Tag Archives: Keekee

From Rebecca: Short note while Joe is away

I had a different subject picked out for a blog entry while Joe is away at Bear Spring Camps, but it has been a long day and all I have energy for is a quick update.

Joe is having a good time at camp, after having a couple of mishaps on the way there. Those of you who follow him on Facebook already know he got into a couple of traffic jams, and had a back spasm on the morning before he arrived at camp. The joys of Wifi in restaurants let him communicate in almost real time, before entering a sparse internet zone at camp.

I was with Joe’s cat, Princess Josie, today and she is doing well. She snuggled against me a few times during my visit and I got to pet her a bit. She didn’t shed as much as Keekee used to every year while Joe was away, but Josie did shed a little more than usual. My theory is that Joe’s daily interactions with his cat just naturally thins her coat and it builds up when he is gone. Anyway, we spent some time together and it was good.

I’m not sure if the next blog entry will be next week or the week after that. Until then, as Joe would say, have a good week, take care of yourself and your loved ones, and happy reading.

Top ten list of blessings in my life

Greetings, readers. Today I thought I would go upbeat with the blog entry. Recently I’ve been telling you about all the things that have been bothering me in my life, and today I thought I would go cheery. I am grateful for many, many things, even though sometimes I don’t always show it. So here is my top ten list of things for which I am grateful.

#10. My late kitty cat Keekee. [Not too long after I moved into Addison Court, I’d say less than a year, a friend of mine was moving out. She could not take the two cats she had with her and asked me if I wanted one for free. I’m glad I decided to try it, allergies notwithstanding. She was my buddy for one week short of 12 years.]

#9. Princess Josie. [This cat is completely different in demeanor than Keekee. I love her to pieces, but she is a little more rambunctious than my former furry feline.]

#8. Meals on Wheels. [Although they are not always dishes which I would consider my favorites, I do eat most of them and feel blessed to have them at such an economical price.]

#7. A place over my head. [No, it’s not the family house that we used to own, but it is two nice-sized rooms with fully functional kitchen and I enjoyed the great view from the top floor for 13 years. With the new building going up next door though, I’m going to lose most of that view.]

#6. Sentimental items from my parent’s home. [When I moved to this apartment 13 years ago or so, I vowed to take as many paintings as I could get. It gives the apartment a hint of my former home. For that I am extremely grateful. I also have my mom’s desk and a bookcase of which we make good use.]

#5. Good neighbors and friends in the building. [As in any community, there are good neighbors and neighbors you’d like to run over with your car. I’m very happy to say that I have most pleasant neighbors, with only a few exceptions. I’m a very easygoing man and can usually work around any people who cause conflict. I’m glad that so many of my neighbors are folks I am happy to call friends.]

#4. Rebecca. [Every book I’ve ever done would not be published without Rebecca. Not only is she a good friend, she is a fantastic typist and an awesome editor. In her role as personal assistant, she has kept me from missing numerous appointment. Kudos to Rebecca.]

#3. Working technology. [Yes, I do like my Steam games, and to watch movies on Netflix. Sometimes I lose myself in a fantasy world of baseball, or I’ll spend and entire evening watching James Bond pictures. I’m happy for the technology to do so, i.e. my computer and gaming system to watch Netflix and YouTube on my TV.]

#2. A great bus system. [As chance would have it, my apartment is steps away from a bus stop, where many of the buses I take stop at. Though, during the summer time, when the buses run on reduced service, I find myself having to walk downtown a few blocks to catch buses at the main stop, called the College Ave, and Allen St stop. Sure, I’d love to have my own vehicle, but this is the next best thing.]

#1. And yes, it is in order, is that at least for now, I can still go to Bear Spring Camps. [I might have to stop after this year or perhaps after next, but I am going to milk it for all it is worth. Bear Spring Camps, and those people I have known all my life, are my truest blessings.]

There is today’s top ten list, on this cheery topic. I hope everyone enjoys it. Please pray for everyone who needs it, and if you are inclined to and can, please consider donating to a fund to rebuild the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France. Such a tragic loss. I plan to donate some money myself.

Until this weekend, have a fantastic few days, take care of your family, enjoy good weather if you have it, and as always, happy reading.

I won’t be decorating for Christmas this year

Greetings, readers. This is not Ebenezer Kockelmans talking, but any Christmas lights I hang anywhere will be played with and ripped down by the young rambunctious kitten, so what’s the point? A month full of, “You stop that kitty,” is not going to keep me in the holiday spirit. So unless I can find an area where said kitten can’t get to, this will not be a decorated home this year.

In the past, I have been creative and strung Christmas lights around my coat rack, various hung paintings, and even the big book case. As you can see, I’m still pondering in my mind any place I can hang lights that can be a safe bet, not to be played with. To me it would not be the Christmas season without the color of lights. On the other hand, I don’t want to keep poor Josie in the penalty box 24/7. Not only would that give her early arthritis, but it would be punishing her for something that really isn’t her fault. Kittens love to play with things. It is in their nature.

Even though my former cat Keekee and Princess Josie are both listed as short-haired domestics, Keekee was not a mouser, she was a jumper. P.J., as I call her sometimes, is the opposite. Perhaps if I hang some lights in the kitchen in an area where she can’t jump, I can at least enjoy some color as I make coffee or food. If worse comes to worst, there are YouTube videos of a crackling fire in a room full of decorations and a Christmas tree while playing Christmas music. That is always enjoyable for me and I enjoy ambiance videos anyway.

On to another topic. Speaking of YouTube, I saw George W. Bush’s eulogy for his father in a video on YouTube. The service was in the beautiful National Cathedral in Washington D.C. It was probably George W. Bush’s best speech ever. He only stumbled on his words once towards the end when he was getting emotional. And yes folks, presidents are human, he did break down and cry a little when he thanked his father for being the best dad in the world. Former presidents Jimmy Carter with Rosalynn, Bill Clinton with Hillary, Barack Obama with Michelle, and current president Donald Trump with Melania were in attendance in the front row.

Many videos of the entire day’s coverage are on YouTube for anyone to view. I highly recommend it if you are a Republican or a Bush family fan. Continued prayers go out to the Bush family. This must be a terrible time for them and I am sure they can benefit from people’s prayers.

Next week, we will be back for another Wednesday blog on an as of yet unknown topic. At the current moment I have a machine gun called a jack hammer right outside my window driving me absolutely chocolate bon-bons. Hopefully by next Wednesday that phase of the construction will be over and the jack hammer will be gone. I am having a lot of trouble concentrating and dictating. But we push through. I bid all of you a wonderful weekend, love your neighbor and your families, take care and happy reading.

Princess Josie was very happy to see Daddy

Greetings, readers. When I arrived home this past Sunday afternoon, I could hear her royal highness, Princess Josie, meowing even before I got to my door. Somehow she knew Daddy was home. When I got all my stuff inside and sat down on my recliner, I was greeted most affectionately. It is wonderful how pets give unconditional love. I missed her terribly and was just as glad to see her.

First thing I did was give her moist food, a few treats, and later, a nice long ball toss session up and down the hallway. She loves to chase her little rubber ball and try to stop it like a hockey goalie.

After that, I put my stuff away and began laundry detail. Josie did not want to leave my side, so I allowed her to come out into the hallway with me and walk down to the laundry room. She was sniffing my shoes quite heavily, probably because she smelled the camp cat, who came up to my cabin door a few times and hung out with me while I was at Bear Spring Camps. As a matter of fact, Kimba woke me up one morning at 4:00 am with a loud chorus of meows at my front door. Normally I wouldn’t have minded or even heard her, but it was so hot up there this year that I slept with camp windows and the inside wooden door open, locking just the screen door. Oh, yes, I heard every insect, loon, wave, and happy group of people at every campfire. But I would much rather have that than try to sleep in a sweltering hot cabin without any air flow at all.

On the topic of camp, the Canada Geese family has grown to over thirty. They are beautiful birds, but all they do is eat, poop and breed. Next year I expect to see at least forty of them up there. Something has to be done. I am not trying to be cruel, but Dave the bird expert says that they will come back to the same spot to lay their eggs, so unless they are deterred, the gaggle will certainly have an increase in population. And then the lake front attendants will have more waste to pick up off the grass.

Back to Josie, this blog entry’s original topic, she did not do what Keekee used to do, which was ignore me for a day when I got home. She would actually be glad to see me for 10 or 15 minutes then show her displeasure of being abandoned by Daddy by giving me the cold shoulder. I fully expected to have this happen with Josie, and I am extremely happy that it didn’t. BTW, many thanks to Rebecca for stopping in, checking on her, and keeping her company. Thumbs up.

Well, there’s today’s blog entry. We’ll be back on Wednesday with another exciting topic to blog about. Until then, have a great weekend, take care, and happy reading.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My new kitten has developed a mind of her own

Greetings, readers. Over the past couple of weeks, her royal highness Princess Josie has been spending more time in her penalty box, AKA the dog crate, than usual. Just like a human child of two or three, she is pushing the envelope to see how much she can get away with before I get upset enough to put her in time out. Let me give you a few examples of how frustrating this last week has been.

The last several mornings as I do my morning routine on my computer, she hops up on the table, lies down, and her paws push my speaker further and further to the edge of the table. I have to stop what I am doing, put the speaker back where it belongs, only to see her gleefully push it again. She thinks it is her new ball or something. Then she spies my eyeglasses cord and begins to nibble on it. I again have to stop what I am doing and say no, no, no. Josie gets three strikes and she gets put in her penalty box. I want it understood that I do not abuse my animal by making her sit in there all day long, she is there for short periods of time. I am just trying to prove a point that when Daddy says no, there are consequences for not listening. So far not getting on the work table has not worked out too well.

