Tag Archives: 4th of July

From Rebecca: Happy 4th of July next week

Greetings, Joe’s readers. The 4th of July is next Tuesday. We will celebrate the courageous and breathtaking chances our first leaders took when setting up the United States of America, and the people who carried forward the promises of a free and equal country. Our nation is experiencing a time of conflict and anger now, as it has many times before, and, like each of those times before, I expect the county will emerge from the struggle closer to freedom for all.

Our first leaders, coming from an experience of monarchy and long reigns for rulers, decided to base their new government on elections by the people being governed, and to have a peaceful transfer of power. No overthrowing (or killing) one leader to install another, but a voluntary giving up of power. That was such an amazing concept for a brand new country to even try. It is still an amazing concept even today. We see it play out on all levels, from school board members to state legislators, to governors, to federal legislators, to the president. That much turn-over in leadership, and it has made our country among the most stable governments in the world. That is something to celebrate.

We also have something to celebrate in these words from the preamble to the Declaration of Independence: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

When I was a child in school, I was taught that the word men in this statement meant mankind, and included women and children in the unalienable rights too. I was also taught that when the country began, voting rights applied to only white men, aged 21 years or older, who owned land. That shiny ideal that all people are created equal and endowed with certain rights was a long way from practice when our country started. In fact, with slavery, indentured servants, and class systems, the country was as far from the shiny ideal as it could be. But it was a beginning.

Every day, month, year, decade, generation, and century that goes by we get closer to equal rights for all. With non-land owners getting the vote, the official end to slavery, black men getting the vote and then getting elected to offices, women getting the vote and getting elected to offices, the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the legalization of same-sex marriages, and every other step small and large, The United States of America has moved closer to that beacon in the distance. Social change is slow, even at times when it comes in big bursts. But no matter the speed, social change is always headed towards that awesome ideal given to us all at the beginning of this nation: That all are created equal with certain unalienable rights.

Happy July 4th everybody. Have a great weekend, take care, and happy reading.

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Top ten list of my favorite foods

Greetings, readers. I thought it might be fun today to share with you my top ten favorite foods. According to our search results, I haven’t done this one yet, though I thought I had. I love meal time and snacking so almost any food or beverage will be included. Only #1 will be in order.

#10. Pepperoni pizza. [Although I can’t have it very often, because it gives me heartburn, I love a good pepperoni pizza. Pizza Hut and Domino’s are two excellent pies but my favorite in town is from an Italian restaurant called Mamma Mia’s. They serve the pizza from a traditional Italian recipe.]

#9. Steak. [A good thick filet brings back memories of 4th of July barbeques with the family. Dad only used the grill once or twice a year, but he sure knew how to do it. I like mine cooked medium.]

#8. French fries. [I don’t have them too often, but my favorite ones are from McDonald’s. They are usually crispy and not too terribly greasy.]

#7. Earl Grey hot tea. [No, I’m not related to Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation, but I do enjoy the occasional cup of Earl Grey, with a little bit of cream and honey. It is my second hot beverage of choice.]

#6. The Subway six-inch sandwich. [My favorite is pepperoni and provolone cheese toasted, on 9 grain honey-oat bread, with a little bit of lettuce and mayonnaise. A delightful light dinner.]

#5. Cheesecake. [Let’s just say, don’t put a whole one in front of me. It wouldn’t last long.]

#4. Fried chicken. [When our town used to have a Kentucky Fried Chicken, I would go there on a semi-regular basis and chow down for not much money. I would enjoy extra crispy with mashed potatoes, a biscuit and a drink.]

#3. Grilled Stickies from Ye Olde College Diner. [A wonderful dessert item best served warm with a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream. It is an award-winning treat specific to this town.]

#2. Coffee. [I’ve enjoyed this beverage since the age of ten and it is my go-to drink, my beverage of choice. About a year ago I bought a Keurig and I can enjoy as many cups per day that I want to. Bring on the breakfast blend!]

#1. Ice Cream. [My go-to depression comfort food. I’m going out on a limb here to let my regular readers know that when I am at my most depressed it is not uncommon for me to take a half-gallon, watch Netflix, and enjoy the entire container watching my shows. Is this the fast lane to diabetes? Oh, yes. So I have cut back on doing this. My favorite flavor is Edy’s Oreo Cookies ‘n Cream. OMG.

Honorable mention I just thought of: Almost any favor of Dunkin’ Donuts doughnuts. [I just love the smell when you walk in the front door.]

It is a dim day outside but I got a lot of work done today, including this blog entry, checking Facebook and Twitter, and writing a blurb for a back book cover. It turned out really well, thanks to Rebecca. Until next Wednesday, take care, have a great weekend and happy reading.

Fourth of July fireworks and the weather

Greetings, readers. For the better part of a month State College, PA. has been in the throes of a dry spell. When does it choose to rain? That’s right, the night of my fireworks. Kitty cat Keekee and I wait all year for it, and that evening all we really saw were colored clouds. To be honest, they were pretty but it really wasn’t the spectacular show I was hoping for.

The 4th of July afternoon got off to a lovely start when Traci’s friends invited us for a picnic dinner. They really went all out. Everything was exceptional from the steaks right down to the coffee ice cream. Towards the end of dinner, around 3:00 in the afternoon, I was noticing the cloud getting darker. That was my first hint of a possible rain snafu.

I was home for a number of hours before it actually started to rain. I heard it pounding off my window, checked my clock, which read 7:00 pm. My heart sank. You see readers, as I might have mentioned before, there are certain days and holidays that I really look forward to. The 4th of July is one of those days. It ranks right up there with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and Christmas morning. I usually have a clear view of the fireworks from my window, so I can sit in my own comfy chair and enjoy the display. Not this year.

Could I change the weather? That answer is a big no. The machine to do that has not been invented yet. Humans have to take the weather as it comes.

After the fireworks were over, I made myself a cup of coffee, got on the computer and chatted with friends on Facebook. By 11:30, my finger was hitting the back space key so often that I said to myself, sorry friends, it is time to go to bed. That was my 4th of July.

An upcoming event which I am really looking forward to is the wedding of my Goddaughter, Ashley Trost. I’m a proud Godpoppa. Traci and I will leave via Zipcar on July 16th and get back on the 18th. Then next month is the Maine excursion. I always look forward to that and I hope to bring back new stories for a possible third camp book. I’m going to take a small tape recorder with me and turn it on when I talk to David. Together I am sure we will come up with lots of good ideas. Gee, there went the whole summer.

We will see if I can put another blog entry up tomorrow. I am taking a personal day on Friday for a doctor’s appointment.

Until soonest, take care, have a great day, and happy reading.

Top ten list of Keekee’s favorite habits

Greetings, readers. I was trying to think of a good top ten list to do and I asked Rebecca – what about a top ten list of Keekee’s favorite habits. We got out the old scratch pad to take notes, and today’s blog entry quickly came together. These are in absolutely no order whatsoever. I hope you enjoy this list.

#10. Keekee is my alarm clock. [Keekee nudges me awake for breakfast before the alarm goes off.]

#9. Jumps on top of the refrigerator to get huggy hugs and kisses too, before her little saucer of milk.

#8. Follows me around the apartment when I turn on all the lights in the morning. [We have a set pattern, going from bedroom, to bathroom, to kitchen.]

#7. Knows when I am sad or depressed. [She stays very close to me, as if to let me know that she is there.]

#6. Doesn’t mind going on the bus. [Some animals will cry, growl, or hiss, but I put a towel over her pet carrier and she has never misbehaved. She just sleeps.]

#5. Dinner and treats. [Same thing as the morning routine, but she does know the difference between words, definitely.]

#4. She knows when she’s been bad. [All we have to do is show her the air can, and she immediately stops said behavior, which usually is scratching my furniture.]

#3. Watching the 4th of July boom-booms. [Living on the eighth floor of my apartment building, I get a great view of the yearly fireworks display. Keekee sits on the window sill, and with all the lights off, we both enjoy the colorful display.]

#2. She is a good watch cat. [She knows when people are coming to the door long before I can hear them. With one person, whom she is frightened of, she puts her tail down, runs and hides.]

#1. My nap and sleeping buddy. [When it is time to take nappies or take a sleepies, within minutes she joins me on the recliner chair, goes to her spot at my feet, curls up and goes to sleep. Lately I’ve been sleeping with a scented candle on, and if I wake up at night, I can see her wrapped up in a ball and looking so cute, dreaming about who knows what.]

Keekee is either 9 or 10 years old now, I need to verify that at her next vet appointment. I don’t even want to think about the day that she goes to kitty-cat heaven. I know it is going to happen one day, and that will certainly be one of the low points in my life. I’ll deal with that then.

If any of you folks have pets and wish to share their habits and antics, please leave a comment here or on Facebook.

Until tomorrow, have a great day, take care, and happy reading. Keekee says meow.

The blog’s new look

Greetings, readers. I thought it was time for a change to the look of the blog. We had the previous style for quite a while, and as people say, change is good. The new theme is called Big Brother. I really don’t know why it is called that, but it is. I was drawn to its simplicity, great look, and, being a Penn State fan, the blue on white color scheme.

