2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,400 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Comcast strikes again

Knowing that retirement was in our immediate future, I canceled Comcast service in the city effective January 3rd.

Our bill came in the mail.Cancel? Us? Obviously not, since we received a bill at full price. What part of discontinue my service don’t you understand Comcast?You gave me directions on how to take the modems to a UPS store to get them to you?

Now my body is aching from moving prep and I am on wait for a customer service representative for Comcast for at least 10 minutes.

**sigh**

Someone wake me when it’s time to go to bed, ok?

Going home again

Jim and I had dinner with two of our old friends from our old neighborhood. It was nice to be with them and their fantastic kids: their youngest is my godson Frankie.

Even though we have been off the street for a year and a half, sometimes,well, it’s like you have never left.The only difference is the kids have gotten bigger.We got a wonderful gift from them: they framed two prints of them, one with me, the other with Zush and gave them to us for the new house.We sat and talked and it was so nice. It makes you wish the times could be rolled back to the day.

Then when we left them, we stopped at another neighbor and saw their two girls, who are growing like weeds.Still, we fell into our old chat, and it was great.

I will miss them-good friends are hard to come by.

Football…Packer Football

Yes, right now, technically, I am a Philadelphian.

I am watching the Green Bay Packers on tv.

My oldest nephew on the east coast, Matthias, grew up a devout Packer fan thanks to my brother and his wife sending their godson, Matt, Christmas and birthday Packer gifts.

Now, I have to admit that the Eagles were kind of exciting this year, but fizzled out at the end.Being a Philadelphian, I am used to the disappointment.

This Aaron Rodgers,though,looked like he was having fun playing today. He had a messed up calf, then he goes off the field in the cart. Hearts sink. Out comes Rodgers a little later.

Joe Buck just said that” It’s a well-run machine here in Green Bay.”

I agree!

Baking again

I rearranged my new pantry today and as a result, I’m making cookies tonight to quiet my mind.After they are done, then I’ll sit and have a nice cup of tea.

I just didn’t make as many cookies as I intended do, as with bringing things down from the house, well, it takes time.So tonight I have a little bit of quiet time, so I have an Axis special on TV about the group Queen. Good music to bake by.

A quiet Saturday night with my family. ..All is good!

Hot Tea

I am a coffee girl.

That is a straight away statement.

As I type this, though, I have a cup of tea with me.

Sometimes, I feel the need to warm my self with some tea at night.It brings me back to my brother and my Mom having a big mug of hot sweet tea to make the world right again. I am typing away and my hip is acting up and this is my kick back before I go take a hot shower.It is funny how the image of the sweet ,hot cup of tea just embraces me with warmth,

Oh, no worries.Coffee will be back in the morning.

Tonight?

Tea time.

Merry Christmas to all

We actually socialized tonight with an old neighbor of ours tonight-we were invited to the family house for their Christmas party.

It is odd for us to actually be up at 11PM, without driving up from Undisclosed being involved. We have to get up tomorrow morning for Mass and then more festivities and missing people who aren’t here to celebrate Christmas with us anymore.Thank God for memories.

Here’s hoping your Christmas is merry and bright, or whatever seasonal holiday you might actually be celebrating.Be safe, enjoy the holiday and the folks you are with.

Be happy!

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An Unexpected Merry Christmas gift

I got a gift today in work.

Sure, cash is always good…lol…but it wasn’t that.

My boss came over when I was on the phone and presented me with a wooden award slate that was a City of Philadelphia Retirement award. I was floored. Seriously. I think for the first time in 30 years I actually had nothing to say.

It is pictured below and I have to admit it made me feel good for one reason. Everything engraved on that award was the truth. I have tried, for the most part, to do a good job for the citizens of my city. I actually felt appreciated.

I guess it really IS time for me to take the show on the road.

The curtain is coming down.

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And so to bed..

The difference between a 55th birthday and 25th?

No bells, no whistles, a nice quiet night.The mere fact of being able to get to bed in about 30 minutes is sounding like heaven. I am not complaining, mind you.I am just happy that I have reached a point in my life where quiet is not only good,it’s appreciated.

Tomorrow starts the rest of the festivities leading up to retirement on the 2nd of January.That’s when the real fun begins.

They say it’s your birthday

I turn 55 tomorrow.

What a run I have had.

