“My Guys”

My Dad in World War II

Twenty two years ago, my Dad passed away.

It’s funny, because I was realizing the amount of years and stopped to remember…Dad’s passing brought me Jim.

Jim and his Mom

I had moved back home to help take care of Dad when he was in end stage liver failure. It was during this time I first started talking to Jim…who knew?🤔

Here we are, just about 18 years ago, all cleaned up with Our Zushie 💜🐕

This is why it has been my experience that, indeed, things happen for a reason. I will love my Dad forever, and miss him every day. He brought me that final gift, though- the gift of my Jim. How fortunate have I been to have two marvelous men in my life.

9/11 and 18 Years Ago

I would be remiss if I made no post to make mention of the 9/11 anniversary. The National Geographic channel has been running a lot of programming, especially one I have mentioned on the blog before”. 9/10- the hours before.” If you have opportunity to catch it. It is extremely bittersweet knowing what we know is going to happen. If you miss it, you can also see it on You Tube. It is definitely worth catching.

Signing off on the eve of the 18th anniversary, thanking God for every day I have two feet on the ground and remembering ALL the poor souls of 9/11, especially those first responders who suffered long after the fact.

Long Ago…

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…in a galaxy 94 miles away from where I am now, Jim and I said our vows 17 years ago on the 31st of August.

We have gone through ups, downs and bumps, but we are still here. Perhaps the fact that we were late bloomers at 42 and 48, and maybe we assumed that maturity would see us through, but what ever it was, my vote being love, we are still standing at the seventeen year mark. I have often said that it has gotten to the point where I can’t remember life without Jim and Zush, and later Zush and Kasia joining us. I think it’s a good thing.

So happy anniversary to the former bagel baker. I love you and am looking forward to the golden years that we might actually participate in down the road.

Here @ Undisclosed Location

It’s a beautiful day here, if you discount the “gazillion” percent humidity. Allegedly we are due for thunderstorms this afternoon or tonight. In the meanwhile I am taking part of the long standing tradition of moving the sprinkler periodically across the lawn.

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The heat is kicking our lawns’ butt, so I convinced Jim to put the sprinkler out, with assurances that I would stay on top of it and move it periodically. Hell, my job during summer vacation, other than walking with my trainer, Kasia, is watering flowers and vegetables. Lawns? No big leap for women-kind there.

You don’t mind it when you manage to snag an occasional sunset like the one above. It makes it all worthwhile.

Training with Kas…continued

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Kasia and I were at the bay this morning, since we both enjoyed the break in the weather that started with yesterday’s rain.

You can see the marked difference in the sky from yesterday. The blue over the bay was back and a great breeze was riding side-car. We walked for a nice clip along the bay and then made our way back home.

The flip side of this is it is still vacation time for a lot of folks, and I guess the amount of umbrellas will increase as we get closer to the weekend. It’s ok, though. Kasia and I are used to it and will adapt when we see a lot of folks. Hopefully we will keep getting out early enough to enjoy some solitude on our mother/daughter/ trainer walks. I know she enjoys them. As for me, the exercise is good, but more importantly, I savor every second I have with my girl. I know her sister, Zush, would want me to.

Too Damn Hot!

Boy, how I wish that we had some clouds in the sky right now.

Like most of the eastern part of America, we are in the oven for a few days now. Yes, I know it’s July, but when the heat index reads 115, well, I’d like to talk to those who don’t believe in global warming.

You know it’s hot out when even the bay water looks like it could be stock for soup! Yet some folks who have their vacation now are ON the beach. How they can actually stand the heat is beyond me. There are more heat advisories than you can shake a stick at, but just seeing that hot sand?**shaking my head**

Kasia and I walk early in the morning on the shadiest street. Once we take care of business, she’ll turn and look at me as to say,” Air-conditioning…NOW!” I can’t say I blame her.

Here’s hoping for cooler weather and that you are staying cool too!

A Pause in the Action

I have been off the blog for a little while because we had company here and things were kind of hopping.

I’m back.

The heat is taking its’ toll. Rain is not a common occurrence ; the lawns are starting to get brown from lack of water. My new normal morning includes watering all the flowers so they keep hanging in there. I do enjoy seeing the fruits of my labor.

The first “Jersey” tomato is ripened on the vine and ready to be picked. What a treat it will be to crack it open. When watching my calories, our tomatoes prove a treat, as they tend to be quite flavorful. It is to the point that I eat regular tomatoes only during the growing season. Outside of the season, the flavor of other tomatoes can be quite disappointing. We also have fresh lettuce that Jim has grown and I have been harvesting for salads. That has been really tasty. It makes you WANT to eat a salad.

This blog post today is dedicated to my late neighbor, Jeanne. She passed away this past winter at the age of 92. She always was a blog reader of mine, and I always looked forward to her comment for the Jersey tomato post.

We Love Our Mailperson

..for Beth our Mailperson. Back in the city, our male Mailmen weren’t too nice to her. As a result she’d bark at them all the time. What a difference a small village makes.

Beth comes up slowly with the truck, especially in the summer, as she knows I have her out there. She goes slow so Kasia won’t get frightened. It’s really incredible. Before Beth comes to our house, she goes down a block on the other side of the street. Kas will bark once to let me know to get her ready. I bring her out and Beth rewards her with a biscuit.

Nice to have an animal friendly mail server! It’s deeply appreciated.

Apollo 11

I never really was into astronauts. I saw the movie “The Right Stuff” when it first came out, and never turned back. I was hooked! Former history major, I dove head into the Mercury 7 project, Sputnik, Gemini program and the Apollo program. What really is bizarre for me is that I am realizing , thanks to news feeds, that it is going to be 50 years next month that Neil Armstrong first landed on the moon.

Neil Armstrong leading Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin to transportation to the launchpad.

I recently caught the documentary on CNN,” Apollo 11″, which showed behind the scenes film of what happened before the flight through when splashdown of the capsule occurred. It was really something to see film of the guys whose voice you recognize from hearing a historical clip of moon communications. It truly was a different day. All male engineers in white shirts with pocket protectors and ninety percent of the control room smoking either cigarettes or cigars: I am sure today’s Mission Control is a different picture.

How technology has changed!

Even the technology has grown in leaps and bounds from what the film shows that was there in the control room. The computers we know now were only a dream back then. The food the astronauts ate was geared for space (remember TANG?) and now, with the space shuttle and international space station, they were making pizza in space!

Picture taken the morning of lift-off

If you have a historical itch about the space program the needs scratching, check out the documentary “Apollo 11” on CNN. Don’t forget “The Right Stuff” and “Apollo 13”, to check the program out further. It’s really amazing.

My Trainer, Kasia

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Thanks to meeting up with a neighbor and Lexi, his fur child, we went down to the bay this morning. Instead of floral shots this morning, I get to share these pictures with you.

It was delicious, the breeze coming off the bay this morning. As we are a few blocks back, well, the humidity often has us with air-conditioning on. At 7 am, there was a slight breeze off the bay that made the walk quite pleasant.

The slight specks on the horizon were ships 🚢 heading up Delaware Bay. This morning shots of the bay were , indeed, with a sky that blue. No filter needed with the superb day, started with good exercise to boot. Now we are back in, so I can get a few things done here. You don’t mind it when you get to start your day with this view.

The End of the Month

It’s Memorial Day Weekend, and officially, today is Memorial Day. I always preferred to acknowledge it on the 30th of May, which was the first ” Decoration Day”. Either way, I have taken thought of those who served and still do serve, and thank them for their service. It is hard to want to celebrate this in the Washington Area today, as the American Vice-President is leading the ceremony in Arlington National Cemetery. The “President” of the United States is in Japan, where he gave an award to the winner of a Sumo wrestling competition last night. All I have to say is….wow.

Tomorrow marks the last week of the month, work-wise, and I have school through the rest of the week. It’s hard for me to believe time has gone so quickly and summer vacation is around the corner. Here in “Amity”, our population is bursting at the seams. I will get through the summer, and wait patiently with Kasia, for our quiet time, which is after Labor Day.

Here’s hoping that you honored the Veteran in your life today, and enjoy the start of the summer months.

Remembering…

….my Dad, a World War Two vet, especially this Memorial Day.

Down here at “Undisclosed Location”, aka “Amity”, our quiet little spot is invaded by the “summer people.” All of a sudden, you have to run and close your house windows for the visitors who insist on stinking up the air with their fire pits. It’s in the 70’s and they need a fire? We all have to suffer because they need a fire. To add insult to injury, there’s the visitors who I will kindly term as being 4 crayons short of an 8 Pack. They get the wettest, greenest sticks and try to burn them. When they do get some degree of success, the stench really is bad. Thus starts the unofficial start of summer.

How sad the true meaning of Memorial Day is lost to most people. Here’s to all who gave all, those who served and those currently serving.

You are the best! Thank you for your service.

How Good You Feel…

…when you are working to try to get your body back on speaking terms with you, and are feeling good, until you get a good chunk of pollen in your lungs that ,according to your physician, has turned into an acute sinus infection.

Seriously?

I was chatting with my buddy Bonnie and said mentally I feel fantastic ,but physically I feel as though I was hit by a truck. My doctor decided that the only thing that would clear out the infection was Amoxicillin, and with my radiation history, well, let’s just say that I am staying close to the house.

Since the beginning of March, I have been counting the carbs and calories and honestly? It is becoming second nature to this point. I worked school this week for three days and I am sure that I probably shouldn’t have worked that last day, but I enjoy the interaction with the students. Now, today through Monday, I am going to dedicate to losing the “hit by a truck” feeling, and getting my body and mind on the same page.Part of me, though, feels as if this is a plot by my body to see if I’d willingly revert to my old ways. Hah!

I’ll let you know when I start feeling like myself.

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In the Wee Small Hours…

 

Well, I am up. It is, indeed, in the wee small hours of the morning.

I hate it when I can’t sleep. While working on this behavior modification, usually I am pretty shot and sleep well. Tonight, er, rather, this morning, well, it is a different story.

