2017 Visit from St. What’s-his-Name


ADD and Christmas Too
Something wonderful from years ago becoming an OFI tradition

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

Merry Christmas!  I’m sharing one of my favorite Christmas presents with YOU below.

‘Twas the nite before Christmas . . .

I’m about to share one of the most clever of the versions of the rewriting of the Clement Moore original — ESPECIALLY for ADD/EFDers, ADD Coaches and everyone struggling with Executive Functioning challenges and last-minute Christmas oopses!

When you click the link below – and I truly hope you WILL – you will find only a couple of paragraphs of back-story before jumping directly into a really fun story about a Christmas that was almost a disaster.

If you have kids, you will definitely recognize many of your very own Christmas Eves when your children were little – and maybe even STILL!

So I’ll give you a taste below, and then send you over to read the rest — instead of spending my time to keep posting it again and again.  (It’s not that long, and the best part is still to come – so DO click to read it!)

If you share it (and I hope you WILL), you must provide a link back to the post and credit both the Optimal Functioning Institute™ and the author.

BECAUSE it is slated for inclusion in an upcoming ADD Anthology, make sure you don’t drop out “ownership” and link or things might get legal, okay?

Neat links to more Christmas stuff below, by the way.  Check ’em out, and feel free to leave a link to one of your own in the comments below.

IMPORTANT: only one link per comment or you’ll be autospammed.
If you have several, leave ’em in separate comments.

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Friday Fun: Tink on Christmas Outfits


Examples of my 2-legses’ depravity!

(but NOTHING like what’s going on with the FCC
or in the British Parliament)**

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Guest blogger: TinkerToy

Bah Humbug to HER!

TinkerToy again, and no, that’s not me over there — YET!

Sheesh!  Wouldn’t you think Mom would have gotten the idea of dressing me up out of her head after my reblog of my Halloween guest-post?

Her chuckling woke me from a wonderful snooze, Shih Tzu sugarplums still dancing in my head.  I looked over to catch her scrolling through photos on our computer — with an evil grin on her face.

She could have been looking for Christmas presents for me, I guess, since she clicked off the page super pronto when I leaned over from my nap-chair by her side to have a closer look.

But something smelled fishy to me.

I got lucky when, only a few minutes later, she had to walk to the little store down the street.  She decided not take me this time since it had started to rain.

I thought it would be the perfect time to click around on the computer myself, pulling up her history to see what she had been up to.

You are not going to BELIEVE what I found.

DOG PORN!

Page after page of dogs in costumes.
I think she might have a real problem.

Here’s the evidence!

I already told you that, before I was born, Mom had a Pinterest Board with all sorts of pictures of puppies and dogs dressed in all manner of outfits — Deck the Dog she called it.  She said it made her laugh.

I’m afraid it is worse than I thought.

If she thinks I’m going to agree to be her little Shih Tzu submissive,
she is out of her ever-lovin’ mind.

When did she get this elf-obssession?

I’ll spare you photo after photo of all of the many elf costumes in her history – each one worse than the last – but I had to show you this next one.

See what I mean? 

Jingle jangle bells every time I took a step.

How in the world would I even get in a nap when the clatter would annoy the dickens out of me every time I rolled over?

And dressing me up as Santa Paws is absolutely NOT gonna’ happen either!!

I mean, really. Do either of those dogs look particularly happy all pimped out in red and white?

Since when do dogs need belts anyway?

Maybe they’re not as miserable as that dumb Jingle-elf, but I can’t imagine that there are enough treats in the world to make up for being the laughing stock of their entire neighborhoods.

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TWO important messages from TinkerToy


Spotlight STAR-dom arrives!
as Dog Appreciation & Awareness Days slide right by
Guest blogger: TinkerToy

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

#1 – My episode is finally up and going!

TinkerToy here again (and remember, only Mom calls me that to my face).

Remember too that I told you in my last guest-post that my good friend Bacon was going to make me a star? Well, I am sooooo excited. My SpotLight Thursday interview is finally online!

You can even read a sneak preview below, just as soon as I make you aware of something that might be even more important.

#2 – I’m worried that Mom might be losing her marbles!

Did anybody else notice that her monthly
Awareness Calendars
have been leaving off the most IMPORTANT days?

I really don’t care much if nobody remembers that February is National Pet Dental Health Month. I mean, I don’t think many of my bloggin’ buds want to get their teeth brushed more often anyway.

But I do think it’s pretty darned important to know that
February is Responsible Pet Owners Month, don’t you?

I think even Mom agrees, but is it on her calendar anywhere this month?  No it is not.

AND – ahem!National Love Your Pet Day was this past Monday, February 20 – an important day for ALL of us. I sure don’t remember getting a bunch of extra cuddles and treats at the beginning of this week, do you guys?

And TODAY is February 23,
and I’ll bet nobody knows what that means.

It’s National Dog Biscuit Day!
(no kidding – Google it)

How is everybody supposed to remember to stock up
if Mom can’t remember to list it in that calendar?

Even if it’s too late to go buy some, there are online videos showing two-legses everywhere how to cook the kind you make at home. But has Mom set FOOT ONE in that kitchen all day?  No she has not!

I don’t think she even knows what day it is.

Do what she says, not what she does

She constantly checks those Mental Health Awareness calendars to keep her on track (no worries there, she never had a sense of time, my Mom) – but how is she going to remember these really important days if she doesn’t even put them in her calendars?

She’s always telling clients and students, “If it’s not in your book, it’s not in your life.”  Harumph! (I checked, by the way – and there’s nothing really important to ME in even one of them.)

What could be better for mental health than a happy little dog by your side?  (OR cat or pig or rabbit and all – but it IS National Dog Biscuit Day, ya’ know).

I don’t know about you, but snacks make me a pretty happy little dog.  And as long as she’s forkin’ ’em over, I’m gonna’ be RIGHT by her side.

And guess what else she didn’t remember to list?

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Five Golden Rings – from a Post-Christmas Sale


Maids, Pipers, Lords, Drummers & Birds . . .
ALL Make Way for Twelfth Nite
January 6th: when sensible ADD Poster Girls prefer to hold the present-fest

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
An edited reposting of an earlier idea

Are Merry Christmas & Happy New Year behind you now?

If so, I hope your Christmas festivities were everything you wanted them to be, and that all of your gifts were happily received in more than the spirit of that thought-that-counts manner.

I also hope that you are so happy with the gifts you received that you spend not a nano-second in a returns line.

HOWEVER, as many of you are focused on recovering from celebrating the arrival of the New Year, a scant few of us are still anticipating Christmas celebrations ourselves – after a fashion.

We who NEED a Little Christmas . . . TIME!

