The Friday Five ~ January 1st, 2021

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Well, here we are. A New Year! I recall last year thinking that 2020 would be all sweetness and light, and WOW, was I wrong! So good riddance to 2020 and Welcome 2021! Please be kind, gentle, and full of health for us all!

So as I sit here on the very last day of 2020, here are my thoughts on the last year and my wishes for the year ahead!

  1. My New Year’s Resolution in 2020 was to eat healthfully and lose weight. I did this. 2020 saw me lose 60 pounds and several clothing sizes.
    I still have more to lose and so I will start a new New Year’s Resolution once again, get back on the weight loss journey and work the WW Program.
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    I think 2021 will be the year I finally will reach my goal! I will admit that I “enjoyed the Christmas Season” like crazy with all the sugary delights (It was delicious!), but now it is time to go on the sugar-free wagon and get down to business!
  2. 2020 was the year I had to face the fact that the “twins”, Arnie & Anneliese are frail and coming to the end of their time on earth. Anneliese more so than Arnie, although in June we nearly lost Arnie to Leptospirosis.
    Arnie was vaccinated for this disease, but occasionally the vaccines will fail and such was the case with Arnie. I noticed he was not well immediately upon getting out of bed. I took him out, and my little man couldn’t even lift his leg to wee. I came in, took his temperature and it was over 104.
    It was on a weekend, so I called the Emergency Vet, and off we went! He was examined, and at first, they didn’t know what was wrong. Then the on-call Vet decided to give him a “Snap” test for Lepto and sure enough, that was it.
    He stayed there overnight and into the next day while they loaded him up with the antibiotics and then he came home where I tended to him for a good six weeks during his recovery.
    With Anneliese, she has one UTI after another. Her kidneys are also not doing well, and I think she is probably close to making her last, long, ride to our Veterinarian. At 14 we are not going to take any extraordinary measures to prolong her life if it doesn’t get her a good quality of life.
    It’s been a wonderful journey with these two siblings from Greta’s first litter. But this part, the end part of their lives is the hardest part to deal with.
  3. The Covid-19 Virus changed everything in our lives. At first, we knew very little about this virus, and so we went to extreme measures. Jack stayed home, I would wear clothes, I could take off and wash in the basement when I came in from going to get groceries. I also wore a mask, gloves, and washed and washed.
    From March until June, I was so nervous, I clenched my jaw. In fact, I clenched it so much that I could barely eat a salad. This virus got the best of almost all of us. So much unknown. So much fear!
    I took over going to the Recycling Center, I took the car to get gas. If something required someone to go out into the world and do it, I did it and Jack stayed home.
    I was fortunate that Mandy and Matt and the kids were also isolated at home and so during the year I was able to get down a few times to see the kids.
    However, I miss seeing people smile. I miss hugs and handshakes. I miss just being able to pick up and go shopping when and where I want!
  4. I had surgery this year to remove three tumors from my face. The surgery went well, and the nicest part was that I was awake for the entire procedure.
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    However, my insurance company is challenging the charges as they say it was cosmetic surgery which they do not cover! Ah, no!
    Not cosmetic at all. Quite necessary as the tumors were quite large and painful! I have appealed their decision and if they refuse to pay, I will hire a lawyer. It is not right that a medically necessary surgery should be denied like this.
  5. My hope for 2021 is that we will all have good health. I know it will be a while until we can return to not wearing a mask in public, and to be able to go shopping where you’d like without fear or worry.
    I will take the vaccine when I am offered. I have taken Flu shots for over 30 years and I am hopeful the Covid-19 Shot will become a safely used vaccine to prevent the craziness that has engulfed the World in 2020.
    Many people I know do not want to try this vaccine, as it is so new. But looking back in time I think of the Polio Vaccine, the Measles, Mumps & Rubella Vaccine, and all the others that made it possible for me to grow to the age of 62 without becoming sick from very serious, yet preventable illnesses.
    I will take this Vaccine for you. Maybe if I do, you will feel safe to take it as well. We all need to do something to end this terrible Pandemic.

So, my dear ones, may 2021 be a year filled with great happiness, a return to good health, and for the World to be filled with Joy!

Happy New Year, Dear Readers!

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Christmas Happenings 2020

This year, after a year of isolating and being cut off from so many of my friends and family, I prayed for one thing. I just wanted to spend Christmas Even and morning with my two grandchildren.

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Well, I was blessed because I got to be with grandchildren on Christmas Eve, make cookies, play and visit and share, and then wake up on Christmas Morning and see their wide eyes as they surveyed all that Santa had brought to their home!

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Stockings were opened and enjoyed! My former husband made us all breakfast and the friendship between us, his wonderful life partner, Rachel, and I made the entire event feel like life in this crazy world, we were all family! Bob’s son was also with us and his daughter was there via Zoom!

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Family. Blended and working. I am ever so grateful for this!

After breakfast, we began the herculean task of opening Christmas gifts! So much fun and so much shared happiness and joy!

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Then I called Jack at home to say Merry Christmas and he told me that there was something wrong with Arnie. He wasn’t eating, or drinking, and it seemed his skin infection had returned.

Try as I might to not let this concern me too much, I was overcome and I said my goodbyes quickly, packed what I could in my car, and in almost record-breaking time I was home!

I grabbed my doggy thermometer and Arnie was feverish. He also wasn’t moving much, although I got a little tail wag with happiness upon my arrival.

I called the Emergency Clinic, which is just down the street, and brought Arnie right in. Because of Covid, I had to wait in the car, while they took him in.

Yes, bad fever and infection are on his back. (skin) He was also dehydrated and needed an IV and antibiotics. We decided he needed to be admitted for the night at least.

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The next morning I went to pick him up, and although he is better, he is hardly well. I’ve been sitting with him, also doing laundry and feeding him, and making sure he is drinking.

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So, Christmas was full of blessings and a lot of love and in the end, it seemed I was right where I was supposed to be when I was supposed to be there.

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Happy Thanksgiving

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Wednesday I woke early. Since I had a million things to do I got up, sipped about half my coffee, and started in.

I…

Made Cran-orange Relish X

Made Stuffing for Turkey X

Peeled Butternut Squash X

Peeled Pearl Onions X

Peeled Potatoes X

Made Apple Pie X

Made Mince Tart X

I worked from 7:30 until Lunchtime and then kept working until about 4. Then I was done with all of my prep-work!

Thursday I will be up again early, and I will turn on the oven, sip my coffee, and stuff the turkey. I want my cute little turkey in the oven by 9:30 with an estimated dinner hour of 1-1:30.

I’m so tired now that I will simply wish a Happy Thanksgiving to my USA Family & Friends, and a lovely day to those of you around the world!

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Labor Day

Monday is Labor Day here in the States. Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.

What does this mean in reality? Most businesses are closed. It’s a long three (or four) day weekend. Many people go away to celebrate the end of the summer, as the school year usually starts right after this. (Some places start just before.)

People have gatherings, cooking hot dogs and hamburgers or steaks on the grill, and frankly, a lot of cold drinks and adult beverages are consumed!

Traffic is heavy, motels and campgrounds are booked up, and if you are lucky and the weather holds out, there is swimming and frolicking in the surf to be enjoyed.

This year Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were amazing weather-wise. It looks like Monday will be wonderful as well. Not overly hot but dry, in the mid-seventies, and with a lot of sunshine.

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But then, things are different right now because of the Covid-19 virus. We do have many people who have filled our hotels, campgrounds, and restaurants. Our grocery shelves are bare and traffic! What a nightmare!

This Covid-19 thing has brought out both the best and the worst in people. But it is strange, how things have gone. I wonder if the Virus will be gone by this time next year? Will, we ever be able to go round mask free smiling at each other?

So wherever you are, I hope you can sit back and have a nice relaxed day. I hope you have some little thing that helps to put a smile on your face.

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Happy 4th of July!

Today is the 4th of July. For those of you from other countries and perhaps also for those from this country who are not history buffs, here is a short bit about this holiday.

From Wikki:

From 1776 to the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with festivities ranging from fireworks, parades, and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.

However, on July 4, 1776, the 13 colonies claimed their independence from England, an event which eventually led to the formation of the United States. Each year on the fourth of July, also known as Independence Day, Americans celebrate this historic event.

Here is a little bit of trivia for you about the 4th of July.

John Adams believed that July 2nd was the correct date on which to celebrate the birth of American independence, and would reportedly turn down invitations to appear at July 4th events in protest. Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826—the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.

On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of Lee’s resolution for independence in a near-unanimous vote (the New York delegation abstained, but later voted affirmatively). On that day, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail that July 2 “will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival” and that the celebration should include “Pomp and Parade…Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires, and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other.”

On July 4th, the Continental Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence, which had been written largely by Jefferson. Though the vote for actual independence took place on July 2nd, from then on the 4th became the day that was celebrated as the birth of American independence.

Early Fourth of July Celebrations:
In the pre-Revolutionary years, colonists had held annual celebrations of the king’s birthday, which traditionally included the ringing of bells, bonfires, processions, and speechmaking. By contrast, during the summer of 1776, some colonists celebrated the birth of independence by holding mock funerals for King George III as a way of symbolizing the end of the monarchy’s hold on America and the triumph of liberty.

Festivities including concerts, bonfires, parades, and the firing of cannons and muskets usually accompanied the first public readings of the Declaration of Independence, beginning immediately after its adoption. Philadelphia held the first annual commemoration of independence on July 4, 1777, while Congress was still occupied with the ongoing war.

George Washington issued double rations of rum to all his soldiers to mark the anniversary of independence in 1778, and in 1781, several months before the key American victory at the Battle of Yorktown, Massachusetts became the first state to make July 4th an official state holiday.

After the Revolutionary War, Americans continued to commemorate Independence Day every year, in celebrations that allowed the new nation’s emerging political leaders to address citizens and create a feeling of unity. By the last decade of the 18th century, the two major political parties—the Federalist Party and Democratic-Republicans—that had arisen began holding separate Fourth of July celebrations in many large cities.

The first fireworks were used as early as 200 BC. The tradition of setting off fireworks on the 4 of July began in Philadelphia on July 4, 1777, during the first organized celebration of Independence Day. Ship’s cannon fired a 13-gun salute in honor of the 13 colonies. The Pennsylvania Evening Post reported: “at night there was a grand exhibition of fireworks (which began and concluded with thirteen rockets) on the Commons, and the city was beautifully illuminated.” That same night, the Sons of Liberty set off fireworks over Boston Common.

The tradition of patriotic celebration became even more widespread after the War of 1812, in which the United States again faced Great Britain. In 1870, the U.S. Congress made July 4th a federal holiday; in 1941, the provision was expanded to grant a paid holiday to all federal employees.

Over the years, the political importance of the holiday would decline, but Independence Day remained an important national holiday and a symbol of patriotism.

Falling in mid-summer, the Fourth of July has since the late 19th century become a major focus of leisure activities and a common occasion for family get-togethers, often involving fireworks and outdoor barbecues. The most common symbol of the holiday is the American flag, and a common musical accompaniment is “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the national anthem of the United States.

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I had a wonderful teacher, who taught me US History one summer when I decided to take this class, so I could graduate from High School early. Mr. Phillips was the teacher and he made the US History come alive for me.

So family and friends, Happy 4th of July to you all. Remember how hard we fought to become a Nation. We have our problems, but let’s work together with level heads to solve them. Remember to love and help our country be the land of the free and home of the brave.

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Father’s Day

Here are the five men, who shaped my life. In their own ways, they were my father or a father figure to me. They have all passed from this life to the next, but their memory and the love they gave me, lives on in my heart

My Dad. He was an amazingly talented musician and he passed along his love of music to me. Dad was devoted to our community. He played the organ at both the Congregational Church and the Catholic Church in North Falmouth.

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He was the Music Director at Highfield Theater for many years. He also was a summer police officer in our town. And when we went to local parks for cook-outs, Dad was the burger-meister! He has been gone a long time now, but I still think of him often and miss his wry sense of humor.

My Uncle George. He was the father who taught me everything growing up. How to swim, how to dive, how to bowl, how to hike, how to play cards, and how to love unconditionally.

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When I was about 7 years old I cut my toe badly at the beach and he carried me all the way home! And helped Mom drive me to the doctor’s office for stitches. He was not a loud man, but in his quiet loving way, I just knew that I was one of his special kids.

img098Uncle George and me at my wedding to Jack.

In fact, when Jack and I married, Uncle George walked me down the aisle. I miss this sweet, loving, wonderful man!

My Uncle Bob. He was fun to be with. But, he required that I act like a mini adult too. That was fine. I adored him and just wanted to spend time, quiet time, with him.

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I did a lot of things with him and his wife, Aunt Cynthia. I remember being on his boat, or when they took me to their home in Quincy and to museums. And I recall my Uncle once got a monkey. Cute, but it didn’t last for long.

My Papa Fred. Another quiet man, who was quite old when I lived with him and Grandma. But he showed me something important.

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What real love between a man and a woman was all about. I would watch Papa and Grandma sitting on their sofa watching Lawrence Welk. Papa would hold Grandma’s feet in his lap and stroke them gently. He simply adored Grandma and had all of his life. When she died, he no longer had the will to live and passed eight months later.

My Papa Sam, my Dad’s Dad. I didn’t know him as well, but I remember him taking me to the Prudential Building in the summer to listen to the Barbershop Quartets sing.

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I remember sitting on his lap and listening to him sing along. He had such a beautiful voice.

These 5 men helped to shape the woman I grew up to become. Each special in their own way, and now, each greatly missed.

Happy Father’s Day! I remember you all with love and many memories that make me smile!

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Mother’s Day

Today is Mother’s Day. A special day for all the Mothers out there, myself included.

Here I am with my sister, Melodie and our mother Rosamond. I’ve always loved her name. So beautiful.

2436793586_43be7f53e5_hThis was taken in the Spring of 2008. The Cherry Blossoms were blooming in New Haven, Connecticut. What a beautiful day that was.

1Then I became a Mum on December 20th. A much wanted and extremely loved and adored daughter, Mandy entered my life. I remember that day, feeling like no one had ever had a baby as I did. She was (and still is) so beautiful and wonderful!

It’s funny how one loves their baby before they see their face, and when they do, it’s like they have always known those eyes, that smile, and those expressions.

25Me and Mandy. This is one of my favorite pictures. Oddly enough, it was taken in a ladies’ room because it had great lighting and a wonderful background.

img053aAmanda, Me, and Katie. Me and my girls. I have always loved being a Mum. These two just filled my heart.

49081853731_5546d5b2c3Now I am an Oma! Savannah Rose came into my world almost eight years ago. I didn’t know it could be like this!  The very first time I held her in my arms was magic! She is amazing and my heart grew and continues to grow as this young lady continues to steal my heart!

Savannah is sweet and kind, she is loving and gentle. She loves to dress up and pretend, and swim and dance. She loves Fairy Princesses. She is my little Princess.

49645785926_cd466b2ae9_bThen one day Mandy came running down the stairs waving a home pregnancy test! And we learned this little one was on the way. I was so excited, and it’s strange because a palm reader said I would have another grandchild and it would be a boy! She sure was right!

Quinn is also amazing. He is so different from his sister and I just love it! We play Spiderman, build Legos, and play planes. We color and he is poetry in motion. He likes guy stuff and roughhousing. Yet at the same time, he can become sweet and caring.

Let’s face it, I have been blessed all the way around. I had two beautiful daughters of my own, And two fabulous grandchildren too!

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