Monday, February 28, 2011

March Upcoming Attractions

    Spring is almost here! To celebrate, we have a fabulous line-up of March guests. Here's our sneak peak:




    March 2: Gerri Russell returns to the Lair to chat with Nancy about the ups and downs of an author's career.




    March 3: Paranormal romance author Lori Handeland makes her Lair debut as Nancy's guest to chat about her new release, Moon Cursed.














    March 4: USA Today bestselling author Julianne Maclean (http://juliannemaclean.com/) visits the lair to tell us about her fabulous new Scottish historical CAPTURED BY THE HIGHLANDER.









    March 5: Mayhem breaks loose over at historical author Ashley March’s blog (http://www.ashleymarch.com/blog/) when the Bandits invade for the day as part of March Madness, a month-long party. There will be prizes--and did I mention mayhem? And look out for Ashley’s visit to the lair in September!


    On March 7th, Jana DeLeon visits with Suz to talk about her first release with Harlequin Intrigue, The Secret of Cypriere Bayou. A steamy mystery set in the Louisiana Bayous, a place Jana know intimately.


    March 16th brings NY best-selling author Brenda Novak back to the Lair as Jo's guest. She'll be talking about the fun and excitement of reader conventions, as well as her upcoming Bulletproof series.















    March 22nd: The fabulous Julie James joins us to talk about her smart, sexy contemporary romances and her latest release "A Lot Like Love."
















    March 26: Ellis Flynn returns to the lair to talk about language and words with Nancy.


    On May 30th, Misa Ramirez returns to the Lair as Jo's guest. She'll discuss her recent promotion and marketing book for writers -- THE TRICKED-OUT TOOLBOX and her romantic suspense release A DEADLY CURSE.


























    March 31: Love Regencies? Love paranormal? Now you can have both. Colleen Gleason will be on the blog March 31 to talk about her new vampire series launching this month. This author of the popular Gardella Vampire Chronicles has created a new world of the Regency Draculia. The Vampire Voss, out this month, launches three back-to-back titles that also include The Vampire Dimitri in April and The Vampire Narcise in May.









    Contests!

    Anna Campbell is celebrating the launch of her brand-new website by sharing some great prizes! SIX lucky readers will receive a luscious reading double! First up, your choice from Anna’s backlist (please check out her Books page http://www.annacampbell.info/books.html if you need help choosing). Each winner will also win a gorgeous hardcover Rhapsody Book Club edition of either Laura Lee Guhrke’s WEDDING OF THE SEASON or Madeline Hunter’s RAVISHING IN RED.

    To be in the draw, just email Anna on anna@annacampbell.info with two pieces of information – your favorite romance read from 2010 and which book from her backlist you’d like to win. Good luck! For more information, please visit Anna’s contest page. http://www.annacampbell.info/contest.html And don’t forget to check out her great new website atwww.annacampbell.info, including the excerpt from her forthcoming release MIDNIGHT’S WILD PASSION. The contest closes 31st March, 2011.

    Source URL: http://yourrighthandthief.blogspot.com/2011/02/
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Low Flow Toilets Causing Major Stink

    San Francisco, Feb 28, 2011. San Francisco's changed their building codes to require that new construction have low-flow toilets.

    And this has turned the city into giant stinkhole!

    Cuting the water allowed for each flush in half does save water, but it also results in more sludge backing up inside the sewer pipes.

    According to Tyrone Jue, spokesman for the city Public Utilities Commission, this has created a rotten-egg stench near AT&T Park and elsewhere, especially during the dry summer months.

    Apparently, the low flow "flush" doesn't provide enough water to move sewage through the pipes fast enough. So some of the sludge sticks to the pipes. Like a septic "hardening of the arteries."  And when you have enough of these low flow toilets in an area you end up with a horrible smell.

    The city has already spent $100 million over the past five years to upgrade its sewer system and sewage plants, in part to combat the odor problem.

    Now officials are stocking up on a $14 million, three-year supply of highly concentrated sodium hypochlorite - better known as bleach - to act as an odor eater and to disinfect the city's treated water before it's dumped into the bay. It will also be used to sanitize drinking water.

    This means that 8.5 million pounds of bleach is either being poured down city drains or into the drinking water supply every year.

    And some city residents think this is a bad idea.

