Friday, January 30, 2009

Will you be my friend?

Two friends told me I had to join Facebook. A friend asked me to be his friend and join. My sister in law posted pictures on Facebook. I saw no need to join. I think I might be a little bit old for this type of networking. But I couldn't see the pictures unless I joined. So I did, join. Still can't find the pictures. Ann, where did you hide them? I am pretty sure they aren't there. I found other's pictures easily.

This is just what I need, a new excuse to play on the computer for hours. If this keeps up I will need to start wearing my tennis elbow supports. Anyway if you are a Facebook person I am asking you to be my friend. Find me at Janet T. Appel.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


I apologize, I am so sorry. I eat humble pie. My blog about winter in California is not funny today. Winter wienies we should suck it up.

Just by a fluke I went on the Louisville Courier Journal web site this morning. This is the newspaper for my family and Marty's family in Kentucky. Look at the articles and videos for January 28 and 29. Many of the pictures are in my brother's neighborhood, Old Louisville. And there is a video about driving to Prospect where my folks live. The pictures are horrifying.

I knew it was snowing in Louisville and most of the East. Snow is usually no big deal. Until I went on the site I had no idea they had had an ice storm. In the last year they have had an earthquake, Hurricane Ike, and now this ice storm. The damage is awful. Trees down all over town, and the trees are on top of power lines, houses and cars. Power lines are down, streets are blocked by trees. This morning 700,000 houses and businesses were without power. Tonight around 200,000 are still out.

I immediately called my Mother. She and Papa Jack have one of the few homes in two states that has power. And my brother has power. Marty's cousin, and his aunt and uncle have no power, and won't for probably another week. People, it is in the teens! Cold, Cold, Cold! Mother said every tree on their 2 acres has been damaged. These are huge trees that are close to 50 years old. She told me my brother's home was OK.

I called Little Brother tonight and talked to his wife Ann. He is in Detroit on business ( the ride to the airport is worth a whole blog) We are hoping he will get home Friday night. She said they had limbs on the garage. Streets and the alley to their garage have been blocked all around them. Their basement is flooding because the ground is frozen and the water can't drain out. But they have power. She went to work ( head of nursing for Louisville/Jefferson County medical services, not her title but something like that) and has say 32 nurses, about 5 made it in, 25 doctors and 4 showed up. Not a day for the poor to get sick.

Marty's sister in Columbus, Ohio is dealing with the ice storm also. But it is not as awful as Louisville. That is not to say it is a good situation. But she has power. That is the most important thing, so she will have heat.

I gloated just a little about our easy California winter. I really did feel cold. But not like the folks back East. I remember this type of weather. And I am so glad I live in California. But I do apologize to family and friends for making light of winter problems.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Why bother with email and phones???????

Marty and I have email, our cell phones have voicemail, our home phone has voicemail, we both can text, I write a blog, we have call waiting ( I admit that I hate it and it's rarely used), and we have a fax machine. All of this is so our friends, doctors, clients, whoever can get in touch with us. We even have TIVO so we can pause the program if we get a call. We also have caller Id which comes up on the phone, on one of our TVs, and even has a voice. I can't figure out how to turn off the voice.

Marty and I grew up in a time when phone calls were expensive and important. So if the phone rings we feel we must answer it. We could screen calls and ignore the world. (We don't usually answer if we have company) We could not respond to email. We could never listen to our voicemail. But the point of all this tech stuff is to be in touch, to be available. We try hard to get back to people as soon as possible, usually within 24 hours. I feel if you don't respond, you are just rude.

We know people who never ever answer their home phone, sometimes answer the cell, their voicemail usually says mailbox full for days, and they rarely respond to email. Maybe it is just us they are hiding from. But we have heard others complain they never get a call back or any response. Why hide behind this technology? It would be cheaper to do away with the voicemails and give up the email. Then no one could bother them.

Again my question why bother? Who are they hiding from?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I check Yahoo weather every day for Louisville, KY; Dallas Texas; and my town ,Oakland, CA. It's January, Louisville and Dallas have had and are having some serious weather. Ice storms, snow, sleet, winds, and waaaay below freezing temperatures.

Those people are cold and miserable. They are driving in dangerous conditions. We lived in Kentucky for a long time. Snow and ice was normal. The hair in your nose freezing was normal. Your glasses fogging up everytime you went from inside to outside or outside to inside, normal. Didn't like it, but that was just winter.

