Take No Shit

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     This post is inspired by this meme or photo that I saw on my friend Steven Abbott’s Facebook Timeline this morning. (I will send him a link to view it, granted his posting of this meme is for a way different reason than my rant that will follow, but an inspiration is an inspiration)
     I have spent the last 4 days fighting with the local Youth Baseball League to get them to understand a simple concept, or what I view as a simple concept. We belong to the Cal Ripken Association, for our Insurance and Rules. One of the Board Members, or shall I call them rocket scientists (in jest) decided that we would not renew our membership and have each town involved get our own insurance. Just like Health Insurance, the more people in the pool, the cheaper the policy is.
     This involves liability insurance on each field, and accident insurance on each member of each team. The board just assumed because the teams played on our elementary school fields, after school hours, these teams would be covered under the school’s liability policy. They will NOT be covered under that insurance, and that assumption made the proverbial ass out of u and me.
     After shooting e-mails back and forth to these Board Members and receiving placating, you don’t know what you are talking about mails in return. I finally got one on the phone and lost it with him. Explaining that they didn’t do their research, their due diligence. They made a hasty decision that effects everyone in the league with no regard as to how, 2 weeks before sign ups.
     The sign up fees for my town will go from $55.00 to $90.00, all because this board just didn’t bother to think, or shall I say look before they leap. The parting shot to this board member was, my town will no longer play ball, and I will throw the board under the bus.
     I take no shit, I have no patience for people who don’t do their homework, or their due diligence with a situation. I may look pretty, or cute, but I have a brain, and a mouth and I am not afraid to use it.
     I am sure that this meme is not close to what u meant Steven, but this is sure what it meant to me today. Thanks!!!;)

Cabin Fever

   

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  My Pop always said “Any snow that you get after February 15th doesn’t last long.”  I think this year may be testing that wisdom. It is February 23rd 2015 and in New England we have had record breaking snowfalls, and cold temperatures. Weeks of below zero temperatures, have all compounded to leave 7 feet of snow in my yard and 20 feet snow banks.
   All of those things combined have given me a huge case of Cabin Fever, the kind that makes me want to be outside. But going outside makes me COLD..brr. What I really need is sun, warmth, some sand, and the ability to sit on the beach and watch the waves. With my book, an umbrella drink and not a care in the world.
    

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Feeling the sun on my shoulders, and yes I know I should have 50 SPF on, but I don’t. I have either 4 or 8, because I want a tan after being cooped up in the snow. Heck this is my Cabin Fever fantasy, there is no sunburn in my fantasy. In my fantasy I can lay in this imaginary beach n there is 0% chance of sunburn and 💯%  chance of beautiful golden even tan.
     As I sit in my sand chair, moving my feet back in forth in the sand, creating little tunnels with my feet, listening to the stupid gulls over my head.  They are the only part of my fantasy that is truly annoying. Little flying rats, ugh nasty birds, but oh well they really are part of the whole “beach experience”, so they can stay.
       Listening to the lifeguards whistle, the giggling of the little kids building sand castles and moats down by the water, and the boat engines out in the ocean. All those things combined blend to make up the background noise that lulls me to sleep.
     I can smell the salt air, suntan lotion, the lunch of the people next to me. They have tuna salad sandwiches and Fritos, along with Coca-Cola, and strawberries. I can feel the way my skin is getting tight, the salt drying on it from the ocean water. It feels funny and good all at the same time. The air is so warm, the slight breeze, just enough to keep things moving but not chilly by any stretch of anyone’s imagination.
     I get up and make my way into the water, in my Cabin Fever Fantasy this is not New England Beach water. I don’t have to slowly acclimate my body to the icy freezing water inch by inch.
     Abruptly my fantasy comes to a screeching halt with the “beep, beep”  sound that the dryer makes. At least the resulting laundry will be warm. All I can say is that Mother Nature is an equal opportunist this year. The South has gotten snow and ice too, we in the Northeast are buried up past our nether regions in the white crap. It is cold out West, and up across the Midwest and Central Plains too. So I am pleading, please, please Mother Nature I need warmth, soon.❗❗❗☺☺🌞🌞🌈🌈🌊

    

