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Being a survivor from domestic violence can mean many things to many different people. Here is my story, and my journey after that in order to have a voice in helping others through a variety of advocacies that I do.

National Domestic Violence Survivor Law Project

The story of my past experiences with domestic violence and how I have moved forward throughout the years to provide advocacy to others.

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Create Dunkin’s Next Donut.

How about this for a DVAM (Domestic Violence Awareness Month) creation donut?

 

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Domestic Violence is no joke. Glamour and the National Domestic Violence Hotline are working on a campaign called, “Tell Somebody Campaign”. Click on the video below to learn more about what you can do to help stop domestic violence in your area.

http://www.glamour.com/tell-somebody/video/2011/05/tell-somebody-help-put-an-end-to-relationship-violence

#DVWarrior

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Symptoms of Compassion Fatigue

Some of the tell tale signs of compassion fatigue are listed below.

Lack of enjoyment in day to day activities

Not deriving any joy from things that used to excite the person earlier

Difficulty in concentrating in any task

Feelings of anxiety and perpetual fear

Feelings of irritability triggered by trivial things

Isolation from family and friends

Detachment from work and life

Inability to take big or small decisions

Lack of interest in work

Avoidance of certain situations and people at work

Unprovoked outbursts of anger

Constant feeling of dread and imagination of doom

 

Causes of Compassion Fatigue

Some common causes of compassion fatigue are listed below.

Interacting with and taking care of terminally ill patients day in and day out

Caring for a physically or mentally challenged child

Counseling grief stricken families in times of grave environmental disasters

Counseling victims of sexual abuse

Working in a help line to support and encourage trauma victims

Working in close association with mentally challenged people

Providing support to people suffering from depression

via Compassion Fatigue Causes.

 

As an advocate the key to success is being able to balance compassion so that fatigue is avoided, or if it occurs that it is quickly diverted and conquered.  I am fortunate that I work at a place that takes “wellness” seriously and we are allowed to go into a wellness session for almost 2 hrs each month paid for and flexed time away from the phones, giving one an option and opportunity to balance a 40 hr work week on the phones with folks in various crisis situations  with some downtime to take care of you (the advocate).

Sometimes the wellness sessions would include meditation methods, a bit of art therapy, a bit of learning of various techniques that we can also share with the callers, some yoga, some zumba, pottery making, learning to laugh, and so much more.

More important is to take application of the things learned from the wellness sessions to make a better quality of your own life.    Healthy eats, exercise/movement, quiet time, time to voice and be an activist outside of the work environment, and so much more.

A great book that wasn’t mentioned in the connective article to read about compassion and taking care of yourself is a book called 

Trauma Stewardship: An Everyday Guide to Caring for Self While Caring for Others

 by Laura Van Dernoot Lipsky and Connie Burk, which can be found on Amazon.com.  It’s definitely a worthwhile book to read and may become your “Bible” beside you if you are a caregiver in any aspect.  Their website is something that is valuable for continued support in your own journey for continued caregiving of others — http://traumastewardship.com/.

What ideas do you have to focus upon to combat compassion fatigue in your everyday life and continue on the enjoyment of the journey of Caregiving in the sense that it is really meant to be?  Would love to hear more ideas from you.

 

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Empathy can be literally defined as:

em·pa·thy [ émpəthee ]   Audio player

  1. understanding of another’s feelings:the ability to identify with and understand somebody else’s feelings or difficulties
  2. attribution of feelings to an object:the transfer of somebody’s own feelings and emotions to an object such as a painting

[ Early 20th century. < Greek empatheia “affection, passion” ]

 Ashoka Fellow Molly Barker, Founder of Girls on the Run International®, who has been working to build-up Ashoka’s Empathy Initiative. suggests the following:

Empathy has been a hot topic at the summit. Typically considered a soft skill and not necessarily essential to leadership (at least in the traditional sense), Bill Drayton, Founder of Ashoka, has uncovered a number of thematic connections between all of those folks who are social entrepreneurs. Empathy has been and continues to be at the top of that list.

Empathy is one of those things … “things” because I’m not sure precisely what to call it … that I’ve taken for granted. I was raised in a very empathetic home. My family members are empathetic. My children are empathetic and most everyone – heck, EVERYONE! – I work with is empathetic. I’ve naturally, based on my own experiences, assumed that most people would understand why empathy is essential to being human … a kind of “duh” sort of thing. A clear and VERY obvious outcome of Girls on the Run is the ability of every girl and coach to give and receive within an empathetic context.

In my mind, without empathy we lack the ability to deeply connect with another living creature. Empathy affords us the experience of being one in experience with another, putting aside our own ego, the need to be right, and being with the emotions of another. It doesn’t mean fixing them, making the emotions go away or enabling the individual. To me it simply means being with their emotions without interference from me.

via So how do you get empathy, anyway? (Hint: You won’t find it in a lecture.) | Ashoka.org.

As an advocate, I am always under the impression that being with empathy is demonstrating a concern and understanding of the here and now of the caller/person communicating with (no matter the mode of communication).  It isn’t a time of formulating one’s opinion of the situation; it is more important to sort through options and more options for the situation given at hand, as well as providing emotional support and guidance for catapulting forwarding to the light at the end of the tunnel, in order to move forward to, hopefully, without the burdens of the crisis situations at hand.

People need to have a voice in their lives moving forward, they need to see and weigh out the options available for them (because when in crisis mode, you rarely see through the mist of the tears caused by the emotional and/or physical pain currently enduring); however, they need to know that they aren’t crazy, that they have lives that are valued, and that they can do things and make great decisions that affect their own lives, as well as those around them.

How do YOU see empathy?  How do you apply empathy in your daily lives?

 

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The National Child Traumatic Stress Network provides a great fact sheet resource to Domestic Violence  and Children:  Questions and Answers for Domestic Violence Project Advocates, answering such questions as:

How do children react to domestic violence?

What are some typical short-term responses?

What about children’s responses in the long term?

What are the factors that help children recover?

What should parents tell their children about domestic violence?

How much information is enough but not too much?

What should a parent tell a child about the parent who was abusive?

How can advocates protect children from adult information?

How should parents respond to and cope with their children’s feelings about them?

What are some strategies for managing children’s behaviors that may occur in families with domestic violence?

How can advocates determine when a child needs more help?

and,

What is secondary trauma and how does it affect me?

 

 

Click on the link below to learn more:

http://www.nctsnet.org/sites/default/files/assets/pdfs/DomViolenceFactSheet_final.pdf

 

 

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The inaugual event is going to be about 35 miles west of Austin, off of Hwy 290 in the McDade area, from September 24-25, 2011.  More events also planned from February 11th – April 1st, 2012.

This should all be very interesting place to explore.  The hard economic times certainly lend itself to a need to escape into the mystical fairie tale times that the Sherwood Celtic stories that we have only read about in the past.  No longer, will Austinites have to think that the closest places for Ren Faires to be in Tomball/Magnolia, near Houston, or up towards the Waco area.

Have you ever been to a Renaissance Fair in the past?  Would you sign up for the upcoming events at this place?

Check out the link below for more details.

Sherwood Forest Faire – Medieval Renaissance Park in Lost Pines between Austin and Houston..

 

Tickets:

https://tix.extremetix.com/Online/?siteID=2462&cartID=ef3f66d9-0020-4637-a48b-9cbac571c7c8&eventID=28825

 

 

Facebook Page:

http://www.facebook.com/SWFF2010?sk=app_212371285462773

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Jamie Olive is my hero.  Last year, when he came to the United States and make a debut in the small, sleepy town in West Virginia, he clearly made an impact and difference in their lives.

This year, he might have taken on more than he could chew by tackling the enormous Los Angeles Community.  By the end of the last show, though, he gained the support of the new supertindent of the LA School system.

He’s got the right ideas though.  He wears his heart on his sleeve and is aiming to put things into good perspective with good eats, starting in the schools.

I thank him for his perseverance in keeping on the school systems.  I look forward to see the long range effects of his efforts.

What’s next for this hero?  Can’t wait to see what he’s got up his sleeve for the next leg of his crusade!

News | Jamie Oliver (US).

