Friday, July 29, 2016

Stairway to Heaven

Rick's ongoing 8-month saga of crazy health issues has been resolved.
He's not well yet but we have answers.

But allow me to back up a bit.
He has a bone spur on the top of his knee that is under a tendon. It is causing all kinds of pain for him right now. He is walking funny right now and all of our steps in our home are not making his life at home all that easy. If only Izzy could fetch the things we need upstairs when we tell her, it would be fabulous. Last night I told her Lassie would do it girl. She tilted her head. That made us have a good laugh.

I only have Rick working on estimates and small jobs like repairs etc.until his knee medication kicks in more.
We had a contractor (who are the main reason we do repairs) call because one of his men dropped a toilet on a tub and did some damage. (how do you do that?)

Rick arrived at the location and was met with this -
Stairway to hell for this poor guy. Then there was another flight of stairs to get to the bathroom with the damaged tub.

Now while I am at my desk I received this photo in an email.
I simultaneously put my hand over my mouth and laughed. Poor Rick.
So he carried his equipment as he limped up the steps. Never before has he had a home with this kind of entry. And of all things for him at this moment in time.  As he said, "If I don't see the humor in this, then I'd cry." He was in pretty good spirits about this making jokes and laughing. (Thank goodness)

The contractor who dropped this toilet on the tub took out a good size chunk and the owner of the firm (Raul) requested we look at this. When I told Raul it could be repaired without refinishing the full tub he doubted me and booked an appointment to have the full tub done next Friday. I told him if he wasn't 100% happy with the repair, Rick would take if off and he would be no worse off and he didn't have to even pay him for the service call. The contractor laughed and said that was pretty cocky. I told him it wasn't cocky but confident we could fix this to his satisfaction. He wasn't convinced that this wouldn't be seen no matter how many times I told him that no one would ever know it was ever damaged. I even told him how we do this for Ferguson Showrooms when the items come in damaged. They keep those on the showroom floor under those bright lights and no one can see they were ever damaged. He still was not convinced. He kept telling me he was very picky.  I told him so was Rick they should work together fine then. He laughed and said, "we will see"
I must admit this man was funny and charming. At least he wasn't mean and cranky like most.

Rick did his magic and all the men at the job site circled around the tub with big ole construction lights and no one could see where it had been damaged. They got on their knees and inspected it. Rick said it was funny.
The man, Raul, who owns the firm called me later in the day just to tell me I was right, my boss was a miracle worker.   That made me laugh.
All I could think of was, yes, but now poor Rick has to go down all those stairs.

Rick later in the day had his first appointment with his new rheumatologist about this Tophi Gout.
Things that have bothered him for years was the gout issue. Who knew? It did not swell like you think of when gout is present. But it's not regular gout they keep saying, but Tophi Gout. (Like we should know the difference)
We believe he has had this issue for over 30 years. When he would complain about his kidneys hurting that was a sign.
One sign I might add that all doctors poo-pooed.

When Rick had his "nap and zap" this year it opened his immune system up to everything. Hence the shingles. We knew that. This is why they believe all the issues with gout got so much worse. This type of gout apparently does not just cause swelling it is more than all of that and this is in all your joints. It is a form of rheumatoid arthritis. The uric acid that forms these crystals on your body and joints is a sign of this Tophi Gout. When he would ask doctors about this, this too was always poo pooed. When he showed his orthopedic the bumps on his elbow he was told it was student elbow and to stop leaning on them. See what I mean? It was Tophi Gout.

They do think the spur in his shoulder is from this. It does cause bone spurs which he has a couple of (shoulder and knee) But it must be removed to stop the rubbing/tearing of the tendon so he will still have that surgery later in August. The one on his knee can't be removed. Long story but suffice to say that it would cause him more damage and possible a new knee. So they are treating this with steroids and other medications and PT to strengthen his quads.

In the meantime, Rick has a new medication to assist in this awful disease. It will allow all those bumps to go away. It will give him a great deal of joint pain relief. But he can't have 3 of his favorite things in life (aside from Me and Izzy of course) Red Meat, Seafood, and Alcohol.

Now over the next couple of months on this new medication, he will then be able to introduce it back into his diet but never again all the time. So red meat once or 2x a week tops. Never back to back days. 2 glass of wine a week and seafood once a month. Beer is the absolute worse thing for him to drink so I doubt he will have that anymore. Knowing Rick he won't even eat meat 2x a week, he's scared right now. He may turn into a chicken. My God that is all he's eating lately.

I know when I went through my stages of finding out that I was celiac and could never eat wheat, barley or rye ever again I was so angry, then depressed, then I was feeling so good I realized I didn't want it. I think Rick will have the same stages. His favorite thing in the world is a great burger and a beer. Then crab, shrimp, and red meat. His favorite cookbook is called Carnivore. Yes, you can see he loves meat. He is in the anger stage of never eating this again like he wants. He seems to have skipped the depressed part. Good. So soon he'll be at the, "I want to feel better and I'll do anything part"  I know it's hard to change everything at 61 but he has to and he knows it.

To finally know why he has been in such pain for so long is wonderful news.
While it is not fun to have this, to at least know what is going on is a blessing and in a way comforting.  He was beginning to think he was crazy. One foot would hurt and then it would go to the other foot and same with his knees. Xrays actually show that he has the cartilage of a 17 yr old in his knees. He laughed and told the doc that is great if they didn't hurt. But the dr kept saying this was unbelievable for a man of 61 to have this much cartilage in their knee, normally at this time you get a knee replacement. The doctor was much more excited about this than Rick was.

The doctor in the ER is the one who tapped into this and got the ball rolling.
I can't thank him enough. The Rheumatoid Dr. felt he should be feeling better in a month and continue to feel even better over time. Now to get through this shoulder surgery.

