Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Memorial at Leaming's Run

 A memorial for Bobbie happened this past weekend at Leaming's Run Garden in Cape May County, NJ. It was just the kind of weather my mom would have loved - cool, breezy, the rain held off just long enough.

The garden we chose for the ceremony was looking really beautiful. We posted excerpts from some of her writing around the garden for people to mill about and read before we gathered - a few that were stories that appeared here, as well as from the other pages of writing she left us. We compiled those snippets along with others and some of her toons into a booklet for people to keep. Essentially, she wrote her own memorial. Part of the ceremony also included positive news bits that have come through in the last couple months on some of my mom's causes over there in the sidebar.

I took this picture of a hummer just after things wrapped up in the garden.
There will soon be a memorial brick with Bobbie's name, dates, and a silhouette of a humming bird in the path at the entrance to Leaming's Run.

I think Bobbie would have loved to have seen Isaac running down the paths of one of her favorite spots.

Peace to you all, Kitty

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Article about Bobbie!

The Atlantic City Press has done a little article about my mom in a column called "A Life Lived."

You can find it here.

I'm not sure how long the link will be good, but likely longer than a week, which is always when the links to my freelance articles expire... This writer is an honest to goodness staffer, so let's hope it lasts a while.

The writer, Michelle Post, became interested in writing up Bobbie after reading her obituary which talked about her blog and her causes. It's always tough to tell a thousand stories and see it shrink to a sentence, but such is the business of newspaper and overall I think it's a nice tribute. I'm excited that there is one more bit for the legacy, one more validation of my mom. Boy, do I miss her.

Peace all. Kitty

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Memories and Memorials

Dear Bloggers,

Thank you all again and still for your comments and support with the passing of our mom. Memorial posts have so kindly been posted by Dianne, Lily, Daryl, Michelle (in addition to this link, Michelle has posted other dedications as well), Singing Bear, Sylvia, Paz, Harriet, Lisa, and Christine. If I've missed any, please let me know. The blog world has been a loving, dear one for me in these first treacherous weeks.

**I missed Gina's tribute previously. It's here.**

I don't have access to all the photos I'd like to right now, but this is what I've found and hastily scanned. A few shots of Bobbie in her younger days, with her older sister and brother, and the last with her niece. Enjoy.

We are planning a memorial service for September at Leaming's Run Gardens, one of her favorite spots.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bobbie & Isaac

I've been overwhelmed with the beautiful responses and memorial posts about my mom. Thanks to all. There is still so much to do and on so little sleep. I'd like to get some pictures scanned in that I don't think I've seen her post on here -- like as a young woman with her sister. But for now, here are a few pictures of Bobbie with Isaac from the last three years. Some you may have seen before. Kitty

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Dear Blogger Friends,

Our mom passed yesterday afternoon. She went peacefully with all four of her children around her.

As it turned out, the surgery, always a high-risk idea, was no longer a viable option. Mom asked for them to remove the balloon pump on her leg that was helping relieve the pressure on her heart. She went soon after that. We all had a chance to talk to her and love her before she could no longer communicate.

Our mom has always touched people. Growing up, all of my friends referred to her simply as “mom.” She adopted them into our lives readily and with ease and never let them go. Old friends and more recent friends of mine alike ask me about her every time we talk.

And you, her blog friends, meant the world to her. She mentioned you all to us often in conversations and emails. We were frequently directed to check out so-and-so's post today. You taught her things; you made her laugh; you valued her input. It was a whole new world to her that opened at the end of her life and added a dimension she was immensely grateful for, and so are we. Not only did all of you give her so much, she was able to give a

gain, too – not just to you, but to us – we learned a great deal about what mattered to her, some of it reminders, other things new discoveries about our mom. She got to matter at a time when her body was failing and so much was out of her control.

Friendship is something that I have been pondering in a serious way for some time now. I don't have any real answers, but part of what I'm learning is that friends, love and support come from where they are needed, when they are needed.

The ultimate example of the importance of who cares when it matters most would have to be mom's nurse in ICU, Maryanne. She was with mom only the last day - for maybe the last eight hours before she died. Maryanne had to have been one of the kindest, loveliest people I have ever met. She knew just what to do and say to comfort mom and us at each stage. What more could a soul ask for but to be escorted to the next dimension by such a loving, compassionate being?

We all know about the value of old friends, but there are new friends that arrive also, some of them suddenly and perhaps only for the briefest of seasons, like Maryanne. These friends are just as important in a life as the long haul relationships. Though most of you only knew mom a relatively short time and only over the internet, you were key players in her life. There are, as one musical has put it, Seasons of Love. You all came into the picture in the final act; and what power you wielded!

Our mom was passionate about many causes as you know and can see from her sidebar – so laden with links it takes forever to load the page and was the single impetus for my husband to install flash blocker on our computer! But truly, she cared. She cared about the world and all of you deeply.

When I asked her for the last time what she wanted me to post on her blog, she said,
“A picture of Isaac.” I will be adding a photo montage to this page (not just of Isaac, but of my mom) in the next few days, so you can look for that. And I will undoubtedly be writing about her on my own blog. I am already filling journal pages with thoughts.

Speaking for myself at least, I am so very happy for the personal notes addressed to each of us, the journals and all of her blog stories she left behind. My mom and I shared a love of writing and words that ran deeper than I had even realized.

As difficult as this loss is for all of us to grasp and accept and as difficult as it will remain for a long time, she was ready to go. She is finally where part of her has been looking forward to being for the last 34 years – with our father.

She is no longer Almost There. She has arrived.

With much affection and gratitude from the family,

Kitty, Bobbie's youngest daughter

Barbara Joan Petruccelli

March 16, 1932 – June 19, 2010

Friday, June 18, 2010

Small update

Kitty again. My mom has apparently changed her mind and is opting for the open heart surgery. She will likely be in surgery Saturday.

When she gave me administrative access to her blog, she seems to have left out the comment moderation privileges. I can't release the comments on these posts, at least until I get my hands on her very own computer. Until then, thank you for any good thoughts.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

In the Hospital

Hello. This is Kitty, Bobbie's daughter, writing. We thought we'd let you know that my mom is in the hospital. She suffered a major heart attack on Monday. To our great surprise and delight, early Wednesday afternoon, she was off the ventilator and talking and joking with us and the hospital staff. She has declined open heart surgery and things are obviously still very serious.

She says, “See you when I get back.”

Monday, June 14, 2010

Early Morning Train of Thought

In the quiet of the morning, when I first awake - That is the time when I write down whatever pops into my head. At other times of the day, I may decide there is a subject I'd like to address, and I may schedule a post for another day. But it is in the early hours when I let my mind wander like this, and do not really know where it might go.

There is no title on the post. I haven't yet discovered what it will be about. Oh yes. I guess it will be about me, since my thoughts are turning back in time.

For the first twenty-three years or so of my life I lived in a quiet suburb of Philadelphia. "The Big City" was the Philadelphia of the forties, and even that was not really a part of my life until I had reached my twenties. It wasn't exactly "Mayberry", but not all that far from it either. I dreamed of traveling to distant places, but they were very romantic, unrealistic and unsophisticated dreams. My thinking was still pretty much governed by my own very little world, and influenced mainly by my mother and our immediate circumstances. I was still seeing the people in my life through the eyes of a child. I had not yet questioned them, nor myself. Nor my friends or neighbors or teachers, or the government. I think I was still following my mother's method of getting through life by not looking too closely, pretending that all was right with my world and we would all live happily ever after.

I think it was 1956 when I became restless enough that, when a friend from high school called to ask if I'd like to move to New York with her, without even thinking twice I agreed to go. I suddenly felt free, and wasn't even sure what I was freeing myself from, or why. Life changed.

In New York, I came alive. Things were happening around me. People seemed to have purpose and ideas that were new to me, and my own mind shifted into higher gear. I was delighted to learn so much more about my own abilities and to develop so many more interests.

And I met a man whom I recognized very quickly to be the one who would become the center of my life. There was no question. We would spend the rest of our lives together. Anything else would be unimaginable. I was home. We were married about a year later, and did, indeed, live happily ever after. - It was really only for eighteen years after, until his death, but it was my lifetime.

A couple of years beyond that lifetime, I moved to South Jersey with three of my children, to be closer to my sister and my mother. It seemed the thing to do. My husband and I had talked about this move for a long time. Just never seemed to go ahead with the plan. Life in New Jersey was very different than fast-paced New York. It was more relaxed. I was still in a sort of zombie-like state as a widow. My son was unhappy for a while, feeling he had been torn from his friends and the life he had known - although in truth, his friends had also left the home town to start their adult lives. My daughters thrived. We soon adjusted and slipped into the slower, easier way of life.

I like it here. I guess that's obvious, since I've stayed for thirty-two years now. It has to be obvious, even to me. But there are many things I dislike. There is the way-too-lay-back attitude of a large part of the population. The signs on the shop doors in the mall tell you that their hours are 10: to whatever. But If you arrive at 10:, they may or may not be open yet. When they straggle in they will tell you, "Oh, I didn't make it that early today. Something came up." If you call a contractor, he may - or may not - show up that day. "Well, the fishing was good." There are still an amazing number of locals who work all summer when the tourists are here, and then go on Workmens' Comp all winter. Between farming and fishing, it is only in very recent years that most of the kids do graduate from high school. Attitudes are changing. But slowly.

No, I don't like that attitude - especially when it extends to more important areas. Is it my imagination, or do doctors here not follow up on things as they do in New York or Pennsylvania? Is law enforcement just a little more lackadaisical? Well, that may or may not be so. (Pause here to look up that "l" word in the dictionary. That's what it says. A word I haven't used in a long, long time.)

But I like the quiet and slower pace, and the beauty around me. New development taking away so much farmland and forest makes me sad, but there is still much left. My mother and sister and many friends are gone now, but my own life is winding down and I find I have memories enough to get by on. My computer allows me to "travel" wherever I wish and to stay in contact with the rest of the world.

It's almost breakfast time. I should call a halt to this, find a title to fit if it's worth naming, and explore what my kitchen has to offer today. I may or may not decide to publish this. Not really very interesting. Oh well. Nothing else has presented itself. I always reassure myself with the thought that readers can always just hit "delete".

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday

Tracy, of Hey Harriet, is once again hosting Shadow Shot Sunday for us, and has many wonderful and fun shadows to show us. Follow the link to find them for yourself.

My shadows today are from my garden. Not too many flowers blooming yet, but these are a few of the early ones.

First, the day lilies are starting to open.

I do love Queen Anne's lace, and last fall I threw some dried flower heads into my garden.
It would seem that I had to get myself into the picture too.

And even the hanging basket had some pretty shadows.

Friday, June 11, 2010

BP Bailout?

Can it be true that Republican leader, John Boehner is really suggesting that U.S. taxpayers help bailout BP Oil, to pay for the clean-up? That is what I am told.

If this is true, it is about the most outrageous thing I have ever heard. I understand that a petition is circulating on Face Book and Twitter, against such an idea. Who can tell me if this is true? To me, it is simply beyond belief.

I have not found anything about it on Fact Check or PolitiFact.

Nebula in My Garden

That is what it makes me think of.

Nature repeats itself in many forms. When I look at Queen Anne's lace, I see outer space. When I look to the sky, I see flowers.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Another Point of View

In recent weeks I have heard many views expressed as to possible fates to which those in charge of things at the infamous BP might be consigned. I believe I have expressed a few myself. But on June 9th, my youngest daughter came up with a really interesting one. In her blog post entitled Spiders and the Spill, she has said, "I think all the BP officials should be sentenced to a life of gardening." Yep. Gardening. It has something to do with her questioning the seemingly prevalent belief that humans are for some reason far more important than anything else living on our earth.

Give it a read. You might like it.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


On a rainy day, I decided to share a little sunshine.

My cousin Esther, in Ohio, sent me this lovely photo she took in her garden. She has orange butterfly plants, which came to her as a gift a couple of years ago. This beautiful fritillary butterfly paid her a visit, and she was taken with its match to the flowers. - As always, you can click to enlarge the picture.

I asked her if I might share it with you. Here is a closer look at the butterfly.

I have always admired butterfly plant, and this year I ordered some myself, along with a few other plants. Sadly, the nursery did not include it with my order, but substituted something else. I'll have to try again.

For this year, I will have to wait until my three year old butterfly bush comes into bloom. It's flowers are lavender. For orange color, this year I will rely on the daylilies and my nasturtiums, which are just starting to bloom now.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

All Things Are Possible

As I type this, I am watching a PBS program on the Schuylkill River. I did not know its history, although I do recall growing up knowing that this river with the odd name was dirty.

Tonight I am learning that at one time this river actually ran black. During the Industrial Revolution, it was polluted with human waste, debris and chemicals of all sorts. It was not until the Clean Water Act of 1972 that it began to turn around. It is difficult to understand how it was even possible that today it has returned to a state in which fish swim freely and that it is now the source for drinking water for more than a million people in Philadelphia.

My point is simply that all things ARE possible. As we view the horrendous mess in the waters to the south of us, which have made us all feel so frustrated and angry, and despairing that it will ever return to something near normal, we have to know that with determination and hard work and united effort, we CAN restore it.

I have been really feeling down about this. Tonight's program has lifted my spirits somewhat.

TV Survey

Had an interesting telephone call a few days ago. It came from one of the major networks in New York, asking for my opinion on current events. Normally, I don't reply to such calls or forms in the mail. I would much rather the "news" programs just give us the facts and let us draw our own conclusions, rather than telling us what percent of their viewers feel this way or that. But I was curious as to what particular subject this involved.

The young woman first asked me questions about the oil spill. I was willing enough to give my opinion on that topic. I did find her particular questions less than challenging or even especially interesting. She wanted to know if I thought BP was doing all it could to stop the leak, and if the President was doing all he could to make them get it under control. And would I buy gasoline from BP, and if not, why not?

She soon abandoned BP, and started asking me about other topics. Now I was sorry I'd started with the whole thing. She touched on many subjects I cared absolutely nothing about. She wasn't too happy with many of my replies, since I told her several times that it was too trivial or absurd for me to even have an opinion. I resorted a few times to, "Who cares?" She asked if, under any circumstances, I would consider allowing a TV crew to enter my home and film a sort of "reality show". I answered that one by saying I never watch "reality shows" because they never have any resemblance to reality, so no, of course not.

When I questioned what possible interest some of her questions could have to any viewers, she told me simply it wasn't information for news programs alone, but for several other types of shows. And then she wanted to know, if I were to break a law, which law would I choose to break? She listed five or six for me, like speeding, or public intoxication. That was one I chose not to answer. It was just too preposterous. Nor did I tell her the amount of my income; and when she asked my race, I told her it was "Human". She sighed, and said OK, she'd type that in.

So, ladies and gentlemen, if your telephone rings some evening soon, and your Caller ID tells you it is a TV network calling, be forewarned. If you answer and agree to a survey, it will waste a whole lot of your time, and you may find yourself answering a long list of inane questions.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Thinking Green

Thinking Green is hosted by Michelle, at Random Woods - the Road Less Traveled. She's looking for good news these days. If you've heard some really good news concerning our world and ways we can help to keep it green, why not share them with us. Make us all feel a little better despite things like the infamous oil spill.

The good news I've heard recently is that the State of California has a bill which has
already passed their State Assembly by 41-27 on June 3rd. The governor is all set to sign it. All that remains is for the State Senate to pass the bill, and it looks as if they will. This bill will eliminate all single use plastic bags. This is super good news. It isn't just old plastic bags ending up in our landfills. They have become a very serious problem when whales and many other forms of wild life swallow them and die as a result. As you can imagine, California is particularly concerned with this, being a coastal state.

Individual cities have passed such laws in the past, but this is the first statewide bill. Wouldn't it be great if we could see every state pass such a law?

Photo from MBA Sea Notes blog.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

What Is So Rare....

" a day in June. Then, if ever, come perfect days."

Unless of course there is a horrible, destructive great cloud of oil moving through our waters - And a major heat wave making our lives miserable - And of course we mustn't forget the wars still being fought - somewhere - over there - for whatever insane reasons.

Could Mr. Lowell ever in his wildest imagination have conjured up June 2010 when he wrote about "...the high tide of the year - And whatever of life hath ebbed away comes flooding back..."?

Still - it is a beautiful poem. And it makes me recall a time when a June day made me feel that life was, indeed, perfect. Was I ever that young?

Shadow Shot Sunday

Shadow Shots are fun! Why not join us. Go to see Tracy at Hey Harriet to read about it.

I love trees. This one is definitely one of my favorites, and every once in a while I just have to stop and take its picture.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Thinking Green

Michelle is thinking green again. Please go to Rambling Woods - The Road Less Traveled and see what she has to say this week. And please join us with a post or photo on this beautiful, green world of ours.

I am so longing for my garden flowers to start blooming this year. It's barely begun. Summer time in our part of the world is like heaven to me, with its flowers, butterflies and birds. But it hasn't really got a good start yet here.My youngest daughter lives in California, where flowers bloom all year 'round. For today's post I just want to dream about such a place. Here are some photos she has taken of her own garden - some from last year, some from this. Enjoy!

She grows beautiful vegetables too!