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.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Tweeting RHOA Style

With my husband gone to Kentucky, visiting the McArthur Clan, I've been finding new and exciting ways in which to occupy my time.  I refer to it as "Real Houseives of Aurora" (RHOA for short).

Deeply rooted into Day 4 of my Christmas Day oath to start the mighty diet, blog more, exercise until my limbs fall off and in general be a better person, I attest to "so far, so good".  Greek yogurt is my friend.  Water bottles are placed in strategic zones throughout the house to ensure that I get 64 oz. delivered to placate the hunger pangs.  Dog leashes are now in both cars to allow the spur of a moment dog walk!  The 6lb min-pin isn't sure what the heck is happening.

In between the various pledges I rendered unto myself, I re-enlisted in Twitter.  Social media is, at least for me, a path towards finding people who share my same point of view on various topics; mostly conservatism and irritation towards the current administration, dismal societal groups, i.e. Ferguson rioters, anti-police/law/military protesters, and the pinheads who wear t-shirts proclaiming, "I Can't Breath [sic]."  The latter being one of my favorites. 

My husband can attest to my recent frustration with the news.  An ardent FOX News viewer, I find myself yelling at the television.  I look forward to Bill O'Reilly's "Word of the Day" as the way to quell my anger with the earlier segments.  Just how many nitwits live in this great country?  Apparently quite a few.  That statistic is at least satisfying with the fact that FOX News is the number one cable news network. 

Most nights you can find me bantering with pundits with opposing points of view, albeit couch side.  I realize the television can not register my opinions, but I enjoy sharing them regardless.  Facebook is fun, but Twitter is a somewhat instantaneous.  I suspect my husband would relish time a bit more if I were not having one sided arguments with the news.  So, social media has become somewhat of a companion of sorts.

In the end, social media is the new path to communicating with one's fellow man, the sharing of opinions, views and dialogue.  Sadly, it also has created a world wherein face to face exchanges are far and few between.  There's the juxtaposition.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Big butts, jello and jiggles

With 2015 almost upon us, I decided to jump start my body overhaul early.  What better time to tackle the curse of menopause, sagging breasts, big butt syndrome and all that nonsense then Christmas.  Tis the season of all things chocolate, sugar, savory and cheese.  All big RED flags on my plate.

The holiday started off ok.  By 1300 I was famished and convinced that I had not eaten in days, when it had only be a mere 4 hours.  By the end of the day, I was convinced beyond the shadow of a giant sugar cookie that I would die in my sleep of starvation. 

One great standard is that the United States counts weight in pounds rather than stones.  After a great Christmas eve conversation with my cousin Louise (in Australia), I realized that it sounds far more esoteric to measure out weight in stones than pounds.  But, after doing the conversion, those stones became giant boulders, and the fairytale became more of a horror flick! 

I made it through the first day!  Now begins day two.  That carb shake and banana do not taste as good as a slab of bacon alongside.  Of course, I've heard people say, "Bacon goes with everything"!  Luckily, the pre-diet grocery store festival did not include bacon.  I loaded up on fruits, lean cuisine meals, carb shakes, green veggies...all the yummies that say, "healthy eater". 

Ironically, this week's edition of People magazine arrived in my mailbox featuring ordinary Joes and Josephines who had lost half their body weight by eating sensibly, exercising and staying determined.  I read their take on meals, snacks, etc that gave me the extra boost I will need. My little min-pin Lady Byrd will provide the walking I need until I can get my failing back remedied and move on to the bike. 

What is it about age and expanding waistlines?  Where do spare tires come from?  How did the lunch lady find me and sling a ladle full of arm flab upon my bones?  The gray hair was fine.  I accepted that with gusto.  I believed it added character and a sense of refinement.  The crows' feet that landed on my face - again, I wasn't too concerned.  "Maybe it can be the lines of wisdom" - that's the big FAT façade I told myself.  But, to suffer the indignity of my ass being bigger than my head; well, that's just too much.

