Sunday, April 29, 2012


It's almost May.  I'm sure you know that already, but it somehow crept up on me this year-- along with the other four months that proceeded it.  I'm still writing 2011 on my checks and trying to find the Valentine card I bought for my husband-- but still can't find.

May-- already!

Thinking about the past four months of this year has me wondering what the heck I've been doing.  I certainly haven't blogged very much, although this is my 450th post.

I flipped though my calendar-- The old fashioned paper kind because I just can't seem to part with a big page and a month's worth of "to dos" noted all in one place, and realize so far this year I've...

--Been to various doctors 17 times-- mostly routine visits, or at least for nothing major.  Some of my docs are close to free city parking lots.  Other parking garages charge $13.50 with no street parking available anywhere.  Ouch.

--Stopped at my new favorite fabric store 12 times and purchased 26 total yards of fabric.  This shop owner is smart and is located close to a $2.00 per hour parking lot.

--Made 5 quilts with some of the above mentioned fabric and have 3 more quilts in the works.  I suspect this is where most of my spare time has gone but I'm on a roll at the moment and warm weather is coming which is not "sewing season" for me.

--Attended one 150th birthday party for 2 great friends who celebrated their 75th birthdays together.  And I attended a 102nd birthday for a dear friend who is mentally sharper than most people I know.

--Tired unsuccessfully to get tickets to the Bruce Springstein concert this past weekend-- The concert that received such a rave review in the newspaper that I was green with envy when I heard a friend was actually there.

--Seven cakes have been in my oven, all from scratch and made for celebrations with family and friends.... except for the one chocolate cake I reallllly needed to cheer me up after one of the above mentioned doctor's appointments.

--Watched more basketball on television with Husband asleep in the chair next to me than I can count.  He's the basketball fan.  I am not.  What's wrong with that picture?

--Dreamed of my own garden filled with tomatoes and herbs but remembered I do not have a green thumb when it comes to vegetables so I promised my BFF I'd help weed her gigantic garden if she shares her harvest with me... She would anyway but I'm making a conscious effort to pick weeds every week.

--Pulled 47 recipes from various magazines but have yet to make a single one. I need to work on that.  Not sure if I'll stop saving recipes or start cooking more.

--Bought a bathing suit online.  Note to self: Big mistake.

--And, I picked my first arm load of white Iceberg Roses of the year.  These are for you.  I'll be around soon to visit.

How's your Sunday?
Welcome to  -  Joanna Jenkins
Top Photo Credit: © Jitka Laníková -

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

When It Rains...

I'm on a roll, it seems, with lousy news.  Not awful news, just not great news and I'd like to call a truce with the Universe and all that keeps dropping unpleasant baggage at my door step.

It started with a letter of rejection from Prudential Insurance. After literally a mountain of forms and paperwork, and two months of phone calls, I was rejected for long-term health care insurance-- You know, the kind of hideously expensive insurance I would voluntarily pay for in case I might nursing care in your "old age". 

Rejection smacked me right between the eyes. 

My beef is that Prudential has a long list and tells you up front that if you have any of the many diseases listed you should not even bother to apply.  Lupus, which I've had since 1994, was not on the list.  But in the end, it really was, and, in my opinion, they just didn't want to be upfront about it-- instead preferring to have me jump through hoops only to get the boot. 

To make matters worse, since I Googled "long-term care insurance" for research, I've received more useless insurance SPAM than I can shake a stick at.  In a word--  Grrrr!

Then, adding to my list of health issues, I suddenly have crazy bad feet with crazy bad toes that I just found out are a hiccup away from breaking.

My feet hurt, a lot.  And they have for several weeks-- Not counting all the years I wore way too high heels through my 20s, 30s and 40s.  My feet ached then too but I was "young", and somehow traipsing up and down the streets of Los Angeles and Manhattan in 4" heels didn't seem to bother me.

But now they do-- bother me-- and I've finally surrendered, albeit it kicking and screaming.

So on my 54th birthday, my least favorite day of the year, I walked into a "sensible shoe" shoe store and bought a pair of ugly shoes.

And I say this with NO disrespect to any one, any where, that gladly wears these shoes.

It just that I am a lover of pretty shoes-- They are my weakness.  Oh. My. Gawd!  I love a good pair of high heels and believe, without question, that they can turn a bad day into "sunshine and butterflies"-- a "fat day" in to "tall and thin", and a feeling of "older than dirt" into "not bad-- not bad at all".  Wink, wink.

Does this picture make me look fat?

I know, vanity.  Guilty as charged.

So I now have a pair of really sensible, ugly, beige shoes.  And I cried all the way home from the store, even though they feel like I'm walking on a cloud and my feet don't hurt nearly as much.

Then I came home to a big stack of mail, including a letter from our primary physician-- the one that my husband and I LOVE and have seen since forever--  The letter advised that Dr. Wonderful is no longer a Blue Cross provider which means he doesn't take our medical insurance anymore-- The medical insurance that costs us as much as a house payment each month to maintain.

That bit of news literally took my breath away because it means we'll need to find a new doctor that takes or insurance.  Insert tear drops on my laptop here...

And then, as if the week wasn't crazy enough, I was driving down the street and I swear as I'm standing here, I saw a homeless man wearing my red panties on his head like a showercap.

I nearly wrecked the car when I saw him.

It's the neighborhood homeless guy who always hangs out at McDonald's.  He "knows" me because I eat way too much of that crap and I always buy him a cheeseburger and coffee in the drive through.  Without fail, he has a smile and a "God bless you." whenever I see him.

And now I see him in my undies.

I would like to think the the panty-wearing homeless guy was the exclamation point at the end of my list of not great new for the week.  At least a girl can hope.

How's your week going?
Welcome to - Joanna Jenkins 

Photo Credit: © eAlisa -, © -

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Cyber Support

Over the past three years I have felt and seen the power of bloggers united in their support for one another.  I have seen tremendous acts of courage and kindness.  I have read joyful and heartbreaking moments that so many people from around the world have shared.  And I have witnessed an outpouring of hope and support to so many... All through blogs.

It continues to surprise me how much the Internet has changed our lives in really a very short amount of time.  I can still remember, not all that long ago, when clients debated adding their email address to business cards because they thought it would never take the place of voicemail.  Now, I marvel at receiving text messages and photos via cellphone from my niece during the delivery of her baby girl nearly two years ago.

And Facebook-- I've been on it, and off it, and on it again with only my immediate family having access.  It still feels like it's "too much information" for me, and mostly a waste of time.  My main reason for turning it back on was to reach the younger generation in my family and to share photos.

My brother is a big Internet and Facebook fan-- His numerous friends and loved ones check in from time to time to commiserate over professional Cleveland sports teams.  But it was his post today that took my breath away and shined a light on the tremendous power of the Internet.  He wrote...

Friday morning I will be having surgery to take care of what's been controlling my life the last 15 months. This will cure me and hopefully in 3 months I will have another surgery to make this all a distant memory. We are very lucky to have The Cleveland Clinic 45 minutes away. They are #1 in the world for what's been ailing me. Thank you all in advance for the prayers. I will heal faster because of them.

His list of comments was a mile long!  I cried reading them... and smiled at all the old familiar childhood friends that had reached out to him.   It's changed my mind about Facebook too.

So now, dear blog friends, I'm reaching out to you.  Please say a prayer for my brother, Jim.  He's a really good guy and although I'm confident the surgery will go well, I know, as he said, that he will feel your prayers and support.

Thank you.
xo Joanna

Photo credit: © Leonid Tit -

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Seeing Red and GIVEAWAY!

 Like so many Sundays in the past, I made my usual mile and a half circle around the neighborhood doing errands-- dry cleaners, bank ATM, pharmacy, breakfast at the deli with my husband, then off to grocery shop.  I prefer to stay in the neighborhood and support the smaller, local business whenever I can.

But maybe not anymore.

All the people at the above mentioned stops know me by name and I know most all of the employees.  Like the guy at the dry cleaner... 

As Mario, the high school senior, sorted through my small armload of clothes, a pair of my panties fell to the floor.  I'm not sure which one of us was more embarrassed at the sight, but I know for sure that I could feel the heat on my face as it turned three shades of red.. to match the color of my panties.

We had one of those awkward moments before I reached to the floor to snatch them up and stuffed them into my purse-- Cuz let's face it, they'd been worn and well.... Ewww!  As you might imagine, I got out of there as quickly as possible, panties in my purse, and went on about my business.

For the next 90 minutes I made my rounds, opening my purse to get out my wallet to pay at each place of business.  Once at home again, after the groceries had been unpacked and put away, I went to my purse to retrieve the red panties and--


They were gone, which obviously means I'd unknowingly left them behind at one of my errands when I opened my purse.

At that moment I'm not sure which I felt--  Relieved that the panties were at least the nice ones and not a gigantic pair of granny panties-- Mortified that my undies were in an unknown location for some poor soul (that I know!) to discover-- Or worse, someone knew they belonged to me but was too embarrassed to tell me to pick them up!

And this is NOT an April Fool's Day joke.  It's totally for real. 

Dare I retrace my steps and see if I can locate the missing garment so no one else has to handle them?  Perhaps they've been kicked under a counter, hung on the sign by the ATM machine, in the parking lot of the pharmacy, on the floor under a table at the deli or in the frozen food section of the market. 

Or do I call it a day and chalk it up to... to... to...  what would you call this anyway???

Big sigh.  I think I'll stay put and pray the next time I drive down the Boulevard I don't see them flapping in the wind. 

Happy Sunday everyone.
Welcome to  -  Joanna Jenkins

Photo Credit: © Yael Weiss -