One thing that grabbed my attention when I was skimming over all of my blog posts the other day was the countless number of times I’ve tried to quit drinking over the past 9 months.  Obviously, I am well aware of my ongoing battle with the bottle, but to see it all in writing, to see how many times I’ve relapsed but continued to persevere, and to realize how many years this has gone on, was an eye opener.  I’ve also been thinking lately of the people who have helped me along the way and how invaluable they have been; some of them quite unlikely friends.


Take for instance the man on the right wearing the ball cap in the back row of this pic, which was taken circa 1976; I was the only girl on this motley crew.  Farm team baseball … that’s where I started my sports career.  You probably read all about it in Sports Illustrated … not!  I don’t think T-ball was invented back in my day, and they sure as heck didn’t have anything for girls to do, so I signed up for baseball!  Dolls just weren’t my thing.  Anyhoo, that gentleman is Mr. Rooney … he did some wonderful things for our family, which I think I may have mentioned in a past post.


I don’t think I’ve laid eyes on Mr. Rooney in 30 years or more, but through one of the very FEW good things that has come out of Facebook, we reconnected awhile back.  Let me just share some snippets from e-mails he has sent me regarding my struggle with sauce and sadness:

  • July 28, 2012:  “Jen you have a lot to offer, you have many years ahead of you. Stay strong.  I believe in you and know you can do it. You proved that to me those many years ago.”
  • August 3, 2012:  “Keep up the faith I’m with you.”
  • August 4, 2012:  “Pity that you won’t get from me! Some times it is enough to just talk. One thing I am sure of you can do it if you make up your mind to it. But you H-A-V-E–T-O R-E-A-L-L-Y__W-A-N-T T-O …Remember and believe me prayer does help. It got me through 4 major operations one was open heart a quad by-pass. I am with you Jen you are well worth it.”
  • August 7, 2012:  “So if you make your mind up you can do it too. Sure it’s hard but you are tougher you showed that way back when. You were my only girl and you showed the other teams what they were up against. As you remember we were the troops nobody wanted and we beat them all and it was with guts like yours we did it. So you see if you make up your mind you are going to beat this thing. You got me in your corner and I have confidence that you will do it. Go Gal Go.”
  • September 4, 2012:  “Remember if you REALLY WANT TO DO IT YOU CAN!!!! God Bless you Jen you are worth it.”

Although, I’ve had my ups and downs between July and September, those words were an incredible inspiration.  The rest I’m gonna share is from my more recent relapse and depressive episode.


I e-mailed this handsome man, my brother Jeff, because I wanted him to know what I was going through and to assure him not to worry.  I felt it important to reach out to him.  Here’s his sweet reply:

August 28, 2012:  “First-congratulations on the sobriety—I imagine your body is adjusting and it will be tough-but you’re a tough broad…I can’t offer you any advice but know I am behind you 100%.”


… this friend of mine.  She knows who she is and that she is even crazier than me, THANK YOU LORD!  She sent me this message on Facebook:

August 29, 2012:  “I know u are hurting right now. I am ur friend and I am concerned for and about you. I know the strength to do this thing called “Life” is down deep inside of you. It is not easy…it isn’t always neat and tidy…it is a mess sometimes. But it is worth it. You are such an inspiration to will never know. You just never will now it so I am telling you this. Love you.”

So what if she’s certifiably nuts and a class 4 _____, (I can’t say it cuz she’ll get mad, but it rhymes with 4), she still means the world to me!


Cat fight!  I would be remiss not to mention this next comment I received on this blog, as I’ve quoted the same person before … we have since mended the rift between us … I hope.  An unlikely friendship indeed, but one that I will forever cherish.  She said:

August 29, 2012:  “I just want you to know I do think you really are a good person and like myself have struggled with a lot in your life that you had no control over. I just want you to know that even I have enjoyed reading your writings. You are very talented with this and I hope you pursue it more deeply.”


And from Lynn of my favorite married couple this side of the Mason-Dixon Line, John and Lynn:

  • August 31, 2012:  “Hang in there Jen.  We are proud of you for overcoming these horrible obstacles.”
  • September 2, 2012:  “You are evolving into quite the writer…keep it up.  I also think it is very therapeutic for you.”


This one is totally cool … from Becky, a gal I’ve never met, a lover of camping.  She found me on the interwebz when she was looking for pics of Hunting Island, SC:

August 30, 2012:  “Will definitely follow you on FB. I looked on FB the other day since it had been a while since seeing any posts from you. I noticed you were no longer on there by your name. Remember it’s not about how you fall, it’s about how you get back up. Hang in there and God Bless!”


