February 26, 2009

The Crabby Old Man Poem

I work in hospice and have worked with the elderly on and off throughout my life. I came across this poem and it touched my heart. I wanted to share it:

Crabby Old Man

What do you see nurses?....What do you see?
What are you thinking.....when you're looking at me?
A crabby old man, .....not very wise,
Uncertain of habit ........with faraway eyes?

Who dribbles his food.......and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice.....'I do wish you'd try!'
Who seems not to notice .... the things that you do.
And forever is losing ....A sock or shoe?

Who, resisting or not.......lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding ....The long day to fill?
Is that what you're thinking? .......Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse......you're not looking at me.

I'll tell you who I am ......As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding......as I eat at your will
I'm a small child of Ten.......with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters .........who love one another.

A young boy of Sixteen....with wings on his feet
Dreaming that soon now....a lover he'll meet.
A groom soon at Twenty....my heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows......that I promised to keep.

At Twenty-Five, now ....I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide ....And a secure happy home.
A man of Thirty ....My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other .......With ties that should last.

At Forty, my young sons....have grown and are gone,
But my woman's beside me.......to see I don't mourn.
At Fifty, once more,Babies play' round my knee,
Again, we know children ........My loved one and me.

Dark days are upon me .....My wife is now dead.
I look at the future . ......I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing......young of their own.
And I think of the years....... And the love that I've known.

I'm now an old man.........and nature is cruel.
Tis jest to make old age....look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles......grace and vigor, depart.
There is now a stone........where I once had a heart.

But inside this old carcass .....A young guy still dwells,
And now and again ........my battered heart swells
I remember the joys.....I remember the pain.
And I'm loving and living....life over again.

I think of the years all too few......gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact.....that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people ....open and see..
Not a crabby old man. Look closer....see........ME!!

February 25, 2009

TT #88


13 things that make you ask why?

1. Why do drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front?

2. Why do people order double cheeseburgers, large fries, and a diet coke?

3. Why do banks leave both doors open and then chain the pens to the counters?

4. Why do they have drive-up ATM machines with Braille lettering?

5. Why don't you ever see the headline 'Psychic Wins Lottery'?

6. Why is it that doctors call what they do 'practice'?

7. Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavor, and dishwashing liquid made with real lemons?

8. Why is the time of day with the slowest traffic called rush hour?

9. Why isn't there mouse-flavored cat food?

10.Why do they sterilize the needle for lethal injections?

11.Why are they called apartments when they are all stuck together?

12.If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the terminal?

February 24, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

My closet before..I couldnt even walk into it!!


1 dumpster full and 5 hours later....


February 23, 2009

Now what?

Wells Fargo finally came thru. It took them 5 months to lend us the money for the upgrades to our house. Thanks to my Mom's knowledge, persistence, and patience we are finally ready to start our journey. Now what? I have found that its not going to be as easy as I thought. You have to rely on the skills of other people to get what you want. Estimates take days, sometimes more than a week. Let me ask you this question. How many of you have had the company rep come back for more information with booze on his breath? Can you say red flag? Hello, what was he thinking?

We have decided to go with separate companies rather than one for everything. Why? Everyone has a skill that they have mastered. I don't think a person that remodels your bathroom can necessarily put in a central air and heating unit. Considering we are still waiting for the dollar amount from our first quote, that decision may change. The bathrooms are first on the agenda, then the kitchen. In the mean time, we want to get the central air put in and get a quote for the pool. Its taken so long to get the money, I lost my momentum. No worries, I will get it back. I wanted a pool put in before my son gets home from Iraq, which will be roughly 3 months. It can be done, right? Until then, we are doing some major spring cleaning that involves multiple trips to the dump and a lot of hard work. I cant wait until its done. My house will be beautiful!!! Lord give me strength for what I am about to endure and give me the patience to deal with the stress of waiting on other people to fulfill my dreams. Amen!!


February 20, 2009

What's a mother to do?

My youngest son will be graduating from High School this year and I'm worried. I don't think he has a clue about his future. This is a kid I have had to push all thru school just to graduate. How will he make it thru college? He loves computers and wants to make it a career but I don't think a four year degree is something he can pull off. He has ADHD. That's not an excuse, its a fact. When he is focused on something he likes doing, he can pull of straight A's without a problem. However, when you go to a University, you don't only study what you want, you have to take alot of other classes too. How important is the SAT test? His school never even told us about the testing and would he need that for a trade school? I'm torn because I'm tired. I want him to go and live with his father for a year to see if maybe he can help guide Brad in the right direction. That would mean that both of my kids would be thousands of miles away as his older brother is in the Military. What's a mother to do?

