Monday, February 28, 2011
I am pleased to report that Bob was wide awake for the whole of the Oscar telecast last night. Usually he manages the first fifteen minutes before nodding off. To be honest, however, I think we are nearing the end of our fascination with the awards program. We see very few films anymore and most of the young actors and actresses are unknown to us. It is no longer like the old days when we knew everyone and every film and we sat with our big bowls of popcorn and our tally slips, carefully marking each winner as announced. I bet there must be nearly twenty of those tucked into the pages of the several books about movies that we own. Of course, like any true film buff, our choice for "best picture" seldom was the selection of the Academy . . .
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Miss Cecilia is two years old today. We gathered at Grandma Diane and Grandpa Tom's for a delightful dinner. Diane and I strolled through the Camp Hill neighborhood and enjoyed the warm afternoon . . . Otherwise it was a very quiet day for Yours Truly. Read a little, napped a bit and Bob whipped up a serving of David Hoffman's asparagus soup for me . . . We are headed for an evening with the Oscars, but since neither Bob nor I are up on the current films and players, I won't be surprised if we do not last through the evening. Hard to believe that just two years ago we were knee deep into renting video and could spout all kinds of facts about movie stars and movie making . . .
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Thanks to cadet (can you call her that?) Lelia Simmons Bob and I noshed on Girl Scout Cookies all afternoon. We both bought several boxes--to help out the cause, of course, and not to fatten our stomachs. You believe that, I am sure . . . Got an e-mail from David Hoffman who said I can vary my intake of asparagus puree in several forms and he sent along a recipe for asparagus soup. Actually, I tasted Bob's concoction last night and again the morning and found it quite tasty . . . Lots of activity at the store today. Your patronage much appreciated . . . But still no sun. As Bob said this morning: "I am weary of the dreary." . . .
Friday, February 25, 2011
TheBurg for March has arrived; your copy is waiting. And of course you will be sure to read our advertisement . . . Lyn Lawson called this afternoon to extend her appreciation to Bob, me and all of her neighbors for the friendship she enjoyed while a home owner in the 200 block of Briggs Street. She is moving on tomorrow, and her house has been sold to two new members of the Governor's administration. I will have the names for you shortly . . . Spike Hensel, Lee Spitalny and several others have sent me an Internet story about the value of asparagus puree in the treatment of cancers. Well, there is no harm in trying, so today Bob whipped up a first batch for me to use. I haven't had my first dose yet, but he said it is surprisingly tasty . . . A new cookbook in our collection sounds like a winner, at least from an historical perspective. It is titled Unforgettable and features the foods on a decade to decade basis that came into favor during the 1900s. The century kicks off with Waldorf Salad and Devil's Food Cake and even I can recall the big winner in the 1950s--Mamie Eisenhower's Million-Dollar Fudge. Spiral-bound and just $11.50 . . .
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Overcast but warming up so snow cover is quickly disappearing . . . The Patriot-News unveiled the results of its recent poll on the workings at City Hall and Thompson was given a triple failing grade. I was one of the 400 interviewed and the outcome mirrored my own thinking on the matter for the most part. People generally want her to take her incompetence elsewhere, but that isn't going to happen in my judgement. She may not really want the job, but she does want the title . . . Susan and John Wesley dropped by for some cards this afternoon and brought me four puzzles for my recycled collection. She put all of them together and attests to the fact that all the pieces are there. I am studying the pictures and sincerely believe that I launched the one of a Vermont town into the circulating collection a few years ago . . . Got The Spirit of Sailing boxed note papers today, very suitable for men's correspondence. Sixteen cards for $14 . . . Baby Bear spends the night at his grandparent's house and discovers that Grandpa is keeping a dragon in the basement. A neat children's story in soft cover that would be a nice addition to an Easter basket. Milk and Cookies, $8.00 . . .
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Bright sun and warmer temperatures helped to eliminate a lot of the recent snow so I was distressed when no customers showed up today . . . Bob got the car to the garage and we now have a passenger-side mirror that was the victim of a hit-and-run several weeks ago. It is a reconditioned one, I am afraid; when you have a Saturn spare parts aren't all that easy to come by . . . Suffered a little more pain than usual today; I was told that I should recover from my surgery in a week or two, but it is now Day 23 and I am still having difficulties . . . Big shipment of risque cards left California this afternoon so we should be filling up the shelves in just a few days . . . Lots of fun cards have arrived from a supplier in Maine, so you will need some time to browse a bit on your next visit. Remember that you save 10% when you buy five cards, any variety, at one time . . . The inside of this classy card? . . . except for you, of course. Happy Birthday . . .
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
So what's with the weather? In the area of record warmth last week and tonight we are nearing record lows. Thank heavens Bob made a big pot of his vegetable soup to see us through the evening. Snowed overnight, and early this morning Bob caught this picture of the grasses in Betty Holmboe's back yard that we featured a few weeks ago when they were looking a bit more glorious . . . Another quiet day, and who can blame the public? Not a day to be bustling about on icy streets. But we are looking forward to seeing you soon . . .
Monday, February 21, 2011
Shortened our hours for this Presidents' holiday but could have done away with them altogether. Nary a customer today . . . A reminder that you have but one week to take advantage of lower prices on Root Candles. The new rates will go into effect next Tuesday . . . Well, it has been 22 days since I have had a cigarette. I still get the urge and am not promising that my smoking days are totally over, but the desire has lessened considerably. Of course, a crisis of one sort or another could trigger a relapse; let us hope not. I have been told that taste and smell will improve markedly within the first few days of quitting but that hasn't happened to me as yet . . . The weatherman is calling for snow overnight. Depending on the amount, The Bare Wall may again be observing curtailed hours tomorrow . . .
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Working on still more orders for spring merchandise and to refill the naughty card racks which are almost naked these days . . . New stuff should be arriving almost every day this week . . . Nancy Eshelman's column in today's newspaper was devoted to that picture of Linda Thompson taunting the crowd at city hall earlier in the week. She says she looks at the photo in disbelief every time she sees it; strangely, I feel the same reaction in my gut. I am usually pretty good with words, but find myself totally inadequate to describe the actions depicted. The woman no longer deserves the title of mayor in my judgement and I propose that we all fail to address her as such in the future . . .
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Very high winds all but blew away business today. Only a few managed to make the trip . . . Rick May pulled off a wonderful surprise birthday party for wife Mary Ann Furedi last night. She was truly surprised to find the house filled with friends and food . . . Family pets Luna and Cooper made me feel very welcome; the three of us were curled up on the couch awaiting the festivities and occasionally munching a biscuit . . . Mary Ann's actual birth date is Monday when she will be 39 (again?) . . . The Terry Madonna research group cornered me for a five-minute telephone interview last night. All of the questions dealt with Harrisburg city hall, its leadership (or lack thereof) and the future of the city in general. The young man conducting the research tried to be enthusiastic about the job, but I could tell that he had already heard all of my answers before . . .
Friday, February 18, 2011
Wonderful weather. Not quite record warmth, but we loved every second of it. Caught Amy Hill out for a practice run; planning for the Pittsburgh marathon later this spring. Back to reality tomorrow the weatherman says; temps down by twenty degrees . . . Bob's niece, Trica Boyer of Millersburg, dropped by with a big pot of chicken soup . . . As you can see by the above streamer, we are observing shorter hours on President's Day . . . Big new shipment of cards and books arrived today. Of special interest is a new book, America's Little Italys, which traces the migration of Italians to America and the enclaves with superior restaurants that sprang up in major cities across the country. Part history and part cookbook, this volume sells for $21.95 . . .
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Slow news day. Weather pleasant and improving. More shoppers out and about. Thanks, people. The new silk scarves arrived--eight in all in spring colors. Quite nice. Kathy MacNett reveals that the future of the old convent on Second Street and Liberty is again up in the air. Conversion of the building to a rooming house for 39 was shot down a few weeks ago, but now the plan has been modified enough that it can go back to the zoning board. The proposal still would waive parking restrictions. Guess the CAN leadership is already at work on this newest twist . . .
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Placed an order for paper products today--books, note papers and greeting cards. Now that the few remaining Valentines are going back into the drawer, the shelves look somewhat forlorn . . . Was really surprised and pleased by today's turnout. More shoppers today than yesterday . . . Linda's taunting of the crowd calling for her resignation yesterday has made headlines across the country. She certainly has put the city on the map in more ways than one this year. The ABC27 website also has posted a rambling four-minute call that she made to one of their studios. The content is quite familiar, however--she has done great things for the city in the past year but the newspaper won't give her credit and everything bad on her ledger was inherited from the former administration. It is worth a listen, however . . . http://www.abc27.com/
Monday, February 14, 2011
Wonderfully warm at high noon, a great day to celebrate. Thanks to all who came to gift their loved ones this Valentine's Day . . . The rally to retire Linda Thompson went off as scheduled and Bob and some neighbors were there. It was not as well organized as it might have been, but the message to the Queen was quite clear . . . But nothing could capsulize her tenure of arrogance better than the picture that appeared this afternoon on PennLive. It shows the mayor at her office window taunting the crowds below and giving them the "thumbs down." What a sad commentary on the state of the city . . . I imagine this picture is copyrighted, but I surely would like to post it here for the world to see . . .
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Happy Valentine's Day to all. We still have cards and gifts if you have malingered . . . Bob provided coffee in bed this morning and pointed out several juicy articles in today's Pat-News. Am really curious to see how many people turn out for the anti-Thompson rally tomorrow . . . The kids came by briefly to cheer up Uncle Ronn, but most of the day was spent with Turner Classic Movies. Funny how much we long for a reason to lounge and nap for an entire day and then find that those precious moments turn out to be more boring than you would ever expect . . .
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Sunny day but still not warm enough for me. I am looking forward to those promised temps for most of next week . . . Welcome visit from Yvonne and Wes Brown and from Janet Reed, too. Also my thanks for all the messages I received after yesterday's post . . . Talked with Lucille in Connecticut this morning. New silk scarves in spring colors are on the way. I had hoped these might have been in stock for Valentine's Day but recent events have me running a bit behind myself. But the scarves should be welcome for Easter . . .
Friday, February 11, 2011
As feared, the doctor's diagnosis was a serious one that will require a lot of thought by Bob and me over the next several days. There are a couple of alternative treatments to bladder cancer that we can consider, but the doctor's recommendation is also the most extreme . . . There is just too much to sort out right now and my first inclination is to go to bed for a few days and practice aversion therapy. Stay tuned . . .
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Offer Happy Birthday wishes to Carl and Ernie Kepner tomorrow. The brothers share the same birth date though they were born three years apart . . . Another cold day with warmer temps promised for the next few days. You might recall that this was the day of the big blizzard last year. We didn't get open at all that day and the next few days it was impossible to get around. Our Valentine's Day business was quashed . . . Back to the doctor tomorrow morning, so we will be late in opening. A bit fearful of what he has to say, but I hope there will be a few days' respite from "doctorin'" whatever the verdict . . .
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
We had a few visitors today despite the cold. Our thanks to those who came out . . . Most of the conversation these days is about our mayor and her tactful approach to things. As one wag told us, she does indeed have a diverse administration--she has an offensive word for just about every group out there . . . When next Monday's anti-Linda rally at noon on Market Square was first proposed a few weeks ago my initial reaction was Lotsa luck, folks. Just a few hotheads blowing off steam, I thought. But in the last few days the people in Egypt seem to have taught those in America that a protest can make a real difference. It would now appear that this rally is a really big deal. I hope the police department is wise enough to be prepared for traffic tie-ups. And, were I her spokesman these days, I would recommend that the Mayor find a pressing excuse to exercise her duties somewhere out of town on Monday so as to appear above it all . . .
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Worried Bob a bit by spending a lot of the day in bed and asleep. I just felt exhausted, and the bitterly-cold and howling winds outside the door didn't make the day any more enticing . . . Parenthood is fast approaching for Jaime and Bryan MacLeod. They spent much of Monday assembling the nursery furniture . . . A lot of activities promoting equal civil rights are occurring across the Commonwealth this week. The major rally will take place in the Capitol Rotunda on Monday at 12:30 p.m. when important civil union/marriage legislation will be unveiled. I apologize to Bolton Winpenny who spearheads many of these efforts for not doing a better job of advertising his events . . . Apparently our own Mayor Thompson is no fan of rights equality if recent and numerous reports are to be believed. Are all gay persons on Linda's list, do you think, or is it led primarily by political adversaries who appear to have more competence than she has? . . . If you are South Korean or from the Netherlands and are reading this post, please send us an e-mail and tell us how you found us. We have readers from all over the world who probably stumbled upon us once, but there does seem to be a constant audience in those two countries . . .
Monday, February 7, 2011
The So-so Super Bowl. Okay, so my team lost and perhaps this is just sour grapes, but, frankly, I thought the whole proceeding was a total bore. And if there were a lot of clever, over-priced advertisements I’m afraid I missed those too . . . And what was that so-called “entertainment” at halftime? Football and brass bands are the logical combination—always have been--and it surely is time for promoters to learn that. Think maybe Bob has the right idea—a little nap between the opening kick-off and the final whistle . . . Well, it has been a week of “adventure” for your reporter. Tuesday’s surgery went well as far as I know, but I was held over for a night’s observation. Came home Wednesday, but by Friday it began to appear that something was not going so good. Horrendous pain that refused to get better . . . Nurse Bob finally put his foot down Sunday morning and off we went to the Emergency Room. Frankly I was so far gone by then that he could have suggested anything and I would have complied. The tube went into the bladder again and the drainage began anew; within ten minutes the pressure was relieved and I felt like a new person. I was able to sleep for the first time in five days, and was so delighted with that ability that losing the game meant nothing at all . . . I do want to mention that everyone I encountered at Harrisburg Hospital was a gem no matter what specialty they were assigned. There was always someone to answer the summoning button promptly any time I pushed it. I could never serve others as well as they served me . . . Did want to mention how sorry I was to hear of the passing of Greg Johnson a week or so ago. I knew him only as a customer, but he was charming and entertaining at all times. His close ones are sure to miss him . . . A belated Happy Birthday to Christopher Gadlage of Corbin, Ky. He has one of those “streaming cam” sites of which I am so fond and last November the site went down for a while. When I encountered him again on FaceBook I asked that he bring it back. “Your weather today is my weather tomorrow,” I told him. If you want to see the street on which Chris lives, you can go here during daylight hours: http://gadlage.camstreams.com/ . . .
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Jon here and for Ronn not knowing that I knew of the trip to the ER he has another thing coming. The lastest word that I get is that Ronn needs to make an appointment with his doctor for sometime tomorrow. Bob says that the store will open but not sure of the time because of setting up the appointment. Will update info as I receive it. Til later.
Jon doesn't know it yet, but I have been experiencing some setbacks in my recovery which necessitated a hasty trip to the emergency room this morning. Nurse Bob has everything well in hand although I think his patience is wearing thin. So is his patient, I might add. Just got to the computer for a moment this afternoon and I am astounded by the number of messages on e-mail and FaceBook. I will get to all of those in the near future, I hope. Meanwhile, I leave you with this thought: the meanest words in the medical manual are Did you pee yet? . . . More from Jon later in the day . . .
Friday, February 4, 2011
Sorry about missing the update yesterday but the only thing there is to update is that Ronn is still resting and starting to feel a little better. Bob has said if the weather is permitting, that he will open the store tomorrow. That is the word as of right now. Will keep you informed as I found out any info.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Jon here trying to do do what Ron has asked of me. So, here we go, Ron has gone thru his procedure and is in some discomfort. He is in and out of sleep due to meds. Bob is hanging in there. With all that is going on, the shop will be closed tomorrow so that Ron has sometime to recuperate.