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Archive for November, 2012

Thanksgiving, a day for thanks and reflection,  was always our family’s big day to get together and catch up on all the news from those we hadn’t had time to visit during the year. It was our  time to get together with cousins from around the state and talk about school and friends, what we were reading or sports we played. Our aunts and uncles remarked on how grown up everyone was since last year. Just a day to relax and touch base with the rest of the tribe, so to speak, and reflect on all those things which allowed us the time to come together once again.

After everyone has gone back to their homes, we reflected on those things we have in common, as well as those differences which keep us interesting to each other. We also think about the triumphs and trials of those in our little circle and celebrate those things for which we give thanks. For those who have triumphed, we are thankful for their success. For those who are struggling, we send our encouragement and prayers to help them with their journey.

How much of this has been forgotten in our fast track world of today? I’ve heard very little this year about Thanksgiving and what it means. But I’ve heard a lot about Black Friday and all the shopping everyone has to do. I’ve seen all the Christmas decorations and gift items for sale all over town since Halloween. There’s Christmas music playing in all the stores.

Yes, we all seem eager to get to the shops so we can run each other down to get the last item on our Christmas list, just a day after we should have been giving thanks for what we already have. Can’t we spend this one day showing our gratitude for what we already have before we go to buy even more?

We need to take the time for reflection, to meditate on what we’ve accomplished throughout the year. What do we have for which we should give thanks? A lot of people have lost jobs, taken pay cuts or had companies go out of business. But as one of my favorite childhood heroes, John Carter of Mars said, “We still live!” And according to Cicero, “While there’s life, there’s hope.”

I’m a breast cancer survivor and one of the sayings that kept me going was, “Never give up; never surrender.” It may be from a corny movie, Galaxy Quest, but it was one of my anchors in the chemotherapy sea which was trying to drown me. Another anchor, less elegant than the first was, “Don’t let the bastard win.” And everyday I gave thanks for waking up alive one more time.

So for those of you who have those things you need, give thanks for them and reflect on what made them possible for you and yours. And those of you who are struggling, reflect on the path which led you in this direction and look for a turning point. Reflect on your choices and ask for guidance.  Give thanks for life, friends, family, whatever you have that is good.

What am I reflecting on? My husband will be home for Thanksgiving this year. We can share our reflections with our daughter and three of our grandsons, along with dinner and a smorgasbord of desserts. I am thankful for good health, a home and dear, dear friends who brighten  my darker days.

And I am reflecting on life itself. The miracle of life which I can still enjoy.

Thanksgiving is a time for reflection. Take a look in the mirror, your reflection in the water of a nice clear lake, the mirror of your mind, even a crystal ball. Whatever you use, take the time to take stock of this year, where you started, how far you’ve come and what path you see for your future.

And give thanks.

Piu  tardi amici

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With winter really beginning to show, it’s easier to come into the office and sit down to write for a while. Gambler’s Folly is coming along nicely, as is the non-fiction story of my fight with breast cancer. My cat likes to come in and supervise from my husband’s chair. At least that’s what I think he’s trying to do, though he usually looks like he’s asleep. Just now he’s having a few problems with infected toes, so once he’s in the chair he’s down for the count.
We talk over story ideas, like how to get my hero out of the predicament he’s managed at this point. The cat listens intently, shrugs his shoulders and yawns. I don’t think he’s really into this story at all. Or maybe he’s hinting that I’m smart enough to figure it out on my own. I mean, really, if you’re asking the cat, there is an issue greater than the story.

I’m sure it will all work out in the end. Gambler’s Folly will be finished soon and into the real work–making my ramblings into something resembling a crafted tale. The cat’s toes will be better after he finishes his antibiotics and he’ll be able to get in and out of the chair himself.
And I feel certain that, after he feels better, he’ll really like Gambler’s Folly and be willing to put just a little more effort into it for me, give it just that little twist of magic it needs from my favorite feline. So I’ll talk to all of you later. Time to get the cat and get to work.
A piu tardi amici…..

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Jareth: First Lord is available for Kindle at Amazon.com. It is also available in paperback either at amazon or at http://www.createspace.com/4010036, along with two of my short stories.

But between now and December 24, Jareth: First Lord’s Kindle version will be on sale. So check it out and let me know what you think.

http://www.amazon.com/author/melliemiller

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I read a disturbing article earlier today. While this blog is usually about my novels and stories, I decided to take the time to address this issue.

We all go to doctors from time to time, Once in a while we need surgery. And when we do, we usually have recommendations from other medical professionals. But we, as custodians of our own bodies, need to do our own research, practice due diligence, to prevent drastic consequences from not having done so.

Case in point. A surgeon practicing in the state of Colorado made several medical mistakes as a neurosurgeon. After allowing her license to expire, she moved to Illinois, re-licensed and began to practice as a neurosurgeon.

As you may have deduced (no, we don’t guess, do we?), she began to make mistakes again. So, she moved to New York, completed a one-year neurointensive care fellowship at Mount Sinai, and is now caring for patients with neurosurgery or neurological problems. Alright, she’s not in the operating room any longer, but would you trust her, if you knew her background? (http://www.fark.com/go/7417101)

Prescriptions are another area for concern. Yes, they may be doctors and pharmacists, but they’re as human as the rest of us. Mistakes will happen. Always talk to your doctor about the medicines he prescribes for you. Make sure you understand what they are, what they’re for and what to watch out for.

Next, check with the pharmacist when you pick them up. Make sure that what you’ve been given is what was prescribed. Make sure this new medication will not conflict with anything else you take, or that it isn’t something  to which you’re allergic.

If you ever have any questions, don’t take anything until your questions are answered to your satisfaction.

The point I’m making here is that it is up to you to do the research. Will research help 100% of the time? Of course not. But it will tip the odds more in your favor. It’s your body; it’s your responsibility.

So where can we go for information about our medical professionals before they ‘oops’ and mess up our lives?

First, go to your state’s Medical Board.
To help you get started, here are some online resources for you.

http://www.docboard.org
http://www.fsmb.org/
http://patients.about.com/od/internethealthresources/a/statebystatehub.htm
http://www.ucomparehealthcare.com/

To read the full article about the Colorado doctor, go to:
http://www.fark.com/go/7417101

Piu tardi amici,

(Until later friends)

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After a week of chilly, wintry temperatures down here, we’ve had a break today, with highs around 70.  I know, for those of you in the north and Rocky mountain regions, the temperatures we’ve had all week were warm by comparison. But this is the first year in a long time I’ve had to actually build an evening fire in October.

But with the respite from the cold today, at least this afternoon,  we had a reminder that winter is on the way and it’s time to get all those things done outside. Make sure the firewood is covered, get the larger logs split before you really need them and mulch all those lovely plants so they’ll survive the cold later, while you’re inside drinking cocoa and reading a good book by that fire.

I enjoy the changing seasons. Winter gives me the time to do some of the other things I enjoy, like baking whole grain bread, simmering vegetable soups all afternoon so the flavors  blend deliciously, and making banana nut bread for the boys to enjoy, when they come in from the outdoors. All those wonderful kitchen things which are so very much too warm  in the summer’s heat.

So I think I’ll give Gambler’s Folly a miss for today. I can write some more on it tomorrow. But for today, I’ll go outside and see what I can do in the sun, before the cold comes back for the winter.

If you’re looking for something to read, check out some of my books on amazon. They go well with cocoa and a fire….

www.amazon.com/author/melliemiller

Più tardi amici,

Until later….

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