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Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

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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As one that has Lymphedema in the legs since 2004, I just love it when folks can come up with creative solutions to the fashion of having to wear  unslightly compression garments, which always lead to questions of “What did you do to your leg/arm?”  “Is it going to go away?”  “Is it just water retention?” etc, etc.   Although this isn’t going to work for me with my lymphedema in my legs, it is nice to know that someone out there is thinking outside of the box to come up with some fashionista hints.

“My name is Debbie and I am a two-time survivor of early Breast Cancer.” I am also in the daily trenches of surviving BC’s chronic ‘dirty-little-secret’ of Lymphedema. LE is indeed a potentially life ending diagnosis, but beyond that little attention getter, it poses a daily & never ending array of life-challenging agonies, concerns and frustrations. Don’t be surprised if you’ve never heard of LE. Based on my experience & that of a goodly number of my ‘swell’ LE friends, neither has much of the medical community. Grrrrrrrrrrr.

Like my early BC diagnosis, I am also in the short-end of the LE pool and I’m making it my daily work to stay here. Due to my various surgical procedures plus radiation and its aftermath plus a variety of other complications and set-backs, I have lymph nodes that no longer function properly. Ya never know how significant your lymph nodes are — until they get rearranged and quit smiling. My right arm (and yes I am right handed) no longer feels like it’s mine. It doesn’t feel like it belongs to me. It’s heavy. It tires. It’s dingy, pingy, Grumpy, sleepy and several of the other seven dwarfs as well, tho not Sneezy. I have a whole host of protective, proactive behaviors and exercises. You don’t even want to know about the threat from mosquito bites, I kid you not! Genuine threat the skeeters. Grrrrrrrrrrr.

The long and the short of it? I need to protect my effected arm by wearing a compression sleeve. I also wear other compression garments for various reasons and purposes, but that’s a whole different story and post. Today is about summer. Heat. Ugly sleeve. Intrusive questions from total strangers. [Like the waiter who looked at my compression sleeve and said with an air of knowing superiority, “Drug addiction issues, eh?” Nothing like an insightful waiter. How could I make that up?] This post is about my occasional desiring not to be a billboard for BC/LE. Going under-cover. Yes and fashion! Being the fashion maven that you’ve come to recognize here, you know how fashion plays a large part of my mindset. Here’s what I wrote last month over at BCO.

When we were in Europe, earlier this spring, EVERYONE was wearing scarves. Scarves were available EVERYwhere, in every possible design.

I bought a 6 foot scarf that is made of one continuous piece of ‘pre-pleated’ fabric which measures about 20 inches in it’s natural/scrunchie state. It measures about 40 inches when the fabric is pulled to it’s max width or flattened.

Anyhow. Quite by accident, while in Europe I wrapped the scarf around my compression sleeved arm while wearing a tank top. A little tuck here and there and I could have one ‘naked’ arm and one bare shoulder. VOILA!!!!!

For the first time in the summer I felt like I didn’t need to be ‘on guard’ from total strangers asking what I’d done to my arm. Oh happy day!!

Today, a delightfully warm summer day in the low 80’s, we went to see “Jersey Boys” and I decided to use my European scarf idea again & wanted it not to flop/slip around so much –with me tugging. So I made the scarf into a ‘tube’ by sewing it closed at one edge to slide my compression sleeve’d arm into and then just draped the rest of the length of the scarf around my neck. The sewing it shut/tube is a more permanent solution for using the scarf as a dressy hiding spot. I hope that this makes sense.

I have been experimenting with scarves for the last month.

Having enough length in the scarf seems to be the real solution — especially for the body-draping concept. I hope that the illustration gives the impression of just a scarf draped oh so casually across the shoulder (to the on-looker.)

The tube affair is the real camouflage.

As you may be realizing, I am now at the point of wearing just a sleeve for ‘everyday’ sitting at the theater events. I still wear my gauntlet when doing anything physical, flying etc etc.

I think with enough material in the scarf you could put a little stitch in the very end to create a mitten effect and still hide an entire gauntlet with ease.

The response from my LE cyber-friends round the globe has been awesome. They like it! They like it! I share here, just in case someone googles up LE and fashion (yeah, right!) My original post from BCO has been moved to the site specific for LE created by a trio of the kindest, most brilliant women on the planet called Step Up, Speak Out. It is an end-all, be-all site for support info and all things LE.

I hope that my sharing the same idea here, in this format gives some of my dear friends and supporters just a little further insight it what it means to be a survivor on a daily basis. If the post accomplishes that in the mind of one reader I have met my goal for the day.

***Oh and one more thing!!! When in doubt, out in the real world, if you meet someone with a “difference” in their appearance, count to 10 before you launch into a series of questions or insightful comments a la my waiter. If there’s any wondering at all on your part, you can always fall back on the tested and true voice of your Nana, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” The classics are indeed classic for a reason.

via RainbowsWithinReach: Lymphedema Fashion Scarf.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lymphedema-in-the-News/127336167284700

 

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“Up and at em’! It’s finally Friday! This is Erika Gonzalez with We Are Austin Morning’s FACEBOOK TOPIC OF THE DAY: A Houston couple has had their kids taken away from them because for the last 3 years, the family has been living in a storage unit. The 12-feet-wide and 25-foot-long structure comes equipped with beds, a refrigerator and even a computer. The couple says they fell on hard times and are doing the best they can. Should the state give the children back to their parents?”

via KEYETV’s Photos – Wall Photos.

My response on this was:

Homelessness among families is a huge issue throughout the communities and not well spoken about in the media. Talk to ARCH to get some figures on homeless families even just in the Austin area. These children had a shelter over their head, at least. Many are living out of cars. The economy’s ups and downs certainly isn’t conducive to people’s survival in making ends meet. When one is paying $500-800 average apartment rental (more for that many children), it is easy to see why they choose to cut down that expense, when they can’t possibly squeeze any more out of the other areas of their budget. Too, homeless shelters are at their capacities. Provide some solutions so that folks don’t have to be forced into homelessness situations. 🙂

Agree or disagree???

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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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Kathryn’s Story

Please join me in the fundraising effort for this organization, the Lymphatic Research Foundation who strives to find a cure for Lymphedema.

In 2004, when a suburban hit me in an intersection and spun me around, my knees hit the steering wheel hard.  At the time, I didn’t have medical insurance; just the PIP insurance with your normal coverage of auto insurance policy.  When it was discovered a month after the accident that my swelling in my legs was simply not going to go away, it was only a beginning to a journey of learning how to be an advocate for myself.  The hospital granted me a grant for 10 treatments, but anyone who knows anything about lymphedema, 10 treatments is clearly not enough.  I was left on my own to wrap my legs and utilize a small pump and try to get the swelling to go down on my own without any insurance coverage.

By the time that I gained health insurance in 2008 through my employer when transitioning from a full time relief employee to a full time permanent employee, my legs were getting out of control and I was beginning to develop some pressure wounds.  After 3-6 months of physical therapy, aqua therapy, and transitioning from the ace looking compression bandages get up to the juxt-a-fit garments, and the approval of a flexitouch pump, I finally was able to have a better guide, control and understanding of what to do for maintaining my condition.

To this day, I still walk about with garments on both legs, although the right leg is far worse than the left, and tennis shoes that are way to big for me ordinarily (because of the wraps, I have to wear much larger shoes).  I have some sights on a new garment that comes in black and cheaper than the ones that I presently have, however, are supposed to work even better.  Hopefully, I won’t have the $500 annual garment purchase, plus the additional $100-200 I purchase each month in various specialized stockings that I have to wear with the garments.  Keeping my fingers crossed.  At least, if they are in black, they might be less noticeable.  For the past 7 years, everyone seemed to look at me with strangely while I continued to wear these garments day in and day out for the past 7 years, going on 8.

During the past years, I have been a strong advocate, learning more and more how to speak up for myself and try to make sure that I have the latest in the developments to ensure that there is continued progress without any set backs.  I’ve also promoted latest and greatest news on my Lymphedema in the News page on facebook and have become one of the admins in a patient’s only page (private) on facebook where we work to encourage and inspire one another.

In additon, I have had other lymphedema advocates come on my blogtalkradio show called, Beyond Words Live, to share updates about HR 4662 bill that is the national legislation concerning helping to defer the high costs of treatments towards the lymphedema patient.  It is critical that there is attention to this bill because, if lymphedema is left untreated, it poses a much higher health risk — such as the awfully painful pressure wounds that can run deep past the fatty tissues underneath the skin layer, exposing it to the opportunity for more infections, etc.

My story is one of many stories.  This is not lympoma or any form of cancer, although it can often result from having radiation treatments necessary to combat cancer.  Many other folks have many other causes — some trauma situated causes like mine — many others have other situations that have occurred to where the lymph nodes were damaged in some other way; and, in some cases, too, there are some hereditary links to this long lasting condition.

I come to you today to ask that, even if you can only contribute $5, it is $5 more towards the research that can be done to find a cure.  Thank you for reading my story and considering helping the cause.  I look forward to being able to tell the foundation that I exceeded my goal in raising funds for the much needed research.

Thank you!!

Kathryn

via Personal Fundraising Page for Kathryn Benefiting the Lymphatic Research of the Lymphatic Research Foundation!.

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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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Domestic violence cases seem to prevail in spite of all the efforts of the advocates across the United States and throughout the world; however, that doesn’t stop the advocates from continuing to try.  One focus has turned its head towards the affects upon childhood trauma.  One such foundation taking this focus in their hands is the Makers of Memories with its public policy initiative:

The Makers of Memories Public Policy Initiative, launched earlier this month in Washington DC, has already begun to develop momentum towards our two key objectives of:

1) raising awareness about the problem of childhood exposure to domestic violence; and

2) developing a set of solutions to address this problem.

Participants from a wide range of national nonprofit organizations have agreed to collaborate on the educational content and distribution of our documentary film project, 43 Million Secrets, and have contacted us to explore ways that we can work together to motivate leaders and policy makers to take action to provide support and assistance to children who experience domestic violence. We also are exploring programmatic initiatives with these organizations. Some of the individuals and organizations we have engaged to collaborate on our work are featured below in the images from our meeting in Washington DC on June 14.

via Makers of Memories.

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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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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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In 2004, when a suburban hit me in an intersection and spun me around, my knees hit the steering wheel hard.  At the time, I didn’t have medical insurance; just the PIP insurance with your normal coverage of auto insurance policy.  When it was discovered a month after the accident that my swelling in my legs was simply not going to go away, it was only a beginning to a journey of learning how to be an advocate for myself.  The hospital granted me a grant for 10 treatments, but anyone who knows anything about lymphedema, 10 treatments is clearly not enough.  I was left on my own to wrap my legs and utilize a small pump and try to get the swelling to go down on my own without any insurance coverage.

By the time that I gained health insurance in 2008 through my employer when transitioning from a full time relief employee to a full time permanent employee, my legs were getting out of control and I was beginning to develop some pressure wounds.  After 3-6 months of physical therapy, aqua therapy, and transitioning from the ace looking compression bandages get up to the juxt-a-fit garments, and the approval of a flexitouch pump, I finally was able to have a better guide, control and understanding of what to do for maintaining my condition.

To this day, I still walk about with garments on both legs, although the right leg is far worse than the left, and tennis shoes that are way to big for me ordinarily (because of the wraps, I have to wear much larger shoes).  I have some sights on a new garment that comes in black and cheaper than the ones that I presently have, however, are supposed to work even better.  Hopefully, I won’t have the $500 annual garment purchase, plus the additional $100-200 I purchase each month in various specialized stockings that I have to wear with the garments.  Keeping my fingers crossed.  At least, if they are in black, they might be less noticeable.  For the past 7 years, everyone seemed to look at me with strangely while I continued to wear these garments day in and day out for the past 7 years, going on 8.