 

I know – for those of us who celebrate Christmas at all – ever since we were young enough to eagerly await the visit of Santa Claus, most of us have been accustomed to the idea that opening presents happens on the morning of December 25th.

But haven’t we ALREADY made some modifications to that particular plan?

It’s not unusual for families to pick another day to get together to celebrate – a time when ALL the family members will be able to attend.

Blended families frequently have more than ONE unwrapping ceremony – both on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day – and sometimes extending to other days and times as well.

Many of us have long-ago relocated Christmas present unwrapping to Christmas Eve — sometimes to make it easier for everyone to focus on getting out door for Christmas services at various places of worship, or sometimes to allow them to sleep late on Christmas morning, hoping to recover from the exhaustion of the rush of December before ramping up for New Year’s Eve.

I would like to suggest that moving the present-fest earlier
is going the wrong way, Jose!

Artist Patience Brewster’s Nativity Wise Men

Good enough for THREE Wise Men equals perfect for us

Legend has it that those three Wise Men following that star-so-bright did NOT arrive with their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh bright and early on the morning of December 25th.

It took twelve more days and nights for them to get there with the presents: they arrived on January 6th (which marks the beginning of the Mardi Gras Season, for New Orleans aficionados).

Far be it from me to suggest that those Men had a kludgy sense of direction or a sense of time similar to my own (which is to say, NONE!), but I don’t recall anyone considering them late to the party, do you?

So, not only is there is some serious precedence for taking a bit more time, there are more than a few substantially great reasons for delaying gift exchange.

Let’s take a look at a few of those reasons that is a bit more serious-minded than an older post on the topic.

Don’t forget that you can always check out the sidebar
for a reminder of how links work on this site, they’re subtle ==>

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A Mardi Gras END to Christmas Festivities


As Mardi Gras/Carnival Season begins
(with festivities that continue until Lent)

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Edited reblog from Happy Eve before Mardi Gras, 2015

About Mardi Gras – why here (and NOW)?

Since my ex-husband and I both attended grad school in New Orleans, we had three years to experience the celebrations of Mardi Gras – from King Cake parties to balls to parades and so-much-more. I relish the opportunity to share “insider” Mardi Gras knowledge gleaned from my personal experiences in New Orleans over several seasons.

I’m posting this reblog just a tad early this year, in case some of you might be inspired to set up a quick trip while there still might be a hotel room to be had.

Mardi Gras beads in the traditional colors: green, purple and gold – thrown from the floats by MANY different Krew members riding in the many, MANY parades they sponsor

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A different kind of Christmas Special from PorterGirl


Christmas Special:
The Tale Of The Cursed Hat

A wonderfully presented, original Christmas tale
from the creator of The Secret Diary Of PorterGirl.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a GOOD night!

NOT your average Hallmark™ Fare

If you find yourself a bit over-“joy”ed by the time Christmas Eve rolls along, this is a different kind of Christmas story with just a bit of a gothic twist to the ending.

It is beautifully read by actor Paul Butterworth, whom some of you may know from appearances in more than a few of the PorterGirl videos, even if you are unaware of his other theatrical credits.

Paul plays the Head Porter in the PorterGirl adventures – and author Lucy Brazier has posted a great deal of them online for both your viewing and reading pleasure.

Keep an eye peeled for the credits too – his director son does a lovely job of telling him what to do onscreen.

You’ll have to hop over to HER site to access the video (what you see below is just a still), but below that is what she has to say about Paul and the story.

‘Tis the season for festive storytelling, so please welcome Old College’s very own Head Porter – British actor Paul Butterworth – reading to us a Christmas tale I have written especially for the occasion.

Paul has appeared in films such as The Full Monty and Frank, and is a stalwart of British TV – performing in soap operas, The Bill, All Creatures Great & Small, The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, Holby City, Mysteries Of The Real Sherlock Holmes and many, many more.

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We ALL wish you a Merry Christmas!


Christmas Spirit Fun
Time on your hands headin’ toward Christmas? Feeling blue?
Check out these links for a hit of feel better fast
(or just plain fun)

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
from the Christmas Happy Christmas Series

Merry Happy EVERY thing!

Since Christmas is my thing, the name of that particular holiday will be featured most prominently in any of my winter holiday articles.

But I hope you’re ALL enjoying yourselves and your traditions, no matter which end-of-year holidays YOU observe:

Hanukkah – Kwanza – Solstice – Ramadan – Shawwal – Black Friday – Cyber Monday – St. Nicholas Day – Boxing Day – Christmas Card Day – New Years – Twelfth Night – Festivus – or even You’re Welcome Day.

Then there’s Fruitcake Toss Day or National Bicarbonate of Soda Day (which, according to the Holiday Insights website, actually exist)along with my personal favorite on November 9th, Chaos Never Dies Day – even though most of YOU probably missed it this year!

Like Christmas Windows: Here to Visit Now or Later

What’s YOUR situation this December?

Many of you are hyper-busy Christmas do-bees as Santa’s big day draws near, but many of you are NOT.

Some of you have let me know that you are alone this season – for various reasons – and more than just a bit down about that fact.

I have heard from more than a few of you who have been praying for the time when the kids were grown up and on their own so things weren’t so harried — but now that time has come, it’s not exactly what you thought it would be.  Something seems missing from your Christmas jingle all the way.

Others can’t get home — or are home-bound — for the holidays, and you don’t know how to capture any sort of Christmasy feeling on your own.

  • Pour yourself a cup of something warm – or a glass of something festive – and click the links below for a virtual visit to some bloggers who will give you a hit of those warm fuzzies (or cheer you up with a bit of Christmas humor).
  • Allow me to take you on a virtual field trip for some Christmas cheer up.
  • Those of you who desperately need a bit of a break, dropping in on some fun you don’t have to do a darned thing to make happen is just what Mrs. Claus advises when Santa gets overwhelmed (like clicking below to visit a few of the links, for example).
  • Some of the links will take you to heart-warming article; others will take you to virtual kitchens or visits to the homes of others.
  • Sit back, relax, click, and allow yourselves ENJOY.

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How to navigate those “Home Alone” Holidays


The Single Person’s Holiday Playbook

(Putting an end to those awkward holidays!)

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
An edited reblog of a previously published article

ENOUGH with the questions from well-meaning others!

Whether we are alone by choice or circumstance, holidays can be, at best, awkward.

Found on: Lolsnaps

“Have any plans for the upcoming holiday?” can be asked at any moment – even by total strangers trying to be friendly in grocery lines.

ANY version of, “Not really,” is something they do NOT, actually, want to hear.

Nor is it something that most of us who are already feeling marooned are eager to utter aloud.

