Thursday, August 15, 2013

Sleepless in Springdale

   Here it is, I can't sleep in, very rarely do I wake up eight or later. When that rarity does occur, I call it sleeping in.     I wake up daily anywhere from 4 to 5, 5:30 being the latest. I have tried many times to go back to sleep, but never can. Not wanting to wake up my husband by tossing and turning, I get out of bed and get ready for the day.
  So I take a shower, dress, and come downstairs. Sometimes I make it past the living room into the kitchen. When that happens I usually put water on for tea, while waiting for the water to boil I empty the dishwasher. My mean, lovable cat is meowing for his breakfast, while trying to walk in and out of my ankles. I stop what I'm doing, fix it, and put it down for him, and what does he do? He smells it, puts his nose in the air and walks away.
I say to him " Too bad, buddy, that's all you get till you make it all gone."  I walk away and fix my tea, take it to the dining room table, sit down and stare at - nothing - . My mind isn't together yet, can't look outside because it is still dark. 
     Sometimes when I come downstairs I go straight into the living room and plop on the couch, Deno will come over to be petted and I pet him and pet him until he has had enough. I'll turn on the TV softly or I'll put the computer on and find out what happened while I slept. That being done, I go around collecting all the empty dishes or glasses, gather the newspapers together and take it into the kitchen where I proceed to get the garbage together.
        You have to remember, I have no where to go. I am on leave from work, and most days have no pressing appointments to keep. So why do I get up so early? It sure makes for a long day.
If I were going to work then yes, I would want to be up that early to get chores out of the way but the fact is I'm not, and I'm not planning on making bread or desserts either. My mind is not in functional mode for writing, so that is out of the question.
          What I should do is get my arse out the door and go to daily Mass, but if I do that I miss seeing Ron before he leaves for work.
I guess it's what you call a no -win situation. Unless - you have some ideas you would like to share - - - - please feel free to do so.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

 Dear Friends (including my dear relatives.)
  I am asking you to pray for me tomorrow so that I have no serious complications or side affects from my LAST chemo treatment.
   It seems like forever that I have been getting these and now the end of it is here and the real battle begins.
   Some people with Breast Cancer have the hormone type, with that type there is a pill they can take for five years after. It is like having a safety net, something to back you up.
   With the Breast Cancer that I have there is no safety net, nothing to back me and the others who have the same type -TRIPLE NEGATIVE BREAST CANCER- 
   I, as all others pray to our Lord to keep us in remission, and we have check ups more often, but as of now, Chemo is the only thing that can kill any stray cancer cells that could be floating around in our bodies, and the cancer in the breast.
   They have not found a five year pill to take like they have for positive hormone breast cancer. They are working on it though.
    This time around I had a mastectomy, so I am praying for no recurrence, or for it to be anywhere else in my body. It's a scary thing, living with cancer. I put it out of my mind as much as I can, but no matter what it is always there.
     My sons and their families surprised Ron and myself with a wonderful 50 Wedding Reception, it was the reception we never had, (ours was cut very short by a tornado) most of you know the story. We were truly surprised to see everyone they invited, I don't know how they got the list from my side, but I am pretty sure Ron's mom gave them the list from his side. I have chemo brain to begin with so I believe everything I am told, they said they were taking us to a nice place for dinner and I believed them, it does not take much for me, as for Ron, well he was looking forward to a nice dinner with our sons and their family.  We did have a nice dinner with more than our sons & family, but most of all my brother and Ron's brothers & families, aunts, cousins, close friends - to say  it melted our hearts to see everyone is putting it mildly.
     Any way, as I talked with everyone I wondered if I would ever see them again, so I was trying to absorb everything about them and remembering fun times. Doug helped that with a fantastic slide show of our life "Through The Years."
    My goal is to see my oldest granddaughter graduate and God willing and the creek don't rise, my other grandchildren as well. I will settle for at least one.
    I understand what my mother in law means now, she always says she wants to stay around to see everyone, she does not want to leave us, and that is how I feel.
     I have been more fortunate than most with this illness, and I am very thankful to God for still being here. I will take whatever He gives me and be grateful.
Thank you all for your prayers, you are all in mine. God Bless
 for my grandchildren and theirs also 

Thursday, August 1, 2013


Growing up in the late forties and the fifties, one thing never changed. Women always washed clothes on Monday's.
It was an all day affair back then because women washed with the wringer washer and hardly any one had clothes dryers back then so hanging out the clothes to dry was the thing to do. The washing machine of today was years into the future.

Washing clothes in a wringer washer was to put it simply, a job. You just didn't put dirty clothes in the tub and leave it be. No, you put the clothes in one at a time in a tub filled with hot sudsy soap. You let the machine agitate the clothes for awhile, then stopped the machine to take out clothing one piece at a time to hand feed each piece through the wringer.  After the clothes rung out of the wringer they fell into the connecting tub full of cold clear water where they agitated back and forth to release any left over soapy film. Some people did a double rinse and that included my dad.
There were so many different brands of soap back then. Soap for whitening, for bleaching, for baby diapers. I remember my dad pouring white crystals into the water, and then like magic the water would turn like a blue sky on a summer day. I asked my dad what this did and he told me it makes the whites whiter. I was befuddled so I asked him why the flakes turned the water blue if it was to whiten clothes.  He said it was a special formula that the company made.
      Today I hardly see any of those products on the shelves, I guess they are all in the one box or bottle, but somehow my clothes never seem to get as white as my dad got the clothes,
     All the clothes and sheets got hung out to dry in the nice weather, if it rained or in the winter they were hung in the basement.
     Today we have dryers to dry our clothes, but no way do the clothes or sheets have the smell as when hung outside. I still like to hang sheets outside. Nothing like getting into bed with the fresh smell of the outside,
    A little bit more of my memoirs,

    The week before Palm Sunday already! I have no clue where  the time has went.  Honestly, I wish Lent would start over again.   It has passed me by so fast and I have no one to blame but my self.  If I can find the time for everything else, I should have  found time to take part in Lenten services.
   Do you remember when you were a child how your mom would take you shopping for your Easter Bonnet? Not only a bonnet, but a dress, with white or black paten leather new shoes, along with a new spring coat. 
   I got all of that and would even get a new dress for Palm Sunday,  I felt so special in my new clothes.
How different times were back then. Easter Mass was more like a fashion show then anything else. Every woman and child dressed in their finest, and always a hat. In those years we had to wear a hat or babushka (scarf) to church. 
   It was the custom back then for the women to receive an orchid corsage to wear on their coat or suit for Easter
. My dad always got my mom  one would get me one too. I felt so grown up.
    When I started Catholic grade school I learned the real reason for Easter, that our Lord died on the cross for us. Going to Catholic grade school, I learned about the saints, why the holidays were celebrated, and how Jesus died for us. I also got a awful sense of guilt. The nuns were good at making us feel that way. We had to sit up straight in our chairs and fold our hands when the nuns were talking. You know what though? I would do it all over again

    I remember like it was yesterday that it happened instead of many years ago. I went to confession to our priest Father O'Hara. I confessed one of my sins was forgetting to say my morning prayers. He told me the best way to remember is when I took my shoes off to put them under the bed. In the morning I would have to get on my knees to get them and I would remember to say my morning prayers. 
    I never forgot it.

    Father O'Hara baptized me, heard my first confession, gave me First Holy Communion, was there at Confirmation, and married Ron and I. He was old when I was in grade school, I have no idea how old he was when he married us, I would guess ancient (lol).
I remember two other priests that left a lasting impression on me and that was Father Gladyis and Father Peterman. Some of the nuns that taught me in grade school also left a lasting impression and they were: Sister Mary, principle, Sister Roselyn, Sister Opportune, Sister Phyllis and Sister Barbara.

  Just a little bit more of my memoirs


I was a newly married young woman of 3 months when the first historical event happened.
It started out like any other day; we were still getting use to living with each other.   We hurriedly showered and dressed for work so we could have a leisurely cup of coffee together.  Then it was time to go, at that time he worked in Large and would drive though Glassport where I worked, so he would drop me off.
The beauty shop was having a busy, noisy day in November of 1963; everyone was talking about the holidays and food. The bell jingled on the door alerting us that a client had entered. She hurriedly came walking in the room with her coat and gloves still on. She asked us if we had heard that a sniper shot President Kennedy.  Immediately the room went so quiet, you could hear a pin drop. We just stared at her, no one could believe it. Someone went and put the radio on so we could hear more of what happened.  Right after that my husband, Ron called me to tell me he heard it also. Kennedy died that day - It was a very sad day, and everyone was subdued.
Not long after, the police arrested Lee Harvey Oswald for President Kennedy’s murder. He was in jail and while being transferred to prison, he was shot to death by Jack Ruby, who came out of nowhere. Jack Ruby spent the rest of his days in prison and died there.
I can continue to write about Kennedy’s funeral and Vice President Johnson becoming President, but it would turn into a novel!  In addition to this historical event, there are other events to mention.

Bobby Kennedy, President Kennedy's brother was assassinated and so was Martin Luther King. So much history we have lived through.
There was “Watergate” where President Nixon had to resign because of stolen documents. Gerald Ford became our President then.

I'm stopping at this part - so much more to cover - I'll leave it for another time


People have a hard time accepting change. Someone recently said , “soon children won’t know how to write in cursive,”  I believe that. The advancement of technology is changing constantly. We are learning new ways of doing things every day,

Computers were non existent when I went to school. In fact it wasn't until the late 1980 that I got a handle on how to use computers. My husband showed me how to use it, he was way ahead of  the times when he chose to go to computer school when he graduated high school. Smart move on his part, very smart move, because today in the 2000's it is the way the world is run - A brand new world has opened for children today, they have such an advantage by using the computer in the schools and researching their projects. We did not know that some day our own children would have such a wide variety of electronics to choose from, like,  have the WI, the X Box, I-Pad, I-phone, etc., The VCR- why that is obsolete today - yes, a whole new world for our grandchildren than the one we had or our children had.
Today, children are taught a completely different way of doing the three R's, reading, writing and arithmetic, ( math) then we were taught. They did not learn how to read with Dick and Jane. In pre-school and kindergarten they already know the alphabet and how to count to twenty if not beyond. They learn how to write their name and have to have memorized their address and phone number. When I was a child we went straight into first grade.  We had typewriters, do you know what a typewriter is? Today children have computers and printers that print out their work.

The kids today don’t have to use carbon paper to make duplicate copies. They just push the number of how many copies they need on the copier.  Now we have the e-reader, books on CD’s – who knows if books will be in use in the future, or if we still will have the wonderful library to visit.

Our grandchildren’s children will go to a museum to look at what we used. Some examples; The typewriter, the data cards, the adding machine (calculating machine) , DVD’s. Encyclopedias that are not used today because of access to computers. All that will be in the museum along with many more items.

They will look at it all and think of it as antiques - funny - we looked at our parents way of growing up as antiques and old fashion and now we will be looked on as antiques and old fashion.
          Such is life


Bridge In The Forest Free Stock Photos This long bridge has to be crossed to get to the other side of the river. The other side, I wonder what awaits a person when they have crossed? Is it a doctor's appointment, a luncheon date, or a shopping trip? No matter what the reason, this bridge has to be crossed if your going to Monroeville via the turnpike.

It is a new, long bridge that I  now feel safe crossing. It has a couple of pull off places where you can pull off your car if you have car trouble.  Not like the old one that they just tore down. It did not have a pull off in case of car trouble. That bridge gave me the he be gee-bees, especially whenever a tractor trailer passed me, or if it was a windy day. I could feel my car swaying and I had to have two hands on the wheel to keep it going in a straight line, and sometimes shaking with the wind, I could not get across fast enough. My blood pressure probably went sky high at those times.

I'm entering a new decade in ten days. I will begin my seventh year on this earth. I am thankful, but not thrilled with the fact, but it is what it is and I can't do anything about it. When a person enters this stage of their life, they are not at the sunrise, but looking at the sunset which hopefully is  a long way down the road before it reaches the bridge to cross over to the other side. 

Do You Remember - - - ?

    As a child there was a chore that only I did. It was a boring job, and didn't require much muscle. I did it at least once a month. Today, I doubt if anymore does it, except maybe by the affluence.
    I sat at the table in the kitchen and had two rubbing towels, and a open jar of Wright's Silver Ware Polish along with that all of the silverware and anything else silver that needed done. One piece at a time, I rubbed the polish into the silver, put that piece down and went on to the others. When done I would get the other cloth and rub the polish off of each piece. Then I would put all the silverware into hot soapy water.
  A mundane job, but one I remember and would gladly do again in my parents kitchen.
   How many of us still do that today? I would bet not to many of us, but for old time sake I just bought a jar and intend to use it in the near future, just for memory sake.

I Remember MAMA

I stopped awhile and smelled the flowers today. I was thinking of my Mom  and  I realized that precious memories were slipping away.  I never saw my Mom old. She passed at 73, but she looked like she was 63. My Mom was pretty, and she had class. She knew how to dress in style, her makeup was perfect, as was her hair, She had good, strong nails and they were always manicured. I never saw them messed up and she worked hard..

I don't know much about my mom's childhood years. I know she was born at home in Forbes Road, PA, a small mining town right outside of Greensburg. Her mother named her Nina Rose, but seeing how ill she was as an infant, she changed the name to Rose Dolores. My grandmother believed if she changed my mother's name, she would get well, and she did.

 My mom was one of 8, there were 3 girls and 5 boys. One brother died at the age of 10 from polio. My grandmother was married to a mean man, it was an arranged marriage made by my great grandfather. He wanted his daughter to be able to go to America so she could have a good life, and by the arranged marriage she did. She came over at age 15 on the boat by herself, where so many including her were sea sick.
She came through Ellis Island and did not know or understand one word of English. Not one of their kids graduated from high school. The depression was on and they had to find jobs to supplement my grandparents income. They delivered papers, baked cookies, and my grandmother did sewing for people.

I know when my mom became older she moved out to Squirrel Hill, where her one sister was working as  cleaning lady. My aunt helped my mom get a job as a domestic. *maid.  The people she worked for taught her well, she was always cleaning at home, our house was spotless, you could eat off of the basement floor. She was also one terrific cook and made delicious home made rolls and deserts.

I'm missing my mom today, and my dad. It is a beautiful day, it would be a perfect day for me to visit them, or they me. I can't even drive to the cemetery, it is a forty minute drive one way, located in Braddock Hills.
 I am a local driver, I never go out of my comfort zone, which explains why I don't drive to a lot of places I want to go to, like the cemetery.
My Mom and Dad graves are on top of the hill, they are surrounded by my dad's parents and siblings. I use to be able to climb the short hill, but no longer will my knees get me up there. Trees are not on the section where they are , it is all open. My brother goes out there often to  make sure the graves are maintained.

I had the radio on and the song, "Smile"( even though your heart is breaking ) came on, it reminded me so much of my Mom. The words described her to a T.,  she never complained about her life or her health.  She was widowed at the young age of 55. My dad was 11 years older and had just turned 66 when he passed. away  in 1976.

Mom never remarried, I don't even know if she wanted to. I never asked her. I remember at one time she told me that a guy we both knew had asked her to go out and she said no. She was good friends with his wife who had passed years before. I don't think she could love anyone like she loved my dad and I don't believe she could ever find anyone who loved her like my dad, 

When my dad passed, life went on in the same house, I never heard her cry.  She never said  if she was lonely, or sad. And I never asked, it never dawned on me. I looked and saw my parents as solid pillars of strength. Not once did I ever see weakness in either one of them, not even when my dad was told he had cancer, not even when my mom found out it was terminal. They kept their feelings inside, or maybe they shared their thoughts with each other, I hope so. They never reached their anniversary of forty years. I feel so bad when I think of it. Not fair, so not fair.

They never talked about bills, problems, or any unpleasantness to us. I never lacked for anything, I asked and they got it for me. In my senior year of high school I drove my dad's car to school everyday, it was instant popularity. The guys loved the car and the girls all wanted to ride with me. I took having the car for granted, like I did everything else. Years later, I realized how truly blessed I was, and how much my parents indulged me.

My brother lived at home, so after my dad passed, my mom felt needed in taking care of her son, and he took care of her. I think my brother  resented the fact that I lived an hour away, raising four kids, with no time to go out and help. Did I make the time, NO.  Could I have made the time, YES.  Everything fell on him.  He never came right out and said that, but he hinted many a times. never in front of my mom. That would of crushed her

. She thought the sun and moon raised on him, and he could do no wrong. I felt guilty not going out to visit like I should have.  I was the daughter, I wanted to be there, but how could I go visit with four kids at home, and of course the driving problem, though I would of forced myself I think. Towards the end, my mom had COPD, I did not know how serious it was until one day when I called the doctor to ask how my mother was doing. He asked me why I did not visit more, when he told me I should, I realized how serious my mom's health problem was.

My mom had so many friends, just not acquaintances, but good friends. They cared for her and she for them. She always had friends coming and going. While she was healthy she went to the Meadows with them, out to eat, she did so many things and kept busy.
Thank God for all the good friends she had, she was blessed with them.

My son is busy digging up his garden area, he does not have a rototiller. He does not mind he said, it is go exercise.

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