15 years, seems like yesterday..

Fifteen years ago today, my mother passed away. She had a battle with pancreatic cancer that she lost.  I miss her each and every day.  As long as I keep her memory alive, she is not gone.

I have lots of pictures at home that I could scan of her, but I am at work.  I Google’d my dead mother, creepy, right?  I think so. I was looking to see if there were any images on the web that I could grab for this post. I did not find any.  I did find the picture below.

Hmmm, Interesting

Happy Veteran’s Day!  Thank a veteran today if you get the chance. Better yet, let’s thank them everyday!

Namaste

 

1940 Census

1940 Census

Personal experiences wanted..

Or maybe some advice if you are “in the business”

Here is the picture..

My DW and I stopped in Bloomfield on Sunday on our way home from visiting the college boys in Scranton. Bloomfield is where her mom (and dad) are buried. Her father died in 1972. If you follow this blog you will know that her mom died January 3, 2014. Recently, for sure.  This was the first time that we have been back since the graveside service on January 7, 2014.  That day was bitterly cold. The whole winter has been cold and nasty here in New Jersey.  We attended the service, placed our flowers and were happy (kind of) to get out of the wind and into our warm vehicles.

When we got to the cemetery on Sunday, the gravesite was partially filled in with dirt and the remnants of the flowers from that day in January were sitting there on top. It would appear that in the last four months nothing has happened to the gravesite. There is a secondary grave stone of her fathers’ that tells about his service in the Marine Corps. This stone is still pushed out-of-the-way where they moved it four months ago, when they opened the gravesite to bury her mom.

The question is this, should they have cleaned up the remnants of the flowers and filled the grave in to grade level already? I agree that the winter has been a harsh one but the snow and cold have seeming subsided of the last month.  As we looked around the cemetery on Sunday there four or five groups of people tending to the gravesite of their loved ones. The trash barrels were over flowing.  Are we expected to go back, level the ground, reposition the secondary stone and put down topsoil and grass seed?

The funeral bill had an expense for the opening of the grave, should there have been an expense for the closing of the grave?  It was really discouraging to me to see the apparent neglect in the cemetery. Do I bitch or wait?  My plan is to stop by this Sunday after riding in the Tour De Staten Island with some top soil, grass seed and a shovel and rake and straighten things out.

My parents were placed in a  mausoleum so I don’t have any real world experience in this matter.

Thanks for reading and commenting if you see fit.

Pictures?  Yes, but not of the gravesite.

 

 

 

Swingers? Not exactly..

Life is funny. Sometimes you have to work for the stories that you tell, other times, well, they come to you. Last night we ate dinner at Geiger Key Marina and RV Park.  They bill themselves as “The Backside of Paradise”. This is another of those places that you probably won’t find in a tourist brochure. You should add them to your Lower Keys places to eat. How did we find them? There in lies the story.

About a year and a half ago I started following Barbie Wilson on Twitter. She is the “Sunrise Queen of Key West” @barbiedoll0087 is her Twitter name. She posts a picture of the sunrise and some sunsets from Key West every day of the year.  I fantasize about living in Florida, so this is my way of living vicariously though her pictures. Especially on the cold winter days in New Jersey.

When we came down to Florida last January we, (DW, DS3 and I) met up with her at the Hogfish Grill for lunch.  It was a leap of faith by both of us since we had “met on the internet”. Lunch went well and we have continued to trade twitter messages of the last year. Usually with her posting some epic sunrise or a Key West picture of some sort and me favoriting or commenting on the picture. I’m sure she has quite the following of people around the world that enjoy her pictures.

Last night we arrived at the Geiger Key Marina to meet Barbie for dinner. She was working until 8 pm at the KW Urgent Care.  We arrived first and grabbed a table.  I told the waitress that we were waiting for Barbie to arrive to eat. She gave me the strangest look. I said, yes we know Barbie, I met her on the internet.  The waitress’ look was priceless.  You see, Barbie’s husband running a fishing charter company called Knee Deep Charters out of the same marina. They know her quite well.

Not wanting to cause Barbie trouble at the marina (small town, people talk), I explained our story.  This allowed the waitress to relax a bit. She looked at my DW and I and said, “Maybe I should not say this in front of the kids (DS3 and his GF), but I thought you guys might be swingers..  Umm, we laughed. No, just tourists!  We are in the Lower Keys and that kind of thing probably goes on.  The comment still has us laughing this morning as I write this.

This morning Barbie texted me that the manager of the marina called her to apologise for the swinger comment and that the waitress was in trouble with management.  I told Barbie that we though the evening went great and were not at all offended. 

As a sad  note that gives this blog post a unhappy ending, the waitress lost her job this morning.  That sucks.

