Losing It

It has really been a really stressing 48 hours, and yes,I know you who deal with this every day and with physical infirmities to boot are reading this and going “So?…”

Sometimes life really can push all your emotional buttons.I was so low last night and the commercial for the movie “A Dog’s Purpose”came on. Zush was laying in front of the television and I just cried for 30 minutes straight.The fact that it’s a time of year for most folks to be happy and jolly and I struggle daily to keep my stuff together doesn’t help much.The memories, good, bad, or indifferent, trigger another round of emotional cartwheels.

I have no biological sisters, but want to thanks my “sisters” who are there for me, and, unfortunately,let me cry on their shoulder today.It’s nice to have friends.In that respect, I am blessed.

That’s my post for today so hopefully, by writing this, I will be able to put this issue to bed and work on finding some holiday spirit.

**whispering**

“Come out, come out, wherever you are…..

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ChristmasLights- Canine

I really had a crappy bus commute this morning coming into work and texted Jim that I was going to blog about it tonight.

Until I came home and got off the bus, and got home and got the girls.

My mood changed.

We went for our pre-dinner walk and we took in the local Christmas lights of the immediate area that we walk in, where there was basically semi-detached, or “twin” houses.The girls are always happy to be out with me, especially in my zip fit bit stage, because they know we will WALK!
We did, and we paused on occasion to take the lights in. I have to watch with the big blow up snow globes, because Kasia gets scared of them.

Below are a few of the pictures that made a crappy morning and mediocre day into a fun night.

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Back to Square One

The holidays are over.

I had been attending a local exercise class, which took a break over the holidays. Tonight the class resumed.

Was I ever glad! I needed it desperately there is the flow of blood that actually runs through me, despite the fact that my body is in a knot most of the time. The exercise has made me more aware of my body and the state of it. I feel better when I do it.

I am glad to be back!

Again?

I had a good friend in the office. We shared many things in common, including our Keurig coffee makers.
I would stop every day at her cubicle to check in, or if I was at the front desk, she’d stop by going and/or coming in from lunch.I considered her a bud.

I talked to her on Tuesday. She told me about her emphysema..she was a cigarette smoker who quit a while ago.

She was out sick on Wednesday.

I got a text on Friday that she passed away while talking to her daughter on the phone.

December used to be a joyful month for me. Losing two good friends in one month? I see why people feel the way they do about Christmas.

Rest in peace Lois….I will miss you!

Lifes’ Soundtrack

..for me right now is Beethoven’s 7th Symphony.

You know,the one where in the King’s Speech,where Colin Firth is giving the wartime speech and
they go with this Beethoven’s 7th.

It fits the malaise of the office, the week before a holiday where everyone is making pretenses
about working. Kind of almost funeral dirge music.

I love my iPhone and Itunes. I get to put music on there reflecting my states of mind and, even
if you don’t catch it again, it’s there.

Think I am going to download some tunes to get me through this day, and yeah, maybe even a
book or 2 to occupy my mind when going home.

Apple? A tip o’ the hat to you, late Steve Jobs….you’re saving my day!

Late afternoon sky

I have a habit of taking a lot of sunset shots. It could be that our Undisclosed location is on a coast known for its’ sunsets.

The fur girls are with us for a final fling in our old stomping grounds- new ones are coming. So rather than go up in crowds to watch the sunset, we are in the back yard relaxing. There is a bit of a breeze and this way we enjoy nature in our own way. An added plus is Zush hangs with me during fireworks! Less anxiety for my girl.

Enjoy the Fourth!

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Those racers…

…in Boston: it truly is sad. I mean stop and think about it.

The Boston Marathon is a time of excitement, celebrating Patriot’s Day and the American Revolutionary war.

Children get the day off for a holiday.

You go down and see your friends compete, or family members race….

…and then in a split second you are maimed or hit or God forbid, killed.

Over what?

Some people just don’t care and have no respect for others and their lives.

All I can do now is just shake my head in wonder and bow it in prayer for
the deceased and injured and all who went through the traumatic experience.

Friday 5

I have never been so thankful for Friday!

I had to keep reminding myself it’s spring-we had snow flurries this morning . Facts are facts, though – Amen for the thought of spring.

Easter is almost here, thank God. I was never such a big fan of fish.

We have been getting into “Tanked” on the Animal Planet station. The guys make world class aquariums.

It’s a nice night tonight. Glad there is no snow that has to get shoveled .

We are all together and nice and cozy. Always good when the family is together.

Have a wonderful weekend .

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On the guest list

That’s what it feels like this weekend.

We have two social invitations and, bowing to the season, we have opted to honor them.

I can hardly wait for next weekend, to have the weekend to kick back and relax, and finish the odds and ends associated with the holiday season.

Here’s hoping your weekend is a good one, and you finish whatever needs to get done in order to enjoy the holiday!

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Missing the bird

Since I have not made Thanksgiving since Mom got sick, I miss one thing-leftover turkey

We are fortunate.My sister-in-law is kind enough to have us over.We see Shingleman’s family there and it is good to have the interaction, as you miss folks you don’t see as much.

The trouble comes on Friday, when I am scheduled to work. I have my growling stomach at lunchtime. No, turkey breast luncheon meat won’t cut it- not that I’d have any in the house.
I mean a leftover turkey and cranberry sandwich,

….maybe next year…

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So awfully glad..

There were times in my life that I was sorry I couldn’t bear children. I guess, that would have been through my early forties.

Now, on the cusp of my fifty-third birthday, boy am I glad.

I was talking with my neighbors this morning and we were talking about holidays and I said about my nephews being grown. Back in the day it would be going on the train, getting to town, seeing Santa, presents, lunch, well, you know the drill. Don’t get me wrong, mind you-I love kids. The thought of this year having to go out and toy shop and all the jazz that goes with it, well, I feel like I got a break.The first year without Mom is going to be rough enough, or should I say, I know it’ll have its moments. I know she is where she wanted to be and all is good on that front. It’ll just be nice to think back on memories of the past and make my own present memories with Jim and the girls.

Rough for a Monday

I don’t know if it was the fact that I know next Monday is a holiday or what,but I just seemed to go in slo-mo today. As if my mind  didn’t want to join my body for that party called work..lol.

Knowing my history with caffeine, I struggled through one cup of coffee and the rest of the day I was wishing for toothpicks to keep my eyes open. Why is it that the anticipation of a holiday seems to make the prior week go really slow? At least it seems that way to me.

Here’s hoping your August wraps up neatly!

 

Holiday lights

We went to Chester’s Harrahs’ casino with Jim’s family today, and we had fun.

Coming home to make sure Zush handled firework boomers well, well… there was no traffic out, really, except you know where~ the Schuykill expressway! Boathouse row was pretty, decked out in red,white and blue: just didn’t think we’d see so much red on the expressway** sarcasm **

Happy birthday America!

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What holiday?

Tomorrow is the fourth of July.

Yeah, I know.

I live in Philadelphia.

That is why I am happily staying home tomorrow and avoiding the crowds. Fortunately, our house is high enough that we have a pretty good view of the fireworks.

Unfortunately,my Zush, who never had an issue with thunder or fireworks, has developed one over the past 3 years. I will be home with the girl and her sister, trying to comfort all.

Have a safe and happy fourth of July!

Happy Memorial Day weekend

Happy Memorial Day weekend!

My buddy Juls, is with us. This morning she went with me and we took her dog Ginger, and I took Kasia, much to Zush’s dismay. It was so warm, I wanted Zush to stay comfortable . My walking friends joined us as we all went down to the Cape May Lewis Ferry port and sat and rested before coming back.

Enjoy your holiday. As I did at the Ferry, if you see a Vet, thank them.

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Mañana

The picture below is the Schuykill expressway as seen from my street.

Tomorrow marks the Memorial Day weekend- the holiday marking the unofficial start of summer. As my Dad was a world war 2 vet, I was raised conscious of military service , and will be thinking of him, as I always do.

I am headed down to Undisclosed, with my friend Juls and her fur children , and Jim will catch up a little later with Zush and Kasia. Hopefully we can not be stuck in the thick of the traffic.** fingers crossed**

We are looking forward to some peace and quiet, some good times with friends, and calm. Here is hoping your weekend is a safe one, and you thoroughly enjoy it!

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This Friday’s Five.

1. I am grateful that I had no ancestors on the Titanic. As I type this, PBS is airing a special on the making and the route of the Titanic and the effect on the families who lost people who went down on the ship. These poignant stories really make things you are worrying about take the right perspective.

2. I am thankful that I have a job that enables me to take a vacation day tomorrow so I can try to catch up on some sleep, hand with the fur girls, and then get down to the “Undisclosed Location”.

3. I am thankful for cookbooks and the Food Network Channel-how else would I know how to make Easter ham somehow pallatable over 4 nights of dinners,

4. I am grateful for all of my godchildren, but especially Frank, the youngest, who celebrates his 6th birthday on Sunday. He is my Sweetheart! We went over tonight to celebrate his birthday and he was happy that Kasia and Zush were standing by and he, for the first time, was able to pet both of them at the same time.

5. **yawn** I am grateful for the invention of the timer and sleep function. It puts me to sleep pretty well!

Off to the Undisclosed tomorrow- have a wonderful weekend!

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Another Friday Five

With this being a really, really rough week for me, I had to dig deep for this week’s five things I am thankful for.

1. In thinking back to Mom’s last four years, I am thankful I still have my mind, although I know there are friends of mine who would argue that fact…lol. Watching someone you love and care about slip into dementia is a horrible thing. I thank God for every day that I can sit at this computer and put thoughts together in my head and they make it out to the screen in front of me.

2.I am thankful for (almost) all the men in my life, past and present. Shingleman leads the way, but my brother Bob, nephews Matt and Greg,” Mr.Mel”, my honorary father-in-law,JP, who became a friend from the moment I met him professionally but look forward to holding our friendship as we get a little older, Jamie Moyer, who although he is in Colorado, I had the pleasure of talking to him once on a corner in Center City and he really, really put class in the definition of athlete, and the guys I have loved and lost, or they have loved  and lost me….either way, I am wiser and stronger person for having the experience of knowing them, …I could go on and on…you get my drift, right?

3. I am thankful that I have a clean, made bed upstairs waiting for me to go to sleep in. Some folks don’t.

4. I am thankful for you all who read this blog: it is so uplifting to know someone is actually reading this and so far, almost all of you seem to think this is pretty good sometimes and I am not totally losing my mind yet….just kidding.

5.Butter krak and butter creme, hell, even coconut creme Easter eggs…after all, doesn’t chocolate solve all the worlds problems?  😉

 

Have a wonderful weekend!

Marian

Wishing it were over…

…and I could wake up on Monday.

One holiday that always was tied in to my upbringing and childhood was Easter. There was always the Holy Week services, walking down the hill with two or three of my classmates on Good Friday and we would go to all five of the parishes in the area and say a prayer. As I got older, I helped a few friends decorate the altar for Easter Sunday and pin the grave that the crucified Jesus would lay in on Good Friday and get the side altar for exposition on Holy Thursday and through the weekend.

On the secular front, when nephews were younger, I would go to the local confectioner in town and get everyone an Easter egg, including my Mom, who was a coconut creme girl.I would always buy my Mom a white hyacinth for Easter, kind of in homage to all the Easter processions I walked in as a kid. My brother Bob would always get her a grape one. My Dad, when he was around, always got her an Easter lily. When I was in high school, my brother would bring home a horseradish root which was divine. See, it was as if it were homeopathic we would take turns with the grater and a bowl while sitting on a stool on the front porch and we would grind our own horseradish. Who needed decongestant? Bobby and I both still have Philadelphia sinuses, so we didn’t mind.

When I was a younger, the Polish tradition dictated that we are up early Holy Saturday morning, as the priest would be coming to your house to bless your Easter table. You would have a carved butter lamb on it, Easter basket, your kielbasa, babka, which is Polish cake/bread ,your horseradish, farmers cheese,hard-boiled eggs, salt and pepper, wine and oil and vinegar on the table. All had some significance for the Risen Lord. As we got older, we took the baskets, and my brother still does, down to church to have the food blessed.

For six of the past ten years, I would have an Easter brunch here for my family, and then go to Jersey to one of Shingleman’s sister’s for Easter. The past four years were quiet for me, as I was watching Mom with Bob. It was the best, and saddest time with her, as her faith was steadfast, but you knew there was an expiration date that you just couldn’t see yet.

I really don’t know how I am going to get through Sunday. Yes, I have the memories of my Mom, but when you go with other people, they really don’t care HOW you are feeling. For all they care, your grief stopped when you put your Mother in the ground, It’s not that easy. Somehow, I guess I am going to have to try to get through it, wishing instead I could be alone with memories of Mom. I just hope people will leave me alone, as things have been on the edge for both Shingleman and myself, and we are shot. We are good actors, because when people see us, they don’t figure it out. Our smile goes off as quickly as it goes on. We have both been through a ton since the holiday, and, quite frankly, we are still going through it.

I would happily trade places with the younger me who walked in Easter procession in 1967. The current me is so deep in emotional loss that it almost takes my breath away, as it is that intense.

“You can’t go home again.”……if only I could.

Getting ready to retire and….

 

…This is what I got today in the office, complete with a 23″ inch screen. I had laughed when I opened up one of the items that gets used on a daily basis by this government agency and the type had to be in 36 Font. I told the IT guy that this truly must be the computer for the old on the way out heads, because you never saw the font that large anytime or anywhere else.

I have been thinking the fast few days about this being my last Thanksgiving on the job. The last of 27 Thanksgivings and 27 Black Fridays. Will I miss it? Fighting shoppers on Black Friday morning in order to try to swipe in on time? No. I will miss my friends, though, and on this Thanksgiving week, not only am I thankful for them and my friends outside of the office, but for all of my friends and family. As twisted and dysfunctional we may all be at times, you all have a special place in my heart, and for that I am truly blessed.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Mar

Holiday Malaise

My nephew Greg and my Mom,.circa 3 years ago
My nephew Greg and my Mom,.circa 3 years ago

It’s that time of year.

I hate it.

Yup… ABHOR IT!

At least I have for the past three and a half years.

For all intensive purposes, it’s me and my brother, Bob. We spoke this morning and he wanted me to ask the gals who work for us if they are working on Thanksgiving.

Yeah. Right.

They are women, I wanted to tell him, and remind him that we are not that lucky. Both Bob and I have split the holidays with mom for the past almost 4 years. He has two boys, or should I say men of 24 and almost 22. He wants a family holiday. It’s me and Jim and the fur girls. I also have in-laws, to which we are invited.

Is it too much to hope that we much luck out one year and have a holiday? No-it’s a fat chance with a capital F. It’s bad enough that you wonder how much longer, you wonder, will you have to deal with care-giving. You WANT to be with Mom. It’s to the point where Mom doesn’t even know that its us. We don’t even mention the holidays for fear of triggering her sun-downing.You don’t even DREAM of envisioning what a holiday will be without the existence of Mom: I sat in Church trying to wrap my mind around the concept of not having a parent and, quite frankly, I didn’t like that. I KNOW that life goes on and look forward to it, but I still don’t like the reality of Mom being gone. Then I remember that she isn’t really here. I look at her care as taking care of my Mother, for my Mom has been gone for almost four years.

I miss her.

A new month to get through

It’s November and edging closer to the winter, and I barely made it out of October.

We had issues with Mom’s electric and gas heater last month which got straightened out, and all is good, as she is hanging in there. The issue, as the holiday gets closer, is who watches Mom for holidays. My brother has two sons. I have my husband and in-laws.As many times as we would have tried, it was always difficult oto work a holiday with Mom.My brother tried bringing his family up to Mom’s one year, but she really wasn’t cognizant of anything, so that was the end of that. You acknowledge that things will no longer be how they used to be,and it does make you sad, but basically,it just becomes an issue of sitting there taking care of Mom when it’s a holiday.For the past three years, people are wishing you Merry Christmas and you are anything but merry.

As a caregiver, it’s awfully hard to be upbeat on a daily basis. So be forewarned. I’ll have a rough couple of months until after New Years.

Bear with me,ok?