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Time for Teaching and still Beaching…

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Friday Fragments are bits and pieces of your week that are usually brief; too short for a stand-alone post, but too good to discard. Collect humorous observations, “Heard” items, and other small gems and put them together in a Friday Fragments post. Then leave a link to your Friday Fragments here:

Half-Past Kissin’ Time

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My husband told me yesterday to stop thinking about summer being over and to concentrate on enjoying each day of September. He is so right. The days are still sunny and warm, without being oppressive and the nights are comfortably cool. Then he asked me to go on a couple of beach dates. Just another of the million reasons I love that man.

Florida Does Beach Feet

I have some exciting things to look forward to this fall. Not only will I be teaching again but I have been working with a committee since last spring to put together a workshop series sponsored by the Press Club of Pa. They will be held the fourth Saturday of every month (except December.) They will be on social media, branding, style (for men and women), networking, understanding the news, how to get attention from the media for your product, business, store, event, non-profit, blog or book, writing and publishing, pitching your business and more. We have been so lucky to have top experts in these fields offer to join us. We even have a few celebrity guests. I will be writing more about these classes next week!

http://www.thepressclubpa.org

Our Florida adventure has come and gone but I have no doubt we all created memories that will last forever. My husband and I took five of our grandchildren to Daytona Beach to visit my mother and John’s sister. We were worried that at least the driving part would be a nightmare but I have to tell you the kids were so good and we had SO much fun. Kudos to John for renting the top of the line Town & Country minivan equipped with DVD players and satellite radio and kudos to me for creating maps and putting them on corkboard for each child with colored stick pins. One color for cities we stopped in and another color for cities we passed through. They really got into it and now they know how to read a map. We had a great time with family and friends, went Go Karting, to batting cages, the beach, to Zoomair Daytona a zipline adventure and more…

FLORIDA trip the kids by pool FLORIDA Here we go FLORIDA trip maps FLORIDA with Kids Florida beach all 5

During our vacation my laptop kind of crashed and even though there was a TV by the pool the kids always wanted to listen to music so I was forced to detox from my news addiction. After reading this post on Boomeon written by Cathy Chester, taking an occasional news break is going to become a habit for me:

http://www.boomeon.com/posts/taking-a-short-break-from-the-news

Have a safe and fun Labor Day,

Doreen

 

 

 

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Dragging Fragging Friday Fragments…

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Friday Fragments are bits and pieces of your week that are usually brief; too short for a stand-alone post, but too good to discard. Collect humorous observations, “Heard” items, and other small gems from your week and put them together in a Friday Fragments post. Then leave a link to your Friday Fragments post with our host Mrs. 4444 at Half-Past Kissin’ Time.

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The Pope is coming to Philly! I should be super excited and yes it is very exciting but for some reason all I can think of is the traffic and the diversions. Will I go if he holds an outdoor Mass. Probably but I already know it will be a logistics mess.

I LOVE that he met with the FINALLY released Christian woman who was sentenced to death, Miriam Ibreham and her family.

pope-francis-Meriam-Ibrahim

I was so excited to have a post on Midlife Boulevard for the first time! Which by the way is an AMAZING community of the most talented, funny, brilliant and supportive women I have ever met (only a few in real life) but cannot wait to meet more of them in real life.

http://midlifeboulevard.com/boomer-deadly-road-rage/

As if that wasn’t exciting enough this happened on Books is Wonderful:

http://www.booksiswonderful.com/books-by-writers-i-know/

The author of Books is Wonderful, Helene Cohen Bludman is in England right now with another MLB friend, Lois Alter Mark. They are touring the Downton Abbey Castle and doing all sorts of other dreamy things. I cannot wait to read both of their posts about the trip.

My conspiracy theory mind is spinning out of control over all of these ‘air’ disasters. Sad.

I had to have surgery to clear up a jaw infection that resulted from jaw surgery. Just ouch and a frustrating setback. It has me dragging.

Hell on Wheels will be back on AMC on August 2. I cannot Wait!

