Every Single Soul Matters

After many years of searching, I finally found my calling, working with many different people, aging from toddlers to elderly in homes or just in general. I worked for a privately owned and operated company that helped fit people mainly with lymph-edema related issues, with casts and boots and medically custom fit compression wear. During those six months, I saw so many lives that touched me in a big way. You would think that all you would have to do, as an assistant, would be to go to the hospital, nursing home or their actually homes, take measurements and leave. Then go back to work, order the medical wear and ship it to them when it came in, without building any sort of relationship with those people. Well, at least this is what I thought as I watched my slightly cold, heart-ed boss come in and out, carefree without any emotional attachment whatsoever, or so he made it seem. Each and every time I saw a patient, I grew increasingly attached to that person, mentally and emotionally. I wondered if this was something I would be good at and even be able to handle, as a career. Each time I would go out on a job to visit a patient, I would stay a bit longer, not noticing the time that had passed.  I had confided in a friend that I was indeed taking the emotional and physical aspect of these patients home with me everyday. Shortly after our discussion, I made the decision to leave and figure out how I was going to be able to pursue it and what I would need to do. I was very young and unable to understand just what to do with all the emotional sadness that I had encountered with at that time. The memories of these people are still embedded in my mind to this day. I can still hear their voices as they tell me their childhood stories or smell the food that they had been cooking on the stove prior to me arriving. I didn’t realize just how important another life really is.

When I became pregnant for the first time, I dove right into research and studied the whole process of being pregnant, infant care and beyond. I wanted to understand the common errors throughout the entire life of this child, from in the womb until his teenage years. This lead me to investigate into further volunteer work with children and pregnancy crisis centers. Upon my volunteering, I took a course about infant care, what it means to be a parent and how to have a healthy pregnancy. One of the topics within that infant care and being a better parent unit is something we don’t normally hear or even talk much about, Failure to Thrive Syndrome (FTT). Everyday we are among children and/or elderly people who suffer greatly from this ailment.

What is FTT and How Do I Recognize It? 

This was probably one of the most disheartening topics that I have ever read about and often times goes unrecognized. FTT is a condition that usually occurs mainly in children between the ages of 6 to 12 months, young children and in some cases even the elderly. It is due to emotional and physical neglect from a parent/family members or care giver. This basically means that the child or adult becomes listless, loses the will to live and eventually passes away in severe cases. The caregiver or parent(s) may provide for the child in a sense where they always have food on the table and clothes on their back, but fail to see that what the child really needs is love through physical contact and eye contact. In the elderly, its a simple common act that we overlook like the time taken for a loved one to visit these individuals in hospitals, nursing facilities or even in their own homes. Half of the time, the parents, family or caregiver don’t even realize that they have a direct impact on their lives! In infants and children, the determination is based on certain physical aspects such as slow weight gain and height. Emotional aspects such as irritability and fatigue can play a role as well. For elderly individuals, weight loss, decreased appetite and poor nutrition, and inactivity, often accompanied by dehydration and depressive symptoms are very prevalent when being able to determine if he or she is suffering from FTT.

How do I cope with someone who is suffering from FTT?

Since doctors do not have a conclusive answer to how or why this happens any point in time, the easiest way to cope with someone who might be suffering from this condition, is to pay attention to the signs and signals the child/adult will be giving off. If something just doesn’t seem right with their personality and behavior around others, give extra attention to it.  A lot of family and friends know of someone who suffers at least mildly from it so the best way to combat this with someone you care about, is spending more time with them, even if it is a phone call a day or an email a day. Physical touch is also something that is considered a great source for healing an individual. A big hug, hand holding and touch interaction such as linking arms while walking and talking, letting the person or child know that they are cared for.

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Minneapolis Minnesota.

What can I say. Where such divine, rich with flavors of all sorts of multifarious life walking the streets, flocking the parks and sipping tea in hip cafes. Only being able to enjoy a week and a half, I was able to see the simple sides within the downtown area of north Minneapolis and even some small towns outside of Minneapolis (which were my favorite parts to visit!).

It was a quiet, low key kind of week for my friend and I.  Avoiding the bar scene and touristy shopping malls, we instead, taking in the beauty of Fall in the Midwest, drove around Young America and into a little town called Waconia. I am in love with this town, Waconia. It is small, but it is historical and sits directly on Lake Waconia. The houses are old Victorian and made out of Stucco (a type of durable, weather proof material only really found in the warmer climates)! This is especially interesting to me because, being that I usually fly back and forth from South Florida, I am only used to seeing them being built there.  It is  a clean and happy town to reside and the best part is it seems that the medical industry (doctors, physiologist etc;) seem to love it  here too! I contemplated looking for a nice home in Waconia, in the near future.

My friend made absolute sure I was not going to miss Mocha Monkey cafe. I reflect back to our conversations before I decided to visit, that she would reiterate the importance of taking me there. Now I know! The country decor draped outside of this old historical house. The inside of this cafe and lounge had comfy couches and tables. Lots of delicious, freshly made coffee ranging from lattes, cappuccinos and even chai and teas. Baked goods and sandwiches are made on the pot to reserve freshness and after 7pm, the beer and wine bar opens to the public.  You can have your pick at anywhere would like to sit upstairs because, let me tell you, there is lots of room! Get cozy near in recliner with a good book from off one of the shelves or just play an old fashion aboard game.

Taste the beauty of one of Minnesota’s small town cafe/lounge!

So, needless to say my time there was most fulfilling. I expected a completely different experience, like going out to the hip hot spot or spending hours at trendy coffee shops and meeting new people but the sheer enjoyment was actually spent in our own backyard, country roads, good chit chat and meeting family.

I say, there is plenty of time to ‘party hard’ next venture in early 2012 😉

 

I am writing a novel…

This is what I have begun to write thus far, a rough draft, really. Still in the editing stages. It will be completed and publish in early 2012.  Any comments or suggestions are welcome 🙂

Fresh and new. Autumns first cool day. The windy afternoon’s chill sweeps delicately passed my cheeks, lips, eyes. I find comfort in this. A blanket of warmth from the illustrious sun, consoles me, gently, like a sweeping arm of comfort across my back. Everything seems so clean; so serene right now. On dirty, rusty railroad tracks I sit amongst singing crickets, humming my love song loud and clear. At ease with natures story so vibrant and aware. I take a long swig of water through a bottle, feeling the soothing caress of the cleansing liquid nourishing me within. It’s significance make me think. I have challenged fate many a time, dragging moral through tempestuous rain and into the billow of the ocean. All the more, selfishly misleading my good company as intuition throws her weary hands to the sky, in anguish and defeat.

 I do feel it, though. Absolute. The stretch of illusion that inhabits my soul for long moments.

Not enough remorse to cry, not just yet. Strangely enough, content has set his hand upon my shoulder. I breathe, and for the first time in a while, feel complete.

Nature sends me reminders of baby birds, new fall flowers beginning to open with each moment and colorful leaves falling from old trees. I cup my lower stomach with my cold hand and smile, thanking God. A surreal, new kind of love passed through me like a jolt of electricity. The feeling of carrying a small human being in my body, was powerful. The thought that everything I do and say and feel and think, passes right through to this little ever growing, existence, I now encompass. From that moment on, nothing else mattered.

Wedding Bliss – Erwinna PA/Flemington NJ

The magik of passion, love & devotion fogged the air on that beautiful Saturday at Tincum park, in Erwinna Pa. As the swarm of people began to enter the historical barn, decorations placed strategically about, carefully embellished & in perfect order to its delicate frame, the ambiance was set, the sheer gladness and utter excitement rung through each kiss, hug and hand shake. Each table setting was distinctively arranged, with memorabilia significant to the bride and groom.   Romance whirled through the air like a foreign language not yet spoken.  Everyone anticipates the brides arrival, including the handsome, overwrought  groom, standing tall and strapping, his smile enduring, awaiting his beloved’s grace. The forecast called for heavy rain, chilly and slightly drone that day but God’s masterful hand, stole the dark clouds and painted a canvas of a soothing, warm wind & calming splashes sunshine.

The bride enters the room, quite and ready. Her face was ridden with emotion and at any given time, ready to shed those long-waited happy tears. Hand in hand, they vow. Family and friends gather close. Moments are being captured at every angle…

And the kiss…

Happily. Ever. After.

The reason this was so special, special enough for me to write about was because not only do I know them personally, but they are genuine, true spirits whose love for life & people is far more vast than anyone I know and it shows without a doubt. God Speed both of you! ❤

Silent Shudder Photography Silent Shudder Photography

Let me speak of the park. Beautiful, almost forbidden Tinicum park, just along the Delaware river. There is so much to do, to see. A field of Frisbee golf , a large playground for the children, an area to camp and much more. For those of you who are thinking about your next venture up North, Bucks County in the Fall is a perfect place to find everything your looking for in your vacation setting. with so much of it’s abandoned historic places, your sure to keep the children educated even on vacation!

Flemington NJ – We stayed a night and shopped around the quaint little town of Flemington. With the exception of the poorly chosen hotel, we did however find the most amazing, authentic Italian eatery. I am from NY and it’s hard to beat the New Yorkers (even though the states are in very close proximity from one another) when it comes to Italian food. Alfanso’s Restaurant is the name of this gold mine. This little place is located just next door to the Travel Inn that we stayed at that night/day, in North Flemington NJ. I would have to say that even though the Travel Inn was not as it was promised to us, the convenience of having some fine dining within our reach made up for it. The cannoli’s are to die for, by the way.

Next on our list of explorations were the shopping centers, believe or not. I am partial to the normality of shopping when I enter a new city but I had heard great things about Liberty Village Premium Outlets and decided to take and early morning stroll through. It’s very cute! The way they have it set up is just like a tiny village, only with store front instead of housing. They have 40 stores, a few include Ann Taylor, Brooks Brothers, Calvin Klein and more. The prices were beyond reasonable and the people in each store were very friendly. I can see why it was so highly recommended!

Although our trip was short and sweet, It was well worth the drive and rush. I recommend both cities, Flemming NJ and Erwinna Pa. They both have equally unique pockets of luxury, you just have to be willing to brave the nice, scenic country drives ❤

Upper Black Eddy,PA

So this Friday, early morning (2am to be exact) my wonderful man and I will be traveling way up North to the beautiful Bucks County PA (and some of New Jersey) to partake in a beautiful wedding ceremony and reception on Saturday. The happy couple are dear friends of ours who have the most open, genuine hearts of anyone I know. I am excited to finally meet them both! Tim (my love) will be photographing their wedding. Meanwhile, before the festivities begin, I will be scoping out both N.J and Bucks County, in search of the perfect place to nestle in and write about. Until then…

The ”3-3-3” for your travel needs

I have embarked on a (kinda) new adventure/career/love: Travel writing. Recent jobs and events have allowed me the luxury of traveling around the U.S, possibly Europe in earlier 2012, and with that comes a huge adjustment in the physical fitness/health aspect. I am forced to be outside of my normal routine (i.e. going to the gym on Monday at 7am and so on). No matter where I will be, I have to maintain my fitness and health lifestyle and over-come the ”jet lag” or ”too-long-bus-ride” blues.

That being said, I know many of you travel often for business/work and even leisure. The most important things to do are to drink water, eat 6 small meals on-the-go and exercise. No matter what you are traveling for or where your going, there is always something amazingly special about the place your visiting. So, take care of yourself while your there, eat and exercise.

3 on-the-go Exercises:

1) Scissor Kicks (Abs)

2) Split Lunges (Glutes/Hams)

3) Push Up (Bi’s/Chest)

3 on-the-go Foods to sustain you:

1) A handful of mixed nuts including these 3 nuts: Almond, Walnuts and Macadamia

2) Rich berries including Blueberries, Cherries, Raspberries and Goji berries

3) For meat eaters: Ham or lean Chicken on a wheat free bun/bread or in dark green leafy salad

for vegans/vegetarians: Tempah, Hemp or Tofu in dark leafy salad or on wheat free bun or bread

Also, you can absolutely substitute a high protein shake for a meal or even in with your 5-6 meals plan. These are easy packets to pick up. Here are some brands that are whole food based and will do what an actual protein shake is made to do:

Source Naturals Whey Protein – any flavor is enjoyable!

Living Harvest Hemp Protein Powder -warning!! Very thick, grainy taste mix very well with juice/fruit

Garden of Life RAW Protein – suitable for Vegetarians and Vegans

So, next time you are on the road, getting ready or planning for one, you can be mentally and physically prepared for it!

And above all, ENJOY YOURSELVES!

~`S`~

Vacation In Your Own Town!

Many of our lives run on too much of a schedule to even begin think about downtime, much less a vacation. It’s easy to over look the possibility that one of your days off could be enjoyed in your own hometown. Many of us don’t realize the simple yet relaxing, fun happenings in our hometown. We immediately connect ”vacation” or ”downtime” with ”beach” or ”road trip” and while those options are fun, they aren’t always practical. Depending on where you are, what time of year it is and day of the week, you can almost always find many different varieties of leisure, relaxation and family fun right here in your own backyard. Below are some good, simple questions and tips to consider when your planning a small vacation for just yourself or your family.

What do you want to do with your day(s) off?

Think about what you would like to do on a day where you have nothing to do. Would you get a babysitter to watch the kids for a couple of hours? Would you want to be bring your husband/wife? Would you want to be alone or bring a friend? Do you want to travel outside your city limits? These are good questions to ask yourself before deciding how you would like to spend a relaxing or fun day/night off from work of any kind.

You know what you would like to do but don’t know where to start looking.

You know what you would like to do but don’t know where to start looking.

This is the part that becomes tedious. You know what you want, but don’t where to go that is affordable and within your city limits, if that is where you chose to spend your time. Your options are limitless and all you have to do is look in your local newspaper under the section ”City Guide” or ”Upcoming local events” where can find weekend getaway retreats and even a fun family day at an amusement park. Any library staff member will be able to direct you to the local section where you will find bulletin boards and flyers that will show you local and even out of town events. If you have access to the internet, travel websites such as Travelzoo and Groupon will give you some great tips on a home town vacation. TravelZoo is a great resource for last minute air fare or car rentals, hotel deals, local spa and dining packages and even concerts and family vacation packages. Groupon is another useful tool that will direct you to last minute local events and even give you coupon codes for a percentage of your purchases. Local grocery stores usually have one or two bulletin boards just out side of the main entrance. These bulletin boards can have anything from church group events to weekend trips out of town.