February 6, 2017

Dammit Dolls Day Out

It all started when these two crazies picked me up in a store, one saying,  
"We should get your friend Rhonda with breast cancer a dammit doll. 
My mom had one when she had cancer"

What is a dammit doll you ask?  

It was my lucky day, the crazies happened to be in Hawaii.   

Except I forgot my bikini.

(these are not beads, its a lei, they give them out everywhere)


what happens in Hawaii...

does stay in Hawaii.  

Don't judge. It was the only shady spot.  

Then this happened.
I tried to feed the birds a cracker, fell and no one picked me back up.
Have you see the movie "The Birds"? THANK YOU.
Some new friends I have!

I feel better now.

After a wonderful nights sleep and a quick
stop in the store, I head to the North Shore. 

HELLO sunrise. 

Thank goodness for coffee. 

I guess this is where they make you ride when they are
afraid you will blow away in a convertible.

A stop for breakfast...

at Turtle Bay Resort isn't too shabby.    


Shhh, I snuck in the outdoor spa area.

Enough of the fancy life.
It's good to mix it up and explore some local fun. 

Like shopping by Giovonni's Shrimp truck.

Just didn't quite fit.

And now the beach. North Shore!
Surfers... anywhere? 

Why Pro Surfer Miguel Blanco,
don't mind if I do!

A day like that will wear a girl out.  

Another beautiful morning, last day. 

And another friend. 

Although Bubbles the duck was a little  shy. 
One last look at the beach. 

Last minute shopping at the airport. 

Headed home to meet my Rhonda. 
Won't be long!

Dedicated to Rho with prayer's for a speedy recovery

If you have a Rhonda send them a Dammit Doll, 
or if you just want to share a laugh, forward this post! 

November 9, 2016

An open letter to my daughters ~ Why I threw my vote away

We are blessed to live in America and have the right to vote, but I was saddened that neither the Democratic or Republican candidates represented my views in the 2016 election.  

So, I didn’t vote for Donald Trump.  And, I didn’t vote for Hilary Clinton.  You pointed out that I had to vote for someone and set a good example, and I did. I “threw my vote away” yesterday and for the first time, and voted for the Libertarian party.    

I couldn’t vote for Trump.  I felt he had shady his business dealings across the board, and avoided taxes in doing so.  He would encourage hate and behaved in a narcissistic manner. And, as a woman and mother, I couldn’t look you in the eye supporting him.  The words he has used about women are unforgivable.  He reminds me of a boss I had when I was a waitress, who would flirt with the waitresses and say what he wanted about our figures etc.… I was too young at the time to realize how inappropriate and actually illegal it was, and thinking back it makes me feel dirty.

Thankfully, you have the example of your father, grandfathers and uncles, to know that real men do not talk or treat women like that.

I couldn’t vote for Clinton.  While I admire her public service to our country, education and intelligence, I feel like she was riding the coattails of a long political legacy that wasn’t honest either; something didn’t seem right. It was going to be more of the same.  It wasn't just the emails. I didn't care for how the Clinton Foundation took large amounts of money from high ranking people and countries.  And, you saw in the news about her husband, please know that not all men cheat of their wives.

I also want you to know that although I didn’t vote for her, a woman is more than capable of being President. 

So the results are in, and now Donald Trump is the President.  As promised when we attended the prayer service at The Vine Church the night before the election, I will pray for our new President Donald Trump, Vice President Pence and their team.

  • I pray that they make sound and unselfish decisions for our country. 
  • I pray that they will prove people wrong who felt Trump was too reactive and unfit to be President.
  • I pray that they represent what in theory people voted for, a change in the establishment and fair representation of the people.   
  • I pray that they value and support our teachers.  
  • I pray that they will help the inner cities as promised.
  • I pray they will help the towns where industry and jobs are gone.
  • I pray that he will support our veterans, many who have PTSD. 
  • I pray that he will revamp the health care system so it is truly affordable.
  • I pray that they support and respect our police and first responders.
  • I pray that they set a good example, which is void of racism, ignorance, hate and sexism.
  • I pray that they educate themselves on Planned Parenthood and all its services; for I am thankful it caught a precancerous condition I had when I was younger. 
  • I pray that they will be reasonable about gun control, are massive fire machine guns are necessary when my children are afraid they will be killed at school?
  •  I also pray that they respect life. (I am not just talking about abortion, but it was a huge topic on social media with this election.  As a Christian, I did feel pressure to vote Republican solely because of that. But I don’t feel banning abortion is going to make us value life. Murder is illegal.  Yet, an average of 40 people get murdered daily. Child abuse is also illegal. The news story about the baby that died of starvation in their car seat while its parents were playing video games has not left me.  We jail the mentally ill and addicted, walk by people starving and turn a blind eye to abuse.  So, as Americans, do we really value human life? The values our country needs go beyond abortion.)
  •  I pray that they make our tax system fair, and revamp the existing system that allowed Trump to evade unknown amounts of taxes in the first place.
  •  I pray for a practical, decent and fair approach to the illegal immigrants, while remembering we are a nation built on immigrants!  
  •  I pray for kindness and education when dealing with refugees based on the belief of a Pastor in Atlanta.  http://www.cbsnews.com/news/60-minutes-syrian-refugee-crisis-immigration/
  • I pray that since the political system has been shaken, something positive comes out of it. That we have less lobbyists and more representatives. That we have term limits. That we would no longer spend billions on lobbying and elections.
  • I pray that they put a lock on the nuclear button, and government is afraid of nuclear war, and will not speak or act flippantly with regard to nuclear arms.  
  • I pray that we will raise a nation of honest people who want to get involved in public service. 
  • I pray that they are good stewards of the earth, and educate people of taking care of it. It is the only one we have. 
So girls, so even though I didn’t vote for the President, my promise to you is that I will pray for the President and our country.  It is going to be okay. 

“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people-for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”   1 Timothy 2:12

September 15, 2016

IMPORTANT: Watch out for these Lortab side effects NOT posted on the bottle

Recently when I was prescribed Lortab after shoulder surgery. I looked on the bottle at the possible side effects, but nowhere did I see the below warnings:

1. Excessive Shopping

So... when half asleep on Lortab, you can still use your phone...and if you can access websites and type the numbers on your credit card, you can also dangerously shop.  
As the packages started to arrive,
I thought, this medication should have a warning about this. 
 I tried to explain to my husband that it was a side effect, and then my oldest stared, “No, mommy you were just bored on the couch and decided to shop.” Tomato, tomatoe, I think it is a side effect.

2. Odd Cravings

I was warned that after the airway tube I would have a sore throat.  
Nowhere on the bottle did it say
I would consume cough drops
as if they were tortilla chips as a Mexican restaurant,
the first morning cup of coffee, or thin mint girl scout cookies. 
And, it was no bother to me that my kids looked on strangely as I would open random drawers, purses and the pantry looking for cough drops that may have accidentally fallen out of something years ago.

3. Uncontrolled movements

The Lortab taker is unaware, but while you sleep you will move your hands randomly as if you are dreaming about folding laundry.  Who am I kidding, who dreams about laundry? How about making s’mores, trimming a flower in the yard, or petting your dog.  This is apparently so disturbing to watch for those around, that a mini-intervention discussion was held 5 days into taking the medicine.   

4. Increased confidence

It is not uncommon after surgery to wear clothing that is comfortable. For me, since it was shoulder surgery, it was strapless cotton dresses. 
Nowhere on the bottle did it say
I would go out to lunch
with a GIGANTIC Maxi Pad on my shoulder.  
5. Memory Loss

And lastly, when you go to write thank you notes for the sweet people who came to see you while you were down, you may need to do a little research.
I am sure the soup was as delicious as the 2 lasagnas.
If you are reading this and you brought the 2nd lasagna,
let me know! 
Needless to say, my family was thrilled when I was vertical again, could put on a normal shirt, and stopped searching for cough drops.  When it comes to Lortab, just be careful. :-)

April 1, 2016

16 Truths for for a Happy Marriage

Do read the book “The 5 love languages” early in your marriage.
Don’t accept jewelry with “You should return this, it cost too much” because your love language isn’t gifts.

Do take your long hair out of your husband’s hairbrush if you use it.
Don’t share a hairbrush.  

Do tell your husband he is really, really tall.
Don’t decide to challenge his height by measuring how tall he really is.

Do make homemade meals for your husband.
Don’t get offended when your husband says your homemade pasta ravioli tastes like Olive Garden.

Do shower your husband with lots of attention.  
Don’t ignore your husband for a year after you have your first child.  

Do leave detailed instructions for your husband when he cares for the children as if he is a babysitter.  
Don’t offend your husband by saying it is like he is “babysitting” his own children.   

Do get a mommy’s helper occasionally if you are home with little children all day.
Don’t threaten to lock your husband out of the house if he is home five minutes late from work. 

Do act like you have missed your husband all day when he returns from work.
Don’t talk to the dog before you talk to your husband.

Do answer your phone when your wife is trying to reach you.
Don’t act like you are going to run over your husband when you finally get a hold of him. (especially in front of his business associate)

Do talk openly with each other.
Don’t tell your spouse, “Wow, it is hard for me to talk to you with that big zit on your forehead”

Do find the name of the closest drycleaner.
Don’t promise to iron if you don’t know how to iron.  

Do apologize to spouse when you are wrong.   
Don’t tell your spouse you have an “Unable to Apologize Disorder.”  

Do refrain from keeping secrets.  
Don’t tell your husband about late public library fees.

Do tell your spouse how smart they are.
Don’t feel the need to look up something on the internet to prove them wrong.

Do enjoy a sense of humor with your spouse.
Don’t enjoy a sense of humor at your spouse’s expense “all the time”

Do let your spouse know you can’t imagine your life without them.
Don’t follow that up with, ‘I can’t imagine life without our [newest dog]”.

Seriously, eat a family meal whenever you are together at dinnertime as a family.


March 29, 2016

Do Easter Miracles Still Happen?

I wasn’t looking for an Easter miracle.  Although getting to church early enough to get a seat would have been a nice surprise.

 I kept telling my family, “we are going to be on time”, but they were all right….
on time on Easter is very, very late.
On Easter eve, I asked my Walk to Emmaus Reunion Group to please pray for healing in my arm and shoulder. I was tired of the unexplained nerve zinging across my shoulder which felt like someone was playing the “Devil Went Down to Georgia” on a fiddle.  The zinging was hindering the diagnosis of other arm pain. That after a x-rays, a neck MRI, a shoulder MRI, a round of steroids, a steroid shot, a neck cortisone injection, 800mg of ibruphrophen regularly, and enough time with my PT I thought we were dating…. I was ready to be better and move on.   

I had a sweet friend take me to two of the mentioned my doctor appointments, because she said, “You take care of enough people, someone can take care of you!”  I shared with the group that maybe God wanted me to learn through this experience to learn to ask for help.   
Later that night, I helped the Easter Bunny fill the baskets and went to bed.  I was unable to sleep due to my jelly bean sugar high and my arm. I ran the scenario in my head of storming in my doctor’s office telling them “to just cut my arm off”.

Rushing the next morning to get ready for church “on time’, I didn’t give a lot of thought to my arm.  And we did eventually get a seat.  As I was listening to the sermon I thought, this is the first time my shoulder hasn’t hurt in church in forever.  I almost said something to my husband. 

Then the pastor says, paraphrasing of course, “as we were praying for today’s service and the church members, we felt like it was pressed upon us that someone was going find repair in their marriage, a grown man was going to cry for the first time ever, and someone was going to find healing in their arm.”  I looked at my husband wide eyed. 

Well folks, it’s been two days and it is feeling better than it has in months. 
So I am going to assume he was talking about me.

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” -Albert Einstein

March 2, 2016

Conversations In a Closed MRI

MRI Nurse “This will be a piece of cake.”

Me “Oh, it is my third. I am good.” Why did I just brag about that, am I 75 years old? When is getting an MRI cool?

MRI Nurse “Just lie down and don’t move.”

Me “Got it. This is when I close my eyes and pretend not to be here.”

"Here we go now.
Don’t move, and Katie, don’t open your eyes. 
Do not open your eyes. 
Well the headphones fit tight now that the
machine just compressed my head.
I am glad I recently watched Star Wars, this sounds like I am fighting Darth Vadar. 
I should have asked for an eye mask.
Darth Vadar has a mask. 

