Friday, September 28, 2007

New Glasses & Great News!

No wonder I am having trouble reading! The eye doctor said I needed a totally new prescription, even though I have had them for less than a year! In addition to getting the progressives again, I ordered darkening lenses and a coated material for the lens to help with the glare.

Sally and I had a nice day last Friday. Jarrett had school, so just she and I started the day at IHOP after meeting with his guidance counselor, and then went on different errands. We giggled a lot, and Sally mentioned how nice it will be for the two of us to be alone in a few years. (once Jarrett becomes more independent!)

Did I mention that Jarrett made the VARSITY Cross Country team as a freshman? Only one of two in the entire school. He is a born runner! Yep, that's my boy!

Sally spent the entire day on Saturday building shelves in our office closet. I was quite impressed with her design concept and final product. Way to go, Sally!

Then on Sunday, Sal and I got out of the house early to attend the West Islip County Fair. I specifically went to find a handmade, heart-shaped wreathe. However, my day was made with just a single handshake.

One of my favorite painters has a booth each year at the fair selling her artwork. Have you heard of Diane Romanello? We have several of her prints throughout the house. She is known for her beach and outdoor paintings. They are all drawn by memory since she now lives in Florida.

We casually strolled over towards the booth and much to my surprise...there she was! Not only was she there in person, but she had one of her lastest paintings out on display...The Fire Island Lighthouse. I had to have it. And of course, I now own it! It was a pleasure to finally meet her.
On Monday evening I took the train from Babylon to Penn Station to take the trek out to New Jersey for my friends funeral/memorial. It was rather a long ride, but I was able to figure out where to change trains in Penn vs. NJ Transit.

The Memorial Service for Patti Jacobson was short, but those all in attendance left with heavy hearts. It was so difficult and wrong to see a Mom mourn for her young daughter. It isn't supposed to happen that way.

Mom drove me back to Long Island because we had our "tasting" already scheduled for Wednesday evening at Chateau La Mer. We spent the day in Riverhead at the Tanger Outlets. Mom did okay...buying a beautiful suit, a pair of shoes, and other miscellaneous things. I really enjoyed spending the time with her. I miss her so much and wish we lived closer.

That evening when Sally got home, the three of us drove to the tasting. We were greated by Lou, our catering manager and were escorted to a table for three. We were treated to a wonderful evening overall.

We walked around this elegant catering hall and showed Mom all three rooms...where the ceremony will be held, the cocktail hour and of course, the reception. Needless to say, she LOVED it!

The views of this magnificent waterfront facility took my breath away once again. Mom said it reminded her of being on a boat...watching the waves on the Great South Bay. The full moon was in the distance and the panoramic waterview from the main room sent chills through my body once again!

Our samplings were exceptionally good and we made the decision right there to have our once in a lifetime ceremony this coming April.

Now the fun begins. I ordered "Save the Date" magnets and we have to start to scramble to get things done. April isn't that far away.

But having the day with Sally, my family and close friends, will be the perfect dream come true.

I deserve it, right? Of course right!!!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Another Life Ends

Blah. An interesting word, right? It describes exactly how I have been feeling the last few days.

Not sure if its the change of weather, the end of summer or the solemn holidays...but I have been "off." Every muscle is aching, especially my hips and shoulders. It actually feels like my hip joints are rubbing together. And my head feels like it is about to explode.

Yesterday was Yom Kippur, and I actually went to Yizkor Services at Congregation Beth Sholom in Babylon. I arrived during the Torah portion and stayed until the memorial service was over. It is a conservative congregation, so the services were entirely in hebrew. I actually was able to follow along, much to my amazement!

I have been rather reflective the last few days. Perhaps its just how I am feeling since beginning my ministry studies. I find myself closing my eyes often and praying and/or meditating.

My mom received horrific news...Patti, a 48 year old friend of the family, from my elementary school days, had a massive brain aneurism on Thursday, and they took her off life support Saturday afternoon. She had complained about back pain, and the day before thought she was getting a cold. She went to work and collapsed. She was brain dead.

Her family has had a hard life, and this is just another blow. Patti's mom had a brain tumor when she was in elementary school, and has health problems all these years. Then her dad passed away at a young age.

How difficult it must be for a mom to bury a child. It isn't supposed to happen that way. My wonderful mom has offered assistance to Patti's mom and brother, and we are awaiting a date for the funeral. I was told she will be cremated, but that the service will be at my mom's temple in New Jersey.

Mom was supposed to come out to Long Island this Monday and spend a few days with us. We are scheduled to go to Chateau La Mer for a food tasting to decide if we are definitely having our commitment ceremony there in April. We signed the contract, pending the food tasting!

Each day, life throws us another curveball. We never know, from one day to the next, what is in store for us.

God wants us to live each day to the fullest, and to love and fully appreciate the people in our lives. We must practice this each and every day. Be the best person you can be all the time.

Smile. Laugh. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A New Beginning

L' shanah tovah. Happy New Year!

Last week we began the new year 5767. Jarrett and I drove to New Jersey on Thursday to have dinner with the family. It is the first time, since Dad passed away, that Mom invited everyone over for a holiday feast.

It was wonderful to sit at the dining room table with my loved ones and enjoy her matzoh ball soup, pot roast and potato kugal. The atmosphere was definitely different without Dad at the head of the table. But I know he was there in spirit.

My wish to see my nephew/godson play baseball on Long Island finally came true this past weekend. I spent Saturday and Sunday driving back and forth to Baseball Heaven in Yaphank watching him play. He is so grown up...and has the poise of a professional athlete. I am so proud of him.

On Sunday he had a lot of time between games, so I took he and his mom, Julie, out to breakfast and back to our home. He did his homework, played with the puppy and just talked. I miss spending time with him. It has been over 15 years since I moved out of New Jersey...and the little time I spend with him is so precious.

The good news is that I kept my promise to start studying right after Rosh Hashanah. I opened my introductory book yesterday and completed the first two sections. The readings were fascinating and the questions quite challenging. But it truly opened my mind.

You see, the first part of my doctoral degree is to study to become an ordained minister. The chapters will challenge my skepticism and help me embrace the power of God.

Last night, before I went to sleep, I meditated a different way. My first chapter instructed me to light a single white candle and stare at it for ten minutes. At that point, I closed my eyes and concentrated on the flickering of the candle and find my "third eye." What an amazing experience.

Over the last few years, I have seen various "visions" while my eyes have been closed. In fact, I thought that I saw a small hole where distorted shapes and colored lights seeped through. I now realize it is my second sight/third eye--the eye of the soul.

I have to pace myself through the chapters...all 48 of them...so that I can absorb the information, repeat it and then practice the teachings. I cannot pressure myself to any specific number of chapters per week, but the school suggests only two. Yesterday's lessons took about four hours from start to finish...quite a major accomplishment for me after three years of being ill.

Unfortunately my eyesight has diminished, even with my progressive glasses on. I made an eye appointment for Friday to get them checked.

It is time for bed. I have to get up early and drive out to Smithtown for my monthly bloodwork.

A happy and healthy New Year to all.

May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year!

Monday, September 10, 2007

A FLY IN THE OINTMENT!

Wow!

Let me write that again...wow! You cannot believe what I heard on Channel 7 news the other night.

It will be six years tomorrow that we mark the dreadful anniversary date of September 11th. And a "9/11 Health and Compensation Act" is being introduced to Congress. This new federal legislation will push for better healthcare for those still suffering from the aftermath of the terrorist attacks, the first responders.

Advocates are calling for reopening the September 11th victim compensation fund so more workers who are sick can be monitored and treated.

Now...are you ready for the shocker??? Are you sitting down?

Guess what "disease" several people who worked at ground zero the months following 9/11 are suffering from? (Don't think too hard!)

You got it...POLYMYOSITIS!!!

According to Channel 7, "normally one in every 100,000 people get this, but four out of 8,000 got the disease so they determined it's from Ground Zero."

Hmmm...Ground Zero. So, now I am thinking. Perhaps my disease is NOT genetic. Perhaps it is environmental.

Now, the second kicker. A former colleague of mine from Underwriters Laboratories--where I worked from 1995-2001--died last week from a form of mixed connective tissue disease. She never smoked and was on oxygen 24/7. This 55-year old woman was in desperate need of a lung transplant, and was on the waiting list. Unfortunately, she passed away before she had a second chance.

This has me seriously baffled. What am I to think now??? Was I exposed to something during some of the tests at UL? Is everyone else there at risk?

Guess it is time to do more research online, follow the 9/11 responders and ask many more questions when I see Dr. Spiera.

Wow!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The "S" Word

Hi! Today is Tuesday, the fourth of September. And tomorrow the kids go back to school.

Sally and I went to Staples today to buy some school supplies for Jarrett, and it was a mad house! Oy vey! We don't know what he'll need, so we bought at least one of everything!!! Considering he won't be home until 6ish tomorrow due to cross country practice with his lists, and we have a Ducks game tomorrow night, it was better to play it safe and buy ahead of time. We can always buy other items once the rush is over!

Had a very nice long weekend with the family. We attended ninth grade orientation on Friday. It included a "limited" tour of the building and a powerpoint presentation by the principal. High School will be tough, but good for our son.

Then on Saturday, we boarded the Bob-O at Captree for a fishing excursion. Talk about seasick. Jarrett couldn't even fish for five minutes. Sally and I both didn't feel well either. They drove us out into the ocean to catch fluke, and the waves were bumpy.

There weren't many people on the fishing trip, so it was a nice day. The crew was wonderful to us. And of course, I caught "the big one!" I didn't have the largest fluke, but it was big.
Sunday afternoon was spent in Bayside, Queens at my band gig. It was hot as you know what. They positioned us directly facing the sun from 1-5 pm...and needless to say, we were wiped out! It was our first outdoors gig, and we learned a few lessons! I had hired a photographer for the day, and I am looking forward to seeing the shots. We need new ones for our press kit and website.

Yesterday was Labor Day, and we had a few friends over for a barbecue and swim. The weather has really cooled down, but the pool is fantastic.

I am swimming at least three laps each day, and am trying to walk and lift weights as well. My body is not really sure what is going on, but overall it is cooperating. I can see and feel a difference, but still some days I need to just lay down and rest.

I must remember to listen to my body...even though my mind may say something totally different.

Since it is September, it is time to start my doctoral degree. The Jewish New Year begins next week, and I want to start anew myself. Time to buckle down and start hitting the textbooks. I also want to concentrate on getting physically stronger...overall...and continue on my quest to beat this disease.

And I will!