Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Ode to Rob.............

On Thursday, August 31st we will be married four years. Doesn't seem possible....................

thinking back to the weekend that we met........

you were concerned that I would notice what was wrong with you
(that you were slight of height)
I was too busy noticing that your smile was melting my heart
that your eyes were pulling me into your very soul
and that your heart was so pure.

I was concerned that you would see my emotional scars
(my back was breaking from all the baggage upon it)
you noticed my laughter
my shyness
that I had not been kissed or held for a very long time.

Once we felt safe
we chatted and laughed
I heard words coming out of my mouth
They formed in my heart and not my brain,
They terrified me
You told me to relax and I did.


Friday, August 25, 2006

Yesterday........Getting Sunned and Zenned

Yesterday........I reclaimed something that brought me so much joy as a teen and a young Mom......I went to a beautiful beach, Belmar. I went to the beach that many young adults hang out on. There are many older people who don't know the area and particular beaches. This was the view from my beach chair. The jetty which had many seagulls on it, and the slightly overcast sky. When the sun broke through, I got quite a bit of burning. I was there four hours and I was able to leave all my troubles behind as I climbed down the stairs and walked barefoot through the sand. I breathed in the fragrant beach smells and my senses were overcome with the sounds of the waves crashing, the gentle breeze that touched my skin and the visual feast of nature. It was the most perfect four hours one could imagine. I have been thinking a lot about living on a coastal state. One that has the change of seasons. In two weeks my next door neighbors are moving to Florida. I could never live there. Even though they have the beaches, I simply love the change of seasons. As much as I love summers at the Jersey shore, nothing compares to Fall. It's my favorite time of the year. The Jersey Shore is such an experience and one that I have been a part of for forty years. Before that, we summered at the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. My childhood best friend just bought a home there and soon I will be recapturing those memories as well. Whoever said you can't go home again was so very wrong. He was a doubting Thomas. :) I am reminded of one of my favorite poems by e.e. cummings
i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
wich is natural which is infinite which is yes
(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday;this is the birth
day of life and love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)
how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any-lifted from the no
of all nothing-human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?
(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

Song by Jersey's own Bon Jovi with Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland (now the official song of N J)

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Wondering about Saturdays off............

I have so looked forward to my two Saturdays I have off each month. The one two weeks ago consisted of us at the Emergency Room for Rob and the aftermath. Today I was SOOOO hoping for a pleasant day. I did get to sleep in a bit and Rob got up early with the pets. He had his stiches out on Tuesday and is slowly getting back to his usual routine now. He cut the lawn and made a quick jaunt over to the local flea market. I chose to use that time running to pick up a prescription and go grocery shopping. I was so pleased that I had a gift card and my groceries would be free. I splurged and got some thick, juicy steaks and some talapia. Ice cream treats were on sale and I picked up two boxes. Lastly I stopped for some cold beer for Rob and headed home. When I was about four miles from home I came upon a dump truck with a trailer attached to it. I noticed the wood on the trailer was flapping up and down and the tarp on top was flailing in the wind. Ever mindful of windshield chips I dropped back several car lengths. Within a few minutes I saw a rock hit the lower portion of my windshield and make a chip and crack. I began to blow my horn for the driver to pull over. He refused to and I followed him all the way back to where the truck was destined for. It was a landscaping truck. I pulled in behind him and began to shout for him to come take a look at the damage to my car. He slowly got out of the truck and began to say he had no load on the truck. I explained that my car had just gone through inspection so I could prove that the damage was very recent. He offered to call his boss. I used my cell phone to call Rob and ask him to call the police to send a car. Clearly, he was not going to admit anything. About five minutes later his boss pulled in and began to yell at him. Now I was feeling sorry for the guy. I told the boss what had happened and that the rock absolutely came from the truck OR the trailer. The boss/owner insisted I couldn't prove that. I advised him that I had the police on their way and he suddenly changed his tune. He began to yell for Antonio to leave immediately. (I jotted down his license plate number as he left.) He then asked me to leave but I refused. He handed me his business card and told me if I did not contact the police he would pay me but if I did there was no way I would get the money. After waiting for 20 mins for the police to arrive I gave up and drove my defrosting groceries home. I then called the police station and found out that there had been a bad accident and that is where all the police cars were. Now, granted, I can understand that they thought this was not an emergency but here I was standing behind a building, on a dirt road with the angry boss and three (highly likely illegal) immigrants which spoke few words of English. Not a place a woman wants to find herself. I went to the police station and filed an incident report. The police don't seem to have much hope that this guy is going to pay. Now I will have to see just what an ordeal it would be to go to court if he doesn't. I do know that I will make it clear to everyone I know that his landscaping company is not very trustworthy if he doesn't. When I arrived home from the police station my father called asking if my mother was here. It seems she left their house at 8 a.m. for the flea market and hadn't returned yet. I know immediately something was wrong. We called the local hospital and she was there in the Emergency Room. Apparently, she had done her usual routine which I have cautioned her about so many times. She took several medicines with about 4 ozs. of orange juice and went out in heat that was sizzling, humidity that was way up there and walked in the sun for over an hour and a half. At one point she became dizzy and sat down on a table. Shortly afterwards she passed out and woke up with an ambulance there and several people hovering about her. They brought her to the ER and the police were supposed to call a family member. She gave them the numbers but three hours later we had not been notified. Rob and I drove right over there. They had done blood work, x rays and cat scans. They had her on a heart monitor just in case. They are keeping her overnight for observation since this hasn't happened before, she is 74 yrs. old. Man oh man. I just want ONE Saturday to be relaxing and peaceful. Next Saturday our entire neighborhood is having a huge yard sale. I don't think it will be THAT Saturday. I won't go into the bank statement that came and I had an overdraft on because the check I deposited didn't clear when it should have. Had I not had overdraft protection it would have run me a few hundred dollars but this way all I pay is less than a dollar. Whew! I am grateful for the things that DO go right! Now it's time to chill. Maybe a frozen pina colada will do the trick. :) ohmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


