Making plans for a Thanksgiving visit

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Greetings, readers. The bus tickets have been purchased and I am going to be on my way. Dave and family invited me to New Jersey for Thanksgiving weekend and I gleefully accepted. After checking out Zipcar and Hertz I figured out that Megabus was the way to go. For a modest price, I will be able to enjoy a five-day mini-vacation.

I am able to go because of generous friends who offered to take my work shifts on the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving. Two people offered and I hope my manager doesn’t schedule them both because one will be angry at me. If either one of you is a regular reader, you have just saved my weekend and I owe you a favor.

I’m going to have to look at the Megabus website again to see if I can bring a suitcase and a carry-on. If it is one or the other, the computer will be staying home. In the late evenings at David’s, after our brotherly chats are over, I like to go upstairs to my guest room, crawl under the blankets, and check my email or listen to music. The one thing I am worried about is that my body is programmed to wake up at 4:00am; that will not be happening at David’s house. I will be sleeping in.

I can’t wait to get there and enjoy the family’s hospitality. The Thanksgiving meal itself will be in the dining hall at Geri’s church and it is big enough for the entire family. I will probably ask David if I can say Grace or make a speech, as I always tend to do. I’m looking forward not only to the feast but also to be with family once again. I shall treasure every moment.

What are the things I am thankful for this year? With my life looking up at the moment, here is my brief list: I am thankful for my kitty-cat Keekee, who is in good health, besides perhaps a slight eye issue; she’s doing great for being almost 13 years old. I am thankful for my family and friends and the possibility to travel and see them. I’m also grateful and thankful that my job has worked out and that most managers think I am doing an excellent job … and making a little extra scratch doesn’t hurt either. Lol. Last but not least, I am thankful for Rebecca and Darren for their years of not only friendship but of hard work to help me put these various writing projects together. As I told my friend this morning, I don’t care if Darren’s book doesn’t put me on the map, I’m hoping it will put him on the map. Kimberly was a cute play. Was it polished? Not by any means. Darren took a good solid skeleton with some meat on the bones and turned it into a literary breathing human being.

I wish to say Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends and readers. Your support over the last year has meant so much to me and has kept us going. The recent upswing in view numbers is continuing and we like it.

I said yesterday that this entry would be a top ten list, but other work earlier this morning took time away from our working hours here at the office, so the promised top ten list will come as soon as I come back from vacation. My mistake.

Next week Rebecca will post two blog entries, most likely re-posts of her choosing, as I will be on the bus and in New Jersey, cramming myself with turkey and trimmings.

So until next time, have a wonderful holiday, take care, and happy reading.

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A compliment at work yesterday made my day

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Greetings, readers. Yesterday I was on the last day of my five-day work week and feeling a bit worn out and discouraged. I was not ready to quit by any means, but the shine of the job was wearing off. Then it happened. As my boss was working on one of the ordering iPads, we got to talking. One of the employees was sent home early because we were much slower than expected. I told my boss that I knew I was not his fastest cashier and offered in the future to be the one sent home. He then told me that I was one of the nicest and friendliest cashiers he’d seen. He said, “Why would I want to send you home?”

That was exactly the shot in the arm I needed for the rest of the work day. I was on cloud nine, knowing that I was one of their go-to people. Now, believe me, the person sent home is no slouch either; she’s been working with an injured foot in a boot and has done a remarkable job. I truly now feel like I am part of the team. Someone whom they know they can count on when needed.

Am I glad for my two days off, today and tomorrow? Oh, yes. As easy as the cash register job has become now, since I’ve learned where every menu item is, it still puts a strain on my feet. Tomorrow I will be purchasing my new shoes. That should help. But after 50-some years of basically sitting around, any kind of long-term standing begins to hurt me and make me stiff.

At the end of my shift yesterday, I met my friend Jim and one of the things we talked about was the TV show Star Trek: Enterprise, which is currently on Netflix. I did not watch it during its first run, but I am enjoying it now. The whole concept of the era before Captain Kirk, which had less technology but better special effects, somehow initially turned me off to the series. The acting is excellent and all the main characters are strong. It is a pity the show only lasted four seasons.

I am still enjoying Out of the Park Baseball 18 immensely. When I manage a game, I like to see every pitch and every play. (There is a one-pitch per bat mode, where every time you tap it the game shows just the ball that went into play and the play’s outcome. Faster, but not what I want.) When I have the time, I really enjoy the realism of a real-life paced game. I am still trying to create my very own fictitious league; several attempts have failed. I would have to rate this game one of the ten best I’ve ever played.

