How to Live Like the French — Taste of France (re-blogged from my favorite blogger)

The one thing you need to live the good life like the French.

via How to Live Like the French — Taste of France

I will someday visit France and when I do I feel it will be difficult to leave. Read this and you may feel the same. The other blogs by Taste of France are equally fascinating to read about everyday life in France through the eyes of someone who wasn’t born there.

Book: The Four Agreements

TFA cover

By Don Miguel Ruiz

A practical Guide to personal freedom. Self summary – In The Four Agreements, don Miguel Ruiz reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, this advice offers powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness and love.

I liked this book and will keep it for my son to read.

The author’s family taught him the Toltec wisdom. His mother a curandera (healer) and his grandfather a nagual (shaman). A shaman by definition is a person regarded as having access to, and influence in, the world of good and evil spirits. Ruiz shares his family’s simple but very profound teaching of four simple truths.

  1. Be impeccable with your words. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
  2. Don’t take anything personal. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be a victim of needless suffering.
  3. Don’t make assumptions. Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you want. Talk as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama.
  4. Always do your best. You will avoid self-judgement, self-abuse and regret.

I like small books with simple truths. They are easier to remember and understand. With the first rule I find myself listening more and talking less. The second rule I quit letting other people’s opinion of me matter so much. The third rule, I stopped thinking that I know exactly what is going on in any given situation. I’m more open to other possibilities. The last rule is the most rewarding I think. Every job I’ve ever done my best it led to better jobs where the pay was better and more satisfying.

My son is too young to understand this book and wouldn’t take the time to read it. When the time is right and hopefully before he is out of high school, I will ask him to read it. I believe it leads to a life of integrity, prosperity and less regret.

To learn more about The Toltec Four Agreements




Book: The Untethered Soul


The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer

For years I have been exploring the subject of self-awareness, enlightenment and/or mindfulness as it is called. Being aware of the present moment and more aware of my thoughts. Too often my thoughts are of the past or future. Rarely am I thinking about NOW. Right here and NOW.

Years ago I noticed my thoughts drifting  more frequently when talking with my sister. While she would be trying to engage a real conversation with me my mind would be thinking about dinner or what is my young son doing right now? Then I met Ralph Anderson who was an extremely successful engineer and businessman. He gave me some Wayne Dyer CDs to listen to and said they had helped him with his life and business for many years. Since Mr. Anderson said Dyer was good I believed him. Over the years my enlightenment has broadened to many different books with the most recent being The Untethered Soul.

The Review: I do recommend this book. On the back of this book says “You’ll discover what you can do to free yourself from the habitual thoughts and emotions that limit your consciousness.  This book opens the door to a life of self-realization and happiness.” This is exactly what it does.

Chapter 1 Title is “The Voice Inside Your Head”. This talks about the mental dialogue we all have inside our heads. The author approaches this subject as a way of simplifying it. I would have compulsive thoughts and never thought of them as being a problem. After reading this I have a lot less compulsive thoughts and more awareness of the current moment. With this mindfulness, I am more engaged in conversations with others and my environment. I notice my surroundings more; people, places and movements. It reminds me of people walking around with their faces pointed towards their cell phones. You see this everywhere and even with my own son, Evan. Now I think, how important is it to stay on your phones? Social media would say very important because they make money when you do stay tuned in. I say it’s bad because you aren’t experiencing what is going on around you.

This book goes on to discuss many other beneficial ideas such as meditation and how it helps with spiritual balance as much as it helps with both physical and emotional balance as well.

It also encourages us to expand our comfort zone (that’s what I call it). Quote “It is not life’s events that are causing problems or stress. It is your resistance to life’s events that is causing this experience.” More happiness is experienced when we stop trying to control life’s events, people or outcomes. We always try our best but if things don’t work out according to plan, accept it. C’est la vie…that’s life. Your comfort zone will expand. Grow more as a person and accept/tolerate life as it comes and goes.

This is a small book packed full of great wisdom for life. Deepak Chopra deemed “Read this book carefully and you will get more than a glimpse of eternity.”

Singer’s website The Untethered Soul

Book: My Days with Princess Grace


I am an admirer of the lovely Princess Grace of Monaco, (aka Grace Kelly). I wanted to know more about her life and in particular her life in Monaco. What was she like as Princess I wondered. The book My Days with Princess Grace was written from the perspective of her close American friend Joan Dale and comes with 35 pages of personal photographs of her life with Grace.

I loved the book. Joan Dale uses letters that she wrote to her parents as a timeline during her friendship with Grace. What sold me on the book was that shortly before Princess Grace passed away, Joan accompanied her and her family on 2 week cruise to Iceland.

April 12, 1957 Joan Dale and her husband met the Prince and Princess. Joan’s husband, Martin, was a U.S. official Acting Consul in Nice. Grace had been married almost one year. Prince Rainier was a business man and planned for the future of Monaco and recruited Martin Dale to help attract businesses. They were very successful and became close friends. It was during this time that Princess Grace became friends with Martin Dale’s wife, Joan. Grace didn’t have many American friends in Monaco and welcomed a friend in Joan.

This book describes the 25 year friendship between Princess Grace and Joan Dale. Joan kept all the little notes and things Princess Grace wrote to her as anyone would have. I personally would keep those things in a vault safe from fire and theft. I liked reading everyday life tidbits about Grace. The book left me wanting to know more which is good. The book mentions a plum whip dessert that Grace made herself but was that her favorite? I would like to read a book of favorites written by her children. This book shows pictures of Grace reading and mentions that she traveled with a Shakespeare book of Sonnets. Now I’m curious about Shakespeare.

I don’t recall any biographies approved by Princess Grace but this book mentions a writer by the name of Gant Gaither who stayed at Rocagel (home away from home for the Princess and family). Gaither wrote a book about Grace called Princess of Monaco in 1957. Since he stayed at her personal home, I’ll assume he had their permission to write the book which I am now reading.


Book’s website: Princess Grace of Monaco

Incredibles 2

14 years since original Disney story


My kids were 4 years old and just a few months old when the original came out and they loved it. Yesterday we saw the sequel.

My boys loved it and gave it 4.5 Stars out of 5. I gave it 4 stars. Without giving away the movie I’ll just say that a part of the plot was to make super heroes NOT illegal. Currently they are and in hiding.

This time the movie is more dialogue driven and less action. The first movie had something going on a lot and more humor. Not so much in this one. It really lacked in humor. I feel my sons loved it purely based on they missed the characters. A reunion of childhood memories.  I could have waited for the rental and saved a lot of money but would have missed out on some valuable family time.

I’d recommend…save your money for another film this summer and buy this one on DVD for the kids when it is released.

Need ideas making prosthetic limbs for those less fortunate

I welcome ideas

I am a BK (below knee) amputee. I have access to custom made prosthetics in the USA but wonder what other people do in other countries where there aren’t dedicated prosthesis fabricators to make them. My last prosthetic leg cost $14,000 and I can’t even wear it. Made by Hanger and when I asked them to recast it, (make a new mold), they said no I waited too long and now they won’t do it. If I need a casting, I’ll need a prescription for another new prosthesis. So I’ve done nothing because I don’t have that kind of money but that’s a different story. I refuse pity and charity but welcome ideas!

I know there are volunteer groups that go all over the world  to help others and I see that as a way for these same people to help those who may not be mobile because of limb loss. If this is possible, I would like to figure out a way these same volunteers to take a kit of some kind and help these people.

The KIT:

I envision a small box that contains everything they need to fit one amputee. Before they leave they could watch a YouTube training video on how to use the kit. I think of ways the amputee they are helping to be included in this process so they can make repairs once the volunteers leave. If the amputee sees how it is made, then maybe their ideas will improve upon ours. The kits would have to be low cost but I’m thinking less than $50 for everything they would need with instructions. That’s the goal anyway.

