Saturday, August 24, 2013

Doomsday Prepping or Suicide? Hmm...

Grab yer' guns folks - martial law is here! 
Do you ever wonder if conspiracy theories are true? Do they ever come into fruition---ever? I read an article here that explains sixteen conspiracy theories that had come to reality. It's scary to think that Texas is running out of water, Obama is tapping into our privacy: phone, internet, financial transactions, etc., for the means of protecting us from "terrorism". Our food is tainted, and allowed to be under the FDA as well as cancer viruses being put into our vaccines. You'd have to dig real deep in order to find that out. All of these things that have happened, and all of those conspiracy theories that are 'thought-to-be real' can sometimes drive us crazy. I met my first "doomsday prepper". Well, he wasn't too prepped since he hasn't set up his underground bunker for him and his family, but he constantly walks around his house in terror...and a gun placed at every door and hallway. He has the biggest selection of guns I've ever seen. I mean, he is an avid hunter, but this is "prepped". After the Newtown tragedy, he went to the gun shop and bought over $10,000 worth of guns and ammunition straight from his savings. He is totally prepared to defend off people who will try to get into his home (especially the government) and take his food and water. After Hurricane Sandy and how people reacted like animals fighting for the next empty gas pump, he was sure that without a doubt, that we would soon be living under martial law. If you don't know what that is, you can click here. The article even states that we are already living under martial law. Some believe that Hurricane Sandy happened due to a result of HAARP. Our government can actually control weather patterns now. Do I believe it? I'm not sure to tell you the truth. But here's my two cents worth: if a catastrophic event took place and we had to defend ourselves from whoever is trying to steal from us for survival, I'm checking out of this world, plain and simple. I refuse to save money for an underground bunker or stock up on nonperishable foods. I will stock up if there is a hurricane coming, but not for five years worth. Who wants to live in a world with no food, no water and no energy to fight off looters at your home? I'm gonna die anyway.

A bit too close for comfort. 
Am I a conspiracy theorist? A little. But I think of it like this: anything can happen at any given moment. I can get even a bit more extreme -- our lives can play out like some weird sci-fi movie. Don't believe it? The government doesn't even have to be at your door in order to kill you. A "fly" can enter your house. Little did you know it was a fully armed drone. There is no way of escaping. Screw it -- why spend the money that you can enjoy today? What about the other day when the news reported about the massive solar flares the sun gave off, making all of our internet, smart phones and other devices go haywire? What about NASDAQ shutting down the other day? That never happened, and oddly, it happened the same time the solar flares zipped through our atmosphere. That alone can affect our grids and all communication. Lights out. Catastrophe begins. Then what? We've never had such solar flare ups before. Against all scientific research, maybe the sun is ready to 'check out' --- or maybe, they aren't telling the public all they know. Mass hysteria. Now you can run out and buy $10,000.00 worth of lighters and matches and thank me later. Now that I gave you something to think about, it's time for me to prep my suicide solutions so the mothership can take me away when that time comes. Eeesh, I'm so gloom and doom today. (Places tinfoil hat on head.) 

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!

Friday, August 23, 2013

#BLURREDLINES

What a big stink women all over the world are making about the song, "Blurred Lines". I personally don't care for Robin Thicke, the image above is pretty spot on as far as what I think about him...or did you interpret that in another way? All I think about when I see or hear him is his father, Alan on Growing Pains. C*O*R*N*Y! I don't care how "progressive" we've become with our entertainment and our leniency with lyrics --- throughout time, I have heard songs that would cleverly insinuate some disturbing intent. Let me just point out a few lyrics from reputable and insanely talented artists.

"Every Breath You Take" 

Every breath you take 
Every move you make 
Every bond you break 
Every step you take 
I'll be watching you 

Every single day 
Every word you say 
Every game you play 
Every night you stay 
I'll be watching you 

O can't you see 
You belong to me 
How my poor heart aches with every step you take 

Every move you make 
Every vow you break 
Every smile you fake 
Every claim you stake 
I'll be watching you 

Since you've gone I been lost without a trace 
I dream at night I can only see your face 
I look around but it's you I can't replace 
I feel so cold and I long for your embrace 
I keep crying baby, baby please 

Every move you make 
Every vow you break 
Every smile you fake 
Every claim you stake 
I'll be watching you ---Sting

No one ever complained about a song that basically promoted stalking -- at least I never have. The lyrics clearly indicates that....he'll be watching her. Kind of creepy. What about this next one by Bruce Springsteen?

"I'm On Fire" 

Hey little girl is your daddy home 
Did he go and leave you all alone 
I got a bad desire 
Oh-oh-oh, I'm on fire 

Tell me now baby is he good to you 
Can he do to you the things I don't do 
I can take you higher 
Oh-oh-oh, I'm on Fire I'm on fire 

Sometimes it's like someone took a knife baby 
Edgy and dull and cut a six-inch valley 
Through the middle of my soul 

At night I wake up with the sheets soaking wet 
And a freight train running through the middle of my head 
Only you can cool my desire 
Oh-oh-oh, I'm on fire --Bruce Springsteen

To me? If this song wasn't so embedded in my head from the past -- ignoring lyrics and just liking the song itself, I can clearly see the pedophile and incest overtones. Pedophilia, because a grown man is asking if this little girl's daddy is home and that "he's got a bad desire and he's on fire". The incest part, I can jump to conclusions and say that the part that talks about "Can he do to you the things I don't do" ---which is what? He's certainly not talking about being a father figure. But it's a song and we've all heard it and grew accustomed to its soothing tune. No one ever complained about it. 

So now that music has gotten a bit more crass, perhaps even much more racier than ever before, many feminists -- even women who aren't feminists are feeling very degraded by the song, "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke. I'm just going to add the video below for you if you're not familiar with the song. Please click here if you cannot view the video below. 



To me, it's a fun song with very sexual overtones. The fact that he states, "the way you grab me" -- indicates that this is mutual. I can think of a hundred and one other songs that are way worse than this one. I can't believe how much bad buzz this has gotten from overly sensitive idiots who seem to think that this is purely about rape. What do you think? (I promise I won't call you an idiot...)

How about this next parody video of "Blurred Lines" done by a female? If you think Robin Thicke's song is about rape, then do you think this next video is about rape as well? Please click here if you cannot view the video below.



Parents let their kids listen to Marilyn Manson (who is also a guilty pleasure of mine), but he is clearly of another umm, "religion", but his music, his voice, is just incredible. I know, I know, Satan was the master of music, right? All I'm saying is, if we're going to be super conservative about lyrics that are "iffy", or perhaps they're considered, "blurred lines", then what about taking your kids' smart phones and checking out some of their underground music that isn't mainstream. You'd be shocked. Now, I won't even turn this song up when I'm in the car, afraid some woman is going to think I'm an advocate for rapists. Come on people -- get a grip!


For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

I Should Be Grateful...


The little things in life are sometimes the biggest things we should be grateful for. 
And I am, (however), I seem to lack my gratitude when my pain kicks into high gear -- any type of pain whether it be physical or emotional. I'm only human. In my deepest agony, I fail to see the joys in life, like watching my puppy swim and play in her little pool to cool off, appreciating a phone call from an old friend, a gorgeous sunrise God gives to me every morning, watching thunderstorms rumble through the valley and long conversations over coffee with my wife. I've been focusing on the negatives, noticing what's not there instead, like a new updated oven (it's like the Shoemaker without any shoes if you ask me), a bathroom that needs to be redone entirely, unfinished projects that have stopped due to 'busyness' and of course, my inability to be proactive because of my chronic pain. There are mornings where I can't even wash dishes, cook breakfast for Mad or even just doing the smallest of tasks. I start resenting my life, not realizing how much worse off I could be. I have my overall health, family and friends. I've been getting little messages from God -- as if I've been given the biggest test of all. Within the past year, through emotional distress of losing my dad and then heading straight into chronic pain, I feel overwhelmed. I'm reminded, whatever I resist will persist. A friend said, "Embrace the pain." Sounds crazy, doesn't it? But it makes sense -- like going against the riptide. If you go against it, you'll be sucked into it even more. If you're a chronic pain sufferer, or have been through excruciating pain, you may relate to my next complaint. Have you ever sat there listening to someone ramble off about how you should 'just get through this' and 'it'll be okay' or just thought-to-be cliched words of wisdom of how to deal with your pain, and yet, they have never once in their entire lives experienced what you're going through? I always think, I wish just for a mere two minutes that they can slip into my shoes, then give me their advice. And sadly, there are way too many people who can actually relate to it all. Don't get me wrong, I know people mean well, but it gets very frustrating not being able to relate.

There are times when I get the thousand mile stare from nurses and doctors when they ask, "From a scale of 1-10, where is your pain?" I say, "10" most of the time. They just give me a glazed over look thinking I'm some sort of manipulating drug addict. When they ask me what kind of pain killers I want and then hear, "I don't want any," they step back and do a double take. "Well, how are you managing your pain?" I always tell them physical therapy, meditation and good ol' fashioned breathing. Most will doubt the level "10" pain and just chuck it up to "acute pain", when in fact, I have come to a high tolerance from the "10" -- I may need to up my "dose" on that scale. It's like drinking. You have three drinks a day. You keep that up for a couple of years, and you will find that you'll need a fourth and fifth just to maintain your level of relaxation or...intoxication. That's how it is with most narcotics or opiates as well. What about tolerance of pain? Why don't people in the medical field know that there is a certain level of pain one can go through that bypasses the tolerance level --- so that my "5" on the pain scale would be an absolute "10" for someone else? Like, for an alcoholic, three beers is nothing. For a newbie, three beers would have them drunk and stumbling. My chronic pain isn't only my back, but it stems from my dysmenorrhea that I've had for the past 20+ years now. The pain sometimes leaves me vomiting or passing out from just an overload of torture. This happens for three straight days every. single. month. Along with that comes the peptic ulcers from taking too many NSAIDs. Many times, NSAIDs don't even touch the surface. It's then I have to reach out to a clinic or hospital to get an injection of Toradol. Now I can't even touch NSAIDs, whether orally or by injection until I fix my stomach ulcers.

But, I'm grateful. I've learned a lot during this time. On a semi pain-free day, I'm just happy to be able to get up out of bed and walk. I'd rather have chronic pain than a life-threatening illness. They say that pain and suffering makes us develop "better character". I'm not sure about that since I snap at the slightest of things when I'm feeling my sciatica kick in. Don't even try talking to me when my dysmenorrhea has me curled up in the corner rocking like a mental patient --- you will regret it. It's like coaching a woman in labor on her 23rd hour. You'll be calling a priest. I have to say I still have my humor and I really try to maintain some sort of 'calmness' when things don't go my way, but lately, I've been popping my cork...just a little.
This too shall pass.
There's always a rainbow after the rain.
Whatever you resist, persists.
I feel your pain.
You're gonna feel better.

The only thing I believe is, "by His stripes", whether this pain stays or goes. With that, I am grateful.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

MRSA Mercy

It never ever ends...so it seems. At this point, it's no longer an embarrassment so much as it is a joke now -- a very painful joke. Let me just start out by explaining my evening last Saturday night. My entire family got together for a BBQ. Everyone was having fun, I was limping around, but enjoying myself for once. I thought to myself, even with all the pain I'm in, life is still worth living if I can still spend time with my family, laugh, talk, share some wine with the people I love the most. Well, it was like God giving me a test. Later that night, I was getting ready to go to bed. As I was getting changed, I noticed something odd on my chest -- like an opened wound. I honestly did not feel anything. As I walked up closer to the mirror, I realized that the wound wasn't only huge, but it was severely infected with a red line traveling upward. I'm used to seeing a red line when my mother gets cellulitis. It's nothing to mess around with. So, off to the ER I go...again and again and again. The doctor reassured me that this was the best choice, only because I could have been in big trouble if I didn't come for the antibiotics. They sent me home popping six pills a day for seven days, and two different antibiotics. Let me just say it's the best colon cleanse ever. (Hope you're not having lunch while reading this.) I started to get used to the side effects and they even dissipated a tad. The second night of treating the wound with antibiotics and topical solutions, I went to take the bandage off and made two more wounds, by ripping off the adhesive alone. Well, those two wounds got infected and a line began to travel...once again. I'm sitting here now waiting for the cultures to come in so that they can determine whether or not it's MRSA. (The super bug.) So, they send me home to be with family -- meanwhile not knowing if I'll infect anyone else? Does that sound right to you? Wouldn't you keep me in the hospital for safety of others? And for myself?? After a few days, it's finally healing very nicely.

I refuse to poison myself.
Fast forward four days and I'm almost feeling ok, dealing with minimal pain from my back and sciatica. I even attempted to make breakfast this morning. While getting into the shower, I made some sort of movement that made my right leg go numb and powerless. Down I went, screaming in pain, holding onto the counter trying to get up. I can't take NSAIDs because of my stomach bleeding, I can't take Percocets because my breathing gets really shallow and I can't smoke pot because I absolutely hate the stuff. I have nothing to relieve me. Every doctor is shoving oxycodone down my throat or they're telling me to pop Vicodins. I refuse. I called my physical therapist because I had an appointment today. He told me to put ice on my back for 15 minutes every hour. I can hardly move. I'm sitting upright on the couch with ice packs and my dog staring at me, hoping I'll take her out for a run like we usually do. I can only sleep on one side and the sleep I get is next to none. I get it - there are people worst off than I am. Some who are paralyzed or suffering with diseases, and here I am complaining about a non-life threatening condition that is leaving my quality of life like shit. I'm angry, I'm very depressed and sometimes, I feel like I just don't want to live anymore. I pray ---a lot. I read something a friend wrote. She stated, "Whenever you're going through a hard time in your life and wonder, 'Where is God,' -- just remember, the teacher is always quiet during a test."  For now, I'm off to the orthopedist/pain management center. Please say a few prayers or send some positive energy my way for healing. I'm grateful I'm in good health, but the pain is something I'm really suffering with --- physically and emotionally. I'm strong though. My faith in God is strong and my willpower not to take any Percocets, NSAIDs, or other methods of pain relief are even stronger. It seems like, if it's not one ailment, it's another. I can't live this way. I just hope that I don't lose hope. I'll be back to my daily rants once I start feeling a little better. Thanks for letting me vent. And thank you for reading.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Get Yer' Tin Foil Hats On - It's All a Conspiracy!

There are things in life that we can control and things that we cannot control. We can only do what feels right to us. I take in a lot. I listen to what people say and then decide if I want to believe it, use it for my own personal reasons or just chuck it out the window. I've been reading a lot about hackers who have the ability to tap into your webcams as well as baby monitors. They can even call out to your child. A friend posted an article and it was really disturbing. I also heard that the government, as well as hackers can tap into your TV cam. Oh wait, you didn't know your smart TV had a cam installed in it? Neither did I. And if you think about what most people do in front of a TV or just live their lives in front of one, then yes, it's disturbing to say the least. We can let it give us a case of paranoia -- and with much good reason, because it's quite a concern...or we can tape up the cameras. What about the microphones? So much, so much. I just got off the phone with my friend who was telling me a conspiracy theory that caught my attention. Since the government is able to tamper with our weather pattern, like HAARP -- they are able to manipulate the weather and even earthquakes to where it can damage areas that say, they want to drill oil in. For instance: Hurricane Katrina. At first I was like, "Nahh..."  Then again, why did it take so long for our own country to save its own? But when you think about all the corruption that goes on and the fact that the CEO of BP, Tony Hayward sold shares weeks before the oil spill disaster, it kind of makes you rethink anything other than "legit practices". She reminded me about the chemicals to rid of the oil - to "clean up" the ocean. Clean? More like hiding it and pushing the oil way down low where people cannot detect it. It's still in there. I hear people saying, "Oh the ocean has a way of regenerating itself." But when does it come to the point where the regenerating is just a process of spewing up the oil that has been already spewed out into our waters. The Pacific ocean is now tainted with radiation due to Fukushima. Eating fish is now a concern for many who are "aware" on the West Coast. What about the east coast? What about farm raised GMOs, like Tilapia? Is any fish safe to eat anymore? Ain't nobody got time to think about dat'. But if you have about fifteen minutes, watch this video below about how the radiation is still leaking into our ocean and our fish are migrating to other areas that are infected with cancerous radiation levels.
  Click here if you cannot view the video through a mirrored website.

The only thing you can do is educate yourself. You can't go around telling people 'this is bad' and 'that's even worse' -- unless you have a blog like moi. But that's neither here nor there. The other day while at a family BBQ, Mom asked if I wanted corn. I'm not going to tell her that all corn is poison. That's my educated knowledge. It's a pointless vegetable that's filled with GMOs and chemicals. It's no longer safe to eat. Can you just imagine me giving a lecture in front of the BBQ while people are waiting for their goods? You can't do that. And while you're sitting there "preaching" --- you have your flaws, whatever they may be that can be 'called out' on. It's YOUR personal decision to consume or not to consume. And nobody can tell you otherwise. It's like religion. You can share your views on food and what you eat and think it's "okay". I love "new studies" that show a once thought-to-be "bad" foods are now super healthy for you. Eggs are bad. Eggs are good. Alcohol is bad. Alcohol is good. Coffee is bad. Coffee is good. Life's too short --- what works for you?


For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Mama Knows Best

There is nothing you can do to control any situation. I'm learning this more and more as I move closer and 'season' into my fourth decade. Did you know that in Judaism, it's believed that we're at our highest level of understanding at the age of forty? Also, they prefer to teach their students about the Torah at that age as well. I've always wondered why, but now that I am moving closer, I'm beginning to open up my eyes to a whole lotta' things around me. For instance, I remember about eight or nine years ago, a friend told me to pray for understanding of people's motives and to not react once I encountered an "offense". Pray for understanding. Of course, I reacted, blew things out of proportion and found myself all 'emotional' over every. single. thing. that had transpired in my life. Then one day, I sat down and prayed for the understanding of people's motives. More than 80% of the time, I figured it out before I reacted. But then I went back to my old ways and overreacted over everything again. It was a vicious cycle. I read a saying the other day on one of those stupid e-card quotes that people fling up on Facebook. Although I kind of hate them because they're so unoriginal, one stuck out that was really awesome. It said something like, in order to forgive completely, you have to just accept that the other person is just batshit crazy. (My wording may be incorrect but the "batshit crazy" part was in it!) Anyway, isn't that the truth though? Have you ever had to forgive someone a bazillion times and then had to decide whether you wanted that person in your life or not? And if you did want that person in your life, you really have to accept that the person is a bit 'touched' and leave it at that. Expect another "offense" or outburst or whatever that person does to annoy the hell out of your life. Simply walk away and let it breathe. Then again, you can also choose to just walk away for good.

There came a point in my life recently where I had to just say, "Screw it and just accept it." With that being said, it's also important to not let people disrespect you. You're the only one who can allow that. If it's at that point --- walk away in silence. Let them fight with themselves. Let them mumble and complain about you. Let them assume who you are and stew in their own resentments, jealousies and self-loathing - which is what it is. When someone doesn't like their own life, they will hate yours more. When someone isn't happy, they want you to be unhappier. You can't give peace without having peace. I have to say my mother is probably the strongest and smartest person I know. She sees through the chaos, almost in a God-like way. She can determine 'what it's all about' and not make a fuss over any offense she comes across. She doesn't "bite back" - she lets it simmer down until the other person realizes what they've done. Whenever I'm outraged about something, my mom always says, "Just turn the other cheek!" I would be like, "And let them keep bitch slapping me, Ma?" But what she meant was, let it cool off and let some light shed on it. More so, let God handle it. I still have a lot of work ahead of me, but I am grateful for what Mom has taught me because I've learned that it's not about how you feel over a situation, it's all about how you react which determines not only your character, but your own peace of mind. Mama knows best.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wasted Nation

What a waste of $$$. 
On and off, it seems to come in waves and then leaves as quickly as it came. I've never experienced this sort of chronic pain in all my life. Thankfully, this morning I woke up with "tolerable" pain, but was able to walk and do my daily routine. When speaking to my doctor, the only answer was Percocet. He even advised that I double up on the stuff, leaving me zoned out like some zombie - a lifeless lump of wasted space on the sofa. Madelene asked if I wanted to go to the hospital and stay there for pain management. What's the point? I can do that here now with all the oxycodone, oxycontin, oxy-whatevers that the hospital threw at me, hoping to get me out of their room for the next patient. I tried the "holistic" path, medicinal marijuana. At first, it seemed to have taken the pain away momentarily, and it helped me sleep, but that paranoid-I'm-gonna-freak-the-hell-out side effect started to kick in. Not only did it start to give me anxiety, but it also made me even 'foggier' than the oxycodone. I even tried smoother paraphernalia, because I hate smoke in my lungs. When the bowl was too harsh, I spent a pretty penny on this beautiful red bong that basically vaporizes the initial smoke. The only thing is, you can't take a small hit. It leaves you completely wrecked. Then again, I spent a pretty penny on a vapor pen. It just doesn't work for me the way people rave about it. It's the herb alone that I hate. After being frustrated over the lack of tools to provide me with pain relief, I had a mini meltdown and just lost it. The crying only made the pain worse.

The entire day yesterday, I was bedridden. Lola didn't leave my side for one second. Anywhere I tried to go, she would walk right by my side, as if this 11 lb pup would be able to pick me up if I fell. Gotta love her. She comforted me in so many ways, except when she laid herself right on my legs where the pain hurt the most. When I went to take her outside to do her biz, my right leg lost all muscle power whatsoever, leaving me to fall onto the grass. I regained the strength, but was scared to even walk down the stairs again. My pain level was at a 10 but there was zero medication in my system. I rode it out. See, everything is poison -- everything, even pot. I don't care if it's "medicinal" --- it's still garbage. "Well, it's natural." Well so are opiates. What's the difference? If you want to get technical, alcohol is even "natural", although can wreak havoc on whatever liver I have left. As I was lying in my bed, of course I had to watch all the day time shows which usually irritates me. But I saw a show where Dr. Oz was talking about gluten. The protein in gluten that's in most of our breads, pastas, beer and even bouillon cubes (just found that one out yesterday) are poisoning our systems little by little. Get this - the reason why there is so much of an abundance of gluten in our foods is because the manufacturers are too lazy to do it the right way. If you make your bread and pasta from home, it's okay, but the fact that the factories have these loop holes leave us with a TON of gluten, this poisonous protein to basically kill us or leave us living a life full of pain, sickness, IBS, psychological problems and other ailments that leave us running to the doctors. ($$$) Look at how many kids are on antidepressants these days. For me, I am totally blaming all my inflammation and pain on poor eating habits. Being raised on pasta and bread all my life and well, being Italian, this was a staple while growing up and throughout my adulthood. Now, there's arsenic in our rice. So from here on out, I am eliminating all gluten, wheat and grains, including corn from my diet. I'm done.

We grew up with this stuff.
I used to make fun of people who were so anti "breads & pastas" -- who were gluten free. I even rolled my eyes over the spiel my friend used to give me about gluten. I really should have listened to her more, but I was stubborn and stuck in my old ways of thinking. Now, being on Paleo, whenever someone posts a photo (like I used to do all the time) of a huge pasta dinner or some cheesy pizza something or other ---I automatically think, "DIABETES". I have developed a healthy phobia of these types of foods. Twenty pounds off my frame and I'm a happy camper. Still have ways to go though. My old diagnosis of "borderline diabetic" - where they wanted to give me pills for it has diminished. I'm no where near that anymore. My cholesterol did go up, but the good cholesterol. The doctors are no longer concerned with it. But why am I still in so much pain after adapting to such a healthier diet? I eat enough foods with magnesium in it, fruits, veggies, meats, fish and drink lots of water plus take 1,000 mg of vitamin D and calcium. I quit all dairy. I have nothing in the food source that would, or "should" give me problems. Everything is poison. Acetaminophen found in Tylenol can damage your liver. NSAIDs will burn another hole in my stomach. Oxy-whatever is available will leave me with respiratory failure and possible seizures from withdrawal, oh and addiction of course. Everything seems to be cured with a little pill...a little pill that costs money...a little pill provided by the pharmaceutical companies. I'm convinced it's all a business. I also believe my pain is for a reason. It's educating me even more so about how much our food supply and medicine is taking a toll on our health.

So for now, I am completely sober of all medicines and tainted foods. We're even thinking about getting our own little greenhouse to raise our own veggies. I may sound a bit obsessed with this, but maybe it's because I'm opening my eyes to what's going on. I'm no longer saying, "Eh well, life's too short not to enjoy the foods you love."  But let me just say, I have never loved food so much as I do now, eating natural and clean, and no longer eating almost a pound of pasta or filling up on pointless breads. I'd rather have a dish full of steamers, or a nice delicious plate of organic greens, grass-fed meatballs and spaghetti squash if I have a craving for my homemade tomato sauce. I will incorporate red wine back into my diet, but with much moderation. I'm also excited about going to the gym again. I may not be a huge cross fit fanatic like most Paleo folks, but at least I'm gonna get these joints back into movement. Thanks for all your well wishes and prayers. I refuse to sit back on this one. Wish me luck.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

No Kids After 7pm!

A few months back, I remember Mom and I walked into a restaurant to have dinner. They sat us in a cozy booth while there were other people waiting to be seated as well. Our area was empty and I was pretty happy with that because we would be enjoying a nice quiet dinner...until a family of five were seated right behind me. They had three kids with them, maybe from 1-4 years of age, wasn't sure. While sipping my wine, I noticed that it was very quiet behind me. I said to Mom, "Wow, not what I expected. They're quiet!" Mom shot me a look and giggled. "What?" I asked. She said, "That's the one thing you have to learn about kids. They only cry when they're done with their food and want to go home." I didn't care - it was just a guesstimation so I blew it off. Not even seconds after the waiter grabbed their half finished plates, I heard blood curdling screams inches away from my head. One kid slouched over my bench, looking right at us, screaming and punching the seat. The mother did absolutely nothing to control him. The waiter had to ask if she could ask her child to not 'do that'. It's not the kids who are at fault - it's the parents and the lack of discipline. These days, spankings are "bad" and just the thought of reprimanding your child in public is seen as "abusive". When I was younger and my parents took me out to a nice restaurant, which they did every single Friday night --- I knew, that without a doubt, if I got out of hand, my father would just snap me one look, bite his lower lip and made sure I knew I was in for something when I got home. And mind you, he was never, ever abusive, but he did put the fear of God in me. He was more 'growl' than bark - which was good because I never knew if I would receive the bark, or perhaps the bite! But it worked. We were well behaved little ducklings.

This morning, while watching the news, I was so excited to hear that there are some restaurants who have a "no kids after 7pm" rule. And get this --- they're getting MORE business because of this rule. Do you know, sometimes I won't go into one of my favorite restaurants before 7pm in fear that there will be screaming kids? You can't even hear yourself talk, no less enjoy your dinner and drinks. In an article written by Hillary Dixler, it states, "Lorraine MacDuff, owner of the Rainy Day Caffe in Lake Stevens, Washington, caused a major stir by posting a photo of the cafe's floor covered in crumbs to Facebook with the message: 'Like to take a moment to thank our customers with small children whose kids don't make a mess. A couple of ladies came in today and this is the mess their children made.' One of those ladies, military mom Kellea Poore, explained to King 5 that MacDuff was angry because the carpets had just been cleaned. Poore claims she was asked not to bring her children back again, then a few hours later found the Facebook post. Apparently the children had been eating scones. Since the incident happened, the story has been picked up by national news organizations including NBC. Rainy Day Caffe took down the photo, but posted an apology which has roughly 2,000 comments on it. The apology says: 'I want to apologize for posting that picture. It was not right to do that and I am deeply sorry for any embarrassment it might have caused anyone.' Commenter opinions are mixed about whether MacDuff was right to post the picture, but in a radio interview yesterday with Kiro Radio, MacDuff said she's been receiving threatening emails with messages like 'I hope you die in your sleep.' While she regrets posting the photo to Facebook, she stands by her decision to call out the moms for making a mess in her restaurant and for letting their kids be noisy: 'We are kid oriented, but we are not oriented to people who let their kids act out.' MacDuff is not the only restaurant owner struggling with how to deal with children in their restaurant. One Houston restaurant recently banned kids after 7 p.m."

Most people applaud Lorraine MacDuff for doing what she did and standing up to parents who have absolutely zero control over their little ones. You can visit her Facebook page to see the tons of support she gets from customers to waitresses and waiters who know what it's like dealing with this sort of thing. I realize I have no kids, but I know that without a doubt, if I had a child who was uncontrollable in public and threw tantrums or just couldn't conduct themselves calmly in a restaurant, I would get a babysitter so I can have a peaceful time out and not have to be yelling at them to stop or worse off, having a waitress or owner of the restaurant do it for me. How humiliating. Another thing that I cringe over, is when patrons bring in kids and sit them at the bar. Not only is this disturbing, but it's not legal. I saw the bartender walk over to the guy who had his eight year old son sitting next to him say, "I'm sorry sir, kids aren't allowed to be seated at the bar." And even though he was quiet and well behaved, the guy made a big stink, "Well, he's not acting out or bothering anybody else, is he?" And he looked over my way to get an answer. I said, "I don't think it's appropriate." He left the restaurant instead of moving to another table where kids were allowed. Believe me, I am not anti-kid --- I just think parents should have better discretion over where and when to take their kids to a public dining establishment. And a big ABSOLUTE NO to kids sitting at a bar. Call me "kidless" or call me "not experienced with children", but I call it inappropriate parenting.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

The Loss of Life: Is There a "Plan"?

Can you just imagine being a pregnant woman and deciding to take a beautiful stroll into the park because it was absolutely gorgeous outside? You decide to sit on a bench to rest and daydream about your future - to daydream about what your son or daughter will grow up to be or how you will raise him or her. Your thoughts are endless as the sun glistens down, shining through the trees making little golden circles around your feet. It's the perfect day. Perfect, until the 200 year old oak tree falls on top of you, crushing every bit of life you have left. This is what happened to a Queens woman the other day. The first 'fall-like' day and she decided to sit on a bench in the park. What makes someone come at the right place at the right time like that? Is it "right"? Is it God's plan? Stuff like that makes me wonder if it was all meant to be --- as if it was planned by God Himself. "Well, why would God do such a terrible thing like that?" Was it "terrible" in the overall big picture? Maybe it was her time? It makes people start wondering about their own fate and whereabouts: are they safe? Will they encounter a tragedy on their way home? Will they make it home alive? I guess you can compare instances like these to drive by shootings or some random killing spree -- an unexpected death that just takes us by surprise. There are no explanations, reasonings or logic behind it. It. just. happened. Do you lose your faith in God or does it get stronger? If you're atheist, does it make you think that God really does exist, or does this definitely confirm that there can't possibly be a "god" at all? You can spew out every cliche known to man. "Well it was meant to happen ," "Nobody knows when your time is up," -- all comforting in some twisted way.

At the animal hospital, this guy carried in his lifeless bull dog. He ran up to the counter and screamed, "I think my dog is dead! I found him on the bed this way! Please help me!" For whatever reason the dog died, it wasn't supposed to happen - well at least not now while the dog was fairly young. When we lose a pet, we have to think, 'why' too. Why are their little lives cut so short and ours so long? I do believe that when a pet goes before their time, they were definitely meant to be in your life at the most important time. Pets give comfort. So when you can think back of when a pet died suddenly and way too soon for you to possibly fathom, think about what kind of trials you were going through when you got the animal at first. I know this sounds all cooky - but I truly believe pets come into our lives for a reason, and when their mission is done (just like humans) they leave this planet in whatever way is planned for them. And if we're lucky enough, they live to the fullest extend of that breeds longevity. I know that without a doubt, my dog was a blessing. I didn't really want one - I was browsing around the rescue sites and saw this little scrawny dog - as if her eyes were begging me to take her home. My father was really ill at the time and her companionship after all the grueling hours at the hospital made it all worthwhile, or at least comforting. I cried while Lola would lick the tears falling off my face. She even comforted Dad when I brought her over to him. She still comforts me every single day. People who know me (or used to) remember me as someone who was never into pets. I always said, "I will never get a pet. Houses weren't  made for them." And now, not only is my home made for Lola, my couch, my blankets and my bed are made for her as well. When I get panic attacks at night, I hold onto her and she cuddles up next to me. I fall asleep instantly. Something's gotta be said for that and why she came into my life so quickly like that --- and during the worst time of my life.

So while we say goodbye to a loved one, or a beloved pet, just focus on the happiness and joy they brought to you - whether person or animal. They are all here for a reason. I always ask why God took my Dad so soon, but was it too soon? He was miserable and suffering every single day of his life. It brings me peace to know that he's no longer in pain. He's not screaming in agony and hating every second of his existence. But you have to have the faith to believe that he's in peace - that he's with God and he has eternal life in heaven. Sometimes I wonder is it an eternal hell for those who don't believe...? You can debunk anything you want since it doesn't correlate with science, but if God made science, then wouldn't He have a plan that is foolproof where nobody can tamper with the secret files of life? I believe.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!

Monday, August 05, 2013

Comparing the LGBT Community With Dogs?

The other day I received an interesting email from Anita Pollack. Let me explain why I'm "outing" her email first. #1. It was highly offensive and #2. I'm still so surprised readers will email opinionated bloggers. She just wanted to have a one-way conversation with herself. But here's how she started off. "After reading your opinions on pit bulls, I was so surprised to see you are a supporter of the LGBT community. I don't understand how a person who is compassionate and open-minded with humans could be so biased against a particular breed of dog. It seems to me your neighbors, who may appear, to be lovely people are NOT responsible dog owners. They should make sure that their dogs, whether they're tiny or massive, are walked and controlled on leashes. NO DOG of any breed should be left unattended in a yard , fenced or not. Dogs like your neighbors can be very sweet , but they are animals, and need HUMAN guidance. DO NOT BLAME THE DOG -BLAME THE HUMANS. We are the ones who were created with more advanced brains and we should use them!"

And while I agree with humans being the culprit of ill-bred dogs, I still would never want to own one in fear that the particular breed has been tampered with due to all the injuries and fatalities. That's just my opinion based on facts that I have read and have heard about, which I can provide anyone with. I asked her why she would compare Pit Bulls to the LGBT community - or my "open-mindedness" to the LGBT community. What does that have to do with the other? I did understand where she was going with this, but it was just the comparison that ticked me off.

She responded with, "Deb: I'm not comparing the LGBT community to pit bulls. I was merely saying since you are an advocate for the LGBT community I would expect you to be more open- minded. You have misunderstood me. I didn't say gays and lesbians are killing people! It seems we do agree on one thing - It is a shame what IRRESPONSIBLE OWNERS have done to these dogs. Warmest regards to you."

I explained to her that I have an open mind to people and animals who do not hurt or kill others. The blog post she is referring to is this one. My neighbors are very nice people and they take very good care of their dog, which happens to be a Pit Bull, however their dog happened to have made one too many visits onto our patio, not letting us out of the house. He was aggressive and barking only feet away from the door. The video I captured was of him barking out on the edge of our lawn. We called our neighbors on several occasions to please call their dog. On the third time within one month, we decided to call the police because we literally could not walk to the car without being charged at. My stance against Pit Bulls doesn't mean I hate this breed - it means that this breed has too many horrific offenses against it in order for me to be "accepting" of one. And while that may be a shame because it's mainly due to poor breeding and ownership, it's my opinion as a blogger. I said to her, "I have an open mind to things that do not hurt or kill people. Maybe you should do the same and open up your mind to the truth. I am not an advocate for dogs that kill nor the owners who are responsible."

Am I not agreeing with her? I'm only disagreeing with her illogical comparison to gays and lesbians and DOGS. Good God why would you do that? My acceptance for the LGBT community has little to do with dogs. I have to be accepting, I am a lesbian!

She contacts me again, "Deb: If you want the last word, in this discussion you have it. I thought blogs were for expressing opinions on the part of the blogger AND responders, but evidently you refuse to hear anyone else out. I had wished we could have had a spirited discussion not a fight but you seem to only want to present your opinion and won't listen to others. If you want to get on the level of personal insults, I really need to sign off. Thanks for your time and I look forward to NOT HEARING FROM YOU AGAIN."

(She may want to get a blog of her own at this point.)

Here's where I am baffled. I never insulted her. I just took a stance and said she should be opened to the truth. LGBT community vs. Pit Bulls? Really? Now I may start to insult her, because you have to be dumber than a box of rocks to compare the two. That, being my first insult. It reminds me of those religious zealots who compare pedophiles, rapists and murderers with gay people. I have zero tolerance for mediocre-minded people who take any opportunity to bring up the LGBT community to make a point when it has zero to do with anything. Get a life and "X" out of an opinionated blog if you can't take the heat.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!

Friday, August 02, 2013

This Too Shall Pass, and So They Say...

There’s not a whole lot you can say about someone else’s circumstances and how you think they should handle them. Everyone has a cross to bear and there is no way we can spew off cliches like, “This too shall pass” and other type of comforting words to try and soothe someone who has finally given up on life. A friend of mine wrote a piece about how people use the term, “I feel your pain” more time than necessary. No one can feel your pain, even if they’ve been through similar situations. This morning, I found out an old friend/acquaintance of mine had taken her life yesterday afternoon. I’ve lost a few friends this way and you always think, “What could have made them do such a thing?” There’s no way to get inside somebody’s head, but there are signs. It’s tricky, because sometimes “signs” are just attention getters, and while that may be true, you may actually give attention to someone who ‘may have’ gone downhill if the attention wasn’t given. You always have to think of it that way. Always take the signs seriously. It’s a shame when there was actually something that could have been done, but unfortunately took a turn for the worse. Believe me, I know what it’s like to lose a job, lose a lover, lose all hope. I have been through extreme pain, chronic pain and still go through it. I worry...a lot. I go through depressive phases and wonder about my own fate, but luckily, my faith always tells me ‘this too shall pass’, because it’s true: it does pass. Easier said than done?

I always think about people who say, “Well, he/she has it so easy.” And while it may appear that they live the “perfect life”, or have it easier, the more perfect their life may seem, the more traumatic it may be. Beneath the surface: stress, inner turmoil, sleepless nights and depression may be underneath that happy smiling face. I remember hanging out with a group of friends one night, and one of the girls said, “She has it so easy. She doesn’t work and have any responsibilities while her husband is out there struggling to make ends meet.” I chimed in, “Well I certainly wouldn’t want to trade places with her. She has to take care of three kids, make them breakfast, send them off to school, get groceries, pick the kids back up at the bus stop which is a mile away from their home and then has to make dinner, bathe them and make sure she has them in bed at a certain hour. On top of that, she has marital problems. You think that’s easy?” Everyone went silent. These group of women happened to have a relative or a live in maid to help take care of the kids if they had any, and one woman just had herself, her great job at the office and happy hour after work. I’m not saying that any of these lives are completely content, but every. single. person. struggles. It doesn’t matter if someone has the job you have or what you think they should have. I wish judgmental people could just jump into other people’s shoes for just one day. I’m sure they would have a totally different outlook - to experience their anxiety, their sadness - to just be them ----period. Sometimes, just “being them” is more than a job alone.

Be free of judgments. Be free of your own mind.
When I started climbing into my late thirties (and thankfully my nieces think I’m still in my teens) - I realized that it doesn’t matter what people thought of me. When I was in my teens, fashion and who you hung out with mattered. In my twenties, job status and who I dated mattered the most. In my thirties, it was all about high school reunions and how much you’ve accomplished as a person in society and if you had a husband and kids. I didn’t fall into any of those categories, gratefully. I was just “me”. After having been through the corporate wringer, dated a few doozies and tried my best to even think about having kids, even in my thirties --- “status” meant shit to me. It was now about overall happiness, health, love and family --- whatever “family” means to you. My immediate family, my family of choice and my wife. (And of course, Lola my Chihuahua.) When I decided to freelance write and produce promotional videos, it was the best decision of my life because I could work from home, do all the things I couldn’t do if I was stuck in some cubical. But, some people even feel that my life is an “easy life”. It’s not. I don’t have kids to tend to or school PTA meetings. I don’t have the responsibilities of making sure my kid(s) are out of trouble or that my job is in jeopardy because I’m constantly late due to the traffic jams on my commute. I don’t have those stressors. What do I have then? I have pressures of if I don’t hand in my work or produce quality film for my clients, then I don’t get paid. I struggle with anxiety and depression. I suffer with chronic pain that then trickles into depression. I’m in and out of hospitals in complete agony getting tossed a dozen and one pain relievers that are addicting, and thankfully, I don’t have an addictive personality that would make me take them for long periods of time... but what if? What if every other non-addictive personality got surprisingly hooked on them, because well, they actually had quality of life from no pain? See how that works? It’s easy to fall under these dangerous circumstances.

On a much more relatable note, losing a parent isn’t something so easy to deal with, as some of you probably know oh so well, especially if you have a close-knit family. The constant caregiving and playing EMT/ambulance while Dad was sick was very stressful. The anticipation of that midnight call from my mother in distress, “Yer’ fatha’s sick again, can you come down?” And off we went, to spend an endless night in the ER to make sure he was admitted. Before and after his passing were horrifically stressful on so many levels - so many: emotionally and physically. It took a toll on my mother health-wise due to all of her worrying and anxiety levels. I do believe that God won’t give you anything you can’t handle, but sometimes you think, “Wow, this is one. huge. challange.” You also wonder if you’ll make it through yourself. While driving my mother home the other day, she was telling me about some dentist who had a nervous breakdown - an old term used back in the day. I asked her, “What exactly defines a nervous breakdown?” And she said, “When someone loses it, screams on top of their lungs in a crisis situation and can no longer cope with life. They barely leave the house and they just. stop. living.” She looked over at me, remembering a time when I once did that. I was there. I had one, or two. But, I’m still here pushing through and believe there IS hope, that there IS a way out of this chaotic world we set as “society” - the way they think, the way they judge and ridicule. All of that shouldn’t matter. Fuck everyone and focus on YOU and your accomplishments. My sister Cathy posted something really awesome on her Facebook. It said, “You can do anything, but you can’t do everything.” How many times have we dropped our faces into the palms of our hands in total defeat all because we couldn’t do it all? And that’s when all hope is lost.

On my iBook, I have Joyce Meyer’s books and read them frequently. I want to quote part of it that relates to this. “In the beginning chapters of the book of Genesis we see a prophetic word that things will 'come to pass'. In fulfillment of this word, the expression, ‘it came to pass’ is used hundreds of times throughout the King James Version of the Bible. For example, in Genesis 39 KIV, which describes some of Joseph’s experiences in Egypt where he was sold into slavery and rose to second in command of the entire nation, the phrase, ‘and it came to pass’ appears eight times. The last book of the Bible, Revelation, speaks of ...things which must shortly come to pass... (Revelation 1:1 KJV). That should tell us in this life whatever exists now, or will exist in the future, is not permanent, but temporary. The good news is, no matter how dismal our current situation or outlook, we are assured by God, ‘This too shall pass.’ Life is a continued process in which everything is constantly changing. If we can grasp that truth, it will help us make it through the difficult times in which we find ourselves. It will also help us not to hold on too tightly to the good times, thinking, ‘If I ever lose all this, I just can’t make it.’ God wants us to enjoy all of life ---- not just its destination but also the trip itself.”

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!