Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Blessings

May the spirit
and the promise
of this joyous time of year
Bring love,peace, joy
and happiness to you
and those you hold most dear.

Friday, March 29, 2013


The truest prayer begins when we pass beyond word into deep silence, when
lips are hushed; when racing thoughts are stilled; when emotions are placid
as "the dawning over the waveless ocean."

Albert E. Day

I am so glad that Friday has arrived with its brief reprieve from the 'house of horrors'.  It wasn't always the way it is now.  At one point, I'd actually become comfortable there.  Yes, I do remember how I fought the changes in the beginning, but when I gave up fighting and went along with the flow, I found that I actually didn't mind the lack of office set up as much as I thought.  

But, that was then and this is now.  Since that time, with agencies closing all around us, my bosses have become so 'numbers conscious' that they seem to have forgotten that we are human beings and not robots.  A caseload such as mine, which at last count, was up to 43 is unheard of.  And between the groups and the paperwork, I often find myself eating lunch with one hand and typing with the other.  And the clients we have now are more unstable than we had in the past.  There are far more fights between them and threats toward staff.  Then, add to that the sense of entitlement our management has instilled in them by giving into their every whim and allowing them to get away with things that other treatment programs would consider reason for instant termination, and you literally find yourself enslaved in a house of horrors.  No wonder my blood pressure was on the rise again yesterday. Wednesday had been a nightmare.

This weekend is a cooking weekend for me, but I really don't need that much.  Still have plenty of my soup on hand and several meals on hand.  At the most, it will only take me a few hours in the kitchen on Sunday. That will give me some time to plan for Easter Sunday.

I still hope to make it to Church this Sunday.  It's been years since I have attended an Easter Service and never in a Catholic Church, but from all I have read many Catholic practices are also pagan. These can include: Holy Rituals, Holy Water, prayer beads, incense, healing, candles, the worshipping of images and relics, worship of saints and angels and the worship of Mary.  My sister-in-law, a devout Catholic, has carries a statue of Mary from house to house every Tuesday night, and prays that Mary will heal the sick.  And the statue is part of the Church.  But, that is why I feel drawn to 'Our Lady of Perpetual Help'. The Holy Mother is there.

All, right, that's enough out of me. I've already said too much. I really don't like discussing religion here and do so only minimally at best.  I know that some of you may not agree with what I have said here, and you are entitled to your beliefs.  I'm not here to preach nor am I here to encourage anger. Tolerance is one of my virtues. I'm just expressing my opinion.

And with that, I wish you all a very Happy Easter, one filled with peace, love and joy.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Update on Medical

No biopsy today.  I don't know if that is good news or bad news.  It is this not knowing that is really getting to me.  But, I absolutely LOVED this doctor.  He made me feel so comfortable and so much less fearful.  His words to me were, "I would never cut into a patient without getting to know them first.".  His title is Interventional Neuroradiologist. That's a new one for me.  On his card it said 'minimally invasive physician' which also made me feel more at ease.  After a fairly thorough physical exam we sat down and had a chat.  

He said my lungs were clear and the fact that my cough was abating with the change of medicine and I was now able to walk and climb stairs without totally losing my breath as before were good signs.  He tried to get my cat scans on the computer, but even though they are an extension of the hospital, they are not connected technologically so he could not download them.  He said by my next visit in two weeks he will have evaluated my records and have come to a decision, but, as he said, "The decision to biopsy or not will be left up to you.  I will give you my opinion and allow you to make your own decision.  There are some dangers in a lung biopsy" and he went onto explain air bubbles or bleeding.  He then added that it may be that we leave the nodules sit as is and redo a cat scan in six months to see if they have grown.  Evidently  non-cancerous nodules will not grow while cancerous cells will.

So, there it is...on hold again.  But, each time it is put on hold I feel a bit more relief. After all, something serious would have to be taken care of right away.  Thanks to all of you being there with me today.  As I sat there, holding my bag of healing stones and my amber tightly in my hand, I could close my eyes and feel your presence.  I am so blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life.  I love you all.

Thursday Morning Ramble

Yesterday I went to work and walked into a nightmare. Reminds me of why I have to get out of here. To begin with, we had a surprise audit. Anyone who has been through one knows how stressful it can be. I'd come early so I could enjoy my breakfast and immediately had to set about getting a couple charts in order. My work was done. It just had not been printed out and placed in the file yet. Then, later, had to deal with a very irritable client in group yesterday. Last week he had arrived at group late, and I didn't let him in because it is disruptive to the other clients. He actually held onto that anger for a whole week and got quit belligerent with me in group. When I spoke to his counselor about his behavior, the counselor said, "He's got a lot of issues" as if that makes it okay for the man to speak to me any way he wants. 

Later I had an issue with one of my obnoxious female clients.  She wanted me to write a letter stating that she is attending the program.  Well, she hasn't been, and I informed her I wasn't going to lie.  If I wrote the letter, I would tell that she was admitted, but would not volunteer that she attending.  Then I had to put up with the threats.  "I'll go over your head and tell Dr. P."  who, by the way is NOT my boss.  Then she threatened to call the licensing agency.  I told her "Go ahead and call whoever."  I just don't care anymore and refuse to be bullied. These are three reminders of why I will be glad to be out of here.  I almost wish it were tomorrow. But I know enough not to jump the gun.  Need this income until everything else is in order.

(Took the following picture on the way to work yesterday.  I just love the flower district.  I pass through it every morning. This is only one of many stores.)

We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot.
Eleanor Roosevelt 

Today is the day I am scheduled to meet with the doctor who is going to do my lung biopsy. Needless to say, I am shaking in my boots. I've always been a chicken.  Who else do you know who bursts into tears as soon as she enters a dentist office and needs the assistant to hold her hand...and this was when I was in my early 60's.  Please say a prayer for me that all goes well. It's quite a stressful time for me.  What helps is knowing that there are so many people out there pulling for me.  Thank you, my dear friends.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Ancestral Paths

The weather was fantastic yesterday...not too warm and not really cold.  The sun was shining so brightly in the morning that one needed sunglasses to get around.  Of course, by afternoon old Sol was well hidden behind a mass of clouds, but he had already worked his magic.  It is amazing how much more energy I have on sunny days...and how quickly it can disappear when the sun goes away.  It's been a long winter, but it is almost over now.