I'm not a big fan of this caregiver stuff but it was in my vows wasn't it?
In sickness and in health. Rick and I were joking about that last night.
His shoulder surgery is his right arm so I keep reminding him I will do anything and everything but I am not wiping his butt. That is where I draw the line.
Start practicing with his left hand now before the surgery.
That made him laugh and that laugh made me smile. It's been gone awhile.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


In Yoga we end with a relaxation that I must admit is my favorite part.
Because let's face it, laying down with my eyes closed is very easy for me.
When we are done, we sit up, legs folded, she gives a blessing or message for the week and we clasp our hands and say, "namaste" and bow. For some reason when doing this it feels inauthentic to me. But I do it while at yoga.

By definition, I believe this is a traditional Indian greeting or a gesture of respect. To me, it would be as foreign as me using some gang sign, a rappers hand gesture, dropping the mic and all things that just look ridiculous on me as an older white woman. Do you know what I mean?

I have to say that it bugs me, even more, when people just meet you and do that.What the hell is that about? Are you Indian now? Are we doing yoga now?
Why the hell is this blonde young thing doing this in front of me right now? (seriously happened on a dog walk) Would she use another gesture of a culture not her own while greeting me? Is it fashionable now to just put your hands in prayer, bow and say Namaste all the time to everyone? Was she being respectful of this old broad since she was all of 24? 
What the hell was this about? I sincerely want to know. I think I missed the memo on this and I am befuddled.

Last week when I was watching a talk show the guest came out and did the hands in prayer, bow and the whole deal to the audience.
He is a middle-aged white guy. What the hell was that about?
I think I may be missing something here.
Can any of you enlighten me on this new trend?

Perhaps I should just walk up to folks and say, Salute (as in "cheers") and throw back a shot.
That is a gesture, isn't it? It certainly is one I'm more comfortable with at my age.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


It is so hot I'm going sleeveless.
I know, it's that hot.
First time ever I might add, since turning 40.
Is this what happens when you become a woman of a certain age?
As all we woman know you're completely invisible once you hit 50 so I decided no one is looking at me anyway, might as well be comfortable. This so reminds of a line from Seinfeld, "I'm hideous look away" spoken by Kramer.

Most women know at a certain age we get bat wings. Well maybe not all women, but we hate those that don't so they don't count.
I mean we can't all have Michelle Obama arms.
So I never, ever wear sleeveless anything unless under a jacket or sweater.
But my God it's that time of year where they keep talking about heat index.
Why we need to know it feels like 117 degrees outside is beyond me.
I mean I walk the dog, the pavement is too hot for her feet, I am drenched in sweat and have only walked 2 blocks. I think I know how it feels, but gee thank you very much for telling me every 30 minutes.

But I do have to admit as I have aged the heat index is less bothersome than wind chill. Both make me stay indoors, though. The Heat Index means my electric bill is outrageously expensive due to running the air conditioning. Wind chill means my gas bill is outrageously expensive due to running the heat. So either way, I'm staying indoors and burning through money.

I am on a new kick of dry rosé for the summer months. I hate that I have to drink alone now that Rick finds drinking bothersome to his Tophi Gout. I find that instead of sharing a bottle of wine - which is only 2 glasses a piece. I am not drinking a full bottle of wine. I could, but I won't just on principal that I think that may be wrong. I haven't decided yet. :-)
I stopped at 2 glasses Saturday night. I put a cork back in the bottle and Rick said, "have we ever re-corked a bottle before?"
I laughed and said, "No, but I thought I'd try something new since I am now drinking alone. Besides all these pretty stoppers people have given us I can use now"  I don't like it one bit that my partner in crime is now dry. What fun is that for me? None.  But you noticed I got over it and poured myself a great glass of a dry French Rosé right?

If We Could See.....

I know it's an ad of sorts but watch it to the very end and c'mon don't you agree?

Monday, July 25, 2016

What I wanted.

I was asked today what I wanted.
I had to lie because if I really was being honest, I would have said to be
5'10", to have my 25 yr old face, eat whatever the hell I want to eat and have fuck you money.
But I just said I needed to update my credit card on file. 

Thursday, July 21, 2016


I had a woman send an email telling me she wanted an estimate for her bathroom.
That was all the email said. Told me nothing. Just that "I want an estimate"
Well good for you. I want to win the lottery.

People, when writing to a contractor you can't say, I want an estimate to add a deck to my home.
Where is your home? Do I even service that city? How big do you want this deck? What material do you wish to use? Real wood or the new plastic that looks like wood that lasts forever? What things do you wish to have on this deck, do you want levels? Are we making an outdoor kitchen, do you need electricity, it goes on forever. You'd think they would figure out that someone needs information and to come out to measure before giving you a number in an email wouldn't you?

These people who write me and say, "Hey I need an estimate for my bathroom." are normally highly successful high profile type jobs, just like the goofball who wrote me this morning. Yet all the education in the world it seems mean nothing, they are idiots. They don't leave a number to call them. They just leave one sentence that no one can answer without a lot more info.

So don't any of you do that from now on okay? It's frustrating.

Last night was my yoga class.
I so wish it were a 3 nights a week because I'm sadistic.
I am so sore that sitting on the toilet is painful. TMI?
I made the mistake of laughing this morning at something Rick said and then yelped in pain. My abs, lower, middle and upper are barking. Yes, under all that chubb are abs and they are mad!

My abs, my ass and my thighs in front and back are so sore that I am having a difficult day today.
Getting out of bed at 4:45a to walk Miss Izzy was so painful. The dog was practically running down the street and I was behind her moaning in pain. Thankfully only 1 neighbor saw/heard me. Asked me if I was alright. I just grunted.  I am not a fan of all the cheerful folks at that hour. Can't we just nod and move on? I think in a polite society that should be just fine. A nod, an acknowledgment but don't make me speak before my coffee and shower.

