Tag Archives: Traci

Go Spikes Go!!! :-D

Greetings, readers. I’m very sorry that I did not post a blog entry yesterday. I was feeling extremely drained, both emotionally and physically. Here where I live, we have had several days of rain in a row. This is not good for me, because I suffer from depression. Even though it is overcast, chilly, and looks like it could rain at any moment, my mood is much better today. So, I thought I would put up this blog post to let you know what’s been going on in my life the last few days.

My friends, Traci and Smith, accompanied me to a State College Spikes baseball game a few nights ago. We are the single-A, short season team for the St. Louis Cardinals. There are only 33 home games in the whole season. I purchased what is called a Flex Book; 14 tickets, which can be used at any time. The price was reasonable, so I jumped at it. Traci, Smith, and I went to a game the other night against the Williamsport Crosscutters. Yes…, That is one word. I looked it up.

The game we went to was in honor of Josiah Viera. He was a young teenager who suffered from a rare genetic disease called Progeria. The genetic disorder causes children to age rapidly, and die young. For a number of seasons, he was the inspirational leader in the Spikes clubhouse and dugout. On opening night, the team retired his number on the jersey, number 10, which he had worn so proudly.

I am going to have lots of fun this season going to several games. I love it when they have fireworks after the game. If any of you live in a town or city that has been minor-league baseball team, please share it with me on my Facebook page, or in the comments section.

SPECIAL NOTE: Due to an appointment which cannot be changed, I have asked Rebecca to come in and work on Thursday this week, instead of Wednesday. So until then, I bid you a great few days, take care, love one another, and as always, happy reading.

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From Rebecca: Joe is flattened by back spasms

Greetings, Joe’s readers. When I got to work today I found Joe walking bent over and in pain. He tried to ease his back spasms by lying down for a bit, but he said he couldn’t find a comfortable position and felt like a Mexican jumping bean. Next he tried walking it off by going up and down the hallway, which seemed to help a little. This is the worst spasm he has had in years, kicking off a pain every few seconds. I hope he feels better soon. He asked me to write the post today, because he can’t sit down or focus long enough to dictate it.

When I come to work every Wednesday, I set up a card table to put his laptop on for me to use to type dictation. Joe is sitting at the table now, seeing if leaning forward in a different chair will help. So far no success. He is looking for that one magic position that will get it to stop. As we only work together one day a week now, this is really putting a crimp in today’s progress.

I am actually amazed by how much Joe can do on a day to day basis with all the physical problems he has. It keeps him from doing some things he really wants to do, like write for a few hours at a time, but he is able to do a lot of things he needs to most of the time. A day like today where he is stopped by his body is a good reminder of how well he usually does.

——————-

Joe got his back to calm down at least enough to try to dictate a few paragraphs.

Hi, readers. Thanks to Rebecca for getting this one started. It took two Aleve and a big swig of NyQuil to calm this spasm down. This was probably the worst back spasm in a couple of years. If I only knew what I did to make it start. I was just sitting at Panera taking my meds. Yes, my body has a mind of its own. Like Rebecca said though, most days I can get by with no problem.

Something else is weighing on my mind, which unfortunately I cannot disclose at this moment, but suffice it to say that prayers are needed for a good friend of mine on a couple of levels. Prayers for her would be much appreciated. Tyvm.

We have enjoyed several beautiful mornings in a row; a little unusual for State Cloudy, Pennsylvania. I’ve heard the forecast calls for rain overnight and tomorrow morning, but I will take every nice morning I can get.

Traci’s sister Roni is scheduled to meet us tomorrow morning at 7:00 for coffee at Panera. Hopefully it will not be downpouring then. Friend Smith will also be there and is eagerly looking forward to meeting Roni. It should be a very pleasant gathering.

Well, there is today’s blog entry. Again, thanks to Rebecca for getting it started, and you will be happy to know that finally at 11am the back spasm seems to be over. Thank God!

I’ll dictate another entry on Sunday, so until then, have a wonderful few days, take care, and as always, happy reading.

It’s a hodgepodge day #5

Greetings, readers. I had today’s blog topic all ready to go, and then calamity struck. For those of you who are friends with me on Facebook, you know I had problems with Zipcar and I almost dumped them for lack of quality service. They got a reprieve. I was also going to talk about the baseball rule changes. More about that in paragraph two. And I will also talk a little bit about my recent health scares. All of this and more in today’s blog entry.

On April 1st, my friend Smith celebrated her birthday. Traci and I wanted to do something special for her by taking her to the local dairy for a chocolate malt … her favorite. I rented the Zipcar days in advance. Everything was perfectly set up until I tried to start the car. Click, click, click and then nothing; a dead battery. Really?! I tried to call the Zipcar hotline but they were experiencing, “more calls than usual.” Knowing that Smith had to be somewhere else at noon, I didn’t waste anymore time, I called a cab, and we were quickly on our way. I was so upset that our perfect day was almost ruined, that I decided in haste to drop Zipcar. I’ve spoken to them twice on the phone since, and they have resolved this situation to my satisfaction by returned the money I paid for the car I didn’t use. I told them that I would stay with them until November when my dues came out again. At that point I would re-evaluate. I shall keep you updated on their progress or lack thereof.

While I need to do more research on all the rule changes to Major League Baseball, I do have an opinion on one of them. Mound visits used to be an integral part of a manager’s job. It was a chess match and could be quite interesting at times. Now they are putting a limit to how many times a pitching coach or manager can visit the mound. I’m not saying that I want a hundred of them per game, but boy I just wish they would leave my favorite sport alone. It was never meant to be as fast as basketball, football or hockey. To me, it seems like the MLB or the commissioner himself is trying to speed up the game in such a way that the fans feel like they are herded into the stadiums just to see how fast they can be herded back out. I shall do more research and update on a future blog entry.

This morning my body did not want to cooperate with me. I was leaving Panera after having my morning coffee as usual when my left knee buckled twice. The last time that happened I was walking, passed out, fell into Smith and gave her a concussion. This time I was able to sit down, though I felt panicky. I did not want to pass out and have to go to the hospital. Rebecca was already on the way to set up the computer and table for work, and that would have been awkward to call off. Luckily I was able to do my errand and get back without any further issue. I contacted my neurologist to get an appointment sooner than the one I already have in July. Two attacks in three months is two too many. I shall keep on top of the situation and report any updates.

There is today’s blog entry. I bid you all a wonderful day, do take care, give someone a hug, and as always, happy reading.

Snow Day – part two

Greetings, readers. What a miserable weather day we had yesterday. The snow began approximately 7:30 in the morning, just as our entourage was leaving for morning coffee. I told Smith and Traci, “It hasn’t started yet, let’s try to go over.” We were just getting out the front door of the apartment building when we saw the first flakes. The sidewalk that we use to get to Panera is always salted well, so I knew we weren’t going to have a problem there. But after an hour of coffee and conversation, I saw that the snow had already began to lay thick on the ground. The three of us made a quick but safe retreat to home. There I remained for the rest of the day.

It is supposed to get to 41 degrees F today. If it does I might slide down the hill to the corner store and pick up some extra cereal and milk. Meals on Wheels did not deliver yesterday, and I don’t blame them. In the afternoon the roads went from crunchy snow and, “Oh, we can manage,” to freezing rain and the entire town shutting down. Even Penn State called off classes. When this town shuts down, it shuts down. I had time to get caught up with the new season of One Day at a Time.

This blog entry today almost did not happen. I was doing my morning routine of Facebook, etc, when some kind of error message popped up on the screen, wanting my phone number or some personal information to verify something about Microsoft. I’m not that naïve. I restarted the computer and so far that message has not popped up again. Later on I am going to run a full virus scan. Oh, yes, with modern technology comes these vicious problems. I doubt that error message was actually from Microsoft. I’m older and wiser now and don’t believe everything I see … just most things.

Before I close, I wish to share that I have narrowed my choice of churches to two. The church to which Smith belongs, the State College Presbyterian Church, or the church my parents and I used to attend when I was a child, Grace Lutheran Church. Both are on Beaver Avenue, within easy walking distance. Since I don’t have my own car I can’t take myself where I really want to go, Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church. The bus I would need does not run on Sundays, and a cab or Zipcar would take a bite out of the wallet. Walking is free. I am leaning towards joining the Presbyterian Church. Sorry Mom and Dad, I hope you won’t be too disappointed. Yes, even though they are both in heaven, it is still very important to me what they think and that they are not disappointed in me.

There’s part two of the blog entry. I’m going to have a brand new one up on Sunday and weather permitting Rebecca will be back on Wednesday of next week instead of Thursday. We have an errand to run that morning so I am probably going to dictate Wednesday’s blog so we can quickly edit it and post it when we get back.

I wish all of you a great day, go somewhere warm if you can, and bundle up if you can’t. As always, enjoy and happy reading.

A disruption to my daily routine and first impressions of the Alliance of American Football

Greetings, readers. The last two mornings had weather conditions such that the Three Musketeers (Smith, Traci, and I) could not go to Panera for our now ritualistic morning coffee. Aren’t humans creatures of habit? I felt cheated that I didn’t have my time with my friends. And I know for a fact that Smith and Traci felt the same way. Smith says that she loves to get out of the apartment building at least twice a day if she can. We couldn’t go this morning because the sidewalks were a sheet of ice. Yesterday we had 4 inches of snow followed by freezing rain. Not a good combination. Schools were closed and functions around town were cancelled. It’s not very often that I stay in my apartment the entire day. I was completely lethargic and went to bed at 8:30. To my surprise I slept pretty much through the night, and had a bizarre dream about my mother. I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t call her on her cell phone. I kept asking my dad for the right number. When I woke up it dawned on my why I couldn’t call her in the dream; my mother is deceased, as is my dad. As happens quite a lot in dreams, you attempt to do things or make contact with loved ones and fail. I honestly believe the reason I couldn’t contact my mom is because she was deceased. If any readers have any other plausible explanations, please do leave a comment here or on my Facebook page.

On to another topic now. On YouTube, I watched parts of two footballs games, from the first week of the brand new Alliance of American Football (AAF). I watched part of the Atlanta Legends at Orlando Apollos game. The Atlanta team was not very good; they got blown out 40 – 6. Then I watched the San Diego Fleet at San Antonio Commanders game. It was not a packed house at the Alamodome, but I would say it was a good crowd for the first game of a new league. The San Antonio Commanders are the first professional football team in that city since the United States Football League’s San Antonio Gunslingers were there for one dreadful season in the early 80s.

The AAF has a few rule differences from the National Football League (NFL). One is they have no kickoffs. The ball is spotted on the 25 yard line for the team who wins the coin toss. They do, however, have punts and field goals. Another rule difference I like is that after every touchdown they have to go for a 2-point conversion.

With limited practice time and only one exhibition game per team, the offensive lines have not gelled yet. I’m sure these teams will get a lot better. One week down and nine to go in the ten week regular season. This league starts one week after the NFL’s Super Bowl and their championship game will be in late April. Just in time for folks to switch over to baseball. That’s what I like the most. I am not a fan of basketball or hockey. I don’t hate those sports, but I’ve never gotten into watching them full-time.

I shall enjoy getting to know these teams while watching them on TNT and the NFL network. In April, after their championship game, I shall give you a final review/update on this fledgling league.

There’s today’s blog entry. Everyone please pray for warmer weather. I’m tired of the cold and winter. Rebecca and I bid you a good day. Take care, and as always, happy reading.

P.S. New blog entry on Sunday. Until then …

Getting over the depression of hurting another person

Greetings, readers. This past Tuesday my friend and I were walking along, minding our own business, when I passed out. I fell forward, knocking her over and injuring her. Most of that morning and afternoon in the emergency room is a blur now, but it didn’t take long for the guilt I know I shouldn’t have to set in. Smith has told me numerous times that it was an accident, and that she does not blame me. Oh, what a good friend I have.

It’s now Sunday afternoon and most of the guilt is gone. I really felt terrible when she told me that she did indeed receive her second concussion. She still was not quite over the one she suffered 18 months ago. I just hope that she doesn’t suffer any more memory issues. My memory is not what it used to be, so I can relate to Smith’s frustration. She tells Traci and me that her, “….memory used to be my strong point. Not anymore.”

It’s a little more than an hour later than it was when I stopped for a supper break.

Listening to Smith tell me that friends of hers would come to her when they couldn’t remember something breaks my heart every time. It got me to wondering just how many concussions I have suffered over the years. To my surprise… and horror, I count three. Yikes!

The first one was during the summer, during my elementary school years. I was probably ten or eleven. I was riding my bike in the circle in my former neighborhood, when my feet slipped off the pedals. I was heading right for the curb and struck it. The bike stopped and I didn’t. I went up over the handlebars, landing head first in the grass. I can honestly say I know what amnesia feels like, because when I got up and looked at my own house, I didn’t know it was my house. I had no clue for about five seconds. To say that it freaked me out would be an understatement.

Incident number two was in junior high school. The school day was over and we were heading to our lockers in the commons area. I felt someone’s foot tangle with mine, and the next instant I knew, I was lying down on a teacher’s desk. When my mom got me home, she told me to rest up and report any unusual symptoms. I told her that my head pounded when I bent over. We immediately went to the emergency room.

Concussion number three was many years later during a bowling outing in Maine. Friend Dave and I were getting set to do battle, and after choosing my ball, I did not clear the ball rack. The top of my head cracked the underneath section of the beverage bar, and I can honestly say that I saw stars. Dave and I should’ve stopped bowling right there, but we were young teenagers who thought nothing could hurt us. Every time I bent down to bowl, my head hurt. Needless to say, we only bowled one game that evening. We were going to make it a best two out of three. Buddy Dave checked on me periodically throughout the night. I was oblivious to the fact that you are not supposed to let a concussion victim sleep for more than two hours at a time without awaking them. They might not wake up!

Having said all this, I know full well that my elderly friend Smith needed a second concussion like a kick in the teeth. You should’ve seen her when I apologized. She told me exactly what I thought she would say. Smith told me that it was not my fault, that I had no control over it and that she was glad that I was okay. We do look out for one another. Smith, Traci and I will continue to watch out for one another, for we are the self-proclaimed Three Musketeers.

Until Wednesday, enjoy the rest of your weekend and early week. Rebecca and I will be here to post the next entry Wednesday afternoon. Until then take care, love one another, and as always, happy reading.

Arg! Oh what a terrible morning I had #2

Greetings, readers. For the last few months I’ve enjoyed a set morning routine. It involves going to Panera with my friends Smith and Traci for coffee, breakfast, and conversation. It is a wonderful way to start the day and I now look forward to it every morning that it’s possible to do. I had plans to go this morning but a back spasm said no. My back going out is one of the most frustrating health issues that I have to deal with, because I literally have to turn out all the lights, take two Aleve, and go back to bed. I let my body reset.

To my happy surprise, when I laid down, the back spasm almost instantly ceased. Friend Smith had already gone back to her apartment and I didn’t feel like knocking on her door and saying what the heck, let’s try it. I took a nap for about an hour, setting my alarm for 9:15, just enough time to get dressed again before Rebecca came. I didn’t have any breakfast food in the house and the only regular coffee I have is instant. So I had to pretend that my new box of K-Cups was not decaf. I also missed out on my delicious papaya green tea which I get every morning along with my coffee to hydrate myself. Yes, readers, I am trying to take better care of myself.

Some of the other things I do to help my diet is eat more oatmeal. Also at the McLanahan’s corner store pre-packaged cups of fresh fruit on one side of the display with sandwiches and salads on the other side are for offer. I helped myself to a few containers of delicious watermelon. Also to aid in my efforts to eat better I am definitely considering getting Meals on Wheels again. They are not the greatest, but most of them have some veggies in them. I am not a big believer in these protein shakes that supplement your diet, for I have no idea how many chemicals they have in them.

Smith is trying to get me to drink more water, which I must admit I am not a big fan of. She is impressed that I am drinking Panera’s cold papaya green tea. Occasionally I’ll mix it up and have their lemonade. Both are healthy and good hydrating beverages. Now readers, get ready for the shocker. I’m seriously contemplating giving up coffee completely. I think I am starting to lose the taste for it. I never thought I’d say that, but I fear it’s true. Perhaps I’ll just cut way back.

When spring rolls around the last thing I will add to my new health regimen is walk, walk, walk. Because of my lack of exercise, and because of standing in one place at my fast food job for a year, I have a little arthritis in my hips, making that morning trek to Panera a bit stiff. If I do a lot of walking in the warmer months, I’m hoping that some of that stiffness can be alleviated. If it is tight muscles, that’s fine. If arthritis has come to stay, that is a completely different story. I have to use a walker for our morning coffee excursion. Later in the day, everything loosens up and I am back to my own self. For all my younger readers out there, I’m just kidding, but don’t get old. It’s no fun.

There is today’s blog entry. I will put up another blog entry mid-day on Sunday. I apologize that last Sunday’s was put up so late in the day, but it was a very hectic Sunday. I’m sure you can all relate. I’ve heard that snow storms are coming across the country, so please stay safe, don’t drive in it if you don’t have to, and until Sunday, take care, have a great few days, and happy reading.

Run, don’t walk

Greetings, readers. I recently, on Facebook, changed my relationship status from single to it’s complicated. Yes, I am in a relationship right now, but its dynamics are quite bizarre. I’m going to keep her name out of it for obvious reasons because I don’t want to hurt her feelings. Here’s what is going on.

One evening a couple of months ago, a female friend of my ex-fiancé knocked on my door and hit me with some news. She told me that she had a crush on me. Then she prepared me for more. She told me that she was in love with me. While flattered, I still felt like a deer in the headlights. I didn’t know how to react. You know me, readers, I tried to be as gracious as possible and said something like, “Oh, that’s nice. Wow!” Apparently her love had been growing for several months, even while I was engaged to my fiancé.

I talked to Traci, my ex-fiancé, about our mutual friend. I asked her if she knew about the feelings of said friend. She said no. Once I learned that, I felt worse. What to do, what to do? I decided to play it very cautiously and very, very slowly.

After a couple of coffee dates, and one home cooked meal at her place, it quickly became apparent that my new love interest had more feelings for me than I did for her. This is a huge problem. I’m not going to settle just because I want to be in love, but I’m also terrible at hurting people. I already feel like I strung her along a little bit and I am afraid that when I end it, this nice woman’s feelings will be crushed. That’s not going to be pretty. Unfortunately, I believe it has to happen. If only one of the two people in a love situation is actually in love, it’s never going to work. I’ve heard that the Lord tests people, and if this is one of those tests, it is not funny.

I’ve talked to a number of friends about this, and they all agree. Run, don’t walk. A friend whom I had dinner with last night told me that exact phrase. She said the woman came on too strong and that I do not have the same feelings. It just won’t work. I’m going to take this advice, but it will still be hard for me, because again I hate hurting people. I’ve been dumped many times before and I know how painful it is. Tact, planning, and luck will be all needed here. I say luck, because I do not want this love interest to turn around and take her frustrations out on Traci.  I don’t think she will do that, but you never know.

I know dear readers I don’t usually get this personal. I tend to talk about TV, the weather, or sports. But if anybody has any suggestions on a good way to proceed, I’m all ears.

I was not going to mention this, but I’ve decided to. Several years ago, I took a very good friend of mine who I was in love with on my Christmas Eve light ride. Afterwards we stopped at McDonald’s for coffee, and I professed my love to her and she reacted the exact same way I did the other week. Now I know how she felt. Trapped, scared, and not knowing what the hell to say. After learning that I was being rejected, I kind of mentally closed the rest of the evening out. It didn’t ruin the light ride, thank goodness, because we were on our way home after coffee anyway.

I’m taking a personal day tomorrow for an appointment. Rebecca and I will be back with you next Wednesday. This should be the last Thursday off for me in a while. Time will tell. One of us will post a new blog entry tomorrow. Until then, take care, have a wonderful day, and happy reading.

CreateSpace.com is going bye-bye

Greetings, readers. Rebecca and I were met with an interesting problem this morning when we saw that Amazon, the parent company of CreateSpace, is basically taking them over. All my books will be transferred over to Kindle Direct Publishing at some point, or I could move them over myself. This news threw us for a loop, for we really didn’t know what was going to happen. To our relief, we found out that the transfer could be done quickly and painlessly, and KDP will still publish the printed versions.

Amazon and Kindle also gives you an opportunity to advertise your books somewhere on Amazon itself. I shouted, “Yes,” gleefully. My glee was short-lived. Rebecca tried to find the price of said service, but to no avail. It was extremely difficult to find, making me think they want beaucoup bucks, which I just don’t have at the moment. Yes, it’s true, you need to spend money to make money, but funds are tight right now.

Luckily, the remainder of my business cards say Amazon on them, so I can still pass them out and use them. Thank God for small favors. Could we have done more to promote our books? Probably so, but I still have nightmares about our first and only book signing at the local Webster’s Bookstore and Café. We started with a good crowd, but by the time we were done, all the students who were studying for their tests had been driven away by our stories. By the end the only people who were left were the people who we had invited. Not good.

Enough belly aching. Finally, some cooler weather is coming tomorrow night. With my air conditioner on the fritz, you can imagine just how much I am looking forward to cooler temperatures. For those of you who know me well, no, I am not looking forward to winter, but day-time highs in the 60s F and lows in the 40s are just fine for me right now. It is supposed to be in the mid-50s and partly sunny for the Nittany Lions homecoming game against Michigan State this Saturday. I’ve been invited by my friend Nicci to go see the homecoming parade Friday evening with Traci. I hope it won’t be too cool.

We will keep you up to date, dear readers, about the progress on getting all books to Amazon/Kindle. For those of you who have Kindles, I am sure you will enjoy the reads. We will keep you abreast.

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

I survived six days in a row at my job

Greetings, readers. I am enjoying my first day off in a week from my fast-food restaurant job. I usually only work four days a week but we are short-staffed and the extra pay will come in handy. I can’t wait to go on-line Saturday morning when my next paycheck comes in automatically with direct deposit and see the total. I got a raise this past pay period, so I should be seeing a much bigger number on the screen. Exciting.

I thought I would be drop-dead exhausted by yesterday, but I seemed to have hit a groove. Sunday had an onslaught of steady customers from 10:15 am to 2:00 pm. Nobody got a break. The consumers consisted of the Penn State football crowd getting breakfast before leaving town and Sunday church goers having their quick meal before or after services. I thought that by 1:00 pm most people would be home watching pro football. Nooo. I was grossly mistaken.

Monday and Tuesday’s shifts were “easy” by comparison. I’ve been at my work place now since May and I know the register pretty well. I don’t need to ask for help nearly as much. Oh, I’ll make a mistake once in a while, and have to call for one of my managers, but they are more than willing to come and help.

On to another topic, my friend Traci is letting me purchase her paper shredder, something our office desperately needs for all the documents I receive. This morning I was hard at work shredding old papers with my name and address on them. I had to be very careful not to put any staples through it. So far it works great. It might just be the best $20 I have spent in a long time.

I am fighting myself today, my readers, to not erupt in flames verbally about President Donald Trump. I constantly have to bite my tongue and sensor myself on this blog. If I said half the things I truly feel, I would probably be put on some internet watch, so I will leave it there.

Rebecca and I are working together both today and tomorrow, so we will have a regular work week again. She gave me a report on her progress this last week on getting Four’s a Crowd ready for publishing in a few months. Regular readers know that her husband Darren adapted my play Kimberly into a novel. She downloaded a formatted templet from CreateSpace.com, filled in information such as the ISBN numbers we got from CreateSpace, the title and author sections, expanded the number of formatted chapter slots, and then cut and pasted each chapter from Darren’s files to the formatted file in the appropriate chapter slots. She said she still needs to do a few final touches, then we can upload the file and order proof copies. We will do a last edit from the proofs, make corrections, then approve it to go live and start selling books. We are all excited to get this project going forward again.

Lastly, an R.I.P. to one of my favorite actors of the 1980s, Robert Guillaume. His work includes the TV shows Soap and the extremely popular spin-off Benson. I watched every episode of Benson and quite a number of episodes of Soap. You did a wonderful job, Robert.

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