Keeping active with possible job, writing, and Traci

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Greetings, readers. As I continue my search for gainful employment, I’m still hoping that my first choice will pan out. As I mentioned, there are other opportunities out there, but Panera Bread is ideal. I would love to work there. It is near my apartment building, I know and like all the folks who work there, and it is, as I call it, on the flat. Meaning that I don’t have to go down any of the hilly streets of State College during the winter time.

If all else fails, I will volunteer my time at the library, which will at least get me out of the apartment. As my friends have told me, something is sure to come up. Until then, we have the writing project for the new camp book and I have a personal writing project that I just got research materials for from the library.

Also, big news, September 24th will mark the one year anniversary for my girlfriend Traci and me. I can’t believe it has been 11 months. Time has flown and our relationship is progressing slowly, yet steadily. I’m quite pleased with the situation. She has already met and loves David and family, and we hope to go for Thanksgiving again this year. Are wedding bells in the future? Time will tell and we shall see. There are a few huddles we need to get over.

A blog entry, which will be upcoming in September, will deal with my plans for our anniversary. There is a really nice restaurant downtown which we were planning to go to last Valentine’s Day. Traci wound up in the hospital and we never did make it for Valentine’s dinner. I think I will make reservations at the Tavern restaurant. More on that during that future blog entry.

Well, there you have it for today. Our new work hours begin next Wednesday with blog entries on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Wish us luck on that. Until next week, have a splendid weekend, take care, and happy reading.

We are trying our new work schedule this morning

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Greetings, readers. It is only 10:30 in the morning as we start this blog. In a week, Rebecca and I will be trying something new. In this instance I think new will be good. We will be switching our work hours to the morning. There a few reasons for this change.

First off, I have found myself getting more and more tired in the mid-afternoon. I really struggle between the hours of 2:00 and 3:00. No, I really don’t want to get hooked on 5-Hour Energy. So the next logical choice is to adjust our work hours. I’m always more awake and alive in the morning. So starting next Wednesday, we’ll begin work at either 9:45 and go until 12:30, on Wednesdays and Thursdays. I shall leave Rebecca Friday afternoons free in case she wants to pick up hours at her other job.

The other important reason is that I can spend time with my girlfriend Traci after that at about 12:30, and then take my nap in the afternoon if I wish. At Bear Spring Camps this summer, I would eat my big meal at 12:30, come down to the cabin and literally sleep until 4:00 when the afternoon boat ride occurred. Just call me Mr. Sleepyhead.

This new change will mean a few things for me, primarily the adjustment of my early morning routine. I don’t necessarily want to get up at 4:00 or anything strange like that, but I am used to checking Facebook, Twitter and emails, etc. I also enjoy a couple of hours of music to fully wake me up. I already get up at 6:30 and I will have to see how these routines fit in before 9:45.

Tomorrow will be back to our old schedule for two more days. We will see if I can stay awake. Haha. I do have ideas for Bear Spring Camps book 3 and they will need to be fleshed out. So we do have some work ahead of us to keep us busy and focused. Lack of focus equals lack of work. As I mentioned before I fully intend to either have a project finished by the end of July or have it well on its way to completion. I promised myself something that no one knows about until now. You, my readers, will be the first to know that if I do not produce this year I will not take my vacation next August. From now on I earn my week off.

On a very small side note, in approximately a week and a half, I will find out if I can get a job at Panera. If not, Sheetz, Dunkin’ Donuts, or a whole list of other places advertising for help will receive my application.

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

Bear Spring Camps 2016 was one of the best ever

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Greetings, readers. I can’t believe I’ve been home almost a week. Time is flying already. In the early morning hours I’ve had time to reflect on this past vacation. I have so many fond memories. Were some things different? Yes, and even though I don’t love change, I must admit, I enjoyed the changes.

For the first time since I’ve been going without Mother to Bear Spring Camps, I traveled up with Dave Trost and family in their minivan. I was still able to take most of the things I always took, and seeing the sights as a passenger again was welcomed. We did leave for Maine, and leave from Maine, early in the morning. So the first few hours were in the dark. We had to pick up David’s daughter Emily’s friend in New York City; that was most interesting. We drove right by Newark International Airport. As some of my regular readers know, I am a flight simulator hobbyist, and have “flown” out of that airport many times. Everything looked so familiar.

As we approached New Hampshire in the daylight, I anticipated seeing the Piscataqua River Bridge and my favorite state of Maine. The Trosts take a different route than I do when I am driving the route to camp, and shoot off from I-95 to I-295. Somehow the Lord must have awakened me at the proper time, for just as I opened my eyes, we were passing Portland and I got to see the baseball stadium, the East Deering Swing Bridge, and the B&M Baked Bean factory. It was like someone plucked me from the vehicle and put me back in my train simulator. What a thrill!

We arrived at camp in time for dinner, the noon meal, and right away I noticed a major change. The wooden dining table chairs, which I had seen since childhood, were replaced with brand new metal chairs. Oh, my. After the shock of “I hate new things” wore off, I accepted Dave’s logic that they will be much easier to clean. Before the vacation was over, I must admit, I actually liked them better.

The first few days were quite routine, picking right off where we left off, visiting friends, taking the boat out, and doing all the things we did 52 weeks before. As I mentioned in my first camp book, it truly feels like you never left. We pushed the play button and continue the movie. An odd but wonderful sensation.

Mid-week brought the heat wave and Thursday’s happy hour. Tallie, a Mosher family relative, came for her annual visit and boat ride. It was a gorgeous day. Tallie and I took many pictures with various views of the lake.

The rain came on Friday. That was fine with me, for we got our morning fishing in before it really came down, and then the afternoon was for packing anyway. I must say, I was grateful for the rain; it was way too dry in New England. Leaves were already turning.

Before departure evening, allow me to share what I consider the highlight of the trip. Dave’s nephew Cole had the fishing day of fishing days. He caught a couple of white perch, several bass, and his prize, a 24 inch pike. He had that for supper, before he ate his lobster, and enjoyed every bite. Cole was using top water lures for the most part and got extremely excited when a good fish was on his line. He’ll even agree that he sounded like a little kid, whooping and cheering, and yes, shaking. After the pike was reeled in, he needed help to get the fish unhooked, not only because the fish was biting the net, but Cole couldn’t control his shaking hands. So yay, Cole, on the best fishing day I have seen in quite a while.

Finally, the last night was bittersweet. Packing preparations were made with the checks and double checks to make sure nothing was left behind. Then it was time to wait. Dave and family leave early in the morning, so I slept from 9:30 until about 2am. I sat patiently until they arrived in a driving rain to pick me up at 3:30. I went back to New Jersey with them, for what they call lobster fest. It was delicious. I then took a bus from Harrisburg back home.

Overall, I consider this one of my finest Maine vacations. It was relaxing, stress-free, I walked a lot, and eat like a horse. I give this vacation a 9 and a half out of 10. Had there been more Yahtzee, it would have been perfect.

Until next week, have a good weekend, take care, and happy reading.

Oh, what a day I’ve had

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Greetings, readers. From the start of the morning I was behind schedule. I had a little bit of a … shall we say lower intestinal issue. That makes me an unhappy camper. By the time I was feeling better, morning errands and such had to be done later than I had planned. Hence, I asked Rebecca to meet me 45 minutes later than we normally do.

We started out doing the usual thing; checking our blog numbers from yesterday. I was very happy to see that the numbers were good. There was a comment to read too, from someone who had commented on yesterday’s post, then I replied to him, and he replied to my reply! We followed the link to his blog, and then checked out his twitter page.

After that, my stomach started gurgling and I ate my lunch. Usually I don’t eat in front of Rebecca, but when tummy talks, I listen. I am still operating on the Bear Spring Camps meal schedule, which serves the big dinner at mid-day.

Next we checked Facebook and Twitter, as we always do, and replied to people who sent me messages. After that, I needed to call Verizon to check on something about my current bill. With that done, we had just enough time for this surprise Thursday blog entry. So surprise!🙂

Look for the 2016 Bear Spring Camps review blog post tomorrow. Continued thoughts and prayers go out to the devastated families in the floods in the south and in the fire spots on the west coast.

Take care, have a good day, and happy reading.

Please get both hands on the wheel

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Greetings, readers. With the Penn State students coming back this week, the downtown traffic has increased. Today as Rebecca, Traci, and I were crossing the street in the cross walk, a car turned left, getting a little too close to Traci for my liking. I glared at the driver and saw that she was on her cell phone, not hands-free, and had only one hand on the steering. Folks, that is illegal.

I cannot tell you how many times I have heard horror stories in the news about car accidents where the driver is on the phone either talking or texting. If you do not have your concentration fully on your driving, pull off the road. It is not very often that I yell at someone in a car but this vehicle did not yield for Traci. The driver’s mind was elsewhere.

Have I talked on a cell phone while driving? I must confess yes, but usually just long enough to say, “I’m driving, I’ll call you back when I pull off the road.” Unless it is an absolute emergency, whatever someone has to tell me can wait until I get to a rest area.

What are some other things I wish drivers wouldn’t do? Well, lets see. I saw a man shaving once while driving. A young woman trying to put on mascara. And the scariest of all, on an interstate no less, a young child steering the car, sitting in daddy’s lap, while daddy controlled the gas and brake. I would have suspended that man’s license indefinitely. But I guess junior just had to drive that day.

Readers, please, if you are a driver, heed the laws of your state. Here in Pennsylvania the law is no talking on a phone at your ear, no texting, but you can talk on a hands free device. It is just too dangerous, and if you injure or kill someone you will have to live with the consequences the rest of your life.

My next blog entry will deal with my wonderful vacation, where almost nothing went wrong. Suffice it to say for now, I had a marvelous time. Details to follow.

Until Friday, take care, many thoughts and prayers to the folks down south and in Louisiana who are dealing with the flooding, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: I feel blessed

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Yesterday was a really good day for me. It didn’t rain while I was on the way home, as I had expected, I had a good annual performance review at my other job, I briefly spent some time at one of my favorite places, the library, and Joe called while I was hanging out with Keekee at his place. The stifling heat and humidity was awful, as it has been so much of this month, but that was the worst part of the day. (Joe said that it is hot in Maine too, so my vision of him sitting on his porch with cooling breezes coming off the lake was false. Bummer.) Last night was the best though. I sat in the living room with my husband, me on the laptop while Darren and I watched a pre-season football game. Go Eagles. He loves football. We are very lucky to have air conditioning, so we were comfortable.

As I wrote before, I have had some long days lately. A family member was having a health crisis, and it took a lot of our time suddenly. That person is better now, and we are all getting a chance to rest. It turns out that Darren and I do not respond well to chaos. I did find a few moments of grace in the middle of it though. We once got a perfect parking place at the hospital during the day, which is not easy as the lots fill up with people scheduled for tests. We felt very lucky that day. Another time, we had a huge storm, with pouring rain, while we were getting ready to take our family member to an appointment. By the time we had to leave, the rain had stopped. So blessed.

Joe will be back next week with more blog posts. Until then, have a great weekend, take care, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Very long day

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It is almost midnight and I am finally able to get to the blog entry for today, Wednesday. I had a couple of ideas for blog topics, but they aren’t ready and it has been too long a day for me to do either of them now anyway. In many ways, things worked out so smoothly today that I thanked my guardian angels for the help. In others ways – like a two-hour thunderstorm that made it necessary to have our internet router unplugged – things had to wait for better timing. Looking back, it was a very good day, but this post is way later than usual.

Joe’s cat Keekee was doing fine when I visited with her this afternoon. She was not as clingy or needy today as I expected her to be, though she did want my attention and head rubs. She was also shedding a lot, though a little less than in the past. All in all she does not like when Joe is away, but she is doing better this year.

I haven’t talked to Joe in a few days, but I heard from someone who did talk to him this week that he is fine and enjoying himself at camp. The weather was so hot and stifling in State College today, that I enjoy the idea of being by a lake in Maine. I am glad that Joe was and I hope it was a great day for him.

If it works out, I might write Friday’s blog entry tomorrow and schedule it to post on Friday afternoon. If you see it pop up during the afternoon on Friday, you will know that my plan succeeded. As Joe would write: Until next time have a great day, take care, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Blogging from home while Joe is away

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Joe is on his vacation trip. He is traveling up to Maine with David Trost and family, after staying overnight with them. I saw on Facebook today that at about noon he had written on his wall that he was at the Trost house with David, and was looking forward to being at Bear Spring Camps tomorrow. Even though he has to do a lot of work to get ready for it, as regular readers know, this trip is the highlight of his year.

I went by Joe’s today to feed his cat Keekee and keep her company. Joe, if you are reading this, she is doing fine and misses you. She wanted some extra petting from me, but she was not as clingy as she will be next week.

In past years I would be writing this report on the public computers at Schlow Centre Region Library. Now, I have high-speed internet in my home, so I can do things like write this blog entry from my own sofa. I can take my time and be more relaxed. Unfortunately, it does mean that the entries are written and published a little later in the day than usual. Sorry about that. Also, it is a little weird writing the post on a different machine than Joe’s computer, which I am used to, but I’m getting the hang of it. I still love Schlow library and still go there for other reasons. As I wrote in a previous blog post, it is one of my favorite places.

Having internet in my home is fun, but a bit distracting sometimes too. When I was on a computer four times a week, for a couple of hours at a time, I had a list and order of sites I visited and the amount of time I could be on them. I was constantly watching the clock, picking and choosing content I wanted to read. Now I can spend all day on it if I wanted to, though I haven’t. The other night I spent an hour and a half on Twitter, which was entertaining, but strange. I might want guidelines with this new power.

I’ll write again on Wednesday, half way through Joe’s week in Maine! As he would say, take care, have a great weekend, and happy reading.

Last minute things to do before camp 2016

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Greetings, readers. It is less than a day until I leave for Bear Spring Camps. How these last three weeks have flown. I always think I have tons of time to prepare and pack but before I know it is the eve of the trip. Yikes!

I was able to do all my laundry yesterday and the suitcase has been cleaned out. I am going with my friend David and family this year, instead of renting a vehicle to drive myself, so I will have to be inventive while packing. I won’t be able to take quite as much stuff. No problem. My radio is put aside, as are the fishing rod and bait box, not to mention Mom’s binoculars. I think if I concentrate, I can get all my errands done and get packed before the evening gets too late. I want to get a good night’s sleep, so I am well rested for the trip. Maine, here we come.🙂

On a sadder note, today is my friend Terry’s funeral. With work hours and last-minute packing, I will not be able to attend to pay my final respects. Although this troubles me, there is not much I can do about it. I’ll say a prayer and my good-byes from here at the apartment. I’m sure his family will understand.

As usual, Rebecca will take over for the next week and a half, putting up at least three blog entries, perhaps more. I am always appreciative when Rebecca takes over the blog and keeps it going. We never seem to skip a beat. Whoo-hoot to Rebecca.

After work hours today, I’ll make a bank run, a drug store run, visit Traci, come home and I’ll be here the rest of the day. I’ll finish my packing, and last but not least – maybe even tomorrow morning – I will do the cat litter box. That is not my favorite chore but it must be done.

Until Rebecca picks it up next time, enjoy, take care, and I’ll see you in about twelve days. And, oh yes, as always, happy reading.

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