They’re More Than Bell Ringers

If you’re like me, the sound of that irritating bell ringing coming from the doorways of your favorite retail establishments has the ability to send annoying thoughts through your mind. Maybe even a little guilt too! Why guilt you may ask? How many times has that bell ringer looked you in the eye, wished you a Merry Christmas, opened the door for you while enduring the harsh elements outside, and you didn’t put a dime in their bucket? Probably more than you care to report, and that is okay because I was one of them too.

Several years ago when my son was in active addiction I scoured the Internet looking for a rehabilitation facility that wouldn’t cost me my life savings. I found the Salvation Army  (read about the program by clicking on the link) and learned they had several facilities throughout the United States and they didn’t charge a dime.

This program is run strictly off of donations without any government subsidy, now that is amazing!!

Although my son chose a different path, I began to look at the Salvation Army in a much different light. I always put money into their bucket now, with the hopes that a young man or woman will find their way and have a second chance at a better life.

I hope that you will reconsider dropping more than a few coins into their bucket this season, knowing that your money is helping those that truly need it.

(I am in no way affiliated with The Salvation Army, nor have they endorsed this post, but I think it is important to understand that this organization has deep roots with the capability to help those in need).




No stiffy, no problem!

Feminist Rant Against Insurance Company (not for the faint-hearted)

I am a pretty independent woman, countless people would say, “too damn independent”.   But hey, that is how I was raised. I think my mom wanted me to be different and have success by not growing up with the intention of EVER relying on a man (except of course for sex and even then new inventions in the personal satisfaction consumer goods category make it not even necessary. Except those little devices have no feelings and don’t offer emotional support). So that is what I have become… and it has taken a very special man to deal with my exuberant personality.

So…. I had an appointment with my gynecologist and when she asked if I was having relations I replied, “yes but it hurts”.  Thanks to early menopause I have a dry cooter, or the more technical term, “vaginal dryness”. Whatever people, having sex feels like my husband has grown spikes out of his pecker. She prescribed me Estrace  and let me know that this would help greatly. Read about it ladies, you too gents, because if your significant other isn’t experiencing it now, she probably will later.

Anyhoodle, I was excited to fill my prescription and start lubing the cootch in an effort to make hump days more enjoyable. My phone buzzed with an email that the cootch cream was ready for pick up and I buzzed over to Wal-Mart with stars in my eyes. The kind gentleman at the window smiled and said, “That will be $389.46”.   After sharting in my pants, I let him know that he must not have my new insurance card, to which he replied, “This medication is not covered on your insurance”.   (BCBSTX)

I am sure some of you are thinking, “Wow, first world problems”.  And I agree…but we were made to reproduce or at least practice reproducing so for F***’s sake ~ we should all be able to enjoy it.

I really feel sorry for the poor pharmacy tech because I launched some angry words at him. My first question was, “would my insurance cover Viagra”? He simply refused to answer my question! I proceeded to tell this poor young man that it is unfair. When men suffer from a limp pecker they can buy Viagra, Cialis, or whatever else there is now from a street level dealer to remedy the problem (if insurance won’t cover). Women must continue to suffer through the pain or give it up altogether. We all know what happens when we don’t give our lovely hubbies a little playtime, they will find it elsewhere. I asked for my prescription back and decided to put on my detective hat in an effort to find relief.

It took a whole lot of research but I found an online pharmacy operating out of Canada that would fill my prescription. I just had to fax or email the prescription and pay their nominal fee of $46.00 (that includes shipping).


Un-freaking-believable!!! I know, I know, what a scam our US pharmaceutical companies are, right?

Then the box showed up and I knew I was in trouble…… OMG!! (Slovakia?)


This shizz is still sitting in the box. There are no English instructions included and I am afraid if I use too much I will grow a cooter tumor and quite frankly I would rather grin and bear it during the grind.

I highly doubt that the “stiffies” have all the luck, but seriously, I went to great lengths to get this medication and still have no idea what the packaging says or how to use it.  So frustrating.

DAMN INSURANCE COMPANIES!!!  It is my sincere wish that all of you responsible for making these decisions end up with a limp weenie and/or a cooter drier than the Sahara Desert.

Carry on now y’all!

Let’s Catch Up


I started this blog 4 years ago as an outlet or diary if you will for my feelings in dealing with the death of my son. I have not been the best blogger that is for sure but the thought of it is always at the back of my mind.

So let us catch up with one another!

My life has been crazy. I made the decision to go back to school in March of 2013, received my associates degree May of this year, and now I am on track to attain my BS next December (2016) in psychology with a minor in chemical dependency. Now I am wondering…. what the hell was I thinking? Hubs and other family members are convinced that I am continuously psychoanalyzing them. (Well, maybe sometimes when they act like assholes.)

Master D is now in high school with full-blown puberty going on. When the heck did that happen? Right? I awake each morning wondering if my sweet son will emerge from the black hole or perhaps the alien that has recently taken up residence in his cave. I am convinced there is some sort of infestation living beneath the mound of laundry in his closet. How can such a good looking dude with a slew of hot chicks after him not worry about having clean clothes? I simply do not recall my brother living like that. I have found that closing the door to his cave rather than nagging works wonders.

Although I am on Christmas break from school, it is this time of year that I dread so much. As most begin counting the days until the 25th, I begin counting the days until the 26th ~ as the holidays are simply not the same anymore. Although I am not bitter and many do not know or see the pain, I have learned to fake it quite well. (Hollywood, call me!)

I always look forward to a new year though. For me it is a time of renewal and I am not talking resolutions either because I do not make them. I don’t want to set myself up for failure but rather I look for ways I can be a better person and that is what I am looking forward to after the 26th.

I have recently taken up photography and am excited to share some of my pics with you guys.  Follow me on instagram to see them ~ @ctollen

Thanks to those that have reached out to me over the last few months to check in, I have not taken much of a break.



Candy Crush Helped Me Pass Algebra and Curbed Anxiety


Like so many others, I have fallen prey to the addictive game of Candy Crush!    What a time burner!!  Yet, I still find myself playing just to see if I can escape the growing chocolate, or move on to another exciting level.  This game has taken me as its hostage!  I find myself asking hubs to drive when we go out just so I can play in the car.  I have been known to spend an enormous amount of time in the bathroom (not relieving myself), but trying to find some solace while attempting to pass the next level or until I run out of lives.

I realized my Candy Crush addiction was out of control when I began to hiding my iPhone as someone came into the room; similar to a cheating spouse who has been text messaging on the sly.   I have even turned the obnoxious yet tantalizing jingle of crushing, smashing and “Divine or Sweet” responses off so that my family and friends have no idea that I’ve been conquered once again.

Now I am sure you are all wondering how this effortless yet addictive pastime could have possibly helped my anxiety (and pass my Algebra class), because I am sure that Candy Crush has created anxiety in many.

Attending college at 40-something years old is enough anxiety in and of itself,  but throw some algebra into the equation (pun intended) and it can become the perfect storm.  Algebra made me frustrated, sad, pissed off, panicky, anxious, racing heart, and any other adjective that might be fitting for the occasion.  Instead of hiring a tutor reaching for the vodka, I downloaded Candy Crush.  In all honesty, when I would feel frustrated, I began playing this game.  The excitement from matching up blue, red, yellow, green, and purple candies calmed me down for a hour or so little while and I was able to concentrate.  I am not trying to be funny here, this really really helped me.  Candy Crush allowed my brain to simmer down to re-focus on the task at hand.  As a result, not only did I calm the mechanism but my anxiety as well.  (I got a 4.0 in Algebra by the way)

I have not been playing as frequently (okay, maybe a little white lie) since I am currently on break but if the second half of algebra creates another bout of anxiety, I will once again be reaching for the gaming version of Xanax.

How Do You Show Your True Colors?


If you didn’t care what anyone thought about you, what would you do?  How would YOU dress?

I saw this dog in a stroller all dolled up last weekend at the farmers market.  I asked her owner if I could snap a photo.   Of course she said yes!  All I could think was, WOW!  I love how dogs are just who they are, not a care in the world and love us no matter how we dress them up.  This little cutie sat in her stroller with sunglasses on and wagged her tail at everyone who passed her by.  She truly stole the show.  I became so engrossed in watching them that I actually forgot to buy my produce.

If we all gave up our inhibitions about what everyone thinks of us and truly let our colors show, there would probably not be a need for anti-depressants.  Just sayin’…..

Death Doesn’t Always Breed Bitterness (My New Journey)




It has been almost two years since my son died and I have spent a lot of time reflecting on my purpose and where my life should be headed.  It seems to me that life changing events force us to re-evaluate our lives.  The time I spent reflecting was almost depressing, as I realized that I wanted to do something different with my life and I couldn’t figure it out.  Then I’d get upset when no one else could tell me either.  Who was I kidding?  No one is going to tell me what direction to take in my personal life.  (well… except maybe my mother in law, but I didn’t ask her advice)

It finally hit me one night in Alanon as I was having a conversation with another parent whose son is headed in the same direction mine was.  The addiction monster had taken hold of this lady’s precious son, just like he did mine.  We talked for a long time, and then it hit me!!  I must go back to school……..

I cannot believe it!  school?  I am 42 years old!  Well that is what I am doing, I have been back in college since the  beginning of this year.  I have chosen social work as my degree with a concentration in chemical dependency.

Although my son took his life, in return I received a gift.  I have found my purpose; give unto others and hopefully save someone’s child in the process.  My son was a beautiful gift from above and I treasure every moment I had with him; his eternal gift will be the families I assist.

I could choose to be bitter about my situation but instead I have tried to reinforce with something positive.  Pretty deep huh?





Photo credit: paul bica / Foter / CC BY