Sunday, April 30, 2023


I have no idea why, but I’ve always had trouble keeping a doctor. In fact, I’m seriously beginning to wonder if I’m guilty of making them want to throw in the towel and become reclusive cave-dwellers or something, because just when I begin to feel comfortable with a physician, I inevitably receive the dreaded “I’ve decided to pursue another path in life” letter.

The first was Dr. Rosen, many years ago. He was young and new in town and I thought he was really cool.

At our first get-acquainted meeting, he asked me questions about my family, job, marital status and more.

Then he stared at me and said, very matter-of-factly, “You’re a dink.”

“Pardon me?” I asked, immediately offended, but certain I’d misheard him.

“A dink,” he repeated. “D.I.N.K. – it stands for double income, no kids.”

That was a new one to me, but I had to laugh.

Dr. Rosen always made me laugh, even when I felt as if I were on death’s doorstep. I remember having a bad case of the flu, and when I walked into his office, he looked up at me and casually said, “I sure hope you don’t feel as terrible as you look.”

I suppose his bluntness wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I liked his casual attitude because it made me feel at ease. So when he announced one day, completely out of the blue, “I’ve decided to quit family medicine and go into research instead – endocrinology,” I was crushed.

The doctor who replaced him was young, handsome…and serious. Now and then, he would crack a smile or laugh, but it all depended on which day of the week my appointment was. 

I remember one day when he was particularly grouchy, as if he seemed to hate being where he was and wasn’t even trying to conceal the I tried to snap him out of it by cracking a joke.

He scowled at me and said, “You know, I can stand you only in small doses.”

I shut up and immediately thought, “Uh oh, we’re about to lose another doctor.”

Sure enough, a week later, the letter arrived, saying he was quitting.

“At this time,” it read, “I am not certain where my next chapter will bring me, but likely it will not be in this area.”

“Does ‘not in this area’ mean the area of medicine or this area of the state?” I asked my husband who, at that moment, obviously was too distraught over the news to even hear me.

I have to admit I also was upset. The reason why I’d liked having a much younger doctor was because I figured he’d outlive me. Granted, he probably still will outlive me, but somewhere else.

Even worse, he hadn’t even lined up another doctor to replace him. We were left completely doctor-less.

“He can’t do this to me!” my husband protested, whining. “He knows everything about me – my likes, my dislikes, my allergies, my medications, my problems! It took me years to train him to be exactly the way I wanted him!”

“I’m sure the next doctor will thoroughly study your chart and do what’s best for you, too,” I said.

“Or he’ll probably be fresh out of college and have all sorts of wild, new ideas and use me as a guinea pig!” he muttered. “He’ll get rid of all of my current medications and then test a bunch of new drugs on me that will cause me to break out in weird lumps or lose my hair…or even worse!”

“As long you don’t lose your teeth,” I joked. “We can’t afford to pay for any new ones.”

I was referring to our dentist, who’d also abruptly left his local practice. He always had accepted time-payments, which we dutifully had been paying every month for ages. But the new dentist immediately had posted a sign in the waiting room that said if you couldn’t pay in full at the time of your appointment, then to reschedule it for a day when you could!

Ignoring me, my husband suddenly gasped, “What if our doctor’s replacement turns out to be a…woman! I’m not about to strip down and show off all my flab and cellulite to a woman! I mean, I used to have six-pack abs, but now I have only a two-pack…or maybe it’s more like a gallon!”

“Well, I wouldn’t mind having a woman doctor for a change,” I said. “As my dad always used to say, it’s better to have a doctor who has dainty hands than one who has fingers the size of kielbasas!”

My husband failed to see any humor in my comment.

In the past year alone, I’ve had two doctors quit on me, but I suspect it had a lot to do with Covid and the associated stress.

For example, when I saw my dermatologist for my annual checkup, I noticed he was acting…well, not like his usual self. Even though nothing on my skin had changed since my previous visit, he seemed overly concerned about every little spot and freckle.

“This could be cancer,” he said, over and over again. “I’d better biopsy it.”

By the time the exam was over, I’d lost count of the number of biopsies and stitches he’d subjected me to…and for a total of a few thousand dollars.

A short time later, I received a notice – not from him, but from the clinic where he practiced – saying he no longer was with them. There was no explanation, so I didn’t know if he’d died, quit, or if the clinic had decided to send him packing, but no replacement was mentioned. The letter said I would be contacted before my next exam and they would let me know which doctor I’d be seeing. It’s been five months and I haven’t heard a thing – other than my 250 biopsies (or so it seemed) all had come back negative.