During the past years, I have been a strong advocate, learning more and more how to speak up for myself and try to make sure that I have the latest in the developments to ensure that there is continued progress without any set backs.  I’ve also promoted latest and greatest news on my Lymphedema in the News page on facebook and have become one of the admins in a patient’s only page (private) on facebook where we work to encourage and inspire one another.

In additon, I have had other lymphedema advocates come on my blogtalkradio show called, Beyond Words Live, to share updates about HR 4662 bill that is the national legislation concerning helping to defer the high costs of treatments towards the lymphedema patient.  It is critical that there is attention to this bill because, if lymphedema is left untreated, it poses a much higher health risk — such as the awfully painful pressure wounds that can run deep past the fatty tissues underneath the skin layer, exposing it to the opportunity for more infections, etc.

My story is one of many stories.  This is not lympoma or any form of cancer, although it can often result from having radiation treatments necessary to combat cancer.  Many other folks have many other causes — some trauma situated causes like mine — many others have other situations that have occurred to where the lymph nodes were damaged in some other way; and, in some cases, too, there are some hereditary links to this long lasting condition.

via Personal Fundraising Page for Kathryn Benefiting the Lymphatic Research of the Lymphatic Research Foundation!.

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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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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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On January 9th of this year, a posting was made by Timmy called “You want what?”.   In the posting he states:  

Today’s Kick in the Ass goes to an anonymous person, or asshat, who filed a claim against the federal government for of $3 quadrillion for over damage from the failure of levees and flood walls following Hurricane Katrina.For the sake of perspective: A mere $1 quadrillion would dwarf the U.S. gross domestic product, which was $13.2 trillion in 2007. A stack of one quadrillion pennies would reach Saturn.Or maybe this would be a better way to put it in perspective – compare that to $250. That’s the amount FEMA gave residents of my area when in September 2004 Hurricane Ivan dumped 9 inches of rain in less than 24 hours. Nine inches is an unbelievable amount of water to come roaring thousands of feet down mountains and into already flooding streams. The result was the worst flash flooding in the history of the area. That’s where the “impressive” numbers stop. Because unlike some other natural disasters that gained the attention of the world and the backing of disaster efforts and corporate moneys, “only” dozens were killed. “Only” hundreds of homes destroyed. “Only” thousands were displaced. The town I once lived in, Jacksonburg, was wiped off the map. The town was situated on the inside of a huge horseshoe bend in the creek. A temporary earth and culvert bridge had been put in place to allow work on the existing bridge. This became a dam as soon as the wave of water brought trees off the hills. Within minutes, dozens of homes were gone. These were homes built out of the 100 year flood plane, and no one ever imagined flood water could possibly reach them, including my aunt’s home. How did people recover? Neighbors helped them out, mostly. The company me and some other residents worked for declined to help saying the numbers just weren’t there.

But at least not one opportunistic attorney got rich.

This is certainly an atrocity with the audacity of some thinking that they are going to sue the government, especially, for such an exorbitant and outrageous sum of money.  That being said, though, I responded on his posting with the following comment:

I so concur with your thoughts on this.  Any suit would be insanity and justification in comparison to what??

True.  The Katrina victims did face great adversity in their plight; however, years have gone by, and at some point in time, a line in the sand should be drawn, and those same victims should say to themselves, “While we were victims during the Katrina hurricane storm, we are now Katrina survivors!” and work to strive to empower themselves to move forward, out of adversity, and towards a better life for themselves and their community.  At some point, the past can be remembered, but shove the memory to the past and allow all to move to the recovery and survivor mode.

Okay, okay.

Off of my soapbox — for now…

Of course, I don’t want to downplay the enormity of the devastation felt by New Orleans and its surrounding communities; however, at some point of time advocating must be done towards moving the victims from the poor pitiful me stage to empower them to say that they are victors above all because they have overcome such an awful fate of nature that day.

I am sure that there are many victims of the Katrina that have moved forward and are looking at this suit as “Oh, God, when will be able to forget and move on without this being played out and expanded in the media again and again and again??” or “When can the healing process begin without having constant reminders of the past?”

What is really going to be served at attempting to bankrupt the very government that continues to issue grants and support in many continuing situations throughout our society?  Are they really thinking this all the way through?  Do they really want to be remembered for causing a riff in the economy from a potentially bankrupt government, as well as the affect on our children and other members of the society throughout the United States, as well as other parts of the world that we, as a nation of people, do help to support???

Does anyone have a true good solution???  I’d really love to hear it…

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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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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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(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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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 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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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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I know that they have talked about it for a while… and you have been able to purchase a kit online and send it off to the various DNA labs, but now (in accordance to the Houston News Station) they are available over the counter as well?

What do you think about that?

I am sure that, if it came to a legal matter, the courts may only accept the paternity tests that go through the official DNA labs; but for the millions of folks that are pondering if the paternity of the child is their child or not, this may be able to provide an affordable means to determine the paternity.

Would you trust the results though?

Would Maury Povich relay on these OTC test results as well, or would the producers make him utilize the DNA labs for their accuracy and reliability of that accuracy?

Interesting…

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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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it is oftentimes that the social service industry is often at its busiest of times.

Pet sitters are needed for the pets while folks go on trips to visit relatives during the holidays.

Babysitters are needed so that the adults can go to their fabulously rocking, cheery holiday celebrations or just for some hassle free shopping.

Granny sitters are needed for the grandparents who aren’t able to get to see their families because their families can’t find it possible to have them travel with them to visit the families (especially, if there are health and health aid concerns), or if the places that they are staying at are understaffed.

It is often a thankless job, but someone comes to the aid for others to have the much needed enjoyment.   Just don’t forget to hug those workers as you see them today and throughout the holidays.  Their sacrifice often means that you are able to enjoy the holidays to the fullest.

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Received this in an email from a friend in Canada….enjoy!!! 😀

A is for apple, and  B is for boat,

That used to be right, but now it won’t float!

Age before beauty is what we once said,

But let’s be a bit more realistic instead.

A is for arthritis;

B is the bad back,

C is the chest pains , perhaps car-d-iac?

D is for dental decay and decline,

E is for eyesight, can’t read that top line!

F is for fissures and fluid retention;

G is for gas which I’d rather not mention.

H is high blood pressure-I’d rather it low;

I   is for incisions with scars you can show.

J is for joints, out of socket, won’t mend,

K is for knees that crack when they bend.

L is for libido, what happened to sex?

M is for memory, I forget what comes next.

N is neuralgia, in nerves way down low;

O is for osteo, the bones that don’t grow!

P is for prescriptions, I have quite a few,

        Just give me a pill and I’ll be good as new!

Q is for queasy, is it fatal or flu?

R is for reflux, one meal turns to two.

S is for sleepless nights, counting my fears,

T is for Tinnitus; there’s bells in my ears!

U is for urinary; big troubles with flow;

V is for vertigo, that’s “dizzy,” you know.

W is for worry, NOW what’s going ’round?

X is for X ray, and what might be found.

Y is another year I’m left here behind,

Z  is for zest that I still have– in my mind.

 

I’ve survived all the symptoms, my body’s deployed,

And I am keeping twenty-six doctors fully employed!!!

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

–Rose Morgan

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“Grace will lead me home” – the title of the book she is promoting and speaking out about domestic violence, bringing home to a lot of victims of domestic exactly the fears, trials and tribulations that they have faced and feared.  Check out her story in these YouTube videos:

 

 

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcZg2_BDZKo]

– Robin Givins Story, Pt 1

 

 

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SkgsHX2g0w]

– Robin Givins Story, Pt 2

 

 

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVFaEJDO_zs%5D

– Robin Givins on ABC  (NOTE: sad to see the hate comments left on this video)

  

“You have to talk about it to conquer it!” – Robin Givins

(what a great quote!!)

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“We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.”

~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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“Asabe Ladagu, a Christian widow in this capital city of Borno state in northern Nigeria, has survived without income the past 16 months. It was that long ago, the former librarian told Compass, that Muslim administrators at Ramat Polytechnic forced her into early retirement – without pay – after she and others requested land to build a chapel.

The Christians viewed the denial as deliberate discrimination against Christians by Muslim administrators at a time when there were seven mosques on campus.”

 ~~Nigeria: Ramat Polytechnic Discriminates Against Christians

Can you believe that this is about a current day issue and not something that just happened during Biblical times?   With all the advancement of technology and forward thinking, you would have thought that we would be much more above and beyond this — no matter what part of the world we all live in!

 

 

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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=e0IQNwZ-zsI]

 [YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-LzM9fMS-0]

What is it that Toronto really represents??? 🙂

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[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZh5HN2q_qo]

 [YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9m80kf8l7A]

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njx-n6SsdV8]

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

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

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I have a skin irritation call rosacea. Many famous people have it.  Winston Churchill, in fact, had it with his nose being so red all the time…. largely due to being irritated by his massive drinking binges.  Honestly, I think Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer had it too — because I certainly feel like Rudolph when it gets really bad.

There is currently a drug trial going on for a new topical medication being placed on market soon for it, after it passes the clinic trials and FDA regulation.  At any rate, I had to go to the clinic to be examined.

At first the nurse who examined me first said that I probably wouldn’t qualify because my case isn’t all that bad, but allowed me to be examined by the doctor just in case.  They both inquired about how I have managed to keep it in check so well.  “Well, I obey the doctor’s advice!!” lol…

* limit my exposure to spicy foods, alcohol, sunlight, etc.
* wear minimal makeup, although keeping my face clean with soft, sensitive soaps and lotions
* minimize stress factors and remain calm
* etc., etc….

They were impressed but have allowed me to continue to participate and put me through the usual steps of a check up. 

My weight was higher than I anticipated, but I think that they are wrong… otherwise instead of my cats weighing 9 pounds and 19 pounds, they would weigh 39 pounds and 49 pounds.  I don’t think so!!  Good thing I weigh my cats, huh??? lol…. 

My height was 1-1/2 inches shorter than I had last been measured.  Now, I know that my Mom has a degenerative bone disease; it looks like I might too, if their records are correct.  I’ll definitely have to look into that and make sure and possibly find Sally Fields to ask her what she is taking for the prevention/treatment of the same thing!!

When it came time to take my blood pressure though it was only 108/62.  The nurse was surprised…and she stated to me, “There has to be something to remaining calm and not stressing out, don’t you think?”

Yeah, I agreed with her.  Although I am probably not height/weight proportionate and no skinnie minnie by any means, none of my doctors could complain because I do try to do everything else right — including my b/p down.

In the meantime, I have got to do something about the height thing….

I certainly don’t want folks to be looking towards the floor and say, “Hellllloooo downnnnn there.  Can you hearrrr meeeee?” lol…..

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What a great quote —

“A good cook is a sorceress who dispenses happiness.”

– Elsa Schiapirelli

Found quoted in Spark People!!!

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Quite possibly! In response to another blogger’s blog posting, I responded:

“It is indeed something to think about… China, Mexico, and many other countries are mass producing things for us….

but, flags have to rise when are products are being imported tainted with things that could kill each and every one of us and the environment we know it to be.

As ecological conscience we Americans are purported to be, you would think that the ecological organizations would also rise to the occasion to speak out and alert American Businesses to quickly begin to rethink our mass productions to be done here in the States for the safety consideration of one and all here.

Can you tell? It most certainly has been on my mind lately……”

What was his blog posting…. See below:

“With a lot of manufacturing jobs moving over to China, are we setting ourselves up for failure???? Hmmmmmmm…….

Let’s look at the facts that have been uncovered in recent months. I’ll start with the mass pet food recall that killed several pets. The cause of the recall was because of contaminated ingredient glutin, which was imported from China.

