Saturday, February 27, 2010

E-Mail Funny

These are from a book called 'Disorder in the American Courts' and are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down by court reporters that had the torment of staying calm while these exchanges were actually taking place .


ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
ATTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory?
WITNESS: I forget.
ATTORNEY: You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot?

ATTORNEY: Now doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning?
WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?

_________________________ ___________

ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the twenty-year-old, how old is he?
WITNESS: He's twenty, much like your IQ.


ATTORNEY: Were you present when your picture was taken?
WITNESS: Are you shitting me?


ATTORNEY: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?
ATTORNEY: And what were you doing at that time?
WITNESS: getting laid


ATTORNEY: She had three children, right?
ATTORNEY: How many were boys?
ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?
WITNESS : Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney?


ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?
WITNESS: By death.
ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?
WITNESS: Take a guess.


ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual?
WITNESS: He was about medium height and had a beard.
ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female?
WITNESS: Unless the Circus was in town I'm going with male.


ATTORNEY: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?
WITNESS: No, this is how I dress when I go to work.


ATTORNEY: Doctor, how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people?
WITNESS: All of them. The live ones put up too much of a fight.


ATTORNEY: ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK? What school did you go to?


ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
WITNESS: The autopsy started around
8:30 p.m.
ATTORNEY: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?
WITNESS: If not, he was by the time I finished.


ATTORNEY: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?
WITNESS: Are you qualified to ask that question?


And the best for last:

ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?
ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law..

Health Care Reform

Anyone reading this regularly knows where I stand on the issue of health care reform. I've complained about my teeth long enough.

That isn't my only reason. My friends started our Angel group a few years back. It was way back at the beginning when Bill got sick the first time. They were there for us. Because of they were kind enough to help us, we got involved. I think it's been 15 years. This work is so all consuming and so necessary, I've lost track of time.

Bill didn't get sick again for several years. Then suddenly, he lost three months of work. It seemed he took sick every year after that right at Christmas time. He'd lose another month or two. After about three years of this, he was fired. I was knocked off my feet, not only with worry, but because it used to be illegal for an employer to fire an employee because of illness. From what I was told, the Family Leave Act of the '90's has made this allowable.

Bill was let go at the end of January. By that time we were far enough back on our bills, that we were days away from foreclosure. My boys just barely kept us alive with their combined salaries. We made it because our 401K came in just when we needed it the most. That lasted until just before Bill's second attempt at Disability was approved. I swear, I cleaned out our checking account in early October. I didn't have enough to buy a loaf of bread. Again, the boys were there for us. The first SS check came in November. By that time every one of our appliances were shot. The refrigerator didn't freeze anymore. I washed clothes by hand and hung them up to dry. Three burners and the broiler on my electric stove just quit operating. The water heater had to be shut off between uses because it leaked. The roof had a huge hole in it and it rained directly into the living room. We needed coats. We needed four tires. We needed everything. We needed another car. We were lucky.

While working with our Angel group, I became aware of the father of one of my children's friends. The man made a damned good living. He had just bought his family a huge house in what we call our Silk Stocking District. This is where huge, old mansions are located. They're beautiful, and his house was one of the finest. He contracted a painful, crippling condition that caused him to lose a lot of work. He lost his job. We tried to help him, although his pride wouldn't allow it. Since then he's lost his home and he is working at a minimum wage job. I don't know where he's living or how he's surviving. I wonder about the amount of pain he's in.

I can only guess that he applied for Disability once and was turned down. Let me assure everyone that it isn't easy to qualify for disability. They automatically turn down 75% of the people who apply the first time. They make it very hard for malingerers to get it.

There was a man who fell down a flight of metal stairs at the warehouse where he worked. He couldn't move. He was sent to the hospital via an ambulance. Rods where used to straighten his back so he could walk again. The workers' compensation insurance company denied his claim because they said he did it at home and not on the job. Never mind he couldn't move after it happened, no one saw him fall.

