Thursday, December 31, 2015


Today was my last day at the library.  It was a slow day.  I had a little rush when I was on the front desk, but kept thinking, "This is the last time I'll be here."  OK, I'm doing it to myself.  You don't have to tell me.  But this is a whole new thing to me.

I was 20 minutes late getting to work because I got stuck behind a trash truck one block from the library.  What a way to start your last day of work.

My friend Debbie (not to be confused with the guard Debbie) came in to get some books and to see me on my last day.  That was so nice of her.

We got out at 2 p.m.  After work Diane and I went to Dollar Tree.  I was trying to get a bayberry candle but I couldn't find any.  I'm going to look around and see if I have one around the house.  It's supposed to be good luck to burn a bayberry candle on New Year's Eve.  Some people do it on Christmas Eve.  The poem goes:
          A bayberry candle burned down to the socket
          Brings food to the larder and money to the pocket.
I am not superstitious and do not think that burning a candle does anything, but it's a nice custom.

As I said, I couldn't find a bayberry candle but Diane found these Crackling Wood candles so I got one of those.  It smells like a wood fire burning and the wick is a small piece of wood that makes a crackling sound like a campfire.  I'm going to burn it when I turn on the fireplace heater.  I also got some new tablecloths for over at church and a couple of wine glasses for us to toast in the new year.

We have all kinds of snacks for tonight -- cheese, summer sausage and crackers from my sister, Elaine.  Tortilla chips and salsa.  Veggie chips.  Cake.  Sparkling grape juice.

I'm wearing my "Celebrate" T-shirt that I wear every New Year's Eve.  I tried to get a shot of me today, but it just didn't work.  It's this same shirt that I'm wearing in this picture.

I'm having salmon, rice and mixed Asian veggies for dinner.  I'm going to start it in about an hour.  It's already dark out at 5 p.m.  The day is dying and so is the year.

So many people came and went at the library this year.  We had cold weather and snow in January and after several postponements got to celebrate my brother Larry's and my birthdays in Lancaster.

In February I helped my friend and co-worker Diane to move.  What a job that was!  We celebrated Valentine's Day and had a Friendship Feast at church.

I was in a church choir for Easter.  It was so much fun!  And I went to the King George Inn with my family and friends for dinner.

April brought "All Staff Day" at work -- everyone's least favorite day.  We'd all rather work than listen to all day lectures.  Even if we do get free food.

We had a big celebration at church for Joe's birthday in May.  I went to a Memorial Day picnic at my sister's house and enjoyed the huge Memorial Day parade that goes by my house each year.

The tall ships came to Philly in June.  It was wonderful seeing them.

In July I took part in a photo challenge and spent a week with Elaine for Sister's Week -- something we've done for many years.  The best day of the week was when we went to the Constitution Center and walked around Olde City.  The Sunday of that week was Pastor Justin's last day as our pastor and Elaine's birthday celebration at Peddler's Village.

August gave us a Super Moon and September held Labor Day, T-shirt Sunday at church, National Coffee Day and my ninth wedding anniversary.  We also remembered Patriot Day.  Who could forget?

October brought Harvest Day at church, Halloween, and a cute little kitten named Pumpkin.

November I went to the community where my Aunt Alice lives and enjoyed the Holiday Bazaar.  I plan on going in 2016 also.  Of course November brings Thanksgiving.

And December is now almost over.  Christmas has come and gone and so has my last day of work.  It has been an eventful year and I am so looking forward to what the new year will bring.

I hope all of you have a safe and happy new year's eve.  See you all tomorrow for 2016's first post!


Wednesday, December 30, 2015


I never thought this day would come.  I still can hardly believe that tomorrow will be my last day of work.  It seems so strange.  The idea of not having a job is staring me in the face and it has finally sunk in.  I talked to my friend Carol tonight who retired from the Library two years ago and she helped me out a lot.  She said in the beginning you feel as if you are on vacation.  Then it sets in that you really don't have to get up in the morning.

