Musings on a Friday Afternoon

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The work gods have been keeping me busy.

A good buddy of mine, unfortunately, has had some medical issues. She likes how I handle her class. I have been busy with second graders, among others.

I am feeling the after effects today. Fifth grade boys had me losing my voice a little and I still feel a little under the weather today. It hopefully is for a “little”, because I am scheduled to work on Monday.

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Kasia is happy Momma had a day off today. We had some good walks today.

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Flip side of this? I lost a couple thousand steps by realizing, after the fact, that my meter is on the desk.

 

This kind of sums up my January. I am hoping for a better February.

 

Long Ago…

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…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.

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.

“Train”Wreck

Having been a native of a metropolitan area on the east coast, I have brought something with me no matter where I go…chronic sinusitis.

There is nothing like trying to keep on with “training”, that is, going out in the mornings with Kasia for our walking. The only thing that really sours the experience? The fact that you are out in heat and 79% humidity feeling like your sinuses are on fire.

I should have realized, in fact, I did, that I felt pretty damn good for two thirds of my summer. Nothing like thinking of something to bring it to the front of your brain. My late mother and my husband, both, would hang this current bout of sinusitis on going into air-conditioning and then out into heat and back again. I don’t know the science of it, but pretty much feel that my body has gotten run down, despite eating better, and just needs to get back up to speed again.

Now, if I can get the humidity down to 60%, I’d be a happy gal.

Here @ Undisclosed Location

It’s a beautiful day here, if you discount the “gazillion” percent humidity. Allegedly we are due for thunderstorms this afternoon or tonight. In the meanwhile I am taking part of the long standing tradition of moving the sprinkler periodically across the lawn.

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The heat is kicking our lawns’ butt, so I convinced Jim to put the sprinkler out, with assurances that I would stay on top of it and move it periodically. Hell, my job during summer vacation, other than walking with my trainer, Kasia, is watering flowers and vegetables. Lawns? No big leap for women-kind there.

You don’t mind it when you manage to snag an occasional sunset like the one above. It makes it all worthwhile.

Too Damn Hot!

Boy, how I wish that we had some clouds in the sky right now.

Like most of the eastern part of America, we are in the oven for a few days now. Yes, I know it’s July, but when the heat index reads 115, well, I’d like to talk to those who don’t believe in global warming.

You know it’s hot out when even the bay water looks like it could be stock for soup! Yet some folks who have their vacation now are ON the beach. How they can actually stand the heat is beyond me. There are more heat advisories than you can shake a stick at, but just seeing that hot sand?**shaking my head**

Kasia and I walk early in the morning on the shadiest street. Once we take care of business, she’ll turn and look at me as to say,” Air-conditioning…NOW!” I can’t say I blame her.

Here’s hoping for cooler weather and that you are staying cool too!

A Little Vacation

Meanwhile, back at “Amity”….

Jim had four days off so we wanted to do something a little bit different. We hadn’t been to Atlantic City in a bit, so we headed off on a road trip

I hadn’t been to the Hard Rock casino,, and we decided we would head on up to check it out. We went up and stayed for just a few hours. After all, we just wanted a little something different.

So I managed to get away from the slot machines after actually making some money and leaving with a profit. When we got outside, I was greeted with the sight of the Steel Pier Ferris wheel. Being from the tri-state area, I remember the Steel Pier of my childhood and was happy to see it had managed to be still active.

We made our way home after a nice night. We were happy to see Kasia as she was to see us, and thus ended the little vacation.

Whale of a Day

The first Saturday in July usually has this sign up by our house. It’s a sign of our ” Whale of a Day” street fair. Our “Amity” gets vendors up and down the Main Street, and the proceeds benefit scholarships for the local high school.

It usually is a quick walk for me, especially on a day like today. The humidity is brutal. The flip side of this? There are tons of water,water ice, ice cream, smoothie and other vendors that have lines out the door.

