Amber Alert

The Top Ten Predictions for 2008

1. The Bible will still have the answers.
2. Prayer will still work.
3. The Holy Spirit will still move.
4. God will still inhabit the praises of His people.
5. There will still be God-anointed preaching.
6. There will still be singing of praise.
7. God will still pour out blessings upon His people.
8. There will still be room at the Cross.
9. Jesus will still love you.
10. Jesus will still save the lost.

Christmas Magic

Christmas Magic is two books in one. Mistletoe and Holly by Janet Daily and
Sweet Sea Spirit by Emilie Richards.

Mistletoe and Holly: "Christmas festivities were the furthest things from Leslie Stiles's mind when she left the city for her aunt's house in Vermont. Her plans were foiled. Her neighbor Tagg Williams ignited a spark in her with his contagious Christian enthusiasm. It was the season of giving and Christmas filled the air. Could Leslie resist the season... and her heart's desire?"

Sweet Sea Spirit: "Hanging upside down from a giant tree, free-spirited Sandy MacDonald met Tyler Hamilton, on of Georgia's most prominent attorneys. Tyler was from a world that demanded sophistication and elegance. If there was one things Sandy couldn't resist, it was a challenge... a challenge that seemed insurmountable until Christmas showed her the miracles of love."

I don't usually read romantic novels but I do love Christmas time so the title appealed to me. Yes, I was rooting for the romance and so happy when both couples finally got together.

Rating (1, lowest; 5, highest): 4

Reach Your Full Potential

Happy Thanksgiving!

Be thankful that you don't already have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don't know everything,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times,
because during those times you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations,
because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge
because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes.
They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you're tired and weary,
because it means you've made a difference.

~~ Author Unknown ~~

Happy blessed thanksgiving to you and your loved ones.

My Champ

Meet Sir Champion Litz... the newest member of the Litz family.

Champ -- short for Sir Champion Litz -- was born September 2nd and adopted November 3rd. Early Merry Christmas to the Litz family!

Champ is approx. 3.5 pounds and 3/4 quarter Chihuahua and 1/4 terrier.

I've wanted a Chihuahua for many years, especially after I lived with a friend about a decade ago who had a Chihuahua. I'm so excited. A few friends have taken great joy and laugh at me at how excited I am. (Remind me how excited I am/was when in several weeks I am exhausted after the sleepless nights.)

Happy Veteran's Day

In 1918, at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day in the eleventh month, after four years of bitter war, an armistice between the Allied powers and Germany went into effect, bringing the fighting of World War I to a close. Today, we celebrate the anniversary of that cessation as Veterans Day.

Over 1.5 million veterans have served in Iraq and Afghanistan so far, and every one of them volunteered to serve. As Tom Lynch, a military fellow at the Brookings Institution, said: "Perhaps never before in American history have so few done so much for so long."

For many newly-returned troops, this is the first Veterans Day they will spend as veterans. This weekend, help us welcome them home.

Attend a local Veterans Day event, or if you know a veteran personally, take a minute to thank them.

3 Rules to Not Buying

Remember the three rules of NOT buying...
1) DO instead of BUY -- Can you DO something instead of BUY something?
2) SHOP at home FIRST -- Do you already have it at home?
3) Procrastinate -- Can you put off BUYing it until later?

Happy Halloween

Halloween Hangman created by The Dimension's Edge, Inc.

Have fun with this sarcastic skeleton that doesn't cheer you on. How many Halloween words do you know?

What Your Halloween Habits Say About You

What Your Halloween Habits Say About You

The scariest thing on Halloween is you! You definitely don't want any kids in costumes crossing your path - and you're willing to scare away any who do.

You definitely think of yourself as someone who has a dark side. And part of having that dark side means not showing it.

Your inner child is open minded, playful, and adventurous.

You fear people taking advantage for you. You are always worried about protecting your own interests.

You're prone to be quite emotional and over dramatic. Deep down, you enjoy being scared out of your mind... even if you don't admit it.

You are picky and high maintenance. If you wear a Halloween costume, it's only when you really feel like it. And it has to be perfect.

1 + 1 + 1 = 3

When a friend mentioned on her blog that this week's theme was "three," , good grief, I never imagined being flooded with so much emotion over a number. It's just a number. But...

I am a mom of three living children (the oldest was given up for adoption 21 years ago).

My family consists of three... Cameron, Cassandra, and I.

For as long as I can remember, I have been immersed in a life of triplicate. Purchasing everything in sets of three... three bikes, three ice cream cones, three ornaments, three umbrellas, and it has been so with everything.

The children have discovered individuality... distinctly different interests, tastes, likes and dislikes. They are growing at different rates, physically and mentally. No longer are clothes interchangeable. No longer do they crave the constant companionship of each other (or me). My children are growing up.

No longer to be referred to as "the three of us", it is now "each of us." Not so little humans with minds of their own, beginning to shape their own lives. I can't help but feel that as each child walks individually, searching for life's truths, we will always be connected. After all, 1 + 1 +1 = 3.

Different But Tolerable

Cameron, my dear son diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, mild Cerebral Palsy, Sensory Integration Disorder (old name under DSM) is an avid reader. Cameron struggles due to severe ADHD and other issues, but has learned to read on a first grade level, which means he is not as independent as he should be in fourth grade but he still loves to look at books. At age nine, he reads at a first grade level, reads very methodically -- though very disorganized -- but loves to read.

Cassandra, my dear daughter, is still in the process of learning to read and is reading first and second grade books. She too loves to read.

I cherish the many ways my children are completely different from one another and how they love and tolerate one another. Wouldn't my house the world be stiff and boring if we all did things the same way? Wouldn't it be a wonderful world if we each tried a little harder to understand those who share the planet, but live in a different world?

Bullying Prevention

This week is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Week.

If you don't think bullying is a big problem, please think again. At Wrightslaw, letters are received every week asking advice about what to do when children are bullied... by peers, by older students, even by teachers.

Wrightslaw lists dozens of resources that provide strategies for dealing with bullying and how to prevent it.

Reports and Resources

According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 50% of children are bullied and l0% are victims of bullying on a regular basis. (The NYU Child Study Center, 2005.) Kids who have learning disabilities (LD) or ADHD are especially vulnerable to bullying problems. Read Understanding Bullying and Its Impact on Kids with Learning Disabilities or ADHD.

The PACER Center, a national parent center in Minnesota, has established a National Center for Bullying Prevention. Read about their campaign to empower schools, parents, and kids to end childhood harassment. With an emphasis on children with disabilities, you'll find tool kits for daily activities, online bullying prevention training for parents, and informational handouts.

To find out what works -- and doesn't work -- in bullying prevention and intervention read What Adults Can Do from the Health Resources and Services Administration.

Another excellent resource for parents, teachers, and others who are trying to protect kids is a publication from the Office of Civil Rights titled Protecting Students from Harassment and Hate Crime: A Guide for Schools. It includes a section on the definition of harassment based on disability and provides step-by-step guidance for developing a district's written anti-harassment policy. You may want to ensure your school board has a copy of this publication. Download a copy by clicking on the link above.

Take a Stand, Lend a Hand

Go to Stop Bullying Now! to find information, prevention, tips, and games. You'll find webcasts and podcasts for kids about what bullying is and how to take a stand against bullying.

This document Preventing Bullying: A Manuel for Schools and Communities addresses the problem of bullying in schools and defines bullying, discusses the seriousness of this behavior and the effectiveness of a comprehensive approach, and presents strategies for teachers, students, and parents to use when dealing with bullying situations. It also provides examples of innovative and successful approaches used by schools in different parts of the country.

The Personality of Your Handwriting

Your handwriting reveals that you are Sociable.

Your writing style reflects that you tend to feel connected to others, and that you help to facilitate that connection through your clear written communication. Tickle research indicates that people who are sociable generally have a few or all of the following characteristics in their writing: prefer printing over cursive, a left margin that doesn't get narrower or wider toward the bottom, avoids using very heavy pressure when writing, a large or very large letter size, doesn't print in all lower case letters, &/or regular writing is clear and legible.

Your writing tends to be particularly clear, which is a sign that you're trying to be communicative and make it easy for others to read your writing. Of all of the personality characteristics that are projected in your writing, sociability is the one that predominates. However, Tickle has also included in this report a comprehensive handwriting analysis, using traditional methods, to give you a deeper view into what a handwriting analyst might say about you based on your writing.

The Ten Major Components of Your Handwriting

Graphologists use a number of techniques to decipher your handwriting. Tickle's test focuses on the ten most revealing and prominent traits: Slant, Baseline, Margins, Spacing, Pressure, Size, Speed, Zones, Style, and Signature. This section explains the basic rationale behind each trait, as well as the specific meaning of your personalization of that trait.

