Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Welcome to Dyker Heights, Brooklyn....and the Magic of Christmas

Dyker Heights is a Brooklyn neighborhood located between Bensonhurst and Bay Ridge.   It is famous for its Christmas lights and decorations.  Nothing can prepare you for for what you see with the lights, and it definitely puts you in the holiday spirit.  Saturday evening my son, daughter, and a few friends gave me a surprise evening out which included a tour of Dyker Heights.  It was cold as heck...and crowded....but definitely worth it.  For the next few days I'll be sharing the many pictures I took.


Sunday, December 11, 2016

Christmas memories

At Christmas
A man is at his finest towards the finish of the year;
He is almost what he should be when the Christmas season's here;
Then he's thinking more of others than he's thought the months before,
And the laughter of his children is a joy worth toiling for.
He is less a selfish creature than at any other time;
When the Christmas spirit rules him he comes close to the sublime...

Edgar Guest

Last night my son Jerry and my daughter Lisa surprised me with a night on the town.  We first ate at Walburgers Coney Island, then headed over to Dyker Heights, the magical Christmas village of Brooklyn, and ended the evening with hot chocolate at an Italian Pastry shop.  Never tasted hot chocolate like it.  We had the special--hot chocolate, chocolate chips, marshmallows, cinnamon, and whipped cream.  What an awesome night...and so many pictures to share.   

 My son Jerry with his girlfriend, Tahnee closest to us.  My daughter, Lisa, and her friend in the back.  My friend Ellen next to them, and of course, me next to Jerry.

 My daughter and her friend, Peppi.
 Jerry and Tahnee
 What a cheerful little out of the way place.

A kind soul took this picture of all of us in Dyker Heights.

Didn't want to overwhelm.  More to come.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Happy Friday.

Good morning and a very happy Friday. It's a cold day here in Brooklyn. Winter has arrived. I've been having a lot of shoulder and shoulder blade pain lately so I've been typing as little as possible as this seems to aggravate it. (Need a new chair. Mine is too low).

So, for the time being I will only be publishing one blog a day. Today I published on "On Turning 70" Hope to see you there.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Sunday Greetings.

Rich, fatty foods are like destiny: they too, shape our ends.

Author unknown

Good morning everyone. Another cool day ahead. I don't mind at all. At least I am not standing here trying to guess what I should wear. This morning I'm going to walk it to church, then hop on the bus and head on over to Key Food for a few items. Thinking I 'might' be able to eat a salad. Teeth are feeling fairly good. The bottom I still only keep in for a few hours at a time. In and out. Then in again and out again. The top is pretty glued in and doesn't budge until it's time to put them to bed for the night. I am due this month for my re-alignment. My gums have shrunk and the denture is too large, but I hesitate around holiday time. What if I have to go through that painful, not able to wear period again? Not now. Maybe in January I will deal with it.

Why is it that when we get so close we tend to sabotage all the good we did? I'm only 20 pounds from goal now, and that not only means feeling a sense of accomplishment, but also lifetime membership and FREE meetings. I did well last week. I had been at a 53 pound loss, then just before Thanksgiving found myself at a 50.8 pound loss. That's when I knew that I had to stop this downward spiral now before it got out of hand. Did well last week. No chips or candy. But always hungry and nibbling on fruit. Took of 1.2 and halted that downward spiral, but have to really focus on what I am doing. Stop kidding myself that it's only fruit so I can eat all I want and gorging myself. Nope, it's fruit yes, but everything adds up in the end. 
The other day I was thinking, "Wow, in only a few short months I will turn 70."  I can't believe it.  But, time marches on and there is no denying it. To me, the 60's are the new middle age, but 70?   It hit me then that I would like to start a journal as I enter what I consider the final third of my life.  I started writing, but not so good at handwriting lately, fingers ache after awhile, so I have started a new blog.  http://onturningseventy.blogspot.com/

I will keep up with Moontides, but not as steadily as I once did.  This blog was my first, and I will never let it go, but I seem to have run out of things to write about.  Of course, that could change at any time.  Who knows how the creative juices will be running next week.

I close now with pictures of my three newest angel.  The crystal angel in the middle changes color. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Monday This and That

You can never go home again, but the truth is you can never leave home, so it’s all right. 
Maya Angelou

Good morning everyone. It's going to be the last nice day here today because tomorrow the rains come. Had plans for every day and going to go ahead with them, just switching them around. I'd planned on going to Burlington to exchange a couple of jackets I'd purchased with quarters.

Yes, you heard me write. I bought them with quarters. Been saving quarters for years and have a thousand dollars or more. They've been sitting around taking up space so I started taking them a little at a time to the bank. So, with the last batch I took I ordered the jackets, but, alas, they don't fit. Rather than go through all the bother and waiting for a refund if I send them by mail, I figured I'd go to the store in person. That way I'll get a store credit and be able to try on first.

Years ago my dad's twin bought his first new car with change that he had been saving up, so always take your change seriously. It takes time, but it does add up.
 So, I was planning on going to Burlington tomorrow, but not with the rain. I just switched days and tomorrow will go to the bank instead.
 Ordered some pretty little doilies which I received on Saturday.  Love the color of them, but such a disappointment in size. No wonder they were only $1.65 each. I figured a way to use them.   Luckily

 Also trying to figure out how to put a topper on my tree. Don't think an angel will do because the top of the tree just won't hold them, it keeps bending over, so I guess I'd best look for a star I can maybe tie on?
Finally, my daughter sent these photos of my old house which has been sold.  It's heartbreaking that they are chopping down those big old trees.  They've been there for probably hundreds of years and have many stories to tell.  And I guess the new owners just aren't thinking about summer at which time the sun beats down on those windows and the only saving grace was those beautiful old trees.
 Have a good one.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Monday Afternoon This and That

It is the life of the crystal, the architect of the flake, the fire of the frost, the soul of the sunbeam. This crisp winter air is full of it.

John Burroughs,

Good morning everyone.  It sure is a cold one out there.  Winter has arrived.  Yesterday the wind was cold and blustery, and I saw snowflakes in the air.  I know some had snow, but we only had a few flakes.

Had a busy weekend.  Wrapped all my gifts yesterday.  Well, almost all of them.  I bought my daughter and two granddaughters a Chakra healing bracelet.  They have so many health issues.  My eldest granddaughter has heart problems, my youngest now is awaiting news to see if her biopsy shows cancer, and my daughter has kidney issues and high blood pressure.  So, I bought them each a bracelet then typed out what each crystal in the bracelet stands for.  Now I just have to get to the library to print out three copies.  Then I can wrap.  My grandson was in Afghanistan and loves army things so I bought him a fantastic army hat, but putting it in a box will only bend its shape so I have to get a gift bag for that one. 

Now to decide where to put them since I decided to get rid of my 24 year old tree and get a smaller tabletop model.  Guess I will just stack them up somewhere in the living room.  Today I'm going to hang around and take care of Christmas cards.  So proud of myself for getting everything done early.   

 Otherwise, all is done and ready for the big day.  Still unsure of holiday plans.  Was hoping to have the family meet here on Christmas Eve and all attend mass together, but I don't really know if that will happen.  I've not been a part of their life for so many years, and they have developed their own traditions.  Like Thanksgiving, I called my daughter to invite her and my grandchildren, and she said "all the kids missed her home cooking for the holidays so they were all going there.  Would you like to come?"  Maybe I am too sensitive and am expecting too much, but I felt that if they had 'really' wanted me to come I would have been called and invited, not invited as an afterthought when I called.

It's been so joyful for me being reunited with family, but it's also been bittersweet as well, and I often find myself in tears.  They all say they want to get to know me, but no one ever calls to ask how I am doing.  No one ever comments on my Facebook, even when I post that I am not feeling well.  Yet, I went to my mom's Facebook page, and they were always sending her pictures and online cards.  I know I am probably expecting too much; after all, my mom was mom to my daughter and grandma to her children, and I am but a stranger,  but that doesn't stop it from hurting.  

Thank you for listening.  It felt good getting it out.

Have a good one.

Friday, November 18, 2016

I'm Back

When you are nine years old, what you remember seems forever; for you remember everything and everything is important and stands big and full and fills up Time and is so solid that you can walk around and around it like a tree and look at it. You are aware that time passes, that there is a movement in time, but that is not what Time is. Time is not a movement, a flowing, a wind then, but it is, rather, a kind of climate in which things are, and when a thing happens it begins to live and keeps on living and stands solid in Time like the tree that you can walk around. And if there is a movement, the movement is not Time itself, any more than a breeze is climate, and all the breeze does is to shake a little the leaves on the tree which is alive and solid.

Robert Penn Warren
Good morning all.  Gosh it's been such a long time since I've been here.  Each morning I promise myself to visit, and by the end of the day I've just been so drained.  There has been so much going on in my life...and time just moves along at top speed. 

I have finally completed my nutritional consultant classes.  Now I am just waiting on my certificate.  I worked hard to earn that.  Now I can put NC and HHP after my name.  Currently I am studying for two certificates.  Yes, I am definitely a lifelong learner.  My newest classes include both Angel and crystal healing.  At the end I will have certificates in both.  

I also have continued with my classes at Brooklyn College....which are now coming to an end in a couple of weeks....just in time to prepare for the holidays which this year will be pretty busy.  For one thing, my daughter and her husband have separated (nasty story), and she has moved back to New Jersey.  Therefore, I am hoping to put together a big family get-together around Christmas.  I would love to have it on Christmas Eve so we could all attend a church service together, and then come home to party...but actually, haven't really planned anything yet.....

...because my granddaughter has just had surgery on her cervix. She's had abnormal tests for a year, since the birth of her third child, and now the tests look pretty bad so they took half her cervix and plan on doing a biopsy.  Don't know why her doctor waited so long, or why she didn't go for a second opinion long ago, but it's too late now to question things.  Now all we can do is pray.  She is so young and beautiful with three small children.  My heart is aching.  So you see, the holidays right now are on hold.

Other than that, life continues.  I've passed the 50 pound hurdle in weight loss, and with 20 pounds more to go, I seem to have entered another plateau.  Gain .4, lose .4. stay the same, lose .4, gain .4 and so on for weeks on end.  I really, really want to hit goal for that awesome sense of accomplishment that comes with it....but also so I can become a lifetime member and attend my meetings for free.

A few recent pictures....

 Went for a smaller tree this year.
53 pounds lighter
 While waiting for the bus.
My crystals...

 Have a good one.  Promise to drop by more often.  I know, you've heard that one before, but with school letting up I will definitely have more time.  Thanks for not giving up on me.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Monday Morning This and That

I cannot write of things which even impassioned breath cannot utter. Autumn is coming with its days of gold, its days of reverie and of you—oh, such delightful hours that my heart burns within me at the anticipation. 
Byron Caldwell Smith, letter to Kate Stephens  
(He published an awesome book of love letters)

Morning all.  Fall weather has arrived here in Brooklyn, and none too soon.  I've had my fill of the heat and humidity.  I absolutely love going for walks in this weather.  Hopefully I'll be able to fit in about 30 minutes every day.  I've been so busy with my studies that I am burning myself out.  So tired all the time.  Have to ease up some and allow more time for recreation.  I've always been a workaholic and a perfectionist with my work, and now I find myself doing the same with my studies.  Not good.

So I had to get rid of  my herb garden in the kitchen window. Tried several times this year, but once sprouted they all died. Not enough sun in the window since they built a huge monstrosity of a building that blocks all of the  sun except for the 30 minutes it is high in the sky. In their place are these low care succulents which do well in indirect sunlight. I paid $25 for the lot of them from Amazon and received some nice healthy plants.  The middle one already has a baby.

 Had two cans of this organic basil so figured I would give it a try. 

Today is going to be a quiet day.  This morning I am off to the library to print out a few things I need for class, then heading back home.  I picked up some September issues of magazines on Sunday and I plan on just spending the day lounging about.  My body is telling me that that is what it needs, and if we don't listen to our bodies, who will?  Learned that lesson the hard way.

Have a good one.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Tuesday This and That

Is, then, September come so soon?
Full time doth summer ne'er abide?
While yet it seems but summer's noon,
We're floating down the autumn tide.

Eunice E. Comstock
Good morning everyone.  Just a quick note to let you know all is well. Looks like it is going to be a bit warmer today, but not as oppressing as it was a month ago. I can deal with it. Cool weather is definitely on its way.

This afternoon I am off to class, 'The Hebrew Scriptures in Judaism in Christianity'.  Sessions will focus on circumcision, the food laws, and the Sabbath. They will be examined from both Jewish and Christian perspectives. I love this course and am sad that I had to miss the summer semester, but my teeth had to be done.  My Spanish class has been postponed until the first of October as my instructor had a family emergency and had to fly back home to Spain.  Disappointed also that Miss Kity has cancelled her magic class.  Was really looking forward to that.

So, I got my Ninja yesterday. Can't wait to try it, but have to get some ice cube trays. I used my old ones for my paints, and none came with this refrigerator. With fall and winter on its way, I had to do something to continue getting my fruit in. I dislike pears and apples, and now with my mouth like this, it would be impossible to eat them anyway. I do like to get my daily fruit quota so I think smoothies are a great idea.  Can't wait to start using it. Have an awesome recipe for pear smoothie--pear, low fat vanilla yogurt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Did my Autumn decorating over the weekend.  Totally love this time of year.  Everything about it.  The colors.  The cool breezes.  Sleeping with the windows open.  Long sleeves to hide the flab in my arms. (had to throw that one in there).  Gorgeous Autumn skies.  Leaves crackling under your feet.  Autumn scented candles.  Heck, I love it all.

Have a good one.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Let Us Never Forget

Good morning everyone. This morning I am off to church, a quick trip to the market, and then heading back home. It's still kind of hot and humid with possible showers on the way, and my bones are aching from all the physical labor I did yesterday, but it is so worth it. Love fall and all of its colors.

On this day 15 years ago I was working in a Halfway House for alcoholics and addicts on the corner of Bowery and Bleecker in the village, a little over two miles from the World Trade Center. I'd just arrived at work and was settling into my office as the 47 clients I was responsible for were preparing for their morning meeting. Suddenly, just before the meeting began, a client ran in asking if she could use the phone. A plane had hit the World Trade Center, and she was worried because her mom worked there.

I'll never forget that day. My co-workers could not make it in, so I was alone there trying to console 47 clients, moving from one to the other allowing each to share their feelings. Many tears were shed. I had to be strong, even though inside I was just distraught as they were. So we all settled in, glued to the news. Several clients wanted to go help. I had my orders not to let them. Outside debris was falling all around us. The world was gray as debris fell all around. 

One thing that really remains in my memory is when I arrived to work on 9/12. I came up the subway stairs to a world of silence. The usually busy streets were devoid of cars and almost all pedestrians. In their place were Army trucks,, soldiers with guns, patrolling the streets. It was like I had stepped into another world. In fact, it was another world. The world had changed on 9/11. 

Let us never forget.

Have a blessed day.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Friday Roundup

...September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather,
And autumn’s best of cheer.
Helen Hunt Jackson

Good morning everyone.  Been such a busy week that this is the first real chance to get here.  Monday was spent cleaning out my closet, ridding myself of 3X clothing.  Hubby took bags of it to the Goodwill.  Last year I felt very self-conscious with my clothes hanging off me.  This year would be even worse with even more weight off.

Tuesday it was time for my monthly food shopping.  Took a long walk to the Rite Aid for some tooth aids, (yes, I am still hurting), and then onto the supermarket.  Counting walking up and down the aisles of the stores I'd say I walked about 20 blocks in all.  Also had some major issues with the plumbing.  The plumber was down in the basement all day installing new valves. No water. Wasn't expecting it because either I missed the sign this morning or it didn't go up until while I was shopping. At any rate, I got home and had no water. So, about 5 pm I hear a noise.y. The waters on. It's coming out rusty so I turned on the faucets to let them run for awhile. I'm in the living room working on my school work and I hear water. Sounds like the tub was overflowing. Turns out it was, only it wasn't my tub.

The guys upstairs working on Leadfoot's apartment had turned the tub faucet on. They had filled the tub with all kinds of garbage and left for the day, leaving the faucet on. When the water came on it filled the tub and overflowed. What a mess! My rug was drenched. Had to run that outside and put it over the banister in the courtyard. Then had to mop from the bathroom out to the hallway from the dripping water. My feet are drenched. The only positive thing is that it didn't ruin my ceiling. I heard the plumber say they had put new tiles on right over the old ones. Guess that's what saved me. My only worry now is the light fixture. The water poured through there. Ought to fire those guys.

On Wednesday I went for a haircut and came home to make my Rajmi for Friday's party at my old job.  Later I got the following email.   

Congratulations on successfully completing the Holistic Arts Institute’s Holistic Herbalism Course on September 7, 2016. Please see your scores below:
Progress Test One 24/25 (#8, p. 42 incorrect)
Progress Test Two 25/25
Project 50/50
Final Examination 148/150 (#28, p. 110 incorrect)
Total 98.8% 247/250
Outstanding work Mary, you have earned an “A” for the course. Thank you so much for sharing with us. If you would like to share your learning experience with others, we would be honored to feature your testimonial on our website.
Congratulations as well on your tremendous achievement in completing your Holistic Health Practitioner (HHP) Program.

So happy.  Now onto completion of the Nutritional Consultant program.

On Thursday there was a trip to the dentist, followed by my Weight Watchers meeting, (frustrated because I gained 1.8 and don't know why), and then it was on to my first day of class.  The class was a bit disappointing because although it was great information, the teacher had let his associate teach, and she was downright boring. Put everyone to sleep she did. He is just the most knowledgeable person I know as far as alternative healthcare, and she just read something,. Not good. Hope next week he takes over because people were leaving halfway through. They don't do that when he teaches.

And today I am off to the party at work. I have to be ready to leave by 11:30 so I can catch the express bus and arrive in the city by 1:30. I know it takes a long time, but I refuse to take the subway. Going to be another busy one for sure.

Yes, a busy week for sure, but that's the way I like it.  I cherish my alone time, but too much idle alone time brings on depression, and this summer I went through enough of it.  Time to get on with life.

Have a good one.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Hello September

Four Seasons fill the measure of the year;
There are four seasons in the mind of man:
He has his lusty Spring, when fancy clear
Takes in all beauty with an easy span:
He has his Summer, when luxuriously
Spring's honey'd cud of youthful thought he loves
To ruminate, and by such dreaming high
Is nearest unto heaven: quiet coves
His soul has in its Autumn, when his wings
He furleth close; contented so to look
On mists in idleness—to let fair things
Pass by unheeded as a threshold brook.
He has his Winter too of pale misfeature,
Or else he would forego his mortal nature.
John Keats

Good morning everyone. Sure is dark out there. Sure sign that September is here, and fall is on its way. Love being able to watch the sunrise, but something tells me this is a stormy weather darkness, not a change of the seasons one. May have to change some of my plans today. I do have to get to Rite Aid to pick up my meds and, of course, cannot miss my Weight Watchers meeting, but the library may have to be put off for another day. Only necessary errands get done in the rain.
Hello September.  A new season is about to begin.  School is right around the corner.  Counting the days now.  Funny thing.  I walked out of school on my 18th birthday, 3 months before I was due to graduate high school.  Oh, the things we do in our youth!  Now, in my cronehood, I just can't seem to get enough of school.  I love it.

Other than that, not much news here. Sent for my fall curtains and tablecloth yesterday. Also ordered some wonderful fall scented candles. Love those cool, quiet Autumn evenings at home. Oh yes, before I forget. Had my first chicken leg last night. The dentist was right. The bones are melding into a part of my mouth, and so much less pain. My mouth continues to improve but complete improvement is still a bit down the road. For now I am happy with what I can do. Gone are those hopeless feeling first weeks afterwards.

Have a good one.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Good bye August

“August has passed, and yet summer continues by force to grow days. They sprout secretly between the chapters of the year, covertly included between its pages.”

Jonathan Safran Foer

Good morning everyone. Hard to believe this is the last day of August. Going to be a hot and humid one just as a reminder that August hasn't left us yet. Nothing on my agenda so I'm thinking about doing what I did yesterday--taking a nice long walk before it gets really hot. Trying to squeeze my exercise in.

 Also going to pack a few more items of clothing to make room for fall. It will be here before we know it and since I will be in school, I really want to be prepared. Ordered a few new tops for this fall and winter. About time. After all, I am 52 pounds and 3 sizes smaller than what I have. Last year I felt very self-conscious about my clothes because they were too big. It really hit home when I was looking at jackets and some lady said, in a very nice way, "You should buy it. Your jacket is way too big on you." This year I want to feel proud.

Good bye, August.  Welcome September.  Been waiting for you to come along.  Missing school.  Missing my friends.  The long wait will be over next week.

Have a good one.

Have a good one.