"Betty Bedtime": What All Parents Need (Hire Yours Today!)



Do you work?

Do you have a part-time job?

Are you in need of extra money?

I might have just the job for you.

BETTY BEDTIME.

Not a night owl? Well, don't run away just yet. Although that position is still being created, I do have the title for it: MORGAN MORNING. MM isn't ready to get off the ground yet. The mornings are insanity and I just don't know if I have the money to pay someone for that yet.

So, just what is expected of you if you say "yes" to being Betty Bedtime? We'll talk about pay later. Isn't that how it always works? Hear about what you need to do and then the pay conversation?

Let's go over "Betty Bedtime"'s job first. If you become a "Betty Bedtime", I'm going to need you to dress in the Betty Bedtime garb, which I haven't picked out yet. Whatever it is, it'll be sort of cute, but not too cute. Betty Bedtime can show no cleavage. We're not in the Breaking Up Happy Homes business. I'll probably make the uniform scrubs or something. Ugly scrubs.

You will arrive at about 7:00 p.m., which should be after dinner has been eaten. If there are still dishes to do, you can offer to do them, but that's not your main job. We may offer bonuses for dishes done, but your name is "Betty Bedtime", not "Darla Dishes". Your main job is to assist the mom or dad in getting the children to bed before it's 1 a.m. I kid. It can't be 1 a.m. If you can't get the child to bed until 1 a.m., you will be let go. No, the bedtime must occur before 9 p.m. and it must be done safely and without any medication. We're not looking to go to jail.

But, getting the child to go to sleep isn't where it stops.

You know that's crazy.

There is so much to do besides getting the child to go to sleep. You also must answer these questions:

-Are the sheets on the bed clean?
-If they're not clean, are there clean ones you can put on the bed?
-If no clean ones, can you put your face in the sheets to determine if Febreze can you help?
-It's that bad?
-Are there room for the sheets in the washing machine?
-Can you walk downstairs and put them in the washing machine now?
-Oh, no, there are clothes already in the washing machine?
-Can you take the clothes out of the washing machine and put it in the dryer?
-Can you take the clothes out of the dryer and put it on the couch?
-Can you look to see if my son's favorite football jersey is in that mound of dry clothes?
-Can you make sure to carry that back up with you?
-If the fan is still on in the living room, can you turn it off?
-Can you get a sippy cup of water and bring it back up when you're done?
-After you put those dirty sheets in the washing machine, can you put the clean sheets on the bed?
-Actually, can you catch that child running down the stairs away from the bath tub first?
-Can you put a diaper on him?
-Can you put the diaper on him again since he just ripped that one off?
-Okay, now the sheets?
-We ran out of clean towels, can you put sheets on the bed faster?
-Since I'm in the middle of trying to rinse shampoo out of my other child's hair, can you get the clean towels?
-Can you make sure you get the towel with the frog hood on it?
-Did you happen to see any towels in the dryer?
-Can you go ahead and fold those really quickly?
-Can you go back downstairs and get my son's favorite stuffed animal that he left on the couch?
-While you're down there, can you start making the kids' lunches?
-Actually, can you get the towel first?
-And the kid?

You see, it's not an easy job. Parents will be so happy to have you around. You arrive at 7 and leave at 9:30 every night. Your job is 2.5 hours per night, but we'll pay you the equivalent to working 24 straight hours. (Still working out the pay, remember? Don't press me. This is bad interview etiquette.)

We need you, though.

Parents need Betty Bedtimers.

We need an extra hand, because, as you can see from the questions alone, there is so much to consider before the child goes to sleep: clean sheets, pajamas, clean underwear, diapers, pull-ups, clothes for the next day, snacks, "one more drink", working nightlights, books, "one more book", setting of the alarm, bathing, getting more soap, getting more shampoo, clean towels, toilet paper and, for the ones that care about the bonus, the dirty kitchen that needs to be cleaned.

And that was probably only half of it.

Although we wish you could be Rita Faye Stay All Day, most of us can't afford that. What we are looking for is a little bit of what Rita Faye Stay All Day does, but during the bedtime hours, which is why we need a Betty Bedtime. WE'RE TIRED, TOO.

