Thursday, August 30, 2018

A Public Service Announcement

As a retired registered nurse, I am frequently asked about HMO Insurances. I'd like to take this opportunity to explain some of the details your doctor and employer may have neglected to tell you.

Q. What does HMO stand for?
A. This is actually an abbreviation of the phrase, "HEY MOE." Its roots go back to a concept pioneered by Moe of the Three Stooges, who discovered that a patient could be made to forget the pain in his foot if he was poked in the eye. 

Q. I just joined an HMO. How difficult will it be to choose a doctor?

A. Just slightly more difficult than choosing the winning numbers of the lottery. Your insurer will provide you with a book listing all the doctors in the plan. The doctors fall into two categories--those who are no longer accepting new patients, and those who will see you but are no longer participating in the plan. But don't worry, that remaining doctor who is still in the plan and accepting new patients has an office just a half-day's drive away and a diploma from a third world country. 

Q. Do all diagnostic procedures req
uire pre-certification?

A. No. Only the ones you need. 

Q. Can I get coverage for my preexisting conditions?

A. Certainly, as long as they don't require any treatment. 

Q. What if I want to try alternative forms of medicines?
A. You'll need to find alternative forms of payment. 

Q. My prescription plan only covers generic drugs, but I need a name brand. What should I do?
A. Poke yourself in the eye.

Q. What if I'm away from home and I get sick?

A. You really shouldn't do that.

Q. I think I need a specialist, but my doctor thinks he can handle all my needs. Can a general practitioner safely perform open heart surgery in his/her office? 
A. Hard to say, but since all your risking is the $30 co-payment, give it a shot.

Q. Will health care be different in the next century? 
A. No, but if you call right now, you might get an appointment by then.

I hope this has cleared up some of the misconceptions about HMO's. Now get out there and find a doctor!

PS:  The above material is not meant to be taken seriously. If you are sick, see a doctor, even if you don't have any insurance at all. You don't have anything if you don't have your health. 

Thursday, August 23, 2018

I have that 'glow'!

It's a shame that menopausal hot flashes have no real purpose. I'm not talking about the once-in-a-while, uncomfortable feeling of warmth that some lucky women describe. I mean the all-encompassing, "Yes, my entire body has been thrust into a pizza oven and I am about to burst into flames!" kind of hot flash. 

I have them numerous times a day, which violently distracts me from whatever I'm doing, in an intense, often frenzied attempt to make it bearable. In between hot flashes, I'm dreading the next one. Many of my menopausal friends have been suffering from them for over 20 years! 

If no relief is in sight, can we make them WORTHWHILE? I have a few suggestions:

1) With so many baby boomers suffering from hot flashes, it's a shame no one can't figure out a way to capture all that heat and use it to a homeowner's advantage. We could lower our energy bills in the winter, heat pools in the summer and save the environment at the same time.
2) If the intense heat from a hot flash could be channeled and then shot out through the eyes or tips of fingers, menopausal women could sterilize a grandchild's dropped pacifier, dry clean her family's clothes, and steam clean carpets and drapes with a single glance. I'd even be willing to iron wrinkles out the clothes of strangers I met on the street. We could defrost dinner in a matter of seconds and melt chocolate for strawberry dipping or S'more preparation.
3) At the VERY LEAST, we should be able to conjure one up when we need one. Like walking out to the car on a frosty morning. Wouldn't it be nice to enjoy the instant warmth for a change? Eskimo women could keep the igloo toasty. Farmer's wives could hatch little chicks by the dozens. Moms could warm up their children after playing in the snow with just one hug. Aging nurses could warm blood and IV fluids right at the bedside. Sterilize instruments as the surgeon uses them.

I'm sure there must be dozens of uses for hot flashes. Can we find a silver lining to this dark and disturbing cloud? I can't see any danger in pursuing it. Besides... maybe the REAL cause of Global Warming is the number of baby boomers reaching menopause at the same time. Think about it. Millions of women hot flashing at the same time twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. All over the world. I think that would certainly raise the earth's temp a few dangerous degrees. So the government should find a cure for them just to save Mother Earth. Right?

