Wednesday, July 1, 2015

While Nero Fiddled . . .

As we celebrate this Fourth of July let us contemplate on what we can do to help keep this great, cherished Nation from going the ways of other great Empires. Let us join together as one people, free of bias, greed and corruption as we work to bring back and maintain the beauty and purity of this great land of the free---'America the Beautiful.' 

While Nero Fiddled . . .

The Roman Empire between 100 and 200 AD encompassed Northern Scotland and reached out as far as Asia. It was one of four classified Empires; including Han China, Mauryan, India and Parthian Persia. The Roman Empire stands out due to its ability to unify and cause major changes in language and the development of lands conquered. It is said that the United States of America is second in this endeavor. So why did the Roman Empire Fall? The glory that was Rome fell by 284 AD due in part by what is taking down our country today — greed, corruption and apathy.

As we watch our own great nation, once the shining star of the free world grow ever weaker, inundated with internal and external problems, one wonders if we are following the footsteps of the once mighty Empire whose arrogance and refusal to see or care blinded them to their own demise. Our country became the United States of America in 1776 with the words of our Constitution written in the blood of those who fought and died for it. That would be about 240 years ago.

We face many of the Roman Empire’s problems and more, which includes loss of respect from other nations, mockery from our enemies, little or no aid from countries that we spend billions upon, as well as major financial, medical, and environmental problems on our front. Scandals in government have scorched the integrity of our political philosophies. We have backed down from stamping out terrorism when it first raised its ugly tentacles in the 1970's; beatable than, not so easily now. Our economy, dependent upon two-income families, has affected the lives of this present generation of children, along with the ever progressive computer technology which is both advantage and bane. We have been forewarned and educated in problems needing immediate solutions. As a Super Power we still ‘talk the talk’ but fail to ‘walk the walk.’ Chicken Little is scurrying about, crying out, ‘The Sky is Falling.’ We don’t bother to glance up.

Can we be so foolish as not to see what's happening to our once great nation? The greed, corruption, and apathy are snowballing into a massive avalanche that may well bury the country we once knew. Cartoonist Walt Kelly paraphrased Navy Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry’s famous quotation, ‘We have met the enemy and they are ours.’ On the second Earth Day on April 22, 1970, Walt Kelly’s first ‘Pogo’ cartoon graced the cover of a magazine. His words were relating to environmental issues but aptly fit all the problems of our times. “We have met the enemy and they are us.’




Saturday, June 27, 2015

View From a Hospital Room

Personality traits differ significantly among hospital patients, Physicians and caretakers, which can include: sympathy/aloofness, empathy/impatience, caring/apathy, patience and intolerance. Mistakes and miracles occur almost on an equal basis; patients, who should live, die and those who should have died live. Hospitals are buzzing hives of contradictions.
My bed is one of four in a well-lit room with large windows displaying the dull gray tones of a broad flat roof from the floor below. It’s a Cardiac Care Center (CCU), so all of us are hooked up to monitors, which I find comforting. This is not my first time here, yet I note changes since my last visit. Maybe my “rate our performance” opinion letters were actually read.
The nurses are exceptionally pleasant, insisting that we ring the buzzer if we need them — that is not usually the case. The Personal Care Attendants (PCA) are surprisingly young with as many men as women. They smile, ask about our lives, our comfort and show genuine warmth and caring.” Ryan,” a very young handsome man works tirelessly as a nurse’s assistant. His wide smile can’t help but make patients smile back — a beatific smile. He offers to help bathe us, but I pass. He’s about the age of my grandsons and I really can’t handle that, preferring the female PCAs who are no less enthusiastic in doing their jobs. Ryan will soon graduate as a nurse.
Another PCA, working years to support his family, decides it’s time to make a career move into nursing. He’s a no-nonsense guy in his late 30’s, and while he doesn’t radiate joy in his work, his caring is deeply sincere and conscientious. One young man, looking like a teenage football player, sits patiently feeding pureed food to a demented old woman for a solid hour, until her tray is empty. He never sighs with impatience or abruptness, but handles her as a mother would tend her young child. The woman, who can only live in the moment, won’t remember this selfless act but can, in the now, as it unfolds. I think to myself that this young man is a true angel.
Judith, once a high–income professional, upon retiring, grew bored and chose to give herself to others in the lowly occupation of hospital cleanliness maintenance. A beautiful woman, she literally races from room to room, scrubbing, mopping, and disinfecting, all the while singing cheerful songs. Her face beams with happiness while disbursing gems of wisdom and optimism to all of us. I give her a signed copy of my book and she treasures it like gold. I feel my own discomfort receding just being in her presence.
One of my roommates is discharged late at night and I am annoyed when a maintenance man comes in, turning on all the bright lights, to clean and prepare the bed for an incoming patient. Then as I watch him diligently scrub every section of the last patient’s area, humming while he works, I realized that he likes his job and we talk as he works.
Once while speaking to one of my nurses, she tells me how she lost her husband and then her home and possessions during Super Storm Sandy the year before. We were discussing my book, which I always keep on my nightstand. I ask her how she could be so happy and smiling all the time.” Life is full of losses,” she says.” I’ve learned to accept that and move forward with my life.” Her attitude inspires me to rethink my own attitudes toward loss, pain and suffering.
Hospitals are far from perfect. The downside for me is a botched simple pacemaker battery change, which leads to five more surgeries and six months in and out of the hospital. A boy scout with a manual could have done a better job. Statistics report that approximately 400,000 deaths occur each year in hospitals, due to Doctor/nurse error or negligence, and three of every 25 patients contact a potentially, deadly infections. I hold the dubious honor of contracting both a UTI (urinary tract infection) and a VRE (Vancomycin Resistant Enterititus) intestinal infection. It is a humiliating experience as the “Swab Team” burst into my room in Haz-med uniforms, whisking me off to isolation. I did not have the infection but colonized it, being contagious only to a small percentage of patients with a gene defect.
There are also times when I have to tell a new and experienced nurse that he needs more practice putting in IV needles. Another time, one has to be reminded to use gloves before touching me. One day after getting no sleep from the pain, I take a late morning nap. My new roommate is suddenly surrounded by doctors as her monitors bleep and flash in alarm. The nurses assumed she is sleeping when in fact she stopped breathing and nearly dies. Since her heart rate is monitored that should not have happened. Mere coincidence causes her doctor to be visiting at that exact moment. Her life is saved.
There is much more to tell but to sum it up, while hospitality has improved dramatically, there is still much to be done for the protection of patients from errors in hospital-contracted diseases. Don’t even ask about hospital food. Being on a cardiac, salt free diet, I have the kitchen manager bought to me to discuss the salt content of his meals, which is far above my allowance; and still have to have my meals made and brought in from home. One food server tells me that no matter what I mark on my menu, all patients get the same thing. I believe him. There’s a possibility I might not be allowed back to this institution. My last opinion poll on hospital overall performance might ensure that. And that’s okay with me.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Paying it Forward with author, Jennie Sherwin



