Saturday, May 13, 2017

A Memorial Ceremony and Tribute to the Police Officers of the Tampa Florida Police Department

May 10, 2017 at 10:30 A.M. It was my privilege to be able to attend and honor Tampa Florida's Finest lost in the line of service and those retired who have died 2016-2017. My Brother Sgt Stephen Lambert was part of that group.

September 26, 1895 the first officer of the department to lose his life was Officer John McCormick,
Officer Jeffrey Kocab  and Officer David Curtis , lost their lives  June 29, 2010.  The Bell still rings in tribute to all of the fallen.

All these Brothers, who get up every day with the mission of protection for the rest of us, face a political climate that is almost unthinkable, yet those dedicated to helping others and keeping our lives safe , continue to willingly begin each day regardless of the peril that they might face.  The families  of these officers pray that their loved ones will return home, unscathed, at the end of the day.
The program above records the 31 names of those lost in the line of duty since 1895 and the 20 names of those retired who died in 2016-2017. The rolls were called and the bell tolled.

Police Chief EricWard and Sgt Brian Bishop placed the wreath.

It was a Moving and inspirational experience  from the beginning of the service to the end which included a 21 gun salute and the sound of Taps.  The call to order and presentation of Colors, included The  TPD Mounted Patrol, Tampa Police Explorers and the TPD Honor Guard. The invocation, the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem suddenly brought this moment in time into the proper perspective. God was present at this meeting!
The mournful sound of the bagpipes piped them in and piped them out. 
There are many divisions in the Tampa Department and the first thing we saw as my Husband and I were directed to our seats was the reminder of the Motorcycle division.
The Tampa Aviation Division did a "Fly Over". A friend of my Brother from early days was also
remembered this day, and it would be remiss of me not to mention Chief Pilot Michael J Whicker, who in his Air Force days ate at our table many times.

There were many moving moments  in this day for me.  This has been a difficult year for my family and I, for many reasons,
within 2 months I lost my Mother and one of my brothers. As I sat there remembering, I wondered if they were looking down and watching this all take place. Would they be proud?  Well I was, proud of every man, woman and family that was represented this day May 10, 2017

The last walk of the Dead Man's Horse with his boots upside down says it all.  During the day I was interviewed by local TV Stations, I was asked both times, what this day meant to me.  How can you put into words the emotions that are generated by your own loss, knowing full well you are not alone, that everyone around you is sharing those same moments of their own loss. I was given a red rose to remind me of the day, but what I will remember is the Reverence, the prayers, the moving Tributes  and the great respect paid to all of our fallen Heroes. A wonderful poem was read this day, that was written by George Haun, retired LAPD  Titled " The Monument"
                                      I never dreamed it would be me,
                                     My name for all eternity
                                     Recorded here in this hallowed place
                                     Alas, my name, no more my face

                                     " In the Line of duty " I hear them say;
                                      My family now the price to pay.
                                      My folded flag stained with their tears;
                                       We only had those few short years.

                                       The badge no longer on my chest,
                                        I sleep now in eternal rest
                                        My sword I pass to those behind
                                        and I pray they keep this thought in mind

                                        I never dreamed it would be me,
                                        and with heavy heart and bended knee,
                                        I ask for all from the past
                                        Dear God, let my name be the last.

Thank you for reading my blog today, and when you hear critical comments or have those thoughts, remember those who are no longer here, because they cared about us!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Research and Memories

My Sweet hubby and I have been having so much fun! We have boxes of old post cards, probably well over 5000. We have never done much with them, except to enjoy them.  Now we are trying to down size a little and decided to single out and sell some of the cards.  Do you enjoy research--well we both do, and what we find is that nothing else get accomplished once we get started!  Part of the fun for us is the help we have had from others  in identification. Met new and old friends this way. There is a special communication between post card lovers. There are so many classifications that others collect, we seem to be attracted to holidays and and items of past history.

Recently picked out a card that we loved, I thought I had researched well. Posted the card and had a response from someone I knew--"let's check those dates"  "That isn't who you think it is:.  Aha--- the quest begins. The card was in German, which I do not speak,
but using Google Translator was able to find this was the picture
of a royal couple for their 25th Wedding anniversary.

With the help of a German friend on Etsy the identification
became clear. I thought this was an Austrian ruler, but the dates were not correct. This is a picture of Kaiser Willhelm !!! and his wife Augusta Victoria.  They were married February 27th 1881.He was the German Emperor, King of Prussia and she was Augusta Victoria of SchieswigHolstein. She was known in family circles as Dona. Their marriage was to last 40 years, but was not without its problems like most people. When she died, he was heard to say, " no one will know how much I loved this woman".
During this process I learned so much about this couple I felt as if I had known them forever.

This card now belongs to someone else and I hope that they love the history behind it as much as we did. Since the time of the Kaiser's Reign we have had 2 world wars and countless other things that would concern this family and their country. I can't help but wonder what they might think of Germany today.

That is my aimless rambling for today.  How was your day?  I hope something happened to stimulate your quest for knowledge.  Keeps all those brain cells young!  Until next time, treasure every day, have fun and please stop in again.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

March 17th The Wearing of the Green!

March 17th is a festive holiday for those of Irish decent. St Patrick's Day was and is basically a religious remembrance of St Patrick, a fifth century Missionary and Bishop in Ireland. He is the primary Patron Saint of Ireland and was known as the "Apostle of Ireland" As we are about to celebrate his holiday, March 17 is a remembrance of the Day of St Patrick's death.We will celebrate with joy, music and laughter.
Today is also the day for wearing of the "Green" and displaying Shamrocks. It is said the 3-leaf Shamrock plant was used By St.Patrick to explain the "Holy Trinity". The color green has been associated with Ireland since the 1640's. Because this was the Lenten season, the restrictions on food and drink were strictly observed., and the Mass was attended daily.

I grew up in Massachusetts, where there was and still is a large Irish population . The Irish potato famine or the "Great Famine" as it is still called occurred from 1845-1849.  It was during this time that the mass immigration of Irish families came into Boston and New York, The wonderful lilt of the brogue was common.

 A new adventure brought about by tragedy, but they graced all of us with their culture, which is the basis of our parades, festivals . Boston and New York have huge parades , playing of the pipes, and individual celebrations with clogging, Irish music and of course Green Beer!   The pubs will have a brisk business on this festive day!. Families will serve traditional foods, Corned Beef and cabbage, Irish Lamb Strew and of course Irish Soda Bread.   There are many recipes for Soda bread, but I will share one that a Dear friend always made. Her family was from Connemara .

 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour -  2 tsp salt -
 1 tabs sugar- 2 tsp baking soda- 2 tabs Butter and 1 1/4 C 
buttermilk. If the buttermilk is not rich enough add some butter to it.  Mix all dry ingredients and then mix the butter-milk in with a fork. Flour your hands and shape dough to fit into an 8 inch round pan. Bake at 400 degrees for approx 35 minutes. This makes 1 loaf.  If you choose you can also add raisins. It is absolutely yummy with good Irish butter.

I live in Florida now . When you see the huge tents begin to appear at O'keefe's Bar and restaurant in Clearwater Florida, you know that the PARTY is about to begin. March 16 and 17, the Irish Beer Festival will treat you to Bagpipers , Irish dancers, Irish  Buskers , the Greg Billings Irish band and a lot more!

The legends say that St Patrick banished the snakes from Ireland, if there ever were snakes in Ireland, but he did leave us with a wonderful heritage of a strong faith  and a love of life!   As the day draws near, as the little fellow says , " Top of the Morning to you".  While you celebrate, stay safe  and share the fun.  By the way these wonderful post cards were 
borrowed from   I will leave you now with the traditional Irish Blessing, that means everything good.

In Memory of My Dear Friend, Lois, who shared her Irish Soda bread recipe for all to enjoy.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

A Deam Gift For The Knitter

Imagine  2 posts in a week after Months of being absent. I just had to share this with you all.  My wonderful Niece, who I have mentioned more than once in my Blogs, came to visit us for the Christmas holidays. She and her husband have a close friend, who has a background in fine art and Graphic Design. This talented Friend has used her wonderful talent to perfect one of my favorite subjects..

When Elizabeth Doherty, discovered knitting, she knew this was her destiny. Not only is she an expert and hand knits some of the most beautiful work I have ever seen, she has written a book that is a must for the serious knitter.  She has approached a problem which often plagues us all. Set -in sleeves and fitting properly.

The Title is  "Top Down  re-imagining Set-in Sleeve Design. The photography is wonderful !

There are 116 pages of instruction, patterns and graphs. This book was written with Quince & Co, an  American firm that makes Beautiful yarns . The yarns are primarily spun in New England from the wool of  native sheep. I am a New Englander by birth and can vouch for the wonderful things being done today in the manufacture of hand spun yarns.  is their website for more information about them and their products.

When I opened this book I was thrilled to discover that this talented woman had written a note of encouragement to me along with "Happy knitting".  I have been knitting a long time, but I will probably never achieve the level of expertise  she has shown us in this book. Her finished products are exquisite and masterfully executed.  Bravo!
This book is a must,-!                

I send a special Thank You to my Niece, who knows about my own knitting and yarn addiction,  She knew the perfect gift for me.
A big Thank you to Elizabeth Doherty for recognizing that this is a problem for many and for writing this beautiful book of instruction and tutorials!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Journey!

In 2016 I began a journey that is on going.  It hasn't given me much time to devote to my blog, and I am pretty sure because of this I probably have dropped off the grid, I rarely talk about personal things, because my daily life  couldn't possibly be of much interest to others?  My only reason for doing so now, is to reassure those that may read this, that there is hope and many blessings that come from the things in life we cannot control.

During a routine physical examination in December of 2015 it was discovered that I had a Right Atrial Myxoma in my heart. This is usually a benign tumor that attaches itself inside and to the heart wall and continues to grow until the heart can no longer function. What a surprise this was--My heart is healthy and I do not have any arterial or heart disease. Of course the only option is to remove this alien thing that that is moving each time my heart beats.  We made plans to do so, A cardiologist friend recommended a heart Surgeon who is very familiar with this diagnosis. Within a month of my surgery date, alas, different symptoms emerged that signaled another diagnosis. This would change our immediate plans

I must say when your Gynecologist  says to you, "I am sorry but you have Stage 3 endometrial cancer", there isn't much of a reply to that one,  while you sit there trying to digest this and wonder --now what?.  This meant that very few options were available for me because of the heart. It was one of those "Damned if you do, Damned if you don't" moments.

Now the journey began of visits with a wonderful Oncologist and Radiologist. I am fortunate that we have great medical care in our area. I now had 4 physicians who were working together to find a solution to this double "Whammy"!  It was decided, because of the heart tumor, which was growing in size, to give me 34 radiation treatments.  I went every day until I was finished and then had to wait for the pet scan. Now my energy level was diminishing because of the tumor. I am by nature a very optimistic person and truthfully I didn't spend a lot of time thinking very much about this. I tried to continue doing every thing as I normally as I had been doing. It soon became apparent that I would not be able to continue this way. My husband and I discussed fully all  the ramifications of surgery, because you see I am 80 years old!  Would this worth it at my age? I had so many questions, anesthesia, heart lung machine--how would all of this affect my general health and brain? Would I be the same person?  Somewhere along the line I just had to learn to trust that it would be alright.

I have always been a busy and productive person and I am told that I am very young for my age, that is not ego speaking, that is all of my Doctors who convinced me that I could do this and recover. When the Pet scan came back with  the best report one could ask for,   Remission!!!!! We deiced to have the heart surgery as soon as possible. The next step was open heart surgery, which took place Nov 3, 2016.   Physically this was not the easiest thing I have ever done. I had not been a patient in a hospital in 52 years. My working days as a nurse were certainly different than the sophisticated care of today.
 I could not have asked for better care anywhere, but what I really discovered were the "Blessings"!  I never knew how many loved us both, the prayers that were lifted up for us, the meals that have been delivered, the offers to clean the house, the visits , cards and phone calls.  My etsy teams kept in close contact with Jim. I have met some wonderful and caring people along the way and made new friends!  Because of something I could not control I have learned to be patient and to appreciate more each day, those around me.  Our faith is very strong, and while we knew that we had the best medical science possible, and as wonderful as it is,  it doesn't always have the answer, so we turned it over to God! He is the great physician and always has the answer!

So far my Heart surgery appears to be a success, and each day I am stronger. I choose not to dwell on the negatives but to  cherish every day that I am given . I am told that my positive attitude was 90% of my recovery.  The people around me made it possible  for me to go forward and not look back. My only reason for writing this blog has been to share this journey with others who are going through similar circumstances and to say,\enjoy the people who love you, don't dwell on things you cannot change, When you don't feel well, tell yourself that tomorrow will be better.Take one day at a time and praise  God for every blessing!

I wish for everyone who may read this  a wonderful holiday season and may 2017 be the best year we can all hope for.      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!