And now, I’m understandably concerned about my upcoming cataract surgery on June 1st. I spent countless hours researching which ophthalmologist I wanted to perform the delicate task. I even posted a poll on Facebook, and a whopping majority recommended the same guy. So I was confident I’d chosen the right person to slice open my eyeballs, especially after meeting him. He made the surgery sound like a breeze – something he could perform blindfolded and with one arm in a sling, while holding the instruments in his teeth.

A few weeks later, I received a letter saying he had decided to retire early and I would be referred to another "just as competent" colleague of his who would perform my cataract surgery.

Easy for him to say.

With my track record, this new ophthalmologist probably will decide to quit right in the middle of my procedure and run off to become a mushroom farmer.

So wish me luck. I can't shake this gut feeling I’m going to need it.


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Sally Breslin is an award-winning, syndicated humor-columnist who has written regularly for newspapers and magazines all of her adult life. She is the author of several novels in a variety of genres, from humor and romance to science-fiction. Contact her at:



Monday, April 24, 2023



One of my friends called me a couple weeks ago and told me she’d met hundreds of people over the years…but never anyone who was as unlucky as I am.

That’s an honor I’m pretty sure I easily could live without.

She then asked me if I’d ever considered consulting an exorcist because there might be an evil spirit living within me.

I immediately thought of the 1973 film, The Exorcist, with actress Linda Blair’s head spinning as she spewed pea-soup-like vomit on everyone. I’d definitely never experienced any of those symptoms. 

Still, the next day, out of curiosity, I looked up “exorcists near me” online...and there actually were a few listed. But they seemed to specialize in saving people who were unable to control their urges to do demonic things.

I swear, I’ve never had any such urges.

As I’ve mentioned before, I think if there are any evil spirits lurking about anywhere, they have something to do with my parcel of land, not my body – although at my age, every time I happen to see my body in the mirror, I do tend to think something evil has to be playing a cruel joke on me.

Seriously, I’m not a superstitious person, nor do I believe in anything I can’t witness with my own two cataract-impaired eyes. But the longer I live here, the more I’m getting the distinct feeling someone or something doesn’t want me on this property.

Regular readers of my blog for the past 13 years are familiar with all of the weird occurrences that have happened since I bought this piece of land and tried to build a house on it – like going through five contractors (one quit with no explanation after only a week, one fell off his backhoe and injured his back, another filed for bankruptcy and I lost my deposit of over $100,000, and the fourth suffered a stroke).

The fifth guy finally succeeded in building the house - and with all of his body parts still intact afterwards.

Then there were tons of problems, like being land-locked because we couldn’t get a driveway permit, and ending up with an artesian well that contains 100 times the allowable levels of arsenic. And there were the trees that fell in the wind and formed an “X" directly over a path on the land, and the basement walls that cracked, also in the form of an “X," only 10 months after the house was built.

I could go on and on, but you get the idea.

I brushed off most of the weird things that have happened here as a “that’s life" sort of thing, even though more people than I can count have suggested that maybe my house is built on an ancient burial ground or on sacred land.

But I have to confess that the past month has made me seriously begin to wonder if they might be right…all because of an old stone wall.

When I purchased the land, I was told the stone walls on it were boundary markers – and according to the deed and the property map, they were. I could see them clearly marked on the paperwork, and their locations and measurements were listed in detail on the deed.

That is, except for one.

The mystery wall looks very old and begins on the left side of my driveway, about halfway up it, then continues through the woods into the center of my land. It's not listed on any of the paperwork and doesn't mark any boundaries. It also has a section that forms a circle, but there is no evidence that anything – like a camp, foundation hole, family graveyard, etc. – ever was there. 

But I assume it must have been built for a reason...

Anyway, when I fell on black ice in my driveway and fractured my wrist and arm this March, the first thing I noticed was it happened right where that stone wall meets the driveway. I didn’t think much about it at the time, but then something really scary happened at that very same spot just three weeks ago.

It was dusk and I’d walked out to the road to get my mail. As I was walking back toward the house, I saw an animal run out of the woods up ahead. I thought it might be a fox, so I stopped dead – right where the stone wall is. Within seconds, another animal ran out after the first one. They both stood in the driveway and stared at my house, not even noticing me.