I was so happy to get this e-mail from Buddy’s Mom’s.  Buddy is Sammie’s summertime fling, the black lab she is staring at above; I think it was more than just a fling, but she tells me to shut my cake hole whenever I mention it.  Buddy’s mom and I share a lot in common, and despite the fact we only camped across the way from each other for a few days, we are forever friends:

August 30, 2012:  “Well I was thinking of you yesterday while I was doing dishes LOL…  seems I do a lot of thinking at the kitchen sink   Anyways, I came in to my computer and no shit you had just sent a post to your blog.  I love that kind of synchronicity happening … Yes, depression/anxiety or a combination of the two SUCKS!!!!  I can totally relate to not being able to “function” as I used to either. … When I started school back in January and was only able to do it for 6 weeks (right before my house flood)… I too was really starting to lose it.  It was like I just couldn’t handle deadlines, focusing my thoughts enough to complete assignments and just keeping it together.  I miss my old brain, my old self, the one before trauma and menopause.  It’s like I’m now a completely different person, having to battle these “episodes” which I go through… And, it sounds like you too. … YOU’RE AWESOME JUST AS YOU ARE RIGHT NOW!!!!”

Funny she mentioned the kitchen sink, as I’ve always found washing dishes to be very cathartic.  Back atcha on the being awesome, Buddy’s mom!


And what friendship is more unlikely than one with an ex-BF, the relationship having ended just as bitterly as most do?!  Hi Frank.  Any of you Jerry Springer fans (I know there’s a ton of you out there reading this) might recognize him as the winner of the song contest Springer had a few years ago.  I’m so proud of him … I mean SPRINGER … JERRY FRICKN SPRINGER!!!  Just messin’ with ya, Frank, you are an incredibly talented musician and amazing songwriter.  Check it out:

We’ve stayed in touch over the years, and I so enjoy his blunt honesty; I wonder why.  Here’s what he said in an e-mail recently:

September 7, 2012:   “I really can’t offer any advice about your drinking that you don’t already know. It seems to be damaging to you but I think the main thing is the way you like to be in control of your life. You like to raise the bar as they say. I mean [not that you are old] but humping that cop course had to be Hell  …I am not going to preach about the drinking thing … But I have some advantages that you don’t:

  1. I do not change personalities.
  2. I do not get  destructive to me or to anyone else.
  3. I have boundaries.
  4. It is not depressing me that I do it.

… to you it is the dragon that you have to slay. I say slay it.  Find out what it takes and do it. Fail get up fail again and get up and just keep trying. You might not even win but never give up on something you want or something you want to become and yes something you want to get rid of … You and I are a lot alike for we swim up stream against the current. You have found physical strength. Now you have to find the strength that is inside of you. You know it is there for this is pissing you off WAY too much …

I just care about you and I am in your corner drunk or sober. Feel free to tell me the go pack rock salt up my ass.”

Hmmm … anybody know where I can get some rock salt and a rubber mallet?  That almost sounds like fun (in a sadistic sort of way).


Then there is this guy … I had a raging crush on him when I was a teen.  I still have a thing for older men.  Here’s what he had to say on my blog:

  • September 9, 2012:  “Keep the Beast train on the tracks.”
  • September 11, 2012:  “You’ve done it ,,,gone off the deep end and didn’t come up for air in time …lov ya Jon.”

Priceless.  Thanks to all y’all.  Your words have helped me immensely … much more than I reckon you realize.  Thanks to those I may not have mentioned.  Thanks to my Auntie in Cleveland and my cousins up in Massachusetts … XOXO to all of you (well, X’s for the guys, O’s for the chicks).

Because I care,





And welcome to this special, unprecedented edition of the UDB World Report … News You Will Never Use.  Reporting from my hiding spot in an undisclosed location is me …


… senior UDB staff writer and first-time live reporter, Sammie Sad Eyes … aka da Samster or Sambone.  I must hide my face for fear of severe repercussions.

I apologize for interrupting the regularly scheduled blog post tonight, but I am reporting on behalf of my BSC … er … I mean beloved mother, who is being held against her will by none other than the hooligans who call themselves … the Division of Homeland Fruit Fly Security.


That’s right … apparently, the leader of Infestation Nation, President Bugbama, was notified late last night by a representative of the above-named agency of the Great Fridge Fruit Fly Massacre that occurred over the last day or so in our home.  Hence, da BeastHouse was surrounded by federal agents under the cover of darkness at around 3 o’clock this morning.  As you can see by my photo above, I barely escaped the clutches of these evil men, as they ripped at my fur in a desperate attempt to keep me from plunging out the doggy door.  All this madness over these nasty li’l creatures:



Yes, a bunch of ‘em died of hypothermia in our Kenmore refrigerator.  While a terrifying way to go, NOT; they died surrounded by delicious yummies, fer cryin’ out loud!  Isn’t that every flippin’ fruit fly’s dream?!  They only live one day anyway.  Sheesh!


So get a grip, President Bugba …


“SAMMIE … SAAAMMMMIIIIEEEEE!  Quit flipping me the paw in your sleep.  Whatchu dreamin’ about, you crazy mutt?!  Come on … let’s go n’nite.”


BED BUGS … Ack … oh no you didn’t!

Sep 052012


Well, darn, I don’t have a category for that in my blog … must work on that.  What shall I come clean about?  Well, we all have skeletons in our proverbial closets, don’t we?  I’m no different.  I would venture to guess that I have more than most.  But, thankfully, the statute of limitations have run out on all of them.  Know how I know?  My Droid Razr Maxx told me so.  No kidding … there’s an app for that!  Sammie must’ve downloaded it while I was sleeping last night.  Not sure if that was before or after she yacked up last night’s supper.  I was pleased that she willingly did so on the Pergo floor (easy to clean up) til she then went and yacked some more on her couch.  Poor baby.


I woke up this morning to “Dee-de-DEEE-dee-DEEE-dee-DEEE-DEEE-DEEE … it’s time to ‘fess up woman … tell everyone about your days as a serial killer!”  As I slowly slipped outta sleepiness, I thought, “Wait, wha … I never killed anybody … what in the dickens is goin’ on?  Fess up?  Whatchu talkin’ ‘bout, Willis?  OMG thumbody once told me I’d pay for all the spiders and ants I’d stomped on … is this my day of reckoning?!”


Then, I picked Maxx up and read the message.  As I wiped the seeds of slumber from the side of my face, my squinty eyes were able to make out the latter part of the message … “tell everyone about your days as a CEREAL killer.”  Imagine my relief, but I still wondered WHY NOW?!  Hell, the more cereal I ate, the more new and different brands came out.  Was Maxx trying to make a parallel to evil thoughts I once had?  I do remember once in my life wishing that each person was allowed to kill just one other, scott-free, during his or her life (til I realized that someone might just pick ME)!  However, I’m pretty sure I never actually done da deed.

But CEREAL killer, why yes I once was.  It started out innocently enough.  I had no idea I was breaking the law.  My parents had a lot of trouble just getting me to eat … anything!  Then they turned me on to cinnamon toast in the mornings.  Holy Mother of Yum.  We didn’t have just a sugar bowl, like most folks; we had a sugar/cinnamon bowl and would toast up some white (gasp what’s that) Wonder Bread, spread blissful butter on it (real butter, not the I can’t believe it’s not butter BS), and then sprinkle that lovely S/C concoction on top of it, careful not to get any of that crumbly goodness on the edges.  I didn’t eat the crust … so what?!  The insides were, dare I steal the line, SCRUMPDILLYICIOUS!  Pretty sure it melted in my mouth.


But that took a lot of time and work, and I once was one to sleep in til the last possible moment before getting up for school, so eventually Mom and Dad weaned me off of C-toast and started me on cereal.  So easy, just pour some in a bowl, add milk, and chow down … but be damn sure it’s not the last inch of milk in the jug, cuz I absolutely refused to drink that.  Little did I know, my mother would open a new jug and secretly pour that last inch into the fresh stuff, forever tainting a whole flippin’ gallon of dairy.  Blasphemy!

I didn’t just kill cereal … I annihilated it, and not just one 3/4-oz. serving in a sitting, but several.  There was always milk left in the bowl, seemed like a never-ending supply.  I didn’t drink milk … it made me gag.  So I would fill it back up with grainy goodness.  Cheerios … they kinda look like those rings by the pool that lifeguards throw in to save drowning dummies who can’t swim and never shudda jumped into the dang water in the first place.  I managed to sink every single one, even the ones who called themselves Honeynuts … they were no match for me.  Oh … and Snap, Crackle, and Pop?!  Ha!  That might be the noise they make as they frolic in the water, but you should hear ‘em as they slide down my esophagus into my belly full of acid.  Muh-ha-ha-ha … huh?!

Wait … what the frig is this my mom bought?  COCOA Krispies?!  Not only do they snap, crackle, and pop, but they turn their habitat into a silky, creamy, chocolaty and EDIBLE spa.  How could I possibly swallow these creatures of comfort?!  I did anyway and consoled myself in the knowledge that they would soon be reconciled with the homogenized honey they so elegantly transformed into a delicious nectar.


So the story goes … anyone remember that cereal Kaboom?  Clown faces I think.  Pretty sure if you go into a Save-A-Lot grocery store in Florida, you will still find that sugar-laden delight.  While I dug other cereals, like Honeycomb (Honeycomb’s big, yeah yeah yeah), Fruity Pebbles, and Frosted Flakes, my favorites all had one thing in common … chocolate!  Ya, I may have been a cereal killer, but I believed I was fulfilling my obligation to rid the world of such evilness as “THE COUNT:”


Somebody had to do it.  I even sacrificed in order to get rid of his evil counterparts … Booberry and Frankenberry:


I once thought I’d be regarded as a hero for my selfless effort, til that damn app came along and caught up with me, forcing me to confess to my cereal-killing spree.  Why do y’all think I eat low-carb now?

Smile with tongue out



This is (from left to right), my mom’s sister, Carol, me, and Mimi (my mother) some time back in the long lost 90’s … 1990’s that is, hehe, like before we were viciously attacked on 9/11 … the towers were still standing, as majestic as ever!   We had no earthly idea what was to take place in the future or the impact it would have on us.  We were at South Street Seaport in NYC.  I reckon I’ve shared this before, but I’ve long packed away 99% of my pics so can’t bring in new ones right now.

09-01-2012 04;25;12PM

The purpose of this post is … well … I realized yesterday I’ve been giving my sweet mother a bad rap here in my blog posts.  I’m fairly new to writing, but I’ve discovered that with writing a daily blog, I just write what’s on my mind that day.  Now that I’ve delved into a bigger project, I realize, I am leaving out so much in my blog.  A friend asked me yesterday, “So, there were some good times with your mom?” as he perused through pictures of a trip Mimi and I took to London.  Above is us on the plane leaving Boston in 1992.  Here is the meal we were served on the plane, complete with (gasp!) a steak knife:


I said, “Oh hell yes, my mother and I had many great times!”  And it came to me that I have not given her a fair shake.  Or my upbringing for that matter.  I had it pretty good.  So let me tell you a li’l about “Mimi,” and allow me to point out the devil that consumed her much of her life, the burden of her mother, suffering from breast cancer, committing suicide when Mimi was the tender age of 22, her sister even younger, complete with a search of a riverbank to find their mom.  With that, my mother became depressed:


And this didn’t help … of which both of my parents partook:


“Aged in Oak, For A Taste Worth The Wait.”  Ya, since most people drink cuz it tastes so good right? … NOT.  Ok I can’t speak for others.  I know I don’t drink for the taste … ick.  And I know to stay away from brown liquor … evil shit!  Please understand that I am simply telling y’all how it was.  I’m not complaining.  I was actually tasked with making my mother her “I’m home from work” drink.  I still have the stupid “jigger” I used to measure with.

I’m not better than ole Benji and Mimi, my parents.  It was an altogether different time then.  I’ve actually commended my parents while growing up, wondering how they were able to keep me and Jeff from getting hooked on “illegal” drugs, what with all the peer pressure we were warned would come once we reached high school, which for me amounted to zero.  I was warned I wouldn’t be able to pee in high school for fear of other kids pushing drugs on me.  Never happened.  And I peed A LOT, like between every single class … teeny weeny bladder syndrome.  Never once had anyone try to give or sell me drugs.


Virginia Slims … my mother’s nicotine delivery system of choice.  I was so proud to go into Don’s Market in Hampstead, NH, to get her a pack and come out with this awesome keychain, FREE with the purchase of a pack, the keychain that she used for years!  Slim and sexy …   Ya, my parents both smoked, although I vowed I never would.  Never say never.  I was paranoid as child and always worried that breathing in all the 2nd hand smoke would eventually kill me early in life.  I even worried about carbon monoxide (or is it dioxide?) from other vehicles; one of my brother Jeff’s friends, the boy who ended up being the best man at my 1st wedding, Michael Casey, told me I would die if I breathed in a milk carton full (like the little milk cartons in the school cafeteria).  Hell, I hardly breathed outside air after that!

I actually came to ENJOY sucking in the cigarette smoke wafting through the air intermixed with Maxwell House Coffee each morning along with fried eggs cooking and all the other morning scents.  I still don’t drink coffee, but I totally dug listening to Paul Harvey on WBZ radio outta Boston as well as Dave Maynard and all the other regulars.  As far as the ciggies, I picked the oddest time of my life to pick up that habit, shortly after my dad died of a smoking-related illness.  Here I am at the family cottage in Maine … with a guest surprise … Mona!  Whatcha think, Auntie Carol?!


Haha, a pack of Marlboro Menthol Lights on the ground in front of me … wth was I thinking?!  But look at sweet Mona snoozing behind me.  Dogs rule. Oh, I quit smoking after 2 or so years.

Anyway, back to Mimi, as she is who inspired this post.  We had a freakin’ TON of laughs … nothing made me happier than making her laugh.  She thought I was crazy … she was right, and I always aimed to prove her so.  I’m thinking it was when I was in my late 20’s to early 30’s that we made a pact to have lunch together every Saturday.  We’d always go someplace different and enjoy a great meal, some shopping, and a few giggles.  One of our favorite places to go, which happened to be about half way from where we each lived, was Newburyport, MA.  An amazing waterside town with some great restaurants and awesome shops.  I’m not a big shopper, but I liked the li’l knick-knack-type shops.  I tolerated the clothing stores.  One thing I didn’’t share with my mother was her passion for fashion:


Not sure why, but these are the 3 outfits of hers I kept.  I realize they are all very similar, and I reckon I thought maybe someday they would look good on me (if I ever got the burning desire to wear a dress or skirt, which is quite doubtful, hehe).  My mother dressed impeccably, with an amazing style and sensibility.  Me?  “Hey don’t these blue jeans look pretty dang good with this old Coca Cola T-shirt?”  The t-shirt was free from my ex-father-in-law who worked many years for Coca-Cola!

So, this one time (in band camp … not really) I obliged the stylish side of Mimi.  She wanted us to have our “colors” done to find out what color clothes and makeup (what’s that?) complimented us best … it was called Beauty for All Seasons.  It was designed to let us know the best color makeup to wear (ya cuz I’m a clown) and what color clothing.  We both were diagnosed as “fall,” although our colors differed a bit.  Dunno why.  Maybe I was early fall and she was more so after the leaves had completely changed “fall.”  I’m not one to hoard and can throw things away fairly easily, but I can’t bring myself to throw away my “palate:”  I was trying to be a good daughter.  She always warned me I’d have a li’l girl just like me someday, which was enough for me to refrain from birthing another (thank you SO much, Mother!).  Well played, Mimi, VERY well played.


I do not shop by this palate though.  My shopping, which is quite rare, is based on price, but I was always proud of my mother for dressing so sharply.  She took great pride in that and always looked beautiful.  I am proud of her fashion sense.  I reckon she is disappointed my my lack thereof, but it is what it is!  I am a realist.

Anyway, I haven’t been inspired to write much lately, but there is something about the idea of going back on the road that excites me.  I’ve lost all sense of responsibility … I am trying to keep this politically correct so I will refrain for now about how I feel about the current world we live in.  All I can say is I am following something real.  I can’t say what that is yet.  Perhaps I will end up … well nevermind.  Let’s keep the possibilities open.  I promise I will keep y’all entertained, whether it be allowing  those wishing me to fall to watch with a gleam in their eye or those secretly fighting for me to be successful.


I bought this knick-knack a long time ago and still display it.  I used to look at this as a negative thing … not anymore.  I think my mother would be proud of me.  I want to continue her legacy, whatever that may be.  We are not at all the same, but she loved to travel and did so internationally.  My path will be traveling the good ole USA.  The cycle of suicide and depression in my family MUST stop.  I don’t think it’s what she truly wanted, as she derived great joy from her children and, especially, her grandsons.  She simply got to a point where her pain outweighed her ability to cope with it.  Maybe someday I will explain.  All I can do for now in that effort is promise y’all that I will end that cycle.  It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.

Thank you who read this.  You all mean the world to me.



I’ve never read, “Fifty Shades of Grey,” but I reckon I could write “Fifty Shades of Batshit Crazy!”  Maybe someday I will write it as a play and perform a one-person show on Broadway, with bats flying overhead and me just being myself.  Would you come see it?!

already disturbed

I have, however, been taking many steps lately to better myself and my life … feels sorta like a last-ditch attempt.  I changed my Facebook personal profile into a Facebook page for Unleash da Beast.  I waste WAY too much time on Facebook, and for what?  At least as a page, I don’t have the stream (or news feed) of other peeps’ posts to read through.  If I want to see what peeps are posting, it will take some effort, and quite frankly, I know myself enough to know I won’t make the effort.  Nothing good comes of it.  Let’s face it, Facebook friendship is laughable to an extent.  Facebook is great for keeping in touch with TRUE friends and family and sharing pictures and promoting a blog or something, but for me for the most part, it’s a place where 80% of my FB friends aren’t my friends in “real” life, and we all just enjoy sticking our noses in other peoples’ lives.  It ain’t worth it.  To the 20% who ARE family and TRUE friends, I mean no offense.  It is what it is.

On a funny note, some time last year I was in a class with some fellow law enforcement officers.  If anyone knows LEO’s, they know that there isn’t much we won’t say.  Somebody clammed up about a certain subject, so I said, “Aw come on … we’re all FACEBOOK friends here!”

You wouldn’t believe how much I’ve gotten done this morning because of this change.  Me likey!  As my mom used to say, “I’m accomplishing miracles!”


My dream is to get back in da Beastmobile, travel around the country, and write, as you all know.  Something has been stopping me from making it happen … fear I reckon.  So while I should be writing a book or doing whatever it takes to get my house sold, I spend hours upon hours surfin’ the web, 90% of that time on Facebook, which is not healthy for my soul.  It has to stop.  I need to focus better.  I’ve wasted too much time already.  That said, I still feel as though everything happens for a reason and I am doing precisely what I am supposed to be doing. Maybe that’s just an excuse.


I haven’t been shy or secretive about my struggle with alcohol addiction.  Alcohol – cunning, baffling, and powerful.  Some say I’m weak.  Yea I guess.  Anyway, spending time drinking is definitely not conducive to achieving my goals and fulfilling my dreams.  Not to mention the disastrous things that I do when I drink – I am my own worst enemy!  This is the truth right here for alcoholics:


So I gave it up (again).  I enlisted the help of my doctor, who prescribed Antabuse and Campral – Campral to reduce the cravings and Antabuse to make me violently ill if I drink.  If that isn’t enough to stop me then … hmmm I dunno.  Been sober for 10 days.  Here’s to hoping for:

Freedom From Addiction

This blog post is a bit of test.  I want to see if it shows up on the FB page like it’s supposed to or if I need to do some tweaking.  I want to name the FB page Unleash da Beast as opposed to what it is now … my name, but I had to ask permission from the Facebook Gods.  Still waiting for an answer.  An e-mail from them indicated it could take three days.  They must be busy accomplishing miracles.

