Carolyn's Daily Posts: 2011

December 25, 2011

A Quiet Christmas Day, 2011



    Last evening Monte, my daughter Sandy and her husband Michael, and I attended Christmas Eve services at Heritage United Methodist Church in Ligonier, Pennsylvania.

     Today was a quiet day. A nice respite after the hectic preparations for the season, and the hectic activities of 2011.

     My husband and I awoke, read the newspaper, opened our gifts. He went to church while I lounged about at home, relishing the quiet. In the afternoon we walked to our daughter’s house to watch our granddaughter open her gifts, and ate dinner there. It was just the five of us. A ham dinner. Quite good.

     Christmas isn’t about hectic activity, although it seems to be that way for most of us. It’s about peaceful relationships between persons who love each other, and love for those we don’t feel a likeness for, and for those who are less fortunate than we are.

     I hope all you you had a joyful holiday.

     Our son from Cleveland didn’t arrive today, but will probably come tomorrow. I’d best get some rest before they arrive…




December 20, 2011

Journal: December 20, 2011



     Today began slowly, since I woke up three times last night. My plans for the day included picking up a book I’d ordered—a neighbor’s brother wrote it, she picked it up from him, and it will be a Christmas present for my son-in-law. Then I planned on heading to a drugstore in Latrobe where they have a print sale, fifty pictures for $5.99. It works well with my Christmas gift for the grandsons. I had run through seven years of their pictures last night, and before I left this morning I weaned them down to twenty five photos each. The  album I purchased for them holds ten, so each will have fifteen more for another small album after choosing which ones they would like to speak to in the gift album (it has the capability to speak into it, recording a story for each photo).


     Arriving at the drugstore, I positioned myself at the kiosk, slipped my flash drive in, and discovered that the machine didn’t consider folders. The pictures were jumbled with a great many more on the drive, and it was impossible to sort through them. This, after I had carefully sorted what I needed to print into neat folders (the drugstore I usually use will present pictures by folders, but it didn’t have the great sale price and it was much further away).

     Perhaps due to the great number of pictures on my flash the kiosk crashed. It had to be turned off and rebooted. Meanwhile, I renumbered the fifty pictures so I could identify them in the masses of other pictures.

     I removed the flash drive and attempted to drop the unneeded pictures onto my laptop, but the laptop is full. No room for the pictures.

     After the machine rebooted I tried again.  The kiosk crashed again, so I pulled out the flash drive and thought of another way to accomplish my goal. Meanwhile, before the busy store clerk could reboot again, the kiosk set itself back to the beginning step.

     I pulled out another flash drive. I was lucky. It had lots of space so I dumped the pictures I wanted onto it, and removed the few pictures it contained onto the original flash. Then I chose the particular pictures, edited them, and ordered them.

     The kiosk wasn’t printing the pictures. Help, I notified the clerk. She reassured me that they were being printed in the back of the photo area, not on the kiosk up front. It would take a half hour or forty-five minutes.


     I decided to go to the Chinese restaurant several stores down from the drugstore. The Goldenwok (in the Latrobe 30 Plaza) treated me very well, even when I said I just needed a place to relax, and perhaps to write, while I waited for the pictures. I ordered a pot of tea and an egg roll, with apologies, and then discovered my phone was dead, so I couldn’t call Monte. I took it to the car to charge it and returned to the Goldenwok.

      The egg roll was delicious, just the touch I needed for comfort eating. The atmosphere was calming and pleasant.

     As I readied to leave the Goldenwok the waitress presented me with a fortune cookie, which I didn’t expect because I wasn’t behaving like a regular customer, but someone who just needed a place to crash for almost an hour.

     I spent my time in the restaurant writing this post.

     I left, picked up my pictures and went on my way.




November 15, 2011

Buying a New-to-Us Used Car



Red-bird weathers a winter storm

     It rained today. Mid-morning.

     It rained while my husband did a final cleaning out of our red Dodge Stratus. The red-bird had to be put down to rest. It was tired. It told us so each time we had to pull off the road to let the water in the radiator cool. It happened the first time in Winchester, West Virginia, a trip we took to visit with my husband Monte’s sister Grace and her husband Bob at the end of October. The snowbirds stopped there on their travels from Northern New York to Florida.

     It happened again on our way home.

     Monte took it to our mechanic, who couldn’t diagnose the problem but took some action on what the cause might be.

     It happened again. And it kept happening—especially if we drove uphill, or stopped at a traffic light. Monte took the red-bird to the mechanic several times, but each effort to diagnose the problem proved fruitless.

     We drove the car to Washington County, Pennsylvania, where Monte did an in-home baptism for a family we know well. We had to stop several times on the ninety-minute trip home. We stopped by Ruffsdale Elementary School, and then in a church parking lot (click on the top link on the ADDITIONAL READING list following this post to read what happened there).

     At first the problem occurred about ever couple of hours. Then every hour. Then every half hour.

     The solutions the mechanic was suggesting were becoming quite expensive. Was it worth it?

     Yesterday found us at the car dealer where we had purchased the red-bird. On the way to the car dealer red-bird needed to rest every twenty minutes.

     We checked out some cars—narrowed it down to three—and finally (more…)

November 4, 2011

Car Hits Deer: No On Hurt




     It was 7:18 p. m. last night when my husband Monte just called. He’s doing a good deed for a neighbor, Dan, who needed to pick up his car in Somerset, Pennsylvania, on top of Laurel Mountain. That meant Monte had to drive one of the cars home. He ended up with the Prius, which, as a duel-energy (battery and gas driven) drives differently. I know, because I have practiced driving it on our community’s gravel roads in case I need to use it to pick up kids at school.


Cute? Not when it dashes in front of a moving car...

     A deer ran out in front of him and glanced off the front hood. It apparently survived, because it kept running and disappeared.

     Monte pulled off the road in front of some company, and a car from the company approached him.

     “What happened?” a man asked. He was a guard at the company. (more…)

November 1, 2011

NaNoWriMo and November 1, 2011 Journal

Filed under: JOURNALING & MEMOIRS — carolyncholland @ 11:30 pm
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     It was a crazy day, lazy, day. Woke up at 10:00 a. m. and did my coffee—newspaper-meds routine. I had lots of writing to do, and this was the first day of the National Novel Writing Month, which I signed up for.  That’s an expected 1700 words.

     I managed to post one regular writing on the seven billionth birth on earth. I wrote two additional regular posts—one a real life murder mystery, the other on Alex Trebek debuting as a concert conductor. I spoke to friend Tom on the phone (re murder mystery) and used the elliptical three times. Because I slept so late I didn’t take my normal nap.

     At the end of the evening I tackled the National Novel Writing Month activity, and actually produced 1970 words. What does that make for the day? Close to five thousand words? Probably.

     So I end my day at 11:20 p. m. (yes, I completed the novel writing BEFORE midnight), and it’s time to get some sleep.



Seven Billion People on Planet Earth

Mother Nature’s Creatures Predict Winter Weather

The Rufus Putnam House in Marietta, Ohio

October 25, 2011

Mini-Vacation to Winchester, Virginia




     Monte’s sister Grace and her husband Bob are snowbirds. Every year they travel from their Northern New York home to Florida, in an attempt to escape the harsh winter weather in country where snowfalls and cold are rampant.

     We hadn’t taken either of Monte’s two mini-vacations yet, so he suggested we meet Grace and Bob where they would stop for the night—either in the southern tier of Pennsylvania or northern tier of Virginia.

     We waited for their call to say they were on their way. Monte took his cell phone out to where it would work at 2:00 p. m. but there were no messages. We decided we should get started, and just before 3:00, as we were preparing to lock the house up, a car pulled into the driveway.

     It was our friends, (more…)

October 24, 2011

On Being a One Car Household




     My husband Monte goes out of town for business occasionally. That leaves me at home without transportation.

     We are a one-car household. That is an unusual situation in a culture where each adult must have their own vehicle. Drive by some homes and see five or six cars, one for each member of the family.


     We became a two-car family when my husband entered the ministry at the time our children were teenagers. I knew he would need the car most of the time, and if he didn’t it would need to be available for emergencies. I stipulated that if he was to be in the ministry we would have to become a two-car household.

     We are frequently questioned as to why we now are a one-car household.

     We decided to return to being a one-car owners after he retired and our second car died. Most of the time it works. At other times—when he has to be out of town for business for several days, or when we are overscheduled, or challenging circumstances occur—I wonder if we should have remained a two-car family.


     During these challenging moments I consider the following:

     First, some people in the United States don’t have even one car for reliable transportation. They may be elderly, or young with families. They need to get to doctors appointments and to travel for other necessities. In other parts of the world women walk miles to carry their daily water supply from its source to their home. Do my husband and I really have a need to have two vehicles?

     And I consider myself lucky to have the one vehicle we do have.

     Second, our resources can be better spent on (more…)

September 4, 2011

Labor Day Weekend is a Culinary Delight for Us




     My husband Monte and I spent two days eating.

     Yesterday, our September 3rd , 2011, anniversary (45th ) we investigated a delightful new restaurant that had advertised a vegetable dish as its special of the day.

     Today, September 4th,  we enjoyed a (more…)

July 19, 2011

“Your Regular Order?”



        “You’re regular (order)?” Judy, the diner owner asked me.

     “Might as well,” I said, being my indecisive self.

     Had I been in town too long? Was it time to move again? That the local diner/restaurant owners know what my “regular order” is is indicative that it’s time to move on to a new community. At least that’s what has happened in the past due to my husband, Monte’s, employment.

     However, this time I am not moving on—at least, I hope, until (more…)

April 17, 2011

A Perfectly Wonderful, Marvelous April Weekend



     It was a marvelous weekend here in the Ligonier Valley of Southwestern Pennsylvania. Well, almost marvelous.

     Friday evening I enjoyed a light dinner at the Ligonier Tavern with my friend Peg, after which we went to a very well-performed production at Ligonier Theater by the Ligonier Valley Players. The cast did a tremendous job.

     Later that evening the winds began to howl. On Saturday we went about six hours without electricity. I worked on a jigsaw puzzle, used up most of the battery power on my laptop, then (more…)

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