23 March 2020

Lumpy Custard- Pt 3 - ...And Back Again...

So how do you move on from all of this...?

How does one even begin to get one's head around everything in situations like these... the times when it feels like one step forward, 3 steps back?

In no particular order, I'd like to share with you some tools and techniques that have helped me/us head back up out of the valley again, and keep the Black Dog from venturing out too far again.

1. Feelings:  Again... acknowledge how you feel. And check in with others that are going through it with you; chances are, they're battling the same feelings and emotions that you are. In the last few weeks, I've had a few mini-meltdowns (and I'm anticipating a few more over the next few months). In talking it through with someone, I  discovered I wasn't the only one trying to hold it all together.

2. Talk It Out: It's not only the strong silent types that keep things hidden; sometimes the chatterboxes can be so good at using the constant diatribe as a cover for what's really going on. When I went through my depressive episode last year, I decided it was time I sought professional help, with a group called Supporting Families in our local city, which I found so helpful.  Sometimes, even though you know the answers, you just need someone to kick the guide wheel back on track, and confirm what you knew you know... you know?   

3. Know Your Limits - You're Not Responsible For Fixing Everything/One:  Remember me saying about the plumber with the leaky tap? The Awesome Dude gave me some terrific feedback for that... "It's not your job to fix it."
Just having someone say that lifted such a weight from me. I cried. A little bit.

4. Play To Your Strengths: How do you operate? Are you practical-minded? Hands-on? A planner? All of the above plus/or something more? Awesome! Use those skills to sort out your next steps. Me, I'm a list-gal who will never lose my admin skills - I hope.. However it works for you, use your talents/skills to break those mountains down to hills, then to molehills - one Breath at a time, one Step at a time, one Day at a time.

5. Make Time For The Things That Matter:  
- Work to live, don't live to work - you can be replaced in a job, but you're irreplaceable to those who love you. 
- Take those walks. Never underestimate the peace that can be gained from sitting under a tree, or walking on the beach by the soothing or raging water - the power of nature can sometimes match our moods, and is somehow therapeutic. (Gotta work on this one...)
- Pet the pets. Our fur/scaly/feather-babies need us too. I have found it very difficult to visit Yuki at the house, as it's so hard to leave her behind. But she will be joining us shortly, soooooo looking forward to that 😍😻
- Feed Your Soul and Your Mind. Read the books that carry you away, listen to the music that floats your boat. And try not to rely too much on gaming and technology for your entertainment. (Still working on this one, too...)
- Laugh!! Try not to lose your sense of humour, I can't think of a quicker way to go doolally!

6. Don't Lose Sight Of What Matters. And that's got three letters - Y.O.U.
Sometime in the last couple of years, I had an epiphany. A light-bulb moment.  I woke up one day, and wondered why I had been feeling so low and down for so long. And I realised that there were people and events that kept popping back into my thoughts and mind that no longer had a need to be there. So I made a conscious effort to evict them. I also realised that my depression was due mainly to situational circumstances, and that I had the power to choose how I respond.

Do you have any idea just how liberating that is?? It's not just some cheesy psych advice, it Really Does Work! Since then, I'm off my meds, and am using some CBT methods to keep things more under control.  I use more natural products, such as magnesium, EPO and hemp seed oil (or should I say, I take 'em when I remember). It seems to be working, and even during  the recent challenges, I haven't felt the need to reach for the meds again (even though the thought may have crossed my mind a time or three). 

I AM IN NO WAY ADVOCATING that anyone stops taking their medication if it is helping you. I made a decision that seems to be working for me... my GP is aware of it, so it's all above board.  I prefer to find a natural alternative wherever possible, but I'm not adverse to medication if need be.

7.  Connect.  For introverts like me, this is a bit of a difficult one, especially when all you want to do is hibernate.  But connecting doesn't need to mean hosting a dinner party for 20, or anything like that; it can be on social media, phone/video calls, meeting up for coffee (even if it is to toast a crap-crap-crappy week, as happened last week with). Even smiling at a random stranger in the street, or random acts of kindness can have a 2-way boost - great way to get a dose of the warm fuzzies for a while to shine a momentary light into the darkness.

So now, it's onwards and upwards! Life is moving forward again, albeit rather slowly, and all the while remaining aware that COVID-19 is out there... lurking... in the shadows... somewhere...

