Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hanging In There

After my manic episode, I have crashed.  I've slept most of the last couple of days to let my mind & body re-charge.

Thanks for all of your prayers and love, I hope I'll be back soon.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Mania, The Other Side Of Bipolar

This is exactly how I feel today:

Mania: The fast ideas start coming too fast and there are far too many ... overwhelming confusion replaces clarity ... you stop keeping up with it … memory goes. Infectious humor ceases to amuse. Your friends become frightened ... everything is now against the grain ... you are irritable, angry, frightened, uncontrollable, and trapped. Source

I'm not posting this for sympathy, all though prayers and good wishes are appreciated.  I'm posting so that more people can understand the struggle that bipolar, in my case type II, can bring. 

I am not crazy, my brain chemistry is wrong and it makes me feel crazy, scared, out of control.  Don't be afraid of people with mental illness, be their friend.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Project 365 - Week 13

My life through the lens un-edited & un-retouched.

Sunday, March 20 - Saturday, March 26th
Our power was randomly out most of the day on Sunday, so Chloe & Chris caught up on their reading.

Maybe this week will be pet heavy, but I was running tons of crazy errands this week and did't have time to take many pics.  I missed Monday.  Here's Oskar napping.

Mother Nature doesn't seem to have gotten the global warming memo.

I couldn't figure out why Oskar was upset at the way Chloe was sleeping, until I saw that she was napping on 2 of his toys.

I got to visit my friend Diane, from Good Mourning Glory and took this picture of the Detroit - Windsor (Canada) bridge.  Windsor is the only point in Canada that is south of the US & I lived there for a couple of years after I married my first husband who was Canadian.  This makes my boys both 1/2 Canadian, but I try not to hold it against them ;)

The boys got Chris a waffle maker for Christmas and he love making a big batch of waffles on the weekend to eat all week.  This time I made him a topping with butter, brown sugar, granola & bananas.  It rocked!

Hop on over to Sara's to see what all of the other Project 365 participants are doing.  It's not too late to join in yourself!

Project 365 button designed by http://richgift.blogspot.com

Friday, March 25, 2011

Why Is It...

...that I can remember ever word to the Tommy Tutone song, "867-5309/Jenny", but I can't remember what I did yesterday?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Calling All Cooks!

Some of you may know that I am also a pet blogger.  My miniature schnauzer Oskar has his own blog.

And I have a blog for pet bloggers to come togther for support called Pet Blogs United.


I am working in conjunction with a group called Crossed Paws to make a series of cookbooks for both pets and humans.  The cookbooks will be available on disc and will be sold to benefit pets in need with large medical or other bills.

I'm currently working on three editions.  One for pet treats and then 2 for humans, one for soups & one for casseroles.  I would love your support if you have any of those types of recipes that you could send me to include in these fund-raising cookbooks.  Feel free to send more than one.  If you send a recipe, please include a picture of the finished product, if you can, and your blog address.  All recipes that appear in the cookbook will have a link to your blog included.  You can send your recipes to PBU at comcast dot net.

Thanks to any of you who can contribute!

Attending BlogPaws

I'm lucky enough to be going to a pet blogging conference called BlogPaws this August.  It's a conference for pet bloggers and I'm being sponsored by a dog food company called Nature's Variety.

I've been looking for a place to get customized pens, and customized envelopes to hand out at the conference.  After looking at several sites, I really like Amsterdam Printing.

If any of you has ever used them, I'd love to get your feedback!  I'll let you know how my pens turn out.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Which Ken Were You?

Chris found this in Sunday's paper & it cracked me up.

I had the 1970's Mod Hair Ken that had mutton chops and other facial hair that you could put on him.

He was groovy, don't you think?

Medical Assisting?

John David is considering going to school for medical assisting, but he concerned about having to wear scrubs.  Well I found a great place for medical uniforms, that even he thinks are cool.

Once I started looking at the program, I thought that it might be something I'd be interested in doing, if I get turned down for SS disability.  I like scrubs that are classic, but not too busy.  Fashion scrubs are some that I found that are high quality and have great colors like chocolate and aquamarine that look great.

I've already done a lot of the work for medical assisting program when I did my medical coding program, so I wouldn't have to take things

Who knows what kind of path lies in our futures and whether or not it contains medical scrub sets can be expensive, but they have to be durable and well made.

