About Me

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My husband tells me I am a makebate. So, what's wrong with that? I love to write. I have 2 great kids and 1 grandson. I'd love to say I am "retired" but really, who retires from life? Shoot me a question, comment, rant or rave. They are all welcome here. Love dogs, my family, and most of all, debate. Pro NRA, conservative and a right wing lady.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


He was just another patient, or so we thought. We see so many walk though our doors. Different faces, different sets of circumstances. Everyone has a story. Some patients stay awhile, some will stay in your heart and mind forever.

He was just another patient. Yet, he was so much more. He was a soldier. This patient, who was so much more, was a disabled U.S. Soldier. He came to our town, not to enjoy the champagne powder of our gilded slopes but to give of himself. He wanted to volunteer for a ski event for disabled people.

He was just another patient. He stayed with us for awhile. He touched many people with his presence. He spoke of the great tragedy of how he became disabled, and more so, about the men under his command who saved his life that day in Iraq.

He was just another patient. When he was ready to be discharged from our zip code, I stated to other co-workers, “when you see someone like that, giving of themselves, it just puts things into perspective...”. Someone, almost 20 years younger than me piped up under her breath...”all for the price of oil...”. When this utterance of sheer stupidity and ignorance was spoken, all I could say was...”go ahead and tell him that...I am sure he'd be happy to know why he is disabled...” Of course, someone who can utter such a statement doesn't know the first thing about sacrifice. Someone who makes such a statement hides behind their free speech; never considering at what cost they are given the gift of speech.

He was just another patient. We see so many come through our doors. But he was so much more. He came back to us, later that same evening. Another seizure. His injuries were obvious to the human eye. But what about those injuries deep in his heart and soul? Those are the injuries we never see. His wife called...”Can someone from the VFW come and sit with her husband so he will not be alone tonight?”. Of course.

He was just another patient. Yet, after only one hour, here came a perfect stranger – a representative from the local VFW. A soldier, coming to the side of another soldier. Never before had these men met. Yet, they knew each other. They were two men, who thought of everyone but themselves. They knew what it meant to give of themselves, without concern for their own well being. That stranger from the VFW sat with this injured soldier for the remainder of the night – each knowing what was in the others heart.

He was just another patient – but for me-he was a hero.

Monday, May 30, 2011

What's In A Name?

It seems to me that any and all inspirations I have for this blog come to me in the middle of the night, or shortly after I retire for the evening.  Why is that?  Is God getting even with me for something I may have done in my past?  Insomnia is a horrible malady, and one I might, perhaps, only wish upon my own dreaded enemies.  However, at this stage of the game, it would appear that insomnia will be my heavy chain to carry around.

So, after laying in bed for the past few days recovering from bladder surgery, I have had countless time on my hands.  Many topics have swirled through the frontal lobe, and well all the other lobes as well, and got me to thinking about names.  What's in a name?

A few years ago, one of my paramedic friends started to refer to me as "Annie Mac" and it has stuck since then.  I noticed while I was being prepped for surgery the other day, that every RN that came into the pre-op room had a greeting for me..."Hey Annie Mac, how ya been?"  I must admit I rather like the name.

When I was but a wee thing, I knew where I stood in the family by the way in which my Dad would call for me.  Ann meant "okay- I am looking for you, but you're not on the chopping block yet".  If Ann Corry was uttered, this was a signal of "You are in some serious trouble, and you can forget about spending any free time watching t.v.".  Ann Corry Gartlan - well that was the sure and steadfast signal of punishment and more than likely, I had committed bloody murder of some sort.

When I gave birth to my own children, I made sure that those kids would carry some name that meant something, that stood for something and that must have an "N" at the end of the name.  Go figure, an "N".  First there was Eryn...a beautiful name - very Irish and to me, a sound of grace and serenity.  Then came Bryan.  Another "N" ending name. With such names, I felt rather confident that my kids would escape the wrath of nicknames or pet names. 

