Tag Archives: Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts

My friend Dave is coming for my birthday

Greetings, readers. My buddy and brother Dave Trost is coming up tomorrow to visit me for my birthday. What a fantastic surprise. I’ll be turning 52 tomorrow and it will be nice to have Dave here. We’re planning on having birthday dinner at the Indian restaurant right underneath my apartment building. I suppose after that it will be back upstairs to watch movies or YouTube. Quite honestly, I would not mind just sitting and chatting about the old days. I love it when we reminisce.

Dave is able to take this two and a half day vacation because the poor boy cracked a bone in his ankle playing softball. That is a major ouch. Luckily for him, since he is planning to drive down for the visit, the walking boot is on his left foot. I don’t imagine we’ll be walking to Panera or any of the other eateries because I’m going to want my buddy to rest that foot as much as possible.

Another reason I don’t want Dave walking around town is that this just happens to be the week for our Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts. Panera and Sheetz will be crowded and who knows if we will even get a table. I might try something called OrderUp, which is an online service that will pick up food ordered from a restaurant and deliver it to your door. I think David will enjoy staying off his foot as much as he can.

Although Dave’s visit will be a short one, it has fallen on my birthday week and Arts Festival week. If Dave is feeling up to it, we might check out the food venders on the block nearest my building. I heard they have yummy corn dogs, bundt cake and funnel cake. That sounds like a treat for a person with a sweet tooth.

The weather, as is usual for this time of year where we have the Arts Fest downtown and the People’s Choice Festival in Boalsburg, is supposed to be warm and muggy with a chance of rain. That in itself is reason enough to stay in and play Yahtzee all evening. I can remember many an evening at Bear Spring Camps when Dave and I would play Yahtzee to pass the evening away. I still have very fond recollections of those nights. I even know where to find my Yahtzee game and score pads.

I’ll be certain to have a 12 pack of Coors Light so that when Dave arrives he can sit down and begin to enjoy his weekend. Usually we would walk together to get it, but this visit he gets pampered a bit. One of the movies that I know David will want to watch on Netflix is the Minions. My buddy just loves those yellow little characters.

The next blog entry we will be doing when we are together again next week will be a review of my new laptop computer. I won’t go into the full review here but I can give you a spoiler, I like it very much. Rebecca will be doing the blog tomorrow from home, which I am sure will be awesome.

Until I write again next week, have a great weekend, take care, and happy reading.

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From Rebecca: Joe’s birthday today and he is sick

Happy birthday, Joe! He is in the room with me but resting. And coughing. Not the best birthday! His cold is getting better, and in fact when he was out and about earlier in the day he was feeling good. He is focused on being over this illness by Saturday, when he will drive to New Jersey with Traci to attend an important wedding; regular readers of this blog will know that the wedding is that of his Goddaughter Ashley. He is so excited. He wouldn’t miss it for anything, so it is a good thing he is over the worst of the cold.

Today is Children’s Day at the Central Pennsylvania’s Festival of the Arts. Children’s booths, entertainment geared toward children, and lots of children everywhere. I met Joe and Traci in Panera at noon, as usual on a Wednesday, and the place was wild. A loud din, full tables, long lines, a couple of children running around, many children yelling, and the grown-ups shouting over the noise to be heard. At one point there was a boy in a stroller making a droning noise for a long time. He would occasionally raise the noise to a screech, then go back to droning, as his parents continued to make their selections and ignore him. Finally the three of us at our table started talking to him to stop the sound. He would not answer or stop droning, but his dad did notice us and picked the child up. That stopped it. Our experience in the restaurant was loud, chaotic, and we couldn’t talk to each other. I was relieved when we left. I usually love kids, but maybe not that many in one room.

The Arts Fest (as us locals call it) will continue in downtown State College and on the Penn State campus until Sunday. Tomorrow in Boalsburg (about a ten minute drive from downtown) will start the People’s Choice Festival, also running until Sunday. Every year these festivals bring a lot of people into our area, and the place gets a feeling of an outdoor party. It is a big event for the folks who live here, and most of us set our summer schedules by it (though some of that is because of changed traffic patterns).

Time seems to go so quickly sometimes. Just next month will be Joe’s trip to Maine, Ag Progress Days, and the Grange Fair and Encampment. I don’t attend any of these events myself, but I know people who do, and it marks the end of summer for me. I shouldn’t get ahead of myself, though, it is still the middle of July. Loads of summer left.

