Friday, February 14, 2014

apple turnover

Ny has been hit with one of the worst winters. There's SO much Snow everywhere I look, I am imagining it may still be here for my August Birthday. If you've visited me before, you may have read that my husband, affectionally referred to here as Mr. Petals, has always been a bit of an over thinker. Maybe you would say a perfectionist? Maybe I could say he has a bit of an OCD? Our sons on the other hand instead just say he is  F***ing CRAAAzzzy!!
SNOW removal Mr. Petals style? WELL..While every one of my neighbors deal with slushy, icy walks, stairs & driveways at their homes... those areas on our 100 x 100 lot (and even on a section of the street in front of our home!)  look like we've just had a little sprinkle of rain.

When did this obsessive,-do everything Thoroughly, -go beyond the normal- type of behavior happen to Mr. Petals??  I couldn't help wondering this when my son Nick, during the last snow storm, came to me frustrated, angry and venting his "F***ing crazzy" opinion from above.  "MOM!! he is CRAZY, he wants me to use the leaf blower and BLOW the PuDDLES!! BLOW THE PUDDLES MOM!! WE JUST SHOVELED FOR 4  F***ING  hours and NOW I have to blow puddles??!!! IS HE KIDDING ME??!!"

As I tried to give a sane answer to my beautiful boy, A memory came vividly drifting back to me... Over 30 years ago, While I was dating my Mr. Petals, I remembered HIM venting to me that HIS Dad would wake up SUPER early on the weekends and do CRAAzzzy  things like HOSE off the driveway! Wash the floor of the garage!  WASH the outdoor garbage pails! and expect his son to help him do these chores too!  I often heard frustrated angry venting back then like...
"WHO the hell cares if GARBAGE pails are dirty??" " GARage floor?? Is he F***ing CRazy??".

Hmmm.... Is it true? we all turn into our parents??

I recently visited my mom who has been a saver for many years but who has now unfortunately begun hoarding.
There were so many papers in her home that to begin the shredding process could take a lifetime. I looked around her home and just broke down crying. I've read that hoarding is typical with seniors who don't quite know what to toss and what to keep.
I came home from seeing her and immediately began tossing out papers and cleaning up draws. Organizing things that have been on my mind to organize. Thinking to myself, The apples may not fall far from the trees, but this pink lady is Going to try like hell to roll as far from her crazy tree as possible!
I'm wondering if there is an age where this all begins? After all, As teens and young adults aren't we all totally rebellious to our parents actions?  When did you begin to see signs that you're possibly turning into your parent?
As for Mr. Petals, Well.. I talked to him about his Elder Tree, and his similarities. At first he paused, as if shocked by the memory and then he just laughed like crazy, stating he is who he is and he just can't help wanting to do everything the best that it can be done. As for me, I found myself thinking about all this a lot yet focusing NOT on all the wacky stuff he's inherited, but instead on ALL the good, wonderful qualities his Dad also passed on to him and in turn I know he is passing on to our three sons
Thinking of that made me also turn over a new leaf of acceptance when it comes to my own Elder tree.
Sadly, Maybe I WILL inherit tendencies towards clutter and disorganization but I'm happy  I've already inherited beautiful traits like my Moms love for music, singing, fun, games and Craaazzzy people.

Friday, July 12, 2013


I will be 54 next month and I'm relieved to tell you...I've NEVER broken a bone!  this is the result of being a cautious, adventure-less, nervous nelly.   My kids on the other hand....Sheesh... that's another post.
Three weeks ago I was teaching my Zumba class at the library where they are replacing the A.C.
( who the heck replaces a system in summer?!) HOT doesn't have enough letters to describe how uncomfortably hot it was in that room.
The sweat covered ken tile floor was just too much for my purple ZOOM Nike's and DOWN I went!
I was more stunned that I suddenly was on my Buttocks then I was embarrassed for being down there.
I didn't even realize I had slipped, it was that quick.
I felt a shooting pain on the top of my foot, but once I stood up... it didn't hurt too much... so what do you do when you're a CRAZY  albeit nervous nelly??  YOU keep on dancin'!   Like I thought I was in Pippin or something, the show must go on! so crazzzzzy lucy gets up, motions to her sweet concerned Zumba girls that she is OKaY!  And continues the FUN,Fabulous songs for another 15 min.

