Our neighbor Matt is marking his birthday today. Edward Lawson will celebrate his tomorrow . . . TheBurg for February has arrived and your copy awaits. The staff can be really pleased with this issue. It is crammed with newsy items we hadn't encountered before . . . Thanks to technology I haven't been to the movie house in thirty years at least, but I am intrigued by all the hype about The Artist. Angela Lawson saw it today and found it most enjoyable. I checked with the management at the Midtown Cinema and learned that it will be showing there through the entire month of February . . . From the early catalogs we have received it would appear that manufacturers are pushing black and white as the colors for Christmas 2012. That doesn't do anything for me . . .
Monday, January 30, 2012
Tomorrow night at ten o'clock I will mark a milestone of sorts. It will have been a year since my last cigarette. I have not stopped smoking, I just haven't smoked for a while. That way I always have the prospect of indulging again without embarrassment . . . There have been times the last twelve months that I have run screaming through the house: I need a cigarette! Luckily the desire passes ever so quickly and I return to my senses . . . I am not one of those who nag others to quit even though, apparently, it was smoking that made my bladder cancerous and led to my radical surgery. Each person has to make that decision for himself and back when I was smoking I think the nagging simply made me defiant and contributed to my continued puffing . . . I would like to share a few observations, however, which will not be popular with the no-smoking advocates. Every doctor's office these days has a poster that provides reasons for giving up the weed. First, things will smell better and taste better. Frankly I have not experienced anything like that in the last twelve months. Things smell and taste the same. Second, you will have increased and longer-lasting energy. Not so in my case, though that may be because of the surgery. I find myself taking catnaps every afternoon. However, I do plan to be more active than I used to be, but the stamina isn't there. Finally, you will save a lot of money. That is probably true but where the heck are all those extra shekels? I am no richer than before . . . There are some positives: one's clothes don't smell so bad and one's rooms are cleaner too. No more overflowing ashtrays that need to be scrubbed. And no more worries about forgetting one's pack of smokes when one leaves the house . . . All in all it has not been too difficult for me; may it be the same for you some time, but don't count on it . . .
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Since there are no Sunday football games these days I spent most of the afternoon surfing the other television channels. It is a shame that the cable stations no longer follow the themes of the past. There isn't anything arty on Arts & Entertainment anymore, and very little if any history on the History Channel. And what is there to learn on The Learning Channel anymore? Every channel seems to have been "dumbed down." Ended up with TCM, as usual . . .
Saturday, January 28, 2012
Busy day in the workplace. Thanks to all the shoppers including Jack Brown and Carl Kepner . . . Congratulations to Colleen MacNett who has purchased her first home, the Beth Swartz (sp?) property on Church Street . . . Friends Dan Beard and Jon Hulka from Fulton County and George Miller of Harrisburg gathered at Bob's home tonight for a belated celebration of his birthday. You will recall that the party was scheduled for last weekend but was wiped out by a snowfall. We have had a lot of fun remembering friends from the past, several of which are current readers of this blog . . .
Friday, January 27, 2012
Hard to believe that this is the 946th entry on this blog. How did I get involved with this? Ah, yes, Eric W. was doing a blog at the time and he got me started. But he stopped blogging a year ago . . . Not much to report today. It was almost old home week at the store this afternoon as many neighbors gathered for a chit-chat: Angela, Mary Ann, Dr. Bob, Ernie, Bob. All that, and none of them with a bit for tonight's post . . . Biggest news: Dr. Coldren dismantled his Christmas village and stored it for another season . . .
Thursday, January 26, 2012
A soggy day and nothing to report. Sold one card but got my real estate tax bill from the city. Might have to have a sale . . . Guess we can say that our holiday is officially over. This evening we exchanged gifts with our long-time friend, Ernie Kepner. Far as I know that is the last of our Christmas-related celebrations . . .
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Got caught up with the Turner Movie Classics interview with Angela Lansbury and almost forgot to do today's post . . . Some really good news to report: First, the ridiculous redistricting plan proposed by state government has been rejected by the courts. A small victory for the people! . . . Second, the city has finally repaired the street lights on North at Green and at Green and Oliver. We have been waiting for this for several weeks; lots of people in the neighborhood had reported the outages to the public works department . . . Nice sales today. Thanks, people . . . Called the doctor's office about the headaches (many of you are tired of hearing about them) but I didn't get a return call yet. But does it come as a surprise that today was the first day in over a month that I didn't have severe pain? Seems like we always recover at least temporarily when we contact the doctor. Same as the faucet that refuses to leak once the plumber arrives . . .
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
This time of year is historically one of the slowest for us primarily because the snow is snowing and the wind is blowing. This year, weather-wise, we have an exception but the business has not improved despite the relatively mild days. Guess it is just one of the periods when no one needs nothing--or are they paying off credit cards after their generous holiday spirit? . . . Otherwise there is nothing to report tonight. Bob and I are quietly reading and I am still nursing my headaches . . .
Monday, January 23, 2012
The thieves and vandals are alive and well within our neighborhoods if today's reports are to be believed. I understand several buildings in the immediate area have been victimized by graffiti artists over the weekend. And thieves reportedly entered the Salvation Army auxiliary building on Cumberland Street and made off with a few items. Where are those undercover patrols that we have been told about? Undercover, apparently . . . The scarves from Lucille arrived today so we have eight new ones to show you. She was featured in an upscale catalog featuring handcrafts over the holidays; our price $36, their price $48 . . . the temperature failed to soar as promised so we are still blessed with a messy snowfall under a bit of rain . . .
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Quiet day for us. Visited the kids in Camp Hill; JJ beat me at a memory game and, no, I didn't try to lose. He was looking forward to the football games later in the day. If the Giants beat the Forty-Niners he might have a chance to go to the Super Bowl (the game is still in progress at this writing) . . . Spent much of the afternoon exploring all the Harrisburg stories posted on YouTube. Several of the touristy ones are already historic documents--"Here is Scott's Grill." "Here is the Patriot-News" etc. Most of them are poorly photographed but they are curiosities. Alas, I could not find any that featured the Bare Wall sign . . .
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Awoke to a four-inch snowfall so on a whim we decided not to open today. I had one of those wonderful childhood mornings and afternoons enjoying the old classics on the Turner Channel while stretched out on the sofa. Of course we all remember Bomba the Jungle Boy! . . . The nice thing about days like today: Bob gets easily bored and heads to the kitchen. Thus far I have been treated to chicken croquettes and a pecan carrot cake . . . Our condolences to Pastor Ed Zook on the passing of his brother yesterday . . .
Friday, January 20, 2012
Bob's birthday. Thank you for all the cards and best wishes that he has received by phone, computer, mail and in person. As I feared, Saturday's celebration dinner has been postponed for a week since the weather report for tomorrow is for snow and ice . . . This is nothing new. Several years ago I planned a nice dinner at Garrason's Tavern followed by dessert at the Paper Moon for several of Bob's friends. That event was postponed and postponed. Finally we decided it would go on regardless. Well, the "regardless" was in the midst of an ice storm . . . This picture is being circulated as a "person of interest" in the rash of car break-ins in the Shipoke area. At this point the police and neighborhood crime watch is simply seeking an identification. Should you recognize the fellow or if you have seen him about, please give us a call and we will direct you to Officer Hammaker . . .
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Received an early morning call from Lucille who reported that she was shipping her new scarves earlier than expected. She had misplaced our phone number and so Googled us; that led her to TripAdvisor (her son used to work there) and she was very pleased to be represented at The Bare Wall because of all the favorable reviews that the store had generated on that site. The price for these fashion accessories is still $36 . . . Several people stopped by to wish Bob a Happy Birthday. He will be celebrating the event tomorrow. A celebratory dinner with out of town friends planned for Saturday might be buried by snow if initial forecasts are correct . . . Strange how Mother Nature taunts us with unusual signs. Mark Stevens has been circulating this photo (not his) on his Facebook page today. Can you spot the face? Makes me recall all those times we kids would study the clouds for cats, dogs, ships, angels and the like . . .
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
While it really wasn't that bad, everyone commented on how cold it felt today. None of us is really ready for winter, and apparently we are to have snow by Saturday . . . This was a great day, however. The inventory got finished. I had a message from Lucille; we will have more silk scarves in time for Valentine's Day so all you husbands and boyfriends take note . . . We received a new shipment of Bill Campbell pots with some very fine pieces. I may try to photograph these in the next day or so . . . I do not recall if I ever told you that there is a local site reporting only on fires in Central Pennsylvania. You may want to check this out at some point: http://www.mattmilesfirephotography.com/news/index/layoutfile/home . . .
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Happy that several of my sale-priced items left the store today. There are still bargains to be had, so do come by when you can . . . Warm but rainy all day. Colder weather again promised. Frankly, Bob and I do not miss the lack of snow at all . . . Placed a small order for some new Bill Campbell pots. Also need to contact Lucille for more scarves. From our "Would You Believe" file: we did not sell a single silk scarf during the holiday season, but in the week between Christmas and New Years we sold six. Surely some wife or girlfriend will get one for Valentine's Day . . . Steve Day's unique pottery using leaves as decoration are all but sold out as well. Need to get in touch with him . . . Guess I better get this inventory finished up so I can get on to other things . . .
Monday, January 16, 2012
Nice sunny walk this morning. Would have been better without the breeze in my face . . . Went to the Camp Hill Mall and found a real bargain in footwear at Boscov's. Wanted to buy Bob a birthday gift but he couldn't find anything he wanted at that moment . . . Staples actually had a doorman who ushered me to all the items on my list. That was a first; usually I am searching the place fruitlessly without any help in sight . . . Had a recent dream that I went out to buy a pack of cigarettes but they didn't have my brand so I bought a newspaper instead. Guess my mind still has a longing for some nicotine; had my last smoke January 31, 2011 . . . Almost bought The Kid a big set of Legos but the remembered that his birthday isn't all that far away. Stuck my head into a shop called Five Below that was stuffed with toys but was overwhelmed and so bought nothing . . . Have rested for two wonderful days in the hope that it would be good for my aching sinuses. Am sorry to report that the headaches never really went away . . .
Sunday, January 15, 2012
A nice afternoon visit with Jack Barnett and Dr. Bob Coldren; tasty snacks and an exchange of Christmas presents . . . The Historic Harrisburg Association is holding a "day of service" tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. They are seeking volunteers for odd jobs inside and out at their offices, Verbeke and North Third. The association will provide lunch . . . This is a week of birthdays: Mike Weaver on Tuesday, John Zimmerman on Thursday, Joe Kershner and Bob on Friday . . . At least one local was thrilled that the New York Giants upset the Green Bay Packers and will continue the effort to play in this year's Super Bowl . . .
Saturday, January 14, 2012
A cold day but happily busy with visitors and shoppers. Now I intend to hibernate for the next two days--catnap, read a little and work on the store ledger. I'll also be enjoying some juicy fruit from the south. Each year Bob treats Wes and Yvonne Brown to fresh pears and in return they provide us with the juiciest oranges I have ever had. It is like eating a Big Boy tomato sandwich in August: you lean over the sink and drip all over the place . . .
Friday, January 13, 2012
High winds rattled the windows and drained much of the warmth from our old houses. It was the first real blast of winter and it is predicted to stick around for a while. Still, there was some traffic in the store but no one had any news to report. The inventory taking is almost completed. Please note the above streamer: we will be closed on Monday . . .
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Damp and chilly but the last "warm" day we are going to have for a while . . . got all the new cards onto the shelves . . . Annalise gave me a big smile when she came home from school and Lelia Simmons, properly attired as a girl scout, came for our cookie order. She will be soliciting throughout the neighborhood for the next few days . . . No one had any "news of note" today . . . Miss Cecilia found her favorite animal at the Farm Show--a horse that goes around and around and up and down on occasion . . .
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
An upbeat day despite the late arrival of rain. Jack Barnett home from the hospital; several chatty phone calls with friends; a shopping visit with Michelle Hollis; delivery of the greeting card shipment which we have been expecting . . . now that the football season is over for me, Bob and I can find programs to share. Last night we watched one of my seasonal favorites: Christmas in Connecticut, the original with Barbara Stanwyck . . .
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Another NO SALE day; what is going on here? . . . Am looking forward to seeing Lelia Simmons in her Girl Scout vest; her appearance in uniform means that she has come for my cookie order and I am prepared to "buy big" this year. I guess the girls are somewhat in competition with each other when it comes to sales so be advised that each girl is to wear her badges proudly when soliciting your purchases. If she is not in uniform she is not playing by the rules--not very "scouting" of her, in other words . . . We have been playing our Leroy Anderson compositions album in the store these past several days. You may know him for Sleigh Ride, Syncopated Clock and Blue Tango though almost all his melodies are familiar in some form. He was most creative in a composition called The Typewriter with clattering keys and an end-of-the-line ring of the bell. But just think--today's young people won't get it; they probably won't even know what a typewriter is/was . . . I told you some days ago that we would be discontinuing our adult cards with nudity if the price jumped as much as the manufacturer was promising at the time. Well, the new catalog was released today and I assume that saner minds prevailed. The price hikes are not that steep so we might continue to keep a small supply on hand . . .
Monday, January 9, 2012
Sunday, January 8, 2012
Went for a brisk walk this morning in search of something to photograph for you. I found nothing of particular interest but was disturbed by all the trash along the streets in the area just north of the HACC parking lots. The area is clearly a dumping ground with a lot of broken furniture--sofas, especially--littering the space. Clearly it will be up to the city to pick up this mess since there are no homes in the immediate vicinity and I would wish that would happen soon. If not the blight will continue to spread . . . The last college football game of the season takes place tomorrow night. Then I can get back to my reading and Bob can stop complaining about me hogging the TV . . . Hope some of you come visiting us this week; it was a bit lonely at the store the last few days . . .
Saturday, January 7, 2012
The thermometer hit sixty degrees this afternoon and I expected a lot of walk-in traffic assuming people would be out for a stroll. I was badly mistaken; perhaps they had gone to the Farm Show . . . It was a good time to clean up outside however; trash and dead leaves made it into the garbage can as did some now brown garland that had graced the house. Meanwhile, Bob was indoors taking down the last of the Christmas decorations and scattering the hearts and roses about for Valentine's Day . . . The Kid was having his first adventure with the sport of wrestling. I think he is much too young for that rough-housing, but Mom Sarah said he had a blast at his first class session . . .
Friday, January 6, 2012
Mike Billo snapped this picture at Walnut and Boas Streets on his way to work this morning and posted it on his Facebook page. Hope he does not mind my borrowing it for the blog. As far as he could tell there were no serious injuries . . . Bryan MacLeod and I each e-mailed the Public Works Department today about the dead street light at Green and Oliver. We both were promised that a crew would take a look at it next week. Bryan was also concerned about an outage on North Street . . . Bryan and Jaime's daughter, Annalise, came for a short visit this afternoon to bring us a thank you card for her Christmas gifts. Her message was decorated with hand prints done in green finger paints. Mom must have had a great time cleaning her up after her artistic endeavor. But, after all, dad does teach high school art classes . . . Mark Stevens back from a quick trip to the family in Texas . . .
Thursday, January 5, 2012
More graffiti in our neighborhood yesterday--bright green this time. The police have promised beefed up patrols in the area to combat this vandalism and the numerous muggings that have been occurring but if those patrols are in place they have been totally ineffective . . . Getting assistance from the force is almost an impossible thing. On occasion we will call for ticketing when a driver hogs the loading zone. Yesterday it took two calls and three hours to get an officer. Today it took two calls and all day and we never did see an officer. Well, that is another $15 the mayor lost for us . . . Received our first catalog promoting products for Christmas yesterday. Had already received one in early December showing costumes for Halloween. By the time JJ is a young man every holiday will be a yearlong celebration and we won't have to tuck anything back into the closet. We can just leave all our decorations up forever. Wonder how Easter, Halloween and Christmas will look together? . . . Could not believe West Virginia's incredible football win last night; also cannot believe that I sat through the whole thing . . . the inventory continues. Wish I could unload this cute fabric doll. I have two and would be happy to see them depart at $7 each . . .
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Somewhat sad to see the outdoor holiday decorations disappearing. Every evening when we drive home there is darkness where just yesterday there was festive light . . . Frank Hummert celebrates his birthday tomorrow . . . Spent the day doing inventory. More items made it to the sale table. Also ordered a big shipment of cards which should see us through the next month or so . . . Spent some precious moments with Dr. Dowling this morning. There are procedures in my future; the stent must be replaced soon and then a CAT scan which is normal a year after a cancer surgery. Nothing immediate . . . I asked about the sinus headaches I have been suffering these past several weeks. But before Dr. Dowling could provide his input his nurse jumped into the conversation. "Sorry. Dr. Dowling works on the other end," she said . . .
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Cold, windy and with temperatures falling into the teens. This is our first Arctic blast of the season and probably feels colder than it really is. Fortunately the cold is to be short-lived and we are to be back near fifty by the weekend . . . Cooler nights make this cozy fleece very desirable. I am hoping some reader offers me $15 for it. Hate to see it go back into the closet . . . I am afraid I have launched JJ on his career as a salesman. Just heard that he is "selling" gumballs to his buddies who visit the house. While the machine takes all sizes of coins, JJ is telling everyone that they will need quarters. Maybe he is saving for some new gadget; Bob and I are sure to be tapped if that is the case . . .
Monday, January 2, 2012
Got tired of football part of the way through the afternoon so we went to visit the kids. Cecilia was eating a blue lollipop and didn't look too lovable when it was time for kisses. Bob told JJ he could have all the pennies he could count from a can in Bob's pocket. JJ was not to be denied and counted out the 247 pennies. The Kid then decided to teach me a racing game on the Wii; needless to say I didn't have a clue and got beaten badly which pleased my opponent . . . ate leftovers as most of the country probably did; still a lot to go . . . Terrible headache persists and I thank you for your recommendations for treatment. Hope Dr. Dowling has some ideas although this is not his territory . . .
Sunday, January 1, 2012
Practiced being a couch potato all day and was quite good at it. Bob and I watched the Mummers parade in Philly and gave short shift to the football games . . . Managed to walk from the front porch to the corner and back just before supper. Think I might have missed a pretty nice day considering the calendar . . . Hope that all you party goers have recovered . . .