To Market, to market….

….no, I am not talking about the old children’s nursery rhyme.

When I was in the city, I made my pin-money by participating in market research for two different firms. Obviously,I am no longer in the big city, but did a little happy dance this afternoon. Evidently, I responded to an email from them and qualified for a study to be done on line.I thought that was really awesome: on-line.All the fun of being in the big city without the hassle.

It so funny when I stop to reflect back on what I have participated in.What’s even funnier is when I watch television and see ads for products I helped develop.Back in the meeting, we saw pictures of concepts and suggested changes and viola’! The changes are in the commercials! As I have gotten older, the products I qualify for have changed, and I laugh.Sure there are some food products still thrown my way, but once you’re retired, I guess it opens up a whole new world of stuff.

One thing that she asked me tonight, I guess to make sure I’d be a good contributor to the study is I had to tell her 5 out of the box ways to use a stapler.

Thank God the liberal artist still has got it!

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.

IMG_3533overcast fullmoon

Somedays you just can’t win.

Can’t use the excuse that I have too much on my mental plate, as caregiving of Mom is long done.

I blame the Cil lifestyle currently known as nomadic life, aka, moving.

We have tried to arrange things to some degree but with limited space it is hard to do.
Things that we have put in one place, well, then we have to make space for other stuff and then you want to get rid of things that need to be trashed..and so on and so on.

I just have to come out and say it that my life is currently a huge ” Dear St.Anthony “. I can’t tell you how many times a day I have to get the wheels in motion with it.Jim and I will actively scour for whatever it is and eventually we do find it. But what a job: it’s like we have nothing else to do during our day.

Things eventually,er,hopefully,will settle down, but they can’t do it quick enough for me.

New house means uber-organization, because I have had enough of this crap.

Thanks for reading ..**climbing down off my soap-box**

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 .

20130322-184512.jpg

Friday five

1. I am so over eggs, bread and milk: I.e., anticipation of snowy weather. We just spent one hour in the grocery store . Argh!

2.Same weather equals home cooking. Macaroni & cheese and slow cooked pulled pork on the menu, plus juicing, of course,

3. Being away from the city makes the quiet so lovely!

4.The sheets on the bed are clean and flannel. Yay!

5. I could not be happier to share this weather with my family and friends. Let it snow!

Have a wonderful weekend!

20130125-145852.jpg

Chef Jim

Last weekend, we watched the Food Network.

Due to our juicing, we started paying attention as Giada DeLaurentis was doing promos for her meatless meals.

Chef Jim perked up right away.

He made her lentil burgers ….and I was impressed! He really was getting into making them.
He even was talking, as we ate them, on how he’d tweak the recipe.

It would seem that our juicing days have moved up a level.

At least we are trying!

20121204-185423.jpg

Thirsty?

We are going through a lifestyle change, the Shingleman and I.

Juicing.

Yup, we are trying one meal a day as nutrition via juicing. Yup. I know. Nutrition, skin, pulp… but guess what? We are giving our dining menu a rest and I, for one, haven’t had this many veggies since before my radiation, close to 19 years ago. I fancy myself a decent cook, but heartburn has been hanging with me for a while. I’ll try this.

I had a thought tonite while Shingleman was doing the juicing. I know I am going to burn in hell for it.

The pepper, celery, kale, cucumber, broccoli, carrot and apple juice was really tasty…..

Just needs a shot of vodka. LOL

20121113-190404.jpg

A change of view

Things are a little busier for me right now at the office.

We have a lot going on, with notices and phone calls coming out the wazoo. We are all busy, and it’s interesting about what Mom and Dad always said: more work you have, busier you are, day goes quicker. How true!

I come home over the past few weeks and my eyes are so tired. It’s good to be worn out tired. It only shows me one thing~ I need a vacation….lol

20120925-192323.jpg

Friday gratitude 5

How grateful am I to have had a chunk of time off. It gave me the chance to relax, spend quality time with Zush, bond tighter with Kasia, ….in short, a chance to kick back.

The weather cooperated enough to get us dog walking daily and savor the peace and quiet .Thankful, I think, all three of us are.

I was so grateful to step away from the office and kind of experience a taste of retirement. I am ready for it!

Shingleman is coming down today-always nice and grateful for having him in my life.

My final gratitude moment is for hydrocortisone cream/ rubbing alcohol/witch hazel… Mosquito bites are almost tolerable!

Have a good weekend!

Thanks

A friend of mine was talking to me briefly today about my blog.His comments had me thinking about you,my reader.

I thank all of you, friends and strangers alike, who take the time to read this. What started as therapy for me while caregiving for Mom, I write now for the therapy and the pleasure of it. From Shingleman, allergies, caregiving and other daily thoughts, I would hope you enjoy reading this as I enjoy writing it. I would hope you keep reading: I promise to keep working on it on sunny and stormy days ahead, and for now, sending out warmest wishes to you, from the Wissahickon valley.

20120409-212524.jpg

Red Eye Special

Jim was convinced that he was tired enough to sleep last night, and he would have if the scratching from the shingles would have let him Fortunately, as we were at “Undisclosed location”, there is a second bedroom, complete with bed, so I managed, much to Jim’s chagrin, to get cozy and catch a couple straight hours sleep If that’s wasn’t happening, there’d be hell to pay!

We got up at 3 am and managed to finish packing to come up What I find so amusing is that neither of us wanted to come back up to the city-usually it’s me, but this time it was the both of us, oh,yes, and the girls included, as Kasia can run outside and get her ya-ya’s out, and Zush just loves the water.

Either way..we’re back!

On the flip side from yesterday..

…When I am at home with Jim, as opposed to watching my Mom at night, I get to ride the train into the office. When the train pulls into the station, I am able to walk underground up to a block before my office , so it’s not too bad during the winter.

I was walking through the mall area this morning when I came in, and walked by a Dunkin’ Donuts, where a guy, who I had recognized, had turned first, looked at me and said good morning. I, naturally, wished him a good morning back. I really don’t know this guy outside of riding the train for the past almost ten years, but the mere fact that he recognized me and spoke to me not only made me feel good, but started me thinking.

There are people I know from an almost daily commute on the train. Take, for instance, my friend who is a physician’s assistant at Hahnemann hospital. Do I know her name? No, as we sit in the quiet car every morning and on the way back. We pantomime our good mornings and smile, and when we are frustrated at something about the transit authority, we’ve been know to pass notes back and forth. An acquaintance from, of all places, my brother’s street, who, I am embarrassed to say, for as many times as I talked to him on the train platform, well, have never asked his name. Then there is Jim, who I have been getting the train with since I first got married-he works for the transit authority and loves to tell me stories, while waiting on the platform, about inspecting train tunnels..**shudder**..but, entertaining none the less.

Outside of maybe two handfuls of true “friends” that I have met working at the same spot for 27 years, I’ll miss these guys too. Not enough NOT to leave, but there will always be a warm spot in my heart for you all.

Oh, for my buddies Juls and Duch, here is a sunset of shot of my hopefully future transportation- the Ferry. 😉

Going through withdrawl…

 

 

It’s been a bit since I have been down to ” Undisclosed location”

Due to caregiving and holiday related issues, I’ve had to be in the city.

It sucks.Really.

Sure there’s all the holiday and family and work …there is also rushing, pushing, ill-mannered people. People who have no respect for other people or their things. I know, I know, it can be like that everywhere , you say. Well, I have had enough of it through the past week and a half and am oh so eager to turn the light out on my time in the big city. Maybe it’s me. Maybe you have to be young and under 35 to get the rush of bustling around in the city.Clubs, restaurants, movies, etc…I have bought my ticket long ago and it is all punched out. When I have to come in to the city on the bus, with chanting going on in my head to calm my soul, something is not right in this picture. Don’t get me wrong :I love prayer and meditation, but, as my husband will attest, when you are so fed up, not too much in that line is successful.

Time to start folding up the tent.

Yup, it’s that time of year again…

…and I am not talking about Resolve stain cleaner. Just curious if anyone is making any that they want to share.

I know I have resolved a lot throughout the years; some were successful, others not. They always say those who forget history are condemned to repeat it, so it is with that in my mind I entered this poll onto todays’ posting. I’d like to think that I am smart enough to realize that a lot of the resolutions made either aren’t realistic, or are easily brushed aside by mannerisms you never intended to change anyway.Hey, though, I will give you and “E” for effort.

In the meanwhile, I am pleased to announce that the creamer is still out of my coffee, and I intend to still make the 100 calories cuts as my nephew Greg found the article suggesting it. After all, little things mean a lot, right?

On the way to “Undisclosed Location”…

 

As my birthday falls on a Thursday this year, we decided to make an Undisclosed Location celebration this weekend. Fortunately for me, my brother Bob is taking my normal night with Mom this weekend so I get to go down and relax. With the way things have been going, the weekend of relaxation is a gift in itself. To be able to walk along the water and take deep breaths of the salt air is my idea of heaven.To have the girls and Jim with me? Also my idea of heaven.I’ll be able to see a few of my friends and neighbors while down there, kick back at our new Friday night spot, the Moose lodge and just take it easy….take it easy…something that has been a foreign concept to me for the past 4 years.

Below is a picture of one of the many Christmas trees in Congress Hall, which is in Cape May New Jersey.

Here’s hoping your weekend is just as bright, wherever you are…

One in the hand…NOT

 

To continue with the saga from yesterday, you’ll remember, dear friend, about my leaving of my cell phone at home.

Thus, the empty hand.

I can honestly say that I remember a time that I would say what a pain in the butt my cell phone was. My husband was always like,” where did you leave it now?..”

Not since my iPhone. OMG! I can now relate to why people make references to “crackberry’ because my iPhone has many uses. It is the time clock for the girls who take care of my mom, and in the same vein, their line for if they can’t make it in, or, God forbid, something is wrong with Mom. It also is my internet connection for checking on or renewing prescriptions, entertaining myself on the train, the obvious phone use, my alarm clock…I can go on and on.

Yesterday I went through withdrawal symptoms. I mean, sitting, waiting in a doctor’s office, with only my thoughts for company don’t even mention the five-year old issues of O. Coming home on the train without benefit of the quiet car and sitting in front of Chatty Cathy.

Welcome back into my hand, Iphone…how I missed you!

Zush & her Dad

This morning,I am waiting to catch a train to go do field work for my job. I am sitting in our living room, as are Bush & Kasia, who are waiting for me to take them out one more time before I have to leave for work.

Jim walks in from the kitchen, looks at Zush and says he has to take care of her. I am wondering what is going on here. He comes in with a hand of her dog food , leaves it front of her, and I see her look up with love to her Dad, and start to nibble. Her sister, Kasia, is curled up and can’t be bothered.

It seems the nine year old Zush stays mellow in the morning, and Daddy appreciates the fact.

I am lucky,as a former cat woman, to have a guy who loves our fur children , to which they return it unconditionally. I am every so thankful for these gifts every day!

20111123-075927.jpg

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.

I can’t even walk and chew gum at the same time…

I can’t even walk and chew gum at the same time…and juggling life issues is something I really can hope to stop doing someday.

Looking at people 5 times my size on the bus this morning and wondering what can I do to move far away from my current size, outside of sewing my mouth shut… I am writing down and counting calories, but looking at fellow passengers on a bus at 5:40 am, well, makes you question metabolism, sleep and a “hurry up and eat or you’ll be late” mechanism.

Just got off the phone with my brother Bob talking about Mom and family issues.

**sigh**

Trying to keep my life at home going at an even keel.

Trying to recover from Saturday’s fall.

“The job”.**sigh**

Zush and Kasia on Benadryl.

I guess you just keeping juggling until you drop something, right?Guess I just have to go out and get some fresh velcro for my hands to keep things going.

Here’s hoping things are going better for us all.

Greatly needed Friday..

..because the last two weeks were too long, today is a day I am looking forward to.

It’s always been amazing to me to see the amount of things we cram into a weekend. Hell, sometimes I think I do more mandatory activities on a weekend then I do during the week. There’s stuff with mom, obviously, then food shopping, wash, dog walking, cooking, …you get the point.

This weekend, I intend to do NOTHING…outside of the basics, naturally. Any down time I get I will be in a reclined position. Anything taxing on my mind will be swept out, albeit temporarily.As they always say, take time to stop and smell the flowers…well, this weekend? I’ll be taking tons of bouquets in.

Here’s hoping you get a chance to do the same.

What a week…

This week has been awfully long for me.

It could be because I knew I would have no chance to sneak out to the Undisclosed location. The fact that my escape hatch was bolted shut, so to say, seemed to magnify the drama dancing around in my life.

But that was this week.

It’s Friday. I’m home tonite. It’s getting colder out so I have to bring the rest of the plants in. A little baking to make the house smell good is also on my agenda. Walking both the girls to keep us in shape. Turning clocks back equals an extra hour sleep Sunday. Most importantly, I’ve got my love to keep me warm.

Pretty lucky girl and I know it.

Have a good weekend.

Let’s get this party started!

..or actually, I did back on Saturday. This time six months ago, I was in the bullpen of Pennsylvania Hospital, waiting to get wheeled in and have the medicine kick in for my double knee replacement surgery. My twins, Right and Left, were born that day and they have been such good kids. Sure there were initial swelling issues but, at six months, they had been so good I treated them to a one hundred eight step climb of the Cape May light house this past Saturday…

But seriously, as lousy as my job can be at times, I am so thankful for the benefit that allowed me to go to a qualified surgeon who knew his stuff and the knees that now live in my body.God blessed me a lot so far through this life and this is just one of his latest blessings.I even went this morning to get a gift that keeps on giving for the twins: a flu shot! The emphasis is now even more important that now infection gets in the body to play havoc on the knees.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of you guys who have supported me through my trials with the knees. If you saw me every morning and asked how I was, met me at the train and walked me home,emailed me, or called. Thanks for being there. It is much appreciated and will never be forgotten.

So since I’m here…

…as I am at ” the Undisclosed Location”,this is “Lighthouse Challenge” weekend, a yearly event in New Jersey. I haven’t had a chance to participate the past few years due to my old knees. Hell, I was lucky that I was walking, let alone climbing stairs with bad knees.

Guess what? Because I am here this weekend, I went over to the Cape May lighthouse and climbed it with Jim.Don’t ask me how many steps there were-there were many. However, the knees feel ok, and that’s good. I thought since they are almost 6 months old( as of this coming Tuesday),what a better coming out party? Nice to know I lived to tell the tale.The wind was so gusty-the weather channel said we had 25-35 knot winds and the ocean was truly alive. It was an awesome experience.

It was kind of weird today,as we did a lot of different things and as of 9:55pm tonite( now), we are just getting settled in for the night, as it were. It’s kind of odd, as we are a pretty sedate couple. Yet today? We ran around like 30 year olds…lol.

On the way from the lighthouse, we stopped at a NJ Audubon Society trail and ran across an old farm, complete with pumpkins that probably had been forgotten. Long story short-we ended up with 4 small pumpkins to come home with us. The girls had their share of walks so they too are beat. I had managed to score some “real” authentic dog bones from the Amish in Reading terminal, so both of them had been working on it furiously. It was funny, because Kasia never had a real bone before. She kind of laid back until she saw how Zush was handling the bone. It was cute to watch.

Here’s hoping for a good Sunday and a peaceful week for everybody.

Calling all Keurig-holics

If you remember my past posts about my Keurig and my Kcups, I was wondering if there was some way we could compile a way of tracking who is getting the best deal on Kcups, with your own Folgers in the metal kcup notwithstanding.

To the best of my knowledge, Bed, bath and Beyond are offering free shipping but it has to be on selected varieties. Other companies offer free shipping with a forty-five dollar order.If you get on FB, you’ll see sporadic ads from companies like Big Kat, but usually they have a high purchase amount needed for free shipping.

I’m tired of hitting Wal-Mart on a hit or miss. Let me know if you know of any good deals on Kcups and I promise I’ll share them here.