Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Relaxing for Me! Ken Trained For His 2nd Volunteer Job!

Ken and I watched the news and then we went for a long walk.  My back is been doing well, and I was ready to go for a longer distance.  It was another cloudy morning with temperatures in the mid to upper 50's.  We really enjoyed the walk, but we were rather stiff from all that physical labor yesterday!

After breakfast, Ken worked at his desk and I did a load of wash.  He left at 10 to meet my special friend, Polly, who is a major volunteer for Lititz Meals on Wheels.  She takes new volunteers on a route with her to understand what you need to do when delivering the meals and to explain how to follow the directions that you are given to find the homes of the people who receive the meals.  Ken says she does such a good job!  He was back home around 12:15.  He will be a substitute driver and we will probably do it together.

After lunch, Cindy called and we had a long conversation.  They were camping this past weekend with about 7 or 8 other couples, but the campground was only "fair", the weather gloomy, cool, and damp, and she had to leave for her garage sale on Saturday.  Also, on the drive to the campground, a young gal pulled out of an entrance ramp, not seeing Harvey the RV, and her mirror scrapped the body of Harvey from about the middle all the way to the back.  Fortunately no one was hurt, but what a pain!  She knew it was totally her fault and her insurance will pay the damage, but it still remains John and Cindy's problem to get it fixed.  Not exactly a great time!!!

Later I made a few shell pendants and then I decided I should start cleaning the apartment.  Ken had a nice chat with Rick and Joyce.  He had offered to go back and help finished the deck, but they had completed it around noon.  We are going to get together with them on Friday evening for dinner and to play cards.  

After doing most of the dusting, I talked with my friend Jackie and we hope to get together sometime this weekend.  No sure it will happen, but we will try. We had leftover Mexican for dinner and then went for our 2nd walk of the day.  It was a wonderful evening for a nice walk.  I decided to watch the new version of Dirty Dancing but by 9:30 Ken went to bed.

Oh, I did get my activity tracker today and I think it would be great, but it was too big for my wrist and looked rather clumsy.  But, it looked like a good size for Ken, so he programmed it and will give it a try.  Hopefully I will find one in a store that I can try on and make sure it is the right size for me!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

A Hard Working Day for These Old Folks!

Ken and I were both up in time to watch the morning news.  By 7:45 we left the apartment for a longer morning walk since my back has been behaving very well when I wear my activity suit.  It was cloudy but about 55 degrees.

We made a cooked breakfast and after cleaning up we left by 10 to go to Marvin's, a widowed member of our Life Group, trailer to help built him a new wooden deck.  Rick and Joyce, members of our Life Group, had offered to tear down the old one and make an enlarged new one for Marvin and we offered to help.  Rick and Joyce had been there 2x's before to measure for getting the needed supplies and to remove the bad parts of the deck, leaving only the main supports.

Ken and I had a great time helping, but it is probably the most physical labor we have done in a long, long time!  The 1st major job was making the risers for the steps, but they did a great job.  Joyce and I did most of the measuring and cutting of the needed boards for the deck floor and the new steps.  Eddie joined us in the early afternoon and he did a fantastic job cutting out the wood for around the posts and helping Rick and Ken to screw down all the boards, rather back breaking and knee hurting work.  

Rick and Joyce, the crew leaders.
They had all the tools and knowledge!

What a crew!  Eddie (in the blue shirt) had a lot of building
skills too!

The braces for the steps were done and the work on the floor
of the deck began!

Note that the steps and the decking are completed.  We got
so much done today!
I had to leave for about 45 minutes to pick-up Bria at the bus stop and I did run an errand when we 1st arrived, but otherwise, we were there all day.  Rick, Joyce and Eddie planned to return tomorrow morning to finish the railing and possibly add an additional post to support the railing that runs the length of the deck.  We helped load up all the tools and we left around 8.

We were starved, so I suggested we stop at Mo's for some Mexican take-out and Ken agreed.  Wow, the amount of food they give you in their bowls is amazing. We will have enough for at least 2 meals.

I watched The Voice finale, but Ken went to bed around 10.  I was thrilled that Chris Blue was the winner.  He has so much talent and such stage presence.  We were both very tired.  

Monday, May 22, 2017

A Rather Relaxing Day!

