NYC Trip


As we do every year, Kathy and I spent a day in New York to celebrate our birthdays.  Our trip always includes two Broadway shows. a matinee and evening performance, dinner, and a stay at the Marriott Marquis.  As we always do, we had a great time.

We took the 9:10 Amtrak from Middletown.  It is a 3 hour train ride but really relaxing.  The train arrives in NYC at 12:15 which gives us enough time to have a small lunch, get checked in, and get to the theatre for the 2:00 matinee.

Our favorite place for lunch is the European which is on 8th ave. between 42nd and 43rd streets.  Because Kathy is having some leg problems, more of that in a future post, I decided to get her some lunch while I took the bags to the hotel and checked in.  I would come back after I took care of things and then have lunch.

Because it was only noon our room at the Marquis wasn’t ready so I checked our bags and headed back to join Kathy for lunch.  After we finished eating it was of to the theater for our first show.  Since we were going to 44th street it was just one block and around the corner.

We saw


The show was pure Disney.  Many Wow factors.  We both really enjoyed the show.  Here is a picture of Kathy that I took inside the theatre with the stage as a backdrop.


After the show it was off to dinner.  We had reservations at Osteria al Doge.  Great food.  Dinner was delicious and made more enjoyable because our nephew, Jason, and his finacee, Marissa.  It is their wedding that we are traveling to in a few weeks.

After dinner we still had plenty of time until out 8:00 show.  I thought we would go back to the hotel and see if our room was ready.  It wasn’t.  6:00 and our room still wasn’t ready for us.  The clerk at the check-in desk was upset that this happened so she worked at getting us a $50.00 credit on our bill.  This worked for me.

Jason wanted to take us out for a drink to celebrate our birthdays.  We thought we would go up to The View, which is on the 48th floor of the hotel and has a revolving lounge.  For all o the tines we stayed at the Marriott I had never been to the View.  We went up and I had my chocolate martini.


Here are Jason, Marissa, and Kathy enjoying drinks.


A picture of Manhattan from the View.


If you notice that thing jutting out from the building in the back, that is a balcony.  No way I would step foot on that thing.

After drinks we went off to our second show.


What an uplifting show.  Highly recommend this.

I know there are many different kinds of jobs in this world.  Looking out of our room window on the 45th floor I saw a job that there is no way I would ever want to do.


I would say, “Let the rains wash the windows.”

After breakfast at Juniors we just spend some nice leisurely time in the city until it was time to head down to the train station for our 2:10 ride home.

As always, we enjoyed our day in NYC and look forward to our next trip, whenever that may be.




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Birthday Freebies


I admit that I like celebrating my birthday.  It seems that many places like to give you free things for your birthday.  The nice thing is that the offers you receive are usually good for several days before and after the day itself.

I celebrated my birthday on Saturday.  About a week prior to the day I started getting offers.  Ruby Tuesday offered me a free burger.

If I want a free meal I could get one at Applebee’s or Houlihan’s.  We plan on using the Houlihan’s deal the day we come back from NYC.

What is a birthday without dessert?  I can get a free dessert at Garfield’s.  How about a free blizzard at Dairy Queen?  My personal favorite is the chocolate covered cherry blizzard.  If I want something a bit lighter there is always a free ice at Rita’s.

If I would rather shop than eat there are many stores that offer me birthday discounts.  Best Buy, Michael’s, and Staples are three of them.

I am sure that there are many more offers out there for people celebrating their birthday.  All you have to do is sign up on their website.

So, where did I go to eat on my birthday?  Shady Maple Smorgasbord.  A free meal and no coupon necessary.  Show proof that it is your birthday and your meal is free.

Yes, I do enjoy celebrating my birthday.  An added plus is that Thursday is Kathy’s birthday so the celebration s can continue.


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Quilt Odyssey


July around here means just one thing:  it is time for Quilt Odyssey at the Hershey Lodge and Convention center.  So of course we went.  As with every year, these quilts are something to see. They are not the kind of quilt you would throw on top of a bed and sleep under, at least I wouldn’t.  I am sure, however, that my cats would have no trouble sleeping on top of any of them.

Here are samples of what we saw.  Some are winners.  Some are not although to me each quilt is a winner.

Many quilters today use a long arm quilting machine to do their quilting instead of doing it by hand.  Many quilters make the top and then send the quilt off to someone else to have it quilted.

q1 - Copy

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As with most shows, pictorial quilts are always big.

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Here is the winner in this category.

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I liked the design an colors in this quilt.

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This is a more traditional pattern although there is nothing traditional about the quilt.

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This quilt actually photographed better than it looked.  The colors are a bit too close to each other for there to be much distinction in the pattern.

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Here is another first place winner.

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I had to take a picture of this because we also have a Molly although a completely different Molly.

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I will end with the Best of Show.



I think the next big quilt show is at Oaks in September. We will be there.



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What A Mess!


This is not the post I was all set to write today.  I have never posted this early, but I doubt if I will get any sleep tonight.  I guess even with all of the precautions we took it was still bound to happen eventually and today was the day.

Here on the east coast we are caught in a stalled weather pattern.  It has been raining all day yesterday and most of the day today. The ground is saturated.  There is no place for the water to go so it came into our basement – a good two inches.

I realize that this is not as much as other communities got.  I look at places like Pine Grove and my heart aches for those who are still recovering from the last flood they had.  Pictures on the news shows cars submerged in water.

Hershey Park is flooded.  They said they would open tomorrow but I think that is doubtful.  I pity the poor animals in Zoo America.

The interstate was closed in the Ravine area.  I heard that there is possible structural damage to one of the bridges.

In Pine Grove the National Guard was called in to rescue some people and take them to the local high school.

So, with all that is going on around us I guess I won’t complain too loudly.  Whatever mess we have in the basement we will deal with it when the rain is over.  I firmly believe that God never gives us more than we can handle and with His help we will deal with this.

Here is our overworked sump.  Not running constantly now, but not much rest time between cycles.


Furniture stacked in the big room.


More staked furniture.


You can see the ceiling lights reflected in the water outside of Kathy’s sewing room.


It was much worse several hours ago.  Didn’t take pictures then because I was too busy trying to pick things up off of the floor.



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What A Day!

Here it is 6:15 and I haven’t written and posted yet.  In fact, I wasn’t sure I would post anything today, but I will give it a shot.

Some days there is nothing on the calendar that needs to be done.  Some days there might be one or two things that need to be taken care of.  Then there are those days when it seems you are constantly on the go with no time to catch your breath.  That was today.

Now it didn’t start off looking too bad.  All I had to do was go to the ENT doctor for my check-up and bake some lemon bars because tomorrow is food pantry day.  My appointment was at 1:30 so I figured with getting something to eat after the appointment I could still be home by 4:00.  That would give me plenty of time to make the lemon bars.

Now, things started off on the wrong foot.  I over slept because some fur baby had me up at 3:00 AM.  It took me over an hour to get back to sleep so instead up getting up at my usual time I got up an hour later.

I guess I could have written my post then, but I decided to read the paper and check emails first.  At 9:00 I decided to go to the store because we needed a few things, mainly some iced cinnamon buns for breakfast.  Yes, I need one every morning.  If I go before 9 the  fresh buns aren’t out yet.

I could have written my post when I got back but I decided to read and comment on other posts first.  Besides, I knew I had to leave the house by 12:45 to get to my appointment on time and I still had to have breakfast and get cleaned up.

Anyway, as I was reading the phone rang.  It was Debbie from AAA.  My Trip Tik was ready and could be picked up.  Since the AAA office was three blocks from my doctor’s office I told her I would stop in that afternoon.

Back to more reading and commenting.  The phone rings again.  This time it is Home Depot telling my the last cabinet that we were waiting six weeks for was in and we could pick it up.  There was no way I was going to let that go until another day. The sooner I get it home the sooner our contractor could come back and finish our kitchen.

So. my day is set.  I get to the doctor’s office and wait 45 minutes until I am called back.  This was a short wait in this office.  An hour later I am done and we are off to AAA to pick up our material.  We spend about a half hour talking with Debbie and going over the material she has for us.  She also starts picking out tour books for each of the states we will be passing through.

Then it is off to Home Depot to pick up the cabinet.  My this time it is raining fairly heavily.  I don’t care.  We get our cabinet and one of the workers offers to load it into the car for us.  Great.  One problem though.  I had never put down the back seats in the RAV 4 so I wasn’t sure how to do it.   I assumed , silly me, that it would be like the Corolla which I knew how to do.  It wasn’t.  Neither one of us knew how to do it.  The worker even Googled it and couldn’t fine the needed information.  Finally, after about 5 minutes I did what I should have done first.  I got the owner’s manual out and checked.  There on page 147 it told us exactly how to do it.

With the cabinet loaded it was off to WalMart. for just a few tings since both stores are in the same plaza.  Got what we needed and it was now 4:30.  I was hungry.  Since there is a Subway in WalMart we decided to eat there.  That killed another 45 minutes.  We finished eating and then headed home.

It is now 6:00. I have a cabinet to unload.  I have 3 hungry beasties who want to be fed and I still have lemon bars to make.  Top priority is to feed the cats and put them in the other room so I can bake without their help.

That done I gather my supplies for the bars.  Remember our kitchen is packed in 50 boxes scattered throughout 3 rooms in the house so I need to remember where the pan is.  Where the juicer is.  Where the flour and sugar are.

I find all that I need.  Oh no!  I don’t have enough sugar.  If I had checked this morning I could have bought more when I went to the store.  I didn’t so it was off the Redner’s to get more sugar.  Finally I had everything and got the bars made.

Anyway, here is our final cabinet sitting in the garage waiting for Tony to come install it.


Here is the Trip Tik and all of the tour books from AAA.

Finally, here are the lemon bars.  They are not yet cut, but I will do that after I post this.


I am glad this day is finished.  Tomorrow it is just Food Pantry.  I can handle that.



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A Nice Surprise


A surprise, by nature, is an unexpected happening.

We do not know what the future brings.

What wasn’t there the year before

Now warms you to your inner core.

How did it get there? I do not know.

It isn’t something that I sowed.

Was it carried by the wind?Was it dropped by a passing bird?

Maybe a squirrel, but that’s absurd.

No matter how I’m glad it’s there.

In this neighborhood it’s nothing rare.

So I will enjoy it while it’s here.

And hope it returns for a visit next year.



I did not plant any seeds this year and we didn’t have these last year.



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As teachers asking questions is second nature to us.  It is how we get our students to think, to reason, to look at possibilities they may not have thought of exploring.

Sometimes these questions have a specific answer.  What was IT in A Wrinkle in Time?  We need to recall details.

Other times there is no specific answer.  Why was IT not destroyed at the end of the book?  We want our students to come up with their own ideas and defend their reasoning behind that choice.

Questioning doesn’t stop just because we leave the classroom.  As adults we still seek answers to questions we have.  Sometimes the answers are clear.  Sometimes these questions have no obvious answer, at least not to me.  So, if any of you have an answer to any of these questions please let me know.

1.  Why is it that on the interstate someone passes me at as high rate of speed a quarter mile from an exit, gets back in front of me, and slows down only to get off at the approaching exit?

2.  Why is it that the person with the shrillest voice who is always a flat or sharp away from the note being sung the loudest in a group.

3. Why is there always one person in church who when reciting the Our Father or any other prayer is always two or three words ahead of the congregation and why is this person always sitting behind me?

4.  Why does the printer always run out of ink or paper when I only need five more copies?

5.  Why does plastic wrap always stick tightly to itself but not  to the dish I am trying to cover?

6.  Since we are on things that stick, why is it that those sticky price labels placed on bakery items not stick to the plastic container but form a hard and fast bond with the inside of the plastic grocery bag?

7.  Why do things break at night when there is nothing you can do about it until the next day?I

8.  Why do gas prices seem to come down the day after I fill my tank?

9.  Why  do the cats pick the middle of the night to wake  me up with the sound of a furball?

10.  Why do people hang up just as I answer the phone?



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