Words of Wisdom, From Joe

“Jimmie!” said Joe. “Did you know that macaroni has lots of calories?”

My supper club bunch and I were having dinner at Finezza’s (Italian – very good, highly recommend), and Joe had apparently watched a new documentary.

“Yes, I know,” I replied.

“It’s got more than the cheese! I thought macaroni and cheese was healthy!”

“No,” I replied smugly*, “noodles have a lot of empty calories. They are a great way to convey flavors to your mouth but the calorie payoff is pretty rough.”

*I can say this with smugness because I’ve recently given up all grains and if I don’t say it smugly, I might cry.

“Also, did you know that fruit juice is mostly sugar?” Joe was distraught.

“Yes, Joe, I know. It’s disappointing.  It sounds so good for you but it’s really not,” I replied.

Joe shook his head mournfully. “No wonder I’ve gained so much weight,” he said (he hasn’t) and then he sighed.

The waiter rounded the table to take our orders and I wondered what Joe would eat. He’s a lot like Dammit Todd.  His food is his focus until the meal is gone and there’s no talking to him until the last bite has been consumed.  He thoroughly enjoys whatever he has ordered and it’s a pleasure to watch him at dinner.

“What will you have, sir?” she asked Joe.

“Lasagna, please. Extra cheese.  And lemonade, thanks.”

Oh, Joe. I do love him.



This weekend I went shopping with Daisy. Often I like to shop for undergarments and often I drive my shopping partners nuts because I only wear matching sets.  Finding matching sets isn’t always easy for me despite all those cute undercracker sets you see in Target.  Those cute sets only come in size perky or petite, and this will surprise you, but I am neither.

I’ve been on a quest to find the right nude and white sets of undies. I’m sorry, this is TMI, but we are in the trenches now.  Anyway, on my quest, I’ve recently purchased and worn a set of each, only to discover that the brassieres are at minimum a size too large, despite my having been measured by an “expert.”  (“Expert” here means a shop girl holding a measuring tape and the measuring is done over the blouse, not “expert” like that high school football player who offered to “measure” me that one time because he “knows titties.”)

Daisy was off in the sized perky and petite bathing suits, rummaging for a suit for our pending Florida vacation, when a brassiere measuring “expert” approached me about the undergarments I was riffling through. “Would you like to try one of those?” she asked.  “It’s the best brand.  They fit like a dream.”

“Sure,” I said, because we all know that once a woman trails off into the bathing suit section, things can take a lengthy turn. It’s because women like being mean to themselves and criticizing all their perceived flaws, and I was going to let Daisy do that in peace because no amount of my telling her she’s perky and petite will make trying on a bathing suit any easier.  What else was I going to do with my time but try on some bras? Plus, I was in the market for one.

The “expert” trundled me off to the dressing room to give me a thorough measuring and once she got a gander at my (super cute, almost perfectly fitting) bra, she began bellowing.

“WELL NO WONDER YOU ARE IN HERE. That bra fit is AWFUL. MY GOD, THIS IS TERRIBLE.  You aren’t in the right size AT ALL.  Look at that wide back!  You need a triple D, with LOTS OF SUPPORT, GOODNESS!!!”

She waddled out of the dressing room after my thorough tongue-lashing during which I had to say, “Could you please not let everyone in the store hear my business? Could you please stop yelling?” and helped me select three bras. I picked the pretty ones and she picked the parachutes.

“Try these on,” she ordered. “They are meant to COVER THE BREAST UNLIKE THAT THING YOU HAVE ON THAT LETS THEM SHOW OUT THE TOP.” I clutched my three selections and shame-facedly made it back to the dressing room, me and my ill-fitted bosoms.

The first one, her selection, sure did fit like a dream, if a dream fits too large and droopy. My whole breast was swimming in there, and if any of you have breasts, you could have put one of yours off in there with mine.  It isn’t often I put on an undergarment that is too large, but I have to say, that was heady stuff.  I turned to the side to see how the breast just kind of pushed out from the body and then flopped over like a pancake on the lip of a plate.  That was weird because my breasts don’t do that even on their own, even unfettered.  I’m 44 but gravity hasn’t killed me yet.

The second one was just as bad. Maybe bigger in the cup size, though, and instead of making me look like I had pancakes for boobs, I looked like a little kid in my grandmother’s bra which was stuffed with pads and slightly pointy.

“How’s it going in there?” the sales lady hollered through the door.

“I look like a battle ax in these. I mean, the hooks on the back cover up the entire area between the top of my shoulder blade to the bottom of my rib cage.  And the straps are like rip cords. Very sturdy and not at all flattering.”  I was not impressed.

Neither was she. “YOUR ENTIRE BREAST IS FALLING OUT OF YOUR BRA.  These are meant to be SUPPORTIVE, something you CLEARLY NEED.”  I remembered how my breasts looked in my super cute, almost perfectly fitted t-shirt just five minutes ago when they were high and tight in my super cute, almost perfectly fitted bra and was puzzled.

I tried, though. “Sure, I’m with you, but this bra will stick out of my shirts because it comes up so high. The one I own is more of a lifter and separator, because I like my breasts placed in the breast region, not smashed down and covered to my neck, where, and this is weird, I don’t have any breasts. Does anyone have breasts up to their neck? Because this cup comes up to my neck.”

“You do what you want but I wear these all the time,” she sniffed, and then stiffly marched back to her cash register.

I tried on the pretty bra that I picked out and wouldn’t you know it really did fit like a dream. I didn’t look like a ‘ho, but then I didn’t look like Maxine either.  I turned this way and that and admired how high and tight everything was, how I could breathe normally, how nothing fell out of the bottom, and then I took it off and hung it back on the hanger.

As I walked out of the dressing room, the sales lady called, “Did you like that one?”

“I did,” I replied.

“There is a free gift with purchase,” she enticed even though she was still offended.

“Ooh,” I mulled. “Is the free gift a matching panty?” I was intrigued and would have slapped down the ridiculous $65-per-bra lickety split if she had said yes.  But she didn’t.

“No, it’s a lingerie bag. We don’t have matching panties for that bra.”

And that was that. Bra back on the rack, Daisy and I out, saleslady miffed.

That’s how it goes, folks. Never an easy answer for boobs like mine.



Don’t Freak Out. I Am Okay.

So I had a heart test last week. I’m leading with that in case any of you were planning to give me a hard time about being gone for so long.  Making you feel guilty right out of the gate is a neat deflector when I don’t have a good explanation for my absence other than “lazy” and “in a highly committed relationship with my sofa.”

I had stress echocardiogram to be exact, which is usually prescribed when someone is having chest pains and the like. I wasn’t having chest pains or shortness of breath but I could feel my heart inside my chest.  When I can feel my ovaries inside my abdomen, I know the pain is coming and that there’s no amount of Advil or chocolate or heating pads that will make that pain stop, so when I became suddenly aware of a new sensation in my heart, I assumed it would be the same.  Like all rational people, when the sensation hit at 2:00 am, I self-diagnosed “impending heart attack” and took an aspirin and then toyed with the idea of writing a living will in case I kicked off in the middle of the night.  Note that I did not drive myself to the ER or make a doctor’s appointment, nor did I write a living will.

Perhaps I will do that now in case I ever do kick off in the middle of the night.

Jimmie’s Living Will:

Do not put me on a machine to live.

Give away every organ you can.

Incinerate the remainder of me or donate the remainder of me to science.

Martie is to sell my house and pocket the equity, give my car to whichever kid is next in line to get one, and use my retirement money for somebody’s college education.

Woney gets my Tiffany bow necklace, Daisy can have back the earrings she lent me, Phranke gets Seamus (because Murphy will expire from a broken heart when I do), and Martie gets all the rest.

There. Done.

After self-diagnosing “impending heart attack” three or four times, I did make an appointment with my doctor who scheduled my stress echo, and clearly I am okay because I told you in the title that I was. Here’s the good part, though, the part you have been waiting for ever since I started this post.  I had to take my clothes off for this test.  And because I had to take my clothes off, I handled this doctor’s appointment with as much aplomb and finesse as all my other doctors’ appointments wherein my clothing has to be removed.   Here’s the breakdown of that visit:


  • Nothing is wrong with my heart.


  • I waited 52 minutes for my test. I asked and was told twice that there was no back up and that my appointment would happen right on time but I waited 52 minutes and had to listen to not only Rachael Ray’s talk show but also The Price is Right.
  • I had to wear a gown.
  • The schedulers told me three times I could keep my clothes on but I had to wear a gown.
  • The gown was too small.
  • Steven, a student, was invited to observe my test for which I had to wear a gown that was too small.
  • It took too much screeching at a pitch only dogs could hear before we all agreed that having Steven the student join us was a bad idea. My throat hurt.
  • No matter how much screeching at a pitch only dogs could hear that I did, I still had to hoof it 12 minutes on a treadmill with no bra and in a gown that was too small.
  • It took too much screeching at a pitch only dogs could hear for one of the technicians to finally say to her co-workers, “You know, we should probably try to remember what this is like on both sides of the table, shouldn’t we?”
  • My eyes looked like two peas in the snow for 48 hours from all the crying.


  • The gown wasn’t paper.

With excellent test results, I’m still left with the question of what’s causing my new occasional heart sensation. A few months ago I began a new eating plan in an effort to rid myself of all of these pesky hips and stomachs I have collected.  I cut out all grains, all diet sodas, and most sugar.  My only treats are unsweetened tea, delicious, and 90% cacao chocolate, which on the first pass tastes like scorched coffee grounds with a hint of cocoa but on the third or fourth pass tastes like divinity made by God, Himself.  I’ve lost a small hunk of weight due to this eating plan – not enough that you will be clamoring for me to sun myself at your beach parties so that you may behold the beauty of my body, but enough that my pants are too big.  It also seems that this new eating plan has done something to the sensitivity of my insides because caffeine, found in both of my meager and sad treats, causes me heart sensations that I do not enjoy.  There’s nothing wrong with me that cutting out my two pitiful and pathetic treats won’t fix.

I mean, I’m guessing. We have no answer for my heart feelings, but as we all have learned, I’m the master at self-diagnosing.  I’m so, so good at it, so good in fact that I get to pay an enormous chunk of my medical deductible off early in the year for a test that told me absolutely nothing was wrong and that I am free to be sick as a dog for the whole rest of the year without monetary penalty from my insurance company.  I have no delicious treats with which to console myself but spending $2200 to discover that when I feel my heart in my chest, the pain of losing my favorite creature comforts is coming and there really is no amount of chocolate, Advil, or heating pad that can fix it.

Sigh . . . no more chocolate.

I missed you all, btw.


Jimmie, M.D.

Who Decided Eggs Had To Be Breakfast Food Anyway

Speaking of Squirt, the last time I was in Florida with Daisy, Squirt came to stay at our snazzy beach house with us. She had to sleep on the couch, of course, because one of the beautiful things about being single and self-indulgent is that when you go on vacation with a friend who is also single and self-indulgent, everyone gets their own room. No sharing of the bed, I don’t care how much I love you.  (God, when my husband who does not wear skinny jeans comes along, and also my husband who is similarly-to-me aged comes along [same man], please bring us a king sized bed.  I’m going to love him but I’m going to like him better when he’s all the way over there while I sleep. Amen.)

Anyway, Daisy and I went to Florida, now an annual trip in case you were wondering, and Squirt came to stay. Daisy and I took turns cooking breakfast. Since neither of us can abide an egg, and since Daisy is currently off carbs, our breakfast grocery shopping is a bit unconventional.  Daisy’s offering came in the form of hot dogs and Atkins bars, always delicious.  Mine came in the form of this:


I slaved away in kitchen and presented plates to both roomies. “Ta da,” I said, “breakfast is served!”

Squirt looked at me, fresh from her slumber on the sofa. “Wha?  Why?  That’s peas . . . “

“Yes!” I exclaimed. “With turkey bacon and cheese!”

Daisy said, “Is there butter?” Squirt said, “Is this even real meat?”

“NO! Peas are good on their own! Yes, I think so! Except it smells like plastic if you cook it for too long, so I don’t do that!”  I was muy entusiasmado, usually a problem for those who are not also similarly morning people.

Tentatively, Squirt said, “Do you have any eggs, maybe?”

Which brings me to my rant. Why do eggs have to be breakfast food?  Who determined that sausage should have an Italian version, a smoked version and also a breakfast version which is a complete non-descriptor?  Why pancakes only in the morning?  Why can’t we have pancakes for dinner and just call it pancakes for dinner?  We always have to say “breakfast foods for dinner.  I love breakfast foods for dinner!”  No. This is wrong on many levels.

Firstly, eggs are gross. They taste like eggs, particularly when scrambled.  I can abide a good deviled egg but it must be super salty and mustardy and I only eat the white parts if they are covered in yellow.  I can abide a fried egg only when it’s over something like toast or potatoes which mask the flavor.  I can abide a hard-boiled egg covered in ranch dressing or a very good Italian.  First thing in the morning, though?  Oh, my stomach.  OH, HURK.


Secondly, why aren’t turkey sandwiches considered a breakfast food? Peas, also.  Lately, I’ve even found myself enamored of a roasted beet or steamed Brussels sprout for breakfast.  Full of fiber, pretty colors, throw some olive on there to clean out the arteries.  What’s not great about starting your day that way?


I did some research to figure this out so that you don’t have to. I found this, about Edward Bernays, long considered the father of public relations:

“To get an idea of Bernays’ abilities, think for a moment about a traditional breakfast. What do you think of? If you are like most, you will come up with bacon and eggs — so what? Prior to 1915, bacon was not part of a traditional breakfast — so Edward Bernays was hired to increase bacon consumption in the United States. He incorporated a new theory of gaining assent from recognized leaders either with their knowing cooperation or without. He conducted a survey among physicians and received their overwhelming recommendation that Americans should eat a hearty breakfast. Coupled with predictive results from the physicians, he began an advertising campaign stressing that a breakfast of bacon and eggs was just that — a hearty breakfast. It may sound simple, but look where we are today because of it.” (Jack Monnett, PhD.)*

I guess I can blame Edward Bernays for eggs-for-breakfast tradition. And I guess this is only two levels of wrong but it’s my post.

For the record, Martie has lots to say about my breakfast selections. Mostly they involve phrases like, “No.”  Also, “OMG, why???”  Perhaps even a “You are gross, how are we sisters?”  Then she sends pictures of her lobster grits, consumed at Blue Heaven in Key West and I ask the same question.  Daisy felt similiarly, I think, despite her fondness for hotdogs at breakfast but I believe I changed her.  On our last day of Florida vacation, Daisy fixed us breakfast.  It was a giant bowl of peas, loaded with butter and salt, and it was delicious.

And that, my friends, is all I have to say about that.



Squirt with her new Paraguayan friend, Gilbert.


My list of things that are fine:

Seamus: Despite his new-found love of eating my hair, Seamus seems healthy. I mean, he’s as fat as a bear but since he goes nuts every time I drop a ponytail holder on the floor, all jumping around and leaping off of walls and tossing it into the air, I can’t see how his fatness is hurting him in any way.  Is hairspray toxic to cats?  Is it delicious to cats?  I have no idea but I wake up every morning to him purring like a freight train in my ear and chewing on his selected wad of my hair.


Pat: Pat, of my senior citizen dining companion group, got out of the van to enter our chosen restaurant last month and promptly fell off the curb.  She’s not a good listener, to her own inner safety voice or the outer loud voice of her driver telling her to wait before stepping onto the curb, but bless her heart, she put one foot on the curb and went down like a sack of potatoes.  I gasped and ran over to her side of the van to help her.  The whole group of us gasped and stood over her offering help.  A very handsome, very single man galloped out of the restaurant to offer his assistance.  He grasped her under the arms with his manly, very manly hands and tried to lever his wide shoulders into a lifting position but Pat said, “No, I’m fine.”

“Pat!” I hissed. “This man is marvelous, stunningly handsome and rugged, let him pick you up!”

“I’m okay,” she insisted from her position near the tire and around his bulbous, well-defined biceps. “I can do this myself.”

Jan, me in thirty years, said, “Pat, come on, he’s here already. He’s already got you.  Let him help.”

Pat said, “I’m fine, really.” So the man released his tender yet firm grip and went back inside the restaurant.  A few moments later Pat allowed a young hipster wearing skinny jeans and a fluffy beard to pick her up and put her back on her feet, both of them on the curb this time.  I guess everyone has a type.  Also, Pat is just fine.  No scratches or bruises of any kind.  No date from a rugged manly hottie with wide shoulders for either one of us, but fine.



This is not Pat, but this is Joe. I’ve talked about him before.

The love lives of all those around me: ♥ Dammit Todd and Ashley broke up a while ago and we no longer love Ashley.  But Dammit Todd has found himself a new girlfriend, one who is lovely and one who we like a lot.  ♥ Luke also has himself a new girlfriend, also one who is lovely.  He explained to her our situation of trading food for internet service yet I still wondered if she harbored any unease over our close relationship.  However, the day he introduced the two of us, he didn’t warn me he was bringing her over and thus I answered the door in my favorite pajamas:  a college t-shirt that I purchased when I graduated (1994) and have washed approximately once a week since then so to say it is thin and full of holes would be accurate, and some floppy shorts that are at minimum one size too big and not even remotely in the color palette of the t-shirt.  Plus I had my hair up in a wad that had been Seamus-chewed.  I do believe any uneasiness she might have had vanished the moment she clapped her eyes on the vision that is me in my loungewear.  ♥ Pee-tah and his loved-up boyfriend broke up recently and I am sad for them.  I was so hopeful for them.  But I get my gay husband back so I guess this is a win for me.  ♥ Also, Daniel has found himself a new boyfriend and even though they don’t speak the same language, not a single word of the other’s dialect, they get along really well.  ♥ Martie and Coach celebrated 17 years of marriage the other day so I’d say they are fine, too.  Love is in the air!


Tom Hardy: This needs no explanation.


Stole this from the innernet. That mouth, tho . . .

Me: I had my follow-up visit with my new cookie doctor and despite the bad words and spectacles I hurled at the wall during my last visit (this is not written to be funny, but to be true – I really did those things), she was very friendly towards me. She withdrew from a drawer a large number of photos of cervixes, etc. and explained that I have some bad cells that are not resolving on their own, that have been there for ten years or so. She explained all of this whilst showing me pictures of what I’ve got going on and what could possibly happen if I don’t treat this.  So treat this I will.  One more visit wherein I don the fetching paper towel called a gown and then I get to be knocked out cold for the display of my lady parts on a paper-covered table in order to remove/burn off any offending cells.  I’m not sure if the induction to mild coma is more for my benefit or theirs but either way, I won’t care a whit who has what kind of headlamp and metal rake if I’m dreaming of hot ruggedly handsome men with wide shoulders picking me up off the sidewalk next to a van. And then I will be completely fine.  Thousands of women have this done all the time, so really, no need to worry.


Me in an ice bar. Story coming soon . . .


Are you guys fine? Since I’ve gotten off Facebook I’m very out of touch.  I don’t regret the decision at all but I do want to note that in the first three months of my departure, I have forgotten three birthdays.  If I forget you, I’m truly sorry.  I’ll make up for it with a cupcake if you forgive me.  Deal?  Deal.

My Snow Day(s)

I live in Nashville. This weekend I got snowed in.  Well, Nashville got snowed in. We had eight inches of snow in my neighborhood while other neighborhoods got more like ten inches.  I know all of you Michiganers and Wisconsiners are all, “Really?  Eight inches is child’s play. Amateurs.”  And of course, we are.  We are ill-equipped to deal with this kind of snow.  We are ill-equipped to deal with ice, too, which makes no sense because we get gobs of that mess every year.

Friday morning I awoke early and for a change had a good hair day. I was preening in the mirror, fluffing my coif before I liberally decanted a tin of hairspray onto it when I received a text from my boss.  “You should probably stay home today.  The roads are in rough shape.”  (Everyone knows I don’t watch the weather because: no television.  I have people looking out for me, y’all.)

“But I had a good hair day,” I wailed.

“Take some selfies and then go back to bed.” She is an excellent boss.

I thought about her suggestion but see above: good hair. I hated to waste it. Instead of clambering back in amongst my pillows and two cats, I opted to perch prettily on the sofa with a book until my new young roommate woke up so he could appreciate my fluffy halo of hair. That would have been an excellent plan except for the key words in that above sentence:  “young” and “he.”  Not being young anymore, I forget how they like to sleep:  like the dead and late.    And not being male, I forget that men who are not looking for a chance to sleep with you really don’t give two figs what your hair looks like.  When Daniel finally rolled out of bed, he thundered down the stairs, hollered “good morning” and thundered out the door to rescue a friend who had gotten stuck at work in his ten inches of snow.  As Daniel trundled off in his car for a four-hour rescue trip, I broke my Derek Zoolander pose, sighed, and put my hair up in a ponytail.