Now, 27 years later, I realize that no one gets through life without a nickname.  Eryn became "Eryn Bear" or "Little Girl" and Bryan got shortened all the way down to a simple "B".  And after all the fun I had in predicting what mood my daddy was in by his calling of my name, I have found myself  along the same lines...one name means one mood, and another means something different.  Thankfully, the kids are fairly well behaved, thus the need for nicks isn't a necessary as it was back in my day.

Now of course, the media outlets have nicknames for people as well.  Ed Schultz of MSNBC made the grievous error of referring to right wing pundit Laura Ingram as a "slut".  People on the left have some pretty choice words for Ann Coulter.  And let's not forget Sarah Palin.  What's with the name calling?  Arnold, the governator...well he has a lot of names he can own up to now...sperminator,  nanny-nater, etc.  Some people have even climbed the famous celebrity tower so well that one name, rather than two identifies them.  Madonna, Cher.

Back on my block though - I am quite content with Annie Mac.  It has a nice ring, it comes with affection and at this point, it is far better than what I have to look forward to down the pipeline....Nanna Anna or Grannie Annie.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

honey buns and the great fish

So, the saga of the wedding ring.  After my unfortunate demise as an employee at the local hospital, I decided the best way to vent my anger at a most unsatisfying experience was to throw myself into cleaning.  Not a simple wave of the mighty Swiffer wand, but down to earth, hearty, hold onto your Poise Pad spring cleaning.  4 bedrooms, 4 full baths, lawn furniture, steam cleaning living room furniture and doing windows - and I am half way done.  Tomorrow will be the downstairs part of the house - and more of the same adventure that has taken its toll on my back tonight.

What's the best part of this adventure in self exiled Clorox Clean-Up?  Simple.  I have a fat ass.  No Kardashian rear end, no Jennifer Lopez, and no Norm from Cheers.  I will cast blame where it is richly due to be placed - my lack of self control when it comes to gluten free mac n' cheese and an underlying desire to cast my terminator boss to some far off island where no booze or cigarettes exist.

I started to think about all the things that employees who are fired have running through their heads shortly after a termination of unjust causes. What is the best possible course of action in order to cast 1,000 chiggers into the underwear of someone so deserving?  There are a hundred ways to think of the "big get even". Ultimately though, I came to the conclusion that getting even isn't my style.

Here's what I think the remedy is.  I went to work every shift with an attitude of why I was working in an emergency room - Patient Care.  I drove myself to be perfect, perform a team member mentality, be as gracious as I could possibly be (and for those of you who have known me a REALLY LONG TIME, that took some doing)!!!  I did not come to work late, but stayed late when needed.  I did not take a formal lunch break, but ate at the nurses station.  I did not bring my small children to work, and always, always, always, stayed true to my convictions that anyone who is in health care should be there because they want to help a patient who is sick.  I could wish 1,000 red hot fire ants on my superior, but that wouldn't bring me as much pleasure as the bottom line - The Truth.  You  know the saying - The Truth Shall Set You Free.  I can face my sagging freckled skin in the mirror every day (and, the truth be told,  by the way age is creeping up on my menopausal body,) this is no easy feat.  I can hold my head high and know deep in my heart that I did my best.

So, after the torture of spring cleaning, I decided that I should return home (my own home) and do some wifely chores.  Cook dinner,  empty the dishwasher,  walk the dog - all the things that a husband dreams of  in a wife.  I even cleaned the fish bowl.  I actually wanted another dog - but convinced John that a Beta Fish would be tolerable until he comes to his senses and realizes that our solo dog is lonely.

At any rate - there I was, cleaning Spike's bowl.  I stuck my hand in the bowl, caught Spike, who then slipped through my grip, almost meeting his final fate with the kitchen drain.  I saved the fish, and plopped him into a cup.  He's a pretty cool fish.  He tolerates Mickey Finn, our special needs cat, sticking his furry paw into the bowl - a task the cat likes to take on after he's done watching Animal Planet or Deadliest Catch.  Spike swims in a circle, looking through the porch window, and well, being a fish.    

