Monday, April 30, 2012

George Washington, Wait for Me! Our Hiking Group Goes to Valley Forge

Katy is a talented graphic artist getting her degree at TU. I told her we publish our Compass mag in the fall and asked if she'd be interested in doing the design.

When she said Yes, my heart lifted like a lark.
Here we are before we set off on our walk. Lyz, rear row, was our Hike Leader.

I'm wearing my Wolf Sanctuary t-shirt. Scott was able to go w/us since he's on a new sked where he's off all day Sunday.

Our goal was to march up to this Arch, 1.4 miles from our starting point.

This US Memorial Arch, accdg to the Valley Forget website, was erected to commemorate the arrival of General George Washington and his Continental Army into Valley Forge.

Designed by Paul Philippe Cret, it's a simplified version of the Triumphal Arch of Titus in Rome (A.D. 81)

It was completed in 1917, just in time for WWI.

Afterward, we went to the K of P mall. How confusing! We ate at a restaurant off Maggiano's, where the food was good, the coffee hot, and the conversation flowed.

Erica brought me fresh lemon for my salad since I couldn't eat their house dressing,  a pomegranate vinaigrette. My antirejection meds say not to eat pomegranates.

I take no chances with my daughter's kidney, which I'm giving a love pat now as I speak.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

DeeAwn Roundtree Dazzles in Job Seminar - Top Ten Jobs

DeeAwn Roundtree has held a multitude of jobs, all of which helped her get to the place she is now. Self-employed.

Click photos to enlarge.

She finished her PhD  in Biz Administration this January at Wilmington University in DE. Her son Matthew was 4 when she entered the program. Now he's 7. He was at a baseball game during her presentation.

Her dissertation was on Use of Social Media for African-American Businesses.

DeeAwn teaches biz at Lincoln University in Philadelphia. She tells her students things like you've got work really hard to get ahead, and how to dress when they go for a job interview. She won't let them in class if their attire is inappropriate. It acts as a DISTRACTION to the rest of the students and would certainly be so at work.

We discussed attire during the seminar. DeeAwn wore what's called a "business suit," matching jacket and pants.

I really apologize for taking this blurry picture of fashion-plate Janis with DeeAwn. Since Jan was wearing jeans, albeit nice ones, she is dressed 'weekend casual.' Her scarf is an accessory. Ties for men are accessories. They are top-drawer dressed for business when they wear a matching jacket and pants, tie optional.

DeeAwn agreed with me that getting dressed for success takes a lot of time: you must choose clothes, she said, that make you look competent, respectful and powerful.

DeeAwn is definitely a powerful woman. So is Helen below with her influence on the daytime groups she runs at the Giant.

Helen bought DeeAwn's slim volume Beyond the Boardroom, signed by DeeAwn. A Type-A personality, said D, she wrote it while on maternity leave. When Helen finishes the book, I'll read it and we'll donate it to the ND Library.

Helen Kirschner wore a "business suit casual" b/c her jacket did not match her pants. H bot her lovely jacket at a consignment shop. She attended a memorial service this morning for a young man who died tragically of a heroin overdose.

We all make choices, said DeeAwn. We can opt to drop out of life by using drugs, alcohol or  nonstop sexual encounters, all of which damage us and get us off FOCUS.

A focused person is like the horse Secretariat - it's one of her fave movies - who wore blinders when he ran to remain in focus. And not be DISTRACTED.

She went over the TOP TEN JOBS in the US today. Here's a few:

1 - Information Technology - IT, like my son Dan.

Having fun is built-in at Google in Mountain View, CA.

This is also true at the company Dan works for called, a made-up name. When I send out my group emails I sent them from

She advised us to use social media like Facebook, LinkedIn,

A woman in the back row said she was using a headhunter to find a job. She found several on the Internet. The woman wanted to change careers - as do several people I know - and who find it scary - but this woman had a great background as director of a childcare agency.

2 - Healthcare Profession. Nurses, she said, average 65K a year. Another good job is a physical therapist for our aging population. C'est moi and mama too!

3 - Healthcare Mgmt and Support Staff. Biz people to run the company.

4 - Engineers. Toot! Toot! Oh, I guess she means civil engineers and electrical engineers. But SEPTA is always hiring, esp. since 43 people won the lottery and will most likely quit their jobs. After taxes, they'll each get $1 million. Scott works with one of the guys whose dad won the lottery. His dad will quit, he said.

What would YOU do if you won that amount of money? Is it possible to remain anonymous so people won't come begging to you? Doubtful. 

