Tag Archives: bear spring camps

A small apology and top ten list of my summer plans

Greetings, readers. Before we begin the top ten list for today, I must apologize for not having the short story ready that I mentioned in yesterday’s entry. I wanted to use my voice recognition program while I sat at the computer with my coffee and breakfast. Wouldn’t you know, my back decided to choose this morning to go out. Back to bed I had to go with all lights off. What a pain in the grass. I’ll definitely try to post the short story either over the weekend or next Wednesday.

Now for the top ten list of things I’m going to do this summer. As I mentioned before, I have been granted the three months off from my fast food job beginning right after the Penn State graduation weekend. These are the things I am going to try very hard to accomplish before the end of August. Here we go.

#10. Take walks and get in better shape. [Even though I am not overweight, I have been having heart problems, and more exercise in the fresh air is always good for everybody. I think I can handle two loops around the block.]

#9. Not watch as much TV or YouTube videos. [When I’m in Maine, I do not have a TV. I’m very limited to my entertainment and I actually like it that way. I think for the summer, I’m going to imagine that I am in a woodland cabin by the lake. I think that will reduce stress and allow me to do a lot of writing.]

#8. Clean out my walk-in hall closet. [I’m going to need some help for this one, but I know where I can get it. This poor walk-in closet is my third, fourth, and fifth room. I’ll leave how much stuff is in it to your imagination. Lots of stuff I have in there I wish to keep, unfortunately not all of it is going to make the cut. I must trim it down by half.]

#7. Take back my bedroom. [Oh, dear readers, I’ve been trying to do this one for years. I take three steps forward, and slide five steps back. Keeping it nice is a never-ending process. With time off from my fast food job though, and with family coming in June, I should have plenty of time and motivation to get it at least company acceptable.]

#6. Eat better. [I found a couple of places within walking distance that serves healthy food. There is a Chinese restaurant close to where I live, and I think that all those vegetables can give me all the vitamins and minerals I am lacking. Also, The Corner Room at the bottom of the hill serves complete dinners. Man cannot live by ice cream and blueberry muffins alone. Lol.]

#5. Write short stories. [As mentioned yesterday, I have several story ideas on all four burners. I just need to turn up the heat and get them cooking. Again, the proper amount of uninterrupted time and relaxed atmosphere should do the trick in providing a writing frame of mind. The voice recognition program will help a lot too.]

#4. Train the new kitty. [This one goes without saying, but I will say it anyway. Tomorrow a new chapter of my life begins as kitty cat Princess Josie comes home. Of course KeeKee will always be remembered and loved, but I need a new support animal, and I think P.J. will fit the bill just fine. Of course, I’ll have to show her where the litter box is and teach her what she can and cannot scratch. Everything I don’t want chewed my first day out of the apartment will have to be put in the bedroom with the door closed.]

#3. Rest my feet and knees. [As I’ve told my co-workers, I’m not trying to be a wimp here, but I think these three months off will do wonders for my feet and knees. I’ll gladly trade-off a sore behind if it means plenty of pages written.]

#2. Get Four’s a Crowd published and selling. [This is a project that has been going on for several years and we are one proof away, I think, from having it ready to click for sale on CreateSpace.com. We have to find a way to publicize it though, I don’t want this new book to falter and drown like my books have.]

#1. Go to Maine. [I am reserved my cabin and am obviously planning to go to Bear Spring Camps again this summer. My week away from central Pennsylvania will recharge my batteries and get me ready for another year. It always seems to do that.]

Well there you have it, the top ten list of things I will do this summer. I’d like to thank everybody for the 21 views of yesterday’s post. Very encouraging. I hope you all continue to enjoy the blog. Until next week, I bid you a wonderful weekend, take care, and happy reading.

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My health, what is the worst that can happen? My heart could go splat

Greetings, readers. An incident happened yesterday afternoon which has seriously made me reconsider what is going on in my life right now. I am now making it publicly known that I am having some minor heart issues. At least I hope they are minor. I was sent home early yesterday from my fast food job because my irregular heartbeat would not calm itself. I am glad I am getting it checked tomorrow.

While I am at the doctor’s Thursday afternoon, Rebecca will be putting up the blog from home. I am taking off tomorrow completely to rest before my stress test. Let me explain the current phenomena. The heart goes wrong when I’m stressed, when I’m tired, or quite often after I sit down from an activity. The fluttering sensation lasts about 5 to 15 seconds and then goes away. If anybody can give me information about what this might be, please leave a comment in the comment section or catch me on my Facebook page. Any info would be most helpful.

