Monday, June 30, 2008

Happy 1st Birthday Lady Sadie

Today is my neices First Birthday......we celebrated with Uncle Mikey, Aunt Victoria, Rona, Rori and Lady Sadie yesterday.....and the rest of the family too!

What fun!

Everyday Blessings......

We are truly blessed.

We have good health, we have a warm and comfortable [although very small] home....we have family, we have friendship, we have food and drink. Truthfully, I give thanks everyday for the Blessings in my life.....sometimes many times a day I stop to marvel at all the blessings that surround me and my family.

One beautiful blessing is my neighbor Bonnie [she is Emma Sage's riding instructor, friend and mentor] and her generous offers to accompany her on her wagon rides.

We all love to travel on these horse drawn wagon rides....but Emma Sage just adores this time.

Here she is waiting for Bonnie to arrive at our house.....

After our house, we slow down to pick up our wonderful neighbors, The Garcia Family, and head off to Melick's orchard, which is a half-mile up the lane from our house.

Isn't this a beautiful team........

Our journey the other evening was to gather some cherries.......and Emma Sage and I made a cherry pie [thanks to Greta who pitted every cherry for us!]

Emma Sage picking Cherries....

and realizing that they are sour......look at that face.

Otto, giving Emma Sage a lift up to help pick the cherries that are on the higher branches.

Look how beautiful this team is......and what a blessing to us to be able to ride in their wagon.

and this is Emma Sage's favorite spot to be, up in front behind Ms. Bonnie, watching everything around her.

and this is the scene from the orchard looking back towards Maple Lane........

Yes, we are truly blessed.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Today at Shoprite.....

Today at Shoprite my cell phone rings.....I look to see a call coming from Katrina.

I answer....."Hello Nini" and I hear her laughing and she says to me...

"Mom, your never going to believe what just happened"

Of coarse, the first thing as a Mother when you hear 'just happened' you think something is wrong....but she was laughing, so my heart unknoted. She continues......."I was upstairs in my room and my cell phone rings.....I answer it and it is Emma Sage, who says 'Nini, I want to call Mommy, can you help me?'"

So Katrina says that she goes down stairs and finds Emma Sage sitting on the living room floor, phone in hand and the phone book open on her lap. She has turned to the letter 'M' and says to Katrina....."I can't find Mommy's phone number!"


Emma Sage has five phone numbers memorized.....Our house number, Katrina 'Nini's' cell number, Greta's cell number, Grammy & PopPop's house number and PopPop Swanson's house number. I have not taught her my cell number as of yet.....but will have to now.

How clever of my little girl to know a tool to use to find an answer to her get the phone book and look under 'M' for Mommy!!!!!

For me, as a parent, my one concern for all of my children is that they grow up to be able to figure things out for themselves.....they don't need to 'know' all the answers, but my wish for them is that they can use the tools around them to figure out the answer. To be able to assess every situation and be able to respond in the most appropriate manner.

So to see Emma Sage with the phone book, and then calling her sister for help, just makes my heart I know, that as she goes through life, she will try on her own to come up with an answer or seek out someone that can assist her.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Today we visited with family to celebrate my cousin Aubrey's graduation from High School.

After the party, we stopped by my cousin Lauries house to visit......there, Emma Sage spied Laurie's boyfriend Gary's guitars.....and next thing you know, they had a jam session going on.

This child of mine just loves music.......

Thank you Gary for creating music with my little girl.....she asked as soon as we were home, when we could go back to visit.
“Music speaks what cannot be expressed, soothes the mind and gives it rest, heals the heart and makes it whole, flows from heaven to the soul.”

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Saturday, June 21, 2008

We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today. ~Stacia Tauscher

Friday, June 20, 2008

Last Saturday......

Rick and I had a wedding to attend. It was such a beautiful event, held just up the road at our friends father's estate. The view from the 'Four Seasons' is absolutely looks down the valley we live in ~ along the river. There were two huge white tents [like the size of a circus tent] and the catering was incredible.......and I was so happy to be feeling a bit better from my Lyme's illness.

Grammy and Aunt Heidi said that they would watch Emma Sage and Otto [or I would have brought them to my sisters about 25 minutes away].....and took them to a family picnic to celebrate cousin Scotty's high school graduation.

On Sunday, we saw Uncle Scott and he came up to me to tell me the funniest thing my little girl said.

You see, since Emma Sage was a baby, Uncle Scott has just adored her. As soon as he would see her, up in his arms she would go........

I was laughing so hard when Uncle Scott recounted what my little girl said [and made me so glad that my 'talks' to her about boundries and people is sinking in]

He goes up to Emma Sage with wide arms and says "There's my girlfriend"

to which she replies "I can't be your girlfriend, you're my Uncle!" lol!!!!!

Good thing we don't live in Kentucky! lol!! [I know, I know, bad joke!]

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Well, we made it to Cabrini College [although this Momma was so very tired and was thankful I had a good co-pilot on board]

Emma Sage was so excited to see her big sister Katrina [she headed down to camp on Thursday as she is a head counselor this year] and Jenni Newbury and others who adore my little girl, showered her with hugs and hellos!

I knew that driving back home would be a very foolish thing to tackle, as I was still shaky [I had real weird light sensitivity from the Lyme's this time also] and with it being just Emma Sage and I in the car for the two hour drive home [which would have put us home sometime after 2am] I asked if there was space somewhere for us to crash for the night.

Of coarse there was.....and Emma Sage had her first 'Official' sleepover at Camp PALS

We put up this sign on our door [all the campers have their names on their dorm doors] and we lucked out as we had ordered some Camp PALS gear earlier and they had arrived at camp.

So we both slept in our oversized Camp PALS t-shirts.....

Katrina had an extra pillow and blanket and we were all set....

I was out within minutes of laying my head on the pillow.

The next morning my little Miss Sunshine was up and out and ready to hang with all the counsilors.
Here she is with Katrina's team.....

and then she would move over to Greta's group and tease her big sister....and then back to Katrina [she thought she was the Belle of the Ball]

We are heading back to Camp PALS next week and will meet up with a friend who will be up to pick up her son.

If you haven't looked lately, check out all the new pictures HERE

No rest for the weary.....

I know whom they made that saying about......Mothers.

No rest for the weary, yup, that is me.

I started the antibiotics on Thursday night, and it is truly amazing how quickly they work with Lyme's. The fever and chills [I hate having chills] left quickly. My stamina regain itself slowly and it is still taking a few days for the joint stiffness and pain to lesson.

But being sick is no match for a busy Momma's schedule. So on Friday, after a day of work, I had to get Greta ready to go to graduation. She was walking with the graduating class as part of National Honor Society.

This was quite special, as her cousin Erica was graduating, and Aunt Heidi walks with the other teachers with the class [so there were three Hintzs out on the football field]

The evening was picture perfect. Emma Sage loves to clap and cheer, so she was in her element.

Greta and five friends from National Honor Society.....

Aunt Heidi and her major colors

Greta watching the seniors pass through their entrance.......I just loved that parasal in the bottom right...I wish I had thought of something like that to ask for Rick to bring home from his recent trip to China
Greta, Erica and Emma have to hear Emma Sage say "Erica".......she does so with the neatest little accent [it cracks us all up] she sounds like she is German when she says it.

Greta and Erica are very close for cousins........we joke that Erica lives here. She will miss her next fall as Erica heads to Rider University on a Field Hockey scholarship.

As soon as graduation ended, I packed the car and drove Greta and her best friend Sara [and Emma Sage] to Cabrini College in Radnor, PA [just outside Philly].....

so when I say 'No rest for the weary"......I really mean, no rest for the weary.

A tick.......

A tick the size of a piece of pepper......that is what did me in.

For some reason, ticks like to dine on my blood [it must be Divine] as I have just battled my 5th tick borne illness. For the fourth time in my life, Lyme's disease has ravaged my body. I try to be so diligent in my tick patrol, but this one [the one I pulled out on June 3rd, the day my beloved Aunt Betty passed away] decided it was going to leave its legacy in my veins.

On Tuesday of last week, I awoke feeling a bit funny.......and then mid-morning, BAMMMM it hit me.

I felt like I had put on a lead suit and started to spike a fever. At first I was not sure if it was the heat and humidity of the last few days playing with me.....but as the day wore on I realized that it was an illness, but what, I was not sure of at this point.

Every joint in my body ached and this time I got a dull headache, but the weirdest symptom was vertigo.....I couldn't stand up without feeling like I was drunk [not that I really know what that feeling!]

I crawled into bed at 5:30 pm [just after the last little one I watch was picked up] and slept like a baby.......around 4 am I awoke drenched in sweat. My fever ranged from 101 to 103.

Now, I usually just watch fevers and make myself [or the children] comfortable, as fevers serve a purpose......and because I still was not sure what was going on with me, I felt I should let the fever do its job.

During the day I took some Tylenol, as the headache and fever were a bit much [and of coarse I had a house full of children to tend to].

Then came the chills........I was shaking so hard, but my fever was up.

I was not able to get an appointment with my doctor on Wednesday, so I had to wait till Thursday morning to call first thing and get a 'that day' appointment. The only one available was at 7:30 pm [so I weathered the day of up and down....fever, chills and complete exhaustion. Just climbing the stairs took every thing out of me [and I have been running at least 3 miles, four times a week] so stairs are a breeze for me.

Well, I did have the classic rash [although I was hoping that I would get Lyme's] and with the other symptoms, was started on an antibiotic. They drew blood and the lab confirmation will be back at the end of this week.

In the meantime, I made an appointment at a specialist that my sister Patti's, sister-in-law Anne recommend [she practices out of Columbia Presbyterian] as I really need to make sure this round is taken care of.

So I've had Lyme's disease 4 times and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever once.
[both Greta and Emma Sage have each had Lyme's once]

You would think I'd stay out of the woods or give up gardening......

I can't, as both bring me great joy, and what is life without the activities that bring you joy?

Monday, June 16, 2008


Katrina and Greta are away volunteering at Camp PALS this week. Katrina is a Head Counselor in charge of the Pink Flamingos.

This is Greta's first year volunteering and she has an awesome camper named Erin and they are on the Purple Penquins.

Here is a little clip that will introduce you to the history of this amazing group of young people who are change the world...........a year at a time.

and then you must check out the 2008 Camp PALS blog...........


Monday, June 09, 2008

Quiet time.....

When the green woods laugh with the voice of joy,
And the dimpling stream runs laughing by;
When the air does laugh with our merry wit,
And the green hill laughs with the noise of it;

When the meadows laugh with lively green,
And the grasshopper laughs in the merry scene;
When Mary and Susan and Emily
With their sweet round mouths sing 'Ha ha he!'

When the painted birds laugh in the shade,
Where our table with cherries and nuts is spread:
Come live, and be merry, and join with me,
To sing the sweet chorus of 'Ha ha he!'

~William Blake, from Songs of Innocence

Not for the faint of heart.....

I know this image is a bit 'gross' but it is ~ what it is.

Emma Sage has singles.....poor little thing.

She never complains, but it was starting to look funky [and I knew poison ivy does not act that way]so we went to the emergency care on Saturday and then to her primary doctor today [because the anti-viral medicine they gave her, it turns outm that she is allergic to it]

So, if anyone needs to get the 'Chicken Pox' naturally, give us a call and come visit. Those of you who have had the Chicken Pox naturally, don't need to worry, you can't catch Singles and you can't get the Chicken Pox again.

Remember I warned this picture is a bit gross.

I had first thought that the original patch was poison ivy, so we put a guaze over the ivy cream [and that is why you see tape marks on her skin]....because it is so painful and tender, we have not been able to scrub the tabe residue that looks pretty gross too.

It takes 4 to 5 weeks for her to heal and recover.....and I'm praying this is her only battle with singles in her lifetime.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Ya-Ya Sisterhood

"To have a loving relationship with a sister is not simply to have a buddy or a confident -- it is to have a soulmate for life."Victoria Secunda

Wednesday, June 04, 2008


Yesterday, was a very difficult day. The pain and sorrow of the loss of my own beloved Mother resurfaced at the passing of her sister Betty.

Emma Sage and I went to visit Nana at the graveyard [we do this often] and brought flowers to plant in Betty's memory and picutres to share with Nana......

Many people do not like graveyards, we on the other hand, find great peace and comfort in this one.

It is a perfect spot for my Mother to have been laid to rest as it is so peaceful and beautiful. You hear birds singing all the time and a few times a day you hear the laughter of children playing, as there is a nursery school [Happy Face Nursery School...where three of my children attended] at the church adjecent to the graveyard.

I took these there yesterday....

In these pictures, Betty [who looked so much like my Mother] is holding baby Gabriel, who was born just after my Mother passed [My dear Mother was so worried about that little boy making his way into our world] and it was such a blessing to have her with my sister and our families during this time. The other picture in the background is her hugging my brother Michael at my Mothers grave.

Little Miss Emma Sage praying....this child pray's often and always blesses herself when she passes a church.

This broke my heart, as Emma Sage stopped to cry.

and the view towards the back of my Mothers grave......just the most beautiful and perfect spot [and a mile up the road from our house so we can walk to visit often]

Mom, I miss you so very much.

Aunt Betty,,,,,my heart is so heavy at your passing but I know you are at peace and with my Mom.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam

May She Rest In Peace

May the road rise up
To meet you.
May the wind be always
At your back.
May the sun shine warm
Upon your face.
May the rain fall soft
Upon your field,
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

~Celtic blessing, author unknown

On Tuesday, June 3rd, surrounded by her family, my beloved Aunt Betty peacefully left her earthly bounds in Kilcondy, Crookstown, Ireland. She was 59, and my dear Mothers precious sister.

When my Mother passed away a year and a half ago, Betty was here for all of us. I feel so horrible that I can not be there, as my passport has yet to arrive.

But I do believe that my Mother was there for Betty and here is why.

On Tuesday morning just as I was leaving to take Otto to school the phone rang. I was my sister Patti telling me that Betty was not doing well [she had been diagnosed with lung cancer last winter] heart paused. I told Patti that I would call her back as soon as I got back.

Katrina and Emma Sage were still sleeping when we left.

After dropping Otto off, I ran a few errands and while driving realized that I had a deer tick embedded under my arm, up towards my arm pit. 'Darn it' I thought, 'I better not get Lymes disease again' and realized that I better tend to the bugger as soon as I got home.

When I arrived home, both Katrina and Emma Sage were still sleeping [have I ever mentioned that my children are great sleepers!]

I pick up the phone to see a message from Patti....I listen and start to cry.

I begin this whole news of my Aunt having lung cancer and a tumor in the exact same place as my Mother had has shaken me to the core.

I realize that that darn tick is still feasting away on my blood [and I refuse to get Lymes again!] I go to the bathroom to remove it [and calm myself down] before I call my sister back.

As I'm crying in the bathroom, putting peroxide and rubbing alcohol on the tick and bit and trying to figure out how to use the tweezers with my left hand and being able to grasp and remove the whole thing [as to not leave the head as that is not good] and Emma Sage walks into the bathroom. She goes to the potty and while looking at me in my tick removal process she realizes I am crying.

"Relax and breath" she says to me.

I try to calm my tears and tell her that I'm OK, I'm just upset at the tick.

She then looks at me and says

"It is OK Mommy, Nana is there"

Startled, I look at her [I've grasped the tick] and start dousing the area with rubbing alcohol and say....

"Where is Nana?"

Emma Sage continues........"She is with Betty"

I am completely taken back by her comment and go to give her a big hug.

I then go call my sister back to tell her what Emma Sage said and in the middle of our call she gets another call and puts me on hold.

After a bit, my sister gets back on and is crying deeply.....I know from those tears what she is about to tell me. Our beloved Aunt Betty had died about 15 minutes earlier

Uncle Sean had told Patti that at the very end she was talking to 'Philly' and 'Grandma Linehan'.......

and I belive they both were there, talking to her and easing her journey home.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam ~ May She Rest in Peace

The sisters, Paula, Philly and Betty

Going for a carriage ride....Betty and my Mom [Philly] are in the back right.

The Linehan clan

and this picture I cherish, as this IS the picture I had of my Aunt Betty and her family to visualize when my Mother would talk about her sister
you see, I never met my Aunt Betty till I was grown and a Mother myself. This picture was one of the few pictures my Mother had from Ireland and she would take it out and look at it and tell me stories about her growing up with Betty. Even though the miles kept these sisters apart, their hearts and souls were always connected.

and the gift my Emma Sage gave me yesterday morning by reassuring her crying Momma that everything was OK, that Nana was there, makes the hurt a little less I know that both my Mother and her sister are together.