Book 1 Volume 5

This is a previous issue re-worked with Nvu
Saturday, December 20, 2003 7:15 AM 21 Deg at LVIA and 23.9 in the bus stop
Dear Folks,
    Well it is the week before Christmas and most of the Christmas baking is done with the possible exception of Queens desire to make some candy.
    We got a very nice Christmas card from Linda Emerich’s brother, Dwight. He was son Jack’s brother in Law, this morning.  Apparently their Mother, Lee, is having her problems. She is now living with Linda. Lee was a smart cookie in her day. She was a biology professor at a college years ago. She always impressed me with her knowledge. Dwight is an excellent pianist who has professional potential.
As I sat up on the park bench this morning, I know that I have Queen’s Christmas present and she has mine. However, you know these material things pale in comparison to the important things in our lives. As we age, problems are inevitable. We are all running a race that we know we are going to lose. Tommy’s Dad, Alfie, once said” No one is getting out of this one alive.” As of this writing, we both have each other. However, every year one can’t help wondering.
           Later this morning I took some bean soup up to neighbor Jean's home and she told me that this Saturday morning our mutual neighbor Bernice Kleintop’s stepfather Donald Anthony died. He was 91 and he was the glue that held Bernice’s Mom together in Lehighton. What this portends for Bernice we just don’t know.
 I do know that it means we must make the most of each day and take them one at a time.
    This afternoon we went for our regular walk. It was a bit icy walking, when necessary we walked in the street, however we managed to hang on to each other just fine. It is always good to get out with her
    Tonight for supper, Queen had  Banquet meat pies, she had broccoli, and I Brussels sprouts [B.O.S] and a small veggie salad with cottage cheese and coffee and ice cream for dessert. It was good.

Sunday, December 21, 2003 7:24 AM 25 Deg at LVIA and 21.6 in the bus stop.
    Golly, but it looks like a good day on hand. My blood glucose was 126 and my weight 206. As soon as the coffee is ready, I shall adjourn to the park bench. <Later>08:01 It was nice up there. The sun has not quite arrived over the mountain. I think today is the shortest day of the year. From here on things should improve.
    I am glad to hear from some of my readers that they enjoy the photographs. This is something that was virtually impossible before I went to a web page. I have a whole series of photos on Iomega zip disks that are virtually unusable to me because I have been unable to open them with XP. Iomega tells me the data on the disk is incompatible with the system used on XP. However, they will recover them for me, for a fancy price. Sheez, what a bunch of cra*. I don’t really know what is on them until I see them! At least, I have made no progress so far.
    I am working on methods of improving the quality of the appearance of these pages as they are opened. Gradually I am finding ways to check how things will appear before I put it on line and that should help a lot. One thing I have discovered is the reason these pages do not always appear as the do here on my monitor as I type it. Some of the word formatting is not supported by the HTML formatting and I will have to learn how to make adjustments for that. This is going to be a long, slow process fort the old geezer. Bear with me as I attempt to figure out how to do it. Sheez!!!
    I decided I had better go for a walk this morning. Queen had taken a bath and was putting up her hair, so she declined. I took the camera along and got some of the sights of the season on my walk area. It is surprising what is there if you look. I have included some of my handiwork. I took many pictures of post lamps.


    Queen is out in the kitchen mixing up a bunch of candy recipes and that should complete her job for this year. I am looking forward to next year also.
    After our afternoon rest, Queen thought it would be a good idea to go for a walk. This way I got two of them today. We cut it short at 4th Street because it was getting dark as well as definitely feeling colder. We both enjoyed it a lot.
    Tonight for supper, Queen had a great chicken stuffing mixture that she baked in the oven. She also had some peas and baby carrots with cottage cheese. We were both too full for dessert.

Monday, December 22, 2003 7:29 AM 23 Deg at LVIA and 23.6 in the bus stop
    Well, today my Blood sugar was 141 and the weight 206. Gee, whiz!! Today is also the first day of winter as well as the “dreaded sheet day.” That means a big wash for Queen. Anytime the sheets are added to the workload it is a lot more of her time consumed. She knows that if it were me, they would get washed once a month if they needed it or not. <Sigh>
    Before I went up to the park bench, I took the recyclables to the alley. Getting up those steps along side the garage is quite a challenge with the load and some of the ice still on the pathway. It was nice sitting up on the bench. In spite of the lousy season, I must make the most of it. Hey, better days are coming, and it is one day closer to swimming season. Hope springs eternal!!
    8:36 AM Queen is getting breakfast going as well as sorting the wash. This morning we want to package some of the cookies and deliver them. Oh, now I understand that she wants to go to Lehighton for some shopping this morning.
    <1:59 PM> We are back from our trip to the stores. On the way, we stopped at the Times News office to deliver three plates of cookies.

