Friday, May 30, 2014

Friday Roundup

Life was meant to be lived, and curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life. 

Eleanor Roosevelt

Good morning.  And what a week it was!  During the day I kept myself busy and in the evening I immersed myself in my books, followed by a time of quiet contemplation as I struggled to come to terms with my son's NDE.  It has really opened my eyes to how fragile life really is.  One minute you are heading off to work with your friend and the next your heart has stopped, and you enter into the Otherworld. Sometimes the tears just flow as I think of how close I came to losing my youngest.  A special thanks to the trauma team that brought him back.

My son is doing well.  We all had quite a scare, and I hope what he tells me is true.  He hasn't had a cigarette in several days...or so he says, and he claims to be eating healthier. I'd wanted him to come home with me for awhile, but he refused.  So, I find myself calling him all the time just to hear his voice. His experience has also challenged  me to look into my own beliefs, but more on that later.

Today I have to run to the bank to draw out money to take care of the rent and bills.  How quickly this month passed by!  I know I have said this before, but time definitely has to slow down some.  I can't seem to catch up with it.  There is so much I want to do and just can't seem to squeeze it in.  And here I thought it would be so much easier when I was retired. 

Saturday I plan on heading to the fruit stand.  Summer fruits are hitting the shelves, and I am working hard to get myself back in shape.  Actually, I haven't been in shape for a few years now, but that is not saying I can't do it.  We can anything we want if we set our minds to it and stick to it.  That's always been my problem.  I make up my mind to do it, but a week or two down the road, I veer off in another direction.  Time to knuckle down and do it.

Well, I guess that's about it for today.  This weekend I plan on taking it easy.  After last weekend, I need some time just to have fun.  If it is nice, might even head over to Coney Island...or perhaps I will just curl up and sleep.

Have a good one.  See you all on Monday.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Thursday Ramble

 We may have found a cure for most evils;
but we have found no remedy for the worst of them all,
the apathy of human beings.

 Helen Keller

Yesterday I was on the bus heading  home from the center when I overhead a woman politely ask the man in front of her if the bus was nearing her stop. I was totally taken aback when I heard the man rudely reply, "I don't know.  Ask the bus driver."  His response was totally uncalled for. It is not as if he didn't know the answer.  If that was the case,  he could have said, "I am sorry.  I'm not sure. Perhaps you should ask the bus driver". But, I knew that wasn't the case.  I've actually seen the man on the bus several times, and I knew he was well aware where the ladies' stop was.  He was just being ornery. So, I gave him a look and informed the woman that she had a few stops left and that I was going her way so I would let her know when we got there.  The woman was so thankful.

There was no excuse for the man's behavior.  I would hate to think that this was his normal mannerism.  I like to give people the benefit of a doubt, so let's say he was having a bad day.  But, that is no justification for taking it out on a stranger. For that matter, it was no excuse for taking it out on anyone.  There is far too much unkindness in the world.  Rudeness is, unfortunately, a part of life

So, what is a person to do?  Unfortunately there is not much we can do. People are what they are and saying something certainly won't change them. And, it serves no purpose to be rude right back at them.  Granted, there are many times that I wanted to offend in like manner, but what purpose would that have served. Two wrongs will never make a right, and I probably would have ended up spending my entire day ruminating over the incident.   No, there is  not much we can do except to be the best person WE can be.  If I know I will be unable to remain calm, I walk away
nd forget about it.  What do you do when it happens to you?
Have you had a kindness shown?
Pass it on;
'Twas not given for thee alone,
Pass it on;
Let it travel down the years,
Let it wipe another's tears,
'Til in Heaven the deed appears -
Pass it on.
Henry Burton

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Picture Day (I am at a loss for words)

 People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost. 

H. Jackson Brown

I love snapping pictures and sharing bits and pieces of my life, but for the longest I didn't have a camera. Finally I broke down and got myself a new phone with a camera on it.  Well, perhaps I should say my old phone broke down, and I was forced to get a new camera. And now that I have one, I don't know why I waited so long. I find myself snapping everything in sight.

Sunday night pasta.  I make my sauce with whole tomatoes. Takes a long time, but well worth it.  I cheated this time.  I added some hot Italian sausage as well as the ground beef.  Sausage, which is high in sodium, is a no-no for me, but sometimes I just cannot resist.  I don't overdo like I used to, though.  I know my limits and flush myself with water afterwards.  Which is why I found myself up and down all night running to the bathroom.

I took this picture when I was in our courtyard on Memorial Day.  It is a very quiet place.  No interruptions. Nice to take my Kindle to sit and read. Or just looking for shapes and figures in the clouds.

Look how beautiful the sky was.   Had some fun finding shapes in the clouds.  In this one I saw an Angel.

My Moon Flowers are growing nicely.  It's time to transplant into a bigger pot.  This weekend I have to remember to get one...or two.  Speaking of plants...

Remember this beautiful plant I bought awhile ago?   Well, I am sorry to say it didn't last, but it is why it didn't last that bothered me.  When I first purchased it, I asked if it required much sun, and the woman informed me that it didn't really need any sun at all.  And for awhile it stayed very pretty, but it wasn't growing.  So, I decided that perhaps it needed a bigger pot.  Well, as I began transplanting it I discovered that it wasn't really a plant at all.  Each leaf had been individually stuck in the dirt.  There were no roots. The woman who sold me this is also the very same woman who promised me for weeks that she would order my Yankee Candles in time for Christmas.  One week before, I was still getting the same story, "My daughter is going to order them this week."  Thank goodness for me Yankee Candle had special deliveries for Christmas.  

Needless to say, I no longer shop in that store.  I have no patience with dishonest people.

 Honesty is the first chapter of the book of wisdom. 

Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tuesday This and That

Miracles happen to those who believe in them.

Bernard Berenson

 Miss Minga on Sunday while I played a game on the computer.  She is always at my feet.  Love this little girl.

What a weekend it was!  It was a weekend of stress, grief, and miracles.  It was a weekend of remembering those who went before, those who gave their lives that we may be free.  I honored my loved ones by visiting their graves online and placing flags in remembrance.  This was the first year I was able to place one on both my maternal grandfather and father's graves.  Last year at this time I they were not online, but thanks to some wonderful volunteers I now have photos of their grave sites.

Our Lady of Lourdes was with us this weekend. She always is there for me in difficult times.

Let's see, what else did I do this weekend?   Well, for one thing, I went and got myself a new phone.  My old one is working well, but it is too small, and my eyesight is not as it once was so it was hard to see the letters.  I got the same phone only in a larger size.  That way I don't have to re-learn how to use it.

I lost myself in a great book this past weekend.  It isn't the sort of book I would normally buy, and in all honesty, I don't even know how I found it on Amazon, but I am glad that I did. Once I started reading I couldn't stop until I completed it.  The book is called, 'We'll Go To Coney Island' by Barbara Scheiber.  The book relates the story of Aaron and Minna who reside in the tenements of the Lower East Side in New York City in the early 1900's. An occasional trip to Coney Island is like traveling to the other side of the world.  Minna is a young Jewish immigrant; Aaron is a dreamer and quite a ladies' man, but nevertheless Minna falls madly in love, and they marry.  Minna bears Aaron two children, Rachel and Daniel.  But the day eventually comes when she is tired of spending her nights alone, and they divorce.  Here is the book overview:

 'We'll Go to Coney Island' a novel in stories by Barbara Scheiber, tells the story of two generations of a family, haunted by a magnetic father's endless search for love. At the dawn of the twentieth century, with only the force of his charm, intellect and "golden tongue," Aaron Gershon escaped the Jewish tenements of New York City's Lower East Side. Courting the women who loved him with promises and dreams, Aaron left a tide of longing in his wake. The stories follow his wives, his lovers and his daughter as they are swept in and out of his orbit and ultimately learn to walk their own paths.

Needless to say, not only did I not want the book to end, but it also made me yearn for those  those seemingly more innocent times. For example, in the heat of summer, they soothed themselves by sleeping on fire escape or  the roof. Who amongst us city dwellers would do that today? Sadly, we don't even know most of our neighbors enough to even say hello. Or got up before dawn and headed to the park while it was still cool...something we could never think of doing today. They knew nothing about air conditioning, something we could not live without.

Speaking of books, I am so happy.  About 21 years ago when hubby and I first moved to Brooklyn I had purchased "The Brooklyn Cookbook". It was a fabulous book, and each chapter filled with fantastic recipes and heartwarming stories  that capture the essence of the different Brooklyn ethnic groups from the 40's through the 80's. Each recipe had its own story of origin.  Basically, it is a history book filled with amazing old-fashioned recipes. We've moved four times since then, and the book was lost along the way. I've searched and searched and have never been able to replace it until...last night I found it online and bought it.  Can't wait for it to arrive. 

Before I sign off, I do have a laugh for you.  I was trying to record a greeting for my voice mail on my new phone, but once recorded, I couldn't find it.  Then, on Sunday hubby was fiddling around trying to help me with recording sound, and he stumbled across it.  Guess where it was?  On You Tube with the title 'Greeting' by unknown artist.

And with that, I'm off for a shower.   I missed going to the Center yesterday.  I need that time to unwind and be amongst others.  Have a great day.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Happy Memorial Day

Good morning and Happy Memorial Day. It's going to be a beautiful day to celebrate, an exceptionally good day because miracles do occur.  I'd wanted to head on over to Coney Island today, but the news reminded me that thousands of people would be going, I changed my mind.  I don't do well in crowds. Besides, this has been a stressful weekend.  I need some time for rest. 

Have you forgotten yet?...
For the world's events have rumbled on since those gagged days,
Like traffic checked while at the crossing of city-ways:
And the haunted gap in your mind has filled with thoughts that flow
Like clouds in the lit heaven of life; and you're a man reprieved to go,
Taking your peaceful share of Time, with joy to spare.
But the past is just the same--and War's a bloody game...
Have you forgotten yet?...
Look down, and swear by the slain of the War that you'll never forget.

Do you remember the dark months you held the sector at Mametz--
The nights you watched and wired and dug and piled sandbags on parapets?
Do you remember the rats; and the stench
Of corpses rotting in front of the front-line trench--
And dawn coming, dirty-white, and chill with a hopeless rain?
Do you ever stop and ask, 'Is it all going to happen again?'

Do you remember that hour of din before the attack--
And the anger, the blind compassion that seized and shook you then
As you peered at the doomed and haggard faces of your men?
Do you remember the stretcher-cases lurching back
With dying eyes and lolling heads--those ashen-grey
Masks of the lads who once were keen and kind and gay?
Have you forgotten yet?...
Look up, and swear by the green of the spring that you'll never forget. 

 Siegfried Sassoon

 My Dad's grave   Thanks for your service, dad.  I remember and honor you on this day.

Have a Happy Memorial Day.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

It is a Happy Sunday Morning Indeed

Before I start getting ready for church I wanted to take a moment to thank you all for your prayers and support yesterday.  My son continues to improve and was released from the hospital last night.  Even though his blood work was back to normal, I think it was way too soon, and he should have been watched for awhile, but with health insurance as bad as it is these days, it is a sign of the times. Hospitals are forced to release patients before they are ready.

Happy Sunday everyone.  It truly is a happy one.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

My Son is on the Mend.

Just got back from the hospital.  I am relieved to say my son is on the mend.  His heart stopped and they brought him back. The nurse said he is a miracle. This raised his ck blood levels and now they have him on IV medication to bring it down.  Once down to 5,000 they will release him from the hospital. It was up to 15,000 and is now down to 7,000.  He will probably go home tomorrow.  He had been told several years ago that he had to lose weight and stop smoking because he had fat around the heart.  This boy needs some real lifestyle changes.

Need Prayers

As if I don't have enough to deal with already, I just received word that my youngest is in the hospital.  It is his heart.  He didn't have a heart attack but they did say there was fat around his heart, and it sounds like congestive heart failure.  My gosh, he is only 32 years old.  But he is way overweight and try as I may, I cannot get him to stop smoking.  Please, send prayers and positive healing thoughts to my Anthony.  Will give further information as soon as I have some.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Friday Roundup

Good morning.  It's raining out today.  I never go to the Center anyway on Friday.  I didn't go yesterday either, but I did get out to do some shopping. I want to spend every waking moment with Miss Minga, but I know how unhealthy that would be for me.  As much as I love her,  I am aware that it is important for my well being that I have a wee bit of respite from the emotional pain.  She is eating, and that is good.  In fact, she seems to be eating more food than she ever did.  But  is the other little things, the senility which appears to be setting in, the wobbliness of her back legs. 

Oh, gosh, look what I bought yesterday.  

They were set up at the register, and I couldn't resist.  I've been wanting paper dolls for awhile now, and even though these aren't exactly paper dolls I guess they serve the same purpose.  Problem is, now that I have them I don't know what to do with them.  My imagination is not what it was with a child when I loved to dress all my dolls up and send them to a pretend school. 

This popped up overnight in the pot where I planted the Moon Flowers.  It is very strange looking, but I guess this is the way they bud?

My friend appeared at the Center again.  She is the one who did nothing but complain about her aches and pains and didn't want to hear what anyone else had to say.  Well, suffice it to say, there have been no changes.  Still the same whiner.  I was so glad I wasn't sitting at Table 13 anymore.  I didn't have to hear about it all through lunch.  Instead, I sat with people who laugh and find joy in life despite whatever they are going through.  These are the people I need in my life right now.

I really want to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support during this very difficult time in my life.  It means so much to me.  This is for you....

There's lots of things 
With which I'm blessed,
My problems have been few,
But of all, this one's the best:
To have a friend like you.
In times of trouble
Friends will say,
"Just ask, I'll help you through it."
But you don't wait for me to ask,
You just get up and do it!
And I can think
of nothing more
That I could wisely do,
Than know a friend,
And be a friend,
And have a friend like you.


Weekend plans are food shopping and church.  I found a chicken recipe in the Hispanic Kitchen that I plan to make this weekend.  I'll let you know how it comes out. 

I wish you all a great weekend.  It's a  long weekend to boot.  Memorial Day always signified the beginning of summer to me. Hoping the weather holds up for those of you who have outdoor activities planned.  Enjoy.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Thursday This and That

 When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.  

Kahlil Gibran

Good morning.  I want to thank everyone for their kind words and suggestions.  Yes, I am going to see a counselor. And I am definitely going to look into  When I broke down the other night, hubby was pretty understanding and that made me feel good. Like I said, he was never raised among pets so although he would never hurt her, he doesn't understand why to me she is a part of the family.  Whenever I tried to approach him, he would say "She is only a cat." He wasn't trying to be mean. He was only reacting as he had been taught.  So, it kind of surprised me when he said, "You gave her 22 good years. She was treated like a human. She has had a full life."  And then he went on to explain that death is a part of life, and I know he is talking about himself as well. And, perhaps, I think, he is afraid of showing his feelings for her.  I catch him watching out for her and I saw the panic stricken face the other night when I told him she had taken a turn for the worse.  I think he doesn't want to admit that an animal could have a place in his heart.

 (My goodness.  Look how thin I was)

Miss Minga was born in June, 1992. I adopted her that July. Our neighbor's cat had had four kittens, and I was offered first choice.  I chose Miss Minga and her sister who I named Micheline.  For some reason, that little red ball of fluff seemed French to me. Sadly, one day she wandered out front and someone walked off with her. The owner used to boast about how he beat the poor little things, so even though I had these two, I was still concerned about the others.  So, one day when they went out and left the kittens in the hallway, hubby and I took them and found homes for them. 

Look how nicely some of my herbs are doing.  Too bad I don't know what they are.  The top ones have little brown buds on the end.  Anyone have any ideas?  And the bottom one, looks like grass.  It is so thin I wonder if it will survive.  The others did not make it, so in two of the containers I planted Moon Flowers this weekend and put them in the window with little sun.  Don't know if they can be grown indoors, but it is certainly worth a try.

Last night I turned off the lights, lit a candle, and sat in silent prayer. This morning Miss Minga seems so much better, but that is the roller coaster ride I have been on. I am going to try my hand at the Bach Flower Remedies as well.   I have been aware of them for years, but have never used them.  Mary, I know you use them.  Which would you suggest?

Well, guess that is it for now.  Not going to the center today, but I am going to get out for awhile.  I love my baby dearly and want to spend every moment with her, so much so that it even hurts to go to bed, but I know I am useless to everyone if I fall apart.  

We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.  

Kenji Miyazawa

 Wishing you all a fantastic day.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Are We Ever Given More Than We Can Handle? I Hope Not.

If a person's basic state of mind is serene and calm, then it is possible for this inner peace to overwhelm a painful physical experience. On the other hand, if someone is suffering from depression, anxiety, or any form of emotional distress, then even if he or she happens to be enjoying physical comforts, he will not really be able to experience the happiness that these could bring.
Dalai Lama
As I mentioned yesterday, things have not been so good for me lately.  Once all our financial woes were worked out, I thought things would go smoothly for awhile.  Well, they did, but not for very long. I guess it is like they say.  I just feel so sad all the time. Money can't buy happiness.

To start with, with denial out of the way, I now have to deal with the impending loss of my 'best friend', Miss Minga.  It is hard to miss the telltale signs, and I am not prepared to let her go.  Senility is setting in.  She will walk into the hallway heading towards our bedroom and start screaming like she is afraid.  And, she is drinking so much water.  I fear the end is very near. I went hysterical last night. I realize that death is a part of life, but I cannot imagine life without her.  I know most of you have been through the loss of a beloved fur baby so you know hard it can be.  I cry all the time, and my one saving grace is the senior center.  There I am surrounded with people, and I can talk about her, and the pain I am going through.  I can't talk to hubby.  He was never raised with pets so he doesn't understand. He doesn't dislike her, but he doesn't love her either.

Speaking of hubby.  His health is deteriorating.  His breathing has become more labored, and he is finally open to oxygen. I think he is much worse than he letting me know. And this is making him very cranky.  He snaps at me for no reason at all.  Take yesterday morning, for example.  It was a beautiful day.  I was going to the center, and I wondered what he was going to do.  "What are your plans for the day?" I asked very nicely.  Instead of reply "I haven't any plans yet", he grunted and snapped, "Don't ask me. I don't know what I'm going to do."  

It has been like that far too often. Last night I tried a new dish, and although I enjoyed it, he complained that the rice was a bit too soggy for him, and he doesn't know why I put so much water in.  He is always finding little things that I haven't done to complain about.  I do the best I can, and my house is always clean, but physical pain keeps me from doing all the things I once did.

This behavior is new to him, and I know it is because he is afraid.  And it doesn't help any that my pain is now almost constant.  Yesterday morning I stopped at Pathmark and could hardly walk the two blocks to go to the center.  I stopped twice to lean against the wall, my back and leg hurt so bad.  Sometimes I feel tears welling in my eyes because I have always been such an active person, and now I wonder how long I will be able to get around.  Shopping isn't fun anymore; it hurts too bad, and I can barely make it to the park.  For some reason, the pain eases up when I push a shopping cart, so when I go to the park I always take it with me whether I plan on shopping or not.  

So, as you can see, there is a lot going on in my life, and at times it seems too much to handle.  In all honesty, I don't even want to get out of bed in the morning.  Dreamland is so much more preferable.  I'm working hard to pull myself out of this funk, this time of darkness, but I'm beginning to realize I cannot do it alone.  I think it is time to seek help.  Just an ear to listen.  

Please say a prayer for me, that I can past all this without totally breaking down. I've always been so strong.  I am not anymore.

Thank you for letting me share.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Dream Warnings

 Pay attention to your dreams - God's angels often speak directly to our hearts when we are asleep.   

The Angels' Little Instruction Book 

Good morning, everyone.  What gorgeous days we have been having!  They are forecasting rain for tomorrow, but it doesn't bother me like it once did.  I hated having to go out in a storm because I knew if I got wet I would have to stay in wet clothes all day.  And, seeing that I had a long walk from the subway, it was a pretty sure thing that I would be drenched by the time I got there.  It was even worse when they had the AC on because they kept it downright cold in there.  Now I have choices.  If I want to go, I go.  If not, I can stay home and won't have to answer to anyone.  Talk about freedom.  

Last night I had the strangest dream.  I found myself on a long bus ride.  My destination was a riding academy.  Well, anyhow, eventually we arrived at our destination, but the woman at the entrance told me I couldn't enter because I didn't have my ticket.  I pleaded and argued with her.  "But, I was just here yesterday.  You gave me the ticket.  You must remember me."  She responded that it really didn't matter.  She still wasn't going to let me in.  I then started to cry as I told her how long the trip had been, and how unfair it was that I was being turned away.  But the more I cried, the more determined the woman was.  She didn't want to hear it. She told me that I was 'tying up the line, and you should go talk to someone else.'  

I am curious about what this one means.  Been going through some hard times lately and am allowing stress and depression to control my life.  Both are leading to anxiety and thus, higher blood pressure.  I find myself unable to cope with things and either lash out or sob.  Will talk about it at another time.  In context with my dream I am wondering if it is a warning of sorts or is it telling me that my pressure may rise, but it is not my time yet and that it is time to seek out professional help, even just to listen.  Just a thought.

With that I wish you all a great day.

 That which the dream shows is the shadow of such wisdom as exists in man, even if during his waking state he may know nothing about it.... We do not know it because we are fooling away our time with outward and perishing things, and are asleep in regard to that which is real within ourself.  


Monday, May 19, 2014

Monday Morning This and That

"The year's at the spring
And day's at the morn;
Morning's at seven;
The hillside's dew-pearled;
The lark's on the wing;
The snail's on the thorn;
God's in His heaven -
All's right with the world!"

 Robert Browning

Happy Monday to all.  What a wonderful weekend.  The weather was just perfect.  Too bad I had so many in-house things to do, but I did try to get out for a short while.  On Saturday I headed out to the fruit stand.  Made sure I walked nice and slow so I could savor every moment of it.  I bought a load of healthy eats including ...watercress, tomatoes, cucumbers, brocolli, apricots, red velvet apricots, strawberries, and red flame grapes (oh so sweet).

I also bought the ingredients for my basic sofrito...

 And this is the finished product.

I pour it into small containers and freeze.  Saturday I made five so it should be about five weeks before I have to make it again.  When cooking, all I need do is put a spoonful in the pot and add whatever other seasonings I want.  It is a lot of work, but it saves me from having to chop every time I cook. 

It was also a de-cluttering weekend. I went through all my costume jewelry piece by piece and sorted out what I plan to give away.  I was ruthless, to say the least.  And then, I pulled out a few bags of hubby's things and set them right down in front of him.  Guess what?  He actually sorted through them and took two huge bags to the Goodwill.  That is a great start.  

I also did my ironing, enough to carry me for a few weeks, did some laundry, and swept and mopped the floors.  On Sunday I went to Church and returned home to do some reading.  I found a free book about natural treatments for arthritis.  It is no picnic dealing with both arthritis and fibromyalgia pain, especially when all the pain medications raise the blood pressure.  So I am looking into every way possible to deal with it. Any suggestions would be greatly welcomed. 

Speaking of pain, Hyland's Leg Pain PM has been a miracle cure for my nighttime muscle cramps.  I have not had a cramp since I began using it...even in my toes which had become such a regular phenomena that I dreaded going to bed. Two tasteless tablets dissolved under the tongue is all it takes. I highly recommend it to anyone who suffers from muscle spasms.  They also have one for daytime spasms, but mine are mainly a nocturnal event. 

Also started reading a new book.  Actually, it isn't exactly a new book.  I've had it for awhile.  I just decided that it was time, but more to come on that.
Wishing you all a fabulous day. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

FrIday Roundup

 There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort. 