 

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I got the opportunity to view this new social site through a *.tv broadcast today.  It poses some interesting opportunities, although I’m not sure that I would like to be on a webcam throughout the experience.  lol…

On this page is the interactive tour link so that you, too, can have an opportunity to view the interactive nature of this project in development that can take social media networking to an all new level.  Take a look and decide for yourself.

They’re currently testing with a small number of folks before it’s ready for everyone; however, you can sign up to be notified on this page too once it is released for public interaction and exploration.

I’m looking forward to it; how about you?

 

 

 

The Google+ project: real life sharing, rethought for the web..

 

 

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Something you just don’t see everyday:

This Chinese cheerleader video from the Chinese Youtube Youku.com is going viral in the People’s Republic and around the world. The man clad in a skirt and flourishing kicks and arabesques is an unknown student from a Chinese university.

via Chinese Male Cheerleader Brings it On! Video goes viral in the People’s Republic – Digg.

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Being a lymphedema patient myself, and having a wonderfully doting and caring boyfriend who acts as my daily caregiver, I can appreciate reading this lymphedema patient’s daughter’s point of view as a caretaker.

I love the title of the blog as well — DREAM FOR A CURE… 🙂  This is definitely a common theme among all lymphedema patients and caregivers because this lymphedema condition isn’t necessarily a temporary condition but one that is a lifetime commitment to keep it from becoming a dangerous and lethal situation if left untended.

Be sure to take a glimpse at this blog and learn more about this condition that so desperately needs a cure. 🙂

Dream For A Cure….

 

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Just a little something to think about.  How does this possibly apply to you?

THE DASH

I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend.

He referred to the date on the tombstone from the beginning, until the end.

He noted that first came the date of birth; the second date, he noted with tears.

But he said that what matters most of all, was the dash between the years.

For that “dash” represented all the time spent alive on the face of the earth.

Now only the loved ones left behind knew what that little line was worth.

For it matters not how much we own, the cars, the house, the cash.

What really matters is how we live and love and how we spend our “dash”.

So think about this long and hard, are there things you’d like to change?

For you never know how much time is left, you could be at “dash” mid-range.

Should you be less quick to anger and show appreciation more?

Should you love the people in your life, like you’ve never loved before?

Should you treat others with more respect and more often wear a smile? 

Remember that your special “dash” might only last a little while.

So when your eulogy is being read, your life’s actions to rehash, will you be pleased with what they have to say about how you spent your “dash”?

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One of the most creative and latest/greatest social sites being placed out on the world wide web recently is a site called, Soul Needs!

It really works on getting to know people for their wholesome goodness, as well as a place for each and every person to come and explore fitness by way of the mind, body and soul.

Create your own profile.

Explore the “Circles”, various communities centered around specific topics or needs for fulfillment — or, create your own.

Take the many quizes available on the site to explore where you stand with your mind, body, and soul.

There are also other areas in development — entertainment and events, to begin with.

If you are wanting something a little more fulfilling than the social sites you have been to lately, you really should take the time to explore this more by clicking on the link below:

 

SoulNeeds Beta – Dashboard – txbluebonnet.

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Everyone needs a place to go to where they can heal, be safe to talk, and empower others along their healing journey.  For those traveling the healing journey due to domestic violence issues, Facebook’s page called, Domestic Violence Voices, offers just one such place.

It’s just a great feel good place with a great community spirit.

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Have loved getting to know another side of Blake Shelton on the hit show, The Voice.   Take a listen to this song… the Honey Bee…. love it!  Very cleverly done!

Congratulations To Blake Shelton – ‘Honey Bee’ Is The New #1 Song In Country Music | The Country Site.

 

 

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On June 19, 2010, I interviewed author, Shelly Beach:

This author wrote the book SILENT SEDUCTION SELF-TALK: CONFORMING DEADLY THOUGHT PATTERNS TO THE WORD OF GOD. Whether or not that you actually believe in God (maybe you just believe in a higher power of some sort), techniques that Shelly Beach puts into play in her book should indeed ressonate with you, or someone you know. It is easy enough to fall victim to the self-talk that we do to ourselves, which leads oftentimes to low self-esteem and gives an abusive personality power and control edge over our lives. We need to empower ourselves to become stronger so that no one takes control of ourselves and allow us to lead the lives that we so richly deserve. Please join me in welcoming Shelly Beach to our show today and feel free to join in the chat during the show.

BEYOND WORDS LIVE – MEET AUTHOR SHELLY BEACH June 19 2010 9a CST 06/19 by Kat X Beyond Words | Blog Talk Radio.

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On April 17, 2010, I hosted this interview with Julianne. Hoping that you take time to listen to her amazing story:

 

Julianne will discuss her own personal experiences with domestic violence, as well as her involvement in the development of domestic violence programs in rural America, as well as some dilemmas and issues surrounding reaching those in the rural america about resources available to them too. Domestic violence in rural America is a perplexing issue because the batterer will often go to great lengths to alienate and isolate a victim — oftentimes, this includes moving them out to the most remote area that they can where the victim has little access to communication with the wide world, as well as their friends and family members. How can we possibly reach these folks? Be sure to tune in and perhaps we’ll hear some creative ideas that you, as a listener, can proactively do as well.

 

BEYOND WORDS LIVE – MEET JULIANNE 04/17 by Kat X Beyond Words | Blog Talk Radio.

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Was it four weeks of DJing that just passed?

Am I really on my 5th week of DJing now???

Wow!!!!

It hardly seems that soooo much time as passed when I am having sooo much fun learning about the world of DJing.

So many good things are happening.  I am having musicians wanting me to air their music and I am soooo very happy to do so.  I am all about the underdog and getting them some air time.  I am also all about not necessarily playing the same songs that you will hear on all other radio stations.  It might be a little bit of Indie music or a song that is sung by a well known singer or band that hasn’t been played in quite some time.

I have some bands giving me exclusivity to air their not yet released music as well.  I am so excited that they have their faith in me, which makes me so much more excited to do my shows.

Not this week, but next week, I am also looking forward to having a guest DJ on air with me.  Can’t wait until that happens. It’ll be fun to have the company of another DJ on air with me, who is also going to share with me some better organizational skills to get me set on the right track from my place.

Next week, too, I am meeting up with a dear musician friend of mine who is playing here in Austin for a change of pace. Can’t wait to see him and see what new materials he’ll let me share with you all. 😀

What other things are in store?  Who knows???? lol…

*Wishing that there were DJ passes to the SXSW shows here in Austin*

Guess you’ll just have to keep in touch and see what happens………………………

In the meantime………

Come on in and join in the fun….

DJ Devine,
Blue Orion Lounge
Playing songs from the last 4 decades, including some Austrialian, Latin, and British songs, as well as some Indie musicians.

MARCH 6 (THURS) 5-8p CST

MARCH 7  (FRI) 2-5p CST

MARCH 8 (SAT) 8a-2p CST
DJ DEVINE @
Blue Orion Radio –
(high band) http://www.sc.jji-radio.com:8008
(low band) http://www.sc.jji-radio.com:8010
Blue Orion Radio Lounge (in Fubar.com) – http://www.fubar.com/new_lounge.php?w=1&lid=53775
My show airs – as DJ Devine – Thurs 5-8pm, Fri 2-5pm, Sat 8a-2pm
Playing the last 4 decades of music

MUSICIANS — Please contact me and let me know if you have something you would like for me to consider airing!!

Come on in and join in on the fun….

DJ Devine,
Blue Orion Lounge
Playing songs from the last 4 decades, including some Austrialian, Latin, and British songs, as well as some Indie musicians.

MARCH 6 (THURS) 5-8p CST

MARCH 7 (FRI) 2-5p CST

MARCH 8 (SAT) 8a-2p CST

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1.  Be Mine

2.  Love is Sweet

3.  Charm Me

4.  Love Letter

5.  Sweet Home

6.  I ❤ You

7.  Marry Me

8.  Love Story

9.  Sweet Talk

10.  Best Friends

What is your favorite saying on the candy hearts?????  (It doesn’t have to be from one of the above mentioned in the list.)

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Making lists doesn’t always put our world in order, but it certainly helps us to feel more orderly.

~ Anonymous

lol..

I don’t know how many lists that I have written over the years, but it has certainly made me rest better at nights very often so that I could have a renewed perspective of the upcoming day, as well as a renewed charge and dedication to eliminate as many of the items off of my lists.