On a serious side, Townbank, in the 1600’s was a village for whaling boats. Thus, the “Whale of a Day”. It is tied in to the Fourth of July, so they knew folks would be in town with money to spend. I got some kettle corn for the house,dog treats for Kasia, a bottle of water and earrings. I don’t buy things that advertise where we are, as I live here. I am happy to support the fair and check out the vendors.

It would just be nicer on a day 20 degrees cooler!

Wilted

 

It is July. We all know that. If you read this blog with any regularity, you know how MUCH I hate the humidity. This morning when we got up, Kasia and I went out for our walk and I came back like a wet wash rag- really! With a 100% cotton shirt on, I was soaking wet.

My “trainer” put me through my paces a wee bit, but she was feeling the heat, too. We are vegetating inside, and I might even take a nap. It’s that hot!😓You can bet I am going to dream of October,too!

Hydrate and stay cool!

Kasia’s Bath

It’s the beginning of a hot stretch. My trainer, Kasia, is feeling the heat, as am I.

So what better time to give the Kas-girl a bath?

Trick question.

According to Kasia, there is NO good time for a bath. 😂

First I make a bucket full of warm water with a wash rag. She gets shampooed with oatmeal and neem oil shampoo. I wash her gently but thoroughly. As you can see by the standing picture, Kas wants to be anywhere but here.

By the time it comes to rinse off, she resigns herself to sitting down. I am soaked down to my skin. I only make the same observation: who gave who a bath?

We Love Our Mailperson

..for Beth our Mailperson. Back in the city, our male Mailmen weren’t too nice to her. As a result she’d bark at them all the time. What a difference a small village makes.

Beth comes up slowly with the truck, especially in the summer, as she knows I have her out there. She goes slow so Kasia won’t get frightened. It’s really incredible. Before Beth comes to our house, she goes down a block on the other side of the street. Kas will bark once to let me know to get her ready. I bring her out and Beth rewards her with a biscuit.

Nice to have an animal friendly mail server! It’s deeply appreciated.

It’s Dreary Tuesday, but…

We had a 7am walk this morning, and, if I must speak for the both of us, it was a good one. It, however, was overcast, and is due to stay that way all day. Kasia, taking a cue from a pup acquaintance in Wisconsin, said,” Good day for a nap.”

I am intrigued by the fact that I am eating from a summer menu; that is, I am making a ton of salad and lighter fare. Again, work has come between us and the dietician again, but I am not worried. Common sense has helped me drop a few more pounds. It’s a good thing, too. I had a Ortho appointment yesterday for a ” mild” case of cellulitis. Evidently, with hardware in your knees, it doesn’t take much to attract bacteria to your system. A gnat bite, something as simple as that can get you. The first time I had it, down here, my doctor said it’d be an asset for the hardware to drop some weight. Well, evidently, catching it early, along with ” the stars in alignment, got me the mildest treatment. Two and a half weeks of antibiotics, hopefully, will take care of it. Two summers ago, I took levequin until, what seemed to me, when the cows came home.

So, summer is doing ok so far- I am hoping it stays that way!

Last Day(a little tardy)

I typed this blog post as I was getting the GI bug, so it is a little out of order from what I just posted…thanks for hanging in.

Mrs. C is almost out of the building!

Today is my last full day of substitute teaching until next term, and, appropriately I have 6th grade, who graduate middle school on Thursday.

It has been an awakening for me. Substitute teaching has made me realize that I can help students, and, overall, they appreciate the help. I say overall, well, because doesn’t 6th grade know everything?😂

I know Kasia will be glad I am off so we’ll be back to being walking buddies and partners in crime.

It’ll be nice to stop and take the moments in and appreciate them.I am not going to lie: it’ll be nice sleeping in too!

Thanks for staying with me on this part of the retirement journey. There’ll be more coming!

Catch-Up

School is finally over and vacation started for me on Wednesday.

Unfortunately it was the type of vacation where I must have picked a GI bug up from a student and spent two days sick as a pup. This evening is the first night of “vacation” where I am not perking a 101-102 fever. I feel rather decent and am taking it easy. I figure tomorrow, waking up chipper, I’ll resume my daily schedule of home life.

I started slow housekeeping after our morning walk and breakfast. Robert Shaw and “Jaws” kept us company. Kasia and I had gotten soaking wet during our morning walk. It was a light drizzle when we started: half way in, it changed its’ tune. We had a decent afternoon, and we are trying to savor relatively low temperatures while they are with us.

Gardening has been at a slow pace, as we have been getting a lot of rain. That makes me a bit sad, as I know my tomato plants will pay the price. I know heat is due back as of the weekend, so we will see. Our diet is keeping par for the course: as more fresh vegetables come in, I know I’ll be diving in with more vigor.I know our lettuce is thriving right now.

I can’t wait!

730

That’s what it has been. Seven hundred and thirty days since I was able to hold my Bestie, my Zush.

Me and the Zush, circa 2002.

Life has gone on without my Zush. Well, not really. I still, especially when quiet, can feel her by my feet, or glance over to her spot on the floor and see her quickly in my mind’s eye. It is a truly bittersweet sensation. I have become a firm believer in the Rainbow bridge, as many of my friends have tried to extend their sympathy in telling me the story of the Rainbow Bridge and me meeting Zush again there again one day. I just pray to God I’ll be able to do that. If I don’t get a chance , well,…I shudder to think about it. Believe it or not, there are times in Church where a hymn is sung and my eyes well up. It reminds me of hearing the same hymn during a time in the later part of Zush’s life, where I prayed to God to keep her with me as long as possible. Feeling her by me, I guess God answered my prayer.

My Zush circa 2012

Don’t get me wrong. I love Kasia; truly I do. Zush is still my heart. We have gone through a ton together. She was the best psychologist in town, and she kept all her mother’s secrets. Sometimes, I swear, she’d wink at me to say it was all going to be ok.

So tomorrow, seven hundred and thirty days after she has physically left me, I will spend the day cherishing my buddy’s memory. I will take Kasia for some good walks , spending Mom and Kasia time together, and I know Zush will be with us.

She was ALWAYS the best.

The End of the Month

It’s Memorial Day Weekend, and officially, today is Memorial Day. I always preferred to acknowledge it on the 30th of May, which was the first ” Decoration Day”. Either way, I have taken thought of those who served and still do serve, and thank them for their service. It is hard to want to celebrate this in the Washington Area today, as the American Vice-President is leading the ceremony in Arlington National Cemetery. The “President” of the United States is in Japan, where he gave an award to the winner of a Sumo wrestling competition last night. All I have to say is….wow.

Tomorrow marks the last week of the month, work-wise, and I have school through the rest of the week. It’s hard for me to believe time has gone so quickly and summer vacation is around the corner. Here in “Amity”, our population is bursting at the seams. I will get through the summer, and wait patiently with Kasia, for our quiet time, which is after Labor Day.

Here’s hoping that you honored the Veteran in your life today, and enjoy the start of the summer months.

Ten Day Hiatus

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You can say I was stopping to smell the roses along the way.

Work has been too good. So good, as a matter of fact, that I came home and ,outside of walking Kasia-girl, I had a hot shower, got into my pj’s and crashed to the bed. I worked 4 out of 5 days for two weeks, and, OMG, how different it is from sitting at a desk. With smaller elementary school pupils, you are up and down, and walking and moving constantly, for those of you who wonder why I was not here. Quite frankly, I was beat.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, the school year is almost over, and as of right now, I am only working two days this week. Kasia doesn’t know quite how to behave, as I’m back with her, and now she only has to contend with the laptop in order to get her walk.

There really hasn’t been big diet splurges, except for a short stack of pancakes after church yesterday. I am due at my new doctor tomorrow for a check up and we’ll see what’s what.

I’ll tell you one thing, though.

Brownie Batter dessert hummus. OMG!

It is carried by my local Aldi store, which is a “healthy” grocery store, as opposed to the bigger chain stores. Two tablespoons are 60 calories and with a smidge of Redo-Whip on it, it’s believable to both your brain and stomach as chocolate pudding. I kid you not!

