Sunday, April 26, 2009

Look Both Ways

I went to a cemetery with my son for the first time today. It was to go and visit a friend he went to school with who had passed away. This young man was only 19 years old. Way too young to be gone from this Earth.

About mid February I was up late on a Monday night waiting to go and get my son from work. (He is nearly 20 but with his autism, he does not drive so he depends on his father and I to get him back and forth to work). So here it was time for me to go and get him. Now keep in mind it is nearly 11 PM and I try to arrive there just as my son is walking out the doors of his place of business. Well, as soon as I head down one of the main roads to get to him I see police cars. No big deal. A small detour I can handle. But off in the distance I see more police cars. So at this point I know something big is up. Now I am going to have to encounter a major detour.

I know if I keep turning south and east I will eventually get back to my main road. Wrong! They have closed off some side roads due to the bridge and visibility issues. I get it but now I know I am going to be late in picking my son up. And he has a tendency to panic if he does not see me or my husband. Luckily for me and my son I only arrive about 3 minutes late. I explain to him what happened to me and if this should ever happen again, that he is so stay inside the building until one of us arrives. He agreed with no problems.

I learned form my girlfriend that there had been an accident that late afternoon with a kid on a bicycle. Come to found out later that it was a hit and run.

Fast forward a few weeks. Myself and my two children were at the mall and on our way home when we got stuck in mall traffic. The holidays are over so I could not understand this delay...until I look up and see junior police officers stopping traffic in every direction. Of course folks started honking, but there was nowhere to go. Soon enough we figure out why we are sitting. A huge procession of fire trucks and the such come by and it all started with a funeral vehicle. I knew then what was up and once the people in back of us saw it too, they stopped honking.

When we got home that night I wanted to see the news and see what was going to be on the news about this procession. Sure enough there it was first thing on the news. A fireman had died in the line of duty...after the fact. He had contracted some fatal illness and died from complications. First death for the fire department of that county. There is a reason I added this to my post. As soon as that section of the news was done they said there was an update on the hit in run that happened right down the street from me. I was all ears and as soon as I heard the boys name I knew who he was. I screamed for my son to come out and see what was on the news. My son caught the tail end of the clip, so I told him what I had seen.

This boy was one of the few boys that did not bully him in junior high school and Robert remembers those who are/were kind to him. So I tell Robert to get in touch with a girl they both knew but he didn't want to for he had not spoken to her in such a long time and he did not want to her to feel as if he was just calling to find out about this boy. I told him that she would definitely understand. But he still refused to call her.

It had been gnawing at me all these weeks. So I finally put my foot down and told him to call her and find out how this boy was. He did and left a message for the young girl. Two days later my son gets a return call from her and she told him that John had died the day before Easter. I was out taking in clothes off the clothesline with my husband and my son was on the phone. My son is not a phone person and thee only person he likes talking to is my sister and by the tone of his voice it definitely was not my sister. I knew within seconds what was going on and who he was on the phone with. When he hung up he told me John had died. We had missed his funeral by days.

My son found out where he was buried and today we went to visit John. I do not believe in a heaven or hell, for I have no religious beliefs. But I do believe in the fact that people have spirits and what happens to us once we die is anyone's guess. I hope John is in a better place, for how he was taken from this one was tragic and completely unnecessary. Someone out there has to live with themselves and the fact that they took another persons life. I hope that they get what is rightfully due them. I don't want to say I am a vengeful person but I want to be righted and what was done to this young man was wrong on every level.

I cannot imagine ever having to bury either of my children. I don't know how people get up every day and continue to breathe and yet somehow they do. I don't wish death to the person who hit John, but something will happen in this persons life. They may never know why their life is in shambles, why their marriage fell apart, why they lost their job, why they can't seem to fit into the world anymore. It's the Law of Attraction. You will only get what you give and if you give out evil it will come back to you and sometimes ten fold.

Please take the time to look where you are going and try to stay in the speed limit. This was the first time my son had to deal with a death of someone he actually knew. He hasn't said much about it, but I hope he feels he can come to me with any and all questions he may have about what happened to his friend and about death in general. I do not have all thee answers, but I will do my best.

Drive careful..

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Dangerous Curves Ahead

Ahhhh, remember when having curves was what you aspired to look like. Remember when women/girls wanted to look like Marilyn Monroe? Well if you tried doing that today, you would be labeled FAT! You read correctly folks F-A-T. I bet you anything that Marilyn herself is rolling over in her grave.

Don't get me wrong, I know there are girls/women who can eat and eat and eat and never gain an ounce (And I mean eating good food, not living on drive-thru or take out, that is not real food in my book). But there are those who actually strive to be as thin as Twiggy. I bet if you took a poll and asked men who they would prefer to have on their arm for a date and their choices where Marilyn Monroe or Kiera Knightley, wonder who they would choose. There are some who might even choose the stick figures, but I am leaning on the side of not.

And yet the media goes wold when any star even gets close to a normal-sized 8 in the clothing realm. Size 8, that is a whole size smaller than I am and I am pretty darned average. I do not have to shop in the plus size section so life is good.

I applaud what Dove is doing and promoting that real beauty comes in all different shapes and sizes. Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder. But I also want to applaud so high profile women for taking a stand and not shedding thee extra weight just because society/Hollywood/the media says they should. I am comfortable in my skin and until otherwise I am good to go.

Jennifer Hudson: A woman who was voted off American Idol by The Public and she still managed to land an Oscar. You go girl.

America Ferrera: "Don't eat the flan." If you have not seen Real Women Have Curves, then may I make a it. For any girl who is having issues with her body, this film should be a mantra. It is not for little kids, for there is a scene involving America's character deciding to have sex for the first time. And even thought nothing is seen or heard, parent discretion is advised. Great film all the same.

Kelly Osbourne: You may not approve of her lifestyle (which I don't), but she recently came out of rehab and told the press that she is OK with her figure, even if they are not. Good for you Kelly.

Sara Ramirez: Grey's Anatomy. That is all I have to say. This woman is of ethnic background. Why is it that most women from Latin Countries have no problem with being voluptuous? If they don't, then why should we? Get a grip folks. Oh yeah, on a curvy woman you would have something to grab onto.

I could sit here and list a few more, thee emphasis being on few. I understand there are those who are naturally thin. Happiness to you ladies. But I am 5'2", 136 pounds and have no intention of trying to let go of a few pounds. I am physically fit (save my recovery from surgery), I exercise semi-regularly, my blood tests let my doctor know that I had the lowest cholesterol she had ever seen in her years of practice. So nani-nani- boo boo to all you who purposely want to be overly thin. Hah!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Columbine Revisited

I will never forget as I was growing up and I would hear senior citizens talk about where they were the day JFK had been shot, or the day Pearl Harbor was bombed and the likes. I never got it, until...I went through a few things, such as the Challenger explosion, or the Columbia explosion, Hurricane Katrina, and lest we forget 911. Those days will be burned into my brain forever. Now I know how those people I listened to all those years ago could remember such things.

Those are the things that impact your life, for whatever reason. Maybe it was just thee incident itself, or maybe you had a connection to that incident. You might have lived close by at some point in your life, or that had been your favorite place to vacation. Whatever the reason certain incidents impact, for good or bad. And hopefully there is always some good that comes from bad. That in and of itself sounds like an oxymoron, but as I grow older and hopefully wiser, I do hope that there is good in everyone.

What people do not realize it that it is the little things in life that make the biggest difference. They 'Don'T' sweat the small stuff.', but that is exactly what can make the biggest influence sin our lives. But watching a video, or reading a book, or attending a seminar, or watching a documentary, people's lives can and will be changed.

I remember the first time I became a vegetarian. I was watching something on the television about the baby seal hunting that goes on in Canada. I sat there and cried like a baby. How can anyone sit there and bludgeon something so innocent to death. I know the answer, someone with no heart. What did that poor seal ever do to you. But I am getting off track here.

It is 10 years ago today that two boys went on a shooting rampage to make a point. What drives anyone and especially 2 teenagers to commit such a horrifying act. I cannot imagine the fear that ran through the school that day. I know how scared I can get over little things. But knowing my life may soon be over and then to only be anywhere from 15-18. I cannot comprehend that.

Didn't anyone see that these two were on a road that was going in a very wrong direction? I can see the slightest change in my children. I know when they are the least bit off from the normal. I also feel for the parents of these children they may still be questioning themselves as to why they did not see this coming. I think an answer fro many parents is that they are disconnected from their children. We don't do activities together, we don't eat at a dinner table any longer, the Norman Rockwell of thee American family is nearly unheard of. I see people hike an eyebrow when I say that we sit down every night at the dinner table and eat together. Whether it is all four of us or just two. To me, a family that dines together stays together. And TV trays in front of the television is not the same. Turn off the tube and talk to your children and then listen to them as well, they do have something to say. And inasmuch as you may not want to hear thier point of view. think back when you tried to talk to your parents and they thought your opinion was worth nothing. you may not agree with your child, hell, you don't agree with adults, but you keep them as friends. Listen to your children, it will pay off in thee end.

I leave you with a few videos of the first victim that died that tragic day. Her name is Rachel Joy Scott. She was a young girl who most more than likely had a premonition about her life. As her father says in the video, she was not obsessed with death, she was just at peace with her life. Who at that age can even wrap thier head around something like that? See what I mean? Children can teach us plenty, we just have to listen. For those of you who pray, please do so for all of those affected by this event. I will definitely keep them in my thoughts.

Rachel Joy Scott #1

Rachel Joy Scott #2

Rachel Joy Scott #3

And for those of you who prefer to read, here is a book in her memory. Rachel's Tears

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Here's To Late Bloomers

We all do it, and if you deny it, you are a damned liar. I admit to doing it, so should you. We judge books by their covers. and I am not talking about the readable kind either. I am talking about people in general. You see someone homeless on the street and you think degenerate and uneducated. And yet I know of a man who served his country for 20 years in two different branches of the Armed Forces and ended up being homeless. But there is more. He is now on the road to getting his first novel written. That is not to say he will be gracing the front table at Barnes and Noble, but he is on a road that most people would never have put him on years back.

Case in point, Britain's Got Talent. This woman came out on stage, looking as matron as many of our grandmothers and the audience as well as the three judges had already pegged her as a frump and someone not even worthy of giving a chance to, but she came out, with her little bit of sass and blew these people away. And the female judge (sorry don't know all their names for I do not watch the show) said it in all it's honesty that her along with everyone in thee audience were all a bit cynical. I know when I saw her coming on stage I never thought in a million years her voice would resonate the way that it did. Gave me goose-flesh.

It goes to show you that you don't have to look like the Beyonce's , Christine Aguilera's of the world to have a talent. She proved that by opening her mouth. And if this video clip doe snot move you in some fashion, then you need to be checked to see if you are still alive.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Timing Is Everything

Get our your alarm clocks, for there is a time to do things that be most beneficial for you. This is not set in stone. For instance, it is best to do a cardio workout best in the AM, but it is still better to do cardio then not do it t all. With that said, here are some tips to keep your health at its best and see when it 'is' best to do these things.

1) To sharpen your brain, pay bills or do a crossword puzzle between 10 and 11 AM or 8 and 9 PM.

2) Take a nap at 2 PM. And all you need is a power nap. You are looking at from 10-20 minutes. If children can do can you.

3) Go on vacation in late February or early March. And take it outdoors.

4) To boost your energy, follow a sleep schedule.

5) Head to bed at least 3 hours after eating dinner.

6) To power up your pills, swallow your multi with a meal.

7) Take birth control or heart pills before bed.

8) Fill your prescription midmonth. Drug stores are busy at the beginning of the month, when Welfare and Social security checks are coming in.

9) To get more from your workouts, do your cardio in the early morning.

10) Learn and practice a skill sport between 4 and 6 PM. Your hand eye coordination is best then and it will help you sleep better at night.

11) Start exercising in January or June. Due to the fact that so many people sign up after New Years, health clubs can wave the sign up fee. And in June clubs offer specials for vacationers, so take advantage of these offerings.

12) Begin your diet in June. There is a seasonality to weight loss. You naturally drop a few pounds due to the fact that once summer arrives you begin to be more active.

13) To protect your pearly whites, floss at night. If you can only floss once a day nighttime should be that time. Your body produces less saliva at night which means that food will sit in your teeth meaning that harmful bacteria is sitting on your teeth.

14) Brush within an hour of downing a sports drink. And unless you are doing extreme sports, you don't need to be drinking these beverages. they were concocted for football players. So if you are not expending that much energy, then leave them be. And a bike ride around the block does not count. Along with soda, juice and other beverages along with sports drink, these beverages are acidic and can erode your teeth. So step away from those drinks. does the body (and teeth ) good.

15) Have a root canal after 2PM. Numbing medications usually last 8-10 hours. So the meds from the dentist will keep you pain free until you hit the sack.

16) Schedule your big procedures for January or February. Those months are slow for dental procedures.

17) To maximize your medical care, get the first appointment of the day. Doctors won't be distracted by the backlogging of patients. Or try for right after the doctors lunch hour.

18) Plan your mammogram for the week after your menstrual cycle. Your breasts will be less tender then which will make the procedure less painful. (Guys, you are safe in this area)

19) Test your cholesterol twice a year.

20) Arrange your elective surgery for winter or spring. Avoid July, August and September, when teaching hospitals are flooded with med students.

21) Get a Pap test the week before or after ovulation. The cervical opening is widest then., making it easier to sample cells.

22) Have head-to-toe skin exams in December. You're less likely to be tanned, so the higher contrast between your skin and pigmented lesions will make it easier for doctors to spot anything out of thee ordinary.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

You Never Know When

There are many a time I am the one on the giving end of a horn blowing in traffic when someone does an injustice in the driving world. Well low and behold, I am capable of making driving errors myself. Years ago I told my sister I had cut someone off completely by accident due to the fact that she was in my blind spot. That would not hold up in court, but it was the truth. That is when she said, "Don't you feel like flipping yourself off for being so stupid?", and my answer was yes.

Well yesterday I was coming home from grocery shopping and my son was with me. We were sitting at the green arrow to make our left turn to come home. Well the green arrow, turned to a regular green arrow, which meant that I now had to wait for the oncoming traffic before I made my left turn.

Well, my mind began to wander and wonder about the items I had just purchased and why the bill was so expensive for such a select few items. I had put two and two together and realized that they were higher ticket items, but that did not stop me from letting my brain cells roam. I was right behind a vehicle that took the left turn and I assumed it was safe to turn as well. Whoa there lassie, it was not safe.

There was a vehicle coming head on as I was making my turn and they were totally in the right of way. Had we gotten into an accident, it would have been my fault 100%. My son was ready to give that person a verbal lashing. But I quickly came to that persons defense and told my son the truth and said I was not concentrating and if we had collided we/I would have been at fault.

That is when I reiterated to my son just how important it was to keep your head in the driving game and not to wander. I was shaking at the prospect of what could have been and was relieved to know that person had the reflexes to slow down and let an idiot pass, for that is exactly how I felt. My son then asked me straight out what had I been thinking that got me so distracted. And I told him the truth.

So the next time you lay the horn on someone, remember, it may be just someone who has let their mind goes of course just enough to forget where they are and what they are doing. Be kind, for that someone you are blowing the horn at, could be you.