Now I’ll give you an example of a success. Every day I must take my daily medication, and I don’t want her to accidentally eat one if I drop a pill on the floor. A few weeks ago I was joking around with her and said it was time for me to take my pills and powders and I started to point to the entrance of her crate with a treat in hand. Wouldn’t you know, the last two mornings, she has gone in before the treat. A major success. I obviously rewarded that behavior with a treat.

Her latest thing is to jump up on Daddy’s work chair and claw the crap out of it. It is a game to her. Her eyes get wide, her ears prick back and when I approach her I run the risk of getting playfully clawed. After patting her on the head, she quickly calms down and I can remove her from my chair, sometimes to have her jump right back up as I go to sit down. I am horrified at the thought that one of these days she will jump up at the wrong time and I will sit on her with full weight. That would be a bad thing. For her that would be a me-ouch. Lol.

Obviously, I had forgotten how difficult it was to train a kitten. I think Keekee was a little bit older when I got her. Maybe one or one and a half years old. Readers, I want this perfectly understood. I am not really complaining, I’m loving every minute of this. She’s not really a “bad girl” or a “naughty kitty,” she is just a kitten that needs to learn what is acceptable and what is not. Hopefully one day in the very near future she will do so.

Just for a moment on a different topic: I will be going on a working road trip tomorrow to Rebecca and Darren’s office (AKA their apartment) to go over the final changes for Four’s a Crowd. It could be ready to click live for sale by next Wednesday. Yay, team! Readers, keep your fingers crossed, please. I will keep you updated.

Well, there you have it, today’s happenings. Rebecca will put up the blog tomorrow afternoon, after I leave their place, then we will be back here next Wednesday. So as always, do take care, enjoy, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Time alone in the apartment

Joe is writing alone today while I write this post from home, and my husband Darren had an appointment this morning, so I had a few hours by myself in the apartment. Because of our schedules, this is an unusual luxury for me. The whole place is mine!

I got up, took a shower, made coffee, and ate cereal as normal. Then I spent the rest of the time watching shows that Darren doesn’t like. First I enjoyed Father Brown on Netflix streaming and then I watched The View on ABC. I haven’t been able to watch The View much in a decade or so, though I have watched it off and on since it began in 1997. Where we live, it is broadcast opposite The Price is Right, which both Daren and I love, so that is what we usually watch together – with the exception of a segment or so when he is in the shower.

It is a little embarrassing that my ideal plan for time alone is watching television, but there you go. Darren and I have shows that we both like and watch together, but we also have shows that one of us likes and the other one doesn’t. I go to bed a couple of hours after Darren, and that is when I usually watch stuff that he absolutely doesn’t like. Darren gets up a couple of hours before me and he can watch stuff I really don’t like, though he has time alone in the apartment when I am at work or on Sunday afternoons. It is a system that works for us, for the most part.

On another subject, I met Joe’s new cat Princess Josie yesterday. She is bigger than I thought she’d be for some reason, though obviously still a kitten. She took a great interest in my shoes, and in my armpit – in a way that reminded me of Keekee because she did the same thing. PJ also tried to get on the work table we set up with the laptop on it, but we had to stop her; that is a habit we don’t want her to get into, in case she accidently erases a day’s work with one paw on the keyboard.

Joe left me a voicemail message earlier, saying that he has written a lot today with the voice recognition program. He also remembered that he might have promised a short story for his blog readers as yesterday’s entry, did I remember that too? I looked up last Thursday’s post, and sure enough he did promise that. Joe does like to finish a post with a promise for next week’s content, and then by the time the next week is here he has another topic in mind. Oh, well. The short story, based on a dream Joe once had, is written and might need one edit, so it will be posted here one day soon. Stay tuned.

Next Wednesday Joe will be back with a blog post. Until then, as he would say, take care, have a great weekend, and happy reading.

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.

UPDATE: September 5, 2018: To my surprise I actually accomplished eight out of ten. That is a happy surprise to me. It also gives an idea for a blog entry for today. 🙂

New kitty cat coming next week and other news

Greetings, readers. A week from tomorrow I will be bringing my new kitty cat home. While I miss my Keekee terribly, the Princess Josie era is set to begin. Keekee crossed over rainbow bridge in late January. Why do I feel guilty about getting another support animal? I shouldn’t. In my estimation, I need a living thing to come home to. I’ve got Keekee’s remains in a nice box placed where I can see it. I know she can’t see me … but yet I still feel guilty. Is this normal?

I even started to think about all the cute phrases I used to use with Keekee, such as, ”Do you want your dinner, would you like a treat, or it’s time to go nappies or sleepies?” I’ve convinced myself that I should use different phrases for Princess Josie. Perhaps I could use goody instead of treat, or din-din instead of dinner. Am I just being the silly?

Keekee lived to be 12 and when I get Princess Josie here, she’ll only be six months old. I hope to have at least a dozen years with my new kitty. That will make me 64 years old. My point being, P.J., as I’m going to call her, I do believe will be my final pet. When you have a pet as a youngster, first of all you might think it will live forever. Secondly, even when you know of death, you figure you have many more chances to have pets.

On to other news. My heart has pretty much been behaving itself, only giving me a few irregular heartbeats over the last few days. I’m going to get my new medication from the pharmacist this afternoon. That should solve the problem permanently. I decided yesterday that besides taking this medication, I’m not going to worry about my heart anymore. I’m going to let it do its thing, and I’m going to live my life; to do the things I want to do and that’s that. That might sound a little irresponsible to some people, but my point is, I’m not going to be afraid to live. I’m going to get up early, walk to the bus stop, do my job, as stressful as it might be sometimes, and do all the other things that involve daily life.

Before I close, just a brief word on the JMK Gaming Channel. I found out that I’m really only able to put new videos on my YouTube channel about once a week. This irks me. To have a successful YouTube channel, one must put videos up more often than that. I might have to readjust my morning schedule to accommodate my channel.

That’s it for today, readers. I bid all of you a great weekend, do take care, and as always, happy reading.

I need to get back to reality… now!

Greetings, readers. For a very long time now I have found myself caught in a half-world of virtual reality. I don’t know whether it’s my depression or whether I just love being a big kid, but my favorite thing to do is to play video games … and eat ice cream. I know I’ve talked about self-improvement before, but I’m going to take steps starting today to make those improvements happen. I saw on an episode of One Day at a Time last evening where the main character was told by her therapist to use her cell phone and describe all that was going on in her day and then play it back. When she did, she heard just how bad she sounded and that she needed to go back on her antidepressants.

Now, I’m not off my antidepressants, but I’m going to use the same tactic of recording and listening to hear just how my typical day transpires. I can already tell you it’s not going to be pretty. I am dictating this blog entry with my voice recognition program which has a feature to play back what I have dictated in my own voice. Yes, dear readers, I am going to play it back and listen to it. Ready? Here we go.

My typical work day is as follows: my alarm will go off at 3:45 AM. First thing I will do is stride slowly to the kitchen and make coffee. I am nothing before my morning coffee. Once my morning beverage is next to me at my desk, I’ll turn on the computer and get ready to play the morning baseball video game. My fictitious Winnipeg Bluebirds are in second place but fading fast. For those two hours, I am so engrossed in that game, and if I’m not careful I could find myself late for work. Out of the Park Baseball ‘18 has everything; it is by far the best baseball simulation out there. That brings us to approximately 6 AM.

Next, I will close down my computer and take my medication. Lord help me if I forget that. Between 6:15 and 7:45, I will enjoy my second cup of coffee and either listen to music or play Fishing Planet, a remarkably lifelike fishing simulator. You start at level 1 with only one rod, one reel and light tackle and bait. I’m up to level 5 now. I’ve watched YouTube videos of people in the higher levels angling for big bass. This is another game that I can lose track of time playing and I must be cautious. Can’t be late for real life, you know.

At 9:38, I catch the morning bus to my fast food job. Between the hours of 10 and 3 PM, I feel like a normal person. I’m out in the world, interacting with others, making coffee, telling jokes to my coworkers and having a great time. What do you know? I’m a normal person … but just until 3 o’clock.

When I get home at 4 PM, I figuratively crash. I will plop myself down on my recliner chair, watch TV, and most times, fall asleep. Oh, I feel so old. When I come to, an hour or so later, I won’t notice the emptiness of the apartment without Keekee and need to go grab some ice cream. Yes, even with a therapist and antidepressants I still need my comfort food. It makes me feel better and it makes my dentist rich. If I have to go to my fast food job the next morning I will turn in for the night no later than 9 PM. Years ago, the evening was only just getting going at 9 PM. I set my alarm for 3:45 AM, and do it all again the next day.
I’m going to take a break now and make this contraption read back to me what I just typed, then in the final paragraph I shall summarize. Be right back.

After listening to the 667 words I just dictated, it is painfully obvious to me that except for a five hour span during a few afternoons a week, I am completely not in reality. I am in virtual reality. It is comfortable there, but I must leave soon. If I don’t, I feel I will be completely devoured and unable to get back to what I would consider a ‘normal life’. I will keep you all up to date on my progress.

Next week, I will blog on Wednesday about the Canadian football league. Until then, have a great weekend, to take care and as always, happy reading.