January 13, 2015

2015 - Week 2

Last week I mentioned that I thought I was starting with a cold.  I was right.  A week of dealing with a sore throat that morphed into a head cold and I thought I might escape the dreaded chest cold.  Nope.  Not this time.  Got up yesterday morning with a nasty cough.  This time I jumped on it and saw the Nurse Practitioner who, because of my immunity deficiency that makes me more vulnerable to upper respiratory infections, prescribed an antibiotic.  And none of that sissy stuff - the hard core one that works.   An immunity issue and the fact that I am allergic to many antibiotics - not a great combination.  Yeah me.

Been working on trying to organize, purge, clean things around the house.  I started by tackling several bookshelves that are in the basement.  They had become a dumping ground for not only books, but anything else that made it to the basement with out a home.  Some major organizing of books, weeding through junk and actually putting some things away and that corner is looking better - not perfect yet, but much better.  I'm thinking that this will be a year long project in which success will be measured in inches and not yards.

Trees still need to be put away although they are devoid of decoration.  While I am looking forward to getting the house put back together, there is that little part of me that will miss them.  Oh well, only 10 more months and they will return.

January 07, 2015

2015 - A New Year

So last week we ushered in 2015.  A new year, a chance to wipe the slate clean, start over, make changes.  So what do I have planned for 2015?

Well, I've been trying to make some healthy changes in my life.  Been eating better in an attempt to get my blood sugar under control.  It's been a battle and some days are definitely better than others.  Let's just say, it's a work in progress.

In that same vein, I had fully planned on hitting the pool at the Y this week. Not happening.  I awoke yesterday with a scratchy, sore throat, swollen glands and feeling crappy.  Last year I found out that the reason for my severe upper respiratory infections is an immune deficiency so I take no chances on putting myself at risk by trying to limit my time in communal environments when I have a cold.  So, the locker room, the pool and the gym at the Y are out for at least this week.

At home, I am working on cleaning out closets, drawers and the basement.  It's time to purge all the things I haven't used in a while.  I've started collecting things to have a yard sale in the spring.  In the past, I've donated things, but the ones that benefit most are the executive of the non-profits, I think I'll try to sell things and donate money to a charity that will use the money to help others.

2014 was the year that we finally changed parishes.  I'm settling in more at our new parish, getting to meet some new people and I am once again reading at mass.  This was one thing that I really missed.  There are many opportunities for spiritual growth at our new parish and I hope to take advantage of them this year.

I have several projects that I hope to work on this year - to start sewing again and make some window treatments.  There are about 5 or 6 craft projects that I have wanted to work on and just can't seem to make the time.  If I can work on just a few I'd be happy.

I'm making no specific resolutions for the new year, only trying to work on the changes that I have recently made.  I think I'll start by picking one thing each day to accomplish and start there.  We'll see…..

Until later.

September 08, 2014

Can Can

Saw this on Face Book The Fifteen Can Challenge and I thought it was a worthwhile idea.  So I shared it on Face Book and Now I'm sharing it here.  Note, I think it started a few weeks ago since, including this week, there are only 13 weeks until the first week in December.

If you don't subscribe to Face Book, here are the details from the event invite:

Christmas Time for most is a time of great joy and celebration. For some, for many reasons, it's a time of sadness and going without.
This year we can change this for some.
Please join our 15 can challenge - it's simple and easy to do.
1. Every week when you do your groceries, purchase one extra item. It could be a can or something non perishable. eg soup, baked beans etc
2. Collect one item each week for the next fifteen weeks.
3. Drop them off to the charity of your choice, first week in December to various places in your neighborhood.
4.Invite as many of your friends as you can - remember together we can change someone's life
Many communities will benefit.
All Food Pantry's and Charities, will greatly appreciate any and all donations. It is your gift to give, we are simply attempting to source charities in great NEED.

What a wonderful idea to help those in need.  And spreading it out over a few weeks makes it easy on the budget too.

August 05, 2014

Starting Over Again

Six years ago I wrote a post about the merger of my parish with another parish in town.  I was so very unhappy with the outcome of the merger and the promise of equality, which, of course, never happened.  I threatened to leave after a year if nothing changed.  At the time, it felt a bit like an empty threat because I thought things would change.  So, about a month ago, after waiting to see if the pastor would be transferred (he wasn't) or if things would change (they didn't) it was time to take action.  We finally changed parishes.

The past year, we have been attending another parish about a 20 minute drive from our house.  Our first trip there was the first weekend that a new pastor was there.  For the first time in a long while (except for going to churches when we were away) I felt like I had been to Mass.  People participated in the mass, the homily was interesting and the people in church were friendly.  After a year of test driving it, we pulled the trigger and signed up.

It has been the right decision for us. We miss seeing our friends from our old parish at Mass.  But we can always make plans to see them.  We see more and more people from our old parish at our new parish.  And most of all, we are happy.

May 14, 2014

Mother's Day 2014

What can I say about Mother's Day this year, except that I am so thankful to have been able to celebrate it with my Mother.

This time last year, we were waiting for my mom to have open heart surgery.  She was diagnosed with a failing aortic valve and at least one blocked artery in April of last year.  She would need to have surgery to replace the valve and bypass the blockage or she would have about 9 months to live.  The surgery was considered high risk because she is a diabetic with high blood pressure and bad kidney function.  This diagnosis was sandwiched between the loss of one of her sisters and her remaining brother.

Her cardiologist sent her to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania to consult with the chief of Cardiac surgery and her consultation was May 1.  He was wonderful.  Realizing that the procedure needed to be done sooner than later, she was scheduled for May 23.  We celebrated Mother's Day wondering if it would be our last.  Through prayer, wonderful doctors and nurses, therapists and all the other hospital staff, the surgery went very well and she was only in the hospital for about 8 days.

So this year I was so happy to celebrate Mother's Day with my mother who taught me the value of my faith in God and the power of prayer.  Because last year, my prayers were answered.

Photo taken in November 2013, six months after my Mom's surgery while we were doing our annual Nut Roll making.

April 24, 2014

April Showers

What's up with April?  Last year it was marked with my aunt and uncle passing away and my mother being diagnosed with congestive heart failure and needing open heart surgery.  This year, my father needed two surgeries just nine days apart (thank goodness nothing life threatening) and in the middle of this, my cousin has a massive stroke and passes away on Easter Sunday.

Next year, I think I'll just skip over April and go directly from March to May and hopefully we'll have  a healthy and happy spring for everyone.

January 21, 2014

Happy birthday Mom

Wishing my mom a wonderful 85th birthday today.  

Nutroll making November 2013

What a difference a year makes - this time last year we didn't know that my mom's aortic valve was not working well.  In fact, it wasn't working much either.  But she has recovered well from open heart surgery and this past weekend, we celebrated "Peg-palozza!"

My oldest brother flew in for the weekend on Thursday.  On Saturday, my parents, brother, niece who is staying with my parents, along with my husband and I traveled to North Jersey to meet up with my nephew who lives in North Jersey and son, who is now a New Yorker, at the restaurant where my nephew is a manager.  We enjoyed a long and leisurely late lunch where there was much laughing and carrying on.  And on Sunday, we all met up again at a restaurant in my Pennsylvania home town where my niece works for another lunch.  It was a weekend of eating, story telling and lots of laughing.  A perfect way to celebrate my mom, who has a wonderful Irish sense of humor.

We also got to attend an open house at the home that my mom's family lived in (for almost 100 years) and recently sold after my uncle's passing.  It was sold to some young house flippers who did a wonderful job fixing up the house.  We were able to relay some great stories to the patient real estate brokers who were not fazed when 11 of us in my family showed up and none of us were buyers!  In fact, my mom was born in that house 85 years ago, the baby in a family of 8 children.

Of course, today we celebrated with a snow storm.  Good thing I visited yesterday because getting out of my driveway was kind of hairy today!