The weather is hot and humid now. Maybe I’m thinking of the end of summer because I am tired of the heat. I know Joe loves hot weather, but I do not. Oh, well. In the winter I will be complaining about the cold, so I should enjoy summer while it is here.

I will close with Joe’s usual ending. We are not sure if we are meeting on Friday, as Joe will be packing that day and getting ready for the trip. We might do the blog as usual, or he might put a quick entry up himself, or I might do another one. Until next time, have a great day, take care, and happy reading.

I am looking forward to spring and summer

Greetings, readers. Although here in central Pennsylvania this winter has not been severe by any means, I am looking forward to spring and summer. I am a warm weather person and always will be. Here are just a few of the things that I am looking forward to in the next five months.

First, baseball season begins in April. Although the 162 game season can get a little tedious to watch every day, I love opening day, the first few weeks of the season, and the playoffs. I will be glad to watch the Pittsburgh Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies once again.

At the end of May is the start of the summer season. The swimming pools open, and my favorite race to watch, the Indianapolis 500, takes place Memorial Day weekend.

In June, is Father’s Day, and that holds a bittersweet memory for me, for my mother passed away on Father’s Day 2003. I always mark the occasion by going to the gravesite to put flowers down and spend time with both of my parents – my father passed in 2008. As a child, June also meant the end of school. I would savor every minute between June 10th and early September. Can you tell I didn’t like school very much?

July is my birthday month, and even today I will treat myself to something special, like going for an ice cream or by going to a restaurant that I rarely go to. One year it was Meyer Dairy, which reminded me a lot of those wonderful evenings at Rummel’s Ice Cream Shop in Maine.

Speaking of Maine, in August is my usual trek up north for a week of fishing, boating, and sometimes swimming. It has to be a really hot day for me to jump in the lake.

Also in mid-July is the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts. I have fun walking through the cool mist fern display which really feels good on a hot humid July day.

Before you know it, it is mid-August again and summer is winding down. I wait all year for these five months and boy they sure do go quickly.

This entry is the 488th one I’ve written and published on this blog. As we approach it, I guarantee you, my readers, that #500 will be a spectacular entry. The topic has not been chosen yet, but I can promise you that I will not just be talking about the weather. Until next Wednesday, have a great weekend, take care, and happy reading.

OMG I’m almost 50

Greetings, readers. Yes, on Monday I’m going to be a half a century old. Doesn’t it sound depressing when I say it that way? To me it sounds better to say the big 5-0. Actually the way I think about life and my body is that you are as young as you feel. Sometimes I feel like a little kid, and some days I feel about 65. I like to play video games, listen to music, and sing. At least those things keep me feeling young.

What have I done in 50 years? I’ve written three books and a play. I’ve worked with Darren as he turned the play into a novel. I’ve gotten most of a college education. I’ve met several interesting women, every one of whom I’ve loved. I’ve blogged for 3 years and have loved it. And for the past 9 years I’ve taken care of my feline child Keekee. She’s my good little girl.

What do I plan to do in the next 20 or 30 years? My creativity is trying very hard to come back and I’ve got an idea that will be turned into anything from a short story to a novella. We’ll have to see how long I can stretch it. I’m still learning my craft. After having writer’s block for a year and a half, I must tell you it feels good. Now, for the sad news on this topic. The two fingers which I type with the most are suffering minor injuries. One because of a slight burn and the other because of an inflamed cuticle. I tried to type this morning but it hurt too much. I know, I know, excuses, excuses. I think that is what I’m going to put on my tombstone.

A large part of me wants to, before I die, get a used car so that I can continue to enjoy driving. My accountant and I butt heads about that topic about once a month. For me to obtain wheels, the book sales would really have to take off.

Ever since I was 13 years old, I’ve had a strange feeling I would die between my 59th and 60th birthday. It’s an eerie thing to believe I’ll only live another decade. Hopefully I’m wrong. I’d love to live to be a 100, if my health kept up. Imagine the technological advancements. I don’t think we’re going to see anything like the holodeck in Star Trek: The Next Generation, but perhaps a few more diseases might by cured. Time will tell.

On a brief side note, the Arts Festival here is going well. I might walk down Allen Street to listen to some of the music and see some art on display. It’s a nice day … for a change.

Tonight, hurting fingers or not, I’m going to type pages. I have nothing else on the agenda, so I’m going to do it. Wish me luck.

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

The Arts Festival is here again

Greetings, readers. Today is children’s day at the 49th Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts. Every July artists from all over come to display their wares. The first day, always a Wednesday, is for kids. They can play in the water bucket soaker, have their faces painted, and eat lots of yummy food. I believe that at our local library they have activities that kids can participate in indoors.

Tomorrow the booth sales begin up on campus and downtown. Goods include pottery, drawings, leather goods, sculptures in wood and metal, paintings, and glass works. I will admit that since everything is handmade, the prices range a bit high. But people do buy; sales have been good the last few years I’ve heard. One big factor is the weather.

It’s a running joke that during Arts Festival it is either a hundred degrees or it rains everyday. The forecast that I read called for cooler and drizzly. To me, that is not pleasant to walk around in. If I want to shop for things, I’ll go to a nice indoor mall or flea market.

In Boalsburg, a town not far from here, is the competing festival, the People’s Choice Festival of Pennsylvania Arts and Crafts. It has only Pennsylvania artists and has been running for 23 years. I’ve not visited it and to tell you the truth I’m not sure why. For one thing, I don’t have a car any more, and I would expect parking to be a hassle anyway. There is a bus that goes to Boalsburg, but I don’t have enough interest in it to go. If I want to go to a festival, there is one outside my front door.

Tomorrow I plan to partake of some of the delicious food. There are some choices that I don’t ever see except during this festival, like corn dogs and bunt cakes. Instead of meeting Rebecca at Panera, I might meet her in front of the library where there are some benches.

Friday or Saturday, I’ll walk down Allen Street and see what kind of live music they have playing. I can’t stay long, because the volume bothers my brain. A couple of years ago, I walked right by one of those big speakers on the way to a bus and it damned near put me into a seizure. Not fun. I do like to see what’s going on, just so I can say that I was part of this year’s festival crowd.

Until Friday, enjoy the good weather if you have it, have a good couple of days, and happy reading.

My life today

Greetings, readings. What a beautifully cool day it is in State College, Pennsylvania. When I say cool, I mean mid-70s with low humidity. I’ll take that any day I can get it. After the torrential rains we’ve had the last few days, to have a day like this is very welcomed.

Rebecca and I are having our usual Wednesday, which includes our meeting with the accountant, as well as doing the Wednesday blog entry. As I am dictating this, I’m trying to fight with my back, which is acting up. I’ve canceled my afternoon plans and will just take it easy when the work day is done.

My regular readers might know that we are approaching blog entry #300. In case that time comes when I’m gone at camp, Rebecca and I will work on that entry, and save it to draft, so that it can be posted even if I am not here. Don’t worry, it will be something better than a plain old top ten list. Haha. Just what the topic will be, however, is as yet undecided.

The arts festivals which finished this last Sunday were big successes, and it seems so strange to have the town quiet again. The set-up/take down crew worked through the night and dodged rain drops to get Allen Street open for traffic again. I only walked through that section of the festival a couple of times this year, but just to see all the children playing and having fun while their parents bought arts and crafts, was a pleasure. We won’t see this kind of hustle and bustle again until late August, when students move back in to the dorms and the first Penn State home football weekend takes place; and yes, I did say football weekend. We like to make it a party instead of just a game.

Until Friday, take care, have a great day, enjoy the weather if you have good weather, and happy reading.

Mid-July means arts and crafts

Greetings, readers. This Friday’s blog entry begins by talking a little bit more about the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts. It has been going on as long as I can remember and attracts hundreds of thousands of people a year. For local businesses in the downtown area it is an economic boost. A store owner once told me that he relies on Arts Festival week and the home football games of Penn State to keep his business going until the holiday shopping season.

I’ve walked down Allen Street only a couple of times so far this year but have seen many, many people enjoying the music, the good food, and the sidewalk sales. My favorite thing to do, which helps on a hot day like this, is to walk through a man-made area with ferns and shrubbery while a gentle cool mist comes down from a hose over top. It is so refreshing. The little children enjoy the water-dumping machine. Buckets fill with water, get too heavy, and tip over on the waiting children. Gleeful screams and laughter can be heard all day long from this area. I remember about five years ago when State College was having a rather nasty heat wave, I emptied my pockets and walked under the water buckets clothes and all; it felt so good.

For serious Arts Festival folks, the sales booths go up the Penn State campus, almost to Pattee Library, and wander around to some of the side streets of campus and downtown. At specific venues there are live music events as well. It can be a daunting day out if it is hot and humid; but people shouldn’t worry, because there are always bottled water and lemonade stands. Artists create wood sculptures, they make leather goods, and many people either paint or sketch. People come from near and far for the variety of artists. The festival is so big each year and there are only so many slots to fill. Many artists come back as many years as they can.

There’s also a festival called the People’s Choice Festival of Pennsylvania Arts and Crafts out in Boalsburg PA, not far from here. It was started several years ago by local artists who couldn’t get a spot at the one downtown. They run simultaneously and as far as I know both are attended well. I’ve personally not been to the one in Boalsburg because it is hard for me to get out there and the one here in town in almost at my front door.

As for Rebecca and I, next week will be a regular work week, complete with two blog entries. We are giving much thought to the upcoming 300th blog post. Both of us want to make it something special.

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

My computer’s woes are temporarily fixed

Greetings, readers. This past Tuesday, I took the five-year-old laptop to Best Buy, here in State College, for what I’d hoped would be a quick fix of my internet issue, for not that much money. I was pleasantly surprised. After about fifteen minutes, and within my budget, I left the store with a working computer. Thumbs up to the Geek Squad! 🙂

My plan, as I’ve told Rebecca, is to keep this current laptop running until at least Christmastime. This past week’s technology grr put that hope in grave doubt. But again, the Geek Squad came through with flying colors. The gentleman took my computer behind the curtain to their back office, where of course I couldn’t see what he was doing to it. So I’m not sure whether it was a toggle fix, a re-download of a command, or just what it was. I would feel silly if I found out that the fix was something I could have done myself. In my defense, I tried everything I knew to try. I hope this doesn’t happen again, because as stated, it is very important to both of us to keep this computer going for another few months.

We’re going to wrap up this Thursday blog entry now, as Rebecca and I have a couple of errands to do outside the office. We will be dodging the crowds of this years Arts Festival, and smelling the aromas of the delicious food. I love summer and this mid-July event.

Until tomorrow, when we will have a usual blog entry up, take care and happy reading.

Top ten things I love about summertime

Greetings, readers. Finally … here is this past weekend’s top ten list for you. As usual, these selections are in no particular order though number one is my favorite.

#10. Seeing green again. [I always hate during wintertime when there is snow on the grass and no leaves on the trees. Everything looks dead.]

#9. Seeing people drive around in their convertibles.

#8. Baseball season.

#7. Watching students at Penn State play frisbee or ball toss on the lawns of campus.

#6. The Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts and the People’s Choice Festival.

#5. The late spring/early summer carnival. [I believe it came in late May or early June and sadly it no longer comes back.]

#4. Being outdoors more. [I was never one for taking a walk in the cold.]

#3. Hamburgers and watermelon at a summertime cook-out.

#2. Enjoying a Hires root beer float.

#1. My annual trip to Bear Spring Camps every early August.

Well, there you have it. Chime in with your list if you want to and Rebecca and I will reply. Until next time, take care, have a great day and happy reading. P.S. Stay cool if you are in the heat wave. 92 degrees here.

Central PA heat wave is finally over

Greetings, readers. Phew! Two days ago, 89 degrees and yesterday 92. Today, after the thunderstorms roll through we shall have a pleasant low of 59 this evening. Finally I will be able to get some sleep. That is if my insomnia doesn’t flare up again. Lol.

I am a spring and summer person. Don’t get me wrong. I like warmth. I do not like having to dress up like a polar bear just to be able to go outside. But 92 with high humidity is a bit much. Like most people, I can be very hard to please. If I was in charge, I would have sunny weather during the day, highs in the 70s, low humidity, with rain at night to keep the grass green, and snow for about a month around the Christmas season. But of course I am not God. Weather is His department.

Of course, hot weather will be back in July and August. But for this week, I am going to enjoy the relative coolness. In mid-July the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts is coming to town again (and the People’s Festival also) and they usually get scorched. The part of the Arts Festival (as us locals call it) on Allen Street has this extremely cool area to walk through that has greenery such as ferns and a few bushes. It offers the most delightful spray of cool water for people to walk through. I am looking forward to the Arts Festival this year. And then of course in August will be my yearly trek to Maine. Until quite soon, take care and have a great day.