Oaks, part 1

Fall begins on Thursday. That means leaves begin to change color. Time changes. For us, Fall means quilt shows. The first major show was held last week. Of course, we drove to Oaks to see it.

Although it was a nice show I admit it was a bit disappointing. I guess it is a sign of the times. Most of what was on display were wall hangings and miniatures. Not as many full size bed quilts as there were in the past. Most were modern as opposed to traditional, my favorites.

However, that didn’t stop me from taking pictures to share with you so here they are. I thought I would break them down to quilt patterns and animal quilts. This week I will share the animal quilts and net week the others.

To start the show let’s begin with some whimsical cats. They look like they are having a good time

From all of these stripes, two zebras emerge.

This cat quilt I thought was interesting because…

if you look closely at the fabric making up the cat’s face you see that it is cat fabric. Neat!

This colorful trio caught my eye.

I thought the bat looking at its reflection was a novel idea.

By now it is no surprise that I am a fan of cats whether big or small.

How can you not love this face?

This guy would make a colorful addition to anyone’s garden.

If I saw a bee this size I would run for cover.

Finally, this guy is just watching the world go by.

In closing, I just want to say that something was brought back that I missed last year – the lunch buffet. It was an Italian buffet this year consisting of salad, stuffed shells, Italian meatballs, garlic bread, assorted desserts (I went for the cheesecake). It was delicious.

Next week some non-animal quilts.


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Did You Know?

I am sure many if not all of us get those freebies in the mail that come with a donation form. Maybe its’s next year’s calendar. Maybe it is an assortment of cards. Maybe it is name labels. Side note – I could wallpaper a room with all of the name labels I get.

Well, last week I received a thick envelope from Boy’s Town. Along with name labels, a calendar, and a Farmer’s Almanac, there was a booklet of Folklore, Fun Facts, and Traditions.

I tend to like quirky tidbits so this week I thought I would share some of the interesting nuggets I read.

Starting with some weather folklore:

PROVERB: A year of snow, crops will grow.

PROVERB: If there is thunder in winter, snow will fall seven days later.

PROVERB: A ring around the moon means rain will come real soon.

What I found interesting is that not only is the proverb given, an explanation as to why these things occur is also given. The ring around the moon I have known for many years. The other two were new to me.

Even though we are still a few weeks away form October, I thought I would share some October weather proverbs with you as well. The booklet does include proverbs for each month.


Much rain in October, much wind in December.

For every fog in October, a snow in winter.

Full moon in October without frost, no frost till full moon in November.

Maybe I will just have to put this list on the refrigerator and see if any of them hold true. More interesting folklore and traditions next week.


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Still Not Liking It

I didn't like it then and I still don't like it now.
I don't think I will ever become a fan.

Is it the noise?
The clanking. The whirring. Then silence.

Is it the feeling of being closed in?
No way to move; no place to go.

Is it the gaping mouth ready to swallow you whole?
Head first or feet first; it doesn't matter.

Is it the disembodied voice speaking to you with no warning?
"This part takes 2 1/2 minutes.  This part takes 6 minutes."

Is it fear of what the results will show?
Not wanting to know but wanting to know.

Whatever it is,
I am not a fan of the MRI.


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Spiritual Journey Thursday/Community

Thank you Maureen for hosting this month’s Spiritual Journey. Community is a wonderful topic since we are all part of one, or several.

As I was sitting here contemplating what community means to me and my role in the communities to which I belong it got me thinking about how my communities changed over time. I guess the first community to which I belonged was my family. As a child I depended on my family to care for me and nurture me. I didn’t contribute to this group because I had nothing to give.

As I grew, my community grew…friends, neighbors, acquaintances. I realized I needed to be an active participant in the community. If I wanted friends I needed to be a friend. I needed to offer support as I was offered support. I needed to be an ear for others as they were ears for me. If I wanted to belong to this community I needed to work at being a member or I would end up in isolation.

Jumping ahead to my teaching career. This community lasted 40 years for me. My role and responsibilities changed over the years. I started off much as a child. Yes, I had the knowledge to do my job but I wasn’t familiar with the behind the classroom responsibilities of teaching. I relied on seasoned teachers to direct and guide me.

