PARASAILING WAS FUN!!!

I WONDER WHAT'S NEXT? ZIP LINING MAYBE???



Thursday, December 31, 2009

Good Riddance, 2009!!! and I Resolve.....




With only a few hours left to the year 2009, I've been thinking what kind of a year has it been?   I had some good times, I had some bad times.  For the most part, I'm happy to see 2009 exit and I'm hoping that 2010 will be a much better year ahead for me and my loved ones! And for you too!



I did a Pro and Con sort of thing with the events of the past year.  A lot of the events have both Pro AND Cons to them!  Sounds odd but you'll see what I mean soon enough.


This past year brought a lot of stress and worry with John's cancer coming back not once but twice!  His oncologist (a brilliant woman at University of Pennsylvania Hospital) told him this Lymphoma was the kind that likes to keep coming back again and again, and boy was she right!   They did an autologous stem cell transplant (they used John's own stem cells) this past summer, and so far (knock wood!) it seems to be working!!  John is as strong as he was when I met him over 3 years ago!


But this year also brought a lot of joy to go along with the cancer, strange as that may seem.  John's illness brought us closer and closer together.  We made a pact to fight as a team and not think about the possibility of John dying.  We did, however, make sure his wishes were in writing to protect him.  You know, I never once thought he might die as a result of his treatment.  I sure am glad he proved me right!



This year, my youngest graduated from high school and went away to college.  On the plus side, MY YOUNGEST GRADUATED FROM HIGH SCHOOL AND WENT AWAY TO COLLEGE!!!  WOO HOO!!!   Empty nest!!!  I have my life back!


Like so many others, this year has been a bit of a strain financially.  Thank goodness I still have a job (and more importantly, so does my ex, since he has to pay me spousal support for 5 more years!)   I did miss work here and there with John's illness but my boss has been fantastic and worked with me when I needed the time off!


I got to meet (virtually at least)  a LOT of truly terrific people here on Blogger!  What a fantastic community of caring people!  We've shared births, deaths, loss of jobs, getting new, better jobs, new hairdos, weight loss, illness, recovery... so many things!


We've laughed with (and sometimes AT) each other, cried at losses, got pissed for the each other when someone did you wrong, rejoiced at marriages, mourned the loss of marriages.  


We've journeyed all around the country with travelers, lived vicariously through those of you who live in exotic places, dreamed of seeing some of the places you've all described.   You know, I've always wanted to see so many places in the world, and this past year, it made me realize there are so many wonderful places to visit right here in our own country (Oh Lord!  Now I sound like Dorothy Gale!).  I'd love to visit Ireland and Greece but I also REALLY want to see Alaska and the Grand Canyon and Florida and Arizona and Hawaii and the Great lakes and Canada (I know it's not part of our country, silly, but it's right there!  Just north of me and it's connected to us even!)


I don't usually make New Year's Resolutions.  The last time I successfully made a resolution was 1991, when I resolved to quit smoking.  I'm proud to say I haven't picked up a cigarette in 18 years!  I KNOW if I do, I'll be buying a pack before the day is out, so I don't dare!  And even after 18 years, there are times when I crave a cigarette!  I am sorry to say, however, that I have become one of THOSE ex-smokers, who really dislikes being around cigarettes. (I swore I never be like that).  I am not unhappy that smoking inside restaurants has been outlawed in Pennsylvania.  Hey!  That's just me!  :)


But this year, I thought I'd try to make a few resolutions that I might actually be able to keep.


I resolve to try to take better care of my finances and maybe I won't get hit with overage charges to my checking account.  All the money I spent last year on overages,  I could have taken my vacation last summer (who am I kidding?  John was getting chemo the week I was supposed to be in Ocean City, MD).


I resolve to try to get my blood glucose levels under better control.    I will lower my carbs, stop buying candy and other junk food.  Hey!  Maybe I might actually knock off a few pounds in the process!


I will try to read as many books as I can in the next year (I read 20 books this year!!).  With my Kindle, all the print books I've bought and haven't read yet and all the audio books I download from the library, this should be an easy resolution to keep!


So, good bye 2009!  Don't let the door hit you on the ass on your way out!  And hello 2010!  I hope you are a kinder, gentler year!