I got a new dentist and boy am I happy about that.
The dentist I moved to last year was due to my dentist moving.
So I picked this dentist from location. Not the smartest move apparently.
She was right here in the neighborhood.
But after going a few times I was seeing things I wasn't thrilled about.
No hygienist and she cleaned my teeth but not well. She did work on Rick and he had inlays put on and they fell off.  She did them again and the same thing happened. She has no one that answers phones regularly so if you call you leave a voicemail and then in 3 days or more someone gets back to you. At first, I thought this was because it was a new office and she was young and perhaps a new dentist. I get that starting a practice is tough. But come to find out she has been doing this for 24 yrs and this isn't new. So she's just cheap and a bad dentist.

I found this new practice in the development next door to me when I googled dentist near me. They took my insurance so I thought I'd give them a try.
I called this new office and found the receptionist or office manager (Whitney)to be so pleasant and professional. So I was thrilled. I made the appointment and when I got there I was greeted by name as I walked in. How did she know? There was someone coming in behind me too. (and female!)
She walked me to the computer where I had to do all the "paperwork" about my history etc. As I was filling out the online forms I was thinking about my parents. If they were to walk into a doctors office and have to do all this on a computer instead of the clipboard and papers they wouldn't be able to do this. They fear the computer. This would put a panic in them like no other. I know my mother would call me bitching a fit that this was changed. What is this world coming to? she would ask me.

After my forms were completed I had a seat in the waiting room.
I was called back by a dental technician who did x-rays and went over why I was there. This woman was super friendly, funny, helpful and explained everything as she went along. We had a laugh about a couple of things and I thought, this is already better than the last dentist experience.

After my x-rays, she brought in the dentist who was drop dead gorgeous.
It was hard not to stare at her.
She had a tv put in front of me with the picture of the hole in my tooth and the chip off my old crown that has broken off. All the while pointing to things on the screen and telling me what they would do.
At the end, she shook my hand and escorted me out to the front desk.
Where the wonderful Whitney walked me through the charges and what my insurance pays and what will be my responsibility. She then asked if I wanted to make an appointment. I did indeed.

I came home and told Rick that I would hire Whitney if we could steal her away.
I also mentioned that since he is changing dentists he may wish to go here. They are all women. They are all gorgeous and the dentist I had would be less painful while her face is over his. He laughed and said, "looks like i found my new dentist" Nothing like going to a professional because they are drop dead gorgeous.
Need a heart surgeon? Yea, he looks like George Clooney. Has had a lot of cases die on the table, but he sure is good lookin'
Yep, I think that's about right.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Pokemon Go

If you don't have kids you may see kids walking around your neighborhood looking for Pokemon. It's crazy. They are everywhere. While the boys were here they took off playing as well. It does get them off their butts though. It all seems so silly to me but then I'm not the age who would enjoy this type of thing.

On the other hand this woman has an app that is closer to my heart.
I prefer Cabernet or a dry Pinot Noir but if push came to shove.....

I drink alone.

Alrighty then. You've all seen that I am not a nice person when it comes to her.
A comment of WOW was left and I assumed because I said I did not like my stepdaughter, out loud and for all to see/hear.

That was my concern when writing all this but you know what? I give up. After 30+ years of dealing with her, I have come to the conclusion that it is her, not me. I can live with whatever anyone thinks.
But it sure as hell helped to have ya'll here to vent while in the thick of it all.
Thank you.

I came to my office this morning and it was quiet. On their last day the 3 boys and I took Izzy down to the park she and I like to roam around. They ran Izzy around and exhausted her. When we got back to the house she was back in her yelling at the boys mode. Which I might add is all the communication she has with them. Telling them to do things she never did all week. Telling them to fetch things because she won't leave her seat.
The boys as I have said were absolutely great kids.
So when she was yelling. I asked her if she brought down her glasses from her bedroom. She said, "No they can bring me mine too."

I was already sitting on my steps so Ryan couldn't get past me and I said, "I am the parental figure here right?" Everyone nodded. I said, "Amanda, I am telling you to let it go. I am giving them a break here. The boys have helped me immensely this morning with all the sheets etc. upstairs and with the breakfast dishes. Their room was clean and they may have left a water bottle on the nightstand which I will get later when I remake beds."
She began screaming that it was their job. I said, "you're correct, boys you know that you have to do what your stepmom and dad say all the time right? But Amanda you didn't even bring your own dishes or glasses down. That was your job. So I am overruling everyone here. I am being your parental figure Amanda and their grandparent figure and telling you both that I want Ryan to be done with chores. He's done enough today and in fact all week. If I can't spoil them then who can? You know the saying, Grandma's house, her rules. " And I winked at the boys. "It's their last morning here, let's all just relax and enjoy."
She said, "fine" Her husband and Rick laughed. The little one hugged me tightly again.

The boys shared with me at the park that she yells all the time. Just yells.
I, not wanting to be in the middle of this said, I'm sure it's not all the time but she's just not used to having children around.
They rolled their eyes and I laughed. The little one said, "you said you didn't have any kids but you don't yell, you talk normally"
I said that everyone handles things differently, maybe you need to talk to your dad about this. Then the subject was changed. Whew.

In other fun news.
Rick postponed his shoulder surgery until we get this tophi gout dealt with. Because the drugs he needs will not be allowed to be taken prior to surgery.
He had a cortisone type shot in his SI joint Friday. So that helped and he was able to move by evening.  But Rick's life of drinking is over with this gout.
No more beer, period. Which he doesn't even drink that often. He likes wine and rum and tequila. But until this is under control he can't have anything. They say he can have 1 or 2 drinks every now and then. So looks like I'll be an official wino. I will be drinking alone.  It's only a problem if you think it's a problem right?...tee hee

Friday, July 15, 2016

And on it goes....Is it Saturday afternoon yet?

She has always been this way.
When she was 6 and 7 I thought it was me.
I thought that because I was not her mom she was indifferent due to that.

Her parents had been divorced for 10 years by the time I met her.
Her mother had already remarried.