Of course, I really have no one to blame but (there's **that** word again) myself.  Trips to Macaroni Grill, or a Snicker's Bar are on me.  I accept that.  Giving up alcohol was easy compared to leaving espresso cake at the store!  And who am I kidding when ordering a green tea frap from Starbucks? 

So, Christmas...you've come and gone taking all your naughtiness with you.  I've got a jump on the all too common New Year's resolution to lose the extra baby weight from my youngest baby of 29 years.  2015 will be my year.  I can do it. 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

For Greatness of our Military

November we remember our Veterans.  Today, as I recover from recent surgery in the ever evolving saga that is my spine, I watched Black Hawk Down.  The  1999 film, based upon the battle in Mogadishu, Somalia which left 18 military heroes dead,  struck a chord, as it has done every time I watch it.

Our veterans, as well as current military members, deserve so much more than they receive.  Our media, for the most part (certain mainstream media being much more guilty than others) seem to thrive upon a negative headline rather than the countless positives that emanate from our brave soldiers.

Why is it that society can't grasp the heart of our military and what they and their families endure for US, the free of the United States?  Consider recent events in every corner of our world.  Does the average citizen care to entertain the bravery that still is alive, battling terrorism, ISIS, Al Qeada?  Are you brave enough to look into the eyes of a soldier caught in the talons of PTSD and its mind demons?  We take so much for granted, yet never consider the cost.

My husband, a Naval Veteran and I had the honor to hear author and USNavy SEAL Jason Redman speak when he was in Steamboat Springs, Colorado this past spring.  He wore his bravery on his face; battle scars obvious.  But his words resounded the line:  "Overcome".  While always patriotic, respectful and ardent supporters of our U.S. Military family members, hearing Jason speak of his time in the throws of fierce battle, loss of team members and then the long but victorious battle of rebuilding his battered body, one couldn't help but have a sense of awe to what Jason,  as well as others in our braves forces have endured.

Why do they do it?  It certainly couldn't be the great pay, vacations, exotic locations - none of those are really part of the military experience.  A soldier does it for the guy next to him, his fellow man, his best friend...the soldier next to him.  They do it because they value a silent call that echoes something greater than themselves.  They do it for us; so we can lay our heads down at night, knowing we're safe because of that one soldier who thought of freedom, its cost and everything but themselves.

... “The best day and the worst day of my life was when I served in Mogadishu, Somalia, on October 3, 1993, as a part of Task Force Ranger.”  Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Gallagher 1962-2014

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

When Laughter Hides the Demon

Say it.  Go ahead - say it.  Depression.  Take it in, ponder on the word and let it permeate the air.  It's a rough road to travel, filled with potholes, hidden divots and obstacles. It's a condition which society isn't too keen on tackling or embracing. 

Here I sit,  reeling from the shocking news of Robin Williams' death from an apparent suicide.  My gut is in turmoil and my head is spinning.  The final curtain call for a man who spent his life making people laugh was not splendid.  But behind the laughter is a nasty demon, twiddling his thumbs, plotting his line of attack. 

Depression is real.  It can sneak into a room; a slow, steady beam of darkness or it can charge forward like a bull in a china shop, breaking everything in its' sight.  It does not discriminate.  It does not recognize color, creed, age or sex.  Medications can impede its' appetite, but in the dark recesses of the human spirit, depression hides, waiting for its' cue to reappear.

I speak from experience.  Depression is part of my daily life.  It has been an uninvited burden to my experience.  Since childhood, I have had this nasty demon sitting beside me.  Between addiction and depression, the road  has been a challenge.  With age has come the strength to battle the enemy; sometimes I win, sometimes I lose.  Thank God for anti-depressants.

So, are you wondering why I share this?  Let's drop the bullshit and get to it.  It seems as though no one wants to talk about the big white elephant in the room - shit, let's make the elephant neon pink with party streamers.  Society will tweet, facebook and report to great lengths about Mr.Williams' condition.  There will be appropriate discussions about suicide and depression.  And then the demon will retreat to his hidden space; waiting for his next attack.  The news will begin its' circle again.  But society never wants to really get to the meat of the matter.  There is NO cure for depression and addiction .  We fight for cures for everything from cancer to AIDS; but the less "popular" diagnosis of depression is on the back burner.

