Saturday, May 30, 2009

is there life after wheat?

It has come to my attention that I may have developed a wheat allergy. I didn't know such a thing was possible at this stage in my life - but I guess I don't know everything.

It's been going on for several months - I just didn't know what it was. I never thought to look at bread as the cause of anything. It was always the other parts of the meal that must have upset my stomach. Then there was the cough. That started about 3 months ago. I had a cold so I didn't think much of it. The cold went away, but the cough didn't. Ok, that happens to me too. Coughs take a long time to go away. Still, it felt different. I didn't have any lingering chest congestion, just a sudden an unpredictable cough. Also eating was getting weird. It felt like stuff was always getting caught in my tonsils and choking me. I had choking/coughing fits while drinking things with raspberries in them. The tiny tiny little seeds would cause me to choke and then cough to the point of vomiting. Sometimes my own saliva would choke me. While my throat wasn't swollen enough to cause problems with breathing, it must have been swollen. Eventually I started to vomit after every meal with wheat in it. (every meal) I still didn't look at the breads and say "you're doing this to me." Well my active brain didn't. My subconscious must have known because the sight of bread would make me go "uggghck" even though I love fresh bread.

Eventually my conscious and subconscious got together and had a talk. It happened after two distinct instances last week. First I had a cup of soup and half sandwich from Panara. It was hard to eat the sandwich even though it was 4pm and I hadn't eaten since 11pm the night before. I was only able to eat part of the sandwich and a few min later I threw up. I also spent the rest of the day coughing and feeling headachy and bitchy. The next day I had a soft pretzel and juice with blueberries in it. Again I only ate half of the pretzel. I almost choked on the blueberries. Somewhere in those few min I realized that wheat might be my enemy. A few min later as i was puking up the pretzel I decided to give wheat free life a try.

So this week I am not ingesting products with gluten in them. Sucks because I generally love products with gluten in them. Probably good for me though. I am already less congested and I haven't coughed or vomited in two days. In a couple of weeks I will try eating some bread or something and see what happens.

I do have one very very important question. If I am sensitive to wheat does that mean I can't drink beer anymore? So far research says the answer is no and that sucks on so many levels.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Running Away

A woman recently faked her own kidnapping in order to run away to Disney World.

She cleaned out her bank account and took coworkers id (probably for the plane ride), grabbed one of her 3 daughters and headed off to the land of the giant mouse. She's in all sorts of trouble with the law, her work, her husband and probably tons of other people. Basically she just snapped and ran away.

Before that she was one of those hard working overly scheduled types. I'm guessing that she never learned one of the most important things my grandmother taught me. She taught me that sometimes you just have to say "Fuck it" (my word, she didn't cuss) You have to chuck responsibility for a few hours and have some fun. I remember the times she would call the school and tell them I had an appointment and then pick me up to go shopping. It wasn't often, and I was still expected to keep up with my work, but it was memorable. It was freeing and made the rest of the crappy stuff more bearable.

People don't do that very often anymore. Too many give up taking time off from work and what little time they do take is still scheduled. It starts with kids. When do they just play anymore? Soccer, scouts, dance, art lessons, music lessons - it goes on and on and on. What's wrong with just laying in the grass looking at bugs. There is no rule that we have to be productive 100% of our waking hours. Everyone needs some down time.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dear Officer Parker

Officer Parker,Badge #1939

Kansas City does NOT have an entertainer's license. If you're going to be paid to enforce the law at least KNOW IT. There are restrictions on performing. Do you know what they are? Did you know the magician at 13th & Wyandotte was asked to be there to participate in the scavenger hunt. He was NOT breaking the law as it is currently written. You personally not have the legal right to restrict free speech except as already restricted by Kansas City code. You're paid to enforce, not create laws.

Look up the code dumbass.

Hey, while you're doing that - check with your boss. See the Chief of Police recognizes that the code as it is written is unconstitutional and has publicly stated so.

No the magician moved on because you were a dick and threatened him. Way to treat a law abiding citizen. Glad to see you working so hard to solve actual crime in this city.


Thanks to couple of emails I'm going to clarify things a bit.

My dad is a cop.(not here) He retires this year after nearly 30 years as an officer. I have respect for the work, stress and danger of being a police officer. I know they don't get paid crap for what they do. I don't respect the ones who get John Wayne Syndrome and act like they are above the laws they are supposed to enforce. Telling someone to cease a legal activity or face arrest is wrong and my post reflects my anger at that.

As a side note - anon emails are not really anon. They can be traced back to at least the server they were sent from. Sending me emails with my own email as the return address is amusing, but if you're gonna say it, why not use your own name?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

How come

a very high percentage of the people current mayor Funkhouser follows on Twitter seem top be shell accounts? No pictures, most of the time very few or even no updates and most were set up around the same time. This is not true of the people following him just the ones he follows.

It's not like there is a shortage of people in the KC area with twitter accounts. And there are a lot of interesting ones out there to follow. He might be more in touch with people if he tried interacting occasionally.

Hair cut

Bessie called yesterday and she wanted to know if her friend's grandmother could cut her hair. I said no. She could trim a couple of inches off, but no more than that. I know Bessie wants her hair cut because all of her friends have shorter hair now, but mommy isn't ready for her to take that next step. She wants to do it because SHE wants to do it, not to copy her friends I will say ok. My baby is getting older and is heading towards that stage where friends are all important. We've already left Barbie behind and soon she'll leave mommy behind too. Just for awhile. I've been through this before. They come back emotionally just before they are ready to leave physically.

There will be other things that Bessie wants to try and I hope she has the sense of self to know when it's time to say no to her friends. It's a hard thing to do. And it's hard for me to be there to help out during this time. I'll try, but she'll put up a front of not wanting my advice. Support and rules are what I have, she won't want the first and won't like the second. Oh well, no need to borrow trouble yet. She's still my baby for the most part. I'll enjoy that while I can. Soon enough will come time to worry.

and to beat the boys off with a large stick. That's another scary part that's coming. Dating.

I met M.V. and his daughter the other day. She's a beautiful girl and he's going to need a very big stick and maybe some bear traps here in a year or two. She was also very sweet and happy to spend time with her dad, so he's not in the danger zone yet. It got me to thinking though. She's only a couple of years older than my youngest and 2 years can make a huge difference. I'm trying and failing to picture Bessie as a middle schooler. Probably failing because I don't want think of that.

Of course my other daughter is now 20. I've been through all of this, so I should be better prepared. Should be, not am.

And it made me sad the first time she got a grown up hair cut too. Part of me like the chop job she gave herself at 5 more.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Dont' forget your Sunscreen

It's a lakeside weekend for many people. If you spend a lot of time outdoors this weekend, don't forget your sunscreen. someone shared this picture on twitter and it was too good to not share here.

Thank You Jim & Stacy

A while back I got some boxes from Jim & Stacy at the Edward Jones office. Big, giant boxes that could sleep 2 if need be. I planned to make benches out of them - but those plans are on hold. Right now I have emptied 10 of the boxes of bags into them. couldn't quite fit 11 - but I tried. At least I can turn around now. Still a bit crowded, but not quite as bad. Everything should be back to my normal disorganized state by Sunday.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I have to find my camera because words do not describe the number of bags I have sitting in here right now. 11 boxes that are 2'x18"x3' or somewhere in that vicinity. Stuffed full of empty balloon bags. I'm still in awe of them.

Bad day for poor Dan

yesterday was not a good day for my husband. At least the morning kinda sucked.

It started the day before with our younger son. He likes to pressurize two liter bottles and then toss them so they'll explode. This may or may not be entirely due to my setting a bad example, but we'll leave that question for another day. He never throws them at or near anyone. It's just kinda fun to watch them go nuts when he tosses them.

The other day he tried to pressurize one with some canned air. It didn't work and he wasted the air I used on my computer. He came in and for reasons yet unknown didn't dispose of the 2 liter. He just left it in the living room. Dan came across it yesterday morning and thought he would take a quick drink before we headed out the door.

Did you know that canned air contains some kind of bittering agent to keep people from huffing it? I didn't until yesterday morning. I don't think Dan did either until that liquid his his mouth. He started sputtering and coughing and then puking. The boys told us what had been done to that particular coke and thankfully Dan didn't swallow any of it. He did feel queasy for the rest of the day.

I felt bad for him. He's ok, so his reaction is kinda funny now. Well, not to Dan - it may take awhile before he thinks it's funny.

Starbucks bags

I get silver bags from the local Starbucks. What is the plural of Starbucks anyway, Starbuckses?

I get lots of bags from them. I've crocheted one purse but am going to make a purse like this one from some of the others. Black topstitching on the silver bag looks great. I'll line it with some cool print, just don't know what yet.

I'll post pictures of the crocheted one tomorrow. It may be a one of a kind because that material is HARD to work with.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

a solution

we have a rotary mower. my son says it's too hard to use. I found a solution while looking at fail blog today.

fail owned pwned pictures
see more Fail Blog

Monday, May 18, 2009


I mentioned this on Twitter, but didn't make a big announcement here.

I asked Pioneer Balloon Company if they would donate some of their bags. They do a lot of events and save the bags afterwards to track how many balloons they used. Betty Valamis was very gracious and said she would be happy to.

I got an email from Kenny in the warehouse on Friday. They've shipped me some bags and I should have them any day now. I was very excited. The tote made from balloon bags was one of my favorites. Then I reread the email. Kenny had shipped two PALLETS worth of bags. I don't know exactly how many that is, but it's a LOT!!

I will be making many many totes and purses from the balloon bag.

And I will build a wall of boxes containing balloon bags that I will take down one brick at a time. :-)


mad, jealous, annoyed, disgusted. I'm a whirlwind of emotions and none of them are good. Why? My parents are going to visit my brother this summer and watch hid kids for him since he can't afford a babysitter. I suggested they come up here for a day or two, but they can't because they will have all those kids.

Nice that they are helping him out. Fucking sucks that this is my dad's 3rd or 4th trip to Arkansas to help with the boys in the past couple of years and HE HASN'T SEEN MY KIDS IN A DECADE. Fuck that. I'm going to be pissed off for ages.

We were going to go and visit them last Thanksgiving, but my mom wanted us to go to my brother's house instead. My older kids wouldn't go if they had to go to Arkansas and I didn't enjoy that once again my kids would be pushed to the back so my mom could spend time with my nephews. The only time they saw my mom without a cousin in tow was when my brother was in prison and all the boys were with their mom.

10 - 1 odds that she forgets my oldest daughter's birthday on Friday.

I enjoyed spending time with my grandparents when I was young and I hate that my kids missed out on that. No wonder my youngest likes going with her best friend to the friend's grandparent's house.

yep, going to be mad for ages.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

High Jump

When I was dropping my son off for Saturday school this morning I saw a sign congratulating James White on taking the national high jump record. I'm late to the game since he did it in April but still - WOW.

he's 5'10, the same height at my older son, and he jumped 7'5 3/4' which is 1 foot 3 3/4 inches higher than the top of my younger son's head.

That's freaking incredible.

Here's a link to a story on it

lotto scam

So yesterday we got a legitimate looking check in the mail for $4800. Since nobody owes us that amount I was immediately suspicious. The attached letter explains that we have won a random lottery. All I have to do is send them $2800 to cover the taxes. and keep the other 2k for myself. Plus I still have $120k coming to me!! So cool!

Of course I know it's a scam. I've even heard of this one before and I'm not about to deposit the check and send them 2800. It's probably too much work, but I would like to track down the person who sent the check and do 2 things.

1. If they are in the US I would deposit the check without spending any of it. When it comes back to my bank I would then sue the guy for a bad check and try to get my 4800 out of him.

2. Explain to him all the wrong things he did in his scam letter.
for example:

The envelope was a dead giveaway. No return address, generic envelope with a poor quality sticker on the front. Legit companies usually care about their image and my 9 year old could have made a better looking envelope. Where's the logo? The color?

The letter was obviously photocopied. It was addressed to Dear Sir/Madam. Oh come on now. Given the abundant availability of word processing programs you can do better than that. It only takes a second to change the greeting and print a new copy for each potential sucker.

A company that appears to be in Canada with a bank that is clearly in the United States. Keep your geography straight.

Grammar is important.

Ok, I might not share those insights with him. It's probably better off if he keeps screwing up while he's trying to scam. The lack of attention to details will get him caught eventually. I'm going to turn my envelope and letter over to the post office person in charge of mail fraud and hope they get one step closer to shutting down this operation.

Still wish I had the opportunity to scam him back though. Oh well, some links that I find interesting. the image at the top of the page is from The trophy room cracks me up but most are a bit too offensive to post here.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

something to think about

A few interesting links which have parts that may be applicable to Kansas city - though many parts are NOT. Some deal with squatting which is a concept I do support if it's done correctly. I do not support using abandoned houses for drugs and prostitution. Why do I support squatting? Because it's a better alternative to having abandoned buildings AND homeless people.

Still... this one is especially interesting to me since part of the sources claim that in 2000 KC had 7500 abandoned buildings.

Two things

Two things I wish. Well, two of many things I wish, but these are related.

1. I wish that new construction permits would be put on hold until it has been proven that new is better than rebuilding existing construction in the city.

2. I wish that it was easier to take abandoned houses away from the people who abandoned them and put them up for sale at a low price.

I see so many houses in this city that just sit vacant or worse vandalized. Why are the owners allowed to just leave them there to rot? Why do people use resources to build new buildings when so many of these could be reused? Reuse them and you serve more than one purpose. You don't waste more resources of course, but you also help to rebuild our neighborhoods. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle can apply to the construction and housing industries too.

Blog post on abandoned houses
from Toellner Tells It

bath milks

When I lived in Texas I used to make and sell bath salts and bath milks. In Mississippi I sold herbs in bulk as well as a few other products from my favorite wholesaler. I finally tracked that wholesaler down and am going to start making the bath milks, oils and salts again. No soap. Can't do that very well. I've been into aromatherapy for 20+ years, so it will be cool to incorporate that into the store. Expect to see the first items around June 1st.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I'm a night owl. Given my choice I would stay up until 2 or 3 and then sleep until 10 or so. My most creative and productive hours are after midnight. Sadly I don't get to stay up much after midnight lately. To save $$ I ride in with Dan, so I have to be getting out of bed at 5:30. Not a good thing to do if you only just got to bed at 3.

To cope with my altered sleep schedule I nap. I have an air mattress at the shop and I set it up at 6:30 (when I get here) and sleep until 8:30. It's not a perfect solution, but it does make a huge difference in my day. The store doesn't open until 12 and before the nap time I would just try to get things done. I was always exhausted by later afternoon. Now I nap instead of work and get a LOT more done in the afternoon. Naps are good.

Too bad most people aren't in jobs that allow them to nap. There have been studies that show an increase in overall productivity for workers who nap. The Danish government has approved naps for night shit workers. That's pretty cool. I've worked the night shift and while I didn't usually need a nap I know a lot of people who did. Not everyone is programmed to stay up all night like I am and a lot of people who should work day shift end up on the night shift. Naps would be good for them.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Article on MSNBC

Continuing along the lines of my last post

I saw this article on this morning.

It's about people who refuse medical care because they can't afford it.

It reads in part

Just last month, Laskey saw a woman with bronchitis and pneumonia with life-threatening oxygen levels who refused hospital admission because she had no insurance. Even when Laskey arranged for her to have an oxygen kit to take home, the woman turned it down because of the cost.

scary thought and I really don't have answers about what to do with America's health care system.

Part of it probably comes down to lawsuits. 23 years ago I had a friend who's son was a doctor. He decided to give up this obstetrics practice because the insurance was just too high. He had never been sued, but was paying 20k a year in insurance just in case he was. That was 2 decades ago. I don't want to imagine what doctors are paying today. Sometimes the fault lies with the medical people and sometimes it doesn't. I think people are too quick to sue if everything isn't ok. Even if the doctors did everything they could. Payouts on lawsuits raise premiums for all doctors and then medical prices go up. That's one part of the vast puzzle.

Hospitals also have a lot of waste built into their system. Like many business structures they are bloated organizations and the costs get passed on to the consumers - in this case patients.

We don't have socialized medicine, but the government's interference has influenced medical costs negatively. Medicare/medicaid have very low pay rates and the this leads to the costs transferring to private care paitients.

Lots of other little pieces to this puzzle and I don't know how we are going to solve it.

One of the most popular buttons I sell says "America's national health care plan....Don't get sick" Sad to say, but I think far too many people have to live with this thought. It's especially sad that we have potentially some of the greatest health care in the world. Even so, many people in this country find medical tourism to be a better alternative the health care at home.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

F you commercial lady

I often hear a commercial where a woman talks about being a gambler. She doesn't go to the casinos or play the ponies she's a gambler because her family doesn't have health insurance. I hate this commercial because it reminds me that I don't have health insurance. It doesn't motivate me to call their company, just makes me worry more. As a matter of fact I will call anyone else before I call their company.

Why don't I have health insurance? Because the plan offered through Dan's employer (KCMO school district) costs to f'ing much. He is covered by the school the rest of us just can't afford it. It costs more than our monthly mortgage, more than all of our utilities combined and almost the same amount i use to feed 5 people every month. We also make too much to get help from the state for the kids.

Where does that leave us? Trying to not get sick. yes, if there were an accident we would be bankrupt. I know that, but I can't skip paying the mortgage every month to insure against that type of thing. Not pay the electric bill? How about telling the kids we're only eating Ramen for a month. That actually sounds like a way to get unhealthy pretty fast. I'm looking for a plan that is actually useful while being affordable. Until then I am locked into being one America's red shirts.

If you don't understand that reference - watch more Star Trek. Red shirts are expendable and unimportant to the establishment. That's what it feels like to be one of the working poor in America. If you work the government does very little to help you. You have to be out of work and willing to stay that way to get much out of the system. We get by and I don't view myself as poor. I've seen poverty up close and I'm not there. I get to have a roof over my head and food on the table. I just don't get to go to the doctor unless it's an actual emergency.

And so I hate that commercial. Not everyone who doesn't have health insurance is irresponsible. Some of us just haven't learned how to magic into existence the $$ needed to pay for it. So Fyou commercial lady and your 'gambling problem'. F you and the writers who came up with that crap.