August 17, 2019

Sunday Stealing

Thanks again, to Bev @ Sunday Stealing for finding the questions for us to answer week after week. It's a tough job and we thank her for it.

Swap Bot asked people to post questions they would like to answer.  I copied them all and put together this brief selection.

1) What do you enjoy about summer?  Being able to get outside more, growing things in the garden, the beauty of nature, fresh local produce, fairs and festivals, vacations....

2) Do you like snow? Why?  It's pretty when it's new and I appreciate it through the holidays...atmosphere, ya know? After New Year, though, I'm done. I get tired of the cold and mess.

3) What do you think about dogs?
  I tend to like them more than a lot of people I know. I'm definitely a dog person and think a house is not a home without one.

4) Have you ever gotten lost?  Seriously lost, like in the woods and can't find my way out...or mildly lost like I took a wrong exit on the interstate...or something really silly like getting turned around in the mall?  No, yes, and probably are my answers.

5) What are your favorite type of socks?
  Men's And 1 ankle socks from Walmart. They have arch support built in and are just a bit less tight than women's socks so they are more comfortable for me since I'm on my feet all day.

6) What is your favorite style of shoes?  I would wear clogs with everything if they actually went with everything.

7) What would you name your boat if you had one?
  Aces Wild? Come Sail Away? The Great Escape? Or more likely,'s a long running family joke that my husband wants to name everyone and everything Sasquatch.

8) What common misconception do you hate to hear repeated as fact?
  Pick any of the political garbage floating around about both parties. If there is anything I hate in this life it is how so many these days are so quick to make all encompassing generalizations about a particular group.

9) What was the last shop you went into and what did you buy? 

10) What's your favourite thing to do to pass the time?
  You are, unfortunately, looking at it. Well, reading still comes in first, but not by as big a margin as I wish it did.

11) What is a way to die that scares you the most?
  None of them sound particularly good, but I guess some of my top least desirable ways to die are burning in a fire, being tortured by a psychopath, and being eating by a shark.

12) Travel or home body?
  I love to travel, but we don't do that much of it. I'm pretty much a homebody aside from the occasional vacation.

13) Have you ever gone to a Bingo hall?
Yes. I went a few times back in my 20's when my mom was driving all the older ladies in her neighborhood to bingo once a week. I don't think I ever won and back then the cigarette smoke was awfully thick. It was also (for the time) kind of least $20 for the evening's cards.

14) What is the longest plane trip you have taken?  When I was in Civil Air Patrol we flew from Pittsburgh to Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio on a C-17 cargo plane. Ugh. It was so loud we had to wear earplugs, the "seats" were more of a webbing sling, and there were no bathrooms. The flight took close to 8 hours. Pennsylvania to Ohio. 8. Hours.

If you were asking about distance, I'd guess it was from Pittsburgh to either New Mexico or Orlando.

15) Do you text more or call more? Why?  I definitely call more. I do text, but I am just not a fan.

That's all for this week. I'm working again on Sunday, so I'll catch up with you after work.

August 16, 2019

Saturday 9: Where You Lead

Where You Lead (1971)

Unfamiliar with this week's song. Hear it here.

1) This is the theme of The Gilmore Girls, a TV show that ran  from 2000 to 2007. It recently enjoyed renewed popularity as a reboot. Were you a fan?
  No, not either time.

2) The show is about thirtysomething Lorelai Gilmore, her teenage daughter Rory, and her parents, Richard and Emily. The four of them had dinner together every Friday night. Who did you have dinner with on Friday? What was on the menu?  We made and sold Chef salads for a fundraiser at work on Friday. I ate one at work and was too full to think about dinner. I brought another one home for Tim's dinner.

3) Lorelai is outgoing and talkative. How about you? Are you seldom at a loss for words?  Me? I'm always tongue-tied or at a loss for words. I express myself better with the written word.

4) Rory dreamed of going to an Ivy League school and then becoming a broadcast journalist. When you were in high school, what were your ambitions? Pretty much the same as Rory's. I went off to college dreaming of being a foreign correspondent, famous for my daring do in getting the story.

5) Rory's grandfather (and Lorelai's dad) went to Yale and performed with the Whiffenpoofs, Yale's famous a cappella group. Have you ever sung in front of an audience?  I'm sure I did as a kid...before I figured out I can't carry a tune in a bucket if my life depends on it. More recently my job forces me to sing in front of the dementia residents. I try to be sure no other staff is around.

6) Rory's grandmother (and Lorelai's mother) Emily was very active in civic organizations and worked hard on the Hartford Zoological Society's Annual Silent Auction.
Have you ever attended an auction?  I enjoy auctions. I started going to them as a pretty young child with my parents. I bought my first piece of furniture when I was still in high school. Tim and I furnished our first home with furniture bought at an auction (I was 19) and almost everything else was collected from flea markets or yard sales. I still go to auctions as often as I can...which isn't as often as I'd like.

7) Alexis Bledel, who played Rory, went on to appear in Mad Men and The Handmaid's Tale. Of these three shows -- Gilmore Girls, Mad Men and The Handmaid's Tale -- which would you prefer to binge watch?  I've never watched any of them, but I'm guessing Gilmore Girls.

8) Carole King originally wrote this week's song, "Where You Lead," for her Tapestry album. Do you have a favorite Carole King song?  I like most of her older songs, but I guess You've Got a Friend is my favorite. Tim and I had it sung at our wedding.

9) Random question: If zoo animals could talk, which animal do you imagine would be the rudest?  Probably one of the apes or monkeys since they can be pretty rude without talking.

Thanks to Sam at the Saturday 9 for another week of fun questions. It's a working weekend for me so I will catch up with everyone this evening. Have a great Saturday!

August 15, 2019

Thankful Thursday: Birthday Thanks

Hey, everyone! I am getting to this awfully late this week, but today was my birthday. In case you are wondering, I am now the speed limit old! (Think about it....)

Seeing as how it's my day and all I have lots to be thankful for so better late than never, I'm linking up with Rebecca Jo @ Knit By God's Hand for Thankful Thursday.

This week I am thankful...

** to be marking 55 years on this planet...all relatively unmarked by personal tragedy.

** to share my birthday with my mom and our cousin.

** to have actually had today off!

** for a delicious Turkish dinner with Mom and Tim. (It was actually Mom's husband who invited us and was treating us for our birthday, but he got a horrible nose bleed right before we had to leave to make our reservations. Mom didn't want to leave him, but he insisted.)

** that I am not at work for the full moon!

** for the tons and tons of birthday wishes from friends, family, co-workers, and acquaintances on Facebook.

** that I finally got our mail issues sorted out. I hope. (I ended the hold we'd put on our mail while we were on vacation after work last Monday and picked up all our mail. We got one bill a couple of days later and nothing since. Apparently, our regular carrier has been off for the last 3 weeks and it fell through the cracks. No mail today, though. We'll see what happens tomorrow.)

** that I don't have to stress over talking to my newly discovered half-sister any longer. Mom and I called her today and I talked to her for about 20 minutes. She seems nice. She told me about herself, my two half-brothers, and their families. What we didn't really talk about was our father...not with Mom on the phone, too. She is giving my contact info to the brothers so I may hear from them at some point. She also mentioned coming to see our father in the next month or so. If she does, she is hoping to swing through my town and we can meet somewhere for lunch. I agreed to that. A neutral restaurant would be a good place for a first meeting. 

** for all of you, of course!

August 14, 2019

Wednesday Medley: Celebrating V-J Day

Good morning! I'm linking up with Terri @ Your Friend From Florida today for the Wednesday Medley and to commemorate V-J Day. I can't say that I've ever celebrated today's holiday, but it's easy to imagine the huge celebration that erupted following the announcement of Japan's surrender back in 1945. I feel sure it was the party to end all parties. 
I wasn't alive to be directly affected by the war, but I sure am aware of the benefits I have enjoyed all my life thanks to the brave men and women who sacrificed so much. To the veterans who came home and to the warriors who did not, I give my heartfelt and unending thanks.

1.  I'm sure many kids today have no idea what V-J Day is all about.  Did you have a loved one who fought in WWII?  Yes, my favorite uncle, my dad's brother-in-law, was a Marine in the Pacific theater. He worked with the Navajo Code Talkers and landed just down the coast from Iwo Jima. The group he was with fought their way to Iwo Jima, arriving the second day.

2.  The iconic sculpture from the famous photograph of  "The Unconditional Surrender" has been defaced recently because of the #metoo movement. I know we can get very political about this subject, but just keeping it in the spirit for which it was created, what are your thoughts?  I've read interviews done with both the man and the woman who were caught in that iconic moment. Both were willing participants, caught up in the sheer joy and celebration of the moment. The kiss didn't even last that long and both went on their way not even knowing who the other was. That said, my personal opinion is that we should not deface, ruin, destroy, or remove that which we didn't experience and can't understand the meaning of.

3.  Terri's grandson, Tristan, loved playing a game called "Axis & Allies".  It was quite complicated, took up the entire dining room table, and was not something Terri wanted to play (Grandpa understood it and played though).  Can you name three Axis countries and five of the many Allies (okay to look it up!)?  The big three Axis countries were Germany, Japan, and Italy. I'm not too sure about the smaller players. As for the Allies, the big three were the United States, Britian, and surprisingly, Russia (yes, they were our "friend" before they were our enemy).

4.  Terri was surprised to learn that most historians agree that WWII began when Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. Others say it started when Japan invaded Manchuria on September 18, 1931. And some scholars suggest WWII is actually a continuation of WWI, with a break in between.  Have you ever visited Pearl Harbor in Hawaii or any other WWII memorials around the world?  Unfortunately, I have not.

5.  Calvin Graham was only 12 years old during WWII when he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He won a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart before the Navy found out how old he was.  (God bless him.) Terri doesn't know any 12-year olds today who could qualify or get away with something like that.  Times are so very different now but (in the US) we do have ROTC in high schools.  Do you know anyone who started in ROTC and went on to enlist in one of the services?  Not that I know of. I know one or two who were in the Civil Air Patrol as teenagers and went on to join the military, though.

6.  Please tell us something about your week so far.  It's been a pretty quiet week. We've both been working and Tim hasn't gotten home until around 8:00 each evening because they are finally winding down on the hotel project he's been on. There are a million little details to finish up before they turn it over to the owners. My work has been going well and I'm enjoying it. The only "interesting" thing to happen there was that on Monday my not-so-nice boss got called on the carpet by an administrator after she used her snotty attitude on that administrator. Maybe it will teach her something about how she treats others? We can only hope.
Oh, at work on Monday, we celebrated one of the restorative therapy aide's work anniversary. With 40 years of service, she has been there longer than anyone else in the entire company. She is 80 years old and still going strong with no plans to retire! Can you imagine?
Tomorrow is my birthday. I'm going to be the speed limit old. Double nickels. 55. It's also my mother's birthday. She will be 75. Tim is to come home early and my stepdad is taking us all out to dinner at a Turkish restaurant to celebrate.

August 12, 2019


Outside my window...  it's dark. It's been another night of little sleep. It's time to call another doctor and get an appointment. Ours used to be good, but he's changed and has been less than helpful for a while now.

I'm thinking...  a lot about the letter that came from my newly discovered sister. It feels so weird to think of having siblings after a lifetime of being an only child. Part of me is excited and wants to meet her and my brothers. Part of me wishes it would all just go back the way it was. I'm sure they are going to want to tell me about our shared parent and I'm not sure how I'm going to take hearing what a wonderful father he was to them. I'm also a little concerned about how we will get on as the little bit of snooping I've done on them since learning their names has shown them to be pretty liberal in their thinking and I am pretty much the opposite of that.

I am thankful...  we got the yard cleaned up yesterday. Tim is always bring leftover materials home from work, but he usually doesn't take the time to find ways to store them neatly...or more importantly to me, out of sight. He stacks stuff on his trailer in the driveway or along the back of the house or around the shed. It drives me nuts! Anyway, he finally admitted the house was looking like a bunch of hillbillies live here and spent most of yesterday getting stuff put away and then mowing down the weeds and grass that had grown up around and through it all. HUGE difference!

I am loving...  having a tiny baby to hold and love again. At least when her big brother doesn't want all my attention. (We are still a bit jealous.)

I am feeling...  for some reason, very aware of how quickly time is passing. I want it to slow down! Oh, and's that whole no sleep thing. 

I am celebrating...  my birthday this week. Mom and I share the day. On Thursday we are going out for dinner at a Turkish restaurant with Mom and John to celebrate. Mom will be 75 and I will be 55. Good grief, where has the time gone???

In the garden...  the tomato plants are dying of blight and big nasty caterpillars are eating the Catalpa tree leaves and pooping all over the place. I think I've identified the caterpillars as ones that are common in the south and eat Catalpa leaves almost exclusively. Not sure how to get rid of them.

I am hoping...  that Tim learned something from our vacation. He hasn't had time off like that for a long time and I know he had a hard time relaxing and having fun. The man really doesn't remember how to "play." He keeps saying he enjoyed it, so I'm hoping he will want to make more time to relax.

Today's weather...  sunny and 86 degrees without humidity.

A final thought...

August 11, 2019

Sunday Stealing: From The Friday Five

Questions taken from Friday Five

1. Have you ever had a great conversation with a complete stranger?  It happens now and then, but not very often because I tend to be reserved with strangers. The ones I have had were either about matters of faith or times when someone opened up and told me part of their history. I love to hear people's stories. Everyone is more interesting than you'd think.

2. Where did you go on the very first vacation of your life?  The first one I remember took place when I was 5. Dad built a camper on the back of his pickup truck, Mom traded the Green Stamps for sleeping bags, and off we went to Niagara Falls and Lancaster, PA. The only things I really remember are riding the Maid of the Mist at Niagara Falls during a pretty bad thunderstorm and riding the rides at Dutch Wonderland in Lancaster. I don't even remember that one side of the falls was dry because they were repairing them.

3. Open the door of your refrigerator. What is the first thing you see?  A bag of corn that I really need to husk and cook tomorrow.

4. What is your favorite place in your home.
  My tiny little room full of books and crafts.

5. If you had wings to fly about the universe, where is the first place you’d land?  I'm not leaving the planet, so probably the Middle East. I've always been fascinated by ancient history and would love to see everything over there.

6. What is the first thing you do when you get in your car?  Put on my seatbelt.

7. What is special about the town you live in?  Named for Benjamin Henry Latrobe, the architect of the U.S. Capitol, it is the birthplace of both Fred Rogers and Arnold Palmer. The banana split was first created here. The first air mail pick-up was at our airport. It was thought to be the birthplace of professional football for many years until a receipt found in Pittsburgh disproved that. However, it did have the first all paid team and would have likely been home to the National Football Hall of Fame, but the city government at the time decided, for some reason, that it would be more trouble than it was worth. Oh, and every summer the Pittsburgh Steelers have their training camp here on the campus of St. Vincent College. That's just off the top of my head.

8. What is the last thing you heard about your first love?  I have no idea. I haven't heard anything in years.

9. If you had created the world in seven days yourself, what would you have created on the First Day?
  I don't think I'd mess with the order of things. God had a good plan. Why muck it up?

10. How do you beat the summer heat?  Air conditioning, air conditioning, air conditioning.

11. Did you enjoy your Senior Year in high school?  It was....okay.

12. Who is your favorite First Lady of all time?
  Barbara Bush

13. Post a link to your first blog post.  I can't. My very first blog post was back in 2001. That blog hasn't existed for years.

14. When was the last time you needed First Aid?  Not that I got it, but I should have had First Aid when I took the fall that messed up my knee. No, like an idiot I worked the rest of the day. Now it gives me a lot of trouble.

15. Can you explain what a first down is in football?  I can.

Thanks as always to Bev for finding the questions we answer. Please stop by the Sunday Stealing site and let her know if you enjoyed it!

August 9, 2019

Saturday 9: Tossed Salad & Scrambled Eggs

This week brings us another fun song and great questions from our hostess with the most-est...Crazy Sam @ the Saturday 9.

Tossed Salad and Scrambled Eggs (1993)

Unfamiliar with this week's song. Hear it here.

1) This is the theme from Frasier, a TV show that ran  from 1993 to 2004. Were you a fan?  Mmm...not really.  It was okay. We watched it now and then, but not faithfully, and we skip past it in reruns.

The show is about a radio advice show host, Dr. Frasier Krane. When you listen to the radio, do you tune in for talk or music?  Music. Always. Even when talk radio is about something that interests me, I can't stand listening to it. I need something that's going to energize me and keep me alert in the car. And it's been years since I've listened to the radio in the house.

3) The theme's composer explained that tossed salad and scrambled eggs are both "mixed up," like the people who called Frasier's radio show. Which did you eat more recently, tossed salad or scrambled eggs?  That's a toss-up. I had both on the cruise, but haven't had either since we've been home. I can't remember which came first on the ship, the salad or the egg?

4) Peri Gilpin played Roz, Frasier's coworker at the radio station. The actress originally cast was Lisa Kudrow, but the show's producers didn't feel she was "right." Being released from Frasier gave her the opportunity to accept a bigger and better part: Phoebe on Friends. Can you think of a time when a setback was really a blessing in disguise?  I'm sure there must have been something, but I can't think of anything right now. 

5) Dr. Krane shared his home with Martin, his retired dad. Martin's favorite chair was well-worn recliner, held together in parts with tape. Frasier tried to replace it by giving his father a brand-new, expensive leather chair as a gift. Martin wanted his old recliner back. Tell us about a present you either gave or received that wasn't a hit.  Just about everything I give my husband that isn't a tool is not a hit. He doesn't really have a life beyond his work so anything geared toward leisure is lost on him. I've learned at Christmas to just ask him what tool he is wanting and make sure it's under the tree.

6) Kelsey Grammer played Dr. Krane on three different series (Cheers, Wings and Frasier) over 20 years. What job have you held the longest?  Driving a school bus for my former employer. I was there for 13 years.

7) Before he found success on Cheers, Grammer played bit parts on the

daytime dramas Ryan's World and Another World. Have you ever followed a soap opera? During my teens and early 20's I was hooked on soaps. Another World was the one that got me started, Days of Our Lives was my favorite (huge Bo and Hope fan here!), and I also watched Santa Barbara and there was another one that spun off of Another World and was set in Texas...I can't remember what it was called, but I really liked it, too.

8) In addition to work in front of the camera, Grammer has done voice over work on commercials for Dr. Pepper and Cheerios. Are either of those products in your kitchen right now?  Not at the moment.

9) Random question: You're invited to a party where dinner is served buffet style. There's spaghetti with tomato sauce, barbecue spare ribs and buffalo wings. When the evening is over, how likely are you to have a food stain on your clothes?  With those choices? Pretty darn likely. Especially if I'm wearing white or another light color. I'm pretty sure it's some kind of law of the universe.

August 8, 2019

Thankful Thursday: Cruising Through My Thanks

There is just so much to be thankful for this week! I hardly know where to begin, but letting you know I'm linking up with blogging friend, Rebecca Jo @ Knit By God's Hand for Thankful Thursday seems like the right start...because I am ALWAYS thankful for her acting as our host and for being such a ray of sunshine in every day (if you follow her blog, you know what I mean).

This week I am thankful...

** for this little cutie patootie. Our fourth grandchild and second granddaughter (she is also the last grandchild we will have) was born at 7:59 A.M. on July 29. She weighed in at 7 lbs and 12 oz and was 20 inches long. Say hello to Leah Rose.

** for the way Colton is stepping up as a big brother...even though his nose is just a wee bit out of joint over having to share the attention.

** for the wonderful vacation we had.

Our ship, the Grandeur of the Sea. Looking out from 
the shore in Boston.

Just one of Boston's fabulous green spaces with the city in the background.

I should probably remember what historic building this
is....but I don't. 

I also forget who this is a statue of. What can I say?
It was a whirlwind bus tour!

A busy lighthouse in Portland, Maine.

This is a monument and memorial to those (mostly women) who
built the Victory Ships in Portland during WWII.

Another lighthouse in Portland.

The Portland Head Light. 

These rocks are literally just yards away from the cliff the Portland Head
Light sits on and they have claimed many a ship. The writing on 
the rocks commemorates the most famous one.

Getting silly with lobster claws!

The pilings the birds are nesting on are over 100 years old.
They are all that remain of the city dock after a fire raged 
through the town and destroyed most of it.

The tender (which is also one of the lifeboats on the ship) that took
us to shore in Bar Harbor, Maine. It was the only port that
was too shallow for the ship to dock.

A close up look at how we got on and off the ship.

A beautiful sailing vessel.

A small park at the top of the hill over looking the bay
in Bar Harbor.

One of the mansions along the shore in Bar Harbor and backing up
against Acadia National Park.

Seals on an island in the bay.

There were Harbor Seals and Gray Seals.
Look at those cute faces!

They almost look like rocks on the shore.

This is the island the seals were on. They were to the right of the lighthouse.

Some of Maine's dramatic coastline.

This is where the ocean tide meets the St. Charles River in St. John,
New Brunswick. We caught it at slack tide, when the water was mostly still.
As the tide rises, it overcomes the river and the water flows inland.
When the tide goes out, the river flows out to sea.

This big, noisy fellow was keeping an eye on everyone.

I'm not sure, but I think this was taken at the Bay of Fundy.

I wasn't quite tall enough to get a good shot over the railings, but if you
look in the background to the right you can see another covered bridge.
They believe it's the only place you can see two that close together.
Legend is that you have to make a wish inside the bridge 
or kiss your sweetheart.

There are flower beds like this all through St. John's.
They are all filled with marigolds.
All the school children grow them as a project
and then there is one day when they come and
plant all of them. They are gorgeous!

Some kind of big birds hanging out on an island in the St. Charles River.

St. John's version of the Hollywood sign.

The "boys" were quite taken with this private yacht that was docked in
Halifax. It really was quite beautiful with all the wood and brass.

Another nice sailing vessel.

A little lighthouse in Halifax's harbor.
** to feel rested, relaxed, and recharged.

** Tim got lots of naps in while we were away. He sure needed them.

** to get home to my pup. I really missed her.

** for the wonderful crew on the ship. We took the time to talk to many of them and get to know them...a lot of sad stories there about families who can't be together because the husband is away on the ship to make a living. Also, they don't get much time off while they are doing their tour....just a few hours here and there. There are no whole days off. Our waiter for instance will work an 8 month stretch and then have two months off. He is doing it to send his kids to school so they will have more options than he does. These precious folks really knock themselves out to give you the best possible service and they go far above and beyond. (It's tough to want to come back to reality and not being waited on hand and foot!)

** for our new friend, Danny, the piano player in the piano bar. He is very talented and also very funny. We found ourselves hanging out there nearly every night after 9:00.

** for a gentle easing back into work. I worked Monday, was off Tuesday, and then work Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday...and have the weekend off. 

** that things at work seem to be running smoothly and my boss is in a good mood.

** for ripe tomatoes from the garden. The first thing I ate when I got home was a tomato and mayo sandwich!

** the heat is finally backing off.

** to my newly discovered half siblings for approaching Mom and I slowly with thoughtfulness and concern for our feelings.

** for each one of you!