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The Flu

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I religiously get a flu shot…I know, I know, you get sick from flu shots, (cough, cough.) I am not entertaining conspiracy theorists tonight. I get a flu shot because I have asthma, serious asthma, like the kind that makes my fingernails and toenails turn blue from lack of oxygen to your extremities.  I don’t need to get the flu anymore than Custer needed more Indians, Carter needed Liver pills or any other idiom you can come up with today. The flu leads yo bronchitis, pneumonia and hospital stays for me, none of which I find particularly appealing.
     I started feeling crappy 3 days ago, a horrendous sinus headache, the kind that makes you want to drill a hole in your head and let the fluid out.  Yesterday the cough arrived along with a slight fever and the exhaustion that I couldn’t shake. This morning I woke up with chills, shakes, a herd of asthma elephants on my chest and a fever if 102.5. After dosing w Nyquil and my regular meds did nothing I finally admitted I needed to go to the Dr.  I called and got an urgent care appointment for this morning and  dragged my sorry butt there. My boys knew I was sick, I broke my own 2 cardinal rules. I left the house without:
  1. Makeup
  2. A bra

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     At my Drs office I saw a lovely Physicians Assistant, she diagnosed me with The Flu, the vernacular for Influenza. This diagnosis came via lovely nasal swabs, something that if I never have to have that again..I will be just fine.
     She prescribed me Prednisone Pills to reduce the inflammation in my lungs, and Cough Syrup with Codeine to calm the wracking cough so I could get some rest. I really lobbied for Antibiotics stating that she could reduce the inflammation all she wanted, but there was an infection brewing in my compromised lungs. My lobbying was to no avail, she was not budging.
     I spent the remainder of Saturday and all of Sunday doing what was prescribed, taking my meds, rest, fluids and a whole lotta NOTHING!!!  By Sunday night my Peak Flows kept sliding back down, 400 with a breathing treatment…then within 2 hrs I was dipping back down. By hour 3 I would be struggling to stay at 275 for that last hour until I could have another treatment.
     By 2 am I knew there was an ER visit in my not too distant future. I had promised my dear friend Lora Pearson that I would not try and tough it out and let it get so bad. I knew that my hubby had to work, and with no one to open his shop for him, or plow his lots him taking me was not an option.
     I hated to do it, but I woke up my 18 yr old, he was so great about. What 18 year old wants to get up at 4 am and take their Mom to the ER. But Kyle was the best!!!  He called his gf, yes at 4 am, cuz she made him promise he would. I growled at him, really waking the poor girl at that hour. But promises are promises. ☺
     We braved the snow covered roads, as he drove me to the ER to get my cranky, noisy, crispy sounding lungs checked out. As usual once we started the trek to the hospital and I knew that we were headed for help my lungs freed up, the anxiety cleared and I began to feel a little better. Not a million bucks better, but tolerably..I am not gonna die before I get help better.
     Kyle kept me as calm as one asthmatic patient can be on snow covered roads, with snow still falling, and crazy New England drivers everywhere. All that being said, I was never so happy to see the Cooley Dickenson Hospital Emergency Sign
     As an asthmatic child a trip to the ER meant a shot, or a few of them. There isn’t much I dislike in this world more than needles, I wouldn’t make a good junkie. Things have changed in the world of respiratory medicine since I was diagnosed 46 years ago. Now treatment consists of a nebulizer treatment, usually with Corticosteroids involved.  IV antibiotics for the bacterial infection that has taken up residence in my lungs as well as a chest X-Ray to rule out, or in this case confirm the presence of pneumonia in my lungs.
     All of those were done, nebulizing treatment, with Corticosteroids involved, Chest X-Ray for confirmation and a dose of IV antibiotics before they set me free.  I realized while I was sitting in the exam room waiting, after the X-Ray was taken, but I didn’t have the results yet. The last time I was in the ER for an asthma attack Kyle was with me too. It was just in a completely different way. I was pregnant with him last time. My then PCP would not let me self-treat with my nebulizer when I was pregnant. So as a nervous soon to be mom I listened to him and trudged to the ER.  This time he was the grown up who shuttled me there.
     After all was all was said and done, the final paperwork was handed out. Prescription for antibiotics to take for 10 days, a new inhaler, and a note that says I can go back to work on THURSDAY!!  Specific instructions from the Dr that I was to rest, take my meds, push the fluids and keep using my nebulizer.
     Today is day 2 at home, as my dad would say “I am beginning to feel like a Million Bucks, all green and wrinkled”.  I am sure I will feel even better tomorrow, my body had been trying to tell me something. I was just a little too stubborn to listen, I guess I had to be smacked over the head with it. Call me dense, stubborn, or just plain Irish, but I got the message now, really I do!!!

