Why I'm here....

Since I've always been quick with an opinion an old friend once lost and again found suggested that perhaps I should share with more people my commentary. Never being one to pass on a challenge I thought I'd give it a whirl.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Child's Play

Watching my niece and nephew play today took me back to the carefree years of my youth growing up. My brother and I were very close and we often played games together or a good old fashioned game of cowboys and Indians or cops and robbers together. Most kids today have way more toys than they need and more than I probably got all the time I was growing up. It was nice seeing my niece and nephew partake in a game today that required them to use their imagination. I know there are a large range of toys and lots of variety for kids to play with, but one thing that bothers me are that a lot of the toys out there these days think for the kids. They tell the kids what to do, and how to react. Where is the good in that? We need children who are able to be creative and think outside of the box. I remember playing with a can of water and some old bowls and pans my mother had given me and pretending it was a kitchen and mud was often what I served up. Another thing that bothers me about children today is that a lot of the parents let them stay glued to video games and the television set. My dad would call the television set an idiot box. There is no harm in them doing these things some, but children should be outside playing when the weather is nice. They should be creating and reading and growing. Not just stuck in front of a television full of advertisements and hooked up to a video game that may set unrealistic expectations on life for them. Not that I'm bashing video games. I actually think when played some and not in large quantities they can help broaden the mind. It's just if that is all they ever do, it's not cool in my opinion. Last night I was actually talking to a few people at the party about children and how I believe they should sit down and eat before play. We were also talking about kids that act like wild banshee's in public. I just don't get that. Never in a million years would I have ever even considered throwing a tantrum in public, but today's kids do it all the time. My niece and nephew do good most of the time, every once in a while though. Wow. But today they were children at play with a world laying at their feet full of promise and mystery. I'm scared for our children. Our government doesn't allow them to learn lessons I personally feel are an integral part of growing up. The schools are no longer allowed to let the children play tug of war, instead they call it tug of fun. When games are played at school everyone must get a ribbon, because heaven forbid little Johnny learn as he should that life isn't always fair and that you do lose sometimes. I had a friend in high school, actually two grades ahead of me. He was the golden child you might say. He got straight A's and was liked by all. He had looks too. Everything in school was handed to him on a silver platter and I doubt he ever heard a bad word at home. When he got out of school he couldn't handle life. It wasn't all being handed to him anymore. He hung himself in a motel in Florida the summer after graduation. So the schools are robbing our children of lessons I feel they need to learn. Life isn't always fair. We have to use our imaginations. We have to fight and push forward. After all it would be great if all of life were child's play, but those of us in the real world know it isn't.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Party Observations...

So tonight I attended a candle party hosted by a friend. I had met a couple of the people before, others I had read their blogs or heard about and some of them I had absolutely no knowledge of what so ever. As people sat around engaging in different conversations I found myself mainly listening and learning what I could. I also went back through my mind to the many parties I had either given or attended over the years. I thought about how much I had changed and in some ways how little I had changed. The old me of twenty years ago would have followed my friend around the house, not straying far from where he was. I would have done this for many reasons, mainly due to insecurities and somewhat for attention. The old me would have monopolized conversations instead of listening. The person who sat there tonight was mainly interested in listening and every so often partaking in the conversations that were going on. I looked around and thought about how there is always that person who is the center of attention at the party, whether they are attempting to be or not. There is always that one couple that looks like and acts like the perfect couple. There is always that one person who is odd man out if for no other reason than they just don't seem to fit the picture. Tonight I saw them all; however, the difference in this party and others I have given or attended was that each person did their best to make sure all were engaged in conversation and that no one was left out. The host took time for each person and showed great ability in making sure his guests needs were met whether it was food, game or conversation. So when I was driving home I got to thinking back through the years at the parties and I took two of the pictures from my favorite party I think I was ever involved in. I have them posted here on this blog. It was a Halloween Party that Joe and I gave together in 1989. He dressed up as Dead Marylin Monroe back from the grave. He signed autographed photos (To my sister in Sin, Marylin) and really did a good job of being in character. I was in goth attire. Either way you slice it there is nothing better than just sitting around and getting to know people or simply sitting back every once in a while at a good party and just enjoying the little observations that one might miss if they were to not listen ever so closely. Scavenger Hunt Anyone?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hypertension The Silent Killer

Hypertension, high blood pressure, is a silent killer. One of three Americans has it and the thing is 1 out of that three of them probably don't even realize they have it. I didn't. As a matter of fact I'm lucky because I found it quickly. I donate blood about every six months to the American Red Cross. It helps out someone and I actually feel better for the next few days while my blood rebuilds. Plus there are all the test they run on your blood so it's like a free check up. I actually found out about an iron deficiency at one point from donating. Test like that would cost a lot of money if you went to your doctors office. So there is a lot of good for me and for someone else. I am O positive which is fairly common. Being fairly common means they need more of it though. And just because you have high blood pressure, doesn't mean you can't donate. As long as you have it under control with or without medication you can donate. Well in six months my blood pressure readings with them had changed and I don't mean a little. It went from 120/70 to being 156/85. I had a lot of stress and other factors so I ignored it for a while, thinking once the stress left I'd be back to normal. Thing is the stress didn't leave. I did see symptoms thinking back, but I pushed them off to other reasons. When I went to my doctor for a kidney infection my blood pressure was 198/92. That was a big red flag. So I am on a medication and I have a 2000 mg a day of salt diet that I try to stick with. Along with exercise. I had a check up a couple of weeks ago and my blood pressure was back to being normal. Of course who knows without the medication. Here are the common symptoms, that is when there are symptoms.

Symptoms listed at MEDCO: headaches, getting tired easily, dizziness, nosebleeds, chest pain, & shortness of breath.

I always have headaches so for me that isn't unusual and didn't signal a thing. The second one on the list though. Wow! I had gotten in the last year to where I always felt tired no matter what. I couldn't get enough sleep and never felt good. I also had six, count them six kidney infections last year and a bladder infection and a throat infection that took four different antibiotics to get rid of. Don't expect you will feel any symptoms though. This is why it's called the silent killer. A good majority of people with high blood pressure never have any symptoms. They are healthy looking and in shape. Yet they have this killer just waiting to take them out.

High Blood pressure can Cause, Strokes, Heart Disease, & Kidney disease to name a few.

American Heart Association recommended blood pressure levels

Blood Pressure Category Systolic/ Diastolic

Normal less than 120 & less than 80
Prehypertension 120–139 or 80–89


Stage 1 140–159 or 90–99
Stage 2 160 or higher or 100 or higher Blood Pressure Category

The Systolic rate is the top number in your reading and is the number that shows the force of your heart pumping, while the bottom rate, diastolic, is the rate of your heart at rest. If you are a person who doesn't go for regular checkups, I know most Walmarts, Meijers, Kmart's, and Walgreen's have machines where you can check your blood pressure. Along with most firehouses offer days where they will take your blood pressure. You would want to check on when that is available in your area. But if you're brave and you want to help someone out I really do recommend donating blood at the red cross.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Mothers Do Know Everything

I was having a conversation with my mother today regarding how I don't want the election to come down to voting White or Black. How I was tired of hearing about anything that distinguished us all as anything but part of the human race. I don't see people in shades of color or who they sleep with or what religion they want to worship. I see them simply as my friends and loved ones. I'm sure my thought process would upset some, but I'm tired of black pride, women's pride, gay pride, Jewish pride and any other kind of pride you can think of. I have gotten to a point where I hate the topic pretty much of such things as we are discriminated against because we are women. Yeah well join the world. Some are discriminated against for being too vocal. Some for being too fat. Some for too skinny. I guess I was just having one of those days in my mind where it struck a nerve, mainly due probably to sleep deprivation. I said to my mother why do they have to have these pride days. I don't go around celebrating straight, 3/4 white, 1/4 Indian woman's pride day. Mothers wisdom once again prevailed. She said: Because it's their way of fighting for their rights. Now she wasn't taking a stand or even giving an opinion. But those simple little words put my mind in a better frame, with a better perspective. I don't need to fight for my rights for the female, straight thing I mentioned, but these parades, these days of expectation that I don't seem to get made perfect sense to my mother. They are simply fighting for their rights. How simple and yet my mind had never wrapped around it so profoundly as to help me understand it so completely.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

An Overwhelmingly Disappointing Day

Let me start by saying that I am thankful to the good Lord in heaven for every day I am alive, so although today was disappointing I'm still grateful I got to live this day. With that said. My day started off with my dog deciding I didn't need to sleep past 9:30am. She wanted me up and out of bed. I thought if I turned her out I could go back to bed, but guess again. Then I had a partnership meeting I had to attend, so I had to be to work an hour earlier than usual. I came out of that meeting feeling less than enthused. It sort of seemed like to me that the people we came to partner with came with their minds all ready firmly set on what their opinions were. Maybe that was just my misconception though. One can pray. Then I got the worlds worst headache. After all of that I thought wow, tomorrow I can go by Chris Young's new CD. Guess again. Another disappointing blow. They have moved the release date of his new album "Voices" and it is now on TBD. UGH! How can they do that? Well, I don't know why cause you can't find anything out there that will tell you, which makes it even more frustrating. I do have my sneaking suspicions though that it has a lot to do with the fact that they are currently trying to peddle his first two albums that he made prior to being known for winning Nashville Star two years ago. I listened to one of the songs on you tube off one of his albums. It sounds promising and I must admit when I have the money I would like to buy the albums he has out there. Right now the financial drain isn't going to allow for that though. Plates, insurance all due in the next month. I'll be quiet broke until after the first of the year. Anyway I have listed his albums here below for you, along with a web address to a song I recommend you check out off his I wish I Was Lying CD.

***Picture Courtesy of AllMusic.Com***

First Album: I Wish I was Lying
Second Album: A Little At a Time
Christmas Album: An Acoustic Country Christmas

Devils Thumbprint - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcdeqOebqDs

So the day was disappointing but as they say: There is always tomorrow!

Monday, August 25, 2008

September 11, 2001 Liberty Has Never Meant so Much.

When I took this photo on a business trip to New Jersey in 1993 I never realized how profound it would be or how cherished it would become among my personal photos. Thing is I'm sure thousands of people have taken pictures just like this. The picture meant a lot to me then, but after that awful day in September 2001 I could not help but stop and think of the image of the twin towers behind this soldier and how they have since fallen like the man this soldier is carrying. Does anyone but me find it so hard to believe that it's almost been seven years since that day? I remember that day like it was yesterday. I had started off to work and realized I left my id badge at home, so I turned around and went back home to get it. This put me later than normal in my car. I always like to show up to work about a half hour early so that I can get settled you might say. Anyway, since I was running late I was in the car right as 97 FM came on and announced the first plan hitting the tower. I thought they were joking. I know that would be an awful joke, but it just didn't seem like it could be real and then the second plane hit the second tower. I felt like I stopped breathing for a moment. I remember I logged my phone for break and went out in the hallway to use the phones to call my mom and dad. The urgency to talk to my family was so strong it was driving my every instinct, although I was no where near New York and neither was anyone in my family. I remember telling them. I remember wondering if it was the start of a war here on the U.S. soil. The thought petrified me. TVs were rolled out where we could all watch as we worked. My job does communications and we had employees in those buildings. Everything that was to be that day had changed. All employees were told all attention needed to be on making sure the communications in that fateful city were restored and working. Supervisors checked to see how we were doing. Break rooms were filled with people glued to the TVs. Everyone wanting to know what was going on. We all watched in horror as the first tower fell. Numb doesn't even begin to cover it. I remember one customer who called in the late afternoon who had not been watching TV or listening to the radio. I remember telling him and him being panic stricken as his children were on a trip for their school to New York and he needed to find them and find them right then. I wonder if his children were OK. I remember how empty the skies were for the next week or two and how odd it seemed not to see a plane in the sky. I remember everyone including me watching all the news and hoping beyond hope that they would find survivors. I remember when a local news channel aired coverage of people jumping and how they had to pull that feed really fast as people were horrified that they would show such an image. I remember it all. How does one really forget that. Yet somehow it seems most people have locked it away and pushed it to the back. I don't hear that much about it anymore, but I personally for one don't want to forget. It was the worst and the best of times. People came together and showed how strong we can really be. As scary as it was for me, I can't even imagine how it was for those who lived in New Jersey and New York. I just pray that nothing that awful ever happens again. I know though life as it is, it more than likely will at some point. So, it seems to me that we are now living in times when liberty has never meant so much.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Did I Blink?

OK, I had a very enjoyable two days off, but I swear I think I must have blinked because they are completely done and tomorrow, although it may be your Sunday, is my Monday. What a couple of days I had though. I loved it, but I was busy. Got off work at 4am on Friday, came home fed the pets, walked the dog and went to bed. Got up at 10:55AM and met a friend at Sam's club to start a early afternoon of shopping. We did an early lunch and talked. I can't help but admire her strength and courage. She has been having problems for almost a year now with her eyes with a disease I had never heard of until she got it. It's called Blepharospasm. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blepharospasm This disease causes a persons eyes to get to a point where they have problems keeping their eyes open. They for all intensive purposes have moments of blindness. There is absolutely nothing they can do to keep this from occurring. They simply can't keep their eyes open. They have problems with bright light and sun too. My friend has taken to wearing dark shaded glasses even at night for her problem. Yet she finds a way to be a mother of three boys. I watched her the other day making them lunch by feeling her way around the refrigerator and kitchen. She really is a remarkable human being. She's even found a way to hold down a job and help her family stay afloat. I don't know that I could do that if I were her. After dropping her off I went about going to the bank and running errands. Late evening consisted of dinner with friends and then shopping for a birthday gift for another friend. To say the least I was exhausted. Did that stop me from doing it again today. No. Not quiet as busy, but somewhat. Lunch with mom and dad. Watched my niece and nephew for a while. Shopping. When I met my mom and dad at Golden Corral today I got there ahead of them. I watched a young couple in the parking lot. They couldn't have been over twenty years old and it was very apparent that one she was really really really pregnant and two they had been fighting. I felt more for him than her though. He kept stroking her hair and hugging her. He even pulled her face to his and kissed her. Nothing from her. Her arms hung at her side and she turned away from him and wiped tears away. Then they got in their car and drove away. I know my friend Joe says he often wonders what the story behind is of people. A part of me indulged in that same thought process. Then after all my store shopping for two weeks worth of groceries I realized I had lost my work ID card off my purse. Sheer panic struck every nerve and I spent the next two hours going to every place I had been and retracing my steps. Of course it was the last place I had to go. Which makes one wonder why would one say: "It was the last place I looked?" I mean who looks for something after they have found it? But in my case it was the last place that it could have possibly been because it was the last place I had been today. Thank goodness it was there. They had it. Hallelujah! Then it was home to pay bills and be depressed at how poor I am and how I really should have taken the over time offered tonight to pay off some debt, but I really do need rest too. Now laundry has been getting my attention in the late hours of my night. Exciting weekend? No. Busy? Yes. In case you are wondering... Yes that is my eye and the dog below is my dog Princess. So let me ask you again since it's now time for bed and the work week is beginning. Did I blink?

Not Your Ordinary Kentucky Fried Chicken

Ordinary, not quiet! If you're like me KFC is not your favorite place to eat. It is one of my dad's favorite restaurants in this town though. Along with a friend that likes to go there and my brother. I could go a lifetime and never set foot in there and I'd be happy. Let's not even begin with the fact that it's greasy, but it's loaded with salt. Salt as you may or may not know is my number one enemy. So, when my dad wants to go there, I would go regardless to be with my family, we usually go to the KFC located on East State, 3816 E. State St, to be exact. The reason we go to this particular one is because it is partnered with AW, Inc. A&W restaurants are popular in some parts of the state, but not many people realize we actually have one in Fort Wayne. To realize this, you would have to know it's housed inside the KFC on State. They are partnered to give variety at this one store. The restaurant on the inside has old artwork and a sixty's jukebox to try to help give it a sort of soda shop feel. And as one might assume you can

get a frosted mug of A&W root beer to wash down your favorite foods. They offer a variety of burgers and fries as well as onion rings. Now if you don't want the burger variety the KFC does offer the usual KFC Fair, up to and including a daily buffet. The buffet is all inclusive in price. You get a drink and a meal. Oh and if you happen to be a senior fifty-five years or older be sure to ask for your free soft drink no matter what you order and your discount if you happen to order the buffet. So there you have it. Two restaurants in one. Check it out today!

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Softer Side of Robert E. Armstrong

For full article on Mayor Robert E Armstrong go to: http://www.journalgazette.net/

It may be true that I couldn't tell you one thing about how Robert E. Armstrong was as mayor of Fort Wayne, Indiana from 1975-1979; however, it might surprise you what I could. I for one was very saddened to hear of his passing. As children growing up we all have many people that touch our lives. Our friends, family, TV hero's, teachers and the occasional stranger with an act of kindness. How many of us can say we held a fond childhood memory of an act of kindness shown to a child by a city mayor? In 1976 when I was nine years old my third grade class took a field trip to The City County Building. We got to tour the old court house and go under the road through the tunnels to the jail. We were fingerprinted and even locked in a jail sell for about fifteen minutes. We got our mugshots taken. It was a great field trip for young children. Of all the memories of that day though the one that always will stick out is of when I and my first cousin Diane decided to go AWOL. We were all headed down to the jail sells which I thought a little boring. I was nine and not to out of character for me I was good at getting into trouble. Let me say whatever trouble I got into my younger cousin Diane got into with me. So we were at the end of the group. They went straight she and I turned and started exploring the building on our own. We found ourselves in an elevator and went to the top floor. ( I believe that is the ninth floor. I didn't pay too much attention and I haven't looked. Could have been the sixth. I can't remember. Anyone know how many floors that building has?) Anyway, we walked out of the elevator and this nice woman greeted us. She looked a little surprised as I recall. (gee wonder why with a nine year old and an eight year old coming out of the elevator unchaperoned?) Anyway she asked what us girls were doing there. We fessed up to leaving the group. She asked us to stay put for a moment, but returned shortly and ushered us into what we later would learn was the mayor's office. Walking in the man behind the desk had a smiled that beamed from ear to ear. Kind of a smirk in a way looking back with adult eyes. The lady left us in there. Later I would find out she was sent to find our teachers. This man had no difficulty talking to us on our childlike level. He even let me sit in his chair. He told me to see how it felt to be mayor if only for a minute. He gave us pencils and some other small trinkets. The time I remember as very enjoyable and the most fun I had on that trip. Basically the mayor became our babysitter for a half hour. A police officer came back with the woman and we were taken down to the jail sells where they pretended to lock us up for not following the rules. Don't really remember getting in any trouble. I do remember the look of relief on my teachers face. So for me I won't remember Robert E Armstrong as the one time mayor of Fort Wayne, but rather as a man who showed two young girls a fleeting moment of kindness. Again I find myself saying... Thanks for the memories.

Toothpicks Anyone?

I work a shift, that honestly I suppose is not meant for everyone. You'll find me at work most nights from 3:00 P.M. until Midnight. I actually find this shift quiet enjoyable most nights though because I have until about 2:30 P.M. in the day to enjoy the gorgeous summer days we have been having. For what ever reason, I know WTH was I thinking, I decided to be nice and help out and do some over time for third shift tonight. I told them I would stay until 4:00 A.M.. I know it doesn't sound too hard in theory, but let me tell you, Toothpicks are required. About 3:00 A.M. My eyelids started feeling as if someone put fifty pound weights on them. My head started doing that bobbing thing that is reminiscent of heavy metal head banging and my body cried out for my pillow and blanket. Again I ask you. What the hell was I thinking. Ahhh yes, MONEY. I believe if I were to be more honest with myself and everyone else it would all boil down to good old dollars and sense. Or lack of any common sense. Which ever way it is, I survived! Seems to me when I was younger this wasn't quite so hard to do, but now a days I'm guessing I'll be paying for this for the next few days. Anyone have an IV of Coffee that they can hook me up to? Anyway, this is short and sweet, but I just had to ask. Toothpicks anyone?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Exercise Hell - The Road to Success?

I've heard that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, but let me tell you I'm pretty sure it's exercise. I started an exercise routine about two weeks ago. I have been adding a few every few days to the routine to try to get my optimal results. The first two weeks have been mostly trying to limber up some and loosen up some. So the first two weeks were not too bad. A little soreness but not bad. This week on Monday though I added the real exercises. The ones that make you sweat and make you use your muscles. Let me say OMG! I have sore muscles in places I don't think you're suppose to have muscles. Yesterday, Wednesday, I was so sore I could hardly move. It literally hurt so badly, especially my legs, that I wanted to throw in the towel and cry. I expressed this to my mother. She always has had really good advice but what she said wasn't what I wanted to hear. She said whatever you do don't stop. You need to work through the pain. She said it was really important to do the exercises last night. UGH! So let me tell you I did and I did so with great pain. Every exercise hurt but I did them and you know what? She was right. Today the soreness is not nearly as bad. It's at least sixty to seventy percent better. Just feels a little tender. Guess we'll have to see how long it takes me to get good results but the lessons learned are many. One you can do something even when you mind is screaming "What the hell are you doing?" and as one would expect, "Mother really does know best!"

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Right on Target!

Target is coming and I have it on good authority that it's not too off in the near future. Looks like the Target store will be opening way ahead of schedule. I remember when they first said they were building this Target, which is located off Thomas and Illinois Road last year. They estimated it would open in 2009. I for one was excited it was going to open and give us another choice in the neighborhood, but couldn't believe it was two years out. Surprise! It's slated to open if everything goes according to plans next month! Although the wall says October 12TH, plans at this time due to being ahead on construction may see it open as early as the second week of September. Can you believe it. September 2008 we may be able to all start shopping in the new Target. At least that is unless they decide to hold off the the October 12TH date for bunkum. The store is approximately 127,000 square feet. Now I have been past it several times. I am always out there. To tell you the truth I'm a little surprised at the way they have the store facing. They don't have it facing Illinois Road which is the main drag. Rather they have opted to turn it facing the Lowe's store across the street from it. Oh and some other good news... There is a Gordman's Discount Store slated to open up in this new plaza as well. Name for the new plaza, originally it was slated to be named Gateway Crossing, but has been changed to Orchard Crossing. So are you excited about a new Target? How do you think it will affect the sales of Walmarts and Meijer?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Little Blonde Curls And Hershey's Kisses

******************Katie West 2007*****************

Isn't it amazing how life changes. The picture here on the left is of my Uncle Roger, who Died 12/23/2005. The little boy whose shoulder his hand rest on is his son and the above little girls daddy. For whatever reason my mind was playing this little game of where and when with me before I went to bed last night. It caused me a little bit of grief in trying to go to sleep. I imagine we all have nights like that though. What was going through my mind is how we miss someone so badly when they die. We long to see them and hear from them. Sometimes we even imagine them being there still. Life tries to prepare us for this in ways I wondered if anyone but myself has thought about. I mean the little boy in the picture with his dad is no longer really here even though he's still alive. He's a grown man with a family of his own, so in essence the man who was the boy is here, but the little boy I remember is not. Same with any small child. Think about it. We get use to them being babies, then toddlers, then kids, then teens and then grown ups. Even though we get use to it and we know that these are the same people, deep inside there is a part of us that mourns for the loss of the baby, or child they once were. I do anyway. I don't think it's really anything we can help. I also believe parents especially probably go through this period of seeing their children as little kids even though they are all grown up. Isn't it amazing though how the event of simply growing up is preparing us in a way on some subconscious level for a time when that person may never be around anymore or others may not be around anymore. It's a cycle I was just wondering if anyone else had thought of or taken time to ponder. In the picture here to the right is my nephew Dakota. I remember this sweet innocent little boy in the photo. He could never go anywhere without his favorite teddy bear. That bear and him were inseparable. Teddy did have a few mishaps over the years though. Every thing from a dunk in the toilet to a ride in the good old washing machine. I also remember when teddy got a tear and I sewed it up. Dakota said I was putting a band aide on teddy. It was so sweet. It's hard to Believe he will be eight years old on November 26Th.
This picture on the left is at my nieces second birthday I believe. (They say the memory is the first thing to go.) She loved the attention. The white cake on the table was of a dog before she took a big bite out of it. She still loves attention today. It's very hard for me to believe she's going to be five years old on October 18Th. I have lots of fond memories of her, but I think the fact that we wondered if she was ever going to grow hair sticks out the most. Along with the mole I have on one side on one of my ears. She looked at the mole, then looked at the other side and saw there wasn't one and went - "Ought OH!" She thought I had lost the other one I suppose. The photo here on the right is of my niece and nephew last summer. Summer 2007. They have changed so much in just that last year that it's hard to believe.
In the picture here on the left the young man squatting on the front low left is my dad at age sixteen. In the picture below is my mother on the right. I'm really not sure how old she is in the picture. It's uncanny though how much my pictures as a child and Ashley's pictures look like her.
Either way I hope you've enjoyed my little trip down memory lane and the photos of my family. I suppose this would fall under the nostalgia part of my blog. Before I close out this blog though I want to leave you with a memory that my mind has wrapped around and holds dear and near after all these years. My friend Joe has a daughter named Tammy. Tammy has always been the sweetest little girl. In her preteen years she would sit and watch us play cards and sometimes she would play along. I remember that well, but there is one memory that I hold dear to my heart. Shortly after Joe's divorce he was house sitting for a friend out of Lake Avenue. He asked me if I would like to join him for dinner, as a friend. Joining he and I was his gorgeous two and a half year old or three year old little girl named Tammy. Little blond curls to die for. So there isn't a lot I remember about that evening, but the thing that sticks out in my mind is this little blond curly haired girl that kept me company. Joe had bought Tammy a single serving bag of Hershey Kisses. (I believe they had just come out with those.) Anyway she stood there by the table I was sitting out and took out the Hershey Kisses one by one and counted them as she did so. When she was done she put them back in the bag and started over, only she took up count where she left off. It was almost as if her childlike mind thought this way she had more candy. It is a memory that holds dear to me, although I have no pictures of Tammy from that time. I find myself wondering when Joe looks at this beautiful young lady that is all grown now if from time to time he doesn't see that little girl from that time and day. Thanks for the memories.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Dreaming of Tomorrow

Where do you go when you dream? Do you remember your dreams or do you often wake up believing you didn't dream at all. Research shows that everyone dreams every night whether we remember them or not. There has been a great deal of research that also shows that if we learn to remember our dreams and even write them down they can often give us insightful information into our own lives. Why you might ask? Simply because the subconscious mind is free to explore when we are sleeping. When you are asleep you are not held back by your inhibitions. In our sleep we can fly like eagles. We have the answers to all our problems. It's
an idea world, unless your mind has a struggle to over come. This is where nightmares come into play. Our dreams are often going to make the situation out to be a hundred times more worse than any real life scenario we could possibly come up with. There are multiple theories on this. I believe it is so that when it plays out, if it plays out, in real life we are more able to handle and cope with what actually occurs. There is sort of a ah ha moment in our mind where it remembers the dream and what might have been even if we don't. There are also those that believe we receive spirit visits in our dream. I'm not sure how I feel about that one. The theory is that it's easier for others on the other side to talk to us asleep because of the fact that our subconscious is the part of us they are speaking with. Part of me believes this. When I was younger I had a fight with a family member and it had been a few weeks since that family member had spoken to me. In my dream my moms mother came to me and we sat down and at McDonald's hamburgers in an airport of all things together. Remember I didn't say they were always exciting dreams. Anyway she said she realized I was worried because this family member had not spoken to me in a while, but not to worry in a couple of more weeks they would. Thing is she was right, or my mind was right. Approximately two weeks after that dream that person and I were back to talking like we always had. I've also had dreams about my other grandmother where I actually say to her in the dream: "You're dead, you can't be here." She always answers: "You needed to see me, so I am here.". So part of it could be desire, and it could be our subconscious mind is just really good at figuring things out. I believe a part of me believes they actually do visit us in our dreams though. Something speaks to us and reaches out to us. Why couldn't it be our deceased loved ones.
The third type of dream is what I would call a prophetic dream. In these types of dreams we seem to see things and hear things that we couldn't possibly have anyway of seeing or knowing. These dreams are easy to distinguish between other dreams because when we wake up we are often confused because we expect to be where we were in the dream. They are so real we could almost touch them. I have had several of these unexplainable dreams in my life. I have actually been in a group of people, some of whom I've never met, except for in my dream a few nights before I met them, and I can tell you exactly what everyone in that group is going to say. It always freaks me out just a little. In my case my dreams that are prophetic really seem to want me to know that this is what they are. I always have them over and over night after night until I either pass on a message to whomever they are intended for or the event registers in my mind or occurs. An example of this, I have several. In the fall of 1984 I started having a dream about my mom's mother. In this dream I would go to the hospital and take her a red rose. In the dream I knew somehow it was summer and I knew my grandmother was dying. My aunt was due to have a baby in late May. In my dream I also visited her in the hospital on these stops. My grandmother would always smile and me and tell me: "It's OK, really I'm ready." I had these over and over and over until one day it dawned on me. One day in November I told my dad. "My grandmother is going to die on my birthday. (June 27Th). I told him of my dreams and he asked me not to tell my mom. On June 26Th, 1985 I took the early morning call saying my grandmother had passed away. An orderly in a hospital thinking my grandmother was small enough for him to handle on his own had dropped her. This caused a blood clot which went to her heart and killed her. So I was one day off. I turned 18 the day after she died. The red roses. I had visited her 3 days in a row in my dream. A week after she died one of her brothers died and a week after that a 2ND brother of hers died. So was it prophecy or coincidence? Another story for you. Shortly after starting high school I had a dream that upon my next year at the start of the year I went to school expecting to see my best friend Chris. She normally walked with me, but hadn't showed up and I just figured she went to school. When I got to school no one knew where she was or could find her. I worried around and called everyone. No one knew where she was. I told my friend Chris about this story. At that time she wasn't a believer in what she probably thought was stupid stuff a teenager would make up. That next year though I lived out my dream. Circumstances at home had driven her away to live with her brother. It all played out just as I had said. I wonder if she believes it was real or coincidence? Either way... You can believe or you can not, but for me I listen to my dreams when they speak. They are a wonderful way to travel and if you keep a pad of paper by your bed to write them down upon first awaking they might even be a wonderful way for you to learn a few things about yourself. Keep dreaming!

Take Two - Minutes That IS all the Insurance will Allow.

Getting good advice and good service from a doctor anymore seems darn near impossible. I recently had a doctors appointment and asked for two things to be looked at while I was in there. I was told they needed to be two separate appointments because the doctor can't take that long of time on one appointment and insurance may not pay for it unless it's two separate appointments. What the heck is up with that? It seems that insurance companies have taken it upon themselves to decide that doctors are more productive if they only spend five minutes or less talking to their patients. Where is the government to regulate this and say this is absurd? Needless to say I had the one issue taken care of and have never gone back for the other. I am a busy person. Most people are and I don't have time to go back time after time. Not only are the insurance companies making it more difficult, but the doctors themselves have started to succumb to this philosophy of ignorance. I like my doctor, don't get me wrong, but I will probably be looking for a different one in the near future. I want a doctor who hears what I say and doesn't put his own believe in what is really happen in there so quickly that he doesn't "hear what I'm saying." I miss my childhood doctor that I had into my late twenties. He listened. He was always there and had helpful ideas. The appointment before last when I went into my doctors office I had gone in for a checkup from a bad throat infection. Upon checking my doctor told me the infection was gone. This left me feeling at odds with him because my throat still hurt so bad that I wanted to cry. He told me to not talk for a while and it would heal. "NOT Talk for a while?" I told him I was a dispatcher and this isn't really going to happen. He told me to try. No medicines or any helpful words that was his final decision. I went on to tell him I had concerns that something else may be going on because I not only have sore throats often but I get headaches almost every day, I'm exhausted a lot and I wear out easy. I wake up feeling exhausted. It gets better for a couple of hours after I wake up, but then I go back to feeling listless and warn out. There are other issues I have, but that is the gist of what I told him. He told me it was probably stress and nothing more. Now he did run some test and nothing came of those, but I think he did that to pacify me and not really to look for any illness. I have found that Zrytec allergy medicine helps with the sore throat. Popping four Motrin help with the headaches. I guess I'll just self medicate myself to death. What my doctor needs to understand is I HATE going to doctors office's and I HATE taking medications. I'm not going to try to get medications. I want to take as little as possible. I do think something deeper is going on with me, but I'll never be able to find out until I die and they autopsy my corpse thanks to lack luster doctors and insurance companies that simply say "Take Two." minutes that is. Here's to your health!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Free Credit Report...

We've all seen the commercials on TV. Get your free credit report! Do you know your credit score? Some are pretty clever. I like the one where they say: "You can keep on top of your credit, or just roll the dice? Who knows maybe what happens in your credit report stays in your credit report." Think they are mocking the Vegas monologue? Then there is that crazy commercial where that guy has a semi truck driving around with the city with his social security number written on the side swearing they can protect your credit. Everywhere you look, magazines, radio, TV, Internet pop up ads, people are talking about how important it is to know what is going on with your credit score. Now it's not that I don't agree with them, I do. I just think there are a few things that you should consider before putting your money down
on the table to get your credit score. First and foremost you do NOT have to pay to get your credit score or report. Yes, it actually is free and if you go to a web page and it request you give them a credit card number or anything else to procure that information. Please stop and exit immediately. You are entitled to your credit report at https://www.annualcreditreport.com once annually free. Please be sure you go to the correct address. There are tons of web address's out there stating that they are giving this service, but trust me they are charging you for it on most accounts. This web address will give you all three of your reports and yes it is important that you procure all three reports. Just because one gives you a clean bill of credit, doesn't mean either of the other two will. Case in point is a few years back I went to get a car loan. The gentleman at the car dealer didn't want to give it to me because my credit report showed I had not paid my child support in years. What is wrong with this? I don't have any children. Not only that but the guy I was suppose to be owing child support on was only two months younger than me. After checking my credit history I found a disgruntled young man who had lost a law suite against me, in which he wanted me to support him for the rest of his life due to a car accident that didn't even knock the dust off the fender, had filed that I was his mother and that I had not paid child support while he was growing up as I was suppose to. I asked the car dealer how I could possibly be the mother of someone two months younger than me and he said maybe I had been the step mother and been held accountable for this child on the disillusion of the marriage. I had never been married. I still had to go to the attorney that handled the law suite and procure documents and then get this cleaned off my record. It was a big mess. Two of the credit bureaus showed this debt. One didn't. The car company reviewed all three. This leads me to another point. If you are ever turned down for a credit card or loan, if you request it the company that turns you down is required free of charge to provide you with a copy of your credit report that they obtained the information from. Knowing your credit score and how it works can be of a big benifit in many ways. How many of you knew that a lot of companies are now checking your credit history before they hire you? That is right. Their theories are that if you can't manage your personal life then maybe you can't manage your job. They also seem to feel that if you are out of control on debt, perhaps you are not the most honest person and they don't need you as well. So this credit thing that Lord only know who came up with can really come back to bite you in the behind. If you are feeling the credit crunch there are some avenues out there to help you. Most jobs, and credit unions offer credit counsiling services. If yours doesn't then there are several right here in Fort Wayne and other local cities, like Consumer Credit Couseling, that offer a free evaluation. They can help you get back on your feet and most fees are minimal to cover staff costs. They can barter with your creditors, give you one monthly payment for all your bills and help you come up with a budget that is a sure fire winner. I know what it's like to feel lost in debt and like it's useless. You just keep getting deeper when you feel like that because you feel like: "What is the point?". Well, hopefully you'll all go out and check your credit reports. If there is something on there that doesn't jive, don't let it surprise you. After all in the credit world you are guilty until proven innocent and unfortunately you are the one that must prove your innocents. Save yourself some hassel and perhaps some money and check it out today!

To Request your Credit Report by Phone:
Call 1-877-322-8228
You will go through a simple verification process over the phone.
Your reports will be mailed to you within 15 days. Please, allow 2-3 weeks for delivery.

To Request your Credit Report by Mail:
1. Download the https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/requestformfinal.pdf(You need an Adobe viewer to view the requested form. Download the free Adobe viewer) http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html
2. Print and complete the form
3. Mail the completed form to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
Your reports will be mailed to you within 15 days. Please, allow 2-3 weeks for delivery

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Is It Bad When There are Parts You didn't Use?

Is it just me or is there anyone else out there that would like to see items come all ready assembled? And what is up with the directions these days? I mean the directions anymore are little pictures and if you're lucky they are numbered and sporadically they have words. I literally spent three hours putting my latest project together. I bought it through the mail, like I do a lot of things, so I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised that it didn't come assembled. I wasn't prepared for the lack of help with the directions or the fact that a part was missing. I figured my way around the missing part though because I have put many many things together over the last thirty years. Here is the awful part too... I had this delivered to me last September. Yes, I'm a little slow at getting things done sometimes. It just doesn't seem like there is enough time in the day to do everything. So if you haven't jumped ahead to the next picture you may not be familiar with what this is. It's simply a piece of furniture to hide the cat liter, or if you chose a pets bed. It has an opening big enough that my dog or cat either one can get in here. Of course my dog is a schnauzer so it doesn't take a big opening for a twenty-two pound dog to get in there. I like it and it looks nice. I did have some bolts that were in there with this and a couple of washers though and for the life of me I can't tell you why they were in there. I found nothing in the picture that shows you you need them. They aren't listed on the part sheet. Maybe they were trying to adjust for the part they didn't send me? Or maybe at some in-opportune moment I'll find out the hard way what they were really for. Either way I'm pleased with it for now. In case you like what you see let me tell you that I got this at Ginny's on line home shopping store. Of course I've seen them in the JCPenny's Christmas Catalog and I'm sure there are other places that sell them too. I like Ginny's though. Well, it's been an exhausting three hours and my work isn't completely done. But if any of you want to chime in and let me know if it's bad that I have parts that I have no clue where they go... Feel free to leave a comment or drop me a line.

Penguins & Fat People Waddle...

I hate that term! "Fat People". Like who the heck gets to decide whose obese or how much someone should or should not weigh? Some of you are probably saying doctors, right? Don't even get me started on them. Like when you go into the office you have no idea that you weigh more than society believes you should until they tell you. They say it like you should really be shocked.

I personally feel that people should be allowed to enjoy their life regardless of size. It seems to me that people, here in the United States at least have a tendency to put too much infuses on a persons size and not enough on what people have to offer inside.
As for me? I've been all sizes at one time or another. When I was in my late teens and early twenties I was skinny. It came with a price though. I remember one week I didn't eat anything. Seven straight days of water and diet coke and all for the price of wanting to be thin. I'll never do that again. Even then though I wasn't happy with the way I looked. People can always find something to be unhappy about when it comes to their own looks.
The thing I want people to understand though is that most days I feel like everyone else. I don't get up thinking, "wow, I'm heavier than everyone else"! At my heaviest there were problems I had to get past though that reminded me I was heavy. Like office chairs in auto repair shops or doctors offices. They always have arms on them and when you're heavy the first thought that goes through your mind is, "will I fit". Nothing is more embarrassing than not fitting in a chair. Then I don't even want to think about theater seats, or airplane seats. Along with chairs though there are other problems like car seat belts, and maneuvering though crowds. Being heavier than others though isn't just about the issues of size. Along with that issue comes the issue of self-consciences. It's hard not to just hide inside ones own home at times and do nothing. I mean when you're heavy and you go out to eat people look at you differently. Often they watch what you order and heaven forbid you get a desert. What most people don't realize is that not all heavy people are heavy because they constantly stuff their face. There are illness's and other issues that cause these problems. You can ask my family and they will tell you I rarely have ever eaten desert. It's not my thing. As a matter of fact I was rarely eating more than one meal a day and staying heavy. That is because your body needs food to lose weight. Who would have figured. I eat more now that I am losing weight than I ever did. I force myself to eat breakfast (I have always hated breakfast) and I force myself to eat lunch and two snacks a day. I just watch what I eat and make sure I stay within my 2000 mg of salt or close to it a day. I also adhere to the thought process that once or twice a week I let myself indulge in some guilty pleasure foods, so that on the other days I don't cheat and it's easier not to. It would be very easy to never get out and do anything for fear of being judged or fear of people laughing at me. But I want to live life. I'm working on the losing weight thing, but society doesn't even make that easy. Gym's which are made to get in shape and lose weight are filled with skinny people who leave you feeling ill at ease. Either way I have come to the conclusion that I want to run again and even sit Indian style in the floor again some day. I am working on it, but not because I am giving into society's stereo type because most days I feel fine right the way I am. It's because I want to do it for me. I applaud people who don't allow their size to become an issue and stop them from doing things. I did that for a while, but I am bound and determined to live my life.

So no matter what your size, get out and live your life. Go to movies, go to malls, order desert. It's life. And I understand if you're like me most days you feel just like everyone else.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My Next 5 Meals @ Subway are Courtesy of my COKE Addiction!

Diet Caffeine free coke that is. Actually I prefer Pepsi, but it gives me indigestion issues so I drink coke products a lot. In this day and age of watching everything under the sun I am on a low sodium restricted diet to help control blood pressure issues I have. Not all bad. I have dropped 87 pounds since November 2007. I'm currently working to firm that up and hopefully drop a lot of that 87 pounds friends off to stay with it. So I had a lot of issues with heartburn and other issues we won't discuss and found out that it was largely due to Pepsi. Now if you work for Pepsi, please don't get offended. I love the stuff, it just didn't love me. Coke products seem to fair me one better though. So you might ask how are my next five meals @ Subway on Coke. Simple, I registered and take the time to put in all the points off the Coke cartons and lids. The only down side to this is it is time consuming. You can only enter up to 10 per day, which I guess isn't a big thing since I only drink one to two a day; however, I don't want to log in every day to enter them so often they accumulate until I have twenty or so. I also do the Pepsi lids. As far as programs, Coke's rewards program appears to be better, but the jury is still out on that one. I recently turned in 700 points to get a $25 gift card to Subway. As I see it, it's money in my pocket I figure. Points for coke are figured at 3 for each lid and 10 I believe for cartons (don't buy cartons very often). Pepsi is 1 for each lid and 4 for each carton. So you see it can be time consuming and take a long time to reach anything of any significance. But if you don't want to register and you don't want to do this yourself I will gladly take all your lids and points. So you see I found a healthy way to have a COKE addiction. Don't you think?