The Fragility of Self-Esteem

youuglyWe all have a need to feel loved and accepted but it is important that we have a healthy sense of self-esteem.  Developing and keeping our self-esteem healthy can be a constant battle.

Self-esteem is defined as confidence in one’s own worth or abilities.   I have to admit that sometimes my confidence could be a whole lot better.

I was thinking about the young man recently who went through an airport security station in Rochester, New York and was handed a note by the security person.  When he opened the note it read: “you ugly”.   (Read the story here)  Now that’s just mean.  I’m glad to read that the airport screener was fired for that.  I just hope this young man has a good self-esteem.

The foundation for our confidence in our worth and abilities are developed at a young age.   Saying things to a child such as “you’re an idiot” or “you have to be smart to do that” are things that can make that foundation pretty weak.  Parents have a important role but when we get older we can’t blame it on them.  It’s up to us to fix it.

Like the young man at the Rochester airport I had my own “ugly” incident in high school.  I passed around my high school yearbook for my friends to sign it and was looking forward to reading their comments when it was returned.  To my disappointment someone had written “to a very, very ugly kid”.   It was anonymous but you can image how I felt.

When we get older, we have to do something with fixing the weak foundation.  Many times people do it by overcompensating in other areas.  Some try to find it in their careers.  Instead of doing what is expected, they go to the extreme.  Do you know what that gets you?  More stress and more work to gain the same approval.

Gaining approval by others is such a dangerous slippery slope.  You may get it but at what cost and what do you have to do to maintain it?

Let me say this one thing that I’m constantly trying to learn myself:  You don’t need anyone’s damn approval of you!  It is good to have someone who supports you and loves you no matter what but you still need to accept yourself.   If you are a good person and you do your best it doesn’t matter.  I often find myself falling into that approval trap.  Approval from others can’t be the load-bearing wall in your house of self-esteem.  If it is, when you don’t get the approval you want, your self-esteem collapses upon itself.

The key to developing a good and healthy self-esteem is by having integrity.  C.S. Lewis said that integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching.  Do your best and understand that if it isn’t that you have room to improve.  Don’t let someone’s opinion of you fuel your self-esteem.  People are fickle.  You can be the hero one day and then it is forgotten the next day.  People tend to only remember what you do good until they need something else.

Here are some ways that we all could do to maintain a healthy self-esteem:

  • Don’t compare yourself with others.  This is an easy trap to fall into.  When I moved to Nashville four years ago people were constantly reminding me of my predecessor.  Finally one day I had enough and decided that I was going to do things MY way because I knew what I was doing and had been successful in other places.
  • Take care of yourself physically.  The way we feel physically can seriously affect our self-esteem.  We need to eat right and get exercise.  If we don’t feel good, we will let our guard down.
  • Accept who you are.  Ignore what people think about you.  Be who you are.
  • It’s not about your work title.  You need to separate yourself from your job title.  The world likes to judge people based upon what they do.  Don’t let that make you who you are.
  • Surround yourself with positive influences.  Get rid of drama in your life. Don’t be around people who bring you down.

We have to work at this everyday because the world is full of cruel people.  We live in a world where people will post mean comments to social media without regard for anyone else.  A healthy self-esteem is crucial for us to rise above it and have an enjoyable life.  When we believe in ourselves and our abilities, we become more resilient in the face of adversity.

Want To Buy Greenland?

Okay, so our President wants to buy Greenland?

Say what?

I had to do one of those “is this for real” reactions when I first read about this. Apparently, he seems to figure this would be some sort of strategic move.

Don’t worry. I’m not going to talk about politics. I really don’t care who you support and don’t want to debate about that part of this story. I just want to tell you why buying Greenland is such a bad idea.

I lived in Greenland for one LONG year from 1983-1984 when I was stationed at Thule Air Base in Northern Greenland. Let me start off by saying that Greenland is NOT a tropical island.

The first reason that buying Greenland is a bad idea is because it’s cold. The average temperature is 50 degrees. The ground is called “permafrost” which means the grind is permanently frozen. So building there is pretty tricky. You aren’t going to build skyscrapers there. Yeah, I know about Global Warming and how some of the glaciers are melting but it’s still pretty darn cold all the time.

The second reason is that most of the island is in darkest almost half of the year. For six months, people experience the “dark season” which is pretty depressing. I remember how excited people were in the spring when the sun finally peaked over the mountains. The six months of 24 hours of sun isn’t as bad.

Another reason, current residents aren’t so fond of Americans. Greenlandic and Danish didn’t like us too well when I was there and I don’t think it has gotten much better. In fact, the Danes call Americans “horse thieves” in their native language. That’s not too endearing.

Global warming or not, most of Greenland is still under ice. Contrary to its confusing name, there isn’t much green in Greenland.

I always think of my time in Greenland as a unique experience. I would love to go back for a visit but I wouldn’t want to live there. It’s different and not like any other place I have ever been. One article suggests purchase of Greenland would see a surge in tourism.

I seriously doubt that.

I think it would be best to leave Greenland alone. We have a hard enough time taking care of our own territories as it is. Ask the folks in Puerto Rico.

We certainly don’t need to buy a huge chunk of rock.

Good News Wednesday (8/14/19)

I need some good news.   What about you?  Here are a few things that will make you feel good about the world…

GNW_081419_01WOMAN IN NEED OF SURGERY WINS $5,000 ON GRAND SLAM
(from www.ourmidland.com)
When Lori Ford arrived at Dow Diamond on Sunday afternoon, she was hoping to enjoy a Great Lakes Loons’ game and maybe get her mind off of pending hip surgery. And then it happened.

A couple of hours later, one swing of the bat brought tears to her eyes — and changed her life dramatically.

