Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swine Flu! Panic in the Streets!!!!!!!!!



This is just one nurse’s opinion.

Yes, concern is warranted.

By all means, practice good health hygiene. Wash your hands frequently with soap and running water. Always cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, using the crook of your arm, not you hands. Wash down contaminated surfaces with a good disinfectant. Eat a balanced diet, with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Stop smoking because it irritates the linings of your nose and lungs, making it easier for bacteria and/ or viruses to take hold. Get regular exercise, and plenty of rest to keep your immune system strong. Avoid anyone that is exhibiting flu-like symptoms.

If flu symptoms develop, seek medical attention. Stay home, otherwise. Rest, increase fluids and continue to eat healthy.

But, do not panic!!!

OK, true, there is no immunization for this flu. But, how many people skip their flu shot every year for the other kinds of flu, which are also deadly? Way too many, and people do die every year.

What about closing the schools as they have done in Dallas/Fort Worth? Well, maybe that will help, but only if they also close all the fast food restaurants, shopping malls, movie theaters, skating rinks and other “kid” hangouts.

I’m afraid this may end up being this year’s MRSA, Bird Flu or SARS, which have been sensationalized in years past. If we sound the alarm and scream “The sky is falling!” too often, people will become too complacent, like so may have about the regular annual influenza.

Panic is not needed. What good does panic do anyway? Calm calculation keeps us much safer than panic. Let’s trade sensationalism for a little common sense.

(And keep washing your hands. It won't hurt anything!)


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

My High School Meme


I didn't have anything profound to write about today but I decided to do a meme I hadn't seen before, found on Brighton the Corner Where you Are. It looked like fun, and it was! :)

1. Did you date someone from your high school? Yes.

2. Did you marry someone from your high school? No, but I am now married to somebody I dated when I was in high school who was once married to someone from my high school!

3. Did you car pool to school? No, I walked about a mile, or caught a ride with my dad who left for work about the same time.

4. What kind of car did you have? I didn't have my own car until after high school. I drove my parents car sometimes, a brown 1970 Mercury Monterey.

5. What kind of car do you have now? A silver Jeep Grand Cherokee, plus we have a Ford Edge. Love 'em both.

6. On a Friday Night...what do you do now? Square dance.

7. On a Friday Night...where were you then? On a date or babysitting.

8. What kind of job did you have in high school? Car hop at A and W.

9. What kind of job do you do now? After 17 years working at a hospital, I became a school nurse and haven't looked back.

10. Were you a party animal? Not in high school, but I learned to be one after graduation!

11. Where you considered a flirt? No, I was always very shy. (Still am.)

12. Were you in band, orchestra or choir? Yes. My best friend and I were the first two girls ever on our high school drum line. I also was in choir, and did a European concert tour with a select choir during my junior year.

13. Were you a nerd? I wasn't a brain, if that's what you mean. I graduated smack in the middle of my class.

14. Did you ever get suspended from school? Never.

15. Can you sing the fight song? Of course. "Go Spartans on to glory, conquer the foe! We'll triumph over rivals, and onward we will go (Fight! Fight! Fight!) Go, Spartans raise that score, for champions we will be. Fight with Might for Double Blue and White! Onward to victory!"

16. Who was your favorite teacher? Mr. Croll, English

17. Where did you sit during lunch? In the main cafeteria except when my friends and I would go AWOL and walk to my house for lunch.

18. What was your school's full name? Adlai E. Stevenson High School

19. Where did you party the most? Like I said, I didn't until after high school. Then we all hung out at Arthur's place, because he was the first one to get his own pad!

20. What was your school's mascot? Spartans, like Michigan State, but we had different colors.

21. Would you do it again? Not a chance. However, I would make some very different decisions about my time immediately following graduation... for instance, I would go straight to college.

22. Did you have fun at the Prom? I wrote about that last year. You can read about it here, and here is a photo from my prom:

23. Do you still talk to the person you went to the Prom with? I wish I could, but he died in 2002. He and I were always good friends.

24. Are you planning on going to your next reunion? Not sure. I went to my 30th, but most of my friends were not there. I graduated with a class of over 600, so I felt rather alone in a crowded room. Arthur and Kathy were there with me, but I see them all the time anyway! :)

25. Do you still talk to people from high school? My best friend then is still my best friend and lives in the same city I do, plus I exchange emails and/or Christmas cards with a few.

26. What were your school colors? Double Blue and White.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Big Business together with Big Government means Big Trouble


I know, I know... here I go again on another auto company rant! For the most part, I am not big into politics, but a large part of my heart and my roots remain in Detroit. My grandfathers fought (and sometimes starved) for auto workers to have a safe work environment and a living wage. Despite their battles with the companies in the old days, my family has always been proud of the American auto industry, and I remain so today.

Rumor has it that Chrysler is ready to file bankruptcy this week, and General Motors Corporation may be right on it's heels. I am rapidly becoming resigned to this sad state of affairs. Awhile back, I posted my reasons for wanting the big three auto makers to receive help in the form of a government loan. The key word being LOAN not bailout: (My unpaid editorial) When I wrote that entry, though, I was asking the government to help those companies, not take them over!

I don't know why the loans to the auto companies continue to be called "bailouts," like they are the same as what the banks received. Unlike the loans that the leaders of the auto companies had to crawl on their bellies for, the banks' TARP bailouts have no stipulation to repay. I also don't understand how the government was able to fire the CEO of General Motors because GM accepted a loan. That seems like my mortgage company telling me I have to divorce my husband for not managing our finances better, since I needed to borrow money from them!

I am no financial wizard, by any means. But I think my simple little pea brain has figured out why there is an apparent bipartisan effort to force GM and Chrysler to declare bankruptcy.

Elementary politics:

Democrats= "Big Government."

Republicans= "Big Business."

One group wants to control the companies. The other group doesn't like the unions.

Granted, mismanagement helped get the companies into this mess. However, the sick companies will end up dying because "Big Government" thinks it knows best how to run auto companies.

"Throw the bums out! Bring in bums that know nothing about the auto industry! That should help the companies make a fast turn around!"

Next, the companies will be finished off by "Big Business," in order to destroy the unions.

"Oh those GREEDY hourly union workers! It's all their fault the company is in the hole! Let the companies go bankrupt so we can get rid of the unions!" (The salary figures floating around are so inflated it's sickening, but people are going to believe what they want.)

At any rate, between Big Government and Big Business, GM and Chrysler don't have much of a chance. But, thank goodness, this country will not be totally dependent on foreign auto companies... yet.

Since they didn't accept a government loan, there will soon be a new American "Big Three."

Ford,

Lincoln,

and Mercury.

Please, managers of these three , stay far away from any government assistance!




Friday, April 24, 2009

Film Clip Friday: Twins


This is a clip from one of Arthur's old videos. My recent post about the Boston Marathon, and his twin sons Matt and Greg gave me the idea for this weeks entry.

This was about 25 years ago at Uncle Lorin's wedding. Matt and Greg were supposed to roll out the aisle runner with the help of Arthur and Allen, but it didn't quite work out. (Gregory, who will be married in June, is the little one who had the meltdown.)


video




Tuesday, April 21, 2009

If you think I'm crazy, you need to meet my brother!




I have only one sibling, my brother Doug. He is quite the character, extremely smart, (mensa smart) and a very talented musician and instructor. Doug and his wife Marilyn will be celebrating their 15th wedding anniversary next week, so he has been on my mind recently.

Doug wrote this introduction a couple of years ago for our family website. It still makes me laugh because I guess he and I both inherited our dad's warped sense of humor! After I post this, I will probably drive away any sane people who read here. LOL!

Anyway, take it away Doug!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Contrary to popular rumor, I was born at a very early age (legend has it that this event occurred 12 years and 2 months after the Area 51 sighting. Coincidence? You decide). Having nothing better to do at the time, I grew larger and heavier. This freaked out my parents and sister so much, they moved from Detroit to Livonia, Michigan in 1964. Unfortunately for them, I followed them over there.

They placed me in a room, painted it yellow, and told me never to climb out the window or stick my fingers in the electrical outlets. I often obeyed them. When the 1970s came around, my frizzy, singed hair blended in perfectly with the hairstyles of the time.