Am I being selfish for wanting his father to take over? I have raised these kids alone, without his help, so why shouldn't he help now? Yet, I feel like its a cop out on my part. Not to mention, Id miss him terribly. When I brought up the subject his reply was, " If you want me to go, I will go." That made me feel terrible. I want him to get to know his father and I want him to succeed in life but I don't know what the right answer is. Do I want him to go? Some days I do and some days I don't. I know as a mother, we have to cut the apron strings sometime but I know he isn't ready to face the world. I think he would do better in a trade school no matter what state he is in. Actually, I think that's the only option if he is going to get a degree in anything. He has never had a job and doesn't have his license because I told him he couldn't get it without a job to pay for his insurance. That didn't push him to do anything. I wish I knew what to do. I have shed some tears over this and I'm feeling alot of guilt. His father would love for him to live with him but he doesn't have the money to support him like I do. Will that be a good thing or a bad thing? What would you do?


February 17, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


This is a sand storm where my son is stationed in Iraq. He had to breathe this for 3 days. When the visibility gets this bad, they are on high alert because they cant see anything. I couldnt imagine.


February 15, 2009

He's just not that into you.....


DBF Michael and I just got back from seeing this movie. OMG, it was so good. Yes, its a chick flick but it had him laughing on more than one occasion. The cast was excellent, the story lines believable, and the ending....FANTASTIC!! I think it was the perfect mix and a great way to end this Valentines Day weekend. I know this movie was based on a best selling book and it was very interesting to see things from a guys perspective. I don't know If I would have cast Kevin Connolly in this movie. I think there may have been a better fit for his character. Jennifer Aniston and Ben Affleck did a great job as usual. Scarlett Johansson did a good job playing a "Scarlett", almost like the part was written just for her. And Ginnifer Goodwin, whom looked familiar but I couldn't remember where I had seen her, did outstanding in what I would call the lead role. There were a couple different stories going on but it wasnt hard to follow. I left this movie feeling good with a smile on my face.

Two very big thumbs up. Awesome movie....A MUST see!!

Gordon Ramsay at the London


Last night we went to Gordon Ramsay's restaurant in Hollywood. I am a big fan so to say I was excited is an understatement. I faithfully watch his shows "Hell's Kitchen" and "the "F" word." I know his attention to detail along with excellent cooking skills are what keep people around the world wishing they could try his food. I have never been to a fine dining restaurant. Its not something you see in my neck of the woods but I'm willing to try anything once, within reason. Slimy stuff or things that are still looking at me will never cross my palate.

The menu was pricey but the food was everything I had imagined. The service staff was always there to make sure we were taken care of. Not only did we have one server, we had multiple. It seemed that everyone employed there were committed to making sure our experience was wonderful. Each staff member that brought out a dish of the 7 course meal, not only brought us new silverware, but explained what we were about to eat. You only had a choice between two entree's, the rest was a set menu. Here is what we ate:

Valentine’s Day


~ Steamed hearts of palm chawanmushi ~

Mushroom carpaccio with aged balsamic, toasted pine nuts, shaved parmesan ~

Roasted hand dived sea scallops with cherry gazpacho, apple and walnut salad ~

Steamed sea bass with cauliflower purée, fresh Scottish langoustine, paddle fish caviar ~

Brant beef fillet with braised ox cheek, Savoy cabbage and baby carrots, port wine jus~

Rose water sabayon with raspberries and lychee~

Chocolate cylinder with passion fruit cream, mint granité and coconut foam ~

If I had to choose my favorite thing it would be the Brant beef. Although the scallops were superb. I tried ox cheek. It tasted like shredded beef to me. The thing I liked the least was the dessert. Although, Gordon isn't known for his desserts. There were just flavors going on that didn't do anything for me but I tried everything. I wasn't very fond of the sea bass but the Scottish langoustine was delicious. The downfalls to the whole experience were the location of the restaurant. It wasn't visible from the street as it sat inside of a hotel. Also, the seating. We didn't have much privacy. The couple next to us was probably about 3 feet away. Other than that, the over all experience was something to remember. I'm so glad I finally got to try the food he is so well known for. It made for a wonderful Valentines day. If you have a couple hundred dollars to spare, I would definitely check it out. Its worth the hype.

February 13, 2009

I miss you Pop!!


Milton Roger Barnes
11/29/40 - 2/13/08

Today marks the one year anniversary of my Dad's death. I cant believe its been a year. Valentines Day will never be the same. The weather is cold and raining, which is appropriate for my state of mind. It felt like the Universe was crying right along with me. I want to remember the good times we shared and not the pain he went thru in his last days. I want to remember the lectures (many, many, many lectures) he has told me thru out my life and all the lessons he has helped me learn. Its funny, I find myself telling my children to "get your hands off the wall" and "turn off that light if you're not using them." Yep, that's my Dad talking. He was a wonderful man that died way too soon. One thing I know for sure, I have a very devoted guardian angel on my side. So Pop, I hope they have Budweiser in Heaven and your days are filled with laughter and joy because that's how I want to remember you. And yes, if I see a waitress near, Iwill definitely send her over with a beer......I love and miss you very much. We all do.

February 11, 2009

TT #87


13 Household Tips

1. Peel a banana from the bottom and you won't have to pick the little 'stringy things' off of it. That's how the primates do it.

2. Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store. If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.

3. Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil. It will stay fresh much longer and not mold!

4. Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating. Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.

5. Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef. It will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking.

6. To really make scrambled eggs or omelet's rich add a couple of spoonfuls of sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy cream in and then beat them up.

7. For a cool brownie treat, make brownies as directed. Melt chocolate mint patties in double broiler and pour over warm brownies. Let set for a wonderful minty frosting.

8. Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste of garlic and at the end of the recipe if your want a stronger taste of garlic.

9. Heat up leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove, set heat to med-low and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy micro pizza. I saw this on the cooking channel and it really works.

10. Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash till they are all broken up. Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up mixing thoroughly, cut the tip of the baggy, squeeze mixture into egg. Just throw bag away when done easy clean up.

11. When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar and calories per serving.

12. Use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up the small shards of glass you can't see easily.

13. Place a dryer sheet in your pocket. It will keep the mosquitoes away.

February 9, 2009

My new favorite store.....

I have been on nutrisystems since October of last year. Since starting the plan, I am down almost 40 pounds. I cant tell you how good it feels. The best part you ask??? Shopping!!! I have discovered this store that I had only ventured into once in the past 5 years. I decided to give it another shot because I was in desperate need of some new dresses for work. My coworkers make it a daily ritual to tell me that I am drowning in my clothes so I figured it was time to spend a little cash. Don't get me wrong, I consider what they say a compliment but it did remind me of how frumpy I was looking wearing clothes that were 4 sizes too big. Its funny, some of those coworkers are asking me for advise on weight loss. I have become their motivation to get healthy and I think thats great.


When I went to the Dress Barn the first time, I found myself going back for a smaller size! I had speculated the size but was off in a good way. It felt like a stranger was staring back at me in the mirror. Everything looked great. Another 17 pounds and I will be down to the weight I was when I got pregnant with my first son. That has never happened. I came close once before but never made it. I have set a goal for myself. When my son comes home from Iraq in May, I want to weigh what I did 21 years ago. I think, at this point, that can be a very realistic dream come true. If you haven't checked out the Dress Barn, you really should look them up. I have gotten wonderful compliments on my choices and the clothes are so cute. That was the incentive I needed to take me to the home stretch. Thank you Dress Barn for making me feel beautiful in your clothes. Thank you Nutrisystems for helping me get there, and last but not least, thank you to my friends, family, and DBF Michael for all the love you show me on a daily basis. You are all my inspiration!!!

February 6, 2009

Biggest Loser


My guilty pleasure of the week?? I'm totally addicted to Biggest Loser. I never miss a show. I use to sit on the couch and watch them sweat it out. Now, I watch it from my Gazelle. They are so inspirational to people everywhere. If I was to go on the show, Jillian would be my choice for a coach. That girl shows no mercy but she has a heart of gold. They not only help the contestants with diet and exercise, they help them face the emotional scar's that got them to where there are to begin with. This week, I have to say, I was glad to see Joelle go home. There has never been another contestant like her. That girl walked around in a fog. She had no right being on the show. Dedication is a must!

During the commercial breaks Bob and Jillian come on and tell the viewers trainer tips to help them get in shape. From the time the show begins until the grand finale, the transformation of the participants is remarkable. I give them all kudos for the work they do. That includes the contestants that endure the blood, sweat, and tears to get in shape. And believe me, there are always tears. Its a great show. If you haven't seen it, its a must for Tuesday night!!!

February 4, 2009

TT #86


13 foods I miss being on Nutrisystems

1. Chocolate

2. Big Mac's

3. French Fries

4. Ice Cream

5. Potato chips

6. Pizza

7. Green Tea Frap's from Starbucks

8. Hash browns

9. Pancakes

10. Brownies

11. Potatos

12. Chocolate chip cookies

13. Milk Shakes

However, the 35 pound weight loss is worth it!!

February 3, 2009

Beware of Wells Fargo........

Are any of you in the market for a new home loan or a refinance on your existing house? Whatever you do, don't go thru Wells Fargo. I was approved on September 24th, 2008 for a home loan. Its February and I'm still waiting for the cash. How do they stay in business? It has been a complete nightmare. The guy handling my loan was new (aren't I lucky) and has totally dropped the ball more than once. My mother has been in the banking industry for 40 years so Ive had her handle my affairs. She has never experienced anything like this. I honestly dont know how they stay in business. I should have went with my own bank. I would never trust these people with my own personal account. Especially after seeing how their loan department handles its customers. I started out with a conventional loan but because the house title hadnt been in my name for 6 months, I had to change to FHA. Guess what? This month, its been mine for 6 months. Isnt that sad? Switching did me absolutely no good and I have to pay hirer fees.

My loan was for half of what the house is worth. I wanted it to fix up the house I inherited. Its an easy loan, nothing major and they still cant get it right. We spend our time chasing Paul (the loan guy), and when we finally get thru, he knows absolutely nothing. Last Friday I was told we were ready for doc (finally), which means the only thing left to do is sign the papers. Today, I get a call from "Paul" and they need updated paycheck stubs and a bank statement because the last ones expired. HELLO!! Whats wrong with this picture? Yet another delay. If I had gotten the money when I was approved, nothing would be expired. I thought buying a car was bad, not even close to what Wells Fargo has put my mother and I thru. Whatever you do, don't put your trust in their hands. Its like a three ring circus with no ring leader. They got how much for the bail out?? What is their excuse.....Id really like to know. If I wasn't so anxious to redo my house, I would have told them to shove the loan up their ass. Don't ever use Wells Fargo.....you will regret it!!For more on the saga, stay tuned.......


Wordless Wednesday


February 2, 2009

Gran Torino


DBF Michael and I went to the movies the other night to see Gran Torino. I have always been a Clint Eastwood fan and the reviews from the critics and viewers were excellent. The story was original, which is hard to come by these days. Clint Eastwood did an great job of playing a grumpy old man who lived in an ever changing neighborhood. The only set back to this movie was the Asian cast. They were a bunch of unknown actors and it appeared that this may have been the first acting job a few of them have had. With the amount of money Mr. Eastwood has, you think he could have hired better actors. However, he single handedly made this movie very enjoyable. Although the movie was 2 hours long, it didn't feel like we had been sitting there that long. The only regret is that my father couldn't have seen this with me, God rest his soul. He could definitely relate to Walt Kowalski (the main character), who spent his free time in an American Legion telling war stories and drinking beer with his friends. I give the story itself 2 thumbs up. The acting, however, leaves a bit to be desired by the supporting cast. If you don't get to the movies to see it, you definitely need to rent the video.

Happy 2nd blogiversary to me!!


This month marks my 2nd blogiversary. Wow, how time flies!! Thank you to all of my readers and friends for listening to be ramble on for 2 years. You guys are awesome!!

Anti Depressants

How many people are on anti depressants? It seems that more and more people are being prescribed medication to help them cope. They may work for some but not for all. A friend of mine has been on medication for about 7 months. Before she started taking the drugs, she had a sparkle in her eye and a skip in her step. Now, she spends the days sleeping. Waking only to take her son to school, pick him up from school, and make dinner at night. The rest of the time, she's sleeping. She sees a doctor on a regular basis, why cant he look in her eyes and see that something isn't right? I used Effexor about 8 years ago to help me get through a tough time. I felt happy and cheerful every day. When I became aware that I needed the medication to make me feel this way, I decided to stop. I took it for about 6 months, just long enough to get me thru the ordeal I was going thru. That is the medication my friend is on but its not the only one. My conclusion, its obviously not working.

When you see a psychiatrist, they are quick to try and cure you. How? Giving you multiple prescriptions for everything. I don't think that's the way to go. Psychologist, on the other hand, will listen to your problems. Not everyone needs a shield from reality, most people want someone to listen. It breaks my heart to see her and I believe the only way to get her back is by dropping the medications completely. She doesn't think that is the answer. Although, with all the drugs they have her on, how can she make a decision like that with a clear mind? I believe anti depressants are great for some people but you have to make sure they fit. If you have the desire to sleep all day and not live your life, something is definitely wrong. Don't jump into a decision as drastic as this can be without talking to a psychologist first. That may be the only medicine you need. They shouldnt change who you are only how you react to different situations. She will be seeing a psychologist soon, I hope he/she can not only help her thru a tough time but convince her that she can live her life drug free. Maybe thats wishful thinking but I miss the way she was and I know her family does too. One can only hope.....


February 1, 2009

Congrats Steelers!!


Even though Im a Chargers fan, I crossed over today and voted for the Cardinals to win. It was a great game and Im glad to say that they held their own. We all know the ref's wanted the Steelers to win because of the stupid calls they had throughout the game. The Cardinals came in as the underdog but the Steelers didnt win by much. As a matter of fact, they didt even cover the spread. They both did a great job and Im actually sad to see the Football season come to an end. I have definitely converted. Next year, we are hoping the Raiders and the Chargers make it to the Superbowl....what?? It could happen......