I then was able to see they were dogs – cute-looking ones. I breathed a sigh of relief and cheerfully called out to them, something like, “What are you two doing here? Are you lost? I’m sure someone must really be missing you!”

Two heads snapped in my direction and to my shock, the dogs charged at me, growling and barking. I froze and spoke to them in a calm voice, saying, “pretty dogs, good dogs," but it soon became very clear to me they didn't care about anything I had to say.

At that point, I realized I was doomed.

Still growling, they circled me, as if they were vultures waiting for me to drop dead, for what felt like ages. I honestly was afraid to breathe because I had the gut feeling they were going to pounce on me, knock me over and break my other arm. 

I then made the mistake of trying to slowly back away from them. The more aggressive one wasn’t about to let that happen. He bit me on the calf. When I cried out, he bit me again. I tried to reach into my jacket pocket for my phone, but even moving only that much set him off and he nipped me – hard.

So I stood there, not moving for 15 minutes, until they finally took off…into the woods near the wall.

I was so shaken, I still was afraid to move, which turned out to be a good thing because they circled right back and charged at me again. At last, they finally ran down the driveway and took off down the road.

Long story short, the dogs turned out to live in the neighborhood and had escaped from their yard. The owners, who were super-nice, concerned and caring, assured me the dogs were friendly and loved belly rubs, and weren’t aggressive at all (that is, until they set their paws on my land from Hell!).

I ended up with bruises all over my legs, but thankfully, no skin was broken. The fact it was a cold night and I was wearing thick fleece sweatpants and woolen knee-socks might have helped me.

Last week the orthopedic surgeon removed the cast from my arm. I wasn’t at all prepared for the misshapen, alligator-skinned horror that was lurking beneath it. 

But the doctor smiled with satisfaction and said the arm was looking good (on which planet?)!

I now have a spiffy new wrist-brace in place of the cast. It’s black velvet with black laces up the sides. All I need to complete the look is a whip, fishnet stockings and a dungeon.

On the bright side, after six weeks, I’ve finally been given the okay to drive again.

So I decided to give it a try yesterday to test how my arm would feel when I attempted to steer around a corner.

Alas, my car refused to start.

I’m honestly surprised it didn't let me drive it as far as the stone wall – just so it could die right there…for effect. 

So as much as I hate to, I suppose I’ll have to call AAA.

Either that, or an exorcist.

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Sally Breslin is an award-winning syndicated columnist who has written regularly for newspapers and magazines all of her adult life. She is the author of several novels in a variety of genres, from humor and romance to science-fiction. Contact her at:




Monday, April 17, 2023



I enjoy baseball season because it’s one of the few sports I actually understand…other than bowling. It’s also one of the few sports (other than bowling) I actually have played.

Okay, so I played it way back in seventh grade, and technically it was softball, not baseball. And I didn’t play it because I wanted to, I played it because it sometimes was part of my mandatory weekly gym class (a.k.a. physical-education), a class I loved so much, I usually spent the night before hoping a meteor would crash down on my street so I’d have an excuse to stay home from school.

Back in those days, girls had to wear skirts or dresses to school. And, heaven forbid, if any of us ever dared to wear slacks, even in sub-zero weather, because the reaction from the teachers would be one of such shock, such revulsion, you’d swear we'd shown up wearing string bikinis. The offending students immediately would be sent straight back home to change into a “proper” dress.

So whenever our weekly gym class involved playing softball (only against our fellow classmates, not any actual teams) in the big field adjacent to the school, we usually stood out there in skirts or dresses, complete with nylon stockings. We looked more like a group of tea-party goers than softball players. I guess elementary schools didn't have the budget for those spiffy gym-suits with snaps up the front and and the bloomer-styled bottoms we girls were so thrilled to wear when we reached high school.

To be honest, I wanted nothing to do with softball. For one thing, I’d expected the ball to be, well…soft. The first time I picked up a softball, I figured the guy who’d named it must have been playing a cruel joke on humanity. Instead of the wad of cotton I’d expected, the softball felt more like a rock wrapped in leather. 

That’s when I decided there was no way I was going to try to catch that thing. Past experience already had taught me I was lousy at catching stuff (even big stuff) so anything smaller than a beach ball was destined to conk me on the head.        


Unfortunately, the gym teacher was unsympathetic and assigned me to play first base, which, to my dismay, involved some catching. So I took my place at the base (after someone told me which one it was), and there I stood, wondering how on earth I was going to be able to do any serious running in my fitted black skirt. The only thing I was wearing that looked even remotely softball-ish was the bulky mitt on my right hand.