I eventually escaped the house, and went to Central Michigan University, and then Eastern Michigan University, where I majored in Goofing Off. Well, I guess I didn’t do such a great job at it, because I graduated from EMU on the Dean’s List. During that time, I flew to Europe (well, actually I was a passenger on a plane), for a concert tour. Europe is still recovering.

Next, I went to Wayne State University for graduate school. A lot of people I talk to complain they can never find the state of Wayne on a map. During this time, I appeared in a number of musical shows, including a production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s "Iolanthe." One day, I was putting up posters for that show, and I got really lost—in fact, I ended up on the campus of Marygrove College, where I bumped into this really cute girl named Marilyn. She was 28 at the time, but she looked more like 22. I asked her to give me directions, and then I asked her if she would marry me. She said, “What are you talking about?”

It took about three years for us to convince ourselves that we could actually survive the marriage thing, and decided to get all dressed up and stuff and have a party. Oh, and there was a ceremony, too. And, within 3 days after that (April 30, 1994), I grabbed my Master’s of Music diploma from Wayne State, grabbed Marilyn, and we ran off to Oklahoma City. Stephanie, who had been living in the city for 12 years already, looked surprised to see us on her doorstep. I always wondered why her shutters were closed and locked for many months after that. Steph—was that Andy’s idea?

And then 3 years almost to the day of our wedding (May 1, 1997), Marilyn & I stopped by Integris Hospital, you know—just to look around and stuff. Well, darned if some baby didn’t show up all of a sudden! Hey, I thought it was way cool…I ran up and down the halls pushing the baby in that plastic cart, setting off alarm bells all over the hospital. It took a while to decide upon a name for the child…we once considered “Zorch,” “Titan,” “Archipelago,” “Kwashiorkor,” and “Sporiferous,” but we settled on “Victoria.”

In spite of us, Victoria is a beautiful, intelligent child. Marilyn—what went wrong??

And, after several glorious years of apartment dwelling (complete with nosy neighbors and shoddy maintenance), we now have our own little house in The Village! I now have my own little corner of the place to work on my composing and stuff…and that I do between running to choir rehearsals, services, and concerts, and running to my music students’ lessons (piano, voice, and sometimes music theory and composition). And if I’m lucky to have a little bit of free time, I join in with a Tai Chi club.

And Marilyn STILL doesn’t look as old as she is!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




Doug, always keep that humor, it is your hallmark. And, a very happy anniversary to you and Marilyn!!

Love,
Steph

Sunday, April 19, 2009

See Matthew. See Matthew Run!!



Arthur is a twin who fathered twin sons, and 2009 is a big year for both of those guys. Matt has been preparing to run in the Boston Marathon and his twin brother Gregory is getting married in June, (which I suppose could be considered a marathon in itself!) Ha ha!

I have always been a big fan of Arthur's kids even when they were little. They were among the nicest, most talented kids I have ever known. I still remember how sweet they were with Shelby when she was a baby.

Tomorrow (Monday, April 20, 2009) is Matthew's big day. The marathon is scheduled to begin 9:30 AM Eastern time (or a nice early 8:30 AM here in Oklahoma.) If you are interested in watching the marathon live, you can click here to watch it on the Universal Sports website. If you are very, very interested in the results, Matt's bib number is 3898. We expect him to finish at very least in the top 2000, which may not sound good to the uninformed, but is excellent if you consider there are more than 20,000 contestants in the race.

Anyway, I'm sending up a prayer for Matt to do well in tomorrow's race. The rest is up to him! :)

Run, Matthew, run!!!


Friday, April 17, 2009

Film Clip Friday: Yes, I was a Soccer Mom


Now to go back in time again. It's hard to believe the little soccer player in this clip is now the handsome young man in my previous post. That's my John!





It's also difficult for me to remember why I would get so excited about a group of 5 year olds on a soccer field! :)


Thursday, April 16, 2009

John's Church Performance


Shelby usually plays the timpani for our major church services, but this year she had a conflict on Holy Thursday. This gave John his big break. :) Uncle Terry was kind enough to take these photos and share them with us. Isn't John handsome?? (Proud mother, I am!)








Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter 2009



He is risen! Alleluia! Happy Easter!




As usual, the whole gang gathered at our house for a traditional Polish feast. It wouldn't seem like Easter without it!


