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“Don’t Forget to Laugh”

Last night I had the pleasure of being part of a great event, “Don’t Forget to Laugh” organized by Melinda Smith of Heart Mojo, https://www.spreaker.com/show/heart-mojo-with-melinda-smith.  The entertainment consisted of four amazing comics all with heart and soul; Bill Benden, Tim Folger (no relation to the coffee), Mike Conley, and Michael Gershe.  This talented group of individuals donated their time, energy and passion for an evening to support the Alzheimer’s Association.

 

Melinda Smith has a walk team to support the important message that only money for continued research will help eliminate, cure, or reduce the incidents of this mind altering disease.  It is not just the individual that experiences the loss of memories that suffers but all that engage with them.  Although this disease is not life-threatening, it destroys the nerves that connect in the brain that makes it difficult or impossible to do common every day things like, dressing, eating, and worst of all living in a fog of confusion.  Like many of us, Linda had the experience of watching her grandmother live out her life with this disease.  In fact, not only did her mother become a caregiver but Linda did as well, out of love and need for a family member.

Last night’s event is just one of several Melinda Smith will be coordinating to raise awareness and financial support for Alzheimer’s and Dementia which is kin to this disease.  “Don’t forget to Laugh,” was held at the Funny Stop in Cuyahoga Falls.  Owner Pete Barakat of the club graciously provided the space for this comedy event.  Watch for more information on “Don’t forget to Laugh” coming to Cleveland, and other areas where we can come together to support ourselves and others to help in finding a cure.

 

On a side note,  I want to share that studies show that laughter and music help heal parts of the brain.  So keep laughing, do not lock it away.

Laugh to Keep From Crying Madonna

I can’t lock my door 
Oh, I don’t have no privacy
The only thing that’s mine
Is what’s inside of me

When I’ve had enough
A little voice inside
It says you’ve got to be tough
You’ve got to take it in stride

Sometimes I am foolish
I let it get the best of me
At least I know that my mistakes
Are my responsibility
And

I just have to laugh to keep from crying
I just have to laugh to keep from crying

I don’t have a dime
Oh, to buy those pretty things
But I hear all the evidence
You know it all sounds the same

But I’m still waiting
I’ve got my hands open wide
You know my dream isn’t fading
I keep it hidden inside
Oh

I just have to laugh to keep from crying
I keep on trying

My friends don’t understand
Oh, they think I’ve lost my mind
And I’m choking back the tears
I’ve got to swallow my pride

I just have to laugh, ah
La, ah
Lo, oh
La, ah

Songwriters: CICCONE MADONNA L / BRAY STEPHEN PATE
Laugh to Keep From Crying lyrics © WB Music Corp., Webo Girl Publishing Inc., Momma Hattie’S Muse, COPYRIGHT CONTROL (NON-HFA), WEBO GIRL PUBLISHING, INC., WB MUSIC CORP. O/B/O WEBO GIRL PUBLISHING, INC.

Make your Life the BEST-Think of your Fellow Man

Within the last week many celebrated Good Friday, the First & Second Passover Seders, Easter, Dingus Day, and Earth Day.  However, each day should be one to celebrate, live, and protect the life of Mother Nature that nurtures us!  If we don’t, we will be living on a landmine of garbage.  Metaphorically I am also referring to trash that we talk and impose on others if we take to heart the meaning of the past weekend whether, in light of religion, tradition, or personal spiritual need, the world will be a better place.

Think of your fellow man, lend him a helping hand
Put a little love in your heart
You see, it’s getting late, oh, please don’t hesitate
Put a little love in your heart

And the world will be a better place
And the world will be a better place for you and me
You just wait and see

Another day goes by, and still the children cry
Put a little love in your heart
If you want the world to know, we won’t let hatred grow
Put a little love in your heart

And the world will be a better place
And the world will be a better place for you and me
You just wait and see. Wait and see

Take a good look around and if you’re lookin’ down
Put a little love in your heart
I hope when you decide kindness will be your guide
Put a little love in your heart
And the world will be a better place
And the world will be a better place for you and me
You just wait and see
Put a little love in your heart
Put a little love in your heart

Writer/s: JACKIE DE SHANNON, JIMMY HOLIDAY, RANDY MYERS
Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Join newclevelandradio.net today and let’s make life the best journey, see the light!

