“Gossip” With Dr. Amy Miller



Here is where we will discuss anything and everything; life, kids, marriage, faith, struggles, businesses, pets, love, and so forth. So, if you have a comment or question for me, please send it to granitecitygossip@yahoo.com


Written 06-04-2021

Respect 

Showing respect to someone you may not like is NOT a reflection of their character, but a reflection of yours. We rise by lifting others, even when the task seems heavy. 

Setting aside differences and pride to show compassion and empathy for another human, even if this person has different life views, is not about who is right but what is right. 

Don’t waste a beautiful mind being ugly. Make sure you know the story behind a person before placing judgment. Be open-minded to the opinions of others, for true wisdom doesn’t come from being right, It comes from caring enough to listen. 

Remember, everyone you meet will know something you don’t. So, don’t judge a story by the chapter you walked in on.

Until Next Week, I Love You All… And There Is Nothing You Can Do About It!  Dr. Amy Miller


Written May 28- 2021

Is It Your Business?

Due to the pandemic, we have all recognized the signs of struggling or closed businesses in Granite City; unoccupied buildings (some temporarily closed, some permanently closed), low labor supply (lack of workers), job loss, HELP signs in store windows, and empty store shelves.  

You may be asking, how can we help rebuild, reopen, and support local small businesses when we, too, are struggling financially? Well, we can start by investing in these small businesses, then feed off their successes to create more businesses.

What do I mean? Well, we still need to eat, right? Our kids still need a place to socialize, right? We could all use a break from being cooped up in our homes, right?    

We will call this new mission, “Strive to Survive!”. 

Or, maybe “Granite City Could be more Pretty…er”?  No? Too much? (giggle)

Well, I have an idea (not new, just new to our city) that I believe can not only help local small businesses, but also Granite City property owners, to increase capital and grow the economy.  Continue reading...


Written June 3 – 2021

LET’S TALK ABOUT IT

Welcome My Beautiful Friends To: Gossip with Dr. Miller
It’s that time again to answer our reader’s questions, topics, and responses.

    Reader’s question : ~Dr. Miller can you please keep us posted about any updates as a result of the ideas you posted in your article?  “It’s Your Business” Have you had any contact yet with the Mayor or any city officials that can help put any of your plans in motion? BTW, great ideas! ~David S.


Dear David, Thank you for your fantastic questions and kind words! Yes, I have sat with Mayor Parkinson, and current business owners in the downtown area, to discuss the ideas of pop-ups, rehabs, and expansions.  To my surprise, some are already in motion!  Yay! Just a few examples, the YMCA is currently being renovated to accommodate a new and upcoming Art District and Expo, bringing in art and music students, rundown and condemned buildings are either being removed or renovated, and the pop-ups are in the works!!  Also, downtown Granite has a once-a- month Melting Pot Market at Civic Park, where local vendors can sell their work.  Anyone can rent a table for the monthly events, and it is a great way for the community to gather and shop! 

 There will also be a Mayor’s Listening Series, starting at 6 pm June 14th, 28th, August 2nd, and August 16th, at the Granite City Cinema, where the community can gather and discuss current events, concerns, or ideas with public officials!       I am so excited that the Mayor, our City Board members, and local business owners listen to the community and take immediate actions to make this city amazing!  It won’t be long before we see that vision of a bustling Granite City come to fruition.  As I get more information, I will share it with all of you, and if you have any ideas, please share them!! Thanks Again David, Dr. Miller


Readers Question: ~Dr. Amy, your positive outlook and happy personality is uplifting. Thanks for sharing your ray of sunshine. ~ Linda W.


Dear Linda, You are such a shining light, my beautiful friend.  You have no idea how your words lifted me right when I needed it! So, thank you!  I am sure we can all agree that this past year and a half has been a living hell on emotions and human connections.  We have lost loved ones (missing out on having closure), we have had to stay isolated, we have had to mask our smiles, and our children were kept away from their peers; all these feelings without the support of friends and family. 

 I know for most, depression has been at the forefront in a lot of our homes, including mine.  I don’t know about you, but I need human connections.  I love a good hug, a high five, or just “friend” time.  So, when I read your response, it made me feel that human connection again, and for that, I am truly grateful.  Thank you. Stay Beautiful Linda, Dr. Miller   


Readers Question: ~Never fitting in with the norm. Never being popular, and always feeling different than most, when will I ever, or will I ever feel comfortable in my own skin? I don’t need or want attention, but I do need to not feel invisible. Why, at my age, does it take courage to enter a crowded room? Why do I feel all eyes are on me, but not single person truly sees me?  Apologetically Myself~ Kathryn L

Dear Beautiful Kathryn, I first want to say that I am so grateful and honored that you chose to share something so personal and heartfelt with us.  I actually had to take a moment, step away, have a good cry, gather my composure, and take a deep breath before replying to this post.