How about yourself????

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Wow!  One of the men on a social site similar to MySpace (called Fubar) put 2 and 2 together about a small town that we both had family connections to.  It so happened that his aunt and uncle were bee farmers in that town and had died in the 80’s.  I couldn’t help but respond to him by stating —

“When I was little there was a bee farmer that would bring over to my Grandma’s and Grandpa’s ranch a couple of jars of the best honey with the combs still in it.  Honey became my favorite commodity.

The man that would bring the jars would sit with my family in the country air and talk to us.  He was the nicest man and I really got a kick out of his visits — especially when it meant that he would bring us honey… lol!!

One time, he had held me in his lap and a bee landed on me.  He said to me – don’t worry.  The bee won’t sting you unless you show him that you are scared….

It was a great exercise in overcoming any possible fears of bees and every time I encounter bees, his voice echoed in my head.

My Grandpa worked for Humble Oil for many years, then the Lumberyard until he simply couldn’t work anymore.  He ended up with TB, lung cancer, and emphesema…so he stayed in the house connected to the garage mostly and would come out on the porch, smoke us pipe, and tell us all kinds of stories.

Because he stayed in that house, we would meet in the yard between the two (the garage house and the main house) and socialize; hence why the bee man was also visiting us in the country air versus in the house.

You stating that they died in the 80’s makes perfect sense since it was a rare find after that time to have that delicious honey.  Whether or not they are one of the same, it was nice to relive that memory.”

It is amazing how small of a world that we may or may not live in….and it is wonderful still that such inquiries can trigger such marvelous memories from our childhood.  I can still smell the freshness of that honey that the bee farmer would bring to us, a quality unmatched from honey sold today.

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Just something inspirational to share with you today:

“I Wish You Enough

Recently, I overheard a father and daughter in their last moments together at a regional airport. They had announced her departure and standing near the security gate, they hugged and he said, “I love you. I wish you enough.” She in turn said, “Daddy, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Daddy.” They kissed and she left. He walked over toward the window where I was seated. Standing there, I could see he wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on his privacy, but he welcomed me in by asking,”Did you ever say goodbye to someone knowing it would be forever?”

“Yes, I have,” I replied. Saying that brought back memories I had of expressing my love and appreciation for all my Dad had done for me. Recognizing that his days were limited, I took the time to tell him face to face how much he meant to me. So I knew what this man was experiencing.

“Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever goodbye?” I asked.

“I am old and she lives much too far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is, the next trip back will be for my funeral,” he said.

“When you were saying goodbye I heard you say, “I wish you enough.”May I ask what that means?”

He began to smile. “That’s a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone.”

He paused for a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail, he smiled even more.

“When we said ‘I wish you enough,’ we were wanting theother person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them,” he continued. Then, turning toward me, he shared the following as if he were reciting it from memory.

“I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright. I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more. I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive. I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger. I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting. I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess. I wish enough hellos to get you through the final goodbye.”

He then began to sob and walked away.

My friend, I wish you enough!

You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry. Don’t worry. And be sure to give enough to those you love. ”

~ Unknown author

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One of the social sites that I go to has some lounges. They are pretty fun to get lost in, chat a bit, and listen to tunes from all eras (depending on the lounge that you are lounging around in).

There is one that I have been checking out lately and the owner has offered to train me on how to be a DJ. Can’t really pass up the opportunity to learn—we’ll know soon how much more involved it can be soon enough. I have to contact her on the Yahoo Messenger later today.

Is anyone out there an Internet DJ? Do you enjoy it? Do you have any tips or suggestions???

Look forward to hearing what folks have to say…..

It is certainly something different, and a whole new world to explore. Who knows where it will lead to—or, not! lol… It will be fun to explore, nontheless!

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Life isn’t perfect — it never really is. A man lost his wife tonight who he had been married to for 14 years, dated for 10, and known each other as children growing up.

I have been on many victim bereavement calls after the death of a person. They all take you back in a certain way. This one bothered me more than per usual because, although the paramedics had already come and gone by the time that I had arrived, the woman’s eyes were still opened. I guess I am just used to paramedics in the past closing the eyes of the deceased before I arrive — and when I had found my own husband dead, his eyes were already closed (but my husband had also often talked with his eyes closed – a habit of his for some reason).

Currently at work, working on advocacy in another realm tonight; however, the vision of the woman still remains engrained upon my mind. I am sure that it will for quite some time.

Throughout life there are things that approach the way we feel about life and treasure life for what it is and is to be. Seeing death in people, as morbid as it may sound, is one such way that we gain a greater perspective and value for life and the life we live each day.

As family members thanked us for being there, I mentioned to them that, “I can’t say that we enjoy being here, but we are indeed happy that we can help in any way that we can.” I even had one woman bless me tonight; this is certainly not your normal sequence of events at a scene.

I think I remember from a time when my closest grandmother died a person told me that for every death there is a birth. In so doing, while we sadly will miss the person leaving us and heading towards their life after death (for those of us who do believe in that), it is a joy in being able to look forward to births to follow.

I wonder what great birth will become of this death tonight, as a result. Who knows? In the meantime, we are always forever touched in our souls by life’s experiences — the good and the bad, the life and the death.

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Today I awakened at my Alzhiemer’s client’s home to find that she is distraught over her cat.   She threw her cat out the door after the cat appearing to have changed colors (say what?). She said that the cat turned pink.  After seeing the cat last night myself and wondering if the cat were pregnant because she was big around, I was wondering if she meant that the cat was about to have babies or what.  Still not sure what she meant, but I encouraged her to take a shower after engaging her in the Joel Olsteen show this morning and having some freshly squeezed orange juice and toast.

I put out some cat food while she was in the shower after not seeing the cat myself.  After cleaning up the home we left but she thanked me for everything as she was encouraged by Joel Olsteen’s power talk about minimizing our adversities and putting a magnifying glass towards the bigger and better things to come for us ahead – and, she agreed the the shower did make her feel refreshed as well.

We set out and went to Denny’s for breakfast and then off to Sun Harvest for some bits and pieces for things to make at home.  Poor thing.  She got in her mind that she was going to make her famed chicken soup and when I told her that we might not need to buy a whole chicken because it won’t fit into the toaster oven, she felt despair and disgust to her son who had taken apart her stove to keep her from setting the place on fire accidentally.  I tried to point out that she might be able to do the same in a crockpot and she toyed with the idea for a moment then said, “No, I just want my stove to be working!”.  We went around and put some of those ingredients back and searched for other possibilities that she could do — for instance instant oatmeal with the water boiled in the electric kettle, etc.

When we finally got home, we prepared some tuna salad for sandwiches this week and put away the groceries we did purchase.  After calling her son to tell him that he really must get the stove working and hanging up on him after a conversation about his love life that isn’t working out too hot, she pulled up a chair for me to sit in and said, “Come.  Talk to me!”

I sat down and I got a lecture about taking a chance with life and finding a man for me.  She called me a “gootah” (phonetically correct, but Jewish for a woman that does things for everyone else but herself).  She says that she wants me to go out and spend $100 on myself — a new dress, earrings, lipstick — and go dancing.  She says that I should get a sign to wear (like a nametag) and say that I am a free woman! (I can just see it now — women who have already been married and are now divorced and/or widowed must wear a “W” – – an “M” inverted for “woman” and signifying turning over a new leaf!  OMG…lol…..

As I finally was heading out the door after spending 30-1/2 hrs this weekend with her this weekend, she said to me, “You are a lovely woman.  I enjoy spending time with you because you make me feel sane and you are fun to be around.  You need to buy that dress, earrings, and lipstick — and, find something daring to do!”  It almost sounded like a preacher giving me a charge to do for the week ahead, as well as a challenge to find something daring to do.

Thank goodness she has Alzhiemers and she may not remember that she told me that next weekend or I might have to actually report to her the daring thing that I did this week; however, on the other hand, because she does have some degrees of Alzheimers, I might have the same lecture next week.  Oh, nooooooo!!! lol….

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Just had a bump in some plans… lol.

While I didn’t get the FT position that I was vying for, I did get a raise finally that I really should have received back in October.  I am just thankful that I did get that much good news today.

Just took of the 9th quote for the month of January to reveal the 10th’s quote as it is already past midnight while sitting here at work.  It states:

“Reality is something your rise above.”
~ Liza Minnilli

This is so on cue today.  Reality is that I someone scored higher in the hiring process this time around, but that isn’t going to steal away my joy.  I reminded myself that the real joy is in the work that I do.  All the same though, it would be better if I were to get paid for what I do at a better rate of pay, which is what I would have received had I been able to get the fulltime job.  However, (1) I did finally get my raise (so today I am getting paid better than I did yesterday and the days before) and (2) I have an opportunity to apply for an upcoming parttime position.  Being “just a relief” has its disadvantages as the person hired was hired from a pool of applicants that were already either fulltime or partime applicants; being “just a relief” has a rung lower than a true employee of the organization, but better than an outside applicant.  Oh, well…

On to revamping and waiting my turn.  My turn will come soon says the director to me after I had already heard the news from the supervisor and attending an inservice training meeting that builds our knowledge about new laws and law resources to better help our victims.  I truly hope that my turn does come soon.

At any rate, I have risen above and no joy is stolen today!!

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In reading some profiles on Fubar (much like MySpace), I ran across one that had this written on it (by “Lonewolf”)…..

The most wonderful of all things in life,
I believe, is the discovery of another human being
with whom one’s relationship has a glowing depth,
beauty, and joy as the years increase.
This inner progressiveness of love between two human beings is a most marvelous thing, it cannot be found by looking for it or by passionately wishing for it. It is a sort of Divine accident.
Don’t undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others.
It is because we are different that each of us is special. Don’t set your goals by what other people deem important. Only you know what is best for you.
Don’t take for granted the things closest to your heart. Cling to them as you would your life, for without them life is meaningless.
Don’t let your life slip through your fingers by living in the past or for the future.
By living your life one day at a time, you live all the days of your life.
Don’t give up when you still have something to give.
Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying. Don’t be afraid to admit that you are less than perfect.
It is this fragile thread that binds us to each other.
Don’t be afraid to encounter risks.
It is by taking chances that we learn how to be brave.
Don’t shut love out of your life by saying it’s impossible to find.
The quickest way to receive love is to give love.
The fastest way to lose love is to hold it too tightly;
and the best way to keep love is to give it wings.
Don’t dismiss your dreams.
To be without dreams is to be without hope;
to be without hope is to be without purpose.
Don’t run through life so fast that you forget not only where you’ve been, but also where you’re going.
Life is not a race, but a journey to be savored each step of the way.

I, especially, love the part about “…Don’t dismiss your dreams.  To be without dreams is to be without hope; to be without hope is to be without purpose. ….”  We all need a purpose in our lives – a purpose for the enjoyment of the moment, and for our future ahead of ourselves (whether or not we can determine what our future is exactly).

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This is the first morning that I have felt half way awake since I woke up on Saturday afternoon b/c I then left Saturday night to work a shift from 6pm Saturday night until 2pm Sunday with an Alzhiemers client.  When I arrived her, there was a new shift person that was there for the first time and it had made her extremely nervous and frustrated.  I managed to settle her down that evening and she awoke refreshed and rearing to go, while I awoke with a backache from hell b/c I had slept on the wooden futon bed all wrong.

It took me a while to get moving and she hopped in and out of the room I was several times asking me what was the agenda today.  Finally, I got her engaged in the Joel Olsteen preacher from Lakewood Church in Houston TX on the television.  I told her that he was a powerful speaker and she sat and listened with great intensity.  He spoke about frustrations and not letting people get under your skin and get the best of you — in another words, not to let other people steal your joy.  This was poignant for her….

as well as for me (for what had happened earlier this past week and what is about to happen this week).

We both went forward into the day with a great attitude and went to have breakfast at an Austin tradition hole in the wall place, then tried to go to the LBJ Wildflower park (but we ended up being there an hour too early) then window shopping for a bit before we headed back home.  While we were back home she relaxed reading the NY Times Newspaper and a book about Elvis Pressely.  She became recharged and we headed to the local Dairy Queen to find a sign outside the door over a trashcan stating “Bad Attitudes Here” with an arrow directed towards the trashcan.  We laughed about the irony of it — especially after the Joel Olsteen sermon about the joy and marched into the Dairy Queen saying “No one is going to steal my Joy!” and ordered some delicious waffle sundaes.  (BTW, did you know that the first Dairy Queen was actually in Canada???  That was something that I hadn’t known before.)

At any rate, I went from her home to my home to sleep for a few hours before heading into an overnight shift.  Getting off Monday morning, I was still exhausted because I hadn’t caught up on my sleep yet.  Today, though, even after working last night on another overnight shift, I am feeling recharged (at least, for the moment…lol…).

On the desk I share with another employee at the hotline, I tore off the 7th quote of the day off of the 2008 calendar and revealed the 8th.  Today’s message was — “There’s nothing noble in being superior to someone else.  The one mobility is in being superior to your previous self.” — a Hindu proverb.  That is, indeed, so very true.

Today, the supervisors are meeting to decide about who is to get the permanent overnight shift (you see I have been working as a relief for the past 5 years) that is open.  Myself and two others applied.  One is disqualified from applying because she hasn’t been there long enough to transfer to another shift; the other one would not be a good choice because she has argued with the employees on the overnight shift in the past.  Hopefully, the logical choice will be me.  Even the overnight shift folks are all rooting for me.

But that has no effect on the rhyme or reason of the supervisor staff.  We’ll see.

All I know is that I am better today that I was yesterday — no matter their decision and choice — and, no one can still my joy.  My real joy isn’t whether I am working PT or FT; my real joy is being able to be the best advocate that I know myself to be.

Of course, I am going to have to remind myself to think positive.  My coworkers have already planned to order out for our meals tonight.  We’ll see and hope that that might be in celebration that I am “in” for the FT position.

No harm in keeping my fingers crossed for the best though, right?

Any prayers would be appreciated….as I really need the FT work income wise, which will allow me the opportunity to not work for 2 employers quite to the extent that I have been.

At any rate, please remember that there is no stealing the joy!!!

😀

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(Actually written 1/2/08:)

I saw a bumper sticker the other day and was puzzled slightly by what it said — “Those who abandon their dreams, will discourage others.”  Although I wrote it on my hand, and later on in my datebook journal I received as a Christmas gift, it just didn’t make sense to me until today.  After all, eventhough I haven’t achieved all of my dreams, I am still the cheerleader encouraging and empowering others to be able to move forward with their own dreams.

Today, though, I indeed had a v-8 moment and realized just what the bumper sticker could possibly mean.

For my living, I am an advocate for those who may not necessarily speak up for themselves.  Currently, I have found myself being an advocate for the elderly as part of my vocation and passion and, as a rule, I truly enjoy what I do.  One client though I have been struggling with to keep upbeat about it.

When I first started going to this client a few weeks ago, I was shocked by the care of his room.  While he may have incontinence, his room reaked of urine all over newspapers, bed linens, clothes, and such.  Apparently, he can’t remember to wear his “briefs”, the depends.  That, in itself is one thing, and makes my job enduring as each week I have to spend 3 hours waiting for the loads to wash through and I don’t feel like I can do this client justice fully because I don’t feel like I have as much time to visit with him, but he tends to stick things in the toilet and stops it up as well (ie, apparently he doesn’t like carrots so they end up in the toilet, which is very disgusting.  I end up having to call maintenance of the facility to come fix the toilet.  It shouldn’t get to the point it does.  The client has a phone; he could call for maintenance himself.  He also walks to the dining room each day; he could tell the management office his needs as well, but he chooses not to.  So, each week I return and I encounter much of the same thing.  You would think that someone wouldn’t want to stay in a room that smells like urine, much less sleep in wet sheets and covers each night.  Each week I keep thinking to myself, “Why, then, do I put myself through such turmoil?”

The answer lays in the fact that I continue to hope that I can make a difference in this man’s life, although, it appears that his level of care needs to be much higher.  This man, who used to not even move out of the bed, does now greet me at his door each week so I am doing something right, it would appear.