At work today we had an all day party.  We began with some non-alcoholic wine and toasted in the new year.  Then they gave me two beautiful plants -- one an orchid and the other a grouping of cacti.  I was admiring them when Diane told me to look at them closely.  It turns out they are fake.  But such good fakes that you really can't tell unless you touch them.  This way I can put them in a room that doesn't have windows or light and still have a pretty plant.  We also had pizza and a birthday cake for me.  They also gave me a beautiful card that they all signed saying they would miss me and enclosed $50.  I was near tears and said they were so nice I wasn't leaving.  Boss said, "Oh yes you are!"  Ha, ha.  He got one of the teens to take a picture of all of us.

Diane, Boss (Jerry), me, Bob, Debbie, Doug, Meghan
 Debbie followed me home tonight and took Pumpkin to his new home.  We also gave them a new litter pan, litter, food, treats and toys.  It is very quiet around here without him and I miss him terribly.  But I know I couldn't keep him the way things were and this seems to be a good home for him with little kids that will play with him and make a fuss over him.  Snowy is so much happier not having someone attack her all the time.  Things will get back to normal in a few days and I have saved another cat from being feral and dying from disease or the cold.

Change is always hard.  And lots of things are changing in a very short time.  Retirement... no little Pumpkin to cuddle... looking for a new pastor at church... my birthday... a new year.  It would be easy for me to sink into melancholy.  I'm trying hard not to.  Instead I am looking ahead to a new year and a new life.  New and exciting things are going to be happening.  And that's how I have to see it.

Thank you, everyone, for your good wishes on my birthday.  It touches my heart to see how many people really care about me.

The best really is yet to come.  I have some great things planned for next year both at home and in the blog.

Have a good night everyone.

1 day until retirement 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015


Today is my birthday and it is pouring rain!  I guess that's a good thing because it is washing all the allergens out of the air that have been bothering me so much this past week.  Even with my medication there are some things that just will not leave me alone.

This morning Joe gave me a beautiful card that brought tears to my eyes.  He then proceeded to make me scrambled eggs for breakfast.  No one makes scrambled eggs as good as my Joe.  Yum!

After we got showered and dressed Joe said he had to go out for a minute.  He came back from the store with a bouquet of a dozen red roses for me!

I wore one of the new tops my sister Elaine gave me for my birthday.  What else would you wear on your birthday except a birthday top?  It fit perfectly.  Thank you, Elaine!

Joe took me out for dinner tonight.  Here is Pumpkin in the window as we drove away.  He loves to sit in the window and watch what is going on.  I really will miss him, but I know it will be better for both him and us.  And Snowy especially.

We went to East Coast Wings and Grill for dinner.  The food there is always wonderful.

The flavor of the month was Kamikaze.  Neither of us were brave enough to try it.

Our server was Shandia.  She was terrific!  So pleasant and funny and couldn't do enough for us.  I hope we get her again.  I ordered the fish and chips.  It came with ketchup, cheese sauce, and tartar sauce with jalapeno.  I said, "This isn't bad" until I swallowed.  Then it kicked in.  Whew!  Joe got chili and fried pickles with Russian dressing for his appetizer and a burger and fries for his entree.

Joe had told our server that it was my birthday.  At the end of our meal three servers came to the table with a dish with two scoops of ice cream, a candle and two spoons.  They all sang happy birthday to me.  It was so funny when they came to the line, "Happy Birthday dear..."  They all then pointed at me and Joe said, "Kathy".  Thanks said one of them.  "... dear Kathy, Happy Birthday to you!"  It was hysterical.

For my birthday Joe gave me two coloring books, colored pencils, and a holiday collection of five of my favorite perfumes.

I also want to show you the four necklaces Joe gave me for Christmas.  So pretty!  I can't decide which I like more.  I think I like them all equally.

My friend, Chrissy, cane over later tonight.  She came bearing a gift for me.  It's a solar powered snowflake light for the yard.  So pretty.  I can't wait to see it lit.

It's been a long day but a good one.  Now I have to go to bed to get ready for my last full day at work.

2 days until retirement 


I was cleaning off my desk yesterday.  It doesn't even look like my desk anymore.  No pictures.  No mug.  No funny library cartoons.  No magnets on the file cabinet.  Lots of old papers thrown out or shredded.  I think it's finally hitting me that this is really happening.  I took some pictures of my desk to remember it by before it was dismantled.

It's all much neater now.  MUCH neater.

It was an exciting day.  Right after we opened one of our regular customers came in and gave Denise a hard time saying she had returned books at the Kensington Branch and they were still on her record.  I had to step in and after talking to her got Bob to help me.  We searched the branch and they weren't there.  She was furious and called us names.  Then she returned some videos.  When I told her there was a fine on them because they were overdue she said I had totally humiliated her in front of other customers and she would have me fired.  Yeah, lady.  Why don't you try that?  Poor Denise.  She's so new and was shaken up.  I told her that lady is always like that and to not let it get to her but I know that is easier said than done.

Then at lunch time Boss had me sit at his desk while he ate.  I was putting some books away when I heard a commotion at the computer station.  An older man was standing by some young teen boys offering to take them outside and teach them a lesson.  I walked over to intervene.  The kids had been throwing things at the man and the one who was not on the computer was telling the man he had five minutes to leave because he wanted his computer.  I told the teen he had to leave and he absolutely ignored me and kept on.  I repeated myself and told him if he didn't leave I would have to call the police.  He told me where to go and Doug who was on the front desk did call the cops.  When they saw this, the whole group left saying they would be back to get us.  Well, in this day and age you don't know if that means they will come back with guns and blow you away!  By the time the police showed up, they and the man were gone.  So was Doug -- he had gone to lunch.  I had to give a report and then write up an incident report for work.

And people ask me why I want to leave!  Uh...  I'll give you three guesses.

But the rest of the day went well.  It was a quick day and I got a lot done.

I also found a new home for Pumpkin.  Debbie, our guard, was asking if anyone knew of a kitten for sale or to give away.  She had some friends who wanted a kitten for their children.  I told her I had Pumpkin who is fine if he is alone, but doesn't get along well with Snowy.  After getting information from her about the family and her getting information from me about Pumpkin we hooked up with the mother of the family and she is so excited about getting him.

I will miss Pumpkin terribly, but I know it will be better for both him and Snowy.  Pumpkin will have younger people to play with him and take care of him and pay attention to him.  He hasn't bonded really close to us as he would have if he had been with us for years.  He seems to get along with everyone.  And he will have a good home.  They are delighted that he has all his shots and has been dewormed.  They will get him neutered in the next couple of weeks.  We are giving them his toys, a litter box and litter and some food and treats.  It will be a good thing for all of us.  I made them promise that if it didn't work out, they would give him back to us and not take him to a shelter.

 He is getting so big!  Debbie will follow me home on Wednesday and get him then.  She will take him right over to their house and surprise them.

Thank you to everyone who is concerned about my foot.  I have a severe case of arthritis and bone spurs and if I am on my feet too long it swells and hurts.  That's what happened on Sunday.  I have a call in to my podiatrist, but haven't heard from him.  So I think I am going to call someone else.  I have the feeling January is going to be doctor month.  I finally have the time to go see everyone I've been putting off.

I've started to put some of my Christmas gifts away.  Here is what I got from my friend and neighbor Chrissy -- hand soap and peppermint scent sticks.  So cute.

The new year is coming quickly and so is my new life.  I am excited to see what this year brings.  So with that I am going to go get a little more sleep.

Until later...

3 days until retirement

Saturday, December 26, 2015


I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.  I did.  I got to sleep in, and still went to my sister's house and had a great time with her.  The drive up was so easy and quick.  And we found gas for $1.67/gallon.  I just paid $2.14 here in Philly, so you know we stopped and filled the tank. 

We got there later than we planned to, but still stayed for quite awhile and had a wonderful time.  As I told her, it's the first time this whole season I really relaxed and wasn't stressed out.  Warning:  Be prepared for picture overload, folks.

Although I didn't put up my Christmas tree, she did and it was beautiful.  As always.

Looking through the pictures I realized that I didn't get any of her sweet little Cody except for this one.  And you can't even see his face.  But he's a cutie.

Joe and I had opened our gifts to each other at home.  I gave him a silver money clip which he loved.  But I forgot about the alarm clock that I gotten for him since his had broken.  So when I found it, I wrapped it up and took it with us to surprise him.

Both of my muffin tins went rusty and I had to throw them out.  I asked for a new one for Christmas and my sister, Elaine, did not disappoint me.  I love it.  More muffins for Sunday morning fellowship time.