I would add more pictures, but my iPhone has conveniently had a dead battery that I needed to ship to California for, so hopefully I won’t go through the DT’s until it’s back in my hands sometime this weekend.

I’ll be on here, so those of you who normally would read my post and chat with me know I am still kicking.

Stay tuned!

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And Then What

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I always did what I had to do in our house to get chores done. It was no problem, as I had special days for different things, and pretty much, my scheduled chores got done and the house and laundry were done.

Now, I have a chance to get some days in at work, so I took them. I forgot that we made a road trip today to see Jim’s mom for Mother’s Day. When I got home, I did a wash of dirty clothes and put together lunches for tomorrow .

I’m beat. Kasia isn’t even walked yet

There is something about getting things done. I enjoy the sense of accomplishment. I also enjoy relaxing a little bit after chores are done. Wait a minute, though…

..I also like getting a nice pay check. So, that translates into doing my chores when I get in from school. Kasia is usually waiting patiently for me so she can get a walk. Then that is our cue to start dinner. Anything else that I need to get done is tackled after dinner.

Here’s hoping that the bed is hit on time, household chores get done, my melatonin isn’t used and Kasia stays happy. That all sums up to one thing…

…A good week!

Go a”weigh” Mr.Cough

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I had to make time to sit tonight and write this post out. Jeez, I have been busy.

Knowing it is May and the semester is almost over, I have been working pretty steadily, thank goodness. I actually subbed for a Spanish teacher and subbed a gym class. Who’d of ‘thunk” it? Eighteen and a half pounds lighter, they ask me to sub a gym class and I said,”why not!”

I find it amazing that I have found a little more confidence in myself that I’ve had of late. I am fortunate to be in a position where I am appreciated for working, my students call out to me in greeting which I never had in my previous position. It is truly a novel experience for me.

Incentive to keep losing the weight? You bet I have it. I would have never handled a forty minute gym period before. Now, I am in there with the kids, and they are cool with that.

The major problem? TIME!

I come home from school EXHAUSTED. Remember that I have gone from pre-kindergarten to sixth grade in no time flat. Kasia deserves her time out, and she needs to be fed. If I have nothing for Jim for work, I have to come up with something so he can eat at work the next day. If I am at school, I need a lunch for me and also something for dinner. As I type this, I have clothes in the washer, as Jim needs a clean uniform shirt and they only gave him two. I try to sit and discipline myself to write the blog, but I need a shower and dinner and bed.

It’s good being tired, but this lingering cough is making me miserable. I know I need to be in touch with my physician, but those of you who are in school know making a personal call is frowned upon. In the meantime, I have stocked up with sugar free cough drops. I know my lungs need to be clearer and this tree pollen is just making my wheeze more pronounced. Perhaps I can squeeze a call in on Thursday. I NEED to make that call on Thursday.

This cough has got to go a”weigh”.

In the Wee Small Hours…

 

Well, I am up. It is, indeed, in the wee small hours of the morning.

I hate it when I can’t sleep. While working on this behavior modification, usually I am pretty shot and sleep well. Tonight, er, rather, this morning, well, it is a different story.

I am usually pretty good and stopping caffeine at a decent hour so it doesn’t keep me up. I also like to exercise early enough so I am not trying to fall asleep with my physical and mental engines running. Today just doesn’t seem to want me to sleep. After a while of staring at the ceiling, I check my watch out and figure that I might as well get up.

The newest glitch is that the pollen is starting. I am starting to get a cough that just makes me nuts. I always used to pride myself in knowing my sinus post-nasal drip cough, but this new cough makes me sound like I smoke a pack of Pall Mall cigarettes daily. The wheeze is terrible. My physician says to go the Claritin D-Mucinex route, but it really is not working for this night-time cough. There is nothing like working to improve your physical state, but your entire body isn’t behind you 100 percent.

