Saturday, July 26, 2008

We Lost a Family Member Today

I'll be away from the computer for the next week. My husband's father passed away this morning at the age of 78. He's been ill for sometime, but that provides no consolation for his loss. I only met him a few times, but he seemed a dear, sweet man. I'm sure will be missed by his family and friends. I know my husband regrets we didn't live closer so he could have spent more time with his dad, but sometimes life gets in the way of good intentions.

So rather than share my experiences from camping this weekend as I had intended, and hopefully bring about a smile or giggle, instead I feel the need to share a moment to bond with you. Take the time to tell someone you love how you feel. Today is called the 'present' because it is a gift, and none of us know how many more tomorrows we have to share. Make them count.

So, I'm off to do laundry and pack for the trip to Nebraska. Keep us in your prayers for a safe journey there and back. I'll be in touch when I return. Before I sign off, I do want to say again how much I appreciate each and every one of you who continue to come here and read "Dishin It Out." It's days like this, I wish I had nothing to share except love. :)


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Crumbs in My KeyBoard

No this isn't the start of a joke like, Spots on the Wall by Who Flung Dung or The Yellow River by I.P. Freely. Let this be a warning.

So, I'm in the middle of critiquing a friend's chapter and despite my vow not to eat at my desk, I dropped a chip onto the keyboard. The potato yummy, unbeknownst to me, lodged my 'delete' key in the down position, and I sat and watched line after line disappear before my eyes before I realized the problem. My heart was fluttering, thinking a virus was eating my hard drive and I was witnessing the loss of my life's work. When I finally realized my attacker was a Pringle and not a virus-stalking idiot with nothing better to do than think up ways to make people miserable, thank goodness I only had to reject the deletion to get it all back.

I've shaken the crumbs from the keys and renewed my oath to be food free around the computer. We all know that won't last.

That was scary. *lol*

Respect Goes a Long Way

Someone made a comment this morning on an older post and prompted me to blog today about different styles of dealing with people and the results one receives because of perceived treatment. I guess that's all just a fancy way of saying respect begets respect.

As you're probably are aware, I worked for the University of California for many years. During that time, I saw many changes in administration. We'd become accustomed to doing business by one Dean's standards and find ourselves faced with a 'changing of the guard.' The thing I noticed during all those staffing switches is that the leaders who treated employees with respect and made them feel like an integral part of the 'wheel' ran a much more happy and productive office.

Why is that so hard to figure out? Although we all have different leadership and organizational skills, I doubt there is anyone who wants to work with someone looking over their shoulder constantly, and reminding them daily of their position on the organizational ladder. Employees usually have the intelligence to know who is the 'boss', so constant reminders scream insecurity if one has to elevate their own ego at the expense of someone else's.

It's not only in the working environment, it's life in general. Somewhere along the line, we've forgotten to say please and thank you. Now that most of our communication is done by email--a faceless and emotionless venue, it's even harder to detect appreciation or that friendly smile.

I had a brief Christmas stint working as a clerk in a department store. It was one of the worst experiences of my life. I spent my days refolding garments that people left strewn about after inspection, picking up garbage someone felt the need to deposit amongst the clothing displays, and serving rude and thankless people who grumbled the entire time they stood at my register. This is not an exaggeration. The cheerful and friendly people were far and few between, and when they did show up, it made me want to return their smile and be more prompt and helpful. I'm a friendly person by nature, and discovering more Scrooges than Angels at Christmas was a big disappointment.

There is an old saying..."walk a mile in my shoes." If we all had to do that, I guarantee we might see the world in a totally different light. I know that having a bad supervisor made me a better one. Respect was always key.

Dealing with the public and experiencing their lack of appreciation for what a salesclerk endures made me a much better customer. If I change my mind about something I have in my basket, I return it to where I got it. If I unfold something...I refold it. It may not be as perfect and no one may notice my efforts, but I feel better about who I am.

A smile usually begets a smile and a helping hand gets one in return. Evaluate the kind of person you are and see how you'd like hanging out with someone like YOU. Almost everywhere you go, there is someone in need of a 'warm fuzzy'. That's a term for appreciation and kindness rolled together. Give one away today. You'll feel better and you might improve someone's outlook on life.

A new friend of mine has a great signature tag on her email, so I'm borrowing it today and wishing "may you always have enough," whether it be smiles, appreciation, helpful attitudes, or love. Whatever you need to float your boat...may you always have it.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Name Dropping?

Far be it from me to drop names that might impress people, or at least I haven't made it a habit because I really haven't had any names to drop, but I'm going to let you in on a secret. Hold on to your hat! I'm friends with Leta Pomerantz!

Who is she, you ask? Well, let me tell you. This is a picture of her and her grandson Kane. Leta and I were best friends and also sister-in-laws for a time. She and my brother divorced and I lost track of her for a while, but I recently found her again.

Okay, so her name doesn't ring a bell and Kane doesn't look familiar either? Well, how about these two?
This is her son, Randy Sheckler and his son, Shane. Randy and my son, Scott were best friends growing up and pretty much inseparable. Still nothing? Okay, I guess you're forcing me to bring out the big guns, although Shane is the middle grandchild of my friend Leta, and a star in his own right.

Recognize anyone here?

Okay, you made me do it. Ryan Sheckler, of professional skateboarding fame and the hearttrob of teenage girls everywhere. This was taken during a birthday celebration for Leta and Kane (the little cutie). Ryan has his own show on TV entitled "Life of Ryan" and his whole family has been featured at one time or another, including Grandma, Leta, but she won't admit to being famous.

Ryan is a icon to young people across the United States and despite his earnings which probably are quadruple what I ever earned in my lifetime or hope to earn, he has a generous heart and recently donated his own Range Rover to encourage raising money for the Children's Cancer Research Fund. People raised thousands thanks to Ryan's urging. He has an amazing talent and has invested wisely in it. I only wish he knew who in hell I am. *lol*

C'mon, Ryan. One word from you for someone who was almost your aunt could work wonders for my latest release Embezzled Love. Can't you drop a little hint the next time you're on the Today show or interviewed by Ryan Seacrest? If you ever have Oprah's ear, you know she has a book club that I'm mighty interested in. Do me a little favor and I can tell you all kinds of things about your grandmother. *rubbing hands together and cackling*

Here's the last picture she sent me:
This is Leta and her boys at her birthday party. I guess she couldn't find another female friend to replace what we had, *smile* but then no matter where we went in the good ol' days, she was always surrounded by guys. Some things just never change.

Seriously, I'm happy to have located her again after so many years. We share a lot of fun memories, and I know she's very proud of each of her grandsons, just as I am of my Spencer. If you'd like to know more about Ryan's exciting life, please visit his website Ryan Sheckler
and if you drop him a line, tell him you saw his picture on his almost Aunt's blog. The poor one that lives in Tennessee and is struggling to find her own fame. *lol*

Monday, July 21, 2008

Here's The Best Choice For The First Black President of the US

Bill Cosby has this to say about people of his own race. This was taken from a controversial speech delivered a few years ago:

'They're standing on the corner and they can't speak English. I can't even talk the way these people talk:
Why you ain't ,
Where you is,
What he drive,
Where he stay,
Where he work,
Who you be...

And I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk.

And then I heard the father talk.

Everybody knows it's important to speak English
except these knuckleheads. You can't be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth.

In fact you will never get any kind of job making a decent living. People marched and were hit in the face with rocks to get an education, and now we've got these knuckleheads walking around.

The lower economic people are not holding up their end in this deal.

These people are not parenting. They are buying things for kids. $500 sneakers for what??

And they won't spend $200 for Hooked on Phonics. I am talking about these people who cry when their son is standing there in an orange suit.

Where were you when he was 2??

Where were you when he was 12??

Where were you when he was 18 and how come you didn't know that he had a pistol??

And where is the father?? Or who is his father?

People putting their clothes on backward:
Isn't that a sign of something gone wrong?

People with their hats on backward, pants down around the crack, isn't that a sign of something?

Or are you waiting for Jesus to pull his pants up?

Isn't it a sign of something when she has her dress all the way up and got all type of needles [piercing] going through her body? What part of Africa did this come from??

We are not Africans. Those people are not Africans; they don't know a thing about Africa .

With names like Shaniqua, Taliqua and Mohammed and all of that crap, and all of them are in jail.

Brown or black versus the Board of Education is no longer the white person's problem.

We have got to take the neighborhood back.

People used to be ashamed. Today a woman has eight children with eight different 'husbands' -- or men or whatever you call them now.

We have millionaire football players who cannot read.

We have million-dollar basketball players who can't write two paragraphs. We, as black folks have to do a better job. Someone working at Wal-Mart with seven kids, you are hurting us.

We have to start holding each other to a higher standard.

We cannot blame the white people any longer.'

Dr. William Henry 'Bill' Cosby, Jr., Ed.D.

It's NOT about color...
It's about behavior!!!

I'd like to add to his inspiring words, that black parents are not the only one at fault. This kind of behavior is wide-spread among every race. Unfortunately, with the economy faltering and both parents having to work full-time and sometimes at more than one job to make ends meet, it's not highly likely that raising children is going to move to the top of the priority list anytime soon. Sad, but true.

Another Side of Mom

A few days ago, I poked fun at my mom's strange 'hoarding habits,' but I want you to know how I truly feel about her. Here's a poem I wrote for her 80th birthday a few years back:

Through the Years

On the journey that we travel
that winds throughout the years,
We follow the path God plotted
and give to him our fears.

When the lord mapped out my life's plan
and appointed a shining star,
He must have envisioned her endearing
smile that would carry me so far.

For eighty years she's faced it all,
the good, the bad, some pain.
And in the broader scope of life,
she rarely did complain.

My beacon still beams brightly,
not dimmed by a passing day.
She's my mother, mentor, and best friend
and I just want to say....

I love you with all my heart, Mom!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Gotta Steer Clear of Current Events

Every time my husband and I sit and have a discussion about the state of the economy or I read something about politics, I get angry. How did things get this bad? I can't believe that everything is rising in cost except wages. Every time the cost of fuel rises, so does everything delivered by truck. Independent drivers struggled when they were faced with $2.50 per gallon for diesel, now they're being charged $4.56. We're shooting ourselves in the foot by sitting back and doing nothing, yet what can we do? The people in Washington evidently care nothing about this problem or they would be doing something. I think they are...counting all the money they're making from this fiasco.