Wow, I was amazed at all I need to get my pension.  So much for calling up and making arrangements.  Good thing I am getting started on it now.  I need, first of all, a letter from my former employer stating the date I was hired to my last day worked.  Then, I need to send to Social Security for a printout of my salary during each of those years.  I need my birth certificate, and because I kept my married name, my marriage certificate and my husband's death certificate...why, I don't know.  He was actually deceased before I even began working there. 

Let us make future generations remember us as proud ancestors just as, today, we remember our forefathers.

Roh Moo-hyun

The following was the Scintilla question for Sunday, March 24th. I realize there is no way I am going to be able to follow through with every question...and in exact I am choosing those questions that speak to me. I know this is not the way it is supposed to be, so, should the person who developed this project grab a peek, you will have to forgive me. The question I have chosen for today is...

Those that went before us have walked paths we might never fully understand. Talk about a time when you learned something important about your family history.

While working on my genealogy I discovered how important my ancestors felt about one's name being carried on...almost to the point of, what I would consider, an obsession. For example, the parents of my 6th great grandfather, John Leighton, were John Leighton and Martha Cheney. So important was it that the name Martha be carried on that my 6th great grandparents, John and Sarah had four daughters named Martha. The first three barely lived a year. I realize that they did have feelings and must have mourned the loss of their children, but it behooves me to understand how easy it was for my 6th great grandmother to conceive and lose one child after another in an effort to bear a namesake. Were our ancestors less sensitive to death?

It sounds harsh, but I think that our ancestors expected that at least some of their children would die young, so they were very resigned about it. Today when a child does it is a tragedy. It almost seems like back then it wasn't a surprise. I don't believe that they grieved any less than we do; they just didn't have the luxury of allowing their grief to run its natural course. Life was hard and very time consuming, the family needed to be fed, household chores had to be done, and young children still needed to be tended to. .

In the same way widows and widowers remarried quickly, often because they had young children that needed taking care of. My 2nd great grandfather, Richard Hazel, died at the tender age of 21. Heartbreaking, indeed, but there was definitely a lot more death at younger ages than we are accustomed to now. Within months of his death, my 2nd great grandmother who had been left to raise two children--her illegitimate child and my great grandmother, Constance Mary--and within months, she had remarried and was headed to American with her new husband. 

There was definitely a lot more death at younger ages than we are accustomed to now.  I once read that a wise genealogist said, "People were different in the past.  We must not judge them, nor should we always try to understand them."

None of us can boast about the morality of our ancestors. The record does not show that Adam and Eve were ever married. 

E. W. Howe

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tuesday Ramble

Tolerance is understanding.  It is open to new light.Those who are tolerant are always eager to explore viewpoints other than their own.

Wilferd A. Peterson

 (The most recent view of my altar) 

As Easter quickly approaches I am reminded of my early days of blogging.  I came here believing that as long as I didn't hurt or spam anyone else, I would be left alone. I trusted everyone, and there was no need for comment moderation because all comments, members or not, were warm, friendly, and even comforting at times.  That is, until...

It was the week before Easter, and I'd posted a fond remembrance of Easter  past.  I wrote about how my mom would dress me from head to toe in a brand new Easter outfit and how much I had loved parading around and posing for photos. It was such a special time for me for holidays were the only times we came together as a family.  It was the only time we seemed normal.

I also wrote about the changes I see in the world today, and how, when I looked out my window, I saw people going to Easter services in jeansI remarked that I felt it was a shame that little girls were no longer able to experience that joy that I had once feltIt was a totally harmless post, and I trusted that my blog was a safe place, so you can imagine the chagrin I felt when I discovered a comment from some stranger who chided me for being so materialistic and saying that she would  pray for me because I didn't have my  priorities straight. "Church is not for socialization and looking at others pretty clothes, and I ought to be ashamed of myself". That was the day I learned a lesson. That was the day I began moderating all of my blogs.

Yesterday was wonderful. Absolutely nothing to do.  The weather was bad, but I didn't have to go out in it. The snow fell but did not stick, and at times became an icy mix that created quite a racket when it hit my air conditioner. I was glad that I could sit and watch from my window. I was also aware that next year I will no longer have to make that decision to stay home or go to work in the bad weather.  Every day will be mine to do as I choose. Never really looked at retirement like that...until now.

I finished my book and began another one..."Magickal Judaism: Connecting Pagan And Jewish Practice" by Jennifer Hunter. This is a subject I have been interested in for many years, ever I read a biographical story of a Jewish family in Manhattan who practiced a pre-monotheistic Hebrew religion and brought Pagan practices into modern Judaism.  It opened my eyes to the beauty of the Jewish religion. Sadly, many, many years have passed since I read that book, and I have not only lost it, but can no longer remember the name of it.

Well, wish I could spend some more time, but I have to jump in the shower now.  It's a back to work day for me.  Hope your Tuesday brings you much happiness and peace. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Monday Morning This and That

Our birthdays are feathers in the broad wing of time.
Jean Paul

Ah, here we are. Monday morning. It's a nasty day outdoors...rain, wind, and a forecast of snow in the afternoon. But it doesn't bother me at all because I don't have to go out today.  We get our birthday off with pay, and as soon as I heard this forecast on Friday, I requested this day off. Besides, unlike every other year, there is no need to hang onto the day 'in case' I need it later in the year. I don't plan on being there later in the year, so if I don't take it now, I lose it.

