Saturday, March 10, 2018

Movin on....back to catholic school

Good morning! What a week....rain...lots of it...snow....lots of it....sunshine...lots of it....I miss February when we had temperatures up to 70 degrees.
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What's going on BPM? Welll........

A sweet nun from a poor parish in the city asked Dr. G and me to teach the 5th and 6th graders the 'facts of life'. Yep....facts of life. After fainting, I knew that I could not say "Are you cra-zee?" Image result for are you crazy? gif

Apparently, the children are using slang for their body parts and have not developed a sense of good physical hygiene. This happens. I remember it from elementary school at St. D's. The older we got, the stinkier the room got. The nuns looked like they were going to pass out as they walked around the room with their yard sticks in their hands. Seemed karma-like since they were looking to use the rulers as a weapon and not measure how tall we had gotten.....Image result for nuns with rulers gif

Fade to black......

Yes, I went to grade school, high school and college (for under grad and doctorate) at Catholic schools. For the most part, the education and discipline were excellent, but those nuns scared the poop out of me. Yep, the scariest moments I have had in life were not when my airplane was nose diving over the Gulf of Mexico (more about that later) but when the nuns found out that we had done something wrong, immoral, or just child like. Some of them would use their rings to smack the boys in the head. One kid named Steve had his smashed against the blackboard. Today, they would call it abuse. Back then, I called it a nun-induced concussion.Image result for nuns with rulers gif

Anyway, I made it through the educational system by keeping my nose clean and head down. Since I was tall, the sisters put me in a desk in the back of room. Usually short in stature, they did not see what the back row was doing while they taught class. I remember doing my homework, doodling, and eating Good n Plentys that were hidden in my uniform pocket. Once I choked on an orange lifesaver that got lodged in my throat. I did not dare tell the nun since she would kill me for eating them in class. So, I chose death by life saver instead. Fortunately, the life saver melted in my blocked airway before I died. To this day, I cannot eat a life saver without thinking that I almost met St Peter at the pearly gates.Image result for are you crazy? gif

Yep, nuns always got my attention. In first grade, my teacher, Sister V was the scariest son of a gun that I ever met. She scared the *&$)* out all of us. I was so stressed out that I got sick...really sick and was out of school for months. I was even in the hospital for a week. To this day, I believe that I had Sister V-itis...not deadly, but enough to whack you off your feet for a few months.Image result for nuns with rulers gif

By the way, a few years ago, I was teaching students at an infirmary for retired nuns. Someone said that Sister V was there. I went white and had sweats again. Sister V-itis was returning to me even as an adult. I looked around to see if I could find her and low and behold....there she was....doing laundry for the sisters. She was now in her 80's and still active. Ironically, the ten feet tall nun was now 4'11"...not so frightening, right?Image result for nuns with rulers gif

I introduced myself and she remembered everything from my parents, siblings, to where we lived. This was surreal. Then we took a selfie together. I sent the photo to each sibling who replied:"Thought she was dead!"....."She didn't die yet?" "Watch your knuckles, she might have her yardstick in her pocket...." Sister V was no longer scary as I stood a good foot and a half taller than her.Image result for nuns with rulers gif

When people think that I am a bit on the neurotic side, I want to tell them that I went to Catholic school in the 60s and 70s, so I have an excuse for the night terrors, an uncanny knack of cleaning up anything that is on the floor, and standing when priests and nuns enter a room. As kids, when a religious entered the classroom, we stood up and said "Good morning, Father/Sister. How are you today?" Once they answered, we sat down in unison and folded our hands. Looking back on these days, it is no wonder that Dr G and I said "yes" to Sister's request to teach "Our Health, Our Bodies" to her middle school students.Image result for are you crazy? gif

As I got over the fear of teaching the class, I started to do some research on 5th and 6th grade developmental levels, what their bodies are experiencing, and Catholic doctrine. There are a few things that we have to cover besides this is the difference between boys and girls, which they already know and could teach us a thing or two. Image result for are you crazy? gif

So, I went online and ordered two books on growing up, God's way for girls and preparing for adolescence. Once I read the books, not shocked at any content, I started to create my PowerPoint for the presentation. To cover everything...and I do slide show has over 40 slides. I added a few You tube videos on conception, body changes, and growing up.Image result for reading book on sex ed gif

Currently, Dr G has the presentation and will edit it for the boys. Then I want to send it back to the Principal so she can "approve" it. Yep, we are actually going to do this on Thursday...look for an update after class and a few glasses (or box) or Merlot.Image result for are you crazy? gif

Betty had us laughing when he showed us a video from MASH when Henry Blake tried to teach sex education to the doctors and nurses. Very humorous....not humorous in elementary school.

