Count your blessings. Seriously.

thankfulI’ve been in kind of a funk lately, thanks to my hip.  It is SO hard to stay positive all the time, when you keep getting knocked down.  But that old adage?  That there is someone who is worse off than you?  It’s so true.

I know someone who had cancer, and went through a very rough year of treatment.  But she got through it.  She was so brave, so strong.  A real trooper.  We all breathed such a sigh of relief that she was on her way out the other side.  Her cancer was controlled.

But.  Always seems to be a but with cancer, right?  It came back.  With a vengeance.  In an even more difficult area to treat.  Hit her with a knock out punch, right out of the blue.  She had to make some very difficult treatment decisions, very fast.

But she did.  And if I know this woman, she will make it.  She has a long hard road in front of her, but she will persevere.

She made me feel ashamed of myself for my own self pity.  My problems pale in comparison to hers.  Yes, mine are bad.  But it’s not cancer.  It’s not life threatening.  At least not right now.  It can be eventually, but that would be my choice.

I’m not gonna lie, I did have a very bad year, actually year and a half, with this damn hip.  I have had 7 surgeries, 6 hospital stays, 2 ER visits, 3 nursing home stays that totaled 3 months.  Add in the hospital stays, and I’ve spent 4-5 months away from my home.  The worst was my 2 month stay, where I felt like I was in prison.  My free will was taken away from me.  I felt so helpless.  I could not leave, even if I wanted to.  I had all my choices taken away from me.  Even food, lol.  I had massive surgeries, horrible pain.

Luckily I came out the other side.  I breathed a HUGE sigh of relief, and was SO THANKFUL, GRATEFUL, that it was done.  I could walk.  I was attached to a bed, a wheelchair, a walker, a cane.  I was FREE.  I thanked God every day, and all the prayer warriors who prayed for me.

But.  Always a but with these things, right?  It came back.  Just like before.  Almost right away.  And just like before, I am going to have to walk the same path, again.  Against my will.  I SWORE after the last time I would NEVER do this again.  Of course at the time I never expected to have to face this again.

Monday I go back to the hospital, for yet another procedure, to find out what is growing in my hip this time.  If all the planets align right and God is with me, maybe it is just inflammation from something else, maybe the blood tests are wrong.  If God is with me maybe it will be a simple fix.  I do know something is wrong.  It has felt wrong since the beginning.  Although I will say that it seems to have gotten a bit better, but more likely, I have just adjusted to this new level of pain.  I have not been pain free for a year and a half.

Most likely I will have to start from scratch again.  I know the path ahead of me.  I do not want to walk that path again.  Neither does my friend.  Sometimes, we just gotta do it, no matter what.  Or I could choose to do nothing, and let nature take its course.  I only hope I have the courage to choose the right path.  I only hope I can be as strong as her.  I only hope I can be positive.  I only hope it will get better.  And STAY better.

Thank you, my friend, for having the courage to fight your battle, and giving me the incentive to fight my mine.  My prayers are with you.

Happy Anniversary my love

Today would have been my 38th wedding anniversary to my first husband.  That’s right I said first.  He should have been my first, and last.

He was my first true love.  I had many firsts with him, the most important being my virginity.  I think that’s how I knew he was the man for me.  I had held out for sooo long, and yet didn’t give it a second thought after I met him.

We got married after only 6 months.  We lived far apart, but both worked in Chicago.  We had lunch together, and walked to the train station together, every day.  We couldn’t bear to be apart.  So we got married.

We were so in love.  How did it go so wrong?  Not going to point fingers, too late for that.  About 30 years too late.  I blame both our jobs, mostly.  Too much time apart.  That’s about all I’ll say about it.  It all still hurts inside and makes me cry, even today.  Especially today.

I have not spoken to him, or seen him, in 30 years.  I know where he lives, but that’s about it.  But I never forget this day.  It was truly one of the happiest days of my life.  So wherever you are, I just want to say…

Happy Anniversary to my first love.

The Grinch Who Stole Christmas

grinch

This is a story about the Boss  Grinch Who Stole Christmas, literally right out from underneath all his employees.  You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch.

He was my LAST. BOSS. EVER.  He is the reason why I am self-employed now, and will never ever be subjected to abuse again.

