Tag Archives: Panera Bread

Yesterday’s injury could have been a lot worse

Greetings, readers. After a successful work shift, I met Traci at Panera, as I normally do. While I was there, I realized I needed a jug of milk. There is small market down the block from where we were. Traci and I finished eating and visiting around 5:00. I started on the down slope for what was going to be a quick trip for my grocery. Our area had a strong rain storm in the morning, and the sidewalk was still slick. I walked halfway to my destination when I felt my left foot start to slid on wet leaves, and the next thing I knew, I was on the ground. I kind of twisted on the way down, leading me to believe that I had either sprained my knee or leg, or the worst case scenario, broken my hip. Young college kids came running to my aid and told me to stay down, stay down. I was gladly willing to comply.

After I got over the initial embarrassment of the whole situation, I gently tried moving things, to see what might work and what might not. I was overjoyed when I could lift my left leg without screaming; no broken hip. One of the college kids called an ambulance for me, which I knew had to happen, but I also knew that the rest of my evening was going to be lost.

In the emergency room, I was given warm blankets and made as comfy as possible. Nurses and doctors came in, asked me for my name, rank and serial number and all the mundane things that happen at the ER.

Then it was off to X-ray. I could actually walk from the gurney to the X-ray table. I gave the technician a thumbs up. After all the pictures were taken, I was wheeled back to my ER room where I laid, and laid, and laid. After what seemed like forever, the doctor came in with the good news that nothing was broken and I was going to be discharged.

I began to walk very slowly to the ER entrance where my cab was waiting and I started to shake. I thought to myself, “This is not good, folks.” I asked for a wheelchair, and I was whisked away to the front door. I asked the cab driver to take me to a convenience store so I could finally get the jug of milk that the was the beginning of this whole fiasco. I asked him to wait for me, which he did, then he finally drove me back home.

I turned on the heater so I wouldn’t shiver, if I was still indeed in shock from the pain I was experiencing. After taking two Advil, I was able to get to sleep, then the alarm went off at 5:00 this morning, and I asked God just let me be able to walk on the foot. After hobbling on it a few steps, it seemed to loosen up and I could walk better on it. I consider myself lucky that I really don’t think I broke any bones. I truly believe all I have is a twisted knee and a pulled muscle or tendon in my foot, though I have some swelling on the top of my foot that I wonder about. I can rest my leg today and tomorrow, as I have days off from my fast food job anyway. Work will need me this weekend because of the Penn State home football game this Saturday. I can’t let them down. I will admit, I might have to ask for a chair before my shift is over.

As is becoming a weekly message, I once again send my prayers and good wishes to all those effected by extreme weather this week; the flooding in Asia, the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, the fires out west in the United States, and Hurricane Irma, which is in the Caribbean today and heading for Florida.

Well, there you have the grim news. As I said last week, I am taking a personal day tomorrow and Rebecca’s blog topic is a great one; I’m sure you will enjoy it. Until I write again next week, take care, have a great weekend, and happy reading.

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Every time I see a writer

Greetings, readers. Many times when I go to Panera café I see a gentleman who is a hard-core writer. His name is Steve, last name unknown. He has a ritual kind of like mine. He selects his favorite table, purchases his food, gets out his paper and pen, and starts to write. Whether he is taking notes, working on a story, or just doing a writing exercise, I have no idea. My point is that he writes. That’s the difference between Steve and I.

Here’s what I do. I select my favorite table, get my food, open my computer, check my emails, listen to music, chat on the phone, you get the idea. I do anything but write. At 51 years old, I’m almost ashamed to call myself a writer. Yes, I’ve written three books and a play, so I suppose that qualifies me as an author. I so desperately want more. The problem is at the current moment my body and brain are not quite cooperating. I’m going to look into computer software that allows me to speak into a microphone and the program will type what I say. My laptop has a speech recognition program but it has many flaws. I have difficulty getting into any flow. A trip to Best Buy will be forthcoming.

On today’s schedule is this: After the blog entry is done, Rebecca and I will fill out paperwork for an upcoming foot doctor’s visit, then it is monthly office cleaning day. After Rebecca leaves, I might even run the vacuum, ha ha. This afternoon I have a bank run to make and I must stop at the pharmacy. This has the potential to be an expensive day; I must begin to pay off my deductible for the new insurance year. Finally, tonight I will call bingo. I missed my last turn so I promised the gang that I will call the next two Thursday evenings. We all have to do our share.

What I am going to do this weekend is concentrate – perhaps even writing it down – on making a daily schedule that always includes writing, even if that means taking out such things as flight simulation, Facebook chatting, or YouTube watching. I’ve said it before but every day the feeling gets worse. I must either be a serious writer soon, or pull the plug and get a full-time job somewhere.

On a sad note, a very special RIP to the legendary actress and dancer Mary Tyler Moore, 1936-2017, who passed away yesterday. She will be greatly missed.

Next week Rebecca and I will be back with you with two more exciting blog entries. So take care, have a great weekend, and as always, happy reading.

Keeping active with possible job, writing, and Traci

Greetings, readers. As I continue my search for gainful employment, I’m still hoping that my first choice will pan out. As I mentioned, there are other opportunities out there, but Panera Bread is ideal. I would love to work there. It is near my apartment building, I know and like all the folks who work there, and it is, as I call it, on the flat. Meaning that I don’t have to go down any of the hilly streets of State College during the winter time.

If all else fails, I will volunteer my time at the library, which will at least get me out of the apartment. As my friends have told me, something is sure to come up. Until then, we have the writing project for the new camp book and I have a personal writing project that I just got research materials for from the library.

Also, big news, September 24th will mark the one year anniversary for my girlfriend Traci and me. I can’t believe it has been 11 months. Time has flown and our relationship is progressing slowly, yet steadily. I’m quite pleased with the situation. She has already met and loves David and family, and we hope to go for Thanksgiving again this year. Are wedding bells in the future? Time will tell and we shall see. There are a few huddles we need to get over.

A blog entry, which will be upcoming in September, will deal with my plans for our anniversary. There is a really nice restaurant downtown which we were planning to go to last Valentine’s Day. Traci wound up in the hospital and we never did make it for Valentine’s dinner. I think I will make reservations at the Tavern restaurant. More on that during that future blog entry.

Well, there you have it for today. Our new work hours begin next Wednesday with blog entries on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Wish us luck on that. Until next week, have a splendid weekend, take care, and happy reading.

Body language and facial expressions

Greetings, readers. As I was sitting in Panera this morning enjoying my coffee, I had the opportunity to observe several people. Being a writer, I am always naturally curious about folks, and sometimes see them as potential characters for my writing projects. In the span of twenty minutes, I saw a plethora of body languages and facial expressions that told me precisely how these people were feeling.

The first couple was a young woman and either a very close male friend or her boyfriend. She walked up to him with open arms and when they hugged the sweetest smile came over her face. It seemed to me that he was a special person to her and she was overjoyed and content to be in his arms.

Another group of people were not having such a good time. One woman sat with arms folded across her chest, not smiling. I learned in sociology class at Penn State that this is a classic symptom of a person who is not happy and defensive. Although the threesome was not shouting, it did appear to this observer that all three opinions differed. I’ve been there, I’ve done that.

A staff member, who I am good friends with, stopped and talked to Traci and me for a moment. I could tell by the way she looked and acted that she liked her job and thought that she was pretty good at all the different tasks that she is assigned to. One day it might be prep, another day it might be wiping tables in the dining room area. While conversing with her, not only did I get the sense that she is happy with her work, but that she likes her customers and they are important. That is going to keep me coming back to Panera.

I got to observe a young college student working on her computer as she listened to music with earbuds. It is getting close to finals week here at Penn State and everyone is cramming for final exams. This young woman went from working hard to frantically searching her stuff for something she needed. She wasn’t in tears, but she may well have been if she hadn’t found what she was looking for.

Lastly, I have been in line at Panera during the busy times of the day and although the cashiers are taught to always give service with a smile to each customer, they know me and I know them and sometimes they let their guard down a bit. I’ll say, are you having a tough day, and they’re smile and shake their heads yes. I never pry, but I make light conversation, such as, don’t worry, it’ll get better, or something positive like that. Most of them seem to appreciate it, that a customer cared enough to inquire.

As a writer, I’ve observed people for many years and will continue to do so. If you have observed anything worthy of note, please leave a comment, here or on my Facebook page.

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

I’m frustrated and blowing off steam

Greetings, readers. The last 48 hours have not been what I would call “peaches and cream” for me. I do tend to worry and fret about a lot of things, but over the last couple of days money worries have really stressed me out. Rebecca and I had our usual Wednesday meeting with my accountant and, though I am not calling it a failure, it did not ease my stress level. He says I spend too much money and he is correct.

Luckily today is my therapy day and I’ll have tons to talk about. I always think that I can make myself feel better, though I am finding it harder and harder to get by without help. Yesterday afternoon and this morning I was blowing off steam. Sometimes just talking my problems out makes me feel better. Sometimes not. This is one of those times that didn’t. Although, a plan of action came of it.

The time has come for me to put the writing career on the back burner and look for a local part-time job. I think it would benefit me in two ways by doing this. First, I would feel good about myself because I would be a productive member of society. And second, the extra income certainly wouldn’t hurt. I picked up the information for the on-line job application from a local shop, and Rebecca and I will be doing that right after today’s entry. I have already spoken to a couple of people about getting a part-time job at Panera at the end of summer or in the fall.

Whether I will be strong enough or coordinated enough to do said jobs is still to be seen. But it is the attempt that is important. I am no longer going to sit on my bottom and wait for things to come to me. I am going to go get them … whatever they are.

Yesterday I was talking with my girlfriend and we were both listening to each other as we vented our separate problems. At one point I said something incredibly stupid. I told Traci that perhaps I would rent a Zipcar and drive off a mountain. Would I really do that? No! I am more of a fighter than that. That is the frustration talking. After today’s therapy session, I know I will feel better and will have more tools in place to deal with life’s daily setbacks.

After this blog post, we have only 8 to go until #500. If any of you have a topic that you would like to suggest to me to write about for #500, write it to me in the comments section or on my Facebook page and I will definitely consider it.

I will not have a blog entry up tomorrow. Until next week, have a very nice weekend, take care, and happy reading. And by the way, happy St. Patrick’s day.

Feeling low as the first snowstorm approaches

Greetings, readers. As the title implies, this is not the promised top ten list. The last 72 hours have been filled with, not depression, but just extreme low energy. I tell myself that I’m going to do this or that and then I sit down in my chair and those plans go out the window. I don’t think I’m sick or depressed, but I’m sputtering.

If this continues through the weekend, I’m going to call my primary doctor and schedule an appointment. I’m not too worried about this, but to give you an example of what my body is going through, I overslept and was late for work. And I live at the “office.” I had to call Rebecca and change our meeting plan.

Now that I’ve been talking to Rebecca for a while and dictating, I’m starting to feel a little bit better. But my internal energy meter still seems low. I shall confess to you that the past week or so I have gotten out of my up at 5:15 and at Panera at 6 AM routine. Maybe my body is rebelling against that. I need to force myself to turn off TV, go to bed early, and get back to that routine. I do enjoy having my early mornings. But in the mood I am in right now, all I want to do it sleep.

Well, I shall fight though this day and get some good work done, and do my very best to have the top ten list either early next week or on Wednesday.

With the impending snowstorm, you might very well see a blog entry over the weekend to let you know how much snow central Pennsylvania received. The latest forecast I’ve seen is calling for 4-8 inches over an 18 hour period. Not the worst storm I’ve been in, but supplies will have to be purchased today. I just don’t see myself going anywhere tomorrow. That’s okay though, it’s a Saturday and I can sleep if I want to.

Speaking of the snowstorm that is about to clobber the northeast, this will be the first significant snow of the winter for us. There is a small part of me that is excited. I like the snow when it is fresh and white. Once it turns black from the cars driving through it, not so much.

Well, Rebecca and I are off to do our other writing plans for the day. Next week will again be a normal three-day work week with at least two blog posts.

Stay safe in the snowstorm, do take care, and happy reading.

First day on Meals on Wheels and weekend goings on

Greetings, readers. This morning I received my first Meals on Wheels, a program to help lower-income folks get good food. I was on this program before and it was okay. But after a while, the meals did not seem to be very appealing to me. Due to my bad diet, however, I decided to get them again.

Last evening there was so much to do, I really didn’t have enough to eat. Instead of going out somewhere, and getting something filling, I finished off a bag of snacks and called that dinner. By 11 PM, I was almost to the point of tears. This was very strange. I don’t know if I was simply tired or tired and hungry. I decided to shake it off, go to sleep, and was at Panera bright and early for a bowl of oatmeal.

As far as Meals on Wheels go, I shall receive them three days a week, getting two meals per day; a cold lunch and a hot dinner. I inhaled my chicken salad sandwich with apple slices and it was delicious. The lasagna dinner is in the fridge and I will partake of that either tonight or tomorrow. Meals on Wheels does not deliver on the weekends.

For only $12 a week, I will finally be able to improve my diet and get some veggies in me. I would dare venture to say that my low energy problem will begin to go away quickly.

On to other news. It has turned bitterly cold here in central Pennsylvania. Mid-40s with a howling wind. Even though it’s too warm, I could have sworn I saw a snowflake or two this morning. According to a friend of mine, we might have snow squalls tomorrow. Oh, yes the beginning of winter is on our doorstep. As I’m sure I put in this blog before, I am a spring and summer person. Old man winter and I are mortal enemies. Ha ha.

Lastly for today, I understand that there are a lot of Penn State sports home games going on this weekend. The football team has the week off, but, according to sources, 9 sports teams have home events this Saturday and Sunday. Which will bring lots of folks into this fair city.

I bid everybody a good weekend as I am planning to have. As always, take care and happy reading.

Yesterday was a productive waste of time

Greetings, readers. I had planned to do quite a bit of work yesterday, including a phone call to an insurance company and taking notes on a new writing project, and then take today off as a personal day. But, because of computer issues, those plans were shelved until next week. It all began when my AVG anti-virus, which I just paid for, refused to open, much less run. Rebecca and I were able to go to the AVG website and find a phone number to call support.

A very nice gentleman answered the phone, and we were off and running. From an opened email from AVG, I read him all the information it contained. The one bit of information he needed, however, was not there. After about 20 minutes or so, he gave us the url of another support service where we could type in the box to someone. That’s where we spent the rest of our work day.

Rebecca had to briefly re-explain the issues via typing and then the second person did something with my computer which I’ve never seen before. He took over my machine remotely, after I gave permission. It was rather bizarre to see my cursor move around the screen completely on its own. It was quite clear to me that the person knew exactly what he was doing, for he was speedy and efficient. After a few attempts and re-starts, he got my old version with the corrupted files off, my newly paid-for AVG installed and running and it was time to re-boot the computer. He typed that he would be back and not to close our box, but even as Rebecca was leaving at 3:00, he had not returned. So I closed the computer.

This morning during personal time at Panera, AVG was chomping at the bit to run its “first scan.” I’m going to do that today after Rebecca leaves. I feel quite certain that all issues have been taken care of. Now all I have to do is find a good anti-malware program that doesn’t butt heads with or cancel out AVG. Wish me luck on that endeavor.

Well, that was the big news of yesterday. As far as next week goes, there will be a blog entry on Wednesday, possibly another one on Thursday, and I will be taking a personal day on Friday. Until then, have a great weekend, enjoy football and the baseball playoffs, take care, and happy reading.

I’m puzzled about my low energy

Greetings, readers. Recently, things in my life have been on a definite up-swing. My daily schedule has stabilized, I now have a girlfriend, and the blog is coming along better than I’d ever hoped. But, yet, I’m taking more naps than ever before. I don’t think I’m depressed. I just feel a constant need to visit the sandman.

My therapist told me it might be because of the onset of the fall and winter season. At first, I agreed with her. But, I’ve been on a multi-vitamin for approximately the last ten days and I have even less energy. I have one thing to try before I call the doctor. I’m going to try to revamp my diet and cut out a lot of the junk food I eat. Wish me luck on that one, folks. If that idea doesn’t work, I will have to schedule an appointment with my doctor earlier than the one already on the books.

Helping to keep my mood up is my new girlfriend, Traci. We went out this morning and had a good time. But when she asked me what I was going to do this afternoon after work, I, without even thinking about it, said that I was going to take a nap.

I don’t feel suicidal, I don’t feel angry, nor do I think my anti-depression medication has stopped working, but something is amiss. I don’t like feeling this way. I’m not getting anything done creatively, and if I nap too much during the day, it throws my sleep cycle off.

Today, October 1st, began my brand new lease here at Addison Court Apartments. One thought that I had about my lack of energy, is that the building is mostly for seniors and handicapped folks. I’m not around people who do physical activities. There is no one to toss the football with or to get a pickup game of softball going. My physical activity, basically, consists of going to Panera Bread or our new Sheetz. I don’t know if lack of exercise makes one lethargic or not. I’m going to have to look into that. If it does, I might increase my exercise regimen before all the bad weather hits.

I’ll keep you up to date on how I’m feeling. Please leave me a comment or suggestion, either here or on Facebook, and let me know how you combat the fall and winter blahs.

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

Well wishes to family of local construction worker

Greetings, readers. Something was on my mind this morning and I just had to share it. I found out yesterday that there was a power outage near where I live. The local Panera Bread, across the street, went dark for half an hour. I found out later that the loss of power was caused by an unfortunate accident down the street.

A construction worker at a site nearby was electrocuted. From what we can learn in today’s local newspaper, the Centre Daily Times, he did survive. If this is incorrect, I will update this entry. The power had to turn off the power to extricate the man from the building site. He was life-flighted to a hospital.

When I learned of the severity of the situation, I admit it really distressed me. I was not certain rather that person had been killed or just seriously injured. I started to think what it would have been like if it was one of my relatives or even me. It is such a violent thing to go through and I can only imagine the long-term effects that a body would suffer after such an accident.

Again, my thoughts are with the family. If any of my local blog or Facebook readers know the family, please do let them know I am keeping them in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you.

Until tomorrow, take care and be well, and happy reading.