Should old acquaintance…

…be forgot….in light of my Mom and her dementia, here’s hoping everyone holds on to their mental abilities in the years to come.

We are seeing our buddies for New Years and it is good to be with our contemporaries. We commiserate about the same stuff, hell, I think our fur children even commiserate about the same stuff..lol..

Be safe this New Year’s Eve!

Good health, happiness, and prosperity for you all in 2012!

See you next year!

These boots are made for walkin’….

Behold…my right foot.

For those of you who “know” me, you know I have been through the whole knee saga and would say, “Mar? A heel? What’s up with that?”

Well, I figure it’s time.

I am hopefully going to see my other “Juls” over New Year’s Day and in Carlisle PA., it’s known to be a little frosty. So I looked in my closet last night and said it’s time.I haven’t worked a heel on a shoe for about five years-not that I was ever a big fan of a heel. In fact, the Naturalizer heel was as high as I went. If only I didn’t have a belly in the way  when I put them on, but, that’s another story that I am working on…on that note, a shout out to my friend Joanne, who knew my coffee was a little lonely this morning- the baked goods were fabulous!

So, I am going to work these boots into the new year,hoping to start the year in an upright position.

Here’s hoping you do the same.,

On the flip side from yesterday..

…When I am at home with Jim, as opposed to watching my Mom at night, I get to ride the train into the office. When the train pulls into the station, I am able to walk underground up to a block before my office , so it’s not too bad during the winter.

I was walking through the mall area this morning when I came in, and walked by a Dunkin’ Donuts, where a guy, who I had recognized, had turned first, looked at me and said good morning. I, naturally, wished him a good morning back. I really don’t know this guy outside of riding the train for the past almost ten years, but the mere fact that he recognized me and spoke to me not only made me feel good, but started me thinking.

There are people I know from an almost daily commute on the train. Take, for instance, my friend who is a physician’s assistant at Hahnemann hospital. Do I know her name? No, as we sit in the quiet car every morning and on the way back. We pantomime our good mornings and smile, and when we are frustrated at something about the transit authority, we’ve been know to pass notes back and forth. An acquaintance from, of all places, my brother’s street, who, I am embarrassed to say, for as many times as I talked to him on the train platform, well, have never asked his name. Then there is Jim, who I have been getting the train with since I first got married-he works for the transit authority and loves to tell me stories, while waiting on the platform, about inspecting train tunnels..**shudder**..but, entertaining none the less.

Outside of maybe two handfuls of true “friends” that I have met working at the same spot for 27 years, I’ll miss these guys too. Not enough NOT to leave, but there will always be a warm spot in my heart for you all.

Oh, for my buddies Juls and Duch, here is a sunset of shot of my hopefully future transportation- the Ferry. 😉

Going through withdrawl…

 

 

It’s been a bit since I have been down to ” Undisclosed location”

Due to caregiving and holiday related issues, I’ve had to be in the city.

It sucks.Really.

Sure there’s all the holiday and family and work …there is also rushing, pushing, ill-mannered people. People who have no respect for other people or their things. I know, I know, it can be like that everywhere , you say. Well, I have had enough of it through the past week and a half and am oh so eager to turn the light out on my time in the big city. Maybe it’s me. Maybe you have to be young and under 35 to get the rush of bustling around in the city.Clubs, restaurants, movies, etc…I have bought my ticket long ago and it is all punched out. When I have to come in to the city on the bus, with chanting going on in my head to calm my soul, something is not right in this picture. Don’t get me wrong :I love prayer and meditation, but, as my husband will attest, when you are so fed up, not too much in that line is successful.

Time to start folding up the tent.

Back to the full grind..

After a quick Christmas, which I really couldn’t consider “off” time, I am getting ready to close up shop here at home, get washed and gather what I need for work tomorrow and head up for my night at Mom’s. I laugh at how yesterday, Monday, was the “observed” Christmas day, because we were working in the house trying to get things together for the trash. The hopeful outlook for 2012 is maybe, just maybe, we’ll be gone and in our new chapter of our lives.

In the meanwhile, here’s to a happy healthy ( in mind, body and spirit) 2012!

Giddy-up! LOL

Yup, it’s that time of year again…

…and I am not talking about Resolve stain cleaner. Just curious if anyone is making any that they want to share.

I know I have resolved a lot throughout the years; some were successful, others not. They always say those who forget history are condemned to repeat it, so it is with that in my mind I entered this poll onto todays’ posting. I’d like to think that I am smart enough to realize that a lot of the resolutions made either aren’t realistic, or are easily brushed aside by mannerisms you never intended to change anyway.Hey, though, I will give you and “E” for effort.

In the meanwhile, I am pleased to announce that the creamer is still out of my coffee, and I intend to still make the 100 calories cuts as my nephew Greg found the article suggesting it. After all, little things mean a lot, right?

The mother all snuggled …

….up in her bed, but no sugarplums are in her thoughts…She ate some babka and had coffee with her breakfast… She is resting now,with Oreo snuggled next to her. Thanks to my brother Bob, she is going to have pierogi and mushrooms for lunch:a far cry from Christmases past. We’ll take it, for all is calm…

Merry Christmas!

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Shifting into low gear

Knowing I have Mom tonight and tomorrow night into Sunday day, I think my body is correspondingly trying to fall into low gear. I just can not seem to get started today. Cold caffeine, hot coffee, nothing…Maybe it’s just I know that there is only the expectation of me for Mom and I really don’t have to do anything else. I am going to my in-laws Sunday night, after my brother who helps me has a family dinner with his boys. I will do my little celebration then.

Here’s hoping everyone has a Merry Christmas and a healthy 2012!

love,

Mar

kruschiki

This was my birthday treat: my aunt made Kruschiki for Christmas, and brought some up for my Mom. Kruschiki are a sweet bow tie cookie, Polish in origin, and when they are made with a heavier dough, make for a hell of a dunking cookie. My buddy, Rita, bought me a new mug with peppermint hot chocolate mix in it, so I made that up to dunk the kruschiki in.

Yes, it is my birthday, but sometimes you need the kruschiki-it is the Christmas week breakfast of champions, and just nibbling on them this morning, well, it brought me back to my childhood. Of course, life was easier then, but you know what? For a fleeting moment this morning?

” Life is good.”

Laying low..

…before a night at Mom’s. There comes a point where you just work the candle at both ends, but today I literally crashed and burned, so that 45 minute nap was a God send.The last few times at Mom’s, she was restless and I had minimal sleep.This was, now I have taken a little edge off my tiredness, so I am ready to get up there and sit with Mom on this important night…

Why, you ask?

Tomorrow is my birthday and I am so mindful of being with the woman who brought me into the world.Since her illness, I realize the time we have together is limited, as she was 37 when she had me and tomorrow I will be 52.I always remember that she told me how happy her mom was when she had me, because she had said that a daughter will take care of her for the rest of her life. It’s funny, because as I type this, I can hear my Mom tell me that.

It’s a good memory.

What’s your flavor this morning?

Today’s Keurig flavor is Butter Toffee.

It just feels like it. I have dabbled in the Folger’s vanilla biscotti, and some Dunkin’ k-cups, but trying for the butter toffee seems the way to go this morning. Back in the day, my friend Denise and I would go to Starbucks, BK( before keurig) and she would get a toffee latte with toffee syrup. I really didn’t want to go there, because it was too sweet. I found  the Kcup butter toffee  a nice alternative. I have a ton of things to get done and figure with the  butter toffee kick, I’ll be good to go.

What’s you’re flavor this morning?

oh, and BTW, the damn poll won’t let me put the r in your……lol

Kind of tired…

When so see the sight blur on the Christmas shot below, that is basically how I am feeling this morning. How excited was I to score three nights off in a row, thanks to my brother Bob, and was going to celebrate my birthday down the shore.

I have learned one thing.

I can’t party like I used to, and I am not even talking in an alcoholic sense of the word. I am beat. Unlike other times when we could chill and hang out, we were on the go ALL weekend. Philly, undisclosed location, Atlantic City, Pleasantville, Cape May, undisclosed location, Philly….whew**wiping my brow**.I am oh-so-glad that I have titanium and can move around with those new knees, but mentally, well, I am going to have to honor this old butt and keep it subdued.

It’s easier on the Monday morning. 😉

 

 

 

Is it the Apple of my eye?

OK,kids…here is the first post from the Mac Powerbook.

You know what’s funny? Once you get out of school, you say, ok, NO MORE HOMEWORK..yeah right. I had my initial tutorial at the Apple store yesterday,and now, while Jim is out with a buddy, I am reading, yes, try not to laugh please,”the manual”. What a trip. As I try to pursue it,well, I am oh so thankful for my no line progressive bifocals. It’s like, can the test get any smaller? Oh, what’s that? Yes, my eyes WILL BE 52 years old Thursday..maybe that has something to do with it.

Back in the day..

Back in the day, Jim wasn’t used to getting a wife birthday presents and Christmas presents in the same week.

Then I turned 50. Hah! Got a smart phone, shore house and HP laptop all within one month. Nice.

In anticipation of a life after my current job, Jim got me a birthday/Christmas gift last night. I have crossed the abyss. I now own a Mac book Pro. I am an apple girl.

 

Thanks Honey.

 

In other avenues, today is my Mom’s 89th birthday and I will be the first to admit that I seriously wondered if she’s see it. Thank you God, for the gift of my Mom.

It is also the 9 month birthday of my new knees….

 

Phew…

Busy weekend!

Farewell from the undisclosed location, for now…..

xxoo

Pawprints on my heart

 

My fur girls are my oxygen.

We finished Christmas shopping and went to walk the girls on Cape May Beach. It was right at the cusp where high tide switches over to low: there were a ton of shells left at the shore line, and between the baby, Kasia, running like a lunatic, and my Zosia staying by Mom while I scavenged for shells, it was the best head clearing time I have had in a long time. Although I have never given birth to kids, these fur babies give me so much love. It is hysterical to watch them run all about, and then, later, tell them to run to their Daddy(Jim), and there they went, speeding like lunatics.

It has been a wonderful birthday weekend so far, much in part to the girls and to Jim.

Love them all to pieces!

On the way to “Undisclosed Location”…

 

As my birthday falls on a Thursday this year, we decided to make an Undisclosed Location celebration this weekend. Fortunately for me, my brother Bob is taking my normal night with Mom this weekend so I get to go down and relax. With the way things have been going, the weekend of relaxation is a gift in itself. To be able to walk along the water and take deep breaths of the salt air is my idea of heaven.To have the girls and Jim with me? Also my idea of heaven.I’ll be able to see a few of my friends and neighbors while down there, kick back at our new Friday night spot, the Moose lodge and just take it easy….take it easy…something that has been a foreign concept to me for the past 4 years.

Below is a picture of one of the many Christmas trees in Congress Hall, which is in Cape May New Jersey.

Here’s hoping your weekend is just as bright, wherever you are…

Early new year’s resolution

I figured I’d beat the rush.

My godson,Greg, has been awesome sending me clips on how to knock calories off here and there without really noticing it. Well, the one thing I did decide to adapt to I am noticing, but I figure it’s time….

I am pulling the plug on ANY form of creamer in my coffee.

Call me silly, call me foolish, but I figure my heart and waistline will be co-beneficiaries of this move. The last time that I was into drinking black coffee, I was, maybe, a junior in college. So here we are, almost 22 years later, and I am going to give it a second shot.

I’ll keep you post.

Bittersweet moments…

It’s quiet.

I have just spent 25 minutes singing Polish Christmas carols& hymns to the Blessed Mother, but now Mom has settled down.

As her condition has been deteriorating ,I have had her in hospice care at home. I listen to the phlegm rattle in her throat as I sing.This is new to me.. No, not Mom making a vocal comment to my singing, but watching and waiting. I sit and wonder what will be.Will she be granted a gift to see her 89th birthday this Sunday?Will she see Christmas?New Years? I sat with her wondering if the woman who brought me into the world will be here for my birthday-Not that she would know the day, but will she be here? My chest is tight as I think of that. I’d like to think almost four years of caregiving has toughened me up,but obviously not.The book has been almost 52 years in the making,and all I can do is wait.

This is not quite as hard as having to tell my folks I had cancer, but it is a close second.

All I can do is pray.Any you can say for us would be deeply appreciated.

Thanks, my friends.

No pretense here.

The picture you see is a neighbor’s house at the Undisclosed location. It is only part of his light display he puts up yearly, and the picture, I will be the first to admit, does it no justice. But it is probably the biggest piece of Christmas you will get from me.

My Mom’s mental state is down to a 4- when she first got sick she was iand 8 and THAT was severe. The best you can have is 30. I got off the phone with my brother, and we were talking about Christmas. I really don’t care, knowing the chance of actually getting a caregiver who will work is slim and none.Some things are expected, at this point of the game. Mom’s birthday will be Sunday, and 89 will be the magic number. Will she know it’s her birthday? No. Will she recognize me? No. I went to get her a birthday card and looked at the verse: would she understand it? No. So I got her a bunch( 9 pair) of fuzzy socks, as that is what keeps her feet the warmest while she lays in bed. She’ll think it’s just socks-no clue it’s a gift and that’s fine.

My godson Greg has a birthday the nest day and mine is three days after that. Once again, there is no spirit. I am just plain washed out. I will celebrate Greg’s birthday with him on Monday, but mine will just be another day, spent waiting, and praying.

So in lieu of a Christmas greeting, here is the picture of the Undisclosed Location neighbor’s lights.

Merry Christmas.

I am not Alec Baldwin ….

…nor do I play him on tv.

It is because he caused trouble on his flight that I found out about Words with Friends.

Loved scrabble and I have played almost every variety of the game. Now, thanks to Alec,I am on my phone, when I need sleep, and am addicted to the game! I love it, because it makes me use my brain !!

Excuse me…gotta go-it’s my turn times three…now where’s my X?

Next Iron Chef..not…

..at least when it comes to working with chocolate.

For the Undisclosed location neighbors, last year I made chocolate bark in different varieties, and it went over pretty well. From watching the Food network, I tried to learn about melting chocolate. I found out about chocolate seizing, and how to loosen it up. So this year, I decided to something different- chocolate covered pretzels. I made a few different varieties, such as white chocolate, milk chocolate and dark chocolate, and topped then with jammies, brickle pieces,mint chocolate and non pariels. A few have made it out to neighbors so far-three more neighbors to go and then they are out of the house. It’ll be a good thing, because we both thought they tasted pretty good!

Three cup morning..

..or at least it feels that way. Not a good start to the day when you are looking on your desk for your coffee mug and it’s not there..so where could it be? I retraced my steps from yesterday before I left and found it right where I left it- at the sink, where I had washed it out. Says a lot for my senior moment in that I couldn’t marry the function of TAKING the clean mug, carrying it in my hand, and walking it back to my desk. Oh yeah, it was close to quitting time, so I guess that explains it. Now if I could just remember to back track for one or two other things, hey, I might be good.

So despite a wonderful Denim and Company polar fleece I have on today, pardon me while I dive head first into this first cup of coffee. May you enjoy your and have a good weekend!

P.S. Did I mention,” Thanks for reading.” ?

Christmas Pins

 

I have my Mom’s Christmas pins.

It was a big thing for us, because Mom’s birthday is December 18 and I follow her by 4 days. When I was a kid, the obvious was always to get her a Christmas pin. When people would give one to me, however, I would thank them, as I was younger, and promptly put it away in a jewelry box. Mom and I would always kid about who had the most Christmas pins.

Last night I was going through Mom’s and found this pin you see in the picture. It’s got to be 45 years old: the enamel is wearing off and it isn’t quite as new looking as the rest.This pin originally was my Mom’s, but I remember that I had no poinsettia pin, so she let me have this one, and I wore it to death through my early grammar school years. I eventually got tired of wearing it, somewhere around fifth grade and it went back to Mom. I guess she figured I’d like it again someday and what do you know-I found it in a box waiting for me to reclaim it.

Thanks, Mom.

Waiting, part deux…

If you loved me waiting for IT on Monday, well, you’ll love this entry-it’s like I never left.

There are many different facets to my job, as I am sure there are to everyone elses.

After my entry the other day on waiting, well, eventually, IT got to me to assist me with my PC problems. Yesterday, I worked on a different report that needed to be done. My error for this morning is that I returned to what was fouling me up on Monday morning figuring that I can get it out-of-the-way.

Fat Chance.

Don’t I go to start the sub-division and get yet the same error message that allegedly was fixed on Monday? I remember I had the fore-sight to have the guy attach me to a second printer, where the sheets eventually came out from. HOWEVER, the menu for completing this job is on a different program. The mistake I made? I tried to access it only to find that my PC conveniently can not access the alleged drive that is on.**grabbing my head while reaching for Excederin bottle**. I am determined to get the bulk of this project done today, but , without prompt assistance from the IT guys, I guess quill pen, parchment, and carrier pigeon may be the way to go.

Losing my mind…

..or so it feels.

They all say care-giving is a stressful job. Well…duh…! Lately, however, it seems as though my normal overload is pushing the limit.

I am normally someone who puts something somewhere and can remember where I put it. Yes, I am also a graduate of putting things in a safe place**insert snicker here**, until I put plane tickets in such a safe place that I didn’t find them until a day before the trip. But, hey, the plane ticket scenario was seven years ago. I have to admit it is quite annoying having to split my time through 3 houses and when I think I left something in house C and then I find it in house B. Suffice it to say Saint Anthony gets a lot of work from me, and one sister-in-law has me seeking the finding power of St. Theresa the little Flower.

On a serious note, I follow dementia and Alzheimer’s studies religiously and try to make corresponding changes so I lower my chance of following in Mom’s footsteps. I really do believe what I am experiencing right now is caregiver overload. I mean, half the time I amaze myself on the things I juggle for Mom and manage to keep track of. So I am not really that concerned, at least, not right now.

If you do have a spare minute and you’re not busy, send Saint Anthony back to me, ok? Got a few items I need to ask him about.

Hurry up and wait..

….for an over-whelmed IT department to show up so I can actually do my work. The picture in this post is a plot plan for a proposed sub-division of an area which I am responsible for. I am trying to actually accomplish work and have oh-so-politely submitted a request for assistance. Unfortunately IT is everywhere but where I need them, which is here. Never mind that things are just doing a Hodge podge through the office, with management’s priorities being everywhere and on everything but where it needs to be…gee, detect a trend?

There are folks who actually want to buy these two houses. It’ll be interesting to see if I can get the accounts set up sometime before I retire or the properties go back up for sale.**sitting here NOT holding my breath**….

Close to a pin drop

Yes,it’s that quiet, with the exception of the heater in the background.

I am a morning person-always was, always will be, I assume. Any class I had before noon, I was great in.**mental note to my Mother-yes I do remember that self praise stinks**.Correspondingly, my job hours are early. Yet, when I hit the weekend, I tend to ,pardon the expression, lollygag in bed. Then, when I wake up,the morning is usually shot and thus, the weekend follows suit.

This morning, I am up.It is 6:15 am as I type this. Got up, took daily med,put dogs out in the side yard, paid homage to my Keurig for a wonderful cup of pumpkin spice coffee, the husband sleeps, the heater sizzles, and it is so-o-o-o quiet.I love it. I do admit I toyed with the idea of putting a book on tape on to put myself to sleep and then decided that I would get up and seize my day. God knows, there is enough stuff to do during it, so why not get it started. The best thing about this is the quiet.

I really don’t consider myself Chatty Cathy, although there are times that I know my buds are reading this and saying, uh, sure…Silhouettes of the trees as dawn breaks behind them and I hear the corresponding quiet that accompanies them. Even the heater has decided to quiet down to get on my good side.

“This is the day that the Lord has made-let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

You bet I am.

Poinsettia

My birthday is this month. Most of my friends have daisies,rose,or mums for their birth month flower. Me? I get a pointsetta.

It is funny that a plant I abhorred as a kid I now respect as an adult. It is like me: lose your coloring but hang in there, and with proper care, you can have a nice houseplant.They say if you cover the plant with a brown bag at night,from October on, you can get the colored leaves back. I have done this many times and like life, it’s not easy. Some years it works and others it doesn’t .

I have come to appreciate pointsettas.
They hang in there,just like me!

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One in the hand…NOT

 

To continue with the saga from yesterday, you’ll remember, dear friend, about my leaving of my cell phone at home.

Thus, the empty hand.

I can honestly say that I remember a time that I would say what a pain in the butt my cell phone was. My husband was always like,” where did you leave it now?..”

Not since my iPhone. OMG! I can now relate to why people make references to “crackberry’ because my iPhone has many uses. It is the time clock for the girls who take care of my mom, and in the same vein, their line for if they can’t make it in, or, God forbid, something is wrong with Mom. It also is my internet connection for checking on or renewing prescriptions, entertaining myself on the train, the obvious phone use, my alarm clock…I can go on and on.

Yesterday I went through withdrawal symptoms. I mean, sitting, waiting in a doctor’s office, with only my thoughts for company don’t even mention the five-year old issues of O. Coming home on the train without benefit of the quiet car and sitting in front of Chatty Cathy.

Welcome back into my hand, Iphone…how I missed you!

Laying low

The girls and I are laying low.

It was a long day for me,unraveling lifestyle tweaks with the doctor. A lot of time spent on and waiting for trains. Nothing like being out in the cold to wear you out.

Being out seeing folks going through various stages of illness makes me appreciate the fact that I am not in a hospital and am home watching Grace Kelly while the girls veg out and I am waiting for the dryer to finish.

Life is good.

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