The large picture above was taken last year.
     It was very busy in all the stores. While Queen was shopping in Wal-Mart, I saw a display of HP digital cameras with specs. of  3.2 mega pixels, 3X optical zoom lens, 3X digital zoom, USB compatible, software, the whole works sold for $179. They must have had 50 of them there. They are getting better and cheaper all the time. My Fuji is only 2.8 mega pixels and it takes excellent pictures. This looks like a good deal.
 However, our shopping  is done. We were so busy Queen hadn’t even started the wash. Now at 3:59 PM the wash is well on it’s way to completion. I packed Dr. Jane’s cookies and they will be ready to send to Florida. We discovered she left early this year and we missed her.
    Tonight’s Times News carried a reprint of this famous story. I am repeating it here,
Dear Editor—
I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?
Virginia O’Hanlon
Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.
Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.
You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.
No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

    Wonderful! Tonight we dined in God’s restaurant with spaghetti. She tried a new spaghetti sauce that we got at Giant today. It was good, but far inferior to her regular stuff.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003 7:19 AM 34 Deg at LVIA and 34.1 in the bus stop                 
     This morning the blood sugar was 132 and the weight 208. It looks like a nice day this far. Rain is predicted for later tonight and tomorrow. This morning we will have to mail some cookies. They won’t arrive for Christmas, but I am sure they will be welcome.
    <6:23 PM> Golly, this morning we were busy. The Queen cookie department’s shipping and packing division was busy this morning. We mailed cookies to Florida and West Virginia. Then we parked at Keystone Bank and walked to Rite Aid. We got Queen’s prescription, then walked back to the car and came home. As we were putting the car away, we made a cookie delivery. Later this afternoon, I saw another neighbor to whom I delivered their plate of cookies, so that is almost all of them to be delivered. We have two more deliveries to go later.                                    
    Tonight for supper, we had the salmon we got yesterday with a baked potato each, some of Queen’s cole slaw, and a small salad. Then we had cookies and coffee for dessert.  It was damn good!                 
     Tonight I was sitting in the Lazy Boy with the headphones on and Butternut started to bark. Queen said that someone was at the door. So, I got up and there was an emissary from Santa. Well, actually, it was a beautiful fairy princess bearing a plate of scrumptious cookies. She also had two bags of gifts. I quickly called Queen and we both thanked her. I was even able to kiss the beautiful princess. Hey, I am not as dumb as I look! We are very grateful as well as lucky that Santa remembered us. Thank goodness, it wasn’t the Pennsylvania Dutch Belsnickel.


Wednesday, December 24, 2003 7:10 AM 52 Deg at 46.9 in the bus stop
    It is a wet and rainy day this morning. There will be no park bench this morning. At 7:43 AM, it is raining hard. We have flash flood watches out for today. This morning the blood glucose was 143 and my weight 206. It always seems to be higher after salmon.
    I had to pay some bills and I stopped in at the Times News office. Poor Joel Kern was the only one in the office. The rest of the building was shut down for the holidays.

    Here he is hard at work on December 24th
    After I got back, I helped Queen run the plow cleaning the downstairs. The Wilmington Ellistons will be arriving Sunday for a welcome stay.
    Golly, but it is certainly a good thing that I have a keeper. I wanted to write a check for our Memorial Park memberships and I couldn't find my checkbook anyplace. I had used it before I went downtown but it was gone! We turned the house upside down, nothing! Guess what? Queen found it in the garbage. Apparently, after I wrote my checks earlier Dufas must have put it among the empty envelopes and junk mail and threw it out. Sheezzz!!
    Tonight we were invited to Tommy's for a get-together. He had many goodies including shrimp, all kinds of sandwiches, fresh fruit, pastries. George Ashman was not there he was sick with a severe cold. Of course, I took some pictures.



Thursday, December 25, 2003 7:24 AM 30 Deg at LVIA and 30.1 in the bus stop       
    This morning after breakfast, we went for a walk. I got some pictures of some of the sights and sounds of the day. On our walk, we met the Henry's with their Brittany spaniel. There were many beautiful scenes.

    After we got home, we went to Mike and Jean Dychysn's home and exchanged Christmas presents.
 Everyone had a great time.
    I got the surprise of my life when last Thanksgiving I suggested that Queen should have her own computer. She has always adamantly refused by saying she was waiting until all you had to do was turn one on click a button, and there you were. Son, George, Jason, Andy, and I said you could do that now. Her reply was, but I don't want all that mess that Bobby has sitting over there. Our reply was "Mom, a laptop is what you need." So guess what? Bobby got her a new Dell "Inspiron 1100" Laptop computer! I gave her, her first lesson today. She did very well.
    Queen got for me a pair of Bose noise canceling headphones. In the evenings I  always sit next to the television to either read the papers or any other kind of magazine I wish to peruse. The big problem in the past has been that since the Lazy Boy is right next to The TV, she had to be very careful not to have the volume very high or it would drown out my music on the old headphones. Golly, with these new ones on I can sit there and not hear any extraneous noise. They are terrific!!!

    Above are some of our gifts. However, every year this editorial appears in "The Wall St Journal." I am repeating it here for your perusal.  In all the hustle and bustle of the season, we tend to forget it is not what gifts we receive or what we give others but the fact that today celebrates a special birthday.
"  In Hoc Anno Domini
When Saul of Tarsus set out on his journey to Damascus the whole of the known world lay in bondage. There was one state, and it was Rome. There was one master for it all, and he was Tiberius Caesar.
Everywhere there was civil order, for the arm of the Roman law was long. Everywhere there was stability, in government and in society, for the centurions saw that it was so.
But everywhere there was something else, too. There was oppression -- for those who were not the friends of Tiberius Caesar. There was the tax gatherer to take the grain from the fields and the flax from the spindle to feed the legions or to fill the hungry treasury from which divine Caesar gave largess to the people. There was the impressor to find recruits for the circuses. There were executioners to quiet those whom the Emperor proscribed. What was a man for but to serve Caesar?
There was the persecution of men who dared think differently, who heard strange voices or read strange manuscripts. There was enslavement of men whose tribes came not from Rome, disdain for those who did not have the familiar visage. And most of all, there was everywhere a contempt for human life. What, to the strong, was one man more or less in a crowded world?
Then, of a sudden, there was a light in the world, and a man from Galilee saying, Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's.
And the voice from Galilee, which would defy Caesar, offered a new Kingdom in which each man could walk upright and bow to none but his God. Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. And he sent this gospel of the Kingdom of Man into the uttermost ends of the earth.
So the light came into the world and the men who lived in darkness were afraid, and they tried to lower a curtain so that man would still believe salvation lay with the leaders.
But it came to pass for a while in divers places that the truth did set man free, although the men of darkness were offended and they tried to put out the light. The voice said, Haste ye. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness come upon you, for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.
Along the road to Damascus the light shone brightly. But afterward Paul of Tarsus, too, was sore afraid. He feared that other Caesars, other prophets, might one day persuade men that man was nothing save a servant unto them, that men might yield up their birthright from God for pottage and walk no more in freedom.
Then might it come to pass that darkness would settle again over the lands and there would be a burning of books and men would think only of what they should eat and what they should wear, and would give heed only to new Caesars and to false prophets. Then might it come to pass that men would not look upward to see even a winter's star in the East, and once more, there would be no light at all in the darkness.
And so Paul, the apostle of the Son of Man, spoke to his brethren, the Galatians, the words he would have us remember afterward in each of the years of his Lord:
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage."

This editorial was written in 1949 by the late Vermont Royster and has been published annually since.

Friday, December 26, 2003 7:10 AM 28 Deg at LVIA and 28.3 in the bus stop               
    My blood sugar this morning was 128 and my weight 207. It looks cloudy this morning. As soon as the coffee is ready, Butternut and I shall see for ourselves. Yes, it is cloudy as well as breezy this morning. The 28 deg has a bite to it.                        
    I was just outside cleaning up recycled dog food and as I was finishing, I heard a voice call me. It was Suzy Malher wishing us all a Merry Christmas. It was nice to see her.       
     We also got a very welcome note in the post from Sara Geogheaan. She is David Elliston's friend. It is great to get news from that part of the family. David is not terribly prone to writing, so she is a welcome member of our family of correspondents.   
    The other day we got a wonderful Christmas card from nephew, Dr. David Guyer, a cardiologist at Duke medical center in North Carolina, it sounds as though they want to relocate back north. Both Leslie's family and David's Dad and brother are up north here.
We will be leaving shortly for our shopping trip. <Later> We are back. The food stores were practically empty. However, Wal-Mart was another matter. We were back early with additional stops at Country Harvest and Rite-Aid.
Queen has been busy finishing making her candy. She had the centers prepared and now is dipping them in chocolate. She says she needs a cold day for this operation. This afternoon she was busy as well going through old magazines on subjects of interest to her and getting them ready for me to take to the attic.
I decided to go for a walk this afternoon while she was busy at that stuff. As usual, I took my camera only to discover the rechargeable batteries were going flat. I got two pictures, but that was all.
Neither of us were very hungry for supper. We both had a big bowl of my ham and bean soup, which keeps well out in the bus stop. However, I had a bag of frozen pasta veggie medley to which we added some of those miniature hot dogs. It was a good supper.
Please Love one another, Mom and Bob [Queen and Bobby]
     Happy New Year to one and all   
"The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them."-Albert Einstein      
When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators."
P. J. O'Rourke

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