Browsing Category

Serious Shit

Faded Photographs…….

Family Time, Household DIY, Royal Ramblings!, Serious Shit, The Queen's Castle- DIY, Uncategorized

Out With “The Old?”

There is no doubting that in our lives, time passes, things change, people come and go from our lives.  On my computer, my screensaver is a constantly changing round of all of the photos stored on my computer.  I have never gone in and purged photos from the years past, so, undoubtedly, photos from past relationships show up, my children’s past relationships, sometimes family or friends who are no longer with us, or aren’t any longer a part of my life.  My daughter has expressed shock that a picture of an old boyfriend of hers will pop up on my screen. “Mom, why do you still have THAT on your computer?”  I’m sure there has been the occasional time my man has walked past my computer to see a picture pop up of me with one of my ex’s.

You may wonder why I don’t “purge” those photos from my computer.  Time. Or lack of it may be one reason.  However, even if I had the time to go through dozens of files of photos to take out those from past relationships, I probably wouldn’t do it.

This silly picture is me, my daughters, Alyse and KT. We went up to Long Beach, to see my sister who was visiting from Illinois. This was New Years Eve Day, and who could resist these glasses? (I still have 2 pairs!) It’s one of those memories of a great family day, filled with silliness!

Memories of Days Gone By

Each and every one of those photos are a part of me.  Although a breakup happened, those photos typically represent a small snapshot of time, a time that I was enjoying the day, the person, the event.  To purge those photos would be purging a happy memory.  While a relationship, in “the whole” might not have worked, the day at the beach was a good one.  The family trip may have been a special one.  The wedding we attended was a beautiful day for the couple involved, even if that couple’s relationship- or mine- may not still be intact.

Seeing those pictures from years past often give me a brief spark of memory of what redeeming quality  I did see in that person at the time, and make the “mistake” of the relationship a little less piercing.

And if you know me, you know I’m a bit vain, so seeing myself as I looked a few years back is a fun kick in the pants too!  “Damn, I looked pretty darned good at that family party, I must say!” “What was I thinking wearing that Christmas sweater?”  “Look how young the kids were there!”  “That was such a fun vacation! I remember that we did (this or that) on that trip!”

Traces of Love… And Friends No Longer With Us

If you are old enough, you may remember the song, “Traces of Love”, which had the lines, “faded photographs, covered now with lines and creases, tickets torn in half, memories in bits and pieces…traces of love, long ago, that didn’t work out right….. traces of love with me, tonight.”  Our digital photos no longer fade and crease, but our memories often do.  The constant replaying of those photos helps me to remember those days, those moments and those memories.

I love the feeling of looking at my computer, and chuckling over a particularly silly time, or feeling that little “tug” on my heartstrings when a photo of a friend who is no longer with us pops up.

My lovely friend, Sharon Freed. So gorgeous, so much fun! When we worked together, we would laugh so hard our stomachs would hurt. Gone too fast, and too young. When this picture pops up, although I look like a complete DORK in this picture, seeing my friend makes me smile every time! Yes, it’s bittersweet, but memories of our times together are nothing BUT sweet!

Life’s “Before” and “Afters”

I have photos of the first home I purchased as a single woman, about 5 years ago.  At the time, I had recently come out of a marriage to a financially reckless man who left my finances devastated, my credit score well below 500, and no credit cards to my name.  The ability to purchase this home was totally unexpected- kind of kismet, you might say.  So, as I remodeled this home, doing vast amounts of the work with my own two (manicured) hands,  not only did I build myself a new “home”- I was in the process of building a new life. Reinventing myself, and reinventing this dated mobile home into something I was proud of.  I can remember the nights I worked at that house until 2 or 3 am getting it ready to move into. I loved that home, I shared it with numerous friends, having many events there. The sweat equity I built into that home became  a springboard to purchase my second home as a single woman, the home I currently live in.

This was the “before” of my bedroom at the home I redecorated.

Here is the same bedroom after I worked on the house.

Looking at those photos when they randomly pop up- whether it is one of the “before” photos of a dated, worn out kitchen, or the unpainted 1970’s dingy, dark paneling, or the “after” pictures of the fabulous 1940’s style black, white and crystal bathroom I created, I feel a great sense of accomplishment for having made my way through what could have been a dark time.

Here was the kitchen when I took possession of the house. Yes, all of this junk was left for me!

Here is the after on the same kitchen. I LOVED that kitchen! I did it on a shoestring- pulling out the old cabinets myself, re-using the stove, and getting a refrigerator free from a friend! This picture wasn’t taken ‘staged’- so ignore the stuff on the countertops!  You’ve got to remember, many of these photos were taken for “memory’s sake.” I had no idea I’d have a blog where I was sharing them!

There is no rhyme or reason to the order my photos from my past show up.  Some pictures will have rotated 20 times through my screen, when others don’t seem to appear for months, but whatever is on my screen, there is ALWAYS a memory sparked.  Often a smile.  Sometimes a shake of the head and an eye roll, along with “What the hell was I thinking.”  But no matter what the reaction, I know that what I am seeing is a snapshot of my past. And every one of them add up to having made me the woman I am today. The unique me that I am.  Every one of them is a treasure to me, and to my ever fading memories of my past.  Will I clear out those photos of my ex, my daughter’s ex, even the “friend” who might have turned out NOT to be such a great friend?  Probably not.  Because every one of the memories that pop up before my eyes are there for a reason.

My darling grand daughter Nell and me at Disneyland. We were attending the “Princess Lunch” and you can see she was thrilled! (So was I, obviously, because I was wearing a tiara….. Once the Queen, always the Queen, and don’t you forget it!) Nell is 10 now, and she was only 4 here!

The “Bees Knees”- Restoring my Knees!

Fabulous After 50, Health = Happiness!, Serious Shit, Uncategorized

Ain’t Nobody Got Time for That! Aching Knees Are NO Fun!

You’ve GOT to Take Care of Yourself!  No One Else Will!

