Today’s photo word of the day is FRUIT. The word came at a perfect time. Every year when my dad goes to Florida he sends us oranges. Delicious, Florida oranges. We love them. This weekend a huge box showed up at our front door with FORTY oranges inside. There is no way the three of us will be able to eat that many oranges ourselves. I plan to give some away, find some recipes that use oranges and it looks like I will be having some fresh squeezed juice in the morning!

Thanks Dad! They are delicious!

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Dinner for 25

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What was supposed to be dinner for 25 turned into a smaller crowd. Grammy is still recovering in the hospital and Gigi her caretaker is with her. Dave took DJ back to school so we were a few less at the table. I still cooked the 25 pounds of corned beef and 6 heads of cabbage. There weren’t enough burners on grammy’s stove so the potatoes were prepared at my aunt’s home and brought over.

As always there was more than enough food and dessert and since we can’t forget to celebrate St. Joseph’s Day there were lots of Italian pastries as well.

I took a before photo of the 25 pounds of meat…but no one needs to see a photo of raw meat. Everyone was so hungry, I didn’t get a photo of it when it was all cooked and served!

There aren’t many things more special than gathering with family and creating new memories and reliving old ones each year and tonight was no different.


Today, while visiting my gram in the hospital, (she has another UTI but doing much better,) I met Baxter, the therapy dog. This sweet golden retriever visits St. Barnabas every Saturday comforting patients. It was the first time I had met a therapy animal. This big guy is nine years old and the most gentle soul. Gram didn’t wake up while he was in the room so she didn’t get to interact with him but Gigi, (Gram’s caretaker) and I did. He just sat there and let us pet and play with him.

Although I can see the power of love that a pet can bring just through our own Emmy Lou, I never understood the need for visiting hospital therapy dogs until today. He brought such a calmness to the room. The patient in the room with Gram seemed so comforted by his presence. I guess so were we. I guess they are not not just for the patients but for the families themselves.


St. Patrick’s Day

It was my mom’s favorite holiday. She would cook for everyone and every family member, Jewish, Catholic, Italian, Irish…we had them all, would show up for her corned beef and cabbage dinner. This year, St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Friday during Lent. Although the Catholic Church has offered dispensation, allowing Catholics to eat meat today, we are waiting until Sunday when we my dad and brothers get home from Florida to share our St. Patty’s Day dinner. 25 pounds of corned beef have already been ordered and my cousin, sister and I will head up to my grammy’s to cook that morning.

The photo prompts haven’t all been falling into categories to write about so I have strayed from them a bit but today’s is GREEN and there couldn’t be a better day to share some photos. St. Patrick’s Day in Kindergarten is always an exhausting adventure. Once again, that pesky little leprechaun showed up in our classroom making a mess wherever he went. He comes every year.  The magic of Kindergarten is part of the reason I enjoy teaching this grade so much. Yes, it is exhausting and draining sometimes but the look on their faces on days like these make it worth it.

The photos tell the story…

Let’s Go Devils

When I left for work this morning I had no idea that I’d be headed to a hockey game tonight with three teenaged boys. Since my dad and brothers are away in Florida, my dad’s season tickets were supposed to be split between my sister’s family and mine. We had Tuesday’s game which was postponed due to the blizzard. My sister wound up working late and her kids didn’t want to go, so I took Drew and two friends.

I hadn’t been to a game all season, but I threw on my Ken Daneyko #3 game worn jersey – my favorite and possibly most expensive article of clothing, and we headed to the game. The Devils wore their “retro” jerseys, the green, red and white, so my old jersey fit right in.

The Devils have been playing terribly this season. One of their worst in a very long time. Maybe it was the old jerseys, or maybe I was the good luck charm because they won 6-2! I don’t know if they’ve scored that many goals in a game all season!

Drew doesn’t think it was me that brought the good luck, but at least for a few hours he may have considered me the fun mom again. I am sure it won’t last so I will take it when I can get it!


Happy Memories of Mom

It was four years ago today. We knew it was the day we would be taking my mom off life support.  Since then, I have written about that day every year on the anniversary.

This year, instead of being sad, I want to focus on happy times. My mom didn’t like her photo taken so as I searched through old albums, I didn’t find many that hadn’t already been shared before. I did find one of the two of us at my baby shower which was 20 years ago this month. I hadn’t seen that one in awhile and it brought back sweet memories of the day. I shared it on Facebook this morning.

My mom loved a party and if it was a surprise party….even better! She was very good at keeping them a secret. So good, that I arrived at my bridal shower in my pajamas and wearing my glasses. I never wore those in public!!!! She just giggled telling me I’d never forget that day and she was right. In honor of her, I will actually share this hidden away photo of my mother-in-law and us that day. Oh, and for those of you wondering, No. She did not bring me clothes to change into OR my contacts!!!

Nancy, Me, Mom bridal

Today, I hope that everyone can think of one happy, funny or silly memory of my mom. Share it with us if you get a chance.

Not a bust….but not 2 feet!

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We didn’t get the 24 inches of snow that were predicted. It was probably closer to 8. Not even close, but the ice, sleet, hail storm that followed was pretty bad. It was a good call to shut schools throughout the state. The roads are sheets of ice and now the question is…what about tomorrow? Delayed opening? Another snow day? My guess would be on delayed opening but teachers don’t find out any sooner than everyone else finds out so we will wait and see.


Impending Storm

13 blizzardI have always disliked winter, which is why I have been so happy this year. Sixty degrees in February was bliss! It didn’t start to get cold until March and now, with just one week left until spring we are about to get hit with a blizzard.

A state of emergency has been declared. Schools are closed tomorrow. 18-24 inches are expected. I am hoping for a lot less. The shoveling is going to be rough. Fortunately Dave is off tomorrow so there will be some teamwork out there when it finally stops!

We have had one of these “monster storms” before. School was called early, state of emergency declared and poof it fizzled out. I don’t even think we got six inches. Maybe that will happen again.

With my class over and lesson plans all done for the week, I am looking forward to a lazy pajama kind of day. Binge watching shows I haven’t been able to keep up with is on my schedule. I got the ingredients to make a big pot of gravy – or sauce as my dad reminds me to call it.

I will take a snow day now and then. I just want this to be it for this school year. Hope the blizzard takes it easy on us…


12 all done

Tears of joy – sigh of relief. The hardest class I have ever taken is over. I submitted my final presentation tonight. 12 more credits to go – 4 more classes until I complete this degree. That means next summer I will be done. For now, I can focus on everything that I haven’t been able to since January. In the final evaluation of the course, it asked us to total how many hours a week we put into this class. I estimated over 20…I think that was on the low end. Probably 3 hours a day during the week and up to 10 each weekend. I am spent and ready for a break. Next class runs through the summer. I will enjoy these few weeks off! Time for a brain break!

Best Therapy in the World

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No matter how stressful life gets or how overwhelming work and school can be, knowing that I have the most amazing coworkers, who are also my friends, is all that matters. I am looking forward to spending time with them outside of school tonight at a school fundraising event.  Such a great way to end a very long week.