Saturday, December 29, 2012

Best gift this year

None of us knew it but the best gift was that cel phone which I barely need but still I need it.
Turns out I can hear on this thing and called my friend in MA. for 53 minutes we had a ball as I could hear every word. Even on my very expensive "hearing phone" this does not happen.
I had such a good time hearing Lee, even so we both have the same problems...needed an electric can opener, she one with batteries, she is already deep into snow and power may go off any time. She concerned over falling, her two casts have just now come off.
I walk with such care outside, like I am walking on eggs.
I should call it the 80's diaries.
We will not admit to our depressions either. We are fine, we tell ourselves that and anyone who wants to listen.
My daughter acts like she is my mother, said she. I say: That is new to you?"
I have a new mother now for years but this one comes with unconditional love.
I heard it all and I smiled.
There was a day that I was 23 and she 25, we had husbands but no kids yet and we
ate lunch on payday out to where they had nice shrimp. She taught me how to shop and where at a discount. She taught me that the BIG diamond on her finger was real..I hardly believe it. Even from Belgium, diamond country, I did not have relatives with rocks like that on their hands. She installed a telephone next to her bed so she could answer my many midnight calls when I would be crying my eyes out about a no good husband. She told me to leave him 10 years before I had the courage to do so.
We worked in the same office in New Brunswick NJ.
I came in from the chocolate and lace boat. Eyes wide open to a new country and new adventures. All these years later we still try and console each other.
It helps if you have a phone and can hear.
Thank you, my dear Santa!!!!!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Comments on my blog???

I have always allowed comments on my blog but I have been told that they do not register. I checked my account and it clearly does say that comments are allowed. Do not know what else I could have done in this complicated world of technolife. For instance, I had a cell phone years ago when I was still in my shop. When I closed the business there was no need for a phone. We have had our house phone since we moved in 1976. Yes, I had a Princess phone in here at one time and diverse models over the last 36-37 years and lately had several for the hard of hearing (that is a joke !!!). Since I walk the dogs daily and walk a good distance from the house I started to worry that I might fall one day and since I am not able to get up without help, I might just sit in the middle of the cemetery for quite awhile before I am being noticed. (I walk there daily, it is quiet!) I asked Sabrina if they had a very cheap phone just for emergencies, I said that I was "thinking" about it. Well Christmas eve she gives me a box and tells me to listen to the box. The room full of people was suddenly quiet, very quiet. I put the box to my ear and at first I heard nothing then there was a faint music like little bells, it took me a few seconds to figure it out and I shouted: It is a! I did say a bad word so sue me.!!!!I used to be ladylike for decades now I am a salty broad. Well, this phone is nothing like what I had a decade or more ago. This one does take messages and leave notes and whatever else. How much a month? said I? now seeing my budget being cut some more. The girl said :Nothing. Now I knew she was full of it. Zack said he was there and since I am on their plan it makes her plan cheaper!!! Say what??? Well, the enormous bonus on this is that when I called Sabrina yesterday for a try out, she sounded like she was standing next to me. I could HEAR! Now I will see if this is going to be the norm. AFTER I learn all these buttons and probably will call people by mistake or cut off some "by mistake". I am back in the normal world. Thank you Brie. What action does Brie like? She can call me when I am a football field away from her at Sams and ask: where are you? and are you done shopping? Both of us have walked miles in stores trying to find each other. I can show you my corns and have proof of that much walking. Have a good day....

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas is over with

Well, in a few more hours.
I am starting to feel the relief.
Why? Oh! Why? is it so hard to be of joy at the holidays?
I think Bob was so busy with Christmas and decor and I was always so busy cooking days ahead of was was fun...we waited eagerly for the kids to come and mayhem to start.

None of this now for several years, near the end of his disease he hated people coming into the house, he hated even Bobby moving in. He did not know any of us anymore and he got angry.

I am tired of telling this blog how much I miss him, but I do, it does not leave me.
he is like a blanket woven with tears hanging over my shoulders. I cry and cry and then fall asleep crying. I am a mess.
So no wonder that I ended our dinner with tears...yikes...Merry Christmas to all and be of good cheer...............Sabrina held me tightly and said she loved me while she was battling her own tears....brave souls we all pretend to be ...but the Fishers have funeral and memorial to face this week.
I have asked to be excused. I told Brie I loved how we did with Bob, brought his ashes to the river in the forest, simple, no speeches of goodbye, we all there (kids and I) knew he was a gentle, kind, loving man and we had told him that many times when he was alive.

I am going to bed, I found a book for my Kindle and will get lost in that I hope...."Behind the beautiful forevers" Katherine Boo.
When I will read that non fiction story I probably will know how lucky I am to be in my warm bed with a roof and four walls......a hiatal hernia complaining because I ate too much...

Sunday, December 23, 2012


My darling daughter asked for peace and quiet stopping the anger about the last shooting in a school.
She is right, we should calm down about it or should we be angry?

I for one I am still very angry.
After each one of these shootings there was talk for about a few weeks and then all went quiet again.
The NRA is not going to help, you heard his speech.
Obama promises in January to tackle the gun situation.

Who do we blame in this last horrible event?
The shooter? No doubt , if we believe what they tell us, this kid had been in his own hell for quite some time. He most probably did not know what an emotion is.
He must have written in his computer things he did not want us to see so he smashed it.
He was very sick.

The mother is she to blame? She purchased a weapon made for soldiers. What enemy was she expecting to land in fashionable Ct. district? Why buy weapons at all when you KNOW you have a child with a mental problem.? Did she protect the weapons so that he could not get to them? She took him to the riffle range for heavens sake.
But then he probably could have walked into Walmart and buy whatever he wanted on the racks.

Walmart sold more of these horrible guns after the school shooting. Copy cat buyers? Who knows?

Lets not forget it this time, at the very least lets just sell clips with 6 rounds instead of dozens. To refill a cop takes 1 second a journalist took 4 seconds, in that time even short as it is one can prevent more. It did in one school attack, it prevented more shootings when a person got a chance to get the shooter down.
This sick man/boy in Connected shot 30 rounds ,we were told on the News.

Let's do something.

Not the very least lets have more help available for the mentally ill.

Friday, December 21, 2012

My best Christmas ever can now be seen


I have posted it here every year since I first posted it on WowOwow.
Did not want you to fall asleep again but if you like a reminder check it out there on Forming the Thread, thank you and Merry Christmas

Rest in peace

Big John decided to leave us all on Solstice night.
In many ways it was the best for John.
The life he had the last years was full of pain, frustrations,
depending on machines and caregivers.
In and out of Hospitals at least once a month.
Then in nursing homes.
John lived his life in a big way, a giant who loves hunting, having a few with his pals, telling adult stories, and just doing in life what pleased him most.
He had to pay the price. Bad lungs and diabetes beat him and I do suspect he still had a cigarette before he left us.
Most of all he had the best wife, I believe she was his fourth one.
She took such good care of him and a halo should follow her.
Her son and John's stepson was there too to help him up and down to watch him and to love him.
To them and the kids go my sympathy.

Big John if you see my Bob wherever you guys go please do not make him stand on a box again so he can talk to you...then again maybe he is tall too in that dimension.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Post is now easy

I am delighted that this year the post office is helping us so that not only we can ship parcels in the USA right from our computer desk (which I have done for years with eBay) but now we do not have the hassle of customs anymore and can ship international too via the magic of our computer. This is heaven. Not walking to the post and not standing in long lines.I even order my boxes and stamps on line.

Does this hurt the post office personnel ? Will they have fewer jobs and close more small offices? They are already doing that and cutting and cutting.

I have to admit that for me it was heaven this year.

I noticed that Medicare went up, add to this that AARP for the supplement went up and Humana went guess what the 1.7 percent raise we got on our Social Security does not cover the "up, up, up's"

I have also joined the hundred who emailed the White House not happy with the
talks there.

Do I think that any of my bitching matters????Of course not so I will go back in my cave, hope I can pay all the winter bills and just holler on my blog.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

warm today freezing tomorrow

Mother Nature is playing with us. It will be warm today, perhaps even in the 60's but tomorrow we will drop to the 30's and they even talk of snow in the higher elevations.
Looked at my calendar and it is December. I did not dream this.
Walked the dogs and what did I see ? In one yard the daffodils leaves are up about 3 inches. They think it is March. I should bring my calendar and show them.

My heart is still aching over the school drama but we become a little numb when we read over and over again what did and did not happen. Fact is it did.

Only in NC, last night on the news : The Tea party in Asheville had decided to have a raffle fund raiser. What did they try and make money with? You think baskets of food, turkeys, toys for , no, not these people in front of a pawn shop they were telling the news crew that there will be 2 of these big guns and I forget what they are called, the kind made for the Army not for household items or hunting items.
I just could not believe my eyes.....but they did mention that the winning person will have to get his papers in order before they hand over the gun.....voila.....
A gun society? You bet we are what is next???Maybe they will find a tank to raffle too.

I am pissed.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

quiet , it is so quiet

Walking the dogs on this rainy Sunday I noticed how quiet the street was.
No one walking. No traffic, looks like every one is huddled inside their home.
Perhaps it is busy on the highway and Walmart may be packed with shoppers but here it is an eerie quiet while the mist is coming down and the sky is grey.
I can't forget the new school shooting. This morning I watched Stephanapolis and the political show and it was an hour about the school. Brie had told me not to watch the news but here it was even on his show.

I do not understand it all. Where to begin? The man who knows said that on Black Friday , just a few days ago. The FBI received 140.000 requests for check ups on gun buyers. Just that one day, 140.000 ! Probably Christmas gifts
, are they all hunting riffles??????????
The kid who killed took 3 of his mothers guns, he left 2 hunting riffles at the house.
The school was locked. So he blasted through two windows with gunfire then slid inside.

He had child hood issues with that school, they now connect him to it while his mother was a volunteer and he a student. Mother decided they did not treat her child with the issues he had and took him home for home schooling.He was 20 when he took his life too. Issues going back that far?????????

One person on the show said more Mental Health cuts are coming, we have enough of them. They closed institutions 50 years ago, that was a good thing BUT where is the mass of people who need me3dication, a person who will listen to them? Professionals who can work with the mentally ill. Our prison are full of such souls, homeless people who just need someone to listen to them.

I am just crushed. I was crushed at the V A Tech as my grandson was in an adjoining room but it changed his life. The innocence is gone after you hear gun shots in your school.

The NRA will fight the right to own weapons. It is a power house. Do we need
these military weapons in our houses?????????Did this mother not lock up her gun collection????Look what it got her.

I am just sick looking at the photos of these lovely happy youngsters, the teachers who went with dedications for our young ones.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Another attack...........

Yesterday had been such a lovely day. Sabrina and I had gone around town, shopping and browsing. We came home late and I was totally exhausted ready to just let the groceries sit on the table and crawl in bed.

Bobby told Brie that another school attack had happened and several children were dead. I just did not comprehend in full what he said.

Shook my head and crawled in bed. This morning fresh and alert I read Huffington Post and just could not believe the massacre that happened again.
When or when will we learn to stop this?

What is the problem? Guns? surely. Mental health???Absolutely!
To get help with mental health problems is not easy in this country.
It is expensive, not all insurances cover it, and group facilities with numerous counselors are closing up everywhere. We had one place here in our town, not the best but did help a lot of people with medication and some counseling. They had to close. My pharmacist told me that his clients came begging for their pills which he no longer could give them. Most of these people are running around not always in their right mind. Where is the help???

We have more guns in this country than people.
I walk a lot and alone with my dog, I am very alert when a car stops or slows down,
I know who is around me , who is new, who is a regular. Up the hill of my street 2 people in the last year have been shot in the street. Drug related. You can't ignore any of this anymore. I am not really worried about my walks but not carefree anymore.

I can't even begin to imagine the pain these people will and do have this morning.
Your child just taken away like this. The adults gone. I can't go into it very deep or it will make me sick to my stomach.

I do not think we can fight the NRA but can we do something about better mental health care!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Old friends revisited

Not a happy camper.
Yesterday I thought I started a stomach flu.
I was very miserable.
The whole day was sort of ruined and I just sat around trying not to scare Bob that I may be getting sick. By night time I was getting worried and at the same time I started to think that this discomfort I had before.

I searched in every corner of my mind, it's not that busy in there nowadays and there it was. This was the hiatal hernia giving me grief. It probably is 20 ore more years since I had a bad bout with it.

Friend Joan who is an expert at it told me what to get for relief. Did not get to the pharmacy today but will tomorrow.

I am either running around belching like a sick animal or acting like a giraffe, you have to get the picture. No further details available.

Had Lunch with L and C again and managed to get 1/2 pancake down with some tea.
They must be wondering as I am a very healthy appetite. The Santas were part of our conversation and as close as we have been they had no idea that we made that many.
They have 2 and they were going to check what numbers they are.

Sabrina bought one on eBay this week and can't wait to get it. She has a cupboard full of them but still liked another one. They have a different meaning now that daddy is gone.

I think that it is 8 PM and moi and my new best friend the Kindle Fire will go to bed, of course Bijou joins us. Good night all.

The closet writer

As far as being a REAL writer, I am far from that.
I am a talker, a story teller of my life and I write like I talk.
Being an only child and not dealing well with groups or being a joiner I have always written down what I felt.
When paper was scarce during the war I scrounged for paper all the time.
Then I hid what I wrote.
I am a closet writer.

I started my blog thinking it was my daily journal and no one was going to find it anyway.
People find you as soon as you put your name on the internet someone is going to find you.
So this week I joined in with my Father Christmas story in Forming the Thread a fairly new site with articles about everything.
Lila is the owner and she wrote that my article had a great deal of readership.
I even forgot to go look for it.
Wow. This is great, wonderful, and I am petrified for no good reason all at the same time.
I never even had a lesson in the English language and a , or :, or :, are sort of non existing for me. So if you read my blog you already know that. I taught myself.
As I get older I am remembering more French and Flemish and often wonder while I play Scrabble "Is this French or English?Where does that word belong?" I am mixing them all up putting them in my special blender and it is a guess to what dictionary the word belongs.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Red letter day with bright yellow truck!

Grandson Zack has been waiting for this for a long time.
He wanted to take me grocery shopping.
His Mom was my Tuesday girl but now she has to take him for treatments, often he does not feel well enough to drive after his chemo.

Today is our red letter day. He has his truck , the Bumble Bee, it is yellow.
He loves it and I will get to ride in it and take him to lunch!!!!
This will be a big treat for us. We like each other a lot. I tend to try and override Mom's rules, we giggle but at the end she wins and we know it.

I am looking forward to this.
He has to stay in the truck, he does not go where there are a lot of people.
He can't "catch" anything out there. His count yesterday was 8, the like it at 10 so this afternoon he may have blood transfusions again.
In the meantime we will enjoy the morning...

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Internet friendships

A few days ago someone posted a few lines of truth about how we are all starting friendships on the internet.

In 1997 I started with a WEB Tv and soon there after purchased my first REAL computer.
I wanted to sell on eBay (and did) as I had a lots of stock in my antique shop.
I was in heaven. I love gadgets, this was new and interesting. Then I needed a camera too, a scanner, a printer. Son became my computer guru and I was born again.

15 years later and in between I read WOWOWOW every morning as soon as I got up. Shared a lot with ladies of all ages. It was there that I found out that Vet husband was entitled to a pension. It eased my budget considerably. Then I found out his Alzheimer medication ($600.00 a month) I could get at the VA for a fraction. All this was news to me. The WOW ladies helped me a lot. Soon I found someone with similar ideas as mine and we became friends by email. We still are. I will never see this grand lady in Chicago and I would not be able to hear her very well on the phone (hearing loss) but almost every day we share our reactions and feelings to what is changing in our lives.

The connections are important to me, I do not drive, I never was a club joiner, my husband was my best pal. We worked together 24/7 until he started to forget.
I had no idea what the next 13 years were going to bring me. I was devastated, tired, angry, lost and I turned to writing my feelings in a blog. It helped to unload to invisible internet people. Soon I wrote articles about my experiences with a site who paid me. Unfortunately they had to close up shop.

I closed my businesses in 2001 and took care of my husband. I continued to write to some people who are still my friends. It is a routine now that I just can't be without. Having said all that which we are all experiencing on Facebook and other places, I have a friend to thank for a hatred that I carried for decades, in fact since WW2. I just hated the German people, all of them!!!I came by it by what I heard my parents and grandparents report as they had survived WW1 and were now in WW2.

One fine day in this country and now an American I said to my son:"I do not have a racist bone in my body!" He looked at me, one eyebrow raising higher than the other and said:"Mom!!!!Germans!!!!". I was shocked , I was racist after all. Me? how could that be....I thought about it for a very long time.

The light went on when I became Farm Town friends with a gal in the UK. She had a tremendous sense of humor, very kind, loved animals, good cooking BUT she was German. We wrote a little bit here and there with little and big problems. It was not long that I found out that I liked this new friend a LOT. She helped me see some problems with another eye and correct myself when I was wrong with the kids or grandkids. She was right most of the time and she was younger and had some very good ideas. It went way beyond the farm we were both playing. I very slowly learned that I was so wrong...nothing was bad or viscious in this lady's heart and soul.
Yet she was German and I woke up to the fact that it is just a name for people born in a certain place. I am Flemish, that does not mean that all the people in the Flanders are good people or bad people. I kept a whole nation accountable for what bad leaders had started. My heart became soft and my daughter was very surprised when I started to talk to German tourist in our supermarket. Told them what to see and where to eat and shook hands and hugged.

So what is the big deal , you might say. It is for me. I lost a hatred which was stuck in my psyche and this one person on the internet healed me.
If she reads this she knows who she is and I have to say an eternal thank you to you my friend.

Santa brings gifts a bit early and I learn about games on the Kindle Fire

Last night I saw a show about people's addictions to games on the internet.
I have played Farm Town for a very long time. Young Bob got me started on it and then he got bored and I was on full swing. I now have 16 farms.
I rarely buy the extra's they offer you, I can enjoy without them too.
I think I bought perhaps 30.00 worth over the year.
On the program they tell us that one lady spends about 300$ a month and can't afford it, she is totally hooked on having EVERYTHING the game offers. She can't stop!!!Enters a new breed :"Internet game psychologist" .
Say what? Yes, they need help.
Yup, like gamblers this is for many an addiction which costs money. Big money.
These companies do not put up all these programs for a person like me, they would be going under in no time. Many have. They want the "Big Spenders" so they add a train set, a circus set, another factory, and the list gets larger and larger.

SO fast forward to an early Christmas present from son.
A Kindle with color!!!!The black and white one is lonely in my night stand.
I am so excited and load up Mahjong, check out what books I have not read yet and look at the Smurfs.

The Smurf game on kindle is totally different then the game on Facebook.
My son is hooked, you built villages, plant flowers, trees, windmills,etc..
Here again you can BUY berries to make all these things happen FASTER.
The top you can spend on one buying spree is 99.00. WOW hold on here!
Bob is quick to show me how fast the offer run short of berries and there is a cute "commercial" to where you can get more.....
Bob tells me that in Merry Old when the game first came out parents found themselves saddle with bills to Amazon in the thousands. It became a big public mess.
Kids who play this just clicked for more and more berries. They did not know or understand that Mum and Dad were running out of grocery money.
So I learned very quickly to stay away from that, it goes too fast.
Not sure I like this part of Smurfs, well, still a Belgian at heart maybe I should support that.....yes, I hear you.

Last night I played 4 hours of Mahjong. I am hoping that it does something positive for my brain cells. Probably not.Mahjong is free.
I am delighted with my present BUT I wish it came with more self discipline...sometimes I think that at 80 I am allowed to sit in my chair all day and let the house go to hell. Sometimes I think that....sometimes is right now...where did I put the Kindle? It is being charged...bye bye I have a game to play.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Father Christmas dolls...........

Eons ago I was selling handmade Father Christmas figures in the style of the old German ones from the late 1800's. The artist was Norma de Camp. She is still very busy and by now very well known. I loved them in my shop and sold them on consignment.
Norma became more and more popular and the prices went up and out of my reach.

I was sad over that but Norma was a friend and she was on her way UP and that was that!Bob looked at me over his cup of coffee and said : I can make that too.
I chuckled. I figured that he was a great painter but not a doll maker.
I forgot the whole conversation until one morning he put a Father Christmas on the table!

I was totally shocked, it looked old, fabric was very old and threadbare ,I had no idea where he found that. The toys were leaden soldiers (of course antique) and it looked quite ancient. I sat there and the wheels of the retailer started to turn.
Said I :"can you do that again? But a different fabric and toys?"
He answered with a grin and said of course I can, I can make these whenever I feel like it.

"Whenever I feel like it was the catch with Bob. He was a diva about his art.
When I married him I made a schedule.
Now dear, said I. (so proudly) you can paint from 9 to noon, we will have a nice lunch and you can go back from 2 to 6. We will have the evening with the girls and whatever we want to do.

The artist looked at me like he heard it thunder in Berlin (Belgian expression).
Say what? I can't work in the morning. I never, ever, never work in the morning.
I do my best painting at night!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My turn to look like I heard it thunder you know where.
What do you mean " you can't work in the morning" ???Do you have morning sickness or something???What does that mean?????I am a morning person and I never heard of someone who did not want to work in the morning, the best time, the fun time, the "I am alert time", What kind of man was this?

I had not met :"The Muse". The man explained that he did not get inspired unless it was quiet, he worked under artificial light, he needed music, he needed operas, he needed to be alone.

He set the rule about when to work. Decades later and a thousand operas and dozens of worn out equipment to listen to them I knew that he had a rule to stick by.
BUT now and then I had to tell him that rent was about due and better get your assets upstairs to paint. He THEN would say: Yes Dear.

When his Mom and Sister passed on he was a wreck and for 2 years he did not touch a brush. It almost broke us up. The need for the dough was bigger then the need for a Muse.

So ...when he said that he would make me more Father Christmas dolls I felt terrific and I knew I would have to put my foot down about WHEN another one would appear.
He liked this new adventure and started to run to every thrift shop to collect fabrics, leather belt, leather gloves for the hands. He was in his junk world which he loved. He was a hoarder with order BUT when he became sick he simply was a hoarder and kept piling up "stuff" in his studio till you could not find a thing anymore.

I put them in the shop and lo and behold, they sold!!They sold!!!
Magic to my ears!!!!!I decided to step in and help.
My turn to look for "things" , I bought a new sewing machine, trims, old furs.I set up shop in the kitchen and I would make the clothing and he would built the body , the face and finish the decorating. We had a business going.
We ate out a LOT, the rabbit fur had taken over the kitchen.
You know how light that fur is, it drifts everywhere.

I signed up for a small show and designed the tables for display. Still testing the waters.
We educated the people.
Most people would say that is not OUR Santa and I would explain the history of the dolls.
One show led to another.

A baby was coming into our family and my trusted daughter who worked with me in the antique shop was in heaven when she thought she could have Mommy look after baby.
Not so fast, girl, he can’t inhale all that stuff in the kitchen.

A shop above my shop was empty for years so I bargained with the landlord to rent that space.
It became our studio , it was huge, I had room for a cutting table, a sewing table, a his and her table to put it all together. On the other wall we had metal shelves with all our boxes of toys and fabrics.
It was heaven, a shag run did well to hide a lot . A play pen came in another part of the room and Zack was our real baby while we worked on the little baby dolls in Santa’s arm.

I became a fabric junky , shopping at Mary Jo’s in Gastonia became an all day affair, we start in the morning and then have lunch and continue in the afternoon. A yard of this, half a yard of that, trims, and glues. In Belgium visiting my mother I went wild in Brussels in the Rue Neuve. I bought a meter one day of Italian made net which was covered with handsewn gold ribbons. It was spectacular. It took me a long time before I could cut in it. It cost $300 a meter.

The Biltmore House heard about us via a Friend. They called me and asked if I could do a sled and a large Peddler Father Christmas with all Victorian items , fabric, and furs.
We were extremely proud of this commission, we also were well paid.
They have been in the House almost every Christmas but I did not see them this year, it is all about dozens of trees this year and real candles.

Son while in High School had a tour with his class. He spotted the Peddler and told his friends :“My parents made that!”. They laughed ! He called the guide behind the ropes and asked if he could show the base of the doll. He obliged and the kid’s mouth fell open when they saw the signature: Kensinger studio.
Young Bob beamed and was popular for a half hour.

Soon we did shows by invitation only and mostly about Christmas markets.
We went from Arlington VA all the way to Jacksonville FLA.
We were never home for Thanksgiving as our Greensboro show would start and soon the
Promotors found great spots for us to get attention.
In Augusta Ga we always sold out. People waited at the door to run to our usual spot and pick out a favorite of the year. One couple had dozens of them and large ones too , he built a mahogany display case with glass to put them in all year round.

Sabrina and I did the Augusta show when Zack was a few weeks old.
He screamed all the way home for 3 hour ride.
Next year he did the same thing.
We started to think he just did not like Augusta and sure enough we went out to dinner after the show and he decided to start screaming in the restaurant and all the way home and he most have been 3 or 4 by then. Zack doe not like Augusta.

Sometimes we doubled up on shows and Bob would do one and Sabrina and I the other.

The in between shows was rough as we had to finish others to be ready by Thursday and be in another town. We had little sleep during these months, I always ended with lung problems and one year a very bad pneumonia bout.

Often I would still work at the motel with Zack under foot and sew some more.
Sabrina was in love with every doll and was a great sales lady.

In fact Sabrina just yesterday bought another one on eBay.
She too has cases full of them she was delighted to find an early model.
We numbered them all.
13 years on the road and well over 1000 Father Christmas dolls.
On our 10th anniversary of making dolls I embroidered the date n the lining.
I made all sorts of wild ones, Liberace sequined ones, all real Belgian lace ones,
All fur ones, real furs and fake furs.
When I use the word “I” it was strictly for the clothing Bob was still the master of it all.
We sat next to each other in the studio and always talked. I do not know what we
Talked about.. 42 years and we still were talking all the time.
If I fell asleep in the car he would be a little annoyed that I had nothing to say.
No one in my life ,absolutely no one filled me with joy and love like that man did.

Here are some photos of Bobby’s collection :

Number 333 B stand 14 inches
Dated 1998
Faux fur
Old trumpet in arm’new cloth doll and basket of fur
His underskirt (yes he had to have that covered too )is a cotton Christmas print

Leather belt knitted gloves (from real gloves)
Sheep wool hair

Number 23
He made little packages with paper and then antiqued the paper with tea
Here he made his own gloves out of leather with a thumb, (gave up on that later)
Leather belt and the fur is ermine from an old cape that was falling into strips.
Love that one and I did not touch that one at all, it was before our shows and I do not know how it is still here, glad that it is.

Then we also made peddler santas, after the English peddler doll.
This one stands 25 inches
He has an original Victorian cape which is still in very good condition,
With hand applied passementrie and jet beads. (circa 1880-1890)
The gold trim came from a chasuble from a priest and it was falling apart but I managed to save the trims.
This one is dated 2001 and was a present to Bob and Ari.

I am hoping that the 1000 plus Father Christmas dolls out there will come out of the moth balls and be enjoyed by all this Christmas.

Have a Merry!!!!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Great relief thanks to C scan

The new scan did not show anything abnormal said the nice man.
18 months now cancer free so I will keep it that way.

My mood is on top of the mountain until I think of Zack and his parents.

Zack has been in a lot of pain the past days from burns, blisters, bleeding, etc...result from radiation. He is there again this morning and 3 more days with it till he is finished. He is in a bad mood and who would not be.

A friend of ours had the same cancer 5 years ago. He turned 18 when the last treatment had to be done and he refused to go in. He flatly said :"I am 18, I am going to make the decision and NO MORE" .So far he is in the best of health. Who can blame them????

I think a decade from now we will have other means and we will think how cruel this was. The chemo and radiation are just plain hell.

I am in such a good mood until I see Zack's face in my mind and then I loose it.Sabrina too , that is another chapter. She is strong BUT to maintain this is hard.

Love you guys so much.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

I got scalped

I have known my trusted hairdresser since she had small babies, now they are in college. No one touches my head but Theresa. She does not freak out when she sees my scalp totally covered with psoriasis crust. She does not freak out when I am in a bad mood or tired and fall asleep while she cuts.
She always gives me a cut which will grow in very nicely.
She has cut Bob's hair and amused him. Bobby grows his hair till he has 12 inches to donate ,he has great thick hair. Brie has always been there with me and on occasion even Rhonda.

Theresa knows all my secrets, like a bartender she listens.

Since June my driver had other plans, she takes daily trips to Asheville to tend to her son (He is truly mine) and his medical condition.

My hair grew and grew came down my back while my scalp was covered with psoriasis.
Theresa's shop is far from my house so I just waited till there would be a time
Rhonda could take me.

The last photo of me was at the Biltmore and I looked like a witch , I did not need to dress up for Halloween I just looked liked like a very old witch.
So I decided to start begging.
I asked Sabrina for only one present this year, NOTHING else (she will not listen)
but a haircut from Theresa.

No problem said the wonder woman, she simply called the coiffeuse and said: Please go to my Mom's house and cut her hair, I will pay for it!.
Theresa said :Gladly.

So here came my angel hair person scissors in hand.
She asked : how short?
Lately I have it till my jawline but since it grows so fast I said the bottom of my she cut and no mirrors around and we talked filling in 6 months of gossip. Plus the dogs trying to get her attention too.

Work all done, I go to the mirror and see that I have little hair left....but you know what? It probably will be another 6 months before I get to Theresa and it will grow out again and again.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

In the shop we go....

That is so far 190 pieces of vintage jewelry, priced, catalogued, cleaned, and in display boxes.
MOI, I am exhausted this took 3 days so far with no other work being done, I throw frozen ravioli in the boiling water pot and sprinkle it with lots of cheese and Bobby is happy. It took me a few minutes and I am happy.

Tomorrow is scan time, do not remember which one, I am to starve before...hate that part....while I do that Zack will be in his torture chamber.
Brie is sick, she blew the leaves at Jaimies without a mask.
Her blower is professional, the leaves are covered with pollen.
Today she can't talk. The mask was in her car, the car is not sick!
Stubborn Taurus.
We will do fine tomorrow, she can't talk I do not hear, coversations at the clinic will be swell.

Bijou not feeling well does not leave me alone. Clings to my lap.

Saturday we are supposed to have 65 degrees, I no longer know when to plant the tulips.
My petunias are blooming again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Good night!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Tomorrow Black Internet day?????

Someone asked me why did they call it black Friday.
As a retired retailer I can tell you that on the Friday after Thanksgiving (in the olden days) people started to shop for Christmas.
Merchants for the most part wait for these weeks of gift buying to bring them out of the red.

Now it is disgusting, they bring out Christmas items right after Halloween and some even before that. No sooner will Christmas be over and You will see the red hearts for Valentine day!!!!!In March we are being reminded not to forget Mother...she gets her day in May but it may take us that long to remember her....
Hallmark has done a terrific job to spread these days in different continents and countries. We never heard of Valentine's day or Halloween when I was little.
Now they have that bug in Belgium , must, must, must decorate for these special days....One might wonder if Hallmark has everything produced in China....

Sabrina and I had lunch and then did some grocery shopping,Rhonda has been working overtime and is exhausted. Yesterday she was to be off at noon and it turned out to be after 5.ooPM. They are very busy, visitors from all over. From Europe, Japan and China too. After all this is the only private castle left in the USA. People lived in the house still in the 1950's. I met a maid who worked there all her life and her mother did too. Not one unkind word ever being said of the employers.

I did give in to the spirit, at the Aldi they had chocolate direct from Belgium, I needed that...stolen flown in from Germany, I needed that too, the ones with the marzipan in. For good measure I thought I needed baklava too. Then I noticed spekulaas from Belgium, can't let that one left in the store....I was talking it up too, I was telling people which ones to buy and I had an audience. I should get a percentage from that.

This week I have about 350 mixed VINTAGE jewelry coming which needs to be priced and put in inventory. AND in the shop ASAP.
Vintage here for jewelry is usual from the 1950's when we had some very nice good custom jewelry...some pins fetch 400 to 1000.00 dollars. I can't afford to deal in them but the Monet, Trifari, Weiss etc...that is my bread and butter besides my own work.

Facebook games will have to wait.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Black Friday.......

Shoot it is Saturday, Black Friday gone and the good sign was that Biltmore was sold out even with earlier openings , tickets for that day were all sold out. That is a LOT of people. Rhonda was extremely busy. Bus tours came early, she not only has to figure out their time schedule in the castle but also where to park all these buses.

I had a week that was FULL and made me so tired.
Now I like to stay home, safe, warm, my dog on my lap even when I work on the computer or work on jewelry.

It started on Tuesday , I had an appointment with the urologist.
I had a lot of back aches in the last weeks and figured it was the "broken back" acting up but wanted to make sure the lonely kidney was ok.
His test did not show anything bad, but he said it was about time for the scans and that is for next week, to make sure that all is still OK.
When you are over the 1 1/2 year mark and nothing is showing up any other place that is a good sign said dr "Great".

We had to do the rounds today with Zack and his radiation. Then lunch and then the mall. I need glasses again. Jeez...after 10 or so years and my cataract surgery now I need glasses again to see far away and have 20/20. Problem is that the TV faces are foggy , since I do not drive I am not really missing much otherwise. I need inexpensive and got that but they do not stay put on my face when I bend down.
Whatever...I will only use them with TV and I sit still then.
Zack became very tired and pale so we took him home back to Brevard and I had a chance to see the shop and know that I needed more vintage stuff for the Christmas rush.
We had an break with apple pie a la mode and brie her fave banana split. Then back to Asheville. I found myself fading very fast, Brie is too. We both look so tired but we do not dare tell Rhonda that we are not coming. She had planned this for weeks, she so loves the castle and wanted us to see it during the decorations days. This was a special invitation for employees and guest. Large buses from Young came to get us in parking lots, the place was packed. B. employees 1500 people.
Presents are given to the kids under 12. We had finger food and drinks and went to see the decorations. Thery are the best yet and I saw about 4 of them. Best year, just fabulous also looks nice in the evening !!!!Not much electricity but candles every where, yes even real ones!!!Guides helped me so I did not have to use the long corridors and had short cuts to the rooms plus the elevator which is the original one still running. Inside it is decorated with fancy iron work and lovely wood panels.

Somehow we got rejuvenated in the castle. However the free family photo they took makes me look like I celebrated my 100th!!!!
Came home about 10.30 P.M and fell into bed.

Next day a luncheon date, OK dress up again , try to look chipper and see long time friends again. I had canceled several dates with them so I better go a move on and go. We went to the Inn on Church street and it was just lovely....I had fish and chips, my fave but this had huge prawns with the fish. I took a doggie bag and said "woof woof" to the waiter as I am surely the dog in this case.
It was very nice BECAUSE my friends let ME talk and I am a TALKER so I do not have to strain to hear their questions. It was a gorgeous day, my petunias started to come up again it has been that warm and they even bloom.

Thursday was Thanksgiving, Brie decided she wanted family with her so Rhonda worked till 4 and then picked me up. I had a bad day and did not know why. I got up and started to cry and that lasted for most of the day- lecture from Bobby put me to sleep in my recliner. It was a very bad day ....the dinner was good but I could not hear one person at that table, conversations ran from one side to the other and I decided to look at all of Bob's art work and try to remember where we were when he did the persimmons, where he sat and painted and when did he call me for help.
He always wanted my feed back. He hated back grounds so he always asked me which one he should use. He trusted me and I am not an artist. I would tell him when to stop a work because he never thought his painting was finished. He would work and touch up for weeks if I let him. I'd say :"Bob it is finished, let it go, it is lovely". Reluctantly he would stop and take my advice.
His time was never an issue with him, it was for me because he would put too many days and hours into something we knew we could not get paid for his hours.

The room at Brie was cozy and no denying her Belgian heritage.
My aunts Victorian vases sit proudly in a nook with a light over them. In my mind I invited them to come and take a look. The Delft which was in my mother
s kitchen is there too. Bob's work everywhere. Handmade lace doilies. My mother's kas kept up and shiny from the wax jobs! The memories kept me going as I sat quietly at the table and has a glass of wine and pie with whipped cream (the real stuff).
Zack was tired and in his room with the little ones. I do not have the energy to mess with the little ones like I used to do. Besides that I wanted to cry some more.

I was glad the day was over, I had bought a spiral ham for Bobby, he does not give 5 cents for the holiday but loves the ham.
I came home and fell into bed and Rhonda emailed me she did the same when she got home and had to be at the castle at 6 30 AM next day.....

So Black Friday I rested in between catching up (barely) with my games on Facebook. I filled more display boxes with pins ready for Brie to put in my shop...whenever I see Brie again.

So today we are that the news there seems to be a truce , I doubt it will last or help but let there be peace for awhile so children can play outside and have parents still alive...on all sides...

Big John has decided he will GO HOME...that is a tragedy...
Zack refuses to be in the hospital on Christmas so that will be bypassed, the kid needs some "normal".

I hope to have a quiet week and will try to play catch with the energy.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Fighting, Infidelity, budgets on Capitol Hill....

I am supposed to be uplifting and positive.

OK so I read a lot of news there is blood shed today on both sides ....
over what? Land!

My grandfather had lost big in the stockmarket so when I left in the `1950's his advice to a very naive granddaughter was :"Buy land" they are not making anymore and we will be over populated one day.
I always remembered that ... early on someone offered us two lots at very low price, the lady was a friend and in her eighties and wanted to help us out. I was afraid to get into debt and declined....I did not listen to grandpa! A very few years later the University in Santa Cruz Ca. started to built on these lots and everything else they could buy around there. The land had been purchased at a very high price.
Land...the fight over land in many places....but bloodshed over it scares me.

So we have a scandal in DC. A General and an x general ,CIA person had an affair and who the hell cares. If you lined up the unfaithful at the Mall in DC you would have a bigger crowd than when Obama took his oat there. Please, who cares but the wives involved who have to face the humiliation. They have to worry if they can ever forgive and worse if they can forget.
Forgetting is the hard part. I still dream of first husband cheating on me and i had not seen him in 45 years. He passed on last year but he is still there tormenting me at night. So the general's wife has all my best wishes.

Good news? Zack has his last day in the hospital week, he has had it, problems with his port in the middle of the night which was not a picnic. His Mom exhausted from seeing him hurting and counting the bills.
12 different companies send her bills, a doctor here and a specialist there, then the cancer center, then the heart place, the many pints of blood.....
I was a riot at the beginning od the diagnosis I offered to sell the house, Brie answered: Mom this will cost more than your house, honey!
Say what? Well she was right we are now almost at twice my house value and it is not finished by a long shot.
A friend of ours had her son ill with the same cancer, he is fine now, but 5 years ago the bills were over 250,000. Sabrina said theirs will surpass this and some by the end.
Thank God that Purdue our NC past governor was one of the first to embrace Obama care so then Zack could get insurance for previous conditions.
I read that Florida will not accept it. They have a Republican governor and NOW we do too, a Rep. is taking office now in NC.
I hope that they can't revoke that rule, I doubt it.

Have a nice Sunday ...I will try that too.

Friday, November 16, 2012

This and that

I have been away for awhile....not in the mood to do anything but sit and sleep. I think they call it a depression. I missed Bob every minute in the last 2 weeks, no reason except that I miss him. He was such a great companion.

So I rejoiced Nov 6th and went to bed feeling so secure. I was petrified of the changes Mittens was suggesting and then changing his mind ...I said four years ago that Obama could not5 fix the mess we were in during a first term, now he has no electorals to please or watch out for. He can sit at his desk and stop the worrying
about what will be said this time around but I do believe that he has the fever back to fight for the little people. He just has to fight the Republicans up the hill till they have a solution.

Many people here in NC are upset...just look at the polls.....
No one touched my Obama sign, I was afraid to put it up and then did anyway because I felt like a coward.

On Nov 11 I walked up to the cemetery and put small flag on the sacred ground of WW1 soldiers. I have done that for awhile. This was my grandparents war and my parents suffered in different ways. My father was number 7 in a line of 8. His father was in a military career and was in prison in Germany as soon as the war started leaving my grandmother with all her kids. My father, then 7 years old took his little brother to the German camps near his house and stole food from them. He also learned to speak German. Our King Albert and his Queen stayed in Belgium with the troops during the whole war, that little part of B. was never taken by the Germans. In ww2 our King Leopold ran for the luxury of living in la belle Suisse. Some Belgians did not forgive him that....including my mother who loved Royalty.

Now I have to say that I just hate even the word "war", both sides loose, no matter what. There is human life involved. We can always rebuilt but the loss of people is another matter. I am worried that Bibi and Obama are not seeing eye to eye over Iran. Lets not make it another war because they have or do not have weapons of mass destruction. We have been there and done that.

On the very good side of my house is son who hates Algebra with a passion and had an A at the end of his first 9 weeks. This is just a very big , big win. He is now into the second Algebra 9 weeks and a bit calmer about it. I am very proud of him.
Doing correspondence school every day often including Sunday is not for the lazy people, you have to be committed to stay with it and not miss a day. I think he started last September and even sick he continued on his journey for psychology. With his years of agoraphobia and panic disorder he could counsel from the heart.

Zack is doing very well keeping the C word away but has his ups and downs.
The loss of his eyebrows and lashes this week make him very sad. He has these gorgeous eyes and had the longest eyebrows, every one used to talk about them, it bums him out this week. With radiation and Chemo he is a lot more tired and needs more blood transfusions, his BP being low too.

I worry about him ...a lot...I wish I could be with him at the hospital when his mother has to leave to work. He has tremendous nurses and doctors. His High school also had a fund raiser for him just the kids getting together selling T shirts and stuff. How great is that?

I will do my best to get out of this funk and continue to just write boring stuff.....

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


The storm of the century is hitting New York and on way to Philly and up state.

Atlantic city boardwalk highly damaged.
House on fire along some of the coast.
The Jersey coast highly hit.
So far Lee is safe, we have not heard yet about Sabra in Jersey.
Subways are full of water in the big Apple, this will take weeks to fix I am sure.
construction of this may suffer a lot from salt water.
Cars floating about in the big city. Imagine the damages.
One hospital had to transport the babies as their second back up broke down, no electricity is also a factor which will take a lot of time.
This is horrible.
We just had the winds which made me anxious with all the trees around us.
No damage.
It is snowing in Asheville.
We will have 65 degrees on Saturday and pretend none of this happened but in the North there will be struggles for months.
It is slow and covers 1000 miles.
Elza called from Belgium. How Nice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

56 years

It was not to be.

But I never forget the day you came, Walter and William you would be 56 today.
Wherever you are be safe and happy.

Friday, October 26, 2012

and Frankenstorm goes where?

Frankenstorm 2012: Hurricane Sandy Hybrid Could Hit New York, New Jersey And Pennsylvania

They call it a monster, one expert said :"I have no idea what will happen and where, this is a once in a lifetime storm, with the help of a cold front coming to meet Sandy the storm.

