Get To Know Me

 

Copyright: InJensMind 8/16/2012

There have been many people lately, who have expressed an interest in getting to know me better. So yesterday on Facebook, I announced that I will be doing a special blog post. In the post, I will be disclosing the things that you all really want to know about.  Anything that you’d like to know about me, now is the time to ask.

Here’s how you will be involved:

  1. You are allowed to ask me up to 3 questions. These questions can be personal or about my writing, you choose.
  2. I will be connecting your questions with your names, social networks, and blog url’s. Please include all the links you would like promoted in with your question.

This is an excellent and free opportunity for you to get to know me and to promote your blog, YouTube channel, fanpages, etc…

If by chance you are more of a shy type and really want to ask something but, you don’t want the world-wide web to know it was you who asked, simply tell me when you send me your question and your name will be withheld.

Now for the details:

  • You can contact me via Facebook, just send me a private message. (you can do this without being my friend if you’d like) Click here.
  • Or you can email me directly at injensmind@gmail.com
  • Or even still, you can use the contact button on my Facebook fanpage.

 

All that I ask for in exchange is, if you participate in this by asking a question, that you go and “like” my Facebook page, For Jen’s Sake. That way you will be notified when I answer your question. Simple enough, huh…

I look forward to all of your questions and hope you all have a wonderful and blessed weekend.

 

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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.

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: 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

Nostalgic Moments

It was a sunset like any other; reds, yellows and pinks splattered across the horizon.

But, as soon as the moon came into view, you knew this was not going to be just another ordinary night. It was full and round, like a woman’s belly in her last week of pregnancy after leaving a buffet.

Mortals fear full moons, they fear the creatures that hunt during that time of the month… the werewolves. Mortals don’t understand, they are unaware of the unbridled passion that dwells inside the heart of a werewolf. They have never seen the kind of passion that can only be shown to one lucky victim once in a lifetime. They had never been bitten!

It was September 16, 1994; I had just gotten off of work. My stomach rumbled as I got in my mother’s car, I was starving. It was already dark outside and the full moon hung high in the desert sky above Las Vegas. I didn’t fear the full moon. My Zodiac sign is Cancer, which is ruled by the moon. That alone had always led me to gaze continuously upon its luminous beauty night after night, until I would finally doze off to sleep just before sunrise.

I was lost in thought, gazing at the fullness of the moon, when mom pulled into a drive-thru of some burger joint. “Jen, what do you want?” she asked. Breaking my intense gaze from the moon I turned to her and said, “A burger and fries is fine.” Before I could return to my pensive moon studying she handed me a sack and a drink and we were on our way home.

The enticing scent of the food I was holding, sent my stomach into a tizzy. But, my willpower was strong and we made it to the apartment complex before I sat down on the stairs and tore into the sack like a ravenous beast. “Are you coming inside?” she inquired. “Not yet.” I replied my mouth full, as she climbed the stairs and disappeared inside.

I was just about done eating when I noticed the shadow of a man walking towards me in the dark. He was carrying a bag; I wondered what was in it, as it was quite noticeably a big bag with what appeared to be few items in it. Before I could ask, the man passed by me and walked to the garbage containers in the parking lot and threw it in.

I returned to my late night dinner unaware that the man had stopped just a few feet in front of me. “Do you…” I raised my head listening intently to what the man was about to ask. “Do you have a light?” he asked meekly. Reaching into my pocket I pulled out my lighter and handed it to him. He introduced himself as Luis and I replied, “Nice to meet you, Luis. I’m Jenni.”

He stood there for what felt like ages telling me about himself; I listened carefully but, his English was broken. Then he said something that got my undivided attention… “I turn into werewolf.” He said smiling, pointing at the full moon. Laughing I said, “How interesting!” The conversation lulled. “Well it’s late; I need to go inside now. It was nice talking to you.” I said as I stood up and shook his hand. He smiled and I watched him disappear into a dark apartment a few feet away. I smiled as I walked up the stairs and entered my apartment. I laid there in bed for hours, staring at the full moon and remembering all the man had said. “What an enchanting thing to say…werewolf.” I thought.

