Thursday, November 24, 2011


What am I truly thankful for this Thanksgiving?  Well, I still have a job, and for only the 2nd time in 34 years I have off Black Friday.  No, I am not going out shopping either after midnight or tomorrow in the wee AM hours.  I prefer shopping online.   Although I am tempted to run to Walmart after 10pm for the Waffle Iron for $2.97.

I am thankful for Parke, my mom and my son and daughter-in-law and my 3 beautiful grandchildren.  This is my family along with a Aunt and few cousins.

I am thankful for my church family, choir and sunday school. 

I am thankful to and for God, I know He is there even when I forget He is.

I am thankful for good health and good friends.

Thanksgiving is like no other holiday. The turkey is probably the best known symbol of Thanksgiving, however, the turkey does not deliver any presents or eggs and candy, instead we eat it.    Pumpkins that we carved into scary creatures of the night, well, we eat it them now.   The apples we bobbed for at the Halloween Party, yup we eat them to baked into a pie.   Da Pennsylvania Dutch filling, we eat that now once, along with sweet potatoes, green bean casseroles and crescent rolls.  Thanksgiving celebrates the harvest and yup, we eat it.  I seem to be capturing a theme here.  But it is a theme seeped in tradition, since the beginnings of Thanksgiving in 1612. 

Well, Thanksgiving is almost over, the leftovers are packed away in the fridge for another day, and yes, Annette, I have the filling corners packed up just for you.  The desserts are still on the table but they will remain their for breakfast tomorrow, and Parke is snoring in the other room.  Ah yes, everything is right with the world at this moment in time. 

Oh I forgot one thing, I am thankful for you dear readers of this blog and for another day in Catasauqua.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

You know you are a Rough Rider when Thanksgiving is more than Turkey

On each Thanksgiving Day, the Catasauqua Rough Riders play a non-league game against their rival, the  Northampton Konkrete Kids. The game is not sanctioned and does not count as a win/loss for official standings with regard to playoff consideration within the PIAA. The rivalry which started in 1925 has been ongoing.  When I was really young I can remember Mr. Pfiefly, our gym teacher telling us that if Catty would win the game we would have off Monday after Thanksgiving.

It was such an exciting time and it still is for Catasauqua Students.  Back then we had the Bonfire, the Pep Rally, Homecoming and the big game.  Now they even do more!  I just read on facebook that one of my friend's home and been toilet papered, that's because I senior lives there.

That's my name, last one on the right.
I am so glad that the Catty vs. Northampton game is a Thanksgiving tradition.  I see students wearing some great shirts now, wow-wish we had them back in the day.  We got programs, which we use to autograph for each other.  By some miracle my Grandmother kept all my stuff in the attic and as you can see I have the books for 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972 and 1973.

I was reading some of those autographs, oh boy, did I laugh.  But ah....memories. 

Well, the turkey is hopefully thawed enough and the rice pudding and apple crisp is done.  Time for me to head to bed and prepare for.....another day in Catasauqua.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Catasauqua Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service

Tonight I ran into a friend of mine from school, and reader of my blog, Yvonne, which reminded me to blog tonight about something we both attended this evening and that was the Catasauqua Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service at The Presbyterian Church of Catasauqua.  I sang with the joint choirs tonight and we sounded good! Even if I must say so myself.  The music was fantastic and the singing of the Lehigh Valley Christian High School Chorus was refreshing. 

Rev. Walbert from St. Paul's gave an inspiring sermon and I was happy to see our interim minister from Salem UCC, Pastor Robert Lewis and our soon to be minister, Pastor Michael "the Voice" Smith both participating tonight.  However, I am not sure how to take Rev. Walbert warning Pastor Mike about me, especially since I don't go to St. Paul's.   Really all those rumors about me, not true. 

Anyway back to the service.  It was wonderful and it reminded me really of what Thanksgiving is all about - giving thanks!!!!

This was in the bulletin:  As the pioneers of the Plymouth colony gathered around the feasting table with Native Americans in 1621 to give thanks for all that they had been given by our Bountiful Provider, so we too gather to offer thanks for all those gifts which the Lord has seen fit to give us. Especially for our country, our state and our town.