Speaking of birthdays, it's official now. I am a senior citizen.  It's hard to explain how I feel.  There's a great deal of excitement as I prepare to enter a new stage of my life, but when I see that 'senior citizen' staring back at me when I look at my new metrocard, I feel a sense of loss for the youth I have left behind.  It's not that I don't embrace my age.  I guess it's pretty much the same as when one turns 21 and leaves childhood behind to become an adult. 

I also felt a tinge of sadness at my job on Friday, not enough to make me change my mind, though.  It's become too painful traveling back and forth, as well as dangerous once I get there.  But, late afternoon I went to the ladies room and when I returned, my co-workers all were huddled around my work area and began singing "Happy Birthday".  They gave me a lovely card, an oreo cookie ice cream cake which was delicious, and the lovely peach roses pictured above.  Peach roses are indicative of peace, harmony, gratitude and thanks.  They show that the receiver is much appreciated and that their efforts are acknowledged.  Needless to say, tears came to my eyes.

My interview looked bad.  It shows how computer unsavvy I really am.  I didn't know how to answer her questions and get them back to her.  Different color blues, different size print, some bold, some not.  That and the fact that I sat there and did the interview when I was totally burned out from work.  I'd say that was one of those 'if only' situations, if only I could do it again.  (Sigh)

Sunday was spent in some much needed quiet time.  After hubby got up, I smudged my house with some white sage.  Hubby's sister and niece had shown up on Saturday, and the fact is, as nice as they may treat me to my face, I know the evilness that goes on behind my back so when I arose on Sunday, I could feel the negative energy they left behind. All this hatred is so silly because they don't even know me and never gave me a chance, but I made the choice to befriend one of the sisters they don't like so I've become an outcast as well.  One day I will tell you about the unbelievable things they have done to me, but for now, I am going to keep this a joyous day.

Afterwards, I burned some wonderful incense a dear friend sent to me and settled in my rocker to read...and, of course, watch a marathon of one of my favorite shows....'Psyche'.  There is nothing like a good dose of laughter to cure what ails you.

Wishing you all a wonderful day.  

All you need in the world is love and laughter. That's all anybody needs. To have love in one hand and laughter in the other.

August Wilson

Friday, March 22, 2013


Caring passionately about something
isn't against nature, and it isn't against
human nature. It's what we're here to do.

Annie Dillard

Oh, this is a Friday that I never thought would get here.  It's been a rough, rough week.  Sometimes I wonder if I can hold out until July.  It is getting so busy. So stressful.  I cannot wait until retirement rolls around.  They are taking clients now who are much more unstable than those we took in the past, and clients who are really not appropriate for our type of program.  In my opinion, we are doing them a disservice, but it is all about the numbers now.  Numbers bring in the cash, and cash has now become more important than what is best for the client.  Sad, but true.

The Scintilla question for the day is:

Sometimes we wish that we could hit the rewind button. Talk about an experience that you would do over if you could.

Actually, I believe that everything in my life happened for a reason.  It was meant to be.  My life was not an easy one, but lessons had to be learned.  But, if I were to choose ONE experience it would be that first day I lit a cigarette because I wanted to be a part of the cool crowd.  If I knew then what I know now, it may have been a different story. Notice I say 'may'.  That is because I see teenagers today lighting up, and they are all well educated on the dangers of I guess we all do what we are meant to do.

In my opinion, addiction was something I came into this lifetime to learn how to deal with.  I also believe that had I not learned my lesson in this lifetime, I was doomed to come back to suffer the pain of addiction in another lifetime.

Reminder. Tomorrow should be the day my interview is published on
That's what I had been told and what an amazing coincidence that it was to be published on my birthday.  What are the odds on that?  

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.  May joy fill your every moment.  See you on Monday. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Happy Thursday


Each part of life has its own pleasures. Each has its own abundant
harvest, to be garnered in season. We may grow old in body,
but we need never grow old in mind and spirit. No one is as old as
to think he or she cannot live one more year.


Arrived home last night to find a letter from the MTA. Excitedly ripped it open and found my half price fare card. Oh my gosh, was I ever thrilled. Now, what would normally cost me $30 for 12 rides, now was going to cost me $15...and for unlimited rides to boot. Not only will I be saving money, but I will also be saved the aggravation of paying full fare only to have to stand while teenagers who got on for free take up all the seats. I may still have to stand, but it won't hurt as much. (Sorry it is not clearer)

And now for another installment of the Scintilla Project.  And the question is....

...Talk about where you were going the day you got lost. Were you alone? Did you ever get to where you meant to go?

I've lived in this city for over 40 years now, but still can get lost. New York City is so amazingly huge. The one time that sticks out in my mind is the day I went to certify for my CASAC license. To begin with, I woke sick as a dog. It was the second day of a nasty cold that was beginning to settle in my chest. The last thing I wanted to do that morning was leave my bed, but I'd already laid out $300 for this test and wasn't about to lay out anymore, and it would have been another six months I would have had to wait for the test to come round again. So I bundled up and made my way to the city.

Well, to begin, the test was taking place in a school in an area I had never been to...and long off the beaten path. After wondering about and finally asking directions, I did arrive at the school only to find about 50 or more men milling about outside. "Is this where they are giving the CASAC exam?" I asked.

"No," replied one of the men. "This is for the sanitation exam."

Thinking I might be at the wrong entrance, I walked around the school, which, by the way, took up a whole city block, looking for something to lead me to the exam...only to end up back the men were milling about. Thinking I must have missed a sign or something, I circled around the school again. And, you guessed it. I was right back there with the men. By now, I was really beginning to feel anxious. There was no admittance for latecomers. What if I came all this way, feeling as miserable as I did, and then couldn't get in. It was a brutally cold January day, and I was beginning to panic. Tears welled in my eyes, and I was just about to break down when one of the men came up to me and said, "You might want to check inside. I know they are giving several different tests here today." I swear, I really wanted to hug that man.

