Monday, March 25, 2013

Highway to Hell

This weeks, or rather last week's topic is to discuss the things you did as a kid that you might not have told your parents about... you know the stuff they might not have been so happy to know you did.

Well, my story starts on a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair.  I had a new to me car and a friend in the co-pilot's seat.  My friend and I both liked to drive fast.  My new car was sporty, it was a Honda Accord, LXi hatchback.  It was a fuel injected speedster.  I liked that car.

We wanted to see how fast said vehicle could go.  There was a stretch of 134 near our college that was generally untraveled late at night.  We had not been drinking, we had this total lapse of judgement with all our facilities in tact.  You can imagine where this is going. 

There was no one else on the road.  I looked at my friend, she looked and me and said "hit it."  So it did.  We were up around 120 miles per hour (we pegged the speed o meter) when the lights appeared in my rear view mirror.  As you can imagine, getting a ticket for this type of speed is not going to end well.

My friend immediately suggests offers of sexual favors to get out of the ticket.  I look at her and tell her to shut up.  She is offering cash as an option.  What are we going to do?

The officer knocks on my window and asks me if I know why he pulled me over.  In a flash of genius, I look up at him, stick my chest out, open my eyes real wide and say, "because I was going too slow?"  The sincerity with which I delivered this line, silenced my friend and caused the officer to crack just the slightest smile. 

"Too slow," he says back to me, "how do you figure?"

"Well, sir, I saw the sign back there and it said 134.  I can't imagine we were going that fast, but we were trying."  I said back to him with the most sincere polite voice I could muster.

At which point, the officer, cracks up and says to me that I have given him the best excuse he has heard in a very, very, very long time.  He then went on to tell me about the dangers of speeding.  He said that he did not think we were drunk, just really stupid.  He told me if my license came back clean he would let me off with a warning. 

It came back clean and I left with a warning.  My parents never knew.  I didn't have to get bailed out of jail, and while I have always wondered how fast my mini van can go I have never tried to find out.

Want to see what the other ladies did in their past?  Check them out at:  Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Thanks go to

This week's topic is about thanking people, specifically:  Make your "Oscar" speech. Thank someone (can be as many people as you feel necessary) for something special that has happened in your life.

Gratitude.  All our lives are incredibly blessed.  I find that it is easy to get caught up in the trivial unpleasantness that impacts us.  To allow that unpleasantness to let us be negative.  At the end of the day, most of us have a great deal to be thankful. 

When I am getting caught up in the minor inconveniences of my life, I find it important to remember how things could have been.  I spent my very young life in foster care.  The first 6 weeks of my life were with a family that takes in unwanted infants.  It is part of the process of adopting out babies.  The plan was not for me to grow up in foster care, but rather to be adopted out to a family that wanted a baby.  Which is what happened.  But, things could have gone down differently.

My birth mother was 16 years old when she got pregnant with me.  She could have chosen to keep me.  It seems most 16 year olds these days keep their babies.  It is a very massive amount of maturity to make the decision to give up you baby, most 16 year olds do not possess that.  What if my birth mother did not possess that?  What if the people around her did not encourage her to put her baby up for adoption?

It is those what ifs that I go back to when ever I am feeling like things are not going as well as I would like.  If my mother had kept me it is very unlikely that I would have ended up outside of the welfare system.  Perhaps I would have figured out how to get out of the system, but I am not sure I am exceptional enough to have done that.  I am incredibly blessed that I was never put in the situation where I had to see if I could drive myself out of poverty.

So, while I have never met her, my birth mother made a decision at 16 years old that had a profound impact on  my life (I imagine it had a profound impact on her life too).  I appreciate that she had the maturity and strength to choose the life that was best for both of us, even if that meant we would not be together.  I can not imagine that it was an easy choice.  My only wish is that now, I could meet her and tell her thank you.

Here is the audience participation part, if you know an adult who gave their child up for adoption, thank them for me.  I can not thank my mother, but I can try and thank all the other people who made the same choice.  It was heroic.  They are heroes.

For all the teens that are pregnant, consider before you abort, giving your child a chance with another family.  You don't make a big change to your outcome, and you give that child opportunities.  Consider before you keep the baby, that adoption might be the best choice for both you.  That giving the child up might allow you opportunities and your child opportunities that the two of you cannot get together. (I am not pro-life, but that is a different discussion.)

Thanks mom, you made an amazingly difficult choice and every day I benefit from that.

Want to see who the other ladies want to thank?  Check out them out at: Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Flu shots? Not for me

The topic for this week relates to the article linked below.  Essentially, a 61 year old nurse was let go after 21 years of service for refusing to get a flu shot.  She had refused to get a flu shot for the past 21 years.  This year, it was a firable offense.

Nurse Fired for Refusing Flu Shot

I shout foul.  Everyone thinks the flu shot is the best thing ever.  Well, I am here to tell you that it isn't as effective as you might think.  Good hygiene, that is the way to go. 

I vaccinate my kids with all the "have-to" shots.  We do not do the flu shot.  I am sort of cavalier about this.  We have never had the flu.  If we ever get it I might change my mind.  But, my issue with the flu shot is just this, it doesn't really work. 

According to the CDC the flu shot was only 9% effective with older people.  (One source for this statistic)  They categorize that at people 65 and over.  But, I imagine it is some sort of bell curve.  So, the nurse in the article could have gotten the shot and it most likely would have had little impact on her health or the health of her patients.  In my mind, it is not worth putting a forgein substance created by big pharma in my body.  9% effective?  Yeah, I think I'll risk it.

The shot changes from year to year, and since it has to be made before everyone really knows what the flu strains are going to be it is all just a guess.  So, the effectiveness is based on how well the flu forecaster forecasts.  I would say they are probably as good as the weatherman.  Sometimes they nail it, sometimes they don't.  So from year to year, you just don't know.  I appreciate that this is the best that we have.

So, I ask you, do the risks out weigh the rewards in this situation?  I don't think so.  If I knew that the flu shot would protect me 90% of the time, I might feel differently.  50/50?  Yeah, I think I'll take my chances with good hygiene. 

It is just fairly unlikely that the flu will kill you.  According to the CDC about .05% of the people with the flu actually die from it.  Since the shot is maybe 50% effective and the likelihood that I will die from what I am preventing is fairly small, I do not think that the risks outweigh the rewards of the shot.  At the end of the day, I could get the flu shot and still die from the flu.

I feel fairly strongly that until the vaccine is actually effective hospitals have no business firing people for not getting it.  All this hospital did was loose a good nurse.  The statistics show that vaccine or no vaccine she was not protected against the flu this year.

Check out the other ladies take on the subject: Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl