It’s funny, because I was realizing the amount of years and stopped to remember…Dad’s passing brought me Jim.
I had moved back home to help take care of Dad when he was in end stage liver failure. It was during this time I first started talking to Jim…who knew?🤔
This is why it has been my experience that, indeed, things happen for a reason. I will love my Dad forever, and miss him every day. He brought me that final gift, though- the gift of my Jim. How fortunate have I been to have two marvelous men in my life.
…in a galaxy 94 miles away from where I am now, Jim and I said our vows 17 years ago on the 31st of August.
We have gone through ups, downs and bumps, but we are still here. Perhaps the fact that we were late bloomers at 42 and 48, and maybe we assumed that maturity would see us through, but what ever it was, my vote being love, we are still standing at the seventeen year mark. I have often said that it has gotten to the point where I can’t remember life without Jim and Zush, and later Zush and Kasia joining us. I think it’s a good thing.
So happy anniversary to the former bagel baker. I love you and am looking forward to the golden years that we might actually participate in down the road.
I have been off the blog for a little while because we had company here and things were kind of hopping.
The heat is taking its’ toll. Rain is not a common occurrence ; the lawns are starting to get brown from lack of water. My new normal morning includes watering all the flowers so they keep hanging in there. I do enjoy seeing the fruits of my labor.
The first “Jersey” tomato is ripened on the vine and ready to be picked. What a treat it will be to crack it open. When watching my calories, our tomatoes prove a treat, as they tend to be quite flavorful. It is to the point that I eat regular tomatoes only during the growing season. Outside of the season, the flavor of other tomatoes can be quite disappointing. We also have fresh lettuce that Jim has grown and I have been harvesting for salads. That has been really tasty. It makes you WANT to eat a salad.
This blog post today is dedicated to my late neighbor, Jeanne. She passed away this past winter at the age of 92. She always was a blog reader of mine, and I always looked forward to her comment for the Jersey tomato post.
It is Thursday and it has been nice being home with Jim and not being two ships, passing in the midday, as it were. We got a bit accomplished, and with the fiasco of last night’s dinner out as the exception, it’s been pretty good.
I have found the time to tweak my foods this week. By that I mean slipping a nonfat yogurt in when I think my body was looking for carbs. It has been a week for more salad, and I am surprised at how easily my body is adapting to it.
Kasia has been keeping me on my toes also. It’s incredible that the longer walk has her looking for it, that is, walking more frequently. That has been a plus for the both of us.
Of course, to spite my Claritin -D and Mucinex input, I always get to appreciate the new things in bloom that are gorgeous. How the lilacs bring me back to Mays past. It is also a reminder that Jim’s birthday is coming up, along with Mother’s Day.
I made it through Easter pretty well, and if I keep mixing up my walking, with biking and the like, I should hopefully be ok in May. Actually, I’ll find out on Tuesday, which is the next dietician’s appointment.
It is a gorgeous day today, and it is Easter Sunday to boot. Kasia and I have already had one longer walk and as soon as I post this, we’ll have walk number two.
Jim is already out, as he likes to do a really fast walk, and Kasia and I tend to move too slow for him. I am getting her out for the second walk because we have to go up and see Jim’s family that is ninety miles northwest of us. I want to get Kasia nice and tired out, and it will also benefit me, as I’d get the exercise too!
The last few weeks, having sporadically taught sixth grade, I felt like I was in Florida with the students during spring break.
You see, for fourth thru sixth grade, swimming is compulsory in gym. After all, Cape May is on the Atlantic Coastline. I remember whenI started here, I thought that it was an awesome idea, and that it makes a lot of sense. When I would go with the students to their gym class, the pool looks so inviting..The rough part? The humidity in the pool area makes me feel like Florida in July.
Although I will miss the students for a little bit, I do admit that it will be nice to sleep in once in a while for the next few days, and more importantly, spending quality time with Jim and Kasia.