Could I handle dealing with sick people all day.  Would I be good at drawing blood?  I'm not sure, but if I am I know where I'll be getting my scrubs!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Project 365 - Week 12

Project 365 button designed by http://richgift.blogspot.com

My week captured thru my camera, un-filtered & un-retouched.

Sunday, March 13 ~ Saturday, March 19, 2011

For Breakfast I made myself a shake with coffee, frozen vanilla yogurt & chocolate sauce, yummy!

John David brought his pet rats home for a visit.  They live with his friends, cause Oskar & the cats heads would explode if they lived here.  They are pretty cute at this age, but they will get bigger!


Quorra - Monday
Jack, being Jack!

Hope that spring is actually coming.

Chloe enjoying her new window seat.  We put a birdfeeder right outside the window for bird-TV.

My poor desk needs a major cleaning, I just can't seem to get it started.

We had no power for most of Saturday, so Chloe helped Crhis read a book.

Hop over to Sara's blog to find out what all the other players were up to this week.

Friday, March 18, 2011

My Horrendous Couch

We are currenly saving money to redecorate our living room.  We've had this couch since the boys were little and you can see for yourself that it is horrific condition.

The back of this section is torn up and the seat is destroyed.  The footrest is wired in place and can't be put down!

The next section has the back destroyed from the dog & cats.

Let me note that this is the room where the boys hang out and we have a lovely set of furniture on what we call our sunporch, which is our main room.

So now I have to start shopping for sectional couches.  I found this one that I like.

 I think this Candice Olson rug would look great in front of it.

Jack suggested this zebra wallpaper, but I don't know if I really have the nerve for that.  I'm thinking about maybe 1 small accent wall, but it probably won't happen ;)

The last thing I would love to purchase is a lift top coffee table to complete the room.
This is going to take a lot of saving, but I enjoy looking and finding things that would work for me.  What about you, do you ever window shop online?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Attitude Girl, Mila Bernadkin, Review and Interview

Publishers Copy:
Everyone thinks Vicky has an attitude problem, but in her eyes, she's simply being realistic and honest about what she thinks and feels. If people can't handle it, well... it's their problem.

The novel recounts a young woman's coming of age, with a little bit of sassiness and a lot of heart. Jam-packed with emotional conflict, trials and tribulations, romance and humor, this winner of 8 literary awards follows outspoken, materialistic 17-year-old Victoria Benson on her rocky road to adulthood as she struggles with financial setbacks, bullying, first love, idealism, loss and forgiveness along the way.

Raising children has never been easy... And guiding them through adolescence in our tumultuous modern world? Maddening! Today's teens want entertainment! What they need, however, is a little bit of guidance, especially given the challenges of the current US economy. Written for young adults, ages 15 and up, and their parents, The Attitude Girl is an inspirational, award-winning timely book that gives them both...

Selected as the Best Young Adult Novel of the Year by the 2010 Premier Book Awards, The Attitude Girl also placed as a Finalist of the 2010 National Indie Excellence Awards, was named a First-place Winner in the Young Adult/Teenage category at the 2009 London Book Festival and in the Arizona Authors Association Annual Literary Awards contest (Novels), and additionally received four Honorable Mentions in 2009/2010 literary competitions.

My Review:

Well I could relate to Vicky.  As a person who speaks their mind, sometimes to my own detriment, I can surely empathize with a teen who adults think have an attitude problem.

This book is touchingly real and up-front about the issues that confront teen girls today, and it will resonate with all of us who remembers our high school years.

Author Interview~
Mila, let’s start with your inspiration for The Attitude Girl, how long were the characters rumbling around in your head before you put them on paper?

I started the book when I was a student at the Institute of Children’s Literature. My assignment was to write three chapters, the beginning of the book, if I were to write one. I was inspired by my experience as an ex-teacher and the mother of an ex-teenager. I got an idea for a coming-of-age story about five teen girls, close friends. The characters were just popping up in my head. I created their personalities, imagined what they looked like, and named them. And then, I started to hear them speak. I knew what they were thinking and feeling. I lived and breathed along with them. It was like a movie playing in my head. Naturally, after the course was over, I just kept on writing. I couldn’t stop.

I think part of the reason that I loved this book so much was because of all of the real life trials and tribulations that Vicky and her friends had to go through. Was that your plan from the beginning?

I was writing a realistic contemporary story. So I tried to be as close to real life as possible. There are so many problems in the world today! My plan was to illustrate how teenagers deal with issues they have to face on the road to becoming adults such as bullying, first love, teen pregnancy, and relationships with parents. My goal was to deliver a message: life is not all black and white; it’s mostly grey, so deal with it! I wanted to make young adults and their parents understand that although it’s extremely hard to raise a child, being a teenager is not that easy, either.

Being that you are originally from Ukraine, you seemed to really have a grasp on American teens and their struggles, how did you get into their frame of mind so well?

I’ve been in the United States for many years. I watch TV and read. There are always news reports. I’ve heard stories from other parents about their kids being bullied. As I mentioned before, I infused many of my own traits into my protagonist. Some of her thoughts and questions are actually mine, and her authentic voice is often my own voice. And I’ll tell you a little secret: I’m awfully young at heart!

This book has won so many awards, which can only be attributed to your great writing, were you surprised that your first book did so well?

I’m very proud that my book won the total of 8 literary awards. Thanks! When my manuscript for The Attitude Girl won first place in the Arizona Authors Association Annual Literary Awards contest and a publishing contract with Five Star Publications as a prize, I was extremely surprised, even shocked – I couldn’t believe it! And when the novel was named a first-place winner in the Young Adult/Teenage category at the 2009 London Book Festival, I thought to myself, It must be good. They can’t be wrong twice, can they? Later, I received four Honorable Mentions in 2009/2010 literary competitions, and the book became a finalist of the 2010 National Indie Excellence Awards. And, finally, last September, The Attitude Girl was selected (I was told, unanimously) the Best Young Adult Novel of the Year at the 2010 Premier Book Awards. It’s overwhelming! But it’s a great feeling…

I didn’t feel like Vicky had such a terrible attitude problem, I could really relate to her honesty and outspokenness. Have you gotten a lot of feedback from girls who see themselves in these characters?

You are absolutely right! The problem with Vicky’s attitude is just that she doesn’t want to be or to think positive when she doesn’t feel like it. Considering Vicky’s honesty and outspokenness, it’s understandable where she’s coming from. Those are my own traits, infused into my main character. I, just like Vicky, always stand by my principals and fight for what I believe in.

Actually, I’m getting a lot of feedback from teen girls and moms. They say things like, “Finally, there’s someone who gets me!” or “It’s a book about me and many of my friends – same issues, same problems. Who doesn’t have attitude at this age? It’s like seeing myself in a mirror.” Moms identify with Vicky’s mother and start to understand young adults better. Many mothers and daughters read the novel together when they reviewed it, and they told me it was a great bonding experience. That means so much!

Is there a follow up to The Attitude Girl in the works?

I’m not planning a follow-up to The Attitude Girl. To be honest, I don’t believe in sequels – they usually are not as good as originals. But… you know… Never say never.

What new things do you have coming on the horizon?

I’ve been writing articles on parenthood and young adults. A couple of them were published in Power Women Magazine, MORE magazine, BOLD magazine, and the National Gallery of Writing. I’m a contributor to AuthorsDen.com, DivaToolBox.com and Weenc.com (Women Embracing Every New Challenge) – they publish my articles as well. I have several short stories for middle graders and young adults that need “polishing.” I started two books for kids ages 5 – 10, and I have a few ideas for books for adults that I have to develop.

Well I can't wait to see what comes next, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me!

You are very welcome, Mimi. It’s my pleasure!

For The Attitude Girl website, click here, and to click directly over to Amazon to buy it click here!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

This Cracks Me Up!


We Have A Winner!

The winner of my CSN Store giveaway is:

 comment #3 sAm from I've Been Set Free.

Congratulations to sAm and thanks to all of you who played along!

Monday, March 14, 2011

In His Own Words

Today is John David's 19th birthday so here is a picture he chose, a post he wrote himself, with just a little commentary from me.

Hey everyone. My name is John David Hillman. On March 14th, 1992, I was born. Today, I turned 19. I would be spending the day in Canada drinking, (now that I'm legal to drink there), but I lost my passport, so I'll have to make due. ;) (John was born in Canada and is half Canadian himself.)

I live with my mom, and am putting off finding a job and doing college because I'm a lazy teenager. Lucky for my mom, right? (John doesn't mention that he already has a job lined up for the spring.)

