Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Tuesday Catch Up

Sorry I haven't been checking in, but it's been a hectic week.  That and I am suffering once again from that shoulder pain which kept me from the computer last year.  That's the main reason I haven't been here.  It hurts too much.

On Friday I paid the rest of the money for the funeral.  However,
when the sales rep charged me the rest of the money for Ant's funeral she added in the overtime amount that occurs whenever you hold a funeral service  there after 11:30 on a Saturday. Then when she went to the office they told her, no, that she could not charge the overtime fee ahead of time, that I have to pay that in person on the day of the funeral. So the sales rep then voided the first transaction and charged me again minus the overtime fees. Well, to make a long story short, both are showing up as pending in my bank account. And it's quite a large amount. Must give it a few days to see if it posts (according to TD bank). Otherwise, if I choose to go in before it posts,  I would have to pay $30 for an investigation. If I wait til it posts then it will cost me nothing but the headache. Have to go to the bank anyway on Saturday so I guess I will take care of it then. I mean, do I really need all this extra stress in my life right now? Fortunately I saved the email she sent explaining the mistake and her voiding the charge.  

Picked up my son's ashes on Sunday.  He is home.  Old wounds have re-opened.  I think until I set the urn on the shelf I was able to live in some sort of denial.  This has made it real. I also had the funeral director put some ashes in an urn necklace I bought and two urn crosses--one for my son and the other for the woman my son loved from the time he was five years old.

I am pretty angry with my doctor.  He is refusing to refill my BP medication until I come in for my 6 month check up.  He did give me a 10 day supply and he didn't realize it was early so I still had almost 3 weeks.  I am angry because I told them my son had passed and I was planning the funeral, that I needed some time to grieve, and promised that after the funeral on November 7th, I would make an appointment.  He just doesn't care.  I even got a letter from him in the mail "Please make your appointment ASAP".  I understand my health is important, but aside from HBP and chronic pain, I'm healthy.  This appointment could wait a couple of weeks.  It's all about the money.  Since Covid they haven't been seeing patients, and making money, like they used to.  I just think they are being heartless right now.  Even thought of finding another doctor.

I am continuing with my regular class and taking a few elsewhere.  Dropped out of the writing course because my heart wasn't in it right now.  I couldn't concentrate like they wanted me to.  This week there has been a series of telesummits on FB that I have been attending.  So perfect for the week of Sanhaim--The Samhain Spirit Summit.  It's been great and I am learn quite a bit about folk magic. Yesterday there was talk about Iceland, and I learned things about the Vikings and ancient ancestors that I hadn't know.  

I don't know if I ever mentioned, when people ask me what my ethic background is I always say English, Irish, German, and Dutch.  That is what I believed until I received an update result of my DNA test.  Turns out I am 45 percent England and Western Europe, 30 percent Scottish, 14 percent Germanic Europe, 5 percent Swedish, 3 percent Wales, only 2 percent Irish, and Icelandic.  It was total surprise for me.  Now I am brushing up on Scottish history and foods.

Have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Tuesday Ramble

There has been so much going on lately.  The funeral, classes, etc.  Last week I was interviewed by the mayor's office.  The center referred me.  I was asked about my involvement with online classes and how they have helped me.  I was also asked my advice on how they can improve.  It seems the city is planning on expanding the services to other centers and hoping to get other seniors involved as well.  The Dept. of Aging wants to give some classes as well.  They were especially interested in the grief class I took and thought it was great that participants came from different parts of the world.  

I was also interviewed by the nurse interns, not once, but twice.  The first time lasted 2 hours.  And then they requested to speak to me again, but I was interviewed by two different nurses the second time.  They have been giving some great classes.  Today will focus on high blood pressure, but it's not looking like I'll make it.  I've not even showered or had breakfast yet. Wish they didn't do it so early.

I found that I missed those city meals even though they weren't the best.  I missed the box of canned goods, cereals and stuff they used to send.  I also missed the chicken.  I used to take the thighs and add some spice and cook them up for hubby.  (I don't like thighs). But I used to like to take the chicken strips and make a nice stir fry out of them.  So I rejoined.  But, what I got has been pretty disappointing.  

This is supposed to be Chicken Ragu, but all I see is egg noodles, a little sauce and mixed veggies.

Chicken Basil Potstickers.  There are only two of them and mixed veggies.  I figured I will stir fry some chicken and broccoli I bought yesterday.  I don't know if I will eat the ragu.  Doesn't even smell appetizing.  And forget the three sandwiches.  I tossed them away.  I mean whoever heard of purple turkey?

This was only my first delivery and I'm signed up for two weeks.  We'll see what the next delivery brings.  I may just end up canceling. 

My son and I decided we want to keep some of Ant's ashes to keep him close to us so I ordered the following:

This is for my son, Jerry.

And this is what I bought for me.  At first I just couldn't bear to think of it, but now I realize that it will be a way to keep him with me always.  

I forgot to mention yesterday.  The plot I bought is for two, so that will be where I am laid to rest as well.   

Thanks everyone for your response to my question yesterday.  Finally got it across to hubby, and he understands.  My son and I are both going to chip in.  One of my friends who knew Anthony from 5 years old is already talking about appetizers for the table.  Well, I looked at the prices.  Not really in my budget.  She and her hubby are invited as well as their daughter who loved and was loved by my son.  They had once made a promise to each other that one day they would be married.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Monday Catch Up

Gosh, it has been a full week since I have been here.  I have been so busy that I hadn't even realized so much time has gone by.  I've been planning my son's funeral.  On Monday I purchased the plot.  

To get there you have to cross a small pond filled with fish.

I chose to have his plot under the tree.  He will be buried near where the woman is standing.

I also purchased the urn.

And the eulogy cards. 

I ended up with two because the one didn't have his picture.

I ordered this cross for his grave.  It's a small plot so big flower arrangements are out.

And finally, I the guest book. 

My hubby's sister is going to come with the deacon and they will give the service.  It hasn't been easy, made all the harder by Covid restrictions.  There will be no inside service so we will all gather around the site.  No more than 15 people can come so my son is going to livestream for those others who can't.  

Now I am focusing on where we can go to eat afterwards.  Not easy.  Must find a place with outdoor dining and parking. I'm leaning towards a place called Spumoni Gardens which brings me to this question.  I'd planned on ordering a Sicilian pie for each table.  That's what they specialize in.  Dinners there are pricey and not very big.  Then I will have a few small appetizers on the table and the drinks.  That shouldn't run me any more than $200.  Now here is my question.  I believe that it's the families responsibility to pay for this.  Hubby says no,  everyone should pay for their own, that that's the way it is done.  I need some help in this.


Monday, October 12, 2020

Monday This and That

As Monday rolls around again, I'd like wish you all a wonderful week.  I know it's not easy lately, but we have to make the best of it.  That's all we can do.  We were talking about it in Friday's group.  This is certainly not what I expected from my golden years.  After working 50 years, I was finally having fun, and abruptly on March 12th, that ended when the city closed down.  The center most likely will not open until next year.  But, I am thankful for my online classes.  They are getting me through all this pain and heartache.

I had canceled the food from the city about 3 weeks ago and now have re-ordered it.  We are in the orange zone, and I don't want to take any chances.  Don't want to be running around anymore than I have to, and to be honest, those meals weren't the best, but I am feeling it in the pocket.  I didn't eat the entire meal they sent, but I did take the chicken and make it into something delicious.  Plus, they also send a couple of boxes of food.  The box is filled with things like pasta, canned fruits and veggies, cereal, snacks, etc.  That I am really missing.

The other day I had  a dream about an old co-worker only, we were all on a different job and I was a newbie there. She was retiring and everyone had bought her a gift. Funny thing was, everyone bought her a vase. She had all different kinds. I felt bad because I hadn't known about it so I dug in my purse and found some cash, not much, but enough for a gift. I was walking around looking for a store. Everything that was open was restaurants. Finally I wondered into this open air restaurant and in the back they had gifts. Picked up a beautiful white vase with purple flowers on it, but put it down because I wanted to get something different. That's when I woke up. I was trying to go back to sleep to finish the dream so I could see what I bought for her. I will never know what I chose.

The biggest news is this.   We are finally going to bury my son.  Life insurance finally paid off and tomorrow I have to call for prices and steps needed to make it happen.   I've already made a list of things that I have to buy and things I have to do.  I feel so much more at peace now that I can finally lay him to rest and the manner I always wanted.  He deserves the best and he is going to have the best that I can afford.  I love him and miss him so darn much.  Why does this have to be?  Why, instead of planning the holidays do I have to plan my son's funeral?  My heart is broken.

Have a wonderful day.



Friday, October 9, 2020

Friday Roundup

Good morning, and Happy Friday to all.  I used to love this day when I was working.  Now it just means no classes until next week.  Had quite a busy week and looking forward to some rest. 

I had to run to two different banks on Monday.  Stopped to get hubby a couple of nice meats at the supermarket there.  Steaks were so much cheaper than my regular market, but they don't deliver, and meats can be a bit heavy for me to carry.  Had one afternoon class which I decided not to take.  Started coloring in the new book Coloring and Classics sent.

Have to be more careful now when I go out.  The second wave of Covid is threatening with cases picking up in the area.  Cases are rising, and we are in the orange zone.  The red zone is the most dangerous, the yellow the least.  Orange is in the middle.   It's so unfair.  I have followed the rules.  I stayed in for a month or more, wear my mask whenever I go out, even if just to go to the lobby and get my mail, and because of those selfish people with a 'me, me, me' attitude, I may end up sheltering in place again.  Not the way I planned on spending my 'golden years'.

On Tuesday I spent the morning in the kitchen cooking.  Now hubby is stocked up on meals for a few weeks.  Makes it easier on me.  Don't have to cook, wash pots, and clean the stove every single day.  I had one class in the morning.  Our new nursing interns are giving online classes.  This first one was pretty good.  It was about bone health.  Took a nice little nap in the afternoon.

On Wednesday I had my favorite class, Game Day.  We had so much fun.  I had picked up some eggplant parm when I went shopping Tuesday and had half of it left.  Had that with a nice salad for dinner. 

Yesterday the nurses gave  a class on protecting ourselves from falls, and afterwards I stayed on because I had volunteered to be interviewed by the students.  Yikes!!!  Little did I know it would be 2 1/2 hours.  Totally wore me out.  Had my bi-weekly grief counseling session at 1pm, and she remarked that I looked tired.  I told her she'd be tired too if she'd been staring at a computer screen for two hours.  Treated myself to a yummy dinner last night.

Chicharrones.  Not the healthiest, but they sure tasted good.  Had them with rice and beans and a slice of avocado. 

Thursday, October 8, 2020

This Month's Witchy One Subscription Box

Always a great box.  Look forward to it every month.  Never know what treasure will be found.  This month they carried an 'inner warrior' theme.

Bow and Arrow Ear Cuff.  Wearing this reminds us that underneath it all, we need to walk barefoot more, understand wild foods more, and dance around and howl at the moon.

Vegvisir Amulet Necklace.  Vegvisir is an ancient Icelandic stave intended to help the bearer find their way through rough weather.  We are traveling through space and time in every moment of this life.  It is all a journey.  Strength and guidance can be found when wearing the Vegvisir.

As always an awesome picture.  This one goes great with my Unicorns. 

Stone Lion Totem.  The Spirit of the lion enables one to deal with external influences with firm boundaries when required.  If any forces want to dominate you, you have the authority to ward them off. I placed this lion with my fantasy totem animal collection.  He feels right at home.

Joan of Arc Inspired Sticker.  She reminds you that within you is a reservoir, a capacity to pursue even the most overgrown, fearsome paths.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Tuesday Rants Sorry!!!!

So the never ending nightmare continues.  Yesterday my niece texted my son that the medical examiner called her.  It seems my sons death was Covid related. An accident.  Must have gotten dizzy, fallen, and hit his head. We knew that he had a head injury.  Problem is, we don't want the medical examiner contacting my niece  for anything.  I am his next of kin, the administrator of his estate, or should I say the 60 cents that is left in his estate after my niece stole it all. Took me several phone calls and an email message to finally get someone from the medical examiner's office, but finally a very nice woman got right on the phone to call me after reading my message.  From now on no information will be given to my niece.  Whew!!!  Now if I can get the credit companies to work with me.  Even with the Administrative Order from the court they are either ignoring me as Netspend is or giving me a hard time as Chime is.  

And if all this crap isn't enough, I got a letter from the city stating that the building owners are trying to recoop some of the money they spent for the re-wiring job a couple of years ago.  They are trying to charge us tenants $30 a room.  That's an extra $90 a month for me. We can't afford that.  We are living check to check as it.  I'll lose my apartment if they win.  And I am sure we are not alone.  Those with four rooms are in for a $124 a month hike if they win.  So we my neighbor and I are forming a tenant's association.  We will be giving out fliers this weekend.  What is on our side is the fact that it seems no electrical rewiring has been done since the house was built a hundred years ago, and, according to the law, tenants are not liable if 'the work was done on a system that has outlived its useful life. Our building was definitely not up to code. I would definitely say this qualifies. 

This is only part of the mess I was left with, and believe me, it took a lot more than just a little water.   

Sigh.  Does it ever end?  Do we ever find peace in our lives?  It seems that lately it's been one thing after another.  

Oh well, I have done something I have debated doing for a few years now.  I have joined OBOD, Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids and am currently proceeding on their Bardic course.  It's much different from that of NOD, New Order of Druids, who classes were more like shadow work.  OBOD calls for a lot of looking within too, but in an altogether different manner.  It's not psychologically based as NOD was.  Of course I am only one month in now.  That all could change, but it appears OBOD is more about the teachings of the ancient Druids, the mythology, beliefs of, methods of divination, etc.  

Yesterday I lost track of my days. Attended a morning health meeting, but then decided to skip the rest on schedule since I was busy in the kitchen. Didn't want to be running back and forth and burning food. So, at 4 pm I get my old laptop up and prepare for the 4 o'clock listening group. After sitting for 10 minutes it hits me that it's Tuesday, not Wednesday. Ooops!!!! Later I look at the schedule and find out that there won't even be a group on Wednesday. It's over. Okay, so that makes for a quiet day for me. I have my 10 am Gameday and the only other class I had scheduled with the YMCA starts at 10:45. That lets that out. Overlapping times.

Have a wonderful day.

Monday, October 5, 2020

Monday This and That

Good morning.  We've had a pretty cool weekend here.  Real fall like weather has arrived, and I am loving it. Not much has been going on here.  On Friday I had no classes as they canceled my 4 o'clock which brings up the following.  Why do people think they know how you are feeling, how you are SUPPOSED to grieve and what you want. 

One day I was in my cooking class, and it somehow came up that my son passed.  The few people who hadn't known about it offered their condolences and then the class moved on.  That's what I wanted.  That's why I was there.  I attend these classes for a diversion.  Believe me, not a day goes by that I shed my tears, but I don't want to talk about my grief in every class I take.  There is so much pain and heartache in the world from which these hour classes offer a chance to escape.

So here is what happened.  There is a Thursday class which I choose not to participate in.  It's a class that was started at the request of one individual, Susan, to talk about our feelings and our fears.  I took one of the classes, and when one of my peers talked about how he chooses to stay positive instead of giving into the negativity and was quickly shot down by Susan who chooses to stay in the negative.  That turned me off so I never returned.

This past Thursday since I wasn't there Susan decided to attack my peers who had been in my cooking class about how they should not have changed the subject and allowed me to talk about my grief.  One of my peers called me up after the class in tears because she had been made to feel that she hurt my feelings.  I felt so bad because Elaine is someone who has been with me since the day my son died.  Susan just found out and NEVER reaches out to me like Elaine has. I am just so annoyed.  When I see my peers in Wednesday's Game Day class, I will offer my apologies to everyone who was insulted by Susan.

On another note, I canceled meals from the city over a week ago, but last Sunday they showed up and again on Wednesday.  Sunday I sent them away, but Wednesday I decided 'what the heck' and took the meals. Glad I did because none of them fully went to waste.  I took the chicken strips and some of the veggies from two of the meals and made the following stir fry. 

Chicken strips, peppers (green and red), onions, cauliflower, broccoli, garlic powder, onion powder, and Vandaloo curry seasoning.  So good and was enough for two meals for me.

Hubby ate the shrimp for lunch one day and the salmon on another day.  They are such small servings that he had with some corn bread I made.  I ate the pasta meal as a side dish for the chicken and the meatballs are still in the freezer for a later date. 

We had planned to go to our favorite Sunday spot yesterday but it was kind of cool, and hubby was really tired although he wouldn't admit it.  When you are with someone for 29 years you get to know them perhaps even better than they know themselves. So he curled up under the covers and I watched my usual Sunday Golden Girls marathon.  On Saturday it had been a Good Witch marathon.  I watched from 9 am to 11 pm, one movie after another.  My two favorite shows.


Friday, October 2, 2020

Friday Roundup

Oh man, what a week. It started out pretty good.  I finally got the court papers I needed to get into my son's accounts. It's been a long haul, but finally I may get some closure on that end.  Or maybe not.  I immediately sent over copies and Chime contacted me saying they need a clearer copy.  I am aware that that account is bare, and I think they are afraid that I may try to recoup the money from them.  They have already told me in the past that should I wish to proceed to get that money back, that I will need further paperwork.  I have assured them that I do not plan on taking action against them, that I am aware that they had no way of knowing it wasn't my son taking the money.  But still, I guess they are worried.  Makes me mad that they are making it so difficult.  They don't know if they push me hard enough I just may get an attorney and let him take care of them.

My childhood friend passed on Monday.  Earlier in the day her sister told me that Cheryl's organs were shutting down.   Then she contacted me to tell me she was gone.  She was such a beautiful woman, both inside and out.  I will be forever grateful that she had been a part of my life.

On Tuesday I got a phone call from my old job.  One of my old co-workers had a heart attack in the wee hours of the morning and passed away.   We used to have so much fun on the job.  He had a wonderful sense of humor and was such a gentleman.  He will be missed.

And Wednesday would have been my son's 38th birthday. We did a happy birthday in heaven party for him in a FB room.  Big mistake. Next time we will use zoom instead. FB rooms are quite a mess and there were friends and family who tried to get in but couldn't....despite the fact that 50 should have been allowed in the room. Next time zoom for sure.

 Well, I gave up on the art class the center was providing.  Just too incohesive.  It did stir my passions again, and I have decided to give it a shot on my own. I might give the class one more try.  Haven't really made up my mind yet.  Left in the middle of class this week. Perhaps I am just too over-anxious to get started on the final product and maybe should sit back, listen and learn.  This week we were focusing on shading with circles and light sources.  Not quite my cup of tea...but, I admit, very important to know.

