Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Butterflies are NOT Free

$89.76 – Cost of garden tools to dig up area for butterfly garden.

$14.99 – Cost of fertilizer for butterfly attracting plants.

$18.76 – Cost of variety of butterfly attracting plants.

$5.98 – Cost of ointment to relieve sunburn.

$686.00 – Cost of emergency room treatment for bee sting.

$145.00 – Cost of prescription to relieve swelling from bee sting.

$75.00 – Cost of hiring someone to dig up garden and set plants.

$178.00 – Cost of digital camera to take blurry picture of butterfly.

$957.00 – Cost of emergency room treatment from falling backward over garden tools used to dig up area for butterfly garden while trying to get better angle of butterfly when taking photo.

$29.78 – Cost of newspaper ad to sell garden tools, butterfly attracting plants, and camera.

Priceless – Loathing of stupid butterflies.

© Copyright text and photo 2008 Suzzwords

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

It's been over two years since I said goodbye forever to one of my dearest friends who died from breast cancer. My sadness is compounded by knowing that even through she had a mammogram, the facility where she went did not properly read the results and recommended that "we watch" the lump. A year later, at another screening center at another facility, it was too late to halt the progress of the monster. Another friend, who is a ten year survivor, also was advised to "watch" the lump. She lost her right breast and underwent agonizing treatment, but is still here today to watch her beautiful grandchildren grow.

Please, women ... have your annual mammogram. If you are the least bit suspicious of the accuracy of the results, get a second opinion. If you discover changes in your breast, go get checked. Now. Those of us who love you, do not want to lose you.

Shortly after the passing of my friend, I went with another friend for her first mammogram in years. The visit to St. Vincent's Breast Health Center made such an impact that I began to jot down notes for what later became my first post in January 2006. As a result of early intervention my friend is still here and all clear.

I'm reprinting that original post to encourage women not to put off breast exams. And you family members ... go with your loved one and hold her purse.

Originally published Wednesday, January 04, 2006


Men should have mammograms to understand the emotions of the community of women who sit in their little pink smocks in a cheery room waiting to have initial or follow-up X-rays or sonograms or more, or for the doctor to read the results and deliver the diagnosis.

Men would then understand the fear a woman faces whether it’s her first or tenth mammogram.

They should see the bravery of the woman struggling to hold back tears as she heads to the changing room after the devastating news that will forever change her life and perhaps end it far too early. It’s then her burden to share the news with her family and while facing her personal fears, try to soothe the emotions of her loved ones. She also sees the days stretch out before her in seemingly endless rounds of doctors, hospitals and treatments.

Men should share the elation of the woman who receives the “all clear” as the tension drains from her face to be replaced with relief and smiles. Men should witness the camaraderie as the other women offer congratulations for having “escaped” the dreaded disease for another year.

They should see the young mother of two small boys sit in the corner avoiding the eyes of the other women to not reveal her nervousness over the uncertainty of what to expect. Then the men should watch as an older woman, a grandmother, senses the fear of the younger woman and draws her into a casual conversation about wallpaper, then squeezes the younger woman’s hand as her name is called for “the test.”

Physically, mammograms are no big deal. They are uncomfortable and on occasion, a bit painful, but they can help detect the tiny beginnings of a monster.

Men should understand the importance of this annual ritual and that without the exams and early detection, many more of us would be lost. They should encourage and support their women to have the exams. Go with them and hold their purses and wait patiently in the family area for their return. Holding a purse for someone you love is much easier than saying “goodbye” forever.


(In memory of my beautiful friend Harriette.)

© Copyright 2006 Suzzwords

Monday, October 06, 2008

Back Then and Now-A-Days

Back Then: Straw broom to clean sidewalk, street after mowing.
Now-A-Days: After filling gas tank, blow lawn clippings into street or neighbor’s yard (if they are not looking) with $124.99 Craftsman 200 mph 430 CFM Gas Blower/Vac.

Back then: Look up the word in Webster’s Dictionary (that’s a book).
Now-A-Days: Run spell checker. Who needs to learn to spaell?

Back Then: Brylcreem. (A little dabba do ya!)
Now-A-Days: After shaving face with lanolin enriched, age defying gel and shampooing hair with special root enhancer scalp stimulator and conditioning with silkening, thickening conditioner, and cleansing and moisturizing face, style hair with unscented enriching nourishing gel, finish with firm-hold hair spray.

Back Then: Clothes pin, paper clip, staple or rubber band to hold tight the potato chip bag after opening.
Now-A-Days: Plastic clip with “SNACK” printed on holding bar so the chips won’t be confused with toothpaste in case you couldn’t figure it out on your own.

Back Then: Stop at grocery to get wholesome dinner ingredients.
Now-A-Days: Stop at McDonalds.

Back Then: Whiten sheets by air-drying in sun.
Now-A-Days: Whiten sheets with detergent containing bleach, dry in clothes dryer with scented softener sheet for fresh-air smell.

Back Then: Whiten teeth with Pepsodent. You wonder where the yellow went when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent.
Now-A-Days: Super-whiten teeth with porcelain veneers or dental bonding, chair side bleaching that may include a bleaching agent, special light and lasers, or Pepsodent Whitening Anti-Cavity Toothpaste.

Back Then: Carry change for pay phone.
Now-A-Days: Get extra job to pay for cell phone.

Back Then: Prune juice.
Now-A-Days: Colonic irrigation

Back Then: Prunes
Now-A-Days: Dried Plums

Back Then: Hire neighbor kid to mow lawn.
Now-A-Days: Subscribe to weekly lawn care service to mow, trim, and edge.

Back Then: Send mail by United States post office.
Now-A-Days: Send e-mail.

Back Then: Women attended college to get MRS. degree.
Now-A-Days: Women attend college to get Ph.D. in biostatistics.

Back Then: Tweeze eyebrows.
Now-A-Days: Tweeze chin.

Back Then: Saddle shoes and penny loafers.
Now-A-Days: Flip-flops and Easy Spirit.

Back Then: One piece swimsuits.
Now-A-Days: Yikes!

Back Then: Sheets and pillow cases sold separately in twin and double sizes.
Now-A-Days: Assorted sizes of sheet sets include one flat, one fitted, and pillow cases. Bedding sets include sheets, pillow cases, comforter, pillow shams and dust ruffle.

Back Then: Drive-in movies.
Now-A-Days: Video rental stores or multiple-screen movie theatres.

Back Then: Clean kitchen floor using cotton mop, bucket of water, and Spic and Span; will eventually have to buy more Spick and Span.
Now-A-Days: Swiffer WetJet starter kit, will later need batteries, cleaning solution, and cleaning pad replacements.

Back Then: Freshen stale air in house by opening windows.
Now-A-Days: Sprays, solids, liquids, and candles available scented and unscented from dozens of manufacturers.

Back Then: Have ice delivered in blocks or make ice cubes in tiny refrigerator ice tray compartment.
Now-A-Days: Pick up ten pound bags of ice at convenience store.

Back Then: TV had no sound and was called radio.
Now-A-Days: Antenna, cable, satellite on giant screen, portable, battery operated, and hand held TVs.

Back Then: Bulky upright vacuum cleaner.
Now-A-Days: Roomba.

Back Then: Gossiping over the fence.
Now-A-Days: Blogging

© Copyright 2008 Suzzwords