Saturday, March 7, 2009

Form letter response from Kohl's

I rec'd a form letter touting Ms. Spears as an international celebrity as their reason for keeping her as the spokesperson for Kohl's--just as another Dr. Laura fan said. My email response to Kohl's was simple: "Shame on you!"

Read form letter and my letter to them here:

Dear Valued Customer: Thank you for contacting Kohl's about our selection of Britney Spears as the 2009 Candie's Girl. We regret that you have concerns regarding this decision. Ms. Spears is an international celebrity and pop culture icon who embodies the spirit of the Candie's brand and personifies the iconic Candie's Girl; self confident and stylish. We respect Ms. Spears' right to privacy, and her personal life does not reflect the views of Kohl's Department Stores. It is not our intent to offend our customers, and your feedback will be shared with Kohl's Executives for future decisions. We value the opinions of all our customers and appreciate you taking the time to contact us. Sincerely, Erica K. Representative Dear Ms. Shamion: I got your email address through Dr. Laura, and I’m disheartened to see that your company, Kohl’s, hooked up with Britney Spears to sell your merchandise (to young girls, no less). It’s hard enough for parents to teach values and decency to their children, let alone having to go into your store to shop for our daughters with Britney’s influence. Britney Spears isn’t a good role model; if anything, she’s the last thing that I would want my daughter or granddaughter to emanate. Indeed, Britney’s slutty behavior on the stage, as well as her incredibly irresponsible parenting are behaviors I would want to shield my daughters from. Believe me, I won’t be shopping at your store. And I’ll be telling my friends with daughters to steer clear from Kohl’s too! Word of mouth is an incredible marketing tool. Shame on you!

Sincerely, Wendy S. Komancheck ~Journalist ~

Monday, February 9, 2009

Updated Profile: If I was a bird, I would be a goldfinch!

If I was a bird, I would be a goldfinch. I have quite a few pounds to lose, so I refuse to publish anymore pix of me until I lose them. I hope that's sooner than never, but we will see.

This won't be a long or philosophical blog--just an update of sorts. I decided to delete the Notebook from my favorite movies. I do love the story line, but the naughtiness of it makes me think I'll be selling my DVD on Amazon. My sons are growing up and I don't want them to view things that are immoral, and that movie definitely has some moral flaws in it.

Sorry, Nicholas Sparks, but your movie has moved down on my top ten list. Unfortunately, I don't have any modern movies that I really like. I'm currently borrowing English comedy and mystery t.v. shows from the local library. For a good laugh, I highly recommend "Keeping Up Appearances." Patricia Routledge is a blast--especially if you like slap-stick comedy. Recently, my husband bought the five seasons on DVD for me, so I can keep watching and laughing...

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Mental Health-Lancaster County Woman Talks about Seasonal Affective Disorder

Ephrata Review Correspondent, Wendy Komancheck, sat down with Heather Muha of WITF to talk about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). The show is scheduled to run on Friday, February 6, 2008 at 8:30 p.m.

Komancheck has been suffering with the affects of SAD for most of her life. She uses a Go Lite P2 that emits blue light which converts the light to stimulate the brain to uplift her mood and energy level. Although, nothing can compare to a Lancaster county summer day, the Blue Light gives Komancheck enough light to stimulate her brain to produce more serotonin to get through the winter.

Komancheck also discussed other techniques that she finds helpful in managing the lethargy and depression that she experiences during the winter. Some of these techniques include daily walks, yoga, cognitive therapy, and connection to her church. Komancheck does use medication and Vitamin D3 to help manage her anxiety and depression symptoms too.

Muha asked Komancheck some of the thoughts and feelings that she experiences with SAD. Komancheck says, “I feel anxious and despairing. My symptoms can begin as early as August or as late as the beginning of November when we switch our clocks back an hour. But I feel better once the warm weather in spring returns.”

Komancheck also states that in summer time she feels her best because of the longer days, warmer weather, and brighter sunshine. “I enjoy going to my son’s Little League games and working in my garden,” she says of some of the activities that elevate her mood in the spring and summer.
The National Institute on Mental Health ( ) says, “Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is characterized by a depressive illness during the winter months, when there is less natural sunlight. The depression generally lifts during spring and summer. SAD may be effectively treated with light therapy, but nearly half of those with SAD do not respond to light therapy alone. Antidepressant medication and psychotherapy also can reduce SAD symptoms, either alone or in combination with light therapy.”
A prolific freelance writer for an assortment of business and trade magazines, Komancheck has covered the mining industry in Alaska to worldwide Fair Trade organic teas and the Kona Coffee Festival in Hawaii. Also, she’s written for the Ephrata Review, Lancaster Newspapers, and Pa. regional magazines for the past seven years. In addition to her Ephrata Review articles, her writing credits have appeared in business, trade and regional magazines. Komancheck’s writing focus includes agriculture, business, local politics, and Pa. German culture.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

7 Hints to Help You with Your Anxiety

1. Realize that you have a problem-When I was in high school, I could always tell in November that symptoms of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) were coming on when the niggling thoughts in my mind became obsessive, and I was on constant alert for the sky falling. It wasn't until my late 20's/early 30's when I began to deal with my anxiety disorder. When anxiety becomes crippling; you can't get out of bed; or your consumed with worry that you can't focus on anything else, it's time to get help.

2. Recognize it's not your fault that you suffer from anxiety-The cause can be physical, environmental, or a combination of reasons. I can tell that my anxiety disorder is part environmental and part physical.

3. Talk to your doctor--S/he will be able to direct you to professional help. You may also need to get testing down to see if there's a specific physical reason for your anxiety. My family physician gave me a checklist to answer about how I responded to certain situations and if I worry a lot. And my OB/GYN tested my thyroid. All of this is to pinpoint the exact source of my anxiety.

4. Get counseling-I found counseling very healing. I learned to deal with my anxiety as well as understanding the root causes of it. I also found compassion. I've had Biblical counselors who were older women, that took me under their wings. They were like mothers to me--comforting me and urging me to grow. They listened sympathetically, and sometimes empathetically, as I cried and told them my story.

5. Join a support group-Get to know others who deal with the same issues that you have. It reminds you that you are not alone. I must confess, I never joined a support group solely based on anxiety and depression. However, I've met people along the way, through books and in person, who've had the same kinds of issues that I did. I sighed a breath of relief as I realized I wasn't a weirdo, but one of thousands who deal with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). We can empathize with each other and share our stories to give hope and opportunities for growth.

6. Journal, pray, join a religious group-Develop the spiritual aspects of your life. It will give you hope when you feel low. Plus, it's another outlet to meet friends and spiritual advisors to be with you during your darkest moments. I know my faith in Christ is what continues to keep me grounded. The Bible has given me hope, and prayer I keep a prayer journal, which allows me to express my feelings to Father God. Plus, a Biblically-based church can be a home to those who suffer from anxiety, depression, as well as many other mental health issues. The key is finding the right church, and that can take time and prayer.

7. Learn more about your anxiety disorder-Knowledge can help you become informed, take control of your disorder, and help you in healing. I'm a journalist, so a big part of my job is research. I've researched my anxiety disorder on sites like and, which has other helpful links to other mental health websites. And, your local library will have a chock full of books on mental health issues.

Don't be ashamed of your disorder. We aren't perfect and this life can be topsy-turvy at times. There is help and hope out there. I know because I live with GAD. Just don't give up.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Severe Weather Warning

“With boys, you always know where you stand. Right in the path of a hurricane.” ~Erma Bombeck, from Motherhood: The Second Oldest Profession.

The hurricane starts at birth. The screaming boy doesn’t hesitate to tell you he’s not happy, and you, mom, are responsible for this error in judgment.

The baby’s scream means, “I’m hungry; I’m cold; my diaper is full of something unpleasant. And it’s your entire fault because you are sitting on the toilet, taking a shower, or folding clothes. You’re supposed to be standing here taking care of me when I call.”

Yet, you could make the argument that the hurricane begins at conception. Or at least say it’s a warning that life won’t be the same once the boy is born. You’re sick, your body changes, and you’re hungry, bordering on ravenous. Is this unique to carrying boys? I don’t know; I only had boys. But I know one thing, compared to women who had daughters, I had a ravenously hungry boy once he entered the world. It seemed that no sooner had I put him down after nursing him that he was crying for more. It was only eight years after I quit nursing him at four weeks that my neighbor, who had always had girls and her third child was a boy, realize that her newborn was more hungry and greedy at the boob than her daughters were. I breathed a sigh of relief because I thought all of my son’s problems were based on the fact that I quit nursing him at one month of life.

The eye of the storm only exists at night when they’re sleeping. Of course, doctors say you should go to bed when your kids do so you get enough sleep. I always laughed at that. I mean it’s the only time I became a person again. CSI, the news, and Everyone Loves Raymond stimulated me back to earth after a draining day of Barney and the Teletubbies.

Watch out, Mom. When Sonny starts walking, all the fun ends. He’s no longer cute and adorable. He’s now independent, curious, and irascible. Gone are all the pretty knick knacks and Grandma’s china. Gone is carrying the baby into Wal-Mart on a rainy December day. No, it’s now, grab the hand and tolerate the wailing when Sonny-boy wants to jump in the icky puddle-filled pothole in the busy parking lot.

Then it’ the playdates. I find a group of boys a lot more relaxing than mixed group of boys and girls. Boys like to jump on each other, go in fives down the slide, and find it great fun to walk in front of kids on swings. Whereas, little girls find it highly offensive when the boys decide to crash into her on the slide; pull her off the swing; or throw sand in her face.

And it only gets rougher as they get older. By the time boys are six, they know how to move the picnic table under the tree to climb onto it. Furthermore, they’re adapt at teaching their friends how to climb trees too. I’ve already had three to four boys in one tree—without the other mothers knowing what was going on.

You know where to stand with a boy—just don’t get in the way—or you’ll get mowed down with the rest of the debris.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Five Random Thoughts on Parenting

1. Parenting is not for sissies-Like marriage, parenting is hard work because you're the adult. Your children aren't put in this world to be your friend, give you love or companionship, to save your marriage, or to shoulder your problems.

2. There are days when you'll want to hang up the towel-But don't give up! I remember when I had two boys, infant and 19 months old. And I thought I was going to pull my hair out. Also, my husband and I have had to deal with behavioral issues in our children that went on for years. Finally, it clicked with the child we have been working with--and we don't always know which method did the trick. Maybe a combination of them all. Maybe the child matured to a level where that particular behavior was working for her anymore. Who knows? The key is to keep going even if you think that you're losing the battle. We're put in charge of our offspring to raise them to be productive adults in society. That kind of parenting takes continual hard work, prayer, and perserverance.

3. Parenting is meant for a team of two, not a team of one-For those of you who are single-parenting because your spouse has died or has abandoned you and the kids, this tip isn't for you. For those of you who are sick of your husband playing Wii rather than talking to you, go get some marital counseling. Your kids will thank you for it. Research has shown that kids do better in homes where parents stayed together compared to parents' who divorced--even amicably.

4. Filter your mother's advice--Mom sometimes does know best--especially when it comes to eating your veggies. But discount that voice which would harm your child, such as putting baby cereal in the baby's bottle to make him sleep longer through the night, or would interfere with you or your husband's values, morals, or the family mission.

5. Remember you're the parent--And that can be a blessing or a curse. You're the adult in the relationship with your child(ren). Your children need you to set boundaries for them, as well as provide consequences for disobedience and disrespect. On the other hand, you can relax at certain times of your day, week, or weekend and snuggle up with your little ones to read and play together.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Keeping It All Together

It's hard to know what to do and who to believe in today's hysterical economic climate. It seems that every morning, we wake up to hear the news that another bank, credit card company, or the automakers are begging the government to bail them out of their bad financial choices.

Meanwhile, news commentators wax eloquently about Barak Obama is the reincarnations of FDR and/or JFK, and how he'll rescue all of us from economic hardship from that "bad" president George W. The stock market continues to take a nosedive downward while folks whisper on the radio about the possibility of another Great Depression.

Being a political conservative rather than a political liberal, I'm starting to feel hopeless about which direction this country is taking. And it's not the fear that the trade magazines that I write for may start cutting back or that my husband will experience a layoff. Instead, it's the whole climate of our culture. Where are we going? What are we doing????

I worry because 50 percent of the country loves the idea of living off the government. Because of their ignorance, these needy/greedy people, who act like spoiled children, don't realize that our taxes will skyrocket due to these federal bailouts or freebies. It's not only the rich that are punished, folks. It's us, the middle class, too. Only the poor, who don't make enough for the IRS to bother with them, are better off with rising taxes.

Food, clothing, and taxes are going up, up, up. How does one raise a family in this climate? How do we keep our family together--cherishing each other, while raising the next generation with the same values that we believe in. This is what we'll explore in upcoming blogs. Stay tuned...