This is a regular work week for Rebecca and me, where we work today and tomorrow; my days off from my other job. I am planning to do a little bit of laundry, a little bit of shopping, and a lot of time with my feet up. Lol. Tomorrow I will have a top ten list for you, so until then, take care, have a great day, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Joe is relaxing and resting today

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Joe has worked a lot at his other job this last month and he will work from tomorrow through next Tuesday, before working with me again next Wednesday and Thursday, so he took today for a personal downtime day. And I have to confess, I worked an extra shift for my other job last Saturday, and at the time it didn’t seem to tire me out, but now I am enjoying having an unexpected extra day at home. So far, it has been nice.

After I publish this blog post, my husband Darren and I are going to play a section of a board game called Descent. It is a game he had for a while and we started playing it off and on a few months ago. Darren likes strategy games that are complicated and take many hours to play all the way through, like Axis & Allies, while I like simple games that can be played in less than two hours. It is therefore difficult for us to find games that work for both of us. Descent seems to be a good in-between game. It has sections that can be played in a few hours, and while there is a whole booklet of rules and takes a bit of strategy, playing it was easy for me to learn and is as simple as I need it to be. I play the easier side, the overlord, which helps. Darren plays the two hero adventurers who use weapons and powers to fight my monsters and gather loot. Enough complication for him, while I have enough simplicity with my monsters and their spelled out powers. A nice way to spend the afternoon.

Four’s a Crowd, the novel that Darren adapted from Joe’s play Kimberly, is one step closer to being published. Yesterday I uploaded the file to the CreateSpace site, and later today Joe will look at the interior review page, then click save and continue. He will fill out a few more boxes, then send it to be reviewed by the site, then we can order proofs. We will edit the proofs, make corrections, then do the process again. We expect to have the finished book ready to sell early next year, hopefully by the first of March.

Well, that is my day. I hope you are all having a good time, and that soon you have a chance to step out of routine and refresh too.

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

Starting the blog entry now to finish it later

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Greetings, readers. Thanks to what I was sure was a head cold but seems to be allergies now, I asked Rebecca to come to the office later than usual. So we are scrambling for time before my accountant’s meeting. Oh, those busy Wednesdays. So I will dictate and Rebecca will type until it is time for said meeting, then we will save, close the computer, and finish this entry later in the morning.

First of all, condolences to the families and victims of the Texas church shooting last Sunday. We seem to have a string of senseless, violent attacks in this country; one which was declared flat-out terrorism. What is going on, and how can we get it to stop?

While we are on the subject of condolences, for all of those baseball fans out there, R.I.P. to a fantastic pitcher Roy Halladay, who died in a single engine plane crash in Florida. He was retired, but only 40 years old. Philadelphia Phillies fans must be in mourning and in a state of shock.

Speaking of sports, the other night I watched on YouTube a classic Monday Night Football game from 1978; it was the Miami Dolphins versus the Houston Oilers. It was back in the day when everyone thought Houston was going to win the Super Bowl and the entire Astrodome was full of light blue and white pom poms. It was truly a college football game atmosphere, said announcer Howard Cosell. I love YouTube, I can find almost anything on there. That game was so good, I think I will watch it again tonight … if I can see it.

Speaking thereof, yesterday at work, I lost my glasses. I put the stem of my glasses in the neck of the sweatshirt like I always do and went outside to collect the trash around the parking lot. On the ride home, I looked down at my hoodie, and lo and behold, no glasses. Crap! If they cannot be found, I will have to get a new pair from my eye doctor. There goes the money I was going to save for a PS4. I hate when I do dumb things. Rather or not this is classified as a dumb thing, I couldn’t sleep because I felt like it was. All I had to do was leave my glasses near my work station or in my bag and this would not have happened. I just wasn’t thinking.

Break now for meeting with accountant. Okay, back again.

I’ve not chatted about the weather in a while, so here’s an update. It got cold yesterday and snowed much more than anticipated. My computer weather forecast didn’t even make any mention of snow, that is how surprised I was. Today, however, my day off from my other job, it is sunny and beautiful. It looks like it is about 80 degrees, but it is probably only in the 30s. Yes, winter is coming. I must admit I like late fall more than I used to. The holiday seasons are just around the corner, and before I know it I will be watching my Thanksgiving Day Parade, having a feast, and planning what to buy folks for Christmas.

Lastly, kudos to President Trump for his trip to Asia. It seems to be at least a mild success. I’ve not seen in the news that he shot his mouth off or said anything that he’ll have to retract later. Why am I getting the distinct impression that he is getting the hang of the job? Maybe he is just a good actor.