Yes, I am thankful for much this Thanksgiving, even if times are a little tougher and as Rev. Walbert said in his sermon, it's easy to whine about these tough times, there is so much still to be thankful for.  So dear readers, I am thankful for you, a roof over my head,  and the waffles I had for dinner.  I am thankful for the Ministers of Catasauqua, the people who participated tonight and the people who came for the service.  I am thankful for the little things like a cup of joe in the morning and a Fiber One Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie at night (yeah it doesn't take much to make me happy). 

And yes, I am thankful for my town....... and that's another day in Catasauqua.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Catasauqua's new book and my Monkey Ghost.

My mother bought me Martha Capwell Fox's new book "Catasauqua and North Catasauqua Revisited".  I am really enjoying it especially since it has pictures of some people that I know or knew when they were still with us. 

The first people from the past that I saw were Grace and Ernie Hilficker.   I can't go a Sunday without thinking about Ernie.  There is a certain benediction and there was one line that the tenors sang and to this day I can still hear Ernie at that line.  Even though they are both gone they are not forgotten.   There are also people that I still see regularly in the book, so I am wondering whether I should start getting their autographs.  That might be fun.

I must say, that I really am enjoying this book.

The other night one of my friends, Nancy Balliet, showed me something in the book that I entirely missed.  MY HOUSE.  Yeah, can you believe it!  There is a picture of my house in the book and it reads "The Mark House at 703-705 Howertown Road, still stands on the corner of Walnut Street and retains the original porches.  The girl on the left appears to be holding a monkey."  A MONKEY, that explains all the crazy things in this house, I betcha we had Monkey Ghost. 

When we first moved into the house there were a lot of unexplainable things, things that went bump in the night, a shadow seen out of the corner of your eye.  Lights going off and on.  A few years ago most of it stopped after we did a "house cleansing" given to me by my Reiki Teacher at the time.  But now we know who to blame.  Monkey Ghost.

and that's another day in Catasauqua.

Friday, November 11, 2011

When feet take flight

This morning I was doing my usual walk through Catasauqua.  If you know me, you know I am not in the best of shape, but I have been going out and trying to walk every day and even did a 5K walk last weekend.  So every day this week I got out for a walk.  Since today is my day off I decided to take a long walk up to Northampton and back, it's just a little over 2 mile walk.

My goal is to be able to run one day.  You see, old age, bad knees and a big butt has kept me grounded and I am even unable to run across the street.  I've tried. I even ask Parke "how do run?"  He tells me it's just like walking but both feet come of the ground.  It's been very frustrating.  Occasionally I try to run across an alley on my walks and it just doesn't happen.

Well, that's until today.  I was on my last couple of blocks on Howertown Road, and Lady Gaga came on my ipod shuffle singing "The Edge of Glory"  and the strongest wind came along blowing the direction I was walking and it practically pushed me.  I smiled and thought "God, you don't have to give me a push, I can make it home." The last couple of blocks I power walk and with the Edge playing in my ears and the wind at my back. it suddenly happened, I was running.  I was practically giddy.  I can only compare it to a plane that has been taxiing on the runway forever and suddenly, magically it takes flight and is airborne.

This sudden euphoria lifted my spirits and my feet.  I had done it.  For a moment I glimpsed youth, health and well being.  Eventually I thought chest would explode so I went back to my power walking.  No not really, but I managed to run about two blocks. 

What a beautiful morning in Catasauqua to take a walk, and even to take flight.

And that's another day in Catasauqua.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Irrational thinking, no, it's just jelly bread

It came to my attention tonight that perhaps, just perhaps, I don't think like other people.  Let's say my thinking is outside the box.  Wait, let's be real, my thinking has it's own little box somewhere.  This all came from a discussion of the Lord's Prayer at my book club.  Where I just happened to mention that when I was a kid that I thought the one line was "give us this day our jelly bread".  Now I wasn't a big fan of jelly bread back then, but what the heck, if God was going to give me jelly bread, who was I to say no.

Now really I am sure some of you out there might of thought the same thing and then again maybe not.  Did you know there is a name for all this. Sure enough, it's called a mondegreen. 

A mondegreen is the mishearing or misinterpretation of a phrase as a result of near homophony, (A homophone is a word that is pronounced the same as another word but differs in meaning. in a way that gives it a new meaning. Like to, two and too)  It most commonly is applied to a line in a poem or a lyric in a song.