I have a reprieve from all the noise next door.  Been quiet there all week.  Found another 'stop work' order hung on the fence.  Don't know how long the silence will last, but definitely going to enjoy it while I can. 

Have a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Happy Birthday in Heaven



September 30th. Today you would have been 38. Life was finally falling into place for you. Your dream job, a few short months to a new car. You don't know how much I miss you. I cry for you every day. The holidays are around the corner, but they will never be the same. Nothing is the same without you. I'll miss all those crazy jokes you played on me and got such a kick out of my reactions. Like the time you pretended to be a male stripper. Oh, what a laugh you got out of that!!! Then there was our last Thanksgiving, when the microwave went, and you and I had to eat out of the aluminum baking pans. That night I said, "This is a Thanksgiving I will never forget." not knowing that IT REALLY WOULD BE a Thanksgiving I would never forget. I would be our last. 
I am so glad I made you those mint brownies you loved so much. I really didn't want to, you know, but you wanted them so badly that I gave in. I said I would never make them again, but I just might. As time passes I think more and more of making a batch of them and giving them out to the homeless in memory of you.
I love you, Ant. I always will.
Anthony Todisco, forever 37.

Monday, September 28, 2020

Monday Morning This and That

Good morning.  Here we are starting a new week after the first full weekend of fall.  Kind of warm here with gray skies and lots of humidity.  Didn't go to our favorite place yesterday.  Thee was a threat of drizzle all day, and besides, I think hubby really needed a day of rest.  

So I went and did my shopping yesterday morning.  While waiting for the bus I was sitting on a wall and reading my phone messages.  All of a sudden I heard, "Mary, is that you?"  Oh my, it was a friend from the center.  I was so so happy.  This friend doesn't participate in online classes so I haven't seen her since March.  Funny thing is I was just thinking about her the other day.  We'd first met in WW, then found out we attended the same senior center as well.  Usually I am anxiously waiting for the bus to arrive, but yesterday I was glad that it took its time.  We had a good chance to catch up on things. 

Colored this one in my new coloring book.  Loving it.

Had another crazy dream this weekend.  Dreamed we moved into a new place.  Been dreaming about new places a lot lately.  Wonder if that means something.  I'm not looking anymore so I doubt it.  Well, this place was on the first floor of a building that had lots, and I mean lots of apartments.  The lobby was set up like a train station and all the seats were full.  I had access to a nice back yard.  It was autumn, and I remember talking about looking forward to spring so I could plant.  Out the side window was a tree and lots of cats were sleeping under it.  

Well, I went out to hang in the lobby and met some girl who said she cut hair.  I needed a cut so I asked if she would do it for me.  In my dream my hair was thick and raven black.  It was gorgeous.  Well she starts chopping.  And then I notice that she is teasing my hair before she aimlessly slices.  Finally I stop her.  My hair is now a mess.  I tell her off and go outdoors in tears.  Everyone asks what happened to my hair.  I call my regular girl and she says to come it and she will fix it. But now I look in the mirror and my hair looks gorgeous.  The cut is falling into place perfectly.  I am still mad and head over to the salon.  I end up with a thin shaggy cut like I have now. Then I wake up.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Friday Roundup

 Well, here we are.  Another Friday.  Another week is done.  They are speeding by at breakneck speed lately.  One would think time would slow up with all the time spent indoors, all the boredom, but it's not that way at all.  This was a busier than usual week for me.

On Monday I went to do the food shopping.  I keep hoping I'll run into a peer from the center when I go, but so far it hasn't happened.  On Tuesday I did my banking in two different directions.  Felt almost normal aside from seeing everyone with a mask.  I also canceled the city food orders.  They give you nothing but slop, at least the place that I got.  Several places got the go ahead to give meals, and as I found out in Wednesday's center meeting, some are better than others. Different zip codes get from different places, and I just happened to be in the wrong zip code.  I've gotten to the point where I can't even look at that food anymore.  A dog wouldn't even eat it. That's how bad it is.

So now I am on my own for meals, at least until late October, early November when they begin grab and go meals at the center.  I'll get on the bus and go. Heck, it will give me the opportunity to see my peers.  Of course, all this is dependent on Covid.  If cases begin to spike due to kids back in school and dine in restaurants, I won't be riding the bus.  So if that happens, I will probably have to sign up for food delivery again.  Hopefully next time I get a better place.

Attended a new art class the center has this week.  On zoom, of course.  It looks like it's going to be a lot of fun.  We are going to learn sketching and the use of watercolors, shading, etc.  The center will provide watercolors and brushes to those that can't afford it.  That's awesome.  I have my own so am not going to take advantage.  Another new class I tried this week was a meditation class at a different center's zoom.  I enjoyed it and will definitely go back next week.

Got my newest coloring book yesterday.  

And my handmade witch from Etsy arrived as well.  You can tell I love this time of year.

Have a wonderful weekend.  I know I may try to get to our favorite Sunday bench if the weather holds out. 

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Indian Summer

It's going to be pretty warm here today.  Put my flannel gown away last night as the cool air receded to a later date.  Indian summer is here.

Indian Summer.  Funny, I don't hear it called that much anymore.  Maybe that's because I am a 'city girl' now, and for many here, the changes of the season mean nothing more than a change in wardrobe.  Oh I'm not saying that city folks don't care.  They do.  But it's not the same as it is for someone who spent  the first 26 years of their life in the country.  They don't smell the rain coming like I do or feel a storm in the breeze.   And that's not meant as a put down in any sense of the word.  Heck, I've been a city girl now for 47 years, and I know I could never live in the country again as much as I say I would like to.  The city is my home now, and while it's nice to visit the country, it's always good  to get home.

Just ask my son.  When he was forced to move in the middle of the pandemic he stayed with my daughter in the Poconos for awhile.  There were no stores nearby.  And seeing that he didn't have a car, he was pretty much stranded when my daughter returned to work.  At first he loved it and spoke about how restful and peaceful it was.  But then, a month passed and it was 'get me outta here'.  That would probably be me as well.  

Indian Summer is defined as  unseasonably warm and calm weather that occurs after a cold spell in Autumn.  No one is sure where it got it's name, but many believe that it refers to the Indians practice of gathering the last of the season's stores during this period. When I first read this poem it brought back memories of my youth when Indian Summer was seen as a dangerous time.  It was during the polio epidemic, just prior to the vaccine.  Our parents were so fearful for us. While the entire summer was a time of danger, they placed much more emphasis on Indian Summer.   I remember how we'd swim in the lake all through July and August, would would be forbidden to swim in the when Indian Summer arrived. No one really knew how polio was transmitted or what caused it, but swimming was a 'no no' during the season.              

"Indian Summer"

Just after the death of the flowers,
And before they are buried in snow,
There comes a festival season,
When nature is all aglow—
Aglow with a mystical spendour
That rivals the brightness of spring,
Aglow with a beauty more tender
Than aught which fair summer could bring....

                Emeline B. Smith

And here I am now, some 60 odd years later once again facing an unseen enemy.   Only this time it scares me.  When you are young, you feel untouchable.  Leave the worrying to your parents.  That's how us kids felt back then.  In today's world, facing today's enemy, we DO worry, especially those of us considered vulnerable.  Let's hope and pray this enemy is wiped out just as polio was so many years ago.


Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Teenage Friends and Memories

When I was in high school, I had three good friends I hung around with-a set of twins and their younger sister.  My mom forbade me to see them, but that never stopped me.  Their mom was divorced and was dating so to my mom, she was a whore....which meant the daughters were as well.  Well, the irony of it all was that all the while my mom was condemning their mom for dating, my mom was running around every night with her boyfriend.  This went on for as long as I remember and was still going on when I left home.  Talk about hypocritical.  My mom just could not help herself.  Her boyfriend was the love of her life, her soul mate.  

But, I'm not here to write about my mom today.  I'm here to talk about my friends.  Every morning I'd leave my house to go to school and head for their house. There we would exchange outfits for day and other things teenage girls did.  Eventually, though my mom won out, and we parted ways.  At 26 I moved to the city and never really thought of them until a few years back when I joined Classmates.  By now I was in my Crone years and yearning for some ties to my past.  And I found them.  My friend Cheryl and her sister, Jamie, and I became friends on FB and found comfort in reminiscing about our youth.  I was supposed to go to visit them in our neighborhood and we were going to hang out, but then there was a transit strike, and that put and end to that.  Unfortunately, I never have gotten there to see them.

Jamie is in the black dress with a sweater.  I am at the end with my hair in an upsweep.

This was my high school year book pick.  I am second from the end in front.

This was Cheryl's senior picture in the yearbook.

And then I see a post on Jamie's page asking for prayers for Cheryl because she was going through a very rough patch.  Now mind you, Jamie is an avid Trump supporter.  I just delete and block all her posts about the glory of Trump and have made it a point to NEVER post politics or religion on my FB page.  So, she has no idea that I am one of these 'snowflakes' she is always condemning.  So when she posted nothing more about Cheryl I just assumed it was something to do with her family, or marriage, etc.  Never did I think health because Jamie was still busy posting about Trump.  Her biggest complaint was that she couldn't get to the rally in Milford.  

I kept checking hers and Cheryl's page but nothing more was said.  So you imagine my shock when I read yesterday that Cheryl was doing slightly better and was taken off the ventilator. Cheryl was obviously very, very ill.  I just could not, COULD NOT believe that your sister is lying in the hospital near death and all you can talk about is Trump.  I am truly flabbergasted.  If it were my family member he would be the least of my concerns. I'm still shaking my head about it.

On an even more personal level, this has also made me think about my own mortality.  Here is a childhood friend, a year younger than I am, fighting for her life. I'll soon be 74.  How much time will I have left?  We sort of discussed feelings about Covid and how it has effected us seniors in one of my groups.  We all agreed that this is not the way we thought we would spend the last years of our lives.  I wonder, just what will the new norm be like.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Monday Morning This and That

Good morning everyone.  Had a wonderful weekend.  Went to my son's new place for dinner yesterday. It's the first time we've seen each other since the holidays.  We hugged each other tightly and cried and mourned in the way we should have been able to had Covid not robbed us of this time we needed together.  It's been 5 1/2 months since my son's death I was finally able to hug and mourn.

Jerry has become a remarkable cook, and he and Tahnee were such gracious hosts. We spent some time reminiscing about Ant and despite tears, were able to laugh at some of his antics. Always a practical joker.

Enjoyed playing with my son's rescue, Ulani.  They got her from the ASPCA.  She is such a darling and so sweet and friendly.  

Time to head home.  Only damper last night was my tummy troubles, and I can't even count how many trips I made to the bathroom. The hour ride home was one of extreme anxiety, but the immodium helped, and I made it home just in time to run to the bathroom. As I look back on it, it's my own fault. Ate one of my triggers yesterday. As we grow older certain foods don't agree with us anymore especially those of us with IBS-D and one of those is egg sandwiches. When I worked I used to have bacon egg and cheese on a roll every morning, and it never bothered me except to put on quite a few excess pounds. But, in the past year ago they have become a real trigger for me. I can eat hard boiled eggs, but not fried. And yesterday I made myself an old childhood fave for lunch--eggs on toast. Whatever made me think it would be different just because I didn't eat it as a sandwich!!!!

Had to dig out a flannel gown.  Boy, did it ever get cold here....very quickly.  Was sitting around Saturday night in my gown and my fuzzy sock slippers.  Ran around in the morning shutting all the windows.  I will say, though, I do like it better than that extreme heat and humidity we'd been having.  It's not only far more comfy but also will save me money in the long run.  With not need for the AC or fan, the electric bill will go down.  They do say it will warm up at the end of the week, but only up until the 70's.  I can deal with that. 

Today I'm off to the supermarket.  Didn't get to go yesterday so I'm heading over today.  It's quieter on weekdays anyway.  At 2pm I plan to attend a class, 'Food for Thought' via Project Find, on zoom of course. 

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Short and Sweet



 Smile, it’s Saturday!

Friday, September 18, 2020

Friday Roundup

Had a fairly busy week, and next week looks to be busier.  A couple of new classes starting, and I am looking forward to them.  Not going to talk about them now though.  They are the future and this is about the week that what was.

Sunday morn I hopped on the bus and did my shopping on my own.  First time since March. Felt pretty good not to have to depend on someone....although I will admit I did enjoy shopping with hubby.  We hadn't done so in over 20 years.  If I could find one positive about Covid, it is that it brought hubby and I closer together. We spent much more time with and doing more with each other.  We had been living separate lives for so long, this made me realize just how far apart we had grown.  

I decided this week that I want NO MORE of this city food.  Just can't even look at it anymore.  It's slop that someone threw together for a paycheck.  Not that I didn't appreciate it, I did.  But lately they just don't seem to care what they give you.  So I've spent the week making soups and now have a freezer full.  Chicken soups on Monday and bean soups on Tuesday.  

Served with a dollop of sour cream.  Deeee-licious!!!!

They showed up at my door at 8 am Wednesday with a bag of frozen dinners.  I didn't even open the bag to see what was inside.  I already knew  and immediately took them to my neighbors.   

Had another meeting on Wednesday about the center.  I kind of liked it the way it was although I would have liked more classes.  I spoke up about that.  I also spoke up when the 'grump' started complaining that the lunches shouldn't be served because some people only come for the lunch and then go home.  (the grump is a peer who finds fault with everything).  She doesn't like bingo; well neither do I, but others love it so let them be.  She complained that everyone leaves after lunch.  Well, I spoke up about that as well.  For some that is the only meal they have.  Also suggested some more interesting groups in the afternoon and then maybe people would stay.  And yes, people do leave after lunch, but many depend on the vans, and they start driving people home at 1pm.

I used myself as an example.  Yes, I come in the morning and usually leave after lunch.  I come for socialization and classes.  I don't care for the bingo either, but I bring something to occupy my time such as my dot to dot book.  When there is something interesting happening in the afternoon I will stay.  Otherwise, I go home after lunch.  I'm a morning person.  I get up early and rather than hang out in the house, I get out and go to the center.  Fact is, she sleeps all day and doesn't get up until afternoon.  So the center is supposed to change to suit her?

Thursday was a quiet day.  This was an off week for counseling so no session.  I gave up on the Trivia game.  It's no fun when there is someone who knows every answer and doesn't even give another a chance.  I had a few of the answers, but she called out before I even had a chance.  A couple people dropped out during the game.  I stayed, but haven't been back since.  

We are about to enter the last weekend of summer. Wow, the lost summer, the summer that never was. Dug all my summer clothes out in spring and didn't get to wear most of them. My dresses got lots of use. It's easy to slip one over your head and sit around. Now the fall clothes come out. Is it really worth it? Will I get to wear them? Somehow I doubt it. Usually this time of year I am ordering a few new things to wear. Not this year. Not worth it.


Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Poetry in the Time of Covid


Today I wanted to share a couple of our poems that were published in the Center's blog.  Both were chosen because they are so appropriate for the times.  We have great hope for the future while yearning for a connection with others.  

Speaking of connection, I took the bus over to the supermarket for the first time on Saturday and then again yesterday for the things I forgot.  Can't very well make black bean soup without black beans. It felt good to be on my own, independent and not having to depend on hubby, but it was also strange.  As I looked around the bus with everyone wearing a mask, I remembered back to that time before Covid that I already was wearing a mask to protect myself from catching something and bringing it home to hubby and how people would look at me strangely.  I always felt that I had to explain so I'd grab the ear of the person nearest me and explain about hubby's illness and my reasons for mask.  Of course, I didn't have to, but I did feel funny at the time.  Ironically, now I'd probably feel funny if I were the ONLY person on the bus WITHOUT a mask. 

And secondly, I would take the bus the same time every morning.  When you do that, you always see the same people at their spots waiting for the bus and a comradery develops.  Pleasantries were always exchanged.  Yesterday I found myself feeling a sense of anticipation as we neared certain stops and a let down when the expected person was not there....especially the stops that picked up members of the center.  

I also wanted to share with you my beautiful mermaid....a gift for a great grand who adores mermaids.  It should look fantastic in a frame adorned with sea shells.  I have plenty on hand to work with.


Hope is a desire that keeps you from giving up
Hope takes a conscious effort
Hope is the life preserver on the choppy sea of
Hope is something to hold on to when things get
really bad
Sometimes you gotta slap yourself and get
back on track
Decide to take that path, not the darker one
You feel her excitement; it’s palpable
That hope brought him through
Gratitude can feed the flower of hope
It’s a choice to take care of that flower and  if we
 it withers and dies
Others need you
Even if the loss is so bad
Cry it out
Then say OK
What can I do to put a smile on someone else’s


On every pleasant thought your name is written
No, I do like you
Needing an association
Endless possibilities
Can come in many forms
Touching with our souls
In our hearts
Offering friendship
No limits when we have each other.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Tuesday Ramble


Lately every time I come on Blogger I have new Blogger page.  I switch back to the classic Blogger page, but inevitably  I end up back on the new page again so I decided to try to go with it.  Not sure if I really care for it.  Why the extra step when I go down my reading list and click on something I want to read?  Why does it always tell me I'm about to enter that page and am I sure that's what I want to do? Heck, I wouldn't have clicked on it if I didn't want to read it. It's the same thing with FB.  I keep avoiding the change and switching back to classic, but eventually they are going to force me to keep the new FB.  Why can't they leave well enough alone? 

Look how far they have gotten next door.  Already working on the second story.  Must say I am not a happy camper.  I don't like the idea of an 8 story building going up within two feet of my bedroom window.  What kind of view am I going to have?  Look out the window onto plain gray walls of concrete.

Went for a nice long walk yesterday morn in the cool air.  Oh, was it feeling so good after all this hot and sticky weather we've been having.  I found I could even breathe better and walk further.  Then I went back home and did a bit of cooking.

This is my Lipton Chicken Soup taste alike. The secret is in the fennel. Made 6 containers of it.


Very simple to make with few ingredients.  Carrots, celery, chicken broth, orzo, black pepper, and fennel with just a wee bit of salt.  I use the Herb Ox Sodium Free packets and use them to taste.  Used 6 for this soup.

Also made some Mediterranean Chicken Soup yesterday.

Carrots, celery, onions, chicken, low sodium chicken broth, spinach, chick peas, diced tomatoes, cumin, oregano, and black pepper.  

Today I plan on making  my bean soups and then I have a month's worth of soups.  Would have done it all yesterday but I forgot some of the ingredients for the bean soups so I have to run out to the store this morning.  Second bus trip for me this week.