Thursday, November 30, 2017


I love this photo.  And it's still fall for a few more weeks anyway.  It was so warm today it almost felt like summer.

I will catch you up on my week tomorrow but for today I want to introduce you to the newest member of our family.

Last December when my beloved Snowy passed away I told Joe NO MORE PETS.  My heart was broken and stayed that way for many months.

A month ago a friend of mine from church had to go into assisted living.  She was not able to take her cat with her and asked me to take him.  I said no.  No way.  Not happening.  She ended up taking him to the PSPCA because it is a no-kill shelter.  He was taken care of very well there, got all his shots, was neutered, was treated for a cold, microchipped, etc.

In the meantime like so many of my neighbors, we have had some visitors and their names were not Mickey and Minnie.  Joe said we needed a cat.  No, I said.  No more pets.  When they die, they break your heart.  So we tried poison, three kinds of traps, sonic electronic repulsers, peppermint diffusers and cleansers.  And still they hung out.  So I finally gave in.  We went to the PSPCA and of all things ended up adopting the cat my friend from church had surrendered.

Jack is the first male cat I have owned except for the kitten Pumpkin which I had for only two weeks.  I wasn't sure about getting a male, but I have found him to be a gem.  He is friendly, sweet and loves to be petted.  He is so much less of a burden to take care of than some of my females.  Here are some pictures of him making himself at home.

I'm sorry I haven't gotten around to reading any blogs lately.  When you find out what's been happening, you'll understand why.  But I hope this weekend to get all caught up with your lives.  Have a great day.  The weekend quickly approaches.


Wednesday, November 29, 2017


Last Saturday Joe and I were invited to our friend Rich's 70th birthday party.  His wife, Marion, has been my friend since 3rd grade.  She put on quite a bash for him.  It was held in a banquet room at the Wyndham Hotel in Trevose - about 25 miles from our house.  I had never been there.  It was beautiful.

Quite a few people showed up.  Since Rich is Chinese American about half the people there were also Chinese Americans.  I told Joe I was right at home -- that it looked like family parties I had been to growing up since I am also part Chinese American.

We sat at a table with a lovely family.  We started talking to them and it was wonderful.  I'm so glad we picked that table to sit at.  I actually picked it because there were six empty seats and my brother Larry, sister-in-law Kim, my sister Elaine and her friend Frank were also coming.  So we all got to sit together and talk a little bit.  Although the music was so loud it was hard to talk.

The food was fantastic.  There was fish, chicken and beef, roasted potatoes, green beans, salad and of course a huge beautiful cake for dessert.

I took lots of pictures many of which did not turn out.  People were constantly moving and they were blurry.  But many did look good and I will show them to you now.  Prepare for picture overload.  Rich is in a black shirt and red tie.  The lady in the silver top is his wife, Marion.  The woman in red that he dances with a lot is their friend, Chris.

Here's Rich, the birthday boy.

My brother Larry, his wife Kim, my sister Elaine and standing up my friend Marion.

Marion and Frank

Kim, Elaine, Marion, Frank

Elaine, Marion, Frank

The beautiful cake.  It was delicious too.

Rich and Chris.  Boy could the two of them dance!

I know you recognize this guy.

Rich can dance!  He has more energy at 70 years old than I had at 50.  I can only dream of being able to move like that.

Me and Elaine

This strange couple showed up.  We really did have a great time.

Are you tired of the pictures yet?  Just a few more.

It was an exciting and busy week and this was a wonderful break in it.  It is still busy around here but I will try to post more quickly.  So much to tell you and show you.


Sunday, November 26, 2017


I had a really good night's sleep.  I woke up earlier than Joe and read for a little while before going back to bed and sleeping for another hour.  I was tired!  When I finally got up, I looked out the window and saw it was a beautiful sunny day.

After we got ourselves together, we packed up and decided to put some of our luggage in the car before going back to do any last minute things and check out.  We were going to go to Cracker Barrel for breakfast.  Joe has a gift card that he got for his birthday back in May and we were going to use that.

As we went out a man stopped Joe and asked if he was a veteran.  Yes, he is!  They started talking.  I was cold so I went to the car, put in what I had, and came back.  They continued to talk.  After awhile I gave Joe the car keys and went into the lobby.  I sat there as they talked on.

LaQuinta allows you to bring your dog with you.  There was a couple sitting in the chairs across from me each with a golden retriever.  One of the dogs started coming to me and his owner pulled him back.  I asked the lady if I could pet him, and she said yes.  They were saying they keep their dogs under control because not everyone likes dogs and their dogs are big.  I ended up talking to them about 10 minutes as Joe and the other guy talked on outside.

The hotel's breakfast area was smelling so good.  Free breakfast comes with your room.  I hadn't looked there because I figured it was the usual Danish and coffee.  But it was over 12 hours since I had last eaten and I was hungry!  I decided to get something to eat while I was waiting for Joe.

I was very surprised when I went into the room.  There was creamed chipped beef and biscuits, oatmeal, 3 kinds of cold cereal, scrambled eggs, scrambled eggs with ham, fruit, hard boiled eggs, yogurt, 3 kinds of juice, coffee, Danish, muffins, 4 kinds of bread, and donuts.  A lot of people were there.  I now understood why.  So I got myself some fruit and sat down at a table where I could see the front door (and Joe).  Finally they shook hands and I saw Joe walk toward the car.  When he came in I waved to him and he came over.  We decided with all this good food to stay where we were for breakfast.

Again, I can't say enough about the staff.  The lady in charge of the breakfast room came over to us, introduced herself, and asked if everything was OK and if we needed anything.  She said she remembered us from when we were there last month and she looked forward to seeing us again when we came back.

We went to go back to the room to get the rest of our things and I realized I did not have the keys.  We went to the front desk and they told us that someone had found it where I had been sitting in the lobby and turned them in.  How nice!  They gave them back to us and we went and finished taking everything out.  We will be back!

Then it was time for Black Friday shopping.  I NEVER go shopping on Black Friday.  The only place I wanted to go to was Lenox because they were having a 40% off everything in the store sale.  That's where we headed first.  The prices were great and I still spent over $100.  But I got a lot of Christmas gifts.

Joe wanted to go to Cracker Barrel to shop so we headed there next.  We went in and it was wall-to-wall people.  And more kept coming in.  You literally could not move.  Now the store is crowded with just a few people, but this was ridiculous.  I couldn't take it so I waited for Joe outside.  I can't stand being in a place where you can't even look at an object without someone brushing against you or bumping into you.  But sitting outside I was able to take pictures of their awesome decorations.

I was tired and I told Joe I was ready to call it a day and just go home.  So we headed that way, but decided to stop off in Kitchen Kettle on the way and get our picture taken with Star the reindeer.  Every year Kitchen Kettle brings in Star and people are allowed to get their picture with her.  There is a handler and another guy who you give your camera to and he takes the pictures.

We got in line and were surprised at how fast the line moved.  There were a lot of people, but many of them were in groups so it wasn't as bad as it looked.

It was so much fun to pose with Star.  Her fur was so soft.

On the way out I was looking at this sign shop.  I told Joe I liked them, but they were expensive.  I decided to go to the ladies room before leaving and when I came back Joe was talking to the lady and they were choosing a sign to put on the front of our house with our house number on.  There was an iron holder and the sign which slips right in.  Joe had picked out two designs and asked me which I liked best.  I chose one and he got it.

When we left Kitchen Kettle we headed home.  We wanted to see the National Christmas Museum before it closes, but I didn't want to be too late on the roads.  So we will go back out later in December.

We made good time getting home.  When we were back in Philly we headed to Lowe's to get a gift card for our friend Rich's birthday.  (You'll get to see the great party we went to tomorrow.)  I got a few other things we needed (you'll see my other project too) and finally headed home.

I made a Thanksgiving style dinner -- baked chicken, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole.  It was good.  And then, surprise, I crashed and slept the entire evening and night.

But it was worth it because we had an awesome time.  We would definitely do this again.


29 days to Christmas
36 days to New Year's Day

Saturday, November 25, 2017


I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Mine was great.  Joe and I went out to Lancaster County for the day.  We had reservations for dinner at 1:00 p.m. at the Bird-in-Hand Restaurant.

We left early because I wasn't sure how bad traffic would be.  But it wasn't bad at all.  We got there about 12:15 p.m.  We checked in, used the restrooms and waited only a few minutes until they called us for our table.  So we were seated around 12:30 p.m.

We had opted for the buffet and was that ever the right option.  They had everything imaginable there.  A huge salad bar.  Three kinds of soup.  The entrees were dark meat or light meat turkey, roast beef, ham or broiled haddock.  I had Joe go up to get his food first while I just sat there sipping on my iced tea after having driven over two hours.  He came back with his plate piled up and said he was skipping the salad because all the food looked so good.  I agreed and did the same thing.

I had mashed potatoes, stuffing, and dark meat turkey with gravy, lima beans and corn.  Joe had the cranberry relish which he said was wonderful.

Then it was time for dessert.  Joe came back with a couple of pieces of sugar-free pie.  I took a little bit of his pumpkin pie to see if I liked it.  I don't like everyone's pie.  I'm very picky about it.  But it was good, so I got him to go back and get me a piece.  It was very good.  Almost as good as my grandmother's and that's going some.  You can see from the picture that the slices were small and I was glad because I don't think I could have eaten a large piece.

There were still a lot of people hanging around waiting for a table when we were finished, so we didn't linger.  We did look around and bought some snickerdoodle cookies for later.  We figured we would both be hungry later in the evening.  (And we were!)

When we went outside I took pictures of the decorations (and Joe) and Joe took a picture of me.

Even though it was early, we decided to head over to the hotel to see if we could get in.  Check-in time is 3:00 p.m. and it was around 2:00 p.m. by now.

We stayed again at the La Quinta Hotel on Route 896.  This is by far the best place I have ever stayed in Lancaster and I've stayed at a LOT of the hotels/motels out there.  The hotel was decorated so beautifully!

I asked if I could take pictures of the lobby and they told me I could take as many as I wanted.

I cannot say enough good things about the staff at this hotel.  It was down to bare bones on the staff.  All the housekeeping people had gone home.  Yet still the one desk attendant went out of her way to find us foam pillows since we are both allergic to feathers.  I have not met one person there who is not pleasant and helpful.  So even though we were an hour early, we found ourselves in our room.

We had asked for the same room we had last month and we got it.  Since I gave you a tour last time, I won't here.  I'll just show you something I did not before.  This room is really a suite.  There is the bedroom/bathroom part.

And then there is a partial wall and a sitting room part.

I was so stuffed and so tired I didn't even leave the room until the next day.  Instead I knit a lot, watched TV and read some of my library book.  Joe was on his tablet for awhile and then he did this:

I did some of that too.  I did enjoy watching an old Star Trek from the 1960s and a movie that I had wanted to see when it was in the theater but never got to.

The sunset was gorgeous and was the perfect ending to the day.

There is so much more to tell you about the following day, but that will wait for tomorrow.