AmityRedux

Yup, it’s that time of the year again. Memorial Day brings all the tourists down and with a forecast not written in stone, they show “Jaws”. I laugh because every time I watch this in tandem with the advent of tourists, you can pinpoint the accuracy Steven Spielberg used when casting for summer folks and their roles.

You could walk out my front door with me now, walk to the bay, and you’d laugh at the movie-type folk you see.

Fortunately, entertainment lasts only so long, and, thank God, October gets here!

Spinning Head

I had worked for 30 years at my primary position. It was my occupation for almost 1/2 of my life.

When we relocated and moved down the shore with the girls and Jim, I could have done nothing but volunteered for rescue, library, and the like, but ended up working. I started in the Acme in the Bakery department and later front end cashiering. The I spent a dark four months at the Ferry, which I would wish on no one.I gave myself a few months off, and ended up working as a substitute class aid for the school district.

I have gone through paperwork to send in to become a substitute teacher, but the last few nights I haven’t been feeling too well.Do I really want to work?

The issue right now is I am working five days a week, sometimes four. I really don’t WANT to go back to that. At the same time I am torn with the satisfaction I get helping the children. When you are married to a man almost on medicare, I realize that maybe I have to stop my head from spinning and stick with it.

But you know what?

I AM TIRED.

Change of Sheets

Today after work, I did the wash and did the switch over. Good bye to polar fleece sheets, hello to the cotton ones.

Sad.

I walk around and look at Kasia’s face and know she is wondering when Momma will be around for a while. It seems that she’d like to be in air-conditioning because that means Mom would be home.
She loves to be upside down when I give her a belly rub after our walk, and school cuts into that time. She isn’t pleased.

Then, as I switched the sheets for the season, I remembered the last time that I did this Zush- girl was still here.

I know things change, times change, but for just some more time with my girls I’d have such a full heart and one not so heavy.

New Man in my Life

Yes, his first name is Luca, and for all of you Godfather fans, this one isn’t sleeping with the fishes.

Born this past October, today was his Christening day, and yours truly served as Godmother.

Now, if I can only get him and Kasia to be buddies, all will be well.

God bless you, Luca, on your Christening day. Your Cioci loves you!

Concert Time

It’s that time of year, as the labors of choral groups and band members got to display their hard work.

They had the principal participate in a tune played about baseball being played. The children really enjoyed that. Our concerts were held in the cafeteria, and it was amazing the speed at which the chairs can be assembled and later disassembled.

Here is an after shot, once all the chairs were put away.

Yesterday at lunchtime, they played a few of the concert tunes as a warm up, if you want to call it that.

After this weekend, the official countdown to the end of the term begins. Everyone sure is ready, as hard work wears you out!

Hop-A-Long

My little buddy, once again, has successfully imitated her aging pack, i,e, me and Jim.

She ran or dashed after a squirrel and her back right paw, once again, has her recrowned by me as ” Hobbles McGee”.

She is on an anti-inflammatory from the vet, and is not so much better yet. That means Kasia isn’t mad about potty only walks, at least, not for now.

Stay tuned!

Still Another Day

The score is fourth graders, 5,000 and me, 18.

I am here, still. My voice is somewhere north of Interstate 80. The children are constantly asking me if I’ll be getting my voice back. Uh, if I didn’t have to tell you a million times the same thing over and over. Oh, wait, isn’t that what parenthood is about?** joking**

I have to admit that it is teacher appreciation week. I have been feeling the love from most of the kids. The thing I’d appreciate the most?

…getting my voice back, naturally.

The Gluten-Free Birthday

Today is Jim’s birthday.

It’s the first year I haven’t made him a birthday cake, since I am honoring his gluten free life style.

Before I laid down for a nap he was going to make flax seed crackers. I woke up and he made himself ” cookies.”

They have flax seed, sesame seed, milk, vanilla, peanut butter and honey. They aren’t THAT bad but could have used more peanut butter, in my humble opinion.

So happy birthday to my ” gluten-free” Baker. I wonder what the next year of recipes will bring.

Getting Lower Daily.

It is one month and three days until Zushie’s first anniversary.

Oh how I miss my Bestie!

I miss walking the beach with her; she loved that & swimming.
Kasia can’t be bothered.She prefers to run into the water, chase seagulls and that’s it.

When we were in the city, all Zush and I would do is walk and hike and walk and hike and, well, you get the idea.Half the time I think Kasia went along with us in order to hang with her pack, and that was it.

Zosia was my comfort. We both prayed together, or should I say, she stayed near-by me when I prayed.I remember when Pope Francis was on television, she watched me and listened to the television too.I really believed that she felt what I was feeling.She was the most sympathetic and empathetic girl.

I am waiting patiently to go through life, and pray that I’ll be able to meet up with her at the Rainbow Bridge.

CONFESSIONS OF A FOURTH GRADE HAS-BEEN

I have been going full speed as a fourth grade teacher assistant.

I can safely say I have never been so exhausted in my life.

Special education classes, self-contained classes. lunchtime monitoring, first line disciplinarian, playing no favorites…whew! I’m beat.

Let’s not forget that this time of the year has testing and then some.Coverage for other teachers? Check on that. Meeting my new bunch of fourth graders who call me Mrs. C.

I can honestly say that with the exception of caring for Zosia and Kasia, it’s the most rewarding job I ever had!

Golden Solo Years

One of the low sides of living here in undisclosed is that we’re with a lot of older folks. A woman I knew since we have been down here 9 years ago passed away and left behind her husband of 62 years. She was from the Coal Country of Pennsylvania, was also Polish,like me, and we got along pretty well.

After this, and seeing Barbara Bush leaving behind President Bush, I can only help but wonder. I know a lot of folks, in fact, who are my best friends and got divorced. How do these couples last as long as they did. Oh, I know, you can recite chapter and verse, and I get that. Still 60+ years is a long time.It’s got to be a scary situation when, all of a sudden, you are alone.

God bless them!

Kicking Back **just a little**

Three days that felt forever…

I had to write up a student for discipline issues. It was the first time I ever had to do that and it bothered me for a few minutes.

Funny how that feeling passed right over me.

I think I am taking to 4th graders like a duck to water. Physically, I come home and I am in bed by 8:30 pm or 9:00pm. It’s probably because I am now constantly moving. When I am with the students, mentally I feel refreshed, if that is possible. It’s as if they realize that I am there to help them. It is nice to feel them appreciate me.

There’s one problem, though.

Monday comes around really quick.

Back Again

Well, we are back in and it seems like nothing has changed in fourth grade, including Disney figurines.

It was a full day, including lock-down practice again, which makes the students very somber. It’s great that a lot of students remember me and want to know why I am not back in their class-they miss me.

**enter gratuitous “awww”**

Anyhow, this is why I am in bed at 8:32pm. Fourth grade wears you out!

Name Game

Well, he’s here!

The Duchess of Cambridge delivered safely of a baby boy, or should I say Prince.

I follow a fictional account on Twitter that someone makes as the Queen. Her latest tweet refers to the new Prince as “Darin.”

That started me wondering about the bookies in the UK. They took bets on who Prince Charles would marry, as well as sexes of Royal Babies to be.

Darin… hmmmm.. I wonder. Prince Bubba? 😂 I wonder if they would take Phillip, but the Duke of Edinburgh is still around. Usually they would go with names with a royal tie like Arthur or Louis….

I’ll take Prince Bubba… lol.

Planting Confusion

For the first time since I moved down here to Undisclosed location, I have had a geranium plant actually flower indoors. Christmas cactus I can flower with some regularity, but never a geranium.

It intrigues me, that here we are in mid-April, and I have nothing planted in the ground outside. I hate to think of throwing money out the window when you can’t really figure out if another cold snap is coming.

Oh, to have a planting crystal ball! I’d turn into a planting fool.

Another Movie

We went out to see the movie” Chappaquiddick” .

You’ll notice the marquee lost the last four letters: I found that funny in a well-heeled town they couldn’t figure out how to fit the titles on the marquee.

I am 58 years old and grew up in a democratic city. People loved the Kennedys. They cried when John F.Kennedy was killed. When Robert Kennedy fell to an assassin’s bullet, people cried. Then Ted was left, and along came Chappaquiddick.

It was incredible to me to see this movie. Seriously, I saw everything that went into saving the career of the “Lion of the Senate,”

A woman died. The senator’s career and reputation meant more than the legacy of a poor working girl.

Politicians…..** shaking my head**…you can have them.

Neat Trick, eh?

If you remember back in December, I had cataract removal surgery on both of my eyes. The first one was a bit of a deal, as I was hacking pretty much as I am now. The second one wasn’t quite as bad.

Tomorrow, ugh, I have to go back for a quick laser procedure to straighten out my lenses that are implanted. Evidently they shoot the laser in the eye to help clarify you reading small print. I am having the right eye done tomorrow and the left one in two weeks.

If you have any prayers or good karma to work on, please send some up so my coughing will get lost for an hour or two tomorrow.

Cell Towers

I have been watching a lot of Dateline while I am home sick. Usually these things deal with incidents that end up with trials.

One thing they have been talking a lot about was cell phone towers.When I was on my last jury duty in the city in 2014, I learned all about the tracking of cell phones and pinging of towers. It is incredible what people think they can get away with, and yet they keep the victim’s cell phone and pretend they are still alive.

One clear incidence of this was in the Drew Peterson murder case.He gave his stepbrother his cell phone with instructions not to answer it, and when it did ring, it rang showing Stacy Peterson as calling, and he knew it was her husband and not her.

You really don’t want to learn about things like this, but when you do, it gives you insight to the human psyche.

Scary, isn’t it?

Patience Pays Off

Since my cataract surgery, I have been savoring reading.

I read everything when I was younger. There wasn’t a book I missed checking out from the library, or even getting a find from the bargain bin at the book store. Unfortunately, technology came along and my active reading time kind of fell by the wayside.

Fast forward to post cataract time. I have managed to read a lot of books to supplement what I have been watching on the Netflix series,”The Crown.” My latest addition has been the newest Prince Charles biography. For the record, I did admire Princess Diana, and I wondered if I really wanted to read about Charles post-Diana. It’s been an easy read, but I find myself thankful that Charles will not be my ruler some day. My apologies to any of my readers in the United Kingdom: this is only one Yankee’s opinion.

I will keep you posted as to what’s next on the reading menu.

In The Wee Small Hours

One of the songs from the Broadway hit “Hamilton” has a line about it being quiet uptown.

I think I am more down east here than uptown, but it is five in the morning and I am up.Outside of the tapping on the laptop keys, the silence is deafening.

Why am I up? It’s the ever popular end of medication that you are on and all of a sudden, it’s as if you are playing the should I try to go back to sleep game.I think staying up wins this round. Actually, it is kind of rare to be in a position to actually listen in the silence, and your mind and ears get a rest.

Pollen is out full force here and now both Jim and I are coughing in unison.I learned that it is always bad once I see the forsythia in bloom. The Christmas cactus in the window is blooming again, and is probably the only flower that isn’t bothering us.I guess that spring is officially here at Undisclosed location.

Kasia is sleeping one the floor behind me as I type this, as I know she is frustrated with the lack of activity here. We’ll try to get a good long walk in today before the weather tanks over Sunday and Monday.She has been a real trooper but I really don’t want her to fall out of the habit of walking with me.We both need the exercise.

Enjoy your weekend and hopefully the nice weather that goes with it.

The Beat Goes On…

We are still hanging in here.

Don’t tell anyone, but Kasia and I snuck out for a little walk. I felt bad for her, as she needed a good brushing. We took a short walk. The sunshine was somewhat cool. It still was nice to get fresh air in the lungs. The problem with that, though, is it made me cough more.

I am waiting for another diagnosis, as it seems that like the winter that wouldn’t leave, my hacking wants to plant roots and dig in.

God, I hope not!

Here’s Nurse Kasia ❤️

A Thank You Note

During the past airing of our stay-cation illness shuffle, I thank my readers for bearing up with my/our tales of woe. I know some things are a little bizarre, such as doctors, but hey, I guess it comes with the golden years.

It can be rather frustrating, with everyone going away on vacations and cruises and the like, and we were happily home. I really think God was laughing when he was deciding to make us stay home and rest. By that, He meant doctor’s offices and urgent care!

Maybe we just need to vegetate and get ourselves better, fast.

Best Furry Nurse

I must have done something right almost 9 years ago.

Although I was secretly concerned I was screwing up my Zusher’s life, I went ahead and got her a sister.

Kasia, being part chow, well, let’s just say although she knew her place in line, she always walked to the beat of a different drummer. When Zush had left me forever, I thought,” Where am I going to get the quiet comfort I got from Zush?”

I adopted Kasia, figuring she’d have a great roll model in Zush.

Well, now with both of us sick, someone is showing us that she graduated from Zushie’s nursing school. Kas understands we are not well, and stays right by my foot as if she needed to take my pulse. Sure, I still make her meals, but there is a lot of down time on my end. It’s as if she knows that Momma will be up and around soon.

Zush would be so proud of you, Kasia.

A Rocking Saturday Night

I am typing this at my desk as “Black Swan” with Natalie Portman plays on the television.

Our Kasia is in the kitchen laying down and Jim is trying to catch a quick nap.

This is far from a normal Saturday night.

After going to Urgent Care at the call of the covering doctor **who just happened to be the same doctor I saw at the beginning of the week** in order to get a x-ray to rule out pneumonia or acute bronchitis, I now have three steroids that have to be taken daily. Two are inhalers, for my bronchitis and one is just steroids, one time a day.

I truly abhor steroids. I know they help, but they just don’t seem to go with my body.

Two hours sleep a night? Oh yeah, I signed up for it. Adult acne? Yup, checked that block too. I have reread the prescribing sheet with the medicine information on it and the only satisfaction I get is knowing that there are only six more days of the pill form to put up with. My body is ready to throw a bon voyage party for it. Did I mention the five minutes I convinced myself I was starting to get shingles on the left side of my face? Calling “Phantom of the Opera”.

The highlight of the day was watching some good movies on the television, and I may try to read a bit later on. Thus wraps up our vacation week from work. With all the medicine I am dealing with, I decided not to take any jobs this week to really get this crap out of my system.

I just hope that it will be long enough to clear out, and not any longer.

If it doesn’t, I’ll be going officially off the tracks.

Feeling .001%

Here we go again.

I have not been feeling well for a while.

I have some issues percolating, and am bothering my GI’s office trying to get my appointment moved up.I told them how bad I felt and the bast they could offer my was May 30th.

Hello, Emergency Room? That’s what it’ll be if I get another attack and can’t be seen earlier.

In the meanwhile, I managed to comedown with severe chest congestion over Easter.With the internet being a blessing or curse, I figured out I might have pneumonia or severe bronchitis. Hah! I had an appointment this morning with a new Internist who said, basically, my lungs are congested but my sinuses are pretty well screwed up? Excuse me? I have a cough that sounds like I smoked a pack of Pall Malls daily for 58 years, and only had sinus symptoms last night and this is the diagnosis?

**Shaking my head**

I realize I don’t have a medical degree, but I think I know my body. I am hoping that the combination of prescriptions will work their magic.If not, well…stay tuned!

Mom’s No Fool

Funny thing about my Mom.

You would never figure her for it, but she was genuinely funny. Really. Those of you who read my blog and also know me know I can be funny too. I’d like to think I got it from her.

The reason this came to me this morning is that I realized it’s April Fool’s Day.

When I was a kid in elementary school, I would get dressed in my Catholic school uniform, and comedown for breakfast. As I finished and got up from the table, Mom would tell me to wait, and then announce that there was something on my uniform. Sometimes she’d wait until I was by the front door and grabbing my jacket. Regardless, she always got me. As we both got older, I went along with her prank to make her feel better.

For the sake of tradition, I feebly got Jim this morning. I mean, it’s April Fool’s Day, and you kind of had to do it.

….for Mom.

I knew she was in heaven smiling.

Happy Easter!

As I would have said back in the city, “Wesolego Alleluja”. This is roughly, in Polish, wishing you a Happy Easter!

I finally got some new hyacinths yesterday, but it took some stepping. I assume that because the weather in this area has been cool, the plants are hesitant at opening up. Fortunately I found some white ones so I can get my Easter smell. Being married to Jim is kind of rough, though, in this regard. He is sensitive to smell, so my flowers stay on my back deck.

If you are traveling tomorrow, I wish you safe travels and good weather. Stay safe.

38

I have three nephews, from ages 28 to 42.

I only had one niece,who liked to sign her name as Alyx.

She was born 38 years ago today, and I remember it like it was yesterday. I came home and found a note on my pillow from my Dad. I was a new Cioci ( Polish for Aunt) to a little girl names Alexandra Marie. She was a beautiful gal with cornflower blue eyes and Breck blond hair.

I didn’t get a chance to spend a lot of time directly with her, as I was in Philadelphia working and my brother’s family was in Wisconsin. I did manage to go for vacation every year.

God needed a lot of angels the last week if August 1997 and beginning of September 1997. The two weeks took Princess Diana, classical conductor Sir Georg Solti, my niece Alexandra, and Mother Theresa. Alyx lost her battle with her brain tumor, She was 18 years old.

Today she’d have turned 38. I like to think she has Zusher up there for a new party pal this year.

Happy birthday Alyx…..I miss you and will always love you.

Mom

It’s that time of year.

Every Easter, my Mom got white hyacinths from me. My brother Bob got her purple hyacinths, my brother Henry gave her daffodils and my Dad would buy her an Easter lily.

I cherish the memories.

As I go out with Kasia in the morning, I walk past the two big planters by my gate, and smile . Mom is here in my hyacinths, and things are good.

A Bad Saturday Night Date

See my buddy, Kasia?

See her yawning? Why, you wonder?

Well, she spent part of her Saturday night with a skunk.

That’s right. It means old Momma got her magic potion out. Being a seasoned veteran, I use the well-Googled recipe of Dawn, which gets the skunk oil off, hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. She’s washed with warm water and a wash cloth, and actually seems to enjoy it. I talk quietly as I wash her, calling her my little Stinkpot, and telling her I love her 😍 either way, and she’ll feel better when she’s cleaner.

Here she is, resting after her big morning wash. Here’s hoping skunks stay away for a while.

Well……

Call me wrong, but we finally got snow here. It got here around 5:30, and of course schools were closed here today. Snow is due to run until 2 am tomorrow morning.

The bay looked pretty angry when we passed it;precipitation was only rain then. I seriously thought they closed the schools because why?

So this is how I am leaving it before the power blows out. We’ll see if I am in work at 8 in the morning…stay tuned…

Good night from me and Kasia.

Kindness of Neighbors

Two doors up from me live my friends Ivo, Isabella, Matti and Luca…..I go over once a week to have Matti learn interaction with Kasia. She is the best girl and needs Matti to learn how to act with her.

Today is the first day of spring. Dunkin’ Donuts gives out free medium coffee. Ivo was nice enough to go out and get us gals our free coffee in the rain. What a Sweetheart! I especially enjoyed hanging with Isa and the boys. It is so funny to see how quickly they grow

Thanks Ivo and Isa….something to get us through the storm,

Three Strikes and What?

I really, really thought this was all over.

See, this guy Toby is coming into town.

You know Toby, right? He is also known as winter storm Toby. This makes the fourth winter storm within two and a half weeks. We had gotten somewhat lucky and snow passed us by, the exception being a few big flakes.I think we are due for a Nor’easter out of this but there is also the chance of a snow mix in it for us.

Did I mention that tomorrow is the first day of spring?

I still stick by my preference for anything but summer heat and humidity. I am just hoping Kasia and I don’t have to swim for our walk tomorrow morning.

Chef-Non Boyardee

Jim has ,overall, been doing pretty good going gluten-free.


Exhibit 1- quinoa with blueberries


Exhibit 2- gluten-free crackers

The bit scratching at my head is trying to make him romaine wraps for lunch and making them healthy.

I have baked sweet potato,peeled it, and put chicken breast into it. Others, I have put low-fat mozzarella and ham and spinach…but 21 days out..well, I guess it’s time to go on line and figure it out.

As it is Lent for us of the Catholic faith, well, I get to eat a few pierogi out of my freezer, since Jim is gluten-free. We’ll figure out dinner in a few hours. Maybe if I hit the reboot button on my brain, I’ll think of something.

Stay tuned.

Does Alex Trebek Know?

For me,fourth grade was pretty good.
I liked my teacher, Miss Anne, and seemed to learn a lot.
I started working fourth grade this term and was introduced to something new.

For science class, each classroom has pet crayfish and they are learning about their life cycles and body composition.Oh, don’t get me wrong-they are also learning other things in science,too. I was more astounded by what one teacher used as a teaching tool for her class.

I’ll give you a hint-the answer must be given in the form of a question.

That’s right…JEOPARDY.

If there is anything to make you feel your age is watching 9 year olds playing science Jeopardy and while you are watching them, you let your mind drift back to the time that Art Flemming, not Alex Trebek, was the host.

Crustaceans for $100, anyone?

Farewell, Stas

Around 8 months ago, I reconnected with a friend of mine from grade school. His name was Stan, or Stas, as we in Polish school called him, and he was a good guy. Back in the day, he was a bit of a handful in the classroom: in future years, we learned that possibly he was an ADD student, although I don’t think it was really diagnosed as such in the mid 1960’s.

I was with an acquaintance in a local bar when Stas walks in with a blond. It was the late 1970’s and it was the first time I saw Stas since eighth grade graduation. We shared some laughs that night, Stas left with his blond, and that was the last time I actually saw him in person.

Time goes on; we work, we meet people, we date and marry. Usually we would have classmates, albeit a few, at our ceremonies, as we were a tight class. You know how it is though, people drift in and out of your life.

I didn’t realize I would meet up with Stas via Facebook. I just assumed he was off work for disability. I mean, he really wasn’t talking about work. Instead his health was deteriorating. Stas had cancer, as I found out from his son. I had mailed him a card to tell him of my health history and how I prayed, listened to the doctors, and managed to pull through cancer three times. I left him with I would keep him in my prayers. By the time he got the card, his girlfriend messaged me to tell me Stas got the card and appreciated me getting in touch with him.

