Thank you

September 6th, 2010 No comments

Thank you to everyone who participated and supported the Muscular Dystrophy Association today.

Your support means more than you will EVER know.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Categories: MDA Tags:

What do you know about Muscular Dystrophy?

September 5th, 2010 6 comments

I’ll be honest, up until around ten years ago, I didn’t know much about Muscular Dystrophy. About all I knew was that on Labor Day, Jerry Lewis held an MDA telethon that tore at my heart. Still, I didn’t really understand or connect with it.

Until my nephew was diagnosed with, specifically, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Cody with truckMy nephew turns 13 in a little over a month, and he’s doing well, beating the odds of most kids his age with DMD. And for that fact, everyone close to him is very thankful. He’s smart, handsome and a total joy.

He plays in junior high band. He’s a saxophone player… I think he knows girls find that hawt. (Don’t we.) He consistently amazes me the things he’s interested in and has taught me. I get him a Guinness Book of World Records every Christmas. I like to call it “our thing.”

He has a very distinct knowledge of right and wrong, and more than once I’ve found him to be the voice of my own conscience! He’s working his way towards becoming an Eagle Scout, and he loves cars and trucks. His dad works at a Ford dealership and is a certified mechanic; I think that’s a big part of where that love of cars comes from.

If it wasn’t for the fact that he’s stout and his calf muscles are bigger than most kids. If it wasn’t for the fact that he can’t run or be in any sports. If it wasn’t for the fact that when going a longer distance, he is in a wheel chair, you’d never know there was something wrong.

You’d never know he is dealing with things most people will never have to acknowledge.

What is muscular dystrophy?

First and foremost, muscular dystrophy is a genetic disorder. You can’t catch it from someone. Its not contagious. It’s something you are born with due to basic issues in the individuals genes. These issues weaken the body’s muscles, muscles that we all know from basic science courses make the body move. This weakening continues on as the individual ages, which is why some cases aren’t diagnosed until adulthood.

There are many different types of muscular dystrophy, separated by their rate of deterioration or perhaps by the muscles it attacks.

How many people have it?

According to a report in June 2005 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, “Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy, alone affect approximately 1 in every 3,500 to 5,000 boys, or between 400 and 600 live male births each year in the United States.” [National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke]

Is it fatal?

Sadly, yes, it can be fatal. Remember the heart is a muscle. Muscular dystrophy can  affect the heart, lungs, etc. and eventually it can claim the individual’s life. (This is the part I can’t dwell on, because it rips my heart out. I think that goes for all of the family.)

Stride & Ride

My nephew and family at Stride & Ride, an MDA Fundraiser, in Dallas, TX.

What can be done?

Every day research is being done to help combat muscular dystrophy. This research and the knowledge and drugs that have come from it are a big part of why my nephew is doing as well as he is. That along with sheer determination, an optimistic attitude, and absolutely amazing parents (and little sister!) that support him.

This research is a huge part of why the MDA Telethon is so very important. Every dollar helps move the research closer to a cure. Every dollar can help save a life. Every dollar brings hope to those who face muscular dystrophy every day.

So, what’s this Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy your nephew has?

I’ve recently discovered Parent Project MD, which focuses strictly on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. They’ve posted a video to YouTube explaining DMD wonderfully. It gives hope, but it also had me in tears at times. But, I want to share it here to educate.

Yes, its almost 10 minutes long, but it is worth it. I promise. Please take the time to watch and hopefully understand.

A few final thoughts: as many people go out on the lake or have a backyard barbecue, many others are relying on the Labor Day telethon to be a success. As you look away from the screen, not wanting to see a child in a wheelchair, families find joy in their child’s life, and they pray for a cure to keep that child living the best life they possibly can.

In our dismal economy, it seems like we’re all having our pocketbooks squeezed until they are dry.  I know mine is… but even one dollar helps. It helps. It matters. I will happily give up a dinner out to see my nephew’s life made better. To see the lives of thousands of kids made better. They are all more than worth it.

Categories: family, MDA Tags: , , ,

Weekly Winners (Aug. 29 – Sept. 4)

September 5th, 2010 34 comments

Weekly Winners is a fun little thing bloggers do to showcase some of their favorite photos from the previous week. It is brought to you, me and everyone by the lovely Lotus, aka Sarcastic Mom. Visit her site and find all the participants. See some amazing photos brought to you by bloggers around the world. Leave a little love when you do — its like food for the soul!

Weekly Winners

Nashville Sounds Game

A group of friends, my husband and I went to the final Nashville Sounds home game last Sunday. Our seats were behind home plate! I'm not a huge baseball person, but I do always have a blast at games.

7th Inning Stretch

Take me out to the ball game... Seventh inning stretch!!

Mini Guinness

This could very well be my new favorite shot. This is Patron Cafe with Baileys floated on top. It's called a "Mini Guinness" since it looks like a glass of Guinness beer. But it is soooooo good. This winter, I hope I can get a bottle of Patron Cafe and Baileys and just have a big mug of this to sip on a cold night.

Retro Camera :: Bailey

I couldn't not use the Retro Camera App on my Droid at some point this week. Sleeping Bailey got his picture taken.

Game Day Jewelry

Game day jewelry... my class ring (that I never take off except to shower and wash dishes) and my Aggie bracelet!

Percy Priest

Sailboat on the lake. Tell you a secret: I think sailboats are beautiful, and I'd deep down love to go for a ride on one.

Percy Priest

I try not to rely on my Droid's camera too much, but then I get shots like this and wonder why I don't use it more often. I actually caught a duck in flight, which I'd not been able to do with my regular camera for whatever reason.

Saturday Sunset

I was driving when I took this sunset shot. And I kind of love it. Okay, I very much love it. And I thought it was a perfect way to close this entry.

♥ ♥ ♥

Photos taken using a Nikon Coolpix L20 unless otherwise noted in the caption. View all of my photos available on my Flickr stream.

“Natural remedies” that I’ve found work

September 4th, 2010 6 comments

When I am at a loss of how to handle something, I often think to myself, “Humans thousands of years ago didn’t have the modern conveniences that we have today. They figured out how to handle this; I will, too.”

Granted, thousands of years ago the human life expectancy was nothing like it is today, and there’s something to be said about where science has brought us. However, sometimes those old natural remedies just WORK.

I have three that I’ve found to work fairly consistently, and I thought I’d share them today…

Neti Pot

198: Neti PotThere seemed to be a resurgence in the Neti Pot about the same time I was introduced to this old sinus remedy.

In October of 2007, I came down with the most horrific sinus infection of my life. My entire left cheek became swollen, and the doctor I saw worried about an abscess and it being so close to the brain. I was in bad shape.

She suggested I try a Neti Pot. I looked at her like she was a little crazy, and I never believed I’d really be able to do it. I could not imagine using this contraption that looked like a gravy boat to run salt water in one nostril and out the other. Was she crazy!? My brain my start to float or something!

Instead, I’ve discovered it to be one of my best friends. It’s dragged me through several other sinus infections, and I firmly believe its helped me avoid getting one all together. Any time I help mow the lawn or if we are in an exceptionally smokey bar, I use it to clear out my sinuses. I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone with any sinus troubles. (You can find where to order one in my “Favorite things” widget on the right sidebar.

Garlic for a tooth ache

GarlicIt was Valentine’s Day 2008, and I got the worst tooth ache. I wanted to just cry! I wanted to go out with my husband, not lay on the couch in misery.

A little searching online for natural remedies, and I discovered the suggestion to put a garlic clove on the tooth. I was extremely skeptical, but it was better than nothing. Much to my surprise, the garlic clove trick (combine with a salt water rinse) WORKED! A day later, I had NO pain whatsoever. I was shocked!

I’ve used the trick several times since then. Only ONCE did it not work, but I blame it on the infection in the tooth just being too much for the garlic to work anymore. Penicillin had to be called into action that time. Yuck. BUT every other time I’ve had even a twinge of discomfort, I’ll turned to the garlic cloves natural antibiotic properties.

This doesn’t replace a dentist of course! I am not saying that at all. I’m just saying that when its the weekend, or you just flat out can’t afford an emergency dental visit, this IS a good natural remedy. I’d also highly recommend using a salt water rinse in addition to the garlic. It just seems to help move things along.

Vinegar for fruit flies

VinegarThis last week, my house has had a crazy “infestation” of fruit flies. I could not figure out where they were coming from. I don’t have any fruit nor any house plants for them to be in. I keep a clean kitchen. They seemed to just be EVERYWHERE.

Again, I did a search for natural remedies. The one that kept popping up was a bowl of apple cider vinegar with lemon Palmolive set on a cabinet or table. It would draw the flies to it, and as they landed to try for the lemon that they sense from the Palmolive, they instead get caught in the vinegar and die.

Well, I had regular vinegar and orange juice instead. To my amazement, IT WORKED. Over night, I came back and found five dead fruit flies floating in my concoction. I also noticed I didn’t see any flying around.

I later went and got apple cider vinegar, but the store was out of lemon Palmolive. So I picked up orange instead. My new mixture hasn’t caught any dead bugs, but I definitely no longer have any fruit flies. At all!  It may not have caught anything, but it seems to have run them off!

So, vinegar to get rid of fruit flies… try it!!

By the way, there are a TON of good uses for vinegar. I’ve also used it to clean my microwave and coffee pot. I’ve combined it with baking soda to make a gritty paste to clean food stuck on dishes, etc. without scratching them up. Baking soda also makes a great tooth paste if you’re out of tooth paste. It also helps you take smells out of carpet when used prior to vacuuming.

Lots of fun natural remedies out there to try… what are some of your favorites?

Versatile Blogger

September 3rd, 2010 7 comments

Yesterday, Brittany over at Living in the Moment (Which happens to be one of my absolute favorite blogs! If you’ve not started reading it yet, now would be an excellent time to do. Trust me on this one, kay?) tagged me to receive the blog award Versatile Blogger.

I honored to be in her list! THANK YOU!!

Now, for the steps of this award:

Share 7 things about yourself.

1) I am planning to write a book about the history of Printer’s Alley in downtown Nashville. I have a serious love for that Alley and the history of it just makes me light up to hear. I’ve looked and looked, and I’ve never found a book written specifically about the Alley. I already have several contacts to interview about it. All I need to do is write my book pitch and, the hard part, find someone interested in publishing it.

2) I have two things I battle almost constantly: tooth aches and sinus problems. The tooth aches are from my deep dislike for the dentist, not to mention the sheer expense of dental work. The sinus problems just are what they are. Fall is always the worst, so brace yourself for an extreme amount of whining in the next few months about my not being able to breathe.

3) I play FarmVille on Facebook. My secret is out. Please forgive me! But, I like how it makes me think and balance time spans in the game, and as silly as it sounds… its just plain fun. Time consuming, yes, but hence the balancing time spans. The goal is to always make it such that I play in my downtime, not when it would take me away from my work.

4) I’ve become a total penny pincher. If I do buy myself something frivolous, like today I bought a couple flowers for my front steps, it has to be on sale. Or I have to have a coupon. Coupons are my friends. I’m not as good at the coupon clipping as some people are, but there is a level of satisfaction seeing a significant number under “money saved” at the bottom of a receipt.

5) Labor Day means MDA Telethon. My nephew has muscular dystrophy, and as such MDA is an organization that is very near and dear to my heart. They do wonderful, wonderful things and Labor Day is their biggest fundraiser for the whole year. While many people are out on the lake, etc. I’m watching that total raise, often with tears in my eyes. My nephew is an amazing kid teen, and I am prouder of him than I could ever put into words. Labor Day is a big day for anyone and everyone touched by muscular dystrophy, and I am looking forward to it!

6) My toenails are always painted, but my fingernails are never painted. Well, except for clear. I don’t know why, but its just something with me. I might go a day or two without polish on my toenails, but its only if I am staying home and will probably be wearing socks at all times. It just BUGS me to not have them painted! As for my fingernails, I just don’t like chipped polish, and I can’t go a day without chipping my nail polish. So I just opt to not wear polish at all.

7) I haaaaate making phone calls. There must be a name for that fear, because I literally will get a knot in my stomach and sweaty palms before making a phone call. Well, when I call anyone besides my husband or my parents. As such, I’m a total text message addict. It avoids my phone fear. Anytime I DO make a phone call, I get a sense of accomplishment. I did it! I beat my fear! Yay! But it comes back every time I pick up the phone. Its crazy. I know. But it is what it is.

Pass this award on to 15 bloggers who you love, think are fantastic or have recently discovered.

1) If Mom Says OK — Gotta love Tara… found her via Weekly Winners; I love all her posts and she’s awesome to follow on Twitter as well.

2) Boy Blessings — Follow the story of a Mom whose son has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The same type my nephew has.

3) Just One Miss — I always enjoy her posts and point of view.

4) Lesley’s Blog — I’ve literally know Lesley since she was born. She doesn’t post much, but when she does, she always amazes me the type of strong woman she’s grown up to be.

5) Way More Homemade — Recipes and she’s an Aggie. How could I not love this!?

6) Life Ain’t Always Beautiful — A mom. A country music fan. An all around very cool lady. Go say Hi to Missy!

7) Just Malia — A fellow Nashvillian! I love reading about the perspective of others in my city!

8) Milk Breath and Margaritas — While I am on a Nashville run, Amy is also editor of the Relationships Channel of Blissfully Domestic, which I write for. Besides, how can you not love a blog with such a cool title?

9) Newlyweds Next Door — I only just recently found this blog, and what I’ve read so far, I love!

10) Not Quite What I Had Planned — One of my favorite Weekly Winners ladies, her blog has pulled me in time and time again.

11) Nashville Musician’s Survival Guide — Eric is a friend of my husbands. I only just learned of his blog this week, but I am so enjoying it. Anyone reading my blog mostly for my behind the scenes posts to the music industry would be smart to check Eric’s blog out, too.

12) Matty Thoughts – I keep forgetting to visit Matty on a regular basis, but whenever I have made it over there, I’ve enjoyed his blog thoroughly. He’s given me wonderful feedback on my blog and for that I am grateful.

13) The Mama of Mojo — I follow her on Twitter and absolutely love her tweets. Is it not expected that I’d also love her blog?

14) The Young and The Relentless — Another blogger I found via Twitter, if I recall. Great life blog.

15) i am lotus — aka Sarcastic Mom. Blogger I quite frankly have a blogger-crush on… which might be weird since her husband and my husband have been friends for years. Even weirder to say I’ve never met Lotus in person. But I think I’m in blogger-love. Now, I just hope I haven’t scared her off for life with this. ;)

Categories: about-me, blogging Tags: , ,

The dynamics of cats and dogs in relation to business

September 2nd, 2010 10 comments

Since last weekend, I’ve had dogs and cats on the brain. Chewing on the different approaches of the two animals, I realized you could easily take those dynamics and apply them to employee interactions in an office setting.

Are you a dog or are you a cat?  I don’t mean which one do you prefer; I mean which one’s personalities do you emulate while at work.

The dog

When we took in the dog for the weekend, the thing that struck me was how he was so “in your face” at all times.  I couldn’t move two feet and he’d be on my heels. (Something that drove me CRAZY!) In a matter of moments, he’d uprooted my cat and taken his spot on the couch beside me. He was domineering.

It struck me quickly how people can be that way in life and in business. There are those personality types that will be right in your face, demanding attention and approval from their peers and superiors.

Imagine for yourself a new guy walks in the door at work. His eyes are bright with excitement for the job, and any time the boss comes in the door he’s on their heels asking what he can do. What’s the next big project? Do you need coffee? A pen? Something to write on? What can I do for you?

There is without a doubt something to be said for someone with that personality. They’re going to be the first in line to do anything. They’re going to jump when they think something needs to be done immediately.

We all need “dogs” in our lives to keep us motivated as well as to be reliable. You know they’re going to be right there the second you open your mouth to ask for something. Sometimes they’re there even when you don’t need anything… and that’s okay too.

Dogs will more than likely move up the “food chain” quickly due to their persistence and unending amount of motivation and energy. However, I’m not sure what their chances are of being in upper management. Some “dogs” have that leadership quality inherently. Many, though, aim to please and are best being told what to do.

The cat

Comparing cats and dogs is about like telling the tortoise and the hare story.

Cats are more laid back and less in your face. They’re around, doing their thing, all while observing the scene around them. Taking stock of it. Deciding the best maneuver for themselves based on those observations.

When the dog was getting a little overly attentive to me, I’d find myself wanting to seek out my cat. I wanted his calm approach more than the hyper approach of the dog that was driving me a little crazy. I wanted to throw the dog a stick to go one way while I went to hang with the cat.

I imagine in an office setting, a “cat” is that person who sticks to their desk and methodically does the job at hand. They may not necessarily seek out the next job they need to do, and as such could potentially be viewed as being lazy. They might even be that person who gets their neighbor to get them a cup of coffee, “whenever you happen to go that way.”

However, at the end of the day, they get the job done without having made much noise. They’d be the ones who might not get noticed as fast, but they’d also be the ones that get sought out specifically for a task.

I imagine they’d also make great bosses. They’d give you the job, let you know what is expected of you, and instead of beating you over the head with it, they just give you that stare. The one that is disapproving. The one the might make you think they plan to kill you in your sleep. The one you don’t want to get, and thus you do the job without having to be told more than once. It’s not that you know what your punishment is… it’s more that you don’t ever want to find out what it would be!

Other pets

Wilson County FairI don’t think I have to explain the snake personality. It is that person who lies in wait — possibly even emulating the cat personality– only, they will be the first to strike and take you out if you get in their way.

Hamsters run and run and run, only to never really get anywhere. They’re just happy to be there.

Horses pull the load and do the hard work. They end up, though, having someone always telling them what to do and when to do it. They’re revered and respected, but at the end of the day they’re never going to make any final decisions of their own.

Personification of animals is nothing new. This whole thing was just something fun I’ve chewed on the last few days.

I took a lot of sociology courses through college — which, by the way, I hated but always just fit in my schedule somehow. Sadly in hindsight, I was very close to having at least a minor in it. I took a few philosophy courses and one psychology course. So, this is my disclaimer: I write this with no real education or paper on the wall to back up anything here. These are just my personal opinions and thoughts.

By the way, I’m not only a cat person, but I’m a “cat” in business as well. Anyone have any idea what they are, and why?