    A "Don't Bleach Our Bay" alert has just gone out from eco-blogger Adam Lowry who says that the city would be much better off using a disinfectant like hydrogen peroxide - or better yet, a solution that would naturally break down the bacteria.

    Are the environmentally friendly, low-flow toilets are worth the trouble? They have helped cut San Francisco's annual water consumption by about 20 million gallons.... if you can stand the smell!Source URL: http://yourrighthandthief.blogspot.com/2011/02/
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Proof that everythings is just fine in Libya...

Last US veteran of WWI dies

    I have been tracking the passing of WWI veterans here since 2007. Yesterday saw the death of the last US veteran, Frank Buckles. He was 110 (thanks to Steve at The Yellow Something Something for drawing my attention to the news).


    Buckles was born in Missouri in 1901. He enlisted in the United States Army in August 1917 when aged 16 (Like my father he lied about his age to join the services). He served in England and France, driving ambulances and motorbikes. After the Armistice he escorted prisoners of war back to Germany and was discharged in 1920.

    In the 1940s, Buckles worked for a shipping company in the Philippines. He was interned by the Japanese in 1942 spending over three years in the Los Banos Camp in Manila. He was rescued on February 23, 1945.

    He died of natural causes yesterday, 26 days after his 110th birthday.

    Rest in Peace

    There are now just two WWI veterans alive, both British: Claude Choules (now resident in Australia) who served in the Royal Navy and Florence Green who served in the WRAF as a waitress.Source URL: http://yourrighthandthief.blogspot.com/2011/02/
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NYC staycation

    Our staycation in New York last week was really refreshing and relaxing. (Thanks again to Miss Moss for guest posting!) While my mom took care of Toby, Alex and I met up with friends, rode bikes to Williamsburg, went bowling (for real), got massages, sipped gin cocktails at this rad bar, saw The King's Speech, hit up the Guggenheim, and went ice skating in Central Park. It was so great to just be together and "knock around," as Alex says. We felt like tourists in our own city.

    We also chilled with my mom and Toby, including brunch at a Mexican place in our neighborhood, where Toby thought the tablecloth was delicious. :) We miss you already, Mama!
    Source URL: http://yourrighthandthief.blogspot.com/2011/02/
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Some things never change


    Watercolour by surgeon Charles Bell of a solider wounded at the Battle of Waterloo



    Watercolour of Private Green, September 1918 prior to reconstructive surgery by Harold Gillies, the ather of modern plastic surgery.


    The surgical skills may have improved in the intervening century but the workload of the army surgeon certainly did not...

    Both paintings are included in the current Watercolour exhibition at the Tate Britain.

    The exhibition which I visited today, is a comprehensive study of (mainly) British watercolour art from about 1200 to 2010. Arranged by themes it was unsurprising that the wart art had the greatest impact on me, especially Eric Taylor's study of corpses at Belsen.

    The exhibition has some dross and a fair few works that left me unmoved either way. That said there is plenty to enjoy (particularly some well loved Turners and Blakes) and it is wel worth a couple of hours.



    The same could not be said for the Susan Hiller exhibition - Except for the installation Witness which I lovedSource URL: http://yourrighthandthief.blogspot.com/2011/02/
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God of Love

    Yahoo!!! Our friend Luke Matheny's short film God of Love won an Oscar last night! (Well, he's actually a friend of a friend; but we've met him at parties:) I almost fell off the sofa when he got to go up on stage and accept his award.

    God of Love is an amazing 18-minute comedy about a lounge-singing darts champ who receives a mysterious package of passion-inducing darts. Here's the trailer, below; you can download it (for $2!) on iTunes or watch it on the big screen at this New York theatre. Huge congratulations, Luke!
    Source URL: http://yourrighthandthief.blogspot.com/2011/02/
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Profiles in Stupidity: Congressman Barney Frank

    With this issue of the Spin Cycle we are starting a new recurring feature. "Profiles in Stupidity" will highlight the dumbest politicians in America today.

    Congressman Barney Frank, D-MA, is the Representative for Massachusetts 4th congressional district, serving since 1981. He is a member of the Democratic Party. He won his first full term in 1980 and has been re-elected ever since by wide margins.

    From 2007 to 2011, Frank was the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, which oversees the entire financial services industry including the securities, insurance, banking, and housing industries and was considered to be one of the most powerful members of Congress.

    As Chairman of this committee, Frank had a key role in creating all the rules and regulations that forced banks to write bad loans.

    He was the architect of the 2008 housing market collapse and financial meltdown, but took absolutely no responsibility for it. He blamed everyone but himself for the crisis.

    Congressman Frank then assumed the posture of an innocent bystander rather than a powerful head of the House Financial Services Committee, saying:

    'The private sector got us into this mess. The government has to get us out of it. The current financial crisis is the spawn of the free market run amok, with the political class guilty only of failing to rein the capitalists in. The Wall Street meltdown was caused by bad decisions that were made by people in the private sector,"
    But was this true?

    Lets look at some things Barney Frank told us before the housing market collapse:
    "The more people, in my judgment, exaggerate a threat of safety and soundness, the more people conjure up the possibility of serious financial loses to the Treasury, which I do not see." Sept 10, 2003
    "These two entities, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are not facing any kind of financial crisis." Sept 11, 2003
    "I want to roll the dice a little more in this situation towards subsidizing housing." Sept 25, 2003

    "Fannie and Freddie are fundamentally sound, they are not in danger of going under... I do think their prospects going forward are very sound." July 14, 2008
    The roots of this crisis go back to the Carter administration. That was when government officials, egged on by left-wing activists, began accusing mortgage lenders of racism and "redlining" because urban blacks were being denied mortgages at a higher rate than suburban whites.

    The pressure to make more loans to minorities (read: to borrowers with weak credit histories) became relentless. Congress passed the Community Reinvestment Act, empowering regulators to punish banks that failed to "meet the credit needs" of "low-income, minority, and distressed neighborhoods."

    Later, President Clinton and the Democrat Party expanded the CRA, and Attorney General Janet Reno even threatened to throw bank CEOs in prison if they failed to write enough loans to minorities.

    Congressman Frank was the chairman of the committee that wrote the rules, and was supposed to regulate and provide oversight for banks. Frank and his party created this mess, and now they act like innocent bystanders. Never before in our history has anyone had as much control and influence over a problem they created, and has so completely disavowed any responsibility for it.Source URL: http://yourrighthandthief.blogspot.com/2011/02/
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Westminster council - Caring and compassionate

    My thanks go to Skuds for drawing my attention to this little tale.

    Accordng to Ekklesia Westminster Council has opened a four week consultation on a new byelaw which will fine people in the Victoria area if they “lie down or sleep in any public place”, “deposit bedding” and distribute free food and drink.

    This byelaw will affect rough sleepers and charity workers in the Vitoria area,particularly the area around Westminster Cathedral where charities regularly give food to homeless persons

    The consultation period is running until 25 March.

    A copy of the proposed byelaw can be sen here. The bye law, if enacted, will make the following illegal in an area around Westminster Cathedral:


    • No person shall lie down and sleep in any public place
    • No person shall at any time deposit any sleeping materials used or intended to be used as bedding in or on any public place
    • No peson shall distribute any free refreshment in or on any public place (sporting events and free samples of food excepted)
    • No person shall knowingly permit any person to distribute any free refreshment in or on any public place
    There yopu have it. Nobody is pretending that food runs solves the issue of rough sleeping. It does provide a lifeline though.

    Banning rough sleepers and charities that provide food to them will solve absolutely nothing either except to move the problem to another area. From the council's perspective (and to paraphrase Stalin) it's a case of "No homeless, no problem"... at least the problem will not be across Victoria Street from the council HQ.

    It's not law yet and hopefully it will be ditched but the proposal hardly sits well with Cameron's Big Society... Then again the council is not exactly known for its compassion (remember Shirley Porter?)Source URL: http://yourrighthandthief.blogspot.com/2011/02/
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Sunday, February 27, 2011

TRUE GRIT

    by Suzanne

    Since I write western historical romances, both erotic, (THE SURRENDER OF LACY MORGAN) and just plain sexy, (REFUGE), I loved getting to go see True Grit a while back. When my son and I walked out of the theater after watching this remake of the old classic, we talked about what we like about the movie. One of the things he said to me was, "Mom, the person who had the most grit in that movie, wasn't Rooster Cogburn. It was Mattie." And he was right.

