The Story of My Cousin’s Boobs

Special Guest Writer Julie Pierman ~ My journey started in 1998 when I found the first of 3 lumps in my right breast. I was 26 at the time. I remember being so afraid to call the doctor and ask if they wanted me to come in and have it examined. I had plans that day to go shopping with my sister and wanted to avoid this whole situation as long as I could. Obviously, the doctor's office wanted me to come in that day. I was hoping I could put it off for a few days, weeks, etc . . . I went in, they examined it and ordered a mammogram and an ultrasound. The mammogram and ultrasound did detect something but they were not sure exactly what it was, so onto the surgeon I went. I ended up needing surgery to remove it. This completely freaked me out! I was very fortunate that it ended up be a cluster of thick-walled cysts about the size of a dime. However, I ended up developing a hemotoma the size of my fist from the surgery, which resulted in another surgery about 6 weeks later to remove it. Life went on until 2009 when I found another lump in my right breast. I had tried to be very good at doing my self-exams, but in reality I did them about 3 or 4 times a year. Since this had Read more...

Wayward Whiskers and Untamed Eyebrows

  By Wendy Pierman Mitzel What is the protocol for alerting a fellow human to a hair in their honker? You know what I’m talking about, the hairs, like spider legs that creep out from within the nostril. Usually sported by older men, these hairy horrors are hard to miss. Or are they? Because apparently, they become invisible when seen in the mirror. How is this getting by the morning routine? Let’s see: brush teeth, wash face, shave, big hairy proboscis, brush hair, aftershave. Now, I’ve seen those on the drug store shelves the torture devices that probe and spin like a weed wacker up the schnoz and I imagine it’s not a soothing massage for the muzzle. But still, let’s get it over with and give it a trim already. Moving on... Let us not forget for the ear hair. Another grand joke played on those getting older. How do you bring that up in conversation? Start with a compliment? “Hi, wow, your nose hair is so nice and tidy but could I just point out that the hair in your ears is beginning to look like a homegrown set of ear muffs?” I believe the schnoz wacker is multi-functional and can be used gently and cautiously although Men’s Fitness suggests plucking - Read more...

Artie T & The People Who Love Him

There’s nothing better than a Feel Good Underdog/Good vs. Evil story this Labor Day holiday to put faith (and appreciation) back into the workplace. Since when does a high power CEO really care for the people responsible for the foundation of their pyramid? An individual who looks at its employees as people and not as unnamed, replaceable objects? Because of Market Basket’s CEO Artie T. Demoulas’s compassion for others, history was made. Arthur (Artie T.) T. Demoulas is the CEO of the family owned/operated New England based, Market Basket grocery store chain. According to the LA Times: “Artie T was fired in June by his cousin, Arthur S. Demoulas after he gained control of the board. Members of the board had accused Artie T. of ignoring them; he said they were greedy and wanted a big share of profits he said should go to employees. The two sides of the family have warred for years in and out of court; at one point there was even a fist fight between cousins.” Artie T. is the type of corporate leader who spends much of his time dealing with the day to day operations. He can be seen behind the counters, in the deli, in the warehouse. He knows many of his employees names, Read more...

Poop Drops

  I love walking my old, two-pooper lab.  Carrying it around for those long walks really stink.  How about a place to dump it?   If you live in a small New England town, with a sleepy Main Street lined with old houses and tree-lined sidewalks on both sides, you’re lucky enough to enjoy the simple luxury of accessibility. People from all over town, and even outside the downtown area, bring friends to stroll up and down these beautiful tree-lined paths. These friends may have two legs or four as main streets are perfectly suited for dog-walking. I have a Black Lab, Tuff. He’s a two-poop walker. It’s a proper form of etiquette to pick up after your pet. Yet, the humorously awkward portion of the walk, is having to carry Tuff’s dangling load for the remainder of the walk. I often witness others in the same predicament. I particularly find the most enjoyment watching the masculine types, walking tiny lap dogs...poop bag tied to the leash. That’s love! Yes, it is embarrassing, and not particularly hygiene free...especially if the four legged companion has experienced digestive issues. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had random poop drops or trash receptacles up Read more...

The Power of the Page

  I’m not embarrassed.  I’ll be the first to admit it... I’ll take a year to finish a sleepy novel.  Granted, I usually have three to four books rotating on a regular basis, dog-eared-pages waiting in turn. I’ve always felt the need to be “reading something.”   Yet, on occasion, we come across a book that grabs us, handicaps us, makes us sit in the uncomfortable chair in the kitchen.  The kind of book where the dishes collect in the sink. Lunch is forgotten.  We stay in our stretchy pajamas, ignore our hair and don’t make the trip upstairs to brush our teeth.  The flower beds we plan to weed, remain overgrown.  The porch still needs to be swept, errands still need to be run. The kind of book that when neighbors pop over and gaze at our hobo-style appearance we say: “Yeah...I look like hell, but I’m reading a great book...can’t put it down.”   What’s wonderful about confessing to such indulgence is the understanding and appreciative nod as well as a sparked interest into what material would have such an affect as to forget to shower.   “Must be good...what book?” they inquire. And although it doesn’t happen very often, reading something Read more...

Closing the Door On The Closet 

By Cami Beiter ~~~~ What was that scrambled mess-of-a-quote George W. made some 12 years ago?  “Fool me once, shame on...shame on you.  Fool me...you can’t get fooled again.”  After the fourth time, you think I’d learn...or put my foot down. With each experience of selling my daughter’s gently used clothing to Plato’s Closet, (her wallet) and expectations were always short changed.  But like a love sick teenage girl, I kept thinking, maybe the next time will be better. According to their website, Plato’s Closet buys and sells the latest looks in brand name gently used clothing accessories for teen and twenty-something guys and girls. Re-selling clothing has become a hot trend. You need to be choosy in what you present to a consignment or resale shop.  For us, this is a familiar routine.  Peyton would clean out her closet of shorts, jeans, shirts, sweatshirts, shoes, boots and scarves...All items that either no longer fit or didn’t tickle her fancy.  She’d separate, wash, dry and fold the items, placing them in bags or large plastic bins.  When our schedules were free, and the planets were aligned just right, we’d venture off to Plato’s Closet.   I could Read more...

West Hartford Has Some Tasty Balls 

  By Cami Beiter ~~~~~ When I get a hankerin’ for something tasty, I’ll often go to great lengths to get it. I’ll squeeze in an “errand” 15 miles out of the way to taste the best sub in town, bribe a kid or friend to accompany me to satisfy my disgusting coffee addiction or chicken burrito fetish.  I’ve perfected the art of scheduled to-do’s around my favorite geographical must-have-foodies. Here’s my newest “addiction:” On Mother’s Day, my family and I enjoyed an early dinner on Farmington Ave. in West Hartford.  It was a beautiful day; people walking about, sun was shining, shaded outdoor dining.  After our meal, I stumbled upon my latest must-stop-when-in-West-Hartford-food-pitstop.  It’s a small shop called, Tea Break, a well lit, clean, modern place located at 944 Farmington Ave. This is not your ordinary tea house. It serves the trendy new Taiwanese "Bubble Tea." Curious to try it out, I ordered a Strawberry Ice Blended with Lychee (clear tropical fruit tastes like a gummy bear) De CoCo.  I had them add some bubble balls, marble-sized pearls of chewy tapioca,  for good measure. What the hell, balls through a straw is something I’ve Read more...

Relay For Life Holds Deep Meaning

By Tim Jensen ~~~~~~ In the summer of 2008, I was on top of the world. I had two wonderful children, was editor-in-chief of my hometown newspaper, was coaching high school ice hockey and had just recorded the third hole-in-one of my life (on three different golf courses, in three different decades). Suddenly, in September of that year, almost everything changed. I had been experiencing increasing pain in my left leg throughout the summer, and in typical guy fashion, waited about six weeks before deciding to see a doctor. While awaiting the test results, I was laid off from my job. A week later came the diagnosis: a form of cancer called diffuse large B-cell lymphoma in my left femur. In layman’s terms, cancer had eroded away some of my left thighbone. The first step was surgery to attach more than a foot of stabilizing stainless steel to the bone. I am, to say the least, an extremely difficult patient, and Dr. Kevin Raskin and the staff at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston did a phenomenal job during my eight-day stay there. A few days after returning home, I began suffering excruciating pain in the leg and called East Windsor Ambulance. Within an hour of arrival at Baystate Read more...

Teaching Kids That Sacrifice Is The Real Meaning of Memorial Day

  By Cami Beiter ~~~~~ As I sit thinking about Memorial Day and its meaning, I continue to think about it’s perception on the younger generation.  If we don’t emphasize and stress the importance of the sacrifices our service members have made (or making), how will they come to appreciate the luxury of their freedom? Reminding them to thank a soldier or thinking about grandpa and his war time duty, isn’t enough.  To them, it’s like telling them to clean their room.  If they aren’t truly vested with a clear understanding, they won’t appreciate the message.  What they need to understand is sacrifice, something we typically think nothing of on any given day. But talk to a veteran or a family affected by war and you will find a story. During WWII, my grandfather was a U.S. Army Paratrooper serving in Europe and member of the Office Of Strategic Services (O.S.S).  For nearly four years, he had virtually no written communication with my grandmother.  She would frequently receive a typed letter from a war office in Washington D.C., saying he was alive but whereabouts classified. My father missed my brother’s first birthday while on his first tour in Vietnam.  Read more...
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