California in winter is another animal. I am not talking about the mountains. I mean San Francisco/Bay Area, San Diego, LA, The Valley. We might have a frost. It snows maybe every ten years and melts by noon. When we have a frost, by noon it will be in the 50s. Our coldest day (that goes to 50 for a high) might be Louisville's high. Our flowers bloom all winter, the trees start blooming in January, daffodils are a foot tall, California poppies are blooming. It is good to live in California.

This year the middle part of January has been really cold weather (for us). We had frost, it was down in the 30's and only got up to about 45. Our furnaces cut on in the middle of the day. We have no heavy winter coats, we have no long johns, we are cold. We are freezing, And we get no sympathy from friends and family in the rest of the country. We are cold and no one cares!!! We know the rest of the country is sub zero. But we are Californians, we are sun people. We don't do cold.

As a friend said at church, Sunday, "We are winter wienies."

Monday, January 26, 2009


A very busy day marrying couples. I arrived at 1:00 and sat for 40 minutes. Then it picked up. It was a steady flow of weddings. I married a couple and then did the paper work and married the next one. I think I did 8 or 9 weddings. I lost track. I do know I was there until nearly 5:00. They have to be punched into the computer by 4:00 to be married. So lots of people.

No crazies today. Just lots of love. That doesn't mean there weren't some who didn't meet my old fashioned Southern idea of proper attire or correctness. This was the day of tattoos and bosoms. And the tattoos were all across the bosoms, and other parts of the body. It also was the day for beautiful men's suits. I swear one groom's suit had to have cost $1000. It was a perfect fit, beautiful rich black you just wanna touch it material. The groom was about 25 years old. I don't know how he could afford this suit, but he looked drop dead gorgeous in it.

I had one couple who was heavily tattooed. Large words on her bosom and shoulders, and up and down their arms. They had strange looking witnesses, and the bride also was a little goth looking. The bride was falling apart, she was visibly shaking and getting paler. I told them they could sit while I did the wedding. They said no, they could stand. They got paler and paler. Oh my word was she in love and so was he. Their voices became softer and softer. It was if they were the only people in the room as they said their vows. After the wedding I had them sit down, I thought they both were going to pass out.

One couple did not want to see each other in their wedding apparel until the bride walked through the door. So they dressed and he waited up front in the wedding room. She waited in the bathroom until we told her to come out. He was in black dress pants and vest, white shirt and tie, and a huge silver cross. She was in a ecru on white strapless floor length brocade dress with a shoulder length veil that was over her face. They were radiant. There was only me and one witness. But they wanted the feel of a fancy wedding and dressed as if 100 guests were in the wedding room. She was so cute, she said she refused to cry because that would mess up her make up. She did cry after the wedding.

Lots of love in the wedding room today. No weddings that I really didn't want to do. They were old enough, no 18 year old babies. They were happy, they were all so in love. And some were so eager. My last couple was so cute and eager. They were large, I looked a little bit dainty next to them. He was in a nice black suit, she was in a nice white cocktail dress. Even though she was large, she was absolutely beautiful, in an Elizabeth Taylor way. As they said their vows he had a little tear spillage. But the bride was so funny, as I started to pronounce them ( By the power vested in me . . .) she started bouncing. This woman was bouncing like Tigger. I almost laughed as I pronounced them married. Such love, and a perfect ending to my day.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


I read voraciously. I am in a weekly mystery book group. And I read lots of other books. Sometimes I like the group books and sometimes I don't. And the same for my outside reading.

Janet R our book group moderator receives 100s and 100s of books from publishers. We get to read them and if they are good we report back to her and the group. And we return the good books for her to read.

I picked up one a couple of weeks ago. Honestly Dearest, You're Dead by Jack Fredrickson. He isn't an author I was familiar with. And from the title and the cover I thought Chick Lit or a vampire story. Wrong. I really, really liked this book. The writing is sometimes humorous, very descriptive, and lots of plot turns. Old ladies watching porn, bad dressers, teen love and fights with city hall. All this and murder. The writing is more dark than humorous, but the humor is very helpful to relieve the tense parts. Sometimes I did need a score card for all the players, but I kept up.