Your Slant

As children, we're taught to slant to the right, primarily because we write from left to right. This means that a rightward slant is the most common slant, though some people have a leftward, vertical, or varied slant. While you might assume that left-handed people are more likely to slant to the left, graphologists have discovered that an equal percentage of lefties and righties slant in both directions.

You have a rightward slant. According to handwriting analysts, rightward slant indicates that you focus your thoughts and efforts on the future, despite any fears or reservations about what's to come. Because we write from left to right on the page, leaning toward the right indicates a leaning toward the future. Thus, your slant indicates that you tend to express your true feelings. Your expressiveness may lead you to be particularly affectionate, as well as passionate about the people and things you care about most. Like you, Marie Curie had a distinctive rightward slant.

Your Baseline

The baseline is the invisible line we use to guide our handwriting on a blank sheet of paper. Some baselines are relatively straight, while others slant upward, downward, or vary as the line progresses to the edge of the page. When you start at the left-hand side of the page, you're in the past. As you write across the page, you move through the present and to the future. Handwriting analysts believe that the angle of your baseline as you progress through this metaphorical time continuum reveals information about your general moods, your attitudes toward the past, present, and future, and your level of mental energy.

You have a straight baseline. Handwriting analysts say that this means your emotions and your outward behavior is stable and even-keeled. You likely exert a certain level of self-control over your external expression of your mood. People can count on you to be consistent and careful. While a relatively straight baseline indicates stability, an overly straight baseline (one created by writing with a ruler, or one that looks as if it's been written using a ruler), is a sign that one is over-controlling their behavior to compensate for a deeper fear of losing control.

Your Margins

Graphologists see the blank page as a representation of your life. The top of the page represents your past; the bottom represents your future. Likewise, the left side symbolizes your past, and the right side represents your future. The size and placement of your margins speaks to how you balance your relationship with the past and present, as well as how you interact with the people you encounter. The ideal, standard margin for adults is to start roughly 1 to 1½ inches in from the left and to go as far as you can to the edge of the right-hand side without moving into it and having to crunch your words.

Your Full Page

You exhibit the ideal, standard margins on all sides of the page. Analysts believe this standard formatting indicates a healthy relationship with your past and your future.

Your Left Margin

Because we write from left to right, the left side of the page reveals our feelings about our past. Your standard left margin leads graphologists to conclude that you have a healthy relationship with your past.

Your Right Margin

Our right margins relate to our feelings about the future. Graphologists believe that your standard right margin means you have a timid relationship with the future. You're more likely than others to be inhibited.

Your Top Margin

You have a large top margin. Your adherence to standard formatting points to your more formal, humble nature. Because you allow for the standard amount of room in your top margin, you're likely more considerate and respectful in your interactions with others.

Your Lower Margin

Handwriting analysts deem your lower margin wide. Because the bottom of the page represents the future, your avoidance of some of the usable space in the lower margin may indicate a fear of the future and avoidance of forward-movement in life.

Your Indentations

Because every line of your paragraphs are aligned, as opposed to having an indentation in the first line of each paragraph, graphologists would speculate that you're slightly inhibited and shy.

Your Spacing

The spacing between your letters, words, and lines of writing all reveal how you feel about your relationship to others. Analysts see each word as an expression of yourself, and how close you place those words reveals your unconscious emotional and physical boundaries with others. Because spacing will vary with how fast you're writing, standard spacing is generally anything that doesn't stand out as unusual.

Your Spacing Between Letters and Words

The spacing between your letters and between your words is standard. Analysts say this means that you tend to be orderly, while at the same time maintaining an open-minded and relaxed attitude.

Your Spacing Between Lines

You have standard, even line spacing, which points to your being a consistent, even-keeled person with clear intelligence.

Your Pressure

The pressure of your handwriting relates to how hard you're pressing down when you're writing. Analysts believe that the pressure of one's writing relates to the amount of mental energy and intensity the writer is experiencing. Pressure is a trait that can change regularly, depending on your mood. However, most people generally write with a medium pressure.

The heavy pressure you exert while writing is a sign that you're assertive, energetic, and forceful.

Your Size

Because the blank paper represents your life and your surroundings, the size of your writing represents the way you relate to your surroundings. Analysts learn to determine size by examining many handwriting samples, and comparing those samples over time. Because size isn't a fixed trait, and the size of the paper can impact the size of your writing, it can be useful to view several samples to get the most accurate reading of your handwriting size.

Graphologists would categorize the size of your writing as medium. They'd say you're someone who feels socially normal and possesses an average ability of concentration. The majority of people write this way, except for when they're experiencing a temporary shift in mood.

Your Speed

The speed at which you write is a sign of intelligence, spontaneity, patience, and honesty. Adults of average intelligence who are being truthful generally don't write slowly most of the time. When someone generally writes quickly, but suddenly slows down over a few words, graphologists often suspect that those words could be untrue or conflicted.

The slow speed at which you generally write indicates a guarded nature.

Your Zones

Your handwriting can be dissected into three zones: the upper, middle, and lower zones. Tickle's handwriting test focused on your upper zone, which represents your mind, and your lower zone, which represents your instincts and desires. In graphology, the standard balance for the zones is for your middle zone to take up half the amount of space as your upper or middle zones. Graphologists reap a lot of information from the size and proportion of the zones, as well as the shape of the letters that appear in each zone.

Your Lower Zone

The length of your lower loop is normal, which means you are likely consistent and able to stick with things — such as mates, jobs, and locations — for a long time. The normal shape of your lower loop shows that you're able to maintain an affectionate, monogamous sexual relationship.

The normal shape of your lower loop shows that you're able to maintain an affectionate, monogamous sexual relationship.

The size of your lower loop is normal, which means you're sexually satisfied and happy with the status of your material life.

Your Upper Zone

Your rounded upper loop reveals that you are tender and sympathetic.

The lead in into your upper loop means that you're likely indirect and less efficient than others.

Your Style

The style of your handwriting refers to whether you generally use print or cursive, or a combination of the two. The reason for your choice is significant to graphologists. One reason for this is that printing only certain words or phrases may be an indication of dishonesty. Another reason is that statistically, more men print than women. Some analysts believe this is because boys' fine motor skills aren't as advanced as girls' at the age at which printing is taught, which makes it more difficult in general for boys to learn to write. By the time cursive is being taught, many boys have decided they don't care for handwriting, and even though their fine motor skills have caught up by this point, many are reluctant to take on a whole new kind of writing with the same gusto. Once they're no longer forced to write in cursive, many boys return to print.

Your Printed and Cursive Writing

You've indicated that you generally try to print, even though your cursive writing is legible. Handwriting analysts believe this means you don't want to reveal your true personality to others, and that you consider the effect you have on others.

Capitalization of Your Printed Writing

When you write in standard capital and lower case letters, you maintain the distinctions among the three zones of writing. Handwriting analysts believe this means you like things to be neat and orderly, and that you generally follow the rules necessary to keep things clear.

Your Signature

While the majority of your handwriting communicates your conscious feelings and ideas, your signature represents your unconscious public self-image. In your signature, you convey your public identity: how you see your public self, how you wish others would see you, and how you think others do see you. By comparing your signature with the rest of your writing, graphologists seek to determine if your public and private personas are similar or different. Your

Signature Style

You've indicated that your Signature Style is similar to the rest of your handwriting. This means that you're a person who lives by a "what you see is what you get" ethos. You aren't likely to show off or put on airs in public. Your

Signature Size

Because your signature is slightly larger than the rest of your writing, analysts believe that you have a degree of self-confidence in public that is healthy and appropriate.

Your Signature's Legibility

Having both a signature and writing that are clear and legible indicates that you are considerate and respectful, and that you hope to communicate both your thoughts and your true self to others.

Your Signature's Underscore

Not having an underscore indicates that you don't feel the need to emphasize yourself publicly.

Your Signature's Initials

Because the initials in your signature are the standard amount larger than the other letters, graphologists think you have a desire to stand out in public and be socially prominent.

Your Signature Placement

Placing your signature on the right-hand side of the page indicates that you go along with what you're taught. You're also particularly conscious of your public persona.

Handwriting ABCs

In addition to the ten handwriting traits just discussed, handwriting analysts also take into account the formation of individual letters. This section of your report reveals what graphologists would say about your letter formation.

Your lower-case "b" demonstrates that you have the ability to persevere through difficult circumstances.

Your lower-case "g" reveals that you are an honest person who is well-educated.
Handwriting analysts believe that your lower-case "j" indicates that you think analytically and act cautiously.

Your capital "O" is a sign that you're determined and discreet.