                                               ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jennie Sherwin has a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in counseling. She is the author of Intentional Healing: One Woman’s Path to Higher Consciousness and Freedom from Environmental and Other Chronic Illnesses and is a contributing writer to Conscious Life News. She has been a teacher of English on the junior high school and senior high school levels, as well as a writer and editor in the field of public health. She has mentored writers and editors. She is certified in Reiki I and II and has studied energy therapies at A Healing Place in Richardson, Texas, working under the direction of Deborah Singleton and her healing team. Jennie also acknowledges the guidance of Christine Gregg, Australian spirit reader and healer, and Maya Page, intuitive healer, Reiki Master, and VortexHealing® practitioner, now retired. In Baltimore, Maryland, where she lives with her husband, Roger, Jennie writes about the environment and health, healing, consciousness, and chemical sensitivity. With Roger, a retired physician/epidemiologist, she provides medical editing services to busy researchers needing assistance in preparing peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, books, and other publications. Her son, Colin, lives and works in New York City.
You can contact Jennie below.
Email: jsherwin@ymail.com
Blog or Website: http://jsherwinblog.wordpress.com
Twitter Handle: @JennieSherwin
Facebook Page URL: https://www.facebook.com/booksbyjenniesherwin
It is my great pleasure to introduce author, Jennie Sherwin, whose wonderful book, 'Intentional Healing' saved not only her life but taught her to share her healing experience with others in a remarkable book, 'Intentional Healing.'


For the patient with chronic disease, whether it is manifested as chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and/or chemical sensitivity, achieving wellness can be a lifetime's struggle. Patients may look for years before they find the key to their health and well-being. This book is an inspiring story of one woman's desire and ability, not only to achieve good health, but also to discover and develop her God given but latent talents in order to take her place in life as a spiritual healer. (Willim J. Rea, M.D., F.A.C.S., F.A.A.E.M., Founder and Medical Director of the Environmental Health Center-Dallas) Can you imagine healing? Can you imagine what it would feel like to be deeply connected to the higher order of your inner self, and to know the entire Universe is organized around your well-being? Can you stretch your boundaries and allow the awakening of dormant parts of you just waiting to come alive? How deeply satisfying that can be! This is what you will find in Jennie Sherwin's book, Intentional Healing: One Woman's Path to Higher Consciousness and Freedom from Environmental and Other Chronic Illnesses. It is a beautifully written personal story of the deep healing of her life. (Deborah Singleton, B.S., M.A., Founder and President of Arasini Foundation and of A Healing Place)
http://www.amazon.com/Intentional-Healing-Consciousness-Environmental-Illnesses-ebook/dp/B0087GZACM/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1434935048&sr=1-1&keywords=Jennie+Sherwin
http://www.amazon.com/Intentional-Healing-Consciousness-Environmental-Illnesses/dp/B00EKWSRTK/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1434935048&sr=14&keywords=Jennie+Sherwin