Making the mold:

The first steps in making the customer mold is use plaster and wrap the stump in it until it dries. When the mold is removed you have an impression of the shape of the stump. Sounds easy but my prosthesist always marked my stump where I felt pain as to include relief areas in the molding for the final prosthesis. Maybe a marker could be used? After the plaster dries (could mud or clay be used?), what would fill it to make the stump molding? Only thing I can think of is the foam insulation in a can. It’s about $7 and could fit in the box. But can people transport it on planes? I don’t know.

As for the rest:

As to what would be used for the shell, I don’t know because my prosthetics use carbon fiber weaves. Super strong and light weight but how would people use that in other countries?

I hope there are some people who read this that have seen different materials used. What did they use before carbon fiber? Wood? Would there be an interest from any prosthesists organizations to come up with a cheaper solution for those in need? I don’t think I will get much help because it hurts their wallets.

I would appreciate any feedback anyone has. There are people in every country who can’t afford one or simply needs a replacement and I would love for there to be an alternative way that was cheap and effective.

  • Marker $2
  • Plaster rolls $10 (guessing)
  • Foam spray $7
  • donated used boxes $0

$19 but so far to go into the unknown.

The Handicap Question for Online Job Applications

The Job Application Process

The very end of every online job application that I have filled out in the last 20 months includes a whole page of…are you handicapped? Check yes or no? There is a box that includes reasons you may be considered handicapped:

  • Cancer
  • Deaf
  • Blind
  • Austism
  • Epilepsy
  • Diabetes
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Schizophrenia
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Major depression
  • MS = Multiple sclerosis
  • Missing limbs
  • PTSD = Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Wheelchair bound
  • Intellectual disability (previously called mental retardation)

So if one of these conditions describes us, we are supposed to be honest and check yes.  Do yourself a huge favor and lie! This is the only lie I NOW make because I can’t even get an in-person interview with ANY possible future employer. No one has been interested. I live near one of the largest cities in Florida where there are 2 main hospital groups,  they own most of the hospitals within 2 hours of travel. There have been so many BIOMED positions posted and I have applied for every one. In 20 months I have received one phone interview.

I consulted my sister who said stop checking the handicapped box. So I stopped checking it as of 10 months ago. Problem is after you LOG IN to websites and apply for any jobs, you can not un-check the handicapped box. You can change your race or veteran status but not the handicap option. It isn’t asked again.

So I called the Human Resources Department of both hospitals. Each phone call was strangely the same. I talked to a representative and told them I needed to un-check the handicapped box and they very quickly said that doesn’t have any bearing on my application and that they do not discriminate. I explained that I have 20 years of experience and haven’t even gotten an interview so if they would please let me un-check that box I would appreciate it. They explained that they can’t make that change. I wanted to ask, “can’t or won’t?” but didn’t want to ruin what minuscule chance I might have at employment in the future.

I don’t see my chances getting much better. I have no voice or anyone to listen to me. I have no say in the matter if they will interview me or hire me. No one to complain to except a possible lawyer that can’t prove I’ve been discriminated against. My one lawyer would be up against several dozen of the most expensive assholes making sure nothing gets changed. The only thing I can do is voice my frustration on here. To say it’s not fair!


I have worked in the medical device repair industry for 20 years. I am missing my left lower leg (car wreck at 6 years old). This doesn’t impede my job, not entirely. Sometimes it may make me tired more quickly than other days but this is not often or frequent. I have worked on the floor repairing OR tables because there was problems with the hydraulics. I have worked using ladders to repair OR lights. The references I can provide of former coworkers is enough evidence that I’m good at what I do. Given the chance at an interview I could encourage the hiring manager to reach out to the people I’ve worked with and ask them what kind of employee I was. I’ve never been a bad employee. I never would have thought that I would have a problem with getting employment. All because of a car wreck when I was 6 years old? No, all because I checked yes for handicapped.