Watching…

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Like the giant eye in this sunflower, I have taken the past week or so to take time and watch and listen.

Sometimes I feel as though I take everything in, but when I do, I really don’t THINK about it.

Things happen. My neighbor’s husband died, and I knew him for 10 years. He passed at 98. Ninety eight. Pretty good shelf life, I would say. I made it a point to really listen to his wife, who I consider a good friend, and hear her grief. I tried to comfort her as best as I can and check in on her daily. Another friend fell and broke her ankle and had to have surgery. Again, when I go to see her, I make it a point to really dial in and take in what exactly she is telling me. I am due to go to the dietician today. I know when I go there I will be right with her, trying to work on a healthier life style so my shelf life will be decent. That means a lot to me, as this Saturday it’ll be twenty one years since my Dad passed away. He wanted desperately to see seventy seven. Why? Because his Dad lived to seventy six. Now, I am not setting parameters on my shelf life, but it’s that time of year when Dad’s passing has me so aware of time.

A good friend of mine commented on a Facebook post I made, lamenting the short season for hydrangeas in the heat of summer. He quoted that old song about for everything, turn, turn, turn, there is a season…..and it is so true.

I was on the Cape May Ferry this past weekend and in the elevator, a young blond headed girl was there with her sister and her mom. I walked into the elevator and that little face looked up at me, pointed a finger and announced,” I know you; you’re my teacher.” Needless to say the exchange made me feel good, or as Jim would say, I wore a major idiotic grin on my face. Maybe it’s the anticipation of a new school year that added to my recognition of the passage of time. I know poor Kasia will get the short straw when I go back, but thanks to paying better attention to my weight, I will be able to spend more time and walks with her when I get home. I’d like to think that I honor Zush’s memory by giving Kasia all the love she needs and then some.

Most importantly, it’ll be our seventeenth wedding anniversary coming up. It’s to the point where I can’t really remember my life before Jim entered it.

I am truly blessed.

Mothers’ Day

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Happy Mothers’ day.

It’s hard, since my Mom is gone seven years. I get to go and see my Mother-in-law for Mothers’ day, so I still, in a sense, get to celebrate the day. Unfortunately, part of me still tugs sadly, since I’d want to go see Mom.

Sometimes I feel bad, as I am a dog Mom, and not a human Mom. I am a benevolent aunt to my niece and nephews, but it really doesn’t matter. A Mom is a Mom. I still honor my buddies who are Moms in their own right, and most of them are also grandmothers too. They are all fabulous with their children and grandchildren. I am fortunate that I get to work with the school children, as I imagine it is the closest to being a hands-on Mom that I could get.

Happy Mothers’ day to all those who are celebrating the day. You have touched the world in the best of all possible ways. I salute you!

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Buddies

Whenever I required a medical procedure, and was required to go into the hospital, I was blessed to have a great support system. When it comes down to brass tacks, though, I was the patient. No one else. Procedures are scary. When you have family you are worrying about, it adds to the weight on you, the patient.


I am writing this post for one of my BFF’s. They know who they are. 

Cancer is scary. It’s good to vent your emotion at this lousy disease. You have to be holding good karma, and hoping for the best. The crappy thing is having to go through it. I wish I were there in person to get you through it, but please know a long distance rope of prayers and best wishes are out there with you!

Live strong!

Catching Up…

Thanks to a friend of mine on Facebook, I have been trying to catch up with a religious friend of mine, who saw me through some bad times with my first cancer.


With thanks to Maryanne, a buddy of mine, she forwarded me this photo of my pal Brother Jim. I understand he is in Pittsburgh these days and not up to par. We met on the morning of my  cancer surgery and became fast friends.

So now it’s time to become Columbo and say a prayer that I can reestablish our friendship.

I’ll keep you posted.

January is Back

We were spoiled down here at Undisclosed Location with some nice weather for a while last week. In saying that, I mean, no big coats, gloves, scarves, and I was quite happy taking the girls out with a baseball hat.

Not today.

I had leggings under sweatpants, a long sleeve tee under a polar fleece jacket, a vest under a coat, and you know what? The wind really was nasty. My neighbor’s theory that the weather changed too quick probably puts some teeth to the fact that I seem to have picked up a gastro bug. Good mom that I am, I went out twice and got the girls out and together we walked almost a mile and one half. Damn, it was cold.

The good part about the cold was the solitude down here and it soothes the soul.I managed to work prayers for good friends of ours going through a health crisis. By the time I was just about home, we were almost done.

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They take care of me mentally as much as I take care of them physically and emotionally. It’s a win-win for all three of us.

Losing It

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

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

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

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

**whispering**

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

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Christmas Parties

We have another Christmas party to attend tonight.

I am convinced it’s a communist plot to get me out of my Danskin hoodie and make me actually brush my hair and put on some lipstick. After all, I am retired, but, as I constantly say, I have to be in this neighborhood for a long time, so you have to socialize with friends and neighbors.

This social schedule makes me double-time my Fit Bit stepping, and add the fact that it gets darker a little quicker makes it an issue for me. I try to get Zosia’s medicine in her and then we try to go and a decent walk in.Not only does it get my steps in but it gets both girls some exercise and empty tanks, as a rule.

Please be careful, dear reader,if you are out and about, as you realize that alcohol, in some form, is usually at a holiday party.After all, it would be nice to be able to see many more holiday parties for years to come.

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The Morning After

Because of the girls needing their medicine, I was offered Thanksgiving dinner by my sister,Georgine. She adopted me when we first met 6 years ago, and she loves our girls.

The company was wonderful: it never ceases to amaze me what you learn from people you just meet.There were some friends there who I already knew.

Everything was home made from the ham to turkey to lasagna to cranberry relish.I don’t know when I last laughed that hard.It was one of the most memorable Thanksgivings of my life.

#Iamblessed 

 

Caregiving, again

As I put a ham steak in the grinder to puree it for Zush, a thought struck me.

How many people I have taken care of through the course of my life.

Grandparents, parents, pups, husband, friends…how many people I have had to puree for them because of teeth extraction, digestion issues…how many people I had to have applesauce or pudding on hand for to slip pills into.The worry that sticks with you when the pill doesn’t go down, or you find it in the side of a bed or on the floor.

There’s a lot to be said for caregiving.You are doing it for people you love.

It gives a new meaning to the term bittersweet.

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So I come home..

….walk the girls, and meet up with my buddy Isa, and her precious son,Nathan. I was in a post-work coma, and the girls and I were functioning on auto-pilot.

As we were going down the street, all of a sudden, I hear noise like a young toddler. I turned around, and there’s Nathan and Isa. That was the first time I heard him even to attempt to call. It was really sweet.

Now we are in for the night. Work is done, my 15,000 steps are done… Life is good.

  

Going home again

Jim and I had dinner with two of our old friends from our old neighborhood. It was nice to be with them and their fantastic kids: their youngest is my godson Frankie.

Even though we have been off the street for a year and a half, sometimes,well, it’s like you have never left.The only difference is the kids have gotten bigger.We got a wonderful gift from them: they framed two prints of them, one with me, the other with Zush and gave them to us for the new house.We sat and talked and it was so nice. It makes you wish the times could be rolled back to the day.

Then when we left them, we stopped at another neighbor and saw their two girls, who are growing like weeds.Still, we fell into our old chat, and it was great.

I will miss them-good friends are hard to come by.

Circles

Joan Rivers passed away today.

So did my 96-year-old former neighbor who I used to bring Communion to on sick calls.

I reconnected with my 84-year-old former neighbor who has bounced back from lyme disease and Bells’ palsy.

My neighbors at Undisclosed are new grandparents of a little boy.

Isn’t life funny?
All the classic circle songs, from Joni Mitchell and Frank Sinatra, just to name a few, are true.

I enjoyed Joan River’s comedy and came to love my sweet 96-year-old neighbor and always loved my 84-year-old buddy.I have come to have love for my new neighbors and are happy at their new arrival.Arrivals and Departures…it reminds my of my favorite Albert Brooks movie,”Defending your life.”It takes you to the alleged fictional way station you go to when you die, and it is determined where you’ll spend your afterlife.

That’s not for me right now: I’m in no hurry to go anywhere, thanks!

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Eleven Years

Tomorrow is our eleventh wedding anniversary.

ELEVEN!

Hard to believe, although so much has happened in our lives, it has all
happened, so it seems, in the blink of an eye.

Although we had no “human” children, we’ve been blessed with Zosia and
Kasia. We had a beautiful post Victorian twin which we sold this past
June and are actually working toward retirement.We are watching what,
hopefully,will be our last home being built.We’ve buried family and
friends, and have made new ones along the way.It feels as though we have
crammed a lifetime in along the way.

I couldn’t have asked for a better partner through life.Jim is truly
my better half.

Happy anniversary Seamus love you with all my heart!

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Friday Five

It’s been a while since I did my thankful Friday five, but at year’s end seemed appropriate, so….

I have never been so happy to see a year-end, and that my immediate family and friends got through relatively unscathed. I am hoping that 2013 picks us all up and finds us well.Thanks God we got almost all the way through it.

Did I mention Jim? aka Shingleman? How blessed am I to have him in my life. We have been getting through things together for over ten years, and I can think of no finer guy to have in my life. He is my love and my rock.

I’ve had a few significant people pass out of my life this year, who were suffering with illness for a while. I am sad that they are gone, but they are, I am sure, in their heavenly reward. My life had been enriched from knowing them.

They always say friends are family that you pick yourself.You KNOW who you are-I am thankful you are in my life. 🙂

Finally,I am thankful to you, my reader. Hope you have a happy and healthy 2013.

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Smiling, realistically….

One thing I have learned working with people for a long time was smiling.

Sure, you learned how to smile, or even naturally did it as a child. Observing people for a while though, I have been amazed at the amount of forced “genuine” smiles. I laugh because some folks just don’t seem to realize people can tell the difference. You think we can’t see you clenching your teeth?

I dare you: try a genuine smile once a day. It”ll be an education!

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Trying not to be a hater…

People (friends and associates) constantly are telling me stuff. What’s going on, their families, their lives,well you get the drift-it all eventually comes my way. After all, people know you are their friend.

Friends treat friends like that -friends, right ? I love the part of a “friendship” where, all of a sudden, one party treats you like it’s fifth grade. If you like me, you won’t talk to the people I don’t talk to.

Really?

You would think folks who are friends for over 15 years, and on top of a certain age, would be respectful of the personality of a friend. Obviously, I am mistaken….I must be too ” old school”…lol.

Anyhow, here’s guessing some people are still thinking they are the bully of the schoolyard. Hope they enjoy the time they spend alone there.

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Thanks

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

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

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