Tomorrow is 11….

Eleven more days of school for my school kids,and for me.

Will I miss it? Absolutely! I am hoping that I will be able to be assigned to the same class again, or at least the same school. The experiences I have had working with the autistic and Aspergers students have really been an experience. I love it.I feel as though I am making a useful application to my life.
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Don’t get me wrong:I am going to savor every second of the summer.Truly I am. But I actually admit that I’m looking forward to September.

April Fools Day

It makes me really miss my Mom, as no matter how old I got, she always tried to celebrate April Fools Day with a little prank.

For instance, when I was in grammar school, I’d come down the steps wearing my school uniform, and walk into the kitchen where she was making breakfast.We would start talking and she’d say, in the course of conversation, “Get upstairs and change-what is that on your uniform?” Oh my God? A stained, ripped or torn uniform or uniform blouse? I’d yell where and she’d go to show me…followed by”April Fool!”

I miss those days and Mom.

Hey Mom? “What’s that on your halo?”.. Lol..I love you and miss you every day, and that’s no April Fool!

  

Wiped Out

Today, for the first time, I had the pre-kindergarten children and I am so exhausted I am typing this from my phone before I go in to take a hot shower and go to bed .

As I am currently 56 years old, I can’t seem to think back son 51 years, but I know my childhood had nothing in common with what I had experienced today. Don’t get me wrong: I’ll take the younger children any day of the week.The kids today seem to have no joy in their play. Everything has a purpose.

It is good to be an old geezer.

  

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.

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.

 

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!

 

Seventeen

I was one of those fortunate girls.

I loved my Dad and he loved me. Don’t get me wrong- he loved all of us, but Dad and I were buddies. My brothers weren’t really into actively following sports, so he was happy when he found a willing disciple in me. We spent a lot of good times together. At the bottom of this blog post, I have a picture of Dad in the car when we were at Penn State for a game.

It’s seventeen years ago today that I lost my Dad. I remember,in many of our talks, how he would tell me about life after he would be gone. I believed him and always kept it in my head. You only have one Dad and no amount of time can replace the hole left behind in your heart when he leaves.He didn’t tell me that, but it’s what I learned.

Miss you terribly,Dad, and will love you forever. Kiss Mom for me. 

 

You Say To-mah-toe

Today is my Sunday.

I got all the pups up and fed, and then we went down to the bay for a walk. While I was getting them on leashes, I noticed we had a ton of tomatoes on the vines. 

 
When we finished our two mile walk. I gave the only swimmer of the day, Zush, a mandatory shampoo, as golden retrievers are infamous for itchy skin, and then turned my thoughts back to tomatoes.

One of my childhood favorites was a tomato sandwich on white Italian bread with a little mayonnaise…that thought had my mouth watering, and I tweaked it with a slice of Cooper sharp cheese…yummo!!!!! 

 
It was pretty darn good.if a sandwich can make my day, well, this trip down memory lane did.

And Behind Door Number Three? Molasses Paddle Search continues…

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We took my Mother-in-Law to Mass last night, as I had to work today. We go to Mass over in Cape May at the Washington Street Mall church called Our Lady Star of the Sea.

I took advantage of this situation to go to a favorite spot of mine, The Original Fudge Kitchen.

I figured Douglass still had my heart, James/Fralingers was quite a disappointment in molasses paddles;why not try Original Fudge Kitchens’?

My disclaimer here is that I adore their fudge.I only buy it once a year in the end of January when they have their customer appreciation sale.It is, indeed, the fudge of my childhood and brings back some loving memories.

I purchased their dark chocolate molasses paddle.At first, when I picked it up, I thought,” Whoa…wide like Douglass? Could it be?” Unfortunately it was not as thick as Douglass’, but overall, I would put it in a 2nd place” could have almost been the molasses paddle of my childhood, but not quite.

Douglass still rocks.

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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!

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Squirrel Girl

There is a history behind my affection for squirrels.

When I was a kid, my Mom let me go to the local recreation center and one of the first arts and crafts that I did was painting a plaster of paris mold of a squirrel. I loved that statue and it was around for a full time.As a kid, I’d go with my best friend, Karen, and we’d collect acorns and put them in the trees for the squirrels.Seriously.We did.

When I got older and was up Penn State’s main campus,I met the timid, almost tame squirrels.I was in heaven.When Zush came into my life, she chased squirrels and she became my squirrel girl.

It was very funny.that as we go for walks here, I found a sign that I was meant to be here.
The picture is below.

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Good night Sweet Prince.

A native son from my hometown of Roxborough went missing on the morning of Thanksgiving.

His name was Shane Montgomery and he was a 21-year-old college student.

He had seemed to disappear into mid-air and there had been a search in the area until January 3, 2015, when they found his body in the river in the area.No foul play: the death had been ruled an accident.

An accident.

I have three nephews who are now over 21 and I can not begin to fathom the pain and grief that Shane’s parents and family are going through.What is touching me even deeper is that I grew up two blocks from the mom’s family and know them from the neighborhood.When Jim and I got married and joined our parish, we became friendly with Shane’s Aunt Maryann and Uncle Fred.

An accident.

They found Shane the morning after I retired.I am now 100 miles away from my hometown and was unable to get there for the viewing and funeral.I was there is spirit, though.Tonight on Facebook, there was an even to light a candle for Shane. Yes, I did participate.To honor Shane’s memory, not to light his way to heaven because I truly believe he is there, and to send the candle flame to the Montgomery and Verbrugghe families.

Your son has become my nephew, and my heart is broken, as is yours.My candle is lit and my prayers are continuing for your family.

And Shane?

“Good night, Sweet Prince.”

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Christmas Lights

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

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

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

Nothing like it in the world.

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Hack-hack….

I have started hacking away all of a sudden.

It starts as soon as I leave the house in the morning.

I saw what it was this morning…

RAG WEED.

Talk about your warm and fuzzy childhood moments.As soon as I realized what it was, I heard my Mom talking to me.

” Whenever it was time to go back to school, you always came down with a ” cold”. Finally I took you to the doctor who said to me you had hay fever.”

Jeez, Mom, that would explain the amount of handkerchiefs you sent me to school with, tucked away in my uniform blouse sleeve.Thanks, Mom. I always wondered about that.

I thought of something I recently saw posted on Facebook. It went something to the effect of your Mother never leaves you.

What a comforting thought.Miss you every day,Mom.

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So now what?

The band-aid came off tonight.

There is the difference of dealing with sutures twenty years ago and today. Some things, though, do not change.Keep the site clean? No problem.Wash with soap and water? No problem.I just get this little itch right at the top of the incision that is making me nuts, and I know I can’t touch it.Once I clean it, I can put Vaseline on it, I am assuming, to keep the stitches from drying out too tightly, and keep my neck from looking too bad.

What is it about a site that automatically makes you want to go for it to touch it, scratch it,..you know what I mean.When you are a kid, you would hear your Mom say” Don’t touch it.”
Now I catch myself going for it, and go “Uh-oh.” I don’t touch it,but it must be like a magnetic force field in it, or like a flame that draws moths to it. **Chuckle**

Enjoy your Sunday!