Thursday, June 20, 2013

Stop the Presses!

I stopped reading the news long ago because I felt it was plagued with what the ‘media thought we should know’, which is usually about celebrities. I’m tired of hearing about celebrities, and too many people are obsessed with celebrity lives instead of their own. When you have to read and gossip about someone else’s life, then that means you haven’t been living your own. But I regress.

Living in Germany, I don’t watch the local news in the States, but I do get Bing highlights when I open my browser. I came across this article about Sesame Street. When I was a child, I couldn’t wait to watch Sesame Street along with Romper Room, and they helped me learn to count and learn my ABC’s.

Because of the overwhelming number of Americans in jail these days, or have been in jail, Sesame Street decided to introduce a Muppet called, Alex, whose dad is in prison. “Alex, who wears a hoodie, gives voice to kids who might feel that they don't otherwise have one.” Take a look at a clip of one of the segments. Adults can learn many lessons from this video.

The idea is great for helping children cope with a life situation they didn’t create. Sesame Street is a wonderful teaching tool for children. Unfortunately, it shouldn't have to teach children about feeling like an outcast because their parent is in jail. It's a time for them to learn about playing well with others, sharing, etc.  

This says volumes about where our society is headed. Gone are the days of innocence. Children are bombarded, damaged and bruised by adult actions. These childhood issues cause anxiety and various other psychological problems, and in some cases, children grow up and mirror their parent’s actions.

Since 2002, the U.S. has the highest jail rates. “As of 2010, the rate was 500 prisoners per 100,000 citizens, compared with an average of 100 prisoners per 100,000 citizens in peer countries. Incarceration rates are significantly higher for American blacks and Latinos than for whites.” These statistics are disheartening. America has lost its vision for opportunity and the American dream. I highly doubt anyone who came to America thought prison was a dream. Many people from other cultures came to America to make their dreams come true and succeeded.

All I can say is these ‘new efforts’ from Sesame Street are commendable and depressing at the same time.

Sesame Street and Jail,

Thursday, June 13, 2013

National Migraine Awareness Month

I started getting headaches in the 3rd grade. My teacher sent a note home stating my eyes should be checked. I was excited because I kind of wanted glasses. After my eyes were checked, and everything came out fine, I continued to suffer with bouts of headaches along with an occasional nose bleed.

As time went on, my headaches became more severe. By 19-years old, I was getting headaches and migraines at least three times a week. I went for a CT Scan, but they didn’t find anything wrong. So again, I just dealt with my headaches and migraines by taking over the counter medication. When I entered my 30’s, I decided to look into them again. I was put on different prescribed migraine medications, but if I didn’t take the medication at a precise moment, it wouldn’t work. I turned to Excedrin Migraine, which seemed to be the only thing that worked for a while.

I still haven’t found a cure to relieve me of migraines. Migraines are debilitating. When I was working, most of my sick days were reserved for my migraines, and there were times I was stuck working at the start of one. They cause nausea and vomiting, dizziness and lack of focus. I’ve tried so many things to decrease them, and they have decreased from three times a week to about two a month, but last longer in days. A big factor in my decreased migraines was when I quit smoking. I use a Neti Pot to help the pressure and I take Magnesium and Fish Oil supplements, which I read help decrease migraines.

I know my migraine triggers, which is a long list of triggers. I find I get migraines when it’s about to rain (when the rain hangs in the air too long before release), weather changes (cold to hot and vice versa), PMS, smoke and strong perfumes, high winds and allergies.

The reason I told you about my migraines is because June is National Migraine Awareness Month. Each day, approximately 430,000 people call in sick to work due to migraines a day, which results in 157 million lost days and $31 billion industry losses a year. Over 37 million people suffer from migraines in America, yet most people don’t understand them, it’s misdiagnosed, and it’s under-treated. Knowing which type of migraine you have is very important along with knowing what triggers them. “Migraine is a genetic Neurological disease.

In reading through the different types of migraines, I’ve come to the conclusion that I have Migraine without aura: Headache lasts 4-72 hours, one-sided, pulsating quality, moderate to severe intensity, aggravated by routine physical activity, associated with nausea and/or sensitivity to light and sound.

If you suffer from migraines, or you know of anyone who does, please spread the word about this disease and educate yourself about the types, triggers and different treatments.

Migraines and Diseases,

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Authors of the Free World

I love blogging and LinkedIn because it allows me to meet some incredible people. One in particular is Nick LeVar—a writer and an ex-military soldier, who I thank for his service to our country, and for his writing talent. He is one of those people who writes from the heart. Through my group participation on LinkedIn, and Pay It Forward on my blog, I was able to get to know Nick. He has worked on creating a site, Authors of the Free World (AFW) for over a year and it has finally launched. The site assists authors with publishing needs while the authors focus on their creation. There are plenty of sites providing author services, and a lot of free information out there, but the most important thing is finding devoted, hardworking people—and this is the team you want on your side.

I am a member of AFW, and you will find information about me and what I offer under my Profile. Our team has experience with writing and publishing through trial and error, and years of working in the industry. When you get a chance, stop on over and subscribe so you can get all the free and discounted goodies offered. Hope to see you there.

Author Services and Writing,

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

And the Award Goes To...

Last week, my blogger friend, Jeri Walker-Bickett awarded me ‘The Best Blog Supporter Award’.

I’m a bit late at posting this award because I was in Spain for a holiday weekend. Anyways, I’d like to thank Jeri for this award. She’s one of my dedicated blog readers, and on top of that, she knows how to work the ‘social media’ clubs sites. Jeri is an inspiration to writing, blogging “What Do I Know?”, and a devoted follower and virtual friend. She is also my critique partner. Check out her blog—you will only be inspired.

I’ve received many blog awards, and in recent times, I have just thanked those for awarding them to me due to repeats. I’m very grateful that people think of my blog enough to want to mention it. The Best Blog Supporter Award is to thank and honor members in the blogging world, who continuously read, comment and share your blog with others. To receive this award, I have to reveal a few things about myself that most may not know, so here it goes.

1.  I don’t have children, and I’ve never wanted any.
2.  For most of my life, I was financially independent and took care of myself along with my family. Now I’m dependent and domesticated, taking care of my husband and four-legged baby, Shakespeare … and I love it.

3.  When I was sixteen, I sang with a band, Johnny and the Shakers, at a few places.  
4.  My ears were pierced when I was in 6th grade, but I don’t wear earrings.
5. When my husband and I travel, we compete at taking pictures.
6.  This summer, I’ll be shipping the remains of my material and sentimental things from the U.S. to Germany.  
7.  I’ve never been in a driving accident *knocks on wood*.
8. In my late 20’s, I got my first tattoo in Vegas, and the following year, the other two.
This summer, I’ll be getting another one.

9.  As I continue to work on my novel, I still wonder if my writing is worth reading, or if I’m making a fool of myself.
10. For 13-1/2 years, I worked in IT, troubleshooting hardware and software issues. People find it odd that I don’t have an iPhone, Kindle/Nook, and my iPod is about 10-years old. 

Now I’m supposed to pass this along to fellow bloggers who continue to support and encourage me to blog. Below is my award list. I know some people don’t like blog awards, and some people already received this award. I’m simply listing these people because I want them to know that I appreciate them. My appreciation also extends passed the blogging world to those who don’t blog, but continuously read my blog.

Brandon & Bryan – A Beer for the Shower
Peggy Eddleman – Will Write for Cookies
Pat Collingwood-Ruppe – Plain Talk and Ordinary Wisdom
Barb Riley – Written Not With Ink

The rules of claiming this award are simple:
1. Post a link of my blog and Best Blog Supporter award image on your website.
2. Say a few nice things about the one (me) who gave you the award.
3. Tell us things about yourself.
4. Share as you see fit.

Blogs and Appreciation,