Transitioning into retirement hasn’t been what I expected. My first thought was “It’s going to be nice not having to work;” however, my next thought was “How am I going to keep myself busy?” I have a very logical mind.

I then began to think about writing and how I’ve been absent from this blog for so long. After my mother passed away last year, I lost a lot of my passion for writing. It wasn’t so much that I couldn’t write, I just didn’t want to. Perhaps it was because I was in so much profound grief. Two years before my mother passed, I lost my father and although losing him didn’t diminish my desire to write, after losing my mom, I just couldn’t.

Now I’m back and although I am still grieving over the loss of my parents, I am ready to start writing again.

Transitions, change, retirement. So much to write about.

As I look out the window from my desk (photo below), I am so thankful to be living in such a beautiful area. My husband and I moved to my parents’ former home in northern California three months ago and we are thoroughly enjoying our new environs. In fact, I’m going to have to take a break from writing now in order to join my husband for a cup of coffee on our deck overlooking twelve majestic redwood trees.


This is a very short post, but at least I’ve started writing again. It’s good to be back.

“That’s Bullsh*t Jenelle!” quote from her Mom

March 14 8:00 p.m.

I wasn’t a fan of MTV’s “Teen Mom” until I began watching the trials and tribulations of one of the most idiotic teen moms of all – Jenelle Evans (Teen Mom 2).

I know it’s kind of pathetic of me to keep watching Jenelle make the same mistakes over and over again, but I find her stupidity entertaining. In addition to never learning from her mistakes, Jenelle always plays the victim, blaming others instead of taking responsibility for her countless mis-steps in life.

Her first mistake of course was not using contraceptives and getting pregnant at the age of sixteen. Very soon after her son Jace was born, Jenelle wasn’t willing to give up getting high and partying, so her mother took on the responsibility of raising Jace. Jenelle gave her mother full custody of Jace, which as far as I can tell was the only wise decision she’s ever made.

In 2013, Jenelle met Nathan Griffith, a guy she found on an online dating site, and after two months they moved in together and decided to have a child. Great – another child that her mother will probably have to raise. In fact, Jenelle did get pregnant even though she was potentially facing eight months of jail time from a previous drug arrest. I guess being pregnant and perhaps giving birth to a child while in jail didn’t bother her. Turns out that her jail time was waived due to a plea bargain in the case. Nevertheless, who in their right mind would plan a pregnancy knowing that they might be facing eight months in jail (not to mention only knowing the father for a couple of months)?

In addition to her many bad decisions, Jenelle has an illustrious criminal record:

October 15, 2010


Arrested for breaking and entering, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

March 27, 2011


Arrested for misdemeanor accounts of assault and affray.

August 8, 2011


Arrested for probation violation after testing positive for marijuana and opiates.

January 10, 2012


Arrested for making harassing phone calls and threats to former roommate. She seems happy and proud of herself in this mugshot.

January 16, 2012


Jenelle didn’t make it a week before being arrested again for violating a domestic violence protective order. Another happy faced Jenelle in mugshot.

March 5, 2012


Arrested for cyberstalking charges (on her former boss). It seems like she gets happier the more she is arrested based on this and the last few mug shots. Cyberstalking is fun!

June 24, 2012


A more serious Jenelle in this mugshot and more serious charges: possession of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and a controlled substance. Obviously, rehab didn’t work for Jenelle.

April 23, 2013


A very somber looking Jenelle in this mugshot. Not so much fun anymore, particularly when facing charges of heroin possession (with intent to sell/manufacture/distribute), possession of drug paraphernalia and simple assault.

May 20, 2013


Arrested for missing a court date. She turned herself in after a warrant was issued and obviously was happy to do so as evidenced by the grin on her face in the mugshot.

August 12, 2013


Despite reaching a plea to keep her out of jail for heroin and Percocet possession in April 2013, Jenelle was back in the clink again for failing a random drug test. Jenelle was smiling again in the mugshot most likely because she was stoned. She only tested positive for marijuana.

December 14, 2013


A not-so-happy and pregnant, 21 year-old Jenelle in mugshot. This time she got into a fight with her current boyfriend (Nathan Griffith, apparently the baby’s father) and locked him out of the house. She was arrested for “breach of peace” after the neighbors called the cops.

Maybe one of these days Jenelle will start learning from her mistakes but until that happens (or MTV boots her off the show), I will keep watching her on Teen Mom 2. I have a feeling I will be watching the show for a long time.

Last Night’s Dinner

March 14 9:45 a.m.

Once again it was a frozen dinner evening. I wasn’t really that hungry and didn’t want a big production, so I popped the Michelina’s $1 special “Beef and Peppers” dinner into the microwave.

The picture on the outside of the container looked pretty good:


However, this is what was actually inside the container (I was super disappointed at what I saw):


Well, at least there were only two miniscule pieces of “beef,” thank God, as they were very chewy and tasted rancid. However, the ten or so tiny pieces of bell pepper were definitely real, not so much because they actually tasted like bell pepper, but because I was burping them up all night (which is what always happens when I eat them — love bell peppers but they don’t love me). Bell peppers must be cheap as I’ve noticed that they are abundant in a lot of frozen dinners and frozen pizza.

I guess I shouldn’t have expected much for a dollar. It really made me wonder how much this entrée was to produce. I should have known that if it was selling for a dollar, the ingredients probably were much less than that. I bet the packaging cost more than the meal.

No more Michelina’s for me!

Dear Blog Letter

Feb. 5, 2014

Dear Blog,

Sorry I haven’t written in so long – almost six months as a matter of fact. I have no excuses; I’ve just been lazy. Kind of into my winter TV watching and hibernation mode.

Guess I have a little catching up to do. FYI, I recently printed up my past letters/posts to you for my mother to read. I was a little apprehensive to give them to her, but so far she likes what she has read.

Damn, I have to take a quick break. That overactive bladder commercial just came on and every time I see it, I have to pee.

Better now. Well, what’s been happening; gotta pause to think for a few.

Oh, I had a really nice rash for about five weeks in October and November. Nice subject, just filling you in on my exciting life. I thought the rash was ringworm (what a horrible name – it’s actually not a worm thank God, but a bacterial infection); however, it wasn’t ringworm but something called pityriasis rosea. Terrible rash that covered almost my entire body and it got a little itchy toward the last week or so. Went on the internet for the diagnosis and remedies – started taking multi-vitamins and used Head and Shoulders shampoo on the the rash and it was gone in one week. Thank God for WebMD. Turns out pityriasis rosea is a rash that is caused by a virus (due to a weakened immune system). I was super busy with dog walks during the month preceding the rash and also wasn’t sleeping well or eating right, hence the compromised immune system. Well, enough about that enthralling subject – I’m sure you’re thrilled to hear about my red, scaly rash (now you are certainly visualizing it – sorry . . .).

Christmas was all right, it’s always nice to spend time with family but not having Dad there always makes me a little melancholy. Hard to believe that Dad will have been gone two years this September. Christmas really is for kids you know, and being that there are no kids around during our Christmases, I suggested that our family should just draw names for gifts instead of spending so much money on multiple gifts, but no one really wanted to do that except one of my sisters. So, everyone is getting a Chia Pet this year.

I remember when I was a kid I knew it was really about to be Christmas when I saw the commercial with Santa riding down snow-covered slopes on a Norelco electric razor (lucky he wasn’t electrocuted). Over the last decade or so, I always knew that I had better start my shopping when the Chia Pet commercials came on. This year, I was horrified to find myself subjected to the Michael Bolton Honda commercials which seemed to air every five minutes. Thank God that yelling, copy-cat “singer” is no longer screaming at me from the TV. I am reminded of a great Michael Bolton impersonation by Jim Carrey. I searched youtube and they have it – check it out (just search Michael Bolton, Jim Carrey. It’s a video from the series “In Living Color”). The ending is a crack up (literally).

I reluctantly watched the Superbowl this year even though the 49ers weren’t in it and speaking of commercials, I was looking forward to seeing them because the game was so boring. Talk about a run away by the Seahawks. I didn’t really think too many of the commercials were noteworthy except the Budweiser commercial with the Clydesdales and the lab puppy. So cute, made me tear up a little at the end. Funny, I haven’t seen that commercial again and it was the best one.

I hated the Jack in the Box commercial for the “Bacon Insider” burger that featured a pig with horns (not in the burger that is, in the commercial). Some things just don’t seem right – you know, a pig with horns galavanting around to country music with a jack-in-the-box guy and people in red checkered shirts is “just not right” (not to mention, a hamburger with bacon inside the burger, strips of bacon and bacon infused mayonnaise which most likely results in bacon barfing).

That pig reminded me of when I was at a party and the family’s pet, a pot bellied pig, was snorting around the food tables. Someone was feeding it bacon – another “just not right” moment. Never liked cannibals. And, warning, this may gross you out but I just recalled yet another just not right moment. I opened our bathroom door, not knowing my husband was in there, and I was shocked at what I saw. He was sitting there, taking a crap (I assume, because he was sitting) while eating a Fudgsicle. That was definitely a just not right moment. With that visual, I will leave this subject behind (no pun intended).

Well, I’ve gone on long enough with this portion of my letter. Will resume later. As you know, Blog, my posts can be rather verbose.

March 7 9:30 p.m.

God, what a strange letter (what else is new?). Sorry about that Blog. I’m deciding whether I should post this or not. It’s not going the way I thought it would and I’m getting negative feelings about it. Well, that’s it for my first post in over six months. I will write again Blog but not in letter format. It just wasn’t the great idea I thought it would be but rather corny. Oh well on to better posts (hopefully) in the future . . .


Plastic Surgery Clones


Oct. 10 Noon

This post might get a little a ranty* so be forewarned! I didn’t originally plan on posting a rant about unnecessary, purely cosmetic plastic surgery as I could go on forever, but when I got my first look at the “new and improved” Snooki in the Sept. 16, 2013, issue of “In Touch” magazine, I couldn’t help but write about it. *Thanks to The Bloggess for coining the term “ranty” and proclaiming it a real word!

Snooki was my favorite cast member from “Jersey Shore” (yes, I admit it, I was a big fan of JS) and I was happy that she looked so good as a result of losing almost fifty pounds after having her baby (her body looks great); however, I was shocked when I saw the following photo which accompanied the “In Touch” article:


Where is Snooki? I don’t recognize the much older looking woman in that photo. What happened to the innocent faced, carefree girl with that big genuine smile (pointy teeth and all). She has been replaced with a plastic looking “Snooki” with perfect teeth, what looks like an altered nose and slightly elevated eyebrows (her eyes look rather odd also). Why do eyebrow lifts always seem to make the person look like they’ve just been goosed? (“Goosed,” if you don’t know what it means, is when someone grabs your ass or other parts in that general area).

Obviously, I don’t really know if Snooki had facial plastic surgery (new teeth for sure) and my tendency would be to believe her recent denials about it instead of believing what the media says, but she just looks so different in the following before and after photos:

(Some of the differences are obviously due to weight loss)

After reading the “In Touch” article, I Googled “Snooki plastic surgery” and in addition to the above photo, I found the following shot of Snooki and Jwoww which was posted by Snooki on her Instagram account (the photo she posted did not have the comments in the “clouds”). Snooki looks pretty damn good compared to the plastic surgery nightmare that once was Jwoww.


Jwoww’s before and after photos below are shocking. The plastic surgeon succeeded in making a woman in her mid-twenties look forty.


I am reminded of another plastic surgery disaster while writing this. Heidi Montag (TV series “The Hills”) is yet another young woman who chose plastic surgery to alter her already beautiful visage (before and after shots below).

(I spared you full-body before and after photos)

Two months after her ten plastic surgery procedures, Heidi visited her mother (Darlene Egelhoff) in Colorado and it was not quite the happy reunion and reaction that Heidi expected. Darlene was very upset at the way Heidi looked and didn’t hesitate in telling her so.

Darlene asked Heidi “Why would you want to look like Barbie? To everyone else that saw you, you were Heidi. Noboby in the world could have looked like Heidi Montag.”

Heidi then asked her mom “Do I look good?”

Her mother replied “How do I go and say that of course I thought you were more beautiful before? I thought you were younger, fresher-looking . . . you were much more beautiful before and I hope that some of this will fade away.”

After the upsetting reunion, Heidi said about her mom: “She was looking at me almost like a zoo animal. It was like I wasn’t her daughter anymore. She was looking at me like I was a circus freak.” (I wonder why . . . )

Heidi went on to say “I think she was most upset because Spencer was there for me (after the surgery) and she wasn’t.”

