Thursday, June 30, 2016


It has been a month since I started making my "mystery shawl". If you don't know what I'm talking about, go back and read my previous post called "Knitting" from earlier this month. I bought a pattern that gives you part of it each week for the five weeks of June. You don't see a picture of the shawl you are making, so it's a surprise as you go along. I began it right away and have been working on it for a month now. 


 As I went along it got further and further out of sync with the pattern until nothing was lining up. I ripped out the last 25 rows and started again. It was going good until... 

I got up to row 18 and took a look at it. It was terrible. From having done it before I had a bit of an idea of what it was supposed to look like and this was NOTHING like it. *sigh* I got very discouraged and... I RIPPED IT ALL OUT. 

Yes, the whole month's worth of work is gone is about 3 minutes. I couldn't go on with it looking like it did. I just about cried when I did this. It had gotten so messed up that I couldn't even find where I had gone wrong. And after seeing my friend Carolyn's same shawl on Sunday I knew I was WAY off. 


I went online to several sites and finally found what I was looking for on Amazon. I bought new needles and new yarn. The yarn colors are "Marshmallow" and "Lollipop". What fun names! They arrived in the mail today and I started remaking the mystery shawl. So far I have ripped it out three times. And now I have finally gotten it right. All the stitches are where they should be. The pattern is working out. The stitch count is right. Of course I've gotten only 20 rows done (and they're short rows) but I feel like it's going to work out this time. I'm very confident. I'll let you know how it goes.


Wednesday, June 29, 2016


June 1
Returning to work tomorrow! Hope I can last the day. Pop is depressed and said, "Are you sure you are up to it? You have been pretty sick. I guess this is it for me. The party's over." 

"The party, Pop? I wasn't aware of any festivities going on."

 "Well, I like having you home. It was fun having you around. Now, that's over. I hate seeing you work until 9 at night." 

I will tell my sisters to step up their phone calls tomorrow! Glad to be going back and instilling The Fear of Ms. B in our miscreants, the very ones that made me cry with their sweet supplications of Come Back! 


Can you guess what my favorite summer fruit is?  It's green on the outside and red on the inside.  It's sweet and very juicy.  And it's pictured above.  I just LOVE watermelon.  The fragrance makes my mouth water.  It's so refreshing on a hot day.  Yumm...

One of the things I love about summer is the fresh fruit.  Besides watermelon I love cantaloupe and honeydew also.  (Although I don't like them quite as much as watermelon.)

I am not a berry person.  I dislike most berries. But I do love my strawberries.  And some blueberries even sneak in there now and then.

The other day I made a salad and put strawberries in it.  I had never done that before and was a little hesitant, but it turned out good.

I love the summer tomatoes also.  There is nothing like a Jersey tomato to tell you summer is here.  Juicy, flavorful, it tastes like a tomato is supposed to taste like.  I hope I get to a farmer's market soon to get some.

What's your favorite summer fruit or veggie?

Monday, June 27, 2016


Another busy day yesterday.  I went to bed around 4:00 a.m. and woke up around 6:30 a.m.  Not a lot of sleep.  I was cleaning and I was on a roll.  But I should have gone to bed.

I got up and immediately got my pork roast in the oven so I could get it partially cooked before I went to church.  I got showered and dressed and went to pick up my friend Donna to take her to church.  She brought a strawberry shortcake and corn.  I went back home and got the roast and a four-bean salad.

Joe had an asthma attack that morning.  I think it was aggravated by the grass cutting he did on Saturday.  So he wasn't able to go to church.  He was very disappointed because he had been looking forward to this all week.  But after he took his medication, he had to go to sleep.

We had a crowd at church -- well, for us.  Pastor Ralph gave the message.  He is a candidate to be our pastor.  I always enjoy his messages.