Too, while waiting for the clothese to be washed and dried, I’ve met other residents that walk (or, ride) by and they either wave or stop to talk to me for a bit.  I think that they are just happy to see someone else available to hear what they have to say about their day.  Some of them are now even introducing themselves to me with their names and inviting me to go visit them in their rooms — so many are just anxious to have company and companionship.  Even in an assisted living facility, so many residents keep to themselves, which is a shame.

Earlier this morning, I checked my Fubar page just as anyone might check their MySpace page or emails, and saw one of my best friends indicate that he was having trouble waking up this morning.  I called him and told him that, while he was having trouble waking up, I was having a great deal of trouble just motivating myself to move forward to go see this client this morning.  We were talking about why I was having trouble in particular today and he set a positive tone for me by saying to me, “At least, you will have lots to blog about today,” and he was right.

Although I am discouraged by this man’s seemingly giving up on his dreams of having a great life in spite of his health problems, I am discouraged (just like the bumper sticker says).  However, what relights my enthusiasm for returning each week is the brightened eyees and smiles of others I see each week at this facility.  Today, I was surprised, too, in that this man didn’t stay in his room while I was tending to his laundry down the hall.  He actually got up and took the trash to the laundry room area and later he came down to the sitting area and talked with me for a bit telling me that the maintenance has come while I was down here.  Not only once though, but three times!  Maybe next week, he’ll actually sit down and talk to me?  At any rate, any progress made is certainly making way for encouragement that my advocacy is making a difference.

I’ll certainly have to remind myself that, as I crawl out of bed next Wednesday morning, while advocacy work can indeed be very discouraging, it is encouraging to see when folks be able to crawl out of their hinderances (sometime created by themselves) and start getting a little more excited about life.  That is the reward I get in lieu of great monetary salaries, a richness more fulfilling to living a life than making a huge income and not being able to stop and observe life for what it is.  Humanity is a precious regard on this earth; unfortunately, most people are too focused on making the big bucks that they often forget the joys that would surround them if they would just stop and look!

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In Slate.com there was a cartoon that indicated the lack of US cooperation with the Global Warming issue.  With Al Gore’s campaign for the “Inconvenient Truth” that he has been doing in the past few years, you would think that the prospect of US’s involvement with the global warming issues would be higher.  What this cartoon fails to portray is the thought of what cooperation is being had by the other countries in this world.  I wonder what that would actually look like????

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unlike our favorite chickens!

lol…

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Received Oprah’s “Today’s Mission Calendar Inspiration” email today wherein in the first paragraph it states about the January issue, “Let the hot air out of the self-esteem balloon–and find a more stable basis for carrying yourself through the world.”  What a great quote!

Wow!  Isn’t that a formidable quest at times???  A more stable basis for carrying oneself through the world???  After all, our world as we might know it gets shaken up all the time — divorce, marriage, becoming pregnant, realizing you can’t have children, in a domestic violence situation (whether it be physically or emotionally OR even if it doesn’t directly involve you but involves someone that you love or have as a friend), illnesses, deaths, etc.  We don’t plan on these events happening in our lives (directly or indirectly) but many are destined to be inevitable to happend, after all wherever there is life, there is also death around us.

For some, it can feel like a never ending cycle.  “Let me off of this roller coaster ride, please!” some will say; others, will not feel the affects of the roller coaster rides of life in general because they live ever so protected lives whereas many of us will feel small in comparison.  After all, how is it that they can have such even keel lives and others don’t?  I certainly don’t see “Hurt me!” written on the foreheads of victims nor do I see “Immortal!” written on the foreheads of those seemingly completely escaping the vast majority of the effects of the rash, bumby roller coaster ride.

How does one truly set out to find oneself more stable for carrying oneself through the world? 

* Having one job that can support yourself and your family?

* Advocating for the future of others?

* Having a job that allows you to afford to be able to spend more time with your family?

* Decluttering life’s “treasures” from one’s home?

* Having an income that will provide for a possibility that you actually have a savings for those emergencies and/or to set aside for retirement — so that one can truly enjoy retirement?

* Vowing to live healthier?

* Having opportunities for vacation time so that one can truly enjoy life?

* Restoring one’s faith in humanity?

* Having an opportunity to make time to enjoy doing things that one enjoys doing besides just working, sleeping, working, and sleeping?

What in the world is it going to take to make one more stable in order to carry themselves in the world?  What would it be for you?

For me, it would be to find that perfect balance in life where I can work to have the bills paid and a bit left over for savings, while having enough time to continue doing the things I enjoy doing — ie,  being with family and friends, blogging (go figure, huh?), artistic endeavors — as well as achieving the things that I want to do — ie, writing the book that is swarming in my head and waiting to be put into print, traveling to other countries that I haven’t been yet to (Belize, Equador, Scotland, Ireland, and Peru), building a modest home in the countryside, and finding a mate to share the rest of my life with one day (someone, that I can see us sitting in our rockers on our porch on our countryside home and just reminiscing about the good things in our lives when we become too old to move around like we had in the last 40-50 years of our lives).   Obviously, though, not all of those things can be accomplished in 2008 — or, can it?  We all must realize our limitations without letting our visions of our limitations stimy our growth. 

I am not sure that one can ever truly find that “perfect balance in life”, but surely one can attempt to try, can’t they?

Goals are nice, but getting them put into action seems daunting at times; sometimes, appropropriately determining one goal in particular is more important that setting many that will merely set us up for failure of being able to accomplish anything.  The purpose of having a New Year’s Resolution, after all, can be to light that fire of inspiration below ourselves to motivate ourselves to move forward from whatever level of instability that we have had in our lives in the past to empower us to move towards the level of stability that we all really truly desire.

Do you have a goal that you are going to put into action?  What might that be???

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I sure feel like Heathcliff — excepting it has been ongoing for the past couple of weeks…and, I suspect, it isn’t going away anytime soon.  I saw something big, black and furry scurry aross the ditch along the roadway on the way into work tonight — it could have been a skunk that sprayed me and I wouldn’t have even known it.  I feel for Heathcliff, if he is truly having a stuffed up nose like many of us are right now….

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A fellow blogger wrote in his posting, Heathkit Reincarnates the Hero Robot, about Heathkit re-establishing themselves from the televisions, radios, and the like that they taught many folks about electronics through their kits and instructions.  Although they have had a long lapse of time, they seem to be making a come back.

I do so remember when my Dad made our first black and white television set from a Heathkit.  Now, they will be having a rebot of sorts available after around Feb 2008???  Count me in…. I’d love to give a hand at it….

Too cool!! 🙂

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so do the family traditions.

It is time for my daughter to develop new traditions with her new family with the onset of their baby girl this past June.  They are quickly learning how to adjust to meeting each sides’ family to continue Christmas family traditions.

Because I have to work today and tomorrow, I got to share Christmas with them on this Christmas Eve morning.  At nearly 6 months old now, the granddaughter is wide-eyed and enjoying all the excitement of all the sparking gifts.  With the aid of her mother, my daughter, she unwrapped her gifts from me.  A small moo cow that goes Moooooooo, a soft clown, some Baby Einstein DVDs, some clothes and a colorful musical clown painting for her bedroom.

For my daughter and her hubby, I got them a Japanese tea set to go with the oriental theme that they have started for their apartment, along with a note telling them how proud I was for the both of them to adjusting to all the changes in the past year.

For me, they got me a 2008 bound datebook (beautiful teal leather).  The funny part is that they have already made notes of all of their birthdays — as well as a note 2 weeks ahead of time to plan for their birthday gifts.  My daughter will be 21 this coming year.  Amazing how time flies!

They had his father stay from Saturday through today; and they are off to see my folks tomorrow.  I believe the rest of his family will be over there sometime tonight.  I may have it all wrong.  I am not trying to keep up with it all.  The important time was for me to have time set aside for me to spend with them — especially due to my crazy work schedule and having to work through Christmas Eve and Christmas Day due to the nature of the work I do.

Tonight, I will go and spend some time at some Christmas Eve services at some nearby Churches to keep in line with my own tradition (besides going to a Presbyterian Christmas Eve Service, if I am not too exhausted, I may go also to a Catholic midnight Mass Christmas Eve service, although I am not Catholic just because they are so meaningful).

Before I left today from my daughter’s home, I was given a Santa picture with my granddaughter on Santa’s lap.  What a treasure!  I have already shown it to everyone who was here when I came into work.  Pictures should be arriving soon in my email with my granddaughter and I sticking our tongues out at each other this morning.  lol….

May everyone have bright cheery Christmas traditions and have a very Merry and Safe Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!  Look forward to hearing everyone’s stories to be shared…..

Can someone save me some figgy pudding??? 🙂

We Wish You a Merry Christmas : Lyrics

Play Music !

We wish you a Merry Christmas; 
We wish you a Merry Christmas; 
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 
Good tidings we bring to you and your kin; 
Good tidings for Christmas and a Happy New Year. Oh, bring us a figgy pudding; 
Oh, bring us a figgy pudding; 
Oh, bring us a figgy pudding and a cup of good cheer

We won’t go until we get some; 
We won’t go until we get some; 
We won’t go until we get some, so bring some out here


We wish you a Merry Christmas; 
We wish you a Merry Christmas; 
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


We Wish You a Merry Christmas – lyrics

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I, honestly, cannot remember if this was also circulated around last year or not in our emails as well; whatever the case though, it certainly would bear repeating….enjoy!!

A Different Christmas Poem
The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.


Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.


My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.


The sound wasn’t loud, and it wasn’t too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn’t quite know,

then thesure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.


My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.


A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.


‘What are you doing?’ I asked without fear,
‘Come in this moment, it’s freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!’


For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire’s light,
Then he sighed and he said ‘Its really all right,

I’m out here by choice. I’m here every night.’


‘It’s my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,

I’m proud to stand here like my fathers before me.


My Gramps died at ‘ Pearl on a day in December,’
He sighed, ‘That’s a Christmas ‘Gram always remembers.’

My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ‘ Nam ‘,
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
< /S PAN>


I’ve not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he’s sure got her smile.


Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue… an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.


I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..


Who sta! nd at th e front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.’
‘So go back inside,’ he said, ‘harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I’ll be all right.’


‘But isn’t there something I can do, at the least,
‘Give you money,’ I asked, ‘or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you’ve done,
For being away from your wife and your son.’


In his eyes welled a tear that held no regret,
‘Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we’re gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.


For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.’

——————————————————————-


PLEASE, Would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our U.S. service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities.  Let’s try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.

LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN
30t h Naval Construction Regiment
OIC, Logistics Cell One
Al Taqqadum , Iraq

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I have been having this blog site for about 9 months now.  While it is is still in its infancy of being developed, I love the administrative outlook on this site to see and learn about the readership.  One of those aspects is a section where they tell the blogger what a reader may have keyed into a search engine to find my site.  Here are some of the top ten that were found to find my site yesterday, for example:

1.

 vicks vapor rub on feet
2.  tyra banks
3.  parental alienation synod
4.  emmaus butterfly
5.  analogy list
6.  english teachers metaphor awards
7.  little green giant myspace codes
8.  “vicks vapor rub” feet
9.  bestbuy pre-christmas sales
10.  pensionbook.com

The funniest one I think from yesterday is “little green giant myspace codes”???  It isn’t too often I hear of people talking about the Little Green Giant, much less utilizing it as some MySpace page! 🙂

It is just interesting, don’t you think?

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Gone seem to be the days when the neighbors would gather at someone’s home, practice some caroling songs that they would be singing, have hot chocolate and goodies to warm themselves up, put on their scarves and mittens, and head out the door to sing from house to house in their neighborhood.  Why would that be?  Could it be that everyone is so worried about being politically correct and afraid of offending someone by singing Christian Carols to a Jewish home, for instance??? 

Ughhhghghghhh……

Visiting a client the other day, I observed a groups of highschool gals that decided that they were trapse up and down the corridors of the facilities.  The smiles of joy on the faces of the residents as they openned up their doors and saw the young gals singing directly to them was priceless.  When I wasn’t looking they circled around me and sang to me as well.  What a comfort and joy that was to be sung to; I don’t remember feeling that sensation in such a long time and more people would greatly benefit in this world by the old fashion door to door caroling.

The commercials with the singing cards taken around by the carolers is great…as one of the carolers hands the card to the recipient, then whispers “open the card”.  The sparkling of the eyes as the song was played was a great surprise, but not quite as heartfelt as coming directly from the caroler’s voices.

Somehow things are getting away from the personalization of the event at times and that is a shame.  The traditions bring warmth, sense of friendships and a sense of belonging and being a part of an event, seem to be disappearing as more and more families opt for more automated, commercialized celebrations of the holidays.  That was seemingly emphasized sarcastically by the below Heathcliff cartoon.  Sad.  So sad!

Perhaps, traditions will begin again and renew the spirits of the holiday seasons for everyone….before we lose the giving spirit and generosity of Christmas.

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lol.. Like we here in Texas are going to know too much about this…. Even if we are going to get the opportunity to build a small one, it is gone within hours of building one — not days/weeks/months!! lol…

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especially in the world of the media and politics which can often grey out some black and white viewpoints, leaving folks not knowing whether they stand for what they believe in or believe in what they stand for, an author comes forward and writes a book entitled, God’s Politics:  Why the Right gets it Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It (by Jim Wallis, also a speaker on the Minnesota Public Radio) from which he states in part:

“… Of course, nobody can steal your personal faith; that’s between you and God.   The problem is in the political arena, where strident voices claim to represent Christians when they clearly don’t speak for most of us. It’s time to take back our faith in the public square, especially in a time when a more authentic social witness is desperately needed.

The religious and political Right gets the public meaning of religion mostly wrong –preferring to focus only on sexual and cultural issues while ignoring the weightier matters of justice. And the secular Left doesn’t seem to get the meaning and promise of faith for politics at all-mistakenly dismissing spirituality as irrelevant to social change. I actually happen to be conservative on issues of personal responsibility, the sacredness of human life, the reality of evil in our world, and the critical importance of individual character, parenting, and strong “family values.” But the popular presentations of religion in our time (especially in the media) almost completely ignore the biblical vision of social justice and, even worse, dismiss such concerns as merely “left wing.”

It is indeed time to take back our faith.

Take back our faith from whom? To be honest, the confusion comes from many sources. From religious right-wingers who claim to know God’s political views on every issue, then ignore the subjects that God seems to care the most about. From pedophile priests and cover-up bishops who destroy lives and shame the church. From television preachers whose extravagant lifestyles and crass fund-raising tactics embarrass more Christians than they know. From liberal secularists who want to banish faith from public life and deny spiritual values to the soul of politics. And even from liberal theologians whose cultural conformity and creedal modernity serve to erode the foundations of historic biblical faith. From New Age philosophers who want to make Jesus into a nonthreatening spiritual guru. And from politicians who love to say how religious they are but utterly fail to apply the values of faith to their public leadership and political policies. …”

The whole sordid controversy shouldn’t even be there.   True.  Americans pride themselves on the premise of the separation of the State and Church, but just because a politician expresses themselves based on their religious beliefs as a human being and an American themselves, doesn’t mean that they are trying to mix the politics with religion.  That would be taking the context of the separation of Church and State out of context and twisting it into an issue that shouldn’t exist.  What they are referring to with the mix of Church and State is, for example, while the Catholic Church may take a stance of being against abortions, it doesn’t mean that the Government of the United States must also take a stance of being against abortions just because the Catholic Church may say so.

There isn’t anything meant further by wishing one a “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Chanukah” to someone, even if they are in politics, other than expressing the greetings which have become a part of the celebration of the holidays representated by the beliefs in the culture of their religions. 

Okay, so I have digressed a bit.

At any rate, from the excerpt above from Jim Wallis’ book on God Politics, it seems that there is a movement to understand the religious perspectives on social changes or social justices in the world and the mingling of a coming to a better understanding what the beliefs are through a “taking back our faith” process.  It would be interesting to read the book in full and see Jim Wallis’ viewpoint on this issue.

Have you read this book yet????  What do you think????

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Not too sure that it is going to work for the Easter Bunny too, though!! 🙂

 

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and the overreaction of the criticism of his message to wish everyone a Merry Christmas in one of his recent messages on tv.  This video is from the Today Show appearance…

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKMDJ46G4M4]

It is such a shame that folks have to be intimidated by expressing a simple greeting based on their religious belief.  Gone are the days in many countries that many have to hide the Bibles as a symbol of their quest for knowledge based in the Christian beliefs; why should the United States be so much in a uproar over a simple greeting — especially when the vast majority of the citizens of the United States have a founding belief based in some form of Christianity belief system.

