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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Don't write the obituary yet

Yesterday was our second meeting of the Women's Literary club and as usual we had a great program. Susan Evans is a local woman who wrote a humorous book about her journey through ovarian cancer called Don't Write the Obituary Yet.

Susan began with a swollen ankle that the doctors couldn't diagnose. Finally when the tumor was discovered someone misread the numbers on the report and told her she had a 25 pound tumor instead of a 2.5 pound one. The local doctor told her husband that she only had six months to live and transferred her to another bigger hospital in Pittsburgh.

There she met by luck a wonderful doctor who ended up helping her coauthor her book. She emphasized to us that you need to be in charge of your own care by speaking up and telling the nurses and doctors exactly how you feel so they can give you the correct care.

It took Susan who was a former English teacher a year to write and publish the book. She established a research foundation and all the proceeds of the book are put in a fund to further research on ovarian cancer.

Susan approached this horrific subject with humor and emphasized that attitude makes a difference and helps in the way you handle things. This does not mean that she didn't do her share of crying. But because of her cancer some really good things happened. She is now cancer free.


Friday, October 24, 2014

At Celeron Park


Do you ever come across a picture that is so far back in the past that it evokes strong memories for you? We have a local Facebook page called I grew up in Bradford, PA. It's a way for folks who no longer live in Bradford to keep up with what is happening here. Locals post current pictures of the area or pictures from the Landmark Society.

Yesterday someone posted this one of Celeron Park. It was located on the shore of Chautauqua Lake in Jamestown, NY which is about an hour north of us. Jamestown is famous for being the home of Lucille Ball.


This overview is not a picture; rather an artist's drawing. Please note the structure in the upper-right with the Turkish style spires and long Annex ending in a bandstand -- this is the Auditorium. Also in the right of the drawing at the water's edge is the three-story Bathhouse with three toboggan slides; one of which is the camel-back slide. The Phoenix Ferris Wheel is to the left with Hotel de Celoron barely visible behind the right side of the Wheel with a flag banner protruding from its top. The baseball grounds are beyond the Auditorium. The Celoron Theater and the Greyhound rollercoaster were not yet in the park.


First operated in the 1896 season. This was the world's largest - - ten stories tall with 12 cages and a capacity of 168. 125 feet in diameter and took six men to operate. Lit by 350 colored lights. Dismantled in 1952.


One of the original structures in 1894, it was three stories tall with three toboggan slides, one being a camel-back slide. Inside the bathhouse was a barber shop, 150 dressing rooms, bowling alley, billiards room, shooting gallery, ice-cream parlor, and a large open recreation area. Damaged by fire a fire in 1900, the bathhouse, when repaired, was three stories only in the middle and the signature camel-back slide was gone.

Don and I remember this park well. We were dating in 1962 and my parents took us up to the park. It was a big event back then to go to a special place like this. I distinctly remember he and I sitiing in a swan boat and going through the Tunnel of Love and stealing a kiss in the dark.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Triple Bloom

Today my friend linda and I drove to Warren, PA, a nearby town about an hour away to attend the Warren Garden Club's ninth biennial seminar Triple Bloom.

It was a beautiful fall day. Even though it's only an hour west their leaves were still on the trees and the day was warm.


When we arrived at the Holiday Inn there were tables full of sweets and coffe and tea to enjoy while we waited for the first session to begin.

We spent some of our time, and money on the great gifts at the Chinese auction. Unfortunately we didn't come home with any prizes.

Our first speaker was Dan Van Gogh, a local florist who made many arrangements using fall flowers that were raffled off afterwards.

He even made some Christmas ones.

But the one I liked best was this basket arrangements using some delphinium.

Next was a little change of pace as a memory expert from Philadelphia delighted us with memory tricks and encouraged us to keep our brains active. We adjourned for lunch next and enjoyed chicken and broccoli in a pastry shell over wild rice with apple pie for dessert.

