A couple of months ago, I received a surprise package from my sweet friend, Suzn.

It contained gifts of an "angelic" theme.

Until recently, I never really knew how profoundly one of the gifts would affect me.

It is a CD by a female vocalist, Eva Cassidy.

I had never heard of her but immediately became enchanted by her incredible voice and immaculate phrasing.

I made the comment, "She sings like an angel."

And the reality is, Eva Cassidy sings like no one I had ever heard and her style is without definition.

Soul, jazz, folk ... perhaps blues?

Eva's rendition of Sting's "Fields of Gold" brings tears to my eyes.

I fly with her in the classic, "Somewhere Over The Rainbow".

I carry the CD in my car and have listened to it exclusively.

This week, a friend that I have not seen in over a year noticed the CD and asked if I knew the "story of Eva Cassidy".

She was an artist, a writer ... and did not plan to be a musician.

Her platinum "Songbird" CD topped the charts in the U.K. in 1999.

She died in obscurity from the musical community three years earlier. While she was alive, she was never truly recognized for her music.

She died at the very young age of 33.

She died from advanced melanoma. Skin cancer.

She died on my birthday, November 2nd.

The "angelic" gift from Suzn truly is angelic.

Eva Cassidy sings in a choir of angels that reaches deep into the soul ... and touches the heart in peaceful repose.


It is called the 'world wide web' because of the interconnectivity of hyperlinking.

Simply put: one link leads to another and so on.

I was recently looking at a site that is not in my comfort zone of 100+ blog/journal sites and eventually moved on from this website to another site that was listed within their links.

In no time at all ... after few links clicked here and there ... I found myself webbed into a world of blogs/journals that I have never heard of and span literally 100s of thousands in number.

It simply astonishes me at the size and scope of personal web logging and journaling.

These diaries are not obscure or hidden. No way.

They are just in a different neighborhood, in a different city, in a different state ... in a different country ... than the comfort zone of "neighbors" that I have been consistently reading.

They too, are in their own comfort zone of links reflecting their own interconnectivity.

They have never heard of me or any of the fine folks I have listed on my links page.

When I begin to think that the "personal internet" has become stale and repetitive, one link leading to another makes me realize that it is ME that has become stale.

Sometimes a simple walk in a different neighborhood awakens the spirit to new adventures.

As the digital spider weaves her web, I am caught off guard.

Do I resist the bands of webbed interconnectivity?


But the walk has sure been good exercise.


With the exception of my immediate family, I do not know my relatives very well. Yes, I have traveled many miles to meet them or attend a funeral ... but the simple reality remains that they are all strangers to me.

Strangers with a secret.

When I was very young, I would hear my father speak about this bizarre "behavior". It sounded so odd and scary; I knew that it actually had killed two or three of them.

As I grew older, I learned more about them and why they did what they did.

I was thankful that it was "them" and not "us".

But it happened.

It was here.

It is us.

About sixteen years ago, my father began having bouts of unquenchable thirst and complained about a ringing in his ears. His weight began to drop yet he was consuming a normal food intake including many of his favorite desserts.

One morning, Dad was incoherent and babbling oddly. This was NOT my father ... he had a genius I.Q. and was far too young to be showing signs of senile dementia or ALZ.

After many, many worrisome hours and numerous tests at the hospital, it was revealed that the secret had found its way to my Dad.

For the next six years, my father paid the price for learning the secret.

It changed his life dramatically: he was an artist of renown and exception ... sadly, he lost his clear vision to retinopathy. He could not work well with his beloved paintbrushes because of the neuropathy that afflicted his hands. He walked with an unsteady gait because of the neuropathy in his feet.

Ten years ago this month, my father lost his life to the secret.

Mom was always complaining about her head itching. She also complained about "getting old" because she needed to get up through the night due to frequent urination.

One morning in November of 1998, my brother found Mom comatose in the living room.

Again, after so very many miles paced around the Emergency Department, we learned that Mom had also fallen victim to the secret.

Yes, it was here.

A few months ago, I was required to give my complete medical history including the histories of my family.

It had become apparent that the secret was no secret anymore:

Diabetes has afflicted both sides of my family.

My mother and older brother both have diabetes; my father and paternal grandmother both died from diabetes related illness. In addition, my two aunts and one uncle also died from diabetes related illness.

Times have changed. Treatment is better. Understanding and education are vital. Compliance is imperative.

Talking about diabetes out loud and with full understanding is the only way to save lives.

November is American Diabetes Month.

As the month draws to a close, please read and learn:

American Diabetes Association

The secret is out. Whisper no more.


In Gratitude for the Blessings          


I am watching our local late night news channel and learning via "breaking news" that there has been another security breach at our metro airport, Phoenix Sky Harbor.

Everything has been evacuated. Yes, everything.


One of the checkpoint personnel was not following "security procedures".

