Category Archives: Uncategorized

It Started Simply


Isn’t it amazing how things start out simply enough and then grow, and grow, and grow?  For us it all started with this:


and this:


What you are looking at is our floor.  This runs through our hallways, kitchen, and dining area, we have a country kitchen.  The flooring is original to the home which is now 40 plus years old.

The metal strips, and there are more, are hiding cracks and curling edges.  Because of this we decided that we need to replace the floor.  OK.

But wait, if you look at out kitchen cabinets they are original to the house as well.

They have seen better days as you can see.



Well, if we replace the floor surely the cabinets will look shabby so shouldn’t we get new cabinets as well?  So now we are replacing floor and cabinets.  Anything else?

Let’s look at the counter top – Formica and once again original.


Now we are up to floor, cabinets, and counter tops.  What else?

If we look up we can see cracks in the ceiling. We originally had radiant heat and that caused some cracks in the ceiling.


If the floor looks good shouldn’t the ceiling look good as well?

As far as appliances go the only one we need to replace is the dishwasher.  It is original and we never used it.  I would be afraid of what would happen if we tried to use it.

So, what started as replacing the floor has turned into a complete kitchen remodel.  We have had measurements taken so our next step is to meet with the designer and make some choices.

Wish us luck.  I will keep you informed.




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And Butterflies


Last week I wrote about going to Hershey Gardens to see the orchids.  While we were there we also took a walk through the butterfly house.  It was 80 degrees and humid inside.  It sure felt good.

Anyway, it was really neat to have all kinds of butterflies flying around us as we walked through the house.  We were told not to touch them, but if one decided to land on us that was fine.  After all, we were in their space.

I always enjoy watching the butterflies in our yard during the summer months. They move so gracefully and quietly.  I don’t usually see the quantity and variety that can be found at Hershey.

Some of them just sit as if they are waiting to have their picture taken.

The design on the wings can be quite intricate.


A piece of pineapple makes a good meal.

Some were quite large.


Others were small.


I wasn’t sure I would get a picture of this guy.  He and others like him (yes, I am saying him but it very easily have been a her instead) kept flying and wouldn’t light.  I just got lucky here.


Of course, with the orchid show next door there had to be an orchid mantis present.  This one seemed to like the screen covering the cage because that is where it stayed.


I was surprised at had many people, adults as well as children, seemed to be  a bit apprehensive about having the butterflies flying around them.  You could see in their eyes that they were not too thrilled to be there.

Seeing the butterflies makes me long for summer.  I guess maybe I just want warmer temperatures.  Oh well, eventually they will arrive.


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Of Orchids


Last year we had some really nice warm days during the month of February.  One of those days we decided to take a trip to Longwood Gardens to see the Orchid Extravaganza.  We would like to go again this year if we get a nice day.

To hold us over, on Saturday we took a trip to Hershey Gardens because they were having a three day orchid fest.  No way does it compare to Longwood, but it was an interesting day anyway.

It has been a few years since I was at the gardens so I wasn’t aware that the location of the entrance had changed.  It worked out well because we went in right where the orchid display was.

I admit that I don’t know much if anything about flowers.  I was amazed at the different types and sizes of orchids.  I guess I have a mental image of what orchids look like so some of them surprised me.  Here are a few of the ones we saw.

I did like the coloring of this one.


To me, this one looked like a face.


Here’s a close up.


Of course vendors had flowers for sale.

Around the perimeter of the room there were displays set up by the vendors and different orchid societies.

I am still hoping that we will get a chance to get back to Longwood Gardens while the orchid show is still there.  It runs through March.  Bit if we don’t, this trip to Hershey will do.


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Go West Old Man


My nephew is getting married later this year.  We just received the “Save the Date” notice.  This is the first time I have gotten one electronically.  Date, venue, nearby hotels, oh yes, it is a destination wedding.  It will be held in the Sonoma wine country in California.  Hotel is in Santa Rosa.

I have only been out west once and that was when NCTE was in San Francisco years ago.  Well, I checked things out and booked rooms at the Hyatt Regency which is where they have a block of rooms reserved.  Looks like a nice place.

Now I need to get from Pennsylvania to California.  Most flights I checked leaving from Harrisburg International Airport, my airport of choice, stop at O’Hare and San Francisco before ending in Santa Rosa.

On a lark I decided to check driving routes.  I was surprised to learn that I-80, which isn’t all that far from us, goes straight cross country to Santa Rosa.  How about that.  Jokingly I mentioned to Kathy that we could just drive out and visit places along the way.

I was surprised when she thought that that was a good idea.  OK.  So now instead of booking a flight I am looking for places to stay and visit along I-80 as we travel west.  I am giving us four days for traveling just because I don’t want to feel rushed.

