Saturday, August 30, 2014

Coffeeshop Writers' Group - Kym Cohen returns - Winnie Bannigan Comes for Dinner

Kym Cohen is an amazing woman. Young, vibrant, positive, spiritual with a touch of the seer about her, she has struck a bargain with the cancer she's been fighting since it was discovered on July 27.

Although she isn't crazy about Mounds Bars, which you remember have coconut inside,

Image result for mounds barshe eats small amounts to fight the originally coconut-sized tumor in her abdomen. If the tumor, part of her non-Hodgkins lymphoma, was that big, it meant it's been growing for quite some time.

But Kym was heavy, as in overweight, so she couldn't feel it inside. One day she felt a tremendous pain and her dad drove her from her Bensalem apartment to the ER.

She was immediately diagnosed with anemia and a swollen spleen. The spleen is responsible for red blood cells and the immune system.

But that didn't explain her swollen feet. Imaging techniques revealed two types of non-Hodgkins lymphoma. The three types are based on the rate of tumor growth: fast, moderate and slow.

She has moderate and slow-growing.The latter can stay with you your whole life but doesn't necessarily kill you.

Her cancer is treatable.

Dyou know what this shark is doing? He's attacking Kym's cancer cells. That's her visualization.

"I'm so blessed," she says.

She'll receive a total of six chemo treatments at Aria Hospital. She's already had two treatments. Each one lasts six hours. They put her to sleep, tho it's not necessary.

I was so struck by Kym's glossy hair, I asked her if I could touch it.

It's a wig. The only side effect she has from the chemo is losing her hair. Remarkable! Let's cheer on those sharks!

Because Kym lost SIXTY-SIX pounds, she needs less chemo. Her secret of losing weight?


 Her oncologists tell her to drink a gallon of water a day. Other than that, no dietary restrictions.

I spent 40 minutes this morning writing a cinquin for Kym. Contrary to what I wrote in my poem, her name is spelled "Kimberly" on her birth certificate. Kym discovered a celebrity who spelled it with a "Y" and followed suit.


A cinquin is written with the following syllables:

2 – 4 – 6 – 8 – 2

Why the
“Y?” Bathed in light
her mama knew she’d birthed
a blond-haired goddess. Victory
is hers.

Kym presented "The Gift of Stonehenge" about David who is alone amongst the ruins and makes an amazing discovery while a hawk soars overhead.

We told her to sew up the ending; in other words, tell us what happens, don't leave us in the lurch.

But I don't know what happens, she protested.

Of course not. You've gotta figure it out!

I arrived 20 minutes late b/c I was writing my new piece "Curlicues" and also cooking my lunch of scallops, mushrooms, green scallions sauteed in olive oil and lemon juice. I sprinked it with garden basil.

I buy new pans every few months b/c the bottoms burn on my horrible new electric stove I've complained about on Scroll down on link to read the review.

I was in a minor panic this morning cuz I didn't know what to write about. Looking thru my "Idea Notes," I saw a good one. I had just reviewed a book on Amazon, in which the author talking about asphyxiating insects for a bug collection.

Aha! thinks I. I'll write about my experience in 11th grade biology at Shaker Heights High School.

I titled it Curlicues, which look like this

Linda Barrett was the third and last person to present once again "Mother of Society."

Linda finally finished her story, which ran to 20 single-spaced pages. I told her to clarify the ending. The futuristic story - dystopian - is quite interesting.

Kym said it reminded her of the writings of Philip K Dick. I've heard of Dick but get him confused with the late mystery writer Robert H Parker, who I don't care for.

Philip Dick had strange mental health issues.

Both Linda and Kym had seen a few movies made from Dick's sci-fi works.


Company for dinner. Bought a BBQ rotisserie chicken from The Giant. Oh no! I forgot there's leftovers in the fridge. I could've been noshing on it instead of eating these dry almonds which get stuck in my teeth.

Winnie Bannigan came for dinner. She met my Scottie.

I proudly showed Winnie my beautiful house. She liked my red couches from Gamburg's of Hatboro, which is where Winnie lives in the 8-story Moreland Towers.

Showed her photos of Grace, 4, and Max, 1, and she oohed and aahed. Let me see what they'd doing now. Hold on, I'm gonna visit them invisibly on FB.

 They're in Ocean City, NJ. Grace, 4, went on her first ferris wheel ride with Dan.

Here's Nicole who just went 'blond' like Ruthie, with Max, 1. 

Winnie and I say goodbye to Scott, who's going to bed. This is the start of his two-week vacation.

Then Win and I head out to my mom's, where we visit on the screened-in back porch with Mom, 92, and Ellen.

Winnie, I said, come over any tine you want!!!

You too, stranger!

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Good Folks at Moreland Towers in Hatboro, PA

Oh, sorry. This is 10 Moreland Street. In Melbourne, Australia. See Archello Architects.

Light outside when I go in to great - Freudian slip - I meant to write "greet" but wrote "great" Allan Heller and a few ladies from our writers' group.

Allan Heller was his witty best.

At last we got to meet ROCKY, choose one....

Rocky the talking cat
Rocky the Raccoon
Rocky the lapper of toilet water

 Here's Marf and Donna.

Yoo hoo! Carly, where art thou?

Are you hiding under the table?

Carly just wrote this lovely note:

Dear Allan M Heller

You did it again.   You made me laugh in the past and again last night.  I admire you for your strength and your talent is brilliant and I appreciate your friendship.  And you remembered that darn book!
Well thank you for thinking of us and inviting us for an evening out with a grand guy.  How could we turn away? Of course,  we wouldn't!   Next time? ?  Of course!

Nice old radio, record player. Does it work?

Mrs Allan Heller - Tatiana - has Catholic shrines all over the house. She was spending the night at her parents' house. Mom has Lyme disease and needs help.
Allan's sister bought this in Japan. She and her husband live in Silicon Valley. She just received her PhD and was hired by Intel.

Here's Allan's mom. And Allan himself when he was acting in - what? - a Shakespeare play perhaps. Look! Allan had hair at one time.

This is Mint Bark from Stutz Homemade Candies. I bought an assortment of chocolates for Allan.

Everyone brought sweets. A couple of delicious kuchens.

After everyone left, I stayed behind and called my friend Winnie Bannigan who lives in the Towers.

"Cmon over, doll," she said. So I took the elevator to the sixth floor. There are eight floors at the Towers.

People have cute things on their front doors.

Winnie and I were neighbors at Village Green Apartments. I lived in H-6, she lived in J-2.

Her daughter Dawn babysat Dan and Sarah.

Here's Dawn, 48. She has three children in their early 20s. Damian, Dustin, and a girl whose name I forget. The girl has two kids of her own, so Winnie is a great-grandmother.

Here's Dawn and son Damian. They're very close.

Dawn and her husband Ed, a disabled truck driver, have fallen on hard times. They live in Virginia, which Winnie says is exquisitely beautiful. 

Winnie lived there awhile. She'd been working at the Baker Jewelry factory here but transferred to Virginia.

One of her jobs was melting gold

 She earned a lot of money and has a nice pension today.

Winnie's late mother is on the right. Her Aunt Winnie is the other gal. 

Winnie looks great at 73. She had polio at age 3 and got the post-polio syndrome. Her feet were reconstructed by an excellent surgeon. She's very content in her comfortable apartment, which is beautifully furnished.

I told her she must come visit me sometime.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Good morning, Hatboro, PA! Daddypops Diner, Diana's Nail Salon, Stutz Candy Kitchen

 Hadn't been to Daddypops Diner in a couple of years. Used to go with Simon. Would often see my across-the-street neighbor Charlie Myers there. Altho Charlie died about five years ago, he and his wife Nancy, make an appearance in my new short story "Double or Nothing." I've relocated them to a Bucks County condo, and, of course, in Charlie's case, to the world of the living.
Had a hankering for an English muffin. As I bit into it, I could taste the preservatives, yes I have a very sensitive palate, and then I spread strawberry jam - delicious - on top.

Just took my blood sugar. Whopping! Is getting your toes amputated worth eating an English muffin? Well, at least I didn't get any hash browns.

My waitress Stephanie bringing me some delicious cold water. I had a cup and a half of Decaf.

Mary, who's been there since it opened, only waitresses on Sunday, but comes in everyday to help with various & sundry, including the books.

Daddypops is a Hatboro tradition.

Diana's Nails is not.

I came in thru the bathroom window, I mean the back door, cuz I'm a back door man AND a back roads man.

 Emily gives me a pedicure. No nail polish on me toes. Just cut the nails good and scrub the bottom of my feet. They have these hot rocks which feel great on the soles of your footsies.
Li is the owner. He said the new nail salon across the street - Strawberry - has cut into his biz. Still, his salon was well-attended this morning.

 Here's nurse Sarah's daughter. She has an unusual name, something like Kalia.
Sarah's toenails are drying. She has red toenails. She's a nursing home nurse at the old Doylestown Hospital. It's called Briarleaf and we'll take a look at it right now.

Photo is from a historian blogger named David Hanauer. Apparently Briarleaf doesn't have a website.

Whoa! I've now gotten myself down to Doylestown. I'm on my way to Stutz Candy Kitchen to buy Allen and Tatyana some chocolates.

 Jan helped me pick out the candies. "Kitchen seconds."
 When my kids and I lived across the street in Village Green Apartments, we were frequent visitors. Remember? We loved the mint bark - woof! woof! - below.
I was such a good girl I didn't even buy a piece of that smooth-as-silk - and TASTY?! - candy.

Here's my new Silver Nails, that match my silver car.

Heigh ho! Silver. C'mon boy.