Well, I’ll stay up for now, and recruit Kasia, aka, my personal trainer, to walk just a wee bit further to make her Mom more tired. Perhaps that’s what’s needed. It’ll be good just to get a few hours of decent sleep.

Tricking My Metabolism

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.

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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.

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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.

 

“Weighting”Time

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What a good way to get exercise-GARDEN! It seems as though spring would never get here. If it only weren’t frustrating, at least this year for us.

We had gotten plants last year from a local farmer and our veggie output was awesome. As I said to Jim, our kiss of death works, because this year, it looks like the farmer is either not farming, or hopefully nothing serious, but no plants there. Bummer!

Now, about last years friend, and this year’s nemesis, the gerber daisies. I bought four, as where we were, they only had four. Bought a red, yellow, fuchsia and orange. Don’t you know, the yellow and fuchsia got shock from being transplanted?

**Sigh**

It’s nice. This time last year I had no stamina for gardening like I used to. This year I was out there and it felt good. Now, if I can fix my gerber daisy situation, I’ll feel great.

The weather was great today. Kasia and I had some quality walking time that we both enjoyed.

So it was a day to reap the benefits of feeling and being fifteen pounds lighter. No, I am not stopping: fifteen is the current number. It is worthwhile to feel as if I am getting back in the land of the living.

Springtime Sunday

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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!

Enjoy the day and make the most of it.

Savor every moment!

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A Long “Weigh”to Go

The allure of the water is deceiving. You figure you are at the ocean, bay or whatever. What do you forget about?
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POLLEN.

I have been doing longer walks with Kasia trying to burn up the calories. Now the problem is I have a pocket full of Kleenex I have to deal with while handling Kasia and her paraphernalia.

Sure, the flowers are a beautiful sight, and I always appreciate the view of them after the snow of winter.

I try to be good to my body with as much holistic medicine as I can get ahold of during allergy season. I figure that to throw chemicals down my throat isn’t really the relief I am looking for: as a matter of fact, I feel it is an invitation for y0ur body to start trouble where it currently may not have trouble. While I am doing the calorie counting, I feel more in tune with my body than I have in the past couple of years. So, for example, when I am congested, I use a saline wash to clean my nose out. That simple act puts the YOU in user friendly.

Well, speaking of walks, it’s time for my buddy/training partner, Kasia, and I to go and get some fresh air in our lungs and hang out together. We’ll hopefully enjoy it and come back worn out.

School’s Out…

…for spring break.

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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.
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“Weighting” for Good Health

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It was a beautiful day today, albeit colder thanks to the current winter storm hitting the midwest. For example, I’m wearing polar fleece over a sweatshirt as I type this. Will it stop my weight-loss mission?No way.
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Our local hospital,in conjunction with our registered dietician and a few other physicians and nurses, ran a healthy eating program at a country-club located in our vicinity.The program started at 6PM and at 5:30PM, they offered us healthy choices for dinner. There were various salads with light dressings that were very tasty. I had the spring mix with sliced Granny Smith apples and walnut halves that was really good. Jim also opted for this choice. They offered hummus and sliced veggies and dip in addition to fresh cut fruit. The offerings were cantaloupe,pineapple,honeydew and grapes.

It was a 1 1/2 hour program and definitely worth the time and attention. Now, if I can shake this cold?

I’ll feel great!

Weighting for ….

the rain to stop, so I can take Kasia for a walk.

Fortunately, I had work today which had me moving. I had special education for kindergarten, along with second and third grades. Meanwhile, back at home…

…my buddy,Kasia, waited patiently for me to get home. It’s funny, but she seems to know that she graduated from dog/ daughter to personal trainer. We all are moving so much more than we did from this past fall and winter, and it is reflected in us feeling a little bit better, mentally. I genuinely believe that is half the battle.

There are plenty of beautiful things to look at here during a walk, including this picture of the daffodils I saw before the rain. It makes you appreciate being here by the bay.

Let’s not forget my pretty girl Kasia.

But in the meantime, tomorrow we are going food shopping for the week. It will be the first time we will be trying fresh fish. You have to remember that we weren’t fish people, outside of tuna.We always seemed to go for seafood, such as scallops or shrimp. I admit that I was the one holding us back a bit, but I have gotten used to it now. I know it is better for us in the long run, and my body feels better a bit just in the first month of calorie counting. We are looking forward to trying the new recipes that the dietician found for us, in addition to kicking back and getting our batteries recharged.

Have a great weekend. Thanks for reading!

Oatmeal Day

it’s a down pouring day here to the point where Kasia and I did backstroke during our morning walk. Well, maybe it felt that way.☔️☔️☔️☔️☔️☔️☔️☔️☔️☔️☔️☔️☔️

The warmth of the house, it’s so funny, to come in on a down-pouring 55 degree day.The folks who claim there is no global warming, well, I’d like to know what 🌎 they live on.

Winter Storm Me

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

Old Year

My girl Kasia has been putting up with mom’s holiday blues.

The weather has been dreary and it is always hard to see one less chair at the table. Yet she occasionally checks in with me to say”How is your knee, Momma?”

She sits with me on the pitch,keeping me company before falling asleep in the sun.

I vent to her and the wag of the tail does more for me than therapy ever would. I can only pray I luck out with her for many more years to come.

The Pause that Refreshes

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.

See you Sunday!

That Kind of Day….again

Seaside pictures are what I love totally, regardless of weather.

It is raining again and getting windy. Good weather for walking with Kasia and working my prayers for my buds who need them, including us too. Any port in a storm,as the saying goes.

On the other hand, my Christmas cactus has rebloomed ,and along with a pointsetta, my front bay window is cheery, regardless of weather.

So it’s out we go for our walk, and we’ll be working our beads in the wind..

Hold a good thought for someone, or even say a prayer:you never know who needs it.

Day Two

The swelling is somewhat down a little, am following doctor’s orders, but my knee is still talking to me. Oh well, healing takes a while in your late fifties.

Kasia is trying to put her HobblesMCGee down a little, because she knows I’m not feeling that well. So we are bed buddies, moping around hoping we feel better soon.

No Good Deed….

So I was coming up the street from a neighbor’s house and a funny thing happened to me on the way from the forum…..I tripped on a downed tree branch and fell flat on on of my two knee replacements.

Kasia, to her credit, stayed right with me. The last thing I really needed was that fall. It is bad enough I am paranoid about titanium coming out of my knee. Now I have a blown up knee that the ortho called in a script for, and a bit of ice too.

Gee…hope this doesn’t keep up like this or I’ll go bananas.

Pleasant Surprises

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.

Memory Lane

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.

The Kindness of Neighbors

My buddy, Rita, is 81 years old.She is my neighbor directly across the street.

When I hang with Rita, I feel like I’m home. It’s good having an old school neighbor. They call it as they see it and 99.9% of the time they are right.

She has come to love Kasia in her own way. I love her for that. A few times Rita and I talk about stuff and she has refreshed the common sense in my head.

Meanwhile, I am drinking a hot cup of tea with a miniature cinnamon bun she bought me down from a spot up north that we both enjoy.

Thank God for good friends!

The Big One

Today, my youngest Godchild is officially one year old. ” Holy Cow”‘,Luca would say. How fast has time flown.

From this little guy in a walker to a one year old with a Barcelona soccer ball.

My standing allegiance has to be to his big brother, Matti, aka Mr. Taffy, as I have seen all his 4 years.

When I came in this afternoon to take these shots, Matti had informed me that the soccer ball was Luca’s. Evidently boundaries had been set…😂

In the meanwhile, mom Bella supervised the birthday boy who had his biscuit in one hand while trying to commandeer Matti’s LEGO’s in the other. A busy afternoon was had by all indeed, except for Kasia.

In honor of his first birthday, she supervised Luca and even let him pet her headache few times gently.

Happy birthday dearest Luca. I was surprised and honored to be your Godmother, and I hope we’ll be in each other’s lives for a long time to come. Jim, Kasia, and I love you to bits!

