January 

   
 
What a delightful day we had today. 

The weather actually flirted with 40 and the winds were non-existent.The girls and I walked a lot to take advantage of the weather. It was my time of year:almost spring temperatures and no tourists! Granted both girls were on leashes, but we walked right down the middle of the street.

I managed to do some pitching of old stuff, walking it over to donation bin. It’s amazing how getting rid of stuff makes you want to do more.

Friday is tomorrow so housecleaning on the agenda, and a little baking too. Enjoy the lack of “Snowzilla.”

Milestone

Down here in “Amity”, as I like to call it, I went to a 90th birthday party today for a good friend of mine.

Vivian has been so kind to me for the past six years I have known her. She collects the money at the pancake breakfast. Always,Vivian has a kind word for everyone. 

 
She’s the one with the grey hair and pearls. She try to help fellow knitter and crocheters as best as she can.She is always amazing to talk to in a coversation. One day when I grow up, I want to be just like her!

   
    
 
Here are some shots that before hand, would have had Martha Stewart smiling.

Happy birthday Vivian! I love you!

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!

  

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. 

 

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. 

 

A Shameless Plug

http://pets.subaru.com

Subaru is currently getting folks to enter and vote for pets in the Subaru Pet hall of Fame.

I entered the Zusher.

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The link to vote is at the top of this page and if you should see it on Facebook, the picture above is the one I entered for the Zush.

Please vote for my girl, and if you could share this post,Zusher and I would truly appreciate it. If you are going into the site and can’t recognize her, search for ” Zush” and you will get her entry and the little blip I wrote to submit for her.You can vote daily through the end of November and, again, thanks!

Ten

We have finished our first nine months of living full time here, away from the big city.

I would lie if I said I don’t miss the big city, because there are occasions that I do miss certain aspects of my prior life.We used to love close to Fairmount Park, and I miss having the ability to take the girls back there on occasion. When we lived on Rochelle, we were back there all the time.Now that it is October, I know the colors in the park will be spectacular, and although there are trees here, well, it’s not the same as where we first lived.

It is a dreary day here, as Hurricane/Tropical Storm Jauquin is working its’ way up the coast.It matches my mood here, as I am having Zush go for her second blood work today at the vet and worry is an understatement. I am just hoping to keep my girl going as long as I possibly can. There is something about being down here in stormy weather that just really brings out.After seeing, and reading, “The Perfect Storm”, weather is magnified when walking down by the bay. I would never have this atmosphere back in the city.

The first bunch of months here are in the books. I am hoping that we get through the next bunch well, and we stay happy and relatively healthy. I can’t pray and ask for more.

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Fitbit update

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I went to the Doctor this morning for my physical.I have been on the fit bit zip side Halloween 2014,and today, when I stood on the scale, I am down a total of 40 lbs since then-down 10 since March.If that doesn’t give testimony to the viability of the fit bit zip, I don’t know what does.

I looked at today as the fall tune-up for the auto season for the winter. I got my blood work done and we’ll see if hopefully,all numbers for me will be good.With that out-of-the-way, all is left is Zush and taking her in Thursday afternoon for her blood work second set. Please keep the prayers and good puppy mojo going for our girl.

Thanks!

The Voice

Tonight is the season premiere of “The Voice.” It starts with the blind auditions.

I got into watching this last season when we first moved down here. It is absolutely fascinating that people get up there and try to make a future and they are brave enough to try.

It’s amazing what determination can do. It’s  something to try to keep in everyday life. You have to be blessed with people who surround you with support.

If you have it,consider yourself fortunate- it is quite rare!

  

Dog E Howser, MD ( with apologies to Doogie Houser MD)

So in the continuing saga of Zush being under the weather, I had an assignment from the vet.

I had to get a urine sample from her.

Jeez.

I had surrendered enough of me through all my cancers and stuff, and now here I am, Zush mom, and I am going after her with a ziplock bag to catch pee.I had no problems doing it, as anyone who knows my relationship with my girls, especially Zush, well, I would do anything with them. To top things off, the vet tech had said on the phone that if I couldn’t get a specimen, don’t let her pee before she gets into the office and they would get it from her.

HAH! No one is going to insert anything into my Zush to give her any discomfort. I had faith that I could get the sample. Indeed, I did.

Keep the good mojo and prayers going, please. I will post tomorrow on diagnosis.

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Optimism 

It is incredible what the flip of a calendar page brings.

September is here and my heart is wide open to all new experiences coming down the pike. Change is in the wind, be it good, bad or indifferent…the key element here is change. Change is movement-at least you aren’t wallowing and stagnant!

