Friday link roundup 6/23

Swimwear pieces that can be worn as tops or bottoms — a versatile bikini that can be worn in many styles.

A list of best (and sometimes very interesting!) ice cream flavors served in ice cream shops across the United States.

Dollar stores are cheap and convenient, and sometimes it’s worth it to get something there…and at other times, not so much. Here are some recommendations on what to buy at dollar stores.

It’s been a hot week in the United States this week — it even made it to 120 degrees Fahrenheit where I live. The amount of heat waves may continue to rise. According to this National Geographic article, a study indicates that up to 75 percent of people could regularly face deadly heatwaves by 2100 unless carbon emissions plummet.

An accessible water park for people with disabilities just opened in San Antonio, Texas.

On making leadership accessible for chronically ill activists.

Some Swedish kindergartens are trying a gender neutral approach in their classrooms. 

Bosnian students protest against ethnically segregated schools.

Lessons and observations from my first summer in Las Vegas.

Here’s what I’m finding out during my first summer living in Las Vegas, Nevada(during the latest heat wave, and with the high temperatures in general):

1. In some places, people mostly stay inside in the winter. Other places, they mostly stay inside in the summer.

2. With how dry it is, the “feels like” on the forecast is often at least 4-9 degrees cooler than the actual temperature, e.g. 109 degrees feels like 104.

3. With all the hot air and occasional breeze, sometimes walking outside is like walking through (or into?) a giant hair dryer.

4. It’s still possible to get up early and take walks. It warms up quickly, so it’s best to get out as soon as possible in the morning. My first thought yesterday morning: It will be nice to get out for a short walk this morning while the temperatures are under 100 (it was 89).

5.  If I bring my water bottle with me when I’m out running errands (which is good to do to stay hydrated), I need to put it in my purse and take it with me wherever I go. Even leaving it in the car for a few minutes will heat it up.

6.  Wearing skirts and dresses helps keep me cool(er).

7. Having a pool at our apartment complex is a huge plus.

8. Apparently, outdoor Hot Yoga is a thing. As in outside in the summer heat.  I’m not really interested, but I really hope they wear sunscreen.

9.  Low 100s feel better than 110+ (which it is now during this heat wave).

10. I am gradually acclimating. I wouldn’t want to stay out for long, and the heat wears on me. But it’s starting to feel less oppressive.

Health results, past and present.

I remember when I first found out I had some sort of cyst or tumor, nearly four years ago now. At first, it was tangible — it showed up in X-rays and an ultrasound, and I could feel it when I touched my abdomen — but it wasn’t quite a real thing for me. I was determined. I was determined to be fine aside from that; I said to myself and everyone around me that I was otherwise healthy. I was finishing up a healing and empowerment program and I felt alive and powerful. While I did things to mitigate the occasion sharp pain and continued with the trajectory of making doctors’ appointments, I also pushed forward. I was determined that it was not going to interfere with the goals I had for myself.

I didn’t consider how much energy the mass took up inside me. Nor did I consider the power of denial. Which is not to say that the feeling of empowerment and hope and idealism was not very real for me — it was. But I didn’t even really think about the potential realities of a mass growing on my ovary. I continued as if it were not a factor.

Also, I had not had this experience before. I simply was lacking both experience and information. Phrases like complex cyst and borderline ovarian tumor did not yet have meaning for me, even if and when I heard them. It wasn’t really until after my surgery where those meanings hit me and I understood.

The present:

Saturday, I stared at the letter: my most recent pelvic ultrasound results. I get an ultrasound every six months or so to make sure that I am tumor-free. My results up to this point have been negative — nothing abnormal found. This time, there is a small cyst on my left ovary. The letter said to wait about three months and get another ultrasound and see if it resolves itself or if I need to take further action.

I froze, putting the letter down, motioning for my love to come over. He took the letter away from my shaking hands.

And I realized this weekend: While I am afraid, it’s important to not let my fear paralyze me. I can acknowledge the worst-case scenario while also acknowledging that that may never come to fruition. At the same time, it’s important not to bury myself in denial. I don’t have to present myself as a pillar of strength and push forward and try to make everything okay whether or not it is. I can be vulnerable and strong. I can be scared and concerned while still moving forward with creating my life here. I don’t have to push; I will take one step at a time.

This could be something. It could be insignificant or nothing. Many cysts resolve on their own. I’ve had one that did not. This one is small, just over one centimeter.. The one I had was nearly 13 cm. For now, I will do what I can. I will try natural and herbal remedies, ask for healing thoughts or prayers.

This weekend, I re-felt some of the trauma from that time, where I did not receive the support I needed from my community during my health scare and following crisis. I reminded myself that my support network now is strong: husband,  parents, parents-in-law, other family, friends. I allowed myself to feel the fear and the grief while also holding the reality of my current experience. In the past few years, I have created a safe space within myself to feel what I need to feel and also move through it. I have developed and strengthened relationships.  No matter what happens, I have a strong foundation.

Friday link roundup 6/16

This week, there was a shooting at a congressional baseball practice. This is one of many mass shootings this year. CNN reports on the frequency of mass shootings in the United States this year.

June 12th was the first anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, FL. Survivors, family members, and first responders share their stories.

This mother of six daughters doesn’t teach her daughters to dress modestly — she teaches them about self-respect and body autonomy.

About the (human) voice of Siri and the continued development of artificial intelligence virtual assistants.

When it’s hot, popsicles are a great way to cool down. Some layered popsicles to make this summer. 

Link roundup

The past few days have gotten away from me. But here are a few links I gathered this past week:

Like cats? Visit the American Museum of the House Cat.

Children today spend less time playing outside than in past decades. How to reclaim play for today’s — and future — children.

Putting disability and poverty in context: Generations, Disabled AND IN POVERTY: A Response to The Washington Post. Washington Post article here.

The oldest Homo sapiens fossils recently found in Morocco.

Friday link roundup 6/2

Need a dose of laughter? 14 female cartoonists to follow.

From Buzzfeed:  a week of lunches on a $20 budget.

In light of the president withdrawing the United States from the Paris climate agreement, mayors of numerous U.S. cities are affirming their commitment to it.

This piece from NPR looks at five things that could possibly change (in the U.S. and worldwide) in response to the U.S. withdrawing from the climate deal.

A reflection of the history of the Golden Gate Bridge as it turns 80.

Wonder Woman comes out in theaters today and is getting good reviews. A review with thoughts on female representation. This article reflects on whether Wonder Woman will change the luck (and prevalence) of superhero movies starring female characters.

Today is apparently National Doughnut Day in the U.S. Here’s a list of places that are offering deals (free, or free with purchase). Now, if you’ll excuse me while I go satisfy that sudden (and effectively marketed) craving….

 

Friday link roundup 5/26

Same-sex marriage is now legal in Taiwan.

Fidget spinners are becoming popular. This writer thinks that may be problematic.

How a one hour walk, three times a week, benefits people with dementia.

How Jean-Michel Basquiat became the ultimate American artist.

The author of this article believes that the Manchester attack was aimed at women and girls.