Life I am the new year

Life I am the new year ~ Happy New Year!!!
I thought this poem was absolutely beautiful & I wanted to share it with all of you.
Please have an absolutely fantastic New Years Eve full of cheer & joy BUT in the end, please make the right choice and drive sober and safely. I want to hear all of your dreams come true over the next year and making the wrong choice behind the wheel tonight can take that all away from you!
God Bless each and everyone of you for playing part in the 2008 chapter of my life.
Love and Blessings,
Life I am the new year.
I am an unspoiled page in your book of time.
I am your next chance at the art of living.
I am your opportunity to practice what you have learned about life during the last twelve months.
All that you sought and didn't find is hidden in me,
waiting for you to search it out with more determination.
All the good that you tried for and didn't achieve
is mine to grant when you have fewer conflicting desires.
All that you dreamed but didn't dare to do, all that you hoped but did not will,
all the faith that you claimed but did not have --
these slumber lightly, waiting to be awakened
by the touch of a strong purpose.
I am your opportunity
to renew your allegiance to Him who said, "behold, I make all things new."
I am the new year.
-- Author Unknown


Send your own ElfYourself eCards


From Our Family to Yours - Merry Christmas

Douglas and I wish you all a blessed Christmas!
Love and God Bless, ~ Jen and Doug

Doug with Our baby girl (our niece) Abigail-


** a few of you have been asking "Where is Jen" - I am undergoing some intense (long-overdue)treatment for my mouth/jaw and will be undergoing some surgeries as well. After 4 years of pain, Douglas and I have been blessed to find an incredible doctor. This medical team is out of state. This has been a long journey that proved itself painful on Monday. Although this is painful, We feel incredibly blessed that this is FINALLY getting accomplished! *******GOD IS GOOD********
I will post details next week.....



When I say Buffalo - You think snow, Right? We get such a bad rap about the amount of snow we receive BUT it looks as though times are changing! This was crazy to see and hear. I was also excited to receive below photos!

By Sun Staff
A rare snowstorm blanketed the Las Vegas Valley on Wednesday, delaying flights, causing widespread fender-benders and canceling events. More than 6 inches of snow had fallen in parts of the valley, forecasters said.

The rarities continued Wednesday night with the Clark County School District's announcement that students are getting a snow day on Thursday. It's the first snow day for Clark County students since 1979, when a storm dropped 9.9 inches of snow in January that year.

With ice and snow on the roads, and district buses responsible for transporting more than 80,000 students, closing school was the prudent move, Superintendent Walt Rulffes said.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning in effect through 6 a.m. Thursday. The weather service said its Las Vegas office had reported 3.6 inches of snow by 9:50 p.m.

"The foothills should see amounts of 5 to 10 inches overnight and the higher mountains between 1 and 2 feet of total snowfall," the weather service's warning said. An advisory from the weather service Wednesday afternoon called the snow event "extremely rare."

photo from the Las Vegas Review Journal website

Passengers, planes frozen at McCarran Airport
Updated: Dec 17, 2008 04:23 PM
(From the FOX5 News Website)

Thursday's winter storm has frozen flights at McCarran Airport.
While the airport is not shut down, flights on the ground are delayed and planes coming in will only land at the pilot's discretion.
Flights around the country that have not taken off will stay on the ground until visibility improves.
There is snow on the runway at McCarran and the National Weather Service has issued a Weather Warning, blaming reduced visibility for possible delays in departures and arrivals.
The warning will last until 4 a.m. Thursday, December 18, with moderate to heavy snow of up to 3 inches at the airport.

7,000 Customers Without Power
POSTED: 7:02 pm PST December 17, 2008
UPDATED: 9:20 pm PST December 17, 2008

(From the FOX5 News Website)
NV Energy Has No Estimate On When Outages Will Be Fixed
LAS VEGAS -- NV Energy announced power outages affecting about 7,000 customers in various areas across the Valley.
Some of the customers are located in the area of Rancho and Owens Avenue, Rancho and Valley View Boulevard and East Desert Inn and South Mojave roads.

National Weather Service records show that snowfall that sticks on the ground and piles up occurs about once every 20 years.
By Mary Manning Wed, Dec 17, 2008 (4:20 p.m.)

Most people envision sun and palm trees swaying in a gentle breeze when they dream about their Las Vegas vacations, but those arriving in Las Vegas between October and mid-April may be surprised to find snowflakes falling.
According to National Weather Service records, the most snowfall recorded in the Las Vegas Valley was 16.7 inches in January 1949, followed by January 1974 with 13.4 inches and January 1979 with 9.9 inches.
Measurable snow officially fell in Las Vegas on Dec. 30, 2003, with 1.3 inches on the ground, the weather service said.


