The Heart Truth- Red Dress

Go deeper than the pink, go red. Go deeper than the breast, go to the heart.




Heart disease is the NUMBER ONE killer of women in the USA. Eat right, exercise, get enough sleep, and cultivate social relationships (make friends!); these will help save your heart. I know because I have CAD, coronary artery disease.








13 March 2014


Recently I asked several people to sign an online petition against the locks on Paris bridges. A few did; thank you.
But many didn’t.

Maybe some pictures will help explain the problem.
















A bridge on the Seine in March  19, 2009.  (Picture by me.)
















It’s all about love. (Picture from an online events planner.)















(Picture from a Google search.)

This is NOT love. This is vandalism. Placing a lock on a bridge and throwing the key in the river will not make a relationship last.  Remember, take a picture—it will last longer.

So, please, go online and sign the petition. This same thing is happening in cities all over the world. I shudder to think of this in Pittsburgh—the city of bridges.
search for ‘Love Locks’ or city of Paris. 

13 February 2014

The Cheap Season

This time of year is one of my favorites. It's the cheap season; no air conditioner and no heat needed.

I've been away from posting for a while. This weekend I will be completing 4 essays with my classes and I plan to publlish them here. Curious?

20 January 2014

I'm crying; okay, I was crying

If I had been asked a week ago what movie last made me cry, I would have said Schindler's List. On second thought it was The Hours which was so depressing it could make anyone cry. But I'm talking about one whose purpose is not to make me cry but to make me think. Usually, this is a movie based on truth.

This past Wednesday, the 15th, that movie was Lee Daniel's The Butler. (So named because someone owns the rights to The Butler, a short released in 1916! Could NOT name it just The Butler. Hollywood and copyright laws!)

Anyway, the story touched me at my core. I do not like anyone being disrespected, especially when it is for no good reason. White America's past treatment of Black Americans is a shame. There is a scene at a lunch counter where respectful but determined young black people are horribly abused just because they want to be served in the 'white' section of the counter. The courage of these people, like the others who did the same thing, is inspiring. Why should any group of people HAVE to fight for their right to be respected? Because nothing will change until someone says, "This is wrong. We won't stand for this treatment anymore."

I cried for the injustice of the past, for the pains of the people involved, for the hurt so many contributed to.

While this movie was overlooked in the Oscar race, I believe this is one movie I can recommend to everyone as a moving piece of history. Fine performances all around. Go see it.

09 January 2014

Pork and Saurkraut

On New Year's Eve Mom and I decided to be traditional for once. We prepared pork chops, mashed potatoes, and Saurkraut. This was the first time I ever mashed potatoes. Usually we whip them with the mixer. In all, I will say it was good, but I'm not a great Saurkraut fan. It needs to be served in small doses and cut with some shredded apple. 
Anyway, this was in Pennsylvania where I always spend Christmas. When I move to Paris full time I don't expect to fly home every year. One reason for moving to Texas was so I could work at a job that would allow me to drive home or fly home for the holidays. And I have. And I'm not sorry. 
Only time will tell. 

07 January 2014

Cold

The news is full of stories about how cold it is right now. Yes, it's cold. Maybe the temp got down to 15 the other night. It was 20 when I went to work today. For central Texas, that is cold. But...

Really, that's not too bad. Bad is 20 below, ice covered sidewalks, and walking to class while in college. Cold. I wore sweats and my boyfriend's extra coat. I wore dainty white gloves with heavy knitted ones on top. I wore a scarf wrapped around my face and looked out through a peephole. Cold.

Today I wore a sweatshirt with a tank top underneath and a pair of pants. No jacket or coat. I had to walk to my car (not far.) Then I walked from my car to the door of the school. (Again, not far.) So, no, I don't think it was that cold. I didn't wrap pipes or drip them. And the water lines are fine.

I have left my plants outside to freeze to death. Mission accomplished. The aloe vera is wilted. Airplane plant is sadly deflated. Only the cactus has survived.

Now my house is cold. Yesterday the high inside was 60, up from 55. The dog wears her sweater and does not try to wiggle out of it. Work is warmer than home.

Hmmm. Maybe that's why I don't mind being back at work.

05 January 2014

Paris in snow

The wind blows fiercely and the temperature drops but sure as I'm sitting here tonight, tomorrow I shall be at work. It rarely gets cold enough or windy enough to cancel school. Only snow can do that. Central Texas gets very little snow. Some years we get none at all.



I complain about the summer heat. Temps may reach 100 degrees or more. Even with the air conditioner on I am too hot. I'm told that I'll appreciate the summer in the winter and vice-versa. Not so. I'll take more of the winter and less of the summer. One day soon in Paris...

(picture by Jennifer Gerrardi, found on the internet.)


04 January 2014

Bremond

While I joke about the town I live in, it's not a bad place at all.TinyTown is actually Bremond, Texas.


Of course, I'm not saying where I live but I will say it is on the map. No grocery store, no hospital, no big name fast food places. It has been home for the past 20 years. What it does have is nice people. Happy New Years Bremond! Getting better every day. :)

03 January 2014

Big Sam

I drove home from Houston today and passed this statue of Sam Houston. Typical of Texas, it is quite large. The base is taller than a normal human. It is located right off I-45 North (or is it West?) There is an exit for it and its visitor’s bureau. I did not stop. It was time to get home and see my dear dog Nanna. 
(Picture from wikapedia.) 

If you have something from Texas you would like me to show, please leave a message or e-mail me. 

Wren

02 January 2014

Travel

Today was a successful travel day. After two flights I found myself safe and sound in a Houston area hotel. No lost luggage, no missed flights, no problems.

In fact, today was a win. I skipped baggage fees. How? I packed one carry-on and one "personal item." When the airline asked for volunteers to have their carry-ons checked for free, I thought about it and finally decided to take a chance. The last time I did this DFW managed not to get my suitcase on the right plane. I congratulate the DFW baggage handlers for doing the job correctly this time. My faith in them is ALMOST restored.

Today was also my last indulgence in greasy, fried fast food. I feel awful. Give me a salad. Tomorrow, give me a salad. Right now I could not eat a thing.

I promise to make this blog more "Texas to Paris" than it has been and to write more. How can I teach the importance of writing and audience if I'm not writing myself?

I think I need to take some pictures as well.

01 January 2014

2014

2014

New Years is the time when we look back at the past and make lists. I’m not doing that. Running down the past and making excuses for the year that is leaving is akin to reminiscing about an awful husband on the day of your wedding to a new husband. Let it go. Say good-bye and embrace the new.

What will 2014 bring? I’m going to be positive here. Sort of. It will be … much the same. It will. We know it.

But…

I have a wish list.

  1. Because it will be 2014, and No Child Left Behind has decreed it, all children will be able to work and comprehend on grade level. No matter their IQ, be it 126 or 85, grade level it will be. My job will become both harder and easier. All students in one grade will need to be challenged the same! Wow! Harder. And my 3 grades in 1 classes will have three distinct levels of learning, not one for each child! Easier.
  2. People will finally understand that HEART DISEASE is the number one killer of women and men in the USA. Not breast cancer, not accidents, not the common cold.
  3. Lung cancer and colon cancer and pancreatic cancer will get more funding for research to end these deadly scourges to human life. Three to five percent survival is NOT okay.
  4. Stores that sell bras will finally realize that a woman who needs a 44DDD cannot crawl on the floor to find it on a rack, but a 32A can. Larger on top of the racks, smaller at the bottom.
  5. Toilet stalls in ladies restrooms will no longer have ½ to 2 inch gaps on either side of the door. Really, for a country known for its prudishness, these glorified tent flaps are obscene. Two shout outs to the truck stops for having the best stalls.
  6. And while we are in the stall, either make them wider or longer. American butts are large. To close the door in a short stall the width of a close hanger one is required to step beside or straddle the toilet. The door could open out. And raise the mammoth toilet tissue holder by about one foot. It doesn’t need to be waist high. It needs to be out of my way!
  7. Restaurants will realize that a decent meal is NOT meat, potatoes, corn, and bread. That’s enough starch for my sweat to stiffen my clothes. Treat vegetables with respect (don’t cook them until the toothless among us can eat them without trouble.) That does not mean add bacon and butter to them. Try something new.
  8. Drivers will not text, eat, drink, talk on the phone, put on make-up, mess with the sound system or read. They will drive. And stop killing people.
  9. Congress will get something done. Something worthwhile, not self-serving.
  10. The news will actually be news: world news, US news, local news. No cat videos, no movie star tidbits, no hero worship of athletes. News. In the morning, in the evening, for the full half hour or hour.
  11. Little known and self-destructive “stars” and athletes will no longer be mourned for weeks on end. Mention it on OMG Insider or ESPN and go on.
  12. The movie rating system will be revised. A blood bath will earn an “R.” Smoking will earn a “PG-13.” Swearing will have a handy list: 2 “f” words = PG-13, 3 = R. Many other words will have the same treatment.
  13. Parents will let their children know the pain of disappointment and how to deal with it. That means they will not call or e-mail the teacher, coach or director. Nor will they bad- mouth these people. Disappointment: it’s part of life.
  14. Mental illness will be seen as an illness, not a weakness, and receive better funding and care.
  15. Academics will be stressed over athletics in schools. You know, like it is in real life.
  16. People will treat others will respect. Homosexual and transgender persons will not have to fear being beaten, used and abused.
  17. Animal cruelty will receive severe punishment and will end.
  18. Minimum wage will rise to a living wage.
  19. Everyone in the country will be here legally.
  20. Parents will appreciate the gift that is their children and will care for them.


Maybe I’m wrong. Things will change. Right. 

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