As it turns out I wasn’t the only ravenous beast prowling about that night… two days later; I became the man’s girlfriend, eventually his wife, and then the mother of his children. Every month for the last 17 years, when the full moon is upon us; I smile, heartbeat erratic, my eyes fixated on the moon, and my ears listen attentively for the eager hungry howl of my werewolf.

Goggle Image

This is my Nostalgic Moment that I have shared on Art of Sharing blog. The blog is doing a Nostalgic Moments Blogfest from Sept.7- Sept. 24. Write your moment and share it on the site.

Daily Challenge For Jens Sake Day 8

Today’s Daily Challenge Thursday Sep. 08, 2011

Emotional Health
EVERYDAY WELL-BEING

Find out 1 new piece of information about someone you have a close relationship with.

How to do it
It’s easy to think that we know everything about the people in our lives. But we don’t. Today, find out one new piece of information about a family member, co-worker, or friend. If you’ve known this person for a while, it may take time to think of something you don’t know. But don’t let him or her off the hook! What is your child’s favorite letter? What book is your friend currently reading? Who taught your spouse how to ride a bike? What was your co-worker’s first job? Be a detective and ask the questions!

Why it matters
By asking someone in your life about his or her interests, dreams, and memories, it will help strengthen your relationship. Not only are you demonstrating that you care, but you are more likely to share information about yourself. What book are you reading? Who taught you to ride a bike? This connection and sharing of personal experiences creates trust and helps to maintain healthy relationships.

Fun Fact
Twenty Questions, a game in which one person has 20 chances to find out the answer, began in the United States. It was most popular in the late 1940s, when it was part of a weekly radio program.

So to do today’s challenge I asked my friends on Facebook to tell me something about themselves that I didn’t know. I think this was a great idea. I might have to try this once a month or something to get to know more about my friends.

Daily Challenge For Jens Sake Day 7

I wanted to get this Daily Challenge up early enough so that you all had a chance to make time to play with your kids today. I play tag or hide-n-seek in my house with the kids all the time. Since I homeschool it helps us get in exercise when we can’t go outside. I am probably one of the only moms on the planet who encourages my kids to run in the house at times. That is because I am running in the house too, I am no hypocrite. HAHA. So, get out there today and play.

Today’s Daily Challenge Wednesday Sep. 07, 2011

Healthy Behaviors

EVERYDAY WELL-BEING
Play a game of tag.

How to do it
Invite your friends or kids to join you in a game of tag. Take turns being “it” and chasing each other around the yard or playground. If there’s no one around to play tag with, turn on your favorite music and shimmy around the room for 5 to 10 minutes.

Why it matters
Fitness games like tag are part of an active lifestyle. While you’re racing around the yard, you’re also burning calories. To keep from being tagged, you’ll have to make rapid changes in pace and direction, which engages different muscle groups and enhances balance. You’ll be so busy laughing that it won’t feel like exercise at all.

Fun Fact
In Romania, tag is called “leapsa,” and in parts of Greece it’s called “kynigito.”

Ok, It’s your turn. Join in on the Daily Challenge; Facebook it, Blog it, Live it, Love it!!!

Daily Challenge For Jens Sake Day 5

Day 5 is already upon us in the Daily Challenge. Since I am a writer, the writing challenges are not challenging for me. What I have noticed though, is there is already a pattern of repetition going on here… Two days writing, two days stretching yet it is only Day 5 since I have joined. The challenge will be, if they don’t give me something else to try, that I may not want to continue. Not because I don’t like the site. On the contrary, I love the site. It gives me something positive to wake up to and keeps me in that mindset all day. But, I don’t want to subject you, my dear readers, to the monotony.

Today’s Daily Challenge Monday Sep. 05, 2011

Emotional Health

EVERYDAY WELL-BEING
Write for 5 minutes about 1 thing that’s stressing you, so you can think about it more clearly.
How to do it
Take five minutes to write down something that’s stressing you out and why it’s stressing you out. Use the “hot pen” method: Write everything you can think of about your problem and don’t lift the pen from the paper until the five minutes are up. (You can type instead if you want – just make sure to get all of your thoughts out.) When you finish, take a few slow breaths, and then read what you wrote.

Why it matters
Multiple studies have shown that writing about a stressful situation lowers stress and improves mental clarity in dealing with the problem. When something is making us anxious, we can get stuck in a cycle of repetitive thinking that is unproductive and actually stresses us out even more. Writing can break that cycle by giving you something to do, by allowing you to vent and get your problem out of your head and onto a piece of paper. Once there, you may be able to deal with it more objectively and with a bit more clarity.

Fun Fact
In the 1960s, a company spent over one million dollars developing a ball point pen that astronauts could use in the zero-gravity conditions of space.

 

I do have a few stressful things that I am working out and a few that have already worked themselves out. But, I will not be publicly placing my 5 minute written out thoughts on here. Some aspects of this writers life are just not meant for the public eye.

This is a great exercise and I have used it for writing poetry to find a topic to speak about. My poetry class homework that required this, was actually the first time I have ever done the “hot pen” method. To be quite honest, my blog posts have already been doing this. No sugar-coating… just straight from the heart, mind and soul. The only difference is I edit it after I am done, so it becomes legible to all of you.

I can see how this challenge can be used to identify all of your stressful thoughts or emotions. Maybe you will discover something that wasn’t nagging your conscience mind but, was hidden a bit deeper. Lord knows, those deeper hidden thought sometimes have the biggest effect on our moods and the way we conduct ourselves throughout the day.

Ok, It’s your turn. Join in on the Daily Challenge; Facebook it, Blog it, Live it, Love it!!!

Daily Challenge For Jens Sake Day 3

Daily Challenge Day 3… The hardest challenge that ever was! The sun is disappearing as the sky has gone black. The Apocalypse has arrived and it’s in the form of a daily challenge. *SHRIEKS* “The end of the world is coming, the end of the world is comingggg.”

Today’s Daily Challenge Saturday Sep. 03, 2011

Emotional Health

EVERYDAY WELL-BEING
Donate or throw away 1 pair of old shoes or boots that you no longer wear.

How to do it
Find the oldest, most outdated, clunkiest pair of shoes in your closet. You know, the ones with an inch of dust on them. Put them on. Walk around the house in them. If you’re still unsure whether you should get rid of them, snap a photo of your feet and send it to a friend. Have her give you three reasons to get rid of them. Then put them in your donation bag (or toss if damaged).

Why it matters
Closet real estate is king, and way too valuable to have it taken up by shoes that we no longer wear. By ridding your closet of old, unused shoes, you will have the room to be better organized. This will facilitate wearing what you have, taking better care of it and getting dressed faster, thus eliminating the mad dash for the door every morning. And you will never again be frustrated by not being able to find a pair of shoes that you just KNOW are in there.

Fun Fact
A shoe by any other name… Zapata (Spanish), Chaussure (French), Schuhe (German), Pantofi (Romanian), Schoen (Dutch), Scarpa (Italian)

When I read this challenge I began to panic and scream… “NOOOOOOO, not my shoes!!!” Vomiting soon ensued as I sat holding my stomach. I was ill! OMG, the horror, the utter nerve… This challenge should be deemed illegal. Call 911, call the CIA, someone get GOD on the phone right NOW…I want to add a commandment; Thou shall not EVER make a woman get rid of her shoes!!! This is unjust, this is unfair, this is highway robbery and I will NOT stand for it…

Everyone knows women love their shoes. There is a void deep inside the center of our very soul that can only be filled with shoes. I have accumulated too many shoes to count let alone to wear but, it is my God given right as an American citizen to have them, dammit… Do you hear me? MY RIGHT to have a cluttered chaos of chic shoes! I am no Carrie Bradshaw but, this is just not right.

As a child I had 3 pair of shoes. Not because we were poor but, because I grew up in a 3rd world trailer under the tyranny of dictators. I had a dress pair of shoes for those times I was forced to go to church with my grandparents. Or for when I had to dress up for Choir. Or whatever other thing I had to do that required me looking like a girl. Phooey!!! Most of the time those dress shoes were penny loafers. I was an 80’s kid stuck in the goodwill shopping lane.

My second pair of shoes… sneakers, usually Converse or Chuck Taylors. Back in the 80’s and early 90’s they were the only shoe made in America. Dad was strict about his buy only American-made products policy. There was no name-brand designer anything in our home or on our bodies. And God forbid we bought something with our own hard earned money because to the trash it would go. Damn, tyrants!!
Then along came NAFTA (North America Free Trade Agreement) and last I saw his household wore Reebok. Guess our years of sticking it to the man and only buying what was made in our country wasn’t enough to stop NAFTA from happening. Good luck finding anything made in the USA now. Hypocrites!!

My third pair of shoes were Converse as well. They were gym shoes for school and when summer came they would become my new everyday pair. I spent most of my childhood barefoot though until I was older and started working and practicing softball and basketball all the time. Oh and lest I forget the dreaded huge moon boots I was forced to wear during the winter because we lived up in NeverStopsSnowingVille!!! It was called Fairview or UpNorth to the city-slicker Michaganders, because it was the northern part of the Lower Peninsula. Yeeehawwww I tell you. YEEEEFRICKINHAW!!! Anyway, back to my shoe challenge.

So as soon as I escaped “Little Germany” and got married, I began my shoe collecting. Awww, shoes. So calming, so refreshing, so soothing to my inner demon that just happens to have 6 feet…which is why I need more shoes than I can possibly wear. LOL

I began with my slippers basket. This way I could work my way up to shoes and if all else fails I can “fib” and say I did it because slippers are kind of like shoes, right? I dumped my basket on the floor and stared. A single tear dropped my eye as I picked up slipper after slipper and made that life changing decision to toss or keep. Out of 10 pairs, I kept 2. The rest I tossed, they were old, tattered and torn, a few broken… just like my heart. I cannot do this… Lord give me strength!

35 pairs of flip-flops, 20 tossed… HELP ME!! Next, 60 pairs of high heels, sneakers and boots, 1 pair tossed. Sorry but, I cannot throw away those. I did throw away a pair of Skechers that I bought when I lived in Chicago right before I moved out here. That was approximately 8 years ago so I can let those ones go.

Phew… I am not as stressed now, could be because I didn’t get rid of anything still in top condition. I can tell you this though, my shoes are now back to organized status. My closet on the other hand is still in need of a makeover but, two baskets of shoes are no longer in there, so it’s a start. So what are YOU waiting for??
It’s your turn. Join in on the Daily Challenge; Facebook it, Blog it, Live it, Love it!!!

Daily Challenge For Jens Sake

Today is Day 2 of the daily challenge. We writers sit so long at our computers, typing out our masterpieces. The longer we sit and stare at a computer screen the more our bodies become stressed and tired. This is an excellent exercise to do to help relieve the tension in our neck, shoulders and backs.

If you would like to take part click the link and let’s connect. The more the merrier, I say. We can keep each other motivated. Let’s go!!!

Today’s Daily Challenge Friday Sep. 02, 2011

Healthy Behaviors

EVERYDAY WELL-BEING
Give your neck an assisted side stretch for 10 seconds on each side.
How to do it
Stand and flex your left arm down by your side with your wrist pulled up, as if you are pushing on a flat surface. Tilt your head to the right, reach over to the left side of your head with your right hand, and gently push down. Make sure to keep your left shoulder down and away from your ear. You should feel a nice stretch, but no pain. Hold for 10 seconds, then do the same sequence on the other side.

Why it matters
If you stand for long periods or spend most of your time at a desk, it’s likely that your neck needs some TLC. This stretch can prevent injuries and help relieve pain, stiffness, and soreness. Another bonus? It can help you de-stress.

Fun Fact
The thick muscle on either side of your neck used to bend your head forward and tilt side to side is called the sternocleidomastoid (stur-noh-klahy-duh-MAS-toid).

Ok, it’s your turn. Join in on the Daily Challenge; Facebook it, Blog it, Live it, Love it!!!

Daily Challenge For Jens Sake

I have just signed up on a daily challenge site. It is very easy to sign-up, you just use your Facebook account. I read about this on Lifehacker and decided to check it out. So far I like what I see. Then again it is only Day 1.

I will be setting this up as a month of September blog challenge, so not only will I have to keep on the ball on Facebook but, also on For Jens Sake. If you would like to take part click the link and let’s connect. The more the merrier, I say. We can keep each other motivated. Let’s go!!!

Today’s Daily Challenge Thursday Sep. 01, 2011
Emotional Health
EVERYDAY WELL-BEING
Identify a problem that has been worrying you, then write it down and brainstorm 2 solutions.
How to do it
Write down one problem or issue that you are concerned about. Spend a few moments thinking of two solutions, and then write the solutions next to the problem. If there is one solution that seems stronger, circle it and think about how to implement it.

Why it matters
When we’re really worried about an issue, it’s easy to spend time over-thinking it. With too much thinking and too little action, people become stressed about a problem. Taking the action to brainstorm solutions and select one to potentially put into action lessens some of the stress created by the problem.

Fun Fact
The song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1988. It was the first a capella song to do so.

My Problem:
Money… (Isn’t that everyone’s problem these days? It’s my daughter’s Sweet 16 this year and she didn’t get a Quincenera last year so this year is the big celebration. Also major holidays are almost upon us and as always we have no money saved for gifts.)

-____-

Solution 1:
Win the poetry contest and get that $1000. (Ok, not technically a solution although, it would solve the problem. LOL Sorry, I cannot be serious 100% of the time.)

Solution 2:
Stop worrying about it… because every year we make out just fine when the holidays come.

I choose solution 2! You see… don’t be so serious and let worry consume you because in the end things have a way of working themselves out. If you don’t believe me see Why It Matters above!!!

Ok, it’s your turn. Join in on the Daily Challenge; Facebook it, Blog it, Live it, Love it!!!

Sunday’s Question Segment

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I am starting a new Sunday ritual on my blog. I think it would be fun to have my readers send in questions that you would like answered.

It will be like a Dear Abby column,only InJensMind style, so please send me a question.

You can do this via Facebook, G+, Twitter, a comment on this post, or email… it can be private or public, you can choose to be anonymous if you want, it can be true, made-up, or something you saw or heard someone say… Anything goes! Please make sure when you send in your question that you sign the bottom of it with the name you want to appear on the post.

To start it off, here is the first question.

“For Jens Sake, I have a question. As I was sitting in church listening to today’s sermon I tweeted Pastor Bob’s words to my followers. The words were so uplifting to me that I had to pass them on. Is it wrong of me to share the good Lord’s message on Twitter while church is in session?”
                                         -Tweeting For God

Dear Tweeting For God,
I can appreciate how much you want to help your followers by passing on a positive message. However, I don’t know if God or Pastor Bob will welcome what it is you are trying to do. There is etiquette that you must follow while using your cellphone in public places. Tweeting, texting or the use of any social network is not something that should be done in church. Yes, we are in a technological age but, it is disrespectful to not give your full attention to the pastor. If you are afraid that you may forget what was said and you feel it is imperative to share; write it down and spread the message after you leave God’s house.

                                            -InJensMind

Thank you for joining For Jens Sake and the new Sunday segment. Don’t forget to send in your questions each week by Saturday 11:59 pm Central time. You can find me on several social networks just look under the tab marked Find Me On or you can email me at injensmind@gmail.com Make sure you sign your question the way you want your name to appear in the post. Tune in every Sunday for new questions.

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.

If I Were a Rich Man- Topol
From the musical ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ 1971

SPOKEN: Dear God, you made many, many poor people. I realize, of course, that
it’s no great shame to be poor… but it’s no great honor, either. So what would have
been the difference if I had… a small fortune?

If I were a rich man,
Daidle deedle daidle
Daidle daidle deedle daidle dum
All day long I’d biddy-biddy-bum
If I were a wealthy man.
I wouldn’t have to work hard,
Daidle deedle daidle
Daidle daidle deedle daidle dum
If I were a biddy-biddy rich,
Daidle deedle daidle daidle man.

I’d build a big tall house with rooms by the dozen
Right in the middle of the town,
A fine tin roof with real wooden floors below.
There would be one long staircase just going up
And one even longer coming down,
And one more leading nowhere, just for show.

I’d fill my yard with chicks and turkeys and geese
And ducks for the town to see and hear,
Squawking just as noisily as they can,
And each loud “pa-pa-geeee! pa-pa-gaack! pa-pa-geeee! pa-pa-gaack!”
Would land like a trumpet on the ear,
As if to say, “Here lives a wealthy man.”
Oy!

If I were a rich man,
Daidle deedle daidle
Daidle daidle deedle daidle dum
All day long I’d biddy-biddy-bum
If I were a wealthy man.
I wouldn’t have to work hard,
Daidle deedle daidle
Daidle daidle deedle daidle dum
If I were a biddy-biddy rich,
Daidle deedle daidle daidle man.

I see my wife, my Golde, looking like a rich man’s wife,
With a proper double chin,
Supervising meals to her heart’s delight.
I see her putting on airs and strutting like a peacock,
Oy! What a happy mood she’s in,
Screaming at the servants day and night.

The most important men in town will come to fawn on me–
They will ask me to advise them,
Like a Solomon the Wise–
“If you please, Reb Tevye?”–
“Pardon me, Reb Tevye?”–
Posing problems that would cross a rabbi’s eyes–
(chanting) Ya va voy, ya va voy voy vum…
And it won’t make one bit of difference
If I answer right or wrong–
When you’re rich, they think you really know.

If I were rich, I’d have the time that I lack
To sit in the synagogue and pray,
And maybe have a seat by the Eastern wall,
And I’d discuss the learned books with the holy men
Seven hours every day–
That would be the sweetest thing of all…
Oy!

If I were a rich man,
Daidle deedle daidle
Daidle daidle deedle daidle dum
All day long I’d biddy-biddy-bum
If I were a wealthy man.
I wouldn’t have to work hard,
Daidle deedle daidle
Daidle daidle deedle daidle dum
Lord who made the lion and the lamb,
You decreed I should be what I am–
Would it spoil some vast, eternal plan,
If I were a wealthy man

A True Writer’s Epiphany

I have just had an epiphany!!! A special heartfelt thank you to my dear wonderful friend Sweepy Jean for posting the article ‘The 7 Virtues Every Writer Needs to Succeed.’

I found part of it to be quite enlightening…“The true writer understands that she must lose sleep, lose friends, and lose her sanity, and that even then she has no guarantee of ever being recognized as a writer.”

Prior to reading this I had been thinking about all the friends I have lost in the last few months and the ones I have gained. I am evolving again; I no longer tolerate what I did when I wasn’t a writer. Now my world is positive and more upbeat with an occasional backslide because I am human after all but, I am no longer the sarcastic, negative, cursing, badmouthing, intolerable, depressed person I was just a mere year ago. Every single day to me is now a new opportunity to be great.

A year ago nothing really mattered to me, I was stuck as a housewife and mom and had no aspirations of being anything more than what I was…I was content; grouchy and rude but, content. Then last year my journey began when instead of walking the same tired path, a treadmill walk so to speak; I had abruptly turned and strolled down a new path that I had never seen before.

I wrote in High School. I was in Advanced Writing as a Senior, it was not advanced enough for me. I found it boring and I often skipped class. I would find out what my assignment was from a friend, write it, hand it in and that was that. I graduated with an A+ average in that class and yet I was almost never there. Not once did it come to mind that I should be a writer. All I dreamed of doing with my life was to escape the tyranny of my abusive household; and I did but, I became a wife and mother soon afterwards and I just accepted that… that was my life, end of story.

But, last year I quickly went from roasting and goofing off in a rapper’s chatroom to keystylin’ (writing raps directly from my head using a KEYboard) to writing poems to freestylin’ (saying raps off the top of my head) to writing articles. In that short period of time I evolved into what you see today. I was moving forward with ease because of my supportive friends and I refused to put the damn pen down.

So back to my friends list; I know it seems a bit petty to gripe over it but, the people on my list are in categories of family, friends I have known in my personal life for at least 8 years and online friends I have known for at least 3 years. So why all of a sudden, were people deleting me or blocking me? I have always been loud, outspoken, rude/crude/lewd, bluntly put I’ve always been a bitch… nothing had changed, so why were they offended enough now to remove me?

Oh wait a minute… I CHANGED!!! It wasn’t my outspoken voice that was bothering them, it was the fact more people were listening now. It was the positive feedback I was getting from my new friends. It was the point when others and myself realized I was destined for greatness. Every time I posted a new accomplishment or published an article… like clockwork I lost friends. How dare I stop being a boring, uneducated, “loser” of a housewife and become a voice that people were cheering for… How dare I not go to college and have a great talent for writing… How dare I not only continue to speak my mind but, actually convince people that I was right in what I was saying… I have some nerve, don’t I?

This is the part where I should say I am sorry but, I won’t. Because I am not sorry for becoming more then what I was, for making my children proud with each new accomplishment, and I sure as Hell am not going back to plain ol’ housewife status so some people can feel better about their lives. I will never feel bad for accomplishing my goals and dreams. If it means I lose more so-called friends, so be it. Friends support one another and if mine aren’t supporting me than you weren’t my friends to begin with.

Now you know I’m a thinker and my mind has more to say:I also realized that as I was losing “friends” I was gaining new ones as well; more professional, supportive friends. Ones who actually read what I write not judge it based on a title; people who not only support my dream of being a writer but, gladly hand me the tools and knowledge to make those dreams come true. People, who like me, refuse to treat others badly, no matter how much they deserve to be told off. You know, the kind of people who think games are for kids.

The Universe was flashing a huge neon sign at me and I had missed it, until now…Yes I miss signs too. These people who were removing me are doing me an enormous favor; every time one leaves it opens the door for “new” people to enter my life. Before long my timeline’s will be full of people I actually enjoy interacting with. I will want to continue to better myself because I see them making the world a better place. That excites me, I have always felt like the outsider and now I don’t. Home at last, home at last thank the Lord I am home at last!!!

So now every time I log in online and someone is missing, I can say “Thank You” to the Universe and roll out the red carpet for my new special friend. And to everyone who has stood beside me from beginning to end, you my dears are appreciated more then you will ever know. Because I am a true writer!!!

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

Nobody’s Birthday

Nobody had a birthday
and she hoped it would be cool
even though every year she’d
turn out looking like a fool.

Nobody threw a party
and invited all her friends
hoping that this year someone
essentially attends.

Nobody sat and waited
for a birthday card or two
the mailman must have lost them
only bills were getting through.

Nobody grabbed some plates
and a knife to cut her cake
but, when she looked around her
there was nothing to partake.

Nobody took a picture
of all the gifts she got
but, when she viewed the photo
there was nothing in the shot.

Nobody listened kindly
for a birthday song sung proud
she must have lost her hearing
for she heard no words out loud.

Nobody sat reflecting
wiping the teardrops all away
how dare she think she’s special
just because it’s her birthday.

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