A Friday Moment: Hoodies Up For #JusticeForTrayvon

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A Friday ritual. A single photo — no words — capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

 

 

 

“This Moment” is a ritual found on Life inspired by the Wee Man adopted from SouleMama which was introduced to others by Sarah-Jane, of Almost There.

I was asked to participate in this by Anna Sides, of The Other Side of Anna and the other great blogging members of the Facebook group Blogplicity.

If you find yourself touched by a moment and would like to participate, post your picture on a Friday and leave your link in the comments section.

HOODIES UP FOR TRAYVON MARTIN

Click on the image to sign the petition #justicefortrayvon, "Prosecute the killer of our son, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin" Copyrighted Image-InJensMind

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Comparison: The Thief of Joy? (Blog Hop)

Welcome to the Blog Hop Comparison: Thief of Joy? where bloggers from all over the world are invited to share their ideas about Theodore Roosvelt’s quote:

Comparison is the thief of joy.

Do you agree of disagree with Teddy’s POV? Please share your unique perspective.

There are 3 easy steps to join the Blog Hop:

1. Follow the instructions for submitting your entry using the Linky provided below – remember to copy and paste the link to your specific ‘comparison’ post, not just your blog, into the Linky.

2. Copy and paste the following announcement (with links) into the intro to your blog post:
Linking in to the Comparison Blog Hop on Dangerous Linda and Everyday Gyaan.

3. Be sure to read and comment on other bloggers’ posts in the hop. It’s a great way to get to know each other and expand our cyber-community of awesome writers and thinkers.

I already wrote a bit about comparison before if you'd like to check it out.

When Corinne asked me to “Hop On” this blog hop I was in no position to do such. I was faced with a quandary, I had no internet. Even though I was completely content to be net-free (partially because I wasn’t without internet completely due to my smartphone) I was slightly bummed to not be able to participate in this hop. You may ask me what is so special about this hop… well, hopping is great exercise for one and two, you have a question where there is several ways for you to answer it and there’s no right or wrong way to do so. I, for one, enjoy conversing with my peers… even if we don’t always agree.

I made it my mission to find a way to get internet service on, so that I could read all the somebunnies that hopped onto this great conversation. (Don’t act like you didn’t know that was coming.) I read each one as my mind reeled with the words of many different bloggers. I asked myself over and over if I agreed or disagreed with what they were saying. Then, because I am one of those people who are just plain out there, I found myself coming up with a whole ‘nother way to look at this. And because you know me you know not only will I not disappoint but, it will be long-winded. *Pops my shirt collar*

The first thought running through my head was to pick a few quotes from good ol Teddy Roosevelt to show you how the man was not such a great person to be quoting. Although he meant well, he was (In my opinion. Like there is any other kind on my blog.) arrogant, hypocritical, and a wee bit of a nutcase. (Then again aren’t we all?) No, I didn’t read up on his life and no I don’t remember crap from history class in school. I found out through my life that the last place you should learn about history is in a classroom. Yes, I know I am being judgmental here and yes, I realize I am talking about a former president. (Don’t act like none of you talk shit about any of our President’s… May I remind you, Bush… And some of you with Obama.) Anyway, I spent over an hour reading quotes by Theodore Roosevelt and the weirdest thing about it was how full of himself he was… (not unlike me and my previous egotistical remarks.)

For instance,

I am only an average man but, by George, I work harder at it than the average man.-Theodore Roosevelt

If I am not mistaken not only is he telling you how great he thinks he is but, he is comparing himself with others. Hmm, that’s weird. Didn’t he say “Comparison is the thief of joy”? I wonder if he was joyless when he said that. I also wonder if he made a habit of insulting other people by saying he was better than them. (Unlike my saintly self just did while judging him. *wink*)

Another thing I noticed about our wonderful former president is that he also thought violence was the answer.

For instance,

 Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.-Theodore Roosevelt

Does this mean that if what we are saying isn’t met with understanding and total acceptance, we should beat someone over the head? Am I reading this wrong? Someone help me out here please because that quote in particular scares me. My whole life I have been taught violence isn’t the answer. (even though my childhood was very violent) I can’t take a man seriously who believes in scaring someone with the size of his tool. (Take that any way you like it.)

There are many other things Theodore Roosevelt said that bother me too. But, those are discussions for another time otherwise I am going to take up much more of your time than you or I intended.

Now back to the quote at hand. “Comparison is the thief of joy” written by… hold up, wait, what… How come when I searched Theodore Roosevelt’s quotes on Brainy Quote I didn’t see this quote? Isn’t this one of his most popular quotes? Let me check. *Runs Google search* Wait, WHAT?!?! Who is Dwight Edwards and why is he also getting credit on some sites for this exact same quote? So who said it? Your guess is as good as mine. I am inclined to think that chances are this quote was from someone else who clearly wasn’t popular enough to be acknowledged as the owner. Sound familiar? As a writer, poet, blogger it should sound familiar to you. This brings me to part two of how I was going to handle this blog hop. By sharing with you all the ever so popular meme of Abraham Lincoln…

The problem with internet quotes is that you can’t always depend on their accuracy.-Abraham Lincoln 1864

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Isn’t that hysterical? That is one of my favorite “quotes” of all time. Haha. You see I made up my mind a long time ago to not go around and post quote after quote after quote on my social networks. I also don’t go around quoting people in my offline conversations either. I have on several occasions been quoted though. I have no problem with quoting “famous” people or even us “not even close to famous” people. I have a problem with it if that’s all you bring to a conversation though. I am anti-sheeple. I love uniqueness, open-mindedness, and people who speak about what they feel not what they are told they should feel or say. Sounds kind of like me, huh… I like to see what a person really thinks, their reactions, and their intelligence. But, most of all I like to get to know someone through their personal experiences and knowledge. I want to know how you live life and when faced with hardships how do you handle it.

Now of course I have been entertaining (per usual) and a rambler (also per usual) and still I haven’t given my answer about the question, “Comparison is the thief of joy?” My answer is NO, comparison is not a joy thief. It’s normal, natural, and every one does it whether they say they do or not. No matter how you feel about comparison, I tell you this… it’s perfectly fine to compare things, places, people, etc… The question my friends is not if it’s ok to compare, it’s are you comparing the right way? Are you comparing yourself to your surroundings to make you feel bad or to help you move into a more well-balanced state of being and self worth?

All of our relationships in life are based off of comparison. Whether we are dating or looking for friends, we all start with comparing our “likes” and “dislikes.” We compare every aspect of our life and we connect on a deeper level with those who have several likenesses to us. Opposites may attract but, being alike keeps us together. Now I don’t mean that we all should only like people that are similar to us, (God knows that would be insanely boring. Might as well carry on a relationship with yourself than you are always right no matter what.) I am saying that we CONNECT DEEPER with those who are more like us. We know where they are coming from, we understand them…there is an unspoken intimacy because of it.

I grew up in a home that compared me to everyone else, in a very negative way. And I do mean EVERYONE and VERY NEGATIVELY! My mom…”the whore/bitch”, my father… “the controlling leader of hell”, my sister… “the skinny one” “the pretty one” “the girly one” “why can’t you be an angel like your sister one”, my peers… “the athletes” “the sluts” “the skinny, pretty, blondes” “the dudes”  “the intelligent”…on and on and on. Even to this day my life is one huge comparison to this person and that person. I even compare myself to others at times but, again I say, there is nothing wrong with it. Because at the end of the day you have to know who you are and be secure with whomever you are. Let me share one more quote from someone who’s name was Roosevelt…

Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.-Eleanor Roosevelt

If you compare yourself with someone and you feel bad about it afterwards,whose fault is that? Why would you continue to do something that makes you feel bad? Like I said there is a right way to compare and a wrong way to compare. For instance: I look at a magazine and see a blonde-haired woman wearing a dress. I have a few choices here… I can look at the magazine and instantly start beating myself up while comparing our differences or I can look for similarities. I can see that she is blonde and I am a brunette, so what are my choices… I can bleach my hair or I can be content with what I was born with. I can observe her dress and immediately hate my big chest because I will never be able to wear that kind of dress or I can find another dress that is made for my shape and be happy and beautiful the way I am. You see there is a negative way and a positive way. Some people take comparison too far by being nasty about it. Calling someone names is not how you should be living. So if you are comparing yourself to someone else and making them or yourself feel bad, knock it off! We, as a people, should be secure enough with who we are to want to uplift others. If you are dragging others down you are ultimately dragging yourself down with them. Grab a bucket youngster, the Titanic is sinking and there aren’t enough rowboats for everyone.

Despite the fact that I grew up and still have daily contact with people who compare me to others (negatively and/or positively), I have always stood up for who I am and what I believe in. Now, I’m not saying I’m right all the time but, I am 100% ME all the time! So go ahead and compare yourself to whomever you please, just remember to do it to help you become a better person, not a nasty one.

V is for Valentine’s Day and Valerian Root

Copyrighted- InJensMind

February 14th, the universal day of love. HA! The day when all the people who are in a relationship expect to be loved more than they have already been all year-long. The day when single people curse the couples for having a love day and often times, curse the people in a relationship for being in a relationship.

It’s a day of pure commercialism, stupidity, and anger. It’s a day that causes people to go to bed angry after fighting with their significant other because they didn’t get the biggest and best gift that even Donald Trump couldn’t afford to give. By the way, Donald Trump is a rich guy and sure looks like a sourpuss, therefore I conclude that money cannot, does not, and never will buy happiness. LOL (Lighten up people, you know my sense of humor by now.)

I have to admit; I too, have occasionally fallen into the trap of Valentine’s Day. I am a romantic and I am sort of an old school kind of gal. I like to be wooed and I enjoy immensely, reading words of adoration from my sweet, even if his English is less than clear. Full boxes of innumerable cards adorn my room from days of yore. (Say that 3 times fast.)

On top of my obvious romantic nature, I am also a pack rat… a weepy-eyed, sentimental, clinger to all things given in the name of love… pack rat. In the 17 years I’ve been with my husband, I have never thrown away a single card. Not a birthday, anniversary, Valentine’s Day, sympathy, congratulations, etc… card from him or to him. I have never thrown away a single card or letter from anyone I have ever known in these last 18-19 years of my life. I also have the occasional never been mailed card or letter. Like for instance, I bought a get well card for my grandmother and before I could send it we moved to Chicago and that weekend we visited her and a few days later she passed away. The card brings tears to my eyes every time I come across it. I am such an emotional sap aren’t I…

When my husband and I were freshly engaged in 1994, he chose the day of lovers to be our wedding day. Not our first Valentine’s Day as a couple in 1995 but, the one afterwards in 1996. Of course, I said yes. Who could say no to a man who wants to make you his bride for life on the most passionate day of the year? My mother warned against it. She told me of the doom and gloom and the death of all things happy and sunshiney if I were to get married on that day. She wished I would reconsider before we got married and ended up divorcing, consequently ruining the day for me forever in the future. Why? Because she had married my father on that day and look what happened to their love. Honestly, who could argue with that? But, did I listen? Hell no I didn’t. Why on Earth would I listen to my mother when I was a grown ass 19-year-old?!

A week or two before Valentine’s Day of 1996 was upon us, I dug in the local phone book and started calling chapels to get married in. I don’t know what possessed me to do that or to think that money was of no object. I was the mother of a 3 month old daughter, my husband was barely working, and we lived with my mother, my brother, and my great-uncle. We were pulling our weight of course with bills but, still. We were a young couple with no bank account or vehicle, needless to say we were broke. But, there I was 20 years old fully expecting the fairytale wedding I had been promised. (click on fairytale to read more about my fairytale love) I finally found a chapel in Las Vegas that wasn’t completely booked and expecting thousands of dollars and I yelled out, “SOLD!!!” I didn’t ask my husband. I didn’t consult anyone in my family, just booked it and awaited the glorious day.