I have a cousin with MS. She learned about it after her husband had gotten a new job. Once his employer found out, they discharged him. The insurance company advised them to do it because he hadn't fulfilled the 90 day trial period every employer has after hiring. Luckily he expanded a business he ran on the side. It is very successful, although I doubt they have health care insurance with her preexisting condition.

I can't tell you how many families I've come across that has been through the same hell. Most people wind up like my friend who lost his home rather than like us.

I'm thinking about all of this because of yesterday's health care reform meeting at Admiralty House. Ed and I sat up all night to watch it from beginning to end. Yes, I'm that engaged. I honestly don't think much was accomplished. The Republicans are still saying, 'Tear up the bill and start over.' The Democrats are trying to say, 'We agree on so much.' The only thing I could see that they agreed on was that both parties will stick to their talking points. With the exception of one incident, I don't think either party gained any political capitol. I don't remember the man's name, other than to say he's a doctor and a Republican. He spoke about taking care of all his patients no matter what insurance they did or didn't have, and how he was told by his instructor in medical school to 'listen to his patients.' He made sense until someone disagreed with him. He responded by saying that those people without insurance need to get off their couch, go on a diet and quit smoking. Needless to say, that pissed me off.

My husband doesn't smoke. He has diabetes. Granted it is a condition caused by over eating and lack of exercise. It is also inherent. His mother died of it. And he was skinny and working his ass off when he first got sick.

I heard something today that pissed me off more. Senator Jim Bunning (R) of Kentucky is single handedly holding up a continuation of unemployment insurance that was due to expire on Friday. He did it when most of the members of his party were on their way to the airport. They were going home to enjoy a long weekend and wouldn't be back until Tuesday. When Mr. Bunning was told how there are Americans who will suffer without this money, he responded, "I am suffering, too. I'm missing the Kentucky/South Carolina game. And Kentucky has a chance to beat them."

Excuse me, but what are these people missing? A heart maybe? Do they have no idea what their constituents are going through? Where is their common sense? If something isn't done to correct this situation it will drag down the entire economy. As President Obama tried to explain, 4500 Americans are losing their coverage everyday. When they get sick, the former middle class are going bankrupt because the bills are so substantial. And it is not a solution to send the uninsured to hospital emergency rooms when they're ill. Who the hell do you think pays their bills?

Thank you - Christmas 2009

As I promised, here is our Happy New Year's from An Angel's Touch

by Jude Coyle

*To be published in the 02/24/2010 edition of the Blue Island Forum.

First I want to offer Jim Reihel and the Freedom Riders from American Legion Post #50 a big thank you for again organizing and sponsoring our annual can shake in September. Without them we wouldn't have finished Christmas as well as we had. Anyone wishing to participate should contact Jim.

I began my Christmas activities as I do each year by addressing City Council. After some discussions earlier in the year about what we do, I thought it would be a good idea to make that part of my talk. I said, "We don't do 'baskets.'" We do not have a food pantry, and we are not equipped to help people who are at the lower end of the economic ladder and need constant help. There are organizations that do that. We also don't pay utilities, rent or mortgages for our clients. There are organizations that do that as well.

We are equipped to help people through emergencies, like illness and job loss. We keep a small amount of food on hand and we use gift cards to provide our clients with enough food to last a few weeks. Where we won't pay bills, we will allow money that was to be spent on food to be spent elsewhere. We have helped relocate families after burn outs, and we have relocated families who are returning to the world after spending time in abused women's shelters. We have also helped at least two young people finish high school, as well as many other things.

What do we do with the money we collect? First off, we buy meat for our families. We also buy items our clients need that haven't been donated from the community. In one case we bought a pair of special shoes needed by a child. This year we bought Food-4-Less gift cards when we ran low on canned and boxed foods. We have a very small overhead, and we plan to keep it that way.

I asked City Council for three things. First, I needed canned and boxed goods. Once we have serviced all of our clients, we pass the surplus onto the Salvation Army and St. Benedict's Vincent de Paul Society Food Pantry. I asked for 240 pairs of mittens or gloves and hats as well. They would go to the CEDA preschool, which is attended by poor children. I asked for new places to locate penny jars this year, too.

I was concerned about how much food we would collect, and rightly so. The economy proved to be a driving force in everything we did this year. I became more concerned when one by one my usual schools dropped their food drives. I shouldn't have worried though, Blue Islanders stepped up as they always do.

Right after speaking before City Council, a lady waved me down as I walked down Western Avenue. She introduced herself as Maria Alverez. She had seen me speak on WDDE, and she wanted to know if her small office could put together a food drive for us. Ah, YES!

After that I was contacted by the office personnel at Beverly Cemetery. The three cemeteries on Kedzie, Lincoln, Oak Ridge and Beverly, hoped to hold canned food drives. One of the staff asked Reverend Judy Jones who they should donate to, and Reverend Jones recommended An Angel's Touch. They didn't collect a thing. The office staff felt so bad, they collected funds between them and bought us large several boxes.

St. Rita High School came in as usual with about one third of what we usually collected. Gym teacher Raeann Zillman asked her students to donate their Halloween candy while Bob Jones at Beverly Bank conducted a hygiene product drive. Rose Rita collected food at the Calumet Township Senior Center, Deb Beasley, Children's Librarian, called to say that the Library would again hold a food drive, and the Park District collected baby items, again. The Blue Island Kiwanis donated cash. Charlene Finn and then John and Marsha Rauch arrived at my house with their trunks loaded with food. I made several pickups from Betty Nagle. Nancy Schultz and Raymond Garay dropped off a huge amount of food and mittens at the Senior Center. Tony from Doubleplay Lounge called to say that Troublemakers wanted to donate five turkey dinners, including apple pie for desert. In the end they donated 7. Aldermen Jan Ostling, Marsha Stone and Leticia Vieyra donated three gift certificates from D'Mastis for complete Christmas dinners. Several church communities held drives. First Evangelical Christian donated gloves and hats, while First Lutheran provided us with Jewel gift certificates. Then one by one, almost all of my schools called me to say, 'yes, we will have a food drive after all.' Metro South held a toy drive, as did the Police and 911 Center employees. Everything looked as if we would finish very well, and that we would have plenty to pass on after Christmas.

We received more calls for help than usual, and most stories were so much worse because of the economy. Our feelings of accomplishment was squelched by the time the second wave of requests came through. By then we had only corn and beans to give out, and very few toys. Temulac Boat Club and Windjammer Marina stepped in with a toy drive, solving the second problem. (A huge thank you to Mary Poulsen for help in organizing this.) We solved the food problem by giving out Food-4-Less gift cards.

As I said, the stories were sadder this year. We helped a family my daughter recommended. Becki had recently befriended a young lady who is expecting her second child. She is living with her son, her boy friend, her parents, her little brother and an aunt and uncle in a two bedroom apartment. Apparently most had been laid off from the same company, and only she and her boyfriend were able to find part time jobs. We also helped a couple who both suffer from diabetes. He had lost both his legs and she lost one.

Where we were able to pass along some food to St. Vincent de Paul at St.Benedict's, and to the Salvation Army, it wasn't nearly as much as I had hoped. I am asking that fraternal groups, community service groups, churches, Boy and Girl Scout troops please to help our pantries. Donations usually stop at Christmas. Hunger doesn't. This month and next will be tough for both places as more than the usual amount of people will be seeking help from already over stressed pantries.

In the end we serviced nearly 70 families. We donated to Guildhaus, The Lighthouse Church, and other organizations. We are also donating bed sheets and pillow cases to St. Elizabeth Seaton Parish. They are making the linens into burial bags so that the victims of the Haiti earthquake can be buried in dignity.

