Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Capture the Life Story of your Beloved Pet

Pet Stories:
If you check out my Home Page at http://www.awriterspresence.com/, you'll notice that I am launching a new arm of my writing business. This is something that I had never imagined I'd be doing, but the idea was suggested to me, and I decided to see if it is actually a service that people desire. What is this new offering? Writing the life story of your treasured pet!
The average life span of Fido, Fidette, or Kitty is comparatively short. This is a fact. There are a multitude of heartwarming pet stories out there, but people rarely take the time and effort necessary to capture them. How does this service work? I will ask you a series of questions to formulate the story of your pet or former pet, you can e-mail me a favorite photo (or small prized photo collection), and I will create an attractive booklet that preserves his or her life story to share and treasure forever. You can order one single copy or several copies to distribute to people who love your pooch or kitty.

To create the prototype for this booklet, I interviewed Amy Maselli, who told the gripping story of acquiring her little Maltese, Sammy. My sincere thanks to Amy and Sammy for participating in this project, which resulted in the adorable booklet, Sammy's Tale.

The beauty of this service is that it makes a fabulously unique gift for the loving pet owner, and gift certificates are available! (Think Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, Mother's Day, Father's Day...) The cost is only $50.00 to have the story written and approximately $10.00-$15.00 per booklet. Booklet costs vary based on the number of color photos included in production. This service can be easily provided from a long distance, so you don't need to be a Myrtle Beach area resident to take advantage of this opportunity. Don't hesitate to call me any time if you have questions!! (843) 215-4676 or (518) 441-8107

Class reunion:
I'm counting down to October 17, my 40th (YIPES!) high school class reunion. Our Southern California high school class has decided to hold this event in Las Vegas, and that brings an entirely different level to "getting in shape for your reunion". Las Vegas in October, weather permitting, could mean wearing a bathing suit at the pool, definitely cocktail party attire, and the possibilities for feeling weight-scrutinized are endless. From dearest old best friends to the women who didn't like you then and couldn't care less about you now, an impending reunion gives you a sense of being under the microscope. From the guys who have gone from six pack abs to sixty extra pounds and thinning or mysteriously vanished hairlines to those who have managed to retain a certain charm and tremendous appeal, a reunion makes you feel as though you want to make some attempt at looking your best--at least for that one weekend of visiting Memory Lane.

Therefore, in honor of and preparation for my October 17 reunion, I am committing to at least 1/2 hour or more of exercise five days a week. And for the purpose of accountability, I am going to include in my blog entries whether or not I have managed to achieve this goal and what types of exercise I managed to squeeze into my schedule during the prior week. My ultimate goal is not to be a skeleton by October 17, but simply reasonably toned. I'll keep you updated on how this works, and perhaps you'll want to start your own exercise accountability blog in the future!!

Update on FLOATERS:
Since my last blog post, I've been amazed at the number of e-mails I have received from friends and family who said ,"Welcome to the World of Floaters!!" or that they had experienced this within the last few years or even just recently. I also appreciated those who e-mailed and said, "Thanks for the warning!" I'm happy to report that the pesky black spots that I've been viewing through my left eye have become less obvious, but seem to be more prevalent when I first walk outdoors into the bright sunlight or when I step into my shower, which is surrounded by a very light background. It would seem that posterior vitreous detachment (cause of floaters) is sort of a boomer right of passage, similar to receiving your first AARP card in the mail.

I'm gearing up for the fall lifewriting classes that I'll be teaching through Coastal Carolina University's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. I absolutely love teaching these workshops and giving people the tools to make them realize, "Yes, I really can create a memoir project!" Some folks would love to write their stories to pass along to future generations, but they find the very idea overwhelming. After they have attended my workshops, they know that it is not only possible, but they are enthusiastic about making this potential project a reality. Please see my web site at http://www.awriterspresence.com/ and choose the page "Write About Your Life". Scroll down to locate the dates, locations and descriptions of the workshops that I'll be teaching this fall, and don't hesitate to call me at (843) 215-4676 or (518) 441-8107 if you have any questions! I'd love to see you in my workshops. You can also visit www.coastal.edu/olli to view the entire catalog of classes.

I'll leave you with this quote, "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun." Psalm 37:5-6

Have a wonderful week, and find something that makes you laugh!!!

Mary Anne Benedetto

Monday, August 10, 2009

I'm BACK..........

Okay, I'm totally mortified that I haven't blogged in almost a month, but it's been an incredibly wild and busy time--consumed with travel and entertaining friends and family here in beautiful South Carolina. I'm back on schedule now (I hope) and feeling like a blog delinquent--overcome with guilt.

In the past two weeks, I've seen more Grand Strand attractions than the Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce. While my friend, Lori, was visiting, we saw the Magic of Ireland show at the Palace Theatre at Broadway at the Beach, a tour of Brookgreen Gardens, time at Huntington Beach State Park, shopping, and an evening at Legends in Concert. Love those Blues Brothers!

When our son, daughter-in-law, and three grandchildren arrived, we went to Alligator Adventure, the Aquarium at Broadway at the Beach, enjoyed time at our Blackmoor pool, dinner at Medieval Times, played miniature golf at Jungle Lagoon, and thoroughly kicked up our heels in the warm ocean waves at Huntington Beach. Had a fabulous, memorable time!

On a different subject, I keep wondering why someone doesn't provide us with a list of events to anticipate as we age--just so we'll know what to expect. For instance, after Lori arrived a couple of weeks ago on a Saturday, we were sitting there calmly enjoying a delicious lunch at the TPC of Myrtle Beach, where we were overlooking the infamous 18th hole. I saw this sudden flash before my eyes, as though someone had just taken a photo with a flash or lightning had just struck directly in front of my eye. Then the best part occurred. I began seeing black spots through my left eye. I'm the kind of person who doesn't like to panic and seek medical attention at the drop of a hat, so I calmly sat there and didn't tell Lori or my husband, Fred, who was then chatting with us at our table. I recalled a few years ago when Fred had a similar experience, he was told by the doctor that this was a common occurrence and the "floaters" he was seeing would likely be permanent, although in time, less intrusive.

On Monday morning, I visited a recommended ophthalmologist, who essentially told me, after examining both eyes thoroughly, that in our 50's and 60's, the vitreous gel (the clear, jelly-like fluid that fills the inside of your eye) can pull away from the back wall of the eye, causing a posterior vitreous detachment, creating "floaters" (which are tiny clumps of the gel or cells inside the vitreous). He did say that they tend to fade over time and become less bothersome, but never really go away completely. GREAT!
I've also been told by other people who have had this experience that your brain begins to adjust to seeing these spots, and it does become less annoying. GREAT!! I can't wait.

The point is this.....if and when this happens to you, the important thing is to see an ophthalmologist as soon as possible to be certain that the retina isn't damaged. That is the danger in this occurrence. I am fine and am adjusting to the aggravating spots..I am less aware of them each day. But why doesn't someone warn us about these weirdo things that happen to people as they approach senior citizenship? If my husband hadn't already had this experience a few years ago, I would have thought I was having a stroke. So I just thought I'd write about this experience in the hope that if and when it happens to you, you'll know what it is all about and remember to seek the attention of an ophthalmologist at first opportunity!

That's it for tonight, but I'll be writing within a few days about my upcoming lifewriting workshops. I promise......