Looking at the mapquest route we will be traveling through Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, and into California.  It is approximately a 40 hour drive covering around 2,800 miles.

I checked out tourist attractions along the way and most sights say I must stop at Iowa 80, the World’s Largest Truck Stop.  Other must see places, according to what I Googled, are Chimney Rock and the Archway Museum in Nebraska.  I will check out a few other spots as well.  If anyone knows of some interesting places to see please let me know in the comments.  I would appreciate any information.

I never really thought I would even consider driving clear across the country but it looks like it just might happen.  After all, isn’t retirement about doing new things?


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Broadway Here We Come


It is no secret that Kathy and I enjoy traveling to NYC to see a Broadway show.  It is something we look forward to each year around our birthdays.  The problem is that with so many good shows playing and so many on their way, which two do we pick.

We are both fans of musicals so they are the first shows I look at.  I want to see certain shows so we don’t do the half price ticket stand. There is no guarantee that the show I want to see will be there. I know, there are plenty of good shows for which there are tickets.  Maybe I’m just a snob.

Once I decide what shows we want to see, Kathy always lets this up to me, the question becomes when do I start looking for tickets.  I know from experience that some shows sell out quickly.  This includes shows that haven’t opened yet but have high anticipation.

This is why I watch and then try to get tickets as soon as they go on sale.  This is what I did for this year’s trip.  I have had our tickets for several months already and at least as far as one sow goes I am glad I didn’t wait.

So what shows will be be seeing this year?  First off, although we have had below freezing temperatures, come August I will be glad for cool temps as we see


I lucked out and was able to get orchestra aisle seats in Row D.  Out of curiosity I checked for tickets about a month ago and found that there are none available for the day we will be in NYC.  Correction, there are resale tickets for $1000 plus which I refuse to pay.

The second show we will see takes us to a completely different climate zone.


So, from ice in the afternoon we are going to the tropics in the evening.  One exciting thing about this show is that our nephew’s fiancee got in touch with me to see what shows we are seeing.  I told her and she was able to surprise our nephew with tickets for this show.  To make things even better she was able to get the two seats next to us.  We are thrilled.  I will make dinner reservations for the four us and then we will all go enjoy the show.

Something to look forward to as we muddle through these winter months.



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I must admit that there are few times when I felt truly panicked.  This morning was one of them.

It started our ordinarily enough.  We have a prediction of about 5 inches of snow falling throughout the day.  I thought about the new snow blower I have sitting in the garage.  This might be the first time I will have to use it.  But wait.  What good will the snow blower do if there is no gas to put in it.  I should have thought about this yesterday but didn’t.  Since the heave snow hasn’t started I will go get some gas so I am ready.  After all, if I can’t get the car out tomorrow that snow blower would do me no good.

Since I am going out anyway maybe I’ll make a quick stop at the store.  We could use some bananas and a few other things.  I had a plan.  Coat on, hat on gloves on I go out to the car and head for the store first.

I find a good parking spot, turn off the car and with keys in hand enter the store.  I always hold my keys since the store card is attached to the key ring.  I stop at the bananas and pick out two nice ones.  Then I go to check out the cashews, I like a handful a day.  At that point for whatever reason I decide to shift keys from one hand to the other.

Wait.  Keys aren’t there.  Where are they?  Are they in one of my pockets?  I check all of my coat pockets.  No keys.  Did I put them in my pants pocket?  I check.   No keys.  Where could they be?  I am always careful with them.

Did I maybe put them down on the banana stand while I was looking for the perfect bananas?  I retrace my steps.  I look around.  No keys.  A stock person was putting out new banana.  I ask him if he happened to find a set of car keys.  He did not.

I am panicking now because what will I do?  It was not only my car keys that I lost but the house key as well.  I had only been to two places in the store and retraced my steps several times.  No keys.

Did I maybe think I took the keys with me when they were possibly still in the car’s ignition?  Did the maybe fall from my  hand and and on the ground and because of the heavy gloves I was wearing I didn’t feel them slip.  I went out to the car.  I looked inside the car.  No keys.  I looked around the car.  No keys.  I walked back into the store looking down the entire time.  No keys.  Even though it is cold I started breaking out in a cold sweat.  What to do.

I didn’t take my cell phone with me so I couldn’t call Kathy.  I had one option left.  Go to the courtesy desk and see if someone found keys and turned them in.  I did and someone did.  A big sigh of relief.


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In My Dreams

In my dreams
I run free
My long powerful legs
Carrying me through the woods
Not a care in the world

In my dreams
Friends admire me
Enemies cower before me
All are aware of who I am

In my dreams
I am a leader
Rewarding loyalty and hard work
With strength and protection

In my dreams
I let out a powerful
That reverberates
Throughout the area

In mu dreams
I am KING!









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