It gets worse. The U.S. is importing seafood from China. Some of it is farm raised in ponds that the EPA would condem. This food is not being properly inspected and tested by the FDA. Yet, we Americans keep buying it.

And for the latest, Matel is recalling millions of toys because the paint used on them contains excessive amounts of lead. And these toys are made guess where… That’s right! China.

Are we really better off getting our food and goods from China? They could be taking us down without us even knowing it. What would happen if the U.S. got involved in a major war similar to WWII? We would not have the manufacturing capabilities to produce the goods necessary to defend ourselves like we did during WWII. We will not have the experienced workers necessay to man the factories, let alone the factories to make the goods.

Think about it………”

What do you think? Have you been trying to sort out the madness lately in the news????

 

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“By homely gift and hindered Words

The human heart is told

Of Nothing —

‘Nothing’ is the force

That renovates the World —“

–Emily Dickinson

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I have but one more day to complete of the intense program that began at the end of May and continued well into August.  The first half of the program was intense classes covering scientific math skills and problem solving, ethical issues, and biotechnology laboratory science and lab skills classes for 3 days a week for 5-1/2 weeks.  Then, in July, we began our intense internship at differing locations.  While some of my classmates went to CellzDirect and Ambion, some of my classmates went with me to DSHS.  I was there for 4 days a week.

Having to keep an income coming in for purposes of paying bills, etc., I had to continue working my parttime job at the hotline.  Keeping up with an intense internship and working hours was grueling at times; however, it was extremely rewarding in the end. 

I am certainly appreciative to be a part of the program and look forward to furthering my education in this arena.   I wish I could somehow attach my final presentation to demonstrate some of the enriching experiences I had this summer; if I do figure it out, I will certainly attach it.

In the meantime, I am relieved that the intense program is behind me now….

and I will have more time to communicate in my blogs in the future! 🙂

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Friend reported to me tonight that a friend was arrested in Travis County, Texas, recently on a Class B charge of being an unfit husband and asked me if I had ever heard of such of a thing.  I told him that I have certainly heard of being an unfit parent, but insofar as being an unfit husband, I hadn’t necessarily heard of that but suspected that its intent might be to light a fire, so-to-speak under some derelict folks who sit and are waiting for things to happen to bring themselves out of a situation rather than to try to do something about it directly.

He went on further to explain that indeed that they had lost their home due to a storm and waiting on FEMA to help fix the situation; however, it is year later and they no longer have a home that they can live in and they have been living in and out of people’s homes and their own car. 

Insofar as the actual law, after a bit of research tonight, I haven’t found it yet.  Does anyone know anything about this law????

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Lose your wealth, you lose nothing. Lose your health, you lose something. Lose your integrity, you lose everything.

– Stew Leonard

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but, to just accept the why nots and proceed forward. 🙂

As much as we prepare for everything, we often find ourselves never truly prepared.

Take for example, today…

1. I decide to make it a day for my daughter by taking her to breakfast.

2. Then I gave her a choice of what to do next. She chose to go for a pedicure. The one she wanted to go to wasn’t open, so we randomly go to another nail salon. Miraculous there was a woman that had worked in OB/GYN who happened to settle some of my daughter’s qualms about having her baby.

3. Afterwards, I went to work and she went off to meet up with her Dad who had just returned from Iraq for a spell.

4. After he left, her water breaks and she races to the hospital where she meets up with her boyfriend and myself.

Long story short….a beautiful life arrives today instead for waiting until the due date. In the midst of things, a bag they had prepared to bring to the hospital is left at home. I didn’t have time to do all the things that I had hoped I would be able to do.

However, all the preparations in the world would have never prepared us truly for the amazing life being brought into this world today. You just accept it, love the new life, and move forward with a commitment towards making this world as safe as possible for that new life.

I am counting this as being completed as such. Wouldn’t you???

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Money is just an excuse to avoid thinking very much about the life you are living.

 

– Michael Lewis, Wall Street writer

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“Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after.”

Anne Morrow Lindbergh

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Today, on May 21, 2007, I heard from the TLP Foundation wherein they confirmed that the last that they have heard, there has been more than 1 million greeting cards received for his birthday. Keep them coming!!! 😀

See “Happy Birthday, Shane?” for more about the whole story and where to send your greeting card to him today!

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This first clip is from Coronado High School for a Environmental Awareness Informercial Project. A bit silly at times, but I think that they drive their point across:

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BldbzKBE1Iw]

and, not so entertaining videos as prepared by Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control District Public Affairs Manager Deborah Bass who gives insight into how this virus, which currently has no human vaccine, can impact the health of the public.

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YirZ77EvA8Y]

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYw9uu2tIck]

 

 

 

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For 6 years now, the West Nile Virus has been hitting the crow population hard. Scientific American’s May 17th, 2007, article, “West Nile Hammers U.S. Birds”, spells it out best.

“Now a major analysis confirms that American crows have been extremely hard hit nationwide–populations have fallen by 45% since the West Nile virus arrived–and several other common birds continue to decline as well.”

However, with some bird populations bouncing back from the devastations of the disease, the article concludes with the following caution:

“Ecologist Carsten Rahbek of the University of Copenhagen in Denmark notes in an accompanying commentary that the study shows that “West Nile virus could potentially change the composition of bird communities across the entire continent.” That could bode ill for plants, Kilpatrick notes, as many of the birds eat caterpillars and other pests, while others disperse seeds. The crisis for birds isn’t over yet, adds ecologist Kevin McGowan of Cornell University in Ithaca, as a lot of birds have not yet been exposed.”

One cannot help but think about how all the viruses (good and bad) are affecting our world.

See also…

What is one Bee’s Pleasure is Another’s Disdain?

PS. If you see a dead bird or squirrel, or suspect symptoms of the West Nile Virus, call 1-877-WNV-BIRD, IF you are in the State of California only.  If you see a dead bird or squirrel, in any another State, please contact your local animal control or health agencies in your State.

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See the Austin American Statesman’s article, “Emilio’s short life likely to be long remembered: Terminally ill child’s case could influence laws and debate on end-of-life care”. I couldn’t have put it to words better myself.

I certainly do hope some laws do get to change. The thing is, it wasn’t just about spending more money to keep Emilio alive despite the odds, it was the principle of the matter as well.

I hope we do see an EMILIO EDICT added to the legislation that better defines what to do for terminally ill patients that seemingly have very little, if any, chance to survive in this world. Wouldn’t it have been better to put him in a hospice situation long time ago, rather than expend the hospital resources? Where are people to draw the line? And, does the government really have a right to tell us where to draw that line with our loved ones?? Hopefully, something can be done…

only time will tell!

See also — my posting:

“Baby Emilio Gonzales — Futile Care Bill”

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OMG, I went to YouTube this morning and found this message of a voice mail left by a hospital about the care of someone’s father. The lack of compassion heard here is appalling and is worse than any bill collector that I have ever heard. Someone needs to teach this woman a bit about compassion. Whether or not the family of the father left at the hospital has truly procrastinated about the decision certainly doesn’t warrant such a vile and rude behavior of a hospital employee.

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZ0HOq0qNi4]

PS. The message on this YouTube presentation is:

This is what compassionate care has come to under the Texas Futile Care law. Call or email your Texas State Representatives and Senators NOW so that hospitals can never again threaten to send patients “on to glory” against their will. Tell your Texas State Representatives to support HB1094 and your Texas State Senators to support SB439 so this kind of abuse never happens again.”

Truth of the matter is that it certainly doesn’t have to be this way…

After all, we are not just talking about a car that is beyond repairs; we are talking about a human being that is part of other individual lives.

 

For more information, see

Texas Patients’ Rights

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 In following up on my Bits and Pieces posting, I had mentioned that Baby Emilio Gonzales’ Mother was fighting hard to keep Baby Emilio, at 17mos old, sustained on resuscitation equipment for just a little bit longer. On April 17th, the Court heard the matter and extended the hearing awaiting on other findings. On May 8th, the Guardian ad Litem for Baby Emilio agreed with the doctors that the baby should no longer remain on resuscitation equipment and filed a legal brief so stating the decision. While the legal brief had been filed in agreement with the doctors, it is unclear to the reported articles on MyFoxAustin whether or not the baby, at the time being 18mos, was actually taken off the resuscitation equipment or Baby Emilio Gonzales has actually died yesterday on his own as a direct result of the Leigh’s Disease, a disease that attacks the central nervous system, last night, May 19, 2007.

In an Austin American-Statesman blurb, “Emilio Gonzales loses battle with illness”, it is stated simply, “Mother who fought to continue son’s treatment cradles 19-month-old at end.”

In accordance with the Austin American-Statesman article, “Baby on life support dies of natural causes: Mother who fought to continue son’s treatment cradles 19-month-old at end”, serves to confirm that, in the end, Baby Emilio dies of natural causes and, as his attorney (JerriLynn Ward) puts it when interviewed, “God chose to take Emilio at this time”.

It is disheartening to every Mom when their own child dies, much more so when your only child (and possibly your only child ever), Emilio Gonzales, dies in his Mom, Catarina Gonzales’, own arms. Much heartfelt sympathy will certainly be felt by the Lockhart community she and the baby are from, the Austin community where she and the baby stayed for the majority of his life, and communities around the world who have heard of the plight and fight for sustaining his life in the hospital.

As per the Austin American-Stateman’s article, it goes on to say:

“According to Texas law, once doctors give notice that they want to stop treating a patient against the family’s wishes, they can start a process in which the family has 10 days to transfer the loved one to another facility.

 

The hospital and the court had given Gonzales and her supporters more time to find another facility, but months of searching had failed.

 

In recent weeks, a court-appointed guardian for Emilio had filed legal briefs backing the doctors’ and hospital’s intentions to stop treatment. The next court hearing had been scheduled for May 30.

 

[JerriLynn] Ward [Baby Emilio’s attorney] said that Emilio’s mother’s fight was against the law permitting doctors to decide when to end treatment and that she didn’t know if Catarina Gonzales would press the fight.”

Whether or not Catarina Gonzales has the strength now to fight the fight to change the law should be a moot point, the legislation in the Texas’ chambers should be continued to be fought for some degree of change because it is likely right around the corner there is another mother having to make that frightening decision of whether or not to continue resuscitation of her own child. The laws need to be made clearer.

In the meantime, whether or not you agree with Catarina Gonzales’, the mother of Emilio Gonzales, decision, she should be put down in history as one of the strongest mothers in the world to have to fight for the right to her son’s life in spite of the dismal prognosis of the son’s fight with the illness of Leigh’s Disease. Hopefully, her fight will not be a futile one and laws can be changed to be clearer, as well as giving the loved ones more of a chance and voice to make such grueling decisions, as well as more of an awareness of the disease and more research can be given to a possible cure for this gripping and fatal disease in the future.

May peace be with Emilio Gonzales as he no longer suffers now.

May peace be with Catarina Gonzales and the families of them as they properly grieve their child missing from their arms. May Catarina Gonzales, also, find peace and strength in the future, no matter which path she chooses (continuing to fight the legislation battles, making an awareness known more about the Leigh’s Disease and a movement for a cure, or any other number of proactive measures in the memory of her son).

