Monday, February 25, 2013


I have heard that deaths come in threes.  If that is so, then this day has had all three and we should be over them for awhile.

Joe called me at work this afternoon and told me that his Aunt Julie had died.  He was really close to her.  I've never met her, though.  His step-mom had called to tell him and said I should postpone my heart catheterization and give her a ride to the funeral on Saturday.  She doesn't want to take a bus or a cab.  Deaths bring out the best in people, don't they?  Obviously I am not postponing things and Joe is going to find someone else to take him there.  As for my step-mom-in-law, she will have to find her own way there.

When Joe went on facebook tonight he found that one of his former neighbors had died.  He said that he really liked this guy and wanted to go to this funeral as well.  We don't yet know when it is, so we will have to see how I am doing.

And the third death was Dr. C. Everett Koop.  I have met him several times.  I used to work at the church he attended.  I am very good friends with his wife, Cora.  In fact Joe and I attended their wedding in 2010.  I had heard from Cora a couple of days ago that he was very sick and not expected to live.  She was very sad.  But I was not to say anything.  Now I can tell anyone.  He was a wonderful man and will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him.

So hopefully this is the end of the deaths for awhile.  Imagine hearing of them all on the same day.  Better news must be just around the corner.

Sunday, February 24, 2013


I've had such a nice relaxing day today.  Just what I needed after yesterday's hard work.  After church today we went out to lunch with our friends Bud and Karen.  We ended up at our usual place -- the Country Club.  Bud and Karen both got these huge cheeseburgers, Joe got a whitefish platter (his favorite) and I got fried chicken.  They all finished theirs, but I brought half of my meal home.  I just don't have the room in my stomach that they have.

We had such a good time.  We always enjoy each other's company.  And we are making our plans to go away together in May.  We did it last year and had such a good time that we decided to make it a yearly thing.  Joe and Bud have birthdays within a week of each other so we do a double celebration.

Today would be my great-grandmother's 129th birthday.  I was so fortunate to grow up with her in my life.  She raised my sister and me after our parents broke up and was the major influence in my life.  What a wonderful woman she was and I miss her terribly.  So many times (even recently) I go to ask her something and then realize she isn't here.  But I know I will see her again someday.

I haven't mentioned it on here before, but on Friday I am going to have a heart catherization.  My cardiologist is concerned because I have a lot of chest pain and pain in my arm and jaw.  Even though every single test I take comes out normal, he wants to make sure there is nothing that is being missed.  I think it is the arthritis in my shoulder and the cancer medication that is affecting my jaw.  But I am still a little nervous about the outcome.

Because I have herniated disks in my spine I am not able to lay on my back on a hard table for six hours.  So the doctor is going to put the line in through my wrist.  I have been very nervous about this.  Who wants this kind of a procedure?

But I mentioned it to one of my friends in church this morning.  She said, "Look at this," and showed me her wrist.  She had two of them through her wrist.  The cut is less than 1/8 inch.  I guess she must have had one stitch if that. She talked me through the whole thing.  She said it was a piece of cake, that it would take less than half an hour, there was no pain involved, recovery was quick.  And she had a blockage and there was a stent put in.  That was years ago and she is fine and has been ever since.  She has made me feel so much better and now I'm not worried at all -- just a little nervous.  Thank you, Dorothea.  I am so glad that I told you what was going on.

Cherie, Pastor Justin's wife, asked me if the church could help out with dinners since I won't be able to lift anything for a few days.  So someone from church will be coming with dinners for us on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  I may have to stay over on Friday night, so I at least know that Joe will have something to eat if I am not there.

But now I  have to do a major cleaning before I go into the hospital so that people don't come over and see my messy (and I do mean messy) house.  So I am going to get off of here, make dinner and do some of that straightening up.  Until later, folks. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013


What a time we had today.  When we got to work there was a guy waiting who works for Sysco, our computer system, to try to get the computers back online.  Yes, after working on it all day yesterday, our IT guys still couldn't get it to work.

It appears that the high pitched screeching we heard was a fan that had broken.  When the screeching stopped, the fan stopped.  When the fan stopped, the router overheated and broke.  It took the guy about 2 1/2 hours to fix it, but he finally did.  We were so happy to have someone who knew what he was doing!

After the fix, we had to get all the backlog done.  There are two computers on the front desk and one in the workroom.  Diane, Marquita and I each grabbed a computer and started working away.  Poor Tom was kept busy running back and forth with books and videos.  We really gave him a workout!

At the end of the day we all agreed that we needed a nap before dinner.  That is exactly what I did.  My arms, neck and back hurt terribly.  I am sore and tired and I am sure the others are too.  We all worked so very hard today and got everything except one thing done.  That will just have to wait until Monday.

So that is the news, folks.  I am going to get ready for bed.  Good night!

Friday, February 22, 2013


What a time we've been having at the library.  Last week we had a constant high pitched screech coming from the router.  Try working with that all day, day after day.  And the wifi has been out for over a week.  So on Wednesday our IT guy came out to fix the thing.  By this time it had resolved itself, but he thought it was a good idea to change things out.  He said the computers would go down for 2 minutes tops.  Well as of yesterday they have been out for 2 DAYS.  People come in to use the computers and we have to tell them there aren't any.  We can't check any books in, so we have been piling them on any shelf at the front desk that I can empty.  We have about 3 or 4 hours of work to clear everything and put them back on the shelves.  To check things out, we have to write down the card number and the book or disk number.  We have about 6 hours worth of entering to do.  We have three big totes (so far) of books being transferred to our branch for holds.  Another 3 hours of work.  Then there's new cards to be entered and mailed out.  I don't want to even think about how busy we are going to be!

We are closed today and because it is my Saturday to work, I have today off.  The computer people are supposed to be in there today fixing the problem.  We can only hope.  Every day that goes by makes more work for us and more disgruntled customers.

Many people who come in think that this is the reason we have no computers:

But that is not the case!

Yesterday I took Joe to the dentist at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.  He has to go to a hospital because of his epilepsy.  He has two teeth that need to be extracted and it is too dangerous in a regular dentist's office because the lights can cause him to have a seizure.  He will be having his teeth extracted on the 21st of March.

It was fun being down center city Philly.  I really am a city girl.  I love the traffic, the people walking, the tall buildings, the noise, bustle, etc.  I know that sounds strange to some people, but to me it's invigorating.

While we were waiting in the lobby of the hospital for our ride, we saw the most interesting thing.  A Brinks truck was stopped in front of the PNC Bank.  I guess he was either picking up or dropping money off.  A SEPTA (public transit) bus came down the street in the lane next to him, but could not pass him because his mirror was sticking out into the next lane.  The driver honked several times to no avail.  Finally she got out of the bus, pushed the mirror against the side of the truck, got back into the bus and drove off.  The truck driver runs out of the bank, yelling and waving his hands.  He goes to see his mirror and another bus comes by and he can't move across the street.  Then a lot of other cars come by.  Finally he gets to his mirror and, yelling and complaining, moves his mirror back into place.   Everyone in the lobby was watching this, commenting, and laughing.  If he had parked like he was supposed to instead of leaving his truck in the middle of the street, it wouldn't have happened.  He finally drove off and we all applauded.  Such fun!  There is always something happening in the city.

Last Tuesday I made lemon sugar cookies for Bible study.  They turned out so good.  I put yellow sugar on top to make them look more "lemony".
  I am glad to get back into my baking.

Like I mentioned, I have today off since I am working tomorrow.  So I am going to get off of here and get some things done around the house.  Take care everyone! 

Monday, February 18, 2013


This was the end of my three day weekend.  It was so nice to just be lazy and chill.  Especially since I have not been feeling well lately.  But today I felt more like myself and got some things done.

It was a beautiful sunny day, but very cold.
Joe got up this morning and not only did a load of dishes for me, but made me his famous scrambled eggs for breakfast.  So good!

We did a bit of running around this afternoon.  First we went to Wendy's for lunch.  Joe has been wanting chili, so this was his chance to get it.  I still had money on my gift card, so we got our lunch for free!

Next we went to Walmart to return a couple of things.  While I was there I saw this cute top on a clearance rack.  I loved it and bought it.  It will be great for the summer or when we go down the shore in May.  You can't tell from the picture, but it's all sparkly.

