Happy Birthday

I had the opportunity to call an old co-worker of mine and wish a happy birthday.

It’s funny, but we hadn’t spoken in six months, and although we are now coasts apart, it’s like we just spoke to each other yesterday. It was good to touch base and catch up, as we both have moved on a bit and it was good to hear the pace we are keeping ourselves at post-retirement.Our health has caused us both issues, but thanks to an excellent union health plan, we are managing to get through things ok.We left things where we did in January-we’ll keep in touch.

If you have someone who had a birthday, or is an old friend, or both, call them. It might be the boost in each of your days.

IMG_5874

Back in the Trenches

Tomorrow I go back to work.

Seriously.

I’ll be with the ferry, and it would appear, as it is busy season, that I’ll be working **choking** full-time, at least for a couple of weeks.

**Wondering where my retirement went**

It is a good spot to be at, as opposed to where I recently was at, so I am not really concerned regarding that.I am wondering how my poor old body will handle getting up at 5:30 so the girls can get a good walk, work a full day, come home and figure out what’s for dinner, walk the girls again, shower and get to bed.

I really haven’t had to do that full-time since January 2nd.

I’ll be by the water, which, in my book, is the best place to be.The flip side is that my girls will be missing me, as I them, while I am not here.With Zush at the tender age of 13, I know every moment I have with her is precious, so I just am going to have to triple up with her when I am home.

Here’s hoping for a good run.

IMG_5791

Molasses Paddle Battle-Part Deux

We actually went for a later Mass today as our favorite priest, Father Edward Fitzpatrick, has his retirement Mass today.

This allowed me to kill some time on the Washington Street Mall and go down to James/Fralinger salt water taffy.I was so enamored of the one I had last weekend at Douglass Candies’ in Wildwood, I figured I’d try a competitor out for size.

Hah! Size matters to Douglass, but obviously not the James/Fralinger molasses paddles.For all purposes you could have bit into and eaten a whole James/ Fralinger one while still chewing your first bite of your Douglass’ molasses paddle.The competition has a quick dip in a dark chocolate coating, whereas Douglass’ paddle came out like it went into a dark chocolate spa.

So there you have it, my friends-if you want low-calorie and mediocre dark chocolate dip, satisfy yourself with the competition.

Me? Only Douglass molasses paddles will do the trick!

IMG_5962

Mr.Baseball

Things are so bad with our Phillies, that Jim and I are watching “Mr.Baseball.”

We have found this movie on the MLB channel that they are probably airing due to the weather here on the Mid-Atlantic region. The funny part about this movie is that it is 20 times the hitting that the Phillies seem to currently have.

Tom Selleck is the star of this movie and my guesstimate of the year of this movie would be around 1987.Dennis Heysbert, the guy in the All-State insurance commercials is also in it.We might ac

That’s how bad our baseball situation has become.

mrbaseball

Terribly sad

All of a sudden Ryne Sandberg quit as the Philadelphia Phillies manager.

The Phillies originally drafted him in 1978 and he was a class player in his day;in fact he is a hall of fame player. It’s just a shame that the lousy players left couldn’t get their act together for this guy. Reuben Amararo Junior just said that Sandberg should shoulder all the blame, as it is a team action.

Phillies? Last I looked there is no “I” in team.

phillies

..and with a pause in the action…

…the score is storm coming, 2, and us,0.

IMG_5932

Here we are, waiting for the next set of storms to come.

The dogs are bananas, feeling the storm coming and barometric pressure falling, and panting to beat the band. I was out at the dentist, and coming back,was busy noticing the twenty-foot mimosa tree on the neighboring street.As a child coming down the shore in the sixties, you saw mimosa trees everywhere. They grew like weeds. I think that’s why I saw so few in the later decades, because people kept having them taken out or cut down.

We have a tree-lined area in the next street, and I noticed this big tree from my neighbor’s yard.Mimosas are actually very pretty when they are in flower, as they are now.The pink reminds me of Mother’s Day pink carnations and the spiny flower reminds me almost of a mum.

It’s easy to appreciate this tree from a distance.I am just glad it’s not mine. I’d be pulling baby mimosa trees until I drop.

IMG_5926

So the good of having a cell phone is?

