Friday, December 31, 2010


today's fortune cookie

Today I opened a fortune cookie. It said, "take a trip to a local beach, you deserve it". I had been thinking about going to the little Daniel Boone Park down the road and watching the river. River watching is highly relaxing - I recommend it.

I thought, "this must be a sign." So, I took off to the park. I watched the river a little bit. Nothing special happened. So much for "signs".

Then I went to the Shoney's Seafood Buffet. I had been given a free dinner by one of my customers as a present. I loaded up on oysters - I LOVE OYSTERS! I didn't eat myself into a coma which is an improvement. It was a good day.

I rested all day. I think I'll do the same thing tomorrow - minus the buffet though.

My 2010

I guess the biggest change in my life is that I seem to have settled into a routine. I have never had a set routine in my life - I was always too busy living life to worry about doing the same thing day after day after day. NOT THE CASE ANYMORE.

I wake up in the middle of the night usually. Sometimes I watch tv and sometimes I do a few chores or just go outside if the weather is nice and relax. Around 4 a.m. I take a fluid pill that forces me to wake up every half hour or so to empty my bladder. I do this so that I can peacefully start my day without having to worry about running to public restrooms while I am running any errands I may have.

I take my morning meds around 11:30 and rest awhile. If I am having a bad day I just stay in bed hoping for my body's natural 3 p.m. wake up call. It seems that is when I get a burst of energy if I am going to have one that day - it doesn't always happen.

At 2 p.m. Eddie and I watch One Life to Live at his apartment and we play a game of rummy - usually. Then we go our separate ways or hang out - whatever we feel like doing that day. Usually he comes to my apartment a little after 6 and we watch a movie if I have one. If not I go out and feed the squirrels (weather permitting) while he walks. He walks several miles a day - it helps to keep his pain level down.

I work 2 evenings a week as a cashier at Fruth pharmacy. About once a month I throw in an extra shift to see how my body recovers.

I blog almost every day according to when I have access to a computer in the building or if I have to go to the public library. Throw in a doctor's appointment here and there and basically that is my boring life.

I wouldn't be able to tolerate it if I weren't so sick. I had a lot of years of doing a lot of exciting things so I really don't have any regrets about not doing something or another. I've done most of what I wanted to do. I expected to be going full speed ahead at this point in my life and making money hand over fist but, alas, it was not to be.

I am reasonable content. I have no worries other than my health and my body will take care of that in it's own time - there is nothing I can do about it.

I've been to alot of great parties and ate a lot of great food with a lot of great friends while partying harder than most people on the planet.

I usually love to blog about past and present experiences with my holidays. But basically the New Year's blogs would all be about the same. Either I was too blitzed out of my mind to remember the holiday (even if I were working) or I was too worn out from working to stay awake to see the ball drop.

I've been to alot of great parties and ate a lot of great food with a lot of great friends while partying harder than most people on the planet .


How do you party and work at the same time? If you are a greyhound trainer you have an extra matinee to work because it is a holiday. Therefore I would be working from 6 a.m. until almost midnight nonstop on every holiday. I could still party because there is not too much in the world more fun than to get drunk or smoke a joint and go play in a turnout pen with 50 or 100 greyhounds. They had a blast and so did I.

Of course track management frowns on such practices but the old joke is (and it's true) that if they would drug test everybody in the compound and then kick them out, there would be no one to take care of over 1000 dogs. Management turns their head as long as no one raises too much hell.

No Sense Doing a New Year'

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Venting ?!?

When we were kids, all 3 of us got in trouble for something and my mom sent us to our rooms.

All of a sudden I could hear my brother calling me through the air conditioner vent in the floor. What was this? A new way to communicate when we were banished to the confines of our luxorious rooms with every entertainment known to kids of the seventies.

We started to talk to each other and of course my little sister, Rhonda, joined in. We were having a ball. Laughing and telling jokes and of course talking about our evil mother who had the nerve to send us to our rooms.

Then we heard it! That booming voice coming through the vents, saying, "I CAN HEAR EVERYTHING YOU GUYS ARE SAYING! I SUGGEST YOU SHUT-UP!"


My Measurements When I Was 20 or so...


My mom used to say I had a coke bottle figure.

What I can't figure out is why people were always telling me how fat I was. I would KILL to be built like that now.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Camoflauge Christmas

When I was growing up my mom would hide a present on the tree for me to find every year. It was usually some kind of jewelry, but it could have been a special ornament or trinket as well. It was up to me to figure it out. Sometimes I would hunt for hours...sometime a few minutes.

