Lucky Sisters

When I was born many years ago, my mother became quite ill. Her thyroid quit on her and depression set in. Imagine having a brand new baby and being in the throes of depression?

My grandmother came to care for her daughter and the family, but a son-in-law, two other children, and a new baby presented her with a lot to do.


I was a sweet baby, but let’s face it, I was a 9 pound-plus baby who liked to eat, even back then.

Thus, my five and a half-year-old sister became my mother. She changed diapers, fed me my bottle, and cooed at me and lulled me to sleep.

It took my mother a long time to recover, and by the time she was stable on thyroid medication, I had bonded with my sister.


When I would fall and have a boo-boo I wanted Mel. If I woke in the night with a bad dream, I wanted Mel. I think, looking back, it must have been hard for my mother to see that her baby, didn’t come running to her.

But you see, I was very lucky. Melodie was the best thing that ever happened to me.

My Mom suffered from deep depression most of the remainder of her life. The dark moods often came when I would need a mother the most, and for me, Melodie was always there.

I joke with her kids that I was her first child, but in reality, I really was. She would give me baths, read to me, and calm my fears and pains. She even snuck into the hospital to see me, when at age four I had my appendix out.


I have not seen her since Christmas. Although we talk on the phone every day. In fact, if life gets crazy and I don’t call, she worries!  And if I don’t hear from her, I also get concerned.

Sometimes if you are lucky, and your birth mother cannot be there for you, due to illness or perhaps they were young and unable to care for you, another woman will step in and fill that role.


For me, it was my sister, Melodie. Young as she was, she stepped up to the plate. She loves with her whole heart and she loves deeply. How fortunate I have been to have her in my life.

I love you, Melodie!

Maribeth Dackel

A Really Great Day

Tuesday the 11th was a very full day indeed! And it was all good. After months of mostly bad news in the world, today, in my little corner of the world The good news kept on coming!

I got up and weighed in.

August 11thI finally have lost 50 pounds! I have shared with you my battle with my weight and to get to this milestone made my entire day! And that was at 5:45 AM!

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Feeling happier than a girl should on a hot and sticky Tuesday, I was sitting in my chair anticipating going to the grocery store and Post Office when the phone rang.

It was my Veterinarian. He wanted to tell me that Arnie’s blood tests had come back showing a rise in his titers four times that of a healthy dog. This test showed that Arnie did have Leptospirosis with no doubts about the diagnosis!

20200706_154022Arnie is better now, thank goodness, I caught it quickly and he got the care that he needed!

The Vet had spoken with the Pharmaceutical Company and they have agreed to pay all of Arnie’s bills for treatment! I faxed the bill to them and hopefully, they will send me a check quickly!

Then I set about changing sheets and doing work around the house. I knew the third part of my day would be upon me soon and I was looking forward to it.

Then this guy came to call. It was so hot here that he simply sat on my patio table for a long time. I grabbed my Olympus Camera and started snapping. Here is the very best shot of the bunch. Isn’t he handsome?

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Why Jimmeney Crickett!

(Actually a Grasshopper)

My own picture!

I decreed that I would have a Scotch after I lost the first 25 pounds. Then after I lost 50 pounds I would have another Scotch. So today was the day I got to enjoy 1 fine Glenlivet Scotch. Oh, it tasted so very good!

My scotchSo Tuesday was a very good day! I am so grateful for all of it. Some days you just feel better about life than others. Today was that day!

Maribeth Dackel

Monday, Monday

Monday started quite early. Not in a bad way. I heard Lili at the bedroom door and once she woke me up, other parts of me also woke and I knew it was time to get up!

I jumped into the shower and that just felt so good, my recommended way to start a Monday morning, and then I was off to the kitchen to turn on the coffee and then walk the dogs.

I fed the hounds and then did my least favorite job. I went down to the basement to check the Mouse-Taps. Of the four I lay down, one was sprung. To date, I have gotten 5 mice! Yay!


I am doing this in an environmentally way. I bait the trap with peanut butter and the bodies are returned to the field where our Eagles, Hawks, and other predators come for a snack.


And since the only thing these little “meeces” have eaten is peanut butter, they are safe for all wildlife.

I am happy!

It is terribly hot here today, and from what they say, it will be like this all week. My plan is to have a low key this week and enjoy the air conditioning!

I did venture out to the Post Office to get our mail, as I had an Amazon delivery which included a new dish rack to dry my hand-washed dishes in the sink. My old one (over 35 years old!) finally disintegrated and I was in need. It was not easy to find one that fit inside my twin sinks, but eventually, I did, and it is now installed.

Ah yes. It’s the little things in life that make us happy, isn’t it?

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The Weekend Wrap

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The Covid-19 life means that none of us see our friends and family too often. I’ve been very careful about where I go and also have been keeping myself masked and gloved and clean. My “bubble” is a small one.

So I was able to go and see my daughter and her family! My darling Savannah and Quinn!

I think that’s been the hardest part of the Pandemic. The isolation. However, when the numbers were very high I didn’t feel safe seeing the kids. I did not want to get them sick!

Seeing their faces when I arrived filled me with such joy. I realized that they had missed me as much as I had missed them!

Friday I had an appointment with my Glaucoma Doctor late in the day. I asked if I could come down to visit, and it was the perfect day for a visit and a swim in the pool! My appointment went well, and so far, my eye pressures are holding steady.

Then it was off to Mandy’s!

116987009_10223687780284220_2529960498303297912_nSavannah and her Mommy, my daughter, Mandy!

We were in the pool for a couple of hours. It felt so good to relax in the cool, pleasant, water. My second swim of the year!

Mandy made a wonderful dinner, with Matt doing the grilling, and it was so nice not to have to cook or clean up!

Quinn and me, his Oma!20200808_093119
20200808_061348Me with my darling Savannah.

We talked we played and I got to hold my babies. Oh, how wonderful that was! All too soon, I had to go back home, as Papa Jack and the doggies needed me.

Still, Friday and into Saturday was just a great day!

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The Friday Five ~ August 7th

The Friday Five

The week was a busy one for us. It seemed each day was planned around an activity or two. Some good and some sad. So here goes.

  1. My week started off with me being exactly two-tenths of a pound away from a total weight loss of 50 pounds! It sort of hit me that all my planning and hard work have paid off. I’m just about 20 pounds from my goal weight!
  2. My weekly meeting with my friends was a very good one! We all sort of unofficially drafted Holly to be our Leader. I have to tell you, she is a born leader and she is doing a wonderful job keeping us focused on our weight loss journey! I have known Holly since 2008 and consider her one of my very special friends.
  3. I had to take Arnie and Anneliese in for their re-checks. Arnie had to have blood drawn and it’s been sent away.50084565102_5f947152a3_3kArnie has made quite a good recovery from Lepto and he is back to his spunky self!
  4. Anneliese needed her urine checked and again she has another UTI. We’re all at a loss as to why, but Anneliese’s medical history (many UTIs and of course the breast cancer, not to mention being nearly blind), so the Vet and I decided that she will go on antibiotics indefinitely.Anneliese copyWe will keep her comfortable and do what we can to make her last months on earth really good ones. At nearly 14 we feel so lucky that we have had her all of this time!
  5. And today I am off to see my Glaucoma Doctor. I have not been in since Covid-19 all began, but I need my pressures checked. After that, I will be driving to my daughter’s home to spend the night! I foresee lots of pool time with my two grandchildren!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!


TBT: As The Years Go By

I went out today and walked around the cement pad we had poured for the camper. We’d done it the first year we were here.

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We put our handprints in the wet cement and our initials.

We had two dogs then. Our old White German Shepherd, Max.

Max at sunset

These are his prints.

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And the love of our lives, and many others, Shubi.


These are Shubi’s little paw prints.

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We loved having their footprints in the cement. It somehow blessed this land that we had decided to call home.

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Shubi and Max.

Today, for the first time in many years, I saw their prints, and our hands and remembered all those years ago. I smiled, I cried a little and then was thankful for all that Hubby and I have now, and the three dogs we are blessed to share our life with, but also thankful for the dogs we have known in the past.

Me with my Shubi in the camper.

shubi and me

“And oh how the years go by
And oh how the love brings tears to my eyes
All through the changes the soul never dies
We fight, we laugh, we cry
As the years go by”


Another Busy Day

My Tuesday was rather incredible. Jack had an appointment to be fitted for shoes (After the amputation he needs special shoes) and he asked for me to go with him. After he wanted to see the new Grocery Store.

We were due to get the remains of Tropical Storm Isaias. It was cloudy and humid on our drive over, with a few spits of rain. But nothing heavy.

I sat in the car reading while Jack went in for his exam. As I sat, all of a sudden, the skies opened, and the wind blew, and it was like being caught in the middle of a terrible storm!


I watched people come out of the building, run for their cars, and get soaked to the skin. It made me happy to be sitting in the car reading my book.

Finally, Jack was done, and he came out. Lucky for him the rain had lightened and he did not get drenched!

I think the new super grocery store overwhelmed Jack. He began to seem tired and so I skipped many isles, and just got to a register and checked out. I did not finish my shopping, I just wanted to get him home.

But he had two more stops to make and by the time we got home and put things away and sat down for lunch, it was after 3 PM, and I was deliriously hungry and not able to think clearly.

After eating a small lunch I tried to rest a little, but the house and husband and dogs kept me on my toes. As did the Tropical Storm.

The Storm has been with us now for a bit. Not as bad as some places, but with high winds and rain we have had flickering lights, and outages with our satellite.

I managed to prepare a quick and easy dinner and get it all cleaned up. So, if the lights go out now, I could care less.

As I work hard to lose weight, Jack is having trouble keeping weight on. (If only that were my problem!) So, I bought him a pie at the store and although he insisted he wasn’t hungry at dinner I forced him to eat.

Meanwhile, I hold fast to my goals. This week was a very good week! I lost 2.2 pounds bringing my grand total to 49.8 pounds lost!!! I am a very happy girl!

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Memories Growing Up

I was thinking about my family recently. Growing up, I recall that my mother’s family got together a lot. When I was very young, we all met up at my Grandmother’s House in Brighton, Massachusetts. She had a three-story home, that at one time or another had housed Grandma and Papa Fred; her parents; her sister, Tilly, and Tilly’s son, George; Papa Fred’s sister, Hedwig and her husband Abert; my Mom and Dad; and my Uncle Bob and his wife Cynthia and their two children Carl and Erica.

Now, these people all passed through the house at one time or another, never all at once, but somehow, Murdock Street was the home base for many years.


Family always gathered at Grandma’s house to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. It was always so much fun. Good food, a lot of laughs, and a lot of hugs. My memories of those long-ago days are still very strong. I recall each family member, be they my Mom’s brother and his family, or all of Papa Fred’s family, as he had many brothers and sisters.


Papa had a heart attack when I was about 10 years old and Grandma and Papa moved closer to us in Falmouth, on Cape Cod. They moved three streets away from us, and I remember running through the woods to their house. The door was always open and they were always happy to see me.

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Grandma Honey & Papa Fred

The family parties continued, although I admit, they’d gotten smaller because slowly, the family was dying off. Papa was the youngest in his family and I recall his brothers and sisters passing early on. All except the eldest in the family, Hedwig, and she lived to be very, very, old.

In any case, after a few years, Grandma and Papa needed more help and so they bought a house with my Mom and Dad. It was a beautiful big home. Which meant, the family parties continued.

It was great because All the cousins were getting married and having children, and suddenly the parties were filled with babies, toddlers, and children! There was a small lake down the road and in the summer, during the cookouts, this meant swimming times too!


When parties were planned, everyone came. They came to see Grandma. She really loved family and would plan everything and call everyone. Mom would do most of the cooking, with Uncle Betty by her side, and Uncle George and my Dad were great at flipping burgers and hotdogs.

I can still taste my Mom’s potato salad! And why is it that the watermelon tasted so much better when we were all sitting on the fence spitting seeds?

I miss those days. I miss all those people. I miss the family gatherings when we all were together. They do not happen anymore. My sister Melodie and one cousin, Janet, and I get together twice a year. But gone are the days of those big family gatherings.

MB Surf DriveMe at my Beach. Surf Drive Beach.

Right now I am trying to establish a time each summer when I share beach time with my grandchildren. I want them to have the Cape Cod experience. I want them to know salty air, sunsets into the ocean, and cookouts that last forever. I want them to spit watermelon seeds while they’re sitting on a fence and Dairy Queen runs on a hot summer night!

So many wonderful memories of my own childhood.


Summer Coats

Sunday found me giving the two dackels hair trims. It’d been a while and both were overgrown and I also found their fur matted in places.

Both are elderly dogs and I just hate bothering them with stuff like this, but it had to be done. Tomorrow will be a bath day for both of them and me.

Currently, with their fur trimmed, they look absolutely adorable! After their baths, I will strip their coats when they are dry. Ah, this is nice for them. Less fur and no mats!

Here is Arnie after his trim. He’s a handsome boy with a full wire-haired coat. He takes a lot of work to strip and keep up with.

20200802_170927I must have taken a pound of fur off of him!

And, here is Anneliese. She has a shorter, tighter coat and it’s easier to take care of. She is also easier to do because she actually sits still!

20200802_154928So the pups are looking pretty spiffy and they even seem to have a spring in their step! Or at least they do for now. I’m sure when I get their baths done tomorrow in the sink they will be none too happy!

Things I have Learned

I think the biggest thing I have been doing the last seven months that I have been following The WW Green Plan, is to write down each meal (using their online App) and plan out what I am going to eat.


Here I am at 10:15 on Saturday morning and I know what I will be eating the rest of the day.

A friend told me she couldn’t be so rigid with her eating. Her life would stop if she had to give up the things she loves.

I told her I don’t “Have” to, I “Want” to.

I’m sixty-one years old. I’ve been waiting for the “Skinny Fairy” to arrive. I’m guessing it isn’t going to happen in this lifetime.

What this means to me now, in order to avoid becoming a Type 2 Diabetic, or developing a heart problem, changing the way I eat, the very way I look at food needed to change!

And it has. Big time.

I’m a Carb-a-holic. This means there isn’t a loaf of bread, donut, cake, cookie, or breading that I do not crave and love. In fact, it’s funny, even when I am not eating bread, if I am making Jack a sandwich, I will hold the bread close and “inhale the scent” of it. Ahhhhhh!


There are certain foods I know I cannot eat because they trigger me to start down that bumpy road.

Sugar is also one of those things on my addiction list. I have ended my love affair with the white stuff. It took about two weeks of going cold turkey before I got the need for sugar out of my system.

I’m learning to fully enjoy new things. Melon, berries, apples, garden salads, and this is a big surprise, Carrots. I’ve always liked carrots, but now I cut them up and add them to my salad. I love them!

I have given up pork and salty ham. Never a favorite, so it wasn’t hard to eliminate it from my eating plan. I love to eat fish (any kind) and I love poultry. And very occasionally I will enjoy some beef.

I know I need to use portion control, but I also need to use my head to pick and choose foods sensibly.

I’ve written a lot about my journey on WW because it helps to keep me honest with myself. I also hope that if anyone else is struggling with their weight, maybe they will see that there is a way to lose weight and still eat!

I admit that after the age of 60 it’s a little tougher to do, but not impossible.