Sunday, July 11, 2010
From there I drove the route I use to take to high school, and to The Armory where I use to go for drum corp practices. I was stunned to see the music store was torn down! I use to go there for all my musical needs, and even had lessons. I was told that was going to be used for the state college a couple miles up the road.
The high school is no longer the high school, but now a middle school. There is a newly built high school in another part of town. I use to be a member of the Alumni Band. Eventually, we would practice there. We were given a tour. It is nice and all, just not the same.
The Armory we use to practice drum corp, is now The Senior Center. It also houses a Veterans Services Office. I went there with my mother. I walked thru the halls, pointing out to her what rooms were used for, and where the different offices were. It has been refurbished, and some of the rooms no longer excist. After seeing The Armory, we drove past a field where I practiced with the drum corp. The field is no longer there. Instead, it is a beautiful gated condo community. Those condos have been there for several years now.
From there, we drove by what use to be known as Whalom Park Amusement Park. Yup, you guessed it! All the rides have been taken down, and condos are being built.
It has been said "you can't go home". With everything I saw that day, you could say that is true. However, for me, "going home" has been the memories of what was. Have you been able to "go home" again?
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
I thought of the days I use to rock him to sleep. Once he was asleep, I would just look at him in wonderment. What will he want to do with his life?
I thought of those Christmas' he would wake everyone because Santa came.
Even his first day camp experience. I went to pick him up from camp. The kids were playing a game of basketball. He was thrown, and caught the ball. Saw everyone on one end of the court, and decided to run the other way. When asked why he ran the other way, he just said "If I went the other way, the kids would get the ball away! I wanted to try to get a point!" I sure do miss the innocence of those times.
As much as I miss those times, I'm enjoying these days just as much. You see, he is an amazing young man! A person who believes in working for what you have. The proof is in the pudding. He received not one, not two, but THREE schollarships!! He received a metal for Tri M Honor Society! Even from up in the bleachers, I could see the pride he had in his accomplishments. As are his parents!!
On Saturday, we are celebrating his 19th birthday. A few short weeks after that, he starts college. A man working twards the goals he set for himself. This exciting new chapter, I have the privledge to watch. I get to be cheer him on, help him up when he falls, and of course, pat him on the back for a job well done. Life doesn't get any better than that!
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Talk about a surreal moment. There I was, yesterday, at that eight month old babys' wedding. Where did the time go? She looked so beautiful!! When the bride and groom made their way to our table, I could see the excitement, and happiness in her eyes. All the time remembering my own wedding and how she was just a baby.
The wedding was a beautiful outdoors wedding. Like me, she had a family affair. She is one of four girls. Her sisters were all in her wedding. They too, looked so beautiful in their gowns. I watched my brother, father of the bride, as he let his first born go. All the time realizing, the letting go we, as parents go thru. I have to admit, I was OK until, he danced with his beautiful daughter for the father/daughter dance. They danced to "I Loved Her First"? A country song, that always brings me to tears. Yesterday was no different. The song started, and the flood gates opened!
But, all in all, everyone had a wonderful time. We were all excited for the bride and groom as they start their life together.
Friday, April 16, 2010
I have my wedding picture hanging on my living room wall. Friends came over for a bit. As they were leaving, one of them asked "Whose wedding picture?"
me: "That is my wedding picture."
friend: "No, really. Who is it?"
me: "Look again!"
That went on for a some time. Finally he says, "Oh! That IS you! I can see you were kind of pretty back then."
OUCH! To which I responded "As opposed to what? I'm a DOG now? Thank you for noticing!"
Today, the person who made that comment to me, has since gain quite a bit of weight. Karma, a wonderful thing.
Over the years, I've battled the buldge. I've tried all sorts of diets. I always had the same problem. I would reach my goal weight. When I went on the diet that should maintain the goal weight, I gained everything back and then some. Finally, I went to my primary doctor for help. My doctor never holds anything back, and tells it straight. He told me all those diets I have tried don't work. Think about it. If they did, they would not be in business for very long. Loosing more than 2 pounds a week is not healthy. These diets claim satisfaction of loosing quite a bit in a short time. So, he and I had an arrangement. I would go see him once a month for a weigh in. If I lost four pounds, the visit was free. If I lost less than four, but still lost, I only paid half. If I gained, I would pay full price.
I didn't pay. How did I do it? Honestly, I don't know! But, I managed to get down to a size 8! OK, so that only lasted approximately four years. About four years after my wedding, I found out I was pregnant. I gained 150 pounds in nine months! I never saw size 8 again. Took me about a year for me to reach a size 12. I would walk three miles a day, and on rainy days, I would work out to those excercise tapes.
Today, I am no longer a size 12. I am a size 2. Let me explain. I recently went to Fashion Bug. I needed something to wear for a wedding. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they now carry plus sizes. Their sizes are different than what they use to be. What is normally a 16/18 pant, is now a size 2! For a minute, I allowed myself to feel good about my size. I came back to reality when I saw the shirt sizes. Those sizes didn't change. In the end, I felt good about what I bought.
I will never be a size 8 again. I am finally OK with that. I can no longer excercise, but, I do eat healthy...I don't cook with oil, and have fresh veggies and fruits. Every once in a blue moon, I will splurge...red velvet cake, or a cheese cake...YUM!
I never like to use the terms, overweight, or fat, etc...I am "FLUFFY" and ya know, that's OK!
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Those that know my son, may think this is quite the stretch. Even I have a hard time picturing this dream becoming reality. Then again, he is my son. Which means he has the strength of my moms side, and the stubborness of my dads side. Plus, he has the ability to dream big, while at the same time, being cautious, on my husbands side. So, making that dream a reality may not be that far fetched. Personally, I am routing for him.
We spend our weekends watching stand up comics from George Carlin to The Blue Collar Guys, and half hour sit coms...Two And A Half Men, Everybody Loves Raymond, Reba to name a few. He watches every show as if he is studying for a final exam. I usually spend most of the time watching him. He will mime and act along. He even watches the bonus features...listens to the naratives about certain episodes, and watches those episodes again. Trying to see whatever it was they were talking about, and how they made it work.
Come June my baby boy will graduate high school. As much as I am looking forward to his graduation, I miss the days of having that baby boy who use to love to fall asleep in my arms. Today, I am the proud parent of this amazing young man. A young man I have the priviled of being there as he makes his way in this next chapter in his life.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Of course, I lost track as to WHEN Easter Sunday is. It got me thinking what we can do for my son this Easter. We have an agreement, that he earns certain things by doing his best in school. Which, in turn, will show with his grades. When my son was younger, we would have a mini egg hunt, using those plastic eggs. On small pieces of paper, we would write a place(ie..check the washing machine. Inside that egg, the paper would read..go inside Dads car) and stick in inside the egg. It was great watching him go all over the house, and outside. The last egg would always say, "Check under your bed!" You would think he'd have caught on. Either he truly never did, or he was enjoying the egg hunt just as much as we were. Under his bed would be his Easter Gift. My son is a health food nut. So, candy was never an option. So his gifts would be a toy, or a dvd or something like that. One year, my son, decided he wanted this video gamer..I think it was nintendo? So he saved bottles and cans, put the thing on layaway(he has been able to get quite a bit and go places just from bottles and cans). He had paid for half of the unit with the bottles and cans. So we decided to pay for the other half, and got him a game to go with it. When he found it, the look on his face was PRICELESS!! That Easter morning has to be BEST EVER! What is yours?
Thursday, March 25, 2010
I was watching an interview today, and someone said "Studies have shown bullies only bully 'unpopuliar kids'" I in turn said "NO! Say it isn't so! Are people THAT BLIND they NEED to do a study?! Sad...very very sad"
Here is why I say that. I am a parent of a child who has spent most of his life being bullied by his peers. From being physically hit, sucker punched, pushed, to others spitting in his food when he got up to get a napking or whatever and they mixed it into the food. Would you believe that a kid took the mouthpiece to his clarinet and put it down his own pants and returned it? It did. How gross is that? The result, my son is very shy, a home body really. He is affraid to put himself out there, and make new friends. A senior who doesn't want anything to do with school. Hates being there, but at the same time, he doesn't like to miss a class. He is very grade conscience, especially because he will be attending college in the fall. Altho, he lacks self confidence. Whenever we say something possitive, he always respond with "ahh you're just being nice." or "so and so is just agreeing with you".
In my experiences, bullying happens because it is allowed. These kids are not "the populiar kids" but are populiar for being bullies. These are the kids that have behavioral problems. They know who to pick on. Usually the ones who won't or can't fight back. We have what is called "No Child Left Behind Act" which overshadows "0 Tolerance" the school preaches. The result, the kids that want to do well, learn, are the ones who are left behind. Too many times, teachers are made to stop class, and wait until these kids settle down, never really addressing the problem. There have been times these kids threw furniture. I've always wondered whether or not these kids really have behavioral problems, or just not taught what is acceptable. I know that doesn't really happen in school. One of the things we've been told is that teachers cannot send kids to the principals office because it makes them look bad, and they could loose their jobs. Another thing I was told was "they are working behind the scenes" with these kids. Really? So is that suppose to make it OK that they don't address a situation or problem when it occures? Truth be told, because nothing is being done whether it be because the teacher is affraid of loosing their job, are "working behind the scenes", they are allowing the bullies to do what they do best.
Parents of bullied children/teens see what happens to other bullied children/teens, validating their fears as this issue has come to the forefront in the news. It is so sad that it had to take several tragic endings to make people realize how serious this issue is.
Monday, March 22, 2010
I'm not saying there are those who take advantage of the system, but please don't put people in the same brush strokes. The issues I've had to battle in the past, and looks like I'm still battling, are...
Insurance companies limit treatments, deny surgeries and treatments. Where did they get their medical degree? Even when the specialists, surgens, call the insurance and tell them it IS needed, the person is STILL denied.
People are denied insurance because of "pre excisting conditions". From what I understand, and I admit, I could have misunderstood, that in this reform, insurance companies cannot deny anyone because of a pre excsisting condition. If they do, they are fined like $5,000. So, does that mean they will have to pay the fine, AND turn around and insure them? Will they then turn around and refuse treatments and or surgeries needed? They've been known to do that before.
In the local news, it has been said that Mass. was the blue print used for the reform bill. Well, I live in Mass. If this is what they are using it is completely USELESS!!
Let me tell you my experiences with it. First, you have to have insurance or you will be fined at tax time. I had to apply twice for my family. My husband and I were both denied insurance because we had "pre excisting conditions", and he is a Veteran. The second time, I had to abbandon the fact that my docotors have deemed me physically disabled. My son and I "qualified" for an insurance that we had to pay for. However, when going down the list of family history, it was brought to my attention that if he or I were diagnosed with something that runs in our family, we would be dropped. I could not even be seen by the doc for my disability, I would be dropped. Long story short, it only covered one physical a year and eye glass frames. Nothing more!
As for my husband, a Veteran, was denied. He is a diabetic, which is considered a "pre excisting condition". Yes he can go to the Veterans for that, but not much more. Unless, that is, if he should be in the doctors office and mentions something, or they notice something. But, keep in mind they are only open what use to be known as "Bankers Hours" . If something should happen, or he gets so sick he should be seen, he should be able to go to the emergency room. Well, here is another little tidbit. Hospitals are so overwhelmed that they send people away that don't really have insurance(Veterans fall under that), that they deem not life threatening.
How do I know all of this happens? I've lived it! Still am! See, if you loose your job, or are laid off, you will loose that health insurance. Then you are forced to try to get it on your own. It isn't an easy process. But remember, even if you HAVE insurance, you might be fighting an loosing battle if you should get sick. I have not heard one word about denying treatment or denying surgery. I've been denied both.
Now, my husband has returned to work, was called back from where he was laid off. We are waiting for the insurance cards. We are covered from day one he returned. It is suppose to be one of "The Best" insurance companies in this state. However, this insurance has denied and limited treatments.....I've lived it!
Why hasn't anyone said word one about this issue? This is the real problem. But I guess, when you are someone who doesn't matter to the system for whatever reason, this isn't a problem.
I find it funny that when it is mentioned that the state of Mass, already has the reform, and are proud of it. I'm sorry, but denying people much needed treatments or surgery, is not something to be proud of! Ignoring the fact that people are still being denied insurance because of pre excisting conditions, is not something to be proud of! But then again, what do I know? I've only been living this. By the way, no one has been able to answer these questions. But at the same time, all I hear is that people will be paying for those who take advantage of the system. What about those who have never taken advantage of the system?
Saturday, March 20, 2010
My new niece, Natalie, is a beautiful young woman. I'm so happy they found each other! They are so good for and with each other. So much in love! My wish for the newlyweds is that they welcome any challenges they will face knowing they are not facing them alone. That they continue to be as happy as they are today. Congratulations, and much love Scott and Natalie!
Thursday, March 11, 2010
When he called, he actually got a person! That NEVER happened before. When I realized he was talking to a person, you could have knocked me over with a feather. Eventually, he turned to me, in shock asking me which shift he wanted. He is the one who has to work there. He needs to make that decision. He hung up the phone, says he starts back to work on Monday, but with a cut in pay. Words cannot express how happy we are right now!
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Here is a close up of that block pattern using pastel colors.
My husband started hinting around for one. I told him to pick out the colors. I am still working on this one. He wants it big enough to fit a queen size bed. It is so heavy, that he has to hand it to me. Right now, I'd say it is just over half way done. Like the one I made my son, it is very warm. Here is the back side...
Here is the front side....
Actually this afghan isn't the only one I'm working on. I'm also working on the block heart, and a heart strip afghan. I run out of yarn on one I go to work on whichever one I have yarn for. I use yarn that doesn't have a dilot number. So, I'm able to buy a scane or two at a time. I have also been trying to create either a block or a strip with a peace sign. It is much more difficult than turning the strip into the block. But, I think I'm getting close. It is a great pass time. When I tell people I am in "Crochet City", everyone knows I am sitting here crocheting.
Friday, March 5, 2010
I was diagnosed as physically disabled, but am unable to collect disability. I've applied twice. I was alone the first time. It was a very degrading experience. Being made to show what cash I had on me. Asked how much money I had in the bank. Asked what I owned that I could sell for money. Now, I ask you, what does that have to do with the fact that specialists along with my primary care diagnosed me with a physical disability that prevents me to work? I was told before I left that I did not qualify for disability even tho, I cannot work. Truth be told, I cannot even go grocery shopping anymore. So, I decided to fight the decision. I made calls to different lawyers. Again and again, I was left feeling degraded. That tends to happen to someone when they are told "the government set regulations so that people like me(lawyers) don't have to pay for people like you(me)." Can you imagine? Every time I completely lost it. I did not ask for this! I went to my primary care to seek treatment, to fix whatever was happening from my lower back on down. Instead, I was sent to specialists, had to endure multiple tests, and physical therapy. Only to be told to go apply for disability.
In the meantime, my husband was laid off. My primary care told me to try again. So, I followed his advice, with a twist. This time, I did not go alone, nor did I go to the same branch office. I went to a different town. Made the appointment. It was different in so many ways. First, I was given paperwork for my primary care and I to fill out. My husband came with me. A few days before the appointment, I fell. My face to shoulders were swollen and bruised, my teeth are loose and could hardly talk from the fall(all I could do was count the amount of times my jaw hit the unpaved drive..4X's). So we get to the appointment, sit there, while we were supposedly helped. I don't know if you could say what happened was help. This person was busy on her computer, never asking questions for about 15 or so minutes. I finally turn to my husband and say loud enough so she could hear. "ya know, she is entering a lot of info without asking anything!" She didn't even look at the paperwork I was told needed to be filled by me and my primary care. According to her, there was enough info in the system that she didn't need to ask me anything. That is, until it came time for her to ask how much my husbands unemployment insurance was. Again, I'm stumped. What does my husbands income have to do with the fact that I can no longer work? Since when did his income dictate my health? Once again, I was denied. Then this supposedly helpful person decided in her infinite wisdom to be sympathetic. She failed miserably!! I will give this person her due. She was being patronizing. Telling me how she understands what I am going thru. One more time, I lost it. There I was, swollen and bruised, and in her face. She knows what I'm going thru! She has absolutely no idea what I was/am going thru. She is at least healthy enough to work! She can help provide for herself/family! I can't work! I can't help provide for my little family! After my rant, I started to walk towards the exit, but had to sit down. The room started to spin, so I grabbed the closest seat, and just collapsed and the flood gates opened. At which time, a security guard came to see if I was OK. My husband assured him that I wasn't feeling well, and was upset. I, on the other hand, just looked up at this guy, and thru the flood told him to walk away!
When we made it home, I decided to start writing letters, and make phone calls to local, state government. What those lawyers said to me after the first time I applied was playing in my head like a broken record. There had to be someone out there who could, at least, explain how my husbands income dictates my health. This was done over this past summer, and I have not received one phone call. The only response I received was an email filled with gobble-dee-gook from a Senators office. I had to call the staff member mentioned in this email. In that phone call, I was asked to send a letter asking for help. Talk about things that make you go "hmmmmm". I said something like this phone call is the result of an email I received because I sent an email asking for help. She took down my phone number and said she would get back to me. As with all the other phone calls, and messages I left, she never called back!
There is another aspect of this journey, which is health care. Since my husband was laid off, we lost our coverage. I won't go into it too much, other to say I was approved for a state insurance, while my husband, a veteran who is also a diabetic was denied. There was a monthly premium, that I could not afford...so needless to say...once again, I'm not insured.
I was told in the conversation yesterday, I shouldn't have given up so easily. Really? I gave up easily? I didn't give up! I am being ignored! I've learned in the grand scheme of, for lack of a better term, the system, I don't matter! So now, when people ask "how are you?" I just grin and bear it, while saying "I'm good" as I hold back the tears. I'm not good. My health has gotten worse since. I cannot even be seen by a doctor. I have no insurance, no income other than my husbands unemployment insurance. In other words, I can't afford it. So once again, I don't matter! During that same conversation, I was told to start over, and apply for disability again. I have thought long and hard about this. I'm not really in the mood to be patronized, degraded, or even ignored. But, if I decided to apply for the third time, there would have to be someone with me. Someone whose job it is to help people like me..you see, despite what the system has said from their lack of actions....I do matter!
Sunday, February 28, 2010
When my parents decided it was time to move into a Senior High Rise, I have to admit I did not like it one bit. They were not old enough for this! I was only 24 years old at the time. Forgetting the ages of my siblings. Who are all much older. I never told them how I felt about this move. They were doing what they felt was right for them. I only had to respect their decision.
While helping them move, Mom and I were in the elevator. This woman just kept staring at us. It was most uncomfortable. After a while this woman finally starts talking.
Woman, "Forgive me, but what is your last name?"
Mom tell her, and explains how she and dad are just moving in.
Woman, "What is your maiden name?"
Mom tells her. The woman's eyes suddenly get larger.
Woman, "Is your mother Zelica?"
Mom "Yes!" Daddy is Arthur"
Woman, "I'm your mothers 1st cousin! You "kids" were young when you lost your mother." Which Mom is the third oldest of ten children. She was 11 when her mother passed.
From there, I couldn't tell you the rest of the conversation(well, I do remember being introduced). I was relieved there was a reason for her staring. At the same time, I was surprised by someone calling Mom a "kid".
Today, Mom is in her 80's. There are sometimes I forget how old she is. Mom is always on the go. Always the first to join in the fun, or try something new. Her laughter carries, and is contagious. Ya know, sometimes she calls laughing so hard she hangs up. I give her a few minutes before I call her back, so she can regain her composure. When I do call her back, there we are laughing within minutes. But then there are times, when the realization of her age hits me like a ton of bricks! Even so, she has become a contemporary and one of my best friends!
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Looks like the same dress and sweater as in my dream. I wish I got to know her. She must have been an amazing woman!
About me...hmmmm....lets see...I guess you could say I am a wife and stay at home mom. I use to work outside the home, but those nasty health issues reared their ugly head, and now, I am forced to stay at home. I try to not complain, as I believe there is a reason for everything. So, there has to be a reason for this...right? I can't walk, stand or sit in one spot for long, stairs are a nightmare. As a matter of fact, as I am typing this, I am sitting in a remote control chair that I use to move every five to ten minutes. I have temporary bouts of paralysis. So when I walk, I sometimes fall. The worse one was when I was walking to the car. I don't remember much about it other than hitting my jaw for times on the ground/unpaved drive, loosening my teeth. So, as you probably figured out, I'm not the most physically attractive person...hence the reason for no picture...bad teeth and overweight, or as I like to say "fluffy!" At the moment, there is nothing I can do about the teeth, or have treatments. The economy being what it is, and my little family was not immune from the effects, my husband was laid off. When you are laid off you loose your health care. I have applied for disability, but was denied because my husband makes too much. (Lets just say that is an entirely different story/rant for another time) It might seem as tho life has not been good to me. But, that could not be further from the truth.
I have this amazing family. My parents are my heroes. They came from literally nothing. Dad grew up in an orphanage, and Mom was in what was knows as "The Poor House" from there to different foster homes. Eventually she and her siblings reunited, and have been ever since. Sometimes, I say I have a family of 15, or I have more than one set of parents. You see, mom is one of 10, and after she and dad married, they all came to live with them. As my aunts and uncles married, and moved away, mom and dad started having their own children, I am the youngest. I've always known dads sister and her family. As a matter of fact, she is my Godmother, even named after her. My Godfather is her oldest son. I finally met dads brother, and his family as a teen. No surprise they are just as wonderful as the family members I've always known. Most people have one or two parental figures in their life that made a difference. I, on the other hand, am Blessed to have more than two. I'm not just talking about aunts and uncles, but cousins as well. The age difference between myself and some cousins are so grand, that they have children my age. Come to think of it, those cousins who are close in age, have made a difference in my life as well. I'm grateful to be a member of this amazing family! Some may say "lucky"...I choose "Blessed"!
Friday, February 26, 2010
When I entered high school, I left drum corp. I stayed with the trumpet, performing in the concert/marching and jazz bands. It wasn't as strict a lifestyle as drum corp was, but strict none the less. The summers were my own. At 13-14 years old, that was foreign to me. But, still had to practice the trumpet.
Once I graduated high school, I stopped playing. About 15 or so years later, there was a band reunion. My husband and I attended. At the reunion, there was a small band made up of the different graduating classes. After the reunion, there was an interest to keep that band going, asking other alumni members to join. I did, and stayed with it for many years. It was strange to me how I hadn't played for so many years, and after a couple of practices, everything came back to me. A band mate was looking for volunteers to play in the pit for a musical his son was in. I volunteered to play a different horn than the trumpet, but one I had played before. I practiced a couple hours a day, going between the two instruments. Now, I had the annual alumni concert and the musical within a week of each other, using two different horns.
As I've stated earlier, my grandfather was this amazing brass musician. He was a trumpet player, but could play any brass instrument, and did whenever needed. So, I thought I could do this. After all, over the years, I've learned how to play different horns. I could never be more wrong! I kept my word, practiced hard, and played in the pit, just not well. It was the most difficult thing I've ever done musically! Something I swore after that weekend I would never do again! I gained a new respect for my grandfather. He was a one of a kind, true musician!
Monday, February 22, 2010
Once the cheesecake is set I iced it with chocolate frosting and added the cherry pie filling
Surprisingly the only large amounts of sugar is in the frosting. The cheesecake is made with equal, the cherries are light, and the velvet cake only has 6 grams of sugar. Still small slices as it is rich, and tastes very sweet.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
My son has been in every school musical since entering middle school. He is always in the background, and chorus. His reason for this is because crunch time for the musical is always the same time as mid-terms. The deal is, the kids can only participate in the musical as long as they are passing their classes. Anyways, you could see how much he enjoyed being on the stage. My husband and I are just as proud of his performances as tho he was the lead.
This is his senior year, and the musical was Guys and Dolls. Four of us went, my husband, his mother, my mother, and myself. My mom had to sit next to me. Every time she saw him on stage, she would nudge me, telling me she saw him onstage, or how she could hear him singing(he has a distinctive bass voice). That night in the audience, it felt like I was a child again. Mom was there, humming the tunes, and nudging me. Only the ice cream sundae was seeing my moms reaction to his performance...a Standing O!