Friday, October 31, 2014

All Hallows Eve

When witches go riding,
and black cats are seen,
the moon laughs and whispers,
‘tis near Halloween.

Author Unknown

Good morning, on this very special day, the Eve of All Hallows. This is truly my favorite holiday of the year. My house has been decorated and menu is in place. Didn't buy any candy this year because no children come to the house, and I usually end up eating it all. If, by the off chance my bell should ring, I've plenty of change on hand.  Besides, it's all about the ancestors today.

Lost another 1.6 pounds yesterday. That's 14.2 pounds altogether. I know I have said this before, but I am going to say it again, Weight Watchers works.

Took this picture of my church while I was waiting for the bus yesterday. The trees are finally beginning to change.

Set up my ancestor altar yesterday.  What you see is basically what I have left of my photos.  I've included both my great grandfather and grandfather, my great grandmother, Constance Mary, aunts Bessie and Annie from Norfolk, England, my dad and his twin as teenagers, my dad, his twin, and I, and a few of my great aunts and uncles.  All pictures are from my dad's side.  All pictures on my mom's side burned in a fire, and there is no one left to help me replace them.  I do have copies of birth, death, and marriage certificates on my mom's side so I will place them on the altar tomorrow.  

Here's a little Samhain prayer I found on the internet. It has made its rounds so I am not sure where it originated.

This is the night when the gateway between
our world and the spirit world is thinnest.
Tonight is a night to call out those who came before us.
Tonight we honor our ancestors.
Spirits of our ancestors, we call to you,
and we welcome you to join us for this night.
We know you watch over us always,
protecting us and guiding us,
and tonight we thank you.
We invite you to join us and share our meal.

If you wish, you may want to recite your genealogy here.  This can include both your blood family and your spiritual one.  

With the gift of remembrance. 
 remember all of you. 
You are dead but never forgotten 
nd you live on within me. 
and within those who are yet to come.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thursday Thoughts

As we rise to meet the challenges that
are a natural part of living, we awaken
to our many undiscovered gifts, to
our inner power and our purpose.

Susan L. Taylor
Good morning, everyone. Well, the warm weather is gone, and the cooler temps have arrived. Can't say that I'm sorry. As nice as the weather was, personally, I like it better when I have to put on a sweater or a jacket. I don't like the fact that snow is in the forecast, though. I certainly do not want to be homebound like I was last year.

Went to the old center yesterday for art class and was almost ready to walk out. Seems yesterday was the monthly Atlantic City trip so there were few left behind to play bingo. So, as soon as I walked in, one of the women called out "There's another one." Very politely, I told them I was not going to play, that I had actually come to attend the art class. I heard the woman who called bingo say, "She doesn't have to go at ten. She can go at 11 like I do." She hadn't realized that she was on the mike when she said it. Well, they didn't want to take no for an answer, and the other woman walked over to my table.

She:"Why don't you want to play?" Me: "Because I don't want to play. I came for the art class."

She: "You can play bingo and go to art at 11." Me: "But I want to go to art now. I don't really feel like playing bingo."

She: "Why not?" Me: "Because I am bored with it. I am tired of playing it every day."

She: "Why are you bored with it? You play here once a week. Where else do you play? Do you play at home?" Me: (Now I am really getting annoyed). "I choose not to play, and you are not going to change my mind." I guess she picked up on the irritation in my voice because she walked away.

But not even five minutes later was back at my table asking the same questions, pressuring me. Finally I had enough. How dare she? I was so mad I felt like walking out and not coming back. Me: "Look, I came here to relax in art class. I didn't come here to play bingo. I don't want to play and that's that. Final. Now please stop pestering me about it."

She: (huffily) "Good bye" and she walked away.

I thought to myself, ''do I have a sign at my back that says 'bully me'? Pressure me a little, and I'll do whatever you want." There was a time that the woman could have easily talked me into giving up art for bingo. As a child, I'd been bullied throughout grammar school, and the bullying I was subjected to followed me through high school, I was the one nobody wanted on their team. I grew up believing that the only way people were going to like me was if I became a follower and did their bidding whether I was happy about it or not. In fact, most of my life was spent that way. I was everybody's doormat.

In fact, studies have shown that the effects of childhood bullying was still evident some 40 years later. And that's about how long it took me to admit that I had had enough and begin taking the necessary steps to change my life. Therapy, group counseling, furthering my education, leaving my abusive husband and starting over with two boys to care for...all were things I had to do in order to erase the effects of childhood. It wasn't easy, and it didn't happen overnight, but today I may be pleasant and nice to everyone, but please, don't let anyone try to push me around. Those days are over, and I am so proud of myself for not giving in yesterday. Each small step I take is a success.

And now, I must go get into the shower. It's weigh-in day, and I won't miss that for anything. WW is one of the best things that happened to me.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Hump Day Greetings

 "When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive to breath, to think, to enjoy, to love. Good Morning and have a good day." 


My money tree is really beginning to look like a tree now.  It is so tall.  I should transplant and set on the floor, but I worry about Miss Minga eating the leaves.

Happy Hump Day everyone.  The weather has been absolutely gorgeous, but starting today it's about to turn.  In fact, they were talking about the possibility of some snow over the weekend.  Not much, perhaps only a few flurries, but that shows how cold it is about to get.  Glad I got my winter jackets out and prepared myself.
My coffee plant hasn't grown much.  Guess this one will take its time.
Went to exercise yesterday. Loved the flexibility and mobility exercise, but I did have a little trouble with the balance class. Instead of the fun pillow which we use on Fridays, we were each given a different type of pillow which we place on the floor and stand on to do our exercises. I was a wee bit wobbly to say the least. It will take a bit of practice to say the least.

I heard from the nurse at my ex-job yesterday. My co-worker has resigned, and her last day will be Friday. That's so quick it sounds like a forced resignation to me. This is the co-worker I sat next to who did nothing and got all the praise while I busted my butt and got nothing. She played a huge part in the stress I was under and was an integral piece in my decision to retire. Sometimes it is better to just leave and cut your losses when there is no way around it....especially when your health is involved.

This plant is also growing out of control.  I want to get a hanging basket and train it to encircle the window.

Well, I'm off to take a shower now.  Heading out to the old center to do some coloring today.  Sounds funny that a 67 year old woman wants to go color, but I love it.  Takes me back to a simpler time in my life, a time when I had no cares, no worries, no health issues.  Ah, childhood.  Such a magical time.

Have a good one.  See you all tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tuesday Ramble

A cloudless plain blue sky is like a flowerless garden.

Terri Guillemets

Good morning all.  Today is looking to be a hot one.  Well, not maybe summer like hot, but 70 is hot for October.  Today I'm off to the new center for some exercise so to get a good spot, I'll have to leave the house a little earlier.  I try to get out as much as possible.  I get depressed when I stay home too long.  It doesn't take much.  I'm so used to getting out and about.  50 years working.  And now that I finally let that part of my life go, sometimes I just feel lost because I cannot do all the things I planned on in retirement.  But, I'm not going to whine. I'm just going to knuckle down all the harder and get myself back into shape.

Took this picture while I waited for the bus yesterday.  Forgive the wires.  This is what you get when you live in the city. The sky was absolutely cloudless and oh, so blue.  I couldn't help but think what a miracle it was and how blessed I am to be alive to witness the beauty of our universe.

Remember American Bandstand?  When I look back over the years, and all the television I have watched, I have to say this was my all-time favorite show.  I remember racing home from school so I wouldn't miss anything.  I knew all the dancers by name, who was a couple, and who was breaking up.  I guess part of it was that my teenage years were spent pretty much confined.  My mom and dad grounded me for just about everything.  I realize now that that was their way of keeping track of me so they could go about their own lives.  So, I guess you can say I lived vicariously through the American Bandstand Dancers. 

Which is why I was more than thrilled to find a FB site devoted to them. All the familiar names popped up and stirred my memories--Justine Carelli, Billy Cook, Arlene Sullivan, Pat Molittieri, Ivette and Carmen Jimenez, Mike Balara.  They were superstars to us teens back then.  But, the fact is, as someone said, they just happened to be at the right place at the right time.  Anyone of us could have danced on that show. But, I loved them, and they gave me such joy.  Finding this site also allowed me to see how they look today, how they are handling the aging process, and, the fact is, they have aged just like me.  A few extra pounds, greying hair, wrinkles. And sadly, I learned that Pat Molittieri passed away in the 70's of a heart attack.  I also understand that Carmen's health is failing. Time marches on, and we are all subject to change.

I had planned on making a pork stew on Sunday so I bought some parsnips on Saturday.  Then, hubby's oldest sister took ill on Sunday, and I didn't get a chance to make it.  (She's okay now).  My stew takes a lot of time, and I knew I would be busy all week so I knew I had to use up the parsnips somehow so I used some of the things I had on hand and  came up with the following: 

 It was all very simple.   I peeled and sliced the parsnips and placed in a baking pan with baby carrots.  Added some olive oil and mixed so that everything was covered.  Sprinkled with black pepper for a spicy taste since I cannot have salt, and baked in the oven for about 25 minutes.  They were so good that I plan on making it again.

Well, that's about it today.  I'll be off to exercise this morning.  First time back since the dreaded palpitations.  Don't want to go through that again.  Have a good one.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Monday Morning This and That

Our house is clean enough to be healthy, and dirty enough to be happy.

Author Unknown

Good morning, everyone. Wasn't it an absolutely gorgeous weekend? Hope you all had a chance to get out and enjoy. Saturday morning I got up early, took care of some housework, and headed off to the park with my Kindle. After all that rain, it felt good to sit there and breathe in the cool, fresh air. Afterwards I went home and finished up packing my summer away and took the last of the winter out. Cleaned closets and drawers. Sorted through stuff and packed some for Goodwill. Unlike hubby, I don't hang onto things. You can't when you live in a small apartment. But, I do have to say, he is getting better. 
When hubby was working he was addicted to shoes.  Every time I turned around he was buying shoes. And he kept all of them in a box.  In the old place, we had plenty of room, but here he has all these boxes packed up in a black garbage bag.  Surprised me, but as soon as I mentioned it and asked what he was planning to do with them, he got up and got the bag to go through them and said he will be giving away most of them.  He doesn't need so many dress shoes anymore.  This is a big accomplishment for someone I consider a hoarder.  Proud of you, hubby.

Sometimes I wonder if he hangs on to all these ties, dress clothes, and shoes because he thinks he will one day be able to return to work...or else it giving it away reminds him of the finality of his career, that he will not be able to work anymore.  I know he would like to.  Not too long ago he got his CDL license so he could drive a cab.  He lasted two days.  It was 12 hours a day for such a measly bit of money. By the time he payed for gas and use of the car, he was earning only about $3 an hour.  That's why these drivers work such long hours 7 days a week.  It's the only way they can survive.  They have no social or family life.  And for someone like hubby who is so very sick, it would probably kill him. 

In fact, hubby is not really doing so good.  The doctor said his liver is deteriorating, and he would like to start him on some trial medication.  The last treatment he took for a year, and it made him so sick, only to end up finding out that it had failed. He's talking about signing the title of the car over to me so  that, even though I cannot drive it, I can sell it for some extra cash.  He's also worried about how I will handle it when he is gone.   I don't like hearing things like this.  I know it's wrong, but I prefer living in denial. 

Blood oranges.  My latest addiction.  So juicy and loaded with antioxidants that regular oranges don't have.

On Sunday, I went to church in the morning.  It was a wee bit cooler. What always amazes me though is that the church is only 4 blocks away, but it is always so much colder and windier there because it is closer to the water. Especially when I wait for the bus to come home.  I used to be able to walk it, but those days are long gone.  I'm hoping when I get more of this weight off I'll be able to walk again like I used to.  Came home and heated myself up the last of the veggie soup I had made.  Not many veggies left in it, but it sure warmed me up.

Well, that's about it for this morning.  Will be heading out to the old center for some bingo.  Talk to you all tomorrow.

Saturday, October 25, 2014


Thanks for letting me know everything was okay.  Marsha had commented that she was able to see the pictures, but was unable to see any of the print.  I discovered that the background I had chosen was no longer free so it hadn't taken and the writing blended in with the background so much so that you couldn't see it.  Ironically, it was the same Halloween background I had used last year.  Everything changes with time.


Thanks Marsha for letting me know.  Last night I put a Halloween background on my blog and it seemed to mess everything up.  Let me know if you can see everything now, including text and side bar materials; ie. followers and about me.