5 - Industrial skills - manufacturing. Altho the US was guilty of sending work overseas, we're trying to bring manufacturing back to the US. Let me check around me. The blue shirt I'm wearing was made in China, my blue bowls were made in Germany, and the nest on my windowsill was made by a robin here in the good ole USA.

The factory behind my house - Keystone Screw -  makes nuts and bolts.

Alan Hill, above, lives in an abandoned Packard factory in Detroit.

Packard? What's that? Luxury car built from 1899 to 1958.

6 - Life scientists and biotechs, including people to work in Big Pharma. Average salary $77K.

7 - Sales people. A great job, said DeeAwn. It teaches you to be an entrepreneur and have great presentation skills. DeeAwn once worked as a real estate agent but in a down economy you can't make much money.

77 percent of employers said they can't get enough good sales people.

When my family lived in Englewood Cliffs NJ, I used to travel to Manhattan to work for my dad. Before I came home, tho, I had a night-time job at Gimbels and was a sales girl. I wasn't on commission but I made lotsa sales just by being nice to people and telling them the truth about the way things fit them.

8 - Accounting and finance mavens.

 Hello Warren. Thanks for joining me on my blog.

9 - Discount retailers. Working in and rising to the top of places like Target, Walmart, or my new favorite store, K-Mart. I'm wearing their comfy sweatpants right now. And, believe me, they are not overwhelmed with staff, for some reason.

Someone in the group said they wanted to work at Giant. I piped up that it's a great place to work, a place of real diversity. They have whites, blacks, Asians, Muslims, and the mentally challenged. That's their corporate culture.

Giant is owned by the Ahold conglomerate, based in the Netherlands. CEO Dick Boers visited our Giant a couple of weeks ago. He only stayed about 45 minutes. B/c the Netherlands are full of flowers they made sure they had plenty of fresh flowers for him to kvell over.

 And of course when you're applying for a job you never tell anyone you have a mental health diagnosis.

10 - Private equity firms. I was watching Suze Ormand this morning when I was on my exercise bike. She emphasized how times have changed and there's no job security anymore.

So people who wanted to retire at 60 are still working....up into their 70s and even 80s.

"Bad company corrupts," said DeeAwn, quoting the Bible, 1 Corinthians. 

Stay away from negative people, she said. Get your positive vibes from your positive friends.

Pizza time for me at 8 pm. Bought crimini mushrooms today at Giant as a pizza topping.

After our meeting, six of us met downstairs in the coffeeshop. I told the gang Scott buys the whole-wheat pizza crust, I saute mushrooms, peppers, and onions. Scott builds the pizza on his pizza stone with spaghetti sauce and slices of cheese.

Only 56 more minutes! 

Sarah Wins Pushcart Prize - DeeAwn Roundtree seminar coming up this afternoon

Luckily I went on FB last nite and found that my daughter Sarah had won the prestigious Pushcart Prize for literature for her essay Skydive.

It's about her bucket list for when she was a two-kidneyed woman before ceding her left kidney to her mama so I wouldn't die a slow but not unpleasant death from end-stage renal failure. No dialysis for this good-livin' woman.

How nice it is to type in those words now that the crisis has passed.

In an hour DeeAwn Roundtree will give a Career Seminar at the Giant Supermarket. Was there this morning setting up our room.

 Bought these yellow calla lilies from Kremp Florist down the street.

I met DeeAwn in the waiting room of my former psychiatrist Larry Schwartz. Her badge said she was a sales rep from Janssen Pharmaceutica. I told her I had bipolar d/o and took Risperdal when I got psychotic.

Using her name, I called up Janssen in Titusville, NJ, and they agreed to publish our Compass Mental Health Magazine, which they did for many years. Hello Ed Quispe!

Now Mark Amos of Bux-Mont Stationers in Hatboro does the job. 

Oops, that's the Rifleman which Scott and I watch at 6 pm on WFMZ in Allentown when the signal comes in.

Mark Amos of Bux-Mont Stationers in Hatboro, PA. Always does a great job for us.

How much more time till I leave for the Giant? 56 minutes. Am expecting Helen Kirschner for lunch. Luckily I have some lentil vegetable I just made.

Scuse me while I heat it up.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

New couch - Leda and the Swan

The perfect living room. I do love the color Red. This is Georgio Armani's home in Switzerland.

My new sofa-bed from Gamburg's was lonely. Loneliness is an awful feeling. When was the last time you felt lonely? Hmmm, let's ask Wordsworth. He has an answer.

Persuaded my sister Donna......
to come over to see my new kitchen door and flowers. And totem pole!

Sent my neighbor Patrick an email saying I had a lil extra cash and bot a sculpture for $1,000. He wrote back "What a steal! You should've bought two."

Stopped off at my kidney doctor with a letter I composed this morning.

In the letter I said I wanted to wean off my 5 mg of Prednisone b/c of my diabetes. I mentioned that Einstein Medical Center is unique in keeping people on the Pred. My friends at Thomas Jefferson and University of PA are not on this bone-bruising steroid.

She liked my back door and the new lilac bush I bought for a song at Galbally's right around the corner. I ate my breakfast omelet out on the back steps.

Donna and I drove separately to Gamburg's so saleswoman Amy could help me select a couch. I was there yesterday. She knows my budget and the width of the matching couches I need.

I got two lovely red couches with dynamic pillows. They're called "three-cushion sofas," meaning they don't have cushions in the back. Very comfy. Donna thought they were hideous. Eight weeks for delivery.

Wait till my son hears I've bought another couch. He never reads my blog.


So I drop off my prednisone letter at Dr Kidney's and go for a 20-minute aerobic walk. I walk down Mansfield Road which is incredibly steep. When I get to the top I decide not to walk further b/c I don't know my sugar level.

Diabetes rules my life.

So I return to my car in the parking lot of the Hypertension-Nephrologists on Fitzwatertown Road. Then I spy Swan Lake - see foto above right.

Wouldn't it be nice to see the swan again.

When I got there, two geese were over by the water. She was apparently sitting on her eggs so I kept away from them.

The swan saw me from afar and quickly swam over. I stood near another shore and bent over slightly to look at the beautiful white feathers.

My hope was to collect a white feather to add to my collection.

Imagine my shock when the swan bounded ashore and began pecking me with his very strong beak. I quickly turned around and loped toward the parking lot.

He not only pursued me but got between my legs as if he intended to rape me or wanted me to ride him like a pony.

I didn't want to engage him in battle for fear he'd escalate the fight. I knew I could make it to the parking lot and safety.

The parking lot is for medical offices - not my kidney doctor - and a man in a green car was backing out.

I'm being attacked by a swan, I called out as he drove away.

When I came home I goggled 'swan attack.' A 37-yo Chicago man was killed earlier this week when a swan attacked his kayak and he drowned

Zeus, in the form of a swan, raped Leda. Read about it here in the Mount Olympus Chronicle.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Lancaster County: Wolf Sanctuary - Lancaster Farmer's Market - Wilbur Choc Factory

Something rotten's going on in Bloggerland. Google Blogger changed their format and I can't figure the damn thing out. What's gonna happen is that I'm gonna make mistakes, as I always do, but I don't know how to fix them! Every time I leave the page, I can't find my way back.

Dan Stoltzfus is a retired 70-yo Amish farmer who knew an awful lot about diabetes when I told him I couldn't buy his wife's jellies n jams. His now-36-yo son contracted it when only 18 mos old. Joe himself is a friendly talkative guy and walked me out to my Hagey bus so I wouldn't get lost. I bought a jar of dill pickles from him plus a book he fetched from a friend of his: Fresh from Central Market Cookbook. In other words recipes from the selfsame market where I was. I read it on the bus on the way home.
Central Market is the oldest farmer's market in the country. Altho I purchased many things, I only ate one food item: a Thai spring roll.

Mary Mellinger sells goat cheese at the market. She and husband Andrew own a goat farm in Ronks, PA. I bought several types of goat cheese, some for salads, and some for our weekend pizzas.

Wolf Sanctuary T-shirt, mug, calendar, wolf earrings. I spent my entire allowance so I had to ask my dad if I could borrow some money. He died 32 years ago. Between you and me, the new format SUCKS!!! But onward ho!

Potholders suitable for framing. Anna, an Amish woman, sold them to me.

An amazingly delicious snack for a person w diabetes: Green bean crisps. They have the crunch you seek from a pretzel or potato chip and they're delicious. Marian, a young and b'ful Amish woman in cap sold them to me. Did u know there are romance novels written for Amish teenagers? They're published by "Good Books," same publisher as the cookbook. Cookbook author Phyllis Pellman Good and husband Merle own the publishing company.

Here we are at the Wolf Sanctuary. Our guides were Patti and Rosemarie, who's originally from NY.

Wolves are AFRAID of people and withdraw when they see em. To encourage the wolves to meet the visits, the keepers feed them raw meat, including deer roadkill which they love.

Visitors are kept well away from the wolves. Two 12-ft high fences separate us. The refuge center was founded in the 1980s by the Darlington Family. Mrs. Darlington, now widowed, names the wolves. The wolves do NOT recognize their own names, tho they do respond to tone of voice. Their keenest senses are smell and hearing. They can sniff a dead deer from 30 miles away. (Don't quote me. All this is from memory. And I am hard of memory.)

Hello handsome! Worldwide there are two types of wolf: the gray and the red. All these are gray wolves. Many have bred with dogs. To be considered a wolf in PA, you must have 65 percent wolf DNA. I am part wolf. I was named after my deceased Aunt Rose Wolf. Her husband was called simply "Wolf." They were Hungarian wolves. The above wolf is a Timberlake wolf.

Watching the wolves. The terrain was extremely hilly.

Son of Watching the Wolves.

Below is the soda fountain at the Tomato Pie Cafe, where I stopped to buy a bottle of water. Dallas told me they didn't sell bottles but offered to give me a glass of ice water. In exchange, I told him to take as many Wilbur Buds as he wanted. 

Rita Polish last name beginning with Cz, 75, of Holland, PA, will celebrate the 15th year of her HEART TRANSPLANT on September 15. Her antirejection meds are Cyclosporine and Cellcept. Her tplant was at University of PA. She was in the hospital for five months waiting for a heart, which is the way they used to do it. Unlike me, her antirejection meds did not give her diabetes.

We're headed toward the Wilbur Chocolate Factory in Lititz, PA.

As you approach the factory - celebrating its 125th anniv - you can smell the deep aroma of chocolate. Inside, you can watch two women making candies, but the real factory is in an adjacent bldg. I asked for the tiniest slice possible of fudge. It was the best ever since it was newly made. They import their beans from warm climes such as Africa and South America.

Hey, Hagey Bus! Wait for Ruthie! Bus driver was Sanford. Didn't bring his son.

Upon exiting, we all thanked the Boss - Michele Langanella.

Farmfields on the way home, with fire hydrant.

Nice house w/curving sidewalk on way home.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Cozy inside on a damp dreary day - Poem: Reflections Upon Turning 66

Watched Tavis Smiley online.

Scott and I ran errands this morning. Hadn't realized how cold it was. Since I'm getting my garden ready, Mary Mary Quite Contrary, I called around for red poppies. Only Russell Gardens, about 23 minutes away down Second Street Pike, had them.

Scott didn't get wet, but I did. He missed five days of work with a bad cold. Luckily I keep a rain hat from the Baltimore Aquarium in my trunk, so I wore that.

As we walked around, I wanted every single flower I saw. Scott has a spreading red cut-leaf maple in his front yard. At Russell Gardens, they had them ranging in price from $70 to $400, depending on variety and garden of origin. My jaw literally dropped when Scott showed me the $400 one.

photo from the Internet

Bought these flowers at Russell Gardens, on Route 232, past Tamanend Park.

They had a assortment of different-colored poppies. As you remember, my gardener cut down all my b'ful poppies, thinking they were weeds.

Also bot these unusual caladium, aka elephant ears. Sarah's late father sent her some caladium bulbs when she was a kid. When I plant these, they'll perpetuate the tradition and remind us of her late father.

My new kitchen door. Dave will be back on Monday. Lots more work to do.

Here are the wide steps he built for me. I asked him to put 'grippers' at the bottom of each step so I can see where I'm going. Don't wanna fall down like I did on my trip to DC. My knee is healing nicely as you can see.

In my below poem I refer to these warm winter socks that were given to me by either Natalie, my mom/law, or sister Donna.

Speaking of Donna, who lives by a tributary of the Pennypack Creek in a Hatboro condo, she's on "floodwatch" today. Sandbags are always outside her apartment. She said the kitchen floor is already wet.

There will probly be a buy-out of her section of the condo b/c of its unstoppable flooding.

My turning-66 poem was started back in January, but I never finished it. Helen Kirchner sent me an email that the Inquirer is having a poem contest, so I figured I try for it. Poem must be 20 lines or less.

The car flashing by in the below poem was neighbor Patrick's.


Upside-down nines
look like they’re going places:
jonquils swaying in the breeze
Easter baskets heavy with eggs

I still run when I walk
plant poppies in my yard
sniff every lilac
while walking ‘round the block.

Stay, 66, stay.
Mindful of the passing time,
I store moments:
A silver car flashing by,
the good feel of socks on
a damp day.

Memorize these good things:
67 is on its way.