It is a blessing to get up in the morning and get my two feet on the ground. It’s a blessing to see Jim ok and the furgirls ok. When I take them out in the morning, I say my prayers and talk to family in heaven. I get to walk in a natural area surrounded by beauty. When times are rough, all I have to do is remember that.

If only all were as fortunate as I am. 

 

Zipping away

There was trauma in Fit Bit Zip land the other day…I actually lost it!

We were at our friend Max and his mom Norina, and I was sitting outside talking to her with the dogs. I knew I had it on all day at work, but was astonished-this never happened to me before.

We searched at home, and I texted Max as it was really the only place we were at. Well, Saint Anthony and Max to the rescue! He found it! It really was a frustrating loss, albeit temporarily, because I had 17,000+ steps on it. 

The problem with the Fit Bit Zip is the back. They have two small pieces of plastic that keep sliding off:Jim glued them once for me, but it seems once you have crossed over to wear on the device, or at least my type of wear,this can be a common malady.

I will be getting back to Fit Bit on this. They always have had decent customer service. I am counting on them! 

 

A Find

I walk the dogs before work, and even when I don’t work, it’s the first thing I do every day. 

The other day, as I went past the house at the corner, I noticed that they had stuff outside. The owners have had the property out for sale for a while.

Basically everything I saw was trashy,ready for the dump….except for this chair. There was a little bit of the rattan across the bottom that had seen better days. Outside of that, it is a perfectly good chair that I am sitting in now.

If I had to put it on Flea Market Flip, I might have gussied it up a little. On the show, they’d have hot glued gunned the rattan, polyurethaned the chair or painted it, thrown in a few matching cushions, and in their spare time, added on a side car.**joking**

For me, this chair is just right!

 

Fit Bit in an Ant Farm 

I made a major error yesterday morning. I got up, threw clothes on,got the girls walked, and 65 minutes later, I realized I did not put my fit bit on. Quel Horror!  3500 steps flying into the air!

So I majored in taking the scenic route yesterday, in order to make up those 3500 steps. It is so infuriating to feel married to my fit bit, but the results are speaking for themselves. I just got my Great Barrier Reef  badge for walking 1600 miles.

I walk everywhere,everyday at my own pace. I am not a race walker, nor do I ever want to be. I have two knee replacements and my motto is you can’t hit s moving target. I admit there are times when I am bone tired and walking is the last thing I feel like doing.i walk enough during the week in the ant farm maze at work.

My 13 year old Zush and 6 year old Kasia love to walk. I don’t want to disappoint them either. We go out together for the entire pack benefit. I am not bad mouthing race walkers, because they are surely more fit then I will ever be.

As for me and my girls…we’ll catch up. 

 

Taking Word into Action

So after my blog post yesterday, I decided to pay attention to words I wrote and take some action.

My front garden has been ” full”: blooms had to be moved apart, weeds had to be pulled and after I had the girls out for their walk this morning, I watered the front yard and proceeded to pull weeds and walk some large dusty miller plants apart and give some to my friend Georgine. I came back from her and proceeded to straighten the plants out some more.I actually felt as though I had taken a hand on things and decided to savor every minute.

It was a little thing, in the grand scheme of things, but hey, it was something and it felt good.
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For Love of the Game

One of my favorite movies starring Kevin Costner is called “For Love of the Game.”

The premise is that before a baseball game, a long time pitcher for a team gets news that he is going to be traded by the team’s new owners, or the old owner gives him the option he should maybe retire after 20 years in the major league. Kevin Costner goes out and pitches a perfect game, and then retires.

Cole Hamels hasn’t been pitching 20 years, but he had come up through the Phillies farm system.He was the MVP of the 2008 World Series.The 2008 team has fallen apart with only a few players left. Cole’s last two starts were shaky-in fact, he lost.

Today,in Chicago’s Wrigley Field, Cole pitched a no-hitter.It was the 13th no-hitter in Phillies history.

There has been talk about the possibility of him being traded and post game interviews with him have him being coy about that matter.

No matter what happens, well-played, Mr.Hamels…well played!

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A calorie is a calorie….

..especially when you are averaging 15,000 steps a day.

After my GI bug bout,I decided to come back to walking with a vengeance.So, with the exception of this past Sunday, when we had to go back to Pennsylvania, I had 15,000 steps, at least,each day last week.I did cut myself some slack since we were socializing on Sunday.

It’s incredible when you are so conscious of what you are doing, in my case, walking, how it affects what you eat.I have completed behavior modification in the past with success, only to put weight on when my Mom got sick and I was caregiver for her with my brother,

Now it’s a new day, a Fit Bit zip, warmer weather, and 2,000 more steps for 15,000 for the day.