In a minimal amount of time, here are some things that have made me grateful and happy during this leg of my behavior modification.
Even with fourteen pounds off, my feet hurt less. I basically wear the same shoes when I am in school and it’s absolutely amazing how the loss of weight has my feet saying thank you.
“Weight”! Are those my missing in action abdominal muscles? All of a sudden I have the ability to take steps without walking one step at a time. Now I can ambulate one foot after another! It has sadly been a while since I did that.
I always drank water. That was never really an issue for me. However, starting again from square one in behavior modification has stirred up the thirst in me. I like that. Ever look at low calorie lemonade, soda, juice, etc? Ever look at the label and read the ingredients? You go and read until you see the big 5 syllable words that translate into chemicals. Ugh. No thanks: I’ll pass.
My cheerleading squad is with me every step of the way. It helps that Jim is doing this with me, but he is truly in my corner, encouraging me by telling me how much better I look. My neighbor behind me comes down over the weekend and we go for a walk. Gregory, my neighbor, does research work for me and tells me about different twists on “Eat this, not that”.He also finds comprehensive quick lists of calories in things, such as lunchmeat. My 81 year old neighbor calls over to me to tell me she can see the loss of weight in my torso. Oh, and let’s not forget my Kasia, my number one walking partner.
My support group rocks!
No, I don’t waltz by myself in a women’s room stall, but all of a sudden I seem to have a little bit more room to take care of business in.You go from banging elbows on stall walls, to noticing I don’t have to hang on anything to get myself up. I missed that and am grateful to have that ability back.
So this is my quick list for now. Sometimes, I have to admit, I see the little changes and kick myself for letting myself go that far. Depression sucks, and I was deep in it. Crawling up and taking care of myself? I find it a much more pleasurable task.
So I am sitting at the breakfast bar,having some cocoa, and wondering how many more crazy named storms are coming up with courtesy of the weather channel.
Fortunately, I am riding this winter out.Tomorrow we are going up in temperature a little. Unlike my buds who are coming back from their tropical trips, Kas and I cuddle up until Jim gets back in from work. I try to get her busy,so this way, we both get a little exercise.
Now temperatures and rain are allegedly happening in tomorrow’s weather . I guess that means spring is here…lol
With the exception of the local idiots setting off fire works, it was a pleasant New Years,considering we were both sick. Jim actually went to urgent care to get my ever popular “acute bronchitis-sinusitis” diagnosis. Who says-you don’t share love and germs..lol.
Hope you have a wonderful 2019! Remember to stop in early and often to catch up with the blog.
Kasia is resting, because she’s knows Momma’s birthday is tomorrow.
We’re going to take a pause for a day, and just make sure I rest up, because Jim and I’ll have 4 guests tomorrow.
Yes, Luca’s opened his mouth, because he’s in disbelief that I am going to be THAT old. With his brother Matt, and their parents, we’re going to try NOT to need the fire department over, to help put my candles out.
I had breakfast with thisi little munchkin and his brother and parents this morning.
My friend, Bella and her husband, Ivo, invited Jim, Kasia and myself over for homemade waffles this morning.We were pleasantly surprised, so we got ourselves over. Matti announced that I was there for dinner. At four, we make allowances but did tell him it was breakfast ,not dinner.
It’s not often we get a chance to socialize, and Ivo and Bella are the kindest people.
Sometimes, it’s amazing to get pleasantly surprised,especially by our younger neighbors.It was a wonderful start to the day.
We took a road trip today, Jim, Kasia and myself. We had somethings that needed attention. Then, we took a detour.
I don’t know how many of you know that Jim made a living for a long time making bagels. In fact, he helped someone learn how to make bagels in New Jersey. We went there today and found out that he is in business twenty-five years this year. It was like old home week for Jim.
We grabbed something to eat and went on our way. It was a little bizarre for Jim to realize the amount of time that had passed, but , you know what?Always nice to take a trip down memory lane.
