Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Another day draws to a close, and what a long and productive one it has been!  I have definitely achieved tiredness upon completion all of my tasks of the day!  I was up and running before I was even awake, it seemed, on a mission ~ a woman with a plan.

I began cooking even before I made my tea throwing the hot Italian sausage in the oven to cook, and turning on the cast iron frying pan with some oil and garlic to preheat while I chopped up the onions and peppers.
I didn't even think about tea until the vegetables were cooking nicely  in the pan and my area was wiped clean along with the utensils.

I had turned on my computer out of habit and it was fully loaded when I finally arrived with  my tea in hand as the garlic browned and the onions glazed, along with the bell pepper.  I went out and gave it a stir and flipped around the sausages in the oven and made another tea ~ the first one going down way to fast after so much work fueled by pure adrenaline and the need to keep to the schedule I had made for my morning.

With the vegetables cooked, I browned some ground beef in the same pan ~ pushing the veg to the side and utilizing the other half of my pan.  I seasoned the meat and left it to cook while I finished off what morning tasks I do to wake up my brain and make sure there are no surprises.  Believe me, if I had won the lottery my day would have taken a different turn for sure!

Since I had not won the lottery, I finished my meat and mixed the vegetables into it and let the flavours cook together for a while longer and got out the diced tomatoes and the sauces I was mixing together for my sauce base.

More garlic, Italian Seasonings and some fresh basil from my friends garden, along with a few other random things which I throw into my sauce and it was just about time to pull the sausage out of the oven to add to the mix, along with the meat and vegetables and I was ready to relax for a while as I got my sauce to a low simmer.

Once I was satisfied my heat was right I jumped in the shower and got ready to head out in the world to do phase two of my Tuesday morning.  I had my route mapped out and headed over to the courthouse to check a date where my old schoolmate Melisa helped me out.

I headed over to the library next to check on availability for Museum passes in order to firm up my plans for Thursday.  To my dismay the Clark Art Museum had no tickets until well into August so I secured two for the earliest date possible.

It worked out well, although disappointed the tickets were not available for this week, thanks to my girlfriend.  She phoned to firm up plans and I updated her she told me about another Museum in Williamstown with a couple of interesting displays ~ which we will check out in the meantime!

The week certainly is filling in as I was invited to canoe  tomorrow evening with a friend who has been out of town for a couple of weeks.  Not sure if I can remember the last time I was in a canoe, but I was assured it was a beginner route, and having grown up on a lake I do know how to row a boat and handle and oar ~ I am not worried at all and am looking forward to the experience.

Dinner turned out well, after simmering all afternoon.  I was anticipating eating all day after smelling it cook away.  While I was out walking the dog, Tom's Dad phoned from my house and I had him put on some water for pasta to get a jump on it.  I brought Sheyna, (my friends dog) home and gave her a treat and headed home.

We got the news, although disappointing, that we will not be having a two week visit with Tom's Dad as his apartment is going to be available on the first after all!  Yeah ~ it is good to see things work out for people!  I am so tired of hearing how things are not working out that it is a nice change for sure!

I really cannot believe it will be Wednesday tomorrow already!  Which reminds me that I have not checked out the artist schedule for Friday ArtWalk.  I have seen some previews on Facebook, already a couple of necessary stops earmarked for the evening, I need to get my schedule down ~ I like to be prepared.

Phew ~ busy and quick week ~ busy and quick Summer!  Soon it will be August and fall will be knocking at our door shortly after that.  Summers really are too short here in the Berkshires but I would not trade the changing of the seasons for anything!

I am out ~ another busy one ahead so I must get my beauty sleep!  I am not really sure what is in store but I am sure I will  make it back in one piece to let you  know how it went.  Until then ~ have a wonderful week and expect the unexpected ~ sometimes the unexpected brings amazing results!

Monday, July 29, 2013


Another lazy day after staying up way too late again, but it did help me sleep better being so tired when I finally fell asleep.  No early phone calls to wake me up which was even better!  With little to do around the house I hopped on the computer as usual and with tea in hand proceeded to wake up.

Before I knew it my tea was gone and I was bored with the computer so I decided to check out another book I had taken from the library before preparing for my appointment.  My friend Diane phoned offering me the opportunity to walk her dog Sheyna later in the afternoon which fit in perfectly with the timing of my appointment.

Sheyna had gotten a new harness the day before so between the phone call and the walk I checked it out on the internet, being a new fangled harness with the clip on the front instead of on the dogs back.  Since I am better with a visual I gave it a viewing, and I was grateful that I had when I arrived to walk the dog!

As usual it is my nature to over complicate a simple task.  I put it on once and decided I wasn't sure it was on properly, so I took it off and looked at it and put it back on the same way and it was good.  I was worried as her Mom had told me that she saw another dog the night before and Sheyna managed somehow to get her leg out and slip away so I wanted to be sure it was correct.

We had a nice walk in the park and around her usual haunts.  The park was empty and they had just cut the lawn earlier in the day which made it even nicer.  It had gotten warm again and I wished I had a drink, but before you knew it our time together was over and I was headed home for a hot tea in a cold room.

I had purchased a fairly decent roast beef a couple of days before and decided in the morning that we would be dining on roast beef and baked potatoes so I preheated the oven when I walked in, on my way to get my cup and make a tea.

It has been a while since we had a nice roast for dinner.  For one it is summer and who wants the added heat, but it was well worth the oven time when it was smothered in delicious homemade gravy with some green beans and garlic to go along with the feast.

Neither my son or I complained as we ate our meal in the air conditioned living room as opposed to the hot kitchen where we would normally eat.  It was nice having Sunday dinner on a Monday.  It was a nice treat and the leftovers will be good cold.  Since our lives will be altered a bit over the next couple of weeks with a house guest I figured I owed it to my son and myself kind of a pre-reward.

Thomas is happy with his room the way it is set up now which is a relief.  I hope he feels that way when his Dad is snoring in the room with him for two weeks.  I am sure it will be fine however, and am confident this will be a positive time for the both of them.  They both have bikes and have plans to get out and have adventures of their own over the next two weeks.

I decided to write just a little bit earlier than I have over the previous few times.  I have an engagement with my television set and my son to watch "Under the Dome", I have been faithfully watching, although I had to watch lasts weeks after it aired due to the Empty Stein Fundraiser last Monday.

And I do forgive +Mike Pezzo, who when I told him I had missed it said in one breath, I wont tell you what happened and then told me what happened ~ thanks Mike ~ good thing I am not a petty person but it did suck knowing what was coming as I was watching it ~ kinda like when you haven't seen the game and just before you get home to watch it someone tells you how it ended even though you painstakingly avoided any knowledge of it all day!

Tuesday is looking kind of empty so far.  I am sure that by the time I am up for an hour that will change.  I do know I get to wake up and start a sauce since I am putting it off until morning ~ having made myself comatose with Roast Beef and the biggest baked potato I have seen in a while digesting and my show soon to begin.

It is First Friday Artwalk  this week, and while the artist schedule was posted I have not taken the time to go over it and plan my route of attack on Friday.  I like to be prepared in case someone or something is in a place which is not normally on my list (although I do try to see as much art as possible in the two hours!)

I have two more planned dog walks this week as well and plans to hang out with my friend Jen and go to a museum so I also have to go to the library and see if there is availability of passes on the day we have open so this week is filling in kind of nicely.

Have a great night and keep smiling!


I should be headed to bed instead of posting.  I am a bit tired, although I did far less today than I did yesterday.  Sleeping well until the phone rang too early for Sunday morning, which I chose to ignore.  I was not ready to face the day, let alone have a conversation with a live person.

I was feeling pretty tired, despite the sleep I finally got.  Everything catching up to me from the day before. Achy and sore, I decided to get up and move around instead of try to get any more sleep ~ the cell phone began to ring, so I walked by without answering headed away from it to the kitchen to make some tea.

With the tea in the microwave, I turned on the computer ~ the only real life interaction I was ready for, washed the plate and bowl left over from the night before and made my tea and tried to wake up my brain with some games.

I was thankful that Tom's dad was not camped out on my doorstep, as he promised to come down in the morning and help me with Tom's room ~ which I had put off the day before.  Tom was on the couch as usual, even though he didn't start out there last night.

I decided to answer the phone after the fourth time.  Knowing it was my ex Dave who calls on Sunday's while his girlfriend is at church to hang out and read the paper and have tea and kill some time until she phones for a ride.

We were having a talk about some current event when Tom's dad knocked on the door and soon the three of us were having tea in my kitchen.  There is a first time for everything, and this was definitely a first. Everyone played nice, which was reassuring and soon we were outside.

I noticed the flowers by the driveway, which the landlord just had weeded two days before were being choked out by the weeds so I, out of habit began weeding the flowers.  You know it is bad when the weeds are healthier than the flowers!

As I was doing so, I thought I saw my landlord drive by out of the corner of  my eye, and a few minute later he was in the driveway telling me he had another property that needed weeding ~ although he did point out that this one was just weeded.  I wonder if the large pile of weeds next to me was any indication of how well his help knows what a weed is, I for one could not tell.

He left and Dave soon followed and Tom's Dad and I went into the house when the phone rang and my friend was telling me about her weekend and asking me if I could walk the dog around 2.  I, as usual was stoked to do so.