Jane Austen

 Taken yesterday while waiting for the bus.  Talk about a gray day.
Ah, Friday has arrived, and the rain is beating against the window.  I won't be going out today.  Don't need anything from the store, and I never attend the Center on Friday, and I ran all my errands yesterday. Besides, this is my first day staying in in over a week. I'm not that 20 year old who used to run day and night. Time to give the body a rest. 

So, what has happened this week?  Not much.  I guess I live a pretty boring life.  Went to the Center Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.  Met a nice new friend, someone I have something in common with.  We're pretty much the same age (she is a couple years older), she worked in the hospital as a social worker, and retired last year just as I did.  And she was just as relieved to meet me as I was her.  

It's not that I don't like the other ladies and gents there. I love them and the wisdom they have to offer. It's just that we have little in common, and sometimes you need someone who really understands where you are coming from.  As I have said previously, most of the ladies I have met are in their 80's, a whole generation ahead of me, and most stayed home for most of their lives taking care of children and husband.   I started working at 16 and could not imagine what it would have been like to not to. I love my computer and Smartphone.  They can't be bothered.  Even Annie, as much as I have grown to love her, has never known what it was like to be employed.  When her first husband passed she remarried, and when her second passed, she found herself a live in boyfriend.  As she says, "Two is enough.  I like it better this way. You youngsters had the right idea."

I was looking for a book on Amazon the other day, and I always like to look by publication date.  Newer books and those in preparation to be published on Kindle are listed first.  Well, I did a double take, and I sure do hope it was a misprint.  I found two interesting books I would like to read.  Problem was the publication dates were July 1, 2099 and January 30, 2912.  When I read that they were available for pre-order I almost fell off my chair laughing.  None of us will be around then so why pre-order something you can never expect to read?

So, what's on the agenda this weekend?   Not much.  The fruit stand tomorrow and Church on Sunday.  Guess I'll take some time to pack away my heavy winter jackets as well. Don't think I will need them anymore this year.  Or, at least, I hope not, but with this crazy weather pattern one never knows. And with that, I will leave you with the following thought....
There is no such thing in anyone's life as an unimportant day. 

Alexander Woollcott

See you all on Monday.  Have a great weekend.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Life is a Blessing

Look at the trees, look at the birds, look at the clouds, look at the stars... and if you have eyes you will be able to see that the whole existence is joyful. Everything is simply happy. Trees are happy for no reason; they are not going to become prime ministers or presidents and they are not going to become rich and they will never have any bank balance. Look at the flowers - for no reason. It is simply unbelievable how happy flowers are. 


Life truly is a blessing.  It was about a year ago that I had my cancer scare, and through living with that fear,  I've learned to appreciate life's every moment. Life truly is a gift. 
’ve Learned to appreciate Life’s every moment.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Healthy Changes

 When it comes to eating right and exercising, there is no "I'll start tomorrow." Tomorrow is disease. 

Terri Guillemets

Good morning.  Rain in the forecast again today.  I don't mind getting wet in a warm rain; it's those cold and damp rains that I don't like. Yesterday I participated in my first advisory board meeting at the Center.  Yes, I agreed to sit on the board.  They've been trying to get me to run a group as well, but I'm grouped out from my job, and to be honest, I don't think they would like the way I run a group.  I don't allow one person to take over, and I also bring it back to topic when they veer off, which happens frequently.  Yesterday after the board meeting we held our "Alert and Alive" group.  Now, this is supposed to be a group where we talk about old memories, but the poor facilitator, also a client, doesn't know how to control it. 

So, yesterday one gentleman took it totally off topic and began talking about Italy, his son, how he raised him, etc.  A lady born in Italy jumped in and the two of them participated in what could be called a private conversation while the rest of us just sat there.  I used to jump in and bring it back to topic, but I gave that up month's ago.  That is not my job.  Therefore,  my genealogy classes and sitting on the board are as far as my volunteer services at the Center will go.   And I only agreed to the board because it meets only once a month, and there are issues I wanted the opportunity to bring up.

Namely, the food that they serve.  Don't get me wrong.  The food is good, but menus don't change.  They don't even change things around a bit.  For example, whenever they make chicken cutlets they serve them with rice and peas and some lettuce with tomato.  How about changing off to mashed potatoes or noodles sometimes?  But, even more importantly is that they use a wee too much salt.  I always say that if you can taste it, then it is too much.  I absolutely LOVE having salt in my food, but because of high blood pressure, should not indulge.  And, lest we forget, it's a senior center so I'd be willing to guess that at least 90 percent of the population have blood pressure issues. 

I've  begun working on getting my health back lately. How many times have I said that?  Too many.  I start off well, but eventually veer off track. I just have to keep trying until I get it right. So, to begin, I went  to the fruit stand and really stocked up on some good healthy foods. I'll be incorporating more salads into my meals, and am looking forward to a brocolli stir fry I have planned.

My blood pressure has been high, and I know that is because I gave up on my diet.  No excuses.  I just got bored.  And winter set in.  I've never been much of a fruit eater, and just when I had learned to enjoy the various summer fruits, the cold months set in and all that were offered were apples, oranges, and pears. Grapes were also available, but how much of them can you eat.  So, unhealthy snack choices returned to my menu followed by sodium rich foods. How quickly we forget!

My blood pressure is up again, and I've gained weight.  I now weigh more than I ever weighed in my entire life, and I feel it.  I don't know which hurts more--my back, my hips, or my knees. I know that my back pain pretty much stems from the arthritis that set in from an old injury, but I am sure with 50 less pounds, it won't hurt quite as bad.  It hurt so bad on Sunday when I was going to church that I could barely walk.  I was almost ready to cry when  one of the ushers asked if I was okay. I know longer take pain medication as often as I once did because it raises the blood pressure, and, besides, it doesn't even take the pain away anymore.  Thinking that someday it will be too much for me to walk really scares me.  I have been such an active person.  And as if that pain is not enough....

My Losartan has  been causing the most awful muscle spasms you could imagine. Not only were my toes cramping up every night,  but sometimes I would be woken from a sound sleep my a cramp in my calve muscle.  I've tried many things, including acupressure and tonic water with quinine,  aside from going off the medication, and nothing worked.  Then, a friend told me about about Hylands Leg Cramps PM.  It's an old homeopathic formula, and so far it is working very well.  Even the toe cramps have subsided. (Knock on wood).  No more of that nasty tasting tonic water before I go to bed.

Speaking of non-traditional medications, I've started drinking a cup of the following each day for my blood pressure...

Hey, traditional medication isn't working.  I guess it must be keeping my pressure down some, but I am so tired of the side effects.  The Lisinipril made me cough so they had to take me off, and now the Losartin is causing the spasms.  Some studies have shown that Hibiscus tea can lower blood pressure as effectively as pharmaceutical drugs. Keeping my fingers crossed.

My gosh, in my youth I felt I was indestructible and lived that way as well. "Don't carry such a heavy shoulder bag," they used to warn.  Now, there are some days I can't even put my jacket on without pain.  "Don't wear cheap shoes.  Invest in good shoes." I always felt that I would rather have three pair of shoes rather than one good pair.  After all.  They didn't bother me feet.  If only I'd known then what I know now. 

So what would I have done differently if back had I known what today would be like? The answer is 'probably nothing'. I'd probably make the same mistakes, wear the same clothes, and eat the same foods.  Because that is just the way life is.

You may wish you knew then what you know now, but remember sometimes... the things you know now were learned from what you didn't know then.

Terri Amshey

Monday, May 12, 2014

Monday Morning This and That

I always tell young people to be sure to make some good memories because when you get old like me, it will be your memories which bring you joy.

Annie from the Center

This was last week.

And this was this weekend.  What a difference a week makes.

Good morning, and a happy Monday to all.  Hope you all had a fantastic Mother's Day.  I spent some special time with my hubby and my boys.  After an Italian feast we sat about and shared some of our favorite memories.  Later, after my boys went home, I lit a candle and shared the rest of the eve with my loved ones who have passed on. Laid some virtual flowers on their graves via 'Find a Grave'.

Mother's Day has always been bittersweet to me, and for some reason, this year hit me harder than others.  Perhaps it is because it is my first Mother's Day in retirement, and it just served as a reminder that the years are passing me by.  Last year at this time I was everybody's mother at the job; now I have become everybody's daughter at the center. But, moreso, on this day I really do miss my own mother despite the fact that we were never close and my maternal grandmother who loved me as much as any mother could.  I never did get to know the women on my dad's side, and only now through my genealogy am I getting to know them. And I am realizing now that they weren't so bad.  Oh, they had their issues, yes, but don't we all?  Mom wanted a perfect world for me, but that doesn't exist.

What I am finding is, that as I grow older, I find myself mourning the loss of what I never had and the woman I never knew.  Yes, my mom was physically present in my growing years, but emotionally she was never there for me.  And, childhood was not the happiest of times for me. So, I am actually quite puzzled as to why I sat there last night and cried my eyes out because 'I wanted to be a little girl again'. I just wanted another chance to make things right.  

Take care of all your memories.
For you cannot relive them.

 Bob Dylan

Of course, I wouldn't 'really' want to go back and relive those times.  There were some good moments, yes, but there were more bad moments.   Maybe not really bad, but unhappy. And, after years of counseling others, I know it is not possible to go back to the same thing and expect different results.  It just doesn't work that way.  If I know this, then why am I crying over something that I know can never be.  The answer is in the stars.  Besides, I've got so much peace and love in my life right now.  I've a man in my life who loves me, two wonderful sons, a fur baby I love with all my heart, a nice apartment, plenty of food on the table, and I finally have people in my life that I can call my friends.  

Of course, I could blame these crying jags on my Uranus/Moon conjunction.  Uranus, the planet of disruptions, hit my Moon, the center of emotions, in April and will remain there until the end of March, 2015.  This transit is known to cause emotional turmoil.  The Moon is associated with the mother.  Sudden mood swings and emotional change are the norm during this transit. Disruptive as it seems, though, I plan to use this time in a constructive manner; that is, I think it's time to work through  old hurts and put them to rest once and for all. 

 Hundreds of dewdrops to greet the dawn,
Hundreds of bees in the purple clover,
Hundreds of butterflies on the lawn,
But only one mother the wide world over.
George Cooper

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Way

Happy Mother's Day 

 Peder Mensted

  Oft within our little cottage,
     As the shadows gently fall,
    While the sunlight touches softly
     One sweet face upon the wall,
    Do we gather close together,
     And in hushed and tender tone
    Ask each other's full forgiveness
     For the wrong that each has done.
    Should you wonder why this custom
     At the ending of the day,
    Eye and voice would quickly answer:
     "It was once our mother's way."

    If our home be bright and cheery,
     If it holds a welcome true,
    Opening wide its door of greeting
     To the many -- not the few;
    If we share our father's bounty
     With the needy day by day,
    'Tis because our hearts remember
     This was ever mother's way.

    Sometimes when our hands grow weary,
     Or our tasks seem very long;
    When our burdens look too heavy,
     And we deem the right all wrong;
    Then we gain a new, fresh courage,
     And we rise to proudly say:
    "Let us do our duty bravely --
     This was our dear mother's way."

    Then we keep her memory precious,
     While we never cease to pray
    That at last, when lengthening shadows
     Mark the evening of our day,
    They may find us waiting calmly
     To go home our mother's way.

Abram Joseph Ryan

Friday, May 9, 2014

Friday Roundup

Tolerance and celebration of individual differences
are the fire that fuels lasting love.

Tom Hannah 

As Friday rolls around, threats of rain have caused me to rethink my weekend plans.  Originally, I had it on my agenda to head out to Coney Island for a day on the boardwalk, but it looks like that is out now.  That's okay.  I have the entire summer ahead of me. Instead I think I'll do some reading and ancestor work.  It has been awhile since I did some work on my tree.

What a fantastic lunch we had at the Center yesterday!  Stuffed shells, meatball, salad, pineapple juice, milk, and a cream puff...all for fifty cents.  It was a celebration for Mother's Day.  Afterwards they had a show, but I didn't stay for it.  I was in a hurry to get home to Miss Minga.  I try to spend as much time with her as I can.  Sometimes I don't even want to go to the Center, but I realize what happens to me when I hang about the house I tend to focus on the negative (re: Miss Minga) and send myself into a state of depression.  So I push myself to get out for a few hours every day.  When I come home I am more refreshed and able to spend some quality time with her. 

This is Annie.  As usual she is the midst of laughter.  I am going to learn so much about life from this woman.  Yesterday someone new sat at the lunch table and asked her what her secret is.  And she responded, "Being nice.  Having a smile for everyone.  I believe that if you cannot say something nice about a person, then don't say anything at all.  I smoked and drank until about 15 years ago when my husband died of lung cancer.  I eat everything. Whatever I want, I eat. But, if asked to choose just one,  I laugh a lot and enjoy making others happy.  I enjoy being with people."  And I certainly enjoy being with her.

Okay, we all know Maxine. Well, I bet you didn't know that she attends my Center.

Maybe it is just me, but I swear she bears a strong resemblance, especially when she curls her hair.  She also has the same grumpy personality, and that was my nickname for her when I first met her.  But, we should never judge someone on first impression.  Yes, she is a grump, and yes, she does nothing but complain, but I have grown to accept and even like her.  Everyone has their own unique personality, and none of us is perfect.  The Center is teaching me something that years on the job never did...tolerance of others.  I didn't have time at work.  Always too busy with my head buried in paperwork.  

But here, at the Center, I am meeting so many new people on an entirely new level.  There are those that exude the beauty of life such as Annie, the grumps, the timid ones, the practical jokers such as Tommy, an 88 year old prankster, the easygoing ones and those that are downright miserable and want to make everyone else miserable with them.  And then we have the racists such as Betty.  Truthfully, I am finding it more and more difficult to deal with her.  

But all in all what I have discovered is that since I have developed the ability to look beyond all the seeming imperfections of others, I am able to see the beauty within. Tolerance is making me a better person.

If humans are to survive, we will have learned to take a delight in the essential differences between people and between cultures. We will learn that differences in ideas and attitudes are a delight, part of life's exciting variety, not something to fear.

Gene Roddenberry