Who Is Charlie Wiener and Why Should You Care?

 

Do you know Charlie Wiener?  Have you heard of K. Adrian Zonneville?  Well, today is your day!

Today begins a new podcast at newclevelandradio.net with my friend, the amazing Charlie Wiener aka K. Adrian Zonneville.  We will be discussing his books (found on Amazon) as well as his comedy and music.  We welcome you to call in during the 1-hour show that begins at 1 pm EST and will run until 2 pm.  If you miss the show you can find it on the podcast and we will post the link on Facebook, Twitter as well as our website!

The call in # is 440-922-6431. 

I AM WORTHY BY KAREN

This Blog was submitted and posted on https://www.empoweredandpoised.com
I am so proud to share my passion and compassionate guidance to assist others in understanding negative feelings may be normal, however, they do not have to own us.  It is time to empower ourselves to look in the mirror and see the reflection of the person we want to be.

I once thought I was unworthy.  I wanted to be like someone else.  It’s not so much I did not like myself, I assumed that other people wanted me to be different, including my mother.  Growing up I dreamed I would have a zillion friends and I would be the person others would turn to. However, I spent so much time dreaming and thinking about who I wanted to be I didn’t take the steps into the journey that would lead me there.  I kept recreating my story but never put it on paper or into action. However, now that I look back I did accomplish a lot despite the fact I did not give myself credit for my efforts.

I got married at the age of twenty-one believing that if I was a good wife and made my husband happy, I would be happy too. Unfortunately, I spent so much time trying to please him; I became angry, bitter, feeling like a loser as I found myself divorced.  Evolving into a single mom and not knowing how to live my life without a husband and father was terrifying because I had to be me!

When I met my best friend, my husband of thirty-five years I was given the opportunity to be me.  Not knowing how to be me I struggled until my youngest son brought to my attention that I would never be happy if I didn’t make myself happy.  He told me I could not live vicariously through him, and making his dad smile was not a guarantee I would smile. He pushed me to turn obstacles into challenges that I could meet.

In 2013, just shortly after completing my advanced college degree with honors, I fell into a depression. Although I did not understand it, this was my turning point. It was like I allowed my body and mind hit rock bottom, so I could begin the climb out of the pit.  I began making choices that would make me happy, “If momma is happy, everyone’s happy.” I chose to use my degree and the compassion I have for broadcasting to formulate a podcast(s) that would allow me to share my experiences in a way that someone else may benefit.  I accept that it is not my way or the highway, nor do I have to follow the road that other’s may be speeding down. I chose forks in the road; some were good choices, others were not! However, each choice was a lesson to learn and become more educated in learning about myself.

Life is not perfect; we all suffer along the way.  But, we have the choice on how much we will allow the pain to interfere in our journey to wellness.  It is our emotional wellness that we can control or receive the guidance to control. No one can do this for us; we must do it for ourselves.

Recently I chose to reach out to women (and men) to share empowerment strategies.  It begins by identifying what is important in your life, and what is important in mine is to lessen the burdens I have put on myself.  I lived most of my life believing I was not “good enough for my mother” only to find out in her last weeks of life that I was. I refuse to live with the regrets of my thoughts. Instead, I can live with the knowledge that came from caring for her when she was in need.  Empowerment allows us to chose the right and left turns in the maze of life. Doing so with a free heart has provided me with happier days, and smiles even when the sky is gray. I have become intentional, and even when I am not, I intentionally know that it’s OK.

Today I like me.  I may not always like my hair, make-up or my reflection in the mirror, but I like the person I have become, facing challenges as obstacles along the way to push to aside, jump over, or when push gets to shove, hit it straight on!

My mission is to share in the dialogue, yours, mine and ours.   When this is accomplished, we will bring the circle of life together creating a beautiful tapestry.

