Living out of a suitcase…sort of

Our home of twelve years was sold last June.

I’m not due to retire until this coming January, God willing.

I’m living at my late parent’s house. it is truly transitional housing.

What does this spell?

My handbag is my life.

Women accessorize.It’s a given. Fashion’s fifth avenue has more than enough magazines where you can blink and you still won’t miss the newest handbags on the editorial fashion pages, if not the ads.We are taught that it is an extension of ourselves. Sure it is, until we have our first chiropractic visit or physical therapy trying to regain a normal state in our shoulders, arms or back.Yes, you, reading this rubbing your sore shoulder. You know what I am talking about.

Most working women have their lives, to some degree in a handbag.After all, we carry them, we keep our transit fares in them, our building passes in them, house keys in them, make-up in them, cell phone, e-reader, and so on, and so on…you catch my drift?

Well, being between two houses, I am in a constant state of,” Oh, I might need this:I’ll put it in my bag.” That’s starts one thing, and as Jim likes to call it, you end up having an avalanche effect.For example, as soon as I post this blog, I have to figure out to get a few pounds off the handbag.**chuckling**I know many women, myself included, who could clean out their handbag twice weekly and still wake up in the morning wondering what gremlin got in and throws even more stuff in our handbags.

I thought I was saying something when I went to a Vera Bradley bag, thinking cloth has to be lighter than leather.Yeah, right.The material doesn’t matter,when you put your belongings into it.

I am going to post this, and then,well, my handbag is not the fabric of the picture below but it is of this style, which of course, is so serviceable that Vera Bradley discontinued it!**sigh**
I will go and try to lighten the load.Of course, it goes without saying that I look forward to the time I’ll be living in our new home and won’t need my “stuff’ clogging up my handbag.

Feel free to share your handbag stories with me. I’m all ears.

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Football

My “home team” is the Philadelphia Eagles, and as I am typing this, Jim is watching the game.

I watch the game and I wonder why would they abuse their bodies with all these hits to the body and cash the check.Do they worry what will happen to their lives even five years from now.I know they are getting large salaries, but if they keep getting body blows, well, do they even think about it?Don’t they say if you have your health, you have everything.

I remember reading about players from the sixties being diagnosed with dementia and other diseases from all these hits through the years. I know there is a concussion protocol that the NFL follows, but still.What do these players weigh? And they hit down on the field on the turf

I hope they save some of that money for their healthcare.

Autumn Saturday

It was a good day here in Undisclosed.

We spent a good deal of the time working on things around the house. I got a chance to catch up on some laundry and actually clean the house.Imagine that.Cleaning MY house.It’s been fifteen months since I’ve been able to say that-clean MY house.

Feels good.

The girls got out a lot for fresh air and sunshine and we all got out for a good family walk. We are in tonight vegging out for rest. We are actually getting a chance to charge ourselves up for the week.

Enjoy what’s left of your weekend!

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Gia

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Gia Caragi was a girl who was three weeks younger than me. I never knew her. I knew of her as I was in my teenage years reading Glamour, Mademoiselle,and Cosmopolitan.She was a fashion model who had it all, and then lost it to drugs and finally Aids.

I just saw her movie done by HBO which starred Angelina Jolie.I am sure it’s about ten years old, if not older, but watching the movies brought back some memories for me.In the movie they replicated some of the magazine shots they took, and I remember seeing that picture in the magazine.It’s funny to see a piece of my life, albeit a small part, in a period movie.

Her life spanned only 26 years, but, I am glad that I didn’t have the looks that lead to the type of exposure she did. God moves in mysterious ways.

More Meaningful Interactions

This blogger’s post goes hand in hand with mine today.Worth reading!

Eric Tonningsen's Awakening to Awareness

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“You can’t upload love, you can’t download time, you can’t Google all of life’s answers. You must actually live some of your life.” ~ author attributions vary

A recent TIME mobility survey polled 5,000 people and found that 84% of participants couldn’t go a single day without their mobile device, with 25% admitting that they checked their phones every 30 minutes. With so many ways to check in and let the world know exactly what you’re doing and when, many feel pressured to maintain their online identity, tweeting, and over-communicating around the clock.

That’s not all bad, but it’s not all good, either. More and more, many people live under the expectation of constant connection. The digital age brings with it many blessings, especially in terms of ready information and instantly accessible research. We know issues, developments and stories instantly, promptly communicate them to friends and colleagues, and get instant…

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Just Listen

Communication sucks.

Or should I say lack of communication sucks?

People will text each other until the cows come home.They’ll Skype or face time basically for the initial novelty of it, but once it fades. so does the communication.I go on public transportation and look around to see that on a bus of 25 people, all but two are reading their phones.

Maybe it’s a question of people not being heard by the people they live with.Maybe it’s a question of people not being heard by people they work with.Maybe it’s a question of people not being heard by their friends.

It might be time to put the cell phones down, the tablet down, the laptop down, and talk and LISTEN to the other guy.

What do you think?

What’s for Dinner..

..is often an issue for me on Wednesday night when I have my Flip fitness class.

Sometimes I have to work until 5PM, and on other times, only 3:30.My Class starts at 6:15 and the last thing you really need is rushing a meal before the class. I have learned the hard way that it is not the thing to do.It’s hard when, especially like tonight, Jim was hungry, but willing to wait until I came home from class for dinner.

Since I have only the two of us to cook for, I consider myself luckier than a bunch of my buddies who have whole families to feed.Today, for me, was easy though.Jim has spaghetti and meatballs and I have a bowl of cereal.My Mother is probably turning over in her grave watching me eat cereal for dinner, but I have learned the bowl of cereal is light and I tend to sleep better when I am not fighting indigestion at 2 in the morning.

It’s a good solution, and it keeps me from picking on junk through the night. I am glad I finally figured it out!

Marketing

Do you realize how much stuff we buy due to marketing?

I did a marketing study tonight for one hour. It was for Keuring Kcups.Now, because I am married to Compostman, I, when a Kcup is used, rip the top off and take the coffee out.I add the coffee to the compost.

Now, evidently, Wegmans is trying to introduce a Kcup that is able to be recycled. You push in on the cooled, used Kcup where the recycle logo is on the outside, and evidently it’s easy to rip the top off and yank the filter and coffee out.Uh, ok Wegmans,but I have been emptying the gonna fide Kcups I’ve been using for a while and recycling them. My nephew, Greg Miziorko, gave me the Kcup that is basically a shell that you fill up, use, rinse out and then use over and over. Now, that’s recycling.

After the study I stopped and was figuring out what else falls under the ‘ Due to marketing’ column, and I figure it’s just about everything. I mean, when was the last time you just used plain soap and water on your face Basics are gone…Madison avenue has ruled the stores.

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First day of Autumn

Remember yesterday’s post about humidity?

The cold front came through and I am one happy girl. I get to sleep tonight, relax tonight, or even just hang out tonight without sweat dripping down my face. What a pleasure!

I am sorry some of my buddies are truly sad that summer is going. I agree to a point: I have a pair of sketchers sandals I adore and will be sorry to see them in the closet.They’re going to go to the closet at Undisclosed, and wait the grand rebirth in my retirement!

Whoo-hoo! Something to look forward to!

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What you didn’t know about rescue (but really need to)

As a dog mom of two lovely golden retirever mix rescues, one 12, and one 5, this hit home!

Dog Hair & Bourbon

IMG_1803 As a sort of follow-up to last week’s post that got a lot of people all hot n’ bothered, I figured I would stir up some discussion on what exactly is the purpose of rescue. This post applies to most dog rescues; I fully understand that there are indeed rescue groups who do take it upon themselves to fill the niches provided below. Those groups are few and far between, however.

Dog owners tend to have a lot of misconceptions about rescue groups and animal control, and what their job is in society. Spoiler alert: it’s not to fix your problems.

1. We’re not rehabilitators

So you got a dog, and now that dog is causing you trouble. It’s snapping at company, herding/nipping your kids, tearing up the house, whatever… The likely reason is that you didn’t train it right, didn’t do your research, got a dog from a…

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Last Day of Summer with a Thousand Percent Humidity

As I am down here in Undisclosed with windows open and fans on, summer decided to kick my butt.The humidity here has got to be 80%.

It really is nice, autumn. Complete with pumpkins and mums. Nowhere in the fine print is there anything about sweat.I have the fall wardrobe out, putting the sandals away a little at a time, and yet, I am pouring sweat.

I am waiting patiently for that consistent sixty degree day. You know, the day when you can where a blazer to the office.It’ll be nice to go to bed under a blanket with the windows open.This is what is getting me through this last stretch!