He started out so nice.  My first Christmas there, we had a beautiful Christmas tree, fires in the fireplace, Christmas carols on the radio, Christmas presents, Christmas lunch, Christmas bonus, and a nice Honey Baked Ham to take home.  Plus two paid weeks off, for which we were very grateful, as the vacation and holiday allowance was sparse.

By the time the second Christmas came around, the blush had faded from the rose a bit.  I was starting to see his true personality come out.  Good people fired for no good reason except they weren’t his yes men.  Disrespect to the hourly employees.  Ranting and raving in the office.  Out of control political views.  No Christmas tree.  No Christmas lunch.  No Christmas bonus.  The managers bought the boss a very nice expensive.  No gifts in return.  We did receive the leftover Christmas wreaths, and got the paid two weeks off.  The managers, including myself, still came in over the break to work as it was a very busy snow season.

The third Christmas was the final one.  He was quickly spiraling out of control.  The ranting and raving got the best of me, every day.  There was total silence in the office, except for his screaming at me, a customer, the dog, whatever.  Once again, No Christmas tree.  I brought a small artificial tree in and plugged it in on the counter with an extension cord.  Every day when I came into work, the extension cord would be gone.  I would find another.  Pretty soon I figured out that there was to be NO Christmas spirit and gave up and took the tree home.  No Christmas songs on the radio. (I tried playing Christmas CD’s on my computer, but suddenly my CD drive was broken).  No fires.  No Christmas lunch.  No Christmas bonus.  No Christmas presents whatsoever.  By this time the managers wised up and didn’t bother to buy him one.  He begrudgingly gave us the two weeks off, only because he was going on vacation, but made it unpaid.  The last day before break, he never even said Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, have a nice holiday, go fuck yourselves.  Nothing.  Nada.  I did not go out of my way to go in over break to work, only when absolutely necessary.

That boss ruined my Christmas spirit for quite awhile.  But with time I realized that HE was the problem, not me, and I shouldn’t let someone else force their negativity on me.  He used to make fun of me for going to church, being Catholic and believing in the real reason for Christmas.

I only feel sorry for him now.  Besides his girlfriend, who is just as delusional as him, he is basically alone in this world.  His drove his family away years ago.

When I go to church this Christmas, I will pray for him.

Did he or didn’t he?

bill cosbyNow Bill Cosby is in the hot seat.  Several women have accused him of sexual abuse.  Actually, it is a lot more than several women.  Back in 2005, 14 women accused him of a variety of sexual assaults, and he settled out of court with them in 2006.

Allegedly he likes to drug his victims, and then fondle/assault/rape them, according to his accusers.  The accusations go back as far as the 1970′s, from what I can tell.

Janice Dickinson is the latest woman to tell her story.  She may not seem like the most reliable accuser, but why else would she put herself out there?  Not something I would think a woman would do just to be in the spotlight.

He is guilty of these allegations?  I don’t know.  It’s hard to say for sure.

In the case of someone famous, I think there are several things at play:

When a person becomes famous, they become powerful, and sometimes take advantage of that power.

But, a famous person may be falsely accused of things for money.

However, when it seems to happen more than once or twice, it appears to be more than coincidence.  Usually there is some truth to the matter.  Perhaps it is embellished a bit.  Hopefully people aren’t just jumping on the band wagon.  But where there’s smoke, there’s fire…

Personally, I do think he could be guilty.  It’s the drugging part that leaves me to believe this.  Otherwise, it would be his word against hers, he would say it was “mutual”.  Once you start handing out pills, as Janice Dickerson contends,  it is no longer a fair game.  It seems most of his accusers wake up knowing they were abused but not remembering much.  When you wake up naked next to a man, usually something sexual has happened, with or without your consent.

Bill Cosby has remained silent so far.  His lawyers have posted the usual standby statement he  “won’t dignify these allegations with any response.”

It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.  What do you think?  I’d love to hear your opinion on this matter.

 

 

Top Ten Reasons to be Self-Employed

10. You don’t have set your alarm

9.  You can go to swim class 3 mornings a week

8.  You can work in your pajamas

7.  Your cat can be your assistant

6.  You don’t have to drive in snowstorms

5.  You can work when you have insomnia

4.  You don’t have to get involved in company politics/gossip

3.  You are your own best friend and advocate

2.  You don’t have to cry on your way home from work every day

And the NUMBER ONE reason to be self-employed:

1.  You don’t have to work for an egotistical, narcissistic boss who is a liar/cheater/scammer/thief

Counting my lucky stars today!  So blessed to be FREE!

Zoosk me not

zoosk1There is an online dating service that keeps appearing on my Facebook and sending me messages for matches.  Zoosk.  I’m always up for a good laugh so sometimes I peruse the website and look at the “matches” they have selected for me.  I’m not sure what criteria they are using, but we are NOT of the same mind.

Men with beards down to their waist, men with ponytails, men holding their phones up to a mirror, men with HUGE glasses, men with old dirty T shirts on, men with flannel shirts on, men holding toy poodles, men with SQUIRRELS on their shoulders, I kid you not!

Not ONE PICTURE have I seen that is 1)clear and in focus 2) the man has bathed and at a minimum combed his hair 3) the man has shaved in the last 5 or 10 ten years, 4) the man has updated his wardrobe in the last 20 years 5) the man has made ANY attempt to look attractive to a woman. 6) the man doesn’t look half drunk.

I almost want to pay the subscription fees so I can email these men and tell them how to shape up so that they might get a little action going on.  But I recently broke up with a guy who made very little attempt to make himself more attractive to me, even after we had several talks about it.  Some men just can’t be changed, and that’s fine.  Just not for me, no thank you.

Now, I am no lovey duck myself, but I do try to bath every day and put on some makeup and do up my hair and put on clean unwrinkled clothes.  I try to put my best foot forward, as much as possible.  These guys put zero effort into posting a decent picture on a website to try and get a date.

Well, I guess it’s good for a laugh.  And I’m really trying hard not to be mean and make fun of people.  I just don’t understand it.  Many people meet online and get married and live happily ever after.  I think you get what you pay for, and Zoosk may fall at the bottom of the sites as far as I’m concerned.  But, I’m not looking, and I’m not paying, so I guess I don’t care!

Phobias

phobiaWhen I was younger, I didn’t understand “phobias”.  I wasn’t reckless, but I did many things without fear.

I skied the highest mountains, I rode up chairlifts 10,000 ft., I drove my Mustang GT fast, I rode snowmobiles, I drove on expressways.  I crossed high bridges

Not anymore.  Now, I am scared.  Frightened out of my mind.

It started slowly.  I remember being in Europe in my early 30′s, and was too scared to cross over the mountain pass on Mount Blanc, the highest peak in Europe.  Too much space around me, too narrow a path.  Certain death awaited me.

Next I was too scared to sit in the upper deck at baseball games. When walking to my row it felt like I would just pitch forward into the infield.  Gravity would not hold me at that angle.  I wanted to fall to my knees and crawl to my seat, and would have if it wasn’t concrete.

Then it was the driving.  Too scared to drive fast.  By this time I had traded the Mustage for an SUV.  I drove like an old lady.  I drove like my mother, always looking for a child or animal to dart into the street.  People make fun of me, but what’s the point of passing someone on a winding two lane road when there is a line of traffic.  You’re going to risk your life to get there 2 seconds sooner?  And I am a horrible passenger, I hate driving with people who tail gate and accelerate fast and brake hard.  Why not just glide, and save some gas while you are at it?

Next came high bridges.  This one almost cost me my life, and my date’s too.  We were driving to a PGA tourney in Kohler Wisconsin on the expressway, and before I knew it we were on this curving high bridge, way over the city.  My hands froze on the wheel, my heart started palpitating, sweat was running down my face, and I thought I was going to die.  My date was still chattering to me, and I could not even find my voice to tell him to STFU.  Well, obviously I made it across, but I told my date then that he would have to drive home because I was too scared.  He proceeded to get stinking drunk at the golf tourney, and I was forced to drive home too, the same way, because I didn’t know how else to get home.  This is how my date almost lost his life, because I would have gladly killed him.  In fact, when we got back to my house,  I none too gently shoved him into his car and told him to get lost.  I never spoke to him again.

Too scared to drive on expressways, because it seemed like truckers would try to prevent me from merging into traffic, or changing lanes.  Twice in a row, I was trying to merge onto the expressway after work, and a truck wouldn’t not let me merge in.  I’m on a ramp, with space running out before I hit the guardrail going over a hill, and if I sped he, he sped up, if I slowed down, he slowed down.  It basically became a game of chicken, because I couldn’t stop, there were cars behind me.  So I floored the old 8 cylinder and hoped I could make it in front of the truck, who very kindly blew his air horn at me, scaring the BEEJESUS out of me and almost causing me to fly over the overpass.  I was doing 90 when I cut in front of him, barely missing the guardrail, and that asshole was still speeding up.  I literally saw my life flash before my eyes.  I got off at the next exit, and just sat there, shaking.  I would say never again, but I have driven on the expressway to go O’Hare, but not using that on ramp.  Never again for that one.

Basically I think I have a fear of height, and speed.  Maybe it’s just old age, lol.

What are YOUR phobias?

P.S.  I won’t even mention spiders.  Ain’t nobody got time for that!

 

Why you gotta be so rude?

Don’t ya know I’m human too?  More people need to listen to this song.

Cause let me tell you.  If another country treated their President as badly as we treat ours, we would be sending in our military and taking over their country for “their own good”.

I am embarrassed by our country’s actions.

We elected this president.  Twice.  We as a country had the choice, and now we have to live with it.  Is he the best president?  No.  Is he the worst president?  No.  But he is most disrespected president that I have ever seen.  And for that reason, I am embarrassed of our country.

When they show his speeches, and one whole side of the room sits on their hands the whole time, and sometimes even boo him or shout at him, that is blatant rudeness and disrespect.  We should be showing a united front, to our country and the world.  What makes us any better than any other country?  We can’t even agree to disagree.  So what gives us the RIGHT to sit in judgment on other countries politics, when we can’t control our own?

Obviously the people chose to vote mostly Republican this mid-term round of elections, which leaves us with a sitting Democratic President, and a Republican Congress.  That’ll show those damn Democrats!  And ought to help get things done around here.  Pfffft.  Of course, when Bush was the Republican President, everybody bad mouthed him.  So we elected Obama.  That’ll show those damn Republicans!  We seem to hate all our Presidents, no matter the party.  It’s like another civil war, with Democrats versus Republicans.  But with Obama, the dissenters have taken it to a whole new level.

I love how we look back and say what a great president so and so was.  Like Bill Clinton.  How quickly we forget the problems he had with keeping his zipper up.  Ahem.  (Makes us think the TV show Scandal is more than real.)But let Obama laugh and joke with a woman IN PUBLIC and people jump all over that.  Most of our previous president’s have had their own scandals.  The Bush’s are now pushing Jeb to the forefront for a run at the job.  And most people think Hillary Clinton will be making a run for POTUS.

Speaking of Scandal, or West Wing, or Madam Secretary, I think they do depict to some extent what indeed does go on behind the scenes in the political arena.  The President is usually not the most powerful person in the White House.

With all that said, I don’t care what your politics are.  It is a personal thing to many.  I do care how our country acts.  We act like a bunch of spoiled, entitled children compared to the rest of the world.  We need to unite, and make this country the best it can be.

All the Chicago Bears fans this week are saying fire EVERYONE because of their dismal performance and start from scratch.  Seriously, not a bad idea for our country.  I heard of some voters who purposely did not vote for one incumbent during the mid-term elections.  Get rid of lobbyists, war chests, pork, favors….you name it.  Do good.  Be good.  Make this a proud country again!

Dave’s not here

chong

Seeing Tommy Chong on Dancing With the Stars this season has brought back some great memories!  Who remembers this skit from Cheech and Chong?

“Knock knock knock

Who is it

It’s me, Dave, open up man, I’ve got the stuff

Dave?

Right man, Dave, now will you open up the door?

Dave’s not here.”

Dave kitty

I thought this was the funniest thing when I was a freshman in college.  So my roommate Fonzie and I were sitting around our first Saturday night at school, bored, as we didn’t really know anybody yet.  We decided to prank call some “Daves”.  We got out the campus directory, and started dialing.  Most Daves didn’t play along, so we hung up on them, obviously they weren’t fun or good sports.  But I hit the jackpot with one Dave, who played right along.  (He must have been the recipient of similar conversations, lol.)  So anyway after talking and laughing on the phone for awhile, he wanted to meet up with us.  I told him I didn’t go out with strangers.  (But I didn’t seem to have any problem calling them up, ha!).  He said, I’ll be outside your dorm in 5 minutes, you can check me out and if you like what you see you can come out and meet me.

Well, I lived in the all girls dorm, nicknamed The Virgin Islands, on the 6th floor.  He lived in the coed dorm across the way.  After much giggling, my roommate and I did indeed see him standing outside in the court yard, waving to us.

Gulp.  Hubba Hubba!  Now, I lived in the Virgin Islands for good reason.  I was a good Catholic girl, and had never been on a real date, and was still waiting for my first real kiss.  Pathetic, I know.  So now I’m looking down on this drop dead gorgeous guy waving at me, and I couldn’t get downstairs fast enough.  Fonzie and I talked with him and his friend, and they invited us to go to an outdoor party in their quad.  We went with them, as they seemed like nice normal guys.

Wow.  I had the time of my life.  I can STILL remember every. single. moment.  Dave and I had instant chemistry.  He was tall, dark and handsome.  Funny.  Smart.  You know, the whole package.  I felt like I hit the jackpot, first week at school!

We got a beer from the keg.  My first beer, my first keg.  A night of firsts!  We sat down on grassy hillside to talk.  He started calling me Lady Guinevere, and I called him Sir Lancelot, because he was my knight in shining armor who rescued me from boredom in my dorm.

Some guys from his dorm had fireworks, so as it got dark, he went and got a couple of blankets from his room.  We laid back on the hillside and snuggled, watching the fireworks.  I can still remember it like it was yesterday.

Now I know what you’re thinking.  Cause I was thinking the same thing in the back of my mind.  Dark, starry night.  Handsome guy.  Pretty girl.  Beer.  Blanket.  What comes next?

Well my first kiss, of course!  It was…..incredible.  Awesome.  Life changing.  I felt like a real woman, for the first time in my life.

Now I know what you’re thinking.  First kiss.  What other “firsts” will I reach tonight?

My momma taught me well.  Or should I say scared me well.  I could hear her voice in the back of my mind, see her face.  She was always so concerned about me and my sister, and our reputations.  She was conscious of what people would think about our family.  And here I was, away from her all-seeing, all-knowing eyes, at college.  What would I do?  Would I continue on my night of firsts?

No.  Of course not.  I was a good Catholic girl, and he was a good Catholic boy, who was a true gentleman!  I never even had to stop him, we just kissed and snuggled, and it was very innocent.  He truly was my knight in shining armor.

Death with Dignity

deathI purposely did not want to post a picture of Brittany Maynard, either before or after her illness.  She stated several times in her videos that she no longer wanted to be photographed because of the weight gain from all the steroids she was on.  It was painful to her see the change in her body in less than a year.  Therefore, I will not post any pictures of videos of her.  You can all google it yourself, it’s all over the news.

I am not going to pontificate on her decision to die, and whether it was right or wrong.  For her, it was right, and at the right time.  That’s all that matters.

Many people were surprised to learn she did indeed choose to die on her original date of November 1st because a new video was posted a few days earlier that she had changed her mind and might push back the date.  However, I do believe I read somewhere that the video had been made a few weeks prior, and her condition had indeed worsened.  In fact the day after her final bucket list trip to the Grand Canyon, she had two very severe seizures.  She was scared.  So she stuck to her original date of November 1st.  I can’t believe how hard that must have been, to say goodbye to her husband, her family, her friends.  To actually take the meds, swallow them down, and then wait.  They say she went peacefully.  I’m glad.  Whew.  Big stuff.

I did read up on her condition.  None of the medical sites talk a lot about the quality of life issues, the pain, the debilitating aspect of the tumor.  They do point out that it is mostly fatal, and the average life span is not very long.  So I respect her decision to chose not to take chemo or do radiation.  She went for quality of life over quantity of life.  What’s a few more months of life, if it is spent in pain and suffering from side effects?

But.  As a Catholic I am troubled by the whole suicide aspect.  However, I really don’t believe that “Death with Dignity” is the same thing.  If God is all merciful, would he want us to suffer a horrible death?  But now I am veering into that whole religious debate, and I promised not go there.  Too many questions to ask and answer in that whole realm.

I just hope that when it is my turn, I can make a courageous decision, based on fact, and be at peace with it in my heart and soul.