Last Stop

depressionThe buck stops here.  To much sadness, to much pain.  Let us not ignore what is really going on here.  Mental illness!  It is a sad, sad world when so many of us are experiencing depression, anxiety and full on mental illnesses without medical attention.

Ah, the USA, the greatest country in the word, but maybe not anymore.  We have more dead teachers and children than we have casualties in the military in 2018 already.  Astounding!  When are we going to address the mental health problem we have in this country?   When?

Personally depression and anxiety was passed on to me by a parent.  Yes me, because if there is anyone reading this that knows me personally, that statement is a surprise to them.  All they see is the happy-go-lucky woman indulging her grandchildren and enjoying life.  But under all that there is an ongoing battle since childhood against anxiety and depression.  If it does not show it is because I made a conscious effort to stop the sweeping under the rug mode of handling this illness, because it is an illness and get help.  On a daily basis we interact with individuals who are mentally ill and we do not even know it.  The person next to you on a bus is battling demons, the supervisor you admire and look up to is fighting anxiety and maybe the person who looks back at you in the mirror as well.

In the 60’s there was a policy put in place that basically released mental patients into the community leaving it up to everyday society to handle.  Why did this happen? Guess? Money!  The records show that the politicians were dogged by the image and financial problems posed by the state hospitals and that the scientific and medical establishment sold Congress and the state legislatures a quick fix for a complicated problem that was bought sight unseen.*  So here we are decades later dealing with the havoc.  We can no longer continue to be a country that ignores the core of the reason there is so much crime, hate and killings.

My parent.  For many years I could not understand the actions taken and for so many years I judged and I asked, “don’t let it bother you, just let it go” and the response was, “I can’t help it”.  Now that I know better, my heart crumbles into a million little pieces when I realize how real that statement was, because I live it now.  The desperation you feel when you are in that black hole is debilitating.  It is frenetic, you lose control, your heart starts racing and you feel utterly hopeless.  When you go through that for days at a time, you are mentally and physically spent and your mind is flooded with suicidal thoughts.  You want to stop the pain.

This is something I would not wish on an enemy and I refuse to let it get into another  generation without identifying the illness and getting treatment.  Mental illness is hereditary.   The last thing in the world I want is to have my grandchildren go through this.  The buck stops here.  We have to educate, and treat any illness, mental or otherwise.  Five major mental illnesses — depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD, schizophrenia and autism — are traceable to the same inherited genetic variations, according to the largest genome-wide study of its kind. These variations account for 17-28 percent of mental illness risk.* *  Parents, be aware of the signs, any different behavior, stay close to your children and speak to them on a regular basis, because we never know what is bothering them.

 

https://www.nytimes.com/1984/10/30/science/how-release-of-mental-patients-began.html*

https://psychcentral.com/news/2013/08/19/5-major-mental-illnesses…/58642.html**

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Targets

Our male children of color are targets.  Turn on the news and on you see disheartening stories of how our black youths are profiled for shopping, sitting and even just walking down the street.  In today’s news May 4th, 2018, there was a story out of South Florida regarding two black males released due to false accusations.   The alibi provided by the one of the accused was valid and proven to be true by surveillance footage.  So why were these men arrested, simple racism.

The stories are endless, boys shopping at Nordstrom for graduation clothes were accused of shoplifting, a woman renting an Air Bnb home had the police called on her because she was black and her male companions looked suspicious.  And yet the best story of them all is the debacle in Starbucks.  Is this new? No! However, do we see more of this lately?  Okay we can blame it on the current president who has fostered this climate of hate but it is reality from years before.

Lynchings and shootings of black men go back to the 19th century.  According to the NAACP History of Lynchings*, up until 1968 there were nearly 5,000 lynchings recorded.  Surprisingly 25% of these were white people.  Why were white people lynched by white people?  That does not make sense.  Simple they helped the black slaves.  Now that makes sense.  Lynchings went up once slaves were freed and this was a way of controlling their behaviour.

That mentality has never left.  I remember listening to an angry white man state “they should have left them in the fields where they belonged”, what a despicable human being!  He needs Jesus!  However, that is not so uncommon.  African-Americans are looked upon by a certain “community” as inferior and it does not matter how educated or wealthy they are.   A woman in an airport wanted to get in front of an African-American man on the first class line because she thought him to be on the wrong line.    She actually told him, “you are on the wrong line” to which he replied “no I am on the right line, I am just a nigger with money”.  The woman felt he must be military because she could not possibly think he had the resources to pay a first class ticket.

Our boys are targets.  We need to not only educate our youth but the close minded individuals that do not see beyond their color.  Again this is not new, but when we have someone in the white house who is so blatant about his dislike for minorities, it sends a message to the bigots, that it is okay to chastise, accuse and put down people of color.  It is scary for a mom who sends out her boys every morning when any minute anything can occur and her child will become a statistic.

What can we do about it?  Unfortunately, I do not see it getting any better until it gets even worse.  Moms, pray for the safety of your children.  Cover them with God’s blessings.  Push for education and teach them the law of God because at this point the only one who can fix this is God.

 

* http://www.naacp.org/history-of-lynchings/

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/reduce-chances-shot-by-police_us_577d2192e4b09b4c43c1c53a

http://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-advice/travellers-stories/mans-hilarious-takedown-of-racist-woman-at-airport-goes-viral/news-story/2a908115dbef12630b375aec5bae6596

Smooth Operator

mrodSmooth Operator is a great song for those of us who are old enough to remember.  It was a great song with the sounds of a saxophone in the background very relaxing, very smooth.  So when we think smooth operator you think suave, calm and cool.  Someone who has posses the gift of gab.  It can also describe someone driving a splendid piece of machinery such as a luxury car.  Or it can be someone when presented with a tense  situation, can diffuse it quickly.  The last thing people may refer to as a smooth operator is a surgeon or specifically a plastic surgeon.  Think about it they are operating.

Enter Dr. Michael J. Rodriguez, or Magic Mike as he is referred to by his patients.  This is because he works magic with his hands.  Dr. Rodriguez is a plastic surgeon in Miami, Florida.  According to http://www.plasticsurgeryportal.com, Miami is number one in the top ten plastic surgery cities in the world.  In 2016 there were 3.90 plastic surgeons for every 100,000 residents in Miami.  That is some tough competition.  So how does someone like Dr. Rodriguez stand out?  His bedside manner, his genuine concern for his patients and more importantly, amazing results.

Dr. Rodriguez is a Cuban-American born in Washington, D.C. raised in Miami, Florida.  He is double board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery.  Dr. Rodriguez graduated at the top of his class from Florida International University and continued his education at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.  In addition he trained at the University of California Irvine, to perfect his skill in facial rejuvenation.  Now all of his extensive training is what has made him tops in his field but when you sit for a consultation with Magic Mike, you feel the passion he has for his craft and the confidence he exudes from years of experience.

The decision for plastic surgery is not one to be taken lightly.  We have all seen the horrors of bad results on the news and even in some instances death.  So finding the right doctor with the right skills and training is vital.  I have personally been a witness to the way Dr. Rodriguez works.  His ease and focus are what makes for exceptional results.  He is smooth and gentle and the comfort of his patients is his number one priority.  When you meet him you could be surprised at his youth but do not let that fool you, Dr. Rodriguez has performed thousands of procedures for face and body on young, old, male and female.  His patients adore him and constantly refer him new people.

On any given day Dr. Rodriguez, will perform procedures, do follow ups, answer emails and schedule future surgeries.  Then go home to his wife and children and enjoy the evening.  He is a solid family man and an outstanding surgeon.

Learn more about Dr. Rodriguez and see his work @drmagicmike on instagram or follow him on Facebook.

mrod

Time

white clock

There is a song called Time by Culture Club with Boy George that was a huge hit in the eighties.  The lyrics say “time makes lovers feel like they got something real”.  It also says “time won’t give me time”.   Time is unforgiving and it waits for no one.  It is a precious commodity and nobody knows how much time they have.

It is truly amazing how time can change a little baby boy into an adult man and that little boy is gone forever.  Time can transform someone’s life in mere seconds.
Several years ago I had a temporary job in a beautiful luxurious building that paid me very well.  For months I waited for the job to be offered permanently and it did not happen.  So I made the decision to look for another job and on my lunch hour, pressed for time, I went on a job interview.  When I arrived I was turned off immediately.  It was a small grey building that had an old broken down elevator with creeky stairs and a very musty odor.  The old school steam heat was blasting in the corner and across the narrow hall there was a homeless person sleeping.  My first instinct was to run out of there.  However, since I did take the time to go there, I took the elevator to the second floor and rang the door bell.  As I stood there waiting, I got cold feet and pressed the elevator button to leave.  But their door opened first and I was greeted by the sweetest older woman with beautiful platinum hair.  I had to go through with the interview.
The inside of the office was worse.  The furniture was ancient and there were files and boxes everywhere. I went through the motions and filled out the application.  All I wanted was to leave.  I walked into the office of the person who was to interview me and it all changed.  Sitting there behind the desk was the person who was to be my best friend.  His aura was bright and beautiful and his energy was pure.  Though I did not want to work in this environment I was intrigued.  It was a not for profit organization and it served the blind.  The great news was that they were moving into brand new offices and there were great things happening.  His name was James Potter, a gay man from Springfield Massachusetts.  He taught me to beleive in myself and loved me and my child unconditionally.  Words cannot describe how this man transformed my life.  If the elevator door had opened first I would have never met him and it was a matter of seconds that changed my life forever.  Time.
Time is defined in the dictionary as “the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole”.  Once upon a time, starts songs, stories and jokes.  There came a time when, starts many conversations.
A young man went to a weekend getaway with his dad, uncles and cousins and never came back.  It was his time to go because his time was up.  Time is precious and yet so many people spend it doing insignificantly stupid things.  Daddy has a baby girl and his former partner tries to keep that baby from him, he sits back and does nothing, he has wasted precious time.   If you have an elderly parent and you do not call them or go see them, then you cry at their funeral, that was a waste of precious time.  You have a dream job or project and you do not act on it, you have wasted time and you will never know if this project could have been successful.
Why do we let time go by and don’t make the best of it?  Ask yourself that and remember the clock is ticking!

Summer Loving For Your Skin

almay healthy glowSummer is weeks away. So we need to look good, protect ourselves and get a jumpstart on our tan.  Sounds like a lot of products, but no, here is the answer.  Almay Healthy Glow Make up.  Almay is a drug store brand and I have tried everything. But this product is going to save you money, space in your bag and you will look spectacular.
It comes in a dual dispenser that allows an equal amount of both the self tanner and foundation together.  Almay Healthy Glow gives you a medium coverage with a Broad Spectrum 20 SPF coverage which protects against UVB and UVA rays.  It does come in Light/Light Medium and Medium and is Hypoallergenic.
Unfortunately over the years my sun damage from when I did not protect myself has surfaced on my skin and this does a great job with coverage.  I also put it on an older woman of 80 plus years and it made her skin look fabulous.
Almay as a company offers many options for skin and make up.  They have been in business since 1931, a creation of married couple, Alfred and Fanny May.  Almay was the first cosmetic company to offer consumers cosmetic products with hypoallergenic ingredients.  With all of the products out there offering different formulas of foundations for mega dollars, this is one that caters to your everyday woman who wants to look good and protect her skin spending only $13.00
My only issue with this product is that it should come in darker tones.  Not everyone fits in the colors they are offering.

Faith Over Fear

Blind faith.  Hard to learn.  We need the security the safety net provides.  We want to make sure that if we swing on that trapeze there is a mesh net to catch us.  How many of us would take that chance?  A lot more than you think!

There is a lot to be said for taking a leap of faith but it takes guts.  When God asked Abraham to take his beloved son to be sacrificed at Mount Moriah, he proceeded with  rock solid faith.  Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”   Genesis 22:2  Once Abraham reached the top of Mount Moriah, God instructed him not to slaughter is son.

That is what God expects from us, to leave everything in his hands.  Many a days we wake up with fear in our hearts, anxiety in our head and sadness in our eyes.  There are several valid reasons for these feelings.  However, we have a choice and not an easy thing to conquer initially, faith over fear.  If we hold on to the faith that God is working in our favor and all things will work out, that is faith over fear.

Eight months ago the situation was dire.  No home, faulty car transmission and essential relationships in ruins.  Oh and lets not forget the reason for all this, a fifty thousand dollar cut in pay.   Smiling all the way through it one by one things fell into place.  Not one moment of panic,  only solutions to make it through the day.  In Dale Carnegie’s bestselling book, How to stop worrying and start living, one of the things advised is to treat each day as a compartment.  Carnegie writes,  “…the best possible way to prepare for tomorrow is to concentrate with all your intelligence, all your enthusiasm, on doing today’s work superbly today. That is the only possible way you can prepare for the future.”

Today is the only today, spend it looking at options. There is always light, always!  Do not let the darkness take over!  Fear will cripple you!  It is very difficult to give up control and give in to temporary temptations.  Strength is the answer.  Never falter, always keep the faith.

What are we conserving?

This whole liberal versus conservative thing just makes me sick.  So let us look at what these words actual mean and maybe things can come to light.

The word conservative as an adjective means “holding to traditional attitudes and values and cautious about change or innovation, typically in relation to politics or religion”.  As a noun it means “a person who is averse to change and holds to traditional values and attitudes, typically in relation to politics”.  The word is derived from conserve which as a verb means “protect (something, especially an environmentally or culturally important place or thing) from harm or destruction”.  Hold on to that thought.

Liberal, let’s look at that definition.  As an adjective it means “open to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values”.  Also as an adjective “(of education) concerned mainly with broadening a person’s general knowledge and experience, rather than with technical or professional training”.  Then as a noun “a person of liberal views”.  A bit deeper now, the word liberal originated from “Middle English: via Old French from Latin liberalis, from liber ‘free (man)”.  Aha! free man, freedom.

So what are we conserving? The right to treat minorities as slaves?  Do we want to conserve that?  Maybe to segregate races?  Do we want to conserve that?  Or we can conserve the right to change.  Keep it all the same.  The problem with that is the oppressed stay that way.  Keeping America white?  America was never white until the Europeans came and claimed it as their own.  Imagine that, the people who were already here had absolutely no say whatsoever.  Their lives as they knew were torn apart, changed forever and with that history was made.

America was supposed to be founded on Freedom (ring a bell), Liberty (hmm).  Liberty!  What has happened to that, when we want to conserve the old ways that hold people down.  Justice, where does justice come in?  Why are people so afraid of change?  Why does change have to mean harm and destruction.  I will answer that, because they are petrified of loosing power.  They are outnumbered and it scares the hell out of them.

If this country is so great then why are they so afraid?  If there is true justice then let it prevail.  You bring a man into power that is living of off all of us.  He has colluded with Russia and Americans applaud him.  What has happened to this country?  We can continue to broaden our horizons and move forward.  It does not mean that we have to pit one against another to do so, we can do it together.  This country is falling apart and the world is laughing.

So I ask you again what are we conserving?

 

The benefits of the Dead Sea. When Dead is good!

The word dead is negative and just all around bad.  Death is so final, sad and leaves you broken.  So when is it that dead is good?  The answer to that question is, when we are referring to the Dead Sea!

Dead Sea Salts have been used in many cosmetic products dating back to Ancient Egypt by extracting the minerals from the sea.  cure skin hand pictureTherapeutic benefits from these ancient waters are known to help with skin conditions such as dermatitis, psoriasis, seborrhea as well as arthritis and even helps to reduce the depth of skin wrinkling.*

Cure Natural Skin Care has developed a line rich in minerals like Sodium, Magnesium, Potassium, Calcium just to name a few, we as human need to live a healthy life.  In total it provides products with 35 essential minerals and essentials oils to restore your mineral glow by bringing out the best in your skin and nourishing your body.  Not only are the products excellent but the company’s concept is to love yourself and honor the body.  The largest organ we have as humans is the skin and it provides protection every day from unhealthy environments. They encourage you to protect it, honor it and give it what it needs to keep it nourished, pampered and glowing.

Essential oils like jojoba oil, almond oil, eucalyptus oil, grape seed oil, chamomile and lavender oils are the basis of body products to soothe and heal the skin.  These oils are extracted from plants to help with skin disorders but have also been known to help with mental and spiritual healing.  **

The results and effects of these products are immediate and natural.  They ground you. Once you use them you will discover something special.  They come from the First Spa On Earth, no gimmicks or tricks, just pure goodness.  Cure Natural Skin Care can be found online, at local farmers markets in South Florida or by direct contact at 305-834-6415.  The website is http://www.cureskin.care and has a myriad of products dedicated to your well being and the well being of the world.

* http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15689218

** http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/07/02/benefits-of-essential-oils_n_5536808.html

Squalor!

The word alone makes you nauseous.  Imagine waking up in the morning drenched in sweat.  Not being able to wash off that sweat or brush your teeth,  There is no water.  Standing in line to eat breakfast with the sun beating down on you.  You go to the supermarket and wait but when you get in, the shelves are bare.  Lunch could be at Popeye’s Fried Chicken maybe,  because Popeye’s has no chicken, no french fries and soda without ice.  So you settle for cold sandwiches at Popeye’s because at least they have a refrigerator.  Now nature calls.  So you are reduced to using buckets because the toilets are off limits.  You wait for the night and hide in doors because of the looting.  Darkness .  Dinner is Vienna sausages with crackers by candle light.  And now it is time for bed and you do the same thing the following day.  This is what the majority of Puerto Rican’s are going through now.  I say majority because some have it worse!  Those that live inland in the mountains have to trudge through muddy streets just to get water and that is rationed.  The hospitals are no longer sanitary and help is coming at a very slow pace.

Squalor!  When you have towns that have not had garbage picked up for weeks and the stench of this is spreading throughout the towns.  Squalor!  When you have to clean your children with baby wipes.  Squalor!  When you have to scat the rats feeding off the garbage.  Squalor!  When you have a dead body still at home because there is no power and the body is decomposing.  Squalor!

Those of you that are cringing reading this will form one of two opinions.  Nooo,  it can’t be that bad, this is an exaggeration or you cry.  These are the stories I hear from the family members that are able to communicate with me.  Inhumane conditions for the elderly who can’t get down the stairs because they live in buildings where the elevators are not working and don’t forget the babies.  Newborns with conjunctivitis, diaper rash because they can’t get diapers and desperate parents trying to get out off of the island waiting at the airport.

Keep turning a blind eye.  The “people” that are there to help are partying in San Juan where the conditions are more favorable.  D J’s in a party atmosphere eating while others wait for food.  The governor sitting in his nice cool home turning a blind eye.  This is real!  There is no need to make this up.

But there is one thing the world is slowly discovering and that is the strength of the Puerto Rican people.  The people of this tiny island will lift it again better than ever before.  Our brothers and sisters have stepped up and are making things happen.  Many opinions are formed about life on the island mostly negative but Puerto Ricans will never sell out each other.

There are no people prouder.  We are small but great.  We are looked down upon and we continue with our heads held high.  We smile through our pain.  We dance through our tears.  We help even as we ourselves are in need and nobody will ever break our spirit.

MAC goes to Ulta!

Beauty junkies, get ready, get set, go!  M.A.C. is now in Ulta Beauty Stores!  I can imagine the hundreds of people who entered a Ulta store and asked “do you have M.A.C.”?  Now the answer will be yes!  As of June 2017 the little black and white boxes recognized as one of the most successful cosmetic companies in the world will line the shelves of 100 Ulta stores.

MAC Cosmetics was launched in 1984 in Toronto, Canada.  MAC is short for make up artist cosmetics.  Though it was initially launched as a make up artist line the product is sold directly to consumers throughout the world.  Supermodels and actresses are addicted to this line.  The colors are highly pigmented and the textures are amazing.  Not only can you find MAC in high-end stores but there are also thousands of free-standing stores everywhere.

With the launch of beauty stores such as Sephora and Ulta consumers had options as to where to shop for their favorites.  But it took a while for the Ultas of the world to get MAC in their stores.  After much negotiation the deal was sealed.  With the purchase of MAC by Estee Lauder companies their vision was as Estee Lauder does, put it everywhere.  So besides Bloomingdales, Nordstrom and Saks now MAC is ready to cater to the Ulta buyer.