Thursday, May 31, 2012

Praise When Praise is Due

An Open Letter To Frank Blake Of The Big Orange Box
Although I am no longer an employee of The Big Orange Box I will be forever thankful for the men and women who took a chance on me and allowed me to be a part of their teams. This letter is to Frank Blake to let you know that you do still have several really great managers in New Jersey. John Bodi, Steve Stockhammer, and Ed Mickiewicz are real example of what a manager should be, they have all still managed to hold onto that level of caring compassion for their people that is so important to moral. Had it not been for these three gentlemen and their faith in my ability to excel at my job I feel I would never have made it.  
I was fortunate enough to start with this company before Bob Nardelli took over as CEO and was able to learn the values that made this company great to work for. When a person was judged by what they did and could do, to grow their business. Hard work and a positive attitude provided opportunities to learn things I may never have learned elsewhere. This thank you is also to Gayle Franks whose leadership and later friendship made me the competent (go to) person I was allowed to become. For helping me find the courage to later pursue my own dreams of going back to school.
I would not have the base of knowledge I now do to work in the industry I am working in, had it not been for the thorough training and ability to work side by side with real trades people who both provided knowledge to the customers and to their fellow employees. This is one facet that has gone away that made this company the powerhouse it was and I have always felt it was a loss for the company.
Thank you to Jon Bodi for trusting my ability, Steve Stockhammer for giving me an opportunity to explore a different area of this company I had never thought of and Ed Mickiewicz for trusting your ASM’s to know their people and being a human being when I was hurt on the job. 

Your compassion serves you well when many would have tried to find a way to pass the buck and still do. You truly are each a great asset to your profession as men and managers. Thank you for being who you are, never loose that.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

When Things Go To Hell in a Hand-Basket

When Things Go To Hell in a Hand-basket
Yes sometimes no matter how hard we may try to organize or set one plan into motion things will go way off track. Sometimes it’s something really big and at others  it’s in the small everyday things. For me today was one of those days. 

My day started out normal, I got Tom and Jesse’s lunch set up our chicken dinner in my roaster outside on the deck, because I knew it was going to be a hot one and it's a way to not overheat the kitchen. As I sat at work thinking about this great dinner I was going home to, you can imagine my surprise on coming home. What could possibly go wrong you might ask?
Well my lovely chicken dinner was unplugged two hours before I came home, (no it wasn't the wind or the dogs) so instead of coming home to a nice easy meal, I came home to chicken that needed to be thrown out. Unless of course, I wanted to risk making my family sick. Yes, I wanted to stomp my foot, like the kids and yell really loud.
Bad Plug elf. 
So at 6 p.m. instead of  starting dinner over again which was not my idea of fun I was off to the store to pick up some rotisserie chickens instead. Needless to say  dinner tonight was very late, it was good and everything worked out in the end, but you really can't control anything in this world.
The more one may try the more life will show you just how foolish that notion is. So take a deep breath and let it out, life is too short to be pissed off all the time, and it is hard to miss the humor of the situation. This is one of those times where patience is called for.
If I had left instructions this probably would not have happened, but then again maybe it would have happened anyway.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Final Thoughts on Memorial Day Weekend

Holidays Time For Family and Friends
Memorial Day for the people in our household holds a special meaning. In part because Tom was in the military for 25 years, and understands the deeper meaning behind remembering fallen comrades and friends. Secondly because he himself was injured while serving his country. So for myself and our family I am thankful he is here and alive today because it could have turned out very differently.
What makes this day special is getting to spend it with family and friends. Watching my grandsons first time in a pool with Tom beside me. Doing what we love to do, and sharing it with the wonderful people we care about. So for this year we went to our friend Sandy and Bills, and spent the Sunday barbecuing, swimming and enjoying the  day with good friends. Those relationships make a difference, especially when you know its real. There are some people that very easily become family as they are to us.  

Today we spent it more quietly going to the parade and working at home remembering in our own way. Being a civilian, it is very easy to miss just what our soldiers do for us, that for many instead of being here with family or at the beach they are away in foreign countries serving for us all.
Yes it is a life choice but one that builds strength and character for most of the men and women who gladly serve. For some it's a way of pulling their lives together and making a fresh start, for others it’s a stepping stone to a higher goal. The way I have always seen it was as an act of selfless love. These men and women have a dignity and bearing that is hard not to miss. Our Vets all to often come home and do have a hard time assimilating back into what we all consider normal. Truthfully most of us wouldn’t know what to do if someone fired artillery or guns at us. Many would be babbling idiots if in their place and that's OK.
It takes a certain kind of selfless courage to put your life on the line, and I say that in regard to our police, firefighters and military who do so all the time. There are so many ways to say thank you to our military one is to adopt a soldier, sending letters and care packages, another is to adopt a platoon, or donate to groups that support the families of our soldiers providing gifts at Christmas and that help them in times of need while a husband or wife may be overseas serving their country. It may not seem like much and in some ways it is not enough to repay them for what they do. 

I know that Tom’s time serving his country is over, but life is still so very precious that each moment of every day is a singular gift. When I kiss my children good night I am thankful that I am here and able to do so, in a country that is a free society and that Tom is home safe and by my side.   

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Tire Kickers Alive and Well

Tire  Kickers
Anyone who has ever worked in retail knows what the dreaded tire kicker is. Are you one? Maybe. Some will say they are the discriminating shopper, who takes their time, others will say there the person looking to get something for nothing. A tire kicker is a person who will come into a store, look at an item ask a million questions, and then leave sometimes coming back three or four times before they purchase if they eventually do.
We are all tire kickers to some extent, and it is probably a good thing we are in todays economy. A person has to check and double check a price sometimes, especially if it is a large ticket item like a car or major appliance.
Interestingly enough, the rare tire kicker has begun shopping at garage sales, they will come look at an item and then come back once or twice. The problem with doing this at a garage sale is all too often the item is gone by the time they finally make up their mind to purchase it.
For several years now we have held an annual garage sale on Memorial Weekend. Why? Well because it has always been a very good weekend to do this. When one lives at the shore, quite simply the “Bennies” arrive in droves and can't help but shop.
I was very curious to see the tone and flow of business this year, for several reasons. Garage sales are at the bottom of the food chain as far as retail goes. It is when most people try to get rid of some stuff they have had hanging around in the hopes that someone else will want that stuff.
The other reason is I watch the trends in sales and over the last several years what I have noticed is people are being far more cautious with what they spend. They are coming out, kicking the tires but not spending, the market has changed from wants to needs. Most people are buying what they need.
The news media is full of people desperately chirping  and trying to convince us that  the economy is recovering, for me at least that isn’t what this kind of buying is telling me. People are still worried and being careful. It is hard not to wonder if the the media doesn’t think we do not have an ounce of common sense.  
There are always people looking to buy used items, it is frankly human nature. Why pay full price when you can get a bargain, right. Who hasn’t at some point in their life, had to watch what you spend, whether its a young person getting their first apartment and trying to furnish it inexpensively or if you're an older person just looking for a bargain. We can now include the tire kicker into the equation. Yes they have arrived on the garage sale scene, so sit back and be amused I know I am.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Memorial Day Remembering Our Soldiers

Memorial Day
As this holiday weekend approaches and we rush around to get to the beach, hook up with our families it is easy to forget just what this holiday is all about.Many of our kids don’t understand the significance of what it means to honor our fallen. To many of us it has just become a day off from work, or a day you may have to work.
Originally it was known as Decoration Day, a day to recognize the Confederate and Union soldiers who died during the civil war. After WWI it then became a holiday recognized by all states as a day to remember our fallen soldiers. It is now celebrated on the last Monday in May in most states although several states do celebrate it on alternate days.
Unless it has hit you personally it is easy to overlook the price that many families and our male and female soldiers have paid to keep  us all safe. It is hard to imagine the devastating loss of a mother,father, son, or daughter who has bravely fought and died protecting their country. 

It is also important to remember that while we are here celebrating and enjoying our freedoms we still have soldiers in foreign lands hard at work.So if you happen to cross paths with one of our many brave soldiers that have given of themselves to keep us safe so we could live our lives please look them in the eye, shake their hand, and say, “Thank you.” for all that they do.

Remember the fallen and honor them in some small way, because their sacrifice whether great or small, quite simply should be remembered. Had they not put themselves in front guarding our interests, to protect our country we would not have the freedoms we still do. Thank you, and God bless our soldiers.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Change Proposed for Marijuana Possession for New Jersey

Right here and now in New Jersey or politicians are trying to decide whether  being caught in possession of marijuana should be legal or not. What is being proposed is that if a person is caught with say 14 grams they would get a ticket and fine automatically instead of being arrested and receiving possible jail time. The reason for this change of heart is in part due to overcrowding in our jails. If you are arrested and charged with possession of marijuana right now you could serve more time then a rapist. 
That is kind of foolish and extreme, but it is what has been going on. What is interesting about all of this is the Asbury Park Press did a poll on this very issue and 52% came out in favor of decriminalizing it. The bill was passed 7-0 by the assembly yesterday, taking it a step closer to becoming law, this will put New Jersey on line with its surrounding states like New York and Connecticut. 
Here in New Jersey in 2010 22,000 individual were arrested for marijuana drug possession. The punishment is often jail time and a lifetime of being stigmatized and discriminated against  
which will follow a person for the rest of their lives. Why is this so wrong because the punishment right now does not fit the crime, if you are caught with 1 joint right now you will be considered a criminal. All too often that is the case,so we have people needlessly in jail for smoking pot, and our law enforcement is tied up wasting time on this rather then going after the real criminal in this state.  
“The bill would decrease penalties for possession of 15 grams of marijuana or less to $150 for a first offense, $200 for a second violation and $500 for any subsequent violation. It would also make possession of drug paraphernalia for personal use of marijuana a civil offense punishable by a $100 civil penalty.”(Asbury Park Press Written By The State House Bureau)
What does this mean for the regular average person who smokes marijuana in the privacy of their own home, that on a state level you're not going to be bothered with someone storming your door and arresting you for possession if its for your own use and under 15 grams. Are many people doing that already yes, but with this change people won't have to read stories about kids turning their parents in for smoking pot, it will no longer make it a “dirty little secret” that many adult feel compelled to keep.
We still need to change the Federal laws against possession because they aren’t online yet, and even though a state may allow something the DEA still can arrest and charge you with Federal charges, it is one of the reasons why  distributors of medicinal marijuana are still very much at risk, many of the states are beginning to wake up so should our federal government. 

Statistically we already know that alcohol and tobacco are far more addictive than marijuana so why is it still so hard for some people to understand that these changes aren’t going to turn everyone into drug addicts. This change is long overdue and I sincerely hope it goes all the way. This is only the beginning of a long legislative process to get this passed into law. Not unlike many things it is that first step that matters when trying to create change. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Survey About Sex

This topic will be in one of my blogs next week, as I am currently gathering information. So please  feel free to weigh in and say what you think as your comments will be anonymous if you choose and can be omitted from posting if you let me know.

1. Why is it so hard for people to tell their partners what they want and need in the bedroom?

2. Do you think its one of the reasons people cheat?

3. Why do you think people have such a hard time talking about sex today?

You may just be surprised by the answers  when you read them, I know I am already.

Sex Why Cant We Talk About it With Our Partners?

Why are we all so hung up about not talking about sex?
When it comes to discussing sex why is it so many of us can't seem to get past go? If you're a man, you seem to be too worried about rejection or hurting your partners feelings. If you're a woman, many have a hard time voicing just what it is they want in the bedroom. You would think that today long after the sexual revolution of the 60’s the bed hopping of the 70’s and 80’s we would be over it already.
So here are a few things worth remembering, if your needs aren’t being met SPEAK UP! If your partner has no clue about what you like or don't like you have a problem and need to talk honestly to them. It isn’t very fair or respectful to go looking somewhere else before you try to fix the problem you have at home.

This is one of those things that has always amazed me when dealing with my guy and girl  friends. They will complain that their spouse or girlfriend isn’t meeting their needs but seem afraid to just talk to them. Really what are they going to do? Be disappointed that you like different things?
One of the things I learned was that if you don’t try things you don’t really know what you like or don’t. You can't really assume, yes there are things that are going to make you laugh your head off or things that will make you say, “Oh my!”
No one who is in a relationship should go through life with the outlook that sex with their partner is OK, but not great. It isn’t going to be perfection every time but hey try to remember you do have only one life and it would be pretty sad if at the end of the day you’ve never even had an orgasm or you were settling for less.
Relationships are what you make of them, good or bad. So if you want a partner who can make your toes curl, by getting spanked, or having your girl in sexy nighties really turns you on then open your mouth. The odds are they will find someone else who does it for them if you don't even try. Stop being a coward in the bedroom and be who you are whether its a freak in the bedroom or a submissive participant, what matters is being happy where you are in life.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Girl Road Trip

This weekend my daughter Chrissy and I went to meet Paige’s mom to pick Paige (one of our kids) up for the summer, in Ohio. So as you may be imagining it was a girl road trip, that of course included a stack of CD’s like Adele, Jo Dee Messina, Led Zeppelin, Shania Twain and others whom we sang at the top of our lungs for the long drive to Ohio. A cooler of iced tea, snacks and plenty of pit stops for a long comfortable ride. Two females with a “tom tom” and road map from Tom so we wouldn’t get lost. 
 No I wasn’t worried about getting lost, and it was about a 7 hour ride from New Jersey to Ohio. I could go off here in many different directions but I will mention a few things and you can let me know if you want more details.
Yes on the road
great weather and good times. 
Firstly it was really wonderful to get away with just Chrissy and myself, not that I don't love my guys but it was nice to have some uninterrupted one on one time. As a parent when your teen hits a certain age you begin to realize that your time is borrowed.That soon they will be going off to start their own lives, so for me this trip was precious.We laughed, joked, sang, and just had fun without my having to be just mom. (and that was really nice.)
Another thing I noticed which still always amazes me is that as soon as we left New Jersey, the people we met, whether it was at a Starbucks or a restaurant were just plain friendly and more pleasant. I can say that with only one exception, and that was at a Taco Bell we stopped at for dinner were the woman who waited on us was just rude.
We finally met up with Paige and her mom which was a delightful experience. I had never met her mom, since Tom had always done the drive to go meet them. There are some people that are very pleasant and I had always been impressed with her through my experience with Paige, so to finally meet her was a real treat, and she was all that I expected in a good way. There are some mothers that are quite simply really great ones.  She is one of them.
With Paige now added to the mix, it was real girl time. Once we had checked into the hotel, and gone for a swim and jacuzzi which relaxed us all we were ready to go out. This of course included a trip to the Mall where we walked around looking at cloths and purchased several pairs of shoes. Before grabbing a bite to eat and heading back to the hotel where we all fell exhausted into bed after much talking, laughing and horsing around.

A great hotel with excellent
friendly staff
I will give props to the Fairfield Inn in Saint Claire Ohio, where we stayed, it was very clean, and the staff was superb. I would definately stay there again and will in the future. Everyone was friendly and helpful which is really what you want when you go away.
So now I sit here in front of my computer, what is my thought for the day? My house is full we are all safely home, and I couldn’t feel more blessed if I tried. Paige adds a dynamic to our household that mixes right in without any odd uncomfortable pauses. It is as if she never left, and I really love that she feels that comfortable here, that this is her home away from home. Balance that is the key and what pulls things together in life.It is one of those things you didn’t know you where missing until you find it.  

Friday, May 18, 2012

Overcoming Obstacles

Developmental Disabilities
Years ago I had the opportunity to work closely with a home for children with developmental disabilities, as a resident aide. What has always stuck with me is that despite the many obstacles these children had to overcome, despite their disabilities, and health issues, their hearts and spirit for life were very much intact.What brought this on your probably asking yourself, well tonight I watched 50/50 and for some reason it made me think of those wonderful children and what a gift they were in my own life.
We all remember as kids when we would see someone with a disability our parents would tell us not to stare it's rude. What is funny is as an adult I couldn’t help but stare, watch, and fall a little in love with these kids. When you look into their eyes you cannot miss the mischievous sparkle that is there. They have their own perspective, and humor on life. Anyone interacting with them for the first time would be very surprised at what some of them think is funny.
As a young expectant mother, I remember they kept me constantly on my toes.They were also a wonderful blessing of peace for me at the time because not unlike many expectant mothers I was plagued by many of the same fears for my own unborn child having possible health issues. It quite simply reaffirmed my belief that what ever happened I was ready to face it head on.  I will always be glad I had the privilege of knowing those wonderful kids even though it was only for a little over a year.
Now don’t get me wrong, as teenagers many of these kids could be cranky about getting up in the morning, or even downright ornery sometimes but the positive far outweighed any negative.Children with Developmental Disabilities can have issues that continually put their lives at risk, and whether they understand what that means they don't waste time dwelling on the negative. For the most part they had an unconditional joy for life something many of us overlook or forget.
In my own life years later Michael became apart of our extended family when my brother married. Michael has downs syndrome yet his offbeat comments and wonderful zest for life keep us all smiling and laughing. He is a wonderful part of all of our lives, and often at many family functions, where not surprisingly he sometimes has more fun then we do. I am truly thankful we all have the opportunity to know him as a person and member of our family. 

50/50 was about the main characters odds of surviving cancer, but really every time we wake up and get out of bed or go to sleep isn’t there a 50/50 chance something could happen? When we get in a car to drive to work its a crap shoot, so why waste the time we have. Why do so many of us drive ourselves into the ground rather then live the life we have to the fullest. Why not savor every single moment we are here, finding the joy in life as these special individuals do daily.

I wouldn’t have had the courage to take on some of the more dangerous jobs I did had it not been for the example of those wonderful children and their unspoken message. Life is to be lived, each moment each day with joy and acceptance.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Some Things Are Just Delicious "Monkey Butter"

Some Things Are Just Yummy

It is always a pleasure to find a new recipe that is just yummy, yes that is the only word I can think of to describe it. I have been procrastinating about trying this recipe I found on a prepper site, it looked interesting so I copied it down and have been walking around with it for several weeks.I finally tried it using it as a spread called “Monkey Butter.”
This is now one of the new favorite foods in our house because it's really great, and works well on toast even without butter. I love this on toast with peanut butter and then spreading it on top with a little cinnamon sprinkled on for good measure .
The Recipe is surprisingly easy, I did alter it a little but that was for my family's preferences.

This is what it should look like. 

Monkey Butter

5 ripe bananas cut into pieces make sure no brown spots, and put in blender
1(20 oz.) can of crushed pineapple with the juice in blender
¼ C. of coconut flakes add to blender.
3 Tbs. Lemon Juice add to blender.
Puree until smooth, then add mixture to a saucepan on the stove.
Add 3 C. sugar
Bring mixture to a boil stirring constantly. Once mixture reaches a boil lower heat and simmer while stirring, until it thickens. You want it about the thickness of applesauce. Then pour it in sterile jars with seals and allow to cool it will fill about 3 small jars. I put mine in the fridge but you can put it in a water bath and let it boil for about 15 mins. to finish preserving it.Then store on a shelf. 

(American Preppers Network/KRIS WATSON - Fri Apr 13
The original recipe has you just cutting up the bananas and adding everything to a pot to boil, but I found by pureeing it we liked the consistency better, so its your choice.  You can also add other tropical fruits I haven't tried that yet but I will let you know. 

This comes out sweet, yummy and was an immediate hit in our house, it's a great way to use ripe bananas and it isn’t a big drawn out process the whole thing took about 15 to 20 mins start to finish.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Unemployment in New Jersey The Real Skinny

New Jersey is known for many things, but not the efficiency of their government organizations. In fact New Jerseyans will regularly complain about this fact to anyone who will listen. I recently have crossed paths with unemployment in New Jersey for the first time in my life. Having said that, I have to say aside from the fact that most of the people seem to be extremely unhappy with life in general they are by far the group with the biggest lack of common sense I have come across.
Now mind you this isn’t sour grapes, and initially the application process was pretty easy on the computer. But here are a few things to note if you ever need to deal with them directly.

  • One you cannot ever get anyone on the phone unless you call from there so don’t bother go directly.
  • Only in a state like New Jersey will they penalize you twice for losing your job. Yes its illegal to take a rapist or murder to trial for the same crime twice but unemployment will. (I’m not making this up.)
  • In almost two years of collecting not once did anyone contact me for  retraining classes, or anything other then to verify my information.
  • If you get fired from a job you will be penalized for seven weeks in the beginning and at the end.
You can't make this stuff up folks. Is our system broke, “Heck Yeah!” It’s no wonder people are defrauding unemployment all over the place. Initially these programs were set up to help people, this system they have is helping the question is who? I’ve never experienced anything like this in my life until two years ago, and to be truthful I hope I will never have to collect again.
For myself I wound up being more proactive in dealing with my situation then they were. I got permission to go to school, (on my own) in fact when I went to make sure I was doing the right thing I was told, “Oh yes that’s good, your early to go back to school for job training.” I remember walking out of there and the only thing I could say was “Oh MY GOD.”

How bad is it when a system stops using real checks and balances or common sense. On the one hand they expect you to have your employment records when you're terminated, (this would indicate to me that you were printing them out in anticipation of being fired) REALLY?!!!!
Sorry, secondly if you appeal unless the employer is a real schmuck they can lie and often do without qualm because unemployment will go with pretty much what ever they say. You can appeal up to three times, but they can penalize you and demand you repay it if you fail. HMMM.

There is no common sense involved which is kind of sad if you ask me. I’ve paid into this system for well over 25 years, never once using it until now and as a taxpayer I am really disappointed in the system. Can I get a refund?
It really was "here’s your money now go away."
I am thankful I have a job now, and don’t need the system anymore.The fact that it is so easy to abuse and has been, for a while floors me and should floor you also. For people who legitimately need unemployment it can be the difference between surviving and not surviving. I also don’t feel anyone should be judging anyone who is in a position where they have to collect it, and yes the biased against the unemployed is out there and in surprising places even in our own government.

Unemployment was added
during President Roosevelt's time
in office, to help people during the
great depression.

I don’t blame Governor Christie because he didn’t create the mess we did by not being involved and not demanding a voice in how things are done in our own state. As a final thought be thankful if you have a job, I am. Having other people playing with your life so casually and carelessly is just kind of sad. Everyone isn’t a hustler, and not everyone is honest, if people open their eyes as see that there is a human being in front of you not a number, or a problem maybe things would get better. 
Hey it has to start somewhere.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Collection Agencies The Nazi's of Modern Day.

Listening to the radio recently I heard an interesting discussion about debt collectors, and how many of these companies seem to be getting out of control.For anyone in the position today with any kind of debt,it is important to know that as a consumer you do have rights. The Federal Trade Commission does have guideline that collection companies need to follow, also many states have their own rules regarding fair treatment and how long a company can go after you for a debt. 
          With so many people still out of work, losing their homes, cars it isn’t surprising that more people are struggling with debt today. “Eighty-eight million accounts and credit lines, representing $751 billion in credit, have been closed since September of 2008.”(, September 2009) 
          Debt is a reality we all live with and deal with, it is a growing problem that isn’t going away. The average person carries almost $10,000 in debt and it isn't getting any easier. What can you do if a collection company is harassing you, first tell them to stop calling you and contact you only through mail. That is your right. Secondly if you have a question about the validity of a debt it is up to them to prove that it’s yours, so go ahead and call them on it. Many of these companies buy the debt, and assume that it’s real. When you call them on it sometimes they will back off because it isn’t worth it for them to do the research. 
          I spent a several years doing medical collections and I can tell you that when these companies purchase these debts it's a blanket list. They don't care if you really don't owe, they are looking for a quick in and out and have no problem using intimidation to try to get the money from you. Another problem is many of these companies are now trying to report old debts over ten to fifteen years old to the credit bureaus as a new debt. That is not legal. You can dispute it, and the credit bureau is obligated to research it for you. 
          There are more people struggling  today then are not our government keeps flapping their gums insisting that things are getting better but are they?
           If you are not struggling you're in a 4% minority because according to statistics over 50% of all Americans say they are struggling and living paycheck to paycheck. 
          I know everyone makes fun of the 99% but the truth is most of us really are the 99%, we aren’t looking for a scapegoat, or to walk away from our problems. Most people just want to work, and live a decent life with their families.

           I worry for all of us, and our tomorrows, if things are this hard now for most of us what will they be like tomorrow for our kids and grandkids. 

A Chance To Breath

Finally A Chance To Take A Breath
The funny thing about going to college at my age is that you want everything to be right. You're not there because your parents pulled you home for screwing around at a big name college, you're there because you have a want. Its more then that though its a need, to do it and do it well.For yourself, the people who count on you and are always there cheering you on.  
It doesn’t matter what people think, if they agree or disagree, its a journey of self. As I complete this first year of my journey, I can look back with a smile, and know that I am on the right path. It may take me 4 years to get where I am going, and I may be the oldest journalism student when I graduate but who cares.

If you can find what you love and do it, isn't that what matters at the end of the day.My life is so busy,yet I can only say my cup runneth over. I know I am blessed and very fortunate.
The girls and I are each on our own journeys, and theirs may not take the same path as mine but at least they have the courage to take it.  Whether I agree with them or not, I respect that they each have a life to live, and dreams of their own to pursue.
It’s been one hell of a year, with many ups and downs both as a family and as individuals. I’ve had professors who have driven me nuts with their expectations, but I know I have to walk the path to get to the end. A family that can leave me exhausted just for being who they are.
The truth is I wouldn't trade one moment of the experience or the gift of sharing it with the people in my life who love me. I will continue to write my blog, and I hope you will continue to share my journey with me. I may miss a day now and then because life is lived after all, but I hope my pearls of wisdom will at least make you smile and lighten your own day. Thank you.  

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Chrissy's gift to me. Thank you baby. love you always. 

Happy Mothers Day..... 

Whether you're a mom or going to be a mom, if you're one of those special women who is mother to many, or a father who is also a mother, go out and enjoy your day. If its goofing off, giving to others, reading a book, catching a movie. just enjoy a quiet cup of coffee or tea and take a time for you. Ladies we get one day don't waste it. Be safe and enjoy and don't take what you have (your kids) for granted they are your gift and your legacy.


Saturday, May 12, 2012

I Lost My Voice....

I’m not developmentally disabled, I’m not deaf, I lost my voice it happens sometimes when you get sick and strain your vocal cords you can lose our voice. Pollen can do it also and right now there is loads of that. So for now when I open my mouth, most people cringe whenever I try to talk, heck I cringe. I can now understand what it must be like to try to communicate without a voice to others. It stinks, without the benefit of beautifully flowing sign language, and people who understand it, my options are limited.
      People either speak loudly like I've lost my hearing as well or act like I have grown two heads. It is actually pretty funny because most people don't know what to do or how to act.The lady at the deli counter shoved my order at me and basically ran away before I could give her the rest of the order. The guy at the gas station kept asking me if I was alright, and if I needed help. It is funny, for right now I avoid answering the phone, or putting myself in a position where I have to force the words out. Believe me I am truly thankful that it is only temporary, because I now have a better appreciation for those who are mute.
Hey What did you
say lady? 
        It really doesn't mean stupid folks, and maybe I am not being quite as politically correct as I should be but anyone who has spent any time around those special and unique people who are different knows first hand that they are very much like everyone else in many ways. Vibrant, colorful, and full of life.
     Back to my story here, I went out for my Saturday morning “Garage Sale”  run with my mom and of course my mom not unlike the rest of my family doesn't seem to realize not talk means can't talk. Let your vocal cords rest so that you can talk later. All of them keep asking me questions, calling me on the phone while I sit there squeaking like a mouse trying to answer them getting more frustrated by the moment with them all even though they mean the world to me. 
     No one likes to get sick, and I definitely could have done without losing my voice right now. Aside from all the jokes, snickers and “What mom? What did you say mom? Oh, I can't hear you.” from my daughter while she laughs over her cleverness.
No mom its not the smoking
it was the violent puking for 24 hours
I would say is a safe bet.
      More than anything it has been an enlightening experience. I didn't realize how important simple conversation is to those around me, and to myself. I spend hours not talking at all at times, and that is OK with me, this is almost like a prison that I can't wait to be free from. Find the key let me out....

Friday, May 11, 2012

Smoke Em if You Got Em

Smoke Em If You Got Em

“Excuse me, please stay out of my space! its a 12 foot area that surrounds me, six foot out from every side of me.” It’s called the smokers zone, no please don’t walk through it pretending that you're gasping for air because you don’t smoke. Don’t make rude comments I really don’t appreciate them and it makes you look like a real jerk.

OOP's no he died in an

I grew up in an era when people smoked on planes, trains, and on buses. If you went to the movies they would ask you, “please put your cigarette out before the movie started.” Many of our parents smoked, in the car all the time at the pool, the grocery store and yes even getting their hair done.

Yet when I began looking for statistic on people between the age of 30-50 who have died from second hand smoke there really wasn’t a whole lot of actual facts out there.The statistics are taken from heart attacks, lung cancer, and SID’s can I call a foul here. At least 155 people die from diet pills, that isn’t counting those that are anorexic, bulimic, or who develop life ending side effects from using them.   

Is it bad for you YES! but guess what, so is drinking are we going to bring back prohibition?  Maybe we should curtail the drinking of red bull, or diet pills because after all doesn’t that make you jumpy, effecting your heart. You could accidentally kill someone. Oh and while you're at it, if you or your spouse are taking blood pressure medication, you better give up your keys because I really don’t think it’s fair for you to put my kids lives at risk based on the possible side effects. Same for you if your over 70 your reflexes aren't quiet good enough for you to drive anymore.

Growing up many people smoked. Did it make us all weak and sickly? No! Our parents sent our behinds outside to exercise instead of sitting infront of a computer or video game. Why weren’t we all dropping with asthma or any of the other ailments that they are now linking to smoking.Because god knows it was all around us and over us. Also let's not forget those people who like to eat, you should have the right to say, "Oh no its salad for you you're too fat", right?

Yes, people die from cancer every single day, those who choose to smoke made that choice. Just like people who choose to work at a job where they're exposed to toxins in the air, it is a reality they all need to live with. Its a decision, like the decision we make when we go out for fast food instead of eating healthy.

My point is this, respect is a two way street. If you don’t smoke then walk away, that is your god given right. If you want to shove diet pills, red bull or even booze down your throat it is your choice not mine.I won’t tell you how to live your life or act like a twit and try to take away your freedoms. But hey, while I’m letting you live your life, Let me live mine.
Bullying is illegal or didn’t you hear that yet? Some of you out there are down right nasty and discriminating when it comes to smokers.

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