Spike got fresh water and looked pretty content.  I then went to the task of washing the mixing bowl from the meatloaf caper.  I realized that my wedding ring was gone.  I momentarily thought it was in the meatloaf.  This reminded my of the old I Love Lucy episode where Ricky tries to teach Lucy a lesson about leaving her wedding ring around.  I stared at the clump of raw hamburger and thought, Oh please no.....not there.  I dug around in the cold beef - no ring.  I then started to cry.  How can a simple gold band have such symbolism wrapped up in its circle?  Well, I might have taken my husband for granted many, many times, but faced with the possibility that I had lost my wedding ring, I became quite distraught.  I fished around in the garbage disposal - still no ring.  I thought about the 4 bathrooms I had deep cleaned and a flash of horror overcame me as I realized that my wedding ring might be on its way to California via a river outlet somewhere.  After 20 minutes of becoming frantic, and, well, sad...I went out to the deck, saw my neighbor Shannon and told her I had lost my wedding ring.  It really ate at me that I was so careless with the one piece of jewelry I hold most dear.

I then turned to go back in, and the sun hit the fish bowl with just the perfect ray of light...and there at the bottom of Spike's bowl was the MY WEDDING RING AND THE GREAT FISH.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Termination - American Style

So, Mondays are always full of fun.  The Carpenters sang about "Rainy Days &  Mondays, always get me down".  Or the Go-Go's, "It's Just Another Manic Monday", or Jimmy Buffet with "Come Monday...It'll be alright, Come Monday, I'll be holding you tight..."

But today is my favorite of all Mondays.  This Monday I was fired from a job that I loved and that I was really, really good at.  My patients meant everything to me.  Well, actually some were trying at times; sorta like a rectal boil that comes and goes (not that I've ever had one of those) but under the same line of thinking that people in the emergency departments just get used to those who use the local ERs as their primary care physicians.

One week ago, a patient came in to the local ER.  He is what Steamboat-ers refer to as a "Local".  The term somehow escalates you to an imaginary higher plane, and you are somewhat idolized.  I knew him from various encounters out of the health care field.  He was a funny man.  A little hard of hearing, but I would enjoy my conversations with him on rocks, geology, his kids, grandkids ,etc.  He was a man who had lived a good long life.  He was married to a wonderful woman for 63 years before the Lord took her home.  His daughter Tammy and I sat and chatted for a spell, while he was in the ER.  We chatted about our own children getting older, and what I recall most fondly about her Dad.  His funny anecdotes on life.  I could tell by looking at him that he was not long for this world, and sure enough on Monday, May 16th, he made his final journey over to the other side. He was a great man.

That same Monday, the ER intercom sounded a "Code Blue" which means that someone is suffering some sort of cardiac event.  I had barely time to put my purse down, and was off and running, gurney in tow, through the hallways, rushing to assist the RN's and other staff in anyway I could.  Luckily this elderly woman was not in cardiac crisis - but still required immediate emergency care.  We wheeled her back to the ER, and began to work on her.  I managed to get an IV in a very tough vein and with the help of all staff present, she stabilized and her family arrived.  I knew the family.  During the time where we were waiting  for immediate family to arrive, the elderly woman with a lifetime of experience whispered/mouthed a small voice of "help me".  Myself and another respiratory therapist heard the statement.  I stroked the patient's hair, and told her that I was here, not to worry, she was not alone, and I knew she might be scared but we were there to help her.  If we can have a moment of dignity in our lives, it truly makes all the difference.  I told her daughter that her mom did utter some breathy words and this provided comfort to her.

A few summers ago, I arrived to work a night shift and we had a patient come in with full cardiac arrest.  These are never easy patients to care for. CPR is hard.  If you have not performed it - take a CPR class.  What you perform on a mannequin is nothing compared to the real thing.  This man came in, in full code, and we tried every possible life saving measure to bring him back to life.  It was not to be.  After his death, I was looking through his wallet in an attempt to find some sort of ID which might help us contact a family member.  In his wallet I did find a catholic scapular...a small woven piece of cloth, which the eternal heart of our Lord on it.  As some Catholics might know, this is a scared piece of religious representation of our faith.  I did not know this man.  I'd never met him before.  But after everyone had left his room, I covered him with a sheet, and placed the rosary, Mother Mary prayer card and scapular on his chest.  I quietly said a rosary for him and asked our Lord to take this man to heaven and ease the heartache his family might feel soon.

Then there was the kids who spent hours in our ER, awaiting the fate of their mother who had been caught in the current at one of our local waterfalls, and eventually drowned. She had reached in to save her young son, and was sucked up in the current.  He son had a substantial laceration on his head.  During that time while I cleaned his wounds, I listened as he and his sister discussed that he was trying to be brave, he was going to be alright.  He was concerned about his sister.  At one point he turned to me and said...I think my mom is an angel. I saw her....she saved me.  Just how do you respond to something like that?  I had him and his sister draw some pictures of what they had done that day.  Sometimes that is the best therapy you can get from a kid.  Sadly, that night his mother was not found.  Eventually she would be located downstream, caught under a rock eddy.

Sadly, with all the positive things I did throughout my career, my superiors never took the time to say thank you, or job well done, or you made a difference in some one's life today.  I did my job not for recognition but because I truly cared about people.  In the long run, I have no regrets.

At this time though - I do have one thing...A PINK SLIP!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

John Jameson, Glen Livet and insomnia

As an alcoholic who is close to celebrating 2 years of sobriety,  I do, on occasion, find myself lounging in bed at night dreaming about the taste, aroma and sheer joy of the magic that is whiskey, whisky and/or scotch.  Insomnia is part of my constitution.  I like to blame it on menopause, but the fact remains that being wide awake at all hours of the night is something I have faced all of my life.

Being raised in an all American, Irish Catholic family of 6 by well-intentioned parents who pretty much controlled our every waking moment,  alcohol was part of the lifestyle.  There were the "sips" of Coors beer my dad would allow us to have.  After watching Chevy Chase in National Lampoon's Vacation recently, I found the scene of being stuck out in Monument Valley in a wrecked car of certain irony.  The one sip of beer always turns out to be far more than a sampling.  Whether my dear Daddy knew we were pulling a fast one on him or not, that one sip of beer was always smooth, refreshing and tasty - even though I shudder to think that a man born in Dundalk, Ireland did not consume mother's milk, a.k.a GUINNESS. 

I recalled the old fashioned "Hi Fi" stereo system my parents had in their living room, and the liquor cabinet, which was unlocked.  There was a bottle of Irish Mist in there.  Even Johnny Walker Red stood at attention in the liquor cabinet.  Perhaps my Daddy was a bit misguided as he never seemed to embrace the finer Scotches and Irish whiskeys as my siblings and I all turned to as we got older.

In Ireland the locals refer to it as being "fond of the drink".  I love that phrase.  Fond of the Drink.  I am fond of a great many things.  I am fond of the fact that the Republicans stand a good chance of taking control of the presidency in 2012.  Oh wait, that's elation.  I am fond of  seeing that Nancy Pelosi needs a face lift, that Hillary Clinton has "cankles", and that our First Lady has a heavy bottom half.  As you can see, "the word "fond" stirs negative notions.

No, in all fairness, I LOVED the taste of fine Irish Whiskey.  The amber color, smooth, Petey taste, the warmth as it trickled down my throat, and then giddiness that I felt after just one shot.  No ladies, I am not talking about blow jobs.

When I was drinking, everything just seemed to be better.  With a shot of John Jameson, I was suddenly transformed into Ernest Hemmingway, Erma Bombeck and living as a Baroness in Out of Africa.  I could escape my life and all that disappointed me, and sit in front of a keyboard and bang out books.  Little snippets of how I imagined my life to be - or at least how I thought my life SHOULD be.  I need to put the final touches on 2 books I have written, but alas, with 2 much needed years of sobriety under my belt, I find that my manuscripts sit in the hard drive of my computer.

What I need is the menopause mania to get me to do something I always have wanted to do.  Move to Ireland, rent a small cottage and get my ass in gear to finish writing my books.  I could be so inspired by sitting in a dark, smokey corner in some, out of the place, pub and just by being in the same postal code and the over abundance of booze, get the creative literary juices flowing once again.