At my first cancer diagnosis back in 1993, I had an aunt ask me what undertaker I am going to use. Ooops…I am still here.How ’bout that?

I have been blessed with being able to put one or two feet on the ground when I get up in the morning, discounting the knee replacement days,and through peaks and valleys, I am here.

Thanks to all my family, friends and readers.You all are my presents.

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Laying low….

I have about 2,000 more steps to do today and I’d hit 15,000…I probably will get that under my belt before the night is over.

The one thing I have noticed is my legs are really “tired” and “achy” by the time I get done for the day. I need to remember to put the good shoes on when I am walking. Poor judgement when I am in a hurry in the morning and throw my feet in my loafers.

Jim is out at our neighbors, and in a little while, after the current load of way is done, the girls and I will go out one more time for the night. It’s a little harried, as we have to leave for the city tomorrow lunchtime, in order to get up for the Deli’s Christmas party.

Not too much longer, though, and our Sunday night/ Monday morning travel will be over once and for all!

**Whew**

Grudge Match

I needed something to distract me tonight while I tackle stuff that I had brought down from the city.

Enter HBO pay-per-view.

I put on Grudge Match, starring Sylvester Stallone and Robert DeNiro.

I didn’t know men with that much money could look so bad.Think of all the stuff around about Bruce Jenner and his changing looks.

Sylvester Stallone is in the movie and you know what? I almost didn’t recognize him. Alan Arkin is in it, and he is the only one who looks like his age.Robert DeNiro with bangs? **Shudder**

It is a kind of cute movie so far, but there is something about a Robert DeNiro in Casino or Goodfellas and a Robert DeNiro with bangs.

*SMH*

Party’s almost over

My co-workers in my unit threw me a combination retirement/birthday luncheon today.

As with a lot of offices, when you are there as long as I have been, you have seen a lot of office politics go by. I had specifically asked for no party, because they leave open the chance for people from other parts of the floor to participate. People who would sooner bad mouth me one day would come and ” wish me well”?

No thanks.

My friends made a lovely little luncheon for me in the office and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.They are wonderful people to work with, and I will miss them, as they definitely had become a second family.We have gone through a lot through the inception of our unit, but we do a boatload of work.

They will forever be in my heart.

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Fit bit versus…

The holiday season is going to really pout my fit bit to the test.

It’s time for chocolate kisses, home-made cookies, cocktails and the like. The mere prospect has me quaking in my boots a wee bit, as I managed to nicely fit into a lower size of pants and would like to keep it that way, if not lower.

I am getting the last night walk off tonight, since I have walked over 16,000 steps today. Jim is going to take the girls out, and I am going to get ready to get to bed and stay warm under the blankets.

It’s going to be a long holiday season.

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Melancholy Overload

A buddy of mine had posted a picture on Facebook tonight and it showed a plate of pizzelle cookies and some wine.Gee, I thought, what a good idea, until I remembered that my pizzelle maker is down at Undisclosed.

**sigh**

I think of other things that I could be doing up here, or, over the weekend, reverse it to down there, and whatever I am looking for always seems to be in the opposite place.The girls and I have been doing our walks, and I look around at their favorite routes and wonder to myself if they’ll miss it.

**sigh**

I stop and think about the history of this house that I am in right now, and it is the last place that my entire family was together seventeen years ago. Yes, I know that you take the memories with you but,……

**sigh**

We are going through the holiday season right now and I am trying hard to keep in the spirit. It really isn’t easy, and as my buddies would say, when you are down there full time, things will be good and different and you will feel better.

I like to think that I am ready to move forward into a new chapter of life. I just wish I didn’t feel the need to think I am going to need an ativan chaser for it.

Flip side of the Day

Once again, the morning reminded me why I am retiring.

Suffice it to say I won’t be teary-eyed about leaving the local transportation systems and some of the riders on it.

Coming home was a different story.

While we were down at Undisclosed over the weekend, my neighborhood was busy.Below are a few new shots of Christmas light shots I took while coming home off the bus.

Enjoy!

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FYI channel

I was a watcher of the Biography channel. It would stand to reason,as I was a history major in a galaxy far, far away.

As I type this I am watching the FYI network, formerly known as the Biography channel.My tolerance for this is pretty high, as it envelopes some food network type programming,some Home DIY programming, and once in a while, an occasional,believe it or not, actual biography.

I only have an hour and a half to go until the big Cowboys/Eagles game, so we are kicking back and the car is partially packed for our city trip a little later on tonight.Only thing left for me to watch is a show called ” Food Tech” and the guy is talking about Chinese food.

I guess they actually ran out of people to talk about on the Biography channel.

LOL.

DIY network

I was a watcher of the Biography channel. It would stand to reason,as I was a history major in a galaxy far, far away.

As I type this I am watching the DIY network, formerly known as the Biography channel.My tolerance for this is pretty high, as it envelopes some food network type programming,some Home DIY programming, and once in a while, an occasional,believe it or not, actual biography.

I only have an hour and a half to go until the big Cowboys/Eagles game, so we are kicking back and the car is partially packed for our city trip a little later on tonight.Only thing left for me to watch is a show called ” Food Tech” and the guy is talking about Chinese food.

I guess they actually ran out of people to talk about on the Biography channel.

LOL.

Posting a little early

We are down at Undisclosed and on our way our to a neighborhood Christmas party.Actually, my “sister” and friend Georgine sneaks a homemade cake in the party as an early birthday for me, as my family is spread far apart and doesn’t do it anymore.

The girls are walked, and emptied and now rested. We are looking forward to a nice party and being able to walk to the party is an added plus. I managed to get over 13,000 steps in today, but more than that, we have no worries about drinking and driving.

If you are going out for any holiday party,please have a designated driver if you are going, and have fun, but most importantly, be safe.

Let’s keep the upcoming holiday season a happy one!

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Worn out

The stress of moving is really catching up to the both of us.

Jim actually helped me do the chocolate covered pretzels that we give neighbors every year at the holiday.We had packed the car up almost to the hilt today, and it had the odd feel of being a Beverly Hillbilly trip to the house today.While going through motions of moving things in and walking the girls for a healthy trek, it has left muscles in a big fat knot.

A hot shower and off to bed! That’s the ticket!

Good night!

ChristmasLights- Canine

I really had a crappy bus commute this morning coming into work and texted Jim that I was going to blog about it tonight.

Until I came home and got off the bus, and got home and got the girls.

My mood changed.

We went for our pre-dinner walk and we took in the local Christmas lights of the immediate area that we walk in, where there was basically semi-detached, or “twin” houses.The girls are always happy to be out with me, especially in my zip fit bit stage, because they know we will WALK!
We did, and we paused on occasion to take the lights in. I have to watch with the big blow up snow globes, because Kasia gets scared of them.

Below are a few of the pictures that made a crappy morning and mediocre day into a fun night.

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Christmas Lights

One of the perks of walking the dogs at night right now is, despite that it’s cold out right now, folks have Christmas lights up.

At my age, I remember the lights my father would put up on our row home porch every year.The tradition was, he put them up in time for my Mom’s December 18th birthday: it was the traditional flip of the first switch.We loved it. It was tradition, it celebrated Mom’s birthday, my birthday and the most important birthday,Christmas.As I got older and my nephew Greg was born on December 19th, I took my toddler nephew Matt out through the neighborhood to ooh and ah at all the lights.

Now I walk the girls at night and there are blown up reindeer and snow globes and God knows what else adorning lawns in neighborhoods.The lights are no longer simple,in fact some of them are LED giving a whole different glow to Christmas.I always look and admire the handiwork that I see in front of me, no matter the amount of kitsch in it, because I remember the lights of the row home 50 years ago and the warm memories with it.

Nothing like it in the world.

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Green Ribbons

There is a young man from my current area named Shane Montgomery.

Jim and I were married in the church where he probably was baptized in and received his first Holy Communion and Confirmation in.

He is 21 years old.

…and he is missing.

He was at a local restaurant on Thanksgiving eve and quite frankly, has seemed to disappear into thin air.His parents are doing interviews, people are searching all over for him, people who can get to church get there to pray the rosary at night in a group to hope he gets home.

A friend of mine has a son this age.I can not even fathom what goes through a parent’s mind when, God forbid, they are faced with this.People are constantly discussing if anything new has been heard about Shane.

I was home today and while walking the girls, there were green ribbons all around, and not just on the street-they are throughout the neighborhood. People have started putting them up to help bring Shane home.

Here’s hoping and praying he comes home soon.

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Memory Triggered

I took a bus down and because it was cold , I got off the bus and made my way to the train platform. I had decided to take a train into town.

There was a little scene going on at the platform: a 30-ish mom with her little 6-year-old boy and she was trying to talk him into wearing her scarf to stay warm.

I was so fortunate to go on the train and who sits across from me from the mother and the young boy. He sat there proudly holding a $10 dollar bill between his fingers to pay the conductor for the fare. We started talking about the boy and I spoke to her of my nephews and their love of trains. I had an actual pleasant start to my day, with pleasant memory triggered by this mom and her boy, for which I thanked them and wished them a merry Christmas, and they did the same to me.

I felt good, for the first time in a long time.

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Comcast…X-finity….One hamster or Deux?

Jim and I are in one house.

We had cable on.

I was trying to write a blog post and Jim was trying to get his work together for tomorrow.You would think we were watching paint dry or watching the turtle races, So freaking slow.

Once again, the only difference between X-finity and Comcast is the amount of hamsters spinning their wheels.

Let the Games Begin

Here at Undisclosed, the holidays officially commence with the West Cape May Parade and also the lighting of the Congress Hall Christmas tree. This is how, Jim, myself, our friend Jerry and Vida spent our Friday night.

We saw the festivities and shopped around the little booths and enjoyed ourselves. I started with a cinnamon bun latte and graduated to a chocolate martini with my friend Vida and it was something we both enjoyed. The boys had beers, and were happy with those.

Part of the game of Congress Hall was sitting around watching the folks who are there and we love to do that and we had folks laughing with us.

Our girls, however, weren’t happy that we were out partying….they’ll get over it.

LOL

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Trying to put a spin on the negative

We just came from the street we used to live on to pay a sick call to one friend’s Dad and a sympathy call on another friend who lost her 47-year-old daughter to cancer Thanksgiving eve.

Jim says to me .”Everyone’s dying.”
Me:” We’re still here.’

Kasia and Zush in the back of the car coming back and Kasia starts:” Barkbarkbarkbark.”
Me: “I grabbed her leash and told her we all have a right to walk the sidewalk.”
She stopped.

Jim and I had talked about how we loved living on that street and how it became a street where everyone was moving, sick, or dying.We said where we are moving is a different spot, where people are like us going through or having gone through what we have.We tend to socialize there more than we do here.

I am praying for an upturn.

What is that thing called sleep?

Sure I am walking a median of 12,000 steps a day, and I am still on a job and worried about things and taking care of Jim and my girls, but,damn, I am always tired.

It seems especially so while this last month is going on and I seriously am dealing with moving matters but I am looking forward to the day when it would;’t be a stretch to stay up until 10 PM and I would feel like my get up and go wouldn’t get up and go.

I cozy up under the blanket and it is my sanctuary,. The warmth cocoons me and I truly hate to leave it in the morning. Fortunately, the girls need to go for a walk.

Can’t wait to sign up for that advanced sleep class!

Biting me in the Butt

The finality of the move is getting to me in little ways.

I went out this morning for a walk to add to my steps and bought my BFF and maid of honor, Denise, a jalapeno bagel.It was probably the last time that I’d do that. When I was in college I had worked at Independence Hall for the National Park Service.The building I work in now, The Curtis Center, is across the street from it.When I was out getting Denise’s bagel I took a picture of Independence Hall. How many times in my life have I done that? Won’t be doing that too much any more.Actually I am glad I did that back in the day, because I can’t really tolerate crowds these days.

A few other things have gotten me: my first “retirement” card, my first person who was leaving work for vacation and coming back after I’d be gone…the change is starting.That’s what they say, right? Change is for the better?

All I know is that I have gotten to the point where the reality of it is biting me in the butt.

Eight O’Clock and All is Well

…and it’s bedtime when you have been up since 1:30AM trying to come back up to the city.It’s something that I know I will miss regardless of how painful and tiring it has been.

The weather is due to get chilly again tomorrow so I am going to snuggle down with th girls nearby and try to get a good night’s sleep after finishing this post.My late mother used to call this weather pneumonia weather, as we went from 60 today to 34 tomorrow.

Hope you enjoyed cyber shopping today, and are counting down to old Saint Nick.

Stay warm!