I’m about the most active person I know.  I dance a few times a week, exercise fairly regularly, and go, go, go!  I fit more life in a week than many people do in a month.  Maybe two months.  So…….. imagine my surprise when, without notice, my knees went from fine to completely fucked within a matter of about 2 months.  Seriously, I’m not exaggerating about this. Everything was A-OK, when I went on a cruise last Oct 1.  I tend to take the stairs between everywhere I go on a cruise, just to avoid the elevator crowds AND to try to burn a few of the excessive calories I am consuming while cruising.  About 4 days into the cruise my knees were stiff and hurting worse and worse every time I took the stairs.  I finally had to give up doing the stairs before the end of the cruise.  From there they just got increasingly worse through the holiday season.  I couldn’t even THINK of going to the gym- it was not only painful, but it was impossible to do any sort of class.  This may be TMI- but by Christmas I couldn’t hardly get on or off the damned toilet!  The pain was about 25 on a scale of 1-10, and the “hinge” movement that lifts you out of a chair wouldn’t even work.  If there wasn’t a handicapped stall in a bathroom I was a gonner!  At least with the handicapped bathroom I could pull myself up on the metal handrails!

Not only was I in pain, and nearly immobile, but then I started feeling like I was getting whacked in the knee with a metal club when I walked.  That was excruciating!  And it was causing me to stumble and fall. Very attractive I must say.

Dancing is my “Drug of Choice

(When you click on the link above, you’ll see a video of Don & I dancing at Kingston Mines in Chicago this past June.  My daughter shot this unknown to me at the time.  Not the best lit video, but just a typical night dancing for my man and I!)

Anyone who knows me, knows that my “drug of choice” is dancing.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that if you are barely ambulatory, you aren’t doing too damned much dancing!  So, I was quickly becoming an unhappy girl!

Do you know that when your knees don’t work, you’re almost unable to get up from any restaurant table?  Few restaurant chairs have arms, and most tables only have a center support pedestal, which makes leaning on the table for leverage impossible.  The whole situation is far less than sexy and attractive, I have to say! It was a struggle every time I went anywhere. I quickly developed a keen sense of empathy for anyone going through physical challenges!

Let me tell you, I definitely have new found respect for people with knee issues.

I went to the Dr., got a check up and x-rays, only to be told I had arthritis, and would probably be needing a knee replacement STAT!  GREAT NEWS!  Just what I wanted to hear! Part of me felt like- do it now and let me get it over with, and the bigger part of me said “HELL NO!”

I refused to just take the word of a western medicine Dr, and decided to do all a could to get my knees back to as normal as possible, before resorting to letting someone take a saw and cut out the supporting members of my legs!

Another deciding factor on dealing with our “western medicine” practitioners came after I scheduled an appointment with an orthopedic specialist.  Let’s just leave it at this— after waiting a combined time in both the waiting and exam room of about an hour and a half, I left, never seeing the Dr.  I could hear him visiting with the patient in the next room for 45 minutes, discussing the holidays, family vacations, work, their favorite ski resorts, blah, blah, blah.  I called to the assistant, and explained that I worked, and this was the middle of my work day, but no one seemed to care about me as a person, or as a patient……… I decided I deserved better treatment than this Dr. could provide, and left.

That is when I started doing a little research. I looked into stem cell therapies a bit.  Hard to decipher what is legit there, and what was “snake oil” in the stem cell field. I couldn’t get enough “real data” to figure out what was what with the stem-cell choices.

Tart Cherry Juice Was My Lifesaver!

I started looking into supplements, and started taking a few things.  The one that sounded the least like it would help came from a helpful neighbor.  He suggested I drink Tart Cherry Juice.  It had helped him considerably a few years ago, when he thought he was in line for a knee replacement.  I’ll be damned!  Of all the things I tried (and I’ll share what they were), this is the one that I felt had the greatest impact.  Within about 4 days I saw CONSIDERABLE improvement!  The Cherry Juice helps with inflammation.  It tastes great, and it’s fairly inexpensive, so there is no down side that I can see! (An interesting side effect, is that I was experiencing TMJ symptoms, and realized a week or so after starting on the Cherry Juice, that my TMJ had also diminished to almost nothing.

I also started taking Hyaluronic Acid in a gummy form.  I don’t know if that has had any impact, but for about $30.00 per month, I’m not taking the chance of stopping it!  Besides that, the brand I take tastes really good, and looks pretty cute, so it’s like a free “treat” every day, that I can totally justify!

Pain Free Knees are Happy Knees!

Look Into “Alternative” Solutions! They Just Might Work!

I have two other, slightly pricier things which I tried, and, and believe helped to get me beyond my pain.  I was recommended  a “sports medicine” guy, Ryu Kawajiri at Body Craft in San Diego, and he gave me a combination of exercises, manipulation and a machine he used on me.  The machine is an acuscope. The theory behind the acuscope is that it applies low voltage micro-currents to reduce pain by stimulating the nervous system of the body. It detects the abnormal electrical tissue responses and adjust its own response to produce a balancing effect.  You don’t feel anything  when you are hooked up to the machine, you just lay on the massage type table, and relax.  Some of the manipulation of the muscles that he did was a little uncomfortable, but not too much.

The most interesting thing about this treatment, is that Ryu had informed me my biggest issue, and why my knees were hurting is that I breathe wrong, have too tight of muscles in part of my legs, and not enough in others (hello high heels) and my core was too weak. The exercises he has me do build up my weak areas, and the core, so that I am walking correctly.  Who knew you could breath wrong?  You are supposed to breath in through and out with your stomach, and your shoulders shouldn’t move at all…….. go figure!  So, I am now lying around in strange positions, breathing in and out through a balloon……. And feeling SO much better!  My treatments started out as once a week, but very quickly were spread out to a few weeks apart.  After only a handful of treatments, Ryu informed me that I didn’t need to come back, unless I started experiencing some discomfort again. Was it  worth it?  Damn right it was!  I can see the difference! I am still doing my breathing and stretching exercises, because I never want to go back to the pain I had.

The last major part of my therapy has been Bowen work with another amazing healer, Sharon Edmiston. How or why this therapy works is beyond me, but, once again, it DOES work and that is all I care about.  After discussing what is going on with your body and your life, fully clothed you get on a massage table.  My practitioner comes in and touches you very lightly in a few places, walks out for a few minutes, and then repeats the same process on a different part of your body.  I can’t figure it out, but then, do I really need to?  All I know is that it is helping, and for the little it costs it is well worth the expense.

I’ve done a few other minimal things, such as making bone broth and drinking it occasionally.  But just occasionally, like when I have a chicken in the house to do so!

Real Time Pain Relief has been the best product I could imagine finding for my knee pain!

Pain Relief in A Cream!

I went to a health fair and went by a booth with some “pain creme.” I stopped to talk to the woman at the booth, she asked if I had any pain, and I mentioned my knee problem.  She sat me right down, began to rub the pain creme in, and I walked away a few minutes later.  Believe me, I returned about 10 minutes later and bought the largest bottle of it she had!  I couldn’t believe how much better my knees felt, almost immediately.  I am still using Real Time Pain Relief daily!  It relieves pain, not only in my knees, but in my feet and legs when I need to stand for long periods of time.  I like it SO much, and turned so many of my friends on to it, that I actually became a vendor for it. I’ve tried other topical cremes, but none can TOUCH this stuff!  It’s effective, it’s made from natural ingredients, and you don’t smell like your grandmother when you use it!

My Arthritic Knees Are Restored!

I don’t believe it’s been any one thing that has turned my knees around, but in about 3 months I was back to about 90% normal in one knee, 95% normal In the other.  I have actually, almost completely, had my Arthritic Knees Restored! It certainly beats the alternative, I have to say that!  I know that if my knees had continued along the path they were taking, I’d probably already have had at least one knee replacement by now..  No doubt in my mind!  I’d have had months more of pain, and then the surgery and recovery period.

My dancing would have stopped completely months ago, and it would be many more months before I could have looked forward to dancing again.  I’m not so sure my personal psyche could have dealt with that outcome!

Instead, by taking my own destiny in my hands, exploring alternative procedures, and being willing to put a little of my own money on the line, I am almost completely “back to normal.”  OK, that’s a lie.  I’ll never be normal, but the use of my knees is back to where almost where they were last fall when this started!  I have a bit of stiffness in my left knee some days, but that is it!

You CAN Take Control of Your Health!

You CAN take control of your health, I have no doubt about it.  I’m not some sort of crazy over-the-top health fiend.  My diet is fair to good, on a good day.  I enjoy my foo-foo martinis whenever I entertain, I have my fair share of desserts.  BUT, by doing a few special exercises and drinking my Tart Cherry Juice, my life has been given back to me.

Research  your alternatives before simply taking the word of Western medicine doctors!  Take a few minutes on Google to see if there is an alternative to the medications, surgeries and  the extremes  the Western doctors want to give you!  You may find a natural way around your problem.

If your insurance doesn’t pay for a procedure, consider what the “cost” really is to you.  One of my procedures is about $100.00 each time I go.  Another $50.00.  However, I can cut back on a few frivolities to make it affordable. AND, I had to look at what the cost was if I went the other way?  Unproductivity due to pain.  The inability to do what I love in life.  The time that I would have been out of work if I had a surgery and needed to recover…………..  A bit of money out of my pocket FAR outweighed the alternative.

Put Yourself First!

Put yourself first when t comes to your health.  DON’T just take the word of the first professional who tells you what is going to happen with your health. Talk to people who might know alternative methods, and be open and willing to try something new.  After all, do you really want to be put on medications, and have your body cut open?  Do you really want fake body parts, which are going to eventually wear out again, put inside of you?  Aren’t you worth taking the time to find the very BEST FOR YOU?  I am, and I did!

A great example of WHY taking the time, putting out the money and making the effort to get my knees better happened about a week ago.  My grand daughter Nell was in town, and we did a “girls day” at the water park.  I wasn’t sure how many of the big water slides I’d be able to do.  If you’ve ever been to one of those water parks, you know, the water slides entail, literally, hundreds of stairs to get up to them.  Stairs seem to aggravate my knees more than ANYTHING!  If I’m going to feel pain, it’s on stairs.  Guess what?  We were there from 10 AM until they closed at 6, and I conquered every slide in the place, WITHOUT A TWITCH OF PAIN!  I couldn’t stand the 3 stairs into my house over Christmas, without almost crying, or literally having to have help into and out of the house!

This is where you play the old Frank Sinatra song…….. “I Did It My Way!”

 

Tsk, Tsk, TSA!

My Humble Opinion, Royal Ramblings!, Serious Shit, Travel and Adventure, Uncategorized, You Can't Make This Shit Up!

If you’ve done much traveling over the past few years, I’m sure you have experienced opening your suitcase to find a white card, about 3 1/2″ x 8 1/2″  to inform you that TSA has done a “safety inspection” of your suitcase.  I have had it happen.  On more than one occasion. (The picture below shows the lovely little form they leave in your suitcase. If you’ve been so lucky to have your bag inspected you will recognize this.)

TSA Safety Inspection…….You may note that nowhere does this say that TSA has been given permission to go on a “search and destroy mission.” Only that they may inspect your items………https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening

I’m the first person to vote for taking necessary precautions to keep our country, airports and aircraft safe.  By all means. I’m sure there is not another American who would want to see a repeat of the awful events of 911.

But the people at TSA obviously have no regard for your items in your suitcase, or how they handle them.

Explain to me this—- does an inspection of your bag result  in your bag looking like it was ransacked by orangutans in the jungle searching for bananas?  Or perhaps an 8 year old frantically searching for his iPad so he can play his favorite video game?  Do you remember the old luggage commercial, where they had an ape throw the suitcase out of the airplane, then stomp on it a number of times to prove its durability?  Evidently, the same apes are still employed at the airport, only they now work for TSA.  Someone told them that the bananas are stored at the bottom of each suitcase, and if they look hard enough, they may find them!