Albert Einstein’s Signature

Handwriting analysts believe you can tell a lot about a person's public persona from their signature. Albert Einstein's signature has initials that are somewhat larger than the rest of his letters. According to graphologists, this indicates that he had a desire to stand out in public and be socially prominent. As one of the most brilliant and imaginative minds of the 20th Century, we also know that Einstein was one of the more publicly playful scientists in history. He certainly didn't seem to mind having his photo taken or being in the spotlight.

Einstein's signature is also pretty legible. Graphologists would interpret this to mean he hoped to communicate his thoughts and true self to others. The ascending baseline in his signature is a sign of healthy mental energy and a strong possibility of success in his endeavors. Sounds about right!

The History of Graphology

The first historical records of graphology date back to 11th century China, where a man named Kuo Jo Hsu said it was possible to discern personality characteristics from people's handwriting. Confucius once said, "Handwriting can infallibly show whether it comes from a person who is noble-minded or from one who is vulgar." Then, in 1622, an Italian man named Camillo Baldi wrote the philosophical book On the Way of Knowing the Nature and Qualities of the Writer by Analyzing a Letter Missive. It wasn't until 1875, though, that French Abbot Jean Hyppolyte Michon coined the phrase "graphology."

In 1869, Frenchman Jean Michon wrote The Mysteries of Handwriting, which was later followed by The Practical Method. Both of these books were based upon countless studies and analysis, and they are still largely the basis of graphology today. At the end of that century, when psychology emerged as a science, psychiatrists Rene Rasten, Paul Joire, and Paul Carton, combined psychology with graphology to create graphotherapy, the science of changing personality characteristics by changing elements and characteristics of the individual's handwriting.

Today graphologists use the empirical method of blind studies to derive data about the meaning behind handwriting. For instance, if graphologists are trying to determine if a particular personality trait, such as alcoholism, can be revealed by handwriting, they first agree on the criteria for that trait, and then they sample a large number of people who are known to have that trait, as well as a control group of a large number of people who don't exhibit this trait. Based on their findings, they determine if this trait can accurately be detected in one's handwriting.

Graphology in the Courtroom

There are all kinds of interesting uses for handwriting analysis; perhaps the most intriguing application is using graphology to solve crimes. Handwriting analysts are often asked to testify in criminal court cases, and often the handwriting of suspects is examined to see if particular writing characteristics are consistent with the traits of the criminal (such as being a deceitful, angry, or extremely introverted person). Graphologists are often employed to examine suicide notes to determine if they're genuine or forgeries done by the deceased's murderer. Handwriting analysis is also useful in determining if wills were signed willingly or under duress, or if a document is a forgery.

In one famous case, handwriting analysis was employed to help link the murderer to his victims. Serial killer Ted Bundy's victims were in different states and were murdered in a variety of different ways, which made it difficult for authorities to link the crimes to one perpetrator. However, Bundy did have one common technique that he used with the majority of his victims: he lured them over by buying them a drink and accompanying it with a note inviting them to sit with him. It was by comparing these notes that investigators realized that they were looking for one serial killer, not several different murderers. Without graphology, authorities may never have realized — or been able to prove — the full extent of his crimes.

Amend, Karen, and Ruiz, Mary. Handwriting Analysis. (New Page Books), 1986.
Imberman, Arlyn, and Rifkin, June. Signature for Success. (Andrews McMeel Publishing) 2003. Lowe, Shiela R. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Handwriting Analysis. (Alpha Books), 1999.
McNichol, Andrea. Handwriting Analysis: Putting It to Work for You. (Contemporary Books), 1994.
Rodgers, Vimala. Your Handwriting Can Change Your Life! (Fireside), 2000. Santoy, Claude. The ABCs of Handwriting Analysis: A Guide to Techniques and Interpretations. (Marlow and Company), 1994.

A World Without Love

Some 100 million prescriptions for antidepressants are written annually in the United States. Because these drugs are becoming generic, they will soon be widely used worldwide as well. Many are SSRIs, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. These drugs raise levels of serotonin in brain -- a good idea when you are horribly depressed. These drugs blunt the emotions, curb obsessive thinking and help you sleep.

But serotonin enhancers also suppress the dopamine system in the brain and dopamine circuits become super active when you feel intense romantic love. So, connecting the dots, I hypothesize that when you take these drugs, you can jeopardize your ability to fall in love and/or stay in love.

This apparently stimulated the following letter from a medical doctor in Texas: “After two bouts of depression in ten years, my therapist recommended I stay on serotonin-enhancing antidepressants indefinitely. As appreciative as I was to have regained my health, I found that my usual enthusiasm for life was replaced with blandness. My romantic feelings for my wife declined drastically. With the approval of my therapist, I gradually discontinued my medication. My enthusiasm returned and our romance is now as strong as ever. I am prepared to deal with another bout of depression if need be, but in my case the long-term side effects of antidepressants render them off limits.”
I can’t tell you how many people have emailed me similar stories.

Some people are chronically and severely depressed. They may need to take one of these drugs for life. I am not trying to minimize their path to sanity and comfort. Many “normal” folks are taking these drugs for reasons of temporary malaise and then continuing to use them after the depression has lifted. These are the people that concern me. We all know these drugs cripple your sex drive (in 73% of users). But humanity has inherited other brain systems for reproduction as well, among them the neural mechanism for romantic love. And these men and women may be jeopardizing this brain system too.

What is a world without love? If patterns of human love subtly change, all sorts of social and political atrocities can escalate.

Why I Blog

I love my life... really!

My "special purpose" son and "gifted" daughter take me to places daily in my mind and heart that I would have never known existed without them. In sharing photos and a few words from our day to day life, I hope to help you look at your life with humor and with the reality that you do what you can do when you can do it... then you eat chocolate.

Let us know why you blog via a blog post, then link up here using Mr. Linky below.

A Biker

I saw you hug your purse closer to you in the grocery store line,
but you didn't see me put an extra $10.00 in the collection plate last Sunday.

I saw you pull your child closer when we passed each other on the sidewalk,
but you didn't see me playing Santa at the local mall.

I saw you change your mind about going into the restaurant,
but you didn't see me attending a meeting to raise more money for the hurricane relief.

I saw you roll up your window and shake your head when I drove by,
but you didn't see me driving behind you when you flicked your cigarette butt out the car window.

I saw you frown at me when I smiled at your children,
but you didn't see me when I took time off from work to run toys to the homeless.

I saw you stare at my long hair,
but you didn't see me and my friends cut ten inches off for Locks of Love.

I saw you roll your eyes at our leather coats and gloves,
but you didn't see me and my brothers donate our old coats and gloves to those that had none.

I saw you look in fright at my tattoos,
but you didn't see me cry as my children were born..

I saw you change lanes while rushing off to go somewhere,
but you didn't see me going home to be with my family.

I saw you complain about how loud and noisy our bikes can be,
but you didn't see me when you were changing the CD and drifted into my lane.
I saw you yelling at your kids in the car,
but you didn't see me pat my child's hands knowing he was safe behind me.

I saw you reading the newspaper or map as you drove down the road,
but you didn't see me squeeze my wife's leg when she told me to take the next turn.

I saw you race down the road in the rain,
but you didn't see me get soaked to the skin so my son could have the car to go on his date.

I saw you run the yellow light just to save a few minutes of time,
but you didn't see me trying to turn right.

I saw you cut me off because you needed to be in the lane I was in,
but you didn't see me leave the road.

I saw you waiting impatiently for my friends to pass,
but you didn't see me. I wasn't there.

I saw you go home to your family,
but you didn't see me. I died that day you cut me off.

I WAS JUST A BIKER. A person with friends and a family. But you didn't see me.

~~ Author Unknown ~~

5 Minutes Around the Blogosphere

I love this idea that 5 Minutes for Mom is doing.

Each Sunday Kailani brings us the best contests, informative posts, and interesting happenings throughout the Blogosphere.

This column includes things 5 Minutes for Mom staff come across in their daily bloghopping as well as recommendations from their readers.

Check out the full details and this week's edition:

Letter to the Editor

Over the weekend I started getting pain in my private areas. As the weekend progressed, the pain got worse. I thought it would go away. On Monday, I called my gynecologist's office, Butler OB/GYN. I was told I was not an emergency even though I explained the pain was unbearable and could be seen on Tuesday.

I was in so much pain that a friend of mine noticed my discomfort and recommended that I go to the ER. I went to the ER. I had blood taken and had to donate urine for a urinalysis test. The ER doctor said because of the nature of the problem he didn't want to give me an exam when I need an exam from a gynecologist so he called the gynecologist's office and got me an appointment for 1 PM with Dr. Murray. We left the ER and went directly to Dr. Murray's office. As I was leaving the ER, the nurse stopped me to tell me that the initial urine analysis shows some kind of infection but not exactly sure what since it was too soon for full results.