Does any of this sound familiar? How do you deal with stressful situations?  
Please feel free to leave a comment below, I'd love to hear some techniques that help you from the valley back up to the peak again.

We got our kitty back!! She was so pleased to be back with us,
that she was lapping up the love as much as she could between her staff snoozing

Lumpy Custard - Pt 2 - Into the Valleys...

...All was going swimmingly; the room has a lovely new colour scheme, and new carpet put in. All we needed was the electrician to hook all the leccy back up, and it would be time to regain some semblance of normality.

Or would it...?

Imagine, if you will... halfway through your first shift back (27/2) after your weekly two days (midweek) off, you get a phone call from your Significant Other:

"Is your supervisor there tonight?"
"Why's that?"
"The house is on fire."

That was our reality, not imagination.

Wookieeman and MIL had been watching a DVD in our flat, when he heard popping noises, and discovered her kitchen ablaze. I won't go into too much detail right now, but suffice to say, life has certainly changed for us. Everyone survived with no injuries, including our cat. Emotionally, there is a huge impact for everyone, including our cat.  Because we're currently staying with other people, we decided to leave her at the house, as it's somewhere she knows, and moving her to a cattery would be too traumatic for her. We feed her every day, and spend time with her when we can, so she's ok for now.

So... what now? 

All our human family members are staying with friends, who are helping us find some short-term accommodation, while the house is repaired/rebuilt  - whatever insurance deems to be required.

Suffice to say, there have been one or two (!) learning opportunities from all of the "life events":
Good family and friends are invaluable.  There are times when you realise how isolated you allow yourself to become - be it socially, or any other way.  And with those realisations come the sometimes daunting fact that this is, indeed, not a good thing, although it may seem like it at the time.  But even then, you really do learn who hasn't given up on you and have remained faithfully in the shadows, ready to take hold of an outstretched hand in your time of need.  Praise God, we can testify to that; from our DP, to BFT, to The Awesome Dude, to the Crafty One. All of whom have their own issues going on, but still let us know in now uncertain terms that they are here for us.  Our neighbours and friends who helped us with accommodation in the aftermath of the fire. Friends who set up a Givealittle page for MIL. It is difficult to verbally express the depth of our gratitude.
Even the strong can be weak... and that's totally ok.             
Read. That. Again.
You cannot be the strong independent type 24/7. That's a great way to go doolally.  Instead,  dissolving into a puddle occasionally over the slightest or biggest thing is not only okay, it's essential.
Speaking from experience, here.

And let's not forget about the anger; the frustration; the grief; the sense of loss and devastation. All of which are perfectly valid and completely normal for us mere mortals. There's no avoiding those emotions... just be sure that you're only there on a Visitor's Visa, not applying for residency.

"But remember that there's always someone who's had it tougher."  Totally agree with that!  But that DOES NOT MEAN that your genuine challenges/struggles/ up-against-the-wall moments are any less important. (WookieeMan reminded me of that one morning after a mini-meltdown.)

So how do you move from all of this...?

Lumpy Custard - Pt 1 - From Peaks...

Heads Up:  This post may not be as up-beat as previous ones, and may contain trigger warnings...

Oh me, oh my...Stop The World and Let Me Off... please? For 5 Minutes...?

I wonder how many of us would welcome that chance, if it was a real thing? And how many of us would actually get back on after that 5 minutes?

It's been a while since I touched base with y'all. There is Life that Needs to be Lived, and all that jazz. But sometimes that Life can reeeaaallly Suck the Kumara - y'know what I mean? It can leave an oil slick that Danny Zuko and the T-Birds would be proud of - one that not only sends you face-first into the closest cactus collection, but also leaves a stain as wide as the Sahara Desert.

Since our last catch-up,
  • I started working as a support worker in Mental Health Residential Services - which comes with its own challenges
  • I got older - duh
  • I had major surgery that didn't go quite as smoothly as it could have, at the time
  • I've done my best to support someone extremely close to me as they battled to come back from not one but two pretty big MH crises, approximately 6 months apart
  • ... but my crowning glory would have to be damaging not one but both ankles at once and ending up on crutches for several weeks
Out of all of these, I think the toughest one to deal with would have to be the MH crises.

My Loved One (MLO) struggled with extremely low mood and suicidal thoughts towards the end of 2018 - to the point where they self-harmed in front of me.


