Blow on this, you Quackers!

DDI think most of America is aware that the Duck Dynasty clan has been taking a bit of heat lately due to what their patriarch Phil Robertson has to say about gays and African Americans.  Oh, and now add to that a comment he made a few years back about marrying teenage girls before they get too old to pick your pocket.

Whew.  Quite the conundrum for the A&E Network.  Duck Dynasty has been a ratings buster for A&E, even beating out Breaking Bad season finale.  First they suspended Phil from the show, then they changed their minds once they saw the $$$ rolling out the door.  Now?  I’m sure more of these old comments are going to surface, made by Phil or one of the clan.  Can’t take down the dynasty?  Look what happened to Paula Dean.  Her huge empire was taken down in a flash.

A&E is going ahead with their backing of Duck Dynasty, in the face of boycotts and death threats by fanatics of the show.  I don’t really watch the show, so I don’t have an opinion either way on whether or not I would be heartbroken if the show didn’t go on.  Yes, I believe you have the right to say what you want (the 1st Amendment) but since even the US Supreme Court has struggled with exactly what constitutes free speech, I believe in free speech WITHIN REASON.  I’m not going to be the one yelling “FIRE!” in a crowded theatre.  Likewise, I believe that public figures should temper their remarks in public, being mindful of their audience.

So Duck Dynasty will go on as planned, unless the sponsors (who bring in the $$$$) start to slowly and quietly slip away.  In that case, I see a cancelled show on the horizon.  But Duck Dynasty is an example of capitalism at its best.  Take a bunch of clean-cut college educated rich guys, and make them into “fake” rednecks with flowing beards, and more money starts rolling in.  I don’t think you would have seen the guys playing ping pong in the warehouse instead of doing inventory back when the company was started.  Luckily they are in a position now that they can play hard instead of work hard.  They are laughing all the way to the bank, stroking on their money-infused beards.

What is YOUR opinion on the clan, or the network’s decision?

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Hi, my name is Jan, and I’m an Orphan

orphan

How many of you out there are orphans?  Obviously the older we get, it is inevitable.  People don’t live forever.

I lost my father when I was in my 20’s.  My father was only 54, and died of lung cancer.  That was back in the day when you could still smoke in hospitals, believe it or not.  I remember thinking that he was going to burn himself up in bed before the cancer would get him.  He continued to smoke, pretty much until the day he died.  We all did.  We would all sit around in his hospital room, smoking.  He died a horrible death, and we dealt with it by smoking more.  How ironic.  We all needed a good kick in the head.

My mom died when I was in my late 40’s.  She was unhealthy most of her life, and ended up with Alzheimer’s.  The last year or so of her life she never got out of her hospital bed.  Not once.  It was very sad to watch your mom just fade away, on feeding tubes etc.  I will always be grateful that she remembered my name until the end.

So, there I was.  An orphan.  An adult orphan.  I always only thought of orphans as young kids.  But when you think about it, there are probably many more adult orphans. Because as I’ve already noted, people don’t live forever.

Also, as the circle of life goes round and round, we end up taking care of our parents in the end, like they were the babies.  Hey, it’s only fair, right?

Most adults don’t want to end up that way.  I sure don’t.  I envy the people who lead a nice long productive life and then just die in their sleep or quickly (hopefully) of a heart attack.  Unfortunately I watched both my parents die of a protracted illness.  Not fun.

I don’t really consider myself an orphan. I am lucky I had both parents until I was married.

 

Am I being rude to be offended by rudeness?

rude

Rude.  Rudeness.  A tricky word(s) to define.  Wikipedia defines it primarily as such:

“Rudeness (also called impudence or effrontery) is a display of disrespect by not complying with the social “laws” or etiquette of a group or culture. These laws have been established as the essential boundaries of normally accepted behavior. To be unable or unwilling to align one’s behavior with these laws known to the general population of what is socially acceptable is to be rude.”

Disrespect.  I had a boss who told me constantly that I was disrespectful to him if I didn’t agree with every word he said, especially in the realm of his over-the-top politics.  I felt that he was rude for even interjecting his maniac opinions into the workplace.

Inconsiderate. Insensitive. Impolite. Bad manners.  Inappropriate behavior or dress code.

Sometimes I feel like I am surrounded by rudeness.  And so many times I am offended by it, and want to say something rude about the whole situation.

If a child back talks to me or another adult, I want to say something to them or the parent to let them know it is offensive, and downright rude.  But that just gets me into trouble.  I watch and see how these kids manipulate everyone in their path, and their parents just ignore the behavior, thereby reinforcing it.  But it would be rude for me to say something about their rudeness.  I am not their parent, therefore I have no right to say anything.

If I’m with a group of people, and somebody says something rude, or does something rude, I feel as though I have to bite my tongue, because to call them out for it would be rude.  Again, it would be rude for me to say something about their rudeness.

If somebody cuts me off in traffic, it is rude for me to give them a rude gesture, because they would just give me a ruder one back.  One big giant circle.  Just perpetuating the rudeness.

If you spend a large amount of time getting ready to go to a fancy function, and someone else doesn’t, and looks inappropriate for the occasion, I think that is rude. But just say something and people get all offended.

And sometimes people say I am rude, for pointing out the truth.  Most people can’t handle the truth, seriously.  They think I am rude for even making the statement.  They just wanna continue to live in their own little paper doll world.  Just pretend nothing bad ever happens.

My sister says my mouth gets me into trouble all the time.  And it does, I will admit it.  I speak my mind, and sometimes it sounds rude.  And sometimes I mean it to sound differently but it comes out wrong, which is rude in itself.  I think I was shut up for so long in my younger days that now the damn has burst and I can’t stop it, lol.   Again, one big giant circle.

I just think that social manners have gone by the wayside.  When I was growing up, in the Catholic school system, we were tortured   taught manners and politeness by the nuns, who were still allowed to beat teach us how to behave even if our parents didn’t.  And at home if we talked back, we got a swift slap across the face to knock some sense back into us.  Now, I’m certainly not advocating this, but I think the pendulum has swung back too far the other way when it comes to raising your children.  Even as a parent you are not allowed to touch them.  There should be a happy medium.  You shouldn’t have to beat a child to get them to behave, but they should have a tiny bit of fear of consequences and whole lot of respect inside them for other people.

I would love to hear YOUR opinions on this, especially parents!

 

Single for the Season

single

I’m not sure if I would classify myself as single or not, but my so-called boyfriend left the week before Christmas to go to Texas and visit his daughter and granddaughter, and won’t be back until after the New Year.

And I’m perfectly ok with that, except for one thing.  We never discussed it.  At all.  I only found out he was going to be gone when we were talking about our monthly get together.  He lives a few hours away, and we usually meet up once a month or so at a casino or hotel.  We were talking about Christmas presents, and I said that since I hadn’t been paid from work for over a month that I didn’t have a lot of cash to spend on gifts.  I jokingly suggested we should skip gift giving to each other, but was really hoping he would protest.  It was a test of sorts.  He is retired, and gets a nice pension and social security, but acts as though he is destitute.  It kinda bothers me, because I’m sure he still has his First Communion money tucked away.  I don’t “get” cheap people.  I am glad he has a nice retirement package.  He actually makes more money now than when he was working.  He basically has no bills, he lives in very small but paid off house.    But he complains about every cent he has to spend.  He will actually drive an extra hour to get to my house because he refuses to pay tolls to the state of Illinois!  But I digress.  Back to the original conversation.

So he said sure, let’s skip the gifts.  In fact let’s just skip our December get together, I have decided to go to Texas for a few weeks.  We’ll just see each other in January.

What was I to say?  No, don’t go spend the holidays with your daughter and granddaughter, even though you just drove there a few weeks ago for Thanksgiving?  With your ex-wife in tow?  And didn’t call or text me for 5 days?  Obviously he FAILED the test.

We basically had our first fight after Thanksgiving.  He leaves with his ex-wife and I don’t hear from him for 5 days.  When he finally got back and texted me, I took my sweet time in responding.  He got the idea pretty quick that I wasn’t pleased.

