Thursday, January 11, 2007

questions & answers

First, a couple of questions:

1. Can anyone tell me why my rechargeable batteries aren't holding a charge?

They're Duracell brand, I bought 8 of them and a charger back in June. The charger didn't come with any instructions, so I just put the batteries in, plug it in, and unplug it when the light goes off (around 8-9 hours).

When my batteries die, I take them out and charge them, replacing the dead ones with the other set that was charged earlier. Marc told me that they don't last indefinitely, but they should be good for at least 100 charges. I'm nowhere near that, since I alternate sets. They used to last for about 2 weeks, now it's more like 2 days, and occasionally when I put in the supposedly charged set, they're dead. Clearly, I need a tutorial.

2. Rebecca, please tell me what kind of camera outfit you use! I'm fully aware that most of what goes into making beautiful photographs is the photographer's eye, but I'm still curious.

3. I'm still searching for a way to organize my sets of foam stamps if anyone has any ideas...

And now for some answers:

1. Some of you asked how my favorite dessert of all time could include french toast when I hate french toast?

I don't know. I don't even know what possessed me to order said dessert, because I really hate french toast. I think I was so intrigued by the prospect of lemon verbena ice cream that I couldn't resist. And it was so very very fabulous -- it is my quest to figure out how to re-create that dessert. But I still hate french toast.

2. Some of you asked how I had my ribbon organized.

It is simply wrapped around pieces of cardboard that I cut to fit inside a photo box. Each length is secured by a straight pin. I think this method was first shown in a scrapbook magazine, then Jill and some of my other friends did it. It looked so pleasing that I had to do it as well.

While I love the way it looks, I'm not sure now that I would do it again this way. As soon as you start using the ribbons, you create gaps in the system. And what do you do when you get another pink ribbon and you don't have any more room for pink ribbons? I for one can't just add it to the green section, because then it doesn't look as pretty anymore. (not that pink & green aren't cute together, it's just that I love the monochromatic sorting)

So, if I did it over again (and I'm not ruling that out) I think I would do it the way Jessie did: she wrapped each ribbon around a cardboard bobbin -- the ones that are for embroidery floss -- and stores them by color in the plastic boxes with dividers. Because each ribbon is separate, it's much easier to reorder them when you want to add more! It's not quite as pleasing to look at, but it still looks pretty cool.

3. Some of you asked what I am doing for winter exercise.

I checked some exercise DVDs out of the library and I recorded some workout shows on my DVR. Apparently Eva is just adamantly opposed to my exercising while she's around, because every time I tried, she would hold onto my leg and cry until I stopped. I tried putting on one of her favorite shows and then getting on the treadmill, but she would stand by the treadmill and scream as if affronted that I was trying to placate her. (Oh, the joys of having highly sensitive children!)

I finally had to admit to myself that I was going to have to get up early and exercise before she woke up. It's tricky, because I never know when she is going to wake up, and sometimes it's around 6:15. I also detest getting up before 7:00.

I just started doing it this week. I've been getting up at 6:15 and working out on our treadmill or Jessie's elliptical machine that has a home at my house for as long as she doesn't have room! (I'm also planning on trying the Pilates DVD that Anne sent me, even though I think fat people have difficulty doing Pilates.)

So far I have been able to work out and shower and get dressed before Eva woke up, and I can't believe how great it makes me feel! It's totally worth getting up earlier than I like for the freedom of getting these things done in peace. Then there's the added benefit of my being able to get ready much earlier and go out and get errands done before Eva needs a nap. So far, so good!

4. Several of you asked questions about depression.

I was diagnosed with it when I was 22 and was somewhat surprised, because I didn't really feel sad. I felt overwhelmed, I had lost interest in most of the things I had previously enjoyed doing, I was withdrawing from people, I didn't feel like doing much of anything, and I just felt like I couldn't cope anymore. Some people just want to sleep all the time. I went to see my doctor because I knew something was wrong, but I hadn't really pinpointed it as depression, because I thought that depression was an overwhelming sadness.

I had a great doctor in Seattle who educated me about depression, got me some cognitive therapy, and put me on antidepressants. She explained that people who are prone to depression can cope just fine sometimes, but when life gets too stressful or emotions are running high or you experience hormonal changes, sometimes you get pushed over a threshold where you need help.

It did take a little while to find the right medication and dosage, but it has been truly life-altering for me. I enjoyed the cognitive therapy, too. I had no interest in delving into my childhood, and I didn't think I would discover anything that would surprise me or explain my problems, either, so cognitive therapy was great for me. My therapist gave me some strategies for combatting negative thinking that causes me to spiral downward.