I am not sure if quoting from the book is legal, but I am going to do it. The main character has a thing about Wal-Mart and Oreos. It runs through the whole book. And almost makes sense to me.

"I have a theory that, when the apocalypse comes, everyone will be living inside Wal-Marts and won't learn that the outside world has ended for at least a generation or two, and then only because the Oreos run out. For by then , the last of the cities and towns will have long since crumbled away, obsolete as buffalo skins, as dozens of generations will have been born, lived entire live, died and been recycled into puppy food inside huge, windowless Wal-Domes."

This continues on for a page and a half. Loved it. The book is worth reading just for pages 26 and 27, The Wal-Mart Essay.

Friday, January 23, 2009


I am a from scratch cook. Marty is a from scratch cook. Both our families are scratch cooks. I wrote about Rao's an Italian brand that was worth using, It tastes great, it looks good ( no tomato skins floating in the sauce), it is worth opening the jar. I don't use canned sauces. But trust me Rao's is good. I wrote about this brand in a previous blog.

Marty cooked tonight. Hallelujah!!! (And he cleaned up) He sauteed diced chicken, put in fresh asparagus. cooked some fancy pasta called tortiglionini , combined it with the Rao's Arrabbiata Sauce and put it on an heated plate. A lovely meal. We also had a mixed greens salad with my home made blue cheese dressing. The sauce was as good or better than I can make from scratch. And it was ready about 3 hours faster than I could make it. This was worth the $9.00 a jar. It says it will serve 6. Not at our house, maybe 4 1/2. Still a bargain when you factor in time and materials. So maybe some store bought products are OK to use. But I am very careful. Scratch cooking is still 98% better.

As to my blog about Meniere's disease ( look at the blog below this one), I have done a study over the last couple of days. You should not drink with Meniere's in an active mode. Trust me, wine just makes me dizzier. I can hardly find my wine glass.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Rain, we love it and hate it at the same time. California is in a severe drought. Some of us are on water rationing. And those of us who are on rationing are bitter about you water wasters. We so need every drop of rain, but as a Californian, after about 2 hours of rain I want to know WHERE IS THE SUN?

I really am happy it is raining. Really I am. But does the sun have to go away? And couldn't it just rain while I am sleeping at night. I mean really: an umbrella and a raincoat with a hood, not a good look; dangerous driving conditions ( no rain for months or years really makes for slick roads when it rains); and just icky depressing weather. I know every drop is drinking water. Every snow flake in the mountains is crucial for our drinking water. But we are spoiled. We are Californians, and we don't do bad weather.

We plan for a picnic and we know the weather will be perfect. We want to walk on the beach, climb a mountain, have dinner on the veranda. No problem. We don't have rainy days. We need to work in the yard, no problem, it isn't going to rain. But after several years of no rain, it is a problem. And we have the problem now.

When we first came to California in 1978 there was a drought. There was water rationing. A huge shock to someone from Kentucky. Kentucky is a very wet, humid state. Water is not a problem. The only rationing I had heard of (and don't remember )was from WWII. But we learned how to ration water. And I still remember the poem/rule from Herb Caen.

If it is yellow let it mellow, if it is brown flush it down.

For some reason that offends some of my family and friends. But trust me, we are following that rule and are within our allotment set by EBMD.

PS: The old man is snoring: I never understood that part of the poem.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Where did the door go?

Inner ear problems, Meniere's disease, vertigo, just plain dizzy. All of these are nearly the same, just a little bit different. They all mean you are dizzy, the room spins, you can't walk the line for the cop.

Around 30 years ago I was very dizzy and laid down on the floor. At that point I couldn't figure out how to get off the floor. I had no idea which way was up. I was on the floor and very still, and the room was spinning and whipping around. I thought I was having a stroke or something really bad. With great effort I pulled the phone down and called Kaiser, they put me on hold. So I called 911. The paramedics arrived and told me to go to the emergency room. I wasn't having a stroke but I needed a doctor. They said it would cost a fortune for me to go in the ambulance and to get my husband or someone to take me. It wasn't life or death. The husband was on a plane, the son was in elementary school; so the neighbor took me. I had/have Meniere's disease.

That means the fluid in my ears sloshes and I have no sense of balance. To me often the room is spinning. I see the walls move, very fast. When I walk toward a door, I may miss the door because it moves. I am walking and I just lurch to the side. I often look like I am drunk.

The weird thing about this disease is it will wake you up in the middle of the night with a spinning room. I have rolled over in bed and jiggled the ear fluid. And the motion I feel wakes me up. I watch the room whip around me and try not to throw up. I feel the motion, and sometimes it is really unpleasant. If I have an attack during the day, I can only keep from falling out of my chair by holding on to it. Sometimes I walk by holding on to the furniture or the wall.

I will go months without more than a mild feeling of motion. And sometimes it is full blown spinning. The attacks will last just minutes or days.

I woke up several times last night with the room whipping by my head. And then it would quit. The alarm went off and I sat up slowly (always I move slowly when moving up or down). I then staggered to the end of the bed and grabbed the bedpost. Then I studied where the door seemed to be. Could I hit it or would I bounce off the wall? I made it through the door the first time. In a couple of hours, I was fine.

One of my biggest fears is an attack while driving. Besides the danger of not knowing where things really are, explaining to the cop would be awful. Please sir, I can't touch my nose. No sir, I can't hop on one foot, nor can I walk that line. Please sir, let me just take the breathalyzer test.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I am in AWE

My friend Janet Rudolph is amazing. She has a mystery business, she runs our weekly reading group, does PR work for Left Coast Crime, and publishes an international journal. She runs her home and works to control (I say control because the dogs are big, active, and very strong) two wonderful dogs and a lovely cat. She has beautiful roses and orchids all over the property. And she writes several blogs. Her new one is Dying for Chocolate. Look down to the left and you will see it as a blog I follow. Read it and mark it as a favorite. Pass it on to your friends.

Chocolate, mysteries, puppy dogs and cats. What a well balanced woman. Oh, she is married to the lovely Frank. We all love and adore him too.

Monday, January 19, 2009


We have spent Sunday and Monday at the Fancy Food Show . There are at least 2000 exhibitors , 24,000 attendees, 250,000 products and 81 countries represented at the show. And miles and miles of aisles to walk. You walk, you talk to vendors, you taste samples, and sometimes you spit out what you taste. My feet are swollen and my legs are so tired. We had a wonderful time.

Every food related product you can think of we saw: smokers, portable kitchens, packaging, wines, waters, cheeses, chocolates and more chocolates, sausage, hams, fungi, candy, pasta, sauces, olive oils, caviar, pate, prepared desserts, prepared meats, and on and on and on.

Many of these are businesses tying to be picked up by Safeway or Whole Foods. We talked to one woman who had a good food product. She told us how hard it is to get on a grocery shelf, especially since she had a full time job other than her food line. There are dreams at this show also. Many are trying to get the food service industry to use them. And many are companies we have used for years. Marty and I looked at all the prepared foods and wondered just how much is really made by the restaurant chefs.

One of the things we noted was the range of cleanliness at the booths. They are showing in California. We thought that California health laws would be in play. Evidently not. Most booths the samples were served by people with latex gloves on. They would have either little spoons or toothpicks to pick up the food. Other booths had no gloves and would have some toothpicks. They picked the food up with their bare hands. They would offer you food, there would be no more toothpicks and they expected you to reuse your toothpick. Some didn't have any toothpicks, you just picked up the meat or cheese and tried not to touch the rest of the food. We decided not to let this bother us too much.

We had some incredible prosciutto and Serrano hams. The pates were lovely, more cheeses than I knew were out there. We found great store bought Italian sauces made by Rao's (found in your local Safeway ). We bought some tonight for dinners we are too tired to cook from scratch.

We decided some of the hot items are wasabi flavored anything, honey, waffles,( they used them for dessets, breakfast, little tiny ice cream cones, appetizers ), and chocolate. I think ratio wise there were more chocolate booths then anything else.

This was a great two days, and it continues Tuesday. We are too worn out to go another day. Plus Marty has to work and I have things to do also.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Yesterday Marty and I went to see Gran Torino. We knew from the reviews it was an excellent movie. But for me, if Clint Eastwood is in it, I will go see it. I have been a huge fan since Rawhide. I even like the movies with the chimp. The man is 78 and he is still hot, hot, hot. Of course I am 65 and older men appeal to me.

Spoiler Alert. The movie was not what I expected. I thought it was more a bang bang shoot um up type film. No. The trailer doesn't show the true meaning of this film. The movie is about Walt and his battle with the changing world. It is friendship, bad family relations, gang problems, and an old bigot who softens. It also is very funny. He growls like a dog when unhappy, which is most of the time. He spouts words that no one else would dare say in public. And it is really funny when he says these awful racial slurs. You have to laugh as you gasp in horror. We all know people like Walt. They are from another time and don't want change. But then Walt begins to soften toward the Asian neighbors who have changed his neighborhood. He teaches a young man to be a man. He accepts friendship from people he used to consider the enemy. He learns and grows. And as Walt says, he fixes things. The movie is funny but also it is a 3 hanky movie. I cry easily, but I was not alone crying, I saw many people wiping their eyes.

I say it is Oscar worthy. Great acting by many in the film, a great message, great music, and it entertained at a high level.

Go see it.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Censorship, censored, censor. What ugly words. And we as Americans rarely have to deal with the words or issue.

Many people think the last 8 years have been a dictatorship. Some think rights were taken away, that we no longer have any rights or freedom. They are oh so wrong. We can protest in the streets, we can write letters to the editor, we can blog. We can get changes made. We can do about anything we want if we don't hurt others or property. On Tuesday our national leadership will change. It changed because the people wanted it. There were no battles, no guns, there was a day of voting and there will be a day of moving vans.

Things don't work that way in the some parts of the world. As some of you know we have a friend in an Asian country. Blogs are no longer allowed in this country that will go un-named. He has been shut down. No postings since Christmas Eve. Some things are automatic on his blog: Janet Rudolph's blog and mine are updated as is the stock market report. But he can't post. For some reason he can IM to Marty and tells us he is safe. But he is not allowed to post his thoughts.

Be thankful of being in the United States. We are so blessed.

Censorship an ugly word.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


From the news reports there were only minor problems tonight. A few arrests were made. Two who were arrested had Molotov cocktails in their backpacks. Nice.

But it looks like no burning or looting this time.

I am still glad the County shut things down. I did not want to be anywhere close to the protesters. And I did not want my friends to be caught up in it either. Mob mentality wins too often.


No spellcheck again.

Today was uncomfortable, mentally. A protest march was planned in Oakland (my town) at 4:00. Then they were marching to the County Court House to make demands to the District Attorney. This march was to have 1000 people. Last week some had marched and broken windows, burned cars, generally they became a violent mob. So I was worried.

The Court House is one block from the county building where I marry couples. Today is my day to marry. I had a plan. I would leave at 4:00,(they wouldn't have begun marching yet) and take a reverse route home. My regular route would cross where they were marching. Plus streets in the area were to be blocked off. I was nervous, but with GPS felt I could find a way around the protest area. When I got to the building I talked to the sheriff's deputies about the problem. They suggested routes home and I felt better.

I did a wedding. And then I talked to some of the clerks. They were nervous also. When they would get off work the marchers would be there.

And then the County sent word, we are closing early. All County buildings close at 3:30 and everyone out of the buildings by 4:00. Great joy. And then the County moved the time. The buildings close at 3:00 and everyone was to be out by 3:30. I left at 3:00, we weren't doing any weddings. The parking garage just opened the gates and a flood of cars rolled out. The streets were packed with cars and buses to move people out of the area. Businesses in the area were closing, some were boarding up windows. It was a mass exodus. We were all gettin' out of Dodge as fast as we could.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


The shame, the fun, the guilt. It began again tonight. The embarrassing people, the good ones, the harshness of the judges. We can't help ourselves, we are Peeping Toms on the dreams of hundreds if not thousands of singers. We record it with a season pass on not one but both satellite dishes. That is just in case one doesn't record. Tuesdays I don't get home until 9:30, it began at 8:00. We watch it when I get home. TIVO is a great invention.

We love the judges, the good singers, the bad singers. We are addicted. Our guilty pleasure is a Fox show. That in itself is embarrassing.

AMERICAN IDOL began tonight.

Monday, January 12, 2009


Last night was not good. I was holding my own in the nightly fight for my half of the covers. I even had more than half of the bed and control of my pillow. But I wasn't getting very much sleep. Things were going bump in the night.

We had wind last night. I have written before about my love hate with wind. Last night was hate. It was loud and things were bumping the house. The security light kept coming on. What was flying through the air to tun it on? I was up one time thinking an airplane was landing on the street. There was a plane, but thankfully it was still in the sky. Something kept whacking the house outside one of our windows. Then there were the noises coming from the courtyard. Not a whole lot of sleeping going on for me.

Mondays I volunteer at school in the mornings and in the afternoon I marry couples. I gave up on trying to sleep around 6:00. I showered, did my makeup, and dried and curled my hair. And then I thought, I feel terrible. I have had no sleep and I will kill the first 6 year who crosses me. For the safety of the children I left a message at school that I would not be in. Great guilt, but I felt awful.

I laid down on the couch hoping to sleep. No luck. By this time I had heard the radio talking about our 45 mph winds. Still bumps. Marty gets up, we talked, and he goes back to bed. I try to sleep. HUGE LOUD CRASH. Great screaming from me. The market umbrella in the courtyard had fallen, just missing the French doors and glass table. We are both up again. He goes back to bed, I went out for the papers. That's when I found out why the bumps under our window. We have a small door in the outside wall that covers the gas meter. The door, which is at least 2 feet wide. was going up and down. I thought about nailing it shut. But that would tick off PG&E. We will think of something.

I finally did go back to sleep for a couple of hours. I got up at 11:00 and still felt sluggish. More guilt, I called the marriage desk and said I would not be in today.

I am now thinking about a little nap.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


And how did I spend the weekend you ask? Thank you very much for asking. Friday and Saturday we went into the city for the West Coast Challenge. That would be the Billiards Tournament for California. Teams, Women's individual, Men's individual, and High/Lows. There were other contests, those are the ones I saw. I know very little about Billiards, but I do understand the incrediable skill, physical and mental it requires.

Our friend Luis was there to play for the individual contest representing a team from San Diego. Just to get to this tournament is an honor. The best of the best are here. We watched him play on Friday. He was not on his game, and lost his match. Saturday he had another chance, it was a double elimnation tournament. Again, it didn't go his way. But we got to see him play. And the beauty of this is Luis plays for the fun and excitment of the game. Yes, he would love to win the tournament, but it is just a game.

The stress of watching someone you care about is awful. At least this time I did not have to leave the room. I was able to watch him play. We watched others win or lose. The winners usually won with grace. Some of the losers had little mini tantrums. Not bad, but sulks, pounding of the cue sticks.

Below are two pictures of Luis. The picitures are not great. No flash was allowed and it was not great lighting. But you can see Luis.

The Versace Kid

Friday, January 9, 2009


Every year we have stupid laws our state legislature thinks we need. Not all of the laws are stupid. The No Texting while driving is a good law. But we do have our annual dumb one.

On January 1, 2009, the law went into effect that a bride MUST decide if she will take the groom's name, keep her name, or hyphenate her name when the license is bought. Once this is filled out her name is written in stone. The only way to change her mind is:

1. before the wedding
2. a court case after the wedding

If she changes her mind before the wedding, a new license must be bought ($85 more) and the old license then voided.
After the wedding if she changes her mind, it is a huge deal. She must go to court and apply for a name change. This will cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

This law is explained carefully by the clerks. The couple is given the information to read. Remember that, it is explained, they read the information.

A lot of our couples don't even know they are getting married that day. No thought has gone into marrying, let alone picking the bride's name. This does apply to grooms also. But how many men do you know who would change their names?

Wednesday we had the first couple who changed their minds on her name. Lucky me, it was my couple. I called their name and they immediately said they didn't want her to change her name. I counted to ten, and then said I would find out how to correct it. Cindy was not happy, said to go talk to a lead clerk. The clerk who did their license was busy and wasn't making eye contact. I went to talk to Shinnel and Lourdes about what to do. They said (as above) a new license. The couple gave me a little grief, it had only been 5 minutes, they want us to just redo it. I explained the law, gave them options: new license or a court case later. After a little more lip from them I told them they had read the law, it had been explained to them, and they had signed the license as correct. What did they want to do? They decided even though she didn't want to change her name, to do so. The $85 for a new license was the deal breaker. This little discussion added about 15 minutes to my time with them. Which made other couples wait longer.

We will have more of these. No one really reads what we hand them. Many times when handed the certified copy of the license , they say that's spelled wrong, that isn't my address, that isn't when I was divorced, etc. They supposedly read it, and then signed it. But they don't read it.

This law is a problem, it was easy to change your name when you married before. You just told the DMV and Social Security. It wasn't a legal issue. Now it is a mess.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


My husband makes the world's best Bourbon Balls. Many people don't even know what that is. It is the perfect blend of chocolate and Bourbon. He made some for Christmas. And tonight he dipped some more in chocolate. Because I am in that happy place after eating one, I am putting the recipe on my Blog. It is his mother's recipe. She was a fabulous cook. Luckily she wrote this recipe down. Most of her food was a pinch of this, a little of that. Eating these is heaven.


1 1/2 lb. pecans
8 oz. bourbon, (not Jack Daniels that is Tennessee whiskey), good Kentucky bourbon such as Woodford Reserve, Maker's Mark, if you won't drink it, don't put it in food.
2 oz. water
2 lb. confectioners sugar
3 lb. semisweet chocolate
3 oz. paraffin

Break and combine pecans with Bourbon, cover and set aside for 4 hours or more. (We go overnight. ) Sift sugar and add pecans adding sugar gradually to a working consistency until a small ball can be made 1/2 to 3/4 inch in diameter. Water is to be used only to bring mixture to desired consistency. (We use Bourbon instead of water.) Add only to prevent ball from falling apart. Mixture should be semi-dry. Prepare balls and place on a wax papered cookie sheet. Place in freezer to cool, 2 or more hours.

Melt chocolate and paraffin and mix well. Chocolate should not be too hot. Just warm enough to work up. The warmer the mix, the thinner coating the Bourbon Balls will have.

Remove formed balls from freezer when ready to coat with chocolate. With fingers dip each ball to cover half of ball and return to cookie sheet. After this step return to refrigerator to harden chocolate approximately 1 hour. To coat top half of ball, when ready insert toothpick in the bottom that has already been coated and dip top in chocolate. Remove toothpick and return to cookie sheet, Refrigerate again to harden chocolate. Store balls in refrigerator.

We have recently bought a chocolate melter and a tool to dip chocolates. It makes it easier, but not required to make Bourbon Balls. Toothpicks do work.

Just a couple of things. . .

Today I feel pretty good, no spasms. Thanks for the Poor Babies.

I started off the day in a snit. I just woke up mad, and didn't want to let go of my snit. Every thing made me mad. The radio, the furnace, Marty breathing. Yeah, I was in a mood. I am too old to blame it on PMS. I just was in a snit. But I am lovely and sweet again. Maybe I was mad because of the mob violence last night in Oakland.

I know the crowd started out with good reasons to march. A man was killed by a BART policeman. BART has handled the situation very poorly. Hell, they haven't handled it at all. Eight days later, the policeman has resigned and has still not been interviewed about the shooting. He lawyered up right after the shooting. Yes people are furious. The whole Bay Area is upset. But the crowd trashed/burned Oakland police cars. Oakland police had nothing to do with the case. Then they trashed downtown Oakland. The mob broke windows, trashed other cars, and just acted like a mob. Over 100 people were arrested, and probably 99 will sue the city for obstruction of their right to freedom of speech.

Now I am back in a snit.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Pain, oh the pain

Several of my friends and family have recently been experiencing shoulder pain, tooth pain, joint pain. There have been cortisone shots, physical therapy, removal of teeth, and major drugs. They are living with pain. It may be short time pain, it may be months of pain. They will handle the pain in different ways; major drugs, physical therapy, toughing it out, and surgery. I have done all of the above. I don't like any of them. My friends have tried most all of these choices also. Some are working, some aren't. I bring this up because today has been very hard. Major back spasms, last night lots of pain. There is no rhyme or reason to why I hurt. I just do.

Every day of my life I hurt. In the early 70's I fell down and went boom. I eventually had to have back surgery. I have have lots of surgery. This was the best surgery of my life. I went into the surgery in horrible pain and little to no feeling in my legs. When I woke up, I already felt better. I could move my legs and wiggle my toes. That happening had been in doubt. But I have limitations, some sound good, some are hard for me to follow.

I was told to never run the vacuum sweeper. Never to change or make a bed. (Those two I wanted a written note for my husband. He still doesn't believe me.) Never to lift anything out of the trunk of the car. Don't lift anything over 10 pounds. Don't bowl. Don't ride a horse. (That was not a problem. Horses hate me and I hate them.) Don't stand for long lengths of time. Don't gain weight. ( Right, I really listened to that one.)

Most days I just carry on. I know as the day goes on I will usually feel better. It is like my joints/discs finally get lubricated and stop grating. But this morning I was in tears from the back spasms. I just wanted to go back to bed and pull the covers over my head. But that wouldn't work because I had been up a lot of the night because I hurt. Being in bed didn't feel good last night.

This is not for sympathy. No "Poor Baby" for me. It is just a rant. So many are in pain. But as bad as my pain sometimes may be, I don't want to trade with anyone. Better the devil you know . . .

Monday, January 5, 2009

Again with the marrying / R rated Blog

WARNING: Part of the Blog is R Rated.

Today I began with event planning and not marrying couples. There were two couples I took up (separately) to see the room. They had just bought their licenses and weren't sure where to get married. They seemed excited by how nice our room is and that they could bring flowers and music if they wished. That was fun and I hope they come back when I am there.

I did several weddings. Nice, normal, happy couples. And then Bridezilla ( from now on called BZ ) showed up. When the clerk (Cindy) brought me the license she was in a rage. BZ had done a lot of rude things, that should have gotten her smacked up the side of the head.

Let's start at the beginning. These people would not be classy enough for Jerry Springer, white trash would look down on them. BZ was about a size 16. Her baby doll wedding dress was a 12. The spaghetti straps were fighting a valiant fight to hold up the enormous boobs. The bottom of the dress was losing the battle of covering her rear end. We are talking 10 pounds of potatoes in a 5 pound sack.

Cindy asked BZ to spell the witness' name. Cindy didn't hear it all and asked her to repeat it. BZ with great attitude spelled it loudly and slowly. All through this Cindy is never looking at BZ. There are nipples creeping up and over the top of the dress. When Cindy asked for type of payment, BZ threw her credit card at her. It gets worse. BZ looks over at the groom and says are you looking at my boobs? And then she pulled her dress down and shook her naked boobs in his face. And said, "Do you want to kiss them?" While waiting for the paper work to be finished, BZ sat in his lap and they necked. Gross. These were not teenagers, they were in their mid 30's.

When I married them I looked everywhere except at her. I was nauseated by her slut look and behavior. This is one I don't care to ever hear an ending.

The last couple was waiting for their witness to get there. We were close to closing the building. I agreed to stay and marry them and a clerk was going to witness if theirs didn't make it in time. The groom had called her and said I need your help at the county building and gave her the address. She thought she was coming down to bail him out of jail. When she turned onto Madison she realized it wasn't the jail, he was getting married. Everyone thought this was hilarious. They were a loving sweet couple. Everyone hugged me and thanked me for staying late. So the day ended happily and with laughter.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


The holidays are over. And for me lots of stuff has to be done to make them over. We have thank you notes to write. Decorations need to be taken down and put in storage. The house needs to be really cleaned and so does the guest house. The refrigerator needs to be cleaned out. Laundry and ironing need to be done. And then the regular pace of life must move on.

The decorations are down and stored. Laundry is done and most of the ironing is done. Most of the leftovers are out of the frig and in the garbage. I have a one week rule. We don't eat it in a week, it gets tossed. The guest house has clean sheets and towels. The bathrooms sparkle and the kitchen is neat and clean. I spent hours there today washing and cleaning. My house got a lick and and a promise. That promise won't happen until about Friday. Thank you notes maybe tomorrow after we get clean sheets on the guest house beds.

Tomorrow church. A normal thing. Monday my volunteer job at school and then to the county building to marry. Book group begins again on Tuesday. Life goes to normal, whatever that is.

We are beginning a new year. A new slate, a new chance to do things right. Every year people make promises: We will go on that diet. Exercise will become a regular thing. We won't drink so much. We will save money. We will volunteer more. We will vote this election. We will keep in touch with friends and family. We won't nag our wife/husband. We will make time just for our spouse. We will read a book. We will save the world.

All that is well and good. Don't worry about all the above. Just try to live each day a little better than yesterday. Make each day a little bit more fun. Laugh, enjoy. You only get one chance at life, give it your best shot.