The past few days have been an exercise in patience. Last week my left wrist began to hurt. I went to work on Saturday and I had to print out, copy and collate a thousand pages. That took a lot of sorting and stapling which then had my wrist in much worse shape. I have put heat on it, iced it, and done just about anything I could think of. Since I am right handed it would make more sense if it were my right wrist. Now my right wrist is having sympathetic pain for the left. Since I am on blood thinners, I am not supposed to take any aspirin or ibuprofen. This is the one thing that helps me. If I take too much I could end up with a brain hemorrhage. It's so hard because you can't keep monitoring the blood on a daily basis.

As though that weren't enough to deal with, a neighbor had a bad virus. It started with his daughter getting sick. I didn't realize he was sick and was talking to him. Once I realized I backed off but I think I got exposed to some germs in the process. I now have aches and pains all over and my sinuses are killing me. I want to go to the doctor but I have stopped going because I usually hear the same thing. That it's probably a virus and I have to wait it out. I can save my copay and tell myself that. I really like our internist. His group however will never give a free sample of a medicine. They charge a copay for everything. A few weeks ago they tried to bill us for a separate blood draw which was taken after a physical. Knowing insurance as I do, I got them to remove that one. When Rob went to get his stitches out yesterday they hit him with a copay as they did about a week ago to take a look at the stitches a few days after they were put in. We are people with insurance and are struggling with these bills, I wonder what people without insurance do.

There are so many things that need doing today. Vacumning, the lawn needs cutting and the garage needs to be straightened up a bit. I have to use discipline and NOT do these things.
By nature I am a doer. I have no patience for illness. Today I have to just say NO to my to do list and kick back and rest all my aching parts.

On another note, Rob got his stitches out. Still looks like a shark bite wound. If you want to see the gorey pics go to the link for his Blarney blog and check them out. I feel like we are running a convalescent center here at the Leprechaun Inn. Still, there are kisses and hugs doled out along with the meds and TLC so I guess things could be a lot worse.

Judith wrote a great entry about her waking thoughts today. It made me think of how much I love waking up in the morning. I decorated our room to look like a bed and breakfast room at the shore. I painted the walls seafoam. (It actually was bluer than what I had in mind.) The furniture look like attic antiques but are reproductions. They are an antique white with oak tops. Thick legs, sturdy pieces with drawers that slide like a dream. This was our big splurge, a Thomasville bedroom set. The bed has a handmade quilt on it. The windows (we have 3, two face the sunrise) are covered with antique white cotton tabbed curtains. I sewed a cotton fringe on the bottoms of them to give them an antique feel. On the wall hangs a picture (an antique) that was a gift from my baby shower 30 yrs. ago. It is a woman with a long black braid holding her baby. It's called Dreams Come True. There are others that look similar that have wedding pics, drawings actually. It is something that is always with me, always in my bedroom, now in it's third home. Anyhow, when I open my eyes and see my beautiful room, the sunshine reflected in it, I feel so content. It's the best bedroom I have ever had. I love this room and each day I wake in it I feel so optomistic that I will have another day to enjoy. Life is grand.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

A day well spent

Today was a much needed day home. I actually had much to do. Balance the checking statement. Something there was amiss but not so far off I had to be concerned so I sat that aside. Was sitting here trying to get zenned when I remembered my car had to go through inspection. Jumped up and ran out the door. I was so relieved when only three cars were ahead of me. They were quite slow today but twenty or so minutes later I left with my new sticker. All set for another two years.

Leaving there I decided to treat myself to a much needed pedicure. During the summer I wear all flip/flops or sandals and I like my toes to look neat and summery. I got hot pink to match my favorite (leather) flip flops. After leaving the nail place I treated myself to a chili dog. I rarely eat things like that anymore but seeing that it is summer I felt compelled. After that I ran over to Walmart. I have been needing a lighted and magnified mirror. I am so blind without my glasses but unable to see the mirrors on my dresser or over the bathroom sink without them. This mirror magnifies 7 times. It just happened to match my bathroom with it's brushed nickel finish. What a bargain! The plastic version of it in a famous store was about $50 and I got this one for under $20. I came home and immediately saw a magnified close up of my face for the first time in years. I put on some blush and eye makeup after perfecting my eyebrows. I have noticed at work I am the only person who doesn't wear a lot of makeup. (Well, besides a woman 60ish who is from Ireland and a mother earth type). Most of these women wear thick eyeliner and frankly, that's just not me. I am more a natural makeup type. My eyes are small and slanted sort of and without any makeup on them they are lost. Still, a touch of mascara and when going out, a touch of shadow are all I bother with. I do add blush and lipstick at times. I just can't imagine spending an hour or so each day putting on the whole 9 yards. If I'm honest there are days that I throw my hair up on my head with my hands without even brushing it. Not that you could tell that mind you. There was the one time that I arrived at my destination only to realize I had on TWO different shoes. They were both black pumps with low heels (one being about two inches lower than the other.) I actually realized this when a woman (who happened to be a New York stockbroker) leaned over and whispered to me that I was wearing two non matching shoes. This took place at a charity luncheon in a posh country club ocean setting. I laughed and told her that explained why I was limping earlier and couldn't figure out why. She later spotted me across the room at another charity function ran over and said "Shoe check." I was thrilled to learn that she made it out of the Twin Towers on 9/11. She had three small children I had seen with her once.

I guess I will never be the type of person people look at and wonder how she can put it together so well. That's okay though. I've learned to prioritize. Today I did a few things for myself. A few minutes spent meditating do a lot more for me than a compliment that my makeup is perfect.
At this point if I get where I need to be on time I feel good about myself. Now time to run down and find something suitable to serve for dinner.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A Lovely Summer Day

Today I am off work. A badly needed day off. Rob was out of work on Monday with a doctor's note and when he went in they refused to allow him to work. The doctor said he CAN work but they told him he can't. I called the ER doctor who said his primary doctor would need to determine whether or not he can work. Rob went to him this morning and he said yes that he could work with minimal use of his left hand. Rob then went back to work and they told him they would find something for him tomorrow. So, that means he lost Monday and Tuesday and his choices for that are a. to use his vacation days or b. not to be paid. When you live paycheck to paycheck as we do, b is not an option. I have decided to treat this as a vacation day for both of us. My morning began with me meeting my friend Wendy for breakfast. I hadn't seen her in a very long time. Wendy and I have a bond that is very strong. Our sons were treated for leukemia together. That was over ten years ago and we stay in touch. We attend the major events in each other's lives and try to get together for lunch a few times a year. Once in a while we even go into the city and the theatre. Two years ago when I discovered I had a cancer in one of my breasts I called Wendy. I had taken her to Philadelphia for treatment for hers a few years earlier. As time passes, our bond continues to grow and I consider her one of my core friends. We always have so much to chat about. The place that we had breakfast at is a new chain and we loved it. If you have a Turning Point near you, you must try breakfast, lunch or brunch there. The menu has incredible and delicious choices. I had zucchini "pam cakes" which were topped with sugared nuts and whipped cream. Too delicious to describe. We are thinking about trying to find a pasta restaurant tonight that people have been raving about, Carabbas. Yes, I am a carbohydrate junkie.
It seems Rob's work has found something he can do and he will return there tomorrow. I know some people always see the clouds but I refuse to live my life that way. Yes, we will have medical bills that will have to be paid. Rob lost two vacation days. I am so grateful that he still has his hand and his five fingers. It could have been far worse. Losing money is one thing, even money that might be a hardship. It's people and their health that are a tragic loss.
Today I find myself feeling ever so lucky. I am close to the shore. I have the devotion of a man who I feel has the best heart in the world and so much more. A house is made of brick and stone, a home is made of love alone. I had the large beautifully decorated house and it was an empty existence. I now have a warm and inviting comfortable home and I wouldn't trade it for anything. Life is grand and I feel that I am doubly blessed. Not only do I have so much but I have the ability to appreciate it. Sometimes I think gratitude is a gift.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Oh for a quiet (even boring) life

The past three weekends have been so hectic. Family visiting from out of town, squeezing in errands and visits with neighbors left me without a moment just to sit and think. This past week our office administrator was on vacation with her family and I worked six of the last seven days. For a few of those the owner of our company was out herself with out of town guests. I had a ten minute lunch ONE day and not even a short break the rest. My feet are swollen from all the walking and running around I did. I was so looking forward to a restful weekend. I found out last weekend that one of the girls in our office was having a baby shower on Sunday. At 12:30. I felt obligated to go and besides that I really like her. Today I woke up sat down with a cup of coffee and just beamed thinking about a day to do only what I wanted to. Rob decided today was the day he was going to clean the garage (that is before cutting the lawn). I went in and was helping to straighten out shelves with kitchen overflow items. I pulled out a few things I had been looking for and came in to wash them. Rob came in a few minutes later holding our mini food processor. He said he thought he had broken the safety switch and was going to check it. He plugged it in and it didn't work. He then plugged it into a different outlet and when it didn't work again he decided to hold a knife down where the missing piece would have been. Boom! The thing immediately cut on and he began to shriek. I looked over to see blood, plenty of it.
"I need stitches." I had to gather my wits about me and put on a clean shirt and flip flops before driving him to the emergency room. Thankfully, we were taken right in. It turned out that there were four cuts, one being much worse than the others. We had to wait an hour for him to get stitched up and receive his tetanus shot. I felt so badly for him. They told him that he would be fine to work in a few days. Really? With four cuts sutured, with a total of fourteen stitches?
We left with two scripts: one for pain meds and one for antibiotics.
My son came over and cut all the grass for us. I am thankful that the garage was not totally torn apart at that point. It needs some tweeking but that's about it. The doctor said she thought a cocktail was in order for me today. SO.....for medicinal purposes I shall have at least one.
Earlier this week (Wednesday evening) Rob with the help of a few neighbors, installed an over the stove microwave. I was finally able to toss the one I had with paint chips coming off the roof. It also took up so much counter space, which is in short supply in this house. I had done without one for several days so we had quite the supply of leftovers. Rob and I moved the kitchen cabinet that the microwave goes under, up several inches. It now sits above the rest and I like it. That is the "new look". On top of our cabinets I have my collection of Roseville pottery. This is pottery that sold for a few dollars during the Depression Era but now goes for hundreds each piece. Two of my prize pieces are baskets with twig handles. I really love my kitchen. It's got many touches of a country kitchen (complete with a repo farm table) but the appliances are white with some black giving them a sleek look. I guess I should move downstairs to the kitchen and get my finishing touches on my dinner plans. Last night when Rob got home I presented him with a paper. I made a faux menu with all our leftovers and let him select. I did prepare fresh tomato slices over fresh mozzarella cheese sprinkled with garlic infused olive oil, garlic infused red wine vinegar and fresh basil sprinkled on top. It's so easy and fabulous.
Bon appetit'.