St. Valentine’s Day; February 14th, 1996: I got up bright and early with my husband who was getting ready for work. “AHEM. Do you know what today is?” I asked beaming from ear to ear. “No.” he replied. “No? Umm, well…it’s Valentine’s Day silly.” I replied. “Oh…” he whispered. So I pushed further. “Well, I booked a chapel for us to get married today at –:– pm in _____ chapel.” (Clearly the insanity of it all back then made me forget the details today.) I stated, still smiling big. I must have checked out mentally because I don’t remember what he said to me. All I know is I spent the day dressing up my baby girl and myself and waiting for him to come home and keep his promise.

As the day dragged on I decided to make a cake. A heart-shaped cake, of course. I mixed it, baked it, cut it into a heart, frosted it, and waited. And waited… and waited. It was nearly midnight when my husband to be came home. I stood there in tears and didn’t say a word. He put an unsigned card on the countertop in front of me and walked into the kitchen and proceeded to eat the cake I had made for us. He was drunk! Finally he got the balls to look up at me, while I was still crying, and said quietly, “I’m sorry.” I was traumatized!!! I should have slept the entire day away instead.

It came down to embarrassment, guilt, and a few words that obviously were screwing with his head. At some point in the year and 5 months we had been together, my father had quoted words straight out of the ‘Handbook of Shit a Person Should Never Say!’ He said: “He’s ONLY marrying you to get his papers!” Excuse me, WHAT?!?! That same man who uttered those demonic words, Hell bent to hurt me and my partner, was the same man who a couple of years before was telling me to hurry up and set a date to marry a man who asked me to marry him (and I might add we found out shortly afterwards that he was already married with two children, one born while we were dating.), because time was running short between my father being able to pay for my wedding and paying for my sister’s graduation the following year. He is also the same man who ruined his own first marriage by committing adultery over and over and over and over. Yet, my sweet… my love… my daughter’s father… the man who has taken care of me since January of 1995… was using me to get papers?! Even though the man already had a legal green card 7 years before we met. Talk about an asshole move by someone who is supposed to love you unconditionally. Thanks again daddy dearest!

My husband and I finally did get married though and not on Valentine’s Day. And the father of the bride didn’t pay a damn red-cent of it neither! My husband chose to pick another day that could potentially ruin all of my future happiness if we ever divorced, and that day is my birthday. Sheesh!

So there you have it, my crappy Valentine’s Day story. And ever since then; Valentine’s Day has been just another day for my family. Just another day for my husband and I to end up in an argument caused by just another day of pressure, stress, and lack of money. And it’s just another day for my children and I to express our love for one another; by making cards, cooking, eating together, and doing what we three do every day… spend the day together and love one another unconditionally for all that we are, all that we can be, and all that we will be!

And you my loves? Who will you be loving on this day?

And because it’s also YouTube Tuesday… Here you go,
mis amores! ❤

Elvis Presley – Ku-Ui-Po

Ku-u-i-po I love you more today
More today than yesterday
But I love you less today
Less than I will tomorrow

See the sweet Hawaiian rose
See it blossom see it grow
That’s the story of our love
Ever since we said hello

As the years go passing by
We’ll recall our wedding day
I will be there by your side
You will always hear me say

Ku-u-i-po, you’re my Hawaiian sweetheart

The ‘Moment’ Between Life And Death

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A Friday ritual. A single photo — no words — capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

“This Moment” is a ritual found on Life inspired by the Wee Man adopted from SouleMama which was introduced to others by Sarah-Jane, of Almost There.

I was asked to participate in this by Anna Sides, of The Other Side of Anna and the other great blogging members of the Facebook group Blogplicity.

If you find yourself touched by a moment and would like to participate, post your picture on a Friday and leave your link in the comments section.

Copyright- InJensMind

The First Year Deathaversary

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It’s hard to believe that it has already been a year since the passing of my younger sister, Jessica. A whole year! Time flies by when you are living, I guess.

It’s been a long and painful year, full of ups and downs. It’s also been a very enlightening and freeing year. Every day I wake up and give thanks to the Universe for helping me break free of so many unhealthy and one-sided friendships. Friendships I had clung to because I am just that kind of caring and loving friend. Friendships that I believed would be forever. I also give thanks, love, kisses and hugs daily to my children, husband, and pets. For without them I wouldn’t be able to function, even a fraction of what I do now. They are the glue that holds me together.

I have spent several of the last few weeks trying to prepare myself for this day. Some people may find it unhealthy to place so much emphasis on the anniversary of a loved one’s passing. I don’t. I find it perfectly normal to get your emotions, thoughts, and memories in order before the day hits. Then again, I’ve seen more death in my lifetime then most and at a younger age. This is why some of the things people say just knock me out cold. I mean do these people even know what it is to lose a sister? We’re not talking about comparison here. We’re not talking about who has suffered more. We’re talking about how someone can tell another person how to deal with something that they’ve never been through! It’s like saying that the pain of giving birth is nothing compared to menstrual cramps, yet you’ve never given birth. That’s like me telling someone who lost their mom to “get over it, it happened while she gave birth to you.” First of all, I’d never say that. One because I am just a caring, sympathetic person and that comment is one only an asshole would utter. Secondly, I’ve never lost a parent yet, knock on wood. So obviously I have never been close to that same situation. Lastly, just because you might not have known your mother doesn’t mean you have no connection to her. You have a connection that nobody else has with her. You have the connection of coming to life and growing inside her and you also have the guilt. Nobody wants to blame anyone but, Lord knows many a child has been shunned and abused by their father or family for “killing” their mother. It’s asinine and it sucks and well… people can just be irresponsible loudmouth jerks.

I don’t just mourn one day a year. I mourn throughout the year. A happy memory from my childhood could start out so wonderful and the more my mind remembers the bond we once shared the more painful it becomes… Then walks in the guilt, shame, regret, and the tears. Let’s not forget the tears that strike at any given moment. And usually, when this happens I become distant, as I try to remove the horrific pain from my soul. I revert to that scared little child looking for a place to hide from the monsters that were enclosing upon me. I don’t do it intentionally, it’s automatic, instantaneous, habitual, and it’s how I grew up without being more screwed up then I already am.

If you’ve never lost someone you know, count yourself lucky because it never is easy and won’t get any easier as you age either. It’s a painful thing to experience and even though you try and tell yourself that they are in a better place with no more pain, you can’t help but to question why you are left to carry the painful burden. Why do some people get out and some of us have to stay and experience more than our fair share of suffering? Outliving those you love has to be one of the most stressful things you could ever experience.

It reminds me of my grandma who has outlived all of her siblings. (She is the oldest of 4.) How excruciating it must be to have none of them left. To have no parents left. To only have your grown children, and grown grandchildren (1 of the 4 gone a year now), and great-grandchildren left. But, she doesn’t have all of them with her. All she has at this very moment is my mom. The rest of us are too far away and some of the great-grandkids don’t even know of her and may never know her. That is some very sad sad shit if you ask me. I know she puts on a brave face but, just as I know how much it hurts me, I know it hurts her a lot too. Death sucks bigtime!

So the next time a person decides to tell another person who they should care for, who they should mourn for, how long they should mourn, etc… Bite your damn tongue!

As the Cherokee Proverb goes:

“Don’t judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes.”

Unfortunately, many people don’t understand this because they think it’s easy to just put on someone’s shoes and that’s that. So let me give you one more, so you really grasp what it is I am saying to you…

“You never really know a man until you understand things from his point of view, until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. J.B. Lippincott & Co., 1960

We all need time to handle our unresolved business. And nothing is more unresolved then a loved one who dies suddenly. Nothing can be resolved when you don’t get to say good-bye. There is no peace of mind when it comes to all the questions that will never be answered. There is no possible way to “just let it go and move on” when no one is held accountable.

If you want to help someone who is hurting, mourning, grieving, dying in mind, soul, and heart… send them your love. Send them your sympathy. Let them know that it even though she wasn’t your sister you hurt because you see your friend hurting. Check up on her and let her know she isn’t alone. That’s all you can do.

And trust me when I say, anything else that you might think is helpful but comes off asinine will be met with rudeness and anger. Do you want your friend to curse at you for being a jerk? No, you don’t! Keep in mind this little bit of information… Everyone dies eventually and there will come a time when death will strike in your home. Don’t be left alone without comfort from your friends because you thought they were taking too long to heal over their loss. You will find out soon enough that healing on the inside always takes longer than healing on the outside.

As for this day, well… it had its ups and downs. (Look for my favorite moment from today on Friday.) I cried a lot here and there. Wiped my tears, loved on my children, drank some wine, listened to The Beatles and John Lennon, burned meditation candles, stared at Buddha while the candles flickered, laughed a bit, cried some more, loved on all my friends who came to my side, and well… I got through the first year deathaversary of my sister, Jessica Rae.

And to my mom, grandma, grandpa, and brother…I love you more than there are stars in the heavens. Even if I don’t believe in a heaven per se… I believe that Jess is among the stars waiting for us. Right now all we can do is be the best people we can be while we are here. Forgive those who’ve wronged us… that hate is only hurting us, we don’t need more hurt. Love those who are still here… they need our love and we need theirs. “Love is the answer.”

May you all be safe, sound, and find the strength to be where I am at!

Click to order tee-shirt

I Want To Be Like You

I Wanna Be Like You The Jungle Book Movie Disney

Have you ever read other people’s blogs and thought to yourself, “Wow, their lives are so great. If only mine was so blessed.”? Have you ever wondered why some people’s lives seem relatively easy-going, stress-free, everything you wish you could have in yours? Have you ever imagined what you could have done differently, if only you had been given a chance? Have you ever wanted to be just like someone else?

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not a jealous person and in no way would I ever compare my struggle or lack thereof with another’s. I wouldn’t change one thing in my life if it meant not learning the lessons I have learnt. I am me because of what I went through and what I got out of it. Nobody else could ever be who I am. If a group of people lived the same life, no two people would ever come out of it the same way.

It’s been a very difficult month and umm… yea, I’m not counting. It’s been awhile since I have sat down in the quiet of my home and written anything pertaining to anything. (You know you like that statement.) My life has been many things but, never has it been easy. Even as I sat at home and raised my kids with absolutely nothing pressing to do; my children made it their life’s mission early on to make me work for the roof my husband provided over our heads.

My daughter was the first child and she started out her little journey by damn near killing me in the first month of pregnancy. I was in so much pain I couldn’t move and when I got to the ER and was finally seen, the doctor nonchalantly stated, “There’s nothing wrong with you. You’re pregnant.” I was 19 years old, unmarried, it was only about a year since I had moved out of my father’s house, my husband and I had been together a earth-shattering 4 months, I had moved 2000 miles away 5 months before, I had no job, my husband had no insurance, etc, etc, etc… There’s nothing wrong with me? Oh, I beg to differ! My daughter showed up late, 6 days late to be precise. She was just short of 9 pounds and forced the doctor into inducing me and breaking my water. She also allowed me to gain a whopping 100 pounds because mommy didn’t know how to cook and since nobody was home all day to cook for her, she had to order such delicacies as Taco Bell, pizza, Chinese, KFC, etc… Her father wouldn’t allow mommy to go anywhere, pick up anything, or even take a simple Tylenol. The first child is ALWAYS the hardest. When Her Highness decided to make her entrance, she took her dear sweet time. As if the 6 days wasn’t long enough she had to add another 20 hours of labor to it. She refused to take her place and right before a C-section was getting ready to be performed, she about-faced right out of breech position and let me dilate enough to start delivery. The only reason I was finally able to deliver her was because I was coughing constantly. (Because I had bronchitis… got to love doctors.) The nurse putting all her weight on the top of my stomach and pushing on me didn’t help at all. The 5 other medical staff watching didn’t help. The doctor who was delivering my daughter and yelling at me because I was too weak, sure as hell wasn’t helping. But, then she came… like the Queen she was meant to be, with a crown over her head and veil over her face. (The placenta broke as she was born) Her right pupil was a lovely triangle. My mom held her first and tried to heal her eye. (She has a congenital cataract and is nearly blind in it. It is also been diagnosed lazy and astigmatism) Then the nurse handed her to me and we tried to get her to breast feed. Her mommy was exhausted and still coughing, she refused to latch on and so formula it was. Her highness stayed in the hospital in ICU 24 hours after I was released. She was the biggest baby in there and the other mother’s gave us the stink-eye. Luckily for us though, her heart murmur closed and she got to go home. A month later her mommy almost died in an ER waiting room with a fever of 109 because the doctors who noticed she had bronchitis after delivery sent her home with no meds and mommy got pneumonia. Now baby girl made sure that mommy got no free ride and as she grew more illnesses came too.

