American Heart Association/Jump Rope for Heart



Jump Rope For HeartHelp Me Be a Heart Hero!






I'm joining millions of other kids to help save lives with the American Heart Association's Jump Rope For Heart Program!

I'm doing Jump Rope For Heart at my school and learning how I can help make a difference. I'm also learning about my own heart, and how to take care of it. And I'm getting active and jumping rope!

I'm excited about raising money for other kids - kids with hearts that don't exactly work right. Please help me be a Heart Hero who saves lives! Thank you!


Here's a link to my personal page where you can make donations!
American Heart Association/Jump Rope for Heart

Dana

Heart Attack Warning Signs
Here are signs that can mean a heart attack is happening:
  • Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort. Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness   
As with men, women's most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.

Special Notes:
*All donations are tax deductible.
*You can learn more about Jump Rope For Heart, kids and cardiovascular disease and kids’ health by visiting heart.org/jump.

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/

Red Rose Part 2


Rose pulls her silky cloak tight against her body and prepares to move forward, a plan formulates in her mind. "I've got to find grandma. God please let her be safe." Cautiously she walks alongside the wall trailing her fingertips against the hard, vine covered stones and looking for a small opening to slip through. Finding one near a ramshackle cottage, she enters the village.

Death is everywhere. In the streets... in the quaint shops... even in the church. The whole village smells of blood and death. A disheveled woman stumbles past Rose carrying a tiny headless infant tightly to her breast, a deep moan escaping her lips as she disappears. Hot acidic liquid rises in Roses throat as  she takes it all in."Must be careful" she thinks to herself. "He could be lurking anywhere." Stepping underneath a thatched overhang, Rose closes her eyes and concentrates. Reaching into her mind she conjures a gift that lies within. Slowly her small form begins to fade until she is completely invisible.Breathing deeply, Rose sets out to search the village.

Her invisibility ( a gift she's had since birth, but just recently mastered) will only shield her from the night stalker temporarily. He will eventually catch her scent... and hunt her down.

Rose makes a quick decision to check her grandma's cottage first. Solidly built, the house contains a secret cellar that her grandma could have retreated to. Navigating the narrow cobblestone streets, she winds her way toward the back of the village. Rose tries not to focus on the horrible scene around her, but she can't help but be distracted. Memories...  her memories of this once friendly and happy place is now replaced with fire and destruction. She knows this village well. She practically lived here before her grandfather passed on. She knows the people... their warm, inviting homes. All of this is because of her. This wrath brought upon these innocent people is because of her.

A howling reverberates off the buildings and rises into the night. A long, low hooowling... calling. Taunting. Making Roses' heart beat rapidly in her chest. He knows she's here. He's looking for her.

Reaching the cottage door, Rose pushes hard against the wood flinging it open."I'm here. It's me grandma... I'm here" she screams. No reply. The house is quiet. Rose releases herself from her powers and retains her form. Running to the tiny, dark room located off of the bathroom she kneels on the floor frantically searching the boards for a tiny latch. "Where is it?" she cries as her fingers fumble in and out of grooves.

Click... Creeeeek. Rose feels the floor rising beneath her palms. She quickly jumps back and sees her grandma's worried face and flowing silver hair appear from below. "Get in here chile. Get in here quick!" grandma Evie whispers.

Evie was born in the very house she still resides. She loves the little village of Rayne. She's 73yrs young and a strikingly beautiful woman. With the same deep blue eyes and creamy skin as her granddaughter, she doesn't look a day over 50. Born with only the power of knowledge, she is known to be one of the most intelligent people in her countryside. She is headstrong and tough, but an angel in disguise. Evie married Rose's grandfather John at the age of 16, which wasn't uncommon at the time. They were soul mates... they had a fathomless love not many could understand. They only had one child, Rose's mother Caroline. Evie yearned for more children, but John couldn't. He developed an ailment shortly after Caroline was born which prevented them from becoming pregnant. After the loss of her husband, and then daughter... Rose is all she has.

"Your o.k.!" Rose says as she descends into the cellar.
"Of coarse I am. Do you think me stupid Rose? I'm old, but I'm not dumb! Where's the tablet?"
"It's right here." Rose carefully pulls the stone tablet from her basket and unwraps the heavy cloth that protects it. Evie takes it from her and walks to a tiny desk to examine it under the lamp light. Running her fingers over the writing etched into the tablet, Evie smiles. "Simply beautiful."
"He's searching for me grandma. He knows I'm here." Rose looks around at the dank, dark cellar. It will provide protection from even the strongest human, but the night stalker will eventually find a way.

The ceiling and walls are reinforced with layers of concrete and metal. No windows adorn the walls; there are only two ways to enter and exit. The door she slipped through earlier which is smartly hidden and another that would take them through an underground tunnel. The tunnel emerges half a mile outside the village walls and is also hidden extremely well. Roses' grandfather built the cellar and tunnel shortly after she was born. Knowing the gifts she possessed, he wanted to take precautions against those who would want to hurt Rose when they discovered her powers.

The silence is suddenly broken by a series of long, guttural howls. You can hear the hunger, the determination... and so close to them. Handing Rose the tablet and a piece of parchment Evie
says "Let's go chile. I'll have to explain when we are safe." Rose shoves everything into the woven basket and follows Evie to the entrance of the tunnel. "You go on ahead now. I'll be right there." Rose felt her stomach drop "Why? Aren't you coming?" Evie grabs Rose's arm
"Walk until you reach the old stone cottage. You'll know what to do from there." Evie said sternly
" I can't... I can't leave you here. Why won't you come?" Rose cried
"I will meet you. GO NOW!" Rose realized as she turned and ran that her grandma had no intentions of following behind. With tears in her eyes, she made her way through the dirt tunnel.

With every thump of her boot, dirt rained upon Rose's head. She could smell the damp earth surrounding her. She could hear the blood rushing to her ears. Thinking about the words her grandma spoke " You'll know what to do." Rose felt sick. She felt wrong. Any other time... in any other situation that statement would be true. With her grandma's life on the line... emotions are clouding the decisions she must make. Finally reaching the end of the tunnel, Rose stops to catch her breathe. Leaning against the tunnel walls, she hears howling in the distance. This time, there's a maddening edge to it. A chill creeps over her body causing Rose to tremble. Tears begin welling in her eyes "Grandma" she sobs. Looking at the path she is suppose to take and then back down the tunnel she just passed through, Rose is heartbroken and confused. She needs to go back. She should go back, but she also needs time to prepare. The moon hanging large in the sky awaits her next move.

To be continued...


Dana


This post was written for a writing workshop on Bloggymoms



Cleanse










I stand among the thunder
relishing the rain
It cleanses my soul
taking the pain

Whipping all around
wind whispers in my ear
Caressing my skin
releasing fear

Swaying with the trees
leaves rustle with every gust
Putting me into a trance
mind going where it must

God calls from above
pushing through the grey
Pouring down my body
Armouring me for another day

Dana

Red Rose

 

 images

Hair like burning embers. Eyes as blue as the ocean deep. Smooth pearly white skin; she’s a vibrant youth. Cloaked in a flowing fabric of silk to keep her identity a mystery; she walks.

A pebbled road stretching beyond her field of vision cuts a neat path through dense forest. A beautiful scene by day; a dangerous journey by night… especially for one as young as she. Her arm aches with the weight that she carries within her basket. She knows she must push on. Time is of the essence. Twilight descends upon the land. A chorus of cicadas begin a rythmatic chant. The air becomes still as the temperature drops. Her mission is a simple one, but laced with danger for she is hunted.

Hunted by a being who wishes her to fail. A being who has waiting patiently for quit some time to end her life. A ghastly creature with translucent skin and a skeletal frame. Patches of matted hair sparsely grows about  his body. Fathomless black orbs sit where eyes should be. A jagged razor filled slit lusts  to tear into flesh. He loathes her. She represents everything good in the world. She is filled with a beautiful strength and power that he must retain. She’s the last of her kind. He’s killed the others who held the same power; literally sucking the life from them.

He’s addicted.

Scanning her surroundings, she realizes just how alone she is. Fear creeps slowly into her heart and she swallows hard in an attempt to push it back down. This is not her  first mission that has required her to take this path… but she senses this could be her last. The ground crunches loudly beneath her boots. Bony wooden arms reach out toward her from the edge of the path. With only a couple miles more to go until she reaches her destination, she musters the strength within her. Harnessing it to give her the courage required to continue.

To anothers’  eye, she’s a typical girl of 17yrs. Average height with a petit frame. Dressed in a simple garb of striking blue to complement her features. To one who really knows her, she’s a powerhouse. Someone you wouldn’t want to screw with. Packed into that little body is a strength that could rival the strongest of men. Born and bred to protect; to conquer. Rose is her name, but they call her Red.

Darkness has fully descended. Lacking  light, Rose reaches inside the leather satchel attached to her waist and pulls out a match. She then begins to search for materials to construct a torch. When lit, flames dance upon the wood casting an eerie light. Shadows leaping amongst the trees cause Rose to take another sharp look at her surroundings. “I haven’t got far to travel. I can do this.” She whispers.

Glancing down at the woven basket, she is reminded of it’s contents and the importance the object holds. It’s the last crucial step in saving her family. The last chance they have if they want to live. Rose is the youngest of the three in her family to survive and the only one who can pull this off. The only one born with the power. She doesn’t fully understand the writing etched in the granite she covets, but her grandmother does. Her grandmother must decipher the ancient language so Rose will know how to battle the beast.

She thinks again of her father; his broken body and failing heart. The defeated look that constantly plagues his face since the attack that killed her mother and sister. She hated to leave him, but both understood the consequences if she did not. Hot tears spring to her eyes as she pictures him… just lying there helpless. At that moment any fear she had dissipated , a new emotion began to take it’s place.

Rage.

A rage so heavy it turns her creamy white skin a deep shade of red. Rose quickens her pace.

Practically sprinting and in a semi state of trance, Rose fails to pay attention to her surroundings. A black, feathered creature swoops from a nearby branch nearly knocking her silky hood from atop her head. Shocked, Rose stumbles to the hard earth grunting as jagged pebbles dig into her hands and knees. She immediately  reaches to her side checking on her precious cargo.”Still there.” she sighs. She notices her torch  has rolled a foot away and has begun to slowly die down.  She quickly jumps to her feet in order to save her only source of light, but she’s too late. Rose is now engulfed in complete darkness; there’s little moonlight to be found. She has no choice but to keep moving, so she does.

Preceding with caution, Rose makes haste. She is not afraid to be among darkness; it’s the creature lurking within that causes her blood to run cold. She has eluded death once….

Her efforts are soon rewarded when she spies  a glimpse of light in the distance. Her grandmothers village is just ahead. “I made it!” She thinks to herself as a smile plays on her lips. Drawing closer, strange noises reach her ears. A sudden scream rings through the night and stops Rose in her tracks. Her breathe catches in her throat as she listens. Another scream… then another. Soon the little village is busting with the sounds of destruction; sounds of pain. Running to the cold stone walls, she peeks through a broken segment. Looking into the madness, into death. Her fears are realized.

He’s here… the night stalker is here.

To be continued…

Dana

 

*This post is part of a writing workshop for Bloggymoms

Embarrassing Parenting Moments

Embarrassing Parenting Moment # ... oh well,  I've lost count:
When your child is throwing a fit that could rival a drunken celebrity on a tirade tearing up a hotel room that causes your neighbor to show up banging on your front door. This neighbor is panting due to the fact that he ran really, really fast to get over there and has an extremely worried look on his face. This neighbor asks "Is everything alright? Do you need any help?" in a very concerned voice as he tries to peek around you and into your house. This neighbor says "I heard loud screaming, crying and banging. I thought y'all might be in trouble."

Yes... this happened to me. Yes indeed.

I should win an academy award for the way I coolly soothed my anxious neighbor. I explained in a calm voice how my 5yr old is having a moment brought on by his very tired state. I reassured him that everyone is o.k. and my son will tire from his crazy antics in just a bit. I probably looked like hell with my hair falling halfway out of my ponytail and sticking up as if I was just struck by lightening. My shirt was covered in smashed sweet potatoes from my little one's dinner and I was wearing my hubby's too big for me sweat pants. Not a bit of makeup covered the purplish bags that took up residence under my once vibrant eyes. I don't even want to get into how my living room looked!

Like I said... I should have won an award. In a matter of minutes I managed to convince my neighbor that his help was not needed  without being pushy or just plain rude. I even sent him away feeling good about his self when I thanked him for being so concerned and how his concern for us made me and my family feel more safe.

Haha... If he only new the truth! I guess I fooled him into thinking my sanity was fully intact.





Dana


Home

Ripples break the mirrored surface distorting reflections of moss covered trees.
Cicadas softly call from hidden spaces as twilight fades into the dark of night.
A piers' aged, creaking boards stretch outward accessing the deep ecosystem;
inviting curious visitors.
Cypress trees rise with bony algae covered features from the depths;
their knobby roots jutting along the waters edge.
Shrill chirps ring as tiny green frogs emerge to sing a nightly chorus echoing through the bayou.
Wondrous and frightening creatures smartly slink in the murk as some slip off to sleep.
A full moon rises along with whispery winds pushing through humid air.
Twinkling flashes fly erratically momentarily brightening a place of darkness.
An owl hoots eerily in the distance drawing you into the enchantment.
A mystical realm not to be taken for granted, not to be ignored for a more promising scene.
Can you envision the beauty within? Can you see?















Time seems to touch me increasingly faster. I look to my home for the answer.

In my home... time stands still.


Dana

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