Alas, I am not a genius or a doctor. My only hope is that maybe some scientist will read this and get inspired. A Nobel Peace Prize may be at stake!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Spam Checkers

Maybe it's because I'm getting old and crotchety, but it doesn't take a lot to set me off now adays (including the fact that my spell checker firmly believes that 'now adays' is NOT a word. It IS! Isn't it?). 

However, there must be a certain amount of satisfaction derived from complaining. When I worked as a nursing supervisor everyone complained to me. I can only assume it's because it makes them feel better. So, today I want to rant about 'Word Verification'.

I enjoy reading many Blogs, and sometimes I leave a comment. Or, I TRY to leave a comment. I get it just right (one that will make everyone think I'm funny, clever and oh, so entertaining) and then that 'Word Verification' box comes up. Your comment will not be posted unless you type in the word that is written in the box. They claim it's to protect the Blog Writer from spam generated by computers. That only a human is able to read the 'Word Verification'.

This rubs me in all the wrong places (and usually causes me to suffer additional hot flashes I might not have had) for several reasons.

1) I write a Blog. I would gladly erase spam comments from my Blog if it made it easier for Readers to comment. I want my Readers to enjoy themselves while they're here, not suffer even one teensy speck of extra frustration. I personally know many of my Readers and believe me when I say they don't need any more frustration in their lives.

2) Does someone actually think that HUMANS don't write spam messages?

3) I'm middle-aged with LOTS of company. We Baby Boomers will soon be in the majority. (Yea Us!) Most of the time I can't READ the 'Word Verification'. They write what they think is a cleverly disguised word for us to re-type. The word is usually twisted. Sometimes the letters are typed close together, and it's hard to distinguish one from another. Often, I'm not sure if the letter is a lower case 'L' or an upper case 'I'. 

I never get it on the first attempt. Occasionally, my initial frustration is exasperated by the entire comment being erased. The one that I so cleverly wrote, but can't remember now. 

WHY DO THEY DO THIS? Why can't we just write a darn comment, and then let the Blog writer decide whether to post it or not? Why does every little thing have to be so hard? 

Where's my wine?

Leave me a comment. If you can!

Tuesday, August 21, 2018


My husband Bob officially retired last December. Since then, we've been so busy we now wonder how we had time to work. We just can't seem to get the hang of 'retirement'.
Fearing we might squander all of the time we have left on our roads to eventual demise, I'm taking today OFF! 
The question is... where to start?  The possibilities are endless. I sit here bursting with anticipation and excitement. 

Home alone (Bob decided to use HIS day training hunting dogs) there is absolutely nothing to distract me or interfere in my progress.  I feel a sense of power. Impending accomplishment.   
But, planning is everything. I shouldn't waste a day like today on something menial or insignificant. I'll hate myself tonight if I don't accomplish something important.
But where should I start? 
I am not going to waste a single second.  I won't do anything that could be done on an ordinary weekend. This is too special a day to squander recklessly.   

I could sort through all my old photographs and put them into an album. That's something I've been wanting to do for years, and it would certainly give me a great sense of satisfaction. But a project of such monumental proportions would take much more time than one day would permit, so I better save it for when I have a Special Week.  

Of course, I doubt that I will ever have an entire week where I don't have any plans.  But you never know. I could get hurt... and have to take a month off to recover.  I see it happen to other people all the time. Yes. It's not a matter of IF... it's a matter of when. So when I hurt myself, I will definitely sort through all of my old photographs. It's good to know that I won't be lying on the couch wondering what to do with myself if I sprain an ankle. I have a PLAN.
But what to do today? 
I have to bear in my mind that whatever I decide to do, I must have it finished by the time Bob gets home. He hates it when I'm working and he's not. The only thing worse than an un-started project is a half completed one. Hmmmmmm... 
On the other hand, I can't sit around all day on the computer, wandering aimlessly from one website to another. Browsing exotic vacations we can't afford to take, researching rare illnesses I'll never get, and entering contests I'll never win. Then again, life is funny. You never know when something odd might happen. I hate being unprepared.  Somebody has to win the contest.  Odds are that sooner or later it will be me. Should I just give up and not enter them? How pessimistic is that? And if I did win, wouldn't it be nice to already know where I want to go on vacation?  

And what if... the pain I've always had in my right wrist really ISN'T tendonitis? What if it's a symptom of something more... sinister? Perhaps it could be a condition that if caught early, might be survivable? Now THERE'S a worthwhile cause.  Saving my own life! What's the sense in planning projects if I'm DYING? 
I'm glad I thought this through!  Thank God I took today off! This might take all afternoon!
I better get to it... I'm not one to procrastinate! 

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Get Your Gift

Think about it.

You're given a magnificent gift.
All you have to do is accept it.

The gift will give you eternal life in a world beyond your wildest dreams.

Of course, you'd accept the gift.
Wouldn't you?
It's a no-brainer.

It cost the giver His life. He knew it would,
but he cared about you so much he gave his life willingly.

You discover that He wants to give the same gift to your children.
Your family, friends, and neighbors.

But they have to accept the gift before it's too late.
If they die first, they'll spend eternity in hell.
A place worse than your greatest fears.

You'd make sure your kids new about the man.
Make them accept the gift so you could all spend eternity together.

What kind of parent wouldn't want that for their children?

And yet, there are millions, maybe billions of people in the world
who won't accept the gift. Or tell their kids about it.


Are they crazy? Stupid?

If a stranger was giving away hundred dollar bills
I doubt there'd be a single person who would refuse.

And yet this man, the one who not only wants to give you eternal life, 
but also gave his life for us,
is turned away on a daily basis.

Just say:
 Thank you.
I accept your wonderful gift.
I certainly don't deserve it,
but I accept it.
And I will rush home and tell my family about you.
And my children. Friends and neighbors.
I love them all and I want them to share this gift with me.

And then I will spread the word to even those I've never met.
I want every person in the world to know that no matter how evil their past,
how many sins they've committed,
they will be forgiven.

That Jesus died on the cross for all of us.
Especially for the worst of us.
There is not a sin in the history of mankind
too evil to be washed away by the blood of the son of God.

What are you waiting for?
Death will claim all of us.
Accept your gift before it's too late.
Save your kids. It's your job.

Do it now.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Controlled Substances

It has come to my attention that since I have been so immersed in re-writing my novel the following situations have occurred:

1) Laundry: We have no underwear.  Even the emergency supply of older underwear is now dirty and lying beside the overflowing hamper.
2) Errands: We are out of dog treats.
3) Dusting: It is so dusty in here that it has been suggested that if anyone were to accidentally drop a seed it could take root and grow.
4) Dishes: We have no clean dishes or flatware.  The dishwasher is full.

5) Health: Nothing's getting firmer if there's dust on the rower!
6) Communication: Avid rock climbers are now asking to climb the pile of junk mail on my kitchen table for training purposes. I have over 25,000 unread Emails.
7) Beauty: My legs and brows are almost as hairy as Bob's.
8) Maintenance: There is still a Christmas wreath hanging on our front door. All my houseplants have died. 

Needless to say, I need to get my priorities in order, stop procrastinating, and get to work. So I am going to have to stop blogging on a regular basis, and just write one whenever I get the chance. 

 As soon as I finish this cup of coffee I am so out of here. The laundry is as good as done. 

I'm not even going to sign onto Facebook later to check my notifications. See? I'm already doing so well. You won't be seeing any humorous comments from me. Nope. I'll have to forgo wishing my friends a happy birthday. Stop posting cute videos and sharing meaningful sayings. No likes or LOL's. No shares. New friends will have to wait.  

Uh-oh. I think Bob is walking over to pull the plug! He's yelling, "PUT THE MOUSE DOWN AND STEP AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER!" Isn't he just too cute?  I should write an entry on all the cute things he does!  But not today. Sigh. OH, ALL RIGHT!  Don't forget me, guys!!  I'll be back!

Saturday, August 11, 2018

For All My Sisters!