I’m SO ExCiTeD – Are U?

“I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it
I’m about to lose control and I think I like it
I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it
And I know, I know, I know, I know, I know I want you…”

 

The above are the lyrics from one of the biggest hits produced and performed.by the Pointer Sisters.  These words express how excited I am about launching, MY SHOW, MY THOUGHTS, featuring Jeff Brisbin https://www.spreaker.com/user/10697139/my-show-my-thoughts-karen-kiki-jeff-brisb  and Marcus Ruggiero https://www.spreaker.com/user/10697139/my-show-my-thoughts-with-karen-kiki-marc4-8-19.

 

The concept of this podcast is similar in the approach of all the shows on newclevelandradio.net.  I want to offer the listeners opportunities to hear, see, and participate in new prospects.  I believe we empower ourselves and others by offering information in a manner that is casual.  Do not tell me to do something but share new experiences and allow me to chose if this is the correct path in the journey I am forging.  Even if it’s not, taking a detour once in a while provides us with the beauty we may have missed if we had not turned right or left.

 

Please keep listening and downloading and when you do follow the trail that will empower you to be happy.

It’s MY SHOW Talking About…

Are you a musician, comedian, artist, or talented in another form and want to be noticed?  Beginning today, Friday, April 5th I will be doing a one-woman show talking about music and other art forms.  Each segment I will select one artist and today it will be Jeff Brisbin – surprise!  Jeff is an accomplished musician, songwriter, composer, and producer.  He is known in the Capital District of New York State and plays almost daily in the Saratoga Springs area.  Jeff’s musical tour is THE NEVERENDING TOUR.  I welcome you to follow Jeff’s music and here is a link for more info on Jeff Brisbin.

http://www.jeffbrisbin.com/

To Touch or Not To Touch – that is the question!

I am asking because I am confused!  When is friendly too friendly?  In the past, family, friends, neighbors, and newly acquainted individuals hugged, touched, and even kissed, without sexual intent or disrespect of invading space.  Most of the baby boomers were brought up in an environment was touch appropriate; it was for comfort, appreciation, as well as a common form of communication.  I am not disavowing that some of these connections may go array whether intentionally or with intent.  However, when did we get so sensitive to expect that a kiss on the head, hand, the cheek is something more than a mere gesture of respect or showing appreciation.  Why is it ‘OK’ for men to hug and tap each other on the shoulder but when a man treats a female equally it is considered too personal and display sexually desire?.

I do not want to live in a world where people are afraid to touch each other or share a conversation that may each work and innuendo is scrutinized.  The “ME TOO MOVEMENT” has does a wonderful thing by bringing inappropriate behavior to the forefront; however, it has destroyed what is natural in the human species, connection.  I am not defending or accusing anyone of poor behavior while we must begin to understand that not everything communicated is in “poor or inappropriate taste,” we should be cognizant of what is acceptable in a human connection.

 

I have shared this previously, I have been molested by a member of the medical community, the therapy taught me to how to get through the remnant of that encounter while learning to trust my instincts while still welcoming appropriate touch and speech when making a connection.  Do we want to live in a world of “Hands Off?”  If so, when will experience the warmth of another human soul?

It is no JOKE – The Cleveland Indians Win!

Did you get fooled yesterday?  April 1st, also known as April Fools Day was just another day for me, and for that I was glad.  No pepper in my sugar, or a Whoopi cushion on my chair, and for that, I was grateful at the end of the day.  The Cleveland Indian’s did not disappoint; they pulled out a win on their home opener, and that was icing on the cake.  The only trick or surprise that may have occurred is that both my husband and I experienced dueling migraines, and I have been experiencing the after effects since 4 a.m. this morning.  As I sit here and sip on a cup of coffee, I am wondering if I will be taking a nap soon.

 

For those of you that have dealt with SAD over the last couple of months, I am sure you are enjoying a long period of daylight at the end of the day, making it feel like you have a few more hours to accomplish and/or enjoy life a little more.  Despite the increase in migraines, the light into the evening hours does bring a little upward curl to my lips.  It can be the smallest specks in our life that trigger the cortisol hormone that spreads happiness.

 

 

 

Upon awakening at 4 a.m. this morning I completed reading, “Great Things, A Novel” by K. Adrian Zonneville (aka Charlie Wiener).  I stalled while reading this book, and I did not want it to come to an end.  As I have mentioned in previous posts, I connect with the characters that this magnificent author develops and pens.  I am anxiously awaiting, Wednesday, April 10th when Charlie begins his podcast here at newclevelandradio.net.  Not only will we discuss his books, but we will invite you to participate either call in at 440-922-6431 during the live broadcast or email us with your comments that we will share and discuss.

 

The first quarter of 2019 may be behind us, but the best is yet to come because I believe that taking a step forward will propel me and if I can make a move, so can you!

Sharing is Caring especially when it comes to AUTISM

The following is something I read on Facebook today, although I do not know this mother personally, I understand her story all to well.  I believe her story, as I have seen this all too familiar scenario played out due to ignorance as well as unawareness to our special needs community.  Our communities are not comprised of all perfectly “normal” human specimens.  In fact, the quote that normal is only a setting on a washing machine or dryer is very true.  As we are all snowflakes, not one of us is identical to another, we all have our quirks.

When will we learn to be tolerant, accepting, and encompass the diversities we encounter on a daily basis?  When trusted medical doctors, nurses, and other healthcare officials cannot be trusted, it is time to change the system.  Approximately 17 years ago a Psychiatrist at the Cuyahoga County Board of Mental Retardation, informed my son (who was 11 at the time), my husband and myself, that he (our son) should give up his dreams and passion for baseball.  She told him his dreams were too lofty and that he was destined to living in a half-way house and performing menial jobs.

As parents, we refused to listen, and we argued with her that she was wrong despite a complete case study she provided us with to prove her point.  Today, not only did my son graduate high school with a 3.0+ GPA, attend college and receive a BS in Business Management, he has also been an Autism Advocate, and for over a year he has worked with the Cleveland Indians and has accepted two advancements.  He is living his passionate dream despite the ignorance of a “trusted” professional.  If we had listened and given into her diagnosis (not the one of our son’s neurologist) we would have not only ruined our son’s life but destroyed much of ours as well.

Anyone who knows someone on the spectrum most likely has a similar story, and we must continue to bring the REAL SPECTRUM AWARE to light.  April may be Autism Awareness Month, but for the one out of sixty-four and their families, Autism Awareness must be every day.  #IGNORANCENOTACCEPTED! #webothhavesonsbythenameofAlex

 

APRIL IS AUTISM AWARENESS/ACCEPTANCE MONTH
Why this is so important to me and many of my very dear friends…

Our story that changed me forever…

June 2015 Alex had a horrible sinus infection. He was in terrible pain, but because his verbal skills are limited, he did not know how to express how he was feeling. All he knew is he needed relief from the pain. He ended up hitting himself which resulted in 2 black eyes. As my poor “Gentle Giant” baby was lying in bed that night, his eye started to bleed. Although I was very skeptical on how he would be treated there I knew (thought) he needed to go to the hospital where they would give him something to make him feel better.  And that my friends is where Alex and my Horrific Nightmare Began…

Before this, I think we kind of lived in a bubble. Beachwood is kind of a small town where most people know each other. So most people knew Alex for the funny, smart, fun loving, Gentle Giant he is. On top of that, he attended an Autism School. So acceptance in the community was just part of our world. Never did I imagine he would go to a hospital 10 minutes away from our house where the minute he came through the doors, he was treated like a monster.

All these doctors saw was a 6’4” man with 2 black eyes not happy. They didn’t care that he was not happy because he was in pain. When I told them he had autism, they actually said to me “We have never had anyone here with autism before” I called Bullshit on them. “Really? 1 in 64 and he is your first?”

