood from the short through the long-term.

For patients who are in remission, sleep deprivation is associated with recurrence of symptoms. Research has found that sleep disturbances were the most frequent predictor of manic episodes and the sixth most common predictor of depressed episodes. Studies in which patients have been deprived of sleep have shown that this can induce mania or hypomania. Lack of sleep caused by sleep apnea may be a contributor to the recurrence of manic symptoms as well.

If poor sleep worsens bipolar disorder, the logical follow-up is to ask whether improving sleep can help reduce the symptoms. Early evidence indicates that a focus on sleep may have this potential. For example, one study that used a talk therapy intervention tailored for treating insomnia found that on average patients receiving this therapy got better sleep and were at a lower risk of relapse. Because of the way that sleep bolsters the ability to manage mood, a focus on sleep may serve as part of a valuable preventive mental health approach.

Have a GREAT DAY! Lori

Labor Day-2019

First I want to say that I love researching history and sharing what I”ve learned with everyone. I will try to put the words of what I’ve read into some type of synopsis. I truly think it’s important to know our history especially American history.

Why Do We Celebrate Labor Day?

Labor Day, an annual celebration of workers and their achievements, originated during one of American labor history’s most dismal chapters.

In the late 1800s, at the height of the Industrial Revolution in the United States, the average American worked 12-hour days and seven-day weeks in order to eke out a basic living. Despite restrictions in some states, children as young as 5 or 6 toiled in mills, factories and mines across the country, earning a fraction of their adult counterparts’ wages.

People of all ages, particularly the very poor and recent immigrants, often faced extremely unsafe working conditions, with insufficient access to fresh air, sanitary facilities and breaks.

As manufacturing increasingly supplanted agriculture as the wellspring of American employment, labor unions, which had first appeared in the late 18th century, grew more prominent and vocal. They began organizing strikes and rallies to protest poor conditions and compel employers to renegotiate hours and pay.

Many of these events turned violent during this period, including the infamous Haymarket Riot of 1886, in which several Chicago policemen and workers were killed. Others gave rise to longstanding traditions: On September 5, 1882, 10,000 workers took unpaid time off to march from City Hall to Union Square in New York City, holding the first Labor Day parade in U.S. history.

The idea of a “workingmen’s holiday,” celebrated on the first Monday in September, caught on in other industrial centers across the country, and many states passed legislation recognizing it. Congress would not legalize the holiday until 12 years later, when a watershed moment in American labor history brought workers’ rights squarely into the public’s view. On May 11, 1894, employees of the Pullman Palace Car Company in Chicago went on strike to protest wage cuts and the firing of union representatives.

On June 26, the American Railroad Union, led by Eugene V. Debs, called for a boycott of all Pullman railway cars, crippling railroad traffic nationwide. To break the Pullman strike, the federal government dispatched troops to Chicago, unleashing a wave of riots that resulted in the deaths of more than a dozen workers.

Who Created Labor Day?

In the wake of this massive unrest and in an attempt to repair ties with American workers, Congress passed an act making Labor Day a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories. On June 28, 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed it into law. More than a century later, the true founder of Labor Day has yet to be identified.

Many credit Peter J. McGuire, cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, while others have suggested that Matthew Maguire, a secretary of the Central Labor Union, first proposed the holiday.

Labor Day Celebrations

Labor Day is still celebrated in cities and towns across the United States with parades, picnics, barbecues, fireworks displays and other public gatherings. For many Americans, particularly children and young adults, it represents the end of the summer and the start of the back-to-school season.

My synopsis:

I feel depressed when this holiday is here. It means it’s the end of summer, and everyone it seems is in that mechanical work mode. Then October comes and we have my greatest holiday HALLOWEEN! Then November, Thanksgiving….not real hip on that cuz I can’t cook 🙂 Then December is here when everyone gets greedy and money oriented, and children and teens EXPECT expensive gifts rather than throwing away the technology for a week and just spend time with one another without looking at your phone constantly. I guess I’m a pessimistic person right now because I’m on disability and it truly sucks. If my memory hadn’t been destroyed with my head and spinal cord injury I could be a Nurse with a MSN. Working the job I loved and wanted to specialize in psychological nursing. Oh well I guess we can still celebrate Labor Day even when we can’t be part of the LABOR FORCE!

TAKE CARE ALL AND ENJOY YOUR HOLIDAY 🙂


There are no Atheist on the BATTLEFIELD!

     As many of you know I’ve been a nurse with a MSN and my minor was in psychology. I also have experienced a LOT in my life that has made me always wonder, question, and experiment with that one word RELIGION; that makes people either uncomfortable(people unsure in their religion and belief in God) or too comfortable(those that think they know everything about GOD, the Bible and are usually very JUDGMENTAL); I’m writing this not just to inform you about what I observe but to ask you to reply as to what your perception is of God and Religion or Spirituality.


First of all, let’s get a few things out in the open. I consider myself to be a spiritual person. But that does not mean that I am a perfect person. I have plenty of faults. I can swear like a sailor, I enjoy a good dirty joke, and I’m bipolar which really makes me imperfect in the eyes of society. 
Forgive me if this sounds overly judgmental, but to me terms like “faith” and “spirituality” are just shorthand for an individual’s inability to cope with the concept of oblivion .But that is my sarcasm which is paradoxical because I consider myself SPIRITUAL …see life isn’t just a series of RIGHT OR WRONG or CORRECT OR INCORRECT there are a LOT of in betweens.

But I also believe there is an omnipotent being or spirits *energy if you will; that surrounds us everywhere we are.  Ever really look into a puddle of water and realize where mirrors came from only the puddle is more beautiful?  The trees their colors seem to dictate or infer our sense of the season at hand.  Animals, insects, et al they seem to appear out of nowhere when our thoughts are deep and then out of the blue a butterfly will appear.  Or, we are miserable one day and go outside to smoke a cigarette and a damn bee won’t leave you alone.  I always see these as signs, I don’t believe in coincidences, but I also don’t believe in a God that most portray or envision.  e.g a large old man with a beard just inside a gold iron gate in heaven telling you your accepted or denied (this is an analogy for those of you who don’t know me).  Omnipotence just means EVERYWHERE, and no matter where you are there are things such as;  grass, dirt, trees, sky et al.  These things are omnipotent and influence everything in our daily lives.  E.G. if the sky brings rain then it would ruin a day at the beach……but then again that beach trip might have ended in sadness or death which brings us back to coincidence.  

There are so many ways to define peoples existence and their beliefs of what happens in the afterlife or when we die, I can’t possibly delve into each one.   *** Some of these statements below are copied from some papers that were published regarding this subject

Some of the things that influence how we perceive GOD, RELIGION, FAITH are cognitive, motivational, and societal.                                                           One cognitive factor is analytical thinking style. People who tend to act according to reason rather than intuition are also less likely to believe in God. Perhaps relatedly, we also see a tendency for people who are higher in intelligence to hold agnostic or atheistic beliefs. In contrast, people who are high in what’s commonly called “emotional intelligence”—that is, the ability to easily discern the emotions and motives of others—also tend to be more religious. Of course, it’s exactly this ability to read others’ minds that led to the rise of religious belief in the first place, hundreds of thousands of years ago on the African savanna.

There are also motivational reasons for religious belief. People who are socially isolated tend to have more religious faith, perhaps allowing them to feel they’re not truly alone. Likewise, people facing death are more likely to express faith in God and an afterlife. The old saying that there are no atheists on the battlefield is no doubt true to a large extent. Furthermore, faith in God increases when situations become uncontrollable, as in the case of natural disasters. Believing that God has a plan helps people regain some sense of control, or at least of acceptance.

Another motivational factor is self-enhancement. If you live in a society where religion is prized, it’s in your best interest to say you believe, whether you truly do or not. I’m sure there are plenty of doubters in the pews at Sunday services, though none will admit it.  And it’s not uncommon to hear stories of priests or pastors who’ve lost their faith but continue to preach because it’s the only way they have of making a living.

