Monthly Archives: March 2017

Top ten list of things I’ll love about being married again

Greetings, readers. In June of 2018, I plan on tying the knot for the second time. My fiancé Traci and I are enjoying being engaged and our relationship is progressing nicely. There are a few bumps in the road as with any couple, but I feel we can work those out well before the big day. Here’s a top ten list of things I’ll love about being married again, in no particular order.

#10. Making decisions about vacations together. [Both of us hope to, at some point, take a cruise together. There are websites where good deals are on offer. A nice five to seven-day cruise to the Bahamas and back would be a lovely introduction for Traci to be on a cruise ship. I’ve been on them twice.]

#9. Companionship on a full-time basis. [I am so used to being able to do whatever I want to do whenever I want to do it. As much as I enjoy this, there is a nice feeling of going to bed together, seeing each other the first and the last thing of each day, taking long walks, and enjoying stimulating conversation.]

#8. Partner for the tough times. [Undoubtedly, there will be tough times now and then where one of us will have to rely on the other. And also to discuss what is bothering the person and allowing the other to help. We can’t be so proud that we can think we can solve our problems by ourselves. In fact, having a partner means that we are not alone when facing life’s challenges.]

#7. Inspiring each other. [We have already begun to do this, even before the wedding. Both Traci and I have personal issues to overcome. We both egg each other on and are there for support of the other when times get tough or we have a setback. We have each other’s back.]

#6. Holiday visits with family. [For the last several years, I have celebrated holidays either by myself or have taken a trip to New Jersey to be with David’s family. Now we have the opportunity to spend time with Traci’s family and friends, as well as my buddy and brother’s family. This also affords the chance, if the opportunity arises, to have both families present on occasion, i.e. the wedding and reception.]

#5. Making up after a fight. [Neither of us like to fight, but it is inevitable that in close quarters we will disagree on something from time to time. I expect all of our fights to be verbal since I was raised to not put an unloving hand on a woman. I expect after all is said and done and the anger vented, we will come to a solution to our issue and make up. That is the part I will look forward to in this situation. Will I pick a fight just to make up? No. Although I’ve heard some people do.]

#4. Growth of relationship in close quarters. [At present, Traci and I only see one another when we eat out, run errands, or when we visit each other at her apartment or mine for coffee. When we are married, we will live under one roof and we will have to learn to accept each other’s quarks and habits. It shouldn’t be too difficult to do if we keep the lines of communications open and share our feelings.]

#3. Intimacy. [I shall admit to you, my readers, I was never one of those teenagers who had sex in high school. I was shy and awkward and so sex and intimacy came much later in my life. I’ve been divorced now for over ten years and have not had a serious girlfriend before Traci. So I am looking forward to making strides in our intimacy.]

#2. Sharing life stories and memories. [I know I have a gazillion stories from my childhood, and years with Dave, that can make Traci laugh and lift her spirits. People say laughter is the best medicine. She can also make me laugh, she has a good sense of humor. I’ll admit sometimes I can’t tell when she is kidding. LOL.]

#1. The wedding reception. [Every now and then, both families will be under one roof for a social occasion. The first one will be our wedding reception. We will be sending out the save-the-date magnets for people’s refrigerators approximately six months prior the wedding. With the reception that evening, both families will mingle. I see everyone getting along splendidly. Dave’s whole family adores Traci, and Traci’s sister Roni always gives me a big hug too when Traci and I are leaving our coffee outings.]

There is my top ten list of things I’ll love about being married. If anyone would like to add some that they experienced, please leave a comment here or on my Facebook page.

Next week, Rebecca will be here on Wednesday and my schedule for Thursday is still up in the air. If we don’t work that day, one of us will put the Thursday blog up so there will be two next week.

Until then, have a super-duper weekend, take care, and happy reading.


Learning to cope with my clinical depression

Greetings, readers. It is a mostly sunny day here in Central Pennsylvania and that is helping my overall mood. I must admit though that over the weekend I was in a funk. I’m big on re-examining my life, wondering what changes I could have made so that things would have turned out better. I’ve got to stop doing this. I told Rebecca this morning I feel like I am not living, I’m simply existing.