A saying by Mahatma Ghandi:

bullet “The need of the moment is not one religion, but mutual respect and tolerance of the devotees of the different religions.

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OMG….

just perusing Slate.com and came across a “recycled article” that is republished to make it a new article on Monday, December 17th called, “How to be a shopping-mall Santa”, which is indeed a very thorough article about Shopping Mall Santas.

It brought a smile to my face and a rush of memories as I had worked for one of the organizer companies of these Shopping Mall Santas one year.  It was a great time of coordinating with the malls all the Santas we needed to fill for their Santa photo opps within each of the malls.  Not only were we coordinating schedules for those Santas in Austin, but we were also involved in coordinating schedules for those Santas in many of the other malls in Houston, San Antonio and other metropolitan cities throughout Texas.

What an interesting year that was to be a behind the scenes coordinating elf to make sure that all the malls were fully staffed with the Santas – especially, when receiving the compliments from all the long time veteran Santas that were putting smiles on childrens faces.  After all, besides being the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, Christmas is also about bringing a special joy and memories to all the children.

I am looking forward to going to the mall this year when I do get a chance — not really to do Christmas shopping as I have completed my Christmas shopping for this year — but to observe from a vantage point all the children’s faces light up when they see Santa Claus at the shopping mall to hear what they want for Christmas, as well as to get their photos taken with Santa.  My daughter is too old now to have her photo taken with Santa; however, I am hoping to get a picture of my 5 mo old granddaughter with Santa Claus.  I can’t wait!!

Hoping that visions of Santas in Shopping Malls may also bring rushes of fond memories of your childhood, or as a parent of young children this year!

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but when I checked it tonight, I found this Sesame Street cartoon in relation to Thanksgiving.  I know, it is SOOOO wrong! 🙂

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Poor Big Bird! 😦

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Obviously, Doug Savage may not be an eBay seller! 😉

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Congrats, Chris, on your new marriage….

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WaH4iJVdcPU]

See Chris’ page on MySpace — http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=54285664

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[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZVNOGtEINw]

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Steven’s TV Video video talks about how the world is changing to utilize free technology to put forth their campaigns…not just for amateurs anymore.  See Oprah, politians, comedians, etc. take advantage of the video tubes to tell you story….

What do you think?

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When I was little, we had lived up in Ft. Meade, Maryland, on Suzie Court.  When it snowed, it would snow very hard and we would have feet upon feet of snow — unlike where I live now in Texas where we are lucky if it snows above 3-5 inches!! lol…..

We would go sliding down behind the big hill behind our home and build tunnels in the snow — sending our parents in a panic when they couldn’t see us, but they knew we were out there playing somewhere — and, especially, when they knew that the snowplows were making their way in the streets.  Building our own snowman was half of the fun playing in the snow….

I certainly can’t see much fun taking it indoors; can you???

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I am often wondering what this truly is. What is normal, afterall? For a person that works the typical 8a-5p shifts, sleep hours might be 9p-6a…or something of that nature. However, for the person working the night shifts, it may invert drastically.

As for me, my hours shift according to the day… sometimes working day shifts; sometimes working night shifts. This can really wreak havoc on the system when one can’t supply a consistent schedule or order in ones day to day events. Yes, one can use a little shuffling for a change of pace; but, how long should this shuffling of pace be and remain a good factor in one’s life remains to be seen.

What do you do to normalize your life if you have a messed up schedule???

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to distribute and promote the Bookcrossings concept; however, I am seriously thinking about introducing these books on eBay as well.

Do you think people would buy these on eBay????

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that promise to instruct you how to make it rich selling real estate. Although I suspect that it won’t be all that it purports to be, I am hoping that I, at least, learn a few things from it.

Has anyone ever found these programs helpful to direct you to the appropriate sources???

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but it was a very kind note that I received from a scheduler today,

“Just taking a moment to say hellow and thank you for all the wonderful work you do for our clients and FE. Thank you for always brightening my day, and for puting up with my always being scatterbrained! We are very lucky to have you and appreciate you.”

Okay. Although not technically a “God Bless You!”, but I will certainly count it as one very warm fuzzy for the day… and I will accept any and all of those as well. 😀

Thank you cards to employees and those you work with are always well appreciated and sometimes are forgotten to be done at times. What a better time to do it than during the holidays??? (Of course, they can be done at any time of the year….)

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has become a way of my looking at life in the advocacy world when answering domestic violence calls on a daily basis… or in working with the elderly… or in my victim advocacies….

It is a way of, essentially, looking at the glass half full rather than half empty. Instead of going home a bit exhausted from the many callers I wasn’t quite sure the seeds I was planting in planning for them to be safe and living a fruitful life was working, I started a while back counting the “God Bless You!”s I received that day. It would seem that those seeds might just germinate and grow into a future that one could have without victimization, harm, destructive behaviours, etc.

How many “God Bless You!”s have you received today??? or, how many “God Bless You!”s have you shared with someone else today???

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in my apartment. It has a lot of good possibilities; however, I have been busy trying to make ends meet and have some for savings, that it never seems to find the way to the feng shui. lol…

Any ideas???

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It’s about time…

bring back the jingle and the jangle back into Christmas!!

Make us proud of our beliefs…not having to hide them like many countries have to do in their countries.  After all, being proud of our beliefs and not having to hide our thoughts, dreams, and ambitions is part of what make Americans proud of their heritage as well as a number of other things (which are not directly related to the issuance of this song);  it is just about being able to be able to wish some one “Merry Christmas!” with no worries of being offensive to anyone.  After all, when someone wishes “Happy Chanukah!” to a Christian with Christian beliefs, they aren’t stammering and say “I am offended by what you said.”  Instead, Christians just generally nod and say to their Jewish friends, “and, may you have a Happy Chanukah!”

Bah humbug to the politically correct censorship and the victimization of the Christians to succumb to the numbness of the non-emotional impact of their beliefs, and let all the Christians sing along with Go Fish:

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAckfn8yiAQ]

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Does anyone actually achieve their dream job — or, is it just merely a figment of everyone’s imagination?

While someone may be doing the job they absolutely love to do, it may not pay all that well and they have to struggle to make ends meet.  Additionally, family members or friends may look down upon someone that isn’t mastering the financial ladder as someone that is being less than their full potential.

A friend was asking me tonight, who often plays “career coach” to me from time to time, what I want to be when I grow up.  If only I could pick and choose the qualities of each of my past jobs that I liked the best and make the ideal job that would be pleasing in all aspects — high income, advocacy, interaction with others, great researching skills, and so much more.

It was announced in the news and news media sources lately a lot about the newest generation of workforce employees are having a tendency to job hop more and have many more background experiences than their counterparts in generations slightly ahead of them.   No longer, for instance, is the trend that people people have jobs for more 20 or more years.  It would be unheard of, perhaps, to see these generation of workers retiring with a job of tenure of 40-50 years of service, as my bosses’ generations have done.

My parents will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this month.  Gone, too, are the days that many couples will look forward to see the day of having a 50th wedding anniversay, while couples in my parents’ generation and before saw 50th and 75th wedding anniversaries as part of the norm of the culture.

What has happened to our culture?  or, do we even have a culture to be considered these days?  What is to be considered about the American society?  Are we all going to be judged by the people who lead us — or what affect we, as individuals have upon our local and global societies?

Okay.  So, I have digressed. 

Does anyone actually achieve their dream job — or, is it just merely a figment of everyone’s imagination?

Does anyone have an answer????

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1.  I am alive and survived the 5th year after the death of my late husband!

2.  I have a beautiful daughter who has a loving hubby who both have a beautiful daughter (my first Granddaughter) born this year!

3.  I have parents who will share a 50th Wedding Anniversary this year!

4.  I have two adoring cats — Gibson and Moobaby!

5.  I have a loving family, although I do wish I could see them more often!

6.  I have caring friends who aren’t all into football!

7.  I love my advocacy work that I do, although (of course) I would wish that it would pay better!

8.  I am grateful that I don’t have significant health problems that would impair my dexterity or sight or hearing abilities.