As time went on I realized she is like this to everyone.
She has issues.
When she would visit during "our" time and she was bad, Rick only yelled or corrected her some of the time. He would say, "I get so little time with her I don't want to spend it always disciplining her"
While that didn't sit well with me really, I did sort of understand it. She was not my child and so I was quiet on the topic.
I also thought it was short term shit because we didn't have full custody of her and she lived 3 hrs away.
I can deal with short-term shit (weekends) Not 8 days.

The older she got the worse it got. She was so spoiled and selfish.
She never thought of anyone but herself. She had entitlement issues as well.
Also as she got older Rick found himself "disciplining" or explaining or yelling at her more. There were discussions that got downright uncomfortable for me so I would leave.

At times when alone, I would try to talk to her. She always shrugs, rolls her eyes and is all around disrespectful. I have no problem telling her that if she acts like that I will not talk to her. She shrugs again. It has been like this for over 30 years. It will not change. She's not my child so I can't always do what I wish to do or say. I have to defer to Rick since its his child. I would have told her not to come for so long while her father is in such pain (surgery Wednesday)

She isn't a hugger, she isn't affectionate, she is not warm, generous or kind.
I see her with others and see that she is like that with them and that made me feel better, it wasn't just me. That behavior is foreign to me. I wasn't raised that way, I don't know people like this. God help me I don't wish to know people like this.

Now she is here with her husband. Her husband had 3 children from a previous marriage. 3 boys. She isn't nice to them either.

At breakfast, I had made a breakfast casserole for everyone and sides of toast and fruit. She couldn't eat this due to the bread in it (GF no less) The little guy was at the kitchen island and I was making his plate. He said he was hungry. She told him to get it himself his legs weren't broken. I looked at her and said, "Amanda, he can't even reach this." She shrugged and walked away and got herself some oatmeal and fruit and sat and ate while the boys fended for themselves. Who the hell does that? Let alone a mother. Don't you make sure the kids have what they need before you sit and eat? She always takes care of herself and then sits. They are ignored. Same with her husband and everyone in the room. The husband compensates for her. What does he see in her I wonder? And for how long will he tolerate that? Rick says another 2-5 years. I wonder.

The others came down for breakfast and I showed them where the stuff was and the cinnamon raisin toast option and they did it all themselves. Amanda never sees if the kids have what they need or need anything else. She helps herself and only herself. She does it for every meal. She just ignores them, their questions and their needs.
I have done that this week because the boys don't deserve that kind of treatment.
I am not waiting on her or her hubby. They are grown ass adults. You chose to have kids, care for them.

She is not affectionate with these boys or her husband for that matter.
What he sees in her is beyond me. BEYOND ME. He touches her and she allows him to for a minute, then pulls away. I saw it again the other evening. She is cold as ice.

The boys went to the Air and Space Museum and she had a fight with her husband that she didn't want to go. He said it was a family vacation and she should go. She said, "I've had enough of being with you guys and I don't want to go.  I need alone time. I'm exhausted"  They left. She called her cousin who lives nearby who was working a half day. They went to one of our pools together with sandwiches they made from our fridge and a bottle of my wine which would have been fine if they had just asked you know? If they had asked I would have said, "Sure help yourself" But it's the way she does this that eats at me.
She said to me, "I have had enough of being around the boys and their noise, I need some down time to myself."
Rick said, "I'm 61, how do you think Peg and I feel right now with all this?"
She shrugged and didn't get the hint. He's sure been more blunt this week but it's been the same reaction from her.
I fear if he says anymore he may alienate her forever. I am not sure he's ready for that. (God knows I am)

Last evening he apologized for her being here. I said it wasn't necessary it was his family. Then he about cried. He said, "I love her, she is my daughter, but I don't like her. She is so cold, mean and selfish and it kills me. It's my daughter and I feel terrible that I feel this way."  It broke my heart to see him so broken up about her. I wanted to say, Yeah I don't like her either but I did not say it out loud except for here. I wanted to say, "Jeffery Dahmer's parents loved him too but hated his behavior" but I thought better of that. Decided it was best said in my blog to vent and not to share that no matter how funny I found it.

He knows I have tried and tried. I have watched him do the same over the years. He so wants a relationship with her. Her mother made it so hard for him when she was little. Courts and $$ was his whole life with his ex trying to get to see his daughter. It was financially exhausting as well as emotionally. He has closer relationships to his nieces than his daughter.  But she only takes, she never gives anything but grief and stress. I have never ever heard her utter a thank you. EVER. Even after her father hands her something and he says, "You can say thank you now" She says nothing to him. But she is just like this with everyone. Her husband, her step children, and anyone I've ever see her around.

Do parents ever just turn away from their kids? I would think not.
He was so blunt one night I was shocked. She got up and walked to the bedroom. Her husband apologized. He and Rick spoke about it for a bit. Her husband sees this behavior and apologizes for it. It's nice but it's not for him to apologize.

Her husband cheated on her in their first year of marriage and I felt so badly for her. She called me crying. I wanted to say, "show him some affection girl, talk to him, be nice, think of someone other than yourself, don't tell him to go away you wish to be alone all the time." But I just listened.  I am evil step mommy you know. Nothing I say will ever be the right thing. I walk on egg shells for this person yet not a single person in my life gets away with this. I do it only for Rick.

I told her one morning when she told me that the boys were trying on her after 4 straight days."Yes, I understand but you signed on for this, you have to do a good job when they are with you. You have to parent. Don't you think all parents feel this way from time to time? Parents don't get a vacation from being a parent. They are good boys, talk with them. Your father and I work from home, you being here all week is stressful for us too. I shouldn't have to pick up after a 36 and 40-year-old. I shouldn't have to wait on you or clean up after you as well as your boys. I would appreciate you helping more too.  I signed up for this Amanda, but I am also talking to you as an adult. You should talk to the boys as frankly. I know they will listen. They are old enough, the two oldest will understand if done without yelling.
She walked away. Nothing was said. She just left me standing there. It's her M.O.
Nothing changed.