I didn't get to hear all of the message, however, because I was running downstairs to see how the meal was going.  Dorothea and Genny spent most of the service down there.  I didn't because I tape the services and had to keep an eye on the camera.  When I went downstairs there was a big commotion around the stove.  Here the oven was on "keep warm" and only 120*.  They had just pushed it up to 375* and bake.  My roast wasn't finished cooking so we didn't know if there would be enough time for it to finish.  (When Genny did cut it, the outside was done, but not the inside.  We put the slices into the microwave for 2 minutes and finished cooking the pinker parts and put the roast back into the oven.  By the time I went to refill the plate, the rest of the meat had finished cooking.)

The luncheon in our Fellowship Hall was really nice.  There was lots of good food and everything tasted wonderful.  Genny brought green beans that were so delicious.  I got her recipe from her and am going to try to recreate them.

It was nice to get to know the pastor and his wife better.  If they don't get called, I will be very surprised.  Everyone likes them.

My other friend, Donna A., was there also.  She loaned me three books by Francine Rivers.  Wow.  I will be reading for a long time.  They are all very thick.  She said there was no hurry getting them back to her.  That's good because it's going to take me awhile to read them.

You know what I did when I went home.  I laid down for "a few minutes" and woke up hours later.  *sigh*  But I guess I needed it.

We just had sandwiches for dinner.  But now I'm hungry.  So even though it's about 4:30 a.m. I am going to take my thyroid medicine early.  I have to have two hours before and at least one hour after the medicine with no food.  So if I take it now, I will be able to eat by 6:00 a.m.  It's tough working around that dose, but it's only once a day.  It's especially tough when you are hungry as I am now.

I'm going to go.  Lots of cleaning to do today and I'm hoping to get to the library.

Until later...



Saturday, June 25, 2016


The last few days have not been very good for me.  It began with a recurring dream I have where I am in a doctor's office waiting room.  I look around and see all these people I know who are now dead.  Then my former doctor (who is retired) walks in.  I try to talk to him but he doesn't answer me.  I then ask him if I am dead.  He turns to me and smiles and I then wake up.  I have had this same dream about five times now -- each time with different people in the waiting room.  It's very disturbing and unnerving.  So after that, I didn't want to go back to sleep even though it was very early in the morning.

A lot of things happened to me on Friday including hurting my back while food shopping and having to sit in the store's restaurant for 15-20 minutes and then banging my head on the freezer door at home while putting the food away.  It was in the same spot that the window fell on me at church two weeks ago and this time I drew blood.  Yuck.

Today Joe went over to church to cut the grass.  Jim, one of our friends from church, came also.  They got the worst of it done but it was so hot that they couldn't do all of it.  I had dropped Joe off and when I came back to pick him up I found him in Fellowship Hall drinking lemonade.  Jim was out cutting grass, but there was a big cup of lemonade for him too.  I finally got them to finish and took Joe home.  He was really wiped out.  I'm glad he doesn't have to preach tomorrow.

I was in a hurry to get home because I was going to a birthday party for my former supervisor at the library, Donna.  As I'm getting ready to leave I get a phone call from my friend Carol who is Jim's wife.  Joe had taken Jim's keys home and he couldn't drive his car -- he had to walk and leave the car in the church's parking lot.  So on my way to the restaurant for the party I dropped the keys off to Carol.

I'm not sure exactly where Carol lives, so I'm looking at the house numbers as I drive up the street.  All of a sudden I hear a pop and then a car alarm goes off.  My car's mirror had hit the mirror of a parked car.  What else can happen?  It turned out to be Carol and Jim's next-door neighbor.  We looked at the cars and there wasn't even a scratch.  The mirror on her car had just folded in.  So everything seemed to be OK.  I hope.

I then went to pick up the birthday girl, Donna.  I tried to get down the street where I was to meet her and the street was blocked by police cars and vans.  I drove around the block and they had moved so I was able to get Donna and we went to the China Buffet.

We were the first ones there.  Then Diane showed up.  I was so happy to see everyone again.  We had invited Lucille who used to be the head librarian at the Richmond Library where I used to work.  She was before my time, although I do know her.  We didn't tell Donna because we wanted to surprise her.  Wouldn't you know she started asking if anyone had heard from Lucille and what was happening with her.  Uh....  She was really surprised and so happy when Lucille showed up!