When we got home Joe went to take a nap and I watched the movie "Pretty in Pink".
 I must be the only person who has never seen this.  It was pretty good, but much different than what I expected.  Glad I finally got to see it.

There was a beautiful sunset today.  Yes, I actually got a picture of both the sunrise and sunset.

I made pork chops, green beans and biscuits for dinner.  It turned out good and I am so full.  But now it is time to go to bed and get ready for a long day tomorrow.  Good night, folks. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013


I decided to have another lazy Saturday.  I do have to get some things done, but I'm doing them slowly and resting a lot.

One thing I did was go to the hair salon this morning.  I really love the girl who does my hair, Jamie.  She is so cute, so friendly and does such a fantastic job cutting and styling it.  She always makes me feel so pampered.

I had such a hard time getting there.  It's only 5 blocks from my house and I started out to get there.  But they are digging up all the streets in my neighborhood.  Two of the streets I needed to use were completely blocked off.  I tried to find parking on one of the side streets, but they were all full.  So I ended up going back home and calling them to say I couldn't make it because I couldn't get there.  The girl that answered said that she came in by driving in the opposite direction from where I lived.  That part of the street was open.  So I ended up taking the avenue, going up about a mile and then back tracking and parking in the lot of the Rite Aid across the street.  Don't make it easy for me, Philadelphia Streets Department!  But they held my appointment for me, I got my hair done and it's really cute.

It sort of reminds me of how the streets all around where I work are torn up too.  I can't win.  The other day I was meeting my former supervisor for lunch and I took some pictures of the street in front of the library to show her.  I thought I'd show you too.  Consider this your "Friday View" on a Saturday.  

We are closed on Fridays and it's a good thing because they turned off the water to all the houses and businesses yesterday.  Sort of glad I was working at the Fishtown Branch instead.  We would have had to be closed down anyway.  Can't have people working in a place with no water/bathrooms.

Well, back to my cleaning/shopping/baking.  Until later...

Friday, February 15, 2013


Happy Valentine's Day!

Hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day.  Yesterday morning before I went to work Joe gave me this cute little pink bag.  Inside were two cards -- one from him and one from Jenny.  Along with that were some Peeps...

... and a pair of earrings that match the necklace he gave me for Christmas.

Every year Joe gets me one single red rose.  I've told the story here before, but for my new readers I'll quickly say why.  When we first got together Joe was not working.  He had not yet gotten his Social Security Disability so he had no income at all.  I was giving him $10 or $20 a week just so he had some money in his pocket.  You know that didn't go very far.  So for our first Valentine's Day together all he could afford was a single red rose from 7-11 that cost about $5.  That rose meant more to me than anything else he's ever given to me.  So each year he gives me one red rose.

This year he had the rose sent to work.  When the UPS guy came in, I was at the front desk.  He said, "This one's for you."  Since I sign for the packages almost every day all the UPS guys know my name.  I couldn't imagine what this huge package was.  I got Bob to take over the desk for a couple of minutes while I went into the back with it.  Here was a vase and a four foot high rose.  Yes, you read that right.  Four feet!  When I got off of the desk I had Diane take a picture of it for me just so everyone could see.  I am just a little over five feet tall, so you can tell how big it is.

I had to throw out the shipping box because it would not fit in my car.  In fact I had trouble fitting the inner box in my car to bring it home.  Usually I would leave it at work, but I am working at Fishtown on Friday and have a three day weekend.  I want to enjoy it.

I put the vase and the rose by the stairway when I got home.  It is taller than the bannister!

And you can see the cards on the bannister.  Here's the ones Joe and I gave to each other.

My gift to Joe was a steak dinner which I made when I got home from work.  It was very good although I could have cooked the steaks just a bit more.  They were a little rare for our taste.  I am not the greatest cooking steaks.

Joe loved it!

Today I will be taking down all my Valentine's stuff and putting up St. Patrick's Day.  Time is moving so quickly.  Hope to show you those decorations soon.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Joe is doing so much better.  I keep saying to him, "My Joe is back."  His sugar is still low, but he is eating regularly and keeping it up.  He is enjoying eating the sugary treats he loves but hasn't been able to in several years.  I'm thinking because he recently lost 65 pounds that maybe his medicine doesn't need to be taken in the same dosage as in the past.  Or maybe he can just control his diabetes by diet as he did in the past.  In any case he is getting an appointment with his doctor to get this checked out.

