Category Archives: from Rebecca

From Rebecca: Joe is flattened by back spasms

Greetings, Joe’s readers. When I got to work today I found Joe walking bent over and in pain. He tried to ease his back spasms by lying down for a bit, but he said he couldn’t find a comfortable position and felt like a Mexican jumping bean. Next he tried walking it off by going up and down the hallway, which seemed to help a little. This is the worst spasm he has had in years, kicking off a pain every few seconds. I hope he feels better soon. He asked me to write the post today, because he can’t sit down or focus long enough to dictate it.

When I come to work every Wednesday, I set up a card table to put his laptop on for me to use to type dictation. Joe is sitting at the table now, seeing if leaning forward in a different chair will help. So far no success. He is looking for that one magic position that will get it to stop. As we only work together one day a week now, this is really putting a crimp in today’s progress.

I am actually amazed by how much Joe can do on a day to day basis with all the physical problems he has. It keeps him from doing some things he really wants to do, like write for a few hours at a time, but he is able to do a lot of things he needs to most of the time. A day like today where he is stopped by his body is a good reminder of how well he usually does.

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Joe got his back to calm down at least enough to try to dictate a few paragraphs.

Hi, readers. Thanks to Rebecca for getting this one started. It took two Aleve and a big swig of NyQuil to calm this spasm down. This was probably the worst back spasm in a couple of years. If I only knew what I did to make it start. I was just sitting at Panera taking my meds. Yes, my body has a mind of its own. Like Rebecca said though, most days I can get by with no problem.

Something else is weighing on my mind, which unfortunately I cannot disclose at this moment, but suffice it to say that prayers are needed for a good friend of mine on a couple of levels. Prayers for her would be much appreciated. Tyvm.

We have enjoyed several beautiful mornings in a row; a little unusual for State Cloudy, Pennsylvania. I’ve heard the forecast calls for rain overnight and tomorrow morning, but I will take every nice morning I can get.

Traci’s sister Roni is scheduled to meet us tomorrow morning at 7:00 for coffee at Panera. Hopefully it will not be downpouring then. Friend Smith will also be there and is eagerly looking forward to meeting Roni. It should be a very pleasant gathering.

Well, there is today’s blog entry. Again, thanks to Rebecca for getting it started, and you will be happy to know that finally at 11am the back spasm seems to be over. Thank God!

I’ll dictate another entry on Sunday, so until then, have a wonderful few days, take care, and as always, happy reading.

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From Rebecca: It has been a while since I wrote a blog entry

Hi, Joe’s readers. Joe got caught up in Easter yesterday, and didn’t get to do his usual Sunday entry. He has begun spring cleaning today, as he wrote he would, and he asked if I would do an entry for him. I said yes, I’d be happy to put something up.

I’m not sure what to write about that isn’t the weather (really nice yesterday and today), politics (does anyone else think that the media/congress should be focusing more on the Russia interference with our elections and government, as well as what Trump and Co knew or did), or health (my knees are sore or painful a lot this last month.) Joe and I are trying to pick different topics for the blog, other than the same ones. That’s why for the last post he did a list of his blessings.

It is a reminder to me of my blessings. My husband, my mother-in-law, my sisters and their children, all my parents, my books, my library, my television shows/movies, my technology, and the health and mobility I do have. I have struggles and problems, but I am so lucky, too.

Joe and I will be back at work on Wednesday, and then he will dictate another blog entry for you. Until then, have a good week, may you be safe and comfortable at the end of your day, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Snow day

As Joe wrote in yesterday’s blog post, we are having a work at home day because of the forecasted storm over all of Pennsylvania. Snow day! State College is forecast to have about a foot of snow today, which is a lot for a first real snow of the season. This morning it looked clear and I was beginning to think that we wouldn’t get much after all, then just before 11:00 it began to flurry. By noon, we had steady snow and the beginnings of a lot of accumulation. Here it comes.

I am so glad that I can be home today – thanks Joe! – and look at my balcony get slowly buried. I feel so cozy in my warm apartment without having to go out in this. The newscast says it is slick out on the roads, and I send a prayer up for the safety of all the people who have to drive in this storm, especially the bus drivers. I take the bus to and from work, and no matter what the conditions I always feel safe with them at the wheel. We are lucky it isn’t freezing rain, like the western part of Pennsylvania is getting. Snow is tough enough for traveling.

My husband Darren is making Hamburger Helper for dinner right now, and it smells great. I have many blessings, including a spouse who cooks so well. I will be doing the dishes after we eat, of course. We also intend to clean the apartment later, which I guess is a good use of a day off work.

Where ever you are, dear readers, and whatever weather you are experiencing, I hope you are safe. May you end your day warm and comfortable.

From Rebecca: Darren and I went on a date today

Joe said yesterday that he was taking today off for personal business and dictating the blog entry, but he is feeling under the weather and he asked me to put an entry up. Feel better soon, Joe!

My husband Darren and I decided to go on a date today and get out of the apartment together for a while. We ate at Olive Garden and it was a good experience. We had plenty of bread sticks, salad, and pasta, and it was all delicious; we ate just enough to be full without being uncomfortable. We get take out fast food a lot, but we don’t often go to a restaurant to sit and eat there together. It was nice and we had a good time.

While we were out, we did a few errands, like getting gas for the car. It rained off and on, which was irritating, but we didn’t get too wet by the end. All in all, we had about four hours out and about, and came home satisfied.

I hope you all are having a really good day. Joe will be back next Wednesday. As he would say, take care, have a great weekend, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Watching The Price is Right

Joe is taking a personal day, so I am writing the blog post today, from my home. Darren and I have The Price is Right on television right now. Drew Carey is the host, and has been for just over ten years, since Bob Barker retired. I have watched the program off and on since I was a child, and its familiarity is like comfort food in troubled times.

You have probably known the show since childhood too. It has contestants bidding on a prize to see who goes up to play the next of six games, two sections of spinning the wheel, and ends with the showcase showdown. They often have gimmicks, like big money week or an episode for just expectant mothers, but the basic structure of the show is always there underneath the added bells and whistles.

Bob Barker was the host for a very long time, and was so good at the job. Smooth, unruffled, genial, and welcoming, he obviously loved the show and loved what he did. When he retired, it seemed impossible for anyone to fill his job. Bob Barker was The Price is Right. Drew Carey took over, and at first it seemed true that no one could replace the long-time host. Drew Carey was stiff, had trouble explaining the games, and sometimes played around with the products on display. That first year was rough. But he got better, of course, and grew into the show. Now, more than a decade later, Drew Carey knows the games inside and out, is better at explaining them, and while he still moves a product on set occasionally, he is as smooth with the contestants and flow of the show as Bob Barker.

I don’t get to watch the show a lot, but when I can catch it, usually on Mondays or Tuesdays, I enjoy it a lot.

Joe will be back next Wednesday. As he would say, have a great weekend, take care, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: I made a change to the blog page

Hi, Joe’s readers. When we look at the number of views for the blog, Joe and I notice that each post day a lot of his views come from Facebook. The statistics page breaks down the number of views from Twitter, Facebook, and the WordPress reader. So I was a bit bummed to see a notice from WordPress that they will no longer automatically send each blog entry to post on Joe’s Facebook profile page. We both like sharing with our friends and family on Facebook, and also it cuts down on the number of views. Double bummer.

I was looking at the blog site settings to see if there was a toggle to switch back on (there isn’t) when I noticed a feature I had forgotten about. Under each individual entry is a section of sharing buttons, and Facebook is one of them. From now on, we will just use that button to share on Facebook. While I was in settings, I also saw a place to click so that these share buttons show up on the home page, under each entry. Cool! I called Joe to ask if he minded if I make this change, and he gave the okay. So I added some buttons for other places to share, and clicked the box to have the buttons on the front page, too. Please let us know how you like it, or if you don’t.

While I had Joe on the phone, he said it was hot in Maine this year and that he was having fun. He had me put the phone on speaker so he could say a few words to Princess Josie. When she heard his voice, she tilted her head and sniffed the phone. So cute.

Well, next week Joe will back here and blogging. Until then, take care, have a great day, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: I AM writing this blog entry from Joe’s old laptop

Hello, Joe’s readers. Joe’s old laptop is slower than I am used to writing on anymore, but it seems to be working just fine now that the security update is finished. It started last Thursday, and finished today when I turned the computer on again. I didn’t use the laptop in between because I wasn’t writing a blog entry until today.

Joe is having a good time in Maine and even did some swimming in the lake as it is hotter than usual up there this year. I have talked to him a couple of times while he has been gone.

Princess Josie, his cat, has been a handful today. I have been checking up on her since last Thursday, but haven’t stayed very long on those visits. Today and tomorrow I have hours to spend with her, and she is using that time. She is demanding many head rubs and a lot of attention. It made it difficult for me to do some of the file sorting I am doing with the extra hours without Joe here. I have half a trash bag of paper and envelopes to throw out and a huge envelope of paper to be shredded. Quite an achievement with Josie needing attention in the middle of the sorting.

Those of you who are regular readers know that in the past I have taken care of Joe’s late cat Keekee on this long vacation week. I will say this about Josie, she doesn’t shed as much as Keekee did. Keekee was a lot calmer and less exasperating, but I would take handfuls of fur off when petting her. (I really miss Keekee right now.) Josie is a one-year-old ball of energy who keeps jumping on the table and trying to get into my papers. She is sweet though, when she is playing hockey with a bottle lid or when she takes a rest. I’m glad I have the chance to know her.

On another topic, it stopped raining around here for a couple of days, but we got hot muggy weather instead. I felt like I was going to melt by the time I got to work today. It is forecast to rain today and tonight. I don’t know if the humidity will get better or not. On the plus side, humid and hot is normal for August in Pennsylvania. When was the last time we had a normal weather month? Maybe I should be celebrating as I slog through the seasonal heavy air.

I will have another blog entry tomorrow. Until then, as Joe writes, take care, have a great day, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: I am not writing this entry on Joe’s old laptop

Hi, Joe’s readers. Before he left on vacation, Joe dug out his old laptop for me to use while he was gone, since he took his current laptop with him. It needs to be kept plugged in when in use and is a bit slower, but the last time we used the old thing it still connected to most of the sites we want with no problem. This morning we plugged it in, made sure the tricky power pack stayed connected with the green light lit, and powered the laptop up. No problem. I looked forward to writing the blog post at Joe’s, maybe with the title, From Rebecca: I am doing this entry on Joe’s old computer.

Then a Microsoft box popped up that read it needed to update the security, don’t unplug or turn off the computer, it might take almost an hour, you can still use the computer while it downloaded and installed the updates. Well, that sounded like a great idea to me, it had been a while since we used it, and I would feel better using something with up-dated security files. I had stuff to do in the meantime.

Joe took off after giving me instructions for the care of kitty cat Princess Josie. I settled in to go through a bunch of paperwork, old invoices, medical files, old bills, other mail, etc. from the last few years and sort out what needed to be shredded, thrown away, or kept. I did that for a productive couple of hours while the Microsoft program kept downloading and updating, slowly going from 0 % to 100% over and over. It did not let me do anything else while this was running. Two and a half hours later, the process finally ended, only to put up another message that it would have to re-start the computer to finish the up-date, it would only take another couple of hours. I didn’t have that long, so I shut the computer down. I will have to try it again another day, maybe next Wednesday when another blog entry is due.

Other than that, and the persistent rain we still have this week, it has been a very good day. Princess Josie, also known as P.J. or just Josie, was okay being alone in my presence for the day. I expect by this time next week she will be missing Joe a lot, but hopefully I can help her past some of the loneliness. She is a beautiful cat, energetic and curious. She gets into so many things we don’t expect her to, like my folders and papers when I am there.

That is it for today. I’ll be back with another blog post next Wednesday and Thursday. As Joe would say, take care, have a great week, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Bad weather is exhausting

As Joe wrote yesterday, he had a doctor’s appointment today, so I am writing to you again today.

It has rained for what seems like forever in Pennsylvania, though it has only been a week or two. The last couple of days the entire state has been deluged, with flood warnings in most counties and weather radar maps full of green. Anyone going outside gets wet, even with umbrellas, it is a fact of life right now. Yesterday, I came home from work with wet slack legs, a soaked umbrella, and damp bags. Last Tuesday, Darren and I unloaded his mom’s groceries from the car in a downpour. It was a relief to get indoors and a grudging acceptance of the weather when we went out.

Despite all our trouble and discomfort, I also know we are lucky. State College has areas of flooding, but not rivers of water through our streets. None of us need to be rescued, or are completely blocked off from home or work. It is possible some of the commuters from outlying areas might have those problems, and I wish them well. I look at pictures on the news of cars, homes, towns destroyed by rising water, and I feel grateful and blessed to be dry inside. I see pictures of the wildfires out west and cannot imagine running from a home that might be ash the next time I see it. What does their air smell like, taste like? How do they build a new life from the destruction? There are areas of the country in temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit; I cannot conceive going about my life in those conditions either. As inconvenient as constant rain has been for us here, it could be so much worse.

So, wherever you are reading this, I hope you are dry, and cool, and comfortable. I hope you have electricity, and good food, and dry feet. I hope you are as lucky as we are.

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

From Rebecca: Happy 4th of July 2018

Happy 4th of July to everyone who is celebrating our nation’s birthday! Happy Wednesday to all the readers from other nations! I hope all our readers are having a great day.

This is a stressful and chaotic time for the United States of America right now, but today is a reminder that our country started with a brave and daring gamble that people would govern themselves. It required individual states to work together to form one nation, with a balance of power. This country has had ups and downs, times of great strife and times of calm harmony, and through it all we keep heading toward the promise of that beginning, the promise of freedom for all of us.

Happy Birthday, the United States of America!