President Bush has been in office all this time and done nothing noteworthy. Now with one foot out the door, he's finally signed an immigration bill, trying to get offshore drilling approved, and is starting negotiations with Iran. Too little too late, George. I think you've decided if you are to leave in a positive light, you'd better get off your tushy and create an atmosphere conducive to a fond farewell and memorable legacy. I have no idea why anyone would ever want to be president. But remember, if you elect Obama, his wife can finally be proud she's an American. As for McCain...every time he opens his mouth, he puts his foot in it. Not bad for someone of his age--being able to get it up there. I never really felt this conflicted about an election. But then, we don't really elect the president, do we?

I always vowed never to discuss politics because it's a sensitive subject but I can't help myself. As an American I can exercise my right to freedom of speech and complain. I hate our choices, I detest our situation, and I feel totally helpless.

Hubby and I were discussing the dismal situation here in Tennessee and how, compared to California, people's wages are half or lower. I mentioned an article I recently read that says if you can't afford to tip, you can't afford to eat out. I was appalled. This brings up another issue I've always questioned. Who determined who gets tipped and who doesn't? Why do we tip 'wait' people who let restaurant owners screw them by paying them less than $3.00 per hour? Why are we, the general public, expected to make up the difference? I'm not saying waiters and waitresses aren't hard working and dedicated people, but why aren't their positions subject to minimum wage laws like everyone else? I shouldn't be expected to pay their salary. I didn't hire them. Make the person who did accountable for taking care of his employees. People in fast food restaurants get minimum wage and no tips. I guess that's because they hand you your food in a bag or on a tray.

Why do we tip our hairdressers but not the people who carry out our groceries. They aren't allowed to accept them. Why do we tip people who work in car washes, but not those who lube and oil our car? Who made the rules? If anyone knows, please share the knowledge.

I always tip when I get good service. I believe in rewarding people who go above and beyond. What I don't like is when I eat with a group, I get charged for a 15% tip on the bill whether or not I enjoyed my service or not. I'm a tipper, I just don't want anyone to tell me who, when or where, I have to do it.

Okay, I feel better now. Boy, blogging is therapeutic. Of course, I probably drive some of you to drink by bringing up things you haven't thought about before. *lol* If that's the case...have one for me. My medicine conflicts with alcohol...dang it!

Friday, July 18, 2008


I'm getting sick of saying that! After I lost a hundred pounds, I noticed I had developed what other's affectionately call, batwings, similar but not quite as horrible as those in this picture. But now the condition has moved down. I glimpsed myself in a picture the other day in which my arms were crossed to hide the shelf I've developed to hold my sagging boobs...and gasped at the excess skin hanging from my forearms. When did that happen?

I found myself muttering those words again when I passed cash to the clerk for my purchase at the grocery story the other day. Three new age spots on the back of my hand. It happened overnight. I'm afraid to go to sleep anymore. God knows what I'll find when I wake up.

Isn't it enough to have to have wrinkles on your face, lose your lip line, suffer through graying hair and all the aches and pains that come with aging? What's the point to all these other indignities?

I remember when truck drivers used to honk and wave at me. Now they flip me the bird because I'm driving to slow to suit their need to cruise at 80 MPH. I'm just waiting for some boy-scout-suited little creep to try and help me cross the road to earn a merit badge. Do they even do that anymore?

Yesterday, my husband went to see the doctor for a follow-up to his sleep-apnea study. He has it. Why wasn't I surprised? Now he's going to have to wear a mask when he sleeps. I have a visual image of sleeping with a scuba diver sans the flippers...although he does jiggle his foot most of the night. I warned him. If he thought our sex life had declined, wait till he dons that mask. Ewww, kiss me baby! Of course, right after I was so flippant with him, I bit into a chip and broke my front tooth. We should make a fetching pair. Of course the dentist is closed on Friday so I have to wait until Monday to get it fixed. I needed another expense.

Whoever said, 'aging is not for the faint of heart' knew first-hand what it's like. I've given up wearing make-up, trying to find a bra that actually does what it claims, and trying to squeeze my butt into jeans that no longer fit. I'm wearing elastic waists from now on, and the only 'crossing my heart' I'm doing has nothing to do with my brassiere. It has to do with luck and hope that my boobs are actually through growing... longer.

Just when I thought I had the depression thing licked, my HS friend, Margie discovered some pictures of me taken in the 70s and had to share them with me. At the time I wasn't impressed with myself, but boy, looking at my image now than then...I WAS A BABE.


Monday, July 14, 2008

My New Cover

Coming soon from Eternal Press, Book Two in Stages of Love: Forever Faith.

I just received the cover and I'm delighted with it. My heroine is a full-figured woman and the cover artist, Dawne, has captured Faith's essence completely. Look for it at Eternal Press soon.

It Ain't Your Mother's Spam

I hate it, yet like everyone else, I’m forced to endure it. The problem is I have to weed through mine to find messages from friends and associates that have a meaning for me. My mail server insists on sending random posts to either my SPAM or Trash folder. Just this morning I found a very important contract that might have cost me a substantial amount of money had I not noticed it.

Scanning 600 plus emails is not fun. I’m amazed at the array of ridiculous promises in the subject lines alone. Several people have posted, promising to ‘cleanse my colon.’ Thanks, but been there, done that, and in my opinion, the condition of my colon is between me and my doctor and not up for debate. Anytime you see colon and cleanse together in a sentence…run! Think of: time/bomb, blow/up, fire/works.

Look! I can get financial aid and earn my online degree (and at this age) and erase all my debts, too. Let’s not forget I can ‘get money overnight’, ‘free smokes’ and my ‘TRUE LOVE AWAITS’. I hope my husband doesn’t find out. Heck, I didn’t even know.

Let’s see, I can ‘attend culinary school’ and ‘become a great chef.’ Or, I can ‘save money on a new SUV.’ Wait, there’s an offer to ‘save $$$ at the gas pump.’ Hmmm, seems like if I take advantage of both of those offers, I’m defeating an important purpose. Gas guzzlers or saving gas! Decisions, decisions. The chef thing is definitely out. I hate to cook.

Swell! I can ‘order on-line drugs’ to help lose weight, but then that conflicts with the post telling me ‘men love full-figured women.’ Yeah, right. Probably the same ones who’re looking for people with weight problems. OH, and definitely I can't overlook the one thousand emails from South Africa, London, and Nigeria asking for my bank information so I can ‘claim that exclusive lottery money’ that’s in my name alone. With all that cash, I can reel in a man without losing weight.

Gee, I can hardly contain my glee. I’ve been awarded a ‘free gift card’ to shop at Costco, Walmart, Target and Kohls. Like I’m falling for that. I didn’t tumble off a turnip truck yesterday. It was last month and the knot on my head is almost healed.

Hey…a ‘free poker pass’! That’ll come in handy if I take that drug for restless leg syndrome and develop the gambling addiction they warn about in their commercials. Oh, great, there’s fifteen more ‘Detoxify Your Body’ posts. I’m pretty sure it’s the ‘Colon Cleanse’ ad disguising itself for those faint at heart people like me.

I guess SPAM is something we’re going to have to live with. It used to come stuffed inside your bills via the US Postal Service, but now that many are doing everything online, advertisers had to find a way to continue to annoy us. It’s working on me, how about you? I guess laughter is the best way to deal with it. It’s the best medicine you know, regardless of what they tell you.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Drum Roll Please...

Good Morning,

I've very excited to announce the availability of Embezzled Love at LBF Books. This is the US portion of Lachesis Publishing and I'm very happy to be affiliated with them. Embezzled Love is the fictional accounting of a true chapter in my sister's life. If you read it, remember the 'fictional me' is Gloria *lol*. It's available in both print and eformat at LBF Books Here's a little teaster:

When the spam in your inbox keeps promising true love, and loneliness is your constant companion, it stands to reason one might be tempted to respond to those seemingly foolish emails. We all dream of romance. Cassie is no different, but what she doesn't expect along with her newfound passion and hope for a future are the secrets and lies her siblings claim are part of the package.

Brief Excerpt:

The elevator opened and whisked them to their floor. They found their room, and Evan slid the key card in the lock. He opened the door. His extended arm blocked her path. She eyed him curiously. “Well, let me in.”

“You know, we could go get married first, and then I could carry you over the threshold.”

Her breath caught in her throat. Surely he wasn’t serious. “Not tonight, I have a headache,” she joked.

“I guess that’s a no.” The dejected look on his face told her his proposal had been serious.

“Oh, Evan, when and if we get married, I don’t want it to be some cheap chapel in Las Vegas. I want my family…”

The rift! Pain tugged at her heart and she narrowed her attendance list. “My mom would kill me if I got married and she wasn’t there.”

Evan seemed to recover quickly. “Then let’s drop these bags and go get rich.”

A wave of relief swept over Cassie. She’d gotten out of that predicament easier than she expected. Standing in the middle of the posh but overdone room, she announced. “I’m ready when you are.”

On the ride back down in the elevator Cassie stifled a giggle. Suddenly she felt like a little kid going to Disneyland. Maybe it was because of the different environment, or just feeling free for the moment. Whatever it was, she intended to enjoy it.

When the doors parted, Evan made a beeline for a bank of dollar slots. Cassie glanced down at her still-extended hand, surprised he hadn’t taken hold of it. Maybe he felt the same excitement she experienced. She followed behind and stood at his shoulder, watching. He had already deposited money and was eagerly pulling the handle. The reels spun wildly, blurring the images of cherries, plums and the elusive sevens. When the tumblers stopped, a loud bell sounded, and Evan turned and smiled, pointing at the three bars that had aligned perfectly across the screen. “Look at that, I’m a winner.”

Cassie quickly scanned the colorful pay schedule looking for Evan’s reward. “Wow, five hundred dollars! Baby, you’re pretty lucky at this.”

Evan pulled out his wallet and handed Cassie several bills—big ones. “Here, take this and find a paying machine.” He stuffed his billfold back in his pocket and immediately grasped the slot handle.

She pulled out the stool next to him. “This one looks good.” She sat.

The crease in his forehead showed his displeasure. “No, I meant go somewhere else. I don’t like people watching me when I gamble.”