I made strawberry cupcakes for Bible study this morning.  They turned out so good.  The cake is nice and light and I topped the white icing with red sugar.  Everyone liked them.  I'm not a cake decorator so they certainly looked homemade, but the taste more than made up for the looks.  I took the left overs to work and they went quickly.
Our treat table at Bible Study
 Joe even felt well enough to attend and help teach.  I did the majority of the teaching this week because he wasn't up to it, but he contributed a great deal.  And he's looking and feeling so much better.  Pastor Justin was really surprised to see him.
Joe in the "teacher's chair" looking good.
 Can you believe how well he looks?  I am totally amazed.  God is so good.

At the end of the study Pastor Justin came in to say hello to everyone.  I asked him to take a picture of us since I had my camera with me.  It's a shame that three people were missing today, but here we are.
Dottie, Charlie, me and Joe
 I am making copies of the picture for everyone for next week.  I still might get another one with all of us before Charlie moves to Kansas the first of April.

Monday, February 11, 2013


Thank you, everyone, for all your concern and prayers.  They mean so much to both of us.  Joe is doing better today.

This morning we took Joe's blood sugar level.  Yeah, I know we are supposed to do this every day, but haven't in a week or so.  Here his blood sugar was very low.  He is really good on his diabetic diet and taking his medication.  But this was too low.  I gave him some orange juice and a bowl of cereal to up his carbs.  Fifteen minutes after he ate we took his blood sugar level again and it had gone up 70 points.  Still low, but better.  It never occurred to me until this morning that low blood sugar could cause some of the problems that he's been having.

After I got him back to bed, he asked me to call his movement disorder doctor who had doubled one of his medications about three weeks ago.  He wasn't there so I left a message on his answering machine.

Around 11:30 Joe called me and said he wasn't feeling any better and would go to the Emergency Room.  So I got him up, got his clothes changed, shaved him and he brushed his teeth.  I got him downstairs and we were putting on our coats when the doctor called back.  He talked with Joe about 15 minutes, asking him all kinds of questions.  He seems to think that the two medications that were increased were too much.  So Joe is now back to his previous levels and is already doing better.  He is not shaking as much and his mind is much clearer.  While he was up I made him eat a couple of tuna sandwiches for lunch to keep his carbs up.

This has been one of the hardest weekends of my life.  Worse even than when I have been sick.  I truly appreciate so much all the support I've been given.

Joe has asked me to go get him an Italian hoagie for dinner, so I am heading out to do that.  He said that last night when he fell he tripped over his pant leg because his pj's were a little too long for him.  I thought he might have had a seizure (he has epilepsy) but he said no, he felt himself falling and tried to save himself.  

So that is what's going on here.  If it really is his medication and blood sugar, I should know for sure by tomorrow.  If he is not better, he has agreed to go to the ER in the morning.  I hope he is on the mend.

Sunday, February 10, 2013


Happy New Year!  This is the year of the snake.  I'm a snake on the Chinese Zodiac.  According to the Chinese Zodiac, the people born the year of the snake are smart and can be unscrupulous. Is that me?  Well, maybe the smart part.  Ha, ha.  Lucky colors are yellow and red.  I like the way yellow and red look together.


We celebrated by having  Chinese take out from the restaurant down the block from us.  We had "lucky" food
dumplings for prosperity and

long noodle lo mein for long life.

The noodles were not all that long in the lo mein so does that mean short life?  Everything was good.

     Here is a picture of the parade from Philly's Chinatown.  It's always a big event.

Joe has not been doing well.  Yesterday he slept all day, didn't even eat.  He was having a hard time waking up.  When he got up for dinner he had a hard time keeping his eyes open.  He finished eating and said he had to go back to bed.  He started upstairs holding a bottle of water and couldn't lift his foot high enough to get up the stairs.  I had to take the bottle from him and walk behind him holding on to him and lifting his feet for him to get up the stairs.  When he got to the bedroom door, he started to lean forward.  I grabbed him and told him he wasn't to the bed yet but he kept insisting he was because he could see it and ended up falling on the floor.  I couldn't pick him up so he had to get himself into bed.  I was never so happy to get him laid down, take off his glasses and cover him up.

Today we didn't go to church because he could not wake up and get up.  I wasn't feeling all that good myself, so I just laid around today too.  He got up to eat dinner again, but that was the first time he was up all day. It ended up with him laying on the sofa sleeping because he couldn't wake up.  I got him up enough to eat (although he didn't eat much) and then he went back to bed again.  He did watch about half of Downton Abbey on TV but then turned over to go to sleep.  I asked him if he would be OK tomorrow if I went to work and he started talking nonsense.  I kept saying I was serious and to answer me but he talked about running a video when he was "good and ready and not before."  Now he is asleep again.

I am very worried about him.  He is acting the way he did when we were first married and he was being poisoned by one of his medications.  I don't know what to do.  I think I am going to try to talk him into going to the Emergency Room in the morning.  So if you are a praying person, please pray for us.  I will let you know what happens. 

P.S.  After I wrote this post, I was watching TV and fell asleep on the sofa.  I woke up to a bang and found Joe laying in the hallway where he had fallen.  I had a really hard time getting him up.  He said he was heading for the bathroom and didn't know how he got on the floor but his head hurt where he had hit it.  I am definitely getting him some medical help tomorrow. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013


And don't we all need one now and then.  I couldn't sleep last night.  I get those kinds of nights every now and then.  I stayed downstairs so I wouldn't wake Joe up and watched TV until I finally got tired around 4 a.m.  I then woke up at 6 a.m. and stayed up until around 9:30 a.m. when I fell asleep again and slept all day.  Yes, you read that right -- ALL DAY.  I woke up around 3:00 p.m. and feel like I could go back to sleep now, but it's almost 7:00 p.m. and I have to make dinner.

At least I'm having an easy dinner tonight.  I have some ground turkey and just didn't feel like having turkey burgers again.  So I am making my version of Sloppy Joes.  I brown the meat, season it with salt, pepper, garlic powder, dried onions and Italian herbs.  Then I pour a can of tomato soup over it, heat it all up and serve it on top of toast.  I haven't made it in a long time but I remember it being really good.

We were so fortunate with the blizzard that passed through the northeastern U.S. last night.  We got about an inch of snow and it was so warm today that I didn't even have to clean off the car -- it all melted.  What a relief that we were on the southern edge of the storm.  But my sisters and brother did not make out so well.  I am very concerned for them.  I am going to have to call them to make sure they are OK.  They have all been on facebook today so I am assuming that all is well with them.

I have been reading so many new blogs and have begun following a few new ones.  It's always fun to meet new people and read new blogs.  I'm also going back and reading through some blogs from the beginning which is fun also.  It's interesting to see kids growing up quickly and getting to know the backgrounds to some of the stories.

Well, time to make dinner, so I'm off for tonight.  I'll be back tomorrow with my Chinese New Year post.  Until then...  

Friday, February 8, 2013


Look at what I woke up to on Wednesday.
 Yesterday it was clear and now today we are expecting a blizzard.  At least we are on the southern edge and will get more rain than snow, but my sister in northern New Jersey and my sister and brother in Maine are going to get hit badly.  24+ inches.

We had to have a new electric meter put in yesterday.  The city is changing all of the meters to digital that can be fixed remotely.  Our basement is just that -- a basement.  Full of junk.  Don't know what to do with it?  Just throw it down the basement for now.  So Joe and I have spent three days cleaning up the area where the meters are so the guy would have enough room to work.  I was lifting a lot of heavy stuff and pulled my back.  We got rid of so much stuff though.  Our pile of trash for pickup today is huge.

So yesterday at work my lower abdomen started hurting.  It felt like muscle spasms.  I have had trouble with my liver and gall bladder before and so that is where my mind went.  I went online to look up my symptoms and got all kinds of things.  You know I always think the worst.  I have an appointment with my doctor on Monday because I've had this pain off and on for a couple of weeks, but this was much worse and I called Joe from work and told him I wanted to go to the ER when I got home from work at 8:30 p.m.

But when I got home I laid down for a little bit while Joe made dinner.  I started feeling better and this morning the pain is gone.  I am still keeping the hospital as an option, but hopefully I can just see the doctor on Monday.  I think it may be my back causing the problems (I have spurs and bulging disks) and it really is muscle spasms and not something more serious.

Joe went to the store while I was laying down.  When he came back he had these for me.
Aren't they beautiful?  He said it was a "just because" gift.  He is such a sweet husband.

Well off to get ready for work.  If I feel bad today, I am definitely leaving early and getting some medical help.  But hopefully it's all done with for the weekend at least.  Until later....

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


There's nothing going on here lately, just normal every day stuff.  So I thought I would do another one of my continuing series on famous people Joe has met.  He has met more famous people than anyone I know.  I will tell you about his meeting with the famous chef Jacques Pepin.

Many years ago Joe was taking a trip where he was driving on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  At the time Howard Johnson's had the contract for restaurant stops along the turnpike.  Being hungry and knowing he could get a good meal, he stopped at one of them.  He was waited on right away, but his food took a little while to come out.  The waiter who took his order did not bring out his food, but another man did.  He placed the food on the table and said in a strong French accent, "Let me know if anything is good with your dinner or if there is anything you don't like."

After Joe ate, the man with the French accent returned and asked him how his dining experience was and how the food was.  Joe replied that both the food and service were excellent and anytime he was hungry and a Howard Johnson's was around he would eat there because he knew he would get a good product.  Joe introduced himself and asked him, "How is it that a Frenchman would work for Howard Johnson's?"  The man answered, "My name is Jacques Pepin and I am in charge of creating menus and training cooks throughout the Howard Johnson's chain."

Not many people know that this was one of Jacques Pepin's first jobs after he came to America.  He held this position for several years before setting out on his own and becoming a famous chef.  Joe had no way of knowing who Jacques Pepin was or that he would go so far in his career.  But that's Joe.  He always seems to meet the "rich and famous."

If you haven't read them, please go back and read about how he met Frank Perdue and Olivia Newton-John.  More stories coming later.  Yes, there's even more famous people Joe has met.  

Sunday, February 3, 2013


Hooray!  Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow!  An early spring is on its way.  Of course no one believes this, but it's a fun day anyway.  I sort of feel sorry for Phil.  Poor little thing, sleeping so nicely and then pulled out of his burrow, held up in the light and have lots of people taking pictures of him.

It was an OK day at work.  It was steady, One of my customers today had the exact same thing I did -- upper respiratory virus -- and it started on the same day mine did.  How about that?

I am getting better every day.  Had only two coughing fits at work and two at home.  I'm sleeping much better.  And my appetite is back -- I'm eating everything in sight.  That is not good, so starting tomorrow I am going back to eating healthy.

It's 3 a.m. and I am going to go back to sleep.  Church and Elder's Meeting later today.  It's going to be a long day.

Friday, February 1, 2013


I'm still not feeling my best, but finally I am getting better.  It's been such a long haul.  I hope this is the end for a long time.  I fell asleep on the sofa last night and Joe just let me sleep there all night.  I really appreciated that because I slept straight through for about eight hours, never woke up, never even moved.  And this morning I felt so much better.  I haven't slept through a night without waking up coughing and choking in over two weeks.  So nice to get a good sleep.

We had a good day at work yesterday.  We had two clowns from the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus come to perform for us.  They were so funny.  Of course I got some pictures of them.

They got a lot of the kids involved.  That was fun.  There were over a hundred people that showed up for the program.  It was so crowded that I wasn't able to get very close to them.  A lot of the pictures I took turned out blurry because I had the zoom on but these are the best.

Of course I always try to get a shot of Marquita.  When she becomes a famous model (instead of just the small modeling jobs she does now) I will have original shots of her.  Ha, ha.  Truly she is very talented and I expect her to go far.  In this picture she said she was looking for her "light".  Ha, ha.
I am working tomorrow so I have off from work today.  I'm glad because going back to work I worked two days, have off a day, work one day, and have another day off.  It is easier than going back for five days straight.  And if I keep feeling so much better, next week I will be back to myself for those five days.

I'm going to run and be getting my day up and going.  Don't forget to see my poem for this month below.  Until later...


Afternoon in February

The day is ending,
The night is descending;
The marsh is frozen,
The river dead.
Through clouds like ashes
The red sun flashes
On village windows
That glimmer red.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow