December Thus Far 10/12/2016

Hi!

It’s been a while so I thought it was time to chat…

It’s been about six weeks since I started my depression medication and four weeks at this dosage. I’ve noticed a definite improvement in my mood. I also realized part of the reason for my infrequent posting is a fear of not having a polished, perfect post. So, I made a conscious decision to not aim for polished perfect posts but to simply post and more frequently. Then I decided I should add more about books since I’m an avid reader but haven’t been reading much and posting about books might make me read more.

Yes, this is partly a business blog but it’s also about living a creative life with chronic illnesses. My living a creative life with chronic illnesses-and that includes reading. I signed up on LibraryThing and NetGalley as a book reviewer and selected a lot of available books on both sites. I expected that as a blogger with what is now a small audience that I would only be granted a few books from each site. Instead I’ve been approved for over a hundred books!!! Expect lots of book reviews in the future!!!

Last week my sister and my five year old nephew moved in. We’re all settling into the routines and practices of each other. I don’t think my nephew quite understands that he’s living at Grandma and Auntie’s house now. He kept asking to go home the first couple of nights. He thought he was just sleeping over.

My almost four year old great-nephew is sleeping over tonight. Tomorrow we’re decorating the Christmas tree and going to the Christmas parade. Both boys will enjoy that. The parade starts just down the street from our house. If it wasn’t so cold we would walk down but it’s an evening parade and it’s -26’C as I write this. If it’s that cold tomorrow we may drive down and wait in the car until it starts. We will see.

Review: MedNexus

In the spirit of full disclosure, I am receiving compensation by MedNexus for this review.

MedNexus is a new medical search engine for patients that weeds out the magnitude of sites to direct the patient to the most reputable sites offering the best, most up to date information. MedNexus can be found on Facebook and on Twitter.

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I worked in the health care industry for 22 years, ending with 12 years in the health records department. I also have multiple chronic illnesses. I have used the Internet extensively to find medical information for both personal and work needs. I wish a site of this caliber existed years ago!

MedNexus has advisory boards (business; Medical; and Scientific) in place to guide them in filtering the available information. They have extensive Privacy and Terms of Service policies in place. The website is mobile responsive and as easy to use on my tablet as my laptop.

Searching for diseases is simple and provides a number of results. Diseases have Explained, Diagnosis, Treatment, Management and Risk Factors sections. This area is a work in progress; not all have this section, at least a few of my more rare disorders are not set up yet. Searches result in Health Topics; Published Research; Ongoing Clinical Trials and Forum Discussion.

I searched nine of my medical conditions including the treatment of my thyroid cancer doing ten searches in total. All ten provided great results in all categories. Common terms are used and medical terms clearly explained. All matched up with my understanding of my conditions baring in mind I did not go into each and every search result. Some had hundreds of Health Topics and thousands of Forum Discussions!

I am very impressed with MedNexus. The founders, Nathanael Geman and Kevin Ann, have done a wonderful job. I would definitely recommend this search engine to my blog readers, family, friends and old coworkers. I will certainly tell my three family members who work in different departments of our local health centre about them.

If you give MedNexus a try they would appreciate your filling out their survey to help them continue building a great site!

Review: DIY Writing Retreat

Today’s review is on the short e-book, DIY Writing Retreat by Alicia De Los Reyes.

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I’ve never been on a writing retreat. But after reading this book, I’d like to go away from it all and just write for a few days.

Alicia gives simple instructions on everything from what foods you may want to bring, things to do on breaks, to writing prompts. A summary at the end lists your accomplishments.

Now, I’m trying to figure out where and when I can do a DIY Writing Retreat!

Countdown to the Holidays

It’s the 26th of October. Do you know what that means?

It’s less than two months until Christmas!!!

Have you started gift planning? Shopping? Making?

I have started planning, shopping and making. Every year I try to make and buy something for everyone in my immediate family and incorporate something made into my work gift exchange. So a few weeks ago I made myself a checklist in Evernote while getting to know the program. It basically looks like this:

  • Mum
  • Sister
  • Nephew 1
  • Niece 1
  • Niece 2
  • Nephew 2
  • Great-Nephew
  • Brother
  • Sister-in-Law
  • Work

But with checkboxes and sub-headings for made and bought.

Nephew 2’s gift is made and a book bought. I may still get a little something extra. I have started knitting great-nephew’s gift. The ladies, including Niece 1 (who moved into her first apartment last week) are getting a set of cloths. They will each get one from each of my patterns, including the one currently in production and the one in testing now. So will my work exchange recipient. I have two of those twenty cloths finished. Nephew 1 will probably get a hat. Brother will get a hat and maybe two cloths. He always says “What about me? I do dishes too!” when his girl-friend exclaims over her pink dishcloths. It’s her favourite colour. So I may make a few in “male” colours for him this year. I’m not sure yet for Niece 2. I know I’m buying her knitting supplies since she’s restarted knitting but I haven’t decided what I’m making her yet.

i still have a lot to do in the next two months!!!

A little review for you…

Yesterday my mother, niece, great-nephew and I went shopping a few towns over. While there I picked up a few knitting magazines. I’ll review those at a later time. But today I thought I’d start with the freebies included with one of those magazines, Knit Today.

Knit Today extras
Knit Today extras

Included were a mini pattern booklet, a row counter and a knitting gauge. The row counter will come in handy. And the knitting gauge is cute. I always need more of those and this one fits inside my smallest notions bag. The booklet includes four cushion patterns, two crocheted and two knit. I’m glad to see both represented. I’m not sure I’ll knit or crochet the patterns though. With two cats and a dog I don’t think a beaded cushion is practical for my home. But I do like its look. I do like the colourwork pattern-I’m just not ready for that much colourwork yet. But this bit from the editor, Rosee Woodland, in her editor’s letter stuck me:

Nothing makes a house a home like something handmade…

While it’s often not the sentiment of today’s interior decorators, it is something I believe. It’s reminded me I need to make more than dish and wash cloths for my patterns and my home. And that I need to finish that afghan I started crocheting a few years ago for myself and the one for my brother and sister-in-law. And our two littlest ones haven’t had Auntie-crocheted afghans yet. So it looks like I’ll be working on a lot of afghans next year. I’m not attempting any until Christmas gifts are done.