Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Retirement Party for Nancy Wieman on the last day of September - Cinquin for Nancy

Lai Lai Gardens on deKalb Pike in Blue Bell is a favorite banquet spot. I left plenty early just in case I got lost. As always, I listen to an audio book. Fortunately, The Shining by Stephen King is picking up. The term "the shining" refers to the power of prophecy.

As you can see, I got sloshed at the Cash Bar.

Actually all I drank was ice water the above gentleman spritzed into my glass.
Helen Kirschner, leader of our Daytime Meetings at the Willow Grove Giant, arrived - with a splash - in the parking lot right after I did.

We both have the Mental Health Awareness stickers on our backsides.

One of our bipolar women from New Directions designed it.

Haven't seen Sandy Watson in years. She usually wears a beautiful long skirt and was. Recently, she retired from The Consumer Satisfaction Team of Montgomery County. 

Nancy Wieman (wee-man) looked stunning. When I learned she was retiring on August 29 I wrote her a poem, which you'll read later. (I've gotta run upstairs and retrieve it from my poetry file.)

She spoke at New Directions in March of 2012. The post is quite interesting. Read it here. 

A timeline of Nancy's life was displayed on a screen up front while perhaps 100 people watched from tables with white linen tablecloths or standing up in the back of the room.

Bob Wieman, Nancy's husband. It's so much fun to see a person's partner. Their daughter, Sarah, who was in town the day before, had to go back to college in Florida - o that I could remember the name - where she's going for her MBA.

When she graduates, she'll figure out what to do with it.

Here's a better shot of Bob Wieman in his "traditional khakis" as someone said when I asked where he was.

Pam Howard, Director of Adult Services at Montgomery County Office of Behavioral Health, greeted us when we came in.

Her daughter Maya is now all of 10 years old. Pam lost her husband to a deadly cancer when Maya was very young.

Maya is waiting at home for mom. She's now taking flute lessons.

Internet photo.

Are flutes really this long?

Well, it's not an ocorina, ya know.

Carol Caruso of NAMI. The National Alliance on Mental Health just held their annual conevention in DC. A friend of mine shared the event-packed flyer. 

Peruse it here. Most impressive!

Josh Shapiro, president of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, was one of the speakers.

"None of us was put on earth," he said, "to complete the task" we're working on.

What a great quote!

We learned of Nancy's long and dedicated career.

In the late 1960s, Nancy, then 26, was a vocational counselor at Norristown State Hospital, which at the time housed 5,000 people.

From Wiki - Designed 1878–80, by Wilson Brothers & Company, it was the first institution in the country that recognized female physicians.

Norristown Admin.jpg Nancy, then a vocational counselor, was walking outside one of the buildings, when a hospital patient called "Nancy! Nancy!"

"Yes!" she answered.

"When did you get out?"

After working 18 yrs at the hospital, she applied for an administerial job at Montco Behavioral Health.

On the screen up front, we saw a letter from Mary Q. Frantz offering her the job and stating she would earn $32,000 per year.

Vera Zanders read a testimony by the absent Eric Goldstein, head of the Behavioral Health Unit. He mentioned Nancy's motto - "We're all about community" - and said he considers her a "soul sister."

She will continue her work on the Prison Board.

Some of the gifts she received were gift cards to

       Blimpie's (never heard of it)

Iced decaf, please.

      Lou's in Norristown. Must be near her office.

Was it Maureen Feeney-Burns who presented Nancy with a necklace?

 Hi Maureen! The words on the necklace: "Be the Change You Wish to See in the World."

Cynthia is a brain researcher at University of Pennsylvania. She was fascinated to hear my manic-depression sounded its trumpet for 20 years and then left town 10 years ago.

I'm not alone, I told her. I know at least 10 people who are no longer on meds, asymptomatic.

I asked Cynthia if she could be a guest speaker at the Giant on Oct. 25, but she said she'd be in New York.

Then I asked if she could write for our new Compass, and showed her our 2014 copy. I've got business cards of several people who I'll ask for articles.

Unbelievably, I lost Cynthia's business card. If anyone reading this knows her last name, please email me at Ruth Deming at Comcast.net

Starting is the hardest part.

As mon ami Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is reputed to have said:

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”

It was good to see Beulah Seideman below. She and husband Reuben moved to Center City and love it. 

 Reuben told me the journey of his son. He was given various diagnoses. Schizophrenia, bipolar. Got lousy treatment in hospitals.

Finally, a nurse diagnosed him with bipolar, he's been on lithium for 25 years, is married and has two kids. He met the woman he married at the gym.

"She fell in love with him," said the proud Reuben, who said it's okay to "blog this."

I told Reuben his son must get his labs checked once every six months, which Reuben said he does.

As my readers know, 16.5 years on the drug ruined my kidneys. My daughter Sarah donated hers to me three years ago and I'm doing fine.

The antirejection meds gave me insulin-dependent diabetes.

Helen looked the other way when I injected insulin into the top of my arm. No pain there.
Michael Solomon! It's always good seeing him. Tall and slender, he said, "My wife keeps me in good shape."

Nancy Wieman knew every single person in the room.

Helen asked me how many people I knew. I guessed maybe one-third. Problem was, I could barely read the name tags. It was like being at a Singles' Dance and trying to find out Who is this person, What do they do, How important are they for my own needs?

Mark Saltzer was there. Let's see what he's up to at Temple.

Mark Salzer
 Here's Mark who does good work.

Oy veh! Just heard on the radio that a Dallas hospital has the first ebola patient in the USA. But, said the doctor spokesperson, there's no way it's going to get out of control.

Here's the gift I found near my car in the parking lot

Driving home this little guy made my 45-minute drive all the more pleasant. Dunno if I'd describe listening to The Shining as pleasant or not. Would you?

A cinquin is a poem with the syllable structure

2 – 4 – 6 – 8 – 2


The years
where did they go?
Hammock days await when
she’ll read all those fine books calling

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Tyler and Kamellia tie the knot! - We eat Kamellia's homemade pizza for dinner

No sooner did Scott and I come home from a walk with friends - Helen, Elissa, and Jonathan - at Mondauk Common in Maple Glen, PA, than I answer the phone.

It was a life-changing message.

Today my nephew Tyler and his fiancee Kamellia will get married.

It was decided the night before when they visited their married cousins Jade and Matt who live at Honey Hollows conservation center in Solebury, PA.

Here's the website. 

AND the site of the wedding looked like the below-described.... 

By 1941 terraces and diversion ditches were built to control runoff on steep slopes and hedges were planted to control erosion. Their successful experiments in contour plowing and other soil and water conservation techniques served as examples for farmers around the country. This was the first agricultural area in a small watershed to show the benefits of soil, water, and wildlife conservation.

Jade is sent to test water quality. Ever since she was in high school she knew she wanted to work to help our environment.

She and Matt live on a vast acreage which even includes

Four lovely ladies. Only one is old enough to lay eggs - one a day - while the others are learning from Big Sister. Wonder if Big Sister takes Midol?

There were about 40 guests. Mark, a HS friend of Tyler, was the photographer.

Dan and Laura traveled in from Hatboro. They have four children who all stayed home. There simply wasn't time enough to get ready.
Laura's dress was sitting in the closet, never worn. So it made its debut this afternoon, September 28, the date of the Roche's wedding anniversary.

 Elaine and Malcolm Crooks own a lovely old home - c. 1750 - on the property. Two of Nikki's childhood friends - Sue Cornell (daughter of the late Hatboro, PA politician Roy Cornell) and Laura who's battling cancer.

"I never go out of the house w/o my hat," she said. No hair beneath. She has a tattoo on her back that reads BELIEVE.
The Crooks' rescued dog Maggie. She has only one eye. She was found in very bad shape in Ohio. She doesn't drink water out of a bowl. We surmised a cat had taken her eye. She drinks water out of the pond far out in the back yard or puddles of water.

What a story Maggie has to tell.

 Patrick served as the ring bearer.
 Sue Cornell and g'daughter Amber with translucent blue eyes. She loved the dog Maggie and was busy feeding her dead leaves.
 Here's Malcolm who is a year younger than Mom. He retired 7 years ago from working at the huge Christmas Tree Farm on the property.  It's called Tuckamony Farm.  

Grandson Lars Crooks runs it now. 'We give you a saw and you cut down your tree.'

Malcolm and Elaine Crooks. She's a graphics designer. Like we do, she has a hummingbird feeder. Her birds arrive early in the season, ours arrive late.

She told us we're putting too much sugar in the feeder and that's why it's currently buzzing with yellow jackets, egads.

 Quinn's big brother Tyler got married today.
 Spread of appetizers before the ceremony. Thousands of gnats flew in our faces.
 Tyler prepares to put music out. You mean, I said, you like classical? He put on some Handel. The wedding march they chose was the famous Canon on D by Pachelbel.
Warren Greene, my ex-brother/law. He said he was very saddened by the death of Robin Williams. Warren wants to return to Venice CA where he'd been living a couple of years. It's nice, tho, to see his children Jade and Miles.

 Hadn't seen Neil O'Keefe in a couple of years. His twin daughters are doing well. Brittany and Amanda. Brittany is a paralegal and Amanda is in finance. He is also a grandfather.

Lynn is a hostess at the once-famous Mother's restaurant in New Hope.
Mom wore a lacey outfit. Neighbors lent us a golf cart in which we transported Mom. Patrick and Quinn kept asking Scott to let him drive the golf cart.

Media frenzy as the bridal couple descend the grassy slope.

You should have seen the glowing look Kamillia gave her soon-to-be-husband.

 Under the spreading beech tree, they took their vows. "By the power invested in me on the Internet," said Jade.
 You may kiss the bride.
 Geneology:  Mom begat Lynn, Lynn beget Jade.
Side door of Jade and Matt's new home. They can live here as long as Jade works for the preserve.

 Patrick relaxing in golf cart. He enjoyed drinking a Sprite. His soccer team lost 1-0 today, while bro Quinn's team won.
Wedding cake from the Giant in Bucks County. How come I can smell the icing from here?

 We're in the very small kitchen. Neal and Donna.
 Steve and Beer and Quinn watch the Eagles' game.
 Old wooden stairs in this old house lead upstairs to the bedrooms.

 Dusty old painting or poster promoting sales of holly trees. Colonial man is directing a black man on how to plant it. Question: was the African-American a slave?
A balloon sailed over the preserve. Half hour later a biplane buzzed overhead.

 For dinner, we had homemade pizza. Kamillia made it. She got the recipe from her mom, whom she talks to every day in Ukraine. It was quite good.
 Mark has amazing tattoos of spiderman on his right arm.
Kamellia is also an Illustrated Woman.

 Dessert. I had two spoonfulls of a chocolate - what? - a very chocolate sponge cake from Nonna's in Hatboro.  Up up up went my blood sugar.
Christmas Tree Farm while driving out.
Leftover photo of Scott petting Maggie and Amber looking on.