Thursday, January 31, 2013

Bon Jovi

Bon Jovi

Ok, anyone who knows me knows I LOVE Bon Jovi.  It’s definitely not a secret, nor is it a surprise.  To me, it’s important I write this blog to lay the framework for future blogs, and to pay homage to the greatness of my “Jersey boys”.

I was a child of the 80’s.  Big hair, parachute pants, Big Hair Bands.  After growing up listening to Country Music and Elvis, I ventured out and found my own likes as a pre-teen and teenager.  Tears for Fears, Skid Row, Europe, Motley Crue, etc. When I was 13, I feel in love with Bon Jovi.  (I still loved my country music, too.  George, Reba, Brooks & Dunn, Garth Brooks.  Great stuff). One would have to be blind to not see that Jon Bon Jovi is a beautiful man. But frankly, it really is more than that to me.

The first concert I ever attended was Bon Jovi in July of 1988 or 1989 with my best friend, Chris.  We were way up in the lawn, but it was so much fun!  (Later that summer, I attended Guns N’ Roses with INXS, too).  I’ve since been to many concerts.  I listen to plenty of music.  Bon Jovi remains my favorite.

To me, again, Jon is a gorgeous man.  Very nice eye candy.  But, the music is more to me.  You can love ‘em or hate ‘em, I don’t care.  I just know what it does for me.  Too often when people hear “Bon Jovi”, they instantly think of their largest hits.  Livin’ on a Prayer.  You Give Love a Bad Name.  Bad Medicine.  With that association comes the misconception of this has-been hair band.  Not true.

Frankly, those songs are my least favorites.  Bon Jovi still writes.  They still record.  They still put out relevant music that is underappreciated and isn’t played in favor of over-produced bubble gum poppy bullshit like Justin Beiber and Lady Gaga.  Garbage.

Jon has an amazing voice.  Richie is a phenomenal singer.  Together, their harmony literally sends chills through my bones.  Some of the “album cut” songs are simply spectacular.  Relatable.  Emotional.  Real.  I love nothing more than stripping Jon and Richie (or any great artist, like Bryan Adams) to just a guitar and a voice.  THOSE are my favorites.  That’s when they shine.  “There’s no dancers, there’s no diamonds, no this boy don’t lip sync.”  That’s when you see the true talent and artistry of these men.

Now, back on topic.  Bon Jovi’s music is dope for my soul.  Literally.  When I’m happy, when I’m sad, when I’m stressed, I can listen to their music and then I’m Zen.  Instant relaxation, chill pill.  I was having a very hard day the other day and was on the brink of tears.  What kept me from crying in the middle of Wal-Mart?  Bon Jovi.  I could shift my mind back to the music and forget for awhile.  Bon Jovi helps me cope with the stresses of life, in a healthy way.  I feel calm, energized, alive, even.  Certain songs take me to another time and place.  His voice in certain songs can bring tears to my eyes; I feel ice in my veins.  It’s powerful.   And, hearing my babies sing along is pure joy!

With all that being said, Bon Jovi absolutely puts on a phenomenal concert.  Great. Shows.  So, I’ll spend the money to be entertained well, to see my “dope” live, and to be in the same room with Jon.  Nobody is perfect; we all have our faults, our flaws, our humanity.  Despite his rock-star life, Jon has done a very good job of maintaining his integrity.  He’s been married to his high school sweetheart for almost 30 years. They have 4 children together. He’s built his band and his business himself.  He’s kept a rock band together, happy, and producing for 30 years.  It’s really an abhorration in that business.  He’s great. He is and his band is something I’m proud to say is my favorite, and I’m proud to share with the next generation.  I am proud that my kids request certain songs for me to play.  I am proud they listen to stuff other than the crap on the radios today.  Bryan Adams, AC/DC, Maroon 5, Vince Gill, Van Halen….and Bon Jovi.

So, tease away.  I don’t care.  I know what impact Bon Jovi has on my life.  It’s a release.  An outlet.  Dope for my soul.  I hope you have some healthy “dope” for your soul, too.  And, one day…one day, I’ll get to meet Jon and tell him what his work has done for my life.  ….  If I don’t clam up.


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Type One Vs. Type Two Diabetes

Type One Vs. Type Two Diabetes

My father-in-law and both of my twin sons have Type 1 Diabetes, also known as Juvenile Diabetes.  My FIL was diagnosed at age 10; he’s almost 60 now.  My sons were diagnosed last year, 5 months apart, at the age of 7.

Type One Diabetes

An autoimmune disease is: An illness that occurs when the body tissues are attacked by its own immune system. The immune system is a complex organization within the body that is designed normally to "seek and destroy" invaders of the body, including infectious agents. Patients with autoimmune diseases frequently have unusual antibodies circulating in their blood that target their own body tissues.  (  Autoimmune Diseases include such things as Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, Celiac Disease, Psoriasis, and Rheumatoid Arthritis.


Type One Diabetes is an autoimmune disease.

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease in which a person's pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables people to get energy from food. It occurs when the body's immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, called beta cells. While its causes are not yet entirely understood, scientists believe that both genetic factors and environmental triggers are involved. Its onset has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle. There is nothing you can do to prevent T1D, and-at present-nothing you can do to get rid of it.  (

Most people who develop type 1 are otherwise healthy. Type 1 Diabetes is a genetically-linked, hereditary autoimmune disorder that results in the body mistaking the pancreas as foreign and responding by attacking and destroying the insulin-producing beta islet cells of the pancreas. Simply stated, autoimmune disorders are an "allergy to self.” (

There are three antibodies that can attack the pancreas cells and cause Type 1 Diabetes.  They are Glutamic Acid Decarboxylase (GAD), Islet Cell Antibodies (ICA) and Radioimmunoassay & insulin antibodies (RIA).  Most children or young adults who develop this disease have 1 or 2 of these antibodies.  My little tigers have all three conducting a triple assault on their pancreatic beta cells.  Currently, the only treatment available to maintain life is to replace their body’s insulin via injections.  Without it, they will die. With research and experiences, insulin and treatments are improving.  Work is being done on artificial pancreases, islet cell transfers, and pancreatic cell transplants, but there is still a long way to go in finding a cure.

Type 2 Diabetes

T2D is one of the two major types of diabetes, the type in which the beta cells of the pancreas produce insulin but the body is unable to use it effectively because the cells of the body are resistant to the action of insulin. Although this type of diabetes may not carry the same risk of death from ketoacidosis, it otherwise involves many of the same risks of complications as does type 1 diabetes (in which there is a lack of insulin).

The aim of treatment is to normalize the blood glucose in an attempt to prevent or minimize complications. People with type 2 diabetes may experience marked hyperglycemia, but most do not require insulin injections. In fact, 80% of all people with type 2 diabetes can be treated with diet, exercise, and, if need be, oral hypoglycemic agents (drugs taken by mouth to lower the blood sugar).

Type 2 diabetes requires good dietary control including the restriction of calories, lowered consumption of simple carbohydrates and fat with increased consumption of complex carbohydrates and fiber. Regular aerobic exercise is also an important method for treating both type 2 diabetes since it decreases insulin resistance and helps burn excessive glucose. Regular exercise also may help lower blood lipids and reduce some effects of stress, both important factors in treating diabetes and preventing complications.

Type 2 diabetes is also known as insulin-resistant diabetes, non-insulin dependent diabetes, and adult-onset diabetes. (

Type 2 diabetes can have a hereditary link and it can also be closely linked to lifestyle.  A pancreas is only designed to care for a certain sized body, and when you tax its limits, it cannot keep up.  Here’s my little analogy.  You pancreas is the car’s engine, gasoline is the carbs and insulin. I equate this to overloading a trailer and trying to drag it behind your car.  Your car CAN go, but very inefficiently.  If you remove the load, then the car can again function normally.  If you drag that load too long and don’t maintain the car, it can and will be permanently damaged.  My boys engine died, so it doesn’t matter what we do, it won’t start again.

Treatments and alleged cures

There are a lot of books out there about diabetes cures and treatments.  Most of these refer to Type 2 Diabetes and will NOT help my sons.  Trust me, if it would, I would’ve tried it already….multiple times.  If cinnamon would help, I would’ve already made them eat spoonfuls of it.  If honey would help, I would’ve injected it into their veins already.  (Instead, they need lots of insulin to cover the carbs in honey!)  If an alkaline diet would help, I would’ve already given them an Alka-Seltzer enema.  (Not sure that would cover it, but it sounds good!)  And, if the leaves of some exotic plant would cure them, then they’d drink the tea daily.  Unfortunately for them, none of that will take away the attack on their tiny pancreases.  I wish it would.

I guess that ends my little science/medical lesson.  With that background information out of the way, we’ll carry on.  Please support or continue to support JDRF in finding better treatments and a cure for Type 1 Diabetes.  Please support stem cell research.  Please be an organ donor.


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Repost: I Married an Imbecile

Originally posted:  2/28/08 (not much has changed on this front)

This one should be short and sweet.

We're having some contractors give us bids to redo the floors in our homes.  Five years and kids, dogs and cats have made our nice home into something rivaling the qualities of a cardboard box under a bridge, but I digress.  Yesterday, a contractor was to arrive at 5:30 pm.

My husband got home around 5:10, and I was on the phone. Clearly from my conversation and the timing, he could tell I was on the phone giving this contractor directions to our home.  So, to aid in my efforts, he cuts a big loud long juicy fart.  I turned my back to him, trying not to laugh, but it overcame me! In the middle of directions (and just after the guy had asked me a question), I could refrain no longer and I busted out laughing.  Then, I told him "You're so stupid!" as I laughed.  They contractor just got silent!  Quickly I had to clarify.  "I'm sorry, sir.  I wasn't talking to you.  I was talking to my retarded husband!"  I couldn't help but to continue intermittently giggling at the imbecile as I tried to complete the directions.

Still, in the midst of giving directions, he backs his ass up to me and farted again! He thought it was funny to make me laugh (and call him names) when I was trying to complete a conversation and be serious! Of course, it worked.  I laughed again and called him retarded.  The contractor said, "I'll be there in 20 minutes.  I hope he has it all out of his system by then!"  Oh, boy we laughed!

When the contractor arrived, he asked my husband if he was better.

Then, last night, watching American Idol, one of the contestants had clearly had hair extensions placed for her performance.  So, I remarked, "those are definitely extensions", to which my husband replied, "Some horses are missing their hair all off up in here!"  (Quoting Friday).  Made me bust out laughing again!  I really couldn't hear how well she did because all I could imagine was some poor horse waking up, looking at his/her tail, and thinking, "WTF?  Where'd my tail go?"

It took some time to fall asleep because I kept giggling about the contractor farts and the bald horse.  Oh, sweet amusement!


Repost : 6th Anniversary

Original Post:  10/6/06  (Now married 12 years, and yep, the feeling is pretty much the same, if not even stronger)


Today I celebrate my sixth anniversary with my husband, and I'm feeling a little sentimental.  So, bear with me through the sappiness.


Jerry and I met in 1999 just prior to both of us becoming divorced.  In hindsight, we probably began a relationship before either of us was really ready, but at the same time, we came into each other's lives at the perfect time.  Since we were coming out of bad relationships, we each carried our own baggage that had to be worked through.  (Since I don't have all day and that's not what this is about, I'm not going to address those woes here).  Regardless of the amount of suitcases we were carrying, Jerry and I had a special connection.  We each felt like we had finally found what we'd been missing all along. 


It wasn't long before we moved in together.  After that, we went through a spell where, I say, Jerry was being a jerk!  I know he had to unpack some of that baggage.  As my mind was starting to wrap around leaving him, he straightened up.  He figured out what he wanted and proposed.  We were married about 6 weeks after he proposed, about 16 months after we first met.


Our marriage was immediately met by challenges with both of us starting back to school and Jerry's company closing.  On top of idiotic people we are forced to deal with, this led to more conflict.  At certain points, I didn't know if we were going to make it.  We were either going to kill each other or separate.  It was rough.  Although I wish we'd never had to go through that, I must say it taught us both a lot about each other and made us stronger individually and as a couple.


We learned exactly what buttons to push on each other.  We learned personal and relationship boundaries.  We learned how to not treat each other like we did our former spouses.  I guess our saving grace was that we had such a strong love that carried us through all that.  On top of that, we had an intense physical passion for each other.  I think I can speak for Jerry, too, when I say this, but I also had an intense stubbornness which caused me to refuse to fail again!


After about 18 months, everything started turning around.   Now, every day gets better.  Even though we have our fair share of stressors (again, I don't have all day to name those), we approach our lives as teammates.  We complement each other.  When I'm having a bad day, he takes over (and vice versa).  When I need my "girl time", he's right there to let me have it.  When I need to be held, his arms are wide open.  I'm not living in a fantasy world and saying he never makes me angry or I never get on his nerves, but our relationship is pretty darned good!  One of my questions for God is going to be why he didn't send Jerry into my life sooner.


Here comes the sappiness…..Now, I couldn't imagine my life without Jerry.  He is definitely the one person God made for me.  Whereas I didn't have these thoughts before, I imagine myself with him until death do us part.  On top of loving my children, he's given me three beautiful boys of our own.  Jerry and I connect on almost every level, and I have a deep and profound love and respect for him.  He is my world, my everything.


I guess I'd better dry my tears or he's going to call and ask why I'm crying.  I'll close by saying….Jerry, I love you.  I'm glad every day that I'm married to you.  I'm thankful you are in my life.  Happy Anniversary!




Repost: Kindergarten Cry Baby

Original Post:  8/27/08  (Jace is now in 4th grade)

I can have a hard exterior, but I have a very soft heart.  When it comes to my kids, I'm one sentimental sap!  I cry at all the great milestones or when they do something spectacular (or ordinary, it doesn't matter as long as they are cute!).

I cried at their births; not from the pain, but from the sounds of those first cries. I remember crying when Courtney got her first tooth.  I had her in the doctor's office, and she was pulling up on me.  I looked down and saw that little pearl in her mouth, felt, and indeed it was a tooth!  I hugged her and started crying.  She'd hit one of those baby milestones, and I was proud.  When the doctor came in, I was crying.  I tried to tell him through my tears I just noticed she cut her first tooth, but he looked at me like I was crazy.

First tooth.  First smiles.  First steps.  First Haircuts. Accomplishments.  Kindergarten.

Oh, boy....Kindergarten.  It has torn me up every time.  Trust me, I'm WICKED happy to have free child care, but once they go to Kindergarten, time flies!  When I took Courtney to Kindergarten, I couldn't even tell the child good-bye because if I opened my mouth I was going to bust out bawling in her face!  I was pregnant with Kyle, too, so I'm sure the hormones didn't help anything.  I blubbered the whole way home.  After I calmed down, Jane called me and I started blubbering all over again!  I was SO proud of her, but I couldn't believe my baby was in SCHOOL.

When Kyle started school a few years later, I managed to tell him to be a good boy, tell him I loved him, tell him good-bye.  But, the minute my back was turned and one foot exited the door, the tears started flowing.  Again, I was dropping my baby off at school!

Yesterday I dropped Jace off at Kindergarten. Anytime Jerry has looked at me wrong and says, "Kindergarten" in the past couple of weeks, the tears would start flowing.  He did it just to mess with me!  I could mostly keep it together talking about it with other people, but Jerry just has that effect of me!  Sunday night I looked at the school menu to see what was for lunch on the first day of school.  I started crying because my baby boy was going to eat Chicken Strips on the first day of school.  He loves "Nug-Nugs", so I knew he'd be happy.  Thank God nobody came into the nursery and saw me crying.  It would've been a little embarrassing to explain.

Jace is ready and excited for Kindergarten.  He thinks he's King Turd on Poop Mountain to get to ride the bus like his big brothers!  So, I am reassured he's happy and confident (preschool helps with that!).  However, it doesn't make it any easier to drop him off.  I made it to his room, helped him find a seat, took his picture.

I managed to hug and kiss him, tell him to be good, tell him I loved him.  The twins and I scooted out of there, and I thought, "Wow!  I'm a big girl now!  I didn't cry!"  Well....WRONG!  About 10 feet outside his door, the face crinkled up and the tears started flowing.  The halls were crowded as parents escorted their children to class.  I felt and saw some funny stares.  I must've been a sight to see holding two little boys' hands, crying like a baby. Thankfully I had a napkin in my pocket to dry my tears.  Like a good Girl Scout, I was prepared.

Jerry had gone to drop Gage off at middle school and was coming back to get us.  The twins and I walked to the corner and waited for him.  Another sight to see for him.  Driving down the road, there's some crazy woman on the corner crying with two little boys by her side!  I'd calmed down a little bit until I saw Jerry.  He remarked something about me being a baby (jokingly), and a new set of tears found their way out!

Kindergarten is SUCH a milestone in a child's life.  Once they start Kindergarten, they aren't babies anymore.  They are "big kids", and time flies after that!  It just wrenches my mommy heartstrings!

Jace didn't get to ride the bus yesterday, but he did this morning.  He was SO happy and proud to get on that bus with Kyle!  I almost started crying again.  I was putting my baby in someone else's vehicle to go to school!  What if he missed me?  What if he got lost?  What if?

People have remarked that "you've done this before" as if it gets any easier.  Every one of my children is my baby and carries a huge chunk of my heart with them wherever they go.  Just because I've put two kids in Kindergarten before Jace doesn't make putting Jace in Kindergarten any easier.  It almost makes it harder because now I KNOW how fast time flies, each school year flies, and before I'm done blinking, he'll be in high school!  This is Jace's milestone, and although the milestone is not unique, he is so it's special just the same.  It touches me just the same!

So, I'm a big fat crybaby.  You can write me off when the twins go to Kindergarten.  Graduations. Weddings.  Grandchildren.  Forget it. I'll be blubbering!  Hell, I'm crying now just writing about it!


Kick Off

Jan 29, 2013

A long time ago, back in my MySpace days, I used to blog semi-regularly.  The purpose was largely to amuse my friends (and more so myself), and sometimes I used it just to vent.  Also, it was a great way to document great stories about my kids that I may have forgotten in time otherwise.  It's fun to go back and read those blogs.

A lot has changed since those days.  My kids are bigger.  Two are adults.  Five boys live in my house.  I'm still a mother, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a friend, and an in-law.  I'm still a chef, shopper, chauffeur, nurse, teacher, entertainer and counselor. Now, I can add mother-in-law to the already long and demanding list. 

And, in 2012, my heart was ripped from my chest, twice, when my "babies" were diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes 5 months apart.  Due to a family history, diabetes was always on the radar, but we hoped we'd dodge that bullet like everyone else in the extended family seemed to have.  Being educated and being a nurse did not soothe the sting any less when the words were uttered to me, "Get him to the hospital now!"

Now, as I approach the one-year anniversary of Aiden's diagnosis, D-Day as we call it in the Type 1 world, I've decided to write again.  Mainly, it's an outlet.  I hope to educate others about Type 1 Diabetes and give a glimpse of what it's like to manage this disease day to day....times two.  I hope to entertain...and vent. Perhaps having an inside glimpse will help others understand and motivate them to help in our crusade to find a cure for my babies' disease!   I hope that this will reach someone(s) out there who just needs to know they're not alone, or that there is always someone who has it harder than you do! 

So, I'll start by reposting a couple of my favorite old blogs.  Feel free to share this with blog with your family and friends. Feel free to comment. 

Hold onto your seats.  Let my journey begin.