That is the condition my bag has been left on in  more than one occasion.  We just flew up to San Jose, a short 1 hour flight.  My bag was just slightly larger than a carry on size, and I had all my makeup, lotions and potions in it, so of course I checked it.  (Anyone who has traveled with me knows the makeup bag is about 18 pounds alone.  So I’m a bit high maintenance, what can I say?)

When we arrived at our destination, I quickly needed to change for a meeting we were attending.  I opened my bag, to find everything in it jumbled about.  This particular bag is very deep on both sides of the zipper, so there is a zippered panel which separates both sides to keep everything neat. On the bottom side of the bag is an elastic thingy that clips to keep your hanging clothes in place.  The zipped separator was undone, as was the elastic thingy. (In case you are wondering, elastic thingy is the technical term for this apparatus. Just sayin’….)

Believe it or not, this had previously been a neatly packed suitcase. When I opened it, the strapping was undone, the zipper compartment on the other side was undone, and my clothes spilled EVERYwhere when I opened it up. SERIOUSLY TSA? Is this REALLY the way to do things?

I was a little shocked, because I knew this was not how I left things when I packed my bag just a few hours before.  Then it began to hit me………. I’ll bet TSA has had their grubby little hands in my suitcase……… SURE ENOUGH!  There was that telltale white notification.. “Notice of baggage inspection.” While telling that TSA is required by law to inspect all bags, and that some bags are opened and inspected, it’s the second paragraph which is interesting.  The notification states, as follows: During the inspection, your bag and its contents may have been searched for prohibited items.  At the completion of the inspection, the contents were returned to your bag.”

Seriously TSA?

Nowhere in that statement do I see it stating that the contents will be thrown into a giant mixer, tossed around for 15 minutes then thrown back into the bag by gorillas.

The strangest and most disturbing time TSA “hit” my suitcase was a few years ago, when I was……. uh….. single, and going to meet a male friend (OK, a “friend with benefits” if you must).  I opened my suitcase to find it totally in disarray, as described above……. with one exception.  Evidently, Mr. TSA wanted to give his vote on his favorite garments in the suitcase.  In so doing, although he had destroyed the folding and organization of everything in the suitcase, he had layed out, EVER SO CAREFULLY, my red bustier, matching panties, garter,stockings and matching shoes!  COME ON YOU FUCKING PERV!  Really?  You have to riffle through and destroy all of my clothes in the name of “national security” and can’t take a moment to check the suitcase’s contents carefully— YET you have time to lay my lingerie out in a nice little “Flat Stanley” type of ensemble on top of everything, right along with the  card?  Seems to be going a bit far, don’t you think?

It doesn’t end there though. He had even gone so far as to go into my cosmetics bag and get out the lube and condoms. SERIOUSLY?????? They were also laid out with the outfit.

Nice touch TSA!

Nice touch TSA! Not only did he lay out his favorite outfit, but he went so far as to go into my cosmetic bag and take OUT the KY and put it with the outfit! I think he had a hard time deciding between the gold shoes and the red shoes with this outfit, so he gave me the option of deciding!

I even took the time to snap a picture of it, and send it off to TSA.  Never did get a response.  They probably have the photo of my red lingerie ensemble up in the men’s john there, with TSA agents wacking off to it daily!

My advice to you is to be careful what you pack. You just may provide the fodder for some TSA perv to get his jollys at work that day!

PS…….. Don is convinced that my publishing this article will result in me no longer getting the “TSA Pass” when I travel.  I somehow get it every time I go through the airport.  I don’t think enough people really read my shit that TSA is going to put me on the “most wanted” list at the airport.

 

 

Please Flush The Toilet!

Comedy, Mimsy Whimsy, My Humble Opinion, Pet Peeves, Royal Ramblings!, Serious Shit, You Can't Make This Shit Up!

Excuse me, can you please just flush the damned toilet?

Pet Peeves

Pet Peeves, we all have them.  Sometimes, they are legit.  Sometimes, you are just plain fucking crazy.  MY pet peeves are all reasonable.  Anyone and everyone would agree with them, I’m certain.

Park on Freemont

I love the  humor on the sign in the ladies room at this restaurant (Park on Fremont in Las Vegas)!  So many signs in restrooms are ridiculous and boring…and say the same ol’ shit you’ve read 100 times!  If we don’t know by now we need to wash our hands, I think it’s just plain too damned late!

The one that is my #1 Pet Peeve-leaving the toilet, toilet seat or toilet stall a mess.  Listen bitches, when you walk out of a public restroom, before you leave the stall, look back, and make sure that anything you left in or ON  the toilet is gone once you flush.  It SEEMS like such an easy thing to me.  I do it, and never once have I been worn out from the effort. I actually don’t even remember a time I had to take a nap immediately after due to the stress of such tough work. I make sure the toilet paper has flushed, the pee-pee and pooh-pooh have flushed, ass gaskets have gone down the toilet, and no drips are on the seat.  It’s a pretty simple task, in my estimation……

Bathroom Sign

Seriously, should we have to have a sign to tell people this shit? It seems simple enough to figure out, doesn’t it?

Why, oh why, oh why then is it that about 3 times out of 4, I walk into a stall to find one or more of the above mentioned gross situations,  in or on a toilet???? COME ON LADIES!  I’m willing to bet that at home, these same women don’t have huge wads of toilet paper building up in their toilets!  They’d have a fit if their husband left a single drip of urine on the toilet seat. And yet, it’s OK for me to walk in the stall they just walked out of and deal with their filth!

 

The one that REALLY frost my ass is the person who uses an ass gasket (the little paper thing that is supposed to keep you from getting some sort of life-threatening disease) and leaves it on the toilet when they walk out. The tissue thin paper has now soaked up the water/urine/whatever from the toilet being flushed, so that while THEY have chosen not to touch a dry toilet seat previously, they have left a sopping tissue and urine soaked toilet seat for the next victim using the same stall.………

I wish this was a rare occurance, but unfortunately, it just isn’t! Come on- why do I now have to handle YOUR ass gasket?

What About the Golden Rule?

Who the hell thinks this shit is A-OK?  What about the golden rule?  I really don’t understand the thought process of these women, but there evidently are  a huge shit-load of you out there!  I’ve been known on occasion to call someone out when they have just evacuated and left this sort of mess.  “Excuse me, would you like to finish the flushing and wiping process from the toilet you just walked out of?”  Typically, all I have gotten in response is a rude look, as I decide to use another stall.

And, while we are on this shitty topic- how many people REALLY need a reminder, every damned time we are in a toilet, that all that is supposed to go into the toilet is toilet paper?  I honestly think I’ve seen the request made any number of different ways: cute, pleading, bitchy, formally, silly.  All, however said, basically say the same thing- Don’t put anything that didn’t come out of your body naturally, or was used to wipe the same part down the toilet.  Simple.  Seems simple.  Seems uber simple. Can’t we just be told this once in life, and have the information stick?  Evidently there are a lot of people out there breaking this common sense rule too, or they wouldn’t be reminding us of it every time we shut the stall door.  SERIOUSLY?  Come on people, this isn’t fucking rocket science!

Bathroom signs

Again, this isn’t rocket science. Is there any female who hasn’t figured this one out by the time they are 12 years old- and may really need to USE feminine products?

Singapore Does Things Right!  Big Brother, And Sister, Are Watching!

I don’t know if you are privy to this, but in Singapore, you can place someone under citizens arrest if they don’t flush the toilet and leave the stall properly clean and tidy.  I’d add one more layer to that rule, and make them clean the whole damn bathroom.  With their tongues.  I realize, I’m a tough task-master, but anyone who knows me, knows that I just don’t abide rudeness well.  They would remember if they did THAT shit, I’m sure.

This is the type of Bathroom PSA I appreciate. Ones that remind me what to flush and not flush seem redundant…..Club Fox has it right!

Toilets would be flushed.  Ass gaskets would be flushed down the toilet completely and neatly.  Urine drips and God forbid, blood drops would be wiped up, and the wiping tissue placed neatly where it belonged.

A word of advice, should our bathroom useage cross paths….beware, if I’m in the bathroom, and you leave it gross, and I happen to be the one walking in as you walk out….I’m calling you out in front of everyone, so be ready!

Bathroom performance sign

This is painted on the wall of Peggy Sue’s Diner in Yermo- on the way to Las Vegas. Kind of cute. I love it when bathrooms have clever signs in their bathrooms or on the door to tell whether it is a men’s room or women’s room!

If I had a Hammer…..

Giving Back, My Humble Opinion, Royal Ramblings!, Serious Shit, Uncategorized

The famous “pink safety hat” that Habitat gives out to the women who raise over $500.00 for the Women’s Build Day.  SD Habitat for Humanity

Many of you remember the old song, “If I Had a Hammer.”  After working with Habitat for Humanity Women’s Build for a day, helping to build a home for a local San Diego family, I’d definitely finish the line by saying, “I’d replace it with a nail gun or a power drill!”  Hitting nails in the old fashioned way is just not all that easy, nor all that fun!  There is a VERY good reason why, when you walk past a construction site you hear the clacking of nail guns and the whir of power drills. They are one HUGE leap up in productivity from the old fashioned pounding in of the 8 penny or the 16 penny!

Of course, there is plenty-good reason why they don’t give us once-in-a-lifetime types of volunteers nail guns.  Because society would be full of one eyed previous volunteer type people wandering around!  As it was, it was damned good we were all wearing hard hats at this event!  More than one of us was hit in the head by dropped hammers, pieces of wood and other debris!

I have wanted to help with a Habitat for Humanity build for years.   I never really knew how to go about it, until the opportunity presented itself a few weeks back.  A friend of mine from a networking group I belong to put out the word that she was trying to put together a team of women for a local build day.  I immediately jumped at the chance, even though I was already committed to another volunteer opportunity that evening.  I knew I might be bone tired for my volunteer ushering with some friends, but I wasn’t going to miss this chance.

Part 1 of volunteering for the build is you need to raise a minimum of $300.00. Raising money for these types of volunteer events used to be pretty easy.  Now that there is some sort of MS walk, Breastcancer walk, Brain Cancer walk, Alzheimers event or other needy-cause event nearly every weekend, I find it’s much harder to raise funds.  I volunteer for these events 5-10 times a year, and you can only put your hand out so many times before people just don’t even notice any more.  Therefore, raising the $300.00 in about 5 weeks wasn’t as easy as I had hoped! I knew that if needed I could donate whatever hadn’t been raised.  And my man also offered to put up anything needed, so it wasn’t going to be a deal breaker on participating in the event. The biggest chunk of donations came in over the last couple of days. We only had to kick in about $100.00 total.

Our team at 7 AM, meeting at a Starbucks to caravan down to our build site, in the Logan Heights area of San Diego. Left to Right: Darcy Wolfe, Tonya Dubrish, Lisa O’Hearn, Kim Lombardi,  Patti Phillips, Hadley Wood

The morning of the build, Saturday, May 20 was bright and sunny. Our team met up at a Starbuck’s coffee, located near where most of us lived, so that we could caravan down to Logan Heights, where the build was to take place.  We had 2 cars, because I needed to find a YMCA to shower and change at immediately after our build, to go on to event #2!  All 5 of us grabbed a coffee and piled into 2 cars to get to the build site before 8:30 AM.

The minute we arrived, we were given our tee shirts and those who had raised over $500.00 were given pink hard hats or a pink tool belt- their choice.  I was feeling a little jealous that I had neighter, but, what’s a girl to do?

There were coffee, drinks, croissants and bagels to help ourselves to, until the kickoff announcements took place.  We were all chomping at the bit to get the building started.

The site we worked on will eventually be 11 homes for low income families.  They are attached- 4 or so to a building, and our assigned unit was Unit #1, a handicapped friendly unit. (Not sure how that’s going to work, as all of the bedrooms are upstairs, but this is not my monkey, and not my circus.)

We all grabbed hammers, tool belts, safety glasses and hardhats and were assigned our 2 male “supers” for the day.  And away we went……   One of the first things I noticed was that hammering a nail is just wasn’t as freaking easy as I had thought it would be.  Then I was told, we didn’t have big enough hammers, go outside and find some bigger hammers.  Unfortunately, no one had mentioned that the buckets held 2 sizes of hammers when we chose our tools, and the big ones seemed to be gone.  I was sent to ask Dale, one of the long timers who works on all the local Habitat builds, where to get a larger hammer.  After investigating, Dale let me know that none of the large hammers were still available, and after promising I could be trusted with his own personal, FAVORITE hammer, he entrusted me with it.

Patti & Dale- Habitat for Humanity Build

Here I am with Dale at the Habitat for Humanity Build. He let me use his “big tool” that day, and let me tell you- size DOES matter! Don’t let them kid you!

Let me tell you something.  Size does matter!  Hitting in a nail with Dale’s big tool was 100% easier than it was with the previous hammer.  But now I had to shlep 2 hammers, because I had a pinky swear with Dale that I would not use his hammer to pull out any bent nails.  A girl has to live up to her word, so one hammer to put the nails in, one to take them out.  (Yes, sometimes the nails just seem to have a mind of their own, and decide to give this wet-noodle performance.  they have to go.)

And not to brag, but this lefty found out that she’s ambidexerous when it comes to wielding a hammer!  Yep, I can use the left, the right, or when needed BOTH hands to get the job done.  My abilities just never cease to amaze me!

I got to use a power saw to cut a few of the beams, and we quickly came to realize how damned heavy a 24 foot beam is!  Holy Shit, lift a few of those puppies in place and you know you’ve lifted something.

My first try with a power saw. And dammit, I want one of my very own now!

Our team of women was great. There wasn’t one whinner or wimp amongst them! Everyone worked the whole day, the only complaint was that we wanted a shorter lunch hour, and wished we could have worked a bit longer!  Team “Carlsbad Cares” rocked it, I must say!

Patti & Kim at lunch. We took a bit of razzing from our team, because neither one of us had removed our safety helmets or safety goggles while we were eating! Hey- we are professionals here, people!

It got hotter than hell out there by afternoon, I must say!  I have a newfound appreciation and respect for construction workers now, no way around it!  Geez, when you are up on scaffolding and you are so hot you think for a minute you might faint, it’s not fun!

H4h nails

I took a bit of razing about the fact that my nails matched the hard hats, and tool belts exactly. Only trouble was- I didn’t earn the pretty things! I need to raise more funds next year! The Queen needs to be decked out!

The most surprising part of the day was when we found out that this job site will take Habitat about 2 years to complete!  I had no idea that the jobs take that long. There is a good chance that we might be back here working on the same project for next year’s build! I am going to find out how I can do another day on this building.  I would love to see it when it is closer to being completed, and perhaps do some of the finish work or painting!

On site, along with breakfast and lunch, there are volunteers who give each volunteer a 10 minute chair massage.  Believe me, those were much appreciated by all! I didn’t realize that I had a few sore arm muscles from hammering, until she started to work them out of me!

At each build day there is a playhouse which is constructed and given out to different community places.  The wood is pre-cut, so it is basically assembled and painted.  This is the one that one of the teams put together. It turned out really cute!

The playhouse which was created by one of the teams on our build day. Just darling! It will go to a local playground, school or boys and girls club.

I was UBER impressed, when at the morning kick off they announced the person and team who had raised the most money for the event.  A darling, trim blonde, Kay Grimes had raised over $7200.00 and her team, “The Riveters raised over $17,000 between them.

 

Kay Grimes

Kay Grimes was the top individual fundraiser for our build day! I have to say, I was REALLY jealous of the pink tool box she got as an award! I think that looked like it was “made for a queen”— don’t you?

I was curious as to how this team got together, and how they raised such a phenomenal amount.  Kay shared with me that their team leader, Kelly Mercado, put together a group of friends who all work in the building industry.  Kay said that raising the amount she did had actually been easy.  Here is a quote from her email to me about her fundraising.  “There’s no great secret to my fundraising, actually.  My job puts me in a position the people (1) open my emails, (2) read them, and (3) want to make me happy.  That’s it in a nutshell, so I don’t have any amazing tips, other than always being very appreciative of those who support me.”

The Rivetors Team

The Rivetors! Top fundraising team! Here they are, enjoying a beer at the end of the build day! You go girls! (You’ve gotta love the girl who has tennies matching the t-shirts!

It’s great that Kay and her team both had the support they did. I’m sure a big part of the support was because of relationships Kay and her friends have cultivated in their communities. It is good to hear that our local building industry is so supportive of the Habitat endeavors.  I know that most of the supplies were donated to this site, quite a lot of them by Home Depot and Lowes.  I am looking forward to seeing Kay, The Rivetors and all of the other friends I made this year, again at next year’s event.  I know that I will be there!

So, my friends, please consider donating to the cause next year when I put out the plea for donations for this event.  It’s certainly a worthwhile event.  Not a hand out to a family, but a hand up.  The families that are able to purchase the homes give 250 hours each to the building of a Habitat home. They have some skin in the game, and they are able to achieve the great American Dream- home ownership!

You Can’t Always Trust “BOB”

Comedy, Fabulous After 50, Mimsy Whimsy, Serious Shit, Sexuality, Sexy After 60!, Uncategorized, You Can't Make This Shit Up!
Spying Vibrator

Spying Vibrator! Watch out ladies!

You can’t always trust BOB  (Battery Operated Boyfriend)

A friend of mine mentioned to me that she doesn’t need a boyfriend.  She already has BOB.  BOB it seems, is a battery operated boyfriend.  (For those of you who are really slow, this is a vibrator.)  I thought that a great play on words.  After all, men can let you down, but BOB won’t.  Right???