Three best know mondegreens are:
  1. "Gladly, the cross-eyed bear (from the line in the hymn "Keep Thou My Way" by Fanny Crosby, "Kept by Thy tender care, gladly the cross I'll bear")
  2. There's a bathroom on the right (the line at the end of each verse of "Bad Moon Rising" by Creedence Clearwater Revival  "There's a bad moon on the rise")
  3. 'Scuse me while I kiss this guy (from a lyric in the song "Purple Haze" by Jimi Hendrix  "'Scuse me while I kiss the sky")
One that was not mentioned here was a favorite of my friend,  Joan.  Years back she called me hysterically laughing about something she had heard.   It was from the Beach Boys Song, "Help me Rhonda"  the line was -
Well since she put me down, I've been out doin' my head
But someone had heard:
Well since she put me down, I've got owls puking in my bed  

So you see, I don't think that jelly bread and daily bread are that far off.  And true, I might not think the same way as other people, but then again, wouldn't that be boring if I did. 

and that's just  .......... a brother stays in a cat with socks on.  Oops, I meant to say..... another day in Catasauqua.

Veterans Day - 11-11-11

Veterans Day is an annual holiday honoring military veterans. It is a federal holiday that is observed on November 11. It is also celebrated as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in other parts of the world and falls on November 11, the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice (an armistice is a situation in a war where the warring parties agree to stop fighting.  It doesn't mean that it is the end of a war but just a cease of hostilities while they negotiate for peace) that ended World War I.  (Major fighting of WWI  ended at the 11th hour of the 11th date of the 11th month, 1918 - and this year lets throw in one more 11 for 2011).

U.S. President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed an Armistice Day for November 11, 1919. In proclaiming the holiday, he said
"To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations."
It wasn't until 1953 when a shoe repair shop owner by the name of Stephen Roid, from Emporia, Kansas, had the idea to celebrate all Veterans on that day. 

With the help of U.S. Representative John Salper, also from Emporia, a bill for the holiday was pushed through Congress. President Eisenhower signed it into law on May 26, 1954.  Congress amended this act on June 1, 1954, replacing "Armistice" with "Veterans," and it has been known as Veterans Day ever since.

The Veterans Day National Ceremony is held each year on November 11th at Arlington National Cemetery . The ceremony commences precisely at 11:00 a.m. with a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns and continues inside the Memorial Amphitheater with a parade of colors by veterans' organizations and remarks from dignitaries. The ceremony is intended to honor and thank all who served in the United States Armed Forces.

I like to end with this poem:

                           Because of You, Unknown Soldier
By Courtney Tanabe
Because of you, I am here
Because of you, I am able to live freely
Yet I do not know you
And I have not done anything for you
But there you stand, ready to fight
And there you are prepared to die
For me
You've fought before
And you'll fight again
For someone you don't know
So thank you Unknown Soldier
Fighting for me
I'm here because of you
And I owe my future to you

So tomorrow, after you awake, remember to say a prayer for all those who fought to give us freedom and those who continue to lay down their lives for us in places far from home. 

Happy Veterans Day and this is another day in Catasauqua.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Walking in a Fog in Catasauqua - This is just a Test

Literally and figuratively I was walking in a fog this morning.  There was both a fog on the ground and a fog in my head.  First I have to say as soon as I see a foggy morning I think of the Carol Burnett skit from many years ago where she does a fog horn saying Oh Pat.  Still makes me chuckle after all these years.

Walking in a fog is a lot easier than driving, but as I got to the golf course there were a lot of cars.  Do they play golf in the fog?

Golf Course - are they really playing today?
Kudos to North Catasauqua!  On my walk this morning I was watching them put new flags on the telephone poles - Veterans Day is this Friday! 

In news for today - Today will mark the FIRST-EVER Nationwide Test of the Emergency Broadcast System.  It will happen at 2:00 PM EST. 

The Emergency Broadcast System which has Cold War roots enables the president to address the American public within 10 minutes from any location at any time. 

The test will be brief -- 30 seconds from start to finish.

In the event of a real emergency, the test would originate from wherever the president is. For test purposes, it will originate from a FEMA operations center. The president will not be involved and will not speak.

And remember this is a test.  This is only a test.  And this is ....another day in Catasauqua.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The leaves are falling like rain

This morning I took a walk.  I guess that changing of the clocks didn't work on my internal clock, I was up an hour early so I decided to take a walk instead of lying there trying to fall back to sleep.   First I took Digger, we do a quick trip around the block.  He has a kind of Doggie Dementia that hits in the winter, so I like to do the same walk each day.  When we got to my driveway it looked like it was raining....leaves.  My neighbor's locust tree just continually dropped leaves.  I never saw it do before.  Here is my theory.  Two weeks ago all the trees were green, they were just barely turning colors and then SHAZAM they all got hit with snow, breaking branches and wrecking havoc on the poor trees.  They thought - whoa - we got to loose these leaves quick before that happens again, therefore, the trees have turned bright colors practically overnight and they are dropping their leaves like falling rain.
my friend, Tammy mapping out the route

Well, that's my theory, and speaking of my neighbor's tree, when I came home later today I noticed that most of the leaves fell off the tree today.  Crazy.

And speaking of crazy, I did the 5K Walk yesterday for the Catasauqua Food Bank.  I made it with no problems.   While waiting,  everyone was worrying that they weren't dressed warm enough and here I was thinking I hope I didn't dress to warm, because when I start walking I warm up pretty darn fast.  Special THANKS to Parke, who joined me at around the one mile mark and finished the walk with me.  He was my Simon of Cyrene of sorts.  I was asked to carry one of the signs (which I really didn't want to do) and when he joined me - he carried it for me.  What a great guy.  My friend Tammy ran with her sister-in-law, wish I could run, maybe one day.  When you run you don't really have to have any conversation with people.  It's not that I am anti-social, it's just that I am trying to breathe and I can't seem to do both at the same time.

Kudos to the Bethany Church of Catasauqua for raising money for the Catasauqua Food Bank!  Times are tough, I know, and their are many people that need the help of the Catasauqua Food Bank, so please support them when you can.

Well, I guess that's it for now....and this has been.......another day in Catasauqua.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

What ever happened to Thanksgiving?

Poor, poor Thanksgiving.  The holiday is almost all but forgotten in the stores.  The other day, November 1, I went to Party City, AC Moore and Target and the Fall season is being packed up and Christmas is moving out on to all the shelves faster than you can say Fa La La La.  All I wanted to get were some Bounty napkins that I saw on Target's shelves a couple of days ago.  They had fall leaves, but when I got to Target they were gone and replaced with Bounty Christmas napkins. 

Is it too much to remember Thanksgiving.  I mean the Christmas shopping season is suppose to start Black Friday, not Halloween Friday.  Poor Thanksgiving. 

I still see Halloween decorations around Catty, no Christmas yet. There is so much more to celebrate before Christmas - we still have the big Catty/Northampton Football game.  The bonfire, the pep rally (they still do that don't they?) and hey - let's not forget the Turkey. 

Well that's enough of my ranting for now and this is ...  another day in Catasauqua.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Catasauqua Halloween Parade for the inside & Trick or Treat

For the last two years I have been in the Catasauqua Halloween Parade with We Sing, on their float.  Many years ago, when I was just a teenager, I was in the Halloween Parade on a Float for the Youth Group from the Y.  We were hillbillies.  We build a shack with a porch and we had the back of the float decorated like a hill top with flowers and artificial grass.  We had a lot of fun in the Catasauqua Parade and so we did it again in the Allentown Halloween Parade, however, on the way home we hit a low hanging branch which caused the shack to come down on top of us.  There were no serious injuries, thankfully, but one of the girls had an injury to her leg and I bruised a finger.  So each time I climb on a float, I worry.  But the last two years have been a lot of fun, and riding in the parade is so different from watching it every year. 

First, the ride from the North Catty Playground to the line up area for the parade is a hoot.  The hills in Catty make for an thrilling ride, just hold on.  Secondly, children of Catasauqua, stop yelling CANDY CANDY CANDY, you are not going to get any from me yelling that.  The ones who get the candy are the ones who wave and smile and say THANK YOU.

And speaking of candy, how about Trick or Treat this year, sidelined by a SNOW STORM, hello, what's that all about.  But Trick or Treat went off Sunday night and I zombiefied myself (I don't like zombies really but I could wear warmer clothing).  One thing I discovered - boy, I have a lot of hair when you tease it all out. 

Trick or treaters were very polite this year, lots of thank yous!  That's always nice to hear.  I know trick or treaters are also getting older and I don't mind that, but hey don't be smoking and trick or treating at the same time and stop texting while you hold your bag out for candy. 

Well, those are all my Halloween thoughts, I hope your Halloween went well, and that's just ...another day in Catasauqua.