Hell on Wheels

Have a Blessed Weekend,

Doreen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cowgirling up for the 4th of July…

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Happy 4th of July!!

Friday Fragments are bits and pieces of your week that are usually brief; too short for a stand-alone post, but too good to discard. Collect humorous observations, “Heard” items, and other small gems and put them together in a Friday Fragments post. Then leave a link to your Friday Fragments post and leave a link back to Half-Past Kissin’ Time in your post.

I would love to read your Fragment’s. Sign up here (all weekend)

http://www.halfpastkissintime.com

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July 4th was always a huge celebration in my family and it always started out with my brother, David’s birthday which is on the 3rd. when David was murdered 15-years-ago we tried to continue the tradition and still have a birthday party for him, a sort of memorial celebration of his life. It may have been a good idea but it felt awful. So around here the holiday has pretty much been a sad one. That hasn’t been fair to my grandkids. This year I am spending the holiday with 3 granddaughters.

We planned to attend our neighborhood block-party, with pony rides, ( Peyton is running through the house yelling wake up it’s time to cowgirl up, trying to wake her sister’s) bouncy houses and lots of hot-dogs and cotton candy followed by a concert and fireworks show at our local high school and lots of swimming and relaxing for the rest of the weekend. Then Arthur formed. I’m not sure how much outdoor fun will actually happen. It is not looking promising. At least here it will only be rain and wind. I hope everyone in direct hit areas stays safe. I hope Arthur just fizzles.

My week was sort of uneventful which is extremely rare. I’m still battling an infection that resulted from one of my dental surgeries and it is making me feel so tired. I haven’t had a 3-day-weekend in a very long time. It is going to feel so good to sleep in.

I took this picture on the way home from picking the girls up. They say they see an angel in the sky. I see it too. Do you?

Sky angel photo

I wrote this article on caregiving and stress for our local Patch. It sure could use some likes and or comments.

http://media.patch.com/blogs/-edge-of-philadelphia?content_subdomain=media

One thing I was disappointed in this past week is the lack of understanding by so many people on just what the actual job of our Supreme Court Justices involves. There was legally, no way there could have made any other decision in regards to the Hobby Lobby case. President Clinton signed the Freedom of Religion act in 1993. The Supreme Court must hold up existing law. They have no authority to create or change laws. Whether we like the decision or not the law is the law. Am I the only one frustrated by the lack of civics knowledge?

Happy Birthday to my little brother in Heaven:

http://youtu.be/PAc7b-pnfLw

Have a safe and blessed Holiday Weekend,

Doreen

 

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Holy Hillary, Summer Fragments, Happy Hour and Kate + Eight…

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I’m late but I’m here.

Friday Fragments are bits and pieces of your week that are usually brief; too short for a stand-alone post, but too good to discard. Collect humorous observations, “Heard” items, and other small gems and put them together in a Friday Fragments post. Then leave a link to your Friday Fragments post and leave a link back to Half-Past Kissin’ Time in your post.

I would love to read your Fragment’s. Sign up here:

http://www.halfpastkissintime.com

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~ ~ ~

Our annual beach week starts tomorrow—without us. We were so disappointed in how everything unfolded last year and I have taken so much time off from work this past year that we decided to take a break this year. We will be back next year.  John and I are going to try to get down for at least a day.

In August we planned a beach week in Daytona. It is so soon after losing my Dad, I just need to spend some time with my Mom in Daytona.

Change is good, right?

I entered the More Open Doors Contest  yesterday.  “What doors could $10,000 open for you?” You should check it out and good

Have you read Hillary’s book? The reviews are pretty bad and I am surprised that Sarah Palin’s book sold nearly 400,000 more copies the first week. Should I bother reading it? Look what I saw at a rest stop while driving back from North Carolina (Maryland)

ABC_hillary_clinton_bus_tour_ml_140613_16x9_608

My writer’s group friend and fellow Tate author, Toni McCloe’s book came out this week. She is a talented writer so I cannot wait to read Rude Awakenings. I am hoping to interview her soon.