I know that pessimism is a bad trait but last evening I could not help but think of all the bad things that could go wrong in the coming weeks. What is the doctor going to say? What is the stress test going to show? I’m so paranoid, I’m going to pack an overnight bag in case the doctor sends me right to the hospital. For those of you who want a chuckle, yes, I was a boy scout for one day and remember their motto is always be prepared.

I also began to do an overview of my life last evening, starting from an early age and going right on up through the years. I had a happy childhood, and high school was fine, then things started to go wrong. Because of my disability that no one in my family wanted to address, myself included, I did not graduate from Penn State University. I failed. Later on I got married. That didn’t work either. I failed. My writing career is not that much to speak of, less the blog and a few small completed works. I won’t call that a failure, but I’m not paying the rent with my royalties. I’m sure you can see the pattern here.

I also started to think about my time at Bear Spring Camps. Oh, the joyous childhood memories I have with Mr. Greco, Dave, and everyone who has camped there over the years. I consider them all my family. With this season’s camp week approaching in a few months, last night I asked myself just how many more years do I think I’ll be able to go? As a naïve youngster, I thought I would go until the day I died. Well, this camp season might be it for me. Perhaps not. But I don’t see myself going for another 25 years. Either health or lack of money will prevent that.

Yes, readers, times change, people’s health deteriorates, and the carefree happiness of youth turns into the hard reality of adulthood. I will have some of the test results by the end of tomorrow. With all the information in, I will be able to make a plan about staying at my job or having to give it up to take care of my health issue. I hope not, I actually love my job.

Well, this macabre entry has gone on long enough. I’ll close on a cheerful note. Views of my gaming channel videos have improved slightly. Rebecca told me this morning that I need to add my full name to the tags, as it will make it easier for people to find said videos in a YouTube search of just my name. Thank you very much to Rebecca.

Rebecca will chime in tomorrow and we’ll both be back as usual next Wednesday. Until then, take care, have a great few days, and happy reading.

I have decided to make gaming videos on YouTube

Greetings, readers. As we approach blog entry 700, I wondered if there was another way or medium I could use to be creative. The answer came to me a few days ago. I’ve watched many videos on YouTube of people playing various video games. Fishing Planet is a big one, as are the two truck simulators. I have most of those games downloaded on Steam and with a new app I got for free, I can now record videos. You can’t see my face, but that’s okay.

I have five videos up so far and have my very first subscriber. My channel, The JMK Gaming Channel, is up and running. I have three videos up of me playing the game Fishing Planet and two of Train Simulator 17. I’m impressed on how remarkably smooth my narration is; I’ve only stuttered a couple of times. Well what do you know, I have another forum on multimedia to show off my talents.

When I play Fishing Planet, I can actually imagine myself in Maine holding that rod. The ambiance of birds, insects, and a slight breeze makes the game incredibly realistic. You’re not in a speed boat, you are just standing on the bank or bridge, depending on your location on the map. I’ve always loved Train Simulator and the Portland, Maine run is my favorite scenario. My favorite game is Out of the Park Baseball 18 … and I’ve already pre-ordered OotP 19. I am in control of the completely fictitious Canadian Baseball League. I am the general manager of the Winnipeg Bluebirds. I raced through season one just to get a little history in the league and this second season so far I played every game. My team was one game away from winning it all last season. This season, with all of our injuries, I doubt we will make the playoffs. Within a week or so, I’ll be starting a series on the gaming channel for Out of the Park Baseball. Viewers will have to excuse me if I am 8/10ths of the way through the season; we will just pick it up from there. And season three will be a blast.

Other games I am going to play on my channel will be Fernbus Simulator with a coach bus driving anywhere in Germany, and Plague Inc. where I literally get to destroy the planet’s population. That one is a kind of a weird game, folks. A few months ago I also bought for cheap a game called House Party. The sole objective is to find the woman who you want to do it with and do it. It has one feature that will have Rebecca either laughing hysterically or rolling her eyes – this game, if you push the right button, you will hear the guy’s zipper unzip and you will see him pleasuring himself. That is when I stopped playing the game. I’m old school and things like that should be kept private. One cool thing about that game, however, is behind the young lady’s house is a big back yard with a fire pit which is very beautiful to look at.

With this blog entry being posted on my Facebook page and my Twitter page, some might say this is an advertisement for my gaming channel. I don’t think so, but I am going to link to the Bear Spring Camps page to let my friends there know that Fishing Planet, a remarkably realistic simulator, will be featured often.

