Welcome To St. Croix, As If

Old Danish Customs House, Christiansted

Old Danish Customs House, Christiansted (Photo credit:


Is it May yet? I know, I’m daydreaming. I know it isn’t May, its dull, depressing, December and I know pretty much everyone is on vacation except for me and my family. I am grateful for what I have, truly. However, I am a tiny bit envious of all who are vacationing in warm climates while my chronic, painful bones tighten up. In my mind I am trying to conjure up some images that A) might torture me for months or B) give me the impetus to get through the ugly, soggy mushy yet cold winter. Either way, it’s something to do.

I just want to talk. I don’t believe in miracles, trust me, like I didn’t really believe I would win the lottery but it’s fun to think about so here we go: It’s only December and just because we had one day, sorry, two days with 20 more seconds of light it doesn’t mean it’s time to celebrate and dance barefoot in the grass with flowers entwined in our hair. It’s twenty bogus seconds, that’s it. But, we take what we are given, no, there are no hot dogs on the grill or s’mores from the barbecue just quite yet. Get inside, it’s freezing.

We eat tomatoes that look and taste like wax, they are not even orange-red but some pale combination of yellow and green and plastic, utterly tasteless. The fresh fruit that we long for in the summer has whittled down to apples, oranges, a few mangy grapes, drooping from their spines as if they were just begging to be put out of their misery. Do these grapes really look like they have the will to live? No, poor things, just put them in the back and don’t let us witness their slow, disintegrating death, it’s just too sad.

The sky, again, is white and black, sometimes blended into gray. I’m staring into my yellow pillow that I bought to conjure up what I remember as sun but it doesn’t do the trick. “Surround yourselves with things you love” is not always easy. I love the ocean and sand and seashells but even my globe filled with delightful seashells and sand does not make me feel like I am on vacation in St. Croix, or any of The Virgin Islands, Mexico, or anyplace warm. I’m woefully stuck in reality.

Most people are away for this long holiday break to places I’ve never heard of much less been to. Families with a lot of money book places far in advance so they have vacations to look forward to, I envy them. I rationalize my thinking: if this was my norm, flying somewhere every break, would I take it for granted? I admit, I wouldn’t mind finding out.

In my mind, I’m vacationing in St. Croix, or Jamaica, Hawaii or Australia. These old weary bones that ache constantly would just have to settle in for the long flight and suffer, knowing that in the end, I would see skies a beautiful shade of blue, silky, soft sand and walking on the water’s edge. My only goal is to worship and enjoy the natural elements of life. Given the chance, my family and I can be packed in ten minutes and we thank you so very much.

English: St Croix

English: St Croix (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m An Ugly Owl, Beyonce And Ellen Degeneres

English: Ellen DeGeneres in 2009.

English: Ellen DeGeneres in 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I don’t care if Beyoncé lip synced the song, at President Obama’s Inauguration.  It was freezing outside and I’m surprised she could even move her pretty lips that well. What more do you want from a person? I would have been out there with my puffy brown down jacket, my puffy head covered with my puffy brown hood, my eyeglasses sticking out conspicuously and I would have looked like an overfed owl. An ugly owl. Not to mention, I have NO singing talent at all. Picture this, a wide gray and white owl opening its mouth to sing, off-key, not a pretty site. Beyoncé? She could wear a paper bag and make it look gorgeous, because SHE is gorgeous.

There are people I think I know when in truth I don’t. I think I KNOW Ellen Degeneres. I happen to be a good judge of character. I know she is warm, and real, and giving and gracious and a terrific human being on stage and off.  How do I know this? Gut feeling. I have never met Ellen, never talked to her, we have never had been  introduced but I just feel in my heart she is all good, maybe she gets cranky once in a while. Basically, “what you see is what you get”, it’s that simple. I would be best friends with Ellen with one exception: I HATE practical jokes( on me.) No, seriously. I scream, I pee, I have a startle reflex and I get scared by anyone who dares try to prank me even in my family. A quick darting mouse scares me and I freak out hysterically, it puts me in a panic and yes, I have been know to climb up on a chair or furniture. You are probably too young to remember but those of us who are old will remember “Eek, Eek.a mouse!” That is so me.

