Hijackers Beware

Several times a day, as an emergency service travel agent, I get updates about news from around the world.

Strikes, floods, earthquakes, blizzards, diseases and country unrest. Oh boy! All the cheery, fun stuff – not!.

So, when I see a story like this on our feed, it makes me deliriously ecstatic.

Passengers foil Turkey ‘hijacking’
Source website: aljazeera.net

A hijack attempt on a Turkish Airlines flight from Norway to Istanbul has been foiled by passengers.

Turkish media, citing security officials, said a Turkish passenger on board the Boeing 737-800 stormed the cockpit less than an hour before arrival in Turkey on Wednesday.

Officials said the man claimed to have a bomb and demanded the aircraft return to Oslo.

But passengers on the flight tackled the suspect and the plane landed safely at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport at 1930GMT, media reports said

I don’t know any of the 60 passengers on board (including crew). Our agency did not have any on this flight, but I do know I want them to be on my next flight. Any of the I’m-not-taking-your-crap-anymore people would be my preferred seat partner. Come to think of it, anyone else who decides they want to fight and tackle terrorists – come on board. I think they deserve to fly free.

I know in this case the man had “issues” (don’t we all?) and if you ask me, I’d say terrorists have “issues” and “psychological” problems in general, but I digress.

If we all pumped some iron and took some defense classes, would we be safe to fly? TSA, can you hire flight marshalls and good ol’ boy bouncers?

If I were a hijacker…. I would start taking notes…..

150 vs. 1?

60 vs. 1?

300 vs. 1?

Steriods? Body builders? Adrenline rushes?

How many seats does this plane hold? Can you take on an angry mob? Airline passengers are the worst, especially since the airlines took their free blankets, pillows, and pretzels. Trust me, they are not happy.

I think next time I travel, I’m asking for a seat next to the buff Norweigan guy…….just to be safe.

Happy trails hijackers!

Image by Google

An Angel in Scrubs

Please excuse the double post. For one, Blessed are the Merciful, did not post on feeds.

For two, the surgery hasn’t happened yet. Yes, we have been waiting all day.

I do want to explain more clearly. Yesterday morning, we got a call that Jason’s mom, Sue, got a sudden splitting headache with nausea and vomiting. It hurt so bad, she asked her husband to take her to the ER. This amazing woman would not even go to the Doctor for a major spider bite until a week later, when come to find out, it was a BLACK WIDOW. To say she is tough is an understatement. For her to REQUEST emergency service? Very bad and we knew it.

They found a brain hemorrhage. A big one. Ten to twelve centimeters on the right side of her head. She did not lose any feeling or movement in her arms, legs, and fingers. She is very aware of where she is, who she is, and what is going on. They did have to drain the pressure off the brain yesterday with a tube. She has a nice new haircut for the wedding and will have an even prettier one when they do brain surgery to fix the hemorrhage.

That is where the tricky part comes in. She was born without a crossover vein. One major artery feeds the left brain. One feeds the right. Nothing in the middle. The surgery is VERY difficult. One false snip and she is brain dead on the right side. The staff at XYZ hospital assured us, they could do such a delicate surgery no problem. They assured us, she was in capable hands. Did I mention they seemed a little TOO happy? Reminding me of Grey’s, but I digress.

XYZ RN’s were needing reminders of her bed angle for her drain. They had to take blood three times, because the machine didn’t read it right (huh?). Let’s just say, our confidence was not boosted.

This morning when they did the mapping for her brain and the surgery, everything seemed well. The surgery staff meet Jason, the husband, and other brothers. All seemed capable and confident – ahem, eager. It can be a good sign. Then the anesthesiologist stepped up to meet with them. Alone. He looked them in the eye and said, “Don’t do this here.”

Imagine the crumbling foundation as this news took hold. Sue was in pre-op. Ready to go. He told them his mother had this same thing happen three months ago. He gave them the name of top neurological surgeon who does these day in and day out. He also shared that the Doctor doing the surgery at XYZ hospital had only done THIS tricky type of surgery FOUR months ago. He was not seasoned, nor regular at it. Neither was the staff.