My great dream present when I was a kid was a horse. One year my parents told me to go out and see was was tied underneath the balconey. I couldn't believe my ears! I raced outside and looked over the railing to see a perfectly saddled, horse tied to the post - a 12 inch tall plastic one that is. Disappointment can not describe what I felt that Christmas. Laughter and mirth were what my parents were feeling though.

How was your Christmas?

Thanks to my mom, mine turned out just as I had hoped. I went to see her and even though she doesn't decorate or cook, we had a good visit. She gave me enough money to get some tires and a much overdue oil change. That is a load off my mind. I got her a manicure set for people with arthritis and a smorgasboard of different kinds of licorice - her favorite candy. My sister was not in attendance which made the day that much better.

I stopped on the way home and ordered the Chinese feast that I have been dreaming about for the past couple of years. I picked at it and I fully intend to pick some more over the next couple days. Eddie was nice enough to fry a bunch of chicken up for me. I told him I would take care of the sides but I was much too tired to cook anything at all. Normally I don't eat fried chicken but it's a holiday so "what the hell". I might as well enjoy myself.

I am surrounded by all my beautiful decorations. Unfortunately they are surrounded by squalor because I have been unable to do much since the stress test on the 14th. It was a good thing I had my decorations up before then. I tried to keep the dishes done but that endeavor was unsuccessful as well as the other housekeeping chores that need to be done.

I worked three times since the heart stress test. I took too many breaks and went home early twice. I will try to work again Monday. Wednesday is the heart cath. We'll just have to see what happens after that.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Why Can't I Find the Christmas Star?

One Christmas Eve when I was around 8 years old, we were pulling in the drive-way after making our Christmas rounds, I asked my dad a question. I had been looking for the Christmas Star which the Bible said was over the baby Jesus' manger when he was born. Actually I had been looking for it for several years, I just had not said anything to anybody about it.

"Daddy, why can't I find the Christmas Star?"

"Why Pam? The sky is full of stars. What are you talking about?"

"No Daddy, I mean the Christmas Star, the one the wiseman followed to find the baby Jesus."

"Oh, that star. That star was only out the night that Christ was born. It was there so that men could find Jesus. If you want to find Jesus now all you have to do is look into your heart."

"Ok, Daddy."

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

That darn cat!

One year I had a cat that knocked down the Christmas Tree 3 times. The third time I did not redecorate it! I just stood it up and left it that way until the day after Christmas. It was negative 30 that year and I had to bring all my animals in the house for Christmas: 2 greyhounds, an otterhound and her 8 puppies, a samoyed, a minature husky and that cat. Nobody caused any problems other than the cat!

Other than that it was an excellent Christmas! That was the year that my foot was run over by a truck and I spent 9 months in bed. My husband had to do all the major holidays for us while I just laid back and watched. He did a very good job and that is the year that I learned that he actually enjoyed the holidays. I had finally rubbed off on "Old Scroogie".

I called him "Scroogie" because the first year we were married he complained so much about my preparations for Christmas that the next year I threatened to divorce him (and I meant it) if he ruined another Christmas for me. He was so bad, I even had a Santa hat made for him that said "Baa Humbug" on it which he proudly wore!

It was also the year I learned to bake a turkey upside down. When Bobby first put it in the oven that way I laughed at him and told him it was wrong. He told me he was cooking it and he was doing it his way - so I shut up. The surprise came when he served me a perfectly cooked turkey.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Frenzy began last Saturday!

It happens every year. The shoppers hit the stores in the last week before Christmas and they don't even care what they buy - as long as they buy something to put under the tree. The merchandise is strewn all throughout the store because there aren't enough employees to go behind people and pick the stuff up.

It is a marathon. Standing at the cashier, niceties practically forgotten as an endless line of shoppers wait to pay for their purchases. I must say people seem to be in a better mood this year. I have yet to have a crazed shopper's tirade directed at me because we had the nerve to run out of scotch tape or pokemon cards that no kid has asked for in the past 3 years.

I have noticed the quiet smiles of gratitude as I wish customers "Merry Christmas." For the past couple of years I dreaded to even mention the words because the tirade about political correctness from people who were actually happy to hear the words was worse than listening to someone who didn't celebrate the holiday. (93% of Americans celebrate Christmas)

I did wish a lady a Merry Christmas the other day and she thanked me but told me she didn't celebrate the holiday. I proceeded to wish her "the most wonderful day ever" with a big smile. She smiled back at me and told me she would. She said it was her first trip to our store and she really enjoyed it. I told her is was a pleasure to have her and to please come again and she assured me that she would.

