Monday, May 14, 2012

Dance Like a Chicken Day

Today is Dance Like a Chicken Day. Come on, you know you want to do. Let's all Chicken Dance!

I have to admit this is one dance that my husband refuses to ever do. Which makes the following memory on of my favorites.

Before my husband and I were even a couple. In fact, before we even considered the possibility of being a couple, he took me to visit his parents,who live outside of New Orleans. Now, I am not sure how we came to the discussion to take this trip together.  Maybe the fact I was bored and had never been coupled with our being best friends contributed largely.

While we were on this trip, his mother showed me all the family photo albums. Shortly, she pointed to a picture of my husband as a teenager dancing the Chicken Dance. I had never seen the chicken dance. In fact, I had never heard of it. She asked him to show me. He refused at first. But, slowly, she cajoled him into it.

This is the one and only time that I have ever seen him do this dance. He hates it. But, for me, he swallowed his pride, flapped his arms, and wiggled his butt. If that isn't true friendship, what is?

I love to give him Chicken Dance items and playfully ask him to demonstrate again. But, nothing beats the fact that the one time he danced this as an adult was just for me.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Anyone Hungry

Saturday, May 12th - next Saturday- is the 20th annual National Association of Letter Carrier's Stamp Out Hunger food drive. I know in the normal course of things, you would expect me to post about this on the day it's happening. But, if you want to donate non-perishable food items, I thought a little advanced notice might help.

When I came up with the idea of helping spread the word, I knew that I did not want to do my normal post. Yes, in its 20 year history, I imagine that this event has developed some interesting trivia. Instead I thought I might give a little insight into what it is like to be hungry. The problem is until recently I have never had to go any length of time truly concerned about the availability of food.  I had no point of reference.  In an effort to obtain one, I decided for one week to live on limited caloric intake. Now, I am a hypoglycemic. Therefore, I had to devise my experiment carefully. I decided on one meal a day couple with two to three small snacks. The snacks were packages of cheese crackers and the meals varied.

The first day was not too bad. I could feel that I had not eaten as much as normal but it really did not phase me. The second day was a little harder, but still manageable. By the third day, I noticed that my mealtime was coming earlier and snacks no longer took the edges off the hunger. Also, I was tiring more easily. Normal daily tasks were being to take effort. By the fifth day, I gave in and ate breakfast as my meal. This was a major mistake, by four in the afternoon I was very hungry. It made it difficult to concentrate on things. The last night was the hardest. When hunger is intense, it is almost impossible for me to fall asleep.

The scary thing to me is that even on limited rations, I know that I was eating more than a lot of people in our society survive on. While intellectually I understood that being hungry was awful and could inhibit the ability to concentrate in school or at work, I had no idea about the huge impact it made on daily life.

So, I implore you to, please, consider leaving some canned goods, pasta, or other non-perishable foods in a sturdy bag for your letter carrier to pick up next Saturday. Today more people are having to depend on food banks. I know in my area the banks are struggling to keep up with demand. Let's all help the postal service help restore their depleted shelves.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Get Caught Reading Month

Wow, I just learned that May is Get Caught Reading Month. It may now become my favorite month of the year. It was established in 1999 to remind everyone (no matter their age) how fun it is to read. I just can't imagine having to be reminded that reading is fun. 

In honor of this month, I have decided to try to get caught reading in as many locations as possible.  Periodically during the month, I may blog or tweet about somewhere I got caught reading.

But, we are five days into May already. So where can I remember being caught reading this month.

  • The Depot, a local restaurant where the waitstaff is very tolerant of my nose being stuck in a book.
  • The end of my driveway while waiting for a ride.
  • Walking the five blocks to the laundrymat. Yes, I remember to stop reading and pay attention when crossing streets.
  • At the Red Cross office (during a conference call).
  • Does the Library count?
I can't wait to add more as the month progresses.

Happy Reading, everyone!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Free Comic Book Day

Tomorrow, Saturday, May 5th is Free Comic Book Day. It is a day when participating comic book stores give free comics to people who come into their stores.

You will need to check with your local comic book shops to see if they are participating and, if so, what their rules are.

Sounds like a neat way to encourage new comic book fans. Believe it or not this graphic pieces of work have an amazing history. The first known prototype of a comic book was The Adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck, published in 1842. The first known full-color comic book was The Blackberries, published in 1901. Did you know that the superhero archetype did not show up until the 1930s?

Here is a quick trivia question. As what was Marvel Comics originally known?

Intergalactic Stars War Day

To my loving husband,

May the Fourth be with you!

This short blog message is just for you, in honor of your love for all things Star Wars.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Strike Out Strokes Month

Since May is Strike Out Strokes Month, I thought I would share FAST with you. It is important to be able to recognize the signs of symptoms of a stroke quickly because certain medications can only be administered with a small golden window after the first sign.

FAST is my cheat for how to recognize a stroke. OK, I have told you before that I teach Health and Safety classes for the American Red Cross. Maybe, just maybe, I learned FAST there. *Trying to look innocent.* Regardless of the origin of this mnemonic memory aid, FAST stands for Face, Arm, Speech, and Time.

Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of their face droop?
Arm: Ask the person to raise both arms. Is one arm drift downward?
Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. I use "Have someone call 911". Hey, it is just the one that pops into my mind at the time. Is their speech slurred? Maybe it sounds garbled or just strange in some other way.
Time: This one has two meanings for me. First, if you notice any of these signals, then it is time to call 911(or your local emergency number) immediately. However, I also use Time to remind me to make note of the time when I first observed a problem. This information is important.

Please, remember when you call 911 (or your local emergency number), you need to tell them your name, the nature of the emergency, and its location. Even if you have a street address, it helps to give landmarks. It is important that you stay on the line until the 911 operator hangs up first. Yeah, yeah, you knew all that. But, a reminder never hurts.

Other symptoms of a stroke can include trouble walking, trouble understanding simple instructions, numbness or paralysis on one side of the body, trouble with vision in one or both eyes, and a headache. I call this thunderclap headache a WHOML. It stands for the Worse Headache Of My Life. If you get a WHOML, please, head to the emergency room.

In case you are wondering?

There are two main types of strokes. The most common type, accounting for 80-85 percent of all strokes is an ischemic stroke. In this type, the blood flow to part of the brain has become blocked. The other main type is a hemorrhagic stroke. This is caused when a blood vessel in the brain leaks or ruptures.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Great American Grump Out Day

Today is Grump Out day. When I saw this, I just had to go look it up. Evidently, for this 24 hour period, sourpusses are suppose to refrain from being grumps. Looking at my plans for today, maybe I should postpone it. 

Then again, maybe it will be nice. 24 hours with no frowning, no complaining, no hitting, no...could we get lucky enough...killing.  Could everyone really pitch in and try to make the world a nicer place for just one day? What a wonderful idea.

But, what do they really hope to show with this idea?  One site discusses the connections between negative attitudes, stress, and your health. Could this be accomplished with just one day? Another reason given was to give people permission to lighten up and be friendly, supportive, loving for one day. It is a shame if we really need special permission to act this way. My favorite reason is to have fun. Fun is such an underrated idea for adults.

So, for one day, let's smile and take the world in stride. For me, it is going to be hard. I got volun-told for an activity that I don't really want to do today. But, if I put on a happy face, I can help the others, a group of new volunteers from another organization, have a rewarding experience. So, maybe, for me it is the perfect day for the Great American Grump Out.