Friday, September 14, 2007

It's Time

It's time for the Susan G. Komen Race in Charlotte. Last year, thanks to your generous contributions, I was able to raise more than $600 for the Susan G. Komen Foundation as a member of the Jazzercise team.

The foundation was formed in 1982 by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever.

We all know of at least one person that has had breast cancer, died from it, been treated and cured of it, or is currently dealing with it. But most of us are not aware that we directly benefit from the efforts of this foundation whenever we have a breast cancer screening, such as breast exams, mammography, ultrasound, and breast MRI. The Komen Foundation is a grassroots organization dedicated to raising awareness of this disease, as well as offering grants and fellowships to further research. In 1982, the U.S. Government funded $30M in breast cancer research. Now funding is in the $900M range. The five-year survival rate for breast cancer, when caught early before it spreads beyond the breast, is now 98 percent (compared to 74 percent in 1982).

This past spring I found myself personally grateful for the work of this foundation. I have very severe fibrocystic breast tissue. The situation is so complicated that routine mammograms really cannot adequately screen me for suspicious lumps. Digital mammography was discussed and rejected as being not much better for my situation. I was referred to the Blumenthal Cancer Center. Dr. Richard White, who is a surgeon ("that tries not to do surgery!"), recommended twice-yearly breast exams, once-yearly mammograms, and a breast MRI every other year. He arranged for my insurance company to pay for this costly test. I thought of organizations like the Komen Foundation and how they have not only funded the research that went into the design and implementation of all these preventive screenings, but also how awareness of the importance of this screening is such that my insurance company instantly saw the value and approved the expense.

All is well.

I am participating in the 5k walk this year to honor and remember these breast cancer victims and survivors that I know: In memory of my grandmother, Pearl Edith White, who died in the mid-80s. And in honor of these survivors: Pam Gonnella, Nannette Carnes, Leslie Hoffman, Kathy Paulson, Linda McCorkle, and Marcy Valenty.

I invite you to support me in my walk this year. Click on
this link to donate and, if you have a breast cancer survivor or victim that you would like honored or remembered, please send me an email to let me know. Thank you so much for your time and commitment to fighting this disease.


Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
Nate drives Taylor, our latchkey guy Fred (foreground), and the neighbor boy Jack (other side) to school and back each day. It's been very helpful to me!

However, yesterday he called after school got out to say his car wouldn't start. He'd left the lights on. "They didn't call me up to the office," he said. "They called the guy in the spot next to mine."

To my credit, I did not tell him that it's his deal to get those lights off, and not the school's responsibility to be sure they are off.

He did get another student to give him a jump, so at least he got the problem solved without parental guidance!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Love Notes

Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
I found this note in my car Monday afternoon after Jazz.

And then this came to my inbox yesterday:

"When did you move to South Carolina, and are you ready to move back yet?

Michelle Maher, Partner
The Cleveland Company, Inc."

Aren't I lucky?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Training a new puppy is not just about training the puppy. Really about 80% of the learning is with the people.

Bear is learning "sit." And he has scratched at the door a few times while we are going out. But the guys in my house are still learning about keeping him in sight, and how to deal with his mouthy-ness. It's coming along. The accidents we have always occur when there is more than one person in charge of the dog. If it's just me and Bear? No issues. But as soon as someone else comes home we have accidents. It's the humans needing training.

It's been a busy week already, with a couple of interviews for stories yesterday and lots of library festival stuff. The big event is September 29 and I'm already planning an escape to the beach for when that is over. I also need to get my email out about the Susan Komen Race Oct. 6. I should do that today. Last year I raised over $600. I'd like to do at least that this year.

Monday, September 10, 2007

More Churching Around

It's another week. There are random murmurings that we could cool down and get some rain for a few days. I sure do hope so. Everything is just so dry and we are all so tired of summer now.

Of course, I'm working on a story about water conservation in the home. If it runs next Wednesday while it's raining, that would be ironic.

I went to visit the new Episcopal service here in our community last night. It was a very nice service. I told the pastor/rector/priest...whatever she is called...that I had never been to an Episcopal service before. I said, "this might be the last Protestant service style I hadn't experienced before." It was a very nice, contemporary service. I shot photos for the paper and will write a story about them in the next couple of weeks. She's going on vacation, so I'm to get together with her next week sometime.

They also are another church that takes communion every service. I'm not a big fan of that. My favorite Lutheran church does too. It's the only thing I don't care about with them, too.

Church stories are starting to pile up. There is a small mission-minded church that's been meeting at a local neighborhood clubhouse and they now have found a more permanent home. I'm to find them and write about them. And the Presbyterians that I wrote about this summer will start services in October.

So I will be quite ecumenical in the coming weeks.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Are They Just Lazy?

Do they think we just won't notice that all their covers look the same? That we won't think "Wow, they probably saved a lot of money sending this photographer to this one beach and having her shoot several covers all at once."

And of course the titles on the cover are all same-y too:
"[whatever] after 40"
"lose # pounds] in [# weeks]"
"Breakthrough [whatever]"

Sheesh! If this magazine weren't packed with such great articles, I'd scrap it. But I even have prepped some of the recipes.

Check out The Daily Bear. This is another blog devoted just to a photo-of-the-day thing for our pound puppy. I would have just added a page to this site, but apparently you can't do that in blogger. So there is a link there on the right you can check. The thumbnail of him will stay the same, but you should see a new photo there every day. Or at least often. I'm trying to shoot him every day to chronicle his changes, but also to work on my photography skills...portrait shooting, speed shooting, etc. There will probably not be a writing every day there, more likely just a shot and title.