But by far my favorite trick that she taught me was scheduling in time to do things that bring me pleasure. At the time I was working full-time and I got pregnant about a year later with my first child, so scheduling in time for myself was paramount. Now I know that I need time to myself to recharge, and I need to make time to read, to create, whatever will make me feel good -- just because it brings me pleasure. This shouldn't be that revelatory, but somehow it was eye-opening for me that it was OK, even necessary to take care of me, and I am grateful that she gave me permission -- a mandate, even -- to do it.

Now when I experience a crash, I can usually trace it back to not being consistent enough with taking my meds. This last time, I think I was subconsciously not taking it everyday because I was getting really low and don't have a doctor right now to give me a new prescription. When I discovered this, I called my OB and he phoned one in. I made sure to take it every day and the fog started to lift. Thank you all for your expressions of sympathy and support, it meant a lot to me.

OK, this is getting really long -- apparently I have a lot to say about depression! I just that this runs in my family, and I know a lot of people that could really benefit from treatment. I also know that it really helps when those who suffer from depression have a network of people who understand some of what they're experiencing, so I thought if I could educate anyone about depression I should take the opportunity.

And for anyone still reading, don't forget about the questions I asked waaaay back at the beginning of this post!


Diana said...

I don't have any answers to your quesions... sorry. I have had the same experience with rechargeable batteries. I don't know anything about rubber stamps either.

Sorry Eva won't let you exericise. I love going to the gym and would recommend to anyone, it's pretty cheap and I'm guranteed to exercise since I'm paying for it. I do it at night once the kids are in bed and Lou's doing his homework. I love it because it's just completely me time. My cousin Karli knows a ton about exercise and loosing weight she has lost over 65 lbs, you might have seen her comment on Jill's blog yesterday. I'd totally recommend emailing her and she might be able to give you some good ideas.
Hope you are able to find some form of exercise that makes you happy. I was terrible about exercising over the holidays and now it's been hard to get back into it but I feel oh so good when I get home from the gym.
I appreciate you being so honest about your depression. When I was working on my masters in counseling and school psychology I really enjoyed learning about cognitive theory and I felt that and still do feel that it works!

Jill said...

I can't help with your questions. My rechargeable batteries work fine and hold their charge for a long time.

I want to know what Rebecca's photography set up is too because her photos are painful.

I would like a storage solution for foam stamps too. Mine are in ziploc bags heaped on the floor right now.

amy m said...

I wish I had answers for you...I haven't a clue why rechargeable batteries don't last long. I would like to know as well. As far as the foam stamps go. I just throw each alphabet in a plastic bag and it seems to work for me.

I organize my embroidery like Jessie. I don't do my ribbon that way because it's too bulky. Organizing ribbon is tough. I like the way you've done it.

Thanks for being so open and honest about your depression. I had no idea it was actually diagnosed. I probably should go get some advice myself...perhaps I will.

Elisa said...

I love that you posted this. I know lots of people with depression, but its hard to understand if you don't know how they feel. Thanks for the info, I am so glad you took the time to write it.

rebecca said...

Such a lovely and informative post. Ribbon, depression, and french toast, all in one mouthful.

I will post about my cameras, a canon eos 30d and a digital elph, just for you and Jill, in a day or 2.

We use rechargeable (energizer) and have not noticed these problems. Of course, we don't use batteries a lot, so maybe their shelf life is shorter than I think... either way, I would totally call the manufacturer and see what's what.

Hannah said...

When you asked the question before about stamps, I looked online and found this and really want to try it out sometime:

The only other thing that I really saw that looked like it would work how I want is to use those plastic drawer things- sterlite or something- but it seems it would take up a ton of space and you would still be searching for letters.

No clue about the recharge batteries. Maybe go online to the battery website and see if there is a faq about it? You might just have a batch of bunk batteries or are not supposed to let them wear all the way out. Good luck with that one.

Your symptoms of the early depression are surprising- I always thought that those that have been diagnosed probably knew about it going in. I so appreciate that you are willing to share so much- both you and Jessie. I haven't ever had anyone close to me who has dealt with it so it has been eye opening to say the least.

Kelly said...

Sadly, I have no answers to your questions. I have the same battery problem with my cell phone. I never talk on it, but it's always beeping low battery, and I always have it charging. I would also like to know about Rebecca's picture taking -- so lovely. Oh, and a storage solution for foam stamps. I have one Heidi Swapp set that is so cute, but the box is humongous and strangely shaped, and it drives me nuts.

I was one who asked about your ribbon, so thanks for sharing. It was just so aesthetically pleasing! I struggle with wanting (and yet not wanting) to exercise, so I appreciate the inspiration knowing it's making a difference in how you feel. The pilates girls on the DVDs seem freakishly bendy to me, but that is one thing I do enjoy doing (as long as I'm sure I have no audience - including my kids).

I also appreciate your honest sharing about depression. I, too, assumed it was being sad all the time and didn't realize it could have those other manifestations. I think my mom is suffering from this, and has been for 7 years (her parents both died suddenly the same year, and it sent her into a real downward spiral). This describes her perfectly, and gives me something to go with as far as ways to help. So, thanks.

Laurie said...

I hate to even be yet another commenter who can't give much in the way of help with your questions.

I will say that I appreciated what you shared about your experience with depression. I started really experiencing anxiety in college, and ended up doing cognitive therapy too. I used The Midwest Center for Anxiety and Depression, and have LOVED their approach. I would recommend it to anyone b/c it is a proactive allaround approach and deals a lot with the overcoming of negative thinking, exercising, taking time to do things for yourself, etc - instead of pinpointing tragic childhood events.

It's not always easy to stay in that positive pattern though and I have to keep staying focused on doing the right things, just as you had mentioned for you. I have thought about medication and wonder if I would really benefit, so thanks for sharing that aspect of treatment.

melanie said...

I just bought my rechargeable batteries so no answer as of yet. Maybe in month or so I'll have the same issue.

I love Q&A posts. Things left unanswered can drive me crazy if I'm dying to know the answer.

I love your ribbon storage but now understand why you would do it different next time.

I'm a fan of any type of therapy that works (it's helped me quite a few times) and know some family members that would benefit from it too. I'm not so sure why they are against it or medication but I know it would be a positive. Thanks for talking about it. I know you are an example to others and that is what helps the most!

Liz said...

Hey, I'm sorry I don't have any answers to your questions at the top. BUt I wanted to say that I too have the same issue with my little guy trying to climb on me or grabbing my leg when I try to exercise or do anything for that matter. So frustrating. Also, if you are in need of a recommendation for a good therapist in Provo, I know that Dr McBride is highly recommended (my husband used to see him)

Allison said...

Thank you for your honesty about your depression. It was a wonderful post.

Amie said...

Thanks for reminding me to go back to your questions (I had forgotten them). I think that is the nature of rechargable batteries. (Over time the charge lasts shorter and shorter - I HATE my video camera for this reason!) I thought they had gotten better but that was the advice I received over and over when I was researching a camera - stay away from rechargables.... I do go through a lot of batteries though, the upside is that I am never stuck without a battery. I have no answers sorry. Jessica's camera can take both, that is nice.

Most of my foam stamps are still crammed into the plastic containers they come in. I have a small drawer designated to foam stamps so that drawer can be ugly all by itself and stay closed.

I have started copying Jessie's ribbon idea too. Walmart sells plastic bobbins which I am very fond of.

At WW I feel like the topic of making time for you keeps coming up too. I appreciate your honesty about depression and think there was good advice in there even for those of us not depressed but definitely overwhelmed. Thanks.

stefanie said...

I have a similar problem with rechargable batteries. I think I have energizers. But I think it has more to do with my digital camera than the batteries. I recently gave in and just bought a big pack of AA batteries at Costco. Carrying a few extra batteries around is a lot less bulky than the charger.

Thanks for the info on your depression. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your openness about a subject that must be difficult to talk about.

annalisa said...

Thank you for posting such an honest post about depression. Depression runs in my family and often times what is so difficult is that people don't want to admit something is wrong so they feel alone and it only makes the problem worse. If I were to be honest with myself, I would have to say that I have suffered from depression a few times in my life (not now) when my life circumstances were overwhelming, but have never felt comfortable admiting to anyone, even myself. The spiral of negative thoughts is a hard habit to break when those devasting thought processes seem like such a reality. Hopefully this post will encourage someone who does need help to seek it. Thanks.

Amy said...

I appreciate how open and honest you'ver been. It's let me in on something that I've known about, but not in any great detail. I feel like I know you better.

That's really funny about Eva's issues with you exercising. It's one reason I'm grateful that I can just go to the gym and drop my kids off at the daycare for an hour or two. It's very impressive that you're getting up early to exercise. About the only thing I can make myself get up early to do is fall into a warm shower! Although I really enjoy my days much more when I do get up early. I should start that up again.

pam said...

Good for you for excercising even when it's nasty outside. You are an inspiration. I hate how I look but am without motivation to change.

I'm not sure about the battery issue. Good luck with that.

Thanks for sharing so much about the depression and how it feels and how it affects you. I need to google cognitive theory, sounds interesting.

I love your ribbon storage, it is a happy sight.

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