To my friends reading this who know me know that I am not selfish, I am open and caring but you can't keep pushing me and not have me explode. I only said what I said and not all I wanted because I love my husband and it's his kid.
I am thankful I don't have any of my own most days.

We have only been a money source for her. College was on us. When she had decided she wasn't going to graduate because "I am not ready for the working world just yet so I'm going to travel in Europe for a year" We asked how she planned on paying for that? She said what do you mean? We told her it was not going to be on our dime. Especially when she has no plans and is doing this "to not have to work and be in the real world yet." We paid our 4 years and she graduated and it was time to get a job. She told us she was not going to be threatened by us. Her father told her it wasn't a threat but she wouldn't be getting another year of a free ride of room and board, spending money and a credit card to spend on anything and everything just because she wasn't ready to get a job and work. She said, "Whatever." We closed her charge card and the money train stopped after college graduation. For the first time in her life, her mother forked over some money so she could wander through Europe. I thought that was a win. She wouldn't speak to us for a year and a half. I did not mind one single bit. It just made me hurt for Rick.

I don't like her.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Got Lists?

Lists, lists, lists.
I was told this was the list that one couldn't have. It appears to be random but...

List #1
American Cheese
Bakers Yeast
Cottage Cheese

List #2 for her step son
No Gluten (wheat, barley or rye)

So I plan menus around this.  But oh no, once here there were more things on the list.

Last night was going to be pizza's on the grill, cold antipasti salad with pasta, not lettuce,(like macaroni salad...Italian style)  and wings.  I was informed this morning she can't have tomatoes, vinegar, and sugar. Gee that leaves out pizza and wings as well as the salad.
Okay think Margaret, what do you do?

I say, I don't see tomatoes, vinegar, and sugar on your list. She grunts.
I asked, "Gee, we have some card board can you have mustard with that?" Everyone laughed. But she said very seriously, "No because there is usually vinegar in mustard" Oh for the love of God smile it was a joke.
So I apologize saying I know this is difficult for you.
She replied, "Not really" as she shrugged her shoulders.
She just grates on me. I know I'm going to hell for that.

She had to read my bacon label the day before when she saw me use bacon in my potato salad because it may have celery in it. I said, "since when?" She said sometimes it's cured with celery. Okay, that is news to me. I am sure getting an education this week.

And I thought having Celiac was difficult. !@#$!
There seems to be no rhyme or reason to this list like an allergy but I know she had blood work and the doctors told her this it is what it is. But an MD? A witch doctor? It's not an allergy so I don't understand. But, I never wish to kill a guest with my food.
It just doesn't make sense to me and I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around the concept of these random foods. But because I deal with naysayers with Celiac I am really, really trying here.

I made a yeast free pizza dough just for her from scratch. NOW she tells me that she can't have tomato sauce. I said, "How about a buffalo wing pizza?"  She reminded me that she can't have vinegar and that is in the sauce.
I said, 'how about crab cakes?"
"Not if you use crackers?"  I said, "I do, what the hell is in ritz crackers?"
She had to read the label. Nothing  on this list or her newest one.
Apparently, she would prefer not to eat the carbs.
Oh brother, is it wrong to want to slap her now? The food is something she can eat but turning up her nose and she LOVES crab. Always has. I met her at age 6, she ate a full King dungeonous crab all by herself. What is she doing?

I asked about shrimp on the grill. She turned up her nose. (it's very good with garlic butter and old bay seasoning) Her father exploded and said, "You're on your own kid, did you bring anything you can eat?" NO (except soy milk and pretzels that look like dog food. )
He said, "You saw the grocery store on your way in, you may want to go get something because Peg has been busting her ass for you for a week planning meals that you and your step son can eat from your lists. It's done. We're done.

Ah, that was awkward.
I finally decided to make an Asian Sesame Wing sauce without the vinegar and to substitute another acid instead.  So I made a small batch of this for her using just a little fresh lime juice and it worked. She loved it. Did she say thank you? Oh heavens no, but her hubby thanked me so many times for doing all of this. He even ate a few of hers because he liked it so much. The ungrateful child just acts like everyone should cater to her. So no one died from food poisoning. No one starved. And this crazy host who has a need to feed people that I think is in my Italian genes survived. This day anyway.

The kids thought it was so cool to make a pizza on the grill. Oh, how nice it is to get that reaction for something different. 3 boys and 3 very different pizza choices. They all had their own individual small shells. The little one is so damn cute and oh so hyper. I wish I had his energy. He made a buffalo wing pizza and said he was going to tell everyone you can have a wing pizza. He was taking pictures of it and was oh so cute. One is gluten free so his pizza was the same shell as mine and he asked what brand ours were because it was better than the one his mother buys.

The boys have really changed since we saw them last. The oldest are nice young men who have found the social skills they were so lacking. They were smart, funny and amused themselves a great many times when the situation called for.
When around with the adults they added to conversations and made us laugh.

The middle son was shorter than me 2 years ago when I last saw him. He towers over me and his father (who is short anyway) He and I sat on the outside sofa and were chatting about the last time he saw me. I told him how he never would talk and only looked at his electronic devices and was sometimes rude. He said his mother took all their devices away 2 summers ago and sent them to etiquette and manners class. Wow!  I asked him if he went kicking and screaming. He replied, "Yes, did you hear me?"  I laughed.
He then told me he met his girlfriend there so he kind of got into the class.
Ah to be a teen. He then added She's really pretty wanna see? as he pulled out his phone to show me his polite pretty girlfriend.  He was so cute as was she.

I told him at the end of our conversation covering all things imaginable that it was so nice that he talked to us now. That I get to see who he is and I like that guy. He smiled and said, "Yea, now I have to make my friends realize it's okay to put down the phone. You know social skills are important"
I stifled a laugh. Come on how nice was that?  Yeah, for his mother!
We talked about this class. It was really just basic manners. But he learned table settings manners and pulling a chair out for a woman. Greeting people when they walk into a room. He said, "Did you notice how I shook Rick's hand when we got here?" He was proud of that apparently.
Honest to God you guys these young men are 180 degrees of who they were and I applaud their mom for this. It has made the week so much better than we thought. I may have to write a thank you card to their mother. Their stepmom is wreaking havoc for us but that has been going on for 31 years.

