I am home today, waiting for a utility to visit and adjust a water meter.

In the meanwhile, I downloaded an audiobook so I’d have something to listen to on the bus coming home. I did. No problem.The problem was getting it on my iPhone.

Since my I phone is rather new, I still could call Apple Inc. for assistance, and so I did. I couldn’t get a nicer guy:his name was Ryan. Part of the issue is that I couldn’t synch my phone to my computer.My problem? I upgraded my Itunes to a new version.**sigh**

Ryan helped me out: I let him take control of my screen-incredible what technology allows us to do, and within 5 minutes, he solved my problem.

This is one of many reasons why I am glad I went to Apple, and never went back.



So it’s Tuesday and a work day. It’s a beautiful day here, and it would be nice to be anywhere
but here.

Jim has to go down to Undisclosed to sign contracts with the builder, and meet with a few more folks.
so I am bachelorette Mom tonite. Hopefully we’ll get some wash done and the girls will go walking with
me and that will be great.Truth be told, I am hoping to get things done so I can shower and be in bed

Bring out more cool days like this.


Row, row, row your boat

We left Undisclosed yesterday around 3:45 PM.

The sky was pretty much like it was most of the day: it looked as though it would rain within 5 minutes no matter where you were.

We got on the road to get back to the city, and little did we know that we should have had a boat. It was record time coming home, and I don’t mean that in a good way. It took us FOUR hours to get back, on a trip that normally takes us ninety minutes tops.The monsoon that hit made us scratch our heads and realize one thing: with two dogs and two adults. we weren’t going to sit crawling to a toll bridge. Hey, if we did that, it probably would have taken SIX hours to get home.

Fortunately, Jim’s sister and her husband were a phone call away, and Tony knew the local back roads, for which I say thank God for that! We ended up going south to almost a third state, but didn’t go THAT far, but got on a different bridge and got to the house before the heavens opened up again.

The weather service said where we were had EIGHT inches of rain and it sure looked like that. It was an experience that, thank God, we got through. Sure hope we don’t have to go through it again.


Too good to last

So we had the heat wave and it broke for a few days.

The heat was long enough that Zush and I became wedded to the air conditioner.We were happy-Zush and I.Alas, it has caught up to me.

I woke up this morning suffering from air-condition-itis.Sore throat, post nasal drip, that little nagging cough…I knew my life was made more comfortable by the air, but there is always a price to pay, at least for me.

Whenever someone asks about sinuses, I would always say I suffer from Philadelphian sinuses in summer and winter, and allergies in spring in fall.

Most of the summer went by without a hitch. The bill has been presented now and I see an ENT visit in the near future.


Sing around the campfire…

We have returned…

Old Undisclosed is officially gone.

It is quite funny to pull up and look at a space that looks better suited for growing a field of corn or something. Our little cottage that was in the rear now stands forlornly in the corner of the lot, wondering what happened, no doubt.

The flip side is as the house is down, the corresponding amount of mud has increased.I didn’t have enough foresight to bring some larger old rug to take care of the messy shoes and dog prints.I am sure ,though, that we’ll be eyeballing the new house as it goes up, and I’ll be able to bring something else down.

The fur girls are somewhat content to be down, although they no longer can run around in reckless abandon, as the fence in the front is down.We have them out walking and they seem to be happy.

Jim will be meeting with the builder later, so it is quite nice to feel,albeit a pin hole,light at the end of the tunnel.

Stay tuned.

It’s almost over…

July, that is.

Undisclosed location(old) and hopefully the foundation will be starting on Undisclosed (new).

As I type this I look out the window and realize how badly I need to reestablish my own roots with Jim and the girls at the new spot. Losing Rochelle was like setting me free without an anchor and since then, I really feel lost. I can assure you that is not a good feeling.

August will be coming.

Colors of summer will be richer and moving toward fall. Hopefully the foundation will be laid and the frame will be up on Undisclosed(new).

My mother always talked about wishing your life away and perhaps she was right. I don’t look at it that way: I look at it as starting the next chapter of my life, for which I am full of hope.

By the way, below is a last look at the Old Undisclosed.


Me and Kate


I just read an article about the Duchess of Cambridge’s post maternity style.

Evidently it is to warm for the royal track suit and clothes of that line just
yet.Maxi dresses and caftans are expected to be seen, according to royal watchers.
Something that will be nice and light and flowing for the summer heat.


I saw a picture of Kate, Wills and Prince George where Wills was holding the
baby. Gee,my belly could match Kate’s right now. Didn’t I feel good when I
saw that. Maybe I will adapt a caftan wardrobe and try to lose weight as
my sister, the Duchess of Cambridge will…

Hmmm…might be worth the thought!

