Archive for January, 2015

Well, I got blamed…again…for being a bad influence on one of my daughters friends. This time it was the Catholic mom who basically chewed me out on the phone.

If someone is so afraid that their child is going to be de-converted and go to hell then why allow them to spend time at my house. I think inside she actually knows I am a good influence. But right now she’s scared, no, she’s terrified. And, she needs someone to blame. I’m not the only one. The girl has another adult friend who, I believe, is Catholic and her mom is also blaming him for putting the wrong thoughts in her daughters head.

The wrong thoughts are actually anything the mother disagrees with or she feels may give her daughter reason to be independent or something like that.

I am still rather naive about how Catholics operate and think. I’ve never actually attended a Catholic mass. Some day I will just for the experience. I was raised that Catholicism was actually bad and Catholics needed to be saved. When I became a pagan I found the Catholic superstitions rater interesting. Although they have been deadly to pagans in the past, their region is neck and neck with what many pagans believe and practice. I mean, Catholics get to pray to all kinds of people! So many to chose from! But still the Catholic religion is foreign to me mostly.

I made the mistake of reminding the mother of the scripture that says without faith you can’t please God. And how it is God that saves souls and one must trust him to do so. Though I am no longer a believer doesn’t mean I forgot all my Bible lessons. Especially since I lived those things daily for many many years. Still, I forgot how Catholics often don’t care about what the Bible says. She quickly reminded me of that. She told me one couldn’t just cherry pick what they wanted out of the Bible and make it mean what they want. She also said those scriptures were exactly what her daughter didn’t need to hear cause that would cause more trouble.

I then let her know that I have heard many stories of young people leaving their family’s faith only to return to it stronger after a few years or so. This actually calmed her down some. She’d heard those stories as well.

Her daughter is fifteen. A difficult age for any parent. It’s so easy to raise our teens out of fear. We see others make awful mistakes and maybe we have our own mistakes we regret and can’t take back so we put it all on the shoulders of our own kids and try to fix them when it’s ourselves that need fixing.

The more she pushes her daughter the more her daughter is going to run the other way. It’s so obvious but so hard to see when in the middle of it.

The thing I believe has set off her moms terror off is that the daughter has expressed her desire to leave Catholicism and to become a Christian and is starting to refuse to go to Church with her on Sunday. The mother believes it is a great sin not to go to Church on Sunday. She feels it the one time in the week to show God you appreciate all he has done for you and recognize you would not even be alive with out him.

I would like to encourage the daughter to suck it up and go to church with her mom. And I mostly have. However, there is another HUGE issue. Both their Catholic churches have deemed this girl demon possessed in the past. This was before the doctors got her medication straightened out. Apparently most the church members know this which makes her feel very uncomfortable every time she goes to church. I recommended she ask her mom to let her go to a different Catholic church. In our town there is a Polish Catholic that some very pleasant neighbors go to and I believe they would be happy to take her in on Sundays. She told me her mom doesn’t believe that Catholic church is good enough for some reason. I told her that at least it would be Catholic and not Christian. I don’t know if she will be able to ask her mom this. Some times it’s easier to push a family members buttons then to really say what needs to be said.

Today was Sunday and the young lady is staying with us a few days which is why all this came to an ugly head. As off key as her mother may have sounded I meant it when I told her I was glad she was talking to me about it. I let her know I can’t be on the same page as her if she didn’t tell me how she felt and what she wanted for her daughter. We ended the phone call with her requesting that my daughter attend services with them so her daughter would go. My daughter has been to their church before so she’s ahead of me on that experience. She’s also a really cool kid and stuff like religion doesn’t phase her. She finds it boring but for her friend she was willing to go and be a barrier between her friend and the judgmental people who fill those pews.

It is ironic though that the mom is terrified her daughter will become a Christian and leave her particular Catholic faith and blames an Atheist for this. If I wanted to turn her into me, or what I am, Christian is not even on the list!

catholic church

Just for the record…

I don’t make a habit of trying to de-convert other peoples children or even other people for that matter. Some people really need their faith to survive and some so they don’t go insane or what ever. If someones faith was destroying them and those around them then maybe I might have a few words of advise but Atheism isn’t something just anyone can accept. Hopefully a day will come when more and more people can start accepting themselves and believe in facts, but the way many of us are born and raised it will take some time. 


I am all about encouraging everyone to get along and to stop trying to change others just cause they disagree and see things differently. I have seen people from different religions and walks of life get along and work together so I know it is possible and it’s important.

This may offend some folks and that is just too bad. If you are offended by the thought of getting along and working together for common good with out proselytizing, then you need to think long and hard about leaving the cult your in.

And this is where I insert a coexist sticker!



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Sometimes dating is like opening one of those little packets that comes in the cereal or Cracker Jack box. You just never know what you’re gonna get. (I know, I sounded a little like Forrest Gump.)

cracker jack prize


This dating adventure took place several years ago while I still lived in Hawaii. It’s just too funny not to retell from time to time so I decided to re-post it once again.



I was chatting with a guy on FaceBook who I was not romantically interested in. He was nice but not my type.


He asked to take me to the movies one day and I said yes cause I needed to get out. He wanted me to meet him at a certain movie place that was clear across town.  I wasn’t used to the area and, as usual, I got lost.



I called him several times with no answer. Finally he answered and told me where to turn to find the place. Then he let me know he didn’t think I was coming so he went ahead and watched the movie already. It was the movie called He’s Not That Into You.

I arrived and found him by his car wearing a big beach hat like he said he would. He put the hat back in his car and then off to the movie ticket booth we went. There was some really great action movies playing but he thought they were too scary and really wanted to watch He’s Not That Into You, again. After purchasing the tickets we had about 45 minutes to wait and since the theater was in a very nice strip mall with coffee shops and all, I suggested we walk around and chat till it was time but he was concerned we wouldn’t get any seats so we went in.

We passed the concession stand where there was no line and as we passed the ticket guy he stopped to chat for a moment. I learned he came to that theater quite often and everyone knew him by name. They also didn’t mind when he would bring in KFC and eat while watching the movies.


We found nice seats in the empty theater room and visited while we waited for the movie to start. He told me all about his medical problems and what he did in the Navy and then more about his medical problems, mostly sinus and jaw stuff. I brought up a few other subjects that he didn’t find interesting, he would always find a way to bring the subject matter back to him self and his medical issues.


I really wanted a snack so I went to the concession stand and bought myself some nachos. When I came back two girls had seated in front of him and were talking with him. He introduced me. They worked at the Turtle Bay Resort where he also liked to hang out. One of the girls turned to me and asked me to tell him why he had trouble getting a date.  I immediately thought of many answers to that question but because I had just met him I didn’t feel right being so honest. I politely told them that we had just recently met. He gave me a disapproving look and whispered to me that I shouldn’t have told them that.


Eventually the movie started.  During the movie he responded to FaceBook posts on his phone and whispered stuff about the movie to me. 

Then it happened… it was the middle of the movie, he leaned over to me and whispered in my ear. He told me what was going to happened at the END of the movie!


By this time I had already found this date to be more and more humorous and that just added to it.


The movie ended and my date who had been chewing mint gum excessively walked me to my car. He asked me to go dancing with him at a go go club in Waikiki cause it was 80’s night and he loved 80’s night. Although the evening had progressively gotten funnier I was ready to go home so I declined the offer.


He then started telling me he couldn’t wait ’till I was officially divorced so we could get married. I thought the evening couldn’t get anymore ridiculous after that… but I was wrong.


I was trying to say goodbye when he put his finger over my lips to hush me and then leaned over to kiss me. He stopped and in my bewilderment I started to say goodbye again when he did the hush thing again and kissed me again.

shush 2

Actually, it was more like this…


Surprisingly he was a good kisser which threw me off a bit. I sure didn’t expect that! The excessive fresh mint gum chewing started making more sense. It’s not a bad idea really.  But this time I reacted much quicker cause I really didn’t like being hushed and I really wanted to leave and as much as kissing is wonderful, he was just really annoying to hang out with. 

On the way home he texted me about going out again. I am normally a very nice polite person. But even very nice polite people have their moments especially when it is just irresistible. I pulled over and quickly texted him back, “I’m sorry. I’m just not that into you.


Really, he wasn’t evil and I would have been happy to stay his friend and maybe even give him some dating tips which he desperately needed but by the time I got home he had removed me from his FB friends list.


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Remember that feeling a lot of kids get when they first realize there is no Santa Clause? Well, that happened to me yesterday, but it had nothing to do with Santa.

no santa

I still love Malcolm Gladwell books and plan to continue reading them, but, man! did he blow up my “santa’!


There I was, minding my own business, sitting at a Jr. High cafeteria table reading What the Dog Saw while waiting for my girls and their friend to meander the corridors of Evercon having a jolly good time. I was particularly happy about starting the chapter called Dangerous Minds because I find that subject fascinating.


It all started out great, … there’s horrible murderous criminals, … there’s the desperate police force, …. there’s the amazingly talented profiler, …case solved!


But then Malcolm goes on and retells the stories again this time telling the stuff left out the first time he went over them. Basically he explains how criminal profilers aren’t much different then psychic’s, prophets and cold readers. They basically are all (or mostly all) cold readers, so to speak. They use a lot of the same techniques and if you want to know what those techniques are I suggest you read the book. Their actual success rate is also very low. They gain acclaim due to the few things they actually get right. Humans are easily impressed.

psychic and prophet




So, there I sat, heart broken. How can I ever watch the show, my old favorite, Criminal Minds the same, it just won’t be the same. Okay, okay, you may be thinking I am so naive. And in this area you would be correct. I felt sorry for myself for a short while then moved on.


Good thing Netflix just put the another season of Psych on!!!





(I was so upset when Mandy Patinkin left the show. He’s one of my cleb. crushes!)





All in all, even if it is disappointing for a while, I’d rather know the truth.





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A long time ago in a land far far away…

Well, it was about five or six years ago and the far far away land was Hawaii. I was still married to the Navy back then and paid a visit to the doctor to discuss my stomach and bowel issues. I told her I thought I had IBS. She got angry at me and snapped back, “You can’t just read about something on the internet and then think you have it!” She then calmed down and explained to me that before she could diagnose me with something like Irritable Bowel she had to illuminate other possibilities which meant numerous other tests.

angry doctor

I didn’t like the sound of that because it sounded time consuming and I was in the middle of getting divorced. Once the divorce went through I wouldn’t have military insurance and wouldn’t be able to pay for all those tests. And that’s exactly what happened.


It took several more years for the system to finally recognize that I needed to have state funded insurance. I am still paying for doctors visits and procedures that I incurred before that time. Yes, I did get the doctors and hospitals financial aid which took some things down from several thousand to a few or one something thousand. My doctors and hospital visits included issues such as a heart attack and a very infected gal bladder which I had removed along with the luggage those things tend to carry with them.


Since having state insurance and a steady doctor to keep track of things with me I have finally been able to get those tests done and, you’re not gonna believe this… It turned out that I had …   IBS!


Okay, okay, I know many of you will tell me not to get down on that doctor in Hawaii. She was just doing her job and she was right. However, I never believe it’s okay to get angry at a patient, that’s bad bed side manors and it’s just plain rude. I have a feeling she may have had a run in with a patient that read about stuff and then assumed they had what they read about and I can see how that would get frustrating. As tempting a it is to pass judgment because of someone else actions it doesn’t make it right. I was ticked at that lady for a while, but then again I was also looking at my own circumstances and time table. Now that it’s all said and done I do understand her frustration much better and it’s just another interesting story.


Regarding all these other tests that had to come first, well, it involved medicines,  X-rays and a tube with a camera being stuck up my butt as well as that amnesia drug, etc. After discovering I didn’t have polyps and stuff, thankful, the only thing left was IBS. I was given what I believe were some handy and interesting instructions right after my colonoscopy. I don’t actually know for sure since the doctor decided to give me those important instructions while I was still on the amnesia drug. Thankfully the nurse suspected as much and tried to fill me in on what I had listened and agreed to and had no recollection of. As far as the actual procedure, I had heard about people being scared of it, I had no issues, it was perfectly fine. Of course I have no memory of it either, soooo. I did enjoy the pre-amnesia drug moments I spent there listening to the nurses and doctors telling poopy jokes and giggling. For such an odd work space their atmosphere was rather light and happy. Ya just never know!

down the butt


After finally getting that official diagnoses I was happy to be moving on and learning what I could do to make myself better. My gastointestional doctor refereed me to the dietitian to talk to me about the FODMAP food plan. FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols. Try saying that a few times real fast! Or just try saying it at all. If you get it down just right and can rattle it off you’ll impress some people and other will start tuning you out. The dietitian gave me some papers with columns of foods I can eat and columns of food I can’t eat. The “can” side was small and simple, the other side was long. Then she explained that she wanted me to stick to the foods I “can” eat for a few weeks to clean myself out from the “can’t “foods. Then after so many weeks I was to add one type of food back and see how my body responded to it. In other words it’s an elimination type diet. If my body reacted negatively then it would be a food group I would need to continue to avoid and if not then I would know I could eat that type.


I was a bit apprehensive before seeing the dietitian because I had attempted to keep track of the calories I was eating this one time and by the second day I ended up depressed. Yeah, I know, that sounds lame. It’s just some mental block I must have. Even keeping a food journal hasn’t worked out well for me.  Although I was apprehensive I also had hope. I hoped she would be able to explain it well enough to me that I could actually understand it and then do it. Thankfully, that is exactly what happened. It was pretty straight forward and the paper work was simple. I did have to keep a food journal for a while to keep track of how the food elimination was affecting me and I was able to pull that off for that short time.

Thankfully the FODMAP food plan has done wonders for me. There have been some things I have already been able to successfully add back. Though I still mostly use lactose free milk and almond milk it seems I am not adversely affected by milk and milk products. With the exception of ice cream because of my acid reflex. I can eat it but sometimes it comes back up. Once in a great while I’ll have a milk shake and I am happy to be able to eat cheese. I avoid wheat gluten like the plague. I have eaten a few soy products here and there and so far I survived it.

I was sad to let go of garlic, I was a huge fan. I’ve been told and read about garlic and onion being very bad for IBS. One of the worst, actually. The other day I decided to do one of Dr. Schulze’s cold and flu shots. I thought it was just a bunch of really strong echinacea. ( I know, I should have read the ingredients first.) But as I chugged it down I realized it was loaded with garlic. “Well crap”! I thought. But it was too late. I considered that maybe since it is suspended in organic grain alcohol and unfiltered apple cider vinegar that just maybe those ingredients would change the garlic enough that it wouldn’t set my IBS off. Later while at my volunteer job at the pantry a lady who has gastointestional disorders told me that the garlic that is stuffed into green olives won’t affect us adversely. So, between my stomach being okay after all with the Cold & Flu Shot, and what she told me it seems I may be right.

garlic and green olives

I still have a ways to go but I am happy with the progress thus far. When I start to drool over something that I can’t have I quickly bring to mind the pain I have suffered because of that sort of food and the craving disappears. It makes doing this sort of diet a lot easier then I thought it would.

While first starting out, I realized how many foods that are not really healthy that I could eat. FODMAP isn’t necessarily a healthy diet, it can be, but it isn’t one unless you make it that way. A few days ago I read an article on the gluten free diet and how it isn’t actually a good diet for people who don’t need it. The article said that the percentage of people who need to be gluten free is very small but I believe they were only considering people with Celiac disease and not folks with IBS and other intestinal issues. Still, their point about health made sense. They mentioned how foods like breads can have more calories when they have no gluten and so on. Breads haven’t really been an issue for me cause I don’t consume much bread anyway and so far the gluten free breads and pastries don’t really taste very good.



(I haven’t tried or even actually seen this kind before.) 

When I first went on the FODMAP diet I lost a few pounds because I didn’t know what to eat. Then my survivor culinary creativity juices kicked in, I have always had a knack for creating something to eat when no one else can. Sounds like a blessing and really it is but it also meant I figured out a bunch of stuff I could eat which meant no more weight loss. Especially at first because I went into a light survivor mode and wanted to eat every thing that was “okay”. It didn’t take me long to figure this out so I curved it quick. Eating out has been more challenging. I’ve picked up a few hacks. Like McDonald’s, I order a side salad with Italian dressing and a grilled chicken patty À la carte. Then I ask for a large salad plate so I can cut up the chicken patty (and the tiny tomatoes) and blend it altogether for a tasty meal. I haven’t had much luck with Denny’s. I think there is a spice in there that my gut just can’t take. Then again I always have Caesar salad dressing and maybe that’s a bad idea.  I do well at oriental places. The teriyaki chicken and rices are great and some have rice noodles.



(Num! LOL)

I  feel fortunate that things aren’t worse for me when I hear other peoples stories. I don’t have bad reactions from food that are processed in places where wheat is also processed. So I save a load of money by not having to purchase gluten free corn meal and gluten free rice products and cereals and gluten free oat meal.

IBS symptoms affect various people differently. Most of us have or had irregular bowel movements. It usually in a cycle of several days of the runs, then a day or two of a normal bowel movement then a day or two of constipation and then back to the runs again. That’s how it is for me anyway. What really sucks is when the runs don’t give you time to run. I went through that for a short period of time. The doctor had a prescription for a powder that helped a lot and after being on it a few months I was able to take less and eventually get off of it altogether. (When I can remember the name of it I’ll try to remember to add it here.) He also gave me a prescription for a pill to help with IBS symptoms and acid reflex.  (Dicyclomine & Omeprazole) Good stuff! I also take a Probiotic which I wish I could get a prescription for.

lesser-known-diseases-ibs2 (1)

Other symptoms I have had to deal with are the swelling of various parts of my bowel. It’s always uncomfortable but certain places are worse then others. The one I hate the most is the area right near the butt hole. Seriously, when that happens I can’t even sleep. It starts as a dull pain and then the dullness gets worse and it’s just persistent and is painful. Usually Ibuprofen works. I just don’t like to use that because I don’t want to hurt my other organs. So, it’s just better to not eat foods that set that reaction off. Another reaction is bloating, you know, the punched out stomach look. Ug! So uncomfortable and I hate the way I look when that happens. That may sound vain, but so what. I don’t like it. It can also get painful. Before the FODMAP diet my symptoms were sometimes much worse, they were often way more painful.


*It isn’t always food that sets the IBS off. Stress is certainly a big part of it as well. It just seems easier at times to control the food instead of the stress. Realizing and admitting one has stress is a big step forward but stopping there won’t help much. It’s important to learn the root of ones stress in order to deal with it properly. Some might say it’s their kids, or their spouse or their job and so on. Things you can’t just walk away from. There are many techniques for helping ones mind to stop letting them stress them out. Some counselors and therapists have good mental activities to help with this and there are a lot of ideas to try on the internet and in the book store. I have a good worksheet I’ll post on my Lori’s IBS Support Group Page when I get a chance.  (Hopefully soon.)


Another issue IBS has created for me is wardrobe. Just like the limits on food, I have a lot of limits on what I can wear. My entire abdomen area is sensitive to pressure. Not just the middle and lower area but thanks to the acid reflex the upper area as well. Wisconsin fashion statement if summed up in just a few words would be Blue Jeans, Green, and Cheese. Anything else is considered fancy or strange. I can’t wear Blue Jeans so I usually fit into fancy or strange. And often fancy is also considered strange as well. I don’t care to wear dresses and when I do I don’t want to have that potato sack look so that’s most;y out. And even if I did wear them I would still need leggings to go under them because of the cold temps. Talking about leggings, most of them are to tight on the waist. I have found some of those pants that are like a pant and legging in one to have a lose enough waist to work okay as long as I don’t wear them too many hours in a row. So, that’s pretty much what I wear. I like them just fine so that has worked out well. It’s not to hard to find PJ’s that are lose enough so I mostly wear those at home.

Bras!!! Bras are another issue that just shouldn’t be an issue. I’ve always loved that flying free feeling I get when I whip off the bra at the end of a long day. Now, that feeling can’t come soon enough. Some days I’m okay but many days my comfortable bra starts becoming painful after just a few hours while other well fitting hold me up just right bras hurt the minute I put them on. I was raised that a lady is not to be seen with out her bra on. So being bra-less even at home is a mental challenge.  I’m fine in front of the kids, they don’t even notice any more, if they ever did. It’s when people stop by that I have issues. Sometimes I overcome my mind by reminding myself that it’s my home and i can do what ever the hell I want, even go bra-less. Other times I run and throw the harness back on. I do love the perky book look. Honestly if I had the money I wouldn’t mind having mine lifted a little. But I just need to get over that.



(I have a bra like this one and it’s so painful!!!! However,  i would have put the red higher.)

And then there’s shoes… just kidding!


I did start a IBS support page on FaceBook. Feel free to “Like” it and join the conversation. (As long as you’re nice and not a cyber bully.) You can find it at Lori’s IBS Support Group Page.

If you’re interested in Dr. Schulze’s herbal formulas, which I highly recommend, you can find his site at Dr. Schulze’s WebSite.

This is a good and simple article on IBS – Daily Mail Trying to beat IBS?


* Added the next day.


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