-Here_a_group_of_workers_in_the_Pattern_Shop_relax_at_lunch_time_in_the_spacious_lunchroom._iIn_this_photo_are_Mrs...._-_NARA_-_296889

Oh, The Joys of Corporate America

When I was hired by a company several years ago, I was welcomed to join their ranks with an “out of the ordinary welcoming committee.” It all came down at lunchtime, when my new co-workers invited me to join them in the lunch room. They explained to me that they were always anxious to learn a little bit about the newcomers, so they wanted to ask me a few questions.

The ringleader (c’mon, every office has one) began by saying that they had put together a series of questions to figure out the type of person I was.

Question #1 – “If we walked into your kitchen right now, could we find crumbs on the top of your toaster?” To which I responded “no”, and as I looked around the table they were all nodding their heads.

Question #2 – “How many times a year do you clean your oven?” (This was back in the day before self cleaning ovens were popular.) I cautiously responded “It depends on how much I use it, I just clean it when it needs it.” Again the circle of women around me all nodded their heads in agreement, looking like those little dogs that you placed in your car’s back window, whose head would bob up and down.

Question #3 – “Do you wipe off the top of the ketchup bottle each time it is used, before putting it back in the refrigerator?” (Again, this was back when ketchup bottles were glass, and had screw on caps – not the squirter type bottles of today; however, I still wipe off the top after each use.) I took a deep breath, though “Lord help me” to myself, and reluctantly spoke out “Yes, yes I do.”

Again, all the ladies nodded in agreement and the ringleader said, “See I told you – she’s one of those kinds.”

I’m so happy those days are behind me. I love retirement!

(Photo props – By Unknown or not provided (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

256px-Breast_Cancer_Awareness_(263497131)

My Battle with Cancer was Not Only a Challenge, but a Course in Life Lessons

Discover How My Personal Secrets Became Unveiled

We have all heard about the trials involved with battling this disease. Read about how this fight uncovers some of the innermost feelings and attitudes the patient as well as the support team including medical professionals, friends and relatives.

The Initial Shock and Emotions

The impact of hearing a cancer diagnosis sets most individual back in their seats. People react and respond very differently as you will discover as this story is disclosed. There is no right or wrong way to react or respond, however the reactions can be varied depending on the individual, and the type of personality or attitude of each person.

The Medical Team

My very first experience with a mammogram can best be described as quite dramatic. This took place back in the day, before digital mammography was used and involved several retakes with many different angles. The doctor that was consulted regarding the suspicious areas that appeared on the films was extremely consoling and comforting. Considering that my upbringing did not include much of the touchy-feely hugging type of behavior, this was enough to throw me off balance when combined with the thoughts and possibilities that were going through my head. I would soon discover how fortunate I was to have such an understanding and consoling medical team, who were soon to become best friends.

Revealing the News to My Family 

Being a single mother of three, two adult boys and a young teenage girl, I spent some time contemplating how I would share this information with my youngest son and my daughter, who were the only close relatives I have. Being an only child with most of my relatives previously passed, or had become disengaged, my daughter and youngest adult son were my only close family. My son, who had always stood by my side and was incredibly supportive responded with “we will fight this,” and he was right. My daughter was the only other person who lived with me, and was basically raised by adults. She accepted the challenge very maturely. As a matter of fact, when my hair started falling out from the chemo, I was anxious to shave my head in an attempt to stop the itching from dead hair follicles. My son brought over his hair clippers, but could not bear to shave his mom’s head, so my daughter bravely stepped up to perform the task.

The Reactions from Friends 

Friends and associates were dismayed as is expected. All expressed concern and offered to do whatever to be of assistance. The most help and assistance by friends came from many of whom I least expected it. I guess the same theory applies as I learned while I volunteered in the Boy Scout programs – if you want to find a good helper, go to the busiest parent around who will make time to assist you. Most people respond in a manner that I have personally never understood. Example; when passing on the street they will greet you with “how are you?” as they never lose pace and keep walking right past you. Why do they ask if they don’t take the time to hear your answer? We know the answer, they all mean well. Saying and doing are definitely two different things, but they both are important and have value.

Lessons Learned Personally 

You can fight successfully, especially with a strong support team. Appreciate the consoling and supportive words and use them to fuel your strength. Take people at face value, your true friends will shine through.

My Bizarre Lunch

Most people who know me or have worked with me observed that I usually eat the same lunch each day.  I like to craft a big homemade salad with fresh veggies, crab flakes, green onions, croutons, tiny cubes of cheese, black olives and spinach, romaine or whatever greens are in season and/or readily available (in other words, on sale or not outrageously priced).

I begin constructing my salad by slicing a tomato into wedges.  I love tomatoes, and generally use the “on the vine” variety because they are flavorful almost all year around and not as risky as the cherry or grape tomatoes.  (I say that because in my personal experience I have seen on more than one occasion where I cherry tomato “exploded” as the diner chomped down on them, spewing out of their mouth and in some cases quite a distance. – How embarrassing is that?) I also personally find in many instances the cherry tomatoes that I have grown or purchased have skins that are difficult to chew – almost like they are wearing spanx, although I have never actually bitten into spanx myself, I am just assuming the similarity.

Back to my bizarre experience today.  I wash cutting up my on the vine tomato, when much to my surprise,  the seeds inside the fruit (another controversial topic for another day) were actually beginning to sprout!  It literally freaked me out – at first I thought it was filled with tiny worms.   I had just previously killed a strange looking spider climbing up the wall, so my mindset was on creepy crawly things. Upon further review, it was apparent that these were actual sprouts!  The seeds were sprouting inside the tomato!!

I have never before experienced this, or even heard of the possibility.  Which brought me to wonder if anyone else ever saw this?  Is this some sort of Monsanto-ism? Since I am a very frugal person by nature, and only moments earlier had trimmed the mold off my block of cheese before cutting it in tiny cubes, I carefully “seeded” the tomato before proceeding to cut it into my bite-sized wedges.   And, I am pleased to report that the tomato tasted fantastic!  Another flavorful (but seedless) masterpiece created for lunch.

March 1st in Wisconsin

1024px-Sausages_Racing_April_2012

Growing up as a child, I remember each fall during the World Series, my mom would make a pot of chili and set up the card table in the living room so we could watch the ball games while we ate in the living room.  Normally, eating in the living room was not permitted, other than possibly a snack.  I guess that is one of those sensory memories – the smell of chili cooking with the scent of fall in the air, and beautiful falling leaves.

Isn’t it odd that I recall that today in particular.  Here it is, the first day of March 2014.  The boys of summer are at training camp in Arizona participating in the Cactus league games. Today I am enjoying the first spring training game of the season broadcast on TV.  I  have my bowl of chili to eat (on my lap, after all this is MY living room now.)  The Brewers are looking pretty good, for so early in the season.   I am completely enjoying watching the game,  the aroma of the chili ,  however, not happy about the snow blowing sideways out my window!

Photo attribution – By  I, the copyright holder of this work, hereby publish it under the following license: (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Wait Until You Hear About This!

It is absolutely fascinating to learn about Sacramento County in the beautiful state of California.  The famous discovery of gold in California in 1848 centered the Sacramento area as a focus of attention for everyone from within the country to internationally located individuals.  All had the same thing in mind, to find that gold.  This resulted in a mass migration of those gold seekers along with miners and pioneers to the area.  These people as well as the current residents have always been and still are very energetic and innovative with their approach to advancing commerce as well as building and maintaining  their community.

And the results have been incredible benefits that are available to area residents as well as visitors to the vicinity.  Let’s start with the natural amenities and then move to the man-made.  The parks rank very highly as this area boasts of the “jewel of Sacramento” which refers to the 23 mile American River Parkway that contains unique wildlife and a spectacular recreation area available for fishing, boating, rafting along with other water activities.  The parkway also has picnic sites, guided natural and historic tours and even golfing.  There are also other amazing parks to be enjoyed throughout the area including the Cosumnes River Preserve, State Parks and even dog parks.

You can enjoy your choice of the many golf courses that are available and enjoy biking on some of the incredible bike trails that are offered.   Regional parks even cater to the current day geocaching  phenomenon that is presently a popular activity.  We must also point out that this area served as a major transportation hub in the pioneer days for wagon trains , riverboats and stagecoaches.  It was in Sacramento that the Central Pacific Railroad began which eventually led to the major transportation route  that connected the U.S. from east to west.  The California State Railroad Museum is located in Old Sacramento and regarded as America’s most popular railroad museum.

The Sacramento area is also home to various other museums featuring fascinating displays of interest to young and old alike.   And, don’t forget about the famous Sacramento Zoo that is home to over 140 native, rare and endangered species.  There is so much that you can do in this area,  if you don’t already live here you might want to consider it!

Just for some more fun let’s check out some of the available properties in Sacramento County:

[Two current listings would be shown in this area, one selected from low-priced offerings and one from the higher price range]

Go Figure

You probably are fully aware of all the efforts and advocates who are dedicated on half of individuals who have encountered accessibility barriers.  I personally experience difficulties with accessibility as I struggle to get around with the help of a walker and sometimes a wheelchair.

My eyesight is currently not one of my handicaps,  but I have several friends who are vision impaired.   I found it quite interesting to read this story the other day, and absolutely found it necessary to comment and share.  Truly people never cease to amaze me…………….

It seems a bit ironic to discover an article recently published on Urban Milwaukee.Com titled “Wait, Wait, Wait – The city’s new audio crosswalk alerts are annoying –and potentially dangerous.”  Hmm, how so? you may ask.  The article continues on with more specifics regarding both sides of the argument, and while somewhat tongue in cheek, does have certain points.

For example, when those in charge, such as the head honchos at the Department of Public Works were questioned about the devices, it was pointed out that the accessibility feature for the visually impaired is being placed into use by most municipalities, with many cities using some sort of variation of the audible alert.  Many of you have probably encountered the bird chirping or “cuckoo” audible crossing signals that seem to be helpful and not quite as irritating as listening to “wait, wait, wait” whenever someone presses the crosswalk signal.

A few other interesting points were made, including that in the State of California these type of signals would violate the guidelines of the California Driver Handbook, which instructs drivers to “not give the blind pedestrian verbal directions.  A blind pedestrian listens to all traffic sounds before deciding to cross the street.”  This could be interpreted to say – don’t blind the visually impaired because they “look” both ways.  Another idea to contemplate – wouldn’t it be more logical to have the audible warning devices inside the vehicles for distracted drivers whose vision is impaired by checking the GPS device, or email, or text messages? The appropriate response should probably be, Touche!

The visually impaired pedestrians definitely need some accessibility help when it comes to crossing roadways, especially those that contain a lot of vehicular traffic. In defense of the State of California, they have a law that gives any blind or partially blind person with a white cane or a guide dog the right of way at all places and times. So, what are your feelings about the audible signals at crosswalks?

I Admit I Have Been Neglectful

On this cold and rainy July Friday I have finally admitted to myself that I have been neglecting my blog.  I never seem to have enough hours in a day like many other people.  I learned today that I have been successful in convincing a business to accept a series of posts that I have put together for them, so I have a slight “hankering to celebrate” so I’ve been poking around the Internet, doing a lot of reading and as always, attempting to learn new things and improve.  With that said, I will finally get around to updating some things and adding a few pieces to this blog.

Once again I am assuming and hoping that you will enjoy reading some if not all of these things.  I think it is also time to do a post to Facebook to remind people to check back often on my “Just For Fun” page, which contains links to my Pinterest Boards.  Like many others, I was very hesitant about joining Pinterest since I’ve heard it can be so very addicting.  However, in my case it has actually really helped me stay organized as an excellent way to save all the things I like to save.  There does not seem to be a day that goes by without running into something that I immediately “Pin” for future reference.

Go ahead and take a few minutes to peruse some of my posts and hopefully have a little enjoyment.

Favorite quotes – most times author unknown but definitely not me – wish I woulda thought of that!

  •  “Now is no time to think of what you do not have. Think of what you can do with what there is.” ~ Ernest Hemingway
  •  “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” – Agatha Christie
  • ‘If at first you don’t succeed, do it like your mother told you”.  Life is good.®
  • “Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. But today is truly a gift that’s why we call it the present.”~ Kung Fu Panda
  • ‘ Spring is nature’s way of saying “Let’s party!” ‘ Life is good.®
  • ‎ “Gratitude consists of being more aware of what you have, than what you don’t.”
  •  “If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.”—Jim Rohn
  • “Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you”- Maori Proverb
  • “ A day without a laugh….. is a wasted day.” – Charles Chaplin
  • ‎ “Stressed” backwards spells desserts.
  • ‎ “Experience is something you don’t get until just after you need it.”
  • “If you get kicked in the rear, you are still in front!”
  • “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” ~ Oprah Winfrey
  • ‎”A man can be broken by a strength outside, greater than himself. Or a weakness inside, which he cannot understand.”
  • “You will not change, what you won’t confront!”
  • “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
  • “Diapers and politicians get changed for the same reason”
  • “It is important to find the courage to step into the spotlight & play with that fire if you want to be successful.”
  • “Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.” William Feather
  • “There are only seven days in a week—and someday isn’t one of them”
  • “You seize the day, I’m holding on to this pillow!!!!”
  • It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not. ~Author Unknown
  • “To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life”. ~W. Somerset Maugham
  • “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” Mark Twain
  • Live simply, LOVE generously, Care deeply and Speak kindly!
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously. No one else does.
  • Families are like candy bars – mostly sweet with a few nuts.
  • Theres always a little truth behind every “Just kidding.” A little knowledge behind every “I don’t know.” A little emotion behind every “I don’t care.” and a little pain behind every “It’s ok.”
  • ‘Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater. If you give her sperm, she’ll give you a baby. If you give her a house, she’ll give you a home. If you give her groceries, she’ll give you a meal. If you give her a smile, she’ll give you her heart. She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her. So, if you give her any crap, be ready to receive a ton of shit.’
  •  While knowledge is power, it is useless if you do not take action.
  •   “The desire to reach the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise and most possible.”  Maya Angelou
  • If you want to soar like an eagle don’t hang out with turkeys.
  •   Do what you like. Like what you do. Optimism can take you anywhere.
  • ‎ “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do… Explore. Dream and Discover.” — Mark Twain –
  • History repeats itself because no one listens the first time :P
  • Yes, I’m a girl. I push doors that clearly say PULL. I laugh harder when I try to explain why I’m laughing. I walk into a room and forget why I was there. I count on my fingers in math. I hide the pain from my loved ones. I say it is a long story when it’s really not. I cry a lot more than you think I do. I care about people who don’t care about me. I try to do things before the microwave beeps!! I listen to you even when you don’t listen to me. And a hug will always help. Yes, I’m a girl!!!!!
  • Dear auto correct, stop correcting my swear words you piece of shut
  • “The skill of writing is to create a context in which other people can think.” ~ Edwin Schlossberg
  • Don’t judge me by my PAST. I’m not in the past anymore. Accept me for who I am because this is me TODAY.
  • The only point in looking back is to see how far you’ve come.
  • “The pen is mightier than the sword, and considerably easier to write with.” – Marty Feldman (1934-1982)
  • You can’t force someone to treat you differently, you can only choose not to let that person affect you anymore.
  • “If I have ventured wrongly, very well, life then helps me with its penalty. But if I haven’t ventured at all, who helps me then?” ~ Søren Kierkegaard
  • “This a a wonderful day. I’ve never seen this one before.” – Maya Angelou

Revised 05/18/13

Kudos Is Deserved

Many people turn to posting or blogging (myself included) when they need to vent or just release their frustrations.  I feel compelled to counter that, which should probably be done more often than it is.  Since I’m currently experiencing one of those “step back and smell the roses” phases as I try to focus on the good things in life, rather than all the evil, stupidity, and crap that seems to happen to me, I decided it’s time to put pen to paper, or more accurately fingers to the keyboard to write something I have been meaning to for a few weeks now.

I really need to take a minute to give kudos to the good folks at Logitech.  I am a fan of several of their products that I personally own.  Among them their awesome Harmony remote and various computer peripherals.  Recently I dropped them an email because some of the letters on the keys of my beloved wireless keyboard were wearing off.  I was inquiring if they had something to fix this problem.  Now I know what you’re thinking – with all the typing I do you’d think I wouldn’t look at the keys very often, and I don’t.  But for some reason when I do glance down there is a brief wave of panic that comes over me.  I know, that’s silly, but it’s true.

They almost instantly replied how sorry they were that this happened, and they had no method to fix this, however if I would email them a photo of the damage with a scanned copy of the receipt showing the date of purchase they would send me a new replacement keyboard.  I thought that was pretty awesome, so I didn’t hesitate to reply.  Within a few two or three days I received the replacement.  Much to my surprise, it was a designer wireless keyboard!  Who knew they made designer keyboards.  Must admit, I am impressed.  That’s what I call superior customer service.  Check out how cool it is – – http://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/keyboard-k360?crid=26.  The picture really doesn’t do it justice, but trust me it’s sharp.