Monday, March 28, 2011

The Blessed Mother takes a spill.

Oops!  Sorry....

The Blessed Mother couldn't take the pressure Sophia had placed on her and she toppled under the strain. You can just imagine our shock and surprise.  Not to mention what it must have done to Mary.  Murphy didn't even stick around to see if Our Lady was hurt. As you can see in the above photo, he just got the hell outta' Dodge.   He was screaming something about not being near her as he put distance between himself , Sophia , and Mary.  So much for loyalty...By the grace of God Mary was not injured and as soon as she was again on her feet Sophia was forgiven all. 


Now, I ask you,  Is this the face of a Mary tipper?

Saturday, March 26, 2011


* Sample picture. NOT actual truck reported about in article.

I am posting an article below which was posted on  with the site linked by . 
 Please let the companies mentioned below know of your displeasure with their ill treatment of  our firefighters.  By refusing to pay for the necessary and legitimate equipment and repairs on  defective aerial trucks  ( ladder trucks with extending ladders for firemen to work from ) which were purchased from them, the truck.s  manufacturer is showing a total disregard for our fire fighters, and all  those they serve.  That is, by having essential equipment out of service for  an extended period of time our firefighters and all they serve are endangered.  Without aerials for use on taller buildings,  and this means many homes, townhouses and apartment complexes which are multilevel not just office buildings and industrial area structures,  the potential for loss of life is increased.  In many cases being above a the burning structure is essential to ' knocking it down' and gaining control in the safest and quickest fashion, thus saving lives and property.  By not covering it's obligations to the departments  which have  purchased these VERY expensive trucks  a  large burden is placed upon the department's  budget.  In many cases a fire district's budget is not adequate and the real possibility of  the city or town's department  being denied money  for 'extra' materials until the new budget year or money can be "found" is most likely.

At any rate, as you can tell I am passionate about our firefighting men and women and would like for all who
 read this post to write or email Pierce Manufacturing and  Oshkosh  to let them know we are aware of this situation.  Please pass this information on to everyone you can.  I am sure these companies can afford to replace and or repair these fire department's equipment.   I believe ,  especially in this case ,  it is a moral obligation and the current owner of the manufacturing company should pay for these recalled truck repairs.  As for their discounted price on materials.... is that ten cents or ten dollars ?   Maybe it is a different amount to different departments or quite low.  Daggett would have given the discounted amount up front and publicly if it was 'right and fair' and especially if generous. You and I can be pretty sure Daggett , when speaking for Pierce Manufacturing , knew the discount to be offered ,  he just would not quote it.  And, there should be no labor costs passed on. 

*You have my permission to use the above written post, in part or in toto, as your letter to either Pierce and/or Oshkosh if you so wish.
Highlighted area in the news article is my emphasis    Pierce Manufacturing is out of  Appleton, WI

Home > Article

Methuen Must Pay For Ladder Truck Repair

United States (Massachusetts) - The city will have to pay for repairs to a Fire Department ladder truck. One of the four outriggers used to stabilize the 1996 Nova Quintech ladder truck collapsed during the Christmas Day fire at Shadi's Restaurant and Lounge while two firefighters were in the bucket attached to the ladder. The collapse dropped the two onto the the roof of the burning restaurant, but they escaped without injury.

The city took the truck out of service that day.

Pierce Manufacturing, which owns the rights to the truck, issued a "product safety bulletin" saying an engineering analysis had concluded that a structural weakness was inherent in the Nova Quintech stabilizer beam design.

The Eagle-Tribune reported on Monday that Pierce will manufacture new stabilizer beam assemblies, and they will be available and installed after May 2 at no cost to the owners.

However, Fire Chief Steven Boote said yesterday that's not true for most of the departments that own the truck.

"Pierce Manufacturing will manufacture new stabilizer beam assemblies and install them at no cost only for the trucks that were manufactured after Pierce took over the Nova Quintech corporation," Buote said. "This accounts for only five trucks."

"Unfortunately, there are another 17 aerials throughout the U.S. and Canada who's communities have to pay for their own repairs. Methuen is one of those communities who are being forced to fund their own repairs," the chief said.

Quote said he has not yet been informed of what the full cost will be, "but I have been informed that the cost for the replacement parts alone will be approximately $30,000."

"This, of course, does not include the labor cost. I do not yet have a cost estimate for labor," he said.

Quote said he's not happy about the treatment he is receiving.

Pierce Manufacturing is a subsidiary of Oshkosh Corporation.

"We came in at the request of our dealership to look at it (the ladder truck), to investigate it," said John Daggett, vice president of communications for Oshkosh. "As soon as we saw that there was some type of weakness, we stepped right up to the plate."

Pierce issued product safety bulletins about the trucks. Daggett said the company will replace the parts for a discounted price, although he didn't know what that price is.

Daggett said the Methuen incident was the first time one of those outriggers failed, and Pierce has improved the design of that piece.

Written by The Eagle-Tribune

See another article on Methuen Fire Department in ref. to subject of decommissioned fire truck  on March 21, 2011 on http://www.http//  

Friday, March 25, 2011


I have Sophia pictured so often I feel guilty for leaving Cohen out of my posts.  So, since he is older and can be out walking and playing with us now,  I am going to include him in more of my brag columns.  I know you will all be thrilled.

This fellow is all boy and doesn’t miss a trick.  I see great things ahead for him.  And, of course, he is as sweet as the day is long.  That’s the truth !  I’m not just a braggin’ grandma’ !

P3250023 P3250024 P3250025 P3250035 P3250036 P3250038 P3250039

See.  I told ya’.  What a kid !  Thank you, Cohen.  Just what I always wanted.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


The wind is blowing in a cold front and we are supposed to have a freeze tonight.  I ran out ,  old sheets in hand,  and draped the blue berry bushes.  My little tootsies were pretty cold when I got back inside as I was not dressed for the sudden drop in temperature.  In my cotton moo-moo and terry slippers I really felt the cold, and looked pretty ratty and old too.   Maybe I should have draped myself before going out doors.

As the sun set it cast unusual light on the neighbors still bare trees.  It was rather pretty.  I didn't capture the true sharpness and clarity of color but you can get the idea...


Looks like a Nor'easter to me....



 This is the cake Sophia made .  Grandma helped, a little....

This is Sophia posing with the cake fresh out of the oven .

This is how Marian felt about the cake Sophia made .
(This is not Marian .  Marian is a human, this is Funion, a dog.
Trey's dog to be exact.) *picture by sophia
Why, you ask , would Marian feel so hang dog about a pound cake? 
Sometimes the most mundain of events can turn into a  BIG  DEAL.  But , not really in this case.  It was a rather funny thing that happened to me on the way to the forum though.  You see , my youngest daughter's birthday was yesterday.  And, just by chance  (?)  I felt well enough to take Sophia with me to Anna's house so we could bake the cake I had promised to make and place on the beautiful serving/cake plate she had bought for me at the auction we went to a couple of weeks ago. Whew, didn't think I'd get that one out.     Remember?  I told you about it.  ( See March 13 post  )  Anyway, when  I can I make each child their favorite pound cake on their birthdayand sometimes just  for special, I do.  As it turns out, Marian and her groom have moved to Chesapeake. Va.  She is not close enough to share her birthday with us in person.  When I spoke with her and she asked what I was doing I said I was baking her birthday cake for Anna !  Anna took a picture of the cake with a candle in it and sent it to her with a message about how good it was !  Poor Marian ! 
.....Don't feel too bad Marian, the cake was dry,,,,I should have pulled it from the oven a little sooner and I believe I overbeat it a tad too.  And, to think, I went to Anna's to make the cake because Margaret's oven does not keep even heat and I've had several cakes fail.  I believe I have lost my abilities as a cook . I can no longer blame the oven .  I am sorry Anna .   I will try to do better next time .  Marian,  some how, some way,
you'll get a Momma cake.

Now, to end on a pleasant note........

This is Sophia without a care in the world.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

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The Wish and a Prayer

Never have I seen or heard a wish made with such fervor.
I would dare say Sophia's wish was much more than
the statement of her desire, it was made with such a
pure heart and open passion that I was startled. Her
words were so sincere, held such longing, and brought
forth such innocence and true belief in the power of the
wish that I know I was in the presence of which
Christ spoke when He said, ..."for of such is the kingdom
of heaven."
What was Sophia's whispered wish? The whispered
prayer made with head bowed and eyes closed?
The wish carried by her pure breath on the downy
seeds of a dandelion?
Simply, "Please give me a tail and make me a mermaid
like Princess Aerial."
Oh, Dear God, could such wishes be granted if only for
a little while!
I will never forget how Sophia made this wish or how
blessed and honored I was to experience those moments
with her. How much you have taught me, Sophia!!!

Abba, Father,
Send your angels to guard and protect all children from the
evils of this world and from the snares of the devil.
Keep them always in the protective
Light and grace of your Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ.
And, Dearest Holy Spirit, bless them to walk in your peace and mercy now
and until they are finally in rest with you, your angels and
your saints.

Blog Surfing.....

Picture borrowed from HealthS'

It seems I spend a lot of my time watching blogs now days.  It is a good thing in that it keeps me busy while I am in bed, and believe me,  I am in bed most of the time.  I usually enjoy it a great deal as there are so many talented, smart, hard working folks out there sharing their gifts.  It does make me feel old though,( because I have no energy ), even if by today's standards, I am not.  But, my body is old, so that is IT really.  My guess is I'm 85 not 62.  I will say that the Cymbalta I now take has helped me more than anything else for my fibromyalgia.  It is a God send, but, expensive.  It is the first medication I have ever taken that I cannot do without.  Because it works to stop my major aches and pains and because I am hooked!  They say it is not habit forming but, I am not sure.  I can't tell if I am hooked or if I really just feel THAT bad if I don't take it.  Oh well, I'll keep takin' it.
  I've been hospital stay free for well over a year now and that makes me very happy indeed.  Already I've beaten the odds,  they were, for the MI, dead at onset, 90%,  then,   of the 10%  who survived 80% would be dead within 5 years, with CHF,  and here I am almost 10 years later!  WOW!  If I suddenly stop typing this post you'll know why!  At any rate,  I sure veered off the subject, which was.... oh, yea',  blogs.  I must say all the young energetic folks out there make me happy.   I thank you all for sharing.  The photography and art is magnificent.   And the humor and commentaries are just wonderful.  I am especially appreciative of the advertisement free blogs. point here is please check out some of the blogs I follow for it is an eclectic list from which just about anyone can find something to enjoy.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Kitty Foo-Foo

Kitty Foo-Foo likes his scratching post.  He rubs his jowls on the pineapple, lays down and drapes his arms over the bed rail to watch out the window.   It is not a good vantage point so I am going to make a perch at the window for him.  A little platform he can rest on.
Please ignore the mess in the background.  It is from my move .  It may be there next year and I'll still be saying the same thing and trying to explain that I really don't live like this...actually I do, and, it is getting worse.  My dirty clothes are now crawling from their little basket and languishing at the base of the chair that holds the stack of  of folded clothes.  Oh well.....

Crab apples, peaches and blue berries, oh my!

Sophia, prettier than any peach blossom!

             The crab apple blooms smell as lovely as they look.  The tree was alive with the buzz of bees.
                              The blue berry bushes look as if there will be a grand crop this year.  I am sure the birds are as excited about it as we are! 

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Sophia in Cyrus's outdoor aviary.  Not to worry, she is not locked in.

                     Cohen upset with me for not letting him play with a bottle of hand sanitizer I had .

                   Running for hugs.  How wonderful life is when you are in the arms of your mother.

Friday, March 18, 2011

We had a very pleasant day today with a nice breeze, warm sunshine and a nearly cloudless blue sky.  I was feeling well enough to have Sophia accompany me to walk around the yard and look for signs of Spring.  We were able to find violets hidden underneath the forsythia and flox beginning to climb the perimeter of earth at  the garden wall.  The crab apple  is laden with unopened  pink buds which will pop open as if by magic and surprise us even though we know it is coming.


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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Get Ready for Summer Garden Pictures Coming Your Way Soon!

    My next investment is going to be in a camera with good zoom lens.  Then I'll have to take a photography class to learn to use it.  And then I'll need an eye exam and glasses......Oh well, back to my original subject, the camera...    From what I have been reading film cameras are the best for 'real' photography; clarity of subject and negatives, for safe keeping.  But,  I'll not be able to manipulate and fine tune the photo negatives  as I've no dark room.  Digital gives instant satisfaction as you can view, edit and post as soon as pictures are taken.  I'd never get the film  to be processed either....So...that decision is made.  Thank goodness.  Digital it is.  Now, I'll go job hunting so I can buy the thing....wait!  First that eye exam....
    There are so many opportunities in Margaret's Garden  for exceptional pictures that I really would like to take advantage of it.  This year there are many more birds than last year.  I am sure there will be a lot of pictures I want to capture.  I have already seen more blue birds (Eastern Mountain), Gold finch and Robbins than I have before.  I am very glad of it too, as last year there were so few birds and butterflies that Margaret and I were very  much afraid for them.  Had they died due to illness, poisons, or been driven away in search of better feeding and nesting areas? 
    Last year the person living behind us had sold all of their hard wood and the beautiful trees were cut,  leaving a barren hill from which the wonderful layers of rotted leaves and top soil washed away as soon a the first summer rains came.  It is so sad.  The hill looks just as it must feel.  This surely will hurt the little creatures and drive them to other, safer areas.
    Now we await the butterflies and bees to see how they may have fared the ravages of man and nature. 
    If the sound of frog song, coming from a pond near the house,  is any indication of their number, we shall have an abundance of the croakers.  A virtual plague.     I have seen a few rather robust specimens in the yard already.  Frog, er, toad legs anyone? 
Would you kiss this prince?