And so we start

So here it is.
The first Monday without both of my buddies that retired.

Knowing it is going to take all I have, plus a ton of prayer and the strongest faith this side of the planet, I am going in to put my first x on the calendar . I will be offering big time prayers up that I can get out in one peace, and no it’s not a typo, for I have One gigantic heart full of peace and I would love for it to come with me.

Now if only things work out ok and my stomach un-knots, things will be ok.



Undiscovered by us until now

The picture in this blog is of one first streets in Cape May in its’ history as a fishing village. I am sorry to say that I didn’t catch the name of it, so what kind of blog writer does that make me?Tsk-tsk…lol.

We would always go to Cape May harbor, but never had found this street before until one of our neighbors had told us about it. It is located in the area of Pittsburgh Ave., right before the Coast Guard base. The street itself was so rustic, that part of me was hoping that George Clooney and the “Andrea Gail” crew would come on out-that is how authentic it looked. At the end of the street was a mooring for the boats, and next for that was a six-foot high pile of lobster traps, which, of course, were empty. I had been going to Cape May through all 52 years of my life, and I never even heard of this area. I am shocked at this because both of my brothers were fishermen.

It goes without saying, I’ll be back, and reporting more on this.


This is just a bit much..

The week had some ups and downs. Doesn’t everybody’s? Mine were mostly downs.

I never had a greater appreciation of the house here @ Undisclosed. I realize that problems don’t escape, and you have to face them**thanks to Mother Superior from the Sound of Music**, but it’s kind of sad when people just seem to be drawing up material in order to  cause grief. I mean, just because people hate people doing a job and getting ready to leave, well, people feel they have the right to have a bird turd on your head.

I am going to keep on keeping on, and as of Monday, there will be a red X on my calendar, to start the countdown out.

You have to do what you need to do to be happy.

Some beautiful  flowers lightened up my mood-am sharing them with you in this post.

Thankful Friday Five

1. I am tired of things going on in the office. I am waiting patiently for my retirement. Until then, Shingleman says look at it as entertainment. I could, if the knot in my gut would untie. I am thankful I am almost done.

2.I am thankful for the ability to take the current health opportunity and have a partner like Shingleman who is sticking with our healthy lifestyle, which is a whole week old.

3.I am thankful for the patience of my girls. They know their schedule and are so good.

4.I am thankful for the ability to email resumes. I don’t know how I ever did applications without it….lol

5.I am thankful for romantic comedies, because sometimes, the couple ends up together in the end and you might actually laugh along the way.

Life is too short not to laugh!

Happy Friday!

Just too damn beat

Trying to fall back to sleep, and oh, how I wish I could…

Sleep is the only escape from the drama of the office which currently is on the upswing …when we last left ” British Petroleum “, he had come to me to ask a question AND bitch and moan at the same time,regarding a current office request. I felt like reminding him that he wouldn’t be in the fix he is currently in if he wasn’t such a horses’ butt…** wondering how to tattoo I don’t give a rat’s ass on my forehead under my bangs for use on such occasions**

Fortunately, Shingleman and we gals are shipping out to Undisclosed, where the only drama will be figuring out the time of the sunset.

Thanking the Lord for small favors, let’s see what today will bring!


See ya, Duch!


My buddy, Duch, is wrapping up her illustrious government career on Friday.

Being Duch, she wanted no lunch-she wanted Dairy Queen. A true woman after my own heart, I was happy to oblige.

We have been through a ton together, and yet we still somehow end jelly side up, despite the ups and downs of heartbreak and joy. She is a wonderful woman who I am proud to call friend, even through I KNOW she thinks I am nuts**joking, Duch**and has put up with me for a long time.

I am blessed to have her as a friend, and ironically, hopefully, she will be retiring ” next door” to the ‘Undisclosed Location’. so we will have many happy years together down the line. As anyone who manages to walk away from the current drama zone of an office on two legs, I am more than happy for her. I will miss stopping at her cubicle to check in with her, but I am truly happy that she has lived to tell the tale and rock on out.

Giddy-up, Girlfriend….see you on the promenade.

Silent Night

All is quiet .

Pawn stars on the History channel is on tv, Kasia and Zush are dozing,as is Shingleman, who didn’t sleep well last night.