Well, that’s the news, I think tomorrow I will take a day off to rest and do personal projects around the apartment, for I will be working on Sunday at my other job, because it is the homecoming weekend for the Penn State Nittany Lions football team. They play Rutgers University. Good luck to PSU. That will be a five-day work week. Now I know that doesn’t sound too bad for most, but for a part-time employee with leg problems, it is no fun. I can put on a smile and give a good show. I really like interacting with the customers, so that gets me through.

Until next time, take care, have a great few days, and happy reading.

Hello from Panera

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Greetings, readers. I was on a slightly different schedule this morning so I called Rebecca and had her meet me at Panera to start our shift. I just finished my breakfast and am now enjoying my coffee. I was hoping to keep the computer charged up but the plug is damaged and not working. Luckily the battery is new so we have plenty of power and time to type this blog entry.

First of all, congrats to the Houston Astros on their World Series championship. I did not think they would be able to win a game 7 versus the Dodgers in Los Angeles, but they did. So far I have seen a number of people wear Astros hats around town. Looks like everyone is jumping on the bandwagon.

While we are on the subject of baseball, I am still trying to resurrect my sim baseball league on Out of the Park Baseball 18, which crashed and burned a couple of weeks ago and the file was unable to be saved. I hope to have everything ready to restart within a month. The game got an update so it is even more fun to play. I can’t wait until I can get my league going again.

This morning I awakened to a grey rainy day, with the temperature in the low 40s. My injured leg did not like it. After yesterday’s blog about it still hurting, I had three people from Facebook yesterday tell me to head to my doctor immediately and get my leg checked out. If it’s not back to normal in another week, I will go.

Yesterday I did something very … well, stupid. I called my therapist very late and called off. It was raining, I didn’t feel particularly well, and yes, I have a fear of falling. So far she hasn’t called back. I hope she wasn’t too upset. I think I can smooth things over. When I talk to her, I will explain how I felt yesterday and hopefully she will understand. I’ve always had a good rapport with her so I don’t think I will have much of a problem.

At 1:00 I have an appointment for a manicure which won’t take long and which I won’t bail on. Because of my cerebral palsy, I have a weak left side and trouble with some fine motor skills, and clipping fingernails in next to impossible for me. I actually enjoy getting the pampering and my nails always look good for work. I can’t be at the register with long scratchy nails. I have shifts at work tomorrow and Saturday. A week from this Sunday is the Penn State football homecoming weekend and I’ve already volunteered to work both Saturday and Sunday. They gleefully accepted.

Again, I want to thank all of our new readers and ask that you tell all your friends, so that everyone can enjoy this blog. That’s why Rebecca and I do it; not only to let me vent but to also to share my life experiences.

Finally, once again my condolences go out to families affected by violence, this time from a shooting in a Colorado Wal-Mart. I honestly do not remember a time when there was so much violence and strife in a span of a few days. I might blog next week about the differences of how people get their news today versus how we got it way back in the day, before we had internet.

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

I might have to get my left leg looked at again

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Greetings, readers. I slipped and fell on September 5th and all X-rays that were taken were negative for breaks, thank goodness. However, today on November 1st, I am still hobbling around. This is really beginning to worry me. It is so bad in fact, that I have to put another chair near my recliner so that when I stand up I have something to hold on to for my first steps. The left leg just does not want to move.

I am seriously considering going back to my doctor and asking for more X-rays. Half of me wants to do this and the other half does not. If there is a slightly cracked bone that the initial X-ray missed, I would likely be casted or put into a boot. I have seen with a co-worker of mine that a boot and a greasy floor don’t go together too well. There is a possibility that I would just need physical therapy for the muscles. In that case, that will eat into my work time and my free time. There is a laugh for you.

Speaking of my free time, ha ha, when I come home, instead of writing or working on personal projects, I’m usually asleep by 8:00 on a work night. I used to stay up until 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 in the morning. No more. I come home and switch off the engines. The other day at 5:30, I turned on an old football game on YouTube (an exciting one), and because I was so exhausted, I feel asleep. When I came to, I said that’s it, bedtime. The time was 8:30.

Another worry of mine is for my December 1st performance. I’m planning to sing to the Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl album for the folks at Addison Court Apartments. Now, I love to give a good show, but I’ve just not felt up to doing full-scale rehearsals. The leg just hurts too much, and I have to go to bed so early. I am debating whether or not to post pone my show for a month or two. I will keep you up to date.