An obvious glitch…

…because when I got out the front door this morning, I wasn’t immediately sweating.

Ah,Mother Nature-you are so cruel. Teasing me with temporary low humidity and
comfortable temperatures.I know you are two-faced,though, and will swipe the
temperatures up in a blink of an eye.

In the meanwhile, this might even call for going outside today and getting some
chores done and sneaking in a little walking.Might as well get it in before the
next string of 90+ degrees sneaks back in.

Happy Wednesday!


A new royal baby!

I love England, but of course I would,as I was a history major.

During the time of Di and Fergie,well,they were a little younger than me but I
was rooting for them.It was an exciting time for following British Royalty.Myself,I
was fortunate enough to spend 2 weeks in the UK in the late ’80’s.

Time passes on and William and Harry grow up and Wills gets married. As my late mother
would say, that is a good thing and a healthy baby.

I am just chiming in my congrats to the young Royals;God bless them!


A good buddy on a downhill slope


In prior blog posts, I had written about my friend with a degenerative brain disease.

She had been diagnosed about 5 years ago, and has been going slowly downhill, which has been
so hard for us who love her to watch.We hang in there with her though, because she, even in her illness, is a good friend.

If you can’t find the prior post, she is a former neighbor who made friends with me from the day I moved in,eleven years ago. Her fur-child is Eby, a beautiful male golden retriever. We used to tease about Zush being Eby’s wife-we had many a good chuckle over that. Fortunately Zush is spayed so no worries for me.

I can remember her illness coming on as if it were yesterday. Jim,Zush and I were with her and Eby walking the trail of the Wissahickon. She was complaining about feeling off-balance sometimes, which I said maybe the doctor would tell her it was vertigo.

It wasn’t

I always would walk up twice or 3 times a week when I lived on the block, and we would chew the fat for a while. As her condition has deteriorated, I kept that up,until when we moved this last month. Now I only get to see her once a week.

Yesterday was her 62nd birthday.

If you are of some free time, please throw up a prayer or good thought for my buddy. No one should have to go through what she is.

Stuck at the base camp …

…or should I say prison,because that is what my late mother’s house feels like. We have officially lost the undisclosed location that was for now.Demolition allegedly begins on Monday.
Jim can get more excited than I am, as this house is his baby.He deals with the builder, surveyor,etc. I am left sitting with the girls on the hot bleachers. Not very inspiring place to
be in.

Jim is taking advantage of being in the city by going to take the car for an oil change et al.The girls and I are going nuts pent-up in air struggling against the temperature and walking for potty breaks out in the blazing heat.Day number two of this is really not that fun.

The flip side is that I have been watching Yard Crashers on DIY network, and Jim and I are trying to get some ideas on somewhere down the line, landscaping the house, whenever it eventually gets done. Some of the ideas they show are a little much, but some might actually work for us.

It is very depressing for me right now, as I feel that there is no light at the end of the tunnel and I will be stuck here.I might even pass away in this prison.It is frustrating to see other people get there homes on the road and it seems that it is so-o-o drawn out.

Hard to keep the faith when you feel this bad, but we’ll see.

If only..

The heat is continuing here, allegedly through tomorrow night, with the promise of a possible thundershower tonight. Hah! I should be so lucky!

The fur girls and I go out for walks but the three of us come back in a puddle of drool mixed with my sweat.There isn’t enough fluid to keep me moving, and although I know you have to eat, well maybe we should have heat more, as it is a pretty decent appetite suppressant.

As I write this, I am looking out the window and for mid-July, the bushes and plants have lost their true richness of green: they are looking somewhat peaked.

Come on, October!


Lament for a house

Three and one half years ago, my husband bought us a house at an “Undisclosed location”.
Sure it was a weekend get away and I did manage to have an actual week off there last year, but it was cozy, it was comfortable and the back room was bright.It was a good spot to spend a third of our week at, which we seemed to do year round.

We had to get serious, as when my husband sold our house in Philly, we were turning our minds to retirement living, We decided we needed a rancher.Not that this old house isn’t, but, we wanted a house to live the rest of our days out in.

This weekend, the demolition crew comes in and knocks it down.Fortunately I will be up here with the fur girls, as we need the air and to be away from all of that. Plus, if I was there, I’d be a little teary-eyed, so better I keep the memories I have of the house with me.

In a previous blog post I wrote about loss in my life, well, here’s another chunk. People say “how exciting”…it’s not for me.I never asked for much and what I had I was always comfortable with. We’ll see what happens.This picture I have attached really doesn’t do the house justice, but at least it gives you an idea of what it looks like.