9.  I am grateful that when I walk into a dining room, I am not feeling that I am walking to a whole new world!

10.  I am grateful that when I look into the mirror, I am not seeing anyone other than myself!

What are you thankful for today????

Being Grateful for the Gift of Today

“When you learn how to remain grateful every day you are developing a habit of happiness in your life. There is no such thing as an ordinary day. Every one of your days is a gift from God that is unique and irreplaceable. When you train your mind to see the good and discipline yourself to focus on the positive you’ll be happier, rise higher, and live the life of victory that God has in store for you.”

~Joel Olsteen

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See the inspiring speaker, Barack Obama, as he spoke in Austin on February 23, 2007:

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45jM2DKwCKI]

What could be better than watching the next President of the United States at a classic Texas hillside ampitheater?

It’s going to be beautiful weather, and we look forward to seeing you this Saturday afternoon at The Backyard.

Who:
Sen. Barack Obama

When:
Doors open at 3:00pm
Saturday, November 17

What:
Live music from Fastball
Guest: $25
Student: $15
After-party at Victory Grill

Where:
The Backyard
13101 Highway 71 West
Austin, TX 78738

click here: Reserve your ticket

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Check out the latest from Devine Texan’s Creations!!

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No, I know.  Jolly Green Giant and Sprout are generally the animated characters associated with the line of vegetables that you see in your grocers’ aisles for many, many years and years throughout the past decades upon decades.

Today, though, while driving from home to a meeting this afternoon, I heard that they are advocating for a PBS station to be 24 hrs with all the fine programming  of Barney, La Madeline, and many others.  If you are 18 and above and without kids around you, you might be saying ughhhh… not more of that; however, if you have children, you are probably jumping with glee.  Although there are special programming for children that are 24 hrs, there are none strictly for the school age child. 

Of course, they are not probably up 24 hrs a day; however, consider the child late up at night with fevers, sickness, or night terrors.  This might be nice to have. 

What I see this as being, perhaps, providing a pre-school age channel that doesn’t jump from the pre-school shows to the elementary and/or junior high-school scheduling.  That pre-school child wouldn’t be limited to a certain timeframe during the mornng or afternoon to accomodate the scheduling of the other age groups on the PBS network.

I, who watched my siblings grow up with Sesame Street and the like, think it is a terrific idea.  What about you?

If you are in favor for your area’s cable stations to include this 24hr PBS channel in their offering of the network systems, you can call 1-866-9-SPROUT and follow the phone sequence to show your interest.   I understand that, too, you can go onto the super highway network under the URL of http://www.sproutonline.com/sprout/home/jump.aspx to demonstrate your interest as well.

While some might view this as a means of some people to placate and/or substitute their children’s daily activities with the PBS Sprout Program, I do see it as a means to enable our pre-school children to jumpstart into their learning since so much more is demanded from their learning than they had before (ie some aspects of Algebra is taught in Elementary School whereas, back in my day at least, it wasn’t a subject matter until the 9th grade at the very least.

Check it out — let folks know what you think!!  It may well be the new Jolly Green Giant leap for the PBS network system!! 🙂

1-866-9-SPROUT

http://www.sproutonline.com/sprout/home/jump.aspx

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Seriously, I wish it were ever that simple!!

LOL!!!

 

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“A woman is beautiful at any age, if she feels good about herself.”

–Rose Morgan

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[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IE16oMoVzCs]

One leg of his life journey — the whole story yet to be unfolded before our eyes.  Are you reaching for your dreams??? or, are you willing to procrastinate your entire life away???

Kat

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[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Afr43HrG26o]

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Received this in my email today.  It is comforting that some businesses can and do actually go beyond their call of duty these days; so many don’t.  It is indeed a rare find and we should support those who do.

See below for full story:

Sears Walks the Walk…
 
Could we each buy at least one thing at Sears this year?

How does Sears treat its employees who are called up for military duty? By law, they are required to hold their jobs open and available, but nothing more. Usually, people take a big pay cut and lose benefits as a result of being called up…

Sears is voluntarily paying the difference in salaries and maintaining all benefits, including medical insurance and bonus programs, for all called up reservist employees for up to two years.

I submit that Sears is an exemplary corporate citizen and should be recognized for its contribution.

Suggest we all shop at Sears, and be sure to find a manager to tell them why we are there so the company gets the positive reinforcement it well deserves.

Pass it on.

Decided to check this before I sent it forward. So I sent the following e-mail to the Sears Customer Service Department:

Received this e-mail and I would like to know if it is true. If it is, the Internet may have just become one very good source of advertisement for your company. I know I would go out of my way to buy products from Sears instead of another store for a like item, even if it’s cheaper at that store.

This is their answer to my e-mail:

Dear Customer:

Thank you for contacting Sears. The information is factual. We appreciate your positive feedback.

Sears regards service to our country as one of greatest sacrifices our young men and women can make. We are happy to do our part to lessen the burden they bear at this time.

Bill Thorn
Sears Customer Care
< A title=mailto:webcenter@sears.Com href=”mailto:webcenter@sears.Com“> webcenter@sears.Com
1-800-349-4358

Please pass this on to all your friends. Sears needs to be recognized for this outstanding contribution and we need to show them as Americans, we do appreciate what they are doing for our military!!!

It’s Verified By Snopes.Com at: http://WWW.snopes.Com/politics/military/sears.asp (shows the entire article).

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So frustrating is the fear of the unknown.   I remember when I was mentoring a after school program in an Community Program in a poorer segment of Austin (not East Austin) and a young boy had drawn a much worse picture than this child who had been suspended.  While I was alarmed that a boy could have drawn such a picture, I was told that these children were allowed to have their creative expressions.

Somehow, the balance between creative expressions and the psychological aspects of whatever hidden meanings behind artwork done by our children must be met.  Without the creative expression, one might not be able to understand what is going on in the minds of our children.  I believe that children’s creative expression should not be suppressed or meant to be punished; after all, how are we going to be understand what is going on in the children’s minds if they feel threatened for punishment if they express themselves.

I am not saying that children’s expressions that seem to have hidden messages of psychological problems should necessarily be promoted and offered on a public display; however, admonishing them because they have expressed themselves through drawing (which may be a mode that that they are more comfortable with than writing or talking) seems wrong.

Perhaps, a better approach would be to have the parents and teachers more attuned with the meanings and offer the child guidance when the child “speaks out” through his artwork.  Of course, caution should also be had to make sure that, also, too much is read into things as well.  🙂

What say you???

Boy suspended for stick-figure drawing – Education – MSNBC.com

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[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZFkZiwMLZ4]

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I know that whenever I have even considered dating anyone from a distance, especially that I have initially met off of the internet, I have sent them no less than 100 questions to complete. In some instances, it has been much longer than that — just short of actually running a background check. 🙂

Here is an application that is available on the internet, available through an organization called ApplySpace.   One of the things that I don’t like about their form is there is not a way seemingly to adjust the questions, but please check it out and let me know what you think….

Is it enough questions to ask?

Would you ask more?

If given the opportunity to ask additional questions, what would you ask???

Please advise…

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just to set the tone for the upcoming Halloween. This was sent to me by Galt Girl on Yuwie. Enjoy!!!

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_cnP4nA0qs]

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Yuwie is quickly becoming a phenomena of this day and age.  There are many social sites out there, and there are many blogging sites out there….

but,

what if you could truly do both….

and

make money!!!

Yikes, can it really be true??? Yes…

Just check this out for yourself and Click Here>>>> for more information about the Yuwie phenomena!!

or, just plan to check out my profile on there by clicking here! 🙂  Remember that Kathryn sent you there! 😀

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Well, I didn’t win anything here in WordPress (yet!! lol…), but one of my loves and passions is photography. I am getting published soon in the Parade Magazine. The pay isn’t too much, but it is a $100 more than I had in my bank today!! lol….

I’ll certainly try to keep you posted on when it officially comes out…but, I am dancing on cloud 10,000!! 😉

Hope you are all off to a phenomenal weekend! ttyml….

Your friend,

Kat

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OMG — what a good event this Sunday, October 7, 2007, benefiting CASA and Hope Alliance!! 😀

Check out the web page for the Longhorn Half-Iron Triathlon for more details!! 🙂

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[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zx9vW6lHDqY]

OMG! Did he just say Neil Diamond??? lol…

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