Ghosts of Skating Past

With Jim out this afternoon, I got a chance to watch something I really haven’t had to watch in ten years: figure skating.

Watching Frank Carroll, as the coach for Gracie Gold brought a ton of memories back to me. I actually remember listening on the car radio to the audio of ABC network broadcasting to the 1992 Olympic preliminary rounds of ice dancing! For how many years I wondered why Dick Button hid his top teeth behind his lip when he talked and how Scotty Hamilton kept a straight face when he talked to him.

I remember the Battle of the Brians in Calgary in 1988,and watching the skating today, one of the Canadian skaters has Brian Orser as her coach!I have to admit, though, that it’s going to take something to get me up to speed on the new scoring system.

Time marches on, I guess.

  

Waiting

Jim has an afternoon out with friends, so the girls and I spent a usual afternoon here. It was rough because the temps were a little chilly.

I came in this morning and have a crock pot full of ham vegetable soup working to take the chill off.A ton of wash got done and now, we are resting after our 15,000 fit bit steps.

I am waiting for my company to get in next weekend, so cleaning up will be the name of the game this week.At least the house is decorated, though!

  

Pretty Old.

So I am retired,now, right?

It’s a holiday weekend, right?

I can’t believe I made time to do this, but I actually worked on some Christmas cards today. I don’t know what came over me.Maybe it’s the fact that I have this desk that really isn’t as large as I have had in the past and I thought, maybe working on them, I’ll make some room.

I flashed back to growing up and remembering my Mom sitting at the dining room table addressing Christmas cards.Jeez, even she waited until the first weekend of December.I am having company next weekend, so I guess, that also played in the back of my mind,so I would have time to hang with my buddy from my teens, Margo.

For some reason though,realizing I did this today made me think of how OLD I am fortunate to be getting. I just wish mentally, I’d feel a little younger….

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Almost December

Jim and I went over to Cape May tonight to see the preparations for Christmas and see if any of the decorations are up.

It was surreal to walk through a seaside town and realize November is almost done and the temperature today is 51 degrees.We walked through town with sweatshirts.

We walked through the shopping mall/street and people were doing their black Friday shopping while eating ice cream. I think last year black Friday was snowing here:just goes to show you that climate changes is a reality.

We parked by the ocean and walked through Congress Hall, which was completely decked out for Christmas with the exception of it’s Christmas tree being lit.They are doing that a week from tonight.

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They have their carousel up and candy canes and lights on the shrubs.The doormen are dressed as if they are toy soldiers.There are garlands of evergreens all through the building.It looks as if it is Christmas.I guess they will do it soon enough,
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The Morning After

Because of the girls needing their medicine, I was offered Thanksgiving dinner by my sister,Georgine. She adopted me when we first met 6 years ago, and she loves our girls.

The company was wonderful: it never ceases to amaze me what you learn from people you just meet.There were some friends there who I already knew.

Everything was home made from the ham to turkey to lasagna to cranberry relish.I don’t know when I last laughed that hard.It was one of the most memorable Thanksgivings of my life.

#Iamblessed 

 

With apologies to Simon and Garfunkel

“I was twenty-one when I wrote this song.
I’m 23 now but I won’t be for long.
Time hurries on,
And the leaves that are green turn to brown.”

I’ve quoted this song before in a prior blog.It has gone through my head today as my oldest nephew who lives in Minnesota is 39 today.

Thirty nine.

Where does the time go? I am retired, he is married and has two boys of his own.I used to go out and see him during the winter break from college.He was such a cute little guy and is a handsome man now.

It is so funny going into the retired chapter of your life. I thought I’d be retired, and I end up working.I thought growing up I’d be a Mom, and I have to fur children who I wouldn’t trade for the world.I never, ever thought that I’d be A cancer survivor let alone a THREE cancer survivor, thank God.

Time does hurry on.

I am thankful, on this thanksgiving eve, for every morning I get up with two feet on the floor. I am thankful for my family, but most importantly, I am thankful for my friends.

Happy Thanksgiving.
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Little Red Bucket

I have a treasured memory that I managed to save from my Mom.

  
I remember this bucket from childhood.

What’s so special about it?

It’s my Mom’s clothespin bucket.

