Family Time

We are really happy.

My nephew Matt and Kat are here spending Labor Day weekend with us and its’ a treat to see them,as it’s the first time we have spent solo with them since their wedding back in May.Kat even brought us a blueberry cake and it is spectacular.

The girls are happy that they are here, well at least Zush is, and Kat is better than she was when she met them before: outside of the initial barking, she is good.

I’d write more, but it’s time for dinner-am putting on my hostess with the most-est gown.

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Feeling my age

My nephew Matthias and his wife are out tonight at a concert at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby, which is outside of the city.The group they are seeing is called “Chevelle”.

Uh, ok?** the old aunt has no clue**

The last concert I went to at the Tower theater was in 1980 and I went with my friend Cindy to go and see….Carly Simon.

I know that if I really wanted to, I could go to Wikipedia or You-Tube…

No thanks…rather go to sleep.

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End of the Summer Season

Yup, I know Fall doesn’t start until late September.

As I sit here and type this, I am looking out the window and looking at the late summer lawn and garden.Part of me is genuinely sad, as I am sitting in the room where both my parents passed away in 1998 and 2012.That thought and looking at the outside really makes me feel the passage of time.Part of me laments the fact that I used to go swimming in the summer with Zush, and the fact that we are both getting a little older, well, Zush goes in and I keep her company going up to my mid-calves.

I feel depressed.

The hope I have is for the future.

The hope to finish out my time here in the city and pray that the future is kind to us all.To actually live in a house with my husband that is ours and with our furniture and belongings and things that are ours is something that I am patiently waiting for. I hear Jim say about how is going to miss his job, and yet, I am leaving mine to move as is he, and this was the first time I heard him express that.Wow…something else to mull over in my mind,

I mull these things over in my head, and although I know I am more than ready to leave, I can only pray that we all survive the transition.

In the crispness of fall, hopefully, things will be comforting to us and we all will be alright.

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**Sigh**

There is nothing like working a few hours extra in the day and coming home late.

I am not bragging,only lamenting the fact that my ridiculously early bedtime has to be pushed back a wee bit because I hadn’t eaten dinner yet.Truly, not a run-of-the-mill situation for me.It can never mimic how truly physical labor wears you out, but I am pretty beat.It makes me the appreciate the fact that this time next year this will hopefully**or not** be only a memory.I know that when my head hits the pillow tonight, it will be a great feeling.

Fortunately Jim stepped in and took care of the girls, but there was nothing but love for me coming through the door: nice to know they miss me.

Good to be tired, but even better to be home with my loves!

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Trying…

The lack of sleep we had on Sunday night/Monday morning has still not released me from its’ grip…that really stinks!

The weather has decided to go back to summer, so of course the humidity adds with wearing us all down,and what’s funny is that even going to bed early, well, it’s like I always say: “I’ll never get that time back again.” We keep kicking though, and can not wait until the end of the week when we get a chance to decompress.

What time I do have free during this week, though, I am getting ready to have my nephew Matt and Kat, his wife, down to Undisclosed Deux. They had been down once in the old house, and we are really looking forward to seeing them this weekend.It’s amazing when you think you have a stocked up house, looking at it with a visitor’s eye, well, it’s lie, whoa…major shopping to do.

Here’s hoping you all have a good week. As for us? We’re going to sleep!**wink**

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Tons of fun

We went over to my sister-in-Law Joanna’s house tonight to hang with Joanna and Earl and my mother in law. She is staying there while my sister-in-law Kathy is away on vacation.

Before we sat for dinner, the girls needed to go out.I took them out and as we were walking down the driveway, Kasia was stung by a bee. I went to see if I could see the damage in her paw and the damn bee came to my hand stung me.

I don’t think I’ve had a bee sting in 20 years.

You know what? It still hurts.

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It’s Fun and Games until Bath Time.

I took the girls to the beach today. I had walked them down to the waterfront street and then Zush started to cry a little. I knew what she wanted…swimming.

