Saturday, April 29, 2017

Addictions Seminar at the Giant

Since Terry Livorsi had another commitment, Janet Gerhard, Director of Public and Community Relations, ran the Addictions program. View the staff directory of Members Services here and scroll down.

It was a meeting I'd describe as Small but Mighty.

Image result for mighty mouse

Each person shared their story just like at a New Directions meeting. Janet has a fantastic personality, is warm and charming, and inspires trust, so that we felt comfortable sharing our stories and our


 Bipolar tattoo - happy and sad mask

Would YOU ever get a tattoo?

I was just driving home from Mom's now where we had a delicious dinner

Mom and her five daughters

And I pass thru a neighborhood where there are several signs reading

"Hate has no home here."

Janet Gerhard commented that she hates the word "hate" and believes the signs should say LOVE has a home here.

She's worked at Member Services for 6 years but has had many other fascinating jobs. 

Terry Livorsi owns a recovery house in Florida. There are probly thousands of other recovery houses there. Terry's is a dual diagnosis facility, meaning they treat both behavioral health and addictions.

View his Recovery Institute of South Florida. These are townhouses in Ft Lauderdale.

Image result for recovery institute of south florida reviews

The Florida legislature - as well as the state of Arizona - deemed that anyone with health insurance, no matter what kind, could stay in a facility for 90 days. Up here in PA there is no such continuity of care. You might stay somewhere a week, then attend your AA meetings, but it's easy to slip up.

There's much more chance for success in a 90-day treatment facility though "relapses" from drug addiction are very common.

"Relapse is part of recovery," said Janet.

Janet travels all over the country - and indeed the world - educating people about drug addiction. The stories are all very similar.

Let's say a teacher named Sally is addicted to painkillers. Yes! Teachers!

She will frequently be late for work, miss work, go out to her car to "use."

One particular teacher - and this is unbelievable! - wasn't thinking clearly (of course not) and left her
bags of heroin in her classroom.

Image result for bags of heroin

She had arrived early and the janitor found them.

He promised her he wouldn't tell anyone as long as she got IMMEDIATE help.

Terry does no-cost interventions.

An intervention is where the addicted individual comes in with their family and friends and is confronted by each one, who might say something like, "You used to be a great neighbor. But then I saw your mother come out of the house looking for you. That's when alcohol entered your life."

The individual will deny they use alcohol. Oh, I was rinsing my mouth with Listerine, which has a small alcoholic content.

Member Services is available 24 hours a day. A typical message is:

I've lost my job, my family, my home.

Someone is always available to return the call.

Image result for lily tomlin operator

When a person is in treatment, the "boss" never knows the reason. A note is written stating they are out for medical reasons. So, they could be at the Florida facility but the job never knows.

Bravo again for a wonderful afternoon of learning.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Kafka's Other Women published at last - Poems: Mine all Mine (about my car) - The Empty Carrier, our beloved Blank the cat dies

At long last my story Kafka's Other Woman was published. View it here.

Image result for kafka 
Read his bio here.

So, I have this very painful torn rotator cuff. One of the physical therapists at Willow Grove Physical Therapy worked me too hard and I was in dreadful pain all day today.

Assaff, originally from Israel, came to America, Temple University, to complete as a gymnast. The rings were his specialty. I remember when my former BF, Pauly, also completed on the rings. I went to watch him a Queen's College in Queens, NY.

I took three baby aspirins to alleviate the pain and lessen the inflammation. Does aspirin do dat? And I simply stopped using my right arm.

Tonight, at 12:30 pm, my arm is much much better!

Oh, am gonna listen to Radio Times about April is National Poetry Month. Helene called to tell me. I went around the house trying to listen on the radio in the kitchen - couldn't find 90.9 - in the living room - Donna's radio and CD player is almost impossible to operate - so I figgered I'd listen later.

Then I went upstairs to nap. And found...I've got a black Sony radio right next to my bed. Guess what? I have no idea how to operate that either.

AND I just remembered that right here in my writing room is a Panasonic Radio that I DO KNOW HOW to operate!!!

So, I've got until May 1 to submit to River Poets Journal. The theme is WINDOWS. Marf just reviewed my poem WINDOWS ON MY TOES and liked it.

Image result for red toenail polish

Am listening to on my Panasonic.

And, for the record, I love the Pentatonix.

Interesting. Blogspot fills in the link all by itself, like those self-driving cars that kill people.

Image result for pentatonix


The price of wisdom
is above rubies -
Proverbs 3:15

A Dale Earnhardt 
I am not, yet I
take pride in my

Small but mighty
this commonplace
ordinary car talks
to me - my current
audio book is Alice
Munro's Runaway

Protects me from
the elements, once
we coasted lo gear
in the snow while
I pretended not to
be afeard and wondered
where I'd be buried
and who would come

I sip on hot coffee
in the front seat thru
the tiny cocaine straw
and munch on pretzels
without a bib

Huge white blobs of bird doo
covered the outside like I
was the villain in a film noir

I wet a used paper bag and
sogged all the besotted spots.
Including the huge red
back light

It was like a gleaming
ruby, straight from a
mine in China

To think that I owned
something that stunning
that individual
made just for me
on an assembly
line far away.


Page and Spine, a paying online mag - max payment is $30 - will publish two of my short stories. Therapy, altho fiction, is based on getting over my love Christopher, by listening to loud Elvis Costello music, specifically Peace Love and Understanding.

They also accepted The Red Spoon about my love for

Image result for dairy queen willow grove  Dairy Queen. See the red spoon in the middle? Is your mouth watering like mine is? If someone presented you with one of these delights right now, would you eat it?

I would and then I'd bike to tomorrowland.


My son Dan lived with me
awhile. It's how I learned
to love cats.

The Miss America of
cats, Xena, was shy
and barely spoke.

Upon occasion she would
creep into my bed and
let me stroke her.

I gained her trust!

Blank, in his vigorous
virile youth, sought me
out, made love to me
in bed, butting my
front tooth, which
abscessed so I had
root canal, you
damned cat!

Was there ever a more
lovable cat than Blank?
If only I had a leash I
would parade him down
the street for everyone
to see. The Lytles, the
Kiernans, the Myers
across the street.

Today I learn his end
has come. Dan and little Grace
drive to the vet. A
placid sickly Blank
with failing kidneys
is placed in his

A compassionate death
for our man Blank.
Dan returns to the
waiting room and
Grace spies the
empty carrier.

Empty? The furry
charcoal colored
green-eyed cat
whose eyes suggest
the mysteries of
the known world is
lying right here
in my lap.
Purring for all the world to hear!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Company's coming - poem April - Walkin the Pennypack Trail - My Falling Clogs

 Sunday morning Scott and I went for a long walk on the Pennypack Trail near the Huntingdon Valley post office. From the car we saw there were no parking spaces, so we parked in the back of the post office where I also noticed a nursing home filled with people we dementia or Alzheimer's disease.

My Gramma Lily had dementia. I remember I would drive her to the Willow Grove mall so she could buy her fave perfume. Her words were pure gibberish. Sad beyond belief.

The Pennypack Walking Trail was very crowded. I brought my whatcha-ma-call-it so I could exercise my rotator cuff while walking

Image result for ribbon for exercising

When we were walking, I repeated lines from my Guest Column in the Intell about the various dogwalkers, babies in strollers, the Pennypack Creek swaying below.

Later, on I went to Moms, we chatted with Ellen. I brought my delicious salad with me. I think I never write the word 'salad' w/o prefacing it with delicious.

The last undelicious thing I ate were Kale Chips at mom's. I didn't spit em out, but I got rid of the terrible taste by drinking two fingers' worth of V-8.  Fortified. Yuck! I just drink plain everything.

In the bottom of my fridge I have a quarter cup of wine. As a person with diabetes, I dunno if I should drink it or not.

Would you mind holding on while I check?

Here's what I read. Click here, but hurry back!

Ya know what?  I just took the bottle of wine, walked out the kitchen door, down the steps, and poured the wine on the roots of the beautiful lilac tree.

4-5 ft. - Korean Lilac Tree -Vibrant Lilac Blooms on a Dwarf Tree!

I slip on a pair of clogs, which I should call My Falling Clogs.

Guaranteed to trip in those g'dam shoes.

Am gonna buy a pair online. Shopping is one of my odious activities.

For my FB poem of the day, I'll write a poem about my Falling Clogs.

Offline a moment, please, and then I shall return.

Image result for general macarthur


Strange name, clogs, for
a pair of shoes. Half-
baked, with the back
missing, on purpose,

My clogs, bought at
Walmart years ago,
made by Dr Scholl
with a little gel-pack
for comfort on the

They were never comfortable,
and were ugly as a rotten
peach, so I painted
them like Joseph's
coat of many colors.

They get looks now.
People like them or find
them odd.. What
they don't know is
they make me fall.

Pouring wine out the
back door just now
hearing the first
movement of the
Symphony of Birds

I water the roots of
my lilac tree with a
finger of wine.

My intention is to
buy a new pair online,
but what shall I do
with the painted ones?

Bury them? 

Product DetailsBought the above on Amazon - where else? - which will arrive on Friday. Tried not to buy from Amazon, but they had the best price. Made by Qansi. Price around $22 including shipping.  

They're made in Shenzhen.  


April, your touch is
like the pink dogwood
down the street, with
the green quivering
center beloved by
the bees.

April, was there ever
a more beautiful word?
Can you see a piano
playing in a jazz bar
downtown? Herbie
Hancock, perhaps,
or The Bad Plus.

April makes us
believe that all
things are possible
as I stride out the
front door and view
the moist glistening

The robins and cardinals
the sparrow and chickodees
are splashing already
in the bird bath
and no one is about
except little me.



My house is all dressed up
in its satin finery.
Who will show?
Pal awaits in the front yard,
pink tongue panting for joy
even though he's stuffed.

The smell of dark roast
permeates the house.
Pink tulips line
the front steps
as does an orange star
plant that rivals Venus
in its beauty.

TV tables await in the
living room. Who will
sit on the purple chair
with purple ottoman?

All of us are royalty
and will celebrate
with marinated black
olives, cold water,
and lunches, packed perhaps
in Ziploc bags.

The robins, the cardinals
and chickodees will
welcome the guests
from the bird bath
the long cold winter
over and done with.

Life is for the living,
and food for the giving.


I sent this email to my group, tho I just expanded it for de blog.

Hi everyone on this Rainy Saturday,

Daytime meeting is this Thursday, April 27, at the Willow Grove Giant, second floor, from 10 am until noon. Find location on our website below.

President Trump just announced that the new head of behavioral health is Dr Ellie McCance Katz.

Read about it here.

Since the Pennypack Trust Creek Cleanup was canceled, we met at my house here in Willow Grove.

Eight people brought their lunches, two brought sandwiches from Subway. Scott made delicious potato salad. I brought a salad from Giant.

We talked about friendly people. As I was leaving the Giant this morning, two people who didn't know me wished me a good day.

They were women from Corporate.

I can't emphasize enough what a great time we had just sitting and talking. No iPhone. I closed my living room laptop.

This is what people did in the old days. Telling stories!  Thanks for coming, Rich and Ada, Scott, Alex, Linda and mom Jane.