Showing posts from June, 2012

Splish Splash

The cottage slept as I got up and sneaked outside to capture the stillness of the morning . The patio overlooked the lake where a mother duck swam with her little ones . It was a beautiful and serene place , just perfect for me . I wish I could retire to a place like this . I imagined myself getting up every morning , watching the ducks swimming , drinking my coffee .
  Then , Hannah ( my sleeping partner ) found me and we had to play Skippo instead .
My introduction to the water park sort of went the same way . On the outside , I couldn't wait to get in there with the rest of them .
  First thing we tried was the Lazy River and I imagined myself floating on the tube basking in the sunlight as I slowly dipped my fingers in the water . In reality , I couldn't get on the darn thing . Kept slipping off , finally , giving up I just grabbed hold of my sons tube and wouldn't let go . He kept trying to shake me off and finally dunked me under . I got a wonderful mouthful of tha…

The Adventures Of I Like Pizza 106

My first night was spent as a yoyo .  From the moment the children saw me , it has been a bombardment of " grandma , come look at this " or " grandma , sit by me " or Grandma this or grandma that " . Each child pulling me in his or her direction vying for my attention . At times , becoming a competition between the two .
   Obviously , they have missed me and love me as much as I love and miss them .
  Before bed , I settled down with my grandson's book that he has written called " The Adventures Of I like Pizza 106 . I read page after page about a futuristic world that at times was difficult for an older person such as myself  to understand . All this came from that young man ! I never knew he was such a little writer !
  At breakfast the next morning , I settled down to write my blog . He was all over it . Full of questions .
    " What are you doing , grandma ? ", " How can I start my own blog , grandma ? " And another literar…

My Gross Vacation

" So , Lottie , where are you going on your vacation ? " a co-worker of mine asked , whose name we will not mention . She knows who she is .
  " To a waterpark with my grandkids , " I told her .
 " Ewww , gross !!! I can't imagine going anywhere worse . All those little kids , doing God knows what in the water . "
   I laughed . No one has ever called my vacations "gross " before . I'm not offended . She is young and has  no children .....yet . She will change her mind later when she does .
   My departure to Springfield went off smoothly . I was in train heaven ! Standing on the platform , waiting for the Metra to arrive brought back memories . With each train going past , blowing their whistle , I marveled at their beauty and power they portrayed . I realized just how much I really missed riding the train .
   Once I boarded Amtrak , the trip itself was very fast . There didn't seem to be hardly any delays . We only stopped twice…

And The Adventure Begins

'Tis the eve of my trip and anticipation is running through my veins . I'm both nervous and anxious that I might forget something very important or just plain miss my train . I won't be able to relax until I'm safely on my way .
   Getting ready before every trip is such a hustle and bustle time in my home . It seems that everything is taking twice as long as it should . Not enough time to go around  . Late with everything .
   Having opted to work the day before my trip may not have been such a great idea . Originally , I thought I would be taking the afternoon train and arriving in Springfield in the early evening . That would provide me with enough time to get home , take a shower and a small nap before the trip .
   It didn't quite work out that way . With the 4th of July right around the corner , seats weren't that available . Beggars couldn't be choosers . With my train leaving after 9 a.m. there will be no time for a shower let alone a nap .

In The Beginning

In the beginning there was nothing but darkness and God said " Let there be light...."
   That's how my Sunday School class began . Starting our summer schedule with just the kindergarten class brought excitement and anxiousness to me ..........anxious to get cracking . I missed our little class in our little room . I missed the personal level that a small group of children bring . I missed teaching , REALLY teaching . But , most of all , I miss my kindergarteners !
  They are a special kind of students . You have to teach them in a different way from the other children . You have to get on their level with their kind of language . I love their freshness and openness that only comes once in a person's age , an age when one is quite young . They are so completely honest about how they feel and what they feel . I love this grade . Ask them what they would say to Jesus if they saw Him and they will answer " let's play ".
   Of course , the older childr…

What A Pickle

I had plans for my Saturday . A friend was coming over for coffee  and a chat . Emily made a blueberry coffeecake for us . The rest of the day was to be spent in blissful cleaning , laundry and packing .
   None of that happened . Instead , I rested my head for a little bit while waiting for my friend since I just came home from work . I fell alseep . My friend waited and waited outside , calling me on the cell . I never heard a peep . She left thinking I must be mad at her since she could see my car parked in the back .
  Then I went downstairs to do a load of laundry and locked myself out of my apartment . I always carry keys with me and that morning I decided it was "silly" of me to keep doing that since the door never locked after me . . . . . . before .
    It was a perfect day for my plans  . Emily was out with a girlfriend for most of the day . The apartment  all to myself . A fresh , new cup of coffee  sitting on the table  . All waiting for me on the other sid…

Weighing In

Few months ago , while looking at some pictures from my Chemo Party , I felt a huge wave of disappointment . I looked bloated and just plain overweight . Here I was back at square one with my weight .
  Before this cancer came back , I was finally starting to lose some weight . Even a few pounds loss gives a person self confidence . I was feeling that confidence . When I heard they were placing me on steroids , I almost cried . Still , it wasn't until I saw myself in pictures that I recognized how much weight I gained .
   You may say that the only thing that matters is my health , which is true , BUT. . . . . . . appearance makes one feel better inside . We all care how we look .
   Well , I am happy to report that I have lost the weight I have gained during the chemo . I'm back to what I was before the relapse . Thank you , Jesus ! Hopefully , this trend will continue and I can shed more of the weight . I don't need to be very skinny , just lose this tummy of mine a…

Time Is Life

Started making a list of things I wanted to accomplish while being off for two weeks from work . Never really been off for so long. Once or twice I did take a week here and there   , but never this long  .
   My list does not consist of jobs to do . It is a list of fun things . I want to enjoy this time . Enjoyment has become a huge part of my existence . Too bad , everyone else wants to rob me of it .
  My first week will be spent with my son and his family at a water park developing some quality time with my grandchildren   . I'm sure you all are tired of hearing me talk about it  by now .
   The other week , I intend of living life . Time is life . I read that somewhere , recently ,  can't really remember where . Time is life . Sounds wonderful , doesn't it ? How do I plan to do that , you ask ?
   Well , I will go to that naked spa that both my nieces gave me as a present . I will go during the week ,  after 10 pm.  when no one will be around and I will get naked .…

A Very Bad Day

Today is not a good day . In fact , it started at work last night . I should have known better . It never fails that right before I have to go somewhere everything spoils .
  When things go bad , it's like a domino effect  causing everything to tumble . You try to prevent things from falling but your hands are like a sieve .
   Emily is just great when I'm all out of sorts . After attempting to make a meal and almost burning it , she quietly takes the spoon from my hand and finishes for me . I head out to my room  , opening my closet to take some boxes out . I am clumsy and all the contents spill over onto my carpet . With my knee acting up today , kneeling down to pick up everything is very hard to do .
  When the devil comes , he ruins everything . He isn't happy with making a mess of one thing in your life  , he has to completely tornado your being .
   Did I tell you Emily was great ? After cleaning up the spilt boxes I glance at a huge box in my room filled to th…

Been There , Done That

Receiving a text from a friend about Robin Roberts new health crisis devastated me . We both went through cancer at the same time five years ago .Yet , here we are ,  facing cancer again .
    Watching her reveal her new health crisis on air brought back alot of bad feelings . I saw her fighting tears and I knew just how she felt right at that moment . Listening to her speak of her faith made me realize how much we are alike .
    We ,  as Christians , believe we were healed the first time . I have said this before . This is not what we were expecting . This will be very emotional for her , very emotional  for her , indeed .  Crying will become her favorite past-time .
   It seems we are struck down , one by one , all over again . How disheartening it is ! Every week , I watch my Linda , worn out and so very tired , lose that lively spirit that shone through her eyes . She just wants to rest . Quite honestly , I wish I could give her that rest she is looking for .
  I daily pos…

Champagne With Breakfast

Every so often , my mom and I drive out to Palos Hills to visit my Aunt . With all of our schedules , it's not easy finding time to get together . We head out straight from my work usually on a Saturday morning arriving in time for breakfast .
   My Aunt has style ! She  sets the table beautifully like a  five  star hotel . She serves a luxury breakfast . This time she pulled out a bottle of champagne for a toast. . . . . for breakfast ! Why not ! ! 
   No men allowed , just us girls . Let's celebrate being women .. . . Aunts , mothers , sisters , nieces . We share stories of what is new in our families . We break bread and sip champagne . We laugh , we argue and we cry .  It just occurred to me that I write alot about the women in my life . That's how important they are to me .
   After breakfast , we head into the living room where my Aunt has recorded movies just for this occasion . We spend a lovely day just watching old comedies . I am treated like royalty with…

Ring ! Ring !

Getting home from work this morning I fell into bed exhausted . I was tired from an extremely difficult night at work . The whole drive home I thought about my bed and my pillow .
   Getting to sleep was no problem. Staying asleep , on the other hand , was . The phone rang and rang all morning . ALL morning .
   After much tossing and turning , I sat up and  grabbed  my phone . Who in the world could be calling me ?! What could be so important ?! Something is seriously going on . Thinking it might be my mom with some bad news , I checked my messages .
   Not recognizing the number that has repeatedly been calling me , I dialed , getting a recorded message .
  " You have been selected in our daily drawing to win a free security system . Press 1 to speak to our respresentative . Press 2 to take your phone number off our calling list ."
    No brainer which I pressed . Really !!! That's what this excessive ringing was all about ? ! Have these businesses gone mad ? ! Do…

It's A Baker's Life

I'm sure that all of you already know that my Emily can bake . Eversince , she was a little girl she would love to watch cooking shows . Other little children watched Sesame Street and she watched The Frugal Gourmet . She can bake and she can cook  .  Some people just seem to know how to use their seasonings and know what kind of food goes well together . To have a daughter who can can do both , well , is  a curse and a blessing .
   Many a times when I had my chemo or spent the whole day at the doctor's , I'ld come home to a hot meal waiting for me . A great feeling , let me tell you . Just like the other weekend when my girlfriends were over , I didn't do anything but sit and chat while she made supper .
  I haven't bought ice cream or whip cream or frosting in a very long time . My girl makes it from scratch . I am spoiled . Temptation surrounds me on a daily basis .This weekend it was cinnamon rolls . Sometimes , I wake up to wonderful smells coming from t…

I Want To Play

Lately , I've been wanting to play hooky . Not just from work but from all responsibilities . A free - spirited being has invaded my body and won't leave . But do I honestly want it to leave ? No ! I think this weather has something to do with it . To me , it's perfect . Not too hot and not too cold . All week it's in the 70's with the weekend being hot......wonderful !
  I just want to get out there and do something . I love to have all my windows open to see and feel the breeze . I love to see the life outside .Only summer can bring people outdoors .
 I also think that coming out of the illlness has given me a desire to live .I want to enjoy myself .I don't want to be confined to rules and regulations , I want to be a free spirit . Every night at work , I hope that maybe the power will go out and we all can go home . Terrible... just terrible thoughts .
  So folks , today it's a very short blog because I just want to enjoy this moment , this day …

A Reunion Weekend

It all started out with a message to meet at our favorite shopping store . A message from a friend who has moved away to Texas . I was startled to get that message since how can we meet if she  is 16 hours away!? My friend , are you here ?
   As it turned out she was on her way , along with her three children , coming to stay for a week . Since our church was having a picnic that very Saturday , we arranged to meet there . I was also bringing a friend I haven't seen since the kids were little .
   Upon arriving at the picnic , I ran into my christian mentor , who has moved away . As we all sat on the blanket reminiscing about the past , I thought how great this weekend was turning out to be . Not only did I meet up with one but three of my friends all in the same day . My Pastor walked up , " Looks like you guys are having a reunion ." If only he knew , I smiled to myself .
  Sunday after church , sitting in my favorite arm chair at home catching up with two of my f…

An Old Friend Stopped By

An old friend stopped by
one I haven't seen in awhile
she came a long distance
bringing her brood
how they have grown
each taller and older
than I remember
still the same

An old friend stopped by
so at ease upon my sofa
drinking a glass of wine
sharing stories of time past
so many memories
both good and bad
that we shared
my old friend and I

An old friend stopped by
a married woman now
our days of singleness
nothing more than
fleeting moments
that linger in the back
of our thoughts
to be remembered
with a knowing smile

An old friend stopped by
for a week every year
the same smile
the same companion
maybe a new wrinkle
and a gray hair
added to her features
but inside she is still
an old friend who stopped by

The Cover Up

For the past several weeks , I have been painstakingly aware of needing to buy a swimsuit for my trip . Many times being in the " presence " of this foreign piece of clothing only to simply walk past . It is such an unflattering strip of material .
  How many women agonized over their figures , fasting and starving themselves to get into this infamous swimsuit . How many diets have we gone on ? Too numerous to recall . I do remember failing quite alot .
  Last time I wore a swimsuit , whether it was two - piece or one , was when my chicks were toddlers . A very long , long time ago . I gave up on that article of clothing . Never bothering to stop and check out the latest style .
  My darling Aubs , has informed me that our trip involved water and plenty of it . We will be in it alot and under no circumstances is she accepting my numerous reasons for not wearing one . In other words , be proud of what God gave you , BUY A SWIMSUIT .
  The date was set . The reservation…

Scrub , Scrub Away

I remember when my Emily was little , she was a terror . Her brother , quite opposite , was much easier to handle . When she was in serious trouble she would try to make it up by cleaning out the refrigerator . That refrigerator would be spotless , brand new when she was done with it . It's as if by scrubbing away the filth and the dirt washed away her bad behavior with it . That was her apology . She did alot of scrubbing in those days .
  Isn't that how we all are ? I know I am . Anytime , my life gets messed up and  stressed out ,  I organize my closet or drawers . I'm cleaning out the mess in my life . I feel better . . . .cleansed . . . . .brand new .
  A dear friend of mine deals with illness in her family by scrubbing all her kitchen cabinets on  a regular basis  . The more powerful the cleaner that she uses the better she feels . Her kitchen is clean . Her life is back on track . She can go on with her life . Deal with it much better .
  When we , women in par…

Their Progress

Many times I have been asked how my family has taken in my illness .  My family was devasted when I first was diagnosed with cancer . I was the calm one and the  naivee one . I think they understood the severe reality of the situation better than I did .
    At that time , like alot of people , I had issues regarding my family . We always seem to find fault with our loved ones . We openly critisize to friends and anyone who cares to listen just how dysfunctional we think our families really are . My cancer changed all of that .
   I discovered how much they really loved me . With some of them , I even renewed our relationship . I've discovered many things about myself and how I perceived in my mind an image of my family .
  Recently , I came across an old friend who never got along with her family . To my surprise , she spoke so lovingly about her parents and siblings . I asked her what changed . She replied that she changed .
  I believe that's what happened  in my lif…

Here Comes The Train

After supper ,  Emily and I usually retreat into our rooms for some alone time . We are big on privacy here . We respect it . Our alone time is sort of like a detox of the day's events . I find that when I don't get my alone time I become like a toddler without a nap !
   I have a lovely view from my bedroom window and with both my windows opened I also get a wonderful breeze . No matter what I'm doing , I can always glance out and check out the life outside . There are people riding their bikes , walking their dogs , children playing and a group of young  men throwing a football around . Beautiful ! Life in progress !
   But my favorite of all is the sound of the coming  train as it whistles it's arrival . I can hear it from a distance especially in the evenings . You know how much I love to ride a train . Traveling by Amtrak is the way to go in my book .
   As I listen for the whistle each night , anticipation fills my veins . Soon my vacation will be here and I…

And a 1 , And a 2 , And a 3

This morning was my very first physical therapy for my knee . Wasn't  very sure of what to expect . My knowledge of physical therapy consisted of taking  my mom to hers twice a week years ago .
     I remember , how terribly time consuming it was and particularly the long drive home in traffic . I also remember how much pain my mom was in after each session  . When she was done , I felt relief and I'm sure she did , too .
    I have been awaiting this appointment with great anticipation . In my mind , I felt like this would be the cure all for my knee . I just couldn't understand why so many of my friends ( my age ) walked around with knee pain and didn't do anything about it . Not me , though . I was going to show them that with adequate doctor care my knee would be cured .
   Well , talk about eating crow . Here we are , four months have passed and honestly , I don't think they know what to do with this knee of mine . Every night  , I cover my knee with th…

The Perfect Card

Yes , it's that time of the year again . Father's Day is fast approaching . I'm in search of that perfect card .  Buying a card for my father is one of my most dreaded experiences . There is no card out there that says what I feel for him .
   I literally go from store to store searching . Every card I pick up has sentiments like " I respect all you have done for me " and " I admire and deeply love you ." That's great when you have a relationship with your father . A loving history . But what about the rest of us .
   Until recently , my father has not been in my life . He wasn't there through all my ups and downs .. . . . through my life . It was my cancer that brought him back . That was the first time we spoke in 23 years .
   My feelings for him are not of anger . I have forgiven him long time ago . Our relationship now is not rosy and full of bonding and secret sharing . has evolved to having a mature conversation . You see…

It's A Hard Enough Life

Having gone through cancer twice now , I find myself coming out of the experience a little different each time .
    My adjustment the first time seemed to have been easier or at least happier . I was happy to be alive and felt like God gave me a second chance at life . All I wanted was peace at all costs . Any old vendettas were forgiven and forgotten . I just wanted to live life and be happy doing it .
    This time , I'm having a really hard time . I didn't notice it until I went back to work and basically back to life outside my bubble . While in treatment , I led a secluded lifestyle . Never really left my home  . All that changed when I completed the chemotheraphy .
    When you surround yourself by fellow Christians , life seems easier . That can't be said of the secular world . I find I have no tolerance for anything anymore . I speak up . Peace at all costs seems to have disappeared . This is a problem because speaking up creates ruffled feathers no matter how…

Dear Diary

Many years ago , my mom worked for Bantom , Doubleday and Dell . The facility where she worked made bookcovers . Many times , my mom would bring home books for all of us . One of my favorites were the Journals or All About Me types of books . One , especially , was a personal memoir from a grandparent to their grandchild where you answered questions about yourself .
   Over the years , I have accumulated quite a few of them and now they sit on a shelf in my living room  . I glance at them from time to time even bothering to write a few things in them . Always telling myself , I'll finish them one day . Well , I probably never will .
   To say that I like to write  is an understatement . When I started this blog , it was purely for myself . Now , it has become a diary ..... .a Dear Diary of my remaining life . I want to leave something for Emily and Joey as a comfort when I'm gone  .
    I've always been able to express myself with the written word much better than v…

A 50th Celebration

Last night , I went to a friend of mine's 50th birthday celebration . Since Dorota and I work together , I felt a little uncomfortable going to a party where I didn 't know anyone . I didn't want to go alone so I asked my mom to come with me . All the way there , I silently prayed that I would sit at a table with people I could be comfortable with conversing for the first time .
  Let me tell you .........when I turn 50 in three years .....I will do the same . She held the party at a banquet hall . It was beautifully decorated with balloons and flowers . She invited all her good friends and even had a DJ . When all the quests arrived , she made a grand entrance in a gorgeous long gown .
  Maybe , I won't have such a grand party with all the trimmings , but the idea of celebrating my life with  all of my friends and family is very appealing . Having cancer and surviving right along with reaching 50 is an awesome reason to celebrate .
  So who did I sit with ? Well…