Ken was up by 6:30 but I only got out of bed at 7:20 - missed the news!  It was a dreary cool day, only in the low 50's, but a great morning for a nice walk.  Ken continued walking when I returned and I had a nice chat with Jamie regarding activity trackers.  Ken and I had talked about getting a Fitbit, but decided we didn't want to spend that much money for 1, even though they were on sale at Costco.

When Ken returned he made us a delicious omelette breakfast and a bowls of great tasting fresh fruit.  I went back to doing a lot of research on the internet looking for reviews on lower priced activity trackers and finally ordered 1 through Amazon.  It will arrive on Wednesday and I am excited.  I really want something that tracks my steps accurately!

Ken spent a lot of time reading and doing devotions.  I had a nice phone conversation with Noela.  They have been experiencing the same type of dreary weather during the month of May!  Right now they are visiting her daughter and family but just for the day!  

After lunch, Ken and I drove to Costco to check out the "trunk type shed" we would like to purchase and place in the backyard of our apartment so we would have our bikes handy when we want to go for a ride.  Our landlords are considering buying 2 of these sheds and then placing them on the property, so they would have control if other tenants would ask for extra storage.  That would work for us!

Ken took a nap when we returned and I went on line again to try to find an appropriate bathing suit for me - no luck!  Then I decided to make some shell pendants.  

Ken had a long talk with a customer representative at Verizon to try to understand an e-mail we received from the company regarding our unlimited date program.  After much frustration and getting no where, he asked to talked to a manager.  Ken finally got some satisfaction when she admitted that we had not gotten all the information on how it works when we changed to the unlimited program.  We will stay with it, but not totally happy with how the program works.

I made us salads for dinner and by 6:30 we left for Bria's 4th grade musical concert at the High School.  Lanie and the girls came too.  What a fantastic program with upbeat songs and lots of motions.  Ken and I could not believe how grown-up and self confident Bria looked on stage.  How did that happen?  She also had a speaking part which she did so well.  Maybe we are a little biased!  It only lasted about 35 minutes, but her music teacher did such a good job with the 75 students.

So many motions to all of the songs!

Bria was having a great time (she is in the grey shirt)!

Now it was time for her speaking  part!  The students were getting
ready to sing their last song!

We were home by 8:15 and I watched the finale of The Voice.  There are so many talented vocalists but I hope Chris Blue is the winner!  Off to bed at 10:15.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

A Very Nice Sunday!

Ken and I arrived at LCBC Church at 8:45.  Jamie and Dane were away for the weekend but Mimi and Pop Pop brought Bria and Cali to church.  Ken and I sat with out Life Group because Rick and Joyce came here today instead of the Berks Church Campus.  They will be moving to Florida permanently the end of June, so we won't have many more opportunities to sit with them on a Sunday.  
7 of us from our Life Group plus friends Frank and Barb had breakfast together at Evergreen.  Deb and Lloyd left early this morning for a 3 week stay in their house in Venice, FL.  We missed them.  

On our way home, Ken and I stopped at Polly's to measure the size of our bikes. We had asked our landlords if we would purchase a Rubbermaid type outdoor chest for our bikes if they would allow us to place it somewhere on the property. They came back saying they would consider purchasing 2 of the "sheds" and then charging a small monthly rental fee for their use.  Sounded great to us. We understand that they would like to control what is placed on the property especially when there are 8 apartments.  So, we have to do some measuring of the shed, bikes, and the place where they suggested they could be placed.  We plan on going to Costco tomorrow where we had seen the "sheds" to make sure they will work.

We were home by 1:15 and Ken "caught up" on e-mails, while I put ribbon on some of my seaglass pictures so they could be hung.  We changed and left at 2:30 for Bria and Cali's last field hockey game until it resumes again in the Fall. Fortunately it was warmer today and we had a fun time watching our improved hockey gals.

Bria warming up before the game!

Cali and Bria before the game!!

Bria is a scrappy player with such improved ball skills! 
Bria and Cali play on the same team......

.....that is coached by their mom, Jamie!

Cali is greatly improved too!

Coach Mommy does such a good job with her team!

Go, Cali!

