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.

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.

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!”

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.

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.

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.

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…

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.

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.

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.

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. 

“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.

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.

A Bad Hair Day has a New Definition

Victoria is 62 years old. She exercises regularly, tries to eat well and enjoys a glass or two (or three) of wine on occasion. She goes to the salon to get her hair colored every three weeks, she needed it every two weeks because once the grey root line started and spread it was visible but she was able to color it with a temporary spray for one week. She hated the thought of sitting in the salon chair for hours. Victoria also  worried about the harsh chemicals saturating her hair. She refused to go under the hair dryer as was recommended by her stylist because the thought of opening her scalp pores to allow the dye to infiltrate her body was more than she could bare. Victoria was a bit of a nut when it came to chemicals. Whether her theory was true or not, she was sticking to it.   A small part of her felt shallow spending all the time and money on personal grooming.  

Victoria’s  concern about chemicals  led her to a small hair salon company in Los Angeles (3000 miles from Victoria’s home),a recommendation from her sister-in-law, to buy  permanent hair color made from odd vegetables and herbs. Victoria cut a small sample of her  hair  and mailed it to Los Angeles. The colorist created an individualized shade that was natural and chemical free. Whether this was completely accurate, Victoria didn’t care, she wanted and needed to believe it.  She routinely brought the natural hair dye to her  local hair stylist to apply the color. This, of course, added cost to the frequent routine, but she felt that the less toxicity was worth the price. She also needed to believe this was worth the money.

Victoria’s husband, Mitchel,  is an outdoors man, who came from a  more rural community. At least that is what Victoria thought of his home, as in her New York state of mind, everything north of Westchester was rural.  He hunts (she is a vegetarian), he fishes (she feels bad for the fish), he gardens and plants (she doesn’t like bugs or getting her hands dirty), they were always called the Green Acres couple. Green Acres was a TV show in the 60’s that centered around Oliver a Manhattan attorney and his wife Lisa who was a New York socialite. Oliver, perhaps mid-life crisis or actual insanity,  decides to change their life and moves them to a rural town to live in a dilapidated farmhouse and tries to learn the art of farming. Oliver spends his day learning to live among livestock, the “land!” and neighbors while Lisa spends her days burning dinners while wearing negligees and gowns. Victoria and Mitchel were not to that extreme, but the reference was often  made about them.

Mitchel  preferred when Victoria’s hair was wild and crazy like it was in the 70’s when they met at college. He was a bit of a bad boy then who had long hair, similar to Victoria’s, and  who loved to party. He drove a small blue Fiat that was held together with duct tape. The front fender had fallen off in a minor auto accident and Mitchel realized that duct tape worked well and was a lot cheaper than a repair. The Fiat also had rust that was spreading like a cancer throughout the body of his car.  

In contrast, Victoria was from Long Island and drove a sports car, thanks to her parents. She didn’t have to work a job while attending school and her tuition and allowance were all provided by her parents. Her goal was to receive her diploma and find a husband.

They met at a party and somehow, they clicked. Victoria and Mitchel were married in 1979 and moved to his “more” rural hometown and built a family and a life.

When Victoria was in her twenties, she noticed some grey hair. She let it go for a period but finally surrendered to professionally coloring it, first with henna, a natural product, and later to semi-permanent dyes. Time passed  as her greys became more stubborn and  she finally  moved to the toxic permanent dyes.

Many years were spent coloring and seeing a grey root and coloring and seeing a grey root and  coloring  again to create the illusion that she still looked younger than her years. Most of Victoria’s friends colored their hair too. It was as crucial as going to the gym, a necessary monthly expense that made Victoria and her peers feel good about themselves while keeping the myth.

Surprisingly, Mitchel who liked  everything natural such as Victoria not wearing make-up or coiffing her hair, insisted on Victoria keeping up with the coloring. Although Mitchel was mostly bald and grey, he still had an opinion about Victoria’s tresses. She succumbed to his wishes.

All was going well with this system until March 2020. Life changed in an instant with the onset of Coronavirus (COVID-19). It first started slowly, in fact Victoria had  her  hair colored at the end of February but soon a cyclonic wave of panic consumed everyone, and many hair salons started closing.

Hair coloring was no longer an option at the salon. All the women with unnaturally brown, auburn, red, blonde , blue, lilac and other colors professionally applied were now at a crossroad. Color their hair at home or let it go.

Victoria stays at home during the social distancing phase of the pandemic, as do most of her wiser friends. She guesses that in eight to twelve weeks or eight to twelve months when she comes out of hibernation that the term Bad Hair Day will have a new meaning.

She wonders what she and her friends will look like and if they will care after surviving COVID-19. Will she and others go back to the tri-weekly coloring routine or embrace their natural style and color?

Way Back in January 2019, a bad hair day meant that a bit of grey roots were showing. Victoria guesses it will be an interesting reveal after the quarantines are over.

As for Victoria, she decided to let her hair go grey and be natural. Mitchel isn’t thrilled about this decision, but both are trying to put a bad hair day in perspective. Victoria knows she will be a different person in six months and hopes that not coloring her hair is one of her new routines. She hopes a bad hair day means that she succumbed to the coloring routine and that  a good hair day includes wild 1970’s hair in fifty shades of grey!

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