No Mom, s/he won’t be coming

As any single person who’s ever gone “HOME for the holidays” can probably tell you, being “unpartnered” during special family events can present a unique set of challenges, especially the first time.

It runs the gamut:

  • from feeling awkward, maybe a bit defensive about your [lack of] relationship status this particular holiday,
  • all the way to feeling that you must either “ruin everyone’s holiday with a display of pique” -or-
  • grit your teeth, grin and bear it as you attempt to find a way to politely field unintentionally rude inquiries about why you happen to be alone.

The Formerly Familied

Far too many individuals who are divorced, widowed, separated (or outliving their families and many of their friends) can find solo-holidays sad and depressing.

A friend of mine, an emotionally healthy, extremely self-reliant, empty-nest single parent says her married kids “make other plans” for major holidays — at the very least every other year.

She really doesn’t resent the reality that the kids have their own lives, hope to start their own family traditions, and deserve to feel unconflicted about making holiday plans that won’t always include her,  BUT . . .

She says that she can’t face cooking a holiday meal for one OR going to a restaurant alone when everyone but her seems to have somebody celebrating WITH them.

She also finds it unbearably depressing to fuff around in her pajamas and slippers ALL day, even though she feels like she is “all dressed up with no place to go” if she doesn’t.

Reaching out to help others?

Even singles who volunteer at soup kitchens and so on have to make it through at least a portion of the day totally alone, at a time that was once known for family get-togethers.

People who never drink anything stronger than root beer have confessed that the idea of becoming a regular at their town’s version of the Cheers bar crosses their minds more than a few times, just to have somewhere to go and a few people to talk to on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Eve.

Different ways to make it work . . .

Since I have spent most of the major holidays alone for many years now, I’m hoping that I will be able to help you look at things in ways you haven’t already thought of, tried and rejected.

In any case, I’m not planning to rehash the holiday survival tips already found all over the internet (but in case you have missed a few bloggy ideas, check out the articles under the Related Articles ’round the net heading in the links below the original post.)

Don’t forget that you can always check out the sidebar
for a reminder of how links work on this site, they’re subtle ==>

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The REAL Christmas Elves


Santa couldn’t do it without us!
Proof that we can do more than cuddle or blog

Guest blogger: TinkerToy

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

My FIRST Christmas post (and my first sort-of reblog)

Mom found this video and said I could use it in my first Christmas post.  It was originally posted by Xena on her Black Butterfly blog with the following introduction:

I never get enough of this video. It’s produced by Fresh Pets.

The music is festive, but really loud,
so you might want to lower the volume on your speakers
before you click on the little triangle thing in the middle.

Source: Santa’s Canines (and Felines) Make Toys | We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident

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Christmas Gifts – the thought that counts


Makin’ Your Lists:
Checkin’ ’em TWICE?

When are we going to learn
to start even EARLIER?!

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

Christmas Memories

Do you recall the gifts you received through the years?  I don’t.  Not really.

Oh, I can think of a few really special presents, but mostly they all dissolve into a blur of crumpled wrapping paper, bows and snips of ribbon — all over the floor.

I more clearly remember tearing into oversized felt stockings on Christmas morning, hand-crafted by my mother for each member of our family of seven, our names embroidered in sparkles on the cuffs.

Each of us were delighted with mere trinkets, chocolate treats, and the tangerine always stuffed into the toe.

She attached a string of jingle bells to each hanging loop to let everyone know that someone was getting into a stocking!

You see, what I remember most vividly are the memories of those Christmas times – and they are really all that remain from the Christmases of most of my life:

  • finally digging out the ornaments, untangling the lights and trimming the tree
  • snow-crusted mittens and red noses from sledding on glorious snow days (when the schools were closed!)
  • wrapping presents purchased “with my own money”
  • eggnog and my mother reading Christmas stories
  • buttered popcorn and hot chocolate as we watched classic Christmas films in front of an old-style television set
  • Helping to prepare Christmas dinners – even some of the conversations around those Christmas tables through the year.

What do YOU recall loving most?

A different kind of Christmas

When I was a kid, a family down the street gave NO presents that could be unwrapped.  I was never sure whether to feel sorry for my friend or be jealous of her wonderful Christmases, year after year — but now that I am much older, there is no doubt in my mind which of us got the better deal.

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Another Visit from St. What’s-his-Name


ADD and Christmas Too
“Reprint” of something wonderful from years ago

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

One of my FAVORITE Presents

I want to give you just a bit of back-story before I share one of the most clever of the versions of the rewriting of the Clement Moore original — ESPECIALLY for ADDers, ADD Coaches and anyone struggling with Executive Functioning challenges and oopses!

Janine Baker, one of my long-time best friends, is one of the most fabulously creative people I know. Although she does not have ADD herself, she GETS it, “thanks” to an up-close-and-personal relationship with me (and the fact that she was an early graduate of my ADD Coach Training)!

She also gives some of the very best presents. So when I tell you that this poem she wrote many years ago for my first website is among my very favorite presents EVER, understand that it has some stiff competition.

She gifted me the copyright along with the poem, so I own all rights to it.

If you share it (and I hope you WILL), you must provide a link back to this post and credit both the Optimal Functioning Institute™ and the author.  (It is slated for inclusion in an upcoming ADD Anthology, so don’t drop out “ownership” and link or things might get legal, okay?)

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Elfing for Santa!


Deck the Halls & Play the Carols
(Watch the movies … bake the cookies … and jingle those bells!)

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Edited from Happy Thanksgiving-Make Way for Christmas

Fair warning: This is not going to be a rant about the season.

Grab a drink!

Grinches and Humbugs are likely to need one, and the rest of us will be prepared for a merry toast to the season festivities to come.

Turkey_Drinks

Even before most of the Thanksgiving leftovers had been eaten or frozen, many of our neighbors began to string colored lights on the eaves of their houses, into their trees and winding ’round their bushes.

I am starting to see front door wreaths, lawn reindeer, and angels with glowing halos as well.  And I love it!

Anyone who knows me, even a little, will attest to the fact that I’m a card-carrying Christmas ELF – a regular Emmy Lou Who**.

I simply LOVE Christmas – the whole Christmas season (“Now please don’t ask why, no one quite knows the reason”)**

**Both from How the Grinch Stole Christmas
by Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel

I start thinking about rounding up my humongous collection of MP3s, DVDs, CDs, and tapes of ALL types of Christmas music the very first day the horrid summer heat wave shows signs of dipping below 80 degrees.

I especially love decorating for the Christmas season

And I like to deck the halls with a-whole-lot-more than boughs of holly!

I’m big on candles and garlands, trees and wreaths and stockings, Santas, sleighs and reindeer — and nutcrackers, and sugar plums — and Byers Choice Carolers (which I began collecting long before anyone else had ever heard of Joyce Byers!)