We have a little neighbor, Olivia, who is a 45-year-old midget**translated, she’s 5 years old.**She was there with her parents and she loved swimming with Zush while Kasia stayed with me at the water’s edge. Then, Olivia wanted to walk Zush on the beach, so Kasia and I accompanied them. An hour later, I had to tell Olivia that it was lunchtime for the girls, in order to get them home.

That’s when the fun started. I had to give the girls a bath, and it was their first here.Needless to say, swimming was fun, the bay was fun, and then? Ugh. Mom had no fun, that’s for sure. It was good, though, because they are both sweet-smelling for our visit from Matt sand Kat.

All I know is one thing-we all are tired and ready for bed.

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Social Butterflies II

One thing that we do down here at Undisclosed is socialize.

You see, there are a ton of folks like us who have no children, or their children have grown, are or have been caregivers, are retired or staring down out at it and wondering about pensions and medical expenses.

Jim had met a friend and since then,we have come to meet his parents. Max is Jim’s friend, and his parents are a sweet old Italian couple. We ended up having a visit for a couple of hours with them today. It was so nice and they were so sweet: it is so easy to feel comfortable with people like that. It made me miss my folks even more, especially with my Dad being gone sixteen years tomorrow.

I’ll never have my folks back, and I miss them every day. The visit with our friend Max’s parents, well, it made a lot of the sting out it.

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Social butterflies

One thing that we do down here at Undisclosed is socialize.

You see, there are folks like us who have no children, or their children have grown, are or have been caregivers, are retired or staring down out at it and wondering about pensions and medical expenses.

Jim had met a friend and since then,we have come to meet his parents. Max is Jim’s friend, and his parents are a sweet old Italian couple. We ended up having a visit for a couple of hours with them today. It was so nice and they were so sweet: it is so easy to feel comfortable with people like that. It made me miss my folks even more, especially with my Dad being gone sixteen years tomorrow.

I’ll never have my folks back, and I miss them every day. The visit with our friend Max’s parents, well, it made a lot of the sting out it.

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Relief

It has been a mighty long week this week.

The time to come down here to Undisclosed has never been more appreciated. I was talking to someone today and they asked me if I am scared to retire. There are so many ways to take that. As I am still working now, I come down with Jimmy and the girls on the weekend and we have been doing it for five years now.

Between the crap happening in the city, and traveling back and forth. I am not scared at all; merely tired.

I am crazy enough to like off-season, to love the fact that the bay actually will freeze over when the temperature drops low enough. Most importantly, I love the peace and quiet.

It’s time……….

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The week that was…

It has been a long week for me.

The fact that I am still putting the ointment in my eye twice a week seems to make it even longer, although I am admittedly,seeing a bit better.

A good buddy of mine who I worked with for thirty years is leaving tomorrow to move on the west coast to retire.I am getting together with him and another buddy in September and we are going out for a retirement lunch and drinks. I am looking forward to that.

I haven’t been sleeping too well at night.Perhaps I am just all upset because my buddy, Anna, had to put her dog down: it was full of cancer.Dog Mom that I am, just thinking about it causes tears in my eyes.

Here’s hoping for a quiet weekend.

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Hack-hack….

I have started hacking away all of a sudden.

It starts as soon as I leave the house in the morning.

I saw what it was this morning…

RAG WEED.

Talk about your warm and fuzzy childhood moments.As soon as I realized what it was, I heard my Mom talking to me.

” Whenever it was time to go back to school, you always came down with a ” cold”. Finally I took you to the doctor who said to me you had hay fever.”

Jeez, Mom, that would explain the amount of handkerchiefs you sent me to school with, tucked away in my uniform blouse sleeve.Thanks, Mom. I always wondered about that.

I thought of something I recently saw posted on Facebook. It went something to the effect of your Mother never leaves you.

What a comforting thought.Miss you every day,Mom.

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It Was Thirty Years Ago Today**

** with apologies to Lennon and Mc Cartney

It was thirty years ago today,
The city of Philly started giving me pay….

Nah, I can’t twist those lyrics that badly, especially since I like that song.

But…

On this day in 1911, a dispatcher in the New York Times office sends the first telegram around the world via commercial service.On this day in 1977, NASA sent the Voyager II, an unmanned 1,820 pound spacecraft into orbit.On this day in 1984, I became a full-time employee of the city of Philadelphia.

Thirty years.**shaking my head**

I can’t believe it.

I am truly blessed, especially in the day of companies relocating, folding, high unemployment….

My nephews Matthias and Gregory weren’t even born yet.My parents were both alive and I was living in the home I grew up in.I was probably**gulp** 80 pounds thinner and a lot more optimistic.I know I was scared. I left a small publishing house to work for the city.And now, thirty years later, I work a half city block away from the home of that first post college job.

Full circle? Yup, it certainly seems that way.

I thank my brother Bob for kicking my butt into getting this job.Without this job I’d probably not be here writing this blog.My medical plan from this job got me into a protocol for my first cancer.Without it, I might have died.When I started this job, my Mom asked me to call her in the morning when I got to my desk so she didn’t have to worry about me here in the city. Toward the waning years of her life, I called her every morning to make sure she was ok.The circle of life strikes again.

It’s funny.I appreciate being my age, but that melancholia can envelope you when you stop to think about back then.I’d like to think I have learned from my mistakes I have made, and with what I have learned, stare the future down and say ,”Here I come.”

Thank God!

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Don’t blink…

When someone would normally tell you that,they don’t want you to miss anything: something important is coming up.

My blinks, these days, are sporadic.They neglect to tell you how temperamental an eye is. As the day gets later, my right eye is awfully sore and tired. I actually had to write this entry before I take the ointment and put it in my eye. Once it is in, my right eye vision gets fuzzy from the medicine. It’s a two edge sword, because as fuzzy as it gets, I really don’t need an infection in my eye.There are only six more days of putting the ointment in twice a day, then the next and last week, I only need to put it in once a day

Thank goodness I still have one working eye, but at this time of the day, it’s just as tired as the right eye.

Good night!

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Here’s looking at you.

I have a few hours respite before I have to ointment up my eye to make sure no infection gets in it.

I took the patch off a little while ago, as it’s getting close to the time it was due to come off, but the humidity was making things just a little too much. It was really a culture shock, of sorts, to have the eye open up again. It was as if my left eye got a little stronger because it had to operate solo.Now the two are working together again, although I have to admit it still feels a little weird.

The next twist will be how this antibiotic ointment will be with my vision. They claim that the ointment will hinder the field of vision: I figure even if it does, I’ll still have one good eye going, so I should be ok.

Jeez, I’ll tell you one thing. I’ll be glad when this is all over.Jim has been a sweetie helping me out, and even the fur girls have been kind of good for me.

I just want it to be done.It makes you appreciate good health.

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Sound of One Eye Clapping, Day Two

You never know what you have lost until you no longer have it.

Fortunately, I hope to have the vision back in my right eye eventually, but this eye being patched up while it is healing has been, pardon the expression, eye-opening. My friends who see me, well, people look at your good eye, but you can tell that the fact that I have one side of my face patched up, well, it’s uncomfortable for people to deal with.It is funny, because Jim and I were in church last week, and when we were at Mass, we saw an older guy who may or may not have lost an ear. Where his ear would be, it was covered with the same fleet colored tape as my eye is. Funny how that became part of my life a week later.

Going through the day has been a challenge. My depth perception is off, I walk as if I am drunk a little,Trying to cut food on a plate is weird.Things are definitely a little off in my world, right now.Trying to shower without getting the face wet is a trip too.

The grand unveiling of the eye is tomorrow night: we’ll see how it goes.

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Sound of one eye clapping

It’s over.

It’s benign.

