Monday, December 19, 2016


The silence in my living room at 6:30 a.m. on the Monday before all of my children and grandchildren land on my doorstep for the holidays is so sweet. "Not a creature is stirring" is music to my ears. I'm not an introvert by any means, and thoroughly enjoy the company of people, lively conversation, and gay celebration.

However during my six year stay in the convent, I awoke daily to silent communication with my God through prayer and meditation. I loved that time more than any other part of the day and still begin every morning in much the same manner. It brings a peaceful calm to my body, mind and soul. Everything ahead of me for the next twenty-four hours comes into focus, and a plan to navigate each step evolves without much conscious effort on my part.. I know there will be deviations from said plan, but I'm fortified with God's grace to handle whatever causes chaos and discord.

There will be 15 people in our home for four or five days and usually some of the kids will be up and at it before I come down the stairs with Shadow. They will be either blasting the television or bickering about something. As soon as one of them spies me, they'll shout my name, and with grins as wide as the ocean, all start chattering at once. Gabe needs breakfast, Liam and Beckham are squabbling about who goes first in Trouble , and my dear Brenna, will rush to present the dog with her first treat of the day.

Although there will be absolutely no time for my cherished routine, having family around and being needed even for the simplest of tasks, is definitely a worthwhile replacement for a short span of time. After quickly getting everybody dressed, we rush out the door before any of the adults can stop us, and load into my daughter's van. I rev up the motor and head for our traditional Dunkin Donuts breakfast. First they all must have a sandwich before any goodies are selected. I order the same thing for everybody as they move tables together to accommodate all eight of us. As each one gobbles down their obligatory egg wrap, they are given my credit card and approach the counter to order a donut and drink of their choice. Surprisingly for this healthy, rambunctious bunch, the process goes off without a hitch. If they finish one and are still hungry, they are permitted a second. Of course you know how that goes so I needn't bother you with the specifics. On the way home, everyone is talking at the same time about what we're going to do and when we're going to do it.

This year our schedule includes: snow tubing, trampolining, ice skating, the movies, laser tag, and a trip to King's for ice cream. There will be little to no time for prayer and meditation for yours truly.

I treasure my silence and will yearn for it's return with all my heart. But I also treasure my time with family, especially my seven grandchildren, They are growing up so fast, and since they all live out of state, I don't see them as much as I'd like. So when they're here, bring on the noise, the chatter, and the chaos! Bring on the hustle, the bustle, and the wild scenario of events. I'm grateful that at my age I can still do almost everything they want to do, and for the most part, can keep up with them. I'm especially grateful that they really and truly want me to be there with them every step of the way.

As they all load up and head for their respective homes on the 29th, my hubby and I, and of course, Shadow, will wave good-bye and breathe a sigh of both sadness and relief!

Farewell to family, and hello to my precious silence that seems to have been absent for a very long time!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Never MEANS Never!

Lately I've been daydreaming about Christmas when I was a child. I see the big house on the avenue that I was literally born and raised in. On Christmas eve, I sit against the staircase rails with my brother beside me admiring the 8ft. tree decorated by Zedo and Mom. As kids we were never allowed to take part in adorning the tree since the icicles had to be hung one by one on each branch and be exactly the same length, and of course, children just didn't have the skill or patience for such accuracy. I smell the wonderful aromas floating from my Baba's kitchen and can't wait until the family arrives so we could sit down to dinner.

Now my Zedo had strict rules about who was invited to share our traditional meal. Only immediate family was permitted, with the exception of Belle and Oscar, very good long time friends, who ironically were Jewish. I see Zedo sitting at the head of the table. All the adults have a glass of Kimmel raised high as Zedo delivers his holiday speech in Slovak. When he finishes speaking, he places the golden liquor to his lips, signaling everybody else to do likewise. Now my brother and I stand up and wish our family the blessings of Christmas and a Happy New Year, in Slovak of course.

Dishes of honey are spread around the table and each guest has a white wafer called 'oplatky' in front of them.. All the children form a line by Zedo's side and receive a cross on their foreheads made from the honeyed thumb of our patriarch. Next everybody at the table dips their oplatky in the honey and partakes of it.

Baba and Mom begin serving the mushroom soup which is the appetizer that begins every Christmas eve supper. Zedo receives his bowl first. When the two women return to their chairs, the mushroom soup is consumed by all and the dishes removed.

Now for the main course. Babalki, navy beans, lungos, and cabbage! These meager staples are meant to remind us of the fact that Jesus was born in a stable without food or comforts.

After the meal, all the women go to the kitchen to wash and dry the dishes, while the men sit in the living room puffing cigars. Zedo amazes the kids by blowing white rings of smoke that rise towards the ceiling, We all try to poke them before they dissolve in the air. Some of us stay with the men to hear their stories of the old country, while some head to the kitchen to listen to the women's talk of favorite recipes and church stuff.

 After the company leaves, my brother and I climb the stairs and get ready for bed. We hurry so we can watch Mom from our seats against the staircase rails making countless trips to the enclosed front porch to bring in all the presents. When all have been carefully placed under the tree, Zedo shakes some bells and poinds on the wall to let us know that Santa has come and gone.

As we fly downstairs, the first place I head for is the mantle where the stocking are hung. Every year the same things are hidden in them; an orange the size of a melon, a coloring book, a fresh box of crayons, and a chocolate bar. Out of all the gifts, the items in my stocking were always the best as far as I was concerned.

My brother and I enjoy giving packages to Zedo, Baba, Mom, and Uncle Tom. We've spent the few dollars we'd saved throughout the year to put smiles on their faces and a twinkle in their eyes. I don't mention our Dad because he died when we were very young, but from what we've been told, he loved everything about Christmas.

After opening our presents, we scurry up to bed, recount our blessings in prayer,  and are lulled to sleep by the muffled voices echoing from downstairs. Peace settles over the big house on the avenue where tradition has once again been celebrated and all are safe and sound.

I know I can never return home again. All my family is gone,and the big house on the avenue was demolished decades ago.  Never MEANS Never as far as the Christmases of my childhood.

But they will always be FOREVER in my memories and in my heart!

Merry Christmas to ya'll!


Monday, December 5, 2016

Should We Stay Or Should We Go?

Our house is too big and we are too old. Should we stay or should we go?

On the one hand, for over forty years we've lovingly taken care of our two-story house, ardently maintaining both the inside and outside because it's our home. We've updated every decade or so in order to keep current with the trends of the day, new roof, new windows, new kitchen, etc. Every Thursday like clockwork, we've cleaned the inside until every room sparkles. Twice a year we've washed the walls and scrubbed the carpets. My hubby and I have meticulously groomed the outdoors from March through November as well. He's mowed and trimmed the lawn, pruned the shrubs, washed the siding, sealed the cement, etc. I've planted the flowers, weeded the shrub beds, tended the garden, cleaned the patio furniture, etc.

On the other hand, neither of us want to work that hard anymore. A small ranch or a patio home
is really all we need at this point in our lives. One floor with two bedrooms, two baths, a modern kitchen, breakfast nook, a comfy family room and a laundry niche would suit our needs perfectly. A front porch overlooking a postage stamp front lawn would be sufficient to satisfy our urges to become one with the earth, As far as a backyard, not necessary but again very small if we were to have one.

So what's the prob you say? Well first of all we need to decide where to relocate. Since all three of our grown children and their families live in different states, choosing to live near any of them would mean leaving the area where we both were born and raised. Whatever family we still have are here in PA, and it's nice to see them occasionally for dinner, movie outings, holiday gatherings and such. We know and love our neighbors. Anytime a need arises we can always count on one of them to lend a helping hand, and of course, they know we have their backs, too. Just being able to step outside and kibitz for a few minutes about the weather, politics, or why the grass is dying in some spots is such a joy for us. Also we're familiar with our surroundings, stores, doctors, entertainment, etc. We know where to go and how to get there.

I think we've solved that prob, we're staying in this area. Now for the biggie, should we look for a resell or do we buy a new house? My husband thinks a small ranch in an older community is the answer, however my choice is a new patio home in a housing development with one or two streets max. I've started surfing the net, but what I've found is disappointing. First of all the costs are out of sight even for what we're looking for. People are setting outrageous prices on homes that haven't been updated since built, and contractors are asking for tons of money for bare-bones basics. Everything extra costs the buyer more and more.

Finally, we would need to have our home appraised, put on the market and sold.

The house isn't getting any smaller and we're certainly not getting any younger. Should we stay or should we go? God only knows at this point in time!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Blame Those Responsible!

I will forever remember this Thanksgiving, but not for the warm and fuzzy reasons you may think. Instead of the traditional gathering of family and friends, instead of the aromas of golden brown turkey, toasted marshmallow sweet potato casserole, and luscious pumpkin pie, I'll be haunted by the memory of the deaths of David, Kaylie, and their two year old daughter, Annika. Every time I pass by the intersection of routes 30 and 48, I'll see the burned out shell of a car and hear the deafening silence surrounding it. I'll imagine the gruesome sight of David's body lying on the pavement, bruised and bloodied, and I'll gasp in horror when, like the firefighters and policemen, I realize that there are the bodies of Kaylie and Annika inside the vehicle's remains, charred beyond recognition.

And when I remember the events leading up to this senseless tragedy, once again my anger will rise up.

A police officer stops a car for an illegal turn. The driver, a 22 year old man, and his girlfriend appear nervous. After checking the license number and discovering that two arrest warrants are in effect for Demetrius Coleman, the officer calls for backup. However before he can approach the wanted man, Coleman steps on the gas and screeches out of the parking lot heading east on route 30 at the speed of over 100 mph. Doing what they are trained to do, serve and protect, policemen from both East McKeesport and North Versailles follow in pursuit. After weaving in and out of traffic, at times driving in the on-coming lanes, Demetrius Coleman crashes into Kaylie's car, which instantaneously bursting into flames, snuffing out the lives of an innocent family on theBir way to celebrate Thanksgiving with loved ones. 

And when I remember that some people entertain the notion that this horrific tragedy could have been avoided it only the police officers would not have chased these two, my anger only escalates.

Why does it appear that nowadays law enforcement is always at fault? These courageous men and women take their responsibilities very seriously. They have taken an oath to protect and serve. They risk their own lives so that others can escape injury and death. They are to be respected for their commitment, not vilified for their actions. Don't accuse those who perform their duties for doing so, but rather place the blame where it rightly belongs.

Just because you're an addict, whether your drug of choice be heroin or alcohol, and just because addiction is viewed as an illness, you are not absolved from responsibility for your actions. You don't get a free pass to do as you please, break the law, injure, maim, and kill others, and not be held accountable because you were under the influence. People with debilitating diseases like those suffering from incurable cancers, kidney failure, or dementia must pay for what they do, and if illegal, are subject to the same penalties that you and I are, and must accept the consequences of their misdeeds.

Demetrius Coleman and his girlfriend, who had heroin in her possession, are the ones who caused the deaths of these three beautiful people, and Demetrius Coleman and his girlfriend alone are responsible not only for their demise, but the pain and suffering of the family and friends left behind to grieve for many, many Thanksgivings to come.

If any finger pointing is needed to identify those who are to blame, let's make sure we're pointing in the right direction, at Demetrius Coleman and his girlfriend, who are totally responsible for what happened at the intersection of routes 30 and 48 on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 24, 2016!

Monday, November 21, 2016


I could go through a very, very long list of all that I'm thankful for in my life, but I suspect you've heard it all before. You know, family, friends, good fortune, etc. but after serious thought I'm thankful for one think in particular, LIFE ITSELF!

My life has stretched out over seventy-two years, WOW! Hard to believe I've managed to wake up 26,280 times, give or take a few, and look forward to what the day had in store. Don't get me wrong, there have been many, many occasions where I would have rather pulled the covers over my head and remained prone indefinitely. But there was always something grabbing my hand and helping me up to start all over again, and that something was life.

LIFE is that force inside of us that energizes each cell in our bodies with oxygen, blood, and nourishment. It gives us the ability to breath, move, feed, and feel. Of course all animals have these same drives, but we as humans have been blessed with powers far beyond survival mechanisms. Additionally we've received the abilities to think, make decisions, and create. And these are the attributes that make life itself worthwhile as far as I'm concerned.

Being able to think about what to make for dinner, choosing a new recipe, and then actually preparing the dish, in my humble opinion, is amazing to me! I can tell you that without being able to perform this three-step operation, my hubby would most likely be eating dog food 24/7! This is just one example of millions that make like wonderful or like I choose to say, 'full of wonder'!

When life is good, everything we see, hear, touch, smell, and feel intensifies. Our energies seem to multiply one-hundred fold, our desires to experience new things increase, and our spirits take flight!

Even when things aren't going well for us, life is what allows positive change to happen. We can research possibilities, eliminate those that aren't achievable, and design strategies that will help us to succeed. Giving in to depression only minimizes our life force and threatens our very existence.

When sitting around the dinner table surrounded by your loved ones this Thanksgiving, among all the many blessings to be grateful for, remember to be especially thankful for LIFE ITSELF, for yours and for everybody you hold dear.

love ya'll

Monday, November 14, 2016

Like A Thief In The Night

Like a thief in the night, this presidential campaign has sneaked into our collective souls and ripped out our funny bones! Honestly in the last year, how many times have you laughed so hard tears of joy ran down your face? When have you even twittered or tee-heed? How about a smile from ear-to-ear or a shit-eaten grin?

Seriously folks, without a sense of humor our country is doomed to darkness and despair. We alone must take the initiative to bring back laughter into our lives, because without it I promise you things will only get worse.

Now I'm not talking about making inane jokes at the expense of others, there has been enough of that as far as I'm concerned to last a thousand lifetimes. Let's look inward to find something we've experienced over the years that was hilariously funny and share it with family and friends. We've got to break the chains of anger that have tightened around our minds and hearts because if we can't, explosions of chaos will happen all across this great country of ours. We're already seeing hundreds of protest marches popping up like dandelions, crowding our streets with unwanted weeds of unrest. And if this is just the beginning of a national trend, God help us all!

Twenty-five years ago I was a kindergarten teacher, which was the best job I've ever had the privilege of holding. Each day I couldn't wait to get to my classroom, because I knew something would occur that would put me in stitches!

Picture this: It's the beginning of the noon session and 15 children are sitting in a circle waiting for me to kick off the day. I start by asking what everyone did over the weekend, but before even one person could speak, Jonathan came rushing in with backpack slung over his shoulder and his lips going 100 miles an hour. "My mommy had a baby yesterday. It's a baby sister for me and my brother. Her name is Meghan and I got to hold her!"

"Wow," cried the group in unison.

Once Jonathan joined us, I asked him a few more questions concerning the health of his mom and sister and then proceeded to get back on task. However one of girls, Kristy, who by now was feeling greatly ignored, stood up and announced that her mommy had a baby yesterday, too. Now I knew that this was virtually impossible since Kristy herself had been a change of life child, and furthermore the last time I checked, her mother wasn't even pregnant! But this was getting very interesting, and I just had to see where it was going to end.

With hands on hips, Kristy looked at each of her classmates daring anyone to refute her declaration. Now it was my turn to question its validity.

"Did your mommy have a baby sister, Kristy?"

"No, she didn't," the blonde cherub replied.

"Well, then I guess she had a baby brother?" I remarked.

"No, she didn't have a baby brother either," Kristy said with her distinctive lisp.

By this time, I was thoroughly intrigued.

"Well if she didn't have a baby sister, and she didn't have a baby brother, then what did she have?" I wanted to know.

Before Kristy answered once again she eyed each student, and in a loud and clear voice she announced, "My mommy had a baby kangaroo!"

"Wow," cried the group in unison as Kristy returned to our circle feeling happy that her friends agreed that having a kangaroo was just as amazing as having a baby sister!

It took everything in me to squelch the laughter that was bubbling inside of me and simply agree that both Jonathan and Kristy had had a very eventful weekend.

If this story didn't tickle your funny bone, I'm guessing you've never had one in the first place!

Now it's your time to come up with experiences that have had you laughing your head off, holding your stomach, wiping the tears from your cheeks. It's your duty to share humor at every turn because everyone in our country's circle is depending on you. Be a 'Kristy' if that's what it takes!

Don't let a thief in the night rob you of your right to live in a nation that allows all of us to speak and act freely, and laugh as loud and as long as we choose!

Monday, November 7, 2016

All The Presidents.........MEN!

Before reading this post, let me assure you that I'm not a feminist, nor will I ever be one. I think of myself as a realist. When faced with a crucial decision, I search out the facts, pour over the details, weigh everything carefully, and then come to an informed conclusion. Here is my conclusion regarding the 2016 Presidential Election.

Forty-four men have served our country as presidents since 1789. They deserve all the praise for creating a land of the free and the home of the brave. They also deserve all the blame for the mess we find ourselves in today. The issues of  high taxation, joblessness, inequality of pay in the work force, abortion rights, lack of reasonable immigration laws,  racial tension, sensible gun regulations, war and much more dysfunction falls squarely on the shoulders of these men as well.. They are the ones who have been at the helm, and have led the United States into 'the black hole' according to millions of  our concerned citizens.

Here is a list of all the U.S. Presidents...MEN :
1. George Washington (1789-1797)John Adams (1789-1797)
2. John Adams (1797-1801)Thomas Jefferson (1797-1801)
3. Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809)Aaron Burr (1801-1805)
George Clinton (1805-1809)
4. James Madison (1809-1817)George Clinton (1809-1812)
None (1812-1813)
Elbridge Gerry (1813-1814)
None (1814-1817)
5. James Monroe (1817-1825)Daniel D. Tompkins (1817-1825)
6. John Quincy Adams (1825-1829)John C. Calhoun (1825-1829)
7. Andrew Jackson (1829-1837)John C. Calhoun (1829-1832)
None (1832-1833)
Martin Van Buren (1833-1837)
8. Martin Van Buren (1837-1841)Richard M. Johnson (1837-1841)
9. William Henry Harrison (1841)John Tyler (1841)
10. John Tyler (1841-1845)None (1841-1845)
11. James K. Polk (1845-1849)George M. Dallas (1845-1849)
12. Zachary Taylor (1849-1850)Millard Fillmore (1849-1850)
13. Millard Fillmore (1850-1853)None (1850-1853)
14. Franklin Pierce (1853-1857)William King (1853)
None (1853-1857)
15. James Buchanan (1857-1861)John C. Breckinridge (1857-1861)
16. Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865)Hannibal Hamlin (1861-1865)
Andrew Johnson (1865)
17. Andrew Johnson (1865-1869)None (1865-1869)
18. Ulysses S. Grant (1869-1877)Schuyler Colfax (1869-1873)
Henry Wilson (1873-1875)
None (1875-1877)
19. Rutherford B. Hayes (1877-1881)William Wheeler (1877-1881)
20. James A. Garfield (1881)Chester Arthur (1881)
21. Chester Arthur (1881-1885)None (1881-1885)
22. Grover Cleveland (1885-1889)Thomas Hendricks (1885)
None (1885-1889)
23. Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893)Levi P. Morton (1889-1893)
24. Grover Cleveland (1893-1897)Adlai E. Stevenson (1893-1897)
25. William McKinley (1897-1901)Garret Hobart (1897-1899)
None (1899-1901)
Theodore Roosevelt (1901)
26. Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909)None (1901-1905)
Charles Fairbanks (1905-1909)
27. William Howard Taft (1909-1913)James S. Sherman (1909-1912)
None (1912-1913)
28. Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921)Thomas R. Marshall (1913-1921)
29. Warren G. Harding (1921-1923)Calvin Coolidge (1921-1923)
30. Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929)None (1923-1925)
Charles Dawes (1925-1929)
31. Herbert Hoover (1929-1933)Charles Curtis (1929-1933)
32. Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945)John Nance Garner (1933-1941)
Henry A. Wallace (1941-1945)
Harry S. Truman (1945)
33. Harry S. Truman (1945-1953)None (1945-1949)
Alben Barkley (1949-1953)
34. Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961)Richard Nixon (1953-1961)
35. John F. Kennedy (1961-1963)Lyndon B. Johnson (1961-1963)
36. Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-1969)None (1963-1965)
Hubert Humphrey (1965-1969)
37. Richard Nixon (1969-1974)Spiro Agnew (1969-1973)
None (1973)
Gerald Ford (1973-1974)
38. Gerald Ford (1974-1977)None (1974)
Nelson Rockefeller (1974-1977)
39. Jimmy Carter (1977-1981)Walter Mondale (1977-1981)
40. Ronald Reagan (1981-1989)George Bush (1981-1989)
41. George Bush (1989-1993)Dan Quayle (1989-1993)
42. Bill Clinton (1993-2001)Al Gore (1993-2001)
43. George W. Bush (2001-2009)Dick Cheney (2001-2009)
44. Barack Obama (2009-present)Joe Biden (2009-present)



Millions of folks want change, but change simply for the sake of change does not lead to positive results.Change must be accompanied with astute study, careful planning, and resolute execution. Talking about Making America Great Again does nothing unless the person behind the slogan has studied, planned, and resolved to do exactly that.

Only one of the presidential nominees has spent her whole life studying and planning, and is now ready to execute her informed conclusions. This Tuesday, November 8, vote for Hillary Clinton, a knowledgeable woman with experience and passion on her side who will work together with folks interested in changing America for the better.

After 227 years, isn't it about time to give a woman the chance to restore the United States of America to it's former glory? I certainly think so!

God bless us all!

Monday, October 31, 2016


Since my National Food Day post was so graciously received last week, I thought I'd gift my friends with another of my Baba's terrific recipes. If you liked her stuffed cabbage, you'll go 'ga ga' over her fried dough. These dainty pastries are so easy to make, and can be enjoyed right out of the deep fry or eaten days later by dipping them in your coffee or milk. 

As a child, I loved sharing Ceregi with my closest St. Michael's school pals. They'd often stop over on their way home, sit down at Baba's table and nibble on these snacks while telling her about their day. She was a great listener, never interrupting or imposing her views as the kids told of misconduct or unjust punishment. Baba would wait until their tales were finished before offering a kind word, or suggesting a better course of action the next time the same situation occurred. She was a "Dr. Phil" long before he ever came on to the scene!

In Polish, we say ‘Kruschiki’ and in Slovak, it is ‘Ceregi.’ No matter which word you use, this simple pastry was a favorite snack anytime of the year. Since a recipe can yield approx.100 bows, dozens were left over for days so that when they got really hard, dipping them in your morning coffee was especially scrumptious!

(fried dough)
(In order to obtain the recipe, click on the link, then tap and it should come up.)

If you'd like to read my entire blog post, "What You Saw Was What She Was!" click on

Baba's Favorite Thursday Slovak/Polish Recipes are incorporated including her one for fried dough. 

Baba was a gem of a woman, and if she were alive today I'd have a sign on my front lawn, BABA FOR PRESIDENT! Since she's in heaven, I have no sign on my front lawn!

Monday, October 24, 2016


Last Thursday my hubby and I started a project that we both dreaded, but needed to be done. For three seasons we've tried to grow grass in a section of our front lawn, but failed every time. Finally I told him we should dig up all the grass clumps, take the soil out until we hit clay, and then replace the area with stone which would provide additional parking space when family comes to visit.

Since we are both way over the hill, thinking about pushing wheelbarrows heaped with heavy dirt up our steep front grade, and then up an even steeper back hill to reach our compost box was daunting to say the least. After only two tries we were ready to call it a day!

Then down the road came 'ST. MICHAEL' in his shiny white SUV. Actually it was our neighbor, Rob, the police officer, who stopped to ask what we were doing. I call Rob, St. Michael, because he has an image of the archangel tattooed on his left bicep. I told him about our project, and of course, he admonished me for making my hubby do such strenuous labor, and laughed when I said that I was also doing strenuous labor.

Ten minutes later, Rob was pushing his over-sized wheelbarrow up the street with a pick ax and shovel in it. He began splitting the mounds of soil with the ax, hoisting the dirt into the wheelbarrow, and then rolling the heavy loads to their assigned destination. Even though Rob is a young man, physically fit, the work was difficult. We continued to do what we could, but St. Michael kept insisting that we take a break at every turn. Several times I accompanied Rob up our hills with my smaller load of dirt, but quickly realized my lack of strength as well as my lack of fitness and, of course, my advanced age.

Finally after about three hours, the area was stripped clean, ready to be filled with stone at a later date. With a hug from  me, and a handshake from hubby, St. Michael headed back down the road pushing his wheelbarrow complete with pick ax and shovel inside. For an instant I was positive I saw him floating above the ground, but after rubbing my eyes in disbelief, he had already disappeared into his driveway.

My hubby and I believe Rob is truly a saint, he's helped out many of our neighbors without ever being asked to lift a hand. He simply appears, does the job, and then nonchalantly returns home, refusing payment or praise. As a policeman, we know he has pledged to serve and protect, but this man goes way beyond his professional commitment.

Sometimes we're tempted to install a camera in the front of our house so we can catch St. Michael spreading his wings and soaring over the rooftops looking for anybody in need. But giving into temptation is the devil's work, so we'll just have to wait until we're in heaven and actually meet up with this archangel, person to person. I'll give him a big hug and my hubby will shake his hand. He'll give us a wink and a smile like Rob always does, and our suspicions will be verified: St. Michael has lived among us for twenty years doing good works under the earthly name of 'Rob, the police officer'!

We are all indeed blessed to have such a wonderful neighbor and friend.

Monday, October 17, 2016



: a psychosis characterized by systematized delusions of persecution or grandeur usually without hallucinations
: a tendency on the part of an individual or group toward excessive or irrational suspiciousness and distrustfulness of others

Those who suffer from paranoia are deserving of our compassion. This psychosis must be identified by mental health professionals and treated with therapy and medication. It isn't a casual illness that goes away by itself like the common cold or a sore throat. 

People that are paranoid see threats where none exist, they believe everybody is out to get them, and will say and do anything to eliminate the possibility of injury or destruction. Those with this illness are constantly looking over their shoulders, seeing danger at every turn. They become more and more secretive and tend to avoid personal and public involvement at any cost.

Persons with paranoia sometimes believe they are all-knowing, and simply tolerate the thoughts and actions of those seemingly far less intelligent. They are certain that their ideas, plans and conclusions are the best formulations, and will stop at nothing to implement them.

Actually if treated effectively, folks who suffer paranoia can be functional in society. However if left untreated, they can become seriously dangerous to themselves as well as to others. 

I don't know if Donald Trump suffers from this debilitating condition, but according to many of the media sources his actions of late seem to point in that direction. If he is indeed paranoid, becoming the leader of the greatest nation in the world would be catastrophic!

Please get out and vote on November 8, but before pressing the lever make sure you've put a great deal of thought into 'what if' the person elected IS PARANOID!

GOD BLESS AMERICA! more now than ever!

Monday, October 10, 2016


Without divulging my personal political affiliation, I must give Round Two to Hillary. Her delivery was professional as well as gracious. Her thoughtful and articulate answers, intellectually superior to that of her opponent's. She didn't lash out at Trump's continued interruptions, and above all, refused to engage in his derogatory comments about her husband.

I'm proud of her continued efforts to fight for the rights of the underdogs, women, children, and minorities. It has been shown that from the onset of her public career, Clinton has carried the banner for these groups and hasn't abandoned her cause for over thirty years. Although Trump threw out her thirty years as failure to accomplish anything of substance, Hillary refuted his claims each and every time by enumerating her many victories both at home and abroad.

Donald Trump constantly avoided the questions asked of him by either knocking Clinton or rambling about how he will defeat ISIS which he describes as "very, very bad" and how his dubious plans to lower taxes, keep out immigrants, and "Make America Great Again" as "very, very good." When a person has no idea about what they will do in certain instances, they tend to use the word, "very" multiple times as a filler to make themselves sound knowledgeable. I stopped counting the "verys" Trump implemented after eighteen!

When the topic was raised about the video shown on Friday regarding Trump's vulgarity towards women, and how he could do anything he wanted to them simply because he was a celebrity, he shrugged it off as "locker room banter." Even if every one of his abusive remarks were said in "a locker room," they reflect his derogatory mindset regarding females. As a woman, I find that extremely hurtful not only to myself, but to my two adult daughters, my sweet eleven year old granddaughter,  and to the millions of women both young and old who were subjected to his despicable comments.

About now you are probably saying that a perceived bleeding-heart Democrat such as myself is a biased, uninformed fruitcake who would defend Hillary simply because she's the Democratic nominee, but you'd be sadly mistaken. I've been a registered Republican for most of my adult life and this September I turned seventy-two! However you'd be right on one count since I am probably a bone fide fruitcake, but I AM VERY MUCH INFORMED AND UNBIASED!

I'm anxious to watch the third and last debate to solidify my choice for president. I strongly advise you to do the same!

Monday, October 3, 2016


Last night the Pittsburgh Steelers trounced the Kansas City Chiefs, 43-14. I think it was the first time this season that the entire team was involved in one facet of the game or another to pull it off. Big Ben was sensational in the passing area, #88, #84 # 81 and # 11 all scored touchdowns in the first half. Running backs, Le' Veon Bell and De Angelo Williams were spectacular.  Our kickers were on point all night! And what can I say about our defense? AWESOME! I love to watch the old timers, Harrison and Timmons, dominate the opponents with their speed and power! #95 had an interception that resulted in 6 pts. TEAMWORK WORKS! If the Steelers play the next 12 games similarly, they'll definitely find themselves in the hunt for their 7th Super Bowl title. What a change from the week before!

The politicians in Washington should take note of the Steelers success when they work together as a team. If our elected officials were truly committed to making things better for all people, Democrats and Republicans would put aside their party interests and adopt TEAMWORK WORKS as their mantra during the next four years. No matter which presidential candidate takes office, it's the Senate and Congress who formulate the bills, and eventually enact the laws of the land. Trying to 'one up' each other to gain political prowess is totally juvenile and does nothing to further the advancement of our people and our country.

The ones elected to govern each State of the Union also need to put differences aside and strive to work for their constituents, not for gain. Being part of something greater than one's own profit is far more satisfying, and definitely more beneficial for the common good. Service is the name of the game, not self-serving!

Just as I hope the Pittsburgh Steelrs continue on their road to the Super Bowl, my heartfelt wish is that the politicians from both parties consider themselves stewards of the people, and guardians of the land. If they are truly dedicated to the welfare of every man, woman, and child they represent, the United States of America can be a positive role model for every other country in the world.

Go Steelers! Go America! Winning is in your future! TEAMWORK WORKS!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Trying To Understand and Forgive Suicide

In my September 12, 2016 post, 'A Light In The Mourning' I talked about my very dear friend who committed suicide in 2003. Sometime after her passing I wrote this poem which helped me to unburden myself of the awful pain that just wouldn't subside no matter how many times folks offered their condolences. I knew I needed to give a voice to my feelings, and, for me, I do that best by putting words on paper. 

I didn't include the poem in my former post because I'd somehow misplaced it, but after a frantic search of all my belongings and a few calls, I managed to secure a copy. I offer it now to anyone who has endured the loss of a loved one to suicide. Never knowing 'why' can be maddening, and never being able to forgive such a horrific act can be damaging to one's wounded spirit. It is my sincere hope that after reading my thoughts, you'll gain some insight into the mind of a suicidal victim and begin to accept it, perhaps forgive it even.



In the blackness of night,                                       
She writhes in unspeakable pain.                          
Her demons screeching out obscenities                 
Leaving her tormented soul defeated,                   
Without hope or friend,                                       
She ends her life.                                               

In the early mourning                                          
We cry rivers of tears,                                         
Wail in deafening pitch,                                       
Sustain crushing blows                                         
To heart and spirit,                                              
Drained, we turn stone cold.                                

We hate her for this dastardly act,                        
Cursing her decision to inflict agony.                     
But not for precious memories,                                     
We might hold her forever in contempt,                 
Wishing her eternal suffering,                               
Damnation even.                                                  

In time, God only knows how long,                        
We remember,                                                     
Laughing like hyenas, 
Talking about how to live,                                                               
Dancing to life’s rhythms,                                     
Singing in perfect harmony.                                     

Then, somewhere in the morning,
An incredible light appears.
Trembling we draw closer'
And although never seen before,
This radiance is familiar, 
Comforting ever.

Intuitively, we recognize her glow.
It warms our hearts,
Eases our minds,'
Lifts our burdens,
Genuinely loves us.

And in the light of the mourning,
We sense the 'why' of it.
Enlightened in our grief,
We come to respect her choice.
For her, it was the right choice,
The only one even.

Every second we live, we choose life or death,
And the choices we make,
Are the right ones for us at the time.
Though we may never understand hers,
One day, perhaps, we'll accept it,
Forgive it even.

My prayers for all who ended their lives way too soon and for all of those who loved them.
God bless.