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Posts from the ‘Today's Thought’ Category

Flight and Plight of the US Olympic Ski Jumpers

A beautiful ski jumper in flight.

Anders Johnson U.S. Ski Jumper

One of the images often publicized or portrayed as representative of the Winter Olympic games every 4 years is that of a Nordic jumper in flight.

Anders Johnson takes off!

It’s not easy being a part of the U.S. Olympic Ski Jumping team.

Anders Johnson in NY Times magazine (photo by Ryan McGinley)

Anders Johnson (Kempt man of the Hour above) is the son of longtime family friend ….. and my brother’s best friend, Alan Johnson. Alan grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia. He came with his family in the 1960’s-70’s to the Poconos every weekend and holiday vacation to ski. We were ski families together. I was best friends with all 3 of Alan’s sisters. Alan’s father was Ski Patrol, our father was Ski School-Instructor. My brother and I, along with Alan, became involved in the Ski Patrol and moved on to ski instructors as well. Growing up at a ski area is a fabulous life changing experience. The competitive streak comes out even in the most docile individual. We would build jumps… often taking the entire day to haul hay bales up the mountain and hand pack the snow over them until it was just right and the jump would be perfect! Then the fun and the competitions would begin. My brother and Alan are still competing… 😉 about pretty much everything!

Alan went on to have a career in skiing and coaching with the US Ski team. His expertise has led him to be the head coach of ski jumping, nordic combined and program director over the years for some divisions of the US Ski Team.

His children, Alissa and Anders, fell in love with ski jumping at an early age. Anders was 3 years old when he first followed his sister off the jump. I remember taking Alan’s little brother Eric (Anders uncle) up the ski lift when he was just 3 years old. Since we only had a T-Bar, Eric had to be with a taller person to ride up. That boy was fearless and went down the slope so fast we could hardly catch him! He’d be down at the lift line patiently waiting for someone to take him back up again!

Alissa is an excellent talented jumper. She has done very very well in World competition! For some ridiculous reason, women are NOT permitted to compete in ski jumping in the Olympics! I simply can’t understand any of that when women are allowed to do crazy snowboard half pipe events and race downhill at 75 to 80 miles per hour. And the luge… come on– how dangerous is that??? Regardless… they lost their fight for the 2010 Vancouver games. Sad but true. Now to make matters worse, the Men’s ski jumping has lost it’s affiliation with the US Ski Team!

In many Nordic countries like Norway, Sweden and Finland… Ski Jumping is the national sport. It is given much support and recognition like we value baseball and football. The jumpers are glorified and honored.

Here in the U.S. — Ski Jumping is not given the recognition it should. Here- we give this attention to halfpipe snowboarders and those who do the best tricks, the highest crazy jump, the fastest downhill racer or mogel maneuver etc…

We have forgotten the athletes who can fly like a bird, the athletes who train for years to be able to soar and glide their way in beautiful form to completes the longest jump. …..

For American Ski Jumpers…… they are now on their own struggling to make ends meet and working so very hard to qualify and compete that they don’t even get to attend the opening ceremonies. Here is a story of how they take it on themselves with competing spirit and rise above in the face of adversity:

Project X (from the Anders Johnson Bio page)
Unlike the U.S. Alpine, cross-country, freestyle, nordic combined and snowboard teams, the American ski jumpers do not have any affiliation with the U.S. Ski Team. In 2008, the national body decided to terminate its men’s ski jumping program and drop funding for the sport. That left ski jumping athletes with their families and any willing backers to organize an initiative on their own. The independent program, called Project X, is headed by Johnson’s father, Alan. It has no formal corporate sponsorship and instead relies on a patchwork of private donations. The program’s athletes, including all three of the U.S. representatives in Vancouver, help raise money by going door-to-door and reaching out to local businesses. They raised enough money to hire a full-time coach, German Jochen Danneberg, normal hill silver medalist at the 1976 Innsbruck Games and two-time winner of the prestigious Four Hills tournament, but have little surplus to cover travel expenses.

Here are some Anders Johnson’s accomplishments besides making Olympic history as the youngest Olympic jumper EVER in 2006 Turino at the age of 16!

  • 1st Place 2009 National Championships
  • 1st, 3rd Place 2008 National Championships
  • 15th Place COC Brotterode Germany 2008
  • 20th, 23rd Place COC Villach Austria 2008
  • 25th Place COC Oberstdorf Germany 2008
  • 27th Place COC Velenje SLovenia 2008
  • 29th Place COC Rovaniemi Finland 2007
  • 2x 3rd, 2x 5th FIS Cups
  • 48th Place Grand Prix Klingenthal Germany

Let us remember to support ALL the athletes of the games. Those events which get a lot of press and endorsements help to encourage not only the individual athlete but that sport itself!

Support ALL our American Ski Jumpers this year at the

2010 Winter Olympics


Vancouver Canada

(name, hometown, age as of opening ceremonies, birthdate, past Olympics)
Nick Alexander, Lebanon, NH, 21, 8/24/88
Peter Frenette, Lake Placid, NY, 17, 2/24/92
Anders Johnson, Park City, UT, 20, 4/3/89, 2006

Watch Wednesday “The GIFT of an Ordinary Day”

Cherish your ordinary days with your babies and little ones now. Enjoy all the moments.
I just watched this on YouTube. Katrina Kenison reads to a group from her book… a mother’s memior “The GIFT of an Ordinary Day” with music played by her son.
Since all my children are grown, it speaks to me as she wrote it. You may get a glimpse of your future feelings.
Very well done..
(sob sob……)

Watch Wednesday “Pink Glove Dance” Spread the word!

Breast Cancer Awareness

This is a FUN video to watch as you see one facilities efforts to increase awareness in their community and all over the country. It has over 2 million hits on YouTube!

Put a smile on your face while you watch and keep spreading the word!

October is over~however…

The work to increase awareness


spread the word of the importance of

early Breast Cancer detection and treatment continues.

Oh yeah… and I want to work there!

It’s my Birthday~ It’s my Birthday

Age is

Mind over Matter

If you don’t Mind… doesn’t Matter!!

Found some beautiful photos thru an email to share….

More Breastfeeding Cartoons ~ not #BAD09

I missed the Wordless Wednesday

I have nothing for the Blog Action Day 09

Instead, I’ll provide a little humor today

More Breastfeeding would help the planet anyway!

More Breastfeeding Cartoons by Neil


10 6 09 031

10 6 09 039

10 6 09 015

10 6 09 057

Please Help BOYCOTT this Horrible Book



For Jennifer, Hayley, and Michaela
May you RIP
Excerpt from the NY Times….. click anywhere in the paragraph for the full stories…
The Petit family

The Petit family

My sister and her husband were friends with this family.

The fact that this author has interviewed one of the perpetrators of these horrific assaults then wrote a book for profit, telling his side BEFORE a trial is unbelievable to me!
I can understand freedom of speech etc, but to the best of my understanding, there was a gag order violation!
Everything you need to know about this horrible crime can be found in the newspapers.  A killer’s personal account of the terror, humiliation and torture inflicted on this beautiful family is grotesque.
What possible motivation could anyone have for reading such a book beyond voyeurism?
I also believe he has sold his soul by doing this project. He is interested more in sensationalism and money– not exploring the mind of a killer.
If you think you might like to read this book…. think again. Read what the husband and father of the victims, Dr. William Petit, has to say:

“Please Help Boycott This Book
This is the illegally obtained book written by one the defendants who killed Hayley and Michaela. He illegally met with the author in jail before he was stopped by the DOC and released it prior to the trial in Contempt of the gag order, that has been in place over a year. The book was common knowledge but Donovan, his defense attorney has reacted like a moron as if he had no knowledge of this. Judge Fasano had a hearing yesterday and ignored the entire topic-of course the session was in chambers so it is hard to know exactly what was said-our justice system is far less than transparent. This allows this animal to give his side of the story without cross-examination or forensics and then causes the other side of the defense to whine that they cannot get a fair trial. Amazon The author, Brian McDonald, acts like he did nothing wrong-it was only his job to write a book no matter who it hurts. St. martin Press is the division of McMillan that published the book and it is out at Amazon, Barnes and Noble etc. None of them care that an 11 year old was terrorized, raped and burned alive and that a 17 yr old was beaten and burned alive while a 48 year old mother with MS was strangled while she tried to save her children. They are all the epitome of the American blood lust for money and publicity at all costs. Shame on them. they will get their final rewards in their afterlife of hell. Now 26 months later there is no thought of starting the trial and the judicial system wants me to cheer because this is faster than most trials come to court. Yes I am angry, and suspect I will get angrier, but if you have a minute send an email or call or boycott. Thank you for caring about Jennifer, Hayley, and Michaela.

Bill Petit”
This letter was passed along thru friends in CT by email reportedly written to a friend asking for help in the boycott. I am unable to validate directly with Dr. Petit.
I do have a resource which is a letter from him about the death penalty published in “The Cheshire Herald” in May 2009.
Please help pass this boycott along or write to any of the following:

or write: Headquarters
1200 12th Ave Ste 1200
Seattle, WA 98144
Phone : 206-266-1000
Fax : 206-622-2405

telephone number for the Media department is 206-266-7180
open Monday

175 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10010
646-307-5151 but the St. Martin Division published the book
St. Martin’s Press; Publicity Department
175 5th Avenue NY, NY 10010
Fax: 212-674-6132
Nicole D. D’Amato, Esq.
500 East 87th Street
New York, NY 10128

Webinar~ WHO CODE ~ “The Code, Companies, and LC’s”

This is a reprint of an email invite I received today and wished to share with all those interested.

Brought to you by the USLCA


Wednesday October 14th 2009

United States Lactation Consultant Association

“The Code, Companies, and LC’s” by Marsha Walker

Marsha Walker
Participants will be able to describe the LC’s manufacturing or distributing products within the scope of the Code.
Participants will be able to discuss the elements of the WHO Code as they relate to companies that manufacture or distribute products covered within the scope of the Code.The Code within lactation consultants practice.  LC and ethical Practice within the Code.

  • Use of company products
  • Use of educational materials
  • Exhibiting at conference
  • Attending company sponsored education programs
  • Accepting meals or free items

How does a company meet its obligations under the code

  • Company websites
  • What violates the Code and what does not
  • Pictures-where and how are they acceptable
  • Idealizing language
  • Marketing vs Selling

Course Details
60 Min program
1 E Cerp Awarded for participating
(Certificates are emailed to attendees)

USLCA Members $20,   Non-members $30, Groups 2-10 $45, 10 or more $65

Click here to sign up “The Code, Companies, And LC’s”

Here’s how to sign up for a USLCA Webinar1. Down load the sign up sheet for the appropriate webinar.Click here for list of scheduled webinars.

2. Submit your sign up sheet and payment information to the National office through mail (address located on sign up form), email or by fax 919-459-2075 Attn: USLCA Webinar

3. You will then receive an email invitation to register for the webinar. Please complete this as soon as possible. You will not be able to sign on to the webinar until this registration is submitted, and approved.

If you have any questions please contact us at any time for assistance

Cerps are available only after payment is received.  If you are a member of the USLCA email Scott Sherwood to find out how to pay online.  Please feel free to forward this email to co-workers and friends. Thank you for your support!

A Full Moon doesn’t always bring lots of babies

Full Moon Flight

A Full Moon Flight?

We had a Full Moon this past weekend. October 4th– according to my calender.  Over the past 35+ years in this business, it has been my experience that the full moon does NOT bring all the babies! We had just one baby born this whole weekend….  and hardly any labor checks. It was eery Quiet. (The “Q” word. Something we only say after our shift!)85902615

The weekend before, however, is another story! We had 13 deliveries during the 2 day wkend and L&D was packed most days during the whole week leading up to this full moon! We had to use a lot of overflow rooms for evals and non-stress tests. Everywhere I turned, it was crazy busy.. and not just in L&D. It seems we get more babies with high bilirubins, more early babies with transitional breathing problems and other little issues whenever we have high census!

In my experience, I have seen the most babies born either on a new moon or the week of waxing or waning of the full moon and not on the actual full moon.  Is it like that where you work?? I would really like to know the experiences of other L&D nurses.

So tell me—  what happens in your world?

Are YOU an Activist? Healthy People 2020 Public Meeting Announcements



ARE you an activist?

Do you want to have input or learn more??

What do you know about the Healthy People 2010 National Objectives ……. and how the breastfeeding goals haven’t been met?


The PLAN ~ The GOAL:

(From the Healthy People website:)

Healthy People 2010 challenges individuals, communities, and professionals, indeed all of us to take specific steps to ensure that good health, as well as long life, are enjoyed by all.

 Healthy People 2010 objectives for breastfeeding in early postpartum period, at 6 months, and 12 months are 75%, 50%, and 25%, respectively. Healthy People 2010 objectives for exclusive breastfeeding through 3 and 6 months of age are 40% and 17%, respectively


  So how are we doing???

From the CDC website regarding Breastfeeding Data:

Breastfeeding rates have improved since 1999, but fall short of Healthy People 2010 objectives regarding duration and exclusivity. Among children born in 2006, 74% initiated breastfeeding, whereas 43% were breastfeeding at 6 months and 23% at 12 months of age. Approximately 33% of infants born in 2006 were exclusively breastfed through 3 months of age, and 14% were exclusively breastfed for 6 months.


Check the CDC website above for a complete evaluation of how we measure up. I am so happy for thoses states who actually accomplished these objectives! There are some that exceed these goals and others who are really behind. I think because of this, the national picture as a whole is misleading, reflecting an average of a lot of highs and lows. It doesn’t show a true picture for those areas struggling.  I want to learn more to help my area move up towards the goals.

What can we do to improve and work towards accomplishing these goals ????

 I got this important email letter today and promptly registered to go the meeting in Philadelphia on November 7th.  I want to learn all that I can about what goes into the planning and possibly what more I can do at my local level to help meet the breastfeeding objectives. From the US Lactation Consultant Association:


During October and November the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) will conduct public meetings in Kansas City (Kansas), Philadelphia (Pennsylvania), and Seattle (Washington) on draft objectives for Healthy People 2020. The public will have an opportunity to comment on the draft objectives at the public meetings, and on the public comment Web site. The comments received will then be used to revise the objectives appropriately. We hope that you will consider attending if you live near one of these sites. We will coordinate work on this with the US Breastfeeding Committee. This presents a wonderful opportunity to have our voices heard on national policy-making relative to breastfeeding.

I’m not public speaker, I am interested in policy making for the HP2020.

I want to go and learn from my well respected colleagues.

Check it out! Click on the HP 2020 icon at the top of the post!

Yard Sale = Huge Profits

Area Flooding

Area Flooding

Summer usually brings many many garage sales and yard sales in my neighborhood. Over the last 3 years, I have accumulated a large quantity of items that I just never got around to selling on eBay. I had been a fairly active seller…. sometimes making a really good profit!  The things I had accumulated lately either weren’t suitable for the eBay market or the fees charged would not make it worth my time and effort…. so they sat in boxes collecting dust. We had many antiques, collectibles, items from our old barn, chairs partially refinished, in need of repair etc..etc.. It was going to be the kind of yard sale I would love to peruse!
The day before the sale, as we tried to prepare and set-up, was the day when “Daniel” came up the east coast causing huge torrential downpours in my area… We had already advertised, I had to be ready for the dealers that come at 5 am! Waves of heavy rain hampered our efforts, collapsed tents and blown away drapes caused my husband to make a few trips out for more tarps and plastic drapes.
I knew we would not be ready  for the incredibly annoying dealers… so I parked my van sideways at the end of our driveway effectively blocking entry. I did not sleep before the sale and subsequently got a migraine to add to our muddy fun. All in all it turned out to be a profitable sale. The weather eventually cleared and we had waves of buyers instead of rain.

I have tried to tally our profits.. …..   keep in mind I don’t know how much I originally paid for some of these collectibles over the years…

Amount in my pocket at end of sale : $342.00

Total money paid by buyers over 2 days : $302.00

Start-up pocket cash for change : $40.00

Ad in the paper : $24.00

Markers, stickers, flourescent paper for signs : $11.50

Trips to Home Depot and Lowes for more tarps/plastic : $43.00

$342.00 in pocket minus costs and start-up cash = $223.50 POTENTIAL PROFIT

Handing over the ENTIRE $342.00 to my mom to help with her taxes—>

The look on her face and her tears–>