Well … time to carry on and build some foundations:


Y’all take care!



So as if crashing da BeastTrek and gettin’ a li’l banged and scraped up wasn’t enough, insult was added to injury this week.  It turns out I was laying on, or somehow came into contact with, one or more of these lovely plants:


I’m thinking it was the sumac, as the pic of it above sorta looks like this vine I pulled outta the bike:


Apparently, I was breathing the stuff in or laying in a patch for three hours cuz rather than just having a localized reaction a day or two after, it started popping up all over my body (no place really icky thankfully).  I learned the difference between a localized reaction to urushiol as opposed to a systemic reaction.

Urushiol (NOUN):  A toxic substance present in the resin or on the surface of plants of the genus Rhus, including poison ivy and the lacquer tree, from which a black Japanese lacquer is obtained. (Definition compliments of Yahoo Education.)

How did I discover the difference, you ask?  Ok, maybe you didn’t ask, but I’m gonna tell you anyway cuz I can’t sleep tonight.  I just snuck outside to watch the meteor showers but saw nothing.  Of course I only stayed out there about five seconds, patience not being one of my virtues.  Sooooo, THIS is how I learned:


I normally swear by this stuff.  I’ve used it two or three times when I first broke out with a rash.  It’s really expensive, like $35 for a 1-oz. tube, but well worth twice the price.  Usually, the rash stops itching within 15 seconds of application, but the directions do say to rub it on til the itch disappears, which could take up to three minutes.

leftwrist  rightarm

Every other time I’ve used it, the rashes were few and quite localized.  Not this time.  This time, I have spots all over, the worst places being on my forearms, so I started there.  The gritty texture of this paste-like product felt amazingly therapeutic as I ground it against these pesky pustules, but after three minutes of rubbing the raw areas, they were still incredibly itchy.  The instructions did say that more than one cleansing with Zanfel may be necessary, so I tried it again.  Still, the intense itchiness did not subside.

I dug out the long pamphlet from the Zanfel box and studied up, thought maybe I had misunderstood the ‘structions.  Basically, I learned that urushiol from the poisonous plants gets on your skin and if not washed off of the allergic person quickly, a terribly itchy rash will form at the points of contact only.  Then I read this from the pamphlet:

“If you continue to break out with new lesions after the 4th day and you are not recontaminating yourself (by touching anymore ivy, oak, or sumac), your reaction is likely systemic. Systemic reactions typically occur when more concentrated urushiol penetrates the skin deeper and enters the lymphatic or blood system.  These reactions typically result from direct contact with cut roots or vines or inhaling or ingesting the plant.  System reactions require physician intervention.”


Boy am I thankful for this place.  I rarely have an urgent need to see a doc, but when I do, it’s always on the weekend.  Today was day five after exposure, well yesterday actually cuz I started typing this on Saturday, but it is now past midnight.  Anyway, for some reason, the itchiness intensified the closer I got to this place.  My neighbor, whom I lovingly refer to as Ma Kettle, was kind enough to drive me here.  I was literally yelling, moaning, groaning, and whining about how itchy I had become.  I told Ma K that if there are a lot of people ahead of me, which would indicate a long wait, I might just start scratching myself like a madwoman, screaming loudly about how karma has finally caught up with me, and randomly asking other folks to help scratch as well.  Perhaps, that would assure my exit outta the waiting room and entry into an examination room even faster!  I was kidding, of course.  It didn’t work anyway … doh!  The nurse practitioner prescribed me one of these:


A Medrol Dosepak … steroids.  I said, “Hey, NP, is it true I’m gonna gain 10 pounds after only two days of taking this stuff?”  I’d read that somewhere on the interwebz.  She replied, “No, you generally gain weight only with long-term use of steroids, but I’m glad you mentioned that.  You need to know that this medication might make you very edgy.”  I said, “Oh crap, I’m edgy enough as it is!”  She added, “And you may find you are much hungrier than normal.”  In my mind I was thinking, “Hence the 10-pound weight gain.”  I told her, “So by tonight, I’m gonna be a roid-raging lunatic who inhales a large pepperoni pizza in under five minutes … well, hell, that’s nothing new.  Write the script silly woman … bring it on … you got any coupons for Domino’s?!”

So here I am now listening to The Coasters singing, “Poison Ivy:”

“Late at night while you’re sleepin’ poison ivy comes a’creepin’
She’s pretty as a daisy but look out man she’s crazy
She’ll really do you in
Now if you let her under your skin
Poison iv-y-y-y-y, poison iv-y-y-y-y”

And feeling like this dude:


The week hasn’t been all bad though … mostly good in fact.  Some exciting stuff going on as far as my writing, my issue with Monster Energy, and my personal life.  Stay tuned!



