Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, Beautiful People!


I know that 2011 was rough on many of us in a lot of different ways. However, each rough patch is a lesson learned and an opportunity to grow — and grow stronger, at that.

So just remember, Glorious Miscreants, that the only way over something is through it … AND now you can ring in 2012 with joy and hope (my all time favorite word).

A couple of things I’m doing in 2012 are stand-up Improv (and comedy sketch writing) and Burlesque (already registering my name). What about you? Any cool things that you’re doing in 2012 that you said you’d always do “someday?”

Let us know …

Cheerfully & Cheeringly Yours,

~*~SCF~*~ 

Thank you, Leonardo …

It’s Not Flying, But I’ll Take It!

Eight days ago I had a hysterectomy.  I thought I wouldn’t “talk” about it on a large scale, but the surgical procedure used was so phenomenal, and my recovery has been a-mazing, that I wanted to share it with those of you who might need one in your future.  Also, this cutting edge surgical method is used in other areas from bladder cancer to coronary artery disease to head and neck injuries to kidney disorders and cancers to obesity to prostate cancer.  Well … you get the point.

Let me introduce you to the daVinci robot(R) and the daVinci surgery: http://www.davincisurgery.com/.

My doctor was one of the first trained on the daVinci robot(R) and is very comfortable using it.  He also is only one of the 5% of doctors in the United States trained on it.  That’s my biggest suggestion when researching a doctor — find one who’s comfortable using it and who’ll take their time with your procedure  should any unexpected difficulties arise.  (My doctor had to deal with a tremendous amount of scar tissue, which meant he had to adjust his incision areas, as well as very precise, time-consuming separation of the uterus from the bladder in order to maintain my bladder’s continued excellent health.  I am so thankful for and to him for that extra care.)

Everything that is said about the post-op is absolutely true — I was up the day of surgery (just to stretch).  The next day I was up for eight hours, napped for an hour until my doctor arrived to discharge me, came home, and slept comfortably.  The next day I took two walks outside, and have continued to improve more-and-more each day — even driving short stints now.  Currently on medical PTO, I go back on Friday, 12/23, working from home, then into the office on 1/3/2012.  Happy New Year to me! 🙂

When my framily sees me they are amazed at how well I look,  how well I’m moving up and down stairs, and (honestly) amazed at my flexibility.  MOTION IS LOTION!  Every day I have awakened and done my daily routine and gone for a walk, and kept on moving — and I have rested when my body told me it’s needed to rest.  There has been nearly NO PAIN — primarily discomfort.  To give you an example, I received a prescription for 30 Vicodin.  I have 24 left.

I’m looking forward to getting back into activities I haven’t been able to do for quite some time — one of which is to train for the Sierra Club’s C&O Canal One-Day One-Day Hike on April 30, 2012: http://www.onedayhike.org/!

Goodbye, Pearl

Nearly five years ago when I was diagnosed with uterine cancer, the daVinci surgery was not available.  I know many people questioned why I didn’t have a hysterectomy at that time.  The simple truth was my body couldn’t handle it on mulitple levels.  So imagine my delight after dealing with months of “enjoying being a girl” progressively worse matters I found out that (a) I did not have cancer again, and (b) I did have hope!  The time had come for me to say goodbye to my lady parts.  They had done their “part” for society — namely, Overlord Protector #1 and Overlord Protector #2.  I didn’t hesitate this time.

And then a funny thing happened during Pre-Op and on the way to surgery … I completely broke down.

Even though I knew I couldn’t physically have more children, I suppose the “finality” of the moment needed to be honored.

Funny; isn’t it?  I never wanted children (or to be married) as I was growing-up.  I wanted to live in quiet, peaceful solitude in a stone cottage, writing out in the woods, at the foot of the mountains.  But Life has a way of giving you everything you thought you never wanted or needed — and it being both of those things in abundance.  My sons changed my life; and I would not be the person — the woman — I am without their constant support and inspiration.