I wanted to try to put a picture of Keekee back on the home page at some point. I don’t think that I’ll do it with this choice. The colors would clash. Also, without a picture, the latest entry is visible on the screen without scrolling down. I was afraid that Rebecca wasn’t going to like the choice, but she did. We are both very happy that all the tabs for other pages are clearly visible up top, and no one has to search for them.

Another reason for this blog entry is that I am considering taking a personal day tomorrow. So if I do take that day off, we will have our quota of two weekly blog entries. It’s very important to me to do this. I enjoy relaying what goes on in my life, and Rebecca has told me that some blogs start strong but don’t get added to for months at a time. Although the comments are few and far between, I do have a nice number of followers. Never having any negative comments, I must be doing something right with my choice of topics.

I mentioned before that I was going to discuss topics a little more controversial at times, such as news and politics. In a previous post, I mentioned the Washington Redskins and their team name offending people. I can also see the same thing happening with the Confederate flag. I do not like racist people and do not condone it in any way. I learned that the suspect shouted racial slurs before and during his shooting spree in the church in South Carolina. Today I saw in the news that TV Land is pulling the reruns of the Dukes of Hazzard. The show’s famous car the General Lee had a Confederate flag on the roof, and that flag is extremely taboo right now. In 1865, when the civil war ended, both sides of the conflict became once again the United States of America. The Stars and Stripes is our national flag. People in this country should learn to put their differences behind them. There is enough hatred in this world, why don’t we show the rest of the globe that the color of our skin means nothing. It’s a person’s heart, mind and soul that is important.

Until next week, take care, have a wonderful 4th of July weekend, and happy reading.

What an extremely frustrating morning I had

Greetings, readers. I can’t believe this computer is cooperating. I woke up this morning at 8:00 and by noon I had gotten absolutely nothing done. My five-and-a-half year old Asus computer was flipping me off and giving me the f-word. I was not pleased.

I had hoped to check Facebook and Twitter by 9:00 and then spend the rest of the morning writing new pages on my novel. By 11:45, I was so frustrated that I almost opened my window and let the Asus fall to its death. I’m very glad I didn’t, since I wouldn’t be able to type this entry in now.

Some pop-up ads come up last night. One of them had some sexual content on it – I have a feeling that might be the culprit. After work hours are concluded, I’m going to run the virus scanner, the mal-ware scanner, and de-frag the computer. Hopefully this will solve the problems.

I’ve told myself that I want to try to keep this computer running until October. With camp time just around the corner, I really can’t be spending money on both things right now. This Asus will have to do. If it breaks down completely, I think I actually have a typewriter somewhere. Ah, remember the good old days.

On a positive slant for today, the weather is beautiful outside. Sunny, warm, a cool breeze, and moderate humidity. I sure could take more of these. Rebecca tells me that rain is on the way for tomorrow, so I’ll probably be taking my hoodie to gaming day.

Next Friday, I hope to have some kind of post dealing with the 4th of July. I’ve always loved that holiday. And when the fireworks are shot off at the stadium, Keekee and I have a great view from our living room window. I turn off all the lights, open the windows, and Keekee and I watch what I tell her are “the boom booms.” She is fascinated by the many colors.

Hopefully this entry will post without any issues, and it will link properly to Facebook and Twitter. If it doesn’t, we will fix it later. I bid you a super weekend, do take care, and happy reading.

Happy 4th of July… a few days late :-(

Greetings, readers. Happy 4th of July to everyone. I sincerely hope that you will be able to see this on the 4th of July. I’m having massive internet issues at the moment and said blog entry is being created on my word processing program. If the internet connection resolves itself, later I will be able to copy and paste this into the blog program and add tags and a category. Wish me luck.

The laptop that Rebecca and I use is a five-year-old ASUS brand which has been a Sherman tank. I really love it. With it we have put out the three books and all the blog entries that you have enjoyed. Sadly, I fear the old laptop is coming to the end of its twilight years. Time will tell.

We got an early start today and that’s okay with me because I have a full day of plans set for myself. Later on I plan to go to Panera, which is open today, and read the rest of Darren’s first three chapters. And of course tonight I will be watching the fireworks display from my apartment window, which looks out towards Beaver Stadium. I am on the top floor of my building, giving me a great view. It should be gloriously cool tonight with low humidity. The last two days and nights have been scorchers. My rule of thumb for fireworks evening is I turn off the AC and open the windows, so that Keekee and I can hear the kabooms as we watch the lights show. With temperatures expected to fall into the 50s, I may need to wear my hoodie.

4th of July is one of those days I look forward to every year. When I was younger, I always thought of summer in three phases. Phase one was from when the school year would end in early June. Phase two begins today. Not too long from now, preparations will be made to go to Maine once again, and the day I pull out to go to camp is the first day of phase three. When all the Penn State students arrive in late August, to me summer is over.

Getting nostalgic for a moment, today would have been the day that Dad would get out the old grill in the backyard, and have the first of two cookouts. We’d have steaks and corn on the cob with Hires root beer. His second cookout was usually right before we all went to camp.

Rebecca and I are going to wrap up this rather short entry so that we can edit and get back to trying to fix the internet issues. Enjoy your 4th of July, stay safe out there, have a great weekend and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Techonology grrr 5

Happy belated 4th of July to everyone. Joe dictated and I typed an entry on Friday for the holiday, but the internet connection on Joe’s laptop is not working and we could not get to the internet in order to post the entry.

Joe is taking the laptop to an expert early this week, so hopefully the problem will be solved by Wednesday or Thursday. so he can do his blog posts this week (among other things he likes to use the internet for, like Facebook and iTunes). If you don’t see another entry from him this week, you’ll know he is still struggling with it.

So, as Joe would say, until next time, take care, have a good week, and happy reading.

I can’t believe it’s only a month and a half until vacation

Greetings, readers. Yes, the first week of August is quickly approaching. Before I know it, it will be the 4th of July, and that won’t leave me much time to prepare to leave at end of the month. This year I cannot wait; more so than in years past. Lots of plans are going to be made for this summer. Some plans for here in State College, including preparing for a performance in September, while other plans are for camp.

While at camp, my friend Dave and I are going to sit down and have one of our usual evening chats. Usually we just shoot the bull and it’s laughs galore. This time, however, I will have a serious topic for him. During the year, something has happened that I want to get his view on and we always have our best heart to heart talks face to face. The other evenings I am sure will be filled with story time for the kids and campfires. I’m not sure how many years I’ll still be going to Bear Spring Camps, so I am going to make a point to enjoy each second as much as possible. I remember when I returned to camp in 2009 after a hiatus, that I paid extra special attention to how beautiful the trees and lake looked and how soothing the birds and crickets sounded. I plan to have that same appreciation this year just in case it’s my last.

But getting back to this summer. I waited all winter for it, and here we are approaching late June already. As Norman Thayer, Jr. from On Golden Pond would say, “Good God.” Now some of you might correct me that summer hasn’t even officially started yet. For me, once the Indianapolis 500 has taken place, it’s the summer season. I go by my own calendar.

The biggest thing I’m going to do at camp this year will be the taking of detailed notes, because this is the final year that I will let pass without working on a book. Whether that is camp book 3, blog book 2 or other, that remains to be seen. When Rebecca and I begin work again on August 13th, we’re going to cook and book, no pun intended.

Enjoy the pretty weather if you have it, stay safe if you don’t, have a great weekend and happy reading.

I’ll be at Addison Court for at least one more year

Greetings, readers. Today I began the process, i.e. paperwork, for renewing my lease for another year at Addison Court apartment building. I moved in here in 2006 or 2007. I can’t believe I’m quickly approaching a whole decade here in this place. The first year was murder; I wasn’t used to the downtown traffic or all the hustle and bustle outside my window on a Penn State football Friday night. Now I barely hear it.

A few months ago I was highly debating whether I would renew, but suffice it to say there is far less drama than there used to be, and it is once again a very enjoyable place to live. Addison Court is next door to a small grocery store, very near the public library, as well as my very much-loved Panera cafe. In the last year or so something called Zipcar was added to our town. For those that don’t know what that is, it is called car sharing; it is car renting but better. I love it so much I did a blog entry about it. Five Zipcar vehicles are parked near Addison Court, making almost any errand I need to do at a moment’s notice convenient to do.

The folks here at Addison Court are some of the nicest people I have met. Do I love everybody here? That might be going a little extreme, but I try to get along with everyone. We all have our faults. When I finally do leave Addison Court and some time has passed, I think I will write a book about my experiences, changing all the names of course. Watch that be my big seller. Lol.

My absolute favorite thing about Addison Court is my top-floor living room picture window looking out toward Beaver Stadium, where on the 4th of July I have the best seat in the house for the fireworks. I can see them plain as day, without being too close to cause any hearing damage. Those shells are loud folks. Keekee the kitty cat is also fascinated by it; I tell her that it is time to watch the boom-booms.

Will I ever leave Addison Court? Oh, I’ve had pipe dreams of living in a lavish home in Florida with servants, but that is just what dreaming is. We can say, what is your ultimate life and enjoy living it through our dreams. Though in reality I have a nice apartment that takes pets, a good little kitty cat for company, good friends, and for the most part my health. So I’m content to be here at Addison for the foreseeable future.

Look for another blog entry on Friday and as always, take care, have a good day and happy reading.