I tuned in for the return of Kate +her eight last night. Wow, have those kids grown. They are all adorable.

kate-plus-8-sextupets-turn-10-special-tlc

The next 24 is making my blood pressure high but I am as hooked as I ever was.

Have a blessed week,

Doreen

This afternoon at 3:00 est I will be on the radio show Happy Hour with Annmarie Kelly. Cindy Falteich, author of Aliquot Sun (soon to be a film) and I will be chatting about summer reads and more. You can listen live here:

http://www.wche.com

 

 

 

 

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DISNEY’S ‘CINDERELLA’ …

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DISNEY’S ‘CINDERELLA’ is at the Media Theatre in Delaware County, Pa. this summer…

My two youngest grandchildren, Peyton Elizabeth and Adriana Jean have birthdays just a few days apart. This year they were turning four and five. Last year I took them to see their first movie and they loved it.  This year I wanted them to experience a live theatre performance. The Media Theatre in Delaware County, Pa. is presenting CINDERELLA on Saturday’s at 11:00 a.m. and Sunday afternoons at noon throughout June, July and August. What four and five- year- old little girls wouldn’t like to see a live version of their favorite princess?

Media Theatre Cinderella and Prince Charming

Cinderella and the Prince=== The Prince (Owen Mannion) and Cinderella (Emily Kinka)

Originally released by Walt Disney Studios in 1950, the film is one of their most successful adaptions. Disney will be releasing a new version of Cinderella in March of 2015. The newest version will star Cate Blanchett as the wicked stepmother.

Media Theatre NEW CINDERELLA MOVIE  3 15 The Media Theatre adaption is referred to as the kid’s version due to its shortened length and a cast that features young actors in many of the roles. It includes beloved songs like Bibbidee Bobbidee Boo and a Dream is a Wish your Heart Makes. The play is approximately one hour, which was perfect for my four and five -year-olds.

Media Theatre Cinderella play

Cinderella (Emily Kinka) with The Mice: Jaq (Carter Weiss), Luke (Alex Pollard), Perla (Alexsa McKeown), and Gus Gus (Sean O’ Neill)

Adriana and Peyton were so excited to sit in the front row. They enjoyed waving to and speaking with the musician in the orchestra pit. They were a bit frightened at first of the wicked stepmother played by Roger Ricker and the wicked stepsisters.  They loved and are still talking about how beautiful Cinderella’s gown was, how pretty the Fairy Godmother was and how handsome the prince was.

Adriana at Cinderella

Adriana

Humor plays a large part in this version with plenty of opportunity for young audiences to laugh, have fun and even participate. The king came down from the stage and invited children from the audience to his ball.

The production was professional and all of the kids did a wonderful job singing, dancing and narrating. The adults were hysterical. I love that the girls are still talking about Cinderella, the theatre and they are asking to see another play. I love creating memories with them. After the play we went to Linvilla Orchard, also in Delaware County for ice cream.

Peyton at Linvilla

Peyton Elizabeth

My girls went from the theatre to the sand pile. They are definitely my granddaughters

Adriana and Peyton playing in dirt For tickets to Disney’s “Cinderella” at The Media Theatre call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org. All Broadway Series and Youth Series productions are produced by Media Music Theatre Company.

The Media Theatre is also offering, for groups of 12 or more, Golden Slipper Parties following the show. The Parties include a ticket to the show, pizza, punch, cupcakes, and gift bags. They take place in the theatre’s second level Crystal Room, where the party-goers get to meet the cast for photos and autographs.

As a summer celebratory wrap-up event and fundraiser for Media Music Theatre Company, Roger Ricker has his annual concert on Wednesday night August 13. This year’s title is “UP!” The show will feature upbeat numbers with positive messages, youth performers, and plenty of fun. Ricker has been seen in over 80 productions at The Media Theatre, with this being his ninth summer concert fundraising event.