This means that someone hired to check boarding passengers was just not doing their job.

What the heck?   What can these so-called "security screeners" possibly be thinking?

These are lives, people!    The rules have been established to protect and save human beings.

Normally, I frown upon government interference in taking jobs away from the private sector, but cases like these make me hope that making the airport screening personnel part of the Federal Government may indeed repair a security situation that has long been broken.

Who found the mistake? The F.A.A.

For once, I am very glad that big brother is watching.


Okay, so I am on the phone when I hear, and feel, the deep rumble of a fire truck pass by my open window.

I get out of my bed (leaving my trusted heating pad) and look out into the dark night.

Yes, indeed it is a fire truck and a paramedic ambulance. No lights, no sirens ... but definitely in a hurry.

I know, I know ... curiosity killed the cat but "meow dammit" ... I had to venture outdoors.

Walking a bit here and glimpsing a bit there, I round the corner in time to see and hear the group of firefighters at a neighbor's door knocking loudly and yelling, "Fire Department ... Fire Department."

Apparently the occupant answered but was not able to open the door ... because in the blink of an eye, whammo! This huge mass of a firefighter placed his leg aloft with gigantic boot in the air and in one swift move, the heavy door flew open.

I skulked in the shadows long enough to eventually volunteer to find someone to secure the now demolished door frame while they took the occupant(s) to the hospital.

One paramedic asks my name and where I live ... then tells me that the occupant just had a baby.

Since I did not know these people, I was not at all surprised.

However, about an hour later when the significant other came home to find his door broken down and blood (from the birth) all over the bathroom floor ... 'surprise' was the key word.

In our ensuing conversation, it appears that he did not know that his lady was indeed even "with child" much less ready to give birth.

He was desperate to learn where she had been taken (I made the phone call for him) ... and as he was running to his car, he stopped.

Almost as an afterthought, he asked, "Ma'am? Um, did you happen to find out what we had?"

I told him that his lady had left on a gurney carrying their healthy baby girl.

The look of sheer joy, shocked filled happiness, and remarkable love on his face almost brought me to my knees.

I walked home in the darkness of the desert smiling to myself.


They are the World Champions!


Congratulations to Mr. Colangelo, Mr. Brenly ... and the entire team!

Thank you DBacks!

And thank you to Mr. Torre and the New York Yankees for the seven games of thrills. You are a class act indeed.

Yes ... *singing aloud* ... I LOVE MY DIAMONDBACKS!


Yes, the rumor was true.

Friday, the 2nd, was indeed my 29th birthday.

Yep. 29.


Um ... well ... maybe not.

But it was my birthday. Honest. Really.

And I just want to say a sincere thank you to each of you who posted a sweet note in your blog/journal and/or wrote to me via email with birthday wishes.

I had a wonderful birthday ... rather bittersweet though.

Remember that pinched nerve ["pain in the neck"] I whined about last week?

I visited my trusted orthopaedic doc on Friday and learned that the pinched nerve is actually a torn rotator cuff.

Can we all say a collective "ouch"?

He told me to avoid repetitive action and specifically said, "Like your computer."

Yep. I sure will Doc Van. Uh huh.

I guess my future as a relief pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks is now in jeopardy!

And speaking of the DBacks ... what can I say?


Meanwhile, don't forget about my offer for get into the loop buttons (see entries of 11/1 and 11/2).

And remember, you too, can get into the loop:


Just a brief follow-up to yesterday's entry encouraging you to get into the loop.

Today I received permission from Ms. Laura Hack of the New York S.L.E. Foundation (the fine folks behind "Get Into The Loop") to spread the orange loop image around for linkage to lupus related sites.

If you would like a button created (transparent, of course) for your background, please send me the appropriate RGB or HEX code and I will return three different size buttons made just for you!

And remember to get into the loop.


Get into the loop.

"Someone You Know Has Lupus".

Have you seen that statement written on a bumper sticker or perhaps on a billboard?

Were you motivated to then go and learn more?

If not, then it is time for you to get into the loop.

Per the Lupus Foundation of America, lupus affects more people than muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis, leukemia, Addisons Disease, cerebral palsy, sickle cell anemia, HIV and AIDS combined.

October was Lupus Awareness Month, but it has rested quietly in the very important shadows of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

I, personally, support lupus awareness every day of my life.

You can learn more about lupus and how you can get into the loop by taking a look at these links, reading, and contributing to lupus research:

Lupus Foundation Of America
About the Get Into The Loop Campaign
The S.L.E. Foundation

Your efforts today may save someone you know from a life of constant debilitating pain, chronic fatigue, severe organ disease ... and yes, sadly ... death.

So, why not now ...

Get into the loop.

My sincerest of thanks to Jeffrey Clark of the Internet Brothers for his efforts towards this entry and to Laura Hack of the New York SLE Foundation for permission to use the logo.

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