Traffic accidents numerous
By Sun Staff
Published Wed, Dec 17, 2008 (6:52 a.m.)
Streets around the valley were becoming slick and slushy through the evening.
The Nevada Highway Patrol and Metro Police said there had been numerous fender-benders on wet roads, but no serious injuries through Wednesday evening.
As snow continued to pile up, so did the number of car crashes. Metro Police have been working several accidents since the snow began to fall.
One included a pickup truck that had rolled over about 7:15 p.m. in the southbound lane in the 2300 block of Green Valley Parkway outside of the Wild Horse Estate Apartments. The pickup truck knocked down two small trees before it came to a stop in front of the street light. The vehicle rolled once and was on its side, perpendicular to the traffic, blocking the lanes.
At 7:55 p.m., Metro officers were working 26 accidents with four injuries, a hit-and-run, nine other traffic accidents and 11 traffic problems, which range from a stalled car to traffic light outages. The number of traffic incidents decreased into the night as fewer cars were on the roads.
Metro updates its traffic site every 15 minutes with accidents and traffic problems officers are currently working. Officer Jay Rivera said the most common accident officers are seeing involve cars colliding into other vehicles from behind, mostly at traffic lights.
There had been no fatalities through Wednesday evening, he said.
“People are use to following at a certain distance in dry conditions and are following at that same distance in these wet conditions and then rear-ending other cars," Rivera said.
"People aren't used to the snow," Officer Barbara Morgan said. "You need to drive the way conditions dictate."
Metro Police reported 18 wrecks between 2:15 and 3:25 p.m., including two hit-and-runs.
"People are driving silly," Morgan said. "They need to just slow down."
The Nevada Highway Patrol reported two crashes in the Henderson area during the same time frame — one at U.S. 95 and Wagon Wheel Drive and another at U.S. 95 and Horizon Drive. Additionally, U.S. 95 to Searchlight was closed beginning at Railroad Pass.
Motorists traveling to California and outside the Las Vegas Valley were finding major delays on Interstate 15 and other highways.
The Nevada Department of Transportation reported the highway was closed in both direction between Primm and Baker, Calif., because of snowy weather. Officials also said U.S. 95 was closed from the California line to U.S. 93 because of a traffic accident, and State Road 163, State Road 164 and State Road 165 were closed.
NDOT will be deicing bridges and ramps on U.S. 95 and I-15 during the night.
Blue Diamond Highway (SR 160) was closed and motorists were advised to detour using U.S. 95 north to SR 160 south to access Pahrump. Chains, snow tires, or four-wheel drive vehicle restrictions are in place for Mountain Springs and Mount Charleston.
North Las Vegas officials were urging motorists to stay off the streets.
“Motorists should slow down and be aware of their surroundings to avoid slamming on the breaks or jerking the steering wheel on frozen roads,” public works director Qiong Liu said. “These actions could cause a vehicle to veer or slide out of control, posing a risk to the driver and other vehicles on the road.”
The Nevada Highway Patrol was preparing to close Interstate 515 southbound at Railroad Pass, blocking traffic into Boulder City for all but Boulder City residents, Police Chief Thomas Finn said. In addition, traffic along U.S. 93 from Hoover Dam into Boulder City was to be diverted, Finn said.
Traffic will be routed onto Lake Shore Road and through Henderson to get to the Las Vegas area, National Park Service spokesman Andrew Munoz said. Finn said Boulder City residents would be allowed through.
The Regional Transportation Commission has closed a portion of its 402 Route from Nevada State College to Boulder City, and officials cautioned that other bus routes that serve higher elevations may be detoured or delayed as well.



Left-lane slowpokes drive you crazy?

Left-lane slowpokes drive you crazy?

The words 'move over' -- even if readable in the rearview mirror -- may not mean much to them, but a ticket might. Some states are cracking down. By Christopher Solomon

In these days of longer commutes and simmering tempers, nothing seems to set off already-testy motorists like the left-lane camper -- the guy or gal who drives in the passing lane and bars faster drivers from easily passing. Web sites have cropped up to educate other drivers, or to vent. There's a (somewhat painful) YouTube song called "Keep Right."

Even bigwigs get frustrated. Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell, weary of having his limo slowed down by such left-lane pokies, ordered an aide to have the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission install signs a few years ago reading "Keep Right, Pass Left. It's the Law."

And now some states are cracking down on left-lane campers, both to keep traffic moving and to tamp down the road rage that goes from zero-to-60 faster than ever before.

That's not just a pretext. Last year, a driver was arrested on Interstate 79 outside Pittsburgh after allegedly brandishing a semiautomatic pistol at a driver who was on his tail.

You could get a ticket

Some states didn't allow left-lane lingering but didn't enforce the law. Now they are.

At the start of the summer, the Washington State Patrol began pulling people over for violating the state's left-lane law, which prohibits "impeding the flow of other traffic."

"This a real big hot-button topic for the public at large right now," says Trooper Cliff Pratt. "We've had a lot of complaints" from drivers who've had to deal with left-lane campers.

So far authorities have been gentle with the $124 ticket; the drivers stopped were given verbal warnings.

Last year, news outlets reported that Oklahoma was bolstering enforcement of its left-lane law as well. "We deal with it weekly," Lt. George Brown, supervisor of public affairs for the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, said of left-lane drivers going too slowly. He's issued more warnings than tickets.

Insurers haven't gotten aggressive yet, either, but this kind of ticket has the potential to raise rates.

"Any moving violation that applies points to a driver's record could affect that driver's car insurance rates," says Susan Gallik Rouser, a spokeswoman for Progressive. "And because left-lane driving would be considered as such an infraction, we would take that into account when renewing a driver's policy."

What's the law in your state?

The laws vary widely, according to John Carr, who works for a software company in the Boston area and who compiled a list of the rules in each state after taking an interest in the issue:
  • A few states -- for instance, Kentucky, Maine Massachusetts and New Jersey -- permit use of the left lane only for passing or turning left.
  • Georgia, Colorado and Louisiana follow the Uniform Vehicle Code, requiring drivers to keep right if they're going slower than the speed of traffic.
  • Wyoming prohibits blocking the far left lane of a highway "for a prolonged period," though it adds that the traffic should be "at a lawful rate of speed."
  • In Arkansas and South Dakota, vehicles don't have to stay right.
  • In Alaska, Maryland, North Carolina and Ohio, vehicles can drive in the left lane so long as they're moving at the speed limit.
  • Florida is trying to join in: Lawmakers reintroduced a Road Rage Reduction Act this year, requiring motorists to stay out of the left lane on interstate highways except when passing. It passed the Legislature in 2005 but was vetoed by then-Gov. Jeb Bush, who questioned whether it was based on sound research.

It's no wonder drivers can be confused, and often frustrated.

MSN Money driving-skills quiz

Driving skills © Pixland Image/Jupiterimages


Remember what you learned in driver's education? See how well you score on 20 questions taken from real licensing tests across the country.

'One of my biggest pet peeves'

One of those exasperated drivers in your rearview mirror might be Eli Dozier.

"That's one of my biggest pet peeves in the world, is when people stay in the left lane. They're not passing, they've got people behind them, trying to go around, and they just cruise," says Dozier, 31 and a stay-at-home dad.

"It's probably the most uncourteous thing you can do," he says, adding that it's "obviously" unsafe.

"I'm a fast driver," Dozier allows. "But if I'm not passing, I don't use that left lane at all."

So what's a frustrated motorist to do?

GPS navigation system © Corbis
Progressive is giving motorists a chance to save up to 60% on their car insurance. The catch? They want to monitor your car's every move.

Dozier heard in a chat room about some windshield decals that said "Slower Traffic," with an arrow pointing to the right-hand lane, printed backward in large letters for reading in a rearview mirror. "And so I immediately ordered one. I jumped on it."

He loves the thing. "Most people, it's just inattentiveness" that keeps them in the passing lane, Dozier says. "Most people, when you pass them, they'll give you a wave. They're thankful" for the reminder.

At least, he says, women tend to be. Men sometimes take Dozier's sticker as an affront and will retaliate by slowing down, he says. There have been some middle fingers, some choice words. And then, Dozier says, "I have been known to show them how good the back of my car looks." At very close range. Which only exacerbates the situation.

Overall, though, both he and his wife are delighted with the results, he says. They recently bought her a Dodge Ram 1500 with a quad cab, and they've ordered a decal like his for it.

Pennsylvania authorities also find that reminders do work. "Anecdotally," says Carl DeFebo of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Authority, "you do see a lot less people . . . enjoying the weather" in the passing lane since 25 signs went up on the turnpike in 2003 and 2004. It probably helps that "sometimes our police will actually enforce this," DeFebo adds, handing out warnings or tickets that add up to $108.

Courtesy counts

The creator of those stickers, J.A. Tosti, is also director and founder of Left Lane Drivers of America. "What we're seeking to do is raise awareness," he explains.

A frustrating experience was a "Eureka!" moment for Tosti. "One day I was driving one of the local freeways in the area here -- we're not far from Portland (Ore.) -- and I got behind a guy who was going slow in the left lane," says Tosti. "And I got to thinking, boy, it sure would be nice if I could reach out and tap this guy on the shoulder and ask him to move over. And that's when the light bulb went off."

Tosti went home and designed a see-through decal for windshields that says "REVO EVOM." Seen in a rearview mirror, it reads "MOVE OVER."

Save money on car insurance © Frank Whitney/Brand X/Corbis
"It's been a labor of love," says Tosti, who didn't disclose how many $29 stickers he's sold. He would like to sell more to law-enforcement agencies.

Tosti said aggression only aggravates other drivers. For him, response to the decal on his car has always been positive and pleasant -- in large part because he is a patient, nontailgating driver.

"It's amazing how effective it is," he says. "On one trip from Portland to Seattle, I felt at times like I was sweeping the left lane with a broom."

A faster, more courteous -- and well-swept -- highway? Sounds like something most folks could live with.

Defending the driving

But not everyone agrees with those who tell them to get out of the way.

"The left lane is for passing . . . not a license to speed till you kill someone," wrote a contributor to Motor Trend's blog. "Grow up. If I'm in the left lane doing 65 while the speed limit's 80, I'll move over. But if I'm doing the speed limit, and someone decides he's Mario Andretti . . . he/she can go around me and break the law further up the highway."

Washington state law says, "It is a traffic infraction to drive continuously in the left lane of a multilane roadway when it impedes the flow of other traffic."

"I think there is some misunderstanding," Pratt says. "A lot of people think that if they're going at or near the speed limit that they don't have to get out of the lane."

