Category Archives: life

I’m baaaaaaaaack!!!

Greetings, readers. It’s been way too long and no, I wasn’t trying to sound like a sheep. Lol. Oh my, it has been a long time since I’ve posted a new blog entry. Rebecca posted a good one a while back which got many reads. 🙂 Yay, Rebecca! Thank you!!!

Well, let’s get you caught up on what’s going on in my world since Christmas. All the traditional Christmas activities took place, [light ride, dinner and visiting friends, along with enjoying lots of eggnog]. On Christmas day, Smith, Traci and I drove up to Tussey Mountain Ski Resort. In all the years I’ve lived in this area, I’d never been there. It was gorgeous; should have brought my camera.

The big ‘gift’ I got for myself was the Alexa Echo. WOWZERS!!! They’re not kidding when they say it’s a personal assistant, [not as good as you, Rebecca!] 😉 It keeps track of appointments, plays music and, through my phone, helps me with my to-do & shopping lists. I love that gizmo.

My favorite thing to do with it, through Invoked Apps, is play all kinds of relaxing sounds, from nature to things like fans and washing machines. You might ask what’s so relaxing about that? I’ll tell you.

When the parents and I were still living in our house, Mom ran the dishwasher every evening at approximately 7PM. When I was little, I would watch TV in the living room. The washing machine was not ultra-quiet like they are today, so I could hear it. One of the sound effects from Invoked Apps is sounds from a dishwasher. I find it so odd how comforting that sound makes me. I’ve played it every evening for about a week now. It still has the same calming effect.

Well, I’m making more and more typos now, so I must be getting fatigued. I’ll put this in ‘draft’ so Rebecca can edit it and post it tonight or tomorrow. Until next time around, have a great few weeks, love one another, do take care, and as always, happy reading.

My annual Christmas Eve Light Ride tradition is in jeopardy

Greetings, readers. With Zipcar no longer an option for me, my Christmas Eve Light Ride tradition may be coming to an end. Since I was a little boy, I’ve only missed one year and that was due to an ice storm. Rebecca and I were just on the Hertz car rental site and discovered that though it would be easy and convenient (the office is down the street from me) the cost would make the one night event outrageously stupid, even by my standards. You know me, readers, I never like to cancel anything that is traditional.

This past year I have just not made that much money. My books have not been selling and my other sources of income have come in a trickle. I always tell myself that things will work out somehow, but this year I just don’t see it being economically feasible.

To rent a car for three days, they are probably closed Christmas Eve, will cost approximately $400.00, according to our research on their website. One passenger who wants to go with me said that she’ll chip in for the cost. At least one other passenger would have to do the same to make that price tag possible. Right now, dear readers, I give my traditional Christmas Eve Light Ride chances only at 20%.

Now, on Christmas Eve, the buses still run at least to a certain time. It may very well be that my friends and I will ride CATA’s W bus and let it drive us around Park Forest and surrounding areas. I will be sure to let the bus driver know that is what we are doing so he doesn’t look at us and ask if we have missed our stop. The only other alternative, which I will tell you just dawned on my this very second, is to see if anyone else made a YouTube video of the same kind of ride, or walk around their neighborhood. It’s been said that besides porn, you can find almost anything on YouTube.

On to a different topic. Guess what I’m doing tonight, dear readers? I’m going to my first Shakespearean play experience, a movie playing at the State Theatre, called A Winter’s Tale. I really don’t have a good idea what it is about, but I am intrigued because it is a Shakespearean dramedy. I am not much into Shakespeare though at my age I should be. Hell, with me being a writer, I should have been into all the classic authors. It’s ironic that I am a writer that doesn’t read other people’s material. I think I just solved my problem!

I am starting to change that. On Spotify music I found a delightful version in an audio book of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden. I have seen two movie adaptations of this story and love it. It is one of my favorites … probably second to Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. It is read by an unnamed younger woman I’m estimating is in her late 20s to early 30s with a delightful voice and she is able to bring all the characters to life. I would love to find out her name, then go to Google images so I can take a peek at who is reading to me. So far, no such luck. It is the unabridged version of the story and I’m listening to it, as I said, through Spotify, which is now connected to my brand new Alexa. Oh, what great sound. It sounds like there is a human being right here in the room with me.