Media Theatre Photo

 

 

 

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Does History Repeat itself? For Us the VA Scandal is Personal…

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http://katherinescorner.com

 

They say if you don’t study your history you are sure to repeat it. I have not been able to get that saying out of my head for the last few years. It started when I read the more than one-thousand- pages that are the ACA. [Affordable Care Act]

I cannot fault President Obama for knowing that drastic changes needed to be made in our healthcare insurance industry.  However, I am concerned about the changes that continue to be made to our actual healthcare industry. After reading the ACA I looked at my husband and said, “This sounds like the VA. It sounds like bureaucrats will be deciding who gets what when it comes to medical care, not doctors.”

In 1963, President John F. Kennedy believed that the mentally ill should be taken care of in their homes with assistance from the government. He was motivated by the mental illness of his own younger sister who was institutionalized. Critics say it was more likely the matter of the hundreds of looming lawsuit judgments against the government due to abuse, neglect, rapes and murders in our nation’s mental institutions and the lack of federal funds to pay those judgments that motivated him.

President kennedy

His administration first decided that people needed to have more humanized opinions of people with mental-health disorders. They urged church, school and scout leaders to begin visiting our nation’s asylums. As a young girl scout I visited the Byberry State Hospital in Northeast Philadelphia to sing Christmas Carols for the patients. I still shudder when I remember that field trip.

The plan was to create group homes in neighborhoods. A staff of caregivers would take care of the needs of the patients. Mental health professionals and state officials would monitor the group homes. It was a good plan but unfortunately it didn’t work. The doors to the asylums were literally sprung open and the patients were released into the communities in masses. They were given twenty-five dollars, an outfit and an appointment to be accessed at a community mental health clinic many of which at the time, were not yet operational. Most of those patients wandered the streets of our neighborhoods never showing up for their appointments. Several released Byberry patients were found dead on the hospital grounds. They died of exposure.

Byberry Sign

I believe those human beings that were tortured within the walls of Byberry and every other asylum in this country deserved love, compassion at the most up to date treatment and care. Why couldn’t we make those hospitals safe for them?  Why did the administration think if they could not effectively monitor what went on in the confines of a state hospital that they were going to be able to monitor what happened with these patients in the communities? Why do so many people believe that in order to protect the rights of one person and putting that person’s safety as well as the safety of entire communities at risk is okay?

The problem with our nation’s asylums was corrupt politics and a complete lack of leadership and accountability by the management and the staff. The problems began as soon as the facilities were opened back in Ben Franklin’s days. Occasionally newspapers would shine a light on the atrocities, action would be taken and the guilty would be fired. Once the media attention died down the staff member was quietly rehired and the horrors continued.

Whether we agree with the way President Kennedy opened those doors and let the mentally ill out of those state institutions, without a solid plan for after care or not we must agree that the conversation about the care and treatment of our mentally ill and intellectually challenged was started by him.

President Kennedy’s sister never left the institution.

The problems in our VA Medical System are just as systemic, probably even worse than they were in those asylums. People are dying. I fear we are headed towards just opening the doors and releasing our veterans into the already overwhelmed community health centers and the closing of our VA Medical Centers. It sounds like a great idea and a quick fix until we look back and see how opening the doors of those asylums in the nineteen-sixties created the homeless and mental health crisis we are still not dealing with today.

Removing General Shinseki as the leader of the VA Administration was overdue but it will not fix anything. Shinseki is without a doubt a good man. Sadly he is not a good leader. Leaders need to be committed to quality, accountability and results. They need to create strategies and see that their teams are responsibly implementing those strategies. The teams working in our VA medical system are implementing a complete lack of respect and disregard for our country’s heroes. They are there to collect a decent paycheck and government benefits. Nothing else is demanded of them.

VA Medical Center Philadelphia

When you take a manager like, Shinseki who already has no leadership skills and replace him with his own assistant who also has no leadership skills and then further complicate matters more with employee unions that will completely cripple any attempt he might make at requiring correctable action and accountability from employees chances are it will be business as usual again in no time. Add to that those narcissistic, stagnant politicians on ALL sides offering endless, useless investigations that do nothing but rob taxpayers and fatten their own wallets.

The problem that needs to be ‘fixed’ is the union ‘leader’ problem we have in this country. While unions were started for valid reasons they did exactly what they were supposed to do. We now have government employee protection agencies and laws to protect our workers from abuse, discrimination, unsafe conditions and more. Unions are a waste of hard working employee’s money and because most of them are hanging on by a thread the leaders are becoming desperate and looking for ways to ‘money grab.’

I fear we are about to repeat some very bad history here.

~ ~ ~

My family is no stranger to the VA Health Center. My husband is a disabled Vietnam War era veteran.

We have had some good experiences at VA Medical Centers. We have met some committed and caring employees. We have also had our share of waiting, life threatening misdiagnoses and degrading treatment by V.A. staff members. I wrote about this experience (just one of many bad experiences.) a little over a year ago.

http://doreenmcgettigan.com/?p=4109

Because I complain a lot, my husband’s case was recently moved to our community hospital. While this is so much more convenient for my husband, it will not solve the larger problem and that is wrong.

President Kennedy’s message to Congress on Mental Health:

http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=9546

 

 

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Too much news…

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Friday Fragments are bits and pieces of your week that are usually brief; too short for a stand-alone post, but too good to discard. Collect humorous observations, “Heard” items, and other small gems and put them together in a Friday Fragments post. Then leave a link to your Friday Fragments post and leave a link back to our host at Half-Past Kissin’ Time in your post.

I would love to read your Fragment’s. Sign up here:

http://www.halfpastkissintime.com

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~ ~ ~

Good Day Philadelphia featured one of my tweets on Thursday. Of course I was at work so I didn’t have a chance to record it. They were doing a feature on superstitions and the things you do for luck. I am very superstitious. For thirty-years I have been wrapping my lottery tickets in the largest bills I have for luck. I haven’t had much luck with that but now I’m afraid to stop.

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Let Them Eat Cake! 12 Things you can do to improve your Relationship with Aging Parents while Caregiving…

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Caregiving for our elderly parents can be one of the most anxiety inducing, stressful times of our lives. It can also be a time of all consuming sadness and another unwanted lesson in letting go. It will also be a time when we struggle with our siblings and extended families as well as with our own emotions.

Book signing 4

There are a few simple things we can do to lessen the stress and make the experience a more rewarding one for both of you.

At what other time in your life will you be so close with someone who literally has one foot in Heaven (hopefully,) or wherever you believe, they are headed.

Right now your hours may be extremely long but the days are quickly growing shorter and shorter. Choose your battles with your parent and your siblings wisely. Ask these questions before battling:

  • What will it matter at the end?
  • How will it affect his/her quality of life?
  • Is there a compromise that can be made here?

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Girlfriends, T.V. addictions, Ugly Bushes and Evicting birds…

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Welcome to the 301st edition of Friday Fragments!

Friday Fragments are hosted by the lovely Mrs. 4444. If you would like to share your fragments you can get all of the facts here…

http://www.halfpastkissintime.com

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Friday Fragments are a condensed version of the story of your week, the good, bad, exciting, boring and the ugly.

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300 Fraggin Fantastic Fragments and Heaven is for Real…

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Today we are celebrating the 300th edition of Friday Fragments.  Congratulations to the creator of Friday Fragments and our lovely host Mrs. 4444!

Friday Fragments are bits and pieces of your week that are usually brief; too short for a stand-alone post, but too good to discard. Collect humorous observations, “Heard” items, and other small gems and put them together in a Friday Fragments post. Then leave a link to your Friday Fragments post and leave a link back to Half-Past Kissin’ Time in your post.

http://www.halfpastkissintime.com

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My weeks seem to be running into each other more lately than usual. It has been difficult to stick to one of my New Years Goals which is to be present in and feel each moment. I suppose I need more practice.

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  • "Ready" for School September 1, 2014
    Every year at school, we teachers and staff are trained in what to do in the event of a school shooting situation. We've been trained in this for as long as I can remember:  Close your classroom door, hide, and be quiet, hoping the shooter thinks your room is empty and keeps going. Administrators make ridiculously veiled announcements over the P.A. such