“A Spoonful of Sugar” is not a plug for the sugar industry! It is a statement about human rights

Here is a link to the lyrics:


The sugar is used as a metaphor and isn’t supposed to be taken literally.

Medicine, that, too, doesn’t have to do with “Big Pharma” (though it can) but actually symbolizes the drudgery of life.

Julie Andrews is singing this song to children. Why should children be subject to drudgery? School is a drag for many kids. Learning should be fun and exciting, not boring, tedious, or just plain too much work!

Mealtime should also be fun. I’m sure that’s why spaghetti was invented. It makes eating fun. Imagine how boring it would be if we only had one type of pasta, one musical instrument, or if we were all alike….

Same for the workplace. We shouldn’t work our workers to the bone, or make them feel trapped in their jobs. Workplaces should provide a stimulating atmosphere for more tedious jobs, and provide friendly, positive support for workers. Bosses should be pleasant and they should ensure that the workers are getting along okay. They should throw office parties now and then, celebrate birthdays, and also congratulate workers for their accomplishments, even outside of work (such as graduation).

Unions help ensure that work doesn’t become drudgery, if the union is strong. Think: Mary Poppins came out in 1964. Unions were a big deal then. Is Mary Poppins, played by Julie Andrews, really talking about children’s rights and workers rights?

If we were to go further, and decide this is about pharma, then we know pills are literally sugar-coated, and figuratively, too. “This won’t have any significant negative effects.” Organ failure is minor, of course.

Eight stories later

I arrived at the school where I was supposed to sub. I was supposed to check in at the office. I don’t know what happened, but I couldn’t seem to get there. Suddenly, there were only a few minutes left till my first class started….

Where was that office, anyway? Why didn’t I see it when I came in? I asked someone who looked like a teacher where the office was.  He said, “That way. Down eight flights of stairs.”

I scrambled to the stairwell. I looked down. The stairs tumbled down forever and ever, a bottomless pit. Oh no. I’ll never make it down and up those stairs before the bell rings.

The bell did, in fact, ring. I woke up, and started my day.

Muscle damage from electrolyte problem

One night, probably last week, I had severe muscle cramping in my legs due to electrolyte imbalance. Leg cramps come from electrolyte imbalance. This is not at all the same as having sore muscles after exercise, and it has no relation to menstrual cramping or the cramps you might get if you have diarrhea.

I had these back in 2011, 2012, and 2013 and they really plagued me. I brought this to the attention of my doctors many times. My doctors were dishonest with me and didn’t tell me the real reason. They even claimed it was “anxiety.” These types of cramps are never from “anxiety” and mean that something very serious is going on that you need to attend to. Mother Nature made these cramps so painful that they snap us to attention. Take action!

Normally, cramping in itself is not dangerous, though it hurts like heck. However, it is a sign of something else dangerous going on. For me, it means my potassium level is too low. Potassium is hard to balance out when you have kidney disease. When potassium gets too high I get very embarrassing hiccups out of the blue that won’t stop. Either too high or too low puts you at cardiac risk.

Since dehydration leads to electrolyte imbalance, hydration will sometimes correct the imbalance so long as you don’t overhydrate. The best way to correct low potassium is to eat potassium-rich food. This may or may not be available to you immediately. I also have had good luck with magnesium tablets and I don’t know the science behind why it works. Actually Mag Oxide works better than Citrate for me.  Taking magnesium before bed might help prevent cramping. This might be preferable to taking one of those overpriced “leg cramps” formulas. Potassium pills might be too strong. I cut them in half for this reason. You can, of course, take magnesium and potassium together. I caution anyone on taking potassium pills, though, because it’s too easy to OD on it.

That night, the cramps continued to return over and over. In particular, my left shin muscle continued to cramp. At one point, both feet were cramped and I was having trouble walking. Finally, I got rid of the cramps and slept.

In the morning my left shin had a bruise mark on it and at that place it was slightly painful to touch. I have not gone running since then, because I don’t want to run on a damaged muscle. Today I am going running again and I don’t expect any issues. The muscle finally healed and I feel fine. Even though I have had cramping in the past I have never before had any lasting damages.

Kidney disease teaches me to be kind to my body. I have to do so to stay alive. I will be getting a blood test soon and I expect much of the same…I have not improved my kidneys but they’re not getting any worse like they’re supposed to, so I consider this a victory. I’m still experimenting trying to fine-tune what I do. Why not let life get better and better? It does!

Salt-free salad dressing

I have always gone without dressing, mainly because almost all salad dressings are loaded with salt. Oil and vinegar is the logical solution, but who knows if the vinegar will be yucky-tasting? Maybe, too, the “oil” will be some kind of fake oil that isn’t tasty?

I have taken to adding dry seasonings. The problem with doing that is that the seasonings do not stick to the salad and end up in the bottom of the bowl.

You can’t beat this dressing I made! Try it!

Fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Apple cider vinegar
Red (cayenne) pepper
Chipotle pepper

I put the oil on the salad separately. Enjoy the oil of your choice!

The dressing should be refrigerated and allowed to sit for a while before serving.

Suddenly, salad is a whole lot more fun. And life should be fun, shouldn’t it?

This salad dressing and oil can be put in small air-tight jars. Enjoy bringing to work or anywhere you go.

I agree, but the conclusions baffle me.

Here’s the article:


Now the proposed solution to poisons in our food and water and pharma overload is to be kinder to people of all body types. Why is this illogical?

We should be kind to one another anyway! And of course, let’s clean up our water and our food, farm more green-friendly, stop supporting junk food manufacturers and lower our consumption of drugs. Period. Why isn’t that the article’s conclusion?

“Cheap” is relative

This is not budget living at all!


What are these writers thinking? That just anyone can buy a house for hundreds of thousands, or afford that much for food? My cost of living here in Pennsylvania is far less than what this woman is paying. You can get a home in excellent condition for $65k. I’ve seen as low as $45k. If you paid hundreds of thousands in PA you’d get a mansion you’d never be able to care for. She must have very high standards and all the trimmings. Geez. Who on earth would want a house that huge? She may think it’s insanity to stay in the States. Maybe. But her life seems way too lavish, and that, too, is insanity.

Produce to People become Produce to Puzzle!

Produce to People is the best food assistance program in Western Pennsylvania! I had always meant to go but never made it over there. Today I did! I carried home a huge quantity of produce. I had to make a decision. Some of it I cut up and froze. Some I put in the fridge and some I froze whole. To make room in the freezer, I cooked a batch of Puzzle food and added all her favorite veggies and even a cut-up apple. Puzzle is so happy!

Unlike your average food pantry, Produce to People will give you real produce. Most of this is farm surplus. I am amazed at how fresh these veggies are! This program goes to all the counties around here. I’m not sure about the Erie area but anywhere within a reasonable drive to Pittsburgh is included. Our county has two or three locations, each distributing once a month. They aren’t stringent about the requirements. No paperwork is necessary.

I came home with what I would estimate to be 35 pounds of produce which I carried to the bus stop and then carried home. Now I am at work. This sure comes in handy since I’m very broke right now. I will not have to go grocery shopping for a while except to buy my usual berries. About the only thing they didn’t have were onions so I will need to get those…eventually. I’m amazed at how fresh these veggies are. And now my whole place smells like Puzzle’s dinner and driving her NUTS! Even worse, I think I’m going to create another batch! OH NO!


I had some trouble with a company that claimed I owed them money. I didn’t! I have paid my bills faithfully. Basically, what happened was that I was sending checks. They cashed these checks and then, they lost track of the money. This shouldn’t even be my concern, but they started calling me several times a week and emailing about this fake debt.

I was able to get the check numbers for them, but the checks were from a credit union and I found out I can’t get the canceled checks to prove I’m right. I finally sent bank statements and circled the checks they had cashed. They continued to harass me.

I continued to tell them this was their bookkeeping issue, and not mine. I asked them to cease the annoying calls and to stop emailing me. That was great for a week. Only. Then, they started up again.

Finally, I put in a consumer complaint with the Attorney General (this DOES get action!) and also I wrote to the company telling them “I put in a complaint and will get my attorney involved.”

At this point I know enough attorneys that this is nearly true. I did not call any of them, though. A few days after I wrote to them saying this, a higherup supervisor from the company called me.

She was deeply apologetic and explained that they had lost the money and that I did not owe them anything, I am up to date.

Now….I have known people who bluffed in psych situations. Often, the “unit” claims the person is delusional that they have an attorney. Grandiose, of course. Unless you have a criminal case against you, they aren’t going to expect you to have representation. Bluffing also likely won’t work if they know you’re living on disability payments since they know you can’t afford to pay an attorney. You could say “My family hired one” or some such thing. The idea is not to go so far as to say the fake attorney is going to show up. You won’t swing that if he’s fake. But you could say, “My attorney says there’s a limit to how long you can keep me in this ER.” Or, “My attorney reminded me that legally, you cannot keep me in restraints as long as you did.”

Point is…bluffing will scare them. It really will. Today I told a company I was going to contact my credit card company if they did not communicate with me regarding some software I purchased. That, too, will scare the heck out of a merchant.

Recently, I was ghosted by a lender. They said they approved me, then, asked me to send paperwork. I did. Right away. Then, a few days later they said I hadn’t sent paperwork. I have emailed and called multiple times and I only get voicemail. They never communicated after that last email. Didn’t call. Nothing. If they are rejecting me, then they need to send communication about their decision. Ghosting is very irresponsible on the part of a professional. Likely what happened was that the loan officer quit suddenly and didn’t pass her work onto a coworker. Still….irresponsible. I went elsewhere.

The Julie Mad Vlogger Website is now mobile friendly

I was having technical difficulties with the theme I purchased for the site. Finally, when the usual things didn’t work I got rid of the fancy theme and used a regular, free WordPress theme. Usually, the ones that come with WordPress tend to have fewer compatibility problems. I can also add video to the site in the future. I’m still trying to find out from the distributor if I can use my introductory video as a sample independently.

My distributor seems to have an email problem. Either they aren’t receiving my occasional emails, or they just don’t respond to email. Anytime a person or company fails to respond to my inquiries it brings back yucky memories of having no friends and no allies. That’s not the situation now. I still find non-responsiveness extremely aggravating, especially since I make a point myself of responding to all personal emails.

I presented this dilemma to my publicist. He said I should CC him on any correspondence I have with them. This will hold them accountable, he says.

This week I will hear back from the reader on my book manuscript. I’m thrilled to be receiving this feedback!

Puzzle has a haircut scheduled this week. She’s looking too raggedy right now. We are taking two buses to get there. Then, after the bus stop we walk about a half mile. Puzzle will likely be able to do it but on the way home it may be too hot for her. I can carry her if it is. Free rides for seniors!

Meanwhile, I’m trying to make a decision about this upcoming UNPAID training. It’s going to take up 50 hours of my time. Can I really spare 50 hours of my life? What if the job we’re being trained for flops like the retail job flopped this year? They promise huge earning potential. Sometimes it is! Only sometimes. My friends have quit the retail job due to low pay. Is the training going to interfere too much with job #2? Maybe I should just stick with the retail job. The pay has improved, that is, pay per hour. Most of the time I enjoy it, too. I had fantastic customers yesterday and what’s even better is that they give me great reviews. I just got two more rave reviews today! This week and last the reviews have been super good. I think I need to stick with this. When off-season comes I can lower my hours and spend more time doing video.

I have to stick with this job, which I don’t mind doing, until I can get a mortgage. By then, my other projects will be making enough money so that I can quit retail and only work on projects I feel passionate about. That is way, way into the future, though.

Life is just beginning!