Every sinner has a future

That’s it, back to work, no more lolly-gagging around. I think I may start to pack this week. We’ve pretty much moved ourselves out of the office. There’s a built-in desk in the spare bedroom in the main house and I often sit in the cabana when the maid is here. Otherwise, we’re both at the round table in the outdoor living area.

I am off sugar, gluten and dairy. Supposed to be no processed food either but I’ve already cracked and had gluten-free organic quinoa sticks with chia (no sugar or dairy content, but still processed). I’m going to try not to have more. I’m going to try to go three weeks and if it feels good, maybe longer. The quinoa salad above is very nice but I have to eliminate the goat cheese. Just until I can determine if dairy is my inflammatory trigger or not. Time to kick some ass – I need to weigh about eight pounds less and there’s a new spare tire creeping up around my middle. Plus, I’ve been not feeling like I’m getting enough nutrients. And my hip and knee hurt – inflammation, I’m sure. Sugar is the devil, I’m convinced. A hard habit to quit.


If you recall, I tried this before but only made six days. But, I also cut out all nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplant), corn, eggs, caffeine and alcohol. This time, those are not on the list, although I am trying to not drink anything alcoholic. But if after a week I have a light beer, I won’t beat myself up and I won’t stop the diet because I had one. If I don’t have one – bonus. The full monty is too boring. I love corn and eggs and coffee (not necessarily together though, but as ‘things’ on their own). And french fries done in coconut oil. If I can have those (especially with vinegar), I can live through pretty much any other food restrictions 🙂

And no red meat – not difficult at all for me. Just poultry and fish. No white rice but all the brown/wild rice I want, all the quinoa I want. No barley, unfortunately, which excludes a fantastic grain mix I got at Costco. I could probably live like this – I guess what I would miss most is sandwiches (the bread component). There are two things that gooey white bread is made for: a turkey sandwich and a PB&J sandwich. I just don’t see coconut flour flatbread doing the trick.


I *can* make a cauliflower crust pizza. At least, I could if I was having dairy. Oy. Well, I can have cauliflower fried rice – which is better than using white rice, trust me. It’s amazing. I didn’t really trust it the first time I tried it, so I did it half rice and half cauliflower and we couldn’t tell the difference. Cauliflower – it’s the new thing. Along with brussel sprouts – roasted with garlic, olive oil and (used to be) real bacon pieces. I have a ‘clean eating in Mexico’ URL – maybe I should do a blog. Which reminds me. I have a pile of ideas to go through.

There is (according to the planets and stars) or more correctly, *could* be, something from the past that I thought was long dead and gone that I should be resurrecting. A phoenix, so to speak. So, I started digging back. Not just the story ideas. The business ideas, too. I pulled out my list of ten things I love. But what first hit me was the old Gone to DogStar pages – where people whose dogs had died could post a twinkling star  (animated gif) in the sky with their name (online) and a page about them with a photo and tribute. I started the old pages in 1997 or so and coded over 5,000 (I think more like 7,000) dead DogStars by hand.

It was hard. I’d reserve Sundays to post them and often spent five or six hours at it. Which isn’t a lot of time, but it exhausted me emotionally. Many of the tributes I posted really made my heart hurt. In any event, for a lot of reasons, it became too hard to do and I decided I needed to automate it. So we tried. It ended up ok, but nothing more. The star pages didn’t look the same, and I wasn’t happy with the dog pages. And I never fully grasped the CMS (client management system) and then I realized that it wasn’t set up for me to approve pages and people could post whatever they liked – which is not good. So I shelved the whole thing.


While I’m on the topic – probably the saddest story I heard in all my Gone to DogStar years. When I first began, an older couple had lost Fluffy (possibly Flossy), their white toy poodle. They were just devastated. Devastated. I was very concerned about them and felt great empathy. I checked in on them every couple of weeks (by email) and they seemed to move on. Until one day she told me that all was not well, Fluffy was starting to smell. They’d had her stuffed. And they moved her from the couch in the day, to beside the bed at night. Talk about not letting go.

