Friday, June 29, 2012


Mammograms can be a tough subject to write about. In all likelihood half of my readers can't relate, and the other half, generally, want to put time and distance between their annual ordeals. Yesterday was my annual. An annual event into the mystical world of being checked for what no women and some men don't want to hear, "You have breast cancer." See it's not just effecting the ladies of our population. But I'll leave that for another post.

For years now, I've been following the routine of: making an appointment, showing up, undressing to a certain point, being squished between two plexiglass plates, dressing and leaving the facility, with hardly a word from the tec. Oh they say such things as, put your arm here, hold that back with your other flattened hand here, twist your head this way, feet straight, and don't move. Oh you can breathe, but don't move... But as far as explaining the films and what they might be looking for, not a word; until yesterday.

Rest assured, no specifics were discussed. I know the tec is not allowed to diagnose. But yesterday I learned about milk ducts, blood vessels, starlike formations, puckerings, and micro calcifications. I learned about thickenings of the skin. I viewed last years images and got to see the same similar topology in this year's images.

Do I have cancer? I don't know. The doctor will read the films and get back to me within the week. I have had callbacks before, and have been one of the lucky ones; not cancerous. What I do know is it is always cool to see a side of me not very many people get to see, the inside.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Lessons learned the work place

Working with the elderly I'm learning a lot about local history, turn of the century sociology, immigration, conversational Italian, and love.
They are treasure chests bursting with pearls of wisdom.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

You're camping on an island...

Located in the Atlantic Ocean, a ferry and a shuttle away from civilization. Where there are no cars, no electricity, no running water. Everything you bring you must carry in and carry out; so no real means for food preservation. What's for dinner?

Monday, June 25, 2012


Having a job where you are paid to hug. Compensated for making people smile. 

And I wonder, aside from not having to be Goofy on the job, how many of us actually have a component, large or small, in our job where we are paid to make others happy. Paid to make a difference in someone's life.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Friday, June 22, 2012

Strong Words

Strong words are inclusive. We, everywhere, must, justice, faith, hope, love, toward our fellow -- not just for few but for all.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

If it's summer...

Then I must be painting something. Actually I'm painting three somethings this summer: The Shack, the backstair's railings, and the bathroom. Slow and steady... finishes the jobs. Other news, the ground hog, bigger and badder, was eating the pea plants by pulling the stems through the fence.

I am not amused.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What will it be? Freezing or Electric currents?

I doubt pandas worry about their weight.

 At the dermatologist's office there are displays touting the benefit of freezing your fat to lose that pesky weight and inches. The display comes complete with pictures of many many smiling satisfied customers. No price listed.

On a recent tour of a spa I was told I could lose one to eight inches, in one treatment, by slathering unwanted bumps and bulges with this gel and then hooking up to an electric current. The charged particles would attack the cellulite and voila, a skinny me. Guaranteed. Only $150 for one treatment; $300 for three. One half hour session is equivalent doing 400 crunches.

So what will it be freezing or electrocution?

Honestly -- despite my lack of progress in the weight department, I do prefer the old fashion way of exercise. There is something almost satisfying about walking until your leg muscles hurt.

This morning's exercise: Me thinks it will be 15 miles, outside, on my bike. No wires required.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Summer Day 1

Real school is but a memory. Summer truly starts tomorrow, but today is the first day of summer at home. Yesterday we set the stage, the framework for summer time expectations. House choirs, reading, homework, music, playing outside. After wards, it's their time to fill.

Excitement is in the air. Hopefully it will maintain until August 15th.

Monday, June 18, 2012

It Starts

Summer, it's here. With all it's long days and quiet nights. Thank God.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Structure and Form

I'm off from work. Actually, because of appointments, road trips and commitments, I've been off since the 8th and I'm off until the 20th of this month. The schedulers figured it would be easier on my clients to have solid caregiver continuity instead of one person one day and another for two days, and so on... But I digress...

I woke up this morning with tasks to complete: pack, go to the bank, go to the store, exercise. On a normal work day, with my schedule firmly in place I would have a plan of attack. A schedule laid out before me based upon clients, travel, school: the three biggies.

But this morning, I had nothing. No work, no framework, nothing to work around or to base my day upon. I was at a loss and didn't go for my early morning bike ride at 6, because I could go after the school drop off. And then I didn't make the shopping list and put it in my work bag, because I wasn't going to work and besides I would have time later.

See the problem? I had to sit down and formulate a plan that would have naturally fallen into place due to the circumstances of the day.

All structure and no play makes Patty a dull mommy; but no structure leaves her head swimming.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Planning lessons

Do you teach? Do you have children?

When do you make your lesson plans? For me it's a constant look out for images, sound bites, articles, tv shows and movies to share with the young people.

Recently it happened will WII'ing. The TV on as a distraction from the 6800 plus steps I would be taking. The movie, Facing the Giants, on INDIE tv.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Can you feel these words?

How wonderful that the power of Eleanor Roosevelt's words are accessible to even the blind. We should all be able to touch wisdom.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Ever want to walk until you tire?

Driving home from DC the other day, I was desperate to go for a walk. I wanted to drive into the driveway, and then walk until I couldn't walk anymore. Strange and pretty much unattainable. As there were people waiting for us at home. You can't come home after being away for 4 days and then go for a walk; first thing.

But today I walked. I walked the baby to school. She's not so young anymore. I walked to a friend's home to pop in to say hello. People don't pop in like they used to. Then I walked to the library to pick up the latest book club selection. Then, my legs tired, I walked home.

I could have taken my bike. I could have ventured back into the car and drove. But I wanted to walk. I wanted to feel each an every step. To touch the ground of my own hometown.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Monday, June 11, 2012

There is no reason for my words

When others speak so eloquently.

But, but Patty, I can't read the writing on the wall.

I know it's difficult to see. Just like it's sometimes difficult to hear.

Look carefully. Click on the image; enlarge the text.  Look, like listen, and learn.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Holocaust Memorial Museum

We met, talked, swapped, and sang with Girl Scouts from around the world. Then we toured the Holocaust Memorial to remember those children who were not so fortunate.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Troop 72148 in front of the White House

Opposite ends of the spectrum

Recently I experienced 2 opposite ends of the customer service spectrum.

On one hand we waited 2.25 hours for a doctors appointment. (I brought knitting.) Being assured by a very nice medical assistant that after 1.5 hours that it wouldn't be much longer. Then again by a nurse at 2. And 2.25 hours we left. Walking out of the large kids hospital in the city so that I could race back home to just make my other daughter's big 5th grade research project presentation. (I am just about finished knitting that sock.)

On the other hand I carried my drowned cell phone into the apple store, where I was greeted by a smiling and understanding clerk. She pointed me to Tim, the check in person. He asked me to take a comfortable seat and someone would be with me. (I brought a book.) Not getting too far into the text, when Jim came over and took care of my water logged friend. I was in an out in no time; with results and satisfaction.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

The Before

Ten inches to Locks For Love. Good thing her mom loves color. (read previous post)

Happy 14th Birthday!

I'm seeing red in the most wonderful of ways.


You know that old analogy: Calm on the surface, paddling like crazy below the water line.

I was thinking about that today as I drove off towards work, after the school drop off. For the next 3 weeks it is nonstop commitment, fun and excitement. Starting with a drs appointment in Boston, always fun driving bumper to bumper in traffic with so many close friends. Then heading off to Washington DC for the 100th anniversary sing-a-long this weekend, 200,000 strong. Followed by awards nights, awards days, graduations, promotion ceremonies and a birthday.

What day is it? And where am I suppose to be? Doesn't matter as long as there is time to stop and smell the flowers.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

And your gift is... ?

In a recent post, jeff noel, writes that we all have a gift. Something special about ourselves. Something we carry that makes us shine. I read his post and I had to smile, because I have been contemplating pretty much that exact topic under the title: I see old people. (Now say that with the same inflection as the little boy in the movie Sixth Sense.) :-)

Yes, I see older people. And not only that, I can be minding my own business anywhere, in crowd or alone walking on the street, and an older person will find me and we will have the most wonderful conversation. For example at the dented can store where the gentleman and I discussed our appreciation of sauerkraut.

My husband, after circling for 10 minutes, asked later if that man was from church, or another school volunteer. No was my reply. Older people just find me.

So maybe my gift is I'm an elder magnet... The real point is, I do see older people. I see them for the worth of their life experiences. I treasure them, hanging on their each and every word. Each and every fact and story that they have to share and teach me.

Think about it... and next time you find yourself with an older person ask them about their childhood. If you are totally lucky and gifted you may find yourself, like me - gifted,  on the receiving end of a wonderful his or her story lesson.

Monday, June 04, 2012

You can't hear me now.

While partaking a wonderful walk in the rain my trusty companion (cell phone) went for a swim in my raincoat pocket. Since its failed attempt at the side pocket stroke I can't count the times I reached for it to grab that photo, or to send a quick text, post a quick blog, make that phone call, or check email. Tomorrow evening I have an appointment at the Genius Bar. In the meantime I'm enjoying? the sound of silence. :-)

Just Say No

For two weeks the meeting was on the calendar. Just thinking about this get together, never mind the pending planning for the fall, was daunting.

The writing was on the wall. A basta! Enough! as my Italian friends would say.

The meeting came. The parties assembled. I slide the keys across the table. I'm done.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Old Timer

An old sugar shack in a young stand of Maple trees; many too young to tap. Will the shack still stand when it's their time?  Time marches forth.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Friday, June 01, 2012

Another Night. Another Concert.

Last night's concert was fantastic, but also bittersweet. As things look now she won't be playing the flute next year. But life isn't black and white. I've heard some tell there are 50 shades of gray. I think there might be more.