Saturday, January 30, 2010

Last Trip

Friday was our last day to take Krista for her radiation treatments. Picture one shows her coming up the hall after her treatment. My first affiliation with The Cancer Treatment Center in Williamsport was with my father and that was in 1990 and I was so impressed with everyone and the total facility, and once again we have had the same feelings for the facility and the staff. What would our families and patients do without such places and the people God uses to staff these loving and caring centers. Lou and I were also impressed in their "mission statement".

The concert was wonderful on Thursday night and very well attended. It was Chapter 6 and they were at their best. They were a hit with all age brackets. Lou and I had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Thomas and Peggy after the concert. They had just returned from the D.R., where they had been on a mission trip for a month. They both felt blessed that they were able to work with the people from Haiti . Dr. Thomas told us that he delivered a baby, the first one in over forty years. They stated that many of the earthquake victims were brought to the hospital that our church has built several years ago. It was wonderful to talk to both of them and see the love of God and the love for the victims in their faces. It wasn't long before Lou and I had tears rolling down our faces. Praise God for the people He places in such places to do His will, and their willingness to do His will.

Saturday brought very cold weather to us and we quickly got ready for the day and took Estee for her grooming. At the end of the session, Estee stuck out her tongue at the wrong time and it got clipped with very sharp shears, so we had a bloody mess. With ice and time, we got the bleeding stopped and Lou drove us into Wellsboro, and we both took turns staying with her in the car while the other got our HINI flu vaccine. Lou brought us home and had a quick lunch and he went back to his house to do some bookkeeping for his friend, and while he was gone Estee started bleeding again, so between trying to get a shower and my normal Saturday chores, we had a different afternoon. I finally got the vanilla carpeting in our bedroom and bathroom cleaned up and got Estee bathed again, about the time Lou returned. He sat down with Estee and she seemed to calm down, the bleeding slowed down and she went to sleep. We were late getting to Shawn and Maegans, however, everyone waited for us. We had a wonderful evening. The pizza was great, Sue had made a different crust with yeast and baking powder, everyone agreed it would be a keeper.

After dinner, we played I Spy Snap, card game with the older girls and another card game, that was equally as much fun. The girls were great at both of them, the adults played cards while the older girls had showers, and a then, I got to read to both of the older girls before they went to sleep. They both have beautiful book and both enjoy being read to. We all had a great time laughing and playing cards until it was past all of our bedtimes. We came out to come home and it was 5 degrees. Trav and Noell, I bet you are getting the snow that you wanted. Enjoy!!

As most of you know we are planning on leaving PA on the 4th of February and that brings us to the reason for the Blog, you can all keep up with us on the Blog, we won't be calling everyone each night and such. Just log on and you can see what is happening. There is no way possible we can correspond to each the way each of you want. So this is the best way we can think of. We have had many wonderful comments of it thus far. It does make the effort worthwhile. The only time we may not be able to post is if we don't have a secure connection.

Tomorrow is Church and Sunday School and Lou and I have a dinner engagement with our Pastor and his wife. Monday will bring us to appointments with lawyers and the final signatures on POA's. We will be monitoring the weather station very closely now and like Susie told us tonight, we are free to make our own plans and go when we feel is best for us. Will keep you posted on our plans.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Cold Puppy

Brrr. It is cold and very windy here today, and even Estee came in from being outside with Lou and made herself a bed in front of the fireplace, she must have heard us talking about going south!

We did get a few things taken over to the barn yesterday and got them placed in the RV, and now we will wait for a little warmer day to finish up.
Today has been a day for errands, I had a dentist appointment at 8:00 this morning, and Lou has gone to have his taxes prepared this afternoon. We have a concert to attend this evening, tomorrow is the day to go to Williamsport with Krista. Will need to give Estee a bath tomorrow evening, as she has an appointment for her "Florida" grooming on Saturday. Lou and I each have an appointment for an additional flu vaccine on Saturday and then our game day with Shawn and Maegan. Sunday is church and Sunday School with an dinner engagement with our Pastor and his wife. Looks like Monday will be with lawyers and last minute errands in town. So we are narrowing things down.

Lou still hasn't been able to figure out the tractor's problem for his friend, so a decision has to be made there. I am working on some legal issues for him also. Seems all of these type of things take extra time.

Had a letter from my sister today and they have had 14 days of below freezing temperatures, and she isn't sure we want to go south. Friends of our that live close to us are leaving on Sunday, they were in hopes they could leave today, but with the approaching storm, they have decided to hold off until Sunday.

Last night at square dancing was a lot of fun. We had guests from the local girl scout troop, that were working on badges for square dancing, so we included them in our squares and darn, they really catch on quickly. It was fun to watch their faces as they learned something new and different. Lou and I are in hopes I can still take lessons while in Florida, as it is a very active activity in Florida.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Ice Skating Anyone?

On Sunday evening, when we had so much rain and into Monday, our barn lot was flooded and because there is still frost in the ground, the water has remained and has frozen.

When the grandkids were younger they looked forward to a flood in January, because that meant they could ice skate the rest of the winter and
us parents and grandparents didn't have to worry about them falling into deep water. We would always have a bonfire for the kids to keep warm by even roasted marshmallows. I think the kids hockey sticks and pucks are still in the little barn. Where there any greater times, than when the kids all gathered together to have a good time outside in the cold winter air?

Lou and I are looking forward to this weekend, as we are going to Shawn and Maegan's home and have a game afternoon and make our own pizzas for dinner. With the four little girls and grown grandchildren and kids, it will be a good time for all. There home is so large that no matter what you like to do there is room to spread out and do your own thing, from playing pool, computer games, exercising with WII, board games, and cuddling in front of the fire to read. We always come away with the warm fuzzy feeling of a great day.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Filing Taxes, Funeral Arrangements, Wills and POA

One of the things on our lists to be completed was our income taxes. So that job was partially completed today. I have always filed my own and I do it on line, so my job was much simpler than Lou's. We do have all of his received information put together and just waiting for several other items and his will also be completed, but his need to be taken to his tax preparer to be filed.

We worked on funeral arrangements and Vital Statistical information yesterday, updating insurance policies and such. It is indeed a job, but something that is great to look back on and know that it is all done, so if God should decide that we not return from our trip, the whole process will be much easier for family that is left behind.

We attended Bible study last evening and unfortunately what we are studying now, we will not get to hear the sermon regarding the scripture. Lou and I have noted how much more we receive from the sermon when we have studied the scripture prior to the sermon.

We are really counting down the days at this point, and each day is filled with activities. Tonight we each have a board meeting at church, so I am off to prepare an early dinner of escalloped potatoes and ham, while Lou is keeping an appointment with his attorney.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Clean Houses - Birthday Roses - Dinners out

We have had some busy days since our last posting; however, we now have two clean houses and have celebrated my birthday in great fashion.

I finished up my house on Friday, right down to stripping and rewaxing my hard wood floor in the kitchen. Everything looks good and I will delight in my efforts for the two weeks prior to our departure.

I can't say the same for Lou, he has been working on a tractor that belongs to a friend and still can't get it to continue running. Tomorrow he is going to contact another friend to come out and see if he can lend a hand.

Friday night, my brother Jerry and his wife Joanne took us out to dinner at a lovely restaurant in Westfield, complete with a birthday cake. Joanne presented me with a beautiful hand crocheted doily that she had made prior to her arm and shoulder injury. I have many of her hand made projects and they each add much to our home.

Saturday we ran errands and ended up at Lou's house to finish up the cleaning from the holidays and making the last minute security touches to keep the home through out the rest of the winter. We left there around 6:00 pm and ran home and quickly got ready to keep our dinner reservations for The Wren's Nest. Neither of us had eaten there, and were graciously served a wonderful meal. The picture above was taken there and the other picture shows the entrance to the restaurant. Lou and I both remembered the house as being the Dr. Morris' residence. It was very interesting to see how they have decorated the inside and have taken advantage of each individual room. Bringing back memories to me of the Golden Lamb in Lebanon, Ohio.

It seems the older I get the more birthday cards I receive, I was amazed at the number of people which remembered me with cards, all of which were very much appreciated. Each of my daughters presented me with wonderful presents that will be used on a daily basis. Think we have all realized that we no longer need knick-knacks for the house. We have reached capacity. You will note DH presented me with a beautiful bouquet of long stem red roses, along with a very special card with a hand written note.

Our church service was another thought-provoking sermon on all of the parts of the church body that are needed to make the church a whole body. This is coming from the scripture of I Corinthians 12:12-31. We had a presentation from our whole choir, they are few in number (eleven) however, they can send out wonderful vibes. We are blessed by many great voices.

This week is going to bring us to the final count down and each day is going to have a purpose to reach our final goal of leaving on the 4th of February.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Spring Housecleaning

I can now say that I have two rooms completely cleaned, every drawer, cupboard, shelf and carpet scrubbed. Have had wonderful weather to hang everything on the clothesline.

The last time Lou and I were at Sam's Club I spotted this glass cleaner and it jogged a memory from childhood. My mother always purchased this glass cleaner, but I also remember that it was hard to find, and only certain places would have it. We bought three containers and I have gone through those three and am now on my second batch. I just love it, I use it on mirrors, my marble vanities, windows and my stainless steel sink. It makes every thing sparkle. I keep some in the bathroom and each night after we are ready for bed I do the sinks and vanities and they look so good in the morning. FlyLady would be so pleased.

Today I finished my scrapbooks. Krista and I purchased scrapbooks before Christmas and we did the ones for the grandsons and I had purchased one to do for Lou and me with our wedding pictures and our honeymoon, I was able to finish it this afternoon. I had done some scrap-booking years ago, and now they have so many new items to use it was really fun. Think I will look for a book while we are in the south and do one for our three month vacation. Although, the one I did on the computer of our October trip was much easier. Will give this some thought.

I have made several kinds of homemade soup and have it frozen to take with us also. Tomorrow I am going to bake a ham and then make split pea soup to have to take also. The ham recipe that I am going to use tomorrow night is baking the ham in beer and then making a glaze with the beer and spices. Thought it would be fun to try something a bit different. DH is always up for something new and different.

Lou and I are anxiously awaiting information so we can file our income taxes. That is a top item on our "to do list".

Lou was able to get the part he needed for his friend's tractor; therefore, tomorrow he is in hopes he can get the tractor up and running. I am going to do some more of my spring cleaning, and change around some outside lighting. Will be another good day to hang curtains on the line and wash blinds.

Tonight was square dancing and we started off with a winter picnic, then danced the rest of the evening. We are getting better all of the time. Actually had a good time dancing, the club gives a lot of support to us new students.

Friday night we are going out to dinner with my brother and his wife and then Saturday night, Lou and I are going to the Wren's Nest for my birthday. I honestly had forgotten about it coming up so quickly, until they announced my name at square dancing and I got hugs and kisses from everyone.

Monday, January 18, 2010

One for Me - One for Estee

For those of you that have know me, know of my Yorkie - Estee. I thought my late husband had spoiled her, but he didn't hold a candle to Lou. You can see in the picture, that Lou has a hand full of cereal, and he is eating a piece and then gives a piece to Estee. This happens every day, sometimes in the morning at breakfast and sometimes late in the afternoon. Think Lou is going to have to start walking Estee when he takes his walk. We are both anxiously awaiting the warmer weather in the south, so we can get out and walk more.

Lou told me yesterday, to remember that we were going on vacation and that we were not going to be in the RV cleaning and working, we were going to enjoy our surroundings and see everything there was to see. Guess, that will be a change for me. He also told me that we can square dance every day, plus.........

Praise God, what a wonderful day we have had here in Pennsylvania. We awoke to a sheet of ice on everything, Lou checked the weather and said he was still going to try and get the RV out of the barn and to his appointment for inspection. Thankfully, all worked out well, the RV is inspected and returned to the barn. Lou had a chance to talk with old friends today and heard once again, how they had feared for his life after his late wife passed away and how thankful they were last January when they saw us out eating and knew that we were later married, they told him he looked and acted ten years younger. Now that would make anyones day!!

The thermometer reached 48 degrees here today, and I washed curtains and hung them on the lines, picked up branches outside, trimmed some of my flowering summer bushes, put all winter objects from outside away and had spring arrive to the decks, so when we return from the south, it will look spring and not winter. Was a wonderful day to do laundry and hang outside. I even washed windows outside and washed the back of my house down. Things are looking pretty good right now.

Lou has had some cemetery business to attend to this afternoon and also still working on the carborator, he was to meet a gentlemen when he finished work today and they were going to work on it together. Hopefully, heavy snows will hold off until this is repaired.

Am having a roast beef dinner, and then off to Bible study.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Great Grandbabies

Yesterday was our last Christmas celebration for 2009. We went to Lou's daughters home for the afternoon. There are two new great-grandsons that are about three months apart. They have been welcomed into their grandparents lives with open arms. Lou also got to see a grandson that he had not seen in several years. It was nice to sit and listen to the stories that were being told, as everyone caught up on the past few months.

Today was a busy schedule at church. We are studying Jesus' first miracle as told by John. Our pastor brought out the point that Jesus can transform us, if we invite Him in, as he transformed the water to wine, by being invited to the wedding.

