Tuesday, February 27, 2018

T Stands For Homeward Bound

Warning, very wordy and long post with a few pictures at the end.

After the washing machine was delivered, and the landlord completed all the small repairs, it was time for me to go home. Time for the Eldest to soar on her own.

Originally, I thought I would take my car and follow The Eldest as we drove to Pennsylvania from Massachusetts, but The Eldest didn't want to do all the driving on her own. Without my wheels, I would have to fly home. No problem. Or so I thought.

The nearest airport is in Pittsburgh which is about an hour and a half South of where The Eldest lives. About the same distance as my house to Boston's Logan airport. And when a ride is needed, you can call Knight's Transportation service to get you to Boston on time. Or take the commuter rail, or subway. Lots of ways to get to the airport.

The problem in The Eldest's area was there is no such transportation service. A trip by taxi would cost twice as much as my airline ticket. There was no bus, no train, no subway.

At the beginning of the week, when the landlord was over making a small repair, I asked him if there was a transportation service to get to the airport. Maybe the locals had transportation. He said mostly people had a relative or friend drive them down. Not much help for me as The Eldest would be at work when I would need to leave for the airport.

He said he had an Amish man that worked for him. He would ask the man's driver. Amish and driver didn't seem to go together as the Amish live pretty much in the 18th or 19th centuries. No automated technologies. So I'm thinking the driver would be driving a wagon or carriage. How many miles away is Pittsburgh and how many miles could a horse and buggy travel in a day? I figured I'd have to leave for the airport a week before I arrived.

"I thought the Amish couldn't use modern technology?"

"You'd be surprised by the rules that get bent," laughed the landlord.

Turns out the Amish helper can't and doesn't drive, but he can ride in a car if he needed to get to work outside of his community and too far to walk. He can also have a cellphone so he can get in touch with his boss. So, the helper had a driver who took him where he needed to go. The landlord would see about getting the driver's number.

The landlord came over and gave me a card with the driver's name and number. He said he had already talked to the driver about me. The driver said he had some Amish to drive around on Friday, but he would have his wife drive them so he could take me to the airport. I called to arrange the time and the fee which was reasonable compared to a taxi.

The elderly, 91 year old neighbor had seen the landlord coming to make repairs and had a problem with his thermostat. While repairing the gentleman's thermostat, the landlord told him about my ride dilemma. Shortly after the landlord left, the elderly gentleman came over to offer to take me to the airport.

He said he had nothing much to do on Friday, and he would only charge me for gas. When we first met him, he had told us he had just gotten out of the hospital for a bleeding ulcer, and was feeling much better. I told the old gentleman his offer was very neighborly and thoughtful, but I declined. The trip to and back from the airport would be close to a 4 hour ride, and the old dude had just gotten out of the hospital. I'm sure he was feeling better, but a ride like that might end up taking the wind out of his sails. I thanked the old man, and said since the driver had rearranged his schedule to take me, I didn't feel right about cancelling out. The man would have no work for the day.  The old man said he understood, and I thanked him again for his offer.

My flight was at 12:30 PM, so we'd have to leave around 8:30 AM to get me to the airport in time to take care of traffic and getting through security. The Eldest was on a 6 AM to 2:30 PM shift so we said good byes early and I waited for my ride.

The driver had told me he would have a friend with him to keep him company on the ride back from the airport. No problem. The car pulled up promptly at 8 am, the passenger door opened and a young Amish man got out, and offered me the front seat. I told him it wasn't necessary and I didn't mind riding in the back seat, but in a blur of dark hat and coat, he was in the back seat.

There was hardly any traffic on the highway which surprised me as we were still in the rush hour, or would have been if we were in Boston. The driver made small talk and occasionally the Amish man chimed in. Since it was the weekend of the Super Bowl football came up as a topic. I expected the driver to bash the New England Patriots  as people outside of New England really seem to hate the Pats. The driver was a fan of another Pennsylvania team, the Pittsburgh Steelers.  He surprised me with his comments  that the Patriots were a good team, had a good coach and a winning formula.

"You have to give credit where credit is due," he said.

Apparently, the Pats coach, Bill Belichick, had coached for a college in nearby Ohio before coaching for Buffalo and then the Patriots. The Amish man didn't participate in this conversation and I wondered if he even played football, or maybe soccer.

During the conversation, the driver missed the exit to the airport. The next exit was in neighboring Ohio where he turned around, and quickly got back on track. Soon we crossed the Ohio River and then were at the airport. The driver told me to keep him in mind if I needed a ride when I came to visit. I thanked him and told him I would. I gave him his fare, tolls, and a healthy tip for his trouble.

It had been 12 years since I flew anywhere and security practices had changed. I'm a planner so The Young One who is well traveled told me what to expect. I stopped to ask a ticket agent where I was supposed to go, and he directed me to an elevator and stair well halfway down the concourse. Told me after going through security to hop on the tram and ride until it stops.

The airport wasn't very crowded and I got through security quickly. I had two hours to kill before my flight. As directed by the ticket agent, I got on the tram to head to my gate.After the tram ride, I was desperate for a cup of tea. I had seen someone wandering around with a Starbuck's cup and thought a vanilla chai sounded pretty good. I asked George, but he had never heard of Starbuck's

I found my gate, but no Starbuck's.

The rug looked like fish.

I wandered back toward the elevator. The Pittsburgh Steeler wasn't helpful in directing me to Starbucks.

Neither was the dinosaur.

After wandering in circles, I found Starbuck's and sat and relaxed with a Grande Vanilla Chai and a Cranberry scone. After my second breakfast, I wandered back to the gate.

And took a picture of the advert healthcare system where The Eldest is now working. (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center)

The plane pulled up to the jetway.

During the week, it occurred to me I didn't have a luggage tag to identify my carryon.. While at Walmart I had found some Prismacolor pencils and a small sketchpad. I thought I'd have time during the week to art, but I only had time to make a tag using some cardboard from the packaging of the programmable thermostat. The reverse side was glossy red.

Taking pictures eats up the cellphone battery so I found a charging station.

Found my window seat. I like sitting over the wings.

The flight from Pittsburgh to Boston is only an hour and a half. The flight left a few minutes early and we must have caught a good tail wind. Soon we were turning over Boston Harbor and the Deer Island Waste Water Treatment Plant.

It was so cold, there was ice on the ocean.

Soon the iconic Logan control tower came into view.

After exiting the wrong door, and wandering around texting Himself, I soon found him, and we headed home.

The End

Drop by hosts, Bleubeard and Elizabeth's blog to find out what the rest of the T Stands For gang is up to. If you want to play, include in your Tuesday post a beverage or container for a beverage. Don't forget to link your blog to Bleubeard and Elizabeth's page.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Questions About Die Cutters

I have a project where I need to cut several of the same shape. I don't want to cut them out by hand, and not sure if there's a punch that is in the size I need. I was looking at die cutting machines, and getting so confused about the many options available. And sticker shock at the expense of some of them.

So, I'm looking for some advice from those that use the die cutting machines:

Can they be used to cut multiple images on one sheet of paper?

How big are the sheets of paper you can feed through the machine? I don't want to waste a lot of paper by only being able to cut one image per sheet.



Are the dies from different manufacturers interchangeable?

Do you have to use the preset dies? Can you cut your own shapes?

Does the machine only cut? Can it emboss?

Any help you can offer will be greatly appreciated.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

How Does Your Garden Grow?

After the snow, the sun came out and the temperatures warmed up causing avalanches to cascade off the solar array.

Temperatures got close to 70 by Tuesday. Bye bye snow.

A second day of record breaking temperatures and

a good day to take down all the Christmas decorations.

And to put up Seamus to greet guests.

A nuisance storm on the way and the squirrel made a nuisance of himself by closing the hatch to the feeder.

Juncos (snowbirds) enjoy a snack while dodging the snowflakes.

This was an herbage event. No snow on the pavements. No worries about whether the mailbox would survive the plow.

Since I had no travel plans, and Himself had to attend a seminar. He decided to take my car with the built-in GPS. I did not have to go out to brush off my car.

The cardinal turned to pose for the camera. Hi, Dad!

Crazy weather. Snow  then warm temps. melt the snow. The cycle repeated itself this week. I could do without the snow part. Meanwhile, the squirrel is determined to keep me in shape.

The ice melted in the bird bath.

And today, another sleety, icy mess.

All this back and forth makes me feel like shouting at Old Man Winter:

How does your garden grow?

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Cherry Pie

When I was a kid, February was a great month. We hardly had any school. Before Presidents Day, we celebrated the birthdays of two presidents, Abraham Lincoln on 16. February, and George Washington on 22. February. And then we had February vacation. A whole week off, though it might have corresponded sometimes with George's birthday.

Now a lot of the stores would have big sales in honor of the Presidents. Just like they do now. Around Washington's birthday, my parents would sometimes take us into Boston to go to Lechmere (Leech-meer) Sales, a big department store. The store also had a gimmick, and they would give away free cherry pies. (The story goes when Georgie was a little kid, he chopped down a cherry tree, admitted his guilt when questioned by his father.) I loved going to Lechmere to get the pie. The department store is long gone, but cherry pie is still my favorite.

What's your favorite pie?

Friday, February 23, 2018

The Friday Five Good Things

Five good things that happened this week:

1. The painters finished. They also got took some furniture we had no use for, removed the butcher block top of the broken, portable dishwasher so I could have a macaroni board, moved the dishwasher to the driveway for the scrap metal man, took two of the 3 air conditioners, and removed the threadbare living room and dining room carpets and worn pads

2. The Nephew came to pick up a rocking chair we are no longer using. I baked scones; we had tea and coffee and a nice visit.

