Wednesday, 31 December 2008

I am the new year

I am the new year. I am an unspoiled page
in your book of time.

I am your next chance at the art of living.

I am your opportunity to practice what you
have learned about life during the last twelve months.

All that you sought and didn't find is hidden in me,
waiting for you to search it out with more determination.

All the good that you tried for and didn't achieve
is mine to grant when you have fewer conflicting desires.

All that you dreamed but didn't dare to do,
all that you hoped but did not will,
all the faith that you claimed but did not have...
these slumber lightly, waiting to be awakened
by the touch of a strong purpose.

I am your opportunity to renew your allegiance
to Him who said, "behold, I make all things new."
I am the new year.

Monday, 18 August 2008

An Irish Ghost Story

This story happened a while ago in Dublin, and even though it sounds like an Alfred Hitchcock tale, it's true.

~~~~~~~~~~~~ John Bradford, a Dublin University student, was on the side of the road hitchhiking on a very dark night and in the midst of a big storm.The night was rolling on and no car went by. The storm was so strong he could hardly see a few feet ahead of him. Suddenly, he saw a car slowly coming towards him and stopped.John , desperate for shelter and without thinking about it, got into the car and closed the door.... Only to realize there was nobody behind the wheel and the engine wasn't on. The car started moving slowly. John looked at the road ahead and saw a curve approaching. Scared, he started to pray, begging for his life. Then, just before the car hit the curve, a hand appeared out of nowhere through the window, and turned the wheel. John , paralyzed with terror, watched as the hand came through the window, but never touched or harmed him.Shortly thereafter, John saw the lights of a pub appear down the road, so, gathering strength; he jumped out of the car and ran to it. Wet and out of breath, he rushed inside and started telling everybody about the horrible experience he had just had.A silence enveloped the pub when everybody realized he was crying... And wasn't drunk.

Suddenly, the door opened, and two other people walked in from the dark and stormy night. They, like John , were also soaked and out of breath. Looking around, and seeing John Bradford sobbing at the bar, one said to the other.... 

Look Paddy....there's that fooking idiot that got in the car while we were pushing it!!!!'

Monday, 4 August 2008

Conjoined Twins, Abby & Brittany Hensel turn 16

I remember years ago seeing a feature of these girls when they were about 4 years old on 20/20 or 60 Minutes, or some show like that. This is just so interesting!


Real Mothers don't eat quiche; they don't have time to make it.
Real Mothers know that their kitchen utensils are probably in the sandbox.
Real Mothers often have sticky floors, filthy ovens and happy kids.
Real Mothers know that dried play dough doesn't come out of shag carpet.
Real Mothers don't want to know what the vacuum just sucked up.
Real Mothers sometimes ask "why me?" and get their answer when a little voice says, "because I love you best."
Real Mothers know that a child's growth is not measured by height or years or grade...
It is marked by the progression of Mama to Mommy to Mom.

For all the times
you gently picked me up
when I fell down,
for all the times
you traded me
a warm smile for a frown,
for all the times
you tied my shoe
and tucked me into bed,
or needed something
for yourself
but put me first instead...
For everything we've shared -
the dreams, the laughter
and the tears...
I love you with
a special love
that deepens through
the years.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Big Boobage - the curse

I was blessed/cursed (take your pick) with an ample endowment of boobage. Yup. Having big "boobs" ain't what it's cracked (pardon the pun) up to be. Ask any (honest) full-figured woman. I began getting breasts when I was 10 years of age and i'm turning 40 this year and they've only stopped growing. Sure, I got a lot of wolf whistles and I was proud of my curves, too; but still I wished I wasn't so top-heavy. Too often, it invited the wrong kind of attention, not to mention the backaches, ill-fitting bras, and self-consciousness that came along with them.

Oh, don't get me wrong; I am very grateful that I have them and that they're healthy, thank God. But after my kids were born my breasts just seemed to grow larger and heavier, and inevitably, started heading south fast. To add insult to injury, as time went on, I began to develop rashes underneath my breast area which quickly became yeast infections. This certainly was no fun! You see, large breasts can be really high maintenance! So much so that I seriously considered following a friends example and undergo breast reduction surgery myself. I even went so far as to see a surgeon and set the date for the operation; but I had to back out due to another medical condition at the last minute. Saved me £5500 though.

A major portion of women of all ages and walks of life struggle with large breasts. Struggle, you say? Yes, struggle. For many of us, the weight of the breasts causes sagging (as in my own case) which in turn can cause other problems like perspiration, rashes, and odor.

Women with large breasts encounter issues our smaller-breasted sisters simply don't have - finding a good, supportive bra probably is the least among those issues. Here are just a few more to consider:

Perspiration/Wetness: A bane for the large-breasted! Over time, the weight of the breasts and the inevitable effects of gravity cause perspiration to get trapped in the crevices underneath the breasts and upper ribcage area because of skin-on-skin contact. Definitely not sexy. Yes, wetness underneath the breasts is a constant concern for the big-busted and not reserved just for the summer months, either. Indoor heating systems and wearing layers of clothing during the winter can exacerbate the buildup of perspiration under the breasts even if it's freezing outside. Wearing a good support bra cannot always prevent this accumulation of perspiration; and forget about it with underwires. Unless the bra completely lifts the breasts and is made of quality, absorbent material, you will ultimately have that wetness problem. And with perspiration can come embarrassing,

Odor: You can try all kinds of powders and perfumes to combat this issue (I even know of some women who actually put deodorant underneath the breast area) but the best way to combat odor is to get rid of the wetness problem in the first place.

Rashes: This is nothing to take lightly. Rashes hurt! They're not just itchy; they burn and sting and can be very stinky (odorous and odious). Rashes can be caused by all types of inflammation, causing great discomfort and embarrassment. You should immediately see your doctor should a rash occur to rule out anything serious. Fortunately, most rashes that occur in women with large breasts aren't really serious but they sure as heck can be uncomfortable.

Many women are forced to use expensive prescription and over-the-counter creams, powders, lotions and pills - or resort to smelly "homemade" bathing solutions of vinegar and water - but these remedies - while offering initial relief - usually only mask the symptoms but do not address the causes of these conditions. As long as the breasts lay on top of the ribcage causing that skin-on-skin contact, no amount of cream, powder or lotion can be truly effective. And after awhile, they stop working altogether because the body starts building up an immunity to them.

I had to find a better solution. My doctor told me to wear a cotton bra; but finding a cotton bra that offers decent support in my 42L size is not a simple thing, almost fruitless (or more aptly, fruit-of-the-loom-less). While getting ready for bed one night, feeling miserable and itchy, as usual, I prepared to pull on my favorite nightwear - a big, baggy t-shirt - when I was hit with a sudden epiphany. After glancing at the tagless tag on the t-shirt that said 100% cotton, it dawned on me; the cotton should go under the breasts, not over them. I immediately cut up the t-shirt into strips and tucked one under my breasts, keeping it there throughout the night. The next morning the rash had disappeared. Now the idea of placing cotton cloth in and under areas prone to irritations is not new - nurses in healthcare facilities have long used this as a simple preventative remedy in the care of bedridden patients to help minimize rashes, bedsores, and other like conditions caused by skin rubbing against skin; but I'll tell you, it was new to me and a God-send! It was such a simple solution that instantly brought me real and lasting comfort!

Yes, from nursing mother to middle-age, women all over suffer at one time or another from skin-on-skin contact discomfort underneath the breasts whether from painful, burning rashes or uncomfortable perspiration build-up. You can do as I did and cut up your old t-shirts. Most of the rashes are fungal and need treatment by fungal cream, but there is no permanent solution.

Whether your breasts could put Dolly Parton to shame or are so perky they make the rest of us want to cry, the real key is acceptance - of yourself and the way God made you. That's what really counts. So after hating my boobs for the last 30 years I'm learning to accept them.

Friday, 22 February 2008

James 1st haircut

Well we finally had to get James curls cut, we're heading of to Portugal and he would have been too warm with all those curls. He sat like an angel and didn't move. I came away with an envelope full of curls. He still has a few left so hopefully they'll all grow back. Granny thinks he could have been doing with getting more of it!

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Why Don't friends with kids have time?

This appeared in the Washington Post in May 2007

Dear Carolyn: Best friend has child. Her: exhausted, busy, no time for self, no time for me, etc. Me (no kids): What'd you do today? Her: Park, play group ...
OK. I've talked to parents. I don't get it. What do stay-at-home moms do all day? Please no lists of library, grocery store, dry cleaners ... I do all those things, too. I guess what I'm asking is: What is a typical day and why don't moms have time for a call or e-mail? I work and am away from home nine hours a day (plus a few late work events); I manage to get it all done. I'm feeling like the kid is an excuse to relax and enjoy, but if so, why won't my friend tell me the truth? Is this a contest ("my life is so much harder than yours")? What's the deal? I've got friends with and without kids and all us child-free folks have the same questions.

— Tacoma, Wash.

Dear Tacoma: Relax and enjoy. You're funny.

Or, you're lying about having friends with kids.

Or you're taking them at their word that they actually have kids, because you haven't personally been in the same room with them.

I keep wavering between giving you a straight answer and giving my forehead some keyboard. To claim you want to understand, while in the same breath implying that the only logical conclusions are that your mom-friends are either lying or competing with you, is disingenuous indeed.

So, because it's validation you seem to want, the real answer is what you get. When you have young kids, your typical day is: constant attention, from getting them out of bed, fed, cleaned, dressed; to keeping them out of harm's way; to answering their coos, cries, questions; to having two arms and carrying one kid, one set of car keys, and supplies for even the quickest trips, including the latest-to-be-declared-essential piece of molded plastic gear; to keeping them from unshelving books at the library; to enforcing rest times; to staying one step ahead of them lest they get too hungry, tired or bored, any one of which produces checkout-line screaming.

It's needing 45 minutes to do what takes others 15.

It's constant vigilance, constant touch, constant use of your voice, constant relegation of your needs to the second tier.

It's constant scrutiny and second-guessing from family and friends. It's resisting constant temptation to seek short-term relief at everyone's long-term expense.

It's doing all this while concurrently teaching virtually everything — language, manners, safety, resourcefulness, discipline, curiosity, creativity. Empathy. Everything.

It's also a choice, yes. And a joy. But if you spent all day, every day, with this brand of joy, and then, when you got your first 10 minutes to yourself, wanted to be alone with your thoughts instead of calling a good friend, a good friend wouldn't judge you, complain about you or marvel how much more productively she uses her time. Either make a sincere effort to understand, or keep your snit to yourself.