Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hope. Simple as that.


This past weekend, my sister P held a fundraiser at the hair salon she works at. It was called "Cutting for a Cure" and was held in memory of our Mom as well as P's boss who also lost her Dad to Alzheimer's. At the end of the day, we took all of the balloons and each person who has lost someone to Alzheimer's released one. The above picture I took from inside the circle of balloons. I called it "Hands Of Hope" because I can only hope for a cure for this F'ing disease. Excuse my swear/slang!

This coming Sunday is the Memory Walk and I will post pictures from that next week. Please pray for us and pray that we can raise money to fund a cure.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Party's Over

Back to work for me already! Wow, I blogged on the last day of school for Pal, and now he is going back to school on Tuesday. 7th grade. Holy crap.

Summer has been good, at times I was a little bored staying home but cured myself of that quickly by making lots (and lots) of plans for us to get out of the house. Therefore, I never got any projects done at home before returning to work this past Monday! There's the rub.

With Summer dwindling down and Fall on the horizon, we will once again walk as a family in the Alzheimer's Walk in Boston. Our team seems to change every year, with last year's team being our largest. My cousins walked with us, because their Mom who is my Mom's sister, also has Alzheimer's. Aunt M is in the stage that my Mom was in when we started to realize she couldn't stay alone at all. We started looking at nursing homes and assisted living facilities, but my cousins and Uncle are not quite there yet.

The walk is on Sunday, September 25. Please keep us all in your thoughts and prayers. I miss my Mom so much sometimes it hurts. Other times, I feel like I lost her a looooong time ago. That's what sucks about Alzheimer's - it robs you of your loved ones long before they're gone.

Update on my health and weight loss - I am down 47 pounds! Still going at it, slowly but surely. Summer was harder, but now that I am back at work and on a schedule, I hope to continue in that direction. It was nice to go "back-to-work" shopping for myself and realize what size jeans I can fit into again!!

We are going camping in the pop-up for Labor Day weekend with 3 other families. We've done this a few times now and it is always a good time. I can't wait. Pal turns 12 next week - I can't believe it. He is getting to that age where it's hard to buy gifts for him, because he doesn't want toys anymore, but what he wants for electronics cost a fortune! He ended up asking most people for money so he can buy what he wants. Happy Birthday to my precious little man. He'll be a big man before I blink.

Enjoy the rest of the Summer and bring on the Fall!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer

This is our lake that we camp on. My caption on Facebook was "Life is good."

Today is the official start of Summer. Not only the Summer Solstice and the longest day of the year (as far as daylight is concerned, that is), but it is also Pal's first day of Summer vacation. It is the day you live for when you are a kid. Or, if you are me and you have Summer's off, too! I've been out for a month, so I had some quiet, luxurious hours alone for the last month. Now that will all change!! But that's okay, because I love that Pal is out of school. No more schedules, packing lunches and backpacks, homework, etc.

For the last day of school he asked if he could walk home instead of taking the bus, and as far as I'm concerned, if he wants to exercise - I let him! So I said yes, and while he was walking he met up with some friends who asked if he wanted to walk down to the local pizza place for lunch. Yikes - he is growing up so fast. I said yes, and of course he didn't have money on him, so I had to bring him some. Then I went on to the grocery store and he proceeds to call and ask if I can pick up him and his friends at the pizza place. They've been out of school for 2 hours and it's already starting!!! But, I went anyway, because I have Taxi & Sucker written on my forehead.

When I picked them up, they all start telling me this story and I was stunned into silence: On their walk to the pizza place, they notice a ziploc bag with "suspicious contents". So, they called the police to report it! I wanted to laugh here, because the thought of four 12-year-olds (or almost 12 in Pal's case) taking it upon themselves to call the police just cracked me up. I would never have done something like that as a kid! When the police didn't respond quickly enough for Pal's liking - he called them a second time!!!