Don’t forget that you can always check out the sidebar
for a reminder of how links work on this site, they’re subtle ==>

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Happy Santa Claus Day


Good Little Dutch Girls & Boys
will wake up to presents in their wooden shoes tomorrow

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
A Christmas Reflections Post

A bit of explanation

From the analysis of the Dutch tradition of Sinterklaas on the [mostly Dutch-language] blog of Samhildanach, a Dutch religious studies scholar says:

“Sinterklaas is the festival of St. Nicholas of Myra . . . [which is surrounded by] a lot of mythology . . . although little of that is commonly known.

This saint is portrayed as a venerable man in a red and gold bishop’s gown . . . Principally, the festival is meant for young children to around the age of eight.

The young . . . believe that Sinterklaas lives in Spain [and] visits the Netherlands every year in a steam ship, accompanied by his helpers, the dark-skinned Zwarte Pieten ‘Black Petes’, dressed in frivolous colours, to offer presents to all [well-behaved] children.

Those [who] have been naughty risk [being] caned by Zwarte Piet, or in extreme cases, [being] forced in the sack and taken back to Spain.”

The article goes on to explain that the period of Sinterklaas begins at some point in November every year – a national, televised event when St. Nicholas of Myra arrives at the dock, disembarking with his white horse and his attendant(s).

“From this moment on, the children [may] put down their shoes in front of the hearth. [. . .] The morning after, a small present will be in their shoes.

The festival is mainly celebrated in the Netherlands, but there are some local variations to be found in Belgium and Germany, encompassing differentiated local traditions.”

Don’t forget that you can always check out the sidebar
for a reminder of how links work on this site, they’re subtle ==>

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THANKS to all who read & commented on My Birthday Prayer


You are much appreciated
AND there is more to be done & more we ALL can do

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
from the Mental Health Awareness Series

Turning a Comment into a Post

I added a comment to my Birthday Post to thank my readers and followers for the amazing response from so many of you who took the time to read the story behind my prayer.

I so appreciate everyone who commented with empathy, as well as with the disgust that *I* feel for the TRAGIC and avoidable murder of the son of a good friend, colleague, and leading light in the ADD community.

I am expanding it into an Advocacy article, hoping that more of you will see it.

So what’s the MORE?

God Bless YOU all – and now I hope everyone will be proactive, speaking truth to “power” with a reach further than that of the blogging community.

I ask you to write or call your elected representatives and local hospital administrators – and that you repeat this story to your doctors with an expression of concern that something similar could EVER happen to you or someone you love.

It’s desperately needed, regardless of where you live in the free world.

The police are not the central problem here – but their lack of mental health training IS a serious issue that has needed addressing for a very long time. And that, my friends, is a matter for specifically targeted appropriations – or, as it turns out, lack thereof.

The APA (American Psychological Association) and AMA (Medical) could us a major tune up as well.

What happened medically that allowed this tragedy to occur was and IS INexcusable, totally avoidable and, unfortunately, not rare.

We, too, can become effective Lobbyists

ALL decision and policy makers need to be encouraged to assign a staff member to start reading the blogs of the mental health advocates, the chronic pain & PTSD sufferers and of a great many individuals attempting to get adequate and EMPATHETIC care from their doctors and nurses.

Many too many health care professionals seem more afraid of black and white DEA retribution – due to the way in which the DEA enforces their policies, intended to lower drug abuse statistics, to undercut the effective treatment for a variety of disabilities and disorders – than they are of being called out for providing seriously substandard care to many in the mental health community. REGULARLY.

Inexcusable, of course, but professional cowardice is at least understandable on some level.  What is NOT understandable is the rude and insensitive way in which many patients are treated by the doctors and nurses they look to and PÅY for help and understanding.

I see tales of lousy treatment on most of the blogs – and insensitive treatment on ALL of them. 

I hope that everyone who has posted an article supporting this statement will leave a link in a comment — those will become the only Related Posts for this article.

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My 2016 Birthday Prayer


Today is my birthday
but, awakening from a nightmare,
I’m not feeling very happy right now

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

First, my birthday prayer:

The personal story behind both the prayer and my recurring nightmares follows below.

PLEASE God, we seriously need to upgrade the health-care system in this country. We need a clean sweep of the Mammon-worshipping insurance industry, God, clearing out everyone who is getting rich off the health challenges of the citizens of this country.

Please make everyone aware that, most importantly, we desperately need to FIX America’s woefully inadequate mental health care system, as we vastly improve mental health awareness in the entire country – including empathy for the poor, the homeless and every single one of our veterans.

Lay it on the heart of every single American with breath enough to speak, God. Let them know it like *I* know it, feel it like *I* feel it

Make them realize that action can no longer be procrastinated, regardless of whether America’s new administration is willing to understand or is otherwise uninspired to take effective steps toward solutions that are more than sound-bites and cronyism.

Let the world finally understand that jails and prisons are no place for those who are mentally ill, God, and that Law Enforcement without in-depth mental health training has NO place dealing with the mentally ill.

Amen

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Happy Turkey Day!


Be Thankful Today
and every today, as we have this day to remind us
(and let’s have a bit of levity with our gratitude!)

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

Holidays can be hard at times

For any of you who need a little cheering up today, I’ve ended with a few cartoons that gave me a giggle.

8 Things I am trying to be especially thankful for today:

  1. Even though I love to play holiday hostess, I’m thankful that I didn’t have to try to squeeze in several days of cooking and cleaning this year.
  2. I’m thankful that I have a roof over my head, clothing choices that make me feel pretty as they keep me WARM, and that I won’t go hungry as the rest of the country feasts.
  3. I’m thankful that TinkerToy is the best company a Mom could wish for on Thanksgiving, even if we never see another soul.
  4. I’m thankful that I have so many wonderful and supportive virtual friends with whom to spend my time today.
  5. I’m thankful that, even though I haven’t owned a television in decades and miss Manhattan like a lover, videos of Macy’s 2016 Thanksgiving Parade are sure to be posted online somewhere.
  6. I’m thankful that TinkerToy’s post about N24 and chronorhythm disorders was finished early enough to be posted yesterday, so that I could commandeer our computer to wish all of my readers a very Happy Thanksgiving.
  7. I’m particularly thankful that other than ADD, N-24, and presbyopia, I have usually been (and remain) amazingly healthy.
  8. And I’m especially thankful that enough of that dreaded administrative work is behind me so that I can finally announce Open Enrollment for the upcoming Group Coaching opportunity!!

AND NOW . . . on to those cartoons!

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THIS will REALLY Scare you!


Who Needs Ghost Stories?!
Guest blogger: TinkerToy

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

Scary things done to dogs

TinkerToy here, reminding you not judge me for that. (Remember, I didn’t get much of a vote, and Killer wasn’t on the menu.)

That’s NOT me over there, by the way. It’s one of the scary things — done to a dog that looks a lot like me.

Mom wasn’t planning to let me at the computer for a few more weeks. BUT, since my first ever post, Blogging Tips from a Shih Tzu got more comments than any of hers, she couldn’t exactly say no.

This is my second ever blog post — and it’s about the scariest thing about Halloween.

NOT what you think!

I’ll bet you were thinking I was going to blog about the hateful two-legs who abandon dogs, the horrors of puppy mills, or dog-abuse.

While those are ALL very scary things indeed, my Halloween post is going to focus on what the two-legs do to us on this one particular day each year — just because they think it’s funny, and just because they can.

Yep – costumes.

Even before I was born, Mom had a Pinterest Board called Deck the Dog where she pinned all sorts of pictures of puppies and dogs dressed in all manner of outfits. She said it made her laugh. (Weird sense of humor, this two-leg I live with.)

THEN, shortly after she heard about the Halloween Costume Party at my Cheers bar down the street, I caught her looking for “ideas” – and none of them looked like pictures of anything she’s thinking about for her.

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#GoSilent on Memorial Day 2016


Honoring Memorial Day

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Part of the What Kind of World Series

If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
~ John McCrae, May 1915

How do YOU relate to Memorial Day?

For many fortunate people – 80% of us, according to a poll taken by the National World War II Museum —  Memorial Day is little more than the official beginning of summer. It’s the day we get our barbeques and lawn furniture out of storage to picnic with family and friends until our Labor Day parties mark summer’s end.

One of the longest-standing events that many will attend this year is the Indianapolis 500, held on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend.

NASCAR‘s Coca-Cola 600 has been held later that day since 1961 and, since 1976, the Memorial [Golf] Tournament has been held on or close to Memorial Day.

And still . . .

For too many other Americans, however, Memorial Day marks the anniversary of the day they honor that other day – the one that changed their lives forever – a day of remembrance when they hope that the deaths of their loved ones will never be forgotten, and when they pray that their fathers, husbands, uncles, nephews, sons and grandsons did not die in vain.

It is the one day set aside for all of us to honor and remember, as a nation, the men and women who lost their lives while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

It happens every year on the last Monday of May
May 30th in 2016

Many people will take time to visit cemeteries and memorials around the county to honor the loved ones of others who have given their lives in military service, as well as anyone they know personally who has made the ultimate sacrifice.

Various groups of volunteers will visit national cemeteries to place American flags on soldiers’ graves.

Cities and townships across the nation will hold stately parades led by marching bands, often including Army jeeps and other military vehicles, antique as well as current.  The National Guard is often featured in those parades, along with Air Force, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard — active servicemen and women marching alongside veterans of all ages, in uniforms representing many too many wars and even more fallen soldiers.

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A Brand New Year – gulp


Resolutions, Goals, Intentions & Planning
(and why we avoid setting them in place)

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
from the Habits, Decisions, Attention Series

Setting Resolutions for the Year?

Yep!  We make ’em, we break ’em – and we feel so crummy about it that some of us even refuse to make ’em anymore.

Eventual disappointment seems lessened if we stop expecting ourselves to do better, doesn’t it?

Scary stuff, intentionality

My friend Wendy, the author of the wonderfully supportive blog, Picnic with Ants, says it quite clearly in the introduction to her December 31st article: The Future is Scary, with a side of Hope.

For context: Wendy has developed multiple physical health challenges with multiple complications she must deal with, along with being a card-carrying member of the Alphabet City club – and has recently returned from Johns Hopkins, which requires some attention to new treatment plans.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“It seems appropriate that I’m writing this on the eve of a new year, what better time to look toward the future?

For me, contemplating the future is more than a little scary…. let’s just say my anxiety about it has been more than I ever thought was possible.

I don’t dwell in the past (all of that is gone)… I don’t worry about the future (that hasn’t been written yet)… I try hard to live in this very moment, because that is all we truly have.

Yes, at times I still have moments when I get upset that I can’t do what I used to, and get upset about what might happen… but I don’t dwell on it.

Then we started making plans… how we are going to try to make things better for me… [It’s now time for] decisions about this unknown future, decisions that I have to make. Suddenly, I HAVE to look at the future. I HAVE to think about it.  And it really scares me.”

We don’t have to be in Wendy’s shoes to relate

Attempting to envision accomplishments and completions a year ahead, especially for those of us whose functional temperature can run the gamut on any given day, is a quite the challenge.

All those pre-frontal cortex-intensive decisions to consider are intense — driving us straight toward the cliffs of task anxiety!

  • We don’t want to slide quickly into overwhelm by biting off more than we can chew! Our self-esteem is at stake here, doncha’ know.
  • Still, we don’t want to woos out on ourselves by setting objectives that are not at least a little bit of a stretch, significant enough that we might expect life to become a bit more rewarding perhaps.
  • But what’s too much and what’s too little?  What’s significant and what’s destined to become just one more nattering item in an already overlong To-Do list that languishes only partially completed on far too many days as it stands NOW?
  • When life has been in a repair deficit condition long enough that we’re not sure if we will ever be able to crawl out onto level ground again — taking a cold honest look at all of the seemingly bazillion contenders for priority focus is enough to shut intentionality down completely, as we make a bee line for wine or chocolate!

As I said in a comment to Wendy’s article above:

Setting intentions for the future IS scary – only those on whom fortune has shined without abating can honestly say otherwise.

Logically and intellectually, of course, we know that we’re doomed if we don’t keep moving forward despite our fears.

HOWEVER, those who fear what might happen can never really understand the feelings of those of us who fear what might happen AGAIN (usually because it HAS happened, again and again and again-again — same tune, different verse)despite our very best efforts, positive thinking and affirmations!

Even though we DO understand that it is nearly impossible to move forward when we’ve lost our faith that things can and will EVER be different, many of us are more than a little reluctant to set ourselves up for failure and disappointment, just in case.

It’s not exactly that we lose hope, when life has been tough on us repeatedly, we tend to become almost afraid to hope (at least I do, anyway).

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The Single Person’s Holiday Playbook


“Home Alone” Holidays —
without the tears

(Make this your LAST awkward holiday!)

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

Note: If you’re jumping over from the 2016 edited reblog
[How to navigate those “Home Alone” Holidays]

scroll down to “NOW let’s really shake things up”
to read the remainder of the article (with the TIPS)

ENOUGH with the questions!

Whether we are alone by choice or circumstance, holidays can be, at best, awkward.