Additional Information about Leigh’s Disease:

National Institute of Neurological Disorders

Madison’s Foundation – Moms & Dads in Search of Needed Support

Wikipedia: Leigh’s Disease

Addtional Information about Futile Care Legislation:

Futile Care Debate: Prolonging Life or Suffering? (May 6, 2007)

Highlights from Texas Legislature (May 14, 2007)

Also posted in:

“Inquiring Minds” — my Statesman.com Reader Blog

“Inquiring Minds” — my MyFoxAustin.com Watcher Blog

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Seeing a blurb in SparkPeople in posing the question, “Is Procrastination Curable?”, I decided that it just might be a great time to write about it (that ugly word we all hate to admit to – procrastination):

“Procrastination. Putting off until tomorrow what you could do today. Is there a more counterproductive habit around? It causes more stress and anxiety than the Grinch in December. Procrastination solves nothing and usually makes things worse. It piles up unfinished business that lurks in and preoccupies the dark corners of your brain. You hope the pile will disappear, but for some reason it doesn’t. The worst part is that once we put off things we’d rather not do, we start to delay the fun stuff as well. How many times have you said “no” to an opportunity because you had to take care of something you put off earlier? How many lost opportunities can you accept? Let’s make action a habit instead. Tomorrow, focus on your toughest hurdle first. Get just that one thing out of the way and enjoy the rest of the day. Be firm and don’t let yourself off the hook. After all, it’s not going away. Follow that one strategy and you’ll be surprised how the momentum carries through the rest of the day. Do it now!!”

 

Procrastination can often rear its ugly head up in my world…

* cleaning house and decluttering one’s own life (in and outside of the home)

* remembering to take care of own’s own health before the needs of others around us (taking care of others is important, but without our own health in good shape, we aren’t going to be any good to them)

* writing a blog posting on a difficult (often controversial) subject matter

* remembering to have some humor and laughter in one’s own life (after all, laughter and humor can oftentimes be the best medicine in this world)

* delaying responding to a job offer or date because one thinks too long about it

* remembering to love yourself as well as others around yourself

* delaying to buy something that you really need while it is on sale

* remembering to say prayers for others around you (so often we pray for our own needs naturally before praying for others) and maintain the spirituality in our lives

* writing or calling a friend even just to tell them that you are thinking about them rather than waiting until you have something truly earth shattering to say

* remembering to continue to build relationships around us (building relationships is a two way street; if you haven’t heard from someone lately, contact them today!)

* taking time for oneself to have a vacation from work thinking that the needs of the business may not survive if you are not there

* remembering to be one’s own best advocate

* being that part of the village that helps a child

* remembering that we don’t have to be paid for everything that we do; it is okay to volunteer your time to meeting the needs of others

* and, so very much more!!

We all do it — procrastinate on some degree or level.   Recently, I have been guilty of it as well and have begun to take action.  For example, oftentimes, I will just let some ailments cure themselves; however, I have advocated for myself and found a way to get the treatment that I needed most immediately in order to feel “whole” and “healthy” in spite of having no insurance to pay for the needed care.  It took some whining and stomping of feet in an sense to get what I needed done, but after a lot of pleading, it has been taken care of this weekend.  Although the aftermath is currently a bit painful, it is certainly a window of opportunity to feel healthy again.

I have also done something about the feeling my career may be going as far as it may go by, upon hearing of a grant education opportunity to take a new path, I immediately responded and presented my case and won an opportunity to take that path through some additional education.  I am excited about that opportunity and look forward to learning, once again, about a field of sciences — a path that I should have continued some 30 years ago, but got diverted all because of a physics course that I had been advised wrong about.  That is a long story and all a part of history.

My daughter is about to have a baby girl in a little over a month from now.  I am truly excited about the baby coming into the world and have been enthusiastic in helping them as much as I can.   Because of her anticipated arrival, I have been making an effort to declutter much of my home and life so that focus can be had to help them out whenever possible as well.

I have vowed to make 2007 a part of making it about me this year — no longer procrastinating fussing about getting help for my health ailments that prevent myself being “whole” on the inside; no longer procrastinating about doing  something that might help me get out of the rut that I feel myself in career wise; etc.  Although, I love what I am doing for a career right now, it is barely able to meet the obligations for my bills and nothing left over for me.  I have no money available to do as I would like to do — travel, make myself more healthy, visit friends and family that live far away, etc.

What say you?  It isn’t too late to make 2007 a part of making it all about you either.  It is never too late, it is just delayed greatly if you procrastinate too much.  What procrastinations are you going to put aside to move forward in your life???

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Okay, as promised, I am posting the horizontal of this shot.  Unavoidable is the construction going on across the street in the distance, which is revealed more here than in the vertical shot.

Surgery was fine, aside from them not being able to find my veins for the IV.  I got poked many times.  I think it was the 7th or 8th one that finally worked! lol… Told them as one of the jokes I was joking around with them about, if they poked me any more I would turn into a sieve.  They were laughing hard by the time they brought me into the surgery room.

Trying to keep the cats from pouncing on my stomach while I am laying down, but it appears to be healing up pretty good.  Thanks to all for their well wishes!! 😀

dscn1588-pecan-park-hor-319×239.jpg

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How many ways can you say “Happy Birthday” to an eight year old who is also a cancer patient???

Received this in the email today.  It has a direct link, too, to his site encouraging everyone to massively cooperate and send this young guy a means to get his wish for breaking the Guiness World Records for the most cards received.

The email:

 Shane Bernier is a cancer patient at the Children’s Hospital of eastern Ontario. 

He turns eight on May 30. His dream is to set a record for the most birthday cards ever received.

It will be a wonderful sign of support from the EMS community to help him reach his goal, so please consider sending him a birthday greeting.

His address is:

Shane Bernier
Box 484
Lancaster
Ontario
K0C 1N0

For more information go to : http://shanebernier.ca/

For more information about this feat that is set out before Shane Bernier, please read also Birthday Cards for Shane Bernier which confirms that he is indeed setting out to achieve this milestone.

Best of luck to you Shane, and many wishes for your future “Happy Birthday” card accomplishment, traveling to you from all over the world!!

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Heard it so on the news, but I couldn’t find any support of the story linked on their sites; didn’t find it supported on the official Lance Armstrong website as well — at least, initially!!

I’ll continue to look for support of the news announcement on the news sites….

 

In the meantime, though, I did find support of it on a blogsite from a New Zealand blogger that did make reference to it on his blogsite called, “WinosAndFoodies”. He is even sporting a yummy looking Lemon Meringue Tart (Pie) on his site.

 

Supportinglaf_2c

 

Hope you will show your support of a Livestrong Yellow Day, whether or not it is an official day!! 😀

Many people are affected by cancer each and every day;

whether it be directly or indirectly.dscn1519-042707-320×240.jpg

 

Livestrong Day 2007

 

Livestrong Day Events in a City Near You!

 

Insofar as Austin, TX, some of the events include —

Central Market

24 Fitness Locations

Iron Bartending Competition Benefiting LAF

 

 

Just uploaded a couple of days ago, a moving LiveStrong Mother’s Day story video on YouTube….

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wpbkCoHfZ4]

 

Here is a LiveStrong Message on YouTube:

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibKkOXFZ44o]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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so-what-tyra-banks.jpg

Tyra Banks continues her “So What!” Campaign by having a Belly Brigade, which aired on April 26, 2007. I missed that showing, but enjoyed seeing it re-ran tonight on the television.

If you missed it, certainly it awe inspiring to anyone who feels like they have some flaws that they are not proud of; and, who of us doesn’t have some degree of flaws or misgivings about ourselves in one way or another — just saying to ourselves, “If only this…” or “If only that…” (and if we don’t say it to ourselves, we have been told repetitively these things about ourselves to the point that we actually believe them.

It is a “take charge” and “feel good” movement that Tyra Banks started as a result of a little negativity about herself. Well it has spread! One young girl even created a “pay it forward” approach by telling it to a group of her friends on a video with the edict that they each have to “pay it forward” (so to speak) to two other people. If this campaign hasn’t already taken the nation by storm enough, this young girl may be able to set forth the campaign into motion by making two other people realize “So What!” about themselves and take a different look at themselves.

The challenge is – “What is your ‘So What!’ attitude to regain your own self-esteem and image about yourself?”

More information:

My prior posting on the “So What!” Campaign

Tyra Banks’ Recap on the April 26, 2007, Belly Brigade Show

Good Morning America’s Recap on Tyra Banks’ April 26, 2007, Belly Brigade Show

I am a Mellow Chick’s blog Recap on Tyra Banks’ April 26, 2007, Belly Brigade Show

Associated Content’s Recap on Tyra Banks’ April 26, 2007, Belly Brigade Show

and the list goes on and on.

Plus, learn more about the “Pay It Forward Foundation” as started by the novelist who wrote the book “Pay It Forward”, as well as read about others’ who have sparked the continuation of the “Pay It Forward Movement”.

What say you???? 😀

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Health insurance just improved for 4 states.  Progress is in the making, at the very least!!

Illinois, Massachusetts, Maine & Vermont! « Worldly Inquiring Mind “iWIM” 😀

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Hooked on a Feeling????

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfwyuofTdV0]

It seems a shame to see someone hit bottom as he has been shown to the world this week by his daughter’s own video of him. I don’t think that she was trying to be spiteful, just at her wit’s end as she tries to intervene and help her father.

Anyone who has been around an alcoholic, they know of the pain of watching them spiral downwards from the person that you knew and love, and one that you know is still somewhere in that body that seems to be deteriorating as the evilness of the alcoholism takes over their heart, body and soul.

At some point, one has to draw the line and walk away (if that is what it takes) in order to bring home a point that they need help and ask for that help. Unfortunately, one of the hardest lessons to learn in life (because we are natural nurturers and caretakers) is that the only person we are going to change is ourselves. We have that power to say, “This is my wake up call and I am going to change.” Until the person you see spiraling downward truly states that, from the bottom of their heart with absolute and resounding meaning (and not for the sake of keeping you around), they want that help, there isn’t much that you can actually do other than encourage them, provide them the resources to call, etc. They have to want it… they have to crave for the help…they have to have the determination for success in getting the necessary help needed.

Hopefully, David Hasselhoff will, too, crave and desire for the help that he so apparently needs, as evident in his 17 yo daughter’s video of him in his seemingly rock bottom state of mind.

Hopefully, he’ll find freedom soon in his own sobriety….

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cejq10jZ0kQ]

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having the oil/gas companies fund our health care programs, from the obvious profits that they are squirreling away, so that everyone can have access to health care equally???

Either the oil/gas companies will tire of having to foot the health care access bills or they will drop the oil/gas prices in effort to get out of paying for the health care access for all.

LOL…

Sad, but it could happen — couldn’t it???       😉

Just a thought!

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A friend of mine from Canada sent this to me…

Imagine the effect (if it would really work):

“Our gas went up this week to about $5.00 gallon for regular. So I won’t pump gas on the 15th NO GAS…On May 15th 2007

Don’t pump gas on MAY 15th

In April 1997, there was a “gas out” conducted nationwide in protest of gas prices. Gasoline prices dropped 30 cents a gallon overnight.

On May 15th 2007, all internet users are to not go to a gas station in protest of high gas prices. Gas is now over $3.00 a gallon in most places.

There are 73,000,000+ American members currently on the internet network, and the average car takes about 30 to 50 dollars to fill up. If all users did not go to the pump on the 15th, it would take $2,292,000,000.00 (that’s almost 3 BILLION) out of the oil companies pockets for just one day, so please do not go to the gas station on May 15th and lets try to put a dent in the Middle Eastern oil industry for at least one day.

If you agree (which I cant see why you wouldn’t) resend this to all your contact list. With it saying, ‘Don’t pump gas on May 15th!'”

I checked with Snopes and this is what they said:

[well, unfortunately, I cannot provide you this information because Snopes emailed me and stated that:

“It is a violation of copyright law to reproduce copyright-protected material without the permission of the rightsholder. Whether or not you credit the source is irrelevant.

 

You did not ask for, and did not receive, our permission to reproduce our material. Please remove it from your blog immediately.”