Since our speaker for the afternoon hadn't arrived we filled the time with raffle drawings and flower giveaways. Soon our guest arrived, a short, good looking man who immediately captured our attention with his impressive resume. He owns a florist shop in Pittsburgh and caters to the rich and famous there. His approach was different and extremely creative as he made five wonderful arrangements.


It was an absolutely delightful day. It made me want to run out and buy flowers to arrange.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014


We are really enjoying our visit with Don's stepbrother Jim fromSavannah, Georgia. Today he spent the morning with us while his truck was being repaired. Always nice to be with family. In the picture also so Don's stepmother Rose who is ninty two and going strong. We love to go over to Eldred and play Five Crowns with them.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Apple pies,,,getting ready

Usually we get apples from our tree out front but for the last two years we had a late frost which froze the apple buds and there were no apples to be had. So this year we got a bushel at the fruit market. Today we spent a few hours putting them up for winter. It is really nice to go to the freezer and grab a bag to make a quick apple pie.


No, this is not a post about housecleaning (although it could be). This is about my guilt. I love to take pictures either with my ipad or my DSLR. I have thousands of pictures. …….on my computer! But do I have them in frames?  Oh, no.  Just on my computer.
   I don’t know what is stopping me from printing them out for framing or making a photo book. But something has.

It isn’t that I don’t know how. I’ve made photo books before. And I love them. But somehow all these photos sit on my computer.

I needed help.  And just in time I got it in the form of a class. I’d like to introduce you to Beryl Ayn Young and her website….berylaynyoung.com

Beryl is a photographer and a mom and is dedicated to teaching others how to use photography to document our lives. She offers courses to help you do just that but she also offers free classes to get you started.  She is a great teacher for all levels and has a wide variety of classes.

The course that I’m currently taking is called Embrace Your Phone.  Now I don’t have a smart phone but I do have an ipad which I use to take pictures. I am on day two of the class.  Day one involved getting the pictures off your phone, or ipad, and getting them on your computer.  Day two is all about purging.  That is, getting rid of all those excess photos.  You know the ones…those blurry shots, those duplicates, those our of focus, those that you thought you should keep but don’t really like. 

  I am going through my photos and doing just that. You’d be surprised how many you can let go and still have plenty to remember your days by. In the next few days she is going to teach us how to print them out.  I’m looking forward to that part. Then I will need to make space in my house for framed pictures. I have many frame worthy pictures that it will be hard to choose among them.
  It was fun looking back at my old photos. It really brings back memories of trips and family fun.

summer 2014 peonies 023

the magic of Photoshop

I remember when I first got the Photoshop program. There was so much to learn to make it work that I thought I would never conquer it. Little by little I googled and watched tutorials and experimented. I took a class from Kim Klassen which was a tremendous help. I still have a lot to learn but often put my photos into the program for enhancement. One nice thing that it does it correct bad photographs.  Here is the one of Sara in the pumpkin field. 

And here it is without the person’s legs in the background.
sara pumpkin edited one

I also put a little blur in the background.
sara pumpkin edit three copy

And even tried a partial black and white version. sara black and white pumpkin

It’s really fun to play around with Photoshop.

Monday, October 20, 2014



If you want a devoted dog I would recommend a Jack Russell Terrier. If you want an easy dog...well, not so much. Sadie's high intelligence makes her quite difficult at times. She is demanding when she feels that as soon as you get home you should take her for her walk. And she has turned to whining when she wants you to do something for her...like get her a treat or play with her toys. She always wants to be with you no matter where you are, even in the bathroom.

I know we are at fault by spoiling her and letting her have a say so. We think she' scutes but a dog trainer would say that she is definitely the alpha dog in the family.


But we totally love her and don't know what we would do without her. She brings such joy into our lives.


Sunday, October 19, 2014

At the Corn Maze

Yesterday Ryan and Jenny took Sara and Sean to the corn maze in Tennessee. From the pictures it looks like they had a great time. I really hate living so far away from them and missing out on all the fun times. They will be up for Thanksgiving.