Wednesday, October 31, 2012



I don't understand why so few Americans vote. And yet it's true, an amazing number of us don't bother. The largest turnout in modern times was for Kennedy vs. Nixon in 1960, followed closely by Obama vs. McCain in 2008. But even in those two elections, where voter participation was at an all time high, 37% of eligible voters stayed home. What gives?

1) 1960 -- 63.1% Winner: Kennedy

2) 2008 -- 63% Obama

3) 1964 -- 61.9% Johnson

4) 1968 -- 60.8% Nixon

5) 2004 -- 56.2% George W. Bush

6) 1992 -- 55.2% Clinton

7) 1972 -- 55.2% Nixon

8) 1976 -- 53.5% Carter

9) 1984 -- 53.1% Reagan

10) 1980 -- 52.6%  Reagan

11) 2000 -- 50.4% George W. Bush

12) 1988 -- 50.2% George H. W. Bush

13) 1996 -- 49% Clinton


For more information about 

the Thursday Thirteen,

or to play yourself, click here.


 To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading? Belong to Me by Marisa de los Santos. Chick-lit about three very different women -- a perfect housewife, a working mother and a recent transplant from Manhattan. The writing is exceptional. And I'm coming to appreciate one of the characters (the perfect housewife) that I despised at the beginning of the book. Reminds me of the old saw about how every villain is the hero of his own story -- it's all about perspective, isn't it?

• What did you recently finish reading?  Bone Bed, the latest in the Scarpetta Series, by Patricia Cornwell. One of the best in the series in a long, long while. There are things I could quibble with, but why? It was a fun read that took some interesting twists along the way and I enjoyed it.

• What do you think you’ll read next? I'm feeling very Presidential these days. So I'll either pick up Listening In, the Kennedy White House tapes, or The President's Club.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Just wow.

Hurricane Sandy is devastating New England and the Mid-Atlantic. Flooding and winds and power outages and fires and snowstorms, all at once.

We get our share of bad weather here in Chicagoland, but nothing has rocked my world the way this storm is endangering millions of my fellow Americans.

If this had to happen, I'm glad it's happening now. For as hard as it is for people to be without heat, it's not as dangerous as being without air conditioning. You can always put more clothes on, but you reach a point where you can't take any more off. One of the greatest natural disasters in Chicago history doesn't get much attention because there was nothing to photograph. In 1995 we had a horrible heatwave here and 750 people died in just 5 days. That was a death every 10 minutes for five days. Most were the elderly or very young children, most died in their homes. They didn't have ac and lived in areas with such high crime that they were afraid to sit around with their front doors open. Milwaukee was hit very hard, too, and I suspect, under similar circumstances. (It always amazes me that no one who doesn't live here realizes how truly horrific it was -- click here for more.)

But just because Sandy could be worse doesn't mean it's not terrifying. Devastating.

Monday, October 29, 2012


I want to tell my mother about seeing Streisand and the movie Argo. I want to tell her how bad Reynaldo is being again. I want to ask her about the nasty cut that runs under my fingernail and how to keep it clean.

Seeing the holiday decorations in the drugstore made me sad because I will never wrap another Christmas gift for her, ever again. She'll never hug me again.

One person can leave a terrible void.

I miss her.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sunday Stealing

1) What do you think is the best costume for Halloween? I once had a boyfriend who refused to get into an elaborate costume for a Halloween party, saying he'd feel "silly." I told him he'd stand out more by not dressing up. We went round and round on it and finally he promised me he'd appear in a costume that wasn't "silly." So I was surprised when he picked me up wearing the same brown sports coat and tie he'd worn to the office that morning. Then I saw he'd pasted a badge to his lapel: HELLO! My Name Is: Rob Petrie, New Rochelle PTA. (Richie's Dad). I thought it was genius!

2) What would an alien think of humans if it came to Earth on Halloween? They might feel right at home among their own.

3) Who would you haunt? I'd like to observe my best friend without him being able to see me. I want to know how he's really faring through this period of unemployment. I worry about him.

4) Are you afraid of the dark? Nope

5) Do you pass out candy, or hide with the lights off? Neither. I simply won't be home in time. Trick or treating ends at 7:00 in my town.

6) What scary movie do you like best? Psycho

7) If you had to wear a costume for a week, what would you be? Harpo Marx. I think the horn would be a most effective way to get my point across.

8) What do you think about Ouija boards? Not a big believer.

9) Have you ever told ghost stories around a fire? Sure. I was a Girl Scout.

10) Trick? or Treat? Treat, please.

11) Have you ever been in a haunted house? Only at the amusement park.

12) What would you do if you saw a ghost? Depends on the ghost.

13) Question 13, should we have skipped this and jumped to 14? Nah. I'm feeling brave.

14) Are you brave enough to walk into a grave yard after dark on Halloween? Absolutely

15) Do you like chocolate? what kind: I have never met a kind of chocolate I didn't like

16) Who would look better in a clown costume? Obama or Romney? HONK! I hate this question. One of these men is going to be our Commander in Chief and they deserve more respect than we're giving them.

17) Are you in the path of Frankenstorm?   Nope

18) Post a link to any other blog:  Blogblast for Peace. My peace globe is ready to go. What about yours?

Not enough!

So I saw my beloved Babs on Friday night and -- after spending hours and hours with Bruce Springsteen and Sir Paul (who is only 2 months younger than Streisand) -- I was a little disappointed. Her show was considerably shorter, had what I felt was an annoying amount of filler, and she left me wanting to hear so much more.

On the other hand, whereas The Boss and his lordship are singer/songwriters, she is purely a singer. We were there to hear That Voice, live and in person. Perhaps this is what she needs to do to preserve that amazing instrument. I heard people around me discussing how both Madonna and Cher "sweeten" their live performances by lip synching to pre-recorded tracks. There is no doubt that I was hearing Streisand -- live and unfiltered.

She is not a tall woman and the United Center ("The Madhouse on Madison") is a cavernous place. And yet she filled it with her presence. She literally ascended from the floor and walked toward the front of the stage, singing "On a Clear Day" and she took my breath.

Just as I was moved by how many young fans Sir Paul attracted, I was touched by how many women younger than me brought their little girls to see Streisand. Young ladies under 10, all dressed up, clutching their Barbra souvenirs in one hand and Mom's hand in the other. I was reminded that Babs is a singer but so much more. She's a feminist icon in the true, old school sense. (I'm getting verklempt!)

1) On a Clear Day
2) Nice 'n Easy/That Face
3) Didn't We
4) Smile (with Il Volo)
Il Volo performs here
5) No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)
6) The Way We Were/Through the Eyes of Love
7) Rose's Turn/Some People/Don't Rain on My Parade
8) Guilty
9) Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered*
10) What'll I Do? (with Chris Botti)
Chris Botti performs here 
11) Lost Inside of You
12) My Funny Valentine
13) Evergreen
14) How Deep Is the Ocean? (with Jason Gould)
Jason Gould performs here
15) People
16) Make Our Garden Grow/Somewhere
17) Here's to Life
18) Happy Days Are Here Again (with Roslyn Kind)

*My favorite moment

This is by no means an exhaustive or official set list. It's just what I remember, and I'm posting it here so I can help myself remember this fabulous evening.

I also must remember NOT to drink champagne. It seemed to right, so special, to be sipping bubbly while watching Babs. But it gives me a bitch of a headache every time. When will I learn?

As the lady herself said, it was "family night in Chicago." Her son, Jason Gould, sings well and is much better looking than I recalled. (He had a part in Prince of Tides.)  Her sister, Roslyn Kind, got the suicide mission of singing Garland's part on the "Happy Days/Get Happy" encore. For me, it was a completely unsuccessful way to close the show.

Except for this -- Garland's voice failed her toward the end of her life and she was dead at 47. Whitney Houston had been called The Voice and she's gone, too. The "Happy Days/Get Happy" duet reminded me that Streisand is still here, still looking and sounding terrific, and that should be celebrated. We spend so much time wringing our hands over tragedies that I don't think we fully enjoy the successes in our midst.

The only thing better than seeing Streisand is seeing Streisand at age 70. The woman who has been teaching me through her work and her example for the last 40 years still inspires.

Photo credit: The Chicago Tribune

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Saturday 9

1) Do you ever fantasize about flying, beyond the rainbow or anywhere else? Oh, yes. I grew up on Bewitched and Mary Poppins. Both Samantha Stevens and Mary Poppins spent time sitting on clouds, and I thought that would be lovely.

2) Do you think you have seen The Wizard of Oz more than 10 times? Yes, on TV and at the movie theater. And I've seen Wicked and The Wiz on stage a time or two, too.

3) Which Wizard of Oz character would you most like to dress as for Halloween? I'd steal a costume innovation I saw at The Sing Along Wizard of Oz. A guy took a shoebox, covered it in yellow contact paper, and wore it on his head, claiming to be a Yellow Brick from the famous road.

