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.

 

 

 

Passing the time..

Life seems to have settled down during the last two weeks from the go – go -go last few months.  Vacation season for us is mostly over and the spring gardening season is trying it’s best to not arrive.  Last weekend it rained for three days with our northern neighbors getting snow. Maybe we can ship some of this excess water to California.  They have quite the drought going on out there.

I have been back to playing lacrosse on Monday and some Wednesday nights. Monday nights are far more competitive than Wednesday nights. The real attraction to playing on Wednesday is that DS1 also plays. Sometimes we are on the same team, some times not. Playing against him makes my game better.  This past Monday night I scored three goals in the last fifteen minutes of the game. I spent the first 45 minutes trying to catch the ball and not succeeding. Something clicked during the last fifteen minutes and I caught the ball and scored three times. The rest of the “older crowd” was excited for my success.

I have been visiting my deceased MIL’s house about once a week for the last few months.  I start her car, walk around the house making sure that the doors and windows are all intact.  So far so good.  Visiting there is like living through a post apocalyptic movie. By that I mean on December 23, the world stopped at her house. The calendars all say December. The towels in the bathroom are of the Christmas motif. The decorations, such that they are, Christmas. On her dresser is a birthday card for one of her grandsons. He would have received that card on Christmas.   Next to that card are several cards that the daughters would have received at Christmas.  The car sits in the driveway. It has not been off the street where she lived since at least December 3. The clocks are all on Eastern Standard time, Daylight Savings time never arrived.   The whole scene is just plain eerie.

This weekend we are on the road again. DS2 has his last Wind Ensemble concert as a Marywood University undergraduate.  Graduation is on Mothers Day. It is hard to believe how fast time passed since I took him to the university to audition for a spot at the school.

Pictures, I have a few.. (sung to the tune of Bohemian Rhapsody)..

Namaste

 

Where are the snow plows?..

This is the question.  We spent Saturday night in Scranton visiting with DS2 and DS3. DS3 is in the choir at the University of Scranton and Saturday night was Noel Night. Noel Night (46 th. Annual) is the Christmas Concert for the choir and various musical groups. Various musical groups include a string group (violins and such), a flute choir and a low brass choir. Outside of the Houlihan Center they had a small band playing Christmas carols in the 20 degree temperatures.  As college students at a Jesuit university, I’m sure they found a way to stay warm.

Here are two videos from that night. This first is the choir singing the University of Scranton Alma Matter

And this video is of the last song of the night entitled “The Perfect Rose” The trumpet player is named Mark Gould

 

After the concert we went to Cooper’s Seafood Restaurant in Scranton. I had posted on Facebook that we would be there between 10 pm and midnight Saturday night and offered to buy a drink for anyone that stopped by. I was spared the expense by the cold and late night. Scranton rolls up the sidewalks early.  We had a nice visit with the boys and were out of there by midnight. And, if you remember a previous post where they promised to procure a favorite bottle of rum for me, they forgot or failed since it was not there Saturday night. Oh well.

Sunday morning was breakfast at the Bucktown Diner with the boys and then we headed home while they went to study for finals this week. Or that is what they told us. The ride was uneventful until we got to Ocean County on the Garden State Parkway. The promised “light dusting” of snow turned out to be about 6 – 8 inches and the Parkway authority was unprepared. A forty minute ride took almost three hours and we did not see one snow plow or police car during the entire trip. We did see several tow trucks making their money. I wonder if I can get my toll money refunded since the parkway did not provide the services (snow removal) that my tolls partially pay for. Typical New Jersey, over two or three years you double the tolls and reduce the services.  Not a peep in the local Gannet owned newspaper about the lack of plows or police. I guess they are all in it together.

Did I mention that I played lacrosse last night with DS1 and scored two goals! Yea baby!

Here are links to pictures from the weekend. This link are choir pictures, this link are family pictures and this link is of the winter weather on Sunday.

Namaste

Off to Scranton..

We went to Scranton a few weeks ago to see the Marywood University Choir. DS2 and his girlfriend are both in the choir. The concert was on a Sunday afternoon.  Our original plan was to travel up Saturday morning, help out with the annual Thanksgiving food basket delivery program run by the university. We have helped out with this charity event for the past three years. Then we were going to visit with some relatives in Scranton, have dinner with the boys and sleep over in Scranton.

Scratch all those plans. Monday I had my stress test.  The stress test went well. No issues. Tuesday I came home from work feeling sick. I was sick Wednesday (from work), Thursday and Friday (vacation days) and Saturday. What a lost week.  Sunday we drove up to Scranton for the concert.  Saw the concert, had a light meal and drove home. The perfect way to get over being sick, drive 400 miles for the day!

