Something happened, not too long ago, that made me appreciate what my husband, Eddie, does for a living. At roughly 2:30 a.m. Eddie and I awoke to the ringing of his cell phone. He picked it up and I could hear a deep voiced man tell him that he needed to head down to the office right away. Without hesitation, he jumped out of bed. In the dark I heard the snaps, zips and clicks as he hurriedly dressed. He walked over to my side of the bed and kissed me on the check and told me he loves me, then he was gone. I knew nothing more. I laid awake with my mind racing until the alarm went off. Then, I got up and got ready for work. I had heard nothing from him yet. I woke the kiddos up and got them ready for school. Still nothing. It had been 4 hours. It was not until I am almost at work when the phone rang and I heard his voice on the other end.
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Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman is expected to make a full recovery after recently being hit in the face by a batted ball in a preseason game against Kansas City in Surprise, Arizona. Reports indicate the line drive that hit Chapman was clocked at 99 mph. He underwent surgery to repair a broken bone above his right eye where a metal plate was inserted. Chapman should be back in action in about six weeks and is very lucky that his injuries weren't worse. This incident, coupled with the start of the 2014 season, turned my thoughts to safety in the game of baseball. I'm certainly no expert when it comes to athletics as I was raised in a home where motorsports got top billing. On the field, though, baseball is probably my sport from the standpoint of understanding the rules relatively well. However, I don't need to be an expert about America's favorite pastime to wonder if additional safety precautions for the players are necessary, the pitcher in particular. Is it time to consider protective headgear? After all, the batter is wearing a helmet. Why not take the same precaution for the guy on the mound? He, too, has baseballs coming at him at a high rate of speed. And think about the advancements in the game. The equipment is better when compared to many years ago and the players are bigger, stronger and faster hence the balls are hit with much more force. If you've seen the video of Chapman being struck, it's evident it happened so quickly that he did not have time to protect himself
I looked out the window on Wednesday morning on my way to the kitchen. According to the calendar and the overly optimistic weatherman, Wednesday was supposed to be the sixth day of spring. But as I gazed across my yard, I didn't see any tufts of brownish green grass. What I saw instead was more snow. Ugh... I'm sure most of us would agree it's been a long, hard winter. I have a theory about that. I think the groundhog actually saw two shadows, but he was afraid to say we would be getting 12 more weeks of winter instead of the usual six. It's a good thing he kept his mouth shut. We probably would have run the little critter out of the country! As I stared at this latest deposit of white stuff, I began thinking of winters from my past. I'm a native West Virginian so I have plenty of wintry memories to pull from.
Many people shudder when it's employee review time. Not me. I love employee review day. You might think I'm crazy, and I'm sure some people do, but it is a time to get feedback on your job performance and make adjustments to improve. I know no one likes to hear constructive criticism, myself included, but it's a necessary evil to improve performance in order to be the best at your job. If you do not get feedback, you may be making errors repeatedly and be unaware you are making them. You could also think you are doing a great job when in reality your performance is merely mediocre in the eyes of your employer. While it can be upsetting to hear that you could be doing better in some areas, it is better to know and correct the behavior than to one day be let go because you were not correcting a problem you didn't know existed and now have no opportunity to fix. In your eyes your employer may be wrong in their assessment of you, and you may be right, but they are paying you to perform a service the way they like it performed, not the way you like it performed.
"Distracted driving is a dangerous and deadly habit on America's roadways." With these words, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood introduced the first-ever federal guidelines for reducing distracted driving. Nearly 50,000, or 5%, specifically involved the use of an electronic devise. The new guidelines, issued in February, 2012, are the first attempt to address this growing threat. February's guidelines are directed at manufacturers of "light" vehicles--cars, pick-up trucks, SUV's and minivans. For the most part, the guidelines encourage manufacturers to reduce the amount of time drivers are required to spend operating devices within the vehicle. In addition, they encourage manufacturers to disable certain devices except while the vehicle is in park.