Now I am into hour 8 of 72 hours with a patch over my right eye.It has been an interesting time so far. It’s starting to get itching under the patch.I have learned that auto-correct is not all it’s cracked up to be.The words aren’t “dirty”, but they aren’t what I have wanted to write either.

The good part is Jim is, as I know, a great guy. He went and got up Italian wedding soup for dinner and it has hit the spot.I am listening to my body and napping when the spirit moves me or my good eye tires out.I managed to slowly get the girls out, but they are getting the idea that Mom is not up to stuff.

We’ll see how the rest of the weekend fares.

Stay tuned.

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Eye-eye!

I am to have a procedure tomorrow morning.

On my lower right eye-lid, I have a growth right by the tear duct.They say they “think” it isn’t cancer. I said let’s make sure.

The office is a two bus ride away from the house. In a lot of cases today, physicians have surgery suites right in the building where their offices are.I’ll get myself over and Jim will have to bring me back.I have been told that I’ll have to take it easy over the weekend, and my eye will possibly be patched up to keep foreign bodies out of it.

It’s nothing that I haven’t been through before, in one form or another. You always are a lithe scared, and usually I pray, a lot, to help me mentally get through.So if you miss a post or two, well , it’ll be because it’s rough being a one-eyed pirate.

I’ll catch you when I am a little better in post-op.

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Sharknado? Again?

I guess the Sci-Fi station thought that since it is shark week, they might as well jump on the bandwagon again.This post is my opinion of the film and, SPOILER ALERT, does mention plot lines of the film.

Really?

I must be a sucker for pretty bad movies because these are so cheesy I can only laugh at them.They actually take lines from other scripts. I can not even tell you how many times the lifted and then twisted lines from Jaws.Somewhere, Robert Shaw, aka Quint from Jaws, is spinning like a top in his grave.I actually hear a twisted line from Independence Day.I guess that good writers are hard to come by.

I like the effects in the films, because they are so bad you can only chuckle at them.In the first one, a ferris wheel comes apart and rolls down the street killing folks.In the second one, it’s the statue of Liberty Head,As if that could actually happen

It was a good way to have us forget our real world worries for a wee bit.That’s the only thing I can thank the Sci-Fi channel for.

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Happening in 3’s…

Yesterday, the news had the fact that Robin Williams had committed suicide at home in Northern California.Tonight, news broke that Lauren Bacall had passed away.

I was brought up with the old school.Things happen in threes. It was funny because when I read to Jim that Lauren Bacall had passed away, I thought it, but Jim said that number three is around the corner.

It’s amazing to stop for a moment and reflect about things like that. It was a different day when we were brought up.Do the kids today actually think or even know about stuff like that?I seriously doubt that, unless they have to research something like that for a paper for school, there is no way that they would come up with the old wisdom or sayings.

I guess we are just part of the old school that is dying off.

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Press one for connection

The other phone came today.

It was here when I came home from work.

My cord to connect the phone? One is at Undisclosed, and the other in the office.**good place for them, eh?**That was the first stumbling block.The second stumbling block is I have an Otter box on my phone, in order to save it from things going bump in the night.Jim struggled big time to get it on the phone for me.We’re going to bypass that aggravation by going to a Verizon dealer in town and having them set up the phone, including getting the otter box off so the sim card can go into the second phone.I’ll probably put another$25.00 out to put protective, tempered glass on the screen: again, to protect it from things going bump in the night.

Two tin cans and a long piece of string, anyone?

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August is the Cruelest Month

…for some folks.

Children who aren’t necessarily fond of school sound a lament all through August, while, at the same time, trying to savor the last days of summer.I would imagine teachers are partially in the same boat.

It’s a mixed month for me.

I lost my Dad on the 24th of August in 1998. It was a humid stretch of weather. We had Daddy at home,to allow him dignity of being where he was most comfortable and most loved. We were fortunate in that we had good people from the medical field monitoring him, and he had us, his family taking care of him.

When Dad passed, I managed to get through it thinking one thing. As a child, Daddy always took the last week of August as his vacation week.I found it very fitting that he went on his last and “greatest” vacation at that time.

Then, I turned around 5 years later, and picked August 31st as my wedding date.I chose that date, because I was thinking Dad and that wonderful vacation time, and thought what a wonderful way to remember that time, by choosing my wedding date to come full circle for the month of August.

So for me, despite some lows during August, it’s been not that cruel for me. It starts my favorite time of year.

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Sorry, Wrong Number, Day III

**Sigh**

I got up this morning around 5:30am, because I just wasn’t feeling too well.

I got up out of bed, checked my cell phone on the side of the bed, and saw that it needed to be juiced up.I went to do precisely that.

Or so I thought.

Two brand new Apple USB cords meant nothing. My trust right arm, my Apple would no charge up for me.

Crap!

5:45 am found me on with Verizon repair yet again, and I think that I knew more than some of the folks that I dealt with. By 7:30am, they had escalated me to level two once again, and then they decided to give my phone to needle and send it to phone heaven.Allegedly they are expressing me a phone on Monday and I should see it Tuesday.

**sigh**

Film at 11…lol

What season is it?

I grew up in Philadelphia.

The teams were the Flyers, Sixers,,Phillies and Eagles.They are the hockey, basketball, baseball and football teams.

For the last couple of years, the Phillies have been providing the entertainment, having won the 2008 World Series.The following years have been the fan base just hoping despite the amount of major injury to hit key players.Now the tide has changed.The Philadelphia Eagles have a new coach and this is his second year at the helm.Now, all the nay sayers about the Phillies have turned another way- they are looking at Eagles football.This includes me too, unfortunately, because, i my opinion, the Phillies are that bad.

Talk about having your head on a swivel.

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Sorry, Wrong Number

For all the bitching and moaning I do about people talking on cell phones on transportation, the gods conspired against me last night.

I got two calls in succession from my sister-in-law,Joanna. The first one, she said she got a busy signal.When I answered, I could hear her, but she couldn’t hear me.The second call she made, she said she got voice mail right away Again, I heard her, but she didn’t hear me.

My carrier? Verizon.

I was on their trouble line two times, and basically camped out unit 11:45pm.They finally, after bouncing me around and around, escalated me to a second trouble level around 11:00 PM.**sigh**
I got off the line with the at 11:45PM. I couldn’t see straight, I was so tired.

Allegedly, my phone is fixed.

***shh…don’t tell anyone…my phone is back in my hand.***

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When the cat’s away…

Our instructor for our Flip Fitness class is on vacation for two weeks.

Whoo-hoo…well, because she gets to have vacation, naturally.

We had Jessica as our instructor tonight and it really was funny. Our instructor Jackie is infamous for not liking odd numbers of repetition for exercises. She tens to make us do ten and then tries to slip more in, We imagined her at her shore hang out, and we joked that we were sending vibes down to her every time we changed the count amount.**Don’t tell her, but we did actually do ten most of the time, but she doesn’t have to know that**.

The problem was we were tweaking some different varieties of exercises so, for example, the position might have been different but you had the same, if not better end result. Well, I was kind of getting into it, and hope I won’t be too sore when I have physical therapy tomorrow.

**fingers crossed**

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Totally indifferent

I will, God willing, be 55 in December.

I am making**knock wood** plans to retire.

It is really hard when you are in an office environment and you have people around you and you have to deal with folks on the phone and….I could go on and on.I have come to realize that I am, indeed, a dinosaur.I have been blessed with being 15 days away from being on my job thirty years.

Yup.

Thirty.

I remember when I first started this job and you are a little put back because you are the classic ” new kid on the block” and you know no one.You have what little experience you have acquired through college and summer jobs and now, all of a sudden, you are out of the minor leagues and into the majors.

In the meantime, I have become used to that comfortable bathrobe, aka my job. It has been there when I needed it. As in all things in life, sure, there are going to be things to get to you like long fingernails on a blackboard.The problem with that is as a kid, my Mom taught me to work and play well with others.What happens is you come in and do you job and try not to let it get to you.For the most part I have been somewhat successful in that.

Now that I am in the late autumn of my career,I have decided to come in and be totally indifferent to everything…..

I’ll keep you posted on how I make out on it….LOL

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Rolling with the Organics

We got down to Undisclosed and one of the first things that we peeked at was our, er rather, Compostman’s, growth tower.

Thanks to the compost tea and the rain, our beans are really getting their legs, the kale is getting up there, as well as the tomatoes and cucumbers and the rest. Even the little garden box that he made with cucumbers and squash is rolling along.We are pleasantly surprised at what has been accomplished in our little stretch of time.

We are getting hopeful about what will actually become a crop for us this year and what we will learn in time for next year.I think that this is one door that we are both equally glad that we have opened!

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Sunset Parade

One of the perks of being at Undisclosed is our close range to the United States Coast Guard training base in Cape May, New Jersey.

We had been there a month ago to hear a speaker talk about the Coast Guard involvement in the “Perfect Storm”.Tonight we went with our friends to see the Sunset Parade.They open the base to the public, and as long as you have valid picture identification,you can come in.The let you go to the parade field and it is so impressive. You see the recruits all lined up in the units.
There is the Coast Guard band at one corner of the field.There is a reviewing stand where the base commanders stand and a few V.I.P’s, and the units, along with their 10 person precision drill team, parade through the grounds.

The fact the America goes into turmoil on a daily basis crossed my mind as I watched this impressive display of personnel.The national anthem gave me goosebumps: to be on a military base and see this display of their daily life was awesome.I left with even MORE respect for the Coast Guard than I had before.

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What time is it?

I was up for most of the day today, Sunday, and decided to stretch out around two o’clock. When I got up from the sofa,I looked at my watch and saw that it was five o’clock.

There is something about an overcast day at Undisclosed that gives you permission to actually take it easy. We went for Mass later because we slept in a bit. We stopped at a produce stand and bought two cantaloupes because we love to enjoy them at the peak.What is even nicer is that we have been coming up early in the morning, rather than later on Sunday night.So even losing a few hours to napping, well, there is the rest of Sunday to savor. If the weather holds,we are going with friends to the Coast Guard base to see the sunset parade of the cadets. I am really excited about that: it is something that I always wanted to see and they say it is quite the sight!

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday.

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Continuing saga of Jersey Tomatoes

We got to Undisclosed today and found a few more tomatoes ready to offer their lives up for us!
They got to get to that rich tomato color so I knew it was time.We had burgers with lettuce, tomato and onion on them and they were great.

We checked into the progress the organic grow tower was making and we saw some great strides being made by the beans, especially.The tomatoes and peppers are chugging along and the kale is getting there. It has to be the composting, because at out old house, we never composted. You can see the difference in the growth here. Compostman has worked his magic!

The problem now is that people want us to deliver up to the city.Hah. What we grow we are keeping, and then the family will share in the rest. We have to step up our production if we want to bring them back to the city.

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PT tying me up in knots

I had physical therapy again today and it is getting rough.

Evidently,there’s a point of strengthening your muscle and then we are to the point where we have been working this week-control of my hip muscles.

Ouch.

The key, and probably starting exercise reminds you either of driving school or a DUI maize.There is a line of small neon orange cones, and all ten are laid out in a straight line.Evidently either my hip is so week or balance so bad that I actually have a cane in my hand while I am doing this because when I didn’t, I almost fell. The idea is to raise your leg over the cone and basically with the cone spacing out between both feet, you slowly are putting one foot directly in front of the other.Sara, my therapist, laughed,as said I didn’t leave the line too inebriated.***translation -only a few cones were out of line***.

What is going to make things rougher is that I am scheduled for surgery on August 15th and as of tomorrow, I can no longer use my post-therapy partner for cure all liquid Aleve. I have to go to Tramadol or extra strength Tylenol.

This getting older business is definitely not for sissies.

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