Saturday, February 28, 2009


I got some kind of niece!

She may not be heard much, she may recede from the crowd a little, and you can even forget she is there, but she packs a wallop in her old uncle’s heart.

Her name is Sarah, and when she was born, she was as bald as a 90-year-old man, praying for Rogain! She was so bald that we all considered a fertilizer to stimulate hair growth. Today, it runs down past her shoulders!

Yesterday, we met at my daughter Ellen’s home for an interview with a lovely and talented woman named Jennifer DiGianni. Jennifer is the program director for the Shoreham ICF, in Shoreham/Wading River. It is a huge 92 bed complex for individuals who cannot fend for themselves. It takes a sound, intelligent and compassionate individual to do so. In addition to all that, she is beautiful both in her heart and soul, while lighting up her office with her beautiful face.

We sat in Jennifer’s office, and that little girl who was born yesterday was asking questions about becoming a social worker, while she is working for her master’s in social work at Dowling College.

As we sat through the interview, I couldn’t help but reflect on how my baby sister Joanne, her mom, went off to college, only yesterday.

I am proud that she has chosen a profession that I think has a high calling. To help those of us that need help and compassion to get by a day ranks right up there, with being a doctor or nurse! It is a profession that without it, our social structure could fall from the weight of the burden that these wonderful people help ease.

So, Sarah thanks a million for whatever it is you do decide to do in this field. People like you can say: “I do something meaningful for the world.”

Yes, that’s MY niece!

Today is the 1,000th Delbloggolo! Join me today for a cupcake celebration, followed by a Jack Daniels manhattan.

Please remember DD and John, my brother-in-law, and all those that need our prayers.

Friday, February 27, 2009


Yesterday was spent with my daughter, Ellen, at the Stony Brook Gastroenterology and Hepatology offices for a consultation. It seems; she has a tremendous weight loss, and no one doctor knows why. In a period of less than six months, she has lost 50 pounds!

They found this spot on her lungs, but they say it is not cancer. They have checked her twice, and still the same results. I don’t trust the diagnosis.

In the waiting room, Ellen, two aids and me enter and convince Ellen to sit. She is so happy to see me; she gets very vocal and starts saying Momma as loud as possible. This can be unsettling for people who don’t know Ellen. The aids take it all in stride, but I feel sorry that the patients have their peace invaded by my daughter’s calling out. Ellen can’t say: daddy, or dada or dad, everyone is Momma. She will say it as a question mark, or exclamatory statement.

We finally get in the examining room, and the doctor introduces himself to everyone. He begins to talk to Ellen.

Doc: “Hello, Ellen. I am doctor Rasheeds. Can I check you stomach, I understand it is bloated.”
Ellen: “Momma, mom mom mom momma?”
Doc: “I just want to see if it is hard.”
Ellen: “Mom mommom! Hee hee! (Claps her hands).

The doctor leans in and Ellen recoils. The doctor apologizes and leans in again; Ellen pushes his hand away. The doctor reaches over one more time, and…


The doctor is way over six feet four inches, and is almost smacked back into his childhood by Ellen. He says he’s sorry, and Ellen refuses to look at him. We discuss his plan of action and he flees the room, and about five minutes later brings in a woman doctor. She is just like Dr. Rasheeds, kind, gentle and accommodating. She has a calming effect on Ellen and gets to check Ellen’s stomach. A plan is put in place and we are about to leave. I try to put Ellen’s arm through her coat, as the doctors open the door. Ellen sees her chance and makes a mad dash toward the opened door. Holding on to one arm of the coat, I follow Ellen as she runs down the long hallway, her left arm is in the coat, leading me! The nurses, doctors and staff are all in hysterics at this amusing sight!

Finally reaching the outer waiting room, she stops, and I put on her coat for her. She then pushes me out the door and to her van. Once in the van, she smiles at me, claps her hands and tells me: “Momma?”

Of course, what does she think I am?

Please remember DD and my brother-in-law John, and all those that need our prayers.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Sunday, when TLW (The Little Woman) and I went to Foxwoods for some action, we noticed some interesting things!

For one, the place was nearly empty for a casino! Yes, you read that right, nearly empty! As we would say at Disney World: “No lines for any of the rides!”

We went to lunch, and even there, there were empty tables galore. People are just not enjoying themselves, when it comes to spending money.

TLW and I both won. Not enough to go to the airport and chuck it all, but enough for us to say: “WE WON!”

Being how it was a Sunday, we noticed a lot of younger people among the old people. They were pushing strollers, with little baby gamblers in them. I guess you could call them ‘high-rollers with strollers’. So there we were, us, ‘high-rollers with strollers’, and old-timers with canes and walkers. There were empty playing tables all over the place, people waiting to play because there were not enough participants to roll the dice, or spin the wheels!

Foxwoods sits next to the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino. So, we walked over to that place and played a little on the slots. Again, no one was playing, considering that it was a gambling casino!

I happen to like Mohegan Sun better than Foxwoods. TLW agrees with me. Here we are, no-gamblers, forming an opinion about casinos! Foxwood was only our fifth visit to a casino. We once went to Atlantic City, which I really enjoyed, since there are so many places to lose your money, and you have the Boardwalk on the ocean to enjoy. Speaking of oceans, we spent time on two cruise ships in their casinos.

So, you may be able to soon buy back the land from the Native Americans (Indians), probably for just a few trinkets, but no alcohol or guns, please!

Please remember my brother-in-law, DD and all those that need our prayers.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Sunday, before we left for the Foxwoods casino in Connecticut, TLW’s (The Little Woman’s) wanna-be bank was nice enough to bring coffee, bagels, and Duncan Donuts on the board for the trip.

TLW wanted the aisle seat so she could commiserate with her two buddies, Toots II and a new member of the banking covenant, Pat, the Patron Saint of Foxwoods Points!. (This is probably another blog someday, when it is slow.)

People were slowly getting on the bus, and the food was at the front where people were getting on. My stomach was speaking to me, telling me that it needed to be fed, and when the bagel and coffee announcement was made, I nudged TLW.

“Let’s wait until everyone gets on the bus first.” Said TLW.
“Why?” said I
“Because, why?”

They kept making the announcement, which was becoming difficult to hear over my stomach yelling at me.

“But I’m hungry, go up and get a bagel and some coffee.”

You see, boys and girls, for 38 years this woman has been causing me to be out of luck when it comes to a choice. What do I mean? I’m glad you asked!

If for instance, we were on a sinking ship, the ship was crowded, and there were only a few lifeboats, as the crew waited for her to step on the lifeboat, she would step aside, and be polite. That’s right, let everyone else on the lifeboat and we would have to swim! This has happened all too often, where I have lost the best seats, the best tables and the best chances. It may answer the question you must all ask yourselves: Why did she ever marry him? She was polite, and I was all that was left!

Please remember my brother-in-law, John, DD and all those that need our prayers.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


We were on a bus for Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut, TLW (The Little Woman) and me, plus about 40 other staffers from Teacher’s Federal Credit Union, the wanna-be bank, where she works.

As we did the three hour drive, the wanna-be bankers decided to have a 50-50 raffle. The immediate call went out for small bills: who has singles, who has change of a twenty, etc. TLW, searching for money, looks at me and asks; “Do you have small bills?” Slowly I take out my wallet, and even slower, I open it. Now, I feel that the inside of my wallet is sacred. No woman should look inside it, not even TLW. Why? Because she will find things to buy with whatever is in it, that’s why. No, my wallet is my private domain. I reach in and find a fiver, which somehow stuck to a ten. TLW, waving the twenty she has in her hands says: “Don’t you want to give me the ten so I can give you the twenty?” Well, of course I do, isn’t that what husbands are for? I make the aforementioned transaction, and I don’t even ask for a transaction record from my little banker. I trust her! She starts to look a little confused. “Wait a minute”, she says, “I gave you a twenty and you gave me a five, then a ten!”
“Yes” I counter, but you also have to remember you asked for a five originally!” I respond.
“Oh” She immediately turns to her two buddies and they have a conference over the transaction.

Suddenly, the organizer of the trip shouts out: “We need some paper, does anyone have any paper on them?”

Now, I like to live a nice organized life. I try very hard to remember details, and events and things to do, to record for you, my dear readers. So, I carry a small pad in my shirt pocket, with a pen.

TLW immediately and uncharacteristically stands up and shouts; “He has a pad!" Pointing to me, she yells again: “He has a pad, Joe, give them your pad.” Then she says: “Take as much paper as you need! All of it if you want! Don’t even write on both sides, use it all!”

OK, the pad isn’t worth $5, but the revenge factor seems to have played itself out, in a rather ugly manner. Oh! I did get the pad back, or what was left of it. The cover, the back and the one sheet that was left, which had written on it, “Thanks!”

At least they are polite.

Please remember John my brother-in-law, and DD, and all those that need our prayers. Thanks.

Monday, February 23, 2009


Every Sunday morning, TLW (The Little Woman) and me go to Mass, then to a diner for breakfast. It is our time to chat about either the agency we volunteer for or her job, and sometimes we talk about the business world in general.

We have noticed the past few weeks that the diner has been very busy: and the church is fuller than it has been for sometime.

Why is that? We think there is a definite correlation for the two.

Times are bad, people are not spending like they used to. There was a time when a couple went out for dinner and a movie. The times they are a changing!

Now, for a cheaper time, people to go church and breakfast! That’s right! They go for the cheaper way to make them happy. A movie can cost over $20 for a couple, add on anything to that such as; popcorn, candy and a soda and forget about it. Then if you were like us, dinner would be over $100 with drinks, not to mention appetizers, and desserts and tip!

Church is what you put in the collection, and $20 to $25 for breakfast and you are done!

In both instances, you go out. You cover a meal and feel you did something. The church/breakfast deal is a whole lot cheaper!

Please remember DD and John, and all those that need our prayers.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Waking up this morning, I still felt like the clothes heading for the washing machine. So, I went down stairs after showering and dressing. (I like to do it in that order.)

TLW (The Little Woman) was sitting at the kitchen table going over my life insurance policy. ?? I started to put on my coat.

TLW: “Where are you going?”
ME: “To the cemetery to lie down.”
TLW: “Will you be stopping at the Handy Pantry? I need milk; #2 is drinking all the milk up!
ME: “Maybe.”

Returning home,

TLW: “Well?”
ME: “The milk is in the refrigerator, I went to the cemetery, and they said that although I was dead, I needed to register with the office first, and I need a certified death certificate. So, I got up, brushed myself off and got a coffee and roll, and your milk, instead.”

An old couple down the block went to a MacDonald’s the other day. He ordered a hamburger, fries and a drink. She sat at the table and waited for him to bring the order. Recognizing them, I watch it play out. The old man cut the hamburger in half and gave the old lady half. Then he took the fries and countered them out evenly in two piles. He set one pile in front of the old lady. Watching them pulled at my heartstrings. I went over and introduced myself and offered to buy them another meal.

“Oh, no,” she stated, we are just fine.” I went back to my table and watched some more.

The old man took a sip of the soda and passed it to the old woman, as he started to nibble on his sandwich. Not being able to stand it anymore, I went back over to the old couple. “Please, let me buy you another meal.” I begged.

“No, No!” Stated the old gal once again.

“But why aren’t YOU eating?” I inquired.

“Oh, we share everything, and I’m just waiting for him to be finish with the teeth.” Said the old woman.

Please remember DD and my Brother-in-law John, and all those that need our prayers.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


This morning I woke up with a nasty head cold, semi-sore throat, and running nose. I feel too tired to chase after it! #2 Son, my first wife’s child from another husband (had to be!), gave me the cold. He is currently out of the will. (At least until I feel better.)

Sneezing makes me woozy, my head seems to have an inner shell, one that vibrates and hits against the outer shell, every time I sneeze. If I may quote, #1 Son from TLW’s (The Little Woman’s) previous marriage, when he was about 3 years old: “I got a code in my node!”

The cough that emanates from my chest makes me nuts. It tries to loosen up the phlegm, but it doesn’t, so I want to reach down into it and drag it out! If I’m sounding like a baby, too bad. When these things happened to me as a child, Mom would say: “Take an aspirin, and go to school, you’ll be just fine.” The trouble is although I have the aspirin; the school might be an issue. Maybe if I just stand outside one.

Tissues, tissues, tissues! Stuffed in my pants pocket, coat pockets, and some even in shirt pockets. Comes next fall, when I put my hands in my coat pockets for the first time, out will be hardened, flat crumpled up tissues from this year. A lot of them, too!

I have handkerchiefs in my back pocket, but I like to keep them fresh for special occasions. I hate to use tissues in mixed company, how primitive!

These things start about two days before. A burning sensation in the sinuses starts and gets progressively worse. Then I wake up feeling lousy, irritable, and apologetic to TLW for being a pain in the butt.

But this cold, this cold is the worst cold I’ve ever had!


Please remember DD and John in your prayers.

Friday, February 20, 2009


Back in the 70’s when I worked in New York City, I would walk from the 51st street station to 54th street to get to my office. It is mid-town, the center of a lot of interesting people and things to do and see.

Every morning on my way, I could guarantee myself at least one nut a day. I know I am not being very nice, but there were nuts out there! For instance, there was this one guy who stood on Lexington Avenue, holding religious cards, speaking to himself and sticking the cards out for people to take one. What made him nuts? He was speaking to himself in a jibber jabber that was not language.

Then there was a homeless guy or dude, as they say today, who would sit on the sidewalk, and make commentary about the world politic. Occasionally, on the bitter cold mornings, I would buy two cups of coffee, and leave the dude one. He would take the coffee, and sometimes an egg sandwich, if I felt magnanimous, and he would tell me that I wouldn’t have to do this much longer!

There was a woman who lived in a corner apartment house, on the second floor. I think it was on 52nd street. She would be by her window, looking out, bare-chested. I would look up, wave and smile. There was a newsstand on the same side and the proprietor would say; “You like that stuff, huh?”

Of course, you couldn’t go ten feet without finding someone talking to him or herself. If for some reason, I didn’t get my nut of the day, I would be disappointed! This would cause everything to seem off kilter, and necessitated my going for a walk on my lunch hour. It was on one of those walks that I realized I was just as bad as they were for needing them!

Please remember my brother-in-law John, and DD and all those that need our prayers.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

THE ^$%#(*@ ‘C’ WORD!

As I said before, this blog is about me, and those I love and care about. I try to be upbeat, make people chuckle, and most importantly, laugh at or with me. But things aren’t always rosy; sometimes I get news that makes me sick, unhappy or angry. Yesterday was all three.

I was out all morning on Wednesday, and when I returned there was a message on my machine that I dreaded. It was from my sister Theresa, about her husband John. Her message didn’t relay any information, but I suspected something was up by the way she spoke. I gave her a call, and my Brother-in-law John answered.

John has had some annoying little cough, and we thought it was bird flu! Turns out it wasn’t. Now here is the lesson we need to all learn. My sister and her husband were smart enough to pursue the reasons for the cough, and make the doctors do all kinds of test, including a biopsy of a suspected spot on John’s lung. John has cancer!

When John answered, he sounded upbeat with a reserved air. He told me, matter of fact like, and even joked. He didn’t cry: ‘Why me!’ John is my older brother. It may be through marriage, but that is the highest honor I could give anyone. I don’t have biological brothers, but John sure made up for that.

I think, hope and pray that it is caught in time. I think it was, due to good foresight and intelligence. For a change, John will do for himself. He is going to Sloan-Kettering for additional opinion and hopefully, treatment.

John knows all his family and friends are pulling for him. What he doesn’t know, or maybe he does, is that he doesn’t need us as much as we need him!

Please remember John, DD and all those that need our prayers.


After we purchased the washing machine, we needed to clear a path, and disconnect for the arrival of the new machine. TLW (The Little Woman) likes to have the machine in our garage, since it is attached to the house. Having an attached garage is handy, you can toss anything in it on a moments notice, if company comes. This means clothes and things, and yes, even kids, if they are lying around. Then once company leaves, you can retrieve it. That is how we discovered #2 Son!

Coming home from Lowe’s, I went right to work. This would be easy! Disconnect the old hose from the water line, and wait for the new machine to come. Right? No? You sense something?

For me, the only thing that comes easy is trouble! The easier I think it will be, the more trouble it is. I disconnect the cold-water hose, piece of cake! I look at the hot water, uh, oh! The knob to turn off the water is broken!

The dummies, when they installed the old machine, must have broken the knob! The knob now has broken sharp points on it, that mean I need to wrap a towel around it to turn. It wouldn’t turn! It was frozen. I try to unscrew the knob, but the screw falls behind the knob, and disappears, along with my patience and youth.

Water is starting to leak from the valve; it is now at crisis point! It is Sunday; you can’t get a plumber to come, unless he charges me $40,000,000.28 for coming!

Out comes a monkey wrench, and the chief monkey grabs it, tries to turn the knob, but it only bends the pipe. Meanwhile, TLW runs out to Sears to get me a new Knob, and comes back with a whole assembly that you need to put to the pipe.

Okay, don’t panic I think. Jumping up and down, swearing in English, Italian and a little Yiddish I picked up from Sam Schwartz, I devise a plan. Finally, with the aid of the towel, I close off the tap. The leaking stops! I decided to put everything back the way it is. Keep the water off, and don’t replace the knob! I figure, when the new machine goes, we sell the house! I WILL LET THE INSTALLERS HOOK UP THE MACHINE, HIDE WHEN THEY DO, THEN PUT ON THE WATER when they leave!

They finally come, install the machine, and one says: “You may need a plumber, you have a leaky valve!” Thank you doctor!

Please remember DD, and all those that need our prayers.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Being a married man, getting words in edge-wise is not always an option. For instance, last week when we went out to eat, TLW (The Little Woman) was talking, and I was listening. I deal with this usual flow. However, in the course of these conversations, I sometimes will make a note or two about something. It helps me to remember ideas for later on. Sometimes the notes are for later calendar markings about future events.

As she was giving me dates for the next two months, I scribbled them down on my notepad.

“What are you writing down?”
“What are you WRITING DOWN?”
“Oh, all those dates you just gave me.”
“I thought maybe you were writing down something for your blog! God knows everything I do or say goes on the blog?”
“No, not this time. By the way, you never read the blog, how do you know what goes down on it?”

Well, she does read the blog. She even remembers what I wrote for the day, when I don’t remember!

We went into Lowe’s the other day, and on our way around the store, I saw this wooden drawer filler. It is a sectioned off box about 12” by 17” for one to put their knives, forks spoons etc. in. We got into a discussion about it, and I said it looked easy enough to make, why buy one.

“Will it cost more to make than to buy?”
Me: “Well I didn’t say it would be cheaper, just easy to make!”
She knows me.

However I did have one triumph that day. The appliance salesman asked if we had rubber hoses attached to the old washing machine, because if we did, we would have to buy the new aluminum hoses. TLW said we didn't, I said we did. I WAS RIGHT!!!

I need a week to recover from that one!

Please remember DD and all those that need our prayers.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


She checked the newspapers, looked for all the flyers and ads she could muster up. She went through Newsday and the Daily News; her mind was made up. We were going out for a new washing machine at Lowe’s. TLW (The Little Woman), based on the repairman’s recommendation, was seeking a Whirlpool. We had what we thought was a reliable name in GE, and we discovered 6 years is too soon for a washing machine to die with just 3 people living in the house.

Arriving at Lowe’s we parked the car right in front and went directly to the washing machine section. Walking around and kicking all the tires, we came to an agreement; it was a large drum, with a lot of bells and whistles. Now all we needed was a salesperson!

TLW looked high, and me being a groveling husband looked low. We ran into each other and continued our search. Finally deep in another department, unloading a skip are two Lowe’s people. One is a young lady and one a young man.

“Miss? Can you send someone to your appliance section?”

Miss Lowe’s worker: Looking annoyed says: “Why the manager is RIGHT HERE!” pointing to the young fellow. (How dumb of us, why wouldn’t he be unloading a skid in an unrelated department, miles away?


After about 15 minutes, he is found talking to another potential customer, and I am getting a little unhappy seeing that. Finally, he arrives, and as we talk, we are interrupted about 3 times by people who think they are the only ones on the planet. (Oh! I know he is talking to you, BUT I NEED HELP.)

We make the decision to buy, and he gives us a mountain of papers, and instructions to go with them.

“You will pay for this at the register, they will give you a receipt, print on the back of this folder will be a record of the purchase, your sales number, height and weight, slip the paper into this pocket, you will stand and wait for a second receipt, ignoring all the antsy people waiting behind you who only have one item they are purchasing, including the rude people that interrupted you and me at the beginning of this conversation, the store will call you tonight between 7 and 9 peeyem to tell you when the delivery will be made, turn around three times and stick your finger in your nose and you will have a bubble pop from the free nostril, do you want us to deliver or are your taking it with you?”

TLW and me in unison: “Huh?”

TLW and I are now reduced to schlepping over to the checkout counter. Behind us is a hostile woman. The hostile woman is armed with a store wagon that has a small box of curtain hooks and that’s it. She is looking at me while we are being interrogated by the checkout woman. The hostile woman is starting to look annoyed that she has to wait for us. She is starting to take more space up with her carriage, and is inching closer to me. (This will make the checkout girl and us speed it up).

Finally, with both our lives and our sanity, we leave the store.

Please remember DD and all those that need our prayers

Monday, February 16, 2009


I spent Valentine’s Day with my girlfriend. It was a sweet, pleasant day, which counts in my staying alive.

Being married for 38 years, you don’t need to do a lot, just enjoy each other’s company. That is just what we did. First, we called the washing machine repairman to come fix our machine, then found out it wasn’t worth the $270 costs! But, like a trooper, TLW (The Little Woman) went around and sniffed at the other appliances, because when one goes, they all seem to want to go too!

“I remember the last time the washing machine went, the dishwasher acted up!” She so stated.

But, we jerked up our belt buckles and stood our ground. We would go out for an early dinner, or late lunch to celebrate Valentines. I made her a card, wrote a poem, and bought a canoli cake, and a piece of bling for her neck. (Bling is jewelry. We home boys use bling a lot!) She got me a present, too.

When we returned home, I put on the Turner Classic Movie channel and we enjoyed the two movies we watch. Oddly, the subject was divorce. One movie was with Cary Grant made in 1935, and Divorce American Style, starring Debbie Reynolds and Dick Van Dyke.

The funny thing was, we were like two ocean liners, tied up next to each other on the pier, with no need to go anywhere. We were happy to be together.

Please remember DD, and all those that need our prayers

Sunday, February 15, 2009


The other day I mentioned to TLW (The Little Woman), that I wanted to leave an empty pill bottle next to my weekly pill case. You’ve seen them, a Sunday through Saturday set of little compartments to hold one’s daily intake of drugs.

My reason for wanting the pill bottle is that on Saturday, as a habit, I put together the week’s pills and into the compartments they go. Every once in a while, I do it on Friday, making me feel better about getting the things together. But the Saturday compartment is occupied, so where do I put the next week Saturday pills? Into the pill bottle, of course!

The bottle I had chosen was a larger than necessary white bottle that holds a 90 day supply. It is big, but much too big for the one-day supply of pills. The pill compartment and the pill bottle live on the windowsill, near the coffee pot. First thing in the morning, I take my pills after pouring a cup of coffee.

A few days ago, I come downstairs after my shower and notice my pill bottle is missing! Yes, in the middle of the night, someone stole my empty pill bottle! I immediately become irritated. I think: “What did she do with my pill bottle?”

There she sits, on her recliner, her eyes fixed upward at me in I guess adoration.

“Why did you throw out my pill bottle? You know, I wanted that for me to set up my pills for the week.” Sounds accusatory, doesn’t it! I’m a cranky mean old man! TLW looks like an angel and says; “There is a smaller pill bottle there in its place. This is with a smile. Me, I felt smaller than the small pill bottle.

Just an old cranky $% #@ & #^%@&.

Please remember DD, and all those that need our prayers.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Valentine’s Day is here, and all the hints since New Year’s Day have been given. I’d like to extend to all my blog readers a very special and Happy Valentine’s Day! To go along with the sentiment, I have prepared a poem for you newly wed guys. Please read it carefully.

I didn’t like the casserole
And I didn’t like her cake.
I said her biscuits were too hard…
Not like my mother used to make.
She didn’t perk the coffee right
I didn’t like the stew,
She didn’t mend my socks
The way my mother used to do.
She pondered for an answer,
She was looking for a clue.
Then she turned around and smacked
The hell out of me…
Like my mother used to do.

By the time I was wise enough to watch my step. I was too old to go anywhere!

Dear TLW (The Little Woman) Happy Valentine’s Day, I love you. Don’t pay attention to the poem.

Please remember DD, and all those who need our prayers.

Friday, February 13, 2009


Yesterday, I was sitting at my keyboard, writing my novel when the phone rang,

Me: “Yellow?”
Caller: “Is your refrigerator working?”
Me: “What?”
Caller: “Is your refrigerator working?”
Me: “No, my refrigerator is not working, it retired.”
Caller: “Huh?”
Me: “MY refrigerator is retired.”
Stupid Caller: “Heh, heh… well you better catch it.”
Me: “Noooo… you big dummy, you should have said: Is your refrigerator running? Then you say you better catch it. Now hang up and call me back and try again.”

Of course, dummy never did call back.

Makes you wonder how the kids today could screw up an oldie like that one! I remember my younger sister Fran doing that with a few strangers, then she enjoyed it so much, we started to call people we knew!

We would announce that they won a one-way ticket to Tahiti, and the poor person on the other end, being simple minded would say: “I got the chills!” We were rotten little bastards in those days! (Now I got a little bigger.)

By the way, if you were wondering what I would have said if dummy had called me back it would have gone like this:

Me: “Yellow?”
Dummy: “Is your refrigerator running?”
Me: “No, It’s out working, and why aren’t you?”

P.S. The picture is for illustrative purposes, only!

Please pray for DD, and all those that need our prayers.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


“Spring has sprung
The grass is riz,
I wonder where
The birdies is?”

Author best forgotten

Yesterday was the first real hint of the coming of spring! Yes, that glorious time of the year that I hate. Why? I get a false sense of energy, and do too much and pay for it.

I went for a walk yesterday. Going full of energy meant going full tilt. I returned from my walk, then did some work around the house: repairs and dusting, then decided to get a jump on dinner and made that early. Experimenting with cauliflower, it made a great side dish, and then it hit me! My right foot gave out, the pain almost floored me, and I had to sit down! When I was in college, I was in either a horse and carriage or car accident, (It was so long ago, I can’t recall) and broke my leg and foot!

It is also time for the birds to return from the south. They will pickup where they left off in the fall: pooping on my car!

I will go to buy flowers, grass seed and fertilizers, and watch nothing happen, but I will diligently water and wait. Maybe this year I’ll convert all that money to coin. I will spread the coin around and get the same results. Hey, I try.

It’s springtime for not only “Hitler and Germany”, but also for baseball. I will watch a bunch of druggies report to collect obscene amounts of money to toss a baseball about. My team will stay on the drugs and become comatose as September rolls around and they lie down and die once more!

The trees will bud, giving me more leaves to rake in the fall, which will find their way to my pool! Gosh it’s fun! It means cooking on the grill, going out to buy gas in a tank, then trying to be creative, and not eat franks and hamburgers, over and over again.

As you can see, I am full of enthusiasm for spring. Can’t wait.

Please remember DD, and all those that need our prayers.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Every now and then, I am instructed by TLW (The Little Woman), to take the dog (Happy) to the groomer. As a cocker spaniel, she has long hair and although it makes her cuter, when she is groomed, she looks like a mountain goat!

Happy watchers every move I make, following me to even the bathroom, and if I take too long for her, she barks at me!

As I reach inside the hall closet, she eyes me, her head perking up as I take out her leash. Panting heavily, she comes bounding over at the ripe old age of 14 years. Pacing and moving about, makes it difficult to put the darn leash on her collar. Once I do, she drags me out the door, pulling and tugging me to get a move on. Then, in the middle of my lawn, she either pinches a loaf or tries to resurrect the dead wintry lawn by peeing on it!

She takes me to the car and sits, staring at the door. Her majesty is waiting for the footman to place her in her carriage. I swoop down, gently lift her and place her in the front seat. (Happy does not like the back seat, and prefers to drive if possible.)

Pushing her deep into the front seat, I withdraw and race to close the door before she tries to get out, just making it. Now I have to race to the other side to get in, before she tries to get out on that side. Opening the door, she is waiting to push me out and get out of the car! Pushing back, I slide in and we wrestle until she backs off. This is a very old dog!

As we drive to Pretty Puppy, Happy’s beauty salon, she will observe the other cars on the road, standing with her front paws on my console, and her back paws planted firmly on the back seat, as she stares out the front window.

We arrive at Pretty Puppy, where on our way walking up this long driveway, she once again pees, and poops, then poops and pees until we get to the door. This is an old, small dog. Some people think that dogs take on their owner’s persona! (It’s NOT really my dog.)

Then we get into the building, a young friendly woman greets us, and says:
“What’s her name?”
“Aw, is Happy, Happy?”
When I hear that, I envision my murder trial, and as they lead me away to execution, my lawyer tells the governor what set me off to kill the girl, and he pardons me!

Please, pray for DD, and all those in need of our prayers.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Today I go for my quarterly visit to the doctor. I go so that I stay healthy enough to survive another 3 months to be able to wait in his waiting rooms. I will probably read about the war effort, its cost and the cost of lives, in Time magazine, as it reports from the European or Pacific front.

Regis Philbin will be blasting away on the TV, the ‘girls’ behind the desk will be conversing with patients on the phone, and it will be loud enough for me to hear it.

A very attractive pill pusher will arrive, samples in hand for the doctor. She will probably get my undivided attention until she disappears behind the door. A Platter of food will arrive, and I will plot a way to ‘sample’ some of it, but it always finds a way to hide behind locked doors on me.

There will be a few patients, older than me, sitting and looking at me like I should go away, the doctor hasn’t seen them yet.

I will finally be called by one of his helpers who will be suffering from arthritis and can hardly walk. She will lead me to a room to leave my coat, then to the scale for weight-in and a good pee in the cup.

The toilet is about 2’ x 2’ and that includes a bowl and sink, and cups, cups, cups!

Another helper will enter the room; stick a thermometer in my mouth and say: when it goes off, placer it on the counter, Hon. I’ve been Hon to her for a number of years now, and nothing has ever come of it!

Finally after the season changes, the doctor will fly into the room and say: “How are you today?” I like that, it makes me feel the doctor is involved. After I tell him, although he hasn’t heard a word I said, will stick a cold disc in my chest and for more fun, in my back. After the ears are poked, he will then try his best to see if he can explode my arm by squeezing it until it burst. I’ll ask, “What was it?” And he’ll say he couldn’t tell, because my pressure was way up.

I’ll go into his office, where he will go on and on about the insurance industry, take a call, and write out the prescriptions necessary. If he doesn’t pronounce me dead and tell me to lie down, I’ll go pay the bill, and ask for more in three months. And so it goes.

Please remember DD, and all those that need our prayers.

Monday, February 09, 2009


And come out fighting.

It’s a Sunday morning, and two newspapers are delivered to our home. One is Newsday, which I tolerate, and the other is the Daily News, which I like for the sports section.

It is the start of the week, and the beginning of our jockeying into position for what we both want. TLW (The Little Woman) and I like ‘The Justice Story’ which appears every Sunday in the News, as we both like to read about murder that happened over 60 years ago. If someone is killed after the 60-year period, I’m not interested. We vie for the News, and TLW usually wins, because I let her. She opens it up, and reads the story, and like a peasant, I get the leftovers, or crumbs, or get to read it last.

There are other instances where I have to wait it out, like choosing a TV show. Automatically, at 7:30 PM, on weeknights, she takes control of the remote. Now in all fairness to her, she will ask if there is a ballgame I want to watch, if not, she puts on the channel guide. Sometimes she selects a program; sometimes she falls asleep with the channel guide moving along until I discover she is fast asleep. I stealthily move to her chair, gingerly remove her fingers from the remote and put on Mike Rowe’s “Dirty Jobs” or ‘How It’s Made’.

I like watching ballgames and the History Channel or old movies, she likes CSI, or Home Remodeling Shows, and we must insure ourselves a place in front of the TV, with our choice on, to prevail. Two grownups, almost acting like children. We once got into an argument about what would happen if we ever divorced.

TLW: “YOU get the children.”
ME: “NO! YOU get the children.”
TLW: “I said it first!”

Of course, it is all in fun, however when my parents did it, it left me sitting on the edge of my chair.

Compatibility is very important in marriage. All newly-weds: take note. Husbands: Get a survival kit. That is a week’s supply of frozen foods, a sleeping bag, and cold presses for the head. You may also want to learn how to say: “Yes, dear, I’m sorry, You never look fat in anything, and of course I’m happy to see your family.” Wives, just don’t gloat, we hate it when you gloat!

Please say a special prayer for DD, a sweet little girl who needs our prayers.

Sunday, February 08, 2009


It was a Saturday morning, back in my early teen years. Being an altar boy, I was on call. The phone rang and I picked it up. It was Father Cinque.

“Joe? Can you come with us today to sell raffle tickets at the Coram Woolworth’s?”

I snapped to attention. Mom could tell if a priest or nun were on the other end of the phone, a sudden heavenly alert would come over the house, and Mom.

“Yes, Father.” Even though I didn’t want to, I figured it was better than being hounded all day by Mom for saying ‘No’ to a priest.

Father’s car pulls up and I climb in the back seat with two other altar boys who were dumb enough to get recruited along with me. We pick up a few more and go to the shopping center. While selling the raffle tickets, the priest looks at his watch and announces: “Time’s up!” Off we go and pile in to his 4-door sedan. Cruising along Rte. 454, we stop at one light. Father looks around, no one is near us, zoom, through the red light he goes! The next red light we come to, again he scans the area. Satisfied, he pops the light once more! I’m looking at him in wonderment. OK, I guess priests don’t have to stop for lights. The third light is red, he stops, I look around and tell him to go!

Getting home, I relate the experience to my mother. Mom, a prayerful soul, (She got that way when I turned 1 years old) smacks me in the head and tells me not to lie about priests. “If you didn’t want to go this morning, you should have said so. Now get out of my sight, you disgust me!”

Feeling hurt, but emotionally and physically, I retreat to my room, vowing vengeance. I would run away from home, and when they find me, I’d be starved to death, and it would be on the conscience of Mom and the priest! The only thing that saved me form it all was Mom asked if I wanted lunch.

Please remember DD, and all those that need our prayers.

Saturday, February 07, 2009


Today I met a woman, who has three children, two boys and a girl. The reason for the meeting was that I am seeking as much knowledge as I can on autism, and autistic children. This woman, Isabella, is a lovely lady with great passion and love for her children. That shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows a mom or two. Isabella has two autistic boys, one is 19 one a little younger.

The Growing Incidence of Autism

In the last decade, there has been an explosion in the number of new cases of autism-related disorders. The Autism Society of America estimates between 500,000 and 1.5 million people in the United States alone have a disorder on the autism spectrum, with an estimated 75% of these between the ages of 3 to 13 years. Whereas the incidence was 5 in 10,000 for many years, now some studies are pointing to 1 in 149 births (CDC, 2000); researchers and families are struggling to discern if this is truly an epidemic or due to better diagnosis.

My thirst for this knowledge is in that I have a nephew, Sammy, who was diagnosed with the problem, and my agency, Suffolk AHRC, is about to enter the field. As I Board of Directors member, and an uncle, I feel compelled to know.

I met with Isabella because I need to know what she feels, how she handles things, what is out there for her and her husband Bill, and their three children. Autism will affect all three children, both directly and indirectly. I wish to fight it as best I can, and I need the knowledge to do so.

Isabella has given me great insight into autism. Isabella is a brave woman. I must admit: it was an emotional meeting for the both of us. We shared as well as we gave, we took in as much as we could give. Today she was a teacher. I learned that affliction of your child is the same for all parents. We take it, we bear it, we try and we cry. We look for answers and search for help.

I know that the agency will be an effective tool for combating this nasty affliction, and bringing help to those that need it. The staff at the agency is professional, loving, and caring. They give it their all. It is a very high standard for the board members to follow. I will give it a try.

Too much is unknown about ‘the spectrum of autism’. It is a very difficult thing to pin down, and more difficult to deal with. Isabella’s sons are fortunate that they have a great set of parents. Parents who recognize the importance of working openly with autism and seeking help where they can find it.

Bill, the dad, is a wonderful man who keeps a fiscal eye on things for the agency, and one of the hardest working people we have at the agency. For all the years I know the guy, he never let on to anyone he had this personal cross to bear! Between Bill and Isabella, we can all learn about how to deal with private pain.

Today, I also received an email from my sister Mary Ann, telling me that Hospice was called today for DD, that little girl I have been asking you to all pray for. Please, remember her in your prayers, she really needs us now.

Friday, February 06, 2009


When I was about 11 or 12, I went too long without a haircut. It was a Saturday night, and Dad decided to take matters in his own hands! Since there was no barbershops opened at the after dinner hour, he got a towel, comb, and scissors, and told me to sit down. The kitchen chair sat openly in the room, as I did what I was told.

Tying the bath towel around my neck, he began to cut. The clipping seemed prolonged as he concentrated on only one area of my head, the back of the neck. When he discovered he wasn’t happy with his work, he got out my mother’s pasta pot, and placed it on my head, lid side down, covering my ears, and used it as a guide to cut a straight line. He told me to hold the pot, as he chopped away.

“But Dad, the barber NEVER uses a pot to cut my hair!”

“Be quiet and hold the pot steady. Oh geez! I SAID, hold the pot STEADY!”

Slowly my confidence in dear old dad was diminishing with each clip.

“Can I see what it looks like in the back?” I asked.

“NO, go to bed.” His retort sounded like he was pre-occupied.

But it’s only 8 o’clock!” I said.


“YOU COMING TO CHURCH WITH US?” I asked surprised.

“Yea, sure.”

The next morning, Dad awakens me and says: “get dressed.”

In the car we go, just him and me, driving down Montauk highway, when lo and behold, (What does that really mean?) A barber is just leaving his shop on a Sunday Morning at 8:00 AM! I swear, I’m not making that up! Dad pulls into the strip mall and jumps out of the car. He has an exchange with the man, who shakes his head “No”, and dad pleads some more. Finally, the man reopens his shop and lets us in.

I was saved from dad’s handy work!

Please remember DD and all those that need our prayers.

Thursday, February 05, 2009


It was a Saturday morning, Dad was home from work, and Mom gave him the order. Take HIM (me) for a haircut! It was a fine spring day, and Dad and I walked to the barber for the first time!

I remember the walk along Rockaway Avenue as we trudged toward Fulton Street to the barbershop. When we arrived, the blinds were drawn because the sun was shining into the shop, and Dad and I had to wait our turn. Finally, the barber shook his towel and looked at me, as Dad led me to my execution!

I was in the middle chair of the three-chaired shop, the red padded cushion with the white and chrome, awaited me. As I started to climb the chair, the barber set a platform across the arms of the chair for me so he could reach my head without straining his neck. I remember watching the other barber with his straight-edged razor as he played it against the long brown leather strap, honing it to a fine edge.

I was a very bald baby when I was born, that grew into an uncontrollable blond with thick wild hair. This was a big deal! My first haircut, and Mom did not want to watch, so she sent Dad on the mission. As the barber clipped and chopped, he kept talking to me, trying to reassure me that all was well. I was on the verge of tears, but would not give anyone the satisfaction of crying, and maybe laughing at me!

Finally, the electric clippers came out, attached with an electrical cord! I could deal with scissors, but clippers? I didn’t think so. No, that would not do. The barber, sensing my tensing up, saved the day! As he was about to start the machine, he pulled out a toy airplane, and told me that the machine sounded like an airplane. I bought it! I happily flew through the experience, my imagination soaring like a DC-3!

When it was over, Dad told me I was a man now, but that my hair was too wild, and I needed to “Train” it!

As I grew older, Dad kept reminding me that I had to comb my hair to train it. It would stick up in the back like Alfalfa, and I had a cow’s lick in the front! As I got older, about ten, I realized I was no longer blond, but brown headed.

Please remember DD, and all those that need our prayers.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


It doesn’t matter how old, it is someone’s child. It could be 90 or 9 or 9 months, it is someone’s child. It could be you, or me, or your own child. We are all: someone’s child.

This morning, I went out to get my usual coffee and buttered roll, and as I entered the Handy Pantry, there stood at the counter an elderly woman. The small counter was loaded with groceries, cans, boxes and loose vegetables. Except for it being such a large order, I didn’t think much about it, and went to the coffee pots. I poured a cup, placed a lid on it and went to pay for it. There still stood the older woman. She was small, somewhat delicate and overburdened by her purchases. She was struggling to put her change in her purse, and gather her many bags. She looked up at me and seemed embarrassed and apologetic for still being there and taking so long. I reassured her that she need not hurry on my part, that she should take her time.

Without sounding elitist or obnoxious, she seemed somewhat simple in her manner. Her focus was trying to explain herself to me! Her shoddy coat, her head covered with a tied-on scarf, she dragged herself out of the store. She made me feel sad. Funny thing is I felt sad not so much for her, as for her parents! Yes, she was much older than me, and I felt sad for her parents, parents who are long ago dead! Why? Because I wondered if they looked down on her at that moment and realized she was so vulnerable.

I often wonder if those that passed on look down on us, and view our lives from the other side. Do they see when we are in danger, do they see when we struggle and fall? Do they cry when that happens? Do they worry?

As a father of three children that live in my world, I worry about them. I might get angry with them from time to time, but rest assured, they are someone’s children. Mine. I think about how we hurt each other, and cripple and maim. I see pictures of orphans, tears in their eyes as they struggle to survive, maybe hiding from some predator, and I think, that is someone’s child!

I often wonder if my in-laws, my father and mother-in-law look down on their daughter. Do they think I take good enough care of their daughter? Do they worry about her because of me? I try, but is it good enough?

So when you start to lose your cool, maybe want to smack someone, remember, it is someone’s child.

Please remember DD, and all those that need our prayers.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


OK, you knew that already. However, this confusion is out of the usual confusion. You see: confusion can be confusing. If however, you have a grip on yourself, it is just less confusing than the confusion you started with! Did I make myself clear? Good!

This past week I have been watching the newspapers and TV, listening to the hoopla of the Super Bowl Sunday game. My confusion is, why we need to be ‘ready’ for the game? I mean: this is just another game. Why do I need to ‘stock up’? Chips, platters of food and it must be both hot and cold. Beer and soda has to be part of this ritual, and for some reason I need to know who won the coin toss for the last ten years. Why? Does all this impact the game? Apparently, I need to have comparisons between the quarterbacks, their mother’s last names and even their bra size for the game to make me happy?

People get together, for the event, then regret doing it because: “I have to get up in the morning and go to work!” Cheez! Usually they work themselves up in a lather, then are let down by the “Boring” game!

I happen to love California, Arizona is beautiful, but why oh why do I need to watch the game so late? When this first started out, the game started at 1:00 pm or 2:00 pm and ended at a reasonable hour. It is even worst with the World Series. Those games don’t get underway until 9:00 pm, because they need to accommodate the west coast. I’m sure the west coast fans wouldn’t mind if the games started a little earlier so the east coast fans could stay up to see the conclusion of the games. The little kids that are the backbone of baseball, yet the ones on the east coast may not get the opportunity to see a world series game! I love to watch football, not analyze it. I don’t need to know what or who has the edge at wide receiver, or corner back. All I want to know is what time the game starts, and which channel. I don’t need food, drinks or stats to make it interesting.

Imagine if we treated life like that.

Mr. and Mrs. Zuklack would like to announce the marriage of their daughter, Tina-Marie Zuklack to Mr. Winfrey Orelse.

Mrs. Zuklack 185 lbs. Mrs. Orelse 195 lbs.
Mr. Zuklack worth is $1,000,000.27 Mr. Orelse worth $3.00
Tina-Marie left handed Winfrey right handed

Be sure to stock up early for the wedding ceremony!

First prayer will be read immediately after the minister/rabbi tosses the coin to see which family member will receive the first whispered criticism.

Please remember DD, and all those that need our prayers.

Monday, February 02, 2009


Last evening, TLW (The Little Woman) and I were talking about the blog. One of her ‘complaints’ is I am taking away her reason to talk.

I know this is a serious offense. (Husbands out there, are you reading between the lines here?)

It seems that whenever she starts a conversation with someone, they are ahead of her in the facts, they “read it on the blog”. Which leaves her to go on to things other than life, as we know it as a couple. For instance, my ISIL (Italian Sister-In-Law, Angela was on the phone with TLW last week, when she interrupted TLW with prior knowledge obtained from my blog. I too, get that once-in-a-while. Maybe not as often, since people like to see if dementia has set in on me yet, but yes, once-in-a-while.

Life for TLW has become like a series of start-up conversations, which need not be completed. This is saving her time! This is what everyone in life would want! Just think of the savings in words!

“Did you hear about…”
“Think it will…”
“Maybe I should…”
“Don’t be…”
“I’m not being…”

You get the picture? Never wonder if you are grammatically correct anymore! Searching for words? Don’t, it will only waste time anyway.

I was wondering if the use of “ETC”. will come more into use? It could signal when you are finished with a sentence, but wish not to formally end it?

OK, so I didn’t have much to say today.

Please remember DD and all those that need our prayers.

Sunday, February 01, 2009


When I was very young, between and five and ten years of age, Dad would occasionally load our car and take us kids out to Patchogue. This was a real treat for us city kids from Brooklyn. As we pulled away from the curb on a Sunday morning, I would look at other children in the neighborhood, and pity them, because they were stuck in the grime of Brooklyn, for the day. We were ‘privileged” to go to Patchogue! How could they stand it, I wondered?

Patchogue is a village on Long Island, on the south shore. Patchogue was the home of an aunt and uncle whom shared a duplex on Norton Street. My grandmother owned the house and rented it to my aunt and uncle.

After the long drive from the city to the country, we started to look for landmarks that hinted we were close to our destination, and fun. One of the landmarks was the old Patchogue Lace Mill. As we motored down Main Street, which was Montauk Highway, there it would stand, to our left. The excitement in the car would now build. Anticipation was great, as we would be seeing our cousins, and my aunt was a great cook!

As the years rolled by, and I lived out in Holbrook, I would on occasion drive by the Lace Mill, and a flood of memories would come back. As I drove by, I would explain to my rotten son, #1 Son, the history of the Lace Mill. This was a defining moment in Fatherhood! Like teaching him to bat, or throw a baseball, or to catch it, or look both ways before crossing the street, a lesson in history was important.

Now you wonder why I call him “Rotten”? Why? Because he would verbatim give me the history back, word for word, while I was speaking? OK, so maybe I HAD mentioned it once before. But hey, that is no way for a four year old to talk to his father!

Please remember DD, and all those that need our prayers.