 

According to them, it didn’t matter that I gave them credit of the quoted material for the context of supporting why I the “Gas Out” email is false in accordance to their research. I tried to get clarification on it and, even after several emails back and forth, they wouldn’t budge in insisting that I remove everything that I had quoted them saying. It would seem that, when their contribution to the world is dispelling myths and urban legends, they would appreciate being quoted and credited with the URL to their site.]

 

At any rate, I truly wish that we wouldn’t be a “Who” in “Whoville” waiting for “Horton” to hear our complaints about the gas prices. There has to be a viable alternative that we can do to make the “Who” in “Whoville’s” voice heard about the stammering increases of oil prices.

I know that the high prices have changed what I do during the week. On the days that I am off from work, I tend to just stay home, albeit who gets punished really? Me (and others out there like me), because it can be depressing to just stay home and not use up more gas that absolutely necessary to get one to and from work.

In Austin, I have seen many bicyclists travel on Loop 360. They have made an impact on not using any gas when they ride their bikes to and from work. Of course, we can have a bike or walk day; but, that is only effective for those who are lucky to live near where they work.

Something that might be interesting to try is to curtail vacations from being far away to those vacations that are in our neighborhoods. That wouldn’t be just shifting the date of purchase of the gas; it would actually have an effect by affecting the gas companies from less gas being purchased from June through August for the purpose to traveling to far away destinations for mere pleasure. So, perhaps, instead of a Gas Out per se by not pumping on a certain day, perhaps the campaign that should be floating around is a campaign to “Vacation at Home in Summer 2007!”

Do you have any ideas or suggestions that would be equally or more effective????

UPDATE: Texas Legislation Proposed Action – Gas Tax Out Vacation Option

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I can understand that there is a reason to be quiet about notification rather than send the residents into a panic; but, geez this apartment complex needs to exercise some sense. They are talking about an alleged sexual assault (just because it is alleged doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen; just means that the crime suspect is innocent until proven guilty).

Is the apartment complex going to sit there until all the facts are in? Perhaps, at least, a confirmation that a report has been made (either to their office or to the police authorities).

Are they going to wait for trial before they announce that the sexual assault predator was on their property? Now, that would indeed seem preposterous as everyone knows that the trials can take for-ever to come around and the suspect may or may not be actually found guilty from a matter of 6 months to a year, perhaps more — all depending on the caseload upon the Courts already — although everyone is entitled to a “speedy trial”.

What about the children of the residents who tend to play outside (sometimes even unintended)? Wouldn’t it make sense that the parents be notified so that they can keep an extra close eye on their children outdoors. After all, how can the apartment complex make the decision that just because the alleged MO might have been an adult to adult situation; how could they determine that the predator was someone who prefer children but merely found an opportunity of an adult?

What about those who tend to come in after sunset? Don’t they deserve to know that, while they probably do exercise caution and basic awareness of their surroundings, they might want to exercise an extra set of caution and awareness? How can the apartment complex (even if it is based on the Austin Police Department’s Detective recommendations) assure that the predator won’t continue to prey? Are they really willing to make that risk?

How would their ownership insurance of the property feel about the increased risk caused by the lack of response and concern to the safety of their residents? I think that they would be extremely alarmed by the slow reaction time of the management.

In Fox’s article, Neighbors Upset with Police for Not Being Told About Sex Assault, they mentioned:

Neighbors are angry and frightened after they say Austin Police left then in the dark about a sex crime in their own backyard. Residents at the Jefferson at Canyon Creek Apartments in Northwest Austin say they learned about the sex assault from the local news one month after the crime occurred. As FOX 7’s Foti Kallergis reports, the sexual assault suspect is still on the run.”

In Fox’s subsequent follow up article (appearing on the site on the same day), Sex Assault Suspect Still on Run, stated:

“One month after a man sexually assaults a woman in Northwest Austin, police have released a sketch of the suspect.

Investigators say last month, a woman was walking her dog near the Jefferson at Canyon Creek Apartments in the 11000 block of Four Points Drive shortly after 1:00 a.m. Police say just as she was opening her door to get into her apartment, a man came behind her, forced his way in, and sexually assaulted her.

 

For the last month, the victim has been working with A.P.D. to help identify the man.

 

He is described as:

 

White male
21 to 22-years-old
6′ to 6’2”
Muscular build, clean cut
Last seen wearing a baseball cap and long sleeve shirt..

 

Police describe him as a preppy fraternity boy meets construction worker. The victim was also able to describe a class ring attached to a chain and a thick belt buckle. You can see the police sketches of the suspect and his belongings in the photos associated with this story.

 

At this time detectives believe it was an isolated incident and even say the suspect may be living at the apartment complex.

 

“[The suspect] said he was very intoxicated, so he could have been someone who was coming home from drinking or something. It was more of a crime of opportunity than someone who was hiding out,” says Det. Scott Stanfield with the Austin Police Dept.

 

If you recognize the person in the sketch, you are asked to call the A.P.D. sex crimes tip line number at (512) 974-5095.”

A few things bother me, besides the story and story’s follow up have been posted on the same day, that (1) the incident occurred several months ago, (2) lack of response of the apartment management to notify the residents about the incident having occurred on the property a month ago when it occurred, (3) lack of duty of care from the management to make the residents safe, (4) them presuming that it might just be an isolated incident, and the possibility that the alleged perpetrator may live on the property.

Because I do live in Austin, I heard Channel 42’s News mention the name of the apartment complex of Tintara at Canyon Creek in their news broadcast tonight and on the video, while the stories written mention Jefferson at Canyon Creek. They are really two separate properties although they have access between the two properties since they are owned by the same owner, which is really a moot point. There are neighboring apartment complexes, residential neighborhoods, and businesses that deserved the right to know as well. As soon as they had the composite sketch, they should have posted it at the mailboxes of all the communities and windows of all the businesses. The chances that they would have the perpetrator by now would have dramatically increased by the prompt action.

Of course, the news broadcast mentions that the victim had just come along to the police station to provide a sketch description of the perpetrator this week; however, the sketch should have been released immediately.

UPDATE: Tintara Management respond as per Channel 42’s News, but blames the security officer for just notifying them of the incident. Somehow, I don’t think that the residents are going to be comforted any by that response read on the station.

UPDATE:  More information and details about the sexual assault crime from Austin Police Department.

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Sad. Very sad.

Just in! This young girl, at Matagorda High School, excused herself from a band class and self-inflicted a wound upon herself. When the girl hadn’t returned to class, the teacher sent another student to check up on her and found her dead.

At the end of the article, they mentioned that they were uncertain how the gun had been brought into the school. Oh, my gosh!

It is reported that she had been recently depressed. It is too bad that she didn’t get the help that she needed in time and felt that she needed to resort to suicide. No reports yet on what set everything in the spiraling motion for her.

If you, or someone you know, is depressed, please know that there is help out there to help you.

High School on Lockdown After Student Suicide

Need Someone to Talk To? Samaritans are available 24hrs/day

Depression Help for You

Depression Help Prevention

Depression through NAMI.org (National Alliance for Mental Illness)

Depression Treatment, Medication, Help, Symptoms: Anxiety Attacks Depression Test, Types, ADHD Causes

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A great article posted here about the perils of the working uninsured is found here.  Be sure to check them out and see various options pitted here.  Maybe you can come up with another resolve??

“The Working Uninsured” by John Rossheim « Worldly Inquiring Mind “iWIM” 😀

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Cartoon by Tom Toles.

Couldn’t help but be humored by this cartoon today because it does pose the question whether or not we would eat food produced elsewhere like we do for our pets.  The issue of the pet food problems containing an (albeit illegal in the US) ingredient called melamine, which is actually very toxic, but allowed in countries, such as China.

Maybe organic foods that we produce in our own gardens may be the better answer; but, then we need to take a look at the fertilizers that we use to raise our own food.  I know.  Organic is supposed to be foods that we produce without the need of any fertilizers, but even the Mom on King of the Hill cartoon show demonstrated in the school’s organic garden needs a little of influence to help keep the bugs away.  The trick is finding the fertilizers, at times, that produce the less risk to ourselves and our families and friends.

What is the answer for the dilemma?

Shouldn’t we be able to enforce our own FDA standards on those exports coming in?  If so, is it FDA that let us down by allowing the products to come through with the toxic melamine in our pet foods?

Who is responsible and accountable for all the deaths of pets fed with the tainted pet food???

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Just like in the previous posting about UT’s unethical woes of being wooed by lenders who offer special treats and favors to have a strong presence in their offices. It was rumored that the reason that Governor Perry, of Texas, was also wooed by Merck about the ovarian cancer drug that he was trying to make law that young, middle-school aged girls would have to take to help prevent the onset of the ovarian cancer. What might have actually been a good idea, the general public didn’t like the role that Merck might have had to persuade Governor Perry in the viability of the drug, which just so happened to be their own drug and they stood to profit emensly from the requirement being stated in law. The houses of the Texas legislation have voted it down, I believe, but Governor Perry is still convinced that it should be a law and continues to advocate for it.

 

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It is so not so unusual of story to hear about rattlesnakes this time of year. People get used to walking around, especially in the recent colder days where folks are not generally out and about walking in the woods, etc., and not seeing very many of the snakes out and about. Oftentimes, it isn’t the snake looking to bite you, unless you are in the water and see a water moscasin or you happen upon a snake curled up and you accidently approach it and/or step on it.

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Photos of Venomous Snakes of Texas

Photo of copperhead Photo of copperhead Photo of copperhead

Copperhead

Cottonmouth (Water Moccasin)

 
Photo of rattlesnake Photo of timber rattler Photo of diamondback rattler

Rattlesnake

Timber Rattler

Diamondback Rattler

 
Photo of mojave rattlesnake Photo of blacktail rattler Photo of western rattler

Mojave Rattlesnake

Blacktail Rattler

Western Rattler

 
Photo of mojave rattlesnake Photo of blacktail rattler Photo of coral snake

Massasauga Rattler

Pygmy Rattlesnake

Coral Snake

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One certainly wants to use precaution when walking about in the rural areas; which is why the predominant footwear of a cowboy is generally the cowboy boot and the general style of pants is heavy denim! 🙂 The boots and pants offer an added protection, albeit not failproof, if a snake does strike from fear of being stepped on or killed.

In an apartment complex in the West/Lake Travis area, a man was recently walking his dog near a woodsy area. The dog happend upon a rattlesnake and was bit. A this time the small dog is still in the hospital recovering from the dog bite. Pet owners are not at fault, but they can be an extra observer set of eyes and not allow their pets go into tall grassy areas where the snakes may be lurking and hiding.

If anyone or any pet gets bit by a snake, one should follow the following set of guidelines until one can get to the hospital:

According to the American Red Cross, these steps should be taken:

  • wash the bite with soap and water
  • immobilize the bitten area
  • keep the bitten area lower than the heart
  • seek medical attention as soon as possible

Here’s a list of things not to do:

  • Do not eat or drink anything unless okayed by medical sources
  • Do not engage in strenuous physical activity
  • Do not apply oral (mouth) suction to bite
  • Do not cut into or incise bite marks with a blade
  • Do not drink any alcohol or use any medication
  • Do not apply either hot or cold packs
  • Do not apply a narrow, constrictive tourniquet such as a belt, necktie or cord
  • Do not use a stun gun or electric shock of any kind
  • Do not waste time or take any risks trying to kill, bag or bring in offending snake

Just go to the nearest healthcare facility!

For many, snakes are a source of recreation — rattlesnake festivals, snake farms, and more. However, for even those in the recreational aspects of the enjoyment of snakes, one always must exercise caution above all other concerns.

