Twilight at the Homestead

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As you can see by the sun coming through the window behind Nurse Zush, I took this picture in the beginning of the afternoon.I did everything a little later today, due to the fact that my medication screws up my sleep.I did the wash today in early afternoon, not really comprehending at an 85 degree day,that it is now autumn,and although I know the days are getting shorter, I didn’t realize how badly I misjudged the sun on my clothes line.

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Nurse Kasia is, as usual, guarding her window to keep anyone away from the house. I laugh because our last home had a knocker on the front door, and we didn’t need a doorbell because of Kasia. Now we are in a home with a doorbell, which people don’t have to use because Kasia still does her job.

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So as the sun sets over the bay,we are still homebound and chomping at the bit. We catch the sunset from the front porch for now, with hope that we three will soon be sprung and can get down to the beach. It’ll still be there for us, and I am sure we’ll be happy to walk it again!

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!

 

Summer’s gone…almost

I can’t believe July is almost over.

I was hoping to have had some time for rest and relaxation. Instead,I am working. I would have liked to spent time working in my garden. It unfortunately looks like the amount of time I have spent on it.I have enjoyed taking the girls down to the bay before, but now, I have to savor having them at the beach once a week.

We had to take Zush to the vet tonight because she has had a GI bug of sorts.Hopefully, the medicine and temporary diet change we are going to have to do will have her feeling better. It is a bittersweet reminder about how short life is, and it needs to be enjoyed.

I am determined that this last month of August will have me actually taking more time to enjoy things.They say you know what you have missed after it has passed you by.

Here’s to stopping the train, getting off, and savoring what’s left of life.

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So Exhausted

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

**Sigh**

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

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

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

It definitely is that time of year

When you live in a shore town,it is definitely a vacation driven economy. I have written in previous posts about the serenity that exists here when it’s winter and spring.

It’s coming up to Memorial Day weekend and folks are down already. They are cutting their grass and sprucing up their homes to get ready for their company and/or potential renters.It’s funny to see all the out-of-state plates in the local Ace Hardware, walking out with new trash cans, bags of mulch, buckets and the like.Go to the Wal-Mart and see hoards of out of staters sucking back boxes of K-cups, beach chairs and sunscreen to go with their stretch capris.Look out when they go to their car though:they tear through the parking lot like hell on wheels.

I’ll stay where I am, where we are. Fortunately we are HOME, and now have the luxury of watching everyone else go through the motions.

Not me kiddo- I LIVE HERE.

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Greetings from Undisclosed

It’s been a while since I wrote an Undisclosed update.

I think I wrote more about Undisclosed, I think, before I retired, but since I have been down here full-time, I haven’t really thought about it as” Undisclosed”, although it is still that.It’s weird,because it’s home to boot.

We are adjusting to full-time life here, and we are happy.The girls really are happy because, for now, I am here full-time, that is, not working, so they get a ton of attention.Jim likes to tease me about being a happy homemaker,but after 30 years of waiting on cold street corners and windy train platforms to go to town,there are plenty things to keep me happy.

We both are trying to figure out about working.It is weird,because it is something we know that can’t be full-time, because there basically NO full-time positions here.We’ll decide, somewhere along the way, if there is something we can do.As the weather gets warmer, it’s less of a thought because there are things to get done around here, and when it is nice out, who wants to be outside.

Life is good.

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Like everyone else

The Siberian cold sucks.

Poor Jim is in our crawl space checking pipes out, as are a whole ton of people tonight.Worrying about a home is something they never teach you in grade school.People who know me know what I always say: if they taught you about how life is going to be, no one would want to leave fifth grade.The responsibility is really daunting at times. It really doesn’t help that the climate has decided to turn the area that you live at into Antartica.I have to put a disclaimer in here though-thank God I am not living in the Northeast with all that snow on the ground.

Don’t get me wrong.

I am a December baby.I love change of seasons.I even like snow.I never have been 55 before, though,with the corresponding aches that accompany that.This long stretch of frigid weather is a challenge, to say the least.I am hoping that Jim comes back in soon,that he is all right, and there is no trouble down below.

Prayers tonight out to everyone sharing this cold.

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Packing it up

The problem with weekends is that they are too short.

We have gotten the car packed up and probably will try to hit the road around 1:30p.m.-2p.m.,as we would like to get back down to home before sunset.It is incredible when you try to bypass a major urban area and plot for back roads,well, you see the mileage decrease but the time is somewhat comparable.We actually are planning to try a new route home, so it would be so nice to see where we are going.

It has been a blast hanging out with Juls and Tim, and the bonus is that the fit bit zip daily goals have been met, thanks to being on the side of a mountain. If anything, they should add more kudos on because you are actually hiking up the side of a mountain when you are coming back up to the house.After fifty plus years of being in the city, and being used to the background noise to the point of it being white noise, well,between Undisclosed and here, the quiet with an occasional passing car really rocks.I get to pray, meditate, clear my thoughts, and generally be at peace.

After all, life is too short.

Late Night Wars

We are home tonight watching television and we were looking for something different to watch.

We went to on demand and found Late Night Wars on HBO. It told the stories of the early nineties with Johnny Carson retiring, and the war to get Leno or Letterman on the tonight show.

This stuck a chord with me because I love David Letterman and actually saw his show in New York when he was still at NBC. I found his humor a little easier than Leno’s and never really followed Leno on the Tonight Show.

It’s funny that I am watching actors playing the actual people who were involved.They portrayed them, on the whole, pretty well.It makes for a pretty cool trip down memory lane.Now, with Letterman retiring and Leno gone, I like Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon, both.The view back on the Late Night Wars is worth a quick watch.

Hitting a Wall

I am tired.

News flash, right?

Seriously, I need to get my act together and get back to unpacking and donating and washing and trying to figure out what to keep and what to trash.

Did I mention I hate moving?

The first 2 weeks it gave me something to focus on, and it was ok.Now we are almost at the one month mark and I went into the middle room, looked at it and closed the door and went back out. I mean, seriously….there has got to be a better way. I have convinced myself that a chunk of tomorrow will be dedicated to getting in there and clearing some of it out.I admit, it didn’t help today that my favorite show, Law and Order Criminal Intent, was on today which kept me toward the front of the house.I am going to try Netflix on my Kindle tomorrow and hopefully it’ll get me back in motion of fixing the house up right.

Film at 11.

LOL

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.

Melancholy Overload

A buddy of mine had posted a picture on Facebook tonight and it showed a plate of pizzelle cookies and some wine.Gee, I thought, what a good idea, until I remembered that my pizzelle maker is down at Undisclosed.

**sigh**

I think of other things that I could be doing up here, or, over the weekend, reverse it to down there, and whatever I am looking for always seems to be in the opposite place.The girls and I have been doing our walks, and I look around at their favorite routes and wonder to myself if they’ll miss it.

**sigh**

I stop and think about the history of this house that I am in right now, and it is the last place that my entire family was together seventeen years ago. Yes, I know that you take the memories with you but,……

**sigh**

We are going through the holiday season right now and I am trying hard to keep in the spirit. It really isn’t easy, and as my buddies would say, when you are down there full time, things will be good and different and you will feel better.

I like to think that I am ready to move forward into a new chapter of life. I just wish I didn’t feel the need to think I am going to need an ativan chaser for it.

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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To Paraphrase Seinfeld’s George..

The expressway was angry that day.

Well, not actually the expressway.

I left work at 5PM.

Where my bus would take the exit, there was a major back-up on the expressway because the accident closed the main road up to my current homestead.Fortunately,my nephew Greg was there to save the day.

Zush isn’t feeling well: she’s in some pain. Greg was able to go to the vet for me and pick up her medicine.We were going to meet and I was going to pay him and then we’d part.Little did we know from the texts we exchanged and I exchanged with Jim that I would still be on the bus at 6:24 and not able to get off until 6:35 by Greg’s phone.He was the one who found out what happened and I was able to relay the news to my new friends on the bus.It was like being on a lifeboat.You let your loved ones know you were ok and put dinner in the refrigerator because it’s going to be a while until I come home.Then there were the “Hello Dr Soso? I can’t make my 6:15 appointment, as I am parked in a 9 bus on the Schuylkill expressway.”There were no useless conversations on the bus today.We were all tired and frustrated adults who just wanted to get home.

Retirement looking really good right now.

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9/11

Tomorrow is the thirteenth anniversary of the 9/11 disaster.

I am back where I was then.

9/11 happened eleven months before we were married. I was here as a single living with Mom. I was at work that Tuesday morning and remembered seeing the image on computer news feeds, thinking, is it a new simulated game or what? I wasn’t used to seeing pictures and news feeds back then.We all went home, and I called Mom to make sure she was all right and to let her know I was on my way.

When I got home, my neighbor from across the street, KJ and I met and had prayers on the front lawn, and we later had prayer with my Mom.Such a terrible day, and such tragedy for so many people.

All I can do is pray that we all manage to stay safe, and the souls of 9/11 are in eternal rest.

God bless America.

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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Blog #1,000

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

Paul Simon wrote these lyrics for a Simon and Garfunkel hit circa 1966 called ” Leaves that are Green”.I thought this was an appropriate start for the blog numbered 1,000.

I started this blog in 2011, when I was 51 years old. I was sharing care-giving duties for my Mom with Dementia with my brother.I was married for 9 years back then. I had crappy knees and was waiting to get knee replacements.And yes, I was thinner,

So on the occasion of this blog #1000, so much has changed.

Mom is gone, I am happily married, next month, for 12 years. I have new knees and a belly because emotion still gets the best of me.I am working on that, though, and trying to get things together.

Jim and I have a new home and we’ll be occupying full-time in a few months.I, knock wood, am on the road to retirement.My girls are still with me: Zush is 12 and Kasia is 5. Jim and I are trying to set up housekeeping and farming down here at Undisclosed.The emotions are mixed at folding up our tent and leaving the big city, but more times than not, we are more than ready to leave it behind.

This blog has been therapy for me to vent and also to keep the memories of what has happened, be it good, bad or indifferent. It also has been a way for me to share my stories and experiences with you, dear reader.Thanks for reading and being here for me. I appreciate the fact that you check in with me and the family. For that you have my thanks and a giant hug.

Thanks!

And to quote the tag line from the Beverly Hillbillies…”You all come back now, hear?”

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Working for the weekend

Sometime before I turn 65, I hope to relax on a Friday.

People have often told me how jealous they are of Undisclosed and our ability to go there. What folks don’t realize is we try to dean up here Thursday night and Friday.After that comes the packing.Dirty clothes for washing over the weekend, food to restock the pantry,clean clothes,things that we’d need down the house and the like.

In short, It’s a job.

Comes Sunday I have to reverse the procedure and multiply it by the fact the, quite frankly, you just don’t want to come back to the city.Last summer we thought we’d never have to ride in shore traffic again, and yet here we are,repeating the process.

Come on, retirement!

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Social Butterflies

We are having a busy weekend down here at Undisclosed and loving every minute of it.

We enjoyed our Saturday, complete with a cut-throat, yet friendly card game where I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard.

Tomorrow we are celebrating two birthdays, one anniversary, and having friends over to join in the celebration.

It is good to be HOME.

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Ugh…the saga continues.

When I left work on Thursday, they had me unplug all my electrical gadgets, as they were doing something over the weekend and were afraid the place was going to explode**read extreme sarcasm**.

I got in today and had to retrace their steps, which took most of the morning. The one thing they have neglected to do and get my phone going.Not really a good thing.I tried every which way of Sunday to fix my system, so I opted to do back up work instead-God knows there’s enough of it.

The only saving grace was that I was only five minutes late getting in so going home, hopefully, will not be too bad.

They say spring is only three days away…..***hah***

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All new

You’ll never guess where I am.

Nope.Not at my usual corner where I try to type this at.

I am in Undisclosed Deux, sitting at my Corian counter in the kitchen and it really feels great. It also feels a little surreal, knowing all of the angst that we put into this place, but it feels great.

We stopped at the local grocery and I bought some staples for here and there is actually stuff in our brand new refrigerator.Not one like we bought twelve years ago in a scratch and dent spot that looked pretty good, i.e., you couldn’t tell where we got it but my brand new, freezer on the bottom, refrigerator on top appliance,

It’s kind of funny that when we first moved here into the old house it was a blizzard and here we are on the first weekend** kind of** in the new spot, there is snow on the ground and temperatures that I don’t even want to think about.

Guess a new journey has begun.

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Missing a lot

Being out of a home you lived in for eleven years and “squatting” for six+ months has been a rough gig.Sure,it’s great to have a roof over our heads.I am tired, though.

I admit I miss a second television.I have turned to this computer for entertainment for the mere sake of staying married.I really miss a full kitchen.I made broiled pork chops tonight in a toaster oven-not an easy feat and they managed to turn out good.I miss a good “stay in for 30 minutes” shower.

Jim reminds me that this will be over soon enough.

**sigh**