His son, Scott, posted about Stas’ passing last night on Facebook. It was a bittersweet and touching post, put something I would have expected from his son.

I looked back on his Facebook page and found a post from the end of January. He simply posted.” I’m scared.” That broke my heart when I read that.

Rest in peace Stas. I know you will have them laughing up in heaven.

Goodnight, my friend!

Once,Twice….

….three times a Nor’easter.

According to my back deck being in “alignment ” with the Weather Channel, it would appear that undisclosed location is going to make me pull the ark back out. No problem.

It’s quiet and peaceful ,albeit wet.

After all, flowers can use the water…..

Kasia knows we’ll be walking tomorrow…..

And the two of us are safe and dry.

Kasia and I had two good walks today and snuck one last one in the drizzle. Now our bellies are full, and one of us is 💤 sleeping. I still have some work to do.

If you are in its’ path, please be careful and stay safe.

The Eyes Have It

Since my cataract surgery on my eyes, I have rediscovered an old friend.

I am reading again. It’s a pleasure I sorely missed. It is funny how much you can enjoy something you really wondered if you’d be doing again. Cataracts are a scary thing.

I liked the series “The Crown” and really got into the story of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. What really intrigued me was the Nazi tie into the Windsors. When my vision came clearly after surgery, I bought a few of the books from Amazon. I really enjoyed the new book by Andrew Morton.

I find it funny that through all my years of education and, particularly, my years studying history, I never knew of the tie between the Windsors and Hitler. For someone who always considered herself as well-versed in British history, the timing was right for me, after enjoying “The Crown”, to find these books.

I guess timing is everything…*** chuckling***

Keep it Coming…

It would appear that they are looking for yet another Nor’easter coming my way.

If memory serves you correctly, yes you did see the above picture in a prior post, dealing with the current Nor’easter.We aren’t proud, either: we’d take snow.

I think it was last winter when my Zush was still with us that was when we had some snow. It’s a case of anything to keep the off-season, the off season.***chuckling***

Hope springs eternal!

It’s Raining, Again……

It started like this when Kasia and I were out this morning. We didn’t quite complete a half mile because we both looked at each other and mutually decided to head home.

It turns out we had good timing. About five minutes after getting back in, this was our view from the front window. It was comforting to be in a nice,warm, dry house. After breakfast, with dishes done and sitting down, I looked out the back door and this was our new visitor.

Sleet had joined the party. It’s like what else? Oh, did I mention snow flurries 15 minutes ago? There is never a dull moment here at Undisclosed…..

Stay warm and dry, friends! Be safe!

He’s back ,again….l

Gluten-free Jim is back in action.

The above picture is his flax seed bread and Italian herbs in it.

We went to three different stores yesterday, in search of gluten-free and organic products. It’s good to be well, but it is really pricey. I see the receipts from the stores, and the price of ten things he needs is the price of 30 we normally would buy.

I am proud he has gone one week out gluten-free. If it goes well, I guess I might have to convert.

And So…..

It is another 1st of March.

I am celebrating 24 years, today, of being clean of my first of three cancers. My thirties were busy: I had cancer diagnosed at 33, 35 and 39. It really was not my idea of how I intended to spend that decade. In fact, my first cancer made me wonder if I would see the next decade.

God spared me to be with my family, and marry Jim when I was 42. I was blessed to share Zush’s life while she was on this earth, and have my girl Kasia with me still to keep going.

I managed to work long enough to retire, and move down from the city.

I am ever thankful that life goes on. It is not possible to encourage you enough, gentle reader, to keep after your health, as you never know what is going on in your body.

Best Day

Work today was great.

I went in today, and was assigned to a self-contained classroom. If you are out of the loop, a self-contained classroom has students with Aspberger’s syndrome and Autism.

Today was a class of fourth graders. They were really good students. Two of the students had to go to a different classroom for social studies, My fellow teacher was a buddy: we used to sub together. He was teaching the Revolutionary War and development of New Jersey. Jesse started, and I normally would work the back of the classroom. I’d walk to make sure children are on the right page and paying attention.

I started chiming in, and Jesse knew that I used to be a National Park Ranger, and I was stationed at Independence National Historical Park. In short, I know my revolutionary war history. Jesse motioned for me to take it, and so I taught fourth graders American History. The class was attentive, and peppered me with questions.

God, it felt good.

He’s Back….

You can run but you can’t hide if you have been a reader of the posts for a while.

You followed the trials and tribulations of Jim as “Shingleman.” Then, I followed it with “Compostman” to follow his gardening life.

Now, he has decided to go completely cold-turkey off of wheat to see if it’ll relieve some of his arthritic pain….Enter, “Quinoa Man.”

I admire him for this, but as I said to a neighbor last night, I need to put a big toe in the waters before converting. The picture immediately above is the bowl of quinoa he made for himself for breakfast yesterday morning. He decided he wanted to add blueberries (organic, of course) to jazz it up.Gotta love him.

I’ll keep you posted!

Total Recall

I am the first to admit: I have been trying to wean myself off of Facebook and only view it sporadically. Here is one of the reasons why I still check in.

My buddies tell me there’s websites to check, but I usually catch dog food and dog treat recalls on Facebook. The fact that they exist break my heart. I love both my girls forever and try to be careful with whatever they ate.

Normally I’d make breakfast, because usually I’d choose that meal to fold any needed medication into: quite simply, it was the easiest to work with. Any treats or other meals of the day were closely scrutinized. I really know people can’t all do what I do, but maybe dog owners can do one thing- COMPLAIN!

For the price of a postcard; or even an email, you can contact the conglomerates that put this so-called dog food on the market, and let them know they need to do better: our pets, our four-legged families deserve better.

Class Times

Working this week had me in my usual school of late, but with a twist. I have been taking a lot of third grade, but today for the first time, I worked the fourth grade.

It has been sad due to the shootings in Florida.They have been having lock down practice for a few years, but yesterday, I participated in a lock down practice and in the darkness and quiet of the classroom, it was sad to see the students with their hands in their faces. I don’t know if the shootings were covered in the classroom, but the drill was taken with a lot more of intensity.

Sure, there were other moments too: I worked with students one on one and that was quite rewarding.As the classes were third and fourth grade, I had a few chuckles with the classes also, but to help a few of the class that were struggling always leaves me with a good feeling.

It is quite good to be back in action.

Back Up

I had been down for a little bit, but now that I am a little better, and take daily Zircam, guess who’s going to work tomorrow? You’ve got it: me!

I have to admit that I enjoyed being around while the weather has been spring-like.Tomorrow, of
course, the front is due to come through and I’ll be with the kids.I have to admit I miss when I am not in on a regular basis, but on the other hand, working during the Titanic of Flu seasons, well, sometimes I was happy to hide out here.

Remember your umbrellas, gang, and stay dry!

Summer in the City

Kasia spent a good part of the day relaxing, or should I say on bed rest.

She aggravated her back paw again, so I have unfortunately realized that we walked a little too much last week.

We took advantage of the summer -like temperatures we had here today. She spent a good bit of the afternoon in the sun on our back deck.

When we had gone out this morning, I looked by our gate and saw that my spring bulbs are coming up. No wonder why the two of us weren’t up for a long” hot” walk. We saw a lot of folks out in their shirtsleeves today. I didn’t want to take a chance got a quick drop in temperatures if they are coming down the pike. Kasia just agreed with me to take a pass today.

We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

Simpler Days

It’s the Presidential Weekend holiday coming up this weekend here in America.

In the old days, about 50 years ago, there were two holidays: one in commemoration of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, and one for George Washington’s Birthday. As the years went on, the government decided to consolidate the days into one federal holiday. Thus, the President’s day holiday came into being.

Part of me still thinks of a simpler time.

I remember shopping with my parents and stopping at F.W.Woolworth and in the store,they had a candy counter. Jars on top of the counters had jelly beans and the like in big glass jars. What we always got this time of the year?

These, technically, are now marketed as cherry lolly pops. When my Mom would buy them, they were Washington’s cherries. The real job was breaking the stems apart. The green stem was made of plastic. I remember having to twist them around and around until finally the stems would wear out and you would have two separate cherries on two stems.

As F.W.Woolworth’s store is out of business and has been for a while, you can imagine how shocked I was to actually find these candies still around. I have to remember- everything is on line.

Have a great weekend if you are here in the states. If you are reading this outside of America, well, have a good weekend, too!

Happy St. Valentine’s Day

It’s St. Valentine’s day and I am hoping all of you had a wonderful day and great evening. Kasia and I are here and we are a little tired, as the weather was pretty good today, so we gals did over a mile walking today.

Jim has to work tonight but we will make up St.Valentine’s day on his day off.Technically,though, every day is St.Valentine’s day when you are married.

Uphill Skiing

During the current Olympics, I pretty much followed a lot of the sports. My favorites have been ice skating and dancing, luge and cross-country skiing. Should I say cross-country skiing?…..

I have been following Winter Olympics since 1976. While watching these games, I was astonished to see the incline of the hills these cross-country skiers have to go up.

Yes-UP!

I know some cross- country skiers, obviously, not Olympians, but they would talk about the routes they take.

Uphill?

Whoa! I am impressed!

Momma and Daughter Time

It’s a quiet Monday night so what’s Momma and Kasia to do?

Why,put on the Westminster Kennel Club of course.

Kasia has shown no interest at being a sibling again, so I have been window researching breeds as she shows interest in anything but the dogs that I am calling out to her.I am chuckling to myself as I type this.I could almost read the thoughts coming from her head….”Over my dead body, Momma.”

I wonder about the sponsorship of this dog show, as most of the commercials are for Purina Pro Plan. In these days of kibble recall on dog food,I guess Purina feels invincible as far as customers go.

My buddy is ready for bed, so we are ready to go.Tomorrow night is best in show. That should be interesting.

Zush is Finally on the Sofa

This morning I met up with my buddy, Duch, who was in area. We settled up for Girl Scout cookies and she had a gift for my 💔heart…

She has my Zush’s image made on a pillow. Even Jim couldn’t get over how real she seemed to be on the pillow.

So between Zush’s foster Mom, making Zush socks for me, my buddy Juls keeping Zush going for me in Birthday gifts, and my Duch finally getting Zush on the sofa, well… I 💚you guys!

A Damn Good Day

Today I was with third graders.

They each were grouped into four, and worked on reports about breeds of dogs.

I walked through the class, monitoring their work, and naturally, I stopped and talked to the four boys working on Golden Retrievers. As I talked with them, the lead teacher said they should take advantage of my ” expertise “.

It was a pleasure to talk of both Zush and Kasia. I showed the boys pictures of them both, and it brought a smile to my heart. The boys were genuinely interested and laughed at some of their stories. It gave me the opportunity to think if Zush as still being with me. I wished I had Kasia with me to sit by my side.

What a blessed day!

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Tomorrow is the alleged Super Bowl celebration parade in Philadelphia for the 🦅 Eagles.

Me? I kind of wish I would be there but then again, maybe not.

I remember the 2008 Philadelphia Phillies when they won the World Series. Sure, it was exciting. It was great. What I didn’t realize was the effect of the million plus crowd was going to make on me getting home. The parade was on Halloween day, and when we were in the city, we normally had a party Halloween night.

My neighbor talked to me and he was telling me how he wanted to go for the parade tomorrow for the Eagles.

For about five minutes I though of the excitement. Then, I remembered 2008 and was thankful I have to work tomorrow.

If you are going to the parade tomorrow, be safe and have fun. I’ll look for you on the news.

By the way, I do realize this is a screen shot of Jacksonville vs. Patriots game: I am putting this out there for Patriot fans.

February

It’s going to be a rough St. Valentine’s Day around here, since one of my Valentines’ is going to be celebrating in heaven this year. Kasia, I admit, will soak up all the ❤️ love- no doubt about it. Sometimes, though, I feel she misses Zush as much as I do.

Since Zush passed, I just have no heart for holidays. I usually did. Please don’t get me wrong: Kasia gets love every day. Holidays, though, well,it seems to be just another day. My heart just aches as I write this and think about it.

Thank God February is a short month.

The Day After….

Well, the Philadelphia Eagles won football’s Super Bowl.

The game was good, because my team won, naturally. What was difficult for me were the ups and downs of the game. I didn’t realize that I would feel the need for Valium. It made me feel for the genuine fans who followed every trade, every practice, every game for years only to be disappointed. I admit that I caught this season’s games and the anxiety hoping for a win is rougher as you get older.

Congratulations to the Philadelphia Eagles on a job well done. I’m glad they finally will have a Super Bowl ring!

It’s time….

Windows have kindergarten Eagle artwork hanging on them. I have the green lights around Zush’s picture on.

We have our meal and snacks lined up, and we are happily watching the show at home.

I have my hand ready to go over my eyes just in case and am hoping I won’t have to use them. I have my green pants on, green tee shirt and green hoodie on.

I am drink lime seltzer, green naturally, from a can in my Eagles can cozy.

Seventy minutes left!

Let’s go birds!

Here an Eagle, There an Eagle…

….I had kindergarten two days last week, and there were Eagles 🦅 everywhere.

Sure. There was a classroom.

But in addition to little ones in Eagle shirts, hats and scaves; each class made their own handmade Eagles hat. To give credit, the back part of the hat had the groundhog on it. The air was buzzing with electricity, and it was hard to believe you weren’t in Philadelphia.

This was the highlight of the day.

GO EAGLES!i

Neither Job nor….

…other commitments kept me from my appointed rounds today.

I made my way over to a Philadelphia Soft Pretzel Factory in the area, and picked up my order I phoned in yesterday.

I had ordered two dozen mini pretzels, bald, with salt on the side. My great nephews, Nathan and Nicholas will be rooting for the birds 🦅 on Sunday In Minnesota with their grandparents, so I figured Jim and I would try to help out.

As for me, I’m sure I’ll be ready for Sunday, as I am working kindergarten tomorrow and Friday.<<<<<
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Full Moon

Tonight, there’s a full moon in the night sky: I took a picture while waiting for Kasia to come in from the yard.

My girl has come a long way . Don’t get me wrong: she still barks, but as she gets accustomed to folks in the neighborhood, she sits so politely. She actually takes a dog biscuit from the hand of Beth, our postal person. With Zush, that was no problem. I never thought I would see Kasia sociable.

Miracles do happen.

Med Story….the Saga Continues

After a few days of immersing myself into Zicam cold stopping-cold shortening world of remedies, I am slowly working my way up the food chain again. I would be remiss if I forget to mention I used the neti pot to wash my sinuses out, also.

A big part of my recovery is thanks to my nurse, Kasia Girl. My buddy kept me company and made Mom get out and walk to get things moving. The weather seems to be the prime factor in keeping me from crawling up to 100%. We are taking one step at a time, or in Kasia’s case, 2 steps at a time. Our neighbor Dot came over and brought home made orzo chicken soup; crusty bread and chocolate chip cookies.

How can you not get better?

Oh Those Golden Years….

I’m lamenting the fact that I used to, knock wood, feel good in the winter.

Since the cataract surgery in December, it seems that I had one round with the flu, as did Jim. The flu ran its’ course, closely followed by respiratory illness. When you think you’re done, then yours truly comes down with the mother of all head colds. Above are my new best friends; after all , there is only so much I can take.

Hopefully, my next post will have a little less tissues in my pocket as I type this post. By the way, shout out to my buddy Juls who pulled me up, via long distance. That’s what sisters are for. Also, shout out to my girl Kasia🐕, nurse extraordinary. As my buddy Kathy told me- they want you to get them out!

Here’s hoping!

I Haven’t Got A Ticket….

…and I have family in Minnesota.

The Philadelphia Eagles are going to the Super Bowl, and for the first time in 58 years, I won’t even be in the city. I am,as they would say,”out of state.”

Sure it would have been nice to be accessible to Super Bowl parties, but I am a little older than I once was, so I will be content yet wistful while watching at home. I was three weeks old when the Eagles won the 1960 Super Bowl. Obviously, I am hoping they win so I can commit the game to memory.

Go Birds! 🦅

Football

So here I on a Sunday, watching Football.

Hope against hope that New England loses- it is par for the course for me. After all, shouldn’t every team have a chance at the SuperBowl? Oh, I know, Tom Brady this, and Tom Brady that, but seriously? I just heard a quote from him saying,” I’m doing as best as I can, so why stop now.”

My Mom would say self praise stinks.

Me? I just believe in God working in mysterious ways.

GO EAGLES!!!!! 🦅🦅🦅🦅🦅🦅🦅🦅

And some more….

IMG_5262Here is Kasia not looking very happy with me, but Jim and I had a date night last night.

The only chance of seeing a first run movie down these parts was a drive away,, so we went off to dinner and then saw The Darkest Hour. It was Gary Oldman staring as Winston Churchill and Kristin-Scott Thomas, of Four Weddings and a Funeral and, later, The Other Boleyn Girl as Clementine Churchill. We both enjoyed the movie, but, unfortunately in the age of #METOO it might get rolled over for Oscar Time. That would be a shame.

Back at the home today, disgust is on Kasia’s face, because it is now a fact that Mom picked up bronchitis on the tail end of here current list of ailments….My girl hates being the health Continue reading And some more….

So, You Want to live at the Shore?

Sure, it’s easy off season and the blizzards hit. Let’s start off with the two weeks of trash and recyclables due to get finally picked up tomorrow.

Ah, but then comes the fun part…

Thank God, it is not for us but our neighbor, who had a broken pipe running from his heater through his house. Jim walked Kasia last night and heard water running. First he though it was ours. As he got by our neighbors, he heard a lot of water. He brought Kasia back in, called our neighbor from his cell, and as a result, the south Jersey version of Servicepro to clear things out post flood are here.

The neighbor showed up this morning, and the cleaning company has a fleet of trucks out to clear things up. I’ll bet that he wished he had a property management service to look at his property and monitor it through the winter.

As for us, we are ok…I am retiring to the land of the living.Walked Kasia this morning and will go out a little later too. Ginger ale and crackers are the only two I can trust right now, so maybe I am working my way back up the food chain.I miss Momma walks with Kas.

Post -Holiday Life

We sent my nephew Greg back to the city this morning, as he is due back to work in the morning.

Jim is watching football on the television.

Kasia is sleeping at my feet.

and life is returning to normal???

This is a shot of the frozen Delaware Bay. I really am not encouraged to go to work, if offered this week, if the cold is still like this. Hopefully, the temperatures will edge up a little by little. I actually think we are due to have some rain coming later this week.

Otherwise, I think I’ll keep my fur girl company and curl up until it warms up.

Nurse Rachet, Line One….

So we figured we pulled out the Greg visit and got up here sage and sound, right?

Until this morning, when Jim started the day with a fever that is climbing: I managed to get some aspirin into him and get him to force some fluids, but what else is new? As Jim would say, whenever we plan something, well, how does that old chestnut go? ” Man plans, and God laughs.”

We were going up to an 80th birthday party in Pennsylvania tomorrow, which, of course now is out of the question. I called Jim’s sister up to share the lousy news with her. We were really looking forward to it.

I am glad Greg is here to keep me company, as Jim has been sleeping most of the day. I made a pot of chicken corn soup, with a tip of the hat to my buddy Juls for the recipe, as it was tasty and kept up warm. Now it’s waiting to get warmed up for when Jim has an appetite again.

We both got flu shots this year, so we are trying to figure out where this came from.

Hold a good thought for us, ok? This is getting to be a hell pf a weekend.

What a State!

My nephew Greg is down here to spend a few days with us. As he just completed his Master’s Degree, this visit was postponed from clast month.

We never will postpone again, as for our efforts, we got a state of emergency, here in New Jersey. We managed to get Greg to the house just as the governor declared a state of emergency. We are in the middle of winter storm Grayson. The moral of this visit?

January trips are out of the picture!

Number Three

Three significant events happened today in my personal history.

My oldest brother married his wife in January 1971.
I retired after 30 years with my employer.
Three years ago today, we moved to “Undisclosed location” for good.

Who says nothing happens in January?

My brother’s anniversary is their 46th. I am pleased as punch to be alive and kicking after leaving a job surviving thirty years there. Best of all, I am writing this in our home, far away from the maddening crowd.

I was texting with one of my sisters this afternoon and wrote that “God is good all the time.”

I truly believe that, even though there are times that I am left scratching may head and wondering why, God, are you doing this to me: His answer comes to me in HIS time, not my time.

I am blessed with good friends, reasonable health, but my heartache is missing my girl Zush. Oh how I wish she was here with me. Don’t get me wrong: Kasia is good, but tends to bond stronger with Jim. As all mothers must mutter to themselves at one time or another,”they only want me when they want something.”

Guess I’ll just keep on keeping on.

So What Else?

It’s four days before Christmas and one day before my birthday.

What’s happening?

My nephew, Greg, has not gotten his birthday card delivered yet. This is most distressing because I put it in the mail a few days early.**Holding my head as it aches while I think about this.**

Jim is on the edge of getting what I had. I know he has a sore throat already, and this does not make for good things here.

Kasia pulled me walking today and so my left shoulder is aching.

ON THE BRIGHT SIDE, I woke up this morning and have two feet on the floor.

My hair got cut for the holiday and she did a great job.

My eyes are doing well**knock wood** and I am handling the drops pretty well.

I am still coughing, but not too much.

I’m back…did you miss me?

Mom

Well, I really didn’t want either of them to leave me, Mom and Zosia.

I was left behind.

Today my Mom would have been 95 years old.

I remember all the years I tried to get Mom the perfect birthday present. As she would joke that the both of us are each other’s present, there were many years we swapped Christmas pins that people would give each of us for our birthdays.

I think I won, this year, though.

Babci( Grandmother in Polish) and Zosia…

She has my Bestie up there with her in heaven for her polka party.

Party on, Girls!

T Minus 3 Days and Counting.

I knew that this year,the holiday which I grew up loving was going to be a hard one for me. Maybe that’s why I let them schedule the cataract surgery for when I did.

