Archive for February, 2011

The 2011 Oscars-the Winners!

February 27, 2011

James Franco and Anne Hathaway did a nice job…didn’t really see enough of them! They are both very charming… the awards were fun to watch…the women looked beautiful, the men, handsome and most of the gowns were pretty (sometimes there are some horrors!)

Best Motion Picture-Emile Sherman, Iain Canning, Gareth Unwin-The King’s Speech- a fantastic film!

Best Actress in a Leading Role-Natalie Portman-The Black Swan -she was very dear in her acceptance of the Oscar.

Best Supporting Actress-presented by Kirk Douglas-Melissa Leo! She is stunned and sweetly flirts with Kirk Douglas.

Best Actor in a Leading Role-Colin Firth-The King’s Speech-did you notice he spoke slowly like the King?

Best Supporting Actor-Christian Bale- The Fighter-a well-deserved award, he was wonderful in this role and his acceptance speech was thoughtful.

Best Animated Feature Film-Toy Story 3

Best Adapted Screenplay- Aaron Sorkin-The Social Network

Best Original Screenplay-David Seidler-The King’s Speech

Best Foreign Language Film- In A Better World (Denmark)

Best Original Score-Trent Resnor and Atticus Ross-The Social Network

Best Sound Mixing-Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo, Ed Novick-Inception

Best Costume Design-Colleen Atwood- Alice in Wonderland

Best Documentary-Short Subject-Karen Goodman, Kirk Simon

Best Live Action Short Film-Luke Metheny-God of Love

Best Documentary Feature-Charles Ferguson, Audrey Marrs-Inside Job-about the banking debaucle in the USA

Best Visual Effects-Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley, Pete Bebb-Inception

Best Original Song- Randy Newman-We Belong Together (Toy Story 3)

Best Directing-Tom Hooper-The King’s Speech

For more peeks at the Oscar winners, be sure to watch daytime TV tomorrow…there will be much coverage on the early morning shows and Oprah will have Oscar coverage (her show will be broadcast from Los Angeles).

This is MeddlingMom….have a good week.

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Hemifacial Spasms-have you heard of this?

February 21, 2011

I have had a hemifacial spasm on the left side of my face for close to 3 years now.  It started out as an eye twitch and eventually became evident on the entire side of my face.  Initially I  didn’t know what it was.  I consulted a neurologist and had all necessary testing which revealed that there was no critical physical problem. Most often this condition is caused by a blood vessel resting on a facial nerve. The doctor prescribed some medication, an old Parkinson’s drug, which seemed to help somewhat initially.  It made my mouth so dry that I was making very weird faces attempting to get some saliva going in my mouth.  When there is a spasm (they are sporadic and random), my vision can be affected.  Sometimes it is difficult to see while it is happening.  There is no pain, but it can be difficult to control my face and the smile that I used to have on my face most of the time has diminished into looking like I am angry oftentimes; I am using my energy trying to control the muscles in my face.  I can look pretty ghoulish, too. 

Drawing: patient with hemifacial spasm

I have tried to be a good sport.  I know that there are far worse conditions that people deal with every day.  I am truly tired, exhausted from trying to control my face.  It is difficult to have my vision disrupted.  The stress can be rough. I feel like I am not me. My left eye feels like it is dilated and tears.

My ophthalmologist referred  me to a BOTOX specialist, in this case ….an Ophthalmologist, a top doc in Philadelphia..    BOTOX does help somewhat, but it is an art, not an exact science.  I have been treated with BOTOX 4 times so far.  I am told that it usually lasts 3 to 6 months. For me it seems to work for about 6 or 7 weeks.  I don’t really want to keep receiving BOTOX injections. I would prefer to find another method of treatment.  I have tried acupuncture which I believe does help. I have tried B100 vitamins, geranium oil topically on my face. I haven’t tried meditation yet.  So I am tired, sick of the subject, tired of having photos taken where I look like I have had a stroke (this is not a photo of me).  I just want to be done with this  situation and have my face back!  I understand that surgery is an option also…vascular decompression.

I understand that this condition is extremely rare in males…

This is MeddlingMom….have a good week.

Everyone Unite! Electronics..make up for kids…not GOOD!

February 15, 2011

Okay we have 6 year old children who want cell phones and go to concerts (not Mozart!) I heard recently that Walmart is now carrying a makeup line for 8 to 12 year olds.  When George Stephanopoulos says his daughters wear a little makeup (blush? who needs blush at 8 years old?) Are people crazy? Have we lost our minds?  I admit my offspring are well-grown, but I am not antiquated in my thinking, I believe.  The last time I looked around, it still made sense to decide what you believe in and what your values are, i.e.: what is good for your child and his/her development and to calmly and responsibly instill those values in your children. Yes, there will be conflict along the way. That is normal when raising one’s children. It is to be expected, not necessarily avoided. We need to have conversations with our children in order to teach them how to sort out facts, emotions, wants, needs and to teach them how to make sound decisions.

Let’s look at a very real situation. Would you allow your 2 year old to play in the street? If you would, you can stop reading  this right now. Clearly it is your job as a parent to protect your child.  Each parent has to decide what makes sense and what has value and specifically for each person based on age, temperament, interests and a variety of other factors.  I realize that electronics are exciting; they make noises, have buttons to push, pictures change sometimes without the user doing anything. They are truly fascinating and many of us are addicted. So why wouldn’t our children think that  electronics were thrilling and essential to their lives?  They are exposed from birth and shown that these items are IMPORTANT to us (oftentimes more important than our children are!)  Children don’t know why your phone is important to you, just that it is.  Have you seen a 7 month old holding a cell phone, ready to send a text message? I have!  That baby knows exactly how to hold the phone!  We teach infants to be addicted to electronics…have you thought about that lately?  Have you been to a restaurant lately? Have you watched the dynamics at the tables around you? Adults and children are looking DOWN at their phones, texting or e-mailing on other technology….or children are playing hand-held games…I ask you, why are these people out together…they certainly ARE NOT together in any way other than physically…there is no conversation…when did we get so bored with each other? and with life?

I ask you to take a look around today…observe your surroundings and your own behavior…notice the moms walking down the street with toddlers…paying not one bit of attention to those children…rather mom is in an active conversation (oftentimes a lengthy one) with an adult on her phone or blackberry or whatever the newest toy is…what is the message…the very clear message to those children is “YOU ARE NOT IMPORTANT; I WILL BE WITH YOU, BUT I WILL NOT BE ENGAGED WITH YOU BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT VERY INTERESTING”.  You can react by thinking I am being ridiculous; I would say that if you feel that way, perhaps you see yourself in the scenarios I describe.

Forget about the value or non-value of any technology. That really isn’t the point. The point is –  what is the value of the people who are physically with you? Are they nothing, is that what you want them to believe? The person you are with is more important than almost 100% of the messages you are receiving electronically. Yesterday was Valentine’s Day.  Think about those who you say are important  to you and put that interest into action.  Call your loved ones, actually listen to them and don’t jump when you see that you have a text message or a phone call.  Listen as your child tells you a story about what happened today. Think about whether your relationships have any real value. Add quality by adding yourself and being present. The only thing of value you can really give people is YOUR TIME. Time is what makes people understand that they are important to you.

Two weeks ago a 10 year old boy fell onto the tracks in New York; he was busy playing a hand-held game.  Luckily he was rescued and unharmed…People die every year from looking at their electronics instead of where they are going.

And while you are at it, if you are one of those who still thinks they can text while driving, 6000 people  each year die from idiots like you. If you have to use your phone, pull off the road and make your call or send your text.  Save a life-it might be your own.

To see what one amazing college student did to make a difference and how you can help by recycling your cell phones, click on

amazing college student or check out www.SaveOne.net.

This is MeddlingMom…think about it…what do you want in your life? Make it happen!

Love the one you’re with!

Valentine’s Day, Romance, Proposals, Weddings

February 13, 2011

Well, Valentine’s Day is tomorrow…have you been thinking about it? Are you prepared for the big day? Even if you are not, there is much opportunity for you to make Valentine’s Day special. You can buy flowers, write  a poem, draw a caricature, sing a song, give a massage, do a pedicure or a manicure or a hand massage or a foot rub. You still have time to purchase any of the items I just mentioned if that works better for you and your people. For a son or nephew away at college or living in a first apartment, a subscription to Automated Man’s automatic toiletry delivery service would be a great gift.   Remember, your child would love a video, or some technology or a gift card …the possibilities are endless depending on the age of your offspring.  The day does not have to be expensive,  but your gift should be based on what will tickle the person you love and what will bring you closer together. It could be a promise to spend the afternoon playing games together or going for a hike. I remember when I was a teenager, my mother would buy me a small gift like a new slip…that may sound strange today, but I loved receiving a little something that was personal and that showed she knew what I might enjoy.  She was thougtful that way. I remember (on any day) she was big on sending cards for no reason at all..

Remember tomorrrow that you can makes someone’s day by simply calling or texting and saying “Happy Valentine’s Day!”  Make sure to let those you love know how important they are to you…it’s simple and means a lot.

For those of you who are getting ready to pop the question, last week I received an e-mail from Thrillist about how to propose to your love.  It must be nerve-wracking to have to do that without having any experience, wanting to make it a special occasion.  Here’s what Thrillist says:

To get you over the hump and on to a lifetime of bliss, here are Thrillist’s 10 Rules for Popping & Locking That Down.

1) Use Modern Bride & JCPenney’s “The Notebook”, an online tool that lets you save, compare, and share, ideally with people who know about rings — i.e., girls.

2) Ask her dad for permission. It seems old-fashioned and awkward, but considering that at family dinners he’ll be the one deciding whether you get “the good Scotch” or “that junk the Hendersons gave us for Christmas last year”, it’s probably a good idea.

3) No matter how eager you are to get this over with, be careful to fall to just one knee; otherwise, she’ll assume you’re begging — which might get you 35 cents, but not a lifetime of devotion.

4) When proposing at a restaurant: if you’re not a Champagne guy or gal,, don’t just out-of-the-blue order Champagne and say something lame like “oh, I’m just in the mood for it”. She/he will immediately sense the imminent question-popping. Besides, are you really in the mood for Champagne, or are you in the mood to spend the rest of your life with someone who accepts that you prefer beer?

5) Try not to do anything to make her angry in the week day hour  seven minutes before the actual proposal.

6) Don’t keep the ring in your pocket. You could send it through the wash, or accidentally pop the question to the cocktail waitress.

7) You should totally start working out in the weeks leading up. Don’t get too jacked — she loves you for your mind, or at least your face — just enough to subtly reassure her you  don’t turn into a dump-truck after you’re married and no longer have to try at all.

8) Even after a highly successful proposal, don’t expect to end the evening with drinks and cigars with the boys. You’re going to need the goodwill you just earned for future with-the-boys outings, so don’t burn through it now.

9) If you’re planning on surprising her with well-wishing friends & relatives afterwards, make sure there’s a buffer period so she can redo makeup that’s now running due to her tears of joy.

10) Ask her to please not pose the ring next to a quarter on Facebook. Some girls actually do this. They shouldn’t.

If your love has already popped the question and you are planning a wedding, you may want some help keeping your emotions in check and not feeling too stressed.  Bridal Jitters can really get to the bride-to-be.

Here’s the site of a very popular event (including weddings) planner:  http://www.christinepaulevents.com/

Valentine’s Day is about LOVE…share the love…with hugs and smooches tomorrow and every day!

This is MeddlingMom…

The New Year…one month in…what do YOU want?

February 1, 2011

It’s difficult to believe that almost a month has gone by since the new year started….it just blew by…first the virus that was going around came through our house with a force.  After that a not-so-common cold came through. I have had it for 3 weeks…the doctor says it is  nothing!  I don’t know about you, but being in the Philadelphia area, I am so disgusted with the weather.  Bitter weather arrived, I believe, around mid-November.  Then the snow started.  The bitter cold left a week or so ago. I was out doing errands one day and saw someone wearing no coat.  It actually felt like it was spring by comparison to the 2 months prior; the temperature was around 32  that day! 

In addition to the nastiness we had, it has been snowing the past few weeks twice  a week! Yes, that’s what I said TWICE A WEEK!  That is really unheard of for this area!  A few years ago we barely took our shovels out of the garage and then it was for a few inches!  So I would imagine with the massive storm that is blanketing 30 states that most people reading this would say they are sick and tired of winter. And it being February 1st, we are probably not finished with bad weather for the season.

At the very least, there are probably loads of people who are feeling some sense of depression or seasonal affective disorder.  One of things that has me so ticked off is the unpredictability of a day’s events. With the threat of snow or ice comes the added job of waking up earlier to check to see if snow removal is needed and if it is the phone call and tending to the snow removal person.  Morning  and getting ready for the day is stressful enough without dealing with the special needs of the snow/rain/weather forecast.  Do we have ice melt? What does this particular day’s events and predictions need? It takes away one’s ability to start the day with any peace at all.  Okay, enough of that…on to what’s really important.

Forget about New Year’s resolutions…have you been thinking throughout January about what you really want to change in your life…other than the size of your hips or thighs (which is also an admirable change)…this is a great time to do some daily or weekly writing…to get in touch with yourself and what is working in your life and what needs adjusting…what gnaws at you…what brings you peace.  Even a few minutes of meditation can be helpful to you finding what you need…it isn’t difficult to do…takes no time to learn…take a look at Deepak Chopra’s quick meditation method on Dr. Oz’s site.  It can be done is 5 minutes or so.  As a Personal Life Coach/Strategist, I also have a method that I have introduced my clients to. Here’s how it works: When you find yourself stressed…maybe at work or at home or in the car, find a quiet place. It can be a stall in the rest room, or you can pull over on the side of the road.  Close your eyes and take a few deep and slow breaths…allowing yourself to just breathe and think about nothing.  Do that for about 5 minutes…you will feel better, your anxiety and upet will have diminished and you will have found a new way to take care of yourself…and it is free!  And renewable any time you need to decompress, you now have the tools to do so quickly! Not bad!

Meditating or writing in the early morning may give you a tranquility that will result in clarity for you; you will see what’s working for you and what is not.  This is a super way to jump start your day!

This is MeddlingMom….Namaste


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