Save the Drama for your Momma..

…Well, since Mom isn’t here, I have been trying to help my brother Bob get seen at Pennsylvania for his knee, which is killing him. He didn’t realize that when, God forbid, it would come to a chance of surgery, the Doctor wouldn’t touch you until  you lose the weight. Bob is morbidly obese. “How am I going to lose 100 pounds in a month?” I told him you aren’t necessarily having surgery, and at least they would get you started on the road to healing your knee. Stay tuned for this one.

…On the other hand, there was NOTHING worth blanking out my brain on Sunday night more than the Kardashians. Having gone through the week I went through, I could only snicker at their drama. It’s making public television look like the only way to go.

Here’s hoping we all have a little less drama this week………( outside of the beauty of this dramatic picture)



Zush whisperer

Today is a rough morning.There is only one thing filling the bill-the Zush whisperer.

There is a line Henry the Eighth mutters in the series The Tudors. He tells the Spanish Ambassador ,” You do not.know all my secrets.” Well, for the past ten years, Zush has been the guardian of mine. I love her with every molecule of my being and then some…and Mom loved her too!

Fur children …. I thank God for them!


Undisclosed emotions at undisclosed location



What a ten day stretch.


I find it incredible that  the most outstanding emotion that I am encountering is exhaustion to the point of sleep. I need the sleep and realize that, and a not fighting it, although it is such a beautiful day, it is truly a shame to waste it.

I am going through a mug of cappuccino and planning to enjoy every minute of my time, as the lesson that I am walking with today is life is too freaking short. You are here and a heartbeat later you can be gone.


Thanks to you, readers and friends, for your support and understanding during this time: your words have warmed my being. I originally started writing this blog as an outlet for caregiving. Maybe, now, it’s just an outlet for life, period.









Heaven opening up

It would stand to figure it’s raining this morning.

Old school says if it’s raining for a funeral, it’s God opening up heaven to let the body in .

Well,I believe Mom is in heaven already. However, the gravesite is on the side of a hill. It’s rainy…I have a black dress on. Get the probable equation…

“Man plans, God laughs.”. 😀


One of the nice things about being home today was I was able to see the Joe Paterno tribute from University Park.

Jimmy Cefalo, who played for Coach Paterno in the seventies, said something he was told by Paterno, and I think between using this quote in tandem with my faith, well, it will get me through tomorrow.

“When you get your day going ( paraphrasing), change happens: nothing stays the same. Make it a better day, instead of a worse one.”

Thanks, Coach…good advice.


Today was a day of action, and also a day to collect my thoughts.

Started with Bob and I going to the undertaker and Church. We are still working on the post funeral reception.

Then, the girls and I have been walking, and wash has been done. Jim’s boss sent us lunch down, which was great.

Most of all, we’re breathing… All in all, a good thing.

You’ve got to have friends…..


As the Bard Shakespeare himself once wrote, “Words are easy, like the wind; Faithful friends are hard to find.”

You guys know you are my faithful friends.

You have gotten me , and through prayerful extension,Bob, through the past four years. You have handed me tissues, shared lunch, walked with me, or even just shared a word or too regarding the current situation that I was in. The encouragement is what helped get me though this and I just wanted you to know that, and I am so deeply appreciative for your presence in my life.

I chose the picture for today because the sun has set on my Mom, but there are still clouds in the picture. With all your help, I know I can conquer the clouds and have some closure.

Cliche’ not with standing…thank you for being a friend.

Faith is…

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen..”

One of the many things I am so thankful as I begin the new era of my life without my Mom is how she brought me up.

I am no saint, but she truly worked on instilling faith into me. Hey Mom? It worked.

Three cancers I fought through: I had faith.

Losing my Dad? Now my Mom? FAITH.

I know that she has  been greeted and is safe and secure in heaven. It is so funny, as in our “black” humor,Bob and I have been talking to each other saying who has Mom tonite. Last night we said it was Paul, the undertaker…and we joked about making him tuck her in tight. Well, not to fear: God has her wrapped up tight and she’ll be secure forever.

Sleep tight Mom.


Services for my Mom, who passed away the 19th of January, will be held Friday the 27th of January.

If you could please just say a prayer or hold a good thought at 10 in the morning then, I thank you. Not so much for her, though, because I am sure I know EXACTLY where she is at, and that’s in heaven. Say one for me. Yes, I know it is selfish, but please, one for me.

The “stuff” which I know was going to begin, has started.

It is incredible as to how people who have had nothing or very, very little to do with Mom over the past four years are now “grieving “.Well, folks, news flash-you can have all the tears, crocodile or whatever,that you want. Bob and I have cried rivers over the past four years and we KNOW WE did well and she is at peace.

Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual life shine upon her. May she and all the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God, rest in peace, Amen.

This little piece of paper

Is a leave slip that you have to submit when you take a day off in this government.

OK, normally I would have done that without question, but guess what folks, uh, my Mom is in the midst of taking a long one way trip and , uh, can we just say other things are on my mind?

This morning really just had me rolling my eyes in the back of my head- I received a SECOND NOTICE that I have not returned the slip in. Never mind the fact that I have been going steady back in Human Resources, getting and filing out FMLA forms,but, NO-O-O…they are going to hunt me down  for this one stinking slip.

They say that government is a bureaucracy overrun with paperwork.

‘Nuff said…………..

Afraid to sleep

It’s quiet.

I am at Mom’s and with the exception of her snoring, it is quiet with waiting.

I talk myself into delusions of being burnt out,and being ready.Mentally I am but the tears in my eyes as I type this let me know my heart is breaking, as it has been for almost four years now. I have joined the generations of caregivers who have held hands, stroke brows,prayed, sang,and so on. In the long run, though, all you can do is let your faith guide you and pray as you wait.

I am without words for my brother Bob,who gave himself selflessly for Mom and also for my Jim. Not all men would be there through all of this.

Mom and I?
We are truly blessed.

Bye Jamie!

One of my fondest childhood memories was my Dad and I going to Veterans’ Stadium in Philadelphia, and catching Philadelphia Phillies baseball games.

One pitcher I admired back then was Jim Lonburg, who was known as Gentleman Jim. Not very noisy, as some players are today with regard to the press. He got up there and did his job.

Another pitcher I admired on the 2008 team was Jamie Moyer- I often made the parallel of him with Jim Lonborg. A lot was made of Moyer’s age, but he certainly was on the mound against the Florida Marlins a lot- the Phillies referred to him as the fish whisperer.

Hard times hit Jamie-he had Tommy John surgery last year, and today it broke that the Colorado Rockies offered him a minor league contract.

I’ll miss you Jamie. You were my#50, and no one will ever take your spot, in my eyes.

Pretty Girl

The cold weather has been wrecking havoc with Zush and Kasia- their coats have been awfully dry-especially Zushers.

I had won a 50/50 so I treated Zush to what they call” a spa day”, or what I call a shampoo.They washed and conditioned her coat and actually massaged her coat with coconut oil. Kasia was spoiled before: her bath was a lavender one.

The shot is of Fluffernutter Zush… Clean, smelling pretty & content !


Cold and clear


I posted this winter shot of the Cape May Lighthouse, because it reflects a cold, crispness in the year, and also what’s going on

We are waiting on a week of medicine to determine if, indeed, her kidneys are shutting down. If there is no change in her urine output,then we have verification,as cold and clear as winter air, that we are starting Mom’s final chapter.

There are a lot of things going on,and to me, somehow, in this time of year,things are clearly out there in the cold world…no leaves on trees to distort your picture.

It is what it is.

Sock monkey-Part Deux

It was so funny.

This morning, after the morning walk,we came back in and had a family pass with Sock Monkey. Dad, Mom,Kasia,and Zush.

I really appreciated having my knees done, because Jim and I are the defense and Kasia runs like the wind.Nice to be able to bob and weave for the little girl to have a challenge.

Yay for sock monkey: even Zush is worn out!!!!20120114-104259.jpg

Sock Monkey



Here is a picture of my “good” girl, Zush, with Kasia’s sock monkey toy hanging in her collar.**thanks, Mom, for another humiliating picture..woof!**

My buddy Debbie Zinar was talking up sock monkeys before Christmas and when I saw one in a dog size, I got it for Kasia. She absolutely adores it, and it is good from the extent that Jim and I can throw it around the house without actually breaking anything.Once in a while, Zush gets the kind of bemused, yeah, go ahead, I don’t WANT it look but I have seen her sneak over to it-it’s so cute. It makes me appreciate having the knees done, because when Kasia and I play sock monkey in the house, I can actually chase her around the table and you can see the puppy in her scheming..too cute!

  Here is the Devil Dog, aka, Kasia girl resting, getting ready to dream of her sock monkey!


I wouldn’t trade either girl or sock monkey for ANYTHING!

And now for something completely different…


My godson, Frank and his sister Molly gave me a page a day Phillies calendar. Wonderful gift .I love it and turn the page religiously.

I came into work this morning for the trivia question of which Phillies pitcher is nicknamed Mad Dog?


The one that just signed a couple something million dollar contract with the Cincinnati Reds, of course, …Ryan Madson.

Timing is everything, eh?



My pal Mr. Moon


Taking comfort where ever I can get it from, I met up with my old pal, Mr. Moon, this morning, as I walked up to the SEPTA bus from Mom’s.

I thought about something that is always there, in one way, shape or form. I thought about when my Philadelphia nephews were small, and it would be told to them by my brother, Bob, that the last quarter moon was the north wind’s cookie. The full moon was the cookie, and as the lunar cycle went on, it was the north wind taking bites of the cookie. It warmed me momentarily to go mentally back to that simple time.

The Creator sure knows what he’s doing, doesn’t he?

The Boss

That’s my Mom giving you the eye, er, rather, that is her normal trying to wake up pose post stroke.

We are asking for prayers this morning.

That’s all…just prayers.



No pictures today

My MacBook Pro and I are still in a honeymoon phase .

I have my iPhone attached and was trying to make an upload of a picture that was supposed to be the subject of this post. I sit here wondering where do I pull this picture

Anyway, as it is January and EVERYONE and their mother is doing calorie counting and every commercial on the face of the earth is diet related, I bit the bullet and bought us…chicken sausage. I saw it and said, hey, why not? So I bring home the said chicken sausage, prepared it on the grill, toasted the roll, only to have Jim say-“It looks like a hot dog.” Multiply that by a bazillion times while I was preparing it.Then I served it to him on a  roll, this was after he scouted the label out in the trash and, upon first bite, pronounced,” Tastes like a hotdog.”….


Hillshire farms, well, you heard it here first.

Oh well..I tried.


Warmth? Not today..

When the winds were whipping around this past week, hot coffee was especially welcome. Nothing like a little heat to warm the soul.

This morning, as of 9:18am, it’s forty out. Yup. 4-0…in January…so I am having a Kcup of pumpkin coffee, and taking my time to savor it. Big difference between holding the coffee as a heat source and just enjoying it.

Am thankful for a 40 degree morning, and a fabulous cup of coffee. Hopefully your morning is going just as well.


Truer words have never spoken…


This is a church message board in the vicinity of our “Undisclosed Location”.

I really can relate to this. Many times, after having opened my mouth and inserting foot, I would think of this statement. When I saw this I thought someone else goes through what I do. Then, after looking back on a 27 + year government career, how many times I wished people actually would THINK of this and that I would benefit from this…

Nonetheless, I came across this and thought it was worthy a post for the New Year. Here’s hoping you enjoy it and maybe this will bring a smile to you. Hopefully, someone will make a gift of this to you today.

The Devil Dog Saga continues…


This is my Devil dog, aka Kasia. (That’s Polish for Catherine)

You see in the picture she’s sitting in a dog bed. No, it’s not hers. It belongs to the twelve-year-old golden retriever we stayed with, whose name is Brinley. Truth be told, Brinley occasionally gets a chance to stay in her bed: her papillion sister and live in cat brother spend a lot of time there.

What’s funny is that Kasia and Zush HAVE no beds. They normally sleep with us in the bedroom, but I have a flat berber-type bed that is supposed to be for Zush; nine out of ten times, Kasia gets there first. So I compensate and make them soft beds out of afghan and blankets. After seeing Kasia in this bed though, and I mean she seemed to snuggle in there a lot, I’m thinking that maybe it’s time to bite the bullet and get the girl a bed. I know Murphy’s law then will be, if you buy it, she won’t come in it…

Stay tuned.

Hiking Boys and their fur children

The picture is of my Jim and our friend Tim- we were hiking at Boiling Springs, PA and the boys , along with our Zusher, age 10 and their Brinley, age 12, took a breather.

We are back after spending New Years with our friends in Carlisle,PA. Juls and Tim live on, what Jim and I affectionately call, March Mountain. Outside of a spectacular house and beautiful grounds, it was so heartwarming to see the pups having a wonderful time. Our Kasia girl was running with their papillion, Lily and smiling all the time. Their grounds are so expansive that the girls could just run and run without stopping. They were wiped out at night, so that was a good thing.

Now we’re back to reality, with my keurig just chugging along trying to keep me awake.

This will be a rough one: I’d sooner be home under the blankets…lol

Second Time thru…

Out here in “Undisclosed location central”,there is this rocking quartet acoustic guitar group called SECOND TIME THRU…this is how we started the new year. When you first saw them, I laughed to my friend Tim and said look at the geriatric roadies**note-they are a little older than me** and then, it turned out they were the band. Let me just say that I never stopped bopping with the titanium knees because the music was really good. The only depressing thing is that they played music from the seventies and eighties and they called it the oldies…lol…**once again embracing the over 50 in me**.

Happy 2012!

Rock on! 😉