I am usually pretty good and stopping caffeine at a decent hour so it doesn’t keep me up. I also like to exercise early enough so I am not trying to fall asleep with my physical and mental engines running. Today just doesn’t seem to want me to sleep. After a while of staring at the ceiling, I check my watch out and figure that I might as well get up.

The newest glitch is that the pollen is starting. I am starting to get a cough that just makes me nuts. I always used to pride myself in knowing my sinus post-nasal drip cough, but this new cough makes me sound like I smoke a pack of Pall Mall cigarettes daily. The wheeze is terrible. My physician says to go the Claritin D-Mucinex route, but it really is not working for this night-time cough. There is nothing like working to improve your physical state, but your entire body isn’t behind you 100 percent.

Well, I’ll stay up for now, and recruit Kasia, aka, my personal trainer, to walk just a wee bit further to make her Mom more tired. Perhaps that’s what’s needed. It’ll be good just to get a few hours of decent sleep.

Tricking My Metabolism

It is Thursday and it has been nice being home with Jim and not being two ships, passing in the midday, as it were. We got a bit accomplished, and with the fiasco of last night’s dinner out as the exception, it’s been pretty good.

I have found the time to tweak my foods this week. By that I mean slipping a nonfat yogurt in when I think my body was looking for carbs. It has been a week for more salad, and I am surprised at how easily my body is adapting to it.

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Kasia has been keeping me on my toes also. It’s incredible that the longer walk has her looking for it, that is, walking more frequently. That has been a plus for the both of us.

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Of course, to spite my Claritin -D and Mucinex input, I always get to appreciate the new things in bloom that are gorgeous. How the lilacs bring me back to Mays past. It is also a reminder that Jim’s birthday is coming up, along with Mother’s Day.

I made it through Easter pretty well, and if I keep mixing up my walking, with biking and the like, I should hopefully be ok in May. Actually, I’ll find out on Tuesday, which is the next dietician’s appointment.

 

No “Weigh” to Serve

A lot of times I’ll hold off on writing the blog post for the day, and I really don’t know why.

Is it because I’m tired?

Is it because I have nothing to say?

Is it because I don’t know WHAT I am going to say?

Hmmmm…today’s reason is that I felt a blog post coming. and it came from going out to our usual spot, Crest Tavern, Wildwood Crest, New Jersey. Did I mention we went out to dinner tonight? Let me rephrase that: we went there, walked out, and went to a different restaurant for dinner who treated us well, gave us wonderful service, and our dinner was good.

We headed for the Crest tavern because we like the food there. as a rule. We had a problem once before with a salad I had ordered where they had the nerve to put “white” looking iceberg in the salad, claimed it was romaine, but either was you slice it, it was “white”.

Tonight’s issue was the girl normally in the front to seat you wasn’t there. We waited, and waited, and saw there was an open booth, so we went to sit there. A waitress, who I was told by another that her name was Marie, decided to come over and try to chew us out. We are regulars. You are chewing WHO out? For someone who deals with customers, she sure had no” customer service” skills. We were told that we HAD to get up, the table HAD to get fixed, and that there was a long wait. Long wait? There was a couple with two kids and we saw with our own eyes that there were two vacant tables. We were really disgusted with her attitude. After we had left, I got on the phone and called the restaurant and asked to speak to the manager. I got a guy named Tim, and he sounded like he couldn’t give a rats’ butt what we experienced. Thus, my blog post for today, which is going to go via social network around to where people who visit the Wildwoods will see it. Never mind that we are the people that visit them off-season because WE LIVE HERE. Obviously, it doesn’t seem to matter.

We went a little deeper into the city, found Owen’s Pub, and enjoyed a comparable dinner with servers who were smiling, attentive and quick to help.

This was strike two with the Crest Tavern. Will we be back? We’ll see…..

“Weighting”Time

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What a good way to get exercise-GARDEN! It seems as though spring would never get here. If it only weren’t frustrating, at least this year for us.

We had gotten plants last year from a local farmer and our veggie output was awesome. As I said to Jim, our kiss of death works, because this year, it looks like the farmer is either not farming, or hopefully nothing serious, but no plants there. Bummer!

Now, about last years friend, and this year’s nemesis, the gerber daisies. I bought four, as where we were, they only had four. Bought a red, yellow, fuchsia and orange. Don’t you know, the yellow and fuchsia got shock from being transplanted?

**Sigh**

It’s nice. This time last year I had no stamina for gardening like I used to. This year I was out there and it felt good. Now, if I can fix my gerber daisy situation, I’ll feel great.

The weather was great today. Kasia and I had some quality walking time that we both enjoyed.

So it was a day to reap the benefits of feeling and being fifteen pounds lighter. No, I am not stopping: fifteen is the current number. It is worthwhile to feel as if I am getting back in the land of the living.

Springtime Sunday

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It is a gorgeous day today, and it is Easter Sunday to boot. Kasia and I have already had one longer walk and as soon as I post this, we’ll have walk number two.

Jim is already out, as he likes to do a really fast walk, and Kasia and I tend to move too slow for him. I am getting her out for the second walk because we have to go up and see Jim’s family that is ninety miles northwest of us. I want to get Kasia nice and tired out, and it will also benefit me, as I’d get the exercise too!

Enjoy the day and make the most of it.

Savor every moment!

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Easter

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It is almost Easter.

Nothing for me to worry about, as there is no junk in our house to blow calories on. I have to admit that I would have paid a million dollars for a piece of my Mother’s babka and a cup of coffee this morning.No worries, though, just happy memories wistfully thinking about it.

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I am traveling for Easter dinner.If you are making the holiday dinner, here’s hoping it comes out delicious. If you are traveling, stay safe.

Me? I’m just hoping to stay clear of the Easter basket.

A Long “Weigh”to Go

The allure of the water is deceiving. You figure you are at the ocean, bay or whatever. What do you forget about?
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POLLEN.

I have been doing longer walks with Kasia trying to burn up the calories. Now the problem is I have a pocket full of Kleenex I have to deal with while handling Kasia and her paraphernalia.

Sure, the flowers are a beautiful sight, and I always appreciate the view of them after the snow of winter.

I try to be good to my body with as much holistic medicine as I can get ahold of during allergy season. I figure that to throw chemicals down my throat isn’t really the relief I am looking for: as a matter of fact, I feel it is an invitation for y0ur body to start trouble where it currently may not have trouble. While I am doing the calorie counting, I feel more in tune with my body than I have in the past couple of years. So, for example, when I am congested, I use a saline wash to clean my nose out. That simple act puts the YOU in user friendly.

Well, speaking of walks, it’s time for my buddy/training partner, Kasia, and I to go and get some fresh air in our lungs and hang out together. We’ll hopefully enjoy it and come back worn out.

School’s Out…

…for spring break.

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The last few weeks, having sporadically taught sixth grade, I felt like I was in Florida with the students during spring break.

You see, for fourth thru sixth grade, swimming is compulsory in gym. After all, Cape May is on the Atlantic Coastline. I remember whenI started here, I thought that it was an awesome idea, and that it makes a lot of sense. When I would go with the students to their gym class, the pool looks so inviting..The rough part? The humidity in the pool area makes me feel like Florida in July.

Although I will miss the students for a little bit, I do admit that it will be nice to sleep in once in a while for the next few days, and more importantly, spending quality time with Jim and Kasia.
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“Weighting” for a Lifestyle Change

When I had gone to my doctor, I had a good conversation with his nurse, Anne. We talked about dieting and counting calories. To look at Anne, you would never know that she counted calories once upon a time.She had clued me in upon what worked for her and one of her hacks that she let me know about was ice cream sandwiches.

Ice cream sandwiches?

She had my full and undivided attention.

Evidently, you would get two chocolate graham crackers. Ok, I thought:so far so good. Then you fill the cracker with whipped cream and stick it in the freezer. On the surface, this sounded like a good substitution.There is only one problem. When you first take them out of the freezer and hold it as you would an ice cream sandwich, they are no longer as large as an ice cream sandwich. You might as well just eat two graham crackers and touch the can of ReddiWhip to them. I would already have my 1 cup of fruit with some whipped cream on it. Don’t get me wrong.

I appreciate what Anne was sharing with me. It worked for her. Hacks are not universal. The ice cream sandwich might work for you. It didn’t for me.

The one thing you pick up, when trying to get back to a healthy lifestyle, is that you do, indeed,learn by doing.

“Weight” a Minute!

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In a minimal amount of time, here are some things that have made me grateful and happy during this leg of my behavior modification.

  1. Even with fourteen pounds off, my feet hurt less. I basically wear the same shoes when I am in school and it’s absolutely amazing how the loss of weight has my feet saying thank you.
  2. “Weight”! Are those my missing in action abdominal muscles? All of a sudden I have the ability to take steps without walking one step at a time. Now I can ambulate one foot after another! It has sadly been a while since I did that.
  3. I always drank water. That was never really an issue for me. However, starting again from square one in behavior modification has stirred up the thirst in me. I like that. Ever look at low calorie lemonade, soda, juice, etc? Ever look at the label and read the ingredients? You go and read until you see the big 5 syllable words that translate into chemicals. Ugh. No thanks: I’ll pass.
  4. My cheerleading squad is with me every step of the way. It helps that Jim is doing this with me, but he is truly in my corner, encouraging me by telling me how much better I look. My neighbor behind me comes down over the weekend and we go for a walk. Gregory, my neighbor, does research work for me and tells me about different twists on “Eat this, not that”.He also finds comprehensive quick lists of calories in things, such as lunchmeat. My 81 year old neighbor calls over to me to tell me she can see the loss of weight in my torso. Oh, and let’s not forget my Kasia, my number one walking partner.
  5. My support group rocks!
  6. No, I don’t waltz by myself in a women’s room stall, but all of a sudden I seem to have a little bit more room to take care of business in.You go from banging elbows on stall walls, to noticing I don’t have to hang on anything to get myself up. I missed that and am grateful to have that ability back.

So this is my quick list for now. Sometimes, I have to admit, I see the little changes and kick myself for letting myself go that far. Depression sucks, and I was deep in it. Crawling up and taking care of myself? I find it a much more pleasurable task.

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“Weighting”to Figure It All Out

This past week, I had an appointment with my relatively new general practitioner. He commended me for my weight loss, and with his next breath, said most of his female patients my age hit a plateau and then stop watching what they eat, recording calories, and start eating junk. I had thought that it wasn’t really thought through by my doctor, because he knows that I need to be positive about this lifestyle change. I decided to cut him some slack, as he really is a good doctor and just was throwing the conversational thoughts out there.He was “spit-balling”, as it were.

I am still under the weather with either early allergies from pollen or a run-of-the-mill head cold. I usually can make due using a saline wash to clear my sinuses out, but it just wasn’t working. When that happens, I have to pull out the big guns: I take a decongestant. Hopefully, I will be ok for work this week and for the Easter holiday. I am hoping , also, that Easter dinner will offer me good choices. As I am going to someone’s house for Easter dinner, I don’t think bringing my own salad would be too good. I just hope that I can get through Easter without it causing my calorie counting to go into overdrive.

“Weighting” for Good Health

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It was a beautiful day today, albeit colder thanks to the current winter storm hitting the midwest. For example, I’m wearing polar fleece over a sweatshirt as I type this. Will it stop my weight-loss mission?No way.
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Our local hospital,in conjunction with our registered dietician and a few other physicians and nurses, ran a healthy eating program at a country-club located in our vicinity.The program started at 6PM and at 5:30PM, they offered us healthy choices for dinner. There were various salads with light dressings that were very tasty. I had the spring mix with sliced Granny Smith apples and walnut halves that was really good. Jim also opted for this choice. They offered hummus and sliced veggies and dip in addition to fresh cut fruit. The offerings were cantaloupe,pineapple,honeydew and grapes.

It was a 1 1/2 hour program and definitely worth the time and attention. Now, if I can shake this cold?

I’ll feel great!

“Weighting” for Good Health

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It was a beautiful day today, and, on the top of it, it’s my day off. .What better time to go to the doctor!

Seriously?…..

With my cancer history, I keep my doctor appointments. I learned early after my first diagnosis You have to stay on top of things. It’s a small price to pay to skirt by cancer scares. Actually, today was the first time, in a long while, I looked forward to going to the doctor.I was thinner!Anyone who has ever been overweight knows how much you look forward** insert heavy sarcasm here** to getting on a scale in the doctor’s office. Once in a blue moon, you might luck into a nurse about your age. Otherwise, they are always 25 and flowing the Keto diet and there is no fat on them anywhere. No wonder my self esteem always was M.I.A.going there.

Today’s visit was different. I had lost weight for the first time since retiring and moving here. I give the dietician the credit for me getting my act together.Even my blood-work has shown an improvement since deciding to count calories. It is an exec end, almost winning way to start, and I am going to try my damndest to keep it going.It may not have the equivalent of Willie Wonka’s golden ticket, but good health is always the grand prize.
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“Weighting” to be Kind

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Finally, I am home. It was a good day which was busy. Busy is good. Busy equals movement which keeps my metabolism going. In short, it keeps my hand out of f the cookie jar…lol.

I am gradually adding a small amount of dried fruit to help keep me going. Today, I put some dried cranberries. I am conscious of sugar in dried fruit, and know too much is bad. It is just a little to add some flavor pops in my meal. I also have walnut halves to add some good fat into my diet.

The day, academically, was awesome. I try to be kind to the students, and I get good behavior in return.

I was a math teacher who additionally taught two classes to autistic students. It was great to see when I made some headway with them. The only lousy part about today? I slept poorly last night.

I have to work on that.

A Sunday in Spring

Jim and I were invited over to my godson Luca’s house for breakfast this morning.

I mean how can I not want to eat where I see this face! ** muah** It’s a two-fer when I get to see this face too!

We had homemade waffles that my friend Bella made. It was the first time we socialized while counting calories .As we knew what we were going to eat, we got to work the calories up so it wasn’t too bad. Luca and Matti’s parents are good friends of ours, and we always enjoy their company.

Now we know we can handle invitations out. The dietician visit also gave us some other ideas for menu choices out and different things for home. The rough part is I have to work this week and I need to make meals in advance. Hopefully that will turn out ok.

Weighting for ….

the rain to stop, so I can take Kasia for a walk.

Fortunately, I had work today which had me moving. I had special education for kindergarten, along with second and third grades. Meanwhile, back at home…

…my buddy,Kasia, waited patiently for me to get home. It’s funny, but she seems to know that she graduated from dog/ daughter to personal trainer. We all are moving so much more than we did from this past fall and winter, and it is reflected in us feeling a little bit better, mentally. I genuinely believe that is half the battle.

There are plenty of beautiful things to look at here during a walk, including this picture of the daffodils I saw before the rain. It makes you appreciate being here by the bay.

Let’s not forget my pretty girl Kasia.

But in the meantime, tomorrow we are going food shopping for the week. It will be the first time we will be trying fresh fish. You have to remember that we weren’t fish people, outside of tuna.We always seemed to go for seafood, such as scallops or shrimp. I admit that I was the one holding us back a bit, but I have gotten used to it now. I know it is better for us in the long run, and my body feels better a bit just in the first month of calorie counting. We are looking forward to trying the new recipes that the dietician found for us, in addition to kicking back and getting our batteries recharged.

Have a great weekend. Thanks for reading!

Weight a Minute!

Between the exercise of walking Kasia further, school and counting carbs and calories, I am officially down 12 1/2 pounds.
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Take the picture above. Where Jim and I go out for dinner on Thursday nights, they have introduced this roasted red beet salad which is delicious. Six months I wouldn’t have thought so. Incredible what accountability will do.

The dietician looked at me as though she didn’t think I would do as well as I did on the scale. Easy to do, when you are tired of lugging the extra inches on your body.Our appointment today gave us a few ideas on trying twists in the menu to keep us satisfied and keep up our good work.

So we are going to keep on keeping on. This appointment marked one month since the initial appointment with the dietician. I’m going to keep doing what has been working for me, and not kill myself, as I realize that an almost 60 year old body goes slowly in some areas. Fortunately, there is no race. My body is happy, and I intend to keep it that way!
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Number? What number?

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Tomorrow we have an appointment with the hospital dietician for our second visit.

As our first was in the beginning fo the month, we have a few weeks under our belt now. We are supposed to bring our calorie book that each meal that we have eaten is recorded in. This we have done religiously.

According to our new scale that we brought for home, we have both dropped weight. I love going to the dietician and getting on the official scale, because I know the hospital scale and my scale will probably give me two different numbers. According to our scale here, my number is pretty satisfactory.

When we go tomorrow, one thing we are going to discuss is menu ideas. I mean, seriously? Jim has the same thing every second day for breakfast. I jump all around trying to trick my metabolism. As I am working more than I have been, I need quick but nourishing breakfasts for me too. Hopefully, tomorrow she will turn the page and let us branch out to low calorie, tasty things that we like, and not even mutter the word quinoa. The dietician is pretty good, so I hope that we’ll leave the office tomorrow with good ideas.

Starting from Step 1

img_0032

Back from when this picture was taken, I was a ton thinner than I am now.

I officially am disgusted of it. So I made a change.

Today was my first appointment with my dietician.

When I was doing behavior modification, I learned how to do it.Obviously, I dropped some weight. Now, however, it’s different. I am almost 60, and my metabolism is slower. So in a fashion, I have to start at square one.This time I am doing it so I feel better and can go through life with a few less aches and pains.

Wish me luck!

Phil was right….

…I think.

Pardon the shaky quality,but it’s the best shot of my robin I saw this morning, while walking Kasia.

I had to laugh, as I could have gotten by with my down coat, but figured I’d wear a little lighter jacket. I have a couple different apps on my phone for weather, but I think my surgical incisions are more reliable than any barometer.

That’s my story and I am sticking with it!😎

Jeez

The look on Kasia,feigning sleep, is disgust. I tried introducing her to a healthier, dehydrated raw food that allegedly is better for her. The argument made for this food is what dogs would eat in the wild. With the current trend of drugs, like for euthanasia, currently found in Hill’s prescription food, I figure I have to work this in. I’d like to keep Kasia around for a good long stretch.

I’ll keep you posted on the battle.

January of a Generation

You can call it what you wish, but I call it as I feel it: COLD.That’s what the 40 mile per hour winds and low temperatures feel like.

❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️💨💨💨💨💨💨💨

Please be mindful of frostbite and stay in if you can. Stay safe!

Oatmeal Day

it’s a down pouring day here to the point where Kasia and I did backstroke during our morning walk. Well, maybe it felt that way.☔️☔️☔️☔️☔️☔️☔️☔️☔️☔️☔️☔️☔️

The warmth of the house, it’s so funny, to come in on a down-pouring 55 degree day.The folks who claim there is no global warming, well, I’d like to know what 🌎 they live on.

Winter Storm Me

So I am sitting at the breakfast bar,having some cocoa, and wondering how many more crazy named storms are coming up with courtesy of the weather channel.

💨🌬⛄️☃️❄️☃️⛄️🌬💨

Fortunately, I am riding this winter out.Tomorrow we are going up in temperature a little. Unlike my buds who are coming back from their tropical trips, Kas and I cuddle up until Jim gets back in from work. I try to get her busy,so this way, we both get a little exercise.

Now temperatures and rain are allegedly happening in tomorrow’s weather . I guess that means spring is here…lol

Part Deux begins

I really am relating to my late parents as yours truly creeps up to 60.

For someone who loves snow, I am watching the AFC football game and it was so cold at kick off time, you could see everyone’s breath due to the cold. In the old day, I ‘d be there no problem. Uh, today? No thanks

🏈🏈🏈🏈🏈🏈🏈🏈🏈🏈🏈🏈

❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️

One-Eyed Jacks

So it’s a new year, right?

All of a sudden today, around mid-day, my right eye is acting up. Yes, both eyes have cataracts out. Tried to feel if something was in there, but to no avail. Put drops in… nada.

Not the way I wanted to start the year.Doctor on tomorrow’s agenda, but that’s without saying.

2019

With the exception of the local idiots setting off fire works, it was a pleasant New Years,considering we were both sick. Jim actually went to urgent care to get my ever popular “acute bronchitis-sinusitis” diagnosis. Who says-you don’t share love and germs..lol.

Hope you have a wonderful 2019! Remember to stop in early and often to catch up with the blog.

Here’s some color from 2018.Enjoy!

2018-9

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,to quote a famous old writer….

We’ve managed to get through things, my mother-in-law made one hundred, and we’re still hanging in there..

Here’s hoping for a better 2019 for everyone.

Remember that tonight is amateurs’ night.

Be careful folks!

Old Year

My girl Kasia has been putting up with mom’s holiday blues.

The weather has been dreary and it is always hard to see one less chair at the table. Yet she occasionally checks in with me to say”How is your knee, Momma?”

She sits with me on the pitch,keeping me company before falling asleep in the sun.

I vent to her and the wag of the tail does more for me than therapy ever would. I can only pray I luck out with her for many more years to come.

The Pause that Refreshes

Kasia is resting, because she’s knows Momma’s birthday is tomorrow.

We’re going to take a pause for a day, and just make sure I rest up, because Jim and I’ll have 4 guests tomorrow.

Yes, Luca’s opened his mouth, because he’s in disbelief that I am going to be THAT old. With his brother Matt, and their parents, we’re going to try NOT to need the fire department over, to help put my candles out.

See you Sunday!

Bubble

My friend, Peggy, made a remark about both of us sharing a protective bubble.

Especially this time of the year, I was sorry to hear about a buddy aching like me. I went to the physician this morning, and got through step one, a prescription for my x-ray. The primary feels that if there isn’t anything loose in the knee, I might have a stress fracture in my tibia, which would be the current cause of my pain.

So it would appear that best case scenario would have me in a boot, and worst would be going in for a screwdriver, ratchet and general knee repair. And you, my dear reader,are wondering why I am so lacking of Yuletide spirit?

Fa-la-la-la…..and all that jazz.

At least I can admire our front lights that Jim worked so hard on.

That Kind of Day….again

Seaside pictures are what I love totally, regardless of weather.

It is raining again and getting windy. Good weather for walking with Kasia and working my prayers for my buds who need them, including us too. Any port in a storm,as the saying goes.

On the other hand, my Christmas cactus has rebloomed ,and along with a pointsetta, my front bay window is cheery, regardless of weather.

So it’s out we go for our walk, and we’ll be working our beads in the wind..

Hold a good thought for someone, or even say a prayer:you never know who needs it.

Day Two

The swelling is somewhat down a little, am following doctor’s orders, but my knee is still talking to me. Oh well, healing takes a while in your late fifties.

Kasia is trying to put her HobblesMCGee down a little, because she knows I’m not feeling that well. So we are bed buddies, moping around hoping we feel better soon.

No Good Deed….

So I was coming up the street from a neighbor’s house and a funny thing happened to me on the way from the forum…..I tripped on a downed tree branch and fell flat on on of my two knee replacements.

Kasia, to her credit, stayed right with me. The last thing I really needed was that fall. It is bad enough I am paranoid about titanium coming out of my knee. Now I have a blown up knee that the ortho called in a script for, and a bit of ice too.

Gee…hope this doesn’t keep up like this or I’ll go bananas.

Flowers of my Birthday Month-akaChristmas Cactus Redux

Reader Alexis wanted to see my Christmas cactus.

There is no secret. I don’t drown it in water. It gets mid to late day sun, and I must admit, I love the color of it.There are other birthdays plants residing here.

Have four poinsettias in residence.

It kind of makes up for no fresh tree.

Baptism by Fire

Well, tomorrow is my baptism by fire. I am going o help Matti’s and Luca’s parents out tomorrow morning by babysitting the boys for a few hours.

Now,granted, I am a Cioci(aunt) but it has been twenty years since I actively babysat, and I am considerably older. It’ll be interesting. I, as all good “Cioci” of my generation, still have a few tricks up my sleeve. The question is, what tricks my guys will have up theirs!

Big Guns

Today, as a substitute teacher, I dealt with fourth and fifth graders.

Egad!

After dealing with younger children, I now had to put on the big teacher boots.

Fortunately, I managed fourth and fifth pretty well. I have to admit it was a challenge. You are dealing with students who are 10 and 11 going on 25. For instance, in English, I worked with them on stories they were typing. I don’t know if it’s exposure to social media or what. All I know is I was a ton more innocent about life than these kids are.

I guess I’m in for an advanced education!

Pleasant Surprises

I had breakfast with thisi little munchkin and his brother and parents this morning.

My friend, Bella and her husband, Ivo, invited Jim, Kasia and myself over for homemade waffles this morning.We were pleasantly surprised, so we got ourselves over. Matti announced that I was there for dinner. At four, we make allowances but did tell him it was breakfast ,not dinner.

It’s not often we get a chance to socialize, and Ivo and Bella are the kindest people.

Sometimes, it’s amazing to get pleasantly surprised,especially by our younger neighbors.It was a wonderful start to the day.

It Catches Up to You

I am watching the funeral coverage of President George Herbert Walker Bush, 41st President of the United States. As I watch, I realize my age in Presidencies.

I was born during the end of the Eisenhower administration. I have a vague memory of the drums on a black and white television in November of 1963. I remember, either via radio or television,the passing of Eisenhower, Johnson, Nixon and Regan. It shocked me today to realize Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama are the only three former Presidents still alive.

I am blessed to be an American, but even more so that my mind still remembers these historical moments. As a history major, it makes me more cognizant of the passage of time. I may never jump with a parachute as the late President Bush did, I intend to savor every moment.

Another Monday

We celebrated my Mother-in-law’s birthday twice within the past week. She turned 100 on Thanksgiving day. It was a good time,especially since we went through some health scares in the summer. It definitely made her birthday a celebration.

So here I sit on Cyber-Monday, enjoying the peace and quiet. It is especially quiet now, as we had a good soaking of rain today.

Here’s hoping you have a good week, my friends, and that the weather is treating you well.

Opening a New Door

Today I began the next step of my career.

I went to the West Cape May elementary school, and,for them first time, was a substitute teacher. Boy, it really felt good. It is a small school running from grades Pre-K to 6.What a difference with a low student to teacher ratio. The children are actually excited to learn.

Although the appearance of the classroom is basically 1980’s South Jersey, their technological was awesome.I have never saw a school with such modern technology. It was also nice to work with people who have a goal-the education of children to the best of our ability.

Feeling good to be back in the saddle again.

Giddy-up. Mrs.C is back in town.

Close but no cigar

If you are a regular reader

Of this blog, you know that I had won a ring after entering a picture ( one of my favorites) of Zush wearing glasses.

I never take it off, medical procedures notwithstanding.

I woke up this morning and it was gone!

I can say I honestly cried as hard as when she died. I got my prayer warriors together and between that and my Saint Anthony ‘s, I found it!

I feel as if my girl is back with me.

Memory Lane

We took a road trip today, Jim, Kasia and myself. We had somethings that needed attention. Then, we took a detour.

I don’t know how many of you know that Jim made a living for a long time making bagels. In fact, he helped someone learn how to make bagels in New Jersey. We went there today and found out that he is in business twenty-five years this year. It was like old home week for Jim.

We grabbed something to eat and went on our way. It was a little bizarre for Jim to realize the amount of time that had passed, but , you know what?Always nice to take a trip down memory lane.

Fires

God, the California fires are so scary and make me sad. I don’t know if it was of natural causes or carelessness of man, but my heart ❤️ goes out to all of those folks.

It’s one of those situations you pray you never have to experience. The first responders must have nerves of steel, but God bless them and their families. It can’t be easy.

I know I get a little nervous here when I see new construction going up and it seems to get closer to the neighboring house with each new one going up. I look at the new construction and think that it only takes one spark to start an inferno.

Here’s hoping we all stay safe!

Leaf Me Alone….or Wanna Make a Bet?

Leaf collection starts Tuesday,allegedly, in “Undisclosed Location”. Here’s the quality job Jim did getting ours together.

One small thing though. Be it big city or little hamlet, sure they are collecting leaves but they’ll have to spend more money in late January when they have to do it a second time.

Why?

All the leaves aren’t down yet…things that make you want to shake some heads in local government.

And so….

This fellow is turning 31 on Sunday.

Egad! I am getting old.

I remember when I could carry him on my shoulders. He’s now towers over me. We used to play with trains and hot wheels and look at Christmas lights in the neighborhood. He’s married and puts up their lights, and I like to think he picked up his love for animals from me. He and his wife have two cats, which warms my heart.

Happiest of birthdays to my Matt. Couldn’t be prouder of you if I tried.

Bohemian Rhapsody

With apologies for my ” bone”hemian part, Jim and I went to see Bohemian Rhapsody at the movies. There is a lot of Oscar talk about Rami Malek, who played Freddie Mercury.

Being in my late 50’s, I spent some good years listening to Queen. I even remember seeing them on television during Live Aid in 1985.

It is a good movie that held our attention and made us forget the outside world for a while. It goes without saying that the music rocked!

If Queen music is your cup of tea, then I give this movie ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️…..don’t miss it!

Bah, humbug

At least my favorite trick-or treaters, Luca and Matti showed up with Mom. Oh, and Mr. Mailman scored some treats for making a Halloween 🎃 delivery.

It’s 5:21pm and how I miss Rochelle avenue every year on this day. So many trick or treaters you’d run out of candy. Everyone laughing and having fun.

See the fun I’m having? I might have a few more but it is definitely a different animal here than the city. I can honestly say it’s the only time of the year I am maybe 4 hours homesick.

It was fun while it lasted!

The Kindness of Neighbors

My buddy, Rita, is 81 years old.She is my neighbor directly across the street.

When I hang with Rita, I feel like I’m home. It’s good having an old school neighbor. They call it as they see it and 99.9% of the time they are right.

She has come to love Kasia in her own way. I love her for that. A few times Rita and I talk about stuff and she has refreshed the common sense in my head.

Meanwhile, I am drinking a hot cup of tea with a miniature cinnamon bun she bought me down from a spot up north that we both enjoy.

Thank God for good friends!

A Pick Up

One of my favorite movies that I used to share with my 95 year old friend was on today!

“Donovan’s Reef” came out in 1963. I remember being in grammar school and the nuns treating us to this movie in 1972, when I was in 7th grade.

Starring John Wayne, Elizabeth Allen, Lee Marvin , Cesar Romero, and Dorothy Lamour ,among others, it is a cute movie of the period.

The only ” issue” in the movie is when the doctor’s daughter from Boston is meeting her step-sisters and brother, and the audience is wondering, in 1963, if she’ll accept them because they are half Polynesian. My, how time’s flown.

So if you are looking for a cute chuckle of a movie, catch “Donovan’s Reef”. You won’t be sorry.

The Big One

Today, my youngest Godchild is officially one year old. ” Holy Cow”‘,Luca would say. How fast has time flown.

From this little guy in a walker to a one year old with a Barcelona soccer ball.

My standing allegiance has to be to his big brother, Matti, aka Mr. Taffy, as I have seen all his 4 years.

When I came in this afternoon to take these shots, Matti had informed me that the soccer ball was Luca’s. Evidently boundaries had been set…😂

In the meanwhile, mom Bella supervised the birthday boy who had his biscuit in one hand while trying to commandeer Matti’s LEGO’s in the other. A busy afternoon was had by all indeed, except for Kasia.

In honor of his first birthday, she supervised Luca and even let him pet her headache few times gently.

Happy birthday dearest Luca. I was surprised and honored to be your Godmother, and I hope we’ll be in each other’s lives for a long time to come. Jim, Kasia, and I love you to bits!

Sto lat!

First Comes Love…

Then comes marriage…that’s how the old saying goes.

I can’t help but wonder how the dueling, per se,went down at Buckingham and Kensington palace. Of course, Harry and Meghan had to have their choice of wedding day, so Eugenie got the leftover season.

Isn’t it funny now that Harry and Meghan are expecting their first child…I guess Eugenie and her husband will be looked at as Brits wait for the next step in the catch up game.🇬🇧

Another Royal Wedding

I managed to catch the wedding on television this morning of Eugenie and. Jack.

I had to laugh as the groom took off his glasses once the Princess made her way up to meet him at the altar. I also had another good chuckle when Prince Andrew and Princess Beatrice both went out to straighten Eugenie’s train.

And of course, there were a ton of Royals,

So here’s hoping best of luck for the newest batch of Royal couples. I hope their drama is minimal and lives are long together.

Party’s Over

Well, in anticipation of the storm Michael, Jim turned our tables over snd saved the plants so they wouldn’t fall over.

The did he is slowly going down. They clean tonight will be the first cool night in a long time. I am happy that my fall wardrobe is up and ready to go.

The mums are ready to lead the way and welcome us into the fake.

It’s about time that’s all I have to say.

Ay,ay,ay….

We are back to medical land today because I felt like beating my self over the head.

Why not.

I left one dermatologist office and followed my favorite physician assistant to his new job two miles away.

Little did I know that regulation steps in and ,for now, I can only see the physician in the practice because, surprise! The physician assistant MAY be taking my insurance by the end of the year. Happy birthday to me, huh?

Another two hours I had absolutely NOTHING (not) to do with. How anyone over 80 deals with this is beyond me. Kasia, in the meanwhile, can think of a thousand things to do.

Looking for a Decent Movie? Try CHEF!

Found one!

Obviously not box office gold, I am watching it on Showtime.

If you had any food preparation background, fancied yourself a pretty decent chef thanks to Food Network, or just like to eat, well, you’ll like this movie.

Starring Jon Favreau, Scarlett Johansson, Dustin Hoffman, Oliver Platt and Sofia Vergara, John Leguizamo among others, “Chef” is a good family ( kind of) movie. It gives you food for thought.

The only problem with this film? The whole thing made me hungry.😁

Do yourself a favor: don’t miss this wherever you can catch it. It was awesome !

Laying low

So, gentle reader, if you have been following my summer heath woes, you’ll know that I’ve taken a ton of medical testing only to find out my liver is not as bad as initially suspected.

I had been told by my surgeon, that based on the results of my last,we would talk about the outside chance of a liver biopsy. Well, last blood work was good, and that was good.

So imagine my dismay, when I got a phone call, informing that I had an October 6th appointment to come in and talk to him regarding a biopsy . Because I explained that it was an option, I felt I was given no need to discuss it. The receptionist was going to say I was denying a biopsy. Whoa, I said I would have one when needed. I said I hadn’t been given a reason for one.

Nothing like having to fight a good fight.

Do Yourself a Simple Favor….

Spare yourself seeing “A Simple Favor.”

Perhaps a millennial might have found it good. Age has different tastes.

It was starting out as a good film, but just got a little twisted as the plot went on.

And if you are wondering where former cast mate of Designing Women Jean Smart is, well she is an alcoholic bit player in this film.

So what had the appearance of a comic thriller, well, do yourself a favor- miss it on cable

Really Disgusted

Back when cell phones were relatively new, does any one besides me remember the ” Do not call list”?

What the hell happened to it?

Jim got a call today claiming his social security numbers, yes numbers- tip #1, were all fraudulent. You get a call from the IRS and return the call to the far west, in this case, Arizona, saying you are in big trouble with the IRS and your wages are going to be garnished.

Instead of helping America get better again, how about helping old and Senior Americans, and putting scammers behind bars.

Alone again, Naturally…

**with apologies to Gilbert O’Sullivan**

It’s 5:14 pm and it’s just me and my buddy.

I am waiting patiently to get my first call for school. The problem there is I might have given my right temple a pseudo-concussion by banging it on the dryer door. I have a right leg flare up that, for someone doing low carbs and has a liver on lock down.,that I am just shaking my head.

I know Man plans and God laughs, but I’m thinking I ‘ll chuckle with God if it gets me a week or two of extra vacation.

Gangs all here

My sister- in- law is hiking so Mom is spending the weekend with us.

We went to 10am Mass and then took her to see her pal Joe, who is 95. Did I mention my mother-in-law is 99?

Joe is shown here in an earlier blip with Joe.

Our friend , Georgine, came over and we had a really nice chat.

Kasia , of course, added laughs.

In all we are blessed.

In the Meanwhile….

I have cleared my back deck of blooms, in anticipation of whatever comes north from Florence. I just hate to waste pretty blossoms to torrents of rain.

The rest of my deck resembles a spinach or romaine patch. Granted, summer is still here for another ten days, but the overcast weather, drizzle and rain lets you know fall is on its’ way.

My mother-in-law and sister-in-law are due down here for a visit. I am hoping the weather holds and an enjoyable time is had for all.

“STORM OF A LIFETIME”

Seriously?

What happened in Texas last year? Is each hurricane coming up the pike going to be the storm of a lifetime? Is this just a fact of climate change that many folks like to sweep under the rug? I don’t know.

The weather channel seems to be posting a lot of press conferences, warning people in the Carolinas to leave. This speaks to me, as I live a few blocks from a bay of water. I don’t even want to think of what people are going through.

Here are some Gerber daisies I cut to bring some color in during the rain.

My prayers are with those who are in storm’s way, and for safety for all.

9/11+18 Years later

I would be remiss if I made no post to make mention of the 9/11 anniversary. The National Geographic channel has been running a lot of programming, especially one I have mentioned on the blog before”. 9/10- the hours before.” If you have opportunity to catch it. It is extremely bittersweet knowing what we know is going to happen. If you miss it, you can also see it on You Tube. It is definitely worth catching.

Signing off on the eve of the 18th anniversary, thanking God for every day I have two feet on the ground and remembering ALL the poor souls of 9/11, especially those first responders who suffered long after the fact.

Alas, Poor SE

….I knew it well.

My wish for cooler weather was granted over the weekend, so much so, that I had to wear a raincoat on Sunday.

Oh yes, did I mention my phone was in my raincoat pocket?

Did I mention that it fell out of my pocket into a puddle when I was getting out of the car?

Yeah.

So here I patiently sit, waiting for SE.02 to show up.

I should have known bad mojo was on the way. I just paid the phone off, and was eligible for an upgrade.

And yes, I believe,” Murphy was an optimist.”

Booked up

It is funny. I have discovered that what ever stage of life you are in, when you think you are free to do something, you always find out that somehow, you are already booked up for something else. Chances are good that you knew nothing about it until the last minute.

I would guess that would be why, when we are actually free ,we tend to look at each other as to say” Now what?” In this current state of heat, there’s not too much we feel like doing.

Even our walks with Kasia are somewhat abbreviated. She goes outside and takes care of business and then give a collective”Ahhh” when we come back in.

I think our entire family is ready for a cool snap.

Where Does The Time Go?

Friends of mine are lamenting their now empty nests this September, as all their children are educated and gone.

For us, just Jim, me and Kasia, we say the same thing. Where did summer go? We had Jim on day work and for us, it’s almost like a normal 7-3 life. Today the tables are turned, and Jim goes back to a later shift, leaving Kasia and I to fend for ourselves.

Granted we had a worrying summer, health wise, between my Mother-in-law and myself. I am not completely in the clear yet. Now, we have to adapt to our September dance. It’ll just be a matter of time before I am back in the classroom too. So I get to savor every walk and minute with Kasia, as I realize how short life is.

Hopefully I’ll get through the next few years, and we’ll be able to travel and actually ** gulp** retire.

A girl can dream, right?

My Alyx

My niece, Alexandra, was born when I was twenty. I remember being excited because I already had a nephew- now I had a niece. I had two other nephews, Matt and Greg, and I always loved them all, but the only girl was special…as she got older she loved her brother and adored her cousins.

It’s twenty one years today that you left me and finally were able to rest. Babci and Dziadziu are up there with you now, and you also have my Zusher. I know God took the best to keep you company. Rest well, Alexandra. Cioci will always love and miss you.

Raining Again, 16 Years Later

My friend , Bonnie, wished me a happy anniversary and said she was sorry it was raining for our special day.

When we were married ,all of our religious friends had their Blessed Mother statues looking outward at a window. It helped, as the ceremony and reception were blessed with good weather.

Believe it or not, we honeymooned in West Cape May, and by the time we got here, it was pretty much a nor’easter. Seeing rain today.? No big deal for us. We were used to getting wet.

We have made it to16…..here’s to the next 16.

Remembering the Day before

One of my favorite documentaries I found on YouTube was entitled 9/10, the day before. An anchorman from Chanel eleven in NewYork, was reviewing the news stories of 9/10, and in review, how insignificant it all seems,in light of the next day’s events.

Well, today is my day before. Fifteen years ago I was getting ready to marry Jim the next morning. What happened the night before, I can remember being with Ryan, my ” beck and call boy”and my maid of honor Denise. I do remember that last ” single girl’s kiss” from Jim.

So here I am, just about 16 years later, and it is funny. You do remember some of the things from before, but it’s like there was no life before him.

It goes without saying Zush is dearly missed and thought of every day. She has a spot in my heart forever.

I married a loving son and brother, a gentle soul, the best pup daddy on earth and my best friend and lover. He is my sit-down and stand-up comedian, and the breath to my life.

So, albeit a day or few hours early, Happy Anniversary to my Jim. I love you more than all the grains of sand in Higbee and the Panama Canal basin.

Beating Heat

Kasia and I are hiding inside in the air, as the real feel temperature is 100 degrees.

The Gerbers are trying their best to also hang in there.

Kasia.and I found a concert that was playing on the AXIS channel. It was callled Hungarian Rhapsody- Queen live in Bucharest, With this disclaimer, Queen was always one of my favorite groups. Their music brings memories of happy times for me.

The concert ran for an hour, and it’s amazing, after years of sitting at outside concerts, getting bit and the like, well, old age gets me to stay in air-conditioning and enjoying it.

Songs like Radio Gaga, Bohemian Rhapsody, We are the Champions: these were just a few of the hits they played. Freddie Mercury even learned a song in Hungarian and the crowd went wild.

What a pleasure to find a surprise like this on a Wednesday afternoon.

Golden Days of August

Kasia and I have been taking a hit with the humidity down here. We walked almost three quarters of a mile this morning, and when we were done, it looked as if we both took a swim in the bay.

Flowers are hanging in, as long as you remember to water them. Some, despite this, bite the bullet. I brought this one Gerber in to enjoy it before it got worn down by the heat.

Anyhow, Kas and I patiently are waiting for October, or the first 60 degree day. It’s guaranteed we’ll be dancing in our walk when it happens.

Old Folks, Old Car

So you know we’ve been busy visiting my mother-in-law.

Here the jokester switched spots.She was in great form as you can see in this picture.

We had a good visit.

There was only one thing that made the visit a tight squeeze. On Friday night, our car wouldn’t start. Jim ended up getting us a rental car so we’d be able to get up and see her.

So here was our pretty little car. I was in heaven.I didn’t have to climb into our Escape, nor get myself down. On the other side, Jim hated the rental car because he was used to the SUV.

Jim’s buddy, who is a mechanic, diagnosed it long distance. He got a new battery and , for now, the car seems ok. Jim’s Mom is hanging in, as are we.

If only the humidity would leave….

Dad

I can’t believe it’s been twenty years.

Twenty years ago, it started as an ordinary day. Yes, my Dad was on the cusp of entering hospice, but it was not meant to be. I called home mid-morning to check on how things were going, as I normally did.

I was told Dad was having a bad morning, so I left.

Dad left us two o’clock that afternoon.

I couldn’t believe the kindness of my co-workers. Some even came and called at the house to pay their respects.

Twenty years.

You have Mom and now my Zush up there with you. Make sure you give Zush love from her Momma, ok?

I miss you terribly Daddy, but will love you forever.

Age is showing

Today’s alternative to cable is the original, circa 1973-4,”Murder on the Orient Express”, starring, Albert Finney, Lauren Bacall, Martin Balsam, Richard Widmark, Ingrid Bergman, among others.

Because I really enjoyed this movie, available on Amazon Prime for me, I had Jim take me to the 2017 remake, with Kenneth Branagh, Johnny Depp, Dame Judi Dench, among others. What a disappointment.

What’s the old saying? “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Old School Summer TV

If you read this blog with any regularity, .you know of my fondness for the TV detective series, Colombo, starring the late Peter Falk. In my area, the Hallmark mystery channel runs it in the morning at 8 AM and ME TV runs it on 8 PM Sunday nights.

In this age of NCIS, Criminal Minds, and all the shows which show the actual blood and guts and violence, it is a pleasure to use my mind to try to figure out the. whodunnit of the plot. You don’t always need to see the violence. Isn’t real life bad enough?

The End of August

I am watching a 3 hour special On-Demand regarding Princess Dianna. This year will mark the 21st year of her passing.

This Friday marks the 20th anniversary of my Dad’s passing. In my heart, it still feels like yesterday. I think back and amazed that I remember everything that happened that day.

My friend, Isabella, has her birthday on Friday. It allows me to smile on that day, as Matti and Luca will be joining in the singing.

Of course, bringing up the rear is the 16th anniversary for Jim and myself on the 31st.

All I keep thinking is , how long ago, vacation was always the last week in August.

Thanks. Dad💕😘

Another Saturday

Kasia accompanied us yesterday to see Jim’s Mom at the rehab center. She was really a good girl. Our Zush used to go to the nursing home with us to see our friend Stan. This was the first time Kasia went.

Sometimes she needed a little space, with all the excitement. Under the chair next to my Mother-in-law seemed to fill the spot. Jim took Kasia out a few times and she posed for pictures for Daddy.

Mom was pleased to see all of us, but especially Kasia. She brought her brand of pup sunshine to everyone.

Going Through the Motions

Summer is taking its’ toll.

Our tomatoes were happy until the rains hit. I have gone swimming once so far. The highlight has been my Gerber daisies hanging in there, thanks to advice and some fertilizer.

I’m thankful I have my good friends to check in with and occasionally hang with. Kasia and I keep walking, making up for lost mileage in the boot. I have to admit that this summer has me worn out. Sure, there’s air conditioning but I can’t wait for a good night’s sleep with air conditioning off and windows open.

This is the second summer Kasia has been without her sister.

Sometimes I think, in her own way, she misses Zush as much as I do.We would all have ice in our water when we needed to cool off, and I miss putting towels down to make sure they were not too sloppy. It is true: you always miss what’s gone.

Just like Home

It was a nice change for me.

My cousin Rose Marie was down from the city to hang with me. It was nice actually having family come in.

We did some restaurants , like the Crab Trap, and this morning was Steve’s from route 47. We stayed up late talking and did some shopping at the Christmas tree shop. After all, what’s therapy without shopping.😉

I am blessed to have Rose Marie in my life. She is on of my honorary sisters.

August with the Kas

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My girl Kasia is hanging in during the, pardon the expression,” dog days of August”.

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She takes a rest in shade whenever she gets a chance, and I have no argument with her. We usually try to get out while it’s earlier in the day and make the best of a little later cooler walk.

img_3419When it’s agreeable to us both, we head down to the beach. In some ways, I miss Zush, as she would always take us toward the water. Kasia makes up her own mind daily, and I can honestly say she never goes the same way twice.

She learned from Zush, and has become the best girl on earth. We all know who the best girl in heaven is, in my humble opinion.

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And in the Middle of Things…

….you have seen posts of me since the end of May, when I managed to keep things somewhat light and gay. Well, I wasn’t quite honest.

I have been having severe gastrointestinal issues that have required a ton of testing. In fact, I haven’t had this much testing since 1993, which started the timeline of my first cancer.

Today, I reminded myself how fortunate I am that I have a good retiree medical plan thanks to my old job, and opened my eyes to see the inside of an MRI tube. When I had my first one in 1993, I seem to remember it being completely mirrored. Today, I opened my eyes and saw two yellow tube lights to each side of me on the ceiling. Jeez, Mar, you have gotten old, thank God.

So please forgive me if the posts have been sporadic, but I hope to get my health issues behind me. Send any prayers and good karma, if you can spare them, to me.

Appreciate it!

 

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Long Day’s Journey

We are resting tonight in anticipation of seeing Jim’s Mom tomorrow.

Today’s photo is one of Jim’s Mom with Jim and Kasia. We askedMom for permission to name Kasia.

Jim’s Mom is of Polish decent. Her name, translated from English, would be Kasia..We didn’t want her offended, and she was so taken by Kasia, that she readily agreed and was pleased. Our favorite girl in heaven, Zosia, translated into English, is Sophie. Mom had a sister, Sophie, and Zush always made her smile.

So tomorrow we will go and see her, and hope for the best. We look forward to when we can bring Kasia to see her again.

In Between it All

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The picture above is of my mother-in-law and our family friend, Joe. My mother-in-law is 99 years old. Joe is 95. We teased her about being an older woman. She laughed.

The two of them get along so well. When I saw Joe he’d always ask about Jim’s Mom and Mom about Joe.This was taken during their latest visit at the end of June.

We’ve gotten to the point when Jim’s Mom is still in the hospital and now we await the next steps. Naturally, she will need to go to a rehabilitation center once she gets out. What happens then depends on an ” official” diagnosis. It is hard when you have a family doctor, are admitted into an emergency room, and all of a sudden there are 7 doctors , more or less, moving in and out on you.

And so, we wait. Please keep prayers and good mojo sending toward Jim’s Mom’s way.

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The Beat Goes On…

My thanks to all who inquired as to Jim’s Mom’s health.

img_2883She is resting comfortably and hanging in there. One lesson for anyone with older parents, relatives, friends, or neighbors :stop in and make sure they are hydrated, especially in this heat. I know water isn’t necessarily easy to get down in this heat, but in this case. it’s a necessary evil.

img_2880We are now back in the praying and sharing caregiving game. I’d ask anyone who reads this to hold a good thought for Jim’s Mom. For all of those people out there caregiving, and you KNOW who you are. Hang in there. Savor what time you have together, because you can never get it back.

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Never a Dull Moment

We are taking a ride to the city pretty soon. Jim’s Mom is in the hospital

So, even though you think you are done with road trips, here I am , trying to get stuff together to keep us moving. Driving back to the city in this heat, and after sleeping poorly last night, well, let’s just say I am packing my rosary too.

Kasia has been fed, and my friend will check in on her in a few hours.

Please say some prayers or send out some good karma for Jim’s Mom.

Thanks.😘

In the Pink….

….or orange or cream. My Gerber daisies, thanks to Luca and Matti’s grandpop, George, have been providing me color on my back deck.

Thanks to the advice of fertilizing them, they have been taking turns all summer, giving me pretty colors.

I remember last year when I was lamenting that all I had out back looked like Romaine lettuce. All green leaves and no flowers made for a frustrating first year growing Gerbers.

It’s amazing what some friendly advice will give you, if you listen.

Hope you enjoyed the pictures!

Off the Grid

Here are some of today’s sights from the Hobbles McGee and Kasia tour.

I am having a full week, so it really is imperative that I manage to spend some time with my buddy, Kasia.

I’m hoping by next week that MAYBE , if I am lucky, I’ll be out of the boot. It’ll probably take a year for my foot to dry up, because the humidity has been crappy.Hopefully , we can start walking a little while longer every time. It’s been rough with the boot. Kasia is usually ready to turn around and head for home. Zush used to walk forever. Kasia and I have to get with the program!

This is a picture of a dragonfly we saw in the yard coming back home.

Have a good day, dear reader. Stay cool!

Medical Cha-cha

I have used the book pictured above with some success in the past. I used it because I wanted to, and it became my food bible.

Now, for something different, I NEED this book for medical reasons. It would appear that carbohydrate count will be a part of my daily life. So, in order to thoroughly embrace this, we went food shopping. We did this with one catch. I read the labels on each and on every product that went in the cart. Nothing with carbs over 10 .Assuming that my limit would be roughly. 60-70 grams of carbs a day. It was really a shock when I looked at juice, yes, JUICE, and saw 36 carbs a serving. I shook my head and really figured that eating right is really going to have to be my daily religion. If I don’t, I might not have a day to be around in.

I really want to thank three of my besties, Juls, Bonnie and JP. After talking with you guys over the last few weeks, To my buddy Kath, bestie from way back…you always have my back even through our TBMP days together.** hugs to you all.**

I KNOW I can do this.

My Buddy

You have met my Godson Luca. Here is his big brother Matti. He is my buddy. Because of the time I spent with the kindergarten and pre-K classes, I try to get him in thoughts of pre K. Unfortunately, due to his October birthday. He has to wait until next September.

He is an active funny little comedian. I can hardly wait to see him in a classroom situation. He has a mind that you can see go a mile a minute. He loves his little brother, Luca.

As you can see in the first picture, Matti is hugging his favorite dinosaur. Luca opts for rights to it when Matti isn’t around.

Matti and Luca both love that their maternal grandparents are here. They love them to pieces.

They are my two sweethearts.

I am blessed to have them both in my life.

Taking a Breather

Although it was a pretty day today, the humidity was so bad that, after coming in from Kasia’s walks today, I’d swear that even my eyebrows were sweating. I was hoping for a little cooler weather, but it was not to be.

Kasia has hung in there with my foot in the boot during our walks. I know she’d like to go a little further. I try to walk her in the shade to make thing easier on pads on her feet. When we both manage to get back in, I think we both look at each other and just pass out from the heat.

Try to stay cool, dear readers, and hydrate in this heat. Keep everyone in your family, including fur children, in the shade.

“What Hath God Wrought.”

Please allow me to introduce you to the newest member of my family. Yes, It is a grown up iPad.

Not my MacBook Pro or my iPad mini, but a bonafide iPad.

Perhaps the great Undisclosed location novel will be thought of on it.

In the current swarm of medical anxiety sweeping around my head, I have a moment of hope. I am hoping for a long and happy relationship with it.

It’s good being a content Apple customer.

Give the Boot the Boot

God, If I only could….

The break is in two bones in my left foot. It ended up in a boot on Friday the 13th.

**read bad mojo here**

I have taken to wearing long black yoga pants in an attempt to keep the boot from irritating my leg. I am on an antibiotic to act as a prophylactic for potential cellulitis.

Next week I have a three day stretch of medical testing making my mind just spin crazy.

Signing off now to think good thoughts…

Breezy Monday

There was enough breeze, albeit warm, to sit on our back deck and have no mosquito interruptions.

We came out after dinner and after seeing the wind moving tree leaves around, we figured we’d see what we are missing.

Kas is all sprawled out, taking in the air.Today was the first day that the two of us resumed taking our walks as we did pre-company.Ever respectful, she sees my broken foot in the boot and tries to give me slack.

We had a great day!

My Sister

We met around 11 years ago on line in a weight lose group, Spark People.

My” sister” Juls, is truly the sister I always wanted and I love her to bits.

We don’t get to hang in person as much as we’d like. But she’s here with her husband Tim and their pups and we have had a blast. This is one of the times where you get to pick your “family”, and I got to get my BFF and sister, Juls.

I announced, last night, after seeing Momma Mia 2, the Juls was Donna and I would be the one who gets the cake…..

I love her and am blessed to have met her and become “sisters”.

Company

Kasia is waiting patiently for her pup cousins to pull up tp the door.

Here is her BPF( best puppy friend)Ginger. Outside of a little hello growling, they are true buds.

Here is everyone’s pal ,except Kasia’s, who’s name is Lilybelle, aka Lily. She tends to go where Kasia isn’t….I know it’s over treats that they tossled over.

Their Mom and Dad, our pals Juls and Tim will be coming down too. Here’s hoping for safe travels all around and wishing all my readers a nice weekend.

The Hits Just Keep on Coming…

Our at the Orthopedic doctor, since the boot urgent care gave me on my Friday the 13th debacle has irritated the leg beyond belief.

Yes, I have tried everything possible to make it ok, but didn’t want to drag to the point of a return of cellulitis from two years ago.

So I posted this picture on Facebook, with the premise being turning life’s current lemons into lemonade.

Happy Friday the 13th

Here’s Nurse Kasia.

Nurse ,you say.

Yes….since yesterday afternoon, when I walked 4 houses down the street, going up to thank someone being nice and giving me a pleasant surprise. So I walked up 3 of 4 stairs with no railing. When I stepped on the 3rd step with my left foot, my ankle twisted. Fortunately , Jim was near-by.

I went to urgent care, and was diagnosed with a bad sprain… until 5:45pm. The Physician’s Assistant called me to inform me that the doctor at the hospital read my x-ray and I have an avulsion fracture in my left foot.

No anti- inflammatories, no booze… just a girl, her boot and some ice and Tylenol.

Swell…….

Which Twin has the Tony?

This is my Keurig, which is roughly 5 years old. It’s shown here in its’ home on our counter in the kitchen.

Here is a twin which came into my possession today. It is, for now, on a different part of the counter.

I am on the classical horns of a dilemma. What to do? My neighbor across the street, who also has one, said don’t get rid of one of them for a week. I know what she means. Keep the old one, and in 3 days, guaranteed to kick the bucket.

Stay tuned for the continuing saga of the great caffeine caper.

Hot,Hot,Hot

You probably think the weather here is nice….

Sure, if you like humidity at the major urban congested city level.

My hydrangea is hanging in by a wing and a prayer. Some of the other flowers look as if they need a trip to ICU.We had two nice nights of comfortable sleeping. Now, as of 4:45pm, the humidity could be a zillion, for all Kasia and I care.

Come on October!

Mrs. C’s a-coming…….

When I worked, I had the pleasure of working with a woman named Pat.This blog is for you, Pat!
For all intensive purposes, for this blog, I will call her Maureen O’Hara, as she bore a strong resemblance to her.

My buddy,” Maureen”, is retired and posts on Facebook a bit.She always will comment when she has come across her “kids” from the old neighborhood.Her kids, shortened her last name and called her “Mrs. C.”and many of them fondly referred to her as that.

Well, every year here in”Amity”, they have a street fair on the first Saturday after fourth of July. I was out there myself, looking over things, when all of a sudden, two little voices said,”Hi Mrs. C.”You understand, the children couldn’t handle my last name so they all started me Mrs. C.

I may not have the amount of “kids” my buddy has dealt with over the years, but, “Maureen O’Hara”, watch out. I’m still glowing from my first off school property acknowledgement as Mrs. C.

Feels pretty damn good.

Highlights

My friend, Joe and my mother-in-law had their annual visit today.

Joe is 95 and my mother-in-law is 99. What a duo. Mom’s hearing is shot, Joe always tells me he feels good, but he tells a lot of stories, and I love him: he is one of a kind.

As usual, Kas served as chaperone 😂

A good time was had by all!

Taking A Breather

Kasia is kicking back after a beautiful day, where the weather was absolutely gorgeous. The wind was just a bit breezy and it felt so very good.

The sky was a gorgeous shade of blue, and the only thing hindering Kasia’s walk today were all the cars still in town. The both of us will be happy when traffic dies down and we’ll be back to our normal rythym.

Hope you have a good week!

Company’s Coming…

…and when you’ve been tied up with work, usually you pick up what you need last minute.

BIG MISTAKE!

Our stools at our breakfast bar were worse for wear. There was no way they should still be in the house. So what did we do? The number one capital sin of a Friday mid-day in July-go shopping.😩

We found what we were looking for at Bed, Bath and Beyond. Unfortunately, so were many other people shopping, although not necessary for bar stools.

The photo above shows one of four registers open and lines snaking from here to Timbuktu.

Chalk this up to rookie mistakes.

My Least Favorite Time of the Year

Summer heat in Amity, Fourth of July vacationers, ….is it October yet..?

I am looking toward the few family and friends that will be stopping our way, which means I need to clean up this B&B for the season. Today is sheet dayand laundry day.

Tomorrow is menu makeup and housecleaning…. guests coming…not a second to lose. Squeeze in some surgery in there and July will be pretty much booked up.

Come on October!

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The Kindness of Neighbors

Jim had to work yesterday and I had somewhere I had to be at 10 am.

Enter my neighbor, who said he’d give me a lift.You can imagine my surprise when I saw my buddy, his eldest son, in the back.It really threw me for a loop and his sunshine from his smile was so contagious.

The ride left me with such a good feeling that I promised my little buddy that we’d make chocolate chip cookies together as a thank you for his Dad and the rest of the family, and that was special. We really had a good time and I was surprised how good he was for me.

Later on, he came back over with his Mom and bought some Romanian goodies for me and Jim.

A pretty memorable day, at least for me!

Summer is Here in Spades

It is funny when you work in school during the school year, and figure out you’ll make your doctor appointments while you are off. What they fail to inform you is that there’s a general practitioner appointment, blood work, then one specialist after another to have a check up.It feels as though all our time is spent in the car riding up the Garden State Parkway, and going in, registering, and joining the huddled masses sitting there waiting for your name to be called.

There is even bigger pressure on me these next fifteen months, as it is the end of my medical insurance from my employer.I have to start researching to see if I can find a lower COBRA rate for me or if Jim and I will stick with what we have. As he will be Medicare eligible in May, his part of my insurance coverages turns into his Plan B.

I guess I am really fortunate to keep on top of the months, so I know what we have to do. But, God, it’s almost five years that I have been retired.

As the late Richie Ashburn, Phillies sportscaster would say….”Hard to believe, Harry, hard to believe.”

Gerbers

it is usually during my afternoon walk with Kasia that I take in the state of other people’ flowers and see how mine are stacking up. If you remember, my friend Isabella’s parents are visiting from Romania and her dad, apparently, is quite the gardener.

If you were to go back to the blog this time last year, you’d have seen how I complained that it looked as if I had pots of romaine instead of Gerber daisies. Silly me! Would I have ever thought to fertilize them? What a difference a year makes.

Always nice to have a gardening wizard in the neighborhood, even for a short while!

Columbo Night

In my quest to find something in cable land that won’t insult my intelligence, well, all I can say is ,” Thank God it’s Sunday!”

ME TV on my local cable shows Columbo reruns and it is a pleasure to have a challenging show to keep me entertained.

Beats some of the other crap on Cable.

Cables’ Saving Grace for Saturday Night

Sure, Friday night sucked with only M*A*S*H on for comfort.

Thanks to my PBS station, I am catching a rerun of the “Concert for George.” The friends of the late George Harrison got together on the one year anniversary of his passing, as a salute and fund raiser to my favorite Beatle.

Mind you, I grew up a Simon and Garfunkel, David Cassidy, Osmonds, Jackson 5 , Bobby Sherman fan. Like everyone else, sure I liked the Beatles. I mean who didn’t?

It wasn’t until the first time I caught this concert that I realized how much I enjoyed George’s music.It was 2002 when they played the concert in Royal Albert Hall, and it was tremendous.

The late Tom Petty was on the stage playing “Taxman” and Traveling Willbury music. It was so enjoyable, and bittersweet now that they are all gone. My favorite song, “All things must pass” was done to perfection.

I know there’s a lot going around about the James. Cordon carpool spot featuring Sir Paul McCarthy right now, and I thought it was excellent, but this concert had secured George’s spot in my heart.

Happy to be in on this first rainy Saturday night of Summer 2018.

Cable blech!

Pretty bad that with wonderful Comcast, the only thing I can find on a Friday night to watch is an old episode of M*A*S*H running out of WGN from Chicago.

I laugh at stories on Google saying that today’s teens watch whatever they want to watch on You-Tube. They only sit and watch cable when joining their parents to watch.

I usually find comfort in shows like M*A*S*H as background noise, but as far as finding what I want to watch, well, I am with the teens. You-Tube has so many old movies and television shows, mini-series, and even bleeps from Stephen Colbert and James Corden.

After all, how many “Diners, drive-ins and dives” can they rerun forever?

Mar vs.Hydrangea

I have always loved hydrangea.

I had gotten one from Jim for St. Valentine’s Day, but we left it at the Philadelphia house. Three years ago, a neighbor was moving away and offered me her hydrangea.

What a struggle!

It would seem that Jersey creatures, not the Jersey devil, have a happy taste for hydrangea leaves. It was sad: it’s not as if they ate everything- they ate the meat out of the leaf.

Answer solved? Spraying it with Neem oil. That, with TLC helped me nurse it through.

Three years later, and, viola’….a baby blossom.

Not Quite Summer

Our little version of Amity is pretty much in full swing.

All the tourists were paying homage to their fathers and husbands, tanning on the beach when, all of a sudden, my little Amity became a part of Miami CSI.

Two teens were out in Delaware Bay in their kayak. They saw something floating and hurried back to the beach when they realized it was a dead body. They had their parents call 911 on their cell phone.It turned out to be a fully dressed male in his 40’s.

So when you think a sleepy little town is exactly that-think twice!

Dad

Tomorrow is the nineteenth Fathers’ Day without my Dad.

It’s funny how, as I get older, certain memories of Dad get sharper. For instance, the Philadelphia Phillies were playing the Milwaukee Brewers today and the Brewers were wearing uniforms circa 1984. It was a time my oldest brother and his family lived out there, and Dad went with us to the game in the old stadium there. I called my oldest godson to talk to him and we laughed about the memory. I also wished him a happy Fathers’ Day.

I am sure Dad had the best game seats with a heavenly view today, and laughed about the same thing.

To all the Dads and ” Have to be Dads” out there, know your memories are cherished by us all.

Gratefulness

“It is not happiness that makes us grateful.
It’s gratefulness that makes us happy.”

David Steindl-Rast
author, scholar, Benedictine monk.

I came across this quote in the current issue of Oprah’s magazine and it kind of punched me in the nose. GRATEFUL.

The top of this post has two people I am grateful for, that is, my Angel Zush and Kasia. I realized from day one how fortunate I was to has them in my life. They made every minute with me worth it.

I stop and think of people I know who are happy without being grateful, who think things should be handed to them, and that makes them happy. I think these people have no clue on what gratitude is.

I am grateful for the time Jim and his Mom have together.I think that we try to hold back time, but time continues to march on.

Most of all I am grateful for my folks. With out them, I wouldn’t be here right now.

Watering Flowers

Welcome to ” Undisclosed Location”, where we seem to have rain daily.

Fortunately, it has given me time to read up on the care of Gerber daisies. My friend Isa’s father is in town, and he also has given me a few tips.

They seem to be working so far. I am hoping to get better flowering results this year than I had last year. It goes without saying that if you have any tips on Gerber daisy care and handling, please leave a comment: I am sure I need to learn much more.

Thanks!

Getting A Break

Actually managed to score a day off today.

Our windows were open, fresh air ruled the house until I had to close windows so we didn’t smoke up from neighboring fire pits starting.

Kas and I walked and enjoyed the bright sunshine and the balmy 65 degree day.

So we were thankful for the Mama daughter time, on this beautiful day.

A Gift From Zush

My girl left me for heaven one year ago today.

She sent me a gift from heaven to mark the occasion.

If you peer through the window, you will see “LB”, or Little Birdie. It is a fledgling blue jay who somehow has ended up on our porch. He came into our lives Sunday and has been in various positions on the porch bench. The shot above is Kasia checking in with her baby brother…lol.

The mother and father, I assume, have their nest in the front of our house.They have been back on numerous occasions during the day to check on LB and I have seen the Mom feed LB a worm or two.

I know, eventually, as all “kids” do, LB will leave the nest. Until then, thanks, Zush, for sending a little heart saver to us.

Pain plus 363

I know that although my heart is heavy, I love both my girls, and always will.

They ALWAYS hung together, except at the vet- not Kasia’s favorite spot. This is one of my favorite pictures I took out back with them. My Zush was always willing to humor me for a picture; Kas, not so much.

This was the best pseudo-selfie of Kasia and me. This shot I took when I first was attempting selfies.

This is one of my favorite Zush shots: I took it in my back yard. We were coming back from a good walk.

And baby Zush, 6 months old, on the day we became her pack.💜🐕😘

Both gals hanging out at our neighbor’s yard, working on treats.

So there you are. My heartache tempered by some memories close to my heart.

Pain plus 362.


For the past three hundred and sixty-two days, I have been making strides with Kasia, who Jim and I refer to as the queen. She knows she has the rule of the house.

Yet my heart sinks daily as the memory of my Zushie is never far out of my mind. Three hundred and sixty-two sunrises and sunsets that I haven’t had her here with me. Fireworks throughout the year that I haven’t had to worry about calming her down.

I have some comfort that she is with my Mom, but it is still so hard.

I don’t even take Kasia down to the bay, as she doesn’t love it quite the way Zush did. I find it quite ironic that we moved down here because she could go and swim her hearts’ content in the bay, and now she is gone.

So please forgive me if I am not quite myself the next few days.

My heart hurts.

A Moment

I am sitting here for a few minutes trying to compose myself.

Tomorrow, I am finally getting seen by my GI for my esophagus issue. I am so tired from worry, and yet can’t seem to stop. The last time I had fear like this in my heart was 1999, having had the third of my three cancers back then. Sometimes you know that things are going to be rough. Especially in my mind is I was in my thirties for my first three. I’m a little older now.

It’s funny how people tell you not to worry.

I’ll stop worrying when I get an all clear from the doctor.