Monday, February 28, 2011

~Making A Difference Monday~



SHOWER POWER>>>
Taking a shower uses much less water than filling up a bathtub. A shower only uses 10 to 25 gallons, while a bath takes up to 70 gallons! If you do take a bath, be sure to plug the drain right away and adjust the temperature as you fill the tub.

To save even more water, keep your shower under five minutes long—try timing yourself with a clock next time you hop in!

A 10-minute shower at 5 gallons per minute is 50 gallons of water used per shower. A 10-minute shower at 2.5 gallons per minute is 25 gallons of water used per shower.

50 gallons x 30 days = 1,500 gallons, 25 gallons x 30 days = 750 gallons, which is a 750 gallons of water per month savings. (via Amazon.com)


Showerheads that earn the WaterSense label use no more than 2.0 gpm. The WaterSense label also ensures that these products provide a satisfactory shower that is equal to or better than conventional showerheads.


A Shower of Savings
The average household could save more than 2,300 gallons per year by installing WaterSense labeled showerheads. Since these water savings will reduce demands on water heaters, households will also save energy which means more money in YOUR wallet!

In fact, a household could save 300 kilowatt hours of electricity annually, enough to power one television use for about a year. (via epa.gov)

This is a tough one for most of us but try to imit the length of your showers to 5 minutes. A family of four taking daily 5-minute showers with a high-efficiency showerhead can save more than 40,000 gallons of water each year. (via snwa.com)

A family of 2 adults with 2 children using a WaterSense showerhead will save about 890 gallons at water every 3 months. This is roughly equivalent to 22 loads of laundry! (epa.gov/watersensecalculator)

FOR LOCAL VEGAS FOLKS>>>
Indoor Water Audit and Retrofit Kits
Curious about the water efficiency of your faucets, toilets and showers? The Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) provides property owners with a free Indoor Water Audit and Retrofit Kit so you can test your fixtures.

The kits include:
•Easy-to-follow instructions
•Kitchen faucet fixture
•Bathroom sink aerators (2)
•Water flow testing bag
•Leak detection tablets
•Thread-sealing Teflon tape
•Water-efficient shower head

To request an Indoor Water Audit and Retrofit Kit, call the Conservation Helpline at (702) 258-7283 or fill out our online request form.
http://www.snwa.com/cfml/audit_form/audit.cfml

Let's face it, not every household in America will do their part in reducing water waste. But YOU can do something, even if it's one little thing, to help conserve water, save money for your family, and feel good about participating in making a difference.



So next time you're at Lowe's or Home Depot, ask about WaterSense labeled showerheads!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Shell Shocked

THIS MADE MY DAY!

Great News: Royal Dutch Shell has announced it is postponing its plan to drill off the coast of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge this summer.

This is a huge victory for Alaska’s embattled polar bears and other Arctic wildlife that are vulnerable to devastating losses if a blowout were to occur in the frigid Beaufort Sea.

It is a victory that you made possible through your donations, your online activism and your absolute commitment to stopping Shell in its tracks.

As you know, NRDC has waged a long, hard-fought legal battle to slow or stop Shell’s race to drill -- especially in the wake of last summer’s oil spill catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico.

On one legal front, we joined with Earthjustice in challenging clean air permits that the Obama Administration issued to Shell last year. Those permits would have allowed Shell’s fleet of ships to emit tons of pollutants into the Arctic environment, harming both Native communities and wildlife.

Last month, a federal appeals board ordered the Administration to withdraw the clean air permits and start the process all over again.

Now, just weeks later, Shell has thrown in the towel on drilling this summer!

You and I can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that the oil giant will not be launching its drill ship and icebreakers come June ... that there will be no oil spill in the sensitive, wildlife-filled waters of the Beaufort ... and that mother polar bears will come ashore in the Arctic Refuge this fall to give birth just as they’ve done for thousands of years -- undisturbed by drilling rigs, toxic pollution and a flood of deadly oil.



Sincerely,

Peter Lehner
Executive Director
Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Sweet Clementine

My friends Kevin and Irene have this amazing Australian Sheppard they call Clementine. They brought her home as a pup last year in August.