I actually seriously thought about using that as an excuse to end the relationship.  I have had thoughts about doing it before, because I don’t really love him, as he professes to love me.  I like him, and enjoy his company for the most part, but he is VERY different from me.  In most every way.  Granted, we were next door neighbors for a while a long, long time ago, and both attended Catholic schools, but that’s basically where our similarities end.  He is older, I like younger.  He is sloppy, I am OCD clean.  He is grumpy, I am smiley.  He is cheap, I am frugal (there IS a difference!).  He is a male chauvinist, I am a feminist.  He is a red neck, I am yuppie.  He is a drinker, I am a not.  He is stubborn, I am a facilitator.  He sent me a picture of his son, and his ex-wife was also pictured.  Not like me in ANY way.  In fact, I would be embarrassed to show the photo to people because I wouldn’t want to be lumped into a class of what he considered to be wife material.  And he actually thought that the reason I was mad after Thanksgiving was because of his ex-wife.  Ummm, no.  I’ve seen her picture.  Please.

Now, he does have many good qualities.  He is a gentleman, and generally is very sweet to me, and sends me flowers on special occasions (except this one).

But.  (Isn’t there always a but?)  What good is it to have a boyfriend when you are left alone on major holidays, and New Year’s Eve??????  I mean really.  At least have a conversation about it.  I was going to ask him if he wanted to come visit for Christmas when he dropped the Texas bomb on me.  He has been to my home three times for visits.  I have never been invited to his.  Probably because he knows it is not fit for visitors.  He admits straight out to being lazy and never cleaning his house.  (Ick).

So, I think his actions this time have spoken louder than any words he could have chosen to say, but didn’t.  It’s time to say goodbye.  Or say nothing.  Am I wrong?  Am I a bitch?  Am I too picky?  Sigh.  Trust me, he will have no clue that his actions have led to this.

Just not the right Mike.  None of them are.

Baby it’s cold outside

dean

Yes, indeed it is, below zero here in the frosty Midwest!

But aside from that, it’s one of my favorite Christmas songs (especially the Gavin DeGraw/Colbie Caillat duet!).  But does it bother anyone else that this song was written back in the day when the specter of a single woman spending the night with an obvious romantic bachelor would cause a huge scandal??

They even refer to the scandalous nature several times in the lyrics:

My mother will start to worry,

My father will be pacing the floor,

My sister will be suspicious,

My brother will be there at the door,

My maiden aunt’s mind is vicious,

More and more begging, then:

Hey what’s in this drink?

There’s bound to be talk tomorrow,

At least there will be plenty implied.

And then the grand finale, which just slays me:

She says:  I really can’t stay

He says:  Get over that hold out

Seriously??  Talk about sexually harassment!  Sounds like he wants to have his way with her no matter what her protestations are.  The original score was written as a conversation between two people, marked as the “mouse” and the “wolf”.

Now, I know it’s just a song.  But think back to the day.  Picture Dean Martin circling a pretty girl at the bar, with his trademark cigarette and glass of whiskey, crooning this song.  The girl’s reputation was at stake, but not his, or any man’s for that matter.

Of course, today the young lady would probably be more than happy to stay, and not need any persuasion.  And just to add a little levity to the situation, here’s a Jimmy Fallon video about what happens when the lady DOES stay:

http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/baby-its-cold-outside/n44614/

Timing is everything, cause some things never change.

My Bucket List

bucket list

To lay in the grass, covered by a litter of golden retriever puppies.

To meet Gavin DeGraw, and sing with him. Just me and him.

To go on a cruise, and eat and drink and dance the night away!

To play the piano with ease.

To be in a theatre play, and act and sing. Or maybe just the church choir!

To finally get my first book published, and continue to write another one, all my own.

To visit Alaska – see the glacier, Denali, and ride the train from Anchorage to Seward!  Go on a sled ride with the huskies.  Mush!

To visit Australia and New Zealand. I believe they have gorgeous landscapes.

To have a beer in Germany during Oktoberfest.

To visit Ireland and drink in the lush greenery.

To take my beloved great nieces and nephews to Disneyland and watch the wonderment on their little faces.

To swim again with the dolphins, this time in the wild, where you can frolic and play in their natural environment.

To make a difference in people’s lives in a positive way.  I love my seniors in swim class, and so many of them remind me of my dearly departed mom whom I miss so much!