My roller coaster ride has been thrilling.  Jeez, is that the word I want to use?  Intense.  Yes, that's how I will define it.  Intense.  Extreme highs and lows, tears and laughter.  So, there you have it.  I battle with addiction to alcohol.  I am very, very happy that I had my "come to Jesus" moment and whipped booze's rear end.  Depression is another story.  It's part of who Ann is. But, I feel blessed with the people in my life who encourage me, stand by my side and keep me centered.  What a gift.

My hope is that society will take depression and addiction seriously.  For every tweet or statement about Mr. Williams' sad exit,  there are a thousand more people walking around contemplating suicide, looking through a window, staring at nothing and praying for help.  What will happen to those people?  We need to have compassion for those who suffer from the incurable disease of depression.  I know it's a scary word; something we'd rather tuck away into a little space and forget about. 

I implore those who are reading my blog today to take a moment to consider the people in their lives who might be suffering from depression.  Don't be afraid to talk to those who suffer from depression or addiction. We are not pariahs.  We are your mother, father, sister, brother, friend and even the stranger sitting next to you in Starbucks.  We are the comedian who makes you laugh.  We are the neighbor you wave to every morning.  We are the teacher at school, the co-worker you share your weekend stories with.

We are Ann.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

BBQs and ice cream

20+ years of marriage have me wondering if my dear husband really knows me.  By all means, he does have some items down to a tee.  For this my dear husband, I am eternally grateful.  I adore you and feel blessed by your presence.

BUT, warnings beware for you loving husbands out there who venture to the grocery store.  STOP!  Think about this brazen while well-intentioned move.  What may seem like a wise decision at first, might get you feeling a bit unappreciated at the end.

I often wondered whether or not my spouse actually "hears" me when I am speaking either directly to him, or making comments to an experience we're sharing together.  I start with the comment, and if after 2-3 vocalizations, I am met with no response or even more contemptible, a grunt or non-committal, "uh-huh" or "yeah" - I begin tossing out one liners.  "I am pregnant, I maxed the credit card, I bought a new car, I'm moving to the beach".  If there is no indication that the one liners are absorbed, it is  then that I stand over my partner of life and turn off the power to whatever distracts him.

Today hubby announced he was going to the local Wal-Mart to buy a BBQ.  This is a great purchase since we enjoying having grilled food.  Ah, good hubby, good man.  As with Target, our local Wal-Mart is a "Super" as well.  I love this perk as having a grocery store and retail store in one is a great fun. 

My goal, while the man of my dreams was shopping for the epitome of testosterone, a grill - was to complete my domestic Sunday chores - ah fresh laundry,  watch a bit of House Hunters International, and put my face on, walk the dog, etc.  I figured that John wanted to wander the world of wacky Wal-Mart.  Surely he'd return before grocery shopping, or even attempting such a feat. 

I was wrong.  Wrong on so many levels.  If after 20 years, one is not capable of  completing grocery shopping netting items that both partners enjoy - well, then...off with your head!

John purchased  Haagen-Dazs Gelato.  Ok..impressive.  He knows I love Haagen Dazs.  Oh, big party foul - Sea Salt Caramel.  This is disturbing for me.  It proves my point - the one I mentioned early on at the beginning of this.  You know.  The one where I stated the plain and simple fact that I may speak but that doesn't mean John hears or listens.  I had purchased a pint of Ben & Jerry's salted caramel cored ice cream.  I made a point of telling John that while I do love caramel - the salted stuff simply is NOT for me.  Upon putting the fresh pint in the freezer, I played it low and asked, "Oh, are you trying the gelato"?  He told me it was for me.  You never want to hurt delicate man feelings. 

So, with a deep breath, and keeping in mind that John is a truly sensitive soul, likely to take all this personally..."John, did you even hear what I said the other night when I told you that I did not care for the salted caramel"? I will not mention that Lemon Meringue pie - another item I don't care for.  Who knew!

