Tuesday, July 28, 2009

FO Finally

I can't believe it myself, a finished project, and in record time. Originally I purchased this yarn for a long sleeve sweater, then I decided to make a sleeveless shell that had oddly enough lots of holes in it and after I completely finished knitting the sweater I thought it was dumb and unraveled the entire project. It took an hour just to rewind the yarn. Now it's a simple shell that started as a free pattern from the local yarn store (aka LYS, thanks deb), and morphed as I added waist shaping, finished the neckline and sleeves with a single crochet stitch and punched up the hem with a single crochet and scallop edge. I like everything about the sweater; it fits, although I do wish it were an inch or two longer, it is comfortable, it's for summer and it's still summer and it fits!!!! This is an easy project because it's all stockinette stitch, perfect for the car or kid invested afternoons.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Men vs. Women

Do I need a disclaimer for this? Or is WD-40 Enough?
If Laura, Kate and Sarah go out for lunch, they will call each other Laura, Kate and Sarah.
If Mike, Dave and John go out, they will affectionately refer to each other as Fat Boy, Godzilla and Four-eyes.
When the bill arrives, Mike, Dave and John will each throw in $20, even though it's only for $32.50. None of them will have anything smaller and none will actually admit they want change back.
When the girls get their bill, out come the pocket calculators.
A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs.
A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item that she doesn't need but it's on sale.
A man has six items in his bathroom: toothbrush and toothpaste, shaving cream, razor, a bar of soap, and a towel .
The average number of items in the typical woman's bathroom is 337.
A man would not be able to identify more than 20 of these items.
A woman has the last word in any argument.
Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.
A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband.
A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.
A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend.
A successful woman is one who can find such a man.
A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn't.
A man marries a woman expecting that she won't change, but she does.
A woman will dress up to go shopping, water the plants, empty the trash, answer the phone, read a book, and get the mail.
A man will dress up for weddings and funerals.
Men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed.
Women somehow deteriorate during the night.
Ah, children. A woman knows all about her children. She knows about dentist appointments and romances, best friends, favorite foods, secret fears and hopes and dreams.
A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.
A married man should forget his mistakes. There's no use in two people remembering the same thing! SO, send this to the women who have a sense of humor and who can handle it ... and to the men who will enjoy reading it.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Mother Teresa's Words of Wisdom

My second son graduated from 8th grade last week. He went to a Catholic school from Kindergarten to 8th grade and often through the years I doubted whether the price of tuition had been "worth it". It wasn't easy paying for three boys to go to Catholic school and don't think for one minute that we could afford it. We can't. It is a sacrifice. One of the last celebrations for the grads is a dinner hosted by the 7th grade class. The evening is a reflection of their accomplishments, special moments and fun times. They always have a slide show and then each teacher has a few words to say. I thought these were especially significant. I also thought I might not have ever heard them in a public school.

Occasionally we may feel that it is a waste of time and energy to act with integrity, compassion, and concern for all, especially when our efforts don't seem appreciated. When rejected, we may be reluctant to try again even though everything in our souls cries out for us to move forward.
Mother Teresa, who certainly lived a life that is an example for us all, wrote the following.
Perhaps she also felt let down at times.

People are often unreasonable illogical, and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God;
It never was between you and them anyway.

Mother Teresa

Keep moving toward your goals with integrity and compassion.
When confronted with resistance, smile and do it anyway.

And one last thing...... put your heart into it!

I was profoundly moved by these compelling words I hope you are too!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Mistaken Identity

A lesson to be learned from typing the wrong email address!!!!
A Minneapolis couple decided to go to Florida to thaw out during a particularly icy winter. They planned to stay at the same hotel where they spent their honeymoon 20 years earlier. Because of hectic schedules, it was difficult to coordinate their travel schedules. So, the husband left Minnesota and flew to Florida on Thursday, with his wife flying down the following day. The husband checked into the hotel. There was a computer in his room, so he decided to send an email to his wife. However, he accidentally left out one letter in her email address , and without realizing his error, sent the email.
Meanwhile, somewhere in Houston , a widow had just returned home from her husband's funeral. He was a minister who was called home to glory following a heart attack. The widow decided to check her email expecting messages from relatives an friends. After reading the first message, she screamed and fainted. The widow's son rushed into the room, found his mother on the floor, and saw the computer screen which read:
To: My Loving Wife
Subject: I've Arrived
Date: October 16, 2007
I know you're surprised to hear from me. They have computers here now and you are allowed to send emails to your loved ones. I've just arrived and have been checked in. I've seen that everything has been prepared for your arrival tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing you then!!!! Hope your journey is as uneventful as mine was.
P.S. Sure is freaking hot down here!!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Hormone Guide

The Hormone Guide
Women will understand this! Men should memorize it!

Every woman knows that there are days in the month when all a
man has to do is open his mouth and he takes his life in his hands!

This is a handy guide that should be as common as a driver's
license in the wallet of every husband, boyfriend, co-worker or
significant other!
DANGEROUS: What's for dinner?
SAFER: Can I help you with dinner?
SAFEST: Where would you like to go for dinner?
ULTRA SAFE: Here, have some wine.

DANGEROUS: Are you wearing that?
SAFER: Wow, you sure look good in brown!
SAFEST: WOW! Look at you!
ULTRA SAFE: Here, have some wine

DANGEROUS: What are you so worked up about?
SAFER: Could we be overreacting?
SAFEST: Here's my paycheck.
ULTRA SAFE: Here, have some wine.

DANGEROUS: Should you be eating that?
SAFER: You know, there are a lot of apples left.
SAFEST: Can I get you a piece of chocolate with that?
ULTRA SAFE: Here, have some wine.

DANGEROUS: What did you DO all day?
SAFER: I hope you didn't over-do it today.
SAFEST: I've always loved you in that robe!
ULTRA SAFE: Here, have some wine.

A letter From Dianne Feinstein

I got an email response from Dianne Feinstein regarding a letter I sent about the current housing market.
Here it is -
Dear Mrs. McCarthy:

Thank you for contacting me to express your support for including housing market reforms and foreclosure prevention measures in the recently enacted economic recovery bill. I certainly appreciate hearing your suggestions and would like to share with you what was included in the final version of this legislation.

Like you, I am extremely concerned about this severe economic crisis, which has been caused in part by the declining housing market. Last year, there were 837,665 foreclosures filed in California alone, an increase of more than 100 percent over 2007.

As you know, on February 17, 2009, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (H.R. 1) into law. This important legislation represents a significant investment by the Federal Government in an effort to create jobs and improve our Nation's aging infrastructure. The bill also makes a major commitment to stabilizing the housing market and assisting hardworking Americans. Specifically, the bill will:

oAllow first-time homebuyers to receive a tax credit worth up to $8,000 for homes purchased after January 1, 2009. Recipients of this credit will not have to repay it.

oProvide the Public Housing Capital Fund with $4 billion to help local public housing agencies address a $32 billion backlog in capital needs.

oProvide the HOME Investment fund with $2.25 billion for state and local governments to acquire, construct, and rehabilitate affordable housing.

oInvest $2 billion in the Neighborhood Stabilization Program to allow state and local governments to purchase and rehabilitate foreclosed properties to reduce blight in communities.

You may be interested to learn that I joined Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL) in introducing an amendment to the Senate-version of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 that would have extended the $729,750 maximum conforming loan limits through 2010. However, this amendment was not included in the final version of the bill passed by the Senate.

It is critical that Congress work with the new Administration to restore the American dream of home ownership and this bill is part of that effort. Please know that I will keep your comments and suggestions in mind should further legislation to address our country's housing crisis come before the Senate.

Once again, thank you for writing. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841. Best regards.
Sincerely yours,
Dianne Feinstein United States Senator

Well thank you Dianne Feinstein for your response.
Now here's what I think
First of all the $8000 tax credit won't help very many people because the maximum income cap is $75,000 for singles and $150,000 for married filers.
In San Diego where the average price of a home is around $400,000, a single would have to make around $76,000 a year with no debt; car payments , credit cards, etc... in order to qualify for a loan.
How about the $4 billion to help a $32 billion backlog of Public Housing funds. Better than nothing but ....
I grouped the Home Investment fund and Neighborhood Housing fund together because they're essentially the same thing and once again $4.25 billion is of course better than nothing.
Up front all these Obama programs look and sound so nice; money for everyone who needs it and maybe more later, but where is the money coming from? Diane writes ," this important program represents a significant investment by the Federal Government...", aren't WE the government? So the people who are behind on their payments, losing their jobs and business are going to be taxed to provide programs to restore America. Now that really is a new deal and a new direction.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Parkinson's Stories

The past few weeks have introduced so many new opportunities to help my husband with his Parkinson's. As I continue to meet people and share I discover information and stories that help us cope. What impresses me the most is how strangely I run into the stories.
Like meeting the 92 year old lady at an open house that I was hosting and hearing her stories of the healing miracles of Lourdes. I had forgotten all about Lourdes and there she was telling me how she had been 13 times and witnessed and heard of so very many stories. I laughed and shared how I have always wanted to go to Hawaii but maybe Lourdes should be my dream destination. I was so excited to hear her that I got chills from the possibility of all that Lourdes had to offer.
Every Wednesday I pray the Rosary with a group at my sons school. All very remarkable women and all praying for others needs which in many, many ways are so much more serious than my husbands. I'm talking about mothers dying who have three children in school, or teenagers committing suicide or Dad's diagnosed with brain tumors. It is both humbling and overwhelming to participate in such a group, but always in the voice of group prayer there grows a strength that is far beyond any hug or get well card. Hope and Peace bring great comfort to those who suffer the fates of others, knowing that there is so very little they can do. A lady in this group introduced us to a man who is being treated by an acupuncturist for Parkinson's and is currently off all medication. When I was given this news ( and I do feel like it was a gift), I felt so very blessed, almost as if God himself had talked to me.
In the beginning I was so very scared of the future of Parkinson's and what it would do to my husband, myself and my children, but now I feel a determined comfort that everything will be okay.
In the beginning I felt the situation was hopeless because Parkinson's is an incurable disease and my husband is a difficult patient but now I feel that searching for answers and being supportive is a great help.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Its All In The Way You Look At It

I got this in an email. It is not from one of my children. The story did hit home on more than a few levels and it made me laugh.
The Importance of Checking your childs homework -

Dear Mrs. Jones,
I wish to clarify that I am not now, nor have I ever been, an exotic dancer. I work at Home Depot and I told Sarah how hectic it was last week before the blizzard hit. I told her we sold out every single shovel we had. Then I found one more in the back room, and several people were fighting over who would get it. Sarah’s picture does NOT show me dancing around a pole. It's supposed to depict me selling the last snow shovel we had at Home Depot. From now on I will remember to check her homework more thoroughly before she turns it in.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Planning my next move

I received two letters in the mail; one from my doctor and one from the insurance review board, both denying my request for a Thermogram. I am not surprised. Traditional medicine typically doesn't embrace alternatives. Chiropractory has for years been shunned by the medical profession but I have had amazing results - that would have take months to achieve with physical therapy, and know friends and family with similar stories. Yet, the standard practise for back injury, is to use physical therapy or medication. However, I am not discouraged, I now see this as an opportunity to begin the process of chipping away the resistance veneer and paving the way for progress. Both letters cited the investigational nature of Thermograms as a treatment for breast cancer. According to the review board, " It is not superior to standard therapy such as surgical biopsy". True. There is nothing that will give better and more accurate results than cutting into the breast and getting a sample. There are side effects to that option; possibility of spreading the cancer, increased exposure to radiation, and of course the pain and damage to the breast. Thermograms are not an option to surgery, however if they don't find anything on the images to indicate anything exists then it would seem unnecessary to have a biopsy. After all 70% of all mammogram discovered lumps are non-malignant.

At this point I can file an Independent Medical Review application. This is simply a complaint. I am certain this will be a long process.

I am very tempted to simply write a letter to Oprah. She's always looking for a story and this just might be something that would interest her. I don't really care about the $175 I spent. What I care about is spreading the information. As you might have noticed I begin this blog with the goal - to share. There is something in my nature that propels - compels me to share. I can't seem to be comfortable holding on to news that I feel would help someone. My little blog certainly won't spread this information to the level that is necessary, so I turn to the master. What could be more important that informing women ( and men!)that they have another resource to use for detecting breast cancer? Wouldn't you want to know?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Thermogram Update

Today I received the findings of my Thermogram done on Friday. According to the Thermographist there are no abnormal findings!
I am feeling very relieved and thankful.
Now I want to spread the news about Thermograms. All you big bloggers who have lots of readers - share this story. There are so many women struggling with this issue and they need to know about an alternative to mammograms. There need to know about a procedure that has no radiation, is non-invasive and not painful. Thermograms can detect growths up to ten years prior to mammograms. We need to get the HMO's to use Thermograms as a routine procedure.
Now that I have created a baseline of images I need to go in for yearly Thermograms. It's a little cold in the room but much better than the SPLAT test.

Monday, January 12, 2009


On Dec. 11 ( my youngest sons birthday) I received a card in the mail with the results from my second mammogram. After tearing off the sides and unfolding the letter I was informed that the results indicated I needed to schedule a visit with my doctor for a biopsy. The letter writes, " we don't want to alarm you but federal law requires us to advise you of your options and results". I am so glad there is a law, but must wonder about the rest of the story, I mean who didn't get the letter, and what consequences did they suffer?
Unconvinced of the seriousness of my situation and greatly perturbed, I tore the letter up and threw it away.
On Dec. 31st - New Years Eve I got a call from my doctors nurse. She calmly asked me when I wanted to schedule my biopsy. I calmly said, Never. She was surprised.
A funny thing happens when you keep news like this inside you. After weeks of not saying a word to anyone - I wanted to cry. I was tired and scared and angry. Angry because of this and that and everything in my life that had gone wrong in the last year. My husband has Parkinson's, and now I have breast cancer, it just can't be true.
So, I went crying to the calmest most logical person I know, and in a very short time I dried my eyes and went home to make an appointment. I called my doctors nurse, who told me to call another number, who I left a message with and then after three hours returned my call and told me I needed to call my doctors nurse because she couldn't help me because I needed to see a surgeon. In the course of the conversation she said the word surgeon about 10 times, until I politely asked her not to say that word and then she only said it another 5 times. I then called my doctors nurse but only got a recorded message that the office was now closed for the holiday.
I imagined that I would be playing phone tag with my doctors nurse and the surgeons nurse forever and in the mean time my tumor would grow to be the size of a grapefruit.
Bright and early on Monday morning I called and got an appointment with
the surgeon for a consultation. Then I called my mother aka , Dr. Carol. My mother has suffered with more sickness than anyone I know. The result of decades of searching for answers has turned her into a valuable resource of traditional and non-traditional ( alternative) medicine. She advised me to get a Thermogram.
Here is the interesting part of my story - There exists a technology that can detect an issue YEARS before a tumor can be seen on X-ray or palpated during an exam and truly offers early detection. This technology has been approved by the FDA as an adjunctive screening tool since 1982 and offers No radiation, No compression and No pain.
Thermal cameras detect heat emitted from the body and display it as a picture on a computer monitor. These images are unique to the person and remain stable over time. It is because of these characteristics that thermal imaging is a valuable and effective screening tool. Tumors or other breast diseases measure warmer than surrounding tissue and can thereby alert a physician to a problem before a tumor is actually palpable. Medical doctors who interpret the breast scans are board certified thermologists. Thermography is not limited by breast density and is ideal for women who have had cosmetic or reconstructive surgery, women who refuse mammography, or women who want clinical correlation for an already existing issue. Thermography, because it analyzes a developing process, may identify a problem several years before mammography. As we all know, early detection is important to survival. DITI has an average sensitivity and specificity of 90%. An abnormal thermogram carries a 10x greater risk for cancer. A persistent abnormal thermogram carries a 22x greater risk for cancer. By the time a mammogram locates a tumor, it has been growing for at least 5 years.
The most effective way to find breast cancer is to use all available tools as often as is necessary.
Here is a link to a site that I found very helpful -

Sadly, thermograms are not covered by most HMO's. The standard practise is mammography. A thermogram costs between $150- $250