My son was no different. He was a screamer from Acid Reflux Disease and would vomit constantly between screams. His screaming matches would last for hours (several times a day for the entire first year of his life) until he was physically exhausted and would finally pass out. He was tested in the Hospital for 24 hours, and then placed on medications for the Reflux. (Which is a fancy way of saying he vomited a lot due to acid backing up in his throat. Some people call this Heartburn, only this is much worse.) The test involved a tube being put up his nose and down his throat to his stomach to monitor his acid levels. He would drink juice completely lying down and then 4 hours later completely sitting up, and back and forth for the 24 hours. Sleeping for me was not an option, as I held him in my arms in a chair the entire time. One of his medications turned out to have a little side effect that could cause this wonderful thing known as a heart attack. My son was not even a year old and was taking two medications, a special (extremely expensive) formula, and now had to have a test to make sure his heart was ok. After the test and putting him on a heart monitor for several days we found out his heart was fine. That special formula came into play because he wasn’t gaining weight with the first one and then the next one he vomited more and lost weight, finally after trying every formula on the market we ended up with one. It wasn’t enough that my son didn’t make himself known through pregnancy tests until right before my 7 month. It wasn’t even enough that in the first 2 months of my pregnancy I was told I wasn’t pregnant and was given the Depo shot. Which resulted in me taking medications and drinking because… “I WASN’T FRICKIN’ PREGNANT REMEMBER!” And it surely wasn’t enough that he forced me into bed rest less than a month after I found out I was pregnant, because he decided that I was far too comfortable and well contractions were a must. Then he decided that he wasn’t coming out on time (also 6 days late), so he forced the doctor into inducing me and breaking my water. And then when His Highness did finally decide to show up for the audience awaiting him, he had the audacity to come out saying “Dad” and weigh damn near 10 pounds. He went on for many years like this doing little things here and there to make sure that mommy never got a free ride. He continued to grow and brought more illnesses too wouldn’t you know.

I could go on all day and night about the things I’ve been through raising my two children. Or about my 17 years with my husband. Or about how I did any number of things since I grew up and left my father and step-mother’s house. Or I could even be so bold as to share how I didn’t die or go crazy living in Hell for 14 years (age 4-18).

Maybe one day I will but, not today. Today I want to share with you that life is not easy for anyone. Nobody gets to a peaceful place without enduring the harshness of the elements. It is very easy to assume things. It is very easy to look at where someone is today and think they have never known hardship, struggle, or pain… and we would be wrong. We can’t see where someone has been by looking only at the soles of their shoes. It only tells a part of the story, just the most recent part of it. Remember this…The grass you see in the treads of one’s shoes today, have covered the grains of sand from yesterday, and with tomorrow’s rain will be entirely washed away.

A Marital ‘Moment’

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A Friday ritual. A single photo — no words — capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

“This Moment” is a ritual found on Life inspired by the Wee Man adopted from SouleMama which was introduced to others by Sarah-Jane, of Almost There.

I was asked to participate in this by Anna Sides, of The Other Side of Anna and the other great blogging members of the Facebook group Blogplicity.

If you find yourself touched by a moment and would like to participate, post your picture on a Friday and leave your link in the comments section.

Copyrighted- InJensMind/TerrieB. 12-10-11

At Last A YouTube Tuesday Tribute

YouTube Tuesday, adopted from Josh at Its Tiger Time, is a day set aside for sharing your favorite video.

Feel free to join in each week and see how creative we bloggers can be. Each month, Josh will highlight a selected video and present the winner with the ‘YouTube Tuesday’ Award.
If you participate, remember to leave your YouTube Tuesday link at Its Tiger Time as well as all the blogs you visit.

Unless you were under a rock for the last two weeks… you might have heard that the greatest of great, soulfullest of souls, the talented Etta James passed away on Jan.20th. Well this isn’t Etta singing in Heaven but, it is a tribute to her heavenly music. Christina Aguilera belts out ‘At Last’ while attempting to keep her voice and eyes tear-free at Etta’s funeral. Sing that sh*t Christina. Let that pain be felt by every soul in the world…

And here is Beyoncé covering ‘At Last’ in the movie Cadillac Records. (2008)

And last but certainly never least and in my opinion the ONLY one who could ever sing this song with all the painful love it rightfully possesses and projects… is Etta James herself!

We love you and R.I.P. Etta! May God have you perched beside him with a Golden Microphone in your hand leading his Holy Choir!!!

At Last-Etta James (1960)

At last
My love has come along
My lonely days are over
And life is like a song

Oh yeah yeah
At last

The skies above are blue
My heart was wrapped up in clover
The night I looked at you

I found a dream, that I could speak to
A dream that I can call my own
I found a thrill to press my cheek to
A thrill that I have never known

Oh yeah yeah
You smiled, you smiled
Oh and then the spell was cast
And here we are in heaven
for you are mine…

At Last

A ‘Moment’ Of Your Time Please

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A Friday ritual. A single photo — no words — capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

“This Moment” is a ritual found on Life inspired by the Wee Man adopted from SouleMama which was introduced to others by Sarah-Jane, of Almost There.

I was asked to participate in this by Anna Sides, of The Other Side of Anna and the other great blogging members of the Facebook group Blogplicity.

If you find yourself touched by a moment and would like to participate, post your picture on a Friday and leave your link in the comments section.

COPYRIGHTED- InJensMind

Many websites are blacked out today to protest proposed U.S. legislation that threatens internet freedom: the Stop Internet Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA). From personal blogs to giants like WordPress and Wikipedia, sites all over the web — including this one — are asking you to help stop this dangerous legislation from being passed. Please watch the video below to learn how this legislation will affect internet freedom, then scroll down to take action.

YOU’VE GOTTA FIGHT… FOR YOUR RIGHT… OF FREE SPEECH!
STOP CENSORSHIP!!!

CLICK THE PHOTO OR THE STOP CENSORSHIP RIBBON IN THE CORNER OF THE BLOG AND TELL CONGRESS YOU DON’T LIKE IT AND WE’RE NOT GONNA TAKE IT!

June 2011-December 2011 in Review

Not too shabby for a 6 month old blog. And a Google PageRank of 3 on top of it. Happy New Year everyone!!! Thanks for the love and let’s have an even bigger year in 2012.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog. 

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed over 11,700 times since it began in June 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

The Last ‘Moment’ of the Year

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A Friday ritual. A single photo — no words — capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

“This Moment” is a ritual found on Life inspired by the Wee Man adopted from SouleMama which was introduced to others by Sarah-Jane, of Almost There.

I was asked to participate in this by Anna Sides, of The Other Side of Anna and the other great blogging members of the Facebook group Blogplicity.

If you find yourself touched by a moment and would like to participate, post your picture on a Friday and leave your link in the comments section.

Maria -Copyrighted-InJensMind

The Last Moment Before Christmas

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A Friday ritual. A single photo — no words — capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

“This Moment” is a ritual found on Life inspired by the Wee Man adopted from SouleMama which was introduced to others by Sarah-Jane, of Almost There.

I was asked to participate in this by Anna Sides, of The Other Side of Anna and the other great blogging members of the Facebook group Blogplicity.

If you find yourself touched by a moment and would like to participate, post your picture on a Friday and leave your link in the comments section.

Pretty Poinsettias Copyrighted-InJensMind

I Tracked Santa And Ended Up At The NorthPole

Google ImageThere is 2 days until Christmas Eve and if you are a parent, caregiver, guardian, grandparent, or just a displaced elf, like myself, there are a few sites that you should be aware of (if you aren’t already).

One of the greatest sites ever is at the Northpole. There are many activities for you and your child. There are games, recipes, stories to read and color, and much much more. Your child can also write a letter to Santa and he will write back. It’s probably a little late to do this now. Wait… I will try it out. Don’t move, I will be right back!

Ok, I signed up to the site which took seconds to fill out (you or your child can sign up but, have to be over the age of 13 to do so). In a few minutes I filled out the information Santa requests such as age, sex (don’t be perverted now), naughty or nice, and what you would like for Christmas. At the bottom of that is a place where you can type in your wish list and send a note to Santa. I did put that I’m naughty so don’t get your panties in a bunch.

In my wish list I said:

I wish for a better year for my family and friends.
World peace.
For the end of the world not to take place next year.
To get a good job writing.
For my husband to get back to work in a Union job.
For unconditional love to continue to bless those that I love.

What?!?! I do wish for those things. LOL
And in my quick note to Santa:

I am a huge fan Santa. Keep up the good work and may you have a magical, safe, and Merry Christmas!

Does that come off a wee bit ass-kissingly? I swear I am being sincere.

I filled mine out in true eccentric/comedic Jen fashion (like I do for everything) and got this reply…

Dear Jenni,
Thank you for sending your letter to Santa.

This is a very busy time here at the North Pole and Santa has lots of letters to read, but he does read and answer each and every one.

It usually takes Santa three days to answer a letter. Please come back then to Santa’s Secret Village at http://www.northpole.com. You will need your user ID and password to read your letter.

Merry Christmas!
Bif, the Mailroom elf

P.S. Parents, Santa needs your help to create a more personalized experience for your child this Christmas! Click here for more information.

Fast and easy, right? There is a lot and I mean a lot of things to do on the site so it is definitely worth checking out.

The next site that you and your children will absolutely adore is NoradSanta (you can visit this site by clicking NoradSanta or from the Northpole site). On this site they track Santa’s flying pattern in real-time as he travels the world delivering presents to all the good little boys and girls. (Hopefully, a few of us naughty ones too.)

I have used this site with my kids for about 4 years now and they love it. In different places like in London for instance, you will see a little video icon where you can watch Santa flying around Big Ben. You can watch several of these around the world so you aren’t just exciting your child with seeing Santa but, get to see loads of different places around the globe. There is also a countdown clock in the Countdown Village where your child can play games.

So there you have it people a couple of sites to spend the next

01 days
18 hrs
03 mins
49 secs

and counting…

If you want something to read to your kids before bed make sure to check out my story, The Mice Before Christmas on Yahoo. It is a story about 3 little mice brothers who read and discuss the Night Before Christmas poem.

Oh and there is still time to donate to a Merry Kenia Christmas. I will be leaving it open until her 15th birthday January 23rd. Thank you to all who have left loving comments on the post I will be sure to tell Kenia what you have all said and will write a followup piece with photos (hopefully) after Christmas.
May your hearts and homes be filled with love, happiness, and joyous voices gathered together on a most magical day! Merry Christmas to all of you and yours from me and mine!

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‘YouTube Tuesday’: Christmas Edition

YouTube Tuesday, adopted from Josh at Its Tiger Time, is a day set aside for sharing your favorite video.

Feel free to join in each week and see how creative we bloggers can be. Each month, Josh will highlight a selected video and present the winner with the ‘YouTube Tuesday’ Award.
If you participate, remember to leave your YouTube Tuesday link at Its Tiger Time as well as all the blogs you visit.

So, I know this video is an advertisement for the Hub channel but, I love it. The kids were watching cartoons and I stopped what I was doing to watch this when it came on. I started laughing hysterically because that is so me at the end of the video. I go all crazy and off-topic with my singing just like Bulkhead does. LMAO! Hope you enjoy our last YouTube Tuesday before Christmas.