Thankfully, superficial wounds only, but still enough to add another 3 dozen grey hairs to the collection in one foul swoop.

Support Worker mode kicks in. I contact the local MH Crisis Team - but that in itself is a story for another time; utilise some tools to help MLO head back toward the right track; encourage and support them to access the help that is needed, in the form of counselling; and call on a select few close friends and family for support.

Fast-forward to the last week of March 2019. Same Loved One. Low mood for a few weeks. Admits they have been having The Thoughts again for a few days, and verbalises what they've been thinking of doing. So now it's down tools, rearrange life for the next few days, and turn into The Shadow again.

Now, you may be thinking something along the lines of "hey - you're a MH support worker, you know how to deal with this sort of schtick", yeah?

Image result for white wolf black wolf the one you feedYes. Yes I can. And I have - but not with someone so close to me to this extent. I even attended a day-long Suicide Prevention workshop in 2018. But this is one of those times, that I feel more like a plumber who can't fix my own pipes. Sometimes in life, you just gotta bite the bullet and ask for help. And in this instance, our knight in shining armour came in the form of a very dear friend and Awesome Dude who took time out of a busy schedule to come and chill out over a cuppa and provide absolutely awesome - and practical - support. For more than two hours. This AD shared the wisdom gleaned over the years from their own life encounters with the Black Dog. Happily, MLO has responded well, and has made significant steps in the right direction.  One of the main techniques MLO found so useful is the White Wolf/Black Wolf.  And we're extremely pleased that the White Wolf is well fed. 

Yours Truly, however, has had yet another first-hand encounter with the physical, emotional and mental impact of being up-close-and-person in this kind of situation.

Nausea. Low mood. Teary-slash-quietly-bawling at the drop of a hat. Head feeling like it doesn't belong to me. And sleep? What's that?  But the REALLY fun part... let's add into the mix The Big Change... you know, girls, the one that comes complete with temperature changes, etc...?

This time around, I took a couple of days off work to take some time to get myself sorted. I came to the conclusion that the job I was in at the time was one of my major stressors, and one of the clients was just so good at pushing everyone's buttons - one out of the box, this one. So after talking things over with WookieeMan, it was decided to say bye-bye to my work in that role after a little more than 2 years.  When I ended up in ED with chest pains and reeeaaallly hig blood pressure twice within a few days, however - I brought my finishing date forward by two weeks.  I heard through the grapevine that the on-site supervisor at the time was less than happy about that, but my priorities had changed, and health and well-being were more important.

That was in June 2019.

Back into the Tardis and jump forward to now - March 2020.

I started my new job in the call centre for a security firm in October.  Getting paid to talk on the phone... yup, I can do that!  Between then and now, things were settled and life was getting back into cruise control.

Notice that W-word in there?

About two weeks before Christmas, two weather bombs a week apart revealed that our bedroom roof could no longer sustain torrential downpours. So it was time to move out of the bedroom and into the lounge, while the room was dried out via insurance, then move back in for a week or two before repairs were carried out; this time, we moved all our bedroom furniture into the MIL's lounge, and we slept in her spare room. All was going swimmingly; the room had a lovely new colour scheme, and new carpet was put in. All we needed was the electrician to hook all the switches back up, and it would be time to regain some semblance of normality.

Or would it...?

 Image result for lumpy custard

20 May 2016

Let's Talk About... Health and Employment (8) - 3 Month Check-in...




Hi there again, welcome back :-)

This month marked another one of those annual happenings that we all have... I had another birthday.  So what better time for a spot of reflection, I thought to myself.  Why not, indeed!

The day itself was relatively quiet.  WookieeMan knows that anything Harry Potter or WWE (within reason) makes for a happy Goofy, and my birthday was no exception.  I can now count a Gryffindor scarf (even though I'm Hufflepuff - who cares, it's HP) and Shawn Michaels' autobiography among my possessions.  Yuss!

It also marked three months since my return visit to the State of Unemployment, and there has been a marked improvement in that time.  If I can see it, then there's gotta be summat there.

That doesn't mean that it's all good now.  Last week has been a bit tough.  The "suit" came on again when I went out with DP one day, but fortunately didn't stay on all day, though.  We went to a lifestyle expo, and had a good walk around but didn't spend much (which was fortunate, as I didn't have the funds needed for all the glorious gadgets, gizmos and goo that I would have brought home otherwise).

