Friday, August 31, 2007


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

It has been a beautiful week of baseball in our house! OH YEAH!! Can I just say, wait, my blog, yes. I. can!!! The Yankees SWEPT the Sox - three games this week. OUCH!

Last night, we went to the stadium; not the Yankee stadium because we don't live THERE, but to Mc Arthur, no now it's P&C or is it? Anyway the Yank farm team was playing against our locals, who are owned by the Boo Jays. So we went to root for - of course - the Yanks!

We were bored out of our ever loving minds. The second inning lasted forever. Which is where we left. The Yanks won, Naturally!

The kids had fun; they each had spending money, bought junk food, in the form of pure junk. Cotton candy at $4, fried dough at $4, which was microwaved and chewy and disgusting. A coke for $2.50 - very tasty! The best was the ice cream at $3 - could have bought a 1/2 gallon, but hey, it was fun!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I love the Yankees! The stinker about watching the game yesterday was this: I had to leave in the middle of the 7th inning to take Marisa to her Sophmore orientation. No big deal, I have radio in my van, I can turn it on and get the game on, right. They were ahead.

When I left the house, I was totally SIKED!!!! Revved for the Yanks. All of a sudden, as I'm headed to the school and Chamberlain is pitching, he gets thrown from the game; WTF!!! AND so does Torre! Now, being in the car, with announcers not really knowing what's going on, and I can't see what's happening. I'm. just. a. freaking. out. of. my. MIND!!!!!!! SERIOUSLY!

Not to mention, I had left my stupid phone at home charging, WHICH, I don't ever use for anything BUT an emergency. This renders an emergency. Totally. As I have NO freaking idea what's going on; the announcers don't understand why Chamberlain is being thrown out for two, TWO high pitches, and no, NO NO NO NO, did I mention, NO warning!!!!! (I'm just a little hyper at this point) WHAT IS GOING ON????? AHHH AHH AHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

Now we enter the school, many breaks in the bad station, nothing more to be said about the game, and I am an entire ball of energy - wanting really only to know what is going on in the game. Hey, who are they going to put in? Hopefully, Rivera. MMMMMMmmmmmm. Be still my heart! I love to watch him clean up. Anyway, I can't, I am stuck in a steambath of testosterone and teenagers. Oh now this is fun.

But in reality, it was. My old alma mater, how weird, now my Cinderisa entering the gates. Did I NOT just post about old age! Stink! It's amazing how big the old high school is. I don't recognize it at all.

We searched and searched and freaking searched for locker and classrooms. We ran into old classmates, and she is so excited to start school next week.

At the same time, Christina had gone to her Welcome Back Bar-b-Que with a friend. Thankfully, because I cannot possibly be in two places at once. She was able to see some old teachers and former classmates; and she, too is anxious to start school.

This weekend, the three of them are off to the Big Apple with their Dad and step-Mom to visit new family they haven't yet met. Very exciting! They will see the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building.

As for me, I will collapse and watch the Yanks. Preferably with a glass of wine. I wish for you all a wonderful and safe holiday weekend.


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Shopping with a loaded Marine

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Today was another adventure I like to send Frank out on. Buuut, since he's out making the $$ for the family; it has come to my attention that it's my job to take the kids; dare I say - school shopping. for. clothes. (This is where I now drop my head very hard thankyouverymuch to the desk, which is the old teacher metal laminated kind and very very hard kind.) Wait, no pity coming from ANYONE?????

Here's the thing; I HATE to shop! I don't mind going to the grocery store, or the Home Depot; but to the mall or any type of clothing for myself or the kids - I'm the one kicking and screaming. Seriously, I'd rather go visit my dentist. No joke! I hate hate HATE to shop. I can't really express it much more than that.

AND, I did it yesterday. with. Ms. Melodrama - Christina. It was, thankfully, a very short trip to the mall. We hit one store, she picked up, I think 2 shirts, 2 hoodies; I got a pair of dress pants and a nice shirt. Why not, right? We were done in under 2 hours.

Not today! No no, not happening today. Our first mission was really the Home Depot. Which we did in an hour. Shopped out 2 different patio doors, one storm door, qt of paint, sand paper and 3 candy bars. Cha-ching! Off to the mall we go.....

What does a six year old do while shopping with Mom and teen sister? What else? He was very occupied! He had his Marine gun (from his little Marine men - you remember - very small), and he made things AND people blow up. He took cover under clothing racks. Cuz, that's fun when you're knee-high to a grasshopper. He yelled, "SURRENDER!!" to the manequins. and they did. Very entertaining.

Christina would NOT have enjoyed this. No, not at all. She would have rolled her eyes and growled his name; and told me how embarrassed she was. UGH, poor thing.

But Marisa and I just kept shopping, shopping shopping. (Yes, you must insert the Nemo-Dory thing going through your head when you read this. It works much better that way.
) Every once in a while, I would look back and make sure my littlest Marine was still there with me. In case, you know, I didn't hear rapid gun-fire and explosions. He really is a great sport.

Right now, his buddy, Eric and he are upstairs shooting each others guts out with their Marines. So cute. There was a time when I refused to believe that was "OK" for a kid to play with; and at times, I still cringe. But he is a boy, and I believe it's in his genetic code.

Oh, then there's the Marine brother that lives here when he's home on leave. That just may be another influence. Perhaps. How he misses his brother. He sleeps with his picture still, on his headboard, right next to his Dad's.

It's good to know that Philip is here in the States, safe. We know he is in training to go back in just a few short months. There are more that are still there; some that have been for longer. Where will they lay their head tonight?

I have been trying for way too many hours than I want to admit to get a video on here - it didn't work! I'm so sorry. Anyway, I miss Philip, we ALL miss Philip. Pray for our military - they so deserve our support.


Saturday, August 25, 2007

Old Age

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I received the following in an email from my husband this morning, and I liked it. It's not written by him, and I don't really know to whom to give credit to - but just the same, it is a lesson I thing we all can learn from:

The other day a young person asked me how I felt about being old. I was taken aback, for I do not think of myself as old. Upon seeing my reaction, she was immediately embarrassed, but I explained that it was an interesting question, and I would ponder it, and let her know.

Old Age, I decided, is a gift. I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be. Oh, not my body! I sometime despair over my body, the wrinkles, the baggy eyes, and the sagging butt. And often I am taken aback by that old person that lives in my mirror (who looks like my mother!), but I don't agonize over those things for long.

I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, my loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly. As I've aged, I've become more kind to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend. I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need, but looks so avante garde on my patio. I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant.

I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging. Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 AM and sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60&70's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love ... I will.

I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set. They, too, will get old. I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things.

Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody's beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.

As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong. So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day. (If I feel like it)


Now don't you feel just a bit freer to be your own age! I do, but I still won't let you know how young I am. By the way, by sister turned 40 yesterday. Happy Birthday, Denise!! She looks great!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Another monster got me. I've been down for days, and I'm going to try to get up today.

What really sucks is that I was hoping to have some fun with my kids on their last few weeks home before going back to school; but that just isn't going to happen this week. Maybe next week. Maybe we can all take a day trip to the Fair or go do some much-needed school shopping.

Tomorrow is supposed to hit 90, oh yeah. I'm sure I'll be calling my doc and pleading to get into the infusion center. I should be there now, but I'm stupidly holding out. For what, I'm not really sure. I'm actually hanging in there relatively OK, compared to what I used to feel; so I guess that's what I'm gauging it against. Regardless, I know where I'll be same time, next week.

Until then, just gonna hold on.

Monday, August 20, 2007

For the past few mornings, we've had the pleasure of some new neighbors in the park across the street. At first there were only a dozen, followed by another dozen on Saturday. By this morning, we counted 52.

Me, being the Motherly person that I am, must feed them. I mean, they must be hungry, right? Right. So, into the cupboard I went, into my birdseed. They love it!

Mama goose was very cautious about her goslings getting to near me; and she would hiss at me, which was pretty funny. But I just looked away from her, and put more seed down, and she'd peck at it.
Meanwhile, Rocco just sits and cries at home; wanting desperately to run and play with them. But I just tell him, "No, they will peck your eyes out!"
I know the interest and the love will soon wear thin once the scent of their poo lingers across the road to my window. But until then, I will admire them, and from time to time, I will even feed them. I may even bring the beast over to play with them, just to stop him from crying.

Friday, August 17, 2007

We're All In This Together

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The day has finally come! The tweens, pre-tweens, teens and even my six year old have anxiously been awaiting this day. The day that Troy, our handsome basketball captain; and the brainy and beautiful Gabriella will bring their flashy styles back to our TV.

What am I doing about it? I'm hosting a party of course! A High School Musical Party, in honor of the movie. Hey, things could be worse; my kids could be into sicko movies like Friday the 13th and the like. But they're not.

When I first came to the idea of this party, I mentioned it to my 12 year old; who naturally, being very embarrassed of my life in the universe at all, shot it down like I was serving liver and onions for breakfast! "That's stupid! I don't want a party for THAT!!" she said, so sweetly.

"No problem, I'll have Marisa invite her friends because they will LOVE the idea!" I told her, and I was right. Marisa jumped on it - "Oh, can I invite Emily, she loves HSM, that will be so much fun!"

Not only did I let Emily in on the party, but I secretly invited some neighbors, well, they happen to be Christina's, a/k/a the 12 year old's, best friend. and her sister. and mom and dad. But the girls are in the dark about it. I can't wait to see her reaction!

So while the kids are singing and dancing and carrying on; the adults will be hanging out on the deck, listening to them having fun. No doubt, getting those silly songs stuck in our head, yet again. Call it the last Hurrah. The party to end the summer for them. Oh, and yes, even Nicholas has a friend coming for the party.

Kids love this movie! Of all ages, too. I loved it; and I'm thrilled that my kids will still sit and watch shows like, 7th Heaven and love movies like Little Women. It's just sad that they are becomming the minority on TV; the wholesome, Godly shows, that is.

Well, I'm off to shop for our little party; put the video on to get them ready for it. Sing the songs from the last soundtrack. Are you singing the song in your head yet??

"We're all in this together......."

Have a beautiful weekend.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Goodbye Old Friend

It's starting; and though I hate to admit it, I've seen it coming for weeks. The colors of my beautiful flowers are starting to fade. The leaves on the trees have lost their brilliance as well. And even though my favorite season is Fall, I am sad to see the summer leave us behind.

In three, short weeks the kids will be going back to school. Nicholas will be starting First grade; a full day of school. The house is going to be so lonely and quiet. And sad. I am already sad for the first day to come. I'm just going to hang on to these last few weeks of summer and enjoy them.

These pictures here, with Nick on the trampolene and Frank and Tony, are at a friend's bar-b-que. While I was freaking out at the idea of him breaking his neck or falling to his death, he was actually having a ball jumping on it. All. by. himself.

Frank went back to work yesterday; not by his own doctor's orders, but by the plant doctor's. Don't you just love corporate America these days. I think he's happy to be back, actually. hey, it's good to be getting a paycheck and life back on track. It's still boggling my mind how fast he's recovering from having a complete replacement of his knee.

Marisa will be moving up to the High School; God please watch over my little girl. Keep her safe from the sicko hormone-filled boys who will, no doubt, be looking at her in an icky way that I just can't bear to deal with. Yes, please God, keep her safe from them. Keep her heart pure and wonderful, and free to be who You want her to be. Not who I want her to become, or the tattoo artist she thinks would be an awesome career move. Your will, Lord, please.

As for Christina, she is in her final year at the Middle School, but she is built like a high schooler. Poor kid. Keep her safe, dear Lord from the same insane hormone-raging little boys. Please don't let her become one of those girls who dislikes others that are unlike her, but help her to love everyone, despite their moods and differences.

Why can't we keep our kids little longer? I mean, really, for the ages of my girls, thankfully, they really are very immature compared to other kids their age. I am totally comfortable with that!

But I am not ready to say good-bye to summer. The heat, yes, definitely ready.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

This is Really Nothing to Whisper About, But.....

Whispering" Strokes Impair Quality of Life

Susan JeffreyCME Author: Charles Vega, MD DisclosuresRelease Date: August 3, 2007; Valid for credit through August 3, 2008
Credits Available
Physicians - maximum of 0.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™ for physicians;Family Physicians - up to 0.25 AAFP Prescribed credit(s) for physicians

August 3, 2007 — A report from the ongoing Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) cohort study shows that individuals with symptoms consistent with stroke, but no previous stroke diagnosis, show reductions in quality-of-life parameters, including physical functioning and, to a lesser extent, mental functioning, compared with those without such symptoms.

"What we're trying to say is what we've been calling silent strokes really might not be all that silent," lead author George Howard, DrPH, from the School of Public Health at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, told Medscape.
Their findings are published online in the August 2 Stroke ASAP issue, in advance of print publication in the September issue of Stroke.

Whispering Stroke
Strokes that are evident on brain imaging but do not produce symptoms are known as "silent" strokes. However, some of these so-called silent strokes may be accompanied by mild symptoms or deficits, Dr. Howard noted.

The authors propose instead the term "whispering" stroke, which Dr. Howard credits to coauthor James F. Meschia, MD, of Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. The authors write, "that is, they could have clinically consistent symptoms that fail to result in a diagnosis of stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) either through the symptoms being insufficiently pronounced or persistent to raise concerns in the participant; or if clinical care was sought, the symptoms were not sufficiently defined to result in a diagnosis of stroke."

"Nevertheless, these symptoms could still be associated with potential subclinical deficits detected by systematic testing, and these subclinical deficits could be associated with a substantial population-level public health burden," they add.

This is the third in a series of reports from the REGARDS cohort looking at the occurrence of stroke symptoms in the absence of a diagnosis of stroke or TIA. The first of these, by Howard and colleagues and published in the October 9, 2006, issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, showed that, when screened actively, almost 18% of participants reported at least 1 stroke symptom without ever having had a stroke diagnosed, and those with more stroke risk factors were more likely to report stroke symptoms.

A second REGARDS study, by Wadley and colleagues and in press for publication in Stroke, showed that subjects with these stroke symptoms were twice as likely to show cognitive impairment as those without symptoms despite having no stroke diagnosis.

This third paper from the REGARDS group looks at quality of life in these subjects with stroke symptoms in the absence of recognized stroke. A large national cohort study, REGARDS includes black and white individuals older than 45 years. The researchers compared the average physical and mental functioning of 3404 subjects who had reported symptoms of stroke but had not had a clinical stroke diagnosed with those of individuals who had no symptoms of TIA or stroke (n = 16,090), who had a history of stroke (n = 1491), or who had a history of TIA (n = 818).
They assessed quality of life using the Physical and Mental Component Summary scores of the Short Form 12 (PCS-12 and MCS-12).

Ischemic Attacks, Not Transient?

The researchers report that, compared with those subjects without symptoms or a diagnosis of stroke, those with stroke symptoms but no diagnosed stroke had mean PCS-12 scores that were 5.5 points lower, a reduction similar to that seen in the group that had already had a TIA, where average PCS-12 scores were 6.0 points lower. This reduction constituted more than half of the effect of an actual clinical stroke, where patients with stroke had a PCS-12 score that averaged 8.4 points lower than those without any symptoms.

Differences in average MCS-12 scores were smaller but still significant; those with stroke symptoms but no diagnosed stroke had mean MCS-12 scores that were 2.7 points lower than those of individuals without symptoms. This difference was larger than that seen between symptom-free subjects and those with a history of TIA but no current symptoms, and those with a history of stroke but no current symptoms.

The differences were not fully explained by differences in demographic and vascular risk factors, health behaviors, physiological measures, and indices of socioeconomic status, they write.

Subjects who had reported symptoms of weakness or numbness had larger current decrements in physical functioning scores, and those who had reported an inability to express themselves or understand language had larger current deficits in mental functioning, they note

When these findings are considered along with those in the 2 previous REGARDS reports, Dr. Howard said, "what's developing is a picture that suggests, at least in my opinion, that these symptoms were small strokes that were either blown off by the participant or blown off by the doctor, and are really more important than people are giving them credit for."

The REGARDS group will be following this cohort to see whether those with stroke symptoms are at higher risk for clinical stroke, he said. "But if I were a betting man, I would bet that, just like people who have already had a TIA are at extraordinary risk for subsequent stroke, these people are going to be at extraordinary risk for subsequent stroke because frankly, I think what they are is undiagnosed TIAs."

It could be argued further that these TIAs are not transient at all. "If your cognitive functioning is impaired and your quality of life is impaired, some people would argue that that is symptomatic," he said.

This study was supported by a cooperative agreement from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. The authors have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.
Stroke. Published online August 2, 2007.

Please remember to contact your doctor no matter what your symptoms.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


On Friday night, Nicholas was in his very first recital. Ever. AND. I MADE him go up on stage. This is him chewing his bling-bling while everyone else is dancing and singing. I actually have it on video, too, which is much better. If I can figure out HOW to get it on here, I just might. I can't wait for him to see it.

He was more than reluctant about getting up there; and I believe they sang maybe 3 songs while he stood there just chewing away all nervous-like. On the last song, though, we saw him tap his foot a few times.

My favorite; was the drum part, which he does very well at home. His father is a drummer, and he and his step-Mom came to watch. His sister, Marisa is a drummer. She had been giving him some pointers all week, little lessons at home. We were jazzed about watching him get up and play his little man drum. But the poor little guy was terrified. He just demanded, literally, that he didn't want to do it.

I did feel for him, but I'm not going to let him just walk away from a responsibility like this. His little drum line was counting on his rythm. He needed to keep the beat for them. And as the instructor said, he was the one who was keeping everyone in time. So..........

As reluctant as he was, he did eventually do it. He was scared. His Dad told him that he, too, gets stage fright before he plays out in front of people; but he has to do it. Frank bribed him with a candy snake. I simply just told him that it was going to be OK, and that he could have cupcakes afterwards. Because, hey, what little boy doesn't want cupcakes?? Big smile there!!

"There's cupcakes??" he chimes in, with that winning grin of his; knowing there are sweets to be had.

He is very small, compared to the other little guys, but that is him in there, playing his little bongo, keeping rythm and time. He did great!

And he had two cupcakes!

These are two dogs I met yesterday at a friend's beach house. I really miss my Shepard; all the goofy, neurotic antics about him, I clearly saw in her yesterday. She is so beautiful. Yes, I was with a good friend, celebrating her son's graduation. I can't believe it still, her oldest, a junior in
college already. But all I took were pictures of the dogs. I also met another dog, Lucy, who was wonderful. But I sadly never got her picture. Maybe next time.

It's hard to believe that summer is already nearing it's close here. Although my kids won't go back to school until after Labor Day, it still seems too close. I love the summertime with my kids home. I always have.

And we haven't really been able to do our vacation this year, or much of anything really, by their standards. We've been home, and it's actually been nice and relaxing.

This year, Nicholas will go to the First grade, a full day. I will have, for the first time, all of my kids in school. It's a scary feeling for me. I'm used to having them near me. By then, Frank should be ready to return to work; if there is a job left, that is.

Huh, with the new merger underway, and new ownership; everything so hush-hush, it's not reassuring what is happening. And naturally, everyone wants to know. Sadly, nobody seems to know anything. Well, that's what they tell us. That is what our economy and our "new American way" has brought us. Sad.

Oh, I have a great new find from Friday! I need to get a pic of it for you all. It's going to go over my ugly marble wall, rather ON the wall, over the fireplace. I'd been holding out for a nice old piece of barn, as in literal barn rafter, but I just haven't come across any yet. Until then, this is what I have:

I know the picture isn't that good, but it was a great find for only $3!! It's 6 feet long, and I can't wait to get started on it. And my little table. Still need to find my prize glass knob.

Good bye for now.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Why, Yes, That IS Another Award

IBS Tales is now offering the Hope Award 2007 to websites that support people with chronic health conditions, and they were gracious enough to give one to, well, ME. I know, I know, I couldn't believe it myself.

So, what is IBS Tales?

IBS Tales is a site for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) sufferers to tell their stories and read about the experiences of others. Symptoms of IBS include diarrhea, constipation, and stomach pain. Yeah, ouch.

Pain comes in every part of the body human. It has no preference, no prejudice and certainly no pride.

If you have some time, please check out their site and stories. You'll find a bit of wit and humor; as well as the heartfelt bits of sadness and daily rituals that other chronics, like we migraneurs suffer.

Friday, August 03, 2007

In My Garden

I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE to play in the garden; with flowers and vines and dirt (although I wear garden gloves). It has been a great passion of mine for years. However, in the past 5 or so years that have greatly changed my life, ahem, from the Migraine demon, gardening was a thing of the past for me.

I don't tolerate the heat well, actually at all! I have trouble with the bending over part of gardening, my head, not my back. It's the dizzying, getting myself to my steady or unsteady feet that I can't quite get over. This year, I have been trying my hand at it, very slowly. Well, I did some last year, too; but this year, I'm actually getting my feet wet. And dirty. It's very slow-going for me; but I'm learning patience as I go.
This was actually just a flook! I had a white pumpkin in the garden; for decorating purposes, and it threw up. Left it's seeds and now I have a beautiful vine of white pumpkins starting. Today is August 3rd.
Frank hates that they are in my front yard, but I love them! I also have a little gourd patch behind them that haven't started to blossom. Yet.
This is just another pumpkin climbing over my Hosta. Cute isn't it!
This is just Rocco looking out the window, jealous that he's NOT outside. It's 90 outside.
Marisa took these two pictures.
This concludes my garden for today. It's hot and my head hurts, but my garden is pretty and growing things again. Oh, and it's desperate for water!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

A Piece of the Past

When my Grandmother died, I acquired several boxes of odds and ends. There were pictures of people I could recall from my growing up, and some I could not. For those, I went to my parents for names to the faces.

In one particular box, I found the registry book from her father's funeral. And in it was this poem, written to my Great-Grandmother, dated October 1886 Groton, NY.

Little Grace

by Wesley P. Morse

As through this changing world I pass,

As wearily I wend my way.

A little child of tender years,

Lightens my burdens day by day.

'Tis she who makes my humble home,

Dearer than any earthly place;

My bright-eyed, happy little Grace.

When worn by toil and anxious care,

Weary and tired at close of day,

One smile on her bright, happy face,

Will drive all anxious care away.

It gently soothes my greatest fears,

The daily cares of life, erase,

And joyous, happy, are the hours

I spend with darling little Grace.

I love to hear her tiny step,

The patter of those little feet,

To hear her voice in happy song-

No other notes seem half so sweet.

I love that look of innocence

That ever rests upon her face,

With joy I kiss those rosy cheeks,

My precious, darling, little Grace.

As future years 'mid changes pass,

If God our humble lives shall span

And she to womangood shall grow,

May I, as now, her love then share.

May I, in my declining years

Still catch the sweet smile from her face;

And may she ever seem as dear,

As now, my darling little Grace.
I'm sorry this picture came out so small; but it is a picture of me at the age of about 4, with my Mom around 24, my Gram and her Mom (Grace). Great-gram and I used to celebrate our birthdays together on St. Pat's Day.
I remember that she smelled of Ben Gay and old lady and she snored a lot. She used to rub the stuff on her forehead like my Gram did. (hmmm, MIGRAINES?????) She died a few years after this picture was taken, and though I don't remember her death, I remember she just disappeared.
She lived in a room off of the diningroom in my Grandparents house. We used to go for Sunday supper every Sunday. I can still smell the meatballs if I think real hard. I know I've posted that before. But my Gram took care of her Mom.
She had two dogs then; a black lab, named Banjo. And a very fat and smelly black and white dog named Huck, short for Huckleberry. My Grandparents loved their dogs. I can remember when it was time to put ole Banjo down, I was trying to make my Gram feel better by talking to her; telling her he would be ok once they gave him the shot. But she started to cry. I felt terrible. I made my Grandma cry. What a loser! I had never seen her cry before, but now I had her in tears. I tried to hug her and tell her I was sorry; and she just tried to smile it off. I'll never forget that day.
How I miss my Grandparents. They were such an essential part of my growing up. From Italian traditions, like the Sunday supper; and my Grandfather's love of the Yankees, and hate for anyone else. (that is NOT an Italian tradition - that was just Grandpa) .
Gram was nutty and funny and outgoing. When we were younger, as in little; she would play Bingo on the weekends - oh, I have her Bingo bag! Frank actually took it to play Bingo one night. Field Days were called "Bazaars" and she went to every one in Oswego county. She would go to the State Fair every year and sit all day at the Ball Bingo game. It was sad when she couldn't go anymore.
Sunday was what she called, "Maid's Day off!" And she would go shopping every Sunday. Not for groceries. She and my Aunt Dianne and my Mom, when I was little would all go. Kids were not allowed. We would watch Laurel and Hardy or The Three Stooges or Shirley Temple. Any of the old movies that would make us laugh. My father would fall asleep, so would Grampa. Then the Yanks would come on. During football season, the game would be on.
Those were the good ole days. I would love to revisit them, out of memory, just once. But ist sure is good to have memory!