R.I.P to my cozy,sunny spot.



Well, had the classic middle age life experience this morning: up to tap a kidney at 3:30am-so much for sleep.

On the flip side, I got the girls out for their morning walk and met up with my buddy Kathy.Kathy fostered my Zush when she was 6 months old for the SPCA. It’s funny, because 12 years later, I give her the ok to go, and she’ll run to Kathy-she remembers her! Kath has two new dogs of their own, Henry and Chunks.The four of them had a good walk together, and it was good to see my buddy.

Now to get ready for the office and yet another day of heat.Hope it is going to break soon;after all,there are only so many outfits a gal can put together with one eye open.

Have a great day!


Last minute shuffle

Continuing the heat from yesterday,I had to put together clothes to wear into the office today.
That wasn’t an easy task, as I kept all my work clothes together when we moved but they were down in the hot cellar.

I had gone down half-dressed and had striped Capri pants on.What do you think that I grabbed to wear on top? A seersucker plaid shirt: truly an outfit you wish you had vertical hold for.Fortunately I was awake enough to realize my fashion error and changed pants! Whew! Crisis averted.

Managed to make it in to the office and got myself a smoothie and some fruit to boot.Here’s hoping that the 96 degrees gets over with quickly!

Stay Cool!


Lighter the better

They are calling for a string of 90 degree days and you just know how much I adore the hot weather.**read heavy sarcasm here**

Drastic times call for drastic measures.

The seersucker shirts have come out, and this morning I bought a fresh pair of sandals to replace the ones I bought last year during jury duty.Below is a picture of my breakfast of choice and there will be NO coffee coming in this body today- a ton of water, thank you very much. Although I know some folks will go ugh when I mention lunch, well, I can’t help it. I was brought up by Mom with cottage cheese with peaches. I have twisted it to cottage cheese and pineapple. it works for me, folks-I will try anything to keep it cool.

Here’s hoping if you are stuck in the heat, you manage to keep hydrated and if you have an elderly relative or neighbor, be a good person and check on them. You’d be surprised the amount of sealed shut windows you find because they think “It makes the house cooler.” Remember to have plenty of shade and water for your fur kids too!

Take it easy!


Almost 11 years later…

We went to Mass this morning,as we normally would on a Sunday.

Afterward,we went to a restaurant that we last went to on our honeymoon,almost 11 years ago.

We have changed,life has changed,but,most notably,how those prices have changed for everything that was on the menu.It was a pancake house: it wasn’t a steak house or seafood house- a pancake house.

Jim got plain pancakes and I got a plain waffle. I had coffee and Jim had orange juice.The small orange juice was $2.50 for a SMALL glass: we wondered if it was gold plated. Bacon, which we seldom have, was $3.75 for a side order.

Nice to know that we are still together, and our love has grown to beat the rate of inflation…lol

Enjoy your weekend!


So, we get down to Undisclosed and the house is not demolished yet. What a surprise we had to find that our sewer had been capped off.

Hello, mcD’s.. We are here for breakfast, using free wi-fi and the facilities. It just goes to show you that you can’t appreciate something until it is gone.

Yes, I know it’s not forever,but I miss my bathroom 😦

The end result is going to be worth it- I know, I know… But there’s a lot to be said for creature comforts, such as bathrooms, showers, and running hot & cold water . I was a Girl Scout a lifetime ago and was stuck in a blizzard. Didn’t matter- it was a cabin with working plumbing. I was 12 years old.

41 years later? A little working plumbing would be nice .


Crushing some candy with a saga to boot..

Yeah, I admit it.

My name is Mar Cil and I have become hooked on Candy Crush Saga.

Why? God only knows…

When it was Rubik’s cube, I was maybe in 4th grade and had no patience. The same could be said for other things along the way-I just didn’t have the dedication to master them, well, except for some games like pinochle…

Candy Crush Saga intrigues me as a 53 year old.I have a mind, I should be able to use some problem solving to get these things down to the bottom.It’s like, mentally I have become the little engine who could….I think I can, I think I can…

I will be laughing my socks off if, in ten years, they find out working this puzzle game out decreases your chance of Altzheimer’s…but I don’t see that coming.They might just find me in a mental hospital muttering..”let me get the cherries down.”

For a game/puzzle that seems pretty harmless, as in its’ resemblance to the old warhorse Candyland, but remember the movie “Ghostbusters”? They turn the monster into something harmless, the Stay-pufft Marshmallow man and what happens?

They still got messy.

Happy Friday to you all!

Somedays you just can’t win.

Can’t use the excuse that I have too much on my mental plate, as caregiving of Mom is long done.

I blame the Cil lifestyle currently known as nomadic life, aka, moving.

We have tried to arrange things to some degree but with limited space it is hard to do.
Things that we have put in one place, well, then we have to make space for other stuff and then you want to get rid of things that need to be trashed..and so on and so on.

I just have to come out and say it that my life is currently a huge ” Dear St.Anthony “. I can’t tell you how many times a day I have to get the wheels in motion with it.Jim and I will actively scour for whatever it is and eventually we do find it. But what a job: it’s like we have nothing else to do during our day.

Things eventually,er,hopefully,will settle down, but they can’t do it quick enough for me.

New house means uber-organization, because I have had enough of this crap.

Thanks for reading ..**climbing down off my soap-box**

Endangered trees

In light of the new construction of Undisclosed II, I have found out that a lot of the insurance companies are pulling away from homeowners insurance if the is a tree too close to the house. If it is because of the location of the area, sometimes prone to nor’easter,storms,or hurricanes, well, you can kind of see where the insurance companies are coming from.

In the meanwhile,the trees in the area are starting to dwindle.We are in a somewhat forested area, and little by little, the trees seem to be disappearing.Granted,a lot of folks trim their trees, hoping that it would help.It does to a point.If you were to walk one mile in either direction of our house, you could see the beginning of the end of the trees.

A few people are actually trying to replant,albeit a way from their home. But it’s not quite not the same.The area is known for being in the migratory path of birds during spring and fall.Taking their tree homes away gives them nowhere to nest. If there are no trees, you might as well be in the city, surrounded by concrete.

That is why I am still mourning the trees the new owners of our old house took down.A green carpet of trees helps maintain the green cycle in an area. How sad to see no respect for the environment.

Here’s hoping folks wise up!



I’ve had a lot of loss in my life, as I am sure most people do.
Maybe less than some, or more than others, I don’t know.
That’s how I have been feeling with moving like a nomad from
tent to tent.

The house I grew up in ended up sinking when an uncapped water
main,due to a strike, washed away the foundation.From what my parents
and I had experienced, I always said it took 10 years off all our lives.

So I had to move.

I moved on my own for four years, since I never had the dorm experience
my brothers had.My parents were dismayed, but I told them,er, promised
them when one of them got sick, I’d move back to take care of them.

My father got sick.

Dad passed away and I lived there taking care of Mom until I got
married in 2002.

I married Jim and we moved into a three-story Victorian house on the
edge of Fairmount Park.We were surrounded by trees on our walkway,
and Jim planted his trees over the years.

The house was sold a month ago.

Jim told me yesterday that they took a good deal of the trees in
the front of the house away.It was like someone stuck a knife in my heart,
because it will always be MY/OUR house, I know, I know-new folks
tweak the house the way they like it. It still hurts.

In the meantime, we are camping out in my parents deteriorating house,
which is owned by me and my 2 brothers.So we are living in one floor.
It’s the house that I saw both my parents pass away in.

Loss, again…..**sigh**

Sometimes I really hate my life.I just wish there’d be a gain in it
once in a while.



I ** heart** sleep.

Don’t get me wrong, but 6 hours is pretty good for me. I remember a time where I was a bear without 8.

It’s all about change, I guess- change and age.

Sure, babies are celebrated when they sleep through the night. Kids want to stay up all night on weekends and summer, but give them a school morning and most of them need a front loader to pick them out of bed and get their day started.

As the ” clubbing” years arrive, I have witnessed many people dragging themselves in on zero-2 hours sleep and try to convince folks they are great!

At my age, I am glad 5 hour energy is only a commercial to me, not a diet staple. Medications**legal prescription ones,’natch**also add to sack time. Then there are those of us who have to get up through the night, through one reason or another,and upon returning to bed, try to coax ourselves back to sleep.

I am not a fan of heat. The only **good** thing, IMHO , is that it wears on you and wipes you out, thus handing you sleep on a platter…lol…I am not proud: I’ll take comfort any way I can get it.

Here’s hoping you got a good night’s rest and have a good day.


That’s enough heat

We all are coming back up to the city, and we are listening to the baseball game.

The announcer is talking about heat:: don’t think too many people sitting in stadium open seats need to hear about it. Nor do they want to heat about heat index…I mean why and insult to injury?
The announcer,who is probably in an air conditioned booth, remarked about all the fans have to do is sit in their seats to sweat.

I am sure in the old days, pre-pollution, the heat was hot but not this lousy heat we get today.



Whale of a day

Our town at undisclosed location was founded in 1680 as a whaling village .
Traditionally they celebrate their history with a street festival they call Whale of a Day. It is traditionally celebrated the Saturday after the Fourth of July.

Jim and I cranked up the air and left the fur girls in it while we walked down to take in the street fair. The heat was tremendous, but we had lunch and listened to a couple local musicians perform. As we walked back, you could only fry in the heat, and savor the air conditioning you went back to.

How sad. It makes me wonder how man screwed up the atmosphere to have such heat. Then again, I am always one who wondered whatever happened to spring.

Screen house night two…

Well, here we are tonight, out in the screen house.

If you look at the picture of the Zush, she accurately reflects the amount of sweat we are dealing with. Kasia is outside the screen house, guarding us or protesting about or sweat- take your pick.

The humidity has returned with a vengeance and weather is threatening to go to three digits. Thus, we are out here letting the compressor rest while we listen to the Phillies on the transistor radio.I am reading, too, to try to take advantage of twilight. All is quiet right now at Undisclosed location.

Here’s hoping your Saturday night is a wee bit cooler.


Quality, not…

To continue with Daniel & Rebecca Boone, we bought a screen house.

We wasted $69 buying a Northwest Territory Brand house. It had a margin for ” mosquito protection”…uh, sure.

Granted, it was an accomplishment for Jim to get it together with my help. The fur girls are wondering what’s going on.

As Jim said, if only they did it right and made it so the net meet the ground, but I guess that was too much to hope for.

We are finished. Jim rigged it so we might have it actually with some support..

Daniel Boone would be proud- not of the craftsmanship but of the labor put into it.


Daniel Boone et al

So I mentioned that a new Undisclosed location is going to be put up soon?
Did I mention they have to shut utilities off in order to get rid of this house? Oh,and did I mention this is one of the rare times we both have 5 days off together ?

Hello Daniel and Rebecca Boone!

No, it’s not exactly that rough, but it truly lives up to the old chestnut about appreciating something /someone when it’s gone…in this case, electricity.

We aren’t really roughing it, after all, Zush is 12 and sweating isn’t my forte’ either, so we got a generator. We figured that eventually living down here, in the land of Nor’easters , tropical storms, and hurricanes, it’ll be of some use.

In the meantime, we are all squeezed into a little cottage; Zusher, Kasia, Jim and myself.

Ah, togetherness!

Happy Fourth of July!


Late afternoon sky

I have a habit of taking a lot of sunset shots. It could be that our Undisclosed location is on a coast known for its’ sunsets.

The fur girls are with us for a final fling in our old stomping grounds- new ones are coming. So rather than go up in crowds to watch the sunset, we are in the back yard relaxing. There is a bit of a breeze and this way we enjoy nature in our own way. An added plus is Zush hangs with me during fireworks! Less anxiety for my girl.

Enjoy the Fourth!


Happy almost 4th

It’s the third of July, and I am ready for a stretch of time away from the city.

The fur girls are laying in front of the air- conditioning, and are waiting for Jim to get home.

There will be plenty of time for reading and relaxation, and just to be away from center city and the tourists . There’s a lot to be said for peace and quiet.

Here’s hoping that no matter how you enjoy the fourth, you are happy and safe!



I don’t mean I have a lot of pull.

I used to get a lot of pull… from Kasia, my younger dog. Now that we are at domicile Deux , we have no fenced in yard, and laws at Undisclosed location make us have both girls on a leash.
Zush finds this law humiliating: she’s a person, or so she says…lol

I found this leash on the Internet
. It goes cushioned around Kasia’s groin , then a piece runs to her collar- you latch it on. Basically it allows control from torso, not neck.

She sure is happier, I am happier ….and the picture below is her modeling her girly pink leash for you.


Beyond the Candelabra

I don’t know if anyone else caught this movie made for HBO starring Michael Douglas as
Liberace and Matt Damon as his lover, Scott Thorson.

At first I thought, ugh, two male actors in those roles, but as in the teaser they
give for the film, Michael Douglas says you quickly forget who they are as actors and \
how well they pick up the relationship. Both Douglas and Damon are married, so they
portrayed the dynamics of the relationship quite well indeed.You followed their ups
and downs, and the sadness was unavoidable at the end.

It was an awakening for me, as a Polish American girl, who grew up watching
Liberace on the various talk shows, like Mike Douglas and Carson. I mean he
was Mr. Showmanship.I felt this took you into his life and brought his actual
humanity to the forefront.I always enjoyed his music, but now I appreciate
his life.

If you get a chance to see it, it is pretty good, IMHO.