Do I laugh when I am with people? Of course. I go out to my appointments, visit Traci, and do all the things I need to do during the day. In other words, I can function. The evening and night-time though are a different story. When it gets dark outside, so does my mood.

I was watching YouTube videos of a most sad topic and as I have done in the past, I kept clicking next video. I was doing research for a possible blog post on the 9/11 attacks and the subsequent conspiracy theories by watching a couple of movies and the footage from CNN from the day of the attack. By the time midnight rolled around, I knew I had to get to sleep, but I didn’t want to. I turned out all the lights and just laid there with my eyes open. I didn’t want to dream, I didn’t want to sleep, I just kept thinking about all those people in those towers whose lives were snuffed out for no good reason at all.

On Monday, I did lots of flight simulation, looking at the clear blue sky at 39,000 feet. After that, I finished off the first reading of Darren’s novel. In a few days I will start my fine-tooth comb reading of it, and then we will turn it over to Rebecca for one final check over. When that is done, Four’s a Crowd will be complete. Thumbs up.

I guess what I am really trying to say in this blog entry is that I need to begin to live, and not just exist. As my regular readers know, I love to go back and reminisce about when life was good. I’ve got news for you folks. Any day you wake up alive is a good day. If you don’t believe me, try waking up dead. I have a couple of ideas I am going to try out to help me, one of which is chakra energy work or yoga, and the other is inspirational books or audio tapes.

My kitty cat is nuzzling me right now, saying it’s time for dinner, so I think I will conclude this entry here, and let you know we will have another one for you tomorrow, most likely a top ten list.

So until then, take care, have a great day, and happy reading.

A short Sunday evening entry for you. :-)

Greetings, readers. I had a productive, but strange weekend. On the one hand I got some reading done on Darren’s novel, but I was fighting depression all three evenings. Tonight seems to be better. As I am writing the first draft of this post, I’m listening to the first KISS album … titled KISS. The title is simple, but it works.

It seems like every time I put on an old album or watch a classic TV show, I find myself strolling down memory lane. The early years that are most precious to me are between 1975 and 1983; 5th grade through the end of high school.

On the YouTube front, I’ve been making myself laugh hysterically with ‘Fail’ videos. You know the ones. They’re the videos where kids wipeout on their skateboards doing stupid and dangerous stunts, or folks swing from ropes attached to trees and the rope breaks before they get over the pond. I’m not laughing at them falling, but I do get a kick out of their buddies with the camera laughing and invariably asking, “Are you okay?”

Well, I’ve got a moderately hectic week coming up, complete with a dentist appointment and my yearly eye exam. I’ll be getting to bed here soon, after some videos or music. So, until Wednesday, take care, enjoy and happy reading.

Dreams of the last few nights

Greetings, readers. It is not uncommon for me to have vivid dreams that I remember almost in their entirety every now and then. However, it seems that the last several nights in a row my brain has been working overtime. I’ve been told that there are two schools of thought about dreams. One is that they are always symbolic to something in your life, and the other is that it is just your brain firing and that the dreams mean absolutely nothing. I believe choice number one. That it is a way for us to work out issues in our lives.

The dreams I’ve had over the years have been filled with people I know, in situations I know, and in some circumstances I’ve completely relived happy memories from childhood. On the other hand, some dreams are sketchy, with people I don’t know, and they are set in dark and sinister places. As you can imagine, those are not my favorite dreams.

I shall share with you now one example of each. My favorite dream starts out a little bit on the scary side as I’m walking on a misty night, and I come to a huge tower-shaped hotel. Once inside, I am walking around brightly lit corridors with pretty pictures on the wall, fancy doorknobs and a hallway leading to either an indoor swimming pool or to the stern of a luxury cruise ship. I immediately jump into the hot tub and relax. Is my mind telling me to jump in water? Or am I going back to an earlier time in my life where I had the opportunity to enjoy things like an indoor pool membership or something fancy like that? I’ve had this dream with both destinations several times in the last fifteen years.