I have a game I play with myself. ( I lead a fairly dull life) If I was famous or had just become FAMOUS for some wonderful deed and was picked (okay, it’s my fantasy, sought after) to tell my GREAT accomplishment and all the talk show hosts wanted ME and I had offers from Oprah, Ellen, (Gosh, I don’t know who is out there any more) Barbara Walters, (Barbara, I am worried about you, a bruise on your forehead should NOT be keeping you in the hospital this long,  what are you not telling me?) The View,  Ricky Lake, Jeff Probst or Anderson Cooper (just cross them off if I made them up) who would I choose to talk to?

I admit, pre OWN, when The Oprah Winfrey show was on, I would have said Oprah, in a heartbeat. I grew up with her and I did worship her and her show. I learned so much from Oprah, the teacher, but everything has an end and when she decided to leave no one could have been more gracious. Not to mention that stunning dress! Now, I would pick Ellen. Because (there would be a-no scare tactics allowed in the contract) I feel that she is real and lovely and nice, funny, easy-going and not a diva. I would like to meet Portia and Mama ( how are you feeling Mama, did you get my Get Well card?) and we could all go out to lunch and I would pray that there would be non vegan options. Mama, please tell me you’re not vegan too. (we should chat.) But, I am flexible, I mean I’ve never had vegan food made by a private chef or anything.

I’m back to reality, Ellen’s real birthday is tomorrow and I won’t be in the studio audience and that’s okay because I just want Ellen to be happy on her birthday and Mama too.Hey, everyone else: even though we don’t have the money for lavish presents, one should always celebrate our birthdays in style because our birthdays are special to us.

Happy Birthday, Ellen!

Ellen Degeneres: Not For A Million Dollars? (Pop Cop)

English: Ellen DeGeneres in 2009.

English: Ellen DeGeneres in 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Look at that adorable photograph of Ellen Degeneres, she looks like an absolute angel. Her kind, blue eyes, that wide, easy smile. I adore her, I’m a big fan and I used to fantasize sitting in her audience or better yet being on her show. USED TO is the operative phrase here. The problem with just sitting in her audience is that I have a HORRIBLE startle reflex. If I was on the Ellen show and she scared me as she does everyone else, I think I would have a heart attack and die. Before that, I would definitely pee my pants and probably throw up. I’m not kidding. I adore Ellen, I have written articles about Ellen, she seems to be an amazing woman, talented, philanthropic, kind. Wait, did I say kind? She is kind, to other people, to many other people but when it comes to pranks she’s Dennis the Menace. (I’m old people, really old: google it.)

One of my life’s goal was to meet Ellen not just because she is a star, a celebrity but for who she is as a person. However, I may have to retract that because even if I would be invited on her show (think fantasy) I would be terrified about the pranks she might (HA, WOULD) pull. I wish this was a joke but I am dead serious. Sure, I laugh along with everyone else while watching her prank other people but I would be suspicious of her as soon as I landed in Los Angeles (again, think fantasy.)

Would I go on her show knowing my fear of pranks and her love for it? If she said “I will not pull any pranks on you” would I believe it? HELL NO! I do not think she is nasty or mean-spirited, I adore the woman but I have such a startle reflex and LOUD SCREAM that I know, without a shadow of a doubt, I would not only embarrass myself but my entire family (although they are used to me frequently screaming or shrieking loudly.)

Ellen, I adore you. I love watching your television show. You have an incredible open and generous heart. That said, I will love you from afar, from my television box, where I can stay, somewhat safe, (wait, should I even trust you with that? and not obsess about how you would startle me and make me scream like a screeching monkey in heat.

Thanks for the laughs, for the joy, for your show. Keep dancing!

Just stay away from me.


Your fan,

Laurie F.


Oprah And Rosie: It’s Not Me, It’s You

Photo © by Jeff Dean.

Image via Wikipedia

Dear Oprah and Rosie,

As tempting as it may seem, I am NOT going to turn on the television and watch you both again on OWN. I’m sorry but this was Oprah’s choice. I didn’t want her to leave and know many other people felt the same way. “You made your bed now……” You get the point…. All of a sudden Oprah is doing a “Life Class” I thought she was finished teaching on television? She did a Facebook chat, really? I hope this show isn’t going on the air because your OWN ratings are down, deep down in dog doo doo. It does seem like an amazing coincidence, no?

As you have taught us all it’s really alright to say you made a mistake. We understand. Hold your head high (not too high to appear infallible) and say  you tried but it didn’t work out as you had hoped. That’s what my son made me say to people after his first set of SAT scores came in. He made a great effort (well, he really didn’t study that much) and his scores were “less than he had hoped.” It’s okay.

As for Rosie, I really have mixed feelings, “cutie patootie.” I LOVED your show, watched it every single day it was on and supported you when you had a HAARURRMMGH  clash with someone. I stood behind you all the way kvelling in your sense of self and your values. Now? Not so much. I know you had emotional problems (really, who doesn’t?) and I’m glad that you feel comfortable  taking hormones (I didn’t want to chance that) but does that make me want to watch your show again? Sorry, no.  When you were with your first partner and all the kids were together and everything was, pardon the pun, rosie, I was there for you, wishing I could swim from your dock with and hoping you would help me with decoupage. I tried it on my own a few times and I did like it, but the thrill is gone. I admired your fire and your straight (no pun intended) shoot from the hip style. Nobody wants a dumb downed Rosie unless it’s the network executives. I liked the raw you but I am happy that you feel happier about yourself, bio-identicals and all. I was almost talked in to taking them but please be CAREFUL they do have risky side effects and a correlation for breast cancer in the future so please get checked often! I worry about you.

Ladies, it’s hard to go back, really it is. I don’t want to revisit an old wound. I really don’t watch much television at all anymore. I do have to say that Ellen Degeneres is consistent and kind and moved, no, slid into first place with sincerity and smiles and I’m sure a bit of strategy too. Four o’ clock is not the same as it used to be, it will never be the same. I’ve accepted that.

I wish you all the best of luck.  I think I will take my dog for a long walk on this beautiful autumn day. It’s too nice to stay indoors and watch television.


Your Old Fan

Where I Go for News

Channel Sunshine


I would assume that MOST people would take this as “the news” so the internet might be a choice, maybe breaking headlines during one of my yummy television shows like Grey’s Anatomy or Brothers and Sisters or Modern Family or even Parenthood or….I think I’ve said enough. When I have bad days from chronic pain from my Fibromyalgia and Auto-immune disease, I tend to watch a lot of television. I know. My bad. But, I will not watch “the news.”I will not watch any channel for the news unless it is absolutely necessary. Honestly, I get too overwhelmed, too stressed, too sad and mad and I am left feeling completely helpless and extremely anxious.

Bad personal news, however, should always be prefaced by a “Honey, I need to tell you something” or “I have some bad news” even “I think you should sit down.”This should only be done IN PERSON. It makes my brain prepare myself for something that I know will be unpleasant or upsetting, generally both. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of good news going around right now. Here are more television analogies: Oprah, to me was good news. Ellen, funny, warm news, Rosie, straight shooter and wonderfully pro-children, pro-democracy, pro-truth and yes, a little pro-nutty but that’s perfectly okay with me.

Many years ago I used to watch the news at night; not a chance anymore. I couldn’t fall asleep after hearing about all the tragedies and the deaths, murders and dismemberment that the newscasters would cheerfully declare. You always find out the bad news, it’s the good news that should be broadcast. Life is too short, we know the bad stuff, that spreads quickly. Good news? That, should be on it’s own special channel, MY channel, broadcast and celebrated everywhere, every day, even every hour throughout the country, throughout ALL countries in the world. Don’t you think it would make for a better day? I do.

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Help Wanted: Celebrity Spokesperson – Fibromyalgia


Those of us who suffer from Fibromyalgia (FM) get a lot of grief. Not just chronic pain, of which we get a lot, but grief, from uninformed people.  I have Fibromyalgia and Hashimoto’s  Thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease also known as Connective Tissue Disorder.  I, like so many other  Fibromyalgia patients also suffer from Fibromyalgia Fog, better known to the in-crowd as Fibro Fog. We begin a sentence and then forget what we want to say. We go from room to room looking for…..what? We forgot.  We start again. My children roll their eyes when they claim “I just told you that story” because they have and it sounds new to me. They could probably tell me the same story tomorrow and who knows if I will recognize the story or shake my head in new wonder. My sister sometimes complains that “you told me that.” I’m sorry, I believe you.” It may be hard for you to keep quiet once in a while and just let it slide but it is also hard not to take it personally and get your feelings hurt too. It’s not something we have control over, like muscle pain or stiff joints.

Apparently “Doctors” agree we “feel the pain” but the cause itself has people stressing out and arguing. Isn’t it just a total bitch that there are still people out there that think we are all whiney, crazy, uninformed, stressed out crybabies with the need to please?  Of course, they point out, we are mostly all women, not all, but mostly. Ignorant Doctors: be skeptical if you want to but stop judging us and read the NEW research, all of it.

I was diagnosed nearly five years ago. After a routine check-up  by my internist, that had my thyroid levels completely out of whack and my massive Vitamin D deficiency, she shrugged her shoulders. “I feel like I have the flu, without the fever” I would cry but she didn’t listen to me. My internist examined me and told me “there was nothing she could do,” and she clicked her designer high-heeled shoes and tap-tap-tap, left the room abruptly. She left me alone, sobbing on the exam table, unable to get up.

Since then I have seen Rheumatologists who do believe that Fibromyalgia is a real disease and that it is indeed painful. I now go to a Rheumatologist who is even “Fibro Approved” which means he is known for his sensitivity to both our illness and our feelings.  The very fact that he is kind and soft-spoken is a pleasure, he even returns calls promptly and is not overly aggressive to try new things, but is patient to see how I am reacting to one drug, perhaps changing the dosage, not the drug.  My Rheumatologist before him answered by-email only and said sternly “Fibromyalgia is a lazy diagnosis” and barked at me to start taking strong immunosuppressant drugs, one after another. Each drug had horrific side effects that left me unable to leave my house for two months.

If I could, I would only go to a Rheumatologist who actually HAS Fibromyalgia, for the very same reason I always chose a woman to be my Gynecologist and Obstetrician. It’s nice to have familiarity, empathy and understanding. Imagine this, if all the men who worked in the financial area were stricken with Fibromyalgia, a fairly debilitating disease, would it be a more credible illness to the naysayers?  Wouldn’t there be a sudden outcry for immediate research, more funding demanded, results and ultimately a complete cure? Would you still be saying that they were overstressed worry-warts? I think not. If male business executives got Fibromyalgia, stocks for Savella, Cymbalta and Lyrica would go through the roof. Why are there still people thinking that men are more credible than women? Look at all the research for heart disease for men and very little, if any, for women? Women get heart attacks too and the symptoms are very different but we don’t hear a lot about that either.

I don’t wish this illness on an enemy much less a friend or someone I admire greatly. I just would feel so much better if we had a  famous spokesperson with Fibromyalgia to champion our cause. I mean that sincerely. Is there any celebrity in the world that has the same symptoms and wants to represent us? You would help hundreds of thousands of people all over the world.  Believe me, I LOVE and admire Oprah and don’t wish Fibromyalgia on her but IF she did have it, (or any high-profile celebrity: Ellen Degeneres, Dr. Oz, Meredith Viera, Barbara Walters, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien…) wouldn’t the world sit up and listen more carefully and intensify the search for a cure?  Try calling Oprah a whining crybaby. You couldn’t and you wouldn’t even dare. Maybe there will be a time when someone champions our cause, our invisible illness. In the meantime, wouldn’t it be something if we heard: “Next On Oprah, My Struggle With Fibromyalgia.” Maybe then we would get the understanding, empathy and research we so desperately need.

The Top 8 Reasons Why It’s Not Good To Have A Torn Ligament (foot)

8 ) you no longer have the stairs to count on as exercise while doing laundry

7) you don’t get to go out to eat and choose what you want

6) if you have assorted chocolate snacks next to you, you eat them all, you can’t go to the kitchen and put them back

5) you can’t do the laundry (see number 8 )

4) if someone visits or calls you, they KNOW you are home

3) your kids pretend you’re just taking one long nap

2) all you think about is if you should watch Ellen or Oprah on TV?

1) Nobody really cares