Friday, December 27, 2013

More Rotten Health Issues

It's no surprise I've been back to the hospital again. My daughter and I went yesterday morning. My left shoulder, elbow and arm have been killing me lately, but I've been trying to ignore it for as long as possible. The pain finally got to be too much and after about a dozen x-rays for me, I find I have a possible torn rotator cuff, damaged biceps muscle and injured elbow. I fell trying to get out of bed the day after my last surgery and caught myself by putting out my hand. BIG MISTAKE!

That means I wear a brace on my left hand for carpal tunnel syndrome, pain patches to let me deal with the pain and a sling to keep the weight off my shoulder. I have to take it off every few hours and move my shoulder around to keep it from freezing. Not a fun thing. Been there, done that, have a massage therapist in the family to fix it. I've already had surgery on this shoulder back in 2006 to remove excess cartilage and had this arm and elbow broken in 1996, so it's about time to just replace it with a bionic shoulder and arm. That would be fun, I think. :).

If the steroids I'm on don't make a pretty significant difference, I'll have to go see a bone doctor and get an MRI and maybe another surgery. Not looking forward to that. I do go for a nerve conduction test in 2 weeks on this arm. That is one of the worst tests pain-wise I've ever had done, so I'm not looking forward to it.

Better get my arm back in the sling, it's starting to hurt a lot.


A Post~Christmas Gift

The UPS guy was just here and dropped off a little late gift. It was scheduled to be here yesterday, promised to be here yesterday, but arrived today. Ah well, we're all use to these delivery companies NOT living up to promised delivery dates. I'm amazed it arrived this soon. If it were Fed EX, I'd still be waiting.

So what is my gift? I'm typing on it now ~ a purple keyboard for my Surface 2 tablet!! Purple is my favorite color, so I had to have this one. I don't mind using the built in, on screen touch keyboard, but this is so much easier on me. I was trained to type on a real, honest-to-goodness typewriter back in the Stone Age, not to keyboard like people are taught today. When I was working as a legal secretary, I could type and take shorthand (not even taught anymore since digital voice recorders were invented). I still used shorthand when I was working as a reporter at court because in the State of Penna., electronic recording devices and cameras aren't allowed in court. Without shorthand, I wouldn't have been able to get the proceedings almost word-for-word.

This tablet is my favorite gift for Christmas. For Yule, my favorite is a gorgeous sterling silver pentacle necklace with a ruby at the tip of each point in the star. I love having two holidays to celebrate every December! Anyone else here celebrate Yule?


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve

This year is different for us. Both of our children are adults and have decided to open presents tonight, rather than getting up at our usual 5 a.m. tomorrow. We're going to my aunt's house to celebrate with my family. Sadly, Randy's brother & his wife have decided they are too good for us & refuse to even let us see our niece. All our gifts to her are thrown away. The worst part, the brother is my son's godfather. They can't even be bothered to email them a happy birthday. They told my kids when they were 10 & 12 that they were disowning them. Nice, huh?

My Brother's girlfriend has a young daughter and she has already started calling us Aunt Gretchen and Uncle Randy and our kids are her cousins. We aren't related "yet", but she's allowed to stay with us and we take her places. I so love that little girl!!

Anyhow, I'm looking at even more surgery. The stitches were removed yesterday from my last one 2 weeks ago. Now, my left shoulder is torn and needs repaired. I'm also looking at nerve torture tests in 2 weeks, then the possibility f knee surgery.

Randy was being super sweet and bought me a Surface 2 tablet to make it easier on me to play games, blog & surf the net when I'm attached to an IV. I also have Kindle software downloaded with almost 300 books on it. He let me have it early since I've spent half of the past three weeks in hospitals or doctors' offices or driving to one or the other.

I'll upload photos from the gift opening soon.

To my Christian friends, I hope your Christmas is a truly wonderful one, filled with lots of love and family.


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Have a Blessed Samhain == AKA Happy Halloween!!!

Today is the one day of the year when the young and not-so-young get to let their true faces show during the only time it’s acceptable to be seen in costume and masks. Once again, it’s Halloween, or more accurately, Samhain (pronounced SOW-IN), which means summer’s end and is celebrated at the end of fall and beginning of winter in the Northern Hemisphere. It was a final celebration of the harvest before the earth slumbered through winter. The day also marked the Celts’ version of the New Year and the time when they believed the dead came back to walk the earth once more. The holiday has been with us for centuries in various forms.

The day was a time to honor ancestors, but also ward off evil spirits by wearing costumes to confuse them. Turnips were carved with faces and placed in the windows to scare off the dead. People would go “a-souling.” They would pray for the household’s dead relatives in exchange for food and drink. In Scotland, the dead were impersonated by men who would wear all white and cover their faces with a veil.

Halloween as we know it today can be traced back to the early Christians. In the 800s, the Catholic Church wanted to wipe out pagan holidays and convert the heathens, so they would create a holy day to coincide with an established pagan festival. The Roman festivals of Feralia and Pomona’s Day were merged with Samhain and the new holiday replaced all three. Pomona’s day was a harvest festival in honor of the Roman Goddess of fruits and trees. This could explain where the tradition of bobbing for apples came from. Feralia was a day of mourning and remembering the dead.

Early Christians began celebrating All Saints Day on Nov. 1. They began their observance at sunset the night before. Some of the ways they celebrated were to dress in costumes of Christian saints to scare away the evil spirits and then they would go door-to-door, begging for food. Eventually, All Souls’ Day, which commemorated the dead who were not saints was added on Nov. 2. Soul cakes (currant buns) were given out when those celebrating went from house to house, offering to pray for their dead, similar to the a-souling.

Less than a century later, those two early Christian holidays merged into Hallow Time (Oct. 31-Nov. 2). Most of the celebrations took place the night before All Hallows Day on All Hallows Eve. Halloween quickly became the name.

Today, the holiday has grown so popular, it is second only to Christmas in the amount of money spent on decorations. Many Christian churches discourage their members from celebrating, saying it is evil; however, simply reading up on the history tells a different story.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

More health woes

As everyone who regularly reads here or knows me personally knows I'm quite ill & need a large variety of medicines every month just to keep me alive.

Our former pharmacy ~ Rite~Aide ~ made life miserable because they rarely had my medicine, even though I got the same things every month. This month, I dropped off the prescriptions a day early to give plenty of time to have them ready. My son stopped on his way to college because I was in too much pain to stand up, let alone drive there. He was given one medicine & one paper script back that had find a new pharmacy on it & he wasn't told when or if the other 5 would be available. What? I'm out of meds, they knew at least one day early, but didn't care enough to call. My doctor's office was dumb~founded how they treat me. They called around & found a new pharmacy who agreed to take over my large order.

Randy & I went down to the new pharmacy with a large bag filled with all my meds & the pharmacist spent at least a half hour going over what I need & assured me there would never be a problem. I guess Rite Aid is just too busy to need or care about its long~term customers. <

One of the worst things Rite Aid did to me is made me the butt of jokes. I was being treated at the Cleveland Clinic & they needed to call there for a refill. The technician had several of my other scripts in a basket & my name was clearly visible. The store was packed. She loudly said, "We'll need to get approval from the Secret Service next." That's when she saw me there. No apology, no nothing. I complained to the pharmacist & he didn't understand why I was upset.

Yesterday when I told them we are changing pharmacies & asked for the district manager's phone number. The same pharmacist refused to do that.

I ask you, my friends, was I out of line in any of this nightmare? I'm just able to walk now, but need a pain shot soon before bed. Why would any business in today's economy throw away good customers? Has anyone else had trouble with Rite Aid? I would never recommend that place to anyone. =~{

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Virginia vacation

We're beck from our week in VA & took my son's girlfriend/fianceeto the airport yesterday to fly beck to CA. She lives with her aunt & is in college there. We all love her & approve of his choice as long as they wait til they both finish college & have jobs before they get married & start a family.

He spent Easter in Mexico getting to know her family & getting their approval. They all love him, so they are all set. He gave her a promise ring when we flew out to AZ in November to celebrate his 18th birthday & visit the college he wants to attend.

While we were at Busch Gardens, a hurricane hit & the park was closed Friday. We drove around & found a Coach Outlet store. I was in Nirvona! Found a nice backpackers, Arielle got an Umbrella & I got Ana a wristlet. She cried because she said it was too much. Nothing is too much for the ones I love.The rain was flooding the area. We needed a break from all the walking, so a free day was nice. We went to a Greek festival, then to see the new Star Trek. It wasn't as good as the first. I didn't like the actor chosen to play Kahn.

Saturday, we rented a motorized wheelchair for me. I wasn't able to stand up for very long, let alone walk 10+ miles. I felt like a total failure. I'm afraid I'll end up in one permanently because my health is failing fast & I'm getting worse then before. :-(

When we had to leave her at the airport yesterday, it felt like I was sending one of my kids away. I already think of her as a daughter. She's sweet, polite, kind & easy to love. We're not sure when they'll get to see each other again. For sure, shes coming here for New Years. Shes never skied before, so we promised to take her. I don't think she's ever seen snow. Cant wait to see her reaction to several feet of snoe! When she arrived here 2 weeks ago, her first words were, "It's so green!." When they went canoeing, it was the first time she ever saw a river before. She wanted water & couldn't get over the fact we don't have boil water here, it's perfect the way it is. Seeing the stars was new because it never gets dark enough where she lives. We were blown away to learn she had never seen a deer!

We enjoyed Busch Gardens & drove through Washington DC to let her see the White H ouse. She's never been on this Coast before.

I'll post photos when I get on my laptop.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Erie, PA

My daughter & I just got back from a quick, overnight trip to Erie, PA. She had a few things to take care of, so we went a day early rather than leave the house at 6 am. We always stay at the Bayside Sheraton there & I'm a priority club member. They have an entire floor set aside that can only be accessed with the club keycard. Evening snacks & morning breakfast are just two of the msny perks. We have early & late check~in times, too. The rooms face the bay, so you are greeted to gorgeous sunsets & sun rises over the water. The beds are like sleeping on clouds. There are so many things to see & do in Erie, I can't write it all in one post. We had to go to the mall for Hot Topic & Macys. I'm a Coach bag addict & picked up a gorgeous coral Coach bag as a late Mothers' Day gift to myself & found the perfect dress to wear to my son's high school graduation on the 31st. We took my Precious ~ a Mustang GT named Betty Lou ~ for the trip. It was perfect driving weather, warm & sunny We leave June 1 for a week in VA at Busch Gardens. My son's girlfriend is flying in from CA for his graduation & the trip. It's part graduation gift & part 21st birthday gift for my daughter. Looking forward to that! Will post photos when I get the card downloaded tonight. Hope everyone is getting some much needed travel time! G

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Post~op Post

I'm slowly healing from the oral surgery yesterday. Solid food is out for a few days, but maybe I can lose a couple pounds this way?? My face is swollen on the left side where the two molars were dug out. They were both badly infected, so the hope is that clearing up those infections will help relieve some of the non~stop Migraines. Also have a swollen right hand that's black & purple where the nurse collapsed a vein trying to start an IV. The surgery went well. Once the Doctor walked in & said hello, it seemed like I closed my eyes & I was in recovery. Randy was so great. Never left my side. When we got home (a 40-minute drive), he helped me into pj's & bed. He stayed with me, even though I was totally unconscious for 4 or 5 hours. He played the X~Box 360 on silent just to keep an eye on me. I need to cover the PA Wilds 6th annual spring banquet meeting tomorrow night, so I hope to look at least semi~human for that. Thanks to being a teenage girl in the 1980's, I have lots of make~up in my purse! Arielle will drive there. She's been learning how to help me do the job and spent this afternoon chasing around paperwork at the local Courthouse. She's also learning that reporters don't get a lot of money, so meals are what we get as benefits. :) Hope all my friends are well out there in cyberspace! G

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Evil Dead remake -- Does contain spoilers

We went to see the remake of the Evil Dead last weekend and really enjoyed it. It's not the original, that's for sure. I think that's why we enjoyed it so much. There's no way I could have sat through it if they tried to remake Bruce Campbell. He is why the series was so successful as a light-hearted horror comedy. He's one of a kind. There were many nods to the original. Make sure you stay til all the credits have rolled to get a special treat from Bruce himself. It's "Groovy!"

The new version is true horror with oceans of blood. They don't say there's a death and pan away from it while it happens off camera, they show every brutal second of it. The movie almost seems to revel in how much blood and gore it can use and stay a Rated R movie. A chainsaw was good enough to take care of the dead before and it's still good enough now. I'm hoping this one is successful enough that the other two are also remade. Army of Darkness should be really something done as a pure horror flick.

I would like to take my son to see it now. He's 18 and has been watching horror movies practically since birth. I wouldn't suggest it for young kids, but older teens should have no trouble with it. They were raised on violent video games, so blood doesn't bother them.

Did anyone else see it? What do you think?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Finding Bigfoot in PA the Premiere Party

Animal Planet has a TV show called Finding Bigfoot. A group travels around the country looking for Bigfoot. Last night, the show was set in Pennsylvania. My newspaper sent me to the party to check it out and write about what I saw and heard. There were special Bigfoot drinks and burgers and other food. The drink was blue and tasted like candy. Very good! It even had a little gummy bear at the bottom as a treat to find. I tried the mini Bigfoot burger, but there was also a large Bigfoot burger. The mini was more than I could eat and had it for lunch today. So good! The Barrell is located in Lantz Corners and has very friendly waitresses. The people there were also very nice. Only one person refused to talk to me and wasn't very nice about it, but he was easy to ignore when so many others were nice. The article and photos will appear in tomorrow morning's newspaper. I would highly recommend any event held there and will have no problem going to any Bigfoot gathering. The people weren't scary freaks, but just normal folks. I would say the room was about evenly split between believers and skeptics, but even the skeptics were willing to listen and not one person laughed at others beliefs. Do I believe in Bigfoot? I'm open minded. I'm not arrogant enough to say I know everything. Just remember, it wasn't that long ago when everybody KNEW that the earth was flat, that giant squid didn't exist and there were no silver back gorillas.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Congratulations, Kaitlyn and Tony

My cousin Kaitlyn and the love of her life, Tony were married over the weekend. They are young, but when you looked at the, you could see the love. Their daughter is gorgeous and Kaityln has a daughter from a previous relationship, but to Tony, they are both his girls. He is what I wish for all the women I love - a man who will step up and do what's right, even if he might not be biologically related.

I did their photography, of course, and really enjoyed the day. I'm slowly going through the photos and hope to get everything done within the next two weeks.

Again, Congratulations, Kaitlyn and Tony! May your life be nothing but smiles, love and laughter!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Chainsaw Carving Rendezvous Day Four

Today is the fourth day of the 14th annual Ridgway Chainsaw Carving Rendezvous. The morning started out horrible with sleet and snow turning the town into a cold, slippery, miserable mess. Of course, the extreme artists couldn't be out working in those conditions. Schools in town were operating on a two-hour delay, hoping the roads would be clear and it would be safe to bring the students in. I had a County government meeting to cover at 10 a.m., so Arielle dropped me off there while she ran around town taking care of a few errands.

Following the meeting, we stopped at home to grab a backpack to carry my gear in and keep it out of the rain and dry as well as an umbrella to keep my camera safe, then walked down to the closest area set aside for the carvers. It's only about a two-minute walk from our front door. Sadly, only one artist was working, but there were plenty examples of the stunning creations at each tent.

After we photographed our favorite pieces, we came home to have lunch and catch up on one of the TV shows we enjoy watching on SyFy called Face Off. It's a contest for make-up artists that allows you to see behind the curtain and learn how the make-up and other special effects are created. There is a new episode on tonight, so we want to watch last week's show to see who was eliminated. We'll go uptown later this afternoon (hopefully, it will stop raining by then) and check out all the work there. We hope to find a little piece to bring home to help remind us of the incredible amount of talent in this world. We pick something up each year. My absolute favorite piece is a stunning walking stick created by a carver from Gettysburg. It goes with every year we visit.

The Rendezvous continues through Saturday, so I'll be posting many more photos by then. That day, I also have to photograph a business expo in a near-by town as well as my cousin's daughter's wedding. That will be a very busy day.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Ridgway Chainsaw Carving Rendezvous

Here's my article and a photo that will be posted in the morning's Bradford ERA.

RIDGWAY – The 14th annual Ridgway Chainsaw Carving Rendezvous begins today and runs through next Saturday, Feb. 23 with the most popular event in the region, the chainsaw carving auction. Carvers can be found throughout the town, including: South Broad, Center and Court Streets, Country Squirrel Outfitters, Keystone True Value and Ridgway Record Parking Lot. One of the new events will be a fireworks display being held Friday evening.

The event began with a small group of six carvers in 2000 and has grown each year to become the world's largest non-competitive event of its kind. Ridgway has been dubbed, “The Chainsaw Carving Capital of the World." Each year they challenge themselves to do better than the last. In previous years, an estimated 30,000 people visited the event. A similar number is expected for this year. “When old painters want to learn, they went to the masters in Europe. If you really want to learn chainsaw carving, you have to go to the masters here in Ridgway. This is where the Mecca is,” Dennis Heath of England said at a previous event. “It’s an emerging fine art form that really has its roots in the United States,” Liz Boni, co-creator of the rendezvous said.

Hundreds of chainsaw carvers from literally all over the world are given a chance to show off their art form, sell a sculpture, either large or small and help raise money for charity through the auction. Throughout the week-long event, visitors can watch the carvers create, attend various seminars and enjoy festival food and crafts for sale. Presentations and demonstrations on the art form, techniques, practices, practical issues, occupational health and business aspects of chainsaw art will be held. Beginning Monday morning through Thursday, a selection of professionals will present educational information and demonstrations to share with other artists and the public.

Some of the carvers who will attend this year's Rendezvous are coming from cities and towns throughout Pennsylvania, Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin; as well as Canada, Chile, Denmark, Germany and the United Kingdom.

The week of events will close with the auction. Each carver is asked to donate a piece to the auction, some will donate more. The auction is a rare chance for the public to own a piece of history. Each carving is individual and no two can ever be alike. With thousands of individuals registering to bid, arriving early is the only way to ensure a seat.

Schedule of Events:

Saturday – 16th 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Carver arrival and setup. Many will have carvings for sale.
Sponsor booths can be visited in the Masonic Temple.
Craft Vendors will set up at 253 Main Street store front.
8 p.m. – Bubba Bradley – NBC’S Last Comic Standing
Will be performing at Aiello’s CafĂ©. Tickets available at the door.

Sunday – 17th Noon – 5 p.m.
Carvers will entertain audiences and have carvings for sale at all locations.
Sponsor Booths – Masonic Temple.
Craft Vendors will set up at 253 Main Street store front.

Monday – Thursday (18th – 21st)
Carving Seminars 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. at the American Legion (Main Street).
Carving at all locations until 5 p.m.

Friday – 22nd
Carving from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sponsor Booths – Masonic Temple.
1-3 p.m. Horse Drawn Carriage rides at the Ridgway Welcome Center (weather permitting – donation).
8:00 pm Pyro Technique Display – NEW THIS YEAR!!
In the field behind Lazy River Canoe – along the Clarion River.

Saturday – 23rd
Carving throughout the day.
AUCTION Starts at 12 p.m. until it’s done – located on Court Street.
10 a.m. -? Horse Drawn Carriage Rides at the Ridgway Welcome Center (weather permitting- donation).

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Walking Dead

The new mid-season premiere of The Walking Dead begins tonight at 9 p.m. Had to make a quick post because at 8:55 p.m., because like most true fans, I'll be turning off all computers, cellphones, telephones and even the doorbell. I won't even answer psychic messages! If you're on fire, don't think my name until 10 p.m., then I'll be happy to come help. :)
The Walking Dead happens to be one of those TV shows that grabs you and doesn't let go for the entire hour. I wish the regular networks could understand that the majority of Americans really don't need nor want a nanny telling us what we can and cannot see. With very few exceptions, the top shows are on AMC, SyFy, HBO and FX. We all love Sons of Anarchy, True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones and American Horror Story. Those shows are all gritty and real. Do we need any more singing shows or more "real" housewives? Those shows truly induce a shudder. Maybe we need to let the networks know we're sick of being spoonfed nonsense! Long Live the Walking Dead!!!