The concert was good. The choir performed with the university strings group. Think violins, cellos and such.  There will be several pictures down below from the concert.

No yoga during the sick week. Only one yoga class during Thanksgiving week. Sunday night we went to a free community yoga class. This is where the yoga studio opens the door on the first Sunday of the month for a “free” class.  Each month the class cost is a donation to whatever the charity of the month is. This month the donation was to a local food bank.  There were 18 women in the class and me. Not bad.   I guess I am getting over being sick..

Here are some pictures from the concert.

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

 

The revolving kitchen or front door…

Revolving doors, it seems like this past week we had quite a few visitors at home.  Friday I had two visits from DS1. His job sent him towards LBI first thing and then back again around lunch time. He stopped by for “the best breakfast” in the past week. We had pork roll and eggs. If you have been following along, I work from home on Fridays. He was back for lunch as well. It was nice to see him and share two meals. Half way through lunch he mentioned that he was still full from breakfast. Five minutes later he was up getting some more lunch. The cheese noodles were a hit (along with the leftover Coney Island hot dogs).

Friday night DS3 came home for the weekend. He wanted to visit with some of his high school friends for the weekend. We (DW and I) saw him for part of Friday evening and for a few hours on Saturday. He and his friends came by the house and had a fire in the backyard Saturday night. Sunday morning he  went back to school.  One walks out the door and the next walks in the door. A slightly empty nest last week. This week, no visitors so far.

DS2 and I are going to Chicago on October 26 for a graduate open house at the Columbia College of Chicago. They have a Masters program in music composition for tv, film and theatre. I have never been to Chicago.  Well, that is not true, we once stopped in Chicago flying from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia. Yep, think about that trip.  I have been doing some research on the school. If anyone reading this knows about the school, drop me line. I am also looking for suggestions for breakfast, dinner and a hotel either near the school (South Loop) or near Midway Airport.

At home, yoga rules the roost. Monday is hot yoga, Tuesday is adult school yoga, Wednesday is gentle yoga and Thursday is restorative yoga. Friday we drink beer.  Weekends we avoid working on the hot tub and watch some football.

Sunday I rode my bike for the first time since the beginning of August. This coming weekend we (the Weatherman and I) are scheduled to ride in Pa. I needed to work out some of the rust (in my legs). The ride went well.  We also picked late season tomatoes from the garden and made four cups of salsa, yum!

Enjoy the rest of the week.

Namaste

DS1's 25 th birthday back in July

DS1’s 25 th birthday back in July

Kildare’s Irish Pub, follow up..

In a recent blog post entitled “Kildare’s Irish Pub – What do we do with you? ” which can be found here http://wp.me/p1FpfB-1pS , I wrote about a recent visit during the University of Scranton’s Parent’s Weekend.  I sent a copy of the blog to the Dave Magrogan Restaurant Group which owns and manages Kildare’s and several restaurant brands.  My goal was to inform them of our experience.  The balance of this blog is the email that I received from the new general manager at Kildare’s.

Good evening Mr. Davitt,

I hope this message finds you well. I received a copy of your blog that  was sent to Dave about your families recent visit to Scranton. I have to
say it is nothing less than embarrassing. It is truly unfortunate that  we missed the boat on so many steps of service, not only your family,
but more than likely so many others.

First off, please accept my personal apologies for the service you  received. Simply unacceptable, next allow me to thank
you for taking the  time to share the experience with us.

Your experience was unacceptable and has already been addressed with  the managers of this location as well as the entire staff, as your
direct comments will be shared with them at our daily pre-shift coaching  sessions to ensure a similar situation does not occur in the
future.  Actual guest experiences send a powerful message to our managers and  staff; they learn from it.

Thanks so much for allowing me this  opportunity.

I have just taken over as the District Manager of this location for a  few reasons, Scranton needs leadership to put it back on track and I
have the experience to help do just that. I have been in charge of the  Doc Magrogan’s Oyster house in Montage for the past year and a half and
we have built a great team up there while developing a great reputation.  We have done that because our staff knows our guests are the reason we
exist, and also will allow us to grow or fold if we fail to hold our  high standards. Finally I am from the area and have developed some great
relationships throughout the years by doing the right thing or making it  right.

Dave Magrogan and I talked and he wanted you to know that we are going to put Kildare’s back on track. I am hoping that I may get a chance to
make it right with you and your family. If you have time out of your busy schedule I am hoping you can give me a call so that I may apologize
personally. You can also send me an email if you would like to as well.
I hope to hear from you soon. Thank you in advance.

Joseph T. Kenney
General Manager
Doc Magrogan’s Oyster House
7011 Shoppe Blvd.
Montage Mountain Moosic, Pa
FRESH STARTS HERE

Red Bank Guinness and Oyster Festival 2013..

Sunday, September 22, 2013 was the Red Bank Guinness and Oyster Festival 2013. We went. Did you?  If you recall, I posted a review about the Asbury Park Oyster Festival here about two weeks ago.  We stopped in Red Bank driving home from Scranton and parents weekend. Traffic getting to festival from the Garden State Parkway was a challenge. We were lucky to find a parking spot right next to the festival. The traffic jam made a 10 minute ride last about 40 minutes. That should have been a clue. It was a clue, we just ignored the  clue.

No parking cost, that beat Asbury Park. The entrance fee was 5 dollars per person. Asbury Park was 3 dollars, advantage Asbury.  The Red Bank festival was packed. They could have had twice the space and still they would have been packed. There were bands playing at each end of the parking lot/festival grounds. Food vendors, three beer trucks and two business shucking clams and oysters. We walked around the festival, a lap around, if you will. I like to see what the choices are before spending my money. Within five minutes of fighting through the crowd, the person in front of me stopped short and the walker behind me, ran into my back spilling their beer on my leg and camera.  Yum. And gave me a dirty look for causing him to spill his beer!

People in the crowd were not friendly. There is no other way to describe the festival. Advantage Asbury Park. Maybe if there was more room, people would have been nicer to each other. Other observations would be that this was a younger, “hipper” crowd.  I would expect to see a crowd like this in Brooklyn on a sunny and warm September afternoon.  There were many more people drinking at this festival. I’m sure they were drinking at the Asbury Festival, but they seemed more noticeable in Red Bank. And strollers.. we got run over by strollers.

I had my Guinness and half-dozen oysters. My DW had a cup of clam chowder. Both were real good. We grabbed a hot dog from the Wind Mill and headed home. The festival was just too intense of us.  There were more food trucks at the Asbury Festival.

Here are few pictures from the festival.  Will we go back? Probably not.

Namaste

Parents Weekend – University of Scranton 2013..

Last weekend was the Parents Weekend for the University of Scranton. DS3 is a junior there this year.  I would guess that as students move up in their years, that the parents might visit less. Sorry boys, that is not the case with us. As you may know we have two college children in Scranton along with my parents and a bevy of relatives.   We did not see any of the relatives this past weekend.  Visiting time was short and probably will be again this week. Maybe we could all meet at Coney Island Hot Lunch for a dog or two around 1 pm on Saturday.  Anybody interested?  Buhler, Buhler?

Saturday morning started early for us. We were on the road at 6:30 am to arrive in Scranton by 9:30 am. The University of Scranton athletics department was holding the Second Annual Royals 5k run/walk. We did this last year with DS3. This is my 5k for the year. And no, we don’t run. We are in the walking group. DS3 was in the running group and finished in 8 th place with a time of 24.21. Since his entry form (or the translation of that form into the computer) was incorrect, he as listed as 0 age and without a name. He was unknown runner 800.  He would have gotten the first place trophy in the 20/29 age group. My DW and I finished in 54.04. I came is second to last in the runners (I was a walker) and she came in 8 th place of the walkers.  I beat her by .01 yet her finish looks better on paper.  No big deal. The person running the timing was having technical problems Saturday.  A link to the results can be found here.

Lunch was at the Coney Island Hot Lunch. DS3’s GF was in town for the weekend. We ordered her a hot dog with everything, she would not even taste it. Her loss. She wound up having a hamburger. Business was slow so we did not feel too bad sitting and talking with both boys after finishing our lunch. We took take home for DS1 when we left. The afternoon was spent visiting my parents, getting DS3 a new cell phone and throwing around a lacrosse ball on a field at Marywood University. Dinner was at Kildare’s Irish Pub. A full accounting of that meal can be found here. It rained Saturday night in Scranton, surprise!

Sunday morning we went to Marywood University to attend mass and watch DS2 play his trumpet with the choir. After mass we all went the Bucktown Diner for brunch. Then it was time for the boys to do some school work and the old folks to head back to New Jersey. We had a nice weekend visiting the boys.  We stopped in Red Bank, NJ on the way home for the Guinness and Oyster Festival. I will detail that in a different blog.

Thanks for reading

Namaste

 

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