“yes , i am so sorry one of the fibers were cut on the towers and it has caused issues with service, I would keep checking periodically to see if you have service, i am hoping it will be back up soon for you”

This is the message I got when I went on-line with Verizon today, as I could get NO phone line, or rather, signal.I am glad I thought of the only line chat,so I went on and an agent named Donna told me…”yes , I am so sorry one of the fibers were cut on the towers and it has caused issues with service, I would keep checking periodically to see if you have service, i am hoping it will be back up soon for you”….Seriously? Verizon? The invincible phone network? Sure there were tornadoes and severe weather here and thank God we are ok, but I heard of no one else having a cell line go out except Verizon.

Makes me wonder: is it time to go back to two orange juice cans and some string?

Oh the weather outside is frightful

IMG_3294

No, thank God it is not the perfect storm, but the way the girls are shaking, you would think it is.

It started an hour and a half ago, when the storm was 18 miles west of us. Kasia started pacing, feeling it in her paws. Our power went out and we ended up going to McDonald’s’ for dinner, as you really can’t do dinner without a working stove.

We hurried back to be with Zush and Kasia-Zush who pushed me away from the computer so she could hide under my feet.Kasia is about two feet north of Zush. Totally apathetic Dad? He’s watching the Phillies and the Yankees game.

I am going to try to wrap this up and then huddle with my gals on the floors so we can calm down.

Here’s hoping.

Changing of the Guard

Just putting it out there that I am out of my last job.

I gave notice on Friday and thanked them for “giving me a home” this past spring when I was looking for a job.

Tomorrow I start a new position, well,.. kind of.

My new employer will be the Cape May-Lewes ferry and I will be working customer service.When I was with the city, I worked the “citizens’ service unit”, so I will probably be back on the phones, but hopefully answering correctly.After all, working for thirty years in one spot, some habits are hard to break.

My ship has come in, as I have posted on Facebook, and if I have to work, I am glad it is with the ferry. I figured I’d give you a heads’ up, as if you call for reservations or information, you might be speaking with me!

IMG_5806

Taste of Childhood Past

We met our friends in Wildwood yesterday afternoon and spent some hours with them catching up: we hadn’t seen them since this past November.

By the restaurant where we met was a candy store that has been on the Wildwood boardwalk from when my Dad was young.It’s called Douglass Candy.

In a shore resort town, people are awfully peculiar about their favorite spot to buy sweets when on vacation. For my family, we always went to Douglass for salt water taffy, creme mints, and molasses paddles.I have pretty much outgrown any desire for salt water taffy, and yesterday bought some creme mints. When my Mom would go in and buy candy to bring home when we were on vacation, Douglass used to make the white mint into a braid, and Mom would buy it for my Babci, her mother.They no longer make it, but the creme mints are good to have for an occasion quick fix for indigestion or sour stomach.

The thing I am chomping on right now is the molasses paddle. They put a 4 inch square of what basically is molasses salt water taffy on a taffy stick and then dip it in dark chocolate.We used to have to wait to take them home, and stick them in the refrigerator,where the melted chocolate, from transport in the car, would firm up and the flip side of this? You would have to bite down hard on the paddle, as the taffy was hard as get out.My molars weren’t really fond of this.

Fortunately,I live within striking range, and my paddle that I am enjoying now isn’t refrigerated, and the taste brings me back to the 1960’s and 70’s while in Wildwood on vacation. I can see my Babci waiting in the outdoor pavilion across from the store while we came out with our goodies and we happily went on our way.

Good times!

IMG_5870

the semicolon project

This is an excellent article that, sadly, people who have depression will either read it and not recognize themselves or not take the time to read it. I have been there…take a few minutes and read it- YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

hpwritesblogs

FullSizeRender-1FullSizeRender Today I went to a tattoo artist, and for $60 I let a man with a giant Jesus-tattoo on his head ink a semi-colon onto my wrist where it will stay until the day I die. By now, enough people have started asking questions that it made sense for me to start talking, and talking about things that aren’t particularly easy.

We’ll start here: a semi-colon is a place in a sentence where the author has the decision to stop with a period, but chooses not to. A semi-colon is a reminder to pause and then keep going. 

