Camper Envy and Size Matters

I was in the camping world less than ten hours and already had camper envy!

Mitch and I decided that we were going to do it!  Pick up our pop-up camper in Arkansas, a short 1000-mile drive from our home.  We broke this up evenly between two days by driving 16-hours on day 1 and three hours on day 2.  Well, maybe not that even. 

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What My Mother Knew That Took Me 20 Years to Find Out

My Mom was a big fan of my writing and said, “you should write a book.”

But I was too busy to write a book. I had a full-time job, three kids, and three dogs at home. Jessica, as documented in many blogs, needed help with every daily life skill.

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Should We Do It? 6 Reasons to Try a Camper

Mitch and I unknowingly were trendsetters before COVID-19.  

In January, we purchased, after much research, a new pop-up camper for his truck. Mitch researched the whole country and found our gem in Arkansas. Those who know me well know that I would not own a truck, nor would I purchase a pop-up camper. Turns out that I love driving his wheels and PRE-COVID, I was somewhat looking forward to the camper.  

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3 Greatest Moments of Day 160: Jess Chimes in with her Scales

It has been 160 days since normalcy. 160 days since untethered visitation with Jess. 160 days since Mitch and I have received kisses on our cheeks and risk-free hugs. 160 days since Jess has been in our home.

On Wednesday, Mitch and I arrived at Jessica’s house. It was our standard outside, 6-feet apart meeting. We were unable to visit for two weeks due to a suspected Covid exposure of two staff. Jessica’s home was on lockdown for 14-days. Fortunately, the Covid results were negative.

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Complex Covid Conversations

I have been thinking a lot about the different ways people adhere to the guidelines for Coronavirus. The best analogy I came up with is how I and other people adhere to Jewish laws.

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Noa’s Extraordinary Birth Story, as Told by Nana

Noa’s planned delivery date was my birthday, October 1st. The birth of our first granddaughter and third grandchild. Our excitement and fear grew with each day. My daughter Carly and her husband, Steve, invited me to attend the birth. Noa’s birth was not an ordinary delivery. We knew the potential complications.

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Brady’s Extraordinary Birth Story, as Told by Nana

Noa’s planned delivery date was my birthday, October 1st. The birth of our first granddaughter and third grandchild. Our excitement and fear were growing with each day. My daughter Carly and her husband, Steve, invited me to attend the birth. Noa’s birth was not an ordinary delivery. We knew the potential complications.

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BYE BYE BIRDIES

We have a family of dysfunctional birds by our front door.

Our home has a 20-25-foot covered entry, which includes a window over the front door. One day I looked up and noticed a sophisticated nest attached to the wall. I say “sophisticated” because it is not on a ledge, not on a limb, not on an eve. The cemented nest appears to be suspended on the wall.

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When Your Bosses are Very, Very Young

I resigned from my day job. I only gave one day notice. My adult bosses were very understanding. My four-year-old boss was OK with it and we are still waiting to hear what my 9-month old manager has to say.

I resigned from my day job. I only gave one day notice. My adult bosses were very understanding. My four-year-old boss was OK with it and we are still waiting to hear what my 9-month old manager has to say.

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No Longer 50 Shades of Grey

One of my first blogs “A Bad Hair Day has a New Definition” was about NOT coloring my hair during the Pandemic. Now that three months have passed, I thought I would give an update.

I cried “Uncle”! I gave up! Vanity overcame Virus! I went to the salon.

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An Unbelievable Coincidence

His nickname was Mr. Handsome, and although I loved him, I also knew he wasn’t that handsome. But he was beautiful to me from his skinny legs to his unique crimped tail. His given name was Cicero. And he was our first Italian greyhound.

The breed is also referred to as “I.G.” or “Iggy,” and I didn’t want to adopt him! Cicero was 15 pounds, quite large for the breed. At the time we already had a huge dog and three kids living at home. Jessica lived at home needed 24/7 care due to her disabilities.

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Feeling the Hi! with Jessica Today! ❤️

We just had our second visit since February! Sharing the Hi!

Jessica greeted me with a huge HI!

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Why We and Other Families of Children with Disabilities Zoom from Across the World

For many years we did not know our daughter Jessica’s correct diagnosis. We did know that the DNA Jess was missing played a significant role in her development. In 2002, when Jessica was 20 years old, we received results that Jess has a rare chromosome deletion (missing piece). We struggled to find another family in the world whose child had the same deletion.

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Why Mitch’s New Hearing Aids Cured My Mumbling!

I am not sure why Mitch resisted hearing aids.  Those closest to him have  encouraged Mitch to consider purchasing this much needed support.

A typical conversation between Mitch and me would go something like this:  “Mitch, did you hear what is going on in Erie County today?”  Followed by, “Mitch, did you hear me?”  Mitch’s frequent reply was  “You mumble.” This statement is  his go-to  excuse for, as my 4-year old grandson says, “not listening to my words!”

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Opening the Doors To Another Phase…..

I recently saw a TikTok video (see below)  that cracked me up.  It started 8 weeks ago and showed a woman sterilizing all her groceries as she wore a mask, gloves, and goggles (a bit reminiscent of me).  The video moved to 2 weeks ago where she was lightly dusting the tops of each grocery item.  The 30 second clip ended in the present with the woman casually blowing “virus” off her grocery items without any PPE.

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Finally Seeing Our Daughter Jessica After 54 Days Apart

Today was our first-time seeing Jessica after 54 days–I was not sure how this was going to play out. Jess enjoys facetiming with us, but I was concerned that she would not understand why we were unable to touch her even though we were visibly in front of her. My husband, Mitch, insisted that we needed to visually look at Jess and he wanted Jess to know that we are here, not just on her iPad or iPhone.

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My First Mother’s Day Without a Mom

My Mom passed away on February 6, 2020 before we “knew” about the impending Pandemic. We were able to say Good-bye to Mom in a traditional way, surrounded by friends and family in comparison to how people are mourning during social distancing. This is my first Mother’s Day without a Mom.

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I ‘m Not Really a Control Freak BUT Can I Show You How to Do That My Way?

As the meme says, as long as everyone does it my way, I’m totally flexible…

Mitch brought in a sub the other day  and I said, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH THAT SUB? YOU ARE HOLDING IT NEXT TO YOUR PHONE WHICH IS GOING NEXT TO YOUR FACE AND NOW YOU JUST PUT THE DIRTY PHONE IN YOUR POCKET!”  My way is arguably more complicated and includes plating it outside, cleansing containers and washing hands multiple times, you get the picture…

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FACE-TIMING with JESSICA a Magical Moment

Coronavirus has changed all our lives in so many ways. One of the saddest changes is the absence of seeing and hugging family. But through sadness, in our situation, we found some illumination and a bright light that brought a smile to my husband Mitch and myself.

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Connecting with Others: Our Daughter Jessica Started My Path to Writing and Receiving

Our eldest daughter, Jessica, has a rare chromosome abnormality, uses a wheelchair, and needs total assistance with all daily life skills. Jess was born in 1982 and within the year we knew that there were many developmental issues. Jess just turned 38 years old and is a joy to all who know her and love her!

So, what do you do in the 1980’s to meet others going through similar circumstances when your child has a rare diagnosis? How did I find other families without Facebook, Twitter, Websites, and Texting? It was through hard copy research, library visits and asking doctors and organizations for contacts.

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Have you Looked at Your Hands Recently?

Back in 70’s when Mitch and I started dating, he drew a picture of me.  His photo was pretty good, I was impressed. The details were there, hair and face looked familiar and perspective was good.  BUT, then I looked down at the hands and he drew reptiles!  Yes, I still married him four years later, but this was quite the insult that I remember 45  years later.

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Men Vs Machines: My Dad and His 90+ Year Old Friends Learning Virtual Bridge in the Age of Social Distancing

My father  is 89 and has played bridge for many years. He has a  group of four men and  he is the youngster in the group. The senior member is 97.

Bridge and social distancing are problematic because you must sit relatively close to each other, touch each other’s cards and breathe the same air.

So one of the fellows had the idea of playing bridge online. Yes, the eldest person in this group is 97 and these men did not grow up with computers, cell phones or tablets. They do not routinely play games with online strangers or bots. 

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“Hello, My Name is Vickie and I Just Bought a Pulse-Ox Finger Thingy”

 

I used to be embarrassed about my purse buying.  Kind of like going to a support group and saying “Hi, my name is Vickie…and I just bought another designer purse.” Recently, my passion for shopping has taken a new direction.

My husband Mitch and I have been isolating in a rural county of New York State for two weeks.  Mitch’s daily  “need to know” and my source of increased anxiety is the constant playing of the news.

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What’s So Funny? Laugh Meter

In 2005 my husband, Mitch, created a Laugh Meter to determine humor reactions; it’s based on a scale of 0.5-10. .” It took Mitch over 2 years of observation to finalize the rankings.

When mitch doesn’t get my jokes I typically say, “you have no sense of humor.” He’s just not “laugh out loud” funny. That role goes to his brother, Scott Rubin. Ironically, Mitch probably has more of a sense of humor than most, he’s just more methodical and the result is his chart.

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2020 Vision of CHANGE as Told by Self-described Germaphobe

As a kid, I had pneumonia several times. It was during the 1960’s and the pediatrician made house calls. House calls didn’t mean a phone call, it was literally the doctor coming to our house. The pediatrician, with his little black bag, would arrive and provide medical services and check-ups as my nervous mother paced the room. The visits from the doctor in that era included him starting a vaporizer under a tent made of sheets over my bed, and talking down my mother, which was never an easy task.

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