Saturday, May 10, 2008


This Mother's Day, as well as all Mother's Days since July 3, 1995, reminds me that I had the very best mother any human could desire. She was always and ever my best friend. Mom was the only person in my life who loved me unconditionally. When I went to her for advice, she would tell me what she thought. Otherwise, she didn't offer advice, didn't interfere in my life, allowed me to make my own mistakes -- in short, let me be me.

My mother lived a life full of financial strife, but always believed our "ship would come in". She was loved by everyone who took the time to know her. As she aged, she became more outspoken and expressed her anger -- something I didn't see growing up. Mom was a stay-at-home Mom most of the time, although she went to work during the Korean War in a munitions plant. When I was in junior high school, she worked as a seamstress for a pants manufacturer. Later, after my father lost his eyesight and could no longer work, Mom went to work full-time in retail middle management and loved her job. She was there until her final illness at age 75.

There is never a day goes by that I don't miss her and wish she was still here with us. I wish I had enough words to express the love I had and have for her. My only regret is that I wasn't with her when she died.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Portrait of my eldest grandson

First of all, my last post talked about my youngest grandson's injuries. The doctor assured my daughter and son-in-law that the bump on Braiden's collar bone is a bruise and not fracture. Thank the Lord.

Secondly, I am inserting a portrait which I did of my eldest grandson when he graduated from high school This month, he graduates from college!! A very fine young man, even if I am prejudiced.

My Grandchildren

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Little League Mishap

My youngest daughter called me last night to say they had just returned home from the emergency room. Apparently, my youngest grandson, Braiden, was accidently struck in the face by a bat being swung by a Little League player. Braiden was at the game because his brother, Cain, was playing. My daughter told me Braiden lost an upper front tooth and broke two lower front teeth. This morning, Braiden insisted he wanted to call and tell me about his accident. My daughter then spoke with me and said they were going to take him to the doctor, as a large lump has appeared on one shoulder blade. I am waiting to hear about that, and pray everything is fine. It hurts me when a child is hurts.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Fishing Not

I wanted to fish today at Northmoreland Park, but the weather was rather cool and rainy. There weren't very many people there, not even walkers. I took some photos, but that was all. There were two geese, with their babies, who hissed at me when I walked by them. I thought one of them was going to chase me. You haven't lived until a goose chases you! When I was growing up, a neighboring farm had geese. Everytime we walked past that farm, those darn geese would hiss and come after us. My brother, Bill, and I would run as fast as we could to get away. I, of course, always ran the fastest -- at least until Bill reached his full height of 6ft 6 in. His long legs covered more ground than did mine.

My niece, Lisa, in Georgia, emailed me to say that she now understands why she is 'confused'. She read an earlier post about my grandfather being a policeman in New Kensington and his battling the Mafia. As her mother is Italian and from New Kensington, with some old family Mafia ties, Lisa said it is no wonder she is conflicted!!

Kiski River with Blue Boat Painting

This is an oil painting I did last year of the Kiski River, just below the Vandergrift Bridge.

Northmoreland Park Lake

Here is an oil painting I did last summer of the place I usually fish. When I am fishing, this is the view across the lake. Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

No Friends Like Old Friends

After thirty years, I returned four years ago to this area where I grew up. For a very long time, I didn't see nor run into anyone I knew all those years ago. I decided it must be because I wasn't recognizing anyone after such a long time. Later, I realized they probably weren't recognizing me, either.

I had forgotten about all the complicated links and relationships which exist in a small community, but recent misfortune helped me to realize how strong those old ties can be. Last week, I spent a wonderful afternoon with two very wise older ladies who knew me when I was young. They were upset by what happened to me and have vowed to set things right!

Last Christmas, I was taken to the hospital while spending Christmas Eve with one of my daughters. The ER visit culminated in quadruple bypass graft surgery the day after Christmas. After ten days in the hospital, eight of those in ICU, I was released to my daughters' care. After a month, I returned to my own home to finish recuperating. When my surgeon released me to return to work, my employer informed me that I no longer had a job! Her reason? I did not give her written two weeks notice of my medical leave. She advised I apply for unemployment compensation, which I did. Last week, there was an appeal hearing because my employer disagreed with the Department of Labor's decision to grant me unemployment compensation. I still do not know the result of that hearing.

Obviously, everyone who is aware of this is upset about it, particularly because I was employed by a component of the Area Office on Aging. The two ladies who I visited last week have taken an active role in protesting my firing. I didn't know they had done what all they did, but I certainly appreciate their efforts.

At any rate, it has made me realize the old saying, "There are no friends like old friends", is very true.


Each primary illicits opinions from all the talking heads, to the point of ridiculous. On Monday, the pundits were saying that Hillary had a good chance of winning both Indiana and North Carolina. Of course, by late Tuesday night, their opinions had changed once again. Today, they are all saying Hillary should throw in the towel. What is so disgusting about this is that they change their minds from day to day and seem to vacillate with the news. In the past, news reporters were not supposed to be biased. Neither were newspapers, though many of us knew some of them were/are biased.

What happened to the good old days when no one knew who was going to be the candidate until the Convention? That was fun and exciting! Today, elections are decided more by the media than by the people. How so? The media influences the majority of the public. It isn't any secret that the majority of people only read what they see on the Internet. People seem unable to think for themselves.

To all Republican and Democrat leaders: let the primary process evolve. Give everyone the right to cast a vote and let that vote be counted.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

There is a lot of hoopla lately over a new book, The Sistine Secrets by Blech & Doliner, regarding Michelangelo's secret messages in his Sistine Chapel frescoes. I doubt that comes as any surprise to those of us who majored in Fine Arts and studied a lot of art history. I recall my German art history professer spending a great amount of time explaining all the ways in which Michelangelo made his true beliefs known in his painting and sculptures. According to her, the very talented, intelligent, and devout Catholic hated the Pope AND the Medici's. His subtle messages against them appear in much of his work. It was like a great joke he was playing on his patrons, and I wonder if he laughed at them behind their backs. It is just another example of a famous master artist of the world who operated far in advance of the populace and his/her time.

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