A Call to Duty

This morning I was up at 6:00. My usual wake-up time is around 8:00.

This morning my breakfast consisted of a half bowl of cereal, very little milk, no juice, no fruit, no coffee. My usual breakfast consists of a glass of orange juice, a bowl of cereal with added blueberries and a sliced banana, a mug of coffee and a cookie. Don’t judge me.

Today I was showered, dressed, and ready to step out the door by 7:15. Most days I shower after breakfast, dress in comfortable at home clothes, and go nowhere.

So, why the change in schedule? Well, I had a request. No, an invitation?. No. OK, a summons to appear for jury duty. I was to report to the courthouse by 8:00.

Because of Covid we were told things had changed. Jurors would be picked and we would be out of there by lunchtime.

The first round was called at 9:00. I wasn’t part of that group. So I sat and waited. Glad I had a book with me.

10:00 the second round was called. I was not part of that group. More sitting. More reading.

10:30 the next round. This time I was called. I was number 22. After listening to the prosecutor and defendant who was acting as hi own lawyer, responding to questions, and waiting while they made their decisions, the names of the twelve jurors and two alternates were called. Mine was not one.

We were dismissed and told we could leave. I was home by noon.

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The Satellite Dish

A few years ago we decided to get a satellite dish because we were not happy with the cable company we had. For several years this worked for us, but then the satellite company started changing the channels we received. We were not happy because we lost some of the local ones as well as others we watched regularly.

We went back to cable. Well, last week a new satellite dish entered our lives. I can’t say we get any better reception. It is smaller than the one we had before. The cats are none too happy about it. In fact, Dustin hid from t and would not go anywhere near it. Ned took it in stride. The one who liked it least was Molly. For her, there was no getting away from it. I think we will get rid of this new dish come Friday.

The Dish

Reception's not better;
I can't scratch an itch.
So why am I wearing
this satellite dish?

Tooth extraction
is not a good reason
to make me look like I'm part
of an alien invasion.

I hear tell 
that in three day's time
This dish will come off
and all will be fine.

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OLW

A few weeks ago after one of my posts, fellow blogger Carol Varsalona offered a suggestion as to what my OLW should be for this year. I gave it some thought but decided it wasn’t quite right. It didn’t seem deep enough or profound enough.

I tried out other words. Acceptance seemed like a good word. With the things going on in the world we could all use more of this. Why not start with myself? However, this was not quite right. I thought of Carol’s suggestion again but passed on it.

What about “experiment” ? It might be beneficial to try out new things. With the March Challenge coming up experimenting with new formats would broaden my scope of writing. Again, not quite right.

I tried out a few other words but none of them really spoke to me. I think you can see where this is going.

I kept coming back to what Carol suggested. I finally thought, why not? It is a small word, only three letters. It fits my outlook and speaks to what I would the year to hold. This word can be used as a noun: enjoyment. It can be used as a verb: joke or kid. It can be used as an adjective: amusing.

So, thank you Carol for guiding me to my OLW: FUN. With things seeming to get worse instead of better I want to find a little bit of fun in each day. Maybe it will just be watching the cats be cats. Maybe it will be shaking my head at some stupid thing I have just done. I do enough of them each day. Maybe it will be watching the kids play basketball in the park across the street.

I know there is fun to be found every day if I just look for it and that is exactly what I plan to do.

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Not Planned

Many people had plans for New Year’s Eve. I didn’t. We haven’t gone out for dinner in years. I don’t like the crowds and I don’t like being rushed through dinner because others are waiting for my table. I am too old to enjoy being outside to watch a beer bottle being raised or a pickle or a bologna being dropped. Yes, these do take place around here.

My plans for the evening included a dinner at home: a nice salad, shrimp alfredo over cheese tortellini, a roll, and a nice glass of wine. It also included watching the ball drop in Times Square at midnight. What it did not include was a trip to the ER, but that is what happened.

Without going into too much detail let me just say that Thursday night around 10:00 I had a little incident that worried me a little, OK, a lot. It passed and I went to bed. Friday it seemed things had passed, but after lunch the problem started again. I called me PCP to see if I could get an appointment, but the office was closed. Kathy and I then decided that maybe I should go to the ER. We got cleaned up, dressed, and headed out. We got there around 4:00. I checked in and was told to have a seat.

About an hour later the triage nurse called be back to assess my condition. After explaining things she told me it would be a while before I saw anyone because of short staff and no available beds. I was told to have a seat in the waiting room.

Kathy and I found two seats that were somewhat separated from the other seats. and we waited, We waited. We waited. We sat through two Hallmark channel Christmas movies. I don’t want to offend anyone, but. when the third movie started I just couldn’t take it. It was now 8:00, I wasn’t called back, and after talking with the nurse I would not be seen by anyone in the near future. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t blame the nurse or anyone in the ER. They were doing the best with what they had.

I was feeling better, I was hungry, and I couldn’t take a third movie. I decided that I would go back home and call my PCP on Monday. I told this to the nurse and thanked her for being there. We went home.

I would have taken us out for dinner, but nothing was open so we came home. It was after 9:00 when we got back. Tool late to make shrimp alfredo. So, I checked the refrigerator to see what I could make. We had some leftover raw fried potatoes. We had bread. We had egg. So, I heated the potatoes, fried up some eggs throwing a slice of cheese on each egg, and made some some toast. Skipped the wine because that didn’t seem like the drink to go with eggs.

We did turn the TV on at 11:55 to watch the ball drop after which I promptly went to bed. So much for being a party animal.

I was fine all weekend. Yesterday I called my PCP and had a virtual meeting with her. She confirmed what I self diagnosed (with my vast medical background) the problem was. She gave me some guidelines to follow.

I do have my annual wellness check with her at the end of the month so we will see how things are by then.

Hope you had a better start to you New Year. Wishing you all health and happiness.

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Looking Back

As 2021 comes to an end I sit here thinking about the past year and all that has happened. It would be easy for me to get depressed. However, I choose to look at all the good that happened instead. Here are just a few of them.

Health continues.
A milestone birthday (70) was celebrated.
Plenty of time to get lost in books.
Pets continue to brighten each day with their antics.
Yellow daffodils brightened spring mornings.

Nephew finished his residency.
Eye exam revealed no change since the last time.  Didn't need new glasses.
We tried new recipes. Some we will make again while others were tossed.

Yardwork kept me busy and got me outside for fresh air.
Even though we couldn't physically get together, Zoom helped us stay in touch.
After three years as president I can now just attend DCPASR Board meeting as a member.
Ready to take on 2022 and whatever it brings our way.

Hoping there was much in 2021 that brought you joy.  May you have a Healthy and Happy New Year!

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Christmas Sijo

A short post to share a Christmas Sijo or two. Yeah, there is a common theme.

The Christmas Tree

The decorated tree lights up the faces of all who see it.
Twinkling lights, cherished ornaments, and a bright shining star.
Bells on the tree start to peal and out jumps the cat.

Just for fun, how about one more.

The Presents

The many gifts strewn around the floor hold no interest.
He will never use them because they were never wanted.
The cat likes the paper that crinkles and a box to hide in.

May this holiday season fill your heart with joy. May the love we give and receive be not limited to just one day but continue through the year. May you gatherings with family and friends be causes for celebration. May we keep in our hearts the true reason we celebrate.

Merry Christmas to all!

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The Good Old Days

I wasn’t sure what to write about today. With all that is going on in the world I really wasn’t in the mood to visit life at present. I’ll save that for another day.

Instead, I started thinking about the “good old days”. Those days vary depending on the age of the one dwelling on them. For me, I thought about what the world was like when I entered it back in 1951. So, thanks to Google I was able to time travel back to the year I was born to se what was happening way back then. Here are some of the things I found out.

There seemed to be a shopping spree going on. People were buying new houses in the suburbs, televisions, and refrigerators. Gas was the unbelievable price of 19 cents a gallon. Consumerism was on the rise.

Nuclear testing officially began on January 27 at the Nevada test site with a 1-kilotron bomb. There were a total of 1021 tests between 1951 and 1992. Some were atmospheric and some were underground.

On February 27 the twenty-second Amendment to the Constitution was ratified limiting an elected president to two terms in office. Question: why couldn’t that be expanded to all elected officials?

AT&T became the first American corporation to have one million stockholders. I am not a stockholder, but they do provide my cell phone service.

The first Jack in the Box fast food restaurant opened in San Diego. I have never eaten at one.

In June the first S&H green stamps were given out at King Sooper. a Denver food chain. We collected green stamps and redeemed them for many items over the years. We also collected the plad stamps given out at the A&P.

In an armed forces survey banana cream pie was voted the favorite dessert. A survey by the New York bartender’s union listed the three most popular drinks as being manhattans, martinis, and daquiris.

In 1951, Ben Carson, Charles S. Dutton, Chesley Sullenberger, Jane Seymour, Jill Biden, John Mellencamp, Luther Vandross, Michael Keaton, Olivia Hussey, Phil Collins, Robin Williams (1951-2014), Rush Limbaugh (1951-2021), Sting, and Tommy Hilfinger were all born. I guess I am in some pretty good company.

Were these really the good old days? I guess you would have to ask an adult from that time. What frightens me right now is that some day in the future a person might think back to now being the good old days.

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A Tradition Continues

Before going to bed Sunday night Kathy and I both put a pair of shoes in front of our chairs. Why would we do this you ask? Simple. Monday, December 6, was the feast of St. Nicholas. Legend has it that Saint Nicholas visits the homes of all good boys and girls, no matter their age, and leaves a present in their shoes.

St. Nick has been visiting us for 40 years and we both hoped that he would once again make an appearance while we were sleeping. We knew the cats wouldn’t bother him if he came because nothing disturbs their nightly sleep, except maybe food.

Imagine the joy we felt when we got up on St. Nicholas day and saw there was a bag in each of our shoes.

What could be in them? Did St. Nick stop at Boscov’s before coming here. Just like little kids we were excited and could not wait to see what St, Nicholas brought us. Because I am more impatient than Kathy I opened my bag first. Oh Boy! There was a crossword puzzle book in my bag as well as a pencil with a big eraser. St. Nick knows I make plenty of mistakes when doing puzzles and need to erase answers often. There was also a bag of filled candies as well. I like eating one before we go out for the day. It holds me over until we go somewhere for dinner. I couldn’t be happier with my gifts.

Now it was Kathy’s turn. She opened her bag and found a box of chocolate covered cherries inside. These have the cream filling and not the clear filling. These are her favorites.

She was very pleased with her gift as well. I guess St. Nicholas really knows us. Of course Kathy and I will share our candies. The puzzle book, however, is all mine.

Hope St. Nicholas was good to all of you as well!

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A Bittersweet Day

We were looking forward to Saturday in a big way. Hershey Theatre was back in operation and we had tickets for a show. We have been waiting for two years to return to our Broadway series. The show, Waitress was a holdover from the last season before the pandemic hit. We had seen the show on Broadway and were excited about seeing it again.

On an equal par of excitement about seeing the show was the fact that we were going to meet our theatre friends for lunch before going to the theatre. We have four people who have the seats behind us at the theatre that we have become friends with over the years since we all get season tickets each year and keep our same seats.

A few years ago we decided that we should get together before the show and have some lunch. The six of us have been meeting at Houlihan’s in Hershey for the last several years to enjoy a meal and just get caught up with each other and what has been happening in everyone’s life. Pat and Cathy are mother and daughter. Anita worked with Pat, and Chris is a friend of theirs. We live an hour away from the theatre and they live an hour and a half away. The only time we see each other is on show days.

This time our lunch was smaller. Chris decided not to come to the show because of Covid concerns. Pat wasn’t there because she passes away a couple of months ago. She had had several strokes and she did not recover. Although in her mid eighties, Pat was always sharp, enjoyed life to the fullest, and always had a smile on her face. As the four of us sat eating our lunch, we couldn’t help but miss Pat. We know that in spirit she was with us enjoying the food and the conversation.

Pat, you are missed.

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A Thoughtful “Thank You”

Last week there was a lump in my throat all because of something I did not expect and took me completely by surprise. On Wednesday Kathy and I presided over our last meeting as co-presidents of DCPASR. I have written about this before.

When we got to the church and entered the room where we hold our meetings many people were already there. Nothing new since it jakes us 45 minutes to an hour to drive down depending on traffic. However, at the places where we normally sit, next to our secretary, there was a flower and a card with our names on it.

I looked at our secretary and she said we needed to open it during the meeting. I called the meting to order and opened the card before starting the business portion of the meeting. It was a “Thank You” from the Board for our past three years of service as co-presidents. Inside was also a Visa gift card in a sizable amount – one that really floored me.

We did not expect anything since all we did was our job over the last three years. Nothing was done when the last president’s term came to an end so there was no precedent set. I can say that we were both thankful and humbled by their generosity and kind words.

It is true that those unexpected acts of kindness are the most greatly appreciated.

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