And the left-lane driving debate goes on.

Published Dec. 8, 2008


How Dangerous Is Your State For Drunken Driving?

How Dangerous Is Your State For Drunken Driving?
(Find your state in the list below)

If you want to avoid liquored-up drivers this holiday season, steer clear of Montana.

In 2007, the state reported 106 fatalities in crashes involving at least one driver who was legally drunk. That comes out to 11.1 drunken driving-related deaths that year for every 100,000 people living in the 957, 861-person state. What's more, that number is up slightly; in 2006, Montana reported 10.9 drunken driving-related fatalities per capita.

One reason: With less than a million citizens stretched across 146,000 square miles, Montana faces distinctly rural challenges.

"Eighty percent of travel in Montana is on rural roads," says Jim Lynch, director of Montana's Department of Transportation, head of its Highway Traffic Safety Office, and the governors' representative for highway safety, "So most crashes involve speeds in excess of 55 miles per hour. A more urban state like Massachusetts has less than 6% of its drivers on rural roads--the majority of its traffic is in urban environments at slow speeds. We also have much longer emergency response times because of the distance; the average response time in Massachusetts is about 20 minutes, while in Montana it's an hour and 20 minutes. So an accident in Montana is far more likely to be life-threatening."

2007 Fatalities per One Hundred Thousand People
1. Montana 11.07 (estimated population: 957,861)
2. South Carolina 10.50 (estimated population: 4,407,709)
3. Mississippi 10.35 (estimated population: 2,918,785)
4. Wyoming 9.37 (estimated population: 522,830)
5. Louisiana 8.57 (estimated population: 4,293,204)
6. Alabama 8.41 (estimated population: 4,627,851)
7. North Dakota 8.28 (estimated population: 639,715)
8. West Virginia 7.84 (estimated population: 1,812,035)
9. New Mexico 6.75 (estimated population: 1,969,915)
10. Arkansas 6.42 (estimated population: 2,834,797)
11. Tennessee 6.33 (estimated population: 6,156,719)
12. Oklahoma 6.05 (estimated population: 3,617,316)
13. Delaware 5.78 (estimated population: 864,764)
14. Missouri 5.75 (estimated population: 5,878,415)
15. South Dakota 5.65 (estimated population: 796,214)
16. Wisconsin 5.59 (estimated population: 5,601,640)
17. Texas 5.40 (estimated population: 23,904,380)
18. North Carolina 5.37 (estimated population: 9,061,032)
19. Arizona 5.30 (estimated population: 6,338,755)
20. Maine 5.01 (estimated population: 1,317,207)
21. Kentucky 4.95 (estimated population: 4,241,474)
22. Florida 4.88 (estimated population: 18,251,243)
23. Idaho 4.67 (estimated population: 1,499,402)
24. Georgia 4.62 (estimated population: 9,544,750)
25. Nevada 4.60 (estimated population: 2,565,382)
26. Alaska 4.39 (estimated population: 683,478)
26. Alaska 4.39 (estimated population: 683,478)
27. Nebraska 4.34 (estimated population: 1,774,571)
28. Virginia 4.30 (estimated population: 7,712,091)
29. Kansas 4.11 (estimated population: 2,775,997)
30. Pennsylvania 4.02 (estimated population: 12,432,792)
31. Oregon 4.00 (estimated population: 3,747,455)
32. Indiana 3.62 (estimated population: 6,345,289)
33. Iowa 3.55 (estimated population: 2,988,046)
34. Vermont 3.54 (estimated population: 621,254)
35. Hawaii 3.51 (estimated population: 1,283,388)
37. Ohio 3.41 (estimated population: 11,466,917
38. Illinois 3.38 (estimated population: 12,852,548)
39. Maryland 3.19 (estimated population: 5,618,344)
40. California 3.16 (estimated population: 36,553,215)
41. Minnesota 3.04 (estimated population: 5,197,621)
42. Michigan 3.03 (estimated population: 10,071,822)
43. Washington 3.01 (estimated population: 6,468,424)
44. Connecticut 2.88 (estimated population: 3,502,309)
45. New Hampshire 2.58 (estimated population: 1,315,828)
46. Rhode Island 2.36 (estimated population: 1,057,832)
47. New Jersey 2.29 (estimated population: 8,685,920)
48. Massachusetts 2.26 (estimated population: 6,449,755)
49. New York 1.99 (estimated population: 19,297,729)
50. Utah 1.93 (estimated population: 2,645,330)

To determine which states had the highest drunken driving death tolls, Forbes looked at the number of drunken driving-related fatalities in each state according to a compilation of motor-vehicle crash data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System and the General Estimates System. Released in August by the National Center for Statistics and Analysis, an office of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the numbers reflect fatalities in 2007.

They then multiplied by 100,000 and divided the result by the Census population estimates for 2007. This determined the states with the most accident-related fatalities per capita where at least one driver had a blood-alcohol content of .08 or more.