Grenade.

They could not in good conscience go through with it at that point, without first trying to find this neuro doc. Since XYZ hospital could not list the name of the hospital he worked at, the family had to find out for themselves (darn, you red hospital tape). Then…..see who would admit her, if a bed was available, and if the surgeon would do it. All right away, since the time bomb in her head is ticking. It was a waiting game for the insane.

Finally, this afternoon the transfer went through. We can breathe a little easier and KNOW she is going to get the BEST neuro care possible. I feel better about it already. Even more so, I know our prayers for guidance are being answered as this came down to the wire – literally.

An Angel in scrubs showed us the way. It also happens to be the hospital Jason supports in his IT field. Coincidence?

Our wedding is the least of our concern right now. Yes it will happen on Oct. 10th. God willing Sue will be there with a pretty pink head bandage, wheeled down the aisle by her sons.

My dear friends at work are already stepping up into her very large shoes. She was doing 90% of the wedding. In fact, I talked to her the night before about wedding stuff. She couldn’t wait and loved planning it. Knowing her, she is simply NOT going to miss it.

Keep praying my friends. We thank you with all our hearts. The surgery will be tonight or tomorrow morning.

Haiti’s Saving Grace

The internet and the world is talking about Haiti. The epic center Port-Au-Prince, the lives lost, and the insurmountable damage from a 7.0 earthquake. The world is captivated and shaken, just like the country. Haiti has the attention of the media, and many, many support and aid groups. Donations are pouring in.

I, for one, am glad. Yes, glad. Glad for the support, but deeply saddened it took this tragic event. I know the devastation, and lives lost are not replaceable. People are homeless, sick and in desperate need, now more than ever before. It is terrible. But listen, Haiti has needed help long before now. Haiti has cried for attention that it never got for YEARS AND YEARS. Finally, they are getting their saving grace. Finally, they are getting the help they need. Finally, we are paying attention.

Over twelve years ago, I became a travel agent to a company called, Simeus Foods. They are owned and operated by a man called, Dumas Simeus born and raised in Haiti.


You can see his biography here. Against all odds, he became a successful business owner and true to his roots, he gave back to where he started. I helped with a lot of the travel arrangements, and fundraisers for the foundation Sove Lavi. His admin Vanessa even brought me a card and some coffee from Haiti. Thanking me for help with getting volunteers flight arrangements, in and out of Haiti, to help with the clinic. A work she was very passionate about.

It was such an honor for me. I knew more than most about the story of the Haitians – their history. The hardships they faced. The hard, hard life they endured. Mr. Simeus was in the running for presidency at one time, but his stint in the US prevented it from being official. Impassable political road blocks. It was during a time of great rebellion and corruption. Haiti has always had extreme difficulties. I believe he would have impacted the country in a great way, which is why he was probably disqualified.

I remember talking to Vanessa on the phone one day. She was upset, very upset. One of the villages they worked to assist had been wiped out by a flood. The entire village washed away in the blink of an eye. Families she had worked with, children they had schooled, and given medical care to. In an instant, gone. She was heartbroken. What upset her the most, not one single media outlet reported the story. Not one. It was incredibly sad, and she was helpless to the lack of sympathy. Helpless to the forgotten need of a people she dearly loved.

Today, that story is fresh in my mind, as if I talked to her yesterday. Today, the world feels the pain she felt. The world knows the hardship, and the loss – the heartbreaking loss – of life. I am in no way happy this happened to them. But I am grateful for the support they are getting. I have heard more than one person mention, how do I get an orphan? The aftershocks will change many Haitian lives, in a uplifting way.

As we watch the world come together. Hearts are united. The people are cared and prayed for as never before. Their cries are finally heard. To me, that is a saving grace. A deserving mercy. There are many ways you can help. Our Church is working through World Vision. Both websites have donations. Obviously Red Cross as well.

I donated by text. I recently found out from many bloggers, and other ads that by using your mobile phone to text “Haiti” to 90999, you can immediately donate $10 to the Red Cross International Response Fund. The charge shows up  on your next month’s phone bill. It is very easy and simple. It was $10.00 dollars. We drop that in the bucket all the time on nothing.

Do this today, unite with the world.

Update-After I wrote this post, I found Vanessa through the foundation. This is the news I heard from her.


Our hearts are heavy. So many people have died and more are hurting and dying. Most of our friends and the Simeus family have been safely accounted for and there was no damage to the clinic or home in the countryside. We suspect that Mr. Simeus’ mom’s home in the city is lost, but no confirmation at this time. Very little communication.

As the presidents said on CNN this morning, the best way to help right now is cash. I am recommending Red Cross, Catholic Relief Services, HAS Hospital (www.hashaiti.org/C1a_w1.html) which is treating earthquake victims, or our charity (www.sovelavi.org) which is also operating now on the ground in Haiti.

Rejoice. Joy comes in the morning. Many lives will be inspired from this great tragedy, whether it’s from giving or receiving. Pray for help and healing of a country most deserving. Pray and be moved by their saving grace.

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Engaged!!!

Exciting news!!!

Ok, it’s actually not me (was that a mean trick?).  My sister got engaged. Apparently, she texted me a picture of her ring but I haven’t updated my iPhone for text pictures. I never answered her, and finally my mom spilled the beans. Good thing my sister called me, because I was all perturbed and stuff. *WHAT??? SHE DIDN’T TELL ME???? HMMMPHHFF*

Well, but, she kinda did? Don’t you think technology is cursing us? I was reading an article about how news is spread via Facebook to family members, quite often, before they can tell the news themselves. They read the news on someone’s wall or see the relationship status change in their news feed, then call other family members and friends to gossip tell them what’s going on. The family is surprised; why wasn’t I told?  It can cause a lot of hard feelings when it wasn’t meant to. Wedding pictures being uploaded before the bride and groom can even share them. Babies born at the hospital. The list goes on and on. You get the idea. This relates to my sister, telling me she is engaged by text,  basically because she is not on Facebook. HA.

So, I didn’t get it and sent her a text.

TEXT: Mom spilled the beans (you know better to tell her a secret). Is this for real? Is it pretty? I wanna know everything!

All mom told me was that she had a ROCK. *oooookkkkaaayyyy seriously…. date,  details,  nope  just a ROCK*

My sister calls me with “the news”  just after I had talked to Jason,  Monday Sep. 28. To say I was a bit distracted?? That would be an understatement. Here is how the conversation went, with Jason, not my sister. Not yet anyway.  (follow me here!)

6:09pm

J: Hey, babe, what are you doing?

A: Hey, I am sitting in traffic. Cowboys game tonight and it’s NUTS! People everywhere already! Holy smokes! They are parking all the way up Collins by the Sushi Zone. I just saw a bicycle pulling a BUGGY. I had to take a picture, too funny.

J: Yeah, about that, I got an email from a friend, whose company has extra tickets to the game tonight.

A: Really?? Wow! *This is only the most talked about game since…forever….the first Monday night Cowboys game at the new stadium*

J: Well, we have dance class tonight and it’s so last minute. We probably shouldn’t……..

A: Huh?  *WHAT??* Are you serious? Listen, why don’t you call them and see if they still have them. Seriously, we may never get to a Cowboys game on our own. Too expensive! My gosh, we have time to take that dance class again. CALL THEM.

J: Ok,  I’ll call you back.

THEN– My sister calls.

Am I ever distracted, I am a phone call away from a Cowboys game. She is telling me about the very sweet, very dear, and very Godly engagement. It is beautiful. I am happy for her. It is a surprise, somewhat, I mean when she insisted her guy meet mom and the family soon, like before they ended up meeting him at the wedding. Yeah, well, we kinda knew. But still….wasn’t  sure she’d jump back into marriage so soon after her marriage ended of over TWENTY years. Nevertheless, in my pending anxiousness,  I am enjoying the sweet story, when Jason calls back.

“Uhhhh, HOLD ON!”, I switch to Jason.

J: Hey, he is at the Sheraton and they are getting ready to walk to the game. He has two tickets. How close are you? *I have not moved in over five minutes-Yes!

A: I can be there in five.

I basically make a U, and rocket to the Sheraton. At this point, I actually have to hang up with my sister and call her back because, the Sheraton is charging to park for the Cowboys game. I don’t need to park, I only need to pull up and snag me some tickets. *FREE TICKETS. Ahhhh!*

No prob, they let me pass through. Now, I don’t know this guy from Adam. I am waiting at the front doors in my car. I see a guy walking towards me. He is smiling. He opens my door, drops two game tickets and two parking passes in my seat and says, “Enjoy! See you at the game.” *My hero!*

I swear my buggy eyes must have bugged out even more. I thank him profusely. He shuts the door and I glance down at laminated tickets. Ring of Honor suite. $125.00 a piece.  Ohhh. Mmm. Geee.  *yeah, I have 15yr old*

I had to call my sister back, I was navigating the car, as quick as I could to Jason’s the back routes. Giddy. FREAKING OUT. I couldn’t believe this! Wow!

She answers, “Oh, uhhh, hi sis, where were we?????”.  What’s really going through my head? *I am going to the COWBOYS GAME tonight* We talk a little longer. I have no idea what else she said. I remember the important part, SHE’S ENGAGED!  Hopefully, she remembers how excited I was,  for UM her. Yeah. *I’m going to the GAME!!!!!*


Tickets/GOLD/Keepsakes/Memories/Freebies. Whatever you want to call them. Mine, oh sweetness,  mine.


Walking to the GAME! This place is ginormous! We missed the kick off but not by much. The parking pass was off Randol Mill Road, to the west of Collins. Any of you game goers, let me give you a tip. PARK HERE. It is, by far, the best place.  Parking here you can go West on Randol Mill and hit any number of freeways when the game is over. Any other direction you are in standstill traffic. News flash, the lots closest to the stadium are the worst. The street is backed up for miles and you can’t even get OUT.

Jason’s FIRST ever Cowboys game. Uhhhh , hun?  It’s usually not this awesome.  Just so you know!

The WORLD’s LARGEST TV. To a child that was raised on TV, I gotta admit-I was awestruck. I wanted to sit right in front of it. (ha)

Ring of Honor,suite #?? can’t remember, doesn’t even matter. Club level, take the stairs by the chandelier UP. FREE drinks. FREE food. FREE programs. FREE hats. Boiled shrimp the size of my HAND. Chicken pizza, wings, and taquitos. Private bathroom. Not to mention, two Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders came by and took photos with everyone.

Just after the Cowboys FIRST WIN in the new stadium. Just to the left in the picture, the ESPN guys were set up doing their show live on the field.

What an amazing night. How that fell into our lap is still unbelievable.  The inside of that stadium IS exactly what everyone is talking about. This place is larger than life. Cooler than an Eskimo’s nose. It should be a world wonder! I was in wonder the whole time.

I couldn’t help but look at Jason, brow furrowed, “Babe, you were going to go to DANCE class?”

He says to me, “Yes, because that’s what I thought YOU wanted to do.”

That’s why I love him, so selfless. He LOVES the Cowboys. Always watches the games and he would have gave that up for me? To dance a dance we have no plans of dancing for a long time.  He would have missed this opportunity for my happiness?  Really?  Incredible!    *Is he CRAZY?*

I said, “That’s why I love you, but I wouldn’t have let you do that.”    *no way, no how*

He looks back at  me, smiling, “And that’s, why I love YOU.”

Don’t you love a happy ending? Great game. Precious memories. Even more precious? Knowing the heart of a person is for you,  and you for them.

“Remember the best relationship,  is one in which your love for each other, exceeds your need for each other.” -unknown.

May you engage yourself today in selfless gestures of love,  that you will never forget.

*****Congratulations Deedy and Roger, June 12, 2010******