Some of life’s chapters end abruptly and even painfully, some end wonderfully and better than we could have ever hoped for, and some just sorta dangle there, leaving us to wonder where they are leading and if they will EVER end peaceably.  As in a novel, chapters end and the story goes on, but elements of certain chapters creep back into the story as it is told. The great thing is, we can always begin a new chapter, whenever we desire. An important thing to remember is this:


Dwelling on the past is not healthy.  It keeps one stagnant, unable to completely move ahead.  I reckon what we must do rather than dwell on things is learn from them, accept them, and move on … put ‘em out of our heads (much easier said than done).  Naturally, certain decisions you make and actions you take in the future will be based on the past; I think that is how it’s supposed to be.  Just don’t dwell on stuff you have no power to change.  This is where I’ve struggled over the last couple of years.


Ultimately, as simple as this sounds:


A new chapter is developing in my life right now … I believe some good things are on the horizon, and I plan to work very hard to bring these to fruition, and I’m just gonna:


Without going into much detail, I am going to refocus my writing a little or maybe even a lot … I’ve just gotta see where it takes me.  As far as the future of this blog, I’m not really sure.  I reckon I will get inspired every few days to make a post.  It’s really become quite a journal of some of my life’s events, which turns some people off, while others enjoy it.  For me, I look at it as a permanent record of fading memories that I will have forever and ever.  So no matter what directions this blog takes, I will always be grateful for what I’ve recorded.


For those who enjoy reading my blog, the best way to know when I’ve made a new post is to subscribe; then you will receive an e-mail shortly after I make any new posts.  Thanks y’all …


Gnite!  Smile



Holy cow … what a day!  The folks who have been wishing bad karma on me hit the jackpot this morning.  How I had the presence of mind to take pictures after laying in this ditch for three hours is beyond me.  I guess I figured it would make a good blog post.  I should’ve just gone camping as originally planned, but I ended up ix-naying that for now.

So anyway, Burningtown is a really pretty, rural area of Franklin.  I took a pic of the creek here a short distance before I wrecked.


How and why did I wreck?!  Flip if I know.  Here’s where it happened:


My poor BeastTrek.  I usually wear a helmet, but for some reason I felt like living life on the edge today.  I was lucky that I didn’t do any serious damage … just lots of scratches and a bruised back:


Why was I there for three hours?  I reckon I passed out, maybe from hitting my head?  I dunno.  Then I just couldn’t seem to drag my arse up the hill.  I was on a really steep embankment.  I could hear cars going by and was trying to wave, but nobody could see me.  I did go down to the water twice, which was wicked cool and refreshing.  I laid right down in it.  I managed to get up the hill once but couldn’t drag the bike up, fell back down while trying to do so, and laid there a little longer.  But I finally climbed out of the abyss:


Whoops, I guess I got a drop of water on the lens.  I hopped back on the bike and rode maybe a mile or so to get into cell phone range; then I searched high and low in my saddlebags for my phone and realized I didn’t have it with me.  Ugh!  At that point I was exhausted, walking the bike and looking for a shady spot to rest, knowing I had about a 15-mile ride back to the house.  I had just spotted a tree on the side of the road and prepared to flop down under it when a friend drove up.  A-frickin’-men!

We went back to the crash site to see if I’d dumped my phone there.  I hadn’t but my dang baby Glock was there in the brush.  Sheesh!

All’s well that ends well.  Found my phone later on at the house.  Super sleepy tonight … can’t stop laughing about the wreck.  I’m weird like that!


Not only is this song an oldie and a goody, but somebody has set it to an amazing video.  Watching and listening can actually take you to a peaceful place, if only for a few minutes … it’s awesome!  But this post isn’t gonna be about such deep thoughts as the song depicts.  It’s just been a hot dang summer, and I’m ready for some cooler weather!  I must be getting ornery these days, as I usually can deal with just about any kind of weather without too much complaint.  No sense stressing out over something completely beyond my control, right?!  The sweat was pouring off me yesterday, and, quite frankly, I’m ready for some jeans and flannel shirt time.


Kinda coincidental that I was thinking that yesterday, as just this morning another local blogger shared a posting on Facebook about Christmas of 2010 here in Franklin.  He shows some amazing pics … click here and check out Thunderpig’s blog.  It was a beautiful, snowy day here in the mountains, an authentic white Christmas.  Sammie Sad Eyes and I frolicked in the snow for hours … what a hoot!  You can barely see her head in this image:


This is one of my faves of us from that day:


So, this morning, as da Samster and I were preparing to take our walk out in the sticky humidity, I first performed my obligatory check of recent Facebook posts, and didn’t my cousin Barb post that she and her hubby are up at their beautiful second home in the mountains of NH for the weekend?!  Can you say ENVIOUS!


I’d dare say their second home is bigger than my first and only home … isn’t it beautiful? Believe it or not, the weather in New Hampshire is very similar to the weather here in Western North Carolina – the major difference being that obviously it snows more up north.  But they don’t cancel school as much as they do down here due to snow … just ask Barbara, as she’s been driving rugrats to school for many years.  That said, it’s not quite as mountainous where she drives in Massachusetts.


Since I’m not able to travel right now, I secretly (well not so secretly now) live vicariously through my cousin, Barbara, and her hubby, Charlie (I think she calls him Chuck). We have a real close-knit family, hehe! We don’t see each other much, but it’s always fun when we do. They do lots of hiking and biking and whatnot up in the mountains of NH and have posted some fantastic photos:


Charlie labeled this one Iron Mountain in the fall from Mount Stanton Trail on Mount Pickering.  How pretty is that?

Barbara posted this one of a bear on their property just a couple of weeks ago … wicked cool:


I took this one with my phone in Highlands, NC, one night I was working up there.  I had gotten some much better pics, but I was using a new phone and kept hitting delete instead of save … doh!  I call him peak-a-boo bear cuz he’s hiding behind that trash can at an ice cream shop:

peekaboo bear

We got a call shortly after I took this, and with the accent of the dispatcher, I swore he said, “We’ve got a FIYAH spotted at such-and-such restaurant.”  I was like, “Wrong frequency, dudes, I’m da po-po.” But he was saying bear.  The nice folks that worked at the establishment had sprayed bear mace; that was pleasant.  Anyway, here’s hoping Barb and Chuck have another wonderful weekend and encounter lots more Kodak moments that they can share with the rest of us.


On another note, somebody asked me last night if I’d sold my travel camper!  Not my beloved BeastMobile … NEVER!  I have yet to finish installing the dang screen room and tearing up the carpet to then put linoleum down.  And besides, where else am I gonna live when my house sells?!  I might just take it up to NH and park it by my cousin’s crib … we’ve got lots of catching up to do!

BTW, I intended to post this much earlier but had some technical difficulties with an update to plug-in called Jetpack.  I swear it takes me hours to fix stuff that should take minutes.  Thankfully, I back up my files and was able to restore but not before I accidentally unplugged the ‘puter while restoration in progress!  So actually, the restoration is incomplete, but I can’t figure out how to complete it … so if Zombies and/or pink elephants and tiny giraffes come onto y’all’s screens, I apologize.  It’s been a day to say the least!  Aahhh … Friday!

Aug 022012

Hater apes

But just remember:


And always keep some of this around; I’m ashamed to say that I’ve had to gargle with this stuff myself before:


Odd topic to put under “Good Thoughts,” but I wasn’t sure where else to stick this post, and I am gonna put a positive spin on it, however.  I reckon we all have haters.  There was a dark period of time not so long ago where I became very hateful towards some people, and I was pretty loud about it.  I learned a lot from it and have tried to become a better person, but because of what went down I have my own harem of haters.   Here’s what I say to them:


Haters can actually be great motivators.  Thanks to a hateful message I received, I was inspired to make this blog post.  The other day, someone mentioned that they would sometimes like send me their private thoughts about a particular blog post but there wasn’t a link to do so.  I’d been meaning to put one on this site but couldn’t figure out how; da BeastSite is still very much a work in progress.  Well, I finally figured it out.  As soon as I created it, I thought to myself, “Oh, I bet this is gonna open up a can of worms!”


Ew … kinda looks like a whole-wheat version of Franco-American Spaghetti … nummy!  Well, guess what?!  I was right!


I got my first private message this morning.  Woo wee – imagine my excitement!  Allow me to copy and paste it here:

“You are one conceded selfish bitch and I hope you burn in hell one day!”

Ouch … why don’t ya tell me how you REALLY feel?!  I’m not sure I smell what you’re stepping in.  I’m assuming this person meant conceited, like stuck up.  As far as burning in hell one day, I bought a nonrefundable, one-way ticket a long time ago:


One thing I learned the hard way is this:


Unfortunately, there are still a couple of ex-employers that I am filled with grudge for, but I’m dealing with that in a more mature way than I once did, or trying to anyways.  I believe karma will take care of them, as it has me on occasion.  And as foolishly as I have acted, I have no regrets.  I yam what I yam.

Love yourself

I like the above saying.  I wouldn’t say I always love myself.  There are a few things about me that really piss me off!  I’ve never really thought of myself as conceited, but I am sure I come off that way sometimes.  It’s that Yankee brashness:


Even the sheriff called me a Yankee bitch:


As far as being selfish … I don’t think I am, but heck, I’ll own it:


I better stop now … gotta clean house and do some yard work.  Hang tough, everybody … we ain’t gonna get outta this thing alive anyway so we might as well try to be happy.  I just have one question:


Smile with tongue out

© 2011 Unleash da Beast Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha