Monday, September 26, 2016

The Peace Garden

I didn't get to go to the dedication of the Krystle Campbell memorial garden, which is also dedicated to the other victims of the marathon bombing as well. Then today I was going to take some pictures as I would be driving by while out doing errands. I forgot my camera. So instead here is the local Boston television coverage . 

Peace Garden Honoring Marathon Bombing Victims, Survivors Opens In Medford: It's a remarkable oasis and a place of peace.

I don't have much to say. I'm still unpacking, rearranging, looking for things, etc. This will going on for some time yet. This morning I could not find the holder for my soft boiled egg. I improvised by using a Warner Bros. grape jelly jar with the aid of a couple of napkins. All part of my dazzling lifestyle.

Ok this is going to be a quickie so,
I'm outta here.

Friday, September 23, 2016

The move. Ah the cardboard and my grandfather.

The move and the cardboard

Ok I've been in my new place for three weeks. I still have stuff scattered around the city. I knew it would be a long day when I put my hang around the house pants on backwards.  I still have seven boxes containing all my record albums and they won't be put away until I get a shelving unit back from my sister's house, amongst other things. Ah the cardboard! It will take me several more weeks, perhaps a month to get rid of all of it as they collect recycle material every other week. Four of my six guitars are still at my sisters. I never got to play them though because somehow I hurt my left arm by sleeping on it "funny". I originally hurt it when I hurt my leg on vacation back in 2012 you know where. The arm is better now but it's still a bit tender when I stretch it out holding the guitar neck. Not only that but by not playing for three months I lost most of the calluses on my fingertips. They have disappeared. Still with all that annoying stuff I'm ok, just busy.

My sister's house and my grandfather

The three months I spent at my sisters and brother in law was filled with a lot of laughs. Many of those were aimed at my brother in law. One very warm evening the three of us were sitting on the porch enjoying an adult beverage. Now my sister is a wonderful person but if you upset her she is going to let you know about it. As we sat there my brother in law, Jim announced that he was getting chilly and was going to put a sweatshirt on.
" Sweatshirt?!Chilly Jim?!! It's 9 o'clock and it's &$#!?!!! 82 degrees!"
They were a very entertaining couple.
Then there was the time when my sister and I were reminiscing about the time my parents and my mother's siblings and spouses decided to bring my grandfather over from Italy. He was in his 80's and they were receiving reports from the old country that he was wandering around disoriented. My parents, aunts and uncles decided to bring him over. He would spend four months at each of their homes. Now my grandfather had been to America back in the 1920's. My mother was born here in Boston, and went to school here until the sixth grade. There are pictures of them in the southern parts of the city (my city) taken in the late 20's and 30's. The neighborhood looks pretty much the same at least the houses do. I have some of the pictures and I'll show them when I get my scanner over here. Then they went back to Italy for reasons I'm not aware of. Then the war broke out. Fast forward to the '80s. My grandfather was staying at my parents house. He really didn't know where he was and every time we went to the house we had to be introduced. One day my mother was washing some dishes and grandpa was sitting at the kitchen table. My grandfather thought he was still living in Italy. She asked him, in Italian, if he knew where he was. He answered the name of the little town in Italy. She told him no. This conversation was all in Italian.
"No. You're in America!"
"What do know about America!? I was there!"
"Yes but we brought you here."
Once again he repeated, "What do you know about America? I was there! I speak English!"
"Really? Let's hear some English?"
My grandfather picked up a spoon and proudly announced, "Spoondella!"
He then picked up a fork and said, "Forksy!"
At this point we were all stifling chuckles.

My grandfather might have been old but he was still plenty strong. He was a farmer. One night I was over for dinner. My mother had a fight with her father and he wouldn't come in to eat. He sat on the steps of the front porch with his arms folded looking grumpy. Grumpy grampy! My mother asked my father and I to go get him. My father couldn't talk him in so it was decided that we should carry him in. My father got him under the arms and I had him by the legs. He began to struggle and boy was he strong! He was flailing his arms and legs. My father and I started to laugh, imagining how this looked to the neighbors. We were laughing until one of the fists at the end of his flailing arms caught my dad right in the chops. For a split second I saw my father turn red and make a fist and then quickly calm down. We struggled up the stairs and eventually got him inside. After a couple of minutes grandpa had forgotten all about it.
As a side note, of course both my grandfathers came to America except my father's father came alone. He worked as a laborer here in Boston, sending money home then he eventually went back and stayed there until he died in 1977. He was a farmer as well. In fact both grandfathers were born and died the same year at 90.

On a side note I was very proud of Arlene a couple of days ago. A local politician who is not very well liked, made a comment on the just completed Krystle Campbell memorial park, just completed and to be dedicated this Sunday. Just in case you don't know or remember She was one of the people killed at the marathon bombing. Arlene knows the family and their kids went to school together. Arlene ran into Krystle's mom at the supermarket the other day and she heard what this local jerk, and believe me I want to use stronger language here, said about the park. He called it a waste of time and money. Well Arlene let him know what she thought of him and his harsh comments about the memorial park. It was all done using donations. Good for you Arlene! Ya done me proud! Hopefully I can get some pictures.   

So my moving out downstairs, waiting three months and moving back upstairs is still an ongoing process. Today I plan to do some laundry and not much more. Tonight we will be going out to dinner at our favorite local restaurant. Oh and I have to make an angry phone call to DISHTV.

For now,
I am outta here. 


Friday, September 9, 2016

What a mess but it's my mess.

Yup. There's stuff all over the place. Though I have opened maybe twenty boxes so far there are about forty more to go. I have moved from the first floor to the second floor and though both flats are laid out in a similar fashion there are differences. There's no fireplace up here on the second floor so the living room is shaped a bit differently. I've decided to set up the kitchen first. I have much more counter and cabinet space up here. Right now everything is, as in our present presidential election, a big muddle. In the long run my biggest challenge is putting together my queen sized platform bed with four drawers. For now I'm sleeping on the mattress on the floor. Getting this place together is going to take a while.

I want to thank the folks who keep commenting here. I know I haven't been around much at all. I hope to be back on a more regular basis in the next couple of weeks as I get my act together. I still have to purchase a few things for the kitchen and the bathroom. I will go to a store called Bed, Bath and Beyond. I think they're a national chain. Anyway the name pretty much tells you what they sell, though I'm not sure what they sell in the Beyond.

I was lucky to have stayed with my sister and her husband. They only live a few streets away. I essentially spent the summer there.
We did have a lot of laughs.

As I think I mentioned before the students have invaded the area. Roughly 250,000. They are everywhere even where I live. I am very close to Tufts University though I don't know how nationally known it is with Harvard and M.I.T. just up the road on the same bus line. They are on bikes, skateboards, running or just walking about in great herds. And as much as I love living around this great city with all it's history and contributions to the country and the world there is one thing I hate and that is the molasses like traffic. A few days ago it took me nearly an hour and a half to drive to work for a nine o'clock start. I'm talking two cities over, about a six mile drive. It all depends on what time you are driving. When I was a fulltime employee I started at six a.m. If I caught the lights just right I could make the very same drive in 15 minutes.

Speaking of work, I don't know if I will make it to the end of the year. I am thinking of completely retiring. I think I've had enough. With forty five plus years under my belt with this job, I think it's time. 

We won't be making our Fall trip to Martha's Vineyard and I do miss it. Once we went there the first time it became a part of our souls. However we will be going back in late Spring/early Summer.
Arlene's job with the local school system will prevent us from our Fall trip this year, not to mention me setting up a new home. I still have no idea where I'm going to put everything.

Ok I've babbled on enough. I've got work to do.
I'm outta here.   


Thursday, September 1, 2016

Restart. The Move (cue dramatic music)

Once again I start a blog that I hope I can finish. I have made four attempts since my last blog. It's not that I have been uncomfortable here (or there if I have already moved when I publish) at my sister's house. Far from it. I get along quite well with my sister and brother in law. My sister and I laugh at the very same things. We discovered a show, which will remain nameless, that makes us laugh until we have tears in our eyes. It shall remain nameless because the premise is quite stupid. Stupid makes us laugh.  My brother in law doesn't like it because he thinks it is so stupid. It is! Anyway as I said, I was not uncomfortable but I still wasn't home. I am/was out of my element. Alright enough of that. As of now, Wednesday evening, all my remaining clothes are ready to go. I've managed to get a few things to the new place but my furniture is still in storage. It's going to take a while before I collect every thing I own. I'm spread out around the city.
So what else? About three weeks ago I "slept funny" on my left arm. The arm that I injured when I injured my leg on vacation on you know where. That was four years ago. The leg injury was more painful than my shoulder but it still hurt as well. Both healed up though I still got a twinge in the leg and shoulder every now then. Well "sleeping funny" made my shoulder hurt worse than it did when I originally hurt it. I could barely lift my arm.  Long story short, I missed three weeks of work. Not that I was really sad about that. I only work part time and I will quit completely either early next year or after my three week absence, perhaps earlier. Though it was painful, I liked not having to work. Who knows?

It has been hot hot hot around here! At least until the last few days and next week. We had the hottest August around here on record. Good riddance to August. The kids have already started school. When I attended public school we always started on September 7. 
Adding to all the school busses on the roads we have an increase in bike riders because of all the students that are attending college here. Every year about 250,000 students come to Boston and vicinity. I saw a large chunk of them on my way home from work today driving through Harvard Square in Cambridge. Harvard Square is a great place loaded with cafe's, book stores, restaurants, clothing stores, taverns and so on, but it's also crowded with people cars, busses and trucks. I think I'll make a video of my drive through the square before I completely retire.

Arlene had a mishap. Her dog startled her in the middle of the night and she fell out of bed hitting her head on the nightstand. I got a call around three in the morning. Off to the emergency room. She had a mild concussion. She didn't need stitches and has recovered well and is back to work.

Alright it's still not after midnight and it looks like I'm going to publish this puppy. Tomorrow looks to be a very busy day and I need some sleep. Once I'm a bit settled I'll report in, not that this is worthy of headline news status, but I am on the verge of a change in my life, changing homes and leaving a job I've had for over 45 years. There were good times and there were bad times. Sometimes a customer will give you a laugh. A lady came to the counter today, scrutinized the various cold cuts and settled on a half a pound of rosemary ham. She called or should I say tried to call the ham by it's full name using the manufacturers name which is Citterio pronounced chit-terio. Only didn't she didn't say, "...a half a pound of Citterio rosemary ham". She said,..."a half a pound of Cheerios rosemary ham."   
I'm outta here.