Democratic Debates Thoughts & Opinions

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Did you watch any of the Democratic debates the last two nights? I watched and thought I’d share some of my thoughts and opinions. Most of my feelings of who I already somewhat liked (Bernie, Yang, Gabbard, Warren) haven’t really changed, even though I think some of them did better than others at the debates. Yang didn’t get to speak much and wasn’t high energy, so didn’t stand out to me in the debates, but if you listen to his longer interviews or read his book, he has some very important issues to bring up whether you agree with UBI (universal basic income) or not.

Bernie was Bernie as he always is. I think he did ok, although I’m not sure I entirely agree with just scrapping all medical insurance at once and forcing people onto Medicare. I think most people would choose Medicare over their high priced commercial insurance, but I don’t like the idea of forcing people to give up their insurance if they actually do like it.

I personally prefer the idea of a public option beginning the transition to (hopefully) a single payer system eventually. If you try to force Americans to do something, even something for their own good, many will likely hate it. Getting medical insurance off the backs of companies would be a good thing though and hopefully lead to higher wages if the companies don’t have to shoulder the health insurance burden.

Warren did ok too. I like Warren some, but she often comes across to me as one of the weakest leftists who too easily bows to the pressure of the system. I don’t trust she will fight for us like Bernie would, although I hope I am wrong, especially if she does somehow end up with the nomination.

I thought Gabbard and Harris both came across well in the debates. I like the show of strong women. I do have issues with Kamala’s past record on poor criminal justice reform and her support of the private prison system. If it weren’t for those things, I would likely warm up to her more. She does seem intelligent and confident, which is appealing.

Biden didn’t do himself many favors, at least in my opinion. Part of the problem of having such a long history in politics is being held responsible for your past actions and words, which can often make Biden look pretty bad. The accusations of past support of racists were especially interesting (coming from Kamala). Biden’s involvement with the Obama administration can be both good and bad, depending upon the subject, but since I don’t buy into the “Saint Obama” narrative, I see some issues there too.

I did feel bad for a few of the candidates that barely got to speak, but I know they try to give the most time to those who are polling higher (or who the establishment wants to push). Do you have a favorite of the bunch?

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Video: Goddess Provisions April New Age Subscription Box Review!

It took all day for this video to upload onto YouTube lol, but I wanted to share in case anyone wanted to see what I got in this particular subscription box this month. It is the first time I’ve gotten this particular new age/spiritual box and I did enjoy it, although their past boxes looked a little better to me overall. Will definitely give it at least one more try though.

Bad TV Show Depiction of Ehlers Danlos

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I love the tv show House. This medical drama, based around the character of a doctor with Sherlock Holmes mystery solving abilities is often smart, informational, and amusingly ridiculous. The main character (House) is often a total asshole, but he is so lovably grumpy, enormously flawed, and irresistibly outrageous that I can’t help but like him.

Last night I finally caught their episode that features an Ehlers Danlos patient, an episode I had been looking forward to seeing for a while. Unfortunately, I was really disappointed with the portrayal. First off, very little of the episode actually had anything to do with the woman with Ehlers Danlos. It focused more upon her husband for the first half at least.

When she was finally introduced into the storyline, she was presented as someone with a horrible mental illness (hoarding), which a casual viewer could easily think was due to her forthcoming Ehlers Danlos diagnosis. The last thing those of us with EDS need is to be confused with mental illness conditions even more.

Also, the only symptoms that are even discussed to be related to EDS in the show (and thus lead to the official diagnosis) are the fact that the woman’s heart responded badly to some medication and she had suffered several miscarriages. That was it. Yes, EDS can contribute to miscarriages, but it is far from one of the hallmark symptoms of many EDS sufferers. Nothing was mentioned about hypermobility, chronic pain, dislocations, joint issues, gastrointestinal issues, autoimmune issues, bruising/scarring, loose skin, etc.

Overall, a very disappointing experience as a viewer and EDS patient.

March 2019 OwlCrate Jr Subscription Box “Birds of a Feather”

I got my first OwlCrate Jr subscription box! This book box is for middle grade books and each month a theme is chosen revolving around that month’s book. This month the theme was “Birds of a Feather” and the book is The Simple Art of Flying by Cory Leonardo. I chose OwlCrate Jr instead of the regular OwlCrate box because I thought I might enjoy the middle grade books better than the YA books. I do love YA books as well, but well-written middle grade fiction holds a special place in my heart.

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Here is what came in the box:
– The book (obviously lol)
– Author-signed bookplate
– Letter from the author
– OwlCrate Jr monthly magazine
– National Geographic’s Ultimate Explorer Bird Field Guide
– Pineapple scented tropical birds stickers
– Flamingo gel pen
– Mini owl plush toy
– Parrot keychain
– Spoiler card and card for next month’s theme (which will be “Crack the Code”)

I loved this first box and am excited to see what else they send in the future! I’m halfway through the book and love it so far. It is a sweet, sad, and funny story about a pair of brother and sister parrots living in a pet shop. Right now I just got to the part of the story where the siblings are split up when one is adopted and it is breaking my heart a little.

I love the bird field guide, the owl plushie, and the flamingo pen. Plus, I’ve already made a couple ACEO collage artworks with the stickers:

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(Art available for sale on my Ebay store!)

March 2019 SHTF Survival Subscription Box

Admission: I’m one of those crazy folks that likes to prep for the apocalypse lol. Whether it be an economic collapse, climate change fallout, war, grid breakdown, or natural disaster, I want to be prepared, so I decided to try a new subscription box called SHTF Survival. This was my first box from them. Almost $60 worth of stuff for $20, so not bad:

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Included in this month’s box:
First Aid Emergency Tourniquet – $9.99 (retail)
USMC Pocket Knife – $19.99
12 in 1 Octopus Keychain – $6.99
7 in 1 Whistle Compass – $6.99
Bug Out Solar Lighter – $4.99
Gun Sock – $9.99

I must admit I was hoping more for stuff like survival food, but some of this stuff was neat. The pocket knife is really good quality. The tourniquet could certainly come in handy in an emergency, as could the solar lighter, the whistle/compass/thermometer combo, and the octopus keychain which can do everything from opening a bottle to working as a screwdriver of many sizes and types and even adjust bicycle spokes (even though I don’t have a bicycle lol).

I think sometimes that being chronically ill makes me feel even more vulnerable were there a catastrophe of any kind, so trying to be prepared for worst case scenarios can make me feel a wee bit better. Honestly, I don’t know how to hunt or do much of anything outdoorsy even if I were healthy enough to do it, but luckily my husband does have those skills 🙂

January/February Book Subscription Boxes – Kids & Middle Grade

Lately I’ve been trying random book subscription boxes just to try to figure out which one I want to get on a regular basis. For January/February, I tried the following two boxes:

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This first box was the January Book Drop subscription. I picked the middle grade option, although I was torn between that and the young adult option. This subscription box sends you one book per month (along with a card about the book and little extras like bookmarks) and is pretty cheap (about $10 including S&H for this shipment). The Book Drop is run by an independent bookstore, which makes buying it even better since I like to support small businesses.

The book they sent this month was Winterhouse by Ben Guterson. I really enjoyed this mystery novel! The main character is a book nerd and loves to do puzzles, just like me! I did figure out the plot of the book pretty early on though, so the mystery wasn’t all that hard for me.

Here is the second box I received, this one in early February:

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This box was from Kids Bookcase Club. It cost $9.99 plus S&H. You get three kids books a month. This was the 7-8 year old box. Out of the three books they sent, my favorite by far was Terrific by Jon Agee. This picture book is sarcastic and hilarious! I love the grumpy old man who is the main character! The Very Fairy Princess was a cute picture book, but not exactly my taste. The Animal Planet Dolphin Rescue book was a young reader chapter book and it was cute and interesting, but obviously a simple read. For next month’s box, I decided to up the age to the preteen box to see what kind of middle grade books they send.

For the upcoming month I am also trying out the Scribbler subscription box for writers and the SpearCraft Book Box (which comes with all kinds of cool reader goodies)! So stay tuned!!!

January 2019 Magickal Folk Meditation Kit Subscription Box Review

This month I decided to try a different pagan-themed subscription box through Cratejoy. This is the Magickal Folk Meditation Kit subscription box that is only $7 + S&H. One thing I love about the Magickal Folk series is that they have a wide selection of boxes to choose from at different prices, so if you simply want Ritual Teas, Crystals, Meditation Rituals, or bigger combo boxes, you can get exactly what you want without paying for more.

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The kit I chose is a small kit that comes with a specific meditation and ritual to perform each month, with a few little magickal tools to perform the ritual. This month’s theme was Brigid’s Blessing and came with a winter-themed meditation card, two beautiful tumbled milk quartz stones in a pretty little maroon pouch, a white satin spell ribbon that says “As it is” and “So it will be” at opposite ends, and a large packet of Goddess Blessing Salts made with dandelion root powder & cut leaf, blessed thistle herb, and sea salt.

The ritual suggests you take the ribbon out to a natural place and tie it to a tree, but right now I can’t bring myself to part from it, so I am using it as a decoration on my altar:

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One thing I especially love about the meditation card is that it comes with a few journaling prompts for further reflection. So far I love this subscription box and will stay subscribed. It is a good price for a small monthly reminder to take the time to meditate and celebrate my connection to the earth and nature.

Poetry – Malice

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This little poem was inspired by a middle grade book series called “Malice” by Chris Wooding. I liked the world that was created, and decided to capture just a bit of it in poetry (my favorite line is the “mushroom lamps” one):

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By: Maranda Russell

Take the evening train
into the cavernous abyss.
Light up the darkness
with your mushroom lamps
and a fist full
of round trip tickets.

Water is Back! 800+ Blog Followers! Awesome Book Series!

Hey everyone! There were a few random things I wanted to share today. First, an update about my water heater situation….we now have hot water again! I can shower, I can brush my teeth, and I can flush the toilet again! Woo-wee!!! We are out almost $2,000 though, so that part really sucks.

Secondly, I want to thank you all so much for getting my blog to over 800 followers!!! That is awesome. I set a personal goal a while back to hopefully reach 1,000 followers by the end of the year and I might not exactly reach that, but I’m getting close and I appreciate all the support! You guys are awesome! You have no idea how much having communication with you all helps my mood and my attitude in general. You make me feel less alone and like I do have people in this world that care about me other than my immediate family.

Lastly, I want to share this awesome series of books with you all. If you are like me and you enjoy the children’s picture book format, but also have a sarcastic, wacky sense of humor, and a love for philosophy, I’m sure you will love this series just as much as I did!

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The series is called the Animalosophy series (written by Eric Kesselman and illustrated by Erica Missey) and includes the following books:

#1 The Existential Giraffe
#2 The Moribund Mouse
#3 The Perspicacious Penguin
#4 The Nihilistic Sea Otter