Wasn't in the best of shape when I went in there to take that test. In fact, I was pretty much a mess by then and ready to cry if someone even looked at me funny. But I went in there and took the test anyway. Every day afterwards I went online to check for my results, and one day, there it was. I had passed and could call myself a CASAC.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Welcome Spring

Not too long ago I joined the Scintilla Project, but have been a poor participant.   I was supposed to begin on the 13th, but here I am just beginning on the 19th.  I think it is a great project and a great way to get to know each other.  So, I am beginning a little late, but here is the question for the 20th.  

Many of our fondest memories are associated with food. Describe a memorable experience that took place while preparing or eating food. 

This one is very simple for me. My favorite memorable experience with food has to do with my grandparents, specifically my grandmother.  When I was growing up I was a lonely child. My parents led lives that rarely included me, and on weekends I was always shipped of to my grandparents home, the one true joy of my childhood. It was there that I  felt loved and wanted. My grandparents always went all out to do things for me that my parents never had time to do. I remember every Saturday morning driving into town with my granddad.  He always gave me one dollar which I spent on cutouts.  My grandmother always made sure my favorite foods were in stock.

One of the highlights of my visit was spending Saturday evening with my grandmother in front of the old black and white television. A certain time was always set for snacks, and unlike other children my age who went for candies and cookies, my favorite treat was Campbell's Bean and Bacon soup and a glass of coca cola. Oh my, what joy for a little girl who who was longing for love.

Just before I was diagnosed with high blood pressure, I found that soup in the store and purchased a few cans.  On a Saturday evening when hubby was at his sisters, I sat before the television, soup in hand and a glass of cola beside me, and you know what?  The soup still tasted the same, unlike other favorite foods of childhood that seem to change as we grow older...and for a little while, that Saturday evening, I closed my eyes and relived those special days of long, long ago.

    The tiny crocus is so bold
           It peeps its head above the mould,
         Before the flowers awaken,
    To say that spring is coming, dear,
    With sunshine and that winter drear
     Will soon be overtaken.

Lizzie Lawson 

Well, it feels like we waited forever, but it has finally arrived. The blessing of spring is upon us. May the promise of this season of new beginnings fill your heart with peace and joy!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Prayer of Renewal

Ah, Tuesday morning, and it appears dark, dreary, and what; that is, from what I can see in this early morning darkness. The last full day of winter this year, but one would never think spring was on her way by the weather. Yesterday when I left work I walked right into an icy storm. And this morning it feels more like it is winter that is about to arrive tomorrow. But spring IS coming. She may not make her appearance tomorrow, but one day soon we will awaken and marvel at the warmth in the air and the budding plants as they push their way through the softening ground. And, even though it may not feel like she is here, there are plenty of things we can do to welcome her.

Spring is a time of birth and new beginnings. To me, it is a time to clear our space and make room for the new, something I already began this weekend. Give up your unwanted possessions which are only taking up space and give them away. In my case, it was to 'toss' them away.  I am definitely addicted to buying nail polish, and one would think that I had gorgeous nails. But, alas, I do the barest minimum to my nails. I just cannot resist buying the bright new colors of the seasons. So, out went anything over six months old.

Surround yourself with things that give you joy such as aromatic essential oils and candles. I recently went to the store and purchased several flower scented candles. Last night, the snow may have been falling, but my house sure smelled like spring. Begin a new hobby that you have wanted to do, but have never gotten around to it or sign up to take a class. I found a free Kindle book of patterns for crochet bags.  I just may take the plunge and see if I can still do it. Take out your journal and enter all of your goals and dreams for the future. Recently I've spent a good deal of time with my journal, mapping out what I want as I begin my new life.

I'd like to end this morning with the following Native American prayer which so reminds me of spring. It is so moving it brought tears to my eyes the first time I read it.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

 Beginnings, fresh and clean,
part of the Sacred Wheel 
Each morning is a new opportunity, 
To share our love, our Souls, and Spirits, 
With those who choose to 
Walk this Path along with us, 
To learn the lessons of the Wheel,
 and grow closer, To The One Who-Created-All. 
Each day is fresh and unblemished, clean and pure. 
Look around, Rejoice in the New Beginning, 
The Sun rises again, our hearts beat within our bodies, 
We draw fresh Breath, and re-enter the World. 
Set aside the pain of past days, each day begins afresh,
 Build upon the past, its lessons and joys,
 Be strengthened by the love within, 
Reach out in love to those around us. 
For each day is a gift, given but once.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Monday Morning This and That

I always think if you have to cook once, it should feed you twice. If you're going to make a big chicken and vegetable soup for lunch on Monday, you stick it in the refrigerator and it's also for Wednesday's dinner.

Curtis Stone

As the weekend come to an end, I once again find myself faced with another week of work, yet it is different for me now. Whenever I begin to feel that sense of dread, all I have to do is  remember that there are only a few short months left before retirement.  Actually, my birthday is next weekend, and any time after that I can call it quits if I so choose, but now I am calling the shots.  As I said, I plan to hold out until July to get that bonus. Haven't had a raise in two years so I'm not letting it go.  I remember back when seniority meant one made more money.  So why am I making less money than I was two years ago?  Believe me, I am glad to be getting out of the work world.

This was a rather nondescript weekend.  Saturday was spent in the kitchen.  I made myself another pot of black bean soup.  Can't believe I've not gotten sick of it yet...and black beans are actually the healthiest beans for you.  In fact, everything in the soup is healthy...carrots, onions, tomatoes, celery, peppers, and low sodium chicken stock. Also made some spicy chicken pieces in the oven, broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots.  Although I do like a nice piece of beef once in awhile, I eat very little of it.

Sunday was a quiet day.  Spent the day resting and reading a book I have had on hand for awhile, "The Sophia Teachings: The Emergence of the Divine Feminine in Our Time" by Robert Powell. This is an intriguing book for anyone interested in Christian mysticism and offers us a fascinating look at the feminine side of God, which has been ignored, at best, or totally lost. In the book, the author explores her path from ancient goddess to our modern archetype for feminine wisdom.