My ankle felt 'fragile' but it didn't hurt to dance, walk, climb the library stairs or drive home. 
Regardless, I decided to R.I.C.E.all that day!   (Rest, ice, compression and elevate.)
The following day I worked a  10 hour day on my feet. By evening, my ankle was So swollen, that I got VErY nervous.. I called my orthopedic, but he and his group were at a convention!  the following day, I worked again, but cut my day short to ice and rest some more. One of my sweet friends was an ER nurse, she looked me over and she told me she thought it was just a sprain. I felt relieved by her opinion and  It felt well enough that I decided to teach Zumba monday and tuesday with the help of my amazing Students, who know my routines real well.   
About a week later, my ankle was less swollen and only hurting in certain positions. But I decided (thanks to a client who owns an insurance company) to be smart and see my doc. to touch base (and document my fall, especially that my lower back was hurting too ) My dr.  didn't think my ankle was broken but thought an MRI would be smart, since i am on my feet for both of my jobs. She wanted to make sure ligaments, tendons (and whatever else we have in there )were Okay. ( I will have to wait for insurance approval.) The next day,  I decided to spring (well , summer)clean my neglected bedroom.  I got up too quickly from being on my hands and knees vacuuming under furniture and accidentally  put all of my weight on the top of my foot and  I SCREAMED profanities to an empty house like a downed surfer to the roaring sea.  WOW....took me back 20 years to the labor and delivery room!

For the next week, my ankle felt worse than it did after that library zumba class.
I decided to call my podiatrist.  ankle? foot?  same thing,no?  he is right near my home and he is a BIG personality and a GREAT dr. ... unfortunately, he was away (surfing?)  but his associate was able to see me.
He did an xray, and told me that I didn't  have a sprain I instead had a fractured fibula!! My first break in nearly 54 careful, boring years???  I could, however, continue doing all I was doing and it would heal...  I felt like such a moron. I was beating myself up for not getting an xray sooner. If it were one of my dare devil, accident prone sons... they would have been in the ER the same day!  I drowned my regrets and foolishness  in two lovely glasses of pinot noir and fell asleep. 

Today My dr.called, telling me she got the approval for the MRI... when I told her it was a fracture, she said it would be smart to see an orthopedist. I started feeling so stupid AGAIN! although, that IS who I called initially, that is THE bone expert, right?? Why didn't I try him again?  It's been 3 weeks and NOW I want to see him...sooo desperately!  I suddenly think the Foot dr. is a moron too!  I don't trust anyone but this BONE man who I SHOULD have called back!

Well, I just came back from  Mr. bones  office. he couldn't make out anything in the cloudy,foggy xray that the podiatrists  RECEPTIONIST took.... so he took his own. Guess what?  I have a freaking SPrained ankle and it will talke time, but It will be FINE! It is NOT a BREAK!  my sweet ER nurse friend was RIght!  I still feel stupid and overwhelmed... even though I writing this while on my 2nd glass of pinot.   

Saturday, May 25, 2013

An Invisible Thread

Back in February, I had TWO weeks off from work, as I was recuperating from some minor hand surgery. Finally! A PERFECT opportunity to truly participate in my book clubs next discussion, by Actually reading the book selection instead of just showing up for their great company and delicious food!  I had been absent from the previous meeting but the girls emailed me to tell me our selection was "An Invisible Thread" a non-fiction book from a local author.

Before I settled down in (mr. Petals) recliner with a pillow for my elevated hand, ice pack, ipad, cell phone, cup of tea and book club book.. (okay...  there were cookies too...many cookies). I asked my husband if he knew this local author who was from his home town of huntington station.  He looked at her picture, and read her name, 'Laura Schroff, No I don't know her." ( hmm..he said that too quickly and with such disinterest.)  I sat down and googled her name and found out she also went to his high school and as he kissed me goodbye, I asked him Yet again... ARE u SURE?? With excitement I added...she went to your high school!!  she's only a few years older than you!!...  ( I can be quite annoying I guess) because he impatiently snapped back..  I DON'T KNOW HER!   So off Mr. Grumpy went to work.  

AH... this felt so good (despite my throbbing hand) to have a day to myself and to finally settle in to read, I had missed it.  ( lately, zumba choreography has taken up all of my down time)
The story had me instantly glued to it.  I couldn't put it down, tea went cold, I didn't even eat  every cookie.  Not long in to 'An invisible thread' the author mentions her maiden name. It was very familiar.. I could have SWORN my husband had mentioned that name to me. (married for 33 years, I've been a pretty GOOD Listener... and apparently have a much better memory than I give myself credit)  I peeled myself away from the intriguing pages and took a much needed bathroom break then also gave Mr. Petals a call on one of his busiest work days. "Hey Honey, how's it going,  you know that author u said u didn't know"? He sighed and I heard him quietly say "eye eye eye" (who is he? ricky ricardo?)  "Well,  I just read her MAIDEN name and it sounds SOoo familiar, Didn't you know the Carino's? Her dads name was Nuzie".   

There was silence on his end for a few seconds.... He said... "What?!! LU... She is my Cousin!"
"(Sucking in air...) seeee!!! I KNEW YOU HAD TO KNOW HER!!!" (hee hee)  He couldn't believe it and quickly started filling me in on some of his memories of her family. Some that I soon read about in the following chapters of this moving, heart wrenching story.  I emailed my book club friends to tell them of this AMAZING discovery! One friend wrote back that she was MORE amazed that I was actually reading one of our book selections. (wise guy!) 

Small world that it is, another friend suggested I try to get in touch with Laura via her website, or Facebook.  I wrote her a message and to my surprise and delight, she graciously wrote back!!  we corresponded a few times and then I also contacted her sweet sister Nancy, who my husband and his sister were friendly with in their youth. She was closer in age to them. My husband spent many years hanging out at her home. They lived on the same block. He had many memories of that time.  I found this all so exciting, fascinating and touching! so....

I decided to be bold and just come out and ask Laura if she and Nancy would ever consider taking the hour ride back to long island to attend our book group!  As you can see in the photo.. They both accepted! Laura is sitting in the center of the photo and her sweet sister Nancy is on her left.  They were both so lovely,kind, warm and friendly. Within minutes we felt we knew them! We were riveted, hanging on to Laura's EVERY word!  We really enjoyed Hearing so many additional details of her poignant story as well as all the experiences she has had since.  She is incredibly charismatic and can captivate you with her bright eyes, gentle smile and expressive conversation!  My sister-in-law who also LOVED the book joined us to reunite with her cousins.
We discussed our family tree. Laura's mom and my father-in-law were First cousins. So we assume that makes Laura and  my father-in-law second cousins, and then she would be third cousins with my husband and his sisters.  I mentioned cousin 'once removed' and it totally confused us all... so we are sticking with third cousins! 

The book's title comes from the ancient chinese proverb which states, an invisible thread connects those who are destined to meet regardless of time, place and circumstance. 25 years ago, Laura was destined to meet and befriend Maurice, a hungry 11 yr. old panhandler. This year maybe she was destined to meet her long lost cousins wife Lucy. We sure hope to keep in touch with this remarkably kindhearted soul. 

*Laura has made many tv appearance including Kathy Lee and Hoda , Rachel Ray and Mike Huckabee.
If you want a beautiful, uplifting, honest book that will touch your heart, break your heart yet leave your heart believing there truly are really good people in this harsh world, you MUST read this wonderful book!   Laura's website is    You can watch a video of her and her friend Maurice. Their friendship and story can not be missed.
hope you will give me YOUR review! 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Laughter is the best medicine

 I have been off from work and healing from trigger finger surgery.  yesterday I sent my husband to the grocery store to buy something he could cook for dinner. I had a small list which included my (recent) favorite candy.. peanut chews. After a while, he calls me from the candy aisle... he can't find them. While I am describing the packaging so he can better locate them, he said "Oh, it wasn't on the list but I also picked up bagged lettuce so I can make us a salad."  I said... we don't need it, we have plenty of lettuce home.

When he walked in the front door ...not only had he picked up the meat, the oranges, the garbage bags, tissues and the desired peanut chews... he had Two bags of chips, MORE bags of candy (which he claims he picked up thinking he wouldn't find the chews and then didn't want to put them back, because he knows I love twizzlers and raisinets too!) THREE huge bags of peanut chews AND TWO bags of pepperidge farm milano cookies!!    I know this is his way of taking "good care" of me
  (and HIM) while I mend. So I just smiled and said "ARE u kidding me??  you are too funny, I'm going to gain 100 lbs these two weeks!"

  As we were eating dinner... he said... you know, I feel a little bad now, I  didn't feel like going all the way back to the produce aisle so I just put that lettuce back on a random shelf.
 I literally started choking on my vinegary salad.... due to hysterical laugher... I finally was able to speak  to share what went immediately through my mind.  I said...please tell wasn't the candy shelf was it?? haha...
 If anyone was watching you they would see you putting ALL that candy in the cart on top of  the chips and cookies and then you go.. NAH... i don't need no stinkin lettuce!  And you put it on the candy shelf!!   I could just see it so vividly  and he could too and we both just couldn't stop laughing for so so long.
 I just know that  somewhere there is someone writing a blog post about the chubby guy in the candy asile at stop and shop, who had second thoughts about adding lettuce to his cart.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Illuminate...literally all began with that biatch..sandy. aka... superstorm sandy.

We were very lucky Ny'ers.. we only lost power for one week. With the horrors others were going through we didn't want to gripe about having no power/ heat/ hot water.. instead we tried to focus on  what we were grateful for AND what was useful... talking often about (to whoever would listen) these 6 little LED tap lights that we had picked up at costco back in the summer...JUST in CASE we ever lost power.  they even had a remote... coming home late at just hit the remote and five of these lil discs would brighten up our kitchen and den brightly enough to make it to the bathroom where the other one was.
Well, I found them smart and helpful but my (crazy) husband got crazy with them! They had double sided tape so he taped one up on the underside of my beautifully faux painted ceiling fan blade, claiming the light was better illuminating DOWN on our scrabble board. (it was) He also taped one under the soffit above the kitchen sink,
 (allowing me to see the dirty dishes past 3 pm) but ....6 little lights were NOT enough.. he NEEDED more! He's always been one to OVER-do a good thing... He is always teased about how he likes making things better until they're worse.... for example-his garlic mashed potatoes... they are amazingly delicious... so what does he do? he tries to Out do them each time, till we want to puke from TOO much butter and garlic.
back to my illuminated home...
He goes back to costco... they of course are sold out of anything related to a power outage, except cheese... ever notice how much cheese is on their shelves? they'll never run out. (related how?)

So Mr. Petals keeps on checking weekly... well right before christmas he hits the LED jackpot. Not only do they have the 6 little round tap lights... they now have something BETTER! STrIpS of led lights that can be MOunTED with screws! (yes the tape ruined our paint)   and wait for this................  they have MOTION CONTROL TOO!  
He says he wants to get ready if we lose power again... I thought.. He is getting ready for the Nut house!

Now we have these rectangular strip lights on motion control mounted to the kitchen cabinets, molding, bathrooms and even in the boiler room above the panel box. (the electrician thought this a genius idea!) We don't turn on light switches at night anymore.. like royalty... everywhere we walk is just illuminated!!  (please read that last line with your best english accent)
 I got a bit on the crazy train and asked for them to be mounted in some of the darker clothes closets. which you must admit is a smart idea too! (can u 'catch' crazy like the flu??)  because...It all began to seem normal and quite smart to me...

 But then... My son came home from college for the holidays. After a few days being home, He pulled me aside one morning and with a look of concern  he asked ... "mom?, what is UP with ALL of  these stupid lights going on everywhere I Go?? I can't even walk around the house at night, thinking I will wake u guys up!  Have you and dad gone crazy?"
hmmm.... he made me wonder again!  I replied warmly... we may be Joey...but at least it's a nice BRIGHT shade of crazy!!   Do u want one in YOUR room?   ;)

visit sunday scribblings for more illuminating stories

Thursday, September 20, 2012

the GOOD and bad of this past week

The good... I taught  an extremely HIGH energy one hour Zumba class on Sunday. I was feeling very 'on' despite feeling very nervous/anxious to know that two zumba instructors were taking/observing my class because they've heard great things about how I teach, As was one of my bosses at another zumba job.

the bad.... after class my heart didn't feel so well... not really racy because we did have a 10 minute cool down...just a  weird feeling of pressure and me being conscious of it which I never experienced before.
Then, On the drive home I had indigestion, and weird discomfort in my left arm.
I kept pushing thoughts of 'heart attack symptoms' out of my usually neurotic brain and took a shower.
I tried to eat lunch, but felt nauseous and couldn't eat.

The Good AND bad?....GOOGLE...  gee's it's either a life saver or death sentence, isn't it?...

The bad... after reading that I had FOUR heart attack symptoms and how usually women's symptoms are more of a 'whisper'... I began to feel very panicky as I thought of my 42 year old neighbor who came home from work this past June with only pain in his left arm. He chose valium & a nap over a 911 call
and never woke up!  My other neighbor also had subtle signs and his wife forced him to get checked and he found he had indeed had a heart attack!

The Good- I decided to chew two low dose asprins.
the bad/stupid..  Yet, I forced myself to push all those crazy thoughts out of my overly imaginative mind, determined to enjoy the most gorgeous weather and take a drive to the beach to walk with my husband... I continued getting ready for the beautiful day we had looked so forward to sharing but as I put on my blush... my jaw began to hurt... Symptom FIVE!  Yet, I said nothing and got in the car to head off for our lovely day off together.

The Good-   as we got to the gas station, I felt another flutter in my chest, I began crying and panicking  and decided  it's SO much better to be safe and alive than dead and sorry, So...finally I called 911 from my car as my husband stepped on it and drove the 3 minutes back home in only 1 minute to meet  The ambulance and paramedics who were dispatched. They arrived in 2 minutes time! They were all wonderful despite me not being able to stop crying, i guess from fear, embarrassment, more FEAR. My EKG was normal but they still needed to get me to the hospital because the blood work would be the determining factor.
the bad- my blood pressure which has ALWAYS been 120/70 was 170/90. That really made me worry, probably pushing it even higher.

The bad-  Why is it that even without a siren on... EVERY neighbor knows to come outside and stare when there is an ambulance and several other emergency vehicles on a street. more tears/ fears/embarrassment  :(

The Good-  The EMT HEROS were so wonderful and really tried to make me feel calm and safe. I've never been in an ambulance before, but they made it much less traumatic.
 After IV fluids, and two series of blood tests in the ER.. They determined I DID NOT have a heart attack, most likely a panic attack! although my pressure was still high, they finally let me go home with instructions to follow up with a cardiologist.

MORE GOOD!-  after two BAD,worrisome days of just not feeling well and STILL having subtle symptoms and still believing in my heart that my heart was somehow not doing well... my cardiologist yesterday, gave me a check up and convinced me that what I've been going through is more likely related to anxiety about worrying and THINKING I was having a heart attack. Between The scary thoughts of my poor neighbors, the worry I shared with her about  my grandma who died at MY age in her sleep of a heart attack, and the worry that I am teaching extremely physical classes at my age, and the fact that I really AM  an overly imaginative, extremely sensitive,  crazy girl!  She reminded me of the stress test I had two years ago that I did 'OFF the charts' Exceptionally well on!  She wants to repeat another stress test but in the mean while... wants me to continue LIVING my life and put my fears and worries behind me. (an occasional xanax or glass of wine is recommended as well!!)
  I am so grateful to be okay and I think it's my extreme fear of dying that keeps me always thinking the WoRSt!  I am reminded of a lyric in the BEAUTIFUL Jason Mraz song...'living in the moment' that I should REALLY start following... he sings...
"I will not waste my days thinking of all kinds of ways to worry about all the things that will NOT happen to me"

How often do you do this?  I tend to spend too much time dwelling on thoughts of 'what if this happened  and that'??  and what would i do IF this or that happened??... when often those fears never materialize. When these crazy/wasteful thoughts come into my mind... I am going to try to merengue them away and just try to enjoy living in the moment. !
xtra good stuff that I almost forgot to include....
the loving words, actions and devotion of my husband who would NOT leave my side. The love, healing words and concern from my best friend Carol. My three sweet loving boys.  Also..
getting home from the ER to the beautiful concerned  phone call from my sweet friend/ neighbor Lynn and  the next day...finding a YUMMY tin of homemade cookies from another lovely friend and neighbor  Emily, with a note that made me cry... "PLEASE DON'T EVER SCARE US LIKE THAT AGAIN!"   (there's So much good in my life!)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