I must admit, as sad as it makes me as an actual event, I think death is in my future. Of course, my death is. No question (and sooner than it used to be). But that’s not what I mean. I mean death in general. In the mid-late 90s, I  got a provisional US patent and we went to town perfecting the Sundial Memorial Urn, partners out of California and I. It was a sundial for the garden with a submerged stainless steel tube where the ashes are lodged. So you can keep Fido’s ashes buried in the backyard, and if you move, take him with you. Or mom, for that matter, but we started with Fido. Did you know that the average American moves seven times in their life?

memorialurnOur patent was formally approved and our patent issued at the USPTO with a number and all  (I wrote the application – hundreds of pages, and had a lawyer edit it, I was very proud of that – C did most of the drawings). And it sold quite briskly. I still have the certificate, very official with seals and all, and a copy of the patent. It should have been the thing I did for the rest of my life, I thought. But Batesville Caskets, who had a patent (their provisional patent filed only 22 days before ours) on a sundial urn inside a cement column above the ground – shut us down by threatening to sue us for patent infringement and more importantly, threatening all of our wholesale customers. You can’t argue with a company that has two legal divisions – one to create patents and one to file lawsuits against outside patents. And does $2 billion a year in gross sales in the US alone. At least I couldn’t. I still have two of the urns in storage. But I digress.

As mentioned (at length), there are the Gone to DogStar pages. There is young adult book series of three that we wrote some years ago and I can put on Kindle. That’s a no-brainer and won’t take long. I can put them out in print, too – we have all the rights back from the publisher. They sold fairly well in their day and it won’t take much to update them. But it may not be cost effective for me to do that at this stage. I wouldn’t expect to live on that income in a million years. It will only be ancillary.  TBD.

I still don’t think we can fight Batesville so no urn revival. Think of them as the Mafia of the funeral industry, only without morals.  So, that’s still out.


There was Super Calla – our Calla Lily import venture. I only think of this because I’m now in the land of Calla Lilies, and it’s from my past. But it really doesn’t interest me as a business any more. And I hardly think (Rocky Mountain) Popping Corn on the Cob is ever coming back to life. We sold a shitload of those too, and then everyone was doing it and the market was diluted. We did get into the Marshall Fields department stores across the US, though. And my photo was in the Chicago Tribune when I dressed as the human bag of popcorn (don’t ask). We shipped as far away as Mauritius. I still have beautiful Italian canning jar with that label in storage – but all my photos/promo material copies are hard copies, in storage. Yes, it was that long ago. Ah, memories.  🙂

I guess technically, the naturopath/herbal wellness store would be a return to my past. That’s in play, we’re just waiting for the red or green light. My stars tell me to sit tight, at least through January. A lot of things could change. Geez, I almost hate writing that. The last time I felt that things were changing this strongly, cousin Tom died less than two weeks later. That’s the magnitude of change I feel – it doesn’t have to be a death (here’s hoping not) but it’s that magnitude, I think. I guess time will tell.

These are hell notes below, another interest at one time. The Chinese Buddhists burn them to send money to their loved ones who have just passed on, so that they have funds to spend in bardot (the waiting place, before you come back to your next life). When Christian missionaries arrived in China, they told all the non-Christian Buddhists, “You’re all going to hell!” So the Buddhists just figured the real name for bardot was hell and created hell notes. I still have a huge tub of them and I burn them whenever someone dies (RIP, Shannon Casey.)


I sometimes wonder how I can be this old and still not be sure what the future holds. Oh, I don’t think it’s anything bad, but it could be… anything. Just anything at all. The night’s busting open, these two lanes will take us anywhere. Maybe that’s the tattoo. And starting this week (boy, things change in a hurry around here), I’m dropping the “Canta, no llores” sign off (Sing, don’t cry). That was yesterday’s refrain. My new mantra begins now: Orale! That’s the secret. And the ticket.

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