dievca’s Mom had a lovely little Tahitian pearl ring for years that she wore on her pinky. She had gotten it from dievca’s Dad when they went on a trip to Hawaii and left the kids with their Slovak Grandparents. Umm, it was a moment when Grandma made cow’s brains and tried to pass them off as scrambled eggs….dievca was 5 years old and still remembers ~
dievca’s Mom lost the lovely green pearl ring.
So, dievca has randomly looked for a replacement on and off throughout the years.
Her latest search started here:
Round! the shape of the pearl should be round.
That knocked this beauty out of contention.
And this one has an asymmetrical setting – nope.
The color of the pearl Mom lost was black-green:
On this one the setting is too high, the pearl is too grey:
dievca was concerned with the quality of the pearl, but not too worried about it.
The green of this pearl is nice and the 14K white gold pops, but that setting is very intricate.
dievca loved this ring, but it was very expensive- from Denmark and not a good replacement for the lost ring.
Again, an interesting setting – but rose gold? Limiting.
So, as dievca was looking at various rings on eBay, the RealReal, Jewelers, etc – she realized that it is hard to find a smaller Tahitian pearl. They run more consistently in the 11 and 12 mm range. dievca was aiming for 8 or 9 mm.
So, the criteria loosely became:
- Round Pearl
- Green color
- Lower profile setting
- Silver-colored band
- Symmetrical band
There are a number of this David Yurman ring out there on the web, but the pearls run from grey to blue and settings are holding a larger pearl. dievca found hers on eBay with an 8mm dark green pearl – it came from a southern Jewelry store.
Not quite Mom’s ring, but Master loves it.
Pearls are organic gemstones that are vulnerable to acid, alkaline and extremes of humidity. To preserve your pearls’ radiance, avoid letting them come into contact with cosmetics, hair spray, or perfume. Always put on your jewelry as a final touch, after applying make-up and styling hair.
The pearl’s lustre can also be harmed by perspiration. To prevent this, before returning your pearls to the jewelry box, wipe them gently with a soft cloth.
Give me the damn coffee!
~You get by with a little help from your friend~
Actually, the rental car is new and running very well.
Travel across was very easy.
Packing food was a good idea and I’d like to give a “shout” out to Ohio for the best rest stops.
Clean, spacious — amazing.
BTW – gasoline prices ranged from $1.99 to $1.15 per gallon – east to west.
Something interesting to note – the further away from NYC, the more lax people are about COVID-19.
Yes, it makes sense when your area has 180 deaths versus the 13,168 in NYC.
But seeing 65+-year-olds without masks and gloves in a Wal-Mart really stressed me out.
BTW – it was confirmed post-mortem that Dad’s death was not COVID-19.
Why do the test?
So, the Hospice nurses who neglected Dad would come back for Mom’s appointments.
still salty bout that
As for my Mom?
My Mom has blown through the stages of Grief and is getting ready to blow through them, again.
She is eating and sleeping well, for me at least.
Yesterday would have been Mom and Dad’s 66th Wedding Anniversary.
OK – as you read this, I am back in the car – starting Day 2 of the return trip.
POEM of the ROAD – Walt Whitman (excerpt)
To take to your use out of the compact cities as
you pass through!
To carry buildings and streets with you afterward
wherever you go!
To gather the minds of men out of their brains as
you encounter them! to gather the love out
of their hearts!
To take your own lovers on the road with
you, for all that you leave them behind
To know the universe itself as a road—as many
roads—as roads for traveling souls!
The soul travels,
The body does not travel as much as the soul,
The body has just as great a work as the soul,
and parts away at last for the journeys of the
All parts away for the progress of souls,
All religion, all solid things, arts, governments —
all that was or is apparent upon this globe or
any globe, falls into niches and corners before
the processions of souls along the grand roads
of the universe,
Of the progress of the souls of men and women
along the grand roads of the universe, all
other progress is the needed emblem and
Full poem HERE
dievca found a rental car and is making her way to her Mom. If there’s no hotel – sleeping in the car will do. Food is packed for along the way. Always an interesting first 30 miles when she hasn’t driven in a while – but it will be dievca and the trucks most of the way. Wish her “good luck”! XO
My Dad died.
I could hear the death rattle while video chatting with my Mother – trying to think of every humorous or lovely moment with Dad and other family members to distract her. Dad was gasping for air. 99% sure it wasn’t COVID-19, the Speech Therapist said that as Dad lost swallowing capabilities – food/water would go down the wrong pipe, and pneumonia would set in. It did. Hospice wouldn’t come unless Dad was tested…Dad wasn’t going anywhere to get tested.
It didn’t end ugly.
I can Thank our amazing careworkers, morphine, my brother, and the great-grandkids for that. I wouldn’t have called the kids in time to say, ‘good-bye’ – they are all under 7 years old – Dad was such a mess I thought it would terrify their dreams. My brother called and they all trooped over (6+ of them) to see Dad with little masks and gloves.
He passed out Tootsie Pops.
Turned over and died in the chaos with Mom on his shoulder and holding hands with the chain of kids.
That thought sustains me more than the painful video call earlier. Dad would do anything for a kid. Kill himself for a kid. Works for me. Thank Goodness my brother called in the troops. A better way to go.
So, will the kids have bad dreams? I don’t know.
I just know that as I look at my hands which are the same shape as my Dad’s,
I am really craving a red Tootsie Pop.
A pretty sight, right? The pink flowers match the lingerie from yesterday. dievca didn’t get a photo of the flowers before the post. Here’s the order of activities:
- A two-CD mix made for dievca’s Mother took a full day to source and collect songs, then find a burner for the CD’s. Her Dad is failing badly, so she asked the Caregivers to play the music from “Carmen Jones” and “Das Boot” via YouTube on the tablet for expedience. The CD’s are for the stereo – both of dievca’s parents are going deaf.
- The next day after work, dievca took a 1.5-hour walk around the City – to get out of the apartment. The wind was brutal-you can see the birds fighting the chop on the Hudson River. she found one place to walk up to buy coffee – it was a treat tasting a different flavor than her coffee.
- The 3rd day, dievca biked up the Hudson River Park trail in the rain to get to Master. Master’s windows offered an elegant view of two Magnolia trees in bloom.
And she shared dinner and wine with Master after a little D/s play.
If dievca’s Dad dies – she won’t be able to get to her mother for the funeral. There is a two-week quarantine for New Yorkers heading out of State via air travel. dievca hasn’t been sick, but she would prefer to be careful. Understandably, as dievca’s Mom wouldn’t make it through a bout of COVID-19 under Hospice care.
Photos: dievca 04/2020 NYC - graphic from a good friend.
“Come to Me all youth that labor and are burdened.
I will give you rest.”
dievca slid out of bed knowing she finally had to return a pair of pants to Target. They were a pair she bought for her Dad in the Midwest, were too large and she didn’t have time to get back to the store. The pants have been sitting on her entry bench….
So, at 7:15 am, dievca got dressed and grabbed the pants.
In one hour and a half, she:
- Took out $ at an ATM
- Bought a coffee and a donut at a busy Dunkin Donuts
- Walked to Target in the 34th Street morning hustle.
- Returned the pants
- Wandered through Old Navy and tried a sundress on
- Wandered through the closing K-Mart and bought socks, gloves, a tote bag, and two t-shirts.
- Stopped in CVS to buy Draino with a 40% off coupon
- Sat in the sunshine for a moment in seating out front of a new building
- Took photos of St. Michael’s Church (above)
- Bought a tuna sandwich from a place that makes great tuna salad
- Walked home.
Something avoided became an enjoyable NYC efficiency moment.
About Saint Michael’s:
The parish was founded in 1857 as an offshoot of the Church of St. Columba and Holy Cross Church, with boundaries from “28th to 38th Street and from 6th Avenue to the banks of the Hudson.” The community initially met in a chapel structure of renovated townhouses. The original church plan was begun in 1861 and completed in 1868, with a front on 31st Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues. The church was built in phases surrounding the chapel and without disturbing services there. When finally completed according to the original plans, it was 80 feet (24 m) wide by 200 feet (61 m) long and had a stone facade and 105-foot (32 m) high tower on 31st Street and an interior nuns’ gallery on two sides. It was designed by the founding pastor, Arthur J. Donnelly (1820–1890), and architect T.S. Wall. The church complex also consisted of a rectory, convent and schools, the latter designed by architect Lawrence J. O’Connor, FAIA. From 1874–1884, the complex was the original home of the Presentation Sisters in the northeastern United States, and enrollment grew to become the largest parochial school in New York. The Sisters and the parish also founded the Mount Saint Michael Home for destitute children, in Greenridge, Staten Island. The Manhattan church contained an 1862 Henry Erben mechanical action organ. On May 4, 1892, a fire destroyed much of the church and the organ.
O’Connor was contracted to design a new structure that incorporated the original tower and acquired a new Indiana bluff limestone facade on 32nd Street. Other details include a roof elevated six feet (two meters) higher than the original church, a vaulted ceiling, aisles with groined arches, fourteen Munich stained glass windows, and a gallery in the form of a choir loft with a new 1893 Odell organ at the rear of the church. The blessing Mass was scheduled for Sunday, January 28, 1894. The total dimensions were 75 feet (23 m) wide by 200 feet (61 m) long. In 1892, the address was listed at 408 West 32nd Street.
In 1904, the Pennsylvania Railroad Company began proceedings for the construction of the North River Tunnels and Pennsylvania Station, which would require the demolition of St. Michael’s 32nd Street church and complex. At the suggestion of the pastor, John A. Gleeson, the Archdiocese sold the parish properties in exchange for a new church, school, convent, and rectory on 34th Street. The office of Napoleon LeBrun & Sons was responsible for the construction of the new complex, which involved the salvage and re-use of the altar, organ, stained glass windows, and limestone facade. The church was dedicated on November 10, 1907. It was described at the time as Romanesque, 75 feet (23 m) wide by 200 feet (61 m) deep and 60 feet (18 m) high. It also had a 2,000-person basement chapel with an 18-foot-high (5.5 m) ceiling.
Reminding dievca of her older brother
And getting some giddy-up to get moving to work on a Saturday.
Enjoy your day off…😘
It was a day before 10 am.
Dad hadn’t a movement in 8 days….with softners, prunes and trying to get him to drink as much water as possible, etc..
It took an Army.
Daughter, Caregiver, Nurse, Home Aid – suppository, prune juice & butter, manipulations, tummy rubbing, squat positioning being held up.
All while two people maneuvered Mom into the bathtub.
Then the arguing about taking a shower began – 5 weeks of Sponge Baths in a row doesn’t cut it.
It was a hell of a Birthday for Dad – but he’s loose and clean!
We ALL needed a drink by Noon.
Mom and Dad just took a nap~
New gates at LaGuardia (LGA) – quite a nice view!
Everyone gets their own chargers – now if they could add a cup holder~
We moved into this:
The low-pressure system dopped 5 inches over 3+ hours. dievca had a
shitty umm, not so great – midsize rental for the 1-hour drive (it took 2). To upgrade the car would have been $38-$76 per day. She passed on the upgrade and drove carefully.
After helping the caregiver shovel the driveway, dievca moved on to
What her Sister-In-Law left for her:
Always desperate for good coffee at my Parents’,
M. gave me a coffee packet for the trip.
The name made me laugh like heck!
We’ll see how those caramel notes soothe stressed nerves.
Big February Birthdays!
Dad, he’s still hanging on.
Brother? It’s a big one.
(But in all honesty…dievca is dreading the trip.)
So, dievca’s cousin said she didn’t think the Church had orechovnik (nut roll) available, but another cousin said he knew a bakery in Ohio which does mail-order and is quite good.
Note: dievca is the youngest of a SLEW of older cousins with an 8-year gap between her and the nearest in age – you know those Catholics, no birth control. 🙄
dievca ordered a bunch of orechovnik and koláče for her parents and her one brother who is celebrating his birthday. Everything arrived on time and in excellent condition. The koláče went over very well with dievca’s brother and her Mother. Dad prefers his orchnovnik. They froze two extra nut rolls for when dievca arrives in February.
If you read the bakery’s history, it tells about when they decided to focus on one location and online presence – they trimmed their offerings to the most popular items. That ended up being mostly eastern European baked goods.
Apparently a good choice.
dievca found this post in her drafts from 2 year ago. Its from a tough time, but the source of Joy still makes her smille.
dievca’s last Aunt (both sides) passed away in Spring 2017. She was batshit crazy. Her Dad’s sister was bound and determined to live longer than dievca’s Dad – making the act of breathing a competition.
dievca’s Dad is in the hospital with bleeding on the brain – it will go either way. We have no control and dievca has been going home as much as possible, knowing each visit might be the last. she’ll be upset down the line, but right now she is at peace with herself and planning to get a flight after she hears from her brother.
After packing, dievca was digging in the freezer and she found an orechovník that her Aunt sent to her right before her death. It was made in one of the local Pittsburgh area Catholic church kitchens. dievca added the frozen orechovník to her bag. It would survive the flight.
Dad didn’t have a stroke, he was having seizures and the hospital was able to get them under control.
At her parent’s house, dievca pulled out the orechovník and her Mom asked where it came from. When dievca told her it was from the challenging Aunt who passed, her Mom laughed and sat with dievca to have tea and a buttered piece. The frozen orechovník traveled well.
Orechovník is a piece of childhood memories for dievca: staying with a favorite Aunt or visiting any family member. A piece would be eaten with ham, butter, or nothing. Rolls would be packed into the car for the return trip to the Midwest. Kept frozen in a cooler to appear at Christmas and Easter. Rolls would be brought when cousins, Uncles, and Aunts visited the Midwestern outpost of the family.
In the hospital, dievca told her Dad about the orechovník. The news elicited a reaction. An eye-roll for his deceased pain-in-the-a** sister, as Dad had just broken her record for years of being alive.
For all her drama and headaches – dievca’s Aunt left a piece of Joy to share and that turned out to be a moment of peace and humor after chaos.
2020 – dievca’s Dad is still kicking after this episode. He is still on the seizure meds, but has weaned himself off of the feeding tube. Finding this unpublished post and thinking about that damn orechovník made dievca smile. she just might have to beg her cousins to send her one~ and send her parents one, too.
What is an orechovník (nut roll)?
A nut roll is a pastry consisting of sweet yeast dough (usually using milk) that is rolled out very thin, spread with a nut paste made from groundnuts and a sweetener like honey, then rolled up into a log shape. This ‘log’ is either left long and straight or is often bent into a horseshoe shape, egg washed, baked, and then sliced crosswise. Nut rolls resemble a jelly roll (Swiss roll) but usually with more layers of dough and filling, and resemble strudels but with fewer and less delicate dough layers. Fillings commonly have as their main ingredient ground walnuts or poppy seeds.
Nut rolls can be found in the United States and in Central European cuisines. In the United States, “nut roll” is a more or less generic name for pastries of this type, no matter where they originate. Nut rolls are known also by many specific regional names, including gubana, guban’ca, or potica in Slovene; orechovník in Slovak; makowiec in Polish; povitica, gibanica, orahnjača/orehnjača in Croatian and Serbian (walnut variant, makovnjača for variant with poppy seed, in Croatia can also be made with carob); kalács and bejgli in Hungarian; and pastiç (pastiche) or nokul in Turkish.
Regional variations on nut rolls are part of weddings, for Easter and Christmas, as well as other celebrations and holidays.
Click on each photo, a link to buy the item is set if wanted.
Everyone is doing a suggestion list (Have you seen Buzzfeed?) dievca’s is from magazine/catalog clippings she has kept throughout the year – thinking of the men in her Life. Right now she is stuck on her Dad – he needs “gummy” in the waist of his pants…the comfort-waist runs a bit larger than his svelte (very) 30″ waist (28″ maybe). He IS eating. Wish her luck!
dievca’s washed a lot of sheets and items of clothing these past few days.
All towards getting a sleeping schedule and meds correct. It’s still not down solid.
The all-encompassing Family challenges have taken their toll.
Normally dievca tries to start out the week with a bit of coffee happiness – on Mondays.
Apparently, her coffee post went out on a Sunday.
That doesn’t really matter in the big picture until dievca flies out on an early flight and needs to figure out which day of the week it was for work. she was thinking the Coffee post went out on a Monday – when it didn’t… then she panicked about which day it was~
It took brain dead dievca thirty minutes to figure out the correct day of the week.
dievca’s Parents are alive – maybe not kicking hard, but still kicking. dievca is not kicking it.
dievca knows her coffee is as important as Dad’s seizure meds. 😉
Watching the dawn on the 7 Train
Catching a ride to LaGuardia
Dad isn’t doing so well.
Photos: dievca, half-asleep NYC subway 7 line
Remind dievca that she loves her parents dearly, ok?
she had to lay down the law with her Dad that she’s not in town just to jump and do his bidding. she’s going to sit down and have dinner like a normal human being. If there is a wet ring on the table from condensation on a glass? Well, that will just have to wait until she’s finished eating and chatting with her Mother.
dievca offered her Dad two options:
- Wait patiently until everyone is finished eating and have faith it will be cleaned up.
- Get up with the walker, go and get a towel and wipe the ring.
I understand with age you feel like you lose control and your memory is short…
But, a water ring on a melamine table is not an emergency, nor is buying extra pads for Mom, nor is folding the towels from a load that just finished in the dryer, nor is adjusting the peepee pad so it hangs off the side of the bed, nor is putting your applesauce container in the fridge when we haven’t finished eating, nor is putting Mom to bed just because you want to go to bed.
I only have two hands for removing dishes from the dining table. Some of the dishes will have to stay on the table until I can walk back and get them.
If I haven’t left the house in a car, then I haven’t picked up Mom’s pee pads.
Yes, I got the mail and the newspapers. You’ve asked me four times already. Why don’t you sit on the sofa and read them, so you don’t have to ask me again?
I am really trying to remember that I am going to be the same way in about 40 years.
Let us hope I’ll be the easy-going elderly person holding a glass of wine. ~doubt it~
When someone in the Family just gets it…
dievca was grateful, really grateful~
And that watermelon? That is the way everyone is getting dievca’s Dad to have enough water intake since he insisted upon removing his feeding tube.
Well, he’s not dead, yet!
Umm, Dad might not make it to 88 if he keeps following dievca around the house telling her how to do things…
Yesterday, dievca’s friend had a Memorial and Service to inter her ashes.
It was lovely. Friends of all ages and different phases came to celebrate. Siblings gave the realistic view of their sister with humor. dievca wore bright colors and listened with a smile. Her friend had set aside money for a buffet meal at a cafe across the street with an open bar. Great venue, good wine.
She was loved, is loved and will be remembered with love.
Why? What’s the difference between dievca’s aunt and dievca’s friend?
Her friend was open to new ideas, willing to try new things and try-on new viewpoints. She was able to accept change. She accepted people for who they are, not who she wanted them to be. She didn’t pass judgment. She stood up for what she felt was right and that would include the thought that all people should be treated fairly and equally. She gave in simple ways – nothing grandiose – an ear to listen, advice if asked, expertise if needed and company with silence, her time. Things that people truly need or want.
What dievca has learned:
Be yourself. Work to keep old friends and work to gain new friends. Enjoy life and share your Joy and knowledge. Mentor. Accept idiosyncracies and people/situations that make you step out and grow. Don’t stop moving. Life is to be experienced. not watched.
in the Family Karma bank.
The blackout last night came to roost on dievca’s doorstep.
dievca had power – Master had just left and had power up at His apartment. But, family members of the friend who passed, flew in and were scheduled to stay in a UWS hotel for the Memorial Service. No power.
No power = no AC, no lights, no food with one person in a wheelchair. dievca called to check on them, they were in a cab and needed a place to go. So, dievca gave up her apartment to the Family and rode her bike up to Masters for the night.
That worked out fine.
The challenge was that she returned at 9 am and they weren’t out of bed. Then she made them breakfast with the random food she had. And then they stayed at dievca’s until 2:00 pm.
Her treat of having two days off in a row – washed away.
Speaking of wash, dievca needs to do the sheets and towels they used.
That’s Karma in the Karma bank, right?
Life is about Ups and Downs.
You need the rain to appreciate the sunshine – etc., etc., etc.
It’s been a weird year for me:
- College Best Friend passed away
- College Roommate passed away.
- Close friend passed away (85), last night
- Parents getting stronger with help.
- My body is apparently quite healthy.
It was interesting finding the 85-year-old friend, last evening. She passed away on her bed – having a lie-down. She looked very Zen.
She was having some unidentified health challenges.
FDNY, NYPD, a Detective, the ME, the morgue all trooped through the small apartment. All polite, kind and working to the best of their abilities. NYPD had to seal the apartment because there wasn’t a spouse or roommate. The apartment will be opened up after the courts allow it…..paperwork.
Here I thought it would be my Parents to move on — with all their challenges. Instead, it was a lovely elderly friend who lived her Life on her own terms.
I’m sad, yet happy she moved on in a peaceful way.
The rain with the sun shining through.
Dad has been swallowing food.
But can he handle liquids without them going down the wrong pipe?
It’s interesting to watch.
The difference between having a feeding tube or not.
Isn’t the Human Body amazing?
1st – there was no caffeinated coffee in the house.
6:30 am coffee run and grocery store K-cup caffeinated coffee purchase.
2nd – the K-cup machine does 8 oz. as the largest amount.
8 oz. doesn’t fit in Mom’s “normal” cups, 8 oz. does fit in the “Nana” cup.
Mmmm, I am not a Nana and will not ever have the chance to biologically be a Nana …
I am a Grand Aunt, though. One who likes to play WrestleMania, steamroller, drop the clothespins into a milk jug and other hands-on games. Talk about high energy and rejuvenation! Kids share so much Joy.
And if the kids call me, “Nana” instead of “Aunt dievca” – excellent! My Mom is a fabulous Nana and if I slide into her shoes seamlessly, all the better.
You can call me “Nana” when I’ve got the coffee cup in hand.
But my grandnephews and grandnieces can call me “Nana” anytime!
Through the window screen:
A young fox being harassed by a large orange tabby cat.
The fox didn’t seem too distressed, more of a “what ARE you?” vibe.
…while running back to help my Parents.
Just call me Wonder dievca!
Have you ever lost a day….or a couple of days because you are continuously moving from one thing to another? Then you lift your head and breathe…only to realize your autopilot caused you to mix up days?
I looked back at this week’s blog posts and realized that I was off by a day.
The Thursday Lingerie post went live on Wednesday, there wasn’t a something useful post for Friday because Saturday’s strappy shoe post was running. Etc.
No emergency – its a blog.
But it threw me. What else did I screw up and was it important?
No one is screaming at me…so I may have escaped chaos.
(Note: I’m babbling in the next section)
Why did this happen?
- I added another octogenarian to the mix and had to revamp a bathroom for their safety.
- Needed to schedule to get back to my parents for one of the caregiver’s vacation time. Both parent’s had gone into the hospital for pneumonia (at seperate times). My brother needs a break.
- Summer schedule changes coming up and my co-worker opened a resturant, so the planning and execution of those plans fall on me.
- I’m considering purchasing a co-op and its a gut renovation – architect, plumber to find the gas lines, the owner passed – nothing really done since 1953…
- Master was traveling.
- Doctor’s appointments — everything seems to be going well internally – body structure and exterior that can use some work.
- Went through the storage unit to exchange winter goods for summer items. Had to do the resale craziness, again. RealReal, Buffalo Exchange, Goodwill and HousingWorks to the rescue.
- Organization for Spring events – three happening this upcoming week.
You know…nothing keeps you in tune like children. An alarm clock that keeps you on track. Here’s the rest of the story with the photo above – Life Magazine followed the Life of a 1940’s Housewife from Kankakee, IL….she’s got me beat, by far:
Funny….I just ordered this dress:
After the move Master is taking on IKEA bookshelf build detail:
dievca is just so entertained with the thought.
IKEA was a “Defining Moment” in Master and dievca’s Relationship.
(When dievca and Master survived an IKEA piece)
dievca has a friend who is going through a tough time. The friend is dealing with shingles and setting up a surgery for a detached retina – when she should have flown on Holiday. No flying with that eyeball issue…
dievca sent her information about shingles and potential items to help with pain. The photo above is what she got back. Life is ALWAYS better with a little “chocolate bread” in it. Not sure if that will help with the shingle pain, though…
Pain au chocolat: A viennoiserie sweet roll consisting of a cuboid-shaped piece of yeast-leavened laminated dough, similar in texture to a puff pastry, with one or two pieces of dark chocolate in the center.