See Grandma, my eyes are really dark blue....not big brown ones like daddy

See Grandma, my eyes are really dark blue....not big brown ones like daddy

Ryan and friend

Ryan and friend
Mommy, Daddy, I'm saying Hi to Grandma?

This one is for you, Grandma!


soccer with determination and no airplane distractions

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Doing it right

What are you besides a bunch of nerves? Chemistry. That is fact that you cannot ignore, and it is not going to go away.

Here we are in the valley, where all the pollens rush down as if in a bowl. The month of May for the most part is green pollen, due to the amount of foliage we have here, mainly from grass and maple trees. I always can tell the difference when I'm on the coast of Maine taking in the fresh air of the ocean. You can taste the salt in the air, a clean and healing chemical.

I had suffered from allergies for so many years, I believe I have stumbled on the reason, "Chemistry." I have shared my findings with my doctor, friends and family. Unless you have a PhD they take it as a grain of salt. I feel badly watching you suffer. Okay, with that said, each person's health needs are unique. What works for one is not necessarily going to work for someone else. Maybe it will work for you.

Here are some of the reasons that I agree with the statements found in Dr. Jensen's book.
  1. All diseases involve a chemical deficiency
  2. This deficiency encompasses all age groups
  3. It precedes or follows every disease
  4. One of the benefits of this chemical element is that it has been known to reduce air-way inflammation and more

One of the biggest problems with allergy sufferers is tissue irritating histamines and inflammation, which can cause sneezing, itching, watering eyes and nose, itchy throat and ears.

Everything that the body consumes is chemical and nutrient. A brilliant man by the name of Dr. Jensen wrote a book in 1908, which is a guide to body chemistry and nutrition.

A clinical nutritionist, talks about what is in the heart of every cell's energy system and names magnesium as a very worthy chemical element, vital to cell operation, in his book.

Food sources cannot be well assimilated without the master chemical element, magnesium.

Interestingly, my doctor, after an illness told me I was deficient in this vital chemical element. I started looking for natural food substances and finally ended up taking the supplement before bedtime to check on and assimilate the calcium in my body. The rest is history. I no longer suffer from asthema, and do not have hayfever type allergies any more.

Your diet is key to the resistance of all disease and aging. Do what you can to slow down the process by good nutritional habits and a healthy lifestyle.

Allieviate other symptoms, such as rashes and itching, by keeping the body cool, and refraining from overheating. Staying out of the sun helps. A cool towel in the folds of the body relieves the heat. Keep dry using baby powder. It may help with preventing rashes and itching. Molasses in tea helps with the inflammation in the throat and chest areas. (Don't expect it to taste good.) Place tea bags in the freezer and apply to areas over the eyelids, to reduce swelling. It is a good natural remedy for bug bites.

We wait all winter for our treasured days in the sun. Ironic how we forget the pollen, bees, and bugs. The morning Wren is up early singing and preparing her nest, soon the tree toads will be out, I forgot how noisy it is this time of year in the valley. Soon it will be mosquitoes. Oh the good life.

So remember to eat your leafy green and yellow vegetables to help strengthen you in the onslaught of allergies.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Mission accomplished

It may have taken me most of the day, but I found my family tree, and cleaned up the stock room. It was a perfect day for it, as it was cool and cloudy.

The nice part is that it is just in time for recycling. I see the problem. My mother-in-law will not keep anything, so she gives it to my husband, who when I'm not looking makes a deposit on the floor. Other things, typical for this time of the year, pots and boxes which took very little time to clean up.

This was a general cleaning but the work is still ahead. I need to get rid of the yard-sale items, and because we painted the rooms upstairs, bought new drapes and accessories the old ones which just don't match but are perfectly good, remain to be forwarded somewhere. Also, we now have baby furniture to dispense with. That sure sounds funny, but it's not. Cycles, we are going through another cycle.

Lets face it, I'm a neat freak and it'll be gone before you know it. I feel so much better tonight, having made a great difference, visually.

Now to get rid of the stuff I will not be using and giving it to someone who can. Pictures, mirrors, lamps, and rugs. Any takers? Don't be shy.

I'm sitting here having a good laugh for myself. Must be getting late, or I'm really tired. Have had a great time looking at one side of my family tree. My mom was right, my grandmother was one of 18 children. As there were only seventeen names, one must have died as an infant. Let's see, born in St. Luke, Canada, Louis was about 6'2" I'm told and she was a little doll, from Lacolle, Canada. She died at 59 the same age as my mom.

Can you imagine calling all those kids to dinner, let's try: Emma, Frederick, Delina, Joseph, Rosanna, Leo, Adelard, Arthur, Frank and Louis, Rose Alma, Florina, William, Valida, Mary Angel, Isabelle and Roland. That may be why they invented the dinner bell. I can see it now, whose turn to do the dishes?Poor Exilda, had to live in the kitchen and bedroom. Not much else to do in those days, I guess, time restraints.

Twelve settled in Woodstock, CT while Louis and Exilda came to town along with four of their siblings. Louis lived to be 88.

My grandmother, Valida, had only eight children. The four boys did not survive. Leo the only son raised was adopted. She also had a set of twins Doris and Dorothy. Rita and then, Irene.

Times are sure different now, I can't even fathom how hard they had to work. Grandma used to grow and can everything. She made jelly, root beer, and special pickled and corn relishes. The best apple pie, Polish golompki and chicken dumplings you ever tasted. Oh ya, and every Christmas, her special cut-out rolled cookies and spice cake. She won many awards for bake-offs and I still have some of her printed recipes, like the Red Velvet Cake.

The family tree is a wonderful idea, it brings back many wonderful memories of wonderful people who are my family.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Junk collector

Years ago when someone would ask me where something was I would have "instant recall". One reason for that, I believe, is that not only did everything have its place but I was not a junk collector at that time. Tonight I was looking for the family tree that was done by my aunt several years ago. I just couldn't seem to lay my hands on it. You bet tomorrow I will be going through stuff as I know it is here somewhere. The magnitude of paperwork and things which have been deposited in the stock room, unlabeled, has caused me much distress. Years ago each box would have been carefully managed.

How did it happen? I have become soft. Instead of saying No, I cannot take other people's junk off their hands, I take it in. Sound familiar? Can't get rid of that, it belonged to ..... Or, maybe we will be able to use this at a later date. Perhaps, those toys that I got will be nice for Nathan to use someday, meanwhile, I can't even move down here anymore. Ridiculous.

Last year I promised myself I'd go through the junk and do something about it. This year, so far, I haven't. Does anyone have a clue as to how to motivate me into doing something I just detest. On a positive note, I found something that I thought I gave away, as I have not been able to find it for years. What a surprise! Couldn't wait to bring it upstairs and place the flower arrangement on my table. Sure is springlike with daffodils, forsythia and white lilac. Trouble is, I bought a replacement for it. I have so much junk that I have become a junk collector.

I made a beautiful straw hat with colorful flowers for the door, perhaps I gave that away for a yard sale. Can't find it. Maybe that will be incentive enough to sift through the junk tomorrow? No need to rush, I've replaced that too! But it sure would be nice to have a change, if I could find it. Just can't remember where I put it, that is if I still have it.

And, there again, is the stuff the kids, who are no longer kids, have left behind. I guess I should not be so hard on myself. I have been recycling items for years and given so much away. The problem is just saying NO, giving things the heaveho and having the ambition to get going on it.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Savoring the Day

The sun is out, but I really should stay out of it today as I got more than my fill yesterday at the parade and South Charlton Reservoir, (previously referred to as the lake). We were in the sun all day. Tonight, the prediction is for more rain, thankfully, as I really need a break from all the gardening work.

The holiday's are wonderful, this was one of the busiest three-days of activities that I can remember in some time. Cooking and baking for two family pic-nics, shopping and planting both at home and at the church on Saturday and visiting the graves on Monday. Dinner and a concert, lunch at Dresser Hill on Saturday, and the parade on Monday. To top it all off, Thompson Speedway for a night of thrills and fireworks, last night. Except for Sunday's, early evening rain, which still allowed for grilling in between storms, the weather was perfect.

It has been our tradition for many years to attend the parade and review stands on Memorial Day. Steven has always been a part of it, initially in the high school band, and more recently for the the fire department. This year, he was wearing a white hat instead of a blue one. Lt. Steve was carrying the firemen's ax.

It is a day for honoring those who stand at the ready for us, and because of their duty have made this a better place. We are grateful for their service and can only say thank you, you are appreciated more than you'll ever know.

Your middle name is bravery and your courage goes before you and make us proud to know you. Those who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom, we pray that you will find eternal peace, we are grateful for your sacrifice. To all who served in this great nation, especially the veterans, we will never forget you, your honor, our flag and our country.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Activity in full swing

This is the time of year when there isn't a wasted moment, with parties and activities everywhere. Planting takes time and there are the pots to consider for the graves. Along with that are family gatherings, and tonight the races begin at Thompson Speedway. It's been a while since I've been and it's always a good time.

Last night we were at our favorite pub, 12 Crane Street, where after a good appetizer and dinner, we went to see the Flamingo's. A group of very talented men, who are known for their ability to sing Capella. Age has not affected their performance one bit. We got to hear the number that afforded them the Hall of Fame music award three times. A must see, if you haven't had the privilege yet.

Hopefully the nice weather will continue the rest of the day, first a pic-nic and then, the races. Tomorrow, parades and a cook-out at the lake with the family.

We are blessed to be certain with more than enough to do this time of the year, and hope your long weekend will be a wonderful start to a great summer ahead.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Flowers for the brave

Linda and I were buying flowers a short time ago and an elderly man who was in front of me at the register turned at said, "pray for our soldiers."

It occurred to me that he was probably in a war many years ago, but I was silent, knowing that if a complete stranger had gone out of his way to talk, then I would listen to what he had to say. He continued with, you know, prayers are heard. Yes, I believe they are I said. He continued that our men have it tough over there right now.

How true. How true it is that we still do not have peace on earth and good will toward men. Someday our prayers will be heard. It just was not meant to be like this. Memorial Day will be upon us soon. Parties are being planned. People will visit grave sights of loved ones and bring potted plants. My dad was a veteran and my first husband as well.

No one wants their little boys to grow up to be soldiers, not ever. Soldiers translate to courage for which we will be ever grateful. Facing the enemy, whether in combat or just having served during a time of war overseas, required all the strength these men could muster and we are the better for their service.

The acts of bravery are not all recorded but it goes without saying that "Thank You" will never be enough for what they did for their brother. I will stand and applaud your spirit and whether your still here or gone to your rest, remain eternally grateful remembering all you did for the cause of freedom. Freedom comes at a price.

The old man had a message for me. God hears prayers, so don't forget, they didn't. The world is a better place because these men had the courage to stand up to the enemy at all costs. I won't forget.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Dan's the Man

Sometimes it is fun to take the quiz on face book just to see what there reply will be. The one about how many children I would have and what they will be, amazingly turned out right. I have two boys. Now, they have a way you can retake the test to see if in fact, you would get a different answer. So, today I took the one that says the name of the man I will marry. Not once but three times. I also answered the questions differently each and every time. Yet, each and every time Dan is the man. I don't know anyone by that name.

The funny thing is that for the most part, they hit me pretty accurately. You wonder how they come up with questions that can apply so broadly to so many? The fact is, I don't care to publish all the findings. Interestingly enough, I did like the car they chose for me. A cute little thing for around town. I wonder if my husband would approval of it though? Looks like a very efficient automobile, small and easy to park. I don't like to speed so it is ideal for me.

They also got my political party right, which surprised me. The man's initial that I'm supposed to marry is "P," wrong, I'm married to a "J".

If your like me, I like to have fun, the sun has become so hot now, that I'm going to play on the computer, because I enjoy it so much. Gardening is something I do early. Today, I've already put in my Marigolds and some herbs. I bought a lovely Australian Impatiens plant. It will be fun to maintain my garden, while drinking coffee and getting slowly tanned each morning. I've created pockets of color all around my brickwork and iron trellises utilizing hugh pots in and around the red Barberry bushes. The rose bushes already have buds, imagine!

Now if I can just get along with the bees. Oh yea! they said I should live in the USA, that's funny, I think so too. And, in the Northern part where it is cold. That's real funny! So, I guess it's bloom where you are planted.

Wherever you are, I hope your enjoying life as much as I am here in my own little corner of the world. Did you ever see those little spirally things falling from the trees like helicopters? We called them noses when we were kids. In fact, we opened them up and they would stick to our nose. We were so silly then. I forgot about the noses until, lo and behold, there they are. Just like all the wonderful things that are coming forth from the ground, unexpectedly, along with the pollen.

So, drink it all in, for life is a constant miracle, you never know what joy is in store for you just around the corner, right where you are.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Truth Be Known Nothing is "Free"

Sales taxes will go up. Personally, everyone uses toilet paper, I think. When the prospect for raising taxes was first talked about, I knew that this is the best resolution to the problem as it would represent all residents or visitors who are consuming product in this state. Many people in the cities do not own vehicles especially the elderly and majority of citizens who travel by transit available in their areas. In this area we do not have the same options. Many in our families drive to their places of employment. That is where the gas tax would fall, on us. Gas prices have already eaten the budget dry, not to mention that in New England we also must consume fuel for the winter, and at least half of the year. We all must learn to conserve and that means government as well. Time for them to stop frivolous behaviours. Time for us to tell them why. The personal agendas on our dime have got to stop.

Here are some of the comments I've read or heard this week and my views on them. Who doesn't want something as long as it is "free." The "heated" subject was extended by our School Committee due to comments made at the meeting held last week. The "No" vote was in question that was previously made by the Committee who unanimously voted to setup a special meeting for further discussion on ELT (extended learning time). May 1 was the date stated for a grant-writing deadline.
Experts always say spend the money, as well as the parents who feel that world owes their kids the best of everything. One mother who boldly stood in favor of this over and above approach to education said that she would be in their face until they reinstated the program. It has been my experience that if a child has the desire to learn, who can hold them back? Stick to the basics, which they are having trouble acquiring for some odd reason, having nothing to do with curriculum. Our experts have told you that there is no money. Nothing is "free" someone is paying for all this excess, and that is us. If your child is bored doing all that homework and needs more activity, give them some chores to do. Apparently, your the problem, having not understood what the word "NO" means. As far as the experts, maybe we should get rid of a few of them too. Perhaps, they are in it for a "job."

On Thursday, May 14, in the our local Southbridge Evening News, the headline read " 'It's not good news.' " People who are not working to pay taxes are very opinionated when it comes to their wants. Let's take a look at need, first. Cut out the programs that we cannot afford, (period). These extra programs also require busing. Who is going to pay? That is the first question. We didn't have all the excesses. Were okay. No, were better than okay, we had to learn to do for ourselves. It made us stronger in the end. What the problem is clearly, is that we have NO leaders. A few loud mouths get the action, (who by the way are not the majority). The action leads to the transaction, in the end getting the satisfaction.

Who is the government but us? Who pays the bills? Us. We have elected leaders and we need to be their necks in order to turn their heads to a commonplace, our pockets. Numbers of disenchanted people are rising, and when people are hurting enough, it will be enough! I have told my children over and over as they were growing up that the more taxes you pay the "less free you are." Maybe there are people who wish to work all week and have all their money taken away in the end. And, I venture a guess that it is not a majority. When you have little or no money to spend, how great is your decision-making ability? Your choices? You are still free within your limitations. I understand now why our forefathers fought so hard again the tyranny of taxation. You are your own worse enemy if you do nothing to stop other's from steeling from your coffers. When it comes to your budget, you are the expert. Do not let other's shame you into saying "NO." I cannot afford it.

We are responsible for caring for each other. If you think about it, few people help other's like they did years ago. The reason it worked years ago was in one word "territory." You helped your neighbor. The person who was in contact with you directly. Programs are good, but people who cannot get to places are not able to be helped. Our systems have failed us. They are broken, but we are not if we still know how to love one another.

It was announced that a "free meal" will be available at our local church on Thursday. Very nice of the 970AM Radio Station to air public announcements of this type. It is not the limited governments duty to feed everyone, look after the elderly or lonely or suffering flock, it is "ours." The downside of having a meal once a month is that we wonder who else is helping with the other 92 meals that will be required in May. We all need to do our share, not only two of the smallest churches in town. Yes, the radio station raised a substantial amount of money for food share. We are grateful for their leadership and annual work in caring for the needy. Nothing is better in my estimation, than the one on one. The one in your family who is often not your concern, but ought to be.

I read with interest a post recently who talked about the decision in Texas to have their "needy" remove money from the collection basket in church. Now here is a genuine idea. But, who are the needy? It would be strange somehow for someone to lift money out of the basket from someone who had less and put it in to be given to someone who thought themselves "needy" but had more.

I knew a man who used to stand in line three times or more to get "free" hot dogs, and he was not "needy" but greedy. He appeared poor by the way he dressed. Another person, who lived in a vehicle at a scrap place, considered the town drunk, was thought poor, however it was revealed had a sizable bank account when he passed away. Other's who dress the part, have large, clean cars and big houses, (have no money) but play the look at me game.

How do we define needy. Need is different for many. It is like a disease, when you have it, it is usually your best kept secret. Instead, focus on the word "ME." If you cannot get past that word, then that is the problem. It is the RESOLUTION to the problem at hand.

True freedom will come when the "Me's" become the plural "We's," once again. We the people want the same thing, the pursuit of happiness, for all. If you don't think that we the people are willing to fight for it as in days past, just ask us." We know freedom comes with a price. So, we must ask, just how "free" are we? And, where do we go from here?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Twins at 70 Years Old

I was curious about a divorced woman who will give birth C-section in June, at age 67 in Britain. That's when I learned that a mom gave birth to twins at 70 in India. Can it be rationalized? Just because you can does it mean you should?
If I were to give birth to a child now could I care for it like I did when I had my children years ago? Yes, but it would take scientific intervention to do so, should I be willing. That tells me flags should be raised. Reading further, I learned that a woman could bear children until the age of 83. Where do they get that number? Why would they want to?

Next, will they discover a way for males to deliver offspring? What insanity is this? The key word once again is money. The fact is, these women most likely will not raise their children without the help of someone else. Maybe a nurse or a nanny and therefore, the child will be well cared for.

So if your a rich widow, or divorced, and your not yet 83, why not add to your list of "wants," a child of your own, who will love you and you will be their world. If you are in your 80's you may live to be 100 and see your child through college.

No one can guarantee how long you have to live so why should that be a consideration? I read a comment that stated that Sarah of the bible had a child at ninety. (If this is true, that is indeed incredible.) Who am I to judge?

We live in an age where anything and everything goes. It is all about us. Not about who we effect, right or wrong, or is it sensible. If it feels good, do it! Having children after sixty, good luck to that!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

At the Pub in Ogunquit ME

It was a beautiful Friday evening at the Post Road Pub in Maine, and I was enjoying cracking and dipping the Lobster in butter, eating corn on the cobb and baked potato, while drinking the light beer placed in front of me with John and another couple.

The band (three Scottsmen) displayed their talent on electric guitars and drum, with such clarity that every word could be heard to the delight of many who lined the bar in a very nice atmosphere. We were staying at a resort nearby, also on Main Street.

We thought they sounded English or British but, then we heard one of the band members state that he was going to try to sing the number without his Scottish accent. Never did get the name of the group, but they were a great entertainment.

Shortly before we left, the leader of the group said that they were going to play one of their favorite numbers in which they mentioned, appeared on YouTube. Knowing that, I was able to go on and hear the song once again. It was written by Lyle Lovett and it is called "She's already made up her mind."

That is the song that stayed on my mind as I was walking alongside the shoreline of the ocean, from Ogunquit to Wells, recalling some of the lyrics.

It is the woman that decides most things in life before men are even aware of her thought process. There is little you can do about it, when "She's already made up her mind." And that fortunately or unfortunately is the truth.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Good and Bad Entertainment

Adam vs. Kris can it get any better? These two are the American Idols that will finish in the competition. I was watching the school committee meeting, so I missed Tuesdays show, but caught up on Wednesday at 9:00. It will be close. Just what would we do without television and all that wonderful entertainment?

Today, I was listening to our local radio station, and Fr. Peter was broadcasting "live" from Brimfield, where the "flea market" was in full swing. Unfortunately, the person at the station, was yelling instruction to the phone assistant to tell Fr. Peter he was over modulating on his mike in front of a live radio audience. Dick V. should have known better than that, he has had substantial experience in radio. Then he kept butting in, undermining Fr. Peter's interview, making comments about the food which was being described at the food stand as the vendor was trying to enlighten us with the menu. Who cares if he likes onions with potatoes, why do we want to know that? Yelling that she was already up to a $100. dollar ad. What was the point of the broadcast? Then, drilling her on why it wasn't "Vermont Maple Syrup." Then reminding her that she was not in Texas when she described the Texas toast. I am sure she knew where she was. He was really not an asset to the broadcast, in fact he is rude, in my opinion. His two cents worth was not required when Fr. Peter was clearly in charge of the interview. When Father was on, it sure sounded interesting and frankly, his enthusiasm was what is needed at that great event which is in it's fiftieth year. I had to get that off my chest. There's always some Dick around to spoil it for others. What is wrong with Aunt Jemima Pancake mix? She's been around for years. The Brimfield show is always a fun event. I've picked-up many wonderful items from all over the world there. And yes, you cannot do it in one day. It's fantastic! And so is the food. Fr. Peter showed himself to be a true gentlemen, and his professionalism stood out once again. Sorry Dick V. you have embarrassed the station by your lack of class and mannerism.

Now that I'm a grandmother, just think of all the fun I can have looking for things for Nate. The July show is the quietest of the three due to the heat and humidity around then. But May and September are usually packed with merchants and takers from all over. I usually find things that we had as children, and it just brings back so many great memories.

Yesterday, Nathan and I had our usual talk. He talked shop. Daddy was doing something to the blades of the lawnmower and he named truck parts and operations. Not bad for three. I didn't even know what he was talking about, but he had it down. He had to overhear the guys as they hear everything. So, I said, someday when you grow up, you'll be just like daddy, or grampy or maybe Uncle Steve. "No", he said, "like you, grandma." I am still taken back by that comment. I certainly wonder why he said that. It was truly unexpected.

One thing for sure is that he is smarter than the average bear.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Yellow-bellied Perch

Yellow-bellied perch was the catch of the night. Nathan, after touching the fish for the first time, then watching it flip-flop on the ground, had nothing further to do with it. When your three, squirming fish are a big deal. I can just imagine if he's afraid of the bugs, what an experience it is just to see a live fish.

Today, he was so excited that daddy was taking him fishing that he was exceptionally well behaved. He knew if he took a nap, he was going fishing. All he has been talking about is his new McQueen fishing pole. Daddy had been working on his yard equipment and was so tired, yet had to pick-up worms at Wal-mart and then load up the car with all the gear.

Grampy and I arrived at Westville to see them both fishing off the platform in a sunny, windy spot. Nate was so excited he could hardly contain himself. Daddy constantly had to replace worms. The water was extremely turbulent and the fish were not biting at first. Angie was there taking pictures of her fishermen. What a thrill for us. All of a sudden, the first bite, and Bill reeled it in on Nathan's pole. At first we thought it was a kiver. No, it turned out to be a yellow-bellied perch. It was so small, yet served the purpose. Nathan experienced fishing and nothing could be more grand at that moment.

The other item of interest was of course, the wormies. The water began to lull now and the birds started to come by, looking at first like bats. These little birds fly fast and are annoying. Usually they are found around the water. Along came the second catch, and again it was a small perch. This time on Bill's line.

At this point, we bugged out, pardon the pun, as we knew from previous experience that they were coming out next. It was starting to get cooler, about 62 degrees. Near the water it felt colder, or perhaps it was the lack of proper shoes?

It was the strangest feeling in the world to watch, my two boys, my son Bill and his son Nate, my grandson, fishing in the same spot, that I took Bill to many years ago. I remember clearly having to leave because the May flies overwhelmed us. Tonight there were none.

I don't know who had more fun, John, Bill, Angie and Nate or Me. I was taking photo's too, the ones you never have to process and pictures that remain on your mind in which you recall automatically and continually because you just can't help yourself. That's what dreams are made from.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Cooking Italian Style

Today I was in my glory so to speak, remembering the scents of my childhood, cooking my Italian favorites. Belicimo!

It's funny that my sauce comes out almost identical each time, without a recipe. My mom made it so often, that it's chiseled in my brain. The whole day needs to be spent cutting up parsley, garlic, onions, and other spices which are slowly cooked in a pot on the stove until thickened. The meatballs are my specialty. I make them large enough with plenty of parsley, onion and garlic, egg and bread crumbs, then form and toss them in a pan of olive oil to brown before baking in the oven. This quickens the process and assures that the meat will be thoroughly cooked. Also the procedure keeps the the meatballs from falling apart, while maintaining their softness inside. A half hour in the oven at a moderate temperature, then right into the hot sauce. Serve at once with pasta, salad, and grated cheese.

My neighbors once complained that my cooking was driving them crazy, especially the Italian dishes.

Dessert tonight was Italian Pizzelles. The Italian Pizzelle recipe was made with anise flavoring. You can make them into cones, and fill them with strawberries, other fruit, or just cream. Some just sprinkle the pizzelles with confectionery powder.

Like all good things in life pisano, it takes time and is best shared over a glass of wine.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Visitors on Mother's Day

It has always been a tradition to visit mom on Mother's Day. I recall it would start with Church on Sunday morning, where at one time we wore a flower in honor of our mother. If it were that mom was no longer with us, it was a white flower, otherwise pink. So, it usually begins with a flower.

Yesterday, I received a beautiful rose from our cantor at coffee. This is the second year he remembers the mothers with a rose. It doesn't take a lot to make someone happy, sometimes all you need is a kind word, or a phone call. Mother's go out of their way all year long to cheer up, support and comfort many in their presence in various ways. I hope that every mom was remembered largely.

We would always have a meal together, and Sunday dinner didn't have to be fancy as long as we were all together. Years later, when I had my two sons, we would go to visit grandma with lilacs on her special day.

I had a full weekend beginning with the Mother's bake sale, which being a small group, we worked especially hard at making several items. I made two zucchini, blueberry breads and an oat/wheat flour, onion and chive bread, and heart healthy, (diabetic) zero calories from sugar, oatmeal raisin cookies. We had an early morning appointment out of town on Saturday, a chicken barbecue in the early evening which was followed by a concert in Worcester. We were planning on a quiet day on Sunday, having picked up a roast at BJ's Saturday afternoon.

It is the same for me as it was for my mom. Everyone just calls and comes by. I had my oldest son and grandson for lunch, and my youngest for dinner. It was so cute sitting on the stools in the kitchen having lunch, only to be reminded by a three-year old that we forgot to say the prayer. Grampy said it this time, and we noticed that Nate is already starting to make the sign of the cross, and say some of the "Our Father" and he is quick to add his prayers when called upon. The little girl named Ava is pretty lucky to have a friend Nate that names her first, always. We are blessed to have such a wonderful family.

Today, I finally fertilized my rose bushes and cut one back as it looks like we will need to pray for it's revival. Also, I put in a couple of flowering plants. We go slowly at this time of the year, as we still can get a frost until the end of May.

I also got a huge plant from Steve, a daisy type with orange and yellow flowers. Those annuals are good until fall. If it grows any more it will be humongous. Bill and Angie gave me a window box with plants such as oregano, mint, thyme, and basil. Everyone that knows me, knows that I will get a lot of use out of those herbs. In fact, I used Oregano in my salad today. I also tried cilantro, which I purchased at the supermarket. It can be frozen, if it doesn't go in the basket. It's one you either like or not.

Angels always follow me. I got an angel pin for grandmother's from Nathan. And, and beautiful decorative angel for my dresser, which reads: "Angels often come to us as grandmothers." He explained how he decorated the envelope, N is for Nathan, and there were circles everywhere in his favorite colors. The personal touch, he's learning.

I was by myself cleaning up last night, all the men in my life were probably sleeping, and I thought myself "lucky" to be loved by all of them.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Lineage of Love

I was a young child when I fell in love with the work of Tchaikovsky in the Dance of the Swans (from Swan Lake Op.20). He was a Russian composer who also was responsible for the famous Waltz Of The Snowflakes (from The Nutcracker Op.71). His work is wonderful. I didn't know that my great grandmother was born in Ukraine at that time, only that my grandfather came here from Warsaw, Poland. My aunt Irene was responsible for that information, having produced for her side of the family, that is my mother's side, a family tree.

People say that I look very "Russian" even though I am a mixture of three nationalities that I know of. Tchaikovsky was my favorite for many years, then I came across a new composer named Sergei Rachmaninoff. He ranks up there highly on my list having produced his unaccompanied Vespers (All night Vigil) Op. 37.

As they say, it took me from earth to heaven. I was fortunate enough last night to attend a concert in Worcester, MA. where a Worcester Chorus sang the capella masterpiece (Vespers "All night Vigil"), in one of the most beautiful churches in Worcester, St. Spyridon Cathedral. "Outstanding." The church was at full capacity.

What kind of talent and beauty of soul must one possess to be able to create such a work as Sergei Rachmaninoff. Even though I do not speak Russian, I had the time to review the words in English. I feel you have to understand what is being said to appreciate the vespers, although the work places you in a peaceful state at just hearing.

The last song is quite joyful, Vzbrannoy Voyevode "Thanksgiving to The Mother Of God."
Today is Mother's Day, let us remember that it begins with the Theotokos love, and her decision to say "yes."

God bless all mother's decision to say "yes" and in that decision live the calling that is ours. Motherhood is our gift, it requires all the talent and beauty of soul that you possess. Motherhood is a gift from God. Honoring the Mother of God, and my mother, let us remember that we come from a lineage of love.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Meeting Yourself

This is a strange title. It means sometimes others see you as you don't see yourself. When I read yesterday's post I came across the word "timidly" in describing myself. Anyone that knows me would have laughed out loud at that one, as it does not fit my personality. Some people describe themselves in ways that do not fit their personality. For an example, yesterday, a radio show host said of himself that he was kind and gentle. Who are you kidding? Kind maybe, but gentle? Now that was funny. I wonder how many that know you would agree with that statement. Sometimes nice, I'll give you that, when your not throwing other's under the bus, especially politically.

In speaking with a complete stranger yesterday, I got an in site that I had not really thought about. This person lives on the other side of the world, and when I remarked that we had so much in common, she said "yes, all but our personality." So, I asked her what she meant and she said she is shy, and introvert and I am and extrovert. How does a complete stranger know that? So today I went on google to find out.

According to what I read, I am definitely an extrovert. Years ago when people married they were not knowledgeable about such things, which I think are very important. Marriages can fail because two people, who are not compatible, such as introverts and extroverts, must constantly enter into compromise. Otherwise, one of the partners will be unhappy. It's nothing you can help, it is your "personality".

It has to do with your energy level. Apparently, you can be a little of each. But in my case, I have "little to do" with being an introvert.

This is what I learned about some of my dominant personality traits: Likes being the center of attention being comfortable in groups, (public demonstrations), and community events and large social gatherings. Extroverts are people oriented, and take leadership positions. Are expressive and open with their thoughts, feelings and opinions. Don't like being alone. Have a high opinion of themselves or self esteem. Have a need for approval, and a major desire to please others. Is outgoing and assertive. They do not do well with higher learning because it means solitary studying. They attract as opposites do, to introverts, but find it hard to live with them, making the divorce rate high.

I must admit that this information shed a light on the subject. It explains why my husband wants and likes to be alone and quiet. While he likes to dominate, that can be problematic to an extrovert. I get frustrated when things don't get done in a timely manner and often do them myself. Introverts do things on their own schedule, as their energy level is usually not as high as extroverts. There is little compatibility between extroverts and introverts. The end result is that their is either a lot of love, or a lot of frustration and unhappiness.

I'm starting to see a pattern here with a younger couple who have expressed this problem, he wants to go out while she wants to stay home. In this day and age, the popular going out with the girls and guys attitude opens the door to promiscuous behavior, and an uncementing of marriages. People get into professions, and yes while they are good at it, they are truly unhappy because the profession does not suit their personality.

She was right, how much do I really know about "who I am?" How do any of us know, except through the eyes of sometimes a complete stranger.

I love to travel, he won't fly. So I stay home. Is he a good man, a good father, a good provider? It is hard to find a man today that will love you for who you are. My husband lives to please me, now isn't that the trait of an extrovert?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Just call me kitchen blessed

Last week at coffee hour at our church the subject came up about baking for Saturday's Mothers day bake sale. It will be more of the same, that is according to all the ads I've heard on the radio and in the newsprint.

I was timidly suggesting making sugar-free or (zero-calories from sugar) cookies, stating that we do not offer diabetic, heart healthy varieties. They are available in most stores now, using splenda. It is an art to be able to produce goodies with this type of sweetener as it compares little with the sugar that we are accustomed to using. I decided to make a healthy oatmeal raisin cookie to begin with, not knowing what the demand is.

In the last two days I have learned that three more people have developed this disease. Tonight one the ladies called to ask if I had made the cookies as someone at the hairdressers mentioned that her husband is diabetic and she wondered if we would have anything for him.

The product will not have bleached flour, have splenda instead of sugar, less salt and canola oil, for protecting the heart. I included raisins for a nutritious sweetener and color. Now to decide how much each. If these desserts prove beneficial to the public, I will introduce a new line of cooking at all bake sales.

I have a feeling that they will be well received by those who need to be watchful of their sugar intake, and appreciate them as much as I do.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Green pollen everywhere

Here in New England you have to take the good with the bad. Living in the valley everything comes down. We have more than our fair share of maple trees. Most of them have green leaves, but then we also have the red maples.

If your not feeling well, it could be the pollen that raises havoc on your body. Stuffy nose, or running nose or both, feeling water in your ears and itching within, sneezing and feeling extremely tired, rashes appear in warm areas that look like the fifth. These are some of the symptoms.

When it gets this bad, we keep our windows closed. Otherwise, there is a dusting all over of green pollen. You can sometimes see the green powder on your car windshield, when window washers are a must. On the ground little baby green debris shed from the trees, like tiny blossoms.

The rain has washed it down to the ground and cleaned up the air a bit. Linda and I thought we'd have lunch in the park today until we saw the totally light green tables.

That's what it is like to live inward away from the coast, which does not experience the pollens to the same extent. And, that's why soon we will be heading out to the beach. I can' t wait.

The Unexpected Present

Last night my family came to dinner and it is always fun to be with them and share in their accomplishments and planned events. Last night they had a surprise for me. A "just because" one. It was not a birthday or mother's day or an anniversary.

My daughter-in-law is a bundle of talent. Besides being an outstanding mother and wife, and a commuting professional in the medical field, she is an ace in photography.

She brought me the most awesome photo of their visit to Florida, completely framed and matted. Because of her thoughtfulness I have many wonderful photos all over this house.

As it will be a busy day, I will try to post again later.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Prove It Gospels

Doubting Thomas, was what I call a prove it gospel. Today we come across another one. These are some of my favorites, as they pull together the puzzle pieces which cement the historical event for all times.
Taken from the Orthodox Study Bible, (Mark:15:43-47; 16:1-8)
Joseph of Arimathea was a respected member of the council, who was looking for the kingdom of God. If he didn't believe in Jesus, His teachings and miracles, would he have dared to confront Pilate to ask for His body? I think not. Nor would he have dared to do so being a member of the Sanhedrin. Yet, he was not opposed to Jesus.

Now comes the second point, in doing so, he made Pilot wonder if Jesus were already dead. Pilot sought the information from the centurion that he summoned. The Centurion clearly said to Pilot that Jesus was dead, so Pilot granted to Joseph the dead body of Jesus.

The third point is that Joseph and Nicodemus laid His body, wrapped in a shroud in a tomb hewn out of rock. There was no escape. The door was sealed with a rolling stone, in which the opening had to be large enough to enter into it.

The woman make it clear that the rolling away of the huge stone was concerning to them by saying "who will roll away the stone for us from the door of the tomb?" The interior of the tomb was large enough for more than one person to be in all at once, as the scripture says "they" entered and encountered a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe. (this stone which was rolled back was huge).

Several years back I recall a conversation amongst a group of people who were not convinced of the resurrection because there were no eyewitnesses. Just a few months back, scientists were trying to disprove the resurrection with a story that because Jesus' legs were not broken, which is a fulfillment of the old testament, it is possible that the spices and healing ointments used at that time like, Frankincense, myrrh and gold could have revived someone. Soldiers were guarding His body. And remember his side was pierced with a lance which produced blood and water.

So to the doubting Thomas the question's are answered.

The eye-witnesses were not the followers of Christ. Joseph placed Him in his own tomb. Later he went on to evangelize the British Isles. Pilot asked the centurion, who again was not a follower of Christ, if and how long He had been dead. Crucified men live for many hours or even days after being hung on the cross. The centurion who stood opposite Him saw that He took His last breath and said, "Truly this Man was the Son of God!" (Mark 15:39).
  1. The physical proof cannot be discounted, for these things took place that the scripture might be fulfilled, "Not a bone of Him shall be broken." And again scripture says, "They shall look on Him whom they have pierced."(The service book for Holy Week and Easter.) "Since it was the day of Preparation, in order to prevent the bodies from remaining on the cross on the sabbath, the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. " "When they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water."
  2. Go here to read how Crucifixion is viewed and you will know that Christ's pierced body verifies his death.
  3. The soldier's guarding the body became as dead men. So, who moved the stone? The followers? I think not, they were hidden together in a room afraid for their own lives. Besides that fact, what would they do with a dead body?
  4. The women arriving and entering the tomb clearly encountered a young man clothed in a long white robe, (an angel). Who had a message "Go and tell His disciples and Peter--that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to You." He is risen!
  5. "Later Jesus appeared to the eleven, rebuking their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen."(Mark 16:14). Remember He told his followers what would happen before it did in preparation for His death and after three days, His Resurrection. We see Him meeting in Galilee and they knew Him. He ate with them. We have been given enough information to go on. While seeing is believing, blessed is he who has not seen, yet believes.

Something in the air?

It never ceases to amaze me how two people can be so much alike. I have been told that zodiac signs are not accurate and we do not place any seriousness in them. Saying that, there are two people close to me who were born not in the same year, but three days apart who display many characteristics and daily occurrences to a "T". These two are born under the sign of Cancer. Today for an example, I saw one slam the door after having words with someone else, then came the windows and it was apparent that he was "mad". They are both very good at blowing up. Needless to say, I just yelled down for the other to calm himself before he has a heart attack. All over a baseball game. That is why when I read in today's gospel (Mark 15:43-47; 16:1-8) Taken from today's bulletin of St. Michael Orthodox Christian Church: "And they went out and fled from the tomb; for trembling and astonishment has come upon them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid," I could identify with it, putting me in a defensive and quiet mode.

These men have fierce traits of loyalty, in fact their greatest strength is in "nurturing others," being protective to a fault, smothering. Those born under water signs symbolize "emotion."
Normally, I don't see them act out and for the most part they are very collected, in fact their unexpressed anger can turn into resentment and depression, which I'm always on the lookout for. Don't get them mad. (They usually have trouble putting words to their feelings). I'm talking about the explosive nature, or temper, or short fuse going off where ever they are and no matter whose there. Their greatest fear is the past repeating in the future. My first husband was a Cancer also. He was exactly like them in temperament.

Looks like I'm attracted to that sign, knowingly or not, and being a water sign (Scorpio), am supposed to be best suited to the Cancer sign. (Usually the bad mood does not last long, after the blowup, thankfully).

Is there something to this zodiac sign? I don't know for sure but it sure looks like it. If nothing else, it is an interesting read and great entertainment. Know this my Cancer friends, this Scorpio is at the ready, stinger and all. Those of you who know me, know that I can take care of myself.

Fact or Fiction

Honestly, we are nothing but a nation of copy-cats. Someone who we deem credible puts forth a statement and it becomes cast in stone. Other media without question pass it along and we take in hook line and sinker. Some people question everything while some take everything as a grain of salt.

When it come to stories which cause panic among the populations, watchful consideration should be given not to upset the applecart. Lately we see what comes as a result of human panic.

Linda wrote a comment which made a lot of sense, reminding us that this is the flu, and that is all it is. Some media are today saying that it looks like it is a fizzle. Who knows? Relax.

Here is some interesting information that is being passed around that kind of corrects our thinking about the numbers that have been given us through the media. (This is in an effort to keep things fair and balanced, so you can decide what is fact and what is fiction). The following is taken from and the link has been provided for the entire read.

"Infectious disease double standard I find it interesting that when talking about swine flu, the criteria for inclusion in statistics is positive identification in a rigorous laboratory. But when talking about regular flu, the criteria for inclusion is -- technically speaking -- anybody's wild guess.The 36,000 number, it turns out, was pulled out of thin air. It has no scientific validity whatsoever, even according to the CDC's own standards. I tracked down the origins of this number on, by the way. Turns out it was an estimate derived by the CDC in 2003 ('s an estimate, mind you, not a "confirmed" number of deaths. And that estimate has stayed exactly the same through 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. Not a budge. Before the number was 36,000, it was 20,000 for many years. That tells you right off the bat this isn't some confirmed laboratory number -- it's a guesstimate!I'm not disagreeing with the number. It's probably a fairly accurate guess (the CDC folks are a smart bunch). But it doesn't meet the criteria by which these infectious disease organizations report influenza deaths.As the CDC even says on their own website, "This estimate came from a 2003 study published in the Journal of the American Medication Association (JAMA), which looked at the 1990-91 through the 1998-99 flu seasons [10]. Statistical modeling was used to estimate how many flu-related deaths occurred among people whose underlying cause of death on their death certificate was listed as a respiratory or circulatory disease. During these years, the number of estimated deaths ranged from 17,000 to 52,000."In other words, they took a look at how many people died from respiratory or circulatory disease, and from that they extrapolated "flu-related deaths."
Go here to read the rest of the above, a counter opinion, which leaves us to question statistics being thrown in our direction on a daily basis.

Now do you see what I mean? Let's not make media our God. We need to look to Him and that is where we should place our trust.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Saturday precedes Sunday

Today the buzz at church was that bloggers are already starting to post on receiving communion on Sunday. There are two posts that deal with this subject very well and one is within the link here. Take a moment to read what is just the beginning of the panic and profitmaking that is going on in this country.

My mother-in-law won't shake anyone's hand in winter, especially if they were seen blowing their nose. It didn't surprise me that some of the Bishops were suggesting that people wave instead of the handshake. Germs are always with us, the idea is to wash your hands and keep them from your face. Everyone wears gloves in the winter, and I keep them on even in the grocery stores. We can do the same in the summer if necessary. I recall that we used to wear little white gloves to church when I was a child. Now they have wipes, a good alternative. If treating someone who is ill, like at the hospitals we all can wear masks. Nothing wrong with covering your mouth, especially when you sneeze or cough. But let's care for our brother.

The point is you can only go so far. Why worry about something that you cannot control. Worry gets you nowhere. Preventative suggestions are okay. Scrub if you'd like, but germs are airborne. It is suggested that we get more sunshine or vitamin D, rest and good food, building up our resistence. Zinc is also suggested as a preventative. Vitamin C is well-known to help once you've contracted the illness. Don't forget the chicken soup, too.

Keep in mind that for good health, you must be in balance, body mind and spirit. We plan to receive the body and blood of Christ, which is what we believe communion is in the Orthodox church. I have never worried about taking communion because I believe it has never harmed anyone in any generation. Yes, we have been down this road before.

Take courage and don't allow yourself to panic and get caught up in it. The flu is always with us. As well, many other diseases which are equally devastating. Fear is the biggest one because it stops us dead in our tracts. Yet it need not be. The bible tells us that fear is not of God. So knowing that, you can guess where it does come from, and do not allow it to enter within you. So with logic and faith lets purge forward and enjoy the warmth of spring that we've all been looking for for so long.