Category: Thoughts

Dear Californians: Stop Whining, Start Voting!

Photo credit: Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.

Look, California, stop it. I cannot control who is on the ballot in June or in November. I cannot help it if you are not excited if a Republican does not make it to the General election in November.  Personally, I am excited about voting to repeal the gas tax. I would hope that everyone is. Passing this repeal is do-able. The majority of Californians are unhappy with the gas tax. We complain about the state of things in CA, someone does something about it, it gets on the ballot and then no one shows up. It needs to be different this Nov. I think it will be because so many of us helped with the effort. We helped on social media, gathering signatures, giving money, etc. It’s the most important thing on the ballot in my opinion, and that goes for June and Nov (since the June ballot has a measure requiring the funds to be used on roads). Then, the big one, the repeal on the Nov ballot.

I don’t know if any Republicans will be on your Nov ballot but I do know that the gas tax repeal initiative will be. Further, it’s politicians, including a Republican, who imposed this tax on us. I’m always more excited about repealing anything that is costing me money, or voting for something that will save me money, than voting for any politician. In  1978, when Prop 13 was voted in, it took a lot of motivated voters to get to the polls to vote for it.  My parents were among them.  And though I was too young to vote, I appreciate those votes and am still reaping the rewards of that particular election. In fact, the 40th anniversary of the passing of Prop 13 is June 6th, 2018, the day after primary day,  and it’s still as popular now as it was when it passed. How better to celebrate the 40th anniversary of this great taxpayer revolt than by showing up at the polls yourselves?

I am tired of seeing all the posts about how Texas beats CA. One thing Texas lags behind CA in is in property taxes. They are FAR higher in TX than in CA, both in percentage and in our case, when we priced homes in TX, in dollars. So, God Bless Prop 13 and those who voted for it all those years ago. Similarly, this gas tax repeal will save future generations of Californians significant money. If you don’t get out and vote, it won’t pass. So please, stop whining about something that may not ever be again in our lifetimes, a Republican Governor of California. Start talking to the Millennials about that. Do plan on voting in both June and November for the gas tax repeal. I will appreciate it, future drivers will appreciate it, your kids will appreciate it, and the many people who worked hard to get this on the ballot will appreciate it! .

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Yes, Send Your Thoughts and Prayers.

Parents wait for news after a reports of a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas
Parents wait for news after a reports of a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Joel Auerbach)

I hate to politicize a tragedy and I really never do but I always think of the victims and families and I always send prayers.  Recently and today especially, I see this being mocked. I know that thoughts and prayers won’t resolve the problem we obviously have and what will, I do not know.  Nor will this complex issue be decided today.  Here’s what I do know, the students and parents affected by the Florida school shooting were asking for our prayers and are thanking us for them.  This morning, I turned on CNN and the reporter was interviewing one of the students, a football player.  The reporter asked “what do you want to happen?”  The student said “I hope everyone prays for” the victims.  Let’s stop the war on thoughts and prayers for starters.  It’s all I can do for those who are traumatized and the victims of this horrible tragedy, especially today.  If we cannot at least agree that “thoughts and prayers” are not harmful, there is no hope that we as a country will ever resolve the mass shooting problem.

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Dear Congressperson, why have you not co-sponsored HR620 re Tahmooressi?

Dear We The People:  If you have this blog in hand, please tweet, email and/or call all of the members of this committee who have not co-sponsored (signed) HR620.  The twitter handles are indicated below and there is also a “Contact Congress” link for those representatives or supporters who are not on twitter By doing so,  you resolve as I do, that you stand with Andrew and you will not rest until he is free.  If you have any questions, please contact me on twitter at @hipEchik or Olivia Hammar at @HammarOlivia , or comment on this blog post.

Major Update:  There will be a hearing on Sgt. Tahmooressi’s case on 10/1/14 and make no mistake, our social media army made this happen!  Thank you all.  The hearing is essentially the next step is passing the resolution. It provides a public forum for testimony.  That said, we still need as many members of the House of Representatives to sign so please, keep it up!

Dear Members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee :

As you know, HR620 has been introduced but not co-sponsored by all members of your committee.  Please see the roll call as of September 7, 2014 below.  We the people do not understand why at least all members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs have not co-sponsored this resolution.  Additionally, please note that Fernando Benitez, Sgt. Tahmooressi’s lawyer, has indicated that passage of this simple resolution may hold weight with the Mexican judge and expedite his release.   There are no sanctions against Mexico included in this resolution and frankly, we are befuddled as to why we cannot get a simple resolution signed and passed.  There is compelling evidence that Sgt. Tahmooressi simply made a wrong turn into Mexico that fateful night and yet all of our efforts to help him have been for naught.  To date, Marine Sgt. Tahmooressi has been imprisoned in Mexico for more than 5 months.   As the days and then months have gone by, Sgt. Tahmooressi has become increasingly despondent over his imprisonment.  He desperately needs medical care for his PTSD incurred while he was honorably serving our Nation as a two tour combat Marine.  Indeed, his PTSD is the reason Sgt. Tahmooressi came to San Diego as he was not getting the care from the V.A. in his home State of Florida that he was told he could get at the La Jolla V.A. Health Center.  We are once again appealing to you to co-sponsor HR 620, a politically benign resolution, that may well help Andrew gain his freedom. If there is a reason why each of you will not co-sponsor this, please indicate why.  Sgt. Tahmooressi’s next court appearance is tomorrow, September 9th, 2014 and we would like to present the judge with as many signatures as we have and as we can gain today.   This has become an urgent matter and we plead with you to co-sponsor,  put the bill on the suspension calendar and pass this resolution.

HR 620 States the following :

“H.Res.620 – Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the Government of Mexico should immediately release United States Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi and provide for his swift return to the United States so Sgt. Tahmooressi can receive the appropriate medical assistance for his medical condition. “

Please see the tweet from Sgt. Tahmooressi’s lawyer indicating that passage of HR620 could expedite his return home:

HR620 Tahmooressi

These Members have already co-sponsored

Update Steve Stockman – R – TX has signed.  Thank you Rep Stockman

Update Scott Perry – R – PA has signed.  Thank you Rep Perry

Update Edward Royce – R- CA – Chairman has signed.  Thank you Rep Royce.

Update:  Tulsi Gabbard – D – HI has signed!  Thank you Rep Gabbard

Update: Jeff Duncan – R – SC  has signed!  Thank you Rep Duncan.


Juan Vargas – D – CA – has signed!  Thank you Rep. Vargas

Ami Bera – D – CA – has signed!  Thank you Rep. Bera

Curt Clawson – R -FL – has signed!  Thank you Rep. Clawson

Doug Collins – R – GA  –  has signed.  Thank you Rep. Collins

Joseph P Kennedy – D – MA –  has signed.  Thank you Rep. Kennedy

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen – R – FL

Dana Rohrabacher –  R – CA

Ted Poe – R – TX

Edward Royce – R- CA – Chairman

Matt Salmon – R – AZ

Tom Marino – R – PA

Mo Brooks – R – AL

Paul Cook – R – CA

Randy Weber – R – TX

Ron DeSantis – R – FL

Mark Meadows – R – NC

Ted Deutch – D – FL

Albio Sires – D – NJ

Chris Smith – R-NJ

23 members have not co-sponsored

Sean Duffy – R – WI – @RepSeanDuffy

Eni Faleomavaega – D – American Samoa (No Twitter) See Contact List Below

Brad Sherman – D – CA – @BradSherman

Gregory W Meeks – D – NY @GregoryMeeks

Gerald E. Connolly – D – VA @GerryConnolly

Brian Higgins – D – NY – @RepBrianHiggins

Karen Bass – D – CA – @RepKarenBass

William Keating D – MA – @USRepKeating

David Cicilline – D – RI – @DavidCicilline

Alan Grayson – D – FL – @AlanGrayson

Bradley Schneider – D – IL – @RepSchneider

Alan S Lowenthal – D – CA – @RepLowenthal

Grace Meng – D – NY – @RepGraceMeng

Lois Frankel – D _ FL – @RepLoisFrankel

Joaquin Castro – D – TX – @JoaquinCastrotx

Eliot Engel – D – NY – Ranking Member – @RepEliotEngel

Steve Chabot – R – OH – @RepSteveChabot

Joe Wilson – R – SC – @RepJoeWilson

Michael T McCaul – R – TX – @McCaulPressShop

Adam Kinzinger – R – IL @RepKinzinger *  Veteran. Air Force Pilot. Still serving in the Guard.  What say you Rep Kinzinger ?

Tom Cotton – R – AK – @RepTomCotton

George Holding – R – NC @RepHolding

Ted Yoho – R – FL – @RepTedYoho

To each of you that have not co-sponsored, again I ask why not?  This is not a complex bill nor one that would cause any of you political harm in the upcoming mid-term elections. Frankly, it causes me to wonder about this 113th Congress when we the people cannot even elicit a response on such a simple matter.  As the wife of a combat Marine veteran, I know more than a bit about the struggles Sgt. Tahmooressi is going through.  That said, I cannot possibly know how Sgt. Tahmooressi must feel to have his Country seemingly abandon him when he fought so honorably for her.

For the sake of relative brevity, I shall leave this as is.  I close with this appeal.  On the week of the 13th anniversary of 911, with many of us worried about our Nation’s security,  I cannot fathom the thought of Sgt. Tahmooressi spending this anniversary of the very attack that precipitated him going to war languishing in a Mexican prison.  I Stand With Andrew and I will not rest until he is free.  You can assume that everyone who sends, tweets, and emails this to you resolves the same.

Please co-sponsor this resolution and feel free to contact me on twitter at @hipEchik or Olivia Hammar at @HammarOlivia if you have any questions, concerns, or comments.  Thank you, Semper Fi and God Bless and Protect these United States of America.

Contact Congress (emails and phone numbers) for those advocates and/or Congressmen not on twitter

Many thanks to Olivia Hammar for doing the research for this post.

Andrew Fought For Me...

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We have asked you to circulate a petition to President Obama and gather at least 100,000 signatures.  You’ve done that.  While we are awaiting his (hopeful) response we feel we must help Andrew on many fronts.  With that in mind, we are once again asking for your assistance.  It is time for all citizens to contact their elected representatives.  Some of you are familiar with doing this and others may not be.  Fear not, we will walk you through the process.

1)      Find your representatives.  Every citizen has one U.S. Congressperson and two Senators.  We ask that you write, call and possibly tweet all of them.

For starters, enter your zip code on this site, hit enter and it will bring up both your Congressperson and two Senators

You now have your three representatives.  Click on the name of the first representative and it will take you to all of his/her contact information.  Included you will see their DC Address, phone number, Fax number, email contact form, their website information (which generally includes their Facebook page) and, their twitter user name.  You will also see choices for their local office contact information.  It is up to you whether you choose to contact their D.C. office or their local office, or both.

Next, return to the homepage (above).  Click on your next representative and repeat the above steps.  Finally, return to the homepage, click on your third representative and repeat.

Now, draft your correspondence or phone your representative.  It is unlikely you will reach your representative directly but, you can try.  If not, please leave a message for them.

Finally, you may choose to tweet or Facebook them.  Most of Congress is on twitter and/or Facebook.

The most effective channels of communicating with Congress, in order, is as follows:

1)      A “Snail Mail” letter.  These letters are logged and recorded and must be responded to.

2)      An Email letter.  These letters are also supposed to be logged but it is not as traceable as a “snail mail” letter.  Also, tech is not perfect.

3)      A phone call.  We suggest calling both the D.C. office and the local office of all three of your representatives.

4)      A tweet.  It HAS happened that a tweet to a representative has been responded to but, there is no requirement or guarantee that they will respond.

5)      A Facebook post.  The problem with this is that most members of Congress have their FB set so that you can only comment on a post that they have put up.  It is the least effective method of communication and one that will likely not be seen or responded to.

All of that said, if you can, we suggest doing ALL of the above.

What to say?  That is entirely up to you.  We can only offer suggestions.  When writing, the subject line should be “Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, imprisoned in Mexico.”   We suggest you stay on point.  Do not bring other factors (ie illegal immigration to the U.S. and or Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl) into the discussion.  Ask for their help.  You want them to intercede and help free Sgt. Tahmooressi.  Ask them to please contact Secretary of State John Kerry.  Be concise, stick to facts. Do NOT make threats.  Be professional and courteous.  Keep it brief.  This is an effort to elicit help from Congress and the State Department on behalf of Sgt. Tahmooressi, not a letter to air all of your grievances.  You may wish to do that in a separate letter and, we encourage that if you so choose.  Our elected officials represent us and this is a proper and appropriate request.

A sample could be “Sgt. Tahmooressi has been in a Mexican Prison for over two months for a wrong turn into Mexico”… etc.

You may wish to include your contact information and request a return phone call or email etc.  Let’s slam the phone lines, crash the servers and jam the Fax lines.

This is a major “CONTACT CONGRESS” push.  If you’ve no idea what to say, please message the Facebook page for Sgt. Tahmooressi here and someone will assist you.

Finally, post this link on your Facebook page, tweet it, email it.  Let’s get everyone involved in this.  Send it to any person or entity that you may know that can be of assistance.  Once done, please post on the Facebook page (above) what you have done as it encourages others to act as well.  Let’s do this!

On behalf of the Tahmooressi family and our entire effort to free Andrew, thank you.

I am on twitter at @hipEchik

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Tragedy On The Mountain In Tennessee

The Einwechter Family
The Einwechter Family

I came across this tragedy on my friend Suzi’s Facebook page and I have to do something.   If you can help this family, please do.  I’ve linked to a local news source’s piece on this as well.  Monique, Jonathan David, and Titus were rescued from the vehicle,  but Elise, 3 and Enoch, 6 weeks drowned.

When Suzi informed us of this horrible accident she wrote :

“Imagine, if you can, putting an addition on your house so your daughter and son-in-law and their kids could move in with you, and being so excited about it because you want nothing more than to have the whole family together.
The kids arrive and you get to spend the day together…11 whole hours…, holding your new grand-baby for the first time, but you’re worried about the babies smelling the paint fumes in the new room because you just finished painting so you send them off to spend the night with friends.

They don’t make it out of the driveway because the road is narrow as it crosses the dam holding in the pond and your daughter miscalculates in the dark and into the water the car goes.

She’s able to unbuckle her seatbelt and get 2 of the kids out. Her husband jumps up on the vehicle to help”…

The grandfather…our friend…jumps in and is able to get his fingers on the buttons of the car seat restraints but the water is murky and 35 degrees and he can’t get the baby out.

By the time the EMTs arrive you’ve been able to get the mother out but her lungs are filled with mud and she’s freezing and you have her covered in 20 blankets and you’ve put on your Navy diving gear, going in over and over again, but it’s been 35 minutes and you still can’t see to get to the children.

How do you hold this? How do you ever look at your dream farm the same again? How do you cross that dam, day in and day out? How do you put pieces together whose glue had never had a chance to dry?

The entire community is coming together to provide help and support for the Einwechter family but additional financial help is needed.  Can we help them not have an immediate financial burden? Thank you all.

The Jonathan Einwechter Family Charity Fund

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Tick Tock!

So,  I can’t sleep.  I can no longer blame the loud clock someone gave us for a wedding gift as I finally succumbed and put it in the garage to give to charity.   It’s just too loud.  Anyway, I give up and get up, quietly so as not to wake the sleeping man and dog.  I get out the door and downstairs without kicking the door jam or any other clumsy thing you might expect to hear next.  I Tiptoe to the coffee maker and I have to grind the coffee, dangit it’s noisy, still, not a creature stirs.  I go to turn on the t.v. and nothing.  The remote has died overnight.   I look but am out of AA batteries.   I power up with a sip of coffee and start searching.   Nothing in the kitchen has an AA battery. Quietly I look, nada. I head out to my husband’s tool bench to start searching the man toys. It all looks frightening and am pretty sure something will drop and wake the boys upstairs. I’m about to give up when I hear the damn clock in the box waiting for Amvets.

TICK.TOCK.TICK.TOCK.TICK.TOCK.  Please let it be an AA battery.  IT IS!  I have to pry the battery out but I do, hurry in, put it in the ailing remote and pray it’s enough juice to give me the morning headlines.  Apparently, in my earlier stupor I had been hitting the up volume on the actual T.V. set (who knew)? and the T.V . comes on LOUDLY.   I drop the remote, it hits the coffee table and goes flying.  I curse.  I am chasing things down and the TV is blasting some infomercial from whatever channel was on last night.   I finally get it all fixed and I hear scratching from above. It’s either the dog scratching at the door or, not sure.  I stand perfectly still until it stops. Anyway, that’s my day thus far.   Oh, the moral of the story?  Take the batteries out of the loud clock that’s been torturing you for years before you give it to charity and let them scratch for a while.    Eventually they might fall back asleep.  Good morning everyone!

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Happy Constitution Day and Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad.

The Greeks
The Greeks and my mother holding my brother, just before immigrating to the U.S.

September 17, 2013

My parents were children during WWII.  My father was born in Greece and remembered the worst.  My mother was born in Canada on the very day the Nazis marched into Poland. My paternal grandparents, with four young children in tow, managed to escape the civil war in Greece when my father was 13.  Their intent was to immigrate to the United States but there was a document snafu in Athens.  They were lucky to be able to board a ship to Canada.  This was to be temporary though as my grandfather had already lived in San Francisco.  I’m murky on the details but, he may have already been a U.S. citizen.   As a young man he’d owned a small candy store in San Francisco.  He also worked on the railroad and served in the United States Army as an interpreter.   He went back to Greece to marry my Yia Yia but his heart never left the United States.  It was the land of opportunity and the home of the free.

On this date in 1955 my parents wed in Canada.  The following year my older brother was born.  Two years later the entire family finally immigrated to the United States.  They came to California specifically because the San Francisco Bay area reminded my grandfather of Greece (the old country).   That is how they always referred to Greece, “the old country.”  The United States was their country.  My parents were very young and overcame many hurdles to both marry and become United States citizens   At the time, a sponsor was required.  My grandfather’s uncle was a Superior court judge in San Francisco and he sponsored them.   I don’t know the exact timeline but they soon began the process to become Naturalized citizens.   I recall the stories of how they had to study for the citizenship exam.  One of the requirements was that they read the constitution.  I believe they were tested on it as well.  They passed with flying colors.  I don’t have the photos of them on that day but they exist.  I recall their suits, the carnation on my father’s lapel, my mother’s young, beautiful smile.   Throughout their lives they carried the title of “United States citizen” proudly.  Several years after they were naturalized I was born and with my birth the first born American citizen arrived.

I heard it from the time I was a child.  We were lucky.  America was the greatest country in the world.  It was instilled in all of us.  My parents were the most patriotic people I’ve ever known.   I remember them debating the sample ballots very carefully.  Researching, vetting, discussing.  The polls were at my elementary school.  I recall watching them walk hand in hand every single Election Day to vote.  The flag was always flown on appropriate holidays and I believe they had the same flag all of their lives.   I don’t recall it being discussed that they were married on Constitution Day.  I’m fairly certain they did not realize it was such while they were Canadian citizens but, anything is possible.

On this constitution day I honor my parents as I strive to do every day.    I owe everything I’ve become to them.  It is not a small matter that it is in honor of their memory that we stay in the state they chose.   I choose to stay in California.  I do what I can to fight for my beloved state, their beloved state.    I can quite vividly picture them cheering me on from Heaven.  Sometimes, though less frequently lately, they are next to me in my dreams.  Not talking, just watching.  The quiet, no problem,  bookworm middle child turned out to be the feisty one!  Happy constitution day America and happy anniversary mom and dad.    I know that despite the turmoil in their precious state and country, they rest in peace.  I know they worry not about me for I am their daughter; their  first born citizen of the greatest country on earth.

Addendum : I was taught that a writer should never apologize for her work and I shan’t but I must say that this is imperfect.  Some specifics may be slightly inaccurate and I’d love to get this down perfectly.  My parents died young and many stories died with them. This is my recollection of events.  My parents loved us all equally but differently.   They didn’t have a favorite.  I know that my parents would be particularly proud of my elder brother lately as am I.  He’s been reading the constitution and the founding father’s writings.  But, that’s not my story to tell further without his permission.   For tonight, I’ll just get this down while it is still Constitution day (it is in California),  and perhaps edit it later.  Thank you all for reading it.  My parents would love that I wrote it, imperfect though it is.

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“Thank You For Donating.” Sarah Murnaghan and My Eerie Tale.

This morning we get the word that Sarah Murnaghan, the 10 year old who has been in the press lately, is getting her lung transplant. While this is good news for Sarah, I always remember that someone died in order for such a transplant and my thoughts are with that family also. This situation reminds me of an eerie incident that occurred a few years back at, of all places, the grocery store. It was profound and not something I shall ever forget. Today is the first time I’ve publicly discussed it. It’s as good a day as any.

I was at the checkout counter at Trader Joe’s grocery store and paid with my debit card. The chatty cashier asked for my driver’s license as identification and then said “thank you for donating.” I was perplexed. “Huh”? I asked. He repeated himself: “Thank you for donating, for being an organ donor.” I had never even realized that yup, there it is. A pink dot on my California driver’s license that quite simply says “donor.” It shook me up a bit and I responded “well, hopefully not anytime soon.” He said “it’s the most unselfish gift you will ever give.” Still shaken, I nodded and off I went. No one before or since has ever commented on this pink dot or the fact that I am registered as an organ donor.

I’m in my car driving home. I’m a careful driver. Uber cautious I’ve been told. I’m always on the lookout for the “other guy.” I check my mirrors, side, other side, rear view, repeat. It’s served me well. I’ve gotten out of many possible accidents by practicing defensive driving. My father taught me this. Even if you are the best driver in the world, you have to look out for the idiots. Always have an “out” planned in your head. I do. I always do. I know where every car is and have some sort of escape plan in the event I have to make a quick move. This day was the one time I did not have that opt out plan. I am driving home practicing defensive tactics yet still unnerved and distracted by the cashier’s unusual comments. Near my home there is a ICE office. Ever since the murder of Border patrol agent Robert Rojas near the San Diego/Mexican border I’ve made it a practice to look up at the flags and say a quick prayer for him. This day was no exception.

In the nano second that it took to look at the flags and quickly look back at my driver’s side mirror I was in mortal danger. A female driver was veering quickly from the left lane into my lane near the curb and her car was headed straight for mine. No time to otherwise evade, I instinctively drove up the curb onto the sidewalk and braked in the middle of the bushes. Luckily there was no one on the sidewalk because I had broken my “always” rule. Luck or God or both were abundantly on my side that day. She wound up bouncing off the curb, back to the center of the road and was off on her ( I think, very drunken) way. Had I not driven onto the sidewalk, she surely would have smashed into my driver’s side door at about 50 miles per hour. I shudder to think what may have happened. I got off that curb, turned a corner, parked and sobbed. I thought then and still maintain that I cheated death that day. No, the cashier’s comments did not help the situation (and certainly distracted me), but my instinctive driving skills are what may have saved my life. Since then when I want to pay respects to the fallen I pull into the border patrol parking lot, park and say my prayer. Live and learn. Key word is live.

I did live but I well could have perished that day. Had I died it would have been tragic. Too young. Another innocent person taken by a drunk (at least reckless) driver. But, my organs would likely have been donated. Part of me would have lived on and saved or prolonged another life. Perhaps several lives. The thought comforts me. Since the news of Sarah Murnaghan broke I’ve been advocating one thing. Please consider being an organ donor. Similar to writing one’s will, it’s not a pleasant proposition; facing our own mortality. But we are mere mortals. Once done, I had pretty much forgotten about it (but for the oddly timed “thank you” from the cashier). We want to take government out of our health care, out of our lives. We have to start somewhere and it’s not by petitioning the head of HHRS. There are so many things that appear to be out of our hands lately but this we can do. Here we can make a difference. Again, I repeat an oft used phrase of mine; walk the talk. At the very least, have the talk.

What is really at the heart of the matter is a severe shortage of organ donors. Unsavory though it may sound it is a supply and demand problem.  According to one source “The demand for organs in the United States far outpaces the supply. There are currently 75,650 active candidates (meaning they are medically suitable for a transplant) waiting for organs in the United States. But 18 people die every day, on average, waiting for an organ transplant. In 2012, there were only about 14,000 organ donors (deceased and live donations). Organ donations from deceased donors resulted in the procurement of 28,600 organs that led to 24,560 transplants.”

I realize that sometimes religion, family preferences, ethics, or simply the unpleasant aspect of the conversation all factor into this shortage. It is not my intent to talk you into something you feel strongly against. Rather, it’s my desire to urge you to have a chat with yourself, with God, with whomever. Until we have this discussion and take action this problem will continue. I urge you to strongly consider becoming an organ donor and register yourself as such. Ensure that your status is known. Depending on your state, it may be noted on your driver’s license. If not, you may wish to wear a bracelet, have a card in your wallet and, very importantly, it must be in your living will. Additionally you must ensure that your D.N.R. is written in a manner that does not conflict with your organ donor status. Without getting too far into the weeds, it is often necessary to keep the donor on life support in order to preserve the organs. Finally, your designated durable power of medial attorney must be on board. The legalities can be complex but, even after registering as a donor, your family can stop the process. I’ll leave it up to you to do your research on this. Suffice to say, there can be glitches and people can change your decision. Make sure this does not happen. The life you save may be that of a 10 year old child like Sarah. The lives you save will be as the cashier said “the most unselfish gift you ever give.” Because each state handles the registration of organ donations differently I urge you to search “how to become an organ donor.” Or, ask your physician or attorney for assistance. I am ever so grateful that I did not die on the road that day but I know that if I had, my husband would be comforted in the knowledge that my heart or lungs or eyes or possibly all, found new life in a needy, perhaps dying individual. I know this to be true because I’ve ensured that it is. It started with a conversation and I walked the talk.

Finally, cashiers: shut up. Thank me for my business, not my organ donation status. It’s a personal matter. Not something I wish to be thanked for or even reminded of. I was distracted that day. I am grateful to my father and to God that I still managed to get out of the situation and lived to tell the tale. Thank you for your time. Thank you for your prayers for Sarah and for whomever died to give her the (hopeful) gift of life. Most of all, thank you for having the conversation, for walking the talk and, thank you for your donation.

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Dog Blog: Sugar Needs a Home. Update.

Hi! I'm Sugar!

UPDATE: June 11, 2013
Per Megan: “Sugar has been moved to a double wide kennel, new kennel number is 128. The staff is making every reasonable, available move they can.”

I’ve mentioned my friend and Scout’s trainer before. Her name is Megan and she’s amazing. I received this letter from her the other day regarding Sugar. I’m putting it out on social media in the hopes we can find her a home. Megan articulates it better than I can so am just posting her letter to me. Please help spread the word. The rescues in California are full and there are many dogs in need of help just now. Sugar is lucky to have Megan helping. Can we do this? Thank you!

Sugar Smiles!
Sugar getting some sugar from Megan!

Dear Teri:

I’m wondering if you might be able to help with a dog. I volunteer at the south county shelter in Bonita twice a week. Every time I go, I’ve been training and playing with a red Staffordshire Bull Terrier named Sugar! , and she has really stolen a piece of my heart! Sugar is one year old. She has been at the shelter since March 23rd and I started training with her April 11th. I am the only one who gets her out. Unfortunately 20-30 minutes twice a week is not enough and being at the shelter is stressful and is taking a toll on her mentally. One can only imagine being in a kennel 24/7 surrounded by barking dogs and loud noises with very limited social interaction. It would be so awesome for her to find a home!

Though she is short, she is solid and is about 55 lbs. She is already spayed. She knows sit and down, and is pretty good at coming when called. She loves chasing toys and being petted and she’ll curl up under my legs when I sit, and if I sit on the ground she’ll lay next to me. She’s good with other dogs, though her social skills are understandably a little rusty. Her one bad habit is jumping up, but it’s easy to manage and even with the limited amount of training I’ve put in she is a thousand times better. I’m big on manners and have taught her to sit for things so she’ll sit before you toss a toy, will sit to have her leash put on and taken off, and will sit before you open a door. With the jumping, she does not know “off” as I teach what to do (tell her “sit”) instead of telling dogs what not to do or correcting what they’ve already done. Sugar is really great on leash and I’ve worked hard in teaching her to not pull. Because her jumping does need a bit of work and she is a solid, muscular dog I recommend she not go into a home with kids under about 10 years old as she could easily knock them down. Also, any dog adopted from this shelter gets a free basic obedience class from me!

Sugar is at the County of San Diego Department of Animal Services, South Region
5821 Sweetwater Road
Bonita, CA 91902-2219
She is in “Kennel 128, tag 746, ID# A1521915 .

If you can adopt Sugar or know someone who may be able to, please contact the above shelter. If you are interested in Sugar or have any questions, please contact Megan directly here :

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