Monday, September 25, 2017


In the wee hours of Sunday morning I awoke from a disturbing dream. Now to put things in prospective, I hardly ever remember my dreams, and the ones I do kind of remember are nebulous at best.

Perhaps after reading this detailed description, one of you loyal readers will be able to help me make some sense of it.

I found myself in the midst of a newly-constructed home that I obviously was either building or buying. The workers were still in the process of completing certain aspects of the bathroom and kitchen areas. As I inspected the bathroom tiles on the walls, I noticed a number of chips, some no more than a speck, others as large as a nickel. When I brought these defects to the attention of one of the guys, he assured me that this was the make-up of the material and not to worry. If you know me at all, you won't be shocked at my response. "Bullshit, these tiles are NOT what I ordered, so get busy ripping them off and replacing them with quality materials." Actually I think in this situation, my comments were quite civil under the circumstances!

My next order of business was to check out the kitchen. Walking into the open floor plan, the self-standing range immediately caught my attention. It was about three feet high, two feet wide, and was WHITE! The first thing that popped into my mind was that all the other appliances were the right height and width and were BLACK, my color of choice. Secondly, as I opened the oven door, I replied aloud, "How in God's name am I going to be able to fit a turkey in here?"

A young man approached me and introduced himself as the son of the contractor. He asked what the problem was, and after explaining my dilemma, he told me that this range was the latest in design and technology, and that I would be very happy with my choice. My heated comeback went something like this, "If you think I believe you, you're out of your cottonpicking mind, and I DIDN'T SELECT THIS RIDICULOUS EXCUSE FOR A RANGE, so put that in your pipe and smoke it!" (my actual words were a bit too coarse for this post, if you get my drift)

Upon hearing all the ruckus, the contractor came into the kitchen looking slightly perturbed. When his son laid out my complaints, the older man asked me to sit down to CALMLY discuss my displeasure. (Evidently this fellow was either in denial or hadn't a clue to whom he was about to converse with!)

After listening to "Blah, blah, blah," for about ten minutes in dream time, I demanded a state-of- the-art built-in range with both conventional and convection ovens and a microwave, too. 


The next words out of this contractor's mouth floored me! "Where do you plan  on having your mother buried?" he asked. For a moment my mind went blank, since I was certain that my mother had died 12 years prior and had been interred next to my dad in our parish cemetery. He suggested she be put to rest in the Baldwin area, and when I questioned why, he simply explained that it would be the best and cheapest decision for me to make. At that moment, I became enraged and yelled something like, " You're a complete a**hole! I'm not looking for cheap, and my mother belongs next to my father's side in death as she remained so in life! Tears were streaming down my cheeks as I vacated the seat and walked towards the door. I knew I wasn't ever going to live in that house with the RIDICULOUS EXCUSE FOR A RANGE AND THE INANE CHARACTER OF A CONTRACTOR!

When I awoke from my disturbing dream, I was emotionally upset.

Why did I remember this one in particular so vividly?

What did it mean?

You tell me.

Monday, September 18, 2017


OMG! Today is National Cheeseburger Day and I've started my diet.....again! In little less than a year, my hubby and I are celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary with a trip to Italy, Switzerland, and France. I need to be thinner, actually A LOT THINNER! But when I see that my favorite fast food item is being celebrated with a national holiday, how can I not join in the festivities? I absolutely love cheeseburgers!

Here's the thing, I really feel good in my own skin, that is until I see a pic of myself and am aghast at how large I look. Usually I attribute this to camera malfunction, but truthfully, I know it's malfunction of my dietary choices!

I don't understand why my weight isn't dropping. I've cut back on the amount I eat, don't nibble on snacks much, and have been drinking more water these days yet the needle on the scale doesn't budge one iota. Maybe I need a new scale, you think?

And I started exercising more regularly. I take Zumba classes twice a week, and try to walk Shadow everyday for at least 30 minutes. I probably stop 15 of those minutes to allow my dog to sniff and pee, and talk to the neighbors I bump into along the way. BUT IT'S STILL 30 MINUTES, RIGHT?

When grocery shopping, I try to select healthy foods, celery, spinach, carrots, oranges, grapes, etc. along with ice cream, cookies, and pie! The veggies and fruits are for me, the goodies, for Barry, right?  Wrong! Typically the greens get tossed before eaten, and the goodies are gone way before the next shopping trip is scheduled.

So today is the day, National Cheeseburger celebration or not! I'm going to stick to my diet despite the temptations that confront me at every turn. Oh, hell, who do I think I'm kidding!

I'm not one to get all upset over what others think or say about me, but I do take heed about what I think and say about myself. At this time in my life, I'm comfortable with who I am, what I've accomplished, and unless I see a pic of myself, really like the way I look! If I don't lose an ounce before next August, I'll be fine with that, I'll just limit myself to pics of the people and places we visit during our upcoming European vacation.


HAPPY NATIONAL CHEESEBURGER DAY! Enjoy, life is way to short to deny oneself the simple pleasures of melted cheese, a beef patty, lettuce, tomato, and that special sauce!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Legalize Recreational Marijuana in PA?

Over the weekend, some politician in Pittsburgh whose name I can't remember, was peddling his theory in the Trib on why PA should legalize recreational marijuana. He cited a number of states who have already taken that leap, and their tax dollars are rolling in faster than thunderclouds on a steaming August day! Pot is the perfect solution to the PA budget deficit according to him!

This fellow is all about the money. He gives no consideration to the number of studies on addiction, that report more than 75% of drug abusers began their descent into hell by smoking marijuana.

And what about highway fatalities? So many times it's because the one causing the accident was high on pot or some other substance he or she uses after his or her first encounter with weed.

Robberies? Home invasions? Murders?  So many of these criminals who commit these horrific offenses are either doped up at the time or are looking to score illegal drugs in order to get doped up!

The very same politicians who are lamenting the opiate epidemic in our society are the ones leading the parade to legalize recreational marijuana. Why? Because the money that recreational pot can generate is just way to alluring to be ignored. Furthermore, according to this politician whose name I can't remember, if our legislature fails to act quickly, the monies that could have been dumped into PA will be scooped up by other more progressive-thinking states. How tragic!

If I sound like an old woman who needs to chill out, maybe I am. The opiate epidemic in our country is personal to me. My nephew, my deceased brother's only child,  sits in a state prison today because when he was thirteen he decided to get high on marijuana. He's 37 now and has been incarcerated for more than half his life all due to drug abuse and parole violations. Oftentimes my nephew writes and curses the day he ever smoked his first joint!

In my opinion, there is nothing recreational about using marijuana. The chances of moving on to more additive substances like heroin and cocaine after experiencing the highs of pot aren't worth the risk.

Don't fall prey to the temptations of  innocent euphoria and wealth, and don't listen to that politician whose name I can't remember!

Monday, September 4, 2017


Over Labor Day weekend, we were invited and happily accepted invitations to two holiday picnics. Now you might not find that out of the ordinary, but we are up in years and as seniors don't expect to be included in the activities of the young and energetic.

Yet, our nephew, Brian, and his lovely wife, Monica, made sure that we were very much included and wanted at their Saturday get-together. There were people of all ages and personalities and, if someone hadn't met before, by the end of the afternoon they'd made new friends. Even though the weather was somewhat gloomy, folks sitting under the porch were gleefully engaged. Both the young and the old had stories to tell, and each group was thoroughly interested in what their counterparts had to say. We joked, teased, and yes, even enlightened one another over the course of an hour or so.

We couldn't play outdoor games due to the persistent rain, but that didn't stop us from coming up with some of our own. Shannon, a 10 year old, Brenna, going on 12, and myself, soon to be 73, hid on the cellar steps, and through a cat door leading to the kitchen,  grabbed the legs of people passing by startling the poor souls, and causing us to giggle ourselves silly! Some of the men were couched in the living room watching college football. They didn't seem to mind the youngsters scooting by the t.v. or one of us popping in to snap a few pics of them in their usual game day spots.

There was enough food to feed a large army, and take-out containers were provided so that everyone could pack up left-overs to enjoy later on. I think that was a super idea, and kind of extended the picnic well beyond our actual time spent in Brian's and Monica's welcoming home!

The crowd sang happy birthday to Kat, turning 4, and to me, turning 73 on the same day, September 9, but Not the same year! We both got to make a wish and blow out our own candles. That to me was symbolic of the spirit of this picnic: respect, acceptance, and love for everybody no matter the age or ability of the invitees to contribute to a holiday celebration. If only our world could be so inclusive...

Around 2:00 on Sunday, Ben and Delcie, our new neighbors, had their tent pitched, tables and chairs in place, chips, fruit and coolers filled with all types of beverages at the ready, eagerly awaiting all picnic-goers to arrive. As each car pulled in, folks made their way up the driveway proudly carrying trays of food to delight the preferences of even the most discerning taste buds. Although there were no youngsters in attendance at this holiday celebration, two dogs managed to provide entertainment as only four-legged creatures can. Oddly enough, one was a 15 year old mutt, the other a spry 6 year old pup who seemed to get along famously.

Again, the mixture of young adults with those of us more mature in years added to the fun rather than casting a pall over the get-together. We all truly enjoyed each other's company, listening to funny stories that included frying whole fish and eating their eyeballs which is customary in Venezuela, engaging in heated corn hole competitions to dethrone Barbie, Ben's mom, and once again, meeting strangers who instantly became friends when sharing food and good company.

As a chill filled the air, Ben started a fire in the pit further on up the hill, and very soon we were all gathered around it to keep warm, not wanting this wonderful picnic to be over just yet. Conversations centered around unusual names, starting with Delcie who was a moniker for toilet paper way back when although spelled differently, to what kind of names the young marrieds would be eventually choosing for their future brood of babies. Hazel, Myrtle, Tekla were only a few of the possibilities offered by both sides of the age spectrum, either because of family connections or past encounters. Thankfully none of these was a real consideration for any of the couples. I'm hoping that Flo might make it on somebody's priority list, but I know that would be a long shot for sure!

As we prepared to depart, hugs and kisses were exchanged, and as we walked to our house the feeling of being wanted and appreciated again washed over me, infusing my heart and soul with positive energy that confirms my belief that people of all ages, cultures, and race can indeed live together in peace and harmony, sharing laughter and love at every turn.