When the police officer came, he smelled the "contents" and determined it was tea leaves. But, he thanked the boys for calling him and told them they did the right thing. In town just that morning, an 8th grade boy was found in a parking lot and the rumor is that he had overdosed on heroin. That's the saddest thing I've heard, and I'm sure the officer was thankful that our boys thought enough to call them because if it were drugs they'd found, at least it would be off the street. We've heard nothing further on the condition of the 8th grade boy, but I sure hope he is okay.

This is the world we live in, and I am scared for Pal to be out there experiencing the harsh reality. I would have preferred he came home from school and lived in the safe little bubble we've created. I just hope he is smarter than the 8th grader and chooses to stay on the safe side of drugs, like calling the police about them.

Vacation is off to an exciting start but I hope it gets "boring" very quickly!!! I love to think of Pal and I waking up late, going to the beach or hanging out at my brother's pool. That's the Summer I am hoping for, anyway!

Happy Summer to everyone!
- G

Monday, May 16, 2011


After the nationwide vote....the doctor said my blood sugar is now back in the "normal" range, and BP was down 10 "points" on each end. Phew. Total weight loss as of today: 33 lbs!

I have a long way to go as far as weight loss goes, but I have to admit it feels really good for people to notice it.

Oh, AND, This past weekend my chorus won 3rd place in our regional competition!! We were 3rd in our division, and 5th out of 16 overall!


Friday, April 22, 2011

Taking Back The Control

Has it really been almost four full months since I wrote a blog entry? Shame on me. But, I have good news - there is less of me to shame!!! Let me document my journey for you.

In January, I turned 40. Ugh, right? Well, I was pretty okay with it. I have a great life; a wonderful husband who loves me unconditionally, a beautiful healthy son, great siblings, a great in-law family, good friends, a good job, an awesome chorus to sing with, etc. etc. etc. I can't complain. Well, yes I can.

I have been overweight since I was 17 years old. Initially it was manageable, I could go to Weight Watchers and lose the extra 15-20 lbs. Then in my 20's I started putting it on and keeping it on. I lost weight for my wedding, like most brides do. But pretty much since then, it's been no-holds-barred. I have no excuse, other than absolute laziness. My hubby loves me no matter what weight I am, so therefore there is no motivation to be thin anymore. It's way more fun to eat whatever I want, all.the.time.

That all changed on February 7, 2011 (which also happens to be Garth Brooks' birthday) when I went for a physical. At my last doctor's appointment my blood pressure was elevated, and when the doctor looked back at the last few BP's they were also slightly higher. She came in and told me that I had borderline high blood pressure and needed to act on it, now. She mentioned BP medications, and I don't want to do that. So, we discussed diet, exercise and all the other things I wasn't ready to deal with. The Doc delivered the ultimatum: I either had to lose 10 pounds by May or I would have to go on medicine.

Sounds easy, right?!?! Huh! I went home and told my family that I would have to change my eating habits and get serious about this. I was firm. However, like with every diet I've ever tried, I start to give myself leeway and eat things I shouldn't. Until.....

A letter arrives in the mail 3 days later from the doctor saying that the results from my blood tests showed that I also have high blood sugar. WHAAAT???? No way. Not me. I almost dropped the letter out of my hands. This cannot be my life. I will not be a diabetic. NO FLIPPIN' WAY.

At first I was too ashamed to tell anyone. My hubby had to deal with me all on his own...I actually sobbed one night before going to bed. I was so devastated that I had let my health get this out of control. Eating whatever I wanted for the last 15 years came with a price, and I was not ready to pay. Due to my ferocity that I could not, and would not, be "that person" (you know, the diabetic who has to use insulin, who also had a stroke because of their high blood pressure,who everyone says "Gee, if only she would stop eating herself to death." Or at least in my own head that's what people are saying...I digress...) I have taken control back. Instead of being ashamed, I have shared my story with a lot of people and have gotten so much positive support and reinforcement from my family and friends. I can honestly say that I am a much healthier person today and have completely revamped my eating habits at this point. And the best news of all? I am down 28.3 pounds as of today. Don't you forget that .3 - I've earned it!!!!

This is just the beginning of my journey. I can only be hopeful that the road I've traveled thus far will pay off in that next appointment with the Doc. I'll keep you posted.

Have a wonderful and blessed Easter.

- G

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Year Without A Santa Claus

I remember when I found out that there was no Santa Claus. I asked my sister, C, to tell me the truth and she did. I was probably about 8 or 9, and I was probably a little relieved to know the truth. Who wants some fat guy in a red suit creeping into our house while we slept? The thought actually gave me shivers! My brother took delight in showing me all of Mom's hiding places for our gifts and took even more delight in showing me how to unwrap them (just a little) to see what they were!! I know, that's horrible, and we only ruined it for ourselves. But we also couldn't resist the temptation.

Pal found out this year. He had been teetering on the verge of knowing, deep down, but his buddy decided on the eve of Easter to tell him. The buddy's parents had clued him in, and he was busting at the seems to tell someone. Unfortunately, Pal was the first person he saw that day. Pal is still crushed. I was definitely crushed, and it ruined our Easter. It's hard when you only have one child because all those days of "pretend" are now over. The absolute funniest "dawn-on-marble-head" moment was when the Christmas Carols started playing on the radio and he heard the song "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" - he looked at me with this incredulous look and said with sarcasm..."Really?"

So, this year will be a bit different at our house. I don't think it will keep Pal in bed any later, because I still think the excitement of the holiday itself is what wakes him up. I can remember waking up my exhausted (and probably a little hungover) parents at 5:00 a.m. They always got up and went through the pretense of seeing if Santa showed up, whether we believed or not. My Dad used to make us wait on the stairs and he would go downstairs to put the tree lights on, and he'd yell up to us - "Santa didn't come this year - go back to bed!" Ha ha. It's something we do to Pal every year and it infuriates him!!!

Don't get me wrong, I do believe in the magic of Christmas. I believe that Christmas is always changing and our traditions are what keep us happy and hopeful.

May Santa be good to all of you this Christmas season. Remember the reason for the season, too - the birth of our saviour. Happy Birthday, Jesus!

- G

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thanks Giving

I love Thanksgiving. I think that I love it a little more than Christmas (which for me says a lot!) because it is just a day to hang out with family and eat lots of yummy food. I've never hosted a Thanksgiving so I might have a totally different perspective than some of you cooks out there! I simply love all things Fall, and the smells and foods that go with it. Here are some of my favorite things about Thanksgiving that remind me of my childhood and being with my family:

Waking up to the smell of turkey cooking
Celery sticks filled with cream cheese and sprinkled with Paprika
Whole walnuts and other nuts, with large metal nutcrackers
Fresh oranges and grapes on the table
Olives (there were always black and green olives whenever my Mom was involved!!)
Setting the table the night before with Mom's china
Mom's apple pies (luckily my sister C has carried on that tradition...yum!)
Dad cutting into an apple pie on the night before Thanksgiving
My Grandpa coming over for dinner and my brother and I would play in his wheelchair after he fell asleep!
Hot turkey sandwiches around 6:00 p.m.
More apple pie
Mom making me go to Marty's Caterers to BUY gravy because hers was (admittedly) awful!
My sister C holding a chisel and hammer over my Mom's gravy to demonstrate the awfulness!!!
Everybody being sleepy and watching football in the living room

As the years went on and our family expanded, we all couldn't fit into my parent's kitchen, and so we had to put banquet tables through the living room and den. There was never a kids table, we always sat together. Once my Mom started getting older and it became evident that her memory was failing, we started having dinner at my sister's houses. Now my brother has hosted this "event" a few times as well, and that's where we will be this year. I know my Mom will be looking down on us and she will be thankful that we are all together, in one place, carrying on the family traditions. I feel very grateful that she gave me so many great people to spend Thanksgiving with. I love you, family!

May your holiday be filled with traditions, great family and more apple pie than you can possibly eat in one day!

- G