Shocked, Cassie stood. She was speechless.

Evan raised up just high enough to graze her cheek with a kiss. “You understand, don’t you, baby girl? It’s an anxiety performance thing.”

No, she didn’t understand, but she wasn’t going to hang around where she wasn’t wanted. Clutching the bills he’d given her, she ambled off in search of another place to sit. Somehow her excitement had waned. Just a little while ago he’d wanted to marry her and now he didn’t even want her sitting next to him. She let go of the hurt. She’d turned down his offer of marriage, so now they were even.

She eyed the dollar slots but decided she wasn’t ready for that denomination just yet. Quarters, would do. She unrolled the wad, looking for something smaller than a hundred but all five were the same. Cassie summoned a roving attendant and got change, then inserted twenty into her machine. She tucked the remaining bills in her pocket. It wasn’t long before she was lost in the hypnotic spinning of the reels—unfortunately there were no bells sounding for her and she had lost far more than she planned.

Her eyes grew tired from the never ending blur of whirling fruit. Dare she go back and check on Evan? It had been hours and he hadn’t come looking for her. Surely he wouldn’t mind if she checked in. She’d forgotten her watch but was sure it was close to 3:00 a.m. Why didn’t they put clocks in casinos? Even without knowing the true hour, it had been a long day and she was ready for bed.

The machine where Evan had sat earlier was empty. Cassie eagerly scanned the casino for him. In comparison to the earlier crowded room, only a handful of late-night gamblers remained. Cass walked up and down each bank of slot machines and perused each table, but Evan was no where to be found. Her heart rate increased with panic. Where could he be? Maybe he went upstairs.

She traced the outline of the room card in her pant’s pocket, and headed for the elevator. On the way up, she pondered why Evan didn’t come find her. Her heart beat hard against her chest.

At the room, she struggled to get the key into the narrow slit, and when she walked inside, her heart sank. Evan wasn’t there. Driven by feelings of disappointment and frustration, Cass expelled a large whoosh of air and plopped on the king-sized bed. She sorted through her options, enveloped by a feeling of helplessness. Where would she start to look? Should she report him missing? Maybe just wait. The latter choice was her least favorite but the most logical. There were dozens of casinos—hundreds maybe—and she had no idea where to search. If she wasn’t so worried she might really be pissed. She stretched out on the bed and stared hopelessly at the ceiling. The acoustical dots ran together, creating crazy patterns, and finally, blurred.

Extraordinary brightness attempted to creep beneath Cassie’s closed lids—she turned over and sleepily opened her eyes. She wrinkled her nose at the offensive light and realized it was morning. The room-darkening draperies only worked if someone closed them. The bright ascending sun spread fiery fingers across the sky and penetrated the hotel room’s drape-less window. Still half-asleep, Cassie checked for evidence that Evan had returned—still no sign of him. Her stomach knotted as she glanced at the clock on the nightstand—7:00 a.m. Surely something awful had happened to him. There was no way he would let her worry for this long.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Being Politically Correct

I received a very cute email with politically correct terms to replace the bad references we've been making to one another. I thought it might be fun to write something using them:

As an APPALIACHIAN-AMERICAN (hillbilly) and a fairly old BREASTED AMERICAN (babe or chick), I feel it necessary to stand up for women with a certain shade of hair, having been one myself once. Although they are often considered a LIGHT-HAIRED DETOUR OFF THE INFORMATION HIGHWAY (dumb blonde)and quite often thought of as HORIZONTALLY ACCESSIBLE (easy), the color of one's hair does not mean she is a PREVIOUSLY ENJOYED COMPANION (has been around. Nor does the fact that she isn't a brunette give you cause to refer to her as a LOW COST PROVIDER (two-bit hooker.) I hope the men reading this will reconsider their attitudes and not cause me to become VERBALLY REPETITIVE (nag).

The same applies to women. Just because your husband has developed a LIQUID GRAIN STORAGE FACILITY (beer gut) or is OVERLY CAUCASIAN (a bad dancer), you have to forgive him when he develops a case of RECTAL-CRANIAL INVERSION (acts like a total ass). Whether he exhibits REAR CLEAVAGE (butt crack) or is in FOLLICLE REGRESSION (balding), he is your husband and you should treat him with respect.

I hope I've made my point crystal clear.

My thanks to the person who came up with these witty descriptions.

When life hands you lemons, ask for tequila and salt and call me over!!

This has been quite a week with the refrigerator escapade, our car being dented by a wayward golf ball and hubby having a fit. I think the unrest where he's working was the catalyst for his anger, and he has to decide what he wants to be when he grows up. I'm still waiting for the biopsy results on my stomach, but I've decided not to call. I figure if I'm dying, they'll let me know, and if I am, there isn't anything I can do about it. *lol*

Kelly goes for a sleep study tonight, and although it will be yet another medical bill to pay, maybe it will help the doctor figure out why his blood pressure is high, his heart goes through irregular beating periods, and he's always tired. I never knew so much could be attributed to a poor night's sleep, but evidently it can. They have medications for everything now days. How did we ever survive this far? Things to wake you up, put you to sleep, make you pee, quit peeing, curb your appetite, increase your metabolism, check your sugar. Isn't medicine just amazing. Of course you have to watch out for the side affects written in small letters on the literature or speed-read through the commercials. Instead of restless legs you can end up with a gambling problem or driving while you sleep. Most drugs seem to take on some part of your body. If a disease doesn't kill you, your medicine might.

Okay, enough of the dismal stuff. I got this little cartoon and it made me chuckle. If I could drink along with the medications I take, I might just follow the advice, but... dang! I'm alcohol free these days. I remember the good old days of Bud Light and Country Line Dancing. Oh to go back and relive it again. My boogie could use a little boot-scootin' but I fear my tush is beyond pushin'.

Have a happy weekend,

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I Hate Politcs, but...

With the upcoming elections, we all need to make informed choices when we vote. I'm so confused over this election, more so than I've ever been. Actually, my preference is not to vote at all because I truly don't believe it's the popular vote that counts for anything. Still, I'm sharing this video that was emailed to me because it shows something about Obama's plans for our future. Regardless of when the video was recorded, this is his stance on disarming America. When other countries have lied about their armaments and others continue to develop nuclear weapons, how wise is this. Remember how many of our military bases closed under another administration and how that affected so many lives and the security of this country. Perhaps this might provide information you might have overlooked.

At the bottom of the video, I have provided the link to where it appears on the internet. The comments were the most interesting part for me. I invite you to read them and draw your own conclusions. MY POST IS NOT AN ENDORSEMENT FOR EITHER CANDIDATE. I fear we are in trouble no matter who's elected, but that's my story and I'm stickin' to it.


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Shopping in the Scratch and Dent Aisle

Woe is me. The refrigerator picked 10:00 pm to take a dump. That meant the endless line of people carrying food and frozen goods through my designated living quarters (the direct route to the garage) was continuous while Papa tried to sleep. His anger management meds aren't working well these days, so I shuddered that the troops might wake him. Luckily, he slept through the perishable goods transfer from the deceased refrigerator to the one we expected to die.

So, yesterday I spent the morning perusing local merchants for clearance sales or good prices. I left the eldest of my DILS children in charge, warning him to stay off the computer and Play Station lest we have a repeat performance of Spencer emptying the entire contents of one closet onto the floor. Ever had to pick up 5000 legos and separate the cards from ten different games back into their own decks? How about crawling around to gather all those little bitty plastic bulbs from Lightbright? Not how I want to spend other half day.

So, I warily set off on my appointed mission. It became mine since I'm the only one with money left from my check to stimulate the economy. It was expected of me. I couldn't let President Bush down.

I ended up in the 'scratch and dent' aisle in the Sear's outlet. I refused assistance as I was only looking. I couldn't possibly make the decision without my DIL even though I found a great buy at $599 with very little visible damage. What I saw was on the side and would be hidden against the stove, but I fear her wrath. Did it matter that I was the paying party? No, she's the kind who looks a gift horse in the mouth...checks for cavities, then has the horse shot.

So, at 5:00 pm, with the full entourage assembled (three adults, three children), we trooped back to the store. Very quickly, their interest in my selection waned as they eyed the line of Stainless Steel refrigerators. My heart sank. Fingerprints! Smudges! And what's worse...the price goes up. The one I liked didn't measure the water as you filled your glass. The ice receptable wasn't in the door, instead back in the freezer. The white one with the easy-to-clean surface didn't have the 'instant chill' section. You know for the wine glasses we use for all those parties we host. And I guess we really need a 'door ajar' alert. We went from $599 to $834 in a heartbeat...and for one with a huge DENT! Oh my God, save me. It's up there in the kitchen right now, taunting me.

I kept wandering back to the white one, hoping they'd follow. Of course in between shouts of: "Karyll, get your brother out of that freezer right now!" "Zachery, stay off the treadmill. Those are for adults." "No Spencer, you can't ride the lawn mower, and how can you possibly need to pee again," I felt I was losing my mind. I think my son and his wife have on blinders and earplugs but I can't prove it.

Yes, I caved. I spent $955 (tax included) on a refrigerator I abhor. The inside is awesome, but the DENT! You can't even stick magnets on stainless steel. Until this morning it was empty and already had hand prints all over it. Now I've filled it, I can hardly wait to see how it looks by afternoon. The upside...if any one of the three children go missing God forbid, we'll have their fingerprints intact.

As I sit here pondering my life, I'm really confused why they call your senior years 'golden'. I have no home of my own, instead live with my son and his wife so I can be caretaker for my grandson. I Constantly tiff with my husband, who's jealous over the time I spend with a five-year-old, have inherited my DIL's two sons from a previous marriage for the summer because she works all day, and gone from having a clutter-free, seemingly clean home to living with people who don't bend at the waist to wipe up spills or pick up their clothes. They leave fifteen pairs of shoes in a heap in the middle of the room...right next to a shoe rack and save dirty glasses in their bedroom until the cupboard is empty. I don't want to say this too loudly, but I think I heard the washing machine groan last night when I finished the tenth load of clothes. It could have just been my echo. Dunno!

Right now, Karyll is upstairs on the computer without his mother's permission. He's walking a fine line between death and life because if he touches the screen, she'll know he was there. It hasn't been dusted in months. *lol* Zach is on the Play Station while Spencer screams because he can't have a turn. The kitchen cabinet is covered with Thomas the Train and all the vehicles from Cars, the floor is littered with transformers. We're still in the training stages for picking up our toys. I guess I have to go and instill another lesson if I plan to fix their lunch. Oh hell, maybe I'll just let fend for themselves. That DENT is up there waiting for me.

Golden, smolden. I'm sort of hoping this is my ticket to heaven. I'm already had a good dose of hell! *lol*

Sunday, July 6, 2008

I Love My Mother, but...

I'm beginning to wonder about her sanity. How many fans, crockpots, and coffee pots does an eighty-three year-old woman who lives alone need? I feel reasonably safe discussing her on my blog because she isn't computer-oriented in the least. We can't even get her to use an ATM card. She still has to visit the bank personally and withdraw her cash, and I'm sure the tellers all know her by name and groan when she comes in...weekly. Before she treks to Walmart and Big Lots to check out the weekly specials.

Mom has been hard of hearing for quite a while, but refuses to wear the aids she has. Any one of several pair prescribed for her. It puzzles me why a person who can't decipher what people are saying won't do something to enhance sound. It's embarrassing to go out to eat with Mom and have her guess the answer to the questions the waitress asks. "Would you like cream with your Coffee?" And Mom replies: "No, I want them over easy." I just shake my head to give the gal a hint that mom takes her coffee black, then roll my eyes.

Before we moved her to the new house in Show Low, my sister, Gwenn tastefully decorated it. She followed a theme in every room, and kept it uncluttered and fashionable. It looks nothing like that now. Besides the ongoing purchases of luggage (and she never travels), electric skillets, and blankets (we could warm the entire Navajo tribe), Mom mails in orders to a place where knick-knack junkies get their fix. The UPS truck has left permanent indentions in the driveway, and Mom's packages have been listed on bad-back disability claims for their employees. Every time I see their commercial, advising "Go Brown", I groan. That's the color of the sun room where she collects all the cardboard boxes. For what purpose, we haven't determined yet.

This is a trend with her. Years back when we moved her from Arizona to California, every closet we opened had some new appliance still in a box. Most were coffee pots and fans. My uncle remarked we could invite all of Phoenix in for a cup and cool them while they drank. Each family member who helped that day was rewarded with a new appliance of their choice and any one of the boxes of canned vegetables we found under her bed. She still buys groceries like all four kids still live at home. I wouldn't mind if I didn't live two thousand miles away and could ease the load once in a while like I did when I lived closer. Our pantry is empty except for the twelve cans of tamales I brought home last time. Matter of fact, I'm making a note to toss them. I'm sure they have an expiration date.

My siblings and I have often discussed that Mom might well outlive us. Shopping is like adrenaline to her and she's always got a rush of it. In case we survive her, we've all agreed in fairness, we'll flip a coin to see who holds the garage sale. I insist that my sister Glynda get the bird and's only fair since they were gifts from her. My sister Gwenn should get all the knicknacks, including the glowing pink flamingos, my sister-in-law Karan should get back all those giant stuffed Christmas decorations she's added to Mom's collection, and her husband, my brother Butch, should get all the rest of Mom's holiday stuff. I know how much he loves those big plastic reindeer, Santa and his sleigh, and the snowman. I'm sure if he takes all the Christmas lights, including the ninety boxes that have never been opened, he can light up his whole street. He can also have any of the twelve ice chests, fourteen sets of luggage, and blankets and sheets for all the beds in his house. Everyone can have a wallet, twelve rolls of scotch tape, forty-eight batteries,a bottle of ketchup, a case of Coke, and a rump roast. And there are plenty of boxes to carry everything away in.

I do, however, want the collection of Ceramic Indians back that mom gave me. In case I ever have a house of my own again, I have a theme in mind. I'm sure that's okay with everyone else, because no one liked them but Mom and me in the first place. Oh, and I forgot...we should probably appoint someone to take the second slew of Mom's ceramic Dolls and stuffed animals to the Indian Children's School like we did with the last ones.

I'm poking jest at my Mom, but I'm doing it with love. I can't imagine the day will come when she's not in my life. We all have our idiosyncrasies and shopping is hers. It's her money, her time and her life, and if she spends every penny before she leaves this world, that's fine with me. If love can be measured like money, then she's made me far wealthier than I ever expected to be. I may be one of four, but I know I'm her favorite. I've never asked her, she just shows me.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

One More Degradation Down

Today was the highlight of the year for embarrassing moments, although it didn't turn out quite as badly as I thought. The word, 'colonoscopy' even sounds bad. Anything with 'oscopy' at the end of it can't be good. That means someone is searching for something, and usually in places you'd rather they didn't.

