Saturday, January 27, 2007

My Upcoming Date With Mr. Squishy

"The patient should be made to understand that he or she must take charge of his or her own life. Don't take your body to the doctor as if he were a repair shop."

-Quentin Regestein

I can't believe it has almost been a year! But it has. Time for me to go back for my annual Mammogram. Do you remember how spooked I was last year? I had just found an unusual lump in my breast, that hadn't been there a month before when I did my breast exam. It scared me. And Good that! I was over 40, and had never had a Mammogram before. I had never put much thought into it. Sometimes in life, things creep up on you. Time goes by really quick, whether you are having fun or not! I had been asked by my regular physician to schedule an appointment for myself, and somehow I had managed to avoid doing so. Sigh. Not too wise. You can bet, when I discovered that lump, I found the time! I went in, whining a good bit all the way, and lucky for me, it was a lump that could be dealt with. It wasn't cancer, but over 200,000 women every year aren't as lucky as I was, including one of my favorite singers, Sheryl Crow.

"I encourage all women everywhere to advocate for themselves and for their future. See your doctor and be proactive about your health."

-Sheryl Crow

I read earlier this week, that there has been a decline of the number of American women who are getting this important annual test. What's up with that girls? I no longer believe that anything is more important then getting myself checked. Nothing. So what might be holding you back? If you are one of my regular female readers, or if you have a lady in your life that you love dearly who hasn't gotten her exam for the year, I want to encourage you to make that appointment! The test doesn't hurt, and it is vital to early detection. I found out a lot of useful information about Breast Cancer, and I learned why I am at a slightly higher risk then most to get it. I learn factors for keeping myself well, and what to watch for as far as symptoms of the disease are. I am being proactive with my own health...I hope you are as well.

According to the CDC, one reason many women skip getting this exam is complacency. After taking the test, year after year, and being given a clean bill of health, many believe that their chances of contracting the disease are so low, that the yearly exam is no longer needed. Wrong! Ladies we must care enough about ourselves, to continue getting this test. So what do you say? Anyone care to take my challenge, by getting your yearly mammogram in the month of February along with me? Don't make me go to the appointment alone. Come on, schedule the appointment on Monday, and come back here and let me know when it will be, by leaving me a message in the comment thread for this entry. Better yet, share your experiences at the doctor in your blog. I will link on my sidebar, to anyone who helps spread awareness about breast cancer, by getting a mammogram and sharing their story.

There are everyday things we can do to take care of ourselves. I was reading my latest issue of the MayoClinic Newsletter this past week, and they always have wonderful easy to do tips for living better, more healthy lives. Also, each issue has some yummy recipes. In the last issue, there were recipes for,
Balsamic Roast Chicken, and Melon Fool. Too tasty for words. If you haven't visited their website, do so, and sign up for their weekly newsletter, you will be glad you did! Come on ladies, make me proud! Go be proactive for your health! I like my friends, and I want to know you a long time! :) Make those appointments!

For More Information on Breast Cancer...

Susan G. Komen - For The Cure

Toll-Free Breast Cancer Care Helpline
Monday-Friday 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM CST

1-800 I'm- Aware (1-800-462-9273)

My Appointment Date
Thursday, February 8th.

"My Date With Mr. Squishy"
February, 2006
Late Afternoon
Hayward, California

Friday, January 26, 2007

John Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #149: Ill-Advised Teenaged Fashions

Don't leave me this way
I can't survive, can't stay alive
Without your love, oh baby
Don't leave me this way

-Thelma Houston
"Don't Leave Me This Way"

Weekend Assignment #149: Reveal Your Teenage Fashion Disasters! Yes, whether it's big hair, Nehru jackets, acid-washed jeans or an ill-advised tattoo, let us know what about your style as a teenager you would change today.

Extra Credit: Are you kidding? Pictures baby!

-John Scalzi (By The Way)

Ut-OH! Oh NO! I was a teenager during the ugliest time for fashion in the history of fashion... the late 1970's. Uggggg. OK, well, I suppose I can admit that I was kinda like everyone else at the time. I followed the trends and got the "Farrah hair" and I wore those hideous paisley dresses, the huge platform shoes, I even owned one or two halter dresses. Yuck! It's so weird to think back to that time now. I wouldn't be caught dead in a pair of bell-bottoms, or gauchos, even if they are on the comeback. LOL. Can you believe the decade of the 1980's saw bigger hair then the "Farrah?" After my Farrah hair, I went back to wearing it long and straight, which is pretty much the way I wear it now, and I still like wearing peasant tops from time to time, otherwise I think I pretty much dress classic chic. No wacky colors, mostly earth tones. I make my own style now, but if you want to see what I would have worn to a party as a teenager... see my Yahoo icon on my sidebar. I let her wear the ugly dress. Tee Hee.

Here is a look at what things were like when I was about 17 or so. Gosh, it seems like yesterday, and yet, it seems like a million years ago as well. Sigh.

That 70's Movie "Saturday Night Fever"

That 70's dress. Back in style by the way!

That 70's hair style. "The Farrah"

Those 70's shoes.


Extra Credit: Happily, there is not a single photo of me between the ages of 10 and 28. :) It's almost like I didn't exist during that time. So, you will just have to observe the above photo and use your imagination. :)

"Real Me"
Berkeley, California
Summer 2006

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Maybe Someday...

"Physically you are a human being, but mentally you are incomplete. Given that we have this physical human form, we must safeguard our mental capacity for judgment. For that, we cannot take out insurance; the insurance company is within; self-discipline, self awareness, and clear realization of the disadvantages of anger and the positive effects of kindness."

-Dalai Lama

It's quiz time again! I always have a difficult time trying to decide what new quiz to take that will be both fun, and informative, while I am on a quest of self-discovery. When I was a little girl, I longed to grow up, because I just knew all the answers to all of life's mysteries were only a few birthdays away. I decided when I was about 7 or so, that when I reached 35, I would be officially over the hill. It just made sense, because by that age...what could be left to learn? LOL. I will be 45 in June, and to my profound amusement, I am still growing up! LOL. Go figure.

Still, I think I am happy that there are still one or two things to learn about myself... and others. After 16 1/2 years of marriage, Alan and I are still learning new things about each other, because thank goodness, we are continuing to grow as people, and as a couple. Being a grown-up sure isn't what I thought it would be. So much for having it all figured out! :) Your turn. Feel like joining me in some quizzes? Just click the links below, and either leave your answers in the comment thread, or post your entry in your own blog, then come back here and leave me the link, so I can visit you. Come on... you know you want to! ;)

What Does Your Candy Heart Say?

You're a true romantic who brings an innocent hope to each new relationship.

You see the good in every person you date, and you relish each step of falling in love.

Your ideal Valentine's Day date: a romantic dinner your sweetie cooks for you.

Your flirting style: Friendly and sweet.

What turns you off: cynics who don't believe in romance.

Why you're hot: you always keep the romance alive.

What Year Do You Belong In?

***You Belong In 1967***
1960 - 1969
You are a free spirit with a huge heart. Love, Peace, and happiness rule - oh, and drugs too!

What Happened The Year You Were Born?


*John F. Kennedy is president of the United States.
*John Glenn becomes the first American in orbit, when he circles the earth three times in the Mercury capsule Friendship 7.
*Cuban Missile Crisis occurs when Soviet offensive missile build-up is discovered.
*Cuban Missile Crisis is averted when President Kennedy and Soviet premiere Krushchev agree to remove missiles.
*Marilyn Monroe is found dead in her Los Angeles home.
The drug Thalidomide is recalled when it becomes linked with severe birth defects in thousands of children worldwide.
*Pantyhose become available for sale in U.S. department stores.
*Jim Carrey, Sheryl Crow, Jon Bon Jovi and Tom Cruise are born.
*New York Yankees win the world series.
*Gren Bay Packers win the NFL championship.
*Toronto Maple Leafs win the Stanley cup
*Lawrence of Arabia wins the Oscar for best picture
*The Beatles release their first recording: the single "Love Me Do"/ P.S. I Love You"
*Johnny Carson debuts as host of The Tonight Show.

Ok... Your Turn!


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Round Robin Challenge: Macro

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead... his eyes are closed."
-Albert Einstein

I was so pleased with the choice John made for our challenge, because I need to work on doing more "Macro" photography. I have been struggling with a cold since, New Years, so I didn't get a chance to take many new photos since the challenge was announced, but I did take the flower photo at the bottom of this entry, so that is my latest attempt at doing macro, but I did a little bit of macro photography while visiting the butterfly exhibit at the Conservatory of Flowers last summer. Here are a few of the butterflies, and a new flower... up-close and personal!


Vanessa (Painted Lady)

Thank you John, for the awesome challenge! Be sure to visit John's blog, "Personal Effects," to see his entry. You can find the other Round Robin participants simply by clicking the links below!

Linking List

John... Personal Effects

Carly... Ellipsis...Suddenly Carly

Janet... Fond Of Photography

Karen... Outpost Mavarin

Dorn... Through The Eyes Of The Beholder

Nancy... Nancy Luvs Pix

Kerrin... Macrocapture

Julie... Julie's Web Journal

Steven... (sometimes) photoblog

Linda... Blah Blah Blog

Gattina... Keyhole Pictures


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Your Monday Photo Shoot: What A Mess!

"Life isn't like a book. Life isn't logical, or sensible, or orderly. Life is a mess most of the time. And theology must be lived in the midst of that mess."

-Charles Caleb Colton

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Take a picture of a real mess. Messy rooms, trash cans knocked over by raccoons, kids playing in the dirt, pets tracking in mud... anything that makes you go, "My God! This mess burns my very retinas!" is what I want you to take a picture of.

-John Scalzi

I remember this mess. Last summer, I attended the Monet exhibit at the Palace of Legion Of Honor, in San Francisco. It was a lovely day, and a lovely exhibit, but I saw one or two things that was...well...a little sad. Alan and I are big people watchers. We love to visit interesting places, and try to figure out the stories of the people we encounter. Rarely do we ever really find out if we are right or not, but on this day, we just knew about a certain couple we saw admiring the amazing art. By the end of the day, they wouldn't be a "they" any longer.

The lady, who was in her 30's and her guy of about the same age, had been walking all through the exhibit hand in hand, but it seemed like each was in their own world. A few times we saw the young man, break free from the lady, so he could sit on one of the many benches. He seemed to constantly have a look of boredom on his face. He couldn't have been less interested in the collection of Monet's, as opposed to his lady who was obviously thrilled, as she walked among the art. I had to wonder about the two, as I walked through the exhibit. They just seemed so... empty.

A little later in the afternoon, Alan and I decided to get a small nibble and a couple sodas at the restaurant in the museum. While I was waiting for Alan to comeback from the gift shop, the same couple came into the restaurant, and brought their trays out onto the patio where we were sitting. They looked even less happy now then they did earlier in the day. By the time the two finished their salads, it was clear they had broken up. It was mutual, it was quiet, but it was very sad. One didn't have to be a genius to see that. I didn't meant to stare, and I tried hard not to, but life was unfolding right in front of me... real life.

When they got up from the table, the young man kissed the lady really soft on the cheek, and then they left. For some reason, I felt compelled to photograph the empty table, void of people, yet telling a story. I didn't see the couple anywhere else in the exhibit, so I guess they left the museum at that point. I always wondered though, did they at least stay friends? Sometimes, life can make the biggest messes.

"After The Affair"
Legion Of Honor
San Francisco, California
Summer, 2006

Monday, January 22, 2007

It Was A Good Day

"Flowers have an expression of countenance as much as men or animals. Some seem to smile; some have a sad expression; some are pensive and diffident; others again are plain, honest and upright, like the broad faced sunflower and the hollyhock."

-Henry Ward Beecher
Star Papers: A Discourse Of Flowers

The weather has been gorgeous in the Bay Area this past week! No rain in sight, and the temperature has climbed to a comfortable 60-something during the day and about 40-something in the nighttime hours. It's wonderful, but my Fibromyalgia knows nothing about what makes or breaks the perfect day. I slept 18 hours Sunday, and as I write this, I know I will be sleeping another 18 hours as soon as I go back to bed. I have been completely missing the sun this last week. Just the thought of one of my usual long drives exhausts me. I know, I know, it is winter after all, and I know that since my diagnosis, I will be spending my winters in hibernation, jeepers it leaves me blue.

So, in an effort to chase the blues away, I went searching in my photo files from last summer, to try and come up with an image of something pretty, and warm, to liven up the blog a bit. I found the above photo, from August 9th. I remember that day, it was a gorgeous day around the bay, as almost all August 9th's are. I remember my hands were shaking as I took my photos that day, because we had, just a few hours earlier, came really close to being in a pretty bad car accident. That close call left me a bit spooked of driving on I580. One positive thing did come out of the experience though, I appreciated everything I saw that day a little more. Butterflies at the conservatory flew more gracefully, and the water lilies were a little more calming in their beauty. That was a good day! I think this picture is a good one to begin another week with. :)

"The Good Day"
Conservatory Of Flowers
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, California
August 9th, 2006

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Working Together...

"Love is the answer, but while you are waiting for the answer, sex raises some pretty good questions."

-Woody Allen

Tee Hee. Isn't that a funny sign? I spotted it while driving up here in the Berkeley hills. I happen to know that it has been tampered with by some silly person, because there are several more all through the hills which have the correct phrase, "Working Together To Prevent Wildfires," not "Working Together To Prevent Wildlife." How silly would that be? Especially in a town like Berkeley, where environmental issues are at the top of most folks consciousness. Anyway, I kinda found it amusing so I thought I would pass it along.

Something else I found amusing, was this article that was over on Yahoo news. "Start Sex On The Right Key With Musical Condoms." Tee Hee. Musical condoms? What song do you suppose they play? Tee Hee. Well, actually they don't really play a song on their own, the condoms, which are, mint, strawberry, chocolate, and banana flavored, come with a CD that apparently has music that is meant to get you in the mood. Hmmmm... what songs do you suppose are on the 18 minute CD? If you care to ponder the question, leave your ideas in the comment thread for this entry. Remember folks, my blog is rated PG-13 so keep your comments appropriate. LOL. My goodness... such possibilities! Tee Hee.

"Sign Of The Time"
Berkeley, California
January 19th, 2007