Where are the Men?

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http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-women-live-longer/

As we age, I have noticed a significant drop in the number of men.  If married, most women become widows.  I am not pontificating that men don’t become widowers.  I am just stating that the numbers are so high for the women to be without their men.

Why are women outliving men?  The old myth was men worked hard all their lives and women stayed home making their lives less stressful.  No so for my generation.  I was married, worked full-time and raised four children.  I am a widow today because 20 years ago my husband felt chest discomfort for over two weeks.  He brushed it off and took Rolaids until he landed in the hospital in critical care from extreme damage to his heart. When most women feel any type of pain or discomfort we immediately make an doctor’s appointment.

I have asked several men when was the last time they had seen their doctor for an examination.  A 55-year-old man stated that he had not seen his doctor in 15 years.  This is not just an African-American issue.  The 55 year old  is a married white male.  I stated to him “everyone at age 50 should have their first colonoscopy”.  He laughed and said he was just fine.  He also stated that when it’s time for him to die he will.  I told him look around.  As we age haven’t you noticed that there are more widows than widowers.

Depending on age and gender there are medical tests that should be done.  Certain illnesses can be successfully treated if found early.   What is it about a doctors visit that a lot of men don’t like?

I have no answers to my questions.  All I can say is for any young man reading this blog, start now getting an annual physical.  The doctor is your friend.  Young men plan to have a long and prosperous life.  If you are married see a doctor for the ones you love, if you won’t do it for yourself.

Enjoy the videos at the top of the post.  Men if you want to be around as a senior citizen, start visiting your doctor annually.

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Stand Your Ground Law in Michigan

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The individual who honestly and reasonably believes that the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent the imminent death or imminent great bodily harm to himself/herself or to another individual.   You have no duty to retreat if you feel this way.  This law is under fire across the United States of America.  Why?  In the most recent case of “stand your ground”  a man named Zimmerman was clearly the instigator of the initial contact with a young man.  As a NRA Certified Instructor and a CPL holder in Michigan I have strong opinions about this issue.

First, before you even consider getting a CPL license evaluate yourself.  Just because you were never admitted into a hospital for psychiatric reasons doesn’t mean you should have a CPL license. Do you have impulse control?  Are you quick to anger?   Do you have road rage?  Do you enjoy the TV series Justified (A series where someone forces a person into a situation where he would be justified in shooting them.).   If your answer is yes to these questions do not apply for a CPL license.

Second, think about what your principles of life are.  If the situation asked for it, could you, would you kill another human being to save your life or the life of another?  Do you think you could live with knowing that you have taken or ended a life?  If you answer no, then don’t apply for a CPL license.

Absolutely nothing good can come from taking another human beings life.  if you have a CPL and shoot someone, chaos follows.  Police inquiries and civil law suits to name a few.  It is always best to not place yourself in a situation were deadly force is necessary.  If you find yourself in a dangerous situation look for ways of escape.

The “Stand Your Ground  Law” in Michigan does not allow for someone to instigate a dangerous situation and then claim their life was in imminent danger allowing them to use deadly force.  When someone instigates the initial contact placing them in a dangerous situation they should never be allowed to use Stand Your Ground” as a defense In any state.  The individual placed in that situation by the CPL holder has every right to “Stand Their Ground” as well.  Making this situation mutual combat and the one instigating the initial contact should be guilty of murder if deadly force was used.

As a NRA Certified Instructor and a CPL holder, I  am vehemently opposed to allowing anyone who instigated initial contact with someone and when they start losing the battle result to deadly force being allowed to use “stand your ground” as a defense for murder.  Not only are people using this law to get away with murder, they are actually getting away with murder.  I am outraged.  “Stand Your Ground” law in some states almost give a person a right to hunt another human being like an animal.  Maybe that statement is not true.  At least an animal knows he is being hunted.

A Shift in Perception

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imageEach day when we turn on the news , we are saturated with weather related devastation, violence and the gridlock of our leaders in Washington, D.C.  If we are leading by example, what are we teaching our youth.

