November 15, 2011

Creating Donovan’s Brain by Bev Hamel

I am always thankful when the day’s rush hours are over and although each day typically ends in frenzy the same as the day begins, the ending frenzy is more relaxed and fun. Sometimes we all make dinner then homework, baths, hugs, giggles, and a monster mom story, which usually turns into bedlam when girls, dogs, and cats, chase after me from room to room. We act out each story; one of my silly ‘monster mom versus girls’ where the villain is always subdued with hugs and kisses.
Tonight I rushed through the routine because of my own homework; a writing assignment for one of Forsyth Tech classes. Finally, the girls are settled in their room pretending to be asleep but will probably be for real soon, so it was okay for me to attend to my own needs.Read more at

November 11, 2011

Veterans are Not Just Men . . . Women Were Soldiers Too

Three pairs of eyes stare out from the photographs of three women, each wearing a Women's Army uniform from three different wars. A photograph of me in my Viet Nam era uniform sits next to one of my mother in her World War II uniform along with one of my daughter in her camouflage fatigues from the first war in Iraq.

I see me in my mother's reflection and I see my mother in my daughter's reflection. But it is the eyes that stare back at me, all three pairs, that tells me my inner strength comes equally from the women in my life as well as the men.
I had always thought that my mother's name was Millie until I stumbled across her birth certificate after she died and found that her given name was Amelia. I think the name  Millie suited her better. In this portrait, she is twenty-three and on the back is written; 'red hair, hazel eyes.' Both my daughter and I have brown hair and brown eyes but I think even a stranger would agree that we have Millie's eyes.

My mother was a beautiful woman in her youth. Her eyes are full of life, of hope, of promise, of high expectations she set for herself, and instilled in me. Her eyes fit her personality, the one that I still remember. Not the Millie I knew during those troubled years of her battle in another war, the one that eventually took her life, the war with breast cancer.

I remember when I was seven and my brother was stricken with polio. I didn't know the sacrifices she made but realize now the necessity of why she instilled in me high ideals for my own self , for teaching me to be independent, for teaching me to look to my faith to guide me in troubled times, and to believe in myself.

I was nineteen when my mother died. She never saw me in my WAC uniform. She never knew my daughter Dana.
In this portrait, she looks stern and strong. Her eyes penetrate my very soul, and still have the capability to take my breath away. The first time I looked into her eyes, I was hopelessly lost, hopelessly in love. My daughter's eyes - so big - so brown so deep - like the ocean.

Dana looks like my mother, and she looks like me. It is in her eyes. They reflect her strength and her courage.

We are separated by distance but not by heart. And yes, I hurt not to be near her, and my five beautiful grandchildren, two who I have never held but in my dreams. Soon, she will be a grandmother and as I watch my granddaughter Tori and her tummy grow, I hope one day we will all be together again.
Any given moment of the day I only need to turn to facebook and there they all are, second best though it is, I can watch all of them grow.  

I look so young in this picture and wonder where did this young woman go. Images of my life and all my yesterdays wash through me like a kaleidoscope of colors. I see thousands of tiny pieces that represent a moment of my life between then and now. In my now moment of life I can still see the young me peering through my glasses. My face shows fine lines of age, though I don't see them  I know others do. I know where I have been, I know how I have lived, and I know there is still so much I want to do.

But lines on faces from age and life - I don't want to erase - each one is memory - good - bad - indifferent. I earned them. I learned from them.

My mother taught me. My daughters and granddaughters taught me - all of them - because my family is and has been blended.

I come from family lineage from both American and foreign lands where the men stood up to fight for their county's freedom, but I also came from a long line and heritage of  women, who were soldiers too and in so many ways, stronger then men.

November 10, 2011

Why I Went Square and Ditched My Credit Card Machine

My Square
Being Square is the best thing since sliced bread, because now my bank can no longer steal from me.
First there is no longer monthly fees of a minimum discount fee of $15.00 a month or higher. Then there is no longer the $5.99 charge for being in compliance. Then there is no longer the $5.00 access fee. Then there is no longer the actual discount fees each credit card company charges. And then there is no potential additional fees should I wish to speak with Merchant Services more then twice a month, and lastly there is the total avoidance of not having 28% of my merchant deposits held for a new law going into effect January 1, 2012.  

Square and Mackie in
MyTouch 4G Khaki
Square is only 1 inch by 1 inch and is as portable as my cell phone. I just plug it in the top of my phone, tap on the app and speak into my phone or type in the necessary information. I am asked if I want receipt by email or SMS and then I'm done. Money is in my account at end of day and customer goes away happy.

So today I gleefully called Merchant Services and told them good by. I pulled the cord from the VeriFone, and the land line, and will now be placing it for sale as a genuine antique in my shop.

Very soon I will be doing this with my land line company and broadband provider, but I am still researching the possibilities which may be finalized as early as next week. Although I have to say I am tad bit nervous because the last time I did that - all hell broke loose.
We'll see.
Antique VeriFone For Sale