The mystery of the chickens was solved as well, sort of, but now at least I know that they are not my friends or Alchemy's and they sometimes "get out" although they are not supposed to be free range chickens in the city. I told her how I got them back in the coop, mainly out of concern that they would get hit by a car or cause an accident surprising a driver just by it's presence ~ stranger things have happened!

It was going on 11 so I had to put off the room rearrangement until after I returned from the dog walk.  I still needed to get out of my p.j.'s and take a shower before I headed out so Tom's Dad took off so I could get ready.

It began clouding up, so I checked the weather channel to see when the cloud was going to burst.  I got lucky, must have rained while I was in the shower, because it was only sprinkling lightly when I went out which was barely noticeable.

The chickens were walking around the yard again when I arrived at my friends house, but, now knowing it is not something which I should concern myself with I set off to get the dog and take our walk.  She greeted me with a couple of barks until she saw it was me and she ran over for her pets excitedly, more vocal than usual. I gave her some pets before we headed into the hall for her leash and we went on our way.

Thomas was up when I returned and soon his Dad arrived for the third time in two days to help me with the room.  With the three of us, it was vacuumed and the furniture rearranged in less than 25 minutes (not counting the clothes being put away or the bed being remade).  It took more time, as usual in beginning the job than the job actually took!

We went back downstairs, satisfied at the job we had done working as a team.  Assuring the ease of adding a bed and a dresser for two weeks.  Thomas was amazed at all of the room that he gained in his room, and the addition of the A/C in his stifling hot room should keep him there during the night!

I traded the task of dinner to Thomas as I set to work on the laundry from his room.  Fresh sheets and blankets on top of a freshly cleaned room are always a bonus.  He skillfully fried some kielbasa and onions for dinner and we set off to warm up for our Sunday night shows with the first episode of Downton Abbey Season 3.

I grabbed the clean clothes from the machine and folded during the show and he cut some cheddar cheese to snack on while we were watching as well.  We had time before our shows began to stretch our legs and that was about it, as we geared up to find out what happened in True Blood and Newsroom.

Like I said, I should be sleeping, as Monday is Monday, but I am caught up pretty well on my house, dishes, laundry and only have one obligation (that I know of) and that isn't until 2:00 in the afternoon.  Maybe the later hour will allow me some deeper sleep ~ who knows.

I did get to spend some time on Google today, catching up with some previous posts and comments and some new art and "eye candy", filling my page with a few things here and there throughout the day, but not really interacting too much with anyone ~ timing is everything and I have been away so long I am not sure when "interesting" people are around anymore.

I really  need to start hanging out there more!  There are an amazing array of great artists and photographers and I need to catch up for sure!  It gets trickier in the summer I think to keep up with the social media, as for me anyway, my life and outdoor "real" world interactions occur more frequently.

Good luck with making Monday an awesome day!

Saturday, July 27, 2013


What a wonderful, busy and fulfilling day it has been!  Considering that last night when I went upstairs to enjoy my solitude by finishing the book I had started earlier that day, I found myself in need of making my bed.  I had forgotten about the basket of laundry, including the sheets and blanket until I almost tripped over it on the way upstairs.

Hands already full, I repositioned my load and prepared to fold two loads of laundry and remake a bed before I could crawl in and indulge in the story which had encompassed my brain earlier and which I was eager to finish.

It did not bother me that it was 2 a.m. before I closed the book, leaving a few pages to finish in the morning. I was not particularly tired, but I knew that I had to do a few things during the day which did not require me unable to do them due to a lack of sleep.

I wake early regardless, and at 8 a.m., I started to get up and remembered the end of the book, so I picked it up from the side of the bed and polished it off before getting up and starting my day with my usual cup of tea and computer fix.

I was soon interrupted by a knock at the door and my youngest son's Dad was there bright and early to have a cup of tea and discuss plans for his upcoming visit for a couple of weeks until his apartment becomes available.  Still a bit groggy from my lack of sleep and caffeine ingestion, I lit a cigarette and organized in my head what preparations would need to be made over the course of the next couple of days before his arrival.

Since it requires a slight shifting of my son's room I am not too concerned and we made plans to begin the task the following day.  It was getting late and I still hadn't gotten in my mandatory computer time to wake up my brain and check out what is going on in the world.

I did some of the basic morning stuff, putting aside a couple of things until later, returning unexpected emails which for a change were not junk or spam when I realized I needed to motivate to gravitate out the door to help break down the Farmer's Market at 1:00 ~ needing to stop at the store before I began my task.

I was greeted by the Acting Manager of the Day ~ Jen who said hello and handed me a token for an egg roll at On A Roll.  I had heard amazing things about this new food vendor, but had not yet indulged in their food. I am a huge fan of egg rolls in general but nothing prepared me for the mushroom, pea and risotto food explosion that hit my taste buds.

I cannot wait to try the other egg roll options as well.  It is one of my goals over the remainder of the summer to try them all, and when I make those Crab Rangoon's I think I will create something along the same lines, it has really got my brain (and my tummy) thinking.

The breakdown went well.  The others agreed that we did it in record time and the storage area looked much neater and more organized when we finished than when Jess and I picked up the tables the other night ~ Jim did an amazing job at that!

I came home with a basil plant and a cilantro plant and some squash and a couple of cukes.  I am happy to have some fresh herbs as I love cooking with them.  I unloaded my wares and headed back the way I came to do some shopping and I made plans to get together with a friend of mine who had been ill, if he was feeling better later in the day.

I hadn't heard from my son and having realized he forgot his key earlier in the day I headed back home to have a cup of tea and relax, having time for a forgotten cup of tea before calling my friend back to see if we were meeting or not.

As it turns out, with my desire to go to Susan Geller's Opening at Circa between 4 and 6, we made plans to meet later.  That gave me a little more time to relax before heading to the opening so I gladly took the time to stretch out and relax before running out the door yet again!

I had dropped in earlier in the day to Circa and checked out the display ~ just in case it was very packed.  Susan had three photographs I had not seen before.  I really liked the Heart Blue Moon and the View from Mt. Greylock was a sight I am very familiar with and it brought back many vivid memories of our weekly drives up and over the mountain since the fire road was around the corner from our home in New Ashford.

There was a nice group of people casually sitting around having conversations when I entered.  Susan and I greeted each other and she thanked me for coming.  I had previously thought I had missed it, happy to have not missed it I grabbed a water and a seat and struck up a conversation or two with some folks I had volunteered with for the Berkshire International Film Festival last year.

Rick Costello, and who was at Bisque, Beads, and Beyond for July for Artwalk, and when asked he confirmed he would continue to be up for August in the same venue with his paintings of the stars which I mentioned in a previous blog.  If you missed his paintings you will have the rest of July and August to view them.

My son had phoned me while I was walking up to the opening asking how the promised Shepherds Pie was doing.  Since it was the first I had spoken with him all day, I told him it was next on my list ~ after the opening and I would phone him when I was on my way home.  Which I did  ~ giving myself an hour to make it. No sooner had I hung up the phone with him did I run into his Dad who upon hearing about dinner gleaned a seat at the table as well.

I walked in the door, kicked off my shoes and set to work ~ adding clearing off the dining room table in addition to the meal prep since we all could not eat dinner at the breakfast bar in the kitchen.  The dining room is the official dump area but it wasn't too bad for a change.

I grabbed the pans I needed and the potatoes and set to work, deciding I needed to re oil my cast iron pain before I used it I turned on the oven and oiled it and put it in and set to work peeling and cutting the potatoes since they would take the longest.

The potatoes on, I chopped my onion and garlic and retrieved my pan from the oven wiping out the excess oil ~ happier overall with the outcome I added oil to preheat to saute the onions, and garlic before adding my ground beef and got a bit creative with the seasonings.

Thomas's Dad, arrived before the hour was up, as I was sending off an email link to my blog while the potatoes were finishing up.  We chatted and I put him to work holding the pain while I scooped the first layer into the bottom of the two pans of Pie I was preparing.

I drained the potatoes and added butter and looked for where I put the beaters for the mixer.  Since I did not put them where they should go it took a minute to lay my hands on them looking three different places before I remembered where I put them.  I whipped up the potatoes with some more garlic and milk and added the corn layer before topping off the dish with the potatoes.

I was starving by then.  The aroma coming out of the pan was enticing.  I placed them in the oven and set the timer and called my sons to let them know they had about 40 minutes before food would be ready.  It had already been a very full day but I was excited to have the boys over for dinner.

I set the table and joined Rick for tea in the living room to wait out the very long 40 minutes - long due to the fact I was starving and not by the company.  The beeper beeped on the stove and I phoned the boys to let them know it was ready.  And within 5 minutes they arrived and we sat down to eat.  With no complaints other than how hot it was ~ the seasonings not objectionable to their palates I was pleased.

It was cool listening to Tom's Dad relive memories on his Dad's Horse Farm and throwing Hay (and learning how to avoid it).  Tom was young when his grandpa died so he doesn't have many memories of him, so it was fun to hear his Dad's animated tales and memories with is father.

Dinner is over, everyone is gone and I have one plate and a cup left to wash tomorrow.  My son would be telling me to be quite by now ~ repeatedly and to breath between sentences.  I say that because I do have a tendency to get long winded and this day has brought that out on paper.

It has been a whirlwind of a day and I left out the very best part of the radical day I had ~ as I was walking home from North Street, taking a usual shortcut from North Street and walking over a street one of my friends lives on to cut through the park on my way home, I am walking by her house when I notice that there are five chickens walking in the driveway.

They have a hen house but I have never seen the chickens walking around loose ~ always in their coop.  I do not know whose chicken's they actually are but I did know my friend was not home and I knocked on some doors with no luck.  My worry was they were going to wander into the road and get hit by a car or frankly stolen.

After making two calls with no luck, I walked into the backyard where they were in a flower bed and began talking to them, as I do talk to animals.  I nudged them towards their home, and they went straight to the back door which was open ~ the mystery of how they got out solved.

The mystery of how to get them back in was soon solved as well when the first one hopped in followed by two and three.  Four and five on the other hand were not headed that way with clucking or anything so I walked behind the furthest one and he headed toward the coop.

Four finally went in and Five joined him so I closed the door and latched it securely and then I ran into my friend Cindy who tried to kidnap me.  This was all before I even hit the park and called my son and ran into his Dad and cooked dinner!!!!

Told you I was long winded tonight!!!  I almost forgot about the chickens!!!  On that note I am going to breath and say good night as it is nearer to Sunday than I would like it to be!

Friday, July 26, 2013


Very rarely do I ever have my house to myself and I find myself unexpectedly alone.  My son got kidnapped by his brother to go check out some new gaming device so they are in for a hardcore gaming session ~ old school and high tech at the same time.

They, thanks to their older brother, have been playing videogames since they were 4 or so; watching and waiting until my oldest son said the next was old enough and ready.  They were ready before they could play, anticipating the day when they could take hold of the controller.

My sons all possess a certain level of competitiveness, and a great deal of skill due to this.  My middle son loves to play games until he beats them ~ which he plans out the timing of the release and his work schedule and will not stop until it is conquered ~ usually within a couple of days at most.

They should get jobs in the video game industry to be sure!  I have found that as long as I am doing something that I love to do, and I have dabbled in many occupations over my lifetime, some I definitely enjoyed more than others ~ none that I have truly hated, fortunately; it made life easier.  I could not imagine doing a job if I hated it.

I think a balance of fun and work is a must.  If you can make work fun it is a benefit.  The same with life. Speaking of which, when I left you on Wednesday I was headed to the Barrington Stage to volunteer in the Greylock Lounge during intermission of The Chosen.

The Chosen was such a thought provoking play.  I have found myself over the course of the past couple of days pondering it's meaning.  Not only the differences in beliefs of the two different cultures of the Jewish Fathers ~ their views and their raising of their sons.

The level of respect and difficulty of the choices between the Father's and the Son's respectfully.  Overall the love that each had for the other and the pain ~ it made me cry a little at the end.  It was really powerful and the actors all did a marvelous job.

I was raised a Catholic.  I love the ritual of church and I have often found myself church.  When I was a little girl there was a Church at the end of my street.  I took refuge there often, and at times still do find myself in an empty church, lighting a candle or walking around reading the stations of the cross and the stained glass windows and the architecture of the building.  I still hope one day to get to Europe and go tour the churches.
I have always been a freak about architecture, old wood, large rooms, chandeliers.  I am often looking up when I am exploring cities, at the adornments and carvings in the older buildings before things got prefab and molded.  Don't get me wrong, I do find some modern architecture and structures appealing.

It is the craftsmanship and labour of long ago that appeals to me, and the quality and pride in craftsmanship, it seems to come through in the final products.  My antique furniture which my children complain about moving has lasted far longer than the modern furniture which I have bought and discarded over the years! Quality over quantity I always say.  That is part of what is wrong with the world ~ everything is made to break and be replaced instead of made to last.

I have had such a busy day today getting groceries in the house for the rest of the month along with the usual Friday activities.  I even managed to stop by the library while I was out and am halfway through a book I picked up.

The weather has been cooler, I have not been sleeping well, however over the previous three evenings, so I am glad to have a book to read.  Sleep be damned, it is overrated anyhow!  I don't have anything I have to do until 1:00 tomorrow when I am going to breakdown the Farmer's Market, which I have never done before.

There is also an Art Opening tomorrow evening between 4 and 6 by Susan Geller at Circa which I am hoping to attend as well so I will get to check out some amazing photographs as well as a very cool shop full of vintage furniture and other goodies.

You know me, anything can happen in between!  Hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


I cannot believe it is Wednesday already!!!  When last I left you I was hoping to be better for my volunteering obligation on Monday.  When I got up on Monday I was not sure if I was going to be able to fulfill my obligation, but unless I am dying I do what I say I am going to do.

I even fit in a unexpected dog walking before I met up with my transportation ~ who fortunately for me was running late as I did my best to grab everything I might need, and finish up my obligations to my household ahead of time with every step slow and precise as my flare up was still in full swing despite the medication I forced myself to take!

Since my ride was one of the women in charge, she had a couple of stops along the way for food and tables, which we loaded into her car and made our way to the Inn in Richmond for the Alchemy Initiative Empty Stein event.

Local artists made beer steins which people pre-ordered tickets to ensure a stein ~ and all others were a first come first pick.  With beer and food and music in the garden, the guests began arriving promptly at 6:00 in order to have the best choices, although all of the steins were beautiful.

There was music playing while guests gathered and chatted with their beers.  Croquet and a games on the lawn and it was a beautiful evening as far as the temperature went.  I was bouncing around checking people in, and later going around selling beer tickets for refills and chatting with various people, some whom I knew and others I was just meeting for the first time.

As it was beginning to grow dark and the band was getting ready to play in the barn ~ the rain decided to fall, and we made mad dashes into the barn with food and tables and set up the beer inside ( I would say just in the nick of time, but some of us got wetter than others!)

It did not dampen the spirits of the party goers however, and everyone had a good time rocking out to Rock Steady in the barn, nibbling on cookies and cheese and drinking beer in their new Steins and bidding on items for the Silent Auction.

I was so busy however, that I never got a chance until after I got soaked to change from my "set up" clothes but was grateful to have a dry shirt to put on ~ I only wished I had remembered to grab a brush because the rain and the humidity killed my hair!!!!!

I had been a bit uncomfortable about attending the event as I had not seen my old best friend since Christmas and I was worried that it would be uncomfortable.  We were both troopers though, and picked up where we left off ~ minus the bad feelings and misunderstanding that caused us to part ways previously. There are many happy people in the world now because of it!

I am not a fan of conflict as you all know if you have been reading ~ so it was nice that we both put aside our conflict and after the party had a chance to talk.  I really feel we both needed the time apart in order to appreciate the other.  I for one am happy about it, as I know she is as well.  It is nice having a good friend, and was difficult for both of us not to be friends for so many months!

Tuesday was definitely a day of recovery for me, and I was glad that I gleaned some info off a massage guy to try to break the pain cycle which seems to be stemming from the dreaded sciatic nerve.  I did the recommended stretches and gained enough relief to walk to the supermarket to grab a green pepper and a fresh box of hot dogs that my son loves so much (and can cook in a pinch if I am out being social!)

While I was out (I love timing) I happened upon my friend Diane and her dog Sheyna.  Sheyna came running over to greet me ~ not used to seeing her Mom and me at the same time during a walk ~ I love that fluffy puppy!!!  (I love most dogs ~ but Sheyna is my ultimate favorite!)  Diane was beat after the hectic week of preparation for the evening before's event, but pleased and relieved it was such a success and behind her!

My friend Cindy showed up later in the evening, returning the notebook of my first 50 blog posts and told my son that I should write a book, since in her opinion I come through good on paper.  It made me feel good to hear another positive review!

I went with her to the store and we walked to the library before it closed so that she could reserve some D.V.D's and I helped her create an aol account and a new facebook account.  Of course something went wrong ~ I think she entered the wrong password, and with 7 minutes left on the computer we did not have time to correct the issue!

My son joined us on the return and we grabbed ice cream (which did not have a chance to melt) and enjoyed it on the church steps before heading back through the park to our homes.  We ran into my son's Dad ~ who yelled at my son for walking by the first time without stopping to say hello ~ before we continued down the road.

I was totally full of ice cream and beat by that time, so I did my nightly computer things - minus the blog since I did not have the energy to formulate my thoughts and coordinated with my friend Mike for the next mornings errands.

Six a.m. came quickly after a very sleepless night despite the cooler temperatures.  The sciatic nerve pain is gone for now!  Thanks to the stretches I think!  Just in time as I had to do so much this morning and have my next volunteering obligation this evening at the Barrington Stage Company.

Garbage is out, laundry is in, food is put away, blog is written, and I am thinking about making sauce for dinner tonight instead of vacuuming the rest of the apartment.  Knowing me, however, I will make the sauce and vacuum the upstairs.  I have half an idea of what I am wearing this evening so I am in good shape for the day!

Looking back over the previous two days ~ I am amazed I made it through at all!  It is a new play at Barrington Stage this evening so I will let you know tomorrow how it was.  I have no doubt it will be wonderful as they all have been!  They are an outstanding Theatre group and I am totally psyched to be going!

Until next time ~ have a great day and don't forget to smile!

Sunday, July 21, 2013


Yesterday I allowed myself to complain about my pain.  Last night I got my son to push down on the right knot for about five minutes loosening it up enough for me not to wake up every time I moved during the night.  Today, however, I will not complain as I am trying to ignore the fact that it is still there.

The result of me ignoring my funky pain was me cleaning and vacuuming my living room, and yes, I even made progress in moving in the new glass top side tables and moved around the furniture again!  I had to move the couches and chairs to clean under and around them anyway and so there you have it.

Since the "heat wave" and humidity broke I decided to do some laundry as well and after a therapeutic shower I decided I would try a walk to the library to return my one very overdue book and the other soon to be overdue library book.

None of the above really worked in lessening my pain, and on the way to the library I made the executive decision that the walk down to the supermarket was going on the not today list so I walked down North Street wondering how people thought it was really any less humid today ~ because I was not feeling it!!

The Polish Festival was going on at St. Mark's Church so I slowly made my way down to see if any of my acquaintances were partaking in the festivities.  I ran into a few people whom I know but not the specific people I was looking for.

I wandered into the church to pay my respects to the Lord blessing myself with the holy water at the front door on the way down to the front pew where I insanely kneeled before the altar before sitting down to say a little prayer, jolts of pain flaring up beyond my endurance.

My Jewish friend who followed me into the church must not realize what people are doing when they are in church as he constantly talked to me the whole time I was praying and when I went over and lit a fake candle ( not matches or flame just a button that you push and a light comes on?), talking to me through that prayer as I prayed for strength and compassion.

I decided to get a salad on the way home, heading to A-Mart ~ but they were out of salad and I am so sick and tired of grinders, I reluctantly decided to head home as I was totally defeated and the walk was not the best of ideas.

My friend was reluctant to part company, he is a sweetheart and truth be told he has a little crush which I have made so clear so many times and ways over the years, but what is a girl to do.  He walked with me to another store and through the Common and all of the way to my front gate with me telling him over and over again that it was not necessary, feeling like a stray pet was following me home.  I do wish I could find him a sweet girl to fall in love with who will love him back as he is swell but not the guy for me!

I now had the dilemma of figuring out what to make for dinner.  Sunday is no day to mess around with last minute and late meals as my son and I have our standing date punctually at 8:59 with no exceptions (unless our shows are not airing).

Frozen pork roast or turkey breast ~ I decided on the turkey breast ~ which is now in the oven and should be done in the nick of time with some homemade mashed potatoes and green beans and with luck some gravy (if the darn thing produces any juices) as the turkey is boneless and skinless.

I sure do hope this "limitation reminder" passes during the night as I have a few things going on this week which requires my attendance out in the real world!  Thanks to all of you who responded so nicely with your awesome words and thoughts of well wishes!

Saturday, July 20, 2013


I am blessed with having some amazing people around me whom I consider really good friends.  Since Thursday evening after I returned from the Third Thursday event, after lasted roughly less than an hour there, and noticing during the walk home that structurally, and physically I was not doing too good as my right lower back seemed to be locking up and seizing on me.

While I slept I was bothered more frequently than usual by the pain and when I woke up I could barely stand up and the walk down the stairs was a tricky one to say the least!  I was relieved not to be going for my usual ritual of standing in line ~ I could not have managed it anyway!

I managed, later in the afternoon to run out as I needed laundry detergent and a couple of other necessities, with every step shooting agonizing pain down my back and up to my neck or the other way around ~ I am not sure which as I haven't figured out the source.

In the afternoon, I took a drive up the mountain and was blessed with a ten degree drop in temperature and an amazing view of the surrounding mountains.  No flower picking for me however, I found a nice place to sit on the grass and enjoyed the fresh, clean, refreshing wind.  It was nice, and unexpected.

Nothing lasts forever however, and the return trip down the mountain  where the temperature was 83 in the shade, quickly was replaced by 94 in the sweltering heat of the city.  I was amazed at how much of difference in temperature there was in such a short distance ~ but elevation is everything!

I managed to throw a quick meal together of sauteed peppers and onions with some pork medallions and a blend of seasonings ~ somewhat on the Italian side, as opposed to the hot side for a change, made some egg noodles and ate the first meal that I have cooked since this heat wave began!

My friend Cindy phoned when she got out of work and she came down for a visit and a couple of hands of rummy in the coolness of the dining room.  There was a knock at the door and my good friend Mike Jones (not the rapper), surprised us for a while with his good humor and booming laughter!

After a while they both left, my pain was still high, but I really enjoyed the diversion that my friends provided. It was fairly late so I decided to brave the heat of the upstairs and see what I could fall asleep to on television.

When I woke up this morning, I was still feeling the pain in a big way.  I had nothing pressing for the day so I decided to watch a program on the Tibetan Book of the Dead ~ which I was just discussing wanting to read with a friend of mine who has a copy.  I still want to read it, now more than ever.

I finally dragged myself down the stairs and checked the weather channel to see what we are in store for, fired up the computer and put a tea in the microwave.  It was around noon when my friend Mike knocked at my door to see if I was feeling any better, and offered to run to the store for me ~ I am grateful, as I still did not really feel like moving.

I am not one to complain (usually) about pain.  It is a way of life for me.  Mostly, it is a level I can manage to deal with, sometimes it is not.  I also am stubborn and do not like to ask for help either, but I am learning to accept that once in awhile you need to utilize the help of a friend when it is offered and not always be the friend that is the helper.  I would like to raise my glass (of tea) to all of the people out there who are great friends and just say thank you!

In a world where there are so many people with an agenda, and who are false and misleading, I would like to acknowledge those who are not for a change!  It is really a blessing to find the gems amongst all of the decoys in the world!

Thursday, July 18, 2013


I had a late afternoon appointment in North Adams yesterday, (Wednesday)  for a chest scan so that my doctor could have a base scan since I have been smoking cigarettes forever and a day!   I had to get a ride from my middle son which is why I scheduled it so late in the afternoon.  He encouraged my youngest son to come with us.

As usual he underestimated the time, needing gas at 4:30 at a busy gas station, my stress levels were a little high to say the least.  It was a longer ride than I remembered, used to taking the shortcuts and back roads which were my  main routes in order to avoid the tourists of the season on the main roads.  My son is now opposed to anything less than a paved road ~ citing my choice of roads as a hindrance to the life spans of my cars, which in my opinion is totally incorrect.

In my defence ~ I never raced on these under managed roads, never drove down them until after mud season, and always turned around if the road became to impassable.  I did however drive a lot.  Taking many road trips, and adventures daily as I always had an intense need to be on the go and away ~ no need for a destination.

Give me a car, a tank of gas, my choice of c.d.'s or when in certain areas specific radio stations and if I am lucky specific d.j.'s., a pack of cigarettes, camera  and I was likely to end up just about anywhere which was a necessity for my very existence.  I am amazed that I have gone this long without a car in reality ~ part of the unclear decision making when your life goes to hell in a big way!

So, we made it to the hospital, which I am least familiar with and I had to ask the elderly volunteer where X Ray was ~ she directed me to the elevator and told me to go down one level.  When I came off the elevator at North Adams Regional Hospital I was surprised and amazed to find a bit of artwork on display.

I almost forgot to follow the signs to the X-Ray Department, and my stress had abated completely about being nearly ten minutes late.  I noticed as I went around the corner the familiar colors and subject matter of Scott Taylor ~ which was awesome and almost followed the art the wrong direction ~ passing a much needed sign as I was so caught up in all of the artists along the way!

When I arrived at the X Ray area all of the lights were off in the station.  There was one guy sitting in the waiting area but I couldn't tell if he was waiting or what.  Finally a nurse came by and told me she would get someone.  I was getting nervous ~ not really sure if there was a time which they closed.

The Technician came and asked me if I had gone to registration.  I had no idea what or where he was talking about so I was given a paper and sent down the hall to the window on the left.  More art almost got me, but I made it to the window.  They had to change all my info since it was from another lifetime and I left with a sheet of 40 name tag stickers for one scan??

Once I was checked in the Tech took my paperwork and told me there were two people ahead of me, but then came out a couple of minutes later and the scan was over in a few minutes.  I had more time on the way out to explore the hallway of art I didn't get to see.  Of course I had no paper or pen to write down the names of these artists but I was delighted to check them out.  If you are in the area check out the ground floor of the NARH ~ worth the viewing.

We went home a different more familiar way ~ through Williamstown, New Ashford and Lanesborough via Route 7.  To me every tree is familiar and it was a bittersweet ride with my boys ~ for me.  My middle son disputes any happiness at all which I also disagree with him on that recalling his easy going attitude and easy laughter surrounded with family and friends.  That is my illusion according to him.  Oh well, he can have his illusions and I can have mine.  Whatever it takes I guess to make it work for you.

Today being Thursday I waited until afternoon to leave the house, having forgotten all about a prior engagement, which left my ride sitting in my driveway, where I found him enjoying the shade after I listened to his message saying he was in my driveway and was going to wait a few minutes.  Not typical of me to not be up and ready for something, but we hadn't set a time firmly but it was totally my bad.

After doing Thursday afternoon errands, coming home and eating lunch in the nice cool dining room.  My son and I decided to play some Rummy ~ something we have not done for a while, but which we usually do more  regularly. We almost made it to 500 ~ but I was a bit ahead, so my son decided the last hand was enough.  No argument there I was ahead so I gave in.

I was fighting the urge to blow off this month's Third Thursday event. I was struggling with the decision when I decided to go, which I did, if only to make it seem cooler in the apartment when I returned.  I grabbed a slushy, having the option of two flavors to mix up since the blue was not ready ~ it looked bad, but tasted surprisingly good.

There were a good number of people upstreet, although a large portion of the crowd were teenagers for a change.  I think it was primarily due to the fact that they opened a fire hydrant which looked very cool and refreshing and I was very tempted, as I have never played in one ~ I had too many things that would have gotten wet and ruined but it is on the list for sure.  I think everyone should do it at least once!

I lasted about an hour or so walking up and down in the stifling humidity. I walked up and around and down and back again ~ seeing everything that there was to see in half hearted way.  Having finished my drink, I headed to my friend Diane's show where she said she would be after she was done in her studio ~ there was A/C ~ so I headed over to cool off, but she was out, so I headed out, deciding to head back home, although there was more than an hour left of festivities.

It was just too hot to be festive, so I headed off through the city into the Common where there is usually a nice breeze, but today was a different kind of day and the wind was not enough to do the trick.  It did get a bit cooler as I got closer to home with the coolness off the lake at the end of my street.

Not too sure what the weekend has in store for me, but there may be rain in our future ~ a slight cooling of temperatures is forecasted.  We shall see!  Until next time, have a wonderful night, stay cool, keep hydrated and smile!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


If you are counting this as Tuesday's blog I am really late!  Actually ~ I did sit down to write last night after my day ~ but my eyelids were so heavy that I decided to take the day off from writing and went up to bed instead.

I stayed out of the sun as much as I could yesterday.  I did have a follow up with my physician and found that I had managed to reduce my cholesterol in the 4 years since I was last tested.  The numbers are still high for the "bad" cholesterol ~ and the "good" cholesterol could be better.

Armed with information on how to reduce the bad number with food and not medication I went home and cooked a nice half a fish and really enjoyed it, although I usually don't eat too much in the daytime.  I have three months to try and drop it naturally, get rechecked and go from there.  A nice salad for dinner and I think that is two huge attempts right off the bat!

Not too bad!  The rest of my numbers were good.  No surprises anywhere!  That makes me feel good to say the least!  I don't feel unhealthy in reality and I do try to live a fairly healthy lifestyle with exercise and diet and moderating snacks.  Other than the cigarettes, not too bad.  We shall see how this baseline Chest scan goes later today.

My right brain has been doing all it can do to distract me from writing this week.  I keep sitting down, opening up the blank page and remembering to do something else.  I went to make a tea to prep for writing and washed the dishes and almost forgot to make the tea!

I had a really weird random experience yesterday ~ which I just wrote off last night as my ditziness, but I am not so sure now after speaking with my son.

Yesterday, I put in the second A/C and when I did I brought the little key chain thermometer into the dining room to get a base reading.  It had been in the living room hanging on a lamp across the room from the A/C. I did this back and forth all afternoon until at one point I could not find the key chain.

I could have sworn that it was hanging in the dining room, but when I went to check the temp, it was not hanging where I left it. I figured I must have just put it back in the living room and forgotten about it, but it was not there either.

I thought back an hour and decided maybe I just put it down somewhere while I got distracted by any of the five other things I was doing.  After looking in both rooms, the upstairs, the kitchen, the bathroom, next to my computer and on the floor around where I hang it ~ I was stymied.

I really did not give it a thought until this morning when I was enjoying the coolness of the 75 degrees when I came down in the morning that I did not even give it a thought until I happened to look up from my seat in the living room and noticed it was hanging on the lamp where it should have been in the first place.

I thought to myself ~ I will have to ask Thomas where he found it, as I was damn curious about where I had put it down.  When he got up I asked him where he found it.  Odd thing is, he did not find it.  He had no idea where it went or how it got returned where it should have been.

In my old house in the country ~ my friend Ken, who used to live there with the lady I bought my house from, told me that when he lived in the house that things would seem to vanish like they were erased, and then sometimes days after you were looking for whatever it is you couldn't locate ~ they would reappear, like they were drawn back in.

We did have spirits in that house.  We took two pictures which were clear apparitions of a young girl leaning over the washer in one picture, and in the second picture about ten minutes later it had changed position and was leaning over the dryer which was on the other wall.  It  freaked me out, but in a good way.  Most spirits are just playful entities anyway in my opinion.

My apartment, which is half of a house was owned by an old Italian family and the last owner died here in the house.  After speaking to my son this morning and finding no other explanation as there was no one else (living) in the house at all I could easily believe it was Tony or one of his kin playing a trick on me!

We will never know for sure, which is why it will always remain an unsolved mystery!  As long as things don't get too hinky I am all good with that!  I know after I die, if there is a way to come back I will surely be doing some mischief myself!

I am looking forward to Third Thursday tomorrow night as well.  As this is a given for me ~ regardless of the heat I will be there with bells on!  I cannot wait to see who I randomly encounter!  I am amazed at how quickly the summer is passing!  Until next time I am signing off!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Today I finally broke down and put in an air conditioning in preparation of the week long excessive heat and humidity which is supposed to be hotter than it has been over the course of the summer thus far.  I have been putting off using the air conditioner, as I have been managing very nicely by blocking out the sun and blowing in the coolness of the wind when it is around, but with the excessive humidity I fear more drastic measures are called for.

I already miss the open windows!  My A/C has been running since this afternoon about 10 hours so far and the huge high ceiling living room is cooler than the rest of the house which is saying a lot!  With A/C comes the elaborate curtaining off of rooms, of which I have three downstairs now separated ~ however ~ for the past two hours I have opened up the doorway from the cool living room to our little computer room ~ which by morning will be just right.

I haven't decided where to put the other air conditioner.  I was thinking in the dining room which is closed off and which is at the base of the stairs to the bedrooms ~ then maybe ~ just maybe we will eventually have some chill air upstairs!

I allowed my creative decorating juices to flow as well and I rearranged two shelves of nicknack's ~ which has left me with an open shelf and more to do tomorrow.  Regrouping and rearranging takes time and this is at least the 10th time that I have moved things around in a year ~ not sure what that says about me.

I have been mulling around new placements of things in the living room but have not have the motivation I have needed to begin.  It began on Mother's Day when my son surprised me with a flat screen t.v..  Due to that the stereo got displaced behind it and it really cluttered up the area.

I never did really finish the room when I moved the bookshelves and my book collection into the main room then, I just stopped hanging out there for long periods of time anymore, unless I am reading a book and not looking at all of the changes I am not motivated enough to make!  The addition of the air conditioning will change that however and I see the job finished by the end of the week!

Today was very low key compared to the weekend.  I only went outside twice ~ to walk to the doctor's and to walk back home.  There was a nice breeze ~ but the office air conditioning was very welcome indeed and I was thankful I had gotten a slushie on my way.  I did learn today by default that I do not like the pink ones ~ which were the only choice of four available today.  In the end you can determine that it tries to be a strawberry banana flavour ~ but it is so nasty!!!

I also had the luxury of going to a nice and cool movie theatre tonight as my friend had won tickets to the movies.  We watched White House Down which was a really dramatic, action packed movie about the Capitol and White House being taken over and hostages and explosions!  It was extreme to say the least and I would hope that that scenario is never played out in real life!

It was nice to enjoy the coolness and surprisingly when we walked out of the movies the humidity seemed to have fallen and the air was less dense.  I arrived home with time to fry up a couple of hot dogs and catch up with my son before watching "Under the Dome" which I have been enjoying so far.  I am highly critical of Stephen King and the portrayal of his stories on film versus on the written page.  This one gets a thumbs up so far.

I have another Doctor's appointment tomorrow and I get the results of my blood work.  It has been too many years since I have had a check up so it should be interesting to hear what the verdict is on my health.  I am fairly healthy in diet and exercise so I am not that worried ~ but you just never know.

I didn't want to let the day go by without writing for the day.  I am overdue as it is past midnight here now. My tea is gone and I am going to put this day to bed so I will be ready for whatever tomorrow may bring. Until the next time, I wish you peace, love and happiness!

Sunday, July 14, 2013


Sunday has definitely not been a day of rest for me, thankfully ~ I am finished with all that I have to do, after making the executive decision after walking the dog for the second time, opting to do grinders instead of cook so I can relax in front of the fan and the television for my Sunday night "date" with my son to watch not one but two shows this fine evening with the return of "Newsroom" on H.B.O. this evening.

This day had more in store for me than I realized ~ me thinking it would be an easy Sunday with nothing but dog walking duty ~ but it began with an unexpected visit with a good friend full of wonderful conversation over a cup of tea.  I was trying to finish "Catcher in the Rye" which I find to be a slow and agonizing "quick" read ~ quick read my Aunt Judy ~ lol, any excuse not to polish off the last twenty pages ~ the phone call did it!

After  my old friend left to carry on his day ~ with my new lighter ~ I might add ~ I decided it might be a good idea to take my girl Sheyna for her walk.  That was when the humidity hit!  Walking to her house, I decided a trip to the store for a large slushie was in order for the adventure.

We did about a twenty minute walk when I noticed that the dog was in need of some water herself, so we headed back to her home, as we were around the corner, checking out a couple of patches of grass along the way before arriving at our destination.

I decided to do my errands of the day ~ needing tubes for tobacco at one end of the main street, and a trip to the supermarket which seemed twice as far today!  I found a breeze down the alley by the Beacon Cinema, where I decided to enjoy the music and  a sit down before heading the rest of the way to the market, noting to myself that I would be stopping there on the return trip for a rest before making my way to my home.

Of course, I went in the supermarket for cool whip and came out with five things.  Not too bad, until I realized that I had paid cash for my groceries and it was my food stamp day ~ live and learn ~ all I can think is that the sun was more brain scrambling than I realized since I was getting the cool whip for my friend Cindy's birthday strawberry shortcake, which was on the 13th!  I made it  almost home when my friend who had stolen my lighter called me a block from my house to return my lighter, it was close, but I gratefully accepted the ride.

I was grateful to be home, and much in need of a rest after my long walk in the humidity.  The strain was magnified due to the fact that I chose to play badminton at Sonya's house again yesterday before her guest arrived for her pre-Tanglewood gathering for West Side Story.  My friend was in the front yard doing a wonderful job at trimming the hedges, while Sonya and I prepped for her guests and got some non aggressive badminton volleys in without the men and their super competitive egos we did quite well.

New acquaintances began arriving ~ people I had met on the Fourth of July, and my friend finished the hedges and we both had just enough time to change before heading to Great Barrington to the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, as we had other obligations which did not include Tanglewood.

We checked out an Art opening in the Vault Gallery.  There was no artist in attendance but the paintings were delicate and the color was enhanced by the lighting, and there really was an old bank vault that went with the name ~ it was cool.

We arrived at the Performing Arts Center with some time to spare.  My friend was volunteering and as luck would have it, I was able to procure a spot as well, although I had never volunteered there before, and I was not properly dressed in black and white.

We folded the inserts and stuffed the booklets to hand out to the patrons for the showing of  "Copperhead" with a question and answer session after the movie with the Director Ron Maxwell and the writer.  It was an interesting movie on the Civil War based on the novel by Harold Frederic about the conflict and strife one man and his family had to endure for not backing the Civil War and the freeing of the slaves taking place in upstate New York.

It was quite enlightening.  I love history of all sorts, and I had never heard of the term Copperhead before in reference to the Civil War.  I learned quite a bit to say the least about history and sociology as well.  It had some touch and go moments when you were wondering how it was all going to work out in the end, and in the end it all worked out, but my goodness ~ what a journey!

After the movie I headed outside to be slapped in the face by the heat after the nice cool theatre.  I struck up a conversation with the Director's daughter who missed the grand opening and was making this her grand opening.  She had gone to school in the area and was utilizing her time catching up with old friends while she was in town.

After the Q & A we headed over to the Gypsy Joynt which was rocking big time with people inside and out having a good time and dancing and singing!  We ordered some food and found a table and I could not absorb with my eyeballs all there was to see on the walls and all around me.  It was a great place to hang out and spend a Saturday night with a great crowd.  Someplace I will recommend and go back to in the future.

It was getting late when we headed back to Pittsfield.  We had a great discussion about the movie and the Civil War and before I knew it I was home and too exhausted to do much more than fall into bed ~ asleep within a half hour!

I am now looking forward to a nice cool shower in the scant 45 minutes I have before my shows are on.  How nice that fan is going to feel!

Friday, July 12, 2013


Friday morning came earlier than usual ~ before 6 a.m., I was awake, however I allowed myself the pleasure of 15 minutes of laying there, waking up, instead of hopping quickly out of bed and rushing for my caffeine to get me started.

In comparison to the day before, when I was fasting before I went to the lab ~ I felt much more awake, alert, and not really needing caffeine, although I made myself a cup of tea before heading to the computer to see what was up or who was up as early as me.

I had begun to realize Thursday evening, as I was mapping out my list of obligations ~ that Friday was going to be the kind of day I like the best ~ the one where I had to plan and schedule and fit in all of the things I needed to accomplish.

I was up before the pharmacy ~ eager to get that chore out of the way before I forgot it was Friday entirely like the other week amongst all of my other tasks of the day.  For once when I phoned, they said it was ready ~ no waiting~ awesome, I could be out of the house and back home before my ride arrived for my first (or third as it would turn out) task of the day.

I enjoyed the walk in the amazing breeze,  as the day had not heated up yet, it felt amazing, so early in the morning.  It was also fairly quiet in the world, hardly any line in Cumby's when I went in to replace my lighter which quit on me the night before with one match left to spare when I left my house, grabbed my cigs before hitting the pharmacy, which was also empty.

I made it through the park and down to my house with barely a hitch in the day ~ until I remembered that I forgot the half and half ~ knowing my ride would be at the house by 9:30 I decided to wait and pick it up later.  Surprise, surprise, my ride was early so I dropped off my packages and headed out the door.

The place where I go for food was packed, twice as many people there than usual.  The end of the line where we were quickly became the middle of the line before anyone even got to enter the building!  It was a nice time waiting outside with the Veterans though.  It is always a kick to go there and I do look forward to it for more than the necessary food ~

Today was more entertaining than usual however, with more people trying to park their cars in the full lot, and with the cars parked on each side of the narrow driveway and one person driving in and three cars waiting to exit our wonderful lot attendant Bernie went to the rescue and backed up the elderly woman's car which was causing the calamity.

He had already had a hell of a morning, as he was told George, who picked up the bread was still at home ~ he went in his car to go get the bread ~ only to have George show up with the bread five minutes later!!  It was funny and I enjoyed giving a playful hard time about it ~ as we are known to do to each other ~ all of the Veterans and volunteers are so friendly and funny there it really makes my week!

On the way home I got to raid my friends flower patch for some Black Eyed Susan's and some orange lilies and we also remembered to grab the vacuum cleaner we have forgotten three times in the past week as well, although it almost got left behind in the driveway ~ my friend jokingly said ~ well, at least I didn't put it behind the car and run over it...which is just his luck anyway!!

I got to walk Sheyna after this mad adventure ~ thankful for the breeze, as, by this time it was really warming up!  We had an awesome walk all around before I reluctantly brought her back home ~ gave her a treat and told her to be nice to her cat ~ as she watched me leave until later that day for our next adventure.

I had a little bit of time before my next appointment but before I knew it it was going on 1:30 so I grabbed some shoes and headed off to my doctor's appointment for 2:00.  It was getting hotter still, so I walked leisurely,  knowing that I would have plenty of time to read at least some of a really good magazine.

My counselors office is the only place that I have ever been where I like the waiting room ~ with NPR on the radio and the best magazines I love to arrive early.  He is also a very good photographer ~ which is why I was okay seeing him after my counselor of 8 years had to go, and I was lucky to get him to ~ not once have I been disappointed by his sage advice.

On my way home, my son phoned and said he would meet me in the park by our house and then said he wasn't  ~ so I took that opportunity to yet again pick up the dog ~ it having been a few hours ~ and surprise him with a visit if he was there.  I really didn't think he would venture out to the park ~ but to my surprise he had made it the two blocks in broad daylight with people around and everything!!

He walked Sheyna and petted and played with her before we reluctantly brought her home again.  We both really miss our dog even though I was closer to the dog than anyone he was still part of our family and the loss is significant to both of us ~ all three if you count Patrick as well who hadn't lived with the dog at that point for a few years.

We went home and I was exhausted, so I took the advice of myself and got off of my feet and away from the computer.  It wasn't long before my phone rang with my friend Cindy wanting me to come over ~ but I had to refuse.  I was beat!!!

My son, Patrick did manage to get me out of the house for a drive around and through Lenox in a roundabout kind of way and then back home where, after eating a good portion of tasty mini strawberry cupcakes (that my son insisted he would not like ~ yet changed his mind and initiated the cupcake fest before dinner) I cooked a delicious pork medallion with a Thai marinade with some onions and peppers and rice.

After a late dinner, my friend Cindy dropped in as I was writing this ~ which in turn lead to me walking her up the street after she visited with us and even had my son laughing at her trying to fix him up with a girl she had just met ~ the fun never ends around here ~  I finish my Friday satisfied in so many ways, tired and ready for the adventures of the coming day!

Thursday, July 11, 2013


Thursday already!  Wow, where has the time gone?  What a difference a week makes!  I have made such huge strides this week, facing fears, catching up finally after what seems like forever with myself on so many levels and finding loved, lost items!

I am sitting here enjoying my second tea of the day, although it is almost 11:30 in the morning ~ late start for me, what with the fasting blood work ~ done and out of the way.  It was different for me to be on the inside of the lab, as I am usually in the waiting room waiting every Thursday for my son to get his blood work done ~ today I get to visit the lab twice as I was certain I would drop dead without food or beverage if I waited until after 1:00 when we usually go!

Laundry is done, dishes are done, dinner is defrosting and the only thing left for me to do is decide if I want to bake or fry my chicken tonight.  After watching Master Chef last night, I am thinking of fried chicken, although if I had mozzarella and prosciutto I would love to make that stuffed in my chicken!  ( I don't think it would fly with my son however!!)

I have been a little nauseated during the week a few different times, and I hope that has passed, not really sure what is going on there, but it actually worked to my advantage in a roundabout way.  I put off doing the laundry for two days and so I had to go into my dresser and pull out some clothes I do not ordinarily wear this morning.

In my search for shorts, I pulled out of the back of my drawer my favourite black long jacket which I had just yesterday decided I must have left in my last apartment, remembering I wore it there when I picked up the last of my belongings the day I left my keys in the apartment.  To my delight, I found it in the back of the drawer, washed and neatly folded and waiting for me!!!

I am stoked!!! It is kind of like a signature piece in my wardrobe, (one I love even though it is not black velvet (which is really my signature)  I am sure the vacation in the drawer did it no harm, and I am thankful to have it back!

I misplaced my cell phone last night, realizing when I was halfway to the lab that I was screwed if I needed to use it ~ and had no idea where I might have left it, until I was cleaning up in the kitchen and remembered to look under the box of donuts on the stool where I put it when I was chopping veg for dinner last night.

My new rose plants are doing great since I moved them outside on the back deck, one of them producing three new buds and the promise of a couple more yet to come!  My avocado tree is also doing amazing since I replanted it into a much larger container to have more room to grow those strong roots.  Even the new ivy I got last week has spit out another shooter!!!

I do not want to say life is good, because everytime I feel that way, think it or say it outloud is when things start going a bit sideways, if you know what I mean, but it is!  I am looking forward to having much quality dog walking time with my girl Sheyna over the course of the weekend while her mom is participating in that huge Art Show in Great Barrington this weekend and I cannot wait!

Simple pleasures is what life is all about for me and I have had them in abundance this week ~ hell, this day alone!!!  I am so looking forward, and from here, it looks like sunny skies and smooth sailing!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


If you know me, you know that I was hurt in 1999 and again four months later in two car accidents which were minor, but which left me with some serious problems, resulting in a long hard road of adjustment after surgery with chronic pain, neck and back issues and all that goes along with the above!

I was treating with Doctor's regularly, doing all that I could do to adjust to my new life and the limitations which I had never had to deal with before, both mental and physical.  I was living my life on too many pills, too many limitations and not a very high quality of life.

During my time in the country I did all that I could do to build up my endurance and learn my limitations, being very active physically, what with taking care of a house in the country with a wood stove and two acres of land ~ which I might add I took extreme pleasure and pride in maintaining.  Here, I walk to do my chores and my landlord maintains my yard so life is very different!

I feel completely lazy and inactive most of the time, although I am very active, just in different ways and my standards have really dropped as far as maintaining my household ~ yes it is neat and clean for the most part but I just never have everything done at the same time ~ which sucks for me!

Since my four or five years in the "City" I became less active, took no medications and stopped seeing doctors due to my own issues.  After firing the last Doctor I had in 2009 I basically refused to try to find another doctor and stopped all form of treatment.

I began last year with the dental clinic and the chiropractor to build myself up.  The dentists I do not trust anymore, as their answer to everything is to pull a tooth, don't treat an infection with antibiotics, it will go away once the tooth is gone ~ really ~ I think it just goes to the next weak one and pretty soon you have a bunch of toothless people around ~ no thank you ~ I will pass!

The chiropractor and I had a previous relationship, so I knew he would only be a plus as far as increasing my trust however, and after some time with him, I finally got up my courage to locate a primary physician ~ especially after seeing the x`rays on my neck and the discs under my "replacement" disc compressing, and the differences in my overall health!

Yesterday, after all of this time, I finally saw a doctor who takes Medicare, which is my primary insurance now that I am disabled.  It took a long time to find a doctor who takes this insurance, due to that I was unable to see the only doctor I did trust, who went into private practice and whom I needed a primary doctor to see.

Once I acquired the primary, however, I was able to see my trusted doctor, and yesterday, after waiting what seemed like a year for my first visit (it was worth the wait), I finally met my new primary.  She is wonderful, no communication issues there!  No disrespect to anyone in the medical profession, but I have to be able to understand what she was saying to me, and my previous doctor and most of the doctors in the old practice were foreign with thick accents which I was unable to decipher most of the time!

We made it through the first hour going through most of my medical history, blood pressure, weight (don't you just hate doctor's scales!  They always add weight!)  I left with an appointment to come back next week, and a lab slip to do a fasting blood work to see where I stand after so many years of non treatment.

I was apprehensive before I arrived, but my fears were put aside immediately.  Although I forgot before I drank my first cup of tea this morning about the lab work ~ no big surprise there ~ I was barely awake although I slept really well for a change.

Along with the labs, I also have the task of phoning my insurance and the YMCA to see what it is going to take to get a prescription for swimming to help with the physical activity and stretching part of life ~ I simply cannot stretch without seizing up all of my muscles in my back ~ it is like they just forget how to release ~ something I lived with in the beginning of all of this trauma for a few years until I saw the acupuncturist, when finally the release came!

Tomorrow is the day my son goes to the lab for his blood work so I will be waking up and not drinking or eating anything to do my labs.  I look so forward to next week in finding out the results of my labs and seeing what the next step to my finding and maintaining a balance of good health with pleasure and fear no more!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


With the mad rush of activity, socializing, parades and people behind us, life is returning to normal.  I am still catching up with myself, almost back on track, having responsibilities on Monday again ~ back to the real world.

Saturday, however found me meeting my girlfriend, but before I arrived the half a block away, I found a stack of albums in the middle of the street ~ mind you ~ they did not appear to be thrown out of someones window, more likely they bounced out of a truck while someone was working.  An awesome find, as I have acquired a turntable but had no albums to check it out with!

I scooped them up, out of harms way from vehicles and sunshine ~ it was album melting weather in the hot sun that day, and retraced my steps back home and hurried off to meet Cindy.  She had dry cleaning to pick up and I had to do my Saturday shopping as well.

As it turns out, errands are fun with Cindy.  We dropped into a fairly new consignment shop and had a blast trying on clothes and oohing and ahhing the pretty dresses which would be oh so sexy ~ but with nowhere to wear them ~ they were obsolete.

I did however break down and purchase a nice dress for myself for my next time at the Theatre.  I am a volunteer in a couple of weeks again, and I always try to look my best for such events, even if no one else dresses for the theatre here!

I even bought a cute little shirt, which, truth be told is what I had gone in for, some new options of summer shirts.  I have about a zillion articles of clothing, but it is always nice to have just one or two more things.  I rarely ever buy anything so I think that the $17 I spent for the two items was well justified, and if you are my friends who don't smoke I am sure at least one of you are thinking ~ two packs of cigarettes I don't need!

One of the memories which I have of Providence, when I was doing a show at the Civic Center, was of people a few blocks over arriving at the beautiful theatre there in their limo's and fancy cars ~ dressed ~ really dressed ~ for the theatre!  Whenever I was in town I would be sure to walk over prior to showtime, before I had to pack up my gear and head back home with my leads.

The dry cleaners were closed for some reason, so Cindy treated my son and I to slices and we went back down to my house to cool off and relax a bit and try to revive after the tiring humidity.  She was dying to go to the lake and cool off, which would have been a great idea if we had transportation.  I myself just wanted a breeze from anywhere and not to move again!

I made it through Monday.  Back to the grind, with two appointments one for my son, a small window of time and then my appointment following.  We decided to grab a burger in between, but I had to opt out of my appointment as I was overcome with nausea (not from the burger), I think I may have picked up a bug in my run down condition.

Today being Tuesday, I look forward to my long awaited meeting with my newest primary physician.   It has been a good 4 years at least since I last walked down this path, long overdue, considering before I moved back to Pittsfield I had regular medical appointments, physical therapy, pain management, acupuncture, tons of medication.

They can keep the medication.  I would not take an aspirin these days unless I was dying, and I want it in writing that I am dying before I take it!  I look forward to being open minded, but with some anxiety as well, in meeting my new doctor!

The brain and its walls and blockers are more stubborn, in this instance, than a stubborn mule, as far as I am concerned.  Mental health issues ~ ya gotta love them!  Better late than never is one of my motto's and I only hope that nothing too serious has occurred with the state of my health over the previous 5 years!  I am a little apprehensive to say the least!  Fingers crossed, that everything is okay, and if it is not, that it either kills me quickly or I can be cured easily!

Hope you all have a great week!  Happy Tuesday!!!

Sunday, July 7, 2013


It was late last night after I posted my much overdue blog.  I watched half of a movie before sleeping the longest I have slept in many years, not waking until 11:00 ~ a virtual record in my life!   It was great!!  I had a couple of hours to myself to wake up before my son arose.

It is now Sunday afternoon.  I just had the pleasure of hanging out with two of my sons and one of my best friends, still feeling run over physically from all of the activity.  Taking some time now to catch up a bit since I was also blessed with it being First Friday Artwalk the day after the Fourth of July ~ which I was looking forward to.

It was so hot that day!  The only thing I did all day was write in my head and take two showers and not much else before heading out to check out the array of new artists this month.  I like to see as much as I can within reasonable walking distance and sometimes two hours is not enough time to appreciate the multitude of amazing paints and photographs alike in various styles, design and topics.

I had put off doing my chores, so I went to the pharmacy before I checked out any Art ~ note to self, do not wait until 5:00 on a Friday to do anything routine.  I was pleasantly surprised with the fact that the prescription coverage had changed and without a new card and information it would cost almost $50.00 for one weeks worth of medication, which I needed for the next day.

Loving the way life sneaks up and bites me in the ass ~ I left the pharmacy ~ called my son and asked me if he had gotten any mail relating to said event, as I was doing him a favour by getting his meds.  He doesn't leave the house except for doctor's appointments since 2008, which gets frustrating as a parent who is sociable ~ but I do understand mental health issues and know that people who suffer from it have a better chance with family support rather than without it.

I walked down the street deciding to check the bank to make sure there were no other surprises to sneak up and bite me while he was looking for the information.  Thankfully, there were no further surprises and he found what I needed, in between a phone call back to the pharmacy to see if they had more information for me and finding out when they closed.

By the time I got back up North Street again from the bank, I was almost in an Art Appreciation mood, so I stopped into the Marketplace Cafe to find the works of Brian Colbert, who also disguises himself at various times as a drummer in the park.  His work was very colorful and appealing to me.

After a conversation with a man outside the Cafe with whom I had met previously at a Word X Word event, who was waiting for the rest of his party ~ we chatted ~ or rather I vented and then I thanked him for letting me ~ then I was really ready to rock and roll!

I headed to Downtown Pittsfield, Inc, to check out the works of another artist previously unknown to me, but who is very good.  His paintings were very good.  I loved his use of color in his landscapes and florals.  His still lifes were good as well!

I headed over to the very crowded Lichtenstein Center for the Arts for the Lift Ev'ry Voice Festival ~ recognizing many of the subjects as they have all been around most of my life or the families were familiar to me.  I learned later that Susan Geller was one of the photographers, although I missed the opportunity to speak with her at the Gallery.

I made my way over to The Shops at Crawford Square to find some of the best photography I have seen in a while by Bud Deyo.  A must see if you are in the area.  Nicolette Enhorning-Picton's show blew me away as well, and her prices were very reasonable as well.  Drew Finn was in the Kinderhook ~ all three of these photographers are worth the drive down to North Street during business hours over the course of the month so be sure to see for yourself.

Rick Costello was at Bisque, Beads and Beyond with some amazing astronomy paintings with each painting so realistic with the placements of the stars.  I spoke with him later on the street after the Artwalk and he also does talks on Astronomy to groups and at parties bringing his telescope ~ so he takes his love of astronomy and puts it into his painting!

I had to go to Steven Valenti's Clothing ~ one of my regular stops anyway ~ my cousin's relative Gerard Natale was showcasing his landscapes "Berkshire Impressions: Visions of New England", which I found lovely indeed.  It was very nice also to make the acquaintance of my newly found relative, Marguerite's relative as well and we had a nice talk as we figured out the connection.

I hit the NU Arts Studios and Gallery and checked out "On Shaky Ground" by Daniel Brody and spent some time chatting with Dan and one of the other artists while enjoying his air conditioning.  I stopped into a couple of more artist galleries while I was there and everyone seems to have been playing musical studios!

I headed downstairs to Gallery 25 where Diane Firtell was taking a much needed breather after her mad dash finishing up and setting up her show "Fantasy Landscapes" with one of my favourite pieces on the right wall as you come in the door.

Michael Boroniec's exhibit DeBarro was on display at the Y Bar.  I loved his vases and the paintings on the wall behind them.  They were exceptional!  I am not sure which one I liked best, but I do know that I loved the way the paintings complimented the pottery and would really enhance any mantel!

I was on a deadline to pick up the script before the pharmacy closed at 8:00, so around 7:00 I ran home and picked up everything I could lay my hands on for the pharmacy, not wanting to not have the correct information and I power walked back up to the pharmacy finishing up what I needed to finish up.

I ran into my friend Cindy and she accompanied me down the street to go find my other friend who was heading up around 7:00, since it was after that and there were only a few people about I figured it would not be too difficult to find him.

After a few minutes we did run into him, he had arrived later than he expected and we chatted on the street for a bit, it being closer to 8 and nearing the end of the exhibit times we walked him down towards the direction of his car when I saw the heat lightning.  At the same time, my friend Diane was across the street waving me over to check the view of the sky from over there and it was amazing pink with the lightning flashing.

Cindy and I joined Diane for the walk down the street toward her house ~ she had to take her dog Sheyna out, so we parted company and went over to the store before heading back through the park.  To my delight, as we were walking through, Diane was calling me ~ she brought the dog over for me to see ~ which was almost the best part of the whole holiday!

Cindy came over and she helped me persuade my son out of the house ~ it was about 20 minutes before the ice cream place closed, so we hustled up the street to get some ice cream to break the heat ~ and to get me out of cooking dinner.

After we had our ice cream the three of us were swinging on the swings in the park ~ something I love to do, but have not done in forever.  My son and I ran through playing on everything in the playground ~ sliding on the slides, climbing up the wall, over the monkey bars and even talking through the tube and listening to the other person from far away ~ something we both want to install in our house it was so cool!

We left Cindy at her house and headed back down the road.  A very eventful and memorable Friday evening all in all.  I have been so saturated with art and activity ~ which no doubt has helped to increase my pain levels to yet another day of recovery.  I do not think the "No pain, no gain" really applies to this situation, but for me it is all worth it!


When last I wrote ~ 3 days which seems like a solid week at least ~ so occupied with activity and inactivity as the humidity has been so dense that you have to do absolutely nothing to be coated with moisture!  I must say that I have been either chasing a breeze or trying not to move for the past three days!  Having more success with catching the breeze over not moving!

I left off with last minute plans for a party on the Fourth.  I do not really celebrate too many holidays normally, but I accepted the invitation knowing that it would be a good time, with a nice mix of people and a really exceptional hostess.

As I had nothing ready, but I did have supplies in the house for a treat I was going to make which I learned of last summer.  It is the perfect little party dessert and no one who is in their right mind does not like it, and it looks difficult, but in reality it is one of the easiest dishes I have ever made.

It is a favorite of one of our ex mayors ~ who gave me the recipe personally ~ which is why I am not going to divulge the recipe ~ sorry ~ I will call it a nondisclosure issue ~ due to the political association, but if you ask me for it personally I will gladly tell you how to make it.  I will say that after I left you I mixed up two boxes of lemon jello with 3 cups of hot water and a can of lemonade and let it set in the fridge until the next morning.

I went off to bed to watch some television and was awakened at 2:30 in the morning to find my son roasting some hot dogs nice and crispy just as I like them ~ so we had an early Fourth of July feast of hot dogs and I went back to sleep to be up for the parade.

I had luck and timing on my side, narrowly missing an encounter with my ex who thankfully did not see me at the bottom of the street as he headed in the other direction.  It being our one year anniversary of not being together, I was happy that my timing was on.  (And he being the main 1 of 5 people who would ruin my day!)

I arrived on North Street from Melville and the crowd of people and the vendors pushing their shopping carts of parade toys ~ whom I always avoided with my three sons when they were children.  Apparently there were 60,000 people on our fair main street braving the heat for our parade.

I personally love a parade but do not sit in one place as I love the crowd and the music ~ especially the bands ~ the bagpipes the drums and the horns.  Some people go out in the middle of the night and put chairs and tents up in the same spots every year which is dedicated.

I wore my sneakers and walked for about two hours soaking up the people, the sounds and the sun ~ coming home with a nice suntan.  I was tempted after the parade, as I walked through Park Square where the children were in the fountain to take off my shoes and join them ~ parents and onlookers began encouraging me, but I knew I would never want to get out and I had to get home and finish my dessert for the party as my ride was coming at 3:00.

When I arrived home at 12:30 and stripped off my socks and sneakers I felt better, but needed to cool off before I blended up the jello really well with the mixer and added the two containers of cool whip to add to it so it could set in the fridge once more before it would be ready to indulge in.

My friend arrived a few minutes early, but I was ready after I put on my shoes and grabbed the dessert.  We had a stop along the way  at the St. Francis Gallery.  It is an amazing reuse of a church and the owner,  Philip Pryjma has done an amazing job of delighting the senses with his amazing and unexpected  layout ~ one never knows what they will find around the next corner!

My friend also had pre party plans for us to just skip down the road to the Berkshire Arts Festival at Butternut Ski Area in Great Barrington, MA, which has over 280 vendors over the next two weeks.  Being the Fourth of July ~ it was not crowded, so parking was easy and the Artists had time to talk and explain their various crafts while suffering through the heat!

You all know I am all about Art so this was the best way to spend the day.  As it was all a surprise to me as I thought we were going to a picnic at Sonya's house, I for one was delighted to have free reign at first an amazing gallery and then an vast array of artists, photographers, textile, sculpture and wood crafts along with boats and jewelry it was almost more than a girl (me) could hope for!

We finished up ~ seeing a large portion of vendors ~ beat by the heat in the open sun ~ we headed back to the car and the A/C for our journey back to Lee.  We arrived in time for a burgers and hot dogs and some amazing salsa and a ton of other goodies with the hostess involved in a game of badminton and children running around and adults sitting around conversing in a group.

My dessert was in need of some refrigeration after the unexpected adventure and I some water and a chair.  After some food and conversation, some of the guest departed and a few of us were left.  Sonya was ready for some more badminton so we played two against two with Danny sitting nearby watching.

It got very competitive and I must say my rotator cuff injury and shoulder in general were feeling it the next day.  We decided to switch sides and take a break for some beverages and I figured it was a good time to check on my dessert while there were still people there.  It was delicious and no one could believe how easy it was to make!

It was now getting dark and Sonya's outside light would not go on to her dismay.  I still had a date with my son to watch fireworks together for our second year running at our secret spot and I was running later than I realized.

For a day which was going to be no big deal it sure was busy!  My son and I walked to the store and grabbed a couple of slushies for our excursion and ran into my friend Cindy and her neighbor walking through the park so we chatted before heading off to our destination.

The fireworks were good and the air felt nice from our perch.  We were overlooking the lake and they were popping off from a couple of different locations, which is why we like this spot.  We made our way back home and called it a night!

All in all it was a much better day to replace with my horrible experience last year and I thank all of those involved in making it such a great time!  I totally prefer  the memory of a wonderful time to replace the horrors of last year for sure!