Full Article @:


Mrs. World & the Gals

I had the most fabulous time with Mrs. World & the rest of the gals tonight!!!! It was amazing to meet Mrs. Canada, Mrs. Pakistan, Mrs. Switzerland and all the other incredible women. Thank you for the most fantastic evening and thank you to Syrup Swimwear for all of the hospitality!
See you in January Ladies :-) (now back to the COLD NY weather...LOL)
Mrs. World, Dianne Tucker and I (above)
Mrs. Canada (blond), AZ Gals & myself (below)

Myself with Mrs. World, Mrs. Switzerland, Mrs. Pakistan and the next Mrs. AZ(above)

Myself with the owner of Syrup Swimwear, Mrs. Pakistan & Edrinna


Worked for Sony Pictures & TBS Today

Today was a long and tiring day BUT I had a fascinating time working for Sony Pictures & TBS! I even did a photo shoot for TBS!

Wilmer Valderrama, Jasmine & I
David Alan Grier & I
Jeraldo Rivera, Jasmine & I
Kelly. Kim Coles & I

Dave Foley & I




I enjoyed the most heavenly Latte' this morning!

This coffee is out of this world, the packaging is exquisite and the quality is impeccable!
They have so much to choose from including ~ Espresso Brownie Mix, Espresso Chocolate Bars, Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans, Beautifully Designed Tea ~Whole Bean or Ground Coffee.
ALL beans are roasted fresh by their very own roast master Mark. Mark chooses these beans from all over the world!!

41785 Elm Street #102
Murrieta, CA 92562
Phone: 951-691-5420


Drowsy Driving Prevention Week

I have not had the time to write up an article re: drowsy driving week due to some time consuming issues here at home (nothing bad, it's all fantastic happenings, just extremely time consuming).

I did get a comment from a fellow pageant friend that I just had to post here on the main posting....it really hit a nerve with me when I read this!

"We just had a school bus driver in our community flip a school bus, she was so drowsy from medication she was on that she was driving on the wrong side of the road, drove right by two kids she was suppose to pick up, did not stop at the railroad tracks, then took a corner to fast and flipped the bus, thank god she only had 6 of her kids on instead of the bus full, and thankfully nobody was seriously hurt. This is definitely something that deserves a week so that people think of how deadly driving drowsy can be."

November is Jaw Joints-TMJ Awareness Month!

November is Jaw Joints-TMJ Awareness Month!

September 30, 1997-

Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank designated November as Jaw Joints-TMJ Awareness Month. His proclamation acknowledged that temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders (TMJDs) are "among the more painful, yet least understood disorders affecting people today."

In May the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) kicked off an awareness campaign in the Washington DC area. The TMJA is excited to highlight this campaign on it's web site during Jaw Joints-TMJ Awareness month. To learn more about the campaign visit us at www.tmj.org


Thank you Z/Sgt. Wilkinson!

I was THRILLED to receive this letter from Z/Sgt. Wilkinson This afternoon! Looks as though the past years efforts were history making!!!

It is with great pride that I advise you of two recent announcements
from the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles:

The first is that 2007 was the safest year ever on New York’s roads.
Last year 1,317 people lost their lives on New York’s roads and highways; an 8 percent reduction from the previous year. This represents 116 fewer people who lost their lives on our roads, and that is a testament to the impact of your traffic safety efforts. As you may recall, in January 2008, the Superintendent commended you on your demonstrated commitment to traffic safety for having issued more than
one million traffic tickets for the first time in history. Research has consistently shown the correlation between high levels of enforcement and improved traffic safety, and your efforts clearly demonstrate this relationship.

The second announcement is an increase in the use of safety restraints by New York motorists, which contributed significantly to the improvement in traffic safety. Surveys commissioned by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee this summer indicated that 89 percent of New York motorists were buckled up; a record high. Not surprisingly, the DMV statistics indicate that unbelted fatalities dropped by more than 20 percent between 2006 and 2007. In total, unbelted fatalities have been
reduced by more than 50 percent since the start of the Buckle Up
New York Campaign. Though troopers comprise only about 16 percent of police manpower in the regions we patrol outside of New York City, you account
for 47 percent of the safety restraint enforcement. By driving up the use of safety belts among New York motorists, you are reducing the number of tragic outcomes among the crashes that do occur, and you should take great pride in knowing that your efforts are making a difference.

Congratulations on a job well-done.

Field Commander


Makes it all worth it!

Nov 5 2008 3:36 PM

I have to tell you something funny and cute my son is in Kindergarten and has to bring things in for show and tell every other Friday and he brang in the picture of you on the driving skills from Delacy and we have to fill out this sheet with things like where did you get it from and how long have you had it and and why did you bring this item in for show and tell and Joey wrote "because it always reminds me to buckle up." I thought it was so cute it just melted my heart like you wouldn't believe.Thanks for making a difference even in the eyes of the young.
Take care.

I received the above message on my Myspace account. This message is exactly what keeps me going in my pursuit of educating American's on Traffic Safety.

The ultimate cause of my closed head injury, TMJ and herniated discs was the destructive decisions that another driver made behind the wheel of their vehicle. After a few years of soul-searching and hours of thinking, I realized that my soul purpose is traffic safety education. I thank the Mrs. New York America staff for helping me realize that! It has been the most amazing, most fulfilling journey in my life.

It makes the 4 years of speech therapy, occupational therapy, balance/coordination therapy, vision therapy, auditory therapy, physical therapy and so on all worth it.

God has surely blessed my father and I. God has a plan and a purpose for my life.....I thank him everyday for the miracles in my life!



My job with Motorcraft over the last 3 days has been wonderful. I met people from all over the world. It's nothing but fabulous...Doug does not mind it either because he gets to travel with me as well.
The weather here is gorgeous.....only problem is that our family and friends back home continue to remind us of the beautiful weather we are missing out on. Who knew, that when we boarded the plane, we'd be leaving behind 75 degree days!!!

When we return it'll probably be snowing..LOL...

Well, all is good, just a bit of over stimulation and a sore jaw from smiling all day!

I will try and post as much as possible through our travels. Oh yeah, we got to meet Denny Hamlin yesterday as well!!

Love from us both - Jen & Doug


Working with Ford Motorcraft & FAMOUS DRIVERS!


Thank you to Ford Motorcraft for keeping me as part of the FORD family. I am truly blessed for the experiences that Ford Motor Company has provided me and my family over the past year AND for what they continue to do for us! What an exciting family to be a part of! I look forward to all future endeavors with this amazing company.

What an honor today was! I had the most incredible opportunity to meet and speak with Bill Elliott - Legendary Nascar Driver! #21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion.

I also had the opportunity to meet and speak with Bob Tasca III. He is the Shelby Mustang Nitro Funny Car Driver for Motorcraft (Ford). He was the most down to earth and outgoing driver I have met! What an honor it was.

Bill Elliott, He is Awesome Bill from Dawsonville!


In a NATIONAL Magazine!

I received a phone call from the 'First for Women' magazine!!!!!!
They are writing an article regarding TMJ disorders and I was contacted by them to share my own personal story/battle with it!
I am SO excited to see this misunderstood disorder get the national attention it deserves. I know it will help so many people regain their active lifestyles back!
I will be sure to let you know when you should look for it as you cash out at the grocery store!

Life is FABULOUS!!!

At the moment, Douglas and I took a chance. The chance was always in our minds and we continually put it off thinking it would never come to fruition.

I am proud to say - IT HAS!!! We took a leap of faith and dreams are coming true.

For the first time in 4 years- life is absolutely FABULOUS!

Everyone had their doubts, tried to hold us back by instilling the fear of negativity in our minds BUT with our love, devotion, the longing for a more exciting/productive life AND the pull from one amazing friend, we took the leap AND I am proud to say........it was all worth it.

The past 4 years of our life has been full of up hill battles, starting with enduring 2 near-fatal car crashes within 11 months and the extensive rehab that it put us through. All because 2 other drivers made a destructive decision behind the wheel, our life, as we knew it at the time was ripped from us. We lost everything but our love and my life.

You see, at the age of 22, the last thing on our minds was 'disability insurance.' The worst part is that I was a Financial Planner & Life Insurance Agent!! Therefore, I did know they existed BUT I only took out a life insurance policy. I never knew I WOULD need a 'disability insurance' policy. Well, without it, we LOST everything and for 4 continuous years, we survived an uphill battle.

But that is all okay!!! You see, it is the law of averages. So much negative has continually occurred that it is only part of the law of averages for GOOD to now take place.

That is exactly what has happened. In one week, I have watched so many incredible and life changing events occur in our lives and these are events that will remain in our lives forever.

I am at the point in my life where I am allowing things to fall into place. No matter how badly I long for these events to happen, such as getting the job that I want, I can not sit here and hope for it. I believe that if it is meant to be a part of my life, then it will be. If it is not meant to be a part of my story called 'life,' then it really wont happen. So no matter how much I worry or get nervous, there is no point to sweat it!

With that in mind, I have watched so much fall into place that it is kind of scary....LOL....

Thank you to Elana for your belief in my abilities. I enjoyed my conversation and my time at your facilities today.

This new chapter of our life is and will remain incredible....no one can take that away from us.

If you have a dream, hold to it tightly because only you can make it come true. Some times we want things but they are at the wrong times. When the right time occurs, your dream will happen. Therefore, enjoy your ride through life. It only happens once and any of the hard times will turn good. When you have surpassed the valleys, you'll be a top the peaks looking down and remembering the valley's...which you will call "the good 'ol times."


WHAT IS TMJd? - My disability caused by a careless driver

I am frequently asked to explain what my painful disorder is.

You may have heard of others saying they have clicking or popping in their jaw - and that is what you associate TMJ with. Well, that is only a MILD case of what I have. Mine is a very extreme and very serious case. So serious that others have committed suicide over the daily and incurable pain.

In simple terms - my Discs's are out of place.
We all have a disc on each side of our faces, immediately in front of our ears. This disc provides a cushioning effect in between where the lower jaw connects to our skull. Because both of my (left / right) discs are "out of place" - I AM LEFT WITH BARE BONES RUBBING. Over the past 4 years, it has turned arthritic.

My TMJ's are dis-placed as a result from the way my head banged off the windshield and was tossed around the car.

My jaw is also mis-aligned from the crashes.
- now my mouth and TMJ's are grossly mis-aligned.
It has caused misalignment's in other areas of the body, such as the spine, shoulders, hips, and ankles. The body’s effort to compensate for a misalignment in the cranium, causes misalignment's elsewhere and puts a great deal of stress on the muscles of the face, head, neck and back.

Below, I am going to try my hardest to explain this complex and misunderstood disability. I will add photos and diagrams as well. (you can click on the pictures to enlarge them)

"The pain can become so severe that patients have been known to commit suicide due to chronic facial pain." - Dr. Gary Boling, D.D.S

What is TMJ ?

A. TMJ = Temporomandibular Joint.
B. The TMJ’s are the joints that connect the lower jaw (Mandible) to the skull.
C. They are very important joints in the body because they are active in chewing, talking, swallowing, and any other motion involving the mouth and face.

Temporo-Mandibular Joint
Temporo' - refers to the temple bone of the skull
Mandibular - refers to the lower jaw (i.e., the mandible)
Joint - is where the two meet, just in front of the ear canal

The Temporo-Mandibular Joint is a complicated, poorly understood network of nerves, muscles, cartilage, fluids and bone. It is also one of the most complex joints in the body, performing multiple, vital functions.

  1. The temporo-mandibular joints are Joints located on either side of the face that connect the lower jaw to the skull.

  2. The joints work in synergy with the facial bones and multiple pairs of muscles to allow opening and closing of the mouth & forward, backward, rotational and side-to-side movements of the lower jaw.

  3. Any disturbance of the perfect facial balance can trigger the TMJ disorder pain cycles

  4. Affecting muscles and joints on ALL areas of the face, neck & back.

  5. When muscles & joints are not working together, muscle spasms occur - producing pain and dysfunction.

  6. With TMJd, Muscles in the face, neck & back are working constantly - EVEN DURING SLEEP - causing them to become overworked - leading to muscle fatigue, spams and inflammation.

TO THE RIGHT:That is a diagram of every muscle that is attacked/affected by the TMJd (Temporo-Mandibular Joint Disorder).Every time that my TMJd flares up, I experience a blow up of intense pain in everyone of those muscles! Everything from the shoulders & up is greatly tormented.

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects the lower jaw, called the mandible, to the temporal bone at the side of the head. If you place your fingers just in front of your ears and open your mouth, you can feel the joint on each side of your head. Because these joints are flexible, the jaw can move smoothly up and down and side to side, enabling us to talk, chew and yawn. Muscles attached to and surrounding the jaw joint control its position and movement.

When we open our mouths, the rounded ends of the lower jaw, called condyles, glide along the joint socket of the temporal bone. The condyles slide back to their original position when we close our mouths. To keep this motion smooth, a soft disc lies between the condyle and the temporal bone. This disc absorbs shocks to the TMJ from chewing and other movements.

Today, researchers generally agree that temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) fall into three main categories:

  • myofascial pain, the most common form of TMD, which is discomfort or pain in the muscles that control jaw function and the neck and shoulder muscles;
  • internal derangement of the joint, meaning a dislocated jaw or displaced disc, or injury to the condyle;
  • generative joint disease, such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis in the jaw joint.

Some Symptoms ( I have 99% of these):
*pain in the face, *neck, or *back, *migraine or *generalized headaches, *eye problems, *sinus trouble, *hearing loss, *earaches, *clogging or *ringing in the ears, *visual and *motor incoordination, *learning disability, *low energy level, *any pain or joint noises in the jaw area, *difficulty swallowing, *dental distress, *bruxism, *tingling or numbness in the arms, hands or fingers, and a *myriad of problems dealing with the spine and structure.

Malocclusion = “bad bite”
It usually stems from a malformation, degradation, or displacement of the TMJ’s. Misaligned bites will cause misalignment's in other areas of the body, such as the spine, shoulders, hips, and ankles. The body’s effort to compensate for a misalignment in the cranium, causes misalignment's elsewhere and puts a great deal of stress on the muscles of the face, head, neck and back.

- - - - - - - - -

It is unreal when I stop to think that prior to 10/12/2004, I never knew what "debilitating" physical pain was. I never knew TMJd existed and most importantly my husband & I lived a carefree, fruitful and exciting life in the glamorous city of Las Vegas, NV. Just home visiting Buffalo, NY and an elderly driver fails to yield, causing a car crash that has FOREVER changed the course of mine & my husbands life.

My car crashes caused a SEVERE disability of TMJd and I now live in a chronic and debilitating state of pain. At any unexpected moment, I can be shut down for weeks! This disorder is only comparable to living in a nightmare and has proved devastating in many ways. When speaking to others who live with this, the devastation is all the same!

I AM NOT ALONE!!! There are 10 million + people in the United States suffering from TMJ problems at any given time. Both men and women experience it; however, 90% of those seeking treatment are women in their childbearing years.

PAIN WORSE THAN CHILDBIRTH : I have communicated with thousands of others undergoing the same condition. Woman who have given birth explained that the pain caused by TMJd is WORSE than the time(s) they gave birth. Imagine that, enduring something on a consistent basis that is worse than the pain caused by child birth. When Doug and I start our family - it should be a breeze for us! LOL....there is the only plus of this disorder!