    Mattie Ross had true grit.When her father was murdered hundreds of miles from home, she took it upon herself not only to go collect his body and send him home to be buried, but to find someone to help her track down the low-down murdering sidewinder and see he was brought to justice.She weathered low opinions men of the time had for a slip of a girl, nearly drowning in a river, shooting her first man, tumbling down a huge pit and being bitten by a rattler. (I won't tell you how it ends, just in case you haven't had the time to go see this movie.)

    As this is the last day of the AHA GO RED for Women month and the Bandits celebration of such, I thought we should look at other women who throughout history have shown true grit.

    Queen Elizabeth I: Talk about someone walking into a pit of snakes...the human kind. She took over the English crown when the kingdom was broke, under threat of both the Spanish and French invading, not to mention some rowdy Scots to the north. But her country had just gone through some very bloody years at the hands of her sister. Her kingdom was writhe with spies and traitors, advisors who saw her as nothing more than a brood mare to provide a male heir to take her place.Yet she was able to rule with cunning and a strong will for 45 years. Her country and it's empire grew in land, strength and finances during her rein.

    Elizabeth Blackwell: Growing up in England where she watched eight of her siblings and eight of her cousins die, Elizabeth decided to go to medical school after her family moved to America. Elizabeth was rejected by 16 medical schools but was finally accepted by Geneva (New York) Medical College. Despite the taunts of not only the other students, but the people in the college town, she graduated on January 23, 1849. While furthering her medical studies in Paris, she developed an eye infection that cost her sight in her left eye. Undaunted, she continued to study. She returned to America two years later and opened a school to help other women become doctors. She also raised money with her sister Emily and opened The New York Infirmary for Women and Children in 1857. Run by women doctors, it was the first of its kind anywhere in the world.



    Marian Anderson: Despite many years of prejudicial treatment, even being refused entrance to a local musical school after graduating high school because of her color, Marian rose to be the first black opera singer to be a regular cast member of the New York Metropolitan Opera. She sang for Kings and Queens, many presidents, including FDR and JFK. She also quietly fought many of the segregation laws that were in place during the early part of her career, by insisting on "vertical seating" in segregated cities. This meant that black audience members would be slotted in seats on all levels of the auditoriums. For many, it was the first time they'd ever sat in orchestra level seats.


    Sylvia and Cristobal Pankhurst and the Suffragettes: (doesn't that sound like a rock band?) At a time when women were little more than chattel, they literally fought for women's right to vote. So passionate about their beliefs they thought nothing of chaining themselves to public building railings, smashing windows, interrupting public debates and even setting off bombs. Many of their followers, including Cristobal herself, went to prison, where they conducted hunger strikes to get their message across. Finally, during World War I political changes were made to give limited voting rights to women in England. In 1920 American Women achieved the right to vote through the Nineteenth Ammendment to the Constitution and by 1928 full suffrage equal to those of men were granted to women in England.

    These are some women who have grit to stick to their beliefs, dreams or goals throughout history. Do you have any favorites you look up to? Admire? Or just appreciate their grit?

    Romance Writers of America and the American Heart Association have partnered to raise awareness of heart disease in women. Visit Go Red for Women to learn how to fight heart disease.
    Sign up for the Go Red Better U Program and receive two free romance e-books. From Feb 1 through May 31, 2011, receive one free romance e-book when you sign up for the American Heart Association's Better U Program and one after you complete week six of the program. And look for the Eat Smart for Your Heart limited edition magazine (that features this offer) on newstands and in a grocery store near you.Go Red for Women is trademarked by the American Heart Association, Inc. Romance novel downloads provided by Belle Books. 

    Here's your heart healty tip for today: Whether cooking or making dressings, use the oils that are lowest in saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol – such as canola oil, corn oil, olive oil, safflower oil, sesame oil, soybean oil and sunflower oil – but use them sparingly, because they contain 120 calories per tablespoon. (I personally prefer to mix a small amount of butter with olive oil for most cooking, and vegetable oil for baking.) You can also cut back on sugars and oil in baking by adding applesauce to cake recipes!

    As always this month, one commentor will receive a GO RED for Women pin and today I'll give that same winner a $10 gift card to Amazon.com. (Heck you might use it to buy a copy of THE SURRENDER OF LACY MORGAN or some other book to make your heart race!)Source URL: http://yourrighthandthief.blogspot.com/2011/02/
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Versace Fall 2011 Runway Review

    The luxury Lifestyle blog (the home of luxury Lifestyle) presents Versace Fall 2011 Runway Review.

      
    Oscar-worthy dresses – of course. No one does sexy like Donatella Versace, but who would have thought that Versace would present stunning bridal-worthy gowns for her Fall 2011 collection? Naturally, the designer’s signature high-impact, skin-revealing looks were on the runway, but in a more restrained way this season, which was achieved mainly by keeping looks in monochromatic palettes so as to not take away from daring cuts, graphic accents, or intricate appliqué embellishments.

     
    Aside from flowing gowns, there were flawlessly tailored military-inspired outerwear and cocktail dresses including a gorgeous black military coat that came belted and accented with gold hardware, which opened the show and then later made its way out in a white iteration. The gold hardware detailing translated into separates and little black dresses as well, and lest anyone think Versace left fur out this season, it was shown wrapped around models' necks, on outerwear, and even in one case accenting the sleeves of a belted white coat.

     
    Brava Versace for creating a parade of tasteful high impact looks that didn’t rely on sex appeal for their luster.

    Similar Posts:

    Antonio Marras Fall 2011 Runway Review
    Spring 2011 Trend: Bright Colors
    Top 10 Looks: NY Fashion Week Fall 2011
    Spring 2011 Trend: Stripes
    Dressing Up In Your Spring Time Fashions
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    Save and share Versace Fall 2011 Runway Review

    To share this post with your family and friends? Click the button below to send them an email or save this to your favorite social network.Source URL: http://yourrighthandthief.blogspot.com/2011/02/
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Antonio Marras Fall 2011 Runway Review

    The luxury Lifestyle blog (the home of luxury Lifestyle) presents Antonio Marras Fall 2011 Runway Review.

    Italian men love their mamas and designer Antonio Marras is eager to express his gratitude to his own. Marras dedicated a whole collection inspired by his Italian mother for Fall 2011. Long, lean silhouettes in black referenced a 1940s style. Beautiful, brightly color floral prints stood out on the solid canvases. Menswear was a huge part of the collection shown in houndstooth jackets, white collar shirts, and tailored trousers.


    Stripes were also a major component shown in different widths on dresses and sweaters. They had a nautical feel as well as a menswear cut tailored for a lady. A series of gorgeous full skirts were also shown in dark colors and prints in pleated silks.

     
    Another nod towards Marras’ Italian mother were the knee-high socks that looked fresh and modern paired with a front slit, wool skirt. Memories from Marras childhood were referenced in the prints, styling, and remodeling of menswear into womenswear which was a habit of his mother's. From the looks of his collection, Italian mothers know how to dress.

     
    Similar Posts:

    Spring 2011 Trend: Bright Colors
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    Emporio Armani x Reebok EA7

    Save and share Antonio Marras Fall 2011 Runway Review

    To share this post with your family and friends? Click the button below to send them an email or save this to your favorite social network.Source URL: http://yourrighthandthief.blogspot.com/2011/02/
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Yet more nephew

Blair politely asks Ghaddafi to stop murdering protestors

    It seems that Tony Blair is looking to redeem himself somewhat for his past associations with Ghaddafi.

    According to the Independent he phoned Ghaddafi twice on Friday and asked him to stop killing protesters rising up against the regime.

    Unsurprisingly Blair’s appeal fell on deaf ears…Source URL: http://yourrighthandthief.blogspot.com/2011/02/
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Kate and William invite butcher and baker to royal wedding... but not President Obama and First Lady

    Prince William and Kate Middleton to wed Apr 29
    London, Feb 27, 2011. The upcoming Royal Wedding for Prince William and Kate Middleton will be held without the presence of President Barack Hussein Obama, D-Kenya, and his wife.

    The Royal Couple had decided to limit the guest list to "people we like," so the Obamas have not been invited to attend the event.

    "We tried hard to like the Obamas, but after they returned the bust of Sir Winston Churchill, and then gave mummy that iPod with all those dreadful gansta rap songs on it, we really had no choice," Prince William told us.

    "This is my wedding, and it's my special day" Ms. Middleton told us. "The very last thing I want is these loud rude Kenyans ruining it with there Electric Slide and Boogie Woogie dances."

    It probably didn't help the Obama case either when President Obama gave Russian Premier Vladmir Putin the British atomic bomb serial numbers, in an effort to increase the Obama poll ratings in Moscow.

    But plenty of Bucklebury residents will rub shoulders with royalty and celebrities such as David and Victoria Beckham after receiving a gold-embossed invitation from the couple. 

    Martin Fidler, Butcher

    While the Obamas will not be present, Martin Fidler, the butcher, and his wife Sue are said they were delighted to be on the guest list.

    “We’re really looking forward to the day,” said Mr Fidler. “We’ve known Kate’s mother Carole for years, before she met Kate’s father Mike. They’ve got on with their lives, built up a good business and all their children are a credit to them.”
     

    John Haley, Innkeeper

    Ryan Naylor, the village postman, is also on the list, along with John Haley, landlord of the Old Boot Inn where the couple sometimes enjoy a quiet drink.

    Mr Haley told us he is really looking forward to attending the Royal Wedding. "This will be a real thrill for me and my entire family," he told us.


    Chan Shingadia and Husband Hash
    Chan Shingadia and her husband Hash, who run the local convenience store, have already accepted their invitation.

    Mrs Shingadia, 42, said: “We’ve really got to know Kate. She is really caring. She is like a human being, not a celebrity, and she is always a good customer. William is very down to earth”.

    The shopkeepers have become so familiar with the couple’s tastes that they ensure they are always stocked up on Haribo sweets, which they both like, and mint Vienetta, which is the Prince’s favourite icecream.

    Not invited, and not too happy about it

    Miss Middleton and Prince William are anxious for their guest list to reflect their private mix of friends and acquaintances as well as fellow royals, celebrities and foreign dignitaries.

    They said they don't want "low life Kenyan trash ruining their event of a lifetime." A harsh statement, perhaps, but it is their wedding after all.

    The wedding will take place on April 29.

    Source URL: http://yourrighthandthief.blogspot.com/2011/02/
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UN imposes tough sanctions on Libya...

    The UN Security Council has finally taken its gloves off and has voted 15-0 to impose some of the toughest sanctions imposed on any member state.

    All Libyan Airilnes fights are suspended except for a single weekly flight to Kerry International Airport.

    Import of Ferrero Rocher chocolates will be limited to one box per citizen per month

    Members of Ghaddafi's immediate family will be refused entry to Parc Asterix near Paris - unless accompanied by a responsible adult.

    The Security Council has also rejected Libya's plan for the immediate abolition of Switzerland although consideration will be given to a plan for the country to be phased out by 2040Source URL: http://yourrighthandthief.blogspot.com/2011/02/
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Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Journey into Darkness

    by Jo Robertson









    Did I get your attention with that dramatic title? And the equally dramatic pictures above and below -- a three-way bypass heart and Jomama in the hospital sans makeup?
    Good. Because today’s post isn’t light or romantic, and is only a bit funny.

    December 22, 1999. This is me holding one of my four grandbabies born that year. Each one had problems that required extra hospitalization, and my mother had died in July, so I'd experienced stress I wasn't even consciously aware of.

    Here's how it went down: I was at the dentist, tilted back in the chair nearly upside-down when I felt the unmistakable pressure in my chest that I knew from previous experience was angina.

    I got out of there fast and drove home.

    Ridiculous, right? Yes!

    I should’ve gone straight to the hospital, but I didn't, knowing my mother-in-law, who’d just arrived from out of state, was mired in holiday preparations. I popped five aspirin, lay down on the bed, and promised myself I’d call 911 if the pressure didn’t subside.

    See, this is the thing about heart attacks. You always think it isn’t THE ONE even while your logical brain screams, “Dial 911, you TSTL heroine in a badly written romance novel!”

    The pressure remained steady, so I calmly told my mother-in- law that I wasn’t feeling well and was going to go to the emergency room.

    Yes, I drove myself to the hospital while experiencing chest discomfort. To be fair, the hospital is less than five minutes from my house.

    The cool thing about hospital emergency rooms – and maybe the only cool thing about them – is that if you even breathe the words “cardiac patient,” (I’d had a previous angioplasty), they scoop you up and buckle you down like Frankenstein’s monster.

    They run tests, start IV’s, give you the good drugs if you wince even a wee bit. The tests were sketchy, (WOMEN OFTEN PRESENT ATYPICAL SYMPTOMS), but the cardiologist wanted to keep me overnight.

    Just to be sure.

    IT WAS CHRISTMAS!! Protesting heartily, I allowed myself to be admitted. By now I was feeling quite good from my five-aspirin cocktail high. The brain tricks you into believing no pain equals no danger.

