Monday, May 20, 2024


We are experiencing an unexpected thunderstorm that has cooled a hot, humid day down to a comfortable 73 degrees. Tomorrow and Wednesday will bring more of the hot, sticky weather before rain and storms move in on Thursday and drop the temperature a bit. We should be looking at decent weather with temps in the mid to upper 70's for the Memorial Day weekend.

Reading...Call Me Hunter, a novel by well-known hunter and guide, Jim Shockey. It's not at all what you'd expect. It's about a secret society that basically runs the world, starting wars, assassinating political figures, etc., all in the name of acquiring the world's greatest art to sell to the world's richest collectors. The society, called Our World, accomplishes this though its agents, all people with special abilities, people the world has deemed "different," but whose skills and gifts make them uniquely suited to the task.

Watching...tonight it's Great American Road Trips on Prime Video. It's a bit dated, from the 90's I think, but I'm seeing a lot of places I'd like to visit one day.

Listening...mostly to the local 80's radio station.

Feeling...tired. For some reason I didn't sleep well last night.

Thinking...about my planned day for the consumers on Wednesday. We each have a day to plan the lesson and activities. Some do a very random sort of day. I usually try to have a theme to focus everything on. This week I am going with pirates! I have hats and eye patches for them to wear, a "pirate-y" snack mix, pirate themed worksheets, and if I can get it to work out tomorrow when I try it, our craft will be a parrot that can sit on your arm. I'm even searching for pirate themed exercises or games.

Celebrating...nothing right now, but this weekend we will celebrate Memorial Day and the unofficial start of summer. Saturday and Sunday will be busy. Monday will likely be more low key with us relaxing at home or possibly cooking out with Mom and John and our daughter's family.

Looking forward to...taking a train ride with our daughter's family this Saturday. It's a 2-hour round trip through central Pennsylvania. On Sunday, Tim and I are taking the gentleman I do companion work for to a local winery. They are having live music and have a beautiful outdoor area to sit an enjoy the entertainment and wine as well as several food options. I'm hoping to do all 5 of my weekly hours with him that day to free up the rest of the week.

Giggling at...

And that's it for this week. I need to get the dog outside and head to bed. Have a great week!

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Sunday Stealing

Today's questions come from Swap-bot. You can join in the fun here.

1. What inspires you most?  My faith, my grandchildren and the intellectually disabled adults I work with.

2. How do you think the world will change in 20 years?  Change comes at the speed of light these days, so I can't imagine what it will be like. I do believe it will bear little resemblance to today's world.

3. Cat or dogs and why?  I like both, but have always favored dogs. I currently have a 12 year old Poodle and a 3 year old cat. I think I've come to the decision that Daisy (the dog) will be my last dog. I'll go with cats in my golden years.

4. What is the funniest memory from your childhood?  We went to visit my aunt once and she was mowing her lawn, which was quite large. Interrupted by the visit, she didn't put the yard swing back. It hung on an old swing set frame and and she had to move it to mow. Anyway, my friend and I were sitting on it swinging. Her big cat, Albert, was sitting with us. All of a sudden, the whole thing tipped back and fell over. We were lying there on our backs, feet up in the air, laughing so hard no sound was coming out. Albert was apparently stunned because he never moved. My aunt and grandmother came running because they thought we must be hurt since there was no sound or movement. It scared them, but my friend and I still laugh about it.

5. Where do you not mind waiting?  I hate waiting in traffic, but otherwise it doesn't bother me too much. If I don't have a book with me, I will have my phone and that is connected to my Kindle, social media, and there are a couple of games on it. It's easy to pass the time.

6. What was the best thing before sliced bread?  I'm not sure when store-bought sliced bread came into being, but I would rank things like penicillin and indoor plumbing ahead of sliced bread.

7. What product would you stockpile if you found out they weren't going to sell it anymore?  Diet Coke. Then again...if I didn't stockpile it and they quit making it maybe I could finally give it up.

8. What do you get every time you go grocery shopping?  Diet Coke, stuff for salads, and food and treats for the pets.

9. What do people do too much of today?  Sit on their butts. (Hey, I'm guilty, too!)

10. Are you a Goodwill, or any second hand store customer?  If you've been around for a while then you know I LOOOOVE me some thrift store shopping. I shop them all in search of bargains.

11. How do you feel about the death penalty?  Conflicted. My faith says it is not my job to judge. It also says I should obey the law of the land. And then there is that part of me that says someone who commits a heinous crime against another (especially a child) deserves to lose their life.

12. Are there brands of certain items that you will ONLY buy that brand? i.e. paper towels, ketchup, etc.  Yes, there are some things. Just the two examples given...I only buy Bounty towels and ketchup is only "real" ketchup if it is Heinz.

13. What are some things you will buy the store brand, and find the quality to be great? I often buy the store brand of pharmacy items because in most cases the product works just as well for a fraction of the price. I usually buy Great Value soft and strong toilet tissue...great quality and the cost is much less than the name brands.

14. What is a name brand that really disappointed you recently?  I can't think of anything.

15. Do you wear glasses or contacts?  I've been wearing glasses since I was 7 years old. They are the first thing I reach for in the morning and the last thing I take off at night.

Friday, May 17, 2024

Saturday 9: Tunnel of Love (1958)

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

1) In this week's song, Doris Day tries to convince her lover to share a kiss in the Tunnel of Love. What's your favorite amusement park ride?  I don't have a specific favorite, but I have always loved the old-fashioned "dark rides." The Tunnel of Love would have been one of those, I suppose, but I like the silly or scary ones.

2) In the 1950s, when Doris recorded this song, Tunnel of Love rides were popular in the US. Couples would climb into small boats that only seat two and float through a dark tunnel, accompanied by romantic music. Today less than 100 of these rides still exist. Have you ever taken a ride through the Tunnel of Love?  No. I've ridden every dark ride I've ever come across, but none of them have been a Tunnel of Love.

3) This week's featured artist, Doris Day, made approximately 40 films and a TV series. She said one of her favorite things about being an actress was the clothes. She loved collaborating with the experts who created her wardrobe. Her contemporary, Betty Grable, found all the fittings boring and just let the wardrobe department do their job without offering much input. Imagine you are a performer: Would you be more like Doris or Betty?  Definitely Betty! My mom used to make a lot of my clothes when I was a kid and I hated the fittings. I don't feel like that's changed.

4) There was persistent rumor that, after Doris appeared on Bob Hope's radio show, the two had an affair. She always denied it. Have you ever been the subject of workplace gossip?  Probably, because I've yet to see a workplace where people don't talk about their coworkers, but not for anything like that. 

5) Doris never liked to fly and her fear increased as she got older. After she retired, she refused to fly at all. This caused her to decline lifetime achievement awards and other events in her honor. Have you more recently extended, accepted or declined an invitation?  Extended. I invited my daughter to go to Sam's Club with me tonight (Friday) and I invited my mom to go with me to the opening of a new discount store tomorrow.

6) After show biz, Doris devoted herself animal welfare. She used to say that we should be more sensitive to the loneliness and sadness people feel when they lose a pet. Think of a time when you were grieving. What words or gestures helped you get through the difficult time?  I don't know that any words helped, but I've twice lost a pet since being on Facebook and the outpouring of sympathy was wonderful. It was so nice having all those people reaching out and knowing you weren't alone. There would have been nothing of that magnitude before social media.

7) In 1958, when this song was on the Billboard chart, "The Purple People Eater" was also popular. It's a silly song about a creature from another planet. Have you ever seen a UFO (unidentified flying object)?  Not that I'm aware of.

8) Also in 1958, Americans were watching 77 Sunset Strip. The show revolved around the LA-based private investigators whose office was at that address. Who is your favorite TV PI?  I've always liked Jim Rockford.

9) Random question -- In the 1950s, stewardesses used to famously ask passengers, "Coffee, tea, or milk?" If asked that right now, which of these three beverages would you prefer?  Well, never coffee, so tea...unless I can have chocolate milk.

Thanks, Sam, for the music and questions.

Join the fun here.

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Thankful Thursday

It's been a while since I've done a Thankful Thursday post. There has been plenty to be thankful for, but to be honest, all the health issues I've been dealing with this year made it hard to feel that way for a while there. So, it's way overdue and it feels good to be making a new list.

Today I am thankful...

** Our daughter was just here with her son because he had a tick and Tim was able to remove the whole thing without too much fuss. Ticks are a huge problem around here. Everyone in our daughter's family (except her husband) has had Lyme disease in the last two years. My mom had it last year and got so bad before it was diagnosed that we thought we were going to lose her.

** that taking my whole department out for a day at the park went well. Among those that went was one of my favorites, a big, strapping young man with autism. My old supervisor made the (poor) decision to take him out when he was brand new with us and he bolted getting out of the van. That supervisor had to tackle him and they landed with their heads only a foot from the edge of a very busy highway. It also messed up the supervisor's artificial hip. Since then we have not been allowed to take him out. I have been campaigning for it since last fall and today it finally happened. He did very well and had a wonderful time. I was so proud of him.

** that while I was hurting after chasing after the above mentioned client and pushing another in a wheelchair up and down a few hills...I was able to deal with it and get the job done. I even saw a client after work for a few hours. It wasn't that long ago that I wouldn't have been able to do it.

** Tim was able to buy a new "toy" this week and that I was able to control my irritation (mostly) with him for buying it without discussing it with me. So what was the toy? This bad boy...

I told Tim it looks like the mower Batman or James Bond would use if they mowed their own grass.

** Tomorrow is Friday and a fairly easy day at work since for some reason we are celebrating Memorial Day early with a pizza party.

** Our grandson is doing great on the doubled dose of Zoloft. The crippling anxiety he deals with (at age 7!) has eased and he is doing things he wouldn't have been able to do just a couple of weeks ago. It does, however, aggravate his ADHD so when he visits the doctor next month they are going to try him on another med for that.

** Both grandkids started new activities recently and love them. Colton is doing parkour and Leah is doing gymnastics. Colt is also doing well riding his dirt bike.

** Leah got a great year end review in the pre-k program. Good teachers make such a difference and we are glad our daughter was able to get her out of Headstart and into this program. She scored a 15 out of 100 on her evaluation at the beginning of the year. Now she tests at 85! She's also reported to be a dream student...well-behaved, helpful, kind, etc. 

** that some things were switched around so that I now get full-time benefits at work. Not a huge difference, but it does mean paid holidays, my birthday off, and eventually...more days off. Not this year, however, since I used up all my days being sick in January. Sigh.

There is more, of course, but it's getting late and I need to say goodnight. I hope you're having a wonderful week!

Friday, May 10, 2024

Saturday 9: (God Must Have Spent) A Little More Time on You

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

1) In this song, a boy celebrates the life of love he's received from his mother, saying it's more precious than any diamond or pearl. Do you have a piece of jewelry that means a great deal to you?  My wedding band, of course, but also a tiny gold heart-shaped locket that was my grandmother's. It has a picture of my grandfather in one side and my son in the other.

2) NSYNC licensed their name and likenesses for use on a variety of products, and their official key ring was a big seller. Tell us about your key ring.  It's from Thirty-one and the two ends clip together so you can hang it on your purse strap or your belt loop or something like that and have your keys at hand.

3) NSYNC's lead singer, Justin Timberlake, is now a parent himself with two sons. He enjoys sitting on the floor so they can play Legos together. Today Lego sets for adults and adult coloring books are popular. As a grown up, do you enjoy coloring books or Legos?  I don't have the patience for Legos, but I do enjoy coloring (and actually do a bit of it at work) as long as the pictures are those ones filled with a million tiny spaces. Those do not relax me at all.
4) In 1998, when this song was popular, Seinfeld ended its 9-season run. Were you a fan?  I didn't like the show when it originally ran, but it grew on me when my husband started watching it in reruns.
5) This week's song was chosen in honor of Mother's Day. Some mothers will find themselves treated to breakfast in bed this weekend. Is that a luxury you would appreciate, or would you worry about spilling food on the sheets?  Breakfast in bed has never been something I really enjoy. I don't worry about the sheets...I just find it awkward and uncomfortable.

6) Garrett's Popcorn offers a special tin for Mother's Day (the "O" in MOM is a daisy). When did you most recently have popcorn?  Today. I had a snack bag of Skinny-pop popcorn on my break.
7) Florists see a spike in sales for Mother's Day, too. Would you rather receive a plant or a bouquet of flowers?  A plant. Flowers don't last very long.

8) Crazy Sam's own mother is big on couponing, while Sam thinks coupons simply aren't worth the effort. Are you more like mother or daughter?  I used to clip and use coupons religiously and saved a great deal of money doing so, but there really aren't any coupons these days. Covid put an end to them, at least in this area.

9) Sam is celebrating Mother's Day with her mother's favorite, Hershey Bars. Would you prefer classic milk chocolate, dark chocolate or chocolate with almonds?  Milk chocolate, please!

Thanks for the music and questions, Sam!
Join in the fun here.

Tuesday, May 7, 2024


The weather is 70 degrees at 8:54 p.m. and the threat of thunderstorms hangs over us. This week is not as hot as last week, but even cooler temperatures are heading our way Thursday. It will stay cooler through the weekend.

I'm reading Bayou Book Thief (A Vintage Cookbook Mystery) by Ellen Byron. This is the first book in a series that includes three books (so far) and I am really enjoying it. It's set in New Orleans and you get a good dose of the culture.

I'm listening to the usual 80's stuff. I also have a client who is positively obsessed with Doo Wop music and listens to an online radio station. He is 70 and blind so doesn't text or have a computer but desperately wants to participate in the online chat, so.....myself and another of his companions end up listening along with him and posting his comments and requests to the group.

I'm not watching much of anything except American Idol. GO BIG MO!! Oh, Tim rented The Beekeeper last night. It was terribly violent, but not bad for that type of action movie.

I'm thinking about all these student protests against Israel as I suppose most of us are. They kids sure have conviction. It's too bad that most of them don't seem to understand what they are talking about. I don't understand why it has been allowed to go on so long since so much of it isn't protest so much as it is hate speech. It just about kills me to admit that John Fetterman gets it and I have to agree with him.

I'm feeling a bit beat up tonight. After a week away from physical therapy (due to illness) I went back tonight and they worked me HARD. My knee and leg are not happy, but hey, no pain no gain. Right?

We'll be celebrating Mother's Day this weekend with a big family dinner at the area's most popular Italian restaurant. Tim, once again, made all the arrangements then let the rest of us in on it. It's nice not to have to be the one who has to do all that.

I'm enjoying the season's first watermelon. I bought a long, seeded one the other day and we've been enjoying it. Such good flavor!

I'm looking forward to a train ride with the grandkids over Memorial Day weekend. I booked it for Tim and I and our daughter's family. It's a nice 2-hour round trip with ice cream during the ride.

I'm giggling at...

Saturday, May 4, 2024

Sunday Stealing

1. Who is your best friend and why? I am not really a "best friends" kind of person at this point in life. I have a few close friends, but I can't say I'm closer to one than another. I probably do more with my mom and my daughter than anyone else. What do you like to do together?  We tend to share a love of Jesus, books, antiques, and thrifting but nearly anything can be fun done together.

2. What is your town like? It's a small town nestled in the foothills of the Laurel Highlands stretch of the Appalachian Mountains. We have lovely parks and nature centers; walking, hiking, and bike paths; lots of museums; theater; a wonderful college; and our claims to fame include being the hometown of Fred Rogers and Arnold Palmer as well as the birthplace of banana splits and professional football.  What are your favorite places to go?  I guess I'd have to say the parks and the thrift and antique stores.

3. What is your favorite meal? Just about anything with shrimp. Where and when do you eat it?  I will eat it anywhere that does a good job at preparing it because I'm not very good at cooking it at home. I can do an "ok" meal of it, but I've never managed to master it.

4. What is your job like? I spend my days working at the county blind association. There are two parts to the place. One part provides document destruction and has recently begun manufacturing metal hooks (all different sorts) for the military and the mining industry. The other part (where I work) seeks to teach our clients life skills. We cover manners, personal hygiene, cooking, etc. We also try to teach functional academics and provide opportunities to experience art, music, science, and other things. We have plenty of parties and celebrations and my department is usually in charge of those. What do you like about it?  It's different every day, it's fun, and I get to make a difference in the lives of the clients. 

In these photos (taken this past week) we were planting flowers and enjoying s'mores cooked in the solar ovens they made.

5. What is your favorite place to go on vacation?  I haven't been on an actual vacation since 2019. I didn't go anywhere last year because it was the first year at my job and I didn't have any PTO time yet and I'm not going anywhere this year because I used up ALL of my PTO time being sick in January. Anyway, at this point I'd be thrilled to go anywhere.

6. What country would you like to visit one day?  It's a tie...Israel, Egypt, and Greece.

7. What bores you the most?  I've never been diagnosed, but I'm pretty sure after raising two kids with ADHD that I also have it. That said, I am very easily bored. It just depends on the situation. I can't say any one thing is worse than another.

8. What are you looking forward to this summer?  Hopefully, getting to do some fun things with the grandchildren on the weekends. Surely I will be through with sicknesses and I should have my first set of Euflexa (sp?) injections in my knee behind me so maybe I'll be getting around better.

9. What is your favorite film?  Dirty Dancing

10. Do you sing in the shower?  Only if no one is home. I can't carry a tune in a bucket or in the shower.

11. What is the best gift you’ve ever received?  The electric typewriter my parents gave me for Christmas my senior year of high school. We already knew I was going to school for journalism so it was much appreciated and much used.

12. Do you prefer being indoors or outdoors?  Outdoors if the weather is cooperating.  

13. When was the last time you cried, and why?  I don't know. There was a time when I cried a lot, but I've gone through a few really rough patches in the past when I cried so much I think I cried myself out. I don't really cry these days. Once in a while I feel like I wish I could, but the tears don't come.

14. What do you keep in your bag or handbag?  Wallet, keys, phone, mints, pens and highlighters, planner, sometimes a book, and right now a lot of cold medicines.

15. Can you play a musical instrument?  No

Friday, May 3, 2024

Saturday 9: Rocket Man

Hello! I decided to check in with you all again this week.

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

1) In this song, Elton John tells us he's taking off for outerspace at 9:00 AM. What will you be doing at 9:00 AM tomorrow morning?  If I'm not sleeping, probably not much...reading Saturday 9 posts or throwing in a load of laundry. I have been running non-stop for a few weeks now and I'm also doing PT for my knee a few evenings a week and, if you can believe it, I'm sick again (the whole cough till I lose my voice thing). 2024 is so not getting my vote for best year!
2) He sings that even though he uses it for his astronaut job, he doesn't understand science. Was science one of your better classes in school?  It depended on what science. Chemistry? No. Biology? Some of it. Astronomy? Yes!
3) Lyricist Bernie Taupin recalls writing the first verse of "Rocket Man" while stuck in traffic as he tried to make his way to his parents' home. Have you recently been stuck in traffic? If yes, where were you headed?  They have been paving the big bridge that passes over the road my workplace is located on the last few days, so yes, I've sat in traffic. I sat trying to get up onto the highway to cross the bridge to go home and I sat heading the other direction (along with all those trying to avoid the highway traffic) while going to a client's home.

4) Thinking of cars ... Nigel Olsson, who plays drums and sings back-up on "Rocket Man," is a self-proclaimed "race car fanatic." What hobby are you passionate about?  Reading.

5) Davey Johnstone, who plays guitar on "Rocket Man," recently posted on Facebook that he was thrilled to meet Joni Mitchell. Are you on Facebook? Instagram? Twitter? Pinterest? Tik Tok?  Yes, to Facebook and Pinterest. I'm active on both. I have Instagram and Twitter accounts but never use them. I refuse to even consider Tik Tok.

6) Elton John once played charades with Bob Dylan. But only once. Elton laughingly says he can't get over how "hopeless" Dylan was at the game. What's the last game you played? Did you win?  I don't know what it was...something with the clients at work.
7) In 1972, when this song was popular, Winnie the Pooh was on the cover the Sears Christmas Wish Book. That year, kids asked Santa for plush Pooh, Tigger and Eeyore. Did you have many plush toys as a child? If yes, do you still have any of them? I had a few and I had my Pooh and my Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls until we got our hound, Elvis. He chewed EVERYTHING as a puppy and destroyed so many, many things. It's a good thing he was cute...and that he finally outgrew it.
8) Also in 1972, TV cowboy Dan Blocker died. He played the middle brother, "Hoss," on Bonanza. Do you enjoy watching westerns? I do. I grew up with them on the TV and though we don't usually watch them at home these days, I often see episodes with an older gentleman I care for.

9) Random question: What inspires you?  People who live selflessly serving others.

Saturday 9: Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer

Playing along with Crazy Sam and the gang over at Saturday 9 . Unfamiliar with this week's song? Hear it  here . 1) In this song, Nat Ki...