4) What will Trick or Treaters get when they come to your front door? Atomic Fireballs. Though I doubt I'll get many Trick or Treaters. My village ordains kids be off the streets by 7:00.

5) Did you ever TP a neighbor's house or indulge in other acts of Halloween vandalism as a kid? (Don't worry, that statute of limitations is up.). No. I was very goody-goody.

6) Who annoys you more -- people who never respond to your texts/emails, or those who never look up because they're always checking their texts/emails? The latter. I get so sick of looking at the part of someone's hair!

7) Who was the last person you hugged? My cousin

8) What two colors do you like to wear together?
Blue and black

9) Did your alarm clock wake you up this fine Saturday morning? No. I crashed on the sofa and woke up with a headache. I HATE how that feels and must stop doing it!

Friday, October 26, 2012

It Had to Be Her

I've got Streisand's The Third Album in my headphones as I post this.

THIS IS THE NIGHT! I finally get to see the lady herself tonight at the United Center. She has been singing to me and for me since I discovered her back in the mid 1970s and I cannot wait. Fanny Brice and Katie Morosky, live and in person!

Nobody else gave me a thrill/with all your faults, I love you still/It had to be you ...

Nobody means to me exactly to me what she does. I couldn't be happier to live in one of the few cities she's appearing in.

I hate them

I spent the better part of an hour arguing with "Wendy" from Met Life. Everything she told me today about my mother's policies was diametrically opposed to what I was told last month. By a different customer service rep reached through the same 800 number.

My lawyer warned me that Metropolitan Life is notoriously difficult to deal with. At first I didn't believe him, because the first round of conversations were so peaceful, helpful and informative. But it triggered a computer-generated form letter that contradicted much of what I'd been told over the phone.

And then I got "Wendy," who pretty much told me the first call could not have happened because giving out the information I was given isn't their procedure.

We're talking about $3500 here. I don't know how much sense it makes to get my lawyer involved, since he charges $250/hour.

Part of me is tempted to just blow it off, rather than enduring confrontational phone calls and launching a letter writing campaign.

Part of me is tempted to curl up in a fetal ball under my desk and hide.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Thursday Thirteen #194


These are the outfits Target is having a hard time keeping on the shelves this year.

1. Transformers. Especially Optimus Primus. (I have no idea what Optimus Primus is, but it's very popular!)

2. Sesame Street. Everyone from Big Bird to Elmo.

3. Scooby Doo.

4. Captain Jack Sparrow. 

5. Darth Vader. Still! After all these decades.

6. Snow White. Still! After all these decades.

7. Spider Man.

8. Sock Monkey.

9. Captain America.

10. Batman.

11. Police Officer.

12. "Sue" from Glee. You know, a track suit

13. The Green Lantern.


For more information about 

the Thursday Thirteen,

or to play yourself, click here.

I Want Wednesday

I want to know he's OK. My best friend, that is. Unless I send up a smoke signal, telling him I'm upset, I hear nothing from him. I worry that he is getting depressed as his joblessness lurches into its fourth month. I hope he's getting the support he needs. He can't get it from me if he doesn't engage.



 To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…


• What are you currently reading? Bone Bed, the latest in the Scarpetta Series, by Patricia Cornwell. The story is moving along at a fast clip and it's always nice to spend time with Kay. Fortunately, at about halfway through, I can reassure everyone that this one isn't too disturbingly gruesome, as some of Kay Scarpetta's cases have been. It's also nice to see Cornwell dealing with Kay as she ages. Our heroine has some believable moments where she worries about how men view her now that she's no longer young, and then she chastises herself for her own superficiality. It's nice to see a human side of the uber accomplished Kay.

• What did you recently finish reading? Another mystery, The Spellmans Strike Again. It was funny, as all in the Spellman series are, but this one had a lot of heart, as well. Rae, with her quirky doggedness and her passion for justice, is quickly becoming my favorite Spellman.

• What do you think you’ll read next? Belong to Me by Marisa de los Santos. This looks promising, chick lit of the highest order. Three lives of three very different women -- a perfect housewife, a working mother and a recent transplant from Manhattan -- collide in a suburb and "become entangled in a web of trust, betrayal, love and loss." 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


This week's challenge: Using between 33 and 333 words, compose something that includes the third definition of the following word:

3: singularly evil or productive of evil

Jeanne was on her bed, wrapped in a towel, slathering herself with body butter when her late husband appeared in the doorway. He was improbably dressed in nothing but khaki shorts and his beloved Yankees cap.

Ah, that cap! She remembered the first time she saw him wear it, when they were still dating. “You’ve never even been to New York. Why are you a Yankees fan?”

“Cuz it’s easy,” he replied with a smile. Trav was always all about easy. That’s what killed him more than three months ago. The late January sky had unexpectedly dumped 3" of snow on his car while he was at work. He called Jeanne from the train station and told her he had no intention of messing with a scraper this evening. Instead, he said, “I’ll just take a taxi cuz it’s easy.” The next call she received was from the hospital. The driver had a heart attack and crashed the taxi into a tree, killing them both.

And yet here he was, in front of her, healthy and whole and quite beautiful. He had that look in his eyes that she knew so well, the one that preceded him whispering, “Make me late for work.”

He moved to the bed and she dropped the towel and lay back. She felt him guide her hands all over her body. He knowingly showed her where and exactly how to touch, stroke and probe. She squeezed her own, now rounder, belly, the result of three months of comfort carbs. Travis didn’t seem to mind, though. Jeanne felt proud of her body, connected to it, for the first time since he’d gone.

When she was done, darling Travis’ image receded. She was alone on the bed but now less lonely. Instead she was relieved and relaxed, listening to birds outside her bedroom window. There had been nothing ghoulish or sinister in this spectral sex. It awakened her to spring and reminded her she was still alive.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Maybe it's me

So now I have seen Garbo in Camille. While she and Robert Taylor had an undeniable chemistry and the movie was beautifully made, I must admit when it was over I felt a little underwhelmed.

I mean, GARBO! She's such a legend. And for me, she just didn't live up to the hype. She gave a good performance but I wasn't especially moved by it. And I don't think her face is perfect and spellbinding.

I'm rather sorry I watched it. I feel kinda like I did when I figured it out about The Tooth Fairy.

Hoity toity

You won't believe how I spent Sunday night. I can't believe how I spent Sunday night. I attended a concert of classical music for organ and brass. French, no less.

It wasn't so bad. While I admit my mind spent a lot of time in the happy place, I did genuinely enjoy a pair of the pieces. And the venue was nice -- the church that's right across the street from my church, the building that holds our community food pantry. Every time I drop food off, I'm in that church basement. So it was nice to finally see the very pretty upstairs.

How did this happen? My cousin plays in this brass quintet and once he realized he was playing in my neighborhood, he put aside a comp ticket for me.

The best part was having a drink with him afterward. We gabbed and caught up and exchanged ideas for hours. He's one of the relatives I re-upped with at my mother's service. I'm so grateful he's back in my life.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Are you ready for this year's Blogblast for Peace?

This was my 2010 Peace Globe. Watch this space to see my 2012 Peace Globe, which I'll post on November 4.

"Some men see things as they are and say why -
I dream things that never were and say why not."

Help us make news.
Dream with us. Celebrate with us.

Sunday Stealing

Sunday Stealing: Who Are you? Part 2–The Grown Up Meme

Part 2: Growing Up

15. How would you describe your childhood in general? A mixed bag. My adolescence sucked, so I guess it all depends on how you define "childhood."

16. What is your earliest memory? Playing outside the cottage my family was vacationing at for a week in summer. I was rolling around on the grass and came face to face with a toad.

17. How much schooling have you had? 13.5 years

18. Did you enjoy school? No

19. Stop and count, Since you were born until today; how many homes have you lived in? Four. I HATE moving. Packing, unpacking. UGH!

20. While growing up, did you have any role models? Ann Marie from That Girl. JBKO, of course.

21. While growing up, how did you get along with the other members of your family? They're why I said my childhood was a mixed bag. I got along with my mom and one set of grandparents. My older sister was pretty jealous of me. My dad and I clashed. The other set of grandparents was unpleasant for me. I got very lucky in the aunt/uncle department.

22. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? A teacher. A singer. A newspaper reporter. A veterinarian. A translator at the UN. Depends on which day you asked me.

23. What were your favorite activities 3 years ago? Reading. Going to the movies. Farting around on the internet.

24. As a child, what kinds of personality traits did you display? I was loquacious and generally pretty cheerful

25. As a child, were you popular? I made friends easily.

26. When and with whom was your first kiss? David, the older boy who lived three doors down.

27. Describe any influences in your past that led you to do the things you do today. The 1960s had a tremendous impact on me.

28. What’s next? I don't know.


Greetings from the 47%

Thank God for Medicare!

Since my mom's passing in mid-September, I have written about how expensive her funeral was ($12,000 -- and it was by no means elaborate) and the problems we have had accessing her personal assets. My mom was not a wealthy woman. She had only about $10,000 at the time of her death. I do wish she had life insurance. Even a $5,000 policy would have helped us now.

But you know, she enjoyed her money in her lifetime and ultimately I think that's what it's for. I wish she had planned things a bit more wisely, but I'll get through this.

What I would NOT have gotten through are her medical bills, if she hadn't had Medicare and Medicare Part B.

Another bill came today. $1,050 for the ambulance ride from the nursing home to the hospital. It was a tough one to review because it was in the ambulance where my mom actually died. However, I filled in her Medicare/insurance information and know I'm not responsible for that bill.

Or the ones for her x-rays and diagnostics. Which are separate from the bill for her two-week hospital stay. My mother got exceptional care, and it didn't cost us a cent.

She had also been hospitalized in March of this year for the same ailment. The care she got that time wasn't as impressive, but that's due a variance in the quality of the hospitals, not of her Medicare coverage.

Had it not been for Medicare, I'd be looking at bankruptcy right now.

I'm not kidding.

MY finances are in order. I have too much debt, it's true. But I still have a stash to cover 7 months' of expenses in case I lose my job and a retirement fund and a little "household emergency" account. (My "rainy day" fund is gone, but that's OK because if this doesn't qualify as "raining," I don't know what does!) The raise I got at this time last year -- only the second pay increase I've received in 8 years -- went to pay for my long-term care insurance. I have made mistakes and could do better, but MY finances have been, by and large, handled responsibly.

Yet if it had not been for Medicare (and Medicare Part B -- a very good investment at $2,500/year), my mother's hospitalizations would have bankrupted me.

When Mitt Romney talks about the 47% of Americans "who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them," he's talking about me.

I don't have a family of my own to support. But imagine if I did! I have friends who are also dealing with tuition costs for their college aged children as well as saving for retirement. Without Medicare, a family crisis like the one precipitated by my mom's health would have been damaging to two generations.

I took care of my mother in life. I paid that $2,500/year for Part B out of my own pocket. I paid for her snow removal and gave her money for little extras every month. Of course I did. She was my mom and I loved her.

But my point is this -- I spent $300/month to care for my mom. I was a responsible daughter. I did not just leave her to "the government" to care for. Neither did my younger sister. She and her husband did repairs around my mother's house to keep it comfortable for her.

And yet, without Medicare, this past year would have bankrupted me.

What is happening to me could happen to you. It's happening to people all over the country right now. We are the 47% Gov. Romney speaks of so insensitively.

This is why I am voting for Barack Obama, and recommend you do, too.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

16 days to go

Just made 15 calls on behalf of the President to registered voters in neighboring Iowa. Most people have Caller ID, so I got many answering machines.

Only one person out-and-out told me she was voting for Romney (or rather, "You don't want to know who I'm voting for") and one told me she was uncomfortable telling me who she was supporting.

But three told me they had already voted, and voted for the President! Yea!

I am not the most dedicated Obama supporter. I'm not crazy about the way he handled Simpson Bowles, or the BP oil spill, or his late and rather tepid embrace of gay marriage. That said, I am proud of my home-town hero and still support him and was happy to do my part in this close election. I intend to do more.

But the political "chickenhawks"* out there do depress and frustrate me. They are the rabid Obama supporters who trash talk Mitt Romney in the most personal and wholly unconstructive way possible, but can't go to and sign up to phone bank. (Here's an article from the Wisconsin Obama team that explains how easy it is. If you're interested, you can do it from any phone in any state. Just go to for details.)

The political conversation in this country is already too coarse. While I cannot imagine an eventuality that would ever EVER find me voting for Mitt Romney†, you will never EVER read anything from me that's disrespectful about the man, his faith, his patriotism or his family.

It's easy to sit around and bitch. It's only slightly more difficult to go to and phone bank from your own home. All it takes is a willingness to get off the sidelines and use your anytime minutes.

* Chickenhawks is an old Vietnam term for people (like Dick Cheney, George W. Bush and Dan Quayle) who were four-square in favor of that war ... for someone else to fight.

† As a lifelong Kennedy girl and a longtime supporter of Sen. John Kerry, I admit I have a near-freakish knowledge of MA politics for a Chicagoan.

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: The End of the Innocence

1) "The End of the Innocence" is one of Crazy Sam's favorite songs. Do you like it? Loathe it? Or is it before your time?
Amazingly, Sam and I completely agree on this one. :) I love this song. Whenever I hear people rhapsodize about Ronald Reagan, I remember these lyrics about "the tired old man that we elected king."

2) Obviously Don Henley was a smoker back in the 1980s. Do you smoke? Are you a former smoker? Or did you never start?
Never smoked

3) Childhood is generally considered an innocent time. In what town did you spend yours?
A small town about 20 minutes west of Chicago.

4) Do you abide by "innocent until proven guilty?" Or did you come to your own, pre-trial conclusions about famous defendants like Casey Anthony and OJ Simpson?
I judge, and rather harshly at that. Casey Anthony -- guilty. OJ Simpson -- guilty. Scott Peterson -- guilty. Drew Peterson -- guilty. Have I forgotten anyone? That said, I can't imagine how difficult it must be to be a juror on a high profile case and have people like me criticizing how they handle the responsibility.

5) Is there an old TV show whose cast you'd like to see reunite?
Kate and Allie. I'd love to see their friendship now that they're grandmas.

6) Do you know how to ride a horse?
I did know how, when I was a little girl. But it's been decades since I've ridden.

7) You're ordering ice cream. Cup or cone?

8) Do you believe a gentleman should help a lady with her coat?
I don't care

9) Which search engine do you use most often?
Google. I'm not crazy about Bing and I've kinda forgotten about Yahoo, until someone asks me a question like this.

Friday, October 19, 2012

That whole "horse to water" thing

More than once, back in early August, I recommended that my newly-unemployed best friend talk to a career coach. I reasoned that he hadn't been happy at his last job for a very long time, and rather than just grasp at a similar position because it's familiar, he should get some outside perspective about his job search.

Yesterday he told me about this "new and different thing" he just tried. He met with a career coach! "I think it would be good to have someone really help me get some focus and clarity for myself and a career. In looking over my career, I don't think I ever really picked what I wanted to do, opportunities came-up and out of obligation I took them."

I just smiled and told him what good news it was.

For the Troops

Just sent a box of 5 paperback books and some notepads to our soldiers serving in Afghanistan. I wanted to make sure the people at Operation Shoebox have enough time to receive them, put them in holiday stockings, and get them overseas in time for Christmas.

It's a wonderful feeling, helping the young people who so bravely serve. You can help, too! From their homepage:

Currently we are in desperate need of travel sized hygiene products for the troops. If you have any you would like to donate, please send it to us at: Operation Shoebox, 8360 E. Highway 25, Belleview FL 34420. Thank You!

I promise you: your day will be brighter and your holidays will be happier if you pitch in.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012



According to, the online grocery site, here's what little ghosts and goblins are most likely to get while trick or treating this year.

1. Kit Kat Miniatures

2. York Peppermint Patties

3. Fun Size Snickers

4. Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Miniatures

5. Dove Promises Silky Smooth Dark Chocolates 

6. Fun Size Butterfingers

7. Fun Size Milky Ways 

8. Fun Size Twix Cookie Bars

9. Heath Bar Miniatures

10. Fun Size $100,000 Bars

11. Almond Joy Snack Size  

12. Werther's Original Butter Candies

13. Fun Size Nestle Crunch Bars 

#5 sounds very tempting. Good thing I'm too old for trick or treating!

For more information about 

the Thursday Thirteen,

or to play yourself, click here.

The veil is lifting

The last three months have felt very unreal to me. First the ghastly heat. My best friend has been distracted and troubled by losing his job. Then my mother's illness, and finally her death. Then the morass of her finances and all that's landed on me. I've been sleepwalking through it all, trying to navigate through a fog of sadness, fear and uncertainty. Sleeping erratically, eating too much, gaining weight.

I am feeling stronger. I am more in the moment. I am more like myself. I'm no longer "getting by." I'm in my own life again.

I hear my mother in my head. I believe she is happy and whole and with God. I had been dreading her death so much that I hadn't counted on the relief I now feel, knowing that her pain is over and she truly is resting at peace. I loved my mother and the role reversal we experienced -- while very much the natural order of things -- was exhausting for me. I didn't realize it until it was over. I no longer have to worry about her.

I love her and I miss her. I will always love her and I will always miss her. But I no longer have to worry about her. She is where she belongs, with God. And I am grateful.

Agriculturally obsessed

Last night, while watching the second Presidential debate, I discovered Farmville. I'm so busy with my chickens and my goat that I haven't had moment to update the blog. Sorry.

PS Message to BHO: Thanks for showing up for the debate last night.