Tag Archives: parade

I am way behind in my yuletide preparations

Greetings, readers. It is quite bizarre how fast this Christmas season has flown by. I could swear I just woke up on Thanksgiving morning and watched the Macy’s parade with Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie. I blinked my eyes twice and it is December 20th. I’ve only listened to a hand-full of Christmas carols, and my apartment is not decorated at all. Bah humbug to me.

There have been a number of things that I believe has caused this delay in decorating. First of all is my job. I come home from it tired and needing to sleep. I don’t seem to get much done on the days I have a shift; it is work, eat, and sleep. On the days I don’t have a shift, I have work with Rebecca and errands to do that can’t be done on job days. Second is the time I have spent proof-reading and editing Four’s a Crowd. Apparently I am the last of the readers to finish my editing. Shame on me. Luckily I know the material like the back of my hand, especially my part of it. Once I get rolling, it won’t take me long. Lastly, when I could be reading at 4:00am, I am playing Out of the Park Baseball 18. Today was game 5 of the completely fictitious Canadian Baseball League World Series. Somehow my brain isn’t engaged for activities like reading and editing at 4:00 in the morning. Fear not, Darren and Rebecca, it will be done.

After the holidays, I plan to revamp my schedule. Whether that means taking some time off from work, or changing my job schedule, has yet to be determined. I’m certain that everything will fall into place. It always seems to.

Thoughts and prayers go out to the families affected in the Amtrak train disaster, as well as in the tour bus accident in Mexico. So sad. The California wild fires, although I’ve heard they have been partially contained, will probably burn for another several days. I’ve been calling my aunt, who lives near one of the fire areas, and she is uncomfortable from the smoke but holding her own.

Finally, very soon two of our long-time establishments will be going out of business. Not because of the economy, but rather the sale of the building in which they are housed. Spats Café and Speakeasy has been around for 30 years and the Rathskeller Bar has been underneath the cafe in the same spot for many decades. I always hate it when establishments go bye-bye, especially the ones I remember as a youth or a teenager. The State College area is not really effected that much from the recession because there are a lot of college kids who attend school every year and need books, Penn State clothing, souvenirs and anything else Penn State they can get their hands on.

I wish everyone good luck with their holiday shopping. Enjoy your plans with family. And until tomorrow, take care and happy reading.

New chair has arrived

Greetings, readers. I will dictate this blog entry while my voice holds out. I’m still getting over whatever this cold/infection thing is. Although my sinuses are clearer today, my throat is scratchy and half an octave lower. Oh dear, oh dear. We are writers, so we carry on and write.

The big news of the day is that my new recliner arrived. Well, new for me. I got it at a used furniture store and it is in extremely good condition. To my surprise and joy, Keekee also seems to like it. It is very soft cloth material, blue in color, and is wider and longer than my other chair. It was a very good purchase, especially since I got it on sale. When the old chair was removed, I quickly had to run the vacuum and get all the little bits and pieces of the last eight years of snacking and tissues out from the space. It was a chore, especially at 8:15 in the morning, but I got it done.

The delivery men placed the chair down and plugged it in, and didn’t really wait for a tip. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to do that or not. Perhaps it is factored in to the delivery charge. Even with that extra charge, I still think I got a great bargain.

On a side note, it is a foggy morning here in State College, PA. It was quite cool last night, when I had to step outside at 3:30 in the morning to get fresh air for my ailing sinuses. As with most people, I don’t sleep well when I am sick; I keep waking up and that is extremely annoying.

Both Penn State University and State College Area High School have their homecoming games this week, which means two parades and plenty of people here for the weekend. I thought my cousin Eddie and his family might come in from New York, but I just spoke to him and he is going to choose another weekend. Eddie graduated from Penn State and loved every minute of it. He always attends at least one game a year.

Lastly, on the bus the other evening, there was a report of two people dressed in sinister clown outfits wielding weapons. The bus drivers, via telephone, were kept up to date on the whereabouts of these two clowns. They were hoping they would not board one of the buses. I asked my bus driver what the protocol was in case something like that happens. She said that if they weren’t carrying weapons in their hands, then they could get on the bus. They couldn’t if they were brandishing weapons. When I got off at my stop, there was no update, so I never did find out exactly what happened. I assume that all these clown sightings across this area and across the country are due to next year’s release of the remake of the movie It, which was based on Stephen King’s original novel. I think these people are sick to willingly want to scare people. Sure, on Halloween kids and teenagers dress up in costumes. Folks around the country expect it then; not now. All I know is, if I see one, I’m going to duck into the nearest establishment.

Well with my voice almost totally gone, I will end this blog entry here, and tell you that next Wednesday I will have a top ten list for you. Take care, have a good weekend, and happy reading.

UPDATE: 10/19/16 I have a photo of the new chair now to share with you.

My new [used] recliner. Arrived at my place on October 6, 2016.
My new [used] recliner. Arrived at my place on October 6, 2016.

Traci was a big hit with the family

Greetings, readers. Here is a follow-up to the blog that posted on Thanksgiving day; successfully, I might add. I will admit I was a little bit worried having Traci meet all 50-plus members of Dave and Geri’s extended family at once. But she fit right in. She decided that she wasn’t going to be nervous, and everyone loved her. It made me so happy to see her talking to people and getting to know them.

A week ago today, Wednesday, Traci and I left for New Jersey and enjoyed a gorgeous drive down to our destination, 30 minutes past Philadelphia. I couldn’t believe that for the full three days of the visit it was sunny and warmer. We actually had cool air on in the car.

I’m not going to say it is scary, but I found out that my night vision isn’t quite what it used to be. Driving on the roads at night in an area I’m not familiar with, was a wee bit stressful even with the GPS. Once we found Dave and Geri’s house, all was right with the world.

Thanksgiving morning was wonderful. I slept in a little bit but came down for morning coffee and quiche before the parade started. We watched most of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, but had to leave for the church hall before Santa Claus rolled around. First time I’ve missed him in I can’t tell you how long.

The holiday dinner itself was exquisite. I’m not going to call it a delay, but most of the folks wanted to see the Philadelphia Eagles football game before they ate dinner, so serving was put off for three hours. I had asked Geri if I could say Grace, because I also wanted to make a little speech as I do at gatherings from time to time. She happily agreed. Once everyone was seated, and my Grace and speech had been said, we partook of a wonderful soup made by Shannon Merkhofer, followed by turkey, ham and every trimming you could think of. What an amazing meal. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, the delectable desserts were placed in the serving area. I had the pumpkin pie because I am a traditionalist. The sun had already gone down when the party began to wind down, and it did take a while to put all the folding chairs away and clean up all the pots and pans. When we arrived back at Dave and Geri’s house, Traci immediately went to bed. Geri decided to take the dogs for a walk, and Dave and I collapsed on the couch with the Green Bay Packers game on in the background.

On Friday morning, I was up early to have coffee with my brother and buddy before he left for work. Later on, Traci came downstairs, followed by Geri. We had breakfast and then we packed up, because Traci wanted to go to a hobby store nearby to get a stuffed animal as a souvenir. We had seen The Happy Hippo Toys store while we were parking the car the day before.

As we got on the highway to head home, I was happy and proud that everything had gone so well. I was driving in the big city, or at least on the interstate nearby, and Traci was enjoying all the sights. She loved the skyline of Philadelphia, just coming off of the Ben Franklin bridge.

We got home about 3:30 Friday afternoon, and I will admit to you I was exhausted. It’s always strange but true, no matter how much you look forward to going somewhere and how much fun you’ve had, it is a nice feeling to come home to familiar surroundings. I was happy to see my kitty cat Keekee and she was happy to see me.

If I had to rate this trip, I would give it A+, 10 out of 10.

Until Friday, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, do take care, and as always, happy reading.

Thanksgiving plans coming together nicely

Greetings, readers. I’m very happy to say that my Thanksgiving holiday travel plans are falling in to place. I’ll be taking my girlfriend Traci to New Jersey to meet Dave and his family. They are all very eager to meet her and I am very pleased about that.

We had two options to get there. A three-day rental car or the Megabus. Both Traci and I preferred the car, that would allow us to stop for bathroom and stretch breaks when we need to. About an hour ago I called Enterprise Rent-a-Car and in no time at all I had a vehicle reserved, for way less money than I thought it would be. It made this option possible. I know I will be driving on the busiest day of the year, but I’m not too worried about it. We’ll just take our time and get there when we get there.

The journey is rather simple. Down to Philly, cross over into New Jersey, and we’re almost there. In case the vehicle does not have a GPS, I will print out directions from a map website. Both Traci and I are really looking forward to this trip.

For a brief time, I was thinking of leaving early Thursday morning. But I’ve almost never missed the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade and if I can be there late Wednesday afternoon, that’s what I’d like to do.

The family will be gathering at a church hall nearby for the dinner. I’m going to bring a hoodie or a jacket in case it is cool in there. I can always take off layers that I don’t need. I hate to be cold. After dinner, there will probably be an evening football game to watch as well as many sleepy people. I expect bedtime will be early and Traci and I should be back on the road heading home by 11:00 Friday morning.

I’m very thankful for my friend and accountant, Mr. Updegraff for helping me procure the car. It’s really going to make things a lot easier, and give Traci and me a sense of independence. I don’t mind the bus, but you’re always traveling on their schedule.

I’m going to end this blog entry here, because I’m working on maybe three hours of sleep, due to a night of insomnia. We’ll have another entry on Friday, so until then, take care, have a great couple of days, and happy reading.

Happy day after Thanksgiving

Greetings, readers. Another Thanksgiving has come and gone and I am happy to say that I did my new routine. That consisted of sleeping in just a little, making coffee at home, watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, and then I walked down to a local diner and had a wonderful turkey dinner. The meal came complete with all the trimmings, several kinds of pie to choose from, and delicious coffee. All the proceeds went to a charity so I tipped well. The servers and other staff were mostly volunteers; I’m sure it felt good to give of themselves.

After dinner I was planning to watch the afternoon football games. Well, whatever it is that is in turkey that makes you tired said, “Joe it is time for a nap.” I didn’t fight it and dosed off from 3:00 to 6:00. I am happy to report that it did not infer with my sleep cycle as I was fearing it would. When I woke up from my nap, I had some eggnog, broke out the Christmas lights, and decorated the apartment. I plan to put some pictures of the decorations in the picture gallery soon.

Keekee was treated to extra treats throughout the day and I did my best to let her know that it was a special occasion.

Another thing I did yesterday was make and receive phone calls to friends and family. I heard from my Aunt Marilyn, friend David, and a great friend Sue whom I know from Bear Spring Camps.

As I always do when I have a day off, I thought today was Wednesday. No, it is only Friday. That’s okay though because I am planning a restful evening and a leisurely weekend which will include D&D gaming.

On a personal opinion note, something I’ve never really done before, boo hiss and bah humbug to K-Mart; as I understand it they forced all their employees to work on Thanksgiving day and threatened to fire them if they did not comply. To me, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and even Easter should be days set aside to be with family and loved ones.

Until Wednesday, take care, stay warm, and happy reading.

The day after Thanksgiving

Greetings, readers. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and got home safe. I had a perfectly lovely day and I will now share some of the highlights of my Thanksgiving.

As I’ve always done since childhood, I got up early and watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. There was some concern about the level of wind in New York City and it would be a game-time decision on whether the balloons would be allowed to fly. They were allowed to fly but they had to have extra people with extra ropes to keep them from flying too high. I was very happy to see all the nice balloons because the parade wouldn’t be the same without them. As the parade started almost three miles away from Macy’s front door, the first hour of the broadcast was the performances from all the Broadway plays, performed right in front of Macy’s. The second hour was when the marching bands and some of the floats began to roll by. Everyone did such a magnificent job. Marching bands from many different states partook. Musical performances were sung, dancers danced, and the Radio City Rockettes danced to a medley of Christmas tunes.  And of course, at noon Santa Claus came by with his mechanical reindeer lifting up from the float. I was a little bit perturbed when NBC switched to the dog show directly at noon, cutting off the end of the parade by a minute or so. I guess the parade ran long.

After the parade, I went to a local diner which was serving a turkey dinner with all the trimmings. It was most delicious. School children were donating their time on Thanksgiving day to be servers and greeters. I thought that was wonderful; that they would give back to their community before spending time with their families.

After a couple of games of football on the tube, I was so exhausted I went to bed at 9:15. Hellishly early for me. All in all a great day.

I decided to split an entry on Thanksgiving day and on Zipcar into two posts so that each topic could stand on its own.

Take care, and happy reading.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Greetings, friends and readers. Rebecca, my writing assistant, and I have worked out the issue which was holding up the sale of my book in a local store in downtown State College. Picking Up Where We Left Off: My Bear Spring Camps Stories is now on the shelves, for anyone to buy, at Appalachian Outdoors.

Now that I have that out of my system, a happy St. Patrick’s Day to you all. I don’t know whether or not TV stations around the country still show St. Patrick’s Day parades like when I was a child, but if one was on around here, I forgot to watch. Oops, sorry. There is always next year.

I am making an unusual promise here on my blog. The blog post about my father will be posted next Friday. Until Monday or Tuesday, have a great weekend and I hope the weather there is as nice as it is here.