We have all witnessed our leaders squabble over the National Health Care Law.  It doesn’t matter which side of the issue you are on, our leaders sent a powerful message to our youth.  The Health Care issue went before the Supreme Court of the United States.  The Supreme Court of the United States ruled that National Health Care law was constitutional.  Next, some leaders still fought the issue in Congress by trying to pass laws that would defund health care.  Our youth paid careful attention to the response of everyone.  What was the lesson?  We taught them that the Supreme Courts decision is not final.  A far reaching consequence.

The violence in this country also seems to be escalating.  If this is true, then people doing good in this county is escalating.  This country was founded violently.  It was taken by force and is being maintain by force.  I am enjoying the liberties that this country gives.  I know it is maintained by our military.  My only point is this is a double edge sword.  Some youth can’t distinguish the difference.  They are shown violence is okay to protect our rights as Americans, but if your individual right has been impeded upon you can’t result to violence.  This is a topic for a national conversation.

The youth of today are wired differently.  They don’t see life and people the same way their grandparents did.  There has been a shift in perception.  This shift is how America elected its first African-American President.  This  shift is one of unity and peace.  This shift is one of “all men being created equal”.  This shift is loving your brother as you love yourself.  The generation that is not a part of this will eventually die off.  People are going to live in peace.  I truly believe that.  We can have peace in our lives now by just being kind to people.  Yeah, it’s that simple.  I have a finite number of heartbeats and I don’t intend to waste any of mine.  I am part of the shift in perception of peace and goodwill to all people.

Are you Suffering From Cabin Fever?

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cabin fever noun: an unhappy and impatient feeling that comes from being indoors for too long

We are experiencing a very cold and snowy winter. Some of us suffer from Cabin Fever during the winter months. Are you short tempered? Tired of all the snow days the kids are having? Do you feel clostrophobic? The winter months may bring about the feelings of anxiety. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed, you may be suffering from Cabin Fever.

The remedy for Cabin Fever is simple. Get outdoors. Find things to do that are seasonaly appropriate and you enjoy doing. If you enjoy walking, a trip to Briarwood Mall would be fun. It is a wonderful place to walk around. You can stop at some of the shops and browse. There are wonderful specially shops at Briarwood. If you are interested in technology Brookstone is a wonderful place to go and spend some time. Browse all the new gadgets. You will not only find them interesting, but time goes by really fast while you are in this store. If you enjoy cooking Williams and Sonoma is an awesome store. Browsing here may give you wonderful gift ideas for the holiday season this year.

If you enjoy reading, visit Barnes and Noble in Ann Arbor. It is a wonderful place for families to spend time. They have a book for whatever you interest may be and this can get you out of the house for several hours. Also, the friendliest people are there. Pick out a book and sit down for coffee. You will have an rejuvenating experience.

For those of you who would love a variety of activities, the Washtenaw County Recreation Center in Ann Arbor is the place to be.

For myself, a short walk in the community is enjoyable.

The New Face of Dementia

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It was a typical Sunday in April, 2002 in my parents backyard. I am one of ten children to Mr. & Mrs. Myers. Every Sunday we brought our children and spouses to my parents for dinner. What a wonderful time we had. This day I didn’t feel just right. I was not quite sure as to why. After enjoying family we went home. Typical Sunday evening where we all prepared for Monday morning. I feel asleep on the sofa in my sitting room. I awoke and look at the clock it was 5:30am. I thought to myself I have one hour before I have to get up for work I need to go to bed. I could not lift myself. I could not move. In a whisper a called my husband and he heard me. Sometime during the night I had a stroke. I was completely paralyze on my left side. I was 48 years old.

Fast forward to 2010. Although I recovered from my stroke, I knew something else was not quite right. On several occasions I found myself driving around knowing I was completely lost. Frustrated as to why I could not find a place a drove to everyday. I then began writing myself notes to remember things, but I continuously forgot I wrote the notes. I could no longer function on my job. I talked with my husband and quit my job. I made an appointment with a neurologist and was tested extensively. The test result came back Vascular Dementia. My brain was damaged by the stroke. Episodes of walking away and sitting a starring out of a window became the norm.

Then my oldest son decided to teach me how to make movies. This skill blossomed into many things. I was lucite enough to decide to fight this issue. The most difficult thing to master again was reading and comprehension. This took a least a year of forcing myself to read. I also questioned myself about what I read.

Fast forward to 2012. Two years after my diagnosis, my husband passed. I felt forced more than ever to have a good quality of life. Old things have passed away and now everything is new. This is my life now. My life was not bad or good. Just life.

Now 2014. I started volunteering at Erickson Elementary School. The children have been good for me. I worked very hard on learning all 32 of the names. I also started a website. That was the biggest challenge. Every time my brain said I could not understand or go any further I pushed on. The website was completed and is designed to assist people in navigating life toughest challenges. I had just previously went throughout that with the lost of my husband. Weighingin.net is a source of accomplishment for me. Maintaining the website keeps me busy. I am always in learning mode. There is always something new to learn. The website for me is a sign that it is not over until it’s over. And now, I am also a Community Blogger. Blogging forces me to think constantly about my next subject. I am thinking all the time about what would interest people. Including time with family, I have a full and complete life. The key is to always continue learning.

The new face of Dementia is people like me. People who take our medication daily, but we have not given up on life. We are people who know that Doctors work with statistics, but we are exceptions to the rule of medical thought. The life span for someone diagnosed with Vascular Dementia is four years. This year, March, 2014 will be my fourth year. I must say my emotional health good. I am grateful for my journey. I have learned not to judge people, because you can’t look at people and know what is going on in their lives. Look at my profile picture. It gives you no indication of what my story is. If anything may my story help you in being kinder and gentler to people in your interactions with them. I also want people if you know you are being forgetful don’t go into denial. See a Neurologist. Get tested. Only then will you know who the enemy is and how to fight it. There is nothing to be ashamed about. Everyone has a story. This is mine.

“After Earth” The Movie

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If you have not seemed the movie “After Earth” staring Will Smith, you have missed a real treat. The critics trashed this movie and most moviegoers didn’t like it, but I think it was one of the best movies of 2013.

I always look for ways to navigate life peacefully and if I hear or see something that might help me I will incorporate that into my life. In the movie there are several messages that anyone could use in their everyday life. Two of the most powerful messages in the movie are listed below.

First

“Fear is not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not at present and may not ever exist. That is near insanity. Do not misunderstand me danger is very real but fear is a choice.” -Will Smith-

This is a wonderful explanation of exactly what fear is and how we should deal with it. I incorporated this immediately in my life. When you change the way you view fear it is liberating. I even look at spiders differently now.

Second

Take a knee. Ground yourself in this present moment. Focus only on what you can see, feel and smell.

This reminded me of prayers. Only when taking a knee you stop in the mist of what is going on and ground yourself. By doing so you remove all imaginations about how a particular scenario in your life might play out. You will then be able to make a clear decision about what to do next.

Final Thoughts

I may be the only person n America that enjoyed this movie, but this movie goes into my collection of movies to watch over and over and over. Well done. I hereby nominate the movie “After Earth” for the newest award I have titled The Sleeper of the Year Award. I can’t be the only person on the planet that enjoyed this movie. Or am I? Rent the DVD and decide for yourself.

Excellence at Erickson Elementary

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image Mr. Aaron Rose, Principle of Erickson Elementary School states in his own words his vision of the school.

A note from the Principle

Erickson Elementary is a true community school with that neighborhood feel. Erickson will play an important part in the community and the community should play an important part in shaping our schools. Our students benefit when they receive an education that reflects the community in which they come from. This requires the community to contribute to the educational conversations that shape and support our instructional decisions. These educational partnerships can only be sustained when both parties benefit, therefore, we must find creative ways to support one another. We appreciate our Erickson families and community partners and they have demonstrated their trust and dedication to the excellence at Erickson throughout the years! I encourage parents, residents, business owners and other community members to reach out to Erickson and YCS. We are here to support our Community, and we cannot do it without you.

Sincerely,

Aaron Rose
Principal
Erickson Elementary