broken resolutions

When the little red car pulled into the gravel driveway, Annie jumped away from the broken window pane, a window she herself had broken in anger, she bolted, heading for her mothers cluttered bedroom closet. As she ran, her worn thin, pink bathrobe flew open behind her and for a second she imagined being a soaring butterfly. She hoped her big sister didn't see which way she was running. Annie didn't realize that the closet wasn't a secret destination. Her family knew it had always been a hiding spot for her. To Annie, it was more of a comfort zone. She liked hiding under the big brown quilted winter comforter that was balled up in the tiny corner. She loved the smell of her moms perfume on all the long gowns and shawls that hung in plastic bags in that comfy corner. She also loved moms 'hidden' jar of poker pennies on the closet shelf, which she 'borrowed'  every time she heard the happy tune of her neighborhood ice cream man.
Annie sat as quiet as she could and thought about how the little red car sort of looked like a lady bug without the black spots.  There was NO way they were going to make her get in that dumb car and go with that strange man. That undefinable feeling came over her again, A feeling that felt like her best interest wasn't really being looked after. A feeling of dread, insecurity and fear. It was a scary feeling, being only 8 and not trusting  the decision of the person that you know is your guardian, your parent, the grown up who's suppose to know best about making sure that you are always going to be okay.

Annie's mom had called Frances from her waitressing job a few minutes earlier and snapped at Frances about a man who was coming over to pick up Annie and bring her to school. "Get her ready Francie!" Annie's big sister Frances was accustomed to taking care of Annie, taking orders from their Mother and spending time cooking and cleaning their small shabby home. Wishing instead to spend more time giggling and primping with her 14 year old girlfriends from school. School! Frances hadn't been there all week. Like Annie, playing hooky from school had become a regular habit.  It wasn't too difficult to over sleep and skip school when there was no one home seeing to it that you got up and out.

Frances gently slid the closet door to the side, peeling away another white paint chip and knelt down low. "Annie, I know you're scared, but this man is from your school and it IS safe to go with him. You've had too many absences Annie, they know you're not sick. You won't be in trouble but You need to let me help you get washed and dressed and you have to hurry up and go."  Frances always had a softer way of mothering her than their own mother did. Whenever Annie was home alone with Frances, Annie's disguise never appeared. Annie's trust of Frances suddenly overpowered her fear of the strange ladybug man.  Quietly, with tears streaming down her face  mixing with breakfasts maple syrup still on her cheeks, Annie cooperated and got ready for school at 1 in the afternoon.
"what do I tell the kids Free"? whispered Annie.   Free, the nickname 2 year old Annie had given her big sister when she couldn't pronounce Francie.  Frances' heart skipped a beat for her little sister, trying to be so brave while suppressing stabbing sobs. Silently she cursed her mother for allowing this to happen. What mother gives permission for a little kid to go with a total stranger. Why couldn't SHE just leave work and take Annie to school herself?  Herself.. hmm...   She answered her own question.
 Giving a gentle hug to the tiny shaking shoulders in front of her,  she replied, "just tell them you're feeling all better now Annie".

Mr. Crawbid opened the passenger door for Annie. He was very tall, very polite and his car smelled like fresh cut grass. Inside the car between their seats Annie quizzically spied a zigzagged slot holding a black stick with a brown leather handle with random letters on it. Mr. Crawbid kept moving it as they drove along. Annie had never seen a car like this before and she didn't take her big brown eyes away from that black stick even while Mr. Crawbid asked her what her favorite color was (pink.) and if she liked Mrs. Wolfes class.(yes.)

 When they got to George Washington Elementary school, Mr. Crawbid walked with Annie to her classroom  and Mrs. Wolfe greeted her with a big genuine smile. "Annie! So nice to see you! Glad your feeling up for school today! The class is at recess but will be back very soon, you can take your seat and wait for them."  When the kids came scurrying, noisily back in, Zachary and Billy, who were the known trouble makers in class 2-4 walked right up to Annie and Billy offensively sneered "weren't you absent? why did u come to school so late weirdo?"  As much as Annie loved Free and her good advice, she didn't reply, she resolutely decided never to confess what had happend today. She buried her  matted head of dark curls down into her arms on top of her ink smudged desk, mentally pulling on her invisibility costume. The very same disguise that she so often wished would disappear at home.