Sunday, August 9, 2009


Precious memories are all I have left of my wonderful mother. A year ago today we buried her.

My mother was a great cook. I remember sitting in the kitchen as a teenager, and then as a young adult watching her prepare meals, that is how I learned to cook. I remember when my mother and I joined a gym and worked out together. We were both so uncoordinated, we laughed and laughed, and had a great time together, and lost weight.

The last time I saw her alive was when we buried our father. My daughter and I spent a few days with her after his funeral because her birthday was in a few days. The last thing I did for my mother was to prepare a special meal for her birthday including a birthday cake. When I left her room in the nursing home, I never would have thought that I would never see her alive again. I had such hopes for my mother. I wanted her to recover and go home. She did go home for a few short months, but ended up in the nursing home again and the family was told that she would never be able to go back home because her heart was too weak. I talked to her often on the phone, but there were times she did not even know who she was talking to.

This is what I wrote and read to my mother for her 80th birthday celebration:

A mother laughs our laughs, shed our tears, returns our love, fears our fears.
She lives our joys, cares our cares and all our hopes and dreams she shares.
It's always good to know you're always there with advice when it's asked for, with encouragement when it's needed, with kindness when it means the most.
A mother's love is like a garden reflecting tender care for wherever there is beauty, a mother's love is there.
How do you find the words to thank her for sacrifices she's made, for the ones we know about and the ones she's never told us of, and the countless times she put our needs before her own?
I hope you always know in your heart how much we love you, respect you, and thank you for the countless ways you have helped make our lives what they are today.
You've given love and so much more that all of us are thankful for and in our hearts, we all agree you're all a mother is meant to be.
I wrote this for my mother for Mother's Day in 2008. I never got the chance to read or give this to her:
This Mother's Day, I hope you find love, peace, and happiness.
I hope you find joy each and every day.
I wish for you to set a goal for yourself and strive to reach that goal,
no matter how small.
I wish for you take a very long look at your life and be very proud
of all your accomplishments. I know of the sacrifices you have made.
I dream of the day that I hear you laugh more, I dream of the day I see
you play more, and enjoying life to the fullest.
But most of all, I wish you love, peace, and happiness
this Mother's Day and forever more.
All I have left are the precious memories of my wonderful mother, and today and always, I will celebrate those memories and be eternally grateful to have those memories of the times we shared together.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


On 05 January 2009 at 8:00 p.m. eastern time, The Bachelor series will make history. This series of The Bachelor is going to be the most exciting and intense series ever. For the first time, not only will the bachelor be looking for the love of his life, his soul mate, but this bachelor will be looking for a stepmother for his three and a half year old son Tyler. We all remember Jason on the Bachelorette. DeAnna Pappas stole his heart, he proposed to her, and then broke his heart when she turned down his proposal.

Jason Mesnick is a handsome 32 year old single father from Seattle. He is an account executive and legacy planner. He is loving, caring, and has a great sense of humor.

Will a group date include Tyler? Will Jason finally find his true love, and a stepmother for his son?

Sunday, December 28, 2008


As a little girl growing up in a family of four sisters and one brother, mom and dad always made Christmas special for us. Of course we all believed in Santa Claus and when we stopped believing, we never let on to mom and dad, I guess we wanted to keep Christmas special for them also.

I remember the dozens and dozens of cookies our mother made, chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal raisin, and best of all sugar cookies cut out in various shapes topped with homemade butter cream icing in different colors. I remember dad going into the kitchen opening a tin and mom saying "Herb, get out of those cookies." Every afternoon during the holidays between 2:00 and 3:00, we would have a "tea party" consisting of cookies and eggnog. As a matter of fact, as adults we kept the tradition of the "tea party."

I remember waking up very early Christmas morning to find a nylon stocking tied to the bedpost filled with apples, oranges, nuts, and Christmas candy. We would rush downstairs with big smiles on our faces to see what Santa Claus brought us, we were never disappointed.

As adults, and some of us living in different states, going home for Christmas was a lot of fun. With our parents older, it was our turn to make Christmas special for them. I remember mom and dad telling my daughter and me that we made Christmas for them, because without fail, we went every year and stayed until New Year's. Little did they know they were still making Christmas special for us.

Our family enjoyed playing games at Christmas. Dad's favorite was Monopoly, and mom's was Scrabble. The all time favorite family game was Bingo. All during the year each of us would collect inexpensive gag gifts to wrap for the big game. The winner of each game would choose a gift from the laundry basket. In a paperbag, we had pieces of paper with instructions such as: take a gift from the person on your right, give a gift to the person on your left, etc., that we passed around, and each person had a chance to get a gift if you were lucky, or give up a gift. The hours of fun and laughter we had together playing Bingo will never be forgotten.

Unfortunately this is our second Christmas without dad, and our first Christmas without mom. Even though they are no longer with us, they left each of us with special Christmas memories of our time together. Now it is our turn to take the reins and continue to make Christmas memories together. Merry Christmas Mom and Dad.

Friday, December 12, 2008


Ballroom dance refers collectively to a set of partner dances, which originated in Germany and are now enjoyed both socially and competitively around the globe. Its performance and entertainment aspects are also widely enjoyed on stage, in film, and on television. In times past, ballroom dancing was “social dancing” for the privileged, leaving “folk dancing” for the lower classes. Many “ballroom” dances were really elevated folk dances. In spite of its historical image as a pastime for the privileged; formal competitions, sometimes referred to as DanceSport, often allow participation by less advanced dancers at various proficiency levels. Ballroom dance competitions take place worldwide at different levels. Ballroom dancing isn’t mainly enjoyed by only adults but it is taught to youngsters at an early age of 10-11 in the 5th grade in some US states. Not only are they taught, but they participate in city wide competitions. They are taught dances randomized from tango, rumba, swing (jitterbug), foxtrot and the merengue as a celebration to their senior year in elementary school. This competition is called “colors of the rainbow.”

In competition ballroom dancers are judged by diverse criteria such as connection, frame, posture, speed, timing, proper body alignment, proper usage of weight, ankles, feet, and grooming.


In one common usage “ballroom dance” refers to the ten dances of International Standard and International Latin, though the term is also often used interchangeably with the five International Standard dances . In the United States, the American Style (American Smooth and American Rhythm) also exists.

International Style
International Standard
Slow Waltz - Tango - Viennese Waltz - Slow Foxtrot - Quickstep
International Latin
Cha Cha - Samba - Rumba - Paso Doble - Jive
American Style
American Smooth
Waltz - Tango - Foxtrot - Viennese Waltz
American Rhythm
Cha Cha - Rumba - East Coast Swing - Bolero - Mambo
Historical/Vintage Dance
Waltz - Polka - Schottische - Tango - One-Step - Foxtrot

The dances I enjoy seeing performed the most are the Samba, Paso Doble, and the Viennese Waltz.

Samba: The Samba is an all-out party dance with origins from Brazil’s Rio Carnival. It is made up of many different South American dances incorporated into one. It is very rhythmical with lots of hip action. Walking Samba steps and side steps are the basic components of this dance. The major characteristic of the Samba is the vertical bounce action. Steps are taken using the ball of the foot. The accomplished dancer is made to look effortless and carefree with knee action, body sway and “pendulum motion.” My favorite part of the Samba is the Samba roll - a rolling movement from the waist up. The upper body circles as you create a six-step turning group. The Samba has a distinctive climax, it ends with throwing of heads back and arms splayed out to the side.

Paso Doble: The Paso Doble on the competition floor should create a Spanish Bull Fighting atmosphere. The Paso Doble is the dance of the Man, which allows him to fill the “Space” with strong three-dimensional shapes and movements danced with “Pride and Dignity.” The woman’s role varies depending on the interpretation of the dance. The woman can take the role of the matador’s cape, the bull or even the matador at different times within the dance. Characteristics of the Paso Doble are the “Marching” flavor given to the steps and the cape movements creating the required tension between both dancers. It is one of the only dances that is danced only in the ballroom world. It is one of the most dramatic of the dances.

Viennese Waltz: The Waltz developed in Central Europe from the Austrian dance known as the Landler. The fast whirling of partners held as if in an embrace shocked polite society. The music of Johann Strauss and the famous ballrooms of Vienna popularized the faster version known as the Viennese Waltz. Distinctive moves: sweeping turns that gracefully move around the floor characterize this dance. The Viennese Waltz is know for its rotational movement, which is simple and elegant. There should be no foot rise on the inner turns; rotating and swinging spatial movements.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


The "Silent Killer."

We have all been warned that the best detection for breast cancer is a mammogram. A mammogram does not detect inflammatory breast cancer - excisional biopsy, MRI, or a breast ultrasound may be used to confirm the diagnosis. There are no lumps.

Inflammatory breast cancer is an extremely deadly cancer because women are not aware of what to look for. This form of breast cancer is rare, very aggressive, and develops very rapidly. One victim of this cancer died at the age of 16. She was too embarrassed to tell her mother that her breast looked a little funny.

The affected breast is red, swollen and tender. It is a locally advanced cancer, meaning it has spread from its point of origin to nearby tissue and possibly to nearby lymph nodes. Inflammatory breast cancer can easily be confused with a breast infection, but if it is cancer, symptoms will not go away with antibiotics, you should seek medical attention immediately if you notice skin changes on your breast, to help distinguish a breast infection from other breast disorders. Symptoms: despite its name, inflammatory breast cancer does not cause inflammation the way an infection does. Signs and symptoms include:

Rapid change in the appearance of one breast, over the
course of days or weeks

Thickness, heaviness of visible enlargement of one breast

Discoloration, giving the breast a red, purple, pink or
bruised appearance

Unusual warmth of the affected breast

Dimpling or ridges on the skin of the affected breast,
similar to an orange peel


Tenderness, pain or aching

Enlarged lymph nodes under the arm, above the collarbone
or below the collarbone

Flattening or turning inward of the nipple

Swollen or crusted skin on the nipple

Change in color of the skin around the nipple (areola).
Inflammatory breast cancer tends to affect women at an average age of 59 - about three to seven years younger than the average age at which other types of breast cancer are diagnosed. Men can develop the disease, but at an older age. African-American women appear to be at a higher risk of inflammatory breast cancer than are white women.

About one-third of newly diagnosed inflammatory breast cancers are stage IV - the cancer has spread to other parts of your body, such as bones and liver. Treatment for inflammatory breast cancer starts with chemotherapy, followed by surgery and radiation therapy. About half the women diagnosed with the condition survive five or more years, and nearly one-third are alive 20 years after diagnosis. Even after treatment with chemotherapy, surgery and radiation, recurrence rates remain high for inflammatory breast cancer.

I was not aware there were different types of breast cancer, and especially not aware of inflammatory breast cancer until a family member was diagnosed in February 2008, and given two months to live. After treatment with chemotherapy and radiation the outlook improved , and the doctor gave her two years to live in June 2008. After a check-up in August 2008, the doctor gave her two months to live, she passed away October 2008.

Monday, November 10, 2008


DeAnna Pappas called off her engagement to Jesse Csincsak. DeAnna accepted the marriage proposal, and on national television announce they would tie the knot 09 May 2009. Now she tells Jesse "I love you, but I'm not in love with you." What a joke!!!!!!!!

I could tell DeAnna was not in love with Jesse during the show. She chose Jesse because she considered him "safe." DeAnna didn't think Jesse was ready for marriage yet. He was a professional snowboarder who knew he would have to make a career change sooner or later, a fun loving guy who she could hang out with. To sum it up, Jesse and DeAnna had fun together, no real attraction for either of them.

DeAnna did not want a ready made family with Jason, so she rejected him, and she sent Jeremy home because she thought their only connection was their shared experience of losing a parent.

DeAnna needs to do some real soul searching. Looks like Brad had a good reason for rejecting her!!!!!

Monday, October 27, 2008


The latest fashion statement is the silk scarf, making a comeback from the 80's. The silk scarf is a versatile accessory of expression to enhance your look and style. A silk scarf can be worn around the neck, the waist as a belt or sash, draped over the shoulder, or tied to the strap of your purse. Have fun enhancing your wardrobe with this inexpensive accessory and look glamorous.