Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Nighteen Eighty

Back in 1980 I had a fairly severe hand injury and had to go to Philadelphia to a hospital that had a special department to repair and rebuild badly injured hands. The first immediate temporary fix was here, done by a local surgeon who used needles and tape to hold my hand together overnight.  Then dear friends Dean and Sally, who had never even traveled to a big city, took me under their wing and drove me to Philadelphia the very next day and waited during my first examination. It was then determined that I needed surgery and also rehabilitation. Back home we went.

Soon after, the next time I went, lake friends Willie and Dick, who had a place here and who also lived in an area of NJ not far from the hospital, took me home with them and helped me get to the appointment for surgery. They also drove me back when they came to their place at the lake a few days later. What wonderful friends!

For several months after that, I was driven to the Greyhound bus station near Binghamton, NY and then I traveled for many hours to Philadelphia near the hand center. I had my rehabilitation every couple of weeks for several months. After each appointment, I took the bus back to Binghamton and was picked up by someone after arrival to return home.

The Philadelphia Hand Center at Jefferson University Hospital is now called the Philadelphia Hand to Shoulder Center. I will say that when I went there, with my injury, I felt ashamed and embarrassed because I saw so many hand injuries that were horrible and much worse than mine. It was a shocking experience. 

One thing I remember especially was that my hosts were always going to the Wawa. I still chuckle to even say it, as we don't have any Wawas near here!  Of course I now know that "Wawa means "land of the big goose" in a language that is not English. They say the Canada Goose makes a honking sound that is similar to wawa. I also read that there were geese on land in a rural section of Pennsylvania called Wawa. Well there is so much history and so many stories about the word that I have not a clue as to which is correct. Oh well, it doesn't matter - really. I just think "going to the Wawa" is a VERY funny phrase.

Nineteen eighty was a difficult year and it was also a good year. My first daughter was married in November and my hand was pretty well healed.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Lovely Surprise

Yesterday I played with an app that came along as a "freebie" when a granddaughter brought me a birthday gift a couple of years ago.

She installed it and since it is not right out in front of my eyes, and is on the 2nd page of my launcher I forgot about it. As I was exploring through my launcher, which I hardly ever use, I came across this so experimented a bit.

My "Boo" graphic of yesterday was my first fun try. Then, later I tried something more serious. The results are the pictures below.
Today a different granddaughter announced her engagement.  How interesting is it that I made hearts and love and then hear this good news? I had no idea that this was going to happen. I think I shall try my hand at another creation. She loves flowers.
So I made one especially for them!

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Back at It

I'm fooling around with graphics again. When I saw my granddaughter's latest sketch I had to do something with it. Well I did 4 "somethings." This is her original. She calls it line art. I think she's talented.
The next series is what I made with her art.
Here is her shading practice on another of her art pieces. This is the original.
Well I really messed him up! These are my variations.
A friend sent me a photo of her homemade beef stew - original image:
I got carried away eyeing this beautiful panful!
please click on image to view larger

Saturday, January 27, 2018

2010 January Washout

I put this together 4 years after it happened and will never forget what a mess we had eight years ago.  There is a large catch basin at the side of the road just behind the tree but it clogged up fast and caused all of the mess. 

Every year we are thankful when time passes without another winter sudden thaw.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Kitchen Operations

It was definitely time to clean out my GranPappy deep frier. The only foods I use in it are potatoes and precooked Perdue chicken tenders. People are not correct - in my mind - that deep fried foods aren't good for you. You would be surprised, I think, at how little oil is used. The fill line on the inside of the container hardly goes down before it it time to change oil after many uses. The debris settles and then it it time to change it. I use canola oil. I don't bother to strain it and reuse, although it is an option. I never do fish in there either! I have had this frier for many many years and my only complaint is that it has a short cord.
In 1955 a group of girlfriends had a bridal shower for me and one of the gifts was a potato cutter. I still have and use this old tool. Peel a medium size potato - or don't peel it - place it in the cutter and press on the handle. Eureka! Raw french fries read for cooking. This has been used for over 62 years! Every year! It beats using the frozen ones from the store. 
Today's is made out of stainless steel! I don't need it. 
I made a large bowlful of coleslaw today and it is aging. We'll dig into it tomorrow. No recipe, but I'll tell you we like our slaw cut very fine and with a sweet/sour dressing. I use mayonnaise, half and half, apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper and celery seed. I didn't have fresh carrots on hand this time. Just some of this and that and it always is great.
I managed to keep fairly busy today and hope to be productive tomorrow.

Thursday, January 25, 2018


Every four years Pennsylvania sends an invitation for drivers to renew their driver's licenses. In our town there is a PennDOT Photo License Center that is open every Thursday and Saturday 8:30am to 4:15pm. The renewal forms are first completed with a check or money order enclosed and returned to PennDOT.  Photo license camera card paperwork is received by the applicants in the mail. We then take the form, appropriate identification and ourselves to this center. PennDOT uses state-of-the art facial recognition technology when an individual has their photo taken for this renewal.

Now with the flu virus being so prevalent, I debated whether or not to put myself in this public facility when I knew it would be a crowded and busy place. I decided to go.

When I arrived at 9:30am the place was packed. The first thing I did was to pull a numbered ticket from a dispenser and look around. A very nice young man indicated that he was willing to give up his seat (one of about 15) for me to sit instead of standing in the line. My ticket number was 79. They just had called number 68. To me that meant there were ten more people ahead of me. When my number was finally called it was 10:00am. I turned in my old license and signed the form from the mail, sat down and waited more. At 10:15 am I was called forth to the photo area. I had to give my birthdate and current address.  It took the lady three tries to be satisfied with my picture and then I had to answer several questions on a board by punching a number on a keypad. It caused a chuckle in the crowd when I asked her if I broke her camera. Tensions were released a little. I then sat down and waited until 10:30 when I was called forward to receive my new four year license.

Now, this is how I figure out the processing of driver licensing renewals here. It took 60 minutes to process 10 people. That is six minutes per person and who wouldn't mind a six minute process? Well my suggestion is to open the facility more than two days because I had to wait for an hour. That's my call, but not the state's!

Another thing, overcrowding in a small area when the flu virus is rampart is BAD! I was happy to hit the hand sanitizer when I went back to the car. I figure I had touched a door handle, a table top, a pen, a key pad and a chair. Sure hope I didn't breathe!

I now have my new Pennsylvania DIGITIZED driver's license!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

It's Almost Over

I'm talking about the month of January. Now to get through February... Every year it gets harder as I age. I remember the wonderful snow and ice activities of my youth. My glory days remain clearly. So do the days of misadventure.

Going way back in years, probably sometime when I was around age 10 to 14,  I can still see bloody ice from when I fell and gashed my chin open. I always loved to be the end skater of about six or seven other skaters who formed the whip because of the speed of the crack the whip game, being at the end was exciting. I had lost the grip of the person ahead of me and everyone was in total awe to see such a blood puddle before they helped me walk home. My mother used clean snow made into a pack to help the flow and then came the iodine and a bandage. I cannot even see a scar today.

My neighborhood friends, both guys and girls including me, used to sleigh down a kid-made downhill trail on a very steep hill through the woods. This secret sledding place was about a mile up the road from where we lived. We had built lift off humps throughout the trail with snow-covered logs creating drop offs so that when you came to one you went airborne and then landed back down on the trail. The idea was not to fall off, get your wind knocked out, or crash into the trees on the side of the trail. WOW! Our parents never knew about this! It really took guts to go down that hill.

One year, sometime in the 70's when the snow was deep, the air was clear and the sun was out, I saddled up my horse and daughter's pony and we went for a ride on old narrow snow-covered roads in the backwoods. I had misjudged the depth of the drifts and my horse plunged through with the pony following. After many breaks to rest, I thought we were doomed. The end of this story is that my horse got us through, with much urging, breaking the path for the pony and rider behind. Whew! That was a close one.

Another story that comes to mind is when the Mister and I were snowmobiling with a group of others and, although we were well dressed for a long ride, I became very chilled and it's a good thing we got home in time for him to undress me from the suit and to cover me up with warm blankets because, I know now, that hypothermia was definitely beginning. It got to the point when we were heading home that I wanted to sleep on the back of the machine I was so cold.

No personal photographs to go with this today. There are none but for the ones in my mind. They are very real - still. But of course, I made a photomanipulation painting of cracking the whip.

End of stories today. February is just around the corner and then Mother Nature will continue her march through the seasons, as usual.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Four Fishermen

As the day was much warmer and the winds had subsided, four fishermen tried their luck. One was a woman. I think women are called fishermen. I didn't watch them catch anything. They sat on their buckets and watched the holes in the ice for action. The biggest excitement was the drilling of these holes. The auger gave trouble firing up and then it took two men to hold it straight for the drilling. The ice must be very thick. 

I apologize for the lack of sharpness in my pictures. I took them through the kitchen windows and my zoom is not at all strong. I darkened the last one because I love the silhouette result.
Meanwhile, I baked a cake for us and created a card for my youngest great nephew's 4th birthday. He lives in Philadelphia so we couldn't share cake. It was a good day! 
please click on image to view larger

Saturday, January 20, 2018


HA! I'll bet you thought you were going to see a beautiful scene!

This is a view from the throne.

I entered
I sat
I exited
That door has fantastic patina!

Life is full of surprises. Enjoy!
don't forget to click on image to view larger

Friday, January 19, 2018

His and Hers

This is Hers...making broth and sauce, chopping onions, sautéing meat, soaking peas and beans, and stirring, stirring, stirring, all      day      long!

Then the taste test - supper. Choices are made.
Then the clean up...
SHE stores the surplus in containers...
The final cleanup is HIS!
please click on image to view larger

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Kettles a'Cookin'

There are two batches of winter comfort foods bubbling at slow speed on the stove. One pot holds chili - you know, beans, burger, onions and red sauce; the other kettle contains split peas in pure ham broth. These will simmer all day and be put in containers for the future weeks in February and March. Of course, there will be a small tasting event here before the lock up. In the meantime I stepped outdoors into the carport for a few shots of snowy surroundings. Today I like winter.
Please click on image to view larger
Yesterday the upper part of the clothesline often went into this oscillation state. I don't know why. Sorry for poor video and I hope you can see what I saw. Short clip.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Typical Winter Day

The hambone is in the large pot and will simmer all day. After I remove the bone, the broth will be put outside overnight. Tomorrow the morning I'll skim off the fat layer that came to the top. Then I'll put the dried split peas and chopped onions in and simmer them until they have all completely turned to mush. Salt and pepper will be added. It is a time consuming, but not laborious project and always a wonderful and tasty treat for us. Two and one half quarts of delicious soup!

While this is happening indoors, the Mister is completing the driveway blow out with his new machine that was used only once last year.  A nearby neighbor with his truck-plow has generously opened the drive at the roadside. The neighbor's wife even asked if we needed anything from town as she was making a trip in. How nice is is to be thought of in these ways.
The reflection of the storm window annoys me!
please click on image to view larger

Sad news...We just got word that our wonderful vet, Doctor Joe has died. He is so loved by the entire community as he was an extremely caring and nice man. He took care of our pets, both large and small for over 25 years! 

"In 1962, DrJoseph C. Crowley graduated from Auburn University's College of Veterinary Medicine and returned to his hometown to practice. He began a career based on the principles of hard work, empathy and respect for pet owners and their animals, and honest, dependable service."