Thursday, June 23, 2016

Turning 50 Today

So today I am turning 50 years old. That's 1 half of a century!

I'm not going to go into how old I feel or how it sucks to get old, instead I am going to let you read one of my favorite poems, by Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Losing My Religion...

I have been an Atheist for about 15 years now.  Before I decided that religion just wasn't for me, I was Agnostic for a little while.  I suppose that I wanted or needed something to believe in or to hold on to, as most people do.  I thought there had to be something other than what is here and now, life must survive death somehow.

But then one day, I woke up, and transcended...

By transcending I mean that I realized that I do not need to hold onto a belief system that had always been so uncomfortable for me, one that was antiquated and left people out and left me with more questions and answers.  I no longer believed that there was a heaven or a hell and that my actions or inactions would lead me to either.  I let go of the perception that there was an omnipotent person living in the clouds that had complete and total direction over my life.

I took control over my life, and that has made me the person I am today.

Today I look at the world for what it is right now, not what it will be or might be or may be but what is happening now.  Freeing myself from the belief of a God was very liberating for me.  My conscience does not get the best of me because I want to do something fun.  I do not have to answer to anyone but my own conscience and most of the time it's way more powerful than the threat of hell.  
Before I came to this transcended state, I read extensively on many religions including Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Wicca, Paganism, and many others. To me they were all the same, all the same stories, all different times.   None of them answered the one thing that everyone wants to know and that is What is Life?  So I eventually came to my own conclusions...

Life is a gift, I cherish it.  When I express my sympathy or condolences, I keep people in my thoughts, not prayers.  I still say "bless you" when people sneeze, force of habit and I still say Merry Christmas if I know you celebrate or Happy Holidays if I do not know for sure.  I feel people should help the less fortunate, people and animals alike.  I make many donations, both money and goods a year to charities.

Another thing that gets to me about Religion is that religious people think the God they pray to is the right God and all the rest are wrong.  If fighting over a belief system isn't one of the stupidest things anyone could possibly do, I don't know what is.  How can you force someone to believe what you do simply because you believe it and want everyone else too?  Where's the free will in this equation?  Killing in the name of religion is also counterproductive to what religion actually is, and that is an opiate to the masses.  It was a way to quite the unruly people by threatening fire and brimstone if they didn't behave.  When you kill people just because they are not of your religion, that just sounds like the rantings of a lunatic.

I feel that without the restraints of religion weighing me down, I am truly free to be who I am, without question, without commitment and without doubt.  It has made me a stronger person all around.  I have always considered region a crutch for the weak willed and uninspired and the fearful.  Most people need to have moral guidance and a belief to hold onto because they are afraid of what inevitably will eventually come, and that is death.

I am not afraid to die, I don't want to die just yet, and I do consider it sad because this world, even with all of its problems, it so freaking GREAT!  I LOVE being alive.  I don't want to miss a second of life not now or ever, but I know, eventually it will come to an end.  Because all things do.

So when I die, if I am wrong about the conclusions that I have drawn.  And my spirit does ascend upwards (I hope!) And I meet Saint Peter at the Pearly Gates, I hope that a just God would judge me on my merits and the kindness and compassion I have left on the earth as my legacy....because after all is said and done, isn't that what a God would want of his children?


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Pulse of Orlando

I would just like to take a moment and say that My thoughts go out to the victims and victims families of the people that were killed and hurt at the incident that took place in the early morning hours of Sunday, June 12th, 2016 at the Pulse Night club in Orlando Florida.

While they are saying that this was strictly a terrorist attack, I feel that it was much deeper than terrorism in the name of a God.

For all of you that come across this post, please remember:

Tell the people that you love that you love them every day.
Try not to Judge people.
Do not ever think you are alone, there is always someone that loves you.
Life is fleeting, enjoy every day.

Imagine all the people
Living life in peace... You, ..
You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Monday, May 30, 2016


I would like to take a moment out of Our day today to reflect and remember all those who have served and are currently serving.  THANK YOU to our military for your sacrifice and volunteerism and for keeping us safe in our country.

Although it is believed to be the official start of the Summer and a day off of work, I believe that we should NOT forget what Memorial Day is really all about.

So while you are BBQing, and going to parades, please take a moment to Thank a Vet for the gift of Freedom they have given to all of us.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

False Information Flys

One of my biggest pet peeves is the amount of false information that goes around the internet.  Granted, there are places you can go on the internet to find accurate information but it takes time to find and weed out the bullshit.  Whats even worse is that people will beleive just about anything they read, ESPECIALLY, on facebook or any support group out there, which turns out 99.9% of the time to be complete bullshit.

If you have been here before then you know that I had Gastric Sleeve surgery in September of 2014 and have lost a substantial amount of weight.  I belong to a couple of "online" "support" groups and I can not tell you how absolutely annoying some of the morons that belong to them can be.  I suppose that if you have no other support then they will have to do BUT, please do yourself a favor and look up information from credible sources or even better yet, Talk to your doctor or nutritionist for the truth as it pertains to you.  After all, we are all individuals and have different needs.

Some of the misinformation and seriously dumb shit I have read on some of these so called "support" groups lately run the gamut from, Your pouch CAN NOT stretch out, to Im sick all of the time, to can I still drink soda (really? you can't drink anything else?).   I guess what I am saying is that I just do not understand some people...How can you want a life changing operation only to keep the same old habits?  And as far as if your stomach can stretch back out, Yes Virginia, it certainly can if you keep eating like a pig, which, is probably why you are sick all of the time, maybe it has something to do with that soda you refuse to stop drinking?

Other lovely forms of misinformation that run amuck on the internet are; Rawhide being poisonous to dogs, what your pet can and cannot eat, what is wrong with your pet.  The majority of which is all, or at least 90% incorrect. There is NO substitute for picking up your cell phone (remember you can still make a call from those cell phones) and dialing your vet's number if you want to know the TRUTH of what is and is not good for your animals.

While I completely understand that people, for the most, part have every good intention in the world with spreading these falsities, we are probably the stupidest and most gullible of all species.  We only want to believe the worse of things, we find some strange comfort in believing the worst and completely inaccurate information.

So in ending, please folks, do yourself a favor, before you start "sharing" the bullshit, do a little homework, look some things up, see if what you are sharing is crap or legit.  Stop spreading the rumors and lies, a little common sense goes a long way these days!

Peace out

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

I know...I know...

Yeah yeah, I haven't really written anything this month...I've been busy cleaning out my refrigerator.. LOL

Actually I have been trying to do some gardening but the rain this month just will not cooperate !!!  I spent $100 on flowers 2 weeks ago and still haven't been able to get them in the ground!

I dug up my front yard almost 3 weeks ago and haven't had a chance to finish it because of all the rain. Maybe I'll post some pictures when it finally does get finished.

Anyway, no one has pissed me off and I haven't really found anything that interesting to talk about lately.  Hopefully by next week someone will shit in my cornflakes so I can tell you all about it, after all, I do live in PA and work in NJ so there is always someone being an idiot around here!

Peace out,

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Better Angels 2.0

I actually started this blog about 6 or more years ago, I didn't really have any direction or reason why I started it other than I just needed an outlet for my own frustrations and rants. When I started to find some direction with where I was going with this blog, I pulled a bunch of posts I had written while I did not have a direction.  So, even though time has past and this post is about 3 years old now.  I think that these feelings are still valid.  I had plenty of medical problems back then, this was before my bariatric surgery and I did think of death, probably a little more than what I should have.    

So today I reflect with this post I called, Better Angels...

Death, the end to a beautiful existence.  No more tomorrow, no more sorrow, pain or understanding.  This week marks the 11th year of my mother's passing. (March 25th, 2001 - 9:50pm) It never gets any easier or less painful.  I find that I can keep from crying over the loss better than when it originally happened and for years after, for that matter.  But this year, this year, It just seems worse than other years. 

Our family dog passed last week, that probably doesn't help my emotional state at the moment.  Maybe that's why it seems worse this year than it has in a while.  I have always said that I'm not really a "dog" person, I'm more of a "cat" person, but truth be told, I really miss Albany.  That's what her name was, Albany.  She was 15 years old, that Irish Weasel Hound and although we do seem to have longevity in our pets, it just makes it that much worst when they finally do go.  She went so fast, one day she got sick and two days later she was gone.  She's buried in the back yard now.
I think about death once in awhile.  I mean, I don't dwell on it, but let's face it.  Everyone will die eventually and since I do have some health problems it only seems natural to think about these things.  I don't believe in God or heaven or hell or even an afterlife, although I do like to dream that maybe these things are possible but in my heart, I know better.
I pretty much believe that once you are gone, that's it, you're gone.  Back into the earth you must go, either whole or in ash, you are nothing more than fertilizer and memories.  So that being said, I try to make my life here on earth, right now, the best it can be.  I try to treat people with dignity, compassion, have empathy towards people who have not been as fortunate or lucky as I have been. I love all the creatures, flowers and fauna and see wonders in everyday things. 

I haven't been to my mother's grave in about 5 years.  I would get so depressed for weeks afterwards when I did go.  The way I see it is that she isn't really there, only thing that is there is a very expensive headstone.  For a long time I thought that I wanted to be buried in a coffin in the ground but I am starting to rethink that option.  Maybe I should just be cremated and scattered in the garden?  The only problem with that is that I don't like fire, guess it's a hangup from my catholic upbringing, but then again, it's just the shell that gets turned to ash.  

Sometimes I wonder what people will say about me once I'm gone.  I do worry about the human legacy that I will leave behind.  As I said before I try to treat all in my world and sometimes outside my world as I would want to be treated and by the better angels of our nature, I would hope others would follow and do the same.  Unfortunately sometimes you can not lead by words only by example and then sometimes that example is just not good enough for anyone to learn from.  

but such is life...and death... 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Happy Birthday Mom In Remembrance

Happy Birthday Mom, wherever you are.  Today would have been your 74th year had you not been taken from us at 59.  

Fourteen years have past and I still think of you often.  Words, expressions and sayings you would tell me, still fresh in my mind.  Advice that I would shrug off because I was young and thought I knew all there was to know; only to come to find out, that you never really know everything there is to know.  

I still remember the way that you smelled, a hint of earth mixed with lilacs and hand cream.  Sometimes in the morning I swear I can hear your voice on the cool dawn breeze.  Or maybe that's what I want to believe.  To believe that you are still with me now in some way.

When I am elbow deep in dirt and compost or deciding which plant or flower will go where in my garden, I think of you most.  My love of the earth came from you and your teaching.  I remember well the lessons you would teach in our yard, all the names of the different plants and flowers, both common and latin (not like I remember the latin ones anymore, but I was always amased that you knew them).  I loved the way that you taught us to respect the earth and take care of it. 

I loved your vivid imagination and the storyteller in you that would mesmerize and inspire us.  You taught me to have faith in myself and to shoot for the stars that nothing is impossible.  I remember the kindness and compassion that you showed for all living things, even when we were young and my sister would keep bringing home stray cats.  You let us keep them all...

I remember you being the coolest Mom around and always up for an adventure. I certainly did have a great childhood because of you.  

I just wanted to say that I miss you Mom and I love you.

Happy Birthday wherever you are..

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Wewalka European Doughs - Product Reveiw

I was recently lucky enough to get this Wewalka European Dough house party.  It came with a ton of cool giveaways, insulated bags, oven mitts, pens, magnetic shopping lists, measuring spoons, a very nice apron, $2 coupons for the gift bags and $15 worth of free product.  My favorite part is always the free product.

This was probably one of the better house party packs I have received in quite a while.  It had a lot of stuff in the box, it's always nice to get a decent box of stuff.  You can tell this company really cares by what is in the box.

So being that I am a post bariatric patient, and I don't really eat much bread or bread products, so I decided to make something healthy or at least more healthy than my original thoughts of Pizza pizza!  I did end up getting about 6 bundles of doughs, they have puff pastry, Bistro style pizza, and family style pizza and crescents (which unfortunately they were out of, but I plan to go back to get those eventually too).  They are very reasonably priced at about $3 in the Giant by my house.  Sadly not every supermarket sells them yet.  I also found that they freeze very well if you find them on sale and want to stock up on them.  Just leave them out on your counter for a few hours and they will be good to go.

I ended up making a spinach pie with the puff pastry dough.  It was delish!  I used one pouch of the puff pastry dough, a 10oz bag of chopped spinach, shallots, garlic, olive oil and feta cheese crumbles.  I can't tell you how great it was!  If you want the complete recipe you can find it on my Food Blog, Mangia or you can hit it up through the link to the right.

All in all this was some pretty good dough.  I would highly recommend it over the other canned ones, it is definitely less expensive and in my opinion tastes much better.

I give Wewalka 5 puppy paws and that my friends is the BEST you can get!  Its tasty, versatile and inexpensive!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Becoming overweight - Food Addiction 101

As I was doing some light reading on the NIH (National Institute of Health) website.  (laugh, you know that was funny!)  I came across a Symposium Synopsis that was published in 2009 as to whether or not a person could become physically addicted to foods that are high in fat and sugar content.

Since food is not a illicit or illegal drug, they call food addiction a pervasive addiction as they try to figure out if overeating or eating bad foods is an actual behavioral problem or one that affects your neurons, as cocaine or heroin do.

You need to understand what an addiction actually is.  According to the NIH an addiction or dependency must meet 4 of the 7 following conditions:

1. Tolerance (more drug is needed for the same effect). (One piece is great, a dozen is even better)
2. Withdrawal. (Getting pissed or doing anything for a piece of chocolate, pizza or whatever floats your boat?)
3. Taking a larger amount of the substance or taking the substance for a longer period than was intended. (hmmm second helping of cake, maybe even a 3rd)
4. Experiencing a persistent desire for the substance or an inability to reduce or control its use. (sugar cravings or junk food cravings)
5. Spending much time seeking or consuming the substance or recovering from its effects. (I call this binge and barf)
6. Use of the substance interfering with important activities. (like never leaving the house or giving up things you once loved to do!)
7. Use of the substance continuing despite known adverse consequences. (knowing you are going to gain 5lbs from eating that hole entenmann's cake but doing it anyway?)

If #1 or #2 criteria are met, then the addiction is physiological, meaning that you are physically addicted to the substance, such as a heroin addiction. However, according to the NIH doctors, even if you do not meet the #1 or #2 criteria you can still be behaviorally addicted, which is where what we call "Food Addiction" falls most of the time.

I can not speak for anyone else, but I can tell you about my personal challenges, I have suffered from 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 at different times in my life. I suppose too that I suffered from #1 and 2, since I just kept eating more and more and more until I was stuck inside a 350lb body and basically suffocating myself!

Recently there have been other reports from the medical field that validate my point. Food addiction is real and there are a number of valid reasons that a person would eventually obtain this mental illness. I feel that at some point it becomes a vicious circle of eating, crying, eating, guilt, eating, sadness. It's almost like a carousel that you just can not jump off of. Maybe the underlying cause is depression? I don't know. I have never considered myself depressed though, but mental issues have a way of surfacing in the oddest ways.

Even though an estimated 34.9% of American adults are obese and 68.6% are considered obese or overweight. Insurance companies refuse to help them, because the science technically is still out on the subject (just like global warming), but they have no problem treating the symptoms and illnesses that come with being obese. I guess there is no money in curing someone. But there is a shit load of bucks in pharmaceuticals and co-pays!

Only recently has Bariatric Surgery become the standard for treating people who are obese or morbidly obese (I really hate that phrase). Most insurance companies still consider this life saving surgery no more than a nose job or botox injections, saying it falls under the category of elective and cosmetic surgeries. WTF is elective about wanting to live without shooting 200 units of insulin a day and having to take a fist full of pills and STILL spiraling health wise out of control?

While I realize that Bariatric Surgery is not for everyone. I knew my only and last option was to remove what could never be satisfied and that was my stomach. When I finally had the ability and financial resources to be able to do it, and the health insurance plan that would pay for most of it. I jumped on it.

Today I can say, a year and a half after surgery and 130 lbs down (and holding!) That I just wish anyone with this problem could do what I did. It really is life changing. I no longer have to give myself needles 3 times a day. All of my medications have been lowered substantially and I am hoping in the next few months I will be off of most of them. I am no longer plagued with a waking BS level of's actually in the 90s now, most of the time.

I have learned much going through this process. I have learned how to eat in moderation. I have learned that just because I want it, doesnt mean I should eat it. I have learned that sugar is NOT my friend and to treat it as such. I have also learned to experiment with different foods because anyone with a tiny stomach will tell you, some things you just cant eat anymore! But that's ok with me.

Be Kind to Yourself,

Peace out