Don’t open your eyes. 
Oh, a cool breeze. That’s nice, they have AC in here. 
I can relax, well, that is ironic. 
Don’t open your eyes. 
Are you kidding me, its blowing the one loose piece of hair that is on my forehead. 
I can’t reach it. Can you push the panic button for that?
Has anyone really had a full panic attack in one of these? 
Don’t move.  
Oh wait, now, wait for it, oh yes, 
I am inside a jackhammer on a NYC. Street.
Don’t open your eyes. 
Why are you curious if you are claustrophobic? 
This is why people take zanax before an MRI.
You can always push the panic button.
I wonder if anyone has died in one of these.
At least I have cool Nascar like headphones. 
Oh, now I am actually at a Nascar race. 
No, in the engine of the car.   
These headphones really should have music in them. 
And why is the pretty picture on the wall, I can’t see it from in here?
It is interesting that when you swallow the noise actually changes. 
Swallow, remember to swallow.
Oh crap, that’s a tickle. 
Now I have to sneeze. 
Really, if I sneeze, I will hit the roof of the machine and break my nose. 
Can you push the panic button for a sneeze?
Don’t move, whatever you do, don’t move.
Do not open your eyes.

Has a machine ever crushed someone?
Should I have researched this?
What is an MRI?
Is it going to kill me?
If there is metal in my mascara, will my eye lashes get sucked to the side of the machine? 
I am glad I skipped deodorant. The aluminum in it could make me get pulled into the machine.  
Now it sounds like I am living in a NYC apartment while renovations are going on. 
I can hear a phone ringing in the background.  
Answer the phone. Please.
Oh, its not really a phone. 
You moved! 
You moved your foot.
 This is for your shoulder, phew.
I wonder if I was supposed to have my arm by my side?
Was I allowed to have it crossed on my chest?
Darth Vadar is back. Didn’t I kill him a while ago?

MRI Nurse “I hate to wake you up, Katharine, but you are all finished.”

Now…that was funny.

September 4, 2015

The life lessons we learned at the animal shelter

When my children stated they wanted to do community service by volunteering at a local animal shelter, I couldn’t have been happier.  Truth be told, I would probably be a hoarder with fifty dogs if it wasn’t for my wonderful, conservative husband.  
I have to admit we were caught off guard our first trip there.  Not only is it hard to see all the animals in kennels, we were also side by side with female inmates from the local jail which was a first for us.

We also witnessed several owner surrenders.  A family brought in their three yard dogs; one with its ears ripped open and bleeding after being bit. We noticed that no one in the family seemed upset.
Then we watched as a woman surrendered her sweet bulldog at the front desk because “she was moving and they wouldn’t allow dogs there”.  The dog had a heavy chain for a collar and leash, which was bothersome to see.  My daughter whispered after the woman left, “she is probably going to jail and that is why she can’t keep the dog.”  I chuckled a bit at the irony of her comment.

We felt validated at the animal shelter. we were doing the right thing.  We have two rescues at home, and loved getting the sweet dogs out for some play time.  And, who gives up their dog?
Then on the way home, I remembered that we actually surrendered our dog Buffi to an animal shelter 12 years ago.  She had tried to bite our baby.  I tried to rehome her sitting with her at Petsmart on Saturdays, but as she snarled at people and bared her teeth, it didn't really go well.   When my husband took Buffi to that shelter years ago, they didn’t even take her collar.  She would immediately be put down.  My husband was one of those people in the foyer. 

But many years had passed, and I was quick to judge the owner surrenders I witnessed.   

Several visits later to the animal shelter, we were walking the dogs outside for some time in their chain link fence pens. The male inmates in the jail next door were given their “outside” time in their much larger chain link kennel.  My girls were quite uncomfortable by the all the inmates in uniform.  They chose to stay inside in the puppy room and avoid seeing the inmates.  I was uncomfortable too.  I was envisioning cat calls and chose to avoid the dog run areas which were close to the inmates. 

The inmates were a big point of conversation that day.  We talked about life choices and how you don’t want to end up in jail.
Then something happened the next night at dinner.  As we were saying grace before the meal, my oldest prayed for our sick friends.  Then my youngest added, “We should pray for the inmates too”.

That’s when I realized volunteering at the shelter wasn’t just about walking the dogs.   

"In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ "Acts 20:35.