Tuesday, December 28, 2010

White Out

We buy our birdseed by the 50lb bags and feed a multitude of wonderful little birds all year round. When I got up early this morning the trees were laden with all sorts of little feathery critters waiting patiently for breakfast. Since we hadn't yet began to dig, we made a space on the porch rail outside and threw out some seed. They are so small and darling.
Bob and I went to our good friend's Joe & Geri Sunday for brunch. They only live in the next town over but the ride home was a knuckle-biter. We left at about 5 just as the real wild wind and snow started to come down. The snow thunder and lightning was a surprise. That really woke me up from my drowsing off the all day eating binge at "Open House at the McCabe's". Who expects lightning in a blizzard? I thought the thunder was just a truck rumbling by.
I got a Kindle and a Kindle case as well as a gift card for Amazon. I'm finding my way around it pretty well. The directions are very clear even for someone who is computer challenged. I like the way it feels in hand and the print is so clear and dark. Love it!
I will have to make a couple of purchases in the next few weeks for myself. My dishwasher is on it's last legs and this wireless keyboard that I am writing on has a number of keys that are either stuck or not working real well at all. The x and the c are a problem, making for very funny words at times. Now I really must proof the writing or I sound like I've been in the Christmas punchbowl a little too long.
Speaking of that I did have a lot more wine than usual. That translates to two glasses and a margarita.
Christmas Day dinner at Terry and Jim's was a lot of fun. The food was amazing and of course time spent with my dearest friends is a special event in any case. We are always running and going and never have the time to sit and just talk. Wonderful. It did us a lot of good.
Christmas Eve I made Shrimp Scampi for James and Dani who brought Miss Lucy along for a fun time. I understand that she was, at first, thrilled with snow and soon after...not so much. Those tiny legs are only about 5 inches tops. There is 2 feet of snow out. She has had enough of the wonder of snow already. Frankly, I'm with Lucy.
I finally un-covered my car. Wow am I going to be sore tomorrow. I need a few things from the store like milk and, of course, bagels. Last night I made a pot of bacon, potato, spinach chowder. It was very good. So good that my son even loved it. One of the best things about winter has to be soup. Easily one of the best and easiest meals. Throw a bagel in the toaster and a small salad and your set.
Hoping to find my way to the sewing machine very soon. For the moment I'm stuck in paperwork hell. One of the insurance companies is asking for the original policy and I have turned the house upside down. I have years worth of paid premiums proof but I can't find the original policy...dang.
I've run out of places to look and now am hoping that he may have kept the policies in his desk at work. I will contact our friend Tom later to have a look see what he can find. Hope there is a way around it if it doesn't turn up.
Off to the store. Back soon.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas rush...

I thought I would just update you on things around here since I don't want to worry anyone. Thanks so much for the many messages I have gotten both on the blog and personally.
Even though it will take some major getting used to, I am trying to slap on a happy face and proceed with some Christmas cheer. I'm not one of those people who can sink myself into a miasma and wallow. Roger was not that kind of person either. So a little rundown of these past weeks and what's to come. Deep breath....
I am making Christmas Eve dinner for James & Dani and Bob. We are having Shrimp Scampi, Basmati rice, salad and something undetermined & yet to be bought by Bob at Copenhagen Bakery tomorrow for dessert. Christmas day we are going to my best bud Terry's house for dinner. There was some mention made about margaritas. Fine by me but a nice Cabernet would be good too. The day after Christmas our friends Joe & Geri are having a family open house thing that they do every year. Everyone brings something and the table is usually groaning with delicious stuff to eat and drink. Yes...this is my way of keeping moving. If I can get past these two holidays I will be alright. I feel like the white rabbit in Alice. No time to stop I have to go etc.
My schedule has reverted to pre-marriage time. Years ago, before we married, I used to be a night owl. Staying up to watch movies and such till all hours. Roger's work schedule kept me more grounded. In bed my 10 and up at 5:30. No reason for that anymore. I'm finding the nights a little hard but manageable thanks to Netflix. The movies are arriving and flying back out in the mail in record time. I just finished the last season of The Tudors and am looking forward to some older BBC mini-series stuff I've ordered. I should order a few more things since I think my cue is getting low and there is NOTHING on TV during these two weeks but re-runs. Any suggestions out there?
I've been inundated with paperwork from various life insurance policies and am waiting to hear from social security. The paperwork is daunting and if you miss a day of organizing you need an afternoon to figure out where you are. I have all but a few thank you cards for various things like flowers and fruit baskets etc. done. That can really get to you after a few dozen of those so I've been doing them every other day or so.
I'm hoping to clear the decks of the funeral details and thank you cards so I can get back to having some life without being sad or depressed daily. I do keep running into people in the grocery store who didn't know and last week I had an interesting thing happen at the bank. There was a check for Roger's final pay and he had many weeks of vacation time so that went into the check as well. Being that it was a substantial amount and made out to the Estate of Roger I rightly assumed they would be handling the check differently than any old deposit. They asked me to see the bank manager. Turns out that she lost her husband 6 months ago and she took a lot of time out of her schedule to explain some important things to me regarding things I should and should not do for a number of months + to see that the deposit was verified by her personally through the Lab where Roger worked. She gave me the number of her bereavement group and her personal cell number if I needed to talk to someone about all this. You really meet the most amazing people sometimes.
So here we are at the end of 2010. It's been a hard year and I don't expect it to be always easy in the coming year but I am putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward slowly. Now and then something reminds me of Roger and it's hard not to cry. I'm giving myself permission and not trying to keep from doing that. I guess that's part of the process. My eyes look like I've had surgery. Red and swollen a lot of the time. I need some cucumber slices or tea bags for my bags.
I wish all my dear friends, bloggy and otherwise, a beautiful Christmas and a New Year full of promise. My wish for you all is that you make the most of your time with loved ones. In the end, it really is the one thing you can't buy. Hardly anything else matters as much or is as precious.
I'll be back...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Thank You All so much.

I'm doing alright but missing my best friend a lot. Just the simple act of chatting in the evening. Things you don't think about much while you have them. Relatives have returned home to the pacific northwest after much delay and cancellation of planes due to weather. I am now in the middle of financial paperwork hell although I must say I've had a lot of help from the Lab where Roger worked. They are guiding me through the maze and being a big help. I am grateful.
The last day we had with Roger we all talked about the many things we loved about him and how much we wish he could have talked to us in those last hours. He had a hard time at the end and remained whatt we always called stubborn Irish. Even the Doctors and Nurses remarked on what a tough guy he was. People from various parts of the hospital came and hugged me and told me how honored they were to have known Roger over these months. Nurses who had been with him for months cried at the end. A little later when it was all quiet, James said to me, "I sure wish I could go get Dad a margarita." Roger couldn't drink in the last two years due to meds. He was never a big drinker but he sure missed those margaritas. A couple of hundred people came to the wake. Many of the engineers that Roger had worked with over the years and many friends and family. After the funeral we all went to a local pub and ordered margaritas and toasted Roger. It was a real old fashioned Irish/Italian wake with a Latin twist. He would have loved it.
I want to thank you all for your lovely messages. I was comforted so much by all of them. One of these days I will return to sewing and blogging. I just need some time to get things sorted out and get past all that has happened.
I will love him always. He gave me the gift of a wonderful life. I just need to figure out how to go on without him.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Roger passed away quietly this afternoon at 5:45 in his sleep with all of us surrounding him. Thank you for the blessing of your friendship and your kindness.

Thursday, December 02, 2010


Can't think of a way to write the words. We are in a hospital nightmare holding pattern. Everything that can go wrong has already and there are no more answers...only patience and prayers. Roger has decided he has had enough and refuses treatment. He has been through hell these last few weeks much of which I haven't spoken about. Last week during dialysis his blood pressure nearly bottomed out and he went into cardiac arrest- they had to shock him to bring him back. He has made it clear he wants no more of that and so the legalities have been put into place so his wishes are followed. His kidney Dr. is a kind man who spoke with him this morning and Roger made it clear that he doesn't want any further treatment.
We are all devastated and in pain but if you could see what has happened to him in these last 2 weeks you would understand why he's had enough.
I thank all of you for your prayers and concern. I'll be back when I can. My heart is broken.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Miss Lucy wishes you good turkey!

Lucy is wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving with all the trimmings...get a load of those ears...sigh

Friday BIL Bob & I went out to the laboratory where Roger has worked for 30+ years and met with several people who are helping me with various financial matters regarding Roger's illness and sick leave. Everyone was so nice it was very heartwarming and sweet. People came out of the woodwork to say how much they missed him and his bosses told me that not only was he missed as a person but his outstanding work over the years in bringing contracts to the Lab was sorely missed as well. Roger has made so many friends in the industry that I get e-mails and messages from near and far. Over the course of the years he has brought many millions of dollars to the Lab and they acknowledged how much his absence meant to the whole staff. They were helpful in directing me on how to proceed with long-term plans for that absence and how it would most benefit us. Roger is on family health leave right now and that will last till Feb. After than he will go on long-term health care leave which would allow him to return to work within a years time or remain on long term until Social Security kicks in in his 60s. Roger is only 55 now so that's a long time during which he will get more than 60 percent of his current pay. I can also ask to have a pay out of his vacation days, of which there are a whole lot +they keep accruing even now while he's out. We have often teased about how the Lab is like a country club. It is very much like a University in both setting and manner. It's a beautiful place. Roger always took a walk on fair weather days and since the Lab is federally protected, there are huge flocks of turkeys and deer. We only saw turkeysthis time but I have seen photos of the hundreds of deer.

I was glad to have Bob along with me and thankful that he took some notes on the info-there was so much of it. All of this made things seem a bit less frightening on the income front.

Last night James & I went to visit Roger in the late evening. He was a little bit alert but he tries to talk and with the tube in his throat you really can't understand much at all. It becomes frustrating for him and you can see on the monitors that he is becomeing agitated. We didn't stay long but I could see he was really happy to see James and even smiled at the conversation about the new grand-pup Miss Lucy.

Tomorrow I will head out to the bakery and get a tray of really excellent cookies from the Copenhagen Bakery for the Nurses and Drs. who got stuck with working Thanksgiving. For the valet guys at the hospital who have been so good to me I will get gift cards for Starbucks. They don't even bother parking my car in a lot now. They just back it up a few feet and leave it in front of the hospital. They are really nice young men.

Bob & I are going to our good friends, Joe & Geri for Thanksgiving. We are looking forward to having a nice dinner. We've got the mashed potatoes, desert & wine. I'll go to the hospital in the morning that day. Thanksgiving won't be the same nor will it be easy but I have to get out and have a few hours of conversation and friends. I hope that you have a delcious Thanksgiving and hugs your loved ones extra hard.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

This past weekend the newlyweds got a puppy. Lucy is an adorable 9 week old Corgi. She has fur like a little bear and her ears are bigger than almost anything else on her. Short chubby legs- more body than legs. When she moves the front half starts before the back half gets going. Very funny. After a visit to see Lucy and fall in love, we went to Catfish Annie's for lunch. It was the best day I've had in a long while.
If you're too squeamish don't read on.....
Roger still has an infection that is drug resistant so gloves and a gown are still the norm each day. Yesterday, he was operated on to replace a feeding tube that had begun to leak. A new one put in and while they were in there they drained 8 liters of fluid from his abdomen...8 liters. Sorry if it's too much info but that's the kind of thing we are dealing with daily. This morning he has put out another liter. The surgeon has sent off some of this fluid to a lab to be tested in the hopes that they find something that will explain why this massive swelling keeps happening. I was able to see and talk to Roger this morning. He can say a few things in a raspy voice since the trach tube is in his throat. You have to listen carefully and get as close as possible. Mostly he just sleeps or rests with his eyes closed. He is not interested in even having his glasses on and since he is blind as a bat without them, communication is nearly non-existent. I hold his hand and talk to him for a while and then he waves me away. He has a lot of his Dad in him. It's not easy but I can't stop to think about it or I will lose it altogether. Gotta keep on going. I guess if it were me I'd be pretty grumpy too.
Just checking in to say Hi. I've been getting up so early in the morning but it gives me the chance to sit and visit with bloggy friends. Haven't commented too much but I am stopping by now and then. Talk to you soon.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Thanks Ladies...

I turned on the comments again due to the many e-mails I got from the best people in the world...you.

When I think about writing lately it always seems to be so needy sounding. Comes off sounding like I need a lot of cheese with all that whine. I'm not used to being the one who needs. I've always been the one who is strong. Some of the best relationships I have are with people who have needed a lot of support and comfort recently. I guess this turns out to be the time when my problems are becoming seemingly insurmountable. Anyway, Thanks Ladies for the messages and several eye opening e-mails that slapped me upside the head. Left o my own devices, I am the ostrich with my head firmly planted in the sand. Your thoughtful messages pulled me out.

This morning I went to see Roger and there was a sign on the door that said he has an infection and gloves and a gown must be worn. If that doesn't get your mind going in the morning nothing will. One less way for us to communicate...one more thing to worry about. Now I can't even touch his forehead and hold his hand except through plastic....sigh.

