Keekee got a glowing report at the vet and happy Halloween

Greetings, readers. This is something I have not done before. I am dictating the blog today, Thursday, to have it ready to review and publish tomorrow, Friday. I’m doing this because I need tomorrow to be a big creation day. So let’s just pretend it is Friday.

As you read this second paragraph, Keekee will have been home a whole day and hopefully will not be mad at Daddy anymore. I had a hell of a time getting her into her pet carrying case. I only use it to take her to the vet, so she knows what is going on. Yesterday was her semi-annual senior wellness check. How lovely. I understand that keeping Keekee healthy is a priority, but twice a year for 80 plus dollars? And more if there is to be blood work done. Well, if it means keeping Keekee healthy until she is 15 or so, my accountant will just have to live with it, because she is extremely high on my priorities list.

After Rebecca and I review and edit this, I’m going to begin dictating a new story for camp book 3. That project is going slower than I want it to, but it is going. My other project, The Parlor’s Secret, is not only not off the runway, it hasn’t even left the gate yet. What I need to do for that project is put on some music without words and dive into it, typing the first draft myself. I need to see the events of the story as if I were watching a movie. After a good chunk of it is completed, I will hand it over to Rebecca for editing.

Very soon now I have to leave, calling the work day early, because I have to get ready for Keekee’s appointment. [As the title says, Keekee got a glowing report and, besides one bad tooth, she is perfectly healthy. Vitals are perfect, coat and skin are healthy, and her eyes are clear and beautiful.]

So have a happy Halloween, a great weekend, stay warm if it is cold, take care and happy reading.

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I’m on a budget now

Greetings, readers. After three or four months of continuously spending too much money, I’ve decided to make a budget on paper and try to stick to it. I need it on paper because that can be copied onto a computer document; I’ll be able to see it and work with it. For me it is always better when I can see something and adjust it as needed.

My accountant has not been happy with me because I’ve been spending way too much money. So this morning, before our weekly meeting, I jotted down a preliminary budget that I am going to try in November. Expenditures include groceries, Zipcar rentals, medications, and trips to eat out. The first area I can work on is to cut down going to places like Panera and Denny’s. That will be difficult, for I love to get my morning coffee and blueberry muffin while I have my computer time, usually at Panera. If my spending situation does not improve, I will probably be forced to make coffee at home and find something breakfast-like to munch on. Instant oatmeal comes to mind as a good choice. I had it every morning during my school years.

Downtown State College does not have a grocery store per se, but one of our drug stores close to me does have several food aisles. I’m going to compare prices with the other place I go to, which is right next door to me.

I’ve never been good at saving money. I’m not a big impulse spender by any means, but every once in a great while if I see something I just have to have it. Now that I am on my new budget, that is the first thing that will definitely be cut out. Impulse spending is a no-no.

Three of my biggest expenditures will be for Keekee, unfortunately. I have cat food to buy, cat litter, and of course her treats. Also there are her vet bills, like the upcoming check-up, but those are handled by the accountant. Keekee is my baby girl, and I’m not going to scimp on her.

Briefly on another topic. Apartment cleaning is going well. Slow, but well. I’ve made definite strides in the living room and bedroom; I do think Rebecca is proud of me. I have set a lofty but obtainable goal for myself. I am planning to have my accountant and his wife over for coffee or tea near Christmas time. I have that long to get the place in white glove inspection order. My accountant doesn’t believe I can do it. That is all the incentive I need. Haha.

Until Friday, take care, have a good few days, and as always, happy reading.

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Top ten list of places I want to visit or revisit

Greetings, readers. Something this morning made me think about all the places I’ve been and all the places I still wish to see before I die. I thought to myself, wow, there is a top ten list to work on today. Probably only the top three will be in order. So, without further ado, here we go.

#10. Walnut Grove, Minnesota. I would love to see the town made famous on Little House on the Prairie and visit the Laura Ingalls Wilder museum.

#9. Take a trip to Holland to visit the relatives.

#8. Catalina Island, California. I was there with my ex-wife Georgia once and it was beautiful.

#7. Los Angeles, California. Georgia and I did the tourist attraction bus tours. That was such fun. I would love to do it again.

#6. Wilmington, North Carolina. My friend David’s daughter is going to college there and she just loves it. It is about ten minutes away from the beach. If all goes well, I will see Wilmington at Emily’s graduation.

#5. Gottlieben, Switzerland and the Drakensberg castle, which I remember as a hotel. Gottlieben is a little town, and I do mean little, on the Rhine river. Back in the day, you could take boat rides to various points along the river.

#4. London, England. I would love to hop aboard a British Airways 747, fly to Heathrow airport, get on a double-decker tour bus and see the sights of London, including Big Ben and 65 Eaton Place.

#3. I would dearly love to cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas. Georgia and I had a wonderful ten-day cruise and it was one of the highlights of my life.

#2. While we are on the topic of cruising, two more ships come to mind. Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 (my parents and I traveled on Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth 2 when I was a child. I was too young to realize what a wonderful experience it was.) Also I would love to go aboard the Princess cruise line’s Pacific Princess, aka the Love Boat.

#1. To continue to go to Bear Spring Camps in Maine for as many years as I can. It is my favorite place in the world.

There you have it; an easy peasey top ten list for a Friday. Take care, have a great weekend, and happy reading.

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Fish or cut bait

Greetings, readers. As the title implies, very soon it will be time to make up my mind whether to continue my writing ‘career’, or cut bait and move on to something else; like a real job. I’ve loved writing since my mid-20s, but lots of failed projects and the lack of book sales have got me down.

So far I have three small books and one play under my belt. Not a whole lot for someone who will turn 50 next July. I think about my pop a lot with his thirty scholarly books, uncounted essays, teaching notes for classes, and overseas lectures. Should I compete with my dad? Nope. Do I sometimes? Oh yeah.

What job could I do? I think about that a lot. My body won’t allow me to do work that requires strength or balance. My dream job, being an airline pilot, was taken from me when my seizures began at age 16. Now that I’m fully medicated I might be able to drive a cab, but I’d probably get lost around town. Lol. There’s a toy store in the next block over from my apartment. Perfect….. I think. Maybe I’ll apply. Can you sense my uncertainty?

Anyway, as far as the here and now, we’ll keep blogging and writing stories for camp book 3. Fear not. I’m not depressed. We’re just stuck in the mud in 1st gear again. Grr.

Until Friday, take care, have a great day and happy reading.

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Inspection time is around the corner

Greetings, readers. Yes, my world was thrown into a junior blind panic today as the notice of inspection was handed out. This does happen every year, but I always go into a tizzy. I’m a naturally messy homemaker, and my body won’t allow long cleaning sessions at one time. I am writing and editing today without Rebecca. She’s been under the weather the last two days. I’m sure she’ll be back next Wednesday, and it will be good to have her. My editing skills are not quite up to hers. After my work day today, room cleaning begins. I am tired of living like a slob; a real life Oscar Madison. All I have to do is put my mind to it, and once the place is clean, I can keep it that way. My dear friend, Uncle Cy Greco, once said, “A place for everything and everything in its place.” Right now I could say, “A typhoon hit my apartment and nothing is in its place.” Well, I’ll conclude this short blog entry today by asking you all to throw good thoughts Rebecca’s way to feel better and for my back to allow me to clean up my place without spasms. Until next week, take care, have a great weekend and happy reading.

Update: I passed the inspection!

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Revolving doors for head coach and president at Penn State University

Greetings, readers. Lately I have had trouble remembering the name of the head coach of the Pennsylvania State University’s Nittany Lions football team. I also have trouble remembering the name of Penn State’s current president. I know now after during research, but this brings up the changes I’ve seen at Penn State.

It used to be that the university had a president who was in that position for a number of years. Now we have had a few since Graham Spanier left, and I have lost track. For the record, the current president is Eric J. Barron.

I grew up with Joe Paterno as the head coach of the Nittany Lions. I thought he would literally die on the field. I never dreamt the Paterno era would end, certainly not the way it did. After he left, the position turned into a revolving door. First the interim head coach Tom Bradley, then Bill O’Brien for two years, and now James Franklin. It is his first year and we don’t know how Coach Franklin is going to do yet. Time will tell. Many just want JoePa back, and that is impossible. The only way to go is forward. Go Lions!

