Posted in Uncategorized

Fare Thee Well, Tony Manning


It’s common for couples have a “song” they share together, something that signifies their feelings for each other. In my lifetime, there has been just one song with one guy and that was this song, with Tony Manning

I met Tony over a half a lifetime ago when we were both barely turned young adults, trying to discover our way in the world. At first sight of Tony’s calm blue eyes, his luminescant smile dappered with mischevious dimples, his make-a-girl-jealous shoulder length hair, and hearing his velvety voice, it was hard not to instantly like him. I was having some troubling times in my life that Tony and I spent many a late night talking on the phone conversations that always made me feel better. He was a good listener and very sympathetic with a kind heart to match.

Though our relationship was short lived, I fell fluttering butterfly in the stomach hard and cared very deeply for him. He was the first guy that the word “love” ever came to mind and though he broke my heart by getting back together with his ex-girlfriend, I never held any ill will towards him and wanted him to be happy. After we broke up, I vowed to never have a “song” with another again, for fear it would be tainted with bittersweet memories of what once was.

I hadn’t seen Tony since before I moved to the Adirondacks about 25 years ago and we both went our separate ways and lived our separate lives. Even if we never talked, he often crossed my mind as I would wonder how he was, if Life was treating him well, if he was happy. Often when I would think of him, those butterflies would retern and remind me how I felt for him.

Tony passed away on October 8th, and it’s only befitting that his heart gave out, being that he shared so much of it during his short 44 years here on Earth. Reading all of the heartfelt condolances and tributes on his Facebook page and his online obituary guestbook, it is clear just how much people loved Tony.

I shall miss Tony’s quirky Facebook posts and quick witted humor. I’ll miss teasing him about being Red Sox fan, being that I am a Yankees fan. Secretly, I hope the Red Sox make it to the world series this year because I know that would have made Tony ecstatic. The day after Tony passed away, the Red Sox stomped the Yankees 14-1 and clinched their playoff spot by beating them again the next night I’ll miss hearing Tony play drums, which he did so well. Most of all, I will miss his bright smile that could light up a room, and the kind heart behind that bright smile.

Tomorrow is the day that Tony’s friends and family will gather to say there final good-byes. Though I cannot be there in person, I shall be there in spirit, joining everyone in their grief of having to let go of such an awesome human. To Tony’s family, my deepest condolances to you, and to his friends and especially our mutual friends, I share your grief. If any of you happen to read this, please feel free to comment your favorite memories of Tony so that we may smile on such a somber day. Much love to you all.

Fare thee well, Tony Manning…whenever I listen to “I’ll Never Let You Go”, I will always be reminded of the special place that I hold in my heart with your name on it, and I shall smile, as I reminisce about the first guy I ever loved.




Posted in Editorials

Be the Voice: Part 2

Back in July, I wrote about being a voice for children who are being abused. An incident had happened that I couldn’t be so specific about but now that the case is closed, I’m letting loose about what happened.

For your information, this report, our records, and any information that we received during the family assessment response is confidential and legally sealed. Information in the record can only be made available to a social services district investigating any future report of child abuse or maltreatment involving your family; if the information is relevant, it may be included in the record for that report. The records for the report that was just closed will be kept on file for ten (10) years from the date of the report, as required by law.

That was in the notice that I got from Child “Protective” Services in regards to an incident on July 4th that involved my 15 year old son being closed fisted punched in the face by his textbook psychotic stepmother (I’ll get to that later!) after an argument that he didn’t want to go somewhere with her. You read that right-she PUNCHED him, causing his lip to split and bleed and he also sustained bruises around his neck from her choking him!


Unfortunately, the authorities were not called that day and this incident was not brought to my attention until the next week. I called the authorities and CPS as soon as I found out and was sent this picture! The wound had healed up a bit by then when the worker finally got out to see him and talk to his family members that he stayed with for the summer with after this incident happened. This picture was given to the workers for the case. They were made aware of the history of abuse that the stepmother is known for; for instance, she was arrested a few years ago for beating up my younger son! I wrote to the Child Abuse Registry for a copy of that report and I had planned to do the same this time.

When I say that the stepmother is textbook psychotic, I am not stretching the truth. The chapter in my psychology book on psycopaths and sociopaths described her to a TEE! The constant deceit and lying, the brainwashing of my boys telling them I don’t love them or want to see them, the narcissism, the angry outbursts, (she picked a fight with me when I was pregnant and shoved me around and didn’t care!) the physical and emotional abuse of my son being alienated from the rest of his family (I finally got to see him for the first time in three years this summer because of all of this!) the delusions she has come up with and tried to pass off to others (she told people how hard her labor was with MY son and how much her c-section hurt to have him!) The list goes on and on!

My son told me that this incident happened because she wanted him to go somewhere and he didn’t want to go and when she tried to force him to he informed her that she has no jurisdiction over him and that she is not his mom and she proceeded to punch him and choke him!

When the state troopers went to their house to investigate, they were lied to and told that my son attacked his stepmother. Regardless if he had or not, he is 15 and you don’t punch a child like that! The lies were believed and my son was thrown under the bus, by his own father, the person that is supposed to be protecting him.  I’m sure CPS got two different stories between what myself and his other family reported to them, and what they were told by the father and step-mother.

CPS offered the Family Assessment Response (FAR) to the stepmother, the subject of the case. Here’s what CPS claims this new procedure is for:

Family Assessment Response (FAR) is New York State’s alternative Child Protective response to some reports of child maltreatment. FAR does not require an investigation and determination of allegations and individual culpability for families reported to the SCR. It is an alternative approach to providing protection to children by engaging families in an assessment of child safety and of family needs, in finding solutions to family problems and in identifying informal and formal supports to meet their needs and increase their ability to care for their children.

In other words, no repercussions for her actions because there was no arrest or or determination that she was guilty of anything. She literally got away with this abuse. It’s not even the first time that CPS has been called because of her abuse. Yet the Child “Protective” Services are protecting the perpetrator and failing my son! In her head, she must be gloating “Look what I got away with!” which could possibly lead to further, more dangerous abuse, not only to my son but her own two children, especially since there is a HISTORY of abuse! I don’t think this program should apply to anyone that has had previous allegations.

The letter that I got also read:

In the future, if someone who is authorized to ask the SCR whether you have been indicated for child abuse or maltreatment makes an inquiry, they will be told there is no report for you, unless a report other than this one was investigated and indicated.

The step-mother plans to get a CNA license and be working with vulnerable people. In order to get a CNA license, you have to not be in the child abuse registry. Because of this FAR, this incident will not show up to any future employment opportunities for her and they will not know of her history of abuse, which could endanger patients!

It does not seem that CPS has done their job at all, in fact, they let the abuser get off scott free and meanwhile, children are still at risk around her. CPS has literally helped to sweep abuse under the rug. Let that sink in for a moment…

FAR records are also available to anyone who was the subject of the report to the SCR. A subject is a person who is named in the report as responsible for suspected abuse or maltreatment of a child. You were not a subject of this report

This means that the perpetrator can write to the registry and get a copy of the report, but I, being the parent, cannot, to be able to have it for my records for further court proceedings!

I am not sure where to go from here. A friend suggested that I write to the Commissioner of the Albany office, which seems like what my next course of action will be. I tried to be the voice for someone vulnerable, and my voice was hushed. I shall keep making my voice be heard, so that this FAR program gets extinguished. CPS is there to protect children and part of doing that job, is to do investigating. This program lets them off the hook and does nothing to help the victim, as far as I’m concerned! Our system is broken, and needs some serious repair, because I am SURE that my son is not the only one that has been let down!

Posted in nature

More Monarch Mania!



Woke up to a beautiful sunrise. I feel as though my dear friend AJwas greeting me on this- his 1st angelversary. Another friend gone too soon and he is sorely missed. He always told me that I inspire him with my photogtaphy and I know he would have loved following our monarch adventure. AJ had a heart as big as he was and he was truly one of my favorite humans in this world.

Woke up to a beautiful sunrise this morning, waiting for monarch #6 to hatch. I am ecstatic that I got it on video! This video is on the longer side, but I hope you enjoy. It was kinda quiet, not having my sidekick causing shenanigams in the background but I hope you enjoy it nonetheless. Have a great day all!



Posted in nature

Saturday Morning Shenanigans

Our work and dedication to our monarch caterpillars has finally paid off! We woke up to 4 butterflies already hatched, and were blessed to watch some of #5 hatch.

We put the first 2, both males- out on a goldenrod. As I was putting #3 outside, (the one I picked up in the video) also a male, the 1st 2 flew off. Be still my heart as tears of pride and joy sprang to my eyes as I watched them fly away.

Here’s our educational video we took this morning- sprinkled with some nonsense and shenanigans, courtesy of Aurora. Hope you enjoy and have a great day, my dear fellow bloggers!


Posted in nature

Chrysalis Mania!

Top of the morning folks! I have not been very loquacious on my blog lately. I haven’t had much to say, in which case, I’d rather say nothing just spew garbage words just to write.

Aurora and I have been preoccupied with taking care of about 20 monarchs that we have collected in the past 10 days and now have 7 chrysalides, with one forming as I write this! This has been such an exciting experience for Aurora and me to witness and this is something I wish to do every year from here on out! To witness a chrysalis forming, is to witness something magical and bigger than ourselves. Our experience this year will help us better to save monarchs next year!