New Strain of Swine Flu concern here in TX/Around the globe

It sounds like we are really in a spot of the unknown when it comes to this new strain of swine flu. It looks like it began in Mexico, but now has spread in TX, CA, NY, and around the globe to other foreign nations. I realize the CDC does not want panic, but they have raised the level to "4", which 6 is the highest alert as far as a pandemic.

I know I am certainly concerned. I live not far from Dallas, and there are many people living here that commute and work in Dallas. So, between people that have relatives in Mexico and have visited... even our neighbors were there not too long ago, to those who could carry it here from their work place or from shopping in the Dallas area... it does worry me. Due to the fact that it is actually killing "healthy" people, and those in the age range of about from 25 to 45... what does that mean for the elderly, the small children, and those like myself with compromised immune systems? Since I have several autoimmune illnesses, including Lupus, Sjogren's and Mixed Connective Tissue disorder... anyone with a less than healthy immune situation certainly I would think could be at higher risk of contracting this new strain, as well as having a more difficult time trying to get over it.

Lots of links and updated information coming in... take care... try and stay out of public places, away from those that are coughing and sneezing... wash hands frequently, try and not put your hands around your eyes, mouth and nose, especially when out and about in town... if symptoms arise that you feel could be flu in nature, contact your doctor or ER immediately, let them know they symptoms, so they can be more prepared to be extra cautious when someone who is possibly infected comes into the office or hospital.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/04/28/swine.flu/index.html?eref=rss_topstories


http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090428/ap_on_he_me/us_med_swine_flu_us_cases


http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/city/dallas/stories/042809dnmetflulocal.3fde1ea.html


Take care and be extra cautious....

Wondering Why Texas has a Nut case for Govenor

Here is the URL:

http://www.alternet.org/story/138306/why_is_texas_so_psycho/

This guy is refusing help from the stimulus package to aid those have lost jobs. Then he makes ridiculous remarks at the "tea party" in Austin! Like Texas "seceding" from the other states! What a joke!!!!

Judge for yourself----

Urgent! Need Your Help with the National Pain Care Act!


Current mood: restless
Here is the latest on the National Pain Care Act! Please view the video, and then sign the petitions. One in 4 people in this country suffer needlessly with chronic daily pain. This video will make it clear that all of us as chronic pain victims need your help. Your help is desperately needed to get this bill passed through the Senate. Please take a few moments to watch the video below, and the other link will show you the bill, and where to sign the petition to your Senators.

I appreciate everyone, and hope you will be a part of this life changing, dire needed bill.

Rhia


Here are the Urls:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0pUVsvqjeQ

http://www.petitiononline.com/npcpa09/petition.html

A Revelation to fix our Broken Health Care System

This is a impressive talk by Debra Ness in front of Congress gives all of us a new perspective how the government needs to handle this broken system. She talks about getting those who need help the most, those with chronic illnesses, multiple chronic problems, that are often left out of the system. These people are the ones that never get to a Primary Care Doctor, so their options usually boil down to when they are so ill, they have no choice but to go the the ER. This runs up bills, does not give them the care they need for chronic ailments, and are extremely costly.

Please take a few minutes to listen to what she had to say to Congress:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3NPkrchD4Y&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nationalpartnership.org%2Fsite%2FPageServer%3Fpagename%3Dmm_0422_Testimony%26autologin%3Dtrue%26AddInterest%3D1342&feature=player_embedded


Here is also an article about it, with further information:

http://blog.aflcio.org/2009/04/21/health-care-reform-must-focus-on-patients-needs/#more-13038


There is much that needs to be done to provide health care to everyone, drive down the high costs of prescriptions, office visits, hospital stays, and our other needs for our good health.

We need much more research for possible cures... for so many illnesses. We still need much more in regard to Cancer, Stroke, and Heart Disease. But there are many other Chronic Illnesses that are far from having anything to even control the symptoms in a good way, much less is anyone near any type of possible cure.

Things like migraine headaches, Lupus, Mixed Connective Tissue Disorder, Degenerative Joint Disease, Type 1 and 2 diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, plus hundreds of the diseases that leave patients with no quality of life, take them out of the work force due to being ill, they do not have access to maintance health care, they often are left with no answers, and truly no really promising news on the horizon of more medications to not only stop the symptoms, and surely no cure at all for any of them.

The figures are staggering of how much employee time is lost due to migraines alone. When you add in Chronic Pain, and many other illnesses that leave you basically unable to function, families, the patients, their incomes, the companies... all suffer.

I urge to also to take a look at this website. There is a great deal of information here about equal pay for women, time off for children's illnesses, plus many other subjects important to all.

http://www.nationalpartnership.org/site/PageServer

Current mood: distraught
Category: Goals, Plans, Hopes
This card is just to say I am thinking of you, wishing you the best, hope that life is well with you and your family, & hope that what is going on with this world, this economy, the war, and so many more things that are not so great at this, are not impacting your life at all, or if so, just a little. I realize there are so many people that are facing "dire straits" in their lives. Each and every day we are overwhelmed with issues that can dramatically put more stress on us, than we already have.

From the continuance of war, realizing the threats of terrorism we face, job losses, illnesses, the global warming situation, losing homes, many people that have worked a lifetime watching their retirement go down the drain, a not just broken, but a health care system that is totally failing many of us, strange weather that has brought droughts, floods, hurricanes, tornado's, loss of crops to farmers, and for some taken it's toll by wiping out their home and all of their belongings.
We face rising gas prices, rising grocery prices, prescription medications that are almost impossible to afford without insurance, that is if you can afford the insurance, companies going down the tubes, higher credit card rates, which is totally unfair, people so stressed over life that they are to the point of hopelessness, taking their families lives, and then their own.
Each morning I awake, I wonder if the nightmare for so many around our nation, and the world will be able to recover, regroup, and once again have "normal" back into their lives. I continue to try and keep hope and faith alive in my life, as well as pray my family and friends can make it through the nightmare of what all hits them with the economic, financial, job, bills and home situation they face.

I have found reaching out to touch others is a small way I can let them know, there is someone out here that really cares.

I am an active voice Against Domestic Violence, and Chronic Pain and Illnesses. Many of you already know that. I am also active in trying to clean up our world, make it greener, and do the things I can do to stop global warming, polluting our water, soil and air... as I try to educate myself online about what other things I can do for our Mother Earth, and the people here.

I have a new group here on Care2. The main "subject" is about Chronic Pain and Illness. I thought about opening a 2nd group about Domestic Violence, but rather than do that and spread myself too thin, I decided my one group can be a voice for other things besides Chronic Pain. So, there are posts about other things, from Domestic Violence, being "greener", and other subjects that weigh upon not just my heart but yours.

I realize we get bombarded these days with blogs, groups, personal websites, twitter, messengers, MySpace, Facebook, and gosh, I have lost track of all of them. When chat and groups were first online, we have like one basic one, which was MSN. I believe Yahoo joined in, and from there, there is an epidemic of all kinds of places to find others like minded, discussions on everything from health to space, and they can take up a great deal of time for the "owners" of the groups etc... plus lots of time for members, if they want to participate.

I am inviting you to join my group. You can take from it as much as as little as you like. I am NOT making it manditory for any members to have to post, but I would love to read a little about you, when you decide to join.

I have just began this group here on Care2, which is not just a site about "blogging, friends, and chatting". It serves a greater purpose in bringing those that like a place to find out lots of information, from politics, health, greener living, and so much more. You can write your own petition on something that you feel is important, whether it be about animal cruelty, protecting our waters, you name it, you can start a petition here for it.

So, Care2 serves a greater purpose... you can do free clicks daily, that will help so many causes, from breast cancer, to animals that are becoming extinct.

Your voice can be heard here... to the ones such as politicians and other non-profit groups helping so many needy causes.

I would love to have you as a member, even if you join, and prefer not to do much participation, but just enjoy what I and others post. If you feel passionate about a subject, whatever it may be, feel free to post it.

Here is the URL: http://www.care2.com/c2c/group/power_over_chronic_pain_illness
That is where you can join.

Thanks for all you do, as a friend, as a member of society, as an activist if you are one...plus all of the other million things each of us do that gives us hope, faith, and a new outlook each day at life.

I look forward to having you as a member...

With a huge hug, and sunshine for this day and many to come...


Rhia

In Celebration of Our Planet

I wish everyone a beautiful day today, and many more to follow this one. As we "celebrate" Mother Earth, take a moment to look at all of the splendor and wonderment of just how amazing our planet truly is. It sustains our lives and has for so many millions of years. It provides us light, heat, cold, food.... each and everything we need as far as the basic things to survive is right here surrounding us each and every day. For far too long, I feel many of us (I included at times), have lost our touch with just how vital all this planet offers is to us. From the air we breath, to all we harvest for food, to the rivers and streams for water, then the oceans and lakes full of fish... lands and forests which provide more food, the sun that gives us what plants need in order to grow... at times when we walk out of our front door daily, we lose sight of all that Earth brings to us.

Think about a vacation to another place or state you may have been to. Possibly to one of the oceans or gulfs, where you can gaze for miles and miles over the vastness of those waters, the feel of the spray from the waves, the salty taste of the water, the sand beneath your feet. Or possibly you have witnessed the Grand Canyon, with all of its glory, a wonder so awesome through the powers of what nature can do. What about Nigara Falls, camping in one of our National Forests, fishing for trout in a stream far away from the city, or any place we go to "get away" from all the the "man made" things in life, and back to nature, our roots, and where we began.

"She" has given and continues to give us so much, to the point of sustainging our very lives... now it is times we give back to her, protect her from further damage, put back what we have taken, invest in making her bountiful, and still able to support and sustain us as humans. Life literally would NOT exist at all, without what this planet gives to us, along with our universe.

As you reflect today, whether you plant a tree, make a garden, begin recycling, take a moment to see the trees budding out, watch the birds all around, smell the newness of Spring in the air, turn off lights that you don't need, buy something "green" or an energy saver today, or NOT buy something that you really do not need... whatever you do today, tomorrow and the many to follow, try and remember to take a moment to realize all we have to be thankful for.

During difficult times such as these, it is hard to reflect upon the positive. We as Americans, and people are going through some very harsh events now. Yet, if you just take a walk around a local park, take your kids to play at a playground, make a sand pile and play with your kids in it, watch the butterflies, bees, and other forms of life all around... those are the precious moments of knowing we are blessed to the fullest.

I wish you all the wonderment of what Earth means to you... and hope all is well in your corner of this spectacular planet...

Pam "Rhia"

"Slumdog Millionaire" Child Stars - You gotta be kidding me on this one

This really just hits me in the gut. I realize we sometimes live in our own little "glass bubble", without thinking about how many countries are still "barbaric"... not just 3rd world, but plain living in horrid conditions, doing horrid things to their own families, especially their children. We are bombarded with child-slave labor stories, yet I kind of feel we let it roll off our backs, like ducks on a pond do. We have become so used to seeing and hearing the "bad" news, we are almost "Immune" to allowing it to sink into our brains.

Yet, when I read this... I was absolutely appalled on several levels. First of all, in my naive brain, I thought these kids that made this movie got paid, and probably paid well enough to help their families out. I also thought that if the movie was a "hit" or not, these kids would get some kind of residual income from the film. I had never given thought about the fact, that actors I guess are offered a certain sum of money up front, and that usually is the actors that are famous. It is hard for me to fathom these kids starred in this movie, and I am not sure if they were even paid a dime for it. If not, to me that is just as bad as child labor. Yes, they were in a movie, but it is still "working" when you are in a film.

Of course, when you "Google" this subject, you get all kinds of links to places... some stating the maker of the film "Danny Boyle" says that all of the kids were paid well. They also were brought over here to the Oscars night. He states they were also set up with education funds, and money later when they finish school and are adults. Some of the articles also state that all of their families will be given better housing, and taken out of the slums of Mumbai. Of course he is the producer, director and so forth, so I guess he could be hiding something, but all of us know the truth will come out one way or the other.

Here are a couple of links with the stories:

http://www.cbc.ca/arts/film/story/2009/03/01/slumdog-children-money.html?ref=rss

http://www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/news/271325/Slumdog-Millionaire-star-Rubina-Ali-who-played-Latika-is-offered-for-sale-by-dad-Rafiq-Qureshi-to-the-News-of-the-Worlds-Fake-Sheikh.html

The URL just above this is about the DAD of the little girl selling her off!!! Here she is, 9 years old and he is "cashing" in on his daughter like she is some kind of merchandise. This sounds like something from the dark ages... yet I in reality know child selling, child slave labor, babies being sold on the "black market" all still exist.

One step forward for humanity, then you see this and it makes me feel like I took 15 steps backwards.



Rhia



"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."

- Anne Frank

These incidences are beginning to be Epidemic it seems.

This issue of contaminated medical equipment and reusing equipment that is supposed to be thrown completely away has become an all out epidemic lately. From the latest, which is this one in South Dakota, which potentially put over 5,000 people in possible jeopardy of contracting HIV, Hepatitis and any other blood borne diseases, to VA hospitals, clinics in Vegas, just to name a few. Our nation is NOT some "3rd world" country, that is so poor that hospitals and clinics need to save instruments. Further more, even if it is a piece that is re-used, what ever happened to complete and thorough sanitation and the autoclave of them?

After personally undergoing more than 10 surgeries and procedures over the past two years, this terrifies me, and I am sure it terrifies others also. We go in with confidence that the hospital or clinic we visit, along with our doctors, nurses, and other staff that care for us should be using sterilized EVERYTHING! What are we going to do? Go into the operating room before surgery and check to see if all of the equipment is either disposable or clean? We have enough worry on our plates anytime we go in for a procedure or visit the doctor when some type of invasive tests will go on, about the risks, and our health, without having to add more stress on patients and their families that equipment is contaminated. Between this, and all of the hundreds of food, toys, animal food, and other things that continue to pile up with diseases, or possibly deadly additives, and now this every day announcement of yet another large group of people exposed to blood borne diseases, it makes me wonder what the heck the FDA is doing? What is going on with the board that certifies these health care places? I also in the back of my mind wonder if all of this is not just a coincidence, or is it possibly some type of "attack" on us as citizens of the US? I realize that may sound far fetched, but with these happenings being almost epidemic in proportion, I really wonder about a link to terrorism on our own soil again.

Here is a link to the latest :

http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/04/17/south.dakota.urology.infection/index.html?eref=rss_health

A Stressed Out Generation - Our Children

I just read an article that truly hit a note with me. With all of what is going on in our nation and world, with loss of jobs, foreclosures, the government, war, and more that keep us busy wondering about life etc... sometimes we do not stop to reflect upon just how all of the new stresses in our lives effect our kids. When you think about all kids have to deal with at home (they are smart enough to pick up on parents being upset and stressed), to some of what they must fear in school, church and other activities, it is no wonder we are raising more kids with illnesses, addictions, mental and physical problems.. from anxiety and depression, to obesity and diabetes, to kids developing even high blood pressure and more. They face stressors daily that we never gave a thought to when we were young. It is a very critical situation... one that needs to be addressed, but there are no easy answers to any of it.


To me, this fits right in with Domestic Violence, Violence against kids, and also autoimmune illnesses and disease. Stress can be a leading factor in many illnesses, and high stress has been researched and some indications that stress over a long period of time certainly can contribute to developing autoimmune illnesses.


Here is a link to the article....


http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/04/16/children.fears/index.html


Food for thought... for sure... Rhia

A Stupid Remark by Tx Governor Rick Perry should have people up in arms!!!

I could not believe my ears last evening as I heard Rick Perry's remarks that were so ridiculous, they made national news! He had the audacity, or possibly stupidity is a better term, to say "We, talking about Texas as a state", be supporting and with "right winged extremists". Then he went on further to stick both feet in his mouth and say as a state Texas should secede and be its own independent entity, rather than unified with the nation. I hope that people all over Texas heard his asinine, and almost to the point as I read several articles this morning about his statements, to be "anti-American" to even utter the words that our state should "secede" from the "union".
He, as far as I am concerned is a total embarrassment to our grand state of Texas, and it truly burned me up to think he was so oblivious, he would even make stupid remarks such as these. He also vowed NOT to take stimulus money to help the thousands of unemployed workers here. That is another blow to his intelligence! To think that our own governor, knowing the dire straits of so many Texans all over the state, are suffering due to job loss, unable to find jobs, the higher price of groceries, gas, utilities, and everything else, plus people losing everything including their homes due to losing jobs, would turn down money to help is fellow Texans should make each and one of us mad as heck!
I hope that those of us that heard and now read his statements, shall really take a good look at him at re-election time, and decide he is NOT who we need as governor of Texas. These statements, which are just a few of many, Governor Perry has made makes our state look like we are a bunch of backwards, stupid, "Texans", and everyone should here should be totally embarrassed by his crude remarks.My hopes are that many other people here are as outraged over his remarks as I am! He, as you will read in the article below, tried to "cover over" his remarks, yet as some asked him to, he never apologized for what he said.

Here is a link to the entire story for you to read:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politics/2009072921_perry17.html?syndication=rss


What makes this even worse, I did not find an article in the Houston paper or a Texas news article, but this one was in the "Seattle Times"! I would hope our newspapers and news media will also have articles over his speech, as the "tea parties" here, will also publish what he said. These types of remarks need to be out in the public, so all of us can have a better understanding of why things in Texas are not what many of the people here want from our state. He is a huge part of the problem, when it comes to many issues for Texans. From the latest on unemployment, to his standing on many important issues, his attitude I would hope is not the attitude of the majority of Texas citizens.

I am still boiling over how his remarks are so entirely wrong. Please feel free to post your own opinions.

Rhia


Here are a few more links that have the story:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/15/gov-rick-perry-texas-coul_n_187490.html

http://www.statesman.com/news/content/gen/ap/TX_Perry_Tea_Party.html

Help for those without prescription medication coverage

There are several places that help those in need of prescription
medications, that are without insurance, or insurance does not pay. I
went through the process for myself, before I got my disability, and now
I have helped my husband get his meds for either free from these
companies or for very little cost.




I found this article today and wanted to share the information with all
of you.

The one thing I have noticed is that doctors, knowing people are "cash"
paying patients, do not for some reason mention how to get their
medications cheaper,

or for free. I know they must know about the places, since there is even
advertising on television.




Here are some and a link to the article. It does work, you just have to
get the initial paperwork filled out correctly and also have your doctor
fill his part in.




https://www.pparx.org/Intro.php <https://www.pparx.org/Intro.php>







Link to entire article:




http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30093840
<http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30093840/>




http://www.patientassistance.com// <http://www.patientassistance.com/>


<http://www.patientadvocate.org/>

http://www.patientadvocate.org/ <http://www.patientadvocate.org/>




These are a few, and the article has links to several others also. It is
worth the time to get the paperwork (many times you can download it from
their websites, print it, and then fill it out, along with your doctor
filling his portion out, and sending it in. After that, then usually if
your doctor puts refills on the medications, you can call in, and get
the refills delivered right to your door.




Hope this helps... I know it has helped us immensely. My husbands
medications are so expensive, there is no way we could afford them, and
try and also pay for doctors visits.




Rhia

Lots of News for Easter Sunday

First of all, even though it puts a damper on Easter Egg hunts outside today, we are getting a much needed rain around Texas. Things have been bone dry, leading up to the many wild fires, that have left so many without homes, and even took the lives of at least three people here in TX. Then we have the horrible tornadic storms that have plagued many states. From TN, NC, OK, AR and more thousands have again lost everything to Mother Natures ills that she gives us at times. The devastation looks more like a war zone, rather than tornado's it is so bad.

Then we have the "Preacher's granddaughter" in Oakland that they suspect heavily she was the one that killed and put that little girl Sandra in a suitcase! What a gruesome situation. You have to wonder what is going on inside of a person's head that does those sort of things. I have to wonder if people just jump off the deep end in a moment's blink of an eye, or are they just already mentally disturbed, possibly have been for years, and methodically plan this sort of horrendous behavior for a long time. I cannot fathom taking anyone's life what so ever, much less a child.

You would think family and friends would have seen warning signs that this woman was totally whacked in the head.



Here is the URL to the story:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/04/11/BANH1713V5.DTL&tsp=1

How is it possible, even on the day that Sandra Cantu, the little girl missing, can that woman walk around, visiting her own family, knowing what she has or was going to do? I just in my own frame of mind, cannot get a grip on any reason. I believe this woman had a child of her own also.

Even at the worst of my own journey through the pits of hell at times, I would never have an inkling to harm anyone. I guess I just do not have a criminal mindset. This woman should be punished to the full extent of the law. Hopefully, even though it will not bring Sandra Cantu back, justice will prevail so the family can have closure.

I fear things are going to get much worse, as one article I read this morning claims, about Domestic Violence, violence against others, such as a work place, where someone suffers a layoff due to the economy, and people just are so totally stressed out, more than ever, there is always a breaking point for everyone. That does not mean they may commit murder or suicide, but the realms of depression can cost them dearly... it destroys your quality of life, leaving you even more down and out, when bad things happen, such as losing a job, money matters, family matters, and all people are enduring not just here but around the entire globe. Violence is everywhere, from the drug cartels in Mexico, that are spilling over our borders in TX, NM, AZ, CA and more, to the massive killings of suicide bombers overseas, now the Pirates of Somali that pose a dangerously lethal situation to all ships in that area. No one is immune and it seems that none of the countries that have been hit by these new bread of pirates can do a thing but pay ransom. I saw where the FBI is involved, but there is truly little course of action, even from the UN.

From there, Mother Nature had reeked havoc with floods, tornado's and terrible weather. From OK, TX, TN, SC and more, these storms have left many towns flattened like a pancake, with nothing left from the rubble. The wildfires have ravaged OK and TX, killing one family in their midst. Again, there are thousands left homeless by these raging fires, that they said produced wind gusts of up to 70 miles per hour, making the fire storms even more dangerous. From mudslides, to drought it is so bad in many places as far as weather related situations are concerned. The thing about that is, it is not really tornado season yet. I fear the worst is yet to come as far as weather woes. I believe they have predicted at least 7 hurricanes for the next season, which is many.

Then of course there is the financial, economical, and downfall from Wall Street to Main Street. Prices of things we need such as food, shelter, and basic needs continue to rise price wise. People are losing jobs at the highest rates since the late 20's and 30's, causing much more than a deep recession as I see it. More like a depression, yet they fear not to say that word, since people would panic already worse than they have. People are supposedly holding onto their money, but when I go to Wal Mart and see people with two baskets of stuff overflowing, I have to wonder if they are holding onto their money, or having to save up, then go and by a big bill of items to last them throughout the time, until they get another paycheck. It is just the two of us, and Tazz, our pug, yet our grocery bills have sky rocketed. I cannot imagine trying to feed hungry kids these days.

People are doing without lots of things, from prescription medications and doctors care, to clothing, vacations, home projects, and more. They are not out there purchasing big ticket items such as cars, huge flat screen TV's, less name brand products being bought,thus going to generic which is cheaper.

So far, as I feel our own Higher Power is doing, Jim's business has picked up. I feel, as he does people are looking for new routes for their businesses. So, those that are not online with a web site, are coming that direction, and those already that have websites, are making them bigger, better, more user friendly, adding features such as gift cards, wish lists, blogs, discussion boards and much more. We both definitely feel extremely blessed that their are jobs coming in, as well as gaining a few new clients. So far, they are also paying fairly quickly, so that helps also.

Yet, between house and car insurance, along with paying cash for Jim's medications and doctors visits, the high price of everything around us, it seems no matter how we micro-manage our money, we could always use more. I guess that is just how it is. Luckily, for us, we already have been penny pinchers, frugal, or just call me down right cheap! I have watched our small budget for ever now... clipping coupons, watching for sales, buying generic, watching how we run errands to get them done, but saving time and gas in how I run them. We have always been those that don't mind shopping at the $ Tree, and the dollar stores around. We, even though don't like some of Wal-Marts ethics for their employees and other things, have had to shop there, getting more for our buck. Of course, that is just about the only place to shop for many items in this small town. Our city manager has made darned sure, that Ennis does not get any other stores. It is either HEB for groceries or Super 1, or Wal-Mart as far as many products.

Other things weigh on my mind, good and bad. The happy news is the official First Puppy has made it to the White House for a wondrous Easter present. :) Much of the rest of the news is not so pleasant, even here on Easter Sunday.

I got to visit, and put out new flowers at my Dad's grave and my grandparents. That made me feel good, and it appears we may be able to go full force with our new garden and flower beds around the house. I think we have gotten enough funds in from clients to purchase a tiller and possibly a new grill, since ours had to be trashed at the end of last Summer. It survived at least 20 years... so it was more than time to trash it and get a new one.

Spring approaches, and the signs are all around. From lots of pollen in the air, to the migration of many birds, things greening up, grass already getting tall... a warmth in the air... all signs of our next season...

I close for now... with a blessing of joy for this special day...

Rhia

Have a blessed and wonderful Easter!


With my thoughts, Rhia

Stem Cell Research - Possible breakthrough in treating MS

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_82747.html
Thursday, April 9, 2009

THURSDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. scientists say they've coaxed human embryonic stem cells into generating cells that might someday be used to repair nerves damaged by multiple sclerosis.

The researchers pushed the stem cells to grow into critical nervous system support cells called oligodendrocytes, according to a report released Thursday.

Oligodendrocytes produce the myelin sheath that surrounds nerve fibers like wire insulation. The findings represent an important step toward embryonic stem cell-based therapies in general, experts say, and also for cell-based therapies for myelination disorders such as MS in particular. At the very least, the findings should lead to a laboratory model of the illness' pathology.

"They are definitely laying the groundwork for being able to apply these cells in terms of a therapeutic application," said Timothy Coetzee, executive director of Fast Forward, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, which partially funded the study.

Yet at the same time, he added, "It illustrated for me the critical importance of not assuming that because you can do something with a mouse cell, that a human cell is going to behave in the same manner."

The research was published in the May issue of the journal Development.

At the heart of this study is a fundamental question: What's the difference between mouse and man?

It's not as silly as it sounds. Human experimentation being both morally and legally forbidden, researchers often use model organisms such as mice as proxies for human development. The underlying assumption, of course, is that these organisms have fundamentally the same biology as we do. Sometimes, though, that assumption turns out to be wrong.

For years, researchers using mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs) knew that if they added one of two proteins, FGF2 or SHH, to the cells' growth media, they could reliably induce those cells to become oligodendrocytes. The human application was obvious: ESC-derived oligodendrocytes could either be used directly as a cell therapy for MS and related diseases, or serve as research tools to study them.

But, when Dr. Su-Chun Zhang of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, who has been studying oligodendrocytes and myelination for nearly a quarter-century, tried to apply the culture conditions painstakingly worked out in rodents to human cells, oligodendrocytes failed to emerge.

"When we expand these [rodent] progenitor cells with FGF2 (and another factor called PDGF), these progenitor cells will become oligodendrocytes," Zhang said. But, "What we discovered was that when we did [the experiment] in the same way with human progenitor cells, they were blocked in this process."

By carefully dissecting the molecular events that occur as human ESCs differentiate first into neural stem cells, then neural progenitor cells, then pre-oligodendrocytes, and finally mature oligodendrocytes, Zhang and his team identified the source of the difference: While both rodents and humans control the process with the same regulatory circuitry and use the same molecules (including both FGF2 and SHH), FGF2 behaves differently in each species.

In mice, FGF2 promotes oligodendrocyte maturation; in humans, it inhibits the process.

"This finding is actually quite significant scientifically," said Zhang, "because even [though] the transcriptional network is more or less the same, yet they respond to the same factor in an opposite way. To me, that's quite extraordinary."

Once that simple fact was understood, the experiment could be tweaked so that human embryonic stem cells could, in fact, generate oligodendrocytes.

The study, said Coetzee, "just reinforces the absolute importance of being able to do some of this very fundamental biology and fundamental understanding of what human cells do, before you start experimenting with them to put them into people."

Dr. William Sheremata is professor of neurology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He sees many MS patients in his practice and called the study "an excellent example of work that is very carefully done by an expert group of people who really know what they are doing. So I think that the conclusion that FGF2 does not work to facilitate maturation of pre-oligodendrocytes is acceptable at face value. It is the first paper that has stated just that."

Sheremata questioned the therapeutic implications of the report, however, suggesting that therapies based on "autologous stem cells" (adult stem cells) were more likely to bear fruit.

Coetzee, though, called the findings "absolutely critical" to moving toward clinical applications for MS, whether directly by injection of mature oligodendrocytes or more primitive precursor cells, because it both enables researchers to grow large quantities of these cells and to molecularly define the process by which that happens.

"This actually begins to lay the foundation for envisioning having the ability to create the mass quantities of stem cells that you'd need in order to have a therapeutic application in MS," he said.

(courtesy of Medline Plus)

Stress - Help - Tough Economic Worries - Places to get help

I have already written several posts about stress, the economy, domestic violence, anxiety, and how the loss of jobs, the economic drama, and what is going on in our country and around the world have caused huge jumps in issues for families, co-workers, and innocent people. Here are some places to go online to find help...

http://www.samhsa.gov/economy/
(Dept of Human Services)

http://www.apahelpcenter.org/articles/article.php?id=171

http://www.nmha.org/ (Mental Health America)

http://www.nami.org/ (National Alliance of Mental Health)

http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ (Suicide Prevention Hotline)


Each of us need to make sure we know the warning signs of severe anxiety, depression, and the issues surrounding us these days. It is already very apparent more and more people are becoming to the extremes when it comes to being distraught over their jobs, homes, bills and family. We need more than ever to take an active roll in the state of mind not only we are in, but our family members, co-workers, friends, and even those surrounding us in daily places we go.

Rhia

Robert Greenwald - Rethink Afghanistan

Robert Greenwalk recently made a historic trip to Afghanistan to film some of the richest homes that are filled with drug lords, and those corrupt in the police and government. This combined with Pakistan is making for a dangerous situation more than we think.

Here is a link to his video, along with several others so you can see for yourself.

http://rethinkafghanistan.com/

There is also a petition to sign urging Congress to rethink the entire situation and make sure our nation as well as all that are innocent and not involved in this mess in the Middle East are safe.

Stress

I got this from a friend and found it quite appropriate due to what is going on around our world due to the stress that is causing so many to break, and do harm to themselves, family members and others. Please read this and I hope it helps you to know you can lay your burdens down.

A lecturer when explaining stress management to an audience,
Raised a glass of water and asked
"How heavy is this glass of water?"

Answers called out ranged from 20g to 500g.


The lecturer replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter.
It depends on how long you try to hold it.


If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem.


If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm.


If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance.


In each case, it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes."


He continued,


"And that's the way it is with stress management.


If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later,


As the burden becomes increasingly heavy,


We won't be able to carry on. "


"As with the glass of water,


You have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again.


When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden."


"So, before you return home tonight, put the burden of work down .


Don't carry it home.


You can pick it up tomorrow.


Whatever burdens you're carrying now,


Let them down for a moment if you can."


So, my friend, Put down anything that may be a burden to you right now.


Don't pick it up again until after you've rested a while.


Here are some great ways of dealing with the burdens of life:


* Accept that some days you're the pigeon,
And some days you're the statue.
*Always keep your words soft and sweet,
Just in case you have to eat them.


* Always read stuff that will make you look good
If you die in the middle of it.


* Drive carefully. It's not only cars that can be
Recalled by their maker.


* If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.


* If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again,
It was probably worth it.


* It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply be kind to others.


* Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time,
Because then you won't have a leg to stand on.


* Nobody cares if you can't dance well.
Just get up and dance.


* Since it's the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.


* The second mouse gets the cheese.


* When everything's coming your way,
You're in the wrong lane.


* Birthdays are good for you.
The more you have, the longer you live.


* You may be only one person in the world,
But you may also be the world to one person.


* Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once.


* We could learn a lot from crayons... Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names, and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.



*A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.


Have an awesome day and know that someone has thought about you today...I did.

Joining the Race to Stop Domestic Violence

Now, more than ever, we need so many more ways to fight the epidemic of Domestic Violence, Violence Against Children and Humans. With our economic downfall, job loss, the loss of people's home, and all they worked for their lives going away in the blink of an eye, has already caused our news to be filled with grim scenes of what stress can cause. The number of murder-suicide rates in our nation alone has been staggering just over the past 10 days. We have had such situations across the nation in California, Illinois, New York, Alabama, just to name a few over the last couple of days in the news. I fear this will get much worse for many reasons. Now people are unable to get their medications that may effect their mental stability due to loss of insurance or not able to afford to pay for it or their medications. The undue stress to Father's and Mom's is sending some to the breaking point, after losing a job they worked at for many years, then at once finding themselves jobless, headed for homeless, and despair sets in. We need so much more education for law officials handling Domestic Violence issues. We also need help for those who are suffering from thoughts of ending their lives, and the lives of their families due to the despair they are in. Please join me in the fight against Domestic and Human Violence with a daily free click at the link below. You can also do so much more at the Amnesty website ( http://www.amnestyusa.org/violence-against-women/action/page.do?id=YIA0039035000E)


Join Care2.com's Race to Stop Violence Against Women!


I urge you to take a moment and add your daily free clicks that help to serve many awesome causes. The Main free-click daily link for Care2 is (http://www.care2.com/click2donate/).

You taking a moment each morning to add your free click will help immensely with things such as Domestic Violence, Animal Cruelty, Saving our Oceans, Helping to save Seals, Helping to sponsor children, helping the fight against Breast Cancer, feeding Primates, and much more.

It is time for each of us to take responsibility, step up to the plate and do something positive for our nation, our world and humanity. It costs you nothing to do these free daily clicks, but it certainly is a positive step towards so many wonderful and much needed causes.

Rhia

Are We A Nation Numb to Humanity?

I had just questioned this myself over the past couple of weeks. The daily escalation of violence, domestic violence, and murder suicide is almost beyond comprehension for me. Most of us felt we might see a rise in suicide due to the state people are in. We are a stressed, saddened, and depressed people, longing for jobs, homes, and life to return to normal. Money, homes, jobs, caring for family, bills pile up that we cannot pay, all leading to people coming to the brink. Some just can no longer handle the amount of stress. But, what about those around? What about the warning signs we should be seeing in these people? Possibly there are few, or we just do not see them, or in fear that we do. We are wrapped up in our own dilemma of life, we are fearful to get involved, we are a people under duress, here and around the world. Here is a news article about this very subject. What can we do to help those who are coming to a place and state of mind, they feel the need to murder their own families, or those around them, then kill themselves???
A Nation under Duress for sure...

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30046195/

I am quite sure everyone has heard about the latest nightmare of violence, plaguing our nation and our world. This past 10 days have been filled with those desperate that just take it out on innocent people.

The slaughter in New York yesterday, is one more of those things that I have a difficult time understanding. Yet, I realize with the loss of jobs, home, financial security, the depression, anxiety, and hopelessness people feel thoughout this nation and around the globe are sending them into a state of mind that is frightening. 13 dead in New York from a man, a family in CA in a murder suicide, IL, GA, NC, the stories are rolling in each day of how things are becoming too much for some to handle.

My hopes are that as friends, family, neighbors, and so forth, that we take an active role in watching for the signs of those who are so desperate, they would take their own lives, and/or the lives of others due to dire circumstances.

Their are tell tale signs and warnings... and I feel it should be our conviction to help someone that you may feel is this hopeless about life.

The rate of violence, to families, churches, places of work, public places and on will continue to escalate due to all we are going through. It should be our conviction to help if we see a situation that might turn into one of these.

Happy Saturday to All, Rhia

Welcome! I had been working on this blog trying to get blogger software up and going. It seems as if I have accomplished that for now. About Rhia? A great deal of things. I am a poet and writer at heart, including music lyrics. I am also passionate about music, including alternative, rock, blues and country. I love web design and development as a hobby, plus much more. I play the piano, keyboard, the drums and sing. I am continually looking for something new to do, guess I bore easily. I am a lover of people, and am a strong Advocate for several issues, including Domestic Violence, Violence against Women, Breast Cancer, Chronic Pain and Illness, as well as several issues about politics and government. I am 49, was born in a small town in TX, lived in CA and Seattle WA for about 7 years all together, and have a "fur-kid" my pug, named Tazz.

I will add more to this daily.