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September is World Alzheimers Month

Hello neglected tens of readers! I’ve missed you!

This particular September means many things in my household. Kids are back to school and the youngest is now a full-fledged First Grader which means everyone is in school all day and I have a full 7.5 hours to do as I please (e.g., sit in silence, sip my coffee and compose this post at my leisure with no interruption! Ha!)

More importantly…

September is World Alzheimers Month. I have a dear friend whose mother is suffering from Early Onset Alzheimers, which I have recently learned is a much more aggressive form of this terrible and heartbreaking disease. Both of us are active in the many forms of Social Media including Twitter and she, along with other members of her family, and members of the Alzheimers Association community have been using this powerful tool to help raise awareness and share information about the disease.

I have talked about before, but cannot say enough, what a powerful tool Twitter can be for connecting people and removing the proverbial walls that exist outside of this arena. With that said, it is also important to remember that there are, unfortunately, seemingly well meaning folks who are not necessarily what they appear to be.

In the world of Social Media perception is reality – I can say anything I want or represent myself in a certain manner that might be entirely false. Integrity, trust and authenticity are the qualities I look for and value the most in my feed. If I connect two people together it is because I feel strongly that they might benefit from the introduction. I am passionate about this – it is what I love to do.

Tips & Twittequette:

Retweet the tweets of major organizations connected to your cause.

Include whatever hashtag they are using (e.g., #WorldAlzheimersMonth #humantrafficking #SusanGKomen).

Engage with and follow people within that community to see how you can work together effectively.

Do your homework before donating money to any organization other than who you know to be the main representative of the cause.

Do not expect to tweet a link directly to any celebrity or news organization and have them magically start clicking your link, following, or mentioning you!

Do not tweet the same link to many people in a short period of time with no other personal interaction. You will be viewed as a spammer and likely reported as such.

Do say thank you and acknowledge when others mention or retweet information for you.

Follow These Influential Folks:

@AlzheimersAssoc
@mariashriver
@Irememberbetter
@ewpotts
@cc4alz

Get Involved:

Please go to the Azheimers Association website to find out all of the latest about upcoming events in your area. There are Walks, Galas and other creative ways to help raise awareness and research dollars for Alzheimers conveniently listed on their site.

Final Thoughts:

There’s no ‘I’ in Team people!

Hope you’ll take a moment to give a Tweet for Alzheimers.

As always thank you for reading.
XO

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I Heart Wordle

I have recently discovered Wordle! I can hear the collective gasps of scrapbookers and geeks everywhere thinking “that’s like sooo two thousand and eight!” Well, yes, I’m a bit late to the party – but hey – Wordle UP!

I stumbled upon (forgive the pun/linking opp) Wordle by accident in June when I was thinking about a birthday gift for Gramps who was about to be eighty-nine. What do you get a guy who’s eighty-nine, has lived the life of at least two or three people, full-tilt, balls to the wall, never wasted a moment and not in need of anything? I wanted it to be something meaningful since I am his only granddaughter. I finally got it. I would write him a poem. Then, sitting on the plane from PHL to LAX I thought, hey, what if I could make a collage of words, 89 words/things about George for his 89th birthday? Viola!

The day before his party (I work best under tight deadlines), sitting with my cousin at the computer, I explained my idea. I was thinking I could create it maybe using a text box or boxes in a Word document (no laughing!) and quickly realized it would not be easy. So we start searching. First we Googled “word mashup” with no luck, then tried “word collage” and there it was that cute little Wordle logo beckoning us to check it out.

Sadly, I did not publish the Wordle I made for Gramps, but I did take a picture of it.

Fun, right? How could I have never known about this cool tool! Did I mention it is also free? It’s free. All you have to do is download Java Script, also free. Very simple.

SO – because I am never satisfied with my Twitter background, I decided to see if I could make one using Wordle. I searched and found others who have done it (although they make it sound a lot easier than it has been for me, the technicalogically challenged). My only issue has been figuring out how to save it as a jpeg to be able to upload it as an image. I think I have finally done it by copying and pasting the html code here.

Wordle: Self descriptive for Twitter

Here’s where I need help! Stinks that it doesn’t appear larger. If you click on it, you will see it full size… now need to go figure out how to take a screen shot and resize in Paint? Oy – getting frustrated, not giving up. Tips welcome.

Before I sign off for today, I must say RIP George “Gramps” “Doc” “Doc Shah” Dordigan (Shahanian to many) June 29, 1922 – July 23, 2011. Your story is for another day…

XO

Long May You Wave


Written by my beloved, passionate Gram on June 25, 1989 in response to an article in the Los Angeles Daily News regarding flag burning…

In Honor of Flag Day

—————-

I am the Flag of the United States of America. Do not call me “Just” a symbol.
I carry the echo of once beating hearts, stilled so that I could wave on high.
I am wet with tears that will never dry.
I am covered with the dust and sweat of those who through every kind of hardship, heartbreak and pain, made me strong.
I lay with heavy heart over the more than two hundred caskets of our young Marines killed in Beirut by fiends, senselessly and undefended.
I held my breath as six battle weary men with uniforms splattered with the blood of fallen comrades, struggled to raise my colors on Mt. Suribachi.
I am flying guard over the white crosses of fallen husbands, sons, fathers and brothers who lie in foreign soil thousands of miles from home.
I renew the strength of purpose, faith and hope to those that reach out for me, who look to me for inspiration.
I am not words that need freedom to be spoken.
I am EVERYTHING American.
I understand what five black-robed men of our Supreme Court were trying to prove when they ruled it illegal to stop the actions of those who want to wound me, throw me down, destroy me. But I hurt with this decision.
There is a time when the moral issue transcends the technical.
This is that time.
Call me a symbol if you like, but I am more, deeply, meaningfully more.
Do not open the door that will give those who wish to harm us the first step that will lead to more attempts at our downfall.
Respect me.
I shall remain strong.
I will always be here.

Martha Dordigan 1923 – 1996

Lip Stick or Lip Gloss?


I cannot tell a lie. I have a serious appreciation for lip gloss and the boost I feel it gives me when I am wearing it. I do not leave home without it. If I were stranded on a deserted island… okay, well, if I were stranded on a deserted island, there would probably not be a need for my precious lip gloss, so I’ll skip that.

The Queen of Fabulosity herself, Kimora Lee Simmons, will agree: When do-it-all Mamas rise and grind, throw themselves together in a jiffy, and run out the door with little or no make-up, a little bit of lip gloss goes a long way! I keep tubes of gloss stashed in strategic places throughout my home and car for easy access at all times.

The choices are mind boggling! There are glosses that promise to plump, rejuvenate, sparkle, tingle and make us (or at least our lips) look younger and sexier. There are wide ranges of color from bold to barely there (nude is hot right now!), and have consistencies from smooth and runny to so sticky you may as well pluck that strand of hair out of your head rather than trying to free it from your lip. I’ve tried expensive glosses from the make-up counters at fancy department stores and the cheap drugstore glosses and, yes, there is a difference. With all of this variety and versatility, dare I say one doesn’t really need lipstick? I love the way that the colored glosses look great no matter what the occasion. There are also many glosses now that are actually lip “sticks” with the gloss built in.

Recently, while waiting to board a flight for a family vacation I discovered (to my horror) that I had accidentally left my favorite lip gloss at home. I was lucky enough to have time to run to another terminal where I found The Body Shop – score! If you’re in the market for a good quality lip gloss, I highly recommend their products. They are all-natural and, as I mentioned earlier, carry a line of lip gloss/lipstick combination. You will pay a little bit more for these products, but you will immediately notice the quality in these velvety tubes of fantasticaliciousness. Of course, I couldn’t buy just one and also opted for some clear gloss with a little sparkle in it for good measure. Now with all my fears assuaged, I was able to relax and know that I had those little tubes of security to keep me looking fresh and feeling pretty.

I am a big believer in the “look good, feel good” philosophy and can honestly say that on my worst day, a bit of gloss on my lips makes all the difference.

What do you think? Lip Stick or Lip Gloss? Tell us your favorites!

Thanks for reading ~

XO

Ask Me Anything


Thought I would try to switch things up a bit and turn the tables on you, my loyal twenty-four followers. Feel free to ask me anything or suggest a topic you’d like me to write about!

I have been meaning to update with something a little more uplifting, but there’s so much going on that I’ve had a tough time narrowing down a specific topic.

So, let’s have it! I’m ready – bring it!

Peace, love and word to your Mom ~

Little Blue Maverick


We haven’t heard from Gram here lately and I have been wanting to share this for some time. For those of you who haven’t been following, I found a folder after she passed away containing all sorts of tidbits of writing; everything from letters to the White House, poems and, what I cherish most, her innermost thoughts. In May of 1975, her only son, my favorite uncle, Gary Dordigan, died tragically and unexpectedly.

On May 10, 1975, the Los Angeles Times reported “William May Garland, 38, a wealthy real estate developer, was found dead Friday with instructor pilot Gary Dordigan, 32, in the charred wreckage of Garland’s twin-engine Skymaster light plane on Frasier Mountain 10 miles west of Gorman.”

I was in 2nd grade and living with my grandmother at the time. I will never forget the day she entered my classroom at Pinecrest School in Burbank to pick me up early. She didn’t speak, just took my hand gently and off we went. I didn’t really know what was going on and I am certain she was still in shock at the time. Back at our apartment all of her sisters and other family members had gathered and I remember a lot of quiet crying and hushed grown up talk.

This tragic accident left an irrepairable fracture in my grandmother’s heart. Gary was the “golden child”, the champion swimmer, dashingly handsome and charismatic in every way. He was the light in her life and definitely a big part of my world. It was the first time I ever experienced true sadness. Uncle Gary loved to draw and made wonderful sketches. I was given his sketch pads, markers, colored pencils and chalks. I carried them around with me for a long time.

The following is my gram writing from the perspective of Gary’s little Blue Maverick…

“Twilight was settling quietly over the parking lot at Golden West. The little blue Maverick sat waiting in its customary parking spot, dusk dulling its soft color. Shadows of night engulfed the little car as it silently watched and listened for the familiar step, the strong grasp of a hand on the door handle. It was very late. Where is he? He would not leave me here. Morning brings hope. Footsteps in the distance? Time and time again, the little car springs alert only to sink back into disappointment and the steps fade away, it’s not him. Other car doors open, other cars drive away. The little car is perplexed, worried. The second night approaches. He is again alone in the parking lot. The noisy activity of a busy day at Van Nuys Airport fade into the soft sounds of evening. Where are those jaunty footsteps, where is the cheery repartee with friends? Why has he not come to take us home?

A third night, the dim parking lot lights only emphasize the loneliness of the little car as it sits keeping its solitary vigil. Something has gone wrong. He would not abandon me. What is it? Gary? Gary?

Hope dims and flickers out as the steps of a stranger stop at the door of the little blue car. An unfamiliar hand turns the key in the lock. I will respond to the command of this stranger. It is not my Gary. My Gary is not coming back to guide me. Seven days ago I watched as he flew over me into the late afternoon sun. He was here, he has slipped away, out of the burning wreckage crushed on the side of the rugged mountain.

Via Condios Gary. Gary, Gary, Gary.”