Friday, October 24, 2014

Diabetes Rules my Life - New Poem - What Short Story for the morrow? - Poem: Fourth of July

I injected more than enuf insulin for dinner - a huge salad! - and then drove five minutes away to the Friday nite festivities at the

  First thing I did, after saying hello to Linda Barrett,

was to pour me a cuppa Decaf.

Then I took a painting class with Abbie. Her studio is in Hulmeville, PA. Used to work as a therapist at the now-defunct Bristol Bensalem Human Services and would eat at the Hulmeville Inn.

  Jackie, I'd say, I'll have a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato and a cup of Decaf.

Now, of course, I have diabetes and rarely eat bread. High carb count!

When I go to the Friday nite Coffee Grounds - and it's always mobbed - I leave my wallet hidden in my unlocked car. So I paid $10 for the painting class when I was ready to leave.

 Seven people sat around the table. We all painted the same painting, so Abbie could guide us.

I followed direx for a while, but didn't want to paint a TREBLE CLEF,

so I did my own design, as did Lynn Sinclair, who sat next to me.

A woman with perfect teeth, she looked so familiar. She was my diabetes educator and was a very good one. She, also, deviated from the treble clef.

I shared with her that I was 'low' today.... a 44.  Normal is 80 to 120. Lynn was very concerned. Asked me why.

I had simply miscalculated how many units to inject for my cream of asparagus soup.

I simply ate 8 whole-grain pretzels and then some peanuts.

  I know how to take c/o myself!

How did I know I was low?

I was in the baffroom and I couldn't remember where my bedroom was.

Sometimes you can't think properly when this happens. Calmly, I walked downstairs, took my blood sugar, and then ate the pretzels.

At the church tonite, there was no food for a person with diabetes. Usually they have cheese n crackers, but Kim checked and said there was none, so I was anxious to get home and eat my pretzels b/c I had overinjected.


Since tomro is our Writers' Group - bye bye Bob Klein - I wanted to finish my short story.

Couldn't find it. Goggled "Moses," the name of the main character and found it. Will work on it tonite, until, oh..... about 3 am, while listening to my new CD

  I love Bodhisatva.  

 This is the snack I ate tonite to avert a 'low.'

Say hello to my new friend Gregory Godfrey. He stopped by to give me a packet of info he teaches to his students at Abington Junior H.S. The info was about Depression.

What a great guy! Good to know you, son.

 Mom's best friend was Caroline Berkman. She died in July. The above was her spoon. I wrote a poem about it.

Below is a fork from Horn and Hardart. I found it on the street.

All these new words - automat, laundromat, cafeteria, rifle range.

WXPN is having their countdown of the hundred best songs. One of my fave songs is I Only Have Eyes for You, sung by the Flamingos.

Written in 1934, here's the version by the Flamingos of Chicago. 

They're still performing.

Am listening to a terrific audio book in the kitchen. Dunno the name but the author is Nicholas Evans, the Brit author of Horse Whisperer.

When I Wiki'd him, here's what I found..... and then, Dear Reader, I will let you go.

Evans is married to singer/songwriter Charlotte Gordon Cumming.

Evans, Cumming, and several of their relatives were poisoned in September 2008 after consuming Deadly webcap mushrooms that they gathered on holiday.

They all had to undergo kidney dialysis,[2] and Evans underwent a transplant in 2011 using a kidney donated by his daughter.

Years ago, I wrote a poem about The Hulmeville Inn. 


I have come to this peaceful cafe
to rest my legs and drink from
the bottomless pot of coffee
the waitress has set before me.

I am jittery and can barely pour
the cream without creating a splash.
This is to be expected on a day like today, a
red white and blue day that
proclaims the coming of the holiday.

The waitress glides by.
A swan on a ripply pond.
She has people to serve
in the other room,
the dark room,
the room with the bar.

The waitress stops by.
Does she want to talk?
I watch the smoothness
of her neck for a signal.

Her devotion is total,
like an abbess to her flock,
bound to her plates and soup bowls,
her pitchers of iced tea floating with lemon wheels.

Just the coffee, I tell her.
The cream goes in with a splash.

Against the wall, a legion of
tiny American flags
proclaim their clean, laundered loyalty
— to what, I am not sure —
bringing to mind the
music of Charles Ives
I have listened to in my bedroom
long ago.  Where is he now, I wonder,
that daredevil cockatoo!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Visit Katy and baby Hailynne Rose Price at Abington Memorial Hospital

Here's Hailynne! She had a cute little cry, cute to everyone but new mom Katy. The baby is swaddled to preserve a feeling of being warm and protected as she was in the womb.

The name Hailynne? An invention by Kreative Katy!

Proud "Pop-Pop" Rick Temple was keeping Katy company since 8 in the morning. His wife MaryRose is very tired, having had successful surgery on her pituitary gland. The baby's dad was there early but had to go to work.

Met Danielle, a good friend of Katy's, who gave Katy some tips about nursing. Her daughter Ashley is now 8. See the tiny "crib" in the background?

Katy must keep track of when the baby poops and nurses.

When I was a nursing mom back in Texas, I read "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding." Remember, Sarah Lynn?

It'd been a long long time but I remembered the words "meconium," "prolactin," and "episiotomy." The latter was once a routine procedure - I signed a lot of paperwork at Abington hospital where Dan was born - so I wouldn't have to get one. Now, it's done only in certain occasions.

Both my births were natural. Unlike my friend Ada, who had an easy birth with Aaron, the pain was, well, horrific, soon forgotten, as Katy herself said.

The proud father is Adam Price. They all live happily together in the home of the Temples.

Katy was gonna eat a bowl of Cheerios and milk. She's very careful about her diet since she's a nursing mom.

One of her docs, Robert Desmond, kept a close eye on her. He's been in practice for quite a while, so he could guide her with problems she encountered, including an overproduction of bile, which made her itch.

She itches no more. Just to get home and show Hailynne her new home.

Walking in the pouring rain, I parked on Guernsey Road, then walked, with hood on head, over to the hospital.

The obstetrician induced labor via a new method - read about the Foley Balloon Method here. 

Katy and Adam and Katy's sister were all present at the birth.

25 hour labor. Finally it was time to "push," but where was the doc? You can't push w/o her!

She came in. The short umbilical cord was wrapped lightly around the baby's neck. The OB fixed it so the baby could make her exit into the world.

Katy did not know all these details until afterward. Whew!

In utero, the baby learns to breathe shortly before delivery.  Full-term pregnancy is 40 weeks. Hailynne was 37 weeks. The doc wanted her lungs to be as fully developed as possible. She had just developed the necessary inner lining to the lungs.

Enjoyed holding the baby. Katy told me to check out her long toes and fingers.

Indeed. When I put my finger around hers, she clasped them. A reflex. I think it's from the days when we were monkeys - remember, that? - and needed to grasp onto mom's fur.

Bonobos, along with chimps, are our closest relatives.

When entering the Maternity Ward in the Lenfest Pavilion, the visitor is buzzed inside. You speak in a microphone, telling who you want to visit.

You're also checked when you leave, to see if you might be hiding a little person inside your backpack. 

 I exited the hospital at the Lenfest Pavilion and had no idea where I was. I always park my car on Guernsey Cow Road.

Aha! Here's the original hospital, a beautiful old bldg with a cupola on top.

 This is how I walk to the hospital from Guernsey Road.
Ah, my chariot waits.

Isn't it fun for all you parents reading this as we remember forgotten things about our own children's births? Below is Baby Grace, my first of two grandchildren. Grace is now four years old. Look, she remembers her years as a Bonobo.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Katy has a baby - Blankie for Baby - More Paintings on Back Porch

Hi Katy. Little did she know when this pic was taken a couple of years ago that on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at 2 am she would deliver Haylinne Rose after 25 hours in labor.


Haylinne weighed over 8 pounds.

After meditating for 10 minutes and walking around the hilly block for exercise, I drove over to Specialist Flooring in Roslyn, PA, to buy one of Sandy's blankets.

Sandy's husband Nick, who just had varicose vein surgery, sold me my kitchen linoleum and a few carpets.

Nick DellaGuardia

Such nice people. 

Sandy had dozens of blankets - for kids and adults - from which to choose.

Every one I picked up I wanted.

When I saw this, however, I knew it was the one.

Pink and grayish. Katy had told me the baby's bedroom was painted gray.

Speaking of painting, out onto the screened-in back porch I went

Am painting my sister's copper watering can. Needed to let it dry before adding more acrylic paint, and worked on other canvases.

Am happy about how the watering can came out. Thother is a bird house. The shape reminds me of a tiny van Gogh painting of a church I have upstairs in my baffroom.

Is that it?

See, when I make a painting, I have no idea what I'm doing. But I like to fill up the canvas.

And now, you, Dear Reader, fill up on life.

Cream of asparagus soup. Unsweetened soy milk, onions, garlic, tarragon, Muenster cheese.

Two deer in their winter clothes munching on something in the back yard.

Monday, October 20, 2014

RIP Thomas B Toohey - Online Shrine to my Contact Lenses

Our family was in shock at the sudden death of Tom Toohey, my daughter/law Nicole's father. She told me her family uses Burns Funeral Home in Bensalem.

A highly decorated narcotics cop in Philadelphia, she now has his awards along with his ashes. 

Her dad was a soldier. She showed me his dog tags. I held the cold lifeless metal in my hands as my grandson Max ate noodle soup off his tray. I tasted it - delicious! 

Nicole was working on some papers as she's in grad school online.

Here's my son Dan, who was folding laundry when I drove over.

He also fixed my laptop, which I'm typing on now.

He turned 38 on October 9 and I finally was able to give him his gift, which he liked.

Dan walked me out to my car. 

"You're a mellow guy," I said, as we kissed goodbye.


Then I drove to Mom's where I gave her and Ellen, some sweet potatoes which we harvested yesterday.

 They grow deep in the ground in clusters.

Scott said we have great soil, full of worms. He used manure mixed with topsoil.

The first time I had sweet potato pie was when I worked for my late father at Majestic Specialties, Inc, in NYC.

The Coffee Lady, an unfriendly black woman, sold me a piece.

Nibbling on it before I went back to work, I looked back at her and said, "This is delicious!"

I'd made a new friend.


Scott and I finally made our scarecrow. He used some old jeans, telling me that now that they're 'outsourced' to China, they're a bunch of crap.

The shirt is from his birth-state Nebraska, the Cornhusker State.



I've worn contacts since I was 17.

Dr Philip Kasdan in Cleveland was my doctor.

As a teenager and even when I went off to Goddard College, I would constantly lose them.

I don't need contacts any more, since I had two two cataract operations in July and August.

For old times' sake, I tried on one of my contacts just now. My eye did not reject this foreign object. I wear the gas-permeable lenses. Or, I should say, "wore."

They're tinted pale blue so you can find em - sometimes - when they drop. Scott is a master at finding them.

On the top left of the photo, you'll see the most important instrument a hard-contact-wearer needs. It's like gold.

Occasionally the lens dislodges itself into the side or back or top of the eye. You lubricate the eye and using The PLUNGER one can slide it back into the center of the eye.

Sadly, I'm gonna get rid of all these lens accoutrements.

Well, I'll leave em on my purple ottoman empire a while and when I get sick of em, will dispose of em.


Worn from 1962 until 2014... 51 years

Life’s a blur
blue catseye glasses
fixed that
then as a teenager, on
to newly invented contacts
whose intimate loving
embrace with the iris
made the world anew

These little slabs of
plastic, see-through
like the white slip of
Maggie the Cat
bore me up to the
golden hills of Vermont
where Wendy and I
sunbathed in the nude
until the farmer in overalls
asked us to leave his cow pasture
those damn Goddard brats

And so it went. Every night
the ritual: soak the lenses
in a warm bath of water
insert in the morning
-two thousand three hundred
seventeen times –
until little puffs back of the eye
put a halt to the
sacred process.

I lay on a gurney
in the hands of Dr Clark
as he slid “lens inserts”
in the back of my eyes
“Focus on the colors”
he said as the royal blue
exhibited itself like a
million dollar
Mondrian print
and I flashed back to
Cleveland when I
played hockey in a
gym suit that color
Ground sticks! Ground sticks!

What shall I do now with
the paraphernalia of my
lens-wearing days?
With the white plastic eye case
with two deep holes
the soaking lotion, wetting
and cleansing solution
all the once-unfamiliar names
becoming over time best buddies
best friends

Shall I dig a hole in the
back yard and bury them
the way I did my turtles
back in Ohio?

Or, with a plunk, shall I
deposit them in the
Recyclables, then hide
my eyes, when the
trash men come ‘round
next Thursday?