2007 A Quick Review

Instead of focusing on losses this year, after all you all know how much I love my Dad and I think about him every day and miss him so much it hurts bad sometimes, I want to focus on what I gained this year!

  • Getting to meet some of the most wonderful little people I’ve ever known. All of the little waddlers were supposed to be out today, so I was trying not to think about needing my waddler fix. I walked into the toddler room, and there was one of the little waddlers! She was as happy to see me as I was to see her!

This is a photo I had of her taken on Dec 20th.

To quote Susan “cuteness dripping off the walls” for sure!!

  • Being able to get out in the woods in person with one my most favorite nature educators, birder extraordinare, and all around great guy Mon@rch!

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  • Continued and new blog friendships!
  • Continued and new in person friendships!
  • A bigger than before attitude of gratitude.
  • More patience with people, even though I still don’t suffer fools too easily.
  • A wonderful trip to Arizona with my Mom.

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Ruins at Casa Grande

  • Meeting my Mom’s California cousins, one for the first time, the other one for the second time.

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My Mom’s two cousins and Mom at The Desert Botanical Garden.

Now that Arizona is associated with my Dad’s passing, we’re planning a trip abroad. I’ve never been abroad, so this will be interesting. Certain to be good for blog fodder! I mean, we all know it’s all about the blog after all!

I know I’ve gained much more this year, but these are top on my brain right now.

Happy New Year everyone!


“Lightning Crashes, An Old Mother Dies. . .”

Is this freakin’ year ever going to come to an end? It’s bad enough my Dad passed, now my Aunt, who we found out had cancer last year, has passed as of 8:30 last night. I am so, so very sorry for my Uncle and my cousins and all of her grandchildren / great grandchildren, my Mom, my Aunts and Uncles, and everyone who is affected by this.

Perry Family Reunion
Aunt Jeanette is standing in the middle, her husband (Mom’s brother) is to her left.
By the way, my Dad is holding my Mom on his lap on the ground to Aunt J’s right.
And all of the children except my older brother and other cousin
are Aunt Jeanette’s, so she has a lot of grieving children (5, one wasn’t born yet) today.
And I was just a twinkling in my Dad’s eye.
I just realized, only four of the adults in this photo are alive today.

After my Mom told me the first thing that came to my head was “Lightning Crashes, An Old Mother Dies. . .” “I can feel it. . .” and I’m playing it right now real loud because I. Just. Need. To.

Happy Holidays!!

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas Eve and Merry Christmas day!


from me and one of my little (distracted) friends!

Thanksgiving 2007 & Snow!

Yesterday morning and the entire night before it had been raining hard. During mid-morning the temperature dropped 10 degrees F, and we had snow on Thanksgiving!


Whenever there is snow on Thanksgiving, it makes me break into the song

‘Over the river and through the woods to Mummy’s house we go. . .’ (substituting Mummy in for Grandmother).


These snow photos are for you, Mary, and anyone else who wants to see a bit of snow.

I only had a couple of panicky moments of missing my Dad. One was when I was setting the table by myself and as I was setting the place where he usually sat for my Mom I started freaking out inside. I almost called out to my Mom, but at that moment my Aunt walked in and started talking, which irritated me at first, but then she did take my mind off of my Dad. The whole process of getting ready for the day was really tough on my Mom, but she is really one smart cookie in that she invited the relatives and had the whole day planned to keep our minds off of things, even though we did bring up my Dad every now and then.

After a delicious meal, we had a musical concert because everyone plays the piano plus other instruments and sings, too. I was the only one not to play and I got in trouble for not playing. Well, I don’t have a piano at home, but they didn’t accept that as an excuse, so next year I have to perform, somehow. I better get boned up on my ragtime again!

The day was perfect, and even Mom’s Thanksgiving cactus was blossoming right on time:


And a wonderful end to a great day:


Happy Thanksgiving!!

From some of the cute little children that I have the pleasure of working with! They were about to give a play, so there was Mr. Turkey and some Pilgrims and Native Americans.

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I sincerely hope everyone has a wonderful, happy and healthy day!

Happy Birthday To Me?

I have always really enjoyed my birthday.


My Dad holding his “girl babe” shortly after I was born.
Girl babe is what he called me, until I got older, that is.

from the beginning:

My second birthday
LaFayette, NY

Even when opening the dreaded dress present from my Grandparents (where’s the books or toys?)


And including some birthday


Dad and me sharing a homemade red raspberry pie, my favorite!
At my parents’ home in Horseheads, NY

where Dad had big glasses and I had puffy hair that I was too lazy to style on the weekends, but it normally looked like this when I styled it:


Me as a bride’s maid at my friend Kathy’s wedding.
Oh yeah, I wore that dress again. NOT.

To celebrating my Dad’s birthday:


My big mouth is open singing Happy Birthday to my Dad!
At my townhouse in Ontario, NY

But now that my Dad is gone, it just isn’t the same. This doesn’t mean I don’t like cards and recognition, but I’m not in the mood for my normal birthday party this year. It’s just not the same without my Dad. And my Mom understands. Maybe it will change next year, I’ll see. Now I understand some of my friends who don’t like to celebrate their birthdays anymore.

Dishwashers, Dishwashing, ugh!

So my dishwasher blew it’s pump last week, and fortunately I found out because I started it up, cleaned the bathroom, then went downstairs to put in a load of wash. And water was pouring down from the kitchen into the basement. Yuck-o!!! And no Daddy to call for help, darn it! At this point I’m thinking, ‘life sucks, then you die.’ Not really, but I felt like getting dramatic for a moment. Actually I was thinking, yay! The dishwasher was old when I bought my home 15 years ago, and I’m so into getting a new one. And this is where the fun starts.

Every appliance in my home is Kenmore of some vintage or other, simply because I like Kenmore for everything. Except dishwashers. I like GE / Hotpoint. So I went to the GE website, and of course the first dishwasher I see was $1,429.00. And I about had a stroke. I. just. want. it. to. wash. dishes. That’s it. No bells and whistles. Scrolling towards the end of the dishwasher list I finally found some dishwashers in my price range. Now all I need to do is go to my local appliance store and see which one has the least amount of features (the less to break down, right, because I. just. want. it. to. wash. dishes).

A couple of people I’ve told about this think I’m a big nut for needing a replacement dishwasher. See, I was required to wash dishes by hand from a very early age, and I. hate. washing. dishes. by. hand. HATE in a big way.

Me washing dishes at a very young age. Blech!
My older brother is drying the dishes.

But I don’t tell them that. I just tell them that I think a dishwasher can get dishes much cleaner and rinse & dry them much better than I can.

So has anyone bought a dishwasher lately? And if so, do you have anything to warn me about, since I have never bought a dishwasher in my life?

Apple Cider, mmmmm!!

It’s been six months since my Dad passed away, and it was a tough day all around because people at work are very tired, including myself, so it just magnified that I miss my Daddy!! But that’s not what I’m here to talk about.

Saturday after work I went grocery shopping (oh joy, just what I felt like doing after working all day), and the produce lady had cups of local organic apple cider for people to try. Mmmmm, it was yummy! Okay, the reason why I brought my Dad up in the first paragraph is apple cider is (shoot, that should be was) our thing to have in the fall together. With a yummy donut here and there for something to have to wash down!

Dad Making Apple Cider

My Dad making apple cider with my brother and me waiting for a taste!


Another view of the same apple cider making day.
The apples used were ones that grew on our property, and they were really yummy!
Scanned from slides in really bad shape.

My Dad’s rule of thumb to me was don’t make or buy apple cider until after the first frost because that’s when the apples get really good. Which is true in normal years. But with the lack of rain this year, the apples are small and not very juicy and already very sweet, so the apple cider is tasting pretty good pre-frost. I miss sharing this different apple cider year with my Dad. But I can’t wait to taste the cider post-frost!

How about you, is apple cider a favorite of yours? And if so, what do you like to have with it, if anything?

Why I Can’t Stand Slackers

My younger brother calls me at least once a week since my Dad passed on, and per usual, we tell stories to one another about everything, but especially about my Dad – things one or the other of us didn’t know, or just funny things we both know about but we tell them to get each other laughing.

There is one of many stories I didn’t know about and has been on my mind quite a bit lately as I observe certain behaviors among my fellow, um, workers (I really want to call some of them slackers). To give you some background, my Dad was born and grew up during the depression & WWII, and he knew what it was like to wear shoes until there was nothing left of them, and how to work and be appreciative for little money, among many other things. Here’s a page out of my Dad’s ledger he kept when he was 12 years old, during WWII.  I’m not sure what he was doing at this age for someone in Feb. – maybe shoveling snow.  I know he said he used to mow grass when he was young.


So the story is, my Dad, my Mom and my younger brother were in the car somewhere, when a street guy came up to my Dad’s side of the car and asked him for some money. Across the street was a McDonald’s with a help wanted sign in their window. My Dad said to the guy, “if you need money, the McDonald’s over there is hiring.”

How awesome is this?

Both of my parents were/are very hardworking people, and they instilled that within us, oh, I could tell you some stories – and as a result of this training, slackers really frost my hiney. Along with people who hang out at traffic signals with large signs in their hands expecting me to hand over my hard-earned money. That is not to say that I don’t do things for needy people, like knitting hats and gloves and scarves, because I don’t like the thought of anyone being cold, and etc.

But now I know what to say to anyone who asks me for a hand-out – “go get a job at McDonald’s.”


Ruth at Body, Soul and Spirit just did a post on fishing wherein she quoted “there are two types of fisherman – those who fish for sport and those who fish for fish.” I’m actually the former, I fish for the sport of it, to hang out with my friends, or I used to do it to hang out with my Dad.

So one time we were at a family reunion in Manistee on Lake Michigan, and my male cousins, uncles and Dad wanted to go fishing and my Dad wanted me to come along. Yay! I was all for that! So we rented a man with his fishing boat for a day and headed for a deep part of the lake. I was intrigued with the equipment this guy had wherein he could see where the fish were – kind of cheating, right?

We took turns whenever a fish was hooked on a pole. My cousins and my uncle all went first. My one cousin got a trout, and the other guys lost their fish. My Dad, being the gentleman he was, let me go before him. A pole indicated a fish on the line and I got all nervous on the inside, but I got up there and followed fish man’s instructions and my Dad’s instructions and didn’t listen to all of the other advice everyone else was trying to give me. I had a big, heavy fighter on the line. And it had to be tough and circle underneath the boat to the other side. So here I am slowly, carefully, taking what seemed like forever, reeling in this big, heavy, fighting fish:


As soon as you can stop laughing at the big hat (I borrowed it), the big sunglasses and the big shoulder pads, and whatever other icky style thing I had going on, I’ll continue my story. . . hey, all of that stuff was “in style” at one time!

The fish put up a big fight, but I continued to be very slow and methodical even though I was getting very tired (and everyone was offering to take over for me – uh huh, I don’t think so!) and I eventually, after what seemed like forever, WON!! And here’s part of the big salmon I reeled in, along with the fish man (not my Dad) taking the hook out of it’s mouth:


Unfortunately my Dad didn’t capture the whole fish on film, but it was about 36″ long. Fortunately, fish man also gutted it for me (blech!!!!). All I had to do is cut it all up, which took f-o-r-e-v-e-r.

It fed us all for dinner that night (hmmm, probably about 30 of us), and my parents and I both took it home and put it in our respective freezers and had it all winter long. Oh, and all of my male relatives were so pissed off at me they wouldn’t talk to me, but my Dad was very proud and said “that’s my girl!” even when it was brought up years later.

This is my big life-time fishing story. Thanks Ruth, for reminding me of this wonderful day I had with my Dad!

I really do just do it for the sport of it. Which reminds me, I need to get a new license. So I can just hang out by the lake or wherever I want to go and hopefully not lose any lures to the lake.

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