Sunday, January 31, 2010

Taking care of your Heart........

For those of you have been following for awhile, you might know I've had open heart surgery three times and have a cardiac defibrillator (I know, HUH?). I was born with a congenital heart defect and was not to survive to be an adult, I celebrated my 44th birthday the past December! Yay, me! Why do I mention this, because I would like to ask you, my bloggy friends to participate in National WEAR RED DAY on Friday, February 5th and for you to WEAR RED on this coming Friday and post something RED on your blog that day. Perhaps you could make a list of things that WARM YOUR HEART? In fact, let's do just that!

(borrowered from the American Heart Association's web-site):
There are many types of cardiovascular diseases. About 80 million American adults have
one or more of them. Each year over 864,000 people die from them — that’s about 35 percent of all deaths in the United States!
Every 37 seconds, someone dies from heart and blood vessel diseases, America’s No. 1 killer. Since most of those deaths are from coronary heart disease — about 446,000 each year — it’s important to learn all you can about heart attacks.
Don’t ignore heart problems. It’s a matter of life and death!
A heart attack occurs when the blood flow to a part of the heart is blocked, usually by a blood clot. If this clot cuts off the blood flow completely, the part of the heart muscle supplied by that artery begins to die.

Here are some signs of a heart attack:
• Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest.
It lasts mor
e than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
• Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
• Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
• Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or light-headedness.
If you have any of these signs, don’t wait more than 5 minutes before calling for help.
Call 9-1-1…Get to a hospital right away.

The most startling HEART disease statistic of all, you may not know is that, HEART DISEASE IS THE NUMBER ONE KILLER OF WOMAN IN AMERICA! (more than Breast Cancer). So, please if you get a chance, visit the American Heart Association's web-site and check out the information they offer on taking care of your heart.

Because this is February and Valentine's Day dominates....a holiday devoted to the HEART, I will be posting and wearing RED on Friday every Friday this month, won't you join me and honor those who suffer from heart disease or have been lost to it? Kicking off this Friday, February 5th, I hope you will....join me.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

When it gets quiet, it gets simple.....

January has given my state, California a beating....back off January....we're ready for some peace and quiet, some respite.....some simplicity...........

I've discovered some more simple things I love:

Trading books with my sister....
sharing with her my favorite used book store

new school books and new classes to incite my mind to think

hunkering down in the recent storms and power reading several new books

The sound of the dog dreaming....
with his little legs 'running' in his dream

The sound of the 'shutter' on my camera....
the images, no matter how mundane, my camera captures

Hot tea in a porcelain tea cup....
with a saucer and one lump with some milk

Ramen noodles....
with fresh veggies tossed in at the last minute

Toast with butter.....
and honey

Observing a young couple.....
newly engaged, plan their wedding

Discovering beauty in a fallen tree.....
revelling in the adventure of studying the tree in its prone position

Quietly observing cloud patterns....
as a storm moves itself along and dissipates

Falling asleep.....
after a big day, dreaming about tomorrow!

Go see Christina, for every comment on her simple things post her family will donate a dollar to Haiti....she is such a beautiful SOUL....

Because I blog....therefore, I am?

What constitutes "writing" or rather, what qualifies a person to be a "writer"? I was catching up on my blog reading this morning and read one of my favorite blogs: The Rest Is Still Unwritten, a great blog about a single guy living in N.Y.....and his opinions, romantic adventures, etc. He is very entertaining and always provokes thought....and I started chewing on his post today about being a writer. AS a blogger, am I a writer, or just a misguided romantic who fancies herself the next Jane Austen? No, I do not have a great novel in the can waiting to be discovered, no, I have not been published, or even paid for one word I have ever written, but am I a writer?

I love to write. The very reason I started this blog was to write. I have words written down, stashed away, that could, maybe one day make a novel or several small novellas and even some poetry that would be nice to have bound in some way. So, if that stuff never gets published and I never get paid for it, am I not a writer?

There is a local writer, right here in my neck of the woods, who has self-published and sells her books through the local used book store....according to a reliable source the editing is shite, but otherwise the writing is beautiful, eloquent and that person's opinion. So, this local writer, she's a writer? (I think it is kind of cool to have a "local" author....just sayin').

If I pay to have my blog posts put into a book form, get the local used book store to sell them for me, even if my writing sucks, am I a writer?

Is anyone who opens up a blog and posts, day in and day out, a writer? I know that many of the bloggers I read get paid in some way for their writing, but not necessarily for their blog writing. There are many bloggers who write who should be getting paid for their writing, these two come to mind: Wizard of Otin and WaystationOne, but since they don't, are they NOT writers?

This is the first time in a long time that I've been inspired to write about anything that isn't about my personal drama (for lack of a better term) kind of got me fired up. I am writing for school projects, taking English courses, polishing my technical skills, anxiously awaiting qualification from my instructor, that I, indeed, did write something worth reading and earning a good grade...does that make me a writer?

David references back to another blog post (I'll let you visit him for that link), wherein the writer talks about how blogging is sort of dumbing down real writing...because anyone who has a computer and and Internet hookup can write a blog. And the blogger mentallity is that of self-marketing, the more comments per post, the more followers, the more 'credibility' as a writer? These thoughts have crossed my mind a lot over the last few months, as this post covered. I believe that inspiration had fallen away by that point and I was starting to feel like I wasn't really a writer. Much like the post pointed out, I have just been marketing myself for the acollades and followers, not for the love of the written word.

And, I do love the written word....don't you? Am I a writer? Quite possibly. Am I an Author, as some of David's commentors felt compelled to draw distinction between? Who knows, but does that matter to me? Not right now, but maybe later. Does this inspire me to aspire to greater word play, absolutely! Is David right? You are not a writer unless you are paid for your writing? How about the thought that blogging is dumbing down real writing?

These ideas are getting chewed on elsewhere, but they really struck me this morning and I just had to put some words down to digest it....and wondered about your thoughts, ideas and words.

What do you think?


Monday, January 25, 2010

The LOVE trail......

Well, here's the update.....phlblblblblblblblbphbl(that's a rasberry)! So, I have put myself out there and got nothing, nada, zilch, nil, NO LOVE......

I'm okay with this....I emailed guys, had a couple of back and forths, but no connections. There were two that really caught my interest....I emailed, but received no responses.

On Friday I was sort of disgusted with the whole thing and made a declaration that I was not sending out one more email...but, I went ahead and sent two more....just because I figured what have I got to lose, right?

I started to take this personally, but my roomie joined a match site when I did and she's having the same kind of luck....(if that's what you can call it).

Not one man approached me first....I made all of the effort....where are all of the MEN? And, no, it's not any harder for them than it is for me to make the first move. I am, at heart, an old fashioned girl and I was just thinking, maybe there was a gentleman cowboy out there, looking for me, too.

Anyway, that's the LOVE and the memberships run out at the end of the month and I'm done.....


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Seriously coveting the MACRO lens.....

I've been meaning to photograph my jewelry so I can list it on ETSY for months....not entirely happy with photos I've been getting, WISHING very much I had a macro lens...I finally gave in and just did some serious editing! I listed new items on ETSY today, please stop by and browse: Cowgirl at Heart


Friday, January 15, 2010

How young is too young?

So what better way to deal with my lack of a mate than to help my MUCH younger brother(he's just turned 18)plan his wedding? yeah, that's what I said, "Seriously?"

There's been some uproar and some happiness and some concern and some "well, they're going to do it whether you support them or not, so you better get on board".

The situation is this; my young brother from another mother has had a hard time of it growing up mostly in his mother's house and last year when he was approaching his 18th birthday started making some very 'adult' decisions about his life, and signed up with the Marine Corps.....he departs for basic training on January 25th. Apparently he started smoking, too, because you can start smoking when you're 18, right? I guess he didn't get the memo about how you can obtain cigarettes from other people before you're 18 and smoke whenever you want, basically. (this cracked me up when my dad told me this....Bubba figured since he'd followed all of the rules the whole time he was growing up and was kind of a nerd it was high time he tried something 'manly' like smoking).

And, now, since he will be leaving and wants his young lady to accompany him, they are going to get married when he returns from basic training, May 1st. (the young lass is not quite 18 herself and does not turn 18 until after Bubba is gone and she will be a married woman before she even graduates from high school in June).

I'm not unhappy for him and his young lady, but am concerned they are too young. Given the circumstances they are starting their married life under, base housing in another state away from family and friends. Now, there have been many couples starting out under these circumstances and they have grandparents for one and the young lady's parents and grandparents, evidently....

So, I'm wondering, in this day and age, how young is too young? Are the young people today too young to marry at 18? In the age when instant gratification is the mantra of our kids? When divorce is just an app on your iPhone? (jk). Do they have what it takes to make a marriage work? Or will they grow out of their marriage sooner rather than later and go their separate ways? Is this generation built the way our grandparents and even some people's parents were, believing in the commitment and the vows they take?

I believe Bubba loves his girl, maybe beyond reason, but I don't think he's thought through what it really means to be married. I think he doesn't want to leave his girlfriend behind and that marrying her is a means to an end. Seriously, neither of them has ever lived on their own, in fact, neither one of them currently has a job, nor has either one of them has ever had to pay their own auto insurance, much less an electric bill or a phone bill, cell or otherwise.

Maybe, the best way to get married and begin your married life is to do it just as you've entered in to the military, and are young and without experience, because the military is going to take care of you and your new spouse and you can both learn together how to navigate life and all of it's inconveniences, like when they turn the power off because one of you forgot or didn't have the money to pay the electric bill? Now that I think of it, this might just be brilliant, accept for the fact that they will be all the way across the country from any of their friends or family for support....that could also be brilliant, too...if they have no support system they will have to learn to rely on each other, right? Maybe, Bubba is smarter than I thought?

My dad is having a hard time with this, he vehemently believes this is a mistake that may greatly inhibit Bubba's ability to concentrate on being a Marine, which is a scary thought because being able to focus keeps a Marine alive, right? And, really, Bubba and his Lass really are very immature and quite impulsive, they've only been daitng since early summer....

How young is too young? I'm pretty sure you are never too OLD to get married, but how young is too young, (being of legal age, of course)?


Monday, January 11, 2010

How do you spell LOVE?

Officially, I have joined two dating sites. In doing so, I've spent a lot of time cruising through my 'matches' Worse than that, I've had to write a profile for myself.....and on eHarmony they make you take a test.....seriously, a personality test so they can match you with someone who will want to date you. Seriously. I'm starting to think no one will want to date fact, I've not had any action.....just a few look sees. I'm not ugly, I am 'curvy' (because I refuse to call myself "a few extra pounds") and I'm funny, witty, smart and loyal....kind of like my dog....I'm even sort of short, like my dog....he's a daucshund. That aside, it is gruesome out there.

I've been told I'm too picky....but this is my life, don't I get to be a little picky? At one point I convinced myself to just send an email to everyone I've been matched to, but felt this really scary, tight feeling in my chest when I started to do it. In real life, not on eHarmony, I'm not so into looks, money or status, in fact I usually fall for the guy with the best sense of humor, who is happy to be fishing every day for the rest of his life (not that there is anything wrong with that) and who likes his dog better than most of his family.....but clearly that hasn't worked for me either, as I am alone.

I find that I'm eliminating guys based on mispelled words...not typos, mispelled words.....and guys who consider reading a car & driver magazine 'reading'.

Oh, and my favorite, the guy who posted a picture of himself, STILL WEARING HIS WEDDING RING.....he was NOT a widower.

And, people who don't put a picture some ways I think it's a good tactic, "if you like what you read and your focus isn't on my looks than you are worthy"....but if I'm on the same dating service as you and I contact you for a photo, bet your sweet ass you're going to look at my photo (because I put one up) before you contact me back, right? Crappy double standard.

I also find myself eliminating the guys whose preferences lean toward "athletic/toned" and "slender", because, let's be serious, like that guy's going to want me....I DON'T DO EXERCISE....I do activities, biking (when I can get motivated), dancing, walking through the park/forest/city/acreage/ocean, working in the garden, but NOT exercising....'less of course you call cooking some kind of exercise.

I also find that I'm eliminating the guys who work in the field I used to work in....I'm out of that crap, not going back in, even vicariously. Not that there is anything wrong with that industry......hunh.

I'm only doing this for a month.....that's it...then I'm cancelling the memberships and bagging it....this gives me plenty of time to find a date for Valentine's day, right?

I found a match this morning that actually appealed to me on MANY levels and I have to share with you what the hooks were.....he's a little younger than me, so he might not be interested (just four years), but I sent an email telling him what 'got me'.... Not only did he give attention to my insecurities about MY weight, he mentioned he was almost at his goal weight and wanted soemone who was in that same place (I liked this because I'm almost always 'near' my goal weight) and he said he is looking for "someone who turns on the light, instead of cursing the dark" and I liked that....(I know sometimes I come off as dark and sour, but really, I am always searching for a way to turn on the light). And, touching me in the heart he says, "I still believe in forever love. It might be a triumph of hope over experience, but I still believe." This, I LOVED..... (he had me at hello).

Stay tuned....more to come....


Thursday, January 7, 2010

First Quarter in review

(this picture is not enlarging the way I would have it....damn blogger)

I took the last final for this quarter today! Yipppppeeeeee! Scored A's in all three of my classes, yeeeee haaawwwww! (Not that it was difficult, I think I picked the bonehead college to go to, but that's another post). So, I am off for a week and a half...classes begin again after MLK day. I'm not really feeling the ol' "yay, it's vacation time" because we just got back to school from the holiday break, but Oh, well, I think I'll get some heavy reading done while on break.

I got my classes for next quarter all sorted out on Monday. I feel like I'll actually be taking some classes that will be a challenge, I feel like I coasted through the first quarter, but not ANYMORE..... I have some meat to sink my teeth into this time....(I hope this doesn't bite me in the arse).... Anatomy/Physiology, Medical Terminology, English Composition and Research, Psychology and computer programs.

I'm really looking forward to this quarter, for some reason I just have this need to 'hunker down' and get moving. Maybe it's the weather, kind of like if I have to hibernate I would like to be doing something productive, eh?

As for the "LOVE" front....still contemplating....thanks to those who've dropped by and given an encouraging word.



Sunday, January 3, 2010

where does one find love these days?

We have been busy at my house cleaning up Christmas....and getting ready for the beginning of a new year. All of the Christmas stuff is packed and back in storage for safekeeping, the house has been spit shined and the furniture restored to its original positions. The mistress of the house and her roomie have begun contemplating what lies in store for our futures. I go back to school tomorrow for finals.....eek! I'm sure I'll do fine, not to worry I've been studying, seriously, I swear......

Some of you might recall my melancholy over the holidays regarding my singleness....not to worry, I'm still single....but, I've been pondering that a lot over the last few weeks and I'm considering my options.

In November of 2008 my young cousin got married, I flew to Georgia to be there for her joyous day and joyous it was. The bride and groom are very young, raised very Christian, the bride's daddy is a minister and the groom is a youth counselor, the wedding was beautiful and their vows very touching.....I was completely caught up in all of the splendor of it and even convinced myself that I was ready for young cousin, bless her heart really got to me, too, at some point in the hoopla of the celebration we shared an intimate moment and she said to me, "Shey, you deserve love, too, and I know one day you will find it, I'm going to pray for you." And, that sent me over the edge......

When I returned from that trip I continued to feel caught up in the reverie of their love and decided I was going to go out and find LOVE, come hell or high water. Coincidently, throughout the area that I lived in (a very open, country type area, out in the sticks) there were signs tacked up on just about every telephone pole, backside of fences, street sign posts, etc. that advertised for a dating service, literally trying to recruit people from my little neck of the woods. I tried to ignore it, but decided maybe I could just check into it. Long story short, much to my embarrassment, I am still paying $100 a month to belong to a dating service I have not scored one date from......please, laugh along with me because that is all I can do....laugh....(I'm, $100 a month is a lot of money), I signed an 18 month payment plan contract....(I was unemployed at the time, but the girl 'pulled some strings to get me signed up'). The services they offer aside, it was a rookie move brought on by not wanting to spend another Christmas alone.....(I'm making efforts to get out of the contract, but I don't think I can)

Why am I confessing this mess? Well, because despite my embarrassment about my method, I am undaunted in wanting to find love. I'm putting this out to you does one go about finding love in this day and age?

Roomie and I have been chatting about this over the New Year holiday weekend....through the massive advertising campaign that eHarmoney and put on we've discovered that you can 'communicate with your matches for free' over the New Year weekend....through Sunday night.....we've both contemplated these options and have been having lively, laugh outloud discussions about how one goes about meeting new possible romantic partners. We believe, gone is the day when you get all gussied up and head out to a bar and rustle up, or rather hustle up and new romantic conquest....besides, we're too old for that....seriously, I'm pretty sure I'd break something if I had to go out and shake my groove thang in order to get some guy's attention...especially since I'd be competing against 20 something PYTs.....

What is a finely tuned, wise, smart, funny, witty, mellowed, broad to do? Roomie and I are considering the online options, as they seem to be the way to go, but is it true? Do those services really work? I know the local one I am paying for doesn't.... Does anyone out there know of soemone who found their one true love online? Please share, eh? Help a girl out.......

I'm very seriously considering eHarmony and then telling my stories here on the ol' blog.....but, I'm scared shitless.....maybe I should set myself a goal to have a fabulous date for Valentine's day.....are you all along for the ride?