Saturday, July 7, 2012


July has rolled in on a heatwave. Here in northeast New York state it is nothing like so many other parts of the country. Large numbers of homes are still without electricity following a severe thunderstorm south of us, in the mid-Atlantic region. Another storm blew through Tennessee and knocked out power a few days ago.

But global warming is a scare tactic of the liberal left. At least that is what the triple R threat would say.

Thank you for asking what the triple R threat is. (She types while trying to rub her hands in glee, which is pretty hard to do.) That would be the Religious Republican Right (or as we say in our household, the Religious Republic wRong). Let's ignore all signs that our raping and pillaging the earth for a selfish greedy needs might have something to do with the weather.

For too long the democrats have bent over backwards trying to find compromises--have tried to get along with others. Have we waited too late? I keep wondering what happened to all the idealistic youth of the 60s and 70s? Have they gone to old businessmen everyone? When will they ever learn? When will they ever learn?!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Celebrate, celebrate, dance to the music...

Today is my middle daughter's birthday. She is celebrating to the max and we are celebrating right along with her.
To see her excitement is like seeing the excitement of a young child. However, she is twenty-five. A major milestone in more ways than one.
She reminds us that we should all celebrate every anniversary of our birth. But how many of us do?
I've had my share of birthdays I dreaded. My thirty-seventh birthday was one of my lowest days in my life. Sad to say, but I had two young girls and my hubby wanted another. I grieved for all the opera's I would never sing, I grieved as only a mother of young children can grieve when one of those children has major medical concerns.
Yes, that child I grieved for is the one celebrating today.
When she was born I looked into her eyes and knew I had just given birth to a child with Down syndrome. Of course in those first few days I thought as a nurse. "She's a Down's Syndrome baby. My life has just changed in a major way."
I withdrew into a very clinical way at looking at this baby and my grieving husband. I was just numb, but as long as I thought clinically I knew I could function.
There were pleasures that day. I found it ironic and funny that I managed to give birth right at the change of shifts. I had two shifts worth of nurses in the birthing room with us.
Maybe her first birthday was not a huge day of rejoicing, Sheila has been making up for it ever since.
Three weeks after she was born I was meeting with the geneticist. He wondered how it was that I had already moved through the stages of grieving into acceptance.
I told him that I was a pediatric nurse who loved working in areas like pediatric oncology, cardiology and peds ICU. I had a whole backlog of experiences which taught me that as disabilities go, Sheila had the Cadillac of disabilities. I knew I would have moments of grief during transitions in her life, but that we would be okay.
Since cardiac issues are so common in Down syndrome he wanted to send us to a pediatric cardiologist. Already I had learned that placing the diagnosis in front of the child was verboten in this new world of disability. I had also learned that since Langdon Down, the man the disability is named after, did not possess the disorder that it was now "Down syndrome" NOT "Down's Syndrome".
In three weeks I had come a long way from the numb mother of a newborn.
We saw the pediatric cardiologist and now we had a new fear. Our baby would probably not reach her fifth birthday and would certainly not reach her mid to later teens without open-heart surgery. Ideally, they would like to wait until she reached eleven pounds, but since it seemed highly unlikely she would reach it by the time she was six-months-old, they decided to set the surgery date for late October.
Now I really had something to worry about. And something to focus on. I'd better get to celebrating each and every day we had with her. Realistically, not every baby survived heart surgery--although the survival rate was much better than ten years earlier when I first met a child needing the same surgery.
We had celebrated each and every birthday of this young woman and I rejoice that she reminds us all of how we should celebrate each and every day of our lives.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Pink Slime and other random bits

Images of pink slime has been dancing in my head. If you haven't yet heard about the rage over pink slime it is made from fat and other dregs from beef (which includes spinal and rectal tissue according to Wikipedia). This former garbage is then zapped by ammonia gas and sold as "boneless lean beef trimmings" or "lean finely textured beef".

Yes, that's right, fat and other nasty bits of beef rendered and returned to market as lean finely textured beef. Only in America. Or is it happening in Europe, or down under, too? It is enough to make me gag. Apparently it made enough other people gag they started pushing back. Grocery chains heard the customers and have removed it from their ground beef products.

This, of course, means the industry has to shut down production. If you can't sell it you might as well stop manufacturing it. If you stop manufacturing it you have to start laying people off. In our economy that creates hardship. What I don't see happening are the producers asking themselves what useful product can we produce. No, instead the wealthy business owners go to their best friends--the politicians in their pockets. So our beef producing states have champions in the government. The governors and industry leaders are saying, "you don't get it," and pointing their fingers at reporters and their critics.

Rage, divisiveness and finger pointing is alive and well in America. Is it exhausting? Yes. One thing that boggles my mind are the number of my generation--the generation that protested so much in the sixties and seventies, including the establishment--are now the establishment.

Are there things happening around you that boggle your mind?

Oh, do share.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

February Fail and Random Thoughts

I planned to try posting a blog at least once a month. Instead, I spent the time writing and now it is March 1st--already!

We were experiencing a winter with minimal snow, including a February with only 6/10ths of an inch of snow and then leap day arrived. With leap day came the snow. By dark we had about six inches of snow. By midnight we had at least another inch of snow and by daybreak we were up to 9 inches of the white stuff and it is still snowing.

The wild thing this winter has been the high temperatures ranging well above the norm. And Saturday will be no different. It is supposed to continue to snow throughout most of the daylight hours. Tomorrow (Friday) is supposed to be a typical 'seasonal' day--mid thirties to high thirties. By Saturday the temperature is expected to get close or top fifty degrees (F). That is quite mild for this time of year. We may get hit by another storm on Saturday, but this time it will be a rain event.

And goodby to winter--it was nice knowing you, even if you could only stay for a few days.

Nattering on about the weather was not my original plan when I started writing, but sometimes it does such unexpected things it is hard not to write about it.

What is your favorite time of year and how does weather play a role in it?

Saturday, January 21, 2012


At the beginning of this month I wrote about setting a goal:

  • This year my goal is to write 1000 words per day. I set the goal on December 6th--okay, so that was still in the year of 2011, however, why quibble? I set the goal and so far, 33,369 words later, in less than a month, I am have reached a halfway mark on completing another manuscript.
This morning I wrote, The End, and closed the file. I will open it back up tomorrow and start the revising/rewriting process tomorrow. But 55,266 words later I met one goal--I kept at it, writing some days 1-3k words and other days struggling a bit.

Another writer I know shared a website where a writer can write and not share his or her words. But there are built in rewards in the program. I have also been writing there every day since I found the website. I have managed to come up with three story ideas there, and copied and pasted them to a story idea file. So writing, creating the habit sometimes yields surprising results.

By no means does this mean the ideas and words will always flow because I'm doing this, but it is helping me right now. Is it Nora Roberts who has said, "You can't revise a blank page," or something like that?

So I write. Some of the words are dreck, but those are words that will never see the light of day. At least that's my hope. ;-)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Setting New Goals--Skipping Resolutions...

...Or should it be, Skipping Resolutions--Setting New Goals?

I seem to have a problem with remembering this blog. I write hit and miss here and would like to 'hit' more than 'miss' this year. However I will resist making a resolution about writing a new blog X number of times per month. For me, making a resolution is the best way to fail.

What is it about resolutions that create an automatic failure for me? I'm not sure, but years of failing to make it through January without bombing out on each resolution has taught me to look at making one goal for the year.

This year my goal is to write 1000 words per day. I set the goal on December 6th--okay, so that was still in the year of 2011, however, why quibble? I set the goal and so far, 33,369 words later, in less than a month, I am have reached a halfway mark on completing another manuscript.
So my goal for this year is to write 1K a day and try a blog a month.

Wish me luck!

Monday, October 31, 2011


Years ago someone got me started with journaling. I kept my faithful journal in a 3-inch-3-ring binder. I still have several full binders. I was given the binder suggestion for the simple reason it was easier to add cards we received. We could add dreams, newspaper or magazine articles, anything that spoke to us could be added into this type of journal.

Since I had been keeping dream journals already for several years--I liked the idea of an expanded journal. This journaling suggestion came a few hears after I had my child with Down syndrome. I soon started writing articles about living with SC for our local Down syndrome newsletter. All of this was really an extension of my journaling.

Why am I thinking of this now? For some reason I have been reluctant to blog. But what is blogging? In some ways it is another form of journaling. Journaling might be a more private or more personal activity, however blogging for some seems pretty personal. It is a way of recording thoughts and feelings. So how about you do you express your innermost thoughts?

I'm sure I will reserve my most personal thoughts and feelings for my journal and yet, maybe, I can reframe blogging into an activity I do not resist so much.