I have never been a fan of being stagnant. To someone like me, being stale, vapid or simply ordinary is a curse that rivals having no pulse. What I've come to discover, however, is that sometimes you don't know what you don't know. If you are never exposed to the extraordinary, how do you recognize that there can actually be something even more amazing than what you've ever imagined? We are bound by our own experiences and limited by stifling our expectations based upon only what we think we know. Most recently I have realized that my own personal limitations have been defined by not allowing myself to see beyond what I've only witnessed firsthand. It is the equivalent of not comprehending the vast beauty of the ocean because you've only walked by a creek or a stream.
Like most of the world, I have been actively following the news stories of the missing Malaysian jetliner. I have refreshed the internet pages of many different news outlets, hoping for headlines revealing new leads, developments in theories, and uncovered clues. I have looked at the satellite images of what could be either debris from plane or merely a cargo casualty, read the interviews with residents of various islands who have reported sights and sounds of what they believed to have been the Boeing jet, and considered the opinions of various experts on the plane's trajectory, and what this could have meant. One type of news report pertaining to this unbelievable story that I have had a much more difficult time reading, however, is the stories about the families of the passengers aboard Flight 370. The families' reactions have been an integral and heavily covered aspect of the missing plane. And rightfully so, these people are real life characters in a situation that seems only possible in a movie, book or television drama series. They have been living for over two weeks with essentially no information as to what happened to their loved ones, or even real clues as to where their mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, daughters, co-workers and friends have gone. The headlines reveal that family members of the passengers are shocked, devastated, scared, frustrated, worried, and angry. Mothers have wept openly during press conferences. Relatives have protested and put pressure on the government for more answers. Even from an outside perspective, these emotions and reactions are understandable, because these people are living a nightmare. It is nearly impossible, in fact, for me to imagine a friend or relative's reaction to the missing plane that does not involve negative emotions. Thankfully, my imagination does not govern reality.
Who's your favorite Pirates player of all time? Naming your selection could land you 4 tickets to the Opening Day match-up against the Chicago Cubs on Monday, March 31st at 1:05 p.m. Like our page, share this post with your friends, and comment with your favorite player for a chance to win. The winner will be announced on Friday, March 28th. Good luck - we can't wait to hear your selections!
Thankfully, we are now through the main construction season on most highways. Unfortunately, some of the construction on our interstates and even some of the secondary and state roads continue throughout the winter. It seems to be a never-ending battle to avoid construction jams and messes along the interstates in Ohio and West Virginia. Pennsylvania seems a little better than the other two states. In considering the great volume of trucks that travel along Interstates 70, 64 and 79 in this area, I must remind you again as I did in a previous blog that there are a number of items that you should be aware of.
Last year my daughter Stacey was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The bottom of my world literally dropped out from beneath me. The thoughts going through my head were many and varied. Why her? Why now? She's my baby girl. This is not real. She has children to care for. What do I do? What can I do? My initial horror of the thought of multiple sclerosis stems from my ex-husband's mother, Mary,* who died of some form of MS when she was 54. I remember it vividly. The horror of her life as she slipped away has been at the forefront of my mind since my daughter was diagnosed. Mary had to have a stomach tube put in because she could no longer swallow. She was totally bedridden because all of her muscle function was gone. She could not speak clearly and it was very difficult to understand her in the last year of her life because she no longer had control of her vocal cords. Although I come from a faith-filled family, I can't seem to stop the uncontrollable thoughts of how Mary died from passing through my mind when I think of my beautiful daughter, the mother of five children ranging in ages from 14 to 9. I keep telling myself that technology is so much better today than it was back then. I would feel better about that had Stacey been diagnosed in a timely manner. She was having different symptoms for different things and ended up having multiple surgeries before a definitive diagnosis was made. The terrible thing about MS is that it can mimic other diseases, so every other disease that Stacey may have had had to be ruled out first. The testing that had to be done was unimaginable.