Monday, January 30, 2012

Sunrise.... Sunset

I had such a hard time sleeping last night.  I finally fell asleep around 3:30 or 4:00 this morning.  And I had to get up at 7:00 to go to work.  Needless to say I am pretty tired right now.  But I did get to see a beautiful sunrise.


I always seem to get those birds sitting on the wire though, don't I?

It was a very busy day at work.  The people just didn't stop coming in.  I didn't get nearly as much done as I thought I would.  I have piles of books waiting for me on my desk.  And I made a mistake ringing up a fine on the cash drawer.  I have to call downtown tomorrow and I don't know how it's going to be fixed.  I sure hope I am not in trouble over this.

There is a young couple that came into the library on Saturday and again today.  They lay down on one of the window seats and he sleeps while she reads him a Stephen King book rather loudly.  I was on my lunch hour today and people were coming up to me and complaining about them.  I went over and told him for the second time he had to wake up and told her to get her feet off of the cushions and keep her voice down.  She reads in a monotone for hours.  And I do mean hours.  Today it was four hours straight.  I am not exaggerating.  She read from 11:30 to 3:30 with no breaks.  No wonder the guy falls asleep.

On the way home from work I saw the most beautiful sunset.  I couldn't wait to get home to take a picture.  I was praying that the sun wouldn't set before I got a chance to get it.  God answered my prayer and I got several really great pictures.  Here's one of them.


Bible study tomorrow morning and I still have to make cookies for it.  I am making oatmeal cookies with craisins.  Hope they turn out.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

SUNDAY

I don't really have much to say today.  I woke up with another migraine.  Joe wanted to go to church so I got ready and took him.  But I felt bad the whole time I was there.  I just wanted to go home and take a nap.

We stayed later too because Joe was trying to fix the stoves at church.  We smelled gas the other week at our Tuesday morning Bible study and so turned the gas off.  He thought it was just that the pilots were out or that it needed cleaning.  It turned out to be much more than that and he couldn't fix it.  So we are looking this week for one new stove.  Then when the church saves up enough money we will buy a second one.  We need to do it quickly because we are having a Valentine's luncheon at church in two weeks.  Joe said (and rightly so) that by the time we pay someone to fix the 30 year old stove we can buy a new one with a warranty.

I finally got home and was able to lay down for awhile this afternoon.  I cannot figure out why I am getting so many headaches.  I am thinking it has something to do with the bacon we got this time.  It seems they always come on me after I have eaten some of that bacon.  It is a low sodium, low sugar bacon and maybe there is something in it that I am allergic to.  I have to go read the label.

I was feeling better tonight so I made a pork roast with mashed potatoes, gravy and green bean casserole.  It turned out really good.

Well, to bed I go.  Monday morning comes early.  I am still taking my sunrise photos and that sun seems to rise earlier each day.  Hmm...  I think it actually does.  Good night everyone!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The sun finally came out...and I'm at work

After several days of the skies looking like this:



I was really happy to see this morning's sunrise looking like this:



Of course today was my Saturday to work.  I didn't really mind because even though the day was busy, Saturdays are never as busy as weekdays.  I was able to get so much done.  I am actually beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel and am getting much less stressed with my job.  That's a good thing.

The librarian had to leave the building for an hour to go to a meeting which made me the senior person.  I was in charge of the place for the time he was gone.  I had to sit at his desk and do the librarian job.  This was the first time that has happened and it was scary, but kind of cool too.  

After work I stopped at the dollar store and got some more of the feather roses.  Joe wanted to give them to the ladies in his Bible study on Valentine's Day.  I also got some small packages of Hershey's kisses for the guys.

As I was driving there, I glanced in my rear view mirror and saw the sunset.  It was magnificent.  When I parked in the lot at the store, I pulled out my camera (I never go anywhere without one) and took this shot.
The picture does not do it justice.  I am glad I am always prepared because you just do not know where or when the next good picture is coming from.

When I got home I made fried rice for dinner and now I am getting sleepy (even though it is only 8:30 p.m.) and am thinking about heading for bed soon.  Goodnight everyone!  Hope you have a good Sunday!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Free Friday

I am working tomorrow so had today off from work.  I wanted a nice sunny day to get some things done, but it decided to rain instead.  At least the temperatures were nice and warm.

Joe and I had lunch with my new friend Donna.  I met her because she comes in the library for books all the time.  She also delivers Avon that her cousin sells.  We all buy off of her cousin.  She and I started talking one day and hit it off.  I have told her about Joe and Joe about Donna, so I wanted them to meet.

We picked her up at her house and had lunch at our favorite little dive "Andy and Nancy's Deli".  It is a hole in the wall but the food is wonderful.  We had such a good time talking and getting to know each other better.  We kept seeing people we knew and saying hello.  Donna said to me that I know everyone.  I really don't.

After we ate we went to the dollar store.  I can't resist a dollar store.  I automatically grab a cart when I go in because I know I can't get just one thing.  I found these pretty fake calla lilies with Easter eggs attached to the stem.  So nice.  I got them to put away for Easter decorating.  I also found a red rose made out of feathers.  I had to get it.  Even the leaves are feathers.  I will have to take a picture to show you.

We came out and Donna mentioned that she was making stuffed peppers for dinner and needed to go to the store when she got home to get some ground meat.  Joe said that Shop-Rite was right there so we took her over there and I also got a few things that I had forgotten to buy the other night.

After that we took her home.  I was tired and laid down for a few minutes.  Well I fell asleep and didn't wake up for 4 hours!  I guess I needed the sleep.  I was feeling a little nauseous and I am always tired any more.  I don't know what's wrong with me.

I'm feeling much better now, so I think I will go make dinner.  Flounder, rice and squash with mushrooms and shallots tonight.  I do like to cook.


Back to work tomorrow.  Hopefully it will be slow enough for me to finish up all the paperwork and reports on my desk.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Anniversary

Time flies.  It's hard to imagine, but today is the one year anniversary of the death of Joe's dad and the six year anniversary of the death of his mom.  I remember what a terrible time it was a year ago.  All of the fighting.  All of the tears.  All of the name calling and hard feelings.  (Take a look back at last year's entries if you don't know what I am talking about.)  At that time I thought it would never end. That it would always be bad.  But time heals a lot of things.  Even so, it was a sad day.  And a hard one.

I had such a nice long sleep last night.  I really needed it after having almost nothing the night before.  I felt so good when I got up this morning, but I missed the sunrise.  Oh well.  By the way, here is the sunrise I wanted to show you yesterday.  I found my camera in my bed.  How did it get there?



I went into work late today because I took Joe to the doctor's for his regular visit.  With all his ailments he has to see several specialists on a regular basis.  Sometimes someone else will take him, but other times I just want to be the one to go with him.  It's according which doctor he is seeing.  But I especially wanted to be with him today.


His appointment was for 11:00 a.m. but the doctor was running late and he didn't get in until 11:30.  The doctor took a lot of time with him, so we didn't get out until noon.  Then we had to get something to eat.  So I didn't get in to work until 2:00 p.m.  I worked until 5:00 p.m. so I had a 3 hour day.  I could get used to 3 hour days.  Ha, ha.  

Because Diane had been on the front desk for four hours, I took the next two hours and then Marquita came in for the last hour.  Even so, I got an awful lot accomplished.  I finally finished the filing that I've been doing for the last 6 months, ever since I took over Donna's job.  I can actually see my desk now!  I still have some more sorting to do of some paperwork, but the worst is over with.  Hooray!


We went food shopping tonight.  We were out of everything so it was a little expensive.  But we haven't been in three weeks, so I guess it's not that bad.  Joe had gone to Bible Study.  I picked him up at 8:30 p.m. and we headed to the store.  I was surprised.  The parking lot was pretty empty and we were able to park pretty close to the front door.  The store was pretty empty too.  And there were no lines to check out.  We even got a bagger.  So we have decided to go every Wednesday night after Joe's study.


Enough of my ramblings for tonight.  More tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

THE YEAR OF THE DRAGON


Happy Chinese New Year.  This is the year of the Dragon.  Guess what Joe and I did for dinner.  I stopped on the way home at this great Chinese take-out that Joe and I love.



We celebrated by having "lucky" food for dinner.  Pork, long noodles and dumplings (money bags) mean moving forward, long life and wealth in the new year.  We had pork lo mein, egg rolls and almond cookies.

I had a really pretty picture of the sunrise today that I wanted to share with you but I can't find my camera!  I know it is around here somewhere.  When I find it, I will share it with you.  Fortunately, I know where my other camera is so I can take the sunrise tomorrow.  Sigh.  I am so disorganized.


At least I have an excuse today.  I spent last night in the emergency room (from midnight to 3:00 a.m.).  I was OK until I ate dinner.  Then I started feeling nauseous.  I laid down and had a hard time breathing.  Then I got chest pain and pain in my shoulder and arm.  By this time I started panicking which made everything worse.  I know that since my surgery last year I have gas pockets in my chest.  Usually if I burp it relieves the pressure and the pain goes away.  This time, though, nothing was helping and the pain was getting worse.  Then I started gagging and retching.  So Joe took me to the hospital.


After some tests and an exam the doctor determined that it was not my heart, it was a severe case of trapped gas.  While I was in the waiting room, the pain started to slowly go away.  But I was still very sick to my stomach and felt like I was going to throw up any minute.  My blood pressure and heart beat were up also.  They gave me some medication for the nausea and when I felt better, they sent me home.

After 3 hours sleep we got up to go teach our Bible Study.  We had four ladies show up today.  Joe is on part 2 of "Searching for God's Will".  The ladies really got into it and the two newest ones are just eating it up and telling him what a good teacher he is.  Joe is really into leading this group, but likes me to help out because it is mainly women that show up.

I went to work, but left early because I was having trouble staying awake.  I feel as if I have lived this day in a fog.

We had another special event for the kids.  "The Amazing Mr. Q" came.  He is a comedian, storyteller and does amazing things with balloons.  The kids absolutely loved him!  Here are some pictures.

Mr. Q began with a funny sequence with a puppet.

A boy cut a piece of rope in half which Mr. Q then put back together in one piece.

This trick was where he put different colored handkerchiefs in a box and a boy from the audience pulled out this large hankie.

He did lots of things with balloons.  This is the beginning of a magic trick  He put this spike through the balloon without breaking it..


At the end he made annimals, hearts, swords and snakes from the balloons and gave them to the kids to take home.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Snow Day

What a difference a day makes.  This is yesterday's sunrise.


And here is today's.


This is only the second snow of the season.  But it was not fun.


See my pretty car?  Just a little snow on it right?  Wrong.  It had a slick coating of solid ice also.  The mailman came knocking at the door early this morning and told me to be very careful outside.  He then proceeded to slide down the sidewalk and almost fell.  I put out some salt, waited awhile and then took the shovel to it.  Fortunately the salt had done its job and the ice came right up.

Here is the back yard.




Looks pretty, but also covered in ice.  I wanted to put out some food for the birds, but it was too icy to get to the bird feeder.

I made chicken noodle soup for dinner.  The other night I got a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket for dinner.  Yesterday I took some of the leftovers for lunch.  And today the rest of it went into soup.  Since I paid only $2.50 for the chicken (it was the end of the night and they wanted to get rid of their chickens), I think this was a really good deal.  I got the recipe from the City Tavern cookbook my brother gave me for Christmas.  It was a soup Thomas Jefferson enjoyed.  I understand why.  It was good!

Here's the recipe (very easy):

CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP  (Serves 6-8)
1 tblsp. unsalted butter
1 medium onion, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
3 quarts of chicken stock
1 sprig fresh thyme (I didn't have fresh so added dried)
1 lb. boneless chicken (white or dark meat), cooked and chopped
8 oz. egg noodles
salt and pepper
chopped parsley for garnish

Melt the butter in a medium-size saucepan (I used a stock pot) over medium heat, then add the onion and saute for 3 to 5 minutes, until softened and translucent.  Add the celery and carrots, and saute for 3 to 5 minutes more, until softened.

Stir in the stock and thyme, and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the stock is reduced by one-third.

Remove and discard the thyme and add the chicken and egg noodles.  Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until heated.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve the in a tureen or in individual bowls garnished with parsley.

Enjoy!

Friday, January 20, 2012

SEND IN THE CLOWNS

If I knew how to add music to this entry I would be playing the song Send in the Clowns sung by Judy Collins.  I'm sure most of you have heard it, so just hum it softly in the background as you read.

We had the special treat of having two of the clowns from Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus come to the library.


I am not a big fan of clowns, but Mike (on the left) and Rob (on the right were really good.


They were funny, engaging and actually talked and interacted with the kids, parents and staff.


Here Mike is spinning a dish on top of a very tall pole.  Incredible.  He also lined up 5 kids and had them all spinning a dish too.


Rob had what he called a "Chinese Yo-yo".  It was like a regular yo-yo except not attached to the string.  He was throwing it into the air and catching it on the string and doing all kinds of tricks with it.


I took over 100 pictures, but these guys moved so fast that a lot of them turned out blurry and I just deleted them.  I got about 60 really good ones, though.  (Don't worry, I'm not showing you all 60!)  There were some good ones of Mike juggling, but every one looked as if he had no arms because he was moving so fast they were just blurry lines next to him.


These guys were the perfect foil for each other.  Mike was the sensible, level-headed one and Rob was the goof.


Rob took Mike's hat and ran all over the library with it.  Mike tried to get Rob to throw it back to him.  He finally did.


And Mike caught the hat with his head.


After the show they gave out autographs, answered questions, and had their picture taken with the kids.

 
 Some adults had their pictures taken with them also.  I wonder who this is.  Before they left, everyone from the staff who wanted to had their picture taken with them.  It was a fun day.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

WHAT I'M READING

ON WHAT GROUNDS by Cleo Coyle


About the book:
Clare Cosi used to manage the historic Village Blend coffeehouse...until she opted for quieter pastures and a more suburban life.  But after ten years and a little friendly cajoling from the owner (a fresh pot of Jamaican Blue Mountain was all it took), she's back to the grind, serving coffee and solving crime -- one cup at a time...

With a sprawling rent-free apartment directly above The Village Blend, her cat Java by her side, and plenty of coffeehouse redecorating ideas, Clare is thrilled to return to work.  Until she discovers the assistant manager unconscious in the back of the store, coffee grounds strewn everywhere.  Police arrive on the scene to investigate.  But when they find no sign of forced entry or foul play, they deem it an accident.  Case closed.  But Clare is not convinced.  And after the police leave, there are a few things she just can't get out of her mind...  Why was the trash bin in the wrong place?  If this wasn't an accident, is Clare in danger?  And...are all detectives this handsome?

My thoughts:
Haven't read a good mystery in a long time.  This is a good one.  I have never read Cleo Coyle before, but now I want to read the rest of this series.  I like the character of Clare.  I dislike the character of her ex-husband, but hey, that's the sign of a good author, right?  A fast read if you have time to just sit and read.  Short chapters, which I like because I can pick it up and put it down without losing the story.  Also, lots of tips for making great coffee.  I recommend it.

It's the day after a holiday....let's go to the library!


Yes, that about describes my day.  It started out OK.  Well, no, it really didn't.  Let me start at the beginning.

Tuesday morning is our Bible Study.  Joe was trying to print out the handout for this morning.  But we had run out of black ink.  So we put a new cartridge in the printer which it refused to accept.  We tried over and over and it still kept saying there was no black ink cartridge in even though there was.  We tried for over 20 minutes and by this time I was so frustrated I was crying.  Fortunately I had bought two cartridges so I put in the other one and it worked right away.  Unfortunately we were now late for the study and Joe is the teacher!

When we got to church we found there were 7 people there.  They had started the coffee and brought the brownies.  The most we have ever had before was 3 people.  So this was great.  Joe is doing a three part series on the search for God's will.  Everyone really got into it.  There was lots of discussion, prayer requests, and people rallying around and supporting the two people who were really hurting.  

Then we ran home and I got ready for work and left.  But I hit every red light and was late getting there.  Well, that's how that started.  People were asking for the newspaper and I hadn't even gotten it onto the rack yet.  The IT people are doing an upgrade for the next two days and so because we won't be able to add books or make new library cards, I was hustling to get those things done.  On top of that, it was wall-to-wall people all day.  It's not even worth having a day off because it is so bad the next day.  My feet hurt so badly!

The day ended great though because Joe made me dinner.  It was all done and waiting for me when I got home from work.  What a guy!
 
So now it's time to get some rest so I can start the whole thing over tomorrow.  Good night!

Monday, January 16, 2012

I've Got Wi-fi

I had off from work today for Martin Luther King Day.  I had all kinds of plans for what I was going to accomplish.  I even made up a list of what I was going to do.  Well, the day did not go as planned.

I got a few things done this morning and then Joe got up and decided he wanted to go to the Sprint store and ask about wi-fi.  We really wanted wi-fi but had so much trouble with Comcast.  As it turned out, we were able to buy a wi-fi network router for $120.  I took the modem with us because we were having trouble making connections and they gave us a new 6G card and lowered our monthly payment by $10.  So in a year the router will have paid for itself.

The Sprint store is right next to the Chinese buffet so Joe treated me to lunch.  I ate entirely too much, but it was really good and a nice treat.

I'm still plugging away with my January sunrise project.  I have two more that I really like and want to share with you.

This is Saturday the 14th:

I like the colors and the fact that I got a bird in mid-flight.

My favorite so far, though, is this morning's.  I was a little late getting up to the third floor to get it, so the sun is actually in this picture.  But I think it turned out great.



Can you tell we're on the flight path for Philly International Airport?

Well off to start dinner.  I'm making an apple tart, roasted chicken, broccoli, and buttered corn.  Anyone want to join us?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

I HAVE BEEN TAGGED

I have never been tagged before, but recently I was tagged by Angie at Life of a HousewifeShe has such a sweet, friendly blog.  You should really check it out.  I am to share 11 random things about myself, so here goes.

1.  I am the oldest of 10 kids.  My mom had two girls and two boys and my dad had four girls and four boys.  I know that sounds like 12 kids, but my sister and I are from my mom and dad's marriage.

2.  I got married for the first time when I was 52 years old.  I'm glad I waited because I had my own life for a long time and really knew who I was before I shared my life with another.

3.  Even though I know they are really good for me, I hate blueberries.

4.  I knew at age 12 that I wanted to work in a library.  And now I am.

5.  I met my friend Marion in elementary school and my friend Debbie in middle school (used to be called junior high).  They comment on this blog regularly.

6.  I started this blog to let my family and friends know what was going on with my upcoming surgery.  Instead it has taken on a life of its own and I love writing and photographing for it.

7.  I am 19 months older than my oldest sibling (Elaine) and 16 years older than my youngest sibling (Larry).

8.  I am not a good housekeeper and have never claimed to be.  (I used to pay my sister to clean off my desk for me when I was a kid.)

9.  I am, however, a great cook.

10.  I accepted Christ as my savior at age 9 when one of the men in my church used a magic trick to explain how Christ's blood covers all of our sins and makes us clean.  He made what looked like a glass of water turn red and then put something else in that turned it clear again.

11.  When I was a young teenager I had 45 penpals from all over the world.

Now here are Angie's questions for me:

1.  What is your favorite place that you have ever visited?
A.  That would have to be San Francisco.  When the song says you leave your heart in San Francisco it is not just words.  If I could afford to move there, I would.

2.  If money were no object, what is the first extravagant thing you would purchase?
A.  A brand new house.  I'd love to live in a house that was built just for me.

3.  How would you describe your fashion style?
A.  I don't think I really have one.  I like to look nice, but I also like to be comfy.

4.  What is one charity/cause that is close to your heart?
A.  St. Jude's Hospital for Children in Memphis.  Having had cancer and knowing how bad it can be, I empathize with the poor kids going through it.  And the fact that St. Jude's never turns anyone away because of money really speaks to me.

5.  What type of music do you listen to?
A.  I really don't listen to that much music.  I like all kinds from classical to oldies to Christian contemporary.  I think it just depends on what mood I'm in.

6.  If you have children, what type of discipline do you use at home?  If you don't have children, what type of disciple do you plan on using when you do have them?
A.  I don't have children and at age 58 I don't think I'm going to have any.  I have, however, taught Sunday School for over 20 years.  The discipline I use there is 1) talk to them, 2) warn them, 3) make them stand up for 1 minute.  I rarely ever have gotten to step three.  I believe children respond to love, not violence.  I cringe when I see parents screaming at and hitting kids in the library.

7.  What is one thing that reminds you of your childhood every time you hear/see it?
A.  The Raggedy Ann doll that Joe bought for me.  My Raggedy Ann was given away when I was little.  I was telling Joe the story and one Christmas he bought me a Raggedy Ann.  It's not the same doll, but I love it because he thought about me and tried to give me my doll back.  I will tell that story in my blog sometime.

8.  How would you describe yourself when you were in High School?
A.  A nerd trying to be popular. 

9.  What is one of your bad habits?
A.  I'm a procrastinator.  It's easier to think about doing something than to actually do it.

10.  What is one thing that absolutely terrifies you?
A.  Bats.  Don't ask me why.  I don't want to talk about it.  (shudder)

11.  If you had to describe yourself as one of the seven deadly sins, which one  best fits your personality and lifestyle?
A.  Probably acedia -- the neglect to do something that you should do.  I didn't even know about this until I looked it up.  I'd better work on it!

Now here are my 11 questions:

1.  What country would you most want to visit?
2.  What is your idea of a perfect day?
3.  What is your favorite dinner?
4.  Who makes you smile?
5.  Are you a TV or radio person?
6.  Finish this sentence.  I wish I had _______
7.  What is the last book you read?
8.  What is your favorite holiday?
9.  Do you have a pet?
10.  Cake or pie?
11.  What kind of car do you drive?

Rules:
1.  Post the rules.
2.  Post a link back to the person who tagged you.
3.  You must post 11 random things about yourself.
4.  Answer the questions that the tagger set for you in their post.
5.  Create 11 new questions for the people you tagged to answer.
6.  Go to 11 blogs and tell them that you tagged them.
7.  No stuff in the tagging section about "you are tagged if you are reading this" yada, yada, yada.

Now for the hard part:
I do not have 11 blogs to tag.  Most of my followers are my family and friends who do not have blogs.  So the only ones I have to tag are:

Viola at Along a widowed road
Bonnie at What About Pie
Christine at Vista Woman
Val at The Owl Nest

If this is not something you want to do, please just ignore this.  Linda, I would tag you, but Angie already did. 

Angie, hope I did OK with your tag.  It was interesting and fun to do.

Friday, January 13, 2012

A Visit to the Dentist

I have been having problems with my teeth since before Christmas.  The molars on the top left side are extremely sensitive.  Both heat and cold bother them a lot.  I have had this before and it was an abscess and I had to have root canal.  I was NOT looking forward to that.  Four times is enough already.

I went to my regular dentist before Christmas.  She couldn't find anything wrong -- to abscess, no cracks, nothing.  So she sent me to a specialist.

I have made three separate appointments with this dentist and none of them worked out until today.  I finally got there.  He was really nice and I liked him a lot.  He has a super modern office.  When the x-ray was taken, it was immediately put onto a computer screen.  No films for him.  And he even had a microscope to examine my teeth.  He also found nothing wrong.  No fractures, no abscess, the fillings were fine.  He did a test where he put cold and hot on my teeth and tested the reaction.  

What he came up with is I am allergic to the toothpaste I have been using.  Who is allergic to toothpaste?  Apparently I am.  Chalk that up to another of my many allergies.  He gave me a sample of Sensodyne and told me to get a tube and brush with it 3 to 4 times a day.  Really scrub.  He will see me in 4 weeks and see how I am getting along.  He told me that sometimes even if the tooth is good he will have to do a root canal just to relieve the pain.  But he always starts out simple.  I like that about him.

It's been raining off and on all day today.  When I got out of work, it wasn't raining, but the fog was so thick that you couldn't see more than half a block.  It was tricky driving home.  I took some pictures, but haven't uploaded them yet, so maybe tomorrow I can show them to you.

We stopped and got Chinese food on the way home.  It was really good.  Usually we have some left over, but none this time.  We have been going to a new take-out place and they are much better than the place we went to before.

The Library Assistant that was supposed to work on Saturday is sick.  My co-worker that usually works every Saturday has taken a rare day off and is going to visit her daughter.  That left just the seasonal assistant and not enough people to open the branch.  I was supposed to work tomorrow (Friday) and have off on Saturday (and a 3 day weekend).  But I volunteered to work.  I was hoping to get overtime, but no such luck.  Oh well.  At least I have an extra day at my own branch to try to get caught up on some things.  I need to get my desk cleaned off.  It's terrible.  So many papers and books piled on it.

Hooray!  I have a Friday off.  And I still have a two day weekend.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

JANUARY SUNRISES

My brother Larry has begun a new thing.  He is taking a photograph of the sunrise every day for a year.  He started on January 1.  Larry takes wonderful pictures.  I think he should be a pro.  This first picture he took on his birthday, January 3.


And this one is three days later on January 6.

 For some reason when I enlarged it it became fuzzy.

He has inspired me to try to do this for the rest of this month.  Although my pictures are not as dramatically beautiful as his are.  There is too much pollution and too many houses.  But here are two days to show you.  This is January 8:


And this is January 9.




We'll see how long I can keep this up.  I have a feeling that one day I will oversleep and break my streak.  But until then...   But mine will never be as good as Larry's.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A VISIT TO THE FARM


The farm had one of its rare winter farmers' markets today.  My friend Debbie and I headed down there this morning to see what they had.  I really miss going there.  There wasn't a whole lot, but I got some brussels sprouts, organic potatoes, smoke signal cheese and pink lady apples.  I talked Debbie into trying a pink lady so I hope she likes it.  They are one of my favorites.

I didn't get much done today.  I had such high hopes, but things just didn't work out.  Joe says he will help me with the kitchen after church tomorrow.  And I am determined to get the tree down and things put away.  Christmas is over.

We had another good dinner tonight.  I like the dinner menus that my diet plan is coming up with.  Baked chicken thighs, mashed potatoes (made with the ones I just got today), and mixed veggies.  When we were at the store tonight Joe found Swiss Miss hot chocolate for the Keurig so I tried that and it was really good.  We are enjoying the Keurig a lot. 

I just saw tonight that Ballykissangel is back on PBS.  I used to watch it years and years ago.  A dear friend of mine who was from Scotland turned me on to it.  It was her favorite show.  I know Joe has never seen it, so I am recording it for him.  I think he will like it.  And it has been so long since I've seen it that it will be all new to me too.

Church tomorrow.  The morning comes so quickly.  The weekend is half over already.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Friday Views


Finally the week is over.  For being such a short work week it has been a very long week.  It seemed to go on and on.

Remember we were going to get cable TV and internet instead of the satellite?  Well, the guy never showed up.  He finally called, said he was running late, would be here in a couple of hours (he was supposed to come between 1-3 and by this time it was 3:45) but he didn't have the right boxes or internet hook-up so would we just be satisfied with what he had?  He couldn't give us a lower rate, though.  Joe told him to forget it, called the company and cancelled everything.  He then called the satellite company and had everything reconnected.  We are keeping what we have for now.

I have been very good on my diet.  Then why, oh why, did I gain 4 pounds?  At least I have been eating healthier, no snacking, etc.  But now I am getting sick from the salad I ate at dinner.  Ever since the stomach surgery last year I don't tolerate roughage very well.  

But besides a small salad, I had turkey burgers and 3 potato salad (a very small portion of that).  Joe does not like turkey burgers, but he liked these.  They were really good!  I added salt, pepper and Italian seasoning, then topped them with American cheese and put them on a kaiser roll.  You really thought you were eating beef.  It was a good dinner.

I've also been cleaning the house this week and throwing lots of stuff out.  The recycling people must hate us because every week we are giving them three or four containers to haul away.  On the other hand, the trash men must like us because they get only two bags.  Ha, ha.  As you can tell I love the idea of recycling.

I've also been "undecorating" the house and putting up snowflakes and snowmen.  Here is my Friday view for you.  The December window:


Has been changed to the January window:


You can't really see it, but the snowflakes are all glittery.  I got them in Williamsburg last September.  I think it's a pretty window.  Last year when I put up a snowflake window we got a blizzard.  Hope that doesn't happen this time!

So the end of a long week, and now the beginning of the weekend which I am sure will be all too short.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A BIRTHDAY......PRETZEL?

I was puzzled this morning at work when my boss called for a staff meeting.  He usually tells me the day before that he is going to have one and what the agenda will cover.  We all gathered around a table, me with pad and pen in hand and he said, "I have something to tell you."  My probation is just about up and I wondered what I had done.  Then he opened a bag, put a soft pretzel on a napkin, stuck a candle in it, lit it and they all sang "Happy Belated Birthday" to me.  How cool!  It was a real Philly "cake".  I am so sick of cake, cookies, etc. from the holidays that this was a really nice treat.  And it was still warm.  Yum.  There is no mustard on it in this picture, but there was when I ate it!

 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I AM SO BUSY!

What a busy day today.  We were closed for just two days, but you would think we had been closed for two years!  Everyone was coming in and dumping loads of books and DVDs on the counter.  "Oh, thank goodness you are open" they would say.  Huh???  We had a school class in too which added to the general confusion.  Of course everyone had a problem.  "But I returned that book!"  "What do you mean there's no DVD in the case?"  "I already paid that fine but I threw out my receipt."  People are so funny.  But at least there were no people yelling at us or being mean.  Probably because they were all frozen.

Yes, the temperatures here have dropped dramatically.  Yesterday in the high 40s.  Today in the low 20s and it feels like 10 degrees.  It was OK in the library while the sun was up, but as it set and night came on it got colder and colder in there.  By the time we left at 8:00 p.m. it was downright chilly.  Even so, it was quite a shock when I left the building and stepped out into that cold air.  And it took some time for my car to warm up.  I am so grateful for my car and that I don't have to wait in the cold for a bus to show up like I used to do when I worked downtown.  See the gratitude journal is already working.

I have started a diet today.  I am trying to lose 10 pounds by Easter.  It's not a lot of weight, but if I can do that, then my next goal is another 10 pounds by summer.  A little bit at a time.  I joined the Special K diet plan which my sister told me about.  It is online and free.  It gives you a meal plan for each day which is actually so much food I can't eat it all.  And you can switch out to another meal if it is something you don't like or can't eat.  For instance, I was supposed to have a salmon dinner tonight, but I knew I had leftover pork roast and it was easier to do that on my late night.  So I went through the list, found the pork dinner and switched it out.  Still good and still on the diet.  So by writing this in my blog I am committing myself to TRYING.  Will I make it?  Only time will tell.  But it's better than doing nothing.

Early day tomorrow, so I'm going to end and head up to that nice soft bed of mine.  Good night everyone.

Monday, January 2, 2012

THE NEW YEAR IS JUST LIKE THE OLD YEAR

The second day of the year and it seems just like the old one.  I ended up getting a lot of housework done, phone calls made and watched some TV.  I am feeling so much happier because the house is looking better and better each day.  I am trying to follow the schedule I set up for myself, but I gave myself too much to do today so didn't get through my list.  But I got over half of it done, so that's not too shabby.  

My goal this year is to get organized.  I think it would make my life so much easier.  I realized that I really must get myself together when I was flustered and left so many things at home when I went to see my sister at Christmas.  Leaving gifts behind is one thing.  Leaving my heart, high blood pressure and cancer medication is something else.  It could have become very serious very quickly.

I also started a gratitude journal today.  A friend of mine at church gave it to me.  Someone had given it to her, but she said she knew she would never use it and thought I might like it.  I love it.  Each day there is a place to write the weather and news events, how you feel, what you are grateful for, people in your thoughts, things that brought you joy that day, acts of kindness either you do or done to you, and your goals.  On the other side of the page is a place to write your thoughts which I am using to make notes on my daily devotions.  It is a very thick book and I think it will last more than a year.

Time for bed.  Back to work tomorrow.  At least it's a short week.

HAPPY NEW YEAR


Isn't this the truth?  I don't know about you, but I have really overdone it this holiday season.  Of course having Christmas, my birthday and New Year's all within one week doesn't help.

Isn't this a cute calendar?  My sister gave it to me at Christmas.  I love it and have it hanging in the kitchen.  It sort of reminds me of Mary Englebreit's drawings.

Last night Joe and I watched the fireworks from Penn's Landing.  It was really neat seeing them reflected in the water.  I took lots of pictures.  Here are a few of them.







We ended up going to bed around 2:00 a.m.  As a result I got up and went to church, but Joe wasn't able to.  The message was very interesting and taken from Revelation 21:1-8 -- our future with the Lord.  As usual, I took notes and will look over them a few times this week.  

I had made cookies, put them into zip-lock bags, and took them to church with me.  After church I gave them out to whoever was there.  People were very happy to get them.  I do this each year and each year different people get the cookies.  I still have to get some to my neighbors down the street.  Hope I can do that tomorrow.

Otherwise it was a sort of lazy day.  I did some cleaning up from last night and watched the Mummers Parade.  Here's some pictures of the Mummers.





The string bands are always my favorite and they did not disappoint today.  Every year they get more and more elaborate.  It is almost like watching a series of Broadway shows.  There is music, of course, but backgrounds, special effects, dancing, story telling.  So wonderful!

 
 
We were going to have Carole and Walt over for dinner, but because Joe has been sick and Walt has just gotten out of the hospital, they opted to wait for another time.  I still went ahead and made the pork roast I had and roasted some carrots, potatoes and onions.  Oh did it turn out good!  I'm glad there is some left over for later in the week.  I ate too much, though, and my stomach hurt for several hours.

I am trying to get more organized.  Last summer my sister helped me to make out a schedule of things to do around the house each day.  (Less on days where I work until 8:00 p.m. and more on the days I only work until 5:00 p.m.)  I made up a list of things to do each day all week and think I can probably get things under control in one week.  We will see.

I already feel really positive about this year.  I hope it is a good one for all of us.