Every time I pass the new rowing machine 
in the living room I feel guilty. 
In my mind, I can hear my mother's voice saying,
"Do you know there are millions of flabby people 
in other countries that would just LOVE 
to have an exercise machine like that?"  
So today I decided to give it a try.  
I wasn't nearly as coordinated or graceful 
as I thought I was, 
but everything always evens out.  
I wasn't nearly as thin and firm 
as I thought I was either.  
Which is pretty discouraging since I really didn't imagine myself as the picture of physical fitness in the first place.  
Just like all of my past projects, 
I have more work ahead of me than I thought.  
Of course, if I gave up Entenmann's Pastries, Tastykakes, and Dunkin' Donuts 
I would probably get into shape a lot faster.  
But... I'm 63 years old.  
How good should I look anyway?  
Do I really want all of my girlfriends 
to end up hating me?  
Do I want to make other women my age 
feel bad about themselves in comparison?  
It will be hard enough on them when they see 
what great endurance, stamina and flexibility 
I'll soon have.  
How egotistical would it be 
for me to also become thin, firm and have 
zero percent body fat as well?  
NO!  I am NOT that kind of woman!  
I will not cause my Sisters In Menopausal Madness any more misery than they already have!  
Today... I am going to buy a dozen Dunkin' Donuts!  It's the right thing to do.

Friday, August 10, 2018

WHO are...THEY?

They say we're in for scorching heat 
this week in Jersey.  
Who are they anyway?  
I don't think I've ever 
met one of them before.  
If we were to analyze this, we could assume 
that there is more than one, 
since we always refer to them in the plural form.  It's never 'he' or 'she' ... it's always they. 
I would guess that they are young.  
Most likely under the age of thirty, 
since they seem to have an opinion 
on just about everything.  
If they were employed, 
married or had children, 
they wouldn't have time 
to just go around saying things.  
Maybe there aren't as many of them 
as we think there are.  
They just want us to think so.  
I know that I am not one of them.  
No one ever listens to anything I say.  
Especially my kids.  
And yet I have heard all three 
refer to them many  times in the past.  
OMG!  Did you read what I just wrote?  
'All three of ...THEM!'  
Is it possible that MY kids are actually ... THEM?  
In a way it makes sense. Each one of my kids 
thinks they know it all.  
And I DO have more than one child ...  
hence THEM.'
Is it possible that my kids 
really do know everything?   
That every word they utter is carefully recorded 
so it can be repeated whenever necessary?  
Is this theory even POSSIBLE?  
Am I actually the mother of the chosen few?  
Of ... THEM?  
The Grand Poobahs behind every fact, speculation, prediction and rumor 
between Hollywood and Washington, D.C.?  


Wednesday, August 8, 2018

CSI Clean!

I must admit that I watch too much TV.  
By far, my favorite shows are crime stories. Criminal Minds. Law and Order. 
Blue Bloods. Forensic Files. 
It's fascinating to watch the detectives gather evidence with scientific equipment.
But how can I justify my
interest in such shows?  
Will this knowledge help me at home?  
No matter how much I fantasize, 
when I dust my living room... 
it's not for fingerprints.
Blood spatter analysis
doesn't help me wipe up spills in the kitchen. 
The shows do affect my daily activities though. 
I get such satisfaction knowing that when I'm finished cleaning my house, 
the only dirt and fibers that could be obtained by the team at MY crime scene,
would have to be left 
by the perpetrator himself. 
Socially, I can see where a little forensic knowledge might alienate you.  
It's not polite to 'interrogate' the neighbors, 
and they DO notice when you're making mental notes on what brand of cigarettes they smoke, 
what size shoes they wear, 
and the existence and location 
of any tattoos they might have. 
Looking back on my life experiences, 
I realize that I have never been called upon 
to pick someone out of a lineup, describe a suspect to a sketch artist, 
or even look through any mug shots.  
It would be much more rewarding for me 
to watch a TV program on Bible study, 
health issues, or writing books. 
Do I worry that watching all these crime stories might make me paranoid?  
Not at all.  
I don't think it's asking too much for immediate family members and close friends 
to provide a small DNA sample 
for possible future forensic comparison.  Do you?

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

My Trash Conspiracy Theory

We missed the trash men again today. For some reason, they don't seem to stick to a schedule. Nothing screams failure louder than being the only person on the block with full trash cans. Dripping with humiliation as your neighbors drag in their empty ones.

Why does this happen? Unless a person had a big party, we put out the same amount of trash every week. Requiring the same amount of time to pick it up. I've spent years contemplating the  possible answer and here's my theory: 

I could be wrong, but collecting trash is probably not a highly stimulating occupation. It would only be natural for the workers to try to make it more exciting. 