Pardon me…I have to go walk my girls…and me!

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Planting time

I started seeds indoors this year and Jim started veggie seeds indoor too.

I start mine in egg containers,with dirt in the cups and seeds.Then I moistened the dirt and put the whole container in a clear plastic bag,the type you get when you buy produce.You breathe into it, and your breath provides the gas to turn the sealed up bag into a green house for the plants.Jim used a commercial seed starting kit, which comes with a clear plastic top to it.The veggies he has in there are ready to go in the ground. Mine are close to that point.I might make an attempt to put them in tomorrow. I planted white marigolds, coneflower, coleus and snapdragon.

Once they are in and established, I’ll keep you posted along the way to let you see what makes it through the summer.

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Fishin’ Boat Lovin’

One of my best buds, Juls, has a very talented son, who records as Ty March.

Ty used to be part of the Capture the Crown band, and left them to go off on his own. He is blessed with a wonderful voice.He has tried his hand at writing more in a country and western slant, and one of my favorite songs that I was lucky enough to here him perform in person was Fishin’ Boat Lovin.Ty played it for me and Jim back in February and from the first time we heard it, we thought it had hit written all over it.

https://itun.es/us/l4fV6

He has been putting in his time and you can hear his heart and soul in his lyrics. He’s like something you can become addicted to and want to hear more and more of.Trust me, you will hear from him a lot in the future, and it will only be good!

To think I knew him when….***chuckling**

https://www.facebook.com/tymarchcountry?fref=ts

Nothing left to give.

The antithesis of a holiday weekend is the day after.

The day after ham, sweet potatoes, carrots, string beans, deviled eggs, cole slaw, and so on and so on…Even though I managed to crack 10,000 steps today and I just feel like a Mack truck ran over me. I made 15,618 steps and why legs are fine.My head is feeling the weekend. I proudly can announce I had no alcohol,due to medication I am taking,and yet, I am afraid I am going to collapse in the Jim column of ” its gotta be the pollen”.My head is exploding.

We have this week to kick back a little before we gear up for upcoming events. In two weekends, we go up to the big city and celebrate the 50th anniversary of my cousin and her husband.Two weeks after we have company coming down here.

The season is gearing up..no excuses..gotta get ready.

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Introducing…

…PAVERMAN!

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If you loved following the epic saga of Jim dealing with his case of the shingles, or Jim starting up our compost, you will love Jim as Paverman.

The yard tends to get a little wet when it rains and when you have two dogs and want to save a floor, you try to get pavers to make a path for the back yard. We went to Lowe’s today to get bricks to accent the pavers and pavers themselves.Jim started the project when we got back and if he feels up to it,and the aches aren’t too bad,he might go back tomorrow to it.It is a hard job, and I do feel sorry when I watch him do it, but his sense of accomplishment when it looks good is overwhelming.

Slowly but surely, Undisclosed Deux is taking shape.

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!

Flea Market Flip

It took me a while to find this unscripted jewel of a show.

Flea Market Flip is shown on the GAC (Great American Country) channel on cable, and basically, I watch it for three reasons.Lara Spenser is the host, and in addition to being an excellent television anchor, she also is a Penn State University graduate.Secondly, four people are put in two teams of two , given $600 to buy things at a flea market, and then get a day to redesign them or repurpose them, and finally, these items have to go back to a different flea market and they have to try to sell them. The team that makes the most money wins $5,000.

Now, ideally, I am in a new home, with new furniture.There is no reason for me, right now, to run on out and try this. I have to admit that it is interesting to see people’s ideas of designs and also the idea of what money people are wiling to spend.I have to admit it is my current favorite show, and if you are doing any rehabbing of items,you might like this show.

Working out the glitches

We are going through the house and trying to put some things away this weekend.

There’s a pile for the attic, and we have made a few bags of donations to the local church, but how can you work at putting things away when you have to be a math major? Sure, there is common sense that x amount of handbags can only fit in such a spot.As my work career is not that far behind me at this point, and maybe, just maybe a job will be in my future, how do you figure out what you’d need without hiding it out in an attic.

You can go on-line and find out storage solutions and, honestly?There are the two of us and two dogs.Then there are 12+years of marriage to weed through and prior life things to keep.

I’d like to think that I don’t have to hurry about this, although it would be nice to have the house shape up a little better. A few short tables or bookcases, things of that sort, but in the meanwhile, working out the glitches seems to be the next step.

Stay tuned.

Me? Obsessed?