The other kind of dream, the one that is much more frightening, is the one where I’m walking on a very narrow road that I seem to know, but when I wake up I know it is completely unfamiliar. Is this road near my camp in Maine, or somewhere closer to home? After some time of walking, I get to what appears to be Bear Spring Camps, where I vacation every summer. My family and friends are all there but the cabins and the layout are completely different. Some are much fancier than they are in real life. My cabin is dark and dreary with not much light, and a rickety old bed. It almost feels like a tool shed. How did I get this lucky, to get one of the worst cabins? During this dream, I feel very uncomfortable in this place. I try to leave but I am continually drawn to it. From the outside it is a very small cabin but it has many more rooms than it should have, each darker than the next. Have I ever awakened screaming from this dream? No. I don’t think I’ve ever finished searching the cabin. Perhaps one day. I’m almost certain that my therapist would interpret this to be a searching dream, that I am looking for something that I haven’t found yet. In the past twelve months, I’ve had this dream almost exactly the same way three or four times. I guess we can call that a recurring dream.

What do you believe? Do you believe dreams are nothing more than the brain firing at night, or do you think every dream is symbolic and means something for your life? Post a comment down below or on Facebook and let me know what you think.

Tomorrow is going to be a day off, both Rebecca and I have important errands outside the office. I will try very hard to put up a short blog entry sometime this weekend to make up for tomorrow.

So until soonest, take care, enjoy your day, and happy reading.

Here’s #600!!! :-)

Greetings, readers. Again we have hit another milestone. Blog entry #600. Incredible. When Rebecca and I began this blog in late 2011, I really didn’t think I could do it, and figured that the idea would be a flash in the pan. To my wonderful surprise, I’m gaining new readers each month, some on Facebook and others on the WordPress reader. Our work and accomplishments make me proud.

Rebecca has been a wonderful editor and has helped me get each and every entry as polished as could be. Sometimes we’ve had to dash out an entry in less than an hour. With Rebecca’s prowess, I can’t tell the difference from the ones we took more time with when I go back and read them. Probably the real short ones are the ones we dashed off in a pinch.

What’s coming in the next twelve months?

I’m still very disgruntled at the Donald Trump victory but I am learning to live with it. I’m watching no news about him because I don’t want to see the mistakes he makes. So if you are looking for anything political from me in the next twelve months, drop me a suggestion other than President Trump and we shall tackle it.

In the upcoming year, I plan on purchasing a used PS4 and I will begin to review games for that system. As some of you may have realized, I did not do a review on MLB baseball or Madden football last year. My system is too old.

Also you will see a good number of top ten lists and several From Rebecca. Those are always very popular. I shall keep you up to date on what is going on in my apartment building, and of course with kitty cat Keekee. I can’t believe she is eleven now. Yikes. Lastly, as something new to try out, I plan on taking a couple of road trips via Zipcar to local areas, with tape recorder in hand, and shall take notes about my experiences, then Rebecca and I will work them up into a series of blog entries. I’m always looking to give my readers something new.

I want to thank each and every one of you for your continued support and we can assure you that this blog is nowhere near done. I have no plans of shutting it down. I enjoy writing it very much. There will be one change, however, in the coming weeks. Although I love the current style theme, Chateau, very much, I think it is time for a change. I’ll have to choose one that is easy to read and easy to work with. Trust me, some aren’t. We’ll let you know when that change is about to take place.

I bid you all a wonderful weekend, know that I am thankful to each and every one of you, and continued happy reading.

If I had a time machine

Greetings, readers. I know that I have spoken before about things I might change in my life if I could. Well, today, let’s take that old time machine and see what you or I would do. For instance, if you could, would you go back to Dallas in 1963 and prevent the assassination of President Kennedy? I would like to, but it would be a tough task. First I would have to get into the Texas Book Depository, find Lee Harvey Oswald, and stop him without getting shot myself. An almost impossible task.

One thing I would love to do is go back in time and visit the Ingalls family. Yes, they really did exist, living in many places including Walnut Grove. I always loved the TV program and its depicted simple way of life, with love of family and moral values.

Another thing I’d love to do is go back to any certain Tuesday evening when I was a child and have my mom take me to the Bellefonte, PA. YMCA for my swimming lessons. As I recall, I hated that experience at the time but, as it often seems to happen, I look back on that event with much fonder memories. I would like to walk around and watch myself as I got a plastic football helmet from a vending machine after the lesson. I would like to experience the evening through someone else’s eyes.

One of my biggest regrets, and I’ve said this before, is my lack of readiness for life. I would definitely apply for that job at McDonald’s or Burger King as a teenager and put half my paycheck aside each week. If I had learned the value of saving my money rather than being a spendthrift I would be in a much better monetary situation now.

A second thing I would do back in my schooling years would be a little more risky, but possibly worth it. I would be much more of a romantic person with my 11th grade girlfriend Marilee, and see if any kind of passion would have budded in that relationship. In real life we went through that whole year basically as good buddies. I was so shy back then. The risk would be that she would reject me and I would have lost that whole year of friendship with her. The reward would have been a chance to have a longer relationship with Marilee and the possibility of a long-lasting romance.

Now let’s turn the dial forward. Where to go and what to do in the future? I think I would set the dial for the year 2217 just to take a look at what technological advances the world will make. Would there be anything close to the Starship Enterprise? Or, heaven forbid, would there be a nuclear disaster and would I find myself alone? I know Rebecca likes time travel stories and I’m hoping that this entry is intriguing to her.

On a side note, I’ve been reading Four’s a Crowd, Darren’s book, and I’m finding it quite good. Oddly enough I started with chapter 9. That is a chapter that Darren wrote with all new material, none of which was in my play Kimberly. I’m enjoying it immensely. I am reading the novel for pleasure the first time through, then I will go back and read it again with a fine tooth comb and make notes. After that, I’ll set up another meeting with Darren and we shall be very close to finishing the book. I think it will be a winner.

That’s today’s news. We will be working out of the office tomorrow and we will write blog entry #600. So until then, have a great day, get out of the snow if you are buried in it – we got eight inches – do take care, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Busy book day for Joe and Darren

As many regular readers know, Joe wrote a play called Kimberly and my husband Darren is turning it into a book called Four’s a Crowd. It is close to finished now, and Joe was over to our place today to meet with Darren and go over the latest changes. I told Joe I would write today’s post for the blog and I apologize for being a little late with it; I did something else for a few hours and it went right out of my head until a few minutes ago. (Sorry, Joe!)

Darren has worked hard on the novel, and I hope it goes far and wide someday. They are planning to self-publish with CreateSpace when they finish the final writing and edits.

From what I heard today, that time might be soon, maybe in the next six months. Both the play and the novel are about two couples, Alice and Henry, their son Lyle, and his wife Kimberly. The parents move in with the younger couple and there are some adjustments to be made if they are going to live together. The play takes a lighter tone than the novel, which adds some personal problems to the characters for a more serious tone. There is still humor in the novel, and the play forms the skeleton of the book. Part of the hard work Darren did was to keep most of Joe’s play while fleshing out the characters and action. I am so proud of my husband.

We will keep you posted on this book and on Joe’s current project. Joe will be back next week.

Until Wednesday, as Joe would say, have a great weekend, take care, and happy reading.

Why I intend to play the Pennsylvania lottery

Greetings, readers. I have finally talked myself into, after much thought and some discussion, playing the Pennsylvania lottery. I know the chances of winning the big one are as high as getting struck by lightning, however I am the eternal optimist. I’m going to begin with the $1 or $2 scratch cards and perhaps play the Cash 5 once a week. Will I ever play the million dollar Powerball game? Once or twice a month for that one will do. I must remember I am on a budget.

Yes, my budget. I only have so much money a month for everything. I am trying desperately to get through each month on or under budget. So far it is a learning experience. I love to spend. What would I do if I won the lottery? Oh, boy, the options I would have. First, I would pay off all debts. I would buy a small house for my fiancé and me to live in, and whatever was left I would put in a certificate of deposit, some stocks and bonds, and maybe a savings account. If I won very big, I would fulfill my wish list mention in this linked blog entry from November 28, 2012.

Again, being on a budget, no I am not going to go hog-wild. I’ve read reports of people who literally buy hundreds of scratch cards a week. Sometimes they might break even, other weeks not so much. I’m desperate but not that desperate.

Where is this sudden lust for money coming from? For one thing, that part-time job I was going to get last September didn’t pan out. I was looking forward to that addition to my monthly income. I am wishing to purchase such items as a PS4, a smart phone, and eventually a new laptop. As a child I was always surrounded by money. We weren’t millionaires, but I wanted for nothing. I am learning to save or do without some things but it is difficult.

I’m sure that friends and family members will not think this is a good idea. I can just hear David now. But I’m going to do it anyway. With my expectations set low, I won’t be disappointed when I don’t win very much – if at all. If I do happen to win the $400 million jackpot, someone had better call an ambulance, because I can tell you now that I will go into shock and faint straight away.

I’m going to be on a slightly different work schedule tomorrow but a blog entry will be put up either by Rebecca or me at some point in the day. Until then, take care, have a great day, and happy reading.

My pet is purr-fect

Greetings, readers. I’ve had my kitty cat Keekee for 11 plus years now and have enjoyed every moment with her. Alright, I’ll admit, she’s my kid and she’s spoiled rotten. I’m very happy to say that with two vet visits a year (her semi-annual wellness check) she is in remarkably good shape for her age.

Keekee has her daily routine just like any other being on earth. When my alarm goes off in the morning, she knows its time for breakfast. I say let’s go get it and she runs to the kitchen where her plate is. Around 11:30 she gets antsy for her dinner and that’s her second and final helping of moist food for the day. She also enjoys every morning what I call the bottom-of-the-saucer-full-of-milk.

Keekee also has many habits. She loves to sleep on my bed, look out the window for birdies, and play ball. When she’s feeling frisky she will find one of those balls and swat it around with her foot like a hockey player with a puck. She also knows exactly when I am leaving. As soon as she sees me putting on my coat or packing my book bag she goes somewhere and pouts. When I’m in Maine, she clings to Rebecca and sheds like crazy. My Maine trip is her least favorite time of the year.

She does seem to be able to tell time. If I am up too late at night, she will come out, stare me right in the face, as if to say, why are we still up?

Recently I’ve given thought about what is going to happen when Keekee is no longer with me. That will be an extremely sad day and one I am not looking forward to. I’ve had pets all of my life and I know what it is like to lose one. Will I take the plunge and get another cat? Or perhaps a small dog? Odds are yes. Where I’m living now there is not much green grass where I could let a dog run free and do its business. So I think a cat would be the way to go. But would I ever be as lucky to get a kitten as mild-mannered, well-trained, and purr-fectly spunky as my Keekee? I doubt it. I would either be allergic to the new animal or find out that its temperament is so much different from my current pet.

When I moved out of my parents house, I swore I wasn’t going to have another animal. My ex-wife and I had a pet, a wonderful dog named Sassy. I missed out on most of her life after the marriage ended and they moved to California. When I was informed by my ex-wife that Sassy had passed away, I immediately burst into tears. I wasn’t looking to have a pet when I moved into this apartment building. The Lord though had other plans. A woman who was moving out of the building had this 6-month old kitten who she rescued from the side of the road, and asked me of all people if I wanted a free pet. I took the chance and have been glad I did every day since. I expect I will have many more years ahead with Keekee but only the Lord knows.

For those of you who have not seen a picture of Keekee, here she is:


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