February is gone..

I can’t believe today is February 28th and that the month is gone.

Tomorrow marks the beginning of March-significant to me for two reasons. My first cancer was wrapped up, after chemotherapy and radiation with a total hysterectomy on March 1,1994. It’s always a spectacular milestone to pass.

Fast forward to March,2020, which marked my last days substitute teaching until it all shut down. I can’t believe it’s been a year.

Jim and I had some loss during Covid, the most important being my mother in law’s passing on December 1. January wasn’t kind:we got word our sweet Kasia has inoperable mast cell cancer. We are devistated over that news, and are determined to make each day the best for her.

I am praying that we all hang in for as long as possible. Perhaps spring can be kinder and gentler…..

…perhaps.

Renew!

New Years is always the time of renewal. I can substantiate all the ways that people make some resolutions for the new year. I’d like to think of it is just an adjustment of lifestyle.

Pampered Chef’s Oatmeal Bars

I am really bad in Covid as far as eating a healthy breakfast. I mean I’m not working, but I still have a body to nourish. The recipe from Pampered Chef for oatmeal bars fits my bill. It is thanks to Pampered Chef that I really started feeling comfortable in the kitchen. Being married almost 18 and a half years, some of my older kitchen gear needs to be refreshed. It genuinely looks like it has seen better days…. so what to do? Why, turn it into a win-win situation!

My Kasia

Kasia, my inspiration to get out of bed every day for walking, is now 11 years old. She was a rescue pup. She is my bestie. Why not help a shelter via a Pampered Chef fundraiser?

New Life Animal Rescue is located in Marlton, New Jersey. It is a small rescue growing every day! It is a two women show, and they try to keep things going. I’ve seen cats, kittens, puppies, dogs and even guinea pigs find their forever home. New Life’s tag line they use sometimes is #hopeandhealing

Indeed!

If you’d like to join me, here’s the link to my party! Join a win-win self start for the new year. Remember, New Life Animal Rescue will benefit from your purchase!

Kona

Above is a picture of Kona, a sweetheart of a guy often featured on the group’s Facebook page. He is my personal buddy, as he loves car rides, especially when Kim goes to Dunkin’ Donuts drive thru!

Lacey

Lacey is a chihuahua recently surrendered who is currently looking for a home.

Lenny-the Senior Sweetheart 💙

Lenny is the senior resident at New Life and is featured a ton as their mascot.

These ladies work hard to find homes for pups. As I have to cook and want to make the experience a good one, why not make it a win-win. Win personally in the kitchen to make work easier, and dare I even say it, fun? Stop looking and pots that are worn, spatulas that look like they’ve been through the war, or even slip part of my stimulus money on an air fryer! Update some of your worn out items and New Life Animal Rescue will benefit!

You have to eat!

So please join me at a Pampered Chef party to support New Life Animal Rescue. Plenty of winter left to be inside to cook and bake. Make it something that you will enjoy!

https://www.pamperedchef.com/party/newlifefundraiser

Looking Ahead

Tomorrow used to be the first day of winter according to old calendars. I got upset when they updated them so today is the first day of winter.

Why was I upset?

I was born on the first day of winter, at least as far as the old school is concerned.

Well, I always looked forward to my birthday because hey, Christmas was only 3 days away. It was almost like a “two-fer”

Regardless of the calendar used, I am putting another year behind me. The ones ahead aren’t as many as there once were. Paul Simon once wrote in a later stanza of “The Boxer” that “I’m older than I once was and younger than I’ll be.”

This year I am grateful I’ve managed to stay Covid free so far. It’s been a sad year with illness among friends and losing my mother-in-law to Covid.

I am prayerful and hopeful for my next year. I can’t wait to see what’s ahead.

Losing It

My last day in school this year was March 16th.That was back when I had a mind.

Eight months later, I think I’ve officially lost my mind.

I am looking for things in the house that I’ve put in a safe spot.At least, 8 months ago, I’ve had a safe spot. Now, all bets are off. I’m praying to St. Anthony,good Catholic I am, but I think St.Anthony is social distancing.

Kasia seems to shake her head as I walk around trying to make sense of life eight months in. As long as we keep walking, she says we’re good….

Maybe I’ll ask Santa to bring my mind back for Christmas. After all, Penn State beat Michigan in football today.

Miracles can happen.

Age

“I am older than I once was but younger than I’ll be….”-Paul Simon-The Boxer

I recently heard an additional stanza of THE BOXER by Paul Simon and the words about being older than I once was have been resonating through my mind. I have been going through some medical issues over the past year. I never had been daunted before , going through serious medical issues in my life, because I always looked at it as something to approach, deal with, and get on with things.

That was thirty years ago.

A week from today I am going to the city for some surgery. The thought of it brings me back thirty years. Egad, how cavalier it all was then. Now, I genuinely am afraid.