Sometimes the stories come to you.

Namaste

 

Is the BS in heaven?

BS is that small, usually stupid, often nagging problem that really does not have to be a problem. Hopefully your days are not peppered with them like a piece of salami.  Set the hook, let it run, then reel like crazy until they are flopping on the deck.  Time to reel.. 

I have been absent from the blog world for the last month. When we last visited we had slogged through a snow storm where the plow drivers were seemingly off for the day to watch the NFL at Buffalo Wild Wings (or their favorite bar). About that time both of the college students were done with classes and heading either home or to visit LI and then head home. On December 14, my DW’s step father in law passed away. Nine days before Christmas. He had been suffering from “Old Man’s Disease” and had pretty much decided he was done and stopped eating. We all attended that wake, funeral and burial.

On December 23, my DW’s mother went in the emergency room since she had not been able to urinate for four days. Back in the fall she was diagnosed with cancer and had “parts” removed. You really don’t need the gory details and out of respect to her and the family, I will gloss over the details.  Suffice it to say, the cancer came back with a vengeance. We were in and out of the hospital between December 23 and January 3 when she died in the hospital. Monday and Tuesday this week were the wake and the burial.

To say we are in shock is an undersatement. I took DS2 back to school this morning. DS3 does not return for a few more weeks. Over their Christmas break, the kids lost their two remaining grandparents. That sucks.

Christmas and New Years?  A complete blur.  I took pictures at Christmas, I will share them when we can get back to that happy place.

We would like to thank the staff of Four East at Ocean Medical Center in Brick, NJ for their excellent care and compassion of our mother (in law)

And we may have found a reasonably local church to attend. The Visitation Church in Brick, NJ provided the priest that said the Last Rites and the deacon that said the prayers at the funeral home. We found a connection to the message that both of them shared with us.

So my parents are in heaven as are hers. I hope they meet up and swap some stories.

Namaste

 

 

Set your intention..

Greetings from foggy Manahawkin tonight.  We spent the weekend between the Manahawkin mansion and the Best Western Plus in Dunmore.  Sound like quite the dichotomy of locations (at least from the titles of the locations). The reality was quite a bit different.  Dunmore, PA is one of the towns that Marywood University can be found in. The other is the city of Scranton, Pa. As long time readers, you would know that DS2 is a student at Marywood. A senior in fact. Graduation, possible grad school and a job are all looming in the not to distant future.

This weekend was all about a Wind Ensemble concert, dinner with the parents and Sunday mass. I guess he may have done some studying and whatever with his friends as well.  We arrived in Dunmore/Scranton at exactly 4 pm. The concert was scheduled to start at 4 pm. My DW had a continuing education class to attend in Atlantic City Saturday morning that caused us to leave for school later than usual.  It was nice to make it in time and not have to enter the concert hall during the show.  The concert went well. We enjoyed, but may not have understood, all the music. I have come to realize that I can enjoy the university level music without understanding it. I am making progress!

After the concert DS2, his GF, DW and I went to Coopers Seafood Restaurant for dinner. For all of you Office fans, Coopers is alive and well six months after the show went off the air. The menus are redone, the food tweaked and the selection of beer (draft and bottled)  is probably unrivaled in the city of Scranton. If you go there, ask for Pat. She is a our favorite waitress. A single mom, our age with a daughter attending Seton Hall Law School after graduating from the University of Scranton. Her daughter was a student of the wife of one of my uncles when she was in elementary school. Talk about a small world.

Saturday night we stayed at the Best Western Plus in Dunmore. They had a party in the “party room” which was under our room. The music stopped at exactly 11 pm. That was great. Sunday we attended mass at Marywood University. As long time readers (same assumption as before) you will know that DS2 plays his trumpet during mass. His GF is in the choir.  A fun thing for me, is that my DW has been welcomed into the choir whenever we are in town. This morning was no exception. It was cool to see my son, my wife and my son’s girlfriend all singing/playing during mass.  I can’t sing. I can however take pictures. Yes, I did.

Sunday after mass we went to the Buck Town diner in Dunmore. Eat here. Simple enough statement.  Elegant, no. Reasonably priced, good tasting food, yes. Good table and kitchen staff, heck yes! We drove home listening to the Cincinnati Bengals playing football on Sirius. They absolutely sucked in the first quarter and could do no wrong for the rest of the game.  The final outcome being a resounding win for the Bengals.

Tonight we went to gentle yoga with Gabby at Hot or Not Yoga in Manahawkin.  Tonight’s class was the perfect cap to this crazy weekend. Dinner was flank steak, red wine and mashed potatoes. DS1 was over for dinner. He was off from work for a few days and spent the weekend at home. Tomorrow he heads back to his apartment and off to work on Tuesday.

Me, I have a stress test with my cardiologist  tomorrow morning. Then I will work from home and probably go to a hot yoga class Monday night.

I hope you enjoyed living in my shoes for the weekend. I will add some pictures below.

Here is a link to the Wind Ensemble concert pictures.

Here is a link to the Sunday Mass pictures.

 

Thanks for reading.

Namaste

 

Funeral Saturday..

That title should discourage just about everyone from reading.  Saturday morning was the funeral for the Wheeling Jesuit University lacrosse player that was murdered in a fight after a night at the local bar near the college campus. Some of the details were discussed in the prior blog posting entitled Death of a Lacrosse Player.  As simple Google search will provide more information.

To say the morning was emotional would be an understatement. I took away a few lasting memories from the funeral and the repast. The president of the university said the funeral mass. He knew the player that had died and had spent most of the previous week with the family. He was very distressed by the events of the last week. Not as an educator and the president of the university, but as a human being that had lived through the tragedy.

The lacrosse community is a family. A small family with egos and such. Saturday was about celebrating the life of one of our own.  I hope to never be the parent at one of these services. 

The night before (Friday night) four of DS1’s college teammates came to our house for the night. They traveled from Ohio, Pittsburgh and Boston. These young men enjoyed an evening of a roaring fire, some beer and whisky and fellowship.  Saturday morning they were all up, showered and dressed and at the funeral (two hours away) on time. 

One picture tonight. This was sent to me by DS1. It was taken towards the end to the repast.

Namaste

IMG953093

Not your usual Sunday mass..

This Sunday we traveled to Scranton, Pa. to visit our college children. DS2 attends Marywood University and DS3 attends the University of Scranton.  The 10:30 am mass required us to be out of bed at 6 am and on the road by 7 am to arrive at Marywood University by 10 am.  I like having the 30 minute cushion in case something happens during the drive.  DS2 plays the trumpet during mass and his GF is in the choir.  Two for one!

We usually sit on the left side of the chapel since that is the same side as the choir. In years past, the students sat on the right side. Why? I have no idea. This year the “student section” was on the left.  We sat right in the thick of it  (as it were). Three quarters through the mass, the young lady standing if front of us collapsed on the chair in front of her. Hmmm… I looked at my DW and she looked at me.  Shit! This is the real deal!

We got her off the back of the chair where she was draped and eased her down to the floor. My DW told me to straighten her legs out, they were folded in an odd fashion underneath her. My DW was asking her if she had any history of seizures. The girl was not really verbal or responsive. I lifted her head off the floor and her eyes rolled back into her head. She was pale and sweating. Then her eyes came back to center and she looked up at me. I said “Welcome back”

She seemed stable (kind of) so we helped her off the floor back into a chair. My DW was kneeling in front of her holding both wrists trying to get a pulse. My DW was telling the girl who she (DW) was and that she should look at her and breathe, “Come on” (DW said) “breathe with me”  The girls lost her color again and slipped back out of consciousness. My DW looked at me and mouthed “We need help” Yup, but what do I do in the middle of mass? Who do I call? What would the university want me to do? I looked up at the organist who is a Sister in charge of the music ministry. I mouthed to her “We need help”

Just then the President of the University walked up with a bottle of water and some tissues. She was in the chapel for mass and had seen some of this going on. Within a minute or so, campus security was also there. A quick decision was made to call for an ambulance since the girl was slipping in and out of consciousness. 

Mass continued as this went on.  We went up for communion, one at a time. I went first then my DW went up. The priest asked her before giving her communion “Are we ok back there?”  She told him that things were under control.  As mass ended, the rescue squad and the local police department arrived.  The girl looked a little better, but really was not responsive to the questions that the paramedics were asking her. The decision as made to transport her to a local hospital.  During the time before the rescue squad showed up, the girl in a awake moment, mentioned that she may be hypoglycemic. And, she had not eaten since the night before.

She went off the ambulance with one of the Sisters to the hospital. We heard Monday morning that she was ok.  Her parents live in Maryland, so I’m sure they had several tense hours driving up to Scranton.

Right place, right time.  I guess my DW and I were supposed to be in Scranton on Sunday.  We are still a little unnerved by the whole thing. And very thankful that she is ok.

Namaste

 

 

Common sense?..

Gone out the window for sure.  In my best Rod Serling voice..

Consider this, you are in a restaurant. Your meal is late coming to the table and you have had a few adult beverages (maybe more than a few). You are laughing and having fun with your table companions. Suddenly, your dinner shows up! Starving , you grab your fork and start to shovel the food into your mouth without even tasting or cutting your food.

You start to choke, the food that you would not cut has gone down your wind pipe. Suddenly you are seeing stars and your face gets red and then starts to turn blue. You bang you fist on the table and try to cough, no luck. You turn to the person closest to you and you grab your neck with both hands, the international symbol for “I’m choking to death”.

Quickly your companion gets behind you, makes a fist and does the Heimlich Maneuver on you. The food becomes dislodged and your life has been saved. You immediately attempt to swallow the same piece of food without cutting it up. Results? Now the food is stuck in your esophagus and you are going to the hospital in the middle of the night to have a doctor remove (for the last time) this piece of dinner.

The moral of the story?

If you choke on your dinner and someone has to save your life, do them a favor and spit the piece of food out and try another piece. That piece of food won the battle.

Common sense?

Namaste

 PS. A true story (did not happen to me, thankfully!)

Office Wrap Party – Scranton, PA..

We spent the past weekend in Scranton.  DS2 had a choir concert that we wanted to see.   The concert was Saturday night. The music was sung A Cappella. That just means that there were no musical instruments other than the voices in the choir. The music was the Mass, with various parts of the mass coming from different composers. Here is a link to the Marywood University website with more information about the concert.  The concert was in rotunda on campus. The singers sang from the second floor and the audience sat in chairs or the first floor level.   We (DW and I) both enjoyed the concert. I shot some video and pictures.

Also on Saturday, the tv show, The Office, held it’s Office Wrap Party in Scranton.  My DW and I went to the parade. We aren’t big fans of the show but I figured we were in town, so why not go and experience the spectacle. And yes, I shot some pictures. I saved them in two groups. This link will take you to the pictures taken of the cast members in attendance.  This link will take you to the crowd pictures that I took. It was 75 degrees and sunny in a college town.  Enough said.  DS2 was not interested in the parade. DS3 had a paper to proof read then email in by 5 pm that day so he missed some of the parade.

After the parade we went across town to Marywood with DS3 to see DS2. They would never see each other if we did not get them together. DS2 and my DW walked around the lacrosse field and talked while DS3 and I spent an hour shooting and passing lacrosse balls.  We walked over to “The Rock” afterwards and took some pictures. The rock is a formation of two flat as a table rocks in the field between the lacrosse field and I 81. Each time we play on the field I look over at the rock and think that it would make for some neat pictures.  I will add a few of them at the bottom.  After the concert Saturday night we went to Coopers for a snack and a beer (or two). Both boys attended this function (there was free food – parents paid). College students know better than to skip a free meal!

Sunday we went to mass and watched DS2 play his trumpet with the choir. After mass we all got together one more time at the Buck Town Diner for lunch. Then we drove home and the boys went back to their lives. Monday night was lacrosse. I scored my first goal in a month! I was pretty excited. Tuesday was yoga. Tonight might be outdoor lacrosse depending on the weather and how I feel. I found a cold somewhere in the last 7 days. Cough, cough and cough.

Here are a few pictures. Enjoy!

Thanks for reading

Namaste

First day on the job..

Am I the only person that wonders what the first day on the job for the new pope was like?  I saw the headlines, he said mass, visited the masses, blah, blah..  When I start a new job, one of the first questions are Where can I park my car (Popemobile)? Where is the bathroom? Coffee pot and water cooler?  These are the important questions when starting any new job. Then you have to fill out the HR paperwork, the 401 K paperwork, the insurance paperwork. Most of the day seems like paperwork. Hopefully you can find your way back the bathroom and coffee pot after the brief first tour. I wonder of the new pope had to do all these new employee rituals? 

Today our company celebrated St. Patrick’s Day. Many of my fellow employees (including me) work from home on Fridays so today was good day to have solid attendance in the office. Not on time attendance, but bodies in the building by say, 11 am. The company president wanted corned beef this year. His wife hates the smell and taste of corned beef so having a St. Patrick’s Day celebration at work would enable him to get his corned beef and keeps his wife happy. I brought my turkey cooking set up and boiled the water. He, CP (company president) brought the corned beef in two boil bags from a local butcher. We put the corned beef in the cold water, brought it to a boil, turned the heat down and simmered for three hours.

While the corned beef was cooking we had the appetizer course. We had fruit, shrimp, smoked salmon, cheese slices, irish soda bread,  and various crackers and flat breads.  With the corned beef we had potatoes, cabbage and salad. We also had a dessert course which included an ice cream pie (for National Pi Day) and pistachio pudding .  Missing today was a pint of Guinness. This was the first of these celebrations that was dry, no alcohol. I’m not sure if no one thought to bring some or there was an edict against it. I think with all that food and a pint of Guinness, I would have been out in my car taking a nap!

See the pictures below from our celebration.  Enjoy!

Namaste

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