Author Archives: arjeha

Just Passing Through

Whenever we travel, whether it is a few miles or a couple hundred miles, a meal out is guaranteed. At places we visit often we have our favorite places to eat. If we are traveling a distance I like to look for someplace that looks interesting. Hopefully the food will be good there and it usually is. Since we are just passing through chances are good that we will not be back for another meal. The memory of the meal, however, will linger.

We have a bird feeder right outside the window in our dining area so we can watch the birds eat while we are eating. We have our regulars who are with us year round, wrens, cardinal, blue jay, red bellied woodpecker, etc. They seem to like the food we provide and I am glad that they do.

In the spring, though, we seem to get some birds stat stay for about a week and move on. We must be on their flight path to wherever their destination is. Like us when we travel they are looking for a place that will serve up a good meal.

I guess word gets out that we provide good food and keep the feeder filled because we get these transients and I am so glad we do. They add a jolt of color to our regular clientele and they all seem to get along.

A few weeks age some goldfinches decided to stop by and visit for about a week. Their bright yellow was like added sunshine to our dining crowd.

Day may be cloudy.

But sunshine is always there.

Brightening the day.

The finches are now gone, but they have been replaced by another bird. Yesterday we had a new visitor at our feeder. I have not seen this one before so I am not sure how long it will visit. Hopefully for longer than one day.

Perching on the hook
You patiently wait your turn.
To fill your belly.
Diner is open.
Eat until your heart's content.
Everyone welcome!

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White, Purple, and Pink

Side by side they stand
Each vying for your attention.
One as white as freshly fallen snow
One as purple as an amethyst
Both filling the air with their fragrance.
White bells
Softly swaying in the breeze
Filling the air
Not with sound,
but with a sweet delicate smell.
Little hearts
Strong but fragile
On display to the world
Treat them gently.

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Extending an Extension

If you have been following my blog you know that 2019 Kathy and I took over as co-presidents of the Dauphin County Chapter of Pennsylvania School Retirees (DCPASR). It was a two year term ending January 1 of 2021 when our president elect would take over. Then came COVID.

As a result, the state organization. Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees (PASR) made the recommendation that all officers stay in place for the first half of 2021. The thinking was that since we were in office when COVED hit and had been navigating our chapters through what was going on it would make sense for all to stay in place instead of having a new president president deal with what we had set up

Of course it was up to the sitting presidents (Kathy and me), our president-elect, and our Board if we wanted to follow suit. Kathy and I discussed it and decided we would stay on if our president-elect and the Board agreed to it. There were no complaints so Kathy and I found ourselves going from a two year term to a two and a half year term.

I am sure you can guess where this is going. Last month at out Region meeting a motion was made for all existing leaders to stay in place for the remainder of the year. What! After that the suggestion was made that a new president be elected for a one year term followed by the same person being reelected for a two year term. Because our chapters are divided into even and odd chapters if we elected a president for a two year term starting in 2022 it would through things out of whack. This might seem trivial, but because of some of the activities we do are based on whether we are an odd or even chapter this could really cause confusion.

So, the questions become do Kathy and I want to stay on a presidents for six more months? Will our president-elect agree to a one year term followed by a two year term? Will the Board want us to stay on for six more months? The answer to all questions is “yes”.

So, our two year presidency turned into a two and a half year term which now turned into a three year term. Luckily it is not a taxing position and we enjoy doing it. For better or worse DCPASR is stuck with us as co-presidents until the end of the year.

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A New Sleeping Aid

Are you a restless sleeper? Do you find yourself taking up more than just your half of the bed? Do you have restless legs? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions may I offer you a remedy that I found that really works.

I am all over the bed when I sleep. I can never get up in the morning and just smooth the covers back into place.

All that changed when I got my first sleeping aid. I admit that I was a bit reluctant to try it, but after seeing how it works I wouldn’t be without one. Although to my way of thinking it could use a few modifications.

I am talking about a Calming Appendage Thingamabob (I know, real scientific sounding). This device, commonly called a C.A.T. has several unique features.

First of all it is fully automated. You do not place the C.A.T. where you want it. It finds its own ideal spot. This may take several minutes since the C.A.T. roams around the bed until it finds the spot it desires. Once the C.A.T picks its spot and settles there is no moving it. Mine usually picks a spot at the back of my legs, moves right up to them, and then parks itself for the night. When in this position I know that my legs will not travel beyond that point during the night. The C.A.T. just won’t allow it.

The amazing thing about the C.A.T. is that it seems to know not all nights are going to be bad. On those nights the C.A.T repositions itself at the small of my back. This still is effective in keeping me on my side of the bed.