Wrong!  It turns out that not only could BOB let you down, but he could severely disappoint you.  Make you feel the fool.  Use and abuse you!  You might wonder how in the world THAT could be possible?

The big story broke in the news mid-March.  Evidently, the company who makes a vibrator known as the We-Vibe got caught spying on their buyers’ personal vibrator use!  Yep, that’s right people!  You could buy this vibrator, and then download an app which allowed it to be turned on through your smart phone remotely or whatever you wanted…..

Let’s recap this.  If you haven’t seen this vibrator, it’s a little c-shaped number, that I guess clamps right into the ol’ vagina and on your clit.  So, I’m not understanding this.  Are women walking around with this thing, and just for shits and giggles the hubby hits the on button from his smart phone while he’s busting it out earning a buck at the office?  I’m pretty damn forward thinking sexually, but this whole thing just isn’t making sense to me…..Maybe one of you who read this blog will fill me in, because I’m a bit mystified here. Truly I am….. I just can’t imagine that I’m going to spend my day hooked up to my little We vibrator………  I mean, wouldn’t it just want to fall out?  Now THAT could be an embarrassing moment in your day.

Clit-Gate… Someone’s Watching!

So, as the story goes, the folks that be, at We Vibe’s parent company, Standard Innovation, went into the records of all the sexually active users, to determine how long and at what frequency said customers used their little sex toys. You could think of this as “Clit-Gate.” The app was called We-Connect.  I guess that people didn’t realize that the WE who would be connecting was going to be the manufacturer, checking in on YOUR vagina! This is worse than the spying Russians! Worse than the spying microwaves!  These spys are right in your bedroom, and hooked up to your Va- Jay-Jay!  It doesn’t get any more personal than this!  The only spy I’ve know who was this intimate was James Bond, and he had to at least don a tuxedo and talk his way into a ladies bedroom before he turned on the “spy mode!”

You’ve Can’t Trust These New-fangled inventions!

Interesting Data Research Project…

Now THAT must have been some interesting data research going on there!  Can’t you see it?  “Hey boss, Mary Smith in Wasco, Illinois uses her vibrator 8 times a day, for an average of 16 minutes each time.  Do you think I could google her, and give her a call?  I’m all about helping out a girl in need!”

So, however the beans got spilled, the powers that be found out that women’s clits all over the United States were being spied on, without their knowledge, and it resulted in a HUGE settlement from the sex toy manufacturer.

A New Meaning to The Phrase “Your Money-Maker”

In fact, if it turns out that you are one of the people who downloaded this app, it was worth a whopping $10000.00 to you!  Holy Shit!  I’d have bought one of these puppies had I known I could use the money maker to make this kind of money!

And if it turns out that you bought the We-vibe, but didn’t download the app, so your sweetie could turn you on remotely?  Still worth $199.00 buck-a-roos.  Not bad. I guess it’s about the amount these things cost when you purchased them, so they are paying you back for their fuck up.  Good deal, you can still use the original We-Vibe, and visit the sex store to buy some new sex enhancing items.

Just watch what you download on them, you never know who might be watching!  Just in case you think I might make this shit up- here is an article to prove that I am a girl of my word! Google and you will find numerous other articles discussing the lawsuit.  Interesting reading, for those nights you don’t have BOB to entertain you……

Meanwhile,  I think I’ll just stick with the good ol’ fashioned boyfriend that I have at home, and forget the new fangled, remote controlled BOB!

Afternote on this blog.  I looked up to see how you are supposed to use this wonder of sexuality.  It turns out, the “spy factory” produced a film.  If you want a REAL laugh, I’d suggest you watch the “how to” film.  The use of this object is only more mystifying to me at this point.  Between the petting the couple are doing to each other, and the hand used to exemplify a woman’s vagina……. I am thoroughly confused.  And Amused…….. (We-Vibe How To Video)

You Did the Best You Knew How!

Mothering 101, My Humble Opinion, Royal Ramblings!, Serious Shit, Uncategorized
Kids & Patti 1991

My kids and me, 1991 Gotta love my clothing and hair selection!  Every Day is Mother’s Day!

Mom, You Aren’t Perfect

It’s the eve of Mother’s Day.  A holiday that touches every one of us in some way, no matter our religion, our age or our status.  If we aren’t a mother ourselves, every one of us had a mother.  Our mother may or may not be alive. Some mothers did a better job of it than others. We may have a close relationship with our mother, or we may not have a relationship at all with them, but when Mother’s Day rolls around, we are all aware of it, no matter what the situation is.

A few days ago, I saw a facebook post about Mother’s Day which struck me, as it spoke to my “mother’s heart”, and I decided to share it. I have been amazed at how many of my friends shared it, and how many of THEIR friends have continued to share it.  I was also stunned at how many people took the time to comment on the post, and actually thank me for posting.  One “friend of a friend” actually posted that he was amazed at how many people cut and pasted this sentiment, and asked if our society can’t think for themselves, and come up with their own unique sentiments, posts and feelings.  Her response to him was that sometimes, someone else can articulate better than we can, and that this piece speaks our feelings as a mother rather profoundly.

The Best Gift

I’ll share the original post, before I go on with my own thought on Motherhood and Mother’s Day:

“Every year my children ask me the same question. After thinking about it, I decided I’d give them my real answer:

What do I want for Mother’s Day? I want you. I want you to keep coming around, I want you to ask me questions, ask my advice, tell me your problems, ask for my opinion, ask for my help. I want you to come over and rant about your problems, rant about life, whatever. Tell me about your job and your worries.

I want you to continue sharing your life with me. Come over and laugh with me, or laugh at me, I don’t care. Hearing you laugh is music to me.

I spent the better part of my life raising you the best way I knew how. Now, give me time to sit back and admire my work.

Raid my refrigerator, help yourself, I really don’t mind. In fact, I wouldn’t want it any other way.