The Loons’ James Outman homered to rightfield with the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth inning, making Ford the first-ever winner of the Miller Lite Grand Slam Inning, a promotion which the team has been running since 2013. Ford, whose name was randomly drawn on the day of the game to participate in the promotion, received a check in the amount of $5,000 courtesy of Miller Lite. And, as she pointed out in a voice steeped with excitement, the money will be put to good use.

Very good use.

“(Loons’ onfield host Ashley VanOchten) asked me what I would use the money for if I won, and I told her that I was having hip surgery next Monday, and that (prize money) would definitely help with medical bills,” said Ford, a resident of Mount Morris. “It’s one of those things where you have to put down a deposit (up front) or else they won’t do the surgery, so this is such a relief.

“I went (to Dow Diamond on Monday) and picked up the check, and I’ve already been able to pay some of the medical bills,” she added. “Everything is OK now. I’m going to get fixed up and get better.”

Loons’ Assistant General Manager Matt DeVries said he was thrilled that a person like Ford was the first to finally win the Grand Slam Inning.

“Anytime we do a promotion like this, we’re always hoping we can be lucky enough to draw the perfect contestant to be the winner,” DeVries said. “And we couldn’t have asked for a better winner than Lori. She was so excited and so enthusiastic, and considering her situation, with surgery coming up, to be able to help offset some of that cost is near and dear to our mission of helping the surrounding community.

“I was ecstatic (that she won),” he added, noting of the Grand Slam Inning promo, “It was a long time coming and long overdue. We’re in the seventh year of this promotion, and no one had ever won it before. We were all super thrilled that Lori was our first-ever winner.”

Ironically, Ford admitted that she almost didn’t even register to be in the drawing for the Grand Slam Inning. And even after her name was drawn, she had almost zero expectation of actually winning.

“I had taken my sister to a Loons’ game before, and we both put our names in, and she actually won the drawing (to be the Grand Slam Inning contestant),” Ford said with a chuckle. “This time, I didn’t (register) at first, but then I walked around for a little bit and finally thought, ‘Maybe I’ll put my name in again, and they’ll pick me by some odd chance.'”

Once the bottom of the sixth inning arrived, Ford noted, things got exciting very quickly.

“It went very fast. (Romer Cuadrado) hit a home run to start the inning, and then they had the bases loaded (afterward). I thought, ‘Well, I won’t win, but I’ll stand up and ring the bell and cheer for (Outman) anyway,'” Ford said. “But then Ashley (VanOchten) said to me, ‘You know, when (Outman’s) girlfriend and family are here, he always does so good. I think you’re going to win.'”

According to Ford, watching Outman’s homer sail over the rightfield wall was pretty surreal.

“The first pitch was a strike, and then he hit the second pitch, and my boyfriend said to me, ‘It’s going to go over the fence!’ And it did,” she said, the emotion in her voice continuing to build. “I started screaming and crying, and Ashley was jumping up and down next to me like a kangaroo. Everyone was so excited. They stopped playing (the game), and the players were all waving and clapping for me. It was so exciting.

” … (Winning) the money was wonderful, but the whole atmosphere was incredible,” she added. ” … It was just a wonderful thing, a great moment.”

DeVries said that he almost didn’t even get to see Outman’s homer. He was in a different part of the stadium coordinating a separate promotion when he heard that Outman was up with the bases loaded. Fortunately, he hurried back to field level just in time to witness history.

“Of course, James hits the second pitch (of the at-bat), and I was just running back up the tunnel (when he hit it),” DeVries said. “Our in-house video crew captured this funny image of me with this look on my face like, ‘Did this actually just happen?!’

“Luckily, Ashley and our video team were right there to capture the moment (with Ford),” he added. “There was a lot of hugging and jumping around and just absolute disbelief.”

Incredibly, the story only gets better from there.

According to Ford, a 10-year-old boy from Coleman, Landon Babcock, retrieved the home run ball and promptly delivered it to her without being prompted by his parents.

“That was so sweet. What a good little boy,” Ford enthused. “I said, ‘There’s a little man right there.’ He told me, ‘Good luck with your surgery.’ How many little kids say that?”

Landon’s mother, Becky Babcock, said that it didn’t take her son long to start thinking about Ford.

“He came back with the ball and sat down for a second and then said, ‘Mom, I wonder if that lady would like this ball,’ and I said, ‘Yes, she might,’ and so we went and found her,” Babcock said, adding of Ford’s reaction, ” … She was a little teary-eyed and just overjoyed. She was smiling and wanted to give Landon a hug. She was thankful and happy that he did that.”

Asked if she was a little surprised by her son’s decision, Babcock replied with a laugh, “Yeah, I was. I was like, ‘Wow, maybe I’m doing something right (as a parent).’ He’s got a soft heart, and it is pretty cool that he thought to do that.”

DeVries agreed that Babcock’s gesture was “special.”

“It speaks to the type of young man Landon is. Obviously, he’s been brought up the right way, and he did a lot for Lori that day,” DeVries said. “It makes a heartwarming story come full circle for a young man to have a thought like that.

“Very often, the young person is on the receiving end (of a home run ball), where an adult catches the ball and gives it to a young person and just makes their day,” he added. “But this time, Landon has that great memory, but so does Lori. And then James (Outman) gave Landon a signed bat, so the good times just kept on coming.”

Becky Babcock said that her son was “so excited” to be presented with a bat by Outman.

“He told me, ‘Mom, I wouldn’t have thought that any of this would happen when I gave (Ford) that ball,'” she said. “What he’s taking from this is that, when you do something nice for someone, sometimes people will do something nice for you.

“He’s ecstatic to have that bat,” she added. “I don’t know that he’s put it down yet.”

According to DeVries, Outman’s homer traveled around 380 feet and just barely cleared the rightfield wall in front of the scoreboard — not far, fittingly, from the Miller Lite sponsorship sign.

“We’ve had bases loaded at least a dozen times (during the Grand Slam Inning) in the past, and we had a ball hit the top of the wall (with bases loaded) last year,” he noted. “We’ve been very close (to having a winner), and this one finally cleared the fence.”

Ford said that she just might have had some help from above.

“My mom is (deceased), but she was a gambler. She liked to play Bingo and things like that. Before (Outman’s homer), I looked up and said, ‘Mom, if you hear me, maybe you could sprinkle some of your good luck dust on me,'” Ford said with another chuckle. “It was so exciting, and I just couldn’t believe it. I can’t get up and down real fast, but I think I jumped right out of my seat. It made me cry.”

Becky Babcock said that Sunday was a great day to be at the ballpark all the way around.

“Probably just the joy on people’s faces, especially (Ford’s) and Landon’s,” she said when asked what she’ll remember most about that day. “It’s just a nice environment down there (at Dow Diamond) anyway, but that (joy) made for a very special time for everyone.”

GNW_081419_02YOUNG MAN PAYS IT FORWARD WITH SCHOLARSHIP FOR FATHERLESS STUDENT
(from fox43.com)
“I would dream of running around the yard playing tag with my dad, yet the reality is I could never do any of these things with my dad because I did not have the opportunity to know him,” said Demetrius Howard as he sat at the kitchen table reading a student’s story.

It’s a story Demetrius knows all too well.

“I seen that other people were going through some of the things that I was going through in life and it really humbled me to see that, and be able to help others,” said Demetrius.

When he was only three months old his father was shot and killed.

“I think growing up without a father could impact anyone’s childhood,” said the Newtown High School graduate. For months he has been preparing to present an award to a hard-working senior. With the help of his supporters, Demetrius will award an African American male student, who has lost their father to gun violence, with $1,000, a computer, and a printer.

“I hope he’s happy. I hope he’s very excited, as excited as I am,” said Demetrius.” I created this scholarship to help a victim who is striving against the statistical image of the minority youth.”

Several students submitted their stories in hopes of being chosen.

“Reading the letters, it was like wow, like there are so many other people who are faced with the same challenge,” said Demetrius’ mother Tamika Grahm.

That young man is Jayden Snip, who attends Newton High School just as Demetrius once did.

“To know someone in my community who walked the same halls as I did, it brings closure and lights to what I went through, and what I grew up with the, the obstacles I had to face as well,” said Jayden. He says the scholarship means a lot to him knowing he’s not the only one who went through a similar experience.

As for Demetrius, he plans on raising money for next year. Always hoping that somewhere his father is proud.

“Knowing that my father was looking at my every action, that’s what motivated me to stay on the right track,” said Demetrius.

GNW_081419_03CHASE BANK FORGIVES DEBTS FOR CANADIAN CREDIT CARD HOLDERS
(from www.goodnewsnetwork.org)
It’s not often that banks are praised for their compassion, but Canadian credit card holders are rejoicing over their bank’s recent decision to forgive all outstanding debt on two of their old Visa programs.

After spending a little over a decade in the Canadian credit card market, US-based Chase Bank opted to retire their Amazon.ca Rewards Visa and their Marriott Rewards Premier Visa in March 2018.

As of last week, there were still Canadian cardholders who were making payments on their outstanding card debt—but Chase, rather than selling the debt to third party-collectors, sent letters to all of their Canadian customers this week explaining that their debt had been forgiven.

“Ultimately, we felt it was a better decision for all parties, particularly our customers,” Chase spokesperson Maria Martinez said in an email to CBC.

Despite how financial analysts have been confused by the bank’s decision to forgive the debt, Canadian customers are still in disbelief over their good fortune.

“Its crazy,” one customer told the Canadian news outlet. “This stuff doesn’t happen with credit cards. Credit cards are horror stories.”

Though Chase declined to say how much debt had collectively been wiped out by their decision, their former Amazon credit card boasted a 19.9% interest rate—and some Canadian cardholders told CBC that they had been forgiven for as much as $6,000 in debt.

“I was sort of over the moon all last night, with a smile on my face,” another consumer told CBC. “I couldn’t believe it.”

5 Tips on How to Make Every Day a Good Day
(from www.goalcast.com)

  1. Exercise first thing in the morning.
  2. Eat well.
  3. Dress well.
  4. Avoid situations that stress you out.
  5. Do something nice for yourself.

 

Monday with Milton

I’m all over the place today.  I’m calling it “miscellaneous Monday” because I’m a bit scattered today with a variety of issues on my mind.

Let’s start with the fun stuff…

Albany wins ArenaBowl 32 title

Remember the Arena Football League?  No?  Well, they played ArenaBowl 32 last night in Albany, New York.  The Albany Empire defeated the Philadelphia Soul 45-27 for the title.  I’ll have more details on my “Football Friday” post this week about it.  Let me just say that I have always been a fan of the league but their management has really screwed things up over the years.  Last season they were down to only four teams in the league and was close to closing up.  Reports indicate that they will revive the Cleveland Gladiators and maybe another team to their lineup.  Rumors continue circulating that Nashville might be one of those teams.

Macon Bacon eaten by Marlins

I read this weekend where the Macon Bacon, a collegiate summer league team in the Coastal Plains League, were playing in the championship against the Morehead City Marlins.  I have to laugh when I see that the Bacon had to knock off the Savannah Bananas in the playoffs.  Unfortunately, the Bacon lost the finals in game three last night 6-2.   There was an Instagram post last week showing Kevin Bacon wearing a Macon Bacon hat.  Who else would you expect Kevin Bacon to support?

New York Empire wins pro frisbee league title

The New York Empire defeated the Dallas Roughnecks 26-22 yesterday to win the American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL) championship.  The Empire completed an undefeated season to win their first title.  I’ll have to admit that I haven’t followed the AUDL as closely this season since we lost our Nashville franchise but I’m glad to see that the league continues to play.  I have heard rumors that other franchises might fold in the off season so it will be interesting to see what the league will look like next season.

Now some grumblings…..

Lowe’s delivers….whenever

We had some issues with Lowe’s this weekend with an order we had placed.  We were told the delivery would be Sunday but when had not heard anything from them, we called to be advised they were out-of-stock on an item and that the delivery would be on Tuesday.  This is unacceptable.  People make plans to be available for deliveries and take off from work – sometimes without pay – to be ready and when they don’t come or even communicate changes something needs to be done.  It is clear that Lowe’s does not communicate with everyone in the chain and apparently they fail in communicating to the local stores.  The acting store manager apologized but it seems that the online/phone ordering place “forces” the information to the local store and puts the local store in a bad situation if the item is not in stock.  Lowe’s needs to get it together if they want people to shop online.  My advice for you is to go to the local store and place the order.

School bus stop issue

Now that school has started, we have had an issue with students using our driveway as the bus stop.  Weird since we have no children at home ourselves right?  One of our neighbors informed us when we moved in that the bus stop had been moved to our driveway.  Now that we want this changed, it is taking an act of Congress to get it done.  I have contacted our homeowner’s association and the transportation department of the school yet it seems they can’t communicate to the bus driver to change the location to the stop sign on the corner which is just 25 feet from our drive way.  I am told they have “no control” over the situation.  Seriously? Can’t they tell the driver to stop the dang bus at the stop sign instead of our driveway?  The problem is that the kids tend to wander around and even up to our front door.  This could be a problem if they were injured on our property.  I guess I’m going to have to be one of “those” neighbors.

Beware of anonymous surveys

I found out this morning that our management is asking for our office to complete a survey and my area of work is one of those areas to be surveyed.  The surveys are anonymous.  That’s never a good thing in my experience.  You can only look at social media to see how mean people can be and now we have this anonymous survey.  Well, I am having to brace myself this one.

Automatic Weapons Debate

Why is this even a debate?  Why does the average citizen need an automatic weapon?  Yeah, I know the whole “Second Amendment Rights” but where’s the common sense in all of this?  If I go into a Chipotle, Walmart or Starbucks and someone is proudly carrying an automatic weapon simply because they can, I’m leaving.  Why be a dumb ass and scare the crap out of people?  I guess we need IQ scores to go along with background checks and mental health exams.  Good grief people!

What can I say?  It’s Monday.  Here’s what Forbes.com says about how to beat the “Monday blues” (yes, I’m totally going to make fun of these)…

  1. Identify the problem [the problem is MONDAY.  I think we’ve clearly identified it]
  2. Prepare for Monday on Friday [What???]
  3. Make a list of things you are excited about. [I’m excited about Friday]
  4. Unplug for the weekend [Oh yes, I definitely agree with this.  Some people need a life.]
  5. Get enough sleep and wake up early [Are you kidding me?  I already get up at 4:55 a.m.  So should I not even go to sleep??]
  6. Dress for success [It’s too much work to dress up and look pretty]
  7. Be positive [I’m positive that I do NOT like Mondays]
  8. Make someone else happy [Okay, now I’m getting nauseous]
  9. Keep your Monday schedule light [Suggestion…why do we just eliminate Monday?]
  10. Have fun at work [If it were fun it wouldn’t be called work.  Where does this person work?]
  11. Have a post-work plan [Is it Friday yet?]

 

Have a good week and be careful out there.  Keep your automatic weapons at home please.

 

 

Good News Wednesday (8/7/19)

Need some good news?  Here are some stories that will restore you faith in the world…

GNW_0807_01GOOD SAMARITAN CHASES DOWN TEXAS FAMILY’S STOLEN RV SO 6-YEAR-OLD WITH CANCER CAN TRAVEL

(from Fort Worth Star-Telegram)

A family in Texas can now travel with their son thanks to a Good Samaritan with a sharp eye.

Ethan Perez was 4-years-old when he was diagnosed with leukemia after suffering with what his family thought were growing pains, the Houston Chronicle reported. For the last two years, Ethan, now 6, has undergone extensive chemotherapy treatments and spent more than his fair share of time in the hospital.

Ethan’s parents purchased an RV so they could travel with their son on short trips that wouldn’t put his health at risk, his mother Evelyn wrote in a Facebook post.

Their hopes came crashing down when the RV was stolen from the family’s driveway Thursday night, KPRC reported. A landscaper working on their neighbor’s lawn told the family a man and woman connected the RV to a Uhaul before driving off. The RV was not yet insured.

Evelyn posted about the crime on social media, imploring anyone with information to reach out.

The next day, someone did.

Rick Jones was on his way to work when he saw the Uhaul pulling the RV, Evelyn wrote. He recognized the vehicle from Evelyn’s social media post and followed it down I-10 to a gas station and called police, the Houson Chronicle reported.

“I can’t believe it,” Evelyn wrote on Facebook. “I’m in awe.”

When police arrived, they apprehended two men and two women, but later told the family they could not be arrested because the suspects were already standing outside the RV and had unhitched it from the Uhaul, the Houston Chronicle reported.

“We were floored, we could not believe it,” Evelyn said, according to the newspaper. “They were caught with a stolen RV. I would think that’s evidence to arrest these people.”

Ernesto Perez, Ethan’s dad, told KPRC the thieves had “trashed the inside,” broken a window and stolen a flat screen television.

Still, the Perez family is thankful for the diligence of their “hero.”

Ethan met Jones on Saturday and gifted him a Superman shirt along with the framed words “Not all heroes wear capes,” the post said.

“How else do you thank someone like this who saves the day for a little boy that is fighting cancer, for an entire family?” Evelyn said, according to the Houston Chronicle. “It was a really special way that our family connected with them under these sour circumstances.”

GNW_0807_02MAN DONATES MONEY TO NEIGHBOR, NEIGHBOR USES IT TO PAINT MAN’S HOUSE
(from cbs2iowa.com)

Gary Cookus remembers welcoming his new neighbors to town three years ago.

“I met (them) at Wildcat (Golf Course) having dinner,” he recalls about his first encounter with Jen and Brian Steadman. “I just felt like I needed to say, ‘Hello.'”

“Nobody was talking to them,” he laughs. “It’s what I do.”

That was the start of a friendship between Gary and the Steadmans – and what ultimately brought a bunch of runners to Gary’s house in Shellsburg on a Sunday morning in July.

Health issues had been keeping Gary from upkeep on his house, which was in dire need of a paint job. The Shellsburg City Council was even telling Gary to get it taken care of.

Unable to do the physical work on his house, Gary still recognizes good work when he sees it. That’s why he gave Jen a donation for her birthday in July for her work as a board member for Corridor Running.

“Runners are very unique in that each one of us has a story,” Jen says, “but we just support one another and we will always be that way.”

That means running a leg of life’s race that somebody else can’t.

“Right off the bat after he did that, I told my husband, ‘I know what we’re doing for Gary,'” Jen says. “We’re gonna go in and paint his house.”

A donation Gary made for someone else was sent right back to him in the form of brushes, buckets, and about eight people getting that paint job done for him.

“Very heartfelt. It’s been a really happy thing for me,” Gary says as his house is painted in the background. Others in town have been helping him with carpentry and plumbing work, as well as cleaning out his gutters.

“It’s been a great, great thing,” he says.

The same can be said for a friendship started with a simple conversation three years ago.

“He always has something funny to say,” Jen says as she sits next to Gary.

“May not be nice,” Gary replies, followed by a laugh that seems to punctuate most of his sentences.

“He keeps us going,” Jen adds. “Never a dull moment with Gary.”

GNW_0807_03MAN DRESSED AS SPIDERMAN SENDS ENCOURAGING MESSAGE TO DRIVERS AND CHILDREN
(from abc13.com)

If you think you’ve seen Spiderman lately, your eyes weren’t playing tricks on you.

Cameron Fielder is known to dress up as a superhero on his days off. Fielder dresses up, stands near busy intersections and holds a piece of cardboard with phrases like “You Matter” and “You are Strong” written on them.

“This world is full of negativity these days and I don’t want that to be continuing,” Fielder said. “Of course, it always will, but I want to at least try to make a difference.”

As drivers pass by, Fielder said they often honk and yell to get his attention, and he hopes he’s getting theirs.

Fielder said he wants to provide a sense of encouragement for people facing silent battles.

“I took what I dealt with and applied it to other people,” Fielder said. “Anxiety or depression, any of these types of things you may have.”

In just the two weeks he has been dressing up as Spider-Man, people are already starting to look for him around town.

“I wave at everyone and high five some kids, things like that,” Fielder said. “Then, I got the idea to pass out coloring books and sticker books.”

He said he will be in Houston in the upcoming days. Spider-Man plans to keep encouraging drivers for as long as he can.

GNW_0807_04PUPPY WITH MISSING LEG ADOPTED BY AMPUTEE VETERAN
(from people.com)

A military veteran from Tennessee who lost his leg after an IED explosion found a new best friend after adopting a dog with a missing leg.

Joshua Ferguson took home three-legged Scooter on Thursday, after adopting the pup from the Humane Society of Dickson County in Dickson, according to WTVF in Nashville.

“He makes it easier for me to remember, hey it’s still a beautiful day,” Ferguson said Scooter. “You realize really just how tremendous a journey life is.”

Scooter was discovered with a severed leg in a wooded area at Johnson Creek near Burns, Tennessee, in June, with veterinarians believing the dog got his leg stuck and was forced to gnaw it off in order to free himself and find food, WTVF reported.

The dog’s mangled leg was eventually amputated at the Animal Medical Hospital.

“It’s impossible to not smile around him,” Ferguson said. “Everybody’s so happy to see him, then they notice he’s got 3 legs. He’s happy you were overjoyed to see him, don’t pity him!”

Ferguson told the news outlet that he and four other soldiers were in a truck when it drove over an improvised explosive device, and although none of the five died, he ended up losing his leg in the ensuing explosion.

Not one to complain, the military veteran added, “There’s silver linings to anything, you can find something, and even if you can’t, somebody’s had it worse! So stop complaining.”

“The future can be better than the present and you have the power to make it so.”

It’s “Just” A Headache

headacheI have headaches. In fact, I am having one right now. People who don’t experience this often blow it off. Okay, so it isn’t a severed limb or the flu but it isn’t pleasant for the person with the pain.

My mother had severe migraine headaches when I was growing up. They would ruin several days when we had plans for things. She had to be in a quiet and dark room. She would cry out in pain. I hated seeing her go through it. My doctor recently diagnosed me with migraine headaches. Although not as severe as what my mother had, it is still nothing fun.

So what are headaches?

A headache is pain that is experienced in the head and can be a sign of stress or emotional distress, or it can result from a medical disorder. A headache can occur in any part of the head, on both sides of the head, or in just one location. There are different ways to define headaches.

There are more than 300 types of headaches but only 10% have a known cause.  Let’s take a look at the most common headaches.

Common types of headaches

Tension headaches:  The most common form of primary headache. Such headaches normally begin slowly and gradually in the middle of the day. A person experiencing a tension headache can feel as if they have a tight band around the head, a constant, dull ache on both sides or pain spread to or from the neck. They can can either be sporadic or chronic. Sporadic attacks are usually a few hours in duration, but it can last for several days. Chronic headaches occur for 15 or more days a month for a period of at least 3 months.

Migraines:  A migraine headache may cause a pulsating, throbbing pain usually only on one side of the head. The aching may be accompanied by blurred vision, light-headedness, nausea and/or sensory disturbances. Migraines are the second most common form of primary headache and can have a significant impact on the life of an individual. Migraines are the sixth highest cause of days lost due to disability worldwide. A migraine can last from a few hours to between 2 and 3 days.

Rebound headaches:  Rebound or medication-overuse headaches stem from an excessive use of medication to treat headache symptoms. They are the most common cause of secondary headaches. They usually begin early in the day and persist throughout the day. They may improve with pain medication, but worsen when its effects wear off. Along with the headache itself, rebound headaches can cause neck pain, restlessness, a feeling of nasal congestion and/or reduced sleep quality.

Cluster headaches:  Cluster headaches usually last between 15 minutes and 3 hours, and they occur suddenly once per day up to eight times per day for a period of weeks to months. In between clusters, there may be no headache symptoms, and this headache-free period can last months to years. The pain caused by cluster headaches is one-sided, severe, often described as sharp or burning and/or typically located in or around one eye. The affected area may become red and swollen, the eyelid may droop, and the nasal passage on the affected side may become stuffy and runny.

Sinus headaches:  causes pain over the forehead, around the nose and eyes, over the cheeks, or in the upper teeth. Stooping forward increases the pain. Thick nasal discharge, congestion, and fever pinpoint the problem to the sinuses. When the acute infection resolves, the pain disappears. Sinusitis is not a common cause of chronic or recurrent headaches.

Thunderclap headaches:  These are sudden, severe headaches that are often described as the “worst headache of my life.” They reach maximum intensity in less than one minute and last longer than 5 minutes. A thunderclap headache is often secondary to life-threatening conditions, such as intracerebral hemorhage, cerebral venous thrombosis, ruptured or unruptured aneurysms, reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome (RVS), meningitis, and pituitary apoplexy. People who experience these sudden, severe headaches should seek medical evaluation immediately.

How to treat headaches:

The most common ways  of treating headaches are rest and pain relief medication.  For me, I want to sit in a quiet room after taking pain medication and “ride it out”.  Sometimes putting an ice pack on my neck helps the recovery process.  My doctor also suggested that I start taking B2 vitamins.  I have but I haven’t really seen any change in the frequency of my headaches.  I assume that it takes a while until I feel the effect.

When I feel a headache coming on, I usually take headache medication immediately.  Then, depending on the severity of the headache, I will slow down my activity.  If it’s really bad, I will turn off some lights if possible.

So when should you worry about a headache as a symptom of something more?

You can take care of many types of headaches by yourself, and your doctor can give you medication to control most of the tougher headaches. But some headaches call for prompt medical care. Here are some warning signs for when you should worry about headaches:

  • Headaches that first develop after age 50
  • A major change in the pattern of your headaches
  • An unusually severe headache
  • Head pain that increases with coughing or movement
  • Headaches that get steadily worse
  • Changes in personality or mental function
  • Headaches that are accompanied by fever, stiff neck, confusion, decreased alertness or memory, or neurological symptoms such as visual disturbances, slurred speech, weakness, numbness, or seizures
  • Headaches that are accompanied by a painful red eye
  • Headaches that are accompanied by pain and tenderness near the temples
  • Headaches after a blow to the head
  • Headaches that prevent normal daily activities
  • Headaches that come on abruptly, especially if they wake you up
  • Headaches in patients with cancer or impaired immune systems

So as you can see, it isn’t “just” a headache.  Usually people who respond to your pain in that way have never experienced a true headache.  It is difficult to explain how debilitating a headache can be.  When I experience a headache, I just feel out of sync.  It’s just an extra effort to get through the day of work.  Trust me, we will get through it just give us some time.

 

 

 

 

 

Good News Wednesday (7/31/19)

Need some good news?  Here are a few things that will make you feel good about the world:

GNW_0731_01WOMAN BUYS OUT ARKANSAS PAYLESS STORE’S STOCK, DONATES SHOES TO CHILDREN IN NEED
(from Newsweek.com)

Carrie Jernigan didn’t plan on buying 1,500 pairs of shoes at the end of May, but the Arkansas woman is using that massive purchase to give back to her community.

Jernigan took her three children to a Payless Shoe Source in Alma, Arkansas, to do a bit of shopping before the family went on vacation, and during the visit to the store Jernigan’s 9-year-old daughter asked if they could purchase a pair of Avengers tennis shoes for someone in her class that needed a pair.

“She has the biggest heart, and she said ‘There is a boy in my class that loves [The] Avengers, and his shoes are too small, could you buy him these?,’ and I was like ‘of course,'” Jernigan told THV11.

Jernigan said she was touched by her daughter’s thoughtfulness and, “As I was checking out, I just said, ‘how much for the rest of the shoes in the store?’ almost joking, and then I could see the clerk’s face, her wheels start to turn.”

In February 2019, Payless announced that the company would close all of its stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico by the end of May, a move that came after the shoe and accessory retailer had filed for bankruptcy twice in two years. At the time of the announcement, the company had 2,100 stores across the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

According to Southern Living, Jernigan gave the clerk her phone number before she left the store and later that day she was contacted by the district manager who told Jernigan she could purchase the store’s remaining stock before it closed. Jernigan agreed, thinking should would go to the store to buy approximately 350 pairs of shoes.

However, when she went back to pay for them, Jernigan learned that the store was getting another shipment of shoes just days before it would close and instead of buying 350 pairs of shoes. When her children asked to buy those shoes, Jernigan ended up purchasing 1,500 pairs — all the remaining stock from the store.

“I always tell my kids, if you ask them what they want to be when they grow up they say be kind, and so I don’t care what they do in life as long as they are kind and good people. And so it just reiterates to me that their hearts are in the right place and if it’s in the right place they can do amazing things,” she told THV11.

Money reports that Jernigan bought $21,000 worth of merchandise.

Jernigan intended to donate the shoes to her local schools, where she serves at the school board president, but upon buying the additional shipment, she decided to hold off until the new school year.

“I wanted these kids to have brand new shoes for the start of school,” she told Money.

Others in the town of Alma have gotten involved, donating to a Kickstarter campaign that aims to purchase school supplies. Jernigan and a local Baptist church are hosting a back-to-school event on Aug. 10 at the Alma Middle School Gym where parents and children can get school supplies and a new pair of shoes just before classes begin for the 2019-2020 school year.

“If they can go help one person, one child, go to school with a new pair of shoes on, it will make that child’s day so much better,” Jernigan told Money.

The adult shoes Jernigan purchased will also be donated to those in need.

GNW_0731_02FRANKFORT, KENTUCKY OFFICERS SURPRISED WHEN STRANGER PAYS THEIR MEALS
(from wkyt.com)

Frankfort officers are thanking their community after someone paid for four officers to eat at Pizza Inn during the weekend.

Captain Dustin Bowman told WKYT the officers work third shift and were eating at the restaurant when someone gave them a note reading in part, “Thank you very much for serving and protecting the community! To show appreciation we are honored to buy your dinners.”

Bowman said kind gestures like this happen often but never become less shocking.

He said he typically responds by paying it forward.

“We don’t want to just receive the blessing, we want to hand them out to those who might be having a bad day and might need something to just boost them up a bit,” Bowman said.

GNW_0731_03DELTA SIGMA THETA SORORITY DONATES 17,000 MEALS FROM CANCELLED NEW ORLEANS CONVENTION TO STORM DISASTER RELIEF
(from thehill.com)

The Delta Sigma Theta sorority donated 17,000 meals to disaster relief efforts in New Orleans after it was forced to cut their biennial national convention short this weekend due to ongoing Tropical Storm Barry.

According to The Washington Post, nearly 16,000 people were expected to attend the convention this weekend. But the sorority decided to end the convention ahead of schedule after the storm caused heavy flooding across the Gulf Coast and prompted tens of thousands of homes to lose power.

But Beverly E. Smith, the national president and CEO of the sorority, told the newspaper that members of the sorority were “delighted” to donate food intended for their luncheon to recovery efforts.

“There was inordinate amounts of food that would have been wasted,” she told The Post.

The sorority donated the food to the Second Harvest Food Bank, which will distribute the meals to people affected by the storm in New Orleans and areas nearby.

“To have all these meals ahead of time is really a godsend,” Jay Vise, the communications director for the food bank, told the paper.

Vise added that he feels the food donated – which ranges from macaroni and cheese, chicken, chocolate cake and potatoes au gratin – could also help cheer up victims who have been hit hard by the storms and have limited resources to prepare their own meals.

According to CNN, the storm made landfall in Louisiana on Saturday. At the time, Barry had been categorized as a Category 1 hurricane. However, the storm has since weakened and is currently being labelled a tropical storm.

GNW_0731_04

Good News Wednesday (7/24/19)

Need some good news?  Here are a few things that happened this week that will make you smile:

GN724_01IOWA CARPENTER SAVED $3 MILLION TO PUT 33 STRANGERS THROUGH COLLEGE

An Iowa carpenter is responsible for sending dozens of people to college. People he never had a chance to meet.

Dale Schroeder lived simply for his entire life. He grew up poor, never married or had kids, and worked as a carpenter at the same company for 67 years. He owned just two pair of jeans and drove a rusty old Chevrolet truck.

Shortly before his death in 2005, Schroeder told his attorney, Steve Nielsen, that he wanted to use his savings to help poor students in Iowa go to college.

Read more of this story…

GN724_02GROUP OF STRANGERS SAVES MAN IN FLIPPED TRUCK

A resourceful group of construction workers and fellow commuters came together to save a man trapped in a flipped pickup truck on Monday.

A report from CNN says that between six and eight good Samaritans rushed to aid the man after his rear tire blew on I-88 in suburban Chicago.

The charge was led by Tom Meyers, a paramedic and firefighter who was passing by when he saw the wreck and a group trying to flip the truck back over.

Read more of this story…

GN724_03KANSAS CITY TV STATION PAYS IT FORWARD TO MAN WORKING BEHIND THE SCENES TO HELP VETERANS COMMUNITY PROJECT SUCCEED

This Pay-It-Forward award goes to a veteran working behind the scenes to help homeless veterans get a roof over their head and secure a job.

Veterans Community Project volunteer Joan Slawson nominated Vinnie for the award because she said he keeps things running smoothly.

“Vinny is the director of everything that goes on in the village with the residents,” Slawson said. “Whether it’s the bus passes, food bags, food boxes, some type of job counseling.”

Read more of this story…

GN724_04GRACE LUTHERAN CHURCH MEMBERS GROWING FAITH WITH GARDEN IN MURFREESBORO, TENNESSEE

Grace Lutheran Church members growing faith with garden in Murfreesboro

This summer, Grace Lutheran Church members in Murfreesboro have a unique way of growing their faith.

They’ve planted Katie’s Garden and give away the bounty for free to anyone in need. There are peppers, tomatoes, squash, watermelon and a variety of other fruits and vegetables.

“Part of it is to be of benefit to our community, get to know our neighbors, get to be a benefit to our neighbors. … We can get to know our neighbors and be friendly and invite them to church and help them in any way we can,” said the Rev. Al Thoe, assistant pastor at Grace Lutheran Church, 811 E. Clark Blvd.

Read more of this story…

“Every day may not be a good day but there is good in every day”

I Am 99% Vegan

At the start of the year, my wife and I decided to try the vegan lifestyle.  She has completely done it and I have as much as I can.  Before we decided to go this route, I was pretty much a vegetarian anyway.  I guess I need to clarify the difference for you because sometimes this is still a little blurry to me at times.  While “being a vegan” does change your diet it isn’t necessarily a diet.  Being a vegetarian is pretty much a diet where you abstain from eating meat.

So what have I learned about being a vegan?

  1. Being a vegan isn’t just a diet, it is a choice for a lifestyle.  It’s not about losing weight.  It’s about abstaining from the use of animal products.  A vegan lifestyle prevents a tremendous amount of animal slaughter and suffering. It offers a potent way to shrink our environmental footprint, especially in regard to climate change. And a well-planned vegan diet can fuel the highest levels of fitness, while reducing our risk of various chronic diseases.  Yes, most of the attention is on food but it extends beyond that which is why I say I’m about 99% vegan.
  2. For certain, menu choices are strictly limited.  You can’t simply go to Cracker Barrel or Burger King without having to narrow down your choices.  Meals are a lot more planned now than they were before; however, I can tell you that I haven’t gone to bed hungry and I haven’t lost a ton of weight.  To me, vegan is more about thinking about the ridiculous use of animals.  I had to ask the question:  Why are we drinking cow’s milk?  Who came up with this idea?  When you really think about this, it really doesn’t make much sense.
  3. People think you’re silly for being vegan.   Yep, we’ve gotten those looks and eye rolls when asking if something is vegan or not.  Hey, everyone has something or their own purpose but it’s funny how some don’t respect your choices.
  4. Food can still be good.  I have made veggie patties, biscuits, sauces and other food that taste just as good as the non-vegan versions.  For sure it takes more work but it’s not all about eating tofu.
  5. You can still have junk food!  Believe it or not, it isn’t just hippie food.  There are actually some good junk food even for vegans.

I say that I’m 99% vegan because I still slip on a slice of cheese when the vegan option isn’t available for me.  I also still buy leather products or other animals products.  I do try to be mindful of it but sometimes it isn’t as feasible sometimes.  If I find myself stuck at a restaurant without vegan options, I try to customize it as much as possible.

I honestly thought it was going to be a lot more trouble when we first started this but, while it does take more thought and planning, it hasn’t been as difficult as I thought it would be.  There are actually vegan substitutes out there if you look for them.

I can’t tell you I’m an expert on this vegan stuff but I’m learning.  It’s not all about nuts and berries.  I have had to retrain my thinking, especially about the food.  I was already having issues with meat.  Pork and beef was causing me digestive issues anyway so eliminating them wasn’t much of a stretch.  Chicken was the difficult thing for me because that was a common food for me.  I was also getting quite grossed out with eggs so that wasn’t so difficult to drop either.  I mean, really, when you think about what you’re eating here, it grosses you out.

When you tell someone you are vegan, they act like you’re in some sort of cult or far-out religious group.  Well, there are some things far worse out there.  Yes, I’m attending the Church of Vegan now.  Don’t be a hater.  I don’t hate on you for scrambling those eggs, drinking your dairy milk or frying that bacon.

I am by far no expert on vegan.  If you want learn more about this vegan stuff, go to vegan.com to read more.

 

 

 

 

My Apollo Experience

img_4167Before you get excited, no, I was not an Apollo astronaut but I wanted to be one during the Apollo Moon missions. I was five years old 50 years ago today when I watched the television broadcast of Neal Armstrong taking the first step on the moon. Armstrong was the first of 12 people who have walked on the moon. There were six moon mission during the Apollo program between 1969 to 1972.  The last person on the moon was Eugene Cernan.  He was on Apollo 17 which was the last mission to the moon.  The last spacecraft to reach the moon was an Israeli private spacecraft Beresheet which launched from Cape Canaveral with the intention of a soft landing but contact was lost with the spacecraft and it crashed onto the moon on April 11, 2019.

img_4168

Tang with Lunar Rover Toy attached

When anyone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up I would immediately and enthusiastically tell them that I wanted to be an astronaut. I was obsessed with the Apollo missions. When Tang came out with the fact that the astronauts drank this powder drink on their missions, I had to have it. That’s all I would drink. When Tang later had a lunar rover toy attached to the jar, I was not happy until my parents bought it for me.

I watched each mission with complete awe. Even two years ago when we visited the Space and Rocket center near Huntsville, Alabama, I felt the same excitement when I saw one of the Apollo Command capsules and even some of the moon rocks.

Of course, there are some who cast doubt on whether we actually went to the moon or not. I think some people just want to be haters and spin the ridiculous conspiracy theories. It’s a big stretch to think it was all a hoax.

It is also amazing how the technology compares between now and what was available during the Apollo missions. I have read that the technology in Nintendo game systems now are more advanced that what was used on the Apollo missions. It makes me wonder now how much grander a moon mission could be if it was supported like it was in the Apollo days. The moon missions back then were just as patriotic as anything could be. There was a push to beat the Soviet Union to the moon. The United States got caught up in it. There’s not so much of a rally for it now. NASA doesn’t really have the funding so it has become a question as to whether private funding will ever get us back to the moon or anything more.

Whatever the case may be, it won’t ever be like the Apollo Moon missions.

I never achieved my childhood claims that I would become an astronaut. Those hopes were dashed when I was 10 when my mother said if I couldn’t ride the Great American Scream Machine rollercoaster at Six Flags over Georgia that I could never be an astronaut. Well, at some point later I did ride the Scream Machine but I never made it to the astronaut program.

I don’t think we will ever experience the same excitement for the space program as we did back then. I still get excited about space stuff and whatever NASA is doing. Even 50 years later, today’s 50th anniversary of the first steps on the moon still brings back that excitement.