Monday, February 26, 2024

Currently

Reading... The Murderous Type by Sue Minix. It's the second book in the Bookstore Mystery series.

Watching... nothing worth mentioning.

Thinking... about staying off the laptop except for one day a week (maybe two). It's such a time waster. I get absorbed and next thing I know way too much time has passed. There are so many better ways to use my time.

Feeling... annoyed. We heard from our tax preparer tonight. Between me working full-time and the raises we've both gotten over the past year, our income jumped significantly and that threw us into a new tax bracket. We thought that with what we have taken out in taxes and what we put in our retirement funds we'd be okay. Nope. We owe. Thankfully, it isn't a huge amount, but in order to avoid paying next year Tim will have to put a lot more into his 401K. Makes you wonder when enough is enough.

Celebrating... nothing really, so I guess I'll go with our grandson getting his first real dirt bike this weekend.


Grateful... a trip to the tire center was quick, easy, and inexpensive. The left front tire on my vehicle has had a slow leak since last week. Tim never got around to dealing with it over the weekend so I had to spend my break today calling around to find a place that had time to take care of it after I got off work. The one I finally chose took my vehicle in as soon as I arrived, discovered a screw in the tire, removed it and patched the tire. I was done and back on the road in 30 minutes and it only cost $31!

Enjoying... Seagram's new "fruit splash" ginger ale. It's cherry flavored and so yummy.

Looking forward... to going to an auction this coming Saturday with my mom and Tim.

Giggling at...


Our granddaughter wearing one 
of the Maine Coons as a scarf.

 





And that's it this week. I'm tired and going to call it a night. Have a blessed week, friends!




Friday, February 23, 2024

Saturday 9: Shambala

Yay! This is my favorite Three Dog Night song, but I have to say I actually like Toby Keith's cover of it better. Either way, a great song. Feel free to join in the fun here.

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) This week's song refers to the mythical kingdom of Shambala. Can you think of another song that mentions to faraway, mythical land?  Xanadu is the only one I can think of.

2) "Shambala" is performed by Three Dog Night. The name is derived from an Aboriginal Australian legend. In the outback, hunters would sleep with a dog beside them. If it was very cold, they would sleep between two dogs. If it was freezing -- you guessed it -- it was a three dog night. Was it cold last night where you are?  Cold is sort of relative. For us it was not that cold, only in the low 40's. For some of you down south or out on the west coast that is probably cold.

3) The lead singer is the late Cory Wells. Early in his career he was a member of the house band at the famous Sunset Strip nightclub Whiskey-A-Go-Go. Cory was a bit of an anomaly at "The Whiskey" because of his sober lifestyle. When did you most recently enjoy an adult beverage?  Uh-mmm....New Year's Eve, I think.

4) Bandmate Danny Hutton auditioned to be a member of The Monkees TV show. He didn't get the part. While he was a talented singer-songwriter, NBC was looking for musicians who could also act. Have you ever fantasized about a career as a performer?  Maybe as a kid, but never seriously. I really don't enjoy getting up in front of people.

5) Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys was an early supporter of Three Dog Night's. What's your favorite Beach Boys song?  



6) In 1973, when this song was popular, one of the best-selling toys Curious George plush doll packaged with a Curious George book. Can you recall a favorite book from your childhood?  I was a voracious reader even as a kid, but a few standouts are Dr. Goat, The Big Tidy Up, We Were Tired of Living in a House, Anna Karina and the Box...and later I couldn't get enough of Margeurite Henry's horse books, The Black Stallion series, and all of the mystery series like Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, and Trixie Beldon.

7) The Exorcist was in theaters, terrifying audiences. It's still ranked among the scariest movies of all time. Have you seen it? Did it scare you?  Nope, haven't seen and never intend to see it.

8) Roller skates were a big seller in 1973. While most rinks had skates available for rent, committed skaters had their own pair. Are you better on roller skates or ice skates?  I stink at both, but slightly less so on roller skates.

9) Random question -- Here's $100. What will you spend it on?  Probably books or something for the grandchildren.

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Thankful Thursday: There Is Always Something to Be Thankful About

It's been a rough week at work.

If you remember, I shared in my previous post about "Artimus," one of my clients. He collapsed in the hallway on Monday and quickly became unresponsive. CPR was begun and it continued for close to half an hour and was still being given when the EMT's loaded him up and took him to the hospital. He had shown no response at that point. We learned via a text from our boss that night that he was in ICU on a respirator.

I am thankful we have trained people on staff who were able to help "Artimus" almost right away.

I am thankful for the EMT's and firemen who responded to the 911 call.

Yesterday we learned that "Artimus" had had to be resuscitated again Tuesday evening. We also learned that a brain scan showed no activity. "Artimus's" only relative, a sister living in Texas, put a Do Not Resuscitate order in place after that.

Today we learned that "Artimus" passed away last night. He was an organ donor and they kept him on the respirator until his sister arrived to say goodbye and to remove the viable organs.

I am thankful the sister did not prolong his life.

I am thankful that "Artimus," who loved to give to others was able to keep giving even in his death.

I am thankful that by this morning his liver had already been transplanted into someone in Ohio.

We also found that those of us who were with "Artimus" in the moments leading up to Monday's collapse and in the moments following would have to speak to an investigator today. Nerves were frayed and it didn't help that one of the bosses was basically telling us what to say...which was a lie. Caseworkers continue to flood the place during lunch to observe. (From what I can gather, it's unclear whether "Artimus" aspirated and that caused a heart attack or if he had a heart attack and then aspirated.) 

I am thankful the investigator was very nice and told us up front he was not investigating us, but rather the company and employees who ran the group home "Artimus" lived in.

I am thankful I was able to tell the truth and still protect my employer and my coworker who was "Artimus's" staff that day.

The big boss told all the clients today about "Artimus's" passing and told us there will be no funeral because the sister is the only family there is. However, his sister asked if there could be a memorial service for him at work tomorrow, because he loved his job and his friends and staff there.

I am thankful his sister thought to do a memorial service. 

I am thankful those who probably knew "Artimus" best will have the chance to gather to remember and say goodbye.

I am glad tomorrow will be the end of a long, rough week. 








Monday, February 19, 2024

Currently

Sitting here cuddled up with Daisy and enjoying the glow of the electric fireplace once again. Our mild temperatures went away rather quickly and we woke up to 6 inches of snow Saturday morning. Most of it has melted and the mercury is beginning to climb again, at least during the days. Tonight, however, it's going down to 19 degrees. I'm trying not to complain as we are supposed to see highs in the 60's next week.

As for other things I'm currently doing...

Reading...Hidden Beneath: A Maine Clambake Mystery by Barbara Ross.

Watching...American Idol's new season began last night. Lots of amazing talent, but where are the awful auditions? Those were a big part of the fun. I miss them.

Thinking...about "Artimus," one of my regular clients at work. He collapsed in the hallway after lunch today. When we turned him over he was bleeding badly from his nose and was rather blue and/or purple. Initially he responded but quickly went unresponsive and CPR was begun. 911 was called. First responders took over from our staff and worked on him for a good while there in the hallway before loading him up and taking him to the hospital. CPR was never stopped and we all feared the worst. I received a text this evening saying he was in ICU on a respirator so there is still hope.

Feeling...wrung out. It was a tough day. That aside, I feel the most like my old self that I have since before I got sick.

Celebrating...God's goodness, for one thing and the fact that we finally found a new front door to replace the one that's never really fit tightly and that split when they took it off the hinges during the new refrigerator adventure and it fell flat on the porch.

Grateful...Tim's bloodwork was good except for his cholesterol being a little high (but down from the last time). The doctor told his chances of a heart attack in the next 10 years is only about 7%. He also told him that if he'd lose about 100 pounds he'd feel a whole lot better. 

Enjoying...the longer days, but still liking the cozy evenings at home.

Looking forward to...my appointment with the orthopedic doctor on March 25. My feet and hip don't hurt as much as they used to, but there is definitely something wrong with my knee.

Giggling at...

































Thursday, February 15, 2024

Thankful Thursday

This week has gone by very quickly and I find it hard to believe that we are already coming up on Friday. I'm tired and will be heading to bed soon, but first, a few things I am thankful for this week.

** A nice dinner out with Tim to celebrate Valentine's Day. I convinced him not to go to the super popular restaurant at the airport. Instead, we went to a restaurant that is less than a mile from home. We enjoyed a quieter, less crowded atmosphere and the food was delicious. We both ordered a seafood pasta dish that was portioned so generously that we had plenty left over for lunches today.

** The Valentine's Day party at work is behind us. It is a HUGE amount of work for the department I work in, but it was a big success and the consumers loved it and had a great time. Since I am unable to dance with my knee being such a problem these days, I acted as DJ for the afternoon and had a great time taking requests and making dedications.

** Tuesday's big snow storm missed us completely and hit to the east of us on the other side of the mountains.

** Our daughter and her husband scheduled an appointment with a marriage counselor for next week. It's very much needed. Please keep them in prayer.

** My new sneakers (Brooks) do help a lot with my foot pain. My feet really don't hurt unless I'm standing in one place for a long time. It's the knee that's the problem now. One problem solved.

** Tim has been getting home at about the same time I do nearly every day. He hasn't been working Saturday's, either. It's only because the new projects won't start up until March, but I'll take it...and he won't admit it, but I think he's enjoying it.

** Oliver, my shy kitty, is taking more chances. He still doesn't come out when we are all up, but he isn't being as careful about staying out of Daisy's sight when he comes running to greet me in the bathroom. He is so desperate for my love and attention that I have hope that one of these days he will just get over it and come out.

And that's where I'm going to quit tonight. God is good and life is good. I am blessed.



Monday, February 12, 2024

Currently

Sitting here at the end of a long day, wrapped up in a blanket with my Daisy-girl. We're enjoying the heat of the electric fireplace and watching Hoarders: Where are They Now?

The weather is changing. The week long run of warm days and mild weather is coming to an end tonight with rain due at any time and falling temperatures through the night. I should wake up to a cold morning coated by a wet, slushy mix of snow and ice. Fun times. My knees and hips tell me the weather is indeed coming. Ouch!

Work is a bit crazy right now. We are not short-staffed right now...but we were today. The woman I take home every day was off today for her birthday (full-time employees get their birthdays off) which left them short in the shredding department. I probably would have been pulled to work back there, but we had two call offs in my department. Both of those were due to illness. We have quite a few consumers out due to illness. We had to do a lot of scrambling and rearranging to make things work today. I hope my coworkers are back tomorrow, but I don't know what illness they are dealing with. Covid, flu, and a plethora of viruses are all running rampant in our area right now.

The weekend was a good one after so many weeks of being sick. We started out Friday evening by going out for pizza with our daughter and grandchildren (son-in-law was working). Saturday we took our grandson to Pittsburgh for Jurassic Quest while our daughter took our granddaughter to Disney on Ice. Colt was so excited and really enjoyed it. We had dinner at the Texas Roadhouse before coming home. 



On Sunday Tim's sister and her husband came to visit and we all went out for dinner at Red Lobster. It was nice to visit with them. We used to do a lot with them when we were younger, but then families happen and there's always so much pulling everyone in different directions. It was especially nice because she is the sister who battled liver cancer last year and just got the all-clear.

Celebrating that the kitchen and living room have been totally reclaimed from the neglect that took place all through January when no one was feeling well. There is such a feeling of relief than I know I'll never have to worry about becoming a hoarder. Ugh....I can't take the mess. It stresses me a LOT!

Loving that I am almost completely back to normal. I still have a couple of coughing fits each day, but they are getting better and I am sleeping through the night again.

Thinking about all that's happening at work this week that my department is responsible for. Tomorrow we have a pancake breakfast for Fat Tuesday and I am taking Paczki and a king cake. Wednesday is the big Valentine's Day lunch and dance. It's a huge deal, second only to Christmas. It's going to be a busy couple of days.

Thankful that our daughter is a fighter and that all her fighting on Colton's behalf is finally starting to pay off. He is now on meds that are helping him sleep at night and are keeping his ADHD under control. His latest trip to the doctor revealed that he is underweight, not at the dangerous level, but getting close and also that his iron and vitamin D levels are very low. The next battle will come later this week when she takes on the doctors about his anxiety which is crippling in many situations.

Looking forward to going to the high school musical this Saturday with my mom, my daughter, and my grandchildren. We are going to see Sponge Bob: The Musical. It should be a lot of fun.

Giggling at:












Friday, February 9, 2024

Saturday 9: At Last

Thanks goes to Sam at the Saturday 9 for the music and questions. I'm joining in, though it will be later on Saturday afternoon before I can get around to check out everyone's answers and comment. We are taking our grandson to Pittsburgh in the morning for a day at Jurassic Quest, a traveling dinosaur show. We wanted to take our granddaughter, as well, but she and her mom are going to see the Disney princesses on ice.

With that said, it's on to 


Saturday 9: At Last (1960)


Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.
 
1) Etta James sings that "life is like a song." What song reflects how you feel about life these days?  As far as how my life is going, I'm choosing It's a Great Day to Be Alive by Travis Tritt.

However, when I think about the loss of Toby Keith this week, I think of Cryin' for Me, Toby's song about the loss of a friend.



2) She is delighted to have found the love she has always dreamed of. Have you found true love to be the way you imagined it would be? Or has it surprised you?  I'd say it's surprised me a bit. It's what I imagined, but way back when, I didn't imagine how much work and attention it takes to keep a love healthy.
 
3) Etta's mother encouraged her to not just sing but perform a song, telling her daughter, "Even if a song has been done a thousand times, you can still bring something of your own to it." Is there a singer whose performances often touch your heart?  Toby, of course, but so many others, as well. Casting Crowns is a Christian group that speaks to my soul with nearly every song. I'm so excited that I will finally get to see them live next month. Music is the language of the heart and plucks all the emotional strings.
 
4) As a teen, she was considered a gospel prodigy and churches all around Los Angeles requested she "guest" at their services. Do you have a favorite religious song?  I already mentioned Casting Crowns in the last question. I love all of their songs. I don't think I can pick a favorite. My favorite hymn is How Great Thou Art. I can't hear it without getting goosebumps.



5) "At Last" is one of the most often requested songs for the newlywed's first dance at the reception. What song reminds you of a sweetheart?  After 40 years I don't really remember any from before my husband. There are a lot of songs I associate with him. Our first dance at our reception was Could I Have this Dance by Ann Murray. It was THE song in 1984 when Urban Cowboy was still huge around here.




This is the last Saturday 9 before Valentine's Day and so this morning we shall focus on the upcoming holiday.
 
6) It's been reported that millions of roses are grown specifically for Valentine's Day each year. What's your favorite flower?  It's a toss up between Sunflowers and Zinnias. Both are such happy flowers.
 
7) The earliest recorded celebration of Valentine's Day was in Paris in the year 1400. Obviously you weren't around for that one. What do you remember from one of your earliest, childhood Valentine's Day celebrations?  I remember one boy in my kindergarten class opening his Valentines from the class and every time he got one from a girl he'd run over and (try to) give her a kiss. He was doing a lot of kissing since nobody gave just one card to a person. We all went through the list and then went back again and again until we'd used all our cards.
 
8) About 20% of pet owners say they give their dogs, cats, birds or bunnies a Valentine. Is your pet getting something special on February 14?  I give them Christmas presents, but no, they aren't getting any Valentines.

9) Of all the professions, teachers are #1 when it comes to receiving Valentine cards. Did you ever have a crush on a teacher?  Oh my, yes! My homeroom teacher all through high school was one of the boys' gym teachers, a total Italian hottie. He treated us all like little brothers and sisters and really cared about all of us and got to know us well. To this day when I see him anywhere he remembers me and gives me a huge hug.

Monday, February 5, 2024

Currently

The weather is a chilly 31 degrees with clear skies, but tomorrow's high will be close to 50. Wednesday and Thursday promise to reach nearly 60 degrees. I will take it. Rain is coming Friday and the forecast is for temps to be back in the 30's for highs by Monday.

I'm reading Aunt Dimity and the Next of Kin by Nancy Atherton. I can't remember if I've read any other books in the series, but I don't think so. Nothing seems familiar. I'm enjoying it, though, and will most likely look for other books in the series.

I'm watching old House Hunters and reruns of The Big Bang Theory.

I'm loving our living room. We worked on it this weekend and it is coming together. The new furniture, electric fireplace/TV stand, and rug make the room so cozy. I still have some clearing of clutter to do before I'm ready to share a photo.

I'm thinking (wondering) how long it will take before I feel completely like my old self. I do feel soooo much better than I have in the last month, but I can't seem to shake the cough completely and my voice is still gravelly and weaker than it used to be. 

I'm feeling content and happy.

I'm celebrating each little success at cleaning up the house and moving life back toward normal.

I'm grateful that Tim took this past Friday and today off, giving himself a 4-day weekend. It allowed him to get some rest and also to do some things around here that really needed doing.

I'm enjoying the warmer days and sunshine. They are very rare during the winter months here in southwestern Pennsylvania. It can be very gloomy here this time of year.

I'm looking forward to taking our grandson to JurassicQuest on Saturday. We wanted to take our granddaughter, too, but she is going to see Disney on Ice with her mom. Both kids will have a great day!

I'm giggling at:

















 

Saturday, February 3, 2024

Saturday 9: Poor Little Fool

Ricky Nelson. I grew up listening to Ricky and have always liked his music. He was my mom's favorite and her teenage crush. 

I think I've shared the story before, but back in 1985 my husband and I were living in Orlando, Florida. My parents came to visit us during the Christmas season. A few days after Christmas, Nelson was scheduled to give a free concert in downtown Orlando. My mom, of course, wanted to go very much. The rest of the family not so much. We talked Mom out of it, giving her all kinds of reasons, including how crowded it would be. Mom was out numbered so we didn't go. Two days later Ricky Nelson died in a plane crash. To this day Mom will remind me that I kept her from her only chance of seeing her idol.

Saturday 9: Poor Little Fool (1958)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) Ricky Nelson sings of a girl with "carefree devil eyes." Are your eyes your best feature? If not, what is?  When I was younger I'd have said they were, but my eyes are heavy lidded and that just gets worse as you get older and everything starts to sag...even the eyelids. So, I guess these days I'd say my smile.

2) "Poor Little Fool" literally arrived at Ricky's doorstep. A pretty girl knocked on his front door, and played and sang her original composition for him. Who has most recently knocked on your front door (or rung the bell)?  Nobody uses our front door. We use our side door. The last to knock would have been our daughter last evening. She came to get the kids and walk up to my mom's with me for a birthday party for Mom's dog. Yeah, Mom had cupcakes and ice cream for the dog.

3) That girl was Sharon Sheeley. A teen model in Los Angeles during the 1950s, she met many of the early rock stars at promotional events. Elvis encouraged her to follow her heart and start writing songs, so she did. Who have you advised recently? Did they take your advice?  I'm sure it was our daughter. She's always calling and asking for advice, but much like her father, she tends not to take it unless someone else confirms it.

4) With the success of "Poor Little Fool," Sharon gave up modeling and concentrated on music. Her songs were recorded by singers such as Richie Valens, Glen Campbell and Johnny Rivers. How many different occupations have you tried? Which was your favorite?  I think I've tried six. My favorite, by far, is my current one working with developmentally disabled adults.

5) Ricky Nelson was the son of Ozzie and Harriet and brother of David Nelson. They began performing together as a family with their radio program The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. They took the show to television in 1952, where they were referred to as "The Most Famous Family in America." What TV family would you like to hang around with?  They were an unconventional family, but I'd choose the Full House clan. There was a lot of love and a lot of fun in that house.

6) While Ricky eventually became the audience favorite, he wasn't initially a likely candidate for stardom. A producer described him as "an odd little kid," shy and small for his age. In those early days, big brother David was more outgoing and considered a natural actor. Thinking back to your preteen years, were you more like David or Rick?  Ricky, I think. I've always gone to the beat of my own drum and never quite fit with the "in" crowd.

7) Ricky never got over his shyness. He often closed his eyes as he sang on camera or before an audience because it helped him battle his nerves and concentrate on the music. Fan magazine oohed and aahed over his beautiful long lashes and young girls fantasized about Ricky closing his eyes before leaning in for a kiss. Who was your big pre-teen crush?  In my pre-teen years it was definitely Donny Osmond. Once I hit my teens there were many others. Shawn Cassidy, Rick Springfield, Scott Baio, Rex Smith, Clark Brandon, Erik Estrada, Andy Gibb....

8) In 1958, when "Poor Little Fool" was #1, American women were shopping for Italian-inspired footwear. Heels were lower, and the leather was textured and less shiny that the popular patent leather of years gone by. If you were to go shoe shopping today, what would you be looking for?  Over-all comfort and good arch support. I don't even care (much) what they look like these days. It just about kills me. I was a shoe girl when I was younger and wore heels all the time.

9) Random question -- Which of these parties sounds like the most fun: a) one you host yourself; b) one at a friend's home; c) a surprise party in your honor?  Either one I host myself or a surprise party in my honor. Either way I'd probably know everyone and be comfortable schmoozing. I hate being thrown into a crowd where I don't really know the other guests.

Thanks, Sam, for the music and questions.

Play along here.

Currently

We are experiencing an unexpected thunderstorm that has cooled a hot, humid day down to a comfortable 73 degrees. Tomorrow and Wednesday wil...