Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Quick Little Post

Here is the link to Joe's message from Sunday.  He was not happy with it, but others think he did great.  I guess you always see need for improvement in yourself.  I told him that if God used him in spite of his disabilities to speak to someone, that was good enough.

Joe's message

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I'm Married to a Preacher Man

This morning Joe was the guest speaker at church.  Pastor Justin and his family have been in Tennessee for Thanksgiving and were traveling back home today.  Since we had no musicians either, one of the guitarists from Wallingford BFC came to play for us and be worship leader.  I was in charge of all the technical set up.  I had trouble getting the video camera to stay on the tripod and I forgot what I had to do to zoom in, so I had to set up and sit on the front row to tape the service.  But other than that things went well.

Joe was a little nervous about giving the message.  He had just finished it up the night before.  I did all the typing for him and we went over it again and again.  When he read it the first time it lasted only 11 minutes.  I told him some people would like it that short, but he had to add on.  When he finally gave the message today it was 30 minutes long -- perfect.  It was based on Matthew 6:25-34 and was all about how we worry about things instead of trusting that God knows what's best for us.  When it goes up on our website this week I will give you the link.

Because Joe had been sick yesterday and had the message this morning we postponed people coming over for dinner until Friday.  That is so much better.  I know for sure the turkey will be thawed out by then.  And I have 5 more days to clean up.  When I say my house is a mess I am not kidding.  I have some Christmas up, some Thanksgiving up, and I just found the jack-o-lantern is still hanging around from Halloween.  Christmas!  Think Christmas and put the other stuff away!!

I'm making dinner now.  I'm making pork roast with tomato couscous.  It's smelling really good.  I think I'll go see if it's ready.  Yum.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Black Friday and The Class of 1971

Well I did what I swore I'd never do.  I went shopping on Black Friday.  Last night I told Elaine what I wanted to get Joe for Christmas and she showed me an ad for it on sale.  But for Friday only.  It was at Wal-Mart.  I didn't feel like driving all the way there, so I tried to find the same deal online.  No luck.   I ended up going to Target where I found a similar item for $50 more.  So I got it.  Along with another gift for him and one for Elaine and mauve and silver ornaments for my tree.  I also got a really pretty peasant top which I ended up wearing tonight.

I was surprised because Target was really empty.  I don't know if everyone had been there at 6:00 a.m. or if the economy is really bad.  But I was able to park close to the door and there was no one in line when I was checking out.

Tonight was my high school class reunion.  I was undecided whether to go or not, but decided I would and bought the tickets for Joe and me.  I am so glad I went because I had the best time ever.  I saw so many of my old friends, some of whom I had started first grade with.  There were seven of us from that time and we all got our picture taken together.
Who would have guessed that we would still be friends 52 years later?  We exchanged phone numbers and we are going to get together for a nice dinner really soon.

The food was wonderful!  The entertainment was fun!  The company was great!  I even met a guy that went to Sunday School with me when I was 3 years old!  He remembered me even though I didn't remember him at all.   Even Joe had a good time.  Two of my friends live a couple of blocks from us (one to the east and the other to the west) and because he sees them in the neighborhood, he knows them.  So he was talking to them for awhile.

It is very, very late.  I didn't get any cleaning done and I MUST do it tomorrow since there will be company for dinner on Sunday.  I'll get a little bit of sleep and then work hard the rest of the day.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Today Joe and I made our annual Thanksgiving trek to my sister Elaine's house.  She hosts Thanksgiving dinner every year.  Last year I was too ill to go.  But this year I made it there.

It's a 2 hour drive to my sister's house.  We left around 11:30.  We hit a lot of traffic, but after that let up we made good time.  As we are driving we get a call from my friend, Marion, who tells us that Route 183 is closed and tells us how to take a detour to get there.  But we end up going the wrong way.  Joe plugged in our GPS and I turn around in a parking lot.  As soon as I saw the next intersection, I knew where I was and it took only a few minutes to get there.

I wish I had taken a picture of the front of her house.  It was so pretty.  Of course everyone was there by the time we showed up.

Elaine always decorates her house so beautifully no matter what time of year it is.

Here's me and Marion.  We've been friends since elementary school.

The table had all its leaves in and was a little tight in the dining room.  The "guys" decided to move it out a little so people could get to the seats by the window.  Sorry the picture is a little blurry.

The group at the table.  Elaine took the picture, so she is not in it.

My brother Larry in his famous Thanksgiving pose.  (It's become a tradition.)

Marion and her husband Rich:

Larry and Elaine's friend Frank:

My beautiful sister Elaine:

Joe, my sister-in-law Kim (Larry's wife) and Kim's mother Marilyn.  Why are they looking so solemn?  I think they are just busy eating.

All the pies on the table reminded me of Sunday's Pie and Praise!

Besides it being Thanksgiving, it was also Rich's birthday!  Marion brought a cake and we all sang to him.  Then he blew out the candle.

We left around 7 p.m. and got home around 9 p.m.  I had a wonderful time.  It was good to see everyone, but also good to get home.

Hope all of you had a great Thanksgiving also.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

'Twas the Day Before Thanksgiving

The last day of work before the Thanksgiving holiday.  It was so dead in the library.  Almost no one came in.  Mostly it was people who had to have their video fix and couldn't stand to be without a movie for two days.  I just don't understand them.  There is so much more to life than movies!

We got an email around noon time that the mayor had closed the city offices early at 3:00 p.m.  So we had to put up signs on the front door and we got to go home.  Woo hoo!  People were still coming in angry that we were leaving early.  One little girl was yelling because she wanted to spend the afternoon on the computer.  "It's not fair!" she said.  Sheila, our children's librarian, asked if she got out of school early today.  "Yes," said Ciara.  "But you're adults.  You shouldn't have any time off."  The best was the lady that came in just as we were putting on our coats and turning off the computers.  She was ANGRY.  She threw her book at me and tried to punch Diane because she couldn't get a movie and we wouldn't be open again until Saturday.  Get a life already.

But a lot of the day was good.  My boss brought in warm soft pretzels for us.  There was a guy from Staples who came to get the calendars I was sending back (I ordered the wrong thing) when I thought I had to mail them.  A lot of little kids were in with their parents and wished us all a Happy Thanksgiving.  So that sort of made up for the crazy people that came in.

Since I got out of work early I was able to run to the farm and pick up the pies and cake that Joe had ordered and paid for a couple of Saturdays ago.  The farm was all decorated for Christmas and so pretty.  I tried to take some pictures, but it was pouring and the batteries on my camera were low, so they didn't turn out.  I'm sure they will still be there next week and I can get some then.  Even though the CSA is over, the farmer's market still runs for another few weeks.

When I got home I was so tired I laid down and slept for about 3 hours.  I knew I was tired, but I didn't know I was THAT tired.  I guess I must have needed it though, or I wouldn't have slept like that.

I still have lots to do tonight.  So Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I will be checking in tomorrow.  Hope you all have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Isn't that the way life goes, folks?  There is always too much to do to fit into the 24 hours of my day.  Especially if I want to sleep.  And it gets even more so as the holidays approach.

It was pouring rain all day today.  I guess that's why there were so few people in the library.  It was very quiet.  At one point in the early afternoon there was an hour where there was NO ONE but staff in the building.  I was sitting at the front desk thinking of all the things I could be doing at home.  I have to stop doing that because it is very frustrating!

Right now I am waiting for a load of wash to be done so I can go to bed.  I have a big to-do list that I haven't even touched.  But I am so very tired.  Ever since my illness last year I just don't have the stamina I once did. 

At least I have just one more day of work and then have a four day weekend.  Even though I have things to do, I am so looking forward to it.  After that I have off just four days before Christmas.  I am doing a lot of overtime.  I can sure use the money, but it comes at just the worst possible time of year.

I still have pumpkin pies to make, but since my company isn't coming till Sunday and I will be at my sister's with her pumpkin pie, I am going to wait until Saturday for that.  

We got our free turkey at Shop Rite last night.  It weighs 20 lbs.  Since I neither like nor eat turkey, it's a good thing my friends are coming over for a turkey dinner.

I'm going to go for tonight.  Hopefully you will hear from me tomorrow.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Tonight was the Third Annual Pie and Praise at church.  It is our annual Thanksgiving service.  The first hour is given over to praise songs, scripture reading, testimonies and prayer.  The second hour is for eating pies.  Everyone brings a pie (or 2 or 3).

I made a pumpkin spice pudding pie and a sugar-free pumpkin pie.  The pudding pie turned out great.  However with the sugar-free pie I didn't realize until it was baking that I used too much splenda.  Joe said all you could taste was sweetness and no spices or pumpkin.  So I left it home.

When we got to church, there weren't enough pies so I ended up leaving and going to Shop Rite and getting an apple pie (which was out of this world) and a sugar-free pumpkin pie.  They really get you with the sugar-free stuff.  The sugar-free pie cost 3 times what the sweetened one did.  By the time I got back the service was almost over.

I was looking back to last year's Pie and Praise entry on this blog.  You can see it here.  What a difference a year makes.  I was so sick back then and waiting for the surgery.  I couldn't even eat anything.

Here are some pictures from the service tonight.

One of our elders, Shaun, read the scripture.  His baby, Kate, wouldn't stop crying unless he held her, so she was up there also.  It was so cute.

Pastor Justin led the singing.

One of our other elders, my husband Joe, gave the closing prayer.

The pies.  Coconut custard, key lime, chocolate mousse, apple, and pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin!

Sydney and Joe were having a deep discussion.  You know it was a good conversation because Joe hasn't even touched his pie.  (ha, ha)

The line forms to the rear.

Pastor Justin and his wife Cherie.  One of the nicest couples I know.  And I'm not just saying this because he reads my blog.

I wonder who this cute couple is.  We're both smiling, but we're both sick.  Joe is running a fever again.  I'm going to insist he goes back to the doctor this week.  I'm just so tired and fighting a headache.  But we got there and we had a good time.

Have a good night everyone.  Busy week this week, but at least it's a short work week.

Friday, November 18, 2011


It has been a busy few days and the weekend is going to be even busier.  Yesterday Joe had his neurology appointment at the VA Hospital.  I had made the appointment for 8:30 a.m. knowing I leave for work at 11:30.  I figured that would be enough time.  But just to make sure I told my boss that I would be a couple of hours late.

We got to the VA just before 8:30.  I dropped Joe off and went looking for parking -- almost an impossibility in the very small lot.  I found one pretty quickly and met him in the Neurology waiting room.  It's called a waiting room for a very good reason.  We waited.  And waited.  We thought we were the first appointment, but two other people were called in before Joe.  We were just about to leave when we were called in at 10:30!  Then he had to have blood work done.  Another 45 minute wait in a very crowded blood lab.  There were 18 people ahead of us.

We finally left and went home for lunch.  Then I went to work and worked the rest of the day.  It was my late day so I didn't get home until 8:30 p.m.  A very long day for me.  I was so tired that Joe called out and got Chinese food (Moo Goo Gai Pan -- yum) for dinner.  I went to bed at 10:30 p.m. (early for me) and went right to sleep.  I slept until 7:30 this morning.

Today was my Friday at the Fishtown Branch.  I was the only Library Assistant there until Tracy came in at 2:00 p.m.   It really isn't hard being the only one there.  I think I waited on 10 people all day.  But I got a lot of reading done.

I'm very tired, so I'm going to get off of here and go to bed.  But first I want to show you this week's Friday view.  I am taking you on my ride home from work at the Richmond Branch.  These pictures were taken a couple of weeks ago before the time change.  Now it is pitch black when I get out of work at 5:00 p.m.

Leaving the building.  The sun is starting to set and the cars have their lights on.  It is a peaceful ending to a busy day.

One of the beautiful gothic churches I pass on the way home.  The sky is a little darker now.

By the time I am a few blocks from home, the sun has set, the sky is dark and the moon is out.
 Good night everyone.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


VALLEY OF THE SHADOW by Stephanie Grace Whitson (Dakota Moon - Book 1)

About the book:
Eighteen-year-old Genevieve LaCroix protests when her father tells her it's time to leave home for further education at nearby Renville mission.  The daughter of Good Song Woman and Etienne LaCroix, she carries in her blood the proud heritage of a Dakota warrior and a French aristocrat.  But when Gen arrives at Renville mission, she learns that her heritage is not valued in the changing world created by new white immigrants.  At first the lessons learned at the mission are difficult and lonely.  But soon Gen finds new friends and begins to understand this strange culture.  When the missionary family takes in Two Stars, an injured young Dakota warrior, Gen begins to learn how quickly life can change.

My thoughts:
To me this book began slowly.  It took several chapters for me to get really into it.  But then it got to a point where I couldn't put it down and I finished it in three days.  It is based on a true story and I'm sort of sorry it is because it really shows man's inhumanity to each other.  Whites hate the Indians, Indians hate the whites.  Wars are started, people are killed.  The ending is a surprise though.  If you can get through the first 3 or 4 chapters, it is a good read.


Sorry, friends, that I wasn't able to give you an update yesterday.  This will be short and sweet since I am at work.

The barium test (Upper G.I.) went OK.  Of course the pina colada flavored drink was so yummy.  NOT!  The doctor and nurse were super.  I was able to see the screen during part of the test and everything is where it should be and functioning well.  I had to swallow this large pill that they followed to see how big the opening to the stomach was and it was able to fit through, so they were very happy with that.

So the result is that although my stomach is much smaller than a normal stomach (they gave me only one container of barium to drink instead of two), and where the doctor wrapped the stomach around the esophogus it's a little tight, everything is OK.

Thank you for your prayers and good thoughts.  More when I get home tonight.

Monday, November 14, 2011


I can't say it was a busy day at work, but it was steady.  Each morning I plan what I want to accomplish that day, but rarely get everything done.  Today was no exception.  I still have two piles of books on my desk and a half-finished supply order waiting for me tomorrow.  Also my cell phone because I had it on my desk and ran out the door without it.  Oh well.

Mr. Dudlik, one of our older patrons brought us donuts.  He does this about every three weeks and has done so, so I am told, for many years.  We would do anything for him.  Not just for the donuts, but because he is such a nice man.  Then later on Donna, my former supervisor, came in for a visit and brought us cupcakes.  We were so sugared out!  Because you know we had to eat both.  (ha, ha)

There is a water leak somewhere in our basement.  Work, not home.  The water department was out and looking around.  It appears that something broke in the street and is leaking through the wall into the building.  For awhile we thought we would have to close down.

Joe came to the library tonight.  He had the car today and had to come pick me up.  He got to meet Sheila, our new librarian, and Walt, our new guard.  He asked me to drive home because he was getting really tired.  I put my things in the back seat and turned around to get into the driver's seat.  I looked up and this is what I saw.

It was breathtaking.  I grabbed my camera and took this picture.  I turned around, got in the car and showed it to Joe.  He turned around, looked out the rear window and told me to look now.  It was even more beautiful.  I took the second picture through the rear-view mirror.  That's why the buildings are backwards.  But you can see the sunset and the skyscrapers lit up.

God made such a beautiful world.  I love sunrises and sunsets.

Tomorrow morning I have my upper GI test to see if my surgery took.  I am very nervous about this.  It is not a hard test and certainly not painful, but I am so scared that I will have to have more surgery.  But I am trusting that whatever the outcome God is in control.  More on this tomorrow.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Yesterday Joe called me to come out in the yard.  He said, "You have to see your peace rose bush."  When I went outside I was surprised because it was covered with roses.  All the other rose bushes have given up for the season, but not this one.  Lots of flowers and so pretty.

I am enjoying them while I can because I know they will soon be gone until next spring.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


This was the last week of the Summer CSA.  Yes, summer.  Can you believe it?  We have decided not to go into the Winter CSA this year, so this is the last pick-up we will have for some time.

We got:
     head of red romaine lettuce
     5 mitsu apples
     bunch of beets
     bunch of carrots
     2 lbs. of turnips
     2 lbs. of sweet potatoes 
     bag of cranberries
     jar of honey (made from bees kept on the farm)
     dozen eggs
     piece of Smoke Signal cheese
     $5 in Greensgrow bucks

With the Greensgrow bucks you can buy anything from the Farmer's Market.  We got red potatoes and more turnips.  The ones at the CSA were little; the ones at the stand were large.  We made sure we had enough for a meal.  We also got some yellow popping corn.

I must show you a picture of this one carrot that was in the bunch.  Remember when you look at it that this is just ONE carrot.

I have never seen a carrot like this.  Isn't it unusual?  I don't even know how to cut it up.

On our way home from the farm we stopped at Shop-Rite and did our weekly food shopping.  I saw my friend, Paulette, who works there but didn't get a chance to talk with her because she was really busy.  At the other end of the store I heard someone call my name and it was my former supervisor, Donna.  The one who just retired and whose job I took over.  She looks great.  How come everyone who retires starts looking better?  Then heading for check out I saw one of our patrons that I'm friendly with.  Sometimes you see no one you know and other days they are crawling out of the woodwork!

I found a display in the store for a new Jello pudding flavor -- spiced pumpkin.  I got a box and am going to make a pie out of it.  I'll let you know how it turns out.

I'm feeling sick off and on today.  It usually doesn't last this long, so I don't know what is going on.

Another day tomorrow.  I have a great post planned so see you then.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Happy Veterans Day.  Did you remember to thank a veteran?  Here are some of my favorite veterans.  Besides my brothers David (Army), Michael (Navy) and Joseph (Coast Guard), there are:

My dad, Hank Shuster (Marines):

Circa 1950

My step-dad, Ed Miller (Navy):

Circa 1973
 My step-son, D.J. (Army) and my father-in-law, Joe, Sr. (Marines):

May 2011
 And my husband, Joe, Jr. (Marines):

This picture was taken at dinner tonight.  We went to Applebee's where Joe got a free dinner for being a veteran.  It was very, VERY crowded.  I felt as if I were in boot camp or something, there were so many men in khakis, camouflage and wearing dog tags and military jackets.  I had to pay for my meal, but my sister had given us a gift card for our anniversary, so technically my meal was on her.

I spent most of today at the hospital.  Today was the day I had my Zometa infusion and my mammogram.  My favorite nurse, Dawn, was the one to give me the infusion.  She is so good I never even felt the needle going in.  And she found the vein the first try.  I got nauseous on the medicine though (as usual) and was pretty "green" when I got to the x-ray department.  When I got home I laid down and slept for awhile before we went out to dinner.  Needless to say, I couldn't eat the whole meal, but now I have lunch for tomorrow!

For my Friday View this week I thought I would show you the hospital campus.  It is a big place with lots of beautiful landscaping.  The trees are all turning colors and it was very pretty.

I'm still not 100% so I am going to bed.  By tomorrow morning I will be fine.  And it's the last farm day of the season, so I have to get up early to get there before everything is picked over.  Be looking for a picture of the haul tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011



About the book:
The Secret Holocaust Diaries is a haunting eyewitness account of Nonna Lisowskaja Bannister, a remarkable Russian-American woman who saw and survived unspeakable evils as a young girl.  For half a century she kept her story secret while living a normal American life.  She locked all her photos, documents, diaries, and dark memories from World War II in a trunk.  Late in life, she unlocked the trunk, first for herself, then for her husband, and now for the rest of the world.

Nonna's story is one of suffering, torture, and death -- but also of incredible acts of kindness that show the ultimate triumph of faith and love over despair and evil.  The Secret Holocaust Diaries is in part a tragedy, yet it's also an unforgetable true story about forgiveness, courage, and hope.

My thoughts:
 This book was so interesting I just zoomed through it in 4 days.  The description above says it all.  Nonna takes us back to her childhood in Tsarist Russia, through the Bolshevik revolution, WWII and USA 1950s.  The changes in the world and technology are incredible.

Even more incredible was her ability to survive through the timeframe in which she lived.  She was the only member of her family to survive the holocaust.  And none of them were Jewish!  It shows how evil mankind can be.

Her mother is a large part of the story.  Reading about her and seeing her picture made me wish that I could have met this remarkable woman.

This book is a must read for any history lover.


It has been a good long while since I have been able to post.  We are having trouble with our internet service.  And when we do get on, Joe has been jumping on the computer and then I fall asleep before he gets off.  I am at work now, taking a quick 5 minute break and wanted to let you know I am still alive.

Yesterday was election day.  The library is a polling place.  There is always someone who walks in and asks where the voting booths are even though they are in plain sight.  Yesterday was no exception.  A woman walked in, walked around the building, then came back to the front desk and asked if this was the polling place.  Yes, I said.  "Then where are the booths?" she asked.  I said, "Right behind you."  She turned around, stared right at the big blue curtains and said, "I don't see them.  Could you please point them out to me?"  I told her to walk straight ahead and she would see them.  When she came out to leave, she was very embarrassed and said, "If that was a lion, I would have been eaten!"  But at least she was nice and polite.  Not like in other years when we have had people screaming at us.

Joe had the first meeting of his Senior Citizens' Group on Monday.  He expected one person to show up and four did.  They had a really good discussion, but not on the topic he had anticipated.  He just let the conversation flow and it turned out really good.  I made cranberry muffins for them and they all loved them.  I found out that three people in the group has diabetes, so I will be making sugar-free treats for them from now on.  I have a lot of ideas for that.  Please pray for Joe that this group becomes a real support for each other and that the members would come to know the Lord as savior.

Joe also asked me to ask you to pray for his 7-year-old nephew, Stephen, who has an immune dificency disorder.  He has to have hemoglobin infusions every month in order to stay alive.  The family is having a fundraiser this weekend because the treatments are so expensive and are not covered by insurance.  Thank you.  We really appreciate it.

My time is up and I have to get back to work.  Till later.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Did everyone remember to change the time on their clocks?  I remembered, but didn't do it.  I went by the time on my cell phone and the TV which changes automatically.  I changed the other clocks later today.

We had a super message at church this morning on 2 Corinthians 4:7-18.  It was on how we are clay vessels in the hands of the master potter, God.  Clay vessels are easily broken and when they are what is inside is shown to the world.  Our bodies get broken and then what is inside of us comes out -- either good or bad.  There was much, much more, but what a good message it was.

My back was doing pretty good until I spent a lot of time sitting in the pew this morning.  The rest of today I have been wrestling with the pain.  (Guess I have a broken clay vessel -- ha, ha!).  I laid down on the sofa to try to ease the pain and the next thing I knew it was 2 hours later.  My, oh my!  I didn't even think I was tired.

I made Tandori chicken for dinner.  I don't have a tandori pot, but I had an envelope of the seasoning mix and it was done in the oven.  It turned out wonderful.  I am definitely buying that again.  I had a lot of rice left over, so we will have fried rice this week.  We have a very international menu in this house.

Joe is leading the first meeting of the Senior Citizens Club at church tomorrow morning.  I volunteered to make snacks each week for them.  So after dinner I made some cranberry muffins.  They smell really good.  I hope there are some left over for me to have for breakfast on Tuesday.  I think there will be because as far as I know only one person has committed to coming tomorrow.  We'll see how this works out.  It may be a few weeks until word gets around and more people show up.

That's it for this lazy day.  Wish I could take a nap every day.  Oh well, it is a short week for me with having off Veteran's Day on Friday.  Hurray!  I have a three day weekend coming up.  I'm looking forward to this even though the week is just starting.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Because I had to work today, Joe got a friend to drive him and went to the farm without me.  This week we got...
      a head of savoy cabbage
      a head of butterleaf lettuce
      a head of raddicio
      2 lbs seckle pears
      2 lbs potatoes
      3 sweet onions
      4 mitsu apples
      16 oz ricotta cheese
      1 doz eggs
      1 bunch carrots

Next week is the last week of the summer session and everyone picks up.  (We have been the B week.)  We decided not to join the winter CSA.  It is expensive and we just can't afford it.  We'll see how it is in the summer.  In the meantime we are going to check out a new farmer's market that we found and see if we like it as well or better than the farm.

It was busy at work today and the people were all rude.  Not a good time at all.  My back is better (thanks for all your good wishes) but I was still very careful about leaning over and picking things up.  It takes a few days to get back to where it should be.

We had pierogies for dinner with onions, mushrooms and sour cream.  They were very good.  It was a quick and easy dinner because I am very tired.

Don't forget to change your clocks everyone.  I'm glad to have that extra hour of sleep tonight.  Talk to you all tomorrow.