Rafael and company

young hadsome man with cracked face looks in mirror

Leaving my comfort zone is always a way to learn new things, be exposed to different ideas, and to remind myself that we are not all alike.  And that it’s ok that we aren’t.

On this trip, I started the day with “Rafael”, and ended the journey with “Rafael”, our Uber driver.  (The photo above is from another blog, and has nothing to do with the actual Rafael, even though the brooding mirror image gave me something to work with for illustrating this blog and his part in our journey).

During the trip, I met a bunch of people that got on my nerves (not a biggie, but part of leaving one’s comfort zone), and it reminded me of just how selfish we (and I) have become in the good old USA.  Trust me, we are sadly lacking in decorum and manners, and could do with more respect for others vs. always having to be “on” when in a group of strangers.  I came to see the world, and instead dealt with my own pettiness for lack of manners.

Chrissy, the dining room attendant, was so obnoxious that I sat on my complaint letter before sending it in this week.  Let’s just say that someone with a Bouncer’s view of life should NOT be in charge of something reputed to be a fine dining establishment.


This next one, Mr. Obnoxiously trendy skater boy, was determined to shock everyone and ruin the trip for all who encountered him (mostly families with kids and the elderly). He spent most of the first day drinking to excess, having sex with Ms. Traveling Alone (separate image, below).  How do I know this?  Because they both came out of the bathroom after 20 minutes together looking disheveled, pants unzipped and naughty bits dangerously close to being exposed.  Hmmm…











Then, we come to the girlfriend of the moment (I presume), Ms. Traveling Alone but-must-hook-up-with-a-guy (i.e., Skater Boy’s chick of the moment).


Not sure what else she had going for her, as she was way too busy being a groupie for Skater Boy, and I didn’t get any idea of who she was beyond being a convenient piece of sexual furniture who thought it very daring to be obnoxious in the Scenic Lounge (communal gathering area to enjoy the scenery), while determined to put on a show of her own.  Sad.

Next, it was Mrs. Finding-Myself-because-I’m-not-old-enough-to-be-stuck-staying-home.

Mrs. Finding Myself complained about her coach seat accommodations, then over dinner (no one was allowed to eat alone) reminded us all of how much money she and her husband had made in life, and then told stories of all the places she’d been on the cheap (why???? if you have so much money, why not enjoy it???).

The saddest part was how fancy free she was now that her son was grown and her husband was busy with his own life, and yet she seemed desperate for an audience to hear her tales of adventure.  I couldn’t figure out if I was supposed to be impressed, envious or her cheering section.

Mostly, I was just bemused that she was alone and working so hard to impress strangers telling stories of all the places she’d been and all of the things that she’d done and how wonderful it was to be all alone.  Always.

2012 Summer TCA Tour - Day 2












(Many of these folks in the images are famous – I took their pictures because they illustrated a moment and an impression of a person, and not because of any underlying comments about the artist portrayed in the images depicted).

One of the saddest moments came when an Onslow lookalike (from the PBS show, “Keeping Up Appearances”) had a medical issue and needed to be removed from the train on Friday afternoon.


He and his wife were enjoying a lovely trip through the countryside, and it appeared that he was not feeling well for most of Thursday.  Come mid-day on Friday, a crisis occurred, and he had to be taken off the train and sent by ambulance to a nearby hospital.

I’m thrilled that he was out and about and doing what he and she wished, despite any health issues, but sad that their trip ended in that way for them.

Anyway, the upshot of this story is that I’m glad I went and was away during some of the recent craziness.  Trust me – I can do crazy all by myself, without help.


Crafting for Sanity


I knew I was losing my mind when I seriously considered “mealenders” as a solution to my diabetes woes.

Background: the lawyer is making me crazy with his / their latest version of a declaration, and while I do have a short lifespan, I don’t want to spend my final days in the pen for killing him (lawyer) or her (paralegal).

I have been having trouble sleeping as I’ve been trying fasting as a way to control my blood sugar

I am still ticked at the endo deciding my issue was portion control and over-eating vs. understanding that I eat normally – 2,000 or less calories a day (usually about 1,800 calories or 600 calories per meal – at a rate of 2-3 meals per day).

Being unable to sleep, though, because hunger pangs either keep me from falling asleep, or keep me awake once I’m in bed, is extremely aggravating.  And that’s before we consider the 5,001 pee breaks necessitated by all the water I’m downing to try and keep my belly from hurting.

Add in declarative b.s. statements from my lawyer, corrected multiple times, yet receiving each fresh draft with whole paragraphs of falsehoods that I’ve never seen before, increases my anxiety and hunger.

Plus, the continued delay for building my new sun porch is getting on my last nerve.

While I’m trying to be good as I’m seeing my endocrinologist later this week, the levels of constant frustration for the months of July and August are NOT helping me find and keep my balance.

So, I’ve started the 2017 “Crafting for Sanity” tour.

Right now, I’m into rehabbing Goodwill items into a variety of bird feeders in the hope that something will click at our upcoming show.

While the ugliest bracelet I’ve ever made (the concept DIDN’T match the finished product) sold at our most recent show, I’m just feeling drained and whiney.  Very whineeeeeyyyyyyy.

I can hear the clock of my life ticking, and it’s getting on my last nerve.  Time to get busy to drown it out !

Or this:


Here’s hoping I have some sales this weekend to make my open defiance of the lawyer’s edicts worthwhile.

I can manage my own luggage.

I can drive my car.

I do need lots of breaks and naps.

I am diabled, and not bedridden !



Today, I see a “wealth manager”.  The goal is to see if I can find a short-term investment which will enable me to invest my money in a very protected account to grow my savings, in the hope that I won’t run out of funds before I pass away from this illness.

I am very worried about 45’s craziness and a related stock market crash, so I’m trying to figure out if I can put my $ into cash and avoid the volatility of the stock market over Der Cheeto’s remaining term, as well as create a stream of income in the event I lose my matching salary disability benefits.

Of course, in the middle of all this, the lawyer has been driving me crazy with more insurance paperwork (harassment, if you ask me), and I’m about to take a train trip to Colorado, which will be another thing on the lawyer’s “no no” list.

Playing phone and email tag with the Lawyer’s Paralegal, I’m now worried that the conversation is going to linger into Thursday / Friday, making it impossible for me to get signed documents back to them (when I sent my preferred version 2 weeks ago!) because they’ve been unhappy with what I sent and they have been dragging their feet.

So, I’m about to travel from CA to CO via a sleeper car on a train, making sure that the 7,000 foot change from sea level to mountains happens slowly and gently.  Making sure that we have a sleeper car so that I can rest when needed and on demand.  While also hoping to enjoy this train tourism adventure while going to visit a friend in CO.  Wish me luck, because this looks like it’s turning into the usual madness.


A matter of degrees

Harassment = non-violent, irritating; intimidating.IMG_5080

Eve teasing an evil act in business lifestyle!








Assault = violent.  In cases of criminal charges, physical contact must have occurred.IMG_5083







Sexual Harassment = irritating and inappropriate touching, usually of a sexual nature.  Verbally irritating and inappropriate remarks or behavior.  Sexually-related pressure used to deny objections between individuals due to a power imbalance based on gender or authority.  Inappropriate touching which goes beyond cultural norms (handshakes, hugs, shoulder pats) to a grey area where ANY type of physical contact can be inappropriate based on one person telling another, “do NOT touch me (specific reference to unwanted touch).

businesswoman suffering work sexual harassment and abuse of boss








Sexual Assault = this one should be clear.  One person says, “No.  I do not want sex.  I do not want sex with you.”








However, with two recent incidents in the media, I have to ask:  Where has our societal and gender perspective gone?  Must everything have an agenda?

I feel like we are dumbing down legal nuances which have value and situationally appropriate consequences to make everything equally outrageous, diluting the message’s value and building a level of solidarity that weakens perspective and impeding cultural progress in changing circumstances.

The picture above, “my body is not public space” is a perfect example of an agenda statement.

Ditto the comparison between the mentor / shoulder clap, and the boob grab photo.

No way are they the same thing, however, they are being treated as if they are equally heinous.


Ashley Judd’s airport facebook live is a perfect instance of someone with too much time on their hands setting the stage for an “agenda” protest where she was unhappy with the too-familiar language of the TSA (male) officer calling her “sweetheart” vs. “miss” or “ma’am” when talking to her while going through security.  (You’ll have to google the actual videos, as I can only find them embedded in other stories vs. as a standalone video).

Taylor Swift’s situation, on the other hand, could be taken as appropriate (it’s in response to a lawsuit by someone who was fired in response to her complaint of inappropriate touching – sexual assault – in response to his lawsuit demanding $3m because he was fired due to her complaint).


Not sure what’s going on in the world, but Taylor’s team is firing back with a sexual assault case (vs. sexual harassment) for the inappropriate touching which reportedly occurred during a meet and greet.

While I appreciate Taylor’s vigorous defense of her personal space autonomy, I’m disappointed that it’s not being filed as a “harassment” case vs. an “assault” case.

We are so agenda-driven in this country on the “rights” issues that we are losing perspective on small battles vs. important skirmishes.

Ashley was right, but didn’t need to publicise the video on her situation as it comes across as very self-serving, pandering, and an ego driven abuse of celebrity / power simply to make a point against a guy who is an anachronism.

Taylor was also right to complain about the butt grab, but the consequences become a he said / she said that is only partially resolved by a picture which appears to back up her complaint.  A complaint that shouldn’t require backup, but which is relevant because the DJ is suing her (the deep pocket) and not his former employer, for wrongful termination.

As a country, we appear to have lost our minds.


Sleep – I’d love some

Sleep Pattern ending 31JUL17

The graph is Coach Fittie’s way of communicating with me about what I’m doing with regard to my sleep “bank”.

The daily summary, though, is also helpful for seeing how I allocate my sleep from one day to the next, in trying to keep up despite almost constant exhaustion from COPD.

This past weekend was really busy, with Friday including time to get errands done and load the car with the show booth properties.  [Having the toilet clog on Friday added an extra bonus to my schedule, but I managed to get it all unclogged (and am doing more unclogging maintenance today), so that this won’t be a gift that keeps on giving].  Ain’t nobody got time for that !

Meanwhile, Friday night into Saturday, I only got 4.5 hours of sleep before departing for the show on Saturday morning.

After doing more than 12k steps on Saturday, and some minor verbal skirmishing with my business partner, V, who was also in a lot of pain and not taking breaks, we got through the show without killing each other, which is always a good thing.


It is so hard to believe how much work goes into making a show booth look “effortless” as we try and both draw attention with limited flashiness, as well as look elegant despite the makeshift solutions.  I had to laugh, though, as I was proven right in my advice.  My business partner, V, insists on using flashiness on the top layer of the display tables, and it completely overwhelms her designs.

(I haven’t yet emptied the camera, or I’d show you what I mean).

We did have a customer walk up and tell her those exact same words about 10 minutes after I’d brought it up (yay, it wasn’t my big mouth for a change).  The customer informed V that her designs were wonderful but completely overwhelmed by the glittery cloth in the sunlight.  She suggested a simple black velvet.  While V is not having any of it, (the muted top cloth), I’m going to pick up some later this week and see if V will agree to using it during the Santa Cruz show if the glare from the sun is too much once again.

Meanwhile, after sleeping my head off for most of yesterday, to the point where I achieved credit for eight (8) whole hours (yes!), and was also able to get in an hour’s swim despite my tiredness.  Today, I’m jittery enough from the Xopenex I took this morning that I’m now ready to drive to Merced and back to check on a friend who has no phone, so I can’t reschedule.  The one good thing about Xopenex and my nerves, though, is that I feel I could drive to the moon and back right now – it’s equal to a couple dozen espressos for being overstimulated !

Since I can’t exactly reschedule the visit for someone without access to a phone,  I’m glad I found energy from somewhere.

And, I’m glad that V won’t be in the car today, so that I can pull over and nap if I must (something that cannot be accomplished with an audience).

I’m hopeful that V will figure out how to manage her health pain (she’s really suffered yesterday and today, because she wouldn’t slow down on Saturday), as next weekend is a two-day event, and we are both going to need all the patience we have in order to be able to do this show without killing each other before it’s over.

I’m all for trying new venues, but not if it causes hassles between the two of us.  Hopefully, she’ll find her rhythm so that she won’t get depressed and insist that we do indoor shows only.  (Those are so much less profitable).

Meanwhile, I hope whatever you’re doing today, you’re feeling fine and enjoying the Summer weather while we have it.

Giving In…

is never my first choice, as I detailed in a post two years ago:

Refusing to Hide

For this morning, my “whispy”ness continues, and I have finally given in and taken a hit off the old Xopenex inhaler, leaving my nerves jangled, and my stomach begging for breakfast.


B45028_M7259-pr.pdfSuch a tiny device to cause such difficulties.  Trust me, I don’t push myself to the point of having to use it, but rather use it as a preventative (so that I can get things done), or as a fixative (after doing too much, usually over the next day or two).

I so love the side effects:

Xopenex Side Effects as it makes me have to eat to calm the wobblieness and shakes, and that sets off the diabetes.  Oh, and the bonus round for adding to my inability to sleep is amazing !

Pulling her hair out.






The last thing you want after a day of shakiness and exhaustion, is to be kept up all night with an inability to actually sleep.

For today, though, it will give me enough energy to get to Merced and back, so it was worth it to be able to breathe.  Maybe.  Just for today, anyway.



and the giggles.


I am very tired from yesterday’s show.  Had a great time.  Only lost my temper / got short with V a few times (I’m trying to be patient, but everyone and everything is on my last nerve, which is adding to my aggravation).

The new tent went up smoothly.

We didn’t put up the side walls, and the wind was a hassle.

All and all, though, we got through the day.  V did plenty of sales.  I did more than I deserved since I was not at all ready and my products were disorganized.

It was a good day.

Today, however, the nagging congestion and scratchy sore throat are lingering, and my breathing is whispy.  Not enough to do anything to help it, but not “normal”, either.

I had to laugh, though, when I found the above picture among the  gallows humor postings from my COPD-afflicted friends.  At the end of the day, if we can laugh, we’re doing ok.