We’re Going On A Trip


I probably won’t be here next Tuesday.  Why? Well. Kathy and I are going on a trip.  I am looking forward to it.

So, what can I tell you about our trip?  Well, we are leaving Harrisburg at 7:30 A.M. and we will be returning there at around 4:30 P.M.  I guess that gives me enough time to get home and post but I will have to see what kind of shape I will be in.

Let’s see…what else.  Oh, we will be stopping for lunch but I don’e know where.  I do know that I ordered the turkey platter so that should be quite good.  Kathy ordered the beef platter.

I should mention that the trip was organized by the Dauphin County School Retirees Recreo chair, Sandy Novotni.  Sandy did tell us that there is some walking and step climbing involved.

Oh, I didn’t tell you where we are going.  We are going to … I don’t know.  It is a Mystery Trip.



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Get Ready For Winter


I admit I get sidetracked quite easily these days.  This post is a prime example.  I was all set to continue writing about the Quilt Odyssey at Hershey when I came across something in one of the news feeds on Frontier’s home page.  I knew I should not have clicked on it, but I did.  I knew it wouldn’t make me happy; it didn’t.

So, what got my attention?  The Farmer’s Almanac released their prediction for the winter of 2019 – 2020.  They use multiple “F” words to describe the winter – “freezing, frigid, and frosty”.  I can handle freezing and frigid.  I can stay home. I can dress in layers.  I don’t like “frosty”.

They are saying we are in for another “wild ride” with “hefty snowfalls”.  Yikes! This is true of the eastern part of the country, they say.  The western part can expect a “milder winter with near-normal temperatures and precipitation”.  Maybe I need to find a winter home somewhere out west.

Also, according to the almanac, come late January we can expect a visit from our old friend, polar vortex.  Like I really want this kind of company come January.

This got me thinking, maybe I should go outside and start looking for sign of winter to prove the almanac wrong.  In case you would like to do some weather sleuthing on your own here are 20 signs that a rough winter is coming, according to folklore:

1. Thicker-Than-Normal Corn Husks.

2. Woodpeckers Sharing a Tree.

3. The Early Arrival of the Snowy owl.

4. The Early Departure of Geese and Ducks.

5. The Early Migration of the Monarch butterfly.

6. Thick Hair on the Nape of a Cow’s Neck.

7. Heavy and Numerous Fogs During August.

8. Raccoons With Thick Tails and Bright Bands.

9. Mice Chewing Furiously To Get Into Your Home.

10. The Early Arrival of Crickets on the Hearth.

11. Spiders Spinning Larger-Than-Usual Webs and Entering the House in Great Numbers.

12. Pigs Gathering Sticks.

13. Ants Marching in a Line Rather Than Meandering.

14. Early Seclusion of Bees Within the Hive.

15. Unusual Abundance of Acorns.

16. Muskrats Burrowing Holes High on the River Bank.

17. “See how high the hornet’s nest, ‘twill tell how high the snow will rest.”

18. The Size of the Orange Band on the Woollybear (or Woollyworm) Caterpillar.

19. Squirrels Gathering Nuts Early to Fortify Against a Hard Winter.

20. Frequent Halos or Rings Around the Sun or Moon Forecasts Numerous Snowfalls.


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Continuing Our Tour of Quilts


I took last week off to talk about our birthday trip to NYC so I thought I would get back the the Hershey Quilt Show this week.  There was so much to see and some really beautiful quilts.  So, let’s continue our tour.

There was a section of small quilts with the theme “A River Runs Through It”.  Here are two examples.  In this one I particularly like how the use of fabric color, at least to me, looks like the Northern Lights in the background. Of course, it could just be mountains.



This one just looks calming and relaxing.



I thought the shape of this one was unusual, but since it is a diamond anniversary quilt I guess the shape is appropriate.



This quilt stood out because it was all hand quilted.  So many quilts are machine quilted today.




Truly a work of art.



Many quilters come up with their own design rather that using someone else’s pattern.  Here is an original.



This one fascinated me because as you can see one panel picks up where the last panel ended creating a seamless transition from one piece to the next.



I think this is a good place to stop for this week.  There are still many more quilts to see and I will continue the show next week.


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Birthday Week

One of the nice things about Kathy’s and my birthdays being just 5 days apart is that we can celebrate for a week – and we do.  The celebration began on Sunday, August 4, my birthday.

I had a coupon for a free meal at Houlihan’s and another one for a $10.00 dinner special.  I couldn’t use both at the same meal so I had to choose.  I went with the $10.00 special since it was a one day only deal and my free meal was good until the 11th.  I started off with a chocolate martini and Kathy had a glass of moscato.  I may have had a few sips before I took a picture.


Dinner was a shrimp pasta.  We both had one and it was delicious.  We both had one.


I am sad to say, however, that there was no room for dessert.  Next time.


On Monday we went to Shady Maple Smorgasbord. They give you a free meal on your birthday.  They are closed on Sundays so if your birthday falls on a Sunday as mine did this year you get your free meal on Monday.  If you have never eaten there it really is a food destination.

Tuesday we spent a quite day at home because on Wednesday we were off to New York for our annual birthday trip.  This included two shows, a meal, and an overnight stay.

Because it is only one night I we like to stay at the Marriott Marquis on 46th and Broadway.  It is convenient to all we want to do.  I also like to get a room with a Broadway view.  When we get back to our room after the evening show we like to sit with a cup of Starbucks and watch the activity going on below.

This year we were on the 31st floor.  Looking out our window to the west we could see the river.


Looking straight ahead this was our view.


Our afternoon show was


Because this is closing on the 18th I really wanted to see it before it closed.  I was surprised that photos inside the theatre were permitted.  This wasn’t always the case.


The show was really good.  After the show it was off to Osteria al Doge for dinner.  I chose this restaurant because it is on 44th street and our evening show was on 45th street.  Besides, the second show started at 7:00 and not 8:00 so I didn’t want to have to walk far after dinned to get to the theatre on time in case dinner took longer than I thought.  Dinner was delicious. Kathy had veal scaloppine and I had crab stuffed ravioli.

It was then off to our second show.  It is billed as a spectacular spectacular and it definitely was.  Talk about an assault on the senses.  Here are some pictures form inside the theatre which we were encouraged to take.


There were things going on while people were being seated.  Sorry about the guy in this picture.


There was actually a guy dancing in that cage.  During intermission I went up to the mezzanine to get a better picture of the elephant.


Of course it wouldn’t be Moulin Rouge without the windmill.



I am a fan of the movie so I really enjoyed this show.  If you ever get a chance to see it I highly recommend  it.


To finish up the week Friday, the 9th, was Kathy’s birthday so of course we had to go out for dinner.  This time we went to the Harvest at the Hotel Hershey.  Since we were in chocolate town and I like chocolate I had to have a chocolate martini and Kathy had a glass of wine.


We each started with a bowl of she-crab soup.


Kathy had lobster mac-n-cheese and I had grilled salmon.



For dessert they brought Kathy a birthday cupcake.  I had blueberry fritters with lemon curd.



So, why celebrate your birthday on only one day when you can stretch it out for a week?



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New and Old


It is that time of year.  End of July or beginning of August means that it is time for Quilt Odyssey to be held at the Hershey Lodge.  So, we hopped in the car, drove 45 minutes, parked at the Lodge and went to the quilt show.

I must say that I was really impressed by what I saw this year. The quilts were beautiful with one quilt being more spectacular than the one before it.

To start this tour of the show I thought I would concentrate on two special exhibits that greeted us as soon as we walked into the “Quilt Room”.

The first exhibit showcased Baltimore Album Quilts.  What exactly is a Baltimore Album Quilt?  First of all each block is appliqued.  The motif is usually, but not always, floral.  There can be many pieces to each block and they are quite colorful, usually primary colors.

So, let’s take a look at a few of the quilts that were on display.

This first quilt has a center block that is surrounded be 12 smaller blocks.  I thought the quilting set off the blocks nicely.


This next quilt has the same layout, but the border is much more intricate.  I also like how the sashing around the blocks separates the blocks.


This quilt is a bit different because sashing was not used between the blocks.


This last example doesn’t have a center block but is made of 25 individual blocks.  The border on this one really frames the blocks nicely, in my opinion.


These quilts are all relatively new, but as my title says the old were displayed along with the new.  There was an antique quilt exhibit there as well.  The dates on these show that quilting has been around for quite a long time.  These quilts are still in excellent shape.

The Star of Bethlehem or Lone Star quilt has been a popular pattern for many years.  This one dates from around 1870.



This next one dates from the 1840s – 1850s.   What struck me about this quilt is that the fabric colors are not what I usually associate with quilts of this era.



This last example from the 1890s uses a diamond pattern.  The thing that amazes me is that these quilts were all hand quilted since long arm quilting machines were not invented yet.



Next week we will take a look at some of the other quilts that were on display.


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Let There Be Air


Although this past weekend was hot, the humidity was low.  This made it much more tolerable for me.  However, we had a problem.

The house felt a little warm on Thursday.  I figured that with the higher temps outside for the last couple of days,  temperatures were mid 90’s, and since we usually keep the AC set at 78 degrees I figured this was only natural.  I didn’t bother to look at the thermostat.  Silly me.

Friday was the same.  That day, however, I did check to see what the inside temperature was.  We had a problem.  The unit was set at 78 degrees.  The AC was turned on.  The inside temperature was 85 degrees.  What?  That can’t be.  How could the house be warmer than what the set temperature was?

It didn’t take me long to figure out that there was a problem with out AC unit.  Show just how smart I can be.  I knew we were in for a heat wave so I figured I had better call our service people.

I spoke with the dispatcher and she told me she wasn’t sure anyone cold come on Friday because all service people were out.  I told her we could survive until someone came.  We did before we had the AC installed.  She would call back when someone was available.

No call Friday.  No call Saturday.  No call Sunday.  No call Monday.  I knew that the humidity was going to start climbing again so I thought I would call again and ask if they had found someone who was available.

One of their service people lives where we do but he was tied up with someone else.  He could stop by tomorrow, Tuesday, morning at 7:30 to check things out.  Fine.  I would be up and waiting.

He came right on time today.  Checked the flow.  Air was moving.  Said he thought it was an outside problem and went to check.  In less than 30 minutes he was finished and the cool air was once again flowing throughout the house.  Seems the capacitor blew.  Apparently this tends to happen in hot weather.

Well. he replaced it.  The house is getting cool and comfortable.  I am happy.


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Surviving The Heat


There is no denying that last week’s heat wave here in the east as well as the rest of the country has been brutal.  With the humidity the heat index had reached over 100 degrees on several days.  How do you survive?  What do you do to keep cool?

It was so hot last week that I didn’t feel like moving or doing anything.  Things that normally enjoy held no interest at all for me.


I usually start the day by sitting in front of the fan and reading the newspaper.  That kind of eases me into the day ahead.


All I wanted to do was rest.  So I admit that I took several cat naps during the day.






When it is warm it is important to find a cool spot.  Quartz makes for a cool place to rest.



Lounging in the pool is another way to beat the heat.  It does help, however, if there is water in the pool.


Of course, wearing heavy clothing is not a wise ting to do.  I suggest you shed those heavy layers and go for something light and breathable.


It is important to stay hydrated so I suggest you drink plenty of liquids.


As far as eating, several small meals are better than one big meal.



Sometimes it is just nice to chill out with friends, especially in an air conditioned space.


If you really must go out I suggest you take an umbrella since pop up showers are a given in this kind of weather.


Of course, if none of these suggestions works for you I have one more thing you can try.  Find a cool spot somewhere in the world, pack a bag, and take off until the heat wave is over.




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