In order not to lose what few brain cells I am managing to hold on to I decided it was time to get out the sewing machine and some fabric. I put it all on the kitchen table yesterday and there it sits. I keep walking past the stuff not doing anything with it. Last night I thought about this for a long time. I think that I am avoiding anything that makes me feel good because I feel guilty having enjoyment. Wrap your head around that one. Before all this stuff started happening, I thought I was a fairly normal woman with reasonable thoughts running through my head. Now I am in a daily state of panic due to the many unknowns we are facing. I thought for sure that by the time I was this age I wouldn't have so much to worry about. In the last 3 months most of the things I used to know the answer to have become questions with no clear answer. Having been through hell once in my earlier life should have prepared me for it happening again. It hasn't and I'm in a position where I may find myself without options I thought I had.

I'm going from this to the sewing machine and do something simple. I'll try not to enjoy it!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

little update

I closed the comments for the time being. At this point I feel as though you have all sent me a warm embrace with all your beautiful comments and to ask for more time and time again seems like to much. I feel the good vibes and am thankful for the prayers. Please don't stop the prayers.

For now, I will just keep this as a journal of some of the things that are happening. I'm hoping that it will give you an update and let you know what's up. It will also give me an outlet for some of my emotions.

What's up this week has been in some ways a positive thing. Of course, the way things have been going with Roger, positive is a relative term. Last week was a very bad week. There was too much Atavan building up in Roger's system and for many days he just wouldn't wake up. Since he was still intubated he couldn't talk even if he had been awake but not to have him open his eyes at all was very hard. Fluid was building up in his system and he was, once again, massively swollen. The kidneys weren't working and it became a serious problem. Dialysis was needed and done. Some improvement but not enough. They speak to me in hushed tones and hold my hand like a child. Maybe that's because I feel small and ineffectual and am projecting that most of the time. By weeks end the tubes needed to come out of Roger's throat to ward off infection so on Saturday, they did a tracheostomy. After that he began to come around and his eyes opened now and then. He had grown quite the beard with all the hardware all over his face so they offered to have a woman who does such things for the patients shave Roger. He looks like himself again...well sort of. Each day he was a little more awake and trying to communicate. Unfortunately, some of his communications are not so good. He has two good friends from grade school that wanted to come and see him. Every time I mentioned it he would become very agitated and then his tubes would need clearing and he would be nearly choking. The nurses said that it is often the case with people like Roger that they just don't want people to see them like this. Whatever his reasoning, I must abide with it for now. Getting into a major state of agitation is not helpful to him and perhaps when he is better things will change. He even waved off his Brother Bob and more or less told him to go away. Of course he's not going to do that but it was sad nevertheless.

Today I went in this morning and spent some time with him. A surgeon came in to let me know that they needed my signature for the procedure on Monday. He will have a new line put in for dialysis and another pic line for meds. The prognosis for Roger is not great and it depends on who I speak with to what degree I worry. I'm trying very hard to be patient and keeping in mind that it took a long time to get him well enough for rehab before. When Roger asked me where he was today and I told him, I also mentioned that it was November and a kind of frosty damp Thursday outside, he closed his eyes and a tear fell down his face. August seems so far away.

That's where it stands today. I'm beginning to believe that there is hell right here on earth and we are in it.

In brighter news...

James and Dani are coming home from St. Thomas and their honeymoon today. They sent me a couple of pictures. I'm so glad they could get away and enjoy this time with each other. They hit it lucky with their reservation. When they arrived, they were shown to the wrong room and so they talked to the woman in charge and had a nice conversation about their wedding and all that has gone wrong for the family in these last months. They were put into a suite with a huge balcony overlooking a gorgeous bay. People really can be generous and kind. The Concierge has sent hem to several places where they didn't have to spend too much but got great meals.

I can't begin to tell you how much I have missed them. Living without my best friend is hard enough but without them it seems empty and way too quiet.

Give your loved ones an extra hug. Lately all I can think of is all of the things that I didn't do and say when I had the chance. I'm trying to remember that last good day and I can't. Did I kiss him goodbye or did we just wave at each other like sometimes...can't remember. I can remember that he had a few days off and we did some of the things we liked to do together

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Faith & a diversion

It's really hard to keep going in the face of what's happening but go I must. If not I will find myself in the fetal position sucking my thumb and waiting for the earth to stop spinning.
There are no good things to report regarding Roger. He is being kept comfortable and I visit him most mornings early. It's the best time to find a parking space and not fight traffic and it seems to be a great time to find a nurse and even some Drs. to talk with. They really are doing all they can and I can't spend each day crying so I must keep moving. I'm trying not to let fear immobilize me. It's a battle I win some days and some days it's bigger then me.
Again, thanks to all of you for your prayers. Roger needs them now. I've often heard more religious people refer to the phrase, "Give it up to God" That's where we are now. This morning I was looking in a desk where Roger kept his rosary from many years ago. There was a prayer book and some other things and now I can't find them. I'll keep looking. I don't know why but I feel I must find them. Sounds irrational coming from me but I have discovered a vein of faith I never knew I had and it seems like there are forces challenging all that I have come to be at peace with. I feel that I must find these things like something inside me is making me frantic to discover where they are. Crazy emotions.....
For a small, and colorful quilty diversion I would point you in the direction of Amy's blog for the bi-annual Quilt Festival. Doesn't cost a thing to see hundreds of beautiful quilts on as many blogs. I entered twice before and can tell you it was fun getting sweet comments from people I never heard from before. Don't have anything to show for myself this time around but I can recommend the Festival for a great pastime. Hope you get a a chance to stop by and see the amazing amount of quilts. Scroll down a little it's a BIG deal.
Talk to you soon.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Moving along...

Thanks for the beautiful messages I received from various people. Your kindness is a gift beyond measure.
I have been to see Roger now that he is back at Huntington in the ICU. He is intubated and in a light sleep. Today, they are going to do a CAT-scan and various other tests to see where he stands. I mentioned in an e-mail to a friend that when I hold his hand it seems that he is becoming smaller and farther away. That's how it feels. If they can turn this one around it really will qualify as a miracle to me.
I'm throwing myself into several projects that have languished over the last months. Things that need attention but I just keep walking past them unable to concentrate. It feels good to get lost in a project right now. Keeps me from thinking about what may come. I spent the weekend returning calls and replying to e-mails from very good friends and family. By last evening I felt all in. Last week the newlyweds picked me up and took me to their house for dinner. It was so nice to see them so happy and to be out of the routine. They are headed out to St. Thomas for their honeymoon. I think James & Dani worried about going with his Dad in this shape but we have told them to go on and enjoy their time together. St. Thomas is not so far away and they deserve a honeymoon. This was the only time they could both get off.
I'm off to do some errands and stop in to see Roger. Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010


Hi there! No, I ahve not fallen off the edge of the earth. Roger is in rehab not too far from our house so my days are now filled with spending some time with him and catching up with all that needs to be done since the earth stopped spinning two months ago. At least that feels like what happened.
I couldn't figure out the mystical, magical method for making these pictures appear in order but, at least, I got something posted. The lovely hand handsome couple over here are my son's Mother and Father-in-law. Aren't they great? Such wonderful people. My son is very fortunate to have this family for support.
The pillow at bottom was made by his MIL Cheryl and the shot of those gorgeous Galasso women is awesome. So pretty. The photographer took some fun shots and I got a huge kick out of them.
Anyway, I'm off to do some clean up and then to the rehab center.
Thanks for checking in and saying hello. I really appreciate all your good thoughts and prayers. It's going to be a long haul but we're finally on the road.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Just checking in to let you know that things are moving along here. Moving like molasses but moving nonetheless.
Roger is healing up nicely from the surgery. is breathing is doing very well and the sleep apnea c-pak thingy(tech term) is helping enormously. He was not expelling CO2 so he was confused and exhausted before the treatment. Now he's clear and thinking up a storm.
Physical therapy is working with Roger daily. It's slow going as you might imagine, for someone who has been basically immobile for nearly 8 weeks.
We are now looking at 2 rehab places nearby. He will need months of work but any steps forward are good ones.
He is asking for some types of mental stimulation such as reading and listening to books on CD. I got him "The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo" and several other ones.
Erika, who has been staying with me since the wedding, is going home to PA on Sunday. It's been wonderful having her here. She's great company and a big help. We have enjoyed our trips out for lunch, especially the Texas cheese fries at Chili's. It's probably a good thing she won't be here for a while since it's way too easy to jump in the car on a bad day and head for the fries.
Once again, thanks for all the good thoughts. I hope to be back with anything sewing related at some point soon. After I clean my house....agh! I came out of the fog yesterday and had a good look around. Seriously, it's a mess. Piles of paperwork, junk mail, unfolded laundry, and general dustiness. Yuk.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Life in slow motion

Even though the days seem to fly by I feel as though life is in slow motion. Wish there was a button to push for that.
Here is a photo of our good friend, Rich & his younger daughter Erika. She has been staying with me since the wedding and made the days a lot brighter and easier to handle. I don't know why there seems to be a double photo showing in many of these pics but it's all I can do lately to get up and function like a zombie throughout the days.
Roger is still in CICU. He has had so many problems. One after the other. Mostly breathing and infections. He is now off the breathing tube and infection free. Hoping to get him out of this unit and in to a regular room sometime soon. His initial surgery is healing well but I spend the days feeling as though I'm sitting on pins and needles waiting for the hammer to fall again. He does have a lot of confusion and what is called hospital psychosis. Trouble figuring out night and day and such.
I awoke yesterday with the feeling that I needed to do something very un-hospital like. I took Erika to the Cheesecake Factory for lunch and Michaels craft store. It was busy and noisy as usual but it was good to get out and enjoy an hour away. After that we went over to see Roger before it started to get dark. I have a problem driving at night. I can do it but it's not my favorite thing and I'm getting uncomfortable with it. Now that the fall is setting in and days are shorter there won't be many trips after sundown.
Roger's brother Bob has been stopping by the hospital on his way home from work. He is finished with his series of rabies shots now and hopefully we will not encounter another icky bat around here for a long while. That was one expensive bat bite.
Erika likes old movies so we are watching some she hasn't seen. The other night we watched "White Heat" with James Cagney on TMC and last night I pulled out my DVD of the old Joan Crawford soap opera "Mildred Pierce"
I have to go and do some errands now and certainly do some laundry. Can't seem to focus on anything. I wish that would stop but no matter how hard I try I just want to sit and stare. Erika must be bored to tears.
Thanks for all your good wishes. Talk to you soon.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

checking in again

I can't possibly thank you all enough for the kind words and good thoughts you've taken time to send my way. It makes the day much lighter to come home and be able to take a few moments to read your comments. Thank you all.

I wish that I had some wonderful, exciting news to offer you all but while some things are improving for Roger, other things are not so good. They can't seem to wean him off the breathing tube. It has to come out since it will erode the esophagus over too much time so the next thing is putting in a tracheotomy tube. That means he can heal and in the near future go to a re-hab center but if he has any other breathing issues they can get oxygen to him through that tube immediately. The Dr. says it was very difficult to get the tube in and having to do it again would be even harder. Meanwhile, his Gastroenterologist tells me he is healing well from the gall bladder removal and pancreas infection problems.

I haven't had a minute to get photos from anyone and organize anything so here are a few more of the ones from my camera-sorry for the poor quality. The lighting was just very dark and in order to lighten then they got grainy. No matter-there are hundreds more out there and I hear that the video will be available to us sooner than we thought.

Above is BILBob, good friend Geri and our friends daughter Erika. Bob rented a stretch limo. It was great fun for all and gave me the opportunity to have a few delicious glasses of Cabernet. The food ws delicious at Il Mulino and never stopped coming. Little plates of fabulous Reggio Parmigiana and Sopressata. I had the veal Marsala and could have licked the plate. If you are ever in a city where they have an Il Mulino restaurant...go. The dinner was in the wine cellar and could not have been more lovely.

Bride, Bridesmaids and Deer in the headlights

Dani's Mom Cheryl, Me BIL Bob,Bride and Groom

Inside the chapel for rehearsal
This lovely chapel looks old but was, in reality, built not so many years ago by the husband of a patient at St. Johnland where Dani's Mom is a nurse. They have restored and re-painted the inside recently and are currently re finishing the pews. They were not finished in time for the wedding which is why you see the folding chairs.

Rev. Garret Johnson-Groom with best man
Chris and BIL Chris in foreground

Back with more when I can.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

checking in

Thank you all so much for your good wishes and prayers. The day of the wedding rehearsal, Roger was taken into surgery that afternoon. There were several issues including two large areas of fluid that were obscuring the pancreas and getting larger by the day. I sat with him until they took him up-left all the important numbers and cell numbers-ran home and although I missed the rehearsal, I made the dinner. It was a lovely evening with people who are very important to us and the room was filled with loving wishes, prayers, and even laughter. My son has wonderful friends and Dani's family and friends were all very comforting.
That night I called the nurse in charge of him and she said he was well sedated and being made comfortable as possible. They put in a breathing tube and various other lines. His gall bladder was removed as well. The pancreas was infected and that was taken care of. He currently is being fed through a feeding tube and is still sedated. They need to keep him very still so he won't try to pull out the tubes and IVs. There is talk of taking out the breathing tube today or tomorrow. Day by day is all we can do.
Excuse the poor quality of the photos. I don't have much on my camera and the lighting was very low. Dani's Dad Chris hired a video guy. The dinner was superb and it was so wonderful to see the happy couple finally married.
It doesn't look it in these awful pictures but I lost a few pounds these past weeks and my dress was too big for me. It tied at the waist so it didn't look too bad but it just felt uncomfortable.

below are my niece Alicia, my Brother Pete, SIL Diane, gal pal Terry and me.

