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I am a hairdresser, I love working with and talking to people, otherwise this would be a pretty poor career choice.  I work with all types of people all the time, and I enjoy people as they are.  The world has enough ugliness without adding to it by becoming ugly as well.  And I truly believe we can always learn something from other people.  All people are useful, even the ones that are good for a bad example.  I make friends with the people I work with and the people in my neighborhood and people who’s kids hang out with my kids.  I don’t typically care what their sexuality is or their color is, just if they are a good person or not.  Turns out, many years ago, one of my closest friends was runner-up to Ms. Gay Texas.  He was a beautiful woman and a delightful friend.  I loved him dearly and we did lots of fun things together, and he could always find the best shoes.  But in the 80’s, there was no cure for Aids.  I lost my beautiful friend to this ugly disease.  It is because of him that I am even approaching this subject.

Living in Texas has its perks, it doesn’t rain much, and we get tons of sunshine, but when it does rain, it gushes.  And I decided it was time for a new umbrella.  Something large enough to cover me and 2 large kids at one time without the infamous “he’s touching me” routine.  Yep I needed a golf umbrella.  I made a special trip to the store to find my umbrella, and it stood out among the football teams and solid black (boring) umbrellas.  Yep, I bought a beautiful rainbow-colored umbrella.  The colors are vivid and bold and I love this big beautiful vibrant umbrella.  Yep, it’s just an umbrella, but it’s grand, and I was happy with my purchase.  I in no way though of gay pride or making a statement with this stupid umbrella or anything other than the bright happy colors and the sheer size of the thing keeping me and at least some of my brood dry.

One of my boys had just finished US Army boot camp and we and a stack of relatives went to watch his graduation ceremony.  If you have never seen a military graduation, it is very impressive.  If you are ever invited, go.  The proud families, the incredible transformation of boys that slouch and grumble standing at attention and doing things so properly and dressed so handsomely.  It’s hard to explain the incredible pride you feel during one of these ceremonies.  Pride in your child, in your country, in your family for supporting your child.  It is a day of enormous emotions and when one of your idiot relatives open’s their mouth, it’s really hard to know what to do.

It was sprinkling that day, so of course I had my beautiful rainbow colored umbrella.  At the coolest event that that child had come up with so far.   Beaming with pride, and as typical for a mom, my hands were full of stuff that no one really knows why you are holding, so I handed one of the other boys my beautiful umbrella.  That’s when one of the dumbest things I have ever heard fell out of that morons mouth.  Really.  He looked at my innocent and said, “Boy, don’t touch that.  It’s a gay umbrella.  It will turn you gay.”  I was dumbfounded.  I’m a hairdresser!  I’m not normally at a loss for words.  I just stood there with my mouth hanging open.  How can anyone say something so stupid?

My partner (a straight man), pipes up and says “Yep, that’s my umbrella, hand it over.”  He tucked it under his arm and sashayed all over the place, flipping his wrist and acting like a fool.  It was so funny people were staring.  Then he handed it back to me with a flourish and a kiss and said, “Yep, I feel gay already.”  I honestly, never loved him more.

My umbrella has been dubbed “the gay umbrella” ever since.



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I am so disappointed.  I used to write websites for airlines.  It’s no small task they took on, but they had more than ample time to accomplish the job if they hired people who knew what they were doing.  Apparently, they didn’t.  I read on CCN today that by Oct 2, a grand total of six people had signed up.


I am just stunned.  And not for the reason other people expect me to be.  I have a dog in this fight.  I am one of the rare people who really want’s to see ObamaCare wildly successful!!!  I loose my insurance Dec 31, and I am trying desperately to shop for insurance, and figure out about this website that has some of my data but doubled up the number of children that are still dependents in my home.  And now I’m being told that the security on the site is non-existent, really?  I trusted these people with my ssn and my kids snn.  I want to know how to get my info out of their database because I don’t trust it.

Apparently I’m not the only one who wasn’t able to sign up for insurance via the site, so they are now saying, just call and we will do it over the phone.  And they have put a list of insurers available by county in ONE CONTINUOUS LIST.  It is the most horrible way to lay out data I have EVER seen.  Did I mention I used to write major data driven website software?

Usability experts all over the planet are now either cringing, crying or laughing.  This is a hell of a way to run a railroad people.

Please fix it.  Call me, I’ll explain about timeouts and data loops and why infinite loops kill sites and databases.   I really want this to work.  I really want the government to stop lying about it and just do their job.   Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius accidentally on purpose “not having the numbers with her” during the congressional hearings. Somehow I think she was too emabarssed to share the truth so she left a piece of paper on her desk so she could say she didn’t know.   And then she wanted us to believe her.  Seriously?  Of course she knows the numbers!!!  So does Jay Carney and Obama.  Any ba can write a count query to give the EXACT numbers and time stamps to these people.  If anyone thinks we believe they just don’t know, or that we will buy this anymore they are sadly mistaken. The people in charge need to be let go, they obviously have no project management experience. That includes the politicians in charge.

Please fix the mess you have made.  Please stop asking Americans to pay for things that don’t work.  All the government projects I’ve ever worked on had a time limit and a pay loss clause, if you are a day late it costs $x and if you are 2 days late, it costs $y.  Why aren’t we hearing about this with these contractors?  Just do your job and we will all be happier.  Otherwise you should start practicing “would you like fries with that”.  Because anyone else would have been fired by now.

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It has come to my attention that I posted some about my cancer and then life became so overwhelming that I stopped writing on here.  After 7 months of chemo every week, I was finally told that I am in remission.  Apparently I had a rare type of Ovarian cancer.  I didn’t even know Ovarian cancer was a thing.  The doctors believe that it is genetic but they have only identified 2 genes that pass this on, and I don’t have either of those.  So somewhere down the road someone brilliant will figure out exactly where and why this happened.

At this point in time I am healing, and recovering from the chemo.  It did some damage to my heart that can be reversed, and I have permanent nerve damage.  But I am starting to get some of my energy back, and with a few pain killers (read tylenol and aspirin cause I HATE what vicodin does to my head) I am able to walk some, which is good for my heart.  So I have been walking lately, and hoping to loose some of those pesky pounds that I’ve gained sitting on my backside.  Still not ready to work yet, but some of the short term memory issues seem to be resolving, and it looks like I may stand a chance of surviving.

Apparently the odds are about 30% on me living to the 5 year mark.  I guess that gives me 4 years left.  But apparently the longer I make it the better my odds get.  SO I’m planning on sticking around to finish raising my little one and hopefully meet some grandchildren 🙂   There are people who have lived 20 years after this diagnosis, so I’m volunteering my time 🙂

I have changed my mind about a lot of things.  I think knowing that I am not going to be a very old woman does that to you.  I have decided it’s more important to be happy and enjoy my family and my time.  So I have stopped listening to people that lie or give me grief.  I stop them in their tracks and tell them flat out, I know better and I’m not interested.  Its ok if they don’t like me for calling them on their bs, I don’t have time to waste with people like that.  If they want to be good, honest, decent people, I’ll spend time with them, otherwise, it’s time to walk away.  I just don’t want to waste my time.    Besides, I have kids to play with 🙂



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I haven’t been feeling well for a while.  I even went to the doctor and she kind of  looked me over and said, no problem, you need more rest.  Congratulated me on my weight loss and cut my bp meds back.  All in all, I was feeling pretty good that I didn’t need as much medicine.  What a win!  I left feeling like everything was fine.  About 2 weeks later I was back, my stomach had started swelling up, looked like I was about 5 months pregnant.  It was really getting a bit scary. But she’s a good doctor, and it’s a Thursday, and I was lucky enough to get in.  I expected her to give me some antibiotics tell me to go home, kick my feet up and quit whining.

That’s not what she said.  I was born with one kidney.  When my doctor saw that I was retaining fluid in such extremes, she said she was going to run some tests and see what to do about putting me on a kidney transplant list.  The next day she called and said, “Um, I don’t know what the hell is going on, but your kidney is fine.  In fact, so is your liver.  I’m going to do some research over the weekend and we will regroup on Monday to figure out what’s wrong”.

By 4am Monday morning, I had swollen up so badly I looked about 10 months pregnant with triplets.  My ribs were distended, being pushed out of place, and I was in severe pain.  My hubby rushed me to the emergency room, where they immediately pumped me full of morphine.  I have major issues with pain meds, mostly that I have no clue what’s going on around me when I take them.  Well, this time was no different.  But the ER docs had no clue how badly it affected my ability to understand what was going on around me.  All they knew was how much pain I was in, and they gave me as much as they could for my weight.

After a hand full of tests and a CT scan, a doctor that I recognized but didn’t know, came in the room and made my husband move.  He sat in a chair beside me, and held my hand and had the weirdest look on his face.  I was so loopy from the morphine I didn’t know it was time to worry.  I started giggling.  It was all just so surreal to me, a strange man with a strange look on his face was holding my hand and honey was standing in the corner trying to hear what was going on.  How funny is that?  Ok, maybe you had to be there.  He told me, “I’m sorry to tell you this, but you have ovarian cancer.”   I was waiting for the punch line, he just kept staring at me.  I finally looked at him, grinned really big and said “AND???”  Then I started laughing like a goofy school kid.  I think he realized how much morphine affected me then.  Then he said  he was going to get the GYN to talk to me.  This time they let me sleep for an hour before they tried to explain it again.

The weird thing about Ovarian Cancer is it has very few, and very vague symptoms.  Most people don’t know they have it until it’s too late.   I am lucky I started swelling up because it got me to the doctor.  What a crazy weird thing.  If it hadn’t been for all the fluid, I would also have been too late.  I’m so very lucky to be here today.  It’s a good day.

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I have sticker envy.  We’ve all seen them.  The little families on the backs of cars.  A mom and a dad, a boy sticker, a girl sticker, and don’t forget Fido.  They are pretty dang cute.  I’d love to put these on my car, but it’s just too much for me to figure out.  A little help would be appreciated.  So if anyone reading this can help me figure this out, I’d really appreciate it.

There are practical realities when you have a big family.   Like how many can you fit on the back of one window?  When you put one mommy, one daddy, 5 boys, 2 girls and 3 dogs can you actually see out of the back window?

And what about sticker etiquette?  Do you add a daughter in law?  A grandson?  The grand-dogs?  The grand-cat?  So that’s 2 adults, 10 kids, 5 dogs and one cat for my window.

Maybe you swap out the kid stickers for adult stickers when they turn 18?  Now that’s 9 adults, 3 kids and 5 dogs and 1 cat. But then how will anyone know who the parents are?

I have 7 kids, I wonder how many grandchildren I will eventually end up with?  And just how many of them I should put on my car?

Or do you scrape them off as they grow up and move out?  Does that mean they aren’t family anymore?  I would hate to be forced to disown my children. Then I am down to 2 adults, 2 kids, 3 dogs but not for long because the 17 yr old will be off to college in short order and I will have a gaping hole in my window stickers. And what would that look like?

All this sticker etiquette is just too much for me to bear.  I am soooooo confused.

I finally saw it.  A cargo van with two parents, eight kids, a dog and a cat.  Now that’s my kind of window!!  Maybe?  Nahhhhhh…. I think I will just have to enjoy these from afar.  It’s just too much to try to figure out.

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My little one came home from kindergarten very excited.  The first thing out of her mouth was “I’m going on vacation with my teacher and we’re going on a train!”

“Cool.  Do you mean a field trip?”

“Yep!”  She was so pleased and so excited she was almost vibrating.  It’s her first field trip, so it’s very exciting.  We went on with our day and I didn’t think much of it afterwards.  We did homework and ballet lessons, dinner and bed.  And life in general was normal and routine.

The next morning, I got out of bed filled out her permission slip and when I was packing her backpack with lunch and snack, I also put her permission slip in her folder.

“What’s that Mommy?”

“It’s your permission slip so you can go on your field trip with your teacher.”

That’s when the world turned over, but I didn’t even see it coming.  She curled up on the sofa, crying.  I thought she was goofing off and not getting her socks on.  Nope, by time I got her off the sofa she was sobbing.  She had tears running down her little face, her eyes were all red and the snot running down her nose was non-stop.

“What’s wrong?”

“I, I, I’m… go… go.. gonna… going to miss you sooooooooooooooo much!”

Poor baby.  She’s going to be gone 2 hours, it’s going to be a hard day.

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Politics, I normally try to steer clear of the serious ones, only going with the funny stuff.  But this is one time the public needs to know what’s going on.  Military service is a long-standing tradition in my family.  I have 2 sons in the military and a third planning on joining.  My father and all but one of my uncles served as well. On both sides of my family tree there are men who have served our country all the way back to the revolutionary war in the United States.  The military and national pride are one and the same in our family.

In the United States, our President (Barack Obama) is the Commander-in-Chief for all our armed forces. Now, don’t get me wrong, even on the days I don’t like what he has done, EVERY president deserves our support, and because of that, I try not to indulge in presidential bashing.  He is our president.  He is doing a job that I would never want.  It’s hard.  He is called names on a regular basis and has to make incredibly difficult decisions daily.  He has access to information that you and I just don’t have access to, and half of it we wouldn’t want to know anyway.  He is doing what he believes to be correct based on the information he has.  I couldn’t do his job, the reality is I would probably cry every day.  Every bad article in the paper or negative post on Facebook, I’d break out in tears.  Obama has stood up and taken it like a trooper.  With grace, and even with a sense of humor… yes, I’m talking about his fabulous Betty White birthday card.

But our president is called to uphold the laws of our land, and protect our constitution, and this time he has not only dropped the ball, he has not protected our laws or our troops, who in turn protect us all.

NATO is planning on allowing US troops to be tried for burning the Quran.  Seriously?  We have treaties in place with Afghanistan to keep our troops safe.  These treaties are called SOFA treaties, which stands for Status Of Forces Agreement.  According to the Congressional Research Document for SOFA Treaties, one of the provisions of the Treaty with Afghan states as follows:

An agreement exists regarding the status of military and civilian personnel of the U.S. Department of Defense present in Afghanistan in connection with cooperative efforts in response to terrorism, humanitarian and civic assistance, military training and exercises, and other activities.45 Such personnel are to be accorded “a status equivalent to that accorded to the administrative and technical staff” of the U.S. Embassy under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961.  Accordingly, U.S. personnel are immune from criminal prosecution by Afghan authorities, and are immune from civil and administrative jurisdiction except with respect to acts performed outside the course of their duties.

You can read the document in it’s entirety here.  The portion quoted above is on page 12.

Allowing our troops to be tried for following a direct order is a treaty violation and an illegal act.  It is heart breaking for a mother like me, who has a son, cousin and best friend’s son in Afghanistan, to find out that they are not only in jeopardy from the terrorists, but our own Commander-in-Chief and NATO.  How disillusioning.

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