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Shorter days

One lament I have with autumn is the fact that sunsets come earlier and earlier.

I would watch the daily time for sunsets and watch it ebb lower and lower. You would love summer and being on the beach and walking in the sand and watching the sunset.In June that would be around 8:45PM. All of a sudden in September, you look up the sunset time and it, uh, 6:45PM.

SIX FORTY FIVE? Gee whiz, where does the time go?

I am happy when Jim gets to go out when we are down here on his bike.He tends to go out later in the day, but what I don’t like is when he is out and it is twilight.Not good. Has me worried, because he has no working light on his bike and I worry about him getting hit.

I pray every day when he goes out that he come back home in one piece.It’s not good to play against the odds like that. I normally enjoy the sunsets with Jim at my side: when he is out, I worry.

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All alone

A friend of our is alone for the week, and Jim has gone out for the night with him. For someone who wants to be into healthy eating, all you have to do is mention turkey meatloaf and he is out the door…lol. It’s just as well, as he is keeping our friend company.

Meanwhile, I have sunk into the weekend role of hausfrau.The washing I put off during the week was done tonight. I walked the girls three times today.I made some muffins off of a recipe from the internet. Now I have a small crock pot filled with macaroni and cheese to have to eat during the week.

Bedtime for me and the girls can’t come soon enough!

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Fighting the hack…

Gentle reader, if you go back to a prior post in the month, you’ll remember me talking about hay fever.

Well, in its’ life cycle in my body, we’ve gone through the point where I sound like I smoke a pack of Camels a day.In short, I’m hacking my lungs out with post nasal drip.Thanks, pollen!

It’s rough when you have to flush water to thin mucous in your system. Sure, you can do it during the day but who wants to be up all night?I am so glad that modern technology came up with Mucinex.In the old days, I’d have enough cough syrup in me and every time I’d take it,boy, I’d get bad heartburn.

I love autumn: honestly, I do.The lungs, however, are waiting for the first frost.

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Laughing through Fitness

When September returned, so did my Flip Fitness class-boy did I miss it!

The wonderful thing about Flip Fitness is that you are exercising: you aren’t home, on a sofa, stuffing your face or out sitting on a bar stool. You are actually feeling blood move through your body as you exercise.Your lungs are exhaling when you start your seated crunch and inhaling on the way up…it’s a great class to get your feet wet when you want to take charge of your body again, especially if you haven’t been, of late.After you’ve been to a few classes, you start to feel the accomplishment reflected in your body.

Even more fun is that we laugh. Really.We do. We crack up between exercises and talk about our day, our spouses, our bosses and with the exertion of the exercise,the laughter is the cherry on top.

Flip fitness is through the area: leave me a comment and I’ll message you where I go and the times.

Trust me:you’ll thank me!You’ll have a good ache from the exercising, and a bigger ache from the laughter!

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Mid-September

It’s mid-September for me in a lot of ways.

It’s actually mid-September on the calendar. I am getting ready to retire and am facing the September of my years.There’s a lot of September around me.

I almost wistfully look back to the time when I donned a white uniform blouse and an itchy grey and green plaid uniform jumper. I always say to people if we knew what we knew now, at this point of life, no one would want to leave the comfort of fifth grade.The problems of today weren’t even a vapor back then when it is was school years.

I’m glad I am at where I am now, though.For all the things that you have gone through have made you wiser for the experience, and maybe, just maybe,if it is in the cards, you get to sit back and relax for once.

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When the Going gets Tough

I was ready to pack it in today.

Seriously.

There comes a point when you are tired of being the work mule. When people are displeased with me, I hear about it.Work need to get done?**Raising my hand**..it gets dumped on my desk.But there comes a time when you get tired of being dumped on.

I have people telling me don’t say anything,you’re almost done.

Enough is enough.

Tomorrow is a new day.

Welcome to the beginning of my work slow-down…..

Maybe folks will get the message.

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Hanging out together

We went out for a walk today, Mom, Dad, Zush, and Kasia.

The sky was the prettiest shade of blue and the clouds pretty neat. The weather was cool so we went for a nice two-mile walk on the beach. Jim went ahead with the girls and I kind of hung back: I kept flipping the phone to track how far we were walking and then to take some pretty beach shots.I was happy to meet a friend of Jim’s on the beach: her name was Fran.Evidently she would always be on that stretch of beach because she is from the area.She was there with her bulldog, Otis.

The sad part is we are going back up tonight.Here’s hoping the packing and last-minute chores can be relatively painless….lol.

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Mum time

Usually, the weekend of our anniversary, I usually by our mums for the fall.This year I am late.

This weekend, we went to our friends at Cape Island Home and Garden and our mums for fall. The colors, as usual, were radiant, but my usually method of choice is getting tight close buds, so they last through October. This year, a rich purple were my color of choice, along with a few burgundy smaller mums and a small yellow mum.

Mums always have happy memories for me, as I remember my Dad raising them in our back yard in the house I grew up in.Even when Dad was gone, I made sure I had mums in my wedding bouquet in his memory.

I thinks it’s safe to say that it’s a large reason of why fall is my favorite time of year!

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Yoga

I eventually want to really do yoga.

My flip fitness class incorporates some of the stretches of yoga in the class.I am sitting now watching a show on New Jersey PBS about the benefits of yoga as you get older-the show was called Easy Yoga, the secret to strength and balance.

They claim one out of three people over 65 will fall next year, and correspondingly, they will break a body part.I enjoyed this show because it actually told you about what you would do in yoga and how it would help your life, from a physical aspect.

It’s definitely something I’ll be looking into-God knows I have fallen enough.

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Beautiful Morning

It is that time of the year.

You know, sweating like there is no tomorrow and going to bed with the air-conditioning on.When you wake up in the morning well, to quote Jim,”I needed a coat this morning.”It goes without saying that Jim tends to exaggerate, but it is nice and cool this morning.

It’s my time of year.

Sure spring and summer are nice, although heat has never been my friend,

I have, for the bulk of my life,loved sweatshirts, pullover sweaters, cardigans…they are,to me, comforting clothes. chrysanthemums? Bring it on.I admit though, my dad used to raise mums, so I always am drawn to them. Despite their recent history, Dad and I always watched Penn State football.It’s another benchmark of the season for me.

I always thank God for two feet on the ground every morning, but never more so than this beautiful time of year.

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9/11

Tomorrow is the thirteenth anniversary of the 9/11 disaster.

I am back where I was then.

9/11 happened eleven months before we were married. I was here as a single living with Mom. I was at work that Tuesday morning and remembered seeing the image on computer news feeds, thinking, is it a new simulated game or what? I wasn’t used to seeing pictures and news feeds back then.We all went home, and I called Mom to make sure she was all right and to let her know I was on my way.

When I got home, my neighbor from across the street, KJ and I met and had prayers on the front lawn, and we later had prayer with my Mom.Such a terrible day, and such tragedy for so many people.

All I can do is pray that we all manage to stay safe, and the souls of 9/11 are in eternal rest.

God bless America.

First Position

Since living in limbo, aka, my mother’s house until we move, I have been looking at Netflix.

A lot.

it has been awesome to catch up on old favorites like Columbo and my favorite of the L&O series, Law and Order Criminal Intent. There is one movie that I have been watching over and over when I have a need for background distraction. It is an independent film called First Position and it is, you guessed it, about ballet.

I had futile attempts at ballet as a youngster. Let’s just say grace was never my strong suite, as my brothers can attest. When I was single and when we were in different offices, I really got into ballet music. I enjoy classical on occasion but there is something about the story behind the different ballet stories.

If you appreciate ballet or follow it, and you haven’t seen “First Position”, give it a try. It is a pretty good independent ballet film.

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Full Moon

I walked the girls tonight, as we have had a long day. I figured I would give Jim a break and take the girls out for their last walk of the day.

It was the kind of walk that as you walked, even with keeping eyes on the dogs, your mind kept reviewing the events of the day. I thought of my Mom, momentarily, and thanked God I can still remember the events of the day.

The weather has gotten September like, cool and crisp. I looked up and saw this wonderful picture in my eye. I knew the Designer’s masterpiece when I see it.

 

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Hanging Out

Down at Undisclosed, we had a chance today to kick back with a few of our neighbors this afternoon at the Property Owners Association building.

They held a deck party for us today and we had over 50 folks show up.Jim and I are active in the property owners association and know a lot of the folks from working the pancake breakfast.We went with a few of our neighbors and friends for a dinner of either chicken or shrimp lo mein, and fresh pineapple and watermelon for dessert.

It is hard for us to leave, because going back to the city is really wearing on both of us and we would be happy to be down here now.We wrapped up the party and came back home.The girls got their last walk of the night, and now, well, we are hoping we are able to sleep so we can wind up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed to head up to our work week.

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Storms-a-comin’

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Zush went swimming this afternoon.This followed a trip to our friend Max, and his Mom, Nora, and Dad Mario.It was a pleasant visit and the girls were good, so thanks to the humidity, we took them to the beach.Zush got in the water and cooled off and soothed her aching skin and sore joints. Kasia, Jim and I watched her from the beach…until we saw…

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They are calling for thunder showers and boy did the sky show it. Being over by the water, it was truly reminiscent of “The Perfect Storm.”

Now we are all safe and sound in the house after a wonderful afternoon with friends and family.

Have a good weekend! Be safe!

Hot Date

Since we had no company this weekend, Jim and I decided to take ourselves out to dinner.Last Sunday was our anniversary and we really didn’t have a chance to celebrate ourselves. Tonite was our delayed celebration.

We went to a local eatery here at Undisclosed, and they had a woman singing and a guy on guitar playing for her.The music was nondescript, but what we thought was funny happened halfway through our dinner.

A guy went up to the musicians wearing a holster.I know- I write holster, you read it and go, gun?Nope, he had seven, count them SEVEN different harmonicas in the holster, and evidently he shows up to help the musicians out.I was thankful there was no gun in that holster.It made for some interesting evening.

Below, a shot of holster man….

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Circles

Joan Rivers passed away today.

So did my 96-year-old former neighbor who I used to bring Communion to on sick calls.

I reconnected with my 84-year-old former neighbor who has bounced back from lyme disease and Bells’ palsy.

My neighbors at Undisclosed are new grandparents of a little boy.

Isn’t life funny?
All the classic circle songs, from Joni Mitchell and Frank Sinatra, just to name a few, are true.

I enjoyed Joan River’s comedy and came to love my sweet 96-year-old neighbor and always loved my 84-year-old buddy.I have come to have love for my new neighbors and are happy at their new arrival.Arrivals and Departures…it reminds my of my favorite Albert Brooks movie,”Defending your life.”It takes you to the alleged fictional way station you go to when you die, and it is determined where you’ll spend your afterlife.

That’s not for me right now: I’m in no hurry to go anywhere, thanks!

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Working for “The Man”

I had a chance to work overtime tonight and did. I worked an additional four hours and boy am I beat!

One of the benefits of working overtime is I can earn time to use as I wish. This is really the reason that I do this, as it allows me to continue taking Fridays off through the end of the year.

Just wanted to share a quick picture I snapped from my window tonite of the skyline at sunset.As much as I was really tired and didn’t feel like staying, and as much as I wanted to be home with my family, the sight was really pretty. Knowing I probably won’t catch it again was bittersweet.Mind you, I won’t miss the city, but being blessed with vision to take this view in is something I will warmly press in my memories.

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Good Riddance

A shadow from my past likes to raise its’ head every once in a while and thinks their voice is the only one.

It happens on occasion, and I admit, I used to pay mind to it.

Today was the last time I heard the voice before I stepped on it. They would often say why would you carry something from your past around in your head? It’s like giving out free lodgings.Well, the door is closed.

I could say more, but I won’t. Suffice it to say that one niggling aspect of my past has been laid to rest and I couldn’t be more happy.Their misery and crappy attitude can go and rain on someone elses parade, because bitter people have no place in my life.

End of story.

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Do I have to?

The only thing that is taking the sting out of going to bed right after I finish this, getting up 3am, and heading back up into the city is the fact that this is my last city Labor Day.

I was fortunate enough to spend this week last year down here for a week. I couldn’t do that this year, as I am counting down and have to use my time frugally and wisely.As my good friend and neighbor reminded me you’ll be here next year.

I just have to think of that when I am getting up at 3am.

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Good and tired.

It has been so sweet having Kat and Matt here this weekend.

Part of it is, I think,Jim and I forget how it is to be around young folks-Kat and Matt are in their mid twenties.It is good to have fresh blood running around once in a while. It is also glad because we love them both and I miss Matthias.He has been out of the city for a while now.

We’ve been out sightseeing and taking the girls out, and in short, we have been very busy. This is a good thing.

Good night.

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