The little one is 11 and is so tiny for his age. He looks like 8 stretching it to 9.
I want to put him in my pocket and just take him out and hug on him.  He is a cutie.  He said, "I don't really remember you from the last time we met but I really like you"  And then he hugged me. This boy is constantly being teased by all of us. His father told him he had to sleep on the air mattress on the deck. He said, "Why?"  We all chimed in. Well, there are only 2 twin beds and your brothers claimed them before you. "But I can put the air mattress in the tv room." His father said, "you sleep on the air mattress camping this will be the same thing. Besides, you'll be in everyone's way in the TV room"
Devin said, "You're not smiling are you joking with me Dad?" I said, "No those are house rules, extra person, no bed, sleep on the deck. Or you can use the sofa out on the deck, I'll give you a blanket"
Devin looked at Rick and said, "Do you agree with them?" Rick said it's up to your father. So all night the poor kid thought he was sleeping outside alone. When everyone was going to bed he said, "Please let the dog come with me if I have to sleep out there."  OMG. I broke and told him we were joking. He said, "boy you guys are good you never smiled, you kind of scared me"
The first time we met him for a brief ice cream outing when he was 6, then again when he was 9 and he was rather indifferent to us. But this time, he has taken a shine to me and Rick. But especially me, he likes the hugs and affection we noticed. I think because he gets none from his step mom and he may be missing his mom.  Rick said it was my boobs. He comes up to my boobs. Honestly, that man can make a sweet situation dirty. The old man is a pig - ah, but he's my pig.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Day 4

I want to take off my bra and/or be naked in my own home.
I want to not cook a meal or wait on anyone.
I don't want to pick up towels by the dozen off the floor
I don't want to think.
To quote Alice Cooper, I want to smoke, drink, and don't come home at all.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Day 3

We were informed after dinner last evening that today they will not be here all day.
Another wonderful day of playing tourists in the city.
They will also be having dinner in the city with a relative.
This is Rick and Peg. (in our minds)

The reality is more like this.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Day 2

No one has died.
No one has yelled, screamed or hurt 2

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Parental Notes

My Dad wouldn't have left the blanket....Mom would have snuck that in. 
My sister and I would have killed one another in this shirt. The faces say it all.
I had a sister who did this all the time - acting like it was her food because she really liked it. My father told her when she paid for it she could be the only one who ate it just like this parent did.

Love this one - since I didn't have texting as a kid I can see this happening.

I wanted to move out - I wanted to not have a curfew!
 Wow, teeth falling out and still have a room that is a mess. I was at least a teen when I became a messy person.
 This was in my home - only I don't recall our points being that high.
 My favorite is this cold hard cash. When they asked what he wanted for his birthday he said COLD HARD CASH.  But he sure does not look happy, does he?  
 Thankfully we didn't have wifi. But then we weren't allowed to watch TV so same thing I guess.
 The first thing that went through my mind when I saw this was, "Who says men can't multi-task?" 

Friday, July 8, 2016

Wedding Singers

I'm sure he was there as a guest/relative. But it'd be pretty cool if Jon sang at my party. He looks good gray, however, he needs to eat some pasta. He looks too skinny to me. Ah, spoken like a nice Italian Grandma.

I doubt I'll be around much with the people coming and all I have yet to do.
See you all after the 16th when they leave. :-)

Thursday, July 7, 2016


Shh....don't tell anyone but I have grown to love Windows 10.

Sure I wanted to kill people while I was knee deep in work and couldn't get anything to work for me. But now that all that is over, it's great.

Seriously great.
So all those dreading the move - go for it when you know you have the time to play or take a class or two that are free at your Microsoft store.

I went from XP to 10. That is a huge leap. So if you are using 7 or 8 then 10 won't be as traumatic I hear.  But seriously it is fabulous and I love it.

Took awhile to get here but wouldn't want to go back now.


An acquaintance was telling me how her son can't do anything. She was angry that he couldn't do the "simplest of tasks" as she said. His apartment was a mess and he came home to have her do laundry and cook for him.

I asked if he was ever taught how to do laundry or cook or clean. She laughed and said no. I said then how do you expect him now at 21 to know how to do this?  Do you show him or just do it? She tilted her head like the RCA dog and stared at me for a moment.  I asked if she taught her daughters this.

She said, "Sure"

Okay, I have to tell you that really bugs the shit out of me. Why do you teach your daughter these life skills but short change your son on these life skills?

Is it 1950 and is he supposed to have his mommy do this for his life until he gets himself a wife? What a disservice she is doing to her son, all roommates of his and his future mate.

I asked if she did his laundry or showed him how to do it himself?  She said I just do it it's easier. Really? Easier to not teach the kid you wanted how to have one simple life skill? Easier doing your laundry and all your work and then his when he is a full grown adult living on his own? Easier really? On who is it easier?

Show him how to do the laundry so when he comes home he can do it himself. I'd also give him a couple of recipes of his favorite foods and he can start with that. She said he couldn't make a grilled cheese he was so clueless.  I suggested when he brings his laundry after teaching how to do that go to the kitchen and say you'd like to teach him how to make a grilled cheese then.

Tell him how it will impress dates if he can cook one meal at least.
She said she couldn't do that.  See me scratching my head?

I believe this is why God didn't give me kids. I guess I would have been strict. Actually, I pretty much know I would have been from what I see of my generation's kids.  Not strict like my father. Heavens no.

But there would be rules, consequences and they would learn to be strong independent adults. Isn't that the point?
I would certainly have done that, starting when he was small with little things, like making his bed. Then cleaning his room, then helping me with something as I deemed necessary like a simple vacuum through the family room or something like that.  By the time he's a teen he could learn laundry and help. Not every week but he could do it if necessary. By the time he left for college he would be self-sufficient and not another lazy slug in society.