Anything so quiet is welcome because office drama gets weird, but thanks to pals like Denise,Lois and Rita, sanity still manages to hang in there with just a giggle over “White Wedding”….

“You gotta have friends.”



It must be Monday.

I camped out on the train for ten minutes in the heart of beautiful North Philadelphia.

I come in to see I have to go thirty rounds with the time clerk regarding my leave time.

My cubicle neighbor who normally works 11-6, is in at 7:19, blaring “White Wedding”…

On the bright side…

I put two feet on the floor this morning: some people can’t , or won’t.

I do have a job.

I get to go home to a wonderful family.

I’m blessed.



Although I made Zush miserable ** joking-Zush is never miserable** by getting her a baby sister, Kasia has come a long way.

We had friends of ours come over today to Undisclosed location. After her usual barking, Kasia actually quieted down, and came into the room where four of us were, looked around, and quietly stayed and listened to us.

My baby is growing up! I am blessed to have such sweet fur girls. Walking, playing or chewing a bone , the sisters hang together, for which I am happy.


Beautiful Day…

…and a beautiful find : some pink dogwood in bloom.

I am an old softie this time of the year, reminded of Holy Communion and prom and graduation pictures taken in front of pink dogwood trees and also pink azaleas. I remember growing up on Mitchell street, my neighbor had a big pink azalea on her lawn. How many of the family pictures have a piece of the azalea in the background of them.

Then, as I got older, it seems that my father would drive me to a spot which had more of a canopy of azaleas behind it. I never was really wild about the azaleas, but isn’t it funny how what you remember from years back becomes important to you at this point of your life. Dogwoods, though, I was always a pushover for.

It’s all good.

All pretty…and all good 😉



This Friday’s five

Thankful thoughts for this week….

1. Although my health has seemingly disappeared during the last year, I am thankful that I have the ability to pull myself up by the bootstraps and fix it!

2.My nephew,Matt, will be getting his masters’ degree in a month…so proud am I of this guy, who I used to carry on my shoulders!

3.Memories…unless cursed with Dementia, no one can take it away from you!

4.Hopefully, Shingleman is on his way to losing the title! Yay!

5.The pollen of spring has beautiful colors accompanying it…

Have a wonderful weekend!


Cooling off

Thanks to environmental factors, spring has been non-existent this year, which has been something par for the course.Add insult to injury, both here and at Undisclosed, both streets are torn up thanks to water main work.

This translates into the taste of dirt mixing with heavy pollen in my mouth and nose every time I go out with the girls. I know: really attractive, right? Pollen and allergies are working overtime, so if you didn’t sound like you were coughing your lungs out, well, you do now!

Recently it got a little cooler, and Mother Nature treated to some pretty floral sights. Thanks, Old Girl… Appreciate it!


Try looking at the mirror..

When I was doing field work yesterday, I was on public transportation and sat behind this lady.

Yes, it was her hair, and for the record, she looked around 80.

I know sometimes I tend to look like a ragamuffin coming in, but if ever there was a reason to check the mirror on the way out, this was it. I like to humor myself and think I never looked quite this bad, but I know there have been a few scary mornings along the way, especially when I was dressing in the dark at Mom’s in the morning. Well, Mom isn’t an issue anymore, so there is NO reason to leave the house in this much, uh, disrepair?**trying to be kind**


…Just saying….

Ah,sleep plus heat equals a 12:55am post


It’s going to be a long spring/summer.

The Shingleman is upstairs under a very gentle**read SLOW MOVING** ceiling fan asleep. Heat sucks.

Yup, it’s that time of the year again, only this year I am NOT at Mom’s,**sigh** but home, and am down in the living room because I am so warm. Yeah, cold/tepid shower, and add shot nerves into the equation, and your answer is me pecking away at this post downstairs while Shingleman is snoring gently upstairs with a pillow by his head to block the draft of the fan. Draft? HAH….try a trickle of warm air. The fact that, old softie that I am, I saw the clip of the dog hit by the car on the news, and as he lay dead on the highway, his canine buddy lay next to him and wouldn’t leave had me sobbing hysterically and taking five times longer to fall asleep.

I am starting to long for the days of being exhausted, showering, dropping into bed, and falling fast asleep. Uh, when was that?



It’s going to be THAT kind of day.

Good luck in yours.Hold a good thought for mine….

A big sigh

We are on our way back to the city.

A nice weekend, complete with walks to the Ferry, Flyers wins,and gorgeous weather .We had a friend over for dinner Saturday night and we had a fabulous time.

The flip side: I had a buddy from work retire this past week , and my bud,Duch,retires the end of the month. I get to go in and back to the playground of fifth grade mentality…hopefully drama is minimal this week .


Busy is as busy does

Things are bustling here at undisclosed.

After last night’s hockey game, we went into today with guns blazing. Dog play,dog walking,chores like the wash are all done. I did my 4.2 mile walk with my buddies. To top it off, we even had company for dinner!

If what they say is true, you can’t hit a moving target …we are in good shape.**fingers crossed**


On the rocks..

Oh my Gosh!

I can’t believe I was out to dinner tonight with Shingleman and was swept away by, not my Phillies, but the Philadelphia Flyers, our ice hockey team. I was watching on different televisions but the action on this game , well, it took my breath away.

As I am typing this, there’s one minute left and it’s 7-5 Flyers!!!

Go Flyers!


This Friday’s Five.

1. I am grateful that I had no ancestors on the Titanic. As I type this, PBS is airing a special on the making and the route of the Titanic and the effect on the families who lost people who went down on the ship. These poignant stories really make things you are worrying about take the right perspective.

2. I am thankful that I have a job that enables me to take a vacation day tomorrow so I can try to catch up on some sleep, hand with the fur girls, and then get down to the “Undisclosed Location”.

3. I am thankful for cookbooks and the Food Network Channel-how else would I know how to make Easter ham somehow pallatable over 4 nights of dinners,

4. I am grateful for all of my godchildren, but especially Frank, the youngest, who celebrates his 6th birthday on Sunday. He is my Sweetheart! We went over tonight to celebrate his birthday and he was happy that Kasia and Zush were standing by and he, for the first time, was able to pet both of them at the same time.

5. **yawn** I am grateful for the invention of the timer and sleep function. It puts me to sleep pretty well!

Off to the Undisclosed tomorrow- have a wonderful weekend!


Trying not to be a hater…

People (friends and associates) constantly are telling me stuff. What’s going on, their families, their lives,well you get the drift-it all eventually comes my way. After all, people know you are their friend.

Friends treat friends like that -friends, right ? I love the part of a “friendship” where, all of a sudden, one party treats you like it’s fifth grade. If you like me, you won’t talk to the people I don’t talk to.


You would think folks who are friends for over 15 years, and on top of a certain age, would be respectful of the personality of a friend. Obviously, I am mistaken….I must be too ” old school”…lol.

Anyhow, here’s guessing some people are still thinking they are the bully of the schoolyard. Hope they enjoy the time they spend alone there.



A friend of mine was talking to me briefly today about my blog.His comments had me thinking about you,my reader.

I thank all of you, friends and strangers alike, who take the time to read this. What started as therapy for me while caregiving for Mom, I write now for the therapy and the pleasure of it. From Shingleman, allergies, caregiving and other daily thoughts, I would hope you enjoy reading this as I enjoy writing it. I would hope you keep reading: I promise to keep working on it on sunny and stormy days ahead, and for now, sending out warmest wishes to you, from the Wissahickon valley.


Easter treat

So Shingleman and I went to one of his sisters for Easter dinner. We were on the way back and passed the Evergreen Dairy Bar. Back in the day, it was called the Polar Cub. How I know this is my parents used to take us, once in a while, to Long Beach Island or Barnaget Light. Dad used to get a soft serve cone of lime sherbet twirled with vanilla ice cream and Mom’s was orange sherbet twirled with vanilla.

Thanks, Shingleman, for stopping here, and Mom? This ones for you !!!!


Happy Easter

Well, it’s Saturday night and managed to get through today with a minimal about of tears thinking of Mom. Actually, I am chuckling to myself as I type this, because although she would have been happy that I went and got the basket of food blessed, she’d be looking for the coconut cream egg that somehow I forgot to get for the basket. It was bittersweet being in Church waiting for the food to get blessed, because the parishioners are waiting for word that the Archdiocese is going to close it as a Church, and possibly just keep it open as a “worship” site. Shingleman asked me what Mass we are going for tomorrow and I am truly torn, This parish is probably looking at its last Easter morning Mass: although since I have been married, I belong to the Church across the park and we really haven’t been up in the city a lot since Mom passed away,so we could go there too!

We threw a lot of things away today, with hopes of using our time here wisely and cleaning out to make the house ready for when we eventually move. Now the Phillies are on the television, although I honestly would want to know how Jamie Moyer, my favorite MLB pitcher, is doing in his game for the Colorado Rockies. I  am waiting for the last load to come out of the dryer , and then, time to shower and bed.

As we would say in Polish- “Wesolego Alleluja”…..Happy Easter!

Holy Saturday

Well, after cleaning out Mom’s closet today to the tune of seven black trash bags, well, suffice it to say I put a dent in the process: hard to do with a heavy heart.

My night was capped off with Greg , my nephew, and my brother Bob, and dying Easter eggs. We even had my nephew Matt on the speaker phone for a bit , and that made it nice . Eggs are dyed, kielbasa is ready, now on to Holy Saturday!!


Another Friday Five

With this being a really, really rough week for me, I had to dig deep for this week’s five things I am thankful for.

1. In thinking back to Mom’s last four years, I am thankful I still have my mind, although I know there are friends of mine who would argue that fact…lol. Watching someone you love and care about slip into dementia is a horrible thing. I thank God for every day that I can sit at this computer and put thoughts together in my head and they make it out to the screen in front of me.

2.I am thankful for (almost) all the men in my life, past and present. Shingleman leads the way, but my brother Bob, nephews Matt and Greg,” Mr.Mel”, my honorary father-in-law,JP, who became a friend from the moment I met him professionally but look forward to holding our friendship as we get a little older, Jamie Moyer, who although he is in Colorado, I had the pleasure of talking to him once on a corner in Center City and he really, really put class in the definition of athlete, and the guys I have loved and lost, or they have loved  and lost me….either way, I am wiser and stronger person for having the experience of knowing them, …I could go on and on…you get my drift, right?

3. I am thankful that I have a clean, made bed upstairs waiting for me to go to sleep in. Some folks don’t.

4. I am thankful for you all who read this blog: it is so uplifting to know someone is actually reading this and so far, almost all of you seem to think this is pretty good sometimes and I am not totally losing my mind yet….just kidding.

5.Butter krak and butter creme, hell, even coconut creme Easter eggs…after all, doesn’t chocolate solve all the worlds problems?  😉


Have a wonderful weekend!


Wishing it were over…

…and I could wake up on Monday.

One holiday that always was tied in to my upbringing and childhood was Easter. There was always the Holy Week services, walking down the hill with two or three of my classmates on Good Friday and we would go to all five of the parishes in the area and say a prayer. As I got older, I helped a few friends decorate the altar for Easter Sunday and pin the grave that the crucified Jesus would lay in on Good Friday and get the side altar for exposition on Holy Thursday and through the weekend.

On the secular front, when nephews were younger, I would go to the local confectioner in town and get everyone an Easter egg, including my Mom, who was a coconut creme girl.I would always buy my Mom a white hyacinth for Easter, kind of in homage to all the Easter processions I walked in as a kid. My brother Bob would always get her a grape one. My Dad, when he was around, always got her an Easter lily. When I was in high school, my brother would bring home a horseradish root which was divine. See, it was as if it were homeopathic we would take turns with the grater and a bowl while sitting on a stool on the front porch and we would grind our own horseradish. Who needed decongestant? Bobby and I both still have Philadelphia sinuses, so we didn’t mind.

When I was a younger, the Polish tradition dictated that we are up early Holy Saturday morning, as the priest would be coming to your house to bless your Easter table. You would have a carved butter lamb on it, Easter basket, your kielbasa, babka, which is Polish cake/bread ,your horseradish, farmers cheese,hard-boiled eggs, salt and pepper, wine and oil and vinegar on the table. All had some significance for the Risen Lord. As we got older, we took the baskets, and my brother still does, down to church to have the food blessed.

For six of the past ten years, I would have an Easter brunch here for my family, and then go to Jersey to one of Shingleman’s sister’s for Easter. The past four years were quiet for me, as I was watching Mom with Bob. It was the best, and saddest time with her, as her faith was steadfast, but you knew there was an expiration date that you just couldn’t see yet.

I really don’t know how I am going to get through Sunday. Yes, I have the memories of my Mom, but when you go with other people, they really don’t care HOW you are feeling. For all they care, your grief stopped when you put your Mother in the ground, It’s not that easy. Somehow, I guess I am going to have to try to get through it, wishing instead I could be alone with memories of Mom. I just hope people will leave me alone, as things have been on the edge for both Shingleman and myself, and we are shot. We are good actors, because when people see us, they don’t figure it out. Our smile goes off as quickly as it goes on. We have both been through a ton since the holiday, and, quite frankly, we are still going through it.

I would happily trade places with the younger me who walked in Easter procession in 1967. The current me is so deep in emotional loss that it almost takes my breath away, as it is that intense.

“You can’t go home again.”……if only I could.

Can you hear me NOW?????????

Had the occasion to be on public transit yesterday for a brief bus ride that was  louder than an Aerosmith concert.

The culprit?

A lawyer!

So as he is on his hands free phone on the bus, screaming( I mean, dude, seriously? It was 4 adults over 50 and YOU) and talking about all his business, I could only think of he did what he did for a living to draw attention to himself. He obviously was a ” cog” in the election wheel, dropping city commissioners and former city commissioners names AND home phone numbers at the top of his lungs. I’d say he was compensating for other ” short-falls” in his life. If I had been someone disenchanted with the voting system, just listening to this guy on the bus would have solidified my opinion of why they should NOT vote. If I were the city commissioners that this guy was blasting phone numbers of, well, I mean he might as well just written them on street corners all through the city.

Me? I just laughed at his over-compensation, grabbed my head, aching from his voice, and got off the bus at my stop.

Politicians and political wanna-be’s…gotta love ’em.

The heartburn years..

OK, so with all of my coffee drinking, I have come to appreciate the value of a good mint. Why take the “little purple pill” if a mint will do?

Mints and I go way back.

My earliest memory regarding mints in the Shore have me and my Mom going to Douglass  candies on the Wildwood boardwalk getting a mint plat for my Babci. A mint plat would have been the equivalent of mint made into a thick braid.Then there were the years I discovered buttermints made by James’ candy and I swore by them. Yup, those were the days when you bought one pound of mints and that is what you got. If you look at the picture, you’ll see a $7.95 price sticker for 12 ounces of white mints made by Fralinger. That’s right: 12 ounces, $7.95. No biggie, as I know it’s 2012. What I AM bitching about is the fact that there were not one, not two but THREE mints wrapped up that looked like someone bit into on the line and then threw them back on the assembly line to get wrapped.


Don’t you give your workers a lunch break? They have to bite into my mints? Eww….

This is enough…am seriously thinking about sticking to spearmint gum.*sigh**

Meanwhile,back at the ranch..

When you left yours truly, I was down at the “Undisclosed Location”, enjoying a slight break from the pollen. Sea air has always been my friend.

Now I’m back in the city and it, quite frankly, sucks. I never realized how much other environmental factors get to my sinuses, i.e., diesel exhaust, stuff coming out from piers by the Walt Whitman bridge, general car exhaust PLUS pollen. Hacking was never my strong suit, and it continues to pull me down. Hell, I often tell people that I am imitating Ingrid Bergman in “Bells of Saint Mary’s” as a nun with tuberculosis. I just get tired of hacking.

I know that media sources will come out and say that due to lack of snow this winter, or some other reason why the pollen will be outrageous.The only people who will be picking up the slack from the people who used to money when they would make spring coats and hats for girls will be the drug companies that make Allegra-D, Claritin, Benadryl and the like.

Ah, for a good rainstorm to clear the air..oh, wait a second…then it’ll rain too much and we’ll have issues with mold….


What price brew?

We celebrated a good friend’s birthday yesterday with a party at lunch down here at “Undisclosed”.

We went out to the restaurant , and each decided to have a beverage. Three of us had beer, and the birthday girl had wine.It was really nice, except for one thing. My pal had a Sam Adams beer that was new: fine, she said- she’d like to try it. The rude surprise came later- $7.00 for a glass of beer? And she ended up having 2?

What happened to listing beverages with prices WHERE you can SEE them? I was never so glad to be a Yuengling drinker!