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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Its in the movement!


"Hooked on a feeling", sung by Blue Swede

there are times when we all need a smile
or a laugh or perhaps just a wink, as all
of these, seem to lift our spirits and make
us feel that all is going to be ok...

i remember this video clip from a show
i used to watch "Ally McBeal" when I saw
it many years ago, it made me smile, and the
song to go with it, is a favorite of mine..

the dance is just so simple, however its
in the movement that makes me smile, its
the way the body moves to the music, when
the music is there the body will move, and
then the smile will appear!

if you lost your smile, or your laugh has
been forgotten, i hope this video brings a
silly smile to your face as it does mine!

:O)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Desperation



i left my office for a bit yesterday, as i needed
to run some errands, on my way back i
see several police cars in front of office,
panic when straight to my blood, as i surly
thought something had happen in my office

i was told on my return,

a man walked into the "rent a center"
that is located next to my office, he asked for
the manager, when they told him the manager
was not there, he calmly said "i am tired of
getting phone calls from you" with that he poured
butane fluid on him and lit a match and threw it
on himself, which of course led to him
setting himself on fire, i am not sure how they
were able to stop the flames, but when they took
him out by ambulance he did not look to badly
burned, and i say to that "thank goodness"

it seems he owed them money, and the
persistent phone calls to claim their money,
put him over the edge, i spoke with the sales
clerk that had called him earlier in the day,
she described him to me as a "normal" person
very cordial, and apologetic, he told her he
would be in to pay what he owed

the sales clerks who witness it, where besides
themselves, they just could not stop crying,
when i approached them to see if they were ok
they could not even talk, the one sales clerk (a man)
was frozen in time, as I spoke to him, there was
no movement, just stares and tears

"rent a center" called in grief counselors to speak
with them, and then they were both sent home,
i wonder now, what they see, are the flames still
in there head, do they see his face, can they
ever get that image out of their minds, or are
they in a fog, where nothing seems real

how desperate was this man, how lost he must have
felt, we live in such terrible times, where money
does not expand, it stays dormant, then slowly
disappears, and then one finds themselves
desperate!

i always say we can never underestimate any one
person, as any one is capable of anything, and now
i guess, i see that more, and the meaning of
underestimate just sits in my soul, to wonder each
day, what will happen next

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Grateful Choice

Postcard of Lyon France sent to Bon from Mary


it is a new day, and i feel the sun will be out today
bright and shiny as ever, as soon as i wake, i look
outside thru the windows and when the sun is shining,
the outside world is calling my name, and into i go

when there is sunshine it just makes everything
in life so much brighter, my neighborhood comes
alive, and my spirit is filled with happiness

i am renewed once again, and the gratitude for
life fills my soul, there are so many great things
in life to be grateful for, and at times i let them
slip by me, it is not only i that does this, as all of
us at one time or another has taken things for granted

today, i am going to choose something that i am
grateful for, i will embrace it, and remember it, so
i don't let it slip by me again, perhaps if i do this
it will comfort me, and allow me to understand
just how very lucky i am

i was scared yesterday, i might have seemed strong,
but my heart and soul were weak with worry, it was
only till last night when i finally saw my dad, that
i was able to be whole again, when my dad's BP went
from 149 to 182 (top number) in minutes when
my mom said something to annoy him, i knew
everything was going to be ok :O)

my grateful choice today is my dad, as i want to
know in my heart, that i will never take him for
granted again~~

life happens, it is what we do in life that makes it happen!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Scrambled Thoughts


i have missed blogging, i did not realize how
much i enjoyed putting my thoughts into
writing, until this week, when my break from
blogging occurred, it is somewhat freeing
to put all that is in my mind into words, it
releases that pressure of all thoughts being
jumbled, it puts things in order for me, as
you see in my mind, they run wild, however
here in black and white i can understand
them better, as i read them back the jumbled
thoughts become clear

this past week has been trying for me, here at
the nest and in my home life, it is strange to
me how it all occurred and blurred into one,
as i was trying to calm the waters here, my dad
was having problems, i, at first ignored his pleas
as i thought his ailments were just simple
everyday occurrences, actually truth be told
i was just to preoccupied, i was not focused,
i chose to scramble my priorities, and now that
i think back, i realize i scrambled in the wrong
direction~

when saturday arrived and i saw my dad, his eyes
foggy, his tummy upset, i went into action, and
off we went, the hospital admitted him, and my
priorities are now in order, never to be scrambled
into one again!

i do really feel in my heart that today will go well
with my dad, as we have been down this road before
and he is very strong, his heart doctor has known
him for 20yrs, and he is confident my dad will be
ok, so i am positive and will stay that way, until
someone tells me otherwise

♥Lovey's♥ Owls

here in the nest as the turmoil became apparent
and my helping hand was not able to smooth the
tide, i realized i had lost control, not only was
i front and center, but the most important personalty
trait of mine "control" was lost, as i so wanted to
control the situation, i so wanted the peace~
however it was not to be, so i let it go, i gave up
and took my wounded self in hiding, and let the
"control" go, one cannot control a situation that
was not in their being, one at a point of submission
needs to pass, like a game, when you pass your turn

so, i let the nest be, and will always be grateful to the
owls who kept it going in my absence, it was a group
effort, as it should be~~

today is our 200th blog, i think we will observe
today a little differently than the last time, we should
remember what brought us here, how we all came
together, how we started as perhaps 10 owls and
have now become close to 50 owls, all should comment
as each of you are important as the next, if you all
allow each comment to enter your heart for just
one moment and understand the reasoning for the
owls entry into the nest, perhaps we can get past
the hurt, perhaps there is a light at the end of this
tunnel, time will tell~~

Dad and me circa 1970

as you all read this i will be tending to my dad
who i love so very much, his procedure is today,
we will know today if a heart stent is needed
i will be with him, as i should be, my priority

i always say "baby steps" and it is time we
take ours!

congrats owls, on your 200th blog!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

If we only Knew....

by Sandie



This is the easiest blog I've ever written because there's nothing to say after watching this video. It says it all. It brought tears to my eyes and made me think. I hope it does the same for you.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Beach

by Lynn D



The beach is my happy place. We all have happy place’s , no I am not talking about your anatomy, but those get away spots that call your name and you just know you have to go there to find your balance or to rest and relax or to fill up your soul. For me it is the beach.

I don’t know what it is but when I am there I can walk for miles and not realize it. My eyes just drink the water and sand in. I relax like I can’t anywhere else. It is like the sound and smells and sights all come together and it is the perfect tonic for what ails me.

I can feel the burdens of everyday lift away. My body relaxes and my soul feels like it is getting lighter and lighter. I guess there is something about realizing how small I am compared to that ocean out there and what may lie on the other side. I watch the tide move in and out and hear the sounds like a lullaby at night. It just feels right and I feel like I am one with nature there.


I have never been to a tropical beach so I really don’t know if I would feel the same there. I love our Washington beaches because they can be dark and brooding and moody and wind swept and wild in a storm and then you go on a sunny clear day and it just takes your breath away. Like the most perfect present being presented for those lucky enough to be there at that moment.

When I feel pressured or tired with life, or just at a lost I long for my beach. Someday my dream is to live there everyday and I will achieve it even if it is just a shack to live in I will get there. I feel it in my bones and heart.

Right now I am just grateful when I get to go visit.

Where is your happy place??

Friday, July 25, 2008

What is a Owl?

What is a Owl

by ♥Lovey♥

I found this lil nest in the cyber world when I was weak,wounded and lost. There weren't many Owls, but we were all feeling the same emotions.

At first, it was a place I could go where I wouldn't feel so lost.
I knew healing could begin, but I wondered, is it possible to build a family with all our hurt and negative all in one place.
We needed the positive to wipe out the negative.

We gathered, we voiced our hurt, we huddled and cuddled and wrapped our wings around each other and found the sunshine.
Sunshine always wipes out the darkness.
The building began.

Laughter painted the walls, personalities decorated the landscape.
The buffet tables set filled with everyone's favorite foods.
We Owls marched, we chatted, we laughed, we cried, we cared for each other and before we knew it, the family was built.

One thing that is very important to the Owls is respect.
Why?
Because our wounds were from "lack of respect".
We are Owls, but we are human beings too.
We are not just a computer monitor, we are not just a bunch of words on a screen.
WE are PEOPLE.
We bleed, we hurt, we have feelings and we are not INSIGNIFICANT particles of dust that can be fluffed away with one little blow.

We are mixed Owls, with different opinions, different likes and dislikes, but one thing that is constant and through us all,is we are not combative.
We read the thoughts of others, share ours, and sometimes say good night leaving with a plate of food for thought.
We are not debaters trying to build points on opinions or fighting for causes.

We are a family of Owls building friendships filled with LOVE.
We protect our family, we wrap our wings around each other in comfort.
This is our nest.

We have welcomed all to enjoy the peace, the love ,the laughter, and the friendship that built this nest.
We have opened our arms to anyone that would like to be an Owl.

I am very proud to be an OWL.
I'm honored to be called LoveyHO.
I love my family and our nest.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Pioneer Day

By Tina~in_ut

When I moved to Utah in August of 1993, I was unaware that Utah had its very own holiday in July. I thought it odd when, after the 4th of July, all the firework stands remained, and re-opened around the 20th of July. I had heard the terms Days of ’47 and Pioneer Day, but had no idea what they meant. July 24th is Pioneer Day. It is a state holiday. For the first couple of years, I thought it was the day that Utah became a state. I went blissfully along on my merry way thinking how nice it was that this State celebrated its statehood. California sure didn’t do that.

One day, a group of us at work were discussing religion. Somehow the Days of ’47 came up. Someone was telling us about the parade and about the Mormon’s finally arriving in “Zion”. That’s when it dawned on me. California did not become a state until 1850 and Utah some time after that. There was no way Utah could have become a state in 1847! I said that out loud and everyone looked at me funny and started laughing. They realized I had no idea that Pioneer Day is a celebration of Brigham Young leading the Mormon followers into the Salt Lake Valley to their new “earthly Zion.” I was flabbergasted. I could not believe that our “State” holiday was actually a religious holiday. What happened to separation of church and state?

I went home that day and told my husband all about it. He looked at me like I had grown a third arm. He knew and just assumed that I knew too. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t want to celebrate it. I didn’t think it was right. As a Catholic, I “celebrate” All Saints Day, but the state doesn’t shut down for the day. Since then, I have tried my best to be out of state on July 24th. If we stayed home, we would have to at least have fireworks for the kids. It is too hard to explain to them the reason for the holiday and the reason I don’t want to celebrate it. They just wouldn’t understand the whole “separation of Church and State” thing. This year we will be in Hawaii. Last year, we were in California. The year before that, it was Greece……and so on. This is how neurotic I am. Once, we were driving home from the Tetons on the 24th and I asked my husband if we could drive the long way home…….thru Yellowstone National Park! We did and arrived home well after midnight on the 25th!

I never understood why the celebration on the 24th was so much bigger than the 4th! Now it all made sense. In a day and age when we are not allowed to say the Pledge of Allegiance because the word God is in it, or we can’t put a Nativity Scene in front of City Hall, why are we shutting down a state for a day to celebrate Pioneer Day? To me it’s just crazy. Are there any unusual celebrations or holidays in your neck of the woods or am I the only lunatic in town?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

~Crossroad~


there is a strangeness in the air around the nest
i almost had to pinch myself, to make sure it was
really happening, grant you, this is life and squabbles
happen, however i think what we all forgot the most
was the respect that has lingered here for so long

i still can't pinpoint the exact reason for the strangeness
perhaps if i could i would be able to understand it better
as i would have been able to help more
we are at a crossroad, that much i do know

in life, i don't think it is possible to have a friendship with
all who surround you, we at times can't pick and chose who is near,
it is at times like this, that one must remember to regard another,
be cordial, considerate, and most of all open, as one never really
knows what is existing in their souls

communication is most important between people
as it allows each of us to understand, without communication
we are left in the dark to just wonder, and our minds will
wander to a far off place, and then the dark just becomes
darker which then leads to anger

i am most sorry for the hurt, as it seems it is wrenching
when one is hurt, that emotion takes over, and no other
emotion is able to get thru, hurting is hard to control
that is why it needs time to heal, time and understanding
will always help the hurt

i just have read some of the latter comments and would
like to share a few with you:

Vig: I love this blog and cherish my Owl buddies

Mary: It will take more than a little friction to give up on it. I wov ALL of you! :+)

Bon: But, hopefully we can all one-on-one any issues and enjoy what this wonderful nest has given us for the past 7 months.

Lynnd: That is why I moved here and have been happy with the wonderful people that post.


these comments kept me going as i wrote this blog,
they gave me hope, they allowed me to see the good
in what has been created, they touched my soul

in life, we move on, we figure a way to continue and make
amends, so it is on this blog, that i hope we can continue, and
approach each day with a new fondness, as we have done
so in the past

i will continue to blog, to share my life,
my thoughts, my fears and it is with hope that you all stay
and share this nest with me, as a sole owl cannot conquer it all,
however a group of owls can conquer all and more!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Babies

by Shirley

Iteach's Baby Carolyn

What were you like as a baby? Cranky and crying all the time or happy and smiling? My Dad said I was a perfect baby...never cried for the first month until my mother pinched me to see if I would cry. My older sister Marilyn was a good baby too. She was a little over three when I was born. My brother Robert is eleven months and six days older and he was a very cranky baby. Mum has a picture of the three of us and Robert is crying. She said he fussed the whole time the photographer was there, but was fine after he left.

Do you have a baby book, or clothes from when you were a baby? Did your parents keep your favorite toy or rattle? How about your school work, and report cards? Did they keep the birthday, Mother's & Father's day cards? What about those wonderful works of art you painted or the clay ashtrays and animals you made? How much of your children's stuff do you keep? Is it hard to get rid of it and how do you choose what to throw away, if anything?

I called my mum and asked her if I had a baby book. She said she was given one at the hospital when I was born and that it was probably in the attic. I'll have to look for it some day. She doesn't have any clothes or pieces of hair though. I would love to hear what you have saved for yourself and for your children.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

May all dreams come true!




Rosie has such a big heart, and just loves children, I remember seeing this on TV when it first aired, and it just struck a cord with me, my heart was weak.

The surprise was amazing, and as you can see on Stephanie's face no one was more surprised then her!

So, enjoy this video, and grasp the meaning, as one of Stephanie's dreams come true.

Vig, thank you, for reminding me of what a truly wonderful song this is!

:O)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Picnic Time!


by Iteach


Did you know that behind the owl’s nest just past the tall pine trees we have a picnic ground?

Yes, we do and I have been there a lot with my children.

It is the most beautiful park that I have ever laid eyes on. The grass is green and lush. The trees are tall and strong and they are fun to take a nap under. There is always a gentle breeze that makes the leaves dance and laugh. The sun is always smiling on us and the temperature hovers around 75 degrees on most days.

What is also unique about our picnic ground is that it is free of mosquitoes and allergies. I have no idea why, but I’m not going to question it.

Shirley will be sitting under the pavilion preparing all the wonderful picnic food. She always does a wonderful job.


There are numerous trails to walk with all your dogs. Please do remember to clean up their droppings.

VIG will be under the gazebo with her piano serenading us with light musical songs that will drift us off to an afternoon nap.

In the evening Whabby will provide star and planet stories around a campfire.

Please pull up a lawn chair and share with us your favorite parts about a picnic.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Zodiacal Constellations

by Whabby

Yesterday, Carol wrote a beautiful blog in which she talked about a group of seven special stars, named after her aunts and uncles, that her Mom always looks for in the darkness just before dawn. Carol noted that her Mom cannot see these stars all the time, because the makeup of the pre-dawn sky changes with the seasons, but the “Group of Seven” always swings back into view eventually.

How does that work, owls? What’s going on in the sky that makes pre-dawn stars come and go with the seasons?

Let me see if I can answer this question via astrology, a topic we’re all familiar with. We all have an astrological sign. Coincidently, mine happens to be Cancer, the July sun sign. Your sign is either Cancer too, or one of the others: Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces, Aries, Taurus, or Gemini. Most of us can rattle off our astrological sign in a heartbeat; indeed, as reflected by that clich├ęd pick-up line, “What’s your sign”, many of us deem our sign to be an important piece of information about ourselves.

But what are astrological signs, really? To truly understand them, we’re going to have to look at some familiar “landmarks” from a new and different perspective.

Most everybody knows that their sun sign corresponds to a particular constellation in the sky. Since people born today are Cancers, when I talk about looking at familiar landmarks, you would be forgiven for thinking that I’m going to start with the constellation Cancer, the Crab.

The trouble is, you can’t see the Crab right now, because Cancer is located in the daytime sky, right smack where the sun is (that’s why the astrological constellations are know as “sun signs”). Once night falls, other astrological (or more precisely, zodiacal) constellations ARE visible. Suppose you go outside during the next couple of nights, maybe about an hour and a half after sunset. Look for the Big Dipper, and then trace out an imaginary arc that stretches from where the dipper’s handle is pointing. You should come to a bright orange star; that is Arcturus. Even further down the imaginary arc is another bright star, Spica. Spica lies in the astrological sign of Virgo, the Maiden. Spica and Virgo may actually be pretty hard to see, as they will be close to the western horizon. However, below and east of Virgo is the prominent and well defined Scorpius, the Scorpion, and beyond that, the teapot-shaped Sagittarius. They should be easier to spot.

But wait, you’re saying. The constellations I’m babbling about correspond to astrological signs for people whose birthdays are coming up this fall. If the sun is in the vicinity of Cancer right now, it must be shifting to the vicinity of these other constellations a couple of months from now. And if that is true, the sun must be moving along a line that connects these constellations.

It is certainly the case that the sun appears to move along such a line (known as the ecliptic), with two interesting consequences. To describe them, let’s return to our hypothetical outdoor observations, sometime in the next couple of days, but this time I’ll ask you to imagine going out right at sunset, when the sun is barely above the horizon. Imagine, every day, the sun has moved a little way along the line that links the astrological constellations. If so, then every successive day the sun is “sneaking up” on the next zodiacal constellation in the yearly sequence; right now the “next in line” is Leo. Leo is another constellation that is not visible at the moment; it is too close to the sun, and is swallowed up in the twilight glare just above and to the left of where the sun sets. In another week or so, the Sun will have moved out of Cancer and will be directly co-located with Leo. At that point, it will be Virgo and Libra that are slipping into the Sun’s glare, and disappearing from the night sky.

But what the movement of the sun taketh away from the early evening sky, it giveth back to the early morning sky! Right now, before sunrise, the constellations that the Sun has recently left behind, like Gemini, and Taurus, and Aries the Ram (the Spring astrological signs, in other words), are becoming visible. As the Sun gradually moves ever farther away from them, they become more and more visible in the morning sky, before the sun rises. Another way of making this point is to note that just before sunrise, were you to go out and look toward the east, a little sliver of sky would be revealed to you, that had not been visible the night before.

Day after day, the sun constantly “captures” (swallows up) a small sliver of the night sky lying to the left of itself, and continually “releases” (makes visible) a sliver of sky down and to the right of it.

Are you with me so far, owls? Hang in there… just a little further to go. Of course, we all know that the sun isn’t really moving with respect to the earth; we’ve known that since the time of Copernicus, 500 years ago. So what’s really happening? Let's return to our hypothetical observation in the next couple of nights right at sunset. Picture the Earth constantly moving in a direction sort of consistent with the eastern horizon. However, try to imagine as well that we’re not really traveling in a perfectly straight line toward the east… instead, we’re moving along an enormous curved trajectory that is so big, compared to our perspective, that it forms almost a straight line from one day to the next… a line with just a slight curve to it.

Imagining that slight curve to the trajectory, though, is crucial. It means that, in fact, we are always circling around and heading toward a point in space that is down and to the right of the sun’s location. That’s the case, every single day, every single sunset.

So what does that do to the sun? The to-the-right movement of the Earth “pushes” the sun a little bit up and to the left (to the east). The cumulative result is that the sun forever moves serenely through the astrological constellations, completing its 12-part journey in the space of a year. And that’s why, in the current night sky before midnight, you see the astrological constellations that the sun will enter in the future (Scorpius, Sagittarius), while later on at night, approaching sunrise, they are replaced with the constellations that were collocated with the sun in the near past, but have now been left behind (Taurus and Gemini).

And that’s all there is to it! Stars don’t really move; the Sun doesn’t really move; just the Earth moves. The stars named after Carol’s aunts and uncles have a fixed location with respect to the astrological constellations, so they, too, appear and disappear in the dawn sky depending on where the sun is located on that particular night.

This website, (click here) has a great animated illustration of the how the Earth's movement around the sun produces the apparent movement of the Sun through the astrological sun signs.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Named Stars!


each morning when my mom leaves for work
it is in the very wee hours, it is usually dark out
and the sun is still asleep

she gets picked up each morning as she does not
drive, so she waits in the driveway, smokes her
cigarette and looks up at the dark sky

what she sees is the moon surrounded by stars
and the stars are glistening with a luster she cannot
ignore, it seems each star is reaching out to her and
she grabs on to them my name

she has named them all in her head, names of her
departed siblings, she sees all 7 of them and greets
them with a hello, and a warm smile, see tells them
she remembers it all, from the days of all of them
living in one room, to the days they grazed in
Branch Brook Park, to the days they all married in
our Church, St. Lucy's, her conversation then ends with
"we are 4 left here on this earth, and we will
never forget"

zona's picture of the AZ sky, it is open for all, to see what pleases us most

my mom is convinced it is them, as she tells me most
mornings the stars are aligned the same, she said when
the seasons change, the stars shift and then rest once
more in a position that she is familiar with, a position
she can read

when she told me this, i was not surprised at all, i hugged
her and told her, those stars watch over you as you begin
your day, they give you the strength needed to continue
on, as they were unable to do~~

she listened as i spoke, lit a cigarette and took a long drag
and said "they always gave me strength, i would not
think they would stop now"


so in the dark sky with the "Bella Luna" and the bright
stars, the Marciano siblings are looking down, and giving
to my mom what they have also given her in life

"Strength" in numbers!

my tears are real, they are forming, i feel them, i will
let them flow~~

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Let’s Go To The Drive-In!

by Vig



On the phone recently, Tinka and I were reminiscing about the days when we went to drive-in movies. That conversation has brought back great memories. In the summer, as a child and adolescent, going to a drive-in movie was one of my favourite things to do. I remember as a kid, waiting all day for it to get dark so we could go. I loved being allowed to wear my pj’s into the car and snuggling in to the blankets and sleeping bags in the backseat. Popcorn never tasted as good as it did at a drive-in! I remember annually on the Labour Day long weekend, a night or two before school started, the local drive-in would show “To Sir With Love” and because it was one of my Mom’s favourite movies, we would go every year. And each time she would be so entranced by the movie, that when it ended she would drive away with the speaker on the window!

I remember as a teenager, sneaking friends in through the fence and then all of us sitting on the hood of the car or around the car. Sometimes we even watched the movie! Once when we had about eight people squashed into a Volkswagen, the horn got stuck right in the middle of a steamy scene and everybody went in eight different directions at the same time in that crowded vehicle trying to get it unstuck.

Oh those were the days!

Did you love drive-in movies too? What are your favourite (g-rated!!!!!) drive-in memories!!!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Work in Progress


the summer is actually flying by, August is so near
which is so amazing to me, because i just don't know
how the time goes by so quickly, when August arrives
i know i only have one month left of summer

i had alot of plans for this summer, i was going to
accomplish so much, i made this list in my head, and
now it seems the list has diminished

i tend to procrastinate, it is just part of my personality
there are things that i say i am going to do, and i just
put it off, however at work, i am the complete opposite,
i am on top of everything, deadlines are always met,
schedules are done on time, reports are always in order

so it astounds me as why i can't do the things i need to
do for myself, and why i always put things off for another
day, i would never ever do that to anything work related

as the summer now flies by, i am going to try to shorten
the list and do some of things i had so badly wanted to do,
perhaps if i worked 24/7 everything would get done, as
i am much more productive in my work environment

i guess after reading what i just wrote, it seems to me,
when it comes to myself, i become lazy, as i will say
laziness is definitely one of my not so great traits

so here i go again, working on me, and trying to fix
what i think is broken!!

a work in progress, and on i go!


Monday, July 14, 2008

My Angel "Nadine"


So its that time for me, my "squeeze" will be happening today!

It started several years back, on a routine mammo, I needed additional testing, at first I was really taken aback, as it was so unexpected. I was scheduled for a Breast Biopsy the following week. A Breast Biopsy is not very pleasant, as I am sure one would not think so. Large long needles are used and you just cannot watch, you must turn your head, squeeze your hands until they hurt and pray! The Biopsy came back negative for any cancer cells.

However my gyno called and referred me to a breast surgeon and I was told to make a appointment immediately. I went into panic mode, I could not think, all I remember my gyno saying was "immediately". With some searching, I found a Breast Surgeon in my area who took my insurance coverage. If I remember correctly I was in her office within 7days of getting the news.

I did not tell my parents as I could not make the worry, I told a handful of people, and asked one of my friends to come with me, as I so needed a hand to hold. I was very well prepared with all my films and of course my notepad. Why I brought a notepad? I have no idea because I did not write one thing down.

That was the day I met my angel Dr. Nadine Pappas, on first sight she was so simple, so easy, so kind. She spent three hours with me, explaining all that she saw on the films. I had a mass, It seemed to her is was scar tissue from a breast reduction I had, however it needed to come out and be analyzed, even tho my Biopsy came back negative, she wanted to be sure. The surgery was scheduled for the following month. I also had to arrange to have a plastic surgeon in the operating room as if the mass was bigger than she thought I would need reconstruction.

I remember sitting my parents down and explaining this all to them, their faces were pale, their voices empty. And in every breathe I took I made sure I said "no cancer cells were present".

And so the day arrives, I always wondered why the heck you have to be there at 5AM, it just ruins the whole day, as I am not a early riser, 8AM is so much better for me. But 5AM it was and I was there on time, upon arrival I was whisked away by a scrub nurse and prepped, they are all so very sweet, as they hold your shaking hand, and wipe your tears. My doctors came to greet me, and went over everything one more time. My plastic surgeon then broke some news to me. He said "I have a prosthetic, just in case your breast collapses we can put the prosthetic in so your breasts will be even" Excuse me? "What did you just say" and with that he walked away, to leave me with my thoughts of getting a boob job in one boob and not having to pay for it. But wait, this all started because I wanted them smaller! I guess its the ole saying "Be careful what you wish for" .

With me, my thoughts and my nakedness, they wheel me into the OR, and again my angel appears, holds my hand and tells me she is confident of the outcome, all will be ok. I remember being told to count backwards as the angel holds my hand, I think, I got to 9 and that is all I remember. When I awake shivering and nauseous, my angel is in front of me, again holding my hand. She tells me the mass is gone, they sent in down to the lab as soon as they got it out, and waited for the outcome before sewing me back up. They wanted to be sure so if they needed to take more out they could while I was still in La La Land. The outcome! Negative no cancer cells, I am cancer free. And no need for the prosthetic as my boob did not deflate. And to that I say "Thank Goodness". My angel was right all along!


So every six months for the last 7years I visit my angel, we have become somewhat friends, as I now call her by her first name. "Nadine" I say, "how are you"! She hugs me hello, and we then chat, as she pushes, feels, prods and kneads two things of mine that she knows so well!

This part of my life, is part of my history, it is a part of me! It has made me stronger and wiser. I am forever grateful that I came out of it ok. It was a scare, however I am extremely lucky and I know this!

Many thanks to my angel named Nadine.....

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Music for a Sunday!



The other day i mentioned how i got lost on you tube, well, i started out with Sugarland (thanks mek) and ended up with Bon Jovi and then of course, with someone drinking a beer!

I had no idea that the female vocals on the song "Who say's you can't go home" was the vocalist from Suglarland, what a nice surprise!

So for our Sunday Music Video, I thought I would share with you all my new favorite find. I also know how many of you love Bon Jovi, especially our Tina, so I think it is fitting, we start our day, with some delicious Bon Jovi, and a little of Sugarland for Mek!!!

Enjoy!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Sunshine in a Child!


my cousins are heading to Nantucket today
for two weeks, i spoke to my godchild yesterday
and she was so very excited, she is all packed and
ready to go!

our conversation this evening, reminded me so
how a child thinks, and how a child can be so excited
for something they love

i asked my god child (5yrs old) if she was all packed,
and she said very happily "yes except for my ipod"
and i thought oh my, she can just fit it in her pocket
yet she new it was not in her packed bag!

she preceded to tell me that they plan on having
a lemonade stand, they are going to set it up on
the beach and sell lemonade to anyone who is thirsty,
i asked "how much are you going to charge for the
lemonade" she replied "i don't know" i then said
"well you can't give it away for free" and she had
the perfect come back "why not", well she had a
point, as i told her she can do as she pleases its
her lemonade stand!

my cousins have been vacationing in Nantucket for
5yrs now, and they love it, they don't mind the
5hr drive, as they are well prepared, i have never been,
however i have seen their pictures, it is such
a beautiful seaside town, the houses are of many
colors, and happiness is seen everywhere

one year, my cousins neighbor lost his rolex
watch, he thought it was gone forever, his wife tho
had hope, so she went to the police station and left
her number with them in case a rolex watch was found
two days later they got a phone call, someone had
found the watch and turned it in, it was as good as new

can you imagine that happening in your town?


so for two weeks my godchild and her brother
will be playing on the beach, catching crabs, eating
ice cream, flying kites, and most important
soaking up the sunshine

as a child will alway be sunshine, wherever they may be!


Friday, July 11, 2008

Rainbow's



i love the sight of a rainbow, for some
reason it gives me hope for the future
it brings a smile to my face and peace to
my heart, and the colors at times are
so pronounced they almost speak to you

they don't come to often here in NJ,
and when they do, they usually come
after a summer rainstorm or a winter
blizzard, odd that they come at these
times, i have to assume they happen due
to the weather, however i really don't
know the reason, i have heard that they
are actually a optical illusion, however they
look so very real to me, how could something
be a illusion when it looks so real?

what i do know, is that they are so very
pretty and when i see one, i want to share
what i see with anyone around me

i always think of the song "somewhere over
the rainbow" that perhaps over that rainbow
there is beauty that exists, that i have not seen
yet, or a dream i am dreaming will be real, its
just over that rainbow

i remember as a child seeing one for the
very first time and staring in amazement
at this half circle full of colors, it seemed
it was staring back at me, and waving hello

these small little wonders of our being
always seem to amaze me, its the little things
that make me say "wow"

A Rainbow:
Really Absolutely Intelligent Nice Bunch Of Wonderful

Perfect!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

"You Tuber"

oh my, i got lost on you tube last nite
i went to look for "sugarland" as mek
recommended a song from them, once
the song was over, i needed to listen to
more, from there i think i ended up in
germany, cause someone was speaking
a funny language and drinking a beer!

i can't believe how you can find anything
that is needed, years ago if someone
recommended something you would have
to wait to go to a certain store to find it,
and it could take days, now with a click
of a mouse, i have what i needed

i am trying to remember when this actually
happened, when did all this ease of finding
stuff begin!

this computer craze has taken over, i find
myself shopping more and more on-line
it is so simple, why would i need to go to
a mall, or shopping center when i can get
it on-line?

i have also been taking videos with my phone
the funny thing is i had no idea that i could
even do that, i just happen to stumble upon it
one day, and the best part is i uploaded them to
you tube, yep i am a "you tuber" i find myself
going to my account and looking at the silly things
i have recorded, and let me tell you, silly they are!

when my nephew graduated from college, we, his
wonderful family were a little bored with the
4 hour ceremony, so we did what any family would
do, we kept going outside to catch a break!

my dad and my cousin timmy (who is blind) were
going stir crazy, so a impromptu dance was in order
it just happened, with no explanation, and no meaning
i guess it was just time to dance

so i share with you today a little camera phone
action, its not very clear, but you will get the point
and hopefully have a chuckle, as i and my family
do every single time we watch it!

so yes, i am a proud "you tuber" and yes
that is me laughing!

click here for video

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Renewed!

searching for crabs

wow, it seems i have not blogged
for a while now, all the last few blogs
i wrote where done two weeks ago

i wonder if i lost my touch :O)

NOT!

life has been so breezy lately for me,
spending time at the jersey shore with
my family, brought me smiles that were
so needed, smiles that i had forgotten existed
this extended weekend made me stop and
smell the shore air, and the realization of
life is good was in sight

it is times like these that renew me, it makes
me whole again, the embrace of love fills
my heart, and gives me joy

we all need to do this, we need to reconnect
with our loved ones, we need to come back
from a place that is dark and damp, a place
that has no meaning

i know me, i need to feel the love, i need
my family around me to exist, i cannot be
complete without them, i need to see them
within reach, all their hands close by

the laughter that exists between us is so
very special, it, at time seems like a code
with one look, or one gesture, our laughter
will erupt, one by one

i am extremely grateful for this past weekend
as they don't come often, so i will cherish what
this weekend gave me, and i will have the memory

my heart is full, what a joyful feeling!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

“ My Mother would have killed me, and still will.”


by goldie

We were recently walking with our 24-year-old son in Chicago when a woman approached carrying several bags and getting her keys out. She stopped and attempted to open her building door. My son rushed over, held the door for her and picked up a bag she dropped. She said thank you, and as we walked away he said, “oh wasn’t that nice, she said thank you”. Then he said, “isn’t it sad that I think it is special when someone says thank you instead of expecting it?”

We went on to talk about manners in general and he said, “do you know how many times a day I say to other people “my mother would have killed me and still will if I acted like that!”

He said he was talking about adults, not children, and usually middle aged adults at that.

He is a flight attendant, the ones who take the abuse for the ticket prices and long lines. The one who you carp at about cramped seating, no food, bad food and general issues that are unpleasant to you about the airlines. He is also the one who will give all to save your ass in an emergency, who is trained in CPR and First Aid and can pretty much build you a shelter out of box of aluminum foil if you crash into that mountain top. But he loves his job anyway.

He says he is amazed at how people treat each other, the awful way they use manners and how many people live in their own “me world”. He has also had the other side of the spectrum too.

He recently had Brooke Shields as a passenger and said she is one of the nicest, most respectful people he has ever met. He has met lots of celebs, is not impressed per say with fame, just with their manners and treatment of others.

As we walked down the street to the restaurant we were going too, we all paid extra attention to the people we saw. We saw a young couple stop and help a mother navigate her child’s wagon across busy N. Clark St. We saw people honking and flipping off a delivery driver.

When we got to the restaurant there was a 15-minute wait. We said we would go to the bar – and immediately a young couple offered us their seats. We declined but chatted with them. We asked why they offered up their seats and the young man, in full tattoos, nose rings and spike hair said “that is how I was raised – my mom would slap me upside the head if I didn’t offer a lady my seat.” OMG- it was so surreal to hear him say that when we had just been discussing the subject. He was the perfect gentleman, he did is mom proud.

I guess the moral of the story is that the next time you are tempted to be rude to someone or talk with food in your mouth, spraying the people next to you – think about it.

If your mother “would kill me if I acted like that” then don’t.

Has someone done something really nice for you lately, like that young man did, without expecting anything in return??

Monday, July 7, 2008

Hair we go again!


by scirish

I recently got a new haircut and have alternately loved and hated it. It seems the weather has a direct correlation on which it is on any given day. I had wanted a medium to short all one length bob that would look casually messy even right after swimming, something I didn't have to fuss with. It didn't work as, according to the hairdresser, my hair wasn't the right "type". So I got long layers. The layers seem to have activated a mini hair rebellion. Sometimes it swoops back elegantly, others it flips, curls and squiggles and out come the hair instruments of torture.

I have always been conscious of how my hair looks; a bad hair day will ruin a good mood. I have cried over bad cuts and cried harder over bad perms. I'm not sure why this is so important to me. I think that it may be because, although I have little control of other aspects of my looks, I feel that I should be able to control my hair?

My hair obsession is not confined to just my own either. I notice other women's hair, both the good and the…well…not so good. I find my self thinking, "Oh honey, you would look so much better if you _____ your hair". Maybe I'm just a hairdresser wannabe, but I believe it goes deeper than that. Could it be because of the whole "crowning glory" myth?

Sunday, July 6, 2008

♪♪"All Summer Long"♪♪


Kid Rock "All Summer Long"

i was listening to the radio last week
while driving, and this wonderful "summer
tune" came on, and i found myself "kinda
jammin", well to be truthful, as much as one
can jam at 47 :O)

i did not catch the singers name, just the title
of the song, and the voice i could not place
so i did what we all do, i googled it!

and boy was i surprised!

next step, you tube, and there was the video,
i have watched it several times since i found it
and just can't the tune out of my head

the lyrics are what get me the most, once
you listen to them, you want to hear them
again, because, well for me, it brought back
many memories from my teen years down
the Jersey Shore, the beach, the boardwalk,
the Jersey (guido) boys, and some "funny"
things!

find the memories, they are there, and
Enjoy!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Our Neighborhood


Our Neighborhood

by Zona


I've lived on and off in my neighborhood for over 40 years...and I've watched many neighbors come and go. I have to say, there have been some great ones and some that really didn't need to throw frying pans at each other in the front yard. Right now, there is a wonderful mix of people. Diverse in their heritage, knowledge and quirks. Across the street is a new family. They don't speak much English, but Mr. Z is learning Spanish from all his friends at work, and when they are outside we go over to their house and talk and laugh with them. We are learning more each day. We also have a young couple that just moved in next door. I was awakened one Saturday morning a few weeks ago to the news that they were taking down our fence...but it turns out they were making improvements...so we said thank you..and then we all talked for over an hour. The lady behind us..well...she thinks someone is leaving monkeys in her trees at 3am...after listening to her story we promised her we would shine a flashlight over the fence each night to check..and she seems content with that. I know that Mr Z and I are known as the 'boring couple' most of the year..until the holidays, when the lights go up and everyone gathers in our front yard for an impromtu block party, even people that have moved away come back to visit every year!!

I'd love to hear stories about your neighborhood...and your neighbors.

What kinds of things happen on the street where you live?

Friday, July 4, 2008

July 4th!!


"The Star Spangled Banner" sung by Whitney Houston, Bellagio Fountain Show in Las Vegas

Happy 4th of July!

today is our independence day, it is a day where
we celebrate America's independence!

on July 4, 1776, we claimed our independence
from Britain and Democracy was born.

as a little girl, my family always celebrated
this day with a family bbq, my mom comes from a
family of 12, and every year we would all get together
at my Uncle Pat's house, he had a pool, so we all
swam like fishes, and ate like pigs (sorry mo)

he had a plastic statue of liberty, so when you arrived
at his house lady liberty was there to great you, and
each one of us got a flag, and a box of sparkler's

my uncle and cousins would always go into NYC to
buy the fireworks off the streets, as its illegal to
sell fireworks here in NJ and NY, so at dusk the
elders would lite the fireworks one by one, and the
show would begin!

i remember standing back, as the entertainment
began and watched in amazement as they went up in
the sky and wonderful colors emerged!!

one year my middle nephew just happen to be in
the way, and a flash of light came flying down and
hit him on the leg, i will never forget the look of
horror my sisters face, as my nephew hopped up and
down, he was fine, just a small burn, which left no
scar, however from that incident, each year we would be
pushed farther back from the shooting of the fireworks

when my uncle passed away, the tradition
faded, however the memories i have from this time are
with me forever, and more so in my heart


i have always wondered if others have these same
cherished memories, of a day we American's declared
our Independence, a day we are now grateful for!

America! Happy Independence!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Useless Facts!


by Maureen

I don't know what made me look up useless facts...maybe because I have to think all day at work! But for some odd reason I googled and this is what I found. Regardless of how full our minds are, there's always room for more uselessness!!

# If you yelled for 8 years, 7 months and 6 days, you would have produced enough sound energy to heat one cup of coffee.
# If you fart consistently for 6 years and 9 months, enough gas is produced to create the energy of an atomic bomb.
# The human heart creates enough pressure when it pumps out to the body to squirt blood 30 feet.
# Banging your head against a wall uses 150 calories an hour.
# Humans and dolphins are the only species that have sex for pleasure.
# On average people fear spiders more than they do death.
# The strongest muscle in the body is the TONGUE.
# It's impossible to sneeze with your eyes open.
# You can't kill yourself by holding your breath.
# Americans on the average eat 18 acres of pizza every day.
# Every time you lick a stamp, you're consuming 1/10 of a calorie.
# Did you know that you are more likely to be killed by a champagne cork than by a poisonous spider?
# In ancient Egypt, Priests plucked EVERY hair from their bodies, including their eyebrows and eyelashes.
# A pig's orgasm lasts for 30 minutes.
# A crocodile cannot stick its tongue out.
# The ant can lift 50 times its own weight, can pull 30 times its own weight and always falls over on its right side when intoxicated.
# Polar bears are left handed.
# The catfish has over 27,000 taste buds, that makes the catfish rank #1 for animal having the most taste buds.
# The flea can jump 350 times its body length, that is like a human jumping the length of a football field.
# A cockroach will live nine days without it's head before it starves to death.
# The male praying mantis cannot copulate while its head is attached to its body. The female initiates sex by ripping the males head off.
# Some lions mate over 50 times a day.
# Butterflies taste with their feet.
# Elephants are the only animals that can't jump.
# A cat's urine glows under a blacklight.
# An ostrich's eye is bigger than it's brain.
# Starfishes haven't got brains.
# After reading all these, all I can say is....Damn those Pigs!

I want to know who got ants drunk to watch how they fall over. And who banged their head against a wall to measure the caloric burn? And what perv sat there and timed a pig's orgasm? How do they know polar bears are left handed...do they watch them write letters? How did the praying mantis female discover that kind of foreplay? How do crocodiles tease each other if they can't stick out their tongue? How many beans do you need to consume to be able to fart for 6 years and 9 months consistently...and who volunteered for this test?Can you imagine if a lion mated with a pig???????

And they say the brain is a terrible thing to waste!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Marching Band....A Full Circle

My Brother Dale

In Memory of Dale A. Halverson


by Jodi

In 5th grade I wanted to play clarinet, but because I had 3 years of piano lessons, they talked me into playing French Horn. I ended up loving the French Horn. Not only did I have an "ear" for it, I also love that it is the same "voice" as I sing in choir (roughly an alto). I almost quit band in 8th grade, but my friend Dana Ames told me that Mr. Spiwak was going to put me, a lowly freshman, in the Concert Band, bypassing the Symphonic Band where most freshmen and sophomores ended up. I was up for the challenge and decided to give the marching band a try.

In the summer of 1980, I joined the Oregon High School Marching Band, thus beginning an incredible adventure for the entire Halverson Family. Truth be told, I was more than a bit nervous. How was I going to remember 10 minutes of music and drill? Well, I did it!!! And I loved it!!!

Marching band to me is more satisfying than any sport that I had ever participated in......there are no "bench warmers" and everyone is important.....all part of a giant, intricate puzzle. I learned more about teamwork, self esteem, and hard work than in any other activity that I have ever participated in! AND, although I was a "band geek", TRUST ME, we knew how to party harder than any other group in school!

The next summer my brother Eric joined, and in the summer of 1982, my baby brother Dale started the program. The three of us had the best time!!! I loved it when, after our warm-up on the field, our fans would shout "OREGON KILL GRASS!!!".....just their little way of saying Oregon kick ass!!! We also were blessed with parents that got involved. My Mom and Dad not only chaperoned many trips, they were involved in the Band Boosters and eventually became Co-Presidents of that group. Most kids I know would be appalled if their parents were anywhere close by, but we loved having our Mom and Dad involved. I loved that they were there for us. They eventually became known as Ma and Pa Halverson to everyone.

Every summer, when we went to the Championships, the United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, the top Corps stationed in Washington D.C., also known as The Commandant’s Own, always performed in exhibition. This is where Dale felt his calling. He wanted to be on the Snare Drum Line of their group. My brother Dale took his music career to the next level. After graduating from Oregon Sr. High in 1986, he joined the United States Marine Corps. After he graduated from the School of Music in June 1988, he had a 10 day leave before he was to report in D.C. for his appointment in The Commandant’s Own. My parents and my Grandma traveled to Norfolk, VA for his graduation from the School of Music. They were so proud of him. We all were. He had achieved his dream! Sadly, my brother was on his way home on that leave, when he fell asleep at the wheel in Ohio and crashed head-on into a van. He was killed instantly. We were devastated. Dale had just turned 20 less than two months earlier.....and now he was gone.

My nephew James in his uniform and marching baritone

The following summer, my parents decided that they wanted to do something to honor my brother. At the Parade of Bands, the “big” Oregon High School competition, the best percussion line is given the Dale A. Halverson Memorial Best Percussion Trophy. My brother Eric's son, James, is now in the same Oregon High School Marching Band. I'm thrilled that a second generation of Halverson's are back at it.....learning new music, drill, and "killing grass"!!! Sunday night was our home show and it has now come full circle......my nephew James Dale Halverson.......presented the Dale A. Halverson Memorial Best Percussion Trophy to The Sound of Sun Prairie. Today is the anniversary of when Dale died. I can't believe that my brother has been gone 20 years. I’d like to think that he was there on Sunday night.......and was screaming "Oregon Kill Grass" just like the rest of us!!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Music and Canada Day!

by Shirley



Just for a minute I want you to stop and think what your life would be like without music...stop...put your coffee down...now think...still thinking? Ok it would be crap. Music is universal and has such a hold on us we don't even realize it. Have you ever sat at your desk at work and tapped your pen/pencil to the beat of a song that was stuck in mind somewhere and you didn't even know it? Who sings in the shower or the car when your by yourself? Put your hands up. Come on I know you do. Have you ever stopped at a red light, glanced at the car next to you and wondered what the hell is wrong with that person? Is he/she having a fit...should I call someone? Some of them look like they are having an epileptic seizure...and we won't even talk about the ones that pick their noses...eeeewwww gross! Anyway, what I am trying to say is that from those irritating commercial jingles to the perfect wedding song...music is a part of our everyday lives.

Back in the day (about 25 years ago), when the weather started to get warm I would pop in my 8 track tape of Meatloaf's "Bat Out Of Hell" and go driving. That has to be one of the best albums ever made. I would also listen to 8 tracks of John Denver ("Rocky Mountain High" & "Grandma's Feather Bed"), Barbara Streisand ("Evergreen"...remember how long that last note was?), Bette Midler ("The Rose"), Anne Murray ("Snowbird" & "Could I Have This Dance"). I hand some Hooked on Swing tapes too, and Styx, Chicago, The Eagles (who could forget "Hotel California"), Air Supply, The Bee Gees (I've Got To Get A Message To You", Abba ("The Winner Takes it all"). Well you get the idea.

Some songs are associated with wonderful memories and other with sad memories. My mum listens to a Hank Snow song called "My Mother". It reminds her of her mother and she always cries when she hears it. My Dad liked country music. He didn't like that "damn screeching music...you don't know what they're saying". I'm a fan of the 70's and 80's music. I like classical music but my all time favorite music is made by the ocean. You can't beat the musical sound of the waves.

What are some of your favorite songs? Do you and your significant other share a special tune? What did or do you sing to your kids at night or when they are sick? Did your parents have favorite songs? Did they sing to you? Please share with me and everyone else. Have a great day and take some time to enjoy your favorite music.

Also, I could not let the day go by without paying homage to my country on "Canada Day"

Happy Birthday Canada!


Back in 1879 it was called Dominion Day but that changed to Canada Day in 1982. On June 20, 1868, a proclamation signed by the Governor General, Lord Monck, called upon all Her Majesty's loving subjects throughout Canada to join in the celebration of the anniversary of the formation of the union of the British North America provinces in a federation under the name of Canada on July 1st. And Canada was born! There will be lots of picnics, fun , fireworks and music.

Happy Canada Day!!