Friday, May 22, 2015

If we didn't have birthdays...

Today, in honor of my birthday, I'm posting a poem by Dr. Seuss. My sister, Tina, made a huge poster for me when I was young and this is the poem she wrote on it. 

If we didn’t have birthdays, you wouldn’t be you.
If you’d never been born, well then what would you do?
If you’d never been born, well then what would you be?
You might be a fish! Or a toad in a tree!
You might be a doorknob! Or three baked potatoes!
You might be a bag full of hard green tomatoes.
Or worse than all that…Why, you might be a WASN’T!
A Wasn’t has no fun at all. No, he doesn’t.
A Wasn’t just isn’t. He just isn’t present.
But you…You ARE YOU! And, now isn’t that pleasant!
Today you are you! That is truer than true!
There is no one alive...who is you-er than you!
Shout loud, “I am lucky to be what I am!
Thank goodness I’m not just a clam or a ham.
Or a dusty old jar of sour gooseberry jam!
I am what I am!
That’s a great thing to be!
If I say so myself, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!” 

~ Dr. Seuss

Thursday, May 21, 2015

TBT: Memorial Day... it's about much more than picnics

For this week's Throwback Thursday, I'm revisiting a post from Memorial Day 2010.


It's Memorial Day and I woke up wondering about what my role should be. Growing up, Memorial Day started off with a parade, in which, as a Girl Scout, I took part in. We marched up the hill at the cemetery and there, we honored those brave military men and women who sacrificed all. It was a good tradition that is now simply a memory.

I'm ashamed to say I can't remember the last time I attended a Memorial Day parade. [Note: I attended a Memorial Day parade last year.] I'd never really given it much thought before today. After all, I don't enjoy parades. But as I thought about it, I realized the purpose of a Memorial Day parade is not for entertainment. For me to attend a Memorial Day parade would take, well, a sacrifice on my part. And for that reason, I very much regret not coming to that conclusion in enough time for me to drive somewhere to stand along the parade route and honor those who march by; those who are a small representation of the lives lost for our country. To stand by in tribute, to humbly say "thank you," to watch teary-eyed as the flag passes by... that's what I should be doing on Memorial Day.

I did my children a great disservice by not instilling in them the need, the desire, to commemorate these brave servants by respectfully honoring those who march by on the a Monday morning in May. I sit back and watch as Americans busy themselves with plans for fun on Memorial Day. Not that I begrudge anyone a family gathering or a picnic with friends. But when all we think about and celebrate is a three-day weekend with good times and good food, I think we're missing the point somehow.

As parents, and grandparents, it is our duty to instill in the younger generations a respect and an awe for those in the military, both past and present, regardless of our view of war. For everyone who serves is in a potential position of great sacrifice. Jesus said it well when He said, "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13)  Greater love indeed.

As parents, grandparents, spouses, children and friends grieve the loss of their brave loved ones today, I honor them as well for their sacrifice and count myself blessed to not be standing side-by-side with them in their grief. My heart and prayers go out to you, dear ones.

While they did not lose their lives at war, I also want to give thanks for the service of my father, Harold V. Haatainen and my step-father, Daniel W. Wagner, who both served in WWII. Dan received a Purple Heart after his ship suffered a kamikaze hit. Both these men were wonderful examples to me of bravery and service. Oh, to be more like them.

So, this Memorial Day, pause for a bit and send up a prayer of thanksgiving for those who fought and died for our country. Remember them.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A wooden watch... hmmm...

Disclosure: I received products and/or compensation for this sponsored post.

Watches. I used to have a whole selection and wore them every day. Eventually, as batteries died and cellphones became the norm, I stopped wearing them. After all, I could always check my cellphone if I needed to know the time. Anyone else identify with me on that?

Well, I'm a new convert to wearing a watch. Awhile ago, the folks at asked me if I'd be interested in reviewing one of their watches. Of course! I checked out the website and chose the Ely watch in black. I was quite pleased when it arrived carefully packaged in a beautiful wooden box.

Of course, as a writer, the most important thing about the watch for me was the comfort. After all, I'm chopping away at a keyboard for the majority of my day and if the watch isn't comfortable, I'm taking it off. Naturally, I don't have to wear a watch while in my office, as the time is always displayed on my computer screen. But when I'm in and out, it's nice to put it on in the morning and keep it on. 

With the JORD Ely watch, it's not an issue. This natural wood watch is so lightweight and comfortable, it's easy to forget that I'm even wearing it. As a matter of fact, it took awhile for me not to reach into my purse for my phone when someone would ask me what time it was. I forgot I was wearing it.

And check out how attractive it is. I'm not a small woman. At 5'9", I often find dainty jewelry to look off-balanced. The Ely looks great on my wrist. Don't you think so?

The real test for me came over the weekend. I was on the faculty for the annual Pennwriters Conference in Pittsburgh, which meant I was conducting writing workshops. In the past, when doing so, I had to rely on my phone, constantly illuminating the screen to see how I was doing on time so I could wrap up the session without leaving anything out.

At Pennwriters Conference. Photos by Heather Desuta

However, at this conference, my phone remained in my bag. I just glanced down at my wrist whenever necessary and I paced the workshops so we were able to finish on time. It was wonderful. I didn't realize how much I'd missed wearing a watch.

Of course, I've had quite a few compliments on the watch. It's unique, attractive, functional, and is made with sustainability in mind. I love that each watch is slightly different in that the wood grains can vary. 

JORD features a wide variety of designs for both men and women in a nice assortment of woods and face colors. From the simplest of designs ($120) to ones that are more complex ($295), there is something for every taste and budget. 

And did I mention comfortable? Oh yeah, I did. But it's so worth mentioning again! Comfort, design, and natural materials. This watch deserves highest praise from me. With Father's Day right around the corner, slip one onto your husband's or father's wrist and you're the one who will be on the receiving end of high praise. You really can't go wrong.

Unique Watches

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

March Against Monsanto this coming Saturday!

Monsanto's squirming a bit. After all, thanks to people like you and me, their name is being dragged through the pesticide-laden mud. Let's keep it up. 

Pittsburgh March Against Monsanto 2014

This coming Saturday, May 23, 2015, you have the opportunity to join the March Against Monsanto. My family and I will be marching in Pittsburgh, PA. If you are in the area, please try to join us. I will be marching for the Vietnam vets and their families who have been affected by Monsanto's Agent Orange

Enough is enough! I'm tired of sitting back and allowing Monsanto and its cronies continue to poison people around the world. I'm tired of paying more so I don't have to consume their poison. I'm tired of not knowing what is in conventional foods. I'm tired of poor health, food allergies, obesity, and more. I'm tired of Monsanto. And you should be, too.

Make your voice be heard. Join the movement. Join the march.

Click here for worldwide locations and times.

Click here to follow the March Against Monsanto on Facebook.

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