Archive | February 2016

Where’s George?

A few years ago I discovered a fun activity—I can track all the one-dollar bills that I spend. There is a free website that you can register on to track your money to see where it is being spent.  If someone else finds your dollar it can be registered and the site sends you an email telling you how far the bill traveled.  Of course, most people are not aware of this system, so the sightings of my dollar bills are few and far between….but I still get excited whenever I have an email showing that one of my bills has been found.


I have a stamp I use to highlight the seal on each bill…other people who do this are always on the look-out for these marks, so I’m hopeful the dollars will be re-registered on the site. Other denominations can also be registered, but most people only do their dollars.  I’ve only seen another bill (a $20) once.

Join me! Go to It’s free for everyone—no strings attached!

The Cracked Pot

An elderly Chinese man had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which he carried across his neck.

One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the man bringing home only one and a half pots of water.

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do. After 2 years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the man one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.”

The old man smiled, “Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side?” “That’s because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them.” “For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.”

Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it’s the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You’ve just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them.

So, to all of my crackpot friends, have a great day and remember to smell the flowers on your side of the path!

How do you spell the color Gray?

I was listing a dark gray men’s shirt (size 5XL!) on eBay when I got to wondering if I’d spelled “gray” correctly.  So I checked it out, and now I’ll know forever.

Well, it turns out that both spellings (gray and grey) are correct. These are both acceptable spellings. Gray is used primarily in the United States and other areas that use US English. Grey is used in Great Britain and areas that use UK English.

The only exceptions to these rules are:

1. Proper nouns such as a last name; Earl Grey and Zane Grey would not be spelled Gray and L.H. Gray must be always be spelled Gray.

2. Greyhound as in the dog breed.

3. Food irradiation (quantity of radiation energy absorbed by the food as it passes through the radiation field during processing). 1 Gray = 0.001 kGy = 1 joule of energy absorbed per kilogram of food irradiated.

When all else fails..

grAy is how it’s spelled in America
grEy is how it’s spelled in England

And if you are interested in seeing the large size shirt, you’ll find it in my Ritzy Rae store:   5XL Gray Shirt


Cancer Research and Alternative Therapies

My daughter Samantha is applying for a scholarship toward her Master’s Degree–she wants to go into cancer research and was asked to write about the use of alternative therapies in place of orthodox medicine for cancer patients.  She used me and my experiences as part of her essay:

At age 61 James “Rhio” O’Connor received a diagnosis of Mesothelioma and given only one year to live from diagnosis. Like many cancers, Mesothelioma is not easily diagnosed or widely understood. It is linked to asbestos exposure.  Mesothelioma is a very aggressive cancer effecting the lungs, abdomen, or heart. Knowing the intensity of this cancer, Rhio felt the need to find his own promising treatment outside of orthodox medicine.  He knew he was going to be a survivor so he found options for treating his mind and body in a positive way.  Rhio treated himself with a mostly a vegetarian diet, vitamins, fatty acids, minerals, amino acids, herbs, enzymes, and a positive mental state.  Through this Rhio found his body becoming reinforced to out live his diagnosis.

Many people just like Rhio and myself feel that doctors should be able to treat cancer however they see fit with in guidelines of the needs and wants of the patient. Doctors should be able to give patients all treatment options traditional and non traditional as well as the pros and cons of the options. Final treatment decisions should always be left to the patient and family.  My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and she chose the traditional route of treatment.  She did chemotherapy as well as radiation.  Now she is free of breast cancer, but after the treatments she is currently dealing with irreversible effects on her body like mild cardiomyopathy.  She will have to be monitored the rest of her life because of chemotherapy and radiation. In December of 2013 she was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.  Like Rhio the doctors estimated a short time frame of a max of 10 months to live.  It was not an easy for her to agree to do traditional treatments.  The long lasting effects were obvious and the treatments this time would be much more intense.  After weighing her options, she did the intensive chemo and radiation but supplemented it with her own homeopathic treatments she and family members had researched.

In many patients’ scenarios they are given a short time frame of life after diagnosis. This can drive some people to find a way to beat their cancer.  Sometimes the timeframe for the FDA to approve a treatment option is a long narrow road.  Many cancer patients would not be alive still by the time a promising treatment is approved.  Thus, time drives patients and families to take matters into their own hands.  The herbal supplement my mother started taking, Moringa, has positive effects and no negatives, plus it is fairly inexpensive.  Thus, there was no reason to at least try the method.  With doing treatment she was given 10 months to live.  She has beaten her odds and is on month 25.  She has inoperable stage 4 pancreatic cancer, one of the hardest cancers to overcome.  Since my mother’s diagnosis just a few of the many other studies I have read are: controlling ones body’s pH, raw diets, medicinal marijuana, iodine, meditation, and Antineoplaston therapy.  All of these have seen positive results in research and a lack of negative results.  These non- traditional options are typically less costly compared to the high cost of traditional cancer medicines.  Medicinal medicines especially are currently very controversial.  I have heard and read interesting facts about the positive impact marijuana oils have on many diseases and cancers.  This has pushed people to move their families to places like Colorado to treat their sick child.  Not all medicinal or folk medicine is valid but some have shown good results in studies.  All of these non traditional routes have proven to be promising in many patients and definitely in Rhio’s case.  I believe treatment should start by looking at what we are putting in and on our bodies.

The FDA and laboratories work together doing a large amount of work to bring a new cancer drug to the market. Time is money and this process takes a long time.  Patients with Mesothelioma or other aggressive cancers do not have time to standby. The wide range of cancer drugs does not often encompass alternative therapies.  This keeps doctors from being able to use treatments that they feel are helpful to their patients because of not being FDA approved.  Independent laboratories and companies often have to find their own funding for alternative therapy research.  This causes a major roadblock between the FDA research verses independent research.  Society needs to change their outlook on cancer.  Often the traditional treatment for cancer is what leads to death in many patients.  The healthcare system should put more attention in cancer prevention.  People need to take care of their bodies before cancer can have a chance to strike.  Everyone lives with cancer cells in their body daily.  It is just a matter of keeping ones body strong and healthy enough at all times so the body can fight them off naturally.  Our government needs to put more emphasis and focus into research.  I do not feel that the focus should be on a particular cancer.  Instead scientists should be finding how cancers are similar, to then fight more cancers at one time.

As an adult I have seen the widespread impact of cancer on the world. I have also seen there start to be a great deal of change especially in Rhio’s and my mother’s circumstances.  I have seen the positive impact that education and research can have on humanity.  Many people are starting to see the benefits of non-traditional medicine.  With properly educating people all over the world we can eradicate cancer.   Education can go a long way but the need for continuous research backing is a must.  The more research that can be done will provide society with a chance to get closer to a real answer.  I want to be a part of this ever changing world of research and education. I hope to get to see the day that we live in a world where we can prevent cancers instead of having to treat them after the fact.



Writing is number 10 on the list….

An old friend pointed out that I’d been neglectful in keeping up my blogging…I suppose that is true.  But there are so many other things in the world to do!  And writing down my experiences always get left for another day….

My daughters often urge me to write.  So I did a little bit, but still, it is something that gets left for tomorrow–and tomorrow often turns into next week…and next week brings another project, so writing conveniently gets left for last.  And like many to-do lists, the bottom thing just never gets done.

I’ve even been trying (and have been somewhat successful) to make a list every morning of the major things I wanted to get done.  Even minor things got on the list.  I like lists, I just don’t like completing them. So I try to keep it pared down to 10 items….but there’s always 10 more things lurking in the back of my mind waiting to be included on the lists.  Sometimes I make two lists.

Back in 2009 when my brother and I were sorting through the family belongings after Dad died, he got me started on lists in the morning.  We sat there with our coffee and tea deciding what needed to be done for that day.  It’s such a good practice–I do believe there are entire books written on how to live with lists, but if I get the book/s I’d do nothing but read instead of implementing their ideas.

Well, look at that–I even have a book in my eBay listings that might help:  The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Organizing your Life.  I’m not saying I’m a complete idiot, but a quick review couldn’t hurt, could it?