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.

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.

Met Danielle, a good friend of Katy's, who gave Katy some tips about nursing. Her daughter Ashley is now 8.

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.

Yee-oww!!!

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.

*

SHRINE TO MY CONTACT LENSES

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.

ELEGY FOR MY CONTACT LENS

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!
Go!

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?





Saturday, October 18, 2014

Coffeeshop Writers Group - Welcome Bob - my two poems: Silver Nail Polish and Elegy for my Contact Lenses

Most mornings I have a couple of eggs for b'fast. Dig the striped one on the right. Simply beautiful. Only God could create an egg.

When I peel garlic and throw the outer skin in the trash, I say, "This is God's paper."

Beatriz was well enuf to join us. She did two big things in one day... met a friend for lunch. They ate at Marco Polo in Elkins Park.  I pretended I had heard of it. Have you? Okay to pretend.

BLOWFLIES ARE POLLINATORS TOO  


Not to be confused with rock band Hootie and the Blowfish. 

"They deposit their eggs in carcasses or carrion in open sores and wounds."

Imagine all the battlefields they've visited and propagated in. While the men are dying, the blowflies are making babies. 

*

Linda brought a new story which the group enjoyed.

She sewed me a pillow from the Pennypack Trust Creek Cleanup Shirt. I make rags out of mine.

*

Bob, who didn't want his picture taken, wrote an untitled piece about a talented 23-yo woman Zina, who died at 23. In the piece, Bob said that, like the iconic Zina, he also suffers from Creative Compulsion Condition.

So do all the writers in our group. And all over the world.

To write, says Marf, is to breathe.

*

"Me, Too!" is a poem Martha wrote last night.

It just came to her. She was leafing thru her photo albums and saw her friend Ruthie, her absy best friend who died a few years ago, after a two-year bout with Parkinson's diz.

Whenever something bad happened to Marf, she'd call Ruthie who would comfort her by saying, "Me, too."

*

I'll print my two difficult-to-write poems at the end. Wonder if I can make em any better.

*


Ran into Maurizio Giammarco, filmmaker, director and discussion leader at our library movie afternoon. He'll write an article for the next issue of the Compass.

Am trying to get up my nerve to ask Bill Wunder to write something. I just saw him and Lynn Levin at a poetry reading.

Oh, that's right! I wanna have a special poetry section. I wrote all this out on a STORYBOARD.

*

ELEGY FOR MY CONTACT LENSES

Worn from 1962 until 2014

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!
Go!

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?


SILVER NAIL POLISH

My silver nails and the
Marine Corps decal serve
as mirrors if you lack one
The recruiting station is
five doors down from the
nail salon
Robert, the owner, with a
beauty mark on his neck
his wife must kiss, left China
yearning for freedom.

He can’t explain the meaning
of freedom as almond-eyed
Angel chides me: Keep my
hands still when I dry the
polish before the tiny fan
on the table top
made in China, I suppose.

Go to school? I ask.
Too late, she says. Married.
Kids. Walking with Batman
back packs to school in
The Northeast.

Life, the same everywhere.

The swimsuit beauties in
Sports Illustrated – how they
make us swoon and jealous –
present themselves in poses
unimaginable for the stuck-at-
home matrons

But I, like the Sports Illustrated beauties, pose
my silver fingers in every position I can think of,
like Danny when he first discovered his hands
were attached to his body and smiled at
his discovery.

Opening my eyes in the morning
silver fingers the first thing I see
I am home
I am free
I am silver.

Autumn Walk at Pennypack with Dana Ward, naturalist






Always a delight and an educational experience to walk with Dana Ward and the folks he draws to Pennypack Trust.

I purposely didn't bring my camera, but the above photos were from a previous walk.

Scott was gonna take down our hummingbird feeders but I learned from a woman named Chris to keep em up until the first frost.
   The first signs of autumn, he said, are not the changing leaves, but oh darn, I can't remember what he said. Possibly the changing color of shrubs called Spicebush. Today I learned what the spicebush looks like

Remember, Ruthie, remember, I would say aloud.

We saw wild ginger, whose rhizomes - or roots - are used as a seasoning & also, said Beatriz, as a cancer stopper. Read article here.



Dana Ward also mentioned that a particular kind of mushroom - and we saw plenty on the walk - has properties to treat breast cancer. And "I'm not a mycologist," he said. Later on in the walk he referred to his "herpetologist" buddies.

There was older guy on the walk who had a unique way of standing and bracing himself so he wouldn't fall. Some of the ground we stood on - particularly by the Overlook - was hilly and rocky and difficult to stand on.

The ten or so people on the walk were remarkably physically fit and not a one was a fat-so.

 Birds and animals change into their fall colors. Goldfinch feathers turn green. The cardinal uses up his red feathers and when they fall out, brown ones appear.


Why do deer rub antlers on trees?

The antlers are "bones" and just as the deer's cute lil ears can feel things, so can the antlers. When they grow velvet on them, they itch!

That's why the deer rub em off on trees, which may ruin the bark of the tree.

  The persimmon tree has a very distinctive bark. Persimmons are still ripening on the tree, and falling for picking. Wonder what the native Americans made with em?

Dana Ward told us the difference between eating a young persimmon and a ripe one.

"Oh," I said. "My mouth's puckering."

That was the young persimmon.

The ripe one was sweet, mooshy and delicious, studded with seeds.



Next question: How do trees communicate with one another and know how to plant new trees.

It's all underground, in the root system, where their DNA or genetic material talk to one another.

This was just discovered, said Dana Ward. Read about it here. 

We saw tiny wiggly aphids - nicknamed 'boogie-woogie' aphids possibly on a beech tree.

I learned that in one part of the forest there were an abundance of cherry trees. Another older part of the forest had numerous beech trees and also hickory trees.

Learned that in Nature, as in human life, the color RED is a sign of danger.




Now, if you'll excuse me, am gonna have supper.

Cream of asparagus soup. It's got grated ginger in it - a rhizome, remember - and is also seasoned with tarragon. I mentioned tarragon to Dana and its licorice flavor and he said there's lots of licorice flavor in nature.

He also showed us a sassafras bush, whose root produces the flavor for root beer.

It's good as a tea, he said.