    Silly brain.

    When my family descended en force and brought the holiday to me, I knew I wasn’t getting out of there unless I executed a prison break. They were far more worried than I, of course.

    The angiogram showed five blocked arteries, each seriously narrowed.

    Not good.

    It was now December 24 and every sensible cardiac surgeon was celebrating with her own family. Dr. Fitzpatrick would not let me go home. I’d never celebrated Christmas without my family. We were all devastated. And the worse part was I felt fine!

    No fair!

    But all my wonderful new babies, sons and daughters in law, and other grandchildren serenaded me with Christmas carols. Nurses and patients
    alike stopped by to join in.
    But here’s the "journey into darkness" part.

    See, what they do in open-heart surgery, called a CABG, is incise your chest from the sternum to the middle of the stomach. They break the chest bone, pry apart the ribs, stop the heart and hook it up to a machine, cut your leg from crotch to knee and knee to ankle to pull out the veins like linked sausages. They use these veins as by-pass “arteries” to replace your blocked ones.

    Snip, snip. Stitch, stitch. Luckily, you're way under the anesthesia for all this.

    When they’re finished they jump start your heart, metal-clamp the breast bone and suture the flesh, and viola!
    Then the fun starts. If anyone had told me all the above details beforehand, I’d have run like hell. After surgery you wake up looking like you’ve been in a street fight.
    And lost the battle.

    Everything swells horribly (see how fat my leg is above) – your face, eyes, and leg. The pain is enormous, and to add insult to injury, the nurse makes you sit up within an hour post-op and cough . . . and cough . . . and cough. It’s sheer torture. The Spanish Inquisition should’ve taken notes.

    The preparation for the surgery was psychologically freaky. They remove everything from you, clothes, glasses, wedding ring, books. You feel stripped bare, naked in the same way you must’ve felt when you came into this world -- alone and abandoned.

    I couldn’t read. I couldn’t sleep. The hours were excrutiatingly long until the nurse prepped me, made me scrub my body vigorously three times. I shivered uncontrollably. You know, that kind of shaking when you’re going into shock? You feel cold, but the room isn’t?

    And of course you worry that something will go terribly wrong, and you're achingly aware of your family waiting the long hours in the waiting room for the results. Mine arrived at 6:00 a.m., babies and all, but didn't get word of the results until noon.

    Trust me, you don’t want to go through open-heart surgery. It’s hell all the way around.

    So – putting on teacher lecture mode now – exercise, damn it, even if it’s only two minutes on your stationary bike or a five-minute walk the long way to get your mail.

    If you smoke, damn it, stop smoking. It raises your risk immeasurably and no one likes kissing an ash tray.

    If you don’t eat veggies and fruit, give them a try – one new one a week, or a month; every little bit helps. If you eat lots and lots of red meat, switch to chicken and fish, even if it’s only one meal a week.

    We care for our Banditas and Buddies, whose hearts are so big they deserve to be super healthy. Don’t make us come after you with a stick – or worse, Aunty Cindy’s whip.

    So, what’s your worse injury or surgery? Are you one of the lucky ones who’ve gotten to this stage in life without a broken bone or a tonsillectomy? It’s nearly the end of Go Red for Women month, so let it all out.
    Everything's mum in the Lair.


    We're giving away an AHA Go Red pin for one commenter today!
    Romance Writers of America and the American Heart Association have partnered to raise awareness of heart disease in women. Visit Go Red for Women to learn how to fight heart disease.
    Sign up for the Go Red Better U Program and receive two free romance e-books. From Feb 1 through May 31, 2011, receive one free romance e-book when you sign up for the American Heart Association's Better U Program and one after you complete week six of the program. And look for the Eat Smart for Your Heart limited edition magazine (that features this offer) on newstands and in a grocery store near you.Go Red for Women is trademarked by the American Heart Association, Inc. Romance novel downloads provided by Belle Books.
    Healthy Heart Tip for Today: You can make many of your favorite recipes healthier by using lower-fat or no-fat ingredients. These healthy substitutions can help you cut down on saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol, while noticing little, if any, difference in taste.
    Source URL: http://yourrighthandthief.blogspot.com/2011/02/
    Visit your right hand thief for Daily Updated Hairstyles Collection

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