Monday, July 25, 2016


According to one of those digital tests on FB, I have a 1769 year old soul. WOW, THAT'S OLD! But after thinking about it for a bit, I think the results have some merit. I'm characterized as sincere, wise, and loyal, traits I've developed over the last 70 or so years, and only 2% clingy.

SINCERE: When I was younger, I was hesitant to tell people the truth about their faults. I'd either hedge by saying things that were only half accurate, or outright lie so as not to hurt anybody's feelings. Now I'll tell you the way I see it no matter how ugly or hurtful it might come across. I don't care who you are or how high up on the totem pole you sit. With age comes a certain frankness that allows a person to be sincere because, let's face it, one's years are numbered and there is less time for angry retaliation from those you've offended!

WISE:  Although I thought I knew everything when I was a teen, in reality I was a dumb ass! I was sure my elders didn't know squat, and pretty much defied any counsel they proffered. Of course by doing the opposite of what they suggested, I got myself in hot water thousands of times. Now that I AM THE ELDER, I'm certain all teens are the dumb asses don't know squat, and are destined to end up in Juvie if they don't smartin' up fast! By making those countless mistakes over the years as a kid, I've evolved into a wise woman whose wisdom is rarely sought out by you young dumb asses! 'LIVE AND SUFFER OR LISTEN AND LEARN,' a worthwhile new motto from a wise old lady!

LOYAL: Everybody wants to be in the 'in-group' when they're young. I started by hanging out with my cousins since we were all around the same age, lived in the same neighborhood, and attended the same school. They had my undying loyalty while growing up, but as I got older, I ditched them for the much cooler kids who didn't play by the rules, walked the walk, and talked the talk. However, when these cooler dudes got caught breaking protocol, I swore I'd never heard of them much like St. Peter did when asked if he was one of Jesus's apostles. Now I'm loyal to my family and to the not-so-many true friends I've made throughout my lifetime. I'm connected to these folks in mind, body, and spirit. I know who and what they are and still love them as they do me. I know what they're thinking without them saying anything, they look the same to me as they years ago, beautiful, and I feel their spirit no matter how many miles separate us. Our loyalty to each other is the gift that keeps on giving!

CLINGY: According to the digital test, I'm only 2% clingy now. The truth is I've never been very clingy since I came out of the womb. I was and still am a rebel. Some may say that's not a favorable trait, but I've found that doing my own thing has made me a strong, independent thinker who relies on myself to do what's best for me. From an early age, tragedy struck our family hard. However instead of making me weak and afraid, I learned to navigate life with courage and determination. There wasn't anything that was going to stop me from reaching my goals short of death! Guess what? I'm still here and plan on being around for a long, long time so get used to it. The only thing I cling to in life is life itself! I'm a fighter, but if you know me at all, that's no surprise!


Monday, July 18, 2016


Headed for Myrtle Beach, not to fish, but it sounded like a great title. Talk to you guys next week. love ya'll

Monday, July 11, 2016


My daughter, Joy, and her family will pull into our driveway around 8:30 p.m. today or so I'm told. When it comes to Joy, I'm never really sure I'll see her until I see the whites of her eyes! Her hubby, Tim, and my two awesome grandchildren, Brady, 13, and Brenna, 10, will be in tow as well. Yippeeee! Most likely we'll sit out on the patio and talk tonight. I love hearing about what the kids have been up to since last I'd seen them. The teenager will say little and look bored out of his skull. However he doesn't fool me because I know he's really crazy about being at our house,although he'd never admit it. The tween will chatter incessantly, giggly as she goes on and on about every facet of her life. She makes me giggle right along with her!

Tomorrow I'll take Brady and Brenna to Sand Castle, a waterslide park in our area. The other three adults will come up with some excuse not to join us. Neither Joy, Tim, nor Papap like the water, the crowds, the noise, etc. On the other hand, I love it all and only get the chance to go when the kids are in town. I can't do most of the slides anymore because of a cantankerous left knee that refuses to climb the gazillion steps to the top of most of the structures. The ones that I can maneuver, I'll certainly ride. At least I know the Lazy River won't give me a problem. We'll stay for hours, eat junk, lots of junk, and come home exhausted!

On Wednesday afternoon I've scheduled time for Laser Tag! I've never played so I'm excited about being nailed with red dots all over my bod! In the evening we're going to use the neighbor's fire pit to toast marshmallows, make s'mores, mountain pies, and cornbread muffins. Yummy, yum, yum!

Before they leave on Thursday, the kids and I will hop in the car and head for Dunkin Donuts, one of our favorite stomping grounds. I get the first round of donut and drink of choice for all of us. We find a table and before I get my coffee stirred, Brady and Brenna are finished and looking at me with doe-eyes. I'll hand my credit card to one of them and off they go for another delectable treat. They'll repeat this ritual until they are stuffed to the gills!

When leaving, we'll yell good-byes to each other until their out of sight. Love those kids! Oh, I love Joy and Tim, too, but they're not nearly as much fun.

On Monday night I'm flying to Myrtle Beach to spend five days with my daughter, Kristy, and her family. She and Todd have 3 boys, Liam, 9, Beckham, 6, and Gabe, 3. Again my hubby isn't a beach person, so he gladly stays home with the dog, his Sudoku, and the Pirates. This arrangement works for both of us.

The boys and I will be in the water, or in the sand building castles, roads, lakes, and anything else we can think of from 9:00 a.m. until dinner. Oh, we'll have taken along tons of treats and drinks to keep us going nonstop.We'll make friends with fellow beach bums, sharing shovels, buckets, and tales of how the big ones got away! Afterwards we'll shower and choose a lovely restaurant where Gabe will cause some sort of commotion to the discomfort of the more sedate diners! Oh well, when you're three, that's your God-given right, right? Upon returning to the condo, most likely will head for the pool, play miniature golf, or go shopping for treasurers. Days two thru five will simply be a repeat performance of the first. How glorious!

The day after I return from Myrtle, my son and his family will arrive for a five day visit. Barry, Kelly, Kaden,, 9, and Tyler, 5, will get in late Saturday. We'll do the patio thing again and try to get a good night's sleep. Then let the games begin! Sand Castle, Laser Tag, fire pit, and Dunkin Donuts all over again. The funny thing is that with Kaden and Tyler it will be a totally different experience because of who they are and my special relationship with each one. Tuesday, July 29, is the first time the public can attend Steeler Camp at St. Vincent's. Kaden plays nearly every sport and can't wait to get some autographs from his idols. Tyler doesn't really care about that, he just wants to run up and down the grassy hills, eat snow cones, and play with anyone willing to do what he does! On the way home we'll stop for dinner comprised of hamburgers and fries and a Frosty for the boys since that is the one meal they're sure to devour.

As they pack the car, give kisses and promise to drive home safely, I'll fall into my recliner and sleep for at least three hours. I'll dream of all the fun I had, all the smiles and hugs I received from my seven grandchildren during the past three weeks, and thank the good Lord for the countless blessings He showers upon me and my family especially during the summertime.

When I awake I'll be back to my old life in North Huntingdon once more,for which I'm eternally grateful, but those three weeks of fast and furious when I had the time of my life will linger in my memory for the entire rest of the year!

Monday, July 4, 2016

Freedom of Speech at its WORST!

On Saturday hubby and I decided to go out to our county's Arts and Heritage festival held annually around the Fourth of July. We could have driven to the park, but chose to take the community shuttle instead. As we waited in line, the old fella behind us remarked, " Trump is supposed to give a speech out there later on today." I turned around and, with my fingers stuck in my ears,  laughingly replied, "Blah, blah, blah."

We had no idea that the lady behind the old fella heard what had been said until she angrily commented, "You Democrats have no clue what you're talking about. Here we finally have a man who will change America for the better, and you bad-mouth him at every turn. You think Hillary is the answer. I better go to the end of the line before I lose my cool!" She then stepped to the back.

Looking over my shoulder I stated, "No, I don't think Hillary is the answer, but I do think she's the lesser of the two evils. Oh, and by the way, for your information, I'm a registered Republican!"

"You certainly don't sound like one," was her rebuttal.

"What's a registered Republican sound like?" I countered.

"You'd have been overjoyed to get the chance to hear Donald Trump speak, and would have told the man behind you exactly that," the now highly-aggravated left wing supporter shouted.

"To listen to more of his lies, bombastic ravings, and uninformed rhetoric, no thanks," I yelled.

"You'll be sorry if Hillary gets in. No, actually it will be your children and grandchildren who will suffer from her devastating decisions that take innocent lives without giving it a second thought. She's too busy hobnobbing with the rich and famous to care about average people trying to make a decent living, pay their taxes, and contribute to our country's well-being anyway they can."

"Really?" I questioned facetiously.

"Yes, really," was her curt response.

By this time my husband was getting a little anxious and asked me to stop. I was having so much fun though, my mouth was on auto-pilot, I couldn't control it if I'd wanted to, and I didn't want to.

"Last I heard we are still living in the United States of America, and we are blessed with freedom of speech, my dear. I don't recall inviting you into our playful conversation in the first place, so kindly butt out." was my not-so-clever finale.

Then a tiny voice piped up with, "Geez, all I was trying to do was inject a little humor while we waited for the bus to arrive," said the old fella behind me. "I had no intention of starting World War III,"

His remark touched a nerve with me. We all have the right to speak our mind, and shouldn't be chastised for our beliefs and opinions. And by all, that includes the old fella, me, the out-spoken lady,
Hillary, and yes, even The Donald. Instead of taking jabs at one another, we need to respectfully listen to what each person has to say, mull their words over carefully in our minds, and then speak with conviction and respect. There is no room for humiliation and put-downs. I realized I'd acted very badly and looked for my opponent to apologize but my opportunity vanished along with the lady in the back of the line.

Perhaps the seriousness of our little tirade really hit home with me when the old fella's last words loudly resounded in my head. Such bickering is exactly how wars get started and leave behind horrible destruction and death. From  now on, I intend to lovingly embrace my freedom of speech and use it wisely.

To the lady in the back of the line: "Please forgive my rude arrogance. I had no right to speak to you in such manner, and I am truly sorry, At my age, I certainly should know better and do better."