Saturday, February 28, 2015

FIRE!

On Wednesday morning I was getting ready for work when I heard some sirens.  That's not unusual since the firehouse is nearby.  But then I heard more.  And more.  And closer and closer they came.  I looked out of the front door and saw a fire engine right across the street.


Then an ambulance came.  And another fire truck.



By this time I had moved to the third floor where I could get a better look.  I was looking around to see where the fire was and all of a sudden I saw the smoke.


And then it got worse.


The fire was two blocks away on one of the side streets.


It was a two alarm fire.  I thought for awhile that I wouldn't be able to get out of my street to get to work.  I am so thankful for our brave firemen.  It's a hard job and they are the best.



The smoke got less and less and finally the fire was out.



It was quite an exciting way to start the day.


--------------------------------------------
Friday's weather:
Light snow/cloudy
High:  30 degrees
Low:  22 degrees
Sunrise:  6:37 a.m.
Sunset:  5:50 p.m.
11 hours and 12 minutes of daylight

9 days to Daylight Savings Time starts
17 days to St. Patrick's Day
36 days to Easter
21 days to Spring
114 days to Summer

 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

THE WEEKEND

It's been quite the weekend.  I worked on Saturday.  It was an awful day because I found out that someone I trusted had gone behind my back and told lies about me.  I got it straightened out, but I'm so discouraged because I never expected this person to do it.  And I have to work with them tomorrow.  *sigh*

I am doing my best to not stress.  Sometimes I just have to walk out of the room at work and go to the restroom to "decompress".  I just can't let the job get to me.  I have just about decided to leave next year as soon as I can get Social Security.  I was going to try to stay the entire 3 1/2 years I have left, but I just don't think I can.  We'll see.

We got out of work early on Saturday (3:00 p.m.) because of the horrendous snow storm we were having.  It was really slippery driving home.  I was praying so hard to not have an accident.  I was going about 10-15 mph and so was everyone else.  Not one person tried to pass me.

The snow was coming down so hard.  Here's a picture of my car just 5 minutes after I parked it in front of the house.  That's Joe shoveling.  He was so sweet to do it so I didn't have to.  Especially when he wasn't feeling well.  It's a good thing we have a tiny sidewalk and only two front steps.



Here's a short video of the snow falling in my back yard.  It really shows up against the holly tree.

video

We got about 5 inches of snow, but it drifted because the wind was so strong.  Look at my car's tires buried in the snow last night.


By 1:00 a.m. the snow had stopped and the rain had started.  The temperatures were rising and the rain washed a lot of the snow away.  I fell asleep somewhere around 1:30.  When I woke up at 6:15 this morning, all the clocks were blinking.  I knew the power must have gone out while Joe and I were asleep.  Apparently it was off for about 4 hours and we didn't know anything about it.  That was good for us!

I went to church by myself this morning.  It was my week to bring the food for Fellowship Time so I made orange and cranberry bread.  It turned out so good.

When I walked in only Pastor Justin was there.  After me Anne came in and then Bud and Karen.  Finally Pastor's wife and daughter came over.  That was it.  We sat around the table in the Fellowship Area, sang hymns, read scripture, prayed, and then instead of a message Pastor had a question and answer time.  We have been going through Genesis for close to two years now and we could ask any question about anything we'd studied up to this point.  It was really good!  We went 45 minutes over our usual time and no one wanted to leave.  It was an unusual church service, but so enlightening and enjoyable. 

I wish I had taken a picture of Miss A after church.  Her mom was running the sweeper to get up some of the rock salt that had been tracked in on our shoes.  Miss A had a hold of the handle and was "sweeping" too.  She was so intent on it.  So cute.

I forgot to show you these pictures of her.  Here she is last Valentine's Day:

And here she is this year.  Such a cutie tearing apart her mom's Valentine's roses.  What a difference a year makes!



I did some more work on the book I am editing.  I'm about halfway through now.  I just want to get it done and on its way.  I'll be glad when I'm finished.  It's an interesting story, but the author is anxious to get it and I'm anxious to give it to him.  I'm hoping this is something that can turn into a part-time from home paying job and will help with things when I retire.

I must get to bed, so that's it for now.  I'm going to end with a clip I took off of the TV of last year's Lion Parade in Chinatown for Chinese New Year.  I thought it was cool.


video

Goodnight everyone!
-------------------------------------
Sunday's weather:
Overcast
High:  45 degrees
Low:  33 degrees
A lovely warm day!
Sunrise:  6:44 a.m.
Sunset:  5:44 p.m.
11 hours of sunlight!  Hurray!

Friday, February 20, 2015

I'M GOING TO MAKE MY HOME AT THE DOCTOR'S OFFICE

And I might as well since that's where I spent the whole morning.  I had an appointment for 10:15 but didn't get in until 10:45.  My sister can tell you about that.  She went with me once.  It's a circus in there.

BUT Barbara, the nurse practitioner I see, spent a lot of time with me.  She had me in the office about 45 minutes.  We went over a lot of things.  She feels that the esophageal spasms are caused by stress and the asthma attack on Sunday was what pushed me over the edge.  She has upped one of my medications and put me on a strict diet.  Already today I feel the difference.  My diet will be rather bland, but better than what I have been going through.

I am to try to take as much stress out of my life as possible.  I don't see how I can, working two jobs, taking care of Joe, taking care of the house, etc., etc., etc.  But I am trying to relax.  I am trying to not let some things bother me and just take it easy.  It seems the one place I really relax is church.

I wanted to join the choir at church for Easter, but the one thing I cannot do right now is sing from my diaphram.  So that's out.  I guess God has other plans for me.

But, enough about that.  It is cold again in this house.  I know it's supposed to warm up on Sunday and then get cold again.  But I don't think it's going down into the single digits for awhile which should help a bit.

I thought I would show you some pictures of Ocean City, NJ.  I am looking forward to being down there this year.  But not in these temperatures.

Frozen pipe at the First Street Jetty -- February 16
Fourteenth Street Beach -- February 18.  Is this person crazy?
The bay at Tenth Street is frozen -- February 20
 Are you all cold enough now?  What a different picture it will be in a few months.

My sister and I last July.
 ---------------------------------------------------------
Philly weather for Friday, February 20, 2015
Clear
High:  18 degrees
Low:  10 degrees
Wind chill at 11:22 p.m.:  0 degrees
Sunrise:  6:47 a.m.
Sunset:  5:42 p.m.
10 hours and 54 minutes of daylight!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

CHINESE NEW YEAR

This is the year of the goat.  Or sheep.  Or ram.  The word in Chinese means "horned animal" so it could be any of these.  I always knew it as sheep, but goat seems to be the animal this decade so goat it is.

The Chinese Zodiac - Goat

I ended up calling out sick from work and going to the Emergency Room.  I have been having what I thought were heart palpitations ever since Sunday.  I called the doctor and she told me to go to the ER and then come see her tomorrow.  So I did.  I knew it was not my heart, and it wasn't.  It turned out to be esophageal spasms.  Why my esophagus decided to start spasming every time I swallow something is beyond me.  The doctor in the ER seems to think it is stress that caused it.  But he isn't sure.  It could have been my asthma attack on Sunday that set it off.  When it spasms it hits my chest wall and makes it feel as if it is my heart.  They gave me a cocktail of several different medications to calm it down.  So far so good.  It is still acting up, but not as much as it did earlier.

So I am going to try to eat my "lucky food" for dinner -- pork lo mein and steamed dumplings.  Yum!  They are food I was able to eat when I had my stomach surgery in 2010 so I know they go down easy.  And I am definitely going to take it easy.

