Friday, January 31, 2014

CHINESE NEW YEAR

Welcome to the year of the Horse!

Google image
People born in the year of the horse are said to act a bit like horses -- annimated, active and energetic.  They love being in a crowd and are quick to learn independence.  They have a straightforward and positive attitude toward life.  They are known for their communication skills and are very witty.
The lucky colors of the horse are green, red and purple.  The lucky numbers are 3, 4, and 9.
The year of the horse is supposedly one in which people will stand firm on their principles making negotiation difficult.
Famous people born in the year of the horse are Genghis Khan, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Louis Pasteur, Neil Armstrong, Aretha Franklin and Cindy Crawford.

Of course all this means nothing, but it is a bit of fun.


Last night was New Year's Eve in Chinatown with the big Lion Parade.  I wanted to go but it began at 11:30 p.m. and I had to get up for work today.  Maybe someday.

Picture of the lion from last night's parade.
Another picture of the lion dance from the parade.

The horse.

We were going to go out for dinner tonight, but were both too tired.  Instead we ordered out from the Chinese restaurant a block from us.  We got egg rolls, fried dumplings and pork lo mein (all "lucky" foods).  So good.

Now I'm going to try to do a few things before bedtime.  Another day of work tomorrow.

Until later...
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Friday's weather:
Partly cloudy
High:  46 degrees  (a heat wave!)
Low:  28 degrees
Sunrise:  7:10 a.m.
Sunset:  5:18 p.m.
10 hours and 8 minutes of daylight
Loving it!  I can watch the sunsets on the way home from work.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

MORE SNOW

There was a beautiful sunrise yesterday.  I loved the way the clouds looked.


Does it look like a winter sky?  It should because overnight we got another inch of snow.

The car

The sidewalk

The street

The yard
At least it wasn't a huge amount.  The main problem is that it covered over all the ice and that makes walking and driving dangerous.  I am so sick of snow and so looking forward to spring.

We had baked chicken and potatoes with lemon last night.  It's one of Joe's recipes.  We made it together and it turned out so good.  We've made it before, but this was the best we've ever done it.  I'm really getting the hang of these one pot dinners.

I am starting to feel better with my new medicine.  My energy level is slowly... oh so slowly... coming back.  Maybe in a few weeks I can actually have the house looking decent.

I have off today because I'm working Saturday, but will be spending the afternoon in the hospital with Joe for his doctor appointments.  So I also made an appointment for me at 4:00.  I hope I get back in time.  I am going to take this morning easy because this afternoon is going to be really busy.

Before I go I want to leave you with one of my "heard in the library" moments.  I haven't had one to tell you in a long time, but this is good.  A lady and a little boy about 3 years old are leaving the library.  She is going out the door when he stops by the candy machine.

Boy:  Mom, can I have a quarter?
Mom:  No.  You have things to eat at home.  It's almost dinner time.
Boy:  (reluctantly leaving) But I LIKE candy!

It was so cute.  I like candy too.

 
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Tuesday's weather:
Light snow turning fair
High:  21 degrees
Low:  12 degrees
Sunrise:  7:12 a.m.
Sunset:  5:16 p.m.
10 hours and 4 minutes of daylight
At least it's now light when I come out of work!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

WHAT I'M READING -- CALVIN MILLER

Years ago I read this series of books by Calvin Miller.  I was attracted to them because they were thin little books and I felt I could get through them quickly.  Sometimes you just need a fast read.  And they were set at the turn of the 20th century in King of Prussia, PA where my mom lived.  So I picked up these four books and fell in love with them.

WIND
SNOW

SHADE
FROST

 In the morning Joe and I read a chapter of Proverbs and a chapter of another book of the Bible (we have started on Matthew this month).  And at night we do a devotional booklet from Charles Stanley and a chapter from a book -- mostly fiction, but some non-fiction.  I knew that Joe would like this series and so for the last six months we have been reading them.  We finished the first three and now it is impossible to find the last one.  It isn't in the library (where I got the first three) and isn't even for sale on Amazon (out of print and no chance of reprint).

These books follow the Mueller, Withers and McCassland families.  It is so vivid and believable that you will think these people actually existed and go looking for their houses as you drive through Montgomery County, PA.  You laugh, you cry (actually cry!) and you get invested in these stories.  I am sad that we finished the last book that I can get.

If you are looking for a good read, try these books (or any of Calvin Miller's books).  They are hard to find, but well worth the effort.

UPDATE:  I found Frost on ebay for $1.  I bought it and it's on its way!
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Monday's weather:
Partly cloudy
High:  45 degrees
Low:  21 degrees
Sunrise:  7:13 a.m.
Sunset:  5:14 p.m.
10 hours and 1 minute of daylight
Hooray!  We made it to 10 hours!  So glad it's light longer.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

A SUNDAY AT HOME


Isn't this a pretty picture?  I just love it.  I had it for my wallpaper on my desktop last week.  As long as I am not actually there having to deal with the snow and cold, it's nice.  Well, maybe I should be there because there is a lot less snow than we have here.

We got another 2 inches of snow yesterday.  It was supposed to start around 11 a.m.  People were coming into the library and saying, "No snow.  Guess it's not coming."   Boy were they wrong.  About 11:30 it looked like a blizzard.  I had to dig my car out (again) before I could go home.

I didn't sleep well on Friday night and so was very tired when I got home.  Joe said he was going to call out for dinner and I should lay down for a little bit.  My left foot and leg are very painful and keep swelling up.  The doctor says it is arthritis.  I put my feet up, covered up with this great faux fur throw my sister gave me and the next thing I know it is an hour and a half later and Joe is answering the door for our food delivery.

I had looked at the menu and had mentioned several things I was interested in.  When Joe went to order, he couldn't wake me up.  So he just chose one of the things I had mentioned -- a cheeseburger wrap.  I had never had it before, and it was good.  It was a tortilla wrapped around lettuce, tomato, onion, hamburger and cheese.  What a nice change from a regular cheeseburger.  I am not big on bread, so this was great.  I ate half of it and will eat the rest for lunch today.

I hate missing church, but my foot is killing me.  It is still icy out and I would have to wear my boots (which hurts so badly).  So I decided to stay home today.  I will watch something on TV and watch the message on internet later this week.  Hopefully I can also get some stuff done around the house.  If I can sit down while I sort through things, I think I will be OK.  There is always clutter to go through around here. 

Thought I would show you another picture of little Miss A.  She is so beautiful and I can't wait to finally meet her.  She is the two-week old daughter of my pastor and his wife and is their first child.

I'm having salmon for dinner tonight.  Usually I poach it, but I think I am going to try another one pan meal and put it in the oven.  Well, maybe two pan because I want to put rice in my rice cooker.  I have a little bit of broccoli left and it was so good roasted that I am going to do that again.

I am going to get off of here and get some things done.  Enjoy your day everyone!
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Sunday's weather:
Sunny
High: 26 degrees (feels like 18 degrees)
Low:  22 degrees
Sunrise:  7:14 a.m.
Sunset:  5:12 p.m.
9 hours and 58 minutes of daylight!!!

Friday, January 24, 2014

FRIDAY VIEW

I'm taking a break from the snow and cold today.  Well, I'm not getting away from it, but my blog is.  Before this weather hit I took some pictures on my way to work.  Every time I stopped for a red light I would pull out my camera and snap a shot.  So for your Friday view this week this is what I see on my way to work.  These were taken last Saturday and there were a few snow showers so you might see some flakes in these pictures.

Starting out from my parking spot  in front of my house.  Looking up the street.
And looking down the street in my side mirror.  The church is All Saints Catholic Church which just recently was shut down after being there over 100 years.  So sad.
And here is the view across the street.  I don't see anything coming in the mirror so let's start off.  (Do you see the snowflakes?)
Here's where I need to turn.  The building on the corner used to be a real estate agency.  It's the one I used to buy my house.  Next to it used to be a hardware store.  Now it's a medical center and a chiropractor.  Everything changes.
Heading down Aramingo Avenue.  That's I-95 on the left.  (More snowflakes!)
Passing Lowe's and Public Storage.  It used to be all manufacturing along here.  Now it's all shopping.
I had to stop at the bank and make the deposit for work.  This is not a usual thing.
Back on Aramingo and heading for work.  But soon I'll turn off onto one of the side streets.  Traffic is too bad if you keep to the major roads.
Here's the park I pass.  When I get here I know I'm almost to work.
The pizza place is at the last light I have before I turn onto Indiana Avenue where the library is.  I don't think I have ever gotten a green light at this intersection during the entire 3 years I've worked at this library.
And here I am pulling up to work.  I usually find a spot right outside the front door.
My messy desk is waiting me.  Time to get to work!
 ------------------------------------------------------------
Friday's weather
Sunny
High:  20 degrees
Low:  13 degrees
Sunrise:  7:16 a.m.
Sunset: 5:10 p.m.
9 hours and 54 minutes of daylight (heading for that 10 hour mark)

COLD

Can you say "cold"?  Can you say it with your teeth chattering?  How about with scarves over your face and shivering?

It is C-O-L-D!!!!  And there is no relief in sight.  We officially got 13 1/2 inches of snow in Philadelphia.  We are expecting another 1 to 3 inches of snow on Saturday.  And then more the following Saturday.  Temperatures do not get above 30 degrees for the foreseeable future.  This winter is brutal!

It was back to work yesterday.  It was my late day so I worked until 8 p.m.  I was so afraid I would not have a place to park when I returned home, but God was so good and my spot was still there for me.

It was busy at work.  Some of the staff did not make it in which made it even busier.  But the day went really quickly for me which was good as far as I was concerned.  There is still so much paperwork from the end of the year that I have not had a chance to do.  I am working on Saturday so hopefully I can get it done then.

So I guess from that you know I am off from work today.  Lots I need to get done.  I hope I have the energy to do it.  I have been so tired and have just been napping sleeping all the time.  Let's be real here.  When I don't wake up until 2 p.m. it's not a nap.  I am so behind on everything.

Joe was able to get Jenny from the vet's today.  She and Snowy had a standoff with hissing and growling on Jenny's part.  When I came home from work Jenny was missing.  I don't know where she was (we searched the whole house) but she finally showed up.  She is letting us pet her and is purring so I know she is glad to be home.  I would be glad to be home too.  Joe said she is pulling at her stitches, but she wasn't doing that when I saw her.  We have to take her back in a week to get the stitches out.

I have discovered one-pan meals (thanks to one of my blog friends) and I am loving them.  Wednesday night I put four flounder fillets, some Brussels sprouts and some frozen french fries on a large cookie sheet, coated them with a little olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary, and baked them for 400 degrees for 30 minutes.  Everything came out perfectly and was so good.  Last night I had four crab cakes (the ones I get at our supermarket are made there and are so very, very good), some broccoli and some more fries on the cookie sheet.  I put olive oil and salt on the broccoli and olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder on the fries and baked them at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.  Again, everything was perfect and tasted oh so good.  The best part is that all you have to clean up is your cups, dishes, silverware and one pan.  I am definitely going to be doing this on my late nights at work.  Easy and a lot cheaper than buying sandwiches or hot bowls on the way home.

Tonight I am taking dinner over to my pastor's house again.  This time I am making baked rosemary chicken, rice and some veggie (haven't decided what).  At least we don't have any errands to run, so I can make our meal at the same time and eat when we return.  He lives about four minutes from our house and I'm sure if I leave things in the oven they won't get cold in less than 10 minutes.

I'm going to leave you with a couple more pictures of the aftermath of the storm in my yard.  It really will be pretty and colorful with flowers in about 6 weeks.  I promise that you will see pictures of that too!


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Thursday's weather
Sunny
High:  22 degrees
Low:  6 degrees (wind chill -5 degrees)
Sunrise:  7:16 a.m.
Sunset:  5:09 p.m.
9 hours and 53 minutes of daylight
 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

SNOW, SNOW AND MORE SNOW

Snow for sale!  Get your snow!  Get it while it lasts!  I have a great price for you.  And I'll throw in the cold for free!

View from the car of my neighbor's front door on the way to work yesterday.
I suppose by now you have all heard about the monster storm that hit the east coast I-95 corridor.  Philly was right in the midst of it and I heard on TV that we may have gotten the worst of it.
 
The street from my car as I am starting out.  You can't see where the sidewalk ends and the street begins.

 I kept watching the news and looking at the city's website hoping that we wouldn't have work yesterday.  Everything said the city was open.  So I got out early, cleaned off my car (a major job) and s-l-o-w-l-y made my way to work.  I usually have the Christian station on, but yesterday I put on KYW -- all news all the time.  And as I am over half-way to work I hear that the city is shutting down at 12:30.  Great!  So after driving for 40 minutes (usually a 10-15 minute drive) I made it to work.
The yard at the library -- what you can see of it.
 So I went in to work for 1/2 hour and then we left.  Would you believe that people were lined up outside of the library trying to get in?  Are they nuts?!
 
My mailbox has a "hat".
It was a terrible drive home and took me almost an hour.  I was driving 15 mph going in, but in just 30 minutes it had deteriorated to where I could go only 5 mph.  And I wasn't the only one!  It was impossible to keep the back window clear.  The snow was falling so quickly and blowing around that the car was covered as fast as I could get it off.  At one intersection I tried to stop but couldn't and slid right on out.  Fortunately the new car has anti-lock brakes and I used them for the first time.  I was thanking God for them because I think they saved my life.

video

When I got home my parking space was still there.  I was worried about that and was so thankful to see it waiting for me.  The 16 year old guy that lives a couple of doors from me had done my sidewalk.  I told him he should have waited because the snow was still coming down.  But he actually shoveled two more times for us.  Joe's a great kid.
My car looks cleaned off because I had just gotten home from work.
 I went into the house and began taking pictures through the windows.  The back yard was incredible.
The holly tree is wearing a white coat.
 There was a big difference between 1:30 p.m.

And 2:30 p.m.
Picnic anyone?


I took some more pictures last night around 5:45 p.m.  Even worse.  It snowed for 12 hours.  Officially we got 11 inches, but in some places the drifts are up to 20 inches.  It's that light, fluffy snow that looks beautiful, glistens, and blows around.


This wall between my yard and my neighbor's is about 3 1/2 feet all.  You can barely see it!
 We got the news last night that the city is closed again today so that I don't have to go to work.  I'm glad because I don't know how I would get there.
The back steps are gone!  And I can't even open the door.


There is no way to get to the bird feeder.  I feel so bad about that.
I am so glad that I bought myself a new pair of boots on Monday.  I have not had boots for years, getting along with sneakers, but we haven't had snow in several years.  I wore the boots yesterday and they were comfy and helped a lot.

The house is so cold.  It is 4 degrees (wind chill -15) and no matter how high I put the heat, there is no way a brick house is going to be warm.  I put on the fire in the stove and I am going to put on a couple of layers to stay warm.  I may be doing a lot of cooking today too.  Maybe some baking to get that oven going and make the kitchen warm.

Jenny (the black cat) is at the vet's.  She had surgery yesterday to remove three tumors from her belly.  She came through it fine and has 25 stitches.  We are supposed to get her tomorrow.  Snowy (the white cat) is enjoying being the only cat.  I so wish they would get along.  Maybe someday.

I am going to go get something to eat and start my day.  I am so very glad to stay home today.

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Tuesday's weather
Snow
High:  37 degrees
Low:  14 degrees (wind chill -1*)
Sunrise:  7:17 a.m.
Sunset:  5:06 p.m.
9 hours and 49 minutes of daylight

Monday, January 20, 2014

WHAT'S BEEN HAPPENING

It was another working Saturday this week.  I really don't mind working Saturdays.  It is more laid back and usually easier to do.  This week, though it was very busy.  I don't know where everyone came from.  And everyone seemed to have a problem.  But nothing major and the day just seemed to fly by.

It was snowing when I drove in to work.  Fortunately it was just a snow shower and didn't last at all.  There wasn't anything that even lay on the grass or sidewalk.  But we are supposed to get more snow on Tuesday and this time it is 3-6 inches.  *sigh*  I guess this is payback for the three years we got none.

Sunday morning I woke up, looked at the clock, and realized I had 20 minutes to get myself together and get to church.  Do you think I was late?  Yes, I was.  But I missed only the first song so I wasn't that late.  Pastor Justin was still not there so Elder Rich gave the message again.

Did I mention it before?  In case I didn't on Saturday, January 11 my pastor and his wife welcomed their first child -- a daughter little Miss A.  I've seen only pictures of her and she is a doll.  I can't wait to see her in person.

The Elders' wives got together and we are providing dinners for them all week.  Jim and Carol did yesterday.  I am doing tonight.  I was going to do spaghetti, but I defrosted (but didn't cook) a pork roast yesterday.  So I am going to cut it in half and give them half along with some mashed potatoes and veggies.  The other half will be our dinner.  I'm also giving them dinner on Friday.  I think I will do baked chicken then.  I will do the same thing and just cook double and give them half.  

I chose those two days because they are the days I am off from work.  However, I didn't know that today I would have to take Jenny to the vet between 5 and 6 p.m.  She will be operated on tomorrow to have the three lumps removed from her stomach.  I hope she will be OK.  So I will be taking them their dinner early.  They can always reheat it if it is too early.

Well, off to start another busy day -- cooking, cleaning, food shopping, laundry, dishes.  It just never seems to end does it?

Until later...
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Sunday's weather
Cloudy
High:  42 degrees
Low:  22 degrees
Sunrise:  7:19 a.m.
Sunset:  5:04 p.m.
9 hours and 45 minutes of daylight (heading toward 10 hours!)

Friday, January 17, 2014

FRIDAY VIEW

A busy Friday today.  Since I am working tomorrow I am off today.  But I am so very busy so thought I would write now while I have the chance.

Yesterday I was making breakfast when I looked out of the window and saw this:
video

Fortunately it was just a shower and didn't lay or last.  But I am so very sick of the snow.

Today it is clear but very cold.  I mean COLD!

I am hoping to finish cleaning the living room today.  I just cannot do more than one room a day.  I have so much to do.  And then this afternoon we have to pay a visit to my mother-in-law to give her a Christmas gift.  Yes, we still haven't gotten to see her.

For your Friday view I thought I would give you some more Mummers pictures.  I guess because I am watching the parade that I recorded and never got to watch it gave me the idea. 

Here are some of the comics.  Notice the umbrellas.


There was a float that was a 60 year tribute to "I Love Lucy".  So neat!
Here's the whole float.  Nothing in this parade is allowed to be motorized so people are pulling this down the street (for 2 miles).

Here's Ricky.  He was singing "Babaloo".

Remember when they went to Paris and Lucy and Ethel were wearing horses' feed sacks on their heads and thought they were elegant hats?  And here's Lucy with the chocolate conveyor belt.

Ricky's band

Vita-meata-vege-min

Stomping the grapes in Italy.
 This float was great.

Then there were the Fancys.  I just wanted to show you the different types of costumes.


This is a King Jockey.  You can see how he has to pull this float.

All King Jockeys have to have something "horsey" about it.  Most use horseshoes in the design.  Since this theme was "Under the Sea" the horse was a seahorse.


Handsome costume

Fancy trio.  Three costumes the same and they dance together.

Fancy costume.  A salute to our armed forces.



King Clown.  No horsey stuff.


Now it's off to do my things.  Hope you have a good and productive day.
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Thursday's weather
Cloudy/light snow
High:  41 degrees
Low:  31 degrees
Sunrise:  7:20 a.m.
Sunset:  5:01 p.m. (Yay, the sun is setting after 5 p.m.!)
9 hours and 41 minutes of daylight.
Sunrise on Thursday, January 16, 2014