The mere fact that I am still here thirty years later, well, the Lord has been good to me. My body, however, is thirty years older and I have not taken as good care of my body as I should have. It makes me wonder if I can still “pull a rabbit out of my hat.” The “what ifs?” dance around my head in the middle of the night, and, quite frankly, I worry. I multiply this by the potential that there might be two or three additional surgeries coming along down the road.

If anything, my diagnosis has, as it had thirty years ago, make me appreciate everything…well mostly everything.

I relish my time with Jim and Kasia, because they are my loves and my family. I am grateful every time I get up in the morning and can get two feet on the floor. Most importantly, I relish my time alone. I reflect on the past, pray for today and hope for the future. Some people I know are afraid to,kind of, be by themselves. Me? I like sifting through things in the parts of my head that are working , and making myself chuckle.

After all, laughter is the best medicine.

Jim with the late Zush to your right and our Kasia on your left.

September of My Years

As another September draws to a close, my mind wraps around the fact that it’s my 60th September.

Wow!

I really am feeling my age, and the Covid-19 months are just adding to it. When realizing it’s September, I look at what I have on and it’s basically the same thing I wore at the start of the Quarantine! Granted, the fit is a bit snugger, as my physician tried to reassure me at my August physical, ALL his patients that have been it put on an average 10-15 pounds over Quarantine. Uh, gee… thanks-I feel better…. NOT.

Granted, living by the bay has its’ advantages, but it was rough when the weather was really humid. Overall, I’d like to think that as the weather gets cooler, being home will lose some of its’”Groundhog Day” aura, and Kasia and I will be back pounding the macadam again, when we both don’t need major toweling to dry ourselves off.

We can’t wait to have happy adventures soon!

Happy Anniversary

If you asked me 25 years ago if I’d be married, I’d ask you what you are smoking. Never saw myself getting married. EVER!

Jim and his mom

Jim came into my life in 1997 and things just never were the same. I mean that in the best way.

We cleaned up well on 8/31/2002, and this can be seen up here on our wedding picture with Zushie.

Jim, Zushie girl and Kasia

Our family grew over the past 18 years.We lost our Zush 3 years ago, but we got Kasia 11 years ago. We are all getting older, but at least we are still together.

I can think of no better spouse, Pandemic partner and best friend. Sure, we bicker once in a while, but there is no one I’d rather be on this journey called life with. I have been blessed with a terrific guy.

Kasia and I love you very much.❤️

How Dry I Am….

First batch of this year’s tomatoes

It has been extremely dry down here at the “Undisclosed Location.”

Bad enough time of civil unrest and COVID-19, unemployment, social distancing, and idiots who are down here without masks, but we are really dry. The last significant rain was during tropical Storm Fay. Cities on the Jersey coastline have a better chance at major precipitation than we at the bay do.

Kasia and her fur coat have been having a rough time along with me during the heat. I keep trying to work her coat down to make her comfortable. We have been getting our walks in, but running back in to get in air-conditioning.

My gorgeous Gerber daisies are virtually non-existent in this heat. I really didn’t get a chance to buy many, due to COVID, and the few I did buy aren’t fans of this heat.

So, it’s back to vegging out now for both Kasia and myself. We are patiently waiting for a cooling front to come through.

Oh, for October……

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Three Million Years….

…it feels like, and it’s only three years.

Today is the day my Zosia, or Zushie-Girl left me to cross the Rainbow bridge three years ago.

I had prayed, over the last two days, for God to take her. I just was sad at having to make the call to the vet for him to come out to the house. I really didn’t feel as it was my place to that, as I’m not God. She was in such pain, though, that I really had no choice. The decision haunts me to this day.

I was blessed to have her with me for fifteen glorious years.

The dynamic duo: my Kasia and the Zush💜💜

She tolerated, back in her eighth year, when I got her a kid sister-Kasia. I was glad I did it, although I am sure there were days when she looked at me and had a look on her face to say “Why me?” I was fortunate that Kasia learned from the best girl ever.

Zosia was the gentlest of pups. I don’t think there was anyone she didn’t like or take to. We walked back the creek of the Wissahickon many times and it was truly as if we were back in nature. Zush would see another animal and walk right to it to say hello. Our late neighbors had two cats who would come up nose to nose to her to greet, and then proceed to walk under Zush. Really…under! She let them, as I guess she saw it as part of their greeting.

I tell Kasia now that she’s the best girl on earth. It’s a no brainer, as I know who the best girl in heaven is.

Best girl EVER!

Keep having fun in heaven, my Zush. You got to see your Babci again and meet Dziadziu and Poppa Jim and Alyx. There’s not a moment I don’t miss you, but Daddy and Kasia and I will catch up one day, and we’ll be back together again.

Momma loves you, my girl, and always will.