Found on: Lolsnaps

“Have any plans for the upcoming holiday?” is asked even by total strangers trying to be friendly in grocery lines.

ANY version of, “Not really,” is something they do NOT, actually, want to hear, and not something that most of us who are already feeling marooned are eager to utter aloud.

No Mom, s/he’s not coming

As any single person who’s ever gone “HOME for the holidays” can probably tell you, being “unpartnered” during special family events can present a unique set of challenges, especially the first time.

From feeling awkward, maybe a bit defensive about your lack-of-relationship status this time, all the way to feeling that you must either “ruin everyone’s holiday with a display of pique” -or- grit your teeth and bear it as you attempt to find a way to politely field unintentionally rude inquiries about why you happen to be alone.

The Formerly Familied

Far too many individuals who are divorced, widowed, separated (or outliving their friends and families) find solo-holidays sad and depressing.

A friend of mine, an emotionally healthy, extremely self-reliant, empty-nest single parent says her married kids “make other plans” for major holidays every other year at minimum.

She really doesn’t resent the reality that the kids have their own lives, hope to start their own family traditions, and deserve to feel unconflicted about making holiday plans that won’t always include her,  BUT . . .

She says that she can’t face cooking a holiday meal for one OR going to a restaurant alone when everyone but her seems to have somebody celebrating WITH them.

She also finds it unbearably depressing to fuff around in her pajamas and slippers ALL day, even though she feels like she is “all dressed up with no place to go” if she doesn’t.

Reaching out to help others?

Even singles who volunteer at soup kitchens and so on have to make it through at least a portion of the day totally alone, at a time that was once known for family get-togethers.

Even the ones who are teetotalers tell me that the idea of becoming a regular at their town’s version of the Cheers bar crosses their minds more than a few times, just to have somewhere to go and a few people to talk to on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Eve.

Different ways to make it work . . .

Since I have spent most of the major holidays alone for many years now, I’m hoping that I will be able to help you look at things in ways you haven’t already thought of, tried and rejected.

In any case, I’m not planning to rehash the holiday survival tips already found all over the internet (but in case you have missed a few bloggy ideas, check out the articles under the Related Articles ’round the net heading in the links below.)

So read on . . .

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Hey! Grinch! Get off of my cloud!


MonGrumpHeadW-A-Y behind on
Grumpiness Dumps

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

Now that Christmas is behind us, back to business!

I have gotten a few comments from folks who have missed my grumpy side – happy to oblige.

So here’s what’s caught in my craw as today progresses – taking down all the Christmas decorations happens WAY too soon.

It’s just plain ole’ depressing to walk down the street and see still-green tree corpses kicked to the curb before Twelfth Night!  When they start hitting the streets before NEW YEARS I simply want to fall down next to them and weep.

Kicked to the curb so SOON?

Poor Christmas Trees!  Kicked to the curb so SOON?

Whatever happened to AFTERGLOW?

I mean, even if you are one of the lucky ones with a staff of elves to give you plenty of time before Christmas to drive around and see all the pretty decorations and visit all your friends to see what they’ve put together, are you really that eager to jump up and shower immediately afterwards?

As for the rest of us, if we don’t have time to see the sights while we’re busy getting ready for our own celebrations, we can pretty much forget about it until we try again next year.

Live and let live?

I suppose I could live with the idea that many folks want to take down their Christmas decorations before New Years, but what frosts my grapes is the attitude of the early denuders toward those of us who don’t want to rush the removal.

They are so snide – and so VOCAL – about the fact that the entire world doesn’t share their particular preference for getting rid of all evidence that Christmas exists practically the moment the last present is opened.

Who put the Grinches in charge of the timing?

What’s HAPPENING with our planet these days?

There is so much about our world that is, shall we say, less than uplifting.  Why would anybody campaign to remove the small bit of cheer that manages to survive?

Not that I let what Grinches prefer change what I decide to do one iota – I simply don’t want to have to tolerate their “superior” attitude and their make-wrong. 

Can’t they tut-tut-tut in private?

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Happy Eve before Mardi Gras


I’m Finally Celebrating Christmas
as the Mardi Gras/Carnival Season begins

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

NOTE: If you’ve just come from my 2016 reblog, to read the rest,
scroll down to “Grand Balls and Call-outs

About Mardi Gras – and why here?

Since I went to grad school in New Orleans, I had three years to experience the celebrations of Mardi Gras – from King Cake parties to balls to parades and so-much-more.

I LOVE a chance to share my knowledge of Mardi Gras from my experience there.

Mardi Gras beads in the traditional colors: green, purple and gold – thrown from the floats by MANY different Krew members riding in the many, MANY parades they sponsor

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For a REALLY Happy New Year


2015 is breathing down our necks
(perhaps it might be wise to do more than a bit of thinking about it)

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

As I ready myself for my own Christmas celebration on Twelfth Night, let’s take a moment to focus on the other big end-of-year celebration: New Year’s Eve.

Nutshell New Years

We count backwards from ten as the clock chimes and the ball drops. We toast and kiss, and blow funny-sounding horns wearing funny-looking hats, often dressed in formal finery.  Many of us party on until dawn.

© Phillip Martin – artist/educator

Yep – that’s New Years Eve in a nutshell for many of us around the world – or at least the image in our minds.

And then what?

Regardless of how heartily we’ve partilied the night before, we awaken at some point on New Years Day, hoping for the best in the upcoming year.

Some of us even take the time to write down a few of those ubiquitous New Year’s Resolutions, without really expecting ourselves to follow through this year, anymore than the years before it.

Pinterest and the daily papers provide image upon image making fun of the practice – or at least of the people who don’t practice their practice.

And most of the plans of those who resolve and regret fail to materialize through lack of long-range planning.

To fail to plan is to plan to fail?

As I implied in a much earlier article about planning for the New Year, unless we want the upcoming year to be exactly like the one in our rear view mirror, it’s time to get busy with some change-management.

A therapist I know has this to say about change:

“Everybody wants things to be different, but nobody wants anything to change.”

He doesn’t add, “especially anything about THEM” – but I have always believed that’s what he was really talking about: the devil we know, and all that.

What IS it about change that makes us cringe?

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Gettin’ Ready for Twelfth Nite


Christmas Day is over . . .
Make Way for 12th Nite
(January 6th: the day when all sensible ADD Poster Girls
prefer to hold the present-fest)

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

Is Merry Christmas behind us now?

I hope your Christmas Day was everything you wanted it to be, and that all of your gifts were happily received in more than the spirit of that thought-that-counts manner.

As many people are now focused on celebrating the upcoming changing of the year, a few of us are still anticipating Christmas celebrations themselves – after a fashion.

We NEED a Little Christmas . . . TIME!