I think, in their attempt to unwind, they gather at the end of the day and laugh themselves silly. Each is trying to top the other's story about who got  'left out' this week. They might even take pictures of the 'jilted' clients, standing at the end of their driveways in disbelief. Catch us scratching our heads and looking up and down the street in stunned silence. Searching for the reason why we missed trash day yet again. They post these photos on the walls of their office to re-live the incidents at every opportunity.

"Look at this one!" one says pointing to his favorite victim. "Remember Mrs. L in her pink robe and bunny slippers when she missed us for the second week in a row?  She stood there cursing for 20 minutes!" I can imagine them doubled over with laughter. 

"I got that beat!" another chimes in, removing a tattered photograph from his wallet to share with the others. "I  waited around the corner till this guy drug out all six of his trash cans. After he went back into his house, I picked up every can on his  street–except HIS!" Gasping with laughter, he passes the photo around to his eager listeners. "Notice the look on his face when he sees all his trash still sitting there. He thinks he's lost his mind!"  

Another dumpster devil jumps into the conversation. "That's classic, my friend! Isn't he the stockbroker with the solid gold name plates on his lids?" 

The man holding the picture is laughing so hard, all he can do is nod.

That must be it. We are merely today's entertainment and tomorrow's trophies. Unwitting participants in the game of trash collection. Doomed to remain dateless for the prom and unpicked to play dodge ball in the 5th grade.

Still, we hold on to the glimmer of hope that next week we'll be one of the lucky ones bringing in an empty trash can.

The article above is purely fictional and written with loving, sarcastic humor. It in no way implies my dissatisfaction with the hard working trash collectors who, in my opinion, deserve to make more money than any other government employee and live in the lap pf luxury.

Friday, August 3, 2018

The Ten Commandments of Dieting

Well, here I am again. Dieting.
The way I gain and lose weight
makes me think I should have persued
a career on Wall Street.
I've been doing quite a bit of research on the subject.
Apparently, the first thing a determined dieter should do
is get rid of all the junk food in their cupboards. 
Okay. So I'm eating mine.
Does it really matter how you reach the goal?
Plus, according to the Scriptures 
it will actually keep me from getting hungry. 
"Waste not, want not." 

Below are my Ten Commandments of Dieting,
tastefully written after years of experience.
  They don't actually work, 
but you can't eat and laugh at the same time.  
And sometimes, not gaining any more weight 
is just as good as losing it.  Bon Appetit! 

1)  Consuming a candy bar right before dinner 
will help curb your appetite and you'll eat less.
Food additives are calorie-free.  
Examples: Icing on a cake, gravy on top of mashed potatoes and any topping on an ice cream sundae.
3) A good rule of thumb is that all foods of the same color will have the same number of calories.  
Example: spinach and mint chocolate chip ice cream.  
Please note that since brown is a neutral color, 
chocolate can be substituted for any other food color.
4) Any food eaten during a mandatory or obligatory event given by or for any close friend or family member, 
will not count in your daily caloric total.  
Such events include, but are not limited to weddings, showers, graduations, funerals, 
fund raisers, birthdays, retirements and 
Tupperware Parties.
  5) It is always permissible to eat some, 
if not all of your own birthday cake.
6) Candy consumed during the course of inspecting a child's Halloween Bag, filling an Easter Basket or Christmas Stocking is not subject to weight gain. 
It's required parenting.
7)  No matter what the label says, 
a package only contains one serving.  
A half gallon of ice cream, 
a bag of potato chips, a box of Girl Scout Cookies...
8)  Any food with "empty calories" means no calories. 
Hence the word "empty".
9) If you want to eat candy without guilt, eat Tootsie Rolls. The vigourous chewing required to ingest these tasty morsels negate their caloric content. 
In fact, if you chew rapidly, you'll lose weight.
10) Since cardiologists have determined that 
dark chocolate is good for your heart,
it stands to reason that milk chocolate 
must be at least a little good for your heart. 
So go ahead. Eat healthy!

I hope these suggestions have been helpful.  
They are easier to memorize if you read them 
while eating a cream donut.
NOTE: The above mentioned article was written for entertainment purposes only. Results of following said 'Ten Commandments of Dieting' will not include weight loss. All references to actual nutritional information is purely coincidental and not meant to be used as a sound medical diet.