Many have enjoyed seeing Clem in countless pictures over the months as she grew and learned to adore the great outdoors. The love Kevin and Irene have for their little princess is infectious. Many of us fell in love with Clem even though we hadn't actually met her.

I'd like to share some of those pictures with you here; sort of a photo diary of the beauty she is.

















































Clementine was killed last night, February 17, 2011, just shy of her 1st birthday. A hit-and-run driver took her life and fled the scene, leaving Kevin and Irene devastated and heartbroken.

Clem, may Heaven be as much fun as your time on Earth was. You were very loved and will always be missed.

Message from Dad: "Still crying with no end in sight.she taught us how to love again,howto feel again.How to run home when we were seperated and explode with exctment when we met.Mostly you taught us that dreppression is only where you look for it.and with you around it was pretty hard to find.. I love you Clementine."

XOXO

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Drunks by Jack Mc.

DRUNKS
for my father, and the people who almost saved his life

We died of pneumonia in furnished rooms
where they found us three days later
when somebody complained about the smell
we died against bridge abutments
and nobody knew if it was suicide
and we probably didn't know either
except in the sense that it was always suicide
we died in hospitals
our stomachs huge, distended
and there was nothing they could do
we died in cells
never knowing whether we were guilty or not.

We went to priests
they gave us pledges
they told us to pray
they told us to go and sin no more, but go
we tried and we died

we died of overdoses
we died in bed (but usually not the Big Bed)
we died in straitjackets
in the DTs seeing God knows what
creeping skittering slithering
shuffling things

And you know what the worst thing was?
The worst thing was that
nobody ever believed how hard we tried

We went to doctors and they gave us stuff to take
that would make us sick when we drank
on the principle of so crazy, it just might work, I guess
or maybe they just shook their heads
and sent us places like Dropkick Murphy's
and when we got out we were hooked on paraldehyde
or maybe we lied to the doctors
and they told us not to drink so much
just drink like me
and we tried
and we died

we drowned in our own vomit
or choked on it
our broken jaws wired shut
we died playing Russian roulette
and people thought we'd lost
but we knew better
we died under the hoofs of horses
under the wheels of vehicles
under the knives and bootheels of our brother drunks
we died in shame

And you know what was even worse?
was that we couldn't believe it ourselves
that we had tried
we figured we just thought we tried
and we died believing that
we didn't know what it meant to try

When we were desperate enough
or hopeful or deluded or embattled enough to go for help
we went to people with letters after their names
and prayed that they might have read the right books
that had the right words in them
never suspecting the terrifying truth
that the right words, as simple as they were
had not been written yet

We died falling off girders on high buildings
because of course ironworkers drink
of course they do
we died with a shotgun in our mouth
or jumping off a bridge
and everybody knew it was suicide
we died under the Southeast Expressway
with our hands tied behind us
and a bullet in the back of our head
because this time the people that we disappointed
were the wrong people
we died in convulsions, or of "insult to the brain"
we died incontinent, and in disgrace, abandoned
if we were women, we died degraded,
because women have so much more to live up to
we tried and we died and nobody cried

And the very worst thing
was that for every one of us that died
there were another hundred of us, or another thousand
who wished that we could die
who went to sleep praying we would not have to wake up
because what we were enduring was intolerable
and we knew in our hearts
it wasn't ever gonna change

One day in a hospital room in New York City
one of us had what the books call
a transforming spiritual experience
and he said to himself

I've got it
(no you haven't you've only got part of it)
and I have to share it
(now you've ALMOST got it)
and he kept trying to give it away
but we couldn't hear it

the transmission line wasn't open yet
we tried to hear it
we tried and we died

we died of one last cigarette
the comfort of its glowing in the dark
we passed out and the bed caught fire
they said we suffocated before our body burned
they said we never felt a thing
that was the best way maybe that we died
except sometimes we took our family with us

And the man in New York was so sure he had it
he tried to love us into sobriety
but that didn't work either, love confuses drunks
and he tried and still we died
one after another we got his hopes up
and we broke his heart
because that's what we do

And the worst thing was that every time
we thought we knew what the worst thing was
something happened that was worse

Until a day came in a hotel lobby
and it wasn't in Rome, or Jerusalem, or Mecca
or even Dublin, or South Boston
it was in Akron, Ohio, for Christ's sake

a day came when the man said I have to find a drunk
because I need him as much as he needs me
(NOW you've got it)
and the transmission line
after all those years
was open
the transmission line was open

And now we don't go to priests
and we don't go to doctors
and people with letters after their names
we come to people who have been there
we come to each other
and we try
and we don't have to die

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
©—Jack Mc

Sunday, February 13, 2011

It Could Have Been Me

I have 21 minutes left on my laptop battery to knock this post out until shutdown. I hate writing under pressure. Let's see how this goes.