The glove didn’t make my hand feel any safer, though. Heck, I’d have needed something the size of a laundry basket strapped to my wrist to give me even a remote chance of catching the ball. So under the circumstances, I did the only thing I could do…I promised God I would eat my spinach without giving my mother a hard time ever again, if only He wouldn’t allow any balls to be hit in my direction.

Well, I guess God thought the prayer from the girl who wanted to hit the ball and not strike out in front of her friends took priority over my spinach prayer, because she hit a fly ball right in my direction. When I looked up and saw that ball coming straight down at me, I immediately reacted…by covering my head with the softball mitt and ducking, so I wouldn’t be knocked unconscious.

The ball missed me by only a few inches.

I just stood there, smiling with relief, while the batter ran right past me and kept on running. Needless to say, the gym teacher wasn’t exactly pleased.

“The object of the game is to CATCH the ball before the runner gets to your base!” she said to me.

I shook my head. “I’m not about to try to catch that thing! I could get killed!”

If the gym teacher thought my catching (or lack thereof) was bad, my batting was even worse. I held the bat as if it were an ax, and “chopped” at every ball that was pitched at me. I never hit a thing... except maybe a couple mosquitoes.

After that, I was relegated to the outfield during the rest of the games. In fact, I was so far "out" in the outfield, I could have walked home, had a snack, watched TV and then come back, and no one would have known the difference. I'll bet even Joe DiMaggio couldn’t have hit a ball out far enough to reach me at my designated spot.

Softball did change the history of the dress code at my school, however. You see, one day one of my classmates was running toward second base when her wraparound skirt unwrapped and fell down around her ankles. She kicked the skirt aside and finished running the bases in her slip.

After that, girls were allowed to bring slacks to school on the days when gym class was held because even though slacks were considered "inappropriate" attire, I guess slips were considered even more inappropriate.

I suppose I could say I really miss those good old "fun" days of gym class and softball.

But nah, I think I'll pass.
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Sally Breslin is an award-winning syndicated columnist who has written regularly for newspapers and magazines all of her adult life. She is the author of several novels in a variety of genres, from humor and romance to science-fiction. Contact her at:






Monday, April 10, 2023



Regular readers of this blog already know that strange and unusual things keep happening to me where I currently live. 

But lately there have been more than a few occurrences that seem, at least to me, straight out of The Twilight Zone.

I’m talking about the sudden onslaught of "coincidences."

Take, for example, the three new houses that were built in a row on land that formerly was nothing but a dense forest leading up to my house. The address numbers of these houses, in order, just happen to be the year I graduated from elementary school, the year I graduated from high school four years later, and the year I got married, four years after that. 

Usually, because houses have odd numbers on one side of the road and even numbers on the other, they are two numbers apart on each side - 1,3,5,7 or 2,4,6,8, etc., but these three houses are four numbers apart...just like the significant dates they represent to me.

Kind of weird.

And in one of those houses lives a woman named Sally Ann, which just happens to be my name.

And in the house next to hers, a young family just moved in and they have a daughter named Wynter, which also is my dog's name – even spelled in the same creative way (but my dog has had the name five years longer than their daughter).

Then, not long ago I met the owner of another new house across the road from the aforementioned other three, and he and I both were very surprised to discover we previously were neighbors for over 20 years, yet never had met...until we moved from there to here…into The Twilight Zone.

Up until recently, I've been blaming all of the strange happenings around here on the possibility my land contains the remains of some ancient burial ground, and the spirits are angry I built my house on their sacred land and are trying to convince me to leave (okay, so maybe I’ve seen the movie Poltergeist one too many times).

 But now I’m seriously thinking Rod Serling's ancestors are buried here instead.

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Sally Breslin is an award-winning, syndicated humor-columnist who has written regularly for newspapers and magazines all of her adult life. She is the author of several novels in a variety of genres, from humor and romance to science-fiction and thrillers. Contact her at:


Tuesday, April 4, 2023



NOTE TO MY READERS: I’d intended to write something flowery and spring-ish or Easter-ish this week, but instead, I wrote a confession about a dumb decision I made (what else is new?) in an effort to save money. Anyway, just about all of the subject matter in this post is pretty gross and disgusting, so I thought I’d warn you in advance in case you are squeamish, have weak stomachs or just don’t like reading about gross and disgusting things!