As the years passed my duties to the community changed as well. I became the seasoned teacher who mentored those who were just starting out in the district. I accepted the position of Language Arts department chair. I now had a leadership role in my school community. Any ideas I got from conferences I shared with my group. Problems, strategies, solutions were discussed helping us all grow.

Moving to the TWT writing community was, at least for me, a scary leap. If I wanted to belong I would have to produce some written work. I did not consider myself a writer so I was a bit concerned. I would need to start a blog, something I never saw myself doing. I couldn’t be just a passive member, though. I would have to read other posts and comment on them. How could I expect others to comment on what I have written if I wasn’t willing to return the encouragement I was being given? I soon found out that I could not have joined a more welcoming community.

Finally, retirement came and I joined a whole new community, the Dauphin County School Retirees. At first I was just a member who went to biannual lunches. I needed to learn about this community before committing to it. In time I joined the Executive Board and eventually assumed the presidency of our group. When my presidency ended I took on the role of Education Grant chair. I wanted to continue being a part of and giving to this group.

There are many other communities that I was a part of and some to which I still belong. I guess the one thing I have learned is that it is important to be an active member of whatever group you belong to. It is important to give of yourself. Be what the community needs you to be. Let your voice be heard. Be active.


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Collins Dictionary defined contentment as: a feeling of quiet happiness and satisfaction.

So, what makes you content?

Is it the satisfaction of a job well done?

Is it mastering a new skill?

Is it quiet time?

Is it a favorite meal that brings back happy childhood memories? (For me that would be meatloaf and mashed potatoes.}

Is it a hot cup of tea or hot chocolate on a cold winter’s night?

Is it finishing a book that touches your heart an soul?

Is it a walk in the woods?

Is it being with loved ones?

Is it much needed alone time?

Is it a good restful night’s sleep?

Maybe it is just curling up net to another warm body.

Throw in a head rub and it is Heaven.


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Adding Another Leo

Last week, Monday to be exact, we added another Leo to our family. I am a Leo, August 4. Kathy is a Leo, August 9. My brother is a Leo, August 22. Now, his first grandson, our great nephew, is also a Leo, August 15.

We couldn’t be happier for our nephew and niece. We know that they will be wonderful loving parents. This is my brother’s first grandchild, another grandchild coming in October, and also the first grandchild for Melisa’s parents. So, I know he will not be spoiled.

A child is a gift from God. I know my nephew and niece are happy beyond words and they will accept the responsibility of raising this child to be a kind, loving, and responsible human being.

Congratulations Leonard and Melisa.

Now, weighing in at 6 lb. 4 oz. and measuring 20 cm. entering this world on August 15 at 11:58 pm may I present the newest member of our family: Dante.

And his proud parents Leonard and Melisa.


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Birthday Dinner

Last week I wrote about it being Kathy’s birthday and that we had plans to go to the Harvest at the Hotel Hershey for dinner that evening. Well, we went and the meal was all I expected it to be. Here’s a run down of what we had.

We are not big drinkers, but on special occasions a special drink is called for. Kathy decided on a strawberry mule. We figured that since it had strawberries in it it must be healthy.

Me. on the other hand, had to have my chocolate martini. We were in Hershey! How could I not have something chocolaty? Beside, since chocolate is a vegetable, don’t ask, I figured this was also a healthy choice.

As we waited for the drinks to come it was time to look over the menu. What to have. I have had the salmon before and it was delicious. Kathy had their fish and chips and really enjoyed it. The trout sounded interesting. So did everything else. Decisions, decisions.

We decided. To begin we each had a bowl of the she crab soup. A little spicy but oh so good.

We didn’t go for any of the things I mentioned previously. Instead, we decided on the smokehouse for two. That consisted of half a rotisserie chicken, cocoa barbecue ribs, smoked brisket, mac and cheese, roasted brussel sprouts and carrots, coleslaw, harvest pickles, and cornbread. If this sounds like a lot, it was. We brought part two home for a later day.

When we finished what we could it was time for dessert. One of the nice things about being an adult is that you don’t have to clean your plate before you can have dessert. As it typical of the Harvest, they brought out a cupcake for Kathy.

We split the cake and then had dessert and coffee. We each chose the chocolate cream pie.

We were stuffed , but what a meal!


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Celebrations Continue

I have mentioned before that August is birthday month for us. The celebrations continue. My birthday was last Thursday. I started off the day with a doctor’s visit. Hey, doesn’t everyone make a doctor’s appointment on their birthday?

Anyway, because the appointment was for 9:30 in the morning I decided not to have breakfast before going just in case some bloodwork would be required. It wasn’t. Naturally. I was hungry after the appointment so we needed to find a place to eat.

Fortunately, just down the road two minutes away was a Perkins Pancake House. This is one of my favorite places to eat so that is where we went. My birthday breakfast consisted of French toast and bacon.

French toast is not something we typically make at home so ordering it out is always a treat.

To continue celebrating, I register at different places that offer free food on your birthday. One such place is Ruby Tuesday. They give you a free burger or salad bar for your birthday. I know I should have gone with the healthier salad bar, but I do like their smokehouse burgers. That is what I went with. No picture.

I also have a coupon for a free meal at Houlihan’s at Hershey. That expires on Thursday so we will be going down on that day. Can’t let a free meal deal expire.

To continue celebrating, today is Kathy’s birthday. I have made reservations for us at the Harvest which is part of Hotel Hershey. I will probably post next week about our meal.

This picture of Kathy was taken at the Harvest last year on Kathy’s birthday. We do like going there on special occasions.

Don’t know what we will have. It depends on their menu. I can tell you, however, that I know a chocolate martini is waiting for me.


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Spiritual Journey Thursday

I have never participated in one of these but at the invitation of Carol Varsalona, who is hosting today, I am trying my hand at it. Since today happens to be my birthday as well it is the perfect day for me to reflect on what brings me peace and feeds my soul.

The days, even those where nothing special is planned can get hectic and slip right on by. It is so easy to get caught up in the craziness of what is happening around us that we don’t take the time to stop and reflect on what is important to us and brings us a sense of calmness.

For me, what feeds my soul is the morning. I am an early riser, usually around 6:00. However, I don’t jump right out of bed the moment I open my eyes. I take some time.

First of all I thank God for giving me another day and ask for help in living it just a little better than the day before.

I listen to the birds chirping excitedly outside my window. Are they planning their day? Making a list of things they need to do and places they need to visit?

I listen to the occasional car passing by in front of the house. Someone off to work? I hope they have a safe trip and a good day.

I watch the cat sleeping peacefully at the foot of the bed. No apparent worries.

At the moment, all is well with the world. My mind is reset and I am ready to face whatever challenges may come along.

Bring On The Day!

Greeting The Day

Sun peeks over the horizon
Promising new and exciting adventures
I open my eyes and greet the day
Right now I could get up, but
I need some quiet time for me
The birds outside chirp 
Until their plans for the day have been made
At the foot of the bed a cat sleeps
Lost in sweet dreams.

Just a quick prayer
One of thanks to God
Understanding this day is a gift
Realizing I have the choice to shape my day
Now some time has passed
Energy has been restored
Yet, I linger one minute more.


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Picky Eaters

You wouldn’t think one so small would be such a picky eater or know the difference in brands. After all, food is food. (Don’t get riled. I do know that food is not food and sometimes brand names matter.)

Anyway, there is one particular brand of food I buy at Wal Mart. However, due to having COVID and isolating, I didn’t leave the house for a month. Of course, in that time I ran out of the one particular brand of food I buy.

When I was over COVID and able to go out I didn’t feel like making the 30 minute trip to Wal Mart so I went to our local Redners which is a three minute drive from our houise.

The had the food I wanted, but not the brand. Well, this will have to do until I get out. I bought a bag, opened it, and dished some out.

Let’s just say I didn’t make any friends by doing that. Where I had many diners and many varieties I now had few and the same ones over and over. Even they were not happy as I was able to tell by the food that was being thrown about.

Every now and then I would even get a reproachful look telling me that this food is not up to standard and I needed to get the good stuff back.

Well. last week Kathy and went to Wal Mart and bought three bags of the desired food.

The feeder is now filled with the good stuff.

We now have happy birds. (wasn’t fast enough to get a group shot.)


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