Mother of Children Killed in Pahrump Fire Arrested, Charged With Manslaughter ~LVRJ.com

http://www.lvrj.com/news/mother-of-children-killed-in-pahrump-fire-arrested-charged-with-manslaughter-116092449.html

I wanted to throw up when I first heard the news that Sharon Braodhead's neglect was the real cause of the fire that took the lives of her 3 young sons and her friend. Then I wanted to just throw something.

I was embarrased for setting up a fundraiser, for getting everyone I could involved in helping, and most of all, I was afraid of the judgement I would receive when I stepped into my office Monday morning. Some people label me a busy-body for getting involved with so many charities and tragedies. I didn't want to face the looks or comments that scream "so how do you feel for helping out now?" from those that really should matter to me at all.

Shame on me. My self-centeredness, pride and ego wanted to take this and run. Run, run, run all the way to oblivion.

It took getting on the phone with my sponsor to calm my ass down, let some frustration out and to see that I was reacting like many people to this news...like a hyprocite. Now my Jenniflower did not say that word, I did. However, she did suggest that I write about this so I'm following Good Orderly Direction *wink*.

What Sharon Broadhead did, or didn't do, when it comes to being a mother is not far off from how I've acted in my own motherly responsibilities. What I'm saying is that could have been me in that mug shot.

Not too long ago, I was a lousy, self-centered drunk. Before I had my daughter, I was pathetic. I didn't know how to care for myself, much less another human being. There was a time I almost killed my cats from neglect. Maybe pathetic isn't a strong enough word.

During my daughter's first 3 years of life there were many times I did not take the time to read her stories, bathe her, cuddle her, play with her, put her to bed, love her. I neglected her far too often because I was too wrapped up in myself to take notice. I didn't "feel" like being a mom. I was full of self pity, anger and alcohol.

In no way am I excusing Sharon Broadhead's behavior that led to this tragedy. I believe it's a family issue and many were involved and should have stepped up. Those boys should not have been left in her care.

Any next time you want to watch TV instead of playing with your kids, or read alone in a quiet room without them near you, or even post a blog while they play in their room alone, think of how neglect comes in many forms.

What I am saying might not make sense. I guess I don't do so well under pressure afterall. But my sponsor said it best with this FB comment:

"Mom will be dealing with her own personal hell for the rest of her life- and meanwhile there are still 3 children gone and that have other siblings and family members suffering horribly from this tragedy. The children deserve a proper burial and the remaining kids also deserve the support and love they have been given from the community and anyone else who has chosen to reach out to them. God help me - while I may be sober mommy today - it was not that long ago that I wasn't sober. As for anyone who is passing judgments and making assumptions about this family - "People who live in glass houses should not throw stones."

If you still would like to make a difference for Anthony Broadhead and his two surviving older daughter's , please go to this link:

http://helpforhannah.chipin.com/the-broadhead-family-pahrump-nevada

What matters most now is that Sharon is where she needs to be. The family members left behind still need help. They need it more than ever. I am so glad they live in a community that is wrapping their loving arms around them.

For the scoffers out there, your judgement and hatred have no place here; not in Pahrump, not in the world.

If you haven't noticed, we're taking out our own civilization because of it.

Friday, February 11, 2011

How to Help the Broadhead Family

Several fundraising efforts are under way to help the families of the Pahrump fire victims.

Light blue wristbands with the words "In Loving Memory" printed on them are being sold for a dollar at schools and businesses in Pahrump. All of the money will go to the victims' families, said Lisa Holleman, owner of Pahrump Party Supply, the business that donated the 3,000 wristbands.

Las Vegas resident Jennifer N. has set up an online account for donations through a website called chipin.com. The full address is

http://helpforhannah.chipin.com/the-broadhead-family-pahrump-nevada

Jennifer said she decided to start the effort after talking to a friend who knows the Broadhead family.

Those who wish to donate also can contribute to an account in the Broadhead name that has been opened at Nevada State Bank in Pahrump.

Clothing is being collected for surviving family members. What is needed are junior pants sizes 0-1; junior shirts in medium; girls size 6.5 and 8 shoes; girls pants size 14; and women's shirts in medium, large and XL.

For more information about clothing and monetary donations, contact the Saitta Trudeau car dealership in Pahrump where Anthony Broadhead and his mother work. The number is 775-727-0102.


Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal. Reporter Henry Brean at hbrean@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0350.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Pahrump, NV Family Loses the Unimaginable

This morning I walked into the office, already not feeling well. The first thing I saw on my desk was the morning paper, folded neatly and banded by its rubber band just waiting for me to take it to the breakroom.

"Children, baby sitter die" stared out at me from the folded front page, stopping my heart. I debated if I even wanted to know more. What an awful headline yet I was drawn to the story with a longing to already do something to help.

I read it in it's entirety. Tears welled up as I saw the look in the father's eyes as he watched his dying children being taken one by one to the ambulances. Unimaginable. If hell exists, this is it.

I posted a link to my FB wall. I listened in the breakroom to others that were commenting on the story. My heart wanted to do something. My mind said "then what's stopping you?"

A FB friend even knows a member of the family. She and I agreed that doing more would be a great idea.

Here is the link to the story from our Las Vegas Review Journal. The pictures will disgust you. Hopefully, you will find yourself wanting to help this family too.

http://www.lvrj.com/news/three-children-1-adult-die-in-pahrump-house-fire-115667044.html

One person commented below the story the following:

mrability wrote on February 10, 2011 09:42 AM:
sad for the kids But that place is full of whte tailer park trash,look at the facts,ride there on the motor cycle a few times a year. Not impressed with the place.


This angered me even more to want to help. Getting mean, ugly or senseless over a tragedy such as this is a pure waste of time. To be able to use your passion to do something to help, rather than continue such ugliness, is what we are on this Planet to do.

I'll be setting up some kind of Cause on FB to help raise donations for the Broadhead Family. They are going to need a rally of support from the community, help in getting another home, a safe place to start over.

If you're interested in doing something for the Broadhead Family, here is the Chip In donation page.

Monday, February 7, 2011

It Waits...

A milestone in sobriety is within reach. It can be seen in the not-so-distant future. It's presence brings hope to me and to many others. With it comes the promise of a new life and the chance to be happy, joyous and free.

Not everyone is pleased that this good news is coming. There is one that is fiercy jealous and wickedly greedy with my thoughts. One who is cunning, baffling, powerful and deadly.

This madman awakens at times like these with just a whisper and exits with the roars of lions. It cannot be heard from the outside; it's playhouse resides in the deep recesses of my mind. It waits for me, stalking me during my days of happiness and serenity. It laughs when I experience what my God has given me all along. When I am at peace, the monster just smiles.




Days like these bring me to a crossroads. The choice to continue along the road to a happy destiny Divinely constructed or to grab the hand of an old friend and disappear into the darkness that lies just outside the sunlit path.



What this demon does not know or chooses to accept, is that there have been too many days of goodness, too many hours of love and joy that have laid the foundation onto which I fall. When I stumble today, it is not into oblivion. I trip into the arms of those that hold me up, those that keep me together. The Army of "WE" comes running and they will not loosen their grip without a fight.

I am not a captive today. I know where to go when the lies get too loud. I have a safety net built of bonds stronger than steel. I do not walk this path alone. Today I can rest knowing the wickedness will be pushed back, will be defeated into submission and retreat, if only for a little while.

It waits...


Someone Call a Waaambulance

Yep, you got it. I'm up again at an un-Godly hour to whine. I can't help myself. From the immortal lyrics of a favorite song "I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell..."(Matchbox Twenty, "Unwell").

Since whining doesn't really work for me anymore and feeling sorry for myself certainly gets me nowhere, it's time to get rid of it. And this is where I come to do it. Feel free to log off at anytime. It won't be pretty.



Yesterday I was speaking to one of my favorite people on the phone. (Real names will not be used to protect the innocent). She was telling me about how a mutual friend was going to have a series of surgeries to correct a facial disfigurement caused by too much facial tissue being removed to save oneself from deadly cancerous cells. Our friend had most of one side of their nose removed to save them from melanoma advancing into lethal stages.

I was like "YAY!" in my mind hearing this news though it sounded like a long road our friend was going to have to be on to get through all of these surgeries. But when I was told that she suggested to our friend that he call me because I know all about having a not-so-great nose left behind by a botched surgery, I was like "Nooooooo!".

Of course I laughed it off and said not one word about how unfucking cool that was. I could never do something like that! *gasp* So instead I hold it in all damn day, stuff it, and let it turn into a resentment that wakes me up at this hour just to whine about it on my blog. Waaaaaaa!

I've been home for 4 days straight nursing a sick child back to health. She and I stayed home Thursday and Friday battling a ridiculous fever and an even more ridiculous pediatrician that couldn't find time for a same-day sick visit.

Did I launch into "Mama Bear Mode" and demand that my daughter get an appointment? No. Did I demand to speak with another appoinment setter in the hopes of being seen? No. Did I just take my baby down there and show up unannounced and say "Here, fix her. It's what my insurance pays you to do!" No.

I just stayed home with her loving her as best as I could. It all worked out fine. Riley is back to 100% again and I'm so over feeling inadequate, well, except for the lingering feeling that I suck as a Mom when it comes to being firm and getting the proper care she needs.

So, instead of calling their office today to voice my opinion of their lame same-day sick visit regulations, I'm going to passive aggressively find another pediatrician and have her records transferred. That'll show 'em. Waaaaaaa!



Today is Monday. That sucks all in it's own right but I've had 4 days "off" and it puts a new spin on the suckiness of a normal Monday. This morning I am not able to find the gratitude I need to get me excited to get my ass up (wait, I'm already up) and go to my job. And what stinks even more is that I need to watch what I say about my job because blogging over the world wide web about my lack of passion for what I do for a living might just find me unemployed at any moment thus launching me into instant gratitude for something I no longer have.

I will say this and shut up. It's tough for a self-centered, egomaniac like me to suit up and show up 5 days a week to a job where there's no passion, no future, not one bit of making this world just a little bit better. The best thing I can do today is be extra kind and respectful to the a-hole that calls in and takes out his a-holiness on the first person that answers the phone, a.k.a., me. Waaaaaaa!

Ugh. I took a "proofing break" and re-read this and found myself even more bummed out. If you're still reading this, let me help us out of this mess though I did warn you that it wouldn't be pretty.

It's be suggested to me in my almost 3 years of sobriety to not harbor resentments, a fancy word for holding a grudge and getting one step closer to another drink, and the focus on the solution rather than the problem. The more I focus on the problem, the bigger it gets. And I know today that this ego of mine does NOT need to get any bigger.

At this point in the game of life, I believe I need to take better care of myself. Plain sobriety is not enough. Setting boundaries comes to mind. Speaking up for what I believe in comes in as a close second.

What's so hard about telling someone that what they said has hurt my feelings? For a people-pleaser such as myself, it's very hard. But I've learned now that people pleasing is an oxymoron and the only thing it gets me is a resentment.

When it comes to the health of my child and demanding the best care she deserves, there's absolutely no excuse for not getting it. Bad Mommy, no biscuit.

And if I'm so damn upset about having a dead-end, going absolutely nowhere job, I need to get browse the classifieds for about 2 minutes and gain a different perspective. Or how about I go down to the nearest welfare office and see how fun hanging around there would be.

God I get on my nerves.

I can hear you now saying "Don't be so hard on yourself!" Well, too late. This is how I roll. Don't worry, it doesn't last nearly as long as it used to and I know today that there's no drink out there that will make this, or any bad situation, better.

The word "pray" just popped into my head. Thanks HP. That's a fancy word for my God, otherwise known as my Higher Power. It's been brought to my attention that the mention of the word "God" on my blog has turned some people off from reading it.

Ironic how it should be the bitching, moaning and groaning that should turn people off, not the mention of my concept of what keeps me sober, happy, joyous and free when I choose to lean on it.

So for those that think "God" is a four-letter word, too fucking bad.