It is strange to have to look up the names and faces of these folks. If they stay in these jobs for more than two years, I will learn who they are, but that has become a rare thing. Perhaps this is a sign of the times, where college and pro coaches no longer have long tenures. I agree that if a coach loses touch with his players, it is time to go. But for someone to use the position as a stepping stone for a better job, is not what I call cool.

Until Friday, have a good day, take care, and happy reading.

P.S. Stay inside if you are in the torrential rain. I was out in it this morning. Yuck!

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Catching up with school friends

Greetings, readers. Although I will never consider myself old, I had a strange incident happen yesterday. I was communicating on Facebook with a friend of mine who I always visualize as that teen-age kid I went to school with. When she was telling me about her poor health, I remembered, oh, yes, she is almost 50 years old, just like I am. We aren’t those young kids anymore.

My knees creak, my neck hurts, and sometimes I can’t get to sleep for love nor money. And as far as running, heck some days I can barely jog across the street. Yes, even though I consider myself young at heart, I am a middle-aged person. I must remember this.

Facebook gives me an opportunity to keep in touch with many of my friends from school. It’s so strange that I always think of them, no matter who they are, as the kids I used to know. I think that is because we don’t go out and party together, I don’t go to the school reunions, we just don’t hang out. So those visions from the past are all I have.  I wouldn’t trade the memories of those early years for all the world.

It’s funny. When I was in junior high and high school, I didn’t think I had many friends. Now I can go through the yearbook, looking at all the pictures, and I smile knowing that I had many more friends than I thought. Up to this point I really have had a good life.

This brings me to an idea. Maybe sometime this spring or early summer, after the snow melts, I am going to see if a group of my school friends would like to meet somewhere and hang out for an afternoon or evening. Perhaps we can book a hall or a hotel’s dining room. That would be cool. As a lot of you know, I dwell in the past. I think it would be a good thing for me to see my friends, swap stories, and get re-acquainted.

Switching gears, over the last few days, I’ve had some time to think about my recent obsession with simulation games and “playing” in general. My mom, the psychologist, probably would have told me that I am trying to go back to my childhood where life was perfect, my problems were taken care of for me, my friend David was there to play with, and TV shows and sports were there to be enjoyed. That’s my opinion. This Monday, I will see what my therapist will say.

Until next Wednesday, have a great weekend, take care, and happy reading.

P.S. I am very happy to see the recent upsurge in the viewing of my performance pictures and my book page.

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R.I.P. to a faithful friend

Greetings, readers. I got some very sad news this past Sunday morning in a text from my ex-wife Georgia. Our beloved pup Sassy, a cocker-spaniel and shih tzu mix that we commonly referred to as our four-legged daughter, passed away at age 10. The news hit me very hard. When I posted a mini R.I.P. on my Facebook page, I actually cried. Although I only knew her the first few years of her life, she took to me right away and in many ways became a daddy’s girl. When she needed to go for a walk, who did she come to and sit in front of? That’s right, me.

I feel bad missing out on most of her life, but things happened and Georgia and my paths had to part. From time to time I would contact Georgia and I would always ask how Sassy was. She and Ted also recently lost another four-legged friend, Cooper. So my heart definitely goes out to them; too many losses too quickly.

I know that when my kitty-cat Keekee goes to that big scratching post in the sky, I will be devastated. I know exactly how Georgia feels. I was the one who had to tell our vet to put my parents’ dogs to sleep due to cancer. Believe me readers, losing a pet is like losing a part of the family. In many ways they really are like little kids.

“Sassy, you were a good girl and daddy will always love you.”

 

Sassy, a cocker-spaniel and shih tzu mix, at age three or four.

Sassy, a cocker-spaniel and shih tzu mix, at age three or four.

 

Until Friday, have a good couple of days, take care, and happy reading.

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What’s going on with me today, 10/3/14

Greetings, readers. It is a dreary Friday afternoon here in State College, Pennsylvania. Already the temperature is getting cold and the wind seems to be coming from the North. I’ve heard from at least two people already that this winter is going to be a brutal one. That news does not make me happy.

As you know, I am a spring and summer person so I naturally dislike the winter. But after being told of extremely cold temperatures with lots of snow and ice, I can see myself just staying in my apartment or the community room much more than usual from about November until April. Not a happy prospect.

The one good thing that might come out of it, with fewer trips to Panera Cafe I will be saving some money. That wouldn’t be a bad thing. With my new morning routine, I’m over to Panera around 7:15, have a blueberry muffin or some other delicious pastry, and of course have my share of coffee. When I look at the bill – $4 and change – it doesn’t seem like much until I realize that I do it 7 days a week.

Something I have failed to mention. I have recently got back my disks from Netflix. And even though money is going to be a wee bit tight, I have decided not to cancel it. I truly enjoy having all of Netflix’s library to choose from. This leads in to my big problem. One which I have already discussed with my psychologist. The problem is this:

I am a Train Simulator hobbyist, and Flight Simulator hobbyist, and as of just yesterday, a Truck Simulator hobbyist. Add that to my occasional gaming and movie watching, and I am deathly afraid that I am giving up on my writing career. I have plenty of time alone to be creative, to do something work related, and so far since camp we have several blogs to show and only one new short story for camp book 3. I was hoping for at least two more by now. The fact that I had a sinus infection for a week didn’t help matters. I do have a sneaking suspicion that when the weather turns yucky I will stay inside more, make coffee at home, and make use of the brand new internet connection provided downstairs by the management of my apartment. Rebecca is likely to come in one day and be swamped with work. Time will tell.

Lastly, for next week, as far as I can tell it is going to be a normal work week, with two blog entries and time for creation. I do have many doctor’s appointments in the next couple of months, but I have tried to schedule them around our work days. Please, readers, if you would, throw good thoughts my way for extra creativity. This new book is going to need it.

Until Wednesday, enjoy your weekend, take care, and happy reading.

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My brain fart from last night

Greetings, readers. Last night something happened to me which has only happened once before. I went to a place of business without my wallet. Here’s how it happened.

On my mother’s credenza, sits a wooden duck. It’s sort of a bowl for storing things. I use it specifically to put my wallet and keys in; that way I know exactly where they are at all times. Last night my keys were on the dining room table. So after putting on my hoodie and loading my pockets with cell phone, keys and bus tokens, I thought, okay, I have everything, let’s go. After getting on the bus at the downtown stop, I plopped my bus token into the payment slot and took my seat. Off I went on the forty minute ride.

When I got to Denny’s restaurant, my friend Jim had not arrived yet. I meet him there every week to catch up on the week’s happenings. I ordered a Coke with light amount of ice, looked at the menu, and then ordered. My food arrived while I was waiting for Jim. I emptied my hoodie pockets to be more comfortable and to my horror, my wallet was not with the things in my pocket. Jim arrived and we started talking. unfortunately, the conversation dealt a lot with my missing wallet. When I am upset about something, I tend to not be able to let it go.

Did I lose it on the bus? Or did I forget to take it with me? From that moment until I got home, I did experience a junior nervous breakdown. It is a hopeless feeling knowing this money, debit card, and driver’s license could all be lost forever, and would then have to be replaced. What is worse, my security pass card to let me back into the apartment building was also in the wallet. That meant that at 10:00 at night I had to call a friend inside the building, have him walk down, and let me in. A wee bit on the embarrassing side. But I suppose these things happen.

To my relief, when I got home, there was my wallet sitting safely in the duck. I actually remember saying out loud, “Oh goodie, I’ll be able to sleep tonight.” If the wallet had really been gone, I would have been too angry and frustrated to doze off. Danger was averted, as well as a lot of paperwork.

What was so funny was, I went to a psychological testing that day to see what is wrong with my memory. It was the first of three testing dates. Rachel, the technician, is a sweet person and the testing is not too tedious. Hopefully they will be able to find out why I am beginning to forget things and not retain information. As I told my accountant this afternoon, I think it is a combination of age, slight brain damage from seizures, and my seizure medication. In four to six weeks, I’ll have my evaluation and hopefully there will be an answer to what is wrong with me. Please keep your fingers crossed for good news.

Until Friday, take care, enjoy good weather if you have it and happy reading.

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