Have fun this Spring and Summer, but don’t dress inappropriately if you are in tall grassy areas, in woodsy areas, in or around rocky areas, etc. Think smart and be safe!

Check out these resources for additional information —

South Texas Poison Center

Texas Snakes

South Texas Herpetology Association (& HB1309)

Texas Herpetological Society

West Texas Herpetological Society

Brazos Valley Herpetological Society

Austin Herpetological Society

Dallas-Ft.Worth Herpetological Society

Sweetwater Texas Rattlesnake Roundup

Freer Rattlesnake Roundup

Texas Rattlesnake Sales

Texas Rattlesnake Recipes

Rattlesnake Roundup Locator

Rattlesnake Humor

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Tyra Banks’ “So What!” Campaign is such a great movement to set forward. There are so many people out there that have such low self-esteem about themselves. Sometimes, largely due to fitting into the image of what other folks “think” that they should be. Why should that matter???

Tyra Banks often states throughout her ongoing campaign:

Every woman has something in her life she has to fight to overcome…whether it’s a body issue, a relationship crisis, an emotional challenge or a fashion emergency! Rather than wallowing in the negative, why not embrace the positive?”

I can understand wanting to fit into the morals and beliefs of the society insofar as being good in the sense of being non-criminalistic; however, being “good” doesn’t have to mean that you fit into a size 5 outfit when you are a size 26. Some expectations are not real or reasonable. Insolong as your size 26 isn’t posing any health risks, why care if the typical modeling look is a size 5? Is a size 5 even happy about their lives? Isn’t it more important to be happy and enjoy your life???

Relationships aren’t built solely on the outside packaging. They are built upon what a person sees in the other’s soul, personality, nature, emotions, etc. Those who build their relationships that they surround themselves with (either on a organizational or personal level) purely upon the outside packaging, they are indeed missing out on the relationships that are built upon common interests, personalities, emotions, etc. that add to the reason for living on this grand earth we call home.

Life is limited to what we know of it as we exist in the past, present and future. Why waste the time on earth without getting to know our neighbors and friends and build lasting relationships???

Not sure that I would, at my size, want to be pictured in a red swimsuit with the number of my weight on my chest; but, I do wish that there would be far less judgemental people in our world and base their opinions of others for who they are and not who they should be in their eyes! I am beautiful i my own right; hear me roar!! lol….

If you have a “So What!” comment, please add here and/or submit to the Tyra Banks’ “So What!” Campaign.

Someone might want to have a talk with Dr. Phil before he does his May 4th show! 🙂

UPDATE:  See about the April showing of the “So What!” Belly Brigade!!

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Check out this page on opinions that I have collected from YouTube about the quality of health insurance and the need for health care reform. Come see what I have collected so for and offer your own opinion as well. Would love to hear from you!

Worldly Inquiring Mind “iWIM” 😀

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Who do you blame when your child pulls pranks and verges on the criminalistic side? Some will be quick to blame parents for allowing their children to listen to rap music, for instance. While some rap music can be alright, it is certainly not the norm of the rap culture who glorifies violence, drugs, rape, etc. I know. I was a parent of a teen going through the rap phase. I think sometimes they are so enthralled by the beat of the song and truly aren’t listening to the song they are singing. What parent isn’t a bit guilty of doing that themselves?

After all, I do remember my Mother taking me and my friends to school for an after school activity of some sort, probably practices for pep squad or drill team. As we were driving down the Dreamland Drive hill and crossing the railroad tracks, I remember we were turning up the music on the radio and singing to the tune of Elton John’s “Bitch is Back” at the top of our lungs, especially when it comes done to the words:

“I’m a bitch, I’m a bitch
Oh the bitch is back
Stone cold sober as a matter of fact
I can bitch, I can bitch
`Cause I’m better than you
It’s the way that I move
The things that I do”

My Mother would just look at us like we were crazy, but I am sure that we probably did offend her in some way who enjoyed such songs as Roger’s Miller’s version of Counting Flowers on the Wall or King of the Road and other artists’ songs, such as, Mr. Sandman, Alley Oop, and so many others that we later had placed into our jukebox that we had in our den. Come to think of it, perhaps, that was her way to try to influence us in a good way. I don’t think that she counted on us enjoying to sing and dance to those songs too when my friends would come over to visit, practice routines, or spend the night. (For those who aren’t familiar with the “Bitch is Back” tune, see the below YouTube video.)

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5D1KOUjzf0]

When That 70’s Show comes on the television, I am reminded each time of this event as we see the introduction lead in for the show while folks are all singing away in the car. Although we shocked our parents at times, none of us became social deviants. Strange how some things we do/see today triggers memories from our pasts.

At any rate…

I was watching The Family Guy on tv Sunday night vying some time before I actually needed to go into work. Parts of it seemed in good humor excepting parts where Meg was praised for her road rage antics and Stewie and Brian at the end were performing a carjacking to get back home. If The Family Guy is not a show intended for 18 and below audiences, then why are they airing it on Sundays at a time when children are still up and not required to have their bedtimes just yet? Why air shows the seem to encourage violent behaviors before 8pm?

It seems that they wouldn’t air shows that were aimed at adult audiences until after 8pm; and, yet, that policy seems to be thrown out the window these days.

I know that we can’t protect our kids from absolutely everything; in fact, being exposed to some of it may be okay in healthy small doses as the child can tolerate in order for them to not go hog-wild when they are finally exposed to the adult audiences world. However, the children these days are seeming to get it from all directions these days.

I certainly don’t believe a single song, game, movie, television show, etc. is going to adversely affect our children, but certainly the culmination of all the medias converging on ideas of violence, criminalistic behaviors, etc, can’t help to influence them in a positive direction. I couldn’t prevent my daughter from buying rap music and other music that contained derogatory lyrics when she had money of her own since I certainly couldn’t walk behind her 24hrs/day; however, I refused to spend my money on the music that I didn’t feel was in good tastes. As a coworker had mentioned that they were, for example, a family that didn’t believe in a lot of television watching, their children still managed to watch the television when they visited their friends’ homes.

All one can do, as a parent, is to try to lead by example and hope that the morals and positive influences that they do instill upon the children are absorbed and practiced by the children when they are tempted by other bad choices and influences from others. Insofar as folks trying to set blame to being influenced by a song or some other form of media for their actions, I don’t believe it 100%; after all, each of us have brains in order to make right and wrong choices. The choices that we make are those which influence our lives, although without the adverse forms of medias being in existence may have an influence in a more positive environment, it is the fact that these do exist, at times, which gives cause for the exercise of our brains in making decisions between right and wrong, don’t you think???

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I have received in the mail today at home an invitation to attend a MH event with former Washington Post reporter, Pete Earley, speaking on CRAZY:  A FATHER’S SEARCH THROUGH AMERICA’S MENTAL HEALTH MADNESS, presented by NAMI Austin, in cooperation with The University of Texas School of Social Work.

This former Washington Post reporter, Pete Earley, had written extensively about the criminal justice system.  But it was only when his own son – in the throws of a manic episode – broke into a neighbor’s house and took a bath in her tub that he learned the truth about what is happening to mentally ill people who have the misfortune to break the law.

“I had no idea what it was like to be on the inside looking out…until my son, Mike, was declared mentally ill” said Earley.


Through his research Earley found that 300,000 persons with severe mental disorders are currently being held in jails and prisons, another 500,000 are on probation, and 700,000 go through the court system each year.



Sunday May 6, 2007, at 3pm Thompson
Conference
Center
Auditorium
The
University of Texas at Austin
SW Corner of Dean Keeton &
Red River
(free parking in Lot 40)

To reserve a seat, please call the NAMI office at 512-420-9810.

The announcement card mentions to go to www.namiaustin.org for additional information; however, their link wasn’t working tonight. 

Immediately following from 5:30-7p, there will be a wine & cheese reception with Pete Earley at Follett’s Intellectual Property on the NW Corner of 24th and Guadalupe Street.  A 20% discount will be given on the purchase of the book during this book signing event.

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“When I was pregnant,

so many people warned me:

‘Your life is going to change!’

It sounded ominous.

Of course, having a baby

is a big change, but it’s

positive.  And I’m still me.”

~ Jennifer Garner

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I have been wracking my head trying to find the perfect words to say to you all this week as one that had been an ordained Deaconess, although I know that no words can truly substitute for what you are feeling today and for the next few months. Then I remembered tonight a poem, from one of my heroes Maya Angelou, that I used in a Toastmaster’s Speech after my husband died. May it please having meaning to you as well while sparking the road to recovery from this great tragedy.

LIFE DOESN’T FRIGHTEN ME

~ Maya Angelou

 

Shadows on the wall

Noises down the hall

Life doesn’t frighten me at all

Bad dogs barking loud

Big ghosts in a cloud

Life doesn’t frighten me at all.

 

Mean old Mother Goose

Lions on the loose

They don’t frighten me at all

Dragons breathing flame

On my counterpane

That doesn’t frighten me at all.

 

I go boo

Make them shoo

I make fun

Way they run

I won’t cry

So they fly

I just smile

They go wild

Life doesn’t frighten me at all.

 

Tough guys in a fight

All alone at night

Life doesn’t frighten me at all.

 

Panthers in the park

Strangers in the dark

No, they don’t frighten me at all.

 

That new classroom where

Boys all pull my hair

(Kissy little girls

With their hair in curls)

They don’t frighten me at all.

 

Don’t show me frogs and snakes

And listen for my scream.

If I’m afraid at all

It’s only in my dreams.

 

I’ve got a magic charm

That I keep up my sleeve,

I can walk the ocean floor

And never have to breathe.

 

Life doesn’t frighten me at all

Not at all

Not at all.

Life doesn’t frighten me at all.

Worldly Inquiring Mind “iWIM” 😀 ›

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As I am thumbing through and reading one of the last few articles in the May 2007 issue of Redbook, “the 5 hardest things about being a mom”, I am thinking to myself, “They have managed to narrow it down to just 5???  How can that be???” 🙂

First sentence reads, “Motherhood is a major learning curve.”  My, my, my.  That certainly is a major understatement.  “One minute you’re pregnant and the next you’re a feeding, swaddling, diapering, soothing machine, an instant expert in basic invant first aid and the art of latching a five-point harness.  At the same time, you’re a way out of your depth, struggling to navigate a stormy sea of new emotions that are unique to moms — from exhilerating pride to nail-biting frustration. … That said, there’s no one right way to cope with any of the five emotionally charged mom obstacles outlined here.  You’ll still break down in tears from time to time (we guarantee it) … “

Mom Challenge #1 — When you don’t like your kid…(this generally occurs in their teen years when they don’t want to be seen with you)

Mom Challenge #2 — Letting Dad parent, too (it does take the Mom and Dad working together to best parent the child)

Mom Challenge #3 — Separation anxiety (yours!) (oh, don’t you know it — when they go to school for the first time, when the slowly spend more time away from home and more time with their friends, etc.)

Mom Challenge #4 — Accepting your child’s failures (I never saw my daughter as having any failures.  She has had made choices that I haven’t agreed with and she has learned from those choices to make better choices along the way.  To me, she is still moving forward with her life and has yet to achieve all her dreams; yet, I know that she will!)

Mom Challenge #5 — Learning to let go (This has to be the hardest to do as they begin to have lives of their own.  You hope and pray that they don’t forget about you as they continue on their journeys.)

“You can’t raise your child in a bubble, but you can make sure she’s in responsible hands.  Once you’ve done all you can to protect her, it’s easier to let go.” (So true, so true.  My daughter has found someone that they share incredible dynamics together, which has made it easier for me to distance myself and be okay-er about the idea of being an “empty nester” than I was initially.   This is an interesting adjustment because my life has been so centered around her for her first twenty years.)

As I have been through the gambit, especially as a single parent for the majority of my daughter’s life,  I have seen the whole spectrum and am presently at the stage of letting go a bit more as she is beginning to start her own family with her significant love. 

I have been through the storms and the joys throughout the years and a cherish them all as they are my memories for a lifetime and she isn’t underfoot any more.

This year is going to be different though.  I am not only her mother, but she will be giving birth to a new bundle of joy in July.  Although the child won’t be born yet on this Mother’s Day,  I feel that it is only right that I surprise her a little this Mother’s Day with a gift of some sort.   Some may not feel that it is appropriate to do so until the child is born such that we can all can see; however, I feel that is a mere technicality and we shall see her soon enough.

They, too, will be able to have the opportunity to experience the gambit of parenthood whether or not they feel that they are ready.  My daughter’s hormones are getting ancy as the birth day arrives for my granddaughter; I can’t be more excited!  I do know that they will make terriffic parents.

This Mother’s Day will be unique indeed and I am so excited in anticipation of this wonderful new tradition that we can carry throughout the raising of their child.

Worldly Inquiring Mind “iWIM” 😀

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Know that feeling that happens when you go to Church and you feel like the preacher has just spoken to you? ?  Today, it was a similar experience when I went to a meeting today with a room full of social workers after having an experience with my daughter and her hormones.  Did the leader of the meeting hear my daughter from all the way over here??? lol…

Funny how life just seems to present you some answers at the most puzzling moments of your life, don’t you think????

Worldly Inquiring Mind “iWIM” 😀

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Can I imagine? Yes!!!!!

It is what I have been complaining about all along. People say that, if you don’t have insurance, just apply for Medicaid. It isn’t all that simple and this article, “Public Citizen: Texas Medicaid Program One of the Country’s Worst”, on the American-Statesman reiterates my point exactly.

In fact, the article states:

A new report from Public Citizen, a national, non-profit consumer advocacy organization, ranks the Texas Medicaid program 48 out of the programs in the 50 states.

 

Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program that covers around 55 million Americans, varies widely from state to state, said the report, which ranked states on eligibility requirements, benefits and quality of care.

 

“Where you happen to live can make all the difference,” said report co-author Annette Ramirez de Arellano, a public health expert at Public Citizen.

 

The report said that even the highest-ranking states had serious weaknesses but that Texas was one of the worst, scoring higher than only Idaho and Mississippi.

 

Texas “is the only state that places consistently at the bottom,” the report said. “Unlike other states that have made a policy decision to cover more persons for fewer services, or vice-versa, Texas ranks extremely low in both eligibility and scope of services.”

See Public Citizen for more details.

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Beliefnet has distributed a quiz this morning via email to take on How Green Are You?.  Take the Green Quiz and find out how green you are.

I am:

Friend of the Forest

Though you’re not waving sustainable-timber picket signs, you do all you can in your buying, cleaning, and recycling habits to tread lightly. You’ve switched over some but not all of your light bulbs to LED or compact fluorescents and wish everyone else would do the same. You consider the earth a sacred sustainer of life that must thrive, but the green fight is not the center of your life.

What are you??? 

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In reviewing some comments on a post on a God Bless Virginia Tech blog, I came across comment #299 wherein they posted a poem about grief that seems to be well on target for anyone that is going through the grief process and seems very appropriate to share with the direct and indirect victims of the tragedy at VTI.

See below:

My prayers are with those who lost family & friends during this horrible tragedy.

I found this poem on the internet awhile back. It has helped me; maybe it can help others.

 

I am not strong.I am just numb. When you tell me
I am strong, I feel that you don’t see me.

 

I will not recover. This is not a cold or the
flu. I’m not sick. I’m grieving and that’s different.

 

I will not always be grieving as intensely,
but I will never forget my loved one and rather
than recover, I want to incorporate his life and love
into the rest of my life. That person is part of me and
always will be, and sometimes I will remember him
with joy and other times with a tear. Both are okay.

 

I don’t have to accept the death. Yes, I have to
understand that it has happened and it is real,
but there are just some things in life that are not
acceptable.

 

Please don’t avoid me. You can’t catch my grief.
My world is painful, and when you are too afraid to
call me or visit or say anything, you isolate me at a
time when I most need to be cared about.

 

If you don’t know what to say, just come over,
give me a hug or touch my arm, and gently say, I’m sorry.

 

You can even say, “I just don’t know what to say,
but I care, and want you to know that.”

 

Please don’t say, “Call me if you need anything”
I’ll never call you because I have no idea what I
need. Trying to figure out what you could do for me takes
more energy than I have.

 

So in advance let me give you some ideas. Bring
food; offer to take my children to a movie or a game so
that I have some moments to myself.

 

Send me a card on special holidays, birthdays,
or the anniversary of the death,
and make sure to mention their name.

 

You can’t make me cry. The tears are here and I will love
you for giving me the opportunity to shed them
because someone cared enough about me to reach out on
this difficult day.

 

Ask me more than once to join you at a movie or lunch or dinner.
I may say no at first or even for a while, but please don’t give up on me
because somewhere down the line, I may be ready,
and if you’ve given up, then I really will be alone.

 

Virginia A. Simpson, Ph.D., CT (I think this is the correct author, if not, my apologies)

As posted as a comment #299
on God Bless Virginia Tech

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to establish this is the first day to your recovery from a cluttering lifestyle!

When I was much younger living at home I was a much neater type of person and almost on the point of being obsessive to a degree.  I had a daughter in my later years and, eventually, as a single parent I had to choose my battles; be obsessive about cleaning or keep up with my daughter and my jobs I was working upon to afford things for us.

Fast forward. 

Eventually, I was in Houston, Texas, and read an advertisement about a Cluttering Recovery Group.  I had known that things had gotten out of hand and I went to their meeting to see what they would suggest to do.  One of the biggest things I took away from me was the idea of having plastic tubs to assist in the organization.

Then, I became obsessed about having millions (okay, well, not millions, but definitely a lot) of plastic tubs.   From Houston to Cedar Park and then from Cedar Park to Austin, all of these plastic tubs have travelled with me.  Since I have progressively moved to smaller places, it has forced me to actually go through these plastic tubs and eliminate the need for so many tubs and living with stuff all around me!

Speaking of “Stuff”, I have always thought that George Carlin was always speaking to me (similar to just like when you go to Church and the preacher always seems to be preaching directly to you) about “my” stuff being at one place; when going to visit someone, I take some of “my” stuff with me but, especially on vacations, I always manage to bring more “stuff” back with me than what I had left with, etc. LOL….

The Clutterless Recovery Group in Houston was founded by Mike Nelson, an author from Galveston, Texas.  Unfortunately, he also sustained a fire a few years later (after I had moved to Austin, I believe) wherein a lot of his stuff was destroyed.  It brings into perspective how little we often need all of this “stuff” we keep surrounding ourselves with, as well as humanizes the whole issue in that no one is perfect.   He was just happy that he had already begun to get a handle on decluttering his own life.

One thing that Mike mentions on his website about clutters and the Clutterless Recovery Group is: 

When we clutterers understand the psychological and emotional reasons for our cluttering, we can stop cluttering. Cluttering is often a manifestation of issues like depression, anxiety, OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), attention-deficit disorder or AD/HD (ADD) tendencies we all have. We do not use the terms, messies, packrats, slobs.  These are demeaning and a first step to changing our cluttering mentality is to change our negative self-talk.

Clutterless Recovery Groups believes in a psychological and spiritual approach to changing our cluttering behavior through support groups. Organizing systems are valuable, but before we can apply them, we need to address the underlying psychological, emotional reasons we clutter. How often have you “organized” and found that the clutter just came back? It’s not your fault, it’s not that you don’t know “how” to organize, or that you aren’t motivated. It’s that you’ve been approaching the problem from the outside, not the inside. Professional organizers provide a valuable service, but we have to do the inner work before their systems can be of lasting use to us.”

It just makes sense to take a look at all angles when we begin to focus on our de-cluttering!

With this week being the first day of Spring, as well as being Green Earth Week, it would seem poignant and on target that we establish this as the point of NOW in getting our lives decluttered as we do our Spring Cleaning.

I have put some interesting links to the right under the “De-Cluttering” category that you might find of interest, especially, if you are beginning to explore your options — and, some for if you just need new ideas/suggestions.  Don’t forget to check out the “Fly Lady”; she is hilarious!!

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This week, so far, has been a bit with some craziness — Virginia Tech massacre allegedly due to a domestic violence/obessesive ex syndrome issue. Abortion/Pro-life folks coming to a head on some of those issues. Brought up some YouTube domestic violence videos and posted them under the DOMESTIC VIOLENCE tab for you to review. Some positive outcomes include Lawrence Wright receiving his Pulitzer Prize on his 9/11 non-fiction book and a re-discovery of a FREE HUG project which projects a healthy attitude on things. Why can’t we all just get along?? Thank goodness for the volunteers bringing cheers and support along the way; be sure to thank a volunteer this week!  Check it all out.

Worldly Inquiring Mind “iWIM” 😀 ›

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can’t we all just get along???

This YouTube FREE HUGS project is interesting. What a great idea, but do we really have to hold up a sign to get a hug???

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vr3x_RRJdd4]

More about the FREE HUGS project….

Sometimes, a hug is all what we need. Free hugs is a real life controversial story of Juan Mann, A man whos sole mission was to reach out and hug a stranger to brighten up their lives.

In this age of social disconnectivity and lack of human contact, the effects of the Free Hugs campaign became phenomenal.

As this symbol of human hope spread accross the city, police and officials ordered the Free Hugs campaign BANNED. What we then witness is the true spirit of humanity come together in what can only be described as awe inspiring.

In the Spirit of the free hugs campaign, PASS THIS TO A FRIEND and HUG A STRANGER! After all, If you can reach just one person…

Music by Sick Puppies. (Visit http://sickpuppies.net or http://myspace.com/sickpuppies for the music)
—————————— ——————-

PS. The response to this video has been nothing short of overwhelming and touching. Hugs to every single one of you who messaged. There has been thousands of emails from all over the world by people seeking to participate in the Free Hugs campaign and asking for permission. You do not need permission. This is the peoples movement, this is *your* movement. With nothing but your bare hands you can make THE difference.

Imagine all the people.

—————————— ——————
http://www.freehugscampaign…
http://www.myspace.com/free…

Press/media contact:
paul.stepanek@oninternational. com”

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Shocking is the news of the killings and woundings found at Virginia Tech this morning from a gunman that went on a rampage and killed 31 and wounded 29 with his shootings at two different buildings on campus  two hours apart — a dormitory and some classrooms in another building.  This sends chills as we all remember the
Columbine High School
and
University of Texas massacres in the past.   More information will be divulged in due time; it is my understanding that the gunman has been killed — either by the fire of the police or through taking of his own life.  We may never know the whole story; but, rest assured, it will be marked in history as one of the most tragic events in US History.  At this time, I understand that this may be a domestic violence issue because he was seeking out his girlfriend.  Nothing has been said so far, to my knowledge, whether or not his girlfriend was among those killed, wounded, or witnessed the tragic series of events today.

Another blogger stated, “It seems, even at this early hour, the Virginia Tech shooting seems to have been triggered (um), by domestic violence. We shouldnt take domestic violence lightly, and I dont think this is an issue that has to do with “bad” men, because women are just as likely to commit acts of violence. Just the other week there was a shooting at the University of Washington that also involved a domestic dispute, in this case, stalking. Unfortunately, it takes a public incident like today’s shooting to highlight the brutality of personal violence.”  I agree.

