Don't forget to visit my website! Jackie Coleman - Author

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Things I Don't Understand - Episode 5: Cheese on Everything!

Me!! ME!! I said it!!!!
Now don't get me wrong ... I love cheese ... in moderation ... and just not on everything! I love cheese cubes and I can eat twice my weight in cheese balls. I make a casserole with a cheese sauce that is to die for and I can eat the cheese that comes with cheese fries at Burdette by the spoonful (but I don't like it on the fries!). I love macaroni and cheese, nacho's dipped in cheese sauce, and I often gross-out my cheese-obsessed children by eating a cheese sandwich with mayonnaise (as evidenced here). And who doesn't love grilled cheese?

I realize I am alone in my lack of love for cheese, but I hate melted cheese on a sandwich ... except for grilled cheese. I mean, let's face it ... a grilled cheese without cheese is just toast! To me, melted cheese makes the meat taste rancid. I have eaten exactly two cheeseburgers in my entire life, ten years apart, and I did not enjoy either. I even remember when I ate them! One in 2003 and one in 2013. I remember them because they made in impression on me ... a yucky impression! The one in 2003 wasn't as horrible as the one in 2013, but only because the 2003 one was on a very large, very thick burger. It had one slice of cheese, so the meat to cheese ratio was very small. The 2013 one was a McDonald's burger. I ate it because I was starving, but I made a face like I was drinking sour milk the entire time.

When I was in high school, we could go off-campus for lunch, so when lunchtime rolled around, we would all pile into a car and go to McDonald's or Burger King. I would always order two hamburgers or a hamburger and fries, while everyone else in the car ordered as many cheeseburgers as their lunch money would buy. More often than not, we would get the wrong bag ... and it would contain nothing but cheeseburgers ... and always way more cheeseburgers than we had ordered. We would never go back and trade it for the right food order because everyone was so excited about all the cheeseburgers they'd get to eat. Nevermind the fact that I put my lunch money towards the order, and keeping it meant I wouldn't get to eat that day because I didn't have the money to buy anything else.

I'm not sure who's idea it was to put half a slice of cheese on a fish fillet at McDonald's, but they should be flogged! And while we're at it ... why half a slice of cheese? Everything else comes with a whole slice! Anyway, when my boyfriend and I go to McDonald's, I order a fish fillet with no cheese and extra tartar. They charge me a quarter for the extra tartar. My boyfriend orders a fish fillet with extra cheese and no tartar, and they charge him an extra quarter for the cheese. If a half-slice of cheese costs 25 cents and extra tartar costs 25 cents, shouldn't the price of our sandwiches remain the same? But, I digress.

I went to Wendy's one Sunday a while back and picked up lunch for me and my boyfriend, then took it to his studio where he was playing music. I ordered a single hamburger. I didn't check the order at the drive-thru window ... and I got a cheeseburger. I should have checked it, because if I check, the order is always right ... but if I don't, my order will have cheese on it ... always! I waited until I left the studio to take it back. Instead of asking for a hamburger, I asked for my money back, then I went to McDonald's and got a fish filet ... no cheese, extra tartar ... for 25 cents extra. I checked the order at the drive-thru window ... and they put cheese on it!!!

Quit trying to make me eat cheese! It ain't gonna happen!!

When I go to Subway, I get pepper jack cheese on my sandwich, but I never have it toasted. I don't have it toasted for two reasons ... one, I don't want melted cheese on my meat, and two, I add so many veggies that it's plenty crunchy without toasting the bread.

I went to Hardee's a few years back and ordered a hamburger. I opened the burger to start eating as I was driving back to work, and ... surprise, surprise ... they gave me a cheeseburger. I drove back to Hardee's and went in. I told the girl behind the counter that I ordered a hamburger, but was given a cheeseburger.

She looked at me and smiled a nearly toothless smile and said "But our hamburgers come with cheese!"

I told her a hamburger with cheese wasn't a hamburger ... it was a cheeseburger.

She looked at me and smiled a nearly toothless smile and said "But our hamburgers come with cheese!"

I told her I ordered a hamburger because I didn't want cheese on it.

She looked at me and smiled a nearly toothless smile and said "But our hamburgers come with cheese!"

I told her I don't want cheese on it, that's why I ordered a hamburger and not a cheeseburger!

She looked at me and smiled a nearly toothless smile and said "But our hamburgers come with cheese! If you want a hamburger without cheese, you have to order a hamburger without cheese."

I told her a hamburger without cheese was a hamburger without cheese. If you add cheese, it's no longer a hamburger, but a cheeseburger!

She looked at me and smiled a nearly toothless smile and said "But our hamburgers come with cheese!"

Holy cow ... this could go on all day!!

Clearly, I was dealing with a superior intellect. I know when I'm whipped, so I changed my strategy.

Defeated, I caved and said, "I want a hamburger without cheese."

As I left I reminded myself to cut her some slack ... life is harder when you're stupid.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Another Wedding!

My boyfriend's youngest daughter recently announced that she is getting married, so we're both "losing" a daughter this year. Both of our daughters are marrying nice men who seem to adore them, but we'll both cry buckets of tears. We both did our job ... we each raised our girls into responsible women with the skills and knowledge to succeed, and one day raise a family of their own.

We're happy that they have both met someone who makes their heart skip a beat, but it wasn't so long ago that we were the ones who thrilled their hearts. We were the ones they looked to for love and protection. We were the ones they would run to in the morning to smother us in kisses and hugs. Now they're all grown up and ready to leave the nest ... and we're just not quite ready to let them go. But, they can't wait around for us to be ready, because that day will never come.

They look in the mirror and see an adult ... but we look at them and see our babies.

It's a parents job to teach their children how to live without them. We have done that, and now our job is done. There are a lot of bittersweet moments in parenthood, but "giving them away" is the bitterest sweet of them all.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Yoga With My Daughters

My girls ... they've never grown out of the
"Mama, look what I can do" stage!
Thing 1 holding up Thing 2.
Thing 2 holding up Thing 1.
Thing 2 holding me up.
I had just gotten home and wasn't in yoga clothes,
but I'm smaller and easier to lift,
so they both like holding me up the best!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Transformation of the Pool

The pool Saturday morning,
full of leaves, pine needles ... and teeny, tiny tadpoles.
By Monday morning the pool was pristine and clean, and half-way filled.
I was so sore Saturday evening that I was afraid I wouldn't be able to get out of bed Sunday, but I felt just fine. I had to order a hose and a couple valves, so I can't turn on the filter just yet. The water is a chilly 73ยบ, so we're not in any hurry to dive in! The parts should arrive in a few days, and maybe by then the water will have warmed enough to make getting in palatable ... and perhaps even enjoyable!

Monday, May 26, 2014

A Special "Thank You" on Memorial Day

My father saluting in his Army Air Corps uniform.
I'm not sure where this picture was taken.

Memorial Day was originally created to honor the men who died during the Civil War. New York was the first state to recognize Memorial Day. By 1890, all of the northern states celebrated it, but the south refused to recognize the day until World War I, when the holiday changed from honoring the Civil War dead to those who gave their life during any war.

While all the southern states now observe Memorial Day to honor our fallen soldiers, several southern states have adopted a separate holiday to honor the Confederates who died during the Civil War (or the War of Northern aggression, as it's called south of the Mason Dixon line). Texas honors the Confederate soldiers on January 19th. Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi honors them on April 26th, South Carolina on May 19th, and Louisiana and Tennessee honor them on June 3rd, Jefferson Davis' birthday.

Today is seems that many Americans, especially the younger ones, think of Memorial Day as simply the unofficial start of summer and a three-day weekend the party.

My parents were older and closer to the age my friends' grandparents (my oldest brother is only seven years younger than my boyfriend's mother). Being part of The Greatest Generation, my parents had enormous respect for what Memorial Day stands for. My mother knew many soldiers who never came home from war, and my father fought in the Philippines during World War II.

My father was an airplane mechanic during the war. He was not issued a rifle or combat boots when he first got to the Philippines ... his job was to keep the planes in good repair and it was the responsibility of other soldiers to protect the unarmed airplane mechanics. In August of 1945, he was issued a rifle and combat boots, and put on one of the many battleships heading to Japan in anticipation of a ground invasion. August 9th, before the second bomb was dropped, he wrote a letter home. The men aboard the ship knew a new type of bomb, the atomic bomb, had been dropped on Japan. According to his letter, that's all everyone was talking about. They had been listening to radio broadcasts from home and noted that the newsmen had a hard time describing it. Little Boy was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6th, and Fat Man was dropped on Nagasaki on August 9th. On August 15th, Japan surrendered.

Daddy's letter home, written August 9, 1945.

The second bomb was dropped the day my father wrote a letter home. By the time they sailed into port in Tokyo, Japan had surrendered. I guess it's a good thing, too, because I might not be here if our soldiers had to go in on foot and fight the Japanese on their own land. Daddy didn't talk about his war experience until the months just before his death, so don't know how long my father stayed on the island of Japan, but he described it as a wasteland. I never thought to ask if he visited Hiroshima or Nagasaki.

While he was in the Philippines, the soldiers in his company "adopted" a local twelve year old boy who had lost both both of his parents to the war. They weren't supposed to, but they hid the boy in their barracks, sharing their rations, chocolates, and packages from home with him. The boy (I've forgotten his name), shined their shoes and did little favors for the soldiers to thank them for their kindness. When they were ordered to sail from the Philippines to Japan, the men had to leave the boy behind. My father cried when he told of his anguish at leaving this young orphan behind. The fate of that boy haunted my father the rest of his life. I'd give anything if I could remember his name and find out what happened to him. That little boy would be around 81 years old today, and it's possible he's still alive. If we had had the internet before my father passed away, I could have researched it when the story and the child's name was fresh in my memory. I can't forget about the boy either. I, too, wonder at his fate, and hope that he made it into adulthood, telling his wife and children of the kindness of the American soldiers who sheltered and protected him for several years.

My handsome Daddy, in his Army Air Corps uniform.
My father was proud of his service to our country, and rightfully so. He proudly flew a flag on every holiday. For his last Father's Day, us kids bought him a flagpole. He loved watching the stars and stripes blowing in the breeze. The flag meant something to my father, and it means something to me, too. I can't hear The Star Spangled Banner without choking back tears.

I placed a flag on my father's grave yesterday, as I do every year. I also placed a flag on my brother's grave. He didn't die during war, but he served in the Army, and I wanted him to have a flag, too.

Thank you, Daddy, for giving up over three years of your life to keep America safe.

Thank you to all of the soldiers who served in every war and armed conflict.

And a special, heart-felt thank you to those who gave their lives so that their fellow countrymen could continue to live free and safe in the land that we call home.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Man Admits To Killing Wife and Lover

A man admitted to killing his wife and lover ... on television ... a dating show! Despite his age, he obviously has not mastered the art of flirting!!

Friday, May 23, 2014

My Wisteria is Blooming

(click on picture to enlarge)
After all the wisteria in the area has bloomed and is nothing but vines, my wisteria releases an abundance of purple flowers. I'm glad mine blooms late, because I get to enjoy "wisteria season" a lot longer! When I see wisteria, I feel like the Grinch ... but not the mean one who slithered into Whoville under the cover of darkness and stole Christmas. Rather, I feel like the Grinch after the true meaning of Christmas came through ... you know, in the scene where his heart grew three sizes! I don't know what it is about wisteria that makes me so happy ... but it always does!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Scarlet the Southern Magnolia

(Click on picture to enlarge)
Scarlet, my pretty Southern Magnolia, doesn't appear to have over-wintered well, but the branches are strong and filled with buds, so even though the leaves don't look very healthy, she seems to be doing okay. I love this tree ... my sweetie bought her for me. He bought me two magnolia's a few summer's ago (Scarlet and Belle). I had to move Belle a year after I planted her, and she didn't make it. It would break my heart to lose Scarlet, too.

Believe It Or Not ...

A road sign I passed on a recent trip.
Ripley is that way!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

They Don't Look Like Much Now ...

I have about 60 pots covering three of the four stairways leading off my deck.
They don't look like much now, but they'll soon look like this ...
Bird Girl loves being surrounded by my pretty purple flowers.
Once they start flowering, they bloom for months.
And by August, these (thirsty) beauties will beckon you to the yard,
where their lush, deep green foliage and delicate purple petals
will drape gracefully over the deck rails,
and leave only be a small path down the steps.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


Saw this van in the parking lot at work. If you look carefully, you will see that at least one Easter egg wasn't found during the hunt! (Click on photos to enlarge.)

Monday, May 19, 2014

Kayleigh and Shawn's Wedding

The happy couple ... photo by Teresa Haller Photography
One of my oldest daughter's closest friends got married last Saturday. She looked so pretty ... and happy! I know Kayleigh is crazy about Shawn, and from the way he looked at her, I'd say he's he's in it for the long haul. I didn't bring tissues with me, because I didn't expect to get emotional. Kayleigh isn't my daughter ... she's my daughter's friend! I knew I was in trouble when I found myself fighting back tears driving to the wedding!

My oldest daughter was a bridesmaid, and ... of course ... I cried when she walked down the aisle, so the waterworks were already flowing when Kayleigh appeared on the arm of her stepdad, the man who raised her and her siblings as his own since she was very young.

I made it through the ceremony without sobbing (loudly) or making a spectacle of myself, but I did cry. I couldn't help it! But they were sentimental, happy tears. I have been to many weddings where I didn't get emotional at all ... and at one, I bawled all the way through the wedding and reception because I knew the bride was making the biggest mistake of her life ... and it broke my heart to see that sweet girl marry that piece of a-word-I-won't-type. And, sadly, I was right. That particular bride later confided that she knew she was making a mistake, but for reasons only she can understand, she went through with it anyway.

It's a given that I will be a basket case at my own daughter's wedding later this year ... the girls and I cry while we're merely planning it! We have accepted that our faces in the wedding pictures will be red and swollen from crying, but I figured I'd be able to attend her friend's wedding without losing it. Boy, was I wrong!

I've known Kayleigh since she was eight or nine years old. She was at my house so much over the years that it felt like she was one of mine. Kayleigh may not be "legally" part of my family, but she's got a special place in my heart ... and to see her all grown up and standing in her beautiful white dress beside a man who loves her as much as she loves him filled my heart with joy ... and when that happens, my eyes turn into sprinklers!!

I left the reception before the partying kicked into high gear, but my daughter's both stayed and danced. Here are a few highlights of the night:

Playing in the photo booth:
I'm not picking my nose ... I'm twirling my mustache :)
My younger daughter and her boyfriend, at the house before leaving for the wedding ...
(click on the picture to enlarge)
Me, at my house before we left for the wedding ...
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My pretty girls at the reception ...
(click on the picture to enlarge)
Me and my oldest daughter ...
(click on the picture to enlarge)
Me and my daughters ... who I often refer to as Thing 1 and Thing 2 ...
(click on the picture to enlarge)
My younger daughter dancing with her boyfriend ...
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My silly girls dancing. My oldest daughter is wearing her bridesmaid dress (and a lovely granny sweater similar to what I picture Mr. Roger's wife enjoys wearing!), and my younger daughter is wearing MY dress ... which was the subject of it's own blog ... I Love This Dress!
(click on the picture to enlarge)

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Kale "Smoothie"

I ran to Walmart for potting soil and decided to treat myself to a Ski. I haven't had a Ski in a loooooong time, and really wanted one. I ended up talking myself out of buying a Ski and ended up "treating" myself to a mango protein smoothie (which was okay, but nothing I'll ever crave) ... and this one ... the "Kale Blazer".

The label says it has (among other things) apples and cucumber, with a hint of ginger and lemon. I figured it had to taste better than it looks or who would buy it?! Well, I was wrong. As hard as it is to believe, it looks better than it tastes. I had hoped that it would at least taste better than it smells, but once again, no. As awful as it smells ... it smells better than it tastes.

I'm drinking it because I bought it and because it says it's good for you, but it's not a pleasant experience, and I won't be buying any more. All I can say is that it better be good for me!! Actually, the way this thing tastes, I want more than nutrition for forcing myself to swallow it and keep it down ... I want superpowers! And not just any superpower ... I want the power of invisibility or the ability to fly!

I think the names of products should describe what they are and what they taste like. Take macaroni and cheese, for instance. When you buy macaroni and cheese you expect the food inside to taste like macaroni and cheese ... it it pretty much always does! So, to allow potential customers to know what they are getting into when they purchase a "Kale Blazer", I think they should change the name to "Pond Scum".

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Hoosier is a funny word, isn't it?

Out of curiosity one day, I look up "Hoosier" in the dictionary. It states, and I quote, "A Hoosier is a resident or native of Indiana."

Well, I guess that clears that up!

I recently stayed at the Kintner House Inn in Corydon, Indiana. They have 15 guest rooms, each named for a person or event connected to the history of Corydon. On their website, each room is listed with pictures and a short narrative about how it came about its name. One of the rooms was the "Hoosier Suite" (this wasn't the room I stayed in). Their website offers several suggestions as to how Indiana became known as The Hoosier State:

The origin of the word "Hoosier" is not known with certainty. It has been applied to the inhabitants of Indiana for many years. As early as 1830, "Hoosier" must have had an accepted meaning, as John Finley printed a poem that year called "The Hoosier Nest" in which the word occurs several times.

  • Governors Wright and O.H. Smith believed that "Hoosier" was a mispronunciation of "Who's Here?" That is the most frequent explanation given to inquirers. (This is kind of silly!)
  • Another suggested explanation is that a resident of Indiana had been captivated by the prowess of the Hussars during the Napoleonic Wars. In an attempt at self-glorification, he pronounced himself a "Hoosier" rather than a "Hussar". (This is even sillier!)
  • Still others maintain the term is derived from the word "husher" which was a common term for a bully. (I hope this isn't the real answer ... I don't like this one!!)
  • A baker in Louisville whose last name was Hoosier claimed that people in Indiana liked his gingerbread so well that they came to be known as "Hoosier's Men" or "Hoosier's Customers". (I wouldn't mind being descended from people who like cookies!!)
  • Other residents insist the word came from the question "Who's your mother?" or "Who's your father?" (This is a little silly, too, don't you think?!)
So, I guess it's safe to say that no one really knows how Indiana became The Hoosier State. "Hoosier" could be a big, fat insult ... or it could be that "Hoosiers" just like cookies! Personally, I'm going to go with the cookies explanation!!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Polly Want A ... Diet Book?

Olivia likes to perch on your shoulder like a parrot ... except I've never seen a parrot with a rear end that large ... and it won't all fit on your shoulder!

She is such a weirdo!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Uh ... Meow!

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Nice try, but a cat-ears headband does not make you a cat.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


(Click on picture to enlarge)
I have five azalea's in my front flowerbed ... three regular azalea's and two encore azalea's. The center plant (above) seems to have weathered the winter best. The other four have leaves and/or flowers and buds, but the center one is blooming the most and looks the healthiest. I haven't gotten the front flowerbeds cleared of leaves and weeds yet. I'm hoping my future son-in-law will weed them for me. I have poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac in my yard. He's not allergic to them, but every time I try to weed my flowers I end up itching and sorry, regardless of how careful I try to be.

I've fertilized my azalea's and my sweeties is bringing over mulch for all of my flowerbeds. Between the food and a thick layer of mulch, I'm hoping they reward me with beautiful, profuse flowers throughout their growing season.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Someone Was A Little Underwhelmed

(Click on picture to enlarge)
I saw this road sigh in Ohio or West Virginia during a recent road trip.
Apparently whoever named the roads wasn't very impressed with this ridge! 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

Moms can do some amazing things. They can find things you lost, even though you've already looked everywhere. They can produce dinner from a refrigerator and cabinets, even when you've just looked and know there is "nothing to eat". They can cook dinner, clean the house, do laundry, and help you with your homework, all at the same time. They somehow have everything you need for that science project at school, even though you didn't tell her until five minutes before bedtime. They teach you to walk, talk, pee in the potty, swim, ride a bike, swing, climb the ladder to the slicky-slide, knit, crochet, sing, sew, cook, drive, and plant flowers. . They take care of you when you're sick and play with you when you're well. They teach their daughters how to be a lady, and they teach their sons how to treat girls and women. They teach you how to prioritize your life in order to balance all the things you need to do. They teach you how to behave with money, so that you're always saving for a rainy day. They take you to the doctor, dentist, church and school. They are there at every parent/teacher conference, school play, athletic event, and major event of your life.

Moms, it seems, know everything and can do anything, including what seems like being in two places at the same time ... but they can't live forever ... so treasure your mother while you still have her.

Today I will take some flowers and put them on my mother's grave.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

A Look Back On This Mother's Day Eve

One day a year, our children are obligated by decree to be nice to us and pretend to appreciate all we do by doing things they would never ordinarily do ... and I really like that day!! Sometimes they wake me up on Mother's Day with a surprise breakfast, and other Mother's Days, they forget and sleep in, then force me back into bed and forbid me to leave my room until they can scramble downstairs and fix me something to eat! (I've had some very interesting Mother's Day breakfasts!)

And sometimes I walk outside to discover a sweet greeting for all the world to see!

I don't know what they have planned for this year, but I'm sure it will be sweet and heartfelt.  I'm just glad they're old enough now to actually plan ... or make the day special at the last minute when they finally wake from hibernation and realize what day it is.  When they were young, they always wanted Mother's Day to be special, but they were too little to make it special ... so I had to do all the work ... and I was already exhausted from making every day special for them!! 

So every year I had to make a special meal ... as opposed to the hundreds of regular meals I had to make the rest of the year, and I had to take them to do fun things ... as opposed to the fun things we did all the other days of the year. Taking them to the park or having a picnic and pretending they made the day special for me filled them with pride, and it made me smile to see how happy they were. It was sweet that they recognized what the day was. They always gave me cards and gifts that they had painstakingly made at school and Sunday school at church. I loved those gifts. Every once in a while there was a plant or something practical, but most of the time it was something silly, made with macaroni or yarn, but it didn't matter what it was ... my kids took Mother's Day very seriously, and their gifts were definitely from the heart.

When you have little kids, there are going to be fights ... three little kids can only be nice to each other for so long ... and never for an entire day! I can still hear one of the kids chastising the other two and yelling, "You're ruining Mother's Day!"

I always thought those Mother's Days were unnecessarily stressful (for me!), but if they ever invent a time machine, I think I'll spend Mother's Day back in the days when my kids were little ... back when I was their whole world. They all still love me and they tell me they love me everyday ... but there is something intrinsically sweet and pure when a little child climbs into your lap, snuggles into your arms and whispers, "I love you, Mama."

Friday, May 9, 2014

Portabella "Burger"

Dinner the other night was a portabella sandwich with sauteed onions and green peppers, lettuce, and tomato. It seemed like the healthiest choice on the menu, and I'm trying to behave, so I ordered it. When it arrived at the table, it was on a gigantic white bun ... which kind of zeroed out the healthy factor! I ended up ditching the bun and just eating the mushroom and veggies. It was pretty tasty!

And, yes, those are french fries hiding behind the sandwich, but I only ate two, and I drank water ... after I ate some mozzarella sticks with garlic butter. I'm trying to behave, but I'm not a saint!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Wisteria!

The Easter Bunny brought me a wisteria plant a few years ago. I was really surprised, as the Bunny doesn't often visit me ... and I absolutely ADORE wisteria. Whenever we pass some growing wild or in someone's yard, my heart always smiles. Most of the wisteria that I've seen around town is much more mature than mine and always blooms a week or two sooner, but mine is growing more every year, and soon she will be gifting me with large, grape-like cluster of amazing purple flowers. My sweetie loves how excited I get when I see wisteria ... and he had the cutest smile on his face when he told me he saw the Easter Bunny leaving a delivery for me!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Red Honeysuckle

I know a lot of people who lost plants due to the colder than usual winter, and I was worried about my red honeysuckle, but my worry was for naught.  It's back and healthy as ever. Red honeysuckle isn't as fragrant as regular honeysuckle, but the hummingbirds love it ... and I love watching the hummingbirds. Maybe this summer I can get a picture or video of them feeding.

Back in 2012 we were suffering a severe drought. As I watered my flowers one afternoon, a hummingbird came up and drank from the hose! It was so cute! 

Monday, May 5, 2014

If She Could, Olivia Would Fire All Of Us

This is what Olivia does when her food or water dishes are empty ... or when her food dish isn't sufficiently full ... or her water isn't fresh enough. She doesn't make a sound, she just sits there looking at me like I'm really getting on her last nerve.

I'm just glad we never gave her a bell to ring if she needs something ... we'd all be deaf!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Mama's Old Sayings Come In Handy Sometimes!

A certain troubled starlet proudly boasted recently that she was dating a married man ... a married man with children, no less. If gossip columnists are correct in guessing the right suitor, this man is currently separated from his wife, and apparently has been for a while ... certainly long enough to get a divorce ... if he really wanted one. She claims he recently wanted to see her so badly he sent his private plane to fetch her. I'm sure we are supposed to take away from that how much in love they are. (Brings a tear to your eye, does it not?) She also claims she recently had a miscarriage. Her married lover may or may not be the father (but honestly, who really cares?). This the same young woman who slams her father every chance she gets because he had an affair while married to her mother, and she refuses to have anything to do with the lovechild (her half-sister) that the affair produced.

Sorry, honey, but you can't belittle your father for having a mistress and a lovechild when you yourself claim to be a mistress who may or may not have miscarried your married lover's child.

As my Mama used to say, "Pot, meet kettle."

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Things I Don't Understand - Episode 4: The Success of "Breaking Bad"

Season 4 Promo Pic
For the record, I do not personally know a meth addict, and other than making it difficult to buy sinus medication for my allergies, my life has not been directly affected by the meth epidemic. I have, however, met several people whose worlds have been upended, and who have endured years of chaos, sleepless nights, and mental anguish due to a family member's addiction.

I admit I have never watched Breaking Bad, mainly because the premise bothered me. A lot. I acknowledge that everyone I speak with who has watched Breaking Bad claims it's really good ... but I have a problem with a show that glorifies cooking and selling meth. Thinking I was "missing something", I read the synopsis for each episode on AMCTV's website. All. Five. Seasons. What I read sickened me. It was worse than I had expected. I realize the man has terminal cancer and wants to make sure his family is financially taken care of after he dies, but is ruining the lives of thousands of other's worth it? That, to me, is the epitome of selfishness. What that man is doing should not be glorified or celebrated ... he should be despised. People should not be hoping he gets away with it, they should be disgusted by it and praying he gets what he deserves ... in prison ... at the hands of someone who cares less for him than he does about the lives he's destroying. This show was billed as a "contemporary western" by it's producers. (Oh, give me a break!). I find it very troubling that this series was wildly successful and critically acclaimed.

In order for this show, or any show, to be successful, you have to like the protagonists. No one will tune in week after week to watch a show if they don't care what happens to the people. So they have to make Walt a sympathetic figure that people like and want to see succeed. And that bothers me. I know it's just a show, but it's a very distasteful subject ... and they want us to accept that his horrendous actions are somehow justifiable because he loves his family so much. Well, no one can love their family more than I love mine ... you might love them as much, but it's impossible to love them more. I've gone through some pretty tough times, and I never once thought of doing something illegal, much less becoming involved in something with the power to destroy as many lives as meth. I love my family too much to do anything that puts them, or myself, in any danger ... and everything involved in meth is dangerous.

I find it unconscionable that a series wants us to root for a "loving" family man who knowingly produces a substance that kills millions and ruins millions upon millions of lives every year. We are expected to care about a man who is willing to kill and methodically plot murders ... repeatedly ... to keep his crimes from being discovered. And he doesn't care because he wants to leave his family a lot of money when he dies. That's not touching or sweet ... that's sick ... and selfish.

Addicts aren't the only victims of meth. Scores of honest, hard-working people are robbed, raped, and killed every day at the hands of an addict. Innocent children who had the bad luck of being born to an addict are neglected and abused, then shuffled from foster home to foster home when their parents die or are incarcerated ... or worse ... like when their parents sell them for a fix. Family members, out of self-preservation, may turn their backs on addicts, but they will happily welcome them back when the addict is dedicated to staying clean and sober. Hard-core addicts have probably come to terms with the fact that they will die from an overdose, and dealers that they will likely meet an unpleasant, violent end ... but it's their families who have to deal with the fallout.

Sadly, a lot of people watched this show ... and they do/did root for the success of a man who rightfully deserves to rot in prison. What he is doing is despicable. The fact that he failed to earn enough money to leave his family financially comfortable after his death should not be paid for by the lives of others. The fact that his intentions are noble does not in any way justify his actions. Besides, he was offered a very lucrative job, with excellent benefits more than capable of covering his medical expenses, and he turned it down. His callous disregard for human life borders on sociopathic. He is portrayed as a good man, simply desperate and motivated by love. Had they downplayed his plight and intentions, and portrayed him as the vile, evil man he is (was), this show wouldn't offend me so much ... but somehow, the producers were able to elicit sympathy from viewers for this sleazeball. Maybe that's why this show won 65 awards ... that's the only reason I can fathom anyway.

The fact that a show with a premise as disturbing as Breaking Bad can be so successful does not speak very highly of our society. I am shocked that anyone would propose a show like this and think it is in any way acceptable ... and I'm even more appalled that it was.

At it's core, Breaking Bad suggests that this narcissistic man has the right to put his family's financial security above that of everyone else's, regardless of the cost on society. I realize his family is more important to him, but the safety and well-being of the world in general ... and my family specifically ... are more important to me! The world does not revolve around him, and he does not have the right to pay his mortgage, buy food for his family, and put his children through college with money made by inflicting heartbreak and misery on countless others.

What's next? A show about a man who needs money for his sick child, so he kidnaps innocent women and children to sell to sex traffickers? Would that be acceptable? I suspect everyone is saying "No", but why not? It's the same premise ... to hell with everyone else ... my family needs something that your destruction can buy. In the end, this man dies a painful death ... alone. Good. He put his wife and kids through hell, was personally responsible for a number of deaths, and was indirectly responsible for many more.

What was the point of this show? Was it to show that people who cook meth are not necessarily all "bad people"? (If that was the point, then they didn't make it ... it actually proved that meth cookers are bad.) Was it to show how good people can do bad things? (Most people are good people, and most of us have done things we're not proud of. All I learned was that some people will do anything to make money, regardless of the cost to others.) Was it to teach us that cooking meth is bad and will destroy you? (I'm not aware of any decent person who thinks cooking meth is a good idea!) Whatever the "moral of the story" was, surely there was a better way to tell it.

Shame on "Hollywood" for creating this series ... and shame on viewers for making it profitable. I'm not saying anything less wholesome than Leave It To Beaver or The Andy Griffith Show should be banned from the airwaves, but there has to be a line ... doesn't there?

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Olivia Is NOT Happy

As we've been cleaning and de-cluttering, we've been making a pile of items to donate or set out for heavy trash day. Olivia fancies herself as royalty, and therefore superior to the peasants and the livestock (Louie the cat and Roo the dog) who dwell here, so I was surprised to see this snooty feline perched upon a pile of "trash". I'm not sure if she chose this spot because Roo can't reach her, or if Louie can't try to make her play, or if she was hoping we wouldn't notice her when we took the trash out and she could escape.

Olivia has had it pretty tough lately. Louie has taken to sleeping on my middle daughter's bed ... but that's where Olivia likes to sleep (when she feels like it) ... and it's apparently beneath her to sleep with an "animal". So she's been forced to find another place to nap for at least some of the twenty-three hours a day she spends sleeping. She also has to eat out of the same bowl as Louie (as though she, too, were an animal!), and then there's that stupid dog to deal with! Roo, doesn't bother her ... he doesn't even know she's in the room most of time, but his mere existence seems to disgust Olivia. She used to be the only non-human around to love on, but now that there are two other animals for her captors to hug and pet, she has been forced to ask for attention. She's never had to grovel for attention before, as she considers it beneath her, so she does not like this new arrangement one little bit. 

I've caught her online a few times lately. At first I thought she was reading the news, then I thought she might be shopping. Now I'm beginning to think she was researching ways to escape. While I applaud her efforts, it's not a very well executed plan ... mainly because I can see her ... even when she's not looking at me. I probably I shouldn't ridicule her ... this is all the poor thing could come up with. It appears your options are quite limited when you don't possess opposable thumbs!