Armageddon,no Snowageddon

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So I went with my neighbor to the market today, and the above shot was only part of the melee at the bakery section. I seriously shudder to think what the rest of the market looked like,as the “Snowaggedon”, as opposed to Armageddon was coming.Never mind that if you actually paid attention to the weather forecast, you would have learned that yes, we would get snow,but it would be warm enough to turn from snow to sleet to rain.

WHY WAS EVERYONE IN THE MARKET? RAIN, FOLKS,RAIN……..

We had strip steak for dinner, to celebrate the snow that will be short-lived,and get ready for the nor’easter that will be in our midst.

If you are out there where there is actually snow, well, be safe. If you are down here with me in the nor’easter, be safe.

Let’s just all make it through the weekend in one piece, ok!

That Kind of Day

The good part of a day at work?

When it’s over, of course!

I worked the 10 to 6 shift today and when I got home, well, I was wiped out. We had decided that we’d have sphagetti for dinner, and after I walked the girls, I’d come in and start dinner.

Our neighbor Jerry came to the house while I was walking the girls, and brought ribs he made! They were absolutely fabulous. To top it all, just one kindness like this made me forget one lousy day.

Time to pay it forward.

Neighbors

I am fortunate enough to have some awesome neighbors down here.

I have friends two doors down who have the cutest little guy-his name is Nathan and he is 9 months old. Well Isa and Ivo, his parents, have invited us to dinner tonight and we are really excited.They also invited Zush and Kasia. Zush is a big fan of Nathan’s. when he sits in his little chair with food on his hands, albeit baby food, well, here comes Zush to the rescue.

it’ll be a nice way to ease back into work tomorrow, and we are looking forward to having fun.
It’s nice to have good neighbors!

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Yard Sale

Went with my buddy today to a local charity’s “mega-family’ yard sale.

I have learned the glory and pain of yard sales over the years and also the angst of buyer’s regret or should-have.

There was a ceramic nut or candy dish that someone made.On top of it was my favorite from childhood; a squirrel. I went back three times looking at this dish. All I could think about was how much I wanted it, but it would be put up in the attic and I’d have to get Jim to get it for me and I really didn’t need more hassle in my life. I really wish I had gotten it though, as if you have been a frequent reader of these posts, you’d remember I had a love of squirrels from childhood.

I had wanted a summer handbag. Not a Vera Bradley, like I have, but a woven and burgundy colored one.This was something dating back to when I started working and splurged on a John Romain handbag and spent nice money on it. I wore that handbag every summer for many years and it killed me when it literally died. I found a Relic brand leather and woven handbag for $2. It’s a tight squeeze for my wallet but for summer, it’ll rock. I can’t believe that there was leather all over it! I also scored a 100% silk blouse for .50. I hand-washed it and it came up really well.I even got a new air of khakis for me for work for the princely sum of .50.

I regret that I bought ANYTHING for Jim, because he is**expletive deleted** when it comes time to buying or trying on clothes. I picked up a men’s 34 waist Banana Republic khaki short for him for .50. A brand new Izod polo shirt, tags and stickers still on it, retailing for $40 went for $5. Both wait for him here on the chair next to me.” I can’t try them on now:I’m working.”

**Watch me holding my breath waiting for him to try them on.”

Not bad, overall, and off in a little while to go swimming at a friend’s in ground pool.

Day three of three days off is going ok, so far…here’s hoping the rest of the day is uneventful!

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The Pause That Refreshes….

It’s been that kind of week.

My nerves are shot.

The heat is climbing back up.

My solution?

I decided to go to my trusty freezer and pull out my frozen with a kiss bottle of vanilla vodka and made myself an adult beverage. I have made myself a vodka tonic with lime in it.

Now granted it’s not going to ease my mind or the knots in my back or worry about things, but all I need after this is 1800 steps and I’ll have finished 15,000 steps for the day, a few loads of wash, some walks with the girls, some visits with sick friends and some with neighbors.

Not a bad day off.

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Life’s Short

The joke is where we have moved to, well, let’s just say I’m one of the youngest people here, full-time wise.

A good percentage of the residents come down for the summer, or part of it. A neighbor of our that we would have lived immediately next to, if we bought the first house, lives in Collegeville. He has been coming down here for ten years or so. He is married and has two adopted and one biological tumor.His age is somewhere between mine(55) and Jim’s(60).

He came down here over the weekend with one of our neighbors and his family.

He wants to die here at his house here.

He has a mid-brain tumor.

For those of you who know me personally, or have been reading the blog for a while, you’ll recall I lost my niece, Alexandra, to a mid-brain tumor.She died at 18.

What flashbacks this has brought back to me, my neighbor’s illness.A brain tumor is definitely NOT how you want to go out. It is a fight, a hard fight.

My neighbor and I were walking past his house and one of the neighbors came out and said he isn’t expected to last the night: hospice is there with them.

We mourn the man, but rejoice that his suffering will be done. I am happy he actually hung in through the car ride to get down here, but I know this was his final wish.

Kiss or hug someone you know after you read this. Do it for me.

Life is too damn short.

The Wedding Crasher.

Yes I did.

Jim and I crashed a wedding of our former neighbor’s granddaughter.

OK, well, I was an Eucharistic Minister to the late grandmother and still to the grandfather, and they had encouraged us to come and see them: after all, the wedding was in our neighborhood!

It was awesome, since I had seen the Wedding Crashers a few times, and, quite frankly, was happy to settle for a dinner of rum runners and coconut shrimp.Later, however, the plate with prime rib was passed to me and my eyes rolled back in my head.

It goes without saying it was a big Italian family, who pretty much knew us, so it’s not like we didn’t know anyone there.When it comes down to brass tacks, though, it was, indeed, a wedding that we crashed.

Hope I am not hung over in the morning!

Long Days’ Journey into Rain

It was a gorgeous day here today.

There was a slight breeze and I took the girls out for our 4 walks. We were enjoying the spring sunshine and breeze, but a funny thing happened during our third walk.

We were walking with my neighbor and her baby and while we were walking by the bay, a friend of mine was passing by.We met up with her in a few blocks, and she walked us back.She wanted the walk, she said, and we enjoyed her company.We all walked and talked and the walk back went by quickly.I felt bad though: my friend had a long walk back to her house.

I dropped the girls back at the house and I walked her back to her house.It felt good. Again, we were walking and talking, so it went by quickly.We said good-bye and I turned around and ugh! I had to walk back alone.Fortunately it was a pretty day, so it was nice.The weather is supposed to turn rainy tonight, so it made me want to savor the day.

I have to really thank Jackie Aschenfelter and the flip fitness class I took last year. Before I took this class, there is no way I could have done this walk. It was an awesome class and I miss my friends from it. Fortunately, I had the fit bit zip to follow it, and the magic number you see on the picture below shows a magic number I never reached before.

Thanks, Jackie!

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It’s been that kind of week.

I am writing this at 8:59PM because I am getting ready for bed, and figured now is as good as a time as any to blog. I just had a hot shower and washed my hair.

The big deal about this?

Uh, our pipes froze last night.

Fortunately our neighbor Tom from down the street loaned us a heater and a kick-butt industrial extension cord and along with my hair dryer, water is back here in Undisclosed.This explains, if you here with me now, why you hear the end of the dishwasher cycle and the dryer on and washer.I mean, seriously? My bathtub is filled so we can flush toilets, water jugs filled for the dogs and us, Keurig reservoir is filled…wow! It’s incredible that 16 hours without water makes you feel like the prehistoric age.A gentle reminder from above to appreciate what you have.

Jim is out giving the girls their last walk of the night, and I can’t help wonder about the amount of women who, once the temperatures are constant again around 36-40, will be joining me in the store to get a new hair dryer…who’s with me?

Walking on Water

It is another chilly **understatement of the century**day.

Errands were run today and the wind chill actually let me go out with the girls twice today for walks. We walked some sugar cookies over to our neighbors who are moving back into their house.They had a rancher, but to accommodate their family of 4, they moved out to allow workmen to construct a second story.The cookies were a gift to welcome them back in: with hot cocoa they can enjoy them after dinner tonight.

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We drove past the bay after grocery shopping today:no, it wasn’t an eggs,bread and milk run.It was a weekly grocery trip.We knew it was cold out but there we saw a house with such poor insulation, or a roof warmed in this cold weather by the sun.On it were all these birds sitting on the roof trying to warm up.

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This was the scene we took in at the bay.It looked as if you could walk out, if you wanted to, and walk on the solidly frozen bay.It made my mind think of Alaska, not Undisclosed.I don’t mind winter.Honestly, it’s the truth, I like changing seasons.I just didn’t sign on for walking on a frozen bay.

Fifty Shades of Indifference

I am going to see 50 Shades of Gray tonight with my neighbor. I read the trilogy and the first book was good, the second so-so and the third I couldn’t bother to finish.

I am more intrigued to see how they spin this book and what gets through the censors cut, or I am sure they would have had to give it whatever the equivalent of an X rating is these days, or is it NC 17.

Hopefully it’ll be work the $8.50 ticket I paid for it and it’ll be a nice night out.

How many retired people does it take?

I went to a Property Owners’ Association meeting tonight which was preceded by a dinner at the hall.As we are down here full-time,it only makes sense to attend the meetings and see what exactly is going on.

What is humorous here is that there are a lot of folks like me who were city employees who have since retired or worked for another business in the city and couldn’t wait to get down here to enjoy life.When I got into the hall tonight I met up with two of my neighbors who had retired the year before I did.Talk about being greeted with open arms! The only thing that Jim and I noticed is that if you don’t exercise down here, folks walk around with a significant belly, or rather, one considerably larger than when we first met them.

It was nice to be at the meeting to be with folks and get welcomed into your new lifestyle.It really reinforces that the time was right to start the next chapter in your life.

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Merry Christmas to all

We actually socialized tonight with an old neighbor of ours tonight-we were invited to the family house for their Christmas party.

It is odd for us to actually be up at 11PM, without driving up from Undisclosed being involved. We have to get up tomorrow morning for Mass and then more festivities and missing people who aren’t here to celebrate Christmas with us anymore.Thank God for memories.

Here’s hoping your Christmas is merry and bright, or whatever seasonal holiday you might actually be celebrating.Be safe, enjoy the holiday and the folks you are with.

Be happy!

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Blessing of the Animals

We took the girls down to our church in Cape May today, among with our neighbor, Georgine.We were celebrating the feast of St.Francis of Assisi in the Catholic church.He is the patron saint of animals.

The Deacon had the service out on the front lawn of the church, and Georgine held Zush’s leash and Jim stepped in and held Kasia’s leash.We said some prayers and then the animals were sprinkled with holy water.I had taken Zush to get blessed back in 2004 in our home parish in Manayunk, and she actually came in church and sat by me, went up with me when it was time for Holy Communion, and in short, she was a perfect girl.We didn’t have Kasia at the time, so I teasingly had said we were taking Kasia today to get her exorcised from the devil, and for Zush to have a 10,000 mile holiness check-up.

I pray for my girls all the time and getting them blessed today was icing on the cake. I don’t know what I’d do without them.

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June Twilight

It has been a good day.

Zush got her summer haircut, which is making her comfortable. We got some really good walks in.Our neighbors invited us to a “man cave/pool” warming.Now we are kicked back and everyone is relaxing.

We had a beautiful late day sun down on the bay, making us appreciate the distance from the city even more, and now, with the windows open, a beautiful breeze is sailing through the house.

Here’s hoping your day was that good!

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New Years Eve

Jim and I are invited back to see our former neighbors and participate in a new year’s eve party thrown for the block. The theme is pork…

Which is great for those with working ovens, but hey, I have to figure out something quick( I am working until 5)and pork related.It’s kind of strange because we really don’t intend on staying there long, but you have to bring something.

I’ll keep you posted on what I end up bringing…

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Water, water…

if only electric would join the party.

Our neighbor from Undisclosed called to let us know they connected our water
to the house, and that the hardwood floor was being delivered today. If you
know anything about hardwood, it needs to get acclimated to a warm house before
it can get put down.Now if only the HVAC folks would join in.

Will keep you posted, that is if I have any mind left from dealing
with this….lol

Friday five

On this Friday after Thanksgiving, I had better do a Friday five, as there are always tons to be thankful for.

Shingleman & I started juicing back on Veterans’ Day. I can’t believe how much better I feel just doing one juice a day. I am grateful we are experiencing this together, and we’re working on ourselves.

I am constantly surprised at the amount of ” genuine ” people. I had a nice chat with a guy who reaffirmed my judgement of his character.Nice to know I can still call it on the button sometimes.

The girls and I walked up to spend some time with Bob and the family. It was a truly bittersweet day with Mom being gone: it was good to be together.

My neighbors down the street watched me grow up. Their oldest boy was in my class – they are now in their 80’s and we stopped to see them yesterday. I got to taste-test stuffing**yummo-just like Mom’s** and we had some apple pie. Always good to learn from elders: you get some valuable lessons!

Having family doesn’t always rock, but usually does. I am so thankful for the years of memories I have experienced, which allow me the hope of having many, many more memories to come.

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Hahahahaha…

It must be Monday.

I camped out on the train for ten minutes in the heart of beautiful North Philadelphia.

I come in to see I have to go thirty rounds with the time clerk regarding my leave time.

My cubicle neighbor who normally works 11-6, is in at 7:19, blaring “White Wedding”…

On the bright side…

I put two feet on the floor this morning: some people can’t , or won’t.

I do have a job.

I get to go home to a wonderful family.

I’m blessed.

 

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…

Next Iron Chef..not…

..at least when it comes to working with chocolate.

For the Undisclosed location neighbors, last year I made chocolate bark in different varieties, and it went over pretty well. From watching the Food network, I tried to learn about melting chocolate. I found out about chocolate seizing, and how to loosen it up. So this year, I decided to something different- chocolate covered pretzels. I made a few different varieties, such as white chocolate, milk chocolate and dark chocolate, and topped then with jammies, brickle pieces,mint chocolate and non pariels. A few have made it out to neighbors so far-three more neighbors to go and then they are out of the house. It’ll be a good thing, because we both thought they tasted pretty good!