I can remember as a toddler being in the back yard of Mitchell Street, with the clothesline hung and Mom carrying up the laundry from the cellar steps.It is how I got my first job for Mom. I stood next to her and was allowed to hand her a clothespin when she asked for it. Sure, I worked my way up to hanging handkerchiefs, hanging straight sheets, and later  fitted sheets.

I don’t remember when the bucket list its’handle, but every time the bucket is next to me in the yard, I can feel Mom in her house dress and her kerchief wrapped around her head.It is kind of bizarre to say you feel warmth from a bucket of clothes pins, but I do.

Thanks, Mom.

The Voice

Sitting here in our bedroom watching the top eleven on The Voice.

I am constantly amazed by the vocalists who have the craft pretty well sharpened,and yet, it takes a show like this to really help them get recognition through America and the music industry. I have to admit, though, there are times where artists try to rock out country tunes and I am wondering what I missed along the way.

No matter what, I enjoy the judging panel and the artistry. It really gives me an enjoyable musical interlude in my week. 

 

A little Chilly

Well, in time for Thanksgiving week, when I got up this morning to get the girls out for their walk, the frost was definitely on the pumpkin.

I believe we actually got down to 34 degrees last night and it sure felt like it. What is really crazy is that I think Thanksgiving day is due to be 60 degrees.We managed to bundle up, and the flip side is it helps the girls relax from the itch of dry skin, since I have added fish oil back into their diet.My friend who passed away way too early, Sue, had a beautiful golden retriever and she would always discuss itchy retriever skin and say that the oil was the only way to go.

Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving week and be careful!
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Birthday Girl

We are on our way up to the city this morning to see Jim’s Mom and Kathy, his sister.

It’s my mother-in-law’s 97th birthday today . I am a firm believer in being there for someone’s birthday, especially when you get in the higher numbers. No one is guaranteed a next birthday, you know? She has seen a lot and to be able to celebrate with her will be a joy.

I made two loaf cakes for her, and we’re  bringing her fur granddaughters up too!

Happy birthday Babci Kasia! We love you! 

 

Four Days in November

Tomorrow marks the 52nd anniversary of President John F.Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas, Texas.

I have been watching on the Decades channel the documentary “Four Days in November.” It was fascinating to see the events that preceded the historical event, such as the First Lady speaking in Spanish to a group in Fort Worth.Amazing how some historians downplayed her presence through the entire Texas event. Most of the historical blurbs I have read usually just had her in the car, carefully holding the President in her arms, after she climbed up the get pieces of the skull and brains the bullet attacked.

I was 2 and 1/2 years old when this happened, and the odd thing was I remember being in front of my parents Philco television in our living room, listening to the muffled drum beats and watching the soldier lead the horse along without a rider. The stir-ups were backward on the horse, which evidently signifies the soldier-rider died in battle. 

Amazing what the mind had us recall.

Pancakes

Down here, we occasionally take in the local civic association meeting and jokingly sit in the back and talk about “Amity”, as in Jaws.

Part of the group of buddies that we made here work with us every third month on the third Saturday at the fund-raising pancake breakfast.The civic association uses it as a fund-raiser and I actually missed working our turn at it when I was working at the ferry.We had been coming to the pancake breakfast since we first came down here, and as we became more involved, we met more neighbors and networked with more folks to learn the “lay of the land”, if you will. It is amazing what a local social event will turn up and what you can learn just from being there and listening.

Of course, I’ll have to get up early and get the girls out for their walk and medicine, so they are good, empty, and tired out. Jim usually gets down there first and I get down there around 7:30 so we set up the coffee and get ready for the first customers.Like many things in this life that you really don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone,with apologies to Joni Mitchell,I am glad I have a chance to get it back.

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Old Softie

People get disappointed in life a lot. It happens, I know.

I am one of those people who try to help those who need help,and as a result, I have my fur girls and am an old softie. I was on my back deck earlier in the week and saw one of my pink geraniums there, not quite hit by frost yet,and to my surprise, it was tightly in bud. How can I leave it outside to die?

I really wish I had a built out window where I could put plants and grow herbs in the house, but we have no room.I remember my Mom’s mom, my Babci on East street, raising lambs tounges plants and African violets, as did my Mom and godmother.I am currently trying to nurse my Mom’s last  pointsettia, as it is,along with her Aloe plant, my last tie with Mom.

Call me old Softie…I am proud of it. Below is a shot of my saved geranium.

 

Wal-Mart? Are You Freaking Kidding Me?