 

I know – for those of us who celebrate Christmas at all – ever since we were young enough to eagerly await the visit of Santa Claus, most of us have been accustomed to the idea that opening presents happens on the morning of December 25th.

But haven’t we ALREADY made some modifications to that particular plan?

It’s not unusual for families to pick a day where ALL family members will be able to attend.

Blended families frequently have more than ONE unwrapping ceremony – both on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day – and sometimes extending to other days and times as well.

Many of us have long-ago relocated the Christmas present unwrapping ceremony to Christmas Eve, either to make it easier to get out the door for the Christmas service at our places of worship, or to allow us to sleep in on Christmas Day.

I would like to suggest that is going the wrong way, Jose!

Good enough for THREE Wise Men = perfect for ADD/EFD

Legend has it that those three Wise Men following that star-so-bright did NOT arrive with their gifts of gold, frankincense and myhr bright and early on the morning of December 25th.

It took twelve more days and nights for them to get there with the presents: they arrived on January 6th (which marks the beginning of the Mardi Gras Season, for New Orleans aficionados).

Artist Patience Brewster’s Nativity Wise Men

 

Far be it from me to suggest that those Men had a sense of direction or time similar to my own (which is to say, NONE!), but I don’t recall anyone considering them late to the party, do you?

So, not only is there is some serious precedence for taking a bit more time, there are several substantially great reasons for delaying gift exchange.

Let’s take a look at a few of those reasons that is a bit more serious-minded than my last post on the topic.

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From Pinterest thru me to YOU


MerryXmas

The Wisdom of those Three Kings


They didn’t RUSH to get it all done
by December 25th
(Arriving with THEIR Gifts 12 days later!)

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

Hey, if Twelfth Night was good enough for THREE separate men known throughout the world for their wisdom — so much so that they are simply referred to as the Three Wise Men — who are we to question the timing?

If you are struggling with one of the Alphabet Disorders, it only makes sense to adopt their extremely wise idea of moving your own celebration to January 6th as well — or at least to its Eve, the night of the 5th.

I have already, so I can attest to how much nicer it makes everything!

SOME of the benefits of celebrating on Twelfth Night:

  • It gives you an extra 12 days to get ready
  • It allows you to shop the after-Christmas sales
  • It “uncrowds” your holiday calendar, minimizing the conflicts that create so many of those “but I thought you were spending this Christmas with US” in-law hurt feelings, and
  • It still allows you to create your own family traditions free of most family-of-origin pressure.

For those who are concerned about The Reason for the Season getting lost in the commercialism of it all, celebrating the present-fest on Twelfth Night leaves time on Christmas Day for Church-related or charity events, as it gives you a perfect opportunity for some Bible-story education.

Did you catch the part about the extra 12 days to get ready?

Do not try to change the world

For reasons I will never understand, moving the gift-exchange into the future by almost two weeks seems to be as tough a sell as suggesting that adults forgo a gift exchange completely – believe me, I’ve tried.

No matter. In many ways it makes things easier.

When others give you their gifts on Christmas, smile sweetly, almost piously, and say simply, “You will have to wait until 12th Nite for my gift to you – when the Three Wise Men arrived with their gifts for the Baby Jesus.”

  • Reciprocation is ever so much easier than trying to figure everything out ahead of time.
  • Quickly make a mental note to run out to get something for your side of the gift exchange (though an ACTUAL note makes reciprocation a lot more likely to actually happen).  

Not only that, waiting until Twelfth Night helps stretch meager cash-stores, since you will be able to shop the best sales — after Christmas, remember.

How else do you think those “Twelve Days of Christmas” True Love Givers that everybody sings about were able to gift so much?  They shopped the 12 days AFTER Christmas, when golden rings go ON SALE (nobody can afford to pay retail for five of the darned things in today’s economy!)

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The best Christmas tip EVER!


To Reduce Visual Overwhelm
as you Deck your Halls

Store in Plain Sight with this clever trick

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

Decking, decking – still decking!

It’s a good thing I have switched to celebrating Twelfth Night – January 6th (12 more days to get it together than if my deadline were Christmas itself). There is NO WAY I’ll have everything ticked, tied and neatened by December 25 — my hall decking has faced a number of serious slowdowns.

  1. FIRST, I had to quickly move everything up off the floor to puppy-proof for the sudden good fortune of locating my wished-for Christmas puppy.
  2. Then, of course, came the day “off” to go get the little guy – and the day after that to recover from staying up all night puppy-proofing, followed by a car trip!
  3. And now that he’s here, I have to WATCH HIM LIKE A HAWK – this dog can find something verboten to put in his tiny mouth even if I’ve just swept or vacuumed.

The decking of halls has taken a decidedly back seat to puppy patrol. Oh well.  If that’s what it takes, that’s what it takes. This little guy is clearly worth it to me!

Celebrate Boxing Day early . . .

No, NOT the day-after-Christmas holiday celebrated by our English-speaking forefathers across the pond (along with, according to Wikipedia, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Kenya, South Africa, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and other Commonwealth nations, as well as Norway, the Netherlands and Sweden!)

I’m talking much bigger boxes for our Boxing Day than those used to gather alms.

Inundated by Shipping Boxes?

If you order anything online (and who doesn’t these days?), you probably hurry to break down the packing/shipping boxes to get them OUT of your house and into the recycling bin.

Don’t.

There’s a much better way to handle them – besides getting things out of the way of a puppy (you’re gonna’ love this!)

WRAP THEM!  (No I am not kidding)

But first, take down as many decorative tchotchkes as possible to clear the decks for Christmas decor.

Not only does Christmas decorating go so much more smoothly if you start with a relatively clean(ish) slate, it looks a lot better to the eye when there aren’t so many items competing for focus.

Pack the items you normally use to “merchandise” your space in a few of the medium to large-ish boxes that arrive carrying internet purchases.

It’s not too late to do it now, by the way – EVEN if your halls are primarily decked already.  Look around to see which non-Christmas items are distracting, and box them up.

NOW wrap those boxes – and tie them up with pretty ribbon and a big bow.

If you have the time, it is EVEN better if it is done in a manner that you can reuse them without rewrapping from year to year.

Even if you are someone who changes your theme or color scheme every Christmas, if you keep the wrapping paper relatively neutral you can always change the look with different ribbon.

Moving right along, you can ALSO reuse those wrapped boxes to pack up some of the ornaments and other artifacts of Christmas-soon-to-be-past until next year – sans bows, of course.

No mistaking what those boxes contain – even without the bows!  (Pop those inside one or two of your pretty boxes and store them all together – the only ones you tie with a flat Christmas ribbon.)

The MAIN thing, however, is to be able to
hide your during-the-season storage solutions
— in plain sight.

Put your prettily wrapped boxes around your home to spread a bit of storage-secret Christmas glow from room to room.

Or mass them together in a couple of out of the way corners.  According to Apartment Therapy, “. . . a collection of otherwise basic gift-wrapped presents is made more dramatic and note-worthy when grouped and stacked all together.”

Here’s the best part: nobody has to climb up to the attic or down dimly lit basement steps to store away the now empty packaging that once held ornaments and other pretties.  Pop ’em in plain wrapped boxes to sit under the ones with the bows until you are ready to take it all down again.

But WAIT – there’s more . . .

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What’s up with Twinkly Lights?


LightsWhy don’t they drive EVERYBODY Crazy?
(Searching for the quiet kind!)

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

Oh dear, it seems that a bit of Monday grumpiness is about to bleed through my Christmas Happy Christmas series.  But somebody has to stand up and be counted, and I’m up for the job!

Flickering Candlelight is lovely – artificial, not so much

I’m old enough to remember when lights were either ON or off – unless, of course, they were dying.  We replaced lights that flickered post haste.

BubbleLightIn my mind, bubble lights marked the beginning of the “lights that oscillate” fascination. They’re the earliest “moving” lights I can recall, in any case.

In yet another amazingly comprehensive entry, wonderful Wikipedia** says:

“As Christmas lights, bubble lights were very popular during the 1950s through the 1970s, before miniature ‘fairy’ lights became popular.”

Vintage Christmas collectors sometimes use them still, and I believe there is a new version back on the market  for fans of Mid-Century Modern — so it’s not necessary to have been around back in the Dark Ages to have seen bubble lights.  Many people absolutely adore them.

I find the buggers distracting and annoying myself.

**Wikipedia is currently fund-raising, by the way.

They say that if everyone using them donated three measly dollars, their fund raiser would be over in an hour.

Add them to your Christmas Giving list, skip a cup of Starbucks and go give them at least $3.00.

Even if you’ve never explored “the people’s encyclopedia,” think of it as your share of how much I backstop with Wikipedia as I write the articles I gift to you here.

If you click the link to their Bubble article (their name above), the link to their donate page will be at the top of that article until they’ve reached their goal – the minimum they need to run for another year.

If you’re reading this later, don’t think they no longer need the money! The link to their donate page is always available for you on the right sidebar here on ADDandSoMuchMore.com – so go DO that, okay?

Craving warmth

I like a soft glow, and that’s what I try to create in my home — this holiday season and every holiday season. Year-round, in fact, unless I need bright light for a project of some sort. I wouldn’t care much for the flickering of old-fashioned wax candles either if they were as bright as even the dimmest of artificial lighting.

Even the graphic I placed at the top of the page to illustrate the twinkly concept quickly began to give me a headache. I was relieved when it finally scrolled off the page (Fear not, I don’t plan to repeat the experiment).

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ALL I want for Christmas is . . .


A Shih Tzu Puppy
I’ve been so lonely since my little Tabitha died

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

I guess Santa got my letter

Some of you were aware that I finally decided that, apartment ready or not, sharing my life with another Shih Tzu was exactly what the doctor ordered to turn this miserable year around.

I’d love to be able to rescue but, like almost everything else, it’s a bit more complicated in my case.  I am highly allergic to all cats and almost every other breed of dog, so if I am to remain breathing I must make sure the animal I live with is a purebred Shih Tzu.

Source: officialshihtzuclub.com

Source: officialshihtzuclub.com

The very idea of buying a dog activates my own black and white thinking – in spades!

After much investigation, I finally found a breeder I trusted, put a deposit down before making final payment on one of the most adorable little puppies I’ve ever seen.  I was just about to hop on a plane to go get the little guy when everything blew up in my face.

Won’t anything ever go right again? was my reaction,
tears of disappointment streaming down my face.

If you’ve been following along since the gang mugging, resulting medical drama, forced move, FOUR repeats of iPhone failure, the auction where everything in my rented storage space was sold after they couldn’t reach me by phone, etc. – this year alone – you’ll understand that was not quite the over-reaction it might otherwise seem to be.

Getting back on the horse

On the recommendation of Lynn Fontaine, the wonderful and spiritually generous original breeder, I spoke with Twana of Pe-Kae Treasures – a breeder she had known for quite a while (and only a day trip away by car).

SO . . . while this article auto-posts, Peggy Ramundo and I are in her car and on our way to pick up my little Christmas puppy.

Oh yes, there really IS a Santa Claus!

ShihTzu in car

Source: officialshihtzuclub.com

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Wanna’ see his first baby picture?

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ADD and Christmas too!


An Overwhelming Season for SO Many
(WAY too many To-dos in SO many categories for one short month)

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

How does ANYBODY fit everything in?

Even the neurotypical crowd gets a bit of a taste of ADD/EFD overwhelm as Christmas rapidly approaches — especially those who just went overboard on the Thanksgiving extravaganza.

But those of us who have brains that are ALREADY struggling to manage life’s ordinary details can easily go down with Santa’s ship – turning what could be a terrific break from the everyday struggles into the cluttered ADD/EFD version of The Nightmare Before Christmas.

So Much to Decorate – so little time!

The days when Christmas decor was limited, essentially, to hanging a few stockings and trimming a tree seem to have disappeared like Brigadoon.

NOT that I’m actually complaining about that, understand.
I would have invented “Deck the Halls” if somebody hadn’t beaten me to it.

But even if I had “start early” genes in my DNA, to avoid public censure one really must wait to start displaying Christmas-y items until the season-long summer heat wave has subsided and the autumn leaves have had their 15 minutes of fame (unless one runs a Christmas Shop, which I’ve actually considered – for exactly that reason!).

In the minds of most people, the day after Halloween seems to be an acceptable — albeit incredibly EARLY — start-date for decking  (though I can’t, for the life of me, understand their objections to a larger buffer as a running start!)

Pinterest helps, of course – sort of

Nobody seems to object or poke too much fun at Christmas PINS – even long before Halloween costumes have become the only vision in the heads of little kids everywhere.

I began pinning inspiration images quite early this year, hoping they would help me develop a realistic game plan for Christmas AS I organized my new digs following my recent move.

Oops – THAT little “assist” has now become part of the problem.
I mean, what ADDer needs help dreaming up new things to do?

A woman who already has FOUR full-sized trees with as many decorating themes (and several more table-tops and minis) has NO business trying to remember to look for a thrift-store colander to spray-paint red as stand for her “visions of sugarplums” kitchen tree.

She shows even less sanity pinning a link to a tutorial on how to make a Christmas tree from a tomato cage.

Does that matter?  NOT ONE WHIT. See the problem?

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