Well, we have a new mattress coming today.  Hope it alleviates some of my pain at night and helps me to get a good night's rest.  We bought a new mattress not too long ago, and I hate to say it, but 'they saw hubby coming'.  He was taken for a ride.  For those who have been here for awhile, I'm sure you remember when he bought it, and it was less than two years ago.  Remember the mattress fiasco?  Here in the city sanitation will not take mattresses unless they have a bedbug cover on them.  Well, bedbug covers can be darned expensive.  The first time I put it out, it had one of those plastic covers, but I was told that wasn't good enough.  So, in order to avoid a fine, I invested in bedbug covers for both the box spring and the mattress.  You can imagine my chagrin when I woke up in the morning and found the mattresses still sitting there.  Someone had stolen the covers during the night.

A huge rainstorm was on its way, and I was desperate to rid myself of these mattresses before they got soaked, so I purchased new ones...only they were just covers, not up to their standards of bedbug covers.  This time, I set the alarm and awoke just before the garbage trucks were due and put the covers on, then stood on the porch waiting. Alas, just before they arrived I ran into the bathroom, and when I returned, the mattresses with their bright new covers were still sitting there.  Well, enough was enough.  My adrenaline kicked in, and I took off down the block, jammies and all, after the garbage truck.  Fortunately, after hearing my story, they backed up the truck and took my mattresses.  This time I don't have to concern myself with that.  I have a super to handle the trash.

Well, it's time to get my butt in gear, but it sure is cold out there.  It would be a nice day to take off, but I'll save it for the bad weather that is coming up.  See you all tomorrow. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day

        There's an Isle, a green Isle, set in the sea,
Here's to the Saint that blessed it!
And here's to the billows wild and free
That for centuries have caressed it!

Here's to the day when the men that roam
Send longing eyes o'er the water!
Here's to the land that still spells home
To each loyal son and daughter!

Here's to old Ireland - fair, I ween,
With the blue skies stretched above her!
Here's to her shamrock warm and green,
And here's to the hearts that love her!

Jean Blewett

Happy St. Patrick's Day.

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Thank goodness it is Friday.  And I am not talking about going to work here.  You already know how I feel about that.  I'm talking about the subway.  Every day it seems there is some kind of adventure lately. Yesterday took the cake.  

I was seated between two men.  I had my cane between my legs, my bag on my lap, and was minding my own business while reading my Kindle.  At one stop, the man to my right got up to get off. Before I knew what was happening, a female college student raced to get the empty seat. I swear I never saw anyone move that fast to grab a seat.  She was carrying her bag over her right shoulder, and it brushed across me with such force that it totally cleared everything off my lap as she dove into the seat.  My bag, cane, and Kindle went flying.  And, you know what the most insane thing was?  Instead of saying she was sorry, she tried to blame me when I told her my Kindle better not be broken.  "You did it.  You did this on purpose," she complained.  My guess is that she figured if she said I did it on purpose she wouldn't have to replace my Kindle if it had broken.

Everyone nearby witnessed the entire episode and  just looked at her as if she was insane. Three people jumped in to help me retrieve my items.  Another woman looked at her and sneered, "Some people are just so desperate for a seat they don't care about anyone else."  My Kindle wasn't broken, and it wasn't worth arguing over. She made herself look like a fool.  Had she said she was sorry and been a bit humble she would have appeared in a better light.  

But, I made up my mind I wasn't going to let this  rent space in my head so I just shook my head and laughed over it. Time was when I would sit and stew all the way to my stop, but I've learned that sometimes it is just best to let go. What else could I do? One meets all kinds when they ride a New York subway. 

Well, this is a cooking weekend for me so you all know where I will be spending my Saturday.  Sunday will be quiet.  No company.  My son will be in Connecticut so the afternoon will be dedicated to rest.  Lately I am having a hard time climbing out of bed...even on my late days.  Guess I am just burning out. 

Well, here's hoping you all have a weekend filled with rest, relaxation, a lot of fun, and of course, may you be surrounded by love and light. See you all on Monday.

A Little Thursday This and That

I've not mentioned this before, but I agreed to be interviewed on the blog You, Me & Religion.  Ironically, my interview will be presented on March 23rd, which just happens to be my birthday.  You can find the interview here:  You, Me & Religion  I've followed this blog for awhile now and have enjoyed reading the interviews of people from all different faiths.  I feel honored to be a part of this.

Speaking of religion, I've also come to a decision.  A few months back I spoke about The Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help and the strong feelings I have each time I am near that church, not so much about the church itself, although it certainly is a special place, it is our Our Lady who seems to be beckoning me. So, I have made a plan that, even thought I'm not a Catholic, I plan to attend on Easter...or should I say I hope to attend.  I'm always too tired to do anything on the weekends.

It's my opinion that spirituality knows no boundaries. This is why I chose to become an Interfaith minister. All religions have their good in them as well as well as  tenets I don't believe in. I remember when I was studying for my ordination, I chose to get some extra credit not by writing an essay, but experiencing a religious experience first hand by attending  services at various religious institutions.  I went to a Methodist Church, a storefront Church, a Catholic Church, and a Mosque.

The day I went to the Mosque I was feeling a bit anxious.  After all, I knew I would stick out like a sore thumb, and I wondered if I would be accepted, but I really needn't have worried.  Never had I met such warm and wonderful people. They greeted me as if they had known me forever. I explained that this was my first visit and why I was there. One woman ran to get me a beautiful new scarf to cover my head while another took me to the ladies room and showed me how to cleanse myself for the service. Then, they led me to the upper floor where the women congregated.  I'll never forget the shiver that went down my spine when I heard the call to prayer.  Never had I heard anything so mystical, so magical, so beautiful.  I returned there several more times.  If only we could accept and love each other on a larger order, world peace would finally come.

Before closing, I'd like to share something with you.  It happened on my way to work yesterday.  They say that 'karma is a bitch', and I guess it is.  It may take a lifetime, a number of lifetimes, or even a few minutes, but it always gets you in the end.  So, the train was  fairly crowded yesterday and I stood near the door holding onto pole.  The man sitting on the outer seat saw me and kindly got up to offer me a seat.  Just as I was about to sit, the man who had been sitting next to him scooted over and took the seat right out from under me, almost tripping me.  Now, don't forget, I am on a cane, and the trains are wobbly at best, so, although there was a seat for me, I'd have to let go of the pole and balance myself to get, I ended up standing until we got to the next stop.  The man saw this, but didn't move an inch.  

Needless to say, and to get to the gist of the story, at the next stop I took the seat.  Maybe two minutes after I sat, his MP3 player went on the blink.  I watched as he frantically pushed buttons, but the darned thing wouldn't go on.  "Hmm," I thought.  "Karma really is a bitch."

Thanks for listening to me today. Have a wonderful Thursday.  Remember, the weekend is right around the corner.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Apache Seasons

This weather has been fantastic. Yes, it rained yesterday, but s touch of spring definitely is in the air.  It's been such a pleasure opening all the windows and letting the house air out.  I know this is probably just a 'tease'.  After all, the weatherman has been saying something about light snow on Friday, and I remember the Easter Sunday snowstorm of1970.  I still lived in northern New Jersey at the time.  Over a foot of snow piled up that March 29th.  Needless to say, no one went to Easter mass on that day.  Anyone else remember that storm?

Most of us, myself included, have spent some time during the last month or so grumbling about the winter as we anxiously awaited the arrival of spring.  Who can blame us?  Day after day of skies of gray are getting to all of us.  But I also remember, only a few short months ago, looking forward to the solitude that winter brings for that is one of its gifts.  Winter forces us to go within, and we all need that once in awhile.  So, with that in mind I'd like to share the following story with you.  It speaks of the seasons and how each season has its own gift to offer us.

There was an Apache chief who had four sons. He wanted his sons to learn not to judge things too quickly.

So he sent them each on a quest, in turn, to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away. The first son went in the winter, the second in the spring, the third in summer, and the youngest son in the fall. When they had all gone and come back, he called them together to describe what they had seen. The first son said that the tree was ugly, bent, and twisted. The second son said no, it was covered with green buds and full of promise. The third son disagreed; he said it was laden with blossoms that smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful, it was the most graceful thing he had ever seen. The last son disagreed with all of them; he said it was ripe and drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfillment.

The Apache man then explained to his sons that they were all right, because they had each seen but only one season in the tree's life. 

He told them that you cannot judge a tree, or a person, by only one season, and that the essence of who they are and the pleasure, joy, and love that come from that life can only be measured at the end, when all the seasons are up. If you give up when it's winter, you will miss the promise of your spring, the beauty of your summer, fulfillment of your fall.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Okay, it's Been Awhile: Time for a Rant

 Ethics is knowing the difference between what you
have a right to do and what is right to do.
Potter Stewart

As far as I am concerned, they can cancel Daylight Savings Time.  I really don't like the idea of going to work when it is still dark out.  Something just doesn't seem right about it. I feel as if I should still be in bed...sleeping.  And then, adding to my frustration, when I got to work, as usual a few minutes early, I found myself totally alone. My supervisor is on vacation, and the girl who usually sets out the breakfast didn't come in, so, since I am not scheduled to escort clients to lunch, setting up breakfast falls on me.  I really don't mind it at all.  It just involves  putting out the cereal, bread, juice, and milk, and making the coffee.  Cleanup afterwards is not really so bad.  We do have a couple of helpful clients who jump up and offer to help as soon as they see me come with the keys. 

What bothers me is that no one worries about getting to work on time.  They really don't have to.  They can strut in any time they feel like it, and no one says anything about it.  That's because even the director comes in late.  Oh, I don't expect anyone to be early like me.  That's just a part of my work ethic. I get totally stress out when I am late.  But, be there on time. And because everyone came in late, I was also totally alone when the clients I had to collect Medicaid cards, log them in, and perform the duties of security guard; that is, making sure that no one from the other floors who is not a client sneaks in. Yesterday's freeloader, for want of a better word, gave me a hard time.  When I told him if he were not a client, he could not go in, he just shrugged and brushed past me like I wasn't even there.  I'm not going to do that anymore.  I decided afterwards that if no one else cares enough to make it to work in time, thus leaving me there alone, then I don't care who walks in and has breakfast.  It's just not worth jeopardizing my safety.

Speaking of safety, a client was knifed in the shelter downstairs over the weekend.  My new co-worker who has barely been there past orientation told me yesterday she is already putting her resume out  there.  She said, "I've worked in Manhattan Psychiatric Center and also one of the city's more notorious shelters, but this is the most dangerous place I have ever worked in.  Clients can bring anything they want into this building.  I bet there are more guns downstairs than we can count."  That's because there are no metal detectors.  My organization believes in making clients comfortable.  Well, what happened to making them...and Sort of like the TSA saying that knives are okay, but a bottle of water isn't.  Go figure!!!

Yesterday I was waiting in line for my prescription and just happened to glance at the cigarettes...which, by the way, they keep by the register for a tempt you.  That's something I discovered in the early days of my quit.  Well, I was simply amazed at how many different brands there are.  When I first began smoking, I'd walk in a store and ask for a pack of Marlboro.  Today I would not only have to specify what color box, but what size, and did I want menthol or non-menthol.  It's the same with gum.  On the train there was an advertizement for Trident.  My goodness.  How many different flavors do they need? Don't ask me where I am going with this because I don't know myself.  I guess I'm just thinking about sensory overload.