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Roasted Groundhog

    

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Now comes the time of year in New England that some of us have reached our tolerance. Our tolerance of snow, each other, of the cold, of being trapped inside constantly (or cabin fever as it is correctly called). The tolerance for cleaning up after Mother Nature’s constant dumpage, whether it be snow, ice, sleet, or any combination of the above. By now only children like snow days, and especially High School Seniors, because at least in my state they don’t have to make the days up. The rest of us parents are done with them.
     The 5:15 am wake-up call to tell me that school is cancelled means I can look out the window, roll over and make the decision whether I want to risk life and limb to get to work. Usually the answer is no. So that call is followed by a text to my poor boss telling him that I am now screwing up his schedule too.
    4 days ago the infamous groundhog known to all as Puxatawny Phil informed us all, much to the chagrin of irritable and cold New Englanders that there would be 6 more weeks of winter. Well we all know by the calendar he is correct. What I would like to know is how he knows that?  There was no sun on Groundhog Day in Puxatawny Pennsylvania, how could the meteorological rodent have seen his shadow?
     In my personal opinion the little guy is in cahoots with Mother Nature this year, trying to extend this winter forever!! I live in an area that is forecasted to get another 2 feet of the white stuff by Tuesday. If I could get my hands on that Groundhog he would be toast.!!!
    

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Who Knows Best

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     That meme sums up my thoughts on vaccination, the needs of one does not get to overwhelm the needs if many. Call it herd mentality if you wish, but the ability to send your un vaccinated child out in the world, to infect others just irritates, rankles and otherwise pisses me off!!!
     As a parent of 2 teenage boys I played by the rules. Both of my boys had all of their vaccinations on schedule, recorded in both the little book given to me by their Dr.’s office and their Baby Book.
     When the vaccine came along for Chicken Pox, I did my research and then said “yup would you like a tiny arm or buttock to inject”. My thought process being…if you can prevent something, than why wouldn’t you? I had a terrible case of Chicken Pox at 5 years old, had the little buggars in places that no one should get the itchy little things, grrr.
     My oldest son will be the first one to tell you that I lost a good friend over this vaccination debate. She refused to vaccinate her daughter against Chicken Pox, claiming that it was not a proven vaccine and since her daughter was a premature birth she was not going to take the chance.
     The issue with her choosing not to vaccinate against Chicken Pox became an issue when her child contracted the virus, and then gave it to a group of teachers and para professionals that were never vaccinated. They were never vaccinated because the vaccine did not exist when they were children. These adults had somehow managed to escape childhood without contracting the itchiness. Their luck just ran out.
     As you age Chicken Pox becomes more dangerous, the itchy rash becomes the least of your worries.   The high fever, flowing into dehydration, and a headache that will make the itch seem a non issue.
    All of that could have been very easily avoided by a Chicken Pox Vaccination. Now I realize that Chicken Pox is not in and if itself deadly. Unlike its counterparts in Measles, Mumps, Polio, Smallpox, Rubella, Diptheria, Whooping Cough, the list goes on. But still, it is a preventable disease, unlike the Common Cold. We can’t prevent that, and we lose millions of work days to it. The Influenza Vaccine is a hot button, we lose millions of sick days to that, between work and school. Yet how many people do you know that would rather refuse to get the shot, or nasal spray vaccination?  Those are the same people that get the flu and then whine when they are sick.💊💉
     The flu vaccine in shot form is a dead virus, you will not get the flu!!!  Stop the madness and the conspiracy.
    
     This is the madness that I am talking about….