We were back to the apartment by 4:30 and watched some of the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey game.  Wow, they won "big time"!  I grilled some onions and peppers between the 2nd and 3rd periods for wraps we planned to have for dinner.  Ken and I left around 5:45 and went for a walk.  Unfortunately, about 15 minutes before we left, I made some kind of wrong move/twist and got my back "upset", so the walk was rather tough.  When we got back I iced it and it got somewhat better.  We ate dinner watching the news and 60 Minutes!

I spent time working on this blog and also downloading photos.  It was a good day!  Off to bed around 9 so we could do some reading!

Just thought I would share the flower boxes on our balcony/deck railing at our apartment.  Don't you just love the beautiful quiet and interesting "wild west setting" we see when we sit outside!  We think we are so fortunate!

It is a small deck, but we love the view!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

A Sleep Over with Samantha ad Katelyn!

Ken and I were both up a little before 6.  I was at Evergreen with the Curvettes by 6:45 to have breakfast together.  We had a fun time and talked about planning another "field trip" to Linda's family cabin in the PA Grand Canyon.  We hope to do that in the fall!

After breakfast, I went to Green Dragon, a local farmers market, to get some sweet bologna for my dad that is made and then wood smoked by an Amish family.  I am a sweet bologna lover too and haven't had any for a long time, so I kept about 1/3 of it.  I am going to love it for lunch.  Then to Wal-Mart and another roadside market for groceries, especially fruits and veggies!

I was home by 9:45 and Ken was still on his 4 mile walk.  After my daily cup of chai and some time reading the newspaper, Ken was willing to go for another walk with me.  It went well.  Ken and I showered, ate lunch and by 1:00 we were on our way to Lanie's.  We stopped by her house to get Sam and Katelyn's clothing, stuffed toys, pillows, etc. that they were bringing to our house for a sleepover.  After our car was loaded, we went to their school for Katelyn's kindergarten concert.  It was so cute and the students did such a good job singing. 

Ready for the concert to start!

The 3 kindergarten classes at the Elementary School!

Time to whistle!

What a cutie, if I do say so myself!

We left the school with Sam and Katelyn and drove to our apartment.  Sam is really bothered by allergies and spent some time on Wed., Thurs, and Friday in the nurse's office complaining of a stomach ache and sore throat.  She did not have a fever and both Lanie and nurse think the symptoms are due to all the drainage from her sinuses.  So, we felt it was fine to take her with us!

The girls both love steak, so Ken grilled filets while I made them mac and cheese.  Ken had to do the dishes because I cut my thumb with a large serrated butcher knife while cutting his homemade rye bread.  It was fairly deep, but did not require stitches.

The 4 of us walked to Lititz Park so the girls could have fun on the playground. They had a great time feeding the ducks too! 

Stopped to take a photo on the way to the park!

This was their favorite things to do at the park - the zip line!
Katelyn thought she needed a little help!

That is a wobbling platform!

An action shot!!!!

We found some families of baby ducks when we were leaving
the park!

There were 3 different families!

From there we walked to a local ice cream shop.  On the way we passed 2 teenage girls who said hi to the girls and when they heard them say we were going for ice cream, they said they were lucky.  So, Ken invited them to join us. They couldn't believe he was serious, but once they realized he was, they agreed to join us.  They were 14 and 17 and both had some sad stories regarding their home life.  They have some definite challenges and seem to be rising above them.  They thanked us over and over for our kindness and told Samantha and Katelyn they were very lucky to have such wonderful grandparents - YES!  They also said they will pass on the kindness to someone else this summer.  

Enjoying ice cream with some new friends!

It was 8:30 when we got back to the apartment and time for Samantha and Katelyn to get ready for bed (the adults too!).  So after baths and tooth brushing, I spent time chatting with them when they were in bed.  They are such sweet little "ladies"!  Samantha seemed to be feeling well this evening, but the coughing and congestion started when she laid down.

At 12:30, Samantha woke me by tapping my shoulder and said the Katelyn was "in her space"!  When I checked Katelyn was on her side of the bed, but now Samantha was teary eyed and said she didn't feel well - sore throat and stomach ache and she missed her mommy!  So, I got her some medicine and Ken said he would sleep on the sofa and she could sleep with me.  I think Ken got the better par of that deal.  Samantha is one of the most restless sleepers. She moves all the time and kicking is part of the motion.  She also likes to be all over the bed, especially in my space.  Needless to say, she slept okay, but Grandma had a rough time.  I got very little sleep.  

Ken and I got up a little before 6 to start getting ready, but the girls were up before 6:30.  We all got ready and I made pancakes for the girls.  Samantha ate very little and said she had an upset stomach again.  We did leave around 7:15 to drive to Mt. Gretna (about 1/2 hour) to watch Dane do a triathlon.  It was a cool, cloudy and damp day and there were a few unexpected rain drops when we were parking the car.  We watched Dane swim in the lake and complete the bike ride, but we left before he finished the run.  By then it was only 53 degrees and we were all cold.  Also, we could tell by looking at Samantha that she was not feeling well.  So we left for home.  Dane was having great times when we left!

Can you find Dane in this picture?  Getting ready to get into
the very cold water!  

Finished the swim and heading to his bike!

This is his young fan club!  Yes, it was cool!

His bike run was done and now for the run!

.....and off he goes!

Samantha did rest for about 1/2 hour and then the 4 of us played Racko and the Marble Game.  We had a lot of fun.  We decided to let them play on my tablet and Ken's I-Pad since Samantha didn't have too much energy.  Ken took a 1/2 hour nap while I played 3 games of Connect Four with Katelyn.  At 5 years old, she is a great game player!

Lanie had planned to come here at 5 so we could all walk to the park and get pizza for dinner.  Bob had left for Ohio after work yesterday for a Kubb Tournament and wouldn't return until very late tonight.  Because of the lousy weather and Sam's not feeling well, I called her and suggested that I would drop Ken off at his Next Step class at 3 and drive them home.  She thought that sounded like a better idea.  So that is what we did and by 4:45, Ken and I were back at the apartment with no little ones!  I certainly wish Samantha would have felt better while they were here.  She was a "trooper" but we knew she was ready to go home and be with her mommy!  She was disappointed that we couldn't go to the park or have pizza.  We promised we will do that in the near future!

I was exhausted when we got home after only about 4 hours of sleep last night. So, I took a 1/2 hour nap and my sweet husband made us salads for dinner.  We also ordered a thin crust pizza from Dominoes that Ken picked up.  We spent the evening watching The Preakness and then the Nashville Hockey game.  Ken went through the photos he had taken and I did this blog and downloaded photos. 

As of 9 PM, we don't know the results of Dane's race or the outcome of Bob's Kubb Tournament.  We should know by morning!!!! 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Fun with Mom and Dad!

Ken and I were up to watch the news and then he left at 8 to have breakfast with Gary.  I cooked my breakfast, did load of wash, and recorded expenses.

When Ken got home he did his devotions and I went on the balcony to read another chapter of "Boundaries"!  We ate lunch and then spent from 1 to 4:30 playing Pinochle with Mom ad Dad at Masonic Village.  It was a great day for the women.  We won 3 of 4 games!  We were unstoppable!!

For some reason we were both tired when we got home, so we took a short nap and then had salads for dinner.  I put on my SAS  and we went for our walk to downtown Lititz.  It was the 1st day the outdoor Farmer's Market here in Lititz was open for the season, so we stopped by so Ken could buy 1/2 a loaf of a delicious homemade rye bread.  It is so good toasted!  It was a perfect evening to be outdoors.  It had gotten to the low 90's today, but there was a nice breeze and cooler when we took our walk.

Back home by 8 and I played a game of Pop Words on Ken's I-Pad while he did some reading.  We were in bed by 9.  Not an overly exciting day, but we loved it!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Happy Mother's Day to Me!

Ken was up early but I woke just in time to watch the 7 AM news.  More things keep happening in Washington!  Ken cut-up fruit and I cooked Ken's breakfast so he could leave around 8 for his job at MCC.

I did some clean-up around the apartment and then showered, etc.  Then I read a very good chapter in the book our Life Group is studying, Boundaries. Chapter 5 had so much food for thought!

The beginning of May I had told Lanie and Jamie that I had a request for Mother's Day.  I would like them to come to Lititz some day that it suits both of them to go through the local shoppes and have lunch together.  They were happy to fulfill my request and today was the day.  They arrived at 10 and after some time chatting, we walked to downtown Lititz.  We began by checking out several of the shoppes before going to Wilbur Chocolate Factory for a few samples and then we bought 2 specialty pieces for our dessert.

We walked to Tomato Pie for lunch and were able to sit outside on their patio.  It was a positively gorgeous day that actually got hot - upper 80's.  After lunch we did some more sidewalk shopping and going into a few of the unique shoppes. We also stopped at one of the winery where the girls sampled several of the wines.  They had mostly dry ones, so I only had one taste!

We were back to the apartment by 1:15 and Ken got home at 1:30, so he had the opportunity to chat with the girls too.  It was such a delightful, special day. They had to leave around 2 to be home in time to meet the girls at their bus stops.

Ken spent his day at MCC bundling clothes that are donated to the agency from Thrift Shoppes that only keep the items for so long before they remove them from their store.  It is amazing how much clothes they receive.  

Ken's friend, Landis, that is 85 years old and works at MCC
4 mornings per week!  This is the baling machine!

One bale of clothing, weighs about 1,000 pounds!

Lots and lots of baled clothes that
are sold to a "clothing broker".

These are cans that will be filled with meats that are
processed in a cannery that is taken around the eastern coast
of the USA and Canada!  MCC processes all the meat that is
canned in a tractor trailer!

Boxes of canned meat!

These cans of meat are sent around the world as needed!

I went to several local greenhouses to get some flowers to plant around the lamppost in front of our building.  I also purchased 3 small planters that fit over the railing on our deck so we can see and enjoy flowers while sitting in our LR. When I returned Ken was just finishing making salads for dinner and I cleaned up the kitchen.  

We went on the deck and potted the flowers I had bought.  Our deck is small so having them attached to the railing is just perfect.  Then I went outside and planted the remaining purple and pink petunias around the lamppost.  We needed some color out front.

We watched the news while eating the chicken and salads Ken had made for dinner.  Then I put on my SAS and we went for about a 40 minute walk.  It was a beautiful evening with a slight breeze, perfect for a stroll.

After showers, I worked on this blog and by 9:30 we were in bed.  It was such a great day!  I only regret that I didn't take any pictures of my time with the girls to post on this blog!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Lots of Different Things to Do at Home!

Ken and I were up by 7 in time to watch the World News!  Why do we do that?  It is depressing!  We cooked breakfast together and then sorted through the sea glass we had gathered yesterday.  Ken did devotions while I did a more detailed sort looking for pieces I could use for my pictures.

I did a load of wash and got all "gussied" up for the day.  Actually I just showered and dried my hair!  I finished the card I had started last night, but it is not very impressive!  Then I put on my SAS and we went for a walk.  It was a gorgeous morning.  I wore shorts and a sleeveless top and was warm!  Loved it!

Upon returning, Ken left to meet Rick, a member of our Life Group, at 10,000 Villages for lunch.  Rick had done research for us regarding a by-pass switch we wanted to have installed in the CRV for when we tow it with Wilbur.  Rick was a mechanic for the buses in Reading and was so graciously willing to do it for us.  After lunch, they went to where Wilbur is stored and put in the needed switch.  Then they hooked up the CRV to Wilbur to make sure all the electric, lights, etc. worked properly.  Yes, success!  We are so thankful to Rick for the great job he did for us!

Rick, that looks like a rather uncomfortable position for working,
not to mention a small space.  Wow, what a friend!
Rick also had some great news to share.  He and Joyce had listed their home on Friday and by last evening they had a signed contract for the purchase of it with settlement the end of June - Wow!  So, their dream of moving to Venice FL to the duplex they bought last Fall is now going to be a reality.  I am sure they will have plenty to do between now and then including a major garage sale!  Hopefully we will be able to help them with the process!  We are so happy for them, but sad that they will be moving away.  We enjoy spending time with them!  We will just have to spend more time together in Florida!

While Ken was gone I downloaded some photos and worked on some sea glass pictures.  It was a quiet afternoon.  Upon Ken's return around 4:30 we did some chatting about his afternoon and then we went for another walk.  I would like to start trying to walk 2 times a day for about 25 minutes.  Both of us have sore backs from all our bending on the beach looking for sea glass yesterday, but it went fairly well.

Ken grilled for dinner and after clean-up, I sanded some frames and then started painting them for my sea glass pictures.  We also watched The Voice. I picked 3 of the 4 artists who will be in the finals.  It will be a tough competition.  We were in bed by 9:15.