Sunday, September 29, 2013

Get a Job!

Get a job! Boy, if I had a dime for every time I've been told that or said that to myself or my kids or others here and there, I could be rich today.

Well, maybe not rich, but I'm pretty sure I'd have accumulated enough dimes to at least buy one powerball super lottery ticket for $3.00 anyway!

Finding said jobs though is not -definitely NOT -an easy task, to be sure.

Finding a job that a person can feel confident of being able to adequately perform the duties involved is a job in and of itself right there!

And, the older a person gets, the more difficult it also then becomes to even gain entry into the working world because apparently many employers seem to feel/believe that we older potential workers have lost our staying power, our ability to learn anything new (i.e. technology-wise) and those things, along with appearances too (in some instances), we become seen as unemployable then.

I've dealt with circumstances pertaining to those issues for the past almost 30 years now and let me tell you, there have been plenty of occasions during those years that I wished I could find someone who could help me with some of the problem areas I've encountered in looking for employment.

Someone perhaps even like an employment lawyer in san diego ca.

Okay -granted, perhaps an attorney located that far from where I live is a bit far-fetched -yeah, more than a bit, but boy, there have been lots and lots of occasions over the years where I really do wish I'd had someone, somewhere, who could have given me legal advice on how to show potential employers that they are being unfair, discriminatory very often based on things like sex or age, especially.

One of the reasons mentioned there above -age -is why I decided to return to one of the types of work I'd had in years past, that being an Avon Lady!

Might not be what some people even consider to be "a job" but it is work and often, a lot of it too, and it also something I can do at virtually any age -even being on the verge of turning seventy!

And the nice thing though about this job is that I am virtually my own boss and I do like that!

A little side note here to one of my blogger friends too who commented about really liking a particular product of Avon's -something he felt would be neat to have for Halloween for his grandkids -if you're really interested in that particular item, Budd -you can go to my website through Avon and check out the current brochure and even order it online and it will be shipped directly to your home! Drop me a note on Facebook and I'll give you further details!

Tarzan No Need Rope

How to word this -the thoughts on my mind this morning?

Things here are, to say the least, more than a bit jumbled up once again. Seems to stay that way much of the time but this weekend, there's a bit more drama (maybe it could be termed that?) added into the mix.

It goes sort of like this.

I'm single -well, divorced -but that's single any way you cut it. Have been "enjoying" being single now for 33 years. Thirty-three LOOOONNNNGGG years they have been a times, too. And then, every now and again, there have been a lot of instances over those years where it was kind of nice not being tied down too. Well, those instances have been in abundance -not exactly -but now and then, they were there.

I used to think there was a possibility I might actually meet someone who could accept and maybe even appreciate me for whatever talents I might possess and have an enduring relationship with a mate by my side.

Yeah, for a number of years I was that optimistic about life.

It took a good while for the optimism attitude about relationships to wear off though and pretty much, for the past 15 years now, I've been operating under the principle of there is no need to continue on that search.

After my last relationship -which I foolishly thought was "The One" - and I realized that he was no different than any previous relationships, just a different face, a couple of different words here and there too, but basically, just someone else who only wanted to use me, I decided that I really didn't need that in my life after all.

My older daughter and I always loved the old tv sitcom, "WKRP in Cincinnati" and there is one line from an episode in that sitcom that struck both of us as hysterically funny and also, a line that we frequently incorporate too into our discussions about, well about almost anything at times.

The particular episode was one where there is a fire in the building where the radio station is located and the crew are stuck on I think, the 5th floor, or something like that. The elevator is not working so the crazy disc jockey -Johnny Fever -is going to go down the elevator shaft in an effort to get out and get help for the rest. To do this, they find a rope to help him lower himself down to the top of the elevator in the shaft. As he begins to do this, he suddenly realizes that the elevator is stuck but is only a matter of a foot or two (at most) from the floor where they are all stranded and he turns to someone, after saying that he needed a rope to lower himself and he says "Tarzan no need rope!"

I love this line! And my daughter and I toss it in to many different situations.

And that's what I'm doing right now -telling myself "Tarzan no need rope" and applying that to my life that I don't NEED someone of the opposite sex in my life in order to live a good life after all.

Try it! Try saying that expression to any problem or issue you might encounter and where you think you are doomed, or having a bit of difficulty, and substitute those words in there.

Odds are, it will -for openers -perhaps bring a bit of a smile to your face and being able to do that, enables us (or it does me anyway) to see things in a different vein, sometimes even in a brighter light than before.

Yep! Tarzan no need rope is my line for today -and hence forth, once again too!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Time to Change Apparel!

My son and his wardrobe are, at times, something to behold!

One thing in particular that he has and that he wears really annoys me though.

He has a pair of Tan-colored Vans that he tends to wear much of the time. And, well there really isn't all that much wrong with the shoes themselves as they don't look too terribly shabby although he's had them and been wearing the heck out of 'em for several years now -but it's the shoe laces on them that bothers me.

What is so difficult that he can't tie the laces?

They drag all over the place and really, he isn't that darned graceful at times that one of these days he's going to trip on those straggly laces, fall flat on his face and possibly break a bone or maybe even more.

Not that I think he needs to have shoes all spiffy-spiffy like these white converse items but I just wish he would take a couple of extra seconds time to neaten up his appearance at least just a little bit!

But then again, that's just my son and it's the way he prefers to dress so who am I to judge whether he's all neat and tidy and looking a bit less like a ragamuffin than he prefers to appear?

Encroaching Trees!

This morning, as I was standing out on the deck on the back of the house, enjoying a "wake-up" cup of coffee, I was also enjoying the scenery out in my back yard too.

Although the day is more than a bit on the gray side -no sunshine, just completely overcast -(but no rain, which to me is a bonus) it just struck me how pretty the trees that are growing in my back yard are right now.

Yesterday, as my daughter (Carrie) and I traveled across and down to my doctor's appointment in Mars, PA -which is just north of Pittsburgh -we both noted about how the trees around home are so much more colorful already than are the foliage along Interstate 80 and I-79 South too.

There were a few trees here and there along the highways that had begun to change colors but nothing like it is here!

So, I decided to take a couple pictures of the trees in my back yard -which appear to me to be kind of closing in on my house! (No they aren't really THAT close but, well, it does kind of look like my back yard is a small forest!)

With that in mind, here's some of the photos I took and here's hoping you see the same beauty in these trees as I do -looking out my back door. (Isn't there a song with that line in it?)

The third picture is a lonely apple tree that is actually behind my next-door neighbor's property and which had had quite a few apples on it but now, I can't see them from my view here. Guess I'll have to go down and look at it "up close and personal" to see if I can garner a few apples to make some good old-fashioned homemade applesauce this fall. (Maya had been waiting and waiting for the apples to appear and then, to be ready to gather up as she had specifically requested that Gram get them and make up applesauce, just for her! When the grandkids make a request, don't we grandparents all jump on those things just to make the kids happy?)

The 4th photo -with the focus on the big old pine tree -I love seeing all the big pine cones hanging -actually it looks like they are "dripping" on the tree!

And so, there you have it -my deck and view of the backyard and the hillside beyond my backyard too.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Perfect Sunshine

Fall -or autumn -call it which ever suits your fancy -is officially here now. And the weather here today  was just spectacular too and should be considered to be representative of how a true fall/autumn day should be!

 Waking up this morning, initially I felt Mother Nature was kind of deliberating over whether to keep the kind of grayish, cloudy aspect going on throughout the day but by late morning, that had all passed over and the day had then opened up to a scene of perfection.

Blue skies -the really pretty shade of a light blue that is not too much on the whitish side but just right in the tint of blue and with a few pretty white clouds here and there, it made for a beautiful sight.

But, the temperatures were what grabbed -and held -me today. Once again, a view of perfection from Mother Nature for sure.

Just cool enough to be comfortable and warm enough to not need a jacket.

Okay -some would say that I've been missing that kind of weather for some time and that jackets weren't needed. Perhaps, that is true for some but I tend to freeze at the drop of a hat or a dip of the slightest on the thermometer and that's my own gauge there.

This evening, as I walked Sammy, there was just a very little trace or hint of a breeze. The sun was about ready to start the setting process but was still warm enough to enjoy the fresh air.

I'm sure there will still be many more beautiful autumn days like this one was, but considering we, none of us, knows how many more we will be blessed with, just thought I'd give some recognition that this one definitely met with my approval.

Here's hoping there's fulfillment of the promise of more sunshine, excellent temperatures to enjoy the trees and watch them as they adorn so many beautiful shades from greens to yellows, to oranges and reds.

Much as I love and welcome the arrival of spring with the bright freshness and promises it brings of new things growing, I do think perhaps autumn is my favorite season of the year.

Maybe I appreciate it much more not than ever before seeing as I, like the year, am in my own autumn season.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Busy Season -Getting There!

A good friend of mine -at least I consider him to be that -on the Blog scene has a thing about holidays and celebration of them and that they should all be done in a very timely manner. Anyone who reads my blog and who also reads my friend, Jim Sullivan's blog -(Suldog) knows what I referring to there and this is not going to be my official entry into this year's "Thanksgiving Comes First" observance that Jim presides over because, well it just isn't about that, but instead, this is because Halloween comes before Thanksgiving, ya know!

And this year, since I started selling Avon products again -after a 22 year hiatus -the last campaign, the current one and also the next one after that, all are giving a heavy push on things to help those who like to really go all out for celebrating Halloween really do it all up in style and class!

Maybe this video I got of my son modeling the crazy witches' hat -that wiggles and jiggles and plays the theme song from The Adams Family (the whole way through!) along with bunches of other things that contribute to the spooky, scary aura of Halloween should come under a heading of dept 56 Halloween?

After all, there's jewelry, candles, kid's pumpkin bags, things that whistle, and flash and maybe even go bang in the night (or perhaps during the day too) -who knows -should all probably land under that header, don't 'cha know!

But this -I think -takes the cake!

Monday, September 16, 2013

A Gift From Maya

Yesterday - September 15th -my daughter Mandy posted a picture to Facebook and somehow or other, it didn't make it to my Facebook until today when I got a notification that I had been tagged in a photo.
When I opened it, this is what I saw there!
In case you can't figure out -due to a few words that aren't spelled correctly, let me "read" it for you.

It says,
Dear Lord, I bless you to help my Grammy to be healthy and help her have a safe trip to Pittsburgh to get a test done. So will you please help her.  In Jesus name, Amen!

I am, theoretically, a cancer survivor -two times now -but in conjuction with those two go-rounds, I do have to go regularly for checkups and tests and such. In July, I was scheduled to have my regular check-up with the oncologist and, as part of that routine, I had to have a CT scan done.

That scan, however, showed some changes that had apparently been taking place within my system and as a result the oncologist here at the local Cancer Clinic scheduled me to have a PET scan then.

Well, true to form for me (what can go wrong, probably will -Murphy's Law, ya know) the PET scan revealed not just one, but two "hot spots" which meant then that the oncologist wanted to have another test done -a needle biopsy, no less!

The first -and last time -I had to have a needle biopsy, I had to go down to Pittsburgh to have it done there as the local hospital couldn't do it here. This time, though, the doctor informed me that I could have the needle biopsy done over at DuBois Hospital -which is only about a 42 mile drive, one-way, instead of having to drive about 130 miles down to Pittsburgh to have the test done.

So, okay -fine, that didn't sound like a problem to me but little did I know how long it was going to take for the staff at Dubois Hospital to get around to scheduling me for this big event.

It turned out it took them 2 1/2 weeks of the nurse at the Cancer Clinic calling them every day to try to get an appointment for me only to have them finally tell the nurse here that "Oh, we can't do that here at Dubois because that biopsy would be too deep for us to perform it here so she will have to go to Pittsburgh!"


Thankfully though the nurse at the Cancer Clinic realized that the doctor I had three years ago in Pittsburgh when I had my last surgery (a hysterectomy in which they discovered I had uterine cancer) is a gynocological oncologist -just the very type of physician/specialist I needed to see for this biopsy now and she contacted his office right away so now, I have an appointment set up for September 27th (next Friday) with that doctor (Dr. Krivak) but this will not be for the needle biopsy but rather for a "first" visit (again) with him just with a new problem to be dealt with then! After my check-up/examination by him then, it will be determined if I really do have to have the needle biopsy then after all.

The only drawback to that aspect now is that the timing for getting things in place -in the event that the cancer has begun to metastisize now is that there will have been at least 4 weeks of valuable time that will have gone down the tubes before they can totally determine what is going on -and hopefully, what isn't going on within my system too, ya know!

So there you have it! I'm not worrying about whether this is malignant or not because if it is, worrying about it will help absolutely nothing!

But if it is another malignancy, then the longer it takes the doctors to make a decision, to set me up for more chemo again and all that, the more chance the cancer has to get really comfy-cozy then within my system and decide to invite more and more of the cancer's family members to come and crash land within my system.

And that, does rather provoke me, I will say that much about this issue here and now! I was of the thought that time was of the essence in treatment for this disease but apparently it's not as important to the doctors as it was in my mind!

And so, to my good friend over in Merry Olde England -the lovely blogger, Maggie Mae, at Nuts in May -it looks like you and I are both going to become well-known as two old ladies just fighting away to keep the Cancer from maintaining a permanent residence in our bodies, doesn't it?

So, tonight, I leave you with the sweet prayer my beautiful little granddaughter, Miss Maya, has provided here for me. I don't think better words could possibly be written but her words, her thoughts, her prayer for me, do you?

Wish me luck -Lord knows, I suppose I really need that and a few extra prayers -well, that's something too I definitely won't refuse, won't sneeze at, ya know!

Hopefully, I'll be back on track -getting chemo, going bald again this winter now too!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Stitches -and Time

A few years ago -not sure now if it was 4 years ago now or maybe even five -but that summer, whichever it was, I got started on a kick of doing embroidery work and before I realized it, I was really hooked on doing all kinds of embroidered handiwork.

For most of that time I was pretty much almost churning out embroidered items -from terry hand towels, to pillowcases, tabletopper cloths and yes, even some fairly large tablecloths too.

The past year though, I haven't totally fallen off that bandwagon but I have definitely slowed my productions down a good bit.

I posted several photos the other day on my Facebook in an album containing pictures most of all the items I have either embroidered or crocheted since the beginning of this year. I neglected to take any pictures of the two baby sweaters I managed to knit for the little great-granddaughter, Miss Lola Bug, or of the two baby blankets I crocheted for her too. I did take some pictures of some experimental things I made which can be used as bath or shower mats -experimental more for the types of yarns I combined in those items -but I don't remember what file I hide those pictures in.

This past Sunday evening, I finished a project that had taken me well over two months to get this done and that really is pathetic, time-wise, as it really wasn't a big project per se, but was a very slow moving one for me to work on. Hence, the long time it took me to get it done.

Here's a picture of that project for you to view. (If you aren't friends with me on Facebook that is, because you could see all the items I finished if you are my "friend" there, ya know.)

It's a set of two placemats with two matching napkins and if you remember some other things I've done over the past so many years, birds -particularly cardinals though -tend to have a big place in my heart as I do love to do things with cardinals as the focal point but other birds too enter into that realm from time to time.

What made this set so daunting and time consuming for me is the fact that the placemats are quilted material so I had to try to make each stitch go down into the design and then, run the needle underneath that, in between the two layers of fabric without allowing the bottom of the placemat to be covered with the flip side of my stitches. That isn't that terribly difficult but yes, it is a very slow, very, very time-consuming thing to do!

I am however, quite pleased with the way this set turned out and the fact that there are very few little traces of threads visible on the underside of the placemats and that is what I was striving -no struggling really -to achieve!

Considering I have at least two large plastic storage totes filled practically to the gills with kits of many kinds just waiting, just needing to be picked up and begun the task of embroidering the picture  each item features, enough kits to probably last me several years now too before I will have them all completed, I do have my work cut out for me, that's for sure.

In addition to the embroidery work kits, I also have at least two more totes filled with various yarns too -just waiting as well for my fingers to get cracking and begin to knit of crochet some things and get at least a little of the yarn stash used up sometime during my lifetime! (Don't really look for that to happen though as I am, by nature, a slow knitter and even more than that, a very slow crocheter too!

Late Sunday night though, I was still wide awake and decided to root through my embroidery kit stash and pull out some items I want to get started on and finished too, hopefully before Christmas. One of the kits I pulled out is for a tabletopper and the design is stamped on a very pretty piece of red fabric -fabric that is sort of a combination of homespun and regular cotton and it, when completed, will make a very pretty tabletopper for someone! Who that someone might be remains to be seen though.

I decided then tonight to scan a photo of the tabletopper I began working on late Sunday night/early Monday morning just to serve as the starting project for me to get finished as soon as possible and so, here is a photo of the project I am currently embroidering!

The photo here shows the tabletopper along with a table runner too but I only have a kit to embroider just the tabletopper -and trust me, that will be more than enough stitches for me to do and try to get it completed!

This design uses only four different colors of floss -a gold tone thread, red threads and green threads along with a bunch of stitches using a gold filligree type of thread too. So far, I have most of the candle  done in one corner using the gold filligree thread but that is still just a drop in the proverbial bucket too,  ya know.

A lot of my friends who also enjoy doing embroidery work feel that the slowness of embroidery uses up too much of their time before completing many items and that slowness then also makes them very nervous and anxious too.

For me, embroidery works in the opposite way as it tends to relax me very much so cross your fingers that I manage to get this completed with no major screwups involved and then, perhaps it will also work the way embroidery projects have generally run for me -they calm me down!

It takes my mind off the things that otherwise would wear on me and become very strong things in my mind that are also of a very depressing nature for me then. But I've found being able to sit uqietly amongst my needles and thread colors, stitching away!

The normal feelings I have tended to be experiencing a lot of the time here of late with a sort of sick feeling in the bottom or pit of my stomach -along with the urge to just let loose and allow the tears to flow and maybe clear my heart and mind a bit of the things I'm dealing with here right now.

Issues of trying to get things in my house in compliance so the reverse mortgage I've been working on acquiring will finally go through, is just one thing that tends to make me a bit of a nervous wreck. That, along with a lot of confusion in my mind about an insurance policy I took out a year or two ago and which I really don't understand how that is operating and on top of those two things, throw in how quiet my house is these days, how lonely it is to try to fix something to eat just for me and not really wanting to bother because it takes way too much work then to cook something for only one person -and the factors that, above all, really send me into a tailspin much of the time with the two younger grandkids now having moved down to Middletown to live!

So, I am, in essence now trying to stitch my heart back together I suppose you could say, couldn't you?

Doing the work involved in this particular design and concentrating heavily on the work and stitches needed, surely to goodness this will be the thing that really keeps me going then, makes me a little bit happy then, at least, when I complete one -or  hopefully several, of these patterns!

Now I think the time has arrived for me to polish off this Busch pounder before it does me in and puts me sound asleep in the process! More pictures to come over the next couple projects I hope to complete and also, things that will most definitely serve me and whoever wants to purchase any of these things perhaps sometime down the line.

Meanwhile, I'll be here, stitching away in between selling Avon and munching on stuff instead of bothering to cook any meals that way.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Do It Yourself Storage?

Ask any one who knows me -and has been to my house -what things tend to look like here and odds are, if that person is being truthful, you will learn that usually my house is ANYTHING but neat!

Slowly, I've been working on eliminating some of the collection of rubble to keep it from turning completely into a "hoarders" den (and keep me from being on that TV show then by that name too!)

It's a long drawn-out process to say the least to get on and stay on too, the road to organization!

Now though, since I started selling Avon again, I find myself in possession of yet another item that is nice and yet a bit of a pain in the butt too when you get an overload of them.

And that is boxes! Cardboard boxes that Avon ships my orders in are beginning to accumulate now.

Granted, I can always use a few extra of these things now and again to pack things away in for attic storage perhaps or for a place to put some of the extra Avon products I'll also be accumulating now too from time to time as I order demonstration products most every campaign.

But how and where then to put any boxes I might have with Avon stuff stashed away in them so they will still also be located semi-conveniently for me if a customer requests something in between orders I send in.

I came across this today while playing around on the computer while waiting for a couple different very important phone calls that I needed to be here to take. This is actually an upright bass stand but when I saw it in the photo, my mind went into another gear of something that something along these lines might actually be of use for me and my storage issues.

Got me to thinking a stand like that, maybe could hold a large box of bigger items, and be able to stack some smaller boxes then on top of that and presto magic, I could have my own organized storage place built to my own height specifications and easy to access, also, it would fit in a place on the first floor of my house and not require attic storage -as I want to avoid that particularly for the Avon products - as much as possible since I have way too much difficult using stairs and such and carrying things around.

Might be a bit of a long shot right now but who knows, it's an idea whose time may have arrived for me, anyway!

Ups, Downs and Run-Arounds!

Finally! I think the medical team I deal with and I are now on the right trackage!

Because I had surgery three years ago this summer - a hysterectomy -that showed I had cancer and then, had chemotherapy in the fall, early winter of 2010, I have to have checkups every six months with the oncologist at the Cancer Clinic here in Clearfield and also, have to have a CT Scan before those checkups too then.

Back in January, there were some markings that showed on that CT scan but apparently they weren't of a size or location that was a concern to the oncologist. However, in July, when I had my most recent CT scan, one of those markings had changed somewhat so the oncologist then requested I get a PET scan done to kind of hone in on what the markings really were.

The PET scan then showed two "hot spots" -one of which was these markings, plus another spot in a different region of the lower abdomen. So the oncologist then ordered a needle biopsy to be done.

And for the past 2-3 weeks, that where things have stood -that the doctor requested scheduling for this needle biopsy but the staff at the other hospital fairly near to here where it was supposed to be able to get a needle biopsy performed seemed to have an inordinate issue with scheduling that test for me!

I've been on the phone at least once a day as a result, calling the cancer clinic to see if they'd finally been able to get through to the other hospital to get this biopsy set up and nothing was getting accomplished.

Until, finally, today -I got a call from the Cancer Center telling me the other hospital is NOT able to do the needle biopsy required as it involves going in deeper than they are able to do! Took them over 2 weeks to figure that much out?

So the end result it that it will require I go to Pittsburgh then to have this biopsy done down there!

The good side of all this monkeying around is that they said I had to see a gynocology-oncologist and did I know one in Pittsburgh or have a name, etc. It just so happens that the last doctor I dealt with in Pittsburgh just happens to be a gynocology-oncologist and I liked him, very much as a matter of fact, as did my daughter who had met him on one of my appointments with him. So now, sometime in the next couple of weeks or so, it will be off to Pittsburgh that my older daughter and I will go. (She, being my chauffeur, because I have problems driving farther than a distance of about 50 miles or driving longer than an hour at a time -and Pittsburgh is about 125 miles from here or about a 2 1/2 hour drive.)

So now, I'm back on hold -sort of -waiting for them to coordinate a time for an appointment there for me and then, play the waiting game some more till the date of the test finally arrives and can be performed so I can THEN finally find out what issues are present in my system along with what they will have to do to treat them and how soon that will begin.

On the surface right now, it does look like there is a good possibility I will be spending the fall and winter months getting chemotherapy once again and also, that the type of chemo I will most likely receive will also cause my hair to fall out once again. (Or as my son said, "So, it looks like I will be shaving my head again this winter, huh mom? -Yeah, it is kind of looking that way about now anyway, Son! He shaved his head twice before -with each time I was diagnosed with cancer -as his way of showing his support for me then!)

Who know -but maybe by Monday I will get a little more information and will be able to calm myself down a bit knowing there is an appointment and also, that I will get to see Dr. Krivak in Pittsburgh again. Great doctor and very nice man to have in one's court if services like this are needed! So I'm really glad I won't have to go see some strange, new doctor now, at least!

And the merry-go-round that has been my life lately can begin to slow down a little bit now.

Thank goodness for that!

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Let the Music (Noises) Continue...

Well folks, I have quite effectively lost today in terms of actually achieving anything of consequence, getting anything completed!

And trust me now when I tell you this, I am tired of this nonsense!

I am thoroughly disgusted with some of the things going on and the ramifications they have on my life -or "hold" they have on me, perhaps is a better way to describe some of this stuff.

There's still the ongoing issues that are cropping up and some sort of evaporating that pertain to the reverse mortgage process that is active here. Actively driving me nuts is more accurate a description of that deal right now though.

It seems every darned time I turn around there is more stuff the underwriter sees that either simply needs a tad more clarification or, worst case scenario, needs repaired before the mortgage can move, ever so slowly, towards closing.

The other day it was questions about dampness in the basement and perhaps I should have a contractor look at that and give me an estimate to have that corrected. It took a while to get that clarified -and thank you to the individual who did the initial appraisal of my house who was able to explain there is NO problem with dampness per se in this house. Just the normal kind of stuff that frequently occurs in old houses and yes, my house is an old house -like 110 years old this year! And it doesn't have a lot of windows that would allow a little extra sunlight into the basement and yes, it does have that sort of dank, dusky smell to it at times but it is not a problem area that is creating any other headaches or issues -like oh, say mold or some happy crapola like that! So the underwriter finally laid off me on that topic and accepted the appraiser's explanation for having checked the box marked "dampness" in the basement that really isn't existing, as such! ARRGH.

Today, it's another ball game with the underwriter throwing me heavy-duty curve balls ya know to confuse and stymy me. Today, it's the little sort of a lean-to shed my ex-son-in-law erected at the back of the house that provides a little bit of shelter for the kids bikes, along with my garden tools and the lawn mower. Nothing gorgeous -just very functional coverage for things like that but now, the underwriter says that we have to either have a contractor give an estimate for the cost for him to install weatherproofing stuff on the exterior walls of this little lean-to thing or, well my son and my daughter's fiance and I can get a bucket of something that is "sort of like a paint or stain" and put that on the outside wall to weatherize this item! Oh Lord, what next?

Well actually there is some confusion here too as to whether the underwriter is referring just to the lean-to shed or if there is a problem in the future about to erupt pertaining to the deck on the back of the house and the steps from the deck to the ground as he has muttered something apparently to the lady working with my mortgage files that the pictures of the deck and the hand rail "don't really look very sturdy!" Give me a break, will ya please people?

Right now, all these things are flying around in my mind -in a tumult there (a place that really has no room in it for any more tumult to take place as it's already very overcrowded now in that respect! I think someone or something has turned up the volume in my head to play at the highest volume there of some Hal Leonard pro audio equipment or some such and it just makes me think there something going to explode some times with all this stuff going on that I don't know anything about or how to go about getting it corrected or even how to figure out how much it's going to cost me to try to get it corrected too!

Just talked to daughter Mandy and it seems her day is not moving along any smoother than mine is and the end result for her -a dandy migraine headache too!

I do firmly believe that any time any government agency has anything to do with anything pertaining to the averge Joe citizen -especially things about housing and loans and stuff, that those people who work in the jobs created by the government are hired solely for their abilities to make other people's lives a pure, unmitigated hell!

I will be EXTREMELY relieved once, if ever, this whole process comes to be completed and I am then no longer having to deal with confusing crapola such as all of this really is, ya know!

Then I can move on to coping with other situations in my life that are just about as frustrating to contend with too -just different subject there, ya see!

Ups and Downs and All Around...

Ever want to get things to stop swirling around on what seems like, feels like, a constant basis?

That's how I have been feeling the past couple of days. My stomach churning, very on edge, very tired because since Saturday night, my sleep patterns have been terrible! Sleep 20-30 minutes and wake up then struggle fall back to sleep and same thing all over again then. Made no difference what time I went to bed or how tired I was when I went to bed either because as soon as I would wake up, it was for 15-20 minutes, feeling like I really should get up -I was that wide awake. Then I'd start to get a little groggy but still not able to fall sound asleep. As a result, my body wasn't recuperating fully then and I was getting to benefit from what sleep I was getting!

It's insane and absurd and I'm hoping tonight things go in the other direction and I am able to sleep through for at least 4-5 hours at a clip then!

My daughter, Mandy, generally calls me most every day -usually around 8:30-9:00 p.m. area so sometimes when she calls then, the kids may just be getting ready to go to bed but often I get to talk to them for a little bit then.

Yesterday (Tuesday that would be), I needed to call Mandy and got her voice mail so I left a message for her to call me back. When she returned my call she told me she was at Hershey Medical Center then with Kurtis and I just about flipped out! Why in blazes was she there with him in the middle of the day?

Turns out, Kurtis had a little accident at school on the playground! Not sure exactly what he did but the end result was that he had a cut on his gum, just above his front upper tooth! Mandy had to take him to Hershey Medical Center because since they are new to that area and she doesn't yet have a family practioner, none of the other hospital ER's would take Kurtis to check him! Seems a bit goofy to operate like that -having her then have to run all over the place just to get his mouth checked out but well, you know -it is what it is!

Mandy was a little worried he might have to have a stitch or two but thankfully, he didn't need anything like that.

Last night then, Mandy said it was Parents Night at the school so she took the kids and went. She told me as soon as they got to Kurt's room and his teacher saw him, she came over to him immediately and told him how happy she was to see him and how was he feeling, etc. Then Mandy said there were also several children there who are also in his class and each of them came up to him and asked if he was okay now and how he felt and also expressed that they were each sorry he had hurt his mouth at school. The actions of his teacher and those children -the empathy factors -all had a very good impact on her and definitely on Kurtis too! As the kids as if he is okay now, he told each one that yes, he's okay and all he needs to do now is to "Rinse with salt water!"

This evening, after I got home from working at church helping to serve a funeral dinner for a membedr of our parish, my son and his girlfriend and her youngest son stopped by.

My son -for openers -is a big, big fan of old vehicles. Primarily his first love is old Volkswagons (and he has one of those things that runs and is a pretty cool buggy plus he has another VW sitting behind his house that is cute but currently is not running -needs a little bit of TLC, ya know and a lot of time too to administer said TLC as well. Something he really doesn't have much of -besides money -is free time when he isn't in his big truck, driving back and forth every day (or almost every day) as that's his job!

This past weekend, he added to his vehicle collection when he was able to pick up an International Pickup truck. I think it is circa 1975 but I might be wrong on the year. Anyway, it's really neat for openers because it actually runs as it is right now -doesn't have to be completely rebuilt, ya know!

Needless to say, he is very excited about that status with this old truck but also, there is, it would appear, a bit of history connected to this truck too!

He's been able to track back a little information on it and has learned that a gentleman who was one of the bigger coal operators in this region a number of years back and who also, in addition to his coal mining operations, also had built a recreational gaming region, complete with a big dining area where people could hold big parties, receptions and the like. And, back when this truck was originally purchased, there were 5 other trucks identical to it purchased by this coal operator at that time for use at this Lodge he had. And, this Hunting Lodge was apparently quite famous back in the day (the 60s and 70s) and a goodly number of celebrities from various walks of life had been guests at this establishment a time or two. Among the special guests who had spent time there -Ronald Reagan and George Bush Sr. So now my son is on a mission, trying to learn more about his lovely truck and hoping to maybe even find some photos somewhere of any of the celebrities who visited at this Lodge who might, just might, have been photographed in or near this prized truck he just acquired!

While they were here this evening, my son also happened to see this hat I purchased as a demonstrator item for the next sales campaign of Avon's. It's an orange witches hat and the tip of it plays the theme song to the Adams Family and bounces back and forth  in time to the music. Being the clown my son loves to be, he put the hat on, pushed the "on" button and I managed to grab my camera and get a short video of him modeling this hat!

Now, here's that little video -I uploaded to YouTub and I hope it works if you click it to view it! Originally, I had to turn the camera to a different angle to avoid getting some purple-bluish streaks in the video so when it uploaded, the people in it are all horizontal instead of being upright and vertical! Well, I saw a button to click to flip it and get it so it could be seen and watched without standing on your head and posted it on my Facebook but after I flipped the picture, it plays but it lost the picture! Sound is still there and you can hear the recording playing that theme song but sadly, no picture of my son wearing the hat!

Hopefully, the Youtube video made the correction without losing the picture in the process so you can see him and this silly hat! If it is still on a black screen -my apologies -as I have no clue how to restore the picture there. However, if you would like to view the hat and get more information about it -maybe you'd like to have one for yourself, or some thing like that -you can go to my website at and look at the brochure for campaign 20 and see the hat and all the specifications about it!

Hope this all works now and you can enjoy it and have a good little chuckle over it!

Monday, September 02, 2013

Sharing Memories!

What a wonderful day it turned out to be for me today!

Labor Day -a great holiday to commemorate, for sure.

I decided this afternoon to go to an annual event here -one that's been taking place for a long, long, time now -like that past 138 years, no less.

Locals to this area will know I'm referring of course to the Cooper Picnic out at St. Severin's Church in Drifting and today was really especially nice for me to be there.

When I got out there, the first person I saw that I knew was a guy who grew up about two doors up the street from me and who, of course, I have known all my life! He's also married to a good friend of mine from my high school graduation class as well so I do get to keep in touch with him along with his wife because she usually comes to our monthly lunch get-togethers for kids from our class.

Well today, Ed was talking to two gentlemen who I didn't know but he introduced me to them as "Here's an old girl from Grassflat!" and then he proceeded to tell me these two guys were cousins of his on his Dad's side of his family. Cool! Especially so, when I learned they were actually from the Morrisdale/Munson area and that they had been students in classes my late aunt -my Dad's baby sister -had taught too years and years ago!

Do  you know how nice it is to hear someone tell you a relative of yours was their teacher and then, to go on further and state that if anyone should be nominated for sainthood, it is that particular relative? Made me feel so good to hear that they both thought that highly of my aunt, not just for her having been their teacher at some point in the past, but also because of the person she was, the way she cared for her only daughter all her life. So nice to know others knew her and saw her in the same light as did my kids, my cousins and I!

So, thanks to Eddie for introducing me to these two very nice and friendly cousins of yours! Made my day, really it did!

I didn't see all that terribly many people from my own "good old days" but those I did see and had a chance to chat with for a while, well it always nice to see old acquaintances and especially when they are old and very good friends to boot!

This evening though I got a message from Mandy and apparently today wasn't near as good a day for her at her place as mine was here for me!

Seems the kids -all four of them (her two little angels (that's a bit of sarcasm there), Maya and Kurtis and Jeff's two girls, Cassidy and Anaveh, apparently had done enough today for Mandy to take away a lot of toys and privileges from the bunch!

Poor Kurtis -and if Mandy reads this, she'll probably be saying to herself, "Poor Kurtis, my eye!" placed very highly tonight on Mandy's bad listing for sure!

Seems he managed some how or other to get into her laundry detergent down in the basement and for whatever reason, poured a whole bunch of it out and all over the basement floor!

When questioned about his actions, he told her it was because it smelled good and apparently made the basement all smell very nicely then too!

As Mandy was telling me more about this tonight when we talked on the phone, she was grumbling because she thought she had managed to get things up and in places where the kids wouldn't and couldn't be able to get into them. She was telling me too that now she's going to have to try to find someplace else to store things so they are up and away from little fingers that have way too much curiosity within themselves apparently.

When she mentioned to me that perhaps she needs to find a way to lock the stuff up to keep the nosy-rosy kids out, I suggested she might want to consider getting something like a biometric fingerprint safe as one way to outfox the kids!  After all, with something like that which would operate only if she tried to open it because it would recognize her fingerprints -and not those of the kids, ya know -that at least it would make for a very secure hiding place, wouldn't it?

Then again, that might be just a little bit overdoing things too I suppose. Definitely would take the fun out of playing detective and trying to get the truth out of three children as to which one actually was the guilty party and slopped the detergent all over the floor!

Kind of made me feel pretty good though -a little Karma maybe making its way into her life about now? Perhaps.

Although, she and I both know she didn't do anything bad like that when she was a youngun as it was always her brother, Clayton, who did thouse things!

At least, that's what Mandy had always told me then anyway!

Sunday, September 01, 2013


I was just talking to a cousin of mine -her Mom and I are first cousins as her maternal grandfather and my Mom were brother and sister. Always good to be able to converse with Lori -just wish it had been a conversation we could have been having face-to-face instead of only on Facebook. But of course, we can't always have everything we want, the way we want it or when we want it, right?

When Lori -this cousin, came into the family on my Mom's side, she was my grandmother's first GREAT-Grandchild. Grandma already had 11 grandchildren and I can honestly say I know she loved each and every one of us but Lori -the great-granddaughter -well, she was indeed something else!

I've always been one who found little things about people interesting and with Lori, she always stood out for openers because her birthday is April 16th and that was also the birthday of the oldest of my first cousins on Mom's side -our cousin Nancy! And Nancy, I knew all along growing up, was most definitely, being the first grandchild, she held the position of being the favorite, if one really was Grandma's favorite! Actually Nancy, her brother Carl and Lori's Mom, my cousin Barb, were each a year apart in age and those three were the ones who captured Grandma's heart completely. The rest of us were kind of Johnny come latelys, ya know. We were okay as grandkids went and she loved us but not quite the same way she worshiped Nancy, Carl and Barb. And I was okay with that then and I still am today -no resentments -although maybe a touch of envy that they got to be around our aunts/uncle just that much longer than I did simply because they are that much older than I am.

Talking tonight to Lori, we were both on a very sentimental kick -mainly talking about her grandfather -my Uncle Ralph -and remembering what a very special man he was!

Actually, all three of my Mom's brothers were very special men in my opinion and having grown up with them being a very big part of my life along with my grandfather, it has given me what I realize is my idea of what men should be like, how they should act and think.

My grandfather was a very quiet man. He talked but not a whole lot but when he did speak, you had to strain to hear him because his voice was very low and soft -not gruff sounding at all like many men who have deep bass voices tend to sound. I remember when I was about 5 years old and my Dad's baby sister had asked my Mom if I could maybe come spend the night up at my Dad's homestead with her and Dad's brother -(Uncle Arch and his wife, Aunt Isabel and their children. Uncle Arch and his family and my youngest Aunt all lived together in what had been their family home in Morrisdale.) I liked the idea and coaxed Mom to let me go and spend the nite there -all of about 8 miles away from my home here -but I think Mom was a bit worried that even being that close to home, I might get homesick and be a big disruption in their lives if that would have happened.

However, she gave in and allowed me to go stay there overnight and when I came home the next day, they asked me if I had gotten homesick or anything and I remember I told them I had been a bit homesick but just for Grandpa's voice.

I don't know if it's the fact I'm really recognizing more and more that I am aging -have all the stinking aches and pains, stiffness in my back and leg joints that don't want to move with grace much less speed and agility these days as well as a few extra issues that have begun to crop up more frequently now too.

Maybe it's the combination of that and realizing I am on the downward side of my life now too -each day I'm on the planet now is one I acknowledge is taking me that much closer -that much faster too -to the end of my own life cycle too.

I've been diagnosed twice now in the past 10 years with cancer too -colo-rectal back in 2003 and uterine cancer in 2010. I had chemo and radiation, then surgery and followed that up with more chemo in 2003 plus, at the time I had the surgery, I learned 3 weeks later I also had two herniated discs then and it was that issue that really laid me low for quite a long time. Herniated discs or shingles -I am not sure now which I would judge to be the most painful ailment I've ever had because both of them are really nasty things to have to contend with and heal from!

My most recent check up though now with the oncologist -after having had my routine 6-month CT scan has now shown that there is a possibility the cancer has returned or is trying to return. Some spots on the adrenal glands for openers and some issues with my lower back now that showed as "hot spots" on the PET scan I had to have done about 2 weeks ago.

And maybe it is that possibility looming as part of my future that will bring about my end of time that has had me looking at things differently lately and trying to see the things around me in a different light, almost as if it could be the last time I will ever see these things -simple things like the houses around me, envisioning too the neighbors I grew up around, many of whom have long since (or some, a bit more recently) to their great rewards and recognizing then how much I really cared about them when they were here, living beside me or up or down the road and trying to recall various points about many of them to tell about them to my kids, to my grandchildren more now than ever before I want to share the stories I have in my memories of so many beautiful people who were part of my youth and also, my adult life as well.

I met a lady yesterday and as we talked and shared stories of our lives -very openly talked about how we each feel about many things but one of them being that she and I, we learned, share almost identical feelings about the houses our ancestors lived in! I, of course, live and have lived for about 90 percent of my entire life in the house built in 1903 by my Grandparents and the lady I met owns the property nearby here that had belonged to her grandparents and she uses it as a summer home to come to and relax there.  Growing up, she lived in Pittsburgh but spent most of her summer vacations here with two of her great-aunts. And we both love the fact that we have these houses even though both places do need repairs, remodeling too, here and there but we love these old homes, warts and all.

We learned too that we both like to look around our surroundings and how much we love the scenes presented to us then by Mother Nature -the hills and valleys around the little village where I live and where she comes to relax, renew and find comfort in the beauty of the land, the trees, the mountains of the area -all of it as it comes together and is what we both regard as being "home."

I told her that with the recent turmoil in my life about my remaining in this house while several people -family and friends -have suggested it might be nicer or easier for me to give up this house and move into a senior citizen's type apartment some place and answering questions as to why do I want to stay in this big old house all by myself anyway?

Well I really don't WANT to be in this house all by myself but that's something too that I don't want to even think about moving out of here either. Why? Well because when I am in this house and I move about -whether cleaning it or fixing something to eat or just walking from one room to the next with no real purpose to doing that, I always get the feeling that because this is the house were I've spent the bulk of my life, where I shared it often as a child with aunts, uncles and many cousins along with friends but especially with my grandparents, that I still get the sense, the feeling that they are all here with me, still present via an essence instead of a physical presence now.

And I love sensing that within me! It,for me anyway, keeps them alive in my mind, in my heart.

When I mentioned this to her, she immediately told me that was the exact feelings she gets when she is here, staying for a week or two in her own family's homestead!

When I've tried to explain that sensation I get within me about my home to my kids or to other relatives and some of my friends, they have tended to look at me with the kind of questioning look that says they regard my words and those feelings as not being exactly sane, ya know!

But knowing now there is at least one other person on the planet who feels the same way as I do about our ancestry, our old homes, families and such really made my day for me!

Call it crazy if you want -I don't care! I still love living here -in this house, on this street, in this village and having known so much too about this little hole in the wall, backwoods area as this is -boondocks all the way, ya know -I'll say like my Dad's baby sister always said about her love for that old house -the Hill family homestead -that the only way she would ever leave that house would either be on a stretcher going to the funeral home or else, it would be kicking and screaming -fighting that loss off tooth and nail all the way!

I just want to be able to look around at my surroundings and memorize exactly the trees along the street, the flower beds by this or that person's home, the mountain laurel and other flora that is prevalent here in each season of the year. I want those scenes permanently embedded in my mind so as to be able then after I leave this place for whatever is in store for me in the hereafter, that I can then conjure up those sights in that place too and  remember this as having been as close as I could come while living to have my own heaven here on earth.

Is it really that beautiful here? Well to me it is whereas to others, I'm sure they'd say "No way!" But beauty of all types is truly in the eye of the beholder and it isn't always in the form of some spectacular formation of rocks or green fertile fields and such but it just is what it is that appeals differently to each individual.

And this is, for better or worse, definitely my perception anyway!