National Tea Month (Jan) – Tea Resources

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Please add your own in the comments.

Adagio

Barry’s

Celestial Seasonings

English Tea Store

Glengettie

Hamilton Beach Tea Kettle

Harney & Sons Master Tea Blenders

Kung Fu Tea

Murroughs Welsh Brew Tea

PG Tips

Republic of Tea

Saratoga Tea and Honey Company

Stash

Starbuck’s

Tazo

Teavanna

Tu Hwnt I’r Bont Tearoom, Llanrwst, Wales

Twining’s

The Whistling Kettle

Mental Health Monday – Resources

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Suicide Prevention HelpLine: 1-800-273-8255

The Trevor Project: 1-866-488-7386

IMAlive (an online crisis network)
The Trans Lifeline: 1-877-565-8860

TWLOHA: To Write Love on Her Arms

NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness

Veteran’s Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255, press 1. Text to 838255. There is also a confidential chat line on the website.

There is a more comprehensive list (although not inclusive) on my Crisis Intervention Page.

Check out all of the Mental Health Monday posts by followng this tag: mental health monday

Two other things you should check out:

Questions to Ask Before Giving Up

Let’s Make a Coping Skills Toolbox

Add anything you’ve found useful in the comments so I can include it in any updates.

Mental Health Monday – Understanding Mental Illness – An Interview with Stranger Thing’s David Harbour

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One Look at Understanding Mental Illness.

I think it’s important to hear from people we like and respect and hear their stories. David Harbour says a lot of things in this short interview that I’ve heard before and that I try to promote in my own life. He is known recently from his role in Netflix’s Stranger Things and is starring in the upcoming Hellboy 2.

 A few takeaways:

1. Stop the stigma.

2. Mental illness is not the completely negative thing it implies to many people. We can live with various forms of mental illness, or rather we all have mental health issues that we contend with and need to adapt to, regardless of level.

3. Medication is not a bad word. It is also not an end-all solution. It is so very helpful when used in conjunction with other therapies.

4. You are not stronger if you avoid taking medication for your mental illness/continued mental health.

5. If you and I both have depression, we may  understand and empathize, but no one’s situation is exactly alike. Despite that, we can help each other and share ideas that work for us.

30 Days of Nano – Day 5

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One of the tenets of Nanowrimo and all stream of consciousness writing is just write. Let it flow. Don’t make corrections, just get it out. Edits are for December.

How I do this is if I have a word that I know I don’t want to use, but need it to get the thought across, I will add [th] after I type or write it (I do this regardless of long writing or typing) so I can search for all of my [th]s and then look the words up in a thesaurus. That way, I can keep the writing flowing and get it out, and that works for me. I also keep a list of words to look up, words I find in my travels, words that I want to use, and want to know more about their definitions.

Whatever works for you, come December you’ll need to edit. My go-to resources are Dictionary and Thesaurus. I also use ThinkExist for quotations.

This is Not Normal, Resources

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Use this chart to help you determine if the news you’re getting is accurate and free of bias. That doesn’t mean that some sources shouldn’t be opinionated, but they do need to be clear on the difference between their opinion and reporting the facts as well as the tools they use for their analysis. MediaBiastChart (c)2018

Links below cut

Original Opinion and Resource List

Continue reading

This is Not Normal

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​Everytime I sit down and try to write about the ongoing crisis in this country, I choke up. I get sad. I get furious, and I can’t write or even think about it. I try to avoid the pundits, but this week, everyone sounds like a pundit.

My aim with this post has been to provide places to find out information apart from Fox News and dog whistle sites that stoke the fires of fury and hatred.

Everyday, a friend on my Facebook shares lies and misinformation, not because he wants to create dissention, but because he truly believes the nonsense. This isn’t just one person’s opinion. We all have opinions, but as the saying goes, you’re not entitled to your own facts.

I will not abide the both sides argument. 

Fox News and the right wing media are so far gone it’s moved beyond false equivalency. Whenever the left is told to meet in the middle and compromise, the right forgets that we’ve moved so far right to get along, to meet in the “middle”, to compromise that center is right, and it’s still not good enough for the right wing.

In 2009, during the health care reform debate, Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan said, no compromise. Now, with a Republican President, they’re all about compromise.. They don’t care how hypocritical they are or how their ignoring more than half the country feels. And to be honest, they don’t care. They want what they want, like a child having a tantrum, and they don’t care who they have to bulldoze to get it.

Democrats are inclusive. We don’t always agree on everything because we are so diverse. We want to, and always try to include conservative priorities, but it’s hard when the GOP continually changes it’s mind and the goal posts. President Obama’s health care reform was originally a Republican idea that was admired by the most conservative of Republicans until Obama adopted it.

They, Mitch McConnell, and his complicit Congress, refused to seat President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, refused to even vote on him, but now, with a President, who just two days ago, on international television put, not only a foreign government, but a hostile foreign government who attacked our country over our country, they’re moving ahead with the least popular Supreme Court nominee ever. The President defended the Russian election interference, and disparaged our intelligence agencies. I would have never thought I’d see the day that the Republicans would side with Russia over the United States of America. And after seeing his lukewarm “clarification” a day later, it only confirms many of our worse fears.

We are the majority in this country; why are we the one who are always expected to compromise? The right should move left to meet where the country actually is.

The rest of this post is a list of recommended readings and Twitter/social media followings that you should try to check out. It is important to each one of us to gather the information from reliable sources, and extrapolate our own opinions.

Later in the week, I will share the recommendation portion of this post for anyone who wants to share it without my above opinions. After all, I can tell you what I think, and where I got my information from; I can debunk and correct, but I can’t make you think. I can’t force the truth upon you. That is up to you to accept, but I also don’t have to listen to the lies and I won’t accept half-truths as truth.

The first section are political books that I’ve read this year and last that I would recommend. Some are very current as to the Trump Administration, what’s going on right now, and since the 2016 Election, and where we go from here. 

After that, I’ve included the sources I read, primarily on Twitter, including some pundits from both sides of the aisle to check out to get the full story of what’s going on in our country right now. I think it’s telling that most of the news shows I watched today included significant video of Fox News sounding remarkably like MSNBC.

If you look at a resource on this list, and think they are too liberal or too conservative, take a look anyway. Give them a few days to get a feel for how they address issues, and what they say, and then decide who you want to follow to get your information.

For a daily wrap-up, MSNBC’s The 11th Hour with Brian Williams does a nice roundup of the day’s news so you can catch up and hit Google after or in the morning for more in-depth information.

Lastly, I would highly suggest that you read, or re-read George Orwell’s 1984. I re-read it at the end of 2016, and I had forgotten most of the story. It was eye-opening, and chilling.

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Families Belong Together

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Some Twitter resources for today as well as throughout this election year. None of these accounts are affiliated with the federal government or official accounts of the departments they talk about.

Immigration

Jacob Soboroff (journalist covering the border crisis)

RAICESTEXAS (helping reunite families)

Alternative Dept. Homeland Security

Alternative Homeland Sec

Ireallydocare.com (not a Twitter, but a list of non-profits helping (also listed below))

Al Otro Lado – serves indigent deportees, migrants, and refugees in Tijuana & Los Angeles

https://www.alotrolado.org


The Florence Project – providing legal & social services to detained immigrants in Arizona

https://firrp.org/


Neta – a Latinx-run progressive media platform telling the stories of what’s happening on the border

https://www.netargv.com


Innovation Law Lab – working in immigrant detention centers and hostile judicial districts; keeping the definitive list of kids being held

https://www.innovationlawlab.org


Fuerza Del Valle – organizing workers & immigrant communities in the Rio Grande Valley

http://www.fuerzadelvalle.org/


The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights – promoting the best interests of unaccompanied immigrant children

https://www.theyoungcenter.org/


We Belong Together – women for common sense immigration policies

https://www.webelongtogether.org/


United We Dream – the largest immigrant youth-led network in the country

https://unitedwedream.org/


Womens Refugee Commission – advocating for the rights and protection of women, children, and youth fleeing violence and persecution

https://www.womensrefugeecommission.org/


ACLU – fighting attacks through the legal system

http://www.aclu.org


Kids In Need of Defense (KIND) – protecting unaccompanied children who enter the US immigration system alone to ensure that no child appears in court without an attorney.

https://supportkind.org/


Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project – providing asylum seekers with legal aid and community support across the country

https://asylumadvocacy.org/


Human Rights First – helping refugees obtain asylum in the U.S.

https://www.humanrightsfirst.org/


La Union del Pueblo Entero – founded by Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta, a community union that works in the Rio Grande Valley from the grassroots up

https://lupenet.org/

Committee for the Protection of Journalists

Indivisible Team

Rogue Senior WH Advisor

Alternative National Parks Service

Rogue NASA

Alternative Forest Service

Alternative EPA

Alternative DoJ

Alternative NOAA

Alternative National Parks Service

EPA Facts

Ungagged EPA

Not Alt World