Finally, there are societal factors that influence the degree of religious belief within societies. As a general rule, religious belief is considerably lower in developed countries compared with the underdeveloped world. For instance, Japan has one of the highest standards of living in the world, but only 4% of its population claims to be religious. Traditionally, Japan was a Buddhist country, and religion played an important role in the daily lives of the Japanese until after World War II. A similar trend has occurred in Western Europe, which many social scientists now characterize as “post-Christian.”

The United States, with its high standard of living and high religiosity, is the glaring exception. However,   Japan and Western Europeans have universal health care and extensive social safety nets, as opposed to the U.S. The Japanese and the Europeans know their governments will come to their aid in their hour of need. But the laissez-faire attitudes of American society make people’s futures less certain and the belief in a benevolent God more attractive.

SYNOPSIS:

My belief is what I stated earlier there are spirits that are omnipotent in everything around us and they influence our lives and possibly afterlives.     I believe that our loved ones who were decent people watch over us until we pass over.  I have many questions about other subjects such as reincarnation e.g. Do people keep getting reincarnated into other people or animals dependent upon how they treated people in their past lives.  If I were a pedophile in my past life would I come back as someone who was tortured and raped like what was did to boys in your past life?  If I were a bad person but not necessarily evil would i keep coming back and bettering my life with each reincarnation until I got it right.  Like I come back as a cat who was abandoned and then I helped other cats get food, and then I come back as a cat who is spoiled rotten by their owner and they continue to be a good cat and are obedient and loving and there for their owner, then they get to graduate to a human reincarnation where they can get their behavior right until they perfect it (*or to the point of perfection which is allowed on this earth) then they get to go to the actual place or platform we call HEAVEN!  Or is it a merry go round?  I’m always thinking and questioning but what is funny is that when I’m in my car I talk to a person (I don’t know who I just have a conversation actually with myself but I usually ask this person questions I’m struggling with like:  is it right to forgive someone that has done you incredible wrongs in your life, if we forgive them on this earth does that give them a free pass into heaven?  I have had many people do me wrong and I’m sure I’ve done wrong to others usually by no INTENTION, so I wonder about this.  I love the people and my SPOILED CATS IN THIS LIFE, but I still would like to know whats waiting OUT THERE FOR ME when I pass.   I don’t think it’s wrong to question our faith and the entity we pray to.  What type of entity would scold you for asking questions if they are a loving understanding persona, entity, enigma (you choose)?  If what we have is an all knowing, all loving God who forgives all then I doubt very much if we question our reasoning and why we do the things or think the things we do.                        

Until I have all the answers (which I never will) I will continue to believe as I do, and I don’t push my beliefs on anyone nor do I judge those for their beliefs.  As long as we live on this earth and treat people with kindness, love and the ability to understand or try to understand both sides of the coin, then I feel like we are going down the right path.  The Bible to me is a book meant to teach people morals and just behavior with parables.  I don’t believe in Noah’s arc but I do believe that we should treat all animals with kindness and keep the need for continued existence of the species.  So many of our beliefs albeit evolution, reincarnation, Heaven, Hell, etal, still have one common factor :   PEOPLE and their FAITH.  As long as we do others no harm or foul and respect one another I think we will have done well in LIFE!  God Bless  

I hope you can make sense of this enough to reply cuz I’d love to hear your comments.

Goodbye my Bandit

I was just looking over my blog and getting ready to make some changes to it when I found this draft; and to my surprise I had never posted it.

This was my BFF who died and had been with me  for 12 years. I rescued him from this home that had dozens of cats all put into these carriers.  There were 10 kittens stuffed into these carriers and they were starving and were getting hit by kids that were there.  I got you , then called animal control and those people got fined and their kittens taken away.   I couldn’t believe that I had left this as a draft and never published it so people would see what a wonderful friend you had been to me.

I’m sorry Bandit, there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about you.  I wear your designated ring, I have your designated necklace hanging from my rearview mirror, and I have your memories with me ALWAYS!

 

 

 

I had this gravestone made for you, but I opted instead to make my own.  Your grave sits right out over the swamp by the edge of the trees where you liked to go and just sat there for hours.  You helped me get over a lot of grief by making me laugh or distracting me when you sensed me getting sad.  You never displayed anger, aggressiveness, never scratched or bit anything or one 🙂  You were such a good little guy.  I miss you so much and when you died I felt like my heart had been ripped out.  I add something to your grave every year and keep it beautiful in the summer by re-landscaping it:)  Your buried in your favorite purple blanket but that is not how I will remember you.  I will remember the times you sat on my lap and put your paw over my arm when I started crying about things that had happened to me, then you would look at me and I just knew you knew.  You took care of Ringo when I brought him home ( a little rescue kitten we thought would die) see below.  You two looked like brothers and you treated him ever so gently when he first came to us, but you helped me get him better by cuddling with him to kee

p him warm, you gave him baths, and you just layed silently next to him for hours just to keep him secure.  You were such a great guy.  Words can’t say enough for how I feel about you.  I know your in heaven and have crossed Rainbow Bridge, and I know your still looking over Ringo (he has diabetes) and his little friend Missy ( a tortie kitty that has made Ringo’s life miserable).  But I know that while your looking after him your also looking after us.  I can’t wait to see you again Bandit Boy!  You are always with me.  Peace little guy.

 

This was the original draft that never got posted.

Today 11/30/2015 My best friend Bandit died.  He was with me for 12 years and I’m so blessed to have had him in my life.  He was the best cat you could hope for.

He was with me through the whole time I wrote my book.  He used to get on my lap and play with the keyboard or paw my hands to get me to stop and pay attention to him.  He LOVED JOHN.  While John might not look thrilled at the moment it’s due to not wanting his picture taken, not because Bandit was on his lap and “claiming him”.  He would come and sit on John’s lap every night and would put his paw on John’s arm like he’s doing here..  484904_3215823227595_1022629225_n

 

 

D-Day +1 June 7th, 1944

D-Day +1 June 7th, 1944

I hardly heard anything about D-Day yesterday, so I will post for today June 7th.

There was a memorable story  that stood out was the journey 89 year-old Bernard Jordan took from his care home in Hove to join his colleagues in France.  It’s already been nicknamed The Great Escape. This story is a little late since Bernard Jordan did this a few years back but still entertaining none the less.  The rest is what I’ve read and cut and paste it since I think a lot of people should take this story and learn from it.

 

Quite rightly, the emphasis this weekend was on the veterans and thousands upon thousands of young men who died on those beaches and in the months following the invasion. But it got me to wondering about the news the British people received, listening to the radio or reading the papers to find out what was happening to their loved ones.

Once again, I turned to The Glasgow Herald of June 7th, 1944 for some insights and gathered together a collection of tidbits that appealed to me.

Whereas other papers’ headlines screamed Invasion, with only 8 pages available (because of paper rationing) The Glasgow Herald wasted little space on pictures and remained as understated as ever. On the front page were the usual blackout times (Glasgow 11.57pm until 4.34am) and notifications of births, marriages and deaths. The current entertainment available at the city’s theatres was listed (including the Half-Past Eight Show mentioned in last week’s blog) as well as a programme of musical concerts in city parks.

But the Invasion did make its presence known on the front page with notices from city churches informing the faithful of special prayers and services for ‘our King and County and Allies and for the Forces now invading Europe’. Glasgow Cathedral offered two services at noon and 3pm for ‘those engaged in the Second Front Operation’.

The Late News column referenced a German report which talked of ‘grim fighting’ between Havre and Cherbourg being the ‘bloodiest of the day’ with several hundred Canadian paratroopers wiped out or forced to surrender.

German Overseas Radio denied any fighting in Caen. ‘Mr Churchill’s reference about fighting in Caen is untrue. No enemy troops have penetrated into the city, therefore no fighting has taken place in Caen.’

Page two carried the Colonial Secretary being forced to deny a ‘silly and harmful story’ which had had much circulation, particularly in America, to the effect that America was being charged for every palm tree they destroyed in battles for the recovery of British possessions.

When talking about the history of invasion in Europe, one columnist pointed out that Caen had been the HQ of William The Conqueror before he turned his sights on England in 1066.

Eisenhower apparently carried seven old coins in his pocket – one being an ancient five guinea piece.  He is said to have given these mascots a rub before the Italian invasion and everyone hoped that the mascots would do as good a job again.

Regarding the Invasion of Italy and France, it had been decided by Roosevelt and Churchill at the Casablanca Conference in 1943 that an invasion of the west would be deferred until the Allies had cleared the Mediterranean and knocked out Italy.

Page 3 contained Scottish news with detailed Invasion news starting on page 4.

The Invasion was originally scheduled for Monday June 5th, but postponed for 24 hours because of bad weather.

German Radio admitted the Allies had a foothold 10-15 miles long and nearly a mile deep in France.

Allied landings also took place on Guernsey and Jersey in the Channel Islands.

Hitler was reported to have taken charge of the military response to the invasion.

Between midnight and 8am on June 6th, an estimated 31,000 Allied airmen flew over France. 1,300 Fortresses and Liberators began their attack at 6am ending at 8.30am.

Priority was being given for troops’ mail so that both the men in the front line and their relatives and friends at home should receive regular deliveries of letters.

One hour before they left for the beaches, the troops enjoyed a meal of pork chops and plum duff. Each solder was then given a ‘landing ration’ –  a bag of chocolate and biscuits and cigarettes for ‘consumption while waiting’.

Civilian workmen and villagers who had seen anything of the preparations at an American airfield were detained in the camp by the authorities for 48 hours until news of the landings were released.

125,000,000 maps were used by the US invasion forces.

Eisenhower broadcast a Call to the People of Europe:  The hour of your liberation is approaching. All patriots, men and women, young and old, have a part to play in the achievement of final victory.

General Montgomery wished the troops ‘Good Hunting in Europe’.

And then, on pages 7 and 8 it was back to normal with commodity markets, situations vacant, property, livestock and farms for sale.  A five-room terraced house with kitchen and scullery could be bought for 800 pounds. So much for the biggest invasion force the world had ever seen.

If you ever get the opportunity to watch the film The Longest Day, I highly recommend it. It’s a comprehensive view of the events of June 6th, 1944 from all sides involved.

CROSSING THE LINES OF CULTURE: ONE WOMAN’S EXPERIENCE IN IRAN – BY LORI FOROOZANDEH

The picture above is of my Iranian students  (whom I taught English to):

when I lived in IRAN.

If you write a book about something that is little known, you have to be prepared for questions. Some will be silly and trivial, some will be deeper: but there will be questions. I wrote about Iran. Immediately I learned that many Americans know little about that country and its culture. Many of the questions I have been asked have been about the women of Iran. They seem so different from the women of America, so different and so very hard to comprehend.

The mere mention of Iran invokes suspicion. Backwardness, fundamentalism, and terrorism were some of the words that seemed to immediately spring to American minds.  Iranian men are seen as bearded, militant, hostile, and chauvinistic. The women are assumed to be veiled, oppressed, and submissive. Shrouded in their traditional black chadors (the ultimate symbol of their oppression), Iranian women shown on television appear angry. Holding their hands in the air and chanting anti-American slogans, they are more than willing to join the men in a fight against the United States.

Is the anger and anti-Americanism of the Iranian woman real? Are these so-called truths only media propaganda? Are these mass images a reflection of “the people,” or are they just manufactured collages that deprive the individual Iranian woman of her personal humanity? Exactly who is the Iranian woman?

While her appearance seems to typify inferiority and the oppression of the “second sex” that is so prevalent in that part of the world, I beg to differ with the stereotype. Having lived in Iran and having been in day-to-day contact with many of these women, I know them to be wise, proud, and highly intelligent. They are also tactful if not downright manipulative as they deal with the male dominated society around them. They are in many ways truly heroes.

The true Iranian woman may be oppressed, but underneath she is rebellious. She is subjugated but unruly. She is controlled and at the same time defiant. She may seem hushed and subservient, but she is strong in her faith—a true believer—and ready to fight for it. However segregated and oppressed she may be, the Iranian woman is a revolutionary, a fighter, and willing to die for her nation. Yes, she is a loving mother and a dutiful wife, but she has the heart of a warrior and the soul of Persia beats within her.

In short, there is a contradiction between the submissive and the fierce sides of these women. Westerners tend to see only the passive and subservient side. Perhaps that is because Western observers have been so fascinated by what they have seen as so different from their own cultures. Certainly the conflict with Western values has highlighted the anti-feminist aspects of Iranian culture and Islam. In part the revivalism of modern Islam has fortified these traditional values and appearances.

However, having lived in Iran for three and a half years, I have seen the other side of Iranian women. Oriented very much in the here-and-now, Iranian women are pragmatic and are often looked to for advice. Most Iranian men were closer to their mothers than their fathers.  Of course, older sons have a sense of responsibility for their mothers and sisters should anything happen to their fathers. Also, because women are removed from men in the common run of things, they may seem somehow more enigmatic, some one who has to be understood—especially after an arranged marriage, when the man is suddenly expected to take on the role of husband, a role for which he has had so little training.

It is interesting to see how greatly Iranian women change when they come to the United States, especially those women who come by themselves. Without the pressures of family, Iranian women who immigrate to the U.S. frequently give up the chador. They wait to marry. And perhaps most importantly, they continue their educations.

While the women who come here with their families and husbands continue the traditional ways (or perhaps are pressured into doing so), the women who are on their own quickly adapt to this land of new opportunities. Perhaps the most immediate sign of that adaptation is the change in their clothing. The drabness of traditional dress is suddenly replaced with color. But underneath that exuberant change, they are still some of the kindest people you will ever meet.

 

Be sure to visit my website and purchase the book on Kindle,paperback or hardcover Lori  http://www.loris-song.com

I would appreciate Amazon reviews if you read my book.

Facts and Info regarding MAY DAY

 

What is May Day, anyway?

Indonesian workers in Jakarta celebrate May Day with a protest march, not a maypole.

  • May Day falls on May 1 every year
  • It is a holiday of summer celebration, but also marks International Worker’s Day

To most people in the Northern Hemisphere, May Day conjures images of brightly colored twirling ribbons and promises of warm days ahead. That’s not the whole story, though: May Day is also a day of protests and riots that traces its modern roots back to a world-changing explosion in Chicago.

When is May Day?

May Day is May 1 every year. Easy to remember, right?

What is May Day?

Depending on where you are, it’s either a seasonal celebration or a day to celebrate workers’ rights, or maybe a little bit of both. Think of the latter use as a Labor Day, if you will, for the rest of the world.

How did it start?

This is a more complicated question. Originally, May Day was an ancient pagan holiday celebrating the start of summer. In Gaelic traditions, it is known as Beltaine (or the Anglicized “Beltane”). As time went on, different groups adapted the celebration to their specific cultures or beliefs. Europeans and Americans often celebrate in a more secular manner with diversions like maypole dancing and flower crowns. (That certainly lends a bit of cultural context to all the young women breezing around summer music festivals this time of year with giant daisies on their heads.)
Also of note: In May, the Southern Hemisphere is getting ready for winter, so May Day as a seasonal celebration is, for the most part, a Northern Hemisphere thing.

How did it become a day for labor rights?

May Day is also a labor holiday in many areas of the world, and that part of its history is a thornier story. May Day has shared a date with International Workers’ Day since the 1880s. At the time, labor movements around the world were fighting for fair work accommodations like eight-hour workdays and unions. The date was chosen because it aligned with the anniversary of the Haymarket affair in Chicago, where police killed four people at a peaceful protest after someone threw a bomb into the crowd.
The event had a huge impact on labor movements across the world.
Because of its more recent history, International Workers’ Day/May Day is often a day of protest for labor unions around the world. The people come come out to rally, and sometimes their passionate demonstrations can turn violent. In 2014, Turkey attempted to ban labor rallies, citing security concerns. Across Europe, similar events have attracted heavy police presence.
Riots and protests occur in the United States, as well. One of the most notable is the Seattle May Day Marches, which, though intended to be peaceful, have broken out in violence in the past.
In a strange way, some of these demonstrations overlap with the more festive roots of May Day: The planned protests in Seattle include a rock concert, and the long-running May Day Parade in Minneapolis features both colorful, festive floats and revelers who wear satirical costumes related to the labor and political issues of the day.