After a mind-numbing day of explosive trips to the bathroom, I presented myself as 'clean as a whistle' to coin a cliche. Of course, once you're empty, and I mean of everything, because a clear liquid diet isn't all that filling, there isn't anything to stop the GAS rumblings. We arrived at 7:00 AM and I spent more time in pre-op than having the actual procedure done. They wheeled me in at 10:05 and I was back in recovery having a diet Spirte at 10:50. The doctor says everything looked fine, but he was amazed that I have more intestines than most people. Figures...I must have stood in that line twice, too. I know I was in the butt line a couple of times...and the hip and thigh line. God even gave me extra carotid artery so I could exist with a sound in my head 24/7 that sounds like a pissed off bumble bee. Sometimes it's so loud my husband can hear it when we're in bed at night. Anyone can hear it if they put their head to mine. I've been party entertainment many times. :)

Why is that most women find passing gas horrifying? I've avoided it to the point of pain my entire life. God forbid someone hear me 'poot.' Well, let me tell you, after they fill you with air, you have no options. You either poot or explode. Today took me back to a chapter in LIfe is A Bowl of Toilets:

Men don’t have a problem with it—they strain to pass gas. Women would explode before they did that. Just to have people think you might have gas is embarrassing. I cannot tell you how many times I ran up and down the stairs at work, trying to find an unoccupied bathroom so I could have a bowel movement without an audience. God forbid someone might be in the stall next to you and hear a toot or two.

C’mon, admit it, women. If you work in an office building and share the bathroom with your female co-workers, you know what you do. You hear the person in the stall next to you make an obscene noise, and you immediately look down to check out their feet. Then, you go back to the office and check out all the shoes so you can secretly snicker about who did it.

I have a solution to protect your identity—bathroom slippers. You buy a pair of those fold-up slippers and put them in your pocket. When you get in the stall, slip them on, hold your real shoes in your lap and let ’er rip! Stay in the stall until the coast is clear, and then switch back to your regular shoes. No one’s the wiser.

I didn't worry about slippers today. I figure if people work in a profession dealing with butts long enough they've probably heard it all. I was more concerned over my husband's hysteric laughter at my hairnet. Just to pay him back, I brought it home so I can wear it to bed. *lol* Guess I'll go put it on and see how he likes it.

Thanks to everyone for the positive thoughts. You're the best.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Results of the Latest Poll Are In:

The latest poll closed and fifty people responded to the question, Do you read excerpts posted on the yahoo groups? Here is the breakdown:

7 indicated they always read them;
2 say they never do.
4 Claim it's too much trouble and
27 occasionally peruse them.
10 Prefer to read only genre specific ones.

So, there you have it. I still don't know if I'm wasting my time by posting excerpts or not. Any thoughts?

Possibly the Worst Query Letter I've Ever Written

To Whom It May Concern:

Whew, I finally found time to tell you a little about my latest story, Forget-Me-Not. With all the blogging, writing, critiquing, and returning emails, it’s just hard to find the time to do the really important things. Luckily, today, I’m not inclined to do any of the aforementioned tasks because I’m in the ‘cleaning process’ for my colonoscopy tomorrow. I figured I can keep myself away from the refrigerator and kill two birds with one stone, so to speak.

Anyhow, I’m sure you’ll love Forget-Me-Not. I think I saw something on your website once—at least I think it was yours—about your passion for stories with the ‘ah’ factor. I’ve captured that in this saga. Oh, excuse me. I have to run to the bathroom. That Fleet’s phosphate is like a time-bomb, except without the timer to warn of the pending explosion.

Okay, I’m back. Where was I? Oh yeah, the 'ah' factor. Boy, I just experienced that myself, but I digress. In the Forget-Me-Not, my heroine’s mom has just croaked, and she’s all choked up and stumbles on some tarnished old pieces of jewelry. After she has them cleaned, she discovers their true meaning, and of course everyone lives HEA. I just know you’ll love it.

I planned to expand more on my credentials, but I feel gas building again and that urge to visit the ladies room looms. As if it wasn’t bad enough ingesting that vile tasting liquid. I’ve never tasted cat’s piss, but I imagine this might come close.

I’m multi-published with internet companies and looking to find someone to get me signed with one of those houses that pay royalties up front. It’s not really about the money, but it sure would be nice to earn some. If you really want to know more about me, then visit my website at It pretty much sums up my crummy life as an author. Help me out, would you? I really would like my family to believe I’m published.

You can contact me via my website. Gotta run now…and I put emphasis on ‘run’. You’ll understand when you’re doctor browbeats you into an anal tubal invasion.


Ginger Simpson
P.S. I made this up for Lisa Logan's worst query contest at Romance Junkies. God forbid anyone ever be so stupid as to send something like this. And don’t pirate my story line. It’s really something I’m working on. :)

Three Roses

If you are easily offended, then please don't read any further, but if you want a good chuckle, read on!!!

A sexually active woman tells her plastic surgeon that she wanted her vaginal lips reduced in size, because they were too loose and floppy.

Out of embarrassment she insisted that the surgery be kept a secret and the surgeon agreed. Awakening from the anesthesia, she found 3 roses carefully placed beside her on the bed. Outraged, she immediately calls in the surgeon.

'I thought I instructed you not to tell anyone about my operation!'

The surgeon told her he had carried out her wish for confidentiality, and that the first rose was from him: 'I felt sad because you went through this all by yourself.'

'The second rose is from my nurse. She assisted me in the surgery and empathized because she had the same procedure done some time ago.'

'And what about the third rose?' the woman asked.

That's from a man upstairs in the burn unit. He wanted to thank you for his new ears.'

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