Even so we are far from the coast I am apprehensive as the weather person said that we could have a LOT of wind and water damage.
We do get floods in the mini basement but have a pump ready.

I finished almost entirely the yard and hiding objects which can't survive the winter like my Chinese pots collection. Some cacti go inside and my palm tree which became huge this summer goes in my bedroom.

I purchased in the spring an azalea which blooms all the time, I was not sure but it is blooming and I am bringing it in.
The heather can take our cold.
I sort of wish I had kept the hedge, it was so nice and full and tall and protected us from a lot of wind. But there is the idea to put up somewhat of a front and show that the yard is somewhat "kept".

It will be a blast to get the dogs outside, the big one, Courage is already act5ing weird she now comes and hides under my skirt and she is tall! So she is feeling something which will happen in 3 days? Who knows.

If my computer goes out, if electricity goes out I will be lost for sure.
In tje meantime, good night to all. Be safe, LEE, be safe!!!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Election blues

Gosh, I have been working very hard these past weeks.
There is the winter clean up in the yard.
2 professional gardeners came and cut all the overgrown mess
I had not been able to tackle.
My Zack did this but the poor kid is busy with chemo and radiation.
For now all is going well with that.
I know when he gets well what he is worth...
Yikes...these gardeners know how to charge.............

Hedge is cut low on all sides and I feel naked looking out on the street now.

I have been in a bad mood and tracking down the origin I figured it is political.
I can't stop watching the news, the polls, the gossip, the truth???Where is the truth??
I was petrified to put up my Obama poster in the NC Mittens atmosphere.
This morning I decided the hell with it and I put it up

I am also making room for my pot collection which would not survive the winter.
So9me plants come inside under the special light and continue to stay alive, I am almost done. I had Rhonda taking me to my shop on Saturday and that is ready for the end of October tourist, then I will have to make more for Christmas and that is next.
Here are the last flowers, they served me well even with my neglect.
The water lily is the last one I am sure she is just budding now.

That is all I have to say today till I get in a better mood!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

new batch part 2

New batch

I keep forgetting to post these , so before they go to the shop (hint: Eclectic cottage in Brevard NC) I thought to share.

I do NOT use plastic beads, the beads are gem quality from different rocks mined all over the world. Please note that it is harder to get AAA quality in Lapis Lazuli, why? The biggest mines and best colors are in Afghanistan were now these mountains are for fighting.

I also use mother of pearl. I am a designer, I am not tumbling and filing rocks myself but I make designs with the tons of beads I have cluttering my office.

I also ordered two gorgeous one of a kind carvings in Indonesia. Indonesia has terrific carvers, they have been there probably for centuries. They use ox bones.
They are not cheap but the work is terrific.

All the pieces are one of a kind.

I do not repeat my patterns.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


Thanks to the dogs I walk a lot. I think they have me pegged for a sucker and just like to go out and beg to do so. I do get help when it rains then the begging stops.

My walks are also about looking around for changes in nature and waving at the old people in the housing project.
I wish I could stop and talk to them on the porch but my hearing loss is not helping. They will talk and I can't answer. Then when you tell people to talk very loud they start to yell and slowly they go back to the whispering, it never fails.

When I walk uphill on my street I reach the housing district. The town truly keeps it lovely, grass is cut in time and outside repairs are done as soon as detected.
This part is all for the elderly housing. It is very quiet here, most do not even have cars. The only noise here is when the ambulance comes followed by the fire department. They work in tandem for emergencies. Then you see the heads coming out the doors and asking "who is it?"

If the ambulance leaves quietly everyone then wonders. Was it ok? Did they fix the person? Or is the ambulance quiet because there is no need for help anymore.

I was thinking about all that and compared the upper road housing to the left, young people live here, children live here in abundance, they play in the street, no playground nearby. I often see cars swirve around a child and my heart races in my chest. This part of the housing sees a lot more noise. Especially the police cars, the sirens will blare and you know there is trouble, drugs, domestic violence even
now and some shooting and people hiding behind the windows.

Life can be observed between the two projects.
Not that everyone was always poor, I know 2 ladies in their sixties who lost all
their money in the stock market, thanks to crooks. Another has a husband who left her very dry after he found a new model. Yet another is drowning still in medical bills she had before Medicare set in. They are all races, different backgrounds.

One view I can count on during my walks is the numerous cats in the "oldies" housing, they are all white and black. You can hardly figure out which one is which.
People put dishes out for them and they all look healthy but the dogs are not to thrilled to see the growing cat alley.

It is a quiet street except on school hours when the speeding mom.s and pop.s come racing to get the kids in on time. Better not to walk during that time slot.

I like the quiet of this side of town, we are still in town and yet we are very quiet, trees everywhere, birds and squirrels fighting at the feeders.
I think I see someone begging and it will rain soon so I better get the furries out there while they can.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


My mother was extremely frugal but when she was down in the dumps she would go out and by something outlandish. Like a new couch and matching chairs, a sewing machine or a rug not worth what she paid for to 2 guys who came at her door!(so dangerous)She even made them turn around so they would not see where she kept her money!!!Yikes.

Au contraire to my mother I am not frugal but when I am down in the dirt feeling totally lost and not worth going another step then I do something odd too.
This time it is a stroller/jacket. It is GORGEOUS!!!!Got it on ebay with the description to make me drool and I bought it.
Here is the down part: My grandchildren hate fur wearing, my best friend hates it, my Maltese saw it and decided it was another dog and wanted to make it in shreds.
Here is the p0lus part: I love it.
Where will I wear it? Not often, it is not for a Walmart trip nor the Hospice thrift shop. But I am invited this Friday on the grounds of Biltmore to see Mary Wilson in concert. She is 62 and has a schedule made up for a 20 year old. She will be in Germany 2 days after this event. I may just wear this then. Lets see how cold it is.
What is it made off? the softest white leather I ever did see and all along the border and neckline white fox from Finland. It was purchased in Alaska. For 5 x what I paid for it.
The lady was my size and said she wore it once, it is spick and span new.
I did get it at thrift store price and she mailed it to me Fed Ex with the hanger and the bag to go with it.
As I am a retailer I also know I can get my money back and then some but I intend to wear it as long as I am still walking about these places. (Not walking the dogs !)
A photo will be coming this way.

I probably will not be invited out with my grandsons if I wear this and that is their privilege. I already gave away my mink jacket years ago but this one is for keeps.

Monday, October 8, 2012

The heat is on

The heat is on in more ways than one.

Cold during the night so it turned on quickly the ever obliging old heater, thank you so much for working still.

After Obama's luke warm talk with Romney winning I just saw on Huffington post that Romney may still win this. My stomach turned when I read that blaring headline.

I feel like this may be true.

Found out my grandson voted for O and then figured our immediate family all vote for him expect for Frank the in law. He is a Republican who does not like Romney but will vote for him anyway cause he does not like Obama even more.

I already voted so I did my best.

I am pissed at the thought of ....oh well I can't do anything else.

I will give O another 5 bucks , I am not one of his big bucks people

Sunday, September 30, 2012


17 years ago a long awaited for baby boy was born.

I have no idea what he weighed or how tall he was, all we thought about at that time was for him to survive.

Backtrack to a difficult pregnancy, a much wanted and delayed pregnancy. Sabrina had been living with Frank for 7 years and then married hoping to have a child. (She did keep her maiden name) Nothing happened very quickly for that girl and then finally she had to be very cautious during that time period.

So we are at the hospital, a fairly new hospital, very nice and well oiled in care and doctors. Her doctor happened to be working in that hospital only.
Run or owned by a religious group the only complaints I ever heard about them is that no coffee or cafeine was served, but very healthy food with tons of vegetables.
For the life of me now I forget the name of the church.They do honor Saturdays as the day for rest and the Sabbath.

Sabrina is ready and I am to be with her trying to hold hands and ignoring the pain in my baby. The doctor comes and goes, often, I have camera in hand or so does her sister we film the whole episode. Finally I hear the doctor tell the nurse to get the team ready we will have a cesarean section. Nurse looks at him and said something I will NOT forget :"Doctor, we do not have a staff ready, so and so has to come from Fairview and so and so from another town". He does not answer, you can see that he is very annoyed. He orders: I need to see how this baby is doing bring him the equipment NOW.......he mentions what he needs...he waits..goes down the hall.
No one ever came. He tells Sabrina that every time he tries to get the head the baby retracts back in. The doctor is quiet but does not leave us. I smell trouble.
Another nurse comes in and there are looks to each other but there is a quiet in the room besides Sabrina's complaints.

No one comes with news of a team nor machinery.
It dawns on is Saturday!!!!
We are here with a skeleton crew.

Doctor and nurses gather around the end of the bed, one has a blanket ready, the baby finally comes with a cord around the neck, color is not normal, cut the cord quickly and the nurse grabs the baby wraps him up and runs down the hall.
I follow....she goes into a room and someone shuts the curtains in front of my nose on the window. We know nothing.
I know nothing. I did not hear a cry.
I am thinking this is all over with and I want to just sit on the floor in a corner and weep.
Mother in law comes from the waiting room and who ever was there I have not a clue anymore we form a circle in the hall in front of the nursery and pray, we pray out loud, we want this baby, Lord how we want this baby to live.

A nurse comes out of the elevator trying to get a smock on while she runs, it is Rhonda's friend she is a specialist for lungs here and they called her to come in.
Rhonda tells her while both are running that this is Sabrina's baby. She answers I will do my best.

I do not remember if we saw Zack that day, every time I went to the nursery someone would shut a curtain. Sabrina did not see him and we were told that he would be ok
but needs some help with breathing.

The angst was enormous it was several days before Sabrina could nurse him in the nursery, he was not coming out of that place for awhile. They did not go home for days.

In the end he was saved by the crew in the nursery but we all know and have the video still that it should have been cut and dry a cesarean section.

Zack was a big baby, cute as a button, he smiled all the time, he was our joy rarely had a fit so by week 6 he was on the road with us selling Santas and loved to ride in the car except for one town "Augusta Ga". It did not matter how old he got he would scream all the way from Augusta to home some 3 hour ride.
We almost gave up the Augusta shows but we always sold out there, he just hated that town and he could not even speak.

Today Zack has another challenge , he hardly had an aspirin in his 17 years, he is a man, 6 feet 5" and he HAD cancer, a fast moving nasty cancer. So now he is on the mission to stop it from coming back and has a severe regime of chemo for one year.
It is hard to be 17 ,treated in pediatrics, not being able to do the football, not being able to be with his palls in his senior year, could not go to the yearly fair, can't go to the games....and on and on.

An infection now or catching anything from a sick person would be very dangerous.
So far he has needed numerous blood transfusions to keep going. His hair is gone but his spirit is very high. He gets angry now and then and has a right to but it does not last. He is so liked by the nurses and doctors. He has the right attitude.
The world needs Zack and he will be your best mechanic as this is where he will go to school next when this battle is over with.

Happy birthday ,my baby bear, you will never know how much joy you have given me already so do keep it up!!!!Meme loves you !!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, September 29, 2012


I was very young when I started this ritual. A ritual I still do now at 80.
Perhaps every one does that, I never asked.

As soon as I am awake I am thinking" what is exciting today?" It could be anything that sets the mood for me...less homework...a friend back from being sick...and as I grew older....the boyfriend will visit today....mother will take me to see a movie...

When Bob was ill I hardly had time to think what would happen today ..I knew my routine, get him out of bed and cleaned up and dressed....strip the whole bed and start washing...that was my first thought then...for years and years....

After Bob left us I'd wake up and think "I am a widow, I hate that name, there is nothing waiting for me hugs, no rides in the country, BUT also no laundry waiting....then I would do the best thing and crawl back in bed to sleep some more.
Perhaps then when I would wake up again I might think of something worthwhile to get up for.

Two years later we, the family, again faced with disease. I wake up and my first thought is my grandson. I rush to the computer to read the blog and see how yesterday played out. Sabrina is tired of calling every one and repeating conditions. We all agreed that the blog will help us and her.

The day involves in what I read. A bad report lingers in my heart and my bones well until the afternoon until I take a nap and forget the world.

But Thursday Sabrina surprised me and wrote:"the numbers are good, no transfusion on Friday, I am coming to see you and we will have a day out like we used to".
It will be fun!!!!

I wake up Friday morning and my first thought is "Sabrina is coming and she promised fun". I am so excited. I jump out of bed and forget the brittle bones in the back.Ouchie!

I have not seen much of my daughter in the last 3 months. We used to shop every Tuesday and replenish the fridge. Now Rhonda does this on week ends and she is a doll for helping so much with her sister and me. So it is not so much about getting the milk and bread but seeing this wild girl who promised me fun today.

She steps out of her car and I now see make up, eye lashes curly and dark ,eyebrows trimmed and lipstick. hair still has 24 colors but it is a start. She did something to please herself for the first time in months.
I look into her eyes and I see the pain, the worry, the exhaustion.
No sparks no little stars in the blue, blue eyes.

I used to be shocked when I took time to look in the mirror and saw my eyes, they told the whole story of my body and emotions. Sad, sad, exhausted and sad.

She tells me :"Mom, we will not talk about cancer or Big John , today" We will have girl talks. I can go for that.

No sooner are we in the car and her phone rings, Hospice here ....and the talks start for the next 30 minutes about what to do with Big John who wants to return home. He promises the doctors he will not smoke, he smokes in the nursing home, what the blazers is that promise worth. So the scramble is on for
a place for BJ. His wife has been on duty for decades with this demanding man who thinks she is his slave. She moved his bed out and cleaned the whole house from top to bottom to get rid of the smoke smell. She is done. She did her duty. Picking up a giant man when he falls on his one leg is not task for her anymore.
Sabrina is her mouth piece, Sabrina fights for her freedom but these days there is no room at the nursing home, not here, not there, not at the VA. We just live too long, a month ago the dr. said John was dying. He has been dying more often than any cat with 9 lives.

We finally get to lunch and dropping bunch of stuff at the Hospice store.
The rest of the day is fun...we even go nuts and have a donut at Krispy Cream
with a cafe au lait. By evening we are laughing at every bad joke.

I show her my ankle and the protruding 2 screws which have to come out some day, Brie says: Get some W40 Mom . The laughing starts again. We are having a release for a short while . When she sees her brother she tells him : We almost forgot cancer today, I want to sleep over but tomorrow I need to get the yard ready for the fish fry and Zack's 17th birthday!!!

I got up this morning and my first thought was: "yesterday was fun today will be good I have a new fry pot and it will be french fries tonight!Yeh!"It does not take much to get me out of bed.

Friday, September 28, 2012

a dog's world

Does your dog yawn when he has to pee? Mine does, the Maltese, I find this very insulting. I put on his "bra" hook up the leash and it is yawn, yawn, yawn every time.
I think he is telling me that the walks are a bore or..he is laughing at me thinking that he hooked me again to go out when I want to sleep in late.

This fall is a first for him. He decided after 4 years that he should become a hunter. His new desire are the squirrels, he never noticed them before, now as they run to and fro a mouth full of nuts, now he wants them too, perhaps he thinks that the goodies are the same he gets at home. He has not figured out that he is a meat eater and the nuts are not on his plate.

The Corgy is shedding A LOT, I can honestly vacum every hour if I was a cleaner like Sabrina...but then she does not want a shedding dog either. Not my bad, my son when he got her thought that all his research showed that a Corgy was one of the smartest ones to train.....probably is, he did not train her besides telling us every ten minutes that she wants OUT. I do not see her yawning, better manners, I guess.

My world is not going to the dogs, I am just in a good mood to complain about them.
My not so bright doctor has finally diminished some of my meds for HP. I feel like a new person, I am not so dizzy, not so tired and I feel better in all the departments, my pharmacist had told me that prescription was not right for me. I should have complained more a long time ago.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

the quiet day

I took the Corgy for a very long walk, picked the cul de sac street lined with trees and dozens of squirrels hurrying to and fro..sometimes you can see an argument followed by a race one tree branch at a time. It is a gorgeous fall day, our leaves will not turn until mid October. Many trees are already shedding and getting ready to give us a lacy landscape of dark intertwined branches.

I am trying very hard to concentrate on nature this morning as my heart is still so very sad from Zack loss of his car. Of course he could have been hurt and it would all have been so much worse. The car can be replaced, it is just so much to take in for an old lady.

I used to think "Karma" is biting you but Zack made friends wherever he went. He has a golden heart. Since he was born he had a smiles with deep dimples getting deeper and deeper. He had a will of his own, he decided when he no longer wanted to be breast fed, he decided when the diapers should not be used anymore. Sabrina had it so easy with him. He was pleasant, loving and was loved.

I had several shops in one small mall and our workshop upstairs where we made
dolls (bob and I).Zack's crib and playpen was with us and I would rock him to sleep and made up songs for him. He still remembers. As he started to walk he would visit the entire mini mall. The restaurant gave him cookies, the hairdresser pretended to cut his hair in the big chair, he roamed around and visited wherever he felt like.
My husband adored him and I was mush in his little hands.

Karma? He did nothing wrong in his 16 years, he was a boy scout until he gave it up last year. He respected every one.

The men in his life show anger, a lot of anger, his father, his Uncle Bob, and Zack himself , all are angry. The women give up and have a good cry now and then.
I have problems not being able to stop the crying.
I wish I could just be angry and hit my fist on a wall or throw away a set of dishes in splinters but I am too practical for that.

So I walk in the silent street, I can't hear my own foot steps but I can hear a bird over my head shrieking and complaining about something. I stop, I feel odd that I hear nothing else but that bird. He must be loud. The wonder of it all makes me to start crying again....what the.....Carwen,the dog, looks up at me, she looks like she knows. She can feel the pain, she is a good companion.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The car

I can't believe I am sitting here crying and my heart aching like I lost a best friend.

I lost nothing at all but my grandson did.

During this period of chemo and being sick with most treatments he had only one object on his mind. A car! Not just a car but a 1971 Ford. He and his mechanic uncle had been working on it. The uncle had recovered the seats as a gift and they were gorgeous.
Zack finally could drive it around. He visited friends near his house all day yesterday. He was in heaven.

This morning I get a quick email:
Zack is OK. His car caught fire and it is gone

Seems that was moments after she found out that she wrote.

What else can happen to this child/man?

He has already been through so much since June 6th

I now do not know what he can think about that he wants to do when he comes home from all these treatments, how will he cope with this too.?????

Saturday, September 22, 2012


Brie on the phone on Wednesday said:
MoM, I have it all planned, we will have a fun day on Friday.

OK, said I, knowing I have to see my urologist and I do not count that as "fun" but a must "do". I also know Zack will have a morning test for his numbers at the Cancer Clinic. Also no fun but in between we could have a nice lunch and visit the Hospice store. Yes, I told myself it will be fun. I have not seen Zack in awhile and I look forward for that.

By Thursday Sabrina calls me and said she is in terrible pain in the intestine area.
As she describe I worry about the appendix or diverticulitus , I do know about that as I have it infected at times.
She refuses to go to Urgent Care.

Friday morning I am all dressed and ready and my urologist calls: "He has an emergency and can not see me today". As this happen they drive up the driveway and I wonder if I should stay home or go with them. Yes, it may be a fun day and I want to be with Zack so we take off. Brie is dubbling over the steering wheel in pain.
OK girl you go to Urgent Care.....she answers:"I will wait till tomorrow"
After much nagging she agrees that she needs to see somebody.

We get into the clinic first for Zack's test. He has on a white Tshirt and his face matches it, his lips are white. I can't remember ever seeing such white lips before.
Tests go out and I talk with him.
"Zack does it bother you a lot to have your hair gone?"
"not that much, Meme, because I keep my hat on all the time".
"I will be glad when it comes back".

Nurse comes in and tells him that the numbers are very low and he needs 2 more units of blood. He looks at her and smiles. OK. She has no idea when the blood will come so here we are it is 11.00 AM.
The door closes behind her and I see his his eyes with tears, he lowers his hat over his face, he does not want us to see that he is crying. We try to comfort him, mother and grandmother but he answers that he is so angry.

All he wanted was to go and work on his car.
From experience we know we will not be out of here until about 5 PM.
Make it 5.20 when we did.

Sabrina in the meantime goes to Urgent care and they take Xrays and find out she does have diverticulitis, they give her medication and tell her to be better by
Sunday or come back.

Zack and I in the clinic are quietly watching the History Channel.Not my favorite subjects, hunters in Alaska, NC, and Montana.....but i concentrate while he falls asleep. They gave him Benadryl. The face looks whiter and whiter, probably my imagination. Nurse checks his vitals often and now he has a fever....
his bp is low, I watch monitors. He is sitting in a chair which vibrates and makes you warm too, he had turned on the heat and the nurse turns it off. Soon the fever is gone.

I can't nap I feel like I am here to watch him and I am not allowed to nap, I watch dead animals and smiling hunters.
Sabrina comes back around 2.00 with Wendys salad I had ordered, I smell french fries in the bag, why in the hell did I not order french fries.
I eat my salad do not say a word but soon I will grab that bag from somebody, later I see they threw it in the garbage.....

Brie lies down on the couch and puts her head on my lap. My baby is hurting so very much. I remember, this stuff hurts. Finally she snores....the blood comes...they have to attach it to the port, she can't find his veins. He goes back to sleep, Brie is still snoring and I find the gadget and change the channel to Judge Judy, I am feeling pretty good, watching my two angels asleep, no pain for the moment and Judge Judy telling someone that he is an idiot.

When we get out we are hungry and go for a steak for Zack, he has not eaten much this past week. He lost weight, I can see it. I walk in first I hear the girl talking to them but I do not know what she said. I sit at the table and watch Zack sitting in front of me without his hat. I thought it strange, we order and he is eating a huge steak, I love it when people enjoy their food. His head is down and he looks uncomfortable, I ask why his hat is off and then they tell me that the girl at the entrance had told him that it is required for him to take his hat off.
If I had heard that we would have walked out immediately, now we are midway of our meal. I am pissed, no other word to describe my mood in a lady like way.
As soon as we are done I ask for the check so we can get out of here.
I approach someone but boss is out, I tell them I will not return and explain that the rules sometimes should be broken.

Monday, September 17, 2012

more transfusions.....

I just had an email from Brie.
Zack just needed one shot today but passed out again and they are now giving him more blood.
I can't imagine how many times this kid has been pricked, stabbed in fingers and port and he is still smiling.
Nurses said they want to take him around the other teen agers because he is so nice and perhaps he can tell them how to react like he does.
Sabrina said he is the favorite of all the nurses. He does not complain and is polite to them.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Zack second month

I now do not count the days till a holiday or a vacation.
I count the months which Zack endured in his program.
Each month he has 3 weeks to go to and fro Asheville and the
cancer center. The third week is a week in hospital.
That is the worst for him. Then if all the numbers are good he has a week off to try and recoup.
So we are minus 2 months.
I read Sabrina's blog first thing in the morning.
It sets the tone for my day and by afternoon I may be more settled
and not in an inner rage and concerns.
I can't participate, I do not drive, I do not hear.
But just to hold him and hug him would be so rewarding.
It is what it is.
I love this kid with every fiber in my being ,like he is my own.
I do not know how Sabrina holds it all together.
My heart is with her, every word she writes I feel with her.
It is Children's month with cancer and how many times have you heard about it???

With all respect for breast cancer which is every where what research is going on ,how much of it, how much money do they have for the children. Do little girls have to grow breast before they get attention? I am not sure anymore.

Biltmore castle is doing a marathon next spring for the Alzheimer Association.
Great. I am all for that too. The owners have been touched by this illness and that is always a good wake up call.

When it hits home then you are more aware, I would not have paid much attention to the National Child week for Cancer a year ago, I must confess, now it is another story.

Saturday, September 15, 2012


Meh is my son's favorite word.
What does it mean?I did not find it in my Official Scrabble Dictionary....
Say what? There is Websters...
No no no I am scrabbling with at least 6 people and at least 2 hours a day, I deny enjoying it , I tell myself that I am doing this so I would not have dementia...yeh right!

So back to Meh!!!! It has been a "Meh" week.
Daughter number one tells me I am in a depression....can't be I am taking 2 pills of Lexapro a day ....I can't be depressed.

I did notice that this week I did not win many games in my scrabble and for me that is not important just annoying and a sign that I have not been with "IT"
Now "IT" is allowed and did you know "SH" is allowed??

I am going back to the Meh week and "Sh" already.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Cool morning-cool mood?

First morning that I needed a light jacket to walk the beasts.
Loved it.

Do not love the mood changes I am having.
Way, way, past menopause what is my excuse now?

Of course there is always the concern over Zack.
He was to go bow hunting this morning as season opened. Something came in between so...he broke his bow. He wanted to go watch the game: NO.
He wanted to do this...No and that NO.

Drs. warned that his count is very low hence he needed the blood transfusion.
I think only Brie and I know of consequences with this.
You can't mess with it and a 16 year old no matter how smart does not get it.
Does not get the danger of chemo treatments.
A new nodules under the arm had me in a frenzy, dr. said it was nothing but they will do a MRI tomorrow.
Every day there is a reaction or action needed for something else.
The body is being pumped with liquid here and liquid there.....most aggressive and killing something.

So that plays into my head pretty much a lot of the day.

I hardly notice that my yard is going to hell and I say that I do not care but when I go outside then I cringe.
So....I took 30 minutes this morning to start clipping away at the overgrown bushes...then came in rubbed my legs with aloe to soothe the mosquitoe bites and took an Advil for good measure. At least I saw a little bit of the white wall which now looks like the rainforest , all green.
I am going to try and see if a gardener is affordable.
Bob like his father has big allergies to whatever is out there.
I try to avoid that plus he is busy all day with Algebra intermittent with choice words and tempers. He wants this so badly. He did get a 92 last week.
17 more weeks to go.

Sun is out and it is warming up and just lovely.
I have to get stuff together for the October tourist crowd.
It used to be the fall colors peaked about Oct 20th but now it changes year after year. Depending on water and cold.

Now I go back to try and be..........content.........