27 April 2009

Folks, ya can't get swine flu from eating pork...

Ok - here's the thing... Swine flu is a respiratory disease. You have to be in close contact with an infected pig or person... by the time that pork-roll sandwich gets to you - it isn't breathing. So - those of you who eat pork and pork products may continue to do so without worrying about the swine flu. You can not get the swine flu from eating pork. That said, you may wish to look into the impact of the heavy use of antibiotics and hormones in the meat you eat... Just sayin'.

Oh - and did you know that no one in the US has died from Swine Flu?? I think this is a lot of hype. Seriously. Wash your hands. Carry on. Oh - and don't go to Mexico... Duh.

26 April 2009


It's been a while - I know. But I finally popped into the Weekend Wordsmith and decided to share my poem based on the prompt "Champagne". Hope you enjoy!

I lift my glass
to toast the ordinary day.
The sights, the sounds, the opportunities,
The little things that go unnoticed -
A child's laughter, my favorite song on the radio,
The softness of the cat weaving through my ankles...

The first perfect strawberry of the season,
The perfectly blended orange, purple sunset.
It would be a mistake to overlook the extraordinary
in the ordinary... So...
I lift my glass
to toast the ordinary day.

Isn't personal style meant to be personal?

PERSONAL: of, affecting, or belonging to a particular person rather than to anyone else.

I don't know about you, but I am the sole decision-maker when it comes to my style. All of my style. My hair, my clothing, how much cleavage I show on a given day, which shoes to wear, how many earrings I wear in my ears, which color socks I want to wear with my blue suede shoes, what perfume to wear and if I get a nose ring or not. I decide because I am an adult. I must now base my decisions on appropriateness for a classroom on the days I will be IN a classroom, but apart from that I can not think of one person who gets a vote on my personal style other than, of course, me. Because it is MY personal style.

"But what about Ron?" you may ask... fair question - and here's the thing. I love Ron and I respect his opinion. But just because he is my husband does not give him a vote in my personal style. I like to think that he loves me for me, my personal style being a reflection of me. This means that if I decide to re-pierce my belly button (I had to remove it when I was pregnant), I fully expect that he will embrace that decision. If I suddenly decide that purple hair would be fun this summer, he must accept that. If he doesn't - well - that is indeed unfortunate and I truly hope he can find a way to adjust.

Look - when Ron started talking about shaving his head I was a little "OMG - what would THAT be like?" but I smiled and I said "Baby - you need to do what you feel is best for you." and eventually, after probably 18 months of personal deliberation, he shaved his head. And now I say "Good call, Love! You look hot." You know why he looks hot? Because he is confident, because he made a decision that was based on HIS needs and in his time. It is his personal style. He owns it.

Personal style... yours alone, or must you share? What say you, my bloggy and FB friends?

25 April 2009

Living Love

I said good-bye forever to a dear dear friend yesterday. My heart is too sore to write something fitting for my sweet Gunther - but this essay explains it perfectly.

Living Love
If you ever love an animal, there are three days in your life you will always remember... 
The first is a day, blessed with happiness, when you bring home your young new friend. You may have spent weeks deciding on a breed. You may have asked numerous opinions of many vets, or done long research in finding a breeder. Or, perhaps in a fleeting moment, you may have just chosen that silly looking mutt in a shelter--simply because something in its eyes reached your heart. But when you bring that chosen pet home, and watch it explore, and claim its special place in your hall or front room--and when you feel it brush against you for the first time--it instills a feeling of pure love you will carry with you through the many years to come. 

The second day will occur eight or nine or ten years later. It will be a day like any other. Routine and unexceptional. But, for a surprising instant, you will look at your long-time friend and see age where you once saw youth. You will see slow deliberate steps where you once saw energy. And you will see sleep where you once saw activity. So you will begin to adjust your friend's diet--and you may add a pill or two to her food. And you may feel a growing fear deep within yourself, which bodes of a coming emptiness. And you will feel this uneasy feeling, on and off, until the third day finally arrives.

And on this day--if your friend and God have not decided for you, then you will be faced with making a decision of your own--on behalf of your lifelong friend, and with the guidance of your own deepest Spirit. But whichever way your friend eventually leaves you---you will feel as alone as a single star in the dark night. If you are wise, you will let the tears flow as freely and as often as they must. And if you are typical, you will find that not many in your circle of family or friends will be able to understand your grief, or comfort you. But if you are true to the love of the pet you cherished through the many joy-filled years, you may find that a soul--a bit smaller in size than your own---seems to walk with you, at times, during the lonely days to come. And at moments when you least expect anything out of the ordinary to happen, you may feel something brush against your leg--very very lightly. And looking down at the place where your dear, perhaps dearest, friend used to lay---you will remember those three significant days. The memory will most likely be painful, and leave an ache in your heart---As time passes the ache will come and go as it has a life of its own. You will both reject it and embrace it, and it may confuse you. If you reject it, it will depress you. If you embrace it, it will deepen you. Either way, it will still be an ache.

But there will be, I assure you, a fourth day when---along with the memory of your pet---and piercing through the heaviness in your heart---there will come a realization that belongs only to you. It will be as unique and strong as our relationship with each animal we have loved, and lost. This realization takes the form of a Living Love---like the heavenly scent of a rose that remains after the petals have wilted, this love will remain and grow--and be there for us to remember. It is a love we have earned. It is the legacy our pets leave us when they go. And it is a gift we may keep with us as long as we live. It is a love which is ours alone. And until we ourselves leave, perhaps to join our beloved pets--it is a love that we will always possess. 
~ Written by Martin Scot Kosins ~ 
Author of "Maya's First Rose" 

I miss you already, Gunther. Pretty sure I always will.

18 April 2009

Five, Six, Pick Up Sticks...

Okay - let me start with this disclaimer: It is not, on ANY level, my intention to impugn Ron's efforts with our yard. He works hard. Very hard. He spends a lot of time on his days off trying to work on our yard. So please, no one get the idea that I blame any of this in any way on him.

That said... I hate yard-work. If you read my 25 Things on FaceBook you know how I feel about gardening. This is similar. I grew up in an apartment building with a doorman so the idea of running around on a mower and pulling weeds and, heaven help us all, picking up sticks is completely foreign to me. Sure, we could cut down these beautiful centuries old trees and maintain a beautiful, golf-course lawn - but then we would displace all those indigenous species and I just don't think that is a fair trade-off. Unlike work inside the house, yard-work in a "natural" yard in the Pinelands of New Jersey merits precious little results.

For example - when I clean the bathroom, I am left with sparkling white surfaces, smudge-free mirrors, fluffy towels and a lovely smell. When I spend two hours wandering around our back yard picking up assorted styles and sizes of sticks, I am left with two monstrous piles of sticks which never.go.away! This past Monday Ron spent a fair amount of time our there with a chipper working on these piles. He swears he made a significant dent in them - but seriously, there are still two very large pile of sticks in our yard. And it makes me crazy.

Our original plan was that we would burn these sticks when we go camping. Well, we have a diabetic dog who won't poop or eat when not at home so we no longer GO camping. So much for that plan. I just wheeled two large garbage cans full of sticks out front for the township folk to take away... and the piles do not look any smaller. It is Grape Nuts Syndrome at its best. No matter what you do, there are still more in the bowl.