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     I personally enjoy the Penn & Teller take on Vaccinations. .. (go to Youtube.com and search for Penn & Teller Vaccination Video). I can’t embed ut here, either WordPress won’t let me, or I just don’t know how. I don’t want to be the one on the side of the screen without the plexiglass. It doesn’t hurt that Penn is originally from Greenfield, Mass, very close to me.
     In short people, we all live in this world, conspiracy theories abound. Do your research from trustworthy places, and vaccinate your kids.  Because if we regulate peanut butter then we damn well need to regulate vaccinations, and I can control my kids health, but you need to control yours to make this work!!!

    

Eclectic Taste (Or Why I am Child of the ’80’s)

   

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If you were to swipe my iPod, yes I still have one, or peruse my phone music, or my Spotify Playlist the results would be the same. I have eclectic taste in music, or as some as my friends would say, what are you listening to?
     Putting any of my playlists on shuffle is an experience not to be missed, you just never know what what will come out. It could be anything from Def Leppard to Peter, Paul & Mary.
     Along with this eclectic taste in music comes a veritable cornucopia of concerts that I have attended over the years. Some people enjoy spending time in darkened movie theaters, waiting for the house lights to come up.  Some of the best times I can remember have been spent in Civic Centers and Concert Halls in the Northeast.
     Reo Speedwagon, Survivor, Billy Joel-no less than 8 times, Elton John-at least 6 times, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Crosby, Stills,Nash & Young, Stevie Nicks, Bruce Springsteen & Rod Stewart.
     Then began my foray into country music, Garth Brooks, John Michael Montgomery, Brooks & Dunn, & Shania Twain.
     But by far the best concert I have been to was the most recent one. My brother, and sister-in-law and I took my Dad to see a band he has loved since I was a youngster. A band that he wore the album out, and I didn’t think that was possible. We went to see Fleetwood Mac at the XL Center in CT. It was an experience I will never forget, and not just the music. The Chain, and Rhiannon not withstanding, the company and the experience was amazing and something that I will always remember. My Dad truly loved the concert, he had never been to one before. He will always remember it, and Scott, Lyndsay and I will always remember it too, we made it a memorable experience for him, or we hope we did. 🎶🎶🎼🎤🎤🎻🎹🎹

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Taxes (The Joy of The IRS)

     It is that time of year again, no not winter. Although if you live in New England you are up to your nether regions in snow, and it doesn’t look like Mother Nature has any plans to stop in the near future.
     I am talking about taxes.  Unless you live under a rock, or don’t have television I don’t know how you can miss those obnoxious H&R Block commercials. Ugh, they are so annoying to me. The actor in and of himself is enough to make me want to hurl, and then add his message that H&R Block can get you the best refund. Ugh,.ack, ick,.and all the other superlatives I can come up with.
     What the aforementioned pitch man neglects, most likely on purpose to tell the audience is that H&R Block charges an exorbitant amount to do your taxes. Generally twice what a licensed CPA will charge, and the people that you deal with at Block have taken their standard tax prep course. They aren’t CPA’s, or even accountants.
     If you truly love H&R Block then go to Staples and buy the TaxCut Software. It is made by Block, it will walk you through the maze known as the US Tax Code. Now all this is said if you have standard, fairly straightforward taxes. If you have anything remotely confusing or wacky. Get yourself to a CPA.
     But this time of year I get all sorts of happy, excited comments and Facebook Status Updates from my friends. “Got $1,200.00 back from Fed and $700.00 from State” or something like that. I don’t know how many times I have to tell my friends, acquaintances and others this same thing.
     IF YOU HAVE THAT MUCH TAKEN OUT OF YOUR PAYCHECK EACH WEEK, THAT YOU END UP WITH A LARGE REFUND LIKE THAT, YOU REALLY MUST LIKE THE IRS. BECAUSE YOU ARE LOANING THEM YOUR MONEY INTEREST FREE ALL YEAR.
     I don’t know about you guys, but I would rather use my money all year long, and end up with a much smaller refund, than to let the IRS play with my $$$ all year.
     I know there are specialized corporate situations, where huge refunds are needed and even the norm.  But I am not talking about those situations, I am talking about us, those of us normal people who figure things out as we go. Those of us who try and make ends meet
And have too much month at the end of the money. For that reason the IRS doesn’t get to play with mine!!!!💴💴💰💵💸💸