I did mention that I would like to see a modification made to this device. There is a problem with its heat control. It is not adjustable. It is always turned to high. This is fine during the winter months when a little extra warmth is welcome, but come summer it gets a bit overbearing. As I said, there is no way to adjust the temperature control.

I should mention that the C.A.T. comes in many styles and colors. I opted for a smoky gray. Since I like to name things I call this particular C.A.T. Molly.

Some nights are really bad for me and Molly is not enough to keep me in place. On those nights I need a second C.A.T. so I have another one I call Ned. Ned has been known to position himself next to Molly and the additional weight definitely keeps me from sprawling out. Other times Ned will pick a spot on the other side of my legs. With a C.A.T. on both sides of me I know I am not moving at all during the night.

So, if you have trouble staying on your side of the bed I suggest you look into getting a C.A.T of your own. You would not be sorry. I also hear that the company produces a Detached Overnight Gadget (again, very technical sounding) commonly referred to as a D.O.G. I do not have one of these so I can’t speak to how well they work. If you happen to have one please leave a comment as to its effectiveness.

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Can’t Wait

I have been anxiously waiting for this moment and it looks like it might happen. As many of you know, Kathy and I are avid theatre fans. We like live shows and have misses our trips to NYC to see some musicals.

We have also missed going to the Hershey Theatre where we have season tickets for the Broadway package. Well, last week I had an email from the treater stating that they are reopening in November.

The first show will be Waitress. It was part of last year’s package, but like everything else it was postponed and then canceled. Now it is back on.

We were told that the tickets we had for last year’s performance would be honored in November. There is nothing we need to do except show up on the date of the show.

To make the day even more exciting we heard from our theatre friends. They are from Reading and have had the seats behind us for many years. We have gotten to know them from talking with them before shows and at intermission.

A few years ago we started meeting for lunch before the show. We attend the 2:00 matinee on Saturday. I heard from one of the ladies and they are looking forward to the shows starting and us getting together for lunch once again.

It has been too long and we can’t wait. Maybe things are slowly getting back to some sense of normalcy.

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Joy

April 6, 2021

During this Easter season, even with so much trouble going on in our country and the world. I can’t help but feel a sense of joy. Joy is not something we can go out and buy or something that can be given to us by another. Joy is found in our hearts. Each of us finds joy in different ways, but it is there for all of us.

Joy can be found in watching a baby sleep, or in my case watching a cat sleep, especially when he is on my lap.. I know the mischief he can cause when awake, but when asleep he is so calm and peaceful. I can’t help but smile.

Joy can be found having dinner out with Kathy to celebrate a special occasion, in this case an anniversary or eating in the car after going through Burger King’s drive through. Even sharing a simple meal at home brings me joy.

What else makes me happy? A bright sunny day. Blue skies dotted with puffy white clouds banish thoughts of gloom.

There are so many other things that bring me joy, some big and some little. All I know is that when I need it most joy will be there for me.

Joy

Joy is not limited
or confined to a specific size or shape.

Joy reaches out in all directions
touching more than just one person at a time.

Joy is found in our hearts
not dependent on anyone else. 

Joy - may it find us when we need it most.

What brings you joy?

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We Made It

Day 31

March Slice of Life Challenge 2021 is over.

All of us need to celebrate a month of writing.

Revisiting old friends and making new ones.

Cheering each other’s triumphs.

Humorous posts making us laugh.

Several times we may have just made it, posting under the wire.

Late though it may have been we still got posted.

It seems only fitting at the end of this month that we

Choose to express gratitude to

Everyone who took time to read and comment.

Of course there were tears along with laughter.

Feelings were expressed through our writings.

Life experiences unite us.

In our words we let others into our lives.

Fearful of exposing ourselves we still show our vulnerability.

Encouraged by this wonderful community.

Challenging at times.

Hard to think of something new to say.

Always ready to comment.

Looking for just the right words.

Lists are sometimes the way to go.

Every post bringing us closer to the end.

Not wanting to give up.

Giving it our all.

Ending as beginning on a high.

Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for hosting this yearly challenge. We are all better writers because of it.

Thank you to all who stopped, read, and commented on my posts. Your remarks are truly appreciated.

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A Slice and a Slice

Day 30

After posting about getting my second covid shot Terje suggested I need a cake to celebrate. Never one to turn down a cake I took her up on her suggestion. I gave it some thought and it seems to me that in some aspects baking a cake is like writing. Let me explain.

The first thing I had to do was decide what kind of cake I wanted. Did I want a pineapple cake? a coffee cake? a pound cake?

When I write I need to decide on a topic.

I decided on a red velvet cake.

Next I had to decide if I wanted a layer cake, a tube cake, of pan cake’

When I write I need to think about who my audience is going to be.

I decided on a 9 x 13 pan cake.

Once I decided on the pan size I needed to prep it which means I had to grease and flour the pan. I also had to find my recipe.

When I write I need to decide what genre and format I want to use.

O course, I can’t bake a cake unless I have all of the ingredients. So, I pulled out everything I needed and measured out the amounts of each item called for in the recipe.

When I write, depending on what I am doing, I need to gather my notes, outline, our use some other graphic organizer to get my thoughts in line.

Next comes the mixing; putting the ingredients into the mixing bowl in just the right order.

When I write I try to put my thoughts down in a logical order otherwise what I am writing might not make sense.

When mixed thoroughly, I poured the batter into the prepared pan.

When I write I check to see if what I wrote follows the guidelines for whatever form I chose to use.

I place the cake into the oven and now I just sit and wait while it bakes. Watching a cake rise is as much fun as watching paint dry. I check for doneness at the appropriate time. It might need a bit longer in the oven.

When I write I walk away from whatever I wrote and come back to it later to see if I am still happy with it. This is also the time for revisions.

When the cake if fully baked I take it out of the oven and let it cool. Looks good enough to eat.

When I write I get to a point where I am finished and pleased with what I wrote.

Next comes the icing. For me a red velvet cake needs a cream cheese frosting. So, back to my book of recipes to find the one I need.

When I write, even though the piece looks good there might be something a little extra I can to make it better.

Now that the cake is baked and iced it is time to enjoy.

If I am writing a post for SOL I hit publish and send it out there.

So, my friends, thanks to Terje’s suggestions I have a slice to post and a slice to eat. Terje, I share this with you and anyone else out there who would like some.

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Food On My Mind

Day 29

Anyone reading my posts knows I am obsessed with food. I like eating. Unlike many families who sit down and plan a weekly menu on Sunday, we don’t. We might decide at breakfast what we want for dinner that night, or we might wait until late in the afternoon to have that conversation.

This week, however, is different. It is Holy Week and that means certain restrictions for us. One thing we both decide on is that we don’t want to have a refrigerator full of leftovers that we can’t eat.

Let me explain. We are Byzantine Catholic and there are some things we cannot eat this week. Wednesday is a meatless day as is Holy Saturday. Good Friday is a day of strict abstinence which means we can’t eat meat of any kind of dairy products. This is different than Roman Rite Catholics who abstain from meat only.

So, what does our menu plan for the week look like? Well, on Sunday we decided on take-out Chinese. We usually each get two meals out of whatever we order. That means leftovers, but they will be fine for Monday.

Tuesday I need to go out to get a prescription refill. Of course that means dinner out. Maybe Taco Bell since it near the Wal Mart I go to for my prescriptions.

Wednesday is a meatless day so grilled cheese and tomato soup is on the menu. This meal always hits the spot for me and besides, the cats like it too.

Thursday we want a meal with no leftovers. Well, we have two single serving chicken pies in the freezer. That and a salad will do for Thursday.

When we first got married we thought Good Friday’s dinner might be tricky. We soon found out it is not. We will do some raw fried potatoes, fried in Crisco so no dairy products used, zucchini as a vegetable, and a can of salmon as the main course.

Saturday is another meatless meal. A few weeks ago I make a shrimp casserole with black beans, tomatoes, tortillas, and cheese. I can pop that in the oven, make a salad to go with it and call it dinner. Sounds good to me.

Easter Sunday we feast on ham, yams, and a vegetable yet to be decided.

So, having a meal plan for the coming week will help us get through the Holy Week.

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No Post Today

Day 28

I know that we are very near the end of this challenge. However, I decided that I am not going to finish it. Therefore, there is no post to read today. So, you can stop reading here.

Why is there no post? Well, if you are still reading even though I don’t know why you would be. let me tell you. I am not writing today simply because I don’t feel like it. I know that is not a valid excuse because by now we should all be in the habit of daily writing and posting. I guess I’m not.

There is no post today because of the weather. Still here? Why? It is a dreary rainy day; not one condusive to writing. I would rather stay in a nice warm comfy bed with the covers pulled up around me and three cats making me a prisoner of the covers.

I am sure there are much better posts you could be reading right now. I am not posting today because I am in any way depressed. In fact, I feel fine. I have stacks of good books waiting to be read. There is plenty of food in the house. There is no pace I need to be so I don’t have to go out in the rain.

I know that I just lost my chance of saying that I completed the March Challenge by not posting today but so be it. There’s always next year.

I guess the biggest reason I am not posting today is because I have reached that point of the month where I really have nothing to say. So, instead of boring you with my ramblings I just decided that I would give you the chance to read some of the wonderful posts that are out there. I simply am not posting today.

Maybe tomorrow.

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