People who talk to the dead..


I have started watching a TV show called Monica the Medium.  The woman in it is 22, in college, and talks to the dead. (Or rather, the dead seek her out and talk to her.) She was raised in a religious family and struggled with this gift. It’s fascinating to watch her in it and how she knows things she couldn’t know and touches lives in a positive way: giving them closure, hope and love. (I know this is a TV show, FAKE! STAGED! You say, but stay with me and you’ll understand my perspective).

 I think I’d love to have such a gift. 

I confess that after my dad passed away in 2005 the thought of dying no longer frightened me. Is this what faith in something is, I wondered. I “just know” he will be waiting with a Cosmo and a “hey kid!” (He called me “kid” up to the day he died, when I was 41 and had two children, three if you count my ex, but I digress.)

I saw a medium one year after he died. A friend of mine had told me about her and she was supposedly the real deal — helped the police solve crimes, things like that. I had started reading a lot of books after he died about near death experiences in an effort to understand what I will probably never understand until I die. It wasn’t so much closure I was looking for. It was more of a “I want to know he’s OK” kind of thing. I ran into some pretty wonderful books which I will list in my next post. 

My medium was tiny and British, quietly confident, and gave off this glow. The minute I walked into the reading room she looked at me and said “your dad is laughing and says the four wakes were overkill. Who’s the brown and black dog with him?” My mouth dropped open. 

We’d had four wakes: FL, WI, ME and off the coast of Texas thanks to the Navy. None were public. 

The dog was Molly, his Yorkie, who died in 2002.

 I sat down at a table and she pulled out some tarot cards. 

She shuffled them in silence, had me pick six, and laid them in a spread on the table. She flipped over a card. 

“You have his watch.”  

I do. 

“He’s spending more time with your mom’s mom than his own.” 

(Eva was one of a kind. Love in its purest form.)

“He says he hears you.”

I talk to him every day.

She told me other things but the one thing I will never forget is “be aware.” 

Doing that has changed death for me . I’m sure my dad communicates. There are far too many coincidences for them to be that. I’m sure he was involved in my second husband and I finding each other. (He’s a bit like him and my dad would love him and say I finally found the man that deserves me.) Every year on his birthday and death anniversary he sends me a sign. It’s an obscure song on the radio, or a Stearman flying over the house (he flew them in the Navy), a passage in a book, a tv commercial, or a car (a 1992 Olds) in traffic…a light blinking, the fact that he appeared in my husband’s dream, before we married, giving his approval (and my husband never remembers his dreams.)

And weirdest of all: my cat Luna’s death this week. I asked my dad, that night, when I couldn’t sleep, in my fog of grief, to please give me a message that he had her and she was no longer in pain. 

And tonight the red Stearman flew over my house. 

She’s fine. She’s with my dad. He loved animals. And it makes sense to me that anything connected to me and that I love on earth goes directly to him. 

It’s my way of communicating with him. 

 And it’s working. 


Human Life


I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about life and being a human being.

(Stop reading now if you’re not in a thoughtful mood.)

I look at people who commit crimes and I wonder about mental illness and chemical or structural issues in the brain that can cause depression and schizophrenia, etc. if this is true, then what if a chemical imbalance is discovered that eliminates the understanding of consequences and empathy? This would sure explain a lot when it comes to inexplicable, horrific crimes that are committed against human beings by another human being. The lack of empathy and the non-existent connection of actions and consequences.  The poor impulse control.

And then I go down the road of it being proven that being gay is a genetic mutation.

I’m wondering if being transgender is also a genetic mutation.

Which means that all the religious people who say transgender people and gay people are sick and “choosing” to do “horrible things” don’t understand the science behind this. So science goes out the window when you are religious?

Why on earth would a person choose to be gay or transgender and deal with all of the biases and hatred generated towards them? Who on earth would CHOOSE to be hated so much? None of my gay friends say it’s a choice. They were born this way.

Normal is a setting on a washing machine.

The implications that serial killers and rapists are suffering from a “curable” mental condition means we, as a society must re-examine our judicial and penal systems. And that won’t happen if religion keeps saying these actions are “the devil incarnate”.

Back to the Bible: Jesus preached tolerance and acceptance, and in fact, most religions are mainly about not being a jerk to each other, and lately in all types of religious communities I see nothing but hatred and intolerance. I am really starting to believe religion is the cause of a lot of conflict in the world.

Breaks my heart and shatters my too empathetic soul to see how we treat one another.

All in the name of whatever God we profess to believe in.

(End of philosophical ramble.)

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Cats die everyday…

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Not her. Not yet.
Not StellaLuna.

Not my Luna
My LunaBug
My Poof

Why do we chose to love someone or something (is an animal a “thing” or a “one”?) when it hurts so much when their time on earth ends?

She was a…

  • Five-year-old polydactyl torbie cat
  • Who sat like a ballet dancer (toes in front) and crossed her front legs when she walked
  • “Meow”  No. Luna’s voice was a sweet Guinea pig squeak
  • She loved drinking very cold water (ice cube freak)
  • She only ate kitten chow. I called it Crack. “Want some crack?” Squeak!
  • A brush in your hand – she’d follow you around with her tail up.
  • Terrified of my stepson (too loud and too fast -she hid under the bed)
  • Picked on by Mocha (a year older, not related)

Do cats have souls? Is there an afterlife for them? Is it with humans? Did my dad greet her?

What animals have souls? My sons (14 and 17) both gave this answer. “Maybe it has to do with love.”

Cats die everyday. This one mattered. This one hurts. I feel her absence after only 5 years.

I will miss you, Luna bug. I am glad you are no longer suffering. 

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Weird Food at a Discount!?

I have a cool store near me called Grocery Outlet. I can get $3 bacon, and three pounds of Mexican blend grated cheese for $7 (don’t laugh we use one a month in this house O’teens), a goat cheese log for $2, balled mozz for under $5, Dave’s Killer Bread at a discount, cereal silly cheap (even Kashi) and…. drum roll:

Heavily discounted premium ice cream!
Brands like Tillamook, Three Twins, Steve’s, Hagen Daaz, Ben and Jerry’s, Snoqualmie… you get the picture. They are $5-7 a pint at Safeway. Here they run $1.99-2.99.


13138740_10208571694230459_4516199527920613400_nI file this one under: “This is really weird, but I am not sure if I like it, so I will keep eating it until I figure it out.”

I seem to do that with ice cream.  There’s a Three Twins cardamom flavored one (hmmm), (I have tried the coffee milk, Mexican chocolate, chocolate malt, Madagascar vanilla and strawberry and liked all except the last one) and Snoqualmie makes a lavender flavored one that evokes the same reaction:
“Hmm. This stuff is weird.”
Take another bite. “Yeah, really weird.”
Take another bite. “The weirdest.”
Well crap, now half the pint is gone.


I had the privilege of living with a graduate of Johnson & Wales in the 90s. We lived in a four bedroom, 1.5 bath farmhouse owned by a church and paid a mere $450 a month in rent.  Frankly, even with no garage in Virginia, it rocked. Whenever she cooked I was in awe. And her baking… it’s a wonder I am not 300#.

Anyway, we’ve kept in touch over the years somehow. She lives in Baltimore while I’m way over in California.  The cool thing is SHE STILL COOKS AND BAKES a TON. LOL.  Even with teenagers!

So she sent me this. “I changed a few things and it was great!”

Roast Turkey Panini with Pesto, Roasted Red Peppers and Fontina Cheese

Her Ingredients:

  • Prima Della Turkey
  • She subbed Provolone for Fontina (Prima Della)
  • Market Side Ciabatta rolls
  • Rana, basil pesto  (I make my own pesto in the summer – stay tuned!)
  • Classico Sun dried tomato pesto (Her note: “an excellent alternative to pesto, I used both on mine.”)
  • Mezzetta  Roasted Red Peppers  (If you don’t know about, check it out here!)She used a Pampered Chef Grill pan and press.

    Teenager approved! Quote from her 16 year old..” Its like eating at Panera!”

    Her photo is a riot…. The one on the recipe page is clearer. 🙂


Just for you! Secret! Final Step! Limited Time!

Email subject lines are becoming… 
Damn misleading
Just silly

Here are a few gems from today:

Final Steps Required! Do not ignore!

Exclusive invitation!

This one weird trick for _____________

What can you change in seven years

CONFIRM Product order (when I didn’t order anything!)

Free test! Predict your future!

The SPAM folder ones are even better!
Your ATM card worth $1.5M!
The best multiple streams of income EVER!
Understated but sexy

Makes me want to OPT-OUT of everything today.  But then I found this, laughed, and deleted a ton of crap from my inbox…



One Loved Cookie Recipe…


(Photo doesn’t do them justice. They are MUCH darker in real life!)

The recipe photo at the end says it all.  It’s stained, and folded and a mess. Well-loved, like a stuffed toy.

I can’t even remember when I found it.  I know it was in a copy of the Costco Connection (the company’s member magazine) probably around 2011? 2012?.  So, having done recipes from Cooking Light before with decent results, plus being a chocoholic, I was game.

Warning: It’s nothing but trouble.  Don’t do it.  (Yeah, I am sure you will stop reading now.)

I’ve doubled it. I’ve changed the butter to melted. All worked. The latter made them gooey-er.  I confess to changing it at Christmas: removing the cherries and adding 1/2 t of peppermint extract to give me chewy, dark chocolate mint cookies instead.

This is the “experimental” cooking my husband loves.

My son is allergic to peanuts so I only use Guittard chocolate chips (on sale at Big Lots) to avoid the “shared equipment” nightmares.  Plus they make this dark, dark version that’s perfect.

A keeper!



Confession: I have too many recipes. So, here’s another one. Chicken Nugget Recipes |


I like to cook most of the time. I experiment. My husband marvels at how I know how to “doctor” an existing recipe to make it better. I taste and know what it needs and cannot explain why.

Despite already having so many recipes that I’ll need to live to 400 to try them all, I am always attracted to more. And I get magazines with easily 25 more each every month. I have boxes of magazines in my garage. This is serious. I need help. (Must. Resist. Cooking Light.)

Yes. I am a recipe hoarder.

I have standbys that are getting boring because my youngest (13) is the pickiest eater ever. (I know, I know, don’t be a short order cook.)

These were a HIT!  Talk about scarfing them down.

They might not come with soda and a toy, but these three recipes are all you need to conquer crispy-chicken cravings.

Source: Chicken Nugget Recipes |

There are three, and he picked the last one:


Circling the Drain. Cesspool.




I have kindling.


Dear, J,

Thank you for your interest in applying for the Vice President of Marketing position at COMPANY. The hiring process has been extremely competitive and we appreciate your contribution to that competiiton. After assessing your application, we regret to inform you that your qualifications do not quite match our needs for this particular position. Unfortunately, we are unable to continue with your application.

However, we recognized that you have exceptional capabilities, and we would be glad to consider you for a different position. We post new positions nearly every day, and we strongly encourage you to consider them by visiting our web site.

We will keep your resume on file for the possibility of future employment.

Once again, thank you for the time and effort you’ve invested in this process.
We hope you are able to find the appropriate position for your skills and talents.



Hello J,
After careful consideration, we found that your talents and experience are not quite the right fit for the Marketing Program Manager.
Thanks for including our company in your job search; we hope you will consider adding your talent to our team in the future.
New opportunities arise often, so make sure to visit our web site to view all available positions or update your candidate profile and perhaps we’ll see you again soon.
Warm regards,
Human resources
Dear J,
We have reviewed your interests and qualifications against Senior Strategy Marketing & Communications Manager  and we have chosen to move forward with other candidates. We will keep your personal data on file for future consideration. Please feel free to apply to other positions you feel are a match for your qualifications.
We appreciate your interest in our company and wish you the best of luck in your job search.



Hi J

We’ve gotten further into first-round interviews and am sorry to say that we’ve decided not to take your application further.  The competition for this role is tremendous, and we talked with a few candidates have more of the niche experience that we’re looking for.

But, I’m happy to have gotten to talk with you and wish you the best of luck in your job search.  I was really impressed by your track record of results and tenacity.  And hopefully you’ll connect with me on LinkedIn

Thanks again for applying for the Marketing Manager position here



Thank you for your interest in the Marketing Communications Consultant (Digital Marketing & Social Media) position at COMPANY.  We carefully considered your qualifications and although you were not selected for this position, I encourage you to apply online for future openings.

Thank you for your interest in a career with us.  We wish you the best in your future endeavors.


The Recruiting Department
Dear J,

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to consider you for our Product Marketing Manager role.  We have reviewed your application and qualifications and will not be moving forward to next steps with you for this position.  We appreciate your interest in our company and wish you success in your job search.


The {CCCC}  Recruiting Team