Tag Archives: AARP

It’s Not MY Dream. Is it YOURS?

Many years ago, John decided that he and I should buy a Bed & Breakfast somewhere in picturesque New England and leave the Washington DC area behind us.

“No,” I said immediately, the first time he procured an ad for one.

My husband didn’t understand why I wasn’t jumping at the chance.

“Why not?  It’s perfect for us!”

“What would your role be at “our” B&B?”

“Well, I’d …”

I stared him down, believe me.  Because you see, John doesn’t cook.  He doesn’t clean.  And he’s an introvert. If you are an old friend or family, John will welcome you graciously.  Otherwise, he will say hello, and quickly make his way to another room and go back to his book.

And his lack of handy-man skills is legendary.

I would have to do the cooking, the cleaning, the welcoming, the chatting everybody up.  I’d have to work the toilet plunger.

“No,” I repeated. “I do not want to run a B&B.”

But YOU might want to.  YOU — You know — the person reading this, scratching his/her/its head.

This morning I learned about a wonderful opportunity.  The owner of the Deerfield Valley Inn is retiring, and holding a contest for her replacement B&B-er.  Check out the link on the Huffington Post.  And do listen to the video in that link and hear all the particulars.

The Deerfield Valley Inn

The Deerfield Valley Inn

For $150 and the winning essay, the Deerfield Valley Inn can be yours.  The essay?  Here’s your prompt; in 250 words or less tell the current owner your story:

“This is my dream: To own and operate a Vermont country inn.”

I’m having trouble getting the link about the contest to load, so here is a Hotels.com video of the Deerfield Inn so you can see it.

We are all writers, here, in the ‘sphere.  One of us should be able to nail this contest and change their life.

Go for it!

And save a nice room for me for Columbus Weekend, Fall 2016!


Filed under Adult Traumas, All The News You Need, Bat-shit crazy, Crazy family members, My husband is lazy and wants me to do all the work, Vermont Country Inn

It’s a Frog’s Life

Recently, a close friend/relative was diagnosed with a chronic disease. He’s pretty miserable.

It’s a hard thing to accept, that diagnosis. To find out that you have something nasty that you don’t want, and it’ll always be with you. Gee Willikers, who the hell do you thank for that?

Still, having had a chronic disease for forty years, I’ve learned a thing or two that I can pass along.

I’ve learned that basically, it’s a frog’s life.  Yup.  A while ago I figured out that living life with a chronic disease simply means you’re a frog.

You don't look like a frog! Google Image

You don’t look like a frog!

You see, most of the time, life is normal. You hang out in the pond with your family and friends. You eat bugs which is gross, of course.  But still, life is good most of the time.

Contrary to popular belief, flies are delicious!

This pond has an all you can eat buffet!

But naturally, life isn’t quite that easy. It isn’t quite that easy if you don’t have health problems. But if you do, well, you have to pay attention to what happens to you.  The Devil is in the details.  Actually, the devil is in the damn symptoms you probably think aren’t worth bothering with.

You have to watch out for pot. Pots. You have to watch out for pots.


Oh surely you’ve heard about frogs and pots!

No?  Let me rekindle that image.

Rumor has it* that sometimes someone (an asshole no doubt) puts a poor, unsuspecting frog into a pot of boiling water. The frog (being smarter than the average bear) immediately jumps out. Of course s/he does! It’s painful! If s/he doesn’t, well, we won’t need to worry about that frog’s gender much longer.



Sometimes with a chronic illness, you get really sick. It’s dramatic, debilitating. It sucks.  And generally, the reaction is to JUMP!

Jump!  To the phone to call the doctor. Jump!  To call the nurse. Jump!  To call my husband. Jump!  To scream to heaven for my mother (because, in spite of the fact that she is in another realm, when something hurts, I want Mooooooooooooooom!). Jump!  To call my sympathetic friends.

Hell, I’ll call whoever will come and help me. Because the water in that pot is too damn hot; I must react. Whatever it takes. I then follow the advice I’m given, and feel better. Much better.

Sadly, it’s not always easy being green.  Or having a chronic disease.

You see, sometimes, the frog ends up in a pot of cool, refreshing water. And then, dammit, that same  asshole turns on the heat.  The results ain’t pretty.



Twice in the past few years, I’ve found myself hanging out in that stupid damn pot after someone turned on the gas (sometimes literally). In retrospect, it seems idiotic of me.. Me! The expert patient, with 40 years of practice!  It seems so obvious. But day to day, really, it is not at all clear that the water I’m in has heated up so much that, well, getting out just doesn’t seem worth the effort.

Because, you see, when you have a chronic illness, there are little things that creep up, little pains that are really nothing. Nothing at all.  Certainly nothing to complain about.  Nothing to worry about. Nothing to mention to that person on the other side of the bed.


Just as surely, it’s nothing worth calling the doctor about. Nothing even worth remembering during those routine visits. Nope, it’s all good.

But then suddenly, unexpectedly, you realize that that little ache, that pain that started off so mild, that has stayed with you and built up.  Day by day. Suddenly it becomes unbearable.

So, I thought of what advice I should give to my poor depressed friend.

Pay attention to your symptoms. If you have an acute problem, jump out of the pot. Call your doctor.  Duh!

Pay attention to your symptoms. If something little seems hardly worth mentioning – JUMP ANYWAY!!! JUMP OUT OF THE DAMN POT!

More specifically, call your doctor. Let him or her know what is happening. SQUEAK! I know that’s what mice do, but I’m sure frogs squeak too,when they have to, too. It may be nothing, in fact, it probably is. But mention it anyway.  And if it is something, there may be help closer to hand than you think.

The two times I stayed in the pot?

The first time I didn’t want to go on a medicine my doctor thought would help me; I read too much.  The day after my first dose of that medication I was nearly pain free.  Gradually, I had been barely able to walk, sit or stand. I have a good doctor but I didn’t want to follow her advice.

The second time, I was somewhat less stupid.  I was away, and developed a painful skin condition, that started up slowly.  It was no big deal.  NBD at all.  Until, after a couple of weeks, it was.  When I talked to my doctor, she made a simple recommendation.  I followed it and the pain went away.

I’ve lived with Crohn’s for 40+ years. And you know what I’ve learned? Find a good doctor, and listen to him or her.  Then just float along as best you can.

Because except for eating bugs, a frog’s life is pretty damn good.

* When I was looking this up on my bible, Wikipedia, I learned that this whole “frog in the pot” thing may not be precisely true. It may not be that a frog will just hang out until it dies while the water heats up. Fuck you Wikipedia. Way to ruin a good metaphor. Go eat bugs, Wikipedia.

All images are from Google.  I leap in your general direction, Google images!


Filed under Adult Traumas, Advice from an Expert Patient, Bat-shit crazy, Boiled frog, Chronic Disease, Conspicuous consumption, Crazy family members, Criminal Activity, Crohn's Disease, Frogs, Gas, It's not easy being green, Out of the Pot, People who boil frogs are not nice, Pooders, Shit happens

My Candidate for President — 2016

I have a pretty good track record in choosing Presidents.  Sometimes, I’m way ahead of the game.  I decided in 2004 that I wanted Obama for President.

Obama at the 2004 Democratic Convention

Obama at the 2004 Democratic Convention (Google Image)

Sadly, I didn’t notice him on the ballot for a while.

This time around, I haven’t been able to decide. Hillary?  Bernie?  There are things to recommend each of them.  So what is a good citizen to do?

Well, today I have my answer.  I know who I’m going to vote for. I know who I will work for.  I know who will solve one of the major problems the world faces today.

Please join me in supporting the candidacy of Donald Trump:

Google Image

Google Image

Because Donald Trump stated the following:

Donald Trump says if he gets elected president, he would have to change his hair style because he wouldn’t have time to maintain it, as he would be working his butt off in the White House.…[Emphasis added]

The world will be a far, far better place.

*     *     *

I found this, along with a zillion other brilliant pictures at The Last of the Millenniums.  He’s got a gift for finding the really fun stuff.


Filed under 2016, Adult Traumas, All The News You Need, All We Are Saying Is Give Peace A Chance, Awards, Bat-shit crazy, Campaigning, Cancer, Climate Change, Conspicuous consumption, Crazy Folks Running, Criminal Activity, Disgustology, Elections, Extra Cash, Farts, I HATE THE BEEP BEEP BOOP

Sharon, Paul, Bob and Me

When Sharon Osborne, wife of Ozzie, appeared on the cover of AARP Magazine, I should have known changes were coming at the Association of American Retired People.  I should have been afraid.  I should have opted out.  I should also have realized I have not yet retired.

But I’ll admit that I did not see today’s news coming – that AARP would ever agree that Social Security can be cut.  Drugs must be involved in both decisions by AARP.  And we are not talking about legal substances.

Tonight, I’m embarrassed to admit that I am a member of AARP.  A reluctant member of AARP, but a member nevertheless.  You know those commercials that are playing now?  The ones with Betty White, talking to me and other reluctant middle-aging folks who don’t really want to be in AARP, telling us to “GET OVER IT.”  Well, recently I did get over it. Betty White didn’t convince me.  But still, I joined.

Shit.  Why didn’t I listen to Woody Allen and not join any organization that would have me?  Maybe it was because he was stealing the line from Groucho Marx.

But it was the magazine that seduced me.  Or rather, it was the cover boys who did.

When I reached my 50th birthday, AARP sent me Paul McCartney – Paul was my very first crush!  How did they know?  It’s a little bit scary that they knew about me and Paul, but I figured they’d sent me a sign in a good, wholesome way — I mean, they didn’t send me Ringo.

When I was seven years old, the Beatles had just been on Ed Sullivan, and for months afterwards I used to play “Married Beatles” with my friends, Laura, Lucy and Lisa.  They were sisters who had four wonderful apple trees in their yard, and we each got a Beatle whom we could keep in our individual tree and with whom we could smooch.  Hey, I was seven.  I didn’t realize that there could be better things to do with Paul in that tree.  Well, we fought for Paul, and somehow I usually won him.  (John’s marriage to Cynthia was something we knew, even at that age, wouldn’t last.  And Yoko would have confused the hell out of us.)

So when I got that first magazine, I knew my days of holding out against aging, against AARP, against Paul, were numbered.

And then came other heartthrobs:  Harrison Ford.  An adult crush.  Bob Dylan, an early hero.

Robert Redford, my early teen crush, appeared in January to help me celebrate my 54th birthday. He sealed the deal.  I’d had a crush on him before he was even a star, when he was in Inside Daisy Clover and This Property is Condemned with Natalie Wood, before he’d so much as met Paul Newman  And Robert hasn’t aged too well, either.  So he makes me feel better about that, too.  The list of the crushes of my life goes on across the cover pages of AARP Magazine.  The list for men is equally impressive, but that’s for them and their apple tree memories.

And so on my 54th birthday as I read the interview with Robert (or Bob as I called him in my later day apple tree-equivalent),  I thought:

“You know, this organization is doing good things.”

And I continued to think (hey, I can multi-think!):  “They will protect me in my dotage, when I need Social Security and Medicare!”  And so I joined.

So imagine my surprise when I got this month’s issue:  Sharon Osborne was on the cover.  I can say with absolute certainty:  I never had a crush on Sharon.  I never had a crush on Ozzie.  In fact, I never quite understood why anyone would spend their time with either of them without mind altering drugs.

So as an official AARP member, I have a question:

Who put Sharon Osborne on the cover of AARP?

Probably more importantly, however, are these questions:

Who the HELL at AARP decided that it is okie dokie  to

(1) totally abandon  their position on Social Security and Medicare that AARP has held since the Civil War (“LEAVE IT THE FUCK ALONE!” is what I recall seeing on their posters and position papers);

(2) screw over AARP’s entire middle-aging clientele, including newly minted and especially funny bloggers, and

(3) support cuts in Social Security that will leave millions of elderly people in poverty in years to come?

The answer to these questions?  They obviously inhaled.  A lot.  Residual effects from illegal drugs ingested between 1968 and 1978 have begun to take control of their minds.  And that is not my fault.  Don’t penalize me and my fellow middle-agers  for your folly.

We middle-aging folks need to get a hold of the folks who are reconsidering their positions on Social Security and give them a nice California Chardonnay to clear their heads.  Because we need the real folks at AARP to get back in charge.

Sharon and Ozzie will do okay without you.  The rest of us won’t.


Filed under Humor