I hope everyone has a very happy and healthy 2010.  I'd like to wash away 2009 and start fresh!!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts



I fell behind on my blog reading...  again.  Looks like I"ll be spending a lot of tonight and tomorrow (my day off) catching up.


As I was going to bed last night, I saw an electrical cord going from the outlet to the outside of my house.  I opened the door and see Dani and her friend, sitting on the front steps, wrapped in the electric blanket I bought her for Christmas.  They said it was cold out there.  sigh.


Christmas was nice.  It's not as fun as it used to be, when the kids were little.  No magic.  I guess it'll get more fun when grandkids arrive.  It'll be a while before that though, and that's OK.


I have absolutely no idea what I'm (we're?) doing for New Year's Eve.  I have to work NYE and NYD and I think John does too. 


My son's bank won't let me deposit a check that's in my name into his account.  It's not like I'm trying to cash it!  I just don't get it.  I have to go to my bank, deposit the damn thing, then write him a check and deposit THAT one in his account.   More work for me.


There's nothing like an episode of Hoarders (seen on A & E channel) to make you get off your ass and start cleaning your house.  Those dishes in the sink because the dishwasher is full of clean dishes?  Done!  (the dishwasher is empty now too)



I've also discovered that you really can't eat a snack while watching Hoarders.  The houses are so incredibly disgusting that you can't possibly eat.


New diet regimen?  Watch an episode before each meal and whenever you have the urge to snack.  It should work like a charm!.


Pop on over to Keely's if you want to participate, add your link to Mr. Linky!  You can also read  lots of other random folks!


Friday, December 25, 2009

A Christmas Memory, 1966 (yes, it's rerun from last year)



OK boys and girls!  Let's go into the Way Back Machine with Sherman and Mr. Peabody and travel back to Christmas Eve, 1966 and the great blizzard (at least it was to my 11 year old eyes!)

The Christmas Blizzard... all my fault

It's was Christmas Eve 1966. My sister Jeanne and I had gone to the local 5 and 10 cent store to shop for Christmas gifts with the few dollars we had. We had enough left over to get a soda at the hoagie shop next door. We bought Fresca. At the time, the only flavor they had was grapefruit. Anyone who remembers the Fresca commercial is surely dating themsleves! Who remembers the Fresca commercial, where the woman drinks a Fresca and a blizzard ensues? Well, that's what Jeanne and I did! It had been snowing lightly when we were shopping. So, off we go to the Hoagie Shop and buy our Frescas. Not long after, it was snowing in earnest! We honestly thought drinking the Fresca caused the blizzard!

My father had a part-time job at the Philadelphia Inquirer on Saturdays, working the 3 to 11 shift. Christmas was on a Sunday that year, so Dad had to work on Christmas Eve. My sister, Peggy was a senior in high school and worked at St. Francis Country House, a nursing home.

Up to this year, we had a tradition in our house to set up the Christmas tree but have Santa do the decorating. That way, Christmas morning would seem the most magical! Peggy was finished at work at 7PM, Dad at 11PM. Snow was piling up everywhere. Dad was 20 miles away at his job, Peggy was about 6 or 7 miles away at hers.
 

Peggy had a ride home but got stuck partway home and they headed back to the nursing home. Dad had to drive to Clifton Heights from Philly. He made it as far as 69th street, found a pay phone and called home to check in and let my mom know where he was. Mom told him that Peggy was stuck somewhere between the nursing home and our house. Dad headed off towards Darby to look for her. Somehow he found out that Peggy was safely back at the nursing home and would stay the night. So he headed for home again and at some point got stuck, had to leave his car and walked 5 miles, in the blizzard, to get there!

In the meantime, Mom had a candle burning in the window and praying for everyone to get home safely. Oh! And the tree wasn't decorated yet! And the gifts are still hidden from the kiddies! She was waiting for Dad to get home to help her!!!! I'm a little fuzzy about whether my Mom finally decorated the tree and got the gifts out or if she really did wait for Dad to get home to help her. I'd like to think she took the initiative and did it but, knowing Mom, she just might have waited for Dad!
All I remember Mom telling me years later that they finally got to bed at 6 am and we were all up at 7 to open gifts!!

I remember we had to walk to church up the middle of a busy street because it had been plowed. Of course, there were no cars on the road because they were all snowed in. We had to go to 9 AM Children's Mass (mandatory for students at Holy Cross School... the nuns actually took roll at Mass and if you weren't there, you needed a written excuse note and it had better be a good excuse! We even had assigned seating! Wow! The things that are coming back as I type!)

Anyway, after that year, we helped Santa by decorating the tree for him. And I don't think Jeanne or I EVER drank Fresca again!


Back to the present!  I'd like to wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas! I'd also like to thank you all for good wishes and prayers as John battled Lymphoma.   Your support and prayers helped us more than you could ever know!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Real or a doll... you decide




 

Doesn't she look JUST like a blow-up doll?
www.peopleofwalmart.com




Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ode To Forgetfulness

My sister sent this to me.  I just had to share.



Saturday, December 19, 2009

Six Word Saturday (and a chance to win walmart gift cards from Vodkmom!)



brought to you by  Show My Face

 


It's beginning to look like Christmas!


psst!  Go see Vodkamom!  she giving away a few Wal-mart gift cards!


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Guess I was a good girl this year



 I got my Christmas present early from John this year.  He ordered it on Amazon and it arrived on Tuesday.  He was too excited to wait until Christmas, so we had Christmas on Tuesday.  I've been talking about this for months.  Comparing it at 3 different companies.  I decided I was going to wait until after Christmas, then start putting money aside for it.  After all, it's nearly $300 and I don't have $300 laying around.  But John, that wonderful, fabulous man bought it for me!!!  I suppose all those daily trips to Philly after working all day and all the nights I spent in the hospital by his side have paid off!


John bought me a Kindle!!!  YAY!!!  I'm a happy happy girl!  A Kindle is an electronic book.  A computer book, if you will.  It has wifi to go to the Kindle store and buy books, magazines and newspapers and blogs.  Many of the books are free (so far what I've found are the classics... Treasure Island, Tom Sawyer, etc).  



 You know how when you want to buy a book that's just come out and sometimes you can't because they've sold out and you have to get on a list to get it?   With the Kindle, I can download the book and have it in about a minute!   A new book, or a NY Times bestseller sells for $9.99 (in the store, they'd be $25 to $30).  Many books sell for less.  There are thousands that are free!  Someone gave me a website that lists all the books you can get for free. 


I'm not a magazine person or a newspaper gal either, so chances are, I won't be getting any of those.


You can download audio books from audibles.com.  I think you can also download books from your library by downloading to your computer and transferring them to the Kindle.  Right now, I have 5 books on my Blackberry.  One of them is nearly finished, so I'm going to test it on that one.  If it works, I'll transfer the other 4.


The Kindle will also convert some books from text to voice and you can chose male or female voices.  The one I'm reading now (U IS For Undertow by Sue Grafton) does not allow the conversion.  If it works nicely, I can listen to books on my drive back and forth to John's house ( approx an hour each way) 


There are 2 other electronic readers out there.  Barnes and Noble has The Nook and Borders has The Sony Digital Reader.  All are very similar, but the Kindle held more books.  I did just learn that you can get the Sony reader at Staples and Best Buy and Amazon, as well as other places.

So, I have 1 book on my kindle right now and I have Going Rogue on pre-order (shut up everyone about that!  I like her and that's my rightDon't make me start putting Obama jokes on my blog every day!)  I also ordered a very pretty plum cover for my Kindle and ear phones, so I can listen and not disturb other folks.

I did spoil John a bit too.  This isn't a one way street ya know!   He received an electric blanket (to keep his hands and feet warm... neuropathy from diabetes and chemo make them feel cold all the time), the 2nd season of Star Trek Next Generation, Isotoner Thinsulate leather gloves, the 3rd season of Have Gun, Will Travel (shhh... he doesn' t know about that one!) and 2 Politically Incorrect Guide books.  Yeah, I know, I spoil him... but I think he's worth it!



Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Woman's Poem


A Woman's Poem


He didn't like the casserole
And he didn't like my cake,
He said my biscuits were too hard
Not like his mother used to make.

I didn't perk the coffee right
He didn't like the stew,
I didn't mend his socks
The way his mother used to do.


I pondered for an answer
I was looking for a clue.
Then I turned and
smacked the SHIT out of him...
Like his mother used to do.



Monday, December 14, 2009

The Christmas Meme I Stole from Alix at Casa Hice




As promised, here is the Christmas Meme I stole from Alix at Casa Hice.  Also as promised, I'm giving her credit.  Check out her meme.  She has really cool answers (stop gagging, Garret).   Just click on the link!




1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? 
Definitely hot chocolate.  I'm not an eggnog fan.   To make the hot chocolate even MORE yummy, though, try adding some vodka and Chambord!

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?  

Santa wraps the gifts!  When my kids were little and Gina had started school, I realized she could probably recognize my handwriting (she was real smart like that).   Every year, her school had a fundraiser, selling candy and gift wrap.  So I had the kids pick out their wrapping paper.  Then I told them I mailed the wrap to Santa.  So on Christmas morning, each kid had his or her gifts wrapped in their very own paper and I didn't have to put any tags on their gifts.  Feel free to steal this idea! :)  Also, Santa left the leftover wrap for me to use on other folks gifts the following year!

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
White lights on the tree, no lights on the house (I've gotten terribly lazy the last 5 or 6 years)
 

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
I don't have mistletoe right now but I want to get some.  I recently learned John has never been kissed under the mistletoe and I really need to rectify that!

5. When do you put your decorations up? 
before Christmas Eve.  For the past 2 weekends, I meant to get the decorations out of the garage but I keep procrastinating. 

6. What is your favorite holiday dish?
um... all of it!  love turkey but also honey baked ham!

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? 
The one thing that really sticks out in my mind was Christmas 1966, we had a blizzard on Christmas Eve and it was a Saturday (my dad worked at the Philadelphia Inquirer on Saturdays from 3pm to 11pm.)  My sister, Jeanne and I went shopping at the local Five and Ten Cent Store for Gifts with our $5 each! (LOL)  We had enough left over to buy sodas at the hoagie shop (zeps, subs for those of you NOT in the Philly area)  across the street.  We each bought Fresca.  Do you remember the Fresca commercial where the girl drinks the soda and a blizzard starts?  Well, we thought the blizzard was our fault!   My sister Peggy got stuck at the nursing home where she worked and my Dad's car got stuck about 6 miles from home and he had to walk home.  He didn't get home until 5am and we all got up at 6am!  It was also the last year Santa decorated our tree.  I hope my mom didn't wait for dad to decorate the tree and get the gifts out!  I wouldn't be surprised if she did, though!


8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
The year Jeanne and I got sleds.  my brother, Michael told me there was no Santa  and I didn't believe him (I think I was TEN!!)  he said if I didn't believe him, just look in the closet under the stairs in the hall and I'd find 2 sleds with my name and Jeanne's name on them.  Sure enough, there they were!  Michael was so mean!  I hated him!

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
When the kids were little, we'd let them open one gift on Christmas Eve.   We haven't done that in some time.


10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
White, non-blinking lights, dark matte red, bright shiny red and gold christmas balls.  Gold ball garland around the tree.  Angel on top.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?
Depends.  If I'm off from work,  Let it snow!  Let it snow!  Let it snow!!  If I have to work, yuck!  I hate hate hate driving in snow!

12. Can you ice skate? 
I used to.  Now I'm afraid I'll break something if I fall.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?

My Flexible Flyer sled when I was 10.  My silver fox jacket when I was about 30.  My Kindle this year!


14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you?

Seeing my kids and being happy when they like their gifts!


15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?

Cherry pie!
 

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
I didn't even know this was a tradition, but on Christmas morning, I we have coffee, orange juice and Pillsbury Grands Cinnamon rolls.  I thought I was just trying to get out of making a big breakfast on Christmas morning!  A couple of years ago, one of the kids asked if we were going have that for breakfast.

17. What tops your tree?

an angel if I can find her

18. Which do you prefer giving or Receiving?
both!

19. Candy Canes: Yuck or Yum? 
yum!

20 Favorite Christmas Show?
My favorite Christmas movie is The Santa Clause, but I do like the traditional It's a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Carol.

21. Saddest Christmas Song?

The Christmas Shoes   by Newsong. (you'll need tissues)

22. What is your favorite Christmas Song?
O Holy Night by almost anyone but especially Josh Groban and a close second is Emmanuel by Amy Grant.

What are some of your favorite holiday traditions?




Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dear So and So,



Dear Christmas,
Can you please put yourself on hold for about 6 more days?  I'm not anywhere near ready for Christmas. 


Love,
The Procrastinator


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Dear Fridays Guests,
Thank so much for showing up finally!!!  I'm liking the extra tips this week too.  Keep up the good work and so will I.


Love,
Joanie the W/W 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Dear Mother Nature,
Enough with the rain already!  

Had it with the water,
Soggy Joanie

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
Dear John,
It's OK that you weren't able to keep my Christmas gift a secret, but I'm soooo excited to be getting the Kindle!  I can hardly wait to play with it and download books!

Love you, love you, love you
Joanie

p.s.  that's gonna be a tough act to follow!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
Dear Dr. Nasta,
You amazing woman you!  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving John his new lease on life!  So far, the transplant is working and there's no sign of recurring cancer.  Let's hope and pray his PET scans and CT scans continue to show a healthy body.  If  I could still have kids, I'd name my next girl after you.  What a wonderful early Christmas gift you gave us last week!

Love,
John's "wife"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
Dear Readers,
If you like Dear So and So and want to do one of your own, go on over to Kat's Place, grab the cute button and write one of your own!  Be sure to add your name to Mr. Linky so Kat can link it back to you and other folks can read your letters.  Maybe even pick up a few more followers!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Stolen Christmas Meme

OK, I have so stolen this meme from Mary at Unmitigated.  She has a really great blog!  You should stop over there and check her out, after you've read my stuff, of course!



1.) Have you started your Christmas shopping?
I have started and one kid is nearly finished.  I still have the 2 older kids, Gina's boyfriend and John and I"ll be finito!


2.) Tell me about one of your special traditions.
On Christmas morning, we have Grands Cinnamon rolls, coffee and orange juice.  I didn't even know it was a tradition until one of my kids asked if we were still having that for Christmas breakfast.  I thought I was just finding an easy lazy way to get out of cooking breakfast on Christmas morning!


3.) When do you put up your Tree? 
I swear each year the tree goes up later and later.  I kind of lost my Christmas spirit when my ex left and it's been real hard to get it back.  If Christmas never arrived I'd probably be fine with that.  But I'm trying.


4.) Are you a Black Friday shopper? 
NO WAY!!!!  Actually, I work in a restaurant in a mall, so I'm there on Black Friday, but I'm waiting on all the lunatics who ARE shopping!


5.) Do you travel at Christmas or stay home?
When I was married, we'd go to one of the ex's siblings homes for Christmas.  It was just a day trip since almost everyone lived within an hour from each other.  Now the kids still go, but I'm not invited any more. :)   The past few years, John and I went to his brother's home in Philly, but this year we plan to go out for dinner.


6.) What is your funniest Christmas memory?
I can't really think of anything really funny.  Although me waddling around at 9 months pregnant trying not to go into labor before Christmas was over was amusing.  I made it!  Dani was born Dec 26.


7.) What is your favorite Christmas Movie of All time?
Call me silly, but I just love The Santa Clause!  Of course, all the traditional movies are great too! 


8.)Do you do your own Christmas Baking, what’s your favorite treat?
Baking?  uh, no.  Feel free to donate cookies to the cause though!  Oatmeal raisin please!


9.) Fake or Real Tree?
Fake.  For years and years we had a real tree.  Then around 2001, we bought a fake one at KMart on sale.  It looks real!  Gina was away at school and we put the tree up and didn't tell her it was a fake.  After 3 days, we finally had to tell her!  My son, Tim kept saying stuff like "Boy, you can't even smell the tree this year." 


10.) What day (as a Mom) does the actual panic set in to get it all done? 
right around now.  Too much to do, too little cash available.  I always manage to pull it off though.


11.) Are you still wrapping presents on Christmas Eve? 
You know, I used to be the kind of person who not only was ready for Christmas by the 1st week in December, I would wrap everything as soon as I bought it.  Now, on Christmas Eve, I'm in my bedroom, wrapping gifts.  It's official. I have become my mother.


12.) What is your favorite family fun time at Christmas?
When the kids were little, it was watching all the Christmas shows on TV.

13.) What Christmas craft do you like the best?
The ones that people give me!  I don't do crafts.  My daughter is knitting everyone gifts this year.  I hope everyone appreciates the hard work she's putting into all of it. 


14.) Christmas music. Yes or No, and if yes What is your favorite song?
I like Christmas music!  I have B-101 on my radio right now.  From Thanksgiving until Christmas, all they play is Christmas music.  My absolute very favorite Christmas hymn is O Holy Night. (Joanne, this is the choir from your hometown of Coquitlam).  I get choked up every time I hear it.  Another big favorite is Emmanuel by Amy Grant.  I always wanted to hear Gina sing that one in church.


15.) When do you plan to finish all your shopping? 
Before December 24th.  Hopefully within the week.



Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts: Snow and Losers (and I've added more stuff)



So I put up the Random Tuesday Thoughts button and went completely blank!   This could take all day.


So we had our first snowfall of the year this past weekend.  We didn't get much (about an inch), just enough to wreak havoc on the side roads.  

I hate snow, unless I'm all snug in my house.


The South is looking better (read warmer) all the time!  


A year ago this past weekend, Dani and I were in Indiana, PA (not to be confused with the state of Indiana) and Pittsburgh, PA for her college auditions (she's a theater major).  We had to drive from Pittsburgh to Pottstown in a snowstorm, the first snow of the year.  That 5 hour drive turned into an 8 hour drive and I needed major alcohol when I finally got home!


I might get my Christmas shopping done before Christmas.  I have started at least!  


I just saw a preview of The Biggest Loser finale and I KNOW I'm going to cry like a baby through most of the show.


I hope Danny wins The Biggest Loser ($250,000) and I hope Abby wins for the contestants who were sent home ($100,000).

I now have chapped lips because my nose is stuffed and I'm breathing out of my mouth.  I hate chapped lips. 

I am so far behind on reading all the blogs I follow!  I need a week's vacation just to catch up! 


I keep finding more stuff to add to my RTT!  I'm sad.  I just found out that As The World Turns is being canceled and their last show will air in September.  I've really haven't watched the show too often, but I have watched it more in the past couple of years because my daughter's college roommate is a character on that show.  Marnie Schulenburg plays Alison Stewart on ATWT.  I hope she can find work soon, maybe on a prime time TV show!   Break a leg, Marnie!



OK, this lame RTT is OVER!


Oops!  I nearly forgot to give props to Keely at The Unmom for doing RTT! 
Check out her site and if you do RTT, link yourself so others can read your stuff!  And check out more RTTs!





Monday, December 7, 2009

Can of Whoop Ass

Do you want to see what a can of Whoop Ass looks like?




I love me some paratroopers!!


Saturday, December 5, 2009



DAMN IT!  I HAVE A COLD!

achoo! 



Friday, December 4, 2009

WARNING! WARNING!! THIS IS A MAJOR RANT!!!

My ex-husband has our kids for Thanksgiving AND Christmas dinner every year. No one even asks me what I'm doing for those holidays. They just ASSUME I'm going to my sister's house. The kids are usually at home until it's time to drive to that toxic waste dump that is the state of New Jersey, so I do get to see them for a little bit.


The first year we were separated, I had nowhere to go on Christmas Day. My friend, Ruth Ann TOLD me, not invited me... TOLD ME I was coming to her house because I was not to be alone on that day. (my kids could have found me dead drunk that night if I had stayed home) I thank God for Ruth Ann. I had a nice time.


The past few years I went to John's brother's for dinner, but this year, we're going out for dinner. His sister is in charge of the plans.


For the record, I'll be seeing my oldest on the day after Christmas because she has to juggle her time among me, the bastard and her boyfriend's family. And I'm fine with that.


We have a "tradition" at our house on Christmas Day. We have Pillsbury Grands cinnamon buns and orange juice and coffee while we open our gifts. I didn't even know it was a tradition until one of my girls asked me if I was going to get them for breakfast a few years ago.


I just got a text message from my ex, asking me what my plans were for the kids on Christmas. His brother is hosting dinner, and he'd like the kids to go to his house for brunch first. That lying cheating bastard is taking the last part of the holiday from me. I could say no but my 2 younger kids (21 and 19) will go anyway. Apparently everyone has forgotten that he cheated on me with that slut he married and everyone is supposed to be friends with her now. I even think my youngest has a relationship with her just to stick it to me because she doesn't like John and that's my punishment for being with him.


Wow. I am really worked up about this.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

My day in court and an update about John





So today was the day I had to go to court for that bitch who stole my credit card numbers and wiped out (temporarily) my checking account.  I had to take the day off from work.  I had to be there at 9 am.  I got there around 8:45 (I beat the detective there).  I had been told a few days before that usually the defendants who are already in jail go last, so it might be along day.  It was ok, I had 2 books with me to read.  Around 9:30, the detective tells me they brought the wrong person to court!!!  How stupid is that????  Did the wrong person think, "Oh cool!  I get to go for a ride and get some fresh air!"  Did the bitch think, "Oh cool!  They forgot about me!  Maybe I won't have to go to court after all!"  The wrong one was all the way to court before they realized they had the wrong person there.   So they cart her ass back to jail and pick up the right person.  So I sat around for another hour, eavesdropping on other defendants who are talking to their attorneys  (amazing how many DUI cases there are!)    Finally, a little after 10:30, the detective comes out and tells me she's there and she had no attorney and wants to waive her rights (she's wanted in 3 counties in PA for passing bad checks and the credit card fraud with me).  They move to link all 3 cases together and now they will ship her ass off to Michigan and let them deal with her.  (She's also wanted in Michigan on various charges).  So I never had to testify and I lost another days pay for nothing.  The good news is she's in jail and we don't have to pay her room and board any more.  she will now become the guest of the state of Michigan and they can pay for the roof over her head and 3 squares a day for who knows how long.  Just so long as she doesn't come back to PA.


I'm still waiting to hear from John about his doctor visit.  He was scheduled for 11:30.  He was getting blood work done at 10:30 when I sent him a message when I got out of court.  It's now 12:20 and I haven't heard anything.  And I'm getting scared.  As soon as I hear something, I'll pass on the info.  


OK, I finally heard from John and HIS SCAN IS CLEAN!!!!
Thank God!!  This is the first time he's gone through the chemo and had a clean scan a few months later.  Maybe, just maybe, the stem cell transplant and all the chemo worked and the cancer is gone for good!  I guess we'll only know when his scans come up clean every 3 months. 


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tip For Book Lovers


If you can't find the book you want

You're probably in the







Monday, November 30, 2009

Spin Cycle: Holiday Newsletter I know... ho hum








Jen over at Sprite's Keeper has this really cool gig every Friday called Spin Cycle.  She gives us a topic and we tell a favorite story on the subject.  This week is the Holiday Newsletter.  I think I've had a rather busy year, so here goes!


I started off the year with a cold that turned into bronchitis.  When I get a cold, it hangs on for weeks and weeks.  I think I coughed until June.


My kid went to Oregon to visit her friend between Christmas and the New Year.  When I picked her up from the airport, I didn't recognize her.  While she was in Oregon, she cut her hair, dyed it red and got her lip pierced.  She was standing right beside me and I had no idea it was her!  Sheesh!


We found out that John's cancer (Lymphoma) came back and he had surgery to remove his spleen.  He came through the surgery really well.


February was fairly uneventful.


March brought Round 2 of my cold/bronchitis.  And my dryer broke (it's still broken... I'm hoping to be able to get a new one after Christmas).

April and it's Round 3 of bronchitis. THIS was the one that lasted until June!  My doctor and I are practically on a first name basis at this point.


April also brought the death of the great Harry Kalas, the voice of the Philadelphia Phillies for 38 years.  He is sorely missed.

In April, Dani was in her last high school play.  Her school was performing Into The Woods and she played Little Red Riding Hood.  It was a great show and of course, she was fabulous! 


April also brought a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes.  Great.



May arrived and we got some bad news... John's cancer came back, this time in his groin.  This was the 2nd relapse.  His doctor's decide it might be a good idea to do something radical.  We decided to do a high dose of chemo (R-ICE) to kill off the cancer and destroy his immune system and a stem cell transplant to basically give him a whole new immune system (Lymphoma is cancer of the immune system... it's a blood cancer)  Fortunately his bone marrow is still good and they were able to use John's own stem cells.  Testing got started but it'll be months before they actually do the transplant.


June and it's Dani's graduation from high school and the beginning of me getting my life back!!  Woo hoo!!!!
I realized that in 2 short months, I'll be able to come and go as I please for the first time in 25 years and that I'll have an empty nest.  Life is good.


John also got his first round of chemo in June.  It was a 3 day hospital stay and he handled the chemo really well!  The worst side effect seemed to be a loss of appetite (as well and a loss of hair after 3 weeks  LOL), but he did have fatigue that lasted for a few days.


July and it was Part 2 of John's chemo treatments.  It actually took 2 days to get John admitted to the hospital.  they were that busy!  He was in the hospital for 4 days and the chemo went very much like the month before.

After the 2nd round of chemo, John had a pherysis catheter implanted in his chest and on the same day, they harvested his stem cells for transplant.  They told him he needed to come in every morning for 3 to 5 days for the  harvest.  That night, he got a call from the hospital.  They needed 4 million stem cells for his transplant and he gave them 18 million on his first day!!  YAHOO!!!  John is Superman!



August.  Dani left for college (4+ hours each way) and I made the trip in 1 day.  We left at 7:30am for Indiana, PA, in the pouring rain, made decent time.  We unload all her stuff, get her room set up, sort of.  I couldn't afford to get a hotel room, so I had to drive back to Pottstown the same day.  I got home at 10:30 pm and I was completely exhausted!!!  I think it took several days to get over that trip!


BUT  I'm free!!  I'm free!!!  I have my life back!


August also brought the last round of chemo for John, this one a very very high dose that's considered dangerous.  As always, he handled it like a trooper.  He got 5 days of chemo, almost around the clock.  Then, after a day of rest, John got his stem cell transplant and his new life began!!  August 28 is John's new birthday!  They told him he would be in the hospital for about 4 weeks, then home for who knows how many weeks to recuperate.

September arrived.  As part of the transplant, John needed to have a couple of transfusions.  This is normal.  They  kept a close watch on John's blood count numbers. After transplant, his white cell, red cell and ANC numbers were ZERO!   He got daily shots of something called Neupogen to build up his red blood cells.  They watched his ANC (absolute neutrophil count) closely.  On day 8 after transplant, his ANC was 5.  Day 9 it was 50.  On day 10 it was 3050!!!  Simply amazing!  Did I mention he's Superman? 


Two days later, they sent John home, a mere 12 days after transplant!!  The record is 11 days and John is the star patient right now!  He recuperated at my house for 2 weeks and returned to work on September 21, which also happened to be my 54th birthday! 


John had a small setback when he developed a fever out of nowhere and landed his ass back in the hospital for 4 days or so.  This sometimes happens with cancer patients.  We took him to Abington Hospital (it was closer to his apartment) but if it happens again, he's going to Penn where his doctors are.


I was thinking October was a boring uneventful month.  Then I remembered the phone call I got from VISA and it was discovered that someone had stolen my credit card info and wiped out my checking account.  I thought it was some internet scam, with a guy in Indonesia on a computer watching my account.  I just so happened to deposit a sizable check from my ex-husband the day before the theft.  This was nothing so intriguing.  It turned out that the shop across the hall from where I work hired a gal who's whole career was scamming people.  I bought a Vera Bradley wristlet for my work wallet and she stole my numbers and shopped until they told her there was no more money left.  She got caught because she's not really that clever.  She's in jail and I got all my money back (the arrest actually happened in November)

October was also John's 57th birthday on the 23rd!  Happy Birthday!



And that brings us to November (are you asleep yet?)  So you know about the arrest and all.  I have to go to court this Thursday to testify. 


November also brought a road trip for my daughter, Gina and I as we traveled to Indiana, PA to see Dani in her first college play!  Dani did great, playing a dead girl, in a morgue who had committed suicide and the morgue guy happens to be a necrophiliac!  So so so proud of my little girl!!!


Thanksgiving and my kid was home for a week and my house was trashed again.  But she went back to school on Sunday and I'll have a clean house again!!


So that's my year in review.  Good Lord, I can sure go on and on and on!