Sunday, October 14, 2012

Gypsi... Meow...purrrrr-purrrrr.....

     That is my cat, Gypsi, always wanting me to pet her and of course when I am busy with my blog or reading or writing, eating or talking to someone on the phone.  She can be very pesky, but she is very lovable.  She was a kitten sent to me to calm my spirit when needed.

My 13 yr. old cat looks pretty good
         This cutie was about three months old, when her wild mom, and I mean wild, brought her to me in 1999 in he rain.  Because our JR Rudi would bark at all the outside cats, that practically lived in our back yard, Gypsi was a bit of a scaredy cat and even ran and hid from everyone, but me in the house.  How did she get into the house you may ask? Well this is the short of it. 
        Her mom trusted me, but would get no closer then about 3 feet.  I could feed her, talk to her and she would even lay close to me, but I could not touch her.  One rainy day she showed up with only one kitten.  Most of the time she had 4-6 kittens, who also stayed a safe distance from me.  I would feel sorry for them and feed them.  It was a time mom could lay down and relax for awhile, even cat nap, stay for the night or take off for a bit without the kittens, before collecting her litter and leaving again. 
       Swatch, the powderpuff calico mostly white mom, only had this one kitten and brought her back a few times.  In about two weeks I was going to college fulltime and for fun I started to play with the kitten using a long branch with only a few leaves at its tip.  The kitten loved this, but would skoot if I tried to pet her, even while she was eating. I thought this was a nice way to end my summer.  Maybe Swatch would bring the kitten around through the winter also.        
      Three days before going to school, I was sitting on a cinder  
block wall with my legs in front of me forming a tunnel.  I would drag the branch under my legs and the kitten would follow it.  Two days before classes while sitting,  I left the branch wiggling next to my right leg.  She was there for a while, so I took the chance and was able to slowly pet the top of her head right in back of her ears.  The kitten's reaction was, OOOHHH don't stop and literally fell in love with the petting motion.  This took place for most of the afternoon.  She sat there waiting for me when I took a lunch break and went into the house and came out again. I went inside for the night and felt good about the past few days.
       Most of this time I kept Rudi in so not to scare mom and her baby.  I was getting ready for school for the next day and around mid-day my husband and I heard scratching at the sliding door.  We looked down and there was the kitten.  I opened the door and she skooted in meowing and rubbing against me.  Mom was nowhere in sight. My husband smiled and said,  "It looks like you have a new friend and pet."  She has been in the house ever since.
       We had another cat at the same time with a nasty disposition, who originally belonged to one of my daughters.  When she left for college my daughter needed to leave Nala behind with us.  I love cats, but this one I did not trust.  Jealous Nala once attacked my visiting daughter and many times the dog and the kitten, which made the kitten even more nervous, since Rudi would bark at her and chase her through the cat door that led to the basement.  The dog did not follow, so the kitten felt safe on the other side, unless Nala did the same thing, but followed her through the door.  My kitten was and is very smart and a quick learner.  She watched Nala and quickly learned were the litter was in the basement, which was another blessing for us.
         "How did she get the name Gypsi?" you ask.  Well, when I was petting her outside and her head was bent down, behind the ears and top of her head looked like a gypsy moth, thus Gypsi.  The past three years have been calmer for her.  Nala has past on and Rudi has slowed down with arthritis, is hard of hearing and half blind, except when she is getting a treat.  Boy does she get excited.  Gypsi stands quite close to Rudi now and doesn't flinch when anyone visits or Rudi moves around.
         My cat, as she is also known, lays around on the bed when I am there and constantly, to this day, wants to be petted, especially on the head and on the tummy.  If I do not pay attention to her she will pull on my hand with a clawed paw or her mouth, without hurting me.  Only the past two years others have been able to pet her besides me.  No one can pick her up.  She stays in my arms for a few seconds, then jumps down, but loves laying on me, when I am laying on the couch or in bed.  Gypsi is not allowed in the bedrooms when we are not home.  SO, she lays on the couch or the warm wool rugged floor next to her ball in a circle or in the sun in front of the glass sliding door. She is a real sweetie even though she can be pesky.  She too only wants to be loved. Heavenly Father, thank you for this warm and fuzzy gift!  Enjoy everyone!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Busy, Busy, Busy....

     Getting ready for my 1st grade Religious Education class on Tuesday.  The first session was last week and the kids are really cute.  Some can read and some cannot.  This is expected of first graders.  The first couple of meetings will be for introductions, then my plan is to break the class into 10-15 minute intervals. 
     They will place their name tags on a chart with an assigned task for the month next to their tag.  The tags are all removable.  Each student has a photo (shoe) box with their names printed very large on its top and in the side slot.  They can keep their crayons, pencils and small crafts in it or take them home.  After attendance is verified we will start a special lesson from resource books,  have a story read about a saint, Jesus, the Holy Family, a moral, etc., then 1/2 time prayer. 
     On "Q" the assigned children will setup a table. Our special prayer table will have the Bible and stand, battery candle, seasonal colored cloth and statue of Mary and baby Jesus.  A crucifix is on a nearby wall and there are other saints or statues of Jesus we can switch each month or week. During this time we will read a prayer slip, which each child has written a name of someone they want to pray for.  Dad, Mom, a sibling, friend or relative, neighbor or stranger they heard about, etc.  These slips of paper will come in different colors for each christian calendar season and will be stapled together to form a chain.  The chain will be hung around the room.  It will be great to see it grow and how it amazes the children.
     After prayer we will have a connecting lesson to build on what was taught earlier, then color a picture about the lesson or make an age appropriate fun craft or play a lesson related game.  After putting everything away, boxes closed, their folders are ready to go and coats on, we will say a quick rhyming prayer to send them off.  All of this takes place in an hour and a half.  I think keeping them moving and busy will hopefully keep them interested and have no time to fool around.  I do know there will be those off days, but the children will have a routine and a little structure filled with love, fun and food for thought in faith.  Not food because of the many allergies some children have.
    I pray for their families and each one of these angels sent to fill my heart with each of their unique personalities.  I pray they enjoy the class, learn that Jesus loves them and is always with them.
Until next time...GB...God bless!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Time does fly bye.....

    Where does it go?  I'm retired and have no time or energy most days.  I am sure you all feel the same way working, taking care of your families, special family events, perform house or property chores and trying to do something special or different (if you can fit it in) once in awhile.  I do not think it's age all of the time, but I am not denying the possibility.  There are times when we want to sleep longer, but need to get up for work, an event or someone is at the door or on the phone.  This is normal, what ever that word means.  Then there are those few times we can sleep, but do not and cannot, so we get up early, even though we do not set the alarm, there are no events to attend, the phone does not ring and no one comes to the door. And it is not necessarily a weekend.  Boy, do I enjoy my Yerba Mate Tea, which tastes especially good on those few and far between special days.
    This month has flown bye with a part time job, trying to write my children books, all of the above, twice a month keeping track of the paying bills cycle with hubbie's and my pensions, Social security and Medicare.  And I'm retired? Mind boggling.  Those who aren't there yet...just wait.  I still have student loans to get rid of, being school was a late issue. I truely am not complaining, just stating a fact of life.  Note to Peg: "Need to work on getting your blog written more often, fit in your emails and FB."
    A few years back an 85 year old grandparent called me up and sounded a bit gloomy.  Not her usual self.  "What's up Nana?  You do not sound to happy.  What is bothering you?" "Peg, I'm getting old.  I'm starting to forget things and when I blink, time seems to pass me by." Yes, at 85 she was just starting to feel this way.  God bless her.  I think at times I was born that way.  This was a woman who was as sharp as a tack and a WWII pilot, ferrying our servicmen from base to base. Another great story for another time.  It was the first time I heard her complain about forgetting and time flying bye.  She would remind me of certain things I had forgotten. A big surprise to hear her say that and today I realize how blessed she was, because I hear more and more much younger men and women saying it more and more almost everyday.  Have times or people changed that much or just notice it more because they are so over whelmed with the extra activities they place on themselves.  Blinking seems to describe how fast that seems to happen.  Time flying bye, that is.
     Bothered by all of this?  Once in awhile it does, but prayer and faith, hope and charity bring me peace of heart, mind and soul and back to earth.  Thank you to our most Holy and blessed Trinity, God, my Heavenly Father.  Bothered by anything, pray and believe, and the gift of peace will carry you through.  Enjoy your day everyone!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Beach followup

     I made my quota of more than one visit to the beach.  In fact it was 4 times altogether, 3 mornings and one afternoon.  That came to $7.50 a day instead of $15 per day.  Yeah!  I sat in the same spot each day and one of those days I walked the waterline for awhile, watching kids and adults enjoy the surf and each other.
Blue skies, colorful umbrellas and banner flying planes
     More shore birds in large groups flew back and forth from sea to shore.  The last day was a bit upsetting.  I needed to wrap myself up in my blanket while I was trying to read or closed my eyes to relax and could not.  Why?  Because there were hundreds of biting flies.  Barn swallows or beach swallows were having a field day zooming back and forth, up and down, and zig zagging in all directions hopefully catching the pesky flies.  But it wasn't enough. People were probably laughing at me bundled up, but I was laughing also.  Not only at myself, but at the people who were spraying themselves with bug spray, smacking themselves to shoo the pests, then leaving or moving closer to the water, where the flies did not bite so much.
     That day  was also a hot one, so beach goers did wear their flip flops or other footwear when trapesing back and forth, to and from, their blankets.  The skies were clear and bluer then the first day.  The larger planes passing by were not as noisy and flew much higher.  A few smaller banner carrying planes scooted through the air with engines making machine gun noises.  This definitely got your attention.  One quiter plane pulled a very long and narrow banner reading, "Eucharistic Congress held at PNC Arts Center - All Welcomed Oct. 12-14" .  "What is that about?" you might ask.  It is a FREE 3 day celebration for all families, children and anyone who would like to join the Christian/Catholic event.  Hit the banner's words and you will go to the Diocese of Trenton, NJ website for more information or get the Monitor Newspaper with loads of info.   You can bring a bagged or cooler lunch and sit on the lawns, but not in the parking lots.  What a surprize that was to see such a banner flying over our NJ shores!
     I will visit the beach during the fall and Winter months also, especially Sandy Hook.  It is free during cooler months.  And I promise to visit the beach more often during the 2013 summer season.  It is still very warm in September so maybe I will see you there.  Not to swim, but to write, walk and meet other beach enthusiasts.  Enjoy the months to come!  Leave a comment below about your beach and other adventures.  God bless!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Insect photo

       My small yard has many cracks and crevices where all kinds of bugs can hide and multiply. Bending and crawling here and there looking for flowers, plants and insects to photograph, I came across one that was a hot topic last year and recently.  Last year they were everywhere, this year we only had a few dead carcasses on our Southwest window sill.  In early spring a live one had settled on our classic kitchen chandelier, which I had captured and set free in the back yard. None have been seen since until the other day.

     It looks prehistoric with very tiny colorful multiple scales.  Other then its clicking when flickering around and bouncing off lamps and windows, it is very quiet until disturbed.  I hung a bright red hummingbird feeder with hopes of enticing a hummingbird of any color or size.  This is sort of hard since we live near a main highway and our tree's canapies cover the yard from any ariel views.  But my hopes are set high.  There have been many kinds of birds appearing in the bird bath or at one of our feeders, that we have never seen before or since.

     I know what kind of insect it is do you? 

Hear is my photo.  Do you have information you can share about this creature?  Please do.   

Monday, August 27, 2012

Pests of beauty, magnificence, humor and cuteness

            I went to the beach today  … It has been awhile. From childhood through my twenties, I would spend many hours at a beach.  In fact, I was a person who practically lived at its sandy shores.  Even after marriage we would gather our beach paraphernalia with three children and venture to our close by New Jersey Shores from spring—fall and even fall—spring.
            Whether bay or ocean it was a place to relax, catnap, watch people, read or collect shells, driftwood, Sea glass, sand crabs (silly looking creatures) and other interesting items.  We would build sand castles, surface bury each other, swim, sun bathe, play beach games and especially enjoy the goodies stored in our age old cooler.
            As empty nesters, my husband and I have not taken to much time to enjoy this cherished activity.  Our days were filled with full time jobs and volunteering at community organizations adding a sprinkle of emotional events in-between. Then he took an early retirement, which still left us with no extra relaxation time.  Recently I retired.  For a few months now I have been working on getting my house/home in order and sometimes care for some youngsters.  Summer is almost gone (bite your tongue PJ) and I haven’t lived up to my spring promise of going to the beach more often this season.  I did attend my youngest’s beach gathering to celebrate her birthday in early June.  Hubbie had a previous set activity, so I ventured out myself for three to four hours and what a gratifying tease.
            All day, this past Friday, I felt I needed an away from home break.  That night I decided to go to our Sandy Hook Park shores, with breakfast, books, pads and pencils in tow. Sounded great!  For the first time in a long time I went to bed with a huge smile, feeling really terrific about my decision.  I woke up early Saturday to a cloudy sky, a bit of a breeze, but still a possible beach day.  Usually an 8:00 or 8:15am Church Mass starts my day.  This time I decided to attend Mass at 9:00am in a beach town Church just passed, but close to, Sandy Hook.  Afterwards I stopped off at a quaint and favorite restaurant to pick up breakfast and a very cold bottle of water. Finally on my way I carried not only food nourishment, I also carried an excited and positive attitude.  On the road again I felt as though I was meeting an old friend.
            With a senior pass hanging from the car’s rearview mirror I could not wait to drive through the park’s toll both, knowing I did not have to pay the weekend fee.  We had bought the pass in early spring incase the kids or friends wanted to go to any New Jersey park. It was a great deal; $30 for the year, otherwise $10-15 daily or more on the weekends.  This year I was determined to use it, thence my earlier beach promise. 
            After being waived in and picking one of many beaches in the park, I parked in a space close to the bathrooms, snack bar and beach entrance.  At 10:15am that was a feat in its self for a weekend beach day the parking lot sign would have read “Full.”  With a recycled book filled bag in hand and my chair, a chair-umbrella and a blanket neatly packed together slung the chairs convenient carrying strap comfortably over my shoulder, then headed down the plastic wood decked path to a sandy carpet reaching east a quarter mile to ocean water and miles of beautiful beach north and south.  At the end of the path was the small Life Guard Station on my right and a sand dune covered in plants just behind it.  About 100 feet  from the stations side and 8 feet from the dune I claimed my sand plot with the spreading of an old comfy cotton blanket.  After attaching the small umbrella, I finally settled in the beach blue-high backed chair.  As each foot assisted the other out of my sandals I leaned forward and rolled up my jeans to my knees.  Yes, I wore long jeans not knowing how the weather would play out. Getting wet was not my intention today, just relaxing, reading or writing a bit was my goal.  But first I needed to eat.  In one motion I gathered my water bottle, a napkin or two and my scrumptious egg, mozzarella, spinach and tomato on a sesame bagel sandwich, when I heard a man and woman a couple hundred feet from me talking on the phone.  That’s how loud they were.  “Yeah, today it’s free.  The park, beach and parking. Yeah, yeah….. It’s usually $15.00.”
            Boy!  Did that burst my bubble.  So far this adventure cost me $30.  Hopefully I will attend Sandy Hook 3 or more times up through Labor Day.  Let us pray it doesn’t rain too much.  I might still go if it does.  Summer rain is fun to me, even if it is torrential.   We will see what the week will bring.  My attitude is positive and I know I will follow through.  Future beach visits, here I come – Yeah!
            Finishing my breakfast and peering out at the people, our human species, their coming and going antics had made me giggle a few times.  I had flashbacks of scampering across the hot-hot sand, wishing I had something for my tender feet.  Buckled Sandals, tie shoes or sneakers,  were the only footwear in my younger years.  Eventually lighter sandals, then flip flops, then slip on sandals came along.  Great for slipping on, to go from a blanket, across the hot sand to the snack bar and back.
            Today young and old alike have taken on a Japanese tradition; taking off one’s footwear before entering a house or doorway of a special room. This ritual has come to this beach.  New arrivals came to the end of the plastic wood decking area that meets the carpet of sand, slide off their shoes, sneakers, sandals or flip flops and continue to walk on the hot sand.  I know it’s hot, because a young boy (about 4yrs. old) started screaming, when his mom took up the blanket and did not put shoes on him and headed towards the deck.  Almost climbing up his mom’s legs to get off the hot sand,  his screams intensified.  She would not pick him up and he stopped as soon as his little feet stepped onto the, none wood decking.  “Maybe the sand had cooled down from the comfortable breeze or the boy did not like the feel of the sand on his feet,” you say.  It felt hot to me.  Have people visited the beach so much this season that one’s feet had acclimated to the sand’s heat?  Some take their footwear off as if they knew already, the sand’s temperature.  Amazing!
            When I ventured out this morning at 8:30am I noted earlier, there was an over cast of clouds.  On beach days like this the sun would appear around noon time and burn off the gloomy clouds.  Today the warm sun appeared a bit sooner and the ocean breeze made it very comfortable.  Us beach goers had blue skies dotted with scattered white clouds for an hour or so.  Then a northern dark sky headed towards us, but dissipated before hitting our shore line.  Another hour passed by and the very  white clouds came and went as if they could not make up their minds to stay or go.
            A sight to behold!  Some of the earlier arrivals, who took off their sandals, are heading to the snack bar or home.  They step off the carpet of sand onto the, none wood decking and slip on their footwear.  I have now come to the conclusion that the decking material might be hotter then the sand.
            A threesome of lady bike-riders leaned the rental bikes against the side of the life guard station facing me.  I knew they were rental bikes by the same spray painted peach color of all three and very plain looking. Noticing I was writing, one asked if I needed quite.  Smiling, I thanked her and said no.  That was very courteous.  A manner I admire in a person, for the morning here has not been quite.
            From very low flying helicopters and planes, large and small, heading to near bye airports, to blimps and advertising planes, it was anything but quite.  There had been the squeaks and squeals of children, the constant chatter of hundreds of beach goers, a volleyball game in back of me, loud engines of unseen planes, beach items scraping the sands as they are dragged to and fro, chirps and squawks of sea birds and the flip-flopping nose of my own umbrella’s folding snap strap against itself above my head.
            It is funny though, I really do not hear all the noise so much when I am writing.  My brain has cut off the path of vibrations to my ears and made them soft and elusive.   From time to time, one sound would catch my ear, to make me aware of my very active environment.
            The gentle warm sea breeze has wrapped around me making my minimal hours here so comfortable and soothing.  It is about 1:30pm, boy does time fly.  I heard a life guard’s whistle.  It’s like nature and a phone is telling me it is time to go.  My stay is up in wonderland.  The clouds have thickened and people’s voices are starting to bellow talking over each other.   The peace and quite has ceased now with more of our human species encroaching the life guard building and my little Shangri-La.
            This time I did not plan on venturing into the water, but I also heard some conversations that the water was rough with strong waves.  My reading was very brief and my writing seemed to take up almost three and a half hours, but really did not.  In between, sights and sounds caught my interest.  I am a people and nature watcher.  I enjoy absorbing and observing my environment and that is what I did.   The annoying sounds of the planes engines brought my attention to the magnificent flying beasts.  I marvel at the ingenuity of mankind with metal or fabricated flying machines and huge boats that float.  Making balloon wheels on PVC wheel chairs, so those who cannot walk on the beach can still enjoy coming and going in the sand, to and from their blankets with friends and family was thoughtful.  Children put laughter in my soul when they try to take off and put on their footwear and do not want help.  Their parents or grandparents were very patient today.  The looks on the little one’s faces and silly movements of their bodies when feeling the strange granules under their feet and between their toes, maybe for the first time, made me chuckle.  The colorful umbrellas whether solids, stripes or other designs really brightened up the shore line.  Beach birds hovered in the warm air currents over the water, then returned to the beach for leftover smorsels.  How do they fly?    The many shapes and sizes of different types of kites with long tails of ribbon fifty or more feet in the air, wow.  And there were no bugs because of the comforting sea breeze.  People in all sizes, shapes and colors, language and activities filled the beach with comings and goings like busy ants and a purpose in mind.  Almost as if they were entertaining me and other observers.  Wild sunflowers beamed down on me from the top of the plant covered dune waving to me or was that the warm sea breeze again?   All of this is by chance?  I do not think so.
            Instead of putting my head in a book and zoning out I wrote about this day, this beach day.  Driving home I will find myself smiling, just thinking about what I absorbed, observed and what was written on a pad.  I cannot wait to return a few more times this week.  Soon I will engage in different sights and sounds.  Before I put my head down on a soft pillow tonight I will read about my day acquiring another smile pressed against my face.  And before these weary eyes shut I will say, “Thank you for a very blessed day!”
            How beautiful the pests of the day were.  From varied noises, antics and activities, they put on quite a show.  “Thank you!” to all that surrounded me today.  A beach day with beautiful, magnificent, humorous and very cute pests.  I want more of this.
            Written Saturday, while at the beach by PJ Corcoran.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Pests in general.

     What is a pest?  A child asking "Why?" a million times, a bug, bird or animal crawling or flying where you think it shouldn't. Or something else? Signing onto Google for the first time I viewed some beautiful pictures of insects and their surroundings.  The positions they put themselves into are amazing and their colors are sometimes breathtaking. 
     I would love to see more interesting pix of these interesting creatures, which our Creator has given us to ooooo and aaaaah over.  A time given to us to stop and catch our breath and be in awe of life and our surroundings.  Do you stop to smell the roses/flowers, coffee, spring rain or salted air from a gentle sea breeze? 
     Come follow my adventures with all kinds of pests, who will entertain us with their antics.  This blog is open, come visit and read awhile.  Hope you get a chuckle, food for thought or an a ha! moment.  Hope to hear from you very soon on my antics.  Choa!