Please visit our blog at

A very special thank you to everyone who made this year happen, particularly Mayor Donald E. Peloquin and his office, City Clerk Pam Frasor and her office, City Council, particularly Aldermen Rose Rita, Marsha Stone, Jan Ostling, Leticia Vieyra and Mike Janko, State Representative Bob Rita; the Police Department, Fire Department, and 911 Center; the Chamber of Commerce; the Blue Island Park District, Deb Beasley, Director James Dieters, Jr., the Library; The Calumet Township Senior Center, St. Rita High School, DDE Key and Leo Clubs, Kerr and Veteran's Memorial Middle Schools, Teacher Raeann Zillman, Paul Revere Intermediate and Primary Schools; Reverend Judy Jones, St. Philip Lutheran Church, First Evangelical Lutheran Church, First Evangelical Christian Church, Grace United Methodist Church, Accurate Perferating, the Gerry Goodwrench Foundation, the Kiwanis, The Troublemakers, Tony and Doubleplay Lounge, The FORUM, Bob Jones and Beverly Bank, Metro South Hospital, the Simborg Family, Temulac Boat Club and Windjammers Marina of Chicago, Beverly, Lincoln and Oak Ridge Cemeteries, Maria Alverez and the AT&T Harvey Office, Korbakis Liquors, T&G's, Iversen's Bakery, Blue Island Video, Carr Gardens, Harry's Long Bar, Jim and Carol Riehel, American Legion Post #50, Charlene and Eric Finn, John and Marsha Rauch, Betty Nagle, Nancy Schultz and Raymond Garay, Thank you to my sort crew who not only show up for me, but bring new people each year. Melanie Rickerson, Katherine Matthis, Chris Rondenella, Sara Karis, Jenica and Matt Schultz-Taylor, Gloria Zaper, Leo Rivera, Mike Zbonski, Vicki Parsino, Ed and Grace Diaz, Matt Hess, Amber Sullivan, Stephen Gerez, Luis Estrada, Ed, Jon and Becki Coyle. If I have forgotten anyone I apologize for the oversight. Every donor and every gift is very much appreciated, not only by the members of An Angel's Touch, but by the recipients of your love as well.

Group thank you.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Paranormal Cops

I'm tired of bitching about politics. Politicians needs to grow up and lead. There are too many parasites and followers in Congress and very few leaders. That's unfortunate because we certainly need someone now who can and will take the lead.

Instead I want to talk about a new show on A&E called Paranormal Cops. This is suppose to be several Chicago cops who have come across paranormal activity while on the job, and put together a group to study other paranormal activity. Let me just say that I'm enjoying this show more than several of the other shows concerning paranormal activity or ghost hunting. One of the reasons is because there is only one type of person on this earth who can possibly be a Chicago cop. I don't care how they dress, or what physical features they own, it's in their stance and in their detachment. No matter how hard suburban cops try, they just can't imitate the attitude. Don't take that wrong. I come from a long line of Chicago cops and firefighters. These people, how they talk, how they stand, their very glow, is something that only a Chicago cop can give off.

I also enjoy that they try to find a cause for a haunting rather than say, "Come and get me!" I hate Ghost Adventures from the Travel Channel. The lead in that show is an idiot and constantly challenging whatever it is to do their worst. The times I've seen the show is as many times I had hoped someone or something would.

I should point out that where I will never deny that there is a possibility that the paranormal exists, because I've seen some fairly weird things. Just because someone says something is haunted doesn't mean it is. Someone says to me 'give me money,' is the day I'm looking for an on duty cop.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Again the News

So I awoke this morning to hear Tiger Woods discuss his marriage, his cheating and how the photographers followed his daughter to school. He wanted everyone's forgiveness, and he wanted to keep his family safe. Frankly, I'm tired of hearing about it. What happens between him and his wife, is between him and his wife. If he is cheating on her, she has decisions to make that they both have to live with. On the other hand, if some scum bag is following his children around because the scumbag wants a picture, than I think the photographer should be prosecuted as a stalker. That's insane behavior. There is no one in this world that should be forced to endure this.

Getting back to Tiger Woods. If he feels that he needs to spend more time in rehab, then do it. Get it over with. Then get back to work.

I've heard more about Joseph Stack, the man who flew his plane into the IRS building in Texas, and it just seems more and more obvious that this guy had more than an income tax problem. I made it sound like the IRS got what they sowed when I wrote about it yesterday. That wasn't my intention. No one likes the IRS. On the other hand, only a few are crazy enough to fly a plane into a building. Thank God there weren't more casualties than there were.

This reminds me in a way of the Fort Hood shooting. Nidel Malik Hasan obviously needed help, too. As did the professor who opened fire on her coworkers when she didn't make tenor the other day. I heard this morning that there was another shooting at NIU over night. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could find these people and get them help before something else happens?

If I sound down in the mouth, it is because I am. My teeth are killing me tonight. Okay, so I obviously went for the pun and got it. If I could afford a dentist right now, I would jump at it; except for the fact that I couldn't afford the antibiotics needed to clear up any infection.

That leads me into something else. As of last night, twenty Senators have banned together in support of the Bennett letter, which is a letter written by Senator Bennett about forcing the public option portion of the Congressional health care reform bill through the reconciliation process. In other words, it would be a matter of passing the measure through the Senate with 51 votes rather than the 60 required to block a filibuster. Bush used this several times during his administration, and I hope the Democrats have the balls to use it as a way around the Republican gridlock caused by their just say 'no' tactics.

The Senate has passed a bill with 60 votes that does not have the public option. This is the one most people are upset about. It includes the buy out to Nebraska on Medicade. The next step in the process was to negotiate two bills, one from the House and the other from the Senate, down to one bill. This doesn't look likely simply because the bills are so different. The Senate bill relies on established insurance companies and mandatory purchase requirements while the Congressional bill calls for the public option. In polls throughout the Country, more Americans favor the public option than not, and more favor this over what the Senate passed.

I back the public option and health care reform for two reasons. Number one, I have no insurance. My mouth hurts and I want my teeth pulled so I can quit suffering. Number two, we would have much less work to do each year with our Angel group. We help a lot of people get through emergencies caused by medical emergencies. And don't be fooled either. Even with insurance, people are losing their homes, their livelihoods, and their ways of life. If we don't take care of this, it will eventually effect most Americans. It isn't a matter of socialism as much as it is survival.

Today's News

There's a few things that bother me about today's news. First off, someone reported that Tiger Woods is getting plastic surgery. My reaction? So? Who cares? Why are we wasting valuable news time on this crap?

Another thing that bothers me is that someone flew a plane into a building in Texas. I'm waiting for the nay sayers to grab onto that and blame it on President Obama. I don't quite see the connection, except that the IRS was located in that building and this doofus had tax problems. I know from personal experience that when the IRS latches on to people who can't afford to hire an attorney to fight them, they are like a dog with a bone. They won't let go until they have every cent they say you owe with interest.

I remember a TV news show reporting on how some people have committed suicide in order to get out from under. I met a woman before Christmas this year. We helped her when the IRS slapped a lien on her paycheck after she and her husband had gotten divorce. She wasn't making much to begin with. She had six kids to raise on her own. The IRS allowed her $139 a week until she paid everything off.

When they came after us, I made payments and payments and more payments. Bill had been sick and had lost a lot of work, and you know I couldn't afford to pay anyone else let alone the IRS. They finally backed off when we were suppose to get a big refund. They took almost all of it. What really pissed me off was an item I heard on the radio about that time. A major comedic actress was suppose to owe them about $1,000,000. Her attorney settled with them for $7,000. They weren't ready to negotiate with us. We weren't rich, and we couldn't afford an attorney.

I suppose everyone has heard about Kevin Smith being forced off a flight because he was fat. Like he said, this wasn't a surprise. He said that normally he buys two seats because of his weight. According to airline policy, it was necessary if the person doesn't fit in one with the arm rest down. He said he never had a problem with that, but took the extra measure as a courtesy to other passengers. This particular trip, he had purchased two seats on one plane, but then heard about an opportunity to fly stand-by on another flight. He was anxious to get home so grabbed the open seat. He showed the flight attendant that he did fit, but she put him out anyway. As he was leaving, he said he noticed another man who was heavier than him, who was sinking in his seat, hoping that the flight attendant wouldn't notice. Smith said he didn't say anything.

He still had the other seats and decided to use them. After he boarded a young woman who happened to be over weight was pulled aside just as he had been. He talked to her later when she was placed in the third seat next to him. She was told that if he didn't want to share that second seat with her, she, too, would have to buy another seat, or she couldn't fly on that flight. Smith said he could see his daughter in her eyes when she spoke about it. He also said that he couldn't imagine anyone not willing to share.

There are so many ways to go on this. I've never pretended here to be anything but what I am. I am older and I am fat. I understand that sitting next to me would be uncomfortable if I took up too much room. I am also easily humiliated. It is humiliating to be this size to begin with. What is more humiliating is there are people who never gained more than a few ounces and don't understand why I can be so careless about myself.

CARELESS? I've been dieting all my life. I don't eat much. I can't. I eat two to three meals a day, usually on a salad plate, and never more than one helping of anything. I rarely have desert. Or eat between meals. I don't have emotional problems that causes me to eat for comfort. I don't eat when I'm bored. I don't follow fad diets. I eat a lot of salads and other veggies. As far as buying food is concerned, I live with a diabetic. If I buy it, he'll eat it. So I buy few snack foods.

What I have never done was sleep properly. As hard as I tried, I would stare at the ceiling until early morning hours before getting up at 6AM for work. I spent most of my young adult life in a sleepless daze. I spent a lot of that time craving carbs, which is common of someone who has sleeping problems. And then I spent a lot of time sick to my stomach because I am allergic to gluten.

My point is you don't have to eat like a pig to get fat. Once that happens, skinny people grow nasty. No matter what my qualities are, they don't count because I am fat. No matter how I've tried to lose, it doesn't go anywhere. And if I do lose a pound or two, I gain back two or three because of a reaction doctors call 'starvation reaction.' In other words my body responds to the loss by slowing me down and allowing me to regain what I lost and then some.

I spoke to doctors about this, and I've been told to cut back. Where? What do I cut out? I no longer eat bread. I can't. I eat very little sweets just because I can feel when my sugar goes up. I spend a time in the bathroom during those nights because I have to pee more often. I try to exercise only my asthma acts up.

Recently Becki had to do a paper for her Composition 101 class. She decided to do it on food additives. We went through the cabinets and pulled out samples of different types of food and looked up the ingredients listed on the side of each package. What amazed me was the number of foods that had some sort of sweetener in it. A lot used corn syrup, and a few more used pectin. Almost everything we looked at had something. We looked up some snack foods. There was something we found on a bag of potato chips that when we looked it up, it said 'not for human consumption.' Becki turned in her paper. I'm not sure what she got on it, she didn't bring it up.

I spent time thinking about it. And I've decided that there has to be a better way to eat. I worked a very long time, almost all through the time my kids went to school, and for many years before they were born. I have gotten in the habit of buying easy substitutes for noodle and potato dishes. This is where I found so many sweeteners. It seems to me that I can do something other than this. I can serve two veggies instead of one, or even a fruit dish. I figure it takes time to make some of the things we're used to finding substitutes for. I can either make the real stuff on weekends, or we can do without. Most canned veggies seem to have water and salt added. It seems to me that fresh or frozen has to have more food value than canned, and maybe I should cut canned veggies from our diet as well.

It also occurs to me that people have never been this fat before, and neither have they had so many easy meals to fix. It makes me wonder what affect these food are having on diseases like diabetes and cancer.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Scams and the Ultimate Compliment

I had a really nice entry written, which I lost, when I attempted to do something else. Okay, so maybe that isn't a bad thing. I will write about something else instead, and then go back to what I was doing.

1. I received a check in the mail today, and a letter saying that Bill had won $125,000 in a contest. He said he hadn't entered any contest. The address of the company was located in Toronto. Up front, they were providing us with a check to cover US taxes for $3,875. Before cashing the check, I should use Western Union to pay taxes in the amount of $2,875.

Can you hear alarm bells going off? I sure can. I called both the Illinois States' Attorney and the bank where the check was issued from in Michigan. Their reactions were the same as mine. I also looked up the company in the Yellow Pages. Nothing. When I called the place, a man with an Eastern Indian or Pakistani accent asked me if I called to insult him or to activate my prize winnings. Well, I guess I was fairly nasty.

Just the thought that someone would try to pull something like that pisses me off. What gets me is that scams like this are targeted at people who can least afford to be scammed. So beware. And be safe.

2. Now, the other things I wrote about is that we had a Super Bowl party, and I'm fairly proud of myself. Becki and I spent most of Saturday cooking. I made bar-b-q meatballs and chicken wings, and a whole bunch of sides, including open face sandwiches. Anyway, I took the meatballs from the oven and stored them in my crockpot over night. I mixed sauce and poured it over the meatballs. Sunday, a couple of hours prior to everyone coming, I plugged in the crockpot.

I spent most of the day in my bedroom, just because of the crowd. There were only about 20 of my kids' friends. In this tiny house, it is enough to fill it. When the second quarter began, I started heating food and broiling open face cheese sandwiches and garlic bread. We had everything out on the tables prior to half time.

Luis told me he tried the meatballs and couldn't wait to get back to them. Ed's friend, Ed D., got in line first, and he helped himself to about six meatballs. Matt got in line after him and helped himself to quite a few. I made sure that Bill got at least two and I took one.

Bill complained. "What did you do? Why are they so hot? What did you put in them to make them so hot?" Well, red pepper flakes for one, although it wasn't that much. My Ed told me to ignore him, that he liked them.

Anyway, I returned to the bedroom. There were so many kids that in order to get into the living room, one had to climb over bodies. There were kids sitting on the floor in the hall and a bunch watching the TV in the kitchen. It was crowded!

After it was all over, I asked my Ed how the food was. Bill continued to complain. Again, Ed said, "Don't listen to him."

"Did everyone like the food? What about the meatballs?"

"Everything is gone," Ed said. "The meatballs went first. There was leftover garlic bread. People used that to wipe the sauce out of the bottom of the crockpot." The chicken and the bread went, too. We have left over salads. Matt and Yellow brought a crockpot full of venison chili. I took a bowl of that and forgot about it. I was looking forward to it because I haven't had venison in years. They also brought dips and some deserts. Their stuff went quickly as well.

Anyway, I'm very pleased about the meatballs. There wasn't much sauce left in the crockpot when I did the dishes, so I guess everything went well. So here is the recipe:

Bar-b-q Meatballs:
3 lbs lean ground beef
minced onions to taste
6 eggs
1 cup of milk
1/2 cannister of bread crumbs
Parmessain cheese (about 1/2 the total amount of bread crumbs)
3 cloves of garlic
salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and parsley to taste.
Mix it all up. Where I'm not so big on measuring, I should point out that the texture should be about the same consistency as meatloaf. I sprayed an aluminum pan, and arranged meatballs on a single layer. I baked them at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. I placed them into the bowl of my crockpot immediately, sauced them,and stored them over night. The next day I heated the them in my crockpot, beginning about an hour before people were expected to arrive.

1 large bottle of Sweet Baby Ray's bar-b-q sauce
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
Mix and pour on meatballs. Heat and serve.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Prayers Really Do Work!

This is an admission that I think everyone has heard recently. Finances are damned tight! I mean I began falling behind on Becki's tuition. I was getting desperate thinking about jobs and scraping my pennies together. But then everything got really tight after Christmas. I was beginning to think that the worst would happen, and I was wondering when she would have to leave school. She was beginning to worry, too. I started praying big time. Every time I though of it I said to myself, "Dear Lord, help me keep her in school."

Then yesterday afternoon she was called to the Financial Aid office. She said she was terrified. Her instructor told her at the beginning of class. She asked what the instructor thought, should she go then, or after. The instructor said after. Becki said it was the longest class she ever took. Two hours later she could barely remember anything they talked about. Then when she made it to Financial Aid, she was told to wait because her councilor stepped out for a few moments.

She called me before the session ended. "Mom, you aren't going to believe this."


"The State says they owe me money. Not only is my tuition paid, but I have $300 to put in an account towards next year."

I almost cried.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Happy Super Bowl Sunday!

Okay so the name Scrambles the Death Dealer doesn't fit too well. I should have named her Polly. This cat has no fear whatsoever. Ed put her on his shoulder once and showed her how cool it is to ride him like a parrot on a pirate. Then Jon showed her just how far it is from his shoulder to the top of the fridge where Mike hangs out. When she's not sleeping, she runs, constantly, back and forth and back and forth. And God help the person who walks by the fridge. Bam! She runs up his or her body and jumps on top of the fridge. She startled each of us out of a few years. Mike and J.J., too. When she's done, she just jumps on the closest shoulder. If no one is there to help her down, she cries like a baby. My dear God. This is like raising kids again. The only difference is she's trained to her kitty box.

Okay, so I hate football, and could care less who wins. (Yes, I understand the game. I just don't like hard hits.) Anyway, I'm going to enjoy the heck out of myself anyway. I am going to cook.

How does bar-b-que meatballs, bar-b-que chicken wings, hot wings, tomato salad, garlic bread and open face cheese, tomato and bacon sandwiches sound? Oh, and chili, cheese dip.

A few weeks ago our angel program had a thank you party, where we sat around, got ripped, read thank you letters and ate. Our hostess made old fashioned bar-b-que meatballs, which is something I haven't had in years. The boys loved them. When the subject of a Super Bowl party came up again, both said, "Mom, make meatballs." I can't wait.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Health Care Reform and Movies

Sorry that I've been away. Been busy.

Thinking about my last post though, I have to admit that I don't fully agree with all that I said. Jobs are of the upmost importance. We dealt with a lot of people this Christmas who lost their jobs, and their situation worsened because of it. Most of our work though, has to do with people who are dealing with illnesses. It is amazing, and I know this first hand, how desperately a long term illness can affect the finances of a family, even if they have insurance.

In our case, Bill's illness is something that we never financially recovered from. We are among the lucky though. We haven't lost our home. I know several people who are currently in foreclosure. The Cook Country Sheriff's office has announced that they will not evict homeowners presently. We helped a family last year who was about to be foreclosed on then. They were back with us again this Christmas, and still living at the same address and still in foreclosure. It's hard driving down the main street in town and see the 'bank owned' signs on homes. There's only a handful, but one is one too many in this instance.

My point is that we need health care reform. The President and Congress need to work on getting people back to work, and they need to decide which health care plan to implement.

The idea that we should open up competition over State lines between insurance companies is silly. I worked for several insurance companies and I took quite a bit of training. One of the things I learned both through the companies I worked for and through an insurance industry institute is that every State has their own Insurance Department. Laws vary from State to State, giving all 50 States different laws and criteria for managing insurance companies. Some States have strict financing laws and some don't. We used to joke that if someone wanted to get rich while using very little capital, that they could start and insurance company in Texas. One would need less money to set up and maintain a company, and could cut and run before making settlements. Now this was years ago. As far as I know they've strengthened their laws by now. What I'm trying to say is this; insurance laws need to be standardized in each State before this is feasible. And before that happens we suddenly have a Federal insurance office. That defeats the argument regarding smaller government.

The other thing that most people don't realize until they face disaster, is that there is a point when you just can't spend one more cent. I don't have insurance now. I can't afford it in Illinois. If the possibility of buying insurance across State lines for less arises, I still won't have the money to purchase it. When someone is out of work, or under employed, every penny counts.

Ed got to see my favorite movie, Casablanca, in his film appreciation class. He loved it. I'm glad he realizes that color doesn't make a good movie. There's a lot more than that that goes into a good story. Like I told him a long time ago, there's a reason why a classic is a classic. For some reason, I don't think he's going to develop a real appreciation of John Wayne though. If he ever asks, I have enough of the Duke's movies.