A Taste of Italy…Part 2

June 4, 2017 – Sorrento, Italy

After our full day of flight to Italy and a full day touring Pompeii and then eating and drinking wine, it was time to relax!  Sunday found us in bed, sleeping until the maid opened up our door at around 12:15 pm.  She was shocked to see us still in bed!  We did ask her to leave and that we would let them know when we needed her services.  She apologized profusely but after explaining about our long flight and time difference, she left still apologizing. Wide awake now, we decided to shower and dress and head out for something to eat.

The weather was perfect.  The sun was shining and there were so many people walking around the town.  We found a restaurant across the street from our apartment, La Fenice.  They were actually just opening up and they had a display of different fresh fish packed in ice. We were given the option of sitting inside or outside, we choose outside.  I also went up to the display case and ordered the sea bass.  We ordered a bottle of white wine and sparkling water.  The waiter was so nice and easy on the eyes!  We found out later he was one of the owners.  When we left, he insisted on taking a selfie with me!

The sea bass had been cooked in olive oil and lemon.  It was delicious!  The meal came with bread (their bread is out of this world and didn’t upset my stomach).  No butter is put on the table unless you ask for it.  The two guys sitting at the next table were locals.  They looked Mafia type, eating their afternoon meal before picking up their security check!  They both had the spaghetti and clams, which looked amazing.  After dinner, the waiter brought each of us a shot of limoncello.  We were pronouncing it “lemon cello” and we were corrected as it’s really called “LE moncello” the “i” has a long “e” sound.

We walked around town for a few hours exploring the different shops and checking out other restaurants as to where we wanted to have dinner.  Yes, eating and drinking were the priority and of course relaxing.  We walked down to the beach, which was wall to wall people and umbrellas.  The sand is black and because it isn’t very wide, like the beaches say in San Diego, people were literally crawling over each other!  There are shops and bars along the coast line and we stopped in for a beer and sat outside, enjoying the view.  Seriously, you would be a fool to plan a vacation in Italy and stay on your diet.  The food is just so flavorful, it’s hard to have a bad meal here not to mention the wine, every bottle we purchased was delicious.

Because Sorrento is a tourist town and a stopover for cruise ships, the streets are usually packed with people.  It’s a great place to people watch.  We discovered the weekends are not the time to enjoy working on your tan.  After walking down to the beach, we decided to follow the stairs back up.  Along the way, the view was extraordinarily beautiful.  From the different vantage points, we could see Capri Island, the Bay of Naples, and the plethora of umbrellas from above made for some awesome photos.  I will post pictures later after I figure out how to download everything.  All in all, it was a great day of people watching, exploring the town of Sorrento, and getting a little shopping in.

Italians are very hard working people.  The shops would change out their window displays on a daily basis.  The waiters and owners were always present so if you frequented a place, you actually got to know them and they would greet you warmly.  That evening we took Umberto up on his suggestions.  We ate pizza, again, at Ole Sole Amio where the proprietor, Maria, was just a doll.  She greeted us warmly with a buongiorno, and a kiss on both cheeks!  Imagine that!  She was also the head chef and her pizza was oh so good.  When we left, we told her we would be back.  We then walked up the road and stopped at a gelato shop where we both got a gelato to go and then walked around the main street.  Families, tourists, couples were gathered in many of the local bars, the street was closed to cars, so we were able to enjoy a beautiful summer evening slowing walking in the middle of the road, eating our gelato’s and taking in the sites.  There was entertainment along the way, a woman who was painted all white and stood like a statue, an invisible man who was wearing a hat and sun glasses, and musicians playing for change.

I had been here only two days and was falling in love with Sorrento and her people.  We went back to our apartment, full and happy.  We planned our excursion for the following day, a train ride to Meta to find out information on my grandfather and his family.

June 5, 2017

Another beautiful day in Sorrento.  I opened up all the shades and drapes in our apartment and walked out to our balcony to greet the day.  If I looked to my left, I could see the water.  I looked below and there was a produce truck delivering fresh produce to the restaurant that was just below us.  The sounds of traffic and people was music to my ears.  I couldn’t wait to set out to the train station and explore Meta.

The train ride to Meta was a quick one, 3 stops between Sorrento and Meta.  We even got live entertainment on the train.  A man with an accordion and his assistant who played the tambourine.  It was lively and fun and when the girl came around for tips, we gladly contributed.   When we got to Meta, we walked a few blocks and came upon the church where my grandfather had been baptized.  There was scaffolding  surrounding the building but it was open.  We decided to find the municipal building first and by mistake, we walked into a school.  We thought it looked like a government building and it took one of the teachers to explain, in English, that we were actually in a school!  We had a good laugh!  She directed us as to where we needed to go.

After walking what seemed like miles (my hips were killing me by now from all the walking we were doing) we came upon the municipal building just before noon.  In Italy, many businesses and government offices close at noon until 2 or 3 each day so we had just made it in time to put in our request.  The woman behind the counter took my information about my grandfather and told us to return the following Thursday.  Good thing we weren’t leaving until Thursday afternoon or I would have been out of luck!  We thanked her and left.  We walked around a few more streets exploring Meta, which sits on the water and is not as busy as Sorrento.  In fact, it was pretty quiet.  We decided to have lunch there (breakfast isn’t a huge deal in Italy so most times we didn’t eat breakfast).  We ate at a restaurant called “Good Times” that had seating inside and out but again, it was so beautiful out, we chose an outdoor table which was along the sidewalk.  The only downside to that was the barking dog in the apartment upstairs from the restaurant.  He was guarding his street and barked constantly.

I ordered spaghetti and clams this time and as an appetizer, we got steamed mussels.  All of which was, again, so tasty.  Two pints of beer came in very large steins but we managed to drink it all.  We walked back to the train station without stopping at the church.  I figured when we came back for the birth certificate, we could stop into the church to take pictures and see what information they had.

When we got back to Sorrento, I happened to walk by a clothing shop and proceeded to go and purchase some clothes and a new leather purse.  We were also scheduled to take a gelato making class that evening so we actually found the place where that was going to take place, it happened to be on the way to the train station.  We stopped by the grocery store and bought some salt.  Let me tell you about Italian salt.  It is what makes all their food so delicious.  It isn’t salty but seems to bring out the flavor of everything.  I had to bring some home with me!

Gelato Class

We took a gelato class that evening from Dave’s Gelato, of course we did’t make gelato, we made a lemon sorbet.  I was a little disappointed that we didn’t get to make gelato but the sorbet was delicious.  I was chosen to do the measurements of the lemon juice and sugar water, which was in metrics, which I know not how to convert without a computer.  The class lasted about 45 minutes.  We left with a certificate, recipes, and two free scoops of the gelato from his store.

June 6th was another free day for us to do whatever we wanted.  Those free days were a little dangerous for me because I always wanted to go shopping.  The shops had some great stuff in them.  So I brought home some spices from a spice shop, and then we had to purchase Italian leather, so I got a soft, black leather jacket for “spring time” use.  We got all the grandkids Italian watches and t-shirts.  I saw these balloon pants that were popular in Italy and so because they were so comfortable, I got 3 pairs along with some shirts and blouses.  Hubby had been wearing this vest with all these different pockets and seemed to be weighted down by what he was packing into the pockets.  I suggested he get a “man bag” so we went to the leather purse shop and we got him 2 new man bags for him to carry all his stuff in.  I think I created a monster with those man bags!

June 7th – Capri

We got up early to meet the van that was going to take us down to the dock to our boat and captain.  As it was, there were about 24 people taking this tour with us but only 12 per boat.  We got the last boat and I’m glad we did.  The captain and his first officer were so nice!  We left the dock about 9:00 am and headed out towards Capri, which was about an hour away.  The weather was perfect, again with temperatures around 80.  Our first stop was the blue lagoon.  Some said it was a tourist trap but we didn’t care.  We wanted to experience Italy and this is how these men support their families.  We paid extra to board a small row boat which took us into a grotto under the mountain.  It is said that the Roman’s would come there to swim inside.  When the sun hit the water from the small opening, the water was a beautiful shade of deep turquoise.  Our steer person began to sing in Italian which echoed off the walls!  It didn’t last very long but the experience was well worth the money.  We boarded onto our speed boat again and the captain took us into the port of Capri.   We had four hours to spend in Capri to explore the island and try out their restaurants.  We stayed in the small town and found a restaurant were we had lunch and a nice bottle of wine.  We then walked around the small town and purchased some souvenirs, and found out about the legend of the bells.

“Years ago, there lived a poor shepherd on the island of Capri, the only son of a widow. The two lived in a rough shack and their only possession was a sheep that the shepherd would take to graze on the slopes of Mount Solaro.
One evening, the young shepherd stopped to gather flowers and lost sight of his sheep. He was petrified and wondered what would become of him and his mother without their precious pet.

Just then, he heard the distant sound of bells and ran toward it until he got to the the edge of a gulley. There, he was suddenly blinded by a bright light and Saint Michael appeared to him on the back of a white horse and told him, “My son, take this bell and follow its sound; it will protect you from harm”.
With these words, the saint gave the boy the bell that had been hanging around his neck.

From that day on, the shepherd’s life was one of abundance and joy and he had everything he could wish for.
The famous “Villa San Michele” was later built on the spot where Saint Michael appeared and the lucky bell became a symbol of Italy’s island of Capri…” (http://www.capribell.it)

I was exhausted by the time our captain showed up to pick us up.  In fact, we had walked over to where the boat would dock and I took a little siesta on one of the benches.  When we boarded the boat, the captain then cruised us around the entire island.  He showed us where the coral came from.  It grows on the sides of the mountain rock in the water and as the waves lapped up on the rock and pulled away, you could see the orange/red coral.  It was pretty spectacular.  He anchored so the one’s who wanted to swim in the Mediterranean could and we stayed on board drinking wine with the captain.  Well, the captain didn’t drink because he was driving, but he kept our glasses full!  When everyone was back on board, we went through the natural occurring arches and tradition has it that when you pass under them, you must make a wish and kiss the one you love.  The Italians are just romantics at heart.  We passed by Sophia Loren’s house which sits into the mountainside and was massively impressive.  We then headed back to Sorrento.  It was a full day filled with great experiences, one’s we will never forget.

The next day was another free day.  We went to Bougainvillea’s again for lunch and while sitting there eating yet another pizza, I just had to ask the owner, Rosa, about the recipe for the dough.  That’s when I saw their brochure about their pizza cooking class.  I asked her about it and she told me the class was usually on a Thursday but they moved it to Friday for that week, (which was tomorrow).  How lucky were we?  We signed up and paid for class.  I was excited!  I love to cook so anytime I can take a cooking class that is going to teach me something new, I’m all in.

Friday was a lazy day for us.  We slept in and then walked over to the market to purchase some lunch meat and fruit.  I made us lunch at the apartment and we pretty much just lazed it all day watching Netflix.  I know, we were in Italy and watching Netflix!  But we’re old and needed a day of rest!  Plus, we were going to be cooking and eating our pizza that night and I wanted to be sure I was rested up for it.

The pizza class was amazing.  The chef and Theresa (the owner’s daughter) were a delight to listen to as she explained everything in Italian and English.  There was a mother/daughter from Rome along with another couple from Michigan (who showed up late) and then my husband and myself.  One thing that Theresa had said referencing the mother/daughter team “A man should watch the mother and then marry the daughter”  So I had to tell her that that is exactly what my husband did.  He had known my mother before he knew me, so when we were introduced it was only logical that he marry me since he loved my mother so much!

So, the pizza dough was what I was most interested in learning to make.  Their dough is made 4 days in advance from using it.  They use two types of flour, 0 and 00 flour.  Of course, this was confusing for me because I know flour by white, wheat and gluten free.  So, it had to be explained as to where can I purchase 0 and 00 flour.  Come to find out 0 flour is our regular flour and 00 flour is pastry chef flour (thinner less coarse).  The yeast is not dry yeast but live yeast that can be purchased from a brewing distributor, beer brewing that is.  Once you knead it to the consistency it needs to be, you place it in a plastic container with a lid and place it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.  If you don’t use it within 4 days, you can wrap it individually in plastic wrap and freeze it for a later day.

We were told when we are shaping the dough, never touch the middle only the sides.  The dough can be shaped into an individual pizza pie just by stretching out the sides by moving it around and around constantly.  If you touch the middle, it becomes too thin and may cause the pizza dough to have holes in it.  My nails were long and kept breaking through the dough and we all got a good laugh when they saw all the nail holes in my dough!  Chef fixed it for me and then we got to add our toppings.  I used mushrooms, smoked cheese and mozzarella, sauteed onions, prosciutto (parma) and tomato sauce made from basil, garlic, olive oil and plum tomatoes.  It went into the fire oven and it took about 5 minutes (the fire oven uses lemon and orange wood to give the pizza a little citrus flavor).  And then Bon Apetit!!  Damn, it was good!  We left with our recipe, a certificate, full bellies, and a plan to build us a pizza fire oven!

Saturday and Sunday were more free days to relax, eat, explore, and drink.  While we were there we purchased red coral, a case of limoncello (as of this writing, we still haven’t received it, reason being it supposedly got caught up in customs.  When we do finally get it, I wonder how many bottles will be missing!?) Wine, spices, leather, t-shirts, clothing, and I wish I had been able to bring home some bread!

Every morning we stopped in at Bougainvillea’s for Cappuccino’s.  Rosa made the best one’s.  Walking down the street, we had people calling out to us because now we had been there for a full week and were getting to know people.  We checked out real estate there because frankly, I would love to move to southern Italy where my DNA started and experience it year round.  It’s doesn’t snow there.  I want to learn to speak Italian which was such a beautiful sound when I would hear people speaking it.  I want to go there and write.  And who knows, one day we may just do that as my husband loved it as much as I did.  The Italian culture is so simple yet so exquisite.  Family oriented and friends are also welcomed into that circle.  I miss it every day since we left.

Monday evening we had another cooking class!  Yes, as I stated earlier, I love to cook and I wanted to learn everything I could about my ancestors and their cooking.  This time it took us a while to find the place and I’m glad we spend a good part of the later morning looking for it.  We walked, and walked, and asked directions and finally we found it.  We arrived a little early that evening and we were cooking with another couple from Manhattan.   They had been married the same amount of time as my husband and I only they were much younger.  They told us they lived in Manhattan for the experience.  Bravo to them!  We were working with Chef Antonino Aiello and he started us off with Italian meats and cheeses.  I learned that Parmesan cheese should not be used on pasta but used as an appetizer along with capaciola, salami, and parma ham.   He then served us Prosecco, an Italian sparkling wine.  The menu was gnocchi, tomato sauce, and chicken cacciatorie and for dessert, tiramisu.   Of course the ladies got to do the cooking, which believe me, I had no problem with, and the guys got to write down the recipe as the chef dictated it to them.

Let me tell you, I was in heaven!  The chef was knowledgeable and funny!  He had worked at some of the 5 star restaurants all through Italy and then decided he wanted a simpler life. He opened his cooking school so he has more free time to go to the beach as he put it.  He’s also single ladies, so he’s looking!

Dinner was delicious!  Not only did I learn some new recipes which I’ve used many times since our return home, but found out one important fact about olive oil and EVOO.  We used a cup of EVOO in the chicken recipe and because we heated it up first (you throw a slice of onion in the oil and when it starts to brown, the oil is ready for the chicken) when every thing is ready, you still have a cup of oil in the pan.  The food doesn’t absorb the oil, it just gives the food more flavor!  Chef wants us to use EVOO but EVOO here in the states is much different than the EVOO in Italy, so I use my olive oil instead and I’m finding it tastes like the EVOO in Italy.

On our walk home that evening, we came across a very old stone structure that sits down into a grotto between the roads.  I couldn’t make out what it was so a friend had sent me a picture of it and had asked if we had come across it yet.  At the time we had not but as I said on the way home that night I happened to look down and boom, there it was.  I sent him a picture and asked him if he knew the history as we were unable to find out what it was.  Turns out it used to be a flour mill and when buildings started going up in Sorrento and the population increased, it caused more humidity which wasn’t good for the flour so it closed up and moved.  The structure is still there overrun by plants and trees and crumbling rock but standing there serene and full of history.  Oh, if those walls could talk.

The rest of our stay, we continued to visit the restaurants and markets we loved.  On Thursday, we went back to Meta and sure enough, they had my grandfather’s birth certificate and the address where he was born.  Kids were born at home in those days back in 1891.  When we asked where the address was the guy told us just down the street!  So we took a walk and found his street and his house!  I took pictures and my imagination started running wild.  What it must have looked like back in 1891 and that it was still standing!  It was bittersweet because I really did not want to leave.  I wasn’t ready to go home but alas, we had to get back to the apartment and pack up the rest of our stuff.  We stopped in at the church and went through the mound of books the priest had and walked around the church in awe.  It was so beautiful.  I purchased a cross to wear around my neck, though I’m not a practicing Catholic, it was a token that my relatives had been baptized here.

Our last night in Italy was spent in Naples to be closer to the airport as our flight left at 6:00 am.  Much too early for me but with an 8 hour difference from Colorado, it was really the only feasible option.  As we drove to the airport at 3:00 am, the streets were deserted with the exception of a few loose dogs running the streets.  It reminded me of the street gangs that would roam the streets while everyone else slept.  I could see where my relatives, who had settled in New York, continued the Italian tradition of markets, butcher shops, and ware wagons.  How family and friends would gather around large tables with an abundance of food and just talk over wine, beer, salami and pasta.  Oh, how I was going to miss Italy.  This is where my roots were, this is where my DNA started.  Yes, this was the life I had grown up to know.  All the memories came flooding back into my mind all at once, the family get together’s every Sunday, hanging with my cousins who were really my first friends.  My eyes filled with tears but they were happy tears.  I was grateful for the childhood memories and more proud than ever to say, yes, I’m Italian and proud of it.  And though this was my first visit to Italy, it felt like I had been there before.  With my last name of Cafiero, it seemed everyone I came in contact with welcomed me home with open arms.  And yes, I felt more at home in Italy than I have anywhere else I have ever been.  I’d say there is something to that….so much so, I have vowed I will be going back.  Until next time….Ciao!

I would like to thank my husband for making this trip possible.  If it wasn’t for you babe, who knows when I would have been able to have this experience.  I love you!

 

A Grandmother’s Wish

It’s been over a year since I’ve seen my grandchildren from my son.  Not because of anything I did because trust me, I would love to be talking with them at least once per week to find out what’s going on in their little lives.  After moving to Colorado, it seems communication with my son became rare.  After all, he is just way too busy to spend a few minutes dialing a phone.  Of course, that wasn’t the case whenever he wanted a babysitter when I lived close to him.

What is wrong with children today?  As a single mother, when both he and my daughter were living with me, it was not an easy task.  I may not have been the most attentive having to work two jobs to support them because of dead beat dads not wanting to pay support.  But they had loving grandparents (my parents) who helped me out tremendously.  In fact, I couldn’t have done it without their help.  Funny, how soon they forget the difficulties of trying to afford rent, food, utilities, clothing, extra curricular activities when you are trying to accomplish it on your own.  I didn’t have welfare to fall back on because I owned a vehicle, and I couldn’t get a college degree because let’s face it, I didn’t have the time between working two jobs.

I was resented when I tried to have a life for myself.  They never liked any of my boyfriends so I basically stayed single after 1990.  I had a few long term relationships but ultimately, none of them ever worked out.  Hindsight is 20/20 and when I think back on it now, I’m glad they didn’t.  I wasn’t a perfect mother and I will never claim to be but I did do the best I could.

My son now lives next door to his father.  A father who always made up an excuse as to why he couldn’t take his son for a weekend.  I divorced his father because he was cheating on me.  Of course, today, he tells our son, that I was the one who was a cheater.  He told my son I would always bring a “change of clothes” to work with me.  Yeah, because I would hit an all women’s gym after my 8 hour day.  He would hit a bar with his buddies and come home drunk almost every night after I picked up the kids from day care.  Most Friday nights he wouldn’t come home at all because he got too drunk to drive home.  When he lost his job, he decided to become Mr. Mom and I was the one who brought home the pay check.  Now that would have been fine and dandy with me if I was a CEO of some company but I wasn’t.  I was a secretary for an airlines and though I made good money, it certainly wasn’t enough to support a family of four.  He, on the other hand, would go fishing or spend hours in a bar with his buddies after he dropped off the kids to my mother’s.  When I insisted he find a job, he found a job that paid $5.00 per hour telling me it was the best he could do.

After six months, he landed a job that took him to LA every day.  He made decent money, finally but he was never home.  I was still working so it was like I was a single parent.  I had all the responsibility of taking care of the home, the kids, and working full time.  One Friday night I asked him to try and make it home before 11:00 pm and he said he would try.  At the time, I wasn’t aware he was getting into San Diego at 7:00 pm and then hitting a bar until 11:00.  Until that night.  When he came home smelling like a brewery, I knew then he could give a rats ass about his family.  Prior to us getting married, he had come home one night with a hickey on his neck and then he was bragging to his brother and sister how some “Navy lady took advantage of him in an elevator”.  Unfortunately, these are the types of men that seemed to attach themselves to me.  My bad.

Well, my thoughts were, if I’m going to live like a single parent I may as well be one.  We decided to separate and two weeks after he moved out, he was living with another woman.  Now where to do you suppose he met her?

Life got a lot tougher for us now a family of three.  After he was living with this other person for about 9 months, he came to pick up our son one day and in his hand he had flowers for me.  It was our wedding anniversary.  He explained he missed his family and wanted to come back to us.  Here I was alone for these past nine months and he was playing house with another woman and now he wanted to come back?  I don’t think so. Mind you, he had also quit his job so he had no income and of course, he wasn’t paying any child support.  I received a phone call from his girlfriend that evening, crying.  She wanted to know why I would want him back after throwing him out 9 months earlier.  I told her she was crazy, it was the other way around.  He wanted to come back.  So, he had lied to her too.  Didn’t surprise me.

Several years passed and frankly, I was tired of him not paying child support so I started up a support group of other single parents unable to collect child support.  An attorney heard about my endeavor and he offered up his services for free.  We met at his office and he counseled us, about 20 of us showed up for the first meeting, about how to go about getting what our children deserved.  I wrote several articles and had them published in the local newspaper and came up with the saying of “deadbeat dads” and “not paying child support is the same as child abuse.”  At one point, he had bragged to me about renting a hotel room to attend “over the line” and the mound of coke they had dumped on the table.  But you can’t afford to pay child support?   I hired the attorney to get all the back child support and to get him to start paying for his son on a regular basis.  It was a fight, and he fought us all the way but in the end, we won.  Meanwhile, he had remarried, purchased a condo and was living high on the hog.  He took me to court to get his child support reduced however the judge increased it instead.  I became his #1 enemy and I didn’t care.  My concern was for my son.

When I was living with Kent, a boyfriend of 4 years, my son hated him.  Like I stated earlier, my children never liked anyone I dated.  Kent had gotten a job in Montana and asked me to go with him.  My son was in high school now and getting into trouble with smoking MJ and drinking.  I felt the move would be a good one for him.  We would be living in a small town and I was hoping to get him away from the bad element he seemed to be hanging out with.  My ex called and said he was going to report me for kidnapping.  Really?  I guess my son had called him and said he didn’t want to move to Montana even though I had sent his father notification that I was moving out of state, he was going to call the DA and have me arrested.  I called my attorney and he stated as long as I had given him notice and he had not replied, I could move him out of state.  So I did.

My son told me one day as we were driving our trash to the dump how much he loved living in Montana.  He had made friends fast because he was funny and he was good looking.  All the girls loved him.  I was a substitute teacher in his school and I remember one of my fourth graders came up to me and asked me if I was his mother.  When I stated yes, she told me I was so lucky because I got to live with him!

Kent and I didn’t last long up in Montana.  I bought my own house in town, I bought my son a 4 x 4 truck so he could continue going to his school and we settled in our new home without Kent nicely.  My son had his own little studio apartment down in our basement, which was finished and he had good friends to hang with.  Little did I know he was still smoking pot and drinking with his new friends but hey, that’s what some teenagers do and he never got in trouble. (I didn’t find this out until he was in his 20’s).

When my son graduated from high school, I asked him if he wanted his father to fly out and see him graduate.  He said yes and I allowed him to stay at my house.  Still a drinker (I had quit drinking) he would fill up a cooler every morning with his beer and continue to drink all day long.  He wasn’t working (again) because he had hurt his back so was on SSDI.  We got along during that visit.  He explained he was too old to stop drinking and I told him, you’re never too old to stop drinking.  My son then went into the Navy (another story for another time) after graduating high school and when he graduated bootcamp, his father and I attended his graduation.

His father had gotten the hotel room where he slept in the bedroom and I got the pull out couch.  He rented the car and left it with me because his flight out was before mine.  When I got to the airport (I hit a ton of traffic on a Sunday afternoon in Chicago) I didn’t have time to stop and put gas in it.  As it was, I had left in plenty of time to get to the airport but I wasn’t expecting the traffic I hit so I almost missed my flight. In fact, I would have missed my flight if I had stopped to put gas in the car.  Well, the wrath that began after that was unbelievable.  I was called every name in the book for not putting gas in the car and for him incurring the extra charges.  I had full intentions of paying him back however his reaction was uncalled for.  That’s when I started thinking about all the medical bills and dental bills this jerk never paid his share for and was ordered by the court to help with and he never did.  $3,000 for braces, my monthly medical costs that came out of my pay check, he never paid a dime towards.  So I said screw it.  And I never did pay him for it and he has held that against me ever since.

On that trip, I remember us sitting in the hotel bar one night after taking my son back to the base.  His father cried over his beer telling me how he wished he had been a better father to our son while he was growing up.  I told told him it wasn’t too late to start being a better father, that our son still needed his father.  How soon all this is forgotten.

So now the story is that I was the cheater, I was the bitch, I was the reason my son never got to have a relationship with his father while he was growing up.  Amazing how the story has changed.  Now I’m the bad guy and he’s the good guy.  He was the poor soul that was refused a relationship with his son because I was such a bitch.  So, now my son has it out for me.  The person who has always been there for him no matter what.  I supported him not only mentally but financially his entire life.  I have lent him money for attorney’s, for purchasing a new vehicle, for airplane tickets, for whatever he needed or wanted.  Silly me.

And now, he and his ex wife are refusing to let me see my grandchildren.  Grandchildren I babysat for, kept overnight, read bedtime stories to, walked them in the park, spent lots of time with when I lived closer.  And as I did for my son when he was younger, I am doing for my grandchildren now, fighting.  Since I can’t seem to get any where with either of them, my son or his ex wife, very ungrateful people, I have to take it to court.  I have to exercise my grandparent rights through the courts because they refuse to allow me to see my grandkids in the state where I live.  My grandchildren have the right to see me and spend quality time with me in my own home.  They have the right to get to know their cousins in this state, their aunts and uncles.  They have the right to know I did not abandoned them because I moved away.  It is selfish of their father, my son, to not allow us to continue our relationship because of reasons only known to my son for his sudden hatred of his mother.  This is the thanks you get when you give up your life for someone, for loving someone unconditionally.

Ironically, the attorney I hired is the same attorney that went after his father years ago for back child support! No one seemed to have the ex daughter in laws new address as she blocked me via phone and facebook.  My son wouldn’t give up the information either.  Which I really don’t understand.  Someone who cheated on him and broke up his marriage and he is protecting her?  That’s okay, I was born at night but not last night.  I found her and now she can be served and we can finally get down to business.  The business of letting my grandchildren know I love them and miss them and will do everything in my power to let them know I will fight for them no matter what.

UPDATE:  8/11/2017

Court was on Wednesday and the judge decided to side with the parents, my son and ex daughter in law.  No visitation in Colorado because they both did not want it.  Understandably, however, I still can not get over the fact they both lied to in court after swearing to tell the truth!  To say I was not a substantial part of their lives, that I had only been with them a total of 15 days throughout their lifetime, to say when Matthew would act up “What’s wrong with that kid?” were all lies…I have always been on Matthew’s side and would never speak about any of my grandchildren that way…but you know what they say, the truth will prevail.  When they are older, they will know the truth.  Those papers with their mothers declaration on it, will be attached to my last will and testament.  They will see exactly how their mother spoke about me.  As far as my son goes, he’s dead to me.  From now on, we do not purchase anything for these two grandkids.  What they will get though is a savings account, in their name, and every holiday, every birthday, we will deposit money into their account until they are 18 years old.  I will send them a card and let them know how much I have put into their account for them.  I will also be writing them weekly letters and keeping them in a box.  If I happen to die before they turn 18, these will also be given to them.  This way when they are older, they will be able to read about their Nana’s life and how much I thought about them and loved them.  So, even though I will no longer be a part of their lives and get to see them grow up and mature, they will eventually find out just how much I loved them and missed them.  In the end, it will be my son and ex daughter in laws loss, and one day, the same thing just may happen to them.  I am in the process of writing another blog post detailing everything that happened and everything that was said in court.  I am waiting to get a copy of all the paperwork so I can give direct quotes.  Oh, yeah, and now the ex daughter in law wants me to pay for her lawyer fees and lost wages.  Gee, wonder how she is going to squeeze blood from a turnip…I have no income..good luck with that one…you money hungry bitch!

A Taste of Italy…Part 1

I haven’t written in awhile because so many things have happened in May and June 2017, I just couldn’t keep up!  So many dreams came true for me, one’s I had been hoping for for a very long time.

May, 2017

I finally graduated from college with a BA degree in Creative Writing/English.  I graduated Cumma Sum Laude, which for me, was a very big deal.  It was a goal I had decided upon when I first enrolled in college back in 2012.  I was going for a 4.0 but ended up with a 3.96, close enough in my book. My husband and I flew out to New Hampshire so I could walk.  I didn’t have to walk but I felt the need since I had worked so hard and gave up so much of my free time in order to achieve this dream.

My friend, Carolynne from New York drove out to celebrate with us and even though we really didn’t do much sight seeing, we enjoyed the time we had with each other.   Both her and my husband cheered me on as I walked up to get my diploma.  My daughter watched it live on computer and was able to snap a picture of me as I was handed my plaque from the President of the college.  I had four honor cords around my neck and my cap was decorated with “Finally” and “It’s Never Too Late”…all blinged out!

When we got home, it was time to prepare for our honeymoon/60th birthday/graduation trip to Italy.  Yes, that’s right.  It was really my 60th birthday present from my husband however because I was still in school at the time, I had to postpone it.  I made all the arrangements in January and then just before we left, I booked the tours we wanted to take.

June, 2017

We flew out of Denver on Thursday evening June 1st.  The airline was Lufthansa and the flight was a very pleasant one with the exception that our seats were in the middle of the plane.  It was one of those planes that had two seats on either side of the airplane and then 4 seats in the middle.  I was a little scrunched but was able to get a little sleep.  They fed us dinner and breakfast and all the wine we wanted to drink.  The flight took 10 hours to Munich, Germany where we then had a 4 hour layover.  We drank beer and did a little shopping waiting for our flight to Naples.  We finally took off and the plane was packed with weekenders going to Italy for the weekend!

Once we landed in Naples, we didn’t have to go through customs which was a little disappointing because I wanted an Italy stamp in my passport book.  But since we didn’t have anything to declare and we were both exhausted, we went looking for our driver.  Found our driver who was standing holding a sign with my name on it.  I felt so honored!  He was happy to see us and guided us to the car.  Once in the car and on the road, it became very obvious why my husband did not want to drive in Italy!  More about that later!

It was a holiday that day, Republic Day, which is like our 4th of July, so traffic was heavy. We had to go through several tunnels to get to Sorrento, which was our final destination and about an hours drive from Naples.  During the drive our driver made light conversation which was nice because not only were we exhausted but we were also excited.  I was finally here.  The place where my DNA started.  I looked around at the old apartment buildings, the groves of citrus trees, and all the people on motorcycles or scooters.

We had rented an apartment because we decided Sorrento would be our home base and we could venture out from there.  The place was called Corso Italia and the girls in the office were super nice.  They spoke English, thank God, and we went down the street to our apartment.  We were on the first floor and the big, heavy wooden door and old fashioned lock was a little difficult to maneuver but my husband got the hang of it.  We unpacked our suitcases and decided to find a restaurant to eat before calling it a night.

Bougainvillea’s

The first place we ate at was called Bougainvillea’s.  It was on the main strip, right down from our apartment.  We had no idea at that time that this restaurant would become one of our favorites, not just for the food, but for the people who worked there.

As you walk into the restaurant, to your left is a huge selection of homemade gelato which had so many flavors I’m not sure how one could decide what they wanted! Then also to the left as you walked further in, was the pastry cabinet which housed Italian cookies, pastries, cannoli’s, pies and cheesecake.  The coffee bar was after that and then a huge room that opened up with tables and linens.  In the very back was a fire pizza oven.  On the right of the walls was a fountain of water which was very calming to listen to while you ate.

I ordered a pizza (of course) that had roasted veggies on it and my husband ordered a meat pizza.  In Italy, everyone gets their own pizza which is about the size of a dinner plate.  My first bite, I was in heaven.  The flavor of the sauce, cheese and veggies were out of this world and the dough was very light but the flavor is one I just can’t describe.  I had to have the recipe!  I did not finish mine and ended up taking it back to the apartment.  But as I looked around at the other customers, each were enjoying a bottle of wine, and eating all of their pizza!  There was no rush to eat and get out as it is in American restaurants.  In fact, we had to ask for our check.  In Italy, they want you to take your time, enjoy your conversation and food and whenever you are ready, then you can leave.  The waiter was very accommodating and friendly.

When we got back to our apartment, I crashed.  I don’t even think I changed into my PJ’s, that’s how tired I was and we had to get up early the next day to meet our guide who was driving us to Pompeii and Herculeanen.

Saturday, June 3rd

The alarm rang way too soon but I was excited to finally get to see these amazing sights first hand.  We showered and dressed and walked down to Bougainvillea’s for a cappuccino to go.  They weren’t opened yet, but the owner, Rose, said no problem and she made them herself.  The weather was perfect, not too hot, not too humid.

We walked down to the property management office to wait outside for our guide.  A young man pulled up in a Mercedes Van.  Umberto was our guide.  A young, Italian man who lived with his girlfriend and they were both raising their 18 month old son, who was named after one of the men in the family.  He was so full of knowledge and planned our trip well.  He took us to Herculeanen first where he gave us 90 minutes to tour.  Remember, it was about an hour’s drive to the place so we were able to converse the whole time.  He asked us questions about America and we asked him questions about Italy.  He gave us some very good advice about the food and how to decide what to order from which restaurant.  Like, only get pizza from a pizzeria and only get gelato from a place that only sells gelato.    He asked how we felt about Trump which I found amusing because most Europeans get their information from their news, which, if it’s CNN, then we all know most of it is made up shit!

When we got to the sight, we were going to hire a guide to take us through but after waiting 15 minutes for the one we choose, she decided to do the tour in Italian because most everyone there spoke Italian.  We decided to go it alone but as we walked closer to the entrance, we saw a kiosk that was renting iphones and headsets.  We soon found out that for 12 Euro, we could get a tour by renting the iPhones.  She showed us how to use the devices and we went on our way.  What a huge savings that was…the guide wanted 100 Euro to take us on the tour and this only cost us 12 Euro.  Please if you decide to do this tour, just rent the iPhone tour, it’s cheaper and you can go at your own pace.

The sight was amazing.  I was floored by the depth of ash that had covered that small, rich town.  Bones were still in place of the people who tried to escape into these, what looked like garages, to escape the ash but ended up burning to death.  The structures were built with such precision, that the walls were still standing as were the fresco’s still painted on the walls.  Fountains, tables, urns, cooking holes, and art work were all still intact.  The sea today was much further out than when Mt. Vesuvius  erupted.  The sea had been right up to where the city started but so much had been eroded.  The tunnel we had to walk through to get to the city was huge and you could still tell it was made of ash.  I can only imagine the effort it took to excavate that entire site.  We left in awe of it.

Our next stop was Pompeii, which was much more extensive than Herculeanen.  We, again, rented the iPhone guides to take us through this city.  It was amazing to see the town square and the justice center, where the columns were still standing.  The streets, which at the time the city was prosperous prior to the volcano erupting, you could still make out their water/waste system.  The streets were very narrow and I’m guessing only horses could fit through there.  Again, buildings, walls, frescoes, courtyards, fountains, pottery, tables, were all still in place.  This sight was one that took a little longer to go through but Pompeii was a very large city with not just rich Romans but poor ones as well.  All the while, visible at both sights, Mt. Vesuvius sat in the background.  Today, just a hole in the ground but laying dormant until she decides to awaken again.  The last time she erupted was back in the 1940’s and people still talk about it today.

When we finished up with Pompeii, Umberto gave us an option.  Did we want to go visit the hole in the ground or did we want to do a wine tasting?  Hands down, wine tasting and lunch!  He made reservations for us but we got there a little early, so he gave us a tour of the winery.  The wineries vineyards were extensive and in between the rows of grape vines, the owner was growing vegetables.  All in the Vesuvius dirt which was very fertile.  The vegetables were used in their restaurant and all GMO free and pesticide free.

Our table was by the window where a nice breeze flowed in.  The restaurant was hopping with conversation, groups of people, couples, speaking all different languages.  It was a five course meal with different wines accompanying each meal.  The food was fantastic and the wine was superb, so good, we purchased a case of it to be delivered to our home.  The Tears of Christ (Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio) a very popular Italian red wine went well with the pasta dish we were served.  I can’t even remember all the names of the wines we tasted I just know we loved them and so we asked if they could ship them to us.  Thankfully, they could!  When I receive them, I will be sure to update this blog with the names.  If you are a wine enthusiast, you will appreciate the update.

On the ride home, we were tired and satisfied.  Umberto entertained us with more tales of Italy.  I didn’t realize when he was talking to us, that I would say “gotcha”.  In fact, I said it way too much after it was brought to my attention!  Umberto said to me, “If you please, what does gotcha mean?”  I told him it meant “I understand what you’re saying.” We both started laughing.  He had never heard that expression before and he kept repeating it, “Gotcha, gotcha, gotcha!” See? I told him, you learned a new American slang word!  He was impressed and said when I write my review to please put that in there!  So I did!! Umberto dropped us off at the apartment and in parting we told him if he ever wants to visit Colorado, he was more than welcome to stay with us!

Part 2 – Taste of Italy – coming soon!

 

What in the World….

I have come to the conclusion there is no pleasing many people in this world.  Though we all would like to think living in peace and harmony would be the ultimate, it seems many go out of their way to disrupt this way of thinking.  Let me explain.

The past two weeks have been a whirlwind in my family.  Last Tuesday while I was lounging in bed early in the morning drinking my coffee, a news bulletin popped up. The headlines “Home Invasion turns deadly.”  The screen then went to an aerial view of a house and they mentioned the street.  Hesitating for just a second, I yelled down to my husband, who was feeding the dogs, to come up and see what I had just seen.  As I played back the news story, he informed me it was his sister’s house that was now showing on the screen.  Continue reading

What in the World….

Social Media

Heart of Gold

The other evening as I was perusing my social media account, Facebook to be exact, I came across a rant someone had posted from our local community.  Apparently, a neighbor is installing a fence around their property because their neighbor has an aggressive pit bull dog and they don’t want them on their property.  Understandable.  The person who was offended doesn’t own the home they are living in and decided to post a nasty comment with a picture of someone who was walking the property.  In the picture all you can see is a man in camouflage clothing walking on a large piece of property.  You can’t make out the face in any way, shape or form nor is their a company logo that is visible.

The renter is upset (not sure why) that a fence is going up and claims the fence is being installed on their property.  Fencing is a very big issue up here in this small Rocky Mountain town.  It prevents wildlife from grazing and it breaks up the scenery.   Plus, I don’t think many people who live up here have ever had their land surveyed unless they plan on putting up a fence.  My reason for bringing this up isn’t because of a fence, it’s because I was appalled at all the nasty comments being flung at this person who is a part of this community!  One which was surprising to me was the director of a children’s center who apparently is leaving the community and feels she has the right to tell someone to F… off… (hate to say this honey, but reputation follows you).

This has happened to me in the past from people who don’t know me.  I remember twice posting something in a few community pages.  Once I had purchased a ring on a community garage sale site and the poster had lied to me about the ring (the size, the stone, the setting).  I asked her for my money back, after I took it to a jeweler, and I would return the ring.  The person blocked me, called the police on me (saying I threatened them and then that my husband had threatened them) neither was true.  I simply asked her for my money back.  I got attacked from several people in the community that I should just suck it up and keep the ring (which didn’t fit because she lied about the size).  I basically told them to mind their own business.  Because this woman was a single mother and from what I could guess had already spent my money on something else, the people who were not involved in the transaction came quick to her defense.  This surprised me because I was now out $50.00 for a fake ring that the “silver” was peeling off the band!  I wrote a note to the admin of the community page and because she and the person I was trying to get a refund from were friends, she too, told me to suck it up and then proceeded to block me from the page.  And exactly what was it that I had done to deserve this type of treatment?

I found the woman’s address and mailed her back her ring.  I told her to keep the money, karma would get her in the end and that it was apparent she needed it more than I did.  It was the first and last time I purchased anything from anyone in this community.  I saved all the Facebook posts, all the nasty comments just in case the police decided to come to my door (which they didn’t).  Here I made a simple transaction, and the community came down on me like a pack of wolves.

The second and last time I was attacked by community members is when my husband had done a favor for a community member who later posted a nasty, unappreciative post on the community page about how things weren’t done “her” way.  She’s a control freak and a man hater, so why would I expect anything different from her?  The point was that we had helped her out on several occasions and this was our thanks.  So I posted a vague post about how we had been very helpful with not only our time, but money to help out many community members and she was one who wasn’t appreciative.  Basically, she shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth and maybe this was one reason why her life wasn’t going like she wanted.  Negativity breeds negativity.  She was always posting shit like “love and light” and I told her (without mentioning her name) she should practice what she preaches.

The admin on the page posted how my post wasn’t boosting positive in the community. I told her to move along if she didn’t like what she was reading, to by pass it, change the channel.  I didn’t care that she was an admin.  My post wasn’t negative it was stating a fact and life isn’t all rainbows and unicorns.  She didn’t like that.  So her “god” power came out and she kicked me off the site.  No big loss.  I went to the uncensored page and reposted it.  And reposted on another community site where all the holier than thou’s came out in the droves.   I was called everything under the sun, attention whore, if you are a true giver you don’t need to boost about it, etc. etc.  Nasty, vile people who live in my community who feel real brave behind their computers.  Challenging them I said, let’s set up a meeting in a public place so you all can say these things to my face, I’ll even buy the beer.  No one, of course, took me up on it.  Scared, gutless, little punks.  I deleted myself from all the community pages because I no longer care to know these people.  And what a relief it has been!

Which brings me back to my point.

The original poster, who was the owner of the fence company, posted, “This bitch is crazy and got her post removed because she is psycho! Mind you own fucking business, you white trash renter. Who fucking cares if your neighbor is putting a fence in to keep his dogs safe from your aggressive pit bull.” Not only were other people’s comments just as nasty but all the wanna be lawyers came out of the wood work too.  How it was illegal to post a picture of someone on social media without their permission (as I stated earlier, you could not see this person’s face).  How a woman who raised a disrespectful teen is ranting about how disrespectful everyone else is being towards her, oh and the one I really liked “the normal angst of a teen saddened to see a fence and dramatic because it reminds her of a wall. Keep in mind that the executive parts of the brain are not fully formed until 22-24 years old, plus she has been in the public schools and might not understand why she has a problem with fences and walls.”  Yes, not just the wanna be lawyers, but the wanna be therapists!!  Small town people at their best.  There was only one sane guy who thanked the mom for explaining the situation and doing the right thing, one out of over 100 comments.

What does all of these things have in common?  They all happened on a Friday night.  That’s right, nothing to do in a small town on a Friday night except sit in front of a computer, drink and hopefully some unsuspecting community neighbor will voice their opinion on whatever and being just a little buzzed enough, someone, who would argue with a fence post if they could, decides to cause a ruckus.  From my experience, there are plenty of people in this community who love to fan the fires.  I wonder if it makes them feel good about themselves?  How many sit in church every Sunday?  How many own businesses?  It is painfully apparent, these people have no life.  They have no one to talk to, to keep them company.  They are lonely, sad people.  They are so dissatisfied with their own lives, they have to try to bring others down with them.

Inquiring minds want to know…which community member will be trashed on social media next Friday night? From what I’ve been told, they pick them at midnight every Wednesday!

The Unloving Mother

When my husband and I became engaged, his mother was not happy.  I’m not sure why my soon to be mother in law hated me so much as I had done nothing to deserve her wrath.  In fact, prior to meeting her, my husband gushed about how we were so much alike, that she would just love me.  He was wrong.  The day after announcing our engagement, we received a phone call from her.  She was on speaker phone so my daughter, who was visiting at the time, got to hear the hatred in her voice.  Rather than congratulations, the first words out of her mouth were, “Why are you marrying THAT woman?”  My daughter was dumbstruck as was I.  My husband calmly told her because he loved me.  Of course, this wasn’t good enough for her.  So rather than her be happy for us, she condemned the union and continually condemned it up to and after her death. Continue reading

Insurance and Drug companies ripping us off…but you already knew that, right?

This week was one of eye opening surprises.  Let me explain.  In May of 2016, a rifle we were selling on consignment in a gun store here in Colorado, was destroyed during a robbery.  A couple of thugs broke into the gun store and used our rifle to break the glass cases.  The police confiscated the rifle, which had been broken in two, because it had DNA evidence on it, blood from one of the thugs.

The owner of the gun store called us to let us know what had happened and assured us it was covered under his insurance policy.  When we had not heard anything from anyone by November of 2016, we asked the store owner for his insurance information so we could contact them to find out what the hold up was on getting our money.  #GaryParkes of Athens Insurance Company was extremely rude over the phone, and before hanging up on me, he told me to send him an email.   So, I did that, however, it wasn’t a very nice email because he isn’t a very nice person.

In February of 2017, a new adjuster was assigned to the case who informed me my check for the rifle was “with his courier”.  Mind you, I am now sending him daily emails because by March, 2017, I still did not have a check for my damaged merchandise.  In the middle of March, I decided to contact the Insurance Commissioner regarding the not only slow payment but the lies that I was getting from this company.  The old “the check is in the mail” is still being used today.  I am now dealing with a Russell Clark and his last email to me was that “your check is with my courier but he is on vacation until March 27th.”  On or about March 27th, I received another email from Mr. Clark now telling me I needed to place a claim with my homeowner’s insurance and whatever they didn’t pay me for the gun, they would make up the difference.  I forwarded the email to the insurance commissioner.  Why wasn’t I told this from the beginning?  Why did it take 10 months amongst all the lies, to tell me to place a claim with my homeowner’s insurance? Which we would have gladly done if we hadn’t been lied to about it being covered under the store’s policy.  By this time though, the poor store owner took out a business loan so he could pay off his customers who had been ripped off by these thugs, (we weren’t the only people waiting for compensation).

To top all of this off, I received a letter from the insurance commissioner stating that the insurance company did no wrong in this case, that in fact, it was the store owner who was dragging his feet when asked for information.  I find this very hard to believe since he hired an attorney to represent him in the case where the insurance company was refusing to settle with him.  They also stated that my part of the claim was at a standstill because I refused to comply with the terms of the policy…excuse me? What exactly am I refusing to comply with? Oh, wait, the letter states I was told numerous times I was to contact my insurance company for compensation…what?  The first time I was told this was in late March, 2017, when the incompetent Mr. Clark, after lying to me about my check being with a courier who was on vacation, that I needed to place a claim with my h/o policy.  Again, if I had been told this earlier, I certainly would have done that, I would not have waited 10 months to do so.  Why doesn’t this surprise me?  An insurance company who willing takes our money every month or every six months but when you place a claim with them, they refuse to pay out and then make up all kinds of stories to avoid paying out.  The letter basically stated I was the liar and I was the one who refused to comply.  Typical.  Big Corp does no wrong.  I’m not worried, the owner of the company cut us a check of what was owed us, minus his commission.   So to the big guys at Athens Insurance company, you suck!

My next beef is with Calroy Health Sciences, LLC out of West Jordan, Utah and I guess they have another office in Arizona.  Last month, after a series of blood work ordered by my doctor, the crap I was taking for my high cholesterol wasn’t working so she suggested I purchase this product called Arterosil HP.  Mind you, this is not a pharmaceutical, it is made up of herbs, flowers and something that supports healthy glycocalyx which aids in cholesterol not sticking to your blood vessels.  Okay.  As I was checking out, the girl told me it was $99.00.  Yikes!  You’re kidding right?  No, that’s what they retail for.  I bit the bullet and purchased a 30 day supply (yeah, I know).

I went home and decided to see if I was able to purchase it for a lesser amount and I went directly to the company website where they were selling a bottle of sixty capsules for $69.00.  Great, I thought.  I will start purchasing it directly and save myself $30 bucks. The other day, I went on their website to purchase my next 30 day supply and low and behold, the price was now $129.00!!  What?  What could have possibly jacked the price up $50.00??  Possibly a complaint from my doctor because I sent her an email explaining I thought I was being gauged by her office for charging $30 over what the company was selling it for.  I’m sure she contacted her sales person and the sales person told the company and the company raised the price so the doctors could still make a profit off it.

My frustration is if this product is supposed to work, and heart disease is the #1 killer in America, why are they charging so much for plants and herbs? Seriously, this stuff has green seaweed, olive extract, red & white grape extract, tomato, blueberry, broccoli, green cabbage, garlic, grapefruit, asparagus, orange, grapefruit, pineapple, strawberry, apple, apricot, cherry and blackcurrant extract in these two capsules which is now selling for $129 for a 30 day supply.    Not only am I shocked but I’m appauled at how much these companies are ripping us, the consumer, off.  We should all be outraged of being taken advantage of.  Are these extracts laced in gold? I doubt it.  Are they paying their CEO over a million per year?  Most likely.  So rather than help patients who need their product, they would rather have it sit on their selves.

I sent an email to them asking how a product can go from $69 one month to $129 the next, their reply to me:  “Are you a health professional?”  My reply:  “No, a concerned consumer.  I’m hoping you can justify this to me. Especially if it works the way your company states it will work, many could benefit from your product however at $129 for a 30 day supply for extracts, seems a little obsessive.  I hope it isn’t greed.”

Small Town Politics by Lucy Ahl

Ahh, the joys of living in a small, mountain town.  My husband and I moved to Bailey CO from California.  We had only been dating a short while when he retired from the Army (42 years total, 20 + active duty).  He had been living in Anaheim and I had been living in San Diego until my mom got diagnosed with breast cancer.  I then moved up to Murrieta to take care of her while she underwent surgery and treatment.  In fact, she is the one who introduced us.  His late wife had passed in February and we started dating in January of the following year.

He had told me he wanted to move back to Colorado, the state he grew up in, after his retirement.  I had to make a decision to either go with him or stay in California.  As we got to know each other, it became apparent that we were both falling in love.  So, we remodeled the home he had lived in for 26 years and put it on the market.  It took 8 hours to sell!

Meanwhile, we had been looking online at houses in Colorado, mostly the Denver area.  It was during one of these searches, while we looked at an aerial view of one of the neighborhoods that it occurred to both of us it looked a lot like Anaheim, where your neighbors could hear you fart.  Not exactly what we thought retirement would look like.  I posed the question,

“Where do you picture yourself living in retirement?”

He didn’t hesitate when he answered, “The Mountains.”

And I said, “Then why are we looking in the city?”

And so he expanded our search.  We targeted Idaho Springs, Blackhawk, Conifer, and Bailey.  He decided he didn’t want to live off the I-70 corridor due to all the traffic in the summer and in the winter.  So we concentrated on the 285 corridor.  We found about 10 houses we liked and while our remodel was taking place, we saw a few of our favorites fall off the market.  I was getting anxious and disappointed, but didn’t lose faith.

The church I was attending at the time, Center for Spiritual Living, taught us to manifest what it is we truly wanted in life.  Visualize whatever it is you want and see yourself already there.  So I memorized my favorite house address, I visualized us living there, sharing our life together, happy.   We looked at the pictures of this house daily, every morning before we got out of bed.  And then one morning, it was gone!  I panicked!!  I insisted he call a realtor right then and there to find out what happened to my house.  Did it sell? Did they take it off the market because they changed their minds?  My heart was racing as he dialed a Colorado realtor’s number.  He left a message and within 2 minutes, we got a call back.  Henning, the realtor out of Sedalia, told us he would look into it and call us back.  It didn’t take him long to find out that the house had been on the market for over a year “for sale by owner” and they decided to list it with a local realtor who was preparing new pictures to post on their website.

Imagine my relief!  It just so happened that my hubby’s house sold within hours of putting it on the market so we were prepared to drive out to Colorado the following week.  We hired Henning to set up 2 days to show us around the houses we had decided we liked.  However, my favorite house was still my favorite house and I definitely wanted to see it in person.

The following week we arrived in Colorado and stayed with my husband’s mom and sister.  I was a little nervous meeting them for the first time but we didn’t really spend much time with them during the day because we were busy looking for a place to live.

We met Henning at a gas station and he drove us up the mountain to the Conifer/Bailey area where he had mapped out our day of house hunting.  After looking at seven houses, cabins that were mostly weekender homes, some musty smelling homes, some people who refused to leave even though we had an appointment to view the house (one had all the bedroom doors closed and when I opened one, there was someone in bed!) and some who trusted us not to let their dogs out (we did a good job with that one!) I finally said to Henning, “Okay, I’m not impressed.  I need to see my favorite house so I can get the disappointment over with!”

As we drove out the 43, it seemed to take forever to get to the street I had memorized.  As we turned left onto it, my heart started beating faster.  As we approached the end of the road, the driveway loomed before us.  All I kept thinking was, wow!  I thought the driveway was longer.  The house came into site and it was enormous!  It sat at the top of the hill and it overlooked pine trees and aspens.  We got out and looked around the property and then headed inside.  As I walked into the kitchen, my mind started to race as to what I would change and how perfect it would be.  Same with the living room and as I walked upstairs and into the master bedroom, I started to cry.  I was so overwhelmed with emotion because this truly was our new home.  I had scoured the pictures for so long on line and now I was finally here, seeing it with my own eyes and it actually felt like home to me.

I didn’t want to leave!  The owner came back and we ended up talking with him for quite some time.  After a short discussion, we put a bid on the house that evening.  It had to have a contingency because his house in California had to close before we could purchase this one and they agreed.  Long story short, we moved to Colorado and lived in our new house without furniture for about three weeks until our furniture arrived.

My husband still had one of his five children living with him.  His son, who had been home schooled in California, was going to be enrolled into the public school system.  Fitzsimmons Middle School housed the 8th graders and he started late (school started in August and we moved here in September).  Now, his son is a little different and by different I mean (we didn’t know it at the time) he is high functioning autistic.  So it was hard to watch him adjust to being around kids his own age for probably the first time in his teen years.  He was bullied at first but he was also no angel.  He contributed to the kids bullying him.  He would sit in class and make noises to annoy the other kids, he would disobey his teachers, and he would do things he wasn’t supposed to be doing, ending up in the principal’s office almost daily.  He would lie to us about his homework and his grades were failing.  He wanted to be taken out of school because he hated it but I wasn’t going to homeschool him because I was still attending college myself and didn’t have the time.  Plus we wanted him to be socialized.

We ended up meeting the Principal, Mr. Watson, and if it wasn’t for him and his caring ways, we never would have had him tested for autism.  My husband thought he had ADHD but it went far beyond that.  Mr. Watson helped him out the rest of the year and they ended up becoming close.  He would go to Mr. Watson with any problem he was having and if he was also the cause of the problem, Mr. Watson would handle it.  He updated us on a regular basis and he always seemed to be at the school.  Early in the morning until late at night.  He was often seen in many classes because he made it a point to not only check up on the students but made sure the teachers were doing their jobs as well.

Mr. Watson changed my step son’s attitude towards school.  He began liking school, started making friends, his grades went up and he was much happier.  In fact, he looked forward to going to school.  When summer break came, he was so upset he wasn’t able to go to school.

Fast forward through his ninth grade where he is now in high school.  He had to adjust to a new principal but was still able to go and see Mr. Watson if he needed someone to talk to.  We put him in special education classes and things were going very well.  It was just before the end of school when we heard that Mr. Watson had been escorted by the local police out of the building in front of children and administrators.  Most were crying as they witnessed this horrible scene.  Here is where the politics gets really thick in a small town.

After some investigation, I found out that Mr. Watson had applied for the superintendent position that had become available.  The board of 5 members had decided to hire a woman from out of the district.  In fact, she had been the assistant superintendent in Pueblo, CO and when her boss decided to leave, the board at that district asked her NOT to apply for the position.  It seems they were cleaning house and wanted some fresh blood for their poorly rated school district.  It was during her first year reigning as superintendent in our district and yet not very many parents or community members knew who she was.  During that year, we never received one email from her detailing her responsibilities, what was going on with the school, anything!  So it came as a surprise to everyone in the community, with the exception of the board, when Mr. Watson was relieved of his duties, two weeks before the end of the school year.  To say the community was outraged wouldn’t do it justice.  Over 150 community members attended his hearing to which all of the board still voted him out.  People were given 3 minutes in the hot, stuffy room to voice their opinions but only to fall on deaf ears, and to be cut off when their 3 minutes were up.

You could see the boredom on every member of the board members faces including the superintendent.  It was clear they didn’t give a shit what we thought.  It was clear they didn’t care that since Mr. Watson had taken over as principal, the students grades had gone up significantly, their testing scores had improved and they were in the top 10 of school districts in Colorado.  You see, the board wasn’t used to people showing up to their meetings.  They were used to voting in a budget without the approval of the public.  They were used to not being challenged by the community.   If someone asked them a question, they weren’t allowed to speak with us directly, we would have to wait a month for an answer, if we even got an answer.  Their website wasn’t updated and hadn’t been for quite some time.

After digging around it was discovered that 11 years ago during a water test that lead had been discovered in the elementary school water.  One letter went out from the old superintendent (Walpole) to the parents 11 years ago and then nothing else happened.  No follow up, no corrections, nothing.  So it was this incident along with the firing of Watson that sparked a watch dog group called Parents and Citizens 4 Education (PACE) to form.  After organizing, it was voted on to recall the current Board members to get to the superintendent.  That was the ultimate goal, to get rid of the current superintendent and replace her with someone who knew what they were doing.  A person who cared about our community, who lived in our community, and would be more open and transparent than the current sneak of a superintendent.   She reminded me of Obama when he wanted to get a law passed, he would by pass Congress and set the law himself.

From the get go, the community was divided.  The ones who didn’t really care what the board did and wanted to just have peace, sided with the current board members.  They also didn’t have children in the school district.  Old schoolers who didn’t want to make waves

The teachers (most of them), younger parents who care about their children’s education and a few retired educators wanted the see the board recalled.  The teachers were running scared.  They didn’t know who would be fired next so they were unable to sign the petition for the recall.  They were in fear of losing their jobs.  They couldn’t say anything.  Some teachers quit and took jobs in other school districts for more money.  Good teachers.  But it was the lies and the deceit that came out of this recall process that disappointed me and allowed me to see just who we were dealing with.  Crooked politicians.

The board members in a fight for their volunteer positions put out a smear campaign against PACE.  They called one church where PACE was meeting and paying for a room, they would be contacting the IRS and telling them they were dealing with politics in their church which would cause them to lose their non-profit, tax exempt position.  PACE had to find a different location to meet.

The county clerk was friends with someone on the board and she made available to them all the signed petitions as soon as they were handed in (law states they have to wait at least 10 days until all the signatures are validated before giving them to the opponent).  They then started a campaign by calling everyone who signed the petition to change their minds, telling them that PACE lied to them to get them to sign the petition.  They then sent them a form letter to fill out and sign and hand into the county clerk to get their signatures removed.  They used their positions with their church to do this as well as called people.

PACE had gathered enough signatures to have all 5 board members recalled.  The county clerk falsified information to PACE members which almost disqualified the petitions because she gave out the wrong dates as to when they needed to be in.

In the end, 3 members had gotten enough people to take their names off the recall petitions to not be recalled.  Two members were on the recall ballot.  Which brings me to another crooked move.

On Election Day, the recall ballots were not available at the county clerk’s office.  They were mail in only.  Most people did not realize this and when they went to vote, they requested the recall ballot and they were told they would have to drive on hour and a half to get another one if they had misplaced the one mailed to them.  This was at the request of the county clerk.  She was given two locations and she choose to have them at the furthest one for people to drive knowing most people wouldn’t do it.

After all the ballots were counted, the recall did not go through and the 5 board members got to hold their positions until next year’s election.  However, if they thought PACE was going away, they were wrong.  We are a watch dog group.  We are watching them like a hawk.  When their audit budget came out, the numbers had been transposed and we brought it the superintendent’s attention.  Not one thank you.  The report was so unprofessionally put together, it was so obvious they really do not give a rat’s ass about our community.  The superintendents condescending attitude toward our community is shameful.

So there are two volunteer committee’s that are supposed to look after what the school district is doing.  The SAC and the DAC.  School Accountability Committee and the District Accountability Committee.  Each committee is supposed to have a number of volunteers from the business community, parents, teachers, and lay people.

For quite some time, I think since last August, there was a business position available on the DAC.  I applied for it because I run a home business, I am a community member, I have worked on many committees in the past, and I have experience in putting by-laws together.  My work experience is extensive, and I’m a straight A student in college, graduating with honors, and I’m a published author.  I have done public speaking, have been a professional organizer, and clawed my way to the top in a corporate environment.

I had to be interviewed by the board and they did so in November.  They all knew who I was as I was very vocal about defending against all the lies they had put out against PACE during the recall process.  Very vocal.  I would have been vocal about the conflict of interest as to why the board is interviewing a person for a District Accountability position.  Still doesn’t make much sense to me.  But the story gets better.  When they saw my email about my desire to apply for this position, they panicked!  One board member approached one of his friends who happened to be a realtor and begged her to apply for the position too because they didn’t want to hire me.  My interview was at 5:00, her’s at 5:30.  At 5:50 she was still a no show, so they called her.  Opps, she forgot.  So, they rescheduled her interview for the following month, December board meeting.  Again, no show.  So you would think since I was interviewed, I would get the position.  No one else came forward.  But nope, they went out again and recruited someone else.  And so they interviewed her at the February board meeting.  Now my interview had been 3 months prior.  Why did they wait so long?  Politics.  So the interviewee isn’t a business owner, her parents are business owners.  She is an employee and a graduate of the high school back in 2007.  After her interview, she was hired on immediately.  Ya think they didn’t want me for the position?  Obviously!

So, I am very involved now with the PACE organization because let’s face it, our children deserve to have the best education possible.  When you have a superintendent and a board that chooses to be secretive about their goings on, they do need to be accountable for their actions.  That is what PACE is doing.  Keeping them on their toes.  Putting a fire under their asses and keeping them in check.  This month we have put together a presentation for the community to let them know in laymen’s terms, exactly where the three schools in our district really stand.  It’s actually a very informative presentation.  It even offers up solutions to some of the budget problems the district continually says they have.  A solution on how to pay our teachers more.

Speaking of teachers, at the last board meeting, one of the high school counselors informed the superintendent and the board that they were organizing!!  Yes!!  Hopefully, to get a union in there for them so they have someone to stand up for them rather than them being bullied by a board that doesn’t care about their welfare.  Progress in numbers!!  Our teachers deserve to make a living salary, a decent salary.  Our children deserve for our teachers to make a living wage, a decent wage.  The turnover is horrendous and it is only hurting our students.  I can tell you what is getting in the way, three letters, EGO.  The board and the superintendent need to put away their EGO’s and allow others to help them out.

When I posted on our community page about our presentation, one of the local reporters told me I was not being transparent.  He said the school district wasn’t putting on the presentation but PACE was.  I told him he was correct and if he would just read my post it was in all capital letters who was putting on the presentation.  He continued to not only argue with me, but to insinuate that I had deleted his post!!  None of which was true.  Who, what, where and when was in my post, clear as day.  Transparent as plastic wrap.  But see, this is the opposition we are facing.  And as I told him, the more people know about our school district the better.  Knowledge is power.  If you have nothing to hide, than a second set of eyes should not be a problem.

Oh, and as far as the new middle school principal…well, for one, the job was never posted throughout Colorado like it should have been.  The superintendent hired an interim principal without going through the proper channels.  Her entire family moved here, her husband got a job with the high school, and her kids are attending the high school.  I thought this was a pretty ballsy move for an interim principal.  Uproot your entire family from Pueblo, CO to Bailey, CO?  She knew before the community did that she had the job.   No one else was interviewed because like someone who thinks they are above the law, rules don’t apply to them.  I can’t blame her.  I can blame the school board district and the superintendent.  Last I checked, they work for us.  We are their paycheck.  Our tax dollars is what goes to the largest budget in the community, last I heard, over a million dollars and counting.

Ahh, yes, the politics of a small town.

by Lucy Ahl

It was when I was visiting my best friend of 48 years this past August that she asked if I wanted to take a winter vacation with her.  You see, I have never taken a winter vacation because I used to live in San Diego, CA and frankly, there was no need to take winter vacations, it was like I was always on vacation.  But when I married my husband and he moved us to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, the winters have been way too long for this beach loving, sun worshiping gal.  At first, I wasn’t going to go.  I didn’t want to leave my husband alone for a week with the four dogs.  However, he heard us talking on the phone one day and when I didn’t bring it up, he did.

He asked, “So, when are you going to discuss Key West with me?”  I said, “I wasn’t cause I don’t think I’m going to go.”

“Why not?”

“I’d like to experience it with you.”

“Well, I think you should go.  You’ve never gotten to travel and I think you need to do this.”

“Okay, since you put it that way.”

And so the plans began.

Sharon, my BFF, sent me info on a beautiful condo in Marathon with a private beach.  The plan was we were going to split everything.  We wanted to get a few other people to go but for some reason, no one was able to go.  I invited my daughter as she is turning 40 in March of this year and thought it would be a nice gift for her landmark birth year.  I would pay for her portion of the condo and her airplane ticket.

We booked our condo and airline tickets and then waited for February.  It came up quicker than I had anticipated but now that I’m older, these things tend to do that.

The flight took a good portion of the day and my plane landed in the late afternoon.  Sharon was already at the airport waiting for us as her flight got in earlier.  I met my daughter in Miami and flew into Key West together.  As you get into the Key West airport, there is a bar where you can order a drink and walk around.  I thought I was in another country.  We had a problem with our rental car (Alamo).  They may be cheap but they are not reliable.  We kept trying to call them to get a shuttle to our rental car but they never answered the phone.  So we walked over to Budget which was right there and we ended up with an SUV for twice the amount but it was worth it.  And the guy behind the counter was so friendly and helpful, I would definitely rent a car from them again.

It was an hour and 10 minutes from the airport in Key West to Marathon (which does have its own airport but we booked the wrong one and ended up south of Marathon).  It was a nice drive though and we stopped to pick up some groceries and alcohol before heading to the condo.

By the time we arrived, it was dark.  We put some music on, unpacked, and then sat in the living room drinking a bottle of wine discussing what we wanted to do while we were there for the week.  Exhausted, we went to bed.

The next day was Super Bowl Sunday and we decided to watch the game at Sparky’s, a hopping bar/restaurant right next to the Marina.  My daughter is a Pat’s fan, so she was pumped for the game to begin.  And what a game it was.  There was a local radio doing a live show before the game, mostly trivia questions and of course Jaime got asked to go up and answer some questions.  She ended up with a T shirt.  The guys were nice and came over to our table after their show to talk to Sharon, who was wearing a Giants shirt!  Everyone was so nice.  For happy hour, they had .10 cents a piece gulf shrimp and wings and of course pitchers of beer.  We walked there and then back to the condo as we had been drinking and knew we didn’t want to drive afterwards.  We plopped into bed at around 1:30 that night.

The next day, we drove back down to Key West and walked Duvul Street.  The best part for me was we went to Hemingway’s House and took the guided tour.  I got to see where he wrote in his studio, (I was surprised to learn he only wrote between 6 am and 12 pm every day and would write anywhere from 500 to 700 words per day) along with lots of photos of him and his wives and friends all throughout the house.  He is also famous for his many 6 toed cats (I had one years ago and I remember someone telling me it was most likely a descendant of Hemingway’s cats).  Today there are still many cats that live at his house.  He and his wife Mary loved to swim and when they moved to the US from Cuba after Castro took over, she had a pool built in their back yard which cost them over $20,000!  Lots of money back then.  It was also a little sad for me as it made me think about his death.  He committed suicide in 1961 or 1962 by shooting himself with a rifle no less.  Such a talented man who suffered from depression and alcoholism.  At the time of his death, he was impotent (sex was always important to him) and he was unable to write.  I’m sure he felt he had nothing to live for since all his pleasures had been taken from him.

We ate at Sloppy Joe’s and then watched the Sunset Celebration where there were musicians, mime’s, bars and street vendors galore!  We did not go to the 0 mile marker (I didn’t know it was there until my daughter told me about it).  For dinner we had Cuban food and listened to a great Cuban band playing while we dined outside under the stars.

The next day we rented bikes so we could bike around town.  We did 15 + miles in one day.  We pedaled our asses to the Sunset Grill and I wish we had brought our swimsuits because they had a pool!!  Food was awesome and of course the view was spectacular.

Kayaking from 3-6 where our guide, Dave, took us through the mangroves.  We saw jelly fish, spider crabs, and some of us got bitten by no seeums.  That night we sat out on the beach where we were the only ones there and just talked.  Jaime went skinny dipping and Sharon swam out in her bathing suit.  I sat on the beach and just watched them.  It was relaxing and peaceful.

We did something different each day and on the last day there, we went back to Key West.  It was a Friday night and it was packed.  We parked by the 0 mile marker because Sharon mistakenly paid for 24 hour parking before she realized it, but it all turned out good.  There was a line to take your picture and everyone was helping everyone take pictures with their loved ones.  The sun was almost setting so some of our pictures didn’t come out well however, since we were parked there, we ended up taking pictures at night when no one else was around.  We went back to Sloppy Joe’s for some live music and then walked around visiting all the shops one last time.

I am so glad I went but I have found myself missing Key West!  A week just isn’t long enough to see everything that Key West has to offer.  The atmosphere is laid back, the people are friendly, and the weather was perfect.  I would love to go back but there are other places I do want to see, so for now, I can cross Key West off my bucket list!

Key West, I Miss You!

What the Women’s March meant to me…

By Lucy Ahl

The country is getting crazy.  Why?  Because Donald J Trump has taken office and every democrat, Bernie supporter and independent now has free reign to spread whatever lie they choose to spread.  It is turning friends against friends, family members against family members, and causing strangers to lash out at each other.  Sad if you ask me.

I am a Trump supporter.  Have been since day one.  I saw all the meme’s, all the news outlet lies, and I saw good friends cling to every word this man said and then turned it around to suit whatever the masses were saying.  Frankly, I was shocked these people were my friends…where did I go wrong in my selection of these people?  To which I’m sure they are saying the same thing about me…

As a Trump supporter, I can tell you a few things about me that I am not:

I am not a racist.  I believe everyone has a right to anything in this country.  I don’t care if you are black, white, red, yellow, polka dot, or green.  If you live here, you deserve to enjoy freedom just like everyone else.  MLK left this world without finishing his mission.  His mission of equality through peace was one of the greatest ideas anyone has ever had, and it really pissed me off when someone killed this great man.

I am not uneducated.  Though it took me until I was 61 to get my college degree, I did it with Latin Honors.  If you don’t know what that means, I graduated with a 3.96 GPA, which means I achieved straight A’s with one A-.  I don’t know very many people who have done this.  So to say Trump supporters are uneducated is a fabricated lie made up by the fear mongers.

I am not a misogynist.  Obviously.  The definition of misogynist: If you’re someone who believes women belong in the kitchen and shouldn’t be accorded the same respect as men, you might be a misogynist. A misogynist is a person who hates or doesn’t trust women.  I also do not believe this to be true of Trump for three different reasons:  His two daughters, and his wife.  Let alone all his granddaughters.  That is really the most absurd thing I heard all throughout his campaign.  I often wonder who started this rumor that the left so hardily picked up.

I am a woman.  Yes, I am and before marrying my husband, I was single for 14 years and had been divorced for 23 years.  What does that equate to? It means I supported myself and my two children without any government assistance.  I worked in an all-male field, the building industry.  I rose to the top by being a good employee.  I knew my stuff.  It wasn’t until Obama took office in 2008 that I lost my $70,000 per year job and was unable to find another one with comparable pay.  So what did I do?  I didn’t go out and rob a bank so I could continue to live the lifestyle I was accustomed to, I downsized.  I did what I had to do to survive.  I moved into a place I could afford on my unemployment until I could hopefully secure a job.  I sold my Mustang convertible and got a small SUV with smaller payments, I budgeted my money for groceries.  No food stamps, no supplemental income from the government except unemployment, no help from any government agencies.  Jobs were scarce back then, and talk about scary!  It was an unsettling time (how soon many of us forget).  No one was hiring full time unless you had a degree (which at the time, I didn’t), so I got a part time job answering phones for a car dealership that paid $10.00 per hour.  Was I disheartened?  You betcha.  Was I depressed? Somewhat, but I didn’t let it rule my life.  Did I hate the administration and what they did to our economy?  You bet your ass I did.  Did I threatened them?  Hell no.  Did I protest? Fuck no I was too busy trying to make ends meet.

I am not politically correct.  One thing I love about Trump is he speaks his mind.  I don’t give a rat’s ass if you agree with me or not.  Just because he is now the President he should change his ways, hell no.  I am so over Washington and their lobbyists.  Been going on far too long and boy, have they run scared!! Where were all the gasps when Obama by passed Congress to pass bills he wanted passed?  Why weren’t the people involved in Obamacare?  The only choice we had was to pay the bill, whether we could afford it or not.  Doesn’t seem fair to me.

“You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? [Laughter/applause]. The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic — you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up (Hillary Clinton, 2016).

I am anything but what Mrs. Clinton called me back in 2016.  Me and millions of other Americans.  I am all for gay rights, gay marriage, prochoice, am certainly not xenophobic: having or showing a dislike of or prejudice against people from other countries (in case you didn’t know what this word meant) because most of Americans came from other countries, and I am certainly not Islamaphobic except when they want America to change into a country they fled and let’s face it, the Koran does call everyone but them infidels and states how we must be destroyed.  When radicals come into this country and kill thousands of Americans, or stand before a video tape and behead journalists, tourists, and contractors, for the hell of it, your god damn right it’s going to piss me off.  Does that mean all Islamics are radical?  Does that mean all Muslims are radical? Probably not, however, a few are spoiling it for everyone.  And these are facts, but that doesn’t make me an Islamaphobic.

So for those who thought the women’s march was for every woman, they were wrong.  I wasn’t invited nor was I welcome.  My other sisters for Trump were not welcome, in fact, most of them either got pepper sprayed or booed for being there.  But aren’t we women too?  Doesn’t our voice count too?  For me, I want a better world for my grandchildren.  I want a cure for cancer and all the other horrible diseases the science world seems to be milking for only the money.  I want my government to care about all the homeless, the veterans, the poor of our own people first and then we can worry about other countries.  Is that selfish?  Maybe.  Then I’m selfish and proud.  I want to see our country prosper once again like we used to.  I don’t think there is anything wrong with wanting that.

I’m tired of Washington sending billions of dollars to help other countries while children go to bed hungry in this country.  I’m tired of Washington spending billions of dollars to rescue other countries while millions of homeless men, women, and children sleep on the streets.  I’m tired of Washington giving out grants to immigrants to start their own businesses while thousands of manufacturing companies are laying off Americans with families only to open their doors in other countries.  And after spending $40,000 on my secondary education, I’m tired of Washington giving handouts to students from other countries to get an education.

I am second generation Italian and I can tell you my grandparents did not get a grant to start up their own businesses.  My grandmother cleaned houses and my grandfather worked on the docks, did carpentry work, and saved their money to not only buy a house, but to purchase a business in Brooklyn NY back in the early 1900s.  If they can do it, why can’t the immigrants coming over here now do the same thing?  What makes today so different than yesterday?

This is why I support Trump.  This is why I back Trump.  I remember how things used to be.  I remember when America flourished.  I am a baby boomer, I didn’t get a trophy just for participating; I got a trophy because I worked my ass off for it and I won.  And if I didn’t get the trophy, it made me work even harder for it.  That is what is missing in today’s society.

So I will sit back and watch Mr. Trump, my President, try to do his job.  Will he make mistakes?  Of course, he’s human.  And I hope he will learn from those mistakes.  I will by-pass the facebook bullshit because frankly, too many damn people are depending on that app for their news and I really feel sorry for these people.  I have hidden many of my friend’s comments because I just don’t want to hear it.  Just like they didn’t want to hear it about Obama.  I don’t watch the news, the Grammy’s, the Oscars, Springsteen, or anyone or anything else who cares to bash Trump.  I prefer to sit back and watch and let him do his job after all, it’s only been a few weeks.  The best meme I heard after the women’s march, “Trump got more fat assed women to go for a walk in his one day in office, than Michelle Obama did in eight years!”  I’d say he is doing a hellava job so far!!

 

Sources:

NPR: Hillary Clinton’s ‘Basket Of Deplorables,’ In Full Context Of This Ugly Campaign

September 10, 2016