About the Author

A former educator and public health writer, Jennie Sherwin, after devastating illness, now teaches others the healing approaches that restored her health. 
                                         

Review

For the patient with chronic disease, whether it is manifested as chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and/or chemical sensitivity, achieving wellness can be a lifetime's struggle. Patients may look for years before they find the key to their health and well-being. This book is an inspiring story of one woman's desire and ability, not only to achieve good health, but also to discover and develop her God given but latent talents in order to take her place in life as a spiritual healer. (Willim J. Rea, M.D., F.A.C.S., F.A.A.E.M., Founder and Medical Director of the Environmental Health Center-Dallas) Can you imagine healing? Can you imagine what it would feel like to be deeply connected to the higher order of your inner self, and to know the entire Universe is organized around your well-being? Can you stretch your boundaries and allow the awakening of dormant parts of you just waiting to come alive? How deeply satisfying that can be! This is what you will find in Jennie Sherwin's book, Intentional Healing: One Woman's Path to Higher Consciousness and Freedom from Environmental and Other Chronic Illnesses. It is a beautifully written personal story of the deep healing of her life. (Deborah Singleton, B.S., M.A., Founder and President of Arasini Foundation and of A Healing Place) 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Dad's Delight: Another Father's Day--Another Tie

Origin of Father's Day, past and present celebrations.



Fathers always seem to get second billing. Father's Day follows Mother's Day, and even Children's Day, although no one takes Children's Day seriously except the children. Mother's Day usually means breakfast in bed (a dubious honor), flowers cards and gifts.

Fathers, on their designated day, get ties; hideous dated ties that store owners save up all year and then offer on sale to unsuspecting children. Wives are apt to acknowledge their husbands fulfillment of fatherhood by buying them tools to fix things around the house, then letting them foot the bill. 21th century fathers would much prefer a variety of I-gadgets.

If it weren't for Mrs. John Bruce Dodd of Spokane, Washington fathers might still be a forgotten entity. Dodd suggested venerating fathers to Rev. Conrad Bluhm, president of the Spokane Ministerial Association as a suitable tribute to her own father, who, upon the death of his wife, successfully raised his children.

Her proposal was approved by the Association; the first celebration took place on June 19, 1910 in Spokane. Although the rose is recognized today as the official flower for Father's Day it was originally a lowly dandelion because “the more it is trampled on, the more it grows.” This tongue-in-cheek suggestion reflected the inequality of parenting. Motherhood was revered next to godhood; fatherhood, in this respect, was compared to a common weed.

In 1911, the observance of Father's Day in Chicago came as a novel idea. Jane Addams, the famous social worker, approved the concept, saying “Poor father has been left out in the cold . . . But regardless of his breadwinning proclivities it would be a good thing if he had a day that would mean recognition of him.” Pres. Calvin Coolidge, in 1924, expressed his approval of the idea as he wrote, “As I have indicated heretofore, the widespread observance of this occasion is calculated to establish more intimate relationships between fathers and their children, and also to impress upon fathers the full measure of their obligations.”

Fathers of the 21st century participate more in the daily care of their children. In some instances it is voluntary, in others it is necessitated by both parents working, causing the workload and pleasure of childrearing to be shared. Feminist pressure has helped to release the male from stereotyped thought and behavior, making nuclear families more a cooperative than a monarchy.

Before there was widespread observation of this holiday, different sectors of the country celebrated independently in different ways, even different years. The tradition eventually spread throughout most of the Americas and parts of Europe and Asia. A general agreement was settled upon on June 16, 1946, more than 30 years after Mrs. Dodds suggestion. Fathers finally got their day

Both Mother's Day and Father's Day have become “Hallmark Holidays’’ and while florists and confectioners flourish on the second Sunday in May, haberdasher's profit on the third Sunday in June. Commercialism aside, it seems right and fitting that on at least one day of the year fathers receive recognition and tribute from the children who bear their names, their legacies and their love. And what father can’t use another tie?

“Father! To God himself we could not give a holier name”— William Wordsworth 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Return To Kaitlin

Return to Kaitlin
By Helen Yeomans
Tyler Hogan’s day doesn't end well. He gets drunk and almost has a serious accident. He's a first-year college engineering student and not doing well. Now he's got a breathalyzer device on his car, a lecture from his mom and is out $800 in fines. And his girlfriend dumps him. These are all good incentives to not drink and drive. He's not too different from his teenage friends especially his best friend, Barty. The college Dean calls him to his office and due to bad grades in all but engineering suggests that Ty come back and start over the next year. Ty’s life seems to have bottomed out. He drowns his sorrows in more beer.
Upon hearing of jobs in the North where the pay is great for hot oiler crews. Ty is drawn in immediately. He soon finds out that his dream job is demanding. He's a quick learner, likes the money, does the dirty jobs as a newbie and saves his money. He's beginning to see a future. While his bosses and his hard drinking, often bullying coworkers are tough on him, he does meet a few good guys who help him find his way. Tyler soon realizes that the high cost of living is eating up his savings. He moves up to working the oil rigs and enjoys the three-week on. One week off routine even after nearly getting killed from a fall.
Soon his luck turns on him again and Ty manages to gamble while drunk, losing thousands of his savings and having his car slide off an embankment while driving on black ice. The car is intact until the towing company smashes it while pulling it back up to the road. Ty is sliding downhill as well, working hard under harsh frigid conditions and drinking just as hard — much  like the rest of his crew.
This is a coming-of-age story about a nice young man who is honest and tries to find himself in a harsh world. Author Helen Yeoman writes in great detail of the exacting toll that the oil rigging takes on its workers. For those who enjoy learning the intricacies of this formidable work, the author describes precise details involved in working the oil rigs in Canada.
Will Tyler Hogan be able to discover who and what he is and turn his life around? It's highly unlikely but he is not your average young man and he fosters impossible dreams. This book is loosely based upon a true event which makes it even more interesting. It is well-written with interesting characters, impressive descriptions and a fairly surprising ending.
Micki Peluso, author of . . . And the Whippoorwill Sang

 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Behind the Red Door A Collection of 10 Short Stories

Behind the Red Door
A Collection of 10 Short Stories
By Clayton C. Bye
Opening up Author C. C. Bye’s collection of 10 short stories, ‘Behind the Red Door,’ is like opening a box of chocolates — one just never knows what one will get. Will it be horror so intense it makes you shiver? Or perhaps humor that makes you laugh out loud? This highly talented multi-genre author writes in an eclectic style keeping the reader in a constant state of blissful flux.
The author's first story, ‘The Speed of Dark,’ is also the name of his International Award Winning Anthology, packed full of exceptional horror stories collected from many writers. In this short collection, written solely by Author Bye, each with a special slant in its own genre, the reader experiences a plethora of different emotions. One story, ‘Wrong Number,’ is especially thrilling, yet with ironic tongue in cheek humor, a new version of ‘The Devil and Daniel Webster.’
The ‘Last Unicorn,’ a tale of a shape shifter from another realm will make your jaw drop open in surprise, while ‘Retrovirus,’ sends chills up and down your spine. The best part of author Bye’s delightfully quirky talent is that he leaves one with the feeling that these things just might be able to happen.
This small book collection is perfect for reading while waiting in places or for those having only a short time to enjoy a short story. Be careful when opening up The Red Door . . . One never knows what lurks behind it.

Micki Peluso, author of . . . And the Whippoorwill Sang

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Times To Try The Soul of Man

Times To Try The Soul of Man
By Kenneth Weene
This is a story of an often hapless wannabe freelance reporter named Nick, who by dint of ambition and curiosity, dumb luck and raging hormones embarks upon a sojourn in Peru. He accidentally forms an alliance with Israeli Mossad men who open up his eyes to some terrifying events going on in the world. The aspiring young journalist troubled by drug and alcohol abuse plus raging hormones, stumbles upon a conspiracy in the highest ranks of local and national government. The author’s introspective analysis is intriguing and his bawdy use of sexuality leads to an unexpected conclusion.
Author Weene has out done himself in portraying an often unlikable young man who despite trials of every imaginable source, pushes forward while embracing bad life choices and bizarre circumstances often worsened by those choices. In writing this coming of age story the author takes the reader on a jolting, exhausting roller coaster ride of adventure, intrigue, and corruption in these incredible  “Times to try the Soul of Man.”The book is a harsh reminder of how badly we need more Americans like Nick, willing to forge ahead and rip apart the deceptions and lies being forced upon a nation and world, blinded by the apathy of its citizens. This is a read not easily forgotten, one that will nag at one's mind as terrorism continues its steady march toward world dominion.
Author Weene’s debut thriller is fast paced with great character development among his usual excellent writing skills. Fans and new readers alike will want to check out his other widely acclaimed books, such as ‘The Widow’s Walk,’ ‘Tales of the Dew Drop Inn, ‘Broody New Englander,’ and ‘Memoirs from the Asylum’ just to name a few of his eclectic works.
Micki Peluso, author of  . . . And the Whippoorwill Sang