~“The Blog That Watches Back”~

Thursday, November 14

Gails Red Solo Cup

Half full. Half empty. At least I have a cup. The BESTEST news that I can share is that I will become a Grammie in May of 2014. Steve and Keri brought the ultrasound pics to family dinner night, a joyous pic. And the best looking baby I have ever seen! This will be my first grandchild. I am so happy my heart skips a beat when I think about it.

[note to self: do not tell cardiologist about that, you'll just get another round of testing. It's called "Grammie Heart, a known medical condition I tell you !]

The other news. I have blogged that Steve had a pituitary tumor. Yes, you read that right. "HAD". It disappeared of it's own accord. We thought oh dear GOD, light at the end of the tunnel ! ^5 Team Gail !!!!  At that time, Steves endocrinologist made a hasty retreat to California. No warning, gone within a month. Since Steves tumor left, we thought, why do we NEED an endo now? But we are both the "compliant patient". We want to take our Dr's advice. Steve found another endo and made an appt.  Should anything else occur, he would have a home base set up. When he walked in, the new Dr asked, do you mind if I feel your neck? And quickly diagnosed Steve with nodules on his thyroid. They were visible to THIS endo with his naked eye, and the other endo NEVER SAW THEM, nor did he palp Steves thyroid. So losing that joker endo was a stroke of luck for us. Steve had to have the nodules biopsied, and we played a waiting game...hopefully the nodules were benign, and would never become large enough to need surgical removal. No such luck. The endo send him for another round of ultrasounds, and decided that the thyroid had to be totally removed.

Here we go, back to the original E/N/T surgeon we saw a year earlier. Steve made the appointment and TOLD THE EMPLOYEE that he needed a complete Thyroidectomy, this was why he was coming to see Dr Doofus, to schedule this.

Dr Doofus comes in and Steve and I immediately had a vote of "no confidence" The guy was scatterbrained, ill kempt, and generated an air of disassociation with his surroundings. He palped Steve, looked in his throat, read the report, then said yes, you need the thyroid removed......"BUT I NO LONGER PERFORM THIS SURGERY". WHAT ?? Yup, he knew in advance that we were there to schedule surgery, and did not cancel nor explain why he met with us. Steve flat out asked him, why do you no longer perform this surgery? Dr Doofus would not answer him. That asshat got our 50$ specialist co-pay [I am still out of work, that was a lot of money to us] plus he billed the insurance company for almost 500$ worth of testing. That's when it became apparent why he kept the appointment knowing full well he was of no use to us. Because WE were of use to HIM...and his bottom line. A word to the wise, always ask if the doc still performs the service you need before making an appointment.

[Local peeps, if you want the name of Dr Doofus, hit my e-mail or ask here and I'll hit yours.]

Now we come up to Steves surgical date next week. I have said before that there is a lot I can take, I am a strong woman. But medical stuff rocks my boat in a very nasty way. All we can do is hold hands and take the ride. I would appreciate the prayers or good thoughts. I'll report back when we get to the other side of this.


  ~National Book Awareness Week: 18-23

  ~November 14th: National Pickle Day

Family is not an important thing. It is the Only Thing.

        Michael J. Fox

Wednesday, October 9

Crow Shit.

Grocery shopping this morning. I behaved myself very well, no eye rolling or sighing while a gaggle of geese had a chat in the middle of the produce section [p.s...there is TOO a right way to get the seeds out of a pomegranate. Go look it up at you tube. You're welcome, I love those lil suckers too] I finally got to checkout...a long line, all the other registers were closed [no this was not walmart :X ] I finally get to loading my haul onto the conveyor belt, and the guy in front of me starts bullying the cashier. It was true, she was VERY slow, and did not appear to care either way about her job. He was really nasty, "Could you PLEASE go any slower, I want to stand here all day! ". And then he said it. "You are dumber than a monkey !"  My first thought was, "I thought monkies were smart what the hell is he talking about?" THEN I got the racial slur. I am an adult in full and will step in when I see bad shit going down. Usually just a word or two is all it takes. But I had just HAD IT, that blew me away. So at the top of my lungs, and that is considerably loud, I yelled "Would you just _SHUT_THE_FUCK_UP ?" People started running over. One guy, I think he is the manager, I recognized. The bully tried to get in my face. I don't like that. I told him, "You repeat what you just said to her" He said "I called her dumb." I said "You did NOT, REPEAT what you said to her." He would not. So I did. As soon as he was done with his purchase, the manager escorted him out of the store, and I know no more about what happened to him. I hope 47 crows full of early morning worms shit on his head. I understand emotion. I dig worry, and hurt, and anger, and depression. I do NOT GET taking them out on other people. That guy could not feel very proud for making another human cry. I am never going to roll my eyes or sigh over long lines again. If I am so inclined I will drop the corporate shills of a store that keeps me waiting a note, to voice my displeasure. I was a cashier. I was very good and very fast, and took as much shit as any other cashier does. I don't know what it is about people, they can be just as nice as pie, but get them in a line in a store and they act like they grew up under a rock with troglodytes for parents.
We're heading into Holiday Season now...in which cashiers regularly have abuse heaped on them. Please  treat them right. They're not paid enough to be anyones psychologist. And you don't have the right to abuse them for staffing and training gaffes in-store. Take it to the managers.

October: Emotional Intelligence Month
October 9: Stop Bullying day [second Wednesday]

"Never be bullied into Silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no ones definition of your life: Define Yourself."
        ~Harvey Fierstein

Monday, September 30


I recently watched a pissing match at Facebook. Over what you'd think would be a joyous thing...Marriage. A woman was celebrating her 3rd wedding anniversary, and wrote a lovely post to her wall honoring her husband. I expected people to "like" the post and wish the couple a happy day. What happened though...was a "My Marriage is better than your Marriage" pissing contest.  "Oh, I'm better because I've been married longer." " No *I'm better because I have never been divorced" . "No, *I'm* better because I was too young the first time NOW I have the Best Marriage". She responded with  "No this is number 2  but since I'm older I know what I have and appreciate it more that anyone could appreciate a first marriage."  @@ @@ @@  If she sees this she will probably unfriend me, but that stupid ass comment deserves more eyerolls than I have space for here. A Simple Happy Anniversary turned into a school yard contest.
That isn't what Marriage is about.
Marriage is about being Crazy.
Crazy enough to stand in front of God, the officiant, and a roomful of friends and relatives, and promise to stick with this one person for the rest of your life. What a crapshoot! Who can know 10, 15, 20 [or 31] years down the road what will happen? There can be no walking out or moving out or backsies on a Marriage, short of divorce, so I'm not talking about living together here, it's not the same thing.
Crazy enough to show who you really are...warts and all..to that person. No holding back, you could not if you wanted to anyway, because your spouse can read you like a book. A book that gets time worn and wrinkled, but adds volumes over the years. And makes you laugh.
If you're married, you know exactly what I'm talking about. And THAT is the bottom line. It's true that the longer the marriage, the more depth, the more levels you have to it. Time is the only way to get that type of experience, but it doesn't make a long term marriage superior to a shorter term one. Just different. I hope those people remember that, and celebrate the hell out of their day. In a world where 50% or more of marriages are ending in divorce, a great, solid, happy marriage is a joyous thing, to be celebrated and honored. Not to be taken lightly. Or used as a weapon in a pissing contest.

"It is not a lack of Love, but a lack of Friendship that makes unhappy Marriages"
~Friedrich Nietzsche

September 30: International Stupid Question Day
September 30: October 6- National Chimney Safety week


Monday, August 12

Thank You Kathie.

I don't usually start my week in tears. I borrowed this from my Aunt Kathies FB wall [well, she's actually Steves Aunt, but I can claim her  :-)] For anyone who has an Alzheimers/Dementia patient in their lives, this has great meaning. Also, it may well give directions...if you can no longer treat the patient, or care for the patient, in this manner, it's time to ask for help. For the patient, as well as yourself. There are so many agencies who can provide support, and care should that be necessary. Alzheimers is not a broken leg, you cannot fix it, and it will get worse. A caregivers highest calling is what is best for the PATIENT...not yourself, or how you feel about it, but for the PATIENT. 

Saturday, August 3

She's back

I was asked "What happened to your blog? You said you'd keep it up?" Well, Life happens :-) I see the date of my last entry was March 7th. April 7th is Steves birthday, and this year it fell on a Sunday. That happened to be the same Sunday Tone popped with a burst appendix. A week in the hospital. A week out. Then a week back in, with an abdominal abscess. I cannot adequately explain what almost losing your son twice feels like. A terrifying, nightmarish time of our lives we would like to put behind us, and so we shall. Most of you know because you are my FB friends, or share the same net space that I do. We would not have come thru the nightmare as well as we did without your support. That is the only reason I mention this now, to give you all a blanket "Thank You" once again from the bottom of my heart. Adversity truly does bring out the best and the worst in people.

 I miss you! I guess I have done a lot of soul searching in that time too. It started in the hospital, and continued on to it's conclusionthis past week. I came to the conclusion that life is too short to please those that cannot be pleased. That there is no sense trying to get someone to see your POV when all they see is themselves. That people either love you or they don't.

And you cannot change that. So stop trying, and be happy with the people who have a care for you. 

That is very empowering for me, to be able to ditch pain I have been carrying around. So I *did* spend my time away productively.

I am trying to think of an update you might not know about, but we've all been pretty well connected, so I'll leave this entry at that. People come and people go. Loved ones and friends are there forever.

Thursday, March 7

Honey, I Lost the Tea

I crockpot cook dried beans. Very convenient and hands off. There has been a bag of red beans floating around the kitchen for a while now. I had done the freeze/thaw/freeze/thaw on the bag [for long term storage] but the beans never made it to storage. Good thing, and I will not be storing them in the future. Last night I set the red beans to soak. This morning, just for kicks, I decided to Google "How to cook red beans". Got quite the surprise. Seems that red beans are toxic in the raw state. When they are undercooked [in this case, meaning not brought to a full boil] the toxin level INCREASES. Since the crockpot never reaches the full boil point, this presents a potential hazard. Very happy I don't test beans for doneness by eating them, I do the pinch test on them. I learn something new every day.


I cannot imagine life without Google or Bing. To have a sea of knowledge at your fingertips. I run to the puter multiple times a day with questions I'd like answers for. I enjoy determining what sources are good and which ones are bogus as much as I enjoy the hunt for info. From the lyrics to a song, to camber, cross camber, and thrust angle [have to keep up with my gearheads] to saving my middle aged ass from poisoning.

Speaking of Gearheads. I own one. And he owns me. We recently read an article in which the benefits of drinking coffee were touted. Gearhead does not drink coffee, but he loves tea. He decides to go make a cup of hot tea. YAY ! Out to the kitchen he goes. Dead silence. Then I hear, "Hon, where do we keep the tea, just the regular Lipton tea? " This was a kodak moment if ever there was one. My Gearhead, who cannot find the tea:



-Music in Our Schools Month

-March 3-9- Read an E-Book Week

-March 7- World Book Day

~All men make mistakes, but Married men find out about them sooner~

Red Skelton

Thursday, February 28

The Thorn Birds

Doctor Oz says you should have a few minutes of quiet reflection each day. This should help lower your blood pressure, and I'm all for that. I chose early morning for my quiet minutes today. It is 6:15am here in the  'burgh, on the last day of February.  Steve and Tone are up and about. I will lay here in bed a few more minutes. The curtains are dancing in breeze from the ceiling fan. The window is open. It's bright out, no sunlight yet. I can see the bare trees, but they look a little different now, I think they know it's almost time to wake up. Off in the distance, I hear a birdsong. One I haven't heard for quite a while, some migrating birds must be returning. Deep breath, relaxCAW CAW CAW CAW CAW CAW CAW CAW.

Those friggin' crows. Sneering, shiny, amped up bullets. Traveling in packs, swooping in to startle and intimidate everything they encounter. Bully birds. I never cared about crows one way or the other until we moved here. The crows have staked out the woods behind the house as their territory, and they are very noisy in their claim. They performed  their infamous "Stealth Caw" on me. Flew in quick and quiet. Waited til they got right up close and personal with an open window, and let loose a string of crow call so loud I almost fell out of bed.

I am happy and hopeful, always looking forward to Spring. But even roses have thorns. Crows are the thorns of the bird world.

So much for that Zen moment.

-National Caffeine Awareness Month
-Spiritual Awareness Month

-1st- National Pig Day
-2nd- National Doctor Seuss Day

~What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have never been discovered.~

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, January 15

Gags and Mama O

Don't get me wrong. I am/was a fan. I also am a musician, so I follow musicians lives as well as their bibliographies. I KNOW I need to separate the personal artist from the public one. I would not want the mistakes I've made in my life plastered across the cover of the Daily News. But I do not have a career where I could expect that to happen, either.  So, even though Bruce Springsteen was a cheating lying bastard, that was his Private life, not his public one. I still continue to buy and enjoy his music, even though I wouldn't trust him as far as I could throw him. Billy, my Billy, same deal. LOTS OF ARTISTS, same deal. Gags, now........hell, she appeared on "The Simpsons" to supposedly help raise Lisas self image. All about empowerment and self image and being an individual. Then I hear about this feud. Mama Osbourne [who I'm not crazy about, but I'm sure she wouldn't be crazy about me either]  [well, maybe if I had the money to look the way she does I would like her more]  hears that Gagas "Monsters" [fans] are making outrageous threats to the health and life of her daughter Kelly, over comments made on a SPOOFY TYPE FASHION SHOW, my God, Joan Rivers is on it ! We're not talking Scientific American here. Mama O, as Kellys manager, privately contacts gags manager and says yanno, she is supposed to stand for peace and individuality, anti-bully stance, would you please ask her to reign in her "monsters" and stop with the threats? Gags publicly went a tad batshit.  Kelly isn't the only star in her "monsters" sights either, they have publicly wished that Taylor Swift would crash a car into a tree and die :/ gags isn't responsible  for the words coming out of her monsters mouths. But she sure is hell is responsible for HER behavior. She COULD have said hey, I stand for peace and individuality, so please stop making threats on my behalf, as part of my fan base, thanks ever so much. She could have said ANYthing.

But she did not.

You want to see the REAL backround behind shooters? Look to stars like gags. whos fans will do anything to gain what they think would be her approbation and approval. Based on the tweets of her fans, and her reaction to them, she approves of just the type of behaviors displayed by the mentally ill before they go over the cliff.

Here is a link to Mama O's letter.

[I do not agree with the fur stance, although I do not own and would not wear animal fur. I also do not agree with her gun stance. I do not own an assault weapon, but might if I could afford it. Those are those "personal choices" people are legally allowed to make all on their lonesome. Maybe the subject of a tirade for another day]


I belive you are what you live. Hypocrites are those who espouse one belief, yet live another, and often do not see the dichotomy between the two. I have hypocrites in my life right now, and they cannot see the forest for the trees. It's very hard to remember that *that* is on THEM, and not me, so peace out and carry on. Gags is a hypocrite of the highest order. Unless she does a little growing up, she will be the second artist to make my "Fuck You I will never buy or listen to your music or support you, You Fuck you" list.

Not everyone is going to like you. Not everyone can do anything for you. It's how you treat those people that shows the kind of person YOU are. Gags, I have no ill will toward you. I would never wish for you to drive into a tree, or any of the myriad curses your monsters [oh, yeah, a lot of them are supposedly "bot" tweeters. Talented bot who only curse  people and wish for them harm. Hmmmmm.] I do hope your career dries up to a point where you have the time to reexamine yourself. You're long over due. You're a public figure, not a middle aged mom from the suburbs. Costume insults should be beneath your dignity to acknowledge, let alone trip out over. Maybe it's time for a new, more enlightened manager. And some introspection. You and Kelly might have a lot more in common than not. Maybe you could learn a thing or two from her.

As for Yoko giving gags the Lennon/Ono peace prize just this past October....John... I am sorry you ever hooked up with that crazy broad. Take heart, maybe it's a joke. Knowing ono, probably not. Just a publicity stunt for an non-starter career to give a person currently reponsible for public threats to others a peace prize. gags, I dare you to grow up and grow a pair.


"I  don't like Los Angeles. The people are awful and terribly shallow, and everybody  wants to be famous but nobody wants to play the game. I'm from New York. I will  kill to get what I need."
~Lady Gaga

       Internation Creative Month

January 15th:
       Humanitarian Day

January 16th:
          Nothing Day
          Appreciate a Dragon Day

Sunday, January 6

Unwritten Love Letters

The holidays are over, and the days are getting longer, little by little. I am longing for Spring. I always choose this time of year for indoor projects, and my evil eye fell upon the basement. We live in a split level, so the basement is more of a neglected downstairs room where the furnace and oil tank happen to live, with the washer and dryer as neighbors. I decided that this year, as one of my New Year Goals, I would do something about that basement. Paint it, organize it to my liking, and create an area for my foshizzle...my household binders and the paperwork of running a home. Separate from the bill paying paperwork, but just as important. Right now, the owners manuals for my major appliances are all mixed in with Steves major appliances. I prefer to have an area dedicated to my home.

And so it shall be done.

I suppose I am not exposing a secret anymore, to tell you that my Father in Law was diagnosed with Dementia/Alzheimers. Steve, as the elder and the executor of his Dads estate, Is responsible for Pops care. He had the job of deciding:

A) What was the Very Best thing for Pops, and
B) How to accomplish that.

What we decided was that Pops needed to be in a residence where he would have care 24/7. Help remembering to take his meds. [actually having them given to him, not relying on him to remember] A beautiful living environment. Meals served in a dining room, not a cafeteria. The level of social interaction that He chose from day to day, from being with a group of people he shares a lot of interests with, to deciding he'd like to stay in his room that day and watch a pool tournament on T.V. Safe and secure, and practically in our own backyard. It took a long time, and a lot of tears, but we found the perfect place. A Beautiful residence, more of a dorm than a seniors residence. One of the few ways you could spot the difference would be the median age of the residents. A grand Manor house converted to an assisted care facility. Once the "getting used to this" period was over, Pops came to love his home, and he feels uncomfortable being away from it for too long. As it is minutes from the Shack, we can go get him whenever we want, and take him home when ever he is ready.

What does this have to do with my basement?

I'm getting there.

When Pops made the move, some of his belongings would not fit in his room, and others he did not remember. We took these things, boxed them up, and put them in the basement, to be properly gone over and packed for long term storage. There wasn't much.

Today was the day.
We brought the boxes upstairs, and began the "what do we do with this, how do we protect this" dance.

And there they were.


His high School diploma, from the same district we, and our children, graduated from. Report cards !! Oh, our Bill was a bad boy. Well intentioned, but a bad boy in a good way.

What grabbed me by the throat, were the letters. From OUR children. To their Grandpa. Oh my sweet Lord, from when they wee Babies. [I was always big on the kids writing to their Grammas and Grandpas, from Thank you notes to "just because" letters ....even to the Grandparents we lived next door to.]

Pops KEPT those letters. I Lost it when I read a letter from my son Tone, to his Grandpa. Tone was considered special ed, now you would call it "in the autistic spectrum". It did not stop him from being mainstreamed and graduating high school on the high honor roll [nor from going to college this fall :o) ] but as a baby and a young child, he was different. I had a "hands off" policy with the kids and their communications with Grammas and Grandpas, if the kids offered to let me read the letter great. Otherwise, it was sent off unread and unedited by me. Believe me, sometimes I worried about that policy, wondering what the kids were telling our parents :o)

In the middle of frustration, overwhelmed by the renovation, paint in my freakin hair, this stopped me in my tracks. That letter, written by Tone, in second grade:


[This was 1996]
[Dear grandpa and Joannie
How are you doing?
I am great!
I have a play kitchen!
It made out of wood
I have a peppermill !!
I am in second grade
My favorite chef is Emeril !
Please come see me soon I miss you !

Some people have actually had the balls to say to me, oh, we LOVE our family, we would not THINK of putting them in an assisted care facility. Well, I'm glad that works for them. I've been around the block a few times. I've seen the worst that can happen when an Alzheimers patient is home cared for. And the guilt the "loving" family can feel when an Alzheimers patient acts out beyond what the family is capable of handling. All I have to say to you is...you MUST obey your highest calling. And THAT would be, to do the right thing by your peeps. Whatever that means to you,...and to them.

We did that for Pops.

He is happy, healthy, and knows he is loved.

He sent an unintentional love letter to all of my kids today. A Love letter he is not capable of writing anymore. Which makes those saved letters all the more deeply special.

Thanks, Pops. We love you too.

[A BIG P.S.....I found the batteries for the pedometers. Remember that blog a lil while back? Wherein I took an accordion folder and labeled it with all my lil electronic  cords and accessories? Well, Hot DAMN, I had the batteries AND the owners manual for my pedometer in a section labeled "pedometer". Stop rolling your eyes, you've done that stupid shit too]

~Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years.  We grow old by deserting our ideals.  Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.  ~Samuel Ullman

January 2013:
~National "Get Organized" Month

Jan 2-8
~ "Someday We'll Laugh About This" week

January 7th:
~National Tempura Day

Thursday, January 3

It's a new year, baby

Good Morning!

Today is Thursday, January 3rd 2012. It is also  the start of my week........yesterday was my 52nd birthday ! Or as I prefer to think about it, I turned 29 for the 23rd time. I don't feel any older.  Steve took the day off, and we had our traditional great day together. That made me feel so much better. You see, I suffer from CRS...Can't Remember Shit. I ordered batteries for some tabletop flickering "candles". When they arrived, I realized I had 12 of them....and they were all the wrong size :X Not worth the trouble to return. Then, the battery in my pedometer died. Lo and Behold, the wrong batteries for the candles were EXACTLY the right ones for my pedometer! I figured GREAT, I am set for batteries for YEARS now!! I HAVE a dedicated drawer for batteries of all types and sizes, do you think I put them there? NO.  I put them in a smart place, so that I would never forget where I put them. Well....I forgot. Cannot find those suckers ANYWHERE, I outsmarted myself. I would worry that this might be age related. Except I've been doing this to myself for most of my life. Personally, I blame Steve. I think that was part of our vows, for richer or poorer [have done] in sickness and in health, [have done] during bouts of CRS [ongoing] til death do us part. [someone will come very close to a near death experience if he doesn't stop laughing.]

Now for the "Thrifty Thursday" part.

I stopped making New Years Resolutions, and have decided to create "Annual Goals" for myself. Last year, my goal was to lose enough weight so that there was NO WAY I could be a diabetic. I did that in spades, and kept it off. This years, my goals are:

-to continue on that path, to see if I can drop the high blood pressure meds

-To paint and organize my basement. We live in a split level, the basement is more of an unfinished extra room, and no other owner ever bothered doing anything to it. It's dark and depressing to have to work down there, so I will change that.

-to start a "price book". In case you don't know, a price book is used mostly by the grocery shoppers in a family. If you live in an area with multiple shopping choices, keeping track of the regular prices of items that you buy on a regular basis can help assure that you buy your groceries at the best possible prices. This is very necessary to me ALL of the time, we work hard for the money and I don't want to waste it. This year, our youngest

[well, he is 23...after high school he did not know what career path he wanted to take, so he went to full time work. He now knows what he wants to do, applied to and was accepted to college, YAY YAY ^5 Tone !!! and received a honkin scholarship already]

will start college. That and the rescinding of that tax break for the middle class will tighten our budget in a huge way. I want to be able, damn near to the penny, to see where our money is going.

-To be a better blogger. Helps make me a better, more proficient, more organized person. 

There you have them.....my 4 "Annual Goals for 2012". I'm putting my goals on my blog, because it appears that putting it "out there"...in print...keeps me honest and is a constant reminder. The Happiest of New Years to You and yours....., if you see me out and about, don't forget to ask me if I'm on track for my New Years goals :o)