An examination by Dr. Murray was performed and lots of questions were asked & answered. I was told by Dr. Murray that he didn't think there was nothing wrong, and then I was told I need to wait for the results of the test.

On Tuesday, I called Dr. Murray's office to get the blood tests and urine test results. I was told by one person that there was nothing wrong with me. I was told by the second person that the results haven't come in yet. Tuesday afternoon my PCP office calls and says I need to go see a gynecologist but doesn't explain why. I explained to them I already had seen a gynecologist and wasn't treated for anything. The PCP office staff was surprised to hear this.

On Wednesday, I call Dr. Murray's office to get test results and was told again that there were no results yet.

On Thursday - today - I call Dr. Murray's office to get test results to find out the office is closed today. I then call my PCP to get results. PCP office refuses to give me results and says I need to go to gynecologist. I explain I already did but gynecologist office says there are no test results yet.

I tell you this story because now four days later I still have no results, no answers. I am in so much pain I can barely walk but Dr. Murray remains steadfast in the answer that they have no results &/or that there is nothing wrong.

I cannot go to new gynecologist because this is a current problem that needs resolved before switching to a new gynecologist according to the three new gynecologist offices I called.

Am I getting treated this way -- unprofessionally, unkind -- because I am a medical assistance recipient? Am I not getting answers because I use a medical card from the Dept. of Welfare? I feel that I am being treated unfairly and unjustly. I just want answers so that I can get better.

So, am I supposed to live my life in pain? Am I supposed to live my life in fear of what may be wrong because Dr. Murray's office refuses to give me the results?

This letter was submitted to my local newspaper, the Butler Eagle. Not sure what day this will be printed.

Around the 'Net - Recalls

With all the toy recalls going on lately, it’s sometimes difficult to keep up. Go to Recalls to get the most updated list of the latest recalls broken down into categories. If you prefer, you could also sign up on their email list and the information will be send to you automatically.

Good Mail Defined

Good Mail /gʊd/ /meɪl/
adjective, noun, & verb
1. tangible generosity
2. thoughtfulness in action
3. delivery of happiness

Can be hand delivered (express good mail) or mailed via USPS, UPS, FedEx. or online delivery. It is the process of acting on a nice thought, reaching outside oneself, being thoughtful, generous, and kind. Guarantees a "natural high," smile, and slight giddiness in both the sender and the receiver.

It's best to start with one's own friends and family but is also great for blogging friends, neighbors, and people from church or community. It is a good idea to post items received on blog so as to delight the sender and to document it for your future self as a gratitude reminder and future pick-me-up on down days.

Carry note cards, stamps, a good pen, and addresses in your purse for use while waiting in doctor's offices, carpool pick-ups, and long red lights. It's amazing what you can accomplish in a very short amount of time.

Never let self-consciousness and insecurity keep you from sending something nice. Just ask yourself, "Would I be delighted to get this in the mail?" Then send it. You can't go wrong being thoughtful and you never know just how much someone needs to know they're being thought of.

Remember, anything that is NOT a bill or solicitation is good mail.

My New Name

I was tagged by Kim so here are my answers.

1. Rock Star Name
(first pet & current car)
Snowy Tempo

2.Gangster Name
(favorite ice cream flavor, favorite cookie)
Chocolate Oatmeal Raisin

3. "Fly Girl" Name
(first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name)

4. Detective Name
(favorite color, favorite animal)
Blue Penguin

5. Soap Opera Name
(middle name, city where you were born)
Storm Altoona

6. Star Wars Name
(the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first)
Lit Da

7. Superhero Name
(2nd favorite color, favorite drink and put the word "The")
Red The Mt Dew

8. Nascar Name
(the first names of your grandfathers)
Red William

9. Stripper Name
(the name of your favorite perfume/cologne, favorite candy)
Pearls Chocolate

10.Witness Protection Name
(mother's & father's middle names )
Louise Leroy

I gotta say "thank goodness I didn't choose the gangsta life... I don't think I'd get much street cred as "Chocolate Oatmeal Raisin." Do you? LOL!

This was fun to do and very funny results! Now I tag you. I can't wait to see your answers. Share your answers via the comments section or share a link to your blog.

Now You Know Me

  1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Yes. My first name DawnLyn is derived from the female version of Donald after my father and Lyn, I believe, was a friend of my mother's.
  5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? Yes, I do.
  6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Probably not because I am pretty bitchy.
  10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Cocoa Krispies, Frosted Flakes, another one that I cannot remember right now.
  12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? No, I don't. But many people say that I am.
  13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Chocolate peanut butter.
  14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? In men, I notice the eyes and the butt. Ooo la la. In women, the attitude.
  15. RED OR PINK? Definitely red.
  17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My daddy, my two grandmas, my Aunt Cinny. There are others too.
  18. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Right now I have on blue jeans and a red shirt.
  19. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? I couldn't sleep last night so I was up getting caught up on emails and doing work on my groups. I got hungry so about 2 AM, I had two egg salad sandwiches. (More than you wanted to know, huh?)
  20. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? Traffic going down the hill near my house, the television, the wind, the keys on the keyboard, the ding on the computer that says I got new mail.
  22. FAVORITE SMELLS? Freshly diapered new babies, lilacs.
  24. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? Nothing anymore. I used to love watching NASCAR.
  25. HAIR COLOR? Real color is now gray with dark brown sprinkled in. What you see is auburn and brown mixed together. Thank goodness for Clairol.
  26. EYE COLOR? Blue.
  27. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Yes. But I don't wear them often since they slide around too much. I hate wearing glasses. (Again, more than you wanted to know I'm sure.)
  28. FAVORITE FOOD? A meal someone else cooked. Lol.
  29. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Happy endings, of course. I don't watch scary or horror movies.
  30. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Independence Day, one of my favorite movies, was on TV last night.
  31. SUMMER OR WINTER? I prefer summer over winter. Though, Spring and Fall are my favorite seasons.
  32. HUGS OR KISSES? Both. Do I have to pick one? Lol.
  33. FAVORITE DESSERT? Chocolate cake, chocolate pudding, chocolate ice cream. Do you see a theme going on here? Lol.
  34. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? Glad Tidings. As of tonight, the new Harry Potter. Whoo hoo!!!
  35. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? My mouse pad is a tablet and mouse pad in one with Mary Engelbreight "Its Good to Be Queen" theme on it.
  36. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT? Independence Day movie.
  37. FAVORITE SOUND? The words "I love you" from my kids.
  38. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? Rolling Stones.
  39. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? I am very organized and am a scrapbook artist.
  40. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Altoona, PA.

Mix Learning and Independence Day

Want a fun way to mix learning and Independence Day?

Give your kids a quiz. Make it fun and award a prize to the one who gets the most answers right. You can use questions like: "Where was the Declaration of Independence signed? Who sewed the first American flag? And, who was the king of England during the Revolutionary War?" Do you know the answers? Well, to get them, and to find more questions for your own 4th of July quiz, check out the Internet. It’s a great way to teach your kids the facts behind the fireworks.

Remember your family first.


Sisters by Danielle Steel

"21-years old Candy -- its the only name she needs -- is blazing her way through Paris, New York, and Tokyo as fashion's latest international supermodel... Her sister Tammy, 29, has a job producing the most successful hit show on TV, and a home she loves in L.A.'s Hollywood Hills... In New York, oldest sister Sabrina, 34, is am ambitious young lawyer... Annie, at 26, is an American artist in Florence, living for her art. On one Fourth of July weekend, as they do every year, the four sisters come home to Connecticut for their family's annual gathering. But before the holiday is over, tragedy strikes and their world is utterly changed. Suddenly, four sisters who have been fervently pursuing success and their own lives -- on opposite sides of the world -- reunite to share one New York brownstone, to support each other and their father, and to pick up the pieces while one sister struggles to heal her shattered body and soul. Thus begins an unscripted chapter of their lives, as a bustling house is soon filled with eccentric dogs, laughter, tears, friends, men... and the kind of honesty and unconditional love only sisters can provide. But as the four women settle in, they are forced to confront the direction of their respective lives. As the year passes and another July Fourth approaches, a season of grief and change gives way to new beginnings as a family comes together to share its blessings and a future filled with surprises, and ultimately, hope."

It was a great story and a roller coaster ride of loss and courage. As soon as the story started, I fell in love with the characters. I would love to see/read a sequel to this.

Rating (1, lowest; 5, highest): 4.5

Two Little Girls in Blue

Two Little Girls in Blue by Mary Higgins Clark

"When Margaret and Steve Frawley come home to Connecticut from a black-tie dinner in New York, their three-year-old twins, Kathy and Kelly, are gone. The police found the babysitter unconscious, and a ransom note from the 'Pied Piper' demands eight million dollars. Steve's global investment firm puts up the money, but when they go to retrieve the twins, only Kelly is in the car. The dead driver's suicide note says he inadvertently killed Kathy. At the memorial, Kelly tugs Margaret's arm and says, "Mommy, Kathy is very scared of that lady. She wants to come home right now." At first, Margaret believes that the twins are communicating and that Kathy is still alive. But as Kelly's warnings become increasingly specific and alarming, FBI agents set out on a desperate search."

Riveting, suspenseful. I liked the telepathy angle. Another great book by one of my favorite authors.

Rating (1, lowest; 5, highest): 5

A Crazy Little Thing Called Death

A Crazy Little Thing Called Death by Nancy Martin

"Nora Blackbird has made the society pages yet again. The impoverished Philadelphia heiress has agreed to wed Mick Abruzzo, son of New Jersey's most notorious mobster. The city's blue bloods are in shock. Libby Blackbird is hell-bent on planning the wedding of Nora's dreams... but mostly giving her nightmares. Emma Blackbird's constant late-night phone calls from mumbling men have her sisters convinced she's walking the streets to avoid toiling from nine to five. Meanwhile Nora has her hands full keeping her fiance alive. Are Mick's recent close brushes with death connected to his family's business, or are they the result of the Blackbird curse -- any time a Blackbird sister marries, the groom is bounded to die? Then Nora's troubles are eclipsed by some ominous news... Penny Devine, ex-Hollywood starlet and daughter of the Philadelphia Devines, has mysteriously disappeared. Even stranger, her family wants her declared dead pronto. Could someone have plotted her final act? The tantalizing Brazilian polo player, for example, or the birdbrained bird-watcher? The cranky ol' coot with a penchant for pretty ladies, or the fashionista with a deep, dark secret? Nora's not sure. Now the only way for Nora to keep her name clear and save her sanity is to snoop among the snooty... until she sniffs out the truth."

I am so happy to find a new series to delve into. The characters are quirky and fun. I'm hooked on the Blackbird Sisters series. I can't wait to read the rest of the series.

Rating (1, lowest; 5, highest): 4

Happy Memorial Day!

Today is Memorial Day... let's remember and give thanks.

Memorial Day recognizes the men and women who have died in war. America’s most recent conflict in Iraq has shown us, once again, the courage and sacrifice of those who defend our country. Army Staff Sergeant Wilbert Davis died when his vehicle came under attack. At his funeral his mother said, “I miss him so much. He’s my hero.” On this Memorial Day let us not forget those heroes who, over the years, have unselfishly sacrificed their lives to give us peace and freedom.

The Beauty of a Woman

The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears,
The figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair.
The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes,
Because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.
The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole,
But true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul.
It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows,
And the beauty of a woman with passing years only grows.

Tagged Again

Oh, no… I’ve been tagged again. Just teasing. I have been tagged by my friend and fellow scrapper/designer Heather. You can see her Artistic License blog at

What’s in my refrigerator/freezer?

I have been without electric for 5 days so there is not much in either my refrigerator or freezer. 12-pack of Mt. Dew (several cans missing), ½ gallon Vitamin D whole milk, gallon jug of pink lemonade, bottle of ketchup, bottle of mustard, bottle of honey mustard, jar of pickles.

What’s in my bedroom closet?

Cassandra’s Halloween costume for this year (bride); Cassandra’s t-shirt for Daisy Girl Scout troop; Cameron’s old Boy Scout shirt; 8 pairs of shoes, sandals, and boots in Rubbermaid containers; six-drawer dresser (full of underwear, bras, socks, slips, pantyhose, knee-hi’s, slippers, 1 pr of jeans, 4 pair of shorts, 3 skirts, extra medication, small gifts), two boxes of books to read; air freshener; fireproof box (full of important documents); box of 8x10 framed photos for the wall waiting to be hung; hangers; 1 college jacket, 5 pair of pants, 2 sweaters, 5 shirts; hooks on the wall holding a robe, pjs, and yesterday’s outfit; folding chair (for the desk in my bedroom); fire extinguisher; wall hanging friend made me; basket of memorabilia and books; and, lastly, a light bulb.

What’s in my handbag/purse?

Blue ink pen; black ink pen; wallet full of cards (store cards, driver’s license, bank card, extra keys to the house & car); keys; coin purse full of coins; make up bag (which holds lipstick, lip gloss, mirror, eye shadow, mascara, finger nail buffer, finger nail file); note pad; coupons; cell phone & charger; mini sewing kit; medication for myself, Cameron, and Cassandra; Tylenol; sunglasses; eyeglass cleaner, small first aid kit; inhaler for Cassandra; a hair brush & ponytail holders for Cassandra; and toothbrushes & toothpaste.

What’s in the car?

Two booster seats for the kids; mini blanket, box of tissues; first aid kit; scissors; travel bag (a canvas bag that folds up and snaps closed into a small square when not in use); baby wipes (for spills, even though I don’t have babies anymore); a bag of small toys for the kids; and a basket (that holds WIC checks, coupons, head set for cellular phone; note pad & pencil; pen; book; yesterday’s mail, and other odds & ends).

What’s in the car trunk?

3 chairs (for picnics, etc.); blanket; paper towels; funnel; bungee straps; tire iron; tire pump; strips of cloth (for emergencies); Aldi store bags; jumper cables; oil, and window washer fluid.

If you are reading this, you have been tagged. Please share your answers in the comment section &/or share your link to your blog.

Getting Started

This site is new to me (less than 6 mo.) and, though, blogging is new to me, I have journaled for years. I did have a website which included journal entries, scrapbook layouts, my newsletters, and other such information, but, unfortunately, it was deleted by the company/web server with no explanation. So, I have started a blog here.

Life is full of "getting started" type of days. We always want to improve ourselves, improve our lifes, get more out of each day... so we, as people, are often, starting again or starting over. I hope to share my successes (and sometimes my failures) with you.

Won't you start blogging or journaling today?

One Flaw I Woman

Women have strengths that amaze men.
They bear hardships and they carry burdens,
but they hold happiness, love and joy.
They smile when they want to scream.
They sing when they want to cry.
They cry when they are happy
and laugh when they are nervous.
They fight for what they believe in.
They stand up to injustice.
They don't take "no" for an answer
when they believe there is a better solution.
They go without so their family can have.
They go to the doctor with a frightened friend.
They love unconditionally.
They cry when their children excel
and cheer when their friends get awards.
They are happy when they hear about
a birth or a wedding.
Their hearts break when a friend dies.
They grieve at the loss of a family member,
yet they are strong when they
think there is no strength left.
They know that a hug and a kiss
can heal a broken heart.
Women come in all shapes, sizes and colors.
They'll drive, fly, walk, run or e-mail you
to show how much they care about you.
The heart of a woman is what
makes the world keep turning.
They bring joy, hope and love.
They have compassion and ideas.
They give moral support to their
family and friends.
Women have vital things to say
and everything to give.

However, if there is one flaw in women,
It is that they forget their worth.

Diffuse Your Anger

We all get angry and upset at times, even at the people who are our nearest and dearest. Imagine what would happen if you stayed angry and shut them out of your life forever. Your world would never be the same.
Forgiveness diffuses anger. Forgiveness strengthens character. Even though, there are times when forgiveness feels like the last thing you want to do, do remember, forgiveness is your only option for wholeness.
Forgiveness holds tremendous healing power and liberates the soul. When you forgive, you let go of anger, resentment, and blame. Invite relief into your life today. Forgive your way to happiness and peace.

Around the 'Net - Bead for Life

Bead for Life is a poverty eradication project connecting people in Uganda and North America to work together for the mutual benefit of all.

Bead for Life believes true and sustained change can happen when we are willing to work together with our African neighbors to find solutions to extreme poverty.

Bead for Life eradicates extreme poverty by creating bridges of understanding between hard working and impoverished Africans and North Americans who want to create a world that works for all. Ugandan women turn colorful recycled paper, into beautiful beads. This beauty becomes income, food, medicine, school fees, and hope. It is a small miracle. Our members are women with children living on less than two dollars a day. Many have fled the war in Northern Uganda. Others live with HIV or other serious health challenges. They are incredibly welcoming, hard working, resilient, and creative.

As a grassroots organization, Bead for Life believes citizens in developed countries care about the problem of extreme poverty and welcome an opportunity to alleviate it. In our experience, all benefit from this exchange.
You have to look at these beads. They are so pretty with vivid colors. You can do something good and you get something very original for your scrapbooking and crafting.

Around the 'Net - SheSpeaks

Do You Want FREE Products?

Getting stuff for free is just plain fun! For most of us, money is tight and we have to work hard for every penny. So when we get something for free – well it is like someone just gave us back a bit of that time we spent working.

But most often, people aren’t just handing out free stuff. And if they are – well, that is just a little suspicious. Don’t take candy from strangers, right?

But there are reasons companies give away their products. One of them is to get people’s reviews and opinions.

She Speaks is a new online network that does just that -- it allows women to provide companies with feedback on their products.

The bonus for you is you get to try out (and keep) products and services for free! All you have to do is fill out a quick online feedback form once you have used the product.

If you are a female, US resident over the age of 18, you can join She Speaks for FREE by logging on to She Speaks and completing a short profile.

The profile tells She Speaks about the member’s interests and hobbies. Based on this information, She Speaks targets members with products and services of interest to try (and keep) free of charge. Once the member tries the product, they can come back and let She Speaks know what they think of the product. Did the member love it or hate it? Either way, they want to know. She Speaks shares this anonymous feedback with the company that makes the product or service. The company then tells She Speaks how the members have influenced their thinking about the product and She Speaks lets the members know.

I can tell you that there are household name goods lined up for cosmetics, hair care, wine, magazines, food, snacks, etc. I've personally tried Steam 'n Mash potatoes, Ghiradelli chocolate, lipstick, and a woman's magazine. Members receive the full product (and in most cases two full products) as if they had bought it in a store. They also receive a discount token for themselves for their first purchase and either a free sample or a discount for friends (as many friends as they choose to share it with.)

As far as I can tell – it is totally safe and all it will “cost” you is the time it takes to fill in the online feedback form. That sounds pretty darn “FREE” to me!

Around the 'Net - Bless This Chick

Bless This Chick

Nice graphics that you put together like a puzzle and create. Email your new graphic to yourself in sizes for avatars on most forums or slightly bigger for blogs, etc. The graphics are available in both Jpeg and PNG formats. You get to have some fun and create a new avatar.


Lifeguard by James Patterson and Andrew Gross

"Working as a lifeguard at a Florida resort, Ned Kelly meets a woman he is wild about, the woman of his dreams. It feels perfect in every way -- except she prefers caviar and Manolo Blahniks and he is used to burgers and flip-flops. She is a guest at a luxurious hotel and he lives above a garage. So when Ned's cousin offers to cut him in on a rich deal he's been commissioned to execute, Ned can't turn him down. The plan is simple, just a fast break-and-enter. The risk is high and the reward even greater -- $5 million. But on the night of the heist, something goes devastatingly wrong. Ned walks away from his job, his town, and the woman he's fallen in love with. Runs away, actually, knowing that only velocity and secrecy can save his life. But who is pursuing him? The FBI? Whoever sabotaged the heist? Or is all somehow tied into his new love and his oldest enemies?"

Patterson lives up to his reputation with this fast pace and hairpin-turning plot. The twists just kept coming.

Rating (1, lowest; 5, highest): 5


I got tagged by my friend Kim in Alaska at You can see her blog at Now I have to say seven things about myself and then tag seven other people (who will then say seven facts about themselves and then tag seven other people).

1. I am a single mother to two wonderful children.
2. I don't often work for pay, but am very active in my daily life.
3. My favorite seasons are Spring and Autumn.
4. I am finally dating a very nice, considerate man. The first "true" man in ten years.
5. My favorite color is blue. My second choice is red.
6. I am 10 weeks shy of my 40th birthday!
7. I would love to go on an Alaskan cruise.

Go on and write something about yourself and tag 7 other people. Send a link back to here so your readers know where you got tagged from.

You're It!

QOTW - 5/13/07

In several of my groups, I post a QOTW (Question of the Week) each Sunday. I thought it would be interesting to share some QOTWs here in my blog. You get to learn more about me and, hopefully, some of you will answer so I can learn more about you, my readers.

1. Where do you live?
2. What is something unusual about where you live?
3. What is your favorite type of clothing?
4. Do you have a favorite collectible?
5. Have you met anyone from this yahoo group or any other one?
6. What is your dream vacation?
7. What is your favorite food?
8. What is something unique about you?
9. What kind of car would you drive if you could have any car you wanted?10. What are your hobbies?

1. Where do you live? Butler, PA, USA.
2. What is something unusual about where you live? This town's history includes the inventor and originator of the Bantam Jeep. The same jeep that the military drives.
3. What is your favorite type of clothing? Jeans that fit and a t-shirt.
4. Do you have a favorite collectible? Yes. I collect Noah's Arks, bookmarks, photo frames, Christmas ornaments, mangers, Americana, Angels.
5. Have you met anyone from this yahoo group or any other one? Yes, I have met several ladies from various scrapbook groups... Teresa, Brandy, Linda, Karen, Deb.
6. What is your dream vacation? I have several... I would like to see the ocean, Disney World, visiting my friends from my 12 Months of Christmas group.
7. What is your favorite food? I love food. My favorites are Italian, potatoes.
8. What is something unique about you? My first name... DawnLyn.
9. What kind of car would you drive if you could have any car you wanted? Dodge Durango.
10. What are your hobbies? Scrapbooking, photography, reading.

Professors Develop Cancer Protein

I found this article pretty exciting! I am sure most everyone of us knows someone that is battling or has battled cancer, so I thought I'd share. Hopefully, thankfully, this is another big step along the road to an eventual cure.

Oklahoma Professors Develop Cancer Protein
By Associated Press
Mon May 14, 4:04 PM

Two professors at the University of Oklahoma say they've developed a protein that can stop the spread of certain cancer cells without damaging normal cells.

Thomas Pento and Roger Harrison helped develop a fusion protein that keeps some types of cancer cells from ingesting a vital protein called methionine. The fusion protein doesn't affect normal cells because, unlike cancer cells, they can be healthy without that protein.

Chemotherapy and radiation therapies kill normal cells along with cancer cells, which often cause sickness and hair loss.

"Roger has created a mechanism that delivers these compounds specifically to the surface of cancer cells so normal cells won't be affected but only the cancer cells will be damaged," Pento said.

"So you can see it would cause a lot less toxicity and it should really be a lot more effective."

Pento is a Noble Foundation presidential professor of pharmacy at the OU Health Sciences Center; Harrison is an associate professor of chemical, biological and materials engineering on the Norman campus. They worked with other OU scientists, including Xiao-Ping Zang, Naveen Palwai, Megan Lerner and Dan Brackett, research director at the Health Sciences Center's surgery department.

Pento said the research started with breast cancer and expanded to include other types of solid tumors.

They found the fusion protein to be just as helpful in fighting lung, prostate and pancreatic cancers.

"It could be applicable to many types of cancer," Pento said, "but we've found that it's effective for those four types of cancer for sure."

Despite successful testing to this point, Harrison said the fusion protein will need another round of animal tests before moving on to years of human clinical testing.

Three phases of clinical tests could take two years each.

"So it could be in the order of 10 years," he said.

"It sounds so far away, but realistically, given the FDA and all the phases of testing, it could be done rapidly."

The two professors have applied for patents on their technology and plan to conduct animal testing themselves before launching their own company or licensing with a large pharmaceutical company to do it.

"If you don't patent it and get that protection, then no pharmaceutical company is going to spend the half to three-quarter billion dollars that it takes to do the clinical testing and to get this drug on the market," Pento said.

I'm Thankful For - 5/14/07

Yesterday was Mother's Day and since my children are young and I am a single mother, we don't really do anything special to celebrate this day.
Yes, I love the handmade cards Cameron made for me and the huge smile & hug I got from Cassandra. But I wanted a special day just for me.
As the day moved forward, three unexpected things happened (yesterday and today). Its these three things I write about now . . .

I am thankful for . . .

  1. The pleasant and delightful call from Texas. I love hearing Cheryl's southern twang and her love in her voice for me. Thanks, Cheryl, for a truly nice surprise. Who would of thought that a member of my Yahoo group would call me? For Mother's Day?
  2. The thoughtful call from my friend, Art. Art has proven not to be the most considerate person but still a kind friend. His call to wish me kind words for Mother's Day was truly caring.
  3. The crossing guard, Sandy, near my children's school was so kind to me today. She bought me a small book titled, Feasting on God's Grace, and wrote a sweet note saying I was "doing a great job with my children." Her generosity brought tears to my eyes.

My day was special after all!

How Emotionally Mature Are You?

You Are 80% Grown Up, 20% Kid

Congratulations, you are definitely quite emotionally mature.

Although you have your moments of moodiness, you're usually stable and level headed.

So what if you're not perfect? You accept your faults and try to fix them.

People appreciate your reasoned and calm approach to life.

Stamp Out Hunger

Cans of food can be set out at your mail box or at the post office on May 12th for the nation's largest one-day effort to "Stamp Out Hunger." This is a nationwide program. Please read more at

I'm Thankful For - 4/22/07

  1. I am thankful for pine trees. On the way to the pediatrician's office the kids played nicely together by counting how many pine trees we passed.
  2. I am thankful for political signs. I hate the waste of money and resources of seeing the same 4-5 political signs on the various street corners. Isn't one sign sufficient? Why does there have to be 4-5 grouped together? However, those same signs do represent the freedom we have in the USA and the freedom of all Americans to vote.
  3. I am thankful for Nurse Karen. She makes my children feel special and cherished. Who can ask for a better nurse?
Written on 4/19/2007.

Golden Rule of Blogging

Let's refer to the "Bloggy Golden Rule" coined by Teresa Valdez-Klein.

“If you wouldn’t want it written about you, don’t write it about someone else. If you wouldn’t approve it in your comments section, don’t write it in someone else’s.”

Seems to me this would also apply to message boards/forums.

I challenge all bloggers to make this a "bloggy golden rule" to live and blog by.

World’s First Fibromyalgia Tissue Bank

For the first time, scientists are going to begin collecting brain and spinal cord tissues from fibromyalgia patients for research that will hopefully give them new insights into the cause of FM and new avenues of effective treatments.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) awarded a $1.4 million grant to Dr. Dianne Lorton, head of the Sun Health Research Institute’s Robert J. Hoover Center for Arthritis Research, to establish this first ever fibromyalgia tissue bank. In addition to the NIH grant, a $100,000 grant from the American Fibromyalgia Syndrome Association and another pilot project grant from the NIH is making this project possible.

The research will initially focus on glial cells (activated brain and spinal cord cells) to determine whether they are involved in long-term pain conditions. This in turn will allow for the development of new drugs to control chronic-pain responses.

The Sun Health Research Institute in Sun City, near Phoenix, Arizona is now enrolling donors. Although tissue donation does not occur until the donor’s death, donors will be asked to visit the institute annually for an FM assessment and to complete a pain-assessment questionnaire. Those who are enrolled as donors are also entitled to priority placement on a list of candidates for participation in future clinical trials of new pain drugs. For more information about becoming a tissue donor, call 623-875-6528.


Take the time to brainstorm. No complete sentences, no fixing punctuation, no adjusting the grammar; just write.

Think of one word that is important to you. It can be any word as long as it means something to you. Some ideas: love, family, friendship, marriage, parenting, focus, cherish.

Look up that word in the dictionary. Write the definition down.

Now let your mind wander and write down what you are thinking.

Here is a sample I am working on right now so you get an idea. The word chosen is family.

fam·i·ly (fm-l, fml) pl. fam·i·lies


  1. A fundamental social group in society typically consisting of one or two parents and their children.
  2. Two or more people who share goals and values, have long-term commitments to one another, and reside usually in the same dwelling place.
  3. All the members of a household under one roof.
  4. A group of persons sharing common ancestry.
  5. Lineage, especially distinguished lineage.
  6. A locally independent organized crime unit, as of the Cosa Nostra.
  7. A group of like things; a class.
  8. A group of individuals derived from a common stock: the family of human beings.
  9. Biology -- A taxonomic category of related organisms ranking below an order and above a genus. A family usually consists of several genera.
  10. Linguistics -- A group of languages descended from the same parent language, such as the Indo-European language family.
  11. Mathematics -- A set of functions or surfaces that can be generated by varying the parameters of a general equation.
  12. Chemistry -- A group of elements with similar chemical properties.
    Chemistry A vertical column in the periodic table of elements.


  1. Of or having to do with a family: family problems.
  2. Being suitable for a family: family movies.

ETYMOLOGY: Middle English familie, from Latin familia, household, servants of a household, from famulus, servant

My random thoughts are listed below:

single mother
loss of twin
oldest son given up for adoption
good mom ???
small family
deceased father
mother remarried
3 brothers
1 sister
1 foster sister
teach values
teach virtues
teach spirituality
teach right from wrong
one child gifted
one child slower

As you can see the mind can wander.

The Pink Dress

There was this little girl sitting by herself in the park. Everyone passed by her and never stopped to see why she looked so sad. Dressed in a worn pink dress, barefoot and dirty, the girl just sat and watched the people go by. She never tried to speak. She never said a word. Many people passed by her, but no one would stop.

The next day I decided to go back to the park in curiosity to see if the little girl would still be there. Yes, she was there, right in the very spot where she was yesterday, and still with the same sad look in her eyes. Today I was to make my own move and walk over to the little girl. For as we all know, a park full of strange people is not a place for young children to play alone. As I got closer I could see the back of the little girl's dress. It was grotesquely shaped. I figured that was the reason people just passed by and made no effort to speak to her. Deformities are a low blow to our society and, heaven forbid if you make a step toward assisting someone who is different. As I got closer, the little girl lowered her eyes slightly to avoid my intent stare. As I approached her, I could see the shape of her back more clearly. She was grotesquely shaped in a humped over form. I smiled to let her know it was OK; I was there to help, to talk. I sat down beside her and opened with a simple, "Hello."

The little girl acted shocked, and stammered a "hi"; after a long stare into my eyes. I smiled and she shyly smiled back. We talked until darkness fell and the park was completely empty. I asked the girl why she was so sad. The little girl looked at me with a sad face said, "Because, I'm different."

I immediately said, "That you are!"; and smiled.

The little girl acted even sadder and said, "I know."

"Little girl," I said, "you remind me of an angel, sweet and innocent."

She looked at me and smiled, then slowly she got to her feet and said, "Really?"

"Yes, you're like a little Guardian Angel sent to watch over all people walking by."

She nodded her head yes, and smiled. With that she opened the back of her pink dress and allowed her wings to spread, then she said "I am." "I'm your Guardian Angel," with a twinkle in her eye.

I was speechless -- I was sure I was seeing things. She said, "For once you thought of someone other than yourself. My job here is done".

I got to my feet and said, "Wait, why did no one stop to help an angel?"

She looked at me, smiled, and said, "You're the only one that could see me," and then she was gone.

And with that, my life was changed dramatically.

So, when you think you're all you have, remember, your angel is always watching over you.

Like the story says, we all need someone.
And, every one of your friends is an angel in their own way. The value of a friend is measured in the heart.

I Believe in God

I believe in God, creator of heaven and earth. He is the one true God. He is my Provider, my heavenly Father, my comforter, my counselor, my hope, my joy, my salvation, my King. His name is God; not Ron Hubbard, Buddha, Allah, Muhammad, Dali Lama or the Blessed Virgin Mary.

I believe in the trinity of God. That He manifests Himself as God the father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28; 1 Peter 1)

I believe that the Bible is the absolute, perfect word of God. I believe it is written by man, inspired by God and every word from beginning to end is true. (2 Timothy 3; 2 Peter 1)

I believe God created the world, as the Bible describes, in 6 days. I do not believe in any part of the evolution theory. (Genesis 1)

I believe that acceptance of Christ Jesus as your personal Savior is the one and only way to heaven. (John 14)

I believe that Jesus Christ is the perfect Son of God, who manifested Himself in human form, lived a sinless life, was betrayed and abandoned by those He trusted most, and died a horrible death. (Luke 2; James 2; Matthew 26 - 27)

I believe Jesus was buried in a tomb, which was surrounded by guards and had a large stone rolled over the entrance. (Matthew 27)

I believe that tomb was empty 3 days later as Jesus had told his disciples it would be. (Matthew 16; Matthew 28)

I believe Jesus ascended to Heaven shortly after his resurrection from the dead. (Acts 1)

I believe Jesus now sits in victory at the right hand of God. (Luke 22)

I believe He is coming back. (Acts 1; Matthew 24)

I believe He caused the blind to see, the lame to walk, cast out demons and raised people from the dead. (Matthew 9; Luke 11; Mark 1; Mark 7; Luke 7; Mark 5)

I believe in Hell and I believe that God wants no man to go there. (2 Peter 3)

I believe all of us are sinners. (Romans 3)

I believe that you do not have to be baptized to go to heaven, but that baptism is an outward symbol of your acceptance of Christ as your Savior. (1 Peter 3)

I believe that nothing can separate me from the love of God. (Romans 8; John 10)

I believe that if I confess my sins to God, then he is faithful and just to forgive my sins. (1 John 9; 2 Chronicles 7)

I believe that God disciplines those He loves. (Hebrews 12)

I believe that God tempts no one. (James 1)

I believe that all sin is the same in God's eyes. (James 2)

I believe that God, as the Holy Spirit, intercedes in prayer for us. (Romans 8)

I believe in Satan. I believe that he was an angel, whose pride caused his fall from heaven. (Luke 10)

I believe witchcraft, psychics, mediums and things of that nature are detestable to God and I fear for what will happen to those who participate in these things. (Deuteronomy 18; Leviticus 20; Galatians 5; Revelations 21)

I believe that I am commanded to forgive others - over and over and over. (Matthew 18)

I believe that Jesus died to redeem the sins of every man, woman and child on earth. Every one - no matter what they believe. (1 Peter 3)

I believe that what is impossible for man is possible for God. (Luke 18)

I believe each of us is given spiritual gifts and if you do not utilize the gift God has given to you, then you are missing out on the all the great gifts God has waiting for those who do His work. (1 Corinthians 12)

I believe that when I die, I will stand before the throne of God and be judged for everything I have done in my life - good or evil - including every hidden thing. (Ecclesiastes 12)

I believe that every knee should bow and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. (Philippians 2)

I believe that there are people who will twist the Bible's words to suit their own needs. (2 Timothy 4)

I believe that miracles still happen, that God answers prayer, that prayer is powerful, and even if I do not like God's answer to my prayers, He is in control.

A Mother's Creed

Her children arise up,
and call her blessed.
Proverbs 31:28

I will worry less about my children and trust God more.
I will commit them into the Lord’s care.
I will love my children unconditionally and let them know I do.
I will believe in them constantly and encourage them often.
I will pray for them daily.
I will teach them responsibility for their own actions.
I will try to be an example of godliness but will be unafraid to let them see my faults.
I will give them generous doses of laughter, interspersed with fun.
I will release them when they are grown but they will always be my own.

Thought of the Day - 3/14/07

The best way to predict the future is to create it.
~~ Peter F. Drucker ~~

Feeling Down? Stuck in a Rut?

Being in a rut can really wear us down -- both mentally and emotionally. Spring is just around the corner, and it’s a season that is perfect for new beginnings. Getting out of a rut can be as simple as getting a new haircut...or as involved as going back to school. But both start by taking that first step. So call your hair stylist. Apply for college. Begin a new workout routine. Sign up for music lessons. Or write that book you’ve been thinking about. Take that first step today. Get up, get going, and get out of your rut.


You probably never thought of this, but women's shelters in the United States go through thousands of tampons and pads monthly. Assistance agencies generally help with expenses of every day necessities such as toilet paper, diapers, and clothing, but one of the most BASIC needs is overlooked - feminine hygiene products.

Seventh Generation, a green paper products and cleaning products company, has a do-good attitude and will donate a box of sanitary products to a women's shelter in your chosen state - just for clicking the link. Talk about easy.

The Cove

The Cove by Catherine Coulter

"The Cove seems the perfect sanctuary to Sally Brainerd, daughter of murdered Amory St. John of Washington, D.C. She's not aware FBI Special Agent James Quilnan is after he. He's got a murder to solve, and he believes she's the key. But is she really? Are you ready for non-stop romantic suspense?"

This is the first book in the FBI series. Quilnan is friends and boss of Savich so it all ties together in the next book when Savich is introduced (I've read the books out of order). I love getting to know Quilnan better. He plays a role in the other books but they are more focused on the Savich and Sherlock duo.

Rating (1, lowest; 5, highest): 5

Blueberry Muffin

Blueberry Muffin Murder by Joanne Fluke

"Preparations are underway for Lake Eden's annual Winter Carnival and Hannah is set to bake up a storm at her popular shop, The Cookie Jar. Too bad the honor of creating the official Winter Carnival cake went to famous lifestyle maven Connie Mac. Hannah suspects Connie Mac is a lot like the confections she whips up on her cable TV cooking show -- sweet, light, and scrumptious-looking, but likely to leave a bitter taste in your mouth. Hannah's suspicions are confirmed when Connie Mac's limo rolls into town. Turns out America's "Cooking Sweetheart" is bossy, bad-tempered, and down-right domineering. Things finally boil over when Hannah arrives a The Cookie Jar to find the Winter Carnival cake burnt to a crisp and Connie Mac lying dead in her pantry, struck down while eating one of Hannah's famous blueberry muffins. Next thing Hannah knows, the police have declared The Cookie Jar's kitchen crime scene off-limits. She's a baker without an oven and the Carnival is right around the corner. Hannah's only alternative is to cook up a plan to save her business -- by find the killer herself... "

I am so glad I started reading this series last year. I love the Hannah Swensen mystery series. I love the characters and the small town of Lake Eden.

Rating (1, lowest; 5, highest): 5

Five No Nonsense Ways to Ease Stress, Depression, & Anxiety

Let's not waste another moment and go straight into five quick ways that will help you find relief from stress, depression, and anxiety.

Take regular breaks from the firing line.
Working hard without regular breaks is a great way to build up stress and tension. Make sure you have at least one 15-minute break in the morning and one in the afternoon as well as at least 20 minutes for lunch.

If you are at work, eat lunch away from your workstation. Equally, if you have a lot to deal with in your life right now, taking a day, or a weekend elsewhere, to get some breathing space will really ease the tension. Even just a day away from the firing line will enable you to get some distance from the problems and help you to gather your thoughts.

Regular exercise can help relieve stress, depression and anxiety.
Exercise releases endorphins into your system and will give you a natural energy boost. It will also provide you with a break from brooding and dwelling upon problems and troubles - but only if you perform the right kind of exercise. Avoid exercises that allow you to dwell (weight lifting, jogging, treadmills) and perform exercises that require your full concentration.

Competitive sports such as squash, tennis, badminton and circuit training are all excellent examples. It is important that you do not brood when you exercise because although you will be benefitting physically, you are still stressing yourself mentally and the stress, depression and anxiety will worsen.

Stop beating yourself up.
Self-deprecation is a huge part of stress, depression and anxiety. Each time you put yourself down, you erode your confidence and self-esteem. Never tell yourself you're useless, worthless, stupid, hopeless, boring, ugly, or a loser. Never convince yourself that other people hate you, that others find you difficult to be around and that you're better off being alone. You would never deem it acceptable to say such things to other people and you must deem it equally unacceptable to say them to yourself.

Derogatory words and phrases are powerful and they will hurt you. Accept you're not perfect and that you make mistakes - just like everybody else does - and cut yourself some slack. From this day, make a pact with me to never indulge self-deprecation ever again. It's simply not true and unacceptable.

Avoid Isolation - It increases stress, depression and anxiety.
Okay, there will be times when you just want your own company. During such times, you can fret over problems and events and beat yourself up for hours on end. Not good! Instead, use isolation to your advantage. Occupy your mind by tackling a jigsaw puzzle, a logic problem, a crossword, read a book or perform a hobby such as painting, playing a musical instrument or whatever it is you have an interest in. In this way, isolation will help you to grow instead of causing you further pain.

Avoid the TV, radio, and newspaper.
These can all supply you with a daily hit of negativity and help lower your mood. Articles often center on the negative side of life: crime, corruption, war, scandal and natural disasters and can give you a distorted view of reality. Not to mention the amount of image manipulation they subject you to. Give yourself a break from this negative drip feed and avoid them completely for one week.

You now have five, no nonsense tips to help fight stress, depression and anxiety. They are doable, drug-free and will boost your mood levels very quickly indeed. Try it!

Thought of the Day - 2/26/07

Life is short.
Break the rules.
Forgive quickly.
Kiss slowly.
Love truly.
Laugh uncontrollably.
And never regret anything that made you smile.

Labels and Box and Files -- Oh My!

Labels, and Boxes, and Files - Oh My!

This year’s press on New Year’s Resolutions has taken on a new twist: the “anti-organization” movement. The “pro-mess” proponents claim that organizing wastes time, leaves no room for individuality, and kills the creative process. Of course, nothing appeals to the media like a good controversy.

These rebels do have a point, though, if you take the wrong approach to organizing. In other words, if you set up your system from the “outside in”, (looking to containers, bins or one-size-fits-all rules to solve the problem) you’re bound to create an unnatural system that works differently than the way you work, and is therefore too cumbersome to sustain.

The philosophy behind my organizing is that in order to create a lasting system, you’ve got to work from the “inside out”. In other words, design your system around your unique way of thinking, natural habits, and goals, and it will be natural and easy to maintain. There is no one “right way” or “perfect system”. Organizing must celebrate and honor your individuality, rather than confine you or put your personality into a box.

Being organized releases rather than restricts creativity. It gives you immediate access to all the materials you need to do your work more efficiently. The key is to design your system to be simple, fun, and visually appealing so that it reflects your creative personality and feeds your style.

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