Sto lat!

Gangs all here

My sister- in- law is hiking so Mom is spending the weekend with us.

We went to 10am Mass and then took her to see her pal Joe, who is 95. Did I mention my mother-in-law is 99?

Joe is shown here in an earlier blip with Joe.

Our friend , Georgine, came over and we had a really nice chat.

Kasia , of course, added laughs.

In all we are blessed.

Booked up

It is funny. I have discovered that what ever stage of life you are in, when you think you are free to do something, you always find out that somehow, you are already booked up for something else. Chances are good that you knew nothing about it until the last minute.

I would guess that would be why, when we are actually free ,we tend to look at each other as to say” Now what?” In this current state of heat, there’s not too much we feel like doing.

Even our walks with Kasia are somewhat abbreviated. She goes outside and takes care of business and then give a collective”Ahhh” when we come back in.

I think our entire family is ready for a cool snap.

Where Does The Time Go?

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.

A girl can dream, right?

Beating Heat

Kasia and I are hiding inside in the air, as the real feel temperature is 100 degrees.

The Gerbers are trying their best to also hang in there.

Kasia.and I found a concert that was playing on the AXIS channel. It was callled Hungarian Rhapsody- Queen live in Bucharest, With this disclaimer, Queen was always one of my favorite groups. Their music brings memories of happy times for me.

The concert ran for an hour, and it’s amazing, after years of sitting at outside concerts, getting bit and the like, well, old age gets me to stay in air-conditioning and enjoying it.

Songs like Radio Gaga, Bohemian Rhapsody, We are the Champions: these were just a few of the hits they played. Freddie Mercury even learned a song in Hungarian and the crowd went wild.

What a pleasure to find a surprise like this on a Wednesday afternoon.

Golden Days of August

Kasia and I have been taking a hit with the humidity down here. We walked almost three quarters of a mile this morning, and when we were done, it looked as if we both took a swim in the bay.

Flowers are hanging in, as long as you remember to water them. Some, despite this, bite the bullet. I brought this one Gerber in to enjoy it before it got worn down by the heat.

Anyhow, Kas and I patiently are waiting for October, or the first 60 degree day. It’s guaranteed we’ll be dancing in our walk when it happens.

Going Through the Motions

Summer is taking its’ toll.

Our tomatoes were happy until the rains hit. I have gone swimming once so far. The highlight has been my Gerber daisies hanging in there, thanks to advice and some fertilizer.

I’m thankful I have my good friends to check in with and occasionally hang with. Kasia and I keep walking, making up for lost mileage in the boot. I have to admit that this summer has me worn out. Sure, there’s air conditioning but I can’t wait for a good night’s sleep with air conditioning off and windows open.

This is the second summer Kasia has been without her sister.

Sometimes I think, in her own way, she misses Zush as much as I do.We would all have ice in our water when we needed to cool off, and I miss putting towels down to make sure they were not too sloppy. It is true: you always miss what’s gone.

Long Day’s Journey

We are resting tonight in anticipation of seeing Jim’s Mom tomorrow.

Today’s photo is one of Jim’s Mom with Jim and Kasia. We askedMom for permission to name Kasia.

Jim’s Mom is of Polish decent. Her name, translated from English, would be Kasia..We didn’t want her offended, and she was so taken by Kasia, that she readily agreed and was pleased. Our favorite girl in heaven, Zosia, translated into English, is Sophie. Mom had a sister, Sophie, and Zush always made her smile.

So tomorrow we will go and see her, and hope for the best. We look forward to when we can bring Kasia to see her again.

Never a Dull Moment

We are taking a ride to the city pretty soon. Jim’s Mom is in the hospital

So, even though you think you are done with road trips, here I am , trying to get stuff together to keep us moving. Driving back to the city in this heat, and after sleeping poorly last night, well, let’s just say I am packing my rosary too.

Kasia has been fed, and my friend will check in on her in a few hours.

Please say some prayers or send out some good karma for Jim’s Mom.

Thanks.😘

Off the Grid

Here are some of today’s sights from the Hobbles McGee and Kasia tour.

I am having a full week, so it really is imperative that I manage to spend some time with my buddy, Kasia.

I’m hoping by next week that MAYBE , if I am lucky, I’ll be out of the boot. It’ll probably take a year for my foot to dry up, because the humidity has been crappy.Hopefully , we can start walking a little while longer every time. It’s been rough with the boot. Kasia is usually ready to turn around and head for home. Zush used to walk forever. Kasia and I have to get with the program!

This is a picture of a dragonfly we saw in the yard coming back home.

Have a good day, dear reader. Stay cool!

Taking a Breather

Although it was a pretty day today, the humidity was so bad that, after coming in from Kasia’s walks today, I’d swear that even my eyebrows were sweating. I was hoping for a little cooler weather, but it was not to be.

Kasia has hung in there with my foot in the boot during our walks. I know she’d like to go a little further. I try to walk her in the shade to make thing easier on pads on her feet. When we both manage to get back in, I think we both look at each other and just pass out from the heat.

Try to stay cool, dear readers, and hydrate in this heat. Keep everyone in your family, including fur children, in the shade.

Breezy Monday

There was enough breeze, albeit warm, to sit on our back deck and have no mosquito interruptions.

We came out after dinner and after seeing the wind moving tree leaves around, we figured we’d see what we are missing.

Kas is all sprawled out, taking in the air.Today was the first day that the two of us resumed taking our walks as we did pre-company.Ever respectful, she sees my broken foot in the boot and tries to give me slack.

We had a great day!

Happy Friday the 13th

Here’s Nurse Kasia.

Nurse ,you say.

Yes….since yesterday afternoon, when I walked 4 houses down the street, going up to thank someone being nice and giving me a pleasant surprise. So I walked up 3 of 4 stairs with no railing. When I stepped on the 3rd step with my left foot, my ankle twisted. Fortunately , Jim was near-by.

I went to urgent care, and was diagnosed with a bad sprain… until 5:45pm. The Physician’s Assistant called me to inform me that the doctor at the hospital read my x-ray and I have an avulsion fracture in my left foot.

No anti- inflammatories, no booze… just a girl, her boot and some ice and Tylenol.

Swell…….

Hot,Hot,Hot

You probably think the weather here is nice….

Sure, if you like humidity at the major urban congested city level.

My hydrangea is hanging in by a wing and a prayer. Some of the other flowers look as if they need a trip to ICU.We had two nice nights of comfortable sleeping. Now, as of 4:45pm, the humidity could be a zillion, for all Kasia and I care.

Come on October!

A Gift From Zush

My girl left me for heaven one year ago today.

She sent me a gift from heaven to mark the occasion.

If you peer through the window, you will see “LB”, or Little Birdie. It is a fledgling blue jay who somehow has ended up on our porch. He came into our lives Sunday and has been in various positions on the porch bench. The shot above is Kasia checking in with her baby brother…lol.

The mother and father, I assume, have their nest in the front of our house.They have been back on numerous occasions during the day to check on LB and I have seen the Mom feed LB a worm or two.

I know, eventually, as all “kids” do, LB will leave the nest. Until then, thanks, Zush, for sending a little heart saver to us.

Pain plus 363

I know that although my heart is heavy, I love both my girls, and always will.

They ALWAYS hung together, except at the vet- not Kasia’s favorite spot. This is one of my favorite pictures I took out back with them. My Zush was always willing to humor me for a picture; Kas, not so much.

This was the best pseudo-selfie of Kasia and me. This shot I took when I first was attempting selfies.

This is one of my favorite Zush shots: I took it in my back yard. We were coming back from a good walk.

And baby Zush, 6 months old, on the day we became her pack.💜🐕😘

Both gals hanging out at our neighbor’s yard, working on treats.

So there you are. My heartache tempered by some memories close to my heart.

Pain plus 362.


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.

My heart hurts.

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.

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.

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 ❤️

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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!