NO SCIENCE! There is an extreme lack of basic and clinical science in the field of TMJ diseases and disorders, Therefore, there is no established standards for dental/medical school education. Treatments available today are based largely on beliefs, not on scientific evidence which has created 50+ treatments with NO guarantee. (a few are : botox injections to paralyze and numb some of the muscles in your face, arthrocentesis, surgery, bite guards or splints, grinding down your teeth to adjust your occlusion all of which are irreversible treatments and can do more harm than any possible good)

It boggles my mind that over 10 million people in the USA live with an incredibly debilitating nightmare within their Temporo-Mandibular Joints. A nightmare that steals what abilities we as adults take for granted - Eating, Chewing, Swallowing, Smiling, Hearing, Kissing, Talking, Breathing, Sleeping and much more. Imagine having that stolen from you at any given, unexpected moment. AND THEN be told that there is no science behind it, no cure and NOTHING to alleviate the pain. THE only reference you get is to seek a specialist who specifically treats cancer as they will understand the level of pain experienced. LASTLY, it is emphasized that pharmacological strategies and therapies need to be utilized to alleviate TMJ-related pain. THAT IS MY LIFE - I HAVE TRIED EVERY NON-INVASIVE PROCEDURE AND 4 years later I am still forced to awake at 4 am in gut wrenching pain and my husband forcing me to take high doses of morphine!

mORE DETAILS TO COME IN THE FUTURE..............................
This is about all I can write for now....................................


Safety Quotes

As a multiple car crash survivor and now a safe driver advocate, I decided I would share some of my favorite "safety" quotes! Enjoy~

-Safety doesn't happen by accident. ~Author Unknown
-Better a thousand times careful than once dead. ~Proverb
-Safety is a cheap and effective insurance policy. ~Author Unknown
-Accidents, and particularly street and highway accidents, do not happen - they are caused. ~Ernest Greenwood
-Prepare and prevent, don't repair and repent. ~Author Unknown
-Hug your kids at home, but belt them in the car. ~Author Unknown
-It's better to crash into a nap than to nap into a crash. ~Author Unknown
-Know safety, no injury. No safety, know injury. ~Author Unknown
-Carelessness doesn't bounce; it shatters. ~Hartman Jule
-When you gamble with safety, you bet your life. ~Author Unknown
-Unsafe acts will keep you in stitches. ~Author Unknown
-Road sense is the offspring of courtesy and the parent of safety. ~Australian Traffic Rule, -quoted in Quotations for Special Occasions by Maud van Buren, 1938
-Safety is as simple as ABC - Always Be Careful. ~Author Unknown
-Safety isn't expensive, its priceless. ~Author Unknown
-Be alert! Accidents hurt. ~Author Unknown


9/14/2008 ~ My 29th Birthday!

I AM 29! This is the last year I will celebrate a 20something birthday. It truly amazes me how quickly life can pass us by, especially when the last 4 years of my life have been consumed by car crashes, severe injuries and grueling rehab.

Thank you to my family for the wonderful time we had at dinner! Everything was delicious and it was nice to sit together in a relaxing atmosphere full of laughter, jokes and celebration of the last 29 years! Oh yeah and thanks to my dad for making it clear that I am "catching up to him in age." LOL....

Dad: I look at you and immediately thank the Lord that you and I are able to sit at a table and eat dinner, laugh and joke. I say that because it was exactly 3 years ago a near-fatal car crash nearly claimed our lives. I love you dad!
Mom: I'll never forget that it was really your day..LOL...you were in labor for over 20 hours...sorry BUT thank you!
Doug: Thank you for today. My card made me cry a river, my trip to "Our Lady of Fatima" was heavenly and the late night walk with the dogs topped it all off.
*Most importantly, thank you for caring for my 3 tmjd episodes today. I do NOT know how you can possibly continue to care for this disability but you do. God Bless you!
Pictures Below:
~ Dinner with the family
~ Late night walk with the pups
~ Our Lady of Fatima Shrine
~ My lovely TMJ episode

MY YUMMY SALAD, which had to be cut in 1 million pieces so my jaw could handle chewing it
MY YUMMY DINNER. CHICKEN POT PIE & ARTICHOKES. My jaw was in horrible shape and I had to eat something that was "easy" on the jaw
My baby boy Apollo and I - he's 7 yrs. old

THIS IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE ACTIVITIES - TAKING THE KIDS FOR A WALK. It is one of the most relaxing things our family can do!
Chloe' and Apollo - 7 years old
Doug and his baby girl, Chloe'. She LOVES her belly rubs!
We take great self-portraits, don't we?
They're tired..can you tell? LOL...

EARLIER THAT DAY - we went to the "OUR LADY OF FATIMA SHRINE" That is one of my most favorite places on earth!! We spent 45 minutes in the gift shop! Driving along the river...a 45 minute drive to get the the Fatima Shrine!
YUP!! It happens on my Birthday too!! We had to rush home from lunch b/c of the TMJd episode I was having. It was horrible and knocked me out for 4 hours!
That is my upper piece that I have to wear to RE-ALIGN my jaw- it is grossly misaligned right now!