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I hate to admit it, but I haven’t exactly been keeping up with my two dogs’ stool-sample tests for the past two years. I know I’m supposed to bring a sample with me every time they have their annual physical exams, but there are several reasons why I made the decision to skip a couple.

The first reason is my dogs will not do their duty while I’m watching them. If I stand there, waiting for them to “go,” they flash narrow-eyed glares at me as if to say, “Some privacy, please?” This is because I have a huge fenced-in yard, where they are free to run around and do as they please, without any assistance…or an audience.

Another reason is that gathering a stool sample with the Barbie-doll-sized scoop the vet provides and then trying to stick it into the tiny collection-tube is just plain icky…and I always manage to get some of the “sample" on myself in the process.

And speaking of the sample, I will digress here for a moment and mention that the vet needs only enough to smear on a glass slide for a microscope. So I always chuckle when I’m in the waiting room and someone walks in and plunks down a bulging gallon-sized Hefty bag on the counter and says, "Here's my dog’s stool sample."

Anyway, the biggest reason why I stopped bringing in my dogs’ samples two years ago is because up until then I’d faithfully done so for every dog I’d had in the past 30 years, and the tests always came back perfectly a cost of about $46 each.

So, in 2020, thanks to my finances being really strained as a result of the pandemic, I finally decided to prioritize what my dogs needed the most – vaccines, blood work, heartworm prevention, etc. – with the stool test falling last on the list. So I used that $46 for something else…like food.

This year, however, something unexpected happened. When my dog, Wynter, had her physical last month and I was asked for her sample, as usual, I said I’d forgotten it and would bring it in at another time (my excuse to just skip it). That’s when, to my surprise, I was informed that the cost of the stool-sample test now was included in the price of the physical, so I’d be paying for it in advance!

The assistant then handed me a new collection-tube, smiled sweetly and said, “You have 30 days to return with the sample, or you’ll lose that money.” 

Dang it all.

So the next day, I peered out of the window as my dogs romped in the yard. Finally, Wynter “did her duty.” I made a mental note of the exact spot, then grabbed my coat, latex gloves and the collection tube, and dashed outside…only to find two piles side by side on the target spot.

Which stool belonged to which dog?  I had no clue. So I did a silent “eenie meenie” and put a sample of that one into the tube, then dropped it off at the vet's.

When I woke up the next morning, I had a voice mail from the vet, saying Wynter's test had come back positive for some parasite with a medical name about five syllables long. I immediately returned the call, all the while envisioning the parasitic creature from the movie Alien shredding its way out of my poor dog’s body.

The woman who answered basically repeated what she’d said in the voice mail.

“Can you please put that into words I might understand?" I asked.

“Tapeworms,” she said. "Your dog tested positive for tapeworms."

I was momentarily rendered speechless as I thought about my mother preaching to me, back when I was a kid, to never eat uncooked meat because it would give me tapeworms.

“But I never feed raw meat to my dogs,” I said to the veterinary person. “So how did she get tapeworms?”

“Usually from ingesting a flea that is infected with tapeworm larvae,” she said.  

“I always check my dogs regularly for fleas and ticks and I haven’t seen one in years.”

“They don’t have to have fleas to eat one. They could eat or bite a small animal or bird that has fleas.” She paused before asking, “By the way, are you sure the stool sample was Wynter’s?”

“Um…not exactly.”

“Then just to be safe, we’ll treat both of your dogs. They’ll have to take two tablets each, and that should solve the problem. You can come pick up the medication today.’

That didn’t sound too complicated, much to my relief.

Still, I felt an overwhelming sense of guilt because for all I knew, my dogs could have had the creepy tapeworms ever since their last test over two years ago.

After the call ended, I immediately went online to find out if I could get tapeworms from the dogs. The general consensus was not unless I ate a flea…or something like flea-infested roadkill…neither of which was on my menu in the foreseeable future.

The de-worming tablets turned out to be $35…each…a "mere" $140 for the four. And that was with my senior discount. 

But hey, the tablets were meat-flavored, so my dogs loved them, gulped them right down and suffered no ill effects whatsoever afterwards.

The only thing that suffered was my wallet …and, well, maybe the tapeworms.

That same day, I also received a heating bill for $705.

On second thought, eating roadkill just might be in my foreseeable future after all.


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Sally Breslin is an award-winning syndicated humor-columnist who has written regularly for newspapers and magazines all of her adult life. She is the author of several novels in a variety of genres, from humor and romance to science-fiction. Contact her at: