For Better - Or What?

       Welcome to my world!

February 7, 2017

So Much to Do

Right now I'm involved in a major life change. So much to do, so little time! It's keeping me away from the blog, but within the next few weeks I will be writing about everything that's happening. Good stuff.
 

January 27, 2017

It's Windy Out There

Last night the wind started to blow really hard. I woke up around 4:00 am and could hear something making a metallic banging noise outside. Getting back to sleep wouldn't be possible unless it stopped.

I was lying there in the dark, steeling myself to get up, put on some pants and a heavy jacket, and go outside. But before I was quite ready to make my move, my husband got up, put on some pants and a jacket, went outside, and fixed whatever it was.

My husband does uncomfortable things that keep us both comfortable. We take care of each other. I don't have to do it all myself!
 

January 20, 2017

My Experience With Amazon Locker

Yesterday I tried something new. I had known for a while that Amazon offers the option of delivering packages to a locker instead of your address. Lockers are located at places like convenience stores, supermarkets, transportation centers, and residential facilities. This is helpful for people who, for any reason, cannot receive deliveries at their home or at work. There is no extra charge to use a locker.

I wanted to test the locker concept, so I chose the one closest to my house, which happened to be in front of a convenience store about three miles away. As an added bonus, I was offered same-day delivery for no charge (because I'm a Prime member), and I accepted.

The email I got said I would receive my item by 9:00 pm. I hoped it would come earlier. I don't know what time the package was actually placed inside the locker, but the delivery notification arrived at exactly 9:00. I could have waited until the next day (Amazon allows a few days for pickup), but I was eager, so Hubby and I drove to the location.

These convenience stores sometimes make me uncomfortable because of the odd-looking characters always hanging around outside. Although the location was not in what I would call a dangerous neighborhood, I wouldn't have done this nighttime pickup alone.

The locker was a small bank of mailboxes connected to a computer screen, keypad, and bar code scanner. The email notifying me of delivery included an alpha-numeric code as well as the image of a bar code I could submit to the scanner, using my phone. The scanner did not recognize the bar code (the scanner was placed at an odd angle, and I couldn't tell if it was working), so I manually entered the code. One of the boxes opened. My package was inside. As soon as I took delivery, an email arrived to let me know my package had been picked up, with a link to a survey about the experience.

Overall, this was easy to do. I wanted to try it because Hubby and I are planning a long road trip, and this service might be very convenient while we are away from home. Same-day delivery will not be available for all items or in all cities, but we could have items delivered to locations where we plan to be. While I don't expect to do a lot of shopping on the road, it's good to know that this option is available.
This is NOT a sponsored post. Nobody asked me to write it, and, alas, I did not receive any compensation.
 

January 18, 2017

The Link Between Domestic Violence and Substance Abuse


Photo courtesy of Unsplash by Freestocks.org
by guest contributor Michelle Peterson

Domestic violence is not necessarily caused by substance abuse; however, research has shown that there is a strong link between the two. According to Addiction.org, regular alcohol abuse is one of the leading causes of domestic violence. In fact, nearly two thirds of all domestic violence offenders also use and/or abuse substances like drugs or alcohol. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) cautions that the effects of these traumas may not surface right away (and victims often do not come forward) so this problem may be worse than we realize.

Although domestic violence is not directly caused by substance abuse, we can see that drug and/or alcohol usage remains the common denominator in many cases of domestic violence and abuse. Research has shown that most abusers were using drugs, alcohol or other substances at the time of the abuse. Even worse, the trauma of being abused often causes the victims to turn to drug and alcohol abuse as a means of dealing with their situation.

Think this is just limited to hard drugs like meth and cocaine? Think again. Some of the substances frequently involved in domestic violence cases include commonly-used prescription pills, many of which are known to unleash violent behaviors, according to Time Magazine.

Since we know that drug and alcohol abuse is directly linked to domestic violence - and vice versa - what can we do? Experts recommend that abusers and victims take advantage of the following:

  • Anger Management Classes
  • Drug Rehab and Substance Abuse Treatment
  • A 12 Step Program for Alcohol Abuse and/or Drug Addiction (Alcoholics Anonymous is one great option)
  • Nar-Anon, Al-Anon and other support groups and 12 Step healing programs for victims and families
  • Mental Illness Treatment
  • Trauma Therapy
  • Eating Disorder Treatments (eating disorders are commonly diagnosed among domestic violence victims)

In addition, abusers need a safe place to continue their recovery in order to break the cycle of abuse. Unfortunately, many abusers are unsuccessful with the methods listed above because they are surrounded with too much toxicity and temptation during their recovery process. In order to have a successful recovery process, people need:

  • A drug-free environment (this is one of the most important aspects to recovery)
  • Regular meals
  • Transportation to and from meetings and appointments
  • People to talk to who are supportive, nonviolent, and are not currently using or abusing drugs or alcohol
  • If these needs cannot be met in the offender’s household, the offender may need to consider inpatient care instead of the usual outpatient care

This is sobering data, but at the end of the day we still have the power to change these numbers for the better. There are several treatment options available for abusers and victims, regardless of whether or not drugs are involved in the cases. It’s also important to address any co-occurring disorders that may be leading to or resulting from substance abuse or domestic violence. With proper treatment, it is possible to effectively address these disorders, heal victims, reform abusers, and help take the first steps towards healing.

Michelle Peterson is a recovering addict, and she wishes to eliminate the stigma surrounding people who struggle with addiction.
 

January 16, 2017

He Searched 100 Miles And Found Her

In his 1903 autobiography, the astronomer Simon Newcomb wrote about how his parents met. It's a sweet story.

My father was the most rational and the most dispassionate of men. The conduct of his life was guided by a philosophy based on Combe's "Constitution of Man," and I used to feel that the law of the land was a potent instrument in shaping his paternal affections.

His method of seeking a wife was so far unique that it may not be devoid of interest, even at this date. From careful study he had learned that the age at which a man should marry was twenty five. A healthy and well endowed offspring should be one of the main objects in view in entering the marriage state, and this required a mentally gifted wife. She must be of different temperament from his own and an economical housekeeper.

So when he found the age of twenty five approaching, he began to look about. There was no one in Wallace who satisfied the requirements. He therefore set out afoot to discover his ideal.

In those days and regions the professional tramp and mendicant were unknown, and every farmhouse dispensed its hospitality with an Arcadian simplicity little known in our times. Wherever he stopped overnight he made a critical investigation of the housekeeping, perhaps rising before the family for this purpose. He searched in vain until his road carried him out of the province.

One young woman spoiled any possible chance she might have had by a lack of economy in the making of bread. She was asked what she did with an unnecessarily large remnant of dough which she left sticking to the sides of the pan. She replied that she fed it to the horses. Her case received no further consideration.

The search had extended nearly a hundred miles when early one evening he reached what was then the small village of Moncton. He was attracted by the strains of music from a church, went into it, and found a religious meeting in progress. His eye was at once arrested by the face and head of a young woman playing on a melodeon, who was leading the singing. He sat in such a position that he could carefully scan her face and movements. As he continued this study the conviction grew upon him that here was the object of his search. That such should have occurred before there was any opportunity to inspect the dough pan may lead the reader to conclusions of his own.

He inquired her name: Emily Prince. He cultivated her acquaintance, paid his addresses, and was accepted.

He was fond of astronomy, and during the months of his engagement one of his favorite occupations was to take her out of an evening and show her the constellations. It is even said that among the daydreams in which they indulged one was that their firstborn might be an astronomer. Probably this was only a passing fancy, as I heard nothing of it during my childhood.

The marriage was in all respects a happy one, so far as congeniality of nature and mutual regard could go. Although the wife died at the early age of thirty seven the husband never ceased to cherish her memory and so far as I am aware never again thought of marrying.