Tuesday, May 26, 2020


An occasion that could not be postponed was my dear Granddaughter's birthday.  Penny turned eight years old!  We did a modified celebration.  Last year with Grandpa very ill, her birthday was a sad and anxious one.  This year we decided to celebrate, in a safe way and let our girl enjoy and celebrate and be celebrated for the amazing girl she is.

This Care Bears sign has to be 30 years old!

Here she is!  Penny is loving, caring, kind and funny.  She is wise beyond her years.  All she wanted for her birthday was to hug me!  Masks on, but hug we did!

 Penny received roller derby type skates from Mom and Dad, including all the pads, braces and a helmet that make it much safer.  Auntie Amanda polished and tuned up the used pair of skates for her and gave her some pointers.

Everyone kept their distance.  Son Mike looks so like his Dad here.

 Then we enjoyed a fire in the yard.  This new normal is anything but.  Still it was great to be together, and comforting to know that Penny had the celebration she deserved.  

 Not to say that tears didn't flow as I looked to the sky.  

 Then the rains came, more like a monsoon.  The skies opened up, and the back of our yard was flooded.  Rainy Days and Monday always get, me down.

Surprise surprise, look who showed up on Sunday.  Remember that tiny baby from about ten weeks ago?   Yep, it's Stevie!  

... and her little sister Irene! Two walking talking toddlers.  They were very suspicious at first, when Grandma was wearing a mask.  Even their Dad got some weird looks.  I had to show them who was under the mask, and then it was just fine.  They seemed to remember, Oh yeah, this place is fun!
Irene had to have a covid test because she was going to have a different test at the hospital.  We knew that the little ones were negative.  No distancing between twins. Irene is fine, just follow ups from them being preemies.

At some point, caution is our only ally during this pandemic, so were were very careful. There will be no magic wand when things open up again.  We will be in this until there is a vaccine or cure.

It was bittersweet seeing them play in the yard.  Tyke spoke of that very thing when they were born.  Irene loved the sprinkler, and didn't mind at all getting wet. She talks all the time, and is always on the move.  

Stevie was content to sit in the grass. They have changed so much, and grown.  Especially Stevie who is a few inches taller than Irene, and has lost her round baby appearance.

All in all, a happy, yet anxious weekend.  Wanting to do the right thing for everyone. 

 Every one of my family is well aware of the anniversary of our loss this week.  Yesterday was 46 years since I met my love.  Last year on that day we still had hope that Tyke would get better.  That we still had time. This first year without Tyke...who could have imagined a pandemic?  Being cut off from everyone while mourning. I can't tell you how much my family means to me.  I am here to take care of them, just as they are here to care for me.  Tyke is watching, saying. 
" Holy @#$% , What the #$%*".  He had a colorful vocabulary.
  Really, it's unbelievable what we, and I mean all of us have been through.
Your life, my life, everyone, no one has been spared this nightmare.  

I am so very sorry for those who have lost loved ones to the pandemic, or anyone who was unable to be close to their loved one as they died.  I was able to sleep next to Tyke in the hospital, we were able to bring him home to peacefully die surrounded with love and family. I can't imagine the pain of not being there.  

I thought this would be a happy post, but the reality is we all have much to mourn.
I am still here, I am holding my own.  
That's what I hope for all of you.   Know that I appreciate all the kindness through your comments and the many friendships I have found through my blog.
For that, and so many other blessings, I am grateful.

Find something beautiful in today.
Love, Penny

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Wet Weekend

 Somehow, all I accomplished this weekend was to buy
 my groceries, pay some bills and hang my annual fern.

 I also hung my angel wind chime. I did the usual laundry, stripping the bed, cooked and cleaned.  Even dusted.  Still the days go by, and I have little inspiration to do much else.  Silly since I am such a homebody.  Now, how much I yearn to go...anywhere. These are all the same things I did for Tyke and myself during the week, but I always looked forward to Friday at 5:00 when he was all mine and we hit the road.

And the rain rain rain came down down down...

A old friend of mine suggested once that if you have a problem, or are feeling blue, light a candle.
I was feeling extra blue so I lit two.  Buscia's candle holder and a scented candle.
Some how it lifts the spirit.

The lilac drooped with the weight of the water.  
A pond formed at the back of the lawn.

"Everyone is like a magnet.  
You attract to yourself reflections of that which you are. 
 If you're friendly then everyone else seems friendly too." 
-David R. Hawkins

Next door the apple tree is blooming.

 I hope to get a photo under a clear blue sky, 
but there is no sun in the week's forecast.

The best view in the house.

Remembering Tyke

In the minefield of memory, these next couple of weeks are
dangerous and painful.  The fact that we cannot be together to 
share them makes it especially cruel.

I walked the path where a bench will be dedicated
 in memory of my dearest.
We thought it would be installed by this time,
 but with circumstance beyond anyone's control, 
we will have to wait until some time this summer.

*I walked away from the computer on Monday morning and completely forgot to finish this post.
Lost my train of thought, that is, if I had one...

When all else fails, a quote...

"There is no need to run outside for better seeing...
Rather abide at the center of your being,
for the more you leave it the less you learn.
Search your heart and see...
The way to do is to be."

Take care my friends, stay safe and remember
you are loved.
Find something beautiful in today.
Love, Penny

Monday, May 11, 2020

We carry them in our hearts...

My sweet Mommy, me, Greg and Tony. (before Larry and Jeff)
 Mother's Day.  Never been a big fan since I lost my dear Mom 35 years ago.  Still I love being with 
my family, I even like visiting the cemetery, something I once told my Mom I would never do.  This year there were no kids, no visits of any kind.  We did have face times, songs and giggles. It's noisy and loud and fun, but just not the same.

"Whether or not we are blessed to have our Mothers with us, we carry them in our hearts every day, and especially celebrate them on Mother's Day."
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

 Some of the hardy spring bulbs and hosta are doing well.  We had a hard frost last week and it took it's toll on many plants.

 The white lilac is sparse, and will need to warm up a bit before I can smell it's delicate fragrance.

Some years are off in the spring, and that's putting it mildly about this spring!

 Who knows if the peonies will put on a good show.  The leaves are so stunted.

 These lilac look dull in the cloudy light.

 Still beautiful.


 Oh my Bleeding Hearts!

Even these hardy plants didn't like the frost.

 A sweet gift from Amanda and Mike. I had a problem with our wifi.  Was on the phone with our provider for over an hour troubleshooting the problem.  Finally I spoke to Mike and he said he would be over the next day after work.  He came to the door in a mask.  I had mine on too.  He put on gloves before he touched anything and then I tackled him with the biggest hug around his midsection.  He held me as tight as I held him! How lonely I have been for that connection.  He was in and out within a half hour, fixed my problem, even increased the speed of my internet connection.  As he was leaving Mike opened his arms and said, "Bring it in."  We had another hug and I heard his heart beating and thought, here is part of Tyke and me.  Then, off he went. Yes Tyke, we have the best kids!

  The month of May is dedicated to the Blessed Mother.  I put together this little vignette.
I have always felt a connection to Mother Mary who promised to watch over the Earth.
We can really use all the help possible right now.

 I started looking for something, made a huge mess but found some little treasures.
My dearest, here he is maybe seven or eight years old? Photos of young Tyke are very rare and precious. This one I copied and made into a card.

 Here is Mr. Mallard, taking a stroll down our block.  I have been having many bird encounters.

I was on my walk and this Kestrel called from a tree across the street.  I stopped, took out my phone and took this photo. Little did I know this would annoy the little falcon.  He swooped down from the tree very close to me.  I was scared and thrilled by this close encounter. 

 Another treasure, a tiny teddy I made for Tyke.  (In my Teddy Bear making period)

My sweet Penny sent along this drawing.  I miss her and the twins so very much.  Can't wait till we can get back to exploring our favorite place.

 Last Autumn, she was a walking advertisement for Starbucks. We have so much fun together. We were trying to take a selfie when a sweet stranger took our photo.  Penny has charisma like no other.  She makes friends wherever we go.  Someday soon we will cause a ruckus together.

Another treasure unearthed.  The strange thing is I never appreciated John Prine until his recent death.  I loved so many of his songs that were covered by other artists, including John Denver, not knowing he wrote them. I did love Steve Goodman and his music but never saw him in person even though he was a local Chicago boy.  This treasure came from my long time friend Floyd, back in the day when he was away at school. (He was always away at school, just call him Dr. Floyd!) Floyd worked at events at the school and had these two artists sign an autograph for me. 

It took me two days to clean up the mess I made looking for a diary.  It was from 1974, a very important time in the life of this (at the time) girl.  One thing lead to another and I had to call my BFF Sue in California to share some info regarding her and her now hubby, Laury. Two hours later...after the kind of great conversation you only have with someone who has known you for over 50 years, I started reading May.  I met Tyke on the 25th.  At first sight, my life was never the same.  I was head over heels before I ever knew his name.  

I've been encouraged to write about this by my cousin Kathie.  She wrote a memoir of her life that I loved reading, especially the love story between Kathie and her dear husband Glenn. 
I hope that I can do our story justice. In this time alone, I find myself being comforted by the sweetest, most romantic and just plain funny memories of my dearest and of our love story.

Stay safe, we will get through this. 
 Thanks for stopping in and for your kind comments.
Find something beautiful in today.
Love, Penny


Monday, May 4, 2020

Let's Hang On

I got down low to take this photo of our little meadow. So many bees visit the purple flowers and the dandelions, it's a busy place.  

 The muscari I had inside last year are now in flower again in the old fountain turned perennial garden.

 Sewing as therapy.

Simple project, just getting started is the hardest.  Once I get sewing, it's calming.

The bag I sewed and gifted to my friend for her birthday.  Jean, the birthday girl. liked my granny bag.

 "To sew is to pray. Men don't understand this. They see the whole but they don't see the stitches. They don't see the speech of the creator in the work of the needle. We mend. We women turn things inside out and set things right. We salvage what we can of human garments and piece the rest into blankets. Sometimes our stitches stutter and slow. Only a woman's eyes can tell. Other times, the tension in the stitches might be too tight because of tears, but only we know what emotion went into the making. Only women can hear the prayer." ~ Louise  Erdrich

 Missing all of my family.  These two are so beautiful.  My daughter Kristen and babygrand Penny.
They are working from home, home schooling and taking in nature.  Penny hugs the phone we're on and says the sweetest things to her old grandmother.  Oh my heart.  Doug called to just talk. I feel so blessed for this gang of mine.

I am hanging on.  Doing better than I could have ever imagined on my own.  We have to, right?  
After almost fifty days without a hug, a kiss and snuggle, I fear for my family when we are reunited.  I may never let them go.  

These are the toddlers I last saw before they were walking, before they were rolling up and rolling up for Patty Cake and stomping their feet for if you're happy and you know it.  They say Hi!  Blow kisses and say Daddy! I just noticed the Little Tike labels on their swings.  They are part of their Grandpa Tyke, for sure .  They sat happily on their swings and are trying to sign "birds" which is amazing. Jon is the best daddy.  I love seeing him with his girls, and we get to talk every morning.
Some of those mornings in the last year were very difficult, but he always left me with a smile or a LOL moment.  So like his father, simply the best!

This little adventure seeker is uncharacteristically holding on.  I get to see them most days of face time.  I dream of the day the house if filled again, toys everywhere.
While I was writing I just got a facetime call from sweet Charlotte,  and got to play with the girls for a while.  Charlotte was accepted to her top two law schools.  It's remarkable, she's amazing.  The twins won't remember this time, but I will never forget this last year.  What a remarkable gift having these little sweethearts to love and be loved by.

The trees are leafing out.  Right now the leaves are tiny and almost translucent.

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."
-Ferris Bueller

 The leaves on this tree turn deep burgundy and are larger than my hand.  
Today they are tiny as my thumbnail.

The hosta are filling in. 
 I got a call from Mike and Amanda, they were grocery shopping, but I didn't need a thing.  They called later to drop off a treat.  Black Licorice!  Really, as far a families go, I won the lottery!  Thoughtful, loving, everyone of them.

Tyke is close, in spirit and in heart.  Eleven months without him. I can ask him any question and know in my heart the answer. It is a comfort, and I am growing stronger.  It is because of the love we shared that I have this family.  He took care of me in so may ways.  Prepared me for this pandemic, though he could not have anticipated it. I know he is proud of me.  He always told me I was Super Woman. So, to have survived the last year, I've had to dig deep and put on my big girl panties and pretend to be a grownup.   We pretended together for 45 years, 
when we were always 
just kids in love.   

May the good Lord be with you down every road you roam.
And may sunshine and happiness surround you when you're far from home.
And may you grow to be proud, dignified and true.
And do unto others as you'd have done to you.
Be courageous and be brave.
And in my heart you'll always stay
Forever young.
Forever young.

I hope that all of you dear readers are hanging on.  Please take care and know that your kind comments and comforting words help me so, and I appreciate each kindness.

Find something beautiful in every day.
Love, Penny