Then I got busy.

Below is my list of what I accomplished in 2.5 days of being snowbound:

I cooked:

  • Fried pork chops (Luke and Daniel ate them.)
  • Mashed potatoes (Luke and Daniel ate them.)
  • Roasted Brussels sprouts (Luke and Daniel ate them.)
  • Chocolate peppermint cake (Still sitting on the counter, getting stale – smells good, tho.)
  • Pizza, from scratch (A bust – yeast has an expiration date, did you know that?)
  • Pork roast with potatoes, carrots and mushrooms (I got to eat some of this! But Luke and Daniel ate it.)
  • Roasted garlic and shallots (Luke ate these.)
  • Hard boiled eggs (Still in fridge. Not sure what to do with them.  Suggestions?)

Also, I cooked:

  • Broccoli (Only I ate this.)
  • Brown rice (No one wanted any but me.)

Later, I dug out all the skin care and hair care samples I have accumulated over the years and tried them all. My skin has experienced:

  • Algae face scrub (Rendered my skin green. Despite not caring a whit about my perfect hair, new young male roommates will notice when you emerge from the bathroom with green skin, so much so that they will choke on the pork roast and wheeze, “My God!  Are you okay?”)
  • Something del Sol face wash (Made me oily.)
  • Philoposhy volumizing serum (Belatedly realized this was meant for hair.)
  • Black Pine Tar face lotion (Smells like grandma which is strangely comforting.)
  • Origins brightening under eye cream (Eyes still puffy – check!)
  • Fake tan (Rendered me streaky orange.)

My teeth were brushed with:

  • Crest Whitening toothpaste (Normal use but approximately five times more than usual.)
  • Coconut oil (Did you know that stuff is thick? Gag.)
  • Mixture of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda (Foamy!)
  • Hairspray (Liberal use too near my toothbrush.)

My hair was doused with:

  • Ion (Promised to make it Soft! Strong! Healthy! But actually made it look like straw.)
  • No other items because I felt like making it look like straw was trauma enough, plus I used up the Philosophy in one go on my face.

Also, I organized the following:

  • Sock drawer (Pristine!)
  • Hoodie shelf (I’m down to 16 hoodies. From 35.  I call this miraculous.)
  • Cat food cabinet (They had a lot of treats. Seamus ate them.)

I read three books, cover to cover. Here are my favorite quotes:

  • “People mostly have it backward. They think they live by what they want.  But really what guides them is what they’re afraid of. What they don’t want.” ~ Odelia, And the Mountains Echoed (Khaled Hosseini)
  • “Daniel Craig is James Bond. He wouldn’t have a limp little wiener floating around like that.” ~ Lula, Tricky Twenty-Two (Janet Evanovich)

You understand I had to balance out the classy with the trashy. No one can read three emotionally wrenching books in a row.  No one.

Also, I vacuumed twice, did two very strenuous and vomit-inducing workouts, crunched my abs 420 times, shaved my legs and greased up every inch of my skin with some real deal cocoa butter. This last bit rendered me unable to sit on surfaces of any sort for a few hours as I’d slide off to the floor with a thunk.  It takes a while for that stuff to soak in but when it does, your skin is soft for about six whole hours!

When the roads finally cleared enough for me to leave the house, I sped over to Kroger and walked the aisles for twenty minutes. I didn’t need a thing but it was such a glorious luxury to move around outside my home.  Went to the library, too.

All in all, it was a pretty eventful weekend. What did you do?

Let’s Talk About Money

You guys want to talk about money? We aren’t dating so I think it’s safe.

There was a time when I would tell you that I was good at saving money. I had some moolah in the bank set aside for emergencies, and I had a nice 401(k) going. I felt pretty good about things. The day after I felt good about things, I lost my job. Then right after that, I got a new job but I made signficantly less money which was okay because it was around that time that I gave up wearing glitter eyeliner* which can get pretty expensive. I felt good about that because the day after I gave up glitter eyeliner, I paid off my car. I felt exceptionally good about that and the day after that, my car fell spectacularly apart. Nine times.

I don’t know about you but I can often feel very discouraged about money, especially when I think I’m ahead and then later in the day I find myself underneath my car on one of those rolling scooter things looking  up at the new break in my bushings. Just last week I was preening over the small amount of money in my savings account when I got a call from my doctor asking me to come in for a biopsy because she found some questionable cells on my person.** This biopsy will fall into the category of “stuff I have to pay for out of pocket because insurance sucks anymore and I have a very large deductible I have to meet,” which means the money in the bank will be sent to a medical professional very soon and I’ll be back to square one. I’m thankful I have a square one because a lot of people don’t even have a square. They have negative squares.

While I’m talking about saving, I’ll also discuss spending. That goes a lot like this:

Madre: Jimmie, I found these great boots that would fit over your gladiator calves. You should look at them. You’ve been wanting some for years.

Jimmie: I don’t have the money for boots that fit over my gladiator calves. They are expensive. That is a lot of leather.

Madre: But you had money last week. Where did it go?

Jimmie: No, I didn’t have any money. You misheard me.

Madre: Is that a TJ Maxx bag?

Jimmie, as I kick the bag under the bed: No.

Also while I’m talking about spending, I will tell you that I took two trips last year I didn’t tell you about, one with Phranke and one with Daisy. And I’m booked for a cruise with My Girls in about seven weeks. After that I have a trip planned to Key West and another planned for New Year’s Eve, and then in 2017 Woney and I are going to Spain. “No money!” I whine. Well why the hell not?

I have found a sort of solution for this problem of mine. This will sound like I am selling something in an infomercial and I totally am but not in the way you think. I’m telling you about it, trying to sell you on it, because if you are like me even a weensy bit, you could do far better with your finances and you require someone being sneaky to make you do it.

Go out to the Google and type in the word Digit. It should be the first web page to pop up. Basically you just connect your bank account to Digit and they take care of the rest. I stole this wording from their website: Every few days, Digit checks your spending habits and removes a few dollars from your checking account if you can afford it. Easily withdraw your money any time, quickly and with no fees. Bank-level security.

It sounds scary, I know. I read a thousand reviews before I did it. With a squinched up digestive tract, I got out my checkbook and connected the two. Ten months later I have saved almost $500. $500! Do you know how many car repairs that would cover? (Answer: one.)

Initially Digit tiptoed around in my checking account and said, “Perhaps she won’t miss 92 cents. I think we can safely take that and she will be okay.”   Then they got slightly more aggressive and took amounts like $1.19 and $2.52. After a time I asked them to be even more aggressive and amounts like $33.04 were deducted. Not once have I missed that money. I’m of a mind, apparently, that if the money is where I can see it, I can spend it. If I don’t see it, I don’t spend it.

I know that this whole post sounds like I have become a sponsored blogger, a brand ambassador, but I have not. Once someone asked if they could share my Christmas post with their church and once someone asked if she could use a comment of mine to help a friend, but that is the extent of my fame with this here blog. Those two things. I’m just really excited about Digit because it works for me.

Every so often Digit sends a link attached to my balance text message letting me know that I can boost my savings by $5 for every friend I refer. While that $5 would be great (it would go towards the fund for repairing my broken air conditioner which I know is broken because the WINTER WEATHER we are supposed to be having is not cooperating and my house was 85 degrees the other day and it only got hotter when I turned the a/c on), I am not attaching that link here. I get nothing if you sign up except the satisfaction of knowing I recommended something that has worked for me and the hope that it will work for you, too.

Visit if you like. Let me know if you liked/hated it. Digit.

Also, feel free to give me advice about my money. Budgets are kind of sexy, but creating one is not and I suck at that it seems.

*Martie got me some glitter eyeliner for Christmas so I’m back in business!

** We are not worrying about this biopsy. I am totally fine. I just have to prove it is all.

I Can Totally Quit You, Facebook

Are we friends on Facebook? Rather, were we?  Because now we aren’t.



On New Year’s Day, I deactivated my Facebook account for good. It wasn’t a resolution really, but more of a nice round date on which to make decision.  My finger hovered over the “close” button for some truly anxious moments and I felt a little sick.  I wondered how I would keep up with everyone.  How would I know what was going on the world?  Or with my friends?  But after those first panicky thoughts, I pushed the button and felt an enormous sense of relief.  It was done.  No more would I voluntarily read things like this:

Obama, most excellent President, hated by white Christians simply because he’s black. (Not true)

You can’t take away my Second Amendment rights! Ima holster up my pistols and swagger on over to Wal-Mart and just let somebuddy try to tell me I cain’t come in.  Just let ‘em.  Swing through McDonald’s afterwards.  This is necessary, y’all!  I’ve got to prove this point right here right now! (Not true)

God took your loved one because He needed another angel! (Not true)

God took your loved one because He needed another angle! (Also not true)

This keeps happening to me! Only me! Why?! (Not true, whatever “this” is)

Jesus is weeping because you haven’t shared this on your wall nor have you typed Amen. Heathen. You’ll burn in hell, oh ye of little faith. (Most definitely not true)

Honestly, it was this coming election is what really did it for me. I know where I sit and no matter how many vitriolic memes or pictures or opinions you post about where you sit, whether I’m aligned with you or not, I’ll not change my mind or think you are a genius.  No one will, really.  You say you want to educate people but what you really want is for someone to validate your opinion (collective you, not specific you).  So instead of being annoyed about it, I changed it.  Besides, I want to continue to like the 346 people that I love and the easiest way to do that is to hold our interactions to a standard of “in person” or “a phone call away.”  And now I’m happy all the time.

Also, as a white Christian, I’d like to share this picture that I love because it tickles me all the way down to my toes. I love the man in this picture and I don’t give two shits if his skin is black or white or a saucy caramel macchiato.  This man, right here on the floor, is just lovely.


This man, too.


*speaking of that “I escaped” up there, Phranke and I played the Escape Game with four strangers on New Year’s Eve. At 11:55 pm the clock started its one hour countdown and we frantically rushed around our tiny little room trying to figure out clues to get us out of there.  At midnight one of the strangers said, “Oh. Happy New Year,” and we all said, “Oh, sure, happy new year,” and then continued to tear the room apart for clues.  My stealthy-ness won the game for us!  It totally did!  (not true – I suck at that game.  I stood around and looked pretty and occasionally got to hold the flash light.)

It was way fun! (True)

The Escape Game

How Madre Does A Hospital Stay

A week or two ago Madre had to have some surgery to get her gut rearranged, and that surgery required an overnight stay in the hospital. Back in April she had a different gut rearranging surgery wherein parts of her that were useless were removed. That removal opened the door for other gut items to shift around and act like brats so Madre sternly opted to teach them a lesson by having them operated upon. She’s fine, so there will be no surprise ending where I exclaim, “She’s in a full body cast for approximately three months to one year but she’s hopeful and the prognosis, while grim, can be good as long as she gets regular acupuncture and never has sugar again!”

Going relatively anywhere with Madre is a treat. She’s from whom I get my stunning and friendly personality so like me, Madre simply views strangers as friends that she has not yet met. Combine that personality with the increasing lack of filter that often comes in the aging process and you’ll understand what an adventure it is to witness Madre come out of anesthesia and recover overnight in a hospital bed.

Martie drove Madre up for the procedure and planned on spending the night in Madre’s room, ostensibly to keep an eye on Madre’s care but more honestly to make sure Madre didn’t loot the nurse’s cart or sneak down the hall for a midnight coffee run. After the surgery had been completed Madre was whisked off to the recovery room. We expected an hour’s wait but after two Martie and I began to get worried. Martie set off to the seventh floor to hunt her down. As it happens, things took a horrible turn for the nurses and also Madre when, coming out of anesthesia, Madre rubbed her eyes and in doing so, scraped the tape debris right across her cornea. The sight Martie found at the recovery room door was Madre sitting up in her recovery bed with an eye patch taped over her face, her mouth open and her finger wagging at the beleaguered staff.

“Did you put an ice pick in my eye?” she bellowed.

“No, ma’am, you just scratched your cornea with the tape.”

“Well it feels like an ice pick has been stabbed into my eye! Did you do this so I wouldn’t feel pain in my stomach? Because I don’t feel any pain down there but my eye is killing me! I can take pain, Martie, you know I can take pain, but this really hurts. I need some morphine for this! Have you put any pain meds in my IV? Did you do this on purpose? What kind of joint are you running here?”

It was a downhill slide from there.

When they finally wheeled Madre into her room, I got to hear this little tirade for myself. It was exquisite, how intently Madre could focus on her eye and ignore her lower body which had stitches and cuts and sutures. That part of the surgery made me squirm all in my intestines but Madre could give two hoots about that. She was pissed off about her eye.

The nurse who completed the transfer from recovery room to regular room and then recovery bed to regular bed got Madre all settled and then scooted quick, fast and in a hurry out of the room. “Here’s a cafeteria menu,” he hollered from the door, “she can order whatever she likes, no restrictions,” and then he was gone.

Madre’s ears perked up. “A menu?” she said. “Can I get coffee, do you think?”

After listening to the menu selections (because her eye was all patched up), Madre selected a quesadilla, brown rice, and carrots (for eye health – not joking). She also ordered a large cup of coffee, stat. The nurse had assured us that her eye would heal quickly and as we waited for her meal and coffee, Madre iced her eye and began to fully wake up.

“This hurts,” she said but she was no longer bellowing. “Wonder what really happened to my eye? I feel weird. How do I come in here to get my guts rearranged but leave with an eye patch? Did they do the surgery? Am I okay?”

We assured her that she was okay, and before long she was. She swilled down the coffee the moment it hit her tray and then attempted a few bites of dinner. She took a bite of quesadilla and happily chewed on that for about eight minutes. After quite a long time of that one mouthful, she said, “You know, I’m chewing but it isn’t really going anywhere.” We greased it up with some sour cream and that seemed to slide it down a little easier.

After a while she attempted to eat the carrots. They were cut into a small dice and with her patched eye and no glasses, she managed to pick up one cube. “These probably taste pretty good but I can’t see the damn things to pick them up. Am I eating them? Are there any on my fork? I need them to make my eye better.”

And that was dinner.

After a while, I left Madre and Martie to sleep it off in the room. I felt content with my mother’s care and her recovery so I slept the sleep of the peaceful dreamer.

Martie, on the other hand, slept terribly on the eggshell-mattressed cot, and was there when Madre awoke and decided it was time to go home.

“Madre,” she said, “you have to wait for them to remove the catheter and then take out the IV.”

“The doctor told me that as soon as I could pee on my own, we could leave. Get them in here so I can do that. And get them in here to get this damn tube out of my arm.” Madre was insistent.

Martie dutifully trotted off to the nurse’s station where they assured her that they would be right in. They were not, of course, because they had other patients to attend to, but eventually, after much persuasion, the catheter was removed and Madre could get out of bed. Madre did her business and then marched up and down the hall with her IV pole greeting other patients and making her rounds.

“I’m ready to go. Will you remove this IV please,” she asked every staff member.

At the nurse’s station she requested a pair of scissors. “I need to cut this line, please. I’m tired of this pole,” she explained. The nurses looked at Martie with some horror and some sympathy.

“No, ma’am, you cannot be discharged until the doctor comes in for her rounds and releases you,” they explained.

Here Madre set them straight. “Oh, no,” she said, “I was told that once I could pee on my own I could go. I’ve done that, twice, and now I need to leave. I have horses to attend to. And a dog I need to pick up. Martie, call your sister and tell her to call my doctor so that she can tell them I can be released. Do that now.”

Martie made the call and I made the call and many apologies were made by Martie and by me. Shockingly, that phone call worked. In no short order, Madre’s doctor called Madre’s nurse and asked, “Is she bucking?”

Yes. Yes, she was bucking.

“Cut her loose,” she said. “Let her go home. She’s just fine.”

Madre was quickly released from her hospital prison, much to the relief of everyone. But, like it happens every time with my mother, the staff cheerfully waved her off with almost hugs and affectionate pats, a little sorry to see her go. She was and is fine. Marvelous, even.

It isn’t often you find a 72-year-old woman who will challenge you the way my mother will challenge you yet do it in such a way that you can’t help but cheer her on. Life with Madre – it’s never boring.


I Didn’t See This Coming

I had dinner with Martie, Coach, Pooh and Tigger last night.  Its summer break for them and since my hometown has zero good shopping opportunities (excepting Home Depot, of course), they came up my way for some good eats and some good spending.

Right in the middle of a story I was telling at dinner, I looked over at Pooh and noticed that she’s suddenly become a young lady.  Her roundy little face is not really roundy anymore and her chin is suddenly all pointy and sweet and her cheekbones are making an appearance and she looked so grown up that I couldn’t stand it.  I started crying halfway through a sentence.

Coach was astonished, although probably not as astonished as an outsider would have been.  I mean, he’s been a part of Martie’s life since forever and Martie and I are what you call emotional at times.  I think he was particularly torn because while he was sitting next to me as I cried into my napkin, Martie was across the table from him and suddenly crying into her napkin, too.  I could see his dilemma – he wanted to race around the table to her, pat me on the arm, look proudly at Pooh but since we were all in a circle, he could only dart his eyes around in a panic.  Tigger just sat there like, “wha . . .?”

Back when Pooh was a toddler and Tigger wasn’t even a two-celled being, Martie and Coach bought Pooh a swing set.  She loved to swing but she hated bugs so getting her to go outside was super successful until a fly buzzed past, then she was hell bent on heading for the sofa on her squeezy little toddler legs.   We all thought it was adorable because everything toddlers do is adorable, but I also thought it could be changed so I tried that.

Pooh and I were happily swinging one day when a buzzy creature whizzed past.  Pooh got off the swing, covered her eyes and wailed, waiting for me to take her inside.  Instead, I spotted a butterfly on some of the marigold plants in their rock-walled planter and developed a plan.

“Come with me, Pooh,” I said, taking her by the hand.  “Let’s go look at the pretty butterfly.  Not all bugs are scary.”  She, ever trusting, took my hand and willingly followed.

At the planter, I bent down to brush the dirt off the rock wall and then curved Pooh into the crook of my arm as I sat down.  As I held my hand out to the butterfly, I felt a small stick on my behind.  I ignored it because the butterfly was flitting toward my fingers and I was excited to show Pooh the beauty of it.

I felt another stick on my behind, like maybe I was pressing into a sticker bush.  I scooted forward.  Then I felt another and another and another.

“What the . . . ?” I thought.  “Do marigolds have thorns?”  I looked behind me to see what I was sticking my butt into and saw the most horrifying sight.  Fire ants.  Fire ants!  Oh, geez.

Apparently that dirt I brushed off the rock wall was their home.  I just whisked it right off into oblivion which, as you know, will piss a fire ant off like nobody’s business.  Whoops.  In retaliation for my destruction they attacked my behind numerous, numerous times.

I stood up abruptly, knocking Pooh over, and did the only thing I could think to do.  I stripped off my pants.  Which, in case you are unfamiliar with how clothing works, will leave you virtually naked.  Realizing that neighbors were likely now peeking out of their windows due to the loud squawking next door, and realizing that being naked in my sister’s backyard with her squeezy little toddler was in no way sane, I stuffed myself back into my fire ant-riddled pants and ran for the house.  I did remember to get Pooh and as I ran, I tucked her under my arm like a football, screeching the whole way.

As we ran, Pooh very calmly touched my behind with her finger.  “Ant,” she said.  She giggled.  “Ant,” and then she’d poke me again.  “Ant, ant, ant,” all the way to the house.  I set her down on the laundry room floor, stripped myself again and threw everything into the washing machine while Pooh said over and over in her toddler language, “Ant.” Har, har, Pooh.  Very funny. Got over your bug phobia, didn’t you?

I’ve told that story a thousand times.  Used to Pooh would ask for it, and then would tell it to Tigger in her own language which often made no sense. The two of them would cackle in the backseat of my car, highly amused at my injured behind and my naked self.

Now if I told that story, Tigger would giggle to be polite and Pooh would give me a half smile and then text her friends something that has nothing to do with me.  They both still hug me tightly when we get together and we still have big fun talking about boys and clothes and nail polish, but one day soon they are going to flit off with their friends right after giving me that tight squeeze and talk about boys and clothes and nail polish with them, not me.

I’m so, so excited for them and their young little lives, truly, but man . . . . that really hurts.


Previous Older Entries