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.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sandra Lynn Slone

SANDRA LYNN “SANDY” SLONE, age 43, of Auburn, died on Monday, March 30, 2009 at Lutheran Hospital, Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Mrs. Slone was born in Mansfield, Ohio on August 3, 1965 to Paschal and Hester (Slone) Reynolds.

She married Ellis Slone on August 26, 1978 in Clintwood, Virginia.

She loved spending time with family and her dogs, Bear Bear, Cubbie Bear, Sobe, & Roxie. She also enjoyed watching movies, shopping, and tending to her flower gardens.

Survivors include: Husband, Ellis Slone of Auburn. Son, Nick and Teca Slone of Auburn. Son, Robert and Melissa Slone of Auburn. Daughter, April Slone of Auburn. Daughter, Jessica and Adam Schuller of Butler. 8 grandchildren

She was preceded in death by her parents and brother, Nick Reynolds in 1977.

Visitation will be Thursday, April 2, 2009, from 4:00-8:00pm at Hite Funeral Home in Kendallville.

Funeral Services will be Friday, April 3, 2009 at 11:00am at Harbor Of Love Baptist Church, Kendallville. Officiating the funeral service will be Rev. Charles Mosley and Rev. Willie Collins.

Burial will be at Corunna Cemetery in Corunna, Indiana. Memorials may be made to to the family in leiu of flowers.

View a video tribute by Thursday or send condolences to the family at www.hitefuneralhome.com

Arrangements Are By: Hite Funeral Home – 403South Main Street - Kendallville, Indiana 46755 Brian DeCamp: 343-8177 Andy David: 318-2712 Office Phone: 347-1653

The Final Curtain

To everything and everyone there is a season and a time. As the song says there is a time to live and a time to die. Seems to me there is a passage in the Bible about that too. I started my Monday by getting up and showering. Then calling my mother to see if my uncle had gotten the strength up to take my aunt off life support. Nothing had been done. I took a shower and headed out to the hospital to see the family. As I stated before, my aunt wasn't there. Her body was, warm with blood coursing through her veins, but the woman I knew was not. I parked and found my Uncle Ellis, my Uncle Robert and my cousin Robbie sitting in my uncles car. My uncle Robert got out and hugged me. He told me they were waiting on Reverend Willie Collins to get to the hospital to say prayer before taking my aunt off life support. We all walked into the hospital together. Along with my cousin Nick who caught up to us with his little girl. She was talking to her Papa. Too young to understand her grandmother was in all essence dead. I walked back to my aunts room in ICU knowing it was the last walk back there for me to see her. The room was full of family. We all stood and laughed and talked, mostly about old times and my aunt. Time goes by so quickly. It seems as if you blink and life is gone. My uncle Ellis was coming in periodically and going over and hugging and kissing his wife's lifeless body. Tears came out of his eyes. He would never stay in there long, but would walk back out. At some point he simply disappeared. I don't know how he gained the strength to make it through each of the last few days myself. I would have been a total wreck. As the preacher arrived and started prayer in my aunts room I decided to head out and head to work. I didn't want to be there when they stopped the machines that kept her body going. I walked alone out of the familiar path into the parking lot. My uncle Ellis was once again in the parking lot where I had found him so often over the last few days. I gave him a hug. I told him if I could do anything to let me know. He took the opportunity to unload some thoughts. I've been told by friends I have a nature that makes it easy to open up to me about things. I guess he needed to do that. He said he had always thought he would pull the plug so easily. He had always said he would, but he didn't know if he had the strength to do that, but he would find it for his kids. He said he loved her so much and he didn't want to let go. He said he just felt like hitting something. I don't know what made me do it, but I said "Your brother Robert is up there, you could hit him." Then he grinned a little bit. I apologized saying it probably wasn't the right time or place for a joke. He told me not to apologize it made him smile and he gave me a hug that confirmed he understood I was just trying to keep it together myself. I told him the preacher was there and was saying prayer over Sandy. He said well, I guess that is what I have been waiting for. I love you and he turned and walked away. I went on to work. Sullen at best. Waiting for word. My brother sent me a text to let me know later that she had passed. I found out through my mom that my aunt had been taken off the life support at 4pm and she took one deep breath on her own and then her heart beat for three more minutes and just stopped. The final curtain of a life that ended way too soon. My aunts name was Sandra Slone. She was 43 years old. Her body was taken to Hite Funeral Home in Kendallville Indiana. Her soul hopefully gone to heaven to find peace. A life that was too short but one that had found something very few will ever know. True love. The love of a man that stood by her through it all and trust me there was plenty. The love of a man that was tormented by her loss and vows he never wants another woman. A man who made sure that where his beloved Sandy is buried he too shall be some day. The final curtain. The final chapter to a life so young.

Monday, March 30, 2009

A Last Good Bye...

Sunday I went to the hospital again on my way to work. The news wasn't good. They had run more test on my aunt and as I suspected all along there was no part of her brain that had cognitive thinking going on. The stem was the only part functioning. Brain swelling was beginning to set in and a decision was to be made on what to do. The staff told my uncle if he didn't want to have to make the decision that if he simply waited she would die from brain swelling in a few days. I walked back to my aunts room. Two of her children sat at her bedside, heads laid over on her crying. My uncle was staring out the window, but turned and walked towards me and gave me a hug as I entered the room. I walked over to my aunt. I took hold of her hand and rubbed her arm. Still warm. So warm to the touch, yet I still felt that same chill of death in the room I had felt on Friday. I knew Friday she wasn't there. They need to hold on to and belief she was though so who am I to say anything to them. I told my cousins she would always be with them in their hearts and I knew that was of little comfort or none at all, but she would always be here with them. I told my uncle I wished there was something I could say or do, but I knew there wasn't. A tear escaped out of my right eye. I wiped it away and choked back the others. I was still resolved to keep to my promise. One made to myself. I sent a text to my brother letting him know Ellis, my uncle had decided to pull the plug. Ellis was waiting for a family meeting once all his children were there. My cousin Jessica's little boy was released from the hospital so at least something good had happened. We all sat almost silent as we knew my uncle was talking to his children in their mothers room. It seemed like an eternity, but was only in reality about twenty minutes until they all came out. Crying and everyone out there was well aware of the decision their dad had made. The one to let his wife go. To let her find peace. My uncle had said yesterday he was almost sorry he had gotten her heart started back, but that out of selfishness he would probably do it all over again. I think what he did was give her children time to say good bye. Time to adjust. Sudden death is so shocking and although I believe she was never really back, she died there in her home, just her heart had started back, I believe it gave them time to emotionally prepare. I know I am lucky and I have had my parents far longer than some people, but I don't think at any age we are ever really prepared or ready to say good bye to our mom's and dad's. I dread the day. I understood my cousin when she said she'd rather have been the one that died. I've thought that myself on occasion, but I've also thought of it as a selfish thought. I know the torment a parent would suffer at the loss of a child, so would I really wish that on my parents? Neither way is good. One of life's cruel little realities.
I went back over to the hospital around 5:15 P.M. but my uncle Robert was running behind schedule. My cousin Jessica said she knew he would be. They were waiting for him to get here from Tennessee. I sat over there and talked with relatives on my lunch break. I was kind of happy that things were not progressing. I really wanted to be there for them, but a big part of me didn't really want to be there when they pulled the plug. That sounds so cold doesn't it? Pulled the plug? I guess that is actually what they do, but you think they would soften it with something like "when they allow her to rest". The people and staff at Lutheran really are outstanding. They have taken every opportunity to take really good care of my aunt and show respect. Me knowing that they knew she's not there. They were doing it for her family. They have every since she was in there on Friday allowed as many and whomever wanted to go in to go in. If you know anything about hospitals and especially the ICU you know that isn't a good sign. They usually only allow a couple at a time. To me that was just another of a long list of red flags that screamed out to me that it was over. Everything was done but the fat lady singing as they say. My one cousin is past crying at this point. She just sits and stares at her mother. I think she's probably numb. Another of my aunts... My uncle Rogers wife, is saddened on many levels but finds it hard to be there. Hard to be where her beloved Roger was a few years back. She spoke of the same smells. My aunt is only one room over from where he was. It's a walk I'm familiar with. It's a walk I'm sure my aunt Arlene is way too familiar with. I didn't go into my aunts room this time when I was there though. I had said my good bye earlier when I was there. I couldn't stand the thought of going back there knowing it was the last time, so I opted not to go and to return to work. So when I returned to work my aunt Sandy was still breathing. Far from alive. As I've stated that battle in my mind was over on Friday. So I sat at work in a sort of malaise. Just waiting for someone to call and tell me it was over. Knowing it may be minutes, hours or even days for her blood pressure to drop and them to declare her dead. My one aunt that was sitting in the waiting room and I were talking. My uncle is a man of modest means. No burial insurance. No idea how he's going to pay for this funeral that he's not even wanting to think of. One step at a time is all he can do. He told me this afternoon when I went over there that he had gone home to feed and take care of my aunts babies as she called them. Her dogs. She loved her dogs. So strange a feeling to be waiting for them to tell you someone is dead that is all ready deceased in your mind. I suppose it adds a touch of finality; however, anyone having lived through this scenario knows it doesn't really seem real anyway. Not really. You know it is, but it's almost as if you're dreaming it and could wake up at any time. The bodies own defense mechanism perhaps? In the late hours of the evening my cousin Matt let me know that my uncle couldn't bring himself to have her removed from the life support system today. So tomorrow he will attempt again. I can't even imagine how hard this is for him. I can't imagine how hard it would be to say good bye to your partner of thirty years. To be the one who says yes I understand there is no brain activity, but the body is warm and the chest is rising and falling. I know I know. It's machines, but once that equipment is turned off there is no going back. There is no redoing it. There is only self doubt and speculation to what might have been even if the mind knows there is no logical way she's coming back. So hard to say that one last good bye. That one last time of touching her hand and having it warm. I can't imagine.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I Never.... (poem)

I never knew it would be this hard to say good bye
I never dreamed it would end this way
Standing here beside your bed, still by your side
Wishing one more time to see the laughter in your eyes

I never knew how much I really loved you
I always thought I did, but somehow it wasn’t true
All the years we’ve been married my love
Never dreamed something like this, would be the end of us

Do I cry or do I scream?
How do I get you back with me?
Please, oh please tell me this is just a dream
Do I really have to choose to set you free?

I never dreamed of growing old without you
I never thought that I’d out live you
Tell me how do I go on from day to day?
Oh Lord I’m down on my knees to pray

I never gave losing you in the middle of a night a thought
I always thought I’d talk to you again tomorrow
So many, many things left to say
Now I’m standing here drowning in my tears of sorrow.

Do I cry or do I scream?
How do I get you back with me?
Please, oh please tell me this is just a dream
Do I really have to choose to set you free?

I’ll hold you forever in my heart
My mind will carry you always close to me
I’ve loved you and always will
That’s why I had to set you free

Do I cry or do I scream?
How do I get you back with me?
Please, oh please tell me this is just a dream
Did I really have to choose to set you free?

Love will set you free
Love will always set you free….

No Escape

Friday afternoon I went over to Lutheran Hospital to see my uncle and my cousins and whatever other family members might be there. You see my Aunt Sandy had basically died in the early hours of the morning. For more than thirty minutes her heart didn't beat. For all intensive purposes she had been dead. My uncle performed CPR on his wife and finally her heart began to beat once more. The doctors though found no trace of brain activity. Before they give up at Lutheran though they try a new procedure to attempt to stimulate brain activity. They use a machine, I believe it's called "The Artic", and they lower the body temperature form the inside out to ninety degrees. After it reaches this temperature and has been there they reset the machine to warm the body back up to normal temperature. Then they check for brain activity. It will either be there or it won't. That is about as matter of fact as I can state it. So they were in the cooling phase of the process when I was at the hospital. My aunts body shivered. About two A. M. they were scheduled to start the warming process. My aunt and uncle have four children. Nick, Robbie, April and Jessica. My aunt Sandy had all four children by the time she was eighteen years of age. She was an extremely young mom and an even younger grandmother. She was just a baby herself with babies to take care of. She didn't have an easy life before marrying my uncle and with four children at such a young age, probably not much of one after either. No matter how poor or what the circumstances though, my aunt and uncle and their children always seemed happy. My uncle and aunt really loved each other two. They have stood beside each other come what may for the last thirty years. My aunt married my uncle when she was thirteen years old. Just like Loretta Lynn I'd say she married way too young, but then life at home was less than idea.
As I got to the hospital yesterday I would have given anything to chicken out and not go in. I hate those scenes in hospitals. It always reminds me of the first major death in my life. The first time I wanted to just curl up and forget life really existed. The first time I felt I had to put on a brave face and hold strong for the sake of others. I would have given anything to escape the pain in the children's eyes I knew I was going to see. There really is nothing anyone can say that will be of any use or any comfort in these situations. Small talk is what you end up with. I was very relieved though to see that my uncle JR and his wife Lisa were just arriving too and I eagerly took the opportunity to walk in with them. It was good to see my uncle JR. Other than a limp from a recent surgery he looked well. When we walked into ICU only my cousin April was in there. She is the spitting image of her mother. She looked tired and warn but she was putting on a brave face. My uncles wife went up to my aunts bed and took my aunts hand and started talking to her. Tears rolled down her cheeks as she told my aunt she loved her. I tried not to look as I felt certain my aunt wasn't in there to hear her and I didn't want to cry. I've seen death before. All that went through my mind was how dead my aunt looked. Death, not life was definitely in that room. Machines breathing for my aunt. Machinery causing muscle's to twitch that my aunts children clung to as signs of life. The nurse had told me that they had given my aunt something to paralyze her in case there was brain activity. They didn't want her pulling out the massive amounts of tubes and wires that she had hooked up to her. With this information I knew my aunt couldn't voluntarily move if she wanted to, but my cousins clung to the notion that she moved eyebrows, feet, her head. Two of her children were in the resolve of knowing she was gone. Two in denial. My cousin Jessica, my aunts youngest, came into the room and walked over to her mom. She took her hand, stroked her hair and kissed her forehead. She looked at me and said she knew her mother wasn't dying now. She knew this because they had a pact that she wouldn't go, not until Jessica could give her a grand daughter to name after her. Jessica herself has three boys. She has to be having the roughest of times with this out of the children. You see her mother is in ICU on the fourth floor and her four month old son is in the ICU on the third floor. She kept going back and fourth between floors. Me? I felt helpless. I didn't know what to say. I didn't want to say it's hopeless, because it isn't. Where there is faith there is hope. I also didn't want to give them false hope though.
Saturday came and not much information new to be shared. They say that the top portion of my aunts brain is dead. The bottom half has life, but not sure how much. Probably not enough to give any quality of life should she live. Then there is the fact that the reality is that her brain will probably swell in the next few days and kill her even if she has signs of life. My uncle will be faced with the decision of whether to keep her on life support or take her off. He loves her. As I got to the hospital today I saw my uncle. He was a mess. He was walking through the parking lot crying. He hadn't shaved or showered or cleaned up from the day before when they had been building a porch on their house for his wife. He had finished it. She had sat on it once that very day. He was crying. I stopped the car and got out and gave him a hug. I left him there and went up because he wanted to be left to pray. Pray for a way to either fight for her or let her go whichever one is best for his beloved wife. There were lots of people there today. Lots of relatives. Today though more reality was sitting in with the kids. I felt so lost. I didn't want to cry. When my uncle Roger was dying I remember telling him, "I won't cry for you while there is life or even hope of life." "I won't cry for the living. and when I do cry it won't be for your death, but for the loss I will feel in my life at not having you here." I was determined to show my aunt the same respect. Even if only I knew I was doing it. I wouldn't cry, not today, not while there was the slimmest of hope. It was hard for me though. Listening to their pain. Listening to one child say she wished she had died instead of her mommy. One saying that she didn't want to see her mother in a coffin. One child a son who says he wants his mother at peace and he doesn't want her back in pain. Two holding it in as best they could. So many tears. My chest hurt from fighting off the tears. It felt almost as if I was going to stop breathing. Thankfully I had to go to work. An escape of sorts, but there was no escape that as much as I wanted away to try to put it out of my mind, there was just as much a part of me that wished I wasn't working so I could be there with them. Nothing I could say, nothing I could do, nothing I could possibly do to help them escape the pain that was headed towards them. Tomorrow's another day, more test, more answers or lack there of from doctors. I guess time will tell, but if you ask me death lays in the room. If it hadn't conquered completely, it's lurking near. I love my aunt. I love all my family and I know by not crying today they may hold me cold, but I needed to respect my aunt, the same way I would for all those I love. No, there is no escaping life and there is no escaping death. Each comes for all of us at some point or the other. I'll pray for my cousins and my uncle for peace of mind. Perhaps you could add them to your prayers as well.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Plastic World

To live and die by the credit card. Is there anywhere these little plastic death by debt cards can't be used? I mean I was overly tired I admit it and I had to look four or five times to make sure I was seeing what I was seeing. I have seen debit and credit cards be used in restaurants. Most of them will easily let you pay for
your fast food heart attack on that little plastic money entrapment called a credit card. Low and behold though right there in our own cafeteria, one that now functions as a big break room, was a Coke machine that now accepts credit cards. So you can now buy a $1.35 soda and end up paying what $20 with interest for it? Anyway... I just thought this was humorous. I mean what next - newspaper boxes?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Gadgets That Make the Grade or Not

We've all seen these products advertised on television over and over. Sometimes they can become so enticing that we just have to go out and buy them and try them ourselves. As a matter of fact recently on a blog I keep up with I read a blurb that the author wished for one of those "As Seen On TV" stores to be in our midst. Well, we don't have an actual store of just that stuff, but you can buy almost any of it at Meijer's, Walgreen's or CVS. This is to name a few that I am aware of that carry this type of stuff. Out of the stuff I've tried I've had the best results with the 'Green Bags'. I thought surely they have to be joking that a bag can extend the life of fruit, but on a whim in a Meijer's I bought both the bags and some bananas. Let the experiment begin I thought. Banana's usually start to brown by the next day or the day after. I was well into day 8 before they browned. So they definitely hold true to prolonging life on banana's. The Flashlight that you crank actually works quiet well too. If you don't mind having to crank it that is. It could come in handy during a storm if your batteries have died though. The wall switch you can put anywhere and turn something on either in another room or by carrying it with you I also have to give an A+. I found it very useful for a light I had in my kitchen that the light itself was very difficult to get to; however with this switch it is simple for me to turn it on and off. There are some things that really really didn't make the grade though. I found the universal cartridge refill system to be
atrocious at best. Then there is Oxi Clean which you see commercials for all the time over and over and over with it's big promises. I have given it more than one opportunity and let me tell you it does nothing that regular stain stick or detergent can't and doesn't all ready do. Save your pennies. Also sadly I must report that both pet grooming products fall way short of being anything to write home about. Don't waste your money there either if you want my opinion. I could go on and on about their products because unfortunately I do have "Curiosity Sucker" written on my forehead in extremely bold letters so there are a slue of other products of theirs I have tried. Some of them were good and some of them were bad. If you're interested feel free to ask me about which ones I've used and not. Feel free to leave your opinions on items as well. And just to leave you knowing I'm totally insane, yes I do have one of these lovely cat clocks in my bathroom on the wall. If nothing else it's a good conversation starter and will keep the mice away. Well maybe the real cat does that . So some gadgets make the grade, some don't. Either way I will probably be buying more of them to try in the nearby future. How about you?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sometimes You Feel Like A Nut?

No matter what my mood I can always count on the beauty of God's world to lift me up if I look around. This little squirrel has gotten very use to me and she lets me get very up close and personal. It's funny sometimes I will just bend down and let her stare at me. She has such an unequivocal look on her face, but when I put the food down she also gets a grateful look as she sits and eats and occasionally looks up at me to see if I'm there still. Often I will go off and let her eat, but if I need to remember that there is beauty in the simplicity of nature I kneel a while and watch.

An All New Low In Customer Service

OK.. Deep breath. I always think the last time I had lousy service could never be topped, but this was by far one of the most frustrating experience's I've ever had any where. Where you might ask? KROGER'S. I went to Kroger's on my lunch break. It was around 8PM. It's close to where I work so I thought easy in and easy out for a few things I need. I bought two 24 packs of water, 4 gallon jugs and some miscellaneous items. Went to the front to check out and found that there is nothing but self serve isle's open. Great. It isn't like this is like Meijer's with those long ones you can check out. These are the little ones with no space. So I'm all ready pissed. Anyway I start checking out my stuff and this girl comes over. Doesn't say anything to me. Doesn't explain what she's doing she just starts moving things around in my cart and scanning things. Does a couple and walks away. OK, so now I'm furious. I was going to brush it off and started scanning items again, but then I looked and I couldn't tell what she had scanned and what she hadn't and it was like pulling teeth to get her attention to get her to tell me that all she scanned were the waters and the pop. Great. So I finished and walked past her and the manager standing there talking (looked a lot like flirting with each other actually) and neither one said have a good day or anything and I mean I could have touched them I was so close. Now I get out to my car, put all the stuff in and realize I lost my badge in the store. Is this shopping trip over yet is the only thing I can think of. So I go back in the store. The girl up front in the office was very nice, smile on her face, nothing like the other two clueless to service people I had seen before. No badge though so I retrace my steps to no avail. Then I go out to my car and get in. I felt something down by my foot and the brake. There it was my badge. Well at least something was in my favor. Hour up and time to head back to work. I'm thinking next time that Meijers is just as easy for me to get to and get back to work in that hour so I'm headed there next time. They will take the Kroger Ad and I at least get a smile from them and can check out my own stuff in comfort. This is definitely one of those that I hope is not forever in my mind though.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Government Giveth, The Gas Companies Take Away

So the government has been advertising this extra money we are all going to see on our pay checks. Wow. about $8 to $23 per check depending on how much you make. Not enough to really help me but I suppose it will seem good to some. Either way the price of gas just went back up over $2 so whatever the government gave us apparently the gas companies thought they were entitled to. Just my opinion. What do you think?

** Nothing But A Memory **

Anyone out there remember the first show of "Making the Band"? I do. I loved watching that show. I remember pulling for the guys and at the same time thinking why would anyone want to go through all this. Boy bands were very popular in the 90's and early years of this decade. This show first aired in 2000 which was what a lot of people felt was a new beginning. We had all survived the Y2K. New life and new promise as we started a new era. Little did we know that a year later we wouldn't just be looking at the new careers of such as these kids that became known as O-town, but we would also have 911. I guess that is what life is. A mystery that we have to wait each day for it to unravel. Either way as I was watching this show it was quiet obvious to me, as I'm sure it was to the shows producers, that even if this group got a hit album they would be short lived. Not because they didn't have talent, because they did, but they had two singers who wanted to be the lime light. Two who didn't want to share the stage with anyone. Two who thought they had their own thing to do and they didn't want anyone telling them how to perform their songs or their music. The funny thing is I think they were the least two talented of the group. Either way I loved listening to their music and even have a CD that I recorded one of their songs for fun on for just my entertainment. I have trouble singing these days due to losing my voice or my breath. A great new product of the last year of my life. This group sadly only did two albums and only one that is worth much. The second one I do not own but I have listened on line and it has maybe two songs worth anything. The first one was well produced and is golden. Almost every song is worth listening to. I'm going to put links to the two songs I enjoyed the most here so you can go take a listen at your leisure.


All or Nothing


Liquid Dreams

I have lots of memories of these songs. Especially the first song. It brings back a flood gate of memories of friends and family and a beloved pet that are no longer here physically, but will forever be in my mind.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Let Them Eat Cake!

So there is no question that today was gorgeous outside. I would love to have done nothing more than stay off and enjoy the weather that spring was showing us; however, I was scheduled to work. Since I figured everyone else would be just as bummed to have to be at work as I was I decided to stop and get us all a snack to get us through the night. I was going to just stop at a store and grab some cookies or something but I was out by Sam's Club and so I ran in there to see what they had. They had the most beautiful chocolate cake with Yellow Roses (my favorite flower is yellow roses or carnations) so I decided to go with the cake. It had butter cream icing and it didn't fail to live up to the promise of something sinfully good. It was outstanding. Really rich though so one piece was enough. Not only was it good, but reasonably priced at just $10.73 and it was cut into 14 pieces and let me tell you we could have probably cut it into more because those were big pieces. Sigh so next time you need a treat, why not let them eat cake? Had to go there. You know I did.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Laugh A Little. Laugh A Lot! Just Laugh.

They say that laughter is the best medicine and if you've ever been feeling poorly or blah, you know they are telling the truth. One good crack up at something can change your whole demeanor and your whole day. There are tons and tons of studies out there to support that not only does laughing make you feel better but it also can help strengthen ones immune system and help us stay healthy or recover more quickly from an illness that we have. We all know people out there that need to loosen up and laugh a little, and no one is a lost cause because laughter is often contagious. Me? I try to listen to Cd's of people like Jeff Foxworthy or Bill Cosby. I find that keeping these in the car for a bad mood day can do wonders for me. There are also several websites that can help relieve your stress and make you smile or laugh. The www.DILBERT.COM website comes to mind for that one. This little guy pictured above also sits on my desk. I smile for two reason's when I look at him. One, he's smiling and shaking his head no. Gotta wonder about that don't you? Two, the day I bought him at Target the guy at the checkout lane had this look on his face that was just priceless as he asked me: "What is it?". Either way find a way to smile and laugh. It may add years to your life and it can't really hurt you. I mean I'd rather laugh than cry any day. For more on laughter and how it effects the human body go to: www.helpguide.org/life/humor_laughter_health.htm

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Which Witch?

Today my brother and I went to see "Race To Witch Mountain". It opened on March 13, 2009 (last Friday). I bring up the actual date, because curiously to me, all three "Witch Mountain" movies opened in March of their Year. The original "Escape To Witch Mountain" opened March 21, 1975. I remember loving that movie when it came out. I loved the flying RV. The second movie "Return From Witch Mountain"
opened March 10, 1978. It was a good movie, but the second is probably my least favorite of the three.

"Race To Witch Mountain" proved to be a much better movie than I would have thought. I often feel follow up movies done so long after the original lack connection with the old movie. They usually try to beef them up to modern times. Although there were some kick butt graphics in this movie they did stay true to the nature of the original movies. The movie had some great theatrics, but nothing could beat the lines in this movie that the man character, "Jack Bruno" (Played by Dwayne Johnson) dished out. Where as in the other movies the male character had well written parts, this character in this movie is very well developed and well suited for his role in helping these teens. I won't give away all of the movie or the great lines but I will say that this was my favorite scene:

"Jack Bruno is being accosted by a thug. The thug says to him: 'Do you have a death wish?' At this Jack answers back with: 'I drive a cab in Las Vegas.'"

Although I doubt this movie will win any awards and may even go unnoticed by many, I would have to give it two thumbs up or four out of five stars. It kept my attention, although way too many chase scenes, and it held true to the nature of the original shows. So if you are looking for a good movie, no foul language and no one dies no matter the damage so it's family friendly, I would definitely say this is one worth checking out. My favorite is still the original of all time, "Escape to Witch Mountain" of course I haven't seen it in years either.
So which Witch do you like best?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Don't Forget Your Green...

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Whatever you do today... Don't forget to wear your green. Not that I know of any real superstition with not wearing it. I do know I've been pinched a few times in my days from not wearing green though. If memory serves I seem to recall a belief though that wearing green on St. Patrick's day would bring one wealth. Boy is that just a myth. I wear it most years and I can't say I'm wealthy by any means. There is one reader though that tempted the fates of Friday the thirteenth last week though that might want to make sure that everything he wears is green including his socks and underwear. It might just be worth a try anyhow. Perhaps someone can find me the leprechaun with that lovely pot of gold? One pot will do. I'm not greedy.

Monday, March 16, 2009

When Life Deals You Lemons...

What is that old saying: "When life deals you lemons, make lemonade."? To tell you the truth I am not all that found of lemonade. Pink or raspberry lemonade yes, regular lemonade, not so much. I do get the meaning of the saying though. Life deals us all tribulations and trials that we must figure out how to get through. How we get through them is up to us. We can sit around and mope about what may or may not happen, or we can make the best of it and do our best to keep our chins held high. I mean I can think of a dozen people with their own problems right now that could bum the heck out of them. Two of them have no jobs and no place to live. Two of them are going through divorces and we all know how much fun that can be. One was robbed and is trying to get past that Erie feeling of being violated. One has a car that is costing way more than he has to give at this time to repair. Me? I'm on a wait and see for August on the do I have breast cancer or not trail. One is lonely since his wife died last year and he has no family left. He's old and trying to still live life every day to it's fullest even though he has no one. There are so many people I could name, all with their own issues. No issue less important to than the other because to each of us our immediate issue of concern may seem over whelming. To get through it we all turn to whatever means of support we have. Family, friends, God. We try to keep our minds off of the problem. To get through it you must look for what is positive in your life, kind of a glass half full approach. If you do the other it will drive you insane. So if life is making you lemonade and you don't like lemonade, I guess I would suggest adding more sugar, a little vodka or flavoring. It's a part of life. One that we all have to deal with like it or not. You can try my approach too. I told you life won years ago. Everyone else has to get to the end of the fricken line. So if life tells me to get up and get moving I listen. Also for those out there that worry about your looks. If you drink the lemonade sour it may cause frown lines. "WINK WINK!"

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Premio Dardos Award

“The Dardos Award is given for recognition of cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values transmitted in the form of creative and original writing. These stamps were created with the intention of promoting fraternization between bloggers, a way of showing affection and gratitude for work that adds value to the Web.”

Forever In My Mind - Maybe, was the recipient of the Premio Dardos award on March 7, 2009. I know I'm a little slow at responding, but I promise the intent has been there to acknowledge this all week. I was bestowed this honor by a very near and dear friend of mine, Joe Taylor. Joe is as talented as they come when it comes to about anything artistic. Writing, painting or just mixing a good play list he can do it. If you haven't visited his blog, then you're missing out on some wonderful writing. Joe is the writer of "Every Life Has A Sound Track" and you can find it at: http://ataylormadelife.com I am very honored that he thought of me with so many blogs out there to choose from that he could have shared this honor with.

The Premio Dardos Award rules:

  1. Accept the award by posting it on your blog along with the name of the person that has granted the award and a link to his/her blog.

  2. Pass the award to another five blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgement, remembering to contact each of them to let them know they have been selected for this award.

  3. Those who accept the award, should pass it on to five other cultural, ethical, literary, and cool blogs.

My nominees for the Premio Dardo Award (I could only choose 3 - not because more aren't deserving, Joe already gave out to a couple of them I would have chosen and I don't spend a lot of time on the WEB.)

  1. Kristina Frazier-Henry, Child of the Fort, http://childofthefort.blogspot.com/

  2. Ritchie Short, A day and a life in Fort Wayne, http://adayandalifeinfortwayne.blogspot.com/

  3. Nick Malis, Cute Things Falling Asleep, http://www.cutethingsfallingasleep.org/

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Ashley's Day

Thursday I met my ex sister-in-law and my niece, Ashley, for a bite of lunch and running around. My niece to say the least was in heaven. A whole day planned around her, with her mother and her aunt. We first went to Picture People in the Glenbrook Mall where my niece hammed it up big time for the camera. Then after that we ventured down where she threw pennies in the fountain and made our way around to Red Robin to dine. Not my pick. It was OK. The atmosphere is really nice, but the food was way to greasy and salty for my taste. The service was a little lacks as well I thought as I was never offered a refill on my drink although my glass was empty for some time. Good thing I had a water back up. My niece had wanted a red balloon the whole time we were in there so with her chocolate shake that was almost as big as her and her red balloon, lunch was a big success. After lunch we walked to JCPenny's looking for a good deal. None to be found though. Oh and let us not forget the trip to the Disney Store. No trip to the mall is complete without one. My niece picked up Oliver the dog and Tramp in there along with a Cinderella Cell phone ($6 unlimited minutes - too bad they are pretend minutes.) - but she lost her much beloved balloon that got away from her and found a new home up near the ceiling of the Disney Store. After a little shopping we made our way to in front of the Build-A-Bear store where the mall has placed a play area for kids. It's a little small. I think they could have done a much larger one which would have been way cool. This one is nice though for it's size. Fake creaks and everything. My niece bored quickly with it though and was ready to move on. After playing in there my niece was really ready to go home and probably ready for a nap if truth be told. We were looking for children's clothes bargains though so we drove to Kmart where we found pants for the kids at three dollars a pair and sleepwear sets for $3.99 each. It was well worth it. Then off to my house to drop me off after picking my car up from getting it's wheel alignment where my niece got to see her daddy and spend a few minutes with him. Yep, a busy but very good day for her I would have to say. Sometimes that is all life is about is making someone else smile. Those can be some of the best times you'll see. Now I guess we just have to find a day to give to my nephew like that. I somehow doubt he'll pick shopping though.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Happy Birthday Joe!!!!

Some people just get better with time. Happy 29th!!!! ;?)

Cake photo courtesey of: http://www.carolynssweettooth.com/index.htm

Sunday, March 8, 2009

99 Cents Isn't What It Use To Be...

Or in this case not at all. I made a stop at Walgreen's on my way to work today. I wanted to get some personal items and a newspaper. While in line I caught out of the corner of my eye a rack of cookies that Walgreen's had for sale. On the wrapper of the cookie, as you can see, it plainly said ninety-nine cents. Now I have bought these chocolate chunk cookies there plenty of times. They have always been ninety-nine cents, but what surprised me was the label under it on their Mylar sticker that read $1.19. I thought well they are going to be raising the price of these. They are an awesome cookie. Not what you would expect to buy in there, but taste more like what you might get at a bakery. So if you haven't tried them I advise you to. Anyway. As I was standing there the two little figures popped up on my shoulders. You know the ones. One little angel saying to me "You don't need a cookie and you don't want a cookie so let it go." Then there on the other shoulder sat the little red dressed devil saying: "I know you don't want one or need one, but wouldn't it be fun to see what price rings into the register?" Well, you know which one won the battle of the moment. Yep! I plopped the cookie down and waited with anticipation as the cashier scanned the cookie and a $1.19 rang into the cash register. I said: "Excuse me, but that rang in incorrectly." The cashier picked it up and looked at me as if she had never faced that concern before in her life. She then turned around, picked up her phone and called for a manager to come to her register. I asked what she needed a manager for and she said it's $1.19. I then told her to not worry about it just void it off, which she did. Right as I was getting ready to pay for my purchases the manager comes up. The girl then told the manager she didn't need her anymore. The manager was looking at me perplexed so the little devil sitting up there poked me with his pitch fork. I said: "She called you because the cookie rang in at $1.19 even though there is a sticker on it for 99 cents. She couldn't seem to make that decision even though the cookie is plainly marked 99 cents so I told her to forget it." The manager then looked like she wanted to make an "L" shape and put it on her forehead and point it at this poor unsuspecting girl, but instead she looked at her and said: "If it says 99 cents, she gets it for 99 cents." Then the manager told me she was sorry and walked away. Businesses wonder why they are not succeeding today. Hum. If you are willing to lose a sale of what probably cost you maybe 40 cents and make a customer mad for 20 cents. I'm thinking you could pretty well answer your own question. We are raising people who can't think for themselves. It's all a vicious circle. Mindless sheep that need a master to tell them where to go and what to do. If it were my store I would like to think that the person at the register could use some common sense and make an educated decision. Especially since I was spending quiet a bit in there and I could have just decided to leave it all sit. In actuality though it was just that little devil with the pitch fork prodding me to see what would happen. It really didn't bother me that bad today. Now I have had moods where it wouldn't have sat well, but those are the breaks. Anyway. Thought I'd share. In all seriousness though, they are really awesome cookies!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Bearing it All!

Nope! Not what you think. Some people at work told me they enjoyed a picture I took at the Indianapolis Zoo. It makes a great background on a personal computer. I thought I'd share it with you all... have fun. Maybe you can impose a picture of an unsuspecting person in front of the bears path?

Oh, picture is of the male bear in the zoo's exhibit. Taken Summer of 2007!

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Midas Touch.

I really thought this picture kind of looked cool from the way the sun was shinning down on the MIDAS shop. My brother went with me today to get my breaks checked. I suppose checked really isn't the word when you know they are bad. I mean a couple of weeks ago they started making a metal to metal sound on the left front when I pushed hard on the breaks. In my younger days I would have ignored it because I would have been ill prepared to pay for this sort of thing. Sometimes I suppose that happens to me now, but too many times I have learned that when something is going on with your car (much like your health) that the longer you put it off the more expensive and difficult it can be to get fixed. So for the past two weeks I have babied my breaks. Slowing very gently as to not have to push down too hard on my breaks at any given point. In this way I figured I could get by until I could make time to get them fixed. Then of course once you find time it's always where do I go? Of course I suppose that really was not much of a debate as in I have always gone to the MIDAS shop on East Coliseum. They are friendly and efficient and I seem at ease there. MIDAS also has a life time warranty on the pads so there will be no future cost other than labor to get brake pads put on. I had not been in there in over four years, but they still pulled me up in the computer with no problem. The last car I had in to their shop was my maroon Pontiac Sunbird. Now I drive a cactus green Toyota Corolla. My brother made a joke today about "The Midas Touch" and how it is suppose to be where it turns things into gold. I said well it is for those who own the shop. They are taking mine. Of course for a good service. Not too bad. I had caught it in time that the rotors were not harmed so $236 and some change and I was out of there. While they were putting on the new brake pads my brother and I walked next door to the Dollar General Store. It use to be Franks Nursery. Anyone else remember that? While out there my brother noticed that Value City Department store had closed. So much changes constantly it seems in this city. So much so it's hard to tell if you will see anything were it was the day before. Yet there today, the same MIDAS I have been taking cars to every since I learned how to drive was. With it's shinning halo around it as if it was a sanctuary from the ever changing scenery. Either way I am extremely glad to have my breaks repaired and that metal to metal sound gone. In that they eased my mind and worries where my brakes were concerned, MIDAS really did have the MIDAS touch.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Some People Just Need to "GET OVER IT"!

This week has been a long and stressful week for me on so many levels. As you recall I have been having a lot and I mean a lot of different health "quirks" or problems over the past year, which have caused me to rethink things in life. One of which has been that I have decided I don't care about pettiness anymore. Trust me I have a lot of great people in my life, good people, good friends and a great family, but I also have a lot of self righteous, hypocritical, lying and petty people in my life too. (No, I won't out anyone. You all know who you are and how you fit in my life.) Some of these "wonderful" people have been trying to see how much grief they can cause me in my life. One has taken it to new highs for making up stories. I don't have time for these people in any form or fashion so I try to ignore them, remove them as much as possible and be as polite as I can when on occasion I might run into them somewhere. I have also done a lot of soul searching for things that might have been wrong on my part. I'm human. For those people I am making every effort to correct my mistake, make amends and not recreate them. One person I did that way I really regret. This person I thought due to another person was doing things they were not. Found out way to late, trusted way too much and now I like this person. I get along with them and hope they have actually gotten to a point of forgive and forget. One person though cracks me up. I try to be cordial, I try not to pay attention to them and thankfully they are not a part of my normal life so I rarely have to see them in any setting for any amount of time. They constantly say things about hoping people can be happy and find and make peace with God. Funny. I think they have forgotten the part of the bible that talks about forgiving and forgetting themselves. Along with turning the other cheek. Then I believe there is a part in the bible about "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." boy does this person ever need to put that stone down. Yet that isn't what this article is suppose to be about. I'm just talking and going on because it's hard to deal with some things in life. Somehow if you say them out loud they become more real. Somehow if you type them they become too real.
No this isn't mine... mine is a little lower on the breast, this is just an example.

I had my first ever mammogram on Monday, February 23, 2009. That started out my week. The test in itself, although nerve racking, was not as bad as I expected from tales I had been told. I had it done at MD Imagining over at Lutheran Hospital. The staff there is so nice. Then Tuesday morning I was awakened to a call from a Nicole from their office. She was very polite, not cold, not in any form sounding as if she had made this call a dozen times. She has made it plenty from what she later told me. It was to advise me that there was an abnormality found in my left breast. Nothing to worry about she expressed. It happens all the time on Base line (first) test with mammograms. But she also warned a lot of things could happen when I came back in depending upon what they found out. Only one appointment left in the week. It was during hours I was scheduled at work and the next appointment would be very late the next week, so I took the appointment. Waiting until the end of the week was torture enough for this sort of thing. I couldn't imagine having to wait another week. I then called my work and they were very good about letting me get a vacation day to go take care of this. They always are good about working with me and I appreciate that a lot.
Waiting in the lobby for that second mammogram was nerve racking, but there were three other women who were there for the same reason. I wasn't alone. Not sure this is one of those times that was actually comforting, but I wasn't alone. One by one they went back. One by one they each left saying nothing further was needed done and mine was probably fine too. The second mammogram concluded that yes indeed there is a free floating mass a little bit smaller than the tip of my pinkie finger in my left breast. They wanted a closer look, so they told me to wait and they would get a technician to do an ultra sound. Now that was a unique experience to say the least. I have very dense breast so it was very hard for them to find what they were looking for. I saw it on the ultra sound though. The girl said she wanted an on-staff physician to look at it to see if they wanted to do anything else that day. More nerves. More feeling of doom.
The doctor came in and looked at the pictures taken and looked at an ultra sound himself. He then told me that it's very hard to tell what this might or might not be. It could be cancer, it could be nothing. Whatever it is, it is very tiny and no immediate threat. His advise is to wait six months and come back and see if it's grown. Uh, what? He's male. I get it. But still is sitting and waiting for something to grow the answer? I mean I get the concept. If it grows it's probably cancer. If it doesn't it's probably benign. What if it grows past the ability to do anything about it though? I wasn't at all comfortable with this recommendation at all, but he was a hospital doctor on staff, not my doctor. Now where I go is to talk this over with my regular practitioner and my OBGYN and see what they think. How they feel. I also sent informational questions off to my insurance company on my options, second opinions, and if of course this six month later mammogram is going to be covered. So many questions. I also did a lot of web surfing. I bought a book on Breast Cancer to arm myself with information in case.
From everything I can tell from research odds are in my favor that it's nothing. Odds are it's just a worry that is there for me to deal with at this time. I've never been one good at beating the odds though so keep your fingers crossed for me and keep your prayers out there for me. So what is in the title of this article. Simply this... Life is short. Sometimes shorter than we might expect. I don't want to fight with anyone. I am not out to get anyone and I have no desires to have people in my life who are negative. I need positive people in my life. I need peace and calm. If you can do that you can stay in my life. The people who can't I guess can get over it because my calls or conversations with them will be fleeting and few if at all. Sometimes we just have to look out for ourselves. I suppose this is my way of doing it. After all I always have been tough - right? Anyone who has any stories they want to share with me or on my blog regarding breast cancer - good or bad I'll happily take them and post them if you wish. Oh and for those of you that know my mom and dad - please do not share this with them at this time. They would worry themselves sick and they just don't need that. Thanks.