‘This Moment’

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A Friday ritual. A single photo — no words — capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

“This Moment” is a ritual found on Life inspired by the Wee Man adopted from SouleMama which was introduced to others by Sarah-Jane, of Almost There.

I was asked to participate in this by Anna Sides, of The Other Side of Anna and the other great blogging members of the Facebook group Blogplicity.

If you find yourself touched by a moment and would like to participate, post your picture on a Friday and leave your link in the comments section.

'A Merry Kenia Christmas' Click the photo to see more

A Merry Kenia Christmas

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Sunday I went to Cardinal Glennon Hospital to visit my niece, Kenia. She is my husband’s cousin’s daughter, which doesn’t make her my niece in American culture but, her mother has the same last name as my husband. (Their parents are siblings on both sides.) That makes them more like siblings than cousins. I realize it’s a bit confusing; she is nonetheless to me, my niece.

I have known Kenia since she was a tiny baby. I first met her and her family when they were living in Las Vegas for a short time in 1997. Kenia has Crouzon’s Snydrome. Her skull fused together prematurely causing abnormal development of the eye sockets and mid-face.

I didn’t become reacquainted with Kenia and her family until I moved to Chicago in 2001. Kenia and her older brother played with my kids like all little cousins do. They all got along really well. My children, like me, see a person’s inner self. Unconditional love truly is blind.

Kenia attends the school for the blind, because of the Crouzon’s Syndrome, her eyesight is very bad. Over the years, Kenia has had major surgery several times to make space for her growing brain. She recently had another surgery in August of this year. Friday, Kenia was admitted to the hospital because of an infection that she contracted while at school.

It is difficult to fight illness this time of year and even more so when you have a brace attached to your head and face and are around other children who may or may not be carrying a simple cold virus.

Kenia’s mother hasn’t worked since the surgery in August. She took a significant reduction in income so that she could be with her daughter. What parent wouldn’t do the same thing?

December 23, one day before their family celebrates Noche Buena, (Christmas Eve) Kenia will be undergoing surgery again, to remove the last bit of equipment from her August operation. This is when the doctors will find out whether the surgery went well and if her skull will hold its new shape. If the surgery didn’t go well, her skull will collapse, crushing her brain and killing her. Kenia will be 15 years old next January. She is scheduled for another surgery next year.

Many times this month, you have seen me say how important it is to give to those less fortunate. In fact, if you’ve been a reader since the beginning, you know I speak about it often. We live in a society where it’s all about, “ME”. People going into debt at Christmas to spoil already spoiled children. Children asking for more and more every year, even when they have too much already. People buying cars that are beyond their means and paychecks. Where does it end? There is nothing wrong in wanting to have nice things; after all you work hard for them, right?

But, what about those who are in need? What about the family who spends their holiday in a hospital room praying for a full recovery? What about the child who hopes to be with her family for Christmas? A child who has asked Santa for her health.

No, Kenia doesn’t believe in Santa but, Kenia and her family wants those things just the same. My husband, children, and I are doing what we can to make sure Kenia has a great Christmas this year. Despite the financial difficulties we also have faced these last three years. If we have to forgo our own Christmas celebrations and sit in a hospital room to make her Christmas special, we will. Because it is the season to give and it won’t feel like Christmas without her.

Many people will throw in a couple of dollars or a handful of coins into a kettle for a stranger to have a Merry Christmas, how about doing the same for my niece? If you’d like to contribute to Kenia’s Merry Christmas you can contact me directly or use the donation button on my blog’s sidebar. All donations ‘For Jens Sake’ receives in December will go directly to Kenia’s Christmas gifts. Thank you all for being loyal readers and may you all spread the joy and magic of Christmas to everyone.

Kenia with her older brother, younger sister, mother in Sept. 2011

This is a rare photo of Kenia since her surgery, she didn’t want to be photographed while wearing the brace.

My Very First ‘This Moment’

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A Friday ritual. A single photo — no words — capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

“This Moment” is a ritual found on Life inspired by the Wee Man adopted from SouleMama which was introduced to others by Sarah-Jane, of Almost There.

I was asked to participate in this by Anna Sides, of The Other Side of Anna and the other great blogging members of the Facebook group Blogplicity.

If you find yourself touched by a moment and would like to participate, post your picture on a Friday and leave your link in the comments section.

3 of 4 Santa's Christmas Elves December 9, 2011 Copyrighted-InJensMind

Tis The Season

I randomly hum Christmas songs and then just when you think I couldn’t get any more annoying… BAM!!! I break out into a top of my lungs version of ‘Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer’ or the ’12 Days of Christmas’. If you’re lucky, you’ll hear my version of a song as well. Bowels of Holly anyone?

Deck the halls with bowels of holly fa la la la la la la la la!

Am I the only one who does this? Probably not, but I will bet I am the only one who does this year round. Ok, that might be reaching a bit. I definitely know many people who are far too freaking jolly and put my juvenile jubilation to shame. To those overly jovial Christmas crackheads, I come off as Scrooge. Bah-humbug!

Speaking of Scrooge; I don’t miss an opportunity to watch any showing of the 5 million versions. If one is fortunate, I may forget that somewhere on some channel; some form of Scrooge is playing. Lord help my family because I will force them to sit down and enjoy it with me or else. The holidays are about family after all, and I can be very persuasive. LOL The family enjoys watching the shows as much as I do though.

Sunday, we bought our Christmas tree from Home Depot; a tradition that was born when we moved into this much bigger house in 2008. We lived in an apartment complex for too long and although many people enjoy a real tree in their apartments we stuck to plastic. I grew up with a plastic tree and every year we would grow bigger until we were all taller than the top of the tree. It was the livelihood of my redneck childhood.

Our trip to Home Depot was as merry as are all of our family outings. By merry I mean at some point someone is going to shout, someone is going to pout, and someone is most definitely going to be in tears. (Usually, me.) So, my son wanted to get a dark green tree. My husband had his heart set on an 8/9-foot Balsam fir. My daughter had no idea what she wanted. But finally, with the help of the greatest mom on the planet (Umm, that would be me, duh.) the kids picked out a lovely 8-foot White Pine tree. The husband was ecstatic because he had chosen a $65 tree and the White Pine was a sweet $18. *Ding ding ding we have a winner here folks!* I am a little nervous and “You get what you pay for” is dancing like sugar plums in my head but, so far we love it.

Christmas 2011 Copyrighted-InJensMind

My grandparent’s (on my mom’s side) always had a real tree. Well, I think they did, I only visited them every other Christmas so I’m not sure. The funny thing is I have no recollection of many things from my childhood, except for some of the really horrible things. Wow, I need to work on recovering my happy memories. Ah memories.

Anyway, I digress. One year my grandparents had decorated the entire tree in stuffed animals. Grandpa had a morning habit of going up to the local coffee shop in Mt. Morris, MI every morning for coffee. I know what you are thinking and no, I couldn’t have worded that sentence without saying coffee twice. *Tee-hee* Anyway, grandpa would play the claw game (wait for it) and he had this streak of awesome luck where he won loads of stuffed animals. So like any other person in my weird as all get out family, he put them on the tree. It was a child’s dream, I know because I am telling you about it hence, I loved it enough to remember it.

In my children’s lifetime; they have enjoyed such colored trees as green, white, and pink. Yes, one year I made the men in my house endure the tiny tacky pink plastic tabletop tree. My son, now 13 years old, asked me to buy another pink tree this year. I love his enthusiasm but, he will have to wait until next year when I pull off the ultimate Skittles Christmas. Taste the rainbow, bitches! LOL I jest, I jest!

A few years ago, ok more like 9-10 years ago, my husband and I decided to flip our white plastic tree upside down and hang it from the ceiling. Right now as I write this, I am mad that I never took pictures of it. Argh! That was the year I found out that my Scrinch of a husband was really Santa’s number 1 elf in disguise.

Our kids; 4 and 6 years old, sat with me in amazement at their father hanging up every single Christmas decoration that we owned. By the time he was done, you would have sworn that you were smack dab in the middle of the North Pole. Several years later we allowed him to decorate again and before long it looked as if Rudolph had been binge eating the decorations again and then vomited them all over the ceiling and walls. Why yes, I do have a picture for that one.

Christmas 2006 Copyrighted-InJensMind

Well what do you use for your Christmas tree; paper or plastic? Err, I mean real or plastic?

Sometimes All You Need Is A Pet To Play With

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I know I don’t have to tell you all it is the season to be jolly. I am sure you are all very well aware of what season it is. If you aren’t being bombarded by snow, you are drowning in cold rain. It just stopped raining here yesterday.

Arthritis is a pain but, the colder it is the worse it hurts; so I am not a fan of the cold. I am also not a fan of the snow. If I wanted to be trapped in a building surrounded by impenetrable piles of snow, I would still live in Michigan.

As if it were yesterday, I remember those horrid Michigan winters. Snow up to the windows, ice on the steps awaiting for just the right moment to strike, and using a snow plow just to get to your car door. Yes, you can say that a Michigan winter is a lot like the North Pole except, the fat people aren’t as jolly, the elves don’t make toys, and we all know what happens if you get lost in Detroit.

Luckily for me Missouri, likes to live up to its name and only snows when the season doesn’t call for it. It also likes to destroy all plans you have to celebrate the holidays by tossing in a tornado out of the blue. I am convinced that if 2012 is to be the destruction of all people it will begin in Missouri and spread out.

There is no doubt in my mind that a tornado, flood, and hail storm will combine at the same time in an off-season and blow the Arch right into the Mississippi River causing a gigantic vacuüm whirlpool effect and suck the entire surrounding states into the middle of it and drop everything off right smack dab in Mexico. Olé!

Umm NO, I have not been smoking Frankincense again but, I did have a bite of a Golden Myrrh sandwich. It was gooood. I realize that my idea seems far-fetched but, I have lived in this state long enough to know that if you plan something, it will get disrupted. So I am planning mass destruction and will laugh the day after when it doesn’t happen. If by some chance it does happen, remember you read it here first. Shit, if Harold Camping can keep moaning about the end of days than I sure as Hell can too.

Now you may ask me what does all of this have to do with Christmas and/or needing a pet… well… I got nothing! I knew I needed a new post and that it should be somewhat uplifting, so this is what I came up with. Not impressed? Ok, you don’t have to enjoy what I am saying but, you can sit and enjoy the Hamster that I have embedded in this post just for you. Go ahead see if you can walk away and not play with the Hamster. “HAHA…Jen, you are brilliant!” Why yes, yes I am!!!

Thanksgiving, Publishing, Awards, and More

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I haven’t posted here in 15 days, which goes without saying since many of you almost certainly have noticed my absence. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write. Then again I never know what I want to write. I never was one to stick to a list or plan. I just sit here and type whatever my brain tells me to type. Am I the only one who does that? Does the rest of the blogging world know exactly what they are going to write about and then post it?

I want to quickly catch some of you up, who are not on my Facebook friends list. I say quickly because Thanksgiving is a couple of days away and since I don’t do lists or plans, I am busy trying to do everything at the last-minute. No, I am not a procrastinator, I am a last-minute magical maven. Shhh, don’t spoil what little bit of delusion I have thank you very much.
AWARDS:
I want to acknowledge the 3 awards I received from fellow bloggers; Deb at Scattermusings, Anna Sides at The Other Side of Anna, and Sulekkha at Memoirs. Ladies, thank you so very much for the honor and when I get a few moments I will definitely give you more praise, promotion, and pass along the two Lovey Blogger awards to the 30 blogs. OMG I have to find 30 blogs to nominate for these awards. Wow, I have my work cut out for me.

PUBLISHED POET:

Dear Jenni,

Exciting news for you… 

YOU’RE NOW A PUBLISHED POET! 

The Deluxe Hardbound Edition, Stars in Our Hearts, will feature your poetry.

