Friday, November 20, 2015

Dolores Rose: Family Tradition

Dolores Rose: Family Tradition: I'm so proud of "The Family Tradition Band." That wasn't the name they started out with. The original name was "A Da...

Family Tradition

I'm so proud of "The Family Tradition Band." That wasn't the name they started out with. The original name was "A Dad & His Lads.
Ron started our sons out at an early age playing instruments and singing. Our oldest son Ron had just started to play the saxophone, Brian was a natural, playing the drums. Doug played the tambourine and Jeff played "Mattel" guitar! 
They played at church functions, schools, picnics, & graduations. Everyone loved them and the fact that it was a dad and his sons, Ron did the lead guitar and sang, while the boys played their instruments. I bought the boys matching vests so they would look the same, and Ron always wore a white shirt.
A family tradition began with a father sharing his love of music with his sons, and they in turn loving it as much as him.
All through their younger years, teenage years, adult into the present day, they continue to sing and play instruments. Of course Jeff no longer plays Mattel guitar, he plays a real one, Ron J left the sax for guitar, Brian is still playing the drums, and Doug sang for while with them. 
They had jam sessions down in the basement, out on the patio, during the holidays, doing fund- raisers, playing at birthday parties, and it still goes on - as each year they sound better and better.
They expanded their Family Tradition Band  with April, who has a fantastic voice and Bob on rhythm guitar. They could of truly been the next American Idol winners if they had tried out.
They play out for birthday parties or anniversaries. And of course the event of the year is "The Barn Party"
 Our 3rd son, Doug, dropped out of the band many years ago, but his dad and brothers keep trying to bring him back into the fold - some day I hope it happens to make it truly complete.
 What do I do? I critique the music, but mostly sit back and enjoy listening, and marvel at how far they have come.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

So - interested in your opinion please

Through the years I always looked forward to reading the daily paper. I started out by reading the comics as a child. I looked forward to reading Nancy, Archie, etc. During those years my dad  sent me to the Paper Store to buy it. Later on delivery service brought it to our door, and still does today, except mostly it can be found in the yard or driveway, hardly ever in the box that it is suppose to be put in.
Yes, we still have the paper delivered, and I still read the comics along with the news, and whatever seems interesting to me. It has always has been a tradition to read the paper after dinner and Sunday afternoons. I do enjoy the Sunday Paper and still look forward to both the Valley and Press.
 Today, well lets say I just take the daily paper for granted, why? Because in todays world, the news is right at my fingertips with all of the technology. Heck, I can even get store's coupons off of my phone! There's the internet, smart phone, tablet, and t.v. - But-yes - I do still look forward to the editorials, letters from the people, and of course the comics and ads.
   Ron does not read the paper except for articles I save for him, so it is just me and I don't know if it is worth the price of the daily newspaper only for me - so I'm asking you - what do you think?
Let me take this one step further, Ron & I both have smart phones and the landline. I want to get rid of the landline and he does not - what have you done?
 I hope I get some opinions on this as I am really wanting to know.
     This is truly the last week of summer, as fall starts this coming week. Time for pumpkins, trees turning their leaves into beautiful display of color. I cannot believe how fast the seasons go, especially when the rains came and continued for awhile.
   ~~~~~ Not too many September morns left to enjoy the flowers, the gardens, the sounds of summer, so stop what your doing, go outside and look, really look around, take a deep breath and say a thank you to our Lord for being able to do this,  Then say a prayer for the refuge families that are risking all so they can let their children have a free life by taking them out of the ravaged war area. Memories are soothing to the soul


Thursday, August 6, 2015

Dolores Rose on Clark's Summit

  I grew up in a small booming steel mill town in the fifties and sixties. Beside the Foundry and Copperweld, there was the” Glass House” and that is how my hometown got its name – “Glassport.”

 I grew up a city girl, I lived with my parents and younger brother in an alley behind the main street. At night, in bed, I could hear the streetcars, trucks, and cars going through town. I also heard the trains rumbling on the tracks, and sometimes, during the night, the whistle blew. The trains had a caboose back in the day, a man sat in the caboose, and he would wave to us when we waved.  I fell asleep to those sounds every night.

 When I turned seven years old, I got my first puppy dog, Skippy. He was all white and such a good little dog. He use to follow me to school and the nuns would make me send him back home, if I didn’t, he would have waited for me all day. I had him for a while, he was my best friend. I looked forward to going home after school, because I knew he would be there waiting for me to play with him. One day I came home and he didn’t come to greet me. My parents were sitting at the kitchen table waiting for me, they told me they had to give my dog, Skippy away because he had the mange. I was heartbroken, I didn’t even get a chance to say goodbye, or hug him one more time. The grief is still inside of me and I still remember him wagging his tail when he saw me.

  Hemlock Alley was a great place to live. It was filled with kids playing dodge ball, riding bikes, playing tag, mumbly peg, or the guys stood at the corner of the alley talking or “watching the girls go by”. We girls hung out at the local drugstore, having vanilla or cherry cokes, sitting in booths talking about boys, their D. A. haircuts, dances, skating, hair, and clothes. In the summertime – Glassport Swimming Pool was “thee” place. Every day, usually 6 days a week I could be found there along with mostly all the other kids that lived in town.

   On Sundays all the stores were closed, it was truly a day of rest. We would go to church and either family & grandma would come for dinner at our home, or we would go to my grandmothers for dinner. It was either homemade gnocchi, ravioli, pasta, Braciola, with homemade bread. I didn’t care what it was because it was all delicious.   

 We didn’t have a sit down breakfast on Saturday or Sundays. Saturday we were on our own, and Sunday was always an early Italian dinner, usually around one o’clock.

 It was an innocent time. Moms didn’t have to work outside the home, they made homemade meals and baked cookies.  I remember my mom making homemade Eggnog. It was so delicious, made with one raw egg, milk, vanilla, and sugar, beaten with hand beaters until foamy. And - my mom made the best “eggs & toast” when I was sick. It was a 3 minute egg mixed with toast that was torn up in a bowl. Her Pastina soup would make any one better!  When I was a young mom and my boys got sick, I made the same things for them, and they liked it as much as I did.

  Our teenage “bad things” consisted of smoking, and the guys also liked to drink beer. We had our own “Fonz.” He use to ride on his motorcycle up to the high school every day at noon. The guys would gather around him and the girls would admire him from afar.

   Most of us after high school didn’t go to college. I went to Franco’s Beauty School in Pittsburgh, graduated, and worked as a hairdresser at Yolanda’s Beauty Shop. Guys who didn’t go to college went to trade school or went to work in the steel mills.

   I married at the age of 20 and had my first born at 21, and 3 more followed. My 20ty’s were “having baby” years. I had four boys between 1964 and 1971, with the two oldest being Irish Twins!

The time has gone so fast, I cannot believe I am now in my twilight years. It does not seem possible, truly, it doesn’t.

   I’m not complaining, believe me when I say I am thankful I have made it this far.  God willing and the creek don’t rise (as my dad would say), He will let me live to see my oldest granddaughter graduate from high school.


They call us “survivors.” They say that the day you are diagnosed, you are a survivor. I will just say that I have had cancer 3 times. The first time was in 2006, the second time in 2013 and was called a recurrence – of Triple Negative Breast Cancer, the fourth time in 2014, was called metastasized – stage 4, because it went to my right lung.

My oncologist says I am stable, not NED (no evidence of disease), but stable because I still have some spots on my right lung.  I am taking oral chemo pills to hopefully keep me stable or better yet NED.

The pills I take one week on, and one week off. The week on I am fatigued and in pain, but I push on because it is better than sitting at home twiddling my thumbs.  Working 3 days a week keeps me sane, and I am around people. I would not see or talk to a sole if I stayed at home. No one is around, the phone does not ring, (sometimes I wonder if people think I’m contagious) so I am very thankful for my work at the library.

I get so involved that I forget about unpleasantness, until it is time for me to get up to get a drink, or go to the rest room – (I am unsteady on my feet and walk as if I have had a little too much to drink.)

God has been so very good to me. I pray to Him and St. Jude every day. St. Jude is the saint of the hopeless or impossible. I have other saints I pray to also but not every day.

 I’m thankful for the little things. You know how people try to make out dogs, dragons or cars from the clouds? I look for and make out angels. I have not only seen them in the clouds, but a lot of them here on earth.





Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day, my 50th!

  My family and I just celebrated a wonderful Mother's Day, the weather even cooperated!
I can't believe that this is my 50th year as a mother.
    I can still visualize the nurse placing this little bundle into my arms, and seeing his bright little blue eyes looking into mine, my heart melted. I felt this deep love along with apprehension, realizing that I was responsible for this precious life. We named him Ronald John, Ronald after my husband, John after my dad. Nick name was Ron Jon.
     Ron and I were in awe of our son, if he so much as made a sound we would both jump up, (I'm sure all of you who may be reading this and are parents know what I mean.) It ended up we jumped up a lot because he was colicky, he cried constantly, day and night. Poor little thing couldn't adjust to the formula until the doctor told us to put him on Carnation Milk diluted. That did the trick. Finally we could enjoy him the way we should.
    He was a happy little baby always smiling and he was smart too. Not only that, but he walked at 9 months! That's just about the time I gave birth to our second son, yes - Irish twins they call it. Ron and Brian are the same age for close to two weeks!
    When I was pregnant with Brian, I didn't know how I would be able to love him, I had so much love for our first, that I didn't think it was possible to have love for two. I remember asking my mother-in-law -" how am I going to love this baby?"  She said,  "it comes naturally, you'll see."  Of course she was right, I fell in love all over again when my 2nd little 9-1/2 lb., baby boy was born. Where our first weighed 7-1/2 lb. and was blond and blue eyed, this little guy was chubby and had lots of dark hair. So different, like night and day. He was not colicky and slept through the night almost immediately.
      Life settled into a happy routine for me. I became I stay at home mom and enjoyed every minute of it. I was a twin of Betty Crocker, I made homemade bread, pies, cakes, but mostly I enjoyed and  learned how to become a mom, and  loved every minute of it. I read to them, played with them and watched them play with each other. It really was almost like having twins. They made me laugh with their antics and worry when they ran a fever.
      Four years after Brian was born, I gave birth to another little boy, Douglas. I had gall -bladder attacks carrying Doug, and had to be hospitalized. They put me in a private room away from all the mom's that just gave birth.  I could here the other mom's talking, and one had a music box that played Toyland. I loved that song so much and was so happy every time it was played. I told Ron I wanted that for a gift when I gave birth, but I didn't get it until years later, many years later, but it still means so much to me. Doug was born in 1969, the same year that the man walked on the moon!  He was a delightful baby and so good. Ron Jon & Brian were always wanting to hold him and play with him. Two years after that I gave birth to our 4th little boy, Jeffrey David. He, too was such a good baby. I was blessed.
     I had complicated pregnancy with Jeff, I started to hemorrhage and had to spend time in the hospital again. While the doctor was examining me, he asked me what I thought was a strange question. He asked if I really wanted to have this baby! I was shocked that he asked me such a thing, I said yes, of course I want my baby. So he prescribed these pills that I had to take for the rest of my pregnancy. (years later I found out that the pills I took could cause thyroid cancer in girls that were born during that time and the mothers had to take the pill.) Then they told me that I had to stay on bed rest until he was born. Let me tell you, that was tough trying to stay on bed rest. We had just moved into our brand new home we had built, a two story and I was not allowed to climb steps!. My husband had to work, and I had to take care of my other 3 little ones. I was frightened that I was not going to be able to carry to full term. It was a scary time for me. I did carry Jeff though and he was born on time, the only thing is that I hemorrhaged afterwards also, which really scared me. To this day I hate the sight of blood.
    Not only all of that, but they induced me twice with Jeff. And then, I developed post partum depression, Gowd was I a mess!  At that time, people were ashamed to admit that they suffered from it. It was kept hush, hush. people were not aware of what caused it and looked at you strangely. I never told my mom because I was ashamed, but thank God for my mother-in-law. She came down everyday to take care of the kids, because I was in no shape to do so. It lasted from August until November, Thanksgiving to be exact. Depression is disabling, but I never wanted to hurt my baby like some women have done. Today post-partum depression is accepted, understood, and treated, thank goodness.
      After that ordeal was over, I was finally able to be a real mom. There is nothing better than being  mom to my sons. I would not trade them for anything. I was the first female in their lives and remained number one until each of them started kindergarten. Each of them fell in love with their teacher! Yes, I was heartbroken, now they wanted to share their cookies with their teacher instead of me, but hey, I still had them when they came home.
       It seemed like I just celebrated my 50th birthday, but - no - it is my oldest son who is 50. He is still lovable, and happy. His brothers all look up to him and each other. Sure there have been squabbles here and there, but when it comes right down to it, there is love.
          I truly think I was born to be a Mother and to this day enjoy it and treasure my sons.

Thursday, May 7, 2015



Funny title for a blog eh? But just like there is - "What's in a Name? -" there is "What's in a Smell?"
It's not the best spring day, its not the worst spring day, but a day that I can open my window. As I do, I am immediately taken back home to Glassport, my hometown.
  The smell as I opened the window was that of the foundry,  where my dad worked, I can see the black lunch bucket he carried back and forth to work everyday. He usually walked the many blocks it took to get to work, sometimes he got a ride with a friend, but not often.
 Not a bad smell at all, but, oh, the memories that came flooding back in my mind! I visualized so many things all at  once, it doesn't seem possible that so many visions went through my head at the same time, but they did.
  I see my mom in the kitchen kneading dough to make homemade buns, the decorative glass bowl sits out, the one my mom made the salad in everyday for dinner, that bowl is in my china closet now, along with the red and white bowl my mom used in making her delicious biscuits. I treasure them.  (I wonder if, when I am gone my sons will remember - I should write notes to put in them so they know how special they are to me, along with my baby dish when I was a baby.)
 I see the produce store with Mr. Orlando sweeping out front with his hat on, and Mattie walking down the main street, smiling and waving at everyone, such a sweet guy. There's Mrs. Darling from Darling's Market, and her husband and son, Saul. The dentist, Dr.Raden, Dr. Cibric, who made house calls, Dr, Finemen, the eye doctor. I can hear the sound of the streetcar doors opening so we could get on or off  at the Paper Store. The fountain water changing colors at night. Islay's, where we got the most delicious ice cream cones, and mouth watering chipped ham.
 I can still hear the 4 o'clock whistle signaling the end of the day shift at the foundry, and us kids knowing that it was time to head home for "supper."  We didn't have frozen food back in the day, everything was made fresh (without antibiotics in the meat.)
 My mom always had a bowl of fruit for dessert on weekdays, on weekends there were pies, and cakes. I can't really remember mom making cookies except at Christmas time. I can see the clothes hanging out to dry, towels and all, there were no dryers back then.
  Yes, there is a lot in a smell, at least for me, and this I smelled when I opened the window this morning.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Living With Cancer

          Tomorrow, Tuesday, March 3 is Triple Negative Breast Cancer Day - This cancer is not the kind you want to have if you have to have cancer at all. The only drug that attacks it is chemo.
         There are so many different kinds of chemo that are used, it depends on the type of breast cancer you have. People receive more than one drug at a time usually, along with steroids, anti-nausea meds and who knows what else that they are pumping into your veins. 
           It usually takes about four hours, during that time I would talk with Ron, we would talk to others in the room, or  look through cancer magazines. There were sometimes that I would take a nap and Ron would go exploring the floor.If my appointment was in the mid-morning, we would still  be there when they served a light lunch. I sat in a recliner, but Ron had to sit in a regular chair. The nurses were very kind, and if they were not too busy they would make us laugh. At one treatment Ron and the nurses sang doo wop songs, they had the whole room involved. It was a nice session. Some people had their treatments in private rooms while they were in bed. When a person was finished with Chemo the nurses would make a big deal out of it and gave out a diploma to show that they got through the treatments.
          The type of cancer I had/have is the same kind of cancer that Robin Roberts had, Triple Negative Breast Cancer.  I was diagnosed in October, the 17 of 2006. After many tests, scans, x-rays, MRI's - I had  a lumpectomy on Nov. 27, 2006. I really wanted a mastectomy, but my doctor told me that I didn't need one. They told me it was a very early cancer, with no lymph node involvement. I was Stage 1, grade 2.  I remember so vividly the one doctor telling me that this was just a bump in the road and I could go on and live my life after my treatments and radiation. I believed him.
           I had to have 5 very strong treatments of chemo followed by 33 rounds of radiation. I had a very scary side affect after my first chemo treatment. My white blood cells crashed, it actually went down to zero, which is bad. This happened three days after the treatment. I was running a fever and called the doctor who told me to go to the emergency room. At the hospital I was put into a private room and everyone had to put on a  mask and gloves before coming into the room. I didn't have an  immune system to combat any germs that might be floating around. Thank goodness for Neulasta, it somehow works in bringing the white blood count back up. After that we had to drive to AGH the next day after treatments so I could get the Neulasta shot. There were no problems with my count after that. I am not sure if that is the correct spelling of the word.
         I was relatively healthy at the time I was diagnosed, so I was able to work during treatment plus continue to exercise. Pretty much my life went back to normal after it all was done, except I had to have a pacemaker put in for Atrial Fib that I developed caused from the radiation treatments.
        Two years after I had to have a radical hysterectomy. I came home with a catheter that I had for a week. Not very pleasant and I could not wait to get it out. Otherwise everything went well with the operation and no cancer was found,
       I have not felt carefree or normal since having cancer, I have been robbed of those wonderful days of waking up feeling normal and carefree. Sure, there are days when I don't think about it as much, but not a day goes by that I don't. All I have to do is  look in the mirror if nothing else.
         5-1/2 years later my doctors told me I was on my way out. They considered me in permanent remission and they didn't want to see me for a year - a whole year! I was thrilled, I actually believed them. Finally I could start making plans for the future, my doctors told me I had it licked. That was in December, 2012.  I felt the lump in January of 2013 (same breast-recurrence) and on Feb.27, 2013  I had a mastectomy. Recuperating this time was hell for me. I had drains, pains, and too much time by myself except for visiting nurses. After I healed from all of the above, I had to go through 6 rounds of Chemo, this time with side effects, I had abnormal bleeding, I was extremely fatigued and had a hard time moving around. Treatment lasted from March until August 2013. It was nothing like the first time.  I actually had to take a leave of absence from work because of fatigue and off and on pain. I was really weepy this time, I don't know if it was from losing a breast or the fact that the cancer came back.  As I started to heal mentally and physically,  I started to  think," now I will be ok  - it's gone, no lymph node involvement, clear margins, they got it all out, and I made it through all the treatments - I'll be okay now."  WRONG -
        I was having a CT scan for another issue when the doctor told me that the CT scan showed the spot on my lung had gotten a little bigger from the last time I had a CT scan. I didn't even know I had a spot, no one ever mentioned it to me. So to make a long story short, that is how I found  out by accident that the breast cancer went to my lung. Even though it was devastating to find out, I was fortunate that the CT scan for another problem showed that spot was larger. 
        There it started all over again, I had to go to a pulmonary doctor and surgeon, I had to have a biopsy of the lung. The biopsy came back negative, even though the pet scan showed differently. I have to say I truly did not think it was cancer because of my so called gut feeling and the results of the biopsy. But my pulmonary doc explained it to me this way. "a pepper can look so perfect from the outside, all red and shiny, but when you cut the pepper open, you see that it is rotten by the core."
So this past August of 2014, I had a cancerous triple negative breast cancer nodule removed from my lung. I have seventy percent lung capacity and still have 3 spots on my lung at this time, but am now taking oral Chemo to hopefully shrink the spots and keep the cancer at bay.
      The last CT scan showed activity in the frontal part of my skull, so I had to have another test to see if it was cancer. I was really beside myself, even though my doctor said that radiation would take care of it, I didn't want it to be cancer.  I had that test this past Thursday and found out today, Monday that it is not cancer. God is so good to me and I am so very thankful. I am also thankful for all who pray for me. It is such a comfort.
       I'm living a new normal now. Cancer has taken its toll on me. I have chemo brain, *(yep it really exist) I have a hard time with my balance, and I walk like I'm drunk. Plus the fatigue, joint and back pain stop me from doing the things that were so normal to me before. Like going to a bookstore and browsing through everything at my leisure, going shopping - I really miss shopping, both grocery and department store. I am thankful that I can still go to work at a place I love and enjoy, I am still able to attend the grand kids activities and do what Ron loves most, go out to eat.
        Ron does the cooking now, lets face it - he does mostly everything. He is so good to me, he never complains, but yet listens to me complain- which I do a lot, trust me. I get upset because I can't walk right - climb steps as if they were mountains, if I want to work in the kitchen I have to sit on a chair, and the HERNIA.
       BUT- I am so thankful for what I do have, for my family, my life - yes my life - I am still here and try to make the most of the day I have been blessed with.
                       I am blessed in so many ways that I have no right to complain at all.

This has not been double checked for mistakes, so there are probably many - just ignore or correct what ever you feel like doing -

Dee's shared items


This time of year makes me think of all of those things I have to be thankful for - - - -
my husband
my children
my grandchildren
my health
my freedom
always thankful for friends made