Lou and I just purchased a new Bible that shows four different translations on each page. We spent the evening last night viewing maps and tracing the footsteps of Jesus. We both enjoy the deep studies and have noted things that over the years of studying we just hadn't noticed before.

After church and breakfast out, I thought with the current weather, it would be a good day to get some extra baking done. I am not one to like purchased baked good, so wanted to get some cookies done to take south with us. I did a double batch of Gingersnaps, (Lou's favorite), chocolate chip w/ pecans, and date and almond bars. Cooked a chicken and fixed chicken and homemade biscuits for dinner. Want to use the left over chicken and make homemade soup for tomorrow.

If the weather cooperates, we will get the RV inspected tomorrow and we both have some telephone work to do in the afternoon. I want to get started on my spring housecleaning, seems like our list gets more impressive each day. As we both said today, we don't have to keep to a schedule, we are free to go when we wish and return the same. Isn't retirement great???

Friday, January 15, 2010

Teddy Bears

A girlfriend brought me an early birthday present. Everyone that is close to me know that I love bears and sheep. When my sister was here a year ago, she walked through my house and counted teddy bears, she counted 55. Lou just told me that he counted them some time ago and came up with 59. Tonight I thought I would count them myself and I came up with 62.
I remember the first comment I made that brought the first teddy bear. I mentioned to my older daughter that I would love to have my own teddy bear and that year for my birthday, she gave me a beautiful brown soft and cuddly teddy bear. On the bear, she had put a crocheted off white collar that she had made. So I could blame Susie for my collection, but that would be very unfair. Krista has also brought me many teddies also. Each one is unique and not without great memories.

When I grew up I had a teddy bear that "santa" brought to me, but like most stuffed animals back then, this teddy was filled with a sawdust material, nothing like what we see today. Now days, who can resist the soft and cuddly teddy bears? I can not. I have purchased many teddy bears and have taken them with me to visit a special person in a nursing home. I have never given one to a patient that the person has not ended up cuddling the bear. I sincerely think they fill the need to be held close and loved. After my late husband died, I slept with a special teddy bear each and every night and teddy filled the need I had until I married Lou.

How about it girls, can you remember your first teddy bear?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Old Friends

Today was a day I had looked forward to. Once a month, two of the girls that I worked with up until my retirement, met at our local hotel for lunch and a time of catch up. This is always a good time for all of us, but the time goes so quickly, but we try to catch up on the latest events in each of their families. One girl is a new first time grandma, and she reports events that are so special to her, and the other girl has three active little boys that keep her family on a fast track.

I left DH home and was surprised to come home and find that he had done many extra things to make my day a little easier, right down to sweeping out the garage and running the vacuum in the garage. We are now ready for the next snow storm. He even found time to get his walk in.

He met me at the door with his arms full of bed linens fresh from the clothesline. He jumped in the car and was off again to try and repair the tractor belonging to his friend. Lou has decided we need to stop in Williamsport tomorrow for a new part to help rebuild the ailing carburetor.

Krista e-mailed me to tell me that she and her sister found one of my favorite stores to shop in Williamsport, so hopefully we will have enough time to check it out. Like Krista said, we have to have some fun with all of these trips to the Cancer Center and we try to do that.

We took advantage of the great weather this afternoon and grilled steak for dinner. We are always thankful for these mid-winter breaks and take advantage of any weather breaks.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

January Thaw?

A friend of ours just gave us a new thermometer, and with it being so cold, Lou had not hung it up anyplace. He stuck it in our plant box on the back deck, and we have enjoyed comparing it to an existing one throughout this cold spell. Lou was getting ready to leave to help a friend with a carburetor on his tractor and he noted the current temperature. We both agreed it wouldn't be a bad day to do some out side things, before the next cold spell comes.

Lou was off to help with the tractor, he had already walked his two miles while I was in town for my appointment. I decided it would be a good time to scrub up Estee's dog kennel and wash her bed we keep in the RV and have them ready to go. I also scrubbed up the mats that go in the Colbolt, so that will be completely clean when we return from the south. Everything is drying nicely on the back deck.

The apple butter smelled wonderful this morning when we got up so couldn't resist the temptation of making baking powder biscuits to go along with our homemade soup for lunch. I have two pints that I canned to have for later also. My granddaughter-in-law is hosting a get together the end of January for our family. Our last time to see each other before we go south, so think a pint of the apple butter would make a good hostess gift. With four little girls, it should disappear quickly.

I have made another new recipe for dinner, Beef and Mushroom Lasagna. Needed something quick for tonight, as our dance lessons begin promptly at 6:30 pm. I made tapioca pudding for desert.

In the picture of the thermometer you can also see my brother's cows. Last evening when I was walking, I could hear his voice and realized he was speaking very gently and soft to the cows. Here they had gotten across the creek, I assume, over the ice and were very leery about coming back over to get into the barn. He smooth talked them into coming across and into the warm barn that was awaiting them. I know Jerry takes after my dad, as Daddy didn't like to see animals or machinery outside. So in the winter the cows are inside and snuggled down in a bed of fresh straw. In the summer, he keeps them in during the day, away from the flies and outside at night.
A good lesson for all. I tell Jerry that Lou and I are the ones that get the enjoyment of watching them each day, as Jerry lives down the road from me and can't see them from his house. We always look forward to the new babies being born in the spring. Once a farm girl, always a farm girl.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sweet Smells

We were right, we did get our exercise shoveling snow again. Darn the wind was sharp today. The birds were out of feed and suet. Lou and I have been mixing peanut butter with cheaper seeds and filling up the holes in our hanging log for the woodpeckers and the nuthatches . We have moved the feeders to the outside of our kitchen window and we are certainly enjoying the birds as we eat our meals, or linger over coffee.

Today after lunch of a wonderful fruit plate with cottage cheese, we decided we needed to use up the spy apples that were left from the bushel we had purchased in late fall. Lou helped me cut them all up before he left to help a friend with his bookkeeping, and while he was gone I made three cookers of applesauce and have apple butter cooking in my crock pot.

I tried something my daughter, Susan does. I cooked a package of cranberries with each batch of apples. It make beautiful applesauce and a delightful taste. I think we need all of the antioxidants we can get these days. I have frozen most of the applesauce and hope to have some to take south with us.

For dinner tonight I made a delightful new soup recipe. Toscana Soup, which is a potato sausage soup. This is similar to the soup that is served at the Olive Garden, but Lou thought it turned out better than what he had before. It was very tasty and really hit the spot after being out in the cold air walking.

Krista has had two radiation treatments and she told me this evening when she was down, that it has made the skin on her back very tender. Other than that no complaints. She has been very fortunate to have volunteers to take her each day and she tried to have her dinner started before she goes, as she knows this is going to be a very tiring ordeal.

Tomorrow morning I have an appointment in town and tomorrow night is square dancing. It looks like the weather is going to warm up and we are in hopes we can get the RV inspected during this warming trend.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Day of Exploring

Another cold night in Pennsylvania. We had e-mails from some of our friends in Florida today and they are also having below freezing temperatures and really minding the cold, as the insulation in their home isn't the same "R" rating as here in PA.

A letter from my sister in northern Florida arrived today and she had 10 degrees and thought maybe we should stay in PA and be warmer. Another letter from a girlfriend in Ohio and they are also shivering and soon to leave for Florida.

Yesterday after church we took Lou's sister, that had just returned from Texas, out to lunch with us then Lou and I spent the afternoon listening to book three of his William W. Johnstone Eagles series. I had purchased the whole series for him before Christmas; however, book three was not available, and we later found it as an graphic audio, which has been fun listening to, just like listening to an old radio show. We listened to that yesterday while I worked on my scrapbook of our trip south in the fall. I was so glad I had written everything down about our trip, it made matching up pictures with dialog so much easier.

Today, we left after breakfast to meet Lou's son and wife (Preston and Susie) at a half way point to have lunch together. We met at Restless Oak Restaurant, had a very tasty lunch and time to catch up on happenings since Christmas. The restaurant was still decorated for Christmas, was wonderfully warm, which came from an honest to goodness fireplace with a roaring fire. It was a very rustic eating place and decorated with many antiques inside and out. I felt I had visited a museum, very enjoyable.

After we said our goodbyes, we filled up with gas at 2.79 and drove to the Woolrich Outlet, only to find it closed today for inventory.
So we decided to take route 44 back towards home, then decided to check out Little Pine State Park. Everything looked so different with snow on it and speaking of snow we made a side trip to Ski Sawmill and watched the brave souls skiing and snowboarding. Neither of us had ever been there, so we enjoyed seeing a new sight. Lou has a nephew that works there, so we had heard much about the winter haven for skiers. It made me wish my feet would allow me to ski again. All in all was a nice day.