Here are a few pictures from the Lion Parade in Chinatown last night:
Chinatown's Friendship Gate

Chinese Lions

Always lots of firecrackers.  It's very noisy.


Chinese Dragon
I love Chinese New Year.  It was cool when I was little and my uncle would give me money in a red and gold envelope.  *sigh*  No one is handing me money in any kind of envelope these days.

I'm going to take a nap before ordering my Chinese food from the place at the end of my street.  So I wish everyone...







CATCHING UP

I had off from work on Monday for President's Day.  And as I mentioned it was COLD.  I ended up making Irish Stew for dinner.  I figured we needed something warm to eat.  And how better to try to warm up the kitchen.  (The kitchen never did get warm.  It's an added on one story room with no insulation so it's always cold.)


Overnight Monday and into Tuesday afternoon it snowed.  We got about 6 inches.  I'm not complaining though.  I remember last winter.  This is heading for Spring and it's the first major storm we have gotten.





The wind blew the lawn furniture and the trash cans all over the place.

Look at the bird feeder!
 Once the sun came up I took another picture of the holly tree.  I think it's so pretty with the snow on it.


A teen boy knocked on the door and asked if he could shovel the pavement.  Of course I said yes.  He did the car too.  It was worth every penny I paid him.  He did a good job.





By the time I got home from work at 8:30 p.m. the sidewalk was completely clear.  The sun had melted the little bit of snow that was left.

We were hoping to be off from work today, but no such luck.  I was 1 1/2 hours late getting to work but I noticed when I signed the time sheet that EVERYONE was late to some extent.  It's not easy.

Tuesday was Fat Tuesday or Doughnut Day or Fasnacht Day or Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras.  Everyone has a different name for it.  It's the day before Ash Wednesday.  Of course I had to get doughnuts for us.


It wasn't a fasnacht, but it was the best I could do.

Fasnacht

So that's what's been happening.  Now I have to get ready for work.

Monday, February 16, 2015

FRIENDSHIP FEAST



I don't know how it is where you are, but it is cold here.  I mean COLD!  Can you say COLD?  I woke up a little bit ago and can't go back to sleep because I am so cold.  I looked at the thermometer and it is 5*F. (-15*C.) with a wind chill of -15*F. (-26*C). It looks so much worse in Celsius.  The heat is on, the space heater is going full blast and I can't get the house warm.  Oh, the joys of living in an old house.  I saw on the news that it is a Code Blue so all the homeless people have been moved off of the streets so they don't freeze to death.  I feel so badly for all the stray cats I feed.  I would take them in but they are feral and won't come anywhere near a human.

Our midweek services have already been cancelled at church because of the predicted weather.  It's just too cold.  I have cold induced asthma and had two attacks today just going from the car to the church several times.  Not fun.  I just have to move to someplace warmer!

I said on Saturday that we got just a dusting of snow.  I spoke too soon.  Overnight we got about an inch (maybe two -- I'm no good at measurements) of snow.  I had to clean off the car before I could go to church.  At least it was light and fluffy.


Of course on one of the coldest days of the year we had our Friendship Feast.  We have all been inviting people (our friends) for weeks and it was so cold that the only one who showed up was my friend Carol.  Otherwise, it was all church people.  We have to do this again in the summer.  Joe wasn't feeling well, so I had to take him home after church, get him into bed, and then go back to church.  He tries so hard to do things, but he just isn't well these days.

All the food was fantastic.  Can you believe I didn't take one picture?  I was so busy having a good time that I forgot all about my camera.  But that's OK.  I made 5 lbs. of potato salad this morning.  Then I took a canned ham, sliced it down, drizzled it with a brown sugar and dijon mustard glaze and put it in my crockpot.  By the time I got back to the luncheon the ham was half gone.  Anne made the best green bean casserole.  Genny made a great beef stew.  Cherie made homemade chicken noodle soup.  There were salads, chicken wings, sloppy joes, and for dessert cupcakes, cheesecake and pies.  We were all stuffed.

Before we began eating Pastor Justin told us to look under our chairs for a pink heart doily.  There were door prizes.  Caity, Anne and I all had the doilies.  We got little bags of Lindt chocolate truffles.

Carol and I hadn't seen each other in so long.  It was great catching up with her.  We are going to have lunch when it gets warmer -- whenever that will be.

All in all it was a fun day.  Now I think I will get back under my covers and try to get a little more sleep.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

SUNDAY PRAISE -- REMAIN

This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
1 John 4:10 NLT

Remain by Starfield
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlktYITlKmo 

 

And another little snippet of the Hope Philly Praise Band.

video

Saturday, February 14, 2015

VALENTINE'S DAY



I hope you all had a lovely day.  Mine was rather low-key, but that's OK because I am just so tired.  I've done a lot of running around this week so I needed a down-time day.  I'm beginning to realize this old body just doesn't do what it did when I was 27.

This morning I heard Joe banging around upstairs.  I asked if he was OK and he said yes and don't come up.  He then came downstairs and handed me a white box.  Inside was a white leather drawstring bag and in that was a beautiful necklace.  I said, "Oh, you got me a diamond necklace!"  He answered, "Uh... yeah.  OK.  If you want to believe that."  Ha, ha.  But real stones don't really matter to me.  The fact that he got it for me, was thinking about me, is what counts.


After breakfast Joe said he was going to the corner store.  I insisted on taking him because he has been a little unsteady on his feet as of late.  When we went in, he headed right for the flowers.  Every year he gets me one red rose and he hadn't gotten it yet.  There was only one red rose left and it didn't look very good.  In fact, it looked half dead.  But there was a beautiful coral rose there that I fell in love with.  So I asked if I could have that one instead.  He said, "Of course" and got me that one.  It has opened up since it's been in our warm house.  So pretty.


The single rose is a very special thing with us.  He's been giving me one rose every year since our first Valentine's Day together.

We had a snow shower today.  Fortunately it was just a dusting and didn't really lay.




I made steak and mixed veggies for dinner.  It was good.  I also baked an apple pie, but it wasn't done in time.  Joe went to bed before it was cool enough to eat.  Oh, well.  He'll get it tomorrow.

Now it's off to make potato salad and bake a ham for tomorrow's church luncheon -- our Friendship Feast.  I can't wait.  It's going to be so much fun in spite of our cold weather.  It's supposed to be a high of 15*F. (-9*C.) tomorrow with a wind chill of -20*F. (-29*C.) Brrr!

I'm going to end by showing you a picture of our front window.  I can never get a picture without the lights across the street reflecting in the glass.  But hopefully you can get an idea of what it looks like.


I have off from work on Monday for President's Day.  I plan to take down all the Valentine's stuff and put up St. Patrick's Day.  After that it's Easter and Spring.  I think we've almost made it through the winter.

Friday, February 13, 2015

A PHOTOSHOOT WITH SNOWY

On Wednesday I was off from work to take Joe to his doctor's appointment.  When we came home, Joe went upstairs to take a nap.  In a rare show of independence Snowy did not follow him.  She laid on the chair by the front window.

I began talking to her and petting her and she began her LOUD purring.  Folks, I have never heard a cat purr as loudly as Snowy does.  The vet even had to put his hand over her mouth to stop her because he could not hear her heart the last time we visited him.  I grabbed my camera and started taking pictures of her.  I changed the settings and took others.  Close-ups.  Distance.  Angles.  She posed so nicely for me.  I must have taken 50 or 60 pictures of her. 

A lot of them were unusable because she was moving and they were a big blur.  But others came out just beautiful.  So for your viewing pleasure today I am going to show you Miss Snowy's photoshoot. Oo la, la!  The next time I do this I think I will try to dress her up.  If she'll let me, that is.  You know who's the boss of the two of us!





Her right eye is green and her left eye is blue.
video