Tuesday, December 31, 2013

NEW YEAR'S EVE





Just how did this year pass so quickly?  Doesn't it seem as if it was just 2012?  It does to me.  And now it is moving right along to the next year.

So much has happened this year and yet it seems so short.  So many of the months seemed as if they were a week long.  And a week's worth of vacation seemed just a few days in length.

There were bad parts of the year, but so much good also.  There was a lot of sickness in this year -- two surgeries for me and a broken shoulder for Joe.  But there was also trips down to the shore, Sister's week in July, our 7th anniversary in September, Thanksgiving in Lancaster County, and a great Christmas just last week along with a terrific 60th birthday celebration.  And I got adopted by Snowy!  You just have to take the bad with the good.  That's what makes up life.  But God is always there to walk through life with me.

I spent the day working at the Fishtown Branch.  All of their Library Assistants were off for the day so it was just me.  But it was such a slow day that really wasn't a problem.  We are getting out at 3 p.m. again today, so it's not even a long day. 

It  is bitterly cold and expected to get even colder over the next few days.  I hate the cold.  But again, this makes me appreciate the warmth even more.

We went to Shop Rite after work to pick up just a few things for tonight and tomorrow.  We are about to treat ourselves to some veggie egg rolls, meatballs, chips, cheese and apples and toast the new year in with some iced tea.  Tomorrow we have our big dinner with our friends Carole and Walt.  I'm looking forward to that and the Mummers' Parade.  What would New Year's Day be in Philly without the Mummers?

So as this year runs down I want to thank all of my readers for your kindness and support this past year as I changed everything (including my blog).  You are the best!  I really appreciate all of you and hope you will join me in 2014 for some more of my adventures.

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Today's weather:
Cloudy
High:  38 degrees
Low:  26 degrees
Sunrise:  7:22 a.m.
Sunset:  4:45 p.m.
9 hours and 23 minutes of daylight

Sunrise on Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Sunrise on Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Monday, December 30, 2013

THE BIG 6-0!


The big day is finally here. I am officially 60 years old.  Did I ever think I would be 60?  Not at all.  And I feel so old.  But I also feel the same so I'm trying to figure that one out.

I got to church late because I was finishing packing up my cookies to give out.  Every year I give a dozen cookies to a dozen people at church.  Usually it's the Sunday before Christmas, but I didn't make it this year.  So it was the Sunday after.  I've been doing this for many years and everyone looks forward to it.  But I got there in time for some of the singing and for the message which was great as usual.  Afterwards everyone was wishing me a happy birthday and one guy even sang to me, so that was nice.

It is a cold and rainy day here.  I was disappointed because we got a window seat at the restaurant so that we could watch the sun set on the riverfront.  But instead we got a beautiful view of the Delaware River with the rain forming a mist above it and the lights along the waterfront in Burlington, NJ shining through the fog.  The buoy would be covered in fog and then it would thin out and you could see more than just the light and then it would mist over again.  The trees had snowflake lights hanging from them that were gently blowing in the breeze.  We watched it get darker and darker until all you could see were the lights across the river and the lights on the pier and the gazebo in the park across the street from the restaurant.  It was just wonderful and so romantic.  The perfect birthday dinner.

Here is a picture I found on Google.  It looked a lot like this except without the sunset.
http://www.buckslocalnews.com/content/articles/2013/01/14/bristol_pilot/news/doc50f48b0f9766a0504511451.jpg
Source:  photo by Jeff Werner for the Bucks Local News
We went to the King George II Inn in Bristol, PA.  We first went for my birthday a few years ago (you can read about it here)  and I loved it.  The food is so outstanding and the atmosphere is wonderful. We had the pierogies for an appetizer (which is my favorite thing there) and both of us got the fish and chips.  So very, very good.  I was full so didn't have dessert, just a cup of tea but Joe had their apple pie a la mode which he said was the best he had ever eaten.

Afterwards we took a few pictures.
There is always a gigantic Christmas tree right outside of the building.


Not a good picture of us, but the only one I got.


The entrance to the pier.  It says "Bristol, established 1681".


All the light posts are decorated with these lighted wreaths.  The little white lights next to the Christmas tree are the snowflakes hanging in the trees.
 Once again the low tire pressure light went on in the car on the way home.  I am so frustrated with it and am calling the garage tomorrow.  We stopped at a gas station, got air in the two low tires, got gas and went on our way.  

It's only a half hour drive between the restaurant and home, so we got home before 6:30.  I was so very tired, so turned in early.  It's been a really nice birthday.

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Sunday's weather:
Rain
High:  48 degrees
Low:  39 degrees
Sunrise:  7:22 a.m.
Sunset:  4:43 p.m.
9 hours and 21 minutes of daylight
 


Sunday, December 29, 2013

THE LAST OF THE FIFTIES

Saturday was the last day I will be 59.  Tomorrow it's the big 6-0.  It makes me feel very old.

My family took me out for lunch/dinner today.  I asked to go to the Country Club.  I love their food there.  I had my favorite -- chicken francaise and it was so good.  At the end Joe had them bring out a cake with a lit candle and the staff sang to me.  


It is my birthday on Sunday and my brother Larry's birthday on Friday so everyone paid for both of our dinners.  That was so nice.

Of all things I didn't have my camera with me.  I asked Larry to take a couple of pictures on his phone.  He did and sent them to me.

Too bad Larry's not in this picture.  L to R:  Kim (my sister-in-law), Joe, me, Elaine, Carole and Walt.

Joe attacking a chicken.
 My sister, Elaine, drove 2 hours down here, ate, and headed back for another 2 hour drive.  Larry and Kim came from King of Prussia about 45 minutes away.  So I felt very blessed and loved that they were willing to do this.  I was originally planning on having a big party, but this was so much better.

Me and Elaine as she is getting ready to leave for home.
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Saturday's weather
Partly cloudy
High:  57 degrees
Low:  25 degrees
Sunrise:  7:22 a.m.
Sunset: 4:42 p.m.
9 hours and 20 minutes of daylight
Sunrise on Saturday, December 28, 2013

Friday, December 27, 2013

BACK TO WORK THURSDAY


It was back to work on Thursday.  I woke up at 7:00 feeling great, but by the time I got to work at 11:30 I was ready for a nap.  Fortunately it wasn't really busy and I had lots of help.  I worked my way through most of the pile on my desk.  I still have a lot to do.  I don't know where everything comes from.  It just seems to pile up and pile up faster than I can do it.

I ended up eating all day.  I was trying to be healthy and brought carrots and apples to eat for lunch.  I ended up eating that plus popcorn, peanuts, cookies, and snack mix.  This has got to end once the holiday season is over.

I was surprised when I walked in to see a cake on the table.  Here Bob had bought me a birthday cake for the branch to celebrate my birthday.  Diane brought me a gift bag full of sweet little items for my birthday -- nail polish, foot massaging creme, lip balm, etc.  So nice of her.  Around 4:00 Bob and Diane lit the candles and everyone sang to me.  It was so great that they remembered.

They put in 6 candles -- one for each decade.  I couldn't blow them all out in one breath though.  :(

First Bob tried lighting the candles.

But Diane finished it off.

It was a good cake.


It was my late night so I didn't get home until 8:30.  Joe's stomach was upset so I made him some chicken noodle soup and I had some peanut noodles.  I wasn't really hungry after eating all day so that was perfect.

I was going to try to do some cleaning up but again I was so tired I went to bed around 10:30.  There's always the weekend.  But then, that's going to be busy too.  I'll have to see what I can get done tonight when I get home from work.

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Thursday's weather:
Cloudy/light snow
High:  41 degrees
Low:  25 degrees
Sunrise:  7:21 a.m.
Sunset:  4:42 p.m.
9 hours and 21 minutes of daylight

Sunrise on Thursday, December 26, 2013

CHRISTMAS




Sorry this is a little late getting posted.  Time just seems to fly by me so fast.  But I wanted to let everyone know about the awesome Christmas I had.

We left much later than I wanted to.  I was still wrapping gifts on Christmas morning!  And then when I did get everything done and ready to go I left three of my sister's stocking gifts on the dining room table.  Augh!  But I will be seeing her on Saturday so that's OK.  I will give them to her then.  Better late than never, right?

We had a great drive up to her house.  It's a 2 hour drive.  We left about 10:30 and Joe drove part of the way so I was able to get some pictures as we went along.  This is Pennsylvania along I-95.  You can just tell how cold it is by looking at the photos.




Here we are crossing the Delaware River into New Jersey.
And this is in New Jersey along Route 31.  You can tell how rural it is.  It's such a pretty drive no matter what the season is.

We didn't have snow, but there was snow on the ground in northern New Jersey.
We switched driving about half way up and I finished the drive.  We got there a little before 12:30.  Not bad at all.  We made really good time.

Elaine's tree was so beautiful.  As usual.  I always love seeing her tree.  She puts so much thought and work into it.

Her little dog, Cody, was so excited.  She gave him a toy so that he would be occupied while we opened our gifts.


We went right to work opening our gifts.  So many beautiful, and useful things.  Some fun things too.

I love this glass sculpture.


After we were finished we had some cheese and crackers to hold us over until dinner time.  Then Joe took a nap on her recliner.  He slept good too.  He never heard us talking, laughing, calling our family, the TV.  Nothing.  It was good sister time.

Elaine had gotten a musical, sound activated fountain from one of her friends.  It was like the clapper where you clap your hands and it plays a Christmas song and the water flows.  We wanted to try it out so we went into the kitchen, filled it with water and tried to get it going.  At first nothing happened.  I guess it had to get primed.  But at last it started up.  It was cute.


But then...  we discovered  that if you said the word "clap" it would start up.  We were hysterical.  We tried all different words like "house", "dog", and Elaine even tried "applause" and nothing.  But if we said "clap" there it went.  We were laughing so hard we were crying.  When Joe woke up, we showed him.  I went to say something to him and called to him "Joe" and the fountain started.  We laughed so hard again.  So if you say "clap" or "Joe" the fountain works.



Before dinner we watched the Queen's Christmas Speech on the BBC website.  We do this every year.  We are such anglophiles.

Then it was time to eat.  We had a pork roast, roasted potatoes and carrots and green beans with spaetzle.  So very good.  There were homemade cookies for dessert.  Of course we pulled our crackers before dinner and took the obligatory pictures of us wearing our crowns.

Dinner's on the table -- along with the Christmas Crackers.




Homemade cookies.  Yum!
The prizes in the crackers were pretty good this year.  Elaine got a ruler, Joe got a mini address book, and I got a giant paperclip which I am going to use as a book mark.

My sister always decorates her house so beautifully.  Even down to the bathroom with Santa towels and snowmen rugs.  I didn't take any pictures of that, but here are some of her other decorations.









And look at these cute plates she has.  I just love spending Christmas at my sister's house.  Everything is always so perfect.


 

We ended up leaving around 6:30 and got home around 8:30.  The drive home in the dark was sort of scary.  I don't like driving in the dark especially on winding unlit roads.  But again God kept us safe and we made good time. 

I was so tired that I went to bed at 10:00 and slept straight through till morning.  Then it was back to work on Thursday.  But that's another story for another post.

Hope your Christmas was great.
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Christmas weather:
Partly cloudy
High:  31 degrees
Low:  22 degrees
(Brrr!!!)  It was COLD!!
Sunrise:  7:21 a.m.
Sunset:  4:41 p.m.
9 hours and 20 minutes of daylight
Sunrise on Wednesday, December 25, 2013