Busy Saturday

We have had a busy Saturday so far.

You know it’s kind of busy when, by 5:45PM, I have 11,000+ steps on the Fit Bit and synched it early due to our “date night”.The girls and I have been out for a few miles walking today. Jim joined us for one of the walks, so that was nice, as usually it’s just me and the girls.We managed to get a quick stop in at CVS and stopped to see my buddy Linda and her family. It was good because we haven’t seen Duch in a while and I got to meet her youngest granddaughter, Emily.

Now we are back in, trying to woof down some dinner,and get ready for our Diana Krall concert in Atlantic City tonight.The girls are walked, we’re almost ready to go…

Stay warm, friends!

Ode to Vacant Ground

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The above sold sign shows only the top, as I didn’t want to give the realtor any publicity or advertisement.

I always say that they are not making vacant ground any more.I was sad to see a little piece of ground here went to settlement today and now is officially sold.It is an odd size lot, and I met the owners today.They intend to build a raised rancher and a two car garage on currently**well, at least in summer** green lot.They told me they are going to try to save most of the trees there, and I would only hope they can. There are some beautiful oaks and mature holly trees on the land.

When we first moved part-time down here,we settled where we did due to the fact that it was a little bit like being in the mountains and you walk a few blocks to the bay.Now, another little corner of green is on its’ way out.The area by us, the next town down, has hardly any trees and it looks lie suburbia.The area has no character in it at all.

Here’s hoping that our little corner of the world stays that way-green!

What’s a Dog Mom to Do?

For the first eight years of her life, I had fed Zush Pedigree dry small bites or weight control formula.Then,when Kasia joined the family, we decided to try Beneful dog food.The girls enjoyed it, along with an occasional mooch off of me or treat.

Now,especially off the past month,there has been a lot of mention that Beneful is killing dogs and there is a class action suit in California.It is a two-edged sword, as the girls like beneful but I also love them and want them around.

Homework time.

For the past two days I took what information my fellow dog moms have sent me and also went on-line looking for healthy foods that wouldn’t kill my girls.I found a list of the twelve most recommended foods for dogs that didn’t have questionable or un-American ingredients**read chicken or beef from China** and ended up with Nature’s Recipe dry dog food.So far, mixed with what little was left of the Beneful, Zush has stepped up and ate it .Kasia hasn’t been too hungry so far tonight.

It’s an irony that I have to worry about what food is out there that might be killing my girls. I am indeed selfish that way-I want them with me as long as possible. In turn, I shudder to think of what Jim and I have ingested because of the deregulation of human food in prior years.

It is truly a scary time.

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Can’t have it both ways.

Today and a day or two ago, people started talking to me about the weather getting warmer.Oh yes, I would agree with them that we have crawled up from 8 degrees to 19.People aren’t talking about that though:they are referring to spring.

I am getting a little misty-eyed at the thought of more folks coming down here to ” Mayberry” or “Amity”, as I have been to call Shangri-la here.I know the economy depends on it.I will be extremely happy that I won’t have to pack up to leave on Sunday night and sit in bumper to bumper traffic.I will not like one thing, though, and that is noise.I really don’t have cause to complain here, because next to towns on the Coastline, we are actually kind of quiet.When the season begins, though,it gets somewhat louder and people start speeding through town.

It’s not enough to have me run back to the big city, but I’ll be so happy when October comes and things get back to normal.

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Looming

Knitting is something that was taught to me by my Mom.

I am ok at it, but I am not as proficient as I would like to be.When I knit,once in a while I’d drop a stitch or two and have to rip whatever I am knitting and start over.

It gets frustrating after a while.

Back in December I decided to try a new approach to knitting;I bought a loom.

A loom allows you to knit,but you have something more solid to work off of than just knitting needles.You are working off of a wooden or plastic formed loom, which basically holds the stitches for you.It has been a rough start for me though. I just started it this afternoon, and I have to rip what I did.I tend to have a tight hand while I am doing it and it’s not necessarily a good thing. I am going to rip and start again tomorrow morning and I will post progress shots as I get along.

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Icy Sunset

When I took the girls out this morning, I actually wore a baseball hat with my winter coat.It was comfortable and felt kind of bizarre not wearing 15 layers.It was incredible that with a full deck of ice on Delaware Bay,here I was wearing a baseball hat.

Fast forward to the next walk of the day.Egad! The wind chill kicked up along with the wind.I went back and switched to a winter hat and made sure my knit eternity scarf was wound tightly.Sure, we got spoiled with a high of 40 degrees yesterday, but tonight our low is a solid 8 degrees.I think that I am taking a hot shower and going to bed early.I did out sheets today so there are some fresh polar fleece sheets on the bed, ready to get us snuggling underneath while the winds howl.

Someone asked me about spring coming, and I said I wasn’t looking forward to all the influx of tourists here.There is something about the quiet of the cold and the sleeping state of nature that makes you appreciate the beauty of the season.

Stay warm,friends!

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Love and hate of shoes….

I have shoes that I love. I have shoes that I hate.

I have a pair of black boots that I used to love.

I wore those boots yesterday morning to go to the pancake breakfast. It was our turn to volunteer and work it.It was also three degrees when I left to go there.By the end of the day my feet were killing me, and more importantly, the ball of my right foot is a little swollen.What is it about a pair of shoes that you wear with no problem and then one day, it comes and bites you in the butt?

Hopefully, I’ll elevate it through the night and it’ll be a wee bit better tomorrow.Yes, I did still do my 10,000 steps today.Hopefully, I sail through the steps tomorrow and be walking just fine.

Argh!

Feeding One’s Soul

I am Catholic.

I am happy in my new Parish and enjoying the services I attend. I was active in my prior Parish and miss it.The one thing I notice is that where I attended,the “meal” fund-raisers that the Church would put out,were either bazaar food, or pancake breakfasts or something like that.

My homeowner’s association had a pancake breakfast today and it was our turn to work it and that was fine.Hell, it was better than fine: I had 15,000 steps today before 8PM! We went for Mass this afternoon and after that, we crossed the street to the neighboring Methodist Church for dinner!They had a roast beef dinner complete with baked potato, salad,green beans, roll and butter, beverage and desert.They do a dinner every month of the third Saturday of the month and they get a pretty good turn out.They don’t do it during the summer, as there are too many people in the area for them to serve.

In addition to the delicious food, the atmosphere is one where you are encouraged to kick back and relax and talk to who you are with and your neighbors. If you are lonely, it is a nice place to meet folks and talk to them.Food isn’t just for the body:it’s needed for the soul.

A lot of other houses of worship should consider this.People sure could use this these days.

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It’s been that kind of week.

I am writing this at 8:59PM because I am getting ready for bed, and figured now is as good as a time as any to blog. I just had a hot shower and washed my hair.

The big deal about this?

Uh, our pipes froze last night.

Fortunately our neighbor Tom from down the street loaned us a heater and a kick-butt industrial extension cord and along with my hair dryer, water is back here in Undisclosed.This explains, if you here with me now, why you hear the end of the dishwasher cycle and the dryer on and washer.I mean, seriously? My bathtub is filled so we can flush toilets, water jugs filled for the dogs and us, Keurig reservoir is filled…wow! It’s incredible that 16 hours without water makes you feel like the prehistoric age.A gentle reminder from above to appreciate what you have.

Jim is out giving the girls their last walk of the night, and I can’t help wonder about the amount of women who, once the temperatures are constant again around 36-40, will be joining me in the store to get a new hair dryer…who’s with me?

Like everyone else

The Siberian cold sucks.

Poor Jim is in our crawl space checking pipes out, as are a whole ton of people tonight.Worrying about a home is something they never teach you in grade school.People who know me know what I always say: if they taught you about how life is going to be, no one would want to leave fifth grade.The responsibility is really daunting at times. It really doesn’t help that the climate has decided to turn the area that you live at into Antartica.I have to put a disclaimer in here though-thank God I am not living in the Northeast with all that snow on the ground.

Don’t get me wrong.

I am a December baby.I love change of seasons.I even like snow.I never have been 55 before, though,with the corresponding aches that accompany that.This long stretch of frigid weather is a challenge, to say the least.I am hoping that Jim comes back in soon,that he is all right, and there is no trouble down below.

Prayers tonight out to everyone sharing this cold.

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Snowbunnies

Pretty sad to say when you were actually out walking in 30 degree weather and enjoying it.

I watch the weather channel and heave a mighty sigh when I see what the Northeastern part of the United States, especially Boston, is going through.We actually had a pleasant day, where I went out with a shovel and tried to move snow around before the Siberian chill hits.I managed to make my 10,000 fit bit steps early and am still trying to do a few more, in anticipation of NOT going out tomorrow.