Elaine loved the books that Joe gave her.

My brother, Larry, is quite the photographer.  (He writes the blog Exploration Photography that you see on the sidebar.)  I had told him of two photos I would like to have and he gave Joe and I both of them.  He gave Elaine a picture he had taken of Cody.

We always save our stockings to open together.  All three of us got loads of cool stuff in our stockings. (These are quilted stockings that my mom made for us.)

At dinner we had our Christmas crackers to open.  They always contain a paper hat or crown, a silly joke and a funny prize.  These all had moustaches in them.  We put them on and it was so funny.

Elaine has beautiful orchids on her windowsill.  This one was blooming.

And I love her Snoopy cookie jar that she puts out every year.

Aren't her napkins a riot?  So cute!

We had Moroccan Chicken and rice for dinner.  It was so good.  I went back for seconds.  And for dessert she had gotten me a birthday cake.

Wasn't that sweet?  I made a wish and blew out all the candles in one breath.  What did I wish for?  Well if I told you, it wouldn't come true.

Elaine's house is always decorated so beautifully.  Here are a couple of my favorite things of hers.

The beautiful handmade wreath in the guest bedroom.

The Snoopy collection on top of her curio cabinet.

She collects nutcrackers, but these are unusual because they are china.  And beautiful.

Here I am with my birthday gift.  Elaine gave me two beautiful tops -- one casual and one dressy.  I'm planning on wearing the dressy one to church tomorrow.  It's red velour.

 We have an old family Bible that is kept at Elaine's house.  I took a lot of pictures of the entries under births, deaths and marriages.  I plan on picking up my geneology research in the new year.  Here is the first entry for our 4 times great-grandfather Skidmore Cranmer who was the great-great-grandson of Edmund Cranmer.  Edmund was the brother of Thomas Cranmer who was the Archbishop of Canterbury under King Henry VIII of England and who was burned at the stake by Henry's daughter Bloody Mary.

It says "Skidmore Cranmer the son of Thomas Cranmer and Meriam his wife was Born december the 30th in The year of our Lord one Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy six 1776 And Entered into Marriage August 27th 1803 with Anny Fogg the daughter of Charles Fogg & Priscilla his wife who was born December the 18th in the Year of our Lord one thousand Seven hundred and Eighty three 1783."  Yes, the Bible is that old.  I have visions of someone sitting there with a quill pen writing it all out.

Joe and I left around 7:30 to head home.  It wasn't as easy getting back.  It's always harder in the dark, but it had also rained and in some places was still raining, so that made the roads difficult to navigate.  We got home around 9:45 so that wasn't too bad.  I'm SO GLAD we went up there.  We had such a wonderful time with Elaine.

I was tired today, though and slept until 10:30.  I got up for a little while and put the trash out to be picked up and then fell asleep again until 1 p.m.  I NEVER sleep like that.  I must have been really tired.

I cut down some of the stems on the roses that Joe gave me for Christmas.  They look better now not being all the same height.  They are opening up I guess because the house is warm.  So beautiful.

 After I got up Joe and I went shopping.  I got my medicine at Rite Aid and we bought a few things for the house and for church.  Joe got a little air freshener for the bathroom that smells so good.  Now we just have to get the refills.  It's cute and is so small that it sits on the back of the sink.

Then we headed over to Target to get some ink for the printer.  Since I do the church bulletins each week the ink runs out quickly.  While we were there I saw this cute little chalkboard for the kitchen and a mini milk bottle.  The board was $1.50 and the bottle 50 cents.

I didn't know what I was going to use the milk bottle for, but it was cute and I always can use a bottle or jar for something.  When I got home I realized that I could use it to put my sugar cubes on the kitchen table.  So I got them out and filled it up.  It looks great.

One more picture to show you.  I didn't get my big tree up this year, but I did have a tree.  Here's my little tinsel tree that I have by the front window.  Next year will be different.  The centerpiece was given to me by Boss as a Christmas/goodbye gift.  He kept telling me to not forget to water it and then handed me his watering can.  Funny.

So that's it for now.  As I put things away I will take pictures to show you some of my gifts.  I must have been a very good girl this year because I got some wonderful things.

6 days to retirement