I’ve been keeping tabs on the World Series and my team is not going to win. There is not much of a chance that the L.A. Dodgers will blow a game 7 at home. I just gave away my secret; yes, I am pulling for the Houston Astros. They’ve never been to the World series and a championship would be great for that city. I am also keeping up with the NFL and was very unhappy to learn that the New England Patriots traded away their wonderful back-up quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, leaving us with a few more years with the cheater Tom Brady. As a matter of fact, the whole New England Patriot organization are cheaters. Sorry, Robert Kraft, I’ll be a Patriots fan again when you sell the team … which will be the 32nd of neverwherey.

Lastly, my condolences go out to families affected by the terrible terrorist attack in New York City yesterday. Why can’t we all get along?

So until tomorrow, take care, have a great day, do tell your friends about this blog, and happy reading.

A welcome to new readers and it’s chore day for me

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Greetings, readers. Before I begin today’s blog entry, both Rebecca and I highly suspect that we have some new readers on board. A hardy welcome goes out to each and every one of you. The last few weeks we have seen a lot of ones next to a variety of entry titles, suggesting that people are exploring the site, which adds up to a lot of views in a day. In almost six full years we are finally seeing our daily view numbers go from the twenty range to the thirty to fifty view range. These are the numbers I’ve been dreaming about. I realize that some of my views might be bots, especially one day last week when one entry got a large spike out of nowhere, but to me a view is a view. We love our numbers. Rebecca and I check them every work day.

With this being my second of two days off from the fast food job, it is do-everything-I-need-to-do-at-home day. Such tasks include laundry, dishes, vacuuming, and probably some more paper shredding. I don’t want to wear myself out too much, before going back to the job tomorrow.

Switching topics, Rebecca showed me the title page that she has done in the CreateSpace formatted blank for Four’s a Crowd. I must say it looks great. I think this novel is going to be a hit. I can remember working on the play it is based on for years and years, on and off. I’ve often tried to pin down the date of which I began the project or even the year, but it is difficult. I’m going to say that the play Kimberly was at least six years in the making through its four complete drafts. Then after that, Darren took almost four years adapting it into a novel. I am most proud of not only my work, but his work too, and Rebecca’s. This project is truly a team effort.

As my readers from yesterday may remember, we had an R.I.P. to Robert Guillaume, but I also learned that Fats Domino also passed away, yesterday or the day before. I’ve been told by many people that famous folks seem to pass away in threes. It is odd how that usually comes to pass. We’ll see in another day or so if another famous singer or actor dies.

This Saturday the Penn State Nittany Lions will play the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio State in what I expect they are calling the revenge game. Ohio was number two last year when we beat them here at home; now we are the second ranked team in the nation and Ohio State would love nothing more than to ruin our dream of a national championship. This is the only game I am truly worried about. It is funny that Penn State plays better when I don’t watch them, so I think I will let the bar crowds let me know who is winning. The fact that I live downtown, makes that easy; if I hear loud cheers, whoops, and screams, I know that Penn State just did something good. If it is eerily quiet, I can deduce that we are probably losing by three touchdowns.

On that day, Saturday, my work shift ends at 3:00 and I will probably be home around 4:00. With a 3:30 kick off, I should be able to enjoy most of the game, but as soon as I see Ohio State winning, off it goes. LOL.

As far as I know, next week will be a normal work week for Rebecca and me. It will all depend on if they need me to come in to work on Thursday. So until next week, I bid all of you a great weekend, take care, and happy reading.

P.S. I’m going to do a little research for Wednesday’s blog topic about a YouTube video I was told about. I don’t want to give my opinion on it until we have both seen it and know exactly what it was all about; but it better not be what I think it is … [Update: 10/26/17 After doing some research today, I found out that the incident in question happened in 2009. Since it is so old, I decided that I will chose another topic next Wednesday.]

I survived six days in a row at my job

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Greetings, readers. I am enjoying my first day off in a week from my fast-food restaurant job. I usually only work four days a week but we are short-staffed and the extra pay will come in handy. I can’t wait to go on-line Saturday morning when my next paycheck comes in automatically with direct deposit and see the total. I got a raise this past pay period, so I should be seeing a much bigger number on the screen. Exciting.

I thought I would be drop-dead exhausted by yesterday, but I seemed to have hit a groove. Sunday had an onslaught of steady customers from 10:15 am to 2:00 pm. Nobody got a break. The consumers consisted of the Penn State football crowd getting breakfast before leaving town and Sunday church goers having their quick meal before or after services. I thought that by 1:00 pm most people would be home watching pro football. Nooo. I was grossly mistaken.

Monday and Tuesday’s shifts were “easy” by comparison. I’ve been at my work place now since May and I know the register pretty well. I don’t need to ask for help nearly as much. Oh, I’ll make a mistake once in a while, and have to call for one of my managers, but they are more than willing to come and help.

On to another topic, my friend Traci is letting me purchase her paper shredder, something our office desperately needs for all the documents I receive. This morning I was hard at work shredding old papers with my name and address on them. I had to be very careful not to put any staples through it. So far it works great. It might just be the best $20 I have spent in a long time.

I am fighting myself today, my readers, to not erupt in flames verbally about President Donald Trump. I constantly have to bite my tongue and sensor myself on this blog. If I said half the things I truly feel, I would probably be put on some internet watch, so I will leave it there.

Rebecca and I are working together both today and tomorrow, so we will have a regular work week again. She gave me a report on her progress this last week on getting Four’s a Crowd ready for publishing in a few months. Regular readers know that her husband Darren adapted my play Kimberly into a novel. She downloaded a formatted templet from CreateSpace.com, filled in information such as the ISBN numbers we got from CreateSpace, the title and author sections, expanded the number of formatted chapter slots, and then cut and pasted each chapter from Darren’s files to the formatted file in the appropriate chapter slots. She said she still needs to do a few final touches, then we can upload the file and order proof copies. We will do a last edit from the proofs, make corrections, then approve it to go live and start selling books. We are all excited to get this project going forward again.

Lastly, an R.I.P. to one of my favorite actors of the 1980s, Robert Guillaume. His work includes the TV shows Soap and the extremely popular spin-off Benson. I watched every episode of Benson and quite a number of episodes of Soap. You did a wonderful job, Robert.

Until tomorrow, have a wonderful day, take care, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Re-post about school friends and Facebook

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As I wrote yesterday, I am re-posting an entry from Joe’s third year of blogging. I had a lot to choose from, including a few From Rebecca entries that I liked. Going through the year, I saw that early 2014 was really cold with a lot of snow, that Joe discovered Train Simulator on Steam, and wrote a lot about sports and his childhood.

I picked this entry to re-post because I think most of us can relate to time passing so fast since high school, and using Facebook to keep us in touch with people we met way back then. And in touch with people we met since then, too.

Joe will be back with an entry next Wednesday. Until then, enjoy this blast from the past.

Catching up with school friends

October 10, 2014

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.

From Rebecca: Joe has a head cold but is feeling better today

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As I said in the title, Joe has a head cold this week, which he hopes is gone by his restaurant shift tomorrow morning. He called me yesterday to discuss our arrangements today and his voice sounded rough, but it was much better when I met up with him today to take care of a few work items. He was still stuffed up, but his voice was smoother. We had our meeting, and then he said he will rest today to get ready for tomorrow.

I have noticed that the last month or so Joe has been stressed and tired when I’ve seen him, so maybe it isn’t surprising his body sat him down to rest for a short time. It is a good reminder that in our busy lives we need to make sure we are taking care of ourselves. We need to get enough sleep, eat balanced meals, drink enough water, exercise, take time to relax in a peaceful space, and be patient with ourselves when we make mistakes.

Easier said than done, of course. I certainly could do better. It would help me to eat more vegetables and fruit. I need to start stretching exercises and I keep putting it off. I tend to push my bedtime to get just seven hours of sleep, give or take twenty minutes, even though I do better with eight. I do get some peaceful time to relax and that is nice. I read a lot and that is good.

We seem to live in fast-moving, chaotic, stressful times now. It is difficult to take in the world’s non-stop disasters, crisis points, threats, injustices, and needs, and still function in our own lives. All the more reason to balance all that out with some self-care. I hope you, readers, are able to stay healthy and sane in a world that seems to be more insane with every day. Both Joe and I appreciate you reading his blog, and we want you to be okay. May you find a peaceful place today to rest, relax, and renew. I hope that Joe gets well overnight, and feels renewed, too.

I will be putting up the blog post tomorrow; I intend to do a re-post of one of Joe’s past entries. I plan to choose one from his third year. The re-posts seem to work, and it is a good way to get a second chance to be seen for a good post that didn’t get a lot of views the first time. If you read this on Joe’s site, you will see at the bottom that WordPress has three selected posts that it suggests as related choices; this is another good way to see some older posts. I like this feature a lot. Until tomorrow, take care, have a good day, and happy reading.