3. Skyped a dinner date with The Eldest. She started a new rotation in a different lab department and is loving her new job.

4. Went with friends out to lunch at Longhorn Steak House. (Missed a T Day opportunity 😺)

5. With temperatures close to 70 oF, I enjoyed being outside in shirt-sleeves.

How was your week?

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Throwback Thursday - The Notebooks

Photograph, 1937 from Our Lady of Mount Carmel School
Alumni page.
To clear up some confusion, the Notebook passages posted on Throwback Thursday were written by my father and found by me after he passed away. They were his attempt to tell the family history. He was in his late 80s or early 90s when he wrote them. Today's chapter:

Also another time I climbed the new parochial school building on the outside blocks to the second floor [ed: the building was under construction at the time] I made it up to that sill and slipped because of the cement powder and went down. I landed on my feet and I felt some wind on the side of my right knee. I looked and I saw a rip and my right side of my knee opened. I went home and was sent.to the Relief Station and I walked a good distance , entered the Relief Station as it was called and showed the nurse the open skin. They took my name and how I got the wound etc.

I was taken into the operating room, put on a table and I hand an aide take my right light and turned so that my would would be available to the doctor another aide held my left leg down someone held my chest  and other both arms down so I couldn't move.

The doctor then began to patch me up. No painkiller. No ether. Nothing. He put in 5 or 6 sutures. I did not let out a peep or move. No crying no yelling. When the doctor was done I was let go and I got off the table and walked.

The police officer addressed the doctor. "that boy is one hell of a kid. tough no crying nothing. It's unusual!!! I was about 10 when this happened [ed: 1929]

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

T Stands For Lunch and Errands

On Friday, we had to go shopping to buy food and other items The Eldest needed. She decided she would take me to lunch at Perkins Restaurant which was near Wal-mart.

We each started with iced tea with lemon, and looked over the menu trying to decide what to have. The restaurant is also a bakery and the pies are delicious. Fortunately, the restaurant had a pick 3 or 4 option. Pick a soup or salad, a lunch or dinner, and a slice of pie. Perfect.

It was cold in Pennsylvania so a bowl of soup was a welcome option. We both had the Chicken and Wild Rice soup.

We both chose Napa Chicken Salad Sandwich in a just big enough finger roll.

Then the best part. Pie. On the first trip to Pennsylvania, I had the Coconut Cream pie. So many pie options. I decided to go classic with Apple Pie. The Eldest had a Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Pie.

After lunch, we went to the nearby Walmart so the Eldest could get a microwave, card table and chairs, other needed household items and


A friend had told me of a friend of hers that when she decided or the kids decided it was time to fly the nest, she gave them a toaster oven as a Christmas gift. I made The Eldest buy her own toaster oven because that's the kind of mother I am. 😸

Back at her apartment, she prepared a delicious dinner of pork chops, Rice-A Roni, salad, and a blend of broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. Himself pretty much only eats green beans, carrots, and wax beans which the Eldest says look like sick green beans, so we both found the veggie mix a delightful change of pace from Himself's usual. I had my leftover Coke from the pizza dinner, and The Eldest had some water in the cute, blue mug from her Corelle Cottage Country set.

After dinner, we watched another episode of Doctor Who. Stay tuned next week, same time, same blog for the final episode of my Pennsylvania saga.

Drop by hosts, Bleubeard and Elizabeth's blog to find out what the rest of the T Stands For gang is up to. If you want to play, include in your Tuesday post a beverage or container for a beverage. Don't forget to link your blog to Bleubeard and Elizabeth's page.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Happy Mail

My tablemate from Reggie's class sent me a Valentine. Her signature is sheep. Looks like someone has been practicing. Well done, L.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Good morning, Moon.

Is it Spring?

Oy! More snow!

Juncos (Snowbirds) at the feeder.

The path before me and the end of the driveway to shovel by hand. 4 or 5 inches (10.6 - 12.7 cm)  of snow

The mailbox survived another storm.

Little white clouds scudding by

Why are you shoveling the driveway by hand, you're asking.  Yes, that's a red snowblower near the dishwasher. The painters were kind enough to move the portable dishwasher to the driveway for the scrap man to pick up on Sunday.

 Later, I overheard one of the young men saying he didn't know if he had enough gas to get to a gas station. He was riding on fumes and didn't know the area. I told him if there was any gas in the gas can, in the garage he could have it. He was relieved and thankful. And then neither Himself or I remembered to get the gas tank filled for the snow blower  for the predicted storm.  Temperatures were supposed to be mild so the snow would melt quickly. I might not have bothered shoveling except for the scrap man to pick up the dishwasher and the Nephew and his wife coming to pick up a rocking chair. I wasn't sure there was enough gas to snow blow the driveway.

But there was.

And since temperatures mid-week are supposed to get into the high 60s, (15.5 oC.)  maybe even close to 70 oF. (21 oC), I'm not going to brush off my car. I'll wait for the melt.

How does your garden grow?