Rick's mother gave him his favorite meals on recipe cards so he wouldn't starve as she told him. He lived several hours away at age 21 so he couldn't just come home for a good hot meal He didn't have a clue how to cook but he was so sick of fast food. So he started with his mother's pot roast recipe she gave him. It was so good he was shocked he did it. Then he asked for more recipes. Then she worried he was gay when he asked for new pots and pans for Xmas. That made us giggle every time she would tell that story. Ah, that generation.


Our patio garden is going crazy. I can't wait to pick all the tomatoes and peppers. Almost there.

I love being able to grow our own little garden but sure do wish I had an acre or two. Oh well, after I win that mega-millions and buy that dream house I've had my eye on. It's only 1.2mil. It's a small ranch style home on 2 acres. It's brand new and open and modern and exactly what I'd like except the price tag. If you picked this house up and moved it to anywhere else it'd only be around $500. In my parent's town, it'd only be around $300K. But 500K only gets you a townhouse around these parts so I must win this lottery.
Retire, garden my little heart out, play with Izzy in a yard and put in a pool.
I've got it all planned, now I just need the money. Hear that lottery?

Each year on the 4th of July at the lake where our lake home was, is a death on the lake. Usually drinking related. This year was no exception. A boater hit a jet skier in the neck and killed her instantly. She was only 18. 

I am not a fan of jet skis. I find them annoying and those that drive them are careless and don't follow boating rules. I see too many kids driving them. If you are not old enough to drive a car you sure as hell shouldn't be on a jet ski. 12-year-olds should not be driving a jet ski.
A jet ski can maneuver more easily than a boat so it will be interesting to see what they find. All reports including toxicology are still out and being investigated.  Rick and I have been out on the boat and we have had near misses with careless teens on jet skis. Many times not even old enough to be called a teen yet. They are laughing and playing around and not looking where they should. I get it, they are fun. This last vacation we came to a complete stop when we saw these 3 boys fooling around at high speeds coming towards us. They never even saw us. If we had been moving we could have killed 2 of them. They were looking at one another and laughing and just not paying attention. One year a young girl got decapitated because she was looking at her friend and drove right into a sail boat. She hit the thing that holds the sail and it took off her head. She was 16. I'd outlaw them if I could. Or at least make them be old enough to drive them and take a class to learn boating rules, passing rules on the water etc.

On a happier note....Rick's feet are less swollen and you can see toes now. Before it just looked like a hoof. Yea, you can laugh. 

He's less cranky with less pain. That helps everybody. And the steroids have helped his shoulder so much he doesn't have any pain there. All in all a good thing. Except taking of steroids. 

I got a check from a company we did work for. They had already paid us. I called them and they insisted we didn't get paid. As much as I would have liked to keep this $1200 check it wasn't right. So I sent her proof that it was paid. She was very appreciative and said we would never have known. Damn! I could have gone shopping. But then I'd have a guilty conscious and who needs that. Besides Karma would be worse. So I did the right thing and shredded their check. But damn I need new shoes. 


I LOVE my refrigerator. I think we got it 2 years ago, I am old and don't remember. It was our Xmas gift to one another or us. We both knew we needed it and this one worked for us both. Rick being tall and not having to bend over and me being short but having all the space I wanted. What is funny is he can see the top shelf. I can't. I can see through the glass shelf below. So even now he can't find things and I can see that it is on the top shelf from the bottom. That infuriates him. I told him it infuriated me too and it took him a minute to get that. Anyway,  I still am in love with this fridge. If it dies, I will buy the same damn fridge. It has one slight issue, the accessories. We've had our water filter light blinking now for a couple of months. Now the air filter is blinking. So I went online to buy them. Oiy Vay!  That cost me $80 with shipping to get these 2 things for my fridge. Okay, that made me like my fridge a teeny bit less.  I suppose if I have to buy these every two years that isn't awful, but it's not great either.

But I am still smitten with my fridge. I told my niece that I was so old I love my fridge. She said, "I'm sorry but that does mean you're old how can you love a refrigerator?"  I told her to wait, it will happen to her too. She said she hopes not. Poor thing is in for a fun surprise, but a really nice refrigerator.   

Wednesday, July 6, 2016


I want a hobby....ah, no scratch that. I want time for a hobby.
My days are so busy. Nothing of which I want to be doing.

Company coming Sunday. High stress, high maintenance company coming for a damn week.  I was given lists of foods one person can't eat, a list as long as my arm of things another can't eat. I will be a short order cook it appears. (one can't eat lettuce. for real?)

Since I have celiac and have food I can't eat, I bring my own food when visiting folks so to not put anyone out or expect them to cater to me.  But gee, that is thoughtful we wouldn't want to do that.  Let's make lists and send them daily about what they and their kids can and can't eat as well as won't eat and what they would prefer for breakfast. For.Each.of.Them. Sorry, not making 5 different breakfasts. Call me a big ole bitch. Fine. I am not doing that. There will be something that all people can eat and there is always oatmeal and cereal and fruit as well. Deal with it.

In all seriousness, I do ask every time someone is coming if they have allergies to peanuts or food they can't eat for medical reasons. Because I want people to enjoy their time while visiting. But this is out of hand. I didn't get a chance to ask. I was given lists, and more lists, and then lists of wants and gee, can you buy a corn hole toss game for us too? The kids love that.

In the one guest room, I put the charger for their devices, along with wi-fi password etc. In the parents room, I put a list of things I thought they would want to see and/or take the boys to see. Their train cards, their maps and the print out of sights locally and in DC. You know your basic tourist guide.

In the kids room, I did the same with the chargers for phones and iPad as well as wifi passwords etc. 
I just don't want everyone going into my office. I don't mind them using my computer but last time they did a number with the things on my desk. Not this time. And yes, I say please don't touch items on my desk. But for some reason, that seems to be a request that is unable to be fulfilled. Even after numerous requests said politely. Perhaps that is the issue. I should try darn right straight up rude to be heard.

I bought the thingCharger.
It's really Apple based and Rick and I are Android people but it works on my phone, but nothing else or Ricks. 
This has charger tips for phone, ipads, USB etc. It is everything an Apple family needs and they can charge several things at one time on this.
The directions were also left with each room.

Now the fun begins. Cooking, baking and having what they want here.
When they leave I am taking a break from company.
You can't visit me for at least another month.
I love when nice people visit. But this is only work and stress.
Thank God for yoga tonight. Is it wine time yet? Hell, I may start doing drugs at this point. 

So if you are low maintance & don't give me 3 page lists of things you need to have. (I'm surprised I wasn't given thread count requirements) C'mon over. There is always good food, liquor and good company here.
We're actually fun when not stressed out.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016


This pretty much explains my weekend.

We were at the ER on the 4th after days of cranky man pain.
As I have said many,many times, Rick is a bear when he has pain.
Cranky doesn't even cover it. God help me!

Last week he kept saying his foot hurt, then it became huge. Then it spread to his foot, moved up his calf and then his left foot and the same thing.
His feet were so swollen again and he could barely walk. He was in such pain and nothing was relieving the pain. Honestly, his feet didn't look human and I worried he could have shingles again. But he didn't have the sores to go with it.

When this began in his foot he thought it was gout. He's had that in his big toe before. But then when it spread from his toe to his whole foot and ankle he thought it just couldn't be and in a few days, it will go away. 
But it wasn't going anywhere. Me, on the other hand, was ready to go anywhere away from here when he gets this cranky. But I hung in there and insisted we go to the ER. I played the role of the bitch. He was Mr. Cranky Pants who I contemplated drugging his ice water. He is the most easy-going guy on any given day - give him pain and he does a 180 and I frankly don't like him.

We got there at 8am on the 4th because I was not listening to him another minute unless he had this looked at. I told him he had no opinion, he was going if I had to drag him by his swollen feet. He hobbled to the car. I pulled up to the ER doors and ran in and got a wheelchair. The only kind they had were big ass sizes.
I got it to the car and it made him laugh at how big this chair was. I told him he had just lost 30lbs maybe he was now just smaller. He didn't buy it.

I got him inside and we were immediately seen. Brand new hospital so the wait isn't bad at all. They did the vitals and all that jazz. Then the Doctor walks in.
He was a funny, informative and a real jokester.
He immediately said he thought this was tophi gout. But blood work had to be done to be certain.

They take Rick's blood and then hook him up to an IV and give him some strong medication. It didn't seem to help anything but his shoulder. They came back and said because he was a big guy they'd give him some more. He was given Dilaudid or morphine. He was still in pain but he said it was better.

When we got the blood work back the doctor came in to tell us it was showing gout. He then went on to explain why the test showed this and what it all meant. He finishes by saying, "This pain of tophi gout is 2nd in pain only to shingles. Be thankful you don't have that" To which Rick replied, "Just had that."
The doctor said, "Damn you've had a bad time lately haven't you? "
Oh, Doc you have no idea!
The doctor said this was the worst gout there is, yeah Rick, you win, worst gout ever. Too bad there isn't a money prize for this. Tophi Grout - google it, it will make you ill.

They gave him steroids and pain medication. He is to see a Rheumatology specialist next. Gee and shoulder surgery on the 20th.

He has had these bumps on his elbows that hurt a great deal. He was told it was student elbow by 1 doctor, bursitis by another and just for the hell of it I asked the doctor while there, could this be what is on his elbows?  Sure enough, it is.
He will have to have those cut out. Yipee.  But I am wondering if that could be what it is on his shoulder?

This morning he is shuffling.  When I say shuffling I mean to tell you he is barely walking. Remember the old man on Laugh In?  Of course, you don't, you're too young. But he shuffles like that. This morning as he is shuffling across the kitchen floor to grab his coffee cup he says, "Hey look at me go"
That made me laugh and it made me lose my coffee, which I haven't done since 7th grade. We both were laughing. At least now, he is not Mr. Cranky Pants and he is laughing with me and at himself.

The doctor also felt Rick's most recent diet probably set this in action.
Rick just lost 30lbs. The doctor asked about his diet and he said, protein and veggies only. No dairy, sugar, or carbs other than veggies and fruit. The protein is the problem. While red meat and fish aren't issues for most, if you are prone to gout, which we learned is hereditary, eating that every day will cause the uric acid to build up and that causes gout. He can have red meat but not more than once a day or even every day.
Rick is adopted so he doesn't know anything about his family history of any illness so that tidbit of being hereditary doesn't help him much.
And when he did cheat on his diet, he would have a couple of drinks which to, are something he has to do a lot less of now.

He was such a hot mess on the evening of the 3rd that I called the people coming to our home to cancel our 4th of July BBQ. It rained all day so that worked out okay. I knew he couldn't be sociable or stand over a grill to finish the ribs. Bad enough I have to deal with Mr. Cranky Pants, others should not have to be exposed to that monster.

He is to stay off his feet for a week to 2. Doubtful he'll listen to me or his doctor so as soon as he can walk he won't be off his feet knowing Rick.

In Rick's room at the ER, there was a chair that I was sitting in. It was like the wheelchair, it was enormous. Two of me couldn't have fit very comfortably. Then when I went out to the lobby to give the woman my insurance card I saw that all the chair were big ass chairs. Rick made a comment about the chair and the nurse said with Americans being so large now we have to accommodate with the chairs and wheelchairs etc. Wow. That put things in perspective. That is a very sad commentary.

What I do know is that this phase of my life is not a lot of fun. Rick is a medical mess it appears and as we age it ain't going to be getting any better. Ah, the things we have to look forward to.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and stayed out of all hospitals.
Lucky me, no gout in my family, I can still drink. Wine for everyone!