Last week I got an email that my poem ‘I Have Lived Life’ will be published in the book, Stars in our Hearts. I have mixed emotions about this because I have read some nasty reviews about the site, World Poetry Movement. I don’t know if it’s true what some people have said about them publishing every poem that is submitted, even if it’s sub-par and not worthy. But, I can say this… regardless, my poem will be in print, the book is legit, and it sells at Barnes & Nobles for $70. I won’t be buying the book because I think it’s asinine for a poet to have to pay for the book they are being published in. Of course, they give me a chance to buy it for $50. My answer is still NO! They are using my copyrighted poem to make money, along with all these other poets and expect us to pay to own the book we are published in… they must be smoking frankincense. And even though I believe that having to buy something I’m published in is the cherry on top of the steaming pile of fresh bull shit, I am still happy to be in print.

GOOGLE PAGE RANK:
The other day, I hit 9500 views on here. Thank you all so much for reading. I appreciate all of you so much. I then discovered that I have a Google page rank of 3. Not bad for a 5 month old blog huh. Seriously though, I can only take so much credit…ultimately, if it wasn’t for all of you readers it wouldn’t matter what I post I wouldn’t be as successful as I have been. Come here and give me a hug you lovely, wonderful people you!!!

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NEW FAMILY MEMBER:
Our family recently got a new Pitbull puppy last month. Her name is Lady and the people we got her from swear she was 2 months old; she is far too big to be that young. The vet says about 4 months, the way my 8-year-old male Pit is chasing her tells me she is older. I love my dogs like my children but, they are going to kill me if they keep trying to give me grandpuppies. I don’t have time for pregnant dogs, raising puppies, and non-stop poo patrols. My husband on the other hand, is a man so he doesn’t understand the stress I am already under just by having a female puppy. Aww men, if only there was a way for them to give birth, so they could learn firsthand a portion of why we are such bitches. But, I digress.

Lady

EYE DOCTOR:
My husband, the two kids, and I all went to the eye doctor last week. I knew the kids had trouble seeing; my daughter was actually born with a triangle iris. A few years ago when we found out my son needed glasses well it broke my heart because he already is hearing impaired and needs to wear hearing aids in both ears. So when I made the appointment I fully expected the kids to need glasses. I had reading glasses before and figured eh, reading glasses again for sure. Boy, was I wrong. LOL Turns out I don’t see as well as I thought I did. I blame the laptop!!! Now hubby he was being a baby. He is always on some toddler shit when it comes to seeing a doctor. I have to threaten, coax, beg, and/or bribe to get him to go. So, here we were sitting in the parking lot and I said park the truck, you have an appointment too. He has the audacity to tell me NO. WHAT?! I swear to God, being married to him has been like raising another child. I go in and fill out my paperwork and call him on the phone. Ok, what I am about to say some of you may laugh, some of you may be in shock, and some of you may think I am a lying jerk but, here goes… I told him that doctors offices charge you a fee if you cancel an appointment less than 24 hours before the day of said appointment. This is true in many cases, so I didn’t really lie. He didn’t respond to me but, hung up. I went back to filling out my paperwork and look up, hubby came inside. I know, I know… Bad Jen! Honestly, it is a good thing I did what I did, his eyes were really bad, his left eye especially. You see, Jen knows best and don’t ever forget that! LOL

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Well, once again my quick post turned into rambling on about absolutely nothing. HA. It’s ok though you all have your post to read, I have what’s left of my sanity for the time being, and we can all be grateful together that we enjoy each other’s online company.

PUBLISHED CHRISTMAS POEMS AND STORY:
Oh and I almost forgot. *FACEPALM* I published 2 Christmas poems and 1 Christmas story on Yahoo as well, which is one of the reasons I haven’t updated on here in two weeks. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. But, in case you don’t believe me here you go. Comments are welcome and appreciated.

Enter The Snowflakes: a haiku

A Christmas Eve Poem: a poem about Christmas Eve and Santa.

The Mice Before Christmas: a story about 3 little mic brothers reading The Night Before Christmas.

IN CLOSING:
I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving. May you all be thankful for all that you have. And as always when it comes to those less fortunate; a thought is nice but, food to eat is better. So go out there and give. Don’t be greedy, go and give to the needy!

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I’ll Have The Living My Life: Hold The Fun

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I don’t remember time ever flying by so fast in my life but, this month has flown.

I wanted to get so much more done for Breast Cancer Awareness than I actually did. Isn’t that how life works though? It keeps right on flying by while you are trying to savor a moment or two.
I learnt a long time ago to slow down and let life flow naturally. My natural flow is faster than some and slower than some but, it suits me just fine. At least I thought it did anyway.

After Jess died, I knew what I wanted to do with the remaining years of my life and dove head first into it. When I found that lump in my breast; I climbed out of the water, wrapped myself in a towel and sat waiting under a giant umbrella. It was during that ordeal and the mammogram, that I realized life was moving at warp speed around me and I was just sitting there on hold again.
How did I wake up one day to teenagers? Why has my life with them been great but, not what I wanted for them? Are they too old now for me to make it all up to them? And for the love of monkeys, when will I be able to afford to do the things I have always wanted to do with them?

A lot of people would like to step into a time machine and go back in life and fix things. I want to freeze time. I want to stop the kids from getting any older until I have done all the things that a mother should do with her kids… Disneyland, vacations, spa days, shopping, Six Flags, road trips, family reunions, Zoo’s, Festivals, etc… Time is flying by and these things have been on hold. Why on Earth are they on hold? Because money, although made of paper, does not grow on trees. That statement was a wee bit too cliché for me, I am most definitely above that but, it is true nonetheless.

I grew up in the fiery depths of Hell and still managed to do a few of those things as a child. Does that make me a bad mother? They say, “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.” (Yes, again… another common, beneath me cliché) Well, my intentions have always been good and I swear… I have been a good person (yes, I know… famous last words of a psychopathic serial cannibal) most if not all of my life. Have I been a Saint? Well, no, who is? Should I fear the day my children are grown and scream at me that I “f@cked up” their lives? I don’t know! What I do know is, that in an effort to protect them from the nastiness of the world I have also managed to teach them a rather common and painful lesson… People with no money, live life on hold.

My kids understand that bills come before all else, it is the way life is for everyone, except those in constant debt I imagine. But, how do you explain to your kids/teens/young adults that no matter how much work you do you will never have quite enough money to enjoy life? Now, I’m not saying I don’t enjoy life because I do. I enjoy life over death, health over illness, and having happy kids over sad ones.

Ok, maybe I should rephrase that question… How do I explain to myself (at 36 years old) that no matter how much my husband works or how hard I try to get a writing gig, we will never have enough money to be a “vacation” family? I guess we are just one of those families who despite our good intentions, good deeds, or perfect Karmic standing, this life will always be below average. I don’t know if my kids are disappointed by this life, I do know that I am to an extent and I know they are when I have to say, “Sorry I don’t have money for that.” That happens way more than I ever expected.

I need some Karmic relief in my life. How long exactly, does it take to see Karma seeds grow into a fruitful tree? I could have sworn I used Miracle Grow on those puppies but, alas nothing. Just another wasted tactic, another get-rich scheme, another typical day in the life of an atypical yet broke mom. Ok back to being on hold, thank goodness for call waiting!

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By the way, I do know this isn’t a Breast Cancer Awareness post per se . I figured I would shake things up a bit by showing how life has a way of screwing with your plans, which is exactly what an illness does. There is a week left for the Facebook event and to get in your B.C.A. posts on Blognostics. Please make sure you do that and I will be asking for everyone’s links shortly to link to my final Pinktober post next week.

 

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: My Mammogram and Me

As I sit here in my semi-quiet house freezing my ass off with a furnace that likes to play “No Heat Today” games, I recall my thoughts and feelings from February.

February 6th, 2011 to be precise; and getting the call that my 33-year-old sister is in the hospital with Stage IV Breast Cancer. Fast forward two days to February 8th, 2011 and another phone call, “Your sister is dead.” Those moments were the most horrific moments of my life… that is until October 8th, 2011 when I spotted a massive lump in my breast. The pain was unimaginable; my paranoia was out of control… all I wanted was the pain to go away and for the lump to recede. All I wanted was a mammogram/ultrasound to tell me the lump was not cancerous. I wanted an answer immediately; that is what Emergency Rooms are for, aren’t they?

It was October 9th before I actually saw a doctor, those of you by my side through this whole ordeal you remember that from my earlier post, Breast Cancer Awareness Month: There’s a Lump in my Breast. I spent all day in a hospital bed before actually seeing a breast specialist on the 10th. Starving and thirsty from fasting, just in case there was to be a surgery, paranoid and restless from waiting to be seen, tired, cranky, in pain and tears… It was a day like no other as it was also the day that would have been my grandmother’s 75th birthday if Stomach/Liver Cancer had not taken her from our family 10 years ago. Just another typical day in the life of an atypical girl. 

Luckily, I was released and sent home with antibiotics for the “we think it’s an” infection that I was diagnosed with. My inner cynical bitch cried; “Bullshit! If it’s just an infection where the f@ck is the pus?” Don’t mind her she has driven doctors and nurses to an early grave for a good part of her miserable adult life.

I was released the same day I saw a breast specialist; still don’t know why she is special when all she did was grope the twins but, hey it’s whatever at this point. I went into hiding for over a week, because that is what I do when I am stressed. I make up bullshit reasons about why I can’t come to the door, the phone, the laptop, or my senses and well most of you believe it so thank you all for that. LOL Honestly, I was tired for a good part of the week; any time I am forced to take a prescription, my brain fights back by telling my body to hibernate. It’s perfectly normal…for me!

I managed to scrape my weak body out of bed on Tuesday for a Mammogram at the breast specialist’s office. And after two hours of erect nipples in a cold office building in nothing more than a hospital gown, I am still wondering why she is so special. Let me start off by saying my husband did his part by taking me to the appointment and sitting there patiently waiting for me to be done. I also have to give him credit for not being a man and going all ape-shit over a chick groping my twins err I mean, his twins. Because Lord knows one comment about that and I would have pulled out a tire iron and dumped his bloody ass in the Mississippi faster than you can spell it.

NOTE: I, Jenni being of somewhat sound mind and not quite sound but close body, swear that I was framed if by some cruel joke of Zeus that my husband, Luis ends up in the Mississippi River. In the immortal words of Jake Blues played by John Belushi in Blues Brothers…“Honest… I ran out of gas. I… I had a flat tire. I didn’t have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn’t come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out-of-town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake. A terrible flood. Locusts! IT WASN’T MY FAULT, I SWEAR TO GOD!”

Anyway, I digress. So, at the doctor’s office I waited for my mammogram where they take X-Rayesque pictures of your boobs with a machine that is 1- cold as a meat locker at the North Pole 2- as comfortable as wringing out your hand in an old-fashioned wringer washer (which I have done by the way), and 3- not intended for any woman with a cup size over C. (Which I have been over since 4th grade) If I ever doubted that my gargantuan bust-line needed a reduction, watching the poor nurse juggle my boob with two hands reminded me that I am indeed due for a reduction STAT! If you have never had a mammogram consider yourself lucky and if you have and you thought it was no biggie… please grow bigger boobs and a painful firm lump before getting your next one, thank you.

The nurse took two standard pictures, one the straight forward kind and the second with the machine angled which I imagine with a woman with normal sized breasts is supposed to catch more of a side view. They do this on both breasts for a total of 4 pictures. It is uncomfortable, it is cold, and it is ridiculously hilarious/embarrassing to watch a nurse juggle a boob that is bigger than her whole entire head. I was asked to take a seat while the radiologist checked my “close-ups.” When the nurse came back she asked me to step up to the machine again because well, my boobs are special and need extra pictures. *Wink wink* After the last juggling session, she told me to sit in the waiting room and wait to get another ultrasound done. By this time, more than an hour had passed and another woman was waiting for her turn at the Boob Camera. By the way, I was the youngest woman in the doctor’s office and in the mammogram waiting room. That alone f@cks with your head!

“Ok Jennifer, we are ready for you.” The woman beside me stands up as I go to stand up. Oh flippin great wouldn’t you know it…we’re both Jennifer’s. Stupid 60’s and 70’s. The nurse apologized to me as I told her that I was there waiting on an ultrasound, she assured me that this didn’t usually happen because well seriously what are the chances that two women in the breast lab would be blessed with the same exact first name? As much as I wanted to tell her, “I am more important, bow down to me now peasant!” my sense of humor was missing in action, because I was freaking out about the length of time I had already spent in the clinic.

Before long I was back in the doctor’s office with my husband, awaiting the 5 words that could make or break my life! Fortunately for me my doctor doesn’t like 5 word sentences and told me I’m all clear. I was instructed to come back in 6 months or sooner depending on the breast lump, which they still believe to be an infection…I however, have come to know it as the illegal alien. Because of my family history with cancers I have to get yearly mammograms now, oh yippie how I look forward to the smashing and juggling of my bresteses!!!

So there you have it folks… I am not afflicted with Breast Cancer. I will be around a long time to talk shit and be a general pain in the ass. Yea me! I once again want to thank all of you who sent me prayers, thoughts, and well wishes during my schizophrenic meltdown into the abyss of paranoia and hypochondria. To those of you who wish to offer me a donation for this extremely comedic post just give me the word; I am a paypal account away. *Wink*

Now, it is your turn… self-examine, mammogram ‘em, don’t be a disappointment just make an appointment and always take care of those boobies!

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Oh and don’t forget to get involved and support Breast Cancer Awareness, preferably all year not just this month.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: A Warrior’s Plea

Throbbing, burning,
shooting from within
firm inflammation
piercing my skin.

Weighty and heavy
from night ‘til day
please Lord oh please
just melt it away.

Crying and screaming,
this warrior’s plea
what did I do wrong
for this to happen to me?

Wishing on stars
reaching for an answer
please don’t let this lump
be from Breast Cancer.

Tired and weary
a mother and wife
this wasn’t the way
I pictured my life.

Praying like so many
trying to endure
please Lord oh please
just give us the cure.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: There’s a Lump in my Breast

I have written and written and written…about Breast Cancer Awareness since losing my sister to it in Feb of this year.

 

I have made it my mission in life to do right by her and all women who get sick with some form of Cancer and make sure people stand up, fight, and take charge of their health.

Now here’s the kick in the ass moment:I am writing this post from a hospital bed. Night before last as I got ready for bed I felt a sharp pain in my right breast. I got up yesterday still hurting and did what all good mommies do; I cleaned my house and spent time with my kids. By the time 4pm or so had rolled around I was in agonizing pain.

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Jen you idiot when people say get involved it doesn’t mean get a damn lump in your own breast!

I laid down on the couch and tears rushed down my face. It wasn’t until my husband came home and I took a shower that I noticed a massive lump, yes I said noticed. It was that big. Now normally people would start looking for a connection… I knew that Breast Cancer causes a lump but, not a painful one and oh my God was this painful. It wasn’t until later in the night when the pain worsened that I begged and pleaded for my husband to take me to the hospital. He was apprehensive about doing it, thinking we should wait until Sunday morning. He told me 100 reasons for why we shouldn’t go tonight. But, I, being the jerk that I am, did as any aggressive and irrational human being does and threatened him. “Take me to the hospital or I will drive myself.” I then told my daughter to get ready. Don’t tell him but, that kind of “do it or else” usually works on him. But, hey I am not an evil person; I am a person who had a sister die 3 days after a Breast Cancer diagnosis. I am the one who wrote countless posts after her death demanding that everyone get a mammogram and self-examine their breasts. Now it was my turn…do or die time… “don’t be a damn hypocrite Jen get to the hospital and get it checked out.”

Obviously, I did; arriving at the hospital at 11 pm last night. I know in my own little world I am a very special person, which is why I fully expected to get an ultrasound and mammogram last night. Yes, they pretty much let me know how it was going to be. Apparently they had no idea who InJensMind is, bummer! Just about 1 am the doctor saw me, commented about my Celtics tattoo because he is from Michigan too and well Pistons fans are still butt hurt about losing to us too many times.

“Shut up I am sick and fully entitled to talk shit, thank you.” LOL

Afterwards, I heard him tell a nurse in the hallway to get bloodwork and hook me up to an I.V. oh yippie. An hour later, right before two more nurses came in to draw more blood, the doctor informed me my white blood cells were high and because they couldn’t get an ultrasound done they had no choice but, to follow protocol and admit me as if I had a breast abscess. They couldn’t promise me whether I would see the breast doctor on Sunday or if I had to wait until Monday. Since I am still here in the hospital you can assume I won’t be seeing her until Monday.

I play strong really well, not one tear fell nor did my voice shake as a million and one thoughts raced through my head. My kids are going to take this the hardest. 13 and 16 years old and have been away from me a total of two weeks ever in their entire lives. I am one of those moms that where I go they go and if someone don’t like it well they can f@ck off. My kids always have and always will be more important than anyone else, hence the reason I am laying in this hospital bed. My sister ran through my head and my mom…oh my dear mom there is no way she will be able to take losing another daughter. I looked over at my husband, the one person who has caused me more stress and tears than any other person on the entire planet and his macho ass was balling; he was trying so hard to not let me see those tears as he quickly wiped them with his hand.

By 3 am, I was finally upstairs in my room. I was instructed to not eat or drink anything in case the doctor wanted to operate. Wasn’t much chance of that happening, seeing as they had given me some painkillers that made my head float away and made my stomach nauseous. Sunday, I slept more than I think I have ever slept in my life. My husband brought my kids to see me, they were little red-eyed angels and smelled so good when they laid down in the hospital bed with me and cuddled. Their voices, that still sound like little 4-year-old voices, were shaky and they were holding back tears. If this had happened over a year ago they would’ve probably been ok with me lying here. But, in Feb. 2010 our dog got sick and we said she was fine; we took her to the pet hospital and didn’t return with her. The kids still don’t know we put her down and she is in an urn in my bedroom. I can’t bear to tell them. Then Feb. of this year the loss of their aunt who was in the hospital 6 days before dying and the effects that had on me. Yea the kids are definitely worried.

So while I was lying here, debating on if I go back to sleep again or get up and write this post, I realized something… Things aren’t as bad as I always manage to imagine them to be. Hold that thought, in case the verdict changes when I actually see the doctor. But, I have been such an ass to my husband for being such an ass to me that now here we are hoping, praying, and crying to please not finally be at our “til death do you part.” The love we both thought the other one had lost was sitting right there waiting for us to remember it.

How quickly a tragedy will unite even the ones you think don’t care anymore. I would have thought divorce would happen before anything like this. I’m not giving up though; I will fight this…whatever IT is. And I will WIN. Because, I may not be Charlie Sheen or have Tiger blood but, I have lioness blood and in my opinion it is way better. Don’t let another second pass, go and tell your loved ones you love them. And for Christ sake err, I mean and For Jens Sake… go to the doctor and get a damn breast exam. Thank you all for your prayers and I will let you all know how I am doing on Monday. Until then, may your dreams always come true and may you never walk through your life alone.

You know the drill by now, click on the side bar button and help give mammograms. Get a badge for your blog and go join the Facebook event.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Men Are Not Immune

As I was searching for ways for my husband and son to support Breast Cancer Awareness, I became annoyed.

I don’t mind that everything Breast Cancer related, is pink. I know that my son and husband don’t mind it either, as I am sure many men don’t. After all, it’s not about the color it’s about the cause! But, what bothered me is how everything is aimed towards women…delicate jewelry, frilly, girly items, and “Fight like a girl” slogans. Where are the “I FIGHT FOR my girl” or “I FIGHT WITH THE GIRLS” slogans?

Yes, it is true, that more women are diagnosed with Breast cancer than men but, tell me why there aren’t any clothing, jewelry, gift baskets, etc… for men? Even if you ignore the fact that men also get Breast Cancer, why are men excluded from supporting their mother’s, sister’s, aunt’s, grandmother’s, or wife’s…in a more manly fashion? There should be more items available to boys and men to not only support the females in their life who are afflicted but, to also support the men who are afflicted every year. A little pink never hurt anyone, but how about some man-sized shirts, necklaces, bracelets…something that says, I wear pink because I love and support this person who is battling this horrendous disease and I don’t have to look like a cross-dresser to do it.

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Now as you may have gathered, For Jens Sake is participating in a month-long Breast Cancer Awareness drive. It is the goal of myself and many other bloggers to not only raise awareness about this disease but, to educate as well.

The biggest misconception is that Breast Cancer is solely a woman’s disease. It is not! Men are not immune. Any person who has studied Biology in school or has had a sexual education class should already know that, both boys and girls have breast tissue.

Where breast cancer begins in men:
Everyone is born with a small amount of breast tissue. Breast tissue is made up of milk-producing glands called lobules, ducts that carry milk to the nipples and fat. Women begin developing more breast tissue during puberty and men do not. Because they are born with a small amount of breast tissue, men can develop breast cancer.

Another reason that Breast Cancer is considered as solely a woman’s disease has to do with statistics. There just aren’t as many male cases as there are female cases. But, that doesn’t mean men can’t get Breast Cancer.

What are the key statistics about breast cancer in men?
The most recent American Cancer Society estimates for male breast cancer in the United States are for 2011:

About 2,140 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed among men.
About 450 men will die from breast cancer.
Breast cancer is about 100 times less common among men than among women. For men, the lifetime risk of getting breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000. The number of breast cancer cases in men relative to the population has been fairly stable over the last 30 years.

The prognosis (outlook) for men with breast cancer was once thought to be worse than that for women, but recent studies have not found this to be true. In fact, men and women with the same stage of breast cancer have a fairly similar outlook for survival.

The signs and symptoms of Breast Cancer are the same in men and women. This is why it is extremely important to do a monthly self exam on yourself and know your body.

Signs and symptoms of male breast cancer can include:

A painless lump or thickening in the breast tissue
Changes to the skin covering your breast, such as dimpling, puckering, redness or scaling
Changes to your nipple, such as redness, scaling or a nipple that turns inward
Discharge from your nipple

If you suspect that something is out of the ordinary; schedule an appointment and have a doctor examine you. Both men and women are examined in the same fashion, to rule out or diagnose Breast Cancer.

Diagnosing male breast cancer:

If breast cancer is suspected, your doctor may conduct a number of diagnostic tests and procedures such as:

Clinical breast exam. During this exam, your doctor uses his or her fingertips to examine your breasts for lumps or other changes. Your doctor assesses how large the lumps are, how they feel, and how close they are to your skin and muscles. Your doctor will also examine the rest of your body for signs that the cancer has spread, such as feeling for an enlarged liver or enlarged lymph nodes.

Mammogram. A mammogram is an X-ray of your breast tissue. To assess your breast tissue, your breast will be pressed flat as much as possible. During a mammogram, you stand in front of a machine with your shirt off. Two flat plastic plates come together to compress your breast tissue. A radiology technician takes the X-rays. The compression of the mammogram can be uncomfortable. Ask the technician what to expect and speak up if you’re feeling pain.

Breast ultrasound. Your doctor may recommend an ultrasound of your breast to evaluate an abnormality seen on a mammogram or found during a clinical exam. Ultrasound uses sound waves to form images of structures within the body.

Testing nipple discharge for cancer cells. Your doctor may collect nipple discharge if you’re experiencing it. The discharge is then examined using a microscope to look for cancerous cells.

Using a needle to remove cells for testing. A biopsy procedure involves removing a sample of suspicious tissue for laboratory testing. A breast biopsy is commonly done by inserting a needle into the breast lump and drawing cells or tissue from the area. When analyzed in a laboratory, your tissue sample reveals whether you have breast cancer and, if so, what type of breast cancer you have.

If it is determined that you have Breast Cancer the doctor will be able to tell you in what stage your cancer is in and what type of Breast Cancer you have.

Determining the extent of the cancer:
If you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, your doctor will work to determine the extent (stage) of your cancer. Your cancer’s stage helps your doctor determine treatment options. Staging tests include blood tests and imaging tests, such as X-rays, computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

The stages of male breast cancer are:

Stage I. The tumor is no more than 2 centimeters (cm) in diameter (3/4 inch) and hasn’t spread to the lymph nodes.

Stage II. The tumor may be up to 5 cm (2 inches) in diameter and may have spread to nearby lymph nodes. Or the tumor may be larger than 5 cm and no cancer cells are found in the lymph nodes.

Stage III. The tumor may be larger than 5 cm (2 inches) in diameter and may involve several nearby lymph nodes. Lymph nodes above the collarbone may also contain cancer cells.

Stage IV. Cancer at this stage has spread beyond the breast to distant areas, such as the bone, brain, liver or lungs.


Types of breast cancer diagnosed in men include:

Cancer that begins in the milk ducts. Ductal carcinoma is the most common type of male breast cancer. Nearly all male breast cancers begin in the breast ducts.

Cancer that begins in the milk-producing glands. Lobular carcinoma is rare in men because men have few lobules in their breast tissue.

Cancer that spreads to the nipple. In some cases, breast cancer can form in the breast ducts and spread to the nipple, causing crusty, scaly skin around the nipple. This is called Paget’s disease of the nipple.

Inherited genes that increase breast cancer risk.
Some men inherit mutated genes from their parents that increase the risk of breast cancer. Mutations in one of several genes, especially a gene called BRCA2, put you at greater risk of developing breast and prostate cancers. Usually these genes help prevent cancer by making proteins that keep cells from growing abnormally. But if they have a mutation, the genes aren’t as effective at protecting you from cancer.

Meeting with a genetic counselor and undergoing genetic testing can determine whether you carry gene mutations that increase your risk of breast cancer. Discuss the benefits and risks of genetic testing with your doctor.

Everyone will tell you how important it is to catch cancer early. It is very, very important to catch it early. Therefore you need to self-exam and get regular checkup’s by a medical practitioner.

Let’s end the stereotype that Breast Cancer is a woman’s disease. Breast Cancer is clearly less common in men than in women but, it doesn’t care which sex you are. Men are not immune so please don’t be bashful, get yourself checked and don’t become a victim to Breast Cancer.

Don’t forget to get involved, support Breast Cancer Awareness and education. Because cancer doesn’t affect one it affects all!

For Jens Sake and Blognostics Joining Forces For Pinktober

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Anger

Faith, Hope, Love, and Awareness

What Breast Cancer Awareness Means to Me

The Pink Ribbon Challenge

Breast Cancer Awareness Pinktober

Pinktober Is Amongst Us

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Anger

It’s Breast Cancer Awareness month as many of you know. Before I even get into this post I want to say thank you to everyone who has taken part in the Breast Cancer Awareness movement this month. So many of you have truly shown your support and respect for me, by placing my BCA (Breast Cancer Awareness) post button on your blogs. A few of you have shown me remarkable love by changing your Facebook avatar to the picture I made for my sister. I am honored to call you all friends!!!

 

I fully intended to write a post yesterday, the first day of October, about my sister’s Breast Cancer story. I wrote and wrote, and the words poured from my soul as they always do in my writing. But, as I was writing there came a moment when the pain took over my fingers and by the time I had realized I was over 1000 words. I stopped and reread the last couple of paragraphs… I can’t post that agony here, because…

Not only is my heart aching for the loss of my sister but, I am still angry. I am angry at a God who claims to love his children but, allows their lives to be Hell. I am angry at doctors who didn’t catch the cancer in time for my sister to be able to fight it. I am angry at family members who instead of pulling us together in our darkest hour, decided instead to tear us apart further. I am angry at myself for not being there with her…for not taking our conversations more seriously…for not having money to pay for an autopsy… for not being able to fight cancer for her…and most of all for thinking that some people who are Breast Cancer survivors and battling it, are still taking their lives for granted. In a nutshell, I AM ANGRY!!!

Click on the image to read My Sister's Keeper

My sister was 33 years old when Breast Cancer took her life, 3 days after being diagnosed with Stage 4 Breast Cancer. She’s dead now, do you comprehend that? She is DEAD! She had no chance to fight, no chance at all. I don’t blame anyone for that, it happened for a reason. I am still wondering the exact reason but, it was for a reason. Cancer has affected me… it has taken from me…it has changed me, and I am NOT even the one who was diagnosed.

But, is it not true, that a cancer diagnosis affects more people than just the one who has the cancer? It should but, in most cases it doesn’t. I can tell you this in all honesty, with every bit of my soul showing, that many people on this planet are too self-absorbed to realize; that it is affecting them whether they have a personal relationship with someone who has cancer or not. They fail to realize that if they don’t stand up, unite, and fight with those who are fighting right now…there won’t be anyone fighting for them when their time comes. And believe me when I say, it is much closer than you can fathom.

I don’t expect sympathy for my sister’s untimely death. I expect unity to battle a disease that is devastating our families, our friends, our planet. I don’t want to be known as a hero because I survived my sister’s death to Breast Cancer and wrote a few paragraphs about it. I want to be remembered for my small place among a large group of heroes who fought against this horrific disease. I don’t ever again want to feel like I did when Breast Cancer took my sister’s life. I never again want to tell someone I love; be it family or friend, that I am sorry you have cancer.

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I am pushing this Breast Cancer Awareness movement because the fact of the matter is, nobody is untouched by it. If you think you are, wake up, because you are dreaming. Everyone knows someone who knows someone who has cancer in one of its many hideous forms or another. You, reading this post, are 1 degree separated from Breast Cancer, Leukemia, Throat Cancer, Stomach Cancer, and Pancreas Cancer; because I have lost family to all of those cancers. Just knowing me through this blog post right here, makes you that much closer to the effects of these despicable diseases. That tear that slid down your cheek as you read my anguish, were the effects of cancer, my dearest reader!

Now that you realize how close cancer is to you… what are you going to do about it?

Please get involved! Support cancer awareness in the form of donations; by donating directly or buying products that give. Support sites and organizations that focus on helping Cancer victims and their families. Support it by wearing the cancer colors, i.e. pink for Breast Cancer. Support it by searching on Facebook for the different cancers and liking the pages. Support it by joining in on events such as the Breast Cancer Awareness challenge event that I have going on this month. Support organizations that specialize in awareness, early detection and free cancer screenings. And most importantly support it by getting yourself checked often (men too, you are not immune) and spreading the word to everyone that Cancer is trying to kill us all.

Don’t let it!!! Stand up, unite, and do something about it!

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Before you leave here today, please click on the Breast Cancer Site button in my sidebar and give a woman the gift of a free mammogram.

 

Note: Throughout this post are many links, ones that lead to sites to support and several that will take you to my blog posts about my sister and Breast Cancer. Please find time to check them out and comment. Thank you.

For Jens Sake and Blognostics Joining Forces For Pinktober

As most of you should know by now, October (Pinktober) is Breast Cancer Awareness month.

I support it every year and this year it holds even more significance than it did in previous years.

In February of this year, my younger sister was diagnosed with Stage 4 Breast Cancer and three days later she died. So of course that makes me more active in Breast Cancer Awareness, not just because I have lost my sister to it but, because I truly understand how the unthinkable can hit and penetrate your seemingly perfect life. After her death and I could finally face the world again, I started connecting with Breast Cancer battler’s (this just means that they are still battling this heinous disease.) and survivors.

My heart goes out to every one of them even though my sister never even had a chance to battle the beast. I have set up a challenge on Facebook as an event and would greatly appreciate if you would join and pass it on. If I have learned anything in this past few months is that life is more precious than you could ever possibly imagine.

Facebook Events Basics:

I would like all of you who join the event to have something pink visible on your person all month-long in October. The details are on the event so please check that out and join in on spreading more awareness for this horrific disease. Thank you.

Now for the exciting blogger’s news:

I was asked to be a Breast Cancer Awareness Spokeswoman for Blognostics, this site is a new site and was created by bloggers for bloggers. They will be running a contest for Breast Cancer Awareness that will begin on Oct. 1 and go through Oct.31, 2011.

Blognostics Contest Details:

Tell a story about how Breast Cancer has affected you and/or the person diagnosed, also how it has changed your life and/or theirs for better or worse. The story can be your own personal story, a friend, or a family member. It does have to be someone who you know personally, even if it’s just someone you know from a social network. But, they do have to be someone you have personal contact with.

Blognostics will also be asking for donations in the amounts of $1, $5, $10 or more to be donated to the organization that the 1st place winner chooses out of the four that Blognostics has available. Consider the donation to be not only useful for the organization and the people they help but, also a small contest entry fee. Donate what you can!

This contest is open to all bloggers. The only thing that you have to do is be a member of Blognostics, and to be a member you must have a blog. If you would like to take part please go to the site and make your account.

Here is what you will be doing:

-If your blog is a writing one than you will write a story, fiction not accepted (sorry but we want real life stories only), about the person that you have chosen. Tell us their/your story of being afflicted with Breast Cancer and how it has changed them and/or you.

-If you are a poet you can write a poem about the person you have chosen.

-If you are a photographer you can tell the story with photos. Use a photo of the person and whatever other photos you feel tell the story of how their having Breast Cancer affected you. You can write a story as well but, your main goal is to tell it with photos.

-If you are an artist who draws or paints, you will be submitting your original work of art that is either the person themselves or your interpretation of Breast Cancer. Please write something about the art piece so we can understand fully the meaning of it.

Please Include:

All contest entries should include the date when the person was diagnosed, how they battled it, if they are still battling or are now in remission, how many times they have battled it, any organization that they went through for help, and if they died, (R.I.P.) the day their suffering ended.

Prizes:

Blognostics is offering 3 prizes; 1st place, 2nd place, and 3rd place. All which include small ad space for a month on their site. 1st place winners will receive the honor of choosing the Breast Cancer organization that will receive the donations and their name will also be on the check that is presented with all of the donations raised. 1st place winners will also receive a small banner on the Blognostics site to place their ad for one month.
All entries must be in by October 31, 2011 before midnight in your time zone. Blognostics will choose and notify the winners during the first week of November.

So what are you waiting for? Go sign up on Blogsnostics if you aren’t already a member and let’s raise awareness for Breast Cancer. Don’t forget to join the Facebook event as well. If you have any questions please ask me or the Blognostics team. Thank you and good luck.

 

Sunday’s Question Segment

Google Image

It’s been a couple of weeks since I have done a question segment. If you have kept up with this blog than you probably have a good idea how busy I have been. This week we have 3 questions from 3 fellow bloggers. I will link their blogs on their names so please check them out after you have read today’s segment of course. lol

As with every word posted in this blog the questions answered in this post are that of InJensMind. They are my opinions and are not intended to insult or offend anyone.

If you would like to have your question answered please contact me on any of the social networks you find listed on the Find Me On page at the top. You can be anonymous or use your name, it’s up to you. The deadline every week is Saturday 11:59 p.m. Central Standard Time.  Hope to answer your questions soon. Happy Sunday!

 

So we all have voices in our head, a constant inner conversation. Why do you think that is?
                                          -Ropcorn

Dear Ropcorn,

Our brains are very complex. There is so much going on in there that even scientists still don’t know everything about it and its entire purpose. Thoughts and memories fill most of our conscious mind. Our subconscious mind is just as full of these thoughts. A normal mind will have many reoccurring and new thoughts in a lifetime, because our brain is always trying to process what we’ve seen, heard, or thought. Unlike the voices heard in mental illness, these “conversations” are completely normal. It’s also completely normal to hear voices in our heads such as our own, the people we know or have heard on TV, movies, or radio, or even complete strangers we ran into for a second on the street.

When we are asleep, our dreams are our way of figuring out issues; so our brains constantly replay the events of our life that we need help with. This is the subconscious mind at work. While awake we are more attentive of the thoughts because it’s in the forefront of our minds; the conscious mind at work. I don’t think anyone will ever fully understand how our brains work or why we constantly talk to ourselves in our heads. I just see it as a normal thing that happens when we want answers. After all, we are curious by nature and it makes sense that we would constantly be in search of what we do not understand. Therefore our minds will never stop looking for those answers even if it’s just inside of our heads.
                                                      -InJensMind

 

 

 

I’ve a question, why is it that people who aren’t right, insist they are?
                                                         –Tbaoo

Dear Tbaoo,

The first thing to take into consideration is that a good number of people think they know everything. A lot of people believe they are right because they were taught by someone who thought they were right  who also were taught by someone that was wrong. For example, American History books teach us many things that were not accurately portrayed. Frankly, I blame a lot of racism on the fact that because other races and immigrants were not properly portrayed in the books; people actually believed what they were told. Nowadays with the internet and documentary’s we find out those things were wrong.

Some people will just admit their mistake and drop it, and then there are those who won’t. They’d rather keep arguing than to admit that something they have believed their whole lives was a lie. Pride and ego are a colossal determining factor when it comes to being right or wrong.

So here are the reasons why someone might insist they are right when they clearly are not. 1- They honestly believe what was taught to them is a fact so they don’t realize that they are wrong. 2- They know they are wrong but, refuse to give in; from either pride, ego, or their love of arguing. 3- They are set in their ways, overly opinionated, or just refuse to believe that anyone else could possibly know more than they do.
                                                        -InJensMind

 

 

 

Why do people insist on saying they have done 110% when it is mathematically impossible to go over 100% ??                                                          -Raising Amelie

Dear Raising Amelie,

The whole ideology behind giving more than what is mathematically possible; is that you are not only giving your all but, that you are going beyond that. In other words, you are giving or doing more than what is necessary to carry out the task. For example, 150% might mean your effort plus half of another’s effort. 200% would be double or two people’s worth of effort.

I think some people insist on saying it just because they want to emphasize that they didn’t give a portion but, that they gave more.                                                                                                                             –InJensMind

YouTube Tuesday

YouTube Tuesday, adopted from Josh at Its Tiger Time, is a day set aside for sharing your favorite video.

Feel free to join in each week and see how creative we bloggers can be. Each month, Josh will highlight a selected video and present the winner with the ‘YouTube Tuesday’ Award.
If you participate, remember to leave your YouTube Tuesday link at Its Tiger Time as well as all the blogs you visit.

I know it’s been weeks since I have done YouTube Tuesday. But, I am back in full effect this week! I am pumped and calling out to all my fellow BlockHeads. Break out your New Kids on the Block memorabilia and tell me who’s yours and My Favorite Girl

Now throw your hands in the air and wave ’em like you just don’t care and if you are a fan of Donnie D somebody say Oh Yeah!!!

Now somebody,anybody, EVERYBODY scream…

My Favorite Girl- New Kids on The Block


My favorite girl, oh, she’s my favorite girl, don’t you know,
my favorite girl, oh, she’s my favorite girl.

You walked into my life, your love was so new,
and nothing will ever change my feelings for you,
well, you were so far away, now I am close to you, girl,
so let us run away, our heart that’s waiting will stay.

My favorite…

There’s so much I like in you I can’t go on,
I wanted a girl like you I’ve looked so long,
girl, nothing will make us wrong, I know our love is too strong,
let’s leave the rest behind, our dreams ask what we will find.

My favorite…
My favorite…
[Rap:] She’s my favorite girl, the one I’m always thinking of, that one.
[Rap:] My favorite girl, the one I love.

My favorite… [repeat & fade ad lib]

Champagne For Everyone! Jen’s Writing Is A Year Old

Cheers! Sláinte! Prost! Prosit! ¡Salud! Santé! Saúde

It’s hard to believe that it has already been a year since I began writing on a blog. My life, my thoughts, my fears out there…in the open for all to see.

Those of you who had followed me from Blogspot to WordPress might know that For Jens Sake has only been up for 3 months. Raps and Poems and Books, Oh My was my first and the poems I wrote on that blog (which can be found here) is what has me celebrating my 1st year blogoversary. Woohoo!

I decided to celebrate this festive occasion by taking all of you through my year; through every up and down, win and lose, tears and smiles. What an exciting year it has been, not a single moment of it has been dull. Some of you may already know that I started out writing with poetry. It was all poetry all the time, like the Cartoon Network, only… poetic.

A couple of months went by and I decided I wanted to try writing as a career. Unfortunately, poets aren’t in high demand right now in any field. That’s a shame really because I think that music (of any genre) could be several times greater if the song writers took it back to good ol honest poetic lyrics and flow. Someone get Diddy on the phone I have an idea for a new reality show…Making the Poet!

Me, Myself and I, was born because I needed a résumé of written articles. It kind of felt like high school all over again, being forced into something, that is. But, what does one write about when they want to become a writer? News…ick, no thanks. It’s depressing and causes people to run out, buy guns and ammo and board themselves up inside their homes while they drink beer and wait for the zombie apocalypse to happen. News was most definitely not me.

Then I thought…celebrity gossip. Ah, the old let’s talk about other people’s business (which clearly has nothing to do with us) and never once find out if what we are writing is true or not. Nope… gossip definitely was not me either. What’s left? Opinionated ramblings? Ding ding ding…we have a winner. Hey…I ramble and I am opinionated. Oh my God, it’s as if that was made just for me.

I worked hard daily, on both blogs. I would take turns… poetry one day, opinions the next. Back and forth, establishing a following of loyal readers and 0 comments. Oh yea, I was getting famous. LOL But, you know, it didn’t matter because I was saying what I wanted to say and that was good enough for me.

I finally decided to look for poetry contests and joined a few sites. Out of all of them, Allpoetry was the best. I started making a few friends there by joining groups. I entered a few contests, won a few trophies, and then got seriously fed up with the site. Why? Because newcomers were outsiders. The site was one huge clique after another and they were adamant about their poetry being better than anything “a noob” could write. But, that is a post for another time.

So back I went and focused completely on my two blogs. I learned how to autoshare my posts on other networks; thank you Networked Blogs. Doing that left more time for me to write, instead of running to a bunch of sites and posting links. The creator of that app is my idol.

I signed up with Odesk and began building my official résumé. I have not had a résumé in my entire life, so making one was most definitely exciting. It was also very frustrating, trying to remember dates and addresses and names of companies from over 18 years ago. Some of them are long gone, so even if I said I worked there and I did, where’s the proof…

Before I knew it 5 months had passed and it was already February. My heart jumped out of my chest as I listened to a voicemail I had received. I called my mom and the world went silent… “Your sister is in the hospital with Stage 4 Breast Cancer.” Tears streamed down my eyes… as they are doing now because it still hurts. My baby sister lying in a hospital bed… liquid in her lungs and around her heart…lesions on her liver… cancer. CUCK FANCER!!!I called her every day. A lot of people get cancer and they have plenty of time for their families to come to grips with it. I was worried out of my mind even though I knew from experience; it wasn’t over until it’s over.

R.I.P. Baby Sister

3 days later I get a call late in the evening. My baby sister had died while the doctor was draining liquid from around her heart for the third time in 6 days. She laid in that bed 6 days, sick. And I had 2 days to tell her everything she should know before she is gone out of my life forever and I said… nothing. Absolutely, the worst part of this entire year were those 3 days.

I didn’t write for weeks, I tried and tried and tried to put up something, anything. All I wanted to do was curse God, curse the world and lay in a ball in my bed and cry until my eyes dried up forever. And that is exactly what I did! When I finally sat down again and wrote, it was all about Jess and pain. At that moment, I gave up any hopes or dreams I had of being a writer. I just had to let the feelings out and I didn’t care if anyone read it or understood. I didn’t care if anyone agreed with me. I no longer needed anyone in my life except my two children, who watched me struggle to hide my tears and depressed bloodshot eyes. I died with Jess that day!!! (R.I.P. May 13, 1977- February 8, 2011)

Then something unexpected happened… I met someone (Sweepy Jean) who added me to a group that led me to fellow bloggers/writers/poets, which in turn led me to more and more blogging groups. Finally, I could connect with people who were somewhat like me. I had also applied to be a writer for a website. Imagine my surprise when I got an email welcoming me to the site as a writer. Wow, little ol me, still choking on the pain and tears from my sister’s death was now a writer for Technorati. So, I wrote for them. I wrote 4 articles in March and two of them were about Breast Cancer and my sister. If I were to agonize over losing Jess than the world could too.

A few months later, I was applying to become a contributor for Yahoo Associated Content and what do you know…I was accepted there as well. As my tears had flown heavy over my loss they had also motivated me to find the perfect place to become published. I am waiting on the final approval of my third article on Yahoo as I write this.

As all of this was happening; I evolved. I made new friends, lost old ones, and gained a new respect and love for who I am. I made the big switch from Blogspot to WordPress in June, deleting the old blogs and continuing to write poetry and my opinions on the new one, and most of all… I continued to be seen throughout the world-wide web for my writing. Then came offers to guest post; truly a great honor for me.

Out of nowhere, I wrote the poem that put me on the fast track to the stars…I Have Lived Life. It has been published on Yahoo, won the month of August poetry contest, is semi-finalist in an international poetry contest, is scheduled to be published in a poetry book in November of this year. All of a sudden, I realized that I had done exactly what I set out to do…touch someone’s life with meaningful and honest words. I had already arrived at the place I aimed to be.

Much to my surprise, a day came when I received an email that Google was interested in interviewing me. Unfortunately, I had to turn it down. Not because I wouldn’t love that opportunity but, my laptop had died and along with it my Skype and webcam. Besides, I had no cover letter even written yet, which is now on my to-do list. I don’t fret over it because I don’t see it as a missed opportunity but, as the beginning of many more to come.

The next goal was to continue to climb and become a better person and a better writer, so I applied to the St. Louis Writers Guild (SLWG). Hello, my name is Jen and I am a member of the SLWG. Woohoo…

In closing: I have been setting aside the negativity, allowing myself to grow and thrive, and have started to learn that; the people who should be at your side during your finest moments…well, they won’t be. But, it’s ok because as the seasons change, so do people. I have changed and that probably has scared many of the people I use to know or rather, who use to know me.

Losing someone close to you changes you; for better or for worse but, it does change you. I will mourn my sister’s death until I am ready to let her go but, I will also keep moving forward in my writing. I feel her hands guiding mine to the keyboard as she whispers into my head… “You were meant to tell the world. This is your calling,it’s what you were born to do. Take ahold of it with both hands and lead it where it should go. If you write it, they will read. If you speak it, they will listen. If you live it, they will follow!”

And when my final day on this planet arrives; I won’t be wishing for the ones that had left, to be at my side. I will be content, knowing that the ones who were always meant to be there will be with me from the beginning until that last gasp of air has escaped my lungs.

I have lived life and this past year was only the beginning…

Handwriting is not my forte anymore and on a cake it's even worse. LOL

I Have Lived Life

I have shed blood, sweat,immeasurable tears
Stared bluntly in the face of my greatest fears

I have had good thoughts and some insane
Some brought me great pleasure, some brought me great pain

I have been free and trapped in a cage
Been bursting with love and insufferable rage

I have known death and I have known birth
Seen Heaven and Hell in my life on this Earth

I have been lost and also been found
Been lifted up high and kicked down to the ground

I have turned hate to love and love into hate
Done magnificent things, a few not-so great

I have several friends, enemies too
Some of them old and some of them new

I have spoken with ink, lips and heart
Written and read inspirational art

I have lived life as well as I could
Some parts might have been bad but, most parts were good

I will rise up each time that I fall
For life is worth living so I give it my all