They put him in 4 point restraints and sedated him. They would not treat his sinus infection even though I insisted. I stayed with him 24/7. I slept in a metal folding chair and only left for a couple each night when someone I trusted at the time would come so I could shower. I heard and saw everything that went on. I would tell them he is in pain. I would beg them to give him something for his pain. They would say “He is sedated he doesn’t feel anything” I could see he was in pain. They didn’t care. To them, he wasn’t a person. He got pneumonia and ended up on a ventilator. This went on for 3 WEEKS! I fought with them, I yelled they DIDN’T CARE!! I tried telling them what a wonderful boy he is. THEY DIDN’T CARE!! To them he was a very large disabled “monster” The doctors would talk around me. Like I wasn’t there. They told me if he got out they wanted to send him to a mental hospital. They treated him like a crazy monster. They didn’t care; I was his mother and legal guardian. They acted like I knew nothing about him. They didn’t believe anything I told them. Me and others that saw him never said the words but knew he was going to die there. They were going to kill him. I begged for him to get transferred out of there. I thought of ways to sneak him out. Finally, after 3 weeks, they sent him by ambulance to the main Clinic where after 2 more weeks they were able to get him off the ventilator. He was left immobile. They wanted to send him to rehab, and I said “NO. NO MORE. I WILL DO ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING TO HAVE HIM REHAB AT HOME!”

Thank God Alex has the Fershtman determination and hard work ethic. It took a while but he had to learn to walk and feed himself again. And most importantly he had to learn to TRUST again.
He had nightmares from this experience. I slept with him every night for 1 year. I still have nightmares. And unlike Alex, I have not learned to trust again.
You know how they say “Once you are in Hell nothing else frightens you” It is true. I was there and I do not get intimidated by anything anymore. Alex and I are both fighters. We are survivors. If we made it through Hell we can make it through anything!
Even making this move. I knew it was the best thing for both of us but I thought the transition might be a little hard for him. However, I knew we would get through it. If we survived our horrific nightmare we would survive transition issues. Thankfully he has been so happy here since day one! I promise This will NEVER HAPPEN TO ALEX AGAIN! I WILL DO ANYTHING AND I REALLY MEAN ANYTHING TO MAKE SURE IT DOESN’T!! And I also promise I will make sure everybody will always treat him as the sweet, loving funny person he is!

AND WE AS A COMMUNITY NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT WHAT HAPPENED TO ALEX NEVER EVER HAPPENS TO ANYONE AGAIN!!!

REMEMBER, PEOPLE WITH DIFFERENT NEEDS ARE STILL PEOPLE AND DESERVE TO BE TREATED AS PEOPLE!!! NOBODY’S LIFE IS WORTHLESS BECAUSE THEY HAVE ANY KIND OF SPECIAL NEEDS!!!

And I don’t care who you are if I hear you say otherwise I will call you out on it every time!!!

THIS IS NOT A POLITICAL STATEMENT SO PLEASE DON’T MAKE IT ONE!
THIS IS A STATEMENT ABOUT PEOPLE PERIOD!!!
AND A STATEMENT ABOUT AUTISM AWARENESS AND ACCEPTANCE!!

ps. I cannot promise that this is my only Autism Post this month… so Buckle Your Seatbelts Kids!!

***Annette Scott & Sandi Fershtman – thank you for sharing and now let’s home we can touch the hearts of humanity (and medical professionals) to understand that Autism touches us all!

 

Could a, Would a, Should a – Follow the Path 2 Day!

Good morning world, it is Saturday, March 30th, just two days before April 1st, also known as April Fools Day!  Well, I don’t plan to fool you or anyone else, what I am planning to do is to fully continue living my life and appreciate each sunrise and sunset even if it is Cloudy & Grey.  As I look at the various messages on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram I am reminded that we only have one life to live and that is now in the present.  We can think of the could a’s, should a’s and would a’s but that would mean something else would have transpired and we cannot guarantee that is the result we would want.  However today we can choose the path and take the journey of life and see where it leads.  Remember every path as curves, turns, ups and downs, the obstacles are what gives us the strength to sort through these challenges.