11:30am – It’s been a good day so far

Last night we had major thunder/lightning storms and the power went out but it was sorta late so we went to bed a tad earlier than usual. This morning it was bright and clear and cool, teeny bit humid but not so bad as all that.

Today was grocery shopping day, when we called for an Uber to go home we got a Jeep Cherokee – a nice big car, easy for my disabled, walks with a cane, super tall husband to get in and out of. Plus, the gentleman driving loaded my groceries into the back of the car. Nice man. He was pleasant, chatted a bit about how Virginia was going to the dogs – what with the state  decriminalizing marijuana, ending the death penalty and other assorted things. OK, so maybe he was a bit more conservative than we are but he wasn’t a raving ranting nut job. When we got home, he waited while my husband went into the building to get a cart (our building has shopping carts and luggage carts available at the back door for folks to transport big bulky stuff) and then he loaded our groceries into the cart – again, Nice man. He got the big tip!

As we got to the service elevator, a man was just getting out, unloading luggage and some small storage bins – he said “You’re lucky, I’m just getting off. Another day in paradise, even if it is muggy” I said “I wouldn’t say it was a day in paradise but it is a lovely day.” He said “When I’m not getting shot at, and I’m not wearing body armour and I’m finally getting to see my wife after all these  months – well, it IS a day in paradise” I said “You’re active military?” He replied “Yes, m’am”  I said “Yes, then it is a day in paradise for you. I’m so glad you are home safe. Thank you for your service”

We loaded ourselves into the elevator, got into our apartment, unloaded the grocery bags and as my husband was backing out the door with the shopping cart and his cane this very same gentleman was coming down the hall – he said “Wait, I’ll take that down for you. I’m just getting another load of stuff. Just leave it here in the hall, I’ll take it” We thanked the man profusely.

So it’s not even Noon and we have had the pleasure of interacting with the nicest people all morning. It IS a GOOD day all around.

Best part? I got to use the two most important words in the whole world – THANK YOU – numerous times today – and mean it with all my heart.

Thank you World – you’ve been good to me today and I appreciate it.

thank you

Annnd – back to mellow

Yesterday I was going to post about being mellow and then it turned into a rant about the medical establishment and FB.  Today, minus the song I’m back to mellow.

Now, mellow is just never a word anyone who has ever interacted with me, even in the most casual of instances, would use. Yet my husband used it last week, as in “You’re more mellow than you used to be” (as if I ever was…). The reason for the comment? His middle child called to thank him for the monetary gift we sent. I said “That’s nice”, and nothing more. He said “My son never called or texted that he received his gift” I replied – *silence*. Husband said “You used to get all pissed off when people didn’t acknowledge gifts were received or even say thank you, now you never mention it” “Yup” I replied “Not gonna get my shorts in a knot about it anymore. Waste of my time and emotions. I do what I do because I want to or have to, I can’t control what other people do, the hell with it”

I read something this morning which irked me and I almost – almost – replied and then thought – “the attitude these people are deriding in others is exactly their attitude in their derision”  I’m sure they don’t see that and who am I to call them to task. Fuck it.

See? Me being mellow.

I’m embracing, in my old age, the old saw that you can’t control other people’s thoughts and reactions. I live my life according to my own standards, and you to yours. If mine are higher? Well, that’s my choice.

And then this just popped into my head…

“But don’t expect me to buy you a stairway to heaven”

What the hell does that mean LOL  Plus now try getting that song out of your head!

You’re welcome.

I’m a wuss and other stuff

I can’t stand seeing/reading about nice people getting it in the neck (so to speak).  I was in my 20’s when I first read Oliver Twist, and I was so upset by how that poor was treated that I skipped ahead to the end to see how it all came out and then never read the middle. I guess I have always preferred happy endings. And I guess I have a long standing habit of reading the beginning and then the end of books and often skipping the middle.

Even with tv shows, I hate when they put the ‘regulars’, who I have a fondness for, in jeopardy. In American tv shows you can usually expect that a regular won’t get killed off but British tv shows, hell, they’ll kill anyone off.

I find that all stressful. It makes me anxious and I don’t need my ‘entertainment’ to add more stress and anxiety to my life.

Yesterday I started a book titled One for Sorrow by Sarah A. Denzil (you can get it from Kindle Unlimited for free). It is first of a trilogy featuring the same cast of characters. Part of that cast is a family of psychotic, sociopathic serial  killers – a family!

OK, I knew it was a thriller/murder mystery but I didn’t realize how twisted it would be. About 80 or so pages in I had deduced certain secrets, had a vague idea where the plot would lead and my anxiety started to mount. I flipped ahead to the last 2 or 3 chapters to see how it ended and then returned the book. There was no way I was going to read the middle. Now this is a trilogy – 2 more books featuring the same cast of characters – the nice people who are the victims – and at least one member of the serial killer family.

I just borrowed the third book of the trilogy just so I can read the last few chapters and take solace in the death (I’m assuming the serial killer dies) of the baddie. I’m not reading the second book of the trilogy, or even the first part of the third – the baddie in these books is really bad – I can’t take it.

This morning’s ear worm is the Tastykake jingle – “So much fun to put in your tummy, Tastykake cakes and pies” but would you believe there is no Youtube for this? I found a Tastykake fan page on Facebook and they keep referencing it so I know I’m not hallucinating this.

It’s been 4 months since Miss Frankie Lulu Belle died. I miss her so much. I think I see her sometimes, waddle-waddling around the apartment. I think I hear her walking around at night. I think I can feel her jump up on the bed at night. Day time, night time – I feel her still here. I miss her so much. It’s odd to live without a cat, 50 years I lived with cats – I miss Frankie –

I hate, despise, loathe and abhor


Today is May 18th and they have activated the a/c in the building. Two days ago, that would have been May 16th, I had the heat on.  Yes, it has been unseasonably cool this Spring, such as it was. And yes, in April, I think it was, we had 3 days when the temperature reached the low 80’s, also unseasonable. Basically we have had no Spring. No days when I could comfortably have the windows open. Oh I had open windows, you betcha, but that meant I was wearing a sweatshirt with the hood up indoors.

By this weekend the temperatures are supposed to be going up to 90 with high humidity. Shit, piss, fuck and corruption. No.

I live in Northern Virginia – this part of the world is HUMID (which is why Washington DC is called the swamp!) I’ve lived in the Caribbean and it never felt as bad as it does here. It used to be that 90+ degree days could be counted on one hand, nowadays those days go into the double digits and they are coming this weekend. Most of the Summer the humidity is higher than the temperature, it’s ugly!

Our apartment faces N or NW, depending on which room you are in – from my desk, with my compass pointed out the window to my left the reading is 340°N – not sure what that means. The reality is that we don’t get much sun until late in the afternoon. Coincidentally the highest temperatures of the day in this area hit around 3 or 4 in the afternoon.

I’ve lived in Northern Vermont – cold, snow, not much ice oddly enough – depressing as hell, you betcha. I’ve lived in the Caribbean – hot-ish, humid but really not all that bad as long as you stay out of the sun during midday. (Ah, the fun of watching idiot tourists jogging at Noon…lordy I hate tourists and I’ve lived in way too many tourist towns – but then, you could say I’ve lived in interesting places.)

All this is to say I hate a/c. I hate closed windows. I don’t mind heat (and yes, I AM going to say it) it’s the humidity that kills me. I don’t mind the cold but snow, and particularly ice, scare me. Snow and ice are just killers – literally.

Supposedly San Diego, CA has the best weather anywhere but then – it’s California and what person in their right mind wants to live In California (just start with the cost of living and work your way down.)

The Pacific Northwest isn’t so bad from what I’ve read, rain, yes. Lots of rain. But I rather like rain, more than snow and certainly preferable to humidity. I don’t find rain all that depressing. Going outside and not being able to breathe – that’s depressing. Around here in the Summer you need gills to breathe.

I’ve so gotta move.


You get to a point in life when all of your medical conditions are ‘age-related’.  Which, I suppose, is a neutral way to say “You’re old, what do you expect”

The cardiologist, who I have been seeing intermittently for close to 5 years, just got around to diagnosing me as having hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and my most recent test results showing that any anomalies are age-related.

The interesting thing about this diagnosis is that it is genetic. The doctor keeps asking me about my family medical history and doesn’t quite seem to understand that I know nothing! Why would I? Adults did not discuss medical problems in front of children; adults barely spoke to children way back when  (Remember: Way back when = In the old days).  Quite frankly, even as an adult, it never occured to me to ask what someone died of.  My father’s answer to that was always “Shortness of breath”.

I have a female dominate family; the males married in. My father was an only son with 6 sisters. My mother was one of 5 sisters, no brothers. My paternal grandmother had more sisters than brothers; my paternal grandfather had one sister, no brothers that I know of,  and I know zilch about my maternal grandmother’s family or my maternal grandfather’s family.

My brother and I have jokes about what people in our family died of. In my father’s case, we say he died because that was the only way he could get away from my mother. As for all the Uncles, they all died fairly young of heart attacks, probably because they were married to the women in the family.

I don’t know what this all says about me, genetically I am more my father’s daughter than my mother’s. My father was probably genetically more his mother’s side of the family than his father’s. I say that because I look like my father who looked like his mother’s side of the family. I met a second cousin once, at a funeral, and it was like looking in a mirror. She was from my paternal grandmother’s side of the family.

As you probably have surmised by now, I do not come from a close-knit family.

A little background

Just for fun, and because aside from the 4 people who read this blog and have known me for 15+ years, most people reading here don’t have clue who I am and what I am talking about most of the time.  I’m gonna copy/paste an entry from my inactive Blogger blog.  I posted this in January of 2020, so not so long ago.

The post was titled: It always circles back to Da Bronx

I’ve often described myself as ‘the little Italian girl from da Bronx’ despite the fact that my father moved the family out of the Bronx when I was 8 and I really have no connection to the place except for –

The things I say and do. Okay some of those things are also Italian but the Bronx had a heavy concentration of Italian immigrants. The one famous Bronx characteristic I do NOT have is the legendary Bronx accent – for which I am grateful.

The Bronx accent is somewhat similar to a Brooklyn accent – but the Bronx accent is somewhat sharper sounding, a little tougher, ’cause the Bronx is a tough place. Yes, th is pronounced like a d – Dis for this, Dat for that. But 33rd Street becomes toity-toid Street.

The best is – the oi sound becomes an r-sound, as in olive earl or terlet bowl (that would be, in English, olive oil and toilet bowl) And New Yorkers of every borough are know for dropping the r from words altogether and/or replacing it with a d-sound or a w (car becomes caw) Of course there is the famous aw sound – cawfee for coffee. And yes, we drop g‘s at the end of words – going becomes goin‘. And we run words together, like ‘jeet?’ translates to “Did you eat?”

Also “Yo” – I always considered that to be just a New York thing but come to think of it I never heard it in Queens (where I lived after the age of 8). The funniest thing about “Yo” – my husband lived in Vermont when I married him, me being from NYC made me quite the exotic character. My step-children picked up some of my New York-isms which I never realized until I got a note from one of the kids teachers that she had tried to get the teacher’s attention by shouting out “YO”…The teacher didn’t quite know what that meant but she took offense. Me, I cracked up laughing. (Or as we say in NYC – laffin’.)

Then there is the slap-tap/swoop to the back of the head. I never really thought about it much, along with the fist tap to the shoulder but when I did it to someone at work they said “Whadda ya from da Bronx?” Why, yes, yes, I am!

But all this came to mind last week when I read an article about the phrase “expletive you and the horse you rode in on”.  My father used to say that all the time, the expletive in his case was ‘screw’ which isn’t really the expletive most people use. But some sources back track it to the Bronx because some guy who wrote a book that used the phrase said he first heard it in the 1950’s in the Bronx. I don’t know, my father used it long before that.

Years ago I wrote a little piece about as you get older you revert to your essential self. It was in reference to my solitariness but started by noting that my grandmothers and mother all reverted back to Italian, their first language, as they aged. And here I am, reverting back to my Bronx-ness as I age – becoming more Bronx-y, becoming more New York-y and in some ways more Italian. It’s interesting stepping back and watching this.

I mentioned earlier that my father moved us from the Bronx to Queens when I was 8, and while I have never felt a conscious attachment to the Bronx I have ZERO attachment to Queens. My personal opinion is Queens is a boring nothing place with no personality at all. And in service to that, here is a little video about New York accents – pay attention to what they say about Queens –

I’m not a morning person

I do not thrive in this, for lack of a better description, 9-5 world. Any thought that retirement would afford me the freedom to live on my own schedule was just that – a wistful thought because I am married and accommodations must be made.

About a year and a half ago I upended years of tradition by moving our main meal of the day – the old protein and veg cooked meal – to the middle of the day instead of 7pm, our long-standing dinner time. That at least was doable in retirement.  Eating that late in the day was not good for my health quite frankly. Nor was still doing “chores” at 8pm good for my mental health (chores being the whole dinner/kitchen clean-up routine.)

I don’t have an in-unit washer and dryer so twice a week I get up early to get the laundry done – the community laundry room most accessible at 6:30/7:00am. And besides it’s a major chore done. I sometimes start cooking at that time of the day – when it’s something that needs hours to simmer.

This morning it was meatballs and gravy – spaghetti sauce to you non-Italians. Right now my apartment is smelling really good – if you like the aroma of Italian food.

I make peasant style spaghetti sauce, as learned from my parents. I’ve read recipes that include onions, carrots, all manner of odd herbs (sage? rosemary? – no.) It’s not that there aren’t ‘sauces’ that include onions and other things but they have their own specific names and aren’t ‘gravy’. The difference between ‘sauce’ and ‘gravy’? Meat. In the old days you would go to the butcher and ask for “a piece of pork and a piece of beef for gravy” and the butcher knew exactly what you wanted. Meatballs in our house were just ground beef or chopped meat, however you call it. Some Italians use a mixture of pork/beef/veal, my parents didn’t so neither do I.

A young woman in the grocery store I frequent once asked me for my recipe for ‘Sunday Sauce’ ie: gravy and I laughed and said “I can’t tell you but I could show you”. Same goes for meatballs – I have no idea how much of anything goes into the pot or the meatballs.

My mother always fried or baked the meatballs before adding them to the gravy. My father always put the meatballs uncooked into the gravy which is how I do it. Simmering in the gravy for 3 or 4 hours cooks the meatballs and keeps them moist (whoops, there’s that word again) and they absorb the flavors of the gravy.

Peasant style spaghetti sauce? Crushed tomatoes, red wine, water, garlic, basil, oregano, salt. pepper, sugar. How much of each? Your guess is as good as mine. OK, so for every 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes, you use 1/2 a can of water and 1/2 can of wine, the rest of the ingredients – as much or little as you like to have it taste the way you want. Not exactly the way my parents made gravy but close enough.

As for meatballs – since they are going to cook in the gravy I don’t use as many spices/herbs as I would if I were going to bake them. Chopped meat (beef only), an egg for every pound of meat, salt, pepper, loads of fresh parsley, grated cheese, bread crumbs. How much of any of this? Who knows, it’s like making bread, you know by the texture, how it feels in your hands when you’re mixing it. For baked (or fried, if that’s your choice) meatballs I would add garlic and basil and oregano.

I can give you very specific recipes for desserts because baking is science. But for cooking – I can only show you, can’t tell you. I make a macaroni and cheese that will knock your socks off but it’s not like anything you’ve ever eaten before because it is MY concept of macaroni and cheese. And as my husband’s brother said “This is delicious but it’s not mac ‘n cheese” And yes, he asked if he could take the leftovers home.

I always say I hate to cook, and I do. I didn’t always hate to cook, but after years (and years) of cooking I’m over it. It’s just a chore. Plus, living where I live and not being able to get the foods I’m used to eating – the whole thing becomes – Meh.

I’m not a great cook but no one has ever gotten up from my table unhappy or unsatisfied. Besides there would always be dessert!