Well, on a good note, had my checkup yesterday, and my blood pressure is now down to 140 over 82.  When I first met my doctor, it was 188 over 134.  Each month it steadily goes down some.  No longer high, it is now considered moderate.  My new health conscious diet is working.  However, I did gain two pounds.  Guess that comes from the Dove miniatures I have been snacking on at night.  Time to go back to the grapes.  Seriously, though, I find it easier to choose healthy snacks in the summer when there are so many different kinds of fruits available. 

Well, time to get a move on. I sure hope I get used to this new time soon. Hoping your Tuesday treats you well.

Monday Morning This and That

Had a rather uneventful weekend. Took a walk to the fruit stand. Still not much available.  Oh, there were plenty of apples, pears, and oranges, but I don't like them.  So, I bought a box of Clementines for $5.99, red seedless grapes, Kiwi, walnuts, blueberries, and strawberries. The low fat whipped cream I purchased will make them go down berries, though I can tolerate, are not amongst my favorites.  What can I say? I got spoiled on the wonderful varieties of summer fruits.  

Spring was definitely in the air on Saturday, as well as today, so I also took a walk to Rite Aid. They always have such a great variety of scented candles, and I purchased some wonderful new spring scents. This time I bough Relax on Vacation,  Lemongrass Verbena, and Lilac Blossom.  Of course, I had to try out my favorite, Lilac Blossom, and after I threw open the windows, it was as if I had a lilac tree right in my back yard.

I also did some research on the computer and found a senior center that is located about five blocks from my home. They offer arts and crafts, trips, movies with discussion groups, trips, bingo, and lunch for $1.50. They will also monitor my blood pressure on a regular basis. I am so excited.  I am so anxious for July to roll around that I am jumping out of my skin. Forget staying up as late as I want and sleeping til noon. That's only part of it. There is just so much I want to do that I never had time for. For one thing, there is a lovely park not too far from me with trees and flowers...a great place to relax on a summer day. And who can forget about Coney Island.  Finally, I won't be too tired to go or be too busy because I am cramming to get things done on the weekends.

Funny.  It was only a few years back that I found myself  fighting tooth and nail against the aging process. I admit it. It did take me awhile to adjust, but now, here I am, looking forward to the the retirement period of my life, and as I sit back now and think about it, I realize that part of my fight against aging had to do with the fact that I had no friends my own age. I basically have been a loner for much of my life (aside from family), and wherever I worked, my peers were always a minimum of 20 years younger than me. I was always the oldest and never felt a part of, but I so yearned to belong. This yearning stems from old wounds inflicted upon me in my dysfunctional childhood where I was always struggling to be a 'part of'...but was never 'let in'. I felt that if I was closer in age to my peers, that THEY would let me in. 

Fortunately, for me, I've learned from my mistakes and am now very accepting of my age. I know now that I will never be able to fit in as I thought I wanted to, but I love being the 'wise old crone' at work who everyone respects and looks up to.  And soon enough, I'll be in the position to make new friends, friends my own age with similar interests and outlooks on life.  Yes, dear readers, retirement is going to be good to me.  I'm going to make sure of that.

Friends are the sunshine of life.
John Hay

Friday, March 8, 2013


One is content if one can find
happiness in simple pleasures.

Thomas Malloy

As Friday rolls around, I look forward to a weekend where I have nothing to cook.  Oh, the house needs to be dusted and mopped, but the rest of the time will be mine.  I've nothing planned except for a trip to my favorite fruit stand.  I'm not so keen on winter fruits so grapes and clementines have been a staple in my diet for several months now...and I am starting to get sick of them.  I'm sure I will be able to find something new and adventurous to add to my menu.  Lately, I've been seeing strawberries in most of the stores, so I am thinking of buying some to have in my oatmeal or served with a bit of low fat whipped cream. (Berries are not one of my favorites either) Perhaps a nice fruit bowl of mixed berries.  Mmm.  That sounds pretty good.

I was glad I took off yesterday. It was a nice quiet day.  Did nothing but read and watch television, and of course some napping.  I consider it a 'found day'.  Actually, I would have taken off today as well, but I need to pick up my thyroid meds from the pharmacy.  Right now it is really convenient to have my pharmacy right around the corner from where I work, but in a few months, I'll need to change it.  I also have a lot of time to take, and I don't plan on giving the company back anything.  Not counting yesterday's absence, I still have 101 hours sick, 123 hours vacation, 2 personal, and my birthday to take.  That is over a month of time I have coming to me.  I'll only get paid for three weeks vacation when I leave, so that will take up 105 hours.  The rest has to be used...and with vacation, they add a day and a half a that will have to be used as well.

Speaking of retirement, I am getting more and more excited as each day passes.  As I called in yesterday, I realized that this is the last winter I will have to think about calling in when the weather is bad.  Next year I'll just be able to stay in whenever I chose.  And, financially, I am not going to be as cash-strapped as originally thought.  Sure, I am making more money now, but I will not have as many expenses either. My only fear is that my lease will be up in December, and it will be time for an increase.  I am unsure how much it will be, but I do know it will be a strain on me even if I was working.  At least with retirement, I will be able to apply for SCRIE, a senior citizen rent increase exemption.

Well, time to get a move on.  I really don't want to go in today so I am procrastinating.  (Sigh)  Soon everyday will be a free day for me.  Retirement will be a gift, a gift of time, and one well worth waiting for.

 Many of us cannot grasp the truth that the time allotted to us
on this earth is sufficient for all the Lord has planned for us to do.
We don’t need one minute more or one minute less to get the job done:
Our greatest fear is running out of time. So we hurry through life
trying desperately to get everything done: working overtime, eating
fast food in the car, and racing down the freeway. . . . Today, this
very day, why don’t you think of something that takes a bit of extra
time to do and do it. . . . Maybe it will be an act of generosity or a
moment of kindness directed towards a loved one or a stranger.
Perhaps it will be simply singing a hymn of praise and thanksgiving
because your heart is so full of gratitude. Don’t wait for another
time. Rejoice in this day and be glad.

Luci Swindoll

Wishing you all a weekend filled with love and happiness.  See you all on Monday.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Playing Hooky

Sometimes it's important to work for that pot of gold. But other times it's essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply consists of choosing which color to slide down on the rainbow. 

Douglas Pagels, 'These Are the Gifts I'd Like to Give to You'

It's going to be nasty out there today. Not as nasty as they originally thought, but nasty enough for me to play hooky. Actually, as I look out the window I see it's not really bad at all, but they've been fooling me for two days now.  Yesterday I thought the weather would be bad, and I would be off...and there was nothing.  Now I wake on another planned day off, and there is nothing. They say now that overnight tonight is going to be the worst.  Well, no one ever said I couldn't take off two days, did they?  Whatever guilty feelings I may have, they are are all mine. No one cries and bemoans when I call in.  It's all in my mind.  

All kinds of worries race through my mind... such as who was going to cover my group, what about my intake, or so and so is coming for their individual session, and I don't want them to make the trip for nothing. Of course, when they wanted to take off, they didn't care that I might be sitting around waiting. And, on more than one occasion, I went to work sick to meet with a client who didn't even show..  I felt like I was letting everyone down when, the truth is, I was letting myself down when I didn't take a day that I really 'needed' so much.  As a result, I felt overworked, stressed out, and disenchanted with a career that once meant so much to me. 

I don't like to talk about regrets, but I am sorry it took me so long to realize that playing hooky from work is really necessary, and I shouldn't feel guilty about taking 'my time'. I earned it, and if I don't use it, I will lose it. Learned that one the hard way when 156 sick hours went down the drain when I left my last job. And the place is not going to fall apart because I am not there. So what if I have paperwork to catch up on?  It will still be there when I go back...and, besides, is there any such thing as catching up?  Not anymore there isn't. I've also learned that completing all of your work can actually be detrimental for you. In fact, the more you do, the more they expect.  That's another one I learned the hard way...and the main reason my caseload is larger than anyone else's caseload.  Oh, I could sit back and play the 'blame game' that I am singled out and expected to work harder than the others, but whose fault is that?  I'm the one who had to do it all.  Now I pay the price.

So, take a lesson from someone who knows.   If you need that day, whether it's to catch up on some much needed rest or to recharge our batteries with some alone time,  and you have the time coming, take it. Don't work yourself silly, and then look back in your elder years and wonder why you missed out on so much. As hubby always used to say to me when I crawled out of bed feeling as if I'd been run over by a steamroller..."When you drop dead, they'll only find someone to take your place." And you know what?  He's right. There WILL always be someone to take my place because that's just the way it. is.

Thanks for letting me share.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Trusting Your Intuition

There is a wise being living inside of you. It is your intuitive self.
Focus your awareness into a deep place in your body,
a place where your "gut feelings" reside. You can
communicate with it by silently talking to it, making requests,
or asking questions. Then relax, don't think too hard
with your mind, and be open to receiving answers.
They are usually very simple and relate to the present moment,
not the past or the future, and they feel right.

Shakti Gawain

(Hubby bought me these wooden giraffes for Christmas. They are made of wood and really tall. Mom stand about a foot and a half and baby one foot.  Hard to get a good picture of them)  

Have you ever been just about ready to do something, but then felt a gut feeling in your stomach telling you that you are about make a mistake?. Have you ever felt uncomfortable in the presence of a certain person?Have you ever had a strong feeling about something, that turned out to be right? Intuition is that strong strong feeling we receive which tells us to do something or to stay away from doing something else, and, as women, we have been blessed with a strong, protective intuition, but many of us do not listen to it. Fear limits us into not trusting ourselves.  We become frightened of making the wrong choice so we blindly follow along being left with no choice but whatever is chosen for us. I've always believed in my intuition, and it has never steered me wrong.

My latest encounter with intuition occurred over the weekend.  My first prescription for blood pressure medication has caused a chronic cough. Ace inhibitors are known to do this to some people, so, although my blood pressure has been steadily getting lower, the cough has begun to interfere with my sleep, opening me up to a whole new set of problems. My doctor has prescribed another medication, and when I went to the pharmacy on Tuesday to pick up my prescription, the doctor told me that a common early side effect is a dizziness that is nothing to worry about. It is only the medication working to regulate my blood pressure. I  decided then not to begin using it until the weekend.  Too many people are falling or being pushed onto these subway tracks so, with all good intentions, I figured I would begin on Saturday when I didn't have to travel to work.

However, when Saturday morning rolled around, and I prepared to take my medication, a strong feeling came over me warning me, 'Don't do it.' 'This is silly,' I thought. 'The doctor prescribed it.  She wouldn't give me something that would hurt me.' I absolutely love and trust my doctor but I put the pill down and decided to do a little more research on it first.  And, from what I saw, there are NO serious side effects to be wary of, but it CAN cause back pain. 

The fact is, I've already got so much back pain that I need to use a cane to go back and forth to work so I can stop and rest if it gets too bad and lean on the cane until it is somewhat relieved. I don't need anything making it worse. In fact, I do believe this tortuous trip back and forth is the main reason I want to retire.  I mean when 4:30 rolls around, and instead of being all excited that my work day is over, I dread the trip going home, there is definitely a problem.  Another side effect is stuffiness. That's another thing I already suffer with.  It NEVER goes away.  Do I really want to take something that might make it worse?  

I decided that it is best to have a sit down with my doctor before taking it. I usually do like to discuss things with her, but didn't get a chance when she wrote out this prescription.  I was coming out of the pulmonologists office when I ran into her, and she quickly wrote out the prescription.  We didn't have a chance to talk about it.  Maybe this is an unwarranted fear, maybe not, but it doesn't hurt to wait until next Monday when we have our sit down.

Learning to trust ourselves is one of the most important lessons for us to learn.  Have you ever experienced your intuition and it proved right? 

We always know which is the best road to follow, but we follow
only the road that we have become accustomed to.

Paulo Coelho
The Pilgrimage