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.
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!
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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>
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
" 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
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.
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
"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