Yesterday, again on the internet news page, I saw such headlines as shootings, the stock market is tumbling, and plane crash kills nine. I stopped right there. My therapist told me to stay away from depressing news topics. I realize it is kind of hard to keep up tp date without reading the news. I would love to see a news broadcast that gives as much equal time to good honest heartwarming stories which raise peoples spirits as it does to the bad news stories which tend to depress people. I remember one time, I think I mentioned this before, I was watching a newscast on a New York channel which consisted literally of 50 minutes of bad news, a few minutes of sports, about three minutes for the weather, and then a oh, yes, by the way, nice story to close out the broadcast. I had to wait the whole hour to get the two minute final story that perked me up for the evening. Blech. Fortunately that channel is off our cable system and I don’t watch much news from any other source. Some people say I’m uneducated or not in the loop. Well, readers, I know what I know. I shan’t be bombarded with one bad news story after another. Maybe one day this world will learn that violence and revenge is not the answer. Okay, I’m done with my mini-sermon.

Well, readers, only two more blog entries with Rebecca until our nine-year stint comes to an end. 😦 But as mentioned before, my blog will stay open for you, my readers, to peruse and enjoy, and I shall strive to put a new one up either every Wednesday or every other Wednesday. I can’t lose the few steady readers I have, and I am blessed to have you.

Until next Wednesday, have a wonderful week, love one another, if you are thinking about hatred-give peace a chance, take care and happy reading.

Every clean home must have a schedule

Greetings, readers. For years I have dealt with this minor hoarding problem of mine. Bill Updegraff, my accountant, laughs every time I say I am going to clean my room. I’m even starting to laugh at it now.  I found out, however, that if I do a little bit each day something strange occurs. Things get done and it actually looks better. Who knew?

The task I am not looking forward to is once again cleaning out the fridge and freezer. I promised myself up and down the Bible that I was not going to let that happen again … but I did. On my computer I have actually started a Word document called Daily and Weekly Chores. I’ve noticed with myself that if I write it down and can see it, I am more apt to get the chore done.

I would like to purchase a new or slightly used love seat with a single bed in it for the living room. That’s not going to happen until I clean out Dead Blue and Dead Red (the two defunct recliners.) I just know that when I get to that chore, somewhere at the bottom I will exclaim, “Oh, that’s where that thing was!” There are at least three DVDs which I know I have but cannot find. I bet they are at the bottom of Dead Red. I’m going to start with Dead Blue though. It has the lessor amount of stuff on it.

Sundays and Wednesdays will be take out the trash days. Mondays … usually my completely free day … will be allocated for such things as getting rid of the accumulation of stuff. Tuesdays I think shall be the day to vacuum. With me allergic to dust – and having a ton of it in here – I don’t know if I’ll have to get someone in here to help me or just get a dust mask to wear. If not, it will be the sneezin’ season every Wednesday. Other days will be allocated for the kitchen and bathroom detail such as keeping the fridge clean, wiping down the inside of the microwave, refilling Princess Josie’s two feeders, cleaning the toilet, etc. If I can keep to such a schedule, in a few weeks I might have a half-way decent looking place. But I tell you, folks, some days I just don’t have the energy. All I want to do is sleep. The next time I see Dr. Sulman (yes, I know I missed my appointment the other week) I am going to have him test my blood to see if I am iron or potassium deficit.

So wish me luck on this endeavor. Within the hour, unless there is a torrential downpour, I am off to the bank to get my finances in order. Another chore I must learn to keep on top of.

There’s the Sunday blog, written on Wednesday and scheduled to publish today. Have a great few days and we will see you Wednesday. Take care and, as always, happy reading.

Times are a changin’

Greetings, readers. The nine-year stint of Rebecca and I working together will be coming to a sad end at the end of this year. Many factors on both sides have made this the only logical choice. Fear not, blog readers. While I might not post new entries twice a week, I won’t be closing the blog down either. As well, Rebecca asked me if she could add an occasional From Rebecca from time to time in the next year. Obviously, I said yes.

I’ve been going through a rough patch recently. A very sweet young lady – a server at Bear Spring Camps for many years – was hit by a car in Florida and killed a few days ago. It made me wonder: A wonderful person with her whole life in front of her is called home and I, a gamer and absolute loafer, continues to walk the planet. Hmm. I don’t see the justice in that. Probably I’ll get to live to be 106, playing baseball video games right up to the end.

A high school classmate of mine is back in the hospital and not doing well. Pinky, you have to make it, Kid. I’m not ready to add your name to the curse of the class of ’83. I’m praying for you constantly.

It is a beautiful sunny day here in central Pennsylvania, yet cold. There is nary a cloud in the sky. The days of 60º F are gone until springtime, I’m afraid. I must say with climate change we were warmer here longer in the fall season than in years past. I will take it.

I cannot believe that we are getting to the home stretch of the Penn State football season, and just past the mid-point of the NFL season. It truly feels like the older I get, the faster time seems to go. That is probably because the majority of my years are behind me. I’m not that young kid anymore who could run around and play sports. Hell, with my knees I couldn’t even run to a bus.

Now, readers, as you know I am not one for conspiracy theories. The other day I was doing errands with a friends and I saw something weird in the sky. I can only describe them as chem trails, a term I learned from a former friend that meant she thought the government was spraying chemicals in the air. I hope never to see another cloud like that again. It was definitely not a vapor trail from a jet liner at 33,000 feet. I know the difference. This was low and perfectly curved, as though it would fit around a big pipe. As Arte Johnson on Laugh-In would say, “Verrry interesting.”

Lastly, I’m still getting used to my new smart phone … very slowly, and thanks to the winning costume at the Halloween party, I won a Kindle Fire. That’s right folks, I went from having a dumb phone to having two smart devices in a week. There will be a learning curve. I must say though, I am enjoying both gizmos.

 

Me at the 2019 Halloween Party as C3PO at Addison Court Apartments. I won the contest!
Me at the 2019 Halloween Party at Addison Court Apartment as C3PO. I won the contest!

 

That’s it for today. I can’t guarantee a blog entry for the weekend as you know, but I will try. We’ll be working together until the end of the year, so until next Wednesday, take care, have a great week, love one another, and as always, happy reading.

Construction woes and I’m losing my view

Greetings, readers. My view is almost gone. The monstrosity which I call the apartment building next door is almost equal to the height of my apartment building. Ninety-five percent of the view that I took this apartment for is gone. I can no longer see Beaver Stadium, the baseball field, the hospital, or Mount Nittany mountain. Next 4th of July I might be able to see the highest of the fireworks, perhaps not. I am not a happy camper.

I must say, this construction team has made remarkable progress the last couple of months. As far as I can tell, only a couple more floors remain to be built. Then all work will be concentrated on the inside, including plumbing, lighting, and floor plans. I will be very happy when all the workers are inside and that massive crane is dismantled and gone. On windy days they can’t lock it down and it turns into a weather vane.

It is set to open next August, with the underground parking area in the back. Right now there is an alley in the back next to a hotel’s restaurant. Unless they change something dramatically I have three words for you: can you say massive traffic congestion? Somehow I don’t think this plan was thought out very well. Another thing I will be happy to get rid of is the constant beeping of the trucks backing up. They deliver steel, cinder blocks, and concrete for the floors. Every truck that delivers must back up to get out. Whatever happened to peace and quiet? Welcome to a construction zone.

I see a bunch of workers coming down as I am dictating this on Wednesday to be posted on Sunday. It must be their lunch break. Yay. A half hour of relative quiet. I’ve heard confession is good for the soul so here it goes: I suppose when this building is finished with the sidewalk, trees, and entrance in place it will look beautiful. From all the pictures I’ve seen though, I don’t see us getting our parking lot back. That would perturb a lot of people.

R.I.P.s go out to actress Diahann Carroll and actor/comedian Rip Taylor. Both were extremely popular and will be sorely missed.

I saw the winter forecast on the internet yesterday and one major source, a map from Accuweather, had stormy conditions from Virginia all the way to Maine. This is not good news for people with walkers like me. I see plenty of mornings this winter going to Traci’s for coffee. Here’s a novel thought, I might even make coffee here at home.

By the time this blog entry appears Sunday afternoon, the Pittsburgh Steelers will be well on their way to being 1-5 … oh, did I really say that? I should support my team better than that. However with the lack of a running game and a third string quarterback starting for us, we have to cross our fingers and toes.

Well, this entry will be set up to post live on Sunday at 3:00pm Eastern Time. If I forget to post it on Facebook, most of you will see it on Monday.

Until next Wednesday, take care of yourself, love one another, and happy reading.

Bear Spring Camps is officially closed for the season. :-(

Greetings, readers. October 1st is not my favorite day of the year, for it marks the official closing of Bear Spring Camps for the season. Every camper for now must begin to dream about next year’s vacation. We have a wonderful Bear Spring Camps Facebook page which helps a lot. There guests can write about their experiences and put up pictures and videos. My favorite video was Parade of the Loons. Whoever put that one up … thank you!

Now the lakeside attendants, formally known as cabin boys, are busy at work winterizing and closing the cabins. They will make note of any major repairs that need done before next May’s opening day.  When I was a youngster, one of my dreams was to be a Bear Spring Camps cabin boy. Then I saw just how hard they worked and somehow know that my weak arms would not be up to the task. I think I remember helping to bail out boats after a rain storm once or twice in my early teenage years.