I keep my head down and my chin up until the frenzy ends on Christmas Eve!

Merry Christmas to All!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Proof There Is a Santa Claus

I remember sitting in my third-grade classroom one day right before Christmas break. The kids had surrounded my friend Sheila and were making fun of her for believing in Santa. They were so mean that they reminded me of the reindeer who made fun of Rudolph in the Christmas special I'd watched the night before. For the rest of the day, I wondered if it could possibly be true. I went straight home from school and I asked my mom if there was a Santa Claus. She assured me that he was real. She even told me that Santa did not leave presents for children who did not believe in him. There was no way I was not going to believe!

Christmas Eve came and we made our traditional visit to my Granny's house in Maysburg. I looked forward to seeing the Christ in the manger display on her front porch. (My mother has it now.) Granny would cover her front door with blue wrapping paper "to symbolize the night sky," she told me. On the door was a lighted Star of Bethlehem. We celebrated with a wonderful Christmas Eve feast. Our cousins were there and we played all evening long. When dinner was over, we sat around the tree with a rotating colored light shining on it. We opened our pajamas that Granny bought for us every year, and then it was time to leave. Granny, Mary Ann and Bud stood on the porch and waved until we drove out of sight.

All the way home, I looked in the clear, night sky for the Christmas Star. I looked for it every year, but it had always been foggy or snowy and I couldn't see it. When we pulled into the alley going to our house, I asked my dad why I couldn't find it. He told me that it only came out the year Jesus was born. He explained that it was not supposed to come out every year. So both my mom and dad answered two of Christmas' great questions for me.

We put on our new pajamas while Mom made warm cocoa. Before going to bed, we wrote a letter to Santa and put out a platter of cookies for him. When we kissed our parents goodnight, they promised to stay awake so Santa would not miss our house.

I woke up at 2 o'clock Christmas morning, and raced to the living room to see a room glowing with Christmas glory. The tree was glittering and the stockings were full. The room was so packed with toys that there was barely a path to the tree. There were bicycles for all three of us, games and toys, a racetrack and presents piled everywhere. There was even an organ and a pinball machine.

On the table in front of me there was an unfinished letter from Santa Claus. I thought I must have scared him away because there was a still warm cup of cocoa and one the cookies had a bite taken out of it. Then I saw it. A display case holding 52 Dawn dolls, which were like miniature Barbies. Each was dressed in her own high-fashion outfit, including one doll in a beautiful bridal gown. I picked up the entire case, and went through the house shouting, "He came! He came! Santa Claus is real! He came!" That case of dolls was bigger than I was but I was out of my mind with joy.

I woke up my entire family with my shouting. Billy and Rhonda were just as ecstatic as I was when they saw that roomful of presents. Our parents watched as we cheered and squealed with joy. Wrapping paper flew at the same time we stuffed ourselves with candy. We did not know which toy to play with first. Every year, I look back fondly on that most perfect of all Christmases in 1970, and wish every child could experience one half as spectacular as mine was that year.

Thanks Mommy and DaddyI

Sneak Attack!

I had an appointment with my heart doctor last Tuesday. I thought everything was fine and I was waiting for the receptionist to make an appointment for 3 months from now when she got on the phone and said, "I need a stress test asap!". I thought she was calling about someone else so when she looked at me and said, "are you fasting? can you do it today?" I looked around to see who she was talking to.

So I had a stress test. It was miserable as usual. They found a blockage (apparently) so now I have to have a heart cath on the 29th. I still haven't recovered from the stress test and the heart cath is going to make the stress test look like a walk in the park. I am considering not doing it. He didn't find anything the last time he did one and I don't see where it will improve my life at all.

I have an appointment to talk to my heart doctor the same morning as the stress test. I don't imagine he is going to be pleased if I tell him I'm not doing it. We'll see.

Since I have been hibernating this week (and will continue to do so if the weather report is any indication) I have much of my Christmas decorating finished. All I want to do is put icicles on the top part of my tree but I am too weak and unsteady to do that. Eddie has promised to do it for me but he is busy with his own stuff. He has been feeding me this week and he likes fatty catty more than he will admit so I know I won't have to worry about her when I go in the hospital for the heart cath.

I plan to see my mom Christmas day. I haven't been able to make my early visit because of my health and the weather so I figured I would just go Christmas Day. I told her not to cook or do anything stressful but I know she won't listen and I will just take the day as it comes.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Last Night I Went to a Living Nativity

It was excellent. They had everything from a waving Angel to greet us to a recreation of the village of Bethlehem. There was a petting zoo (it was much too cold to get out of the truck) and of course Mary and Joseph in a stable with wisemen and shepherds.