I found a Christmas card today from Jim, Zush and Kasia and broke out in tears for 15 minutes. Fortunately it was just me and Kasia in the house. Maybe this is why I am so anxious to get it all done, because in the back of my head, I am just trying to remove the holiday malaise and get back to life as we know it.

Jim went to a holiday party tonight which we normally would have gone to together, but I simply just don’t want to take a chance.I mean, antibiotics, steroids, and a group of 25 people who have been exposed to what germs, you don’t know. Yes, in the back of my head, it also gave me a chance not to go out and put on a fake smile and wish folks Merry Christmas.

Dear God, please just get me safely through Tuesday and I promise I’ll put a smile back on my face.

Let’s All Have One, Shall We?

So I am up at three thirty in the morning and pretty much awake.How much sleep did I have? Uh, none.

Steroids and watching the time I take it: when WILL I ever learn.

So far I caught a Johnny Carson rerun on Antenna TV for an hour and maybe that forced me up, I just don’t know. He had Bob Hope and Dean Martin and Charles Nelson Reilly on and I was laughing hysterically. If you actually read these names and say, “who?”…go google them.

After that I had Stephen Colbert on with Tom Hanks, again, who is promoting he newest film, “The Post.” It occurs during two weeks when the Pentagon Papers were about to be published in the early 70’s. Funny how it should have a limited release starting on my birthday, but down here in “Undisclosed” we seldom get the first release of anything.

Moving on, I watched Stanley Tucci, Meryl Streep, the late Nora Ephron on you tube from a few years ago from when the movie ” Julie and Julia” first was out.It was bittersweet to see the three of them together.

Now I am writing this post with hopes of crashing and burning a little later and can catch up with life a little later on today.

Going Out of My Head

My first surgery for the cataract was December 5th, on the right eye. Everything has gone pretty well.I’ve been taking my drops as prescribed, dealing with my acute bronchitis medications to prove that I can walk and chew gum at the same time. Tomorrow, I am going to the eye surgeons office and getting measurements for the implant for the cataract replacement lens coming in,God willing, on this Tuesday.

In the meanwhile, I am having nightmares about coughing again in the operating room. Although as I have taken medicine and drank enough water, tea, and juice, to loosen enough phlegm there should be none left.The fact that the surgeon had to sternly tell me he needed me to hold my head still for five minutes has lodged itself in my brain. I sure as heck hope there is no repeat performance this time.

I have taken Kasia out once or twice, stayed pretty much house bound, and done everything I should have.Oh yeah, and I am going crazy.

Asking for good karma, and prayers for Tuesday. It’s deeply appreciated.

Day number 4 Post OP

I am starting to lose it.

After going through one course of antibiotic and I thought maybe, maybe, the bronchitis might not rear its’ evil head.

Hah!
This morning I woke up and it was as if I started at day on. Tomorrow is T-7 and counting down to eye two.This next dose, hopefully, will do the trick.

Kasia will be more than ready for me to be well, almost as much as I am.

Mojo

I was never so glad to be on a computer.

My Cioci Frannie, who turned 89 this year, used to follow the Philadelphia Eagles after my Uncle had passed away in 1972. I can honestly say that she, out of her three sisters, was the only one I knew who watched football.When I asked her about this year’s Philadelphia Eagles team, she shocked me when she said she really wasn’t into them this year.

Egad!

So I jumped on the bandwagon this season, and had been watching the games on television. I am convinced my curse of watching a team on television might be rearing its’ ugly head again.I always try to listen to Penn State football games on radio, because it seemed as if when I watched them, they lost. Jim is in front of the television and fortunately, I can only hear the game.

Hope that helps!

Netflix’s “The Crown”

Whoa!

The second season of “The Crown” is now on Netflix. What a choice I jumped into.

Being a former American Studies major, of course, history was always my interest, but when I saw the one episode dealt with the Duke of Windsor coming to seek reentry to England and hopefully get a Royal-esque position, I was pleasantly surprised with a refresher course in World War II British history.

He proceeds to travel solo back to the UK, meets with his friends in order to get their support that would bolster him when he goes into Buckingham Palace, and then, in the end, needed the permission of “The Crown”.

The episode went into full depth about the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and their travels to Germany after he gave up his title.The meetings with Hitler and the other Nazi officials and plans that had been drawn up were brought to the forefront and as they end the episode saying ,’ He left with his tail between his legs.”

Worth focusing on with one good eye.

One-Eyed Jacks

Well, here I am, two days post-op from the cataract surgery which went well, except for one thing.

BRONCHITIS.

It got to the point in the operating room where the surgeon said I had to keep my head still for five minutes so he could do what he needed to do. Thanks God I managed to do it.Jim met the surgeon afterward and told him the surgery went perfectly.

So I am fighting bronchitis and taking all my eye drops and have decided to bypass people every day until the next surgery. I went to the 8 am Mass on this past Sunday. When we were there and I said to Jim, this wasn’t necessarily a good call. We saw people hacking and blowing their noses, etc., so I am sure that’s how I picked this up.

Not this time……Bwahahaha…..stay tuned.

Last Squints

Getting my eyeful of life, as it were. You know, smiling with Kasia

When she sneaks on our bed, it’s hard not to smile, especially she looks so comfortable!

I’m making us dinner, being so aware of watching what I am making. It’s all how the eye perceived the pallet.

Grateful for the visions I have been blessed with, and praying for a good outcome for Tuesday.

💚 from Kasia’s Mom<<<<
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Doctor Shuffle-“The Beat Goes On.”

This morning the spot is a doctor’s office again, albeit it this time for Jim.

What is funny is that they warn you to bring a laptop or tablet because the average wait time is four hours. Why so long you ask? They have equipment for testing and blood work, and by the time you would have too go from place to place, well ,you actually save some time.

Once we are out of here, well, we will see what Jim has to do. Then we’ll get back to my impending surgery.

Ah…..the joys of large middle age!

One of Those Days

I really wish I could have posed like Kasia did for this picture..

I got a day off today, only to have to go back to the ophthalmologist to have my eyes measured again for the surgery. I understand the surgeon wanted to double check my numbers, but an hour and a half round trip tires you out.

Then, neighborhood drama was going on and drama,well, I just don’t have the stomach for it anymore, so I just kept shaking my head while trying to be polite.

I can’t wait for everything to be done so I can get back to normal. A busy schedule is just not fun in retirement.

More Education for Me

IMG_5151

What a difference fifty years has made.

Today in third grade, we had “Lockdown” practice. Since I have been working down here, I only was in a lockdown once, and that was when a local bank was robbed and they put the whole school under lockdown.

It was a good, yet challenging day in our third grade today. We had a lot of interaction with the children, and I actually had the mentally challenged boy walk with me into class-that was a big step. They say it shows he trusts me. Don’t get me wrong: we had our share of tears and tantrums, children crawling under tables to avoid doing math problems, and other sorts of drama.

I really have come to like this class. All of the students have their own stories, some sad, some with family issues and the like. You really learn the dynamic about handling children with these ailments. You want to try to help them the best you can.

IMG_5150

I’ll be keeping them in my prayers, because God knows they need it.

An Education

I returned to work today, or should I say that I went into the belly of the monster.

I am currently assigned to a self-contained class of third grade students.There are pupils in there suffering from Asperger’s Syndrome, Autism, being mentally challenged,having severe behavioral issues, and so on. There was never a day I was so glad that I worked for five months in a self-contained kindergarten. Every third second in the class another challenge comes your way. Suffice it to say I was glad to return home and walk Kasia girl a couple of times; it helped me stifle the urge to have a drink. Instead, i am doing wash, and when it’s done, I’ll have a hot shower and go to bed.

Tomorrow is another day.

Off to Work I go

Well, the first holiday is over, and Christmas is around the corner.

I am back to work tomorrow, and this is it for me until I get the all clear from the ophthalmologist. I have learned in little time, that children, especially small ones, are germ magnets. I want nothing to find its’ way into me to mess up my healing from the cataracts. When I had gone to my appointment with the ophthalmologist, I thought I had been perking a case of pink eye, but instead it was another type of infection in my left eye. I am taking drops and warm compresses so it will be clear for surgery on December 19th. I had one big pink eye bout when I first started and I try to avoid it if I can. Those of you who work with little ones know the runny nose-no tissue situation, so you get up, go get tissues, and hand them to the student. You can go and put anti-bacterial gel you want, if the germs were meant for you, well, what can I say?

“Ah-choo!”

We are….Penn State

I am so thankful for my memory, although somedays I wonder where it went.

Penn State football is on channel x, and when I saw they were playing Maryland, my eyes welled up , in a good way.

Forty years ago, my Dad took me up to State College to see the same matchup. In a sense, with new types of penalties and rulings, I am sure Dad’s head would spin.Still, this game was Dad’s game.

I am always grateful for the love and time we shared; he was the best ! And as they say, God is a Penn State fan-why else is the sky blue and white?

All Movies, All the Time

So working to the holiday weekend, doing little around the house, I happened to put on AMC.

Maybe I should call it, “Movies circa 1970.”

I say this because I remember seeing the Sound of Music when it was reissued. The movie ran its’ length continuously so you could come in late and stay until you saw it in the second showing, and then you left.

Today, evidently, is all Titanic all the time on AMC. Miss five minutes, catch it three hours later.

Oh yeah: I have nothing better to do, right?

Gobble…..

Well, it’s Monday night of Thanksgiving week.

Kasia is curled up on her bed, Jim is in his back room playing guitar, and I am resting my ankle while watching The Voice. This week has everyone hopping trying to get ready for Thanksgiving.

This is a quick word to let you know, dear Reader, that I am always thankful for you.

Happy Thanksgiving. Here’s hoping you enjoy the holiday and stay safe,

Missing In Action

I apologize if anyone has missed me for the last few posts. Pre-operative preparation has kept me hopping!

My Christmas cactus opened in time for an early Thanksgiving showing. Taking a cue from looking at it, I decided that purple was my color of the day.This morning I picked two varied shades of purple shirts to layer for myself in the wind. When I was getting dressed, I reflected on how far I have come in the colors of my wardrobe .

For the longest time, if you looked in my closet, you’d see blue and green, and that was pretty much it. For me, green was the calming colors of Christmas trees and leafy forests. Blue was the color of some of the oceans I had come across n my travels, and the color of my natural birthstone, which is turquoise. Let’s not forget the sky.

With the step into my 50’s, suddenly I decided I liked plum and shades of purple. Keep in mind it wasn’t pretending to be born to the royals with that move. It was funny how many compliments I got while wearing those shades of purple. I figured I looked pretty decent.

Guess it isn’t too late for this old gal to learn a few tricks!

Pulling at Band-Aids

I am watching television and on comes a commercial for Medicare 65 health insurance. The man is walking along a beach with a golden retriever.

**sigh**

It’s that time of year and I had to figure out our Christmas cards. Of course, I do photo cards and that meant pictures, for the last time, of both my girls.

**sigh**

It’s November and it’s been 5 months and 8 days since my Zush left me. Her foster mom, my buddy Kathy, tells me how their spirit stays behind. I sit in our love seat and look at where she used to lay and try to visualize her, but to no avail. I talk to her once in a while, too. Oh, I know: Kasia reigns supreme now, but Zush still haunts me. Here alone at night with Kasia, it is kind of quiet.At least with the both of them here I always had entertainment. More often, it was me yelling at Kasia to stop bothering Zush, or talking to Zush as she lay out back on the deck to try to coax her back in. I talk to Kasia, really, I do. The quietness is still overwhelming.
We both miss her sister.

When I lost my parents, friends always would say the heart heals with time.Through the past twenty years, my heart has yet to heal.Oh sure, it would start to.When that would happen, it was a guarantee that more heartache was around the corner.

God, how I miss her.

Different Day,Same Story

Back in a classroom this morning,I had a sense of deja vu.

My first go-round in a classroom in 2015 was a self-contained classroom with 8 little boys in various stages of Aspberger’s syndrome through Autism. It was a hand full, but you learned something every day. I would come home beat, but in a good way.

Fast forward to this morning

I now had another self-contained classroom, only instead of little guys, I had eight first graders. Dealing with what they go through , we celebrated every correct answer and , although there were times the yelling made you think of kids going through a sugar crash, they tried their best to learn. I like to think I made some new friends with them.

In all, I can’t wait to get them again.

Welcome November Weather

The sun is out. I know :understatement of the day.

What the photo fails to convey is that the wind is blustery at 25 to 40 miles per hour. If you didn’t get the memo and you lived here by me at Undisclosed Location, let me confirm for you what you felt when you went out this morning and felt.

“Damn, it’s cold out.”

My buddy Juls who lives on the side of a mountain in another state. Our average difference is usually 15 degrees colder there than here.The clincher here, though,is the bay.

Nice picture, right? The 32 degree temperature puts a little different spin on that picture.

Welcome, November weather!

Lessons I’ve Learned

I’ve always been taught that patience is a virtue.

If you have read my posts with any regularity, you’ll remember my trials and tribulations with the initial trying of raising Gerber daisies; they were something I always liked but never planted.


Sure, they were gorgeous when I first got them, but  I really flew by the seat of  my pants dealing with these beauties. I coaxed them lovingly through summer’s heat, and made sure they got watered. I kept faith and after a while of looking at what I like to call Gerber lettuce, and as a reward, got a ton of new blooms. 

Who knew?

Now , the sad part is I cut some blooms down and put them in a glass on my counter. Temperature is due to go to 21 degrees tomorrow, so I figured I might as well enjoy them.

Can’t wait to try for next year.

Early to Bed

Kasia is not the only one turning in early these days. I had a dermatology appointment this morning with Jim, so we had to make sure we were both up and ready for the early appointments,
Then we had a few stops to make before we got back to the house. I have to get Kasia out a few times and take care of laundry and making Jim lunch and dinner , and then it starts…

pencil-case… check
writing paper… check
iPhone … check
thermos for coffee…check
donuts …check.

Tomorrow is election day here and I am sure all through the country. It’s another morning of being at my local fire hall by 5:15 and done if we are lucky. by 8:15pm.

Long, Long day….
Thus, early to bed.

Not a Good Time

We are living in a state of angst and anxiety right now.

Our neighbor knocked their old house down, and then promptly placed a modular bi-level home 5 feet away from our property line. The size of this house would have it better suited on an acre of ground; not on their double lot. It is placed 17 feet from the curb, and my poor neighbor has lost her view from the front door. Once trees, now cracker box house.

We are upset,as we left the city  to have a little space with our house; our RETIREMENT house. Now I can no longer even open my side bedroom window because you have a scenic view of a monstrosity of a home. Might as well be back in the city. We both are spinning between anxiety, anger and depression. If we try to sell our house now, who would buy it overshadowed by a ugly modular. We are thinking of putting it up for sale and going to a 55+ community.

It broke my heart to leave our home on Rochelle. Just thinking of all the work and money into this house, well……..

Please send some prayers and good karma our way. Sunday’s sermon at Mass was love your neighbor. I would hope God has a sense of humor and makes it a 2-way street.

Not a Good Time

We are living in a state of angst and anxiety right now.

Our neighbor knocked their old house down, and then promptly placed a modular bi-level home 5 feet away from our property line. The size of this house would have it better suited on an acre of ground; not on their double lot. It is placed 17 feet from the curb, and my poor neighbor has lost her view from the front door. Once trees, now cracker box house.

We are upset,as we left the city  to have a little space with our house; our RETIREMENT house. Now I can no longer even open my side bedroom window because you have a scenic view of a monstrosity of a home. Might as well be back in the city. We both are spinning between anxiety, anger and depression. If we try to sell our house now, who would buy it overshadowed by a ugly modular. We are thinking of putting it up for sale and going to a 55+ community.

It broke my heart to leave our home on Rochelle. Just thinking of all the work and money into this house, well……..

Please send some prayers and good karma our way. Sunday’s sermon at Mass was love your neighbor. I would hope God has a sense of humor and makes it a 2-way street.

Ode to My Dessert


I can’t help it.

Given the choice of something for dessert, I blessed my 80-year-old neighbor, Rita. As Jim said, she is as if she were our neighbor from Rochelle. She is truly good people. Rita gave both me and Jim our own little Halloween bag. 

Rita knows me; she knows that I love Reese’s Peanut Butter cups. I had my dinner, and I went on the prowl for something to get to my salty/sweet tooth. For some reason, a Reese’s cup works most of the time.

Being a native Pennsylvanian, my parents took us to Hershey Park back when the amusements were not on a grand scale, but they were fun, skee ball machines came from Germantown Avenue in Philadelphia, and the factory tour was truly a factory tour- not an animated ride. You got to tour the working factory for free, and your reward was a Hershey chocolate-colored folder that was complete with recipes, an envelope of hot chocolate mix,and Hershey Bar.It was full size too!


So this ends my history with Hershey’s, and with Reese’s peanut butter cups.

A big shout of thanks to my buddy Rita!

Longing for Old Days


It was never this quiet in the old days.

NEVER…..at least back home in the city.

Our neighborhood was known for it’s trick or treating. We were a corner house where single neighbors came out to party with us outside with beer,pizza and hoagies; and the locals kiddos knew they could clean up at our house-a virtual one stop shopping of treats. The neighbors and ourselves enjoyed seeing what the current trends in costumes were.

I had my neighbor bring her 3 year old son and 3 week old boy out today around three. That has been it.

Kasia has had her walk in the rare event there were goblins in our route.

It’s 6:46 pm now. I will hang in there until 8 pm.

Oh well…can’t say I didn’t give it a shot.

Hobbles McGee

 Greetings from Sick Bay.

Just to keep Kasia company, I ,too,am hobbling a bit.

My guess, and the vet’s diagnosis, is that the littlest of girls pulled something in a leg, and woke up Thursday morning with a severe case of the hobbles.

In the meantime, from dodging the millions of acorns that fall down here, my ankle has awakened last year’s case of tendonopothy, according to my Orthopedist this morning:

It’ll be light off my feet this weekend, probably just potty walks for Kas and me for her company.
After all: what are Best Buddies for…..

Life with Momma

Sometimes I can’t help but wonder what is in my little girl’s head.

Sometimes I see her and she is hanging in front of the television, and I swear she is watching it, Usually if I move to my desk, she’ll wander over to see what I am doing, and lay down to keep me company.


I’m not completely dense, though. The photo above is her”wait on me I’m rich.” look. She is done her walk, and wants to go in to see her Dad.

I know my place.

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream…

It was a rather stormy day here at Undisclosed location today, with occasional breaks of sun.

I took advantage of the weather to do something I haven’t done in a while.

I napped.

I really never was good taking a nap. I remember my Mom telling me, “You don’t have to sleep, just close your eyes and rest.” While she was saying that, I had my back lightly scratched by her.It was my childhood version of Aleve PM.

As I got older, I found I would nap hard; that is, I would wake up from an alleged nap feeling like I just had five hours of sleep. and had that early wake up headache as a result.

Now, staring down the barrels looking at 58, I do what my doctors used to tell me through my cancers. It is something I always preached but seldom practiced. Listen to your body. If it’s tired, rest it. You’ll feel better for it.

Better late than never.

Memories

OCTOBER’S PARTY by George Cooper

October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came –
The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The Sunshine spread a carpet,
And everything was grand,
Miss Weather led the dancing,
Professor Wind the band.”

The above verse of this poem was drummed into my head in third grade, or maybe fourth, by my teacher, and, for some reason, it has always stayed in my head.


There are many changes that occur in this time of year. Zush is no longer with me, my friend Kathy’s Mom has passed away, school has started up again and it’s the last semester for my nephew Gregory. Kasia is now almost 9 years old.

My father would always tell me how much he hated autumn. I always thought this was strange coming from a man whose birthday was smack dab in the middle of October. As 58 comes heading my way, I get it, Dad.There are no guarantees that the same trees will have leaves next year, or the same people will still be in our lives.It was Dad’s own bittersweet way of letting me know that nothing is forever, and the concept of death made him rather mellow. I am sure he is happy now with my Mom in heaven.

In the meanwhile, Kasia and I will help Jim rake our leaves down here.

Another Monday

Sunday is just about done. It just doesn’t feel the same with a Philadelphia Eagles game on the television.

Don’t get me wrong, I occasionally watch the Eagles. After last night’s Penn State game, I was in the mood to stay cozy and watch a game. Oh well.


I am sure I’ll get this face tomorrow morning, but the show must go on.

Have a good week.

The Beat Goes On….

Made it through my first day of pre-K 4 year olds.


I always remember that old chestnut,”God forgive my little joke on Thee and I’ll forgive Thy big one one me.” 

 Cancer denied me a chance for children, and after dealing with kindergarten youngsters, well, I figure God was giving me a taste  of it. The children are sweet but also a challenge. The key is to let them express what they are feeling. Like grown-ups, they like to be heard.


So we’ll go through another stretch and hope things are well, and all that good stuff like pink eye stays far away!

Halftime Score ; Mar- 0 Kindergarteners- 5,000,000

It was rough telling this sweet face that Momma had to go to work today.

Yes, indeed. I had returned to the scene of my first kindergarten job, albeit a different room. I had about 25 boys and girls in the class and when you haven’t dealt with the wee folk for a while, well, let’s just say this. I came home and napped: they wore me out. I also learned a new kindergarten trick. Don’t wear loafers when they want you to play with them in the sandbox. HAH!

Another day awaits tomorrow, so it’s off to bed for me, waiting for another offensive launch by the 4-5 year old brigade. Hope I remember my helmet and crayons…lol.

Rough Day

With preparations underway for my first day tomorrow, we all seem to be having a kind of rough day.

The only up side? Today is Dad’s 97th birthday in heaven.There is not a day that goes by where I don’t miss him and wish he was still here.

So, if you can, please send some good karma or prayers up for us because we sure can use them. I really would appreciate it.

And for my Dad? I hope they are playing his Helena Polka for him and mom to dance to in heaven.

It’s That Time…

Thursday has me going back to work with the school children.

So it’s gear up time. The hand sanitizer comes back out into my bag, and I am getting cramps in my hands from sharpening the pencils that I know will be busy, either used by me or those who conveniently lose their pencil.I usually bring a good box of 16 crayons and a baggie of extras for those in need of just that shade of red. Of course, there’s my large bag of cinnamon hard candy and cough drops because being with the little folks, you just never know.

I’ll let you know how I make out.**fingers crossed**

Wonder Women on Halloween

So I don’t know if you’ve seen the commercial for Halloween, where the boys want to take more than one piece of candy from a house on Halloween, and then not one, but several Wonder Women and little girls dressed up as wonder women come out to intimidate the boys.

Seriously?

What ever happened to making up your own costume for Halloween, or at least have your parent help you do it? What every happened to someone being home to hand out candy, as opposed to leaving a basket of candy out with a sign?

Once again I am glad that I have reached my age: it is sad that todays’ children have to experience Halloween in this way.

Sad.

Reopening the Floodgates

It has been four months and five days since I last gazed lovingly at this gal’s face, before she closed her eyes forever.

This morning, upon opening the Philadelphia Inquirer, my floodgates reopened.

One of their columnists, Stu Bykowsky, wrote a touching article about a group that formed for bereavement for people who have their fur children in terminal illness or who have lost them to the Rainbow Bridge.People who say “it’s only a dog, or cat.”, well; this is something that they got tired of hearing and they are pleased with the results.

The Cat Vet office, in downtown Philadelphia, gives them a free room for meetings once a month.There is talk of expanding. I cried when I thought of Zush as I read the touching stories of those who have lost their fur children. The author, himself, lost four pups and a cat to the Rainbow bridge.

I pray that my Zush is enjoying her friends and my family, and they are keeping her busy and running free and playing.

I pray I’ll see her again some day.

Apple, Can you hear me?

I am watching the Philadelphia Eagles playing football on tv while waiting for my operating system to download.

What chokes  me to type this is my Apple Mac Book Pro. Apple, my go-to system.

I already called Apple once tonight, and after trying n my own, I think I’ll have to call them for more help. 

Hopefully, I’ll only need them nice more tonight.  

Rolling Around Together

Kasia and I are working through our Zush-less malaise.

It’s not easy, especially on a day like today.

Today was a dreary day and I rolled over and didn’t see my BFF Zush on her bed, as I used to. Kas and I got a start around 9:30 and started our day. We have managed to get some walks in. Funny thing, though, was we have been hanging together on the floor. 

They say all relationships start from the ground up. Kas and I are getting our act together.

Penthouse is the limit! 

Trouble, Stay Away from My Door

Ever have one of those stretches where you just can’t shake that black cloud that’s over you?

Well, I’ve been here, not writing, but looking over my shoulder at dark clouds. I know: into each life some rain must fall.

Our neighbors are building a new house next door. I can’t fault them: we did the same thing. The difference is that we are living here full-time while their construction is going on.We see what’s being done, and the project manager assured me that if something goes wrong, they will fix it immediately. I said to him, I don’t WANT you to have to fix it: I’d like you to do it right the first time.

This is only one of the stretches that we are going through, but it’s enough to give you an idea.

Any prayers or good karma you can move our way, we’d appreciate it.

What Was, Isn’t…

My husband and I are both baby boomers. We, separately, spent our summers at the New Jersey shore,in a place called Wildwood.

Tonight we ate dinner in Wildwood Crest, and decided to go to the boardwalk. Over our courtship and marriage, we often spoke about summers there. When we would be on the Garden State Parkway, at night, you could see all the lights of the rides on the boardwalk.

Tonight, we knew it was the season end on the boardwalk. Most of the stores were shuttered. Storefronts and restaurants we remembered were long gone.

In their place?

We saw the waffles and ice cream sign, which was a favorite of my mom’s. The new addition, fried Oreos? Not so much.


We even got caught up in bridge traffic leaving when the toll taker had to raise the bridge. Just like old times.


It’s said you can’t go home again.

It was fun to try.

Change Keeps Coming

Above is a shot of our old house here, which we knocked down. Some things have to change: after all, you want your house to be a certain way.The “Undisclosed Location” has a certain charm to it, which is why we chose to move here.As time goes on, we see more and more houses being put up and fixed up.

Starting probably tomorrow, our neighbor’s house is going to join the group.The only problem is when our house went up, no one lived on this side of the street full time.Now, we are here and I am a little nervous at Kasia and I putting up with construction. Ideally, we have been told the builder is not going to start until 8am, so we will see how the rest of the day goes.

**fingers crossed**

Hanging Around with Kasia

Kasia and I were hanging out together today. We came across our neighbor,Dave, and his dog, Petra.

There, for a little while after Zush left us, Kasia didn’t know what to do with herself. After all. all she knew was life with Zush. For a little while, she would wag her tail and make nice to some of the neighbor dogs. Tonight, we saw Dave and Petra and the winds of change came through. Kasia sniffed at her and so did Petra, and then Kasia started growling at her.

So for those of you wondering when a second dog is coming our way, well, we can safely say that not just yet.

Time Keeps On Ticking

….and this second day of October has me counting on my fingers.

I have about two and 1/2 years left on my retiree health benefits which my union won for us while I was working. Now it is a question of what needs to be done, and if so, when should it be done. I have a cataract in each eye, and I figure if I play my cards right, they will be ready to come out soon. I think of the course of physical therapy I just completed for my encapsulated shoulder.Every time I get a prescription delivered in the mail and see what my co-pay was, well, the party will soon be over.

The only thing I feel ok about is that before I am medicare eligible, I have to get on a COBRA for my health care. God willing my wits will still be with me and I’ll be able to read what is out there and what is offered.I shudder when I think of older people who have to go through the paperwork and maybe, just maybe, their wits aren’t about them. It is so easy to see how there are so many schemes, frauds and arrests in the daily paper regarding people and their medical care.

I guess the secret is to stay well enough so you can take charge of it.

Coming a Quarter Cycle


It was a hard day today.

The fifth will  be three months that my Zusher left me. Today  at our Church , they blessed the animals in honor of St.Francis of Assisi. It was the first time Zush wouldn’t be there, and I couldn’t have that. I brought her ashes with me and the priest was quite sympathetic.


In my mind, and  in my heart, my Zusher had her final blessing. Kasia, along with around thirty Other got their annual blessing.


We decided to make it a family day and keep on by going for a walk down by the lighthouse. It was nice with minimal tourists and tons of Monarch butterflies.


It was a good way to start a new month. We ALL were together.

Drawing to a Close

As September draws to a close, my time at physical therapy is also ending as of tomorrow.

It’s not that I am not appreciative of the exercises learned or of the pain endured to get my shoulder right again, but I’ll be sleeping a little later when it normally would have been a physical therapy day. Getting up that early brought flashbacks back to getting ready for work when we were in the city. I am hoping that I’d don’t need physical therapy again for a long while.

Kasia and I have been walking steadily more and more as the winds pick up and cold fronts come through. We are not getting any seasonal color change in the trees yet, but we walk to a point where I can brush her coat out and make way for her winter coat to come in.

I have shut some of the windows for the night.The only thing left is to find my autumn nightshirt for bed.

Good night!

I Must Have Been out of My Head….


There was a time when I didn’t mind cooking and happily used  a cook book in the process.

So while on Amazon, I saw Alex Guarnaschelli’s new cook book and figured “why not?” Alex was one of the few people on the Food Network. I enjoyed watching.

The book is titled  ” The Home Cook- Recipes to know by heart.” Sure, it sounded as though I could handle it. That was until I sat down after dinner and read the whole freaking book. I got tired just thinking about it. The recipes are excellent and look awfully tasty. I need to make some time out of my weekend to be able to work on this.

The recipes look really good. Why does cooking for dummies look like their recipes taste like dirt?

Just wondering…..

A Cluttered Desk , A Cluttered Mind

For those of you who read my posts and have worked with me, you could attest to the amount of things that were on my desk. Things were necessary for work, but of course I had my plants, a seven inch cut out of Queen Elizabeth II, a coffee maker , pictures of my Zush and Kasia hung up on file cabinet amidst office memos and so on..

Fast forward two and one-half years into semi-retirement. My desk is an empty sewing cabinet. My MacBook Pro holds a place of honor, as does a Penn State Christmas ball from one of my besties,Kathy. Then, after Zush left me, it became a partial shrine to her.Her paw print I made last year, the paw print the pet crematory gave me when she passed away, in addition to a ton of her pictures.

Being not truly retired, but occasionally working, there are papers and mail that come in and usually sit atop my desk until I get to the point where I just can’t take it anymore. I’ll be curious to see how long this will hold out.

It’s Oh So Quiet

It’s wonderful.

I was out front this evening and this was the view from our front porch. While standing there quietly, It’s incredible to listen to the twilight sounds accompanying the deepening and eventual darkening of the clouds and sky. It’s even the point where mosquitoes are getting a little tired of chomping away.

It’s trading the tourist traffic for people coming home from work. Soon the leaves will be changing and the sky will be opening up to more to see once the leaves fall. Pumpkins are out, as are the mums. Weekend people still come down. Those four or five days while they are working? Nirvana…sheer nirvana.

If I could just get a temperature drop to 65, then things would be great for down here at the”Undisclsed location.”

Have a nice weekend!

Quasi-Tech


In my current quasi-tech boycott of sorts, I decided to bang my head on the wall, figuratively speaking.

What else would an old American Studies major with two diagnosed cataracts do? I decided, after hearing all the praise about the book that Lin-Manuel Miranda based the musical on, to give this biography a whirl. I also read on line other people in academia who reviewed and gave this book high praise. I figured why not?

I knew the story of Hamilton from my studies, in addition to my time as a park technician at Independence Historical National Park. It had been a while since I sunk my teeth into a book which, allegedly, is so well written. I want to see what all the praise is about. Granted, I had studied Hamilton almost forty years ago, and have seen enough of PBS’s documentary behind the musical, and sing loud and off-key with the soundtrack, but I don’t know. Maybe it was the proposal of actually reading and being away from devices that drew me too it. Maybe it was a concept of reading while I can before the cataracts get so bad.

I’ll keep you posted as to what comes first: me finishing the book or the cataracts having to come out.   

“Film at 11.”

Summer? Fall? Make Up Your Mind!


Hurricane, or rather, Tropical Storm Jose’ not withstanding, there has been some subtle changes in my neighborhood. Sure, most of the flowers that have been planted have seen better days, but also there has been a little shift in the color palette.


The pastels of spring have made way for deeper, richer colors. My neighbors hav given me my first mum of the season, which is being held in a place of honor on my deck where I see it daily and appreciate it.


For the folks who follow this blog with any regularity, you’ll know I am not a fan of the heat of summer. You see, it’s a job to keep me, let alone the flowers, from fading in the heat. Fortunately, through August, we have had rain at least once a week. Our lawn has never been greener. Unfortunately, with the next four days as an example, our temperature is duel to be in the eighties. Really? September 20th?

My sweater is waiting patiently for a 55 degree day, as am I.

Laptop Mocking

Yesterday I wrote about not checking in on Facebook.

What is worse than that is my laptop sits here and mocks me.

I used to sit and be more religious about posting on the blog and checking my email. Uh, ok, maybe later, which becomes two days later.Once upon a time that would have never been me. I would sit in front of this laptop until my fingers would feel as though they were falling off. I just don’t have the inclination I used to have about being on line. Quite frankly, again, my shoulder, along with my forearm, is dictating what I am doing. I probably would be on more, especially if I could figure how to hook up my heating pad on my desk chair.

It’s funny that I no longer sit plastered to the keyboard. You realize things that you could be doing, or, more importantly, SHOULD be doing. I surprise myself in that, when walking past my laptop, I don’t feel the guilt that I should be on there.

It’s a good thing.

Face What?

With my current shoulder issue, pain has done one incredible thing.

I am not on Facebook that much any more. Whoa!

I never thought I’d be able to say that, but the pain in my shoulder, along with an issue in my same side forearm, makes it slightly irritating for me to manipulate a keyboard. I look at the computer, and think I should be on it. A second goes by, and then I think “Nah”. I really don’t miss it. I cruise on Facebook twice a week. It’s enough to read the highlights. I pay attention to my friends and issues that touch me. That’s it.

I’ll keep you posted on this recent development. I’d like to think that, at 57, I can have many varied interests, and not obsess over one or two.

Adult Beverages

It’s the end of a long week. The 5:30 a.m. wake-up call doesn’t help much on physical therapy days. We said it was time to go out for a cocktail and dinner.

We came back to the spot where we came during the week in summer as it would be quieter in September. I know Kasia wasn’t happy: she ate and was walked before we left. Time for us to kick back.

Have a good weekend!

Times with Kasia

I look at the above picture and think , “pretty girl.”

A lot of people say the same thing to me. I don’t think that when she doesn’t want to let me spray her hot spot medicine on her. This has been a recent development. I don’t know what is going on in her head. All of a sudden she sees a little spray bottle in my hand as an enemy.


We go out four times a day, on average. Since she has been having hot spot trouble, I have been trying to get the vet meds on her, but it hasn’t been easy. We had a cooler snap of weather, and it seemed she was doing better. Now we had rain yesterday and today, with corresponding high humidity, and low and behold, Kasia is scratching again.  From oatmeal and coconut oil shampoo to medicated ointment to spray, well, I am stumped. I just hope the cooler weather comes and stays soon!

The Beat Goes On

 I had a chance to enjoy 2 “days off”, which translates into two days without physical therapy. Getting up at 5:30 a.m. is rough, although I guess I need to acclimate my body back to an early start now that school is back. The end result? No physical therapy equals sleeping in. It was especially nice this morning while it rained.

Autumn is working its’ way to our Undisclosed location. It’s quiet during the week, roads are less congested, leaves are slowly starting to change color, and open window welcome a delightful breeze.

In short? It’s my kind of season. You knew that , right?

Sixteen

Tonight, I am watching a documentary on HLN network by the Naudain brothers. It is on 9/11. It wasn’t intentionally the subject of the film : in fact it was supposed to be about the life of a rookie firefighter.

I have seen this film by Jules and Gideon Naudet two prior times. Each time I see it, my eyes are opened to another aspect about what happened sixteen years ago. I remember being in my office and passing a computer screen showing one of the planes hitting the first building of the World Trade Centers and thinking it was photoshopped. Watching this documentary, I appreciated the poor people on the street who saw it, along with people trying to leave the area and how frightening it was. I thought I was afraid being downtown trying to get home, and here were people jumping to their deaths from the buildings. Tragic!

This film also made me respect, even more than I had, the first responders. They show the firemen they had interviewed, and who died afterward, due to cancer they contracted at the World Trade Center site.

Tonight, as before, I’ll pray for those who passed away, those injured, and all those who lives were touched by this event. It also brings to the front of my consciousness this quote:

“Those who do not read history are doomed to repeat it.” – George Santayana 

Working through the Pain

I had physical therapy this morning and, as usual I came home beat!

Rather than resting when I got home, I took Kasia for a walk down to the bay. Maybe it’s the current state of distress in Florida that drew me down, but whatever it was, off we went.


It was a very pretty day. I was pleasantly surprised by the cool air. As Kasia was on limited walks when she sprained her back paw, I decided it was time to stretch out legs. It was of no surprise that it was a long walk for us both. It is funny, because with Zush, walking was always at the drop of a hat. I guess Kasia has become too comfortable in the house, and we both need to get and keep moving. The pictures in this post are a few of the sights we passed today. Have a good weekend and send prayers and good thoughts to those in harm’s way due to Mother Nature this weekend.

Weather or Not

I have been praying for Houston during their troubles. Now I have added Florida to the list. When will it stop?

As someone who lives in a state where hurricane has been known to hit, to me, storms are scary. Watching the Weather Channel, I wonder how we would react, sitting bumper to bumper in evacuation traffic. I feel sad for them, as your home and belongings are left behind. You wonder , if you come back, what you’ll come back to. Watching people call the Florida Attorney General and report price gauging makes me wonder, although I know the answer; don’t people have a conscience ? Taking advantage of people in the most stressful of situations is just downright wrong!

Keep the hurricane evacuees in your thoughts, and send some prayers or good thoughts their way!

For the rest of the nation, I would only wish more people would realize that Mother Nature isn’t fooling,

Return of the Gerbers

If you have been reading this blog with any regularity, you’ll know that this was the year I tried to raise Gerber daisies. The photo above shows a tiny bloom, but more of what I call Gerber lettuce.

From the end of July through Labor Day, the view on my deck was basically pots and pots of Gerber leaves. I let them be, and watching the rainfall amounts, occasionally watered them. The plants were definitely alive and green, so I had decided to let them be.

This past week I have been treated to…,


and also….


…among others.

Patience is, most assuredly, a virtue!

Vegging

Just got home from caregiving for my friend, who is 94 years old.  I am also due to work with him tomorrow, too.

It’s exhausting. It’s also incredible that even with my Mom gone 5 years, you can fall back into caregiving so easily. Part of the reason is rather simple. I try to treat them as I would want to be treated at that age. Usually, they are lonely and are happy to  have some one to converse with, as opposed to talking about them, over them, or ignoring them. After that, the rest is rather easy. Cook for them, clean up for them, help with whatever they need. My motto, or mantra? ” There but for the grace of God go I.”

I am ready for bed, as tomorrow is another busy day, complete with a 7am start at physical therapy for my shoulder. In the meanwhile, I am vegging out watching Oceans’ Eleven before bed.

Good night!

Rain

For those of you who read my posts, you can remember a post I did during August when I was patiently waiting for rain to cool us off.


Well, Thank God we are not Texas, but it’s like a fall morning here today. It’s a good day to be in and cozy. I do feel sorry for folks on Labor Day weekend vacation… It’s a chance you take this time of year.


Please be careful if you are in a car, regardless of weather. Enjoy your Labor Day, and be around for next years’.

Bittersweet- The Next Part….

It was a little hard, and the color came out a little faded, but above is my favorite of our wedding portraits, for obvious reasons. It was taken 15 years ago tomorrow, the 31st of August.

What I would give to have those 15 years back.

We have had our ups and our downs ,good days and bad days, and our heartache. Somehow, Jim and I are still here, getting up every day, putting one foot in front of the other. Anyone who has been in a long term relationship knows of which I speak.

In the quiet moments though, we miss our Zosia. How aching is it to look at this picture and know she’s gone. She was the best therapist we both had; listening and loving unconditionally. Yes,  I know: she’ll always “be” with us, but it’s just not the same.


Well, our Kasia is still with us. Unlike Zusher, she listens and barks, er, talks back. We go forward tomorrow hand in hand, and with four paws next to us.

They Know I’m Down Here….

The Philadelphia Phillies are playing tonight. I haven’t been their big fan for a while. Now, with the arrival of Rhys Hoskins on the team, well, I am sitting here watching the game .


It’s a little bittersweet for me. I had noticed that it is “Bark in the Park.” A lot of minor league teams would have fundraisers for  Pup Agencies like SPCA or Delaware Valley Golden  Retriever Rescue. When I was in the city, I always wanted to take Zush. Now that I am almost 100 miles away, the Phillies finally had one. 

Maybe next year, Kasia!

Pain Management

I managed to get an appointment Tuesday afternoon with Ortho, and the rub with that was it was the earliest I could get. In the meanwhile, I average around 3 1/2 hours sleep a night, because the tear on the shoulder-blade is, quite frankly, in a really bad spot.No matter how many pillows I use, or how I try to position myself, I just feel the throb, which is the equivalent of a really lousy toothache. For me, Tuesday can’t come soon enough.

While this is going on, Kasia is working her way off two months “potty only” walks, due to her sprained back leg. Guess who didn’t miss a longer walk? That’s right, my daughter…lol.

So I will finish this post and get Kasia back out for an after dinner walk, so my mind will be off my shoulder, and I can keep an eye on Kasia and try to keep her from turning into a pudgy gal.

Misery loves company!

Back…

Took a break while my shoulder tries to heal. The area was in question is on the inside of my right shoulder blade, in an awkward spot where it just hurts, seemingly, all of the time. It has gotten to the point where I have to travel Tuesday up to my orthopedist to figure out what’s what.

It also is that time of year where I lay back a bit. My Zosia has finally met my Dad in heaven. Dad left me 19 years ago today, and I have managed to get a slight bit of comfort knowing they are watching out for each other.

I miss the two of you terribly, Daddy and Zush, but will love you both forever. Sleep tight!

Not my Kind of Saturday 

So with Jim’s mom in town, you try to be a good host. I had an aching right shoulder that I had been limping along with. Last night the pain was so severe, I decided to go to my local Urgent care.

The verdict was a tear in my shoulder blade muscle.; just enough to put a name to my severe pain. The basic blue sling is for a week.

Here’s Jim and his Mom out to eat ar McDonald’s. We gave her a full stay here at ” Undisclosed.” I  glad Jim had a chance to spend time with her.

Nice to make people happy!

Company

Jim’s Mom is coming to spend some time with us.


My Mother-in-law is 98 years old and we really don’t get to see enough of her, because we are out of the city. She loves Kasia, especially since we asked her blessing to name her that. Her name is Catherine, which in Polish translates to Kasia. She was flattered that we’d have our pretty girl sharing her name, although she goes by the English version, Catherine. The two of them had gotten closer, and I know she enjoys seeing her.


She hasn’t been here since Zush left us: the two of them used to be good buddies. T’ll be interesting to see her reaction to us being without our Zush girl.

Jim leaves Friday morning to pick up his Mom. We are hoping she enjoys her stay with us.

Hope Springing Eternal

So when you left this post yesterday, you figured, as did I, that I’d be having Gerber”lettuce” for the rest of the summer. I mean, my mother-in-law is coming for a visit and I would have loved some pretty flowers for her to spruce up the joint.

Granted, the Gerber”lettuce” is green, but there is no pretty blossom there.

A-hah!

Look at what I found this morning!

I am hoping they make it open in time to spruce up the back deck. Thanks, all, for all your suggestions and comments. I appreciated all of them!