Very soon, if not already, Peg and Ron Churchill will be off to where they winter. Their son Spencer will be there throughout the cold months to keep an eye on the place and they have an associate who helps out as needed.

Am I getting depressed as we type this blog entry? Maybe melancholy would be a better word. I always enjoy the spring and summer knowing the camp is open, even though I am only there for a week in August. A couple of years ago, someone posted a picture of the lane down to the cabins completely covered with a foot and a half of snow; I definitely would not want to draw the task of plowing the lane. I imagine that a plow would be attached to one of the old trucks and slowly but surely they would inch down the drive until all of it was plowed. And yikes if they got stuck.

Do I already have dreams of next year? Of course. Every good Bear Spring Camper does. As I’ve said before, with my monetary situation being what it is, I don’t see myself going for that many more years, but gosh darn it, I’m going as long as I can. We did post photos from this year’s camp experience, for those of you who wish to take a look.

On a side note, yay for the Pittsburgh Steelers! They finally won their first game of the season. With the score of 27-3, if appears that the young quarterback had a half-decent game, for it is going to be Mason Rudolph the rest of the way … unless he gets hurt. Also, on a baseball note, congratulations to the Washington Nationals for winning the National League wildcard game. I’ve read on social media folks talk about extending the wild card game to a best-out-of-three series. I would vote yes for that. To play a whole season and have it shattered by one bad game just doesn’t sit well with me.

Since we’ve talked about Bear Spring Camps for the most part in this entry, this will be linked to the Bear Spring Camps Facebook page. I hope you all enjoy.

As always, prayers go out to those who need it.

Look for a new blog entry either Sunday evening or Monday. Remember, it is football season and I love my football.

Take care, have a wonderful few days, love one another, and as always, happy reading.

A year to appreciate State College, and what’s up with the Pittsburgh Steelers?

Greetings, readers. I am going to thoroughly enjoy this coming ‘year’ – from August until late July – in the local area I’ve known since I was a child, paying special attention to each and every holiday. I didn’t do much for Labor Day, though obviously I was aware of it. The next holiday I will take part in is Halloween. I always loved it as a child and fully intend to watch the State College Halloween parade. I missed it last year, darn it.

Before I make it sound like I am going to die next year, I’ll share with you my tentative plan. There is a possibility, which has grown stronger with each passing year, that I may move to New Jersey, close to where David and family are. Another option would be to move to California and keep my Aunt Marilyn company. Although I have many friends here in State College, PA. my desire to live out the remainder of my days in this area is waning. I just feel like I am in a rut. Every time I try to get out of it I slide right back into it. So …

I will take extra pleasure on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. The holidays have always been my favorite time of the year. I will make certain to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and I will find a Christmas Yule Log presentation somewhere (we don’t get the TV station WPIX New York anymore, darn it.) And, of course, I will find some way to obtain a vehicle to partake of my Christmas Light Ride.

Something to share with you now folks, I asked Rebecca if I was having trouble focusing on today’s blog, and she said yes, so I slapped myself; literally. It was a wee bit harder than I wanted it to be. I’ll mark that down in my book of things to tell my therapist next time.

On to something else now, the Pittsburgh Steelers are in deep trouble. With Ben Roethlisberger out for the season it is up to Mason Rudolph to step in and carry the load. He looked good in Sunday’s game, though it was a losing effort. The Seattle Seahawks were just a little bit better. Our biggest problem is our defense. It needs to firm up. Right now, it can’t stop a toy John Deere tractor. Perhaps a new defensive coordinator is in order.

Yes, folks, I’ve been watching a lot of football the first two weeks of the NFL season, and I’m shocked that the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New York Jets are each 0-2. Am I going to abandon my Pittsburgh Steelers team? Heck no. The way things are now I only see us winning 6 games or so. The upside of that is they might get better draft choices for next season. I hate to see anyone’s career end, but Ben … it might be time to pass the torch to the youngster.

Prayers go out to EVERYBODY who is facing a natural disaster or a personal challenge.

Until next Wednesday, have a great week, take care of each other, and happy reading.

Getting back to normality

Greetings, readers. After two and a half days of lying flat on my back in the hospital, barely able to raise by right arm, I am happy to report to all that my recovery is coming along faster than I ever believed possible. I hardly have any pain, and my range of motion, believe it or not, is almost back to normal. It is hard to believe that my surgery was one week ago. How time flies.

I had a private room with a gorgeous view. It was near the helicopter pad and Life Flight did take off once while I was there. Bless the person whom they were rushing to help. The morning I left was beautifully clear and I got to see a hot air balloon fly in the sky. Although they always look beautiful, standing in a little basket is something that is not on my bucket list. I’ll just take pictures from my window.

Speaking of normality, I got back to watching Penn State football and the NFL. Boy, did the Pittsburgh Steelers lay an egg; I don’t think they have a coach that knows how to fire up a team to beat a champion caliber opponent. Saquon Barkley was one of the only New York Giants who had a good game vs. Dallas. I am an Eli Manning fan but I think his time has come and gone. The best game of the week was the first Monday Night Football game. Houston at New Orleans with the Saint’s last-second field goal. It was a true nail-biter right to the end.

One a serious note now, prayers go out to all the victims and families of Hurricane Dorian and the several mass shootings that took place during my convalescence. I’ve only ever experienced the outer fringe remnants of a hurricane-type storm, and believe me, it spooked me. I can only imagine what those poor people in the Bahamas and the Carolinas went through. My heart goes out to you.

Until next Wednesday (Sunday blog will begin soon), have a wonderful week, take care, love one another, and happy reading.

What a busy day we’re having, and I nailed my 3 Dots performance

Greetings, readers. Between getting ready for next week’s shoulder surgery – complete with its follow up appointments – and other office goings on – such a meeting with my accountant – it has one heck of a busy day. As it just so happens, today is also what we call pay everything day. That means checks for rent, Rebecca, and other such end of the month expenses. Usually Rebecca and I are done with the blog by now, but we are just starting it at 12:07.

Speaking of the blog, while I am in the hospital overnight next week, Rebecca will take care of the mid-week blog entry. I’m certain it will be a great one. When I come back from having my shoulder worked on and can use that arm and hand to type, I plan to get back to the second entry of the week, probably on a Monday since Sunday Football is back. So look for that within a few weeks.

Well, my performance at 3 Dots (the local artists hangout) was a smashing success. I sung a set of Beatles songs, and a set of KISS. It was extremely unfortunate that the weather did not cooperate. The pouring rain kept the attendance very low. But the folks who were there loved it. Also, it gave me the opportunity to show my work ethic that whether I’m playing in front of 200 people or 2, I gave the same all-out performance. The entire show was captured on video and at some point I might put it up here on the blog or my Facebook page.

You know me, readers, I love to talk about the weather. This early morning was beautiful. A cloudless sunny day. Now some white puffy clouds are appearing and I don’t know if that means rain tonight or not. For those of you who were or are still in the path of Hurricane Dorian, my prayers go out to you.

Please send prayers my way for a successful arthroscopic procedure next Wednesday. Rebecca will have a blog post for that day, and I’ll be back with you the following Wednesday with a blog entry. Until then, have a good week, take care, and as always happy reading.

Getting back into the groove

Greetings, readers. When vacation is over it is true that I do like to come home and get the year in between camp started. However, it seems to take me a long time to get out of what I call camp mode. That is, simply, not watching TV at night, looking at a YouTube video of a bonfire, or listening to a recording of crickets. It is a simpler way of life up there and I love it. Granted, I do pack my computer bag and go into town for coffee and internet at least once during the vacation week.

With fresh writing ideas in my mind, I’ve been jotting down notes and will soon be ready to begin one of two writing projects. I have two strong candidates but I’ve not narrowed it down yet. I take phone calls for a company part-time and that brings in a little bit of money. I don’t work very many hours yet but at least it is something. I’ll probably have to get a second job somewhere down the line. The more income for next year’s camp, the better.

On to a different topic, I just reached for my water bottle and the proverbial sword went into my shoulder. I cannot wait until September 4th; for those of you who didn’t read the last blog entry, I am having an arthroscopic procedure done to get rid of bone chips and “shave” the area around the bones of the shoulder. Thank goodness my rotator cuff is fine. You see, readers, I am allergic to pain and I think if my rotator cuff was torn, I would be screaming right now. I’m getting queasy just thinking about it. Prayers please for September 4th and beyond. There will be rehab needed.

Lastly, the building next door is growing by leaps and bounds. I have lost some of the view of the nearby Days Inn and the new apartment building is nowhere near finished. I’ve been told by two people now that it is also going to have a tower on the roof (reason unknown) so next July 4th I’ll be watching my fireworks from the parking garage across the street. Boo hiss.

As I close, prayers go out to all who were effected yesterday by all the violent storms, and for those in Pennsylvania, batten down the hatches for we are expected to get storms today.

I’m not certain if I will put up a Sunday blog entry or not, so we will say until next Wednesday, take care, have a great week, love to all, and happy reading.