Thursday, October 27, 2011

Things I HAVE Done

This post is written from a prompt, provided here:


1.) Last week we wrote about what we have never done...this week write a list of 22 things you HAVE done. (inspired by Sellabit Mom)

I am fifty years old, and I HAVE:

1) Been married three times.

2) Given birth to three children.

3) Lived in Germany for three years.


4) Gotten my ears pierced (even though I was 25 before I worked up the nerve!)

5) Eaten and enjoyed escargot and calamari.

6) Been a guest on the GERALDO show.

7) Had an amazing full body massage

8) Been to the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

9) Seen Barry Manilow in concert twice.


10) Struggled with trying to gain weight, and been called anorexic.

11) Led a workshop on writing for publication.

12) Owned more dogs and cats than I can remember.

13) Been to Disneyland and Disney World.

14) Been to a World's Fair. (Seattle, 1962)

15) Published a book of my poetry.


16) Eaten deer, rabbit and squirrel.

17) Been an elementary school teacher.

18) Always thought penguins are adorable, especially baby ones.


19) Always had a hard time trusting people.

20) Had my heart broken.

21) Known true love.

22) Been to the Renaissance Festival on numerous occasions.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Things I've Never Done

This post is written from a prompt, provided here:


1.) Follow the template I copied from The Pioneer Woman without her permission and list 22 things you’ve never done.

I am fifty years old, and I have never:
1) Learned to swim or even to float.

2) Learned to ride a bicycle.

3) Been to Paris.


4) Gotten a tattoo.

5) Eaten sushi.

6) Taken a cruise.


7) Been to a spa.

8) Swum with dolphins.

9) Been to a Neil Diamond concert.


10) Been on a diet.

11) Been comfortable speaking to groups of people.

12) Owned a sugar glider.


13) Ridden on an elephant.

14) Ridden in a hot air balloon.

15) Been to a NASCAR race.


16) Eaten fried green tomatoes.

17) Gone to a casino

18) NOT been terrified of snakes.


19) Been to Mardi Gras

20) Ridden on a train

21) Had a manicure or pedicure.

22) Jumped out of a perfectly good airplane.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My ADD/ADHD rant

First of all, I will agree that ADD/ADHD is overdiagnosed these days, and that there are children being given medications that they do not need. That said, I also know first hand that there are children...and adults...who most definitely DO need the medication, and who can not function as well without it as they do with it.

ADD/ADHD is not just about normal "hyperactivity" in a growing child. A child who is properly tested for this disorder will have physical, psychological and neurological exams...and you can see a HUGE difference in the brain activity of a person with the disorder vs. a person without it. Below are two pictures to demonstrate those differences..they are very real.

The first picture shows a PET scan of a "normal" brain vs. an ADHD brain, and the second picture shows a variety of EEGs.

In cases like those above, just changing their diet, or making sure they get more exercise, is not going to solve the problem. They have a chemical imbalance in the brain, and medication is required to correct that imbalance.

Yes, some children get diagnosed with the disorder, put on medication, and they turn into "zombies." In those cases, generally, one of two things is going on: either they don't have the disorder, or they are on the wrong dosage. A person with true ADD/ADHD will only function "normally" when they are on the proper dosage of the medication.

Many people with true ADD/ADHD will also NOT "grow out of it" when they reach adolescence, and will have to continue to take medication for their entire lives.

ADD/ADHD is not caused by a child having too much sugar in their diet, or watching too much television, or playing too many video games. It is something they are born with, in most cases, and in a great many cases it is hereditary. It is NOT, by any means, a sign of poor parenting.

There is more that I could say, but I'll leave it at that for now.....

Monday, October 10, 2011

"My" Song

What was the first song that was ever "your song?"

The first song I ever really remember claiming as my own because it resonated so much with me was "I Made It Through The Rain," which Barry Manilow released in 1980, when I was 18/19. I THOUGHT I'd been through a lot at that point, but I had no idea how much more was still to come, and how often I'd hang on to the words of that song and just pray that I would, again, make it through.

I Made It Through The Rain
Barry Manilow

We dreamers have our ways
Of facing rainy days
And somehow we survive

We keep the feelings warm
Protect them from the storm
Until our time arrives

Then one day the sun appears
And we come shining through those lonely years

I made it through the rain
I kept my world protected
I made it throught the rain
I kept my point of view
I made it through the rain
And found myself respected
By the others who
Got rained on too
And made it through

When friends are hard to find
And life seems so unkind
Sometimes you feel so afraid

Just aim beyond the clouds
And rise above the crowds
And start your own parade

'Cause when I chased my fears away
That's when I knew that I could finally say

I made it through the rain
I kept my world protected
I made it throught the rain
I kept my point of view
I made it through the rain
And found myself respected
By the others who
Got rained on too
And made it through


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Books I've Read In October 2011

1) The Confession, by John Grisham
In 2007, almost on the eve of the execution of Donté Drumm, an African-American college football star, for the 1998 murder of a white cheerleader whose body was never found, Travis Boyette, a creepy multiple sex offender, confesses that he's guilty of the crime to Kansas minister Keith Schroeder. With Drumm's legal options dwindling fast and with the threat of civil unrest in his Texas hometown if the execution proceeds, Schroeder battles to convince Boyette to go public with the truth--and to persuade the condemned man's attorney that Boyette's story needs to be taken seriously.

2) Don't Make A Black Woman Take Off Her Earrings: Madea's Uninhibited Commentaries On Love and Life, by Tyler Perry
One could say that if the title of this book confuses you, then you probably shouldn't be reading it. But, as Madea helpfully suggests, "If you don't understand something I'm saying here and you're not black, you will have to ask somebody who is." Madea—Southern-speak for "mother dear"—is the fierce alter ego of Tyler Perry, who has paraded the marijuana-smoking, pistol-packing, trash-talking matron through a series of hit gospel plays and films. Although primarily a comic figure based on unapologetically crude behavior coming from a harmless-looking old lady, Madea is envisioned by Perry (who provides his own introduction before turning the reins over to his inner grandma) as a throwback to a time when strong matriarchs ruled the community. The result is a surprisingly fresh compilation of homespun advice—which Madea says the reader should take "at your own risk"—on love, sex, getting ahead in life and (strangely) the thousand-plus uses of Vaseline. Although veering dangerously close to serious at times, Perry litters Madea's anarchic, stage-ready monologues with hilariously bad quips along the lines of "the grass is always greener on the other side, but the water bill is higher."

3) The Snow Queen (Tales Of The Five Hundred Kingdoms, Book 4), by Mercedes Lackey
Aleksia, Queen of the Northern Lights, is mysterious, beautiful and widely known to have a heart of ice. No one would seek her wisdom except as a last resort. But when she's falsely accused of unleashing evil on nearby villages, she realizes there's an impostor out there far more heartless than she could ever be.

And when a young warrior following the Tradition disappears, leaving his sweetheart and mother to fear the worst, Aleksia's powers are needed as never before.

Now, on a journey through a realm of perpetual winter, it will take all her skills, a mother's faith and a little magic to face down an enemy more formidable than any she has ever known.…

4) The Help, by Kathryn Stockett

What perfect timing for this optimistic, uplifting debut novel set during the nascent civil rights movement in Jackson, Miss., where black women were trusted to raise white children but not to polish the household silver. Eugenia Skeeter Phelan is just home from college in 1962, and, anxious to become a writer, is advised to hone her chops by writing about what disturbs you. The budding social activist begins to collect the stories of the black women on whom the country club sets relies and mistrusts enlisting the help of Aibileen, a maid who's raised 17 children, and Aibileen's best friend Minny, who's found herself unemployed more than a few times after mouthing off to her white employers. The book Skeeter puts together based on their stories is scathing and shocking, bringing pride and hope to the black community, while giving Skeeter the courage to break down her personal boundaries and pursue her dreams. Assured and layered, full of heart and history, this one has bestseller written all over it.

5) Stolen Life, Jaycee Lee Dugard
When Jaycee Dugard was eleven years old, she was abducted from a school bus stop within sight of her home in South Lake Tahoe, California. She was missing for more than eighteen years, held captive by Phillip Craig and Nancy Garrido, and gave birth to two daughters during her imprisonment. On August 26, 2009, Garrido showed up for a meeting with his parole officer; he brought Jaycee, her daughters, and his wife Nancy with him. Their unusual behavior raised suspicions and an investigation revealed the tent behind the Garridos’ home where Jaycee had been living for nearly two decades.

A Stolen Life was written by Jaycee herself and covers the period from the time of her abduction in 1991 up until the present. In her stark, compelling narrative, she opens up about what she experienced—and offers an extraordinary account of courage and resilience.

6) Cross Fire, by James Patterson

Wedding bells ring

Detective Alex Cross and Bree's wedding plans are put on hold when Alex is called to the scene of the perfectly executed assassination of two of Washington D.C.'s most corrupt: a dirty congressmen and an underhanded lobbyist. Next, the elusive gunman begins picking off other crooked politicians, sparking a blaze of theories--is the marksman a hero or a vigilante?

A murderer returns

The case explodes, and the FBI assigns agent Max Siegel to the investigation. As Alex and Siegel battle over jurisdiction, the murders continue. It becomes clear that they are the work of a professional who has detailed knowledge of his victims' movements--information that only a Washington insider could possess.

Caught in a lethal cross fire

As Alex contends with the sniper, Siegel, and the wedding, he receives a call from his deadliest adversary, Kyle Craig. The Mastermind is in D.C. and will not relent until he has eliminated Cross and his family for good. With a supercharged blend of action, deception, and suspense, Cross Fire is James Patterson's most visceral and exciting Alex Cross novel ever.

Total Year To Date: 49

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Space In My Heart

This post is written from a prompt, provided here:


5.) I have no idea where the following message originated from, but it's been floating around Facebook for the past week...who does it make you think about?:

I think we all have that person who, if we knew we were dying, we'd want to contact and let them know how much they always meant to us. For me, that person is the one who comes to mind whenever I read this. He was in my life twice, in two very different ways, and made no effort to stay there either time. In spite of that, the second time he earned a permanent space in my heart.

It really, truly sucks when you spend almost 50 yrs of your life looking for love...real, honest, unconditional love...and then when you finally find the person you can give it to, they aren't able to give it BACK to you. He made promises about being in my life forever, and being willing to give up the life he had to create a life for US, but when push came to shove, the only thing he actually gave up was ME.

I've gone on with my life since that happened, but it hasn't been easy. Every time something happens, good or bad, I want to share it with him--but since we have no contact at all, that's impossible. So that means there are times I get really down, even during what should be a very happy time, simply because there's someone missing.

Not sure any of this makes any sense...but there it is, for whatever it's worth.
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