So, gentle reader, if you’ll think back a little bit you’ll have recalled reading the issue Jim and I have had with Wal-Mart and their credit offer when you get their credit card.

Guess what I just got in my email?

“Enjoy special financing, fuel savings, fraud protection and more. My account
Wal-Mart – Save Money. Live Better. Free shipping. Free store pickup. Millions of items.
Electronics Movies Home Clothing Baby Toys Sports Auto Photo Shop All Departments
Apply Now & Learn More Apply Now & Learn More
Apply Now & Learn More Apply Now & Learn More”

Seriously?

I have sent my posting to all avenues to expose the sham of an offer the Wal-mart does not honor and these sphincters have the nerve to send me this in email?

The fight goes on…..

Last Rose

It never ceases to amaze me.

We live in an area bordered by a bay:the Delaware Bay to be precise. You see weather roll in over the bay, sunny skies, stormy seas,…you get the idea. In the winter, when it is cold enough, I have seen the bay frozen over to the point of resembling an Alaskan tundra.

When I walk the girls during the day, I meditate, pray, and take in a ton of sights.When the weather changes, you’re used to seeing falling leaves, dead lawns and the like. You can imagine how pleased I was to come across this gem this morning.

  
Nice to see a beautiful remnant of this summer.

It’s that time of year

….at least  for me!

Today is my 22nd anniversary of my 1st cancer, and the protocol I was fortunate enough to get into at Jefferson Hospital, and have Dr.Charles J.Dunton as my oncologic gynecologist.

Chemotherapy ,radiation and a hysterectomy later, I was blessed to be good to go.

I’ve had two other cancers since then, breast and thyroid, and mercifully I got through them. It pained me , though, that I lost my 18 year old niece ,Alyx, to a mid brain tumor, and yet I was still here, thanks to my employer’s health plan.

This is always an anniversary for me: it reminds me God’s not done with me yet. 

 

Tra-la-la….pbbt!

So now, walking the girls this morning, I came across more decorations that went up over the weekend.

  
Something so odd about seeing penguins on a sixty degree day. Don’t get me wrong.When I lived back in the city, I decorated our first house with snowflakes. See, good Catholic girl that I am, I put up a manger scene.Always did, always will… But as we had no two-legged kids, we opted for seasonal decorations.

Now that we are down here,my decorations are minimal. A fresh wreath on our door, blue and green tinsel around the mailbox-nothing exciting.

I do have holly in my heart, though.

Who’s on First?

I know friends of mine who go and say they have seen Halloween decorations up right with back to school stuff. I know people who can’t wait until Halloween is over to put up Christmas stuff.

Where I am at now, people decorate, except for me.I really had to shake my head this morning because a part-time neighbor a few blocks away has Christmas stuff up. Everyone else who decorates has fall/Thanksgiving stuff up.

Seriously?

The story goes is that she decorates early because she brings her friends down mid-December and they celebrate Christmas then.

Me?

I’ll be the one in bed with the blanket up to my nose, wondering is it’s February 1st yet.

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No Place like Home

We are on our way home.

It’s been a long day, which started at 5:30. It is now 7:30 PM. 

 
We are on the Schuykill expressway now riding bumper to bumper.Some things you never miss.

The girls met a new pup cousin today, but Kasia , part chow and cousin Champ, allegedly part chow need a little more time to get used to each other.

We attended Jim’s Aunt’s funeral, and sadly, you go and note who’s not around anymore.

It’ll be good to be home.Days like today make you appreciate your “home.”

Rough Seas

Currently I am going through a rough patch. It reminds me of the old prayer,”Oh,God, my boat is so small and thy sea so large.”  

Fighting the NJ government has my nerves shot, we have to go up to the city for a funeral tomorrow and there’s a lot of folks around us who are not well.

I thank God for my girls-they are what make me get up in the morning and face the day.

It’s a lot to keep going, and for now,I will. It’s hard, though, but it’s what grownups do, right?

State of Confusion

After my month of doing the mind blowing lgovernmental tango down here, faxing out paperwork ad nauseum, trying to decipher hyroglyphics on line, make time to appear in the government offices as directed, I am back at step one.

As all good government provides for contrary rulings, so do these folks. I got not one but two contrary mailings today from the agency.

Guess we know who is back on the phone tomorrow.

My Vet

  
My Dad served in the Pacific theater in World War II.