By the way, there's a whole list of things Betty can't do, such as giving your husband a shoulder massage to lull him to sleep. Betty Bedtime can't do that. We won't have misbehaving Betties.

So, you in?

Want to be a Betty Bedtimer?

I'm working on getting a car for you with a recognizable super cute Betty Bedtime trademark on the side, so don't let that be a reason you walk away.

And we'll talk about the pay later.

(If you are interested in hiring one for yourself, leave me a message in the comments. I'll do my best.)


23 Pieces of Advice To My Sister Who Is About To Have Her First Baby




Really, this could go for anybody, but I mean it especially for my sister, since I know her and everything. If you were a logger, I'd have a different set of advice for you, probably. I'd say something like, "Don't cut logs while the baby is sleeping. You may wake the baby up." or "Don't let your baby play with the saws that you use to cut the logs." Stuff like that.

So, sister, this is for you and for people that are like you, which is to say people that are not involved in criminal activity and have homes that are crime- and mostly-pest free. (You did have that incident with the bat flying around your living room until it hit the fan. I can write a different set of advice if you think that bats will become a regular feature at your house.)

Take it how you will.

That sweet precious will be here any moment, so read fast.

1. Don't pay attention to most advice.

2. Everyone wants to give advice. Someday you will probably give baby advice.

3. All mothers started out as first-time mothers that didn't listen to unsolicited advice and 97% of those ladies never had their babies taken away. So, those are good odds.

4. You won't remember most advice anyway.

5. What advice do I remember from when I was about to have my first baby THAT I USED? No clue. If I have no clue, you probably won't, although, in general, you have more clues than I do.

6. Loving your baby and always having his best interest in mind is probably all the advice I need to give to you. You already do that, so you are already winning.

7. If you were to FORCE me to give advice, I'd just say... Oh, man, I don't know if I want to do it.

8. You know I'll be over all the time giving you advice, anyway, but I won't realize I'm doing it. Then, you'll remember this post where I said to not pay attention to advice, but I won't remember I wrote it. You'll ignore what I'm saying and then I'll get annoyed that you aren't listening to me. Can you print this out and carry it around or something?

8. Oh! I thought of one! Let me hold him all the time?

9. Okay, that made me think of one. Don't be a Nap Nazi like I was... I mean, I was something to be reckoned with when anyone wanted to pick up my baby from the middle of a nap.

10. Seriously, though, naps are really, really important for his mood and for your sanity, so scratch #10. Be a Nap Nazi. Well, be more of a Nap Nurturer. You are all about facilitating the naps but you won't bust a blood vessel if one gets disrupted. You must not be as uptight as I was about the naps and everything first baby-related. I was a meanie deluxe.

11. You might want to tell Benedicto to tone it down. Benedicto is going to come and cut your grass when you don't want him to, which is basically never and all the time. You want him to come over because he is probably one of the nicest people on the planet (SO glad you introduced me to Benedicto) and he is helping you all out by cutting the grass, but, sakes alive, he's going to wake your baby up a lot with the blower.

12. Go easy on Benedicto.

13. Oh!!! I thought of another one! Don't give up on breastfeeding. I know we've talked about this and I know you are super committed to seeing it through. It's just going to be TOUGH STUFF for a while, but it is so worth it. It's different for everyone, but if you can make it happen, you'll be happy you did. Free baby food, free baby drinks, a weight loss aid (in some cases) and no need for a microwave.

14. If you can't breastfeed, though, don't worry. We weren't breastfed and look how awesome we turned out, huh???

15. Okay, how awesome you turned out.

16. I really, really love your changing table (cutest one yet!), but once baby dude starts crawling and walking and running off, you'll pretty much have to pin him down as soon as you can to rid him of the toxic waste sitting in his diaper.

17. Smell his hair a lot.

18. Kiss his cheeks a lot.

19. Make him laugh a lot.

20. Read to him a lot.

21. Know that we all love you with our whole hearts and are super excited you and your sweet husband are having a baby.

22. The boys can hardly wait.

23. We can't either.

I love you, Lisa!! I know most of this wasn't advice. I'm tricky like that. You are already a wonderful mother. Your sweet boy is blessed to have you both.

Tell him we can't wait to meet him.
 
 
Come on, now. Chime in. We need to hear from you. You may have just the advice she DOES need to hear. I think she's already dilating, so type fast.


This is what happens when you mix bad Spanish and a hearing loss together



This story, now that I think about it, happened a long time ago. I say that because it was for my son's 4th birthday party and he just turned 10 this past Tuesday. So, this story is six years old! You seem the type that likes old stories, though, so I'll go on with it.

It starts with my attendance at a baby shower. Not being one to ever turn down cake anywhere, I had a slice of the baby shower cake. I can only describe it in two words: De and Licious. So, I asked the mom-to-be where she got the cake. She told me that the lady that helps her out around the house and with her other child bought it for her. The sweet lady told me where she got the cake. Much to my surprise, it was a tres leches cake. I had eaten those before, but never all decorated like a "regular" cake. Most of the time, I had seen it decorated with a few strawberries on top.

I had to get that cake for my son's birthday party.

The party's theme was to be golf. We were having his party at a little driving range with a putt-putt course in front of it. I was so excited to get his cake all decorated with golf stuff from the place that made the tres leches cake at that baby shower. Think about what everyone would say! "Ohhh, this CAKE! I just LOVE this CAKE!" "You should've been at that party Kelley threw for her son. The CAKE!" Celebrity status would be reached in no time. The nanny told me where I could find it. It was a little ways from my house, but I thought it was worth the drive.

So, I went.

Clangy-clangy-clangy went the bell on the top of the door as I stepped inside the bakery. It was a bakery full of wonderful-looking yummy things. There were cases lining the walls of pan de huevos, which I had eaten before. Egg bread, basically, but decorated with really good frosting. The bakery looked like it had been plucked right out of Mexico, which is to say that all of the stuff in there looked fresh and really, really good. This was the perfect place to get my cake.

Only, there was one problem.

No one spoke English. Not one person. Not the manager, not the people shopping around (I called out), not the guy behind the cash register. No one.

Uh-oh.

I had to call on my Spanish skills from way back. I took Spanish in high school and college, but my conjugation skills had taken a hike a long time ago. I could do this thing, though. I was convinced. The cake was worth it. Hey, if the golf ball was on the right of the cake instead of the left, BIG DEAL! It was for a 4-year-old's party!

Somehow, the cashier and I made it through my order. They got it down that I wanted a cake and it was for a birthday party. I told them about the golf-theme I wanted as best as I could. I patted myself on the back and set off to go about my day. I would return a few days later to pick the beautiful thing up. Yay for my Spanish skills!

Clangy-clangy-clangy, I left.

Two days later- clangy-clangy-clangy- I returned.

The lady recognized me, smiled and went to the back to retrieve my cake. I stood all proud of myself and my Spanish education as I waited.

She returned with the white cake box.

Opened the lid.

I peered inside.
















It was a farmer on a tractor.

I ordered a cake with a farmer on a tractor. I don't know how I managed to describe golf in Spanish as a guy taking care of his farm. Well, dingdang it all to heck. A farmer didn't quite jive with my theme. Thankfully, though, there was a person working that day that did speak English. We got my cake all sorted out and they made me a new one. I felt bad for the farmer, but, well, it was a farmer.

You see, I'm just a mess waiting to happen. I mean, for one thing, I can't hear. My hearing loss has gotten me in situations more times than I can count. I have talked about it here in the Break Room several times. There was the embarrassing incident when I tested a little girl for a speech-language delay in front of her mother. Also, during a conversation with a guy on a plane, I was impressed that he sold submarines. "Oh, you sell submarines? Wow!" (He corrected me. He sold supplements.) Just the other day, I thought my mom told me she was taking a beached whale vitamin. (Turned out it was B12). I have a whole slew of examples here.

So, a hearing loss ON TOP of not speaking the best Spanish probably didn't help me much in that situation. Both came together again the other day. If you read this blog somewhat regularly, you may remember that I wrote about what I needed in a new neighbor. I was pleasantly surprised when my new neighbors (vecinas!) moved in and didn't meet all of those requirements, yet I still like them a lot! Crazy how that worked out.

My new neighbors are multilingual. The daughters speak Spanish, German and are beginning to speak English. The father speaks Spanish and English. The mother, my new friend, speaks Spanish and is beginning to speak a little English. She is wanting to learn more English, while I am wanting to learn more Spanish. We talk when we see each other and we do a lot of texting. Texting is easier for me, of course, because I can see what she has written and can take my time to understand what it said. I am trying to get better at understanding spoken Spanish, but my face sometimes winces up and I begin to sweat profusely when it starts barreling out of people's mouths too fast.

So, the other day, my neighbor asked me if I wanted to come over for breakfast. I thought that was very nice. I agreed, because I had wanted to be able to talk with her more in person, as well. One evening, we saw each other outside. She was outside con su perro (with her dog) and I was beginning to drive away. She asked me a question that included "esposo" (husband) and I thought she was saying that her husband would be at the breakfast. I was smiling and nodding my head and agreeing that that would be great.

Friday came.

I knocked on the door.

She answered and asked, "Donde esta tu esposo?"

She wanted to know where my husband was, as just the other day, I had apparently said that my husband would also be attending the breakfast. Ha! Or should I say, Ja! Jajajajaja!!! Oh, I got that so wrong. I felt bad. She had a place set out for him and everything. Her husband was there, too, as well as some family friends. It was the nicest experience and I loved the breakfast. I just feel bad for missing that one and not having my husband there. He would not have been able to make it anyway, as it was a Friday morning and the boy's got ta work!

Anyway.

I've got to learn some Spanish.

I'm on a kick right now to learn mas y mas y mas. I brought this whole topic up on the Kelley's Break Room Facebook page. If you want to chime in there, well, please do. I had a lot of fun reading the messages in Spanish and then trying to decipher them without cheating.




Have you had any experiences like this one where there was a total "lost in translation" moment? You know I want to hear about it! Actually, I'd like to just hear that you were here. It makes me do split leaps and stuff to hear from you. We do all of our chatting on Facebook, though. The spammers were taking over my life. I had to do something before they started appearing for holiday dinners.



You'll Never Believe What Was Sticking On My Leg At Subway


Some teenagers are obsessed with bands (Is One Direction still a thing?) like I'm obsessed with breakfast. Not the breakfast I can make, though. I go through obsessions there, too. (I'm actually getting married to the Cranberry Pistachio bread from HEB, a beloved Texas grocery store, next week. "Kelley Pistachio" in less than 7 days!! WOOOOOOO!!!!!) I am talking about the fast food kind, though it pains my heart to call it "fast food". It feels so disrespectful!

For a while, it was the Egg McMuffin.

Then, the Egg White Delight. (I ordered those items so frequently that the McDonald's money taker guy recognized my voice when I ordered my food.)

Then it was the breakfast sandwich from Starbucks with the artisan bread, gouda, egg and bacon.

Now, it's the flatbread breakfast sandwich I have made at Subway. That flatbread, egg white, tomatoes, spinach, bell peppers and salt and pepper are sooooo good. So good.

I usually get this flatbread from the Subway near my house. I know the Subway people there as well as some people know their cousins. There are three main ones that are always there. Day in and day out they bake that bread, chop those vegetables, make that tea and bake those cookies.

Last year, I honestly thought I should get them all a little Christmas present. I may actually do it this year.

After all the flatbread breakfast sandwiches I've eaten, I've become quite the pro at how Subway handles things at their various stores. "My" Subway, for example, has their sweet tea ready to go by 8:30 in the morning. If they don't and they see me coming, they get to working on it. (I like to get a large cup of half sweetened and half unsweetened tea to take to work. Okay, it's 3/4th's sweet and 1/4th not. Sometimes 7/8th's sweet, if I was taking a lie detector test.) One Subway I went to the other morning  only had unsweetened tea ready by 8:30, which made me a tinge grumpy.

Some Subways have the credit card reader available for you to swipe yourself, whereas "mine" doesn't. I have to go through all of the hassle of handing the card over to the cashier like I'm Betty Rubble herself. If they weren't so nice, I wouldn't stand for it, I tell ya.

"My" Subway always has a Sharpie nearby, too, which I love, because I often, often, often get the boys' lunches there for school in the morning and it's much easier to write down which sandwich belongs to which child before I leave the store. If my older son got the buffalo chicken sandwich and my younger son got the turkey sandwich, the earth may rip down the middle clear down to the core.

Another reason why I love Subway for breakfast is because it is never that crowded. You people haven't caught on yet. This means I can stand near the cash register and spread all my sandwich gear out. This is important because I need adequate space to assess my situation and ensure that son #1 doesn't get his brother's Cheetos bag (they make his fingers turn orange!!) and son #2 gets the oatmeal cookie and not chocolate chip. Some people actually have the nerve to come into the store when I am in there sorting my stuff out.

I KNOW MY SUBWAY and I have this Subway thing down to a science.

Just before running a zillion errands for my sister's shower last weekend, I realized I was going to need some Subway fuel. I glanced in the mirror and realized, though, that I couldn't go into Subway looking like that. That would be disrespecting the chain!! I had zero make-up on because I had just dropped off my 6-year-old at his baseball game. He had to be there by 7:25 IN THE MORNING. Besides the zero make-up thing, the sunlight shining on my face also told me I needed to pluck my eyebrows and wax my upper lip. This didn't all have to be done before going to Subway, but I did want to take care of it before the baby shower happening in just a couple of hours.

I couldn't have my sister's friends congratulate her on the baby and then ask why her brother came to the shower while nodding their heads toward me.

Why not take care of it right there in the Subway parking lot? (I know this might be weird, but I keep my tweezers and my Nad's waxing strips in the car at all times. The sunlight begs me to do that. Take it up with the sunlight. Something tells me if you push him too far, though, you might get burned.)

So, I did my thing. I put on my make-up. I daydreamed about the flatbread.

I was finally ready to go in and bring the flatbread home, but time was running out. I still had a thousand errands!! Thankfully, Subway is always on top of their game. They would whip me right on through that line.

I went in through the doors of this new-to-me Subway and was met with the words, "Hi. I'm new here. I'm from Arkansas. They do things different down here. I'm from Arkansas."

Well, dang it. 

Subway artistry is something you really appreciate when new girls that come from Arkansas aren't sure how to make the flatbread breakfast sandwiches.

"See? This bread is still sorta cold," she said after I placed my order. "I'm not sure what to do about that. I'm from Arkansas. They do things different here."

I was rushed for time. Girlfriend was going to have to move this along.

"See? It won't flop around. It's still cold," she said as shook it and held it up for me to see.

"Stick it in the microwave. I need that flatbread for my breakfast sandwich."

"Well, I'm from Arkansas. They do things different down here."

"Okay. Well, you could also toast it. People put frozen-to-the-core waffles in toasters and they come out okay."

"Well, they do things different down here. I don't know if..."

Sister kept droning on about Arkansas and her less-than-stellar Subway skills when I heard a lady chirping nearby.

"Ma'am? Ma'am? Ma'am?"

Well, goodness gracious. Couldn't she see I was about to scale the sandwich counter and put on my own plastic gloves? What ever did she need?

"Ma'am?"

"Yes?"

"You've got a band-aid stuck to your pant leg."

"A what?"

"A band-aid."

"A band-aid?"

I started laughing. Arkansas girl better be glad Chirper got me sidetracked with the "band-aid" because I was able to get myself together and walk her through the making of a perfect flatbread breakfast sandwich. If Chirper hadn't spoken up, I probably would have been all, "TAKE THE FLIPPIN' FLATBREAD AND PUT IT IN THE FLIPPIN' MICROWAVE. THEN GET ME SOME FLIPPIN' BACON, PUT IT ON THE EGG AND PUT IT IN THE FLIPPIN' OVEN FOR A FLIPPIN' LONG TIME BECAUSE I DON'T FLIPPIN' LIKE FLIPPIN' FLOPPY BACON, ARKANSAS!!"

Between you and me, it was no band-aid. I thought it was best I not mention that right then and there, though. Chirper and I had only met a few nanoseconds before. I hesitate to even tell you but, seeing as you have invested this much time into my story already, I will go ahead and share.

It was my waxing strip.

On my jeans.

For all to see.

You see, this "band-aid" incident is really Subway's fault. If the breakfast flatbreads weren't so good, I would not have pulled into the parking lot so early in the morning. If I wouldn't have pulled into the parking lot so early, I wouldn't have been exposed to the early morning sunlight in such a way that I felt compelled to tidy up my face.

Fingers crossed you weren't in the middle of eating a Subway sandwich?


Have you ever walked around with a waxing strip on your leg? Are you from Arkansas? Do you like breakfast? These are all things that we MUST discuss. Please CHIRP up!


I Can't Believe My Kid Said This...




I will get to that thing my kid said, but first I have to set it up.

Remember when I had The Ugly Contest? No? You really should come around more often.

Well, anyway, that hilarious, hilarious contest was sponsored by Smile Brilliant. (You MUST go look at those pictures. You just MUST.) They sent me a teeth whitening system that I used and loved. Instead of updating that post, I thought I would just show you the "before" and "after" photos here.

(You can read that post and find out more about the products and how it all works HERE.)




Can you believe that that teeth whitening product made me look like this? I was pretty shocked, too, but I guess it's okay since it is almost Halloween anyway. It happened all of a sudden during my last night of using the product. If you want to see a picture of me just before that all happened, look at this one:



I really do like the products. I think they are easy to use and of a professional grade quality. My mother-in-law even said so. She's a dental hygienist. When I got the products in the mail, she looked a little bit annoyed. She said that companies like Smile Brilliant were going to put dentist offices out of business because people could just whiten their teeth at home. What makes this company different than many is that you actually make impressions of your teeth, send it in and wait for them to send you back a tray that matches your teeth perfectly.

But, if I'm being honest, the main reason I used this teeth whitening system is so I can possibly avoid the embarrassment caused to me by my older son when he was a little guy.

We went to visit family one afternoon. Kids are pretty bad about personal space. He was all up in it with my relative. He leaned into her after staring at her teeth for a long, awkward moment and asked as innocently as he possibly could, "WHY YOU JUST EAT BUTTER?"

Butter.

He said she just ate BUTTER.

Like, a stick of butter.

Lawduhmercy, where's a big hole to jump into when you need it?

The kid was telling the truth, though. Her teeth weren't white or anywhere near it, really. They were a nice shade of YELLA and there's no way around it. So yellow, in fact, that a little boy thought she had smeared butter over her teeth.

That's bad. That's real bad.

Thankfully, she didn't catch on, or at least I don't think so. I think she said something to the effect of, "Well, honey, I didn't just eat butter. Hahaha!"

Whew!

As you might imagine, especially if you are a parent yourself, that wasn't the first of embarrassing things my kids have said. In fact, I made a list of the top 9 ones for NickMom once called "The Top 9 Most Embarrassing Things My Kids Have Said While The Person Was Standing RIGHT THERE". Maybe you can relate?

If you'd like to get your hands on Smile Brilliant's products, which are, seriously, like being at a dentist and getting your teeth whitened, except without all the drool, then check their website and check them out on Facebook. You will not be disappointed!


This post was sponsored by Smile Brilliant.


Wanna talk? We use Facebook to do that now because spammers are fartknockers. Have you ever used a teeth whitening product? Has your child ever said anything embarrassing? Have you ever really embarrassed your parents? We need to hear all of it.


The Girl Who Fell Into The Grassy Ditch: The Good Samaritans OnOverload Story



You are supposed to help people, so don't think I am faulting people for that. I'm not faulting anyone for anything. And, also, is "faulting" a word?

No, what I'm doing is just reporting back about a day where I witnessed Good Samaritans coming out the yin yang. This is a good thing. The world needs more days of Good Samaritans coming out of the woodwork. Can I get an Amen?

*screeeeeeeeeech*

Annnnnnnd, the teenager veers off the wet pavement and settles her little car nicely into the roadside ditch all snug and comfy-like just before she was to stop at a red light.

*presses gas*

*wheels spin and just create a groove in the wet, muddy grass*

She isn't going anywhere.

"Did you see that?" We all said together as we drove by her as it happened.

We quickly made a U-turn, pulled over and out of the way of traffic, which meant we weren't right next to the girl.

My husband got out of the car and walked over to her. She was on her cellphone and had already called for help. A police officer and a wrecker were on their way. My husband told her that we would wait in our car until they got there.

And, thus began the sea of Samaritans.

Since we weren't right next to her, everyone thought they were they first responders. Bless their sweet, little hearts. Every few minutes, you'd see a person hastily pull over and get out.

"Hey, are you alright?"

"Hey there, are you okay?"

"Oops, huh? You hurt?"

"Can I call someone for you? I've got a cellphone."

"Hi. Need help?"

"Uh-oh! What can I do to help?"

"Bonk! Called a wrecker yet?"

"So sorry this happened. Are you hurt?"

"You okay? Need help out of the car?"

"Ooooo! Looks like you took a bad turn. Can I call a wrecker for you?"

"Oh, no! What happened?"

"You okay?"

"I'm here to help! Have you called anyone yet?"

Every few minutes, people would pull up alongside us.

"Hey, did you see that girl?"

"Hey, I got a buddy who is a police officer. I can give him a call."

"Hi, there. My uncle has a tow truck. I can call him."

"Wow. Did you see that girl? Has anyone been called?"

"I'm actually an off-duty police officer, so I got this."

"Hey, I can stay with the girl until help arrives."

"No, we can stay."

"No, really, I can stay."

"No, we got it. It's no problem."

"No, really it's no problem. I got it."

"No, we do."

"No, us."

"We."

"Us."

"We."

"Us."

It really was almost comical.

Person after person carefully high stepped it through the long wavy, wet grass to peek through her car window to check on her not realizing they were the 43rd person to do it.

After a while, I was beginning to feel that I had ownership of the girl in the ditch. I would see people see her and begin the process of rolling down their windows or pulling over. I'd yell to them from inside my car (where they couldn't hear), "WE GOT HER, BUDDY! YOU DIDN'T SEE HER FIRST. We actually saw her veer off the road first! WE SAW HER SETTLE INTO THE GRASS!! We already asked her if she needed help! Don't be thinking you're the first one!!! YOU DON'T GET THE PRIZE!!!"

I could see the look of satisfaction on everyone's faces as they stopped to offer help, especially given the fact that it was sprinkling! They saw an area where they could immediately give and they did not hesitate. A little rain wasn't stopping these heroes!! This is a very good thing. Unfortunate for all of them, though, because we were the rightful heirs to the Good Samaritan of the Day crown. 

I pitied them.

We were first, you know?

Eventually, she got out of the ditch, of course. Still, every time I pass that area, I call over my shoulder to the boys, "Look, that girl just ran her car into the ditch" and every time they look.

It was sort of an exciting thing for our community. It was the best combo of someone needing help but not being hurt at all. It was a chance for the good Samaritans of this area to shine.

It was a chance for us all to give ourselves a sticker.

It was a chance for us all to pat our own backs.

"Oh, you just went to Target today? Humph. I helped someone out of a ditch."

"You mean you didn't help anyone out of a ditch today? YOU SELF-CENTERED FOOL!!!"

"Hahaha. That is such a cute story. Hey, did you know I helped someone out of a ditch today?"

"Wow, you don't say. Well, anyway, I helped someone out of a ditch."

"Ditch."

But, guess what? 

We didn't see her first.

learned that devastating news as we drove off that day when we saw the other car that had been there before us. Our Hero Vision had initially clouded our view.

Got me right in the ticker.

 
I took the comments off the blog as a way to tell the spammers to take a long walk off a super long pier. (I don't want them to fall off. I just want them to go away for a really long time.)


Heather's Story: Spreading Awareness of The Harmful Effects of Asbestos and Mesothelioma

Today I have the privilege to share with you the story of a woman named Heather Von St. James.

(Isn't that a cool last name? Von St. James. Some people have some reeeeeeeeeeeeal doozies out there for last names and Heather gets "Von St. James".)




Heather's husband, Cameron, contacted me to ask if I would be willing to spread awareness about his wife's story and about mesothelioma, a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, as today is Mesothelioma Awareness Day. I remember when I worked at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston different departments would lament the fact that there wasn't as much exposure and awareness for their particular cancer type as there is for others.  Everyone recognizes the pink ribbon for breast cancer. The awareness for other cancers, such as mesothelioma, is not nearly as great. Obviously, breast cancer is much more prevalent than mesothelioma and some other cancer types, but to the person these cancers effect, it is as prevalent as ever.


Cameron and Heather Von St. James with their sweet daughter.


What is mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a cancer that effects the membrane lining of the lungs and abdomen. "Pleural mesothelioma (affecting the lung’s protective lining in the chest cavity) represents about three quarters of all mesothelioma incidence. Peritoneal mesothelioma, which affects the abdominal cavity, and pericardial mesothelioma, which affects the cardiac cavity, comprise the remainder."

Mesothelioma affects about 3,000 people a year. Once that diagnosis is received, people are generally told they have an average of 10 months to live. Ten months equals 7,200 hours. Heather and those with her are hoping that they can at least get 7,200 voices to spread the word about mesothelioma and increase the awareness of this disease.

Heather had surgery for mesothelioma in February 2005. She has been a survivor for nine years. Looks like she surpassed the 10-month mark by a long shot thanks to wonderful physicians trained in the diagnosis and treatment of mesothelioma.

On this day of mesothelioma awareness, I think that they really want to get the message out about asbestos. I have heard this word for so long and always wondered just what it was exactly. Asbestos is a silicate mineral that appears as a long, thin, fibrous crystal. This mineral is still mined in different parts of the world. Per Wikipedia, "around 2 million tons of Asbestos are still mined per year as of 2009, mainly in Russia (50%), China, Brazil, Kazakhstan and Canada (9% to 14% each)." Asbestos is resistant to fire and heat, so it was used for electrical and building insulation mostly. Even after its awful link to health issues, such as mesothelioma, it is still used for these purposes in different parts of the world. "Asbestos" is a Greek word that means "inextinguishable" or "unquenchable".

And do you know what is so crazy?

From Heather's awareness page, I learned that asbestos is still not banned in the United States. Roughly 30 million pounds are still used each year. The fibers are invisible to the naked eye. Even though it has been more than 30 years after its peak period of use, it is still the number one cause of occupational cancer in the United States. Asbestos is still found in many homes, schools and commercial or industrial buildings. It was once used in more than 3,000 consumer products (click here to see a list- warning: it may blow your mind), including toasters and hair dryers (some which may still be in use!). Navy veterans are at the greatest risk to develop mesothelioma as asbestos was widely used in Naval ships and shipyards.

No amount of asbestos exposure is safe.

The first asbestos-linked case of mesothelioma was in 1964. Mesothelioma is expected to reach its peak in 2020. The EPA estimates that there is asbestos in most of the nation's older schools. Mesothelioma usually sits dormant in the body for 20-50 years before a person even knows they have it. It is most common in people 50-70 years of age, but younger people can get it, such as Heather. Remember, the primary cause is of mesothelioma is asbestos exposure.

This is a preventable disease.

I know it would mean so much to Heather if you would help spread mesothelioma awareness by sharing what you learn here, as well as liking her Facebook page by clicking HERE and following her on Twitter, too. You can follow her by going HERE.

With increased awareness of the dangers of asbestos, we can hopefully greatly decrease exposure to it and the subsequent harmful effects! We want everyone around for a long time to enjoy their family, children and life itself. It seems that Heather is now doing just that given this quote from her Twitter page: "Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death.. ~Mame Dennis"



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