After dinner, one of our family traditions is playing "Crack the Egg" with the hard-boiled Easter eggs. The object of this game is to quickly tap your opponent's egg with yours to crack their shell. The last person with an unbroken egg is the winner! :-) When the game is over, I collect up the remains to make deviled eggs. Yum!











...this year's winner is Terry! Ta DA!



Anyway, a good time was had by all of us. I hope you all had a great Easter!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Dog Walk for MDA


We had so much fun visiting with Gregory and Elizabeth! But now we are back to the old grind. Sigh.

Anyway, here is this week's Friday Film clip. I haven't had much time to consider which one to post this week, so I just picked one of my favorites. This is a clip from a newscast shot in 1988, featuring a dog walk to raise funds for Jerry's Kids. Andy and Sheba the Wonder Dog make a brief appearance in this one.




Monday, April 6, 2009

My Redbud Runners

We have had a busy weekend. For one thing, Shelby and John ran their first official race. Arthur's son Gregory and his fiance Elizabeth visited this weekend, and they are avid runners, so they all decided to run in the Redbud Classic. From left toright: Alex, Shelby, John, Greg and Elizabeth. Greg is the twin brother of Matthew who, if you remember this post, is due to run the Boston Marathon in a couple of weeks.

We won't know the race results for a few days, but it doesn't really matter. It was just so great that they did it! :) Next year, perhaps Arthur and I will run. (LOL, yeah, right!)

Friday, April 3, 2009

A 30 second film clip of Shelby the Caveman


This is a part of a class project that Shelby did for US History. The assignment was to come up with a creative way of selling stock for a chosen one of the 13 original colonies. Shelby's colony was Massachusetts, and her method of selling stock was a shameless rip-off of the Geico Caveman! :)


video


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Letting go, but keeping the love with me



It is less than two months until Shelby's high school graduation and about four months until she leaves home. Lately, she has been restless and impatient with all of us. Understandably, with adulthood looming closely on the horizon, she is ready to shed the restrictions and trappings of childhood.

Little by little, I have been letting her stretch her limits, as long as she follows curfew and house rules. Although a bit challenging to me, her current attitude shows that I am a successful parent. Likewise, my sadness at the thought of her leaving shows that being a successful parent can be a painful thing.

Today the pain came into sharp focus for me. It is time for spring cleaning, and the weather warmed up enough for us to work on the garage. We were sorting through bins, separating things into "keep" and "garage sale" piles. One bin held Shelby's huge collection of stuffed animals, and we both realize that she is not going to need a bunch of plush toys at college. So, one by one we went through them.

"I guess I will keep this pretty beanie baby."

"How about the dog and the ladybug?"

"Nah, they can go."

"And the brown teddy bear?"

"I don't even know where I got him, so I guess he can go."

Then I spied Lamb Chop.

"How about your Lamb Chop?"

Without a thought, she waved her hand, and said "Eh, give it away."

I was already feeling emotional because of all the memories in the bin, and the nonchalant way Shelby discarded her old friend pushed me over the edge. I had been certain that her reply would be something to the effect that she couldn't possibly part with that lamb. Shelby thought I was crying because she was all grown up. I didn't tell her that I was crying over a stupid Lamb Chop doll, and hearing far in the distance a little voice from another time:


~"Momma, where's my Lamb Chop? I want her. She's my Lamb Chop, and I love her..."~


Shelby noticed my tears and gave me a big hug.

"Oh Momma, don't cry."

Her eyes also brimmed with tears.

"Look, I'm always going to be shorter than you. That should make you feel better!"

I looked down at my petite, beautiful, grown up daughter's face, and we both laughed through our tears. Then Alex drove up and the moment was lost. It was time for them to leave for their youth group meeting.

I watched them drive away, and when I turned back to the bin sorting, noticed Lamb Chop still laying on top of the give-away pile. On impulse, I picked her up and held her close, and carried her into the house.

I'm going to put her away in a safe place, and keep her for a special occasion. Someday, in another time far from now, I will give Lamb Chop to Shelby's firstborn. When that day comes, I will say, "Many years ago, when your Momma was a little girl, this was her Lamb Chop, and she loved her..."

~~~