Friday, September 30, 2011

Think Pink

Tomorrow begins Breast Cancer Awareness month.  Pink will be everywhere.  And countless lives will be saved due to walks, races, and parties contributing to further research.

A few years ago, I underwent a lumpectomy.  I was lucky.  The mass that was removed was while not benign, still in pre-cancerous formation.  That was a new term I had to learn in a hurry.  It seems cells go through a process before turning into cancer and mine were caught in time.  And I was lucky that I had insurance at the time.  The insurance covered the surgery and the pathology..neither of them inexpensive.

Now we come to today.  I am still considered at risk but I no longer have health insurance.  My husband's employer made the decision that spouses were not worth covering so set up the insurance plan that the employee pays $10 a check for their coverage and an additional $300 per check to add a spouse.  When it comes to the value of an employee's family versus her personal profit margin, the profit margin will always win.

And there are no other options available.  My husband makes enough to provide for us and pay the bills.  But that also puts us in the class of being too "wealthy" to qualify for any kind of health insurance assistance.  I am one of millions of Americans who is falling through the cracks of our health care system.

There are programs available for free mammograms.  But even if I take advantage of that...I can't afford whatever treatment or further testing might be required.  So I have made the decision not to get my mammogram this year.

My point in all this?  If you have insurance, get your mammogram!!!  You have a resource available to save your life.  Use it!!!  This simple test removes fear.  There is absolutely no excuse not to get one if you have insurance to cover the cost of your care.  If you are a man reading this, share it with every woman you love.  Keep them in your lives.

In plain English?  Don't be me.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The End of Summer

Boy, is that title a hopeful thing!  Today will be Day 90 in Austin with temps over 100 degrees.  I'm starting to think this summer will never end!

But in hopes of the approaching cooler temps, I'm taking today to sort through my summer clothes and thin out what I never wore this summer.  And I say hope, because in all actuality...I will probably be wearing summer clothes for at least another month!

I miss my sweaters.  I miss my boots!  And let me tell you...I have some killer boots!  It's a shame they only come out to play a couple months out of the year!

Hope still reigns, however!  So here I sit, sorting clothes.  All in the anticipation that soon it will be cool enough to rock a new fall look.  And after the wardrobe change?  I'm so looking forward to a hot cup of tea and a roaring fire!

Ah well...at least in my dreams...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Common Courtesy

I have a thing about timeliness.  Like a big, huge thing.  Like a deal-breaker kind of thing.

If I have an appointment, I am there 20-30 minutes early.  If I am expected at a new location, I map out my route ahead of time to make sure I am there on time.  If you're picking me up, I'm ready and waiting to walk out the door when you arrive.  I consider these actions the basis of common courtesy.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who do not.  And what does that say?  When you show up late, cancel plans, etc.; you are telling the other person that their time is not as valuable as yours.  You are saying that they are less important than you are so it is only appropriate that they wait on you.  Is this a conscious thought or decision?  No...usually not.  I have more faith in humanity than to make the assumption that most people deliberately try to make what they call a friend feel lesser or hurt.  But that is the impression you give and the perception of the person who is left waiting.  And as we all know, perception is your own personal reality.

So take a minute and review how you treat others when it comes to time, both your time and their's.  And make sure you let those you love feel loved by the way you respect their time.

And those are my random thoughts this morning...




Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fate

Do you believe in fate?  Or do you believe that you and you alone make your own destiny?

For most of my life, I would have to say I believed the latter.  But lately, I've had the feeling I'm no more than a piece on someone else's chess board and have no control over where I'm moved.  It seems the universe has a plan for me that I didn't plan myself, that I didn't expect, and that I'm not sure where it's headed.

So what to do?  When this happens, do you wrest control back?  Do you vow to maintain control of your own direction?

Or do you hang on, buckle in, and enjoy the ride?  Do you wait and see where the fates take you?  Although it sounds fun and adventurous, it's kind of scary.

As for me...I seem to be in a holding pattern right now.  What you might call a "Wait and See" position.  I'm a mom, which means juggling multiple lives, schedules, and responsibilities.  To let everything go and just "go with it" is a pretty foreign concept.  But if you don't try new things, you don't grow or learn.

So maybe someday soon I'll just let go and ride wherever the waves take me.

And those are my random thoughts this morning.

Monday, September 26, 2011

For The Sake of My Sanity...STOP!!!

Ok, here goes my Monday morning rant...

Let's be clear from the start.  Facebook is NOT charging fees.  There is NO gold, silver, or bronze level.  Your icon will NOT turn blue.  Your account will NOT be deleted if you don't follow these instructions.  This was NOT on the news!!!

How many times did you see this hoax in the past week?  Personally, I lost count.  But it was enough to get me to the verge of becoming a shrieking banshee!!

A number of these posts came from people that re-post on a regular basis.  Is it that they are too ignorant to recognize a scam?  Is it that they are too trusting?  Is it that they are too lazy to check their facts before presenting a statement as truth?  I'm not sure...but it may even be all of the above.

And what lasting effects does this cause?  One...it spreads falsehoods even further.  Two...it lets your friends and family know that you'll either fall for anything or don't know truth from fiction.  Three...it causes a tendency in people to ignore EVERYTHING you post because so much of what you post is false.

Is there a cure for this condition?  Yes!!!  And it's an easy one.  If it's not your own thoughts, out of your own brain, in your own words...DON'T POST IT!!!

If there is a posting you want to re-post, check your facts before you post.  Snopes and Hoax Slayer are both great resources and easy to use.

Now there is a difference between re-posting and sharing.  So if you wish to share this blog...please feel free!!

Love,
Jerri

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Easy!!!

Bacon Wrapped Scallops

Ingredients:

1 pound sea scallops
1/2 pound sliced bacon

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2.  Rinse scallops in cold water.
3.  Cut bacon in half.  Wrap a piece of bacon around each scallop and secure with a toothpick.
4.  Place on a baking sheet and bake 20-30 minutes or until bacon is brown and crispy.

Enjoy!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

The End of an Era

Today marks the last televised episode of All My Children.  After 41 years on the air, this is just so sad.

Growing up, a lot of us looked to Erica Kane for an example of a strong woman.  Were her storylines sometimes unbelievable?  Yes...but that's what made it fun!!  Evil twins, coming back from the dead, dream sequences...all served to bring entertainment to a sometimes boring day.

And the romances!  Tad and Dixie, Jessie and Angie, Greg and Jenny, Erica and well...everybody else.  They gave us all hope that someday our prince would come.  True, real life doesn't live up to a soap opera but most of us managed to find our princes anyways.

So kudos to Agnes Nixon and the cast and crew.  Thank you for an entertaining 41 years!


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Facebook...What Have You Done???

I woke up in a great mood this morning.  Then I logged in to Facebook.  And that was the end of that mood!

So Facebook is deciding for me what my top stories are.  Obviously, they don't track my activity worth a darn!  The extremist political rants that I hide every time they are posted are now listed as "top stories".  The annoying "copy and re-post" blatherings are also now "top stories".  If Facebook was paying any attention to what I like and don't like...it would know that these posts are hidden the second they hit my wall!!!  I want to know what my friends are thinking and doing...not some idiotic post from some anonymous yahoo a thousand clicks back. Isn't that the very definition of spam?

And now I can see what every friend posts on a third party's wall.  Unless I'm friends with both parties, this information is NONE OF MY BUSINESS!!!  Not only that, but who really honestly wants to know every single click a friend makes?  Really...just stop!!!

A lot of the tech blogs have surmised that these new changes are Facebook's way of getting ahead of Google Plus.  Now, I use Google Plus a bit but it doesn't seem to offer the interaction that Facebook does.  But I can guarantee that pissing off your loyal users is the fasted way to send them to Google Plus!  Every post I've seen this morning on Facebook regarding the changes is not a happy one!

So get it together, Facebook!!  You brag on your ability to track user patterns.  Today would be the day to pay attention!!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fashion and the Empty Nest

Ok...get ready for a rant!!

Some facts, first.  I'm 49 and a grandmother.  I'm 5'9" and I wear a size 3.  Ok, got the basics?  Now on to the rant...

I love fashion.  I adore a gorgeous pair of Santana stilettos.  I love a pair of skinny jeans.  But I've had children and I'm not a spring chicken.  So why does it seem that my only fashion choices are hooker or nursing home?  I mean, I want a pair of jeans with a rise that covers more than my you know what but I don't want it all the way up to my bra either!  And how about a shirt that actually makes it all the way down to the top of my jeans?  And without being in a pastel print?

And let's discuss sizing...I mean, puhleeze!!!  Why do store buyers assume that if you're tall, you must be at least a size 8 or above?  Really?  Do they honestly believe that anyone who is a size 3 is 5'4" or shorter?  Come on!!  I have a 36 inch inseam and finding jeans that are long enough is an absolute nightmare!!!  Not to mention a simple pencil skirt that comes to the knee on most women turns into a mini skirt on me.

Doctors say that each generation is getting taller.  So when are designers and buyers going to catch up?  They can't say that they don't carry such items because they don't sell.  We can't buy them because we can't find them!!

So the retail establishment wants to relegate me to my rocking chair.  Fine.  But I'll be rocking with those stilettos on!!!

And those are my random thoughts this morning...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Good Enough

In the world we live in today, with plastic celebrities, real housewives that have it all, and every women's magazine cover loaded with diets...do you ever wonder if you're good enough?  Add aging to the mix...absolutely forbidden!!!

What if you have someone in your life who makes "suggestions" on things you could do better, do differently, or change about yourself?  Do you listen and take it to heart?  Do you feel resentful that they don't seem to love you for who you are?

Or do you change to please someone?  What if it is something you know you should work on?  Does that make the difference?  And what if it's prefaced by "I love you, but..."?  Is that truly love if there is so much they cannot accept?

Women today face incredible pressure when it comes to looks, parenting, housekeeping, career, etc.  It is up to us to decide what and how we want to change.  And it is up to the loved ones in our lives to love us as we are.

How do you deal with those suggestions?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

So Yummy!!!

I tried this recipe for the first time the other day...and it was a HUGE hit!!!

Ingredients:
1/2 cup of margarine or butter
1/4 cup of brown sugar
6 bananas cut into 1 inch slices
1/4 cup of spiced rum
Vanilla ice cream
Directions:
Melt margarine/butter in crock pot by turning to LOW. Mix in brown sugar when margarine/butter is melted. Gently stir in bananas and rum.
Cook on LOW for 1 hour. Spoon vanilla ice cream over bananas foster and serve.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Face to Face

Do you Skype?  Skype is a FREE web based service allowing you to speak face to face with friends and family via webcam.  Did you catch the FREE part?  They also offer pay services, but so far I've had a great time just using the free service.

Calling computer to computer, you can actually see the facial expressions of the person you're speaking to.  How often has an email been misconstrued?  When someone thought a joke was serious and took offense?  This eliminates that and lets you see the faces of your loved ones.

I have to admit, it still feels like something out of Star Trek!  And yes, I know I'm dating myself!!  But who ever would have thought this would be possible, especially when growing up a landline was the only thing available? So I do get a little thrill every time I use it.  And it is rapidly becoming my favorite mode of communication.

So download Skype and call a friend or family member that is far away.  Nothing beats face to face!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

An Unintended Vacation

I've been away from my blog for a bit and I apologize for my absence!  There has been quite a bit of turmoil in my life and I've been attempting to get a handle on it.

It's funny...if you talk to most of my friends...they'll tell you that I'm the one they know they can always call.  But when it comes to my own pain, I tend to withdraw, shut down, turn in on myself.  Hell, it's hard to even write this.  But the world keeps spinning and I don't want my own inaction to allow me to be thrown off!!

It is so much easier to care for a friend.  I make a much better listener than I do a talker.  Caregiving is something that feels natural to me and I treasure that my friends know they can count on me for a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen.

So why can I not extend that dispensation to myself?  I don't know.  Part of it may be that I hate to bother people.  Part may be based on fear that no one will be there.  But I've learned that neither are true.  In fact, some friends were hurt that I had shut down.  Some got creative and found friends who live close to me and sent them to the house to check on me.  Others reached out and let me know that I am loved.  Beautiful flowers were delivered just to let me know I was thought of.

So with friends like these, I feel supported.  I can make it through what I need to with their love and help.  So I'm back...you just can't keep a good woman down!!

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