Friday, July 31, 2009

In Honor Of Buster Bob

Today is a very sad day because Buster Bob, my sister's beloved greyhound, had to be put to sleep. Pets become part of the family, and when we lose them we grieve just as we would any family member. It's hard to even express or discuss without tears flowing freely.

Buster Bob was adopted by my sister and her husband through NGAP (National Greyhound Adoption Program). An amazing program that finds loving homes for these beautiful greyhounds. He was a former racing greyhound, to see him run was simply amazing. He often looked as if he was flying through the air.

Upon adoption they were told he wasn't good with children or other small animals but with their unconditional loving support he went on to become a very good, obedient dog....good around both children and other animals. A favorite of mine was when you asked for his paw, he would always extend it. And when told to sit he always did.

In fact, he had a gentle, loving spirit. While my dog was running laps around him trying to play ball outside, he prefered to lounge on a blanket and be rubbed. Guess he figured he had spent all those years racing so now was his time to relax.

He was also very protective.... stood guard beside my small dog Angel when walking through places such as Petsmart, it was then that we referred to Buster Bob as Angel's boyfriend. And once when a neighbor's Pitbull jumped the fence he protected everyone by trying to fend the dog off, even suffered a bite in his efforts.

And when my sister had a baby he stepped right up to the plate and acted like a gentlemen. He never acted jealous like some dogs do when a baby comes into a family, no he instead just followed her around when she dropped food, or laid on the floor beside her wherever she was. He loved to be rubbed, loved treats, loved to be around people, he loved the life my sister and her husband gave him. They gave him unconditional love and in return he gave it back.

So it is with much sadness that I write this today because Buster Bob will be very missed. Buster Bob we love you so much. You may be gone from this life as we know it but you will not be forgotten. Hope to see you in the next life!

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Just One Of Those Days

Some days do you ever just feel like the world is against you? Nothing you do or try to do ever goes smoothly? Sometimes it feels like you give love to the world but that the world doesn't return the sentiment? It's as if ....no matter what you say, or do, no one seems to appreciate it? My week started off a little rough. I was feeling a little down which happens sometimes when we feel excited about something and then it doesn't always go the way we hoped. Guess I'm like a little kid in that way, I tend to get excited way in advance of something I'm looking forward to. Anyway....

In addition, lately the workday over here has felt endless. Working in a corporate environment I feel my creative side isn't getting to shine as much now. And right now I wish the flower guy would walk through the door with a bouquet of flowers. And maybe a teddy bear? Ok so that is asking a little much. haha Since that mostly likely isn't going to happen I will share a beautiful photo of flowers, something is better than nothing right? And maybe this beautiful photo will inspire others today.

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Give And You Shall Receive?

The law of tenfold return states that whatever you give will be returned to you times ten. The Bible says give and it will be given to you.

Therefore, you should give what you want to receive. If you want money, give money; if you want love, give love; if you want attention and appreciation, give attention and appreciation; and so on.

Giving is supposedly the secret to keeping money, success, health, love and happiness circulating in your life. If you’re lacking anything, whether it's money, guidance, love, or anything else, something is blocking the flow. And the most effective way to remove the block is to start giving. There's an established spiritual law that the more you give, the more you will receive.

Book after book has been written on the topic. In fact, The Secret was on the best sellers list for quite awhile. For anyone who hasn't heard of the book, it's a book based on such a theory.

All of which makes sense but what if one gives, gives, gives, and gives more but doesn't receive what they hoped back? I'm not saying I don't believe because in theory it sounds rather solid, but there are those days I tend to question it's validity.

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Friday, July 24, 2009

True Beauty

True beauty cannot and should not be defined. It was never meant to be outlined in a perfect set of measurements or a finite list of attributes.

So why is so much importance placed on the idea of physical beauty? Studies say that being beautiful often gets both men and women further in school, in their chosen careers, and in their own life patterns. Attractive employees often receive more promotions and raises than their less attractive counterparts; good-looking students do better in school; beautiful women entice men to do their bidding; good looking men inspire women to pick up the tab. Shameful as it may seem, it appears physical beauty plays too large a part in our everyday lives.

Beauty has become an obsession among those who don’t believe that grace, charm, or personality is enough to get them the things they want out of life. Many individuals who can’t achieve the perfect look resort to other factors to sway people in their favor; they use money, power, or sexuality as a secret weapon to garner whatever they want from others. Worse yet they undergo surgeries to try and become beautiful, perfect looking people.

What they don’t understand is that such actions actually detract from their overall physical beauty. People must love others for who they are not what they look like. Love has nothing to do with looks unfortunately many individuals believe it does. Those are the people who forgo real love built on stone for love built on sand which crumbles when the physical beauty does.

In truth, beauty should be looked at as a combination of physical attributes, inner spirit, personality, intelligence, and heart. Such a definition would greatly expand how the human race views the concept of true beauty. Few, if any, individuals would then been considered average, since no two people are alike and all have something unique to offer the world.

Over the years, the idea of what is considered beautiful has vastly changed. There was a time when the curves of a woman were highly sought after, while today the only acceptable look is stick thin. Such extreme beliefs are all aimed at defining a perfect beauty broken down into a combination of specific physical attributes. These may include a symmetrical body, a good complexion, youthfulness, health, and vitality. Unfortunately, it has been proven that physical beauty doesn’t ensure a beautiful spirit, and this lack can ultimately spoil the overall package.

Truth is beauty is all around us if we take the time to look past the preconceived notions and false beliefs so many of us hold. In essence beauty cannot be defined because in its true state it's something that cannot be seen or touched but is felt with the heart.


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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sex In The News Yet Again

Another story in the news about an athlete, superbowl quarterback infact, accused of sexual assault. It has left me wondering why athletes or other high profile figures would bother to have sexual relations with people they don't know, or people outside their marriages? Or for that matter why anyone, famous or not, would choose to.

I'm sick of hearing the excuses people give....that they need variety, they were stressed, they were having relationship problems, they don't get enough at home, they are young, they were drunk and whatever other lame excuses are given. Makes me want to yell grow up, or seek help because everyone experiences such feelings but they don't act upon them or go about sexually assaulting others.

Haven't figures like Magic Johnson taught us anything? Didn't the whole Kobe Bryant incident make people think twice? How about the Craigslist psycho? Sex these days is treated so nonchalantly, yet there's nothing nonchalant about it. People forget along with sex comes the chance of diseases (some of which can't be cured), pregnancy, and in this day age the possibility of being accused of sexual assault as some of these athletes are. What most forget is that it could happen to anyone, famous or not.

So why then do so many people chose to sleep with people they don't know, don't love, etc.. And married people take the biggest risk of all because they risk hurting the one person they took a vow before God to love and protect. All for a romp in bed with someone that has the potential to later blackmail them or put them in jail? Or worse yet give them an incurable disease?

I just can't get over how nonchalant our society has become regarding sex. I've watched reality shows on tv about prostitute ranches in Nevada. Are people that desperate for sex? And craigslist has become a hot house for prostitutes offering their services secretly by advertising massages this was apparent when the craigslist incident in Boston occurred. Who feels the need to go to such places? Why would anyone want to be with someone who has sexually offered their body and touched thousands of others? Those are the people in my opinion with real issues. But then again how is that different then the people who claim they have slept with hundreds of random individuals, that's really gross too.

I understand people make mistakes, especially when they are younger. But there are enough stories in the news and internet today that one would think would make people think twice about their actions and behaviors. Even teenagers are more educated and have more resources at their disposable to make more knowledgeable decisions....yet so many still continue to risk it.

These people are asking for trouble. They are risking their jobs, health, basically their whole lives for a little sexual gratification? What happened to finding one person and being in a monogamous relationship, is that such a foreign concept? Can no one contain their needs until they find that, or once they find it can they not be happy with just having relations with one person?

I do not feel sorry for these athletes, or others, who are accused of such acts because they knowingly choose to participate in such behavior. They choose to become involved with these strangers. I'm just tired of hearing about sex in the news yet again. It's not something to be taken lightly but yet it seems that our world is light years away from ever understanding that concept.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Erin Andrews Fiasco

So I think by now anyone that has an interest in sports has heard about the Erin Andrews incident. And I've read numerous articles written about the situation, the unfairness of how women get judged for more than just the work, and even the affects it could have on future women wanting to work in sports.

It simply is amazing the way grown men become such boys when it comes to matters of the body. Take for instance Andrews video clip....men were rushing to try and find it on the internet. But why? Is it really such a big deal to see a clip of a woman naked? I just don't understand the obsession men have when it comes to viewing naked women. I guess each female private part looks so different that it has to be inspected and oogled over by the men of this world? What if it was their girlfriend, sister, or even mothers body that was being broadcast across the internet for all to see, how would they feel then?

And I agree women sports journalist are judged way to harshly. What about men sport journalists who go on air with greasy old school haircuts, stomachs that over hang their pants, or overall just poor hygiene. No comments are ever made about their appearance. And how many older women still get reporting jobs compared to the men. Not to mention how many average women do you see getting the top reporting jobs, men expect to see eye candy. Well if that's the case thenI think they should consider the female viewers and show us some male eye candy.

Back to Erin, her situation is horrible, to think her privacy was invaded like that plain sucks. And to have ones naked body broadcast all over the internet as hers was, well thats just sad.

I'd also like to make a comment that some women may not agree with but I think these women reporters also need to dress more conservatively. Don't wear tight clothing or clothing that draws attention to certain female parts if you want to be taken serious. I'm tired of seeing some of these women wear low cut shirts, or too tight fitting of pants that is asking to be oogled. If they want to be thought of as a sex object than go right ahead but we don't see the men on tv wearing tight pants that show off their packages. Just a thought.

Anyway, I don't want to even write any further because it just sucks to think about the way women are treated, and the way they let themselves be treated sometimes. There is so much more to say on this subject as it goes much deeper than just the Erin Andrews situation.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Butterfly

My fascination of butterflies goes back to my childhood when I was amazed by their beauty and color. The story behind the butterfly is something I learned later in life but it only strengthed my fascination and love for butterflies.

Today I came out to find a Monarch butterfly perched on my butterfly bush. So I decided to share the beauty of the moment by capturing it on photo. While sharing the photo, I thought I might as well share the inspiration of the butterfly story. Enjoy!

The story of the butterfly....

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly.One day a small opening appeared.He sat and watched the butterfly for several hoursas it struggled to squeeze its body through the tiny hole.Then it stopped, as if it couldn't go further.

So the man decided to help the butterfly.He took a pair of scissors andsnipped off the remaining bits of cocoon.The butterfly emerged easily butit had a swollen body and shriveled wings.
The man continued to watch it,expecting that any minute the wings would enlargeand expand enough to support the body,Neither happened!In fact the butterfly spent the rest of its lifecrawling around.It was never able to fly.

What the man in his kindnessand haste did not understand:The restricting cocoon and the strugglerequired by the butterfly to get through the openingwas a way of forcing the fluid from the bodyinto the wings so that it would be readyfor flight once that was achieved.

Sometimes struggles are exactlywhat we need in our lives.Going through life with no obstacles would cripple us.We will not be as strong as we could have beenand we would never fly.

Monday, July 6, 2009

A&E Intervention...how to help an addict?

Could the new series on A&E that faciliates interventions on behalf of the families/friends of addicts have helped someone like Michael Jackson, Robert Downey Jr or Heath Ledger? Or any addict for that matter? What makes an addict finally seek help or give their habit up?

Robert Downey Jr. battled an addiction for many, many years, what made him finally get clean? And other public figures like Rush Limbaugh, Nicole Richie, Elvis Presley,Paula Abdul, Heath Ledger all battled addictions to various substances from heorin to painkillers. And it's a problem that affects our whole society not just the entertainment industry.

What is an addiction anyway? Below is a link to definition of the word. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Addiction

Intervention on A&E gives an eye opening look at addictions and the lives of people it affects.

The love that families and friends have, and the desperate pleas they issue for the addicts in their lives to overcome their addictions....is very heartwrenching at times. There is a feeling of helplessness that is sad to watch.

To the outsider....we wonder why can't they just give it up. We see what it is doing to the addict, to their families and loved ones....yet they cannot see what they are doing to themselves and those around them. Worse yet the fact that so many of the these people don't even realize they have a problem.

For the most part that is the real problem....addicts don't see themselves as having an addiction or substance problem. Which becomes quite obvious when you watch the show. And many an addict will argue they can stop any time, they like it....why give up something they like. Sure they like to tell themselves they can quit at any time. Unfortunately, the reality is....once anyone takes any substance for an extended period of time, the body is going to go through a physical and mental withdrawal, which depending on the drug, is unpleasant for most.

Never mind that they don't seem to understand, or even care about the harm they are doing to their body or mind, nor the affect it has on their families, friends, or even kids. And the shows that involve kids are definitely the saddest. Back to the topic.....

It's common knowledge that drugs of any type eventually produce changes in a persons mental and physical state. Over the course of time, extended use of many of these drugs, small or large doses, has been shown to change brain chemistry....making withdrawal a painful and tedious process. Not to mention, as this series shows, even with the best of treatment, the relapse rate is very high.

So what is the answer?????

How do family and friends help a loved one with an addiction? If they deny having a problem, if they refuse help....what can really be done? Even when they admit to having a problem...what is the best treatment? Could anyone have saved Michael Jackson or Heath Ledger? Do interventions really work? The show is very enlightening in that like life, not all stories have a happy ending.

The show allows us to see how addicts become consumed with their substance to a point they don't even realize how it affects themselves, nor those around them.

They think nothing of lying to family and friends, when in reality their lies are obvious to all. The lies are almost as bad as the addiction itself. They do whatever it takes to obtain the substance including stealing, prostitution, doctor shopping, etc.. Often times becoming financially in debt, and as A&E shows many become homeless. Even celebrities have been known to lose all their money, their fame, and even families to such habits. Many an addict on A&E Intervention has gone from everything to nothing. Yet no one thinks it could happen to them.

It affects all classes and jobs. Doctors themselves are not even immune to the problem. As not every addiction involves illegal drugs....many of the addictions that do occur are to prescription medications. Many people don't even realize they have become addicted to such medicines until they try to go without them. This is what we continue to hear more about in the media as big names continue to succomb to such addictions. Addictions don't always involve drugs, the Intervention show also includes other addictions as well, such as food, gambling, sex,etc.

How do we get these people the help they need? Are shows like A&E Intervention helpful? Will they help people with such problems to seek help? And how do the people who don't have insurance or money, obtain the money to get help? It's not only about getting help but being able to maintain it.

Supposedly people claim they knew Michael Jackson had a problem with painkillers....yet it seemed no one could stop him from using them. Some allegedly tried but he only went on to seek those who would reinforce what he wanted, and push those away who truly cared. Sad but true for most people suffering from addictions.

Hopefully their deaths were not in vain and our society will learn more ways to help people with substance abuse problems find the help and treatment they need. This A&E show is definitely a good start.

Question is....how do family and friends intervene to help their loves ones with addictions and substance abuse problems get help? How do you help people when they can't help themselves? Especially the ones who don't feel they need help. That's a question a lot of people ask and will continue to ask. And after watching the show it makes you think about all the people who are in need of intervention in this country but never get it.
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