I want you to spend your money making a better life for yourself, I have the things I need. I want to see you happy and healthy. When you ask me what I want for Mother’s Day, I say “nothing” because you’ve already been giving me my gift all year. I want you.
If you feel the same way, feel free to copy and paste… I did!  ❤️❤️”

If you are a mom, I’m sure you can fully understand the sentiment that was in this post.  We don’t want “things” from our kids. We want THEM, their time, their presence, their love.

Jane Clark, Patti Phillips mom.

My mom, Jane Clark. What a great woman! Gone far too young.  She left us when I was only 22 years old.

A few years ago, when my firstborn was small, I met a woman in a Mommy and Me group who had a beautiful necklace.  On a simple disc was inscribed, “Always remember, you did the best you knew how at the time.”  When I asked her about it, she told me that when her first daughter was born, her mother presented the necklace to her at the hospital.

“This is the best parenting advice I can give you,” her mother said.  “It’s inevitable that throughout your parenting years you’ll look back and wonder if you did the right thing, if you should have done things differently.  This is what you need to always remember.  Don’t be too tough on yourself.  You did the best you knew how at the time.”

I’ve never forgotten that necklace. Never forgotten that sage piece of advice her mother gave her.  By the time I had my son, my firstborn, my mother had been gone  over 6 years.  She wasn’t around to give me her advice, so I adopted that wise woman’s advice to her daughter as my own belief.

50['s party 1994

My son and me at Our 50’s Party 1994.  One of my favorite things other than motherhood, is dressing in costume!

What mom did it perfectly?  Who hasn’t thought of things they could have done better, done differently or not done at all?  They say that with age comes wisdom, and when we look back, we sometimes shake our heads in wonder that we all made it quite as far as we did in life, without the whole damn thing unraveling and coming to a stop.

50's paty

Alyse & me at our 50’s party 1994.  I had fun making our skirts for this party!

But for the most part, unless we are some sort of abusive, drug addicted, psychopathic nut-case, we probably did a pretty darned good job of it. There is not doubt in my mind, we did the best we knew how at the time.

The thing we don’t have control of, so often, is our children. Years ago, I would speak to groups of young moms, and my advice to them was to not take too much credit for how their children turn out, whether they turn out stellar pillars of society, or at the bottom of the societal heap.  Unfortunately, this is the truth in the matter.  I’m sure that if you dissected any number of families, whether you looked at the immediate family of a Nobel Peace Prize winner, a president, a top athlete…….or you looked at the family of Jack the Ripper, a mass murderer or Hitler…….. if any of those people had siblings, some of them turned out average, some of them turned out well, and one sibling was outstanding and became famous.  Whether that “achievement” they were known for is for the good or the bad, those parents raised their children all with the same basic set of rules, the same parenting skills and the same environment.  Therefore, we can’t take too much credit- good or bad, for how they turned out.

I have two of my own “natural” children, and have raised many stepchildren throughout my lifetime (and some of that is another story for another day……).  The relationships I have with my daughter and my son are two very different ones.  I’m not nearly as close to my son as I’d like to be.  Why?  I wish I could say. My daughter and I are very close.  Is it that they were raised differently?  No.  Would I like it to be different?  Yes.  Just as the facebook post says, I’d love to have my kids in my life on a daily basis.

The Choice Becomes Your Children’s

The discussion my man and I repeat over and over about our relationships with our grown children is that we have to do the best we can.  We reach out.  We extend the invitation to join us in our lives, at events, in our home. We extend those invitations with love, sincerity and a desire to spend time with the people we helped create. What those adult children choose to do from THEIR end is their choice.

What I DO know, is that, as the sage piece of advice stated, I did the best I knew how at the time.  My best may have not been the best ever done in the world.  But, it also is far from the worst.  I happen to think I did a pretty damn good job of it a good amount of the time.  That’s all we’ve got to give. Our best.

Meanwhile, I get to spend Mother’s Day with my family this year.  The plan is for all of my “ducklings” to be together for the day, my own two, and my step-daughter who I had the privilege of raising for many of her years.  And that, for me, is the best Mother’s Day present a mom could ask for.

And by the way, if you want to share the Facebook post that inspired this on your page, feel free.  If you want to share this whole darned article on your FB page, I’d be honored.

If you are a mom, Happy Mother’s Day to you.  Thanks for doing the best you knew how.

Heineken’s Response to Pepsi’s Recent Blunder

My Humble Opinion, Raves & Rotten Reviews, Serious Shit, Uncategorized

Pride & Prejudice….

If you had the chance to see the recent Pepsi ad starring Kendall Jenner, you’ll want to see Heineken’s response to that ad.  It is brilliant! It’s well spoken.  It leaves you thinking that perhaps, just perhaps, we COULD all get along.  Pepsi had an epic fail on this one.  Heineken hit a home run I believe.

It seems in recent months, with all that has happened in our political arena, people are SO fast to lash out, to hate, to criticize. I am often appalled at the response people put to other’s Facebook pages.  Often, a friend of a friend, of a friend makes a comment on a Facebook page which is brutal and hateful. What gives a complete stranger the right to step into another’s “domain” and be this way?  I guess the bottom line is that word.  Stranger.

Getting to Know You

I have led many workshops over the years on team building.  For a while “corporate America” was doing a lot of that sort of thing.  (Not so much today it seems).  It works.  Getting to know another person by working on a goal together, whether it is building something, as was done in this commercial, or solving a problem, makes us feel a commonality that allows acceptance and respect to color our views of another person. We like them for who they are.  Not WHAT they are.

Wouldn’t our world be a better place if we looked for the good in others, rather than judging strangers?  I know I am guilty of it every day.  Kudos to Heineken for hitting it out of the park.

Let’s All Just Play Nice

And can you do me a favor?  Don’t be that person who makes snarky remarks on someone else’s Facebook page.  If you don’t agree with them, just move on.  Really.  Just move on.  You’ll get through the day.  And maybe, when you meet that person face to face, and get to know them you’ll realize you like them.  You can respect them.  You can be their friend. Let’s all just play nice a little more often.

Take a look at Heineken’s new ad, and let me know what you think. I’d love to hear your opinion!