In my email, I have also received communication about the pro-life/abortion issues.  They seem to want to pinpoint the fault of the abortion laws being pushed actively by Nancy Pelosi, Teddy Kennedy, and Hilary Clinton to allow for funding under Medicaid for abortions, etc.  Whoever is to blame is not the point.   Pro-life activists state:

Both Pelosi and Clinton are getting stronger and stronger as the weeks and months go by. Every week they are in power, over 26,040 abortions are performed in our United States. Every month they are in power, over 111,600 babies die in abortion. That’s one baby every 25 seconds. Since 1973, that’s over 47 million babies. Babies who were going to be named Jack, Sara, Timmy, Adam, Claire, Ben, Elizabeth, Catherine, Mary, Abraham, Daniel, David, Michael, Salvatore and so many more….We cannot let Pelosi and Clinton set the agenda in congress for the next 2 years and stand idly by when over 2.6 million babies will die during abortions!”

No matter what your viewpoint on abortion/pro-life, those are some staggering numbers indeed.  One can’t help but feel how future generations will be affected by the availability of more abortions.  If you go by the adages of the survival of the fittest, it would seem that these potential children of the world are not given the opportunity to survive; they are not given a choice and many children who could be the future leaders of their generation are lost.  Just think it is so very sad to think about. On a brighter note today, this week is “National Volunteer Week”.  I would certainly go read my posting about this week and look to the right column for some ideas of resources where you can look to do your part in today’s society to make it a better place for living for all concerned.  At least, find a volunteer and hug them this week, letting them know that you appreciate all that they do to help make your community a better place to live, if you do nothing else! 

Sometimes, out of the madness of events, can come some good.  Austinite, Lawrence Wright (previously a staff writer for the New York Times), has provided a prime example of this.  After the 9/11 tragedy, he went on a pursuit to find out what had happened and wrote a book called, “The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11.”   Today, he was notified that he has won a Pulitzer Prize for his work endured to create and write the book.  Many kudos to his deligence and hard work!

Blessings for all the victims and their families, as well as all the volunteers.  May this Nation see some semblance of normacy in their lives, whatever normalcy may mean to them.

Worldly Inquiring Mind “iWIM” 😀

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This is the theme for this week’s National Volunteer Week as proclaimed by every President since 1974, as sponsered by the USA Freedom Corps and Points of Light Foundation.   

I am, myself, a huge advocate of volunteering.  In the past 30 some odd years, I have been known to volunteer for political campaigns, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), Family Eldercare (Elder Advocate and Guardian), GAL (Guardian Ad Litem), Big Brothers – Big Sisters Program (Mentor to Children), Victim’s Advocate, and so much more.  I feel that the best way that we can best help give back to our communities is through helping others in the various programs that are aimed at helping special focuses on needs – whether it is to act as a voice in court, helping to spread messages, being their friend, helping a victim regain their life after a trauma, etc.

I try to lead by example and, hopefully, my daughter will also follow in my footsteps as she gets older.  In the meantime, I have certainly tried to influence and encourage others to do their part in their local community schools, Churches, police stations, libraries, etc.  The diversity of the volunteering opportunities is emense and never ending.  There is always someone looking for some help – some where, some way!!

Please look to the right column under “Volunteering” for some ways to find out where the best for you to volunteer might be.  Check with your local library or police department to see what special activities might be happening in your community to promote volunteering.  Look for ways that you might be able to get involved to help your community today!!

Additional resources about the National Volunteer Week:

To learn more about National Volunteer Week and how you may observe it, visit http://www.usafreedomcorps.gov/about_usafc/special/nvw.asp.

For further information on mentoring as an opportunity to volunteer, visit http://www.mentoring.org/mentor_minute/national_volunteer_week_coming_soon.php.

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Amazing today about the whole issue a level of quality of care being available to one and all alike in our society has to be an issue at all in today’s society. Read under my HEALTHCARE NOTES tab about this very issue that I discussed with my father today over a brunch we had while my parents were in town. The health insurance companies only advocate for those who pay them; where is the advocate that will advocate for those who aren’t offered the option of the health insurance benefit or they are unable to afford to pay for health insurance on their own. Even Medicaid doesn’t seem to cover all that are left out and only cover those under some restrictive poverty guidelines. There is seemingly a hole in the system (perhaps, many holes) and it should be addressed as soon as possible. Let me know what you might think…

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I am working two shifts today and writing this in between calls and multi-tasking with other things that I am working on as well. The fact that I am able to do this is good because that means that there aren’t as many crisis callers today.

Yesterday was a wonderful day spent looking for bluebonnet photo opportunities, as well as photos for my Cross Project. The Cross Project was interesting as I was welcomed by many Churches (not of my own faith denomination) to go into their Churches and take photos. As such, I met a lot of interesting folks along the way. (The Cross Project photos have been updated, although I have a few more to add later when I create a page for my bluebonnet photos I took yesterday.) The icing on the cake was having fajitas with my daughter and her significant love. I had so much fun there.

This morning, at work, we encouraged one of our coworkers to go home because she was sounding sickly. Another coworker came in a bit later. When we told him that we had encouraged the other coworker to go home, he shared with us a story about being in the subways in NYC. He stated that a very determined woman was walking through the subways pushing her way through, all the while spraying lysol ahead of her just to make sure that she wasn’t going to get sick! Sometimes, I feel like that at times; being sick is no fun indeed, although I don’t get sick too often.

On another note, today is sunny and very windy. North Texas (Dallas/Fort Worth area) had two tornados hit last night. While it is windy here in Austin (central Texas), it is very nice out there and doesn’t appear to be the type with tornado capacity; hopefully, it will remain to be a very nice day. We need that for a change!! I am also sure that the SafePlace Walk this morning is very appreciative of the wind and sun; it certainly makes for beautiful weather to walk in and make an impact on awareness for domestic violence and sexual assault programs. I am envious; it looks gorgeous outside of the window in our office.

Okay… just completed the Bluebonnet Project!  Check it out! 😀

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Yep. I am 48 years young today!! Unfortunately, the typical aches and pains are here as one gets older. Taking my Aleve now! lol…

Today is also my designated traditional bluebonnet hunt day. This afternoon’s weather is supposed to be not quite so good today – with promises of thunderstorms and possible tornados and hailstorms. So, I am changing clothes soon to head out to take advantage of the non-thunderstorm weather as much as possible.

Will be having dinner tonight with my daughter and her significant love. They are making fajitas — yummmy!! My parents will be in town for a conference this weekend; I’m looking forward to catching up with them as well.

I will try to upload bluebonnet photos tonight; if not, I will be doing so at some point in time tomorrow.

May everyone be blessed…

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Worldly Inquiring Mind “iWIM” 😀

Check out pictures from last year’s SafePlace Walk (2006) to see the excitement and fun that you will have at this year’s Safe Place Walk (2007) who raises funds for domestic violence and sexual assault programs in the Austin area. See you all there on Saturday, April 14th!

[rockyou id=38423391&w=426&h=320]

Don’t forget to also check out my Cross Project that I am working upon as well. It is a collection of photos of crosses that I am, currently, finding throughout the Greater Austin Area.   I am seeking out a publication commitment as well for part of this project.  Any ideas/suggestions, please let me know.

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Worldly Inquiring Mind “iWIM” 😀

So much was added today.  More shopping links, Radio-Television-Film links, interesting links on self help and domestic violence issues, Webby Award links and so much more were added.  I added a Sunrise Thoughts article, as well as an article about being careful regarding Imus, a tragic death of a 7 yr old who had been shot while jumping on a trampoline and some personal humorous antedotes of my needing to be careful as well.  Check out my garden flower photos as well.  I just might add some of my Cross Project photos by tomorrow afternoon. 🙂 

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Worldly Inquiring Mind “iWIM” 😀

Lots went on today besides adding a lot more resource links to the page, as well as linking up some blogger pages that I have found interesting.  Check out the YouTubes about a strong parent and the miniture earth; some extemely moving videos.  Speaking of videos I found some that did a parody about being “Christian” vs a “Christ Follower”.  Pretty interesting.  Don’t forget to take a look at the latest blog posting on some Bits and Pieces of thoughts wherein I mentioned things about exercising on a recumbant bicycle, Emilio, and Larry Birkhead. 

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Today, I crossed one of my fears.  I had been given a recumbant bike by a person that put it in the online classifieds for free.  I wanted it because I thought with my knee problems I would be able to do that in my home and not have such high impact on my knees so that I could get regular exercise.  I got it, probably closer to a year ago.  It took a while for me to get it into the home because it was a bit heavy and cumbersome.  Finally, I got it in the home, but then I have moved it around in my home; trying to find the best location for it.  For the past few months, it has been sitting parrallel to the couches and directly in front of the tv.  Procrastination has been working its charm and I put a bunch of fears into my head — seemingly very unnecessary fears.  One of the greatest fears was that it would hurt my knees as I cycled the peddles; boy, I was wrong!  Okay.  Now the next hurdle is to set up a schedule of riding it each day — maybe even several times a day.  I have to remember to take one step at a time though.

Emilio was granted an extended life by the Travis County Courts to try to find other hospitals willing to continue this 17 month old’s life as it stands today — on resucitation.  Folks are questioning the quality of this boy’s life while others say that people have been left on resucitation means for lots longer than this young boy has been.

Larry Birkhead is Anna Nicole’s baby’s true father per DNA results.  Personally, I am relieved.  He seems to be much more level headed than anyone else in the spectrum and will, hopefully, not let the money get in the way of raising the daughter in as little limelight as possible; something that her Mom didn’t ever had the chance of doing.

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by this YouTube video about “The Miniture Earth”:

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4C-u6kdHuXE]

(Below is the same video with music)

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

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Go to the SPIRITUAL GROWTH tab and see the entry made about Strong Parents. Trust me, you will indeed be moved!

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Worldly Inquiring Mind “iWIM” 😀

The site has been updated with additional domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, healthy living, teen dating helps and sites, as well as a links to articles on domestic violence, predator safety, child internet protection, and so much more.  Come take a look and explore.  While the site is still under constant construction, it is shaping up with a lot of useful information, spiritual guidance, and self-help sites.

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This page on the website is an amazing story about an amazing woman that has gone through great odds and adversities above and beyond what most people go through in a lifetime.  Please read her story under the HEALTHCARE NOTES tab and be braced for a moment of awe, and then some!

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Red Flag Awareness Goes YouTube! « Worldly Inquiring Mind “iWIM” 😀

YouTube is often utilized by many folks to make silly videos about this and that — sometimes sharing songs, movies, quips about their likes or dislikes and so much more.  Organizations, such as Texas Council for Family Violence are also utilizing this web tool creatively to get their message out and advocate for healthy dating relationships.  Check out the article on the DOMESTIC VIOLENCE tab and see what I mean. 😀

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It is tough enough for a victim of domestic violence to struggle with being in an emotional, mental and/or physical form(s) of domestic violence, but to also struggle with the religious beliefs as well can be a whole another story, especially as the victim asks oneself, “Why? If there is truly a God out there, why am I being harmed? What did I do so bad to deserve such a wretched life?”, along with many other questions. The victim is pushed into believing that they deserve to be harmed and that there is no one, not even a God, that could save them.

Check out this posting on the Domestic Violence tab/page and see what I mean. Also, see what some people are actively doing out there to change things where domestic violence victims can feel welcomed to seek refuge — even in the Church!

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Weight loss is Spiritually Led? « Worldly Inquiring Mind “iWIM” 😀

Doctors have a variety of opinions on weight loss.  Many of them attribute it to food intake and/or lack of exercise.  Dr. Kara Davis has a viewpoint that it is related to one’s spirituallity and has written about it in her book, Spiritual Secrets to Weight Loss.  You be the judge and take a look at what she says it is cultivated upon.  Do you agree or disagree?  Comments are appreciated.

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