We are back in the Lankenau shuffle. My mother in law is back in so we got up here tonight to spend some time with her.Her leg is really bad, and needs to get antibiotics four times a day .She is not the easiest patient. We do manage to get her to eat when Jim is here.
Friends of mine are lamenting their now empty nests this September, as all their children are educated and gone.
For us, just Jim, me and Kasia, we say the same thing. Where did summer go? We had Jim on day work and for us, it’s almost like a normal 7-3 life. Today the tables are turned, and Jim goes back to a later shift, leaving Kasia and I to fend for ourselves.
Granted we had a worrying summer, health wise, between my Mother-in-law and myself. I am not completely in the clear yet. Now, we have to adapt to our September dance. It’ll just be a matter of time before I am back in the classroom too. So I get to savor every walk and minute with Kasia, as I realize how short life is.
Hopefully I’ll get through the next few years, and we’ll be able to travel and actually ** gulp** retire.
My thanks to all who inquired as to Jim’s Mom’s health.
She is resting comfortably and hanging in there. One lesson for anyone with older parents, relatives, friends, or neighbors :stop in and make sure they are hydrated, especially in this heat. I know water isn’t necessarily easy to get down in this heat, but in this case. it’s a necessary evil.
We are now back in the praying and sharing caregiving game. I’d ask anyone who reads this to hold a good thought for Jim’s Mom. For all of those people out there caregiving, and you KNOW who you are. Hang in there. Savor what time you have together, because you can never get it back.
For the past three hundred and sixty-two days, I have been making strides with Kasia, who Jim and I refer to as the queen. She knows she has the rule of the house.
Yet my heart sinks daily as the memory of my Zushie is never far out of my mind. Three hundred and sixty-two sunrises and sunsets that I haven’t had her here with me. Fireworks throughout the year that I haven’t had to worry about calming her down.
I have some comfort that she is with my Mom, but it is still so hard.
I don’t even take Kasia down to the bay, as she doesn’t love it quite the way Zush did. I find it quite ironic that we moved down here because she could go and swim her hearts’ content in the bay, and now she is gone.
So please forgive me if I am not quite myself the next few days.
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.
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.
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’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!
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.
Jim and I went out to dinner tonight. It was spontaneous and a really enjoyable time. There was one little twist in the matter: we went to Cape May.
Of course, no home our way looks like this. This is Cape May. It’s seldom that we venture to the city during the ” high holy season”, Navagating through the groups of tourists is not our favorite pastime. But then?
Sure we love where we are. The peace and quiet is great, off season, that is. Granted we are not as crowded as Cape May is. When we manage to sneak into Cape May, and actually don’t have too many people around, it’s truly a delightful experience.
It’s funny, as Jim works day work during the summer and now we share the nights together with Kasia.
We have the Major League Network on so Jim watches baseball.It is on in the background as I am listening to a podcast with three chefs from my favorite and currently only Food Network show I love, which is Cutthroat Kitchen.Tomorrow night they are airing two new episodes back to back. I am really glad, because there has been a draught of the episodes on television.
I used to watch a lot of Food Network, but it seems to me that there are now shows on that channel where they have given everyone from the 1990’s television who is now “adult” a cooking show. Really? Sorry, but not my cup of tea. I am laughing, because after I wrote this, Antonia LaFasio, Jet Tila, and Richard Blais are discussing this very topic.They have farmed off a lot of the good shows, leaving me the Cooking Network to see Iron Chef and Food Network to see Alton Brown and Cutthroat Kitchen.
It’s funny, because I started with a subscription to Martha Stewart Living and outgrew that. I don’t know if I will be leaving Food Network for baseball on the television and in my other ear, a podcast called ” Starved for Attention”, by Richard Blais.
I have another year or two on my subscription. We’ll see.
This photo is about five years old. My girls, together, in the back of the old house down here at Undisclosed Location.