Unfortunately it turns out that the village of Bethlehem was heated by many bonfires back when Christ was born. It took a matter of seconds (even with the truck windows up) for me to realize that I needed to get on my oxygen. Unfortunately my O2 tank was empty. I had run out coming home from work the night before and since it was Sunday I couldn't get another tank until Monday.

I was in such bad shape when Eddie and I got home that I had to get on my breathing machines. This meant that I had to miss the little carolers that had come to our building from the grade school next door.

In spite of all the problems I was truely impressed with the living nativity and I plan to go back (better prepared) next year.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I am blessed

I have a nice warm apartment that I don't have to worry about losing and I am in the process of putting up my Christmas decorations.

4 years ago when I got sick I became homeless on Thanksgiving day. I lost most of my belongings when that happened.

I moved into a room in a little old ladies house but one morning she came in my room and saw me on my c-pap machine. It scared her so bad that she told me I would have to move. She did give me time to find another room to rent.

I rented a room off of a man who ended up stealing food off of me. When I protested he let another tennant threaten me and I had to move out immediately. I lost a lot more of my stuff. I ended up sleeping in my truck when it was 24 degrees outside one night and somebody stole my c-pap machine out of it. I guess they thought they were getting something valuable.

My friend Kathy was so distressed by my situation that she talked her brother, Roger, into taking me in. I lived with him for 3 months until I found a suitable place. He wouldn't let me pay rent but I did help him with utilities and bought him groceries and gave him rides when he would let me. He liked to party and smoke but the night I moved in complete with my oxygen machine he made his friends smoke outside even though I was a complete stranger.

Roger saved my life.

I lived at another woman's house until I found a tiny apartment that the landlady dropped the rent so I could live there. I was still in danger of losing it because I couldn't afford my truck and the apartment. I couldn't loose my truck because I can't walk a block. I call my red ranger my glorified wheelchair!

Finally I applied for housing assistance. I didn't want to do it because it means I had given up trying to make it on my own but I was killing myself. I couldn't work enough to support myself.

Now I am safe and warm and I am in no danger of losing my apartment. I work enough to get out of the house and maintain my dignity.

I am blessed.

I Adore Scrooge

I adore Scrooge. If there is a version that I haven't watched or read, it is because I don't know that it exists. I guess it is the thought that anybody can find the Christmas spirit of giving. That spirit is what I love and adore about Christmas.

The first year that I was married Bobby ruined my Christmas. He complained so much about all my preparations (which were mostly for his twin daughters) that by the time the big day came I was completely fed up! Ironically on Christmas day he had such a good time enjoying the wonderful day which I had painstakingly planned that I postively hated him! I emphatically told him at the end of the day that if he ever ruined another Christmas for me that I would divorce him on the spot - and believe me he had no doubt that I meant it.

After that I can honestly say that he came to enjoy the Holiday as much as I and we shared many wonderful Christmases together. It became a running joke between us that I would call him Scroogie. I think it was our third Christmas together that I was in the mall one day and I went by one of those booths that print your name on Santa hats and such. I had one made for him that said "bah humbug". He wore it proudly every year after that and we many good times over many holidays. I miss those times, but I still seem to have a good Christmas every year.

I get so tired of people complaining and belly aching about the holiday. Anyone that knows me will tell you that I always have an excellent holiday and since my divorce I have definitely been at the lower end of the economic scale. It doesn't take money to have a good holiday. It doesn't take getting good gifts to have a good holiday. All it takes to have a good holiday is a good attitude and the ability to bask in all the glories of the season! There are wonderful things going on all around you, if you just take the time to look. (many of them are free too) Make up with somebody that you have had problems with, give your child an extra hug or go to a homeless shelter and help serve dinner. It will give you a whole new perspective.

Tonght I will be going to an outdoor nativity display. I have always wanted to go and unless the temperature plummets, I'll be there!

I watched my favorite version of Scrooge

1. Scrooge - starring Albert Finney

2. Ramona and Beezus the closest thing to a non movie that I have ever seen, it couldn't even be a non tv show.

3. Grownups It had it's moments

4. Last Holiday It was good but I was expecting a Christmas movie

5. The Christmas Box heartwarming Christmas movie

6. True Blood HBO's take on Twilight

7. 4 Christmases I was surprised by how much I liked it. It reminds me of me and my ex!

8. 3 Kings It was good but once again I thought I was getting a Christmas Movie. I guess I should start reading the descriptions.

9. A Christmas Wish It was good