Next Wednesday will be the 700th blog post. That is unbelievable to me. I want to thank everyone who has read us over the years and invite you all to stick around for the next 100.

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

R.I.P. to Jean Bennett

Greetings, readers. This is a long overdue R.I.P. to a wonderful lady and fellow Bear Spring Camper, Jean Bennett. She passed away on January 6, 2018. Mrs. Bennett was a sweet lady and loved her entire family very much. There are many nice things I remember about Mrs. Bennett and this piece will be a tribute to her.

Though she was a reserved woman, she always greeted me with a warm smile and hello. She collected donations for the camp’s annual softball game to benefit Pine Tree Camp for mental and physically challenged children, and took pride in doing so. During said game, she was the score keeper. I remember every time the campers would not score during an inning, she would turn the zero into a frowny face. What fond memories the brain can conjure up; I haven’t thought about that score sheet in years.

When it was their turn to host happy hour, Mrs. Bennett was the supreme hostess. She and her husband Mr. Bennett had a nice selection of refreshments, hard and soft, for everyone to enjoy, as well as snacks, cheeses and dips. They had the largest cabin, with what I think is one of the best views of the lake.

Mr. and Mrs. Bennett are two of a handful of folks that I put in the category of ‘my mom’s crowd’. When I was growing up, just like I had my crowd at camp, she had hers. They are people in their 60s and up. If I continue to go to camp for another decade or so, I hate to say it, but many of my mom’s crowd that I knew as a child may be gone. I’m not saying anything negative about the new folks, but every generation has its own unique feel.

Mrs. Bennett, I miss you. I know you and Mr. Bennett are up there in heaven having a happy hour and keeping a watchful eye on your family. Thank you for your friendship of all these years and much love.

I’m taking tomorrow off as a personal day but next Wednesday’s blog topic will deal with my new fascination on YouTube. I’m currently watching Canadian Football League Grey Cup games from the mid-1970s. Rebecca will put up an entry tomorrow. It is too soon for me to do a post about losing my cat KeeKee, but I plan to do it next Thursday. So until next week, take care, have a great few days, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Joe’s kitty cat Keekee passed away today

Greetings, readers. Keekee passed away this afternoon at 2:10. Joe will probably post a blog entry about this soon with his feelings and thoughts. I wanted to put up an entry with the news and a few photos of her today. She had cancer, and Joe didn’t want her to be in pain or suffer. She was at the vet’s for two nights and then today they put her to sleep. Joe was with her.

I am feeling sad, of course. I’m used to seeing Keekee every week when I go to work with Joe in his office/apartment. She was usually quiet while we worked, though every once in a while she would want all the attention in the room on her. I haven’t thought about it lately because it has been a long time since she did it, but once in a while she used to just zoom from one end of the room to another and we never knew what set her off. All work would stop for a few minutes until she calmed down again. A lot of times she would curl up on his lap when he dictated the blog entry, and then jump up ready to eat when he asked if she was ready for dinner.

Those of you who are long-term readers of this blog know that Joe goes to Bear Spring Camps in Maine every August and that while he was away for that week and a half, I would take care of Keekee. I made sure her water bowl had enough water, that her dry food was full, that she got half a can of moist food, and kept her company for a few hours. I would post entries about how she was doing and how much she was shedding (she shed so much when Joe was away!) By the end of the first week he was gone, she would want to be pet a lot. It was actually the only time I would pet her so much and for so long in one sitting.

I promised photos and here they are. I will miss Keekee very much.

 

 

 

 

I had to take Keekee to the vet

Greetings, readers. Today’s entry was going to be a R.I.P for Jean Bennett, who passed away recently, and I will write that soon, but something happened yesterday that is filling all my thoughts. I had to take my beloved kitty cat to the vet, for she had a lot of mouth pain. As it turns out she had two bad teeth which had to go … that was the easy fix. She also has a tumor on her tongue. That might not be able to be fixed.

She stayed at the vet’s office overnight and will be examined thoroughly today as well as operated on as necessary. They are also going to do a biopsy on the tumor, and the results won’t be back for five or six days. I’m hoping that one of the vets can simply remove it today. If they leave it in her until next week, which will facilitate a follow up appointment, I’ll have to watch her not eat for seven more days. That will make Joe’s stress meter run high. I just called a moment ago to see how she survived the night. Keekee is an indoor cat, and she is not used to being away from home for more than a few hours at the vet’s office. The nurse says she was hiding behind her little litter box, but other than that she was doing okay. She’ll be put under mid-afternoon and my vet said he will give me a call when the procedure is finished. I’m hoping she’s done today so I can go out and bring her home, because I have shifts at my fast food job the next two days. Keekee takes precedence however, so I may have to call off to pick her up and bring her home.

Last night was very strange, not having Keekee here, as was this morning when she didn’t come running for her breakfast after my alarm went off. I’ve never thought of Keekee as a support animal, but I suppose she is. My family and I have always had pets, and if it is Keekee’s time to go to kitty cat heaven, I will wait until after this coming camp and then look into perhaps getting another feline friend. Just to be clear though, nothing will ever replace Keekee. No other animal will have her exact habits again. There is still a decent chance that everything will turn okay and she will be around for many years to come. I am preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.

To the Bennett family: Mrs. Bennett was a dear friend of mine and at Bear Spring Camps was one of my mom’s crowd, as I like to say. An R.I.P. in her honor will be written next week.

Until next Wednesday, take care, think warmer temperatures, and as always, happy reading.

Who will win this year’s Super Bowl?

Greetings, readers. Three teams out of this year’s final four of the National Football League’s playoffs are, to say at the very least, surprises. Everybody and their mother’s uncle expected the New England Patriots to be there, but not many thought teams such as the Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings or Philadelphia Eagles would be playing for their conference’s championship.

While the Vikings and Eagles are great teams, they are being led by backup quarterbacks. They are darned good ones, but backups nonetheless. Also, the Jaguars’ quarterback Blake Bortles is a relative unknown. I would thoroughly enjoy seeing two teams such as the Vikings and the Jaguars play in this year’s Super Bowl. Another historic first would be if the Minnesota Vikings would be able to play in their own home stadium, where the Super Bowl will be played this year. In the history of the Super Bowl game, a stadium’s home team has never made it to the big game. If the Vikings beat the Eagles in the play-off game this weekend, it would lead to a truly historic event.

Just how likely is the Vikings and Jaguars matchup? Not very. It seems like the National Football League for some reason never wants to have a “home game” in the Super Bowl. Here is my prediction. Eagles to play the Patriots and the Patriots to win convincingly. You see dear readers, after many years of the New England Patriots winning championships in a plethora of ways, I just think that Tom Brady and company will find a way to pull it out of the hat once again. How boring! My two cents is that it would be wonderful for the National Football League to crown a champion that has never won a Super Bowl – the four-time losers, the Minnesota Vikings come to mind.

Lastly, on another note – and I will have a full R.I.P blog entry tomorrow – the wonderful lady camper Mrs. Jean Bennett passed away recently. She was one of my mom’s generation and it is sad to lose another Bear Spring Camper whom I knew as a child.

Until tomorrow, prayers go out to all the victims of the California mudslides, all who are caught in bad weather and storms, and good thoughts to all those who need it. Let’s think spring.

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

From Rebecca: The day before Thanksgiving

Darren and I are going to have his mother over for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, and we have a few things to do to get ready. The main thing today is to deep clean the apartment, something we do about every two months. We know we should do it more often, but we just don’t. We keep things clean in general all the time – we do the dishes every day, put things back where they belong so that clutter doesn’t accumulate, and take the trash and recycling out at least once a week. Today, though, we will be cleaning the kitchen, bathroom, and running the vacuum. It takes us about 45 minutes to get through it, and having his mother over tomorrow is a good push to do our deep clean.

Joe got on a bus this morning, traveling to visit his buddy-brother David and the family for a long holiday weekend. He has been so excited about seeing family members he only sees a few times a year. Many of them he last saw in August at Bear Spring Camps, but a few of them weren’t there this year, I think. Anyway, I expect he will have a lot of fun and fellowship.

Darren will cook the dinner tomorrow, while I get his mom. We don’t cook a whole turkey, but instead he will bake sliced turkey breast under gravy, and make some mashed potatoes and carrots to go with it. It will be a small family gathering but a good one. I am one of the lucky people in this world to get along with a mother-in-law. I love Mom a lot and she loves me back.

I am grateful for so much in my life; my family, my friends, my books and shows and other entertainments, as much health as I do have, my physical comforts, having a car (Joe’s life would be easier at times owning a car, so I see first-hand what a blessing it is), and my dear husband. I appreciate Thanksgiving day for the yearly reminder to count our blessing and say thanks. It is so easy to focus on what we don’t have, what we wish we had, and how we wish life was different. It is a good thing to be in gratitude.

That is it for today. Tomorrow I will post a quick greeting, then next week Joe will be back, probably with a top ten list. Take care, have a great day, and happy reading.

 

My feet and legs are still on the mend

Greetings, readers. Although I have a little bit of walking to do in town today, which can’t be helped, I plan to spend the majority of the day off my ailing feet. I am still recovering from my fall the other week, where apparently I twisted my left knee badly. After yesterday’s work shift, I sat down to my crew meal and when I got up my legs almost couldn’t support me. This is when it is time to throw the bottle of pain reliever in the tote bag. Tomorrow before my extra work shift, I’ll go ahead and take two Aleve.

I’m filling in for someone tomorrow and it will only be the second time I’ve worked three days straight. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but I am a part-timer. As I believe with most people, once you are on the job and working, you don’t have time to complain or think about discomfort. For me, getting up at 5:00 to do the few things I need to do on my computer as I have my morning coffee, means that I go to bed around 9:00pm. Under normal circumstances, that would be a wee bit early for me, but when I am tired, I sleep.

Speaking of sleep, when I get those extra hours, I’ve noticed that I have pretty vivid dreams. Recently I’ve been dreaming about my parents, and Bear Spring Camps in an altered form. Just a couple of nights ago, I somehow took a chainsaw and destroyed my mom’s car. Then I wanted to drive it. She told me, no you can’t drive anymore. This, I am sure my therapist would say, is me telling myself that I should not own a car for a multitude of personal reasons.

I’m still having tons of fun with Out of the Park Baseball 18, but if any of you, my readers, know the answer to the upcoming question, please chime in here or on Facebook: All my players’ injuries seem to be season-ending. Does anyone know a way to adjust injure severity mid-season? Or do I have to wait until the next season rolls around to make adjustments? I am losing so many players on my Pittsburgh Steel Hounds, and the entire league is as well. I’ve searched through the manual and screen pages to see if I can adjust the severity of said injuries. So far, no such luck. I even went so far as to go on Twitter and tweet Out of the Park Baseball 18 directly and so far they have not replied. I still feel it’s the best baseball simulation ever made, with MLB The Show a close second.

Finally, I get a chuckle when Rebecca and I go through our stat numbers and the blog entry about my restful summer comes up. I met none of these goals, nor am I going to any time soon. I work four days a week and quite literally need to be off my feet as much as possible on my days off. With me having my job, this summer and now early fall has been way more hectic, but also fulfilling, than I ever thought it would be. I actually enjoy hopping on the bus early, getting my breakfast there, and clocking in. So far, so good, except for some construction woes. It seems like State College goes through a multitude of construction every summer. On this particular project going through the main artery of town, a problem arose and they had to redo all of it. One time I sat on the bus for 20 minutes and moved half a block. My job has a policy that if you call in and let them know that you on a bus delayed by traffic, it is an excused lateness.

So much for my hodgepodge couple of days. Until next time, I bid you a good day, take care, and as always, happy reading.

From Rebecca: Yes, another one from me

As Joe wrote yesterday, he has a follow-up doctor’s appointment for the foot he hurt in a fall last week, so I am bringing you today’s blog post. It seems like I have been doing this a lot in the last couple of months, for one reason or another, starting with Joe’s annual trip to Bear Spring Camps in Maine and then both of us have had some personal appointments on Thursdays. I like writing here, but I am aware that regular readers probably come for Joe’s unique voice and what he shares on this blog page.

Those of you who are long-time readers know that this is not our normal pattern, we usually go a month or so between From Rebecca posts, and Joe does both the entries each week. Life is hectic for us right now, and Joe’s job at a fast food restaurant has pulled a lot of his energy and time, but I do expect us to go back to the normal writing schedule soon.

I first met Joe in high school and we remained friends since then. I became his writing assistant in 2010, mainly to type for him as his cerebral palsy makes it slow and difficult for him to do that task for his writing work. He started this blog in December of 2011, with him dictating, me typing, and both of us editing. We have a good system down that we have used to put at least one new blog entry on this site every week for almost six years. I am very proud of that, and I know that Joe is too. When I post this entry, if will be the 654th one on this blog site.

We see from this site’s statistics that daily views are steadily getting higher. Joe has big spikes in views once in a while, usually when he writes something about Bear Spring Camps and links it to their Facebook page, but it looks like some people are staying around after the surges. To all of you who are long-term readers, thank you so much, we really appreciate you coming here so long. To all of you who are newer readers, welcome, and we hope you enjoy the voice and topics so much that you stick around.

Joe will be back next week, and as far as we know now, he will do the blog entry for both Wednesday and Thursday. As he would say, until then, have a good weekend, take care, and happy reading.