Home to have a quick supper and a walk before dark and now we are off to Bible study. Sounds like we may get to shovel snow for exercise tomorrow.
Lou and I are both finding that our sweet tooth still needs to be satisfied, hopefully, we will be able to exercise more in the south than we have here.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Cold Baby!

The temperature here in Northeastern Pennsylvania is 11 degrees with a wind making a wind chill factor of zero. It may have been very cold today, but as I hung our bed linens on the clothesline, I couldn't help but notice what a beautiful day it was. The sky was a beautiful blue and not a cloud to be seen.

Lou and I were able to shovel off the driveway again where it had drifted in last night. It is hard to believe as cold as it was, the drive way did all thaw off and it was completely dry before dark. I am ever so thankful we have a paved driveway.

I spent the afternoon cleaning while Lou delivered a new television to one of his friends and helped him get it hooked up. I am sure he is enjoying the large screen and the beautiful color that the new television was equipped with. This gentleman doesn't get out in the evenings and this is his only entertainment. Hopefully, he will find something good to watch. We just enjoyed an old program of Lawrence Welk. Now to us that is good television. Now we are going to finish the series of North and South. Lou hates to see this end, he has throughly enjoyed this as he had never seen it before.

John Jakes, the author of the books was from Kettering, Ohio, so I had read the books as he wrote them, and I was not disappointed when it was made into a series for television. After, we moved back to Pennsylvania, our son-in-law, Tim also read the books. Many hours of good reading enjoyment.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Reading - Hobbies

With this really cold and snowy weather it affords Lou and I more time to read. A hobby that we both share. I had finished the series that I had started several months ago and was talking about what I wanted to read next and Lou suggested that I might enjoy a book that his Grandfather Kemp wrote in 1960 at the age of 91. It commenced in 1868 on Farmington Hill in Tioga County. He tells of the first election held in Farmington where his grandfather built the ballot box.

The story goes on to tell of his many adventures in growing up with much hard work, the love of the forest, and the ways and mysteries of nature. He was artistically endowed, and studied at a Normal School in Minnesota and at the State Normal School in Mansfield, PA; however, out of a family necessity as well as his personal choice he turned to agriculture.

I loved his stories of gathering sap and making syrup, as many as 150 gallon a season, which he sold for the highest price of $2.00 a gallon. He planted potatoes, and dug 1500 bushels that he sold for one dollar a bushel. He had 100 head of sheep and sold his wool for $.50 a pound, at a local wool pool . Surprising was the fact that he sold wool for the same amount that I sold wool for, one of the reason, I am no longer in the sheep business.

Lou and I tried to figure out how many houses and barns his grandfather built, some were tragically destroyed by fire and rebuilt. For a gentleman that grew up in the country he did a lot of travelling, sometimes by train, some walking, and driving his own team of horses and in later years his own
Overland 90 in 1918

To you local people this was also the grandfather to Wellsboro's Judge Kemp. This remarkable man continued to build houses and help wherever he was needed until he gave up his driving privileges at the age of 91.

Today we awoke to snow and knew we needed to take Krista to Williamsport for her "dry run" for radiation. Kris came down and helped us shovel out and we were off. Lou had told us he was afraid we would get into worse weather as we went along and once we got outside of Williamsport, it was almost a "white out". Thankfully, we made it down in time for her appointment and they finished quicker than scheduled, so we stopped at Hosses for a late lunch and on to Sam's Club. We drove Lou's car, the first time it had been driven since early November. Now, we have my Cobalt all cleaned up for spring and have it covered and in Lou's garage. One thing off our list before going south.

Tomorrow must be a cleaning day, with going to Williamsport each week, will need to make some modifications to our schedule. All in all it was a nice day and a chance to get caught up on what is going on in other worlds.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


One of the things I wanted to accomplish before we leave for the winter is come up with an updated Christmas Card list. Lou and I sent out over 100 cards, and thought we could scale back for next year. Would you believe we are still receiving cards from dear people and it is very difficult to come up with a list, as we so enjoy reading the notes and letters along with viewing the pictures that come with so many of the cards. Guess we will think on this one a bit before we decide.

We got our exercise before breakfast this morning. We awoke to snow, so we took care of the driveway and sidewalks first, then enjoyed a breakfast of fresh papaya and our cereal and juice. I probably can count on both hands the number of times I have fixed breakfast since Lou and I were married, he took over that job, as I really could go without breakfast and lunch,as I am always anxious to get started on the jobs I have scheduled for the day; however, I do relish sitting down to a meal all prepared for me and having someone to enjoy the meal with. A good time to do our morning devotions together and really start the day off correctly. So this (me) morning starter now gets started on my jobs after lunch. I am very thankful to have someone to share my days with and to be able to linger over a cup of coffee to chat or listen to another interesting story. Isn't that what retirement is all about???

It has been a wonderful day to do laundry, washed our bed linens, even the mattress pad and hung everything on the line. All dried wonderfully fluffy and have the great below zero aroma that I love. DH has also come to love that same smell, although at times it is hard to get him to admit it. Especially, when I change the bed every other day.

DH picked up a new virus/internet protection system (Kaspersky) for our computers yesterday, so am installing them into both of our computers today. This was recommended to me by my computer repair shop, and it is easy to see why it is several steps above Norton, which is what I had previously. It is licensed so we can put it on three computers, so will install it on Lou's at his house also.

With the snow and cold weather this morning, decided it was time for some comfort food. I made homemade macaroni and cheese along with escalloped tomatoes for dinner. They are beginning to smell delicious. We have to eat early tonight so we can be to square dancing by 6:30 pm.

Tomorrow is cleaning day and have an appointment to have the oil changed in my car. I finally have 5,000 miles on my car.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Count Down - One Month

Let the count down begin. The dates have been set for our trip south. We plan on leaving February 5th and returning on the 23 of April. Lists have been made, utility companies called and we have started on our many lists!

Steve came down this afternoon and asked if we had our phone off the hook, and Lou and I both looked, everything seemed fine. He told us that Kris was a the doctors office with Michelle and they had been trying to reach us and the phone rang busy. So I immediately tried to call Kris, you guess it, Frontier has turned our service a month early, so after several phone calls our service has been reinstalled, with promises from Frontier it will once again happen on the 5th of February.

We have friends that left for Florida on Sunday and we are sorry for them, they are having some miserable weather, so maybe it isn't so bad being here at home with good insulation in our home and a thermostat and gas furnace that understand cold, windy weather. Plus we are enjoying North and South with our Netflix in the evenings. After having the television installed, can't find anything can enjoy in the evenings. Thankful for X-M Radio and Netflix.

Lou has gone this afternoon to help a friend with a leaking gas line and to run a few errands from our list. I am accomplishing some ironing and preparing a meal that is less in calories, as Lou and I, like most of our family and friends are trying to lose those pounds that crept up on us during the holidays.

I have made a big pot of Sauerkraut soup from the left over pork and sauerkraut from New Year's day. We sampled it for lunch and it is wonderful. This was a new recipe from the one I used last year. This ones called for tomatoes where the last one had a creamy base.

Tomorrow night we are back to square dancing lessons, Thursday I want to clean my house and Friday we will take Krista for a "dry run" for her radiation therapy.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Love after Loss - Challenges and Opportunities

DH and I just had television connected to our home. We had talked about it many times, and always came back to no we really didn't miss it. I had disconnected mine after my late husband had passed away. I was not fond of television and felt if I had spare time, there were many other things I could do with my time.

Lou and I have been married eight months now and we have made many changes in both of our lives and have had many wonderful conversations. I think we were starved for adult conversation. His late wife could not verbally carry on a conversation and my late husband couldn't communicate in a lengthy conversation. I was afraid that if we had television, we would no longer have the wonderful conversations that we had both come to enjoy. So far all is going well.

Another situation of Love after Loss is we are both very careful not to do things or say things that will bring back hurt from the love that was once shared with our late spouses. I have struggled with a feeling of guilt of telling DH how very much I loved him, oh, I tell him often as he does with me, until I made a "profound" finding this weekend. I can remember back to when I was pregnant for my second child and asking God how I was going to love this second child as much as I loved the child I already had. Once again God is in control,the moment I held Scott in my arms, I knew God had supplied the love that was needed for this second child and God also did the same thing when I first held Krista in my arms.

I believe this is what God did for Lou and me when we realized we were in love with each other. The love that was needed for this marriage was given to each of us to use to God's fullest intention. Lou and I believe our deceased spouses would rejoice in our marriage, as we know God does, because once again God is in control and as long as we follow the paths he had put before us, he will continue to guide both of us. I can now tell and show DH just how much I love him and not feel guilt towards my previous marriage and my deceased husband.

Krista also fought this love between Lou and I, but quickly came to terms with the whole situation, she told Lou and I that God knew he couldn't send her daddy back, but he could and did send the second best choice for her. God bless her for being adult enough to realize this fact and have the time and energy to enjoy Lou.

The reason for the picture of the roses: Another situation of Love after Loss. The girls and I had shared with Lou that my late husband lavished all of us with flowers, usually roses. It was common for the girls to come home from school and find roses on their pillows, and we always had fresh flowers in our home. My late husband's birthday and our anniversary was the 20th of December, and for as long as I can remember, two dozen long stemmed red roses arrived on that day. After the girls were older and away from home, he wanted to share them with the girls. In fact they still arrived after Al's death. Last year, I cancelled the standing order, but honestly missed having them. This year DH ordered the roses and they were delivered on the day before Christmas. How thoughtful and loving of this husband to carry on a tradition but to change the date and the color of the roses. I am indeed so blessed with this Love after Loss.

Unexpectated Guest

Lou and I struggled to get out of bed this morning, the wind was howling and we could tell by the sound that our plastic on the back deck had come dislodged from its winter designated spot. We found the temperature was nine degrees and wind gusts up to 40 miles per hour.

We dressed quickly, had a light breakfast and off to church. We received a wonderful sermon for Epiphany Sunday. Our pastor brought out several items from Matthew 2:1-12 that I had not realized before, one being King Herod was not totally Jewish; hence his fear of another "king of the Jews".

After church we traveled into Wellsboro for the newspapers, as Lou's paper box has not been replaced after an accident in front of his house, involving a deer. We arrived home in the midst of a snow storm and high winds, came into the house and found a guest on our back deck. He did not seem afraid, and allowed us to take several pictures of him, and until Estee thought he had been there long enough, he enjoyed being in out of the wind. Lou and I believe it to be a juvenile Northern Goshawk. We are open to any thoughts on its identification.

We have a fire in the fireplace and intend on staying in where it is warm and enjoy each others company for the afternoon. Stay warm all.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy Birthday - Michelle

It is difficult to believe that this little girl that came into my world 18 years ago today, is nearly ready to graduate from high school. She has brought so much love and joy into my life over the last eighteen years. My late husband, and I had the privilege of having her in our home daily as she was growing up and then later having her live next door to us.

She is the one we learned to depend on, as my husband was entering the final stage of his life, she was here and ready to do anything that needed to be done. In the final month of his life she had talked to him about a vacation that she had planned with her father's family and he told her to go. She came down hours before she was to leave, brought her I-Pod, crawled into bed with her "Pa" and asked him to listen to several songs, telling him how she felt about him. As it was time for her to leave, her mother called her and informed Michelle her ride was awaiting her, she hugged and kissed her Pa goodbye and left.

As the day progressed, Al became more restless and kept asking for Michelle, and finally Krista asked him if he really wanted her here and he did, so Kris got on the cell phone and called Michelle, yes she wanted to come back. Our grandson, Shawn, got into his truck and drove to below Harrisburg at a designated meeting place and raced back with Michelle. I shall always remember her foot falls as she came running up the sidewalk at nearly 1:00 am and threw herself on her Pa's bed and stayed with him throughout the night. All of us expected her Pa would be in Heaven when we awoke, but God had other plans, but I know Al remembered the sacrifice Michelle made for her Pa.

This is just one of the reasons, I love this young lady and wish her a very special HAPPY BIRTHDAY.

More about my special grandchildren, and and grandchildren-in-laws later, I have been very blessed by my children and grandchildren.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year - 2010

Lou and I had a delightful day yesterday, we awoke to snow and before we knew it Krista was down with shovel in hand, the three of us made quick work of our driveway. She stayed and we all visited the rest of the morning away.

Lou went to his house yesterday to get the ornaments off of his tree and get the tree outside, so two of his girls could get the house cleaned up from the holiday celebration. As we will now close up the house until after we return from Florida. Looks like the house will be used only for family get- to-gathers. One of the nicest Christmas presents that Lou received was a bi-monthly lawn service. Which was provided by his four children. This way he can use his John Deere on the off weeks which will cut our work in half.

We went to one of our favorite restaurants for dinner last evening. Lou enjoyed a steak and shrimp and I had crab cakes. As usual everything was delicious. Lou got to meet the parents of a young gal he square dances with. He was surprised to find her parents are the owners of the restaurant. We simply had not put the equation together.

After our dinner we joined many other folks from area square dancing clubs for a wonderful evening of dancing and catching up to on everyone's plans for the new year. We all welcomed in 2010 together. Several of the couples are leaving for the warmer climates and we wish them safe traveling and with any luck Lou and I will join them in a month.