Oh,  damn that was good...Insomnia left me for a minute - I had a dream.  But alas, I am awake again. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The people in my life

There are people who come and go in our lives - some passing by without so much as a glance, and then those that sit and stay awhile on our minds and in our hearts.  The ones who fly by are here for a reason -  teach us to have self preservation, to maintain our composure, and keep a level head because to smack them would land you in jail. 

The ones that stay on our minds and in our hearts though - well those are the ones that teach us how to love, be compassionate, have a moral compass, live with integrity and push us to not only better ourselves but the environment around us.  Those are the ones that I personally treasure - and thank GOD for every day. 

Don & Connie - their daughter Liz (Elizabeth) and I have been lifelong friends.  We grew up in the same neighborhood, went to Darby Elementary School together, laughed, giggled, shared secrets, dressed up for Halloween every year and felt pretty damn much like big shots because we were able to trick or treat all the way out to Reseda Boulevard. Don & Connie had blue carpet, hanging mobiles in the living room, and just about the best backyard in the neighborhood.  I could fill an entire page and then some with the stories of hanging out in their backyard of Amigo Avenue, in Northridge, CA.  Liz and I were and will always be "Valley Girls".  None of this "fer shure, or gag me with a spoon" speakese, but real Valley Girls.  We grew up in the San Fernando Valley in the 60's and 70's, Summers spent playing in backyards, building forts, walking our dogs, swimming at my house because we had a dug in swimming pool, going to Girl Scout meetings and looking at boys.  Those were some of the best years of my life.

Don & Connie are the epitome of great parents.  They listen.  They hear you.  They are interested in your life and want to encourage you to go above and beyond.  They are artistic, funny, eclectic, savvy, smart, warm and so bloody beautiful.  In my eyes, they have not aged at all. They look exactly the way I remember them when I was little.  To this day I find myself seeking out their opinion so that I can make smart decisions.  I believe our political differences make us much more apt to see things from different perspectives.  Our faiths are different, but again, I find myself so keenly interested in their lives, that at one point I considered converting to Judaism.  I simply can't fathom my life without them in it. 

Liba Feurestein - She was a great mentor.  Liba was my AP Honors English Lit. teacher at Granada Hills High School, in the Valley.  She introduced me to literature, a passion for the written word and to believe in myself.  The Book of Job - well having spent many years in Catholic School prior to transferring to GHHS in 11th grade,  I had read the bible.  It was mandatory reading.  But Liba had me experience the Book of Job through the writings of Archibald Macleish through, "J.B."  To this day I find myself looking back fondly at the play we performed in her English class.  Liba also took time to invite a select few students to her home to celebrate Passover.  Having had such a deep respect for the Jewish faith, the thought of having a truly Orthodox, Kosher sadar was a honor.  She introduced me to Elie Weisel, the Nobel Peace Prize author, who wrote "Night" about the nightmare of the Holocaust and those who found themselves in the camps.  When others were putting me down, or ignoring me, abusing me and bringing me to all time lows, it was dear Liba who told me to believe in myself, and to push myself as far as possible.  When others were saying "no you can't"...Liba was saying "Yes, you can"!!!!

Dale - Oh sweet Dale!  I miss you so much!  A gentle giant, a steadfast member of our local law enforcement.  Dale was an all around great guy.  He was a professional police officer, loving husband to Judy, and father to Bekah and Daniel.  He was a brave man who, for 4 long months, battled cancer until it took him on Dec 4, 2010 at age 48.  This man truly saved my life in every single sense of the word.  Never judgmental of me, and always accepting of my outrageous opinions, passion for debate, Dale was the type of friend that made you feel special.  His death hit me very hard.  Not long before he died, I took care of him in our local emergency room.  His wife had slipped out to run some errands, and so Dale and I had a chance to talk.  He was so worried about his family.  He never stopped thinking of everyone else in his life.  He wanted Judy to be looked after; always so worried that she be taken care of, and that his death would be difficult for her.  Indeed, it has been difficult for everyone who knew Dale.  During his memorial service, we were able to hear Dale's words of advice for those of us left.  His 4 Things as he called them.

   *Do the right thing;
   *Be self motivated and content with yourself. Do not do things for recognition. Do them because they
    need to be done;
   *Help others, and do your best to make things better;
   *Realize how blessed you are to work with good people and live a place like this.

Dale left some pretty hard shoes to fill, and big footprint on society to match. 

There are many, many people who have breezed in and out of my life that have left some sort of lifetime print on my soul.  Thank you. 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Pinheads and the American Way

What do Nancy Pelosi, Alan Colmes, Michael Moore/Rosie O'Donnell (the two aforementioned are really the same), Joy Behar  and any other liberal pundits have in common?  They stink to high heaven of bullshit.  Not your ordinary bullshit, but rather low grade, mushroom fertilizing, cow pasture stench, empty headed bullshit. 

With the recent extermination of Public Enemy No. 1, Osama bin Laden, the silly goons are coming out of the wood work, pontificating on how We, the American Nation of Greatness could have done better.  We should have had a tribunal, a god-fearing trial for the worst of the worst.  Comparisons to Adolph Hitler and the Nazis, and how the United States took those scum to the Haig and had a trial found them guilty.  Its the "American Way" as Michael Moore likes to say.   I thought country singer Toby Keith put it in lyrics much more aptly... "We'll put a boot in your ass, its the American Way". 

Nancy Pelosi, who is in a constant stage of fright, (looking at her own reflection) and utter confusion in chasing her tail, was quoted back in '05  in regards to the question posed her:  "What if President Bush were to get Bin Laden?"  With her lip smacking smugness, she replied, "Well, that would be a little too late, now wouldn't."?  Ah, Nancy, its now 2011, and you should really do something about that face.  Her response the other day to the news of Bin Laden getting the ultimate head job, "exuberantly triumph" and near orgasmic fawning over her favorite wooden headed pinhead, B. Hussein Obama.  At what point is it truly "too late"?

Somehow the liberal pinheaded pundits have swift and mighty justice confused with 2996 victims of Jihad.  Lets be real here.  When a reporter asked Todd Beamer's father how he felt about the demise (someone hand me a tissue, please)  of Bin Laden, he stated he felt happy.  He did, however, state that he was dismayed by the President "overuse of a personal pronoun".     Last time I checked Mr. President, "there is no I in the word TEAM".

So, Michael Moore, and the rest of the Hugo Chavez loving goons think America has committed an injustice by not giving Bin Laden his trial.  Seems to me that the ultimate trial is taking place right now in a little place referred to as FINAL JUSTICE.  The head judge is none other than the Almighty, and I suspect the jury is those innocent men, women and children who have fallen as a result of the Jihadist movement.  Let's face it - Where in the hell would someone even begin to find a "jury of his peers"?  I think Satan and Hell is full of possible candidates - but I doubt they would get past the TSA Airport screening gurus.

It is the ultimate irony in this recent debacle that the Left still refuses to give some credit where it is so richly due.  President Bush took a fierce and fiery stance to Al Qaida (just how many spellings are there for this terror group anyways).  Our military men and women have been kicking ass on foreign shores, capturing the bad guys, and along the way clearing the sinus cavities, the best Neti-Pot around,  for some stuffed up Git-Mo detainees.    If the liberal pundits are so convinced that we did something wrong in taking out the worst scum ever, why did they not offer other lines of constructive assistance?.  It's really easy for Moore to sit on his fat ass, making movies that other silly liberals will spend money on, but to say anything positive for the nation that allows him his free speech - well, I guess that is just asking way to much.

The media is careful, as is President Osama, whoops, I mean Obama, to say our war is not against Islam or Muslims.  What I find interesting is that no high profile Muslim leader has come forward to celebrate the death of Osama.  Not one Muslim nation has uttered a press statement stating how much safer the world is without Osama.  And why is Pakistan still getting some sort of goodie bag from the United States when they had the bastard hidden for so long? 

Menopause or not - This proud American says thank you President Bush, thank you U.S. Military !

"Giving up on life" - George Costanza style

Seinfeld was one of those shows that came along and just hit the nail on the head.  Every episode had something which the audience could relate to.  The close talker, the low talker, the high talker, the re-gifter, the "1 tuck, 1 no tuck",  the obligatory thank you wave, the picker, and Vandalay Industries.  Cosmo Kramer = the guy who managed to get long without any real, viable life skills, yet was popular, unpredictable and well, funny. ( I know some of these guys)   Elaine Benes = the girl who was slightly insecure about herself and could not see that she was actually talented, smart and pretty.  Jerry Seinfeld = a smart ass beyond belief, and model for the puffy pirate shirt and Fusili Jerry (one in a million shot..one in a million)  Then there was George.  Poor old George, who had the personality of a slightly dried out slug.  I believe some of his greatest accomplishments to be the scoring a job with the NY Yankees, pulling off the profession of  a marine biologist (the sea was angry that day, my friends) and fashionista aficionado of the popular SWEAT PANTS!

Jerry: Again with the sweatpants?
George: What? I'm comfortable.
Jerry: You know the message you're sending out to the world with these sweatpants? You're telling the world: "I give up. I can't compete in normal society. I'm miserable, so I might as well be comfortable."

With menopause seems to come the fashion statement of sweat pants.  They were once worn only for doing your Jack LaLane exercises.  Invented in France in the 1920 by LeCoq Sportif, France can lay claim to the fashion faux pas.  France = the people who eat snails, tend to be on the rude side and who, to their credit created the Croissant. 

Unfortunately for menopausal women, the sweat pants have more of a statement that resonates the misery of their lives.  Put on a nice t-shirt, and you are ready for the grocery store, apply some make-up and you can get away with a trip to the mall, throw an over sized sweatshirt or hoodie on, and well you can either crawl into bed or walk the dog.  The options are endless.  You will not catch the Housewives of Atlanta, Washington D.C., New York, Jersey or Orange County wearing the classic sweat pant.  Of course, not all Housewives actually look like those being falsely portrayed on Bravo's popular series.  Then again, not all housewives have the slim, trim figures of those housewives either.  Liposuction, nip and tuck, Botox and the rest are something of a vain notion, most likely invented by men who were growing weary of looking at their worn out wives.

Being raised a Catholic, and attending Catholic Schools where a uniform was the mainstay, I must admit that the sweat pant does have a certain element of appeal.  No more getting up every morning and exclaiming "What am I going to wear?".  Sweatpants are the answer.  And on the days I become a professional in the healthcare field, scrubs are the solution to my fashion dilemma.  Everyone looks the same, there is no push to be the best dressed nurse or Emt. There is no contest. 

Now Nike and other sporting clothes outlets have taken sweat pants to a whole new level.  Of course, if I had the figure of one of the many famous housewives, I'd being a little more excited about sweatpants.  But, until my butt is smaller, or my thighs are firmer or my baby belly (yes, my children are almost 30) trims down, I guess I will settle with the George Costanza point of view.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Its All Your Fault, Mom

Mothers and daughters.  It's like the North vs. the South.  Both from the same country, but yet at such odds that one never knows which side of the coin is going to be facing up at the end of the battle.

Apparently, in addition to sweating during the hot summer months, pregnant and in a perpetual state of heartburn,  enduring the birth of an exceptionally large baby, having an episiotomy and then deciding not to breastfeed, thereby having engorged breasts for the better part of 2 months, I have been informed that I am a lousy mother.  "Lousy" is not the absolute verb my first born used, but we get the meaning.  That was 27 years ago - well the birthing part. The "lousy" state of being has been on going since then.

My dear grandmother told me about the lack of education reading manuals regarding child rearing.  Maybe this is because being a parent of perfection is about as successful as pulling a rabbit out of your rear end.  Now, that's a magic trick I would really pay big bucks for.  Suffice it to say, I have not read nor found the "How to" Guide of Maternal Perfection.  I did spend quite a of time at Zuma Beach as a teen, soaking up the sun, so perhaps I missed the day when Perfect Parent was taught at school.

What I do have to look forward to, just as I suspect my own Mom did, is the day my daughter, the labor of my loins, gives birth to her own child and the cycle of generational gratitude goes forth.  With the birth of my daughter's baby, we will have 5 generations of hard headed kinfolk, who know everything - actually, who 'THINK they know everything.  The mantra of "I told you so", or "wait til you have a child just like you", will come to fruition.

I don't claim to have the answers for everything.  I used to think I knew what came after "A" but later realized I was wrong.  I do, however, know one thing for sure.  A mother NEVER STOPS LOVING HER CHILDREN.  My daughter and I may be at odds at the moment, but with her being pregnant and me facing menopause, I am surprised the the Earth has not slipped off its axis.  I can attest that my son and husband are scratching their heads, trying to figure out how to manage the females in their lives.   Even my own brother has not escaped the wrath of hormonal musings.  I think he caused his cell phone to "out of service range" yesterday when I started sobbing.

One good thing out of this whole mess is the lack of appetite and severe nausea that has befallen me.  I can have sympathy morning sickness with my pregnant daughter.  My question is:  When is the second trimester going to end?

Monday, May 9, 2011

How art thou, Dear Bladder

Frank Zappa said it best... "Don't eat the yellow snow".   With all that is menopause, can't urinary problems fall by the wayside?  Do we really need another feather in the cap?  Depends or Poise?  Why do the names of these products need to sound as though someone is full of grace, beauty and serenity?  Come on - it's not like a ballet dance, or a new fad...it's a PAD.   A big fat PAD.  After you get finished with the major inconvenience of your "monthly bill" or "the friend who comes without invitation", you think its all over with. No more walking backwards, away from the group because  of leaking, no more worries about shopping the feminine hygiene aisle.  KOTEX is just another word that leaves your vocabulary all together.  But, with age, birthing of babies and menopause comes bladder troubles.  What exactly does GOD have against women?  So, we ate the apple in the garden, and tempted man to do the same.  Do we need to carry the burden of one little slip up for the rest of our lives?  The question of whether GOD is a man or woman is as clear as a blue sky - GOD is a man.  Hanes Undies however are definitely a female creation.  Victoria's Secret - well it's all a farce - how in the hell will a Poise PAD ever fit in a g-string?   

menopause and men

HOT FLASHES, NIGHT SWEATS, MOOD SWINGS AND MEN.  Just some of the joys of aging in today's world.

The decision to create a blog came without much trepidation.  How can a woman get all her thoughts out in the open without causing undue strife in her marriage?  Call it freedom of speech, call it whatever you wish.  Quite frankly, who really cares? 

Men, you have it made.  Although at times, I must admit, that my own loving husband is going through this change right along with me.  What were those vows..."for better or worse, in sickness and in health...for estrogen and premarin for all..." !!!  Little did he realize that his loving and supportive wife would suddenly turn into a raging maniac before his very eyes.  No more, "Honey, what can I make you for dinner", but rather "do whatever you want...I don't care... you can do it yourself.".  So, like a good husband, he discovered the Food Network, Paula Dean and Iron Chef. He took to the stove, spatula in hand, ready to fend for  himself, and along the way becoming quite apt in his culinary skills.  Bravo dear, bravo!!! 

Along with menopause came the news that my daughter was pregnant.  Can it get any more trying?  I can deal with the hair that has started to come out in droves from the top of my head, but then to add insult to injury and have those same hairs being reborn through my chin... well its almost too much. Thank God for Vaniqua and Estrace. 

Somewhere along the line of the hormone hustle, my weight started to revolt.  Actually, its down right revolting.  In order to keep the zip code of Steamboat Springs safe from hideous sights, I no longer wear a bathing suit.  Little kids have enough to be scared about right now.  After all, the President (the guy who rhymes for Osama) is spending our social security like there's no tomorrow - why trouble little children with scary cellulite! 

A small fan sits at my desk in the Emergency Room, where I spend my days working.  A constant reminder of the hot flashes that besiege me!  To make the fan more of a sexual experience (the libido goes to hell in a hand basket, ladies), there is a small picture of Tom Selleck.  Magnum P.I. stirs my desires, reminding me of days gone by when breasts were perky, thighs did not jiggle and being "hot" was a reference to a sexual state of being.

Well, here goes nothing.  The first of many posts to come on the topic of menopause and the joys that await us all.