Sunday, June 2, 2013

Homecoming Anniversary

Funny! I started writing this blog post one year ago today, on 3rd anniversary of our arrival back home in PA! Obviously, I never posted it!

Today, I find myself sitting at home on a relaxing Sunday morning, working on my other blogs and I thought I would come here. I then realized that it was once again June 2nd!

How different the weather was on that day in 2009 when we arrived to our new home on a Thursday evening after a long day of travel from South Carolina! That journey had begun the day before with my mother, Tara, three cats, a dog and a guinea pig! It was rainy and chilly when we arrived home!

Today it is sunny and a rather beautiful morning, after 3 VERY hot days for May.

Life has changed in many ways. The dog, guinea pig and one of the cats that made the journey with us have gone across the Rainbow Bridge. The other cat, Emmie, is still living happy and healthy with the new family she joined as we could not keep four pets here! We now have two cats and a guinea pig.

RIP my sweet girl - Crossed the Rainbow Briday 1/27/2013

Kovu - still healthy and much happier than in this photo! Enjoying (at times) his new brother Jack!

Cassie (on the left) crossed the Rainbow Bridge in Nov '12. Emmie is still living happily with the Stewarts!
Jack - new kitty. He joined our family the day after my birthday on 2/23/2013. We adopted him from the SPCA.

Oliver passed away early in June '12. He was the best guinea pig. I miss his cuteness!
Beau the Guinea Pig - It is hard to photograph an all black (except for his white foot) GP!
 Tara has grown from a twelve year old pre-teen to a full fledged sixteen year old teen ager. It's been difficult year with some issues that we are working on. School has never come easy to Tara and now I think I may have missed some signs early on that might have been able to avoid the point we are at now.
Tara then - June '12
Tara now - 16 (her hair is now blonde and shorter)

I came to PA a retiree from AT&T, and now I have 3 1/2 years of work history in retail with Walgreens as a Sr Beauty Advisor. I never thought I would like retail, but I have come to really enjoy my job. I love the merchandising and 99% of the customers. My work family is just that a family. We are a little dysfunctional,bbut in the end, we've got each others backs and really do care about one another!

My mom is still doing well, she's 32 days from turning 89!
Mom - Christmas Eve 2012
Do we miss Florida? Yes, sometimes! Especially Disney. The first year not so much, but every year there after a little bit more! We need to plan a trip, but working retail does not pay what AT&T paid! We are not very good savers!

Like the song from the old sitcom says: You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have.. the facts of life!

You can also find me at:
@martha_tweets on Twitter
Martha Miller Kasper on FB.
Life, the Facts of Life. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

I have not been keeping up with this blog, but it has too many memories during our time of transition from living in Florida to back home in Pennsylvania to delete!

Maybe someday soon we will start having exciting adventures again and I can utilize this blog to it's potential!

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Perkiomen Creek - Creek Critters Adventure

Tara and I attended a Connections Academy field trip to Green Lane Park.  Our first stop was the Nature Center where we really enjoyed our conversation with one of our educators for the afternoon.  I have gotten really terrible with names, but I believe it was Diane!  Our conversation was about butterflies and bugs, and the difference in the critters we have here in PA as compared to those in FL.  You can tell that she really enjoys her job!  During our conversation I even saw a HUMMINGBIRD.  I wasn't quick enough to get a photo, about the time I realized what I was seeing, it was gone!
I enjoyed photographing a ladybug and a swamp milkweed beetle in the butterfly garden.

Next we headed for the Fly Fishing area of Green Lane on the Perkiomen Creek.  I was prepared only to observe, and take some photos, only to find out we were going to be crossing the stream, to get to our destination.  With my jeans and crocs, I headed into the calf deep water.  It was actually quite refreshing and I am glad I choose to participate rather than stay on the other shore!

The students were instructed to look in the water, under rocks, etc. looking for critters (macro-invertebrates mainly.  Not just of the fish type, but things I never realized were lurking in streams.

The kids found water pennies, snails, leeches, mayflies, stoneflies, dobsonflies, crayfish, minnows and I am sure there are  some that I am missing. Tara helped catch this crayfish.  He was pretty big!
This is a dobsonfly, one of the older students found it attached to his leg. These things can bite....
Tara and I both really enjoyed our afternoon, wet jeans and all.  I was pretty proud of myself, I made it across the creek and back with my camera in hand... and didn't fall!

Oh, I saw two Baltimore Orioles (not photo, they flew over head, I saw the bright orange bodies, but when they landed in the tree, they were not in a spot I could photograph them.... you can't move very quick walking upstream in a swiftly moving creek!)  We also saw a Canadian Goose family... with 13 gooslings.  They have Jon and Kate beat by quite a few!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Blizzard of 2010

If you haven't heard yet, the mid-Atlantic region was hit with two snow storms in 5 days.  These two storms dropped significant amounts of snow on us, in total probably close to 32".

1st Storm Friday/Saturday - I worked both of these days, driving home about 2 hours after the storm had started on Friday night, and driving in a couple hours after it had stopped on Saturday.  Sunday we had a birthday party, and I was dealing with a sick dog, so I didn't get too many photos.

This one was taken after the storm had moved out Saturday.  I was at work and had only my IPhone, so not the greatest photo, but the colors were too spectacular not to capture.

2nd Storm - Started about 7pm 2/9 and stopped around 10pm 2/10.  The first photos were Wednesday morning before the worst part of the storm arrived.  Tara and I went for a walk.

These sunny photos were taken this (Thursday) afternoon.  Our maintenance guys do a really great job of cleaning things up. There is a lot of snow, a lot of parking lot/sidewalk, and really only 4 guys.  My car above is the white one on the right, my mom's is the big pile of snow two cars behind it.  I got it dug out, and Jamal, our neighbor's awesome teenage son had already dug out mine.  It really was a beautiful day, and I actually enjoyed being outside!  Below is the giant 10 ft snowman that some of the residents built!

We took a little drive through town.  

Thursday, February 4, 2010

No Adventures

Winter weather and a new routine including work has precluded any new adventures!  Will update as soon as I have something worthwhile to post!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Nockamixon State Park and Friday Funday

It has been over two weeks since we have really had an "adventure"!  Today was a beautiful day, so Tara and I went out in search of an adventure, a Friday Funday!  Here is the route we drove today
F - is home (also point A)
B - Care and Share, Souderton
C - Salvation Army, Quakertown (we also stopped at a nearby Goodwill)
D - Nockamixon State Park
E  - Cracker Barrel, Plymouth Meeting

First stop, Care and Share, a local thrift store that is part of the Mennonite Central Committee Thrift Shop Network.  Today was 1/2 off Friday, and it was SOOO crowded.  I felt like I was at Wal-Mart on Black Friday.  It is a great store, but today was not the day either Tara or I wanted to be shopping there.  Tara even had some "older" shopper pull a stuffed animal out of her hand!

We continued our quest for thrift shops.  We found another Goodwill and Salvation Army.  Both older stores, and I think some of the merchandise has been in these stores since the Nixon Administration.  Tara did find the next book in a series she is reading, which cost me only .52 cents, new it would have been over $7!

After the thrift store we headed for the great outdoors.  I needed to rid my nose of all clothing and shoe smell.  The very smell that has kept me out of thrift stores for oh so many years!

The name Nockamixon comes from the American Indian phrase “nocha-miska-ing” which is Lenni Lenape for “at the place of soft soil.” Several American Indian sites from the Lenni Lenape Tribe (Delaware) are documented in the park area.

Secretary of the Department of Forests and Water, Dr. Maurice K. Goddard, proposed the park in 1958. The park was developed with the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers plan for development in the Delaware River Basin. Originally known as Tohickon State Park after the principal stream flowing into Lake Nockamixon, it was renamed Nockamixon State Park by the State Geographic Board in 1965. The park officially opened in December of 1973.

Tara wanted desperately to break through the ice by throwing a rock... try as she might, the ice was still too thick.  It was beautiful in the early part of the afternoon.  Later on the clouds blew back in.

Yes, Tara has on flip flops.  In her defense, it was 53 degrees!
I could see in the distance a flock of birds on the ice, so we headed off to see what else we could find.  We soon realized these gulls were on the ice in the area of the marina.

Our next stop appears to be the area where they go ice fishing - when the ice is a bit thicker! Rocks might not have broken through, but I'm pretty sure, a full grown mann would have done the job!  I suggested ice surfing, but about that time a park ranger drove through!

The frozen lake was very beautiful.  I am hoping we get another snow storm this year, so we can visit in the snow.  They have a great sledding hill.  The weather today actually had us both thinking a bit about spring.  I however, am enjoying winter, and not quite ready for it to go!

On the way home we saw this sign.  I've seen it before and I makes me chuckle.  Today I was stopped for a traffic light and could get a good shot!

Both Tara and I were hungry, and the only thing that sounded good to Tara was Cracker Barrel which was further away than I had hoped to go for a meal, but we rarely have the chance to go there.  Tara had her favorite sirloin steak, and loved it.  I had friend shrimp.  It was okay, I would have preferred sushi or Chinese!
Tara's "dunch" (late lunch/early dinner or "linner" if you like)

I love this hat.  If I wore baseall caps, I would have bought it!

On the way home, stopped at another light, I saw this tree.  I don't know, but it almost looked like it was decorated with lace!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

End of Year Meme

(I posted this on my other blog too, but I think it gets kind of lost amidst all the other stuff in the post!)


I found this meme @Ramblin' with Roger, who found it @Spatula Forum and it was also part of @Sunday Stealing.  So now that I have given it proper credit as far back as I can trace, on with my answers.

1. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before?  Drove from Orlando to Philadelphia with 3 cats, a dog, guinea pig, one twelve  year old and my mom.  When we did the reverse trip in 2003 to move to Orlando, we had just two cats, and 3 people.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?  I did not make any resolutions as such.  I knew it would be a year of great changes for our family, and it was.  It's been exciting.

3. How will you be spending New Year's Eve?  At home.  A nice meal, and some yummy snacks.  I hope to watch some of the Three Stooges Marathon on AMC.  It starts at 7am on 12/31 and goes for 23 hours.  I grew up watching these reruns, and Tara has never experienced them.  It is her kind of humor!  I prefer quiet New Year's celebrations.  (It was a quiet night, we did watch the ball drop with all three of us together)

4. Did anyone close to you die?  Not this year thankfully.

5. What countries did you visit?  Just the good ole' USofA.  I had not left the state of FL for 5 years, so traveling through GA, SC, NC, VA, MD, and DE were exciting for me.  We also went to Ocean City, NJ for a couple days, and to VA for a weekend. Oh, and does the World Showcase at EPCOT count?

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?   A new job.  I retired in March, so technically I had it in 2009, but I am now looking for part time employment.  Keeping fingers crossed I get an answer this week from an interview on Tuesday.

7. What date from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?  March 27th, the day I retired from my career at AT&T, it was 29 years, 4 months, and 12 days long.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?  Getting back to PA to be close to family.  We had been working on it for two years.

9. What was your biggest failure?  I don't think I really failed at anything.  I might have managed money a little better.... but that's the story of my life.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?  Thankfully nothing serious.  I had the flu in November, not sure if it was swine, but it had me down a week, and not feeling myself for two.  My family has stayed fairly well. 

11. What was the best thing you bought?  My Canon Rebel Xsi.

12. Where did most of your money go?  Wow, I wish I knew.  Moving expenses, getting settle expenses, I paid cash for a pre-owned car.  Lots of technology - 2 laptops, 2 IPhones, 2 cameras.... like mother like daughter!  Cash, cash, cash, no credit cards were used!

13. What song will always remind you of 2009?  I'm not sure.  Music is something in the background to me most of the time.  Maybe something Brittney, Tara got to go to see her in concert and we listened to Circus all the time! - I realized last night that Boom Boom Pow came out in 2009, it seems like it's been around forever.  That song I thing is definitely the most rememberable.

14. What do you wish you'd done more of?  Saved money.  Slept.

15. What do you wish you'd done less of?  Spent money. 

16. What was your favourite TV program?  This is a hard one.  A new show?  Glee.  I found this show late.  Monday Night CBS shows are some of our favorites.  Big Bang Theory is the top favorite there.

17. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?  No, I try not to hate. 

18. What was the best book you read?  Read or finished?  Sadly I think I only read one full book this year.  It was a book from a series about the Amish.  I have six days to read a book for book club on 1/6 - Black Dahlia!  Reading more is one thing that I would like to do in 2010.  I just have to stay off the darned laptop!

19. What was your greatest musical discovery?  I don't have an answer for this.  I listen the music of so many blog friends that I really like, but sadly music is not big on my list.  I mean I listen when in the car, but that is about it.  I was so much different when I was young. 

20. What was your favorite film of this year? We saw 24 films in the theater this year (see list below), and many more for the first time on DVD (I wish I had kept a list, that was one great thing about Blockbuster and Netflix on line!)  We saw Star Trek 4 times, that was hands down Tara's favorite.  Movies that I came away from saying I totally enjoyed were Blindside and Julie and Julia. 

21. What did you do on your birthday?  Hmm, good thing I have a blog or I would have to say I don't remember... be right back - oh, I should not have had to look.  We spent the day in Magic Kingdom.  Disney was giving you a free day of admission this year for your birthday.  Since we had annual passes, I got a $75 gift card to be spent at Disney.  We had fun, at lunch at Tony's.  If you want to revisit that day  you can go here, here and here.  Tara got to spend her free day at Animal Kingdom.

22. What kept you sane?  Blogging and photography.

23. Who did you miss?  Okay, my who are our pets that we had to give to knew homes.  Maia the yorkie, Daphne, and Emmie and Cassie the cats (the latter two live local, so we can visit them, but it makes me sad, and I want to bring them home!)

24. Who was the best new person you met? I've met so many fabulous new people on line this past year, the list is too long to mention, in real life, I think I would have to say our neighbor Vivian.  I am just getting to know her, but she is so full of life and positive energy.

25. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009:  That I really do love being close to family.  When we lived in FL, I tried to tell myself that we weren't missing out on much being away from family, we kept in touch through pictures, etc., but it has been so nice being able to spend time with them all - for holidays and special occasions, and just for the heck of it!  Also, that we can do with less!