Picture taken by my friend Cyndi Leos....thank you Cyndi.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Movie, HEREAFTER...

Today I took my husband out to breakfast and then to see the movie, HEREAFTER. I would give it a 10, but it a very different Clint Eastwood movie. Some might say it is too long, because it moves very slowly. I think he purposely takes the audience separately into the three central characters lives. If you go with the intention of being "entertained", you might view the movie as slow...but if you have the time, and want to enjoy this movie, go into the movie theatre, settle in and prepare to visit each of their lives as an if you were a spirit floating above everything happening on the screen.

I really enjoy how Eastwood selects actors not well known or famous, so you can relate to them on a more human level. This is a different type role for Matt Damon I feel, but I really enjoyed his character. I have heard Eastwood completes movies very quickly, because he does not get in the way of his actors.  He collaborates and allows his actors creative freedom.  I also like the way Eastwood never insults the audience by explaining every single thing in the movie.  He acknowledges his audiences are smart and will get the story he is telling.

The boys who played the twin brothers were fantastic. I must say, there is a scene in the movie with Matt Damon and one of the characters, and I sobbed my eyes out.

I have always believed there is a dimension between life and death, and we experience it when we first die. I have always believed loved ones who have died, attempt to make contact with us, but we are closed off to it and don't tune in. Often, I believe, our passed loved ones visit us through our subconscious while we sleep.
I have always enjoyed reading about after death experiences and wished it was discussed more.

Both my husband and I really enjoyed the movie.  I think you will too.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Woman Had A Mission...

Cardinal John Henry Newman wrote this beautiful reflection:

“God has created me for some definite service; He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have a mission. I may never know exactly what that mission is in this life. I shall be told it in the next. I have a part in a great work. I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for nothing. I shall do good. I shall do His work. I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, even if I do not realize what I am doing. But, if I keep His commandments, I will serve Him in my calling.”

This reflection was read today at Aunt Flora's funeral service.  One of my husband's cousins had heard this reflection and he immediately thought it needed to be read to describe her life...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Celebrating One Year With Our Dog, Izzy...

One year ago today, we rescued and adopted our little female terrier mix and named her Izzy, short for Izzabella. Here she is in our backyard the day I brought her home:

She was abused by men or a man and we think she was kicked, because she would never get near my husband's feet.  Any time he stands, she moves out of his way.  She used to bark at him when he would dress in a suit and tie, wearing dress shoes, when he went to work, and until he changed clothes after he came home. 

One year later, through my husband's frustration and patience, she will come to him when he lies on the couch and will even kiss him.  She is always there beside him when he has a snack, which he shares with her, despite my asking him not to...

She is such a sweet dog. She is smart and good natured.  She used to be very nervous and spun in circles.  She has calmed down a lot.  We still have more work to do, but are so thankful to have her as part of our family.

We love you Izzy girl.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Funeral Blues...

I was cleaning out my files and found this poem from the movie, FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL.  I loved the poem. I am not sure why, but it spoke to me...I thought I would share it with you if you have not heard the is kind of dark and sad, but I loved the words and the feel of it.

When I was young, love felt totally different to me.  It was all encompassing and I thought there was only one person for me.  This is how the poem struck me, as if it were a young person, madly in love and absolutely desperate and lost after the loss.

Love still fills me up, but maybe I stand sturdier on my feet these days being an older person. I am better at loving & knowing myself and know I will survive.  Maybe all the learning and loving I did in my life, filled me up so much, I can only be left with such beautiful memories of love and knowing love gives us lasting comfort. Love is Love and should always be the answer...

What do you think?

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one:
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the woods:
For nothing now can ever come to any good.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sad News And Happy News---- Kinda...

Today, at 12:15am, New York time, my husband's favorite Aunt and God Mother passed away.  She would have been 98 years old in February. A few months ago, her blood pressure began to get so low she would faint. Before then, she managed her home in Orchard Park, cooked from scratch and did her own yard work. Her mind was "sharp as a tack" and carried on wonderful conversations. She was a total joy to be around. She had started to slow down and had a few falls, so two months ago, the family put her in Assisted Living.

In April, 2006, we flew back to visit her and see all my husband's cousins in Buffalo and Rochester.  We had a huge party at his cousin's home.  All we did was laugh, eat, sleep and poop.  No sooner would we wake up from a full stomach nap, Aunt Flora would be serving up another meal.  God, I love Italians...

Aunt Flora
(Notice what the pillow says?
"You can always spot a Lady".)

She and I would take long walks around her neighborhood.  OH MY LORD, the houses were so big and so far apart!  Beautiful big trees and creeks.  Squirrels scampering, flowers bursting up at first Spring.  We went to Vidler's 5 & 10 in East Aurora, New York... Talk about finding A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G you could ever want!  It was like going back in time to the 1950's...

We went to Father Baker's Lady of Victory Basilica, one of her most favorite places.  He also built an Infant Home for all the unwanted babies and helped unmarried teens.  He also built an Orphanage, Hospital and School.  Incredible.  Google it.  I may post about it some time and share my pictures...

We saw Niagara Falls, which was a life long dream for me to see.  I need to post about it one day as well..

Aunt Flora was a unique and wonderful woman.  She was first, last and always, a lady of the highest caliber.  So positive, so loving, so remarkable.  She joined her beloved husband, her infant daughter, brothers, sisters and a lot more family and friends in Heaven.  She will be greatly missed.

As for the happy news.... My husband found out this morning he was laid off. Sadly, fifteen other people were laid off too.  Eighteen other employees, who survived the lay off, had to take serious salary cuts.  His last day is next Thursday.  No severance either...

He was thinking of retiring the end of December, or April, or maybe June....(he could not make up his mind) and I wanted him to retire six months ago.  He was miserable there.  Things have not been the same for a couple years He HATED going to work.  This past year, he has been in charge of all the bad loans from all four banks.  Not fun. He was starting to get grumpy too...

When he returned from Mexico this past week, he asked me to pray they would let him go when he returned to work. Our prayers were answered.

We feel badly for the younger people who were let go, no one likes to see so many people without work...Luckily, he made a good enough salary so we have been able to save and prepare.  It was the main reason we moved here. We'll be OK... He wanted to save more, but I told him there is no dollar compensation worth more than one's health and happiness.  He has been in  banking fifty years. He is seventy-one years old (but looks like he is in his late 50's). He has raised six children and worked hard all his life.  He deserves time to do what HE wants....I am excited and looking forward to this new chapter in our lives.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

It Stormed ALL day...

What a glorious day for staying in and making home made soup.  It was dark and cold with thunder rumbling across the mountains behind us.  Flickers of lightning flashed like warnings of what was to come.  In four, almost five years living here, I have NEVER seen it rain as hard as it did today!  It felt so good to be snuggled all cozy inside the house.

Izzy was not too happy though... She is not afraid of thunder or lightning, but she stayed in doors more than she usually does.  With the way people are being hit with lightning lately, I can't really blame her!

Wishing all of you health and happiness.  Keep away from those flu bugs!

*** Edited my previous post and added the picture.  Could not attach last night due to blogger problem with attaching pics. ***

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I Wonder How I'd Look As A Redhead...

For some time now, years, I have wanted to become a redhead. 

Our family genealogy is a little Irish, a little Norwegian, a bit of Pennsylvania Dutch and some German.  I focus on the Irish.  I have red headed cousins. My oldest grandson was born with red hair. My hair used to be a reddish blond in my twenties and early thirties.

When my sister and I were taking pictures of one another, we both noticed how gray my hair looked compared to hers.

Today, I told my hair dresser we are going to try something new... it turned out more strawberry blond, but it is a good start...and I LOVE IT!

Monday, October 18, 2010

I'm Juggling Too Many Balls...

I realized tonight, attempting to write every day about the personal aspects and the people in my life, presents too much pressure.  Like juggling, when you get too many balls in the air, you drop several...

This is my second blog, started because I felt the need to express my inner thoughts about the purpose of our lives.  I needed a place for my contemplative voice.  I think I have stepped off the porch and misplaced my exploration of purpose.  Writing about everything going on each day, is too distracting.

Just felt the need to express I am in the process of re-grouping and re-focusing...

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Cause Of Death For Billy Jean James...

I read in the paper the other day while my sister and I were having breakfast, the authorities are unable to determine the cause of death of Billy Jean James.  She was the woman I wrote about who disappeared from her home April 22nd, for four months and was found August 25th, dead, in her home by her husband under a pile a stuff in a back room he was cleaning.  Apparently she was a hoarder, due to the tragic loss of her son.

The coroner could not find any obvious cause of death such as bullet holes, no gunshot wounds or any tell tale signs of death.  Her death was determined to be accidental.  No foul play was suspected.  Her body was so deteriorated during that four month period, it was impossible to say for sure how she died.  The case has been closed.

My sister went home on Saturday.  I wrote about our week on my other blog.  It was such a great time together, but went by way too quickly.  I am doing my best to recover and get some rest as we did not sleep very much...


I also learned today our neighbor lady's husband, who had brain cancer, passed away two weeks ago.  The funeral was in Chicago, where they are from.  She just returned and was walking their dog and ran into my next door neighbor, who told me.  She told my next door neighbor her arthritis was so bad when she was back in the cold, she knew she could never return or she would suffer and end up in a wheel chair. 

I think I will get her card and take it to her with some flowers.