In the days that have followed I’ve wondered, “Have I lost my compassion, my empathy, my warmth?”  “Are these thoughts just a side effect of the anesthesia and everything ‘adjusting’?”  “Am I normal in having these thoughts?”

I know I need to research all of this.  Because I’ll be terribly upset if those things that have made me truly nurturing all of my life are the result of an organ that’s no more a part of my natural make-up.  Could this be why some women insist on having the organs ground up and eating them afterwards?  (Yeah … Don’t think I didn’t think about asking for my organs.  Because, well, what if???)

Then, again, I believe I just need to let my mind be as my body has been and “go with the flow” (no pun intended) — and rest when it needs to rest.

Healthy & Healing,

~*~SCF~*~ 🙂

Windows of the World – Belinda Carlisle

Risking The Ride

I’m sending this out to two very special people in my life — One knows; the other might not. Still, it’s relevant, Lovelies

Never forget that the ride always carries risks, but that they are well-worth it.


RISKING THE RIDE

Even in writing this
I fight the urge to diverge
Mind racing
A myriad of splinters
All faces concocted

Concurring to own your heart
Scenarios and schemes
Inch to the tips of these fingers
Scenes of allurement swirling by
Designed fantasies for control

Aching to indulge
I tease myself
With tempting power
As dreams slip away in an instant
Of who I wish to be

Lost in your sighs my heart cries
Asking for remembrance
As everything’s forgotten in a moment
That can never last
Instantly all becoming the past

In this insanity called us
It takes everything decent to refrain
From this need to be worshipped
As I crave to hold you like no other
To mold you into submission, no permission

Heels buried deep in a desire to make you mine
I stand firm and am refined
Tongue resisting speech
That would pour sweet words of honey
Conspiring to reign with fire

Baptized in lust’s holy waters
I see everything I am
Pushed to the limits in you
A compliment to a king
Hot breath giving wings to a rising serpent

Redemption mounting my spine
Triumphant every time
I tell you the truth
One more day
Keeping the darkness at bay

I couldn’t become any stronger
Or find joy in myself any longer
If I had not you as a mirror
An image of strength
Growing clearer

It takes everything I have
To subdue this temptation to seduce
To make you “fall” in love with me
Unsure that I can give it in return

My soul must not break
My will to good cannot fall
To the enticement to manipulate
Sacrificing freedom
To an admirer of lies

The spirit of truth must have free reign
In my domain of dichotomy subdued
Beautiful and strong I need you
To show me my own reflection
Weaknesses consumed in ashes of glory

I cling to the lover that lives inside
One that must not hide, or be tamed
A mare who when running wild
Finds unsurpassed joy
A release not brought by the hand of man

Yet still I risk the ride

~*~SCF~*~

WILD HORSES ~ The Rolling Stones

BLACK HORSE AND THE CHERRY TREE ~ KT Tunstall

THE RIDE ~ Chris Ledoux

THREE HORSES ~ Joan Baez

Flippin’ Phenomenal Foo Fighters!

Dear Lovelies ~

I am STILL trying to come down from the magnificent nearly three-hour concert that my mighty Foo Fighters put on tonight. (And this was after the wonderfulness of “newcomers” The Joy Formidable (hot female lead / vocals with a Welsh accent) and the always pure awesomeness of “Social D” [Social Distortion for the uninitiated].)

My girlfriend and I didn’t get out of the venue until just before midnight! I was so excited to share the day / evening with her because this was the first time she’d ever seen a concert in a large venue. WE ROCKED OUT!!!

This got me to thinking … always dangerous … that I had not “Psy-Op’d” y’all before. So tell me, Musical Miscreants ~

1. What was your first concert?
2. How old were you when you went to it?
3. What’s your all time favorite concert?
4. What’s your best concert memory?
5. What’s the last concert you attended?
6. When’s your next concert?

I’m a music junkie — as well as a former semi-professional singer. I literally “eat” music, and I’m always looking for new stuff — to share and support. So I’d love to hear your responses in case you’ve heard some great singers / groups that I haven’t!

As always … You show me yours, and I’ll show you mine!

Lyrically Yours,

SCF 

HALO Foo Fighters

ALL MY LIFE Foo Fighters

ROPE Foo Fighters

RRRRum Cake RRRRecipe … *yarrrr*

In honor of International “Talk Like a Pirate” Day, I give you the following recipe, Pirate Lads and Lasses

RUM CAKE

1 box of standard yellow cake mix
1 box of instant vanilla pudding (Jell-O brand or something)
4 Eggs
Cooking Oil
Pecans or Walnuts (chopped)
Rum
Sugar
Butter
Heavy cream

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 F
Empty both packages into a bowl and stir in 4 eggs (one by one)

Add:

1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of cooking oil
1/4 cup of pecans or walnuts
1/2 cup of rum (or more–3/4 or so)

Grease Bundt pan
Sprinkle additional 1/4 of nuts in the bottom of the bundt pan
Pour the mixture into the bundt and bake for 50 minutes.

GLAZE

1 stick of butter
1 cup of sugar

Melt butter and sugar together to a near boil, remove from heat and add

1/2 cup of rum

Ladle onto the cake and let cool for two hours
Top cake with fresh whipped cream before serving.

Enjoy … or walk the plank!

Telecommuting: It’s Not Just for Mommies Anymore!

Mobile workforces are here to stay.  A recent Forrester report, that indicates nearly 66% of IT personnel currently telecommute, sums it up best with the following: “… work is becoming something people do, not somewhere they go.” http://www.forrester.com/rb/Research/demystifying_mobile_workforce/q/id/59261/t/2

I started telecommuting when my company allowed it back in 2007.  As “luck” would have it, I was diagnosed with uterine cancer that year.  As time marched on, my ability to telecommute allowed me to remain productive, which was extremely important to me, as well as provided me with the ability to look after my health.  These days I still have health issues — yet my productivity is expected to be on par with (indeed, better than) what it’s always been.  This isn’t news.  Which one of us doesn’t constantly “move and shake” in our fast-paced, constantly shifting, ever-growing industry?  Personally?  I thrive on those facets of my job that allow me to have new learning opportunities (and, yes, challenges) every day … But that’s a topic for a different time!

Speaking from my own experience, having the ability to telecommute is great.  Despite the obvious fuel cost savings and limited “wear-and-tear” on my vehicle, I can “roll” out of bed at 6:00 a.m. and start my day well-ahead of most time zones — and catch-up with overseas colleagues, if necessary.  The flip side of this is that I often don’t stop until midnight.  This is my choice as well as the expectation of my position (which has me accessible to my clients 24/7).  Savvis doesn’t “hold” me to these hours.  However, my goal is to provide my clients, both external and internal, with the best I have every day.  Some days just happen to be longer than others — and they almost always do not include “latte runs” or doing household chores.  (I truly believe that a chip was implanted in me when I filled-out the Telecommuting Request form that allows my colleagues and bosses to pinpoint exactly when the slightest hint of leaving my home desk flits through my mind.)

And I can handle that — especially in my very comfortable flannel pajamas!

What about you?  Do you have a home office or work from “available” space?  Need background noise or absolute silence?  Away from office aficionado or crave your colleagues’ companionship?  How many of your “mobile offices” are on planes, trains, and automobiles?  Share your telecommuting stories with us — as well as any tips you have for making the experience productive!

Shawn Catherine Fisher would like to acknowledge her “sweet” cubicle in the Herndon, VA office — which always remains clean and has wonderful windows to warm it year-round.  (She pleads with the Facility Manager not to “re-assign” it!)  Special shout-out to “Jesus” (Hay-seuss), the nearby tree, that helps provide clean air to Shawn and her officemates.