Thursday, May 28, 2009

‘Hattitude’: Black cap with decorative pins

Cynthia Parkhill wearing black hat decorated with button displaying two sour-faced critics who ask, “But is it art?”, Toastmasters International lapel pin and a cloissone Autism Awareness pin

One of my co-workers gave me this hat, which is great for wearing decorative pins. In this picture, it features a button displaying two sour-faced critics who ask, “But is it art?”, my Toastmasters International lapel pin and a cloissone Autism Awareness pin.

Originally posted to “Hattitude” photo album on Facebook

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Braid donated to Locks of Love

Cynthia Parkhill holding cut-off braid, 2009

On May 23, 2009, I had my braid of more than 10 years cut off to donate to Locks of Love. Kerry G. at A Beautiful You in Middletown did the shearing. Locks of Love makes hairpieces for children who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy. For more information, visit

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Dealing with media requires its own fluency

Since July 2008, I’ve been in charge of publicity for the Tenacious Talkers, local club 8731 of Toastmasters International. I’ve submitted several press releases about our club’s activities.

Friday, May 8, 2009

‘Hattitude’: Reversible paisley-and-striped hat

Cynthia Parkhill wearing a brimless burgundy-and-gold paisley fleece cap while holding Gizmo, a white kitten with an asymmetrical black-tabby splotch between his ears. The cap is rolled up to display the brim, in burgundy, gold and green-striped fleece fabric.

I made this hat out of fleecy fabric. The shell is paisley and the lining is stripes. But it’s reversible so I could wear it the other way if I wanted to. As a bonus, I’m holding a kitten!

Originally posted to “Hattitude” photo album on Facebook

‘Hattitude’: The ‘Guinan’ hat

Cynthia Parkhill wearing a brimless, burgundy-colored hat that is shaped to flare upward. It has a decorative border of pale-purple sequins around the bottom edge of the hat.

This hat is reminiscent of the character of “Guinan,” whose lifespan encompasses the Enterprise’s tenure with both Kirk and Picard at the helm.

Originally posted to “Hattitude” photo album on Facebook

‘Hattitude’: Hand-made Tudor flat cap

Cynthia Parkhill wearing a Tudor flat-cap. The crown is pieced together from brown and green diamond-shaped pieces of fabric. The brim is brown brocade on the outside and lined with dark green. A pheasant feather is pinned to the hat on the wearer's right and drapes to the back.

The best hats are the ones that I make myself. Here is a Tudor flat cap, pieced together out of favorite fabrics in shades of green and brown.

Originally posted to “Hattitude” photo album on Facebook

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Childhood traumas can shape adult experiences

As details become available about the Moving Wall veterans' memorial, the more appreciative I am that our local Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) has organized its appearance here in June.

The latest word is that there's going to be a tent with counselors who specialize in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This could be hugely beneficial -- not just for our veterans, but also for civilians who are in recovery from prolonged stress such as domestic violence or child abuse.

Dean Gotham, our local VVA president, recently talked about PTSD on Steve and Catherine Elias's radio show. Gotham said that Vietnam veterans served their country twice: first of all because they saw combat in the Vietnam War and, later, when they returned to the states, they were the first to speak openly and the first to seek assistance for war's psychological impacts.

Nearly everything that psychologists now know about PTSD has been due to Vietnam veterans.

Clincians and researchers have additionally distinguished between short-term and "chronic" traumas that continue or repeat for months or years. To distinguish the effects of the latter, psychologists apply the term "Complex PTSD."

Survivors can endure various difficulties in connection with long-term trauma, such as the abuse of drugs or alcohol to numb their feelings and thoughts. For information, see the National Center for PTSD,

The Lake County Child Care Planning Council recently drew attention to an Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) questionaire that seeks to document links between the impact of childhood experiences (prior to age 18) with the difficulties that adults encounter in taking proper care of themselves.

"An ACE score of 4 dramatically increases likelihood of smoking, depression, attempted suicide, hepatitis or sexually transmitted diseases," according to Shelly Mascari with the child care planning council. Lake County professionals are encouraging local responses to the anonymous questionaire, which can be accessed from a link at

The survey was adopted by doctors Vincent J. Felitti and Robert F. Anda at Kaiser Permanente in San Diego. The doctors were conducting a weight-loss program for several women whose weight was life-threatening. Several women who had made excellent progress began to put the weight back on; when questioned by the doctors, many of them said they felt safer at a heavier weight. The doctors discovered that nearly all the women had suffered from child abuse.

Out of interest, I took the survey, which posed a series of questions about situations of abuse or neglect in the respondent's household.

My reactions to the survey were mixed. I was supportive of its premise that adverse childhood experiences can have devastating consequences. I was concerned, however, that the survey dealt exclusively with at-home situations that involved a parent or other adult. There was no mention of a child being bullied by his or her schoolmates -- even though the time spent at school equates to a full-time job.

That's not a criticism of local professionals, who had no control over composition of the survey. If anything, I support their intention to document local needs. I hope, however, that the doctors at Kaiser will expand their initial research because nearly every situation that the survey asks about in the setting of a respondent's home could be applicable toward bullying at school.

Please consider taking the survey if you have not already done so. Each "Yes" answer given in the survey identifies an area of potential concern and gives our local professionals that much more information about how to meet local needs.

The survey encourages respondents to follow up with a trusted physician, minister or counselor or to connect with a family support program through the Lake Family Resource Center, (888) 485-7733.

Published May 4, 2009 in the Lake County Record-Bee

Monday, May 4, 2009

Repeat broadcast of Temple Grandin interview