Below is James friend Dave, who I've seen grow from a small boy to a man. We love Dave.

Getting ready to cut the cake

rehearsal at the Chapel-I hear it was very hot in there and they couldn't get a lot of the windows open. Fortunately the wedding day was much cooler and they got the windows open and a breeze throughout- it was lovely. Here are the Bridesmaids and Bride

Back with pictures as they get e-mailed to me by various people. This one came out so dark that it got fuzzy trying to even lighten it a bit. Diane took some of these for me since I was at the Hospital.
I'm trying to have faith and strength. Forgive me if I don't comment often. When I get a solitary moment I am checking in on you all and your words of comfort mean a lot to me.
Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Stuff is too polite a word.

I 'm fully aware that crap falls on everyone and life gets in the way of things but I can't help thinking that I must have done something really bad in a previous incarnation for all this stuff that is happening to the people I love. I realize that we don't have fatal diseases and life can surely always get worse but could we just get from here to Saturday without another load falling on us? A hurricane...REALLY??? A fricken hurricane. How about a plague of locust?

The good-
Roger seems to be improving. There's so much complicated stuff surrounding that I won't even try to explain. Suffice to say they let him have jello and chicken soup today. Possibly real food for dinner. BIL Bob is over there now so he will report in later. I was over this morning and they got him up for a very brief sit up in a chair. He's very weak but so far the news is getting better.

It's not much but it made me feel human-got my hair done.

The bad-
Roger won't be at the wedding or the dinner. There are certain medical procedures being done that preclude getting out of there that soon. Kidneys and infection stuff-nuf said.

I got stuck in a small elevator with a very pregnant young woman this morning while I was over there. We had a pleasant conversation and tried to be patient. Half hour later we said goodbye to each other and I wished her good health for her and the baby. I had flashes of me trying to deliver a baby in a small elevator and something ran through my mind that sounded like "don't know nothin' about birthin' no babies" Mercifully the engineer opened the door about that time so my sanity returned...if only for a brief moment.

Everyone I spoke to today asked me what I thought about Earl?? You know, Earl, the fricken hurricane. Go Away Earl!!!

I am on my knees praying. I just need Friday night at 7 and Saturday at 4:30- that's all

It's a really good thing I don't drink. Maybe I should start?

Friday, August 27, 2010

More stuff...sigh

Roger is back in the ICU.
This time it's nearby and very professional with his own team of Drs.
He's got an infection in his system most likely from the Pik line that was removed last Sunday when we broke him out of the hospital from hell. His blood oxygen was low and blood pressure was jumping around too much. I can't tell you the difference in the two hospitals. They were on him and medicating him within 45 min. A whole team of Drs. and very professional nurses. Had him out of the ER and into the ICU within a couple of hours. Answers to questions were immediately answered clearly and he had a bunch of tests immediately. I slept soundly for the first time in weeks last night just knowing he was over in Huntington-5 miles from me.

Other than feeling sort of weak and looking pale, Roger said he felt alright. The cardiologist wants him to be on an IV diuretic to get rid of that amazing amount of fluid in his legs and his right arm. He told me that he would most likely lose about 20 lbs of fluid in the next days.
Before this happened yesterday, he was getting around with the walker well and sometimes without it. Once we conquer the swelling problem, he will be a lot better just from not having that excess weight to drag around. Other issues will improve because of that as well.

I'm trying to remain positive. It's not likely that Roger will go to the wedding dinner but since the chapel is only a mile or so away we are trying for the actual wedding ceremony.

Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I'll be brief & thankful

Roger is home. We broke him out on Sunday
Many health & home & wedding(Sept 4th) issues to deal with. BIL arranged for some construction to happen(grrrrrrrrr rrrrrrr rrrr) the week before the wedding-Valium anyone???
Sleeping is not an option. Intravenous caffeine for me
You know those photos you see of the damage after the tornado/hurricane whatever?? My house looks a lot like that.
Holding it together-but barely. I know things could always be worse.
Bless you for your prayers.
More later

Friday, August 20, 2010

Amazing true stories

Quick list of stuff

1. Roger is improving-slowly. May come home in a day or so.

2. BIL Bob got bitten by a bat. Got medication and series of injections over a couple of weeks-no I am not making this up.

3. The bat was in our house...eeeeeeeeeeekkk

4. the bat came out and flew around because I was screaming at it like a soprano at full volume. It was a toss up which was more frightened- me or the bat. Opened windows and removed screens- stopped screaming, turned off lights near the stair well where it was flying around. Three freakin' hours later the bat finally found his way out.

5. Not before he hid behind a very large bookcase full to brimming with all manner of stuff that James and I had to unload and said stuff is now laying all over the floors and surrounding area and has now shed all the the dust that an ignored bookshelf can hold all over every other item in the house.

6. Carrying a crucifix and avoiding my BIL(kidding)

7. My dearest friend is going through some serious family issues. This is causing us to have a running "can you top this" type of phone conversation. Yesterday we were neck & neck until told the bat story. I took home the medal.

Please continue to say a prayer if you are inclined. I continue to remember that what does not kill us makes us stronger.....RIGHT?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Prayers answered

Who ever you are, whatever you asked in prayer, someone up there is listening. Roger has improved steadily in the last day and a half. He was awake and taking fluids today. Ice water & ginger ale and grape juice. Thank you, thank you, thank you one and all.
I will sleep tonight for a change and if he continues to improve they will put him in a regular room by thurs.
I have so much to catch up on. Back soon with more detailed news. For now, and for a change, the news is much better. He ate green hospital jello today and pronounced it ambrosia! That's hungry

Sunday, August 15, 2010

update on Roger

Thanks for all the e-mails and comments. Things are not good. Roger is having a very hard time breathing. Pancreatitis is getting better but other problems have arisen.
More later...

Update, There was some small improvement today. He was more alert and could breath easier. Keep those good thoughts and prayers coming. He appears to be listening. Today was a tiny blessing and so welcome.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Not all Bad News

Thanks everyone who left me such nice words to cheer me up. I got some personal e-mails that were a big help too.

Yesterday was a bad day in the beginning and it gradually got slightly better over the course of the day. There were problems with medications. He is on a bunch of stuff and because of the current problem he has been off some of those and on others. Lots of problems with insulin and cardiac meds-long story. He had some of what the Dr. called "Hospital Psychosis" and didn't know where he was-became disoriented and was in a panic. He is in the ICU where they can give him the immediate care he may need 24/7 so I felt better for that. I just talked to the nurse taking care of him today and she said he seemed much more lucid and was able to carry on a conversation more clearly today. Yesterday was a nightmare that went on all day so I was happy to hear good news this morning. Bob & son James went out to see him last night-I think seeing James was a very good thing. Maybe remembering that seeing his son get married in 3 weeks is the goal to focus on.
He's having respiratory problems so they are giving him special meds and treatments for that. I'm heading out there with my BIL Bob in a while. If I can only get him well enough to come back here where he is familiar with his Drs. and surroundings(our hospital is 10 min. from my house) it will make a huge difference. I also told him yesterday that he needs to stop being and engineer for a little while. After speaking with the Drs. and nurses yesterday they said he was not all that lucid and began questioning-became panicked at what they were doing. All of that did nothing for his blood pressure. I've decided that hell is being in a hospital 45 miles away from your husband. Doesn't matter how nice it is or how nice they are. It's pure hell.

Talk to you later

Friday, August 13, 2010

Techniphobe or old fart..your choice

What is this strange thing that happens when you suddenly are forced into a new situation and are completely out of your realm and you look in the glass window at a reflection and say, "who's that old fart?" Turns out it's you!

Thanks to you ladies who were kind enough to leave me the sweet messages. Made my day and Hey Judy! Want to take a ride to Riverhead? I thought not but thanks for your lovely comment.

Roger is still in the hospital but doing better. Yesterday was a mixed bag of ridiculous. Can't go into detail but let's just say that I hope to get him out of there REALLY soon. His care is wonderful but his patience is running out quickly and I think that being so far from home makes him(and me) nervous. It's a 45-50 minute trip on the expressway. If you know anything about Long Island you know to stay away from the expressway at all cost. Anyway, he's in Riverhead...way out east of us near the end of the island and near the lab where he works which is where he works and became ill. Riverhead is a very old part of the island with much agriculture and many miles of grapes for the lovely wines they produce. In the center of Riverhead there is an old fashioned roundabout traffic circle like they still have in Boston and other New England areas. The joke goes that you can get in but you can't get out. Rogers hospital is right there on the northeast corner of the roundabout. Anyway, I'll be the old broad going around in circles with a blinker on...round and round...forever. Fortunately his room faces that corner so he can see me and wave.
I ran into another problem of a minor nature though. No cell phone. I'm a technophobe and hate cell phones-hate them. Now I have to drag myself into this century and go buy one of those things from hell because there is no way to communicate with the rest of the family. Luckily two people were kind enough to lend me theirs yesterday and boy did I feel like a jerk. I didn't even know what to do to make a call. Did I mention how much I hate cell phones? People look at you in a weird way when you ask for a pay phone. Also I have a little bit of a hearing problem and I find it so unpleasant to talk on them. I'm thinking that the guys at the store are going to get a huge kick out of trying to teach me how to use a cell phone. Happy to provide entertainment to anyone I can.
So anyway, this is the old fart, technophobe signing off for now. Back with news when I can.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Just checking in to let you know the stuff that's happening.
The good....and the bad

1. The bad-Roger is in the hospital. He will hopefully come home today or tomorrow. Serious dieting and grumpiness to follow. Knew it was coming. He's stable and getting better but hungry and tired. Hospitals are not the place to get any rest.

2. The good-We had a visit from friends. Did a lot of stuff and shopping. Lunch out east at a favorite place. Wonderful help from our friends while they were here. I got shoes and a bag for the wedding and I think we are all pretty much set for the big day.

3. The good- we are getting some work done on the house in the form of new windows. The guy is coming tomorrow to take actual measurements and it should be about 4 weeks from then. Sometime in Sept. It's a job that needed doing desperately and will make a huge difference in the appearance of the house as well as heating and cooling costs.

With all that's going on, good and bad, I really have become a bad blogger so I'm grateful for anyone who still checks in now and again. Miss my sewing machine and fabric but I just can't seem to focus on anything right now. My brain hurts. Please say a prayer for my husband. I hope they let him come home today-he's not a happy camper in any hospital let alone one 35 miles from home. I am going to have to be the food Nazi starting tomorrow. Not good!

Back with news when I can.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Surprise Shower for Dani

We had a surprise Wedding Shower for Dani yesterday. It was fun and kind of exhausting. Dani's family and friends are such fun people. I've been enjoying the experience of getting to know her Mom a lot better in the past couple of weeks. We have shopped for shower supplies and wedding cake and balloons and other stuff. Cheryl is so much fun to spend time with. I hope we get to do more things together soon. By the way that is her sitting next to Dani in the pictures. Pretty Lady!
Thrown in with the fun has been the experience of being around girls. Being the Mom of one son/child, the girls are a lot of fun and a whole new experience. They did a great job of decorating and made a wonderful day for Dani. All in all it was a lovely day in a pretty garden with perfect weather.
Now we will pray for another day just like it for the wedding in a months time. Please join me. We need all the prayers we can get. The Chapel where the wedding is to be held is not air conditioned. They have many ceiling fans and it is generally a cool place in the wooded surrounding. By the way, we will be entertained by a harp player during the chapel service.

This tiny thing that Dani is holding is a miniature cheese grater that my friend Diane included in the box of goodies she sent. Dani got a huge kick out of it...thanks Diane. She loved getting all the gifts and we enjoyed oooooing and ahhhhhing.

These lovely ladies are wedding party ladies surrounding the bride. Dani has the most beautiful friends and family. Beautiful inside and out.

I have so much to catch up on so I'll go do some of those things that fell by the wayside in the past days. Only one thing left for me to get for my wedding outfit-shoes...or as I am now referring to them...fricken fracken shoes. The result of never wearing shoes anymore and existing in flip flops is that my feet have gotten wider than they were. Shoes, which have always been my favorite buy are now a pain in...well...the foot. So far I have returned 4 pair of shoes that I thought would do but not so much. Even for an hour never mind a whole day. When did my feet get so fat? I can account for the rest of me but the feet?? Yikes!
Anyway, have a good day. Talk to you soon.
It's time for my nap...zzzzzzz

Saturday, July 17, 2010

weekend notes

How much fun is it to be served breakfast by your son and DIL-to be? LOADS! Their apartment is just so nice. Lovely little courtyard outside and pretty grounds.
I was doodling around for a 15 minute sew and made a couple of kimono blocks. They are different sizes as I am trying to make them part of a wall hanging with asymmetrical blocks with an Asian flavor. It's such a happy time around here and I'm looking forward to Sept when I can get back to more than the occasional 15 minutes. My fabric is calling to me.....
Our server finally got straightened out and the e-mail is back. Right now the sky is nearly black as night and a fairly intense storm is about to hit. I'm so hoping that by early Sept this weather will be better. By better I mean less humidity and bugs. This has been a really awful year for both.
I have some things to take care of in the wedding department so I'll talk to you soon. Nor much interesting here so I appreciate anyone who has stuck with me. Better quilting days are coming!

Friday, July 16, 2010


No e-mail and a lot of PIA stuff with the server in general. Hoping they fix things really soon. Second day of no e-mail. ...grrrrr
Just went up to get dressed-air cond. compressor won't turn on. 94 degrees today.
Bad moon rising? Be afraid...very afraid...
James & Dani moved into their apartment yesterday. Well, they moved some things. It's an on-going process. I promised not to act like a total blubbering fool and failed miserably. All his life, this is the thing I prayed for. For James to find a good woman and have a happy, normal life. Everything is exactly like I always wanted for him. They are so adorable together and it's really kind of fun watching them get their apartment set up. The learning curve for James will include such things as no food in the bedroom, no feet on the couch, and lifes biggest lesson of all-no one is going enjoy car parts the way you do and no one else thinks they're attractive. Today I got up in a good spirit and felt much better. I have much to do and just checked the e-mail. Still not working but I'm told it's an island wide problem and cablevision has taken their phones off the hook so none of the millions of people trying to talk to them are getting through. Don't you just love technology?
Gotta go check the ac. Turned it off and left it for a while and turned it on again. The compressor came back on but how long that will last is anyones guess. Looks like an expensive weekend.
Stay cool

Monday, July 12, 2010

sailing along

Unknown territory-that's what we're sailing into. In less than a week, James will be in his new apartment. He and Dani need everything that is necessary for daily life. I told him to think of his day from the time he wakes up to lights out. That's what you need to have on hand to start. Small things like a way to make tea & coffee, an alarm clock, toiletries, simple things like cups to have that coffee in. Even with all this going on, I envy them this wonderful time. The excitement of a place of their own and even the decisions that need to be made on everyday choices and needs. It's such an exciting time and so sweet. Happy memories are bound to bubble up just thinking about it.

Yesterday, I was bubbling up with the above mentioned happiness and couldn't focus on anything except the fact that I still didn't have anything to wear to the wedding. I grabbed the keys and set out for an adventure. Since the weather today is going to be back up around 90, I figured I'd better get going before I pass out in some dressing room from heat exhaustion. I found two things that are very nice and looked comfortable as well. Light and breezy is the theme for early September. Now I need some light sandals to finish the look. Maybe tomorrow.

We booked a room for the wedding rehearsal dinner. I had been there before and the food was good but I didn't like the way the room was laid out. When we saw the room again on Saturday, they had set it up completely differently and we loved it. We didn't want a bunch of separate tables but would rather have had one long table so we could all chat with each other and it would feel more like a large family gathering. We have to get back to them with our food choices and such but otherwise that's a wrap.

I would love to spend some time in the sewing room but I'm just so overwhelmed by the amount of stuff to get done I'm virtually twirling. I did manage to spend some time doing the 15 minute play with fabric that Victoria from Bumble Beans has going on her blog. For 15 minutes you make fabric out of scraps. I made four blocks and sashed them. I'll get a picture later. It comes out looking like crazy quilt blocks so as soon as I can find my box of embroidery thread I will try a bit of that.
Gotta go and do some laundry. Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Torpor-look it up

We are melting just like this lightbulb. This heat is very unusual for Long Island. More like a late August heatwave. Trying not to complain. The powers that be say it will be up near 100 today. It's always a few degrees cooler out here near the water but at those temps-who's counting.

We had a quiet 4th. Lots of good food and watermelon. It's a particularly good year for watermelon. Very sweet. It's really the perfect food for the heat.

There is little desire to do much of anything even in the air conditioning. I have some videos to watch and Roger just finished a book he tought was pretty good. It's a Michael Chrichton book that was from a found manuscript after his death. The book, "Pirate Latitudes" is something I plan to crack open later. What is it about this type of weather that makes us like zombies? It feels like everything is in slow motion and I'm in a cooler place than some. Makes me think of the word "torpor"-walking around like the un-dead. It's not that I could ever imagine living in this type of climate anyway but when we get this heat wave stuff it just reinforces my feelings about it. I guess I'm just a northern girl at heart. Normally one could go north for some relief but I've been reading my friend Joann's posts from Maine and the heat is as bad there as here. She works in a greenhouse-imagine how much fun that is right now.

I would spend some time sewing but that room is the lovely sunny one that I adore in the cold months. Not going there today air conditioning or not. Maybe it's time to get some kind of shades for the daytime on those sunny, side windows.

This summer, along with the heat, we also have a huge bug problem. Much of the stuff I planted is being eaten by who knows what. Everything looks lacy, and not in a good way.
So I'm here, plugging along and praying that the heat we are suffering now will not return in Sept. for the wedding.
Talk to you soon

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Falling into place

Here's a shot of a dining area at Il Mulino, where James & Dani will have their wedding celebration. It's a very lovely, highly recommended, upscale Italian Restaurant in Roslyn. There are several Il Mulino in various places across the country. Las Vegas, two in Atlantic City at Trump Casino, and so on. I'm just so happy for them. Everything sounds delicious and the place is beautiful. That's some of what's happening. They finally got their apartment which they can get into in a couple of weeks so now the push is on to get things of great importance like furniture. It's a cute place and a very nice apartment not too far from us. Last weekend they met with the Minister who will marry them who also just happens to be one of my husbands oldest friends. It won't be long now before they are in their new home. I'm excited for them and a little un-settled at the same time. When I look at James now I get this funny watery sensation in my eyes and have to look away a bit. Keep repeating to myself that this is not an ending but just a new part of our lives. Deep breath...
I have been in a bit of a cleaning frenzy that I suspect comes from the desire to keep moving and not think too much. Last week I had some pain in my knee and a whole new pain in my hip of such intensity that it was causing me not to want to do anything but sit around feeling blue and old. I discovered an arthritis med that made the pain go away in those places and for the first time in years I had no pain in the number of other places that I guess I've become so accustom to. I felt like shouting from the rooftops "This is what it feels like to be pain free!!". Anyway, a few days of the med. and I feel pretty good so I resumed my walking on the treadmill and being more active. It doesn't seem to bother my stomach either. Fabulous.
I got some more dvds to watch since TV sucks so much right now. By the way, Nurse Jackie is sooo good. I can't wait for the new season to be on dvd. The Mel movie(Edge of Darkness) was good too. A little action adventure is good for the soul. Now I have rented Mad Men's last season. I read somewhere that The Good Wife will be available in early Sept. on dvd. Today I am watching a mini marathon of "In Plain Sight" which I highly recommend. The characters are great and the actors are wonderful.
It's time to go figure out what's for dinner and wash the kitchen floor. Fun Huh?? Sorry for the lack of quilting stuff but right now I'm just overwhelmed with other stuff. Soon enough there will be time for lots of things like sewing. Thanks for hanging in there with me.
Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Heat+humidity=Movie Marathon

As some of you might know, I don't deal well with heat. In fact I don't deal with it at all. You could just drop me off in a place where the temps never go beyond 65 and I would be eternally happy. Since I live in this humid, damp, coastal village summer is not always a plus for me. I have a sort of love/hate relationship. Ever since i was blessed with that change of life thingy, as Roger often says, my thermostat is broken. I get very warm and can't seem to adjust. Hot, hot, hot. On that note, I made a few visits to places I needed things from this morning and my last stop was the video store. Since I hadn't been for a while and since I'm not aware of anything that was drawing me there, I decided to see what I was missing. The movies all looked awful except for two. I got these two. I'm making Mel small since I can only take him in small doses. Maybe he won't go spouting a bunch of religious crap if I keep him tiny. Just shut up, stay sober for 10 minutes, and act Mel. That's all we're interested in. Of course I had been waiting for Young Victoria for a while so that was a happy find.

After that I went directly to the TV section since we do not get HBO or Showtime and I love getting a whole season of one of the programs so I can enjoy the entire story in a short time. The new season of Big Love isn't out yet and The Good Wife isn't out either. Those are my big wants. Nurse Jackie was a program I heard a lot of good things about so I'm giving it a go. I could watch these things on the computer through HULU but the computer is downstairs and I can't sew or really sit in front of it all day. Well, I could, but then there will be questions from the family as they look for clothes to wear and food to eat. Party poopers!

My current project is finishing up a few things I uncovered during the move to the sewing room. I found the small diamond piece I had made. I'm contemplating what to do to finish it. Piano key border? Not sure.
Sorry about the mess with these pictures but I can't seem to get blogger to move anything around like it used to.
I'm off to do some laundry, ironing, and movie watching. Hope you are staying cool.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

This & That

I think I'm finally getting to the point where I can up-load photos without scratching my head until it's sore. That the photos are not very good-hopefully that will evolve soon. I am, after all, a constantly evolving woman...bwahhhaha. Click to see a larger and better shot.
Here's the small piece I made from strings of Kaffe Fasset fabric. It's really busy work and after a bunch of these, you really need to work on something verrrry plain for a while. Maybe something Amish and without any print. I honestly enjoy the Kaffe fabric but after a while it feels like you are in the middle of a fabric storm. A bit of a frenzy. I need a major clean-up of my work area which is already very small without the addition of piles of wildly patterned fabric. Anyway, there you can see what my birthday brought my way. A jelly roll and honey bun of American Jane, Breath of Avignon. I love her fabrics and after a little eye rest will find something fun to make with them I've been admiring some of the wonky star quilts I've seen around the blogs.
A squirrel update-I'm thinking they are smarter than I may have imagined. Ever since I wrote the last entry about them in the cherry tree, I haven't spotted a squirrel eating anything but the birdseed we so laughingly put out... you know... for the birds, har har.
Today is Dani's birthday and I hope she's having a great day. She's probably at work so how good the day is may be relative. James will be going to her house tonight for a family celebration. I just can't believe how much we have come to love her. All of us just think she's the best. Happy Birthday Dani! It's also my good friend Terry's birthday. She is away for a couple of days so I can't wish her a great day in person but I am thinking of her and hoping that the next year is a thousand percent less interesting. You may know of the Asian blessing/curse, "May you live in interesting times" I'm fairly sure that Terry would like a boring and less interesting year. That's my wish for her.
I must go and de-clutter some space. Talk to you soon

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


As some of you know from posts a while back, we have a good sized piece of property that is heavily covered with trees. It is, right now, at it's prettiest. With all the rain and not too many days of relentless heat, it looks like a forest out there. All the vines have grown up and around and into the trees and bushes. Maybe it's something rebelling from the German in me but I am in love with the garden at this time. If my Oma was alive she would have gone at this garden with a ruthless physical zeal until everything was in its proper place and trimmed to perfection. Maybe it's the small portion of me that is Native American that loves to see the wild take over. That could be the reason for my joy in seeing the lush honeysuckle vine that has only recently appeared outside my bedroom window and bolted into the surrounding bushes. Maybe it's the reason I am thrilled by the volunteer wisteria vines that have taken hold and even popped up at the bottom of the driveway. Who knows?

For any of these reasons, and because they come along with it, and because you must take the good with the bad, we have squirrels by the score. A few years ago there was a beautiful bush outside the kitchen window, the offspring of which are growing along side of where it once lived happily. No one seems to know what kind of bush it is but we were all sure of one thing. t was beautiful in all seasons. Pink tiny flowers in spring fat green berries in summer that turned crimson in the fall and then, to finish the season the tiny leaves turned a lovely russet. Out of all the things in the yard I loved this bush the best. After many years of admiring it, one spring as the flowers were turning to green berries on the long thing branches that draped themselves to the ground, the squirrels discovered that the berries were delicious and the long, lovely vine-like branches were a lot like a fun ride. They would begin at the base and slide down the branches in a shower of leaves and berries which they would then pick themselves up off the ground and eat. Happy little squirrels. So much for the bush. Over a few months, they denuded the bush and since they ate the berries the thing never replenished itself and one day it literally fell over and died...whump...sad.

The problem was, for me, that I laughed so hard at the stupid squirrels using the bush as a slide that I found it hard to go out and do battle with them. They outnumber us many fold and I would have had to stand guard all day. It was just bigger than me.

This spring, as I was admiring the wild cherry tree outside my window, I noticed that it had set its cherries. The tiny little itty bitty berries(danger Will Robinson)were coming in and looked so pretty. At about that time, I also noticed a rustling in the tree. Something bigger than a little bird. No, some THINGS bigger than little birds were in there. Yeah, it's the squirrels. They've discovered the cherry tree and they have found that in many ways it mimics the fun they had on that bush that magically disappeared a while back. They hang upside down and pull the cherries off much in the same way you would pull the tiny branches off a stick of rosemary. I went out a few times and threatened them. They scoff. I'm lost. Gardening around here requires more patience than I can sum up some days. The cherries are not edible. They are tiny and more berry like than real cherries and most fall on the ground where, up to recently, the critters were happy with the treefall. Now they have discovered the source.

We have been celebrating the birthdays. This weekend was James 26th and my birthday was last week. Since James and I like the place, we went to Sushi Park. Dani went with us and we had a great dinner followed by strawberry shortcake. Thursday is Dani's birthday and my friend Terry's as well. June is a very fattening month around here.

Speaking of fattening, I must get to the store for some things for dinner. Light meals are in order so I need some fresh veggies.

Talk to you soon.