My mother has been home from the hospital for a while by now. She has lots of trouble with pain but she’s been keeping up with her therapy & doctor appointments. Because we couldn’t have an eightieth birthday party for her on her birthday we had one for her this past Saturday night, combined with a St. Patrick’s Day party. Mary Anne & Steve were here with Michael & Erin, Sam & Bridget. They brought the dog. Uncle Frankie & Fran showed up. Aunt Lauren, Uncle Jim & Elaine were also here. All went well but as always it was entirely too fattening. Alas Michael & I never got our traditional cigars. He bought some fancy beer instead. He gave me a Dell laptop computer that they no longer need at work. I met Robert F. Kennedy at his last St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The morning of the party I went to my monthly lay Carmelite meeting at the Little Flower Manor on South Meade Street in Wilkes~Barre. The papal conclave that started on March 12 was filled with suspense but all worked out so exceptionally well. The cardinals only took a fairly short time to elect Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio, from Argentina, as Pope Francis I. He’s the first South American pope, though his parents were both from Italy. He’s also the first Jesuit & the first one named Francis. Eight years ago, when Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger was elected as Pope Benedict XVI, Bergoglio was in second place. Spring is only two days away but unfortunately we still have snow. I went to Frank Gubbiotti’s Auto Lodge in Plains this morning to get an oil change & my annual inspection. I don’t usually get to keep in touch with my New York cousins but I called up Gary on his birthday, February 27. It was nice being able to talk to him for a while.