In April I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. By the beginning of May I was popping anti-depressents every morning with a breakfast I could barely stomach. In June, I had to leave a job I’d wanted since I first set foot on this campus as an incoming freshmen because of my mental…

View original post 1,331 more words

Watching TV

There’s nothing on tv.

We have cable, with the appropriate bells and whistles and premium channels and times are so hard, we are actually watching Phillies baseball for lack of anything better on.Truth be told, I have found some great stuff on Netflix so I really am not caring that the summer season is holding nothing on the television that I need to watch.

It is good, because the girls and I get to go our and walk and enjoy a quiet night and/or sunset.The flip side of this is we have to dodge the mosquitoes, but that’s part of the area here.

Still, a good sunset beats cable any night of the week, and a walk with the girls is the most healing of balms.

IMG_5684

Kind of Sad

You know I always believed it what I had read one time that was a Helen Gurley Brown quote. For those too young to remember her, I’ll save you the google: she was the editor of Cosmopolitan magazine for many years. The quote went,” Only God and the working girl look out for the working girl.”

It is sad that I am at a point at my life where I feel as though I am left to look out for myself.It could be because Father’s Day is coming up and I miss my Dad, or what would be my parents’ 73rd wedding anniversary would be this Saturday.For some reason, I am really missing them a lot these days.

For those of you who still have a Dad, hug him tight on Sunday. I know I wish I could.

IMG_5809

Why I am no longer a CVS customer

I have been a pretty faithful CVS drugstore customer, dating back pretty much to the late 1980’s.

Until today.

I had participated in a study for Alzheimer’s and got a $35 E-gift card for my efforts. I could have picked many companies to redeem it from, but I pick a company I know well and use a lot.

Imagine my chagrin when, after I order the E-gift certificates and they come to me in the email. That’s great,I think, and wondering what I need most, mosey over to their site. I ordered vitamins and the like and then go to checkout.

My dismay was major when I saw NOTHING on the checkout page for gift cards, let alone E-gift cards.I contact CVS and am informed that “due to fraud”, they haven’t accepted gift cards or E-gift cards for a while.They, aka customer service man named Ray, couldn’t give a rats’ ass if I couldn’t order and I said this sort of customer service will now have me pull everything I do from CVS and find another drugstore to use.I said if they don’t accept this, why do they advertise on the E-gift card site? Hmmm?

My venting wasn’t done.

I contacted the E-gift card site administration and find that I was screwed because they had already sent me the email. I said ” BUT THEY DON’T ACCEPT IT.” This was news to them. They promise to get back to me.As of 7:30 pm, they haven’t **not holding my breath**.

Long story short? I am screwed out of $35.00 honorarium for participating in an Alzheimer’s’ study, not that it was that important, and more importantly, CVS.com customer service sucks.

#CVS.comblows

cvs-logo

The three days of weekend…

Can you hear the pause and the sigh as I sat down?

It’s my weekend. Whoo-hoo!

I had worked the express lane for two days straight and the scanning gun was broken. For two days, I had to lift heavy bags of cat litter,pet food, 24 and 30 bottles of water…you catch my drift? My bones are aching down to the core. I am hoping that if I get back to work, I can get a lane that won’t have defective equipment.

At least my gals and I will go swimming in the morning, so they will enjoy the coolness of the water. The rest, well, depending on the heat, we’ll improvise.I just am looking forward to every moment I have with the girls.

IMG_5835

So Exhausted

There must be a triangle where warm rain followed by sauna like temperatures,and chased by 6 hours at work turn you into a walking zombie.

**Sigh**

There is nothing better than coming home and gearing down from the night, especially after walking the girls for the last walk of the night. All I want is cool air,my bed, my girls and the pillow.

Tomorrow promises a swim in the bay for the girls if it isn’t raining, and a shift for me from 1 until 7. I am not as fortunate as I was last week, by being off until Sunday.I have to work this up coming Saturday.

Trust me, though. I am living for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday…but then again, who isn’t?

Vacation Food Money

I was working the register today for 5 hours and had swarms and swarms of vacation folks coming in from the ocean and pool to buy liquor, snacks, lunch and dinner.Of 100 people I waited on,98 had low blood sugar because they were crankier than hell.

The killer was a mother daughter duo from upstate Pennsylvania who were doing food shopping for the week, They are here for the first time for a girls week of vacation. Well, I guess they really are “on vacation”, as they spent $612 in groceries.

Seriously?

What are they, feeding an army?

I marvel as I ring up ding-dongs and Gatorade and wine and gluten-free and low-calorie and mallomars and goat cheese and velveeta and wonder, is there a dietary rationale here? Have they gone off their diets and yet the Fresca is to appease their conscience? Oh yeah, and did I mention that they throw in a bunch of kale to make it look like they are going to juice?

All I have to say is I wonder what they buy when they are home.

Yard Sale

Went with my buddy today to a local charity’s “mega-family’ yard sale.

I have learned the glory and pain of yard sales over the years and also the angst of buyer’s regret or should-have.

There was a ceramic nut or candy dish that someone made.On top of it was my favorite from childhood; a squirrel. I went back three times looking at this dish. All I could think about was how much I wanted it, but it would be put up in the attic and I’d have to get Jim to get it for me and I really didn’t need more hassle in my life. I really wish I had gotten it though, as if you have been a frequent reader of these posts, you’d remember I had a love of squirrels from childhood.

I had wanted a summer handbag. Not a Vera Bradley, like I have, but a woven and burgundy colored one.This was something dating back to when I started working and splurged on a John Romain handbag and spent nice money on it. I wore that handbag every summer for many years and it killed me when it literally died. I found a Relic brand leather and woven handbag for $2. It’s a tight squeeze for my wallet but for summer, it’ll rock. I can’t believe that there was leather all over it! I also scored a 100% silk blouse for .50. I hand-washed it and it came up really well.I even got a new air of khakis for me for work for the princely sum of .50.

I regret that I bought ANYTHING for Jim, because he is**expletive deleted** when it comes time to buying or trying on clothes. I picked up a men’s 34 waist Banana Republic khaki short for him for .50. A brand new Izod polo shirt, tags and stickers still on it, retailing for $40 went for $5. Both wait for him here on the chair next to me.” I can’t try them on now:I’m working.”

**Watch me holding my breath waiting for him to try them on.”

Not bad, overall, and off in a little while to go swimming at a friend’s in ground pool.

Day three of three days off is going ok, so far…here’s hoping the rest of the day is uneventful!

IMG_5808

I just don’t get it.

I spent a few nano-seconds on why I can’t see people who I am friends with on FB anymore.

Seriously, people have real lives and don’t have the time to read every post written by everyone in addition to the lame-ass ads that advertisers and FB put in the way of a page or a post.

My former neighbors’ oldest just graduated 8th grade and thanks to the frequency of her dad’s posts, I get to see the two youngsters on a relatively frequent basis.Yet the other neighbors who moved away before we did, well, I have to find her making a comment before I even get a stab at seeing her page.

I am hoping that maybe I am just getting old enough to appreciate the fact that I really don’t NEED FB anymore: could that be the case?

Heat is back..

I have been off since yesterday and taking advantage of the arrival of heat, albeit again.

The girls and I have been taking a slow walk in the morning down to the bay and the three of us have been in the bay, trying to stay cool.Weather is constantly amazing to me, as one day we actually get a breeze, and today you can cut the hot air with a knife.Fortunately, the girls and I have been working around the heat, and I pretty much have the shady routes down pat for us to walk back on.

Jim, when he is out of his office, goes out in the heat to get some work done and it seems to make him happy.I guess he handles the heat better than I do, going back to his bakery days.I still get worried, but he claims he knows what he is doing.

Me?

I’m waiting for October.

IMG_5791

The Pause That Refreshes….

It’s been that kind of week.

My nerves are shot.

The heat is climbing back up.

My solution?

I decided to go to my trusty freezer and pull out my frozen with a kiss bottle of vanilla vodka and made myself an adult beverage. I have made myself a vodka tonic with lime in it.

Now granted it’s not going to ease my mind or the knots in my back or worry about things, but all I need after this is 1800 steps and I’ll have finished 15,000 steps for the day, a few loads of wash, some walks with the girls, some visits with sick friends and some with neighbors.

Not a bad day off.