The grill looks nice by the way.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Before the Swiming Pool

Summers were my favorite season when I was a youngster growing up in the San Fernando Valley.  There was a big solo screen movie theater on Reseda Blvd./Devonshire St.  I recall being mesmerized by the rated G film, "Island of the Blue Dolphins",  based upon an alleged historical event of a Chumash Indian girl escaping Anacapa Island, and to what is now Santa Barbara, CA. 

There were bike rides to McDonald's,  for a hamburger, fries and vanilla shake for the ungodly price of $3.  We lived on Yolanda Ave./San Fernando Mission Blvd., right below Tampa Street and Wilbur Avenue.  There were bike rides everywhere now that I recall.  An easy 10 minute ride got you to Alpha Beta and collective allowances, between 4 kids,  the first work as a team could get you a bag of Oreo Cookies and a coke.  We even used wooden laundry clips and playing cards from one of mom's bridge sets and attached them to the spoke of a wheel to get that real motorcycle sound. 

It was the days of street lights; knowing freedom until those light came on.  As we grew older, they could be timed to a tee, and punishments became almost nil.  You could have all the friends you needed within walking distance or a short bike ride.  There were not the high crimes and misdemeanors that have turned almost any neighborhood in the Valley to a target for little kids and allowed gangs or pedophiles to run the show.

One summer, 1975 if memory serves me correct, my parents put an in-ground swimming pool in the backyard.  Suddenly, we were going to be the most popular house on the street; at least back then I thought so.  We weren't the only house, but one of a few.  May to the end of June was a giant dirt hole, followed by disgusting cement/re bar hole that seemed to take forever to finish.  Finally came the day of spraying the plaster, placing the tile and then another agonizing 72 hr wait until everything "set".  The unveiling of the solar blanket could not come quickly enough.  But when it did, there was no stopping us.  4 kids and their friends from the neighborhood took turns launching themselves from the diving board, and performing the hi tech cannonball on unsuspecting observers.

I enjoy looking back before the pool and greenish blond hair my mother was always trying to rectify on my toe head, from the over chlorinated pool at Northridge Park.  The days of the sprinkler.  The days of running through the sprinklers playing "tag" and avoiding a missed pile of dog poo on a very wet lawn.  Then came the fun "Has-bro" hose devices that with one easy application would turn the garden hose into a whirling yellow headed monster or a "Slipn'Slide" where at least one kid sat out the remainder of a summer due to hitting a camouflaged sprinkler head or broken arm.  But, man those crazy devices were fun.

Sometimes I wonder if kids today realize the joy of summer vacations, BBQs, camping trips with tents, trips to the beach house, fort building, tree climbing and waiting for the sound of the ice cream man. Life before the pool.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Words of the Screen - Speak to Me

A good friend of mine recently returned to her computer and her artistic gift.  The timeless talent that is writing.  Boy, am I happy that she did!  She described the absence as an "unintended hiatus".  She has an obvious gift, and sharing it has motivated me to return to my musings. 

As I look through my blog catalog, I saw my last entry was in December, 2013.  Far too long to be away from an activity that brings so much joy to my heart.

During a recent trip home to CA to visit my son, friends and the beach, I made a point of borrowing one of my husband's cameras.  He was so excited to describe how to use the camera; perhaps he ponderered the idea - a protégé in the making? I should have taken notes.

Alas, I'm still on the Ansel Adams back burner - if I could tackle turning the device on - I just might capture a prolific moment in the day of the life of...

A stroll on the Port Hueneme Pier was splendid as usual.   The ocean's serenade was like that of an opera.  The characters had their places on the stage; each aria pitch perfect.  And then I came upon the finest voice in the grand show - the dog.

This scraggly fellow let out an occasional moan, followed by a gruff "ruff" .  Fisherman were on the north and south side of the pier, and when a fish was hooked, "Hallelujah" could be heard above the roar of the waves.  The rough sailor of a dog took it all in stride, as if he were the maestro of the entire production, directing each musician to take their cue.

While I am certain my husband is relieved at my decision to put down the camera, I do, however, hope he will be happy to read that I am in front of the keyboard again, pouring out a word or two, and letting my imagination run away from time to time.