No Heidi, your mom wasn’t upset about that at all. Get a clue. Your mom was upset because that pretty little girl, who she raised and watched grow up into a beautiful woman, didn’t look like her daughter anymore, but more like a circus freak.

It’s sad that so many young women go under the knife, to become a plastic surgeon’s cookie-cutter version of the perfect woman, instead of embracing their own unique beauty.

When I showed my sister the before and after photos in this post she said “It’s like they sucked all the character from their faces. They look generic.” I couldn’t have summed it up better myself.


Oct. 2 11:00 a.m.

Happy Oktoberfest! Celebrating Oktoberfest usually involves a polka band, but last night we were treated to Banjofest!

My husband, a houseguest and I had dinner at Harry’s Hofbrau, a popular local eatery, and while we dined on non-German food, we enjoyed the music of a group called “Happy Banjos.” Although I am not a big fan of the banjo (too happy for me; I prefer more morose sounding instruments like the oboe), I really enjoyed the music and watching the band members have so much fun.

The members of Happy Banjos were all senior citizens (averaging around 75 or so) and the band consisted of about a dozen banjo players, three bass players (one electric bass, two washtub basses) and a female singer. There was one lead banjo and the gentleman playing the lead was a very accomplished “banjoist” with great picking skills. All of the other banjo players were strumming most of the time (basic rhythm) but they were very serious and played well.

octbanjo 001

I loved watching the two washtub bass players (upper left in photo below) who had such different styles — one woman played very stoically while the other woman bopped along with the music while plucking her bass with gusto.

octbanjo2 002

Harry’s was really crowded. Apparently, Happy Banjos plays every Tuesday night and the restaurant is always packed full of their elderly fans. I have never seen so much blue hair in my life (including my own).

The lead singer was excellent. She had a very low, husky voice and when she was done with her last song, I approached her to let her know how much I enjoyed her singing and her unique voice. I told her “You have such a sultry, low singing voice – very sexy, kind of like Marlene Dietrich.”

She smiled and replied “Thank you so much, but I don’t know who Marlene Dietrich is – I’ll have to get on the internet and Google her.”

I was shocked that she didn’t know who Marlene Dietrich was but then it occurred to me that I might be older than her.

I wonder if Happy Banjos might need another “senior” banjo player. Maybe I better start practicing.


Maybe not!

Serial Cannibalistic Cereal Killers?!

Sept. 19 9:15 a.m.

It’s a multiple-cup-of-coffee morning as once again I’m in a zombie like state because of insomnia last night. I was going to hit the couch but when the coffee kicked in, I decided to write instead of watching “Let’s Make a Deal” and “The Price is Right.” Yep, I’m one of those old farts who watches morning game shows but thankfully, I am not yet old enough to use a walk-in tub, Depends or Life Alert (I’m getting really sick of the walk-in tub commercials).

Speaking of commercials (I watch far too much TV), I find the Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal commercials very disturbing. I just don’t want to eat anthropomorphic cereal “squares” that are cannibalistic. Who comes up with this crap?

The “square” on the right bears a striking resemblance to Miley Cyrus!

And, I’m getting really tired of Flo from the Progressive Insurance commercials and the General (another auto insurance commercial); however, like the Jack-in-the-Box guy, they have become advertising icons for the companies they “represent” and unfortunately, will be around for a while.

And, lastly, when will advertisers (who most likely are men) realize that they don’t have to feature women being overly physical in tampon commercials or magazine ads? I love the commercial where the gal is diving into a pool (upside down summersault with her butt in the air) – I keep waiting for her tampon to spurt out, but of course that wouldn’t happen with that brand of tampon because of the braided string (or something else). Here is a tampon ad I found in a magazine which also irks me:

pon2 002

Now, what woman, in her right mind, would wear a white bikini and play limbo while on her period (wearing a tampon of course)? When will advertisers learn that these types of ads evoke laughter or disdain instead of interest in the product?

After writing that, I am at a loss for more words, so this post will just have to be short and not so sweet. I’m getting hungry anyway — I think I’ll have some non-cannibalistic breakfast cereal . . .