Friday, October 9, 2015

It's that time of year again.

So as I'm climbing up out of this latest dumb stupid flare, I've spent several days resting. Inside the house. Looking around at the dust and the summer decorations which, if I were functioning a little bit better, would all be packed away in cartons clearly marked "Summer"; and all of my fall and Halloween junk delightful home accessories would be tossed onto windowsills and mantels carefully arranged in a tasteful autumnal manner. But this year, I'm seriously behind schedule. So even though doing anything more than dressing and sliding a panful of raw chicken into the oven makes me break out in a sweat, I've asked John to haul down the fall boxes from the attic. And he did. What a guy.

When he had them all stacked in front of the fireplace, I sat on the couch and wondered what the heck I could be thinking. All of that STUFF? And for what? So I decided that I'd go through the boxes and choose my very favorite things and the rest could just go right back up to the attic. I was proud of myself for making such a logical decision.


I opened the cartons and began digging through tablecloths, and spiderweb twinkle lights, and door mats, and leaf garlands, and my collection of black kitty cats, and...... oh, no. I heard a voice inside my head that I haven't for awhile.

I'm just going to use everything! Because they're ALL my favorites. And if I want to use them all, I will!

Drat. I realized that my Bratty Inner Child Julia had just re-surfaced from the depths of my subconscious. And I could hear her clearly say,

Nanner. Nanner nanner nanner! I'm going to do what I want to do and you can't stop me. So there. /sticks out tongue/.

I put my head in my hands and realized that BICJ was back and in rare form. Guess it's time to grab the dust cloth and start garland-ing and pumpkin-ing every surface in sight.

I know when to wave the white flag. BICJ wins this round.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

I Tend to Slip

Awhile back, I shared this on Facebook:

In response to which reader Shara made this comment:

And if you are Julia, your slip is down around your knees or some other dress malfunction has occurred.

/facepalm/ Busted. Totally busted. She's spot on, Shara is.......which made me recall a post from 2011.

For those that haven't read about my unfortunate track record with certain types of ladies' undergarments, (slips, to be specific), let me refresh your memory:

It's Hopeless 

I've come to a conclusion about myself, and it's this:

I was simply not meant to dress nicely and act in a normal fashion. Ever. I try to act like a well-mannered person, really, I do. But in spite of everything that I do to try to prepare for and minimize the possibility incidents made in a very public place, they still happen to me. All the time. I've decided that it's just all beyond my control.

Here's how I arrived at this revelation.

So last weekend, Terese and Greg asked John and I to gussy up and be their guests at a dinner honoring them for their work with a Catholic university program. It was a beautiful white linen semi-formal kind of an event and I was determined to do two things:

First - not to wear anything stupid.

Secondly - not to do anything stupid.

In my quest to achieve objective number one, I threw myself into the hands of a salesperson in a reputable dress store in search of a not-stupid looking dress. We settled on a simple and comfortable plum dress, accessorized with a matching necklace and earrings. I agonized over my reflection in the dressing room mirror.

"Honey?" the saleslady peeked through the curtain partition. "I think you should take off those argyle knee high socks. You really can't get the full effect with those things on. Oh, and...." she thrust a hanger into the dressing room on which was a pair of Spanx. You know, the things that they used to call girdles. ".....put this on."

Oh. Um, I don't think that will make much of a difference.

She poked her head into the room and looked sternly at me over the top of her glasses. "Yes. Yes, it will. Trust me."

Fine. I struggled into the stupid thing and had to admit that while it didn't actually give me a waistline, at least it smoothed out some of the largest lumps and bumps.

"What are you wearing for shoes?" She was back.

Oh, I don't know. I think I have some dress shoes at home.

"Well, if you want my advice, since you did ask, this dress simply MUST be worn with black kitten heels."

Kitten heels?

Ah. That's what they call pumps these days.

So Saturday night, I squeezed myself into a stupid pair of pantyhose, then the dumb stupid pair of Spanx, pulled on a slip, then finally my dress. I slipped my feet into my black kitten heels and we were off.

Terese and Greg were impressively honored and made a fabulous speech, John looked dashing in his suit, the dinner was delicious, and to my delight, the white wine which was served didn't make me feel like barfing. Just before the event drew to a close, I was feeling somewhat smug. Even though our dinner table was directly in front of the large crowd, I hadn't goobered, or fallen over, or anything. It was a great evening.

Wow. Could I possibly escape this evening unscathed by doofus-ness?

Then I made the unfortunate decision that it was a good time to head over to the bathroom. I stood in front of the full length mirror in the lady's powder room, and under the influence of three glasses of the aforementioned wine, gee. Suddenly the dress and dumb stupid Spanx didn't look as bad as I thought. Actually, not bad. Not bad at all.

As I sashayed out of the bathroom and headed back to our table, I felt a strange wispy sensation that went down the length of my legs. Hm, I thought. That's odd.

I felt something swish lightly around my ankles, and then...well golly. My feet just weren't walking...right....

Oh. My. Gosh.

I looked down at my fabulous black kitten heels aghast. My dumb stupid half-slip had just SLIPPED IT'S WAY DOWN MY LEGS AND ONTO THE FLOOR.

Yes. I had publicly lost my undergarment in front of several of the priests of our diocese as well as other upstanding Catholic honorees and their families.

I looked at the ground, my feet covered in a puddle of black silk and was momentarily frozen in shock. (I had the surreal thought that it contrasted quite nicely with the cream colored carpet, actually.)

I'm certain that I wasn't the only person shocked. Panic stricken, I looked up at the dinner table next to me directly into the eyes of a very nice looking young man. He threw up his hands over his face.

"I didn't see A THING. NOT. A. THING." he said, looking rather embarrassed yet quite amused.

Blushing furiously, I scooped up my dumb stupid slip from the floor, stuffed it into my purse, and stomped off to our table.

I suppose that anyone else who would have had this incredible misfortune would have probably furtively stowed the slip away and then quietly taken her seat.

Me? Not a chance.

I was so flustered that as I approached Terese, Greg, and our other friends, I grabbed the dumb stupid idiotic slip out of my purse and shook it in their faces. Then boisterously confessed all the while waving the ridiculous dumb stupid chunk of black silk overhead.

It was very subtle. I'm sure that no one noticed.

We all left the event arm-in-arm and laughing like a bunch of kids.

Ahhh. Life is so strange - but good.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Fraud Alert

This was published on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services blog recently, and I thought it important to share. You can read it online here

Fraud Alert: Don’t Be Fooled by Health Care Grant Scams

Fraudsters are out there trying to scam Americans, claiming they’re from the Department of Health & Human Services. This recent story from a woman in Philadelphia was typical: She told me that she had received a call from someone who claimed he was with HHS. The caller told her she had been awarded a $2,500 grant, and it was easy to get. All she had to do was send in a few hundred dollars for the application fee, and HHS would send her a check. Thankfully, she didn’t.  Instead, she hung up and reported the call. 
The success of crude scams like these may seem implausible, but given the frequency of phone calls we get, they also must work – at least occasionally. Fraudsters may be asking for money orders or just looking for personal data, like bank accounts. But don’t be fooled. HHS does not ask individuals for money; it definitely doesn’t dole out grant money in exchange for deposits or ask for your banking information.   
Fraudulent calls can be confusing, but you can protect yourself. In addition to protecting your personal financial information, whenever someone contacts you about your health or health coverage, always ask questions and never sign anything that makes you concerned. Keep an eye out for these five red flags:
  1. Someone calls to ask for a small fee to obtain a government grant. 
The government does not use direct phone contact to solicit, review or make awards. All grant applications are free to fill out and must be submitted through a government website.
Click here for more information on grant-related scams. You can also report grant-related scam attempts to the Health and Human Services (HHS) Fraud Hotline at 1-800-447-8477 and
  1. Someone asks for money to enroll you in Marketplace or “Obamacare” health insurance. 
You can get help with enrolling in a Health Insurance Marketplace plan for free. The Marketplace has a call center that is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also find people or organizations near you that can help you enroll in person. Find out more here.
Scammers may also insist that you enroll through the Marketplace even though you have Medicare. Medicare beneficiaries do not need to buy coverage through the Marketplace. In fact, it’s against the lawfor someone who knows you have Medicare to sell you a Marketplace plan.
  1. Someone pressures you with visits, mail or email solicitations and phone calls insisting they work for the government.
Always ask for identification if someone visits you in person. Make sure you get his name, who he works for, his telephone number, address, email address and website.
If you apply for coverage, you may get a phone call from the Marketplace asking you to verify or provide more information so we can easily process your application. The representative should give you a first name and an agent ID number. Write those down, and if you don’t feel comfortable answering questions over the phone, ask the caller to mail you a letter with instructions for completing your application.
  1. Someone you did not contact asks for your financial or health information.
No one from the government will call you or email you trying to sell you an insurance plan or ask for your financial information like a bank name and account number. Keep information like your credit card number, banking information or Social Security number private and protected. And a Marketplace representative will never need to ask about your personal health information like your medical history or specific treatments. (If you’re applying for certain Marketplace exemptions, you may be asked to provide medical documentation.)
  1. Someone directs you to a website without official government seals, logos or website addresses.
The official website of the Marketplace is, and you can find all of the information you need there.
The official website to apply for or check the status of a grant application is
At HHS, we’re working with our partners in the Administration to find and prosecute these criminals, but we need your help to prevent fraud before it strikes.       
We need you and your family to keep a watchful eye. If you think someone is trying to steal your money or your identity, we need you to act so they can’t do the same to your friends or neighbors.
If you think you might have given your information to someone you shouldn’t have, use the Federal Trade Commission’s online Complaint Assistant, and contact your local police department.
If you or someone you know suspects fraud on the Marketplace, you should report it immediately to 1-800-318-2596. TTY users should call 1-855-889-4325.
There will always be scam artists out there trying new ways to trick people into giving up their money or their personal information. With your help, we can take steps to stop them.
Fraud alert! Don’t be fooled by these 5 scams: via @HHSgov

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Please Don't Watch This John and Greg

So.....I saw this video posted on Facebook yesterday. And I laughed 'till I cried. Not so much because what these two bozo guys did, but the woman's reaction at the end. It reminds me of something that my son and hubby and hubby's best buddy might consider doing. And unfortunately I can see myself in the gal cussing them out. Thank goodness we don't own a leaf blower and a chiminea.

If you can't get the video to play, head over to YouTube to view it there

Monday, October 5, 2015

BuzzFeed: 21 Times Mindy Lahari Totally Understood Chronic Illness

Take a look at this by BuzzFeed Community member Lisa Marie Walters: 21 Time Mindy Lahari Totally Understood Chronic Illness. I've pasted just one image from a lengthy list of GIFs, so go here to see the entire piece. Lisa got it right.

11. When you’re prescribed steroids and people try to understand why you gained so much weight.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Your Sunday Dose of Cute

Courtesy of Cute Overload. A SNORING BABY HUMMINGBIRD. Good grief in a bucket.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

When Did Fall Arrive?

I guess it's only logical that by October it would start to look and feel autumn-ish. It seems to me that just a few days ago, it was summer. And now it's not:

Friday, October 2, 2015

SSF Partners with Dental Lifeline Network

The September 2015 issue of The Moisture Seekers newsletter from the Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation contains potentially valuable information for those that are unable to afford dental treatment:

Low-Income Sjogren's Patients May Qualify For Free Dental Treatment 
Dry Mouth in Sjogren's patients causes a decrease in both the amount ad quality of saliva, which ultimately results in tooth decay. Patients often experience substantial dental bills that are not considered part of major medical insurance. While the SSF continues to advocate on Capital Hill for better health coverage for Sjogren's patients, we are now partnering with Dental Lifeline Network to provide an option for patients with limited financial income. 
Sjogren's patients who have limited financial resources may be eligible for free, comprehensive dental treatment through Donated Dental Services (DDS), a program operated by Dental Lifeline Network. 
Who Qualifies? 
Through its 15,000 volunteer dentists and 3,800 volunteer dental labs nationwide, DDS offers comprehensive dental care to people who lack financial resources or access to dental care and:
  • Are age 65 and older or
  • Have permanent disabilities or
  • Are medically fragile: require surgery or medical treatment but cannot qualify for what they need until their dental needs have been met (due to the risk of infection from their dental disease). (Medically fragile patients include people in need of cardiac surgery, chemotherapy, organ transplants and joint replacements. Although Medicare may cover their medical needs, it does not cover the pre-requisite dental care. Medicaid coverage for adults dental treatment in most states is also very limited.)
  • DDS is designed for people who need comprehensive dental care. Routine care is not a component of the program. 
To qualify for the DDS program, applicants first must exhaust Medicaid, dental benefits they may have through the Veterans Administration, or any other dental coverage for which they are eligible. SSF members can continue reading here
To find out more about this DDS program and to find availability of volunteer dentists in your state, visit, and click on Our State Programs.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

When does a crash become a flare?

For me, a crash became a flare about about three days ago. And although I loved the resulting photos, spending a couple hours sitting outside in the cold and wind may have been the incident that pushed me over the edge.

My plan of attack? Going to spend a few more days prone. Flat. Horizontal. Drinking lots of fluids, taking ibuprofen for the weirdo chills that plague me, and watching dopey tv from bed. 

Dumb stupid autoimmune disease.