Friday, April 20, 2018

Movin year later


Shout out to the Big has been one year since the diagnosis. Looking back.....
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Fade to black.....

The big guy could not breathe or swallow. Naturally, we thought it was allergies or a combination of issues not related to anything major. But when the ENT suggested that he had ALS, we lit the flares and candles, had the MRI, denied anything life threatening and went on with our lives.
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Then we met the neurologist who diagnosed him in ten seconds.....MG he said.....I went pale. Then I thanked God that it was not MS or ALS or a brain tumor. We can do this.Image result for sick gif

I always use the word "we" because when anyone's child or loved one is ill, it is all about the process of healing and recuperation. No one does this alone. And so, after a weekend in a very large prestigious institution, the battle to regain strength and a quality of life began.Image result for sick child with mom gif

There were doctors' appointments by the dozens, physical and OT, speech therapy, allergists, neurologist, steroids, high blood pressure,  mental breakdowns on my part, and a sense that we can move forward. yes, we can.Image result for sick child with mom gif

Now, a year later, the big guy is at the gym and lifting one hundred pound weights. He is physically fit and mentally strong. He is finishing his masters degree this summer and will begin law school. Image result for strong man gif

What a difference a year has made.

Have I recovered?

The answer is probably no. The gang at work look at me with pity and compassion. I hate that. I only told my closest friend there and she blabbed to everyone. So, I deal with that when I go in. I am thankful for my home office.Image result for feeling pity gif

Second, I have no great burning desire to do anything professionally. Yes, I could write, do research, try new things....but I don't care. I only count the days to retirement which is far....far...far....far. away.

I think that I have less patience and more patience, if that makes sense. I have less patience for stupidity and nastiness.

I have more patience and compassion for those who need it.

I have been taught a valuable lesson through it all and think that I may be (I just think it) a better person for it. No one knows, especially me. But I know that I am different. A mother cannot not (hope that makes sense) be affected by her child having a life threatening illness. Will he die from this? No. But his life is forever altered and so is mine.

How do we handle it.

Well, we adjust. That's it. We adapt. We work together and make sure there is plenty of love and support. And we pray....really pray...big time prayers of thanksgiving and gratitude that we are still together in one piece and with help, we will get through it.
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Ok, so that is the big story. When life hands you lemons, slice them and add them to a cranberry vodka.....just sayin.....the citrus makes it a healthier drink.Image result for feeling pity gif

On to newer news. Today is our Tink's birthday. Everyone knows as she has informed people for the last 6 months that her birthday is today. Excited, she got out of bed 5 hours earlier than usual. She's a late sleeper who works an evening shift. Anyway, she is the love of my life. The candles on my cake (and you know I like cake), the whipped cream in my frap. She's all that and more. How lucky am I that this sweet woman is in my life?
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Are things perfect? hmmmm......nope. She tries my last nerve on a daily basis and gives me grief.

However, I would not change anything as she is my little girl now and forever.Image result for mom and little girl; gif

Dad is actually taking the afternoon off and the Big lefty is taking the night off from pitching lessons. It will be a family night celebrating our Tink.

The best part is that I am not cooking.....bought the cake...and will take her clothes shopping as her gift.

Gang, life is good. It's not easy, but it is good. BPM suggests to keep it real and keep it positive. No one promised us an easy ride. It's all about perspective and how we approach life's problems. I am better with some problems than others but I am managing.Image result for be positive gif

I am thankful for my family, friends, and yes...even the girls at work who look at me with a poor BPM face. For all of you, I feel and am blessed.Image result for family and friends gif

Lastly, enjoy each moment, 'cause there is a last time for everything as Brad Paisley sings....

Gotta run...have a tennis match today. Hopefully my feet, knees and eyes can handle it. It's 40 degrees and I am not looking forward to playing in the wind and cold. Guess what? I am so grateful that I can still play and better yet...that someone asked me to play.
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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Movin on...the facts of life

Good morning! Shout out to Wildcat who is literally off her feet as she underwent knee surgery. Get well soon! Until then, I have one word for you....Netflix!Image result for watching netflix gif

And so, this is the first chance I had to post since Dr G and I  spent the morning with elementary school kids teaching them about the facts of life. Believe me, I had several layers of deodorant on before I walked into the building.Image result for teaching children catholic school gif

Dressed appropriately in black and white with a blazer on, I was prepared to meet my match. One girl and one boy were appointed as our escorts and met us at the door. Image result for teaching children catholic school gifThey took our bags and we walked up the three flights of steps...Image result for teaching children catholic school gif

One we arrived at our room, I met my group of girls. There were 20+ in their school uniforms, smiling, and waiting for me. Breathing heavily, I worked with the science teacher (who obviously punted this important project to me) to upload my PowerPoint presentation. Naturally, the girls got the presentation running and I took another deep breath, smiled, introduce myself and pretended that I was happy to be there.

Cuties....every one of them. Some were younger than others. I was able to break down the social pecking order within 90 seconds.Image result for teaching children catholic school gif

The cool girls sat in the back. The nerdy girls were in the corner. The immature girls were up front. And the quiet girls sat in the center. Image result for teaching children catholic school gifIt's go time....

Fade to black....

I knew that I had to speak in simple ways and use professional terminology. So, slang was out.

I spoke about Fallopian tubes, ovaries, body changes, odor, facial eruptions (otherwise known as pimples), and menstruation. One of the girls told the class that a period is not about blood. It is fluid that leaves the body.Image result for teaching children catholic school gif

Hmmm...perplexing. Yes, it is liquid. Yes, it is fluid. No, it is blood. Who told her that it was not blood? Her mother? Guardian? Dad? Big brother? Little sister? It was then up to me to share that it was indeed blood, in which she turned a whiter shade of pale.  Image result for teaching children catholic school gif

This comment was somewhat alarming. Since some of the girls had had the talk or knew more than they were letting on, I had met my match.... Of course as time moved on, they were more comfortable in sharing old wives tales, urban legends, and fallacies about becoming a woman. Yep, this was one of my more fun moments.Image result for teaching children catholic school gif

As we moved along, I knew I had to add the Catholic approach and discuss marital act, family, and self respect. Again, they were silent.Image result for teaching children catholic school gif

The roar of the crowd came with the menstruation animation that I explained and pointed to. Girls screamed "eek!", their heads went down, some prayed, and others (the nerdy ones) held hands.

Just a note...I have always identified with the nerds. A friend told me I was her nerdiest friend. A compliment? I think so....Image result for nerdy catholic school girl gif

Back to our "talk". After they learned about the egg release and menstruation, it was time, yes show a video about fertilization.....then it went downhill from there.....Image result for nerdy catholic school girl gif

Here is the set up....the video begins with the sperm moving toward an egg.....that is it.....sperm.....egg...nothing else.

One of the immature girls yells out..."We are watching sex!"Image result for teaching children catholic school gif

That's when I went a whiter shade of pale.....Image result for teaching children catholic school gif

I stop the video. This is not intercourse, ladies. This is sperm and the egg. No intercourse...two cells....that's it. No bodies involved in this video. It is not pornography....which, by the way, is wrong....just sayin.......


As the sperm fertilized the egg, it began to divide. After 7 minutes of division, we had a baby with eyes, ears, hands, and sexual organs. The baby played with the placenta in utero. It was beautiful. I knew right then that I wanted that kid. Sadly, this topic is for the next lecture entitled from menstruation to menopause.....By the way, I stopped the video before the baby went down the birth canal. Why? That image is for high school.....a judgment call on my part.Image result for teaching children catholic school gif

Back to the kids....five needed a drink of water and left the room. Others began asking questions....such as "what does it mean to come?" Image result for teaching children catholic school gif

What do you mean...come? Come here? Come with me to the park. Come on? Do you mean....? Ugh!

"Well Professor," she said. "Girls don't come. Only boys."Image result for teaching children catholic school gif

Crud! Double crud! Triple crud!

Now we are talking about the actual act.....

That's when I knew that the "talk" was now a discussion.....knowing that I could not go there as Sister would rate the class "X", I gave a quick non specific answer and asked if there were any more questions about coming or going, they had to speak with their mothers. Quick thinking on my part, don't you agree?

Finally. Silence.....

This was my cue.Image result for teaching children catholic school gif

"Well, ladies. It has certainly been a pleasure chatting with you today. And when you speak of our talk, and I know you will, use proper terminology and be respectful. After all, God made each of us in His image and likeness."
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The door opened and the science teacher entered. Image result for nerdy catholic school girl gifI ran out of there so fast, I created a wind that blew the kids' hair back. Grabbing Dr. G, we headed to the car, turned the engine on, and raced down the streets of Philadelphia.Image result for driving fast in city gif


I have not heard from Sister about the talk and have been too cowardly to ask her how it went. I figure no news is good news....Image result for teaching children catholic school gif

Happy Easter!


Saturday, March 10, 2018

Movin on....back to catholic school

Good morning! What a week....rain...lots of it...snow....lots of it....sunshine...lots of it....I miss February when we had temperatures up to 70 degrees.
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What's going on BPM? Welll........

A sweet nun from a poor parish in the city asked Dr. G and me to teach the 5th and 6th graders the 'facts of life'. Yep....facts of life. After fainting, I knew that I could not say "Are you cra-zee?" Image result for are you crazy? gif

Apparently, the children are using slang for their body parts and have not developed a sense of good physical hygiene. This happens. I remember it from elementary school at St. D's. The older we got, the stinkier the room got. The nuns looked like they were going to pass out as they walked around the room with their yard sticks in their hands. Seemed karma-like since they were looking to use the rulers as a weapon and not measure how tall we had gotten.....Image result for nuns with rulers gif

Fade to black......

Yes, I went to grade school, high school and college (for under grad and doctorate) at Catholic schools. For the most part, the education and discipline were excellent, but those nuns scared the poop out of me. Yep, the scariest moments I have had in life were not when my airplane was nose diving over the Gulf of Mexico (more about that later) but when the nuns found out that we had done something wrong, immoral, or just child like. Some of them would use their rings to smack the boys in the head. One kid named Steve had his smashed against the blackboard. Today, they would call it abuse. Back then, I called it a nun-induced concussion.Image result for nuns with rulers gif

Anyway, I made it through the educational system by keeping my nose clean and head down. Since I was tall, the sisters put me in a desk in the back of room. Usually short in stature, they did not see what the back row was doing while they taught class. I remember doing my homework, doodling, and eating Good n Plentys that were hidden in my uniform pocket. Once I choked on an orange lifesaver that got lodged in my throat. I did not dare tell the nun since she would kill me for eating them in class. So, I chose death by life saver instead. Fortunately, the life saver melted in my blocked airway before I died. To this day, I cannot eat a life saver without thinking that I almost met St Peter at the pearly gates.Image result for are you crazy? gif

Yep, nuns always got my attention. In first grade, my teacher, Sister V was the scariest son of a gun that I ever met. She scared the *&$)* out all of us. I was so stressed out that I got sick...really sick and was out of school for months. I was even in the hospital for a week. To this day, I believe that I had Sister V-itis...not deadly, but enough to whack you off your feet for a few months.Image result for nuns with rulers gif

By the way, a few years ago, I was teaching students at an infirmary for retired nuns. Someone said that Sister V was there. I went white and had sweats again. Sister V-itis was returning to me even as an adult. I looked around to see if I could find her and low and behold....there she was....doing laundry for the sisters. She was now in her 80's and still active. Ironically, the ten feet tall nun was now 4'11"...not so frightening, right?Image result for nuns with rulers gif

I introduced myself and she remembered everything from my parents, siblings, to where we lived. This was surreal. Then we took a selfie together. I sent the photo to each sibling who replied:"Thought she was dead!"....."She didn't die yet?" "Watch your knuckles, she might have her yardstick in her pocket...." Sister V was no longer scary as I stood a good foot and a half taller than her.Image result for nuns with rulers gif

When people think that I am a bit on the neurotic side, I want to tell them that I went to Catholic school in the 60s and 70s, so I have an excuse for the night terrors, an uncanny knack of cleaning up anything that is on the floor, and standing when priests and nuns enter a room. As kids, when a religious entered the classroom, we stood up and said "Good morning, Father/Sister. How are you today?" Once they answered, we sat down in unison and folded our hands. Looking back on these days, it is no wonder that Dr G and I said "yes" to Sister's request to teach "Our Health, Our Bodies" to her middle school students.Image result for are you crazy? gif

As I got over the fear of teaching the class, I started to do some research on 5th and 6th grade developmental levels, what their bodies are experiencing, and Catholic doctrine. There are a few things that we have to cover besides this is the difference between boys and girls, which they already know and could teach us a thing or two. Image result for are you crazy? gif

So, I went online and ordered two books on growing up, God's way for girls and preparing for adolescence. Once I read the books, not shocked at any content, I started to create my PowerPoint for the presentation. To cover everything...and I do slide show has over 40 slides. I added a few You tube videos on conception, body changes, and growing up.Image result for reading book on sex ed gif

Currently, Dr G has the presentation and will edit it for the boys. Then I want to send it back to the Principal so she can "approve" it. Yep, we are actually going to do this on Thursday...look for an update after class and a few glasses (or box) or Merlot.Image result for are you crazy? gif

Betty had us laughing when he showed us a video from MASH when Henry Blake tried to teach sex education to the doctors and nurses. Very humorous....not humorous in elementary school.

I predict the following:
1. the kids will look horrified as we go through each slide
2. The kids will look bored as we go through each slide.
3. The kids will be embarrassed
4. The kids will laughImage result for reading book on sex ed gif
5......they will lose consciousness because I am quite boring when it comes to the facts of life.
There is no way to sugar coat this one and have a lighthearted discussion. We can't laugh because it will seem like we do not respect the bodies that God has given us. It will almost like being in church...I think.....Image result for are you crazy? gif

Ah, I don't know how this is going to go. My plan is:

1. Smile...a lot....probably too much. It will look like a fake smile, although anyone who knows me will think that it is a horrified smile....

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2. I will perspire....a great deal....there will probably be a pool of sweat on the floor.

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3. My face will be red as I smile and perspire....and wish, yes, really wish, that I was on a beach in Siberia or a lagoon filled with man eating crocodiles....
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4. I will have my laser pen pointing at various body parts on the screen and practice saying "Fallopian tubes...."
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5. When I see their eyes roll to the back of their heads, I will dive into personal hygiene, soap, and deodorant.
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6. Once I hit the 40th slide, I will say "Any questions? a super day....."Image result for are you crazy? gif

Daisy says I got this one covered, but I am a bundle of BPM know, it's the bottom of the 9th in the 7th game of the World Series.....we are up by one run...bases are loaded with 2 outs. I have a 3-2 count on Babe Ruth and do not want to throw a fast I give in to my catcher who calls a curve ball....I take a big breath....focus on the catcher's glove...and let the ball fly.....what happens? Related image

Stay tuned for an update later this week.