Is this related to the “Mayday! Mayday!” distress call?

It’s actually not at all! “Mayday” the distress call comes from the French term m’aidez, which means “help me.”
Nothing wrong with a little French lesson to go along with the holiday’s history!
So in a synopsis never think you know why or how things happen, but remember we have the internet now so every question can be answered.

And remember:

You have two choices in life, to exist in it or LIVE IT.  I chose to live it.
Make sure you visit my website and check out my book:

Excellent book!

I am sharing this from Micki Peluso’s post.  She is a very accomplished author and be sure to read her book  “And the Whippoorwill Sang” a book about her daughters death from a drunk driver, excellent book as well.

 

One of the best Memoirs You’ll Ever Read!!!

LETTING GO into PERFECT LOVE

Discovering the Extraordinary After Abuse

By Gwendolyn M. Plano

Author Gwendolyn Plano, in this extraordinary memoir, “invites you into my journey, replete with childhood stories and adult meanderings.” Yet this book is so much more, encompassing all elements of life’s struggles, dreams, and heartache which so many readers will latch onto, sharing Plano’s feelings and experiences. I was hooked from the first page until the ending, causing me so many mixed emotions; closing the book with a feeling of love and peace which stayed with me.

Gwen’s first marriage seems heaven sent and produces a wonderful son, Matt. But her husband Bruce develops psychiatric problems so severe that he must be committed, “for his good and yours” says the psychiatrist—leaving Gwendolyn a single Mom, and little Matt on their own.

She gets a second chance with Ron, who seems the perfect man and father figure. Falling deeply in love, she misses some of Ron’s flaws, serious flaws, and marries him.  The bliss of romance soon fades as Ron shows a severe abusive side, unnoticed before- and it grows worse.  There is no easy way to escape a brutal husband, physically, mentally and emotionally.  Over the next 25 years she bears two more sons and a daughter, and Gwen tries heroically to maintain an atmosphere of normalcy.

Abused women are often criticized for tolerating marital torture and not leaving. The situation is complex and author Plano depicts the plethora of reasons in this heart rending story of a woman trapped. It takes increasing and serious abuse of her children to awaken in her a newly found and deeply held faith in God giving her the determination and courage to sever the destructive relationship. Help from angel visitations guide her from an existence in terror to a life of joy and peace.

The second half of the book is written in breathtaking and beautiful verbiage that comes directly from the author’s heart and soul – so deeply embraced by love that I re-read many parts and was left with a sense of peace upon finishing it. This is one story which needs to be read by every woman . . . and man as well. This book is one of the most touching, honest memoirs that I have ever read.

Highly recommended for those searching for their true selves, love and companionship with God and others— “Perfect Love.”

Life or what we know it to BE!

I’ve been thinking lately about life, religion, and how to perceive GOD.  There are many reasons I started contemplating these, MOSTLY BOREDOM, and THANKFULNESS.

The boredom is brought on by my disability and not being able to work.  The Thankfulness is for everyone in my life that I love and my two kitties who mean the world to me; especially Ringo who has diabetes.  Everyday I thank GOD for these people and say a prayer for Ringo and hope that he suffers no pain due to this illness.  God knows everytime he sees me I’m sticking him with either a lancet to measure his blood glucose, or a needle for insulin, and yet another needle for his arthritis pain.  Not to mention the medication I have to squirt into his mouth for tooth and gum pain.  His teeth and gums are terrible with everything you could imagine, he gets an antibiotic shot every two weeks prophylactically because he can’t have surgery until his BG is stabilized.  It has been running over 500 and their parameters are the same as ours, 70-120, but they can tolerate higher levels easier than a human.  Otherwise he doesn’t act very different, when his sugar is high he is a little bit sleepier, and low he meows loudly for food.  I see him as not so bad off in pain that he should be put to sleep.  Or am I selfish.  I don’t think so.

 

Now the religion part;  Are these prayers for my loved ones really being answered or are we just seeing a string of coincidences?  And how many coincidences does it take to make us realize that there is someone watching over us.  I always thought KARMA played a role, when bad things happened to bad people.  But then I’ve seen a lot of GOOD PEOPLE (or so I think are good) go through tremendous pain and suffering.  Which brings my next question up, are good people supposed to suffer like Jesus did on the cross in order to get to heaven when they die.  I don’t know how many times I’ve seen or heard how really bad people get away with murder and are always catching breaks, yet good people suffer.  If this is true then my latter theory would hold water more.

God, what is he/she/it?  Is this omnipotent being a person, or is it the nature and energy around us, or both.  I saw a mud  puddle in a whole different light this past summer.  While I was staring into it I saw a perfect reflection of the trees and leaves and sky….and I thought what a beautiful mirror for everything good, which brought me to think that God IS everywhere and his omnipotence is in everything around us.  I also believe (I think) that our loved ones who have passed are meant to look out for us so when you ask for God to look out for you should add the names of those that died and were close to you too.  I think we as human beings are responsible to watch out for our loved ones in life and death, and I think those that don’t complete it satisfactorily will have to do it after they die or maybe regardless of either they just do.

I’ve always thought that RELIGION is another form of prejudice so I’ve opted out.  Not that I didn’t try every religion there is to test it out 🙂  I started going to Bible class when I was about  8 or 9, there was a bus that would come and pick us up.  No one asked or suggested I go, I just saw a flyer at school about it happening in the summer. (FUNNY, you sure CANT post any RELIGIOUS flyers nowadays without getting sued for discrimination or at least screamed at by people and politicians).  Anyway every Sunday I would go there and before Bible class we sat thru about 20 minutes of church; and the pastor would always ask  if anyone wanted to be saved by Jesus Christ so I would walk up to the podium and get splashed with water over their bowl or tub (baptized).  I did this for about five Sundays in a row, until the pastor took me aside and told me you only need one baptism to have your sins forgiven.  I wasn’t embarrassed, too young for that, I just thought I was more ahead of the game due to other people only getting it done once:)

 

There are so many questions, and while religious people tell you not to question God, that is BULL.  God would want us to question him, to learn more about him.  I’ve never denied that God exists  I just want to know in what form or matter, all the more reason to have respect for what you know.  I will always have free time on my hands or even if I don’t I will always have questions and love for an entity I can’t ever be sure of, but who are we HUMANS to ever think we know what GOD or HEAVEN is?   No one knows, and I’m not sure I believe wholly in the “light at the end of the tunnel stuff, especially when I’ve caught people in exaggerating about the event….but then maybe it does exists….Like I said who am I to pretend to know anything about God or his motives.  I DO BELIEVE though that GOD DID OR DOES NOT CONDONE TERRORISM.  There is no God that would warrant such torture or hatred that comes with these Islamic terrorist, or serial killers or anyone who uses their position to advocate hatred, torture and death.

I lived in IRAN with a lot of Islamic extremist and what I saw and went through in that POW camp was horrific.  Do I stop for a minute and think was I that bad in the past to warrant such torture?  Maybe I was, maybe I was not.  But the important thing I believe is that I made it home ALIVE and am able to share with everyone my story.  Regardless what it was for;  information, education, inspiration, or self help the story has helped many people (or so I’m told).  Even if it helps one person it was worth it.  Also had I not gone through the torture in Iran, would I have met John.  I truly think that if he was my light at the end of the tunnel I would do it again.

So there you have it my vanity card (or sermon) do with it what you may I just had to get this off my chest and find out what your opinions are on these subjects.

I welcome your comments.

Have a great day, a great week, and the best in life.

Lori

 

 

 

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