To be honest, earlier in the week I came very close to not going.  Some anxiety and downness reared their ugly heads again, but this time I was a bit more prepared; once or twice I gave in to the urge to hibernate a bit and nap, which was not necessarily a bad thing.  The rest of the time, I pulled up the big-girl britches and carried on through it.

A couple of realisations came out of it, though:

Image result for clean house1 - A chat with WM helped me realise that I need to pick up the pace around home a bit more, and be more productive.  I sure started off with a hiss and a raw 3 months ago, but that didn't last - DARN it.

2 - I'm feeling a bit of social isolation.  I especially am missing our church family, as we haven't been for a few weeks.  I feel it when I'm out and about, and suddenly start trying to think of someone I could go and visit.  I read this week that even if you don't really feel up to it, that can be one of the great times to hang out with someone else; it gives you something else to focus on.  It especially works well if it's someone who "gets" it - someone who won't look at you sideways if there are periods of silence, because they know you value each other's company, especially in the struggles.

On the job front, I have applied for a few in the last few months.  I got one interview, but was unsuccessful; sent out a few expression of interest emails and CVs to some organisations that I wouldn't mind working with - some got back to me, some didn't (typical, but then you get that with the big - and small - jobs).

When I was at the expo, there was a company promoting their business, which happens to be community support work - which coincidentally is the field I am looking to get into.  So, me being me, I bowled on up and mentioned that I'm looking for work as a support worker.  I was given the coordinator's card and invited to call in and see her for a chat.  I took the chance to email my CV to her over the weekend, and the upshot is I go and see her for an interview this week. Bonus!

So... at the end of the day, what have I learnt/discovered so far on this journey?

- The Black Dog sucks!  But he doesn't rule the roost around here.
- Even if you think it's going to take so long to get through this and come out the other end - if you ever do -, that's not necessarily a bad thing.  Because your mind and brain, just like other parts of your body, need time to heel.  Depression and anxiety are not a small thing.  Together or apart, they are illnesses.  And you can't just ignore an illness and carry on as though everything is just peachy keen, jelly bean. GIVE YOURSELF TIME!

Image result for black dog depression

Till next time...

                                                       Take care, y'all

14 April 2016

Let's Talk About... Health and Employment (7) - Break Time

Update - Week 9

Whoa!  What - already?  What happened to the other ones??

Yes, I know it's been a couple of weeks since the last one, but I didn't think there was that much to say, really.  Or maybe I wasn't quite correct with that.  

Hmmm... Let's see...

I hope you all had a great Easter, and while enjoying the choccy that generally comes with it, spared a thought or more for the real reason we celebrate it.

Every Easter, our church combines with our sister churches in Hamilton to hold a convention over two days, that everyone is welcome to attend.  It generally consists of a guest speaker from an overseas church, a shared dinner, lunch, morning and afternoon teas, a book stall with books and resources provided by one of the local Christian book stores, and  generally a great time of fellowship and teaching.

Interesting place to be, for someone battling depression and anxiety, I hear you point out...?  This is true and correct.  And I found a great place to be during the fellowship times:- helping out on the bookstall.  That way I didn't have to deal with too many people at once, I still had great company to hang with, and I could put on my dealing-with-the-people persona to get through it all.  Fantastic!  Maybe...

I made it through the first session, dinner and the time before the next session after that, and didn't go back the next day.  


But we did get to our own church for Sunday morning service, and that was cool; had a great chat with a couple of people at the cup-of-tea afterwards.  After that, the weekend was ours to hibernate at will (for me) if the urge so took me.

A week or so before that, I was invited to join a lovely couple of ladies/girls from church at a Woman's One-Day Christian Retreat in a town about an hour or so from Hamilton.  I consider that to be my first big outing for this healing time, and it was really good.  

For those of you who totally get where I'm coming from, it really helps if there are people around who know what the deal is, and places that you can just step out for a bit of a break or time-out and space and peace.

If you've checked out my earlier posts in this series, you may remember that DP and I took a day trip back home a few weeks ago, to see someone for what may have been the last time.  It was.  On Easter Monday, we received the news that he lost his battle with cancer.  It was an emotional time; the person involved was DP's father and my ex-husband.  The memorial service was on the following Saturday, and WookieeMan and I travelled down for it - about a 2 1/2 hour drive one way.  We picked up a young friend along the way, which reminded me of days gone by and added to the overall enjoyment of the day.  The service was very moving, with memories that I had forgotten. It was also great catching up with a few people I haven't seen for quite some time. 

About two weeks, I started volunteering for a few hours a week at the local IHC day programme, that our buddies go to - partly to spend some more time with them, and partly to get some experience under my belt.   I'm a bit excited about one aspect of this:  one of the services users can talk, but more often than not, chooses not to.  So as one of the activities staff there are supposed to be doing with her involves other methods of communication, I have started working one-on-one with her doing sign language.  Another client there is not able to communicate, and he is meant to be learning PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System).  I'm not familiar with that, but I'd like to learn more about it.  Do you know anything about that?  Please comment below if you do. Thanks!!

One thing that's come out of that is the realisation that I'm quite interested in other forms of communication.  A path I could possibly look at exploring - knows what could come out of it?!

Last week I had a JOB INTERVIEW.  It was for a support worker's position in a day programme for elderly people.  We should hear back about it this week.  I'm not overly confident that I got it, but my support person from Workwise said it went really well, although she had never heard so many "can you give us an example of..." questions in an interview before.  Even if I don't get it, I'm happyish with how it went, and I'll keep trying for other roles in my chosen field.  

You would think, wouldn't you, with all of that stuff, I would be a bit of a basket case at times, yes?  Surprisingly, I wasn't as bad as I thought I would be.  I was expecting to crash a bit after the memorial service, but it wasn't that bad either, all things considered.  

My psychologist has suggested mindfulness and meditation. The mindfulness isn't so bad, but I can't quite get my head around the meditation... my thoughts are jumbled together so tightly it's very difficult to separate them, so I think I'll let them come apart on their own a bit, then tackle them. We did discuss a new tactic, though - that of the spotlight.

Spotlight? Huh??  Yeah... not as weird as it may seem.   It works like this...
You find yourself in a dark/down/panicky, etc moment; you may not be able to pinpoint exactly what it is, but it's there, alright, the diva on centre-stage.  The thing to remember is, that it's not the ONLY occupant on stage.  So rather than kick the diva out, we need to pull the spotlight back, and widen the circle of light.  What does this do?  it illuminates everyone else also who's on stage.  Now in English, this means that rather than focus on the dark/down/panicky, etc thoughts, we become more aware of our environment and surroundings; the smells, the sights, the sounds, the tastes, and the things we can touch.  Pretty soon, the diva is no longer centre-stage, but becomes a smaller part of the whole picture/surroundings, and becomes easier to deal with as required.

(Now if the theatre is not your thing, dahling, the scenario is adaptable to whatever floats your boat.)

Financially, we were  very blessed a couple of weeks ago - for which we are very grateful, and have managed to pay off a couple of the smaller bills, which has freed up a few dollars.  WM has agreed to take over control of the finances for a little while, which is great - I don't have to worry so much about the home accounting for a bit. Yuss!!

I have noticed one thing, tho:  when I eventually retire, there is NO WAY I will be spending all my free time at home, if I can help it, 'cos I will go NUTS!  Housework has lost its allure - again - but cooking and trying out new stuff is still up there as a fun activity. My sleep patterns are starting to unravel a bit, so that needs addressing ASAP (here comes that technology thing again). I mean, nana-naps -they rock!!  Except if it's later in the day... and it stuffs up your sleepytime that night... which means that you wake up in the morning for the morning caffeine fix, and go back to sleep for a couple of hours... which can stuff up your sleepytime that night... grr...  

Still, onwards and upwards, ay what old bean...?  
-  Enthusiasism for things is returning; 
Dark days are getting lighter, although there is still a dark shadow around the peripheral;
-  My hubby is still fantastical and yummy;
-  Our cats are still numpties;
-  My friends and supporters are still awesome;  
-  Our God is Still AWESOME!! 

So I'd best go and get organised for my day... even though it's half-past noon already!  Stay safe, stay cool and from me to you, 
See you next time

Turrah, luv

13 April 2016

Let's Talk About... Health and Employment (6) - Big-Fat-Hairy-Deal-MEH!!


As I mentioned at the start of this section, I have transferred my updates from Facebook to this blog.  This is the last of those ones.
From #7 on in this series, they will be 
updates-from-the-battlezone, so to speak.
Thanks for your patience :-) 

UPDATE – Week 5:

Halfway through week six already!! I have NO IDEA what happened to my post from last week, but only about half of what I wrote actually showed up Better luck this time.

Well. I think last week came specially delivery from Sucksville. I forgot to take my meds on the Sunday, and by the time I remembered it was too late to take them. 


Possible financial assistance has been delayed because the companies involved want more information, even though they’ve got just about everything except our bathroom schedules. so now I need to get together updates of some stuff they already have and send it in again by lunchtime-yesterday-kinda-timeframe.

I didn’t communicate with many people at all last week, I have noticed that my resolve to cut back on the technology – i.e. FB – did not go quite according to plan.

Apparently I got my times mixed up for 2 appointments again; I say apparently, because I don’t believe that one of them was my fault, because I was in the applicable office when the professional made the appointment in her calendar, but when I got there it was on another
day with a totally different person. And the other one was changed by the professional due to a schedule overload – which was fortunate because I had the wrong time and location.

So, even after a great couple of hours out with WookieeMan on Friday afternoon involving drinkies, pool games and a juke box at the local RSA, it didn’t take long before my mood dropped again when I got home.

And along came Saturday. The first time ever that I didn’t want to get out of bed due to depression. Fortunately I have a wonderful husband who is very easy to talk with, and he reminded me that what I was feeling was ok; he’d been there, done that; no pressure to do anything; he wouldn’t think any less of me if I gave in to the urge to stay there. That
acceptance, coupled with the proverbial assertive encouragement from a certain Mr P across the ditch and the fact that the bathroom wasn’t about to come to me, helped me get up around 1ish and face what was left of the day. And you know what? I’m glad I did, because I felt better for it.

So in spite of what the black dog threw at me last week, I still found some things to be thankful and grateful for:
- My sense of humour is still hanging in there

- I refuse to submit to SUFFERING from depression, I am still BATTLING this beast
- Sure, I have no income to speak of at the moment, but WM does, and we get a bit from WINZ, and we still have food, clothing and shelter;
- I’ve developed a strategy that WM is in full agreement with to enable to help build up one aspect of our spiritual lives again, and that is the realisation that as there are fewer people attending our church in the evening as what there are in the morning, we will go to the night services for a while. It means we don’t get to see many of our friends there, but this is a temporary solution;
- I’ve really gotten back into my crochet again, and am hoping to sell a few scarves soon;
- It’s so easy to see only the winds and rain in the middle of the storm, but to quote (M*A*S*H) Colonel Potter in a conversation with his camp priest who had dysentery – this too shall pass;
- I have a scrumptious husband, wonderful family and fantastic friends – not many, but you don’t need too many;
- No matter how bad things are for me, there is always someone who is worse off;
- I got a call back from the HR department of an organisation I sent my CV to, and they have a position that I might be interested in; so I have applied for it;
- We have an AWESOME GOD who will meet our needs; who will never give us anything that we can’t handle, and if it does get too tough He always provides a way for us to stand up under the pressure; He knows the plans He has for us – plans to prosper and not to harm, plans to give us hope and a future; and He is in the process of repairing the damage of the locusts of the past – all because I accepted His gift of salvation through Jesus.

Thanks to those of you who have given me positive feedback on my wee posts of this nature; I’m pleased and humbled to hear that they are actually helping some of you that are going through your own times of trial. Despite my own struggles, I will always make myself available to anyone who is genuinely struggling, in any way that I can. And don’t worry, I have learnt that I still need to put my own recovery first and that sometimes I may need to take a step or two back.

So that’s it for this week, folks. Take care, God bless you all and stay safe.
See y'all later!

Let's Talk About... Health and Employment (5) - 1 Month Down!

Pauline Anderson's photo.

UPDATE: 4 weeks gone - 1 month since I became unemployed!

Pauline Anderson's photo.Things seem to be settling down in some ways. But I'm not feeling quite as chipper as I was. Part of that is because I'm more tired, and when you get tired it so much easier to get cranky and down on yourself. Yup. Uh-huh. My motivation to do things has definitely left town without me.

So... What can be done about this?

I can LIMIT THE TECHNOLOGY!! I've noticed (and you may have seen this too) that I've been on FB a lot more in the last month. Quite a marked increase, in fact. At any time, almost. Curse you, smartphone!!

Pauline Anderson's photo.
Pauline Anderson's photo.