IMG_5797

The Morning After

In light of my blog post yesterday, I actually got a response from Mayor Michael Beck of Lower Township, who made sure I knew who didn’t vote for the dog restrictions.

Uh-huh.

Your leadership is SO strong that the new pretenders to the throne see no problem in ignoring your decisions and leadership, and you all just quietly voted the law in.People who had no life to go home to, who could afford to sit through all of your blow hard politics, were left scratching their heads wondering what happened ?

You should be ashamed of yourself.You lead people to believe that it would be taken under advisement and actually enforce the law already on the books.

Oh yeah. Let’s ENFORCE a law already on the books by writing a new law.And the hell with residents here: I’ll sell a ticket to watch you all collect the fines you are going to collect from those with open containers on the beach, along with dirty diapers left behind with Wawa hoagie wrappers.

Let the games begin.

mbeck

same stuff, different day….

.is what I have found out down here at Amity, er Townbank. More importantly a politician is a politician is a politician.

We went to the rather hush-hush hurry up meeting that was held at 4PM today at the town hall. Oh yes, Mr. Mayor, I really agree we should first ENFORCE the laws we have in existence.Let’s see how that fares through the end of the season.Plenty of blah-blah and total kiss offs to anyone who has a dog.They are more concerned about the tourists and their grandchildren and the possibility of them getting bit:did I tell you they announced in the meeting there was one, count’s ONE dog bite on file last year.

So screw the fact that people drove to this meeting from out-of-state, and the Mayor was a patronizing POS politician, talking out of both sides of his mouth.Some of us have lives to come home to and thingsact that people drove to this meeting from out-of-state, and the Mayor was a patronizing POS politician, talking out of both sides of his mouth.Some of us have lives to come home to and things to do, like walk the girls.

Didn’t my neighbor stay to the end and tell me that as everyone left, the board quietly voted to pass the amendment preventing dogs on beach from 11am to 4PM in season.Never mind the trash left behind by the day trippers and the crime that comes with them.This was what was causing them sleep.

Guess what, Mayor Michael Beck, Council persons, Norris Clark,Thomas Conrad, David Perry and Erik Simonsen.We have got your number and now that you made Lower Township lacking tolerance for dogs, we will be campaigning against you 5. Your pictures will be plastered all over and although you are not Michael Vick, well, when you separate us from our family members, there just aren’t words. We will make sure all people who rent will be “used to” renters, as we spread word through vet offices in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and New York.Every dog magazine will hear how terrible it is to be here in Lower Township, thanks to 5 men who write with their tiny pens in their pockets and sign laws to make them feel like big dogs.

Guess what,cowardly boys? You are going OUT.

mbeck

Three days…

of prison at work.

Oh well, they were kind enough to schedule me for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday so the bright side is my weekend good, er, at least until Saturday.It’s hard because at the register, you literally are like a veal, stuck in the cage of a register. Me? I sneak out with the price gun to ring up people’s soda cases and spring water cases so I have an excuse to move 10 steps over and 10 steps back.Today during break, I walked back to the bakery to find no one there and then in the back of the store to find out the scheduling was done because a new bunch of “kids” hadn’t gotten their register training done yet.

I have a distant neighbor who comes to the job and acts as though she is my nearest and dearest, and she didn’t talk to me before I had this job. She runs an illegal day care here and I am just waiting for something to happen to ship her out.

This job has lost any entertainment value, especially when I am on the front end .Suffice it to say, I am looking for one to replace it.

The Heat

For something “different’, Jim and I were looking for a movie to watch.

I tend to like good movies that you can sink your teeth into,

Jim is just to the point where he is trying to get into movies.

I watched “Delivery Man” with Vince Vaughn and it just really for me: I sat through Wedding Crashers and The internship and Couples retreat and enjoyed them.”Delivery Man” left me flat.

When I found “The Heat”, it was a newer movie neither of us had seen.Melissa McCarthy I knew from “Bridesmaids”,Sandra Bullock I liked since ” While You Were Sleeping.”

This movie is supposed to be good, and a friend of mine said it was funny.

The verdict is out from me, as for now.

#CANYOUHEARMENOW?

I should preface this post by saying that I usually have no issues with Verizon.

Hahahahahaha…..

My iPhone 5c hung in there with no issues, until I started missing calls when the phone was either in my lap, 5 feet away or about 10 feet away.I called tech support on Thursday and bam! New, or should I say, rehabbed phone fed ex’ed out to me by 1:30PM today.

There began my trouble.

I have questionable hands.Meaning, between a touch of carpal tunnel and a pinched nerve, I had to insert the SIM card in the new phone.Uh-huh…ain’t happening.I get Jim to try to do it.He does it, we get it in and the phone reads no Sim card inserted.

Excuse me?

Then I made the mistake of calling tech support for a verbal walk through, I get a guy named Mark, and his big contribution to helping me out outside of being really obnoxious? He transferred my call to Apple.The gal at Apple says to me that Verizon has the SIM card, and THEY are the ones who should be helping me with this: I agreed with her.

I went on-line to tech support and got someone named Shelly who at least tried to assist me.After 45 minutes, I thanked her, and walked to my neighbor, who I just had seen drive into his driveway and he fixed the phone in 5 minutes.

The moral of this story? Stay away from Mark, the phone tech from hell at Verizon.

#CANYOUHEREMENOW?

Uh, Mark? No thanks.

canyouhmn

Phillies

It is really hard to watch the Philadelphia Phillies.

It’s a cycle.

The world series was in 2008. Things were still kind of good, in 2009 and 2010.That was it.Eventually the team turned grey.Pitchers left, some of them not willingly but their condition forced them to go.They were,to put it kindly, a shell of what they were.

It would seem that the Phillies have won their past two games,and with this one that is currently on the television, they are trying for their second sweep of the season.It’s June, and they are only looking for their second sweep.

It’s going to be another LONG season.

phillies

Ringo Starr

We were out for dinner tonight at our neighbors and during the course of dinner, we put the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2015.

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and other were inducted into the Hall of Fame, and now that I am home, we put it back on, who is getting inducted but Ringo Starr.Paul McCartney is introducing him and inducting him, and I am like, whoa….these guys are getting older.Then the camera pans from Paul’s grey hair to Ringo sitting there with his short hair cut and dark head of hair.

I need the number of his hairdresser….lol

Vote Early

I worked the polls today.

The girl who grew up voting for councilmen and representatives worked the polls which had such oddities on it as assemblymen.Voting in my new hometown for the first time, I made sure I did my homework but it was still a little bizarre not recognizing any offices on the ballots.

Below is a shot taken from outside my polling place I worked at: it was a fire hall.Unlike my native state of Pennsylvania, where polls open at 7am, I had to be at my assigned station at 5:15am.

Yikes.

Well, it was indeed early when I reported.I was welcomed with open arms and felt right at home. It wasn’t quite the big city set up, but the coffee was good and hot.

Things went well and I am hoping I can meet up with my new co-workers again in November.They were really nice, and pleasant to work with.And the primary plus side?

…It wasn’t a bakery. LOL.

IMG_5766

Early to bed…

…early to rise….

I am working the polls tomorrow morning in my new home state, as it will be election day here. It is humorous to me, as in my college years I was a poll watcher for different presidential candidates, including John Anderson-doe anyone remember him?

Tomorrow I will be out of the bakery and on the other side of the table and it will be a new experience for me. The rough part is I grew up in a state where polls were open from 7am to 8pm. I am due to my local fire hall at 5:15am to help set up, as the polls open 6am here.

Off for a quick shower and then, hopefully, a few good hours of sleep.

Election results from me tomorrow….lol

IMG_5684

June

June 1st.

Half-time.

I have completed a half-year of retirement, well, maybe four months if you discount my bakery time.Six months since I was in Center City.Six months since I had to use a finger ID to clock in.Six months since I was within striking range of a coffee shop on every corner and vendor carts.

Do I miss that part of my life?

Some of the people, yes. The daily routine? No way in hell.

Thirty years are thirty years, no matter how you slice it. I was blessed to hold a job steadily for that length of time, but when it’s time, it is time.It was a good run, but it’s over. The new chapter in my life has started, and at six months, my feet are indeed wet. You know what? I take one day at a time and enjoy every day I have got, especially with Jim and Zush and Kasia. It’s a precious life.

IMG_3580Daddygirshighbee