I'm agnostic, bisexual, have a tattoo that says "Make love, not war" (the "O" in love is a heart, and the "O" in not is a peace sign) on my right arm, a gaged ear, and a pierced tongue. And yes, they ALL HURT! XD

I spend most of my time at my boyfriend Andy's apartment with his 2 roommates; 2 of my best friends. Other than the 4 of us here, we have 3 snakes, 2 cats, 4 rats (2 are mine. Mom wont let me bring them home... *pout*), and a mouse named "Dinner", because he will one day BE dinner for a snake.

So far for my birthday, I've gotten a good amount of money, a 2TB hard drive, and I bought myself 2 pet rats; Quorra (girl), and Phillip (boy) who I love with all my heart.

Thank you all for the well wishes and "happy birthdays", but make sure you send more to my mom. She puts up with me, so she needs support more than anyone. ;D


Happy birthday, Sunshine, I love you so very much!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I Made It!

I'm happy to say that my dad & I arrived safely home yesterday afternoon, with no more troubles.

Your love, prayers, support and offers of help have meant the world to me.  While my uncle lived far away, he was by far my favorite. 

He called me Spoiled Brat, and because of his birthday, he was my April Fool.  This was a long journey for my family and your continued prayers for my cousins and family are appreciated.
It will take some time to decompress from this trip, but I hope to be around to visit you all soon!

Friday, March 11, 2011


Hello friends,

I am very sorry to say that my uncle passed away late Tuesday evening.  We were able to say goodbye, but the loss is felt deeply.

On our way to Missouri, my dad's 2010 Acadia broke down & we had to leave it in a small town in Illinois, then take a loaner on to St. Louis.  We are back in Illinois and our car is still not fixed, in fact they have not even received the part yet.  I have no idea how it could possibly take a dealership almost a week to get a part for a one year old car.  If the part comes in today then we should be able to leave tomorrow, otherwise it will be Monday at the earliest.

Sorry to be gone so long, I hope to be able to get home to my family as soon as possible.  This trip has taken a lot out of my father and me emotionally, and the added stress of not being able to get home is not helping, as I'm sure you can imagine. I appreciate all of your love and support and hope to be back to my family and my blogging soon.

Monday, March 7, 2011

A Sad Trip

Well I got the phone call that my uncle in St. Louis has moved into hospice and my dad & I need to hop into the van to say goodbye.

I'm not sure when I'll be back, but prayers are appreciated.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

CSN Stores $65 Giveaway

CSN Store giveaway are always fun!  I love being a Preferred Blogger for CSN Stores.  You can find anything from bath towels, which I need, pet toys, and pendant lighting for that cozy little reading corner.

But this time, friends I'm going to share my wealth with you and since it's crazy around here this is going to be an easy one.

To enter just leave a comment telling me your favorite spring flower and you'll be entered.

If your a follower or become a follower, leave a second comment for a second entry.

Contest ends at midnight on Sunday 3/13 and I'll pick a winner from a hat.  Make sure to leave you e-mail address in the contacts, so I can reach you if you're my winner.  Contest open to US & Canada only.

Project 365 Week 10

Project 365 button designed by http://richgift.blogspot.com

My week captured thru my camera, un-filtered & un-retouched.

Sunday, February 27 ~ Saturday, March 05, 2011

My crazy sock collection from The Socklady.  These are the only sock I wear when I can help it!

A box of Cherry Cordials Chris had bought for a co-worker.  They never made it to her!  Oopsie!
Tuesday morning I had to be at the hosptial at 6:30 for an upper GI scope : (  I thought ahead and had a pot of chicken and dumplings waiting for me which was perfect soothing food for my tummy.

Oskar willing us to take him just a little further on his walk.

I had my social secutiry disability hearing today.  It was very nerve-racking, but I think it went well, thank you for all of your prayers.  Now we have to wast 3-6 months for a verdict.  I didn't know it would take that long.  But when we got home I had a "Box Of Faith" in the mail from artist Franck De Las Mercedes.  He has an ongoing art project where you can request a handmade box from him.  Mine came on my hearing day & it says it contains faith.  What an amazing sign.


No picture for Friday.  I got sick.  I'm sure all of the stress of the week was the reason for it.

Moe sleeping above me as I try to feel better.

Go see Sara to check out all of the other 365 participants.

*Click here to enter my $65.00 CSN Stores giveaway.  Easy entry!