It is really crazy,as the Siberian chill is due to hit here tomorrow and Friday, and Saturday it is due to rain here and be 46.I longingly think back to the time when winter was winter and you knew it: you weren’t playing twirl the radio dial as fast as you can to see what the next hour’s weather will bring.
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The girls had fun walking with me.They get a wee bit confused when I stay inside and they have to go in the yard for the bathroom.They miss the exercise we get together.I miss the exercise together. The wind chill, though, keeps my feet firmly planted on the ground.

Stay warm and be safe! Watch the ice!

The Object of my Obsession

Yeah, well,it’s not necessarily an obsession but that magic number 10,000 from the Fit Bit Zip haunts me. Really. I know that if I didn’t think about it, I’d probably make the 10,000 with no problem.

The weekend threw me for a loop. I struggled to make my 10,000,but I did.I have seen various articles that sing the praises of house-walking.Ok, no problem.When the weather got single digit, I figured no problem.Somewhere, around the 100th time I walked around my kitchen island, I thought to myself I was losing my mind.House walking is fine when you have a big house.In a house with 1350 square feet, it gets kind of tough.Sure,I make a route so I don’t make myself dizzy.My girls look at me like, “Please don’t step on me, Mom,” and I don’t.Jim encourages me because I am down 22 pounds since Halloween and I am still eating.

Maybe I have to rearrange my furniture to make a house-walking route…hmmmm…we’ll see if that’s do-able…film at 11.

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Walking on Water

It is another chilly **understatement of the century**day.

Errands were run today and the wind chill actually let me go out with the girls twice today for walks. We walked some sugar cookies over to our neighbors who are moving back into their house.They had a rancher, but to accommodate their family of 4, they moved out to allow workmen to construct a second story.The cookies were a gift to welcome them back in: with hot cocoa they can enjoy them after dinner tonight.

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We drove past the bay after grocery shopping today:no, it wasn’t an eggs,bread and milk run.It was a weekly grocery trip.We knew it was cold out but there we saw a house with such poor insulation, or a roof warmed in this cold weather by the sun.On it were all these birds sitting on the roof trying to warm up.

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This was the scene we took in at the bay.It looked as if you could walk out, if you wanted to, and walk on the solidly frozen bay.It made my mind think of Alaska, not Undisclosed.I don’t mind winter.Honestly, it’s the truth, I like changing seasons.I just didn’t sign on for walking on a frozen bay.

Damn Cold

It’s 7:48pm and I have 8446 steps logged on my fit bit zip.

I’m pissed.

It’s too damn cold out.My girls have had to put up with the yard today.I wasn’t happy about doing it, nor were they to go out without me walking with them.Jim and I stepped out for a quick bit to the Lobster House to pick up a belated take out dinner.That afforded me a few steps in actual comfort but I am officially addicted to my fit bit zip.I can’t sit quietly all day because I know I have to get my steps in.

It’s going to be a long day tomorrow too, but we’ll see what’s up. I want to watch the SNL special so I have to go “house-walking”.

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Heartbeat

It’s St. Valentine’s Day.

I know a lot of single friends and there are all sorts of witty sayings going around on Facebook to either jab at those without a mate, or to commiserate with them.I feel for single folks, as I was one for 42 years and do remember what it is like.

For the past 15 years, I have been blessed to have Jim in my life.It was the classic 42 year-old spinster and the 48 year-old bachelor and yet here we are, almost 13 years later in our marriage, and it is safe to say that Jim still makes my heart skip a beat.

It’s funny,because I went to see 50 Shades of Grey with my neighbor last night, as Jim deemed it a chick thing.Yet for all the images conjured up by the movie,my best friend, lover and husband is indeed the one who makes my heart still skip a beat.We haven’t gone through children, only fur kids which can be up there with human children,deaths of parents,selling houses, moving, buying houses,jobs,retirement,illnesses, and, well, you catch my drift.We are on the road to hopefully growing old together,hoping that we are that blessed to accomplish that.

If you are reading this and single,I would tell you to hang in there if you are still looking, or good for you if you are comfortable in your current situation.If you are married like me, I hope you had a marvelous St.Valentine’s day.Savor love all 365 days a year, not just today.If you have lost your love one,cherish their memory!

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Fifty Shades of Indifference

I am going to see 50 Shades of Gray tonight with my neighbor. I read the trilogy and the first book was good, the second so-so and the third I couldn’t bother to finish.

I am more intrigued to see how they spin this book and what gets through the censors cut, or I am sure they would have had to give it whatever the equivalent of an X rating is these days, or is it NC 17.

Hopefully it’ll be work the $8.50 ticket I paid for it and it’ll be a nice night out.

How cold is it?

We savored the day today, as a clipper is due to hit this area especially tomorrow, Sunday and Monday, with a scheduled high of 18 and low of 9. The clincher is the wind chill, which is due to make it feel like -10 to -25.

I am not too stupid when it comes to weather. I will take the girls out tomorrow and then see how bad it is. They might be going to the potty in the yard if indeed the wind really is that bad. If not,I will get them out and get some steps in to boot.

Tomorrow is Friday the 13th and I’m looking forward to only good things this weekend.Stay warm, snuggle with your Valentine, and be safe!

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It finally caught up.

When I was in the city, I chronically suffered from sinusitis.

I knew, after my initial diagnosis back when I was 17, how to handle it.It didn’t make things easier.But pretty much, about every quarter, I would get stuck with almost a sinus migraine. When I got down here, I was counting my blessings,thinking I was feeling pretty good.

When I got up this morning, I knew my old friend was back.I did not miss the ton of bricks on my forehead.Post-nasal drip? Nah, I thought it skipped town. I should be so lucky.In the grand scheme of things, though, I am ok.I know this is something that will pass. Hopefully with a hot shower and early to bed, I’ll get through the night ok.

Retirement is good,even when you aren’t feeling well.

Rescued by Black Boy: how a neglected dog set me back on my path, away from PETA

This is why I fight for animals!

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There was a time when I was a True Believer and a very good little soldier, I did what I was told to do, when I was told to do it, I didn’t question orders and if I did it was never to the face of the one giving them. Then, one stormy and snowy evening, I stopped by an abandoned house to check on a dog I’d been feeding and caring for. I pulled up in front of the home and saw him huddled on the open porch, under cover as much as his short chain would allow, his thick fur encrusted in ice. In that moment I made the decision to unchain him and usher him into my van and, unlike past days when he’d been slightly timid and unwilling to trust me completely, he followed me. I rubbed him with towels to dry his soaked fur, wrapped…

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How many retired people does it take?

I went to a Property Owners’ Association meeting tonight which was preceded by a dinner at the hall.As we are down here full-time,it only makes sense to attend the meetings and see what exactly is going on.

What is humorous here is that there are a lot of folks like me who were city employees who have since retired or worked for another business in the city and couldn’t wait to get down here to enjoy life.When I got into the hall tonight I met up with two of my neighbors who had retired the year before I did.Talk about being greeted with open arms! The only thing that Jim and I noticed is that if you don’t exercise down here, folks walk around with a significant belly, or rather, one considerably larger than when we first met them.

It was nice to be at the meeting to be with folks and get welcomed into your new lifestyle.It really reinforces that the time was right to start the next chapter in your life.

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Packing it up

The problem with weekends is that they are too short.

We have gotten the car packed up and probably will try to hit the road around 1:30p.m.-2p.m.,as we would like to get back down to home before sunset.It is incredible when you try to bypass a major urban area and plot for back roads,well, you see the mileage decrease but the time is somewhat comparable.We actually are planning to try a new route home, so it would be so nice to see where we are going.

It has been a blast hanging out with Juls and Tim, and the bonus is that the fit bit zip daily goals have been met, thanks to being on the side of a mountain. If anything, they should add more kudos on because you are actually hiking up the side of a mountain when you are coming back up to the house.After fifty plus years of being in the city, and being used to the background noise to the point of it being white noise, well,between Undisclosed and here, the quiet with an occasional passing car really rocks.I get to pray, meditate, clear my thoughts, and generally be at peace.

After all, life is too short.

Kicking it Back

We’re relaxing out here at Undisclosed West today.

My buddy Juls and I went our way for a few hours to hang and the guys did their thing. We got back here and I had the girls out for a spell where everyone was making snow angels: it was all rather cute here at March Mountain.The were walking with me and helped me make my Fit Bit Zip steps. We are waiting to get ourselves together to go out for dinner. It was odd being here with all the snow, only to have temperatures go into the 40’s. At least the girls got to eat all the fresh snow they wanted.

We always have fun while we are out here, and it always seems to go by so fast when we have to leave to go back. Definitely we have to get together a little more!

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Undisclosed West

We decided to stretch the wheels that now reflect our new home state and head westward.We are out visiting our friends Juls and Tim.

When we relocated full-time to Undisclosed, we said good-be to city life, and I have jokingly referred to it as Mayberry, or at least that is how it feels, at times, to me.When we come out here to see our buddies,we are literally on the side of a mountain and an internet signal is indeed a luxury.The view, however, is more than compensating for your struggles.

The snow that wasn’t,last week at Undisclosed, was out here, and below is a shot of our pups enjoying the large front snowed yard.

Life is good.

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Withdrawal Symptoms

Argh!

Got up early this morning and got the show on the road.Dogs up and they got their medicine, then their walk. Breakfast done.Off to get my hair done.

Damn!

Walked a mile and a half with NO FIT BIT.I couldn’t believe it. Five months with a fit bit zip on every freaking day and I forgot to put it on.Boy, was I really ticked off.Fortunately,Jim came to the rescue to help me make up the difference by taking me out to a warm store to get some steps in. It is always good to know he is in my corner.

Will this happen again?

Not if I can help it!

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Nothing like a good night sleep…if only.

Once you get over a certain age and female, they warn you about over active bladder.

Sure, you think, no problem: I can handle this.

Hah.

Coffee? Tea? Not after 2 in the afternoon or else you’ll be up walking to the bathroom most of the night. Oh yeah, and,the doctor has decided that you need a water pill?If you get two solid hours of sleep a night, you’re fortunate.OK, let’s see if you accidentally “forget” to take your medicine,you’ll sleep, but pay the price tomorrow.

Golden years,right?What an adventure.

Memories of an A.

I have IFC channel on and they were showing Jaws. I laugh as I type this because Undisclosed definitely could have stood in for Amity in the film.

When I was in College, I took a class in British authors which had three outstanding aspects to it. Number one was I met my buddy Kate, which means Kate and I go way back. Number two was the professor,Dr.Myers.She was British, the accent held my attention, and I was intrigued by the fact that she looked exactly like a female version of her brother, albeit thinner, who was the British actor, Robert Shaw.The third fact, led in by the previously mentioned second fact, was an easy A, because I adored the class.

So it goes without saying that for the past 34 years, every time I see the movie Jaws, I go back to that class and have only fond memories.

Oh yeah. The movie rocks too!

Moon over Racetrack

I titled this post after walking up the street from my neighbor and took a quick shot on the phone.

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It seemed appropriate that the moon illuminated the house, as today marks one month that I am officially retired.Shedding light on a new life as this moon is on the house, well, it has been an adventure so far.

It has been fabulous not to deal with the expressway, the buses, the fellow commuters,..I could go on and on. I miss some of the folks that I worked with, and the nice part is, they know who they are.I am sure there are just as many folks who couldn’t give a hoot that I am gone, or even realize that I am gone. Uh, news flash,folks…who cares? I don’t.

Being in a new stage of life gives you new appreciation of age and of time.When you need to do things through the day, you wonder however did you accomplish things when you worked.People would constantly ask me if I was bored.Gee, when I get a free minute I’ll let you know.Age comes into play when you actually realize some places start giving senior citizen discounts at 55.Not too shabby.

The moon is my friend. It has given me light on retirement, and hopefully it will continue to guide my way.

Superbowl Chill

One of the things that I always enjoyed in the Superbowl were the commercials. I mean, being from Philadelphia, I only remember my Eagles going once to the Superbowl, so basically I had no true root for any other team.

I read and then watched the one commercial that was making the rounds through Social Media this year: it was the commercial about “pizza delivery”.

The premise is the woman on the phone with 911 is making that she is calling for pizza, when in reality she is calling #911 trying to get help: obviously she is in an abusive domestic situation.

Superbowl is a few years younger than I am,yet when I saw this commercial, I thought how many women lost their lives to domestic abuse during the span of the Superbowl existence.How many women are still in an abusive domestic situation.Would this commercial help someone? I hope so.In light on the NFL players going through certain domestic issues this past season,I assume this is their way of trying to put another band-aid on the situation that came to light.

Whatever the case is,I am hoping that this commercial will get some folks to escape their situation and be brave.Here’s hoping they live to leave in one piece!