I have some of the medals he received for his service, and one thing that he was really pleased with…you’d never believe it.It was his card from being on the ship and passing over the equator. It was signed by Davy Jones’locker. I framed it and used to hang it up in my office cubicle.

Pop would tell me stories of how scared he would be at times, and sometimes it would be the adventures he had.I know he missed my Mom and their faith and prayers got him through it: he always believed it.

To you, Daddy,and mr Dziadziu, your Dad, Uncle Ziggy, Uncle Ray and Uncle Jack celebrating Veterans’day in heaven…I am proud of you and your service, and will love you forever.

Color

It’s incredible what some overnight rain can do to autumnal color.
Sure, the girls and I were out walking in the rain…
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After all, pups ALWAYS have to go, and thanks to the Internet, I am learning things about the dog’s nose and the coat on it that brings them to smell their trail and their friends trail..I mean who am I to begrudge them that, right?

The weather is overcast, varying from drizzle to rain, and as we walked, a lot of the color was down beneath our feet.Don’t get me wrong: anytime we are together is the best, and walking on black macadam with yellow and orange leaves on slick streets almost makes the area look like art deco.

I did manage to find one more splash of color to make our day. The picture is below.

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A salute to all Veterans out there: thanks for your service and we think you are the best.

Must be Anticipatory El Niño,or something

  
There is a common sight this time of the year here.

The tree trimmers are out.

Granted we are down in the heel of South Jersey, and nor’easter and winter storms can be rough. It must be getting too pricey for storm clean-up, as the local township is doing this for the first time.

I am a devotee of fat squirrel tales tell the tale of a hard winter. I guess now the public work trucks and chain saw are my back-up.

Yummo

I am a coffee girl.

I also have two golden retriever mixes.

The two joined together to introduce me to something I can only have on rare occasion.

Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue had a fund raiser through a frozen grocer,Schwans. The groceries are delivered to your door and it was a good cause.

Enter Satan…aka Jack Nicklaus Ice Cream.

Coffee and donuts ice cream, to be precise.A rich coffee ice cream with small pieces of cinnamon sugar donuts mixed in. I am glad coffee ice cream isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.

More for me! 

 

Buh-bye Walmart

So now, a Post Script on the initial posting.

The zone manager,who was very polite by the way,says we have to bring our receipt back to walmart with our walmart credit card. They have to refund what we purchased on our other card and put it on the walmart card in order to get the $25 as advertised, and, did I mention that the zone manager said that you now get $35 off? Oh, so we don’t qualify for that but you want us running around like monkeys trying to do what YOU want your customers to do?

Are you freaking KIDDING me?

A good customer and this HOW you treat your customers.All the BS and torture for what YOU, WALMART, should have done in the first place.Apologize for your new cashiers? Who did the lousy job of training them? We get all the headache?

You are not the only game in town: this is not over and it’ll be going to consumer fraud next.
You advertise one thing and don’t follow through.

Below, the original posting.

So you can be in Wal-Mart and need a, say, a new Nutri-Bullet.

“Apply at the registers, shoppers, for our Wal-Mart credit card, and today you will get $25 off of a $75 or greater purchase.”

So we did.

The quality staff had no clue on how to ring up a credit card application at the register, and we lost 30 minutes there.Then we went to complain to customer service and the equally inept staff there finally put an application through but they had issues with doing that. We spent $166 that day and NO way, no WHERE, NO HOW have we seen $25 off of our bill.

We saved all our receipts, called corporate, who informed us the $25 would be “credited” on our credit card. Really? Can you say duped? Today’s people say they can’t give us $25 credit, BUT they happily would give us $25 off our NEXT purchase of $75 or more on our Wal-Mart card.Oh, and don’t think that I will forget being hung up on, either….

FRAUD, anyone?

We have the sheet that was at all the registers that said you were to get $25 off THAT DAY’S $75 purchase.

I am going to be loud about this until someone else in corporate Wal-Mart decides to correct the situation.

When the spirits are dampened…

..and no I don’t mean watered down Jack Daniels.

It is an overcast day here complete with drizzle, so the girls and I got a smaller walk in this morning and maybe in a half-hour or so we’ll try to get out again.

It doesn’t help when some news filters down through to you to make you sad, for at least the weather mirrors your mood.The colors are still on the trees,but the walk in itself is therapeutic: I get my prayer time in as I walk the girls.

Hopefully, things will pick up and we’ll all be ok.

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Fall

  
I could never live in Florida, or any place where leaf color changes never occur.

I was the type of kid who, in grammar school, always went for the forest scenes on folders. Be it leafy, verdant green forests, or trees ablaze in their autumnal coats, you could have made book on the choice I’d make.

Being older now, raking becomes part of the season and my admiration for the colors never fades.

After all, there is always the promise of spring to wait for!

 

The Governmental Tango…continued

If I had a nickel for every time a government agency wanted a fax copy of my personal documents, I sure would be rich.

I had another phone call with the Garden State today and it is incredible.Maybe it’s because I was on the other side of the phone for such a long time that I forget what a headache it is.Then, when the phone call was finished,because he couldn’t reach a second agency, he called back to me to get me to fax MY information that he was supposed to get.

May I need to get back on the payroll…..

Bye-bye Walmart….

So now, a Post Script on this posting.

The zone manager,who was very polite by the way,says we have to bring our receipt back to walmart with our walmart credit card. They have to refund what we purchased on our other card and put it on the walmart card in order to get the $25 as advertised, and, did I mention that the zone manager said that you now get $35 off? Oh, so we don’t qualify for that but you want us running around like monkeys trying to do what YOU want your customers to do?

Are you freaking KIDDING me?

A good customer and this HOW you treat your customers.All the BS and torture for what YOU, WALMART, should have done in the first place.Apologize for your new cashiers? Who did the lousy job of training them? We get all the headache?

You are not the only game in town: this is not over and it’ll be going to consumer fraud next.
You advertise one thing and don’t follow through.

Below, the original posting.

So you can be in Wal-Mart and need a, say, a new Nutri-Bullet.

“Apply at the registers, shoppers, for our Wal-Mart credit card, and today you will get $25 off of a $75 or greater purchase.”

So we did.

The quality staff had no clue on how to ring up a credit card application at the register, and we lost 30 minutes there.Then we went to complain to customer service and the equally inept staff there finally put an application through but they had issues with doing that. We spent $166 that day and NO way, no WHERE, NO HOW have we seen $25 off of our bill.

We saved all our receipts, called corporate, who informed us the $25 would be “credited” on our credit card. Really? Can you say duped? Today’s people say they can’t give us $25 credit, BUT they happily would give us $25 off our NEXT purchase of $75 or more on our Wal-Mart card.Oh, and don’t think that I will forget being hung up on, either….

FRAUD, anyone?

We have the sheet that was at all the registers that said you were to get $25 off THAT DAY’S $75 purchase.

I am going to be loud about this until someone else in corporate Wal-Mart decides to correct the situation.

Politics-Seaside style

So in this oh-so-tony seaside town of Cape May, there is a strange thing going on.

CHALLENGERS

Evidently these people volunteer their time to come en masses to question those who might come to vote but they aren’t on the voting list.There were three until 6pm-now all of a sudden,I kid you not, there are 10.There hasn’t been anyone I lately to vote in a while.

These costal elections are a big throw from the city ones.Maybe someday I ‘ll figure it out. 

 

Life in Amity, er, Mayberry, er…somewhere on the east coast

The pup who was having a hard time with meds and stuff, my Zusher, well…
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She got some bones from Utah and I haven’t seen her attack anything with such vigor in a while.
I’m glad she has the vigor.

Me?

Up at 4am tomorrow morning for Election Day here in the Garden State.Now, I have to factor in making everyone get their medicine and a quick walk, as they will be with Dad for the bulk of the day. Not quite as easy as the primary elections: I’m due to work the polls in beautiful downtown Cape May, New Jersey, where somehow the phrase “vote early and often” is something I am sure I’ll hear in my head, being a former Philadelphia: obviously that isn’t muttered in Cape May.

Long day tomorrow…here’s hoping the best people win.

Caffenation Station

  
My “sister ” came back from a week away and brought me a spectacular reward for minding the house.

I got a beautiful bracelet and earring set. Even more importantly, she brought me a pound of Jamaican blue mountain coffee! I really got into drinking the coffee in the 80’s, but as the price went up, my pockets were not that deep. Places like Zabars and Balduccis in New York City and the Reading terminal market in Philadelphia had “Jamacian Blue mountain-style”.., but this cup I am savoring right now?

Don’t care what time I am falling asleep tonight…it’s that good!