Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve

Here I sit in my comfy living room writing my last blog entry for the year 2011.  What an eventful year it has been!

Unlike some people who need to "party" the night away, Joe and I are homebodies who just like to sit and enjoy each other's company.  I always try to have/do something special.  This year I got some special snacks which we have been munching on for several hours now.  We started off with some summer sausage and cheddar cheese which my sister gave us for Christmas.  Let me tell you that was some good eating!

 Then I brought out the chips and salsa.  I grabbed them after awhile because Joe ate almost all of them before I even started!

I have a bayberry candle burning.  It is real bayberry from Williamsburg.  It smells good.  There is an old saying, "Bayberry candles burned to the socket, bring health to the home and wealth to the pocket."  I'm not superstitious, but we could use both!

We just poured some Pellegrino to toast the new year in.  Since my surgery I find it difficult to drink anything carbonated, so I will take this very carefully.

I want to thank everyone who was a part of this blog in 2011.  It has been such a blessing to me to get to know each of you -- those who comment and those whose blogs I read.  Often when I am having a bad day I will read your blogs and God gives me just what I need to hear from one or more of you.  I am so looking forward to what God is going to do in my life in 2012.  Happy New Year to each of you from Joe and me!

Friday, December 30, 2011

A Lazy Day

Here it is the day before the last day of the year.  And it's been a lazy day.  I was trying so hard to clean up the house for the Comcast guy to come.  And here Joe got sick.  Really sick.  Coughing, congestion, fever, headache, nausea.  It's going around here in Philly.  So many people are sick with it.  So I called and cancelled the hook up for today.  How could someone come into the bedroom and set things up when he couldn't even get out of bed?  It's now set for next Friday when he should be better.  It also gives me more time to get things under control.  Although the living room is now remarkably better.  : )

Even though I've been working hard, I've also laid around a lot today.  I even took a nap.  I am SO tired.  I don't know how I'm going to get through work tomorrow.  At least we are getting out early at 3:00 p.m.

This time of year is always a little sad to me.  I have trouble with endings and beginnings.  I never go to a party or anything.  But I do have some things planned for tomorrow night.  I just hope Joe is up to doing something fun.  I think that will make me feel better.  Maybe if he stays in bed most of the day he will be able to eat and watch a movie.

I'm going to start dinner now.  Spaghetti, left-over meat loaf and garlic bread.  Hmm.  Sounds like there's no veggies involved.  Does tomato sauce count?

Another Year Older...

Today is my birthday.  Well, since this will probably post after midnight, the 29th is my birthday.  What a difference from last year.  I had had stomach surgery exactly one month earlierI had just started eating semi-solid food.  Joe's dad was still alive and in a nursing home.  It's so hard to believe that so much has happened in one year.

I have been trying to clean up some today.  The house is a wreck and I mean bad.  There are gifts and cards and mail and you name it all over the place.  Joe is changing our satellite TV to cable and the guy is coming tomorrow to set it up.  There is so much in front of the TVs that he can't even get to them.  So it's been a matter of finding places to put the gifts away, sorting through mail, hanging cards, etc.  Some way to spend your 58th birthday isn't it?
But it wasn't all work.  Joe sent me flowers.

He also gave me two necklaces, both in the shape of a heart -- one cerulean and one garnet.  And we went out to dinner.

I had been wanting to go to the King George II Inn in Bristol, PA so that is where he took me.

If you look closely at the bottom of the sign it says "Est. 1681".  Yes, it's really 330 years old.  Here is some of its history:

It is known to be the oldest continuously operated Inn in America. 
The Ferry House was built on this site, by Samuel Clift, owner/operator of the ferry service between Bristol and Burlington, N.J. He had opened it as a small hotel to accommodate guests upon their arrival, via ferry.
In 1735, a Frenchman, by the name of Charles Besonett, bought and built the Inn on a much larger scale, using Clift's hotel as the base to this grand new site. Renamed "George the Second Hotel," in keeping with the many royal Inns he had visited and fashioned it after in England. The story is told that a timely name change took place when General George Washington and his troops approached Bucks County. The image of King George was quickly removed from the outside sign and painted over with a likeness of the General.
Shortly thereafter, Besonett thought it was wise to permanently change the name to the "Fountain House" which it remained for many more years.
Bolstered by important land and water routes, Bristol developed into a leading market town and river port, where hundreds of boats unloaded their wares. The Inn prospered due to this prime location where it became the hub of the town's upward development.
Bristol also became known as a popular summer resort and spa. Warm river springs from the Delaware were said to heal many ills. People flocked here to enjoy the "Bristol Springs" and to drink and bathe in their waters. During the warmer months, the Inn was filled to capacity by the wealthy who could afford weekly hotel rates. According to legend, many dignitaries were guests at the Inn during the Victorian era. A short list includes General George Washington and Presidents John Tyler, John Adams, James Madison, and Millard Fillmore.

Really interesting isn't it!  You can see why I wanted to eat there.  We got there about 4:00 p.m. and were seated on the "porch" a sort of sunroom overlooking the Delaware River.  It was so beautiful.  We watched the river flowing past, the people in the park across the street and saw across the river to Burlington, NJ.  I like Bristol a lot and wouldn't mind moving there when I retire in a few years.  But who knows what the future will bring.

We both got a small house salad with honey mustard dressing and Chicken Piccata with mashed potatoes and green beans.  Everything tasted wonderful.  It wasn't very expensive either.

After we ate we took a little walk in the park.  I tried to take pictures, but it was really too dark by that time.  We watched it getting darker and darker as we ate.  In fact it got so dark on the porch that the servers came around and lit little oil lamps on our tables.  A few of the pictures came out though.

The HUGE Christmas tree beside the Inn.  That's our car in the background.
The dock at the entrance to the park.

Joe and me

The whole town was beautifully decorated.  I tried to take pictures of these wreaths on the lights all down the street, but none of them turned out except this one.
On the way home Joe said I should have a cake.  I told him I didn't want a cake, but would take a cupcake.  So we stopped off at Shop-Rite.  While we were there we ended up doing our whole week's shopping.  At least that is taken care of.   I couldn't eat it right away because I was so full, but later Joe stuck a candle in a cupcake and sang "Happy Birthday" to me.  He insisted on taking pictures too.

Besides Joe's gifts, I got a cute little blue tote bag from my friend Debbie with tons of great gifts in it (gardening gloves, a photo album, nail clippers, a notepad, and a gift certificate to Wendy's), a $25 gift certificate to Amazon to buy kindle books from my sister Elaine, money from my former supervisor to have "lunch on her."  My next-door neighbor came over tonight with the cutest gift.  She gave me a "birthday cake" made out of $2 bills, a wrist purse so I don't have to carry my big purse when I run down the block to the store and a keychain that holds digital pictures.  Very cool.  So I made out like a bandit.  I also got phone calls from my family and friends.  I had no idea I was so popular.

Well it's almost 1:00 a.m. so I am going to bed.  I'll get up early and start in on my marathon cleaning.  Till later.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Back to Work

It was quite an eventful day to return to work following the Christmas  holidays.  I thought it looked really empty and dark when I walked in.  Most of the time there are my co-workers milling about and the lights are on.  The only one there was my boss Jerry.  Apparently the guard  had called out sick.  So we set things up, I got the desk set up, the statistics done, the newspapers set out and still I'm the only LA there.  Finally after 45 minutes Jerry calls Diane.  Here she had decided  to stay out  sick, but instead of calling as she was supposed to do, she sent him an email.  We don't even have the computers turned on in the morning let  alone look at  our emails.   So that was not a good thing.

Jerry called our Area Administrator and we were told we could not open with just two people, that she would get a contract guard and send over an LA from another branch.  So it ended up we were not able to open until almost 2:00 p.m.  It was pouring rain and people were waiting outside to get in because we were  supposed to open  at  noon. 

On top of all of this, we had no working computers.  When the people waiting heard this, a lot  of them left.  We finally got them back up around 4:00 p.m.

I said to the technician, "What can happen next?" and he said the power could go out.  I told him not to even think that and as I said that one of the overhead lights blew and went out.

What a day!

'Twas the Day After Christmas

This is the tree at my sister's house.  Such a beautiful tree and a great wealth of gifts.

Christmas morning we got up, ate breakfast and went to church.  I was surprised that not a lot of people were in church.  The choir was wonderful, and the message was great.  It was on Luke 2:1-7 which Joe and I had just had our morning devotion on.  So the message just reinforced it for us.

After church we changed our clothes and opened our gifts.  What a lot we all got.  Much more than we really should have.

Even Cody had lots of treats and toys.

 Elaine loved everything she got.  Here she is with a musical Snoopy and an attachment for her TV that she can plug all the components into from our brother Larry.  One of the gifts Joe and I gave her was a GPS which she can really use.

 Joe gave me a Keurig.  Last year he gave me a Tassimo which I really love, but it is so hard to find the disks for it.  The Keurig has cups all over the place.  Even our supermarket has them.  So it's much more practical.  The Tassimo is going to be used for our Bible Study group at church.  He had forgotten one of my gifts, so when I got home today I was able to open my last gift which was a Kindle Fire.  I love it.  But I can't use it at home because I need WiFi to run it and we don't have WiFi.  But work does, so guess what I'm doing on my lunch hour tomorrow.

 Joe was really surprised that I gave him a notebook.  I thought he could use it for the work he's doing with his Bible Study and preaching duties.  He loves it.  He also got the black leather gloves he has been wanting from my sister.

 Elaine's tree is so beautiful.  I never get tired of looking at it.

 For dinner we had prime rib, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls and of course our Christmas crackers.  I got a little toy bike to assemble and Joe got a heart shaped game, so we switched.  I didn't get the joke in my cracker, but Joe's was "How much does an auctioneer need to know?"  Answer:  "Lots"  (groan)  Christmas cracker jokes are always groaners.  But we put on our crowns and ate our dinner.

After dinner I went outside and took some pictures of Elaine's house.  It was much prettier than the picture makes it look.

I wasn't sick, but I wasn't feeling too well yesterday.  I took a nap and felt better.  But by last night my heart was beating strangely and I could tell my blood pressure was up.

This morning I got up feeling fine, but as the day wore on I got sicker and sicker.  Elaine took me to the pharmacy where she works but the pharmacist wasn't able to help me.  Both my doctor and my insurance company was closed.  The pharmacist did tell me that there was still some medication in my blood stream and as long as I was going home today and taking my medicine I should be fine.  I might feel a little off, but it would not be anything serious.  I was feeling OK though, so we went to the mall to look at after Christmas sales.  They had a "Santa Land" there.  The trees were beautiful and the animated bears were so cute.

I got some good sales.  We went back to Elaine's house, had a little bite to eat, and then left for home.  I am glad to be back home, but miss being in northern New Jersey  with Elaine.  I took my medicine as soon as I got home, laid down for an hour and feel wonderful again.

Back to work tomorrow.  It's my late day (11:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.) so I am going to try to get some wash and cleaning done before I leave.  There is so much to put away and I have no idea where I am going to put it!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Day

Joe and I wish each of you:


Christmas Eve

The day has finally arrived.  And it is a day I won't soon forget.  Everything seemed to go wrong.  We wanted to leave around 3:30 p.m. for the 2 hour drive to my sister's house.  We ended up leaving at 5:30 p.m.  There was construction the way we usually go and so I went the long way that I haven't used in years.  That turned out to be a very long, very winding, very dark road.  I almost made the wrong turn twice, but finally found Route 10  and we made it.

Elaine had lasagna, garlic bread and a salad for dinner.  Everything was very good.  After dinner I went to take my medicine and found I had left all of my medication at home.  I also left some of my clothing, some of the gifts and the cake I baked for dessert for Christmas dinner.  Joe left his watch and some of his other things also.  We called around trying to get a pharmacy to give me an emergency supply of medicine for three days, but because I get it mail order, they couldn't help me.  Some of the medicine I take Joe also takes and he had his supply here, so I am sharing some of them with him, but not all.  I am praying very hard that I don't have any difficulty.  One of the medicines I am missing is my heart medicine.

We went to the 11:00 p.m. service at Elaine's church.  It was very beautiful.  We had gotten here too late to go to the 7:00 p.m. service.  At the end of the service everyone stands in a circle around the sanctuary and is holding a lit candle.  All the lights are turned off and we all sing "Silent Night."  So nice.  I look forward to it every year.

We were supposed to bring our cot with us, but didn't have room for it in the car.  So I am in the single bed in the guest room and Joe is sleeping on the floor.  He is snoring, so I know he will be OK for the night.

It is almost 2:00 a.m. so I must end and get some sleep.  Breakfast, church and then opening gifts tomorrow.  Till then.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Sights of Christmas

You will be getting two posts today.  I was going to post this last night, but fell asleep before I did.  So consider this the Friday night post.

First, let me show you some pictures from the Wednesday party at work.  I didn't really take a lot.  First, here's one of my former supervisor Donna.  It was great to see her again.

And, of course, Joe and Marquita had to show off for the camera.

I worked at the Fishtown Branch yesterday.  It was very quiet.  At one point no one but staff was in there for about an hour and a half.  I guess everyone was out doing their Christmas stuff.  But around noon it picked up.  I went to Dunkin' Donuts for lunch and got a breakfast sandwich and some donuts for dessert for dinner.   
When I got back from lunch I found out that the mayor and city council had decided to close the city early today, so instead of 5:00 I got out at 3:00!  I was able to go to the post office and mail the end of my cards, and then to the ATM machine and get out some money for the week (pay day today!).  But when I got home I was so tired and just fell right to sleep.  I woke up with lots of people calling tonight.  And it's a good thing too because we hadn't had dinner!

While I was walking around at lunch time I took some pictures.  Then more on the way home and still more when Joe and I went out tonight.  Finally some are from around the house.  Please enjoy the sights of a Philly Christmas.

The Advent Candle gets shorter each day.

Santa's on top of the furniture store waving to all the traffic.  I  couldn't get the front of him but he's really cute.

This "tree" was actually hanging from the end of a crane at a construction site.  Christmas is celebrated everywhere.

The true meaning of Christmas.