We took only a couple of pictures.  We were too busy talking and eating.  We even stayed over an hour after we finished eating and had paid our bill.  We were having such a lovely conversation and didn't want it to end.

Donna the birthday girl, Diane and Lucille.

 Donna, me and Lucille.

It was so much fun and I really needed this break.  I am enjoying retirement but miss my friends so much.

I drove Donna and Diane home and then went to ShopRite to get lemonade for the covered dish luncheon tomorrow.  It was on sale so I got that and fruit punch along with iced tea for here at home.

And now it is late and I have to get some sleep before it is time to get up and go to church.  Busy day tomorrow.  We have the candidate for our new pastor and his wife coming to speak, a covered dish luncheon and a question and answer session.  Then another friend of our is being ordained into the denomination in Quakertown in the evening.  That's over an hour drive away.  I'll be ready for a break on Monday. 

Before I go, here's the link to Joe's message from last Sunday.  It's 35 minutes in length and probably his best message to date.

Have a good Sunday.


Friday, June 24, 2016


Here we are again with another glimpse of Philly.

Who else would you call when you want to buy or sell a house?  You get a realitter.

The Tacony-Palmyra Bridge.  Tacony is a neighborhood in Philly.  Palmyra is a town in New Jersey.  And here you see the beautiful Delaware River.  The bridge is so close to me that I can see it from my house.

But we in Philadelphia know what a Wawa is.  Named after Wawa, Pennsylvania, it is the best convenience store in the country.  It's logo is the wawa goose.

Name and logo. The chain's name comes from the site of the company's first milk plant and corporate headquarters in the Wawa, Pennsylvania area. The name of the town Wawa is in turn derived from the Ojibwe word for the Canada goose (taken from The Song of Hiawatha).

Have a good day!


Thursday, June 23, 2016


June 1
Pop and I went out to lunch after I took him to all of his appointments. I ordered my favorite sandwich, BLT. Every time I get a BLT I am transported back in time to when I was between 2 and 3 years old. 

It was a hot summer, Mom was pregnant, we were visiting her Uncle Joe and his wife Aunt Susanna (Suzi), on her father's side in Manayunk. I remember trudging up a hill in the heat and walking by a beautiful garden which belonged to Uncle Joe and Aunt Suzi . It had gorgeous tomatoes and peppers, vegetables and fruits. When we arrived at the house, Aunt Suzi swept me up in her arms and told my mother that she wanted me to sing for her. I knew all the songs on the radio and used to entertain all of the women at bridal and baby showers. Then she asked me if I wanted to eat something. I said no. She asked me if I wanted a BLT. I told her I didn't know what that was. My mother shook her head no. Aunt Suzi looked at me and pronounced me too skinny. 

"Never had BLT? You like bacon?" 


"You like tomato?" 


"You like lettuce?" 


 "Then you like BLT!" 

She took me into her kitchen which was immaculate, cool and dark. A wonderful smell of basil drifted in from the open window. She perched me on a stool, told me to sing, and began dancing while she fried up the bacon. She took the biggest, juiciest tomato I had ever seen from the bowl on the counter and began slicing it. She took the fresh lettuces from her garden and popped two thick slices of the best rye bread I have ever tasted into her toaster. Within minutes she had assembled the BLT with a dash of freshly ground pepper and a small basil leaf tucked into the slabs of tomato. A generous helping of mayo finished off this magnificent creation, and she produced a fabulous kosher dill pickle from somewhere in her kitchen. 

"Marianna, BLT.  Mangia!" 

Then she poured me a glass of icy Coke, because, as she later told my mother, "Coke is good with BLT!" That sandwich was as large as my face. 

My mother came into the kitchen and saw me eating that huge sandwich. Aunt Suzi smiled at my mom and said, "See? BLT! Everybody love BLT, even this one. Give her BLT. She won't be skinny any more." 

I have drooled over that sandwich ever since. My first BLT at a tender age of 2 and a half to 3. A treasured experience in a wonderful kitchen with a woman I thought was ancient (but wasn't) who had a zest for life, sparkling eyes, and knew how to make the best BLT on the planet! I was blessed! To this day, I make a great BLT, and yes, you should have a fabulous pickle from the barrel and an icy Coke to go with it!

Image result for blt sandwich

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


I love clothes.  If you could see my closet, you would totally know this.  When I worked at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, I never wore the same thing twice.  I had enough clothes to wear a different outfit every day of the year.  I was known for this and people would be waiting to see what I would wear next.  Of course I was a LOT thinner then.  Since my thyroid went wild and I gained 35 pounds in one year, I had to give away a lot of my clothes.  But I'm still a clothes horse.  And I like seeing what is new and putting what I own together to make it up to date.

I went on a website ( this morning to see what is the hot fashion trends for this summer.  Summer is just beginning so why not.  Here's what I found.

Bright and Bold Stripes

I can do this with things I already have.  I don't have a lot of stripes, but I'm sure I can find something.

Grown-Up Gingham

I have nothing gingham and although I've worn it in the past, I'm not sure if I would invest in it at this point.  I have a feeling this is a one season trend.


Uh... no!  Make me look like a beached whale why don't ya!

Sequins and Sparkle

OK.  I like sparkle.  I have some sparkly shirts.  Don't know if I want to do a whole dress with it, though.

Patterned patchwork

 I sort of like this.  I would wear patchwork.  I have in the past.  I think I'm going to look around for a shirt or dress with this.

Romantic Ruffles

 I like ruffles in moderation.  Maybe a collar or at the bottom of a skirt.  Too many ruffles are not good for me.  But...  I do have a couple of ruffled tops and skirts.  I'll have to pull them out.

Exposed shoulders

I have a couple of summer tops that are off the shoulder.  But I always wear a tank top under them.  Too much skin is too much!

Done-Up Denim 

Yes!  I love denim.  And especially done-up denim.  Bring on those jeans.

 Pajama Dressing

Uh... no thanks.  In my opinion pajamas are for the bedroom, not the sidewalk.

Low-Slung Pants

No thanks.  They aren't even comfortable!

Shirting Stripes

 OK.  This is kind of cute.

Sporty Mesh

 Nope.  Too see through.

Paper Bag Waist

Cute, but not sure if I could pull it off.  Maybe I'll go into a store and try a pair on.

Well that's it.  Now I have to go through my closet again and plan what I'm going to wear this season.


Monday, June 20, 2016


They really aren't.  Especially when you are retired.  I am so enjoying not having to go to work on these beautiful summer days.

I finally got a chance to cut the grass the other day and the yard is looking good again.  I want to get out there a little later and do some reading.

In the meantime, I thought I'd show you how some of the things are looking.  I didn't get a picture of the tomatoes and fairy garden again.  I have to do some weeding before the fairies turn me in for being a slum lord.  But here are some other shots for you to see.

My lilies.

Geraniums.  So pretty.

My neighbor has day lilies.  They are a lighter orange than mine are.

 My hydrangea.

I took my shepherd's crook and hung little cages with tea lights in them.  They are so pretty at night.

They are battery operated so there's no chance of a fire.

Looking good since the grass got cut.

Roses.  So pretty.

The solar butterfly and impatiens.  I thought they had died, but they are starting to come back.

I really love these little lights.

Some strange man came into the yard and sat down.  He said his name was... Joe was it?

Such a pretty sunset on Friday.  I love the gold in the clouds.

Hope you enjoyed the tour.  Have a good day and try to get outside and enjoy this summer while it's here.


Sunday, June 19, 2016


Joe was our speaker today in church.  He spoke on Colossians 3:1-11 -- Our Identity.  It was so very good.  I think it's my favorite of everything he's preached so far.  So that started our day off right.

I had made up little bags of assorted chocolate to give the men in the church for Father's Day.  Everyone liked it.  I'm going to have to do it again next year.

For lunch I took Joe to our favorite place -- East Coast Wings and Grill.

I got Smoky BBQ wings and fries.  Joe got a buffalo salad.  He had it before and loved it.  When we were finished eating the waitress said because it was Father's Day Joe got a free dessert.  It was ice cream with fried apples and caramel sauce.  It looked good.  It was served in a margarita glass.
Do you think he's excited?

This afternoon I took a two hour nap.  I felt so much better when I got up.  But now I'm sleepy again, so I'm going back to bed.  Hope you all had a good day.


Friday, June 17, 2016


Guess what I got in the mail yesterday.  Give up?  My phone from Tennessee!  Yes, it really was my phone -- pictures, contacts and all.  I really like it much more than the one I'm currently using.  Joe said I should try to see if Tracfone will switch my minutes back to the old one.  I'll have to look into that.  What a story that phone could tell if it could talk!  It was found over 14 miles from where it was stolen.  I know now that I didn't lose it, but someone took it because how would it get 14 miles and three highways away.  But I am SO happy to have it back.

I have tons to do today at home.  Yes, for the first time in a week I don't have to leave home today.  I want to get things done.

My shawl that I'm knitting is coming along beautifully.  I've messed up in a few places, but I think I've hidden my mistakes well.  After ripping it out to the very beginning five times, I am not ripping it out again!  It is much harder than anything I've done in years so this is a growing and stretching exercise for me.  I know I can do it, it's just difficult.

So today I want to show you a picture of Philly that I took back in April.  The trees were blooming and the street outside of church looked so pretty.

I love living in a city of neighborhoods.  You would never know this is the middle of a big city.

Have a good day everyone!  I'm off to cut the grass and clean the living room.  Exciting, huh?


Thursday, June 16, 2016


May 30
I received a lovely surprise today, one that really lifted my spirits! Megan stopped by after work with a huge poster board card that the children had created with get-well wishes throughout. I was starting to lose my usual positivity despite all problems this afternoon when I noticed that all too familiar ache in the lower back toward the left. I fear another stone is floating around, ready to make an appearance. Stiffness and pain have returned to the neck and throat now that the steroid treatment is finished.  Megan's arrival with that wonderful poster card really helped to turn the darkening mood around. Her bag of Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Raspberry Squares didn't hurt, either! I am blessed. Sometimes I forget that! 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


I am so incredibly busy these days.  Men's Breakfast on Saturday, Worship Service on Sunday, Meeting on Monday, Ladies' Bible Study on Tuesday and tonight Mid-Week Bible Study.  Tomorrow I have a meeting at the bank to go over my accounts.  Friday?  I might actually have Friday and Saturday off.  Wouldn't that be nice.

The only thing I have had time to do is change out the bulletin board at church.  I had this idea to put verses from the book we are studying on the board.  I went onto Google images and typed in the word Philippians and all these great images came up.  I chose 10 and then printed out the word Philippians in fancy type.  The result is a pretty bulletin board for very little money.  See for yourself.

I like it that they use different fonts, some are pictures, some just words.  It reminds me of a big scrap book.  I think I'm going to enjoy doing this.

Have a good day!


Sunday, June 12, 2016


Hello!  Good to see you.  Welcome to my garden.  The house is a mess, so we'll just go down the alleyway.

I know, you would never expect this little passageway to open to a beautiful garden.  It's like the secret garden.

Look at my newest acquisition.  It's a solar glass butterfly.  It has a little solar candle between the wings and lights up at night.  So pretty.  And I've gotten the impatients planted in my little pot too.  The markings you see are where it got damaged in our last wind storm.

The roses are just beautiful. 

My lilies are blooming like crazy too.

One of my hydrangea bushes died.  But the other one is doing wonderful.

I knew when I bought them that the geraniums would grow and fill the pot I put them in.

I forgot to take a picture of the tomato plants.  Next time.  They are getting quite large.

Look at the beautiful sky.

Guess it's time to take leave of our garden for today.  Hope you'll come back again.

Watch your step in the way out.