Running around on Saturday

I’m fortunate that I work a “normal” work schedule; Monday through Friday, weekends off and holidays off. Such a schedule is not the norm for most nurses. When I worked in hospital I worked every other weekend and most major holidays. It sucked to be honest and when I decided to return to nursing I purposefully chose to only apply to specific jobs with a friendly schedule that hospitals don’t offer. I really enjoy working for the city of New York and I love the perk of school holidays off. I’m pretty spoiled if you ask me. The downside to working Monday through Friday is you have to do most of your running around on the weekend or for me Saturdays.

On any given Saturday you can most likely find me at our local ShopRite grocery store. I like to go fairly early in the morning to avoid everyone else who needs to grocery shop on a Saturday. Every now and then I’ll go on Friday night but thats a pretty lame way to spend your Friday night. After shopping for food and putting it all away I really like to go thrifting. It’s my get away. No one bothers you at the thrift store, no pushy sales people or annoying other customers who get in your way; and the people who work there are very friendly. Every now and then someone brings young children and they; the children start carrying on or crying loudly because hey it’s not a fun place for a child. Thankfully those days are rare. And my thrifting time is enjoyable.

My husband usually works Saturdays and we just got my motorcycle back from the mechanic this week. I don’t want to go riding without him so my riding days have yet to begin. I’m a bit bummed at that but it just means it hasn’t been meant to be. We were supposed to go out yesterday afternoon but I went shopping for a fall coat for Lelly. I’m not complaining about going shopping, trust me.

So like most everyone else in the free world I find weekends to be too short. I do enjoy Sunday mornings at church. This morning the skies were open and dumping tremendous amounts of rain on us. I wasn’t in the mood to be drenched so for once I skipped church. Happy Sunday!

No good rotten day

Yes it’s been one of “those days.”  We’ve all had them. Today was mine. Not cool. I’m sitting at the hair salon trying to get over it by coloring my hair a little different…well not *that* different I’ve done this color in the past. My hair is pink, like a darkish pink. Nevertheless I like it. After the salon I need to go to Macy’s. Note I said I “need” to go not “want” to go. Macy’s is known to be a solution to many issues and bad days.

I’ve discovered in the course of my bad day (actually it’s been a pretty bad week) that some people are not at all who I thought they were. It shouldn’t come as such a big surprise, the writing is always on the wall, many times we just ignore it even when it’s written in big red letters. There are times we have to be hit over the head to learn a lesson. And after a while it’s ok because we won’t make the same mistake twice. True colors are revealed and you move on. There is an upside to having a disruptive time in life; you also get to see the good in people. People you weren’t looking for at all, but they show up and you see those true colors which are so bright you can’t believe you missed them in the first place.

After one of “those” days I also take stock of how blessed I really am. I have my husband who has many years of people dealing experience and is wonderful in giving advice. I have my ifamily who are more than willing to listen to me and empathize. I have prayer warrior friends who will pray for me at a moments notice. I appreciate my kids so much because most of them are mature adults who I love to talk to and vent to and get their perspective. I remind myself that I have a job that I love and awesome paras and teachers in my school that I get along great with. And last and certainly not least I have a God who loves me and a Savior who died for me and the Holy Spirit who lives in me.  I praise Him when I’m in valley and I praise Him when I’m on the mountain top. He is worthy to be praised at all times not only when things are going well or when life is pleasant.

Quiet Monday

It’s Monday, Columbus Day and most of my household is off from school or work. It’s quiet. Not that I’m complaining. Yesterday was a really nice Sunday, Thomas was here as he is every Sunday and Alyssa made dinner. It was awesome on two levels. One, it was delicious and two, I didn’t have to cook. Alyssa is turning into a really great cook. She’s not afraid to try new recipes and will try dishes that at first seem a bit iffy but she doesn’t care and  will charge through. I have to say more often than not her dishes are successes and I’m so glad she enjoys cooking.

When I picked up Thomas he looked so sharp!  My guy was wearing gray jeans with a blue and white button down and a really cool Yankees pullover jacket. One of the the staff members at his house has been going out of her way to make sure he looks mice. I really do appreciate it. Thomas has a habit of buying really nice clothes; putting them away. Then wears the same old pants and t shirts constantly! They’re not even nice t shirts, they’re from his residential school days. So Laura, that’s the staff member’s name has been going through Thomas’ clothes and weeding out the old from the new, grungy from nice. She’s been terrific.

We did take a short trip to the new-ish outlet market here. It was nice to get out for a while. I’m not complaining that my day off is boring, it’s just quiet. Not that my usual days off are loud and chaotic but there’s a certain rhythm to your average Saturday and Sunday. Throw in a random Monday off and you’re a bit off kilter. The day doesn’t feel like a Monday, and tomorrow after a while will eventually feel like a Tuesday when work resumes. Here’s to a 4 day work week!






On The Phone…

I talk to my mom just about every day. I don’t know who calls who more I’m not one to keep track. I’ve always been close with my mom even when I was a teenager. I don’t think I went through a dramatic teen rebellion way back when so that made our relationship easier.  Now as adults with the both of us being nurses it kind of gives us another bond outside the traditional mother/daughter bond.

When my dad passed away, after the funeral I made it a point to call my mom everyday. There wasn’t much I could do for her except be there. We live 45 minutes away from each other. I chose to call on the phone. I think I called every day for 3 months. By then it was a habit and I enjoy taking to my mom so it was easy to keep calling. Now we talk just about every morning while mom and my nephew Jacob are waiting for Jacob’s bus to arrive. I get to my school early to ensure a good parking space (don’t laugh…I’m not the only one) so I’m available to talk.

When my dad passed away I was hit hard by the permanency of him not being here any longer. I wasn’t that upset that he passed away I know he went to be with the Lord, what did upset me was the absence of his presence from now on. I decided to call my mom whenever I want to, no matter how often.  Because there will be a day when she’s no longer here and I won’t be able to simply pick up the phone and talk to her.

Call your parents people.

Another Mom

I found out there is another mom of a special needs child where I work. We haven’t worked together directly but we have known each other since I began at my school 2 years ago. Our interactions have been mostly pleasant small talk and chat about home renovations.

Yesterday I approached this person and asked if they were also a special needs mom. She had such a look of surprise when she said yes… and then I said that I also have a special needs son. Turns out our kids are the same age and had attended the same recreation program back in the day before Thomas went to residential school. I’m seriously surprised that our paths haven’t crossed sooner. The mom was so so sweet as we discussed our children. I believe her son is autistic. Thomas is not. But that didn’t matter to us. In my experience diagnosis do not define a person. They’re merely labels to ensure that that  person gets the appropriate help and services they’re entitled to. Common experiences are what bond one mom to another. We discussed the guardianship process we both went through with our sons and how helpful this one man Kevin was to us. Actually Kevin was pretty awesome and walked us through the whole process without making you feel like a dope.

Our only main difference as moms was that the other mom is contemplating moving to another state sometime in the future. Tommy and I don’t plan on going anywhere anytime soon. I really like it here in this borough of NYC. I also loathe moving although I’ve never met anyone who likes moving.  Having a special needs child adds quite the wrench in moving plans. You have to worry about housing, group home placement if there are any where you want to go, recreational programs, day programs, Medicaid; the list goes on.

We are fortunate that we are for the most part, happy/content with Thomas’ group home. He transitioned and adjusted to “his” house quite well. He no longer calls my home his home. He says “your house.” At first that hit me hard but now it’s ok, I get it, my home isn’t his home anymore.

I really enjoyed connecting with this other mom. It’s pretty wild that our sons are the same age, and it’s also pretty wild that we’ve been working at the same school and had no knowledge of the other’s family situation. The saying, “Be kind…you never know what battles the other person is fighting” really hits the mark.


A Newbie

I’m a motorcycle newbie. I am legally licensed to ride as per the Stare of New York (I ran to the DMV first chance I had to make that legal). Tommy and I were all set to take me out this past Saturday but I couldn’t get in the “zone” with my bike and every time I released the clutch I stalled. Being new to this motorcycle I was unsure of how much throttle to give it. Tommy wasn’t confidant and neither was I so I settled for playing around with the clutch and throttle in our backyard and driveway. I’m glad we made that decision because I did become better acquainted with my bike.

Yesterday we took my motorcycle to be inspected and the mechanic agreed that the clutch needs to be adjusted. I felt so good to hear that from a professional. I wasn’t doing anything wrong! He also suggested we lower the suspension a bit and I agreed. The best part was the mechanic saying that I have a custom bike on my hands. We weren’t aware of that. He pointed out custom accessories and that the headlight was a bit lower than factory specs and he was impressed with the chrome pipes, yes my bike is loud.

The clutch won’t be adjusted until sometime next week when the mechanic has time to fit us in. I’m excited for that. I’ll also be asking for other adjustments to be done that will really make the bike “mine.”

Two in College/One at The Dorm

We have 2 in college right now, our oldest Alyssa is a senior/final year and middle daughter Lelly is a freshman/first year. Lelly began college a semester early after graduating high school a semester early. Alyssa attends one of the city colleges here and Lelly attends FIT in Manhattan. Lelly’s first semester she commuted from home to school; in the middle of that time she decided she would dorm beginning the end of August for the fall semester. To be totally honest I didn’t love the idea. Not because she would be living in Manhattan and I was concerned for her safety but because she was leaving home. I know that’s what is supposed to be the “normal” or traditional way life. Kids grow up, graduate high school, go away to college period.

Alyssa did not want to dorm. Even during her first semester of college where she attended a private college in Manhattan. She commuted, sometimes driving in with  Tommy, other times taking the bus, ferry then train. She never complained about the commute or being in the city. Instead she discovered she wasn’t happy with the school she was attending, so she transferred to the city college and has since been satisfied with her decision. Alyssa has been living home with us the whole time. She has very few restrictions from us and as long as she tells us where she’s going; comes and goes as she pleases. It’s been nice having her here. I’m spoiled as some days she will cook dinner and I’m off the hook that night. Alyssa will  also pick up Samantha when she needs a ride when she’s available.

So here we are the end of August moving Lelly into FIT’s dorm. We took Tommy’s pick up truck as it would transport the most boxes and stuff Lelly needed to take with her. It was a nice end of summer day, blue skies and a little breezy. I really didn’t want her to go. I accompanied her, her boyfriend and the FIT students who were helping transport students’ belongings. I did not cry I swear I didn’t, ask Lelly. But I did feel this emptiness when we left her there. I missed her immediately even though between her attending school, working and having a social life she wasn’t home that much anyway. But I knew she would be coming home at some point.

We’ve adjusted and so has Lelly. I still miss her and I’m happy when she comes back for the weekend. Lately she’s been collecting her fall clothes and dropping off summer clothing because the season finally changed to cooler weather. Even when she comes home we don’t see her all that much since there’s always someone to see or visit, have coffee with and that’s ok. She’s still technically “home”.




My Bike

D8D4D838-8B6C-4950-B412-29760B1C6AB9A month or so ago I saw an ad on Facebook marketplace for a motorcycle with the specifications Tommy felt would be appropriate for me as a new rider. I wanted to buy new but my husband’s recommendation was to start off with a used bike, something we could pay for in cash and not have a payment. I agreed. He is a wise one.

For a couple of weeks the owner of the motorcycle and me went back and forth over when we could meet at a time that was convenient for both of us. Finally last week Tommy and I ran out to Edison NJ to see the bike. Tommy took the bike out for a ride while I stood and made small talk with the owner. He was nice enough, younger than us, getting married next year. Tommy felt the bike was good for me. The next day we went back to bring her home. I was following Tommy at some points during the drive home. I was able to watch him ride a motorcycle. When my husband goes for a ride on his motorcycle I don’t get to watch him ride, I say goodbye and he takes off into the proverbial sunset. It was so cool to watch him ride. To watch him do everything I’ve been learning in my classes. It was great I tell you. I have a whole new appreciation for him as my husband and a motorcycle rider.

I hesitate to even publish this post as I still need to pass the motorcycle road test. I can pass all the written tests you give me, I’m book smart. But I’m a hands on learner as well, I need to “do” to learn, I need hands on experience. I’m like that at work too. If there is a nursing procedure I need to learn I need to have a hands on learning experience. It’s the exact same situation with me learning to ride. I take my road test in a little over a week. I really, really hope I pass. I’m dying to ride my bike complete with a bedazzled license plate holder. It wouldn’t be mine without some rhinestones and bling.

So….  I took my road test today and passed!!  I’m so so excited and proud!!  The instructor was beyond awesome and the other students in the class which were all men were totally cool. I passed!!!!