I predict the following:
1. the kids will look horrified as we go through each slide
2. The kids will look bored as we go through each slide.
3. The kids will be embarrassed
4. The kids will laughImage result for reading book on sex ed gif
5......they will lose consciousness because I am quite boring when it comes to the facts of life.
There is no way to sugar coat this one and have a lighthearted discussion. We can't laugh because it will seem like we do not respect the bodies that God has given us. It will almost like being in church...I think.....Image result for are you crazy? gif

Ah, I don't know how this is going to go. My plan is:

1. Smile...a lot....probably too much. It will look like a fake smile, although anyone who knows me will think that it is a horrified smile....

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2. I will perspire....a great deal....there will probably be a pool of sweat on the floor.

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3. My face will be red as I smile and perspire....and wish, yes, really wish, that I was on a beach in Siberia or a lagoon filled with man eating crocodiles....
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4. I will have my laser pen pointing at various body parts on the screen and practice saying "Fallopian tubes...."
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5. When I see their eyes roll to the back of their heads, I will dive into personal hygiene, soap, and deodorant.
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6. Once I hit the 40th slide, I will say "Any questions? a super day....."Image result for are you crazy? gif

Daisy says I got this one covered, but I am a bundle of BPM know, it's the bottom of the 9th in the 7th game of the World Series.....we are up by one run...bases are loaded with 2 outs. I have a 3-2 count on Babe Ruth and do not want to throw a fast I give in to my catcher who calls a curve ball....I take a big breath....focus on the catcher's glove...and let the ball fly.....what happens? Related image

Stay tuned for an update later this week.


Saturday, March 3, 2018

Movin on.....birthday boy!

Good morning! it's the day after the big nor'easter in the northeast, and we are unscathed except for the some snowflakes. Image result for noreaster gifAlthough, there are lots of folks who do not have power...and will not until Sunday night....ouch! Dad and I were chatting today and sort of laughed in a relieved way. It is usually our region that loses power then we lose everything in the refrigerator and freezer as the ice cream melts onto the floor.....Then we are the last household to regain the power....We sit in the dark because candles worry me and from the background, we can hear the sounds of the neighbors' generators as their houses glow with their own personal power. Jealous? Nope....I like the intimacy of peanut butter sandwiches by flashlight. it is quite cozy as the dogs snuggle to stay warm. Very Norman Rockwell....Image result for noreaster gif

OK, on to the big news this week....

The big kid had a birthday and I was see.....Image result for adult birthday party gif

Fade to black.....
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This time last year, he was sick....really older posts......Image result for sick gif

There was a time when I though he had either ALS, MS, or a brain tumor. No parent, daughter, loved one, friend ever wants to hear this diagnosis. we stormed heaven with prayers and doctors' offices with demands that his illness be diagnosed. Image result for sick gif

Finally, over Easter weekend, we got the good and bad news. The bad news was a chronic neurological disorder. The good news was that he could live a normal life with it.

It took a year with medications, therapies, experimental therapies, infusions, and steroids....he turned the corner and has been living a fairly normal life. Although.....Image result for sick gif

He has to......

get enough sleep
work out every day
eat a healthy diet
eliminate junk food and alcohol
practice his speech to regain resonance
deep breathe
can have a crisis and lose ability to breathe on own
and so on.......

And guess what? Like anything else in his life, he is faithful to his regimen and has been rewarded with increased strength. Image result for sick gif

Not everything is back yet as his face still droops a bit and his eyes are darker. But he is optimistic and will compete his masters degree this year and begin law school. This is a miracle! This time last year, he could barely get out of bed. Now he is tapering off the steroids......And.....he goes to church each week and gave up chocolate for! he is his own man and I no longer have to yell through his bedroom door to get the *(S$)& out of bed and get his $^@#&%@ butt to Mass......Image result for sick gif

Gang, this  miracle is something I prayed for and expected. God is good and took care of our young man....Image result for miraculous healing gif

I gave his the option of money or a suit for his birthday. He has a black suit that he bought himself that is so synthetic, if someone lit a cigarette next to him, it would burst into flames. Wisely, he chose the off to Joseph Banks for a suit, sport jacket and fitting.....Image result for fitting a suit gif

When Nick, the clerk, put the suit on him, I was taken aback at his size, health and vigor....and naturally, his devilishly good looks.....He is going to be a formidable presence in the court room as eyes will be on him and what he has to say. As Nick measured him, he asked if he was a pitcher because his left arm was longer than his right. I had to smile, because his past as a lefty will always be a huge part of his mind, body, and spirit.....Image result for fitting a suit gif

OK, I have gushed enough about my former pitcher who never gave up in a baseball game or in life. He battled like no one I have ever seen, and he is my hero. He has taught me that when faced with adversity, you don't fold like a cheap suit. No, you look at it in the eye, and begin to approach the situation in a systematic manner. Never give up...never, never, right Winston? Right Gary Oldham? (an Oscar's reference).Image result for gary oldman churchill gif

OK, time for me to work out. Yep, I have not given up boot camps. Today, I had a little birthday cake for breakfast.....don't judge, I am going to work out now.....Image result for adult birthday party gif


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

BPM Movin on...Ground Hog Part 2

Good morning! I could not finish the first post because I had to work. Work...a little four letter word that has me reconsidering my career.....more about that later....

Back to to Punxy.....Image result for groundhog day gif

Fade to black.....

We found seats on a yellow school bus in the middle of the night. The heat was on but I could still feel the chill of the air. I knew that I was in trouble but I was not going to complain because I made the decision to go and I was going to be fun BP mom and not dour BPMom.Image result for groundhog day gif

The bus let us out at Gobblers Knob and we walked through the gate. Dr. G took a selfie with the three of us. We looked eager and excited to be there. Yes, I was excited. I was actually in Punxy and was eager to see the groundhog. All we had to do was get through the next three hours.Image result for groundhog day gif

The air was electric as people stood by bonfires, the stage show was going on, there were bands, singers, comedians, tee shirt vendors, and port a potties....If you know me, you know that I never, ever use those things, so I did not drink for 24 hours in preparation.Image result for groundhog day gif

We stood on the hill and watched the festivities. There are ground hog calls and all kinds of songs and poems dedicated to Phil. Yes, it was all ground hog.....

I made it a point to meditate through the shows. Deep breaths....visualizing a warm beach and palm trees rather than whipping winds and frigid temperatures. My hand a feet warmers were not working which made me breathe deeper.

If I could move my arms, I would have been looking at my watch, but my mind went numb and I just stood there shivering.....then it was 6:30 am, it was not sunrise yet, and the lights went out. Suddenly, there were fireworks. The fireworks were so close, I was hoping one would hit me and warm my immobile toes. The fireworks were pretty cool and took my mind off my frozen digits for a while.

After the fireworks, all of the singers and dancers returned to the stage for a was getting close.

I looked at the sky and could see dawn....yes! This means Phil is coming out of his stump soon!

Then it happened...everyone in Gobblers Knob hushed....we looked up the hill and there was the PA state police escorting the Men of the Inner Circle....yep, they needed a police escort to get down the they were rick stars and not school teachers, plumbers, or funeral directors.....Image result for groundhog day men of inner circle gif

We cheered as they assembled around Phil's stump. There were more speeches...a ground hog call....pledge of allegiance...then the President spoke about how he can speak ground hog-eese. Yes, with his magical cane in his hand, he has the capability of communicating with Phil.Image result for groundhog day gif

When Phil emerges, they place him on a red carpet remnant on top of his stump. The President looks at Phil and speaks to him carrying his magical cane, of course. Then the President asks Phil if he saw his shadow.Image result for groundhog day gif

It was time....we held our breath in anticipation.....6 more weeks of winter? spring? Come on, man! What is it??Image result for groundhog day men of inner circle gif

The President finished his conversation with Phil and picked up a scroll. He read it to the throngs of Phil lovers and announced...."Six more weeks of winter!"Image result for groundhog day gif

We booed and hissed and waddled back to the buses.

it took us 45 minutes to actually get on to a bus wince everyone was in the same predicament that we were...frozen solid and going to do anything to get off Gobblers Knob. After jockeying for position, we finally got on to a bus and were whisked away back to Wal Mart.
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And so, my friends, that ends the story of our trip to Punxy. After thawing out at our hotel with lukewarm coffee and oatmeal, we headed home.....

One last note....Dr. G wanted to go with us and I thought it was because he had such a great time when he went with our cousin. Yes, he had a great time but never made it to Gobblers see...they partied all night at the Burrow pub, passed out and never made it to see Phil.

All's well that ends well.....

Got to hit the gym!


Monday, February 19, 2018

Movin on....BPM meets the groundhog Part 1

Good Sunday morning! It snowed last night in the northeast and I am happy to say that it was not enough that we need to shovel. Scoob and I have been considering attending  the Fire and Ice Festival a few hours away. The ice is actually ice sculptures that have been strategically placed throughout a little Amish borough. I am a sucker for ice sculptures since there is no way that I could possibly pick up a chain saw and start to create something beautiful out of a block of ice.....except chipping it down to add to a drink or two....

Speaking of blocks of ice, that is exactly what I was a few weeks ago in Punxatawny, Pennsylvania.....that's right....Punxy....home of Phil, the prognosticating groundhog.....I kid you not....

Fade to black......

Last year (2017) Big Sis came to me with one of her crazy ideas...."hey, BP mom...." she says...."Do you want to go to Punxatawny with me next year."Image result for gif groundhog day

Looking at her as if she was nuts, it took me less than 1 second to say: "sure." And that was it. Sometimes she does not follow up on things, so I figured I was safe.....


She did follow through, got a hotel room and paid a hefty deposit. Then I forgot about it.

 Now it is November 2017, Big Sis says: "Remember,we are going to Punxy. You're in, right?"Image result for gif groundhog day

Yeah, right. I'm in.....Definitely. Sounds fun. After all, we can go the night before, walk to the stump, watch Phil be pulled from his home, check the impending forecast, then glide done the mountains in the car with heated seats. Not complicated, right?


At Christmas, she mentioned that there was a two day minimum at the hotel so we are to go two days before Phil is unleashed. Ok, two nights and three days in Punxy....this is a movie, right?Image result for gif punxsutawney

As the time came closer, I began to check the weather forecast. It has bee a fairly mild winter, so I figured 30-40's...some frost....hat, coat, gloves....standard groundhog watching attire, won't you say?
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The day approached and the weather forecast began to fade from cool breezes to whipping winds, freezing rain, and wind chills below zero. This was definitely not my idea of groundhog watching weather. I began to perspire.....yep....thinking about below zero wind chill factors made me rethink my sanity. But I made a promise and by jingo....I keep them!
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And so, we drove through the mountains to Punxy. Dr G was going to meet us there. He had been to the festival before and was ready to go back. This is another story for the, we drove around the mountains stopping every now and then for food, bathroom, or gas....then we see the signs....

Every Punxatawny sign had a groundhog on it.
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100 miles......50 miles.....20 miles....we were getting excited.....10 miles.....2 miles....yipppeee.....

Then we arrive.

Where is Punxy? There were a few stores, old buildings, abandoned store fronts, a side walk, and a few groundhog statues.
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Is this it? Where is Bill Murray's quaint town? This place was a ghost town with groundhog statues and tee shirt stores. No bustling little was sad and somewhat depressing.

We found our hotel outside of town across from a Wal Mart....yep, we had found something to do. Just like West Virginia and part of Ohio, I knew that we had a place to go....

The hotel was modern and did not smell (2 requirements for me). As we checked in, we were handed two vouchers for happy hour at the little 4 seat bar next to the reception desk. I was starting to like this little drinks....that's what I am talking about.

After unpacking, Big Sis and I went to happy hour with our vouchers and sat with the television crew from the PA cable network. These guys were pretty nice and we had a great time chatting with them. This was their tenth year covering Phil and our first year, so I had questions.....Image result for gif groundhog day

BP Mom: "Cable guys....what time should we get to Gobblers Knob (Phil's second home...a one story tree stump located in the woods).

CG: "Most people get there at 3 am for the festivities...."

BPM: "Are you freaking kidding me? It's going to be 40 below tomorrow....3 am? You cannot be serious!"Related image

I needed my head examined....STAT! Where was the closest shrink? Not in Punxy...they don't even have a Dunkin Donuts. Who doesn't have a DD? This is madness! Breathe BPM...breathe!Image result for gif groundhog day

Then I looked at Big Sis, who was not surprised.

Hey, did you know about this 3 am business? Did you leave a little detail out when casually asking me to go? How about: "Do you want to go with me to Punxy? By the way, we have to be a Gobblers Knob by 3 am?" She left the second sentence out.....
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I took a big gulp of my first free drink then asked for my second with my voucher....Back to the cable guys....

BPM: " 3 am? What could we possibly be doing for 4 hours before Phil appears?"

Cable guys: "Well, there is a show that goes on during the night. It's pretty good."

Again, trying to sugar coat my lack of wanting to pull myself out of bed in the middle of the night in subzero temperatures, I could not think of one person that I would make this acceptable to me.

Billy Joel? Nope
Elton John? Nope
Jon Bon Jovi? Maybe
Bruce Springsteen? Getting warmer....
Michael Buble? Absolutely not!Image result for gif groundhog day

Again, I was feeling squeamish.

BPM: "Cable guys....really! 3 am? Give us the real scoop...."

Cable guys: "If you get there by 5:30, you will see what you need to see...."

Acceptable answer. Sorry, Big Sis....3 am...whipping winds in the mountains of PA waiting to see a groundhog....not doing it. Someone would throw a net over me if I had agreed to it.

Now it was time for dinner....asking at the desk which was one foot away from the bar, the attendant went through 3 possible places to eat....

Place A...."Naw....I wouldn't go there...."

Place B...."Nope...."

Place C...."Family food...not bad."

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We went to Place C, thinking not bad was an OK adjective. it took less than 3 minutes to drive to Place C, I ordered a spinach salad which according to the menu had Parmesan cheese. When it came out (without dressing), my faux Parmesan cheese was splattered all over the spinach leaves. not being able to catch my waitress, I ate the Kraft faux cheese loaded salad dry and almost gagged.Image result for gif groundhog day

Big Sis was a champ...."Isn't this great?" she said.....

Yep, super.....

The next day, it began to drizzle, sleet and snow. We took a walk through the borough and began to groundhog shopping frenzy. I bought earrings with groundhogs on them (not for me, I don't look good in groundhog....), little groundhog finger puppets, a ground hog hat, two Phil tee shirts for kids, a coffee mug, and a pen whittled by one of the local men. With all of my purchases, I did not spend more than 30$.

There were decorated Phils all over town, then we saw some of the men in their tuxes and top hats walking around. Big Sis had to have a photo with them. I refused. I did not want my image captured with a random guy in a top hat....a ground hog maybe, top hat result for gif groundhog day

It took us 90 minutes to see all of the sights....then we went back to the hotel to have our own private happy hour and wait for Dr. G.

He finally arrived and had tickets for the groundhog banquet at the high school. Yep, we went to the banquet and met some of the other crazys who had this on their bucket lists. At our table was a family from Ohio who brought their mother to Punxy since she had long desired to meet Phil. They were delightful. The presentations an awards ceremonies were terrific and we had a great time. The only problem was that there was no booze....yep, we did this without a single sip of schnapps....Image result for gif groundhog day

We got back to the hotel and set the alarm for 4:30 am. To get to Gobblers Knob, we had to leave the hotel, drive to Wal mart, pay for a bus ticket,then be dropped off.
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As I lay awake all night, I could hear people scraping their windshields off and leaving the hotel. Then I got nervous. This is a huge deal for Big Sis. I don't want her to miss it. Yeah, it's cold, but she really wants to see Phil.....

Guilt got to me even more so.....3:30 am.....I got up...Come on. We gotta go....

I handed out hand and feet warmers from my days of watching baseball in subzero temps, had long underwear on, two pairs of socks, foot warmers, scarf, hat, minus 20 degree LL Bean coat, boots with faux fur, sweater and turtleneck. I could barely move, but I was warm standing in my hotel room. Then I went outside to scrape the ice off the car....dang it was cold. I knew I was in trouble and short of setting my pants on fire, I was going to be a very cold spectator.Image result for gif groundhog day

We drove to Wal Mart and could NOT find a parking space. This was getting crazier....Image result for gif groundhog day

After creating our own spot, we waddled to the yellow school buses and bought our tickets, found seats, and were on our way to Gobblers Knob....
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I gotta work.....more later!