Oh to have that time back. It’s three weeks today that my Zosia left me for heaven, and the pain is just like it was this afternoon. I really miss my girl, and I find it hard not to refer to Kasia without slipping into ” my girls.” Jim’s niece sent us a second sympathy card and a willow statue of an angel holding a puppy. Just when you think waterworks are temporarily dried up, well, no such luck.
Meanwhile, I give Kasia tons of love, especially getting her through her sprained back paw. She misses her sister, and just came over to me to see what I was typing… lol. She has really become adhered to me, although if we are out and she smells, senses or hears Jim, well, Jim is her boyfriend.
We are getting along, somewhat sadly, like a car with three wheels. That is why we are walking now, so the three of us can get used to a 3 family member dynamic.
Jim and I will be up for early Mass, and after breakfast he’ll be off to see his family and his buddy from high school. My plans are to stay here, as Zosia, at this point, doesn’t handle separation really well, and she needs to be home. It’s my job as Mom to be with her and Kasia and we will be celebrating here. I don’t know if this is a “Bucket List” Easter for Zosia or not, but I hope to make it the best that we can. It goes without saying that I’ll be praying all day tomorrow for both the girls, but especially Zush. Please keep a good thought for me and the girls: I know it’ll be a rough day.
Enjoy your day, especially if you are with family and friends.
Since it’s Saturday night, Jim’s home with me and Moonstruck is playing on the cable.
Meanwhile, sundowning Zush keeps walking around, as if she is trying to tell us,” How many times are you people watching this movie?” I have sung to her a bit and also rubbed her down with the lavender oil, but it seems as if she is having trouble getting tired, as it were. This is kind of weird, as I had her out for three walks today.
They are calling for chances of rain down here for the next four days, and I can’t help but wonder if, like her dear old mom, she feels the change in the barometric pressure. I like to read a page on the internet put out by an organization called Grey Muzzle. It deals with issues with older pups like the Zusher.
It is a daily experience with my girl. You learn there is no such thing as predictability in dementia, be it canine or human.
Of late, I have been going to bed late due to Zush and her canine dementia and Jim working until 11.
I have caught a lot of CBS late night, and my favorite has been James Corden and the Late, Late Show. He has a popular segment that is called Carpool Karaoke and it made me aware of the Broadway musical, Alexander Hamilton. Yes, I know, to those of you shaking your heads and considering yourselves in the know, I must have been under a rock.
The segment of Carpool Karaoke had to do with this years’ Tony Awards, which Corden was hosting. He had Lin-Manuel Miranda in the car with him and the two of them together woke up my love for broadway tunes. I know my nephew, Gregory, is always texting about rap battle wars, but for those of you who don’t know, the entire play is done in rap, hip-hop and song. When I first heard about this combination, I said, “Huh?”
Little did I know.
I know have the soundtrack on my phone and laptop and the songs are stuck in my head. When I was a kid, the musical “1776” came up and I loved it. I saw the play in Philadelphia and New York and also saw the movie a ton.
Now, retired that I am, I don’t know about my chance of seeing the play, but for now, the soundtrack has me hooked.
Old American Studies majors don’t die…they just find new life on Broadway!
Today, 22nd of February, marks her 15th birthday. FIFTEEN! Where does the time go?
She has gotten slower, as most of us do as we get older. It is funny that I am older, too, and can appreciate what she is going through. We have good days and some bad days, and as most pet parents would say, what we would give to get them back to their youth.
Zush was a baby when she was in our wedding picture, and Jim and I cherish the memories we have with our girl. I was speaking to my former boss today and we talked about how the average life span for a pup like Zosia would be ten years old. I know she owes us nothing. I know I owe her every moment she has shared with me. The countless walks we have had together, my talks with her when she looks at me with those big Hires Root Beer eyes and keeps my secrets close to her. When I had ankle surgery, she would come up on my bed and lay next to me and give me comfort just by sleeping near me. The kindness she showed her “kid sister” Kasia, when she first joined our household was tremendous.I could go on and on and on…but there you have it.
Happy fifteen years to my Zosia, my Bestie.I cherish every second I have with you and love you for all you have taught me.
Normally Jim and I would have celebrated the Super Bowl at a party somewhere down here. This was not the case this year.
We both sound like we smoked Camel cigarettes all our lives, Jim more so than me. As I haven’t been working as of late, it’s probably school-borne bugs Jim is bringing home that are keeping us hacking. We finally we able to get some cough medicine in us last night for our first good night’s sleep in a week.
My nephew who studied meteorology says it’s because it wasn’t cold enough to kill all the bugs.
Guess I’ll be hoping for some long-john weather, so I can stop making chicken soup.
Those little thoughts that won’t let you sleep. Trying to put something on to make you fall asleep. I didn’t want to take anything to make me drowsy. I figure by the time I went to back to sleep, it would be time for me to get up and make today a really long day.
I don’t know if it is the possible cold front coming through, or the alleged rain and snow mix that is forecasted for Friday.Sometimes they say all your scars in your body act up and make you” feel” the weather. I know, there are a million old wives tales.
It’s frustrating when the husband is sleeping, Zush is sleeping, I come in here to type the blog and put the television on and Kasia is sleeping.
Zush, who is ALWAYS by my side, has been giving me the”…and you’re not going anywhere, right, mom?” look and sticking to me even more than Velcro ever could.
It is weird that once again, I have to reschedule my week. At least with this job I manage to get weekends off,for what that’s worth.After all, laundry and vacumning have got to get sone sometime. But somethings are always the same. I savor the time with my fur girls! Kasia misses me a little, but as usual, she always waits for Jim to come home.Oh well, one out of two isn’t bad,
I don’t know if it was change in temperature or what, but I was hurting and had trouble sleeping. I managed to get a few hours in, but it didn’t take much to have me take the day off, uh,kind of.
I have the Fit Bit Zip on, but Jim has the girls out for a walk now. We have wind gusts up to 40 m.p.h., so I am floating around the house, occasionally sitting with some ice to quiet my aches. It really is weird, as I am used to walking them, and have to admit I feel like a little withdrawal. Hopefully I can keep things together and warm my body up and get back in the swing of things tomorrow.
It’s funny when you are like me and always considered myself a winter person.I guess the law of age and averages kick in to try to convince your body that cold weather likes to be mean once in awhile.
I used to bake chicken once in a while, especially when I was single.
I can honestly say I have not made one at home in almost 13 1/2 years. Really. It’s been that long because when rotisserie is reasonable in the supermarket, well, I factor in what it would cost to make it at home and usually get the one from the market.
Our local Acme had oven stuffer roasters on sale so I thought, why not.It’s been a while and I would make it as it gets cooler.Well, although it was fifty degrees today, at twilight…
…you could see the front moving in.
Fortunately thanks to my interest in following the weather, plus all the surgical scars I have that react to barometric pressure changes, I felt the oven stuffer’s number was up back around 2PM.
Zush and I walked the neighborhood while Jim took Kasia to a state park beach to run.Hopefully Daddy and daughter will be home for dinner.
This morning,I am waiting to catch a train to go do field work for my job. I am sitting in our living room, as are Bush & Kasia, who are waiting for me to take them out one more time before I have to leave for work.
Jim walks in from the kitchen, looks at Zush and says he has to take care of her. I am wondering what is going on here. He comes in with a hand of her dog food , leaves it front of her, and I see her look up with love to her Dad, and start to nibble. Her sister, Kasia, is curled up and can’t be bothered.
It seems the nine year old Zush stays mellow in the morning, and Daddy appreciates the fact.
I am lucky,as a former cat woman, to have a guy who loves our fur children , to which they return it unconditionally. I am every so thankful for these gifts every day!
Is there a magical time when you become an adult? Moving out of your parent's house? Paying your first bill? Getting married? Having kids? Turning 30? We are still figuring it out and writing about our journey along the way!