In the continuing saga of my fit bit zip, I cut myself some slack when it was brutal cold on two days this past week and walked a wee bit over 10,000. They suggest you try to walk 10,000 a day. Coming from someone so full of angst, depression, and about a zillion other emotions, it was like a miracle pill because it kept my butt out of a chair and had me walking.I wanted to get that number!

That’s saying something.

I have a good friend who goes to the gym two blocks from her home, other friends who are runners, some walk with weights, but my big moment was WANTING to continue this since I started on this past Halloween.Usually I start something, with the exception of my behavior modification class, where I lost 40 pounds and then stopped when Mom got sick-mentally I just was too exhausted from caregiving to continue.When I lose interest I stop. The walking has been different.

Your steps are recorded on the fit bit zip and then you synch it to your computer.It doesn’t lie.If you did 5,000 steps it shows it. If you did 18,000 steps it’ll show that too.

The past two nights it has been pleasant and it the 20’s. Yes, I know, a regular heat wave.I felt like a slacker it I didn’t try to go to 15,000 because the weather was not quite that bad.I am proud to say I went over 15,000 steps both days.I don’t want to say I have an obsession with the number, but hey, it’s an accomplishment.

I will sign off for now, because I have to synch my fit bit with my Mac, and then I am showering and off to bed.I,like Charlie Bucket in Willie Wonka, have found my own golden ticket.

15,000 steps.

It’s a good number….for now.

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Done

When I went into work on Tuesday, I went into my emptied cubicle.

I went to my computer, pulled a picture up, printed it up on the printer, and hung it on the outside of my cubicle wall.I wrote one statement on it.

“Gone fishing.”

**it was a picture of the Cape May Lighthouse.**

A few, and by that I mean only twice did I shed a little tear during the day because saying good-bye is always bittersweet. I had lunch with two of my “besties”, Elaine and Denise and had a fabulous time. After quitting time, I met with my friends Ed, Mark, Jon and Margaret, and we laughed over drinks.

It was a good day.The memories will always be with me.

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!

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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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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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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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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So beat!

This trying to keep up with at least 10,000 steps a day is really rough, especially on Fridays.

I lose a bit of time on Fridays because of the time we use running in the car down to undisclosed.Usually I try to squeeze in a few walks with the girls during the day before we have to go in the car.

Today, my legs were so sore but fortunately I got to my 10,000 steps. Since October 29, I have walked 75.78 miles…it is an average of 4. something miles a day.

So forgive me-a hot shower and hair appointment await in the morning,

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Update what?

Argh….

4400 steps?
Hey fit bit…4400?
You want to put my glasses on?

Uh, I went on-line and thought I was tracking my fit bit steps and saw this morning that I had 4400 steps. I just came back in after a big time walk with Kasia, honoring Zush’s boo-boo leg, and said WTF? 4400 STEPS?

Oh yes, I have an iPhone and MacBook Pro and fit-bit zip….

Would be nice if I remember the ” Synch” my fit-bit zip with my computer.

I am sure my nephews are both laughing hysterically that techno-Cioci forgot to synch something up.

**Reaching for the Lady Clairol to cover my rapidly advancing gray**

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Fit this Bit!

Well, it seems that Fridays are my low days on the fit bit, averaging around 7,000 steps.Once I get to the weekend, it’s a better story. I average around 11,000 to 12,000 steps on the weekends and have been doing pretty good for the week.

I am walking the girls and outside all, the leaves are down. My four-legged children are quite like 2 legged children. They love walking through the leaves.It’s funny that their fur color is matching the leaf color.

We’re enjoying the weekend. We are hoping, gentle reader,you are doing the same.

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Sorting things out

Jim just came up and announced that there weren’t too many things downstairs that is ours.

He said the same thing, about the upstairs, with the exception of my Ficus plants and a few other plants.

The bulk of the things we still have to move are all on the floor where we spend all of our time.We try to weed things out, and start moving stuff out slowly but surely. It’s a bit much, as when we are looking for things like winter coats.We tried to keep things that we would need up here. Now, it’s a question of what we don’t need and we can pack away.

It’s another chapter of the process of moving on with life…can honestly say that I can’t wait until the next chapter starts.

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Withdrawl.

That’s what I went through last week, when I couldn’t go to my Flip Fitness class.I still have my stitches in but by tonight, I was a little bit more secure in going.

There’s something about a Flip Fitness class that has us all together.We are in the same boat-trying to get our bodies mobile and feeling somewhat better about ourselves. When one person isn’t here, they are missed.We share what’s going on and in our own heads, we are happy to be going, because we know it HELPS us.The exercise and stretch is beneficial, but the laughter that we share is even more beneficial.At the end of what is often a very long day, it is a perk to be able to laugh off steam.

Look up Flip fitness classes, if you feel things like yoga or Zumba aren’t your speed yet. You’ll be pleased at the difference you feel in your body.

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Ending of meetings

…I hope!

Today at lunch time, my union had a speaker on retirement health and welfare benefits. It had been touched on numerous occasions before, but one more time wouldn’t hurt,

Whenever these meetings occur, I take notes,and tell Jim about it. He, Inevitably, says,”well what about q, w and x.” I swear up and down they covered it in the meeting, but not to Jim’s satisfaction.I tried something new this time-I taped the meeting on my phone.Hopefully, everything will be pretty good.

It’s a pleasure to be at this point of a career and look at final meetings. It is a day you never really expected to come about.

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Be it ever so humble

We are working our way up the food chain.

We moved.

We moved things into a storage locker.

We moved into the house.

Time to get boxes out of the closets, empty them, and put some things into the attic until we need them.

It was a good way to spend a rainy Saturday.There is nothing like the sense of accomplishment to know that some things never have to be packed or unpacked again.The sense that you have finally found a right spot or space for things to be stored in, neatly.Sure there are things that actually will need storage within the house, such as a book shelf and the like.

It’s starting to really feel like home.

Yay!

Below is a picture for my friend B, who looks for pictures I usually post for the weekend showing the girls “going home”.Well, B? This picture is the one of the girls, going through the front door at home.

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Autumn Saturday

It was a good day here in Undisclosed.

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

Feels good.

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

Enjoy what’s left of your weekend!

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All alone

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

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

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

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Laughing through Fitness

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

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

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

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

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

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Mid-September

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

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

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

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

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Good Riddance

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

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

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

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

End of story.

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It Was Thirty Years Ago Today**

** with apologies to Lennon and Mc Cartney

It was thirty years ago today,
The city of Philly started giving me pay….

Nah, I can’t twist those lyrics that badly, especially since I like that song.

But…

On this day in 1911, a dispatcher in the New York Times office sends the first telegram around the world via commercial service.On this day in 1977, NASA sent the Voyager II, an unmanned 1,820 pound spacecraft into orbit.On this day in 1984, I became a full-time employee of the city of Philadelphia.

Thirty years.**shaking my head**

I can’t believe it.

I am truly blessed, especially in the day of companies relocating, folding, high unemployment….

My nephews Matthias and Gregory weren’t even born yet.My parents were both alive and I was living in the home I grew up in.I was probably**gulp** 80 pounds thinner and a lot more optimistic.I know I was scared. I left a small publishing house to work for the city.And now, thirty years later, I work a half city block away from the home of that first post college job.

Full circle? Yup, it certainly seems that way.

I thank my brother Bob for kicking my butt into getting this job.Without this job I’d probably not be here writing this blog.My medical plan from this job got me into a protocol for my first cancer.Without it, I might have died.When I started this job, my Mom asked me to call her in the morning when I got to my desk so she didn’t have to worry about me here in the city. Toward the waning years of her life, I called her every morning to make sure she was ok.The circle of life strikes again.

It’s funny.I appreciate being my age, but that melancholia can envelope you when you stop to think about back then.I’d like to think I have learned from my mistakes I have made, and with what I have learned, stare the future down and say ,”Here I come.”

Thank God!

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Rolling with the Organics

We got down to Undisclosed and one of the first things that we peeked at was our, er rather, Compostman’s, growth tower.

Thanks to the compost tea and the rain, our beans are really getting their legs, the kale is getting up there, as well as the tomatoes and cucumbers and the rest. Even the little garden box that he made with cucumbers and squash is rolling along.We are pleasantly surprised at what has been accomplished in our little stretch of time.

We are getting hopeful about what will actually become a crop for us this year and what we will learn in time for next year.I think that this is one door that we are both equally glad that we have opened!

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Compostman strikes again

If you remember in a previous post, the former Shingleman, Jim, now known as Compostman, has gotten into organic gardening. I, for one, am shocked at the degree that plants are coming up in the grow station where he planted them. Perhaps it is the compost,I don’t know. We have tomato plants, pepper plants, peas, beans, kale and other things planted there.

Today Compostman resurfaced, and decided to make a raised flower bed.This was due to the fact that we got another round of seeds.He decided to used materials left over by the builders when they were done here at Undisclosed. He worked for a few hours, amidst the mosquitoes, humidity and sun, and did exactly what he set out to do. We went out and got more soil so we could finish it off properly, and he planted carrots, cucumbers and winter squash.

I admire my Compostman. He has embraced the idea and to see things actually growing is quite rewarding.He’s a good guy.

Below is a shot of our new garden bed!

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You say to-MAH-toe

All my life my summers have involved tomatoes.

When I was little, and we would go down the shore, Dad would always stop at farm stands for New Jersey tomatoes.My mother would roll her eyes after a while, but she kept quiet because she loved them as much as he did.

The backyard of the house where we lived had a plot to plant in and of course, tomatoes were involved. My Dad was even one of those people who when they came upon a type of tomato that they like, Dad would save the seeds on a paper towel and when they dried up, he would put them in a brown envelope, mark the type of tomato on the front, and you could bet they’d be planted nest season.

Dad is no longer here, and he would have appreciated the fact that I am over the bridge and close to water.More importantly, I have successfully planted my first, bona fide, home-grown Jersey tomato.It gave up its’ life for us for dinner tonite and it was tasty.

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Dad? This one’s for you.

Old enough to know better.

A co-worker in the office turns 43 today. It made me stop and get the calculator out: I graduated from high school 37 years ago today.Thirty seven…

Am I that old..or wait…I am counting down to retire…I guess I am that old.It’s good to be “that” old.I stop and think back to the heat of that June day, and as I went to an all girls’ high school, we all wore white dresses.They(the high school)gave us all presentation bouquets of red carnations, so, in all it was a very pretty picture. We graduated in the city’s Academy of Music, which has a red velvet seated interior.Seems like so long ago..

It’s a blessing to see my 50’s.

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My Godson, College Graduate

My nephew Gregory graduates from college today.Actually, today is the college of education ceremony; tomorrow is the “everybody in creation” whole university ceremony. Jim and I consider ourselves fortunate to attend the slightly smaller(lol) affair.

Gregory has worked his way through things and even got through his student teaching and is finally done.We had some good times when I lived back at our first house and would go into town with him occasionally on the train.He even would come in to my office once in a while.I get a lot of compliments about Gregory, which I proudly accept.

Greg is not done, though. He has been accepted by St.Joseph’s University in their master’s program.
I hope he knows how proud we are and how happy we are for him.

He’s a good guy!

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Feeling hopeful

Well, our day has been busy so far.

We have a completed vet visit under our belt with both the girls getting shots. Now we are back and they had their second walk, and I am up to bat next with a dental trip.

During the second walk, I took the shot below of the girls.My homage to Joe Pesci’s mom in Goodfellas-” One looks one way, one looks the other”picture.

I am hoping and feel good about the chance that we have to have a good restful, yet working weekend.

Here’s hoping you have the same.

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Healthy Eating

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I had fruit for breakfast this morning, which, sorry to say, I didn’t bring in from home.

We have a small cafe in the lobby and they serve up quite and assortment of fruit such as blackberries,
strawberries,blueberries.apples and tiny bits of brown sugar type granola to give it a softer crunch.
Considering I had class last night, this might be a new thing to work into my daily life.

The exercise class is great:flip fitness is awesome. When I have left the class, I know my body was thankful for the workout.
Ideally, I’d like to get to a point when I go to yoga.

The saga continues…

I think the fall( #2) of last week has really caught up with me.A trip to the doctor is definitely in order, because the pain is kind of gripping.

We have come back up for another week of trying to cross things off our list: it’s amazing the things that pile up when you are working toward moving.The physicality of boxes- moving, opening, trashing is becoming an art in itself.

The donation pile was worthwhile, and there will be more to follow what was given this weekend. You never realize how long it takes until you actually have to deal with it.It would help if we actually had some furniture to put some of the stuff in: the amount of boxes would be down even more.

What a job! When we are done, I’ll party!

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Tired beyond words

Boxes have been moved into the Undisclosed Location II and boy are we busy.

It’s not like we are in there immediately: far from it.The little things add up and it makes for a long day. Add onto the long day a sore leg and it just intensifies it by a thousand fold. When you need a good comfortable chair, well, fat chance: the furniture comes in another eight weeks.
So for now, it’s just good night,and it’s off to a shower and bed.

Tomorrow is another day!

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My Children with four paws…

..went out in the rain last night and this morning, returning with that drowned dog look on their faces, but hey, at least they got out. I know you guys who have two-legged children struggle to get them in snow suits and stuff, but this is just the actual art of getting them outside.

It figures a Nor’Easter would blow through for Thanksgiving, as if we needed any more drama going on.
If you are traveling, please be safe.The Shingleman family hope for a safe trip and a speedy return!

It’s Electric!

**taken from “The electric Slide”.

Well, after Jim went down and dealt with ACElectric, today is the day where the electric
gets cut in.Allegedly this is nothing to get my knickers in a twist, as this action only
lets us know that they can come out in 5-7 days to actually lay the lines. From Campground
in July, to something of a building in October,….let’s see if Edison will pay us a
visit and get the electrical power going

We have had the most benevolent neighbors who threw their power cord over the fence for
us plus our infamous generator…I’ll be happy as a clam in Pismo Beach if the electric gets
done soon.

Wired

Part of the current lagging in the new Undisclosed Location Deux are wires.

The builder went and threw up the electric lines right to the peak on the
front of the house, which had been looking attractive with all those scallops.
When we pulled up, we were ticked off.You couldn’t call and ask us what our
opinion was?

Long story short,we are in contract with Atlantic City Electric and Comcast,
thanks to Jim, to put our wires underground.Jim made a road trip yesterday
and met with a human at ACElectric, and away he went.

We’ll see how long this is going to take.

Stay tuned.

November is here…

…and the weather outside, color on leaves not withstanding, is more reminiscent of
March.

Go figure!

A busy morning on tap for us gals, both my four=legged and me, so we can do our
household chores and go down to Undisclosed Location II with Jim.

Uh, let me rephrase that…

We’ll, no doubt, spend time in the tile store, major box hardware stores, in’
addition to trying to kick back and relax over the weekend. We’ll see how
far things have hopefully progressed and what decisions need to be finalized
and put to bed.Jim,from the beginning, has said, once we make the decision
on x, y, or z, we have made it and that’s that.I have to keep that in my
mind constantly because it has been a seemingly long process.

Enjoy your Friday!

Exercise class

Every journey begins with a single step.

My friend, Kathy, talked me into going to Exercise class- my first in a long time.
It was wonderful! The personalities were great, the exercises got the blood moving and
I actually got up this morning with minimal discomfort.

I am going to make the committment to go and get back on track,for I feel with the
juicing and walking and the class, I am going to do and feel better!

Emmy Awards for Behind the Candelabra

Well, when I first saw the HBO show,I was intrigued by it.

After all, i was a nice Polish girl whose folks always enjoyed
his music.The historian in me was intrigued in the behind the life
scenes and story. It was truly a love story with its’ ups and downs
and they played that they were both truly in love with each other.

Steven Soderburgh won for director and his work behind the camera was
awesome. I was familiar with this work from the remakes of Oceans 11,
12 and 13.

Congratulations to Michael Douglas and Matt Damon on a job well
done. I can’t wait to see it again.

Pretty good day

We started out anniversary day with going out to breakfast.

Unfortunately due to Labor Day weekend, we had to go to a back-up spot, and we both had scrapple with pancakes..**mental note to self-need a kitchen to start juicing again-scrapple will kill you!**

With that literally under the belt, we came back and took the girls out for a bit, and then decided to tackle the inevitable-colors for Undisclosed Location Deux.

We went to Lowe’s and agreed on paint colors for the house**hello?Snowstorm in August?*** and ended up back here with the girls, where we went on-line and found our siding and roof colors.

I think we’ve gotten this married team down pretty well, considering we’ve only done it for 11 years…lol.

Happy Saturday! Be safe this Labor Day weekend!

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Senioritis

I had a special guest star with me coming into work today,: my godson, Greg.

Today he begins his senior year at Temple University and I can’t believe how the time has flown.
When he has the class time, he’ll come all the way into town with me and walk me to work.
Then he heads up to the main campus.

He has overcome a lot with his Asperbergers to get as far as he has and I, for one, can not
be prouder of him.He hopes to teach learning disabled children.

#proud Cioci
(Aunt, in Polish)

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There is something about comfort

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…and you don’t realize you don’t have it, or its altered, until it’s gone.

For 11 years, we had a marvelous old house where things worked, gardens were to be had, plumbing worked,
and it was a pleasure living in our house.Then the house sold.

We moved into my late mother’s house, with our belongings crammed in**even after we threw a ton of stuff away**and between the amount of estate stuff, sibling stuff,it’s enough to even make me claustrophobic.

Then there is the house, aka Undisclosed location II,and hopefully, by the time that we get down this weekend, we might see some walls up and a roof.

Oh, that only a flush toilet be close behind…lol

A Decent day

What is it about sixty degree weather that makes you want to take care of yourself, or, at least that’s what I have experienced.

I have suffered through the summer with no will to do anything, and now that the taste of sixty degrees has shown its face, I want to get my stuff back together and feel better, period, end of story.I am due to be encompassing on a new life’s journey and I’ll be damned if I want to feel like this all the time.

I have picked out some healthy recipes that I have made this week for us for dinner,and I am keeping my fingers crossed that the ball will keep rolling.Oatmeal and a peach this morning also seemed like a good start.

Maybe it’s the fact that I am listening to the soundtrack from Black Swan and maybe I want to feel as light and airy as the ballet suite…hahaha….anyway we want to feel better for packing it all in.

Let the games begin!

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**sigh**

So it’s Tuesday and a work day. It’s a beautiful day here, and it would be nice to be anywhere
but here.

Jim has to go down to Undisclosed to sign contracts with the builder, and meet with a few more folks.
so I am bachelorette Mom tonite. Hopefully we’ll get some wash done and the girls will go walking with
me and that will be great.Truth be told, I am hoping to get things done so I can shower and be in bed
early.

Bring out more cool days like this.

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Crushing some candy with a saga to boot..

Yeah, I admit it.

My name is Mar Cil and I have become hooked on Candy Crush Saga.

Why? God only knows…

When it was Rubik’s cube, I was maybe in 4th grade and had no patience. The same could be said for other things along the way-I just didn’t have the dedication to master them, well, except for some games like pinochle…

Candy Crush Saga intrigues me as a 53 year old.I have a mind, I should be able to use some problem solving to get these things down to the bottom.It’s like, mentally I have become the little engine who could….I think I can, I think I can…

I will be laughing my socks off if, in ten years, they find out working this puzzle game out decreases your chance of Altzheimer’s…but I don’t see that coming.They might just find me in a mental hospital muttering..”let me get the cherries down.”

For a game/puzzle that seems pretty harmless, as in its’ resemblance to the old warhorse Candyland, but remember the movie “Ghostbusters”? They turn the monster into something harmless, the Stay-pufft Marshmallow man and what happens?

They still got messy.

Happy Friday to you all!

Quality, not…

To continue with Daniel & Rebecca Boone, we bought a screen house.

We wasted $69 buying a Northwest Territory Brand house. It had a margin for ” mosquito protection”…uh, sure.

Granted, it was an accomplishment for Jim to get it together with my help. The fur girls are wondering what’s going on.

As Jim said, if only they did it right and made it so the net meet the ground, but I guess that was too much to hope for.

We are finished. Jim rigged it so we might have it actually with some support..

Daniel Boone would be proud- not of the craftsmanship but of the labor put into it.

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Daddy’s flowers

Since I was a kid, my father always played with flowers. It was an accomplishment he was proud of.

I remember the back yard of Mitchell Street, where the yard wasn’t large but Dad had a “l” shaped garden. There were some lily of the valley , assorted roses, and various colors of mums. He tried to keep a rosebush blooming that he pulled from his parent’s house. I think it finally died of black spot-the nemesis of a rose bush. My dad would plant snapdragons too, as they were Mom’s favorite. In fact, my bridal bouquets was mums, roses and snapdragons to honor then both.

Well, Jim isn’t fond of scent, but that will not deter me. I will plant again …

….soil is in my blood !

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Packing it all up.

Today is my last day in the office for the week.

The grand move has commenced.

Jim and our neighbor have started moving some of the stuff. They threw a few random
calls to me along the way, as I have to work until 5PM. I am sure the fur children
are just waiting for me to get home and see what’s up. There are so many factors
going on at the same time, that if I get through this without getting an ulcer,
I would consider my self blessed.

I’ll be blogging along the way, and ask for your good vibe and prayers, ’cause
Lord knows I need them.

Thanks, Gentle Reader.

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The irony of Heat

I am out of gas.

Some serious boxing and cleaning were done today in this heat. So what am I laying around with the fur children watching? You got it-the movie of the same name. Jim is upstairs on line and should be down here soon with us. We enjoy DiNero and Pacino, so here is where the comfort is.

Come on, November!

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How tired am I?

Cleaning out the homestead is taking its’ toll.

I have been averaging 5 white bags of donate-able things and one or 2 bags of trash a night. The girls just look at Mom like , “what’s up?”. My good friend Jeanne assures me that they’ll be happy as long as they are with me and Jim. I sure hope so.

We’ll be trying to sort things out as to what goes where, but that will come later. Time to shower and bed .

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**Sigh**

It’s incredible how when you are a kid, time goes so slowly.

By your 50’s, I have no clue where the time went.

Transitions in life are always hard, for me, at least. I envy those who
seem to go through them gracefully.

We are moving along, and we work every night on our respective areas.
Granted, Jim had less stuff than me, so, he’s almost done. I give myself
a little more wiggle room, as there is Zush and Kasia stuff that I
need to take care of. The washer that we are going to isn’t too
sporty, so while I still have mine, I am going to wash away.

If only I could go straight down to point “C” without stopping
at point “B”

Prayers and good thoughts always appreciated.

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