You wrote my life in a nutshell. The same struggles haunted me for years and even led me down some dark, self-inflicted paths.  “Human rejection” are the words that resurfaced in my head, an all-too-familiar feeling for me. But I want you to know that we CAN repair this.  I am living proof. Although I am still awkward, and weird, and uncomfortable, today, I have learned to embrace and love me for me. It was as simple as a stranger pointing out my problem…ME. See, we are our worst critics.  Let me see if you can relate.   

You: “No one likes me.”

Truth: No, no one knows you.  Body language plays a huge factor in communication.  If you feel unwanted or unnoticed, your body will respond negatively (facial expression, body turned away from others, no eye contact, isolation, etc.) without realizing that we attract who we think we are. 

You: “I feel different than most, uncomfortable in my own skin.” Truth: You ARE different, and that is what makes you beautiful!!  What a crazy world this would be if we all were the same.  You just need to learn to embrace and love your “different” and watch how positively people respond.  See, when our own feelings are invisible to us, we attract people who don’t see our needs either.  So, the best way to stop feeling different or invisible to others is to be visible to ourselves.

  As you did in your post, become aware of your feelings, ask yourself, what do I need right now, and how do I go about getting those needs met.  Once you get a clear idea of what you need, you’ll be a magnet for attracting people who can meet those needs.  You will also meet others, weird like you and me, who will share the same story.  You and I are not alone.  We are worthy of being loved and seen, and you are doing a disservice to others by not letting them know Kathryn! 

Your First Steps:*Post messages like this one openly on your Facebook page.  Let others know how you are feeling, and watch how people share similar experiences, strengths, and hope.  You will see, you’re not alone. AND *Call a friend (me 😊).You are amazing!    I hope that sharing my advice brings some peace, knowing you have others who want to know your weird, uncomfortable, different self!! Your Friend, Dr. Miller 

*These were great ideas, questions, topics, and responses!  I want all of our readers to know that if you have any additional feedback to any of these questions, sharing your experience, strength, and hope, we would love to hear from you*

Until Next Week, I Love You All… And There Is Nothing You Can Do About It!        Dr. Amy Miller       

 


Written May 21,2021

Use Your Words 
A mind is a powerful tool, but more so is the tongue. Choose words carefully as they are a mirror of your character. For your words have the ability to create a beautiful moment and the strength to destroy one. You never know who needs your words or how your words will affect someone, so taste them carefully before spitting them out.Try to speak kindly and with love, even if you have to try a little harder some days. Because kind words not only enable others to know you are stronger than the urge, but that your own peace and serenity cannot be compromised. You are just one kind word away from saving another. You don’t need to say the perfect words to inspire. Inspiration comes from the heart. Just be the best version of yourself. You’re in control of the information you share. 

~So, talk with your mind before you speak with your tongue. For the tongue may have no bones but has the strength to break a heart~

Until Next Week, I Love You All… And There Is Nothing You Can Do About It!        Dr. Amy Miller 


Don’t Be Trashy

Written May 14, 2021

I would like to give a massive shout-out to Brenda Whitaker and all involved with the monthly “Community Cleanup”. 

You have been recognized for all your hard work!

Our city looks beautiful!

It has been so inspiring seeing so many of our residents getting involved with cleaning up this city and creating a more prosperous environment.

Since these groups started cleaning up the community, I have found myself pulling over and picking up trash off the side of the road (I even keep empty trash bags in my car for moments like these). I’m sure I am not alone. Unfortunately, we cannot control the actions of others; we can only be the role models for how we want others to follow. I do have a few recommendations that I wanted Granite City Officials to consider:

*Create a Space that Cleans Itself (as much as possible) – For example, having trash cans and sanitizer dispensers situated in convenient, accessible areas can encourage individuals to throw away trash more frequently as well as regularly sanitizing.

*Pay Extra Attention to Problem Areas –   Paying extra attention to problem areas may require more frequent cleanups in these areas to decrease rates of trash growth.

*Encourage Cleanliness with Visuals – People often take public cleanliness for granted, and forget to implement sanitation practices in these areas. Having visual posters, banners, and public signs with cleanup symbols around the space will remind and encourage people to continue their sanitation practices in the space. 

*Implement Littering Fines – Along with signs of cleanup, we should also have signs encouraging consequences of Littering. But, most of all, let’s continue to encourage and implement these monthly Community Cleanups, and just maybe we can create a habitat where many more will want to live. 

~You All Did A Fantastic Job…Thank You!!!~

I would love to hear your ideas and suggestions, so please share your thoughts!!! Until Next Week,

I Love You All… And There Is Nothing You Can Do About It!        Dr. Amy Miller 


LET’S CHIT-CHAT

Written 05-23-2021

Welcome My Beautiful Friends To: Gossip with Dr. Miller. 
This week, I am responding to multiple questions/comments on my article “Don’t Be Trashy”

Readers Question: ~ I love your articles; please keep them coming! ~ Jackie N. Dear Jackie, Thank you so much for the positive words and love!  It is readers like you who inspire me to continue this path.  Please continue to message any topics, opinions, or whatever you want to discuss! Thanks Jackie, Dr. Miller


Readers Question:~Stopping people and businesses from putting so many temporary signs out would also help the town look better. Maybe a temporary sign fee that expires after a short time would help. Then make them collect the signs! ~ Larry S.

Dear Larry, I could not agree more!  Granite City does have sign ordinances (15.52.160- General Prohibitions and 15.52.150- Exempt Graphics), but the upshots for not following said ordinances have been null and void.  Now with our new city leader, Mayor Parkinson, these issues are being addressed, as well as many other eye-sore problems in our city.  These laws include city approval for the sign, placement, and allotted time for placement.  If any of the regulations are violated, there is a fine.

  Unfortunately, we have not been witnessing said fines.  I understand we all want to attend or hold yard sales, but those homes need permits; and should include the signs in permit regulations.  The sign issue must be addressed within the city hall when obtaining a permit.  When the city provides these permits, the regulations regarding sign placement and allotted time of sign placement must be acknowledged and followed up with the appropriate consequences if disobeyed or ignored; because we all know that the acts will continue without penalties.

  I have seen a lot of signs for businesses in the center islands in Granite City (ex. “we buy ugly houses” or “mattress sales” signs displayed on Nameoki and Johnson Rd.).  We need to remove these “types” of marketing signs.  If you want to market your business, you can do this via social media, word of mouth, or mail.  Trust me, if we need your business, we will find you.  I believe temporary signs are an easy fix; if you do not have a permit for your sign, it gets removed and discarded by the city.  If you violate sign ordinances, no sign approval, no permit, or erected signs past the allotted placement time, the owner of said signs will be fined.  If humans have to pay for something so small, the likelihood of reoccurrence will be minimal.  Great response!  Let me know your thoughts!! Thanks Larry, Dr. Miller                                 

Readers Question:~Doctor Miller, you have some great ideas, especially about the signage with reminders to “encourage clean up” and “not to litter”. But can you actually get anyone to listen to your ideas and possibly make it happen? Can you get the attention of those who matter?

When I drive down the dirty streets of Granite City and compare them to other towns like Glen Carbon, and Edwardsville, it not only makes me sad, it actually angers me as an invested homeowner. Does the city not own a street sweeper? Can they invest in some weed killer for our curbs and sidewalks? How about some paint to repaint yellow curb markings? I see very little effort on the city’s part, while private citizens are at least trying. ~Stephen M

Dear Stephen, Great question!  I first want to say; I am powerless over the actions of others.  The only thing I can control are my own actions.  I don’t know if you have had the pleasure of meeting our new Mayor, but he is a great listener and facilitator, more so, he is a great action leader.  The issues are currently being addressed, along with a list of others. 

The Mayor has a “first year in office” list, but he has already begun the changes.  On that note, I will address the said ideologies to our Mayor and have faith he will add and implement the ideas as they are beneficial to the city and modify said city ordinances to adhere to the issues.  As for your questions regarding street sweeper, weed killer, and yellow curb markings, the answer is yes to all the above.  If the city has not been in your neighborhood, please call city hall, and they will address the issues!  I am so happy you brought up some of the concerns because the city cannot fix what they don’t know is broken.  Thanks Stephen, Dr. Miller


*These were great ideas, questions, topics, and responses!  Keep them coming, my friends, and feel free to let us know how you are feeling!  You cannot hurt any feelings, and we will not shut your opinions down*

Until Next Week, I Love You All… And There Is Nothing You Can Do About It!        Dr. Amy Miller       


Written 05-07-2021

Unapologetically Myself 

Welcome My Beautiful Friends to Gossip with Dr. Miller. I am very excited to introduce myself to you as the newest columnist with GraniteCityGossip.

I am blessed to have this opportunity to entertain you, inspire you, laugh with you, debate with you, and keep you updated on Granite City’s local happenings. I want to open communication lines with readers and respond to opinions, concerns, stories, ideologies, and any questions you may want to share. Each week I will be choosing a response from one of my readers and answer it, following up with another article.

Do not be afraid to be honest with me. It takes a lot to offend me, and, in this forum, there is no judgment or silencing of voices.  We have all faced life on life’s terms with struggles, celebrations, hard times, and good times, so what you share just might be what someone else needed to hear at that moment. And, just as I want you to accept me, for me, I want you to be YOU. 

Weekly we will discuss anything and everything; life, kids, marriage, faith, struggles, businesses, pets, love, and so forth. So, as you read the articles weekly, please keep in mind that I am perfectly imperfect. Being a writer for a media outlet is a first for me, as my background encompasses a Doctorate in Management with a primary focus on Psychology and Criminal Justice. But I believe that my years of counseling and consulting will help us communicate openly and share some good stories. It may take a minute to get into the grove, but I have a strong feeling we are all going to be dancing before you know it! So, as long as you are willing to be open-minded, honest, and have some fun, we can all get to gossiping each week with Dr. Miller!  

Until next week, I Love You All…And There Is Nothing You Can Do About It!


Seeking Your Purpose

Welcome My Beautiful Friends To: Gossip with Dr. Miller

Readers Question:

~Are you the same lady that was featured on the news being a living donor? How is the person doing? Any regrets? ~ Thomas L.

Dear Thomas,

To answer your question, Yes, I did donate my kidney to my neighbor.  And no, not one regret

Typically, I try to stay humble about situations like these (do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret~ Matthew 6:3–4).  Still, in this situation, I believe that sharing can open the door to educating others about becoming living donors.

Our Story

I have always tended to be in my head about my purpose in life and the role each of us plays in getting closer to that purpose.  See, the concept of “purpose” is to seek “reason” or “goals”.  We conceptualize purpose by getting up in the mornings, going to work, needing to find love, a desire to reproduce, make more money, buy nicer things, and so forth.  These acts give us hope in fulfilling that self-purpose.  The only problem with self-purpose is that we, as humans, always want more, never fulfilling that need.

But what if you were faced with a life-altering situation that had nothing to do with you and everything to do with another person, and fulfilling that need would bring your purpose to light? Would you do it, even if it meant you had to give up something so valuable and precious that most would never consider the risk?

Well, in 2018, I was faced with this question. 

For two years, I watched my neighbor, Tina, come home from dialysis, get out of her car, hunched over in pain, and never saying a word to one another.  I knew Tina was ill and hospitalized many times with heart issues, but I did not realize the extent of her illness.  Then, one August morning, I was sitting on my front porch drinking coffee, and Tina pulled up in her car.  I watched her slowly get out of the car, noticing she was crying.  I called her over to come to sit with me.  As I comforted her, she began telling me about her situation.  She told me she was in complete kidney failure, and her good kidney was only working at 3%.  I listened to her as she explained her years on dialysis and how it took a toll on her heart and body.  She was crying because she finally got on the list for a donor.  I perked up and exclaimed, “That’s great!”.  She began crying again, stating that it was a 3 to 5-year waiting list, and she wouldn’t make it to December (3 months).  I sat quietly, my head spinning with thoughts, and at that moment, I just knew, “What do I need to do?”.  She looked at me and said, “what do you mean?”.  I said, “how can I give you mine?”.  From that point on, everything happened so fast.  With my entire family’s support, I spent the next four days having tests run.  From urinalysis to CT scans, heart tests, psych examines, and lots of bloodwork, the results were in; Tina and I were a match.    

Not “just” any match, but a perfect match. 

The stranger that lived across the street from me for over 15 years was not only the same blood type as me, but as fate would have it, 2 out of 6 genetic markers matched, lowering the chances of Tina’s body rejecting my kidney and enhancing her chances of living a full, healthy life. 

On September 6th, 2018, Tina and I had transplant surgery.  The surgery went smoothly.  Tina received my kidney without any complications.  As a matter of fact, she began using it as soon as it was intact.  I was only in the hospital for two nights and Tina for three.   

It has been almost three years now, and Tina is back to work, off a lot of her anti-rejection medications, and more so, healthier than ever!!  Her other organs previously weakened from the failing kidneys, were now healthy, healed, and in great working condition.             

Call it God, science, fate, coincidence, or something greater than ourselves, but it is inevitable; when we meet people and do acts of kindness that have nothing to do with ourselves, we experience a supreme sense of purpose…pure love. 

We all have the ability to be someone else’s purpose, for, as I learned in this situation, we are all connected.     

A few things to know about becoming a living donor:

Testing and Surgery are paid for by patients’ insurance (Free for the donor).  You will be tested on health, blood type, and urine.  Only the healthiest can become donors.  You do not lose any lifespan; a fact, a donor tends to live longer because they are deemed healthier than the average person.  If you (donor) have any complications in the future with your one kidney, you are placed at the top of the list for an immediate transplant.  Recovery time and discomfort are minimal. And, last but not least,

You Save Another’s Life!!!

The most unselfish thing you could do for another person.

*One small act of kindness may not save the world, but it may mean the world to one person* 

If you are interested in becoming a living organ donor, please call 

410-614-9345

Until Next Week,

I Love You All… And There Is Nothing You Can Do About It!        

Dr. Amy Miller