Most importantly, going to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve with all the candles and beautiful voices rejoicing in the birth of Jesus, and then to wake up on Christmas morning snuggled up with a special loved one, having coffee in front of a crackling fireplace surrounded by the scent of a beautiful Christmas tree, with only a few meaningful gifts underneath.  Spending the rest of the day with beloved family and friends.

When my bucket list is complete, I will be ready to cross over to the Rainbow Bridge and be re-united with all my fur babies, who will then follow me into heaven to see my beloved family and friends who have passed before me.

What’s on YOUR bucket list?

Goodbye and good riddance!

goodriddanceMost people love ringing in a new year.  A fresh start, new resolutions, a celebration of things to come!

I cannot wait for this year to end.  This past year has not been kind to my family.  A year ago my BIL died.  Then I had my hip replacement in May, which to this day is still infected and may at some point have to be removed.  Then my niece’s fiancée was killed in a horrific accident, leaving her little girl without a daddy.  Then my sister’s two beloved cats were eaten by coyotes.  Then my little great niece cut off her long beautiful hair down to the scalp, just in time for Christmas!  (which is no big deal compared to the other things).

My hip replacement has colored my world every day.  It was painful, it was expensive, and it is ongoing.  Don’t let the doctor’s fool you…..when you saw off your femur bone and then pound a stake into it, IT HURTS.  FOR A LONG TIME!  Those sadists at the hospital are poking you, prodding you, and making you walk all the time!  They love to see your pain, and tell you to work through it.  Yeah right, ok.  I did it, did everything they said, and went home from the rehab hospital with an infection that is still with me to this day as a reminder of a horrid experience.  Granted, this doesn’t happen to most people.  Very few people, in fact.  I am one of the lucky ones.

I was at my ortho doc on Wednesday.  We were talking about shots, and I asked him if it would hurt.  He said yes.  I asked him if it would make me cry.  He said “You are the bravest woman I know.  With everything you have been through this year, I have never seen you cry.  You have been through hell and back and keep on smiling.  All the nurses and therapists are amazed by you.  In all your hospital reports they make notations about your positive attitude and smiling face.  They wished all patients could be like you.  You had 4 surgeries and home health care nurses for months, and they all fought over who got to service you.  I think you made friends with every nurse and tech at Lake Forest Hospital!”

And you know what?  I did.  Why not?  I was stuck in the hospital a lot this summer, and those nurses and techs were my best friends.  They took wonderful care of me, and attended to my every need.  Trust me, you are totally helpless the first few days after surgery, and really need compassionate people!  They all were angels from heaven, and if a smile from me made their day better, I was happy to do it.  I felt my recovery would go better with a positive attitude, and it did.  The nurses treated me like I was special, and that made ME feel special!

Granted, I would like to never experience this kind of thing again, lol.  Luckily I had insurance, but wow did I get screwed!  I had the state of Illinois Pre-Existing insurance for the first 6 months until they went bankrupt and then forced me over to the federal insurance.  I had to start from scratch with deductibles and co-pays in the middle of the year.  All told, I paid approximately $20,000 for insurance this year.  I know my hospital bills were a lot more than that, and I was grateful to have the insurance, but geez.  That’s a lot of money for someone like me.

My sister and my niece are doing better, but it is still hard.  Luckily my great niece Brianna is very resilient and has taken the loss of her daddy in stride.  She has other male figures in her life who have stepped up, and she is a very loving child.  She is the best thing that has ever happened to our family!

The two cats are greatly missed, but Bri rescued a kitty and named him Lucky, and he has wormed his little way in our hearts and helped heal them.  He is quite naughty, and I’m sure Bri’s Elf on a Shelf has all kinds of naughty reports on him for Santa!

Thank goodness I don’t have an Elf on a Shelf, because my two cats are the naughtiest Christmas tree destroyers ever!  They have literally eaten the lighted Star off the top, and many strings of lights and ornaments.  It is their napping spot and climbing pole.  The top of the tree is now slanted, and they broke the stand too.

xmastree

Oh well, lol.  There’s always next year!  And next year will be better, I just know it.  My